Thursday, May 23, 2013

DCC RPG: The Imp's Bargain

The Imps Bargain

This encounter may be dropped in anywhere you’d like to test a character’s faith and sanity.

Background

The imp, Czelig, is a messenger, go-fer, and slave to the arch-demon Ganelith. Though the creature loathes its master and its fate, the imp has schemed his way into a position to slide into its master’s favor, with the intention of being “raised” to a more lofty job (and form). Czelig stole a box full of golden rings that Ganelith uses to bind mortals. Now, when the imp has a spare moment, he attempts to trick mortals into taking a ring, which have a variety of effects.

Setup

Czelig typically chooses to trick mortals with a binding ring by preying on their "better instincts," appearing as a person in desperate need (usually as an urchin or an unfortunate lass). The story and setup varies and judges are encouraged to make the setup compelling and relevant to the party. Some ideas follow:

  • A noble's servant, beaten and robbed, begs the party to retrieve an important message pouch from the thief who has holed up nearby. The reward is the golden ring, which he displays.
  • A woman lies near death beside the road and with her dying breath asks the party to deliver the ring and a note to her faithless husband.
  • An urchin is caught picking a party member's pocket. Later when checked, the ring is discovered in the pocket.

The Imp

Czelig can change its form to any humanoid, animal or vermin to about the size of an ogre. In its natural form (which it reverts to when faced with a combat situation), the imp appears to be a tusked, three-legged hyena with a green gem set in its forehead and the head of a cobra at the end of its long serpentine tail. A bite from Czelig’s tail deals 1d6 damage + 1 point of STR due to poison. On a failed save (DC 11), the victim loses an additional 1d4 STR per round.

Czelig: Init +3; Atk Ray of Paralysis +5 ranged (paralysis DC 15) or tail bite +5 (1d3+poison); AC 14; HD 5d12; MV 30’, Fly 50’; Act 1d20; SP Poison (DC 11 Fort, 1d4 STR per round), shapeshift, demonic traits; SV Fort +5, Ref +8, Will 4; AL C.

If Czelig is defeated within the mortal dimensions, it drops the ring of binding and returns to Ganelith’s plane for 666 days.

The Ring of Binding

The ring of binding appears as a simple golden ring, the band formed of interlocking chain links. Once the ring is put on a finger, it cannot be removed. Even if the finger is cut off, the ring appears on another finger, toe, pierced through a lip, etc. The ring detects as non-magical and inert (on the good/evil/chaos/law continuum).

Anyone that wears the ring of binding enjoys one of the effects listed on the table. However, they are also subject to a meeting with the arch-demon Ganelith's majordomo in the not too distant future. Each time the character burns luck, the judge should make a secret DC 11 Will save. If the save is passed, the character receives a +3 to the total of Luck burned. (Thus, if the character burns 1 point of Luck, he or she receives a +4 to apply to the d20 roll modified). If the save is failed, see The Pitch.

2d3
Effects
2
AC +1
3
Mirror Image (Spell Check to use, as results of spell)
4
Cantrip (Spell Check to use, as results of spell)
5
Resist Cold/Heat (Spell Check to use, as results of spell)
6
Displacement (first attack in a battle always misses, +2 AC)

The Pitch

If the character fails the save, he or she is transported to a hellish plane chained to a stone chair before a stone table, and hovered over by a nightmarish creature: a towering hyena-headed bull-like creature with the claws of a lion and 100 poisonous serpents for a tail. This is Ganelith's majordomo, Gilezc.

The demon attempts force the character to sign a compact with Ganelith within 6 hours. He first uses intimidation, torture and lies – with great bellowing, bites from its horde of snake-like tail fringes which drain abilities, and any other nastiness that the judge can conceive. It should be clear that the character will never leave unless the document is signed. After three hours of this tactic, Gilezc tries to entice the character with the wonders of service to the Lord of the Twisted – power, slaves, gold, etc. offered and lain at the character’s feet. After two hours of whatever debauchery the judge can conceive, the character will see a demon at its most foul: Gilezc actually begs, offering his own power, knowledge or other valuables if the character would just sign.

This should be a scene based on role-playing (not necessarily on the character’s abilities/dice rolls). Gilezc must “convert” the character within 6 hours or the character has resisted (see below). The session can be ended if the character specifically says “no” and binds that resistance to a god or patron of law/good.

If the character signs the compact, he or she is bound to Ganelith (Roll Patron Bond: Ganelith with a Spell Check of +12 -- failures are not possible), and the character is immediately transported back to the exact spot and time they left the mortal world. The character receives a +3 Luck score bonus and thereafter can burn and recharge luck as a halfling. The recipient can burn luck for others even if there is already a halfling lucky charm in the party, however anyone that receives luck from this character run the risk of being transported to Ganelith's hellish realm and offered the same deal, as above. Regardless, anyone that signs the contract becomes a bound thrall of Ganelith and a creature of great evil and chaos. This binding can only be broken by extreme measures.

Those that resist signing are transported back to the exact spot and time they left the mortal world and all ill effects done to them on that hellish realm are healed. Unfortunately, the character arrives back with a 0 Luck score. Having flicked their noses at creatures of ultimate evil and chaos, however, the character receives a boon from the gods of Law. The character’s Luck heals at a rate of 1 point per day until the ability has recovered to a Luck score of 18. Such are the blessings of resisting demons.


In both cases, the ring of binding becomes a simple golden ring worth 666 gp.

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