Monday, February 13, 2012

The Avatar of My Avatar

Have just one player for the night?  Are they a weaky, low level M-U or thief?  Have them find a crystal ball, viewing pool, or affixed goggles of some sort.  Looking through it they realize they are looking through the eyes of some sort of construct.  Where is it this construct located?  Some distant land of the same world?  A different plane?  Who knows, but they can move this construct around and operate it.  Give them a time limit (rising water, growing heat in their actual location) and see what they do.  Here are some ideas for locations:
  • A library or lab, the player can't bring anything through their link, but they can certainly learn things-- consult books and maps, try experiments with rare and dangerous equipment.
  • Have them interact with people, hulking construct stalking through a bustling city looking for certain sages to consult or crime bosses to interrogate.
  • Give the construct hit points and damage capabilities for more action oriented stuff to allow the character to live beyond their means for a bit-- take out the crime boss' bouncers.
  • A completely alien civilization.  Does the player investigate or go Godzilla smashing everything in sight?
  • You could make the construct of epic proportions!  Anyone remember that Basic module called Earthshaker?  I never played that but loved reading it over.
  • Or tiny like Fantastic voyage.
  • Make the construct an earthmover of some sort, the player can terraform this distant location to their liking and if they can find it later it's all set up for a tower/guild/fortress.
  • Warmachine-- the battle's already raging, lay waste to the enemies!  Wait which  side are you on?
  • exploratory probe, it is a cave system, planetary/asteroid belt, weird plane.  Explore it now while safe and find the juicy bits for exploitation later.
  • A city of ancient magic users so corrupted that mages only visit it through constructs and familiars.  Constructs battles constructs for glowing relics.


  1. Like operating an ROV - very clever.

  2. Very nice. I especially love all the implications of your last item there. I would have the MU take control right in the middle of a battle - then they have to figure out why they're fighting in media res.

    The whole idea is neat and would fit a Bollymecha idea I've been brewing for um maybe 15 years (I really should get around to writing that up...). It's also a great way to set up an exotic scene much later in a campaign, where the PCs want something from inside a volcano to achieve a goal somewhere else, and they can use the construct to get it. Actually, thinking along heist lines, maybe the vault door can only be opened by simultaneous action in 2 places, so then you have a long quest arc, maybe even for 2 separate parties, to get to the target location AND get back to this control room at the same time. Yeah, well, a DM can dream.

    Also, you've turned the tables nicely on demonic possession - the PC gets a tour around the nemesis' lair and (because I'm an old CoC head) learns about Impending Peril (the Other's plans for a hyperspace bypass). On the downside, now the demon is aware of them... Or alternatively, you get to possess the Mad Wizard's voodoo doll homunculus lab assistant. If your players don't mind you stealing from Harry Potter, this beastie contains part of the wizard's soul and you have to make it jump in the fire if you want the wizard dead (along with doing a few other things, natch). Kill it too early and the wizard will be onto you.

    Yep, I like this.

  3. Thanks! Glad you all liked it. I was trying to think of a way to implement this with a party, not have everyone standing around while one person operates the remote vehicle. Haven't though of anything yet, just multiple vehicles at separate locations and the party tries to find each others construct. Or maybe they could be like a tank crew with different members using their stats/skills to perform different tasks.

    Oh well, it's cool to have options for those lonely single player games.

    1. I just realised you're probably so swamped that you don't have time to read blogs. But I thought you might be interested in what your post inspired on mine.

  4. I'm in the process of reading Earthshaker now, actually!

    This is a great idea.

  5. Thanks LS, it's an interesting module isn't it?

    And thanks a bunch Richard, yeah, been busy.