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Rowyn Kellani as a cohort


Savage Tide Adventure Path


My players are playing real goody toeshoes (or however you spell that) and giver everyone a chance to surrender. They did the same with Rowyn and seeing as she was on 2 hp and nauseated she couldn't drink the potion.

Now one of the two clerics wants her as a cohort (they lack a rogue, whose player can't be with us everytime) and possible love interest/sex slave.

My question is, what would she do? They changed her attitude to indifferent (from hostile after they refused) and gave her a change to reform as a 'good girl' and help them find Vanthus and bring him to justice (which won't happen, that would ruin the plot, but they can try).

Yours,
Melce


Well, first let me help you out with that phrase. You are looking for “Goody Two-Shoes,” an idiom that derives from a child’s story from the 1700s. I would imagine you can find the story on line somewhere if you’re so inclined.

However, that leads me to my next point: “Sex slave”?!?! How is THAT “goody two-shoes”???? We can come back to this point later.

I understand the whole concept of changing an NPC’s predisposition based on Charisma rolls, but I think that’s more for un-named NPCs whose motives are not well defined. In Rowyn’s case, I don’t think there’s any amount of Charisma, short of magic, that is going to make her anything but seething vengeful towards the PCs. They ransacked her hideout, killed most of her employees and associates, and pretty much routed her gang. They essentially destroyed her business. Oh, and what happed to her little dragon? Did they kill him? Yeah, you murder my pet, kill my employees, destroy my business and attack me, no amount of smooth talk is going to make me “indifferent.” Don’t be mistaken; she is well and truly different – er, you know what I mean.

So you’ve ransacked my hideout, killed or driven off my employees, stolen all my loot, killed my pet and attacked me (I’m near dead), and then you offer to take me with you as your sex slave. Oh, yeah, baby! Cut me off a piece of that! And put some STANK on it!

Your question: What would she do? She goes along with them. She pretends to be a broken, submissive woman. She starts to appeal to their egos (“I’ve always relied on the kindness of strangers.” <bats eyelashes>) She uses this position to sew discord in the group. Maybe she comes on to two strong male characters and makes them jealous of each other, driving a wedge between them and creating a rivalry. She waits until a dangerous situation and does something secretly to endanger the group. Any women in your party? She disguises herself as her and tries to seduce the dudes, leading to more strife. She could even behave jealous of “herself.” No other women in the party? She comes to one of the guys as Lavinia. Later, he tries something with Lavinia, assuming a degree of familiarity that she does not share. The possibilities are endless.

Plus, it does put her in the right position to bring the pickled mephit aboard the Wyvern later on – they know she’s there, but she’s just another suspect. This actually doesn’t have to change the story significantly at all.

Taldor

This occurred in the first adventure I assume? If this is the first adventure I'd say no: Rowyn either escapes or is taken back (perhaps forcibly) by her family. I say this mainly because she or her family make attempts on the PC's lives in the next two adventures. If this is the Sea Wyvern's Wake I'd say fine, but as with any Cohort this shouldn't happen overnight, I'd make the PCs role play reforming her for a good deal of this adventure. Basically, if this is the first adventure I'd be hesitant (PCs normally need to be level 6 to gain cohorts anyways), but if this is the 3rd adventure I'd say go for it. Rowyn has essentially outlived her usefulness in the story by then.


Rowyn's level is probably too high to be a cohort. Moreover, the PCs have to be level 6, as mentioned earlier. But she could always tag along, brooding on revenge.

If she is ever alone with one of the PCs (sex slave??) she will probably use her bardic fascinate ability. Perhaps she tries to use charm or suggestion when the character is fascinated. And then she can begin to subtly manipulate this character.


Guy Humual wrote:
This occurred in the first adventure I assume? If this is the first adventure I'd say no: Rowyn either escapes or is taken back (perhaps forcibly) by her family. I say this mainly because she or her family make attempts on the PC's lives in the next two adventures. If this is the Sea Wyvern's Wake I'd say fine, but as with any Cohort this shouldn't happen overnight, I'd make the PCs role play reforming her for a good deal of this adventure. Basically, if this is the first adventure I'd be hesitant (PCs normally need to be level 6 to gain cohorts anyways), but if this is the 3rd adventure I'd say go for it. Rowyn has essentially outlived her usefulness in the story by then.

