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    Canonfire :: View topic - Nycadaemon in Greyhawk: Your Opinions Please
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    Nycadaemon in Greyhawk: Your Opinions Please
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    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Sun Jul 03, 2022 5:01 pm  
    Nycadaemon in Greyhawk: Your Opinions Please

    Last week in my Age of Worms game, the party, caught up in a Thieves Guild gang war, entered the City of Greyhawk's sewers to hunt down the instigator of the internecine struggle, the secretary of the Thieves Guild, one Cyril by name. (This is adapted from Rodney Thompson's Ring of Thieves side trek, by the way.)

    Instead, via the magic of the 1e DMG random encounter table, the party encountered a nycadaemon, terrorizing some homeless people. Battle ensued but, due to some complex shenanigans I need not detail, the party incarnate (a 3.5 class requiring, in this PC's case, a paladin-like adherence to a Neutral Good alignment) gained control of the nycadaemon for one hour.

    What did he do? The player, on the spot and somewhat flustered, had his character send the nycadaemon off to "hunt down Cyril! We want vengeance on Cyril!"

    Off flew the nycadaemon and so ended the session.

    What do the rest of you think should happen?

    A few additional details:

    1) It's mid-morning in Greyhawk, but the nycadaemon can polymorph self
    2) There's no reason the nycadaemon knows which specific Cyril the incarnate was referring to. He has one hour to hunt down a Cyril, any old Cyril, and get vengeance on him.

    How many people named Cyril do you think there are in Greyhawk City?
    How should I determine if the nycadaemon is successful in finding one (or more) Cyril(s) and murdering him/them?

    (Cyril the secretary of the Thieves Guild is only really known in the Thieves Quarter, so he's not a celebrity or anything.)

    Assuming some degree of success on the nycadaemon's part, I'm tempted to require an atonement for the incarnate to regain the use of his class powers. He did, after all, have a powerful evil creature under his total control for an hour and this is what he chose to do with his power.

    Opinions and suggestions, please!
    GreySage

    Joined: Aug 03, 2001
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    Sun Jul 03, 2022 7:03 pm  
    Re: Nycadaemon in Greyhawk: Your Opinions Please

    edmundscott wrote:
    What did he do? The player, on the spot and somewhat flustered, had his character send the nycadaemon off to "hunt down Cyril! We want vengeance on Cyril!"


    Did they spell the name out?

    If not, there's a chance the goddess Syrul shows up demanding to know why a nycadaemon attacked her.

    ("Vengeance on Syrul" might also be interpreted as attacking a local cult of Syrul worshipers).

    Alternatively: Saint Ceril the Relentless shows up, asking a similar question.
    Adept Greytalker

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    Sun Jul 03, 2022 8:53 pm  

    Your player should live with the consequences of his stupidity, both in trying to control a nycadaemon and in not being specific about which "Cyril" it was supposed to hunt down.

    The nycadaemon will probably go on a bloody rampage trying to find someone named "Cyril", racking up a huge body count in the process. That should lead to the PC's god being really, really angry with him, not to mention the murder charges that will probably ensue once the authorities finally manage to banish the nycadaemon and start investigating why it went on a killing spree.

    If the authorities don't just throw your player in jail for the rest of his life, they might exact a fine of all his magic items and most of his monetary wealth. He might also have to do some extensive service with the city to compensate for his crimes.

    His god might be understanding enough to not completely excommunicate him, since he was thoughtless rather than malicious, but he might have a long, long road to redemption ahead of him.

    Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.
    Black Hand of Oblivion

    Joined: Feb 16, 2003
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    Mon Jul 04, 2022 1:51 am  

    Sometimes a chart will just turn up something that, despite your every instinct, YOU JUST CAN'T IGNORE!

    "A nycadaemon?! NO! Well...maybe just a little wreaking of hav...UNLEASH THE NYCADAEMON!!!"

    Laughing I applaud you, sir!

