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itches 23rd of November, 2011 21:44

Gral and I had a conversation about Eidolon. Unformated because I'm lazy and with some bonus side banter.


So, my next question is what do we do about Eidolon?
me: start developing our own plot and seize control?
06:29 Gralhruk: I pinged Cad before but he hasn't responded.
me: looks like we're free to go then
06:30 Gralhruk: Well, we've always been free.
me: also: comic was insanely difficult in mspaint with no artistic ability
Gralhruk: I guess my question, really, is everyone still interested.
Your comics are good.
06:31 me: We are, this is the game that has survived on 1-2 people before
Gralhruk: You really ought to have one of those website things with a big following.
me: I did have a following, I'm too lazy to do regular updates so they went away
Gralhruk: You had a minor following.
You could get a big following with a little marketing.
06:32 me: People I didnt know read the comic, that was pretty good in my mind
Gralhruk: Don't stop at pretty good.
You could have t-shirts and coffee mugs and stuff.
And then be able to quit your day job.
06:33 And you'd never have to go out in public.
me: Yeah, that was the other thing that stopped it. I got a job
Gralhruk: Okay, so you are interested in keeping Eidolon alive. . . have I got that right?
me: I'm interested
Gralhruk: Excellent
How abour Bards?
06:34 me: Nicos is super easy to write
Gralhruk: *about
me: Bards I'm trying to work out if I'm up or not
Gralhruk: I can have Rutiles open the door if you want.
Or we can wait for Cad.
me: MrSneakyThief is currently doing something
06:35 let's have Cad decide to stay behind while Rina and Bailey go sneaky thiefing
Gralhruk: Excellent
It's just like chapter 2!
Except Rina was by herself then.
06:36 me: still no dark vision either
Gralhruk: It's a crime, really.
06:37 But it always ends up being Feat + Extra Skill points > Darkvision
me: and you never seem to level up
kill more goblins
you haven't got XP in ages
06:38 Gralhruk: That's true.
Eidolon is the most levels I've ever gained in a PbP
Most games it's 0 or 1
me: I'll turn my mighty intellect to Bards. Are we coming up with a plot for Eidolon?
Gralhruk: Well . . .
I was hoping to hear from Cad.
06:39 But I'm certainly open for ideas.
Do you have anything in mind?
06:40 me: we'd best do something shorter and more immediate focus than something long term
Shade and Nicos get lost in the woods and go on a wild acid trip?
Gralhruk: Mants?
Dire lions!
06:41 I'll see if I can get Kel excited for doing something in Eidolon.
The question is what.
We want to close out the zombie plot.
06:42 me: I'd rather leave zombies open incase Cad comes back
for now atleast
We get seperated from the rest of the party as we run for it and something happens when we try to hook backup?
Gralhruk: So . . . Blarth, Nicos, Juni and Shade get separated?
06:43 me: plus Lynn
Nicos spent XP on that vampire groupie
Gralhruk: Hmmm
me: Wait, did I mention she's turning into a vampire?
she's turning into a vampire
Gralhruk: Ah, no
Lesbian vampire?
She's going to kill Santa, isn't she?
me: she is infact a lesbian, yes
now that you mention it
06:44 Gralhruk: Okay, so we get lost and find ourselves at the north pole . . .
06:46 me: or we find ourselves at an abandoned hamley
Ive always wanted to do a Blair Witch type plot in a pbp
Gralhruk: Isn't the head zombie kind of like a Blair Witch?
06:47 Skathros
me: maybe
there can be more than one evil witch
06:48 maybe we end up in a section of the woods that is free of zombies, find an empty hamlet, everytime we try to leave we end up back there
then we start to see things moving around the edge
beyond that I dont know, needs more plotting
and I'm off to work soon so maybe we should take this to the plotting forum I hate

itches 23rd of November, 2011 22:28

It's a brave choice, I'll give her that.

itches: We just need a plot/plan
Kel: I'll leave it to the two of you. I'm not much for coming up with plot ideas.
itches: It's easy. Think of a film or book you like. Then steal it.
Sent at 23:21 on Wednesday
Kel: The Sound of Music
Kel: but where would we come up with all those singing children?
Kel: not to mention the nuns.
itches: There is a remote nunnery in the woods, who also run an orphanage?
itches: I guess the zombies could double for nazis
Kel: yeah, I figured the nazis would be pretty easy.
I do like the nunnery/orphans idea.

