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Of all the NPC's in STAP, Avner has to be my favorite. My pary has grown to love to hate him. So I have decided to make a thread all about Avner and his antics. I'll start it off.
After bugging the party non-stop from Farshore to the IOD, the party's Warlock had had enough of Avner. He had tried reasoning, violence, and everything short of begging. So if you can't change em, enchant em. After charming him. The Warlock encouraged him to express his heroics in mounted combat and lead the charge into the next combat. The next battle happened to be the mummies in HTBM. Both Avner and his prized horse failed their Will saves against the mummies gaze. A few rounds later Avner picked up his nerve but his horse did not and fled from the undead. The horse trampled the party in its hasty retreat while Avner yelled for it to charge foward. The horse was stopped by the Warlock criting its legs off and sending Avner sprawiling into the wall.
Let's here it for Avner!
You can introduce him as far back as the hero's party at the end of There is no honor, drinking and making time with the ladies.
Our party druid was casting speak with animals every day on the Sea W. and making diplomacy / bluff checks to drive a wedge between avner and thunderstike.
IMC both Avner and his horse became giant centipede food in HTBM.
Our ranger has taken his family along to start a bakery in Farshore. He has three sisters on the ship and Avner will be hitting on them. I think one of them will actually be dippy enough to fall for him, which should piss our ranger off. Unfortunately, the player of the ranger wasn't able to attend our last game session, so I haven't been able to launch this subplot yet.
One of my players is so annoyed with Avner that he stole items from other people on the ship and planted them in Avner's room! Once the party found them, he (Avner) was locked up in a room overnight until Lavinia could come aboard and address the situation. They agreed to allow Avner to roam the ship under constant guard.
My next move is to have my favorite stowaway get a case of the sticky fingers and plant the items in the PCs room. I can't wait to see how it plays out. It's been alot of fun.
My players hate him and make innuendo about his cowardice whenever they can. He almost bit it at the mouths of the 7-headed hydra...he was going to do something heroic like jump overboard and attack the body and got nailed with 6 of the (then) 8 heads.
I had him walk in while they were performing surgery on Conrad to remove the slaad egg. It almost hatched and Avner walked in to a grisly scene with them all surrounding Conrad and holding him down while the Cleric and Necromancer (with several ranks in Heal) cut him open and removed the egg...he walked in just as the cleric was removing the egg and was horrified, and ran to the Captain with stories of murder and vivisectionism.
ah fun my group hates him so very much . him and garth the drawf fighter have almost come to blows they often call a qurestion to the others manhood and garth threw all aveners belongings over bored midway thru SSW. now right before the pass in HTBM zander are dread pirat and leader of the party being the problem slover for the most part and all around cool head finly lost his temper and busted avaners nose all the fall out from that avaner has sworn to see the pc's ruined for there uncouth manners .oh so much more fun to be had
where to begin....
well, first of all, the party argued with him for a second about his horse not coming on the Wyvern. He kept at it until the psion/rogue hit him with a disable power, whereupon he was promptly dragged belowdecks.
she kept that up for some time, as long as he talked bad or demanded things, he got disabled.
his horse and wine were promptly taken, with the horse being sold right at the docks before making sail.
later, as hes getting more and more skittish about these crazy people who don't respect his aristocracy, he again gets uppity, when the monk/drunken master says to him "I want you to hit me as hard as you can."
fast forward a bit, and Avner has taken a lvl of monk and is a member of fightclub, shipboard edition.
he is constantly berated by Torrin (PC took him over after the Bullywug Gambit) and threatened by Z (rogue psion). so long as theres no actual damage done, the Cleric/Captain lets them do whatever they want.
somehow, he's managed to stay alive through everything thats happened and is currently fomenting dissent against Lavinia in farshore. (although Z keeps talking about "taking care" of the Meravanchis from time to time. and she has teleport)
he was pretty short-lived around here.... players got fed up with him rather quickly, and the warblade (incidentally the captain of the Sea-Wyvern ) provoked him ( comanding him around and requiring him to pull his weight, especially in combat ) into challenging him into a formal duel. Chip-Chop, poor Avner fell to the demands of nobilities honour and that was that. Saved the PCs a lot of hassle later on in Farshore....
