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D&D 3E
Sacrifices 
5th-Jan-2005 11:50 am
bitch
Have any of you used the rules for sacrifices in the Book of Vile Darkness before? Did they seem balanced enough in your game?

I'm looking for a dramatic sacrifice scene among the NPCs next session to get the blood flowing in the PCs a bit. Any suggestions on how I could successfully pull the sacrifice off with a powerful NPC wizard I have without the players feeling completely helpless? I'd like to think they're not just an audience, but the sacrifice to still complete accordingly.
Comments 
5th-Jan-2005 08:21 pm (UTC)
If it's really necessary to your plot, have the sacrifice occur "offstage," as it were. Have the PCs find out about it only after it's too late for them to do anything about it. Otherwise, don't count on them not being able to stop it without you having to railroad them. Different DM's approach this different ways, but I personally prefer to avoid railroading the PCs as much as possible - and as a player, I have left a campaign because of what I felt was excessive railroading (the last straw was when the DM decided for me what my character would do in a situation - without consulting me - even though I happened to be sitting right there at the time).

Or give the PCs a good reason for not being able to stop it (give the wizard lots and lots of minions, for example, that the PCs have to fight their way through - you can always throw in a few more if you have to). Or, if possible, have the PCs have to go somewhere else/do something else that's even more urgent - as in, if it's a good-aligned party, they have to take care of something or a whole lotta people are going to die. OK, it's a little cliched, but sometimes things become cliche because they work ;-).

Then have the wizard and/or one or more of his henchies taunt the PCs with what happened. That ought to get them good and worked up.
5th-Jan-2005 08:50 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the ideas.

The NPC that is going to be sacrificed is also someone the PCs know, and I thought it would be dramatic to witness his death, and the idea of monster obstacles in the way is nice. I also want the chance to let my PCs be clever. If they really can think of a way to stop a wizard of that skill, I would go ahead and let them. They've been creative enough to mess with my story this way before and it makes it all the more entertaining. :-)
5th-Jan-2005 09:39 pm (UTC)
It would definitely be dramatic, and I'd say if you're prepared to deal with what happens if the PCs manage to stop the sacrifice, go for it. My only caveat would be to make sure you keep in mind the ages and maturity levels of your players. Something that would be fine in a campaign where the players are adults might not work so well if your players are younger than 18 or so. Other than that, it sounds like an interesting idea.
5th-Jan-2005 09:42 pm (UTC)
We're all adults (I'm actually the youngest by three years at 19.) I wouldn't be using the Book of Vile Darkness with anyone underage to be honest because I think it takes maturity levels to be exposed to some of the twisted things in that book healthily.
6th-Jan-2005 02:44 am (UTC)
I think that's an excellent point - I personally actually don't own the Book of Vile Darkness - just personal preference for a lighter campaign style. But if you think your players will enjoy and can handle it, it could be really cool.
(Deleted comment)
6th-Jan-2005 02:46 am (UTC)
'Fraid not - just an English major with a big vocabulary :-)! English, you know, is the language that drags other languages into dark alleys and rifles their pockets for useful words or phrases.
5th-Jan-2005 09:34 pm (UTC)
Depending on the PCs, you can set it up so they can easily observe without being noticed, but make there be so many minions present that attacking at that point would be suicide. They'd clearly be able to do something, they'd just most likely die if they tried.

Of course, this depends on the PCs, many a PC will charge right in no matter the odds (out of stupidity, courage, senses of duty, or "DM wouldn't pit us against something we couldn't beat"-ness). So you'd have to make a judgement depending on the group. Keeping in mind of course, that PCs always have a chance of winning.

Short of horrible railroading, you can't introduce an NPC directly to the character without them having the option of immediately attacking and trying to kill it. There's always the chance they will, and if they do, who knows, they may win.
5th-Jan-2005 10:49 pm (UTC)
It would be fairly touching to have them watch it through a scrying device. Manuever it so that they find the scrying device somewhere. It's already tuned in to where the sacrifice is taking place, but the pc's are too far away to stop it. They can only watch helpless.

You can even make it later that the big bad planned for them to find the scrying device so that they would have to watch it and it would make them suffer even more.
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