Ideas for an NPC Sholar wanted


Hello all, I am running a campaign for the past few weeks and it is about to hit a climax. Without going into great detail, A scholar was kidnapped and will soon be potentailly freed. At the inset of the adventure the party was baited with promises of wealth and powerful items. What could I have this scholar give to a group of warrior types to wet their appetites and make them feel as if their sacrifices were worth it?

I am not to up on scholars at this point and since there are no magical weapons readily lying about. I was wondering what to make the prize, be it skills, a feat, equipment, information on even greater riches. Not too sure.

Thanks in advance for any ideas.

Most Scholars are well-known in their respective city/country and are either well-liked (rarely..) or feared. But, want it or not, most powerful men in said city/country will have to interact with him (if only to make sure their enemies don't do it first to gain an edge).

So, a Scholar is a wonderful source of socio-political contacts. What government official (or even king) would refuse an audience to a group of adventurers if they had the backing of the Scholar? 8)
Was it a sworn promise of reward or only rumor of it?

Rarely does Conan ever reap the promise of such wealth!

Scholars are known for their treachery -- a double cross my be in order. Though I think our Guest has the best reward -- an in-game connection can be worth 10x its value in silver -- silver is quickly spent, but an ally is forever!

What level are we talking about here? Give more info about the Scholar and the situation . . .
OK, Thanks for the feedback. Basically the scholar was the sole bit of organization and education that helped keep order in an otherwise corrupt Nordheim village. Well he was kidnapped by a group of Northern Man Apes that live in an underground decadent society. I am uncertain at this point at exactly what their motives were, but most likely to have him work for them and take over the Overground Man Ape society that shunned them.

So when they decided to join the Nordheim group going to free the scholar, the group was told there would be great reward (most likely as surely Ipidem, The great scholar would be eternally grateful)

The characters are currently 4th level and will probably be 5th by the time the encounter ensues, but possibly 4th depending on their choices.

I actually thought about him double crossing them, but I'm not sure if that's the route I want to go as they will need to get past all the manapes to get there in the first place.

I also thought of the Scholar aiding them against the Man-Apes during an escape.

I am just not sure what to reward them? I have some thoughts, but am really looking for suggestions.

Thanks again
A lot depends on what the party considers great wealth or powerful items.

An obvious choice would be Akbitanan Weapons. Either a single two handed weapon, one martial and one simple, or several simple weapons. You may even grant a rare "hafted" weapon, such as battleaxe or warhammer. The haft could be made from a rare wood that matches the increased hardness and HP of Akbitanan weapons. A bow with a strength bonus would also be a worthy gift if the party has archers.

Since the party is warriors you may wish to give a magical gift. The book states that enchanted items can not be made, knowledge has been lost, but also has Sorcerous Protection listed as a Thief ability. This implies that minor protective items may still be made. While granting a unique class feature is
far to generous you could give a reduced version. Maybe give them items which grant a +2 save (any one type) once per day and has a chance to burn out.

In either case the reward could be used as a future plot hook. Since enchanted items and hafted Akbitanan weapons are so rare somebody will eventually notice them and want to know where they came from. Maybe the haft of the weapon is broken and the party wants to repair it, doing so could lead them to far away lands.
It really depends on what your scholar is capable of. Can he summon elementals? If so, he could call up a Salamander to eliminate a troublesome enemy or use an Earth Elemental to help build a base of operations for the PCs.

If he doesn't wield that kind of power, he might be able to use divination to reveal some valuable piece of information, such as, where is my long-lost sister? If no one in the group needs info right now, perhaps they could call on the Scholar for help in the future. A Scholar who owes you a favor can be a more valuable asset than than any Akbitanan blade.
Those are great tips, Thanks. I may decide to go with an IOU per say or perhaps a minor prize and the opportunity to do some hefty work for the scholar, and in return for that I can reward a valuable item. Along the way however I can have the scholar offer aid in many different ways, You definitely gave me some different ways of looking at it and I am appreciative as always.
Wizards in Conan stories usually offer gold (half up front, half on delivery) because gold is universally understood and appreciated by mundane adventuring types, most of which are fearful of magical items other than cheap amulets.

The only time I've ever read of a wizard granting magic items as incentives was in Robert Jordan's CONAN THE DEFENDER, where Lord Cantaro Albanus of Nemedia offers one item to each of his co-conspirators for King Garian's Dragon Throne. These were items that the wizard had little to no interest in, nor had be bothered to investigate their powers overly much. The one person who took one ended up regretting it: it was a magical sword that made its wielder into the world's greatest swordsman, but drove them insane in the process (the sword was possessed by the insane spirits of 100 master swordsmen of ages past).

I have worked up a list of masterwork weapons in another thread that preserve the superiority of Akbitanan weapons while offering wider treasure options.

I hope cheap amulets and charms are discussed in Scrolls of Skelos along with fortune telling.
I'd probably go for the "Eternal Gratitude" and "I you debt" kind of reward in cases like this. In the more Episodic campaign-style sugested where you can add and remove from PC equipment from adventure to adventure any Weapon, trinket and/or monney you give them will just be lost by the next session any way. They will probably start out "poor, hungry and naked" in their next adventure anyway... or close to it.... or at least poor. :p

So I would instead go for the "I owe you one". Then they have a scholar contact that can help them evolve the campaign, he can get them into more trouble... or even get OUT of trouble. He can, himself get into more trouble and the PC's would have to help him again as to not "loose" his favour. What good is a dead scholars service any way? :? The posibilities for more adventure where this NPC is part of the cast are endless.

That's my two cents.