My players had the pleasure of meeting Avner last session. And they too HATE the fella. Best part. They left the horse on the docks in Sasserine, and have managed to conceal this from Avner so far.
When Avner boarded, the squabble for the cabins began, and he happened to walk in on the PC druid feeding his dino. Screaming in terror, Avner fled, which provoked a chase from the dino. Urol, seeing the fascinating creature, began to chase it in turn. So there they were, below deck running around, and generally causing chaos. While all this was going on the PC captain said. "I set sail."
Avner keeps telling the young PC thief "Cabin boy, go see to my Destrier." When they stopped at the Fort, a major scene was averted via a charm person spell. When Avner told the "cabin boy" to saddle up his steed as he wanted to go riding through the jungle, the wiz PC (who funnily enuf, had set up his noble family's house to be right across the road from the merchanti family) stepped in and convinced him that he didn't want to leave the ship.
The thing about a charm person spell is that it doesn't make Avner less of an ass, he just a conciliatory ass. It's like what Bill Cosby said about Cocaine.
LOL man this was my favorit NPC for a couple of reasons. I played a warmage name strife is'ingard who is a free spirted char who only want to blow things up and be with his girlfriend who is the soccorer for the jade ravens. (also names for char in our campain changed alot her name is laymi lol) so when we made it to the island with the first olmans there was the cheif and his daughter. well avner ended up trying to buy her with some beads and when they said no he replied "Well its not like you need the dirty whore anyways." Well my char, after a long night of partying end up waking to the sound of crying olmans dragging avner to a tree while putting honey on him. My char partying why to much the night before woke up in a tree with only my hat (that ive had from the begaining of the start of the game from my brother who fought in the age of worms.) jumps out the tree walked over and started to talk to the cheif. Our rouge ended up giving the cheif the horse, who they ate, and i grabbed avner by the shirt and started to drag him toward the ship and when he snatched away from me i beat the crap out of him. i put him at -5 and got the cleric to heal him back and i throw him over my back and carried him back to the ship. OMG I love Avner!
The party I am running through ST came up an incredibly amusing way of dealing with Avner shortly after dealing with the Scarlet Brotherhood blockade.
After several long and well played arguements, the party wizard decided enough was enough and put Avner into a magical sleep. After doing so, he crated him up and used a combination of Levitate and Greater Mage Hand to send Avner over to the Blue Nixie as part of the repair supplies needed after the sea battle (The Blue Nixie had lost its mast for the second time that module.) with a VERY strongly written note.
From the latest Lidu Diary:
“The jungle!” Avner gasped, “I thought we’d see the last of it!”
“It’s a called the Isle of Dread dingle berry,” James snapped, “what’d you think? It got its name because there’s no opera or fashionable designers?”
“Listen you knave,” Avner snapped, “Perhaps you’re used to having everything wanting to kill you, but unlike you, people will actually care if I’m assassinated!”
“Oh not this again,” James muttered.
“You can laugh all you want but something is stalking me!” Avner hollered, “why else would this creature leave markings and lay traps for us? It’s clearly after the Meravanchi clan! Think about it. My uncle practically runs this island to the south of here, my father is a man of great power in Sasserine, and whatever this thing is doesn’t want me around to consolidate our power!”
“Isn’t the Lidu family more powerful?” Kiki asked.
“She’ll never inherit,” Avner laughed, “I know her pedigree, she’s got four or five more likely choices on her side of the family alone! Besides they don’t allow raving lunatics to inherit anymore, not after the whole Orren Teraknian fiasco.”
“Hey,” Kiki snapped, “Tristan’s nowhere near raving!”
“And you and Tristan aren’t the only nobles here,” Buffy said as she gestured over to Fredrick.
“Oh yes,” Avner said, rolling his eyes, “I forgot about the glorified ferryman! I’m sure if someone wants to keep the stevedores off the island the Nortons are prime targets, but let’s get serious, the only sensible target is me!”
