What if Zagor defeats them?

Dupont
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What if Zagor defeats them?

Postby Dupont » Wed Feb 15, 2017 11:57 am

My group have just met the Minotaur, in that session there were only three players: A Wizard and two fighter types although one is a bit of a roguish priesty type really. It came down to just the wizard as the Minotaur had some nice crits and ended up downing the two fighters in the same round. The wizard had enough Magic Points left for 1 lightning Bolt and he managed it, albeit in a state of panic.

I now know that this game is unpredictable, when I first read through the WOFM I was concerned the monsters were not strong enough. I ran it pretty much as is though and it has been fascinating and entertaining to see how things play out- Even a Giant rat downed two player characters 1 after the other at one point. Brilliant stuff, entertaining for me, pause for thought for the players.

Zagor looks like he exists on another level however. I know he has weaknesses so it could go either way and quite rapidly too but I am interested in the possibility of him beating them and not finishing them off. It depends how it plays out of course, I am not going to plan for one particular event happening I am just aware it could work out this way depending on everyone's interaction.

He is expecting them, we know that from the text. He is also according to the text a force of fear in the local areas, so he is having an effect on the nearby villages and towns. It is never explained how or what though.

Have any of you guys detailed this effect he has had on the area in your adventures? how did the final fight play out for you? And has Zagor proved to be a source of further adventure for you? I think he might be rather vicious and mean to any prisoners but I am not opposed to him capturing my party and pondering what horrid task to put them on, if theres an opportunity and it is going in his favour. Theres always Anton D'gar to help kick start a plan of escape since they helped him escape. I feel theres plenty of chance that the dungeons below Firetop are more extensive than revealed in the adventure - Theres the Shaft in Anton's cell, not to mention the tunnels the Battleaxe Clan dwarves are supposed to have come in through and of course the River. Perhaps the Other Dragon has slithered down somewhere deeper away from Slythergach too.
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Baldrick
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Re: What if Zagor defeats them?

Postby Baldrick » Thu Feb 16, 2017 12:00 am

I think Zagor's goals with the imprisoned players should be related to his goals with the mountain. Why did he decided that he was destined to rule Firetop Mountain? Perhaps he is on the eve of a dark and powerful ritual when the players showed up and he will delight in forcing them to watch its terrible completion. You could give clever players an opportunity to foil the ritual or escape when the Warlock is preoccupied with it, or perhaps he just leaves them with the terrible memory that they could have stopped it but didn't. With his work there done, and most of his minions slain by the party, perhaps he simply leaves the mountain.

In general though, I don't like fudging rolls to make the players win and I don't like turning defeats into victories. A defeat should taste like a defeat if you want your villains to be memorable.
Dupont
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Re: What if Zagor defeats them?

Postby Dupont » Thu Feb 16, 2017 12:22 am

I dont intend to fudge it in either direction, I just wanted to be prepared for all possibilities and it occured to me that might be one. I have really enjoyed being able to sit back and watch their antics in this adventure, they have made a bit of a meal of it at times and its been really entertaining to see which way they would take it. Theres also been some really fun improv moments that have added more to certain NPCs ( Anton, Arnor and Travis ).

It did occur to me though, as it was approaching their final showdown, that he might, if circumstances allow, choose not to kill them. Maybe he wants to draw it out. If its a real punch up though and he had the upper hand I think he would just torch them completely with everything he has. It depends how much they hurt him I think if he then wins.

I don't even know if they will make it past the Dragon yet anyway, like I said its a really unpredictable adventure so far and I have really enjoyed that a lot.
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Gareus
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Re: What if Zagor defeats them?

Postby Gareus » Thu Feb 16, 2017 10:05 am

If Zagor doesnt kill them maybe he could use them for experiments then let them go or they could 'escape', you could then (if the characters carry on) create a subplot about what these alterations from the experiments were or have them lose autonomy of their character in certain moments leading to a resolution (say they return with certain treasures then must roll to resist mind control). Lots of cool things to add especially if you consider Balthus and Zharradan in the overall story.
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Dupont
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Re: What if Zagor defeats them?

Postby Dupont » Thu Feb 16, 2017 11:15 am

Yes Balthus and Zharradan have been in the back of my mind too. When I played caverns of the snow witch recently I liked how the Trolls near Stonebridge built the tension of what Forest of Doom and other publications have hinted at. You actually had tangible proof that Stonebridge was under pressure. It seems to me a good thing to try and do something similar regarding these three too now and then, here and there.

All this is potentially useful too whether Zagor defeats them or not. If they kill him, either this time or another, theres a good chance its not over for good if I go down the route of Return to Firetop at some later point.

I do like the experimentation side of things, I like the idea of there being other tunnels, perhaps a small cave system the Battleaxe Clan have come through and bits and pieces like that. I think Ideas are forming already.
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