Saturday, September 14, 2013

30 Day Challenge - Days 14 and 15 - Greenwood is my man!

Day – 14 Slate & Mihg plus Elminster

The player was in the town square of the village of Luln. Around him the town burned its citizians running, screaming and dying at the hands of the goblin raiders. Before him, calmly sitting on a cracked fountain were two old men, a human in the brown robes of a Gray Mage and a wizened dwarf with an eye patch and enough bandages on his leg to seem overdone. The two were arguing with one another over the physics of magic.

The player attempted to engage them in conversation, to beg them for aid and information. They would have none of it; until the goblins attacked them. The dwarf threw his axe, it lobbed of a goblin head and then returned to him, the Gray Mage whispered words in a strange tongue and lightening crashed from the sky killing several more. When the battle was over the two went back to their argument as if nothing happened.

Slate (The Gray Mage) and Mihg the dwarf have been appearing in my “Age of Wanderers” game over at roleplayinggames.net for quite some time. They represent the old guard, the people who while once heroes now need to pass that legacy on or die trying to live up to their own legend.

The two bicker and word-joust and generally seem out of place in village raids and such, but they also impart knowledge to the heroes of the game when they appear. Later in the same adventure they sat, watched and gave pointers to the player AND the goblins he was fighting.  It was quite entertaining to write and the player got a few chuckles as well.

More officially, I am an utter Elminster fanboy. I have read every book he’s been in (even the horrible 4th Editions based ones – Please Greenwood! UNDO THAT CRAP!), and have tried to shoe-horn him into every Forgotten Realms (and even some d20 Modern) games and sometimes I look at a situation and think “What would Elminster do?”

Yes, Elminster is Greenwood’s little Mary Sue, yes he is so over-powered that Goddesses swoon over him and he has access to magics that break every rule of every edition of Dungeons & Dragons, but you know what? I love him for it!

To me, Elminster is the Marvel Comics Merlin of the Dungeons & Dragons universe and he needs to be used as such by Dungeon Masters. No, he doesn’t come to the heroes’ aid (Hell, look at the Knight of Myth Drannor books he only eventually shows up and accidently saves the heroes while trying to stop the other big 3 magic users from going nuclear), he manipulates them without them ever know. He acts as a symbol of something lost and uses that to get young fools to do what he needs them to do (Look at the Harpers). The rare appearance by Elminster is worth the few groans for a licensed character show up, but you know what, in the end, when the players realize they been played, the look of “Damn it! We trusted Elminster … AGAIN!” is worth those groans.  

Day 15 – It’s a dragon, it’s a mage, its nothing but eldritch eyes and bones … we’re screwed!

I have never, never managed to get a Dracolich into any game I’ve run despite so much trying, so much planning so much wanting … it never worked out. Makes me grumble like Yosemite Sam!

Dracoliches are to me like the be all and end all of Undead. They’re dead (so they can’t very well be killed again), they’re dragons (which gives everyone wet pants to begin with) and they are utterly evil, insane, liches! I mean, dragons alone are scary. Liches alone are scary but both together and you got enough fear to make a party just up and quit on you and go open a bar someplace.

2 comments:

  1. Nice. Mine is close: vampire dragons. I was introduced to one in a FR trilogy I just read.

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  2. Man I agree with you on Elminster, he's bad friggin assed! and I've used him more often than not in games I've ran in FR>

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