Sheoloth: Legend conversion (Completed - now in editing)

Discover the Legend RPG, Mongoose's fantasy game.
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Re: A Legend City setting

Postby The Wolf » Mon Oct 14, 2013 7:03 am

I did offer to write a complete setting for Matt, but he decided in the end that it would be easier to use the material Mongoose already has and convert/pitch it to Legend.

After looking at the wealth of written text for this particular project, I agree with him. It would be a waste of good resources not to put this one out there as a Legend product. Rather like with Spider God's Bride, only this is complete with 100s of pages of text and maps/art already sorted.

I'll be starting to convert it this week now I've got an open work-slot.
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Re: A Legend City setting

Postby The Wolf » Mon Oct 14, 2013 7:12 am

Prime_Evil wrote:Even a direct conversion of d20 / Pathfinder material is likely to have a very different 'feel' to the original version simply because Legend is a very different game system that favours a different style of play.
Exactly, look at how Spider God's Bride translated over to Legend simply because many of the d20 monsters just don't exist in the setting for starters.
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Re: A Legend City setting

Postby The Wolf » Mon Oct 14, 2013 10:28 am

I've just dived into the creation myth of the orignal, whilst cool, I think a shadow dragon and demons is a far better fit for Legend and so I've whipped up an alt-history based on those concepts.

As is, the previous concept was spiders and the Dark Mother who took on a spider form. Yeah, for me that's way too close to Llolth I'm afraid and as much as I love the Queen of the Demonweb, it's just not a grand fit for Legend.

DW.
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Re: A Legend City setting

Postby warlock1971 » Mon Oct 14, 2013 2:22 pm

I love the D&D Shadow Dragons and can't wait to see your spin on them.
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Re: A Legend City setting

Postby The Wolf » Mon Oct 14, 2013 2:28 pm

The idea came to me from images of Maleficient as a dragon...something I have always loved.

Image

Thanks in part to this new image, I have a clear idea of who I want the Dark Mother to be.
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Re: A Legend City setting

Postby warlock1971 » Mon Oct 14, 2013 2:32 pm

Awesome sauce! Can't wait to get my grubby paws on this ... :D
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Re: A Legend City setting

Postby PeteN » Mon Oct 14, 2013 3:14 pm

The Wolf wrote:
Prime_Evil wrote:Even a direct conversion of d20 / Pathfinder material is likely to have a very different 'feel' to the original version simply because Legend is a very different game system that favours a different style of play.
Exactly, look at how Spider God's Bride translated over to Legend simply because many of the d20 monsters just don't exist in the setting for starters.
And that's only the start. Most d20/Pathfinder scenarios are sequential series of combats and traps designed to atrophy huge Hit Point buffers, something alien to adventures designed for RQ. You can convert the material, but even if you mook-ify all the combat encounters, eventually the NPCs or monsters will roll an unopposed crit. Then its game over for that PC until they do some R&R, unless you give them obscene amounts of specialised healing.

Now don't get me wrong, I love Morten's Xoth material, but has anyone here truly tried to play through the Spider Gods Bride with Legend characters yet? In the first scenario - encounters with city guards and criminal thugs aside - there's a small temple with 6 guard dogs, 16 funerary priests, 2-5 ghouls, the master embalmer, a blood golem, and the chief priest. The ghouls and blood golem are TPKs in themselves, let alone being ganged up on by the combined other forces of the shrine. Unless the entire party are ninjas or have some potent magics available to bypass these enemies (not a normal occurrence for adventurers in Xoth, let alone the default limits placed on sorcerers and priests by Legend), its a blood bath waiting to happen!

I doubt very much that any character can survive all ten scenarios without serious fudging by the GM. Even if by some microscopic cosmic chance you get to the final adventure, Bhaomog will kill you. Of course you can negotiate the adventures via cunning and trickery, but lets face it, that's not the intuitive first action of most player characters. ;)

So my advice to you guys is to write adventures from scratch, properly tailored to the rules, rather than converting d20 stuff. It'll save you a lot of time and headaches in the long run.
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Re: A Legend City setting

Postby The Wolf » Mon Oct 14, 2013 3:19 pm

That's my plan, Pete, when I get around to doing any Legend adventures I'd do them from scratch designed for the Legend rules.
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Re: A Legend City setting

Postby The Wolf » Mon Oct 14, 2013 6:11 pm

warlock1971 wrote:Awesome sauce! Can't wait to get my grubby paws on this ... :D
It should be good, and perhaps then I can make Prime_Evil's companion product a reality.
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Re: A Legend City setting

Postby Prime_Evil » Mon Oct 14, 2013 7:46 pm

PeteN wrote:And that's only the start. Most d20/Pathfinder scenarios are sequential series of combats and traps designed to atrophy huge Hit Point buffers, something alien to adventures designed for RQ. You can convert the material, but even if you mook-ify all the combat encounters, eventually the NPCs or monsters will roll an unopposed crit. Then its game over for that PC until they do some R&R, unless you give them obscene amounts of specialised healing.
This is a very important point - combat in Legend is not a war of attrition. A single lucky hit by a minor NPC can quickly take a PC out of the battle. And due to way Combat Actions work in Legend, being outnumbered is very bad. A seasoned adventurer can quickly be taken down by a group of poorly-trained mooks if they seriously outnumber him, unless the adventurer has a positional advantage that helps to counterbalance the weight of numbers.