“Interesting point,” Fredrick said from his bunk, “and the most likely suspect is the Vanderboren clan as they’d have the most to gain by the sudden demise of the Meravanchi, but the only way to get rid of the uncle is to send agents directly to the Isle of Dread. And the only way to get close to the uncle is to rescue the nephew, seems the lad has seen through our plot,” he said drawing his knife, “I guess we’ll just have to tell him that Avner died on the way here.”
“Fredrick,” I snapped, looking up from my writing, “stop playing with Avner,” I glanced over at Avner (who had gone quite pale), “and Avner, quite inviting abuse by being yourself. If you two can’t behave I’ll put you both outside.”
“Fine with me,” Fredrick said smiling down at Avner, “it would be loud and messy anyways.”
Avner backed into a wall.
“I mean it!” I snapped, “I’m not putting up with anymore nonsense. One more peep out of either of you and you can both sleep outside. We’re not Vanderboren assassins Avner, if we were, with my magic and Kiki’s ingenuity, I can guarantee you wouldn’t have lived this far. We most definitely could have made it look like an accident as well! Now go to bed and get some sleep we have a lot of walking ahead of us yet!”
Avner didn’t really calm down any, but he was quite for a change.
Be warned, this is a lengthy post.
Ah, Avner, Avner...I really feel sorry for this npc as the entire party made it plain that they don't like him. First of all, when Avner showed up 30 minutes for boarding the Black Wyvern (they changed its name to honour the pc captain), they at first refused to let Avner get his horse on board. After arguing about it for a while, they agreed to let the horse in, for a price. The captain essentially charged Avner the same price as he would for a ton of cheese (check Arms & Equipment guide) and jotted down the horse on the ship manifesto as "extra ton of cheese."
Later, they mocked Avner at the little dinner Lavinia prepared on the Blue Nixie, and made him look cheap by presenting Lavinia with a more expensive gift than Avner (the pc has actually bought the gift beforehand, with the intentions of courting Lavinia slowly but surely).
Afterwards, (I borrowed this idea from another poster) when the party druid found out that that Thunderstrike *may* a polymorphed or cursed female noble, she talked the others into setting up Avner for an attempted rape. She first convinced Avner that her intentions were sincere and arranged for a date in the cargo bay (by the horse). Once Avner arrived, the druid screamed for help (he was shocked to see her in tatters) while at the same time commanding her animal companion (a riding dog) to attack Avner. The dog succeeded in biting a chunk out of Avner's rear end. Everyone arrived, only to see the druid accusing Avner of attempting to take her by force. Since everyone else was already in the ploy, the Captain decides to punish Avner by using arcane mark to write "rapist" across Avner's forehead and moved Avner's living arrangements to beside Thunderstrike. The ship priest arranged for a poultice to help heal Avner's wounded backside but secretly added some ingredients that caused a nasty rash and infection.
At the village of Renkue, when Avner was drunk and trying to *buy* one of the village daughters, the Captain gave the party scout and priet the o.k. to teach Avner a lesson. The two knocked Avner out, one punching his face, the other delievering a mailed fist to Avner's *family jewels.* They dragged him out to a mile or so away from the village. The priest (a former pirate himself) drops his trousers where he begins to cover Avner in excrement (to prevent any wild animals from eating him was his excuse for doing so) and liver-filtered booze (if you know what I mean). Then the priest, using his maxed-out Heal skill, pummels Avner for lots and lots of subdual damage to keep him unconscious for hours. At that point, the scout, throughoutly disgusted, notices a patch of the equilivalent of poison ivy and tells the priest not to step in it. The priest smiles and uses his gauntlets to rub the plant leaves all over Avner's privates. They return to the village and tell them to prepare a "gauntlet" for Avner to run through when he wakes up the next morning.
So the party waits at the ship the next day for Avner. The first clue to him arriving is his girlish screams as he runs from the village, being pelted with food and other stuff. They make him swim the 100 or so feet it takes him to reach the ship, to make sure he doesn't bring any filth on the ship's deck.
