A comment on how I view Lothor’s overall character. This is not to fight with Ody or Ulthok, each character needs to do what they would do. (And, no, Tann, this is not going to be inter-party fighting.) But since it was mentioned that Lothor was allowed to “smash the skull because it was in his nature” I wanted to clarify how I see that nature. I’m not at all sure it is how he was played before, but it is how I see him.
I do not see Lothor as a grunt warrior that would say “I Lothor! I smack skull with bench! Ugh!” I know that Ody/Ulthok did not say this, but as it is a stereotype of warriors, I want to stress that this is not Lothor. Lothor has a wit of 13 – not great perhaps, but above average. He has military experience ( I had thought that some of it was as a commander, but upon rereading his history this might not be the case) including time as a leader of men. While he understands that there are those in the group that are smarter than he is in general, he is not at all convinced that the others are better at considering things from a tactical perspective. He is capable at more than just sword slinging. When matters of military strategy are discussed he has plenty of self-confidence – and he has a history of being in charge. He does not expect to command this group, not at all. But nor would he just accept having his opinions ignored. Not on issues of strategy at least.
And overall the one thing Lothor does do is think strategically. He is always aware of the battlefield situation. He understands strengths and weaknesses and he takes them into account. No, he is not a genius at magic – and (apparently based on how he was previously played) he is not overly comfortable with it. But he does understand the idea of maximizing your advantages and minimizing threats. When he considers the issue of the gems, he is not acting simply to act and smash. That isn’t his way. He smashed the skull (And not without first asking the party about it – I asked on the Q&A section repeatedly for other options and got no response. He would not do such things against group opinion.) because it seemed best to trigger whatever would happen. It was a calculated risk. A risk discussed with the group. (In Q&A, if not in character.)
Why smash the gems now? Because no general in their right mind would want to go into battle while a massive monster that could suddenly flash in at any point or time was out there. You do not go into battle with your flank so badly exposed – and exposed to a creature capable of ripping the group apart. In his mind Ulthok’s choice is unbelievably stupid. No, he wouldn’t use that word – he likes and respects the Halfling. (And let me clarify that I mean no attack on anyone, merely that if I role-play Lothor he has strong feelings.) But it is very strongly what he believes. If this might summon the beast and allow them to deal with it before confronting something else, it makes sense to do so. Not just warrior “I want action” sense. But strategic sense – the kind a general would consider when looking at a battlefield. And it is that kind of thinking that he is good at. As for Ulthok’s claim that the gems have “a purpose not yet know,” that is a possibility worth considering. However, if all it remains is speculation versus the far more likely (although also unproven, but based on the beast’s actions, quite likely) danger the beast represents, it is not enough. A simple analysis of risks and rewards suggests that the far greater threat stems from not destroying the gems.
Again, I’m not trying to pick a fight, and I realize fully that Ody’s comments did not indicate a belief that Lothor was a Neanderthal. But I thought it was worth noting that there are times when the big lug might strongly add to the conversation.
I will post again shortly – Lothor will make it clear he strongly disagrees with Ulthok, but he won’t force anything. He will encourage the others to speak up.
Posted on 2016-10-10 at 17:25:34.
Edited on 2016-10-10 at 20:31:43 by Nomad D2
I can see both sides. Perhaps an "identify" spell would be useful. The skull and eyes might be linked to the creature or it might guard them. Perhaps they have strong magic that could help us on our mission. The beast
may come back but then again it may have found we are stronger. Even possible that if it works for something truly evil it will be killed for failing its mission.
I do not think of Lothor as a "brute". However, Cor does not feel at all that Lothor is more experienced at strategic situations. Cor was a trainer/verifier of paladins, is the only Knight-Cleric known to exist and has spent his life as a combat cleric leading groups of all sizes. He has seen many men die and knows that such is the price of success. He listens to everyone as he has found that even the lowliest soldier can have an idea that changes the course of battle. Cor did not ask for leadership of this group but until another is appointed he expects the group to work together and follow the orders given.
Posted on 2016-10-10 at 18:15:42.
Edited on 2016-10-10 at 18:23:43 by Keeper of Dragons
I didn't mean to imply that Lothor was better at strategic thinking than anyone else in the group. I simply meant that this was how Lothor thought and that he did have confidence in his abilities - but he respects everyone in the group and knows they are very, very capable. Even Ulthok, with whom he is currently disagreeing.