So if D&D stuff is going to be converted, its best to put a very different emphasis on it. Conversion of sandbox-style adventures is fine, provided that the emphasis is on exploration rather than combat. In an ideal 'Dungeon Crawl' for Legend / RQ 6 , there should be plenty of alternate paths through the 'dungeon', plenty of opportunities to interact with the environment (puzzles to solve, traps to disarm, inscriptions to decipher, etc), and a range of environmental hazards to keep things interesting. What should be avoided is the common (but lazy) D&D adventure design trope of chokepoints with combats that characters must win to proceed. Generally, whenever you put a 'monster' in the 'dungeon' you should try to put in a few ways that characters can avoid combat - either by using stealth, disguise, negotiation, or simply by avoiding the area entirely and seeking a different path. Players won't always take the hint, but they will do so often enough that they might stay alive for long enough to escape with a tale to tell. Use combat sparingly - two or three combat encounters per adventure is more than enough for even experienced parties!

In Legend / RQ 6, the environment where an adventure takes place should give them many opportunities to use their non-combat skills - part of the challenge of adventure design for these systems is thinking up interesting ways for characters to use skill rolls. Some of these are obvious - clues need to be found (Perception), locks need to be opened (Mechanisms), heavy objects need to moved (Brawn), obstacles need to be climbed (Athletics), and potential loot needs to be appraised (Evaluate). But don't forget some of the skills that are rarely used in play - maybe the characters need Boating to steer a raft they found down that treacherous subterranean river, maybe Track warns them about the number of creatures up ahead, or maybe Survival warns them about a potential environmental hazard. And don't forget Disguise - there is a good reason why heroes infiltrating enemy strongholds in disguise is a common trope in adventure fiction.

Also, don't forget to make use of Difficulty Levels and Opposed Rolls between PCs and NPCs to keep things interesting. Environmental hazards are the GMs best friend - use them frequently to require Opposed Skill Rolls against Evade, Resilience, and Persistence.

There should always be a few points in every adventure where social skills such as Influence, Insight, Courtesy, Oratory, or Seduction can avoid combat or provide an advantage. Maybe give the adventurers a bonus to these skill rolls if they roleplay the encounter well. Even bloodthirsty monsters may try to negotiate if they are badly outnumbered by seasoned adventurers. And try to build in a few puzzles or dilemmas that challenge the players rather that their characters - things such as riddles and moral dilemmas work fine.

Above all, remember that you are designing a place of mystery for the characters to explore. And the emphasis should be on exploration rather than slaughter. I can't emphasize this enough. As noted above, there should always be multiple meaningful paths through the environment that players can choose between and many opportunities to interact with the environment using non-combat skills. Don't forget to scatter frequent empty rooms and vacant areas along the way - these aren't just a waste of time, but rather an opportunity to establish the atmosphere of the environment through evocative descriptions.

The sense of mystery should be maintained as much as possible - try to evoke awe, wonder, and dread in equal measure. Try to give the players a sense that the aventure location has an existence independent of their presence. There is an old-school sensibility at work here that is sorely lacking in modern D&D and Pathfinder adventure design - in those games the design aesthetic seems to be that every encounter should be meaningful to the plot and most of them should lead to combat. But if you look at some of the classic adventures for old-school Runequest, it is remarkable how many incidental encounters occur that are not directly connected to the main plot and the high percentage of them that can be resolved without drawing a sword. Due to the sheer deadliness of the combat system, fighting is often the last resort when negotiations or stealth fail.
PeteN wrote:So my advice to you guys is to write adventures from scratch, properly tailored to the rules, rather than converting d20 stuff. It'll save you a lot of time and headaches in the long run.
That would be ideal, but Mongoose seems to be interested in converting selected items from their d20 back catalogue at the moment. Hopefully the conversions will be performed with sensitivity to the differences between the two game systems.
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Re: A Legend City setting

Postby The Wolf » Mon Oct 14, 2013 10:01 pm

I'd like to think I managed to get at least some of that in the recent SGB 1,2 and 3.

The interesting thing for me about Sheoloth, is that the city is presented in a very different way to many d20 products of the time. It's presented more in tune with the thinking of Legend and the NPCs are not presented in any great detail.

They are more akin to a sketch than anything.

