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Thread: BBEG idea.

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    Jokasti's Avatar

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    Default BBEG idea.

    Check it out.
    I'd like some help making this better, as well as opinions and stuff.
    Thanks in advance.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Talbot's Avatar

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    Default Re: BBEG idea.

    Having the party do NOTHING but combat for 10 straight levels is going to be a bit monotonous... you may want to shorten that, or pepper in some escape attempts or something to keep things fresh.

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    Titan in the Playground
     
    Yuki Akuma's Avatar

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    Default Re: BBEG idea.

    Pure straight fighting to level 10 is around 70-140 combats.

    Just thought you should be aware.
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    Quote Originally Posted by archaeo View Post
    Man, this is just one of those things you see and realize, "I live in a weird and banal future."

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
    MonkGuy

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    Default Re: BBEG idea.

    Instead of nothing but straight combat, try starting them out in an "escape the castle" themed thing. Start them higher, closer to 5, and be free-handed with the experience.. no less than a level a session is what I'd aim for. When they escape, they go from the inside of a dark tunnel, and exit into a massive amphitheatre, where a cheer goes up from hundreds of paying nobles who were watching the entire thing. The lich floats down using your preferred method of locomotion (fly spell, floating platform/chair, etc), and congratulates the party on being the first to reach the end of his arena.

    Done right, you can guarantee they'll swear to defeat the lich on the spot.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: BBEG idea.

    Here's my two cents:

    - Assuming this is a 3.5 campaign, starting at level 1 is bad, especially when they can't avoid fights and can't gain XP without fighting. I'd start them off at at least level 3 so that they won't be KO'd by the first lucky hit.

    - Having the phylactery as a DMPC is bad. If she's going to help the party she should be weaker than they are, at least offensively. Trust me, as a player it's really unfun for an NPC to steal your thunder so you have to sit around for NPC vs. NPC combat. I'd probably make her a Hexblade ~1-2 levels below the party and burn all her feats on things like Combat Expertise and Spring Attack.

    - Rather than making the phylactery a toy which was turned into an animal which was turned into a human, I'd just skip a step and say that the phylactery was incorporated into an Effigy (Complete Arcane) of a humanoid (an elf, presumably), and then Awakened to sentience.

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    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: BBEG idea.

    1. A phylactery is a magic item, once an object becomes a creature it is no longer an object and is no longer a magic item. The best you could do is make the phylactery an item familiar and make it some sort of construct. Furthermore, PAO can never affect a magic item no matter how you try to twist it. Finally, a humanoid cannot be a familiar, if it's already his familiar and becomes a humanoid then it is no longer his familiar.

    2. "You awaken in a castle and have to go along with the story, regardless of your own character's motivations." Furthermore, making them grind combats from 1-10 will get boring and monotonous, you may as well just start them at level ten and say that has already happened. None of that even requires anything on their part, they'll just be riding along through your pre-set story saying, 'I kick its ass, where's my XP?' for ten levels. Start the campaign with everyone as level ten gladiators, enslaved by this sorcerer, just now acting on an opportunity to escape his clutches and plan their vengeance. The players will be a lot more interested, and won't be at such a huge risk of quitting out of boredom right from the start.

    3. DMPCs are never fun for the players. Every DMPC is the same, a Dr. Manhattan character with unlimited power who (refuses to) (forgets how to) (doesn't know he can) use it unless the story dictates. The PCs in such a game never feel like they've accomplished anything for themselves, they're just following this guy around carrying his luggage while the DM plays his own character in his own campaign. If your players keep showing up, they'll feel like they're just sitting through story time rather than playing the game.

    So, you have a bland lead-them-by-the-nose start that completely ignores their own goals and motivations. You have a ten level arena combat grind with no plot or story or any other way of keeping them interested. You have a DMPC who can solo the whole campaign but is willing to take the PCs along for the ride. Then, when you finally do drop the twist that this DMPC is the phylactery, you'll just get the same uninterested 'Meh, whatever' that you'll have already seen in every game session. I would never even consider playing in this game, and I seriously doubt your players would want to continue playing after the first few sessions.

    Here's what I'd change:
    Make a legit, traditional phylactery. Don't make a DMPC, ever. This sorcerer is some sort of warlord who holds the land in his iron grasp. Give the players the option of making 'former gladiators' or rebels fighting his rule.

    Start the game out with the rebels making an opportunistic attack on his arena facility while he's away at his fortress/tower/etc. distracted with some sort of ritual. The PCs start out with the rebel characters having already infiltrated the facility, in the process of breaking out the gladiator characters. They probably gained access through the sewers, or entered the building as spectators.

    They should have a goal such as killing the lieutenant who's in charge of the arena facility and obtaining some sort of insignia that the sorcerer gave him. In their escape they may find other gladiators who attack them for whatever reason, monsters meant to fight in the arena which have escaped, etc. as an opportunity for you to use all those interesting arena battles you thought of but didn't get to use since you started them at level ten.

