A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    Default One quick question

    After I read through the archive today, I just wondered something. Why didn't momma dragon just have her son resurrected? Even though he was disintegrated and his ashes scattered, there are still spells powerful enough to bring him back, especially for someone of a dragon's means.
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    Default Re: One quick question

    There probably weren't any 17th level clerics in the world. This isn't like other campaign settings where this sort of character is a dime a dozen. Besides, the dragon would have needed a heaping cartload of diamonds, and OOTS just plundered her hoard.

    Redcloak was only recently revealed to be 17th level IIRC, and he's quite likely the most powerful cleric in the world.

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    Default Re: One quick question

    Quote Originally Posted by Finagle View Post
    There probably weren't any 17th level clerics in the world. This isn't like other campaign settings where this sort of character is a dime a dozen. Besides, the dragon would have needed a heaping cartload of diamonds, and OOTS just plundered her hoard.
    If she could find (and pay for) three scrolls of Soul Bind (is there another spell that she might have been planning to use?), I don't see why she would've had trouble with a scroll of true resurrection.

    Heck, if finding it were the problem (because there's 17th-level wizards in the world, but not clerics) she could've asked the Oracle where to acquire one, or bought a scroll of Gate (or something similar) and used it to bring in an outsider that could raise her son. (A Solar would be the obvious choice, since it can cast 9th-level cleric spells.) She might still have needed to provide the diamonds, but if she could afford the scrolls of Soul Bind, it shouldn't have been that much of a problem.
    Last edited by Chess Tyrant; 2012-09-07 at 10:09 PM.

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    Default Re: One quick question

    She's a dragon. I doubt that acquiring large amounts of diamonds would be that hard for her.

    And also, she went to the Oracle, and she could always have asked him where to find a cleric both able and willing.
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    Default Re: One quick question

    Maybe there are no high enough level clerics willing to resurrect a black dragon? That seems unlikely but as others have mentioned, the OOTs world doesn't seem to have THAT many high level clerics.

    Another explanation is she didn't want to ressurect him. It's been shown a few times that not everyone in the universe tries to bring loved ones back from the dead. That said I have no idea what afterlife, if any, a black dragon is sent to.

    Or maybe she was just more interested in revenge then getting her son back. She IS a chromatic dragon.

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    Default Re: One quick question

    Quote Originally Posted by Nephrahim View Post
    Maybe there are no high enough level clerics willing to resurrect a black dragon? That seems unlikely but as others have mentioned, the OOTs world doesn't seem to have THAT many high level clerics.

    Another explanation is she didn't want to ressurect him. It's been shown a few times that not everyone in the universe tries to bring loved ones back from the dead. That said I have no idea what afterlife, if any, a black dragon is sent to.

    Or maybe she was just more interested in revenge then getting her son back. She IS a chromatic dragon.
    Seems kinda petty, if that's the case. But she did seem genuinely distressed about her son's loss, and the mass-murder of her family.
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    Default Re: One quick question

    We know someone who had the power, if he was willing to do work for hire, to make scrolls of Soul Bind: The sorcerer Xykon.

    We don't know of anyone who had the power to cast True Resurrection at the time.

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    Default Re: One quick question

    Quote Originally Posted by Henry the 57th View Post
    And also, she went to the Oracle, and she could always have asked him where to find a cleric both able and willing.
    To which the Oracle could have replied, "there are none". It's not like a Good-aligned Solar would really want to help an Evil Dragon, and as pointed out previously, Redcloak may be the only 17th-level Cleric currently in existence.
    Last edited by Emperordaniel; 2012-09-07 at 11:16 PM.

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    Default Re: One quick question

    Quote Originally Posted by Emperordaniel View Post
    To which the Oracle could have replied, "there are none". It's not like a Good-aligned Solar would really want to help an Evil Dragon, and as pointed out previously, Redcloak may be the only 17th-level Cleric currently in existence.
    I'm sure Redcloak could be bargained with.
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    Default Re: One quick question

    Quote Originally Posted by Emperordaniel View Post
    It's not like a Good-aligned Solar would really want to help an Evil Dragon
    I was curious about this, too, but in the description of the Gate spell, it looks like you can control the creature(s) you summon; a long-term contract (probably required, since the Solar doesn't normally have True Resurrection prepared) comes at an additional price, but at this point I think we're assuming the dragon had at least a (comparatively) small backup hoard somewhere and could afford it.
    Last edited by Chess Tyrant; 2012-09-07 at 11:22 PM.

