Monday, August 30, 2010

A Low-Level Infernal Adventure: Introducing Truenames...

Good Evening, All:

In regards to my low-level infernal adventure, I think I've settled on an abandoned demonic temple as the site for the adventure. Toward that end, I have done some research on historical church maps, and have come up with a number of interesting rooms/chambers that I want to integrate into the site I'm mapping, based on those old maps. One of the things I love about GMing is the new things I pick up with I decide to sit down and do some research. I'm hopeful that these chambers will add more flavor to the final setting I create.

In addition, I'm building a small roster of monsters to incorporate into the adventure. I'm including some of the usual suspects, but I'm also making up a few low-level creatures to help round out the encounters. I know that, at the moment, I am including a unique demon for the final encounter, and perhaps a new minor demon designed for use in low-level campaigns.

Bringing these two elements together, I'm slowly creating the One Page Dungeon that I'll use to run this adventure first for my gaming group. Once they've gone through the adventure, I'll clean it up a bit, fix anything that we may have found that needs fixing, and then start a more complete and comprehensive write-up.

One of the concepts I'll be introducing into my campaign with this adventure will be the use of truenames. Knowing a creature's truename gives you significant magical power over them. I want to make the use of truenames fairly simple, so I'm currently considering that casting a spell while using a creature's truename allows you to automatically bypass its magic resistance, or if the creature does not have magic resistance, then they suffer a -4 penalty on their saving throw to resist the spell you've cast.

So, what do you think?

With Regards,


Scott said...

Using a truename might also allow mundane iron weapons to do damage to a Demon otherwise only damaged by enchanted weapons, which would open up the field a bit for low-level adventurers.

David said...

I first came across the concept of Truenames when I read A Wizard of Earthsea though, when you think about it, the Rumplestiltskin fairy story uses it, though doesn't explain it - I still remember the rhyme:
The Queen's Babe will soon be mine,
For I have spun a web so fine,
That will not break 'til one does claim,
That Rumplestiltskin is my name.

And so the hubris of evil sprite/dark elf or what have you, brings him down - these creatures are usually cunning rather than clever so a clever person can out think them. Quite a nice theme to weave into a game, especially if the players think the demonic creatures are too powerful for them to go toe to toe with.

I love the idea of using old maps and plans to create your temple. Sacred geometry is a language all of its own and you can give your players clues through repeated motifs or patterns that suddenly don't repeat. As much as I dislike Dan Brown, The Da Vinci Code uses this aspect of hidden meassages - which is, of course, lifted from earlier books, such as Holy Blood, Holy Grail, and so on back to medieval church architecture and Pagan Temple building - which can be read by people who understand the architectural language. A good use for that Temple Lore (Ancient) skill :)