View Full Version : DM Help Dracolich agenda - a bit of a plot help

2014-07-28, 03:12 AM
So ...

Dracolich is informed that some of his more eager cultists have found an ancient magical pool in which they could immerse him to boost his powers incredibly. There are basically three downsides:

- pool is in an old, abandoned city, often as not visited by adventurers

- in order for the thing to work, lots of magical items must be dumped into the pool. Luckily large sections of city have ample of this stuff to be looted from hands of monsters. Perhaps even visiting adventurers could be hired to get them

- pool takes sacrifice of sentient creatures. A cultist of yours already came up with a plan of establishing a fake orphanage and get best, tastiest souls for a Hidden Sacrificial site.

How do you think a smart caster that dracolich is, would respond to this?


Bonus question: What would be dracolichs' general agenda in unlife? What would he aspire it?

Grim Portent
2014-07-28, 07:21 AM
The way that the dracolich would behave would be different depending on what type of dragon they were prior to their reanimation as each species has their own general mannerisms.

A green or blue dragon (assuming chromatic dragons from D&D) would be very careful and cautious about this, focusing on misdirection and subtle manipulation.

Green would lean more to stealthy thefts, ambushes and so on to achieve it's needs for treasure, sacrifices and safety during it's dip in the pool. It would also stay hidden in the city (or nearby) for as long as possible rather than reveal itself.

Blue would be more about tricking adventurers into doing the legwork for it, making them think the pool is a religious site and having them escort 'pilgrims' tricked in the same fashion to be used as sacrifices for example, having them gather items and then protecting it during the ritual to power up.

Red, black and white are all less subtle.

Reds notably believe themselves the greatest of dragonkind and would likely arrive at the head of a force of rampaging monsters and declare the ruins of the city theirs and swear to bring woe and ruin on all who try to stop them, enslaving the local monsters to do everything they need while there.

Black would be a touch more subtle, approaching the place in disguise or under cover of darkness and using evil magics to foul the water supply, make plant life grow rampantly, flood parts of the ruins and steadily pervert the local environment into a foul boggy marsh that slows and ensnares those who try to cross. The actual legwork would likely be done by enslaved monsters or it's cultists.

White would probably charge in thinking that strength and speed will be enough, bully anything it meets into serving it and generally trying to use brute force to solve all it's problems and overcome the obstacles that prevent it from using the pool, though it will use hit-and-run and ambush tactics where possible. It would do it's best to turn the ruins into a frozen wasteland using magic first of course since that would give it both a short and long term advantage.

Becoming a dracolich wouldn't alter their long term goals or approach much, other than making them much more patient (and dragons are already patient) and perhaps a bit more focused on their magic than their might. A dracolich aspires to much the same as any other dragon. They like wealth, power, to see lesser beings grovel before them and to be worshiped as if they were gods, to corrupt the pure and dominate the meek.

This is of course only a starting point for dragon characterization and every dragon and dracolich is different from it's kin in some fashion. Mixing things up a bit by giving a red dracolich a penchant for subtlety as well as for/instead of overt arrogant acts and bold threats can throw players off and run counter to their expectations.

2014-07-28, 08:42 AM
I'd go with the blue-suggested strategy, and add to it the caveat that the dracolich polymorphs into one of the "pilgrims." When the others are sacrificed to his dark purpose, he immerses himself in the pool and gets empowered. The orphanage idea is also likely to be a good one for this. Perhaps even offering to care for the children of pilgrims, since the journey would be too harsh. (I doubt the orphanage would be in the ruin, which is the destination; it'd be one or more orphanages in nearish-by cities.)

The beauty of the orphanage idea is that this would also be a good place for the dracolich - not just long-lived, but eternal, remember - to rear the next generations of his cult. From those who aren't used as sacrifices, at least.

Heck, if the "pilgrim" parents are being sacrificed, the orphans left behind now have nobody to come back to claim them...and the religious order caring for them obviously would teach them the glories of their divine undead dragon-god.