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Author Topic: [D&D 3.5 high-level evil campaign] Project Blackguard  (Read 16150 times)

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Offline frost rose

Re: [D&D 3.5 high-level evil campaign] Project Blackguard
« Reply #50 on: December 02, 2012, 11:51:41 PM »
Oh, wow, I spotted this far later than I would have liked, as there appears to be a growing crowd. That said, I would definitely be interested. The world needs more evil. That, and I always wanted to try out the cloistered cleric, and divination/abjuration mesh well with a certain level of metagaming.

As for the corruption itself, I wouldn't be as certain about building up fronts, since after all the point of having a corrupt champion is to then let them be turned on a genuinely good organisation. Infiltrate and/or frame the organisation, sure, or have affiliated fronts to feed things like prophecies, but in the end the Holy Order of Artemiana needs to be taking the fall, and I assume they generally aren't bad people on the whole.

I also think that star-crossed lovers and the like are always a reliable way to go, as they tend to, or at least are able to, emphasise the ways in which it's the personal character flaws that ultimately lead to the downfall. Especially if the flaws aren't really flaws, per se. Someone's personal loyalty to their friends is usually quite admirable, but can drive you down a dark path if you see those friends betrayed or persecuted by an organisation, all the while blinding you to the fact that the organisation might have a point, and your friends really were corrupted or puppeted by some mysterious conspiracy. It also makes it much harder to atone when your ultimate fall is a whole-hearted spree of vengeance rather than a manipulated gotcha moment. You can feel bad after you realise you've been tricked into doing something you didn't realise was evil, but it's much harder when you think you really do have a point and they had it coming. And even if you do realise you were tricked, the betrayals become much more personal when you realise it was your close friends or lovers, rather than a prophecy and destiny.

Prophecy and destiny should of course also be involved, but I tend to think that it always should be intertwined with and contrasted against the personal. For one, it makes the people inflicting this sort of personal emotional trauma a far nastier bunch. It's one thing to weave fate so that someone falls. It's quite another to murder their best friend then use the corpse to trip them up. *twirls mustache*

Offline Zaer Darkwail

Re: [D&D 3.5 high-level evil campaign] Project Blackguard
« Reply #51 on: December 03, 2012, 05:52:15 AM »
Hmmm, indeed if person kills a friend because organization told so would indeed turn it personal but what prevents good guys driving in argument which explains why the friend deserved to die or should had to die?

Online TheGlyphstone

Re: [D&D 3.5 high-level evil campaign] Project Blackguard
« Reply #52 on: December 03, 2012, 07:15:35 AM »
Oh, wow, I spotted this far later than I would have liked, as there appears to be a growing crowd. That said, I would definitely be interested. The world needs more evil. That, and I always wanted to try out the cloistered cleric, and divination/abjuration mesh well with a certain level of metagaming.

As for the corruption itself, I wouldn't be as certain about building up fronts, since after all the point of having a corrupt champion is to then let them be turned on a genuinely good organisation. Infiltrate and/or frame the organisation, sure, or have affiliated fronts to feed things like prophecies, but in the end the Holy Order of Artemiana needs to be taking the fall, and I assume they generally aren't bad people on the whole.

I also think that star-crossed lovers and the like are always a reliable way to go, as they tend to, or at least are able to, emphasise the ways in which it's the personal character flaws that ultimately lead to the downfall. Especially if the flaws aren't really flaws, per se. Someone's personal loyalty to their friends is usually quite admirable, but can drive you down a dark path if you see those friends betrayed or persecuted by an organisation, all the while blinding you to the fact that the organisation might have a point, and your friends really were corrupted or puppeted by some mysterious conspiracy. It also makes it much harder to atone when your ultimate fall is a whole-hearted spree of vengeance rather than a manipulated gotcha moment. You can feel bad after you realise you've been tricked into doing something you didn't realise was evil, but it's much harder when you think you really do have a point and they had it coming. And even if you do realise you were tricked, the betrayals become much more personal when you realise it was your close friends or lovers, rather than a prophecy and destiny.

