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    Canonfire :: View topic - What to do when a good PC sells an -evil- item?
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    What to do when a good PC sells an -evil- item?
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    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Jul 31, 2006
    Posts: 49
    From: Reno, Nevada

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    Mon Aug 20, 2007 8:26 pm  
    What to do when a good PC sells an -evil- item?

    I'm a DM & I'm running the Exp to the Demonweb Pit. My group consists of 2 good aligned Pc's & 2 neutral aligned Pc's. They found a cursed item-a Mace of Blood (DM's guide, must be coated in blood each day or it loses it's +3 bonus, also must make a Will save or become C-E) & they willingly sold it for gold. Now for the neutral Pc's it's not a big deal. But for the other 2? The C-G Ranger objected to it being sold & said it should be destroyed. But get this: The Chaotic-Good Priest of Kord went ahead with the others & sold it for gold! A C-G Priest of Kord selling an evil cursed item!!!!
    Ladies & gents, I leave it up to you what I should do to punish him! (If anything at all)
    Let me know-sentencing awaits!
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Jun 16, 2007
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    Mon Aug 20, 2007 8:53 pm  
    Re: What to do when a good PC sells an [b]evil[/b] item?

    Mouse wrote:
    I'm a DM & I'm running the Exp to the Demonweb Pit. My group consists of 2 good aligned Pc's & 2 neutral aligned Pc's. They found a cursed item-a Mace of Blood (DM's guide, must be coated in blood each day or it loses it's +3 bonus, also must make a Will save or become C-E) & they willingly sold it for gold. Now for the neutral Pc's it's not a big deal. But for the other 2? The C-G Ranger objected to it being sold & said it should be destroyed. But get this: The Chaotic-Good Priest of Kord went ahead with the others & sold it for gold! A C-G Priest of Kord selling an evil cursed item!!!!
    Ladies & gents, I leave it up to you what I should do to punish him! (If anything at all)
    Let me know-sentencing awaits!


    sounds like a perfect opportunity for a side quest. Say someone buys that item and decides to go on a killing spree....in the clerics' back yard. Or worse yet - have the item end up in the hands of one of his parishioners. By his actions, he caused someone to turn to evil and they've killed people he's supposed to protect. Does he cover up his part in this incident? Does he track the person down and kill them? No matter what, if the story gets out he's ruined in the eyes of his congregation.

    Just some random thoughts on the subject. take it for what you will.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Nov 07, 2004
    Posts: 1844
    From: Mt. Smolderac

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    Mon Aug 20, 2007 9:03 pm  

    I vote for Purple Nurple of the Berserker.

    Since you're running Demonweb I'm assuming this guy has got to be a pretty high level important priest of Kord, so the god isn't going to take this sitting down. What I would do it is to make the cleric become aware of Kord's displeasure at the next inopportune moment. Before, during, or after a big fight, your wayward cleric can no longer cast any healing or other spells. After all the other members led him to this act so they should be punished too (well, maybe not the ranger but sometimes the innocent must suffer with the guilty). At that point he should get it that he really screwed up. If he doesn't you can point him to the right direction through dreams/visions/angelic (maybe valkyric would be more Kord appropriate) visitations. Either way some method of telling him how to fix things with Kord should be presented to him, either through the above methods or if he is proactive through whatever higher priests or oracles of Kord that he seeks out. This should be a quest of some sort, bigger than just just regaining the mace and destroying it. Go for broke.

    On the other hand the cleric could forsake Kord and try to take up with another deity or change class in which case Kord or even just his oerthly priesthood might make his life very difficult for the fallen priest. This is a gold mine of plot opportunity this guy has given you. I advise you use it to its fullest although you have to make sure the player knows you're not persecuting him anymore than he deserves. This may need to involve some meta conversations in which you really have to drive home the point of just how bad he screwed up.

    All just IMO of course.
    Journeyman Greytalker

    Joined: Mar 30, 2007
    Posts: 161
    From: Yorkshire, Britain

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    Tue Aug 21, 2007 12:57 am  

    I say you should have the mace come back and bite the party in buttocks, figuratively speaking.

    I think weaver's idea of having an innocent falling under the power of the mace is a good one. And give the cleric some motivation to go clean up his party's mess. Maybe loss of some clerical abilities, or maybe a vist from one of Kord's planar servants.

    "Excuse me, I don't mean to get all St. Cuthbert or anything, but..." *THWACK!* "Now, pick yourself up and get that mace back!"

