Adventure: Into the Maw
Session: 2007-05-27
Player: Bob Cordwell
PC: Teferi
Status: Telepath 5/Thrallherd 2/Anarchic Initiate 1/Thrallherd +1

A note to all my fellow psions: Some of you, in your desire to take a powerful thrall to serve you faithfully, have found that not only does your thrall come, but tens if not hundreds of commoners respond to your psychic calls and pledge to serve you faithfully, even to the point that they will run off a cliff, carry zombies, or sacrifice themselves to vampires if so ordered. And the worst part is, even if you manage to rid yourself of their unwanted affections, they will simply return a day later.

But despair not, my brothers. For in this message I will instruct you in a myriad of ways to utilize your believers to the best of your ability.

  1. Use them as scouts: If you asked 30 evil overlords what they had for hobbies, 29 of them would say: “designing dungeons.” Most evil overlords find that getting groups of monsters of similar power and abilities to spend their days cooped up in a fortress/dungeon/ruined tower waiting to pounce on adventurers and take their stuff both personally and sexually gratifying. Ever wonder where all of those slightly worn rings of protection +2 come from? Eventually, your standard evil overlord realizes that, not only does merely having groups of monsters throw themselves at adventurers get boring after a while, it pisses off the local Monsters Guild when the well-equipped and well-prepared adventurers survive their random attacks. So, he turns to more subtle abilities: traps and ambushes.

    Alas, while most evil overlords will post a large and angry guard at the entrance to take care of local peasants, few consider that the party raiding their dungeon might consist of more than 4-6 individuals of similar power levels. And why bother with Disable Device when 99% of all magic traps are set to trigger when something walks past. For, in the mind of the evil overlord, the poor peasant walking forward is just as worthy of 24d6 damage from a maximized falling block of doom as the frenzied berserker. And, with a few cheap illusions, potential assassins might not realize that the solitary, square-jawed warrior emitting magical auras is not actually carrying expensive magical items, but rather a few contingent fireballs set to trigger on his untimely demise.

  2. Use them as sacrifices: On my most recent adventure, I felt the pull of a strange magical aura, a greater consumptive field which would undoubtedly have destroyed those with weak wills and even weaker hit points. Fortunately, I am not evil and therefore required to care slightly about the lives of my believers and therefore did not order them ahead of me. Also, they can’t fly. While those of you with the evil mastermind bent may be planning on how to best incorporate such fields into your dungeons now, those of you who are pragmatic adventurers may realize that, should your groups of believers die, their deaths may as well have some meaning, even if it’s only temporary hit points and caster levels for a friend.

  3. Use them as specialty tools: through psychic reformation, we hold the power to reshape not only our own minds, but the minds of others. This mysterious ability allows us to grant others the power to do things we know nothing about ourselves, as revealed by this recent exchange:
    • Me: Alice, since I want to preserve an alignment which doesn’t involve the rest of the party trying to kill me, I will be uniquely merciful and allow you guys to accompany me on our next adventure. Now, fly that air skiff while my friends teleport me to go and sleep.
    • Alice: First, my name’s not Alice, it’s John Smithson. Secondly, I don’t know how.
    • Me: *sigh* Alice, I thought that you guys were supposed to be fanatical. “In response to my psychic call” or something like that. Also, how am I supposed to remember your names when they keep changing like that?
    • Alice: Yes, master.
    • Me: *bamf*
    • Alice: Yes, master, I can now fly an air skiff perfectly. Watch me!

    The potential for using these “feats” is still unrealized, but it seems unusually strong in those believers who are flawed in some way or another.

  4. Use them as psions: One power I recently discovered was metaconcert, which allows me and up to 9 psions to join our energies together to create a single, powerful entity, capable of breaking through wills and fortitudes with 45% more effectiveness. Don’t have psions? With a bit of psychic retraining, anyone can awaken to unknown psionic talent. Sadly, due to my repeated mentions of this as a strategy, evil overlords will be sure to employ countermeasures.

  5. Use them to throw things: Anybody can throw rocks, right? What about rocks with magical runes written on them? Sounds good to me!

  6. Use them as bargaining chips:
    • “So, Mr. Vampire, you want to help us, right?”
    • “Of course I do, noble adventurers”
    • “So, you like warm blood, right?”
    • “Gimme gimme gimme”
    • “Ok, then help us against our enemies, and I’ll provide you with all the food you want.”

    Sadly, my fellow adventurers are all worried about morals and such things, and this turned out very differently. Also, vampires are treacherous scum.

  7. Use them for anything remotely dangerous. No longer must “I don’t know what this does, but I’m going to test it” be followed by “so, um, you have another use of last breath today?”