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    Default Re: One quick question

    Quote Originally Posted by Henry the 57th View Post
    I'm sure Redcloak could be bargained with.
    Mother Black Dragon seeking vengeance: 626.
    Redcloak leveling up to 17 and becoming able to cast True Resurrection: 826.

    So are you saying you don't understand why she didn't wait 200 strips for something she had no way of knowing would happen?

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    Default Re: One quick question

    From a storytelling point of view, the "Why didn't this person do X?" questions are sort of a waste of time. They didn't do that because something stopped them, obviously. Does it matter what that something was, really? Dragons don't have access to 17th level clerics because they just don't. That's not the way the world works. Assume, if you want, that she asked the Oracle, and the Oracle said there isn't anyone who would be willing to cast it for a black dragon.

    And more to the point, True Resurrection is a terrible, narrative-wrecking spell that should not exist, as it has no real purpose for players who die in battle (as they can almost always be returned via simple Resurrection) and only ever comes in to play to undo plot points. I prefer to simply treat it as "not available" to everyone, and I don't want to waste any panel time explaining why.

    (Also, with regards to the Gating a Solar thing: The "fair trade" price a Solar would ask for resurrecting an evil dragon would simply be the mother dragon's own lifeóbecause that would be a Good act of self-sacrifice, and the Solar would approve of that. There's no reason to think the mother dragon would be willing to pay that price...and even if she was, she would insist on punishing V first, since her son was relatively weak.)
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    Default Re: One quick question

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    And more to the point, True Resurrection is a terrible, narrative-wrecking spell that should not exist, as it has no real purpose for players who die in battle (as they can almost always be returned via simple Resurrection) and only ever comes in to play to undo plot points.
    It doesn't have the level/con loss that raise dead and ressurection have, though.


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    Default Re: One quick question

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    From a storytelling point of view, the "Why didn't this person do X?" questions are sort of a waste of time. They didn't do that because something stopped them, obviously. Does it matter what that something was, really? Dragons don't have access to 17th level clerics because they just don't. That's not the way the world works. Assume, if you want, that she asked the Oracle, and the Oracle said there isn't anyone who would be willing to cast it for a black dragon.

    And more to the point, True Resurrection is a terrible, narrative-wrecking spell that should not exist, as it has no real purpose for players who die in battle (as they can almost always be returned via simple Resurrection) and only ever comes in to play to undo plot points. I prefer to simply treat it as "not available" to everyone, and I don't want to waste any panel time explaining why.

    (Also, with regards to the Gating a Solar thing: The "fair trade" price a Solar would ask for resurrecting an evil dragon would simply be the mother dragon's own lifeóbecause that would be a Good act of self-sacrifice, and the Solar would approve of that. There's no reason to think the mother dragon would be willing to pay that price...and even if she was, she would insist on punishing V first, since her son was relatively weak.)
    Well, that answers that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gray Mage View Post
    It doesn't have the level/con loss that raise dead and ressurection have, though.
    Which is pretty bad in itself as it remove the "price" from being dead.

    "Death" without any loss at all is meaningless - and in regard to storytelling, that is boring.

    I use houseruled resurrections: If a player is able to roleplay that "dead & back" is a traumatic experience where "something" got lost, he's not losing anything in regard to rules.
    If I have a player who's not able to do that, he pays the price the rules set, to reflect that "something is lost".

    If the player then complains about that, we're having bigger issues in the group anyway as we're having a player on the table who's not compatible with that RPG-heavy playstyle so other stuff probably does not work as well. This usually results in the re-formation of the group and everyone who remains is happier.

    The point: death needs a point. Else it's a waste of storytelling-space.
    Ser Ilyn, Ser Meryn, Queen Cersei, King Joffrey, The Tickler, The Hound, Ser Amory, Polliver, Raff the Sweetling, Weese, Dunsen, Nale, Ser Gregor Clegane and Chiswyck: Winter is coming!

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    Default Re: One quick question

    Personally, I just flat-out eliminate True Resurrection - if the players want to bring back somebody who Resurrection won't be enough for, then it's plot device time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ti'esar View Post
    ... then it's plot device time.
    Actually, I think that is what level 9 spells are supposed to be. They are not really for "player" hands, they are there to show players that "there is always a bigger fish in the water".