This is role playing! We have to feel our character to be able to play them over a long period of time. They grow as we grow. There isn't any issue between Nomad and me. We are playing our characters. In character we see things from their view point, knowledge and belief. Lothor sees the gems as a threat because the creature appeared after the skull was smashed and attacked Ulthok because he took the gems. It can must be drawn by the gems.Very understandable.
Ulthok took the gems because 1. they are gems and he has a thing for gems and 2. he suspects that they were made to control the creature, thus the creature is trying to get them so it can't be controlled. Ulthok knows there may be a continued risk carrying the gems, but he will be the first to be attacked again. Also if something in the tower had to banish it to the wall hanging then it may dangerous to anything here. Also the gems may be able to put it back in the tapestry. It's his experience with magic and magic items that leads him to run the risk.
Now so far both sides have not been presented in character. Ulthok is dealing with the return of Valene and feels he has this under control. So it's coming.
This is what Lothor wanted - an explanation of why keeping the gems might make sense. (Although, of course, he still disagrees.)
Ody's comments on the gems:
"Ulthok took the gems because 1. they are gems and he has a thing for gems and 2. he suspects that they were made to control the creature, thus the creature is trying to get them so it can't be controlled. Ulthok knows there may be a continued risk carrying the gems, but he will be the first to be attacked again. Also if something in the tower had to banish it to the wall hanging then it may dangerous to anything here. Also the gems may be able to put it back in the tapestry. It's his experience with magic and magic items that leads him to run the risk."
To Lothor, the chances that the beast is dangerous to something here seems extremely unlikely. Possible, yes, but very unlikely. It is far more likely that it is a guardian of the tower. Again, just playing odds.
If it is something that can be used to either control the creature or put it back in the tapestry - that doesn't change anything in Lothor's mind. If it needs to go back in the tapestry, when do you want to make that attempt? Now, when no other great threat is in front of you, or try some experiment when confronting a giant cyclops or some such thing? Control it? Are you planning to try and control it? Again, wouldn't it be better to attempt such an experiment when not facing another threat?
Also, the fact that Ulthok takes the biggest risk only slightly helps the situation. In the last fight Ulthok may have been the first attacked, but he was certainly not the only one to get bloodied. And losing Ulthok, even if nobody else were injured, greatly diminishes the chances of success for everyone. The mission is more important than the gems - unless the gems somehow make the mission more likely to succeed, something that Lothor doesn't think likely.
I think we should keep a hold on the gems. They have some sort of magic in them, so maybe they could come into use later? The monster did not press the attack on Ulthok, even if it engaged on him first, so they may not have had anything to do with it. We have yet to figure out exactly what controls the rooms changing, and perhaps the gems influence it somehow? I would like to put something on them to reduce the risk of scrying though.
Also, should we go and check the South passage way and see if the front door leads anywhere? I am wondering if it either is a different room or if it exits to some other area.
Also, should we talk and move back to the sarcophagi room? Otherwise it is another week where nothing happens.
Posted on 2016-10-16 at 19:46:57.
Edited on 2016-10-16 at 19:52:41 by SirSadaar
I am fine doing whatever the group wants, but I do think it is clear that the beast wanted the gems. Not only did it attack Ulthok first (changing targets when it was hit) but it also immediately turned towards him when the gems were threatened - that is why we were able to hit it and it ran. Twice it targeted the gem holder.
So, the results of the augury spell are ambiguous. Since the spell says we can destroy the gems and did not say we shouldn't, he would still be in favor of destroying them - the danger to him is clear. However, the idea that the gems may have use was also there (May, or may not...) so he wouldn't fight keeping them either now that there is at least an odd voice involved. So the group needs to speak.
And also, where are we going now?
Since rooms seem to change Lothor might suggest back towards the entrance just to see. But we are also in a hurry. To the sarcophagi? He can make a choice to make a choice, but is more than willing to following the ideas of the others on this one.
Legend Lore might prove useful considering where we are, but we have that covered with Siréne. She can prepare a few more spells for that level. I would recommend changing the spell if that's the only one you have for that level. Trilogy is a combat heavy game so you'll probably get more use out of another spell - defensive or offensive.