Monday, April 11, 2016

Taking A Tip From The Old Stories

Despite my expectations, my PCs managed to survive the Imperial assault at Arda I and get off planet, saving numerous key members of Rebel command staff in the process. What I expected to be the end of my game turned out to be more of a season finale than a series finale. So what happens now? Well, thankfully I've always got an escape plan in mind, and in this I'm taking a cue from old stories. What do I mean? Well, let's dig in.

A Monster of Myth And Legend
To be blunt, I want to give my PCs a shot at Vader. However, to me Vader is more than just some end boss. He, in many ways, qualifies as being the end boss. It may be fanboyish of me, but with how Vader is built up, I can really only see two characters in the Star Wars universe being able to take him down - Luke and Leia - and that's because the familial tie means Vader will hold back and let them.

Star Wars Rebels has not backed down from this perspective. Vader is not a foe in that show, he is an act of god and a force of nature. He can not be stopped, he can't even be slowed. He takes out four CR-90s and their accompanying fighter wings with a single TIE Fighter. That's just crazy. If you read Lords of the Sith he does even crazier things.

Vader is the kind of thing that doesn't get Stats. He just...does things. So how do you defeat something like that? Well, when hunting jabberwocks, you need a vorpal sword.

Myth and Legend
A lot of the old stories in myth and legend are about monsters that can't be killed except for with one weapon, or one type of weapon. You see tis a lot in shows like Supernatural where the monsters of the week have specific weaknesses like a "wooden steak made from holly and coated in lamb's blood" and things of that nature. There is the legend of the Jabberwock itself.

Now getting these items often involves a quest in and of itself. That quest frequently has four primary steps.

  1. Discover the need for the item
  2. Discover the identity of the needed item
  3. Discover the location of the item
  4. Use the Item
Frequently in myths and legends these items get used once then go away. Sometimes they don't. That part isn't all that important.

A Touch of the Old School
My hope from this is to get some of the feel of old adventure movies. Think Clash of the Titans, the Last Unicorn, or even the Black Cauldron. From there, we can culminate to a more fantastic ending. Maybe we'll even get a hapilly ever after.

The only problem is...I have 6 PCs. This is a "problem" because that means I have 6 key components to how the game turns out that can kick over the sand castle at any time (and they should be able to do that.) It is also important though because it means that even if there is only one Vorpal Sword, there needs to be something significant for all six people.

Fortunately that's just a matter of setup.

A Need For Magic
The need for the item is easily planned out. I have an idea in mind already, and my PCs will find out about that in the very next session. More will happen then just that, but they'll still find out. Really, discovering the need is as easy as the initial prompt for adventure and giving the information.

The Item's Identity
In this case, I already have an item in mind. For your own use, think of what you want the item to do. In general this works best by giving the monster some impenetrable defense, and then making an item that ignores that source of nigh invulnerability.

The Location
this is where questing begins. Not only does it take research, but getting the item is an adventure in and of itself. This should appeal to anyone who loves Adventure like Indiana Jones. There will be traps, warnings, mysticism, danger, conflict, the whole nine yards. It should be fun with ramping up to a climax when...

The Use
...the PCs finally use the item to slay the beast.

Done right this all works together  to give you a big climactic battle where the PCs kill that w hich can't be killed. Of course, this being an RPG they may still all die. That's for the dice to decide.

No comments:

Post a Comment