View Full Version : My Villain is trying to escape the plane of shadow, need help

2015-04-02, 07:59 AM
After a long campaign involving my players fighting Gods and Demons we are going to jump a little bit into the future of the campaign setting to fight dragons.

In my setting. The dragons have brokered a fragile peace, except for a couple. In particular a black dragon that had left for the plane of shadow when one of the Gods decided to start killing dragons.

The Black dragons plan is simple, he has become a Shadow Dragon and wishes to return to the Material Plane. Due to barriers placed between the planes in my setting he needs magical assistance to breech the barrier.

I'm trying to think how I could do this perhaps he needs a portal in the material plane that aligns up to one in the shadow plane.

so I have the thought that maybe the Shadow Dragon/Black Dragon is sending weak creatures through the cracks in the barrier to convince people that he is a "trapped God" or powerful entity that could reward them if they help him escape.

The hard part is coming up with NPCs to convince to help him. Also what happens if this plan doesn't succeed? What does he do to get through then?

Red Fel
2015-04-02, 08:59 AM
It's a nasty little trick I call the double-bluff.

Step one, set up an unwitting villain. More specifically, find an NPC villain that the PCs would want to destroy anyway. One who can be tricked or manipulated. Send one of the dragon's shadowy minions to assist the guy, to become his right hand, the voice in his ear.

Step two, set up the PCs. Have the most susceptible among them receive visions - let's say of a captured princess, or magic weapon, or whatever would most appeal to the PCs. Said person/object is allegedly in the possession of the set-up villain. And since it's someone the PCs would want to destroy anyway, they now have motivation.

Here's the best part - the Xanatos Gambit element. You see, through your dragon's minion, the NPC villain is being set up to perform some kind of ritual to open the way for the BBEG. If he succeeds, the dragon enters the world, good times. The PCs are the back-up plan. The ritual should be performed in such a manner that, if the PCs thwart it, something remains that would cause the PCs to later trigger it. In short, either the villain opens the way now, or the PCs open the way later.

My suggestion is to have some sort of wispy shadowy energy that latches onto one or more of the PCs as a result of disrupting the ritual. Give him a free power-up, like a 1/day darkness-flavored SLA, or some kind of template, to reflect it. Because it's a good thing, and it came after stopping a bad guy, the PCs won't think much of it; they'll likely assume it's a reward, and laugh it off.

Next, set up another bad guy, with another ritual. But this time, here's where the insurance policy pays off. You see, if this NPC performs the ritual correctly, BBEG enters the world, yadda yadda. But even if he fails, once the PC(s) with the shadowy power-up enter the area, they will trigger the ritual. They are effectively ritual anchors, a living link to the Plane of Shadow. By voluntarily coming to the ritual site, they form the bridge. They are the key that opens the gate.

And that, my friend, is good planning.

2015-04-02, 09:13 AM
The Black dragons plan is simple...

Well, not exactly simple.

The hard part is coming up with NPCs to convince to help him. Also what happens if this plan doesn't succeed? What does he do to get through then?

Are you trying to plan this to be part of an adventure involving the PC's, as Red Fel presented? If it's just background, then you don't need anything more than saying he finds someone to help him.

He could have his minions plant some mystical tomes in a large city, maybe allegedly as part of a treasure horde adventurers recently discovered and are bringing to sell. A powerful local wizard or warlock gets ahold of a copy of "Conjuring Beyond the Twilight Veil" and curiosity does the rest.

2015-04-02, 10:05 AM
It's background I guess.

Though I've come up with a good idea of what I might do with what has been said.

So far I have that the portal was created by artifacts the number of which I haven't decided on.

Each artifact has a property that either causes or defends against necrotic energy. So they can be used seperately.

However if all of the artifacts are brought together in one place the portal is opened.

I'm still trying to figure out what the artifacts are. But I am stealing the idea from an old tv show I watched where the villains would go after artifacts and then when the last one was left they let the heroes capture it uncontested.

2015-04-02, 11:51 AM
Warlock NPCs with the dragon as patrons. Have a prophecy that all evil artifacts must be together, can only be defeated by all good artifacts - ruse is to ensure all are brought together unwittingly.

Red Fel
2015-04-02, 01:19 PM
Warlock NPCs with the dragon as patrons. Have a prophecy that all evil artifacts must be together, can only be defeated by all good artifacts - ruse is to ensure all are brought together unwittingly.

I like this one. It's sort of a Castlevania II gambit.

If you're unfamiliar, on the NES there was a game, Castlevania II: Simon's Quest. It takes place after the first game, with Simon Belmont seeking to bring together the five pieces of Dracula's remains in order to lift the curse that Dracula placed on him. The pieces offer special power-ups, but the ultimate goal is to bring them together in one place. Doing so, however, revives Dracula.

Basically, you could convince the PCs that the dragon is already making his way back into the world, and that these items can seal him away. Only by bringing them together and using them all at once can the PCs banish the dragon's influence. Except that by wielding them in unison, the PCs actually weaken the barrier between the planes enough for the dragon to break through - accomplishing the opposite goal.

For bonus points, make the artifacts seem sacred, holy powers and that kind of stuff. Keeps the PCs from thinking too hard about it. Triple word score if they actually are holy artifacts, with the unique ability to weaken the walls between planes when used in unison.

2015-04-03, 06:35 PM
...or since dragons are spellcasters, he could just cast Plane Shift...

(I know, I know...no fun in that)

2015-04-04, 09:44 AM
lol yeah. That's why I have the barriers up in my world.

I've been into Dark Sun a lot and found it interesting how there are planes specifically designed to keep Athas seperate or keep BBEG trappwd in the Hallow.

2015-04-04, 09:53 AM
If the barrier is keeping the dragon in...then maybe he isn't a dragon when he goes through. Just an ordinary Undead Shadow...that came with enough of the dragon's mind and power to start the planning. Since he's on this side, all he needs is a way of reclaiming his own form.

2015-04-11, 09:27 PM
This would be a great time to introduce a new villain. Maybe the dragon has to make a deal with a new evil guy with his own motives. I love campaigns where there are multiple things going on at a time