I've been noticing some discussion sites that have been talking about how the Scarlet Brotherhood seems to be misused and maligned.
I, for one, see that in some campaigns that the Scarlet Brotherhood is treated way too superficially (it's members openly wearing red all the time, its assassins having the tattoo on their arms, etc.). Other campaigns have the Scarlet Brotherhood behind every major plot, making them the "usual suspects" (kinda like Tharizdun).
I feel that this treatment is exactly what the Brotherhood would want, and would use open and obvious agents purposefully to throw any investigations off the scent as well as setting up patsies. Thus this plays into their hands. There is an official product detailing the Scarlet Brotherhood, but I feel that this product does not do the men in red much justice. And I think that many players and DMs fall into the trap of making their plots too pedestrain and easy to uncover and/or thwart. They became a power on Oerth because they are clever, and much of their success comes from playing other sides against each other with no involvement at all (other then a sly word whispered into the right ear, or a drink carefully "flavored").
Any thoughts on this? How is the Scarlet Brotherhood used in your campaings? Is the Brotherhood overused, used poorly, overrated, or the major power everyone thinks they are?
My personal opinions on this matter are that I think I liked the Scarlet Brotherhood when they were this "mysterious and unknown entity" from a faraway peninsula. Now there is quite a bit about them out in the web anyway and not everything is in agreement. One difficultly was during 2e when they did away with the monk and assassin class which kind of did a number on the Brotherhood since the assassins were a whole tier in the family tree. You suddenly found stats for just common fighters and thieves calling themselves "monks" and "assassins."
I also think that the Brotherhood will now have a difficult time with their plans, whatever they may be, since they played their hand and did not come out on top. Now, governments and leaders of the Flanaess will be more vigilant in keeping an eye out for their agents and presumably take greater precautions. Unofficial material has described open rebellion within the Hold of the Sea Princes and the region around Scant which seems to indicate to me that the Brotherhood no longer has as firm a grasp on the situation as they once did.
As a DM, I would handle the agents of the Scarlet Brotherhood with more care and discretion. They certainly would not go out from their homelands with any markings and colors to indicate their identity. On the contrary, the Grand Master would probably retreat somewhat in order to regroup and come up with alternate plans of conquest. I did like the notion of the genetic breeding programs discussed in the "Scarlet Brotherhood" work and would probably want to pursue that avenue a bit further.
Those are my thoughts. Hope they are helpful. _________________ Rhineglade the Dreamcaster
Member of the Indigo Order
Emissary of Hyerune
As a DM, I would handle the agents of the Scarlet Brotherhood with more care and discretion. They certainly would not go out from their homelands with any markings and colors to indicate their identity. On the contrary, the Grand Master would probably retreat somewhat in order to regroup and come up with alternate plans of conquest.
I share the above sentiment. I think the SB must maintain their secrecy an dpursue their goals in the most surreptitious manner possible. While their cultural identity as a nation of monks and assassins is well known, their true evil, methods and worldviews are still secret. I don't thank any self-respecting Brother will leave clues about his identity, motives or goals.
I like the idea of their racist bent and arrogant assumption of superiority. I will add that they must also be played cleverly. They are patient, ever-scheming and efficient. Mistakes in the order are not tolerated. _________________ Don (Greyson)
Unofficial material has described open rebellion within the Hold of the Sea Princes and the region around Scant which seems to indicate to me that the Brotherhood no longer has as firm a grasp on the situation as they once did.
the living greyhawk gazatter is "unofficial material"?
hmmm... I consider what they do in the living greyhawk campaing unofficail to be sure, but as far as the LGG goes, it is an official book, by the official company that own the greyhawk copyright... there for it is official whether it has "living" in front of the name or not. :P
you can choose to use it, or not as is your wont, just like you can choose to use From the ashes or not, or any other greyhawk product... however it is just as official as those other products are whether or not you choose to use them or it.
Wes, I think the better population of Greyhawkers consider "Living" Greyhawk content as unofficial.
True, but as Wes replied, the LGG itself, and the LGJ magazines tend to be accepted as official canon by most Greyhawk fans, certain OOP era diehards who shall remain nameless not withstanding.
I even go so far as to accept something like Fright At Tristor or the Dungeon and Dragon magazine articles about Greyhawk that didn't carry an LGJ logo to be pretty solid as well.
It's the LG adventure scenarios and material from the websites of the triads which is generally considered dodgy "canon"-wise and debated or ignored by most fans. Some of the stuff is quite good, some of it is, well... not so good. A diligent fan will investigate all of it though, and make his own decision about what to use. What I dislike about the material on Keoland triad's (for example, not singling them out) website, you might find perfect for your campaign, it's all relative. _________________ What would Raxivort do?<br />
Speaking of using published materials...what do you think of the Scarlet Brotherhood Accessory that was released a few years ago? I was disappointed in the work as a whole. I wanted some more descriptions of the overall hierarchy and some examples of spy cells in operation throughout Oerth. I also had a problem with the Amedio and Hepmonland portrayals. I felt that they were too lightly skimmed over. The accessory could have easily been twice the size with (what I feel is) proper detailing. So, as a whole the materials presented only gave superficial treatment to three areas that needed much more details.
Maybe that was the point, keeping it mysterious. Anyway, the SB is still a major threat IMC, and many of the recent reversals described in the LGG are really the start of long term further schemes. The Brotherhood always has an angle!
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