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Mirror of Desire (as with all my threads, my Players stay out!)


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#1 valvorik

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 07:01 PM

I am working on adapting this to run in Averheim.

 

I've listened to the Reckless Dice podcast wrap review.  The emphasis of many-moving-parts etc. well taken, fact that fights have to be developed noted. They are mostly "red herrings" for the plot so I don't begrudge that.  The daemonic encounter being too brief noted.

 

It was not just Heller's love that made the mirror work, it was the daemon's "self love" that drew it into the mirror.

 

I find the "needs a declaration of love" element to free daemon a bit weak and "undaemonic".

 

I prefer, "needs a heart broken by a declaration spurned" to be a more appropriate condition to undo the binding that was powered by love.  She gets that before the mirror and influences Esmeralda to reject it.

 

Esmeralda will actually be a pretty girl just a minor family, a girl whose ambition seemed to be to enter priesthood of Verena.

 

Further, for the magic to be more sympathetic, the one who spurns is related by blood to the one whose love ensnared her - Heller.  So Esmeralda is descended from Heller's brother.

 

The tomb she goes to in one of the challenges is Heller's Tomb, an ancestor who had a tragic love it is said.  The fact he one of her ancestors is thus revealed by this point if not earlier.  Also, the daemon would have far more reason to desecrate his tomb than someone else's.

 

The daemon also romps around quite a bit in the last bit of the adventure, assuming it gets out.  What about instability?  Daemons only get short term romps as a normal rule before it's back to the realm of imagination and chaos.  I don't find it stated but Esmeralda "vanishes" for the time the daemon is around and is then spoken of post-adventure, so I'm going to assume it was meant that she is possessed.  The exposure to the mirror over time allows the daemon to prepare her as a vessel that can it can occupy as long as it gets suitable adoration.   Other views of that, could it be "the locket" is some sort of "anchor"?

 

The locket's role in the original entrapment seems a little weak.  Not sure what to do about that?  An anchor she fashioned to permit her to stay in world which when reflected trapped her?  Not too sure about that, as I don't like just gimmicking that daemons are unstable.

 

Are there any other issues others have found/additions/fixes/extensions to the adventure?

 

Thanks

 

Rob 



#2 Roland the Red

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 02:56 PM


 

The locket's role in the original entrapment seems a little weak.  Not sure what to do about that?  An anchor she fashioned to permit her to stay in world which when reflected trapped her?  Not too sure about that, as I don't like just gimmicking that daemons are unstable.

 Like all MacGuffins, it should fade to the background and be forgotten.



#3 valvorik

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 06:40 PM

Woops, realize that Esmeralda and the suitor are both trapped in mirror as well, in the adventure as written, so much for possession explaining how Kelysandra "toots around".

 

Now I'm thinking that she should instead be a mortal Champion of Slaanesh, e.g., a Chaos Sorceress of Slaanesh able to summon daemons etc., so yes we can have daemons (which would be her plan if released) but the fact she was originally "just walking around having a (wanton etc.) life" and goes back to that if released more explicable. 

 

Heller didn't kill her because he did love her and hoped time would see her repent of her path.



#4 valvorik

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 09:18 AM

My approach.

 

The locket is a mundane key.

 

The mirror is magical but is "locked", presently influence is only "seeping out".  Its full "nabbing targets into mirrorland" effect requires it be "open". 

 

The mirror frame is of birds and their wings "clasp" the glass, overlapping it.

 

The ornate frame clearly is missing a "finial" type adornment atop it.  The bizarre locket matches the other finials, and if inserted there is a "twist", then the "wings open" and the glass shimmers (now surface of a portal).

 

This combined magic and mechanical artifice was created for added security.  The locket now only has the faintest wisp of Hysh on it (4D to detect) due to its last, long ago (but very direct then) contact with the mirror.

 

Heller created it to trick K., the mirror and locket combination being "the special mirror for her alone", which intrigued her as a puzzle and was her downfall.



#5 valvorik

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 06:19 PM

And another question, if anyone has ideas, the suitors are all affected by Kelsydra, as the text near end says "partially in her thrall".  So how come they don't show anything to magical sight?  I have two PC's with it, one with high Int who uses it repeatedly.