Finally, just prior to the ship rolling before reaching the Isle of Dread, poor Avner was screaming that they were all going to die (he suffered some *trauma* while at Renkue) and the ship priest punches Avner in the stomach while the ship captain (brooking no further distraction from Avner) pistol-whipped him in the head (they all choose to deal subdual damage). They then tied him to the ship's mast, in the middle of the nasty storm, to keep him out of the way.
So yeah, I feel really sorry for Avner, whose only mistake was to get on the pc's bad side. And for the record, all of the pcs are CN. Most of them were pirates or sailors at some point in their lives so they're rather ruthless when engaged in combat but otherwise somewhat civil...when they're feeling generous, that is. Yet, they put on a different show for Lavinia and they have an intense rivarly with the Jade Ravens. Gods, I have no idea what they will do next in "Here there Be Monsters."
Hey don't act like your party never threatened Avner! Mind you I have to agree that my fellow Cunuck's players may have crossed a line . . . well not just crossed it, but trampped it, rubbed it out, then re-drew it far far away from it's original location.
Personally I agree with the OP, Avner is that type of NPC that PCs love to hate.
Well, I wish I could say that I was that surprised by their animosity towards Avner but I'd lying. What I was surprised by was the lengths they would go to vent out their hatred of that man. Believe me, the first words out of my mouth was "Wait, what?...Um, give me a moment or two to process this." (I spend several moments comtemplating how this would affect the game and realized it would not derail the story, just add a really messed up tone to it).
Honestly, my players are perfectly capable of playing heroic and normal characters. It is just the Savage Tide offers them an opportunity to play morally-bankrupt characters and they took that opportunity and ran off the stage with it. Trust me, the first batch of characters they played were significantly more vile. Dick "The Bloodfish" MacJizzem is an example and that character was breaking the game in more ways I can bother to count. I was never more glad to see a pc dead in all of my years as a DM (8 years).
I can't really blame them as they are roleplaying their character accurately...immature, emotionally-stunted, and ruthless ex-pirates "trying" to reform. The alternative is always worse, much worse. They (the players) say it is the best campaign I have ever ran for them, even better than the one where the pcs managed to kidnap the entire watch of guards in a small village of drows by using portable holes and rings of the darkhidden (that was one of the most efficient team of pcs I have ever seen).
Fortunately, there glimmers of hope. One of the pcs has a "building" relationship with Lavinia, another (the priest) has taken Tavey under his wing (saved the boy's life from the 7-headed Hydra), and another pc wants to rescue Thunderstrike from Avner.
Well, the group has finally arrived at the Isle of Dread and I will be starting Here There Be Monsters for them. If people want me to post their adventures here on the forum, I don't mind as I figure other DMs can read them and maybe be thankful for their players, ;)
Canadian Bakka wrote:
There is a campaign journal section on these boards you know. You should check them out.
On Renkrue, when my PCs found out about Avner's undiplomatic proposal, two of them hauled him away to the ship and used a selection of enchantments and a gallon of rotgut to get him hammered (player: "Have another drink Avner.... Have another drink Avner..."), while the others arranged for the Olmans to accept Thunderstrike as a consolation gift. Some diplomacy and intimidation of the crew and passengers followed, and when Avner awoke the next day, the ship had sailed and he had no memory of the night before, but everyone assured him that he had traded Thunderstrike to the girl's father and clearly had a good night.
Oddly enough, the PCs were really more bothered by the horse than by Avner (at the gala at the end of TINH, one of the players actually asked if there were any nobles making eyes at her; I mentioned Avner and the character still has fond memories of that night). Having Thunderstrike in the hold for three months seems to have offended their sensibilities.
Also on Axuxual (or Renkrue) island. I had my pc captain do a lot of sailing rolls since he was going to miss the cross the ocean voyage. Then I fluffed all the various rolls on a day by day basis via email. This includes Avner's attempts at purchasing the girl and other stuff during the session he missed. This is his emailed response:
*Trey is appalled at the actions of his crew member. Trey then pulls Avner aside and explains that his actions were unacceptable, and that if he wished to continue on the trip, he was to take 10 public lashings and apologize to the family. He explains that if Avner refuses to take his punishment for this embarrassment, he would personally see to it that Avner would never see Sasserine again. Trey invites the family to a feast aboard the ship that evening as a way to personally apologize for Avner's actions. (Trey spends 50GP on an enormous feast for his crew and the offended family. Avner is kept chained up in "time-out" during the feast.)*
I have no doubts 'never see Sasserine again' is more than a threat so I gave him a bonus to the diplomacy roll. Especially the 'time out' comment O:)
Zombie Boots wrote:
Any idea what to do with Avner if he makes it to the Far Shore... which he did to MUCH fo my surprise in my campaign!
