Tuesday, August 2, 2016

#RPGaDay 2016 Day 2: Reverse hands

Best game session since August 2015?

Anyone who's played games with me probably knows that I tend to favor succubi in my games. They have always been my favorite demon type (possibly because Morrigan was such a... character to latch onto for puberty-BJ.) There was also something base about becoming someone else and using that as a shield to acting out who you really are. Haha demons are dark.

But as I matured as a GM, I seem to have ventured farther from succubi. One reason for this was because my core players began to sniff them out really well. But more importantly, as the straight heterosexual guy in a rapidly diversifying community, I felt it necessary to shelve the personifications of lust as main antagonists while my own evolving worldview matured. (I still use them,but now I relegate them to more niche NPC roles and explore desires that are not necessarily carnal.)

In come rakshasas.


Over the course of 2014 - 2016, I ran my core group through a D&D 5th Edition game set in Eberron. This is a setting where one of the antagonists are the Lords of Dust, which are demons+devils with lots of rakshasas in their fold. They were essentially strong unaffiliated that preyed on men and their desires (literally.) So they were in a nutshell, succubi. Except they look like tigers.

And they have inverted hands.

I have a lot of fun with the inverted hands of a rakhasa. When I read about that curious detail, I began to imagine what it was like for them when they interact with the characters of the world. I thought it would be nice if their disguises are perfect except for that one flaw. So when an NPC is a rakshasa, I used hand gestures that were the same as I usually do, but reversed. I clap with the backs of my hand, I cover my mouth backwards when I yawn... Things like that. It is strangely not noticeable, but something players comment on in hindsight.

And I also like the idea of the inverted hands leading rakshasas to stalk its prey ala WWE Wresstler Bray Wyatt when they're on their hunt mode.



Okay, on to the actual session.

One of the PCs had her father, who the world believed to have died during the Mourning, appear in Sharn once more. There was an interesting family dynamic there, as the character's mother Thora Tavin didn't want anything to do with her "legally dead" dad coming back to life, but with the father himself wanting to piece the family back together.

The thing is, the character's father did die during the Mourning, but not because of the grey mists. He was killed and eaten by a rakshasa Lord of Dust, and now wants to get to her mother through the character.

PC: Where's my real father?
Rakshasa: I ate him. But don't worry, I now have his form. I now have his memories. In a way, he is now immortal, because I am immortal.
PC: Scorching Ray! (No effect. he's a rakshasa.)
Rakshasa: (continues monologue) I think you will like immortality, too. But do not worry, while I eat you, I will make sure I let his personality take full control for five seconds so that he realizes the fate of his daughter.

Of course, the PC survived that affair. She's a PC! They find ways. In this particular instance, they used an illusion of the mother to throw the demon off the trail and regrouped. The party paladin would later be armed with a piercing weapon so that they would have a way to beat the demon in a future conflict.

***

I also run Yoon-Suin, and there's a similar story there involving the rakhosh. But maybe that's for another day.