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Need ideas to make this event "plausible". (stripping players of gear)


Suggestions/House Rules/Homebrew


I'm really lucky and I've had the same group for 3+ years. We've gone 4e to PFRPG.

We were using the FR campaign setting and for the longest of time I wanted to put players into my own created world. The time is near.

I have a story arc in place now that is prepping this shift. It goes something like this:

1. Party has been assisting a small lumber town and were out on a routine quest for the town.

2. Party has killed cultists from both Vecna and Orcus (Orcus and Vecna cultists in this story are both using the party to do in the other cultists) over time.

3. Party arrives back in town to find it taken over by Vecna cultists that want revenge.

4. Fight ensues.

5. Orcus cultists arrive. They are very strong and want to do away with party & Vecna cultists.

6. Vecna cultists start fleeing by means of 'portals'. Somehow party will be coerced into fleeing into portal to 'live'.

7. I think at this point an Orcus cultist will cast a spell that impacts the portal while the party is fleeing and BAM... transported to new setting. Magic gone haywire :)

8. I need a plausible story for this next part. I want to strip the party of all/nearly all equipment. Basically arrive in their skivvies. I just need a logical reason why. I can't strip the Sorcerers spellbook because that would completely break his class. My other players can find new weapons.

My idea was to de-gear them and throw some lower level encounters at them until they gear up. They'll have to equip some tree branches and rocks until they get a game plan going.

I just need a story to explain why they were stripped of gear (minus the sorcerer spellbook)


make sure it's a gimmick for a session or 2.

Also, sorcerers don't use spellbooks


Weight limitations? Maybe the portal dumps them high in the air, under some sort of a Feather Fall effect. But they are too heavy, and start plummeting...


oh ha! didn't even realize sorcerers didn't use spell books.

I thought about the gimmick angle. I know players get attached to their gear, so I was trying to come up with something creative.

It's challenging. I don't want to make them feel punished.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Lambec wrote:

oh ha! didn't even realize sorcerers didn't use spell books.

I thought about the gimmick angle. I know players get attached to their gear, so I was trying to come up with something creative.

It's challenging. I don't want to make them feel punished.

You know your players better then I do, but I am rather certain they will feel punished unless there is some serious in and out of character prep for completely stripping characters of exhisting gear.

My recomendation is talk to them ahead of time about having a fresh start in the new world, and also, in character have the cultists strip naked and toss away their own gear before going through the portal. Make it part of how the 'portals work' only living flesh can pass throug (ala terminator). If you talk to them ahead of time and they see in character a justification for the removal of gear, they might react better.

Alternatively, I would seriously consider starting a new campaign with new characters. Switching campaign worlds is usually a great reason to do this, and doesn't require a wonky magic portal gimick to get the story started.

Andoran

Lambec wrote:

I'm really lucky and I've had the same group for 3+ years. We've gone 4e to PFRPG.

We were using the FR campaign setting and for the longest of time I wanted to put players into my own created world. The time is near.

I have a story arc in place now that is prepping this shift. It goes something like this:

1. Party has been assisting a small lumber town and were out on a routine quest for the town.

2. Party has killed cultists from both Vecna and Orcus (Orcus and Vecna cultists in this story are both using the party to do in the other cultists) over time.

3. Party arrives back in town to find it taken over by Vecna cultists that want revenge.

4. Fight ensues.

5. Orcus cultists arrive. They are very strong and want to do away with party & Vecna cultists.

6. Vecna cultists start fleeing by means of 'portals'. Somehow party will be coerced into fleeing into portal to 'live'.

7. I think at this point an Orcus cultist will cast a spell that impacts the portal while the party is fleeing and BAM... transported to new setting. Magic gone haywire :)

8. I need a plausible story for this next part. I want to strip the party of all/nearly all equipment. Basically arrive in their skivvies. I just need a logical reason why. I can't strip the Sorcerers spellbook because that would completely break his class. My other players can find new weapons.

My idea was to de-gear them and throw some lower level encounters at them until they gear up. They'll have to equip some tree branches and rocks until they get a game plan going.

I just need a story to explain why they were stripped of gear (minus the sorcerer spellbook)

Mage's Disjunction

Disenchants magic items. Also, having a caster which is capable of casting this spell would really encourage your party to flee (if they have any sense anyways).


This is a dangerous path to follow and I hope you know your players well enough to think they won't get royally ticked off about it. I played one like this where it was just a single adventure and they did eventually get their kit back, but it was nearly the end of the group.

That said, since this is a portal and not a shipwreck, maybe allowing each character to take a single piece of gear with them, something light like 10 pounds or less?

Another option is that they go through the portal but they get rendered unconscious on exit, sort of a cult safety feature built into the portal to hinder pursuit or that the area the portal opened into had a protection, can't think of the spell right off hand, but the one that prohibits or allows only certain things to cross freely. It could be set to allow only Vecna worshipers and anyone else is knocked out. That way the PCs wake up later in a prison and have to escape and in the process might find a cultist examining the spellbook and perhaps a few other minor items. The rest of their kit would have been sent to vaults for study and disbursement to cult members and the PCs aren't currently strong enough to get it back.

Aside from that, I agree with Kolokotroni about starting a new world altogether.