Well, the obvious choice would be to join his uncle against the front presented by Lavinia and the party. He has scurroulus tails about how they were inept as sailors and the troubles they had on the journey back down to the village, how he personally had to rescue them (at the cost of his precious horse, no les!!). Any nasty snark that can be used against Lavinia in her bid for mayor. Sure he'll get discredited soon, but that's a bit forward thinking for him.
My party *hates* Avner, even though they helped him survive all the way back to Farshore.
During Tides of Dread they completely ignored the election, so Manthalay won handily. To represent that -250 VP penalty, I had him appoint Avner in charge of the town's defences. The players are now seriously contemplating assassinating Avner and his uncle. :D
My party hates A$$ner, me included which is why I call him that whenever he's around but not his uncle. I do show his uncle a bit of respect. Lucky for me I had C3p0 (exalted sainted warforge vow of poverty monk) to be his lackey. My character however offered his servants better jobs (and told them not to let A$$ner eat their rations). They happily became my followers.
I have a ranger who holds nobility in contempt (yeah her interactions with Lavinia and two other PCs were really interesting at first) and Avner has been gaga over her since she saved him when he fell off the boat after that little party on the first day out to sea (he's convinced himself of some BS about mermaids/royalty that goes around in disguise).
Well his attempts to woo her typically fail before they start especially when he gets advice from the sailors(bad really bad), and from his servants(even worse). His best attempt was spawned from the noble sorcerer/rogue which was rather good actually.
Tayahnah was taking her shift in the crow's nest and the 'darling' scaled the rigging (with both servants aiding his checks) to bring her some water and an umbrella. Que some PSA about too much sun and what it does to the skin/cancer what not and so forth. He actually did pretty well until he blabbed that he the water was from Thunderstrike's rationed portion. He was thinking "well the horse isn't drinking as much as we thought so I put it to use." Her conclusion was, "I'm drinking horse spit."
The fighter's waiting for a chance to beat the tar out of him. Hell the cleric wants to kick his rear.
My players mostly try to avoid trouble with Avner. They have given him his own room on the Sea Wyvern, and also gave him an officer title (but with mostly meaningless duties - he is a sort of ship's ambassador). So far they have flattered him so much that his attitude has changed to friendly.
In our campaign, we are at the Olangu stalking portion and the NPCs are dying one by one. One of the players commented that the whole feel was like the movie Predator (at which point I knew I had done my job well). Someone even said, in character, “He's killing us one at a time... like a hunter.”
So, both of Avner’s servants are dead, and he complains boisterously about this situation and how inconvenienced he is. “Who is going to care for Thunderstrike?” he asks.
Without missing a beat, one of the players (in character) says, “She's your baggage. You fall behind, and you're on your own.” (Another Predator quote). I did a spit-take on that one.
Luna eladrin wrote:
So Thunderstrike will be the next victim? (Avner screaming when finding a horsehead in his sleeping bag??)
Gaah! See, you just hit on the big thing that's really causing me to struggle. I've read that one, and it's killing me because it's so perfect (Look! Italian last name. You know when I visit family for the holidays The Godfather will be playing on the big screen!) but I really like thunderstrike!
Actually, with all the toher stuff I have planned, killing Thurnderstrik might seem like an anticlimax. The next encounter is going to be encountering a zombie party of "themselves." Barnaby, Quenge and Skald will actually be raised zombies of those characters. The rest will be bodies from the ship wreck, visually augmented by illusion, including a Thunderstrike zombie cobbled together from several bodies. (When the illusion fades, that's going to be really creepy).
Besides, I hae some other plans for Thudnerstrike later on in the STAP. Keep reading.