    Maybe they can use that insignia to gain access to other, less public facilities that the sorcerer has set up as a means of controlling the population. The setting should feel like a sort of police state, with towns and cities crawling with armed patrols who arbitrarily arrest people claiming some sort of offense against the sorcerer's rule. The PCs cannot go into a town visibly armed or armored without immediately being arrested, items like Glamered armor would be highly illegal. This would give you ample opportunities for noncombat adventures that they should want to solve without fighting since they'd be at such a disadvantage. Another option would be to use the Defense Bonus rules, which combines well with Armor As Damage Reduction so armor will still be worth wearing.

    The game should focus around them disrupting the sorcerer's control and convincing others to join their cause. As they level up they could get a lead on the location of his phylactery, and have a nice long adventure to obtain it, at the end of which he teleports in to protect it leading to a climactic battle in which the phylactery is destroyed and he manages to escape. They must then track him down and kill him before he manages to repair it or create a new one. (You can make a new phylactery, it involves a True Resurrection and starting the liching process over.)

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: BBEG idea.

    This is what the first post in this thread should have been :


    So hereís my idea for a Big Bad Evil Guy (BBEG) in my first campaign that Iíll be DMing. Basically, a High Elven Sorcerer Lich 26. His familiar is a monkey, who also is his phylactery, and has been ďPolymorph any ObjectĒ-ed into a human, permanently. The party starts out with the party awakening in the Lichís castle, where hundred of adventurers have been gathered to fight in a tournament. The winners go free. If they entertain the Lich, even better. The Lich has, at his disposal, a small collection of evil clerics, along with a smattering of the highest-level of each class in this world to enforce and spice up the tourney. The PCís will start at level 1 and work their way up to ten before they leave the arena. Then, they will swear to destroy the Lich, join a campaign against evil, level up, and finally battle the Lich. I have the beginning and end sort of planned out, and have more than enough seeds to fill in the middle. Iím just editing for flavor, and soon Iíll start the campaign (hopefully). Some points:

    -Iíll be using Sagotskyís idea in the tourney to limit the spell components/reagents, but will have to change the spells so that all x-hundred of them only use up about 20-25 reagents, which I will expect the party to keep up with. Iíll try to help by giving them as many chances to buy them as possible, and make them cost-efficient, but otherwise, Iíll try to limit their game-changing spells.

    -The familiar will join the party at the beginning, when they all awaken, and continue to stay with them until the final battle, when sheíll have to choose between them and the Lich. She ends up sacrificing herself (because sheís the phylactery) after throwing some Meteor Swarms/Wishes at the Lich (sheís a level 25 sorcerer). So yeah.

    -One of the homebrews is the Lichís spell to make his phylactery (a teddy bear style monkey) into a real animal (I donít know if this is already a spellÖ if so, awesome!) and then that into his familiar at level 25.

    -A houserule is that all phylacteries, if sentient, gain the spellcasting abilities of the lich at the time of the creation (but they donít know it [usable only in self-defense?] until after they use it a few times and harness it)

    Thoughts/opinions/great edits I should make?
    I don't think a level 25 DMPC with a level 1 party is a good idea, even if she only remembers how to cast spells at the final stage. Even a house cat is a force to be reckoned with with BAB+12. Her knowledge checks will be off the chart too.

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    Default Re: BBEG idea.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grumman View Post
    Here's my two cents:

    - Assuming this is a 3.5 campaign, starting at level 1 is bad, especially when they can't avoid fights and can't gain XP without fighting. I'd start them off at at least level 3 so that they won't be KO'd by the first lucky hit.
    That's a good idea, I'm thinking about starting at 4.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grumman View Post
    - Having the phylactery as a DMPC is bad. If she's going to help the party she should be weaker than they are, at least offensively. Trust me, as a player it's really unfun for an NPC to steal your thunder so you have to sit around for NPC vs. NPC combat. I'd probably make her a Hexblade ~1-2 levels below the party and burn all her feats on things like Combat Expertise and Spring Attack.
    I'm going to change her to an NPC and primarily a healer for some sort of Anti-BBEG organization.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grumman View Post
    - Rather than making the phylactery a toy which was turned into an animal which was turned into a human, I'd just skip a step and say that the phylactery was incorporated into an Effigy (Complete Arcane) of a humanoid (an elf, presumably), and then Awakened to sentience.
    I'm going to keep it core, thanks for the idea though.



    Quote Originally Posted by Biffoniacus_Furiou View Post
    1. A phylactery is a magic item, once an object becomes a creature it is no longer an object and is no longer a magic item. The best you could do is make the phylactery an item familiar and make it some sort of construct. Furthermore, PAO can never affect a magic item no matter how you try to twist it. Finally, a humanoid cannot be a familiar, if it's already his familiar and becomes a humanoid then it is no longer his familiar.
    I like that. It makes sense. The Item Familiar. I'll work that in.