Prophecy and destiny should of course also be involved, but I tend to think that it always should be intertwined with and contrasted against the personal. For one, it makes the people inflicting this sort of personal emotional trauma a far nastier bunch. It's one thing to weave fate so that someone falls. It's quite another to murder their best friend then use the corpse to trip them up. *twirls mustache*

I think you have it a little backwards - we're not trying to slip a corrupt person to bring down a good organization, we're trying to corrupt the good individual. Once the victim has been broken and enticed into openly serving Evil, the entire organization has served its purpose and can just simply cease to exist, we don't need a fall group.

Offline Zaer Darkwail

Re: [D&D 3.5 high-level evil campaign] Project Blackguard
« Reply #53 on: December 03, 2012, 07:20:44 AM »
So far as I know idea is to find candidate, guide him/her become paladin of the good order, then through trials make him/her stronger, then once strong enough we pull carpet under him somehow and turn him into blackguard who then rapes the good order.

Online TheGlyphstone

Re: [D&D 3.5 high-level evil campaign] Project Blackguard
« Reply #54 on: December 03, 2012, 07:26:03 AM »
I didn't think our mission even necessarily involved a good order. We just need to create a Paladin and then engineer his Fall...we're not getting paid for bulk volume, but the personal touch of destroying one man/woman's faith in everything they've been raised their entire life to believe in. The existence and authenticity of the order that raised them isn't part of the paycheck, and in fact could be counterproductive if they get the idea that this order could still be a refuge. We want our strings tied as tightly around them as we can to avoid any accidents.

Online PaleEnchantress

Re: [D&D 3.5 high-level evil campaign] Project Blackguard
« Reply #55 on: December 03, 2012, 09:40:40 AM »
Considering it's a high level game we should have no problem circumventing a low level paladin's detect evil.

Online TheGlyphstone

Re: [D&D 3.5 high-level evil campaign] Project Blackguard
« Reply #56 on: December 03, 2012, 09:51:21 AM »
Or even a high-level Paladin's detect evil, as long as we don't use opposed level checks like Nondetection.

Offline AutocadTopic starter

Re: [D&D 3.5 high-level evil campaign] Project Blackguard
« Reply #57 on: December 03, 2012, 10:18:13 AM »
Glad to see all the interest! A couple points to address here.

First, the order that the fallen paladin needs to betray and destroy is already specified in the OP - the Holy Order of Artermiana. Do reread that as the Vice President of Client Management, Meta Ideas and Solutions Consulting will not be impressed with weak comprehension skills. I'm looking at a particular few of you, here.  ;)

Second, in addition to players playing evil PCs, I'm considering opening the floor up to helpers to play various NPCs, including the paladin and his/her party members as well as more traditionally "NPC-ish" NPCs. Instead of playing one character, the helpers will take on different characters as they enter and leave the narrative. However you probably won't be allowed to play both a PC and a NPC at the same time. Anyone interested?

Offline AndyZ

Re: [D&D 3.5 high-level evil campaign] Project Blackguard
« Reply #58 on: December 03, 2012, 10:26:45 AM »
It seems like there's more than enough people, so I'm going to bow out gracefully instead of having the problem of too many cooks.  Have fun, everyone!

Online TheGlyphstone

Re: [D&D 3.5 high-level evil campaign] Project Blackguard
« Reply #59 on: December 03, 2012, 10:32:02 AM »
Glad to see all the interest! A couple points to address here.

First, the order that the fallen paladin needs to betray and destroy is already specified in the OP - the Holy Order of Artermiana. Do reread that as the Vice President of Client Management, Meta Ideas and Solutions Consulting will not be impressed with weak comprehension skills. I'm looking at a particular few of you, here.  ;)

Second, in addition to players playing evil PCs, I'm considering opening the floor up to helpers to play various NPCs, including the paladin and his/her party members as well as more traditionally "NPC-ish" NPCs. Instead of playing one character, the helpers will take on different characters as they enter and leave the narrative. However you probably won't be allowed to play both a PC and a NPC at the same time. Anyone interested?