This is one time I don’t think I can agree with you, Guy. Rowyn is pretty upset by SWW – have you seen her picture for that adventure? That picture alone is what inspired me to bring her back later on as a revenant. Her whole reason (as written) of stowing aboard the Wyvern is revenge. You think she’d be LESS vengeful because the PCs sweet talk her? It seems more likely that even good CHA rolls would be interpreted by her as condescension and ridicule, or at least with paranoid suspicion.

Then there’s that whole sex slave thing that gives me the heebie-jeebies. Yeah, I don’t see how you can argue against Rowyn going all Pam Grier on the PCs.


Luna eladrin wrote:

Rowyn's level is probably too high to be a cohort. Moreover, the PCs have to be level 6, as mentioned earlier. But she could always tag along, brooding on revenge.

If she is ever alone with one of the PCs (sex slave??) she will probably use her bardic fascinate ability. Perhaps she tries to use charm or suggestion when the character is fascinated. And then she can begin to subtly manipulate this character.

Oh, Luna, I love how your think.

I envision a whole Tarantino film… no, make that two films, because one would be two long. Just call the second one “Part 2.” I see Rowyn in a yellow jumpsuit with black striping and brandishing a katana.

I don’t know why…

Taldor

Troy Pacelli wrote:


This is one time I don’t think I can agree with you, Guy. Rowyn is pretty upset by SWW – have you seen her picture for that adventure? That picture alone is what inspired me to bring her back later on as a revenant. Her whole reason (as written) of stowing aboard the Wyvern is revenge. You think she’d be LESS vengeful because the PCs sweet talk her? It seems more likely that even good CHA rolls would be interpreted by her as condescension and ridicule, or at least with paranoid suspicion.

Then there’s that whole sex slave thing that gives me the heebie-jeebies. Yeah, I don’t see how you can argue against Rowyn going all Pam Grier on the PCs.

Well I admit that it's unlikely, but it really all depends on how the earlier meetings went. If the seeds were planted in their first encounter and the PCs treat her well afterwords I see no reason Rowyn can't be redeemed. Such a change isn't going to be an overnight thing, she's probably still too high a level to be a cohort for one thing (remember maximum level for a cohort is PC level -2), and she probably despises the PCs, but if shown kindness, kept away from her mothers influence, and a taught that there's a better way . . . then why not have Rowyn come around and become a cohort? There's not much use for her as a recurring villain after all.


Guy Humual wrote:
Well I admit that it's unlikely, but it really all depends on how the earlier meetings went. If the seeds were planted in their first encounter and the PCs treat her well afterwords I see no reason Rowyn can't be redeemed. Such a change isn't going to be an overnight thing, she's probably still too high a level to be a cohort for one thing (remember maximum level for a cohort is PC level -2), and she probably despises the PCs, but if shown kindness, kept away from her mothers influence, and a taught that there's a better way . . . then why not have Rowyn come around and become a cohort? There's not much use for her as a recurring villain after all.

Oh, really, well keep reading my blog....

Okay, I'll give you the 'depending on' bit. We don't have much to go on from the OP. However, SEX SLAVE! OMG!! Do I NEED to say anymore???


They didn't utter the words 'sex slave' in her presence, more of a OOC comment from the player. yes it was in the first campaign chapter and I am think about letting her get along with the players and surprise them at the right time (3rd installment).

The players are higher level then usual (near 5th) because they play through the game for 5 people (the player who can't always be with us) usually with only 4 chars. We have a highly experienced player group and we use pretty much every game book available.

Thanks for your two cents and I am curious if you come up with more. I'll keep you informed.

Yours

Taldor

I think it all depends on how you view the source of Rowyn's evil. As I read the character I see an idealistic and charismatic leader who earned many powerful allies and strong armed and intimidated many others. This isn't the sort of NPC that's going to change with one successful diplomacy check.

However if you see the character as being pushed by a controlling mother rather then driven by her own desires for power then perhaps we're looking at a character that might change over time.

On the other hand Rowyn could be the perfect Medea, a genuinely ruthless and dangerous individual, but who falls in love with a hero. The story of Jason and the Argonauts is probably my favorite Greek legend . . . all because of one badass sorceress. In some versions of the story Medea did everything except for plucking the golden fleas. She alone caused Jason's rise to power (and adventures take care) when Jason tried to leave her, Medea cut him down almost immediately. Rowyn could become a cohort . . . but she's probably not going to be a docile one.


Guy Humual wrote:
Medea did everything except for plucking the golden fleas...

golden fleas! HA! ROTFLMAO!! She was a flea picker? You need an editor. Khartan?


