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Artifact Destruction Ramifications

 
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edmundscott
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 6:51 pm    Post subject: Artifact Destruction Ramifications Reply with quote

In another thread, I asked for help on a social encounter involving how the party might procure the help of a dwarven master smith in the destruction of an artifact. It was one of the most stressful social encounters I ever run, with the party never offending him but also slowly wearing down his patience with them, as they appealed to his faith, his patriotism, and his loyalties to ensure his help. He finally acceded but demanded a stern quest of the heroes.

This weekend we're going to play out the destruction of the artifact by the hand of this smith. What I'm looking for are some ideas —

a) of set-dressing and color when the artifact is sundered--what's it look like, sound like, smell like, what happens to those nearby: I'd like to make this dramatic and memorable

b) for some mechanical ramifications of the destruction i.e. it shouldn't be painless but I also don't want to TPK the group

Some background
PCs are 6th or 7th level. Morlin Coalhewer (the smith) is 9th lvl.

The artifact is a gem-eyed cat statuette once sacred to Ehlonna in her Bastet-aspect (Ehlonna has many guises in my campaign) but corrupted by an evil cult devoted to her called the Devourers (who feed humans to felines).

The master smith can smash this statuette with his hammer as long as it's performed upon the Dread Forge (an ancient artifact sacred to Demogorgon from the days when lizard people ruled the surface world).

Smashing the Grimalkin idol upon the Dread Forge destroys both artifacts.

So what happens, dramatically and mechanically, when this occurs?

Any help will be much appreciated, as always. (I've used so many ideas from these forums I'm indebted to you guys forever.)
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Cebrion
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There could be evil cultists with some bloodfrenzied big cats/weretigers who seek to stop the idol from being destroyed. The PC's might need to fight them off while the dwarf conducts the ritual of destruction. Splinters of the souls of those sacrificed in the presence of the cult idol over the centuries could be released in a "spirit storm" upon the idol's destruction, who may or may not aid the PCs in defeating any enemies.
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Vulcan
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 2:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can only imagine the destruction of the Dreadforge being pretty spectacular. A massive "CRACK", splinters of it fly off, and then the whole thing melts down in an inferno of brimstone taking much of the immediate area with it. I'd have the splinters do arrow damage plus a suitable poison or energy drain, and then heat damage starts building up, eventually reaching 20d6 per round as the stone of the room melts into lava. If the party does not beat feet this WILL result in a TPK, and even if they do they should feel they escaped by the skin of their teeth.

It'll probably get the PCs and the smith noticed by Demogorgon, and not to their benefit.

Next to that the destruction of the Grimalkin will probably be a candle in front of the sun, and I can even see Ehlonna acting to mitigate the harmful effects of it upon the party.

How it looks will depend on what the Grimalkin is made of. Something hard but brittle (gems, stone, bone) would shatter, metals would deform around the hammer being used. I would imagine a thunderous roar at the impact (in contrast to the sharp 'CRACK' of the Dreadforge's destruction), and a brief light show as the sacrificed souls are set free. Whatever's left will not separate from the Dreadforge, and eventually melt down and be lost as the room collapses into a puddle of magma.

Ehlonna might give some sort of boon to the party - could be anything from a one time 'autosuccess' on a saving throw to normal animals being unwilling to attack the PCs from then on.

Or then again she might not; after all they did destroy an artifact dedicated to her and she might be mad about it.
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tarelton
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 6:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

“As the Morlin’s hammer descends on the Grimalkin, the statuette appears to shimmer or flinch as its doom approaches. There is a hiss as of an alley cat preparing for a fight and then the crunch/clang of the hammer crushes it. Or more accurately, it appears to drive the grimalkin into the Dread Forge. The surface of the Dread Forge, once inert black iron appears to soften and turn a molten red. The smell of brimstone and Sulphur fills your nostrils, and soot your lungs, provoking rasping coughs. There is a feline caterwaul from the Grimalkin as it is absorbed into the Dread Forge, the sounds echoing around you.
After a moment, there is a low bass rumbling, and the molten surface of the dream forge is disturbed as a [pond when a rock is thrown in the water, in this case the pebble being the Grimalkin. Waves move outward from where the evil relic was absorbed, rebound from its edge, and move back towards the middle. Morlin backs away, a stunned look on his face, and his hammer slipping from his fingers to fall to the ground. Them surface of the Dread Forge begins to bubble and pop, with molten droplets falling at first near the forge, but the bubbles are growing larger….”

I think Vulcan's mechanics can take it from here.
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edmundscott
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2019 7:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, everyone. I'm going to use some version of all of these ideas—great stuff, all of it.

I'm trying to figure out some sort of tweak to Vulcan's ideas for the Dread Forge. In particular, fire is appropriate for a forge, but it's not something that Demogorgon's ever been associated with. So I'd like to monkey the fire somehow so it can become very specific to Demogorgon.

What if the fire inflicted Wisdom and Constitution damage instead of hp loss? a nod to the insanity gaze and disease causing tentacles?
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Vulcan
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2019 2:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tarelton wrote:
“As the Morlin’s hammer descends on the Grimalkin, the statuette appears to shimmer or flinch as its doom approaches. There is a hiss as of an alley cat preparing for a fight and then the crunch/clang of the hammer crushes it. Or more accurately, it appears to drive the grimalkin into the Dread Forge. The surface of the Dread Forge, once inert black iron appears to soften and turn a molten red. The smell of brimstone and Sulphur fills your nostrils, and soot your lungs, provoking rasping coughs. There is a feline caterwaul from the Grimalkin as it is absorbed into the Dread Forge, the sounds echoing around you.
After a moment, there is a low bass rumbling, and the molten surface of the dream forge is disturbed as a [pond when a rock is thrown in the water, in this case the pebble being the Grimalkin. Waves move outward from where the evil relic was absorbed, rebound from its edge, and move back towards the middle. Morlin backs away, a stunned look on his face, and his hammer slipping from his fingers to fall to the ground. Them surface of the Dread Forge begins to bubble and pop, with molten droplets falling at first near the forge, but the bubbles are growing larger….”

I think Vulcan's mechanics can take it from here.


Very nice. I like that better than what I suggested!
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grodog
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2019 7:57 pm    Post subject: Re: Artifact Destruction Ramifications Reply with quote

edmundscott wrote:
The master smith can smash this statuette with his hammer as long as it's performed upon the Dread Forge (an ancient artifact sacred to Demogorgon from the days when lizard people ruled the surface world).

Smashing the Grimalkin idol upon the Dread Forge destroys both artifacts.

So what happens, dramatically and mechanically, when this occurs?


I'm curious about the relationship (I presume opposition, but I don't know that, of course) between the Grimalkin/cats/Ehlonna and the Dread Forge/lizardmen/Demogorgon.

To me, this is the crux of the matter, since the means of destruction for artifacts are unique (or at least are in my interpretation of them!), so why and how are cats/Ehlonna against lizardmen/Demogorgon? Knowing the answer to that would help, for me as DM, to shape the nature and consequences of the mutual destruction of the two artifacts.

Some of my thought process is outlined @ http://www.canonfire.com/cf/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=268 in case that's useful context.

Allan.
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