Instead of losing their gear permanently, which can be a pain for players, scatter it around a one mile radius or something and have them spend the time fighting low level baddies while they search for it. If there are particularly troublesome items, have them remain "unfound."

The portal exploded at the end, causing all inanimate objects to scatter throughout the countryside when they exited the portal (maybe even give them all a bit of damage to reinforce it, not much, but enough to let them know there was an explosion, maybe a save for half even). Then have them find something quickly (like the cleric's holy symbol) and then run into someone else who "found" another one of their items a few hundred feet away. They'll get the idea and begin the search.

Andoran

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

You could have the spell / portal / whatever only transport living matter or some variation thereof (e.g. organic matter if they don't have any magical items made of cloth / wood / et cetera).

Qadira

Have it so when they go through the portal everything and everyone gets scattered. The PCs show up all over the place, damaged clothing and gear hanging from the trees, etc. Make sure to show the cultist's had the same thing happen to them and their stuff is scattered too.

Either they can find their gear back slowly as they explore, or come up with an explanation why the magic items either got de-powered or destroyed.

No matter how you handle it, make sure to address your players and assure them this is a temporary situation and that the encounters will be scaled so they don't feel like they are getting the shaft.


I think I can work with the scattering idea. I would never want to make them feel like they've just been penalized.

I think I have some good ideas to work with out of this.

The party and some of the Vecna cult will go through the portal. Gear will be flung around. Some within sight. Some the players managed to hold on to, and some will be flung out of sight. Maybe a scavenger, or two, will find and item and take it back to a small town to hock for coin. The party might find their way to that town and recognize some of their gear for sale in a store. Having a Vecna cult member, or two, survive with the party will give them a means to figure out that this "escape portal" is not how it normally works.

This is good brain food.

I like your idea Kolokotroni, and under ideal circumstances I'd go this route, but we're about a once every 2-3 week group. And for the most part the players have created the story with their own individual quests.

I have one player interested in "planes travel" so this will fill that niche temporarily. I can dabble with a new world while they try and figure out how to get back to their current world.


CBDunkerson wrote:
You could have the spell / portal / whatever only transport living matter or some variation thereof (e.g. organic matter if they don't have any magical items made of cloth / wood / et cetera).

There is precedencefor this.

Qadira

Portal splits organic and inorganic things, so all organic items go one place, and all inorganic items go somewhere else. I think there was actually a portal in the Tomb of Horrors that did that, or something similar.

Organic items would include any living creatures, wooden items, and items made from skins and hides, such as hide or leather armor, books (leather binding, paper made from wood pulp, inks and glues made from animal parts or excretions), staves, the shafts from arrows, spears and hammers, wooden shields, not to mention organic components of metal armor and weapons, such as leather straps and cloth lining.

The inorganic items would include any metal armor or weapons, rings, arrowheads, spear heads, hammer heads, swords, and so on, and would go to a different location.

Crystalline items could go either way, because some crystals, such as diamonds, are the result of the decay of animal matter, or are otherwise carbon-based, and thus organic.

Give the party a route to eventually find their inorganic things, but then they'll have to employ craft skills to put some of their stuff back together.


Nightwish wrote:
Portal splits organic and inorganic things

Make it an animal/mineral/vegetable three-way split, and you should have all equipment forms covered.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Come up with a plot twist which strongly encourages to give up the majority of their gear willingly, or at least that they know their gear will disappear or be disjuncted when they pass through. This way they have warning ahead of time and can prepare themselves.

Maybe allow them to choose one item they can keep, this allows them some sense of choice in a situation which generally tends to be universally reviled and resisted by most players.

You should encourage them OOC by noting they WILL have a chance to get their gear back or better at a later date.

Examples for their knowing they will lose their gear
- They rescue some NPCs. The NPCs want to stay and fight but need weapons and armor; the party kindly gives it to them, knowing it will be made up to them later.

- The portal is a prisoners' portal, specifically designed to send the travelers through as a punishment. If it is truly the only way out they will take it, but they know ahead of time that their objects will be teleported via a contingency to a separate location (this gives them the hope of getting their gear back).

- They have to activate the portal with significant magic "juice"--the easiest and fastest way is to sacrifice magic items to it. (This lets party keep mundane gear)


I think befor you start to think about making them lose theyr gear, you should find a reasonable enough motivation for them to pass the portal. Assuming players action is the worst thing a master can ever do, and can quickly bring to downfall. If they have any kind of magical teleportation system you are pretty screwed.


Have one cultist aka bloody head having been bashed in the head and therefore somewhat woozey runs into the portal with his Flaming +1 Dagger or whatever something obviously magic as he runs across the threshold the dagger explodes and his fried corpse is thrown back out of the portal then one of the cultists can yell out to the other "No Bloody Head! You idiots don't forget to dump the magical items before entering the portals you know they interact badly together!"

Of course the party may choose to go down fighting if they don't know the plan before hand so talk to them about it OOC.


On the disjunction spell it doesn't work like it used to. Magic items are suppressed only for the duration of the spell not just plain disenchanted. the only other option to use for that is to outright destroy them.


I don't know what your setting is like, but maybe when the characters wake (on the other side of the portal) they find themselves imprisoned, their gear taken from them. Their jailors might not be used to such equipment (particularly spellbooks and the like). They may question the party and cultists, and come to the conclusion that they are all heretics and sentence them to death sort of deal.

/Prison break.

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