My suggestion would be a different game system. Unfortunately it's not released yet. You can read some of my thoughts about it here.. It's a game that's based on a concept that is very, very similar to what you want though. I can PM you info for the quick start if you like.
Irontruth, this basically sounds like the best thing EVER. I would love the quickstart if you don't mind! Ah, so cool! Yeah I intendee to run it with BRP and just lift story structure from Pathfinder or whatever adventures were recommended, but BRP would present a whole host of other potential problems. A system that features substantive stealth AND plays well one-on-one? Sign me up!
I should add that I thought about doing the opening of 'Stolen Lands', but an encounter with the bandits and maaaybe 1 or 2 sandboxy encounters doesn't have the narrative punch--I want my buddy to be exhilarated by the end of our session.
I thought about using "Souls for Smuggler's Shiv" as a foundation. I won't be using the Pathfinder ruleset so I'm not concerned about its numbers, etc. Just the general setup and story.
Maybe trim it way down in terms of combat, and focus on the relationship of the survivors and how they deal with one main challenge.
Maybe the PC and the ship are Chelish. Here are a few key survivors. Some sniveling middle manager becomes the 'leader' of the survivors due to the absence of the captain. A crony of the PC is willing to mutiny if the PC wants to. An important figure, like a physician or blacksmith, wants to maintain order at all costs. Yet another survivor recommends tracking down the captain to avoid the question of mutiny altogether. Actual mutiny risks causing the last vestiges of order to collapse among the main body of survivors.
The PC can explore a neighboring shipwreck (stored bombs, or treasure or something), explore the ruins of an old survivor's camp, or a ruined structure. Maybe this'd be an hour of play. PC only has time to check out one location, at least at first.
Player learns about the cannibals (maybe just a family with a few members, more like the Grauls in ROTRL) and can fight with them, deceive them, stealth in to get the captain, blow up their camp, decide to JOIN them, whatever. Maybe one rogue cannibal or the cannibal chieftain present a mini quest; the PC must go to one of the three mini-locations (one which he hasn't visited yet) to retrieve X / kill Y, whatever. In the event the PC attacks the cannibal camp, maybe he sees them sacrifice the captain to a winged monster, which takes him back to its lair--so instead of the cannibal mini-quest, it's a fetch quest to retrieve the captain. Whatever the monster is, it'll present the option of a social encounter (winged chupacabra wasn't my favorite; a big harpy or something might make more sense).
1) Opening introduces NPCs, their roles, and their relationships to the PC as the PC rescues them from the waves (with maybe non-combat sea vermin crawling all over them versus actual combat). Scanning surroundings reveals three weenies (an old shipwreck, a ruined structure, a settlement (not clear it's uninhabited)).
2) Sniveling NPC exerts himself over the survivors and announces some stupid plan that'll surely get them all killed, wants to act on it in the morning. PC can meet with one or more NPCs that night to discuss how they want to proceed. Maybe set off in the pre-dawn to one of the weenies.
3) PC and any NPCs who have been made loyal etc. go to one of the weenies. Doesn't matter which one; flavor of items etc. found there can be adjusted but their function remains the same. For example, item that is useful for peaceful interaction with cannibals or item that is useful for combat against them. Indigenous wildlife or flavorful monster serves as first combat challenge.
4) Combat with wildlife or whatever gives player a sense of accomplishment etc. However, combat attracted attention of cannibals, who surprise the PC in his post-combat weakened state. PC can handle situation peacefully (it'd be tricky, but doable), or a minor combat situation, like where the cannibals break off and race back to their village after a round or two.
5) NPCs can tell the PC to go after the cannibals or go back to the ship to warn everyone, etc. Brief scene traversing to cannibal village or brief scene back with the ship survivors and the sniveling dude (who may or may not be alive at this point / upset about their 'absence').
6) Evening ends with one last big push. PC might be told by the sniveling dude to kill or otherwise neutralize the cannibals. Or be told by the cannibals to defeat something. Maybe this 'something' is the indigenous monster they encountered at the weenie (which could have fled into the jungle instead of being outright killed). So now they have to go to its lair and finish it off.
Friend played a Star Wars RPG as a teenager and really wants to try roleplaying again. I asked what he liked to do in his old Star Wars game, or what he likes best in video game RPGs, and he said:
"I think it'd be fun playing a Han Solo rogue who is good at talking his way into or out of trouble, and who sneaks around planting bombs and fighting dirty."