    But either way, I say run with it for all it's worth.
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Jun 28, 2007
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    From: Montevideo, Minnesota, US

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    Tue Aug 21, 2007 1:02 am  

    First off, I like to ask if the character or characters who acquired the mace made their Will saving throw for each day they had it? Anyone who possessed the mace (even if they didn't wield it against someone) makes a saving throw.

    This includes all PCs who came into contact with it (even briefly), the person they sold it to, and anyone they may have sold if to.

    As far as I'm concerned, if the PCs knew the properties of the mace and let it get into the hands of others, they are responsible for any alignment changes which occured as well as any CE acts these individuals perform.
    This cannot sit well with Kord.

    If the character has a history of mistakes, it is time Kord took these very seriously and withheld spells, turning undead and any other advantages or abilities the cleric may have. If it is the first transgression a stern warning is suitable from Kord (or a celestial, or other such creature stemming from the deity). An Atonement spell would be in order as well.

    Either way here's what I would consider in order to punish the cleric but also make an adventure out of it which involves the entire party.

    The mace could fall into the hands of an important NPC the PCs have interacted with in the past who is of good alignment and is now CE because of the mace.

    If no such NPC exists, think about introducing one now in order to set up a relationship between the NPC and characters. Once the NPC is is place, the individual acquires the mace and becomes CE.

    The NPC could go on a particluarly vengeful path and murder the PCs family or other NPCs close to the cleric. This could open up options for the PC to seek out the individal and defeat them, aquire the mace for a second time in order to correct their mistake, and find a way to cure the individual of their alignment change. In addition, a family member could rise as a ghost and haunt the PC until they find their slayer and defeat or kill them.

    Remember, once he acquires the mace he starts making a Will save each day he possess it, all over again.

    Kord is the god of courage. The PC must meet a challenge of courage set out by his god, such as handling the entire matter without depending upon their spells.

    Here's another idea: The mace is owned by a demon who eventually wants the mace back. Once the characters have solved the above problem the demon shows up demanding the return of his property, make sure the cleric is in possesion of it at this time.

    Rather than simply attempting to force it away from the character, have the demon blackmail them. The demon tells the cleric that they either give up the mace to it or when they least expect it, it shall return to extract it's revenge.

    Make the cleric choose.....if he returns the mace he makes the same mistake and sets it loose into the world again. If he doesn't give it up, the demon makes good on his word and returns later when the characters are not expecting it. Have the demon possess one of the other characters (not the cleric) and then acts when it is alone using its new body to defeat the cleric. Avoid a simple confrontation between the cleric and demon.

    The book of vile darkness has rules on possession by demons.

    If the cleric returns the mace.....more evil results down the road. If they refuse to give the demon the mace more trouble to follow from possession.

    MORAL CROSSROADS for the cleric. See if the PC has learned anything from all of this. They need to know that their actions have consequences which are sometimes beyond their control. If the PC doesn't figure out that it's time to atone, then someone a bit wiser suggests it to them.
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    Eileen of Greyhawk, Prophet of Istus, Messenger of the Gods
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    Tue Aug 21, 2007 3:05 pm  

    As much as I respect Eileen's perspective, in my opinion (and it's JUST my opinion so take it for what you will) demons are over used. I much prefer to see an innocent fall under the sway of the mace, falling into depravity as a direct result of the careless actions of said priest. That's the kind of material you can use to write quite a number of stories - there's the church politics angle, the human redemption angle, the conflict of free will vs selfish desires to do evil, not to mention the conflict between the cleric and his god. plenty of places to go with that set up.

    I guess it depends on your players and the type of campaign you want to run.
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Jul 31, 2006
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    From: Reno, Nevada

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    Tue Aug 21, 2007 5:14 pm  
    Kord frowns on the PC's.....

    They never actually used the Mace. They found it and immediately threw it in a Bag of Holding. My players are pretty smart about things like that. They only had the Mace for about 4 days tucked away in a Bag of Holding before selling it in the marketplace in Sigil. I was shocked when the Cleric of Kord went along with them and sold it. The group Sorcerer Identified the Mace. I should've had them roll when they found it & I should've had the Sorcerer roll when he Identified it. Missed opportunities! Drats!
    They're all about 10 or 11th level so they're pretty strong & powerful. Currently they are fighting Drow in the Demonweb. I'm thinking about having the Kord Cleric's spells fizzle out as they continue. I'll have to find some way to have him continue the adventure & maybe tie in a Quest or some type of pennance. I can't stray too far off topic though.
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 11, 2001
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    From: Ballarat, Australia

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    Tue Aug 21, 2007 5:37 pm  

    I allow PCs to turn in evil items to good churches for destruction. They receive a bounty equal to what they would get if it were sold.

