log in or register to remove this ad

 

D&D 5E Mephits on strike

Inspired by Mephit Messages

Mephits have been used since the dawn of time to act as messengers between incredibly powerful beings.

The hours are unceasing, the danger is real (often from the people they are couriering from), and the pay is minimal.

Well, they are sick of it and have decided to unionize to get proper benefits and wages.

They solicit the pcs to help in ensuring this crazy idea actually succeeds?

How would you run such a game?
 
Last edited:

log in or register to remove this ad

It makes me think of China Miéville's novel Kraken. Not one of his best novels, but one of the subplots is that wizard familiars were all on strike. In my planescape game, if the party ever visited the Society of Luminiferous Aether in Sigil I was going to have it be surrounded by a picket line of cats and owls.
 

aco175

Legend
Kind of reminds me of the thing in Harry Potter that could not own clothes or it was freed. Bigger question is if they did this since the dawn of time, how did they get the idea to boycott. Like telling the sky not to rain or fire not to burn.
 


First, I'd need to establish a setting where mephits are common and reliable messengers that people rely on.

Then, I'd get the player to buy into that concept, brainstorming with them how ready access to such messengers would affect a setting - I really want them involved to make sure they're invested. I want them to feel like mephits are important.

Then I'd run a one-shot to set the campaign up and hint at the premise.

And after a few sessions - big ol' strike. Ideally, I'd want to prep for the player side with or against the strike.
 

Here's what I'm thinking.

I'm going to use Princes of the Apocalypse as a basis.

However, the twist is mephits are available for message sending, as per detailed above.

The various heads of that particular cult keep sending messages and allowing the party to send messages back in an attempt to woo the party.

However, you can tell the mephits aren't happy.

At the end of the Adventure path, when the party defeats the elemental princes, the main reason the mephits have been loyal servents has been unshackled.

If the party has treated them nice, they will ask for their help.

if not, well, they will find out when everybody else does.

How does it change the adventure?
 

aco175

Legend
The PCs could be called in to squash the uprise and arrest the leaders. First they need to battle through the mobs of mephits and other humanoid sympathizers before getting to the secret hideout. Maybe the lord of the region frames them by hinting that the mephits are minting counterfeit coins or hoarding weapons. Get god on the PCs side by having them be affected without the messenger mephits.

Murder-hobos unite.
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
It makes me think of China Miéville's novel Kraken. Not one of his best novels, but one of the subplots is that wizard familiars were all on strike. In my planescape game, if the party ever visited the Society of Luminiferous Aether in Sigil I was going to have it be surrounded by a picket line of cats and owls.
It's not his best perhaps, but it's still worth reading - for this plot, and the story in general :)
 

Eltab

Lord of the Hidden Layer
Unionizing and strikes do not just come out of nowhere. You have to plant the fact that the mephits have a gripe - presumably a legit gripe - beforehand. And there has to be a reason they do not just rise in revolt to slay the message-senders and free themselves from the onerous labor.
 

toucanbuzz

Legend
Mephits wouldn't dare revolt unless they had leverage, and not simply refusal to work because some of the the higher-up muckity mucks can, literally, make their lives a living hell. Getting that leverage, or keeping it, perhaps involving Night Hag merchants, the chaos of Slaadi, yugoloth mercenaries, might be a task, but why they would need or know to use the PCs is a whole other matter.

It could be sympathy (a dangerous gambit for a DM to premise a campaign), old fashioned promise of gain, or a plea even by agents of pure Law to keep the universe running by ensuring the mephits get what they need. The epic AD&D boxed mega-adventure involving the Rod of Seven Parts gradually led the PCs into an ancient war between Order and Chaos that would rip the universe apart if Chaos succeeded, so there's always the "only you can save the world" hook.
 

Unionizing and strikes do not just come out of nowhere. You have to plant the fact that the mephits have a gripe - presumably a legit gripe - beforehand. And there has to be a reason they do not just rise in revolt to slay the message-senders and free themselves from the onerous labor.

I got an idea.

The Elemental Princes have got a new idea (although this might be a new rumor).

They summon messangers, and then immediately absorb the mephits.

This has caused a rapid drop in Mephits across the universe and they aren't dumb.

They have decided that the PCs are their best bet to start this process and start helping them under the radar.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
Unionizing and strikes do not just come out of nowhere. You have to plant the fact that the mephits have a gripe - presumably a legit gripe - beforehand. And there has to be a reason they do not just rise in revolt to slay the message-senders and free themselves from the onerous labor.
In Planescape, mephits have "meaning" in the same way that flowers have meaning--only their meanings are always negative. Like, a mist mephit is "A mysterious warning that someone close to the recipient is an assassin." This was mentioned in one of the books and expanded upon here. Of course this means that the recipient often just kills the mephit out of anger.

Even if these meanings aren't used, mephits could be seen as disposable--you can always summon more, so who cares if they get killed?
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Traditionally, mephits are... not nice. PCs are apt to say, "You're abused? But, you are yourself abusers of others. Why should we assist you?" You may need to do so work to establish them as sympathetic, and worthy of aid.

Even if these meanings aren't used, mephits could be seen as disposable--you can always summon more, so who cares if they get killed?

Indeed, in the traditional metaphysics, they're immortal elemental spirits who are specifically NOT killed if they get beat up on the prime material plane. So, while the process may be unpleasant, it is not presented as doing them permanent harm.

So, I think for this to work, you may need to reposition them somewhat in the grand scheme of things.
 

Level Up!

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top