Black Plauge 24th of November, 2011 07:14

Sounds like we've got the makings of a Ravenloft-esque plot here. As we finish up escaping this zombie horde, a thick fog settles on the woods, separating the party members from the remains of the caravan (and possibly each other). As the fog lifts, the (possibly divided) party finds itself either on a semi-abandoned road which leads to a ragged looking settlement (party members might also approach the settlement directly through woods). On the surface, everything seems normal and the party has a moment's reprieve after their harrowing experience. The fog, however, marked a transition from the real world into a Domain of Dread so while the party may be free of the zombie problem, they are trapped until they can figure out how to escape.

Kelemyn 24th of November, 2011 21:04

A pocket universe! - that's a pretty cool idea. I'm not a huge, huge fan of horror, but I'd be willing to give a Ravenloft setting a try. :)

Gralhruk 29th of November, 2011 00:39

The only problem I have with horror is all the damned vampires.

Gralhruk 29th of November, 2011 04:58

So, as far as a pocket universe, there is kind of a precedent - the first few pages of chapter 2 have Cadrius and Shade transported inexplicably from a little orchard into a sort of horror themed wood. They return without ever figuring out exactly what happened or why, but we could suppose it's along the same lines as what happens now.

When I had written the initial post my inspiration was from Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser, when they wander into the Shadowlands (basically, the afterworld) by accident.

Black Plauge 30th of November, 2011 12:40

I had forgotten about that scene, but yeah, that's about what I was thinking. I'm not familiar with the source you're referencing, but I think that we can tie together several disparate elements in doing this.

itches 30th of November, 2011 21:46

I'm not a big fan of Ravenloft, but I'm not against stealing from it for our own custom setting. Crowattic!

That said we still need a plot.

Gralhruk 1st of December, 2011 01:58

I don't know anything about Ravenloft the setting, really. I played module I6 - Ravenloft, the AD&D module that spawned the setting but that's pretty much it. So yeah, no need for us to try and use the actual setting.

I was thinking along the lines of having each of us get lost in the fog and face down some horror on our own - either something from the past, or some fear, or some other random event. Success (or maybe failure) leads us out of the fog and into the demi-plane (where we meet back up) and into our own little horror story.

The exact details of said horror story are still up for grabs. As an explanation, maybe the sudden rise of all these zombies has sort of weakened the barrier between our normal plane and this demi-plane we've slipped into. If that's true, maybe there is some way for us to use that to end the plague (and I have no idea if that makes sense or is a good idea, just kicking some ideas around).

If we do go that route, though, maybe we come across some object in the demi-plane that we bring back with us that acts as sort of a beacon for the zombies, enabling us to cast them back. But again, just brainstorming and I'm not particularly attached to any of that.

Black Plauge 1st of December, 2011 07:27

Each of the Domains of Dread (at least in their 4e incarnation, where Ravenloft isn't so much a separate setting as a feature of the Shadowfell) each have some sort of theme that characterizes why they were created: betrayal, murder, greed, and lots of variation on these and other themes. That theme, once figured out, often then provides a hint as to how to escape the domain. A domain about betrayal, for might have been formed by a particularly devious betrayal by its Lord and the trick to escaping then might be to betray the betrayer, and thus show the betrayer the cost of his betrayal, or to be steadfast in the face of near overwhelming temptation, and thus show the value of sticking to one's guns. Often both work as a means of escape, but one has the added effect of not just letting the individuals involved escape, but also freeing everyone caught in the domain (bringing the domain to an end). If we want to go this route, then I'd suggest that each of our individual horrors should be constructed in such a way as to relate to some theme, one we'd obviously need to come up with.

Along those lines, I just had an idea. Perhaps the trick that Skathros pulled on Shade to get her to kill Ricard was a trigger event that started to create a new Domain of Dread. Originally Shade, Skathros, and Ricard would have been its new lords, locked in some sort of perpetual cycle of manipulation and betrayal, but Isac's sacrifice disrupted the Domain's formation. The result is that Shade is no longer bound to the Domain as one of its Lords, but the forces that started to create the domain will not be thwarted so easily. The domain has continued to form and is now pulling the entire party in while setting in motion a series of events, which if followed, will lead to one of the party members taking the place vacated by Shade as a Domain Lord. Somewhere along the way, however, there is an opportunity to break the sequence of events, something which leads to the end of the Domain and the return of the party (and anyone trapped with them) to the Material Plane.