    Certainly the rampage of a nycadaemon in search of revenge upon "CYRIL! I will FIND you Cyril! MuahahaHAHAHAHAAA!" would not cause there to be any unintended casualties... An intelligent PC might have an epiphany: "Wait. You just LOOSED a nycadaemon. Into the city. With vague instructions to annihilate 'Cyril.' ANY Cyril."

    Or, if the PCs actually know what Cyril looks like (rather than having only been told of him), the nycadaemon could have telepathically received that visual information from the mind of the incarnate. But then an intelligent PC might still come to the conclusion that unleashing a nycadaemon into the city might not have been the best idea, and that perhaps the "good guys" might want to follow up on that. After all, when that one hour is up, there will still an unfettered nycadaemon on the loose in the city.

    And woe is be unto those who might have inadvertently sewn the seed in the minds of the city's leaders that the Thieves Guild has callously unleashed a nycadaemon in the city to take out a rival.

    Oh what a day, what a lovely day! Evil Grin

    [Definitely looking forward to the update on this one.]
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    Journeyman Greytalker

    Joined: Feb 01, 2005
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    Mon Jul 04, 2022 4:57 am  

    Do you run more than one group of players? If so, it could be fun to have another group's PC get nicknamed Cyril. This allows one group to become aware of the other. The second group could end the threat and then look for the monster's master/summoner/sender. Or, realizing his mistake, the incarnate immediately sets out, companions in tow, to fix it. A team-up ensues and the Paladin keeps his gifts.

    Use this moment of spontaneity to make up your next session.

    Other Cryils (Targets): A Rhennee pirate's barge. Nerof Gasgal's niece. Derider Fanshion's prized beagle. The Master of Toad Hall's horse.
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Mon Jul 04, 2022 2:07 pm  

    In the player's defense, we were seven hours into an eight hour game, and everyone was tired, but, yeah, still . . .

    Thank you for all of these wonderful, fiendish ideas.

    The nycadaemon certainly would know about Syrul and Saint Cyril, but my inclination is that, given the vagueness of his charge, he'd probably try to find just any old easy-to-kill Cyril before confronting saint or deity. (I also don't believe there's any following of Syrul in Greyhawk City mentioned anywhere.)

    They did not provide any more information on Cyril at all, and the nycadaemon doesn't know or care who the secretary of the Thieves Guild is. I'm also going to rule that the telepathy of the nycadaemon only allows voluntary communication so nothing more was transmitted than what the player said.

    So I think the nycadaemon is just heading out looking for the very first Cyril he can find.

    What I'd still love to get is some kind of procedure, some actual rolls I could make, so that the consequence of the nycadaemon's next hour isn't just me being cruel and screwing over the player, but rather the beginning of a repentence/atonement arc and role-playing activity. But it might be fun to include some small chance of a Rhennee barge named Cyril or Derider's pet beagle as alternate targets

    Since the nycadaemon can polymorph self and has genius intelligence, I doubt it'll go on a rampage, but instead try to quickly determine where some Cyril might be and head there forthwith to end its enforced servitude with a tasty murder.

    Any ideas on a fair, preferably random, way to determine what happens?

    How common a name is Cyril anyway in Greyhawk, do you think?

    Assuming some innocent Cyril gets murdered, what seems like an appropriate atonement sacrifice for the incarnate?
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Mon Jul 04, 2022 4:24 pm  

    I think I would be tempted to treat this like a Terminator scenario, with Cyril being Sarah Connor. So for the next hour, every Cyril/Syrul/etc. in the city is on the nycadaemonís hit list. Iíd roll 1d6 to determine how many Cyrils are in the city and, once the party understands the gravity of the situation, must use Investigation/ gather information/ divination magic to either track down said nycadaemon and stop it or track down the various Cyrils in Greyhawk and protect them a la Reese. I would definitely give them a small chance to rectify the situation before any damage is done, but if they fail then the incarnate needs to face the consequences.
    GreySage

    Joined: Aug 03, 2001
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    Mon Jul 04, 2022 8:18 pm  

    edmundscott wrote:
    The nycadaemon certainly would know about Syrul and Saint Cyril, but my inclination is that, given the vagueness of his charge, he'd probably try to find just any old easy-to-kill Cyril before confronting saint or deity.


