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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

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    Default Lost a soul while in Hell

    Hi all,

    last night my group had a tense fight in a devil embassy ending with the slaughter of the ambassador who was of course a pit fiend by our halfling thief. Jubilations were in order after he back stabbed the beast while invisible doing insane damage with his silvered good aligned daggers. So naturally they loot the place and find, amongst other nasty things, a real artifact: the dreaded deck of many things (DMG p. 278). Since the guys are quite chaotic I wanted to use it for a while now. How bad can it get? I thought. But before drawing any cards the find an enchanted chest which the thief tries to untrap. There the troubles begin. He saves against becoming a lemure but fails his second save. The revenge of the slain pit fiend comes throe in the end because the poor halfling is plane shifted to one of the hells, without any means of shifting back. A nasty bit of bad luck but I think I could make a nice side quest out of this. We are about to close of on this cliffhanger for the night but then the stranded thief flips out the deck of many things. He managed to hide in a small hollow on a hellish mountain while armies of devils march on the plains below. And decides to draw three cards. How much worse can he situation become you ask? A lot apparently. First he draws a key which gives him a cool magical black dagger. Then he loses 3 int to the fool. He decides to draw two more and now gets 50000 gp in gems. Nice nice nice he thinks. Then on the last card, he draws the void. His body turns rigid and comatose while his soul gets sucked into the card and sent to a random other plane. Possibly into the possession of some outsider! Now whats a DM to do? Its an enormous opportunity for great stories of course but also a staggering challenge that derails all my plans. That is why I turn to you for advice. I'm thinking about some Slaad fun or Rakshasa horror here but I'm open to better suggestions. My guys are level 17 and tey like a challenge. There are a lot of questions I need to cover to make this a good experience:
    1.What will happen to an unguarded body with huge amounts of stuff and gold left in some random hell?
    2.What can a random outsider do with a soul in an object?
    3.What kind of prison should I make for the soul?
    4.How do the guys find out were the body and the soul are being kept?
    5.What should they overcome to get them both back? (storm a keep in hell? Do a quest for some mysterious fiend?)
    6.Am I to kind to give them any hope of ever finding the two parts of their lost halfling back?

    All advice will be much appreciated. I hope I can turn this downer for my player into a great story and will of course report back to you all what happened in the end.

    Cheers,

    Zanticor

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Lost a soul while in Hell

    Quote Originally Posted by Zanticor View Post
    How bad can it get? I thought.
    My advise is that next time this right here should be your danger phrase. Little tiny gongs should be going off, with a chaotic group and a randomizing artifact they should be big honking foghorns.

    However, were I a powerful outsider with a sudden bonus of a high level rogue soul I'd try to use it rather than just have it cluttering up the place. As an idea you could have the rogue wake up in a new body (warforged, undead, short life exectancy clone, etc...) and have them work for their new boss, maybe run into their old mates, maybe have them try to reposses all the cool unclaimed stuff lying around in this random hell.
    Last edited by mostlyharmful; 2009-04-11 at 11:19 AM.
    Give them bread and circusses and the plebs wont rise against you. Give adventurers dungeons and trapped chests and they won't waste time looking to ransack your home and kill your wife.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Logalmier's Avatar

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    Default Re: Lost a soul while in Hell

    I'm thinking that If the PCs don't know were their halflings soul is you should either let them try to find its location with divinations, or you should introduce some new, rare magic item or artifact into the game (if an artifact got them into this, then they'll have to discover another artifact to get them out.) The artifact could be a machine that somehow tracts the location of souls across the planes, or something like that.
    When they get to where the halflings soul is located, have it be in the possession of a powerful outsider. (I'm thinking for a nice challenge you could have the outsider order the rogues soul to attack your party. They couldn't outright destroy it, as it's their teammates soul. They'd have to bind it somehow, Soul Bind maybe? The only problem is if the halflings original player would reject how his soul is being used.) After they defeat the outsider and somehow trap the halflings soul they'll have to get it back into his body. Maybe the outsider will have some books or scrolls on the subject of reinserting scrolls? I dunno, it's just an idea.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: Lost a soul while in Hell

    Thanks for the advice! I like using the soul against his friends idea. His sneak attacks are quite nasty but it could work.

    mostlyharmful: your right the alarm bells should have tipped me off. Some chaotic randomness is good but the deck might be a bit much. Hope they learned their lesson although I'm not so sure. One of my players immediately started sulking about how now he didn't get a shot at the cards.