Not that things are much better there with the whole zombie infestation thing.

Gralhruk 2nd of December, 2011 07:34

I like the theme idea a lot.

And the Shade / Skathros / Ricard thing is workable as well. I'd *really* like to find a way to tie the zombies in with that. But I'm sick and feeling too miserable to think straight right now so input from me is going to have to wait a little.

Kelemyn 2nd of December, 2011 08:02

This sounds better and better. I hope I'll be able to contribute to the theme in a meaningful way. :)

Sorry to hear you're not feeling well, Gral. Get some rest and feel better soon!

Black Plauge 6th of December, 2011 07:49

The problem I see with trying to tie the zombies into this diversion is the timing of their appearance. Cadrius first encountered the zombies away from Tradeholm and before the whole thing with Shade, Ricard, and Skathros went down (at least, that's how I've read the timeline thus far). I suppose we could tie them to Skathros, perhaps he's developed some way of corrupting and controlling people and the hamlet where Cadrius first encountered it was some sort of test. In that case the zombies might be drawn into the Domain with us as Skathros' faction. That might also create an interesting issue regarding escape. We might find a way to escape that would release the zombies at the same time and thus be forced to choose between staying in the Domain or releasing the zombies (or finding door C, the way out without the zombies).

I'm just spit balling here. If anyone else has ideas, throw them out. Maybe they'll stick.

Gralhruk 6th of December, 2011 07:55

Well, I'm not sure where it was mentioned, but the zombies *are* related to Skathros. I'll dig around and find out what it was that we (me / J / Cad?) came up with.

I don't know how much was mentioned in the IC / OOC, as a good deal of that brainstorming stuff took place in chat.

Black Plauge 6th of December, 2011 08:07

I'd appreciate that as I seemed to have missed something then.

Gralhruk 6th of December, 2011 08:09

I'm searching through my disorganized mass of notes, scattered across all of my various electronic media. I'll post what I find as soon as I find enough of it to be coherent.

Gralhruk 8th of December, 2011 05:30

So, here is what I have pieced together from what I have of the original plot structure:

1) Shade is pressured into stealing a scroll from the church council
1a) The scroll contains evidence that the church had a hand in wiping out a human village
1b) The thieve's guild wants it so they can blackmail the church
2) To cover her tracks (ie. make it look like a break in), Shade also steals some big, gaudy goblin relic that the church had lying around
2a) The goblin relic is actually a reliquary that contains the spirit of some ancient lich / goblin witchdoctor or something
2b) Once the goblin item is removed from the church, it loses the protection of the wards the church had placed over
2c) This allows the goblins to scry it out, which they do, and now they want it back.
2d) To help get it back, they put a curse on it (and anybody who touches it) to return it. This curse also has the side effect of turning the person into an undead servant.
3) Shade drops the items at a separate drop off spots per her instructions and never sees them again
3a) Skathros is the pick up man for the relic - he picks it up and arranges for fencing
3b) The relic is sold to the highest bidder
3c) The scroll is picked up but never dropped off
4) Shade has the theft and all removed from her memory, per standard guild procedure when dealing with magical, high profile items.
4a) The goblins, upon becoming aware of the relic's re-emergence, enact the curse
4b) Shade does not contract the curse immediately since Cadrius' amulet of Hieroneous masks her signature
4c) The middle man contracts the curse and quickly succumbs to nasty undeath
4d) Skathros gets hit with the curse and in the absence of other leads on the scroll, seeks out Shade
5) The church knows that both Skathros and Shade are now cursed, since they re-acquired the relic and figured out the curse.
5a) They want the scroll back and they think that one of them knows where it is, so they say they are willing to trade the relic for the scroll
5b) They also say that by returning the relic to the goblins, they can rid themselves of the curse (which may or may not be true)
6) At present time, neither Shade nor Skathros has any idea of the whereabouts of the scroll
6a) It was dropped off at a different location than the relic
6b) The pickup man was waylaid quite by chance after he picked it up; predictably, he was slain and the scroll taken
6c) The scroll could be anywhere

Two possibilities were floated around to tie the zombie plague to that plot:
1) Those slain and / or those that have their blood touched by a plague bearer (ie. Skathros) then contract the plague themselves
2) The goblin witch came North to look for the reliquary himself, and he started out by using witchcraft to make himself some undead minions (or just to cause more confusion).

