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20 days ago
Current We do not corrupt mortals. We teach them enlightened self-interest.
2 mos ago
Peace is a lie. There is only passion (for cookies).
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3 mos ago
"It's like grandma used to say... If at first you don't succeed, try a larger thermonuclear detonation."
4 likes
3 mos ago
some might claim that pineapple doesn't belong on pizza... well... that's fine. But none may deny us the right to have pizza underneath our pineapple!
2 likes
4 mos ago
Your hate will make you strong. A powerful Sith you can become.

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rather than describe the elements we feel should be delved into for this process, we'll do it through an example. That of a female elven warrior. No idea who she is, or what she's done. It's all done on the fly.

It's well and nice for her to be a mistress of the blade, skilled with spears, pikes and halberds, able to reliably hit the femoral arteries on orcs from a kilometer away... But that only covers skills as a warrior. Is she good at tracking? Can she cook? What's her view of young children? How does she treat dwarves and humans? How will she respond if that human companion tries to seduce her? Does she know how to read? if so, is there anything she really likes reading more than other subjects?

In the end, there's so much one can cover to make a character in-depth. If the elf is 342 years old, then there's no way you can cover her entire life in the character bio. Nor would you want to. Plot hooks in a bio are fellow players and GMs' best friends for building story.

One sort of plot hook to include is that encounter with the powerful human mage twelve years earlier. You don't actually need to cover anything beyond defining whether it was a good, bad or neutral event. The other players or the GM(s) can use that to build story from. Maybe one of the other PCs or an NPC is the mage's son or apprentice? Perhaps the mage proves to be the villain of a story arc?

Her skill at cooking might come from her father, who was made extravagant meals for the High King back when she was a naught but a child, learned over the span of seventy years. Or it could be because her mother was dead and her father was a lousy cook who could burn a salad in making it, and she had to take care of making all the edible food for her family.

She might hate dwarves, on account of how they're dirty, smelly and live underground. Or she could see them as master artisans, frequently trading with them for metallic ores, used by a smith she's known for a century and a half. Humans might be almost as disgusting, or perhaps the polished attitude and manners of that human knight might be all sorts of interesting when compared to smelly dwarves and elven men she'd known for centuries.

We would also ask why she fights the orcs. The setting might tell us why, but it could also be that it doesn't. Even if it does, we'd like to include the reason why she personally fights them. Perhaps one raped (and later killed) her mother? Perhaps her mother was transformed into one through dark magic, and she had to slay her to protect her infant brother?

Cover enough events like these, and we've not only got a decent bio, but we've got a blueprint for writing down personality, perhaps even most of her goals in life. Everything is, after all, tied together somehow. Even if one element is tied down just by a single thin thread.
~| Sith compound, three days ATC, 9th hour |~
~| Nimm Deenia & Vivithe Lansha |~


As the turbolift ascended the side of the compound’s command tower, Nimm noted with pleasure that the turbolift had neither railings nor any sort of roof. Nothing to coddle the weak. The previous day had been productive. Though not all prisoners were in yet, the ones she had seen bore some potential, aside from the flaw of being Jedi, holding onto the teachings that made them so much weaker than Sith. Rain splattered the platform around her, trying in vain to soak her clothes. She ignored it, as it had absolutely no effect upon her temper.

She had a feeling that bade her go up here. There was something that felt different, but she couldn’t figure out what. She quickly moved over to the primary holographic projector, pulling up the jungle sensor grid. It was definitely out there, not within the compound. Only when she pulled it up, nothing showed up as any different. No discernible broken links, no new power signatures. Those of her Master’s discarded playthings that were equipped with trackers were moving about as normal. “There should have been something here…” she muttered softly.

Several moments later, another turbolift rose upwards. A single Sith lord stood there in silence, her hands to her sides. As Vivithe drew closer to the command center, she sensed a presence inside of it. One strong in the Force, but not on the level of the Darth. It caused her curiosity to peek, as she wondered who was inside the command tower. Lady Vivithe had met some of other Sith earlier, this one was a stranger to her for the time being.

As the lift reached its destination, she stepped through the doorway in front of her. Her eyes squinted briefly as she took in the sight of the other person in the room, another Sith, predictably enough. With no fear she moved forward, approaching Nimm quietly. Surely the Sith noticed her powerful presence as she entered the command center. A projector had been activated, displaying a grid. Vivithe eyed it as she strolled closer towards Nimm.

The approach of the Sith Lord did not go unnoticed, but Nimm did not immediately acknowledge her, as she was rather busy trying to study the planet grid. When the other Sith got closer, she realized she would have to acknowledge her, so she turned around to look at the other Sith, staring straight into her eyes. It was the Sith Lord, Vivithe.

“Greetings, I thought I would be all alone in this command center. But I arrive to find you,” Vivithe spoke clearly, looking into Nimm’s eyes before shifting back towards the grid. “It seems that you are trying to study this jungles of this planet. A wise idea.”