I've always seen Rowyn as being too antagonistic to be any shade of helpful if she's kept around. Of course I do go by the fact that she's heavily influenced by her mother (part of my reasons she stows away was that she was kicked off the estate to protect the family's standing in the Dawn Council). Of course I have a PC plotline to nudge her toward possible redemption through the last flicker of good in her black heart. I still don't really see her turning a new leaf until she gets in over her head (my choice being Olangru) and suffers worse than even she could imagine. Though I don't know how things would go after that especially if she gets as far as the return of Vanthus.

There's also an effort to "reform" Avner as well that I don't intend to let succeed.

Taldor

Troy Pacelli wrote:
Guy Humual wrote:
Medea did everything except for plucking the golden fleas...
golden fleas! HA! ROTFLMAO!! She was a flea picker? You need an editor. Khartan?

No, that was Jason, I clearly said: "Medea did everything except for plucking"

I can't spell and you can't read :P

Fleece, it should have read golden fleece. I should have double checked but as long as I don't see any red lines I'm happy.


Guy Humual wrote:
Troy Pacelli wrote:
Guy Humual wrote:
Medea did everything except for plucking the golden fleas...
golden fleas! HA! ROTFLMAO!! She was a flea picker? You need an editor. Khartan?

No, that was Jason, I clearly said: "Medea did everything except for plucking"

I can't spell and you can't read :P

Fleece, it should have read golden fleece. I should have double checked but as long as I don't see any red lines I'm happy.

Dude, don't give you "you can't read." Look back at your post. I just did a cut & paste of what you said. I can't help what you MEANT to say.

Oh, I see what you're saying. You're trying to give me grief about me saying she's a flea picker. Okay, I'll give you that, if it makes you feel better. My comment wasn't about who was doing the plucking, but what was being plucked (so I didn't really pay any attention to that part of the story)

Okay, so if you prefer, “She’s NOT a flea picker. Jason is.” Either way, you got someone in a toga hunched over grooming someone like a chimp - picking fleas!


I'm here for you, Guy. You DO need an editor.

Speaking of which, when do we get some more Tristan goodness?


Troy Pacelli wrote:

Oh, Luna, I love how your think.

I envision a whole Tarantino film… no, make that two films, because one would be two long. Just call the second one “Part 2.” I see Rowyn in a yellow jumpsuit with black striping and brandishing a katana.

I don’t know why…

You have made me laugh out loud!

Spoiler:
In my campaign one of the PCs tried to seduce Rowyn. So she fascinated him and sent him to a society party to murder one of her enemies. The PC did not like that person either, so he failed his save and committed the murder. He also got rid of the evidence. It was a very memorable evening.


Now if there were only some way to run the STAP out of sequence with a retro style opening credits and comming attractions for Grindehouse the RPG...

Taldor

Troy Pacelli wrote:


Okay, so if you prefer, “She’s NOT a flea picker. Jason is.” Either way, you got someone in a toga hunched over grooming someone like a chimp - picking fleas!

Exactly, this is what I wrote, Medea did everything except . . . pick the fleas. <sigh> Ya ya, I'm an idiot, but in my defense I suspect that was the work of the auto correct. I suspect that I typed something like 'flese' and my computer auto corrected it to 'fleas' instead of fleece. Fleece isn't exactly a common word.

Anyways, ignoring my spelling flub, my thoughts should still stand. I tend to agree with Troy, that Rowyn isn't likely to become a cohort, but I can see it in a few circumstances. One where over time she changes and becomes a better person, and the other, where Rowyn falls in love with one of the PCs . . . but doesn't change at all! Not exactly an ideal situation with a paladin goody two-shoes in the party. I've always sort of liked Rowyn as a villain and I'd always wished that my DM had done a bit more with her.

Seeing as this is the first adventure if you do decide to allow Rowyn as a cohort it will require some rewrites in the Sea Wyvern's Wake. This isn't a difficult rewrite (compared to say, replacing Lavinia Vanderboren) but you will need a reason for the Kellani family to attempt to assassinate the PCs, and you'll need a new stowaway. That's if you want to keep these plots in. Seeing as the PCs are already level 5 maybe you could stand to trim some things.


Guy Humual wrote:


Exactly, this is what I wrote, Medea did everything except . . . pick the fleas. <sigh> Ya ya, I'm an idiot, but in my defense I suspect that was the work of the auto correct. I suspect that I typed something like 'flese' and my computer auto corrected it to 'fleas' instead of fleece. Fleece isn't exactly a common word.