Still not a problem, we just need to add a reverse time loop so that we end up founding the Holy Order of Artermiana. It's not poor reading comprehension, it's enforced meta-creativity, exactly the sort of thing that gets us management positions in the company. ;D

Offline Zaer Darkwail

Re: [D&D 3.5 high-level evil campaign] Project Blackguard
« Reply #60 on: December 03, 2012, 01:14:21 PM »
Then if we made time loop to found the very order which offended the client to hire us to deal with the order in permament fashion....would it result us walk in and our future selves greeting us and destroying their own organization while they depart and give us time device so we also can make our jobs easier :P.

So in actually the evil company was root in founding the Holy Order of Artermiana; it's same as you go as adventurer and face a dragon but dragons transforms into you and then stabs himself to make your job easy while a spell ressurects him back as human (than dragon) and passes secret ritual to turn into wyrmling and travel into past couple thousand years.

So, I think we cannot tamper that much with order. At best perhaps inflitrate it and influence it inside and place seed of corruption to create champion raised by Holy Order and guide his path to become blackguard to wipe out Holy Order.

Online TheGlyphstone

Re: [D&D 3.5 high-level evil campaign] Project Blackguard
« Reply #61 on: December 03, 2012, 02:18:52 PM »
That seems like the path-of-least-resistance, or at least least-interference. Don't touch the order itself, but do our best to place ourselves as central figures in the aspiring paladin's life. His ghostly spirit mentor, his sentient holy sword that he finds while on a quest, his best friend and/or lover inside or outside the order (may involve possession).

Offline frost rose

Re: [D&D 3.5 high-level evil campaign] Project Blackguard
« Reply #62 on: December 03, 2012, 08:01:21 PM »
Eee, so I'm still a bit slow, as half of everything resolved itself while I was gone! Hmm, at the very least...

Hmmm, indeed if person kills a friend because organization told so would indeed turn it personal but what prevents good guys driving in argument which explains why the friend deserved to die or should had to die?

Weeell, my thought went something like this. Consider if we do manage to make the holy order in question in the wrong, and without a good explanation for why the paladin was betrayed or put in whatever horrible situation it was. Well, then wouldn't there be an argument that the paladin was actually doing a good thing by standing against them. Maybe horribly overreacting, of course, but they to themselves at least could justify it to themselves. While corruption and manipulation of events have clearly a role to play, it seems that at the end of the day, the best situation is one where the paladin is no longer able to justify things to themselves, and has to realise that yes, they were clearly in the wrong, and complete the fall. It seems like it'd be the most psychologically damaging. And hopefully also put them into a state where redemption would be the hardest. If they fell because they were tempted and fed at worst half truths that they then put their own best spin on, it'll be harder to simply turn around and beg forgiveness than if it were rooted in misunderstanding and pure deception. Half truths and forbidden lusts and dark secrets seem, to me at any rate, like they'd make it more of a gut punch in the very end.

I guess, basically I'm thinking that at the end of the day, not only should it end in blood and tears, but ideally in such a place where the resulting fallen paladin looks around and doesn't want redemption. Which seems like a more difficult goal than simply getting them to murder their fellows. And yeah, something that relies more on ghostly mentors, best friends, lovers, and forcing a wedge between them and everything they grew up believing that they held dear, one way or another.

Online PaleEnchantress

Re: [D&D 3.5 high-level evil campaign] Project Blackguard
« Reply #63 on: December 03, 2012, 08:15:55 PM »
That seems like the path-of-least-resistance, or at least least-interference. Don't touch the order itself, but do our best to place ourselves as central figures in the aspiring paladin's life. His ghostly spirit mentor, his sentient holy sword that he finds while on a quest, his best friend and/or lover inside or outside the order (may involve possession).

