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D&D 3E
Greetings and Hello! 
1st-Jan-2007 10:45 am
Disney-Mermaid MythandMagic
Happy New Year! I'm hoping for some advice. I'm about to start running my first D&D campaign and have decided on using the Key of Destiny dragonlance campaign module. None of us have read more than a couple of the dragonlance books, so we have only the capaign setting resources to take from, which is fine with us, because we can be somewhat creative. What I'm wondering is if anyone has any 1) information from specific books or 2) brainstorms or suggestions about how you might handle the following situation/plot if you were DMing.

The Key of Destiny takes place 6 months after the war of souls, and my cleric has decided he wants to play a cleric of Paladine whose faith has never wavered and who is still unceasingly loyal to his god even though Paladine is now supposedly mortal ("supposedly" in his point of view, we know it to be true out of game). The hook I gave him was that his father was a cleric of Paladine that tried to maintain the temple for as long as possible during the Age of Mortals. Then he and a handful of other clerics took the ancient texts and hid out in a small village to guard them. The PC was born and raised to protect the ancient texts and wait for the return of the gods. Then 6 months ago, he received a vision to go out and find a place to rebuild Paladine's temple. The player plans on playing a very loyal, very faithful, almost fanatical cleric who believes that one way or another, his god will regain his place in the heavens. I want to work with that, but I haven't yet figured out exactly how to.

In the Age of Mortals Campaign setting, it describes Paladine's mortal form, Valthonis, and his band of The Faithful, who travel Krynn righting wrongs. My thought is that there is a god or two that are working on a plot to bring Paladine back, and it is one of them (maybe Mishakal?), and not Paladine, that sent the cleric his vision (and is giving him his spells). I know the reason Paladine became mortal was to maintain the balance with the fall of Takhisis, so logic would follow that the gods must find a power of darkness to replace Takhisis before Paladine can return, but with the past history of Krynn, I wouldn't put it past them to do just that.

At any rate, one thought I had was that if my party of adventurers ever did come across Valthonis and the Faithful, Valthonis would realize something fishy is going on and he would disappear to try to find out what the gods are up to. My puzzle is that if I do introduce Valthonis and the Faithful, I don't want the PCs to know who he is. I want to give them hints, but no answers. Does anyone have any suggestions? Does anyone have any concrete information on Valthonis' personality? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

(X-posted to dragonlance)
2nd-Jan-2007 09:23 am (UTC)
well.... so far, not bad

I suppose the first question would be how much do you want your players to be involved with the reascention of Paladine...and do the players (not characters) know the name of Paladine's mortal form?

if they are to be very involved, let's start with the issue of the PCs crossing paths with Valthonis

Give him an assumed name. reason? He's hiding, for one of several reasons:

he's been targeted for assassination

he and his Faithful have been accused (wrongly or rightly) of sedition against a local lord (I don't know where you're starting, or where you'll be when you run into him)

A man fitting his discription has been seen fleeing the scene of a brutal killing. It is grisly enough that there is little chance of him getting a fair trial, and is searching for his mysterious "doppleganger" to clear his name before he is captured and killed.

There are more that I can probably suggest, but for sake of brevity we'll leave it at there

next, another God feeding your cleric spells...does it have to be from a known ally Paladine?what about a new Power, intent on taking Paladine's portfolio?

now of the cuff, here's what I'm thinking...the visions are indeed from an ally of Paladine, warning of this new power.... the party go in search of Valthonis (have them know his name if you want, but I think it might be better RP-wise, if that info is very cryptic...)

so now, they must find someone whom they might or might not know of (your choice) and deliver a cryptic message which once discovered, sends the new God into a fury, who decides the only way to continue where he's at (the new Power's just getting comfortable) is to make sure there is no Paladine....which in turn slowly shifts alignment

ok, I'm still recovering from New Year's eve... (party at a game shop I go to) so I have to cut short for now....I'll try to revisit this post and add to this
2nd-Jan-2007 01:06 pm (UTC)
Hmm... interesting ideas.

I don't think the players know Paladine's mortal name, and if they do, the characters definitely don't. I did some brainstorming about the introduction of the Faithful.

First, I think I'm going to make the cleric make a will save every morning when he prepares his spells. I may imply it's simply because his god is currently mortal and so it's a little harder for him to retrieve those spells, but in fact it's something completely different. When he makes a DC 20 will save (which will probably be a bit into the adventure), he inadvertantly picks up a line from the god who is really feeding him his spells and during that day, receives a third domain to pick from (most likely healing, since Mishakal is the god of healing).

As for the meeting with Valthonis, I think I'll take one of the encounters in the module and beef it up so it's rather difficult, then have the Faithful step in to help out. During that encounter, when the PC cleric casts a spell, his holy symbol is going to flare up instantly and then return to normal an instant later and his spell (if apprroapriate) will be as if it was maximized. After that combat, the PCs will discover that one of the Faithful is unconcious, but before they can say anything, the other Faithful quickly thank the PCs, take Valthonis and disappear. I have more details in mind, but that's the gist of it.

Then I'll continue the module, which is a three parter that takes the characters from 1st level to almost 20th. And towards the end, when the cleric reaches a really high will save DC one morning, he'll get a vision of one of the elves (namely Valthonis) walk into a temple of Mishakal and talk to a woman, with the conversation implying that the woman is Mishakal in human form and giving enough clues for the cleric to make the connection that Valthonis is Paladine's human form. The cleric will then (I hope) make the connection between his wild spell and the elf's unconscious state, and realize he inadvertantly draw some of the life force of the god he worships.

After that, the party faces the rather amusing dilemna of whether or not to help the forces of darkness in the module, because by doing so they might be able to return Paladine to the heavens and still maintain the balance (one more dark god, one more light god).

I like the idea of a new power, though. I'll have to do some stewing and brainstorming about how to fit that in.
3rd-Jan-2007 08:55 am (UTC)
well, if you use my idea of the new power wanting Paladine's portfolio, once the players are set on the road to helping reestablishing Paladine, what could be more dangerous than someone who knows something that someone else thinks they shouldn't?

now, I'm thinking, this power sees a void that they think needs to be filled, without thought of balance, and was starting to move even as Paladine chose mortality...obviously, others, namely Mishakal, were able to see what was happening and moved against the emerging Power. This enraged the new Power, who was thinking that they were only trying to help, and decides that if they weren't going to be allowed to help by assuming the mantle of a god that had "obviously abandoned it for purely selfish reasons" then perhaps they (the rest of the Pantheon who stopped him/her) would let him/her take it if the elf who was at one time a God was no longer in a position to eventually retake his place...

so now, Valthonis is marked for death by this Power...by one of Paladine's own clerics, perhaps, who doesn't realize who it truely is he's hunting?

Maybe even a certain young, ambitious priest whose father schooled him well in the order, and refused to lose faith......
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