She believed that was what the girl was doing. She did not know much about Nimm, honestly. Her research on the other Sith around her did not reveal much about the apprentice.

“Oh, yes. This jungle is wonderful. So many deadly things. Almost like home.” As she had nothing to go on but a vague feeling, she did not speak of the real purpose of her search. “What brings you here?”

“Deadly things such as Sithspawn. It was a genius move by Darth Nyiss to place her prison compound here. If the Jedi were to actually escape they would have nowhere to go. They’d get lost in the dense jungles and certainly become prey for the beasts out there,” Vivithe replied with a smile. “I came here to in part continue to familiarize myself with this facility, but also to ponder things. There are so many Sith here, all working towards a beneficial goal of turning the Jedi. Yet almost every single one is also against each other in achieving this goal.”

“Yes. It will be fun to watch them realize how hopeless their situation is.” Nimm turned away from the projector. If there was something out there, it would show up eventually. “Yes. To be most effective, we will have to work together. Coordinate our efforts. Though the one who turns a of the Jedi will be rewarded the most, my master will reward those who have contributed properly.”

She thought for a moment before continuing. “I have spoken with some of them, laying down the seeds for cooperation, but it will take more to get them in line. In some cases, much more.”

“A potentially fruitful idea this is, though you and I both know some Sith may not go along with it. Or they will but will not harbor entirely honest intentions.” She did not mention any names, it wouldn’t be a wise move, even with someone seemingly as intelligent and goal oriented as Nimm. Honesty was not a common thing within the ranks of the Sith Empire, she herself did not practice it but she was far greater at hiding that than many others.

“Your master is the Darth herself. You are lucky to have such a powerful being to teach you, and strengthen you,” Vivithe added, letting her high opinion of Nyiss be known. “She would know if we were able to successfully form an organized coalition amongst the Sith here, it would be easier to coordinate and turn the weak Jedi then.”

“Yes. Some will always work against the rest. It is inevitable. But even they can be used: The Jedi can be made to hate them. I do not care who they end up serving, so long as they serve the empire.” Nimm did not care about the praise for her master. It was appropriate and expected. “A common story must be told to them, with a clear plan as to which lies are used, which facts are to be provided. Do you feel the prisoners should be informed of how much their so-called republic had to surrender to get their treaty?”

“How they let the worlds they were sworn to protect and watch over be gifted to the ‘cruel’ Empire?” Vivithe said with a smile. Seeing where Nimm was going with her words.

Sometimes one didn’t even need to physically torture a captive to turn them, all it took were some hard hitting facts. Not all the Jedi were idiots, they’d listen if made to do so. Planting a single painful seed of doubt in their Republic within their minds would shatter and break their preconceived thoughts and beliefs. If enough of them heard the same words and spoke about it between each other they’d discuss it amongst themselves.

“I sense this plan has great potential. We must get the other Sith to buy in, and if they choose not to or choose to disrupt it, then so be it. They are the weak amongst us.” Vivithe added.

“Then we should inform them that this is what will be. If they disagree with the plan, we will know who we have to counter. What do you think of the prisoners so far? Any you find more interesting than the others?”

“I believe we should target the youngest ones the hardest. While not as powerful as the older prisoners they are easier to bend and mold. More impressionable and less assured in their ways. Their turns to our side will greatly affect the older Jedi as well.” Vivithe stated, giving her own opinion on the subject. In a way it was targeting the weaker, but within the Empire they would grow far stronger than with the Jedi Order.

“Yes. Take the weak, turn them against their elders. That will hurt them more than even the sharpest tool in Lord Sish’s collection. While they are more useful if turned rather than if broken, the end result is what matters: making them useful for the Empire.” Nimm liked this Sith Lord. Not the way she liked Lord Sish’s merciless nature, but for her distinct political acumen. “The young ones are generally easier to turn in any case, capable of becoming much more powerful, as they have not been indoctrinated with quite so many Jedi lies.”

“The older ones are far more stalwart in their thoughts and beliefs. They have been force fed propaganda and only the Jedi ways ever since they were young children. While not impossible to turn, them seeing the padawans serving the Empire will go a long way to breaking them. Especially any of them that are masters to turned apprentices.” Vivithe said, bringing her hand up to her mouth as she smirked widely. Nimm appeared to be someone she could have a conversation of this type with, with intelligent thoughts. Many of the other Sith were simple, gruff beings who believed they were far more cunning than they truly were.

“Oh yes. We do need to find out which of the prisoners have ties to the others. Especially master-apprentice ties. If there ever was a blatant weakness to the Jedi system, then it is their tendency to suppress emotions even as they try to form ties that should be based on emotions. They deprive them of the basic training in understanding and controlling their emotions, only to throw them into the situation where they need the control they lack a few years later.”

“The worst part is their convince themselves they are beyond having emotions. They must be shown that is another lie of the Jedi. The youngest amongst the prisoners are more prone to emotion outbreaks, if these bursts can be encouraged by us then they can be twisted and molded. Upon seeing their apprentices turned the masters will awaken emotions inside themselves they believed they were beyond.”