 

The "obsession effect" also affects PC's eventually (page 29).  There is no indication why them in particular (why not others around the girl and the suitors - or is this affecting the entire town).

 

A magical effect waxing and waning through the whole town is another option, being triggered by exposure to the girl?  That's a tall order and should attract attention.

 

Or just the suitors, Cult of Eternal Promise agents are poisoning each with something that inflames passions/causes obsession - but that's too many moving parts to plot.

 

I favour the "magical effect" on them was a one-time alteration.  Like a magical fire burning something, the burned remains are not magical but may show a trace.  Each time Esmeralda is in front of mirror she can be "stocked up" by Kelsydra with an "obsession charge".  This then "goes off" when a suitable male candidate comes around.  That is the "magical effect/attack" that changes the target's perception of Esmeralda and sends them down a spiral (their Obsession tracker).  Like a source of stress causing a madness (and the effect is best understood as a "custom-designed madness", severity 3 or so, taking months to get over if ever on its own like), the madness remains once the stress source is gone.

 

PC's would not be automatically affected.  Again my Players will ask "when were we exposed, what roll was made by something or failed by us, etc. etc."  They are good at accepting the Old World and its foibles but won't accept, and I would never try to make them, imposed changes to their PC's actions that they had no chance to avoid.  They are good about roleplaying something like that if there's an explanation provided (as in the Reckless Dice podcast, 2 chaos stars and I'm smitten, they would accept that) - e.g. Karl's aura in 1000 Thrones (which they had a roll for).  They may end up, if they are around Elesandra getting one of those "shots"

 

Thoughts?



#6 Roland the Red

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Posted 21 March 2014 - 12:33 PM

You would know your players best, so your approach is a good one.

 

Re: Magical Sight. I'd probably go with a faint tickle of Dhar...It would be very hard to recognize it as such (4 or 5 challenge dice). Success means you know what's up, but gain corruption or insanity. Failure would be to describe it as Ulgu...now that would be an interesting Red Herring...

 

I like the charge up and fire idea, thats a good approach.



#7 Tamhas

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 09:04 AM

The thing is that Esmeralda does not emanate any source of "light" about Kel., but she, even though is mostly average, have engulfed everybody. For instance, I started Dming in the old world recently, and have my players moved to the city (I'm going to use the cheap tickets to get there ;) ). They are rank 1 still, with only 1 advance. By the time they reach Ubersreik, the mirror will be given to Esmeralda, and everybody will be speaking of her beauty, yet only the suitors, who tries their best to be near her, are affected (but not quite yet. I want my players to hear rumors first, finish eye for an eye, then "sniff" something odd as the obsession is at its annoying stage, with Aschaberger lame potry displayed in public as ifit was the best)

 

If your players have to roll, I would say that the effect of Esmeralda is even worst than daunting to detect. 5D, and if trained it only shows voids or whisps of Hysh, and in the corner of the "eye" traces of dhar, but when focusing, it is not there.

 

my 2 cents ;)



#8 valvorik

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 08:23 PM

I've gone with eliminating locket per suggestion.

 

The mirror is activated by a poem, Heller wrote one that has a spell hidden in its words.  She was so used to ignoring his poetry that she never realized it was activating the mirror until it was too late.  :)

 

Making every possible use of the shame-inducing Book of Awful Poetry (yes Bruner's book is actually Heller's, the reason their poetry is so similar, Bruner is "inspired" by Heller).

 

I'm doing much more savagery to it as well.  Noble Brat is gone and replaced with Caddish Giggolo Actor (brass tier) - which actually fits given the prank is dressing up as a woman etc., actor better suited.  Think Jane Austenish "the poor girl will be ruined if she runs off with him" sort of threat.  Still in the Lure of Power social vein but now also showing more of the social gulf in the Empire as part of adventure.

 

For roleplaying imagery, I'm templating lovesick poet on the lovelorn prince in tower in Monty Python's Quest for Holy Grail (well, just a shade less effeminate), the idiot warrior on Lancelot (same movie), the rich jerk as a younger version of the "The Duke" from Moulin Rouge, and yes the Actor as any bounder from a Jane Austen novel.

 

Also using Actor because the Sulky Sun Theater will figure.






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