During the search for Rowyn, the party ordered the rest of the ship's passengers to remain on deck, while they searched for hours and finally found her. She escaped momentarily, to the deck while masquerading as one of the passengers.
When the party reached the deck, Avner demanded to know what the hell was going on. The party wizard was rude to him, which made Avner turn the entire deck against the crew and party. (Opposed diplomacy checks) The passengers all got ticked at the party for 'ordering them around like they were cattle' and refused to cooperate with them. Then Rowyn stabbed the wizard in the back before getting cut down. Almost killed him, too.
During the funeral for one of the PCs who was murdered by Rowyn (ironically the same player had a character murdered by Rowyn back in There is No Honor as well), Avner sighed loudly and rolled his eyes, being a big prick during a solemn moment for everyone else.
Currently, a player who had been gone from the game during the introduction to Avner has returned, with a new character who tries being nice to the NPCs. Avner is trying to get her to sleep with him, although she says she won't sleep with a man she isn't married to. I'm thinking of having Avner propose to her, and once he does the deed, move on to greener pastures. He's a total charmer with her, telling her to not worry about his noble title, etc.
I really hope I get that opportunity for supreme bastardry. They are only three weeks into their voyage on the Sea Wyvern. I'm not sure if I can make them hate him more than Vanthus, but I'll do my best. It is a shame that most of the current party who were screwed over by Vanthus have left the game. :(
Troy Pacelli wrote:
He won't care if he does. He's going to be that kind of creep.
Btw, Canada.....wtf? You have a party full of evil characters or something? I just read through that and....geez...that's beyond nasty. Sounds like something out of the BoVD playbook.
They are good aligned, most of them. Including the intended victim. Plus, Lavinia gave them special instructions to 'keep Avner out of trouble, but don't upset him.' And one of the PCs is madly in love with Lavinia, so he's been making Diplomacy checks weekly to get on Avner's good side. :)
So murdering him is probably out of the question. Setting him up for rape and defecating on him is definitely out.
I'm hoping to give them their victory when they help Lavinia win the election. Rubbing his loss in his face will be sweeter for all that they suffer beforehand.
Kain Darkwind wrote:
They are good aligned, most of them.
To quote Batman "I won't kill you, but I don't have to save you."
And I remember having to pull avner's butt out of the fire alot on the trip to Farshore. Oh, and my group is beyond good, we're exalted, well at least half the party has exalted feats.
Exalted characters would have to save him. They aren't allowed to stand by and allow evil to happen if they can stop it.
However, you are right that just good characters would be within their rights not to save Avner from a justly deserved fate. We'll see how they go about it. I've yet to get the marriage proposal out yet, I've got to work it up to the character. Ideally, I'm going to have a love triangle between Avner, the player and Lavinia's new major domo, Patamon, who also managed to get on the party's bad side. However, Patamon, unlike Avner, was just misunderstood, not a true bastard. Ideally, I'll build it up between the two, make Avner look like the better match at first, pull the bastardry and have Patamon step in to console the brokenhearted player.
If it works out right, Lirith will be Avner's means to cheat. Not sure if the player should catch them in the act or overhear him promising that his wife means nothing to him.
Kain Darkwind wrote:
Well, sure, if they stand around and watch him bleed to death or whatever, but usually, the decision of how to allocate healing resources are made on a triage basis. It’s not a morality call if, for example, in the middle of a battle, you see Avner drop in the same round that the Paladin and Mage drop and you prioritize the Paladin and Mage over Avner. It’s just tactics – We’ll all die without the Mage’s protection spells and we’ll all die eventually if we don’t have the paladin to mow down the baddies. Of course, that’s a minimum of two rounds that Avner’s going to bleed out. Add movement through a combat zone and avoiding attacks of opportunity, well, Avner could just be dead by the time you get to him. Wouldn’t that be a shame?
Of course, this is just one hypothetical situation. There are plenty of reasonable situations that even the Best-of-the-Best might be completely justified in “not saving” Avner. Not that I’m advocating the players to actively seek such justification, mind you. I’m just warning DMs not to dismiss the possibility out of hand.