ZEITGEIST [Spoilers] Title Revealed When?
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  1. #1

    [Spoilers] Title Revealed When?

    So, a quick question. Nicodemus, Nicodemus the Gnostic. At what stage of the AP should one reveal the 'Gnostic' part? The book doesn't seem to offer much guidance on that point. Is it something anyone in the Ob actually knows? It doesn't seem like 'Nicodemus the Gnostic' is an important enough title to be a notable historical figure.
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  2. #2
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    Spoilers ahead.

    Spoiler:

    There was William Miller, monk and healer.

    He got the nickname Nicodemus the Gnostic for how much he smoked and his constant questioning. (This is blatantly inspired by my own dad, William Nock, who got his 'nick'name in the Air Force because he picked up a nicotine habit in order to take advantage of more frequent breaks. They called him Nicotine Nock. When I was growing up, friends just called him Nick.)

    He was not famous, though.

    During the war, still as Nicodemus, he was convinced he was right, and kept tending to wounded eladrin (and poisoning ones who weren't useful) until he persuaded Kasvarina to join him. That ended badly, with him dying, her daughter being killed as an avatar of Srasama, and Kasvarina herself seeing her people devastated.

    Around 17 years later he was operating under the name William Miller again, having possessed some schmuck and taken his body. Then he got burned alive on his pyre. He abandoned the William Miller identity.

    Back to being Nicodemus, he founded the Obscurati with Kasvarina and the first Jierre, both of whom knew who he was.

    Since "William Miller" was the prominent historical figure, Nicodemus has never told anyone (at least, no one he let live) that he was Miller. But he goes by 'Nicodemus' and smokes Leaf of Nicodemus (which, to be clear, he didn't invent or anything). Since it's a conspiracy founded on secrets, everyone assumes it's a Nic-name.

    Though really, only the ghost council and the heads of the cells even know he exists. He would tell them at least the basics of the story of why he and Kasvarina founded the Ob to topple the Clergy. So they'd know he went by Nicodemus the Gnostic for a while.

    Now he's just Nicodemus, though maybe a cell leader in adventure 7 might call him "Nicodemus the Gnostic," and he could laugh at that old name being from his days as a monk.
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  3. #3
    Supremely interesting, thanks for the info and the story.

    You know, it never occurred to me that Nic possessed some poor schmuck to set up Pala. Quite an interesting little demonstration of his ruthlessness even at a time when he was at his most benevolent, setting up an enlightened nation; then again, maybe he was possessing a corrupt clericist.

  4. #4
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    While we're at this topic... @RangerWickett do you have any "official" headcanon on what exactly he is? I understand that being mid-teleportation in the range of literal godsplosion tends to produce peculiar effects, but, knowing my players, they won't be satisfied with "he's just a ghost with some unique properties and Place_of_death=basically whole Lanjyr". Nothing about needlewire is stated in details, as far as I could find. And at one point, I believe, McBannin clearly states that "whatever that Nicodemus is, he is no ghost".

  5. #5
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    He dead. There's no body. He can choose to manifest as a ghostly apparition, but normally possesses people.

  6. #6
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    And Macbannin is right. He's more than a ghost.

  7. #7
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    No official relation to trillith/Gidim? Oh well

  8. #8
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    Trillith are wholly unrelated.

    Nic ends up using some magic derived from the Gidim to power up in adventure 13, but he was previously unconnected.
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  9. #9
    I'm only on adventure 7 - concluding it next session with my players, and eventually I'm sure my players will want to know more as to what he is aside from a ghost, or spirit, or dead. From my skipping ahead a bit, I almost got the idea that Nicodemus is - or, at the least - becomes an idea.

    As a DM, I am perfectly fine with the answer that Nicodemus is all those things and none of them at the same time. That he is almost the embodiment of determination itself.

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