“That they will. It will be fun to watch. Who will you take on next? Maybe the one I gave that little neck toy to? Or another?”

“I shall have to decide upon it soon. Perhaps that one, or another young one who can be bent and twisted. The most recent youngling, Nazca could prove to be a rapid one to turn to our side.” Vivithe stated, as she pondered who to choose and attempt to turn.

“Yes. that one is hardly indoctrinated at all. Or at least it appears not to have taken much hold if the files are correct. I have yet to decide who I will take next myself. But it will definitely be one of the younger ones.”

“A wise idea. We should continue to communicate as our plan grows. As well as letting other Sith into the fold gradually.” The Sith lord said, mulling over which of the other Sith to communicate their discussed plan with.

“Communication is mandatory for this to truly work. The apprentices of Lords Jewel and Sish might be worth speaking to. I have spoken with them myself, and if they are approached by another, they might be even more easily swayed.” Nimm thought about what other Sith she had read up on. Some might be more useful than others. Then she thought about the prisoners. They were not as easily quantified.

“I spoke to Sish’s apprentice earlier. She is a cautious girl, but not a brute like her master is. She may prove of some use if involved in our plan.” Vivithe replied, recalling her encounter with Jayda.

She did not believe the girl’s master would be one to cooperate with them. He was utterly violent and seemed to enjoy torturing the Jedi more than actually turning them. It seemed Vivithe would have to cast a wide net for such a plan to work, though she was always confident in her abilities.

“Good. Now I have things to take care of. Pain to dole out. Prisoners to test.” As she said this, Nimm strode towards the door, heading for the turbolift and the rainy day once more. She had not uncovered anything on the strange feeling, but at least plans had been advanced.

Ahh.... The joys of trying to herd low-intelligence PCs through a town...

Step 1. "we want to go see the burgomeister."
Step 2. "You find his mansion surrounded by guards. They deny anyone entry."
Step 3. "Persuasion. (it fails).
Step 4. "Ask for 'guard of captains' get confused results, no clear answer even when question is clarified.
Step 5. Get told "Leave or be locked up." players leave.
Step 6. Head to a gate. Ask the guards there for the 'guard of captains' or somesuch.
Step 7. Proceed to discuss how to get past the guards around the burgomeister's mansion, while standing in front of the gate guards. Ideas that pop up include waylaying guards to take their clothes.
Step 8. Come up with the bright idea of using 'Suggestion' to convince guard to let them past and into the burgomeister's mansion.
Step 9. Discover that a spell that targets one target is not very effective when it goes against the orders the target has received, and there are 10+ other guards also there, who are not affected by the spell, with the same orders.
Step 10. Use minor illusion to try to distract the guards and create an opening to sneak in through. Two of the guards proceed to roll nat20 on perception to notice the (not particularly) sneaky monk.

To sum it up: they couldn't possibly get past the guards.
Many people might find it odd, but we suppose it could work.

One tool that tends to help "unclutter" things is to use hiders. Or even to put some lore stuff elsewhere, with links.

Our Star Wars RP has a significant number of lore documents offsite.
quite a lot of difference between fudging rolls and changing stats on the fly to "balance" out a single player. Sounds quite a lot like the guy misunderstood the role of the DM. The fact that he kept using the same stuff after agreeing not to do it, proves that he wasn't (at least at the time) capable of being a good DM.

so, do any of you have any good stories with cursed items?

We've distributed a few... Not that the players have truly noticed them all yet.
- a helm that grants +1 AC vs. nonmagical piercing/slashing/bludgeoning, and darth-vader style breathing.
- a set of monkish handwraps that replaced gender and race
- a tunic that grants +9 max HP and a bardic die, but makes one always hear own heartbeat.
- a Loadstone. A small, really heavy stone that people don't willingly want to put down.
- a Mantle that lets the wearer hear Myrkul at times. (one of the numerous gods of death over the years)
Not all players are interested in going beyond diablo-style monster slaughter for their roleplaying. We suggest finding out whether they actually want to go more in character before you force it on them, @Crowvette.
We didn't even have to use the 1/day suggestion spell to convince him. Or to roll anything for that matter.
ah yes. Our rogue, a Yuan-ti Pureblood, was somewhat lacking in funds to buy rations. She suggested to one of the others (who had plenty of gold) to buy extra rations. Then she'll be regularly "borrowing" rations from him. Why bother carrying the foodstuffs herself, when another can do it for her?

Gotta love rogues, right?
If we had had time to spare, we would've followed up on an idea from a few months back when someone contacted us about establishing a Star Wars persistent world. But alas we don't have the spare time to plan anything like that.

If such were to be started, we at least would've wanted it to be locked to star wars only. Initially locked to only one time period in that universe. We'd suggest something long before the movies, as that means one can avoid all the pesky issues that come together with canon characters.
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