Tuesday, June 8, 2010

When Angels Attack! (next on Fox)

I had this idea after reading The Plane Above and then playing in a game last week in which we, the players, controlled a summon angel to fight some stuff. It's simple.

Angels, as described in The Plane Above, are beholden to no god, but all gods. Angels are the servants of the deities, and the deities they serve change from hour to hour or day to day.

That got me thinking. What if there was a battle where one, maybe more, of the creatures on the field were angels, and you were facing off against the divine agent of an opposing god? You would be on a holy task yourself, and, importantly, you'd be in another domain or even plane than the two primary deities listed.

The fight setup might be something like this:

Kord has tasked you, through an intermediary, with the destruction of a temple dedicated to the Primordials, housing a cult that uses a brand created by Erathis to control abominations. Through this, they are hoping to break into portions of Carceri and control and free the abominations locked within. Kord has given you a gauntlet laced with his divine power to shatter the brand on contact. Bane has decided that a brand would be useful to him, and has dispatched his own group of mercenaries and devotees to instead capture the brand.

The site itself is actually a temple to a forgotten god and many angels fill the halls above the temple itself, still trying to enforce the edicts that were imposed centuries ago. Each group sees the other at roughly the same time and the two groups start to go at it, in the Hall of Forgotten Angels.

Here's how the combat would work. First, the general set up of the combat.
The blue squares are players, the green squares represent unaligned angels and the red squares are the troops of bane.

1) Any worshiper of Kord, or the person carrying the artifact could make a religion, intimidate, history, diplomacy or arcana check (the person carrying the artifact gets a functional +5 bonus to all skill rolls to do this). Bane has sent two holy men on his side, so each of them would get to make the same check on their turn.

2) Non-worshipers may roll bluff, diplomacy, history or intimidate at -5 to attempt to persuade the angels.

3) The base DC to persuade an angel is DC 15 + 1/2 level if the angel is currently unaligned and DC 20 + 1/2 level if the angel is aligned (this goes for the PC level in this case so the challenge can scale in any direction)

4) You may spend a minor action to try and persuade one angel. A standard action can be used to persuade two angels.

5) Any failed attempt at persuasion ends your attempts for that round, regardless of the action type you spend.

6) Angels act immediately once they are persuaded.

7) Once angels are aligned, they stay aligned to that god and act on that initiative until such time as they become differently aligned.

8) Angels become unaligned once they are bloodied for the first time.

The PCs act win the initiative and act first. The first round looks like this for them.

As you can see, the PCs have persuaded several angels and now they are using them to move forward. The PCs have four additional angels ready to wreck some opposing god face. Now the Banesworn get their turn.
It's not looking so good for the players now. The Banesworn have four of their own angels now, two of which were previously angels working for the players. Two of the angels remained unaligned and are thus out of the fight for the moment due to the Banesworn option to try and turn the tides against the players earlier rather than playing it safe.

The tides of battle could shift dramatically, with the angels playing the roll of terrain obstacle (you must move around them), trap (you must try not to catch them in area abilities in order to not aggravate them), ally, and enemy. The players might opt to kill the angels off completely, just to get them out of the combat and send them back to the Astral Sea in order to serve a purpose once again. Should the players align all of the angels, the banesworn might withdraw in order to try and live another day, surmounting those odds seems unlikely!

As for the angels? Well, they end up straight out of China Town.
Sure, they are confused and having an identity crisis, but they are just vessels after all, unless they are archangels or have names. In which case, they don't really qualify for this situation. This seems like it would be a pretty awesome way to incorporate some mythos, some skill challenges and some interesting combat tactics into a fight.

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