Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Q is for Complicated Relationships

A little more reminiscence and real-life than actual gamables, but Q is a weird letter, so deal. Also, somehow this is funnier (to me at least) if I only refer to people by their relationships and describe all of the involved relationships, so...

Decades ago, when I was in high-school, I ran a regular D&D game for a party composed of: my girlfriend, my sister, my best friend, his little brother (who was dating my ex), and the brother of my ex. Decades later we all still make regular references to that game, which for lack of a better name, we call the Sir-Alanna-Corrin-Colin-Lembar (or SACCL) game, after five out of the seven main PCs.

Now, the simple thing to say was that I played D&D with my five closest friends, but this was high-school, and everything has to be complicated in high-school (including the version of D&D you play, which at the time was AD&D 2nd edition with every splat-book and all of the Player's Option rules). So let's make this more complicated:

My sister eventually married my best friend, after several years of on-again, off-again dating, but at the time had a crush on my ex's brother. There were rumors that I was in a relationship with my ex's brother, and I certainly shared my sister's crush. The girlfriend became my wife a decade later, after we both finished as much school as we were going to do. And my best friend's brother eventually married my ex, after which he never played D&D again, because she felt that I (or D&D) had been a bad influence on everyone involved (especially her brother).

But, of course, we were saying this was complex...

So, my girlfriend married my best friend after a tumultuous three-year relationship. My sister had an aggressive rivalry with the little brother. My ex's brother committed suicide. And somewhere along the line our narcoleptic friend got locked in a closet, put in temporal stasis, and had his heart cut out to be used in the creation of magical elixers.
. . .

Right, obviously everything in that last paragraph is what happened in the game (you might see why certain people thought I was being a bad influence)...Joking about bad influences aside, if you are looking for the key to lasting relationships, find people who you can game with, as, obviously, everyone in that party (except the narcoleptic friend) are now related.

When we were finally married, my wife's mother made a beautiful quilt for us, with squares contributed by our various friends and family members (you were starting to wonder how I'd get a Q in here weren't you....the other option would be to talk about the above as a love quadrangle or some such nonsense).

In commemoration of how both of our marriages found their source in a game, my sister and brother-in-law contributed this square, featuring their characters from that campaign, and one that is supposed to represent me:

As an added bonus, after years of exile in the land of MMOs (mostly WoW), my sister and brother-in-law have gotten back into proper gaming, including joining a new PBeM game which you should be seeing reports of on here shortly.


And now for something gameable...

I mentioned in passing earlier that the last member of that party, played by the narcolept (no offense to narcoleptics, that is just how we all still think of him), ended up locked in a closet for spare parts. One of the central characters of the party, Lembar, was a pugilistic, albino, halfling alchemist who desired, more than anything else, to make a lasting mark on the world's body of alchemical knowledge. To that end he spent a fortune in gold, years of time, and dozens of adventures to create a truly unique and masterful concoction: An Elixer of Permanence.

Lembar's Elixer of Permanence
Possibly the epitome of the alchemical arts, this powerful elixer has no effect when consumed on it's own. However, if the Elixer is consumed while the drinker is under the effects of any other potion (excluding those with instantaneous effects such as a potion of healing), the effects of the prior potion are rendered permanent. Nothing short of a limited wish, wish, or disjunction can end the effects of the potion once it has been affected by the Elixer of Permanence.
Consuming the Elixer of Permanence has no risk of adverse effects from potion miscibility with regard to the potion being made permanent. However, once a potion has been rendered permanent, the user must always check for miscibility (using the Potion Compatibility table in the DMG) with regards to any other potion he drinks after that point (ignoring any random result that would cause the permanent potion to be negated, though it may have its effects reduced).
Any number of potions can be rendered permanent in this manner, but miscibility must be checked ever time the character drinks a new potion and any strange side-effects of the mixed potions will also be rendered permanent by the Elixer.

Creating the Elixer:

Creating the first batch of the Elixer involved several (high) levels worth of adventures to collect the necessary components. To create the Elixer, the alchemist must collect the following ingredients:

  1. One tunne of elven feywine that has been blessed for sacremental use by a religion allied with the alchemist, which was then obtained by dishonest means.
  2. A handful of crushed petals from a blue lotus flower which has never come in contact with water.
  3. Ioun stones of four different colours, ground to a fine powder.
  4. The heart-gem of a metallic dragon that has never known goodness.
  5. The still-hot ashes from the heart of a forest that was completely destroyed by magical flame.
  6. Bile from the liver of the Tarrasque.
  7. A vial of each of the four humors collected from an invisible, still-living, Render.
  8. The heart of a Yugoloth (any variety).

So what about that guy locked in a closet? 

Well, of all the requirements, the last one was fairly open-ended: the heart of a yugoloth. It just so happened that one of the player characters was a tiefling of yugoloth descent. Rather than travel to Gehenna to hunt down a daemon, Lembar decided to knock out the tiefling, put a ring of regeneration on him and then cut out his heart. Interestingly, the experiment worked (properly collected it seemed that even the heart of a one-quarter yugoloth was sufficient to the task). So, to ensure a steady supply of one ingredient at least, the party (being very careful to not let the Paladin know): put the tiefling in temporal stasis, locked him in a closet, and then would bring him out of stasis and let the ring of regeneration do its job whenever they needed a new heart to harvest.

As for the other ingredients...good luck...