    Logalmier: I think my cleric will go for the casting of some miracles to get to know where they should go. I'm not going to allow them to just miracle everything back in order, but it will help them to get a head start.
    Maybe the most important question is: what creep do I put them up against? Maybe the void card is put in there by the creator of the pack to gain some souls? I'll see. Maybe someone has some more good ideas.

    Zanticor

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Lost a soul while in Hell

    Quote Originally Posted by Zanticor View Post
    mostlyharmful: your right the alarm bells should have tipped me off. Some chaotic randomness is good but the deck might be a bit much. Hope they learned their lesson although I'm not so sure. One of my players immediately started sulking about how now he didn't get a shot at the cards.
    Watch that space, it's going to be them that pushes the big red button just because it's a big red button......
    Give them bread and circusses and the plebs wont rise against you. Give adventurers dungeons and trapped chests and they won't waste time looking to ransack your home and kill your wife.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: Lost a soul while in Hell

    Actually, I think the soul of the thief would be on the same hell as he died on. After all, the devils have powerful equipment in place to collect souls.
    This makes it easier for the group to run into him (after you make him a warforged or whatever) since they would already be looking for him in hell
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  7. - Top - End - #7
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Lost a soul while in Hell

    I'd just let the soul remain in Hell, but on a different layer and separated from the body.
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  8. - Top - End - #8
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: Lost a soul while in Hell

    Letting the soul remain in hell does not make it easier to find I would think. Unless I place the soul and body under the same ownership which seems like a bit of a coincidence. I'm also warming up to the opportunity to go look for both a body and a soul in hugely different places so as to make it new experience. I never tried planescaping before and this seems like fun. What do you think is needed to capture and then use souls? I could put him in a warforged body or a golem but a useful object or a weapon also sounds like a nice idea. Should I turn the body into a bone golem or is that just to much of a rip-off?

    Zanticor

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Lost a soul while in Hell

    The soul ended up in the hands of a Demon, who uses it as a focus to scry on the Halfling's body to keep an eye on the Devils' troop movements.

    The soul ended up in the hands of an Archangel of War, who uses it as a focus to scry on the Halfling's body and keep an eye on the Devils' troop movements.

    The soul ended up in Mechanus, inside a gear. A gear in the middle of an entire universe made of gears, powering a contraption that will do a most unpleasant thing if it breaks.

    The soul ended up in the otherworldly realm of the Fae, bound to a nymph's bikini top.

    The soul has fallen beyond space and time and become a Vestige, which can only be contacted by a Binder (yay, Tome of Magic!)

    The soul got accidentally snagged by the creation of a mad Drow Artificer, who believes she has created the universe's most advanced mechanical servant.

    The soul got chucked through a time-paradox and became the shadowy BBEG the party has been fighting all this time.

    The soul got bound to the Halfling's body. Any attempt to scry for the location of the Halfling's soul instead shows a picture of the Halfling's immobile and comatose form.

    The soul has gone to Limbo and is in the hands of a Giant Frog, who plans to Giant Frog it into a Giant Frog to accomplish his Giant Frog.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Logalmier's Avatar

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    Default Re: Lost a soul while in Hell

    This is an idea for what will keep the halfling captive.

    Void Fiend

    Huge Outsider(Evil, Extraplanatar)
    Hit Dice: 20d12+150 (270)
    Initiative: +13
    Speed: 60 feet(12 sqrs.) Fly 120 feet(24 sqrs.)
    AC:42(-2 size, +8 DEX, +26 natural) touch 16, flat footed 34
    Base Attack/Grapple: +20/+38
    Attack: Claw +32 melee (2d12 + 15, plus corporeal instability)
    Full Attack: 2 claws +32 melee (2d12 +15, plus corporeal instability)
    and Bite +30 melee (3d12 + 18, plus corporeal instability)
    Space/Reach: 15/10
    Special Attacks: Constrict 2d12 + 28, fear aura, Improved Grab, Rend, Corporeal Instability
    Special Qualities: Damage Reduction 15/law, Darkvision 120 feet, Immunity to cold and fire, Immunity to acid, spell resistance 35, poison immunity, Unstable reality
    Saves: Fort: +22, Ref: +15, Will: +23
    Abilities: Str 40, Dex 29, Con 20, Int 30, Wis 26, Cha 1

    I'm to lazy to include skills, figure them out yourself.

