Last week was a good week for me I was able to shop for new books and I ended up buying Advanced Player’s Guide & the Game Mastery Guide for Pathfinder. Both are great additions to the PFRPG game system. I may be bringing up parts and pieces from both as I do some tweaks to Alidor.
Right now I am creating a dungeon themed around the assassination of the Northern King of Jelling. I think I have a decent list of the usual suspects that may want the King dead. I think I have a good NPC behavior history built up around the King and his Twin sister, the Queen of Southern Jelling.
So I started thinking about how or where do I kill the king; this is where the PF Game Mastery Guide is coming in handy. If I decide that a NPC is the assassin and do the “who done it” dungeon eventually they are going to find that assassin and this is where the Villains’s escape kit in the PF Game Mastery Guide comes in handy.
Basically the authors broke down into 6 categories all the possible ways to escape and to stop someone from escaping using the Pathfinder rules.
You have airborne escape: like airwalk, barriers: like entangle, hindrances: hold portal is a good one, instant egress: dimension door, illusionary escape: mislead and rapid retreat: all cool villains use mount. I did not list all of spells, but man, I sure do like this little kit. In the past my villains have got stuck by some crafty player’s spell that broke the encounter and caught the bad guy unprepared. The game is so dynamic and there are so many spells; it is just nice to see this little synopsis in the PF Game Mastery Guide. As a GM, I am now a little more aware of my villain’s options and can incorporate this in a future game.
In my home game, a villain can also escape by surrender, this is a big risk on the part of the bad guy, but if he has followers that can help him escape or raise him from the dead then he is not really captured. Killing the King is a high crime in Jelling so the person responsible will get to meet the executioner whether that be the party, or the local law.
I could always run a dungeon where the party is back in town where the villain met her end, only to find news that her grave was disturbed, and the body missing… Eh, been over done.
The other thing is, a villain is usually tougher than the local constabulary in many of the towns in Jelling, he could just fight his way out; Riddick style.
When I make a villain in my game, I make him a challenge, but if a clever player can come up with a way to defeat the villain and it breaks the story, I will let them. Ultimately the dice determine success in most cases and I like to run my games as problem solving cases; if players develop a novel solution and the dice run their way then congrats to them; the story line ends the world is saved earlier than normal and a new story starts next week… That is why I play this type of game.
The best part about the The Villain’s Escape Kit is that while I am developing my to Kill a King story for my home game, I now have a decent list of spells to review as I start planning how to protect my King from being attacked or assassinated. Now I can figure what is realistic and economically feasible for my King
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