That’s why you can’t trust those dog squattin’ computers.

Not exactly an ideal situation with a paladin goody two-shoes in the party…

[Joe Pesci voice] What are you sayin’? Are you sayin’ like I was lazy by not providing a link? Like I’m Ask dot <censored> com, here? Is that what you’re saying? [/Joe Pesci voice]

Okay, fair enough. I guess I agree with you and, let’s face it, it totally depends on what the OP thinks works best in their game. However, the chances for such a scenario seem SO remote, so miniscule, as to be like amoebas on FLEAS on rats. ; D


I had a long and informative post for you, but these lousy paizo message boards ate my post again, so here is the short version.

My interaction with Rowyn ended like this:

"You had plenty of opportunities to kill me while I was sleeping. You singled me out for poisoning. Why not kill the others? I think it is because your attracted to me and your feelings are conflicted."

That might help your motivation for Rowyn.


There is actually an alternative stowaway mentioned in the adventure. I think it is someone from the Crimson feet.

And as for sending assassins after the PCs: there is always an enemy to be found. Perhaps you can even let Vanthus send them.


Troy Pacelli wrote:

Well, first let me help you out with that phrase. You are looking for “Goody Two-Shoes,” an idiom that derives from a child’s story from the 1700s. I would imagine you can find the story on line somewhere if you’re so inclined.

However, that leads me to my next point: “Sex slave”?!?! How is THAT “goody two-shoes”???? We can come back to this point later.

I understand the whole concept of changing an NPC’s predisposition based on Charisma rolls, but I think that’s more for un-named NPCs whose motives are not well defined. In Rowyn’s case, I don’t think there’s any amount of Charisma, short of magic, that is going to make her anything but seething vengeful towards the PCs. They ransacked her hideout, killed most of her employees and associates, and pretty much routed her gang. They essentially destroyed her business. Oh, and what happed to her little dragon? Did they kill him? Yeah, you murder my pet, kill my employees, destroy my business and attack me, no amount of smooth talk is going to make me “indifferent.” Don’t be mistaken; she is well and truly different – er, you know what I mean.

So you’ve ransacked my hideout, killed or driven off my employees, stolen all my loot, killed my pet and attacked me (I’m near dead), and then you offer to take me with you as your sex slave. Oh, yeah, baby! Cut me off a piece of that! And put some STANK on it!

Your question: What would she do? She goes along with them. She pretends to be a broken, submissive woman. She starts to appeal to their egos (“I’ve always relied on the kindness of strangers.” <bats eyelashes>) She uses this position to sew discord in the group. Maybe she comes on to two strong male characters and makes them jealous of each other, driving a wedge between them and creating a rivalry. She waits until a dangerous situation and does something secretly to endanger the group. Any women in your party? She disguises herself as her and tries to seduce the dudes, leading to more strife. She could even behave jealous of...

This post made me laugh so hard I almost choked to death on chocolate flavored popcorn. Thank you.


Freehold DM wrote:
Troy Pacelli wrote:
[A bunch of funny struff]
This post made me laugh so hard I almost choked to death on chocolate flavored popcorn. Thank you.

Thank you. I'm here all week. Try the veal, and don't forget to tip your waitress.

And, yummy as that sounds (mm, death by chocolate flavored popcorn...), don't die. Most people tend to stop laughing when people die (and those that don't scrare the chocolate flavored popcorn out of those that do) and it just kills the mood. Chew, swallow, then read the funny posts, okay?


Prior to starting TINH, the PCs foiled an attempt on Rowyn Kellani's life by Slipknot Peet. Grateful, she bailed the group out of trouble with the Azure Watch when they were caught twice (in the same day) trying to acquire black market thieves' tools.

After discovering the Lotus Dragons' hideout, they decide to stake out the shop. For two whole days. Within two hours they learn that Roblach works alone, but they waited the whole time. After the first day, with Keltar Islaran dead, ships were backing up in the harbor.

By the end of the second day, with ship captains clamoring to get into port before their goods spoil, the PCs hear that Heldrath Kellani seems to have some influence and ability to get ships moved up in the queue.

The halfling wants to bum-rush Roblach; a tactic he's promoted so often that even the gladiator from Zelkarune's Horns is getting tired of it. Not to mention the rogue. I've called for Hide checks during their stake-out. And one PC (the rogue, incidentally) was discovered.