    Feats:Cleave, Great Cleave, Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Power Attack.
    CR:20
    Alignment: Chaotic Evil

    This creature only definable as a complete lack of anything. It is an appalling black mass, a hole in the area around it. It's ragged edges tremble violently, as if the concept of form is unknown to it. The color around it seems to drain away, to be sucked into the horror of the void.

    Void Fiends are terrible holes in the universe that have gained sentience. They roam the multiuniverse, drawing in souls that have gotten lost.

    Combat


    A Void Fiend attacks when it gets close enough, affecting as many as it can with its Unstable Reality. It then targets the most dangerous foe with its claws, subjecting them to its horrible Corporeal instability affect.

    Unstable Reality:
    This affects everything within 20 feet of the Void Demon. Colors lose their contrast. The laws of proportions begin to fade. Because it is a being of primordial chaos, a Void Fiend is uneasy with all natural laws. Thus, it can only make one move action, or one standard action per turn, but not both. This does not stop a Void fiend from making a full attack. Characters within 20 feet of a Void Fiend take a -4 penalty on all saves while they're in the field.

    Rend:
    I'm assuming you know what this does. Add 2d12 + 13 points of damage.

    Corporeal Instability:
    This functions as a chaos beasts Corporeal Instability does, only the save is DC 27, and the victim is not turned into another chaos beast when their Wis is reduced to zero. They simply melt away, and only a true resurrection or wish can bring them back.

    Improved Grab:
    I assume you know what this does.

    This is just a rough idea of a monster, feel free for anyone to tweak it, because it's far from perfect.
    Last edited by Logalmier; 2009-04-11 at 05:08 PM.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: Lost a soul while in Hell

    Wow I like the void monster! What does it want? What does it do? Is it kind of like the little brother of the Snarl? It has some nice intelligence and wisdom stats. Will it make the halfing destroy some universe or something? Maybe it has some Slaad underlings that can implant the halfling soul into some monstrosity like their eggs? And then the thief grows out of it like a new tiny fluffy baby void? Keep up the good ideas.

    Zanticor

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    DrowGuy

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    Default Re: Lost a soul while in Hell

    Don't forget that the origional body is a Lemur now but that is the least of his problems. I'll admit that if I were stuck in hell and had no other way back and in that blokes situation I'd probibly draw from the deck hoping for the wish to bring him back home. Another idea would be to have him in the crystal of a magic item powering it (leveling down as charges are used). Maybe wish power restorations will allow lost levels to be replaced.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Logalmier's Avatar

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    Default Re: Lost a soul while in Hell

    Quote Originally Posted by Zanticor View Post
    Wow I like the void monster! What does it want? What does it do? Is it kind of like the little brother of the Snarl? It has some nice intelligence and wisdom stats. Will it make the halfing destroy some universe or something? Maybe it has some Slaad underlings that can implant the halfling soul into some monstrosity like their eggs? And then the thief grows out of it like a new tiny fluffy baby void? Keep up the good ideas.

    Zanticor
    I was kinda thinking that they contributed to the creation of the Deck of Many things in the first place, adding the Void cards to each set. Eons ago when the Decks were first made a bunch of Void Fiends Banded together and said "Look, if everyone else is getting to add their own cards to the deck, then why shouldn't we?" So they secretly created the "Void" cards, cards that would trap souls and place them under the Void Fiends power. Then they added them to each deck in secret. Now many of the Void fiends are extinct, but the few that are left are there, waiting for any soul unfortunate enough to draw a Void card from one of the remaining decks...

