View Full Version : The Choices of Mr NPC [help]

2008-04-02, 04:42 AM
I wonder if you lovely Playgrounders can help me with the reactions of some NPCs to the scene resulting from the actions of a player character party...
Here's the set up:

During the Festival of Urt, all the dwarves of Kraagsheim are called to Her Temple deep within the mountains - even the priesthood of the other dwarven gods. This time, there is all the more reason to attend - times are troubled: the human nations on the surface look like they may be about to begin open war again, and once more the Dwarves of Kraagsheim will be caught between them.
You - a priest of the North Shaft Shrine of Lichten - are returning from your Festival Pilgrimage to your Shrine in the North Shaft, when you discover (horror of horrors!) Lichten's shrine and altar have been desecrated!
The pit-trap against the unworthy (directly in front of the altar) has been sprung, the Sacred Crucible of Offering is missing, vile unholy water has been sprinkled on the altar (bottles bearing the mark of the humans' sun god lie scattered about), the mechanical golem guardians of the shrine are out of their appointed waiting holes (showing that they were activated by some intruder), the door from the shrine to the tombs has been broken in with an axe and two un-dwarves (a human and a halfling) lie dead in the Chamber of Mourning before the Catacombs of the Hallowed - where the Pyramid of Heroes, that meticulous skull pile of the greatest of Dwarven Defenders, is scattered and bones crushed under careless feet...

(Summary: you've been away from your church, and return to find it ransacked, holy items stolen, and two dead foreigners in your halls.)

As a 10th level pious dwarf cleric of the god of light, war and destruction, what do you do?

Any answers will be gratefully received. Imagine you have any PHB clerical ability and spell you want (up to your level's ability), and that you are Lawful something or True Neutral in alignment. I've not given any stats to this priest, so feel free to imagine whatever you like.

2008-04-02, 04:46 AM
For starters, if I have any spell I'm able to cast, I'm going to spend some quality time with those two deceased foreigners and some Speak With Dead spells. Even if I don't have them prepared, waiting a day and then questioning them thoroughly is a possibility.

If the corpses are mutilated enough (jaws removed, in particular), there are a number of other scrying spells that I'd resort to. Or I could pray and hope for a response.

That's a start.

2008-04-02, 05:17 AM
Feeling calm and self-interested? Secure the area. More foreigners could very well be here. This would be a good time to cast Omen of Peril, or Augury, though even one minute is a little long. Speak With Dead is another good spell, although again, you want to first make sure you're alone in the area.

Feeling vengeful and lawful evil? Do the exact same thing, with the intent of finding these foreigners and giving them a few Wracks to teach 'em a lesson. Then comes coup de grace time.

If the area has been secured, and the Cleric really wants to find the culprits, he has the best tools for the job. He just needs to ask his god where the little bastards went with Divination and Commune. Ah, Clerics.

Also, where, exactly, are the golems?

2008-04-02, 05:24 AM
First reconsecrate the altar; rearrange the pyramid of the heroes (casting mending where necessary) and with the holy temple duty done let's turn to the foreigners...

Do I have any follower with the track feat? If so let's find out how many strangers there were and the such; no honorable person (assuming LN allignment) would abandon their comrade dead, so the survivors were extremely dishonorable to their own companions... :smallfurious:


Speak with dead with one of the trespassers; if that does not work you could attempt to resurrect the other one? They might be foolish enough to come back --adventurers are like that; possibly have the spell cast by a cleric of another deity so that the fool will not recognize the very god they tried to steal from.
Then... let the hunting begin.

The real question is: how much is revenge crucial to that person? One can be very lawful and still forgiving.
Ask yourself the following:
1) how much are the dwarves prone to forgiveness?
2) What are the relationships between the dwarf nation and the human communities? Would they first demand the local human king to give in the offenders? If there is no human king a public declaration, read aloud by dwarven messengers in the nearby human settlements could be done.
3) If the humans refuse to or cannot comply, would they move war? Would they send a holy avenger instead?
Remember that wars are extremely costly, revenges use valuable resources (the holy avenger is a high level NPC that is not doing other useful things, like battling the orcs or something while on the humans' trail). The dwarves might not have the resources to have a full blown-war. The cult might not have the hold on the Dwarven king (or whatever) to have the whole nation move war for that. So they might have to bite it.
5) are they the kind of fanatics to send a 2nd level warrior after a party of adventurers as their "holy avenger" if that is what they have? What do the violators do when they find out about this? If the Pelorites resent killing such a harmless (for them) guy this could be a good hook :smallsmile:

Hope this helps...

2008-04-02, 05:31 AM
Have you seen Babylon 5? I'd go with the same solution that the Membari came up with when they first met the humans.

2008-04-02, 06:00 AM
I'd assume someone was trying to pit me against the Sun land's humans, and try to locate and kill them.

After all, it's way too obvious. Calling cards like that don't happen unless the defiler loses, or is driven off before being able to collect belongings.

Also, insurgencies such as that don't usually have their nation's insignia stamped on every piece of gear they could possibly throw or leave behind.

Start with divination, and look also into the political ramifications of the action. Who gains from conflict between the Humans of the Sun lands and the Dwarves of Kraagsheim. Most of all, rebuild, repair, and wait. Let things play out a bit more. As a dwarf, I'm patient. My revenge can wait a dozen years if need be... But I will enact that justice.

2008-04-02, 06:37 AM
Let's see, if this was my dwarven cleric:

1. Secure the area by calling in whatever security staff is on hand.
2. Identify any geo-political motivations by the humans, or a group willing to frame the humans' Sun god for such an act.
3. Use a gylph of warding to seal the camber behind you so that you have your privacy with the corpses.
4. Search the bodies for clues like notes, seals or any kind of identifying marks. That includes a visual inspection of the bodies as well for tatoos, etc.
5. Cast Speak with dead and try to communcated with them (1 question each), then if necessary cast tongues to understand them. It also wouldn't hurt to cast your mind buffs as well. If rounds are minutes, then I still have 6-7 minutes left.
6. Cast a zone of truth in the area (5-6 minutes remaining) As each corpse their final four questions to get as much information as I can.
7. Cast Commune and Divination as well after talking to corpses to get whatever divine insight I could muster.
8. By then I should have some idea about the perps and Scying is possible.
9. If one of the deceased is willing to come back (like they have a very unhappy afterlife), I would attempt to raise dead and slap them with the mark of justice.
10. Or I could simply skip that step and summon a Lesser Planar Ally to aid in my search. Or sent the ally after the perps to locate them for me while I prepare to bring them in to justice. Or I would bring some loyal paladins and other clerics and stomp them a new mud hole.

2008-04-02, 06:59 AM
Thanks everyone!

I was thinking along those lines, but as the DM, I know what the plot is - so I wanted to see if my ideas stood up to outside scrutiny.

The actions everyone suggested are consistent: the dwarves are going to investigate thoroughly before rushing off to invade the human lands in retribution, and in D&D, we've got the means to do that properly.

To answer the specific question of where the golem guardians are exactly:
Of the two from the shrine chamber: one is standing over the body of the dead human, one is standing over the body of the dead halfling
Of the two from the tomb chambers beyond: one is in its alcove (but has evidently been stomping about in the room from the footprints it has left), and the other is halfway down the long hall towards the funeral exit to the surface.
All of the golems appear to have been attacked in some way (scores on their armour, crossbow bolts wedged in, etc).

I've got enough to go on running my game now - thanks!
Of course, if you guys want to carry on puzzling this out, feel free. It's always a pleasure to see smart people at work. :smallbiggrin: