Tuesday, February 7, 2012

From the Kill Pile: The Red Brotherhood Part 3 of 3

            The following feats, items, and other rules will help more fully integrate the Red Brotherhood into your campaign and allow it to interact with more aspects of your story. 

The Carrion Lords
It is said at the dawn of the creation the Carrion Lords were the first creatures to look see existence in the world of the living beyond the veil of death.  They became obsessed with embracing the end in all things, be it the end of life or the end of all creation.  Even among the primordials they were feared and had the war between the gods and primordials not broken out it is likely the other primordials would have imprisoned the Carrion Lords themselves.  In the war between the gods and the primordials the Carrion Lords led a massive army of undead, void haunts, and other creatures of nothingness but in the end were defeated and imprisoned.  Now the  Carrion Lords are trapped somewhere in elemental chaos or the Far Reaches, the exact location having been expunged from every mortal history to avoid any trying to free them.  Despite these efforts the Carrion Lords work to free themselves and anywhere a mortal being embraces the power found beyond death they have some pull.

The exact names and number of the Carrion Lords is not know n among mortals, though this information is said to still be found outside the world. 

  • All things come to an end, and in that is power.  Use that power.
  • The end does not mean you must stop, but instead a new power must be embraced.
  • Mortal existence is a tired and useless thing, the greatest destiny for which is joining the immortal undead.

Harvest of the Carrion Lords
Prequisites: Channel Divinity class feature, must worship the Carrion Lords
Benefit: You can invoke the power of your deity to use harvest of the Carrion Lords

Touch of the Carrion Lord      Feat Power
The  Carrion Lords accepts your sacrifice and grants some of his power to your undead allies, granting them vitality beyond their normal limits. 
Daily ** Divine
Immediate Interrupt    Close burst 2
Trigger: You kill a living creature. 
Target: All non-minion undead allies within range. 
Effect:  All targets gain temporary hit points equal to your Wisdom modifier. 

Blood of the Bone Cabal
            This feat can be selected by those who are descendants of the Bone Cabal if the DM allows.  It can be used to tie players into the story of the Red Brotherhood and give them a mechanical benefit for doing so.  Characters do not need this feat to be descendants of the Bone Cabal; only those with the strongest ties of blood have this feat. 
            Benefit: You are a descendant of the Bone Cabal.  You can be harvested by undead to gain the power of the Bone Cabal (see below).  You gain necrotic resistance equal to your Constitution bonus. 

Amulet of Scorn                                 Level 10+
This black iron amulet is caked in blood and rust, but it can strike with great vengeance when the wearer is harmed. 
Lvl 10  +2        5,000 gp          Lvl 25  625,000 gp
Lvl 15  +3        25,000 gp        Lvl 30  3,125,000 gp
Lvl 20 +4        125,000 gp
Item Slot: Neck
Enhancement: Fortitude, Reflex, and Will
Power (Daily): Reaction. When bloodied make a Charisma vs. Will attack against the creature that bloodied you.  If successful that target loses a healing surge and you are healed as if you had spent a healing surge. 

Effects of the Blood of the Bone Cabal
            When an undead creature kills a descendant of the Bone Cabal, they may spend a standard action to consume some part of the flesh of their victim.  The undead immediately and permanently gains one hit point.  Only one undead can benefit from consuming the flesh of a descendant of the Bone Cabal.  If the consumed descendant is restored to life, the taint of the Bone Cabal is gone; if he or she has taken the Blood of the Bone Cabal feat, he or she may choose a new feat.  If an undead who has taken some of the power of the Bone Cabal encounters another undead who has done the same, it may kill the second undead and consume it in the normal fashion, gaining all the hit points the second undead had gained. 
            If an undead consumes enough descendants of the Bone Cabal to increase its hit points by an amount equal to his Constitution, its level increases by 1. This increases the defenses and attack bonuses of the undead by +1. The undead's abilities and initiative bonus increase by +1 every even numbered level.  The total number of descendants of the Bone Cabal in the world is left up to the DM, but several score is a good range.  If you wish to carry the harvesting of the descendants of the Bone Cabal to its conclusion, there should be enough descendants to advance the undead harvesting them to 20th level (which requires 180 descendants for Orseus). 
            As an undead increases in level, it gain the following abilities at the appropriate levels:

11th Level:
Touch of the Carrion Lords
            All melee attacks inflict an additional 1d6 necrotic damage. 

13th Level:
            The undead's necrotic resist increases to 20 and its radiant vulnerability increases to 10. 

15th Level:
Vengeful Dead (immediate reaction, when the undead is struck for more than 30 damage in a single attack) w Necrotic
            Close burst 2; Charisma vs. Fortitude; 3d6 + Charisma modifier necrotic damage.  
17th Level:
Carrion Aura (Necrotic) aura 3; a creature that enters or begins its turn in the aura takes 10 necrotic damage and any creature that leaves the aura takes ongoing 10 necrotic damage (save ends). 

19th Level:
Army of the Carrion Lords (standard; recharges after reducing four enemies to 0 hit points)
            This ability requires there be at least 4 corpses within 5 squares of the undead.  They arise as zombies under the control of the undead and act on his turn.  The zombies have the following stats. 

Carrion Zombie                       Level 19 Minion
Medium natural humanoid      XP 600
Init +8             Senses Perception +3
HP 1; a missed attack never damages a minion
AC 31 Fort 32, Ref 27, Will 26
Immune disease, poison, Resist 10 necrotic
Spd 4
[M] Slam (standard; at-will)
            +22 vs. AC; 10 damage.
[CB] Scream of the Carrion Lords
            Close blast 3; +20 vs. Fortitude; 8 necrotic damage and the target gains vulnerability necrotic 5. 
Align Evil        Lang –
Str 22 (+15)     Dex 12 (+8)     Wis 16 (+12)
Con 25 (+16)   Int 6 (+7)         Cha 6 (+7)

20th Level:
Scion of the Carrion Lords
            The undead has amassed the total power of the descendants of the Bone Cabal and ascended to become the scion of the Carrion Lords.  If the newborn scion is not stopped he will set about releasing the Carrion Lords from their other planar prison, creating a new dark age of undead and necromancy across the world. The undead's will is now completely under the control of the Carrion Lords.      
Carrion Lord Scion                 Solo Soldier
Senses Darkvision
Defenses +4 AC; +4 Fortitude
Immune disease, poison
Resist 20 necrotic
Vulnerable 10 radiant
Saving throws +5
Action points 2
Hit points x2
Succor of the Grave
            Aura 10; all undead allies in the aura gain regeneration 10.  This regeneration does not function during a round in which the undead suffers radiant damage.
Cloaked in Spirits
            The scion can take an addition standard action each round. 
Rot of the Dead
            All melee attacks made by the scion inflict 2d6 additional necrotic damage.

Incorporating Into Your Campaign
            The Red Brotherhood can be incorporated into your campaign with varying levels of depth and complexity based on their role in the game.  They can be anything from a single-appearance nuisance or the main enemies behind an entire campaign, depending on how much of their background comes to the fore. 
            The simplest use of the Red Brotherhood is as bandits with odd tastes that the players can encounter while going about other tasks.  The Red Brotherhood may attempt to rob the players or the players could be hired by local nobles to put an end to the Red Brotherhood's operations.  In this situation, they can be a one time or occasional nuisance that the players encounter in the course of their adventures.  The players don't really need to know the whole history of Orseus and the Carrion Lords, and will more likely be focused on the more mundane aspects of the Brotherhood.  Portia Otten, Batia Kaan, and Old Tessers are the members of the Red Brotherhood players would interact with in this usage of the group. 
            Alternately, the Red Brotherhood could become the primary enemies of the players for a number of sessions, as the players work to destroy Orseus and stop his machinations.  In this situation, the players can have a few encounters with the Red Brotherhood, learning of their attacks on nobles, before finding out why they spend so much time hunting down nobles.  Then the players can actively work on hunting down Orseus and his followers, possibly trying to figure out who the Brotherhood is hunting next or even setting traps using descendants of the Bone Cabal.  This option involves some research into the history of the Bone Cabal, but still involves many of the more mundane aspects of the Brotherhood.  All the characters in the Brotherhood would be involved in this type of sceanrio
            Finally, the Red Brotherhood could be uses as the main enemies of a heroic-tier campaign, followed by a paragon tier campaign focused on stopping Orseus from becoming a scion of the Carrion Lords.  In this option, for the heroic tier part of the game, the players would work against the whole of the Red Brotherhood at first just to stop their criminal activities.Eventually, the players’ focus would switch to stopping Orseus after the players get more information about his true goals.  As the campaign transitions from heroic to paragon tier, most of the members of the Red Brotherhood are removed as threats, either through death, betrayal, or the players convincing them they are helping a world-destroying evil.  Orseus replaces these allies with a variety of level-appropriate undead, using the influence of the Carrion Lords to draw them to his service.  This could involve him trying to rebuild the forces of Rothjur the Foul or even taking over his old haunts.  The players would be in a race against Orseus to see who could research and locate the descendants of the Bone Cabal first. 
            The easiest way to get the Red Brotherhood involved in your campaign is setting up one of the players or a major ally as a descendant of the Bone Cabal.  The character in question need not take the Blood of the Bone Cabal feat, and the ancestor in the Bone Cabal can be a far distant relation so players need not feel they are notably contaminated by an ancient evil.  In this situation, the Red Brotherhood will doggedly come after the players or their allies, becoming a reoccurring and persistent threat that will continue until decisively dealt with. 

Encounter Groups

Level 5 Encounter Group (XP 978)   
  • 3 Red Brotherhood Veterans (level 6 soldiers)
  • 6 Red Brotherhood Bandits(level 6 minion)

Level 6 Encounter Group (XP 1,278)
  • Gunther (level 7 brute)
  • 3 Red Brotherhood Veterans (level 6 soldiers)
  • 6 Red Brotherhood Bandits(level 6 minion)

Level 7 Encounter Group (XP 1,502)
  • Gunther (level 7 brute)
  • Portia Otten (level 8 skirmisher)
  • 3 Red Brotherhood Veterans (level 6 soldiers)
  • 4 Red Brotherhood Bandits(level 6 minion)

Level 8 Encounter Group (XP 1,750)
  • Alia Tyy (level 9 controller)
  • Gunther (level 7 brute)
  • Portia Otten (level 8 skirmisher)
  • 3 Red Brotherhood Veterans (level 6 soldiers)

Level 9 Encounter Group (XP 2,150)
  • Batia Kaan (level 9 skirmisher)
  • Alia Tyy (level 9 controller)
  • Gunther (level 7 brute)
  • Portia Otten (level 8 skirmisher)
  • 3 Red Brotherhood Veterans (level 6 soldiers)

Level 10 Encounter Group (XP 2,700)
  • Orseus (level 10 elite soldier)
  • Blight (level 8 lurker)
  • Bunther (level 7 brute)
  • Lorca Jannio (level 5 artillery)
  • Batia Kaan (level 9 skirmisher)
  • Alia Tyy (level 9 controller)
And that wraps it up for the Red Brotherhood.  Next I'm hoping to get some more material banged out for a Song of Dirt and Wind.  

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