    The Cleric of Kord needs atonement.

    Cheers!
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    Merric Blackman
    Black Hand of Oblivion

    Joined: Feb 16, 2003
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    Thu Aug 23, 2007 1:38 pm  

    Yep. The cleric needs atonement. I'd cease all spell acquisition for the cleric immediately. I wouldn't give a bounty equal to the item's value if it is turned in to a good church though. Good folks just tend to give such items to a good church, because it is the good thing to do. However, I would give a nominal reward in the form of either spell services or an equivalent amount of potions or scrolls(the amount being up to the dm of course). This way an evil item gets out of circulation, the church the item is turned in to is not put out overly much, and the good guys(the PC's that is) get something useful out of it too(but not buckets of cash, which churches are not all that keen on giving up in the first place).
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    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Jun 28, 2007
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    Thu Aug 23, 2007 2:22 pm  

    Kord must be totally ashamed to call this cleric a testimony to his religion.
    The action the cleric took reflects on Kord. As a result of this terrible transgression, news of it has reached my World of Greyhawk and now Kord hides his face in shame. I heard he's even thinking about taking up a comletely new areas of concern, perhaps he will become God of Shameful Clerics or God of the clerics no other religion wants. Shame on this cleric. Clearly he (or she) need guidance before they fall even further away from their faith and the ways of good.
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    Eileen of Greyhawk, Prophet of Istus, Messenger of the Gods
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    Thu Aug 23, 2007 8:27 pm  

    EileenProphetofIstus wrote:
    Kord must be totally ashamed to call this cleric a testimony to his religion.
    The action the cleric took reflects on Kord. As a result of this terrible transgression, news of it has reached my World of Greyhawk and now Kord hides his face in shame. I heard he's even thinking about taking up a comletely new areas of concern, perhaps he will become God of Shameful Clerics or God of the clerics no other religion wants. Shame on this cleric. Clearly he (or she) need guidance before they fall even further away from their faith and the ways of good.


    Given that the players ARE in the Abyss, you could always have the cleric suddenly gain NEW domains. Without even realizing it, replace/twist his spells as a local demon prince/evil deity takes the opportunity to corrupt a cleric. Kord drops him, another evil being picks up the slack and the guy might not even realize it at first. But as he draws more and more on the power of this new god (or if you're REALLY in a vile mood, have the Abyss itself start to grant him his spells) he finds that while his powers seem to have increased, he seems to find it harder to control them. Or maybe his spells start to twist on him, maybe he's required to shed some of his blood to fuel a heal spell, or he suddenly gains an abyssal heritor feat (see 'Hordes of the Abyss' for details).

    Then just when he gets suspicious and starting thinking about how odd things are getting, you slap him with a vision from a VERY pissed off Kord who reads him the riot act and tells him he either atones RIGHT NOW or he can keep dating the Abyss and never come home.
    Master Greytalker

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    Thu Aug 23, 2007 9:35 pm  

    Cebrion wrote:
    I wouldn't give a bounty equal to the item's value if it is turned in to a good church though. Good folks just tend to give such items to a good church, because it is the good thing to do.


    I wouldn't give cash, or nescessarily items in kind.
    I WOULD give followers of the diety XP equal to the cash value they could have received by selling it, and I would allow priests of the diety the same reward but with their bonus xp for high wisdom.
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    Master Greytalker

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    Fri Aug 24, 2007 3:05 am  

    Since my campaign is extremely deity oriented I give out Faith Points, similar to what is in the Complete Divine book (see Faith Feats. page 86), but I have other uses for them beyond being applied to Faith Feats.

    To avoid PCs acquiring too much gold I gave them this option as well as selling items. Whenever they find a evil item they may pass it along to the church and in return receive Faith Points, they may redeem the item (again need to the church to help), or they may destroy it. How many Faith Points the character receives is dependent upon the gold piece value of the magical item.

    If characters donate non-evil magical items to their church I pass out Faith Points as well. Again, they don't get the gold in return (nor anything else from the church since it is expected to be a donation) but the PC are rewarded through Faith Points which they can apply to their character in times of crisis when they call upon their deity for help.

    PCs use Faith Points to when seeking answers to prayers to their deity. Depending upon what they pray for, a DC is applied and a d20 rolled to meet that number. Various modifiers are applied both positive and negative for how the character rolelays their religious aspects, class, whether they are on sacred ground, on a quest, etc. The PC may use the Faith Points to help modify their die roll in order to meet the DC. If successful, the prayer is answered in some way, if not, the points are lost.
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