I thought we had come to an actual decision on how we were tying them in, but if we did I couldn't find it anywhere. So really, it's anyone's call how (or if) they are related.

Personally, I think they probably should be related as then all the zombie stuff fits better but I'm open to suggestions.

Kelemyn 8th of December, 2011 05:41

That all seems to make sense. Except for the part where the goblin witch is a he. I pictured something completely different.

Gralhruk 8th of December, 2011 05:52

Could be a she. Hard to tell with goblins ;).

Black Plauge 8th of December, 2011 07:43

In order for a curse to be effective at changing behavior, it has to impose an undesirable but manageable condition, especially if it the one cursed isn't aware of the curse at first. Perhaps, then, the curse is designed to first affect not the one cursed, but those around them. The person cursed becomes a sort of carrier for this zombie plauge, spreading it to those with whom they come in contact. Since none of the party contracted it, despite having regular contact with Shade while she was subject to the curse, perhaps it requires a specific form of contact: financial. Buy or sell something and the person you're trading with contracts the plague. The towns that we've encountered, then, might be places where Skathros, or one of the other middlemen that had the relic for a while have conducted a fair bit of trade. This would serve to isolate and ruin the carrier but not destroy them so that they can still undertake actions to remove the curse (i.e. return the relic to the goblins).

Since Skathros has succumbed to the plague himself, we might envision the curse as having a second stage. If becoming a plague carrier (and thus making them a pariah to normal society) isn't enough to change the person's behavior then the plague goes to work on the carrier, slowly rotting them from the inside and turning them into an undead horror to create the isolation that way. Instead of relying on purely social isolation, in creates a more physical mark of the isolation that the carrier is supposed to be experiencing.

As even that wasn't enough for Skathros, who actually quite liked the new powers he had from his changed form, the plauge has progressed to a third stage, creating the isolation through a Domain of Dread.

itches 15th of March, 2012 14:08

Alright, everyone remain calm and no one has to get hurt. I'm hijacking this hijack.

I want the next chapter to be self contained. A plot that starts and ends within the chapter without dealing with anything else. The game has been hibernating for a while now, we (I? You?) need something simple to get back into the swing of things.

The concept is that somehow (it doesn't matter story wise how) we end up in a weird location where there is a powerful spirit trapped. Think old, old style faerie story. It wants to get out by possessing one of us.

The outline map I have thus far is:
  1. Aftermath of the zombie fight, chaos everywhere. Running into the woods at random.
  2. Everyone who takes part suffers a weird trippy vision about some deeply held fear of the character. Vision end up falling into nothing.
  3. Those taking part find themselves in a small abandoned town in a clearing in the woods, seems like it was abandoned a week or two ago. Everyone meets up and agrees to fort up for the night in the town.
  4. While forting up (gathering food, building walls, searching the place) everyone sees someone walking around the town. It's a different person for everyone (Lynn for instance sees herself) but they disappear before we can speak to them. Try to make it creepy.
  5. The sun sets and we all gather together, and I presume compare notes about what has been happening because our characters aren't stupid.
  6. We hear something(s) moving around outside our area, but can't spot anything. Then all the fires (candles, lanterns) go out and we're attacked by something but we still can't see what it is (need a reason why folk with darkvision can't tell what it is).
  7. The fight goes on for a bit, and then suddenly they all disappear, and we can't find any trace of our attackers (no tracks or bodies or anything). They may have just been another vision.
  8. After this I think the fae decides on a target and starts to focus on that one person. (Who?)

What I don't have is a conclusion. The plot isn't about defeating the fae, it's about surviving it. Whether we stick it out for the night or just run for the woods to take our chances, or someone actually does get possessed without (us? them) knowing it. In either of the cases we need a suitable climax for the story tension that has been building.

Kelemyn 15th of March, 2012 22:18

I'll play along, but I don't immediately have any ideas for an ending to the story.

itches 15th of March, 2012 22:47

We draw straws, the person with the short one gets eaten by a Grue.

This post wasn't helpful.

Kelemyn 16th of March, 2012 01:18

Mine wasn't helpful either, but I meant it to be supportive. :)

Gralhruk 17th of March, 2012 03:02

Well, I'm game. It's more or less what we discussed earlier, except with some small purpose. We need an opening post, so I nominate whoever posts IC first.

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