    You're stronger than I am. The similarity in names would be too hilarious for me to pass up.

    Quote:
    (I also don't believe there's any following of Syrul in Greyhawk City mentioned anywhere.)


    Well, if any cult is likely to disguise itself as something else, it'd be Syrul's.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Tue Jul 05, 2022 10:14 am  

    edmundscott wrote:
    ...Since the nycadaemon can polymorph self and has genius intelligence, I doubt it'll go on a rampage...


    -If it was inclined to go on a public rampage, would it have been down in the sewers, harassing random social derelicts? Unless the PCs caught just as it was beginning it's rampage... Evil Grin

    edmundscott wrote:
    ...How common a name is Cyril anyway in Greyhawk, do you think...


    You didn't mention the year, but if just one male in 1,000 has the personal name, family name, or nickname of "Cyril" or something similar (which seems
    a conservative guess), then you're looking at dozens of targets, not just 1d6. And of course, females could have that name, too (1 in 5,000?). maybe you could cross reference the number of "Cyril"s in Jason Zavoda's index (or any other source) who live in Greyhawk City, vs. the number of people in Greyhawk City at that time, to get the percentage?
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Tue Jul 05, 2022 3:23 pm  

    Okay, after some more thought, my inclination is to do this: At the next game, I'll have the incarnate player roll a d6, without telling him why. The d6 will determine what the nycadaemon does:

    1-2) seek out and attack St. Ceril the Relentless, presumably in Matinsmore, the stronghold of the Lords of Gloaming in the Griff Mountains (or Rakers?) (though it's unclear if St. Ceril still resides there) [this makes what the incarnate did a Chaotic action and affects his class powers]
    3-4) find the nearest Cyril in the City of Greyhawk and kill him [this makes what the Incarnate did an Evil action and affects his class powers]
    5-6) return to lower planes and attack Syrul either at the Castle of Ugly Truth in Gehenna or the Castle of Beautiful Lies in Hades [no alignment ramifications, but the equivalent of drawing the Deck of Many Things card instigating the undying hatred of powerful outsider, in this case Syrul]

    Now an awkward question: Can the nycadaemon actually get to the Griffs/Rakers (in the next hour) or back home to the lower planes?

    Nowhere in either 1e or 3e do I see a nycadaemon ability that allows them interplanar travel. Word of Recall (1e) doesn't work across planes, nor does greater teleport (3e). 1eAD&D calls out that they can enter all of the lower planes, but that's it. 1eAD&D also mentions that mezzodaemons can enter the astral & ethereal, but doesn't say so for nycadaemons. The 5e nycaloth also doesn't have any travel powers.

    So it looks like a 3e nycaloth could blind teleport to Matinsmore, but all nycaloths in all editions are stuck on the Prime once they get here, right?

    Am I missing something? Is there an explanation for the nycadaemon's presence other than someone summoned him and he's stuck here?

    Also, does a nycadaemon have any better way of finding someone in Greyhawk City than, you know, just asking around . . . ?
    GreySage

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    Wed Jul 06, 2022 7:04 am  

    edmundscott wrote:
    Nowhere in either 1e or 3e do I see a nycadaemon ability that allows them interplanar travel. Word of Recall (1e) doesn't work across planes, nor does greater teleport (3e). 1eAD&D calls out that they can enter all of the lower planes, but that's it. 1eAD&D also mentions that mezzodaemons can enter the astral & ethereal, but doesn't say so for nycadaemons. The 5e nycaloth also doesn't have any travel powers.

    So it looks like a 3e nycaloth could blind teleport to Matinsmore, but all nycaloths in all editions are stuck on the Prime once they get here, right?