Well I'm sure how we do it will be different for each individual. Kunoichi spoke of playing a fiend of possession (and my cohort would be one as well) So they will be posessing any number of things to access the innocents.

With Widow Queen i'd probably chose a target relatively unimportant in the organization, but with usual contact with our prey. I'd visit them during 3 different nights and drain their blood until they were one of my spawn.

People with less magic can rely on mundane infiltration and enhancements from others.  I know there is a Rogue PrC called The Replacement Killer: I'm sure you can guess what that one's specialty is.

Online TheGlyphstone

Re: [D&D 3.5 high-level evil campaign] Project Blackguard
« Reply #64 on: December 03, 2012, 08:33:00 PM »
Well I'm sure how we do it will be different for each individual. Kunoichi spoke of playing a fiend of possession (and my cohort would be one as well) So they will be posessing any number of things to access the innocents.

With Widow Queen i'd probably chose a target relatively unimportant in the organization, but with usual contact with our prey. I'd visit them during 3 different nights and drain their blood until they were one of my spawn.

People with less magic can rely on mundane infiltration and enhancements from others.  I know there is a Rogue PrC called The Replacement Killer: I'm sure you can guess what that one's specialty is.

I was assuming we'd be cooperating as a group, not working as individuals or in competition. I'm aware that everyone will be individually using their own specialties, but figuring that the end result is positioning ourselves all around the target. Choosing classically auspicious things will help keep our cover, though, which is why I suggested stuff like a Fiend of Possession inhabiting a sentient 'Holy' sword that they find.

EDIT: And looking at the FoP, it's actually really good for this sort of thing - with 6 levels in the class (easy entry requirements once you get the Evil subtype Outsider), that's a +6 total bonus you can add to any existing magic item, stacking with any existing enhancements it has. That's one kickass magic sword, that conveniently only works to its full potential for its 'destined wielder'.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2012, 08:49:52 PM by TheGlyphstone »

Online PaleEnchantress

Re: [D&D 3.5 high-level evil campaign] Project Blackguard
« Reply #65 on: December 03, 2012, 08:52:43 PM »
I was assuming we'd be cooperating as a group, not working as individuals or in competition. I'm aware that everyone will be individually using their own specialties, but figuring that the end result is positioning ourselves all around the target. Choosing classically auspicious things will help keep our cover, though, which is why I suggested stuff like a Fiend of Possession inhabiting a sentient 'Holy' sword that they find.

EDIT: And looking at the FoP, it's actually really good for this sort of thing - with 6 levels in the class (easy entry requirements once you get the Evil subtype Outsider), that's a +6 total bonus you can add to any existing magic item, stacking with any existing enhancements it has. That's one kickass magic sword, that conveniently only works to its full potential for its 'destined wielder'.

We certainly would be cooperating, thats why people without ability to use magic themselves can still be very active since they will be able to be augmented with our magic.

Offline Kunoichi

Re: [D&D 3.5 high-level evil campaign] Project Blackguard
« Reply #66 on: December 03, 2012, 10:21:11 PM »
Yeah, Fiend of Possession is pretty awesome for this sort of game.  Getting that Outsider type and Evil subtype are going to be a bit difficult, though.  The ideal option, at least for me, would be one or two levels of the Succubus monster class from Savage Species, but you can't normally multiclass out of those early, so...  ^^;

Online PaleEnchantress

Re: [D&D 3.5 high-level evil campaign] Project Blackguard
« Reply #67 on: December 03, 2012, 10:28:44 PM »
Yeah, Fiend of Possession is pretty awesome for this sort of game.  Getting that Outsider type and Evil subtype are going to be a bit difficult, though.  The ideal option, at least for me, would be one or two levels of the Succubus monster class from Savage Species, but you can't normally multiclass out of those early, so...  ^^;

My cohort will be the same as from the city of the Drow. If you noticed earlier we spoke of how LA's are very overpriced. You can probably get a fully devloped succubus at a substantially lower ECL than they are listed, so you wouldn't need to bother with the racial class and trying to leave it early.