I want to run a single-session story with a social encounter and some sort of 'sandboxy' combat encounter, where he can approach a site from multiple angles. Probably run four hours.
Know of any Pathfinder modules (or other modules) that meet these criteria? Or advice on how to build one?
I could see the ol' Render of Veils having LN as its alignment. N would make the most sense (and be the safest choice). CN, though, would be a nice dash of paradoxical Lovecraftian flavor: you've got what is basically the manifestation of absolute, horrifying order (probably has a suite of Law-domain spells and abilities at its disposal), but its mere presence throws its surroundings into reality-shattering chaos. Maybe absolute law in the Dark Tapestry IS chaos.
Regardless of its own alignment, Daoloth's "lawful" nature could make for some fun, shake-em-up situations involving lawful outsiders.
I could see plane-hopping adventurers stumble across some corner of Hell or Nirvana or Heaven where, curiously, the imposition of law is lax or altogether absent. Brooding, Dunwichian locals of the surrounding region whisper that it was once a site of especially extreme law--law so strong (some blasphemers might whisper "too" strong) that the metaphysical configuration of the localized reality attracted--or possibly crystallized as--Daoloth itself. Increasingly rigid plans and stratagems to expel the GOO failed. So now it is a shunned place. Its borders are neither quarantined nor guarded--for the more the plane's rulers try to reassert their laws upon the site, the stronger Daoloth's presence becomes.
Demiurge 1138 wrote:
Meenlocks are actually rather older than 3e--they first appeared in the Fiend Folio. They also owe rather more a debt to Don't Be Afraid of the Dark than they do to H.G. Wells.
Oh man, I always assumed that shower scene is where the idea for the 'war razor' came from...
I find Pathfinder's absence of a meenlock-like monster to be kinda curious.
Since grimlocks aren't--I think--listed as WOTC product identity, I figured their absence in Pathfinder was probably meant to tighten focus on the morlocks and from there work that race into the Pathfinder brand. Kinda like PF's (awesome) treatment of cyclopes.
Even if grimlocks / morlocks weren't OGL, "violent degenerate underground dwelling were-once-humans" strikes me as pretty safe trope territory. "Tunnel-dwelling, light-fearing, mind-game-playing, victim-transforming rat-sized tormentors" is, on the other hand, pretty specific; assuming WOTC claims the meenlock as product identity, my guess is that Paizo would be stepping on eggshells if they tried morlocking the meenlock into Pathfinder. It's too specific a monster concept.
The meenlock is, imo, the Norwegian black metal of RPG monsters. And given how PF absolutely kills it when it comes to reimagining or expanding upon the really dark monsters--just look at slate-stalkers, Nemret Noktoria, the Grauls--I'd love to see their take on the little buggers.
Thanks for the responses guys! Krensky's right, they're perfect bound, and Eileen, I'd be looking to take three 64-pg books and lumping them together (my hope was with maybe the cover art of Horseman--no text etc.--to serve as the first page).
Krensky, yeah, my guess was that theoretically I *could* bind them, but then I'd never be able to open the dang thing. SOME BOOKS WERE MEANT TO REMAIN UNOPENED, I guess.
That said, I'll keep looking into it for the time being...
Sure it's excessive. Sure it's completely unnecessary. But binding all three volumes of the Book of the Damned together would be pretty metal, right?
While I would normally be up for the challenge of DIYing it, I'd hate to botch the binding process--the results would be too wasteful (my three volumes are perfectly fine as-is).
On the flip side, it seems that Bible restoration is a major source of business for professional bookbinding services. Commissioning someone to bind the Books of the Damned strikes me as, at best, perhaps a little eccentric. At worst... well, I certainly don't want to offend anyone.
So my question for you fine folks--moral and metaphysical ramifications aside--is this: how would you do it?
Or, HAVE you done it? I'd imagine someone out there has bound an old 1E module at some point or another.
My main concern is that I'd be stuffing three volumes--which were designed and formatted to each be bound on their own--into a single edition.
I suppose I could reach out for a quote and just hold off on mentioning the nature of the materials... But I figured someone here might have experience bookbinding themselves, or perhaps know of an Etsy account or something similar that would be excited (rather than repulsed) by my outreach.