When they enter the shop, Roblach bluffs that they are expected (he's really only been informed of the rogue). Bluff was beaten, but they allowed him to escort the group to the lair. And lead them to Rowyn's living room. The place is totally deserted.

Rowyn is not upset to see them. Soller Vark was going to have to be eliminated anyway, they just sped up her time-table a bit. And if her plan for the harbormaster comes to fruition, the lost jeeps from not selling the animals is chump-change.

So, Rowyn offers the PCs a job. But the halfling is seething for Vanthus because of being trapped with the hungry dead. Rowyn laughs that attempt off as the group is all still alive. "Vanthus isn't a good killer, but he is the goose who laid the golden egg. he makes me lots of money. Why should I let you have him?"

I figured that was a no brainer. Show Rowyn the note from Penkus. Nope. All I got was an angry halfling, frothing at the mouth and chewing scenery. So, Rowyn tells the group that if they don't want a job, Vanthus is not on the table, but her sword is.

"ARRRRG!" I throw a dagger at her! She's threatening our lives!

"You fools. You'll assist me one way, or another." Rowyn wins initiative, quaffs her potion of gaseous form and departs. Gut Tugger tumbles out of the room as 12 thieves come in from one door and a dozen from the other. But they're just trying to grapple and subdue the PCs.

They end up killing nine before the ones from Rowyn's bedroom bolt the door. The other side does the same. The PCs have to batter down the door. The search the lair and find no one and nothing of interest. As they're swimming out, at the very last, the see Heldrath Kellani at the head of a group of Azure Watch and Dawn Council functionaries.

Heldrath's story, backed by forgeries and bluffs, is that her father constructed this place to shelter and smuggle dissidents out of the city during the oppressive reign of the Sea Princes. She's been using it to help ease the backlog of ships. But its been ransacked by pirates and bandits. The nine dead bodies attest to that. The Lotus Dragons come out from Rowyn's room disguised as workers, barristers, and accountants with tales of blood-red terror. But their descriptions of their assailants are vague, even contradictory. They can't even seem to agree on how many there were. The PCs decide to leave at that point.

The Kellanis would have preferred to capture the bandits (PCs) red-handed and possibly implicate the Vanderborens (at least discredit them some). However, they've served their purpose, and might again, so the Kellanis don't want the PCs arrested . . . yet. But the bloodshed is sufficient for the Dawn Council to insist that they must arm House Kellani with the power and authority it'll need to defend their property and secure their ability to continue to help the city of Sasserine.

Voila! Heldrath Kellani becomes Harbor Mistress and the Lotus Dragons becomes the top contender to be the thieves' guild in Sasserine.

The group doesn't like being used, but they're now powerless to do anything about it. Rowyn is still alive, but has no need to be on the Sea Wyvern.

I'm running Salvage Operation (#123), Dead Man's Quest (#107), Funeral Procession (#135), Shut-In (#128), Urban Decay (#138), The Distraction (#145), Kill Bargle! (#150), The Bullywug Gambit, Fiend's Embrace (#121), Last Stand of Outpost Three (#110), Rivers of Blood (#89), War of the Wielded (#149), and Palace of the Twisted Knig (#116) before The Sea Wyvern's Wake, so I'm sure I'll find someone to put on the boat.


Quote:

... The group doesn't like being used, but they're now powerless to do anything about it. Rowyn is still alive, but has no need to be on the Sea Wyvern.

I'm running Salvage Operation (#123), Dead Man's Quest (#107), Funeral Procession (#135), Shut-In (#128), Urban Decay (#138), The Distraction (#145), Kill Bargle! (#150), The Bullywug Gambit, Fiend's Embrace (#121), Last Stand of Outpost Three (#110), Rivers of Blood (#89), War of the Wielded (#149), and Palace of the Twisted Knig (#116) before The Sea Wyvern's Wake, so I'm sure I'll find someone to put on the boat.

Now that is a damned fine bit of political maneuvering. I'll have to keep something like it in mind for when I'm running TiNH.

Nice list of interim adventures, too! I was planning on adapting and running some classic Dungeon adventures amidst There Is No Honor, The Bullywug Gambit, and Sea Wyvern's Wake. Namely The Moor-Tomb Map (#13) and The Pit (#17) off of loot potentially found in the Lotus Dragon lair (to run between TiNH and TBG), and Forsaken Arch (#120), Huzza's Goblin o' War (#63), and War of the Wielded (#149) between TBG and SWW.

I'm definitely going to take a look at the ones you've listed, as well.

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