    In 1e, the description of the ensnarement spell from Iggwilv's Demonomicon states "When the creature brings the caster proof that the task demanded of it is completed, the creature will be transported instantly back to its own plane."

    In 2e, the teleport without error power all yugoloths have (usable at will) allowed them to cross planes. They could also summon via gate others of their kind.

    In 2e, a gate spell stays open until the summoned being completes whatever task required of it.

    In 3e, an uncontrolled being summoned via a gate spell "may return to its home plane at any time."
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Wed Jul 06, 2022 9:50 am  

    edmundscott wrote:
    ... I'll have the incarnate player roll a d6, without telling him why. The d6 will determine what the nycadaemon does:

    1-2) seek out and attack St. Ceril the Relentless, presumably in Matinsmore, the stronghold of the Lords of Gloaming in the Griff Mountains (or Rakers?) [this makes what the incarnate did a Chaotic action and affects his class powers]... 3-4) find the nearest Cyril in the City of Greyhawk and kill him [this makes what the Incarnate did an Evil action and affects his class powers]...


    -I seems to me that the player was thoughtless. Now, in the same way that Good doesn't necessarily mean stupid, or Evil doesn't necessarily mean stupid, or Chaotic doesn't mean necessarily mean stupid, or Lawful doesn't mean necessarily mean stupid, I don't think stupid necessarily means Chaotic or Evil. It's just stupid...

    edmundscott wrote:
    ... 5-6) return to lower planes and attack Syrul either at the Castle of Ugly Truth in Gehenna or the Castle of Beautiful Lies in Hades [no alignment ramifications, but the equivalent of drawing the Deck of Many Things card instigating the undying hatred of powerful outsider, in this case Syrul]...


    ...to turn this around, if a NE character gave a poorly worded command that resulted in a Good result (e.g., attacking Syrul), would that make the character Good?

    I think atonement might be in order, but the atonement should be for stupidity, not for a Chaotic action or an Evil action.

    edmundscott wrote:
    ... I'll have the incarnate player roll a d6, without telling him why. The d6 will determine what the nycadaemon does:

    ... 3-4) find the nearest Cyril in the City of Greyhawk and kill him...


    -What are the odds that the closest Cyril in Greyhawk just happens to be the intended target?

    EDIT: Good God, grammar. Embarassed


    Last edited by jamesdglick on Thu Jul 07, 2022 12:30 pm; edited 1 time in total
    Adept Greytalker

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    Wed Jul 06, 2022 5:03 pm  

    My thoughts on the possible consequences based on what you described your d6 roll to be:

    -If the nycadaemon travels to the Rakers, no alignment changes or consequences. I don't see any way the nycadaemon can get there in time. It'll be angry at your player for ruining its fun, so it may try to get some kind of revenge on him at a later date. Now you've got plenty of adventure fodder to work with later on.

    -If the nycadaemon attacks some poor random person called Cyril, then your player's probably going to face some severe legal and divine repercussions. Given that he's probably fairly high level to fight a nycadaemon and survive, both the civil and religious authorities will probably try to use his talents instead of just jailing or smiting him. He might have to fulfill some very dangerous quest that's decided on by the city courts. On the religious side, he'll have to fulfil the requirements of an atonement spell, or the equivalent if you're playing a later edition. Again, you can probably milk this for adventure hooks.

    -If the nycadaemon goes after Syrul, and the goddess gets mad at your player for commanding the attack, it's just like the first scenario except that now you as a DM have an angry goddess to use instead of "only" a nycadaemon. Now you can really make your player suffer!

    Of course, by "suffer" I mean "challenge", with your player and the rest of the party reaping the rewards if they succeed. It'd be a scale of how much grief your player will suffer, and how much he'll prosper if he survives.
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Sun Jul 10, 2022 4:48 pm  

    The player rolled the "enmity of Syrul" option. I'm going to start a new thread soliciting angry goddess suggestions.
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Sat Jul 16, 2022 4:24 pm  

    Not specifying the target is pretty funny!
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