    It seems to me the rules work perfectly up to level 15, then it all somewhat breaks apart, which indicates to me the "higher" powers are more for NPCs to keep them "challenging" and scary.
    I find this proven by the epic rules as they are a tad strange and imo are there to scare PCs with access to level 9 spells.

    It's cool to hit the peak, but that must, I think, be the end of the told story.

    Just see this webcomic "The Order of the Stick", it pretty much implements my philosophy in this regard. Adventuring happens between level 1 and level 16ish, the higher powers are in possession of NPCs (means the evil guys have them and if you "need" access to it, you need to convince someone to give it to you) and if the PCs near that point (which will probably happen in the next arc) the story told also is going to end soon.
    Ser Ilyn, Ser Meryn, Queen Cersei, King Joffrey, The Tickler, The Hound, Ser Amory, Polliver, Raff the Sweetling, Weese, Dunsen, Nale, Ser Gregor Clegane and Chiswyck: Winter is coming!

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    Default Re: One quick question

    Quote Originally Posted by ti'esar View Post
    Personally, I just flat-out eliminate True Resurrection - if the players want to bring back somebody who Resurrection won't be enough for, then it's plot device time.
    In our games we go one step further and eliminate Resurrection and Raise Dead as well. We like death to be permanent, because it means last stands/sacrifices have a much bigger emotional toll, and mistakes in combat are actually scary.

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    Default Re: One quick question

    Quote Originally Posted by Winter View Post
    Actually, I think that is what level 9 spells are supposed to be. They are not really for "player" hands, they are there to show players that "there is always a bigger fish in the water".

    It seems to me the rules work perfectly up to level 15, then it all somewhat breaks apart, which indicates to me the "higher" powers are more for NPCs to keep them "challenging" and scary.
    I find this proven by the epic rules as they are a tad strange and imo are there to scare PCs with access to level 9 spells.

    It's cool to hit the peak, but that must, I think, be the end of the told story.

    Just see this webcomic "The Order of the Stick", it pretty much implements my philosophy in this regard. Adventuring happens between level 1 and level 16ish, the higher powers are in possession of NPCs (means the evil guys have them and if you "need" access to it, you need to convince someone to give it to you) and if the PCs near that point (which will probably happen in the next arc) the story told also is going to end soon.
    Once you reach those levels, there are almost no further ways that a DM can steer an adventure. Players simply have too many tools at that point to get around anything that is thrown in their path. Power gaming is no real fun since there is little or no challenge to it.

    The Giant's explanation is correct. Story telling is absolutely wrecked by high powered spells and abilities.
    FTDWIR

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kareasint View Post
    Once you reach those levels, there are almost no further ways that a DM can steer an adventure.
    Actually, that is not quite true. You cannot steer your players with "obstacles", you rather have to steer with motives.
    As it becomes hard to "force" them to a point or "prevent" them from it, you have to make them "want" to go there or "do not want" to go there. The question is "want".

    I also think, with characters that powerful, you should move the characters into positions where you do not present some plot to them but where they pick their plot themselves. The character has some motivations and he (and his group) now has the power to shape the world to his whim.

    Instead of letting them do a dungeon crawl to find some stupid artefact that does this or that for an NPC, make them "want" to rescue a kingdom (or get it for themselves). Then you have a plot where it really does not matter anymore if they go left or right, if they go to Town A or Town B as you can put "plot" for their own plot anywhere.
    And on the plot that is now their own you can give them individual obstacles that are a problem to fight as in D&D, someone is always stronger than you.

    So instead of "mucking around from fight A to B" you focus more on the fights at the end of the dungeon and replace the (now) pointless dungeon with character-play or other stuff. And in all honesty: If you hit level 15, you already had more than enough unmotivated side-fights. ;)
    Ser Ilyn, Ser Meryn, Queen Cersei, King Joffrey, The Tickler, The Hound, Ser Amory, Polliver, Raff the Sweetling, Weese, Dunsen, Nale, Ser Gregor Clegane and Chiswyck: Winter is coming!

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    Default Re: One quick question

    This is one of ten thousand ways in which a character written by Rich Burlew could have prevented the story Rich wanted to write.

    Rich is not going to screw up Rich's story. He just isn't.