    Quote Originally Posted by Biffoniacus_Furiou View Post
    2. "You awaken in a castle and have to go along with the story, regardless of your own character's motivations." Furthermore, making them grind combats from 1-10 will get boring and monotonous, you may as well just start them at level ten and say that has already happened. None of that even requires anything on their part, they'll just be riding along through your pre-set story saying, 'I kick its ass, where's my XP?' for ten levels. Start the campaign with everyone as level ten gladiators, enslaved by this sorcerer, just now acting on an opportunity to escape his clutches and plan their vengeance. The players will be a lot more interested, and won't be at such a huge risk of quitting out of boredom right from the start.
    I'm thinking about having them start out free, and one of the seeds to get them into the castle will be being "captured" (at level 4) by the Lich's boys.

    Quote Originally Posted by Biffoniacus_Furiou View Post
    3. DMPCs are never fun for the players. Every DMPC is the same, a Dr. Manhattan character with unlimited power who (refuses to) (forgets how to) (doesn't know he can) use it unless the story dictates. The PCs in such a game never feel like they've accomplished anything for themselves, they're just following this guy around carrying his luggage while the DM plays his own character in his own campaign. If your players keep showing up, they'll feel like they're just sitting through story time rather than playing the game.
    I'm going to make the DMPC into an NPC.

    Quote Originally Posted by Biffoniacus_Furiou View Post
    Here's what I'd change:
    Make a legit, traditional phylactery. Don't make a DMPC, ever. This sorcerer is some sort of warlord who holds the land in his iron grasp. Give the players the option of making 'former gladiators' or rebels fighting his rule.

    Start the game out with the rebels making an opportunistic attack on his arena facility while he's away at his fortress/tower/etc. distracted with some sort of ritual. The PCs start out with the rebel characters having already infiltrated the facility, in the process of breaking out the gladiator characters. They probably gained access through the sewers, or entered the building as spectators.

    They should have a goal such as killing the lieutenant who's in charge of the arena facility and obtaining some sort of insignia that the sorcerer gave him. In their escape they may find other gladiators who attack them for whatever reason, monsters meant to fight in the arena which have escaped, etc. as an opportunity for you to use all those interesting arena battles you thought of but didn't get to use since you started them at level ten.

    Maybe they can use that insignia to gain access to other, less public facilities that the sorcerer has set up as a means of controlling the population. The setting should feel like a sort of police state, with towns and cities crawling with armed patrols who arbitrarily arrest people claiming some sort of offense against the sorcerer's rule. The PCs cannot go into a town visibly armed or armored without immediately being arrested, items like Glamered armor would be highly illegal. This would give you ample opportunities for noncombat adventures that they should want to solve without fighting since they'd be at such a disadvantage. Another option would be to use the Defense Bonus rules, which combines well with Armor As Damage Reduction so armor will still be worth wearing.

    The game should focus around them disrupting the sorcerer's control and convincing others to join their cause. As they level up they could get a lead on the location of his phylactery, and have a nice long adventure to obtain it, at the end of which he teleports in to protect it leading to a climactic battle in which the phylactery is destroyed and he manages to escape. They must then track him down and kill him before he manages to repair it or create a new one. (You can make a new phylactery, it involves a True Resurrection and starting the liching process over.)
    I like most of that.

    Ok, so I'm going to update.
    New post:
    Quote Originally Posted by Jokasti
    Okay, so based on some comments from the GitP forums, Iíve changed the BBEG for my upcoming campaign. Here are the details.

    The Sorcerer took over a sizable section of the country and the remaining countries have held and council and decided he must be taken care of. This council starts the Resistance. Itís operated out of a small town not far from the Lichís HQ. The party is part of the Resistance and can wander around town looking for jobs (read: seeds). Here are a few:

    1. One of the Resistanceís Captains needs for some Resistance fighters to infiltrate the Castle and steal the insignia of a powerful lieutenant of the Lichís army. Itís magical and opens doors in the castle that only it and the Lich can open. Very important for a possible siege/coup/fight.

    2. The head of the Resistance has a job to participate in the gladiatorial contests. The prize of the contest is a magical sword that is so powerful that not even all of the Kingsí mages combined could create. It could be used for several missions inside and out of the castle.

    3. The head of provisions for the Resistance says that the Resistance is running low on meat. You can either go hunt in the woods or steal from a caravan that supplies the Lich.

    4. The local healer is low on some herbs and holy water. She needs for you to collect some herbs and look for people that need healing.

    And if the players want it to be an evil campaign, then theyíre soldiers in the Lichís army, quickly rising through the ranks.

    1. We need you guys to kill some people migrating to the Resistance camp. If they get there the Resistance will have some sort of new item. Just make sure you donít kill our spies.

    2. Patrol the lichís border.

    3. Invade new land in some sort of skirmish

    Etc. The starting level will be level 4, core books only, and no Monster Manual Races. Also, the old DMPC is now a NPC Healer (/spy) for the Resistance (she spies for the Lich though). New thoughts, opinion, things I NEED to change?
    Last edited by Jokasti; 2009-11-23 at 02:44 PM.

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