User talk:Luigifan18/Sapphire Showdown (3.5e Quest)

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Starting Point[edit]

Since you want the PCs to be able to assist or hinder either or both sides without being already a member of one side, you need to start by actually giving them those options. They need to blunder into the sides. While "an NPC walks up to you, followed by a different one" works, a fight that will likely end in a stalemate or attrition or whatever where they get asked to assist by both sides might be more fun. It shortens the diplomacy time frame and pushes the PCs to make a decision they may want to change later. Bonus points if it's written so that they wind up on a particular side of the battlefield initially, that side says something stupid to them, and the characters turn on that side and help the side they haven't met yet.

After they get into it, they need somewhere to go. So write a bunch of set pieces, specifically order independent interchangeable ones. Assume that the pieces will all happen eventually, (fight at our place -> fight somewhere else -> fight some other other place -> fight at their place), and just tweak the order and the balance of NPCs to fit the narrative scope. It's really just shuffling the deck differently depending on initial decisions the players make since it's basically the same quest either way, but it's an approach that maximizes the variations and options while minimizing the workload.

So, start with an intro set piece, figure out a few more you'd want to show off, and then figure out a way to work them into a different order depending on which side the PCs are on. I'd offer more specifics, but I'm not particularly familiar with either group. - Tarkisflux Talk 07:10, 2 December 2012 (UTC)

The Scofflaws are from Complete Psionic, as part of the background of the Anarchic Initiate prestige class (p. 17 - 22). The Order of the Sapphire Eidolon is from Magic of Incarnum, as part of the background of the Sapphire Hierarch prestige class (p. 136 - 142). I got this idea when I read both and realized, "Hey, the Scofflaws hate law, and the Sapphire Hierarchs hate chaos... what would happen if the two met?" Also, incarnum vs. psionics. Fun times. --Luigifan18 (talk) 18:14, 2 December 2012 (UTC)
Also, no matter which side the PCs take, this quest is meant to ultimately conclude at the Temple of the Sapphire Eidolon, a map of which is conveniently provided in Magic of Incarnum, page 140. The PCs will either be trying to destroy the Sapphire Eidolon or defend it. I really like the idea of the PCs being able to switch sides - possibly repeatedly - like in Shadow the Hedgehog, though. That'll be a fun little challenge to work out... maybe the locations can be dependent on which side the PCs take and when they take it. Perhaps if the PCs side really intensely with the forces of the Sapphire Eidolon, or work with the Sapphire Eidolon only to turn on it near endgame or just barely maintain their loyalty, the quest can instead conclude at the Eternal Circle. And perhaps it can end somewhere else entirely if the PCs decide to take the neutral "screw this we're outta here" route. That makes it more like the endgame of Shadow the Hedgehog - if the player is pure Dark or semi-Hero, the game ends on Hero home turf, if the player is pure Hero or semi-Dark, the game ends on Dark home turf, and if the player is neutral, Shadow completely ignores the good-evil conflict and assassinates Eggman instead. I really do want to leave most of the locations up to the DM, though, as this quest is meant to be able to fit into any campaign, just like the Scofflaws and Order of the Sapphire Eidolon themselves. --Luigifan18 (talk) 18:19, 2 December 2012 (UTC)