D&D 4th Edition Ideas for spicing up a Far Realm encounter


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    Ideas for spicing up a Far Realm encounter

    Tomorrow night the groups going to deal with a beholder and some other eldrich beasties while they try to stop a Far Realms incursion. Any ideas on interesting window dressing, terrain, or messing with the laws of physics I can toss in to remind everyone that this isn't a normal encounter?

    Playing 4E with access to a ludicrous amount of tiles and terrain effects.

 

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    An ongoing theme in Far Realm and the seminal Lovecraft stories is corruption of the natural. Your wee beasties could spring forth by bursting out of normal humans, then grow almost instantly to full normal size. A good example of this would be from the movie "Hellboy", where Rasputin essentially gives birth to his god.

    Twisted and mutated animal corpses could be a normal part of the landscape. Trees that bleed and have useless eyes growing on them. The light is subtly 'wrong', setting the character's teeth on edge. Sounds that are just beyond the range of normal hearing pound on their senses, causing a -1 to attack and skill rolls. Twists in the fabric of reality, visible to the enemy but not to the characters, allow them to step from one part of the battlefield to another.

  • #3
    There are a number of Far Realm-related traps with interesting effects, like the "Far Realm Anomaly" trap (from The Book of Vile Darkness), which causes a random mutation in the victim, such as tentacles bursting out from behind their eyes, causing permanent blindness until the victim can get magical healing. :P

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    DMG2 has a Far Realms star trap. It's actually level 29, and I'm assuming your PCs are lower level, but you could lower the level. There's also a Maddening Mural trap, which IMO should change to give clues to disable traps, take down opponent's defenses, and so forth.

    I don't know if this is at all useful for you, but I've drawn up (currently generic) alienists and star warlocks. Given my current campaign is in Dark Sun, they're for practice rather than use. So far anyway.

    PS stealing ideas from previous editions is cool... but is there a Book of Vile Darkness for 4e?
    Last edited by (Psi)SeveredHead; Thursday, 4th October, 2012 at 01:21 AM.
    If your D20 Modern PCs don't fear guns, use a bigger battlefield! Smaller battlefields are melee friendly. Cool battlefields in the Forest and Woodlands section of http://www.angelfire.com/rpg2/dungeonsunlimited/
    You cannot spend more power points on a psionic power than your manifester level. The metacap is there for balance reasons.
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    Quote Originally Posted by (Psi)SeveredHead View Post
    PS stealing ideas from previous editions is cool... but is there a Book of Vile Darkness for 4e?
    Yup: Dungeons & Dragons Roleplaying Game Official Home Page - Product (Book of Vile Darkness)

  • #6
    Consider acquiring an octopus, attaching it to one of your player's heads, and telling him/her, "THIS IS WHAT IT FEELS LIKE TO HAVE YOUR BRAIN EATEN BY A MIND FLAYER!"






    ...Oh, wait. You probably wanted to spice up an encounter for the PCs, didn't you?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phebius View Post
    Tomorrow night the groups going to deal with a beholder and some other eldrich beasties while they try to stop a Far Realms incursion. Any ideas on interesting window dressing, terrain, or messing with the laws of physics I can toss in to remind everyone that this isn't a normal encounter?

    Playing 4E with access to a ludicrous amount of tiles and terrain effects.
    What if at some point they can only see thru the beholder's eyestalks (as opposed to their own...eyes that is...or PC eyestalks could work too ), such that they have no line of sight to the beholder? Maybe there's some trick to being able to regain their normal vision, like a ritual skill challenge to close a Far Realmsian gate, or using a dominate spell to get the beholder to blast a specific mcguffin.

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    That went ridiculously well. Their earlier non-far realm encounter went long so we didn't get to devote a ton of time to the far realm part, which I think helped it out. The PCs got drawn into a portal where they had to skill challenge and page 42 in order to find each other before they could work their way through the portal. The portal was a potpourri of Lovecraftian goodness which I made up on the fly. One of the players said aloud something about being trapped there forever, and I wasn't about to contradict her, which was unnerving the crap out of everyone with every failed skill roll or attempt to use a skill which didn't work. Eventually I let them know that rather than attempt a skill check of some sort, they could attempt to see the area where they were as it truly was.

    This is where it got fun.

    The player of the wizard decided to do this and succeeded, so I said it was the equivilent of this and showed her the picture:




    (I picked it special for her, knowing that optical illusions mess with her.)


    The fighter got the worse of it. Her Player has grapheme synesthesia, which manifests with numbers and colors. (The Player, not the PC.It's a real thing. . Her brain puts certain colors and numbers together as the same thing. So for example, she sees the number 4 as blue.) So when I showed her a picture of a bunch of numbers colored randomly, she literally recoiled from it. The other players didn't get to see what they were seeing, which just added to the fun. Once they got through, I went with Pope Nag's idea of the blank white space and ended the session by plunking down a beholder mini in front of them and said, "see you next week"

    I love this game, sometimes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phebius View Post
    The fighter got the worse of it. Her Player has grapheme synesthesia, which manifests with numbers and colors. (The Player, not the PC.It's a real thing. . Her brain puts certain colors and numbers together as the same thing. So for example, she sees the number 4 as blue.) So when I showed her a picture of a bunch of numbers colored randomly, she literally recoiled from it.
    That feels really kinda evil, to me. Almost like it's a line that I would not be willing to cross. I guess that this is where it helps if you know your players really well, and knowing how far you can take something like that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Octangula View Post
    That feels really kinda evil, to me. Almost like it's a line that I would not be willing to cross. I guess that this is where it helps if you know your players really well, and knowing how far you can take something like that.
    Well, just to reassure you, I am qualified to say that I know her very well, and know that there was no actual harm done. For her seeing that was the equivalent of the other player seeing the optical illusion. Just a brief mind screw.

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