Online TheGlyphstone

Re: [D&D 3.5 high-level evil campaign] Project Blackguard
« Reply #68 on: December 03, 2012, 10:33:56 PM »
Yeah, Fiend of Possession is pretty awesome for this sort of game.  Getting that Outsider type and Evil subtype are going to be a bit difficult, though.  The ideal option, at least for me, would be one or two levels of the Succubus monster class from Savage Species, but you can't normally multiclass out of those early, so...  ^^;

Pfffft. You think too small.

Step 1: Be a Tiefling. Outsider type achieved.
Step 2: Undergo the Ritual of Alignment from Savage Species. Evil Subtype achieved.
Step 3: ??
Step 4: Profit!

Total cost: +1 LA, 57,000 GP.


Online PaleEnchantress

Re: [D&D 3.5 high-level evil campaign] Project Blackguard
« Reply #69 on: December 03, 2012, 10:36:45 PM »
Pfffft. You think too small.

Step 1: Be a Tiefling. Outsider type achieved.
Step 2: Undergo the Ritual of Alignment from Savage Species. Evil Subtype achieved.
Step 3: ??
Step 4: Profit!

Total cost: +1 LA, 57,000 GP.

That was basically the method I used (am using) She may actually be interested in succubus racial abilities (she only needs 6 levels to start with max FoP). If she wants many other class levels though that method is the way to go.

Online TheGlyphstone

Re: [D&D 3.5 high-level evil campaign] Project Blackguard
« Reply #70 on: December 03, 2012, 10:39:46 PM »
Incidentally, is anyone else willing to chip in one of their Feat slots, if they can spare one in the build, for the Landlord feat? If all 4-6 of us (depending on the group size) have Landlord, we can collectively build the most amazingly kick-ass evil stronghold in the history of evil strongholds.

Online PaleEnchantress

Re: [D&D 3.5 high-level evil campaign] Project Blackguard
« Reply #71 on: December 03, 2012, 10:44:20 PM »
Incidentally, is anyone else willing to chip in one of their Feat slots, if they can spare one in the build, for the Landlord feat? If all 4-6 of us (depending on the group size) have Landlord, we can collectively build the most amazingly kick-ass evil stronghold in the history of evil strongholds.

I love the landlord feat and indeed most leadership related things.

Online TheGlyphstone

Re: [D&D 3.5 high-level evil campaign] Project Blackguard
« Reply #72 on: December 03, 2012, 10:56:51 PM »
I love the landlord feat and indeed most leadership related things.

Right off the bat, it'd be between 400,000 and 600,000 to spend on our Evil Lair. By the time we hit Level 20, we'd have 3,200,000 GP to outfit our evil lair, plus matched contributions if for some bizarre reason we managed to spend more than 3 million gold on the place.

Offline ExisD

Re: [D&D 3.5 high-level evil campaign] Project Blackguard
« Reply #73 on: December 03, 2012, 10:57:17 PM »
I might be able to, though my build mostly depends on what LA determination there is. I'm certainly planning on leadership to have minions that can quickly build a dungeon and outfit it with appropriate traps.

Online TheGlyphstone

Re: [D&D 3.5 high-level evil campaign] Project Blackguard
« Reply #74 on: December 03, 2012, 11:01:17 PM »
Oh, and speaking of Leadership, we'll need someone to 'take one for the team' as mentioned by having a dedicated Artificer crafter as their cohort, tricked out for maximally cheap item creation so that we can outfit ourselves while still having plenty of funds to spend on our Evil Plans. If no one else really needs said cohort, I'd be willing to do it, especially since I will eventually get 2 cohorts via Thrallherd.