This setting will have a lot of flavour and I'll be looking at a lot of new magic based on the Sorcery template.
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Re: A Legend City setting

Postby The Wolf » Tue Oct 15, 2013 9:22 am

I'm on Chapter 03 of this now already, mostly fluff and making thematic changes to more accurately reflect the direction I want this to go in.
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Re: A Legend City setting

Postby Prime_Evil » Tue Oct 15, 2013 10:08 am

That's excellent. However, I'd recommend that you try to be a bit more concise than the original d20 version. Watch out for unnecessary adjectives and subordinate clauses. Also watch out for the passive voice.
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Re: A Legend City setting

Postby RangerDan » Tue Oct 15, 2013 10:40 am

Prime_Evil wrote:Also watch out for the passive voice.
The passive voice has always been unfairly maligned. :D
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Re: A Legend City setting

Postby The Wolf » Tue Oct 15, 2013 10:57 am

I won't be editing this apart from removing certain things and doing the thematic changes to it, many of the chapters (03) require very little in the way of alteration. I will have to seriously re-work the Dark Mother though I think.

We shall see when I hit that section!
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Re: A Legend City setting

Postby The Wolf » Wed Oct 16, 2013 7:23 am

The game plan for this - revise the sections on the first pass and make any thematic changes, then add in mechanics. I'll be highlighting things that need mechanics as I go to make things easier though.

Chapter 01 - 04 done so far.

Chapter 05 (in progress)

Chapter 05 is a magic section and will require some suitable tweaking/re-creation I think.
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Re: A Legend City setting

Postby The Wolf » Thu Oct 17, 2013 7:13 am

So, today's work on Legend begins with Chapter 05 and the removal of Necromantic Domination. Not as though I have anything against dominating creatures using the undead, it just seemed a little redundant to include this when Legend has the Dominate (Species) spell and Sorcery is pretty badass in that regard.

So I have replaced it with Shadowcraft, which is a way the drow of this version of Sheoloth can craft objects (including construction material) from shadow. You can also use it to turn creatures into living shadows that are subservient to a drow master.

I'm leaving Fleshcrafting and Virurgy in place, though they'll be converted to Legend format and I'll be making some new drow-specific diseases like I did with SGB and the poisons.

Fun!
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Re: Sheoloth: Legend conversion (Chapter 05)

Postby The Wolf » Thu Oct 17, 2013 9:23 am

Manic Laughter
The drow are quite whimsical and the thought of a person laughing themselves to death, amuses them greatly. So the Sorcerers developed a disease that uses potent magic to induce a slow-building state of amusement in the victim, little titters at first, laughter, guffaws and untimely death. The Manic Laughter disease is often known as the Smiling Death or the Killing Joke amongst many of the drow Sorcerers who practice this field.

Application: Ingestion
Onset Time: 1D6 minutes
Duration: 2D6 hours
Resistance Time: One Resistance roll at the Onset, another at the end of the disease.
Potency: 90
Resistance: Persistence.
Conditions: A failed Resistance roll brings on the first few amused giggles, then as the disease progresses the Adventurer suffers further and louder effects over the Duration, getting louder and more raucous as time progresses. During this time they begin to suffer the effects of Fatigue as well as uncontrollable shakes and shivers. One hour before their death they get one more Resistance roll to save their life, if this fails the victim collapses into fits of hysterics, a terrible smile frozen on their features – dead as a post.
Antidote/Cure: Curse Disease spell, as well as the Antidote made from bat guano and demon spittle.

Smilex, anyone?

Petrification
Drow Sorcerers are constantly trying to come up with new ways to improve the lives of others around them, and by making a special disease which can be used to immortalise victims in stone without the aid of a dangerous magical creature, they have cornered the market on impromptu statuary. This disease turns a potential victim’s skin into a dark marble coloured statue and makes it as hard as rock. It is useful for parties, or preserving that famous gladiator you wanted to show to your friends.

Application: Injection
Onset Time: 1D3 hours
Duration: 3D6 hours then permanent.
Resistance Time: One Resistance roll at the end of the Onset.
Potency: 110
Resistance: Resilience.
Conditions: If the Resistance roll is failed, the disease takes hold and for the first few hours the victim is in intense agony, followed by a period of lethargy as they begin to slow down. Their blood flows thicker and thicker until they turn to a marble-like stone in the last few stages (minutes) of the disease. The disease kills them outright and leaves only the empty shell to be posed before it sets entirely solid in the last hour of the process.
Antidote/Cure: A Curse Disease spell.
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Re: Sheoloth: Legend conversion (Chapter 05)

Postby Prime_Evil » Thu Oct 17, 2013 12:07 pm

Interesting. I presume that shadowcasting will be like the Obtenebration discipline from the Old World of Darkness? That could work.
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Re: Sheoloth: Legend conversion (Chapter 05)

Postby The Wolf » Thu Oct 17, 2013 12:28 pm

Shadowcraft is the art of using magic and focus on a crystal core, to literally transform an object into a shadow construct. So you could make a shadow lamp if you so desired, it'd probably be a true black-light lamp as well. Or if you wanted a unique guardian, how about a shadow wolf. Rules are there (simple enough) to allow you to transform creatures and objects to your drow's heart's desire.

It uses elements of Sorcery, because most drow males who follow arcane power paths are Sorcerers.
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