Gambling Devil

Hell's Rebels

(Included here as it is AP back-matter)

Has anyone used this? It looks fascinating

What I struggle to understand is it’s aura. Will the characters even know or suspect something odd is going on?
The characters will with the will saves unless I don’t tell them what they are rolling for or roll under the table. It seems primed for lots of metagaming

Would they understand what is going on through sense motive ?
And if they detect magic (which I assume will be rude and obvious with cries of “no magic at the table” will they get anything for the aura ? I assume they will pick up transmutation for alter self?

I now need to think how to make it a challenge for a level 4 group. Adding advancement or levels really makes things interesting as the saves will go up. Given I have 5 players I can’t keep him solo. Only thing I can think of is some gambling addict patrons of some kind who are addled by what they think is having luck on their side. Perhaps give the devil a bard level or two but max out his spells having charmed people to be friendly towards him?

This is going to come up A LOT with Menotheguro the Book 3 Aboleth, so it's worthwhile to have a table discussion on how to handle stuff like this. Make them take a choice: either they roll their will saves with illusions, charms, and stuff like this and roleplay their character's understanding without trying to do workarounds to escape a trap that their character does not know they are in, OR they can let you roll their will saves for them and give the players the appropriate info.

I wouldn't look at the gambling devil as a combat encounter: this is a problem to be solved that may become an easy combat if they can figure it out. I'd bet its standing operating procedure is to go ingognito, let people absorb his aura's effects, then report back to a priest that certain people are in deep and to approach them with an offer to sell their soul in return for money they desperately need to keep the leg breakers away. So, to break this up, they need to succeed at an investigation. If it comes to combat, the devil's likely goal is to retreat to find the 7th level cleric he's working with as backup. That's a chase mechanic. Then, you have the combat. This could be a day's worth of encounters: investigation, confrontation, chase, combat w/devil and priest.

Presented by one of my other aliases, as this hook is still active in my game and I don't want my players finding out....

I'm using Saul Vancaskerkin and parts of "Shadow in the Sky" (1st volume of the Second Darkness AP) in my Hell's Rebels campaign. In short, I've decided that Saul escaped Riddleport after the early events of that adventure and resettled in Kintargo. Having learned that he needed assistants he could trust, Saul's brand of evil took on a more lawful bent. Sadly, he died, but the soul anchor beneath the city allowed him to retain his past memories...and now he's back in Kintargo as a gambling devil who's bought up Clenchjaw's and turned it into a gambling hall.

Also, Blosodriette eluded my PCs and is now allied with the devil Saul, taking the place of Old Scratch from "Shadow in the Sky." My PCs didn't attend the grand opening of the gambling hall, so there hasn't been a showdown yet.

I'll try to report back to this thread if/when that happens.

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