    Ultimately it's your call, you could chose to have the Void Fiends be miniature "Snarls" of sorts. Or you could change my idea, or just have it insert little Void Fiend eggs into the unfortunate rogue.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: Lost a soul while in Hell

    I'm still entirely open to suggestions. Why do you think the void fiends created the cards? What do they want the souls for? They must have a fiendish plan for the fools who draw their cards. Also a nice idea that creatures from all sorts of persuation contributed to the decks of many things. Maybe some god of chance petitioned a lot of different gods and monsters for one kind of card each? The void fiends just added the most horrific one.

    Zanticor

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Logalmier's Avatar

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    Default Re: Lost a soul while in Hell

    If the Void Fiends did have a purpose, then it's pretty much gone now, lost by the many Void Fiends that were slaughtered by adventurers.

    ...

    Ok, if you REALLY want a purpose hows this sound; the Void Fiends hate reality, it has no place for them, and it slows them down. Void Fiends are essentially intelligent holes in reality, so they reason if they feed themselves enough souls, they'll eventually get so big that the world will go away. What the didn't realize is that their intelligence is all that holds them up. If their killed, they breaches they represent also die. After the many gods and demigods learned of the Void Fiends deception they condemned the race, and they were ruthlessly cleared out by Solars and bands of adventurers. Some managed to hide however, but they've long since forgotten the reason they created the Void cards. They just know that once in a happy while a lost soul turns up on their doorstep, ready to be slowly absorbed

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Lost a soul while in Hell

    Suggestions for a different course of action (If you're interested).

    Seems like the party's two biggest problems are:

    1. Chaos
    2. Lost things

    So, seems to me the best two solutions would be:

    1. Law
    2. Something that could find lost things.

    Not sure how familiar you are with Mechanus the plane of machines and law, or even if it exists in your world, but it could be an interesting place to adventure. The beings of Mechanus like to keep track of things, so they'll for sure know where the souls of the adventurers have gone. Maybe the machines will help your players find what they need for a favor.

    Suggestions for exchange

    1. Perhaps the Inevitables want help capturing some rouge in the multiverse? Someone has broken some law, somewhere, and the players can help in exchange for some help finding the souls of their friends.

    2. The Deck of Many Things represents a serious force of Chaos in the multiverse, and is a powerful artifact to boot. Maybe the Law-forces of Mechanus could reverse the effects of the Deck in some complex ritual that destroys the Deck in the process, but maybe that ritual requires some material components?

    3. Maybe both souls have ended up in the hands of demons, either from conquest by those demons, or some trade a devil made, or something like that. Maybe the Mechanus dwellers could mount an expedition to the Abyss to take back the souls in a grand war. The souls could be part of the spoils.
    Thanks a TON to Almighty Salmon for the Amazing Log Man!

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  17. - Top - End - #17
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: Lost a soul while in Hell

    I like the void fiends but I think I need the monster that captures the soul to manipulate it. Not just eat it. I also like the teaming up with mechanus. There has been a lot of inter party conflict between the chaotic side and the lawful neutral cleric of St Cuthbert. I know I have a pressing adventure to conclude but I can't pass up the opportunity to go plane hopping. Maybe the can end up with owing half the universe some services that can be reclaimed at a latter date. Any nasty suggestions?

    Zanticor

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    DrowGuy

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    Default Re: Lost a soul while in Hell

    Quote Originally Posted by Logalmier View Post
    I was kinda thinking that they contributed to the creation of the Deck of Many things in the first place, adding the Void cards to each set. Eons ago when the Decks were first made a bunch of Void Fiends Banded together and said "Look, if everyone else is getting to add their own cards to the deck, then why shouldn't we?" So they secretly created the "Void" cards, cards that would trap souls and place them under the Void Fiends power. Then they added them to each deck in secret. Now many of the Void fiends are extinct, but the few that are left are there, waiting for any soul unfortunate enough to draw a Void card from one of the remaining decks...

    Ultimately it's your call, you could chose to have the Void Fiends be miniature "Snarls" of sorts. Or you could change my idea, or just have it insert little Void Fiend eggs into the unfortunate rogue.
    Who knows maybe the makers of the void card paid for the whole darn thing, figuring that in order to get someone's soul it would have to be comparatively worth it with some payouts and relatively low risk for the drawer.

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