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    Default Re: One quick question

    Because it's a plot hook, of course.

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    Quote Originally Posted by karkus View Post
    Because it's a plot hook, of course.
    Well, it's not that simple. Of course stuff happens "because the plot demands it" but it also must be possible to come up with a sane in-world explanation or the Wilfull Suspension of Disbelief breaks down (and the story with it).
    It is not always necessary to tell us it but what happens must be believable.
    Ser Ilyn, Ser Meryn, Queen Cersei, King Joffrey, The Tickler, The Hound, Ser Amory, Polliver, Raff the Sweetling, Weese, Dunsen, Nale, Ser Gregor Clegane and Chiswyck: Winter is coming!

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    Default Re: One quick question

    Well I guess the Giant, by definition, nailed it but I figure from a story perspective. . .
    Black dragons are evil so she wasn't just thinking about bringing her son back, that wasn't the priority, blind revenge was.
    Last edited by Xelbiuj; 2012-09-08 at 02:15 PM.

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    Default Re: One quick question

    Quote Originally Posted by Winter View Post
    Actually, that is not quite true. You cannot steer your players with "obstacles", you rather have to steer with motives.
    As it becomes hard to "force" them to a point or "prevent" them from it, you have to make them "want" to go there or "do not want" to go there. The question is "want".

    I also think, with characters that powerful, you should move the characters into positions where you do not present some plot to them but where they pick their plot themselves. The character has some motivations and he (and his group) now has the power to shape the world to his whim.

    Instead of letting them do a dungeon crawl to find some stupid artefact that does this or that for an NPC, make them "want" to rescue a kingdom (or get it for themselves). Then you have a plot where it really does not matter anymore if they go left or right, if they go to Town A or Town B as you can put "plot" for their own plot anywhere.
    And on the plot that is now their own you can give them individual obstacles that are a problem to fight as in D&D, someone is always stronger than you.

    So instead of "mucking around from fight A to B" you focus more on the fights at the end of the dungeon and replace the (now) pointless dungeon with character-play or other stuff. And in all honesty: If you hit level 15, you already had more than enough unmotivated side-fights. ;)
    Note that I said almost. Even as first level PCs, my group had a habit of going in a third direction when there were two very obvious paths to take and there were rumors of something at each of those paths. As you stated, move the plot to them and go from there.
    FTDWIR

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    Default Re: One quick question

    It might have been creepier, though, if she had gotten him resurrected, and then went to kill V's spouse and kids anyway. To avenge the insult.

    Just a random thought.
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    So the song runs on, with shift and change,
    Through the years that have no name,
    And the late notes soar to a higher range,
    But the theme is still the same.
    Man's battle-cry and the guns' reply
    Blend in with the old, old rhyme
    That was traced in the score of the strata marks
    While millenniums winked like campfire sparks
    Down the winds of unguessed time. -- 4th Stanza, The Bad Lands, Badger Clark

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    Default Re: One quick question

    Quote Originally Posted by Bulldog Psion View Post
    It might have been creepier, though, if she had gotten him resurrected, and then went to kill V's spouse and kids anyway. To avenge the insult.

    Just a random thought.
    I don't like this idea very much, because it could serve as an excuse for the Familicide.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2323mike View Post
    I don't like this idea very much, because it could serve as an excuse for the Familicide.
    I don't see why it would do that, personally.
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    So the song runs on, with shift and change,
    Through the years that have no name,
    And the late notes soar to a higher range,
    But the theme is still the same.
    Man's battle-cry and the guns' reply
    Blend in with the old, old rhyme
    That was traced in the score of the strata marks
    While millenniums winked like campfire sparks
    Down the winds of unguessed time. -- 4th Stanza, The Bad Lands, Badger Clark

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bulldog Psion View Post
    I don't see why it would do that, personally.
    If the young dragon was alive when V killed his mother, it would have been probable he would return with a vengeance one day, so the Familicide would be relatively rational precaution. But with him being dead, V has no reason to worry about that and Familicide is done purely out of spite.

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    Default Re: One quick question

    She looks slightly less justified if she's avenging the temporary murder of her son than if she's avenging the permanent murder of her son.

    That said, I doubt it would make any difference to the actual positions people took, though "Her son didn't even stay dead!" would certainly be brought up by "Familicide-wasn't-wrong!" advocates if it was the case.

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