Ally Cards – Part 2

I’ve always liked the ideas of PCs being able to build up assets apart from those they’re using directly in their adventures. I think it helps to establish the PCs more soundly in the fantasy setting if they have the opportunity to gain and invest resources. Now, I don’t see PCs investing in mortgage-backed securities or anything. But let’s face it, PCs have a corner on the gold market—and gold right now is doing great.

When I say assets, I mean fortresses, keeps, a nice summer home in the Feywild, ships, titles, and so forth. The problem is, it’s not really fair to make a PC buy into these things, when they’re expected to be spending their cold hard gold on magic items to keep them standing against the bad guys. These types of rewards should be tied directly to the PCs’ reputation and the good (or bad) deeds they perform.

If the PCs save the king’s daughter from bloodthirsty gnoll marauders, have him bestow titles to the PCs. If the PCs save a town from drow raiders spilling out from the Underdark, maybe they give the heroes the key to that old mansion on the hill (of course, the mansion is haunted, leading to an all new adventure). At higher levels, the PCs might be battling a group of githyanki pirates, leading to a conflict on the pirates’ ship. With the pirates dispatched, the PCs should have every opportunity to keep the ship. Maybe its the first in the fleet that they will build before eventually launching an attack on Vlaakith’s citadel, Castle Susurrus.

As the heroes gain more fame and begin to leave their mark on the world, it’s likely they’ll become recognized across the planes. To that effect, they’ll need groupies. That’s right, groupies. People who are excited about the PCs for one reason or another and follow them around. You don’t want this type of thing to by irritating to the PCs, though. On the contrary, have other heroes look up to them, and have people of a similar calibur to them offer services. If the PCs are set to carve a path in history, it’s likely that people will take notice of them and want their favor. This tendency for NPCs to fawn on them can be a great hook—maybe one of the people offering services is in fact a spy or intending to assassinate them—maybe one is a small-town hero who was spurned after the heroes came to his or her town. Having recurring characters or characters that accompany the PCs or characters that chill in the heroes’ fortress or citadel can also providing interesting opportunity for resource management. Some players don’t care for the resource management part of D&D, and if it’s not their thing, then maybe they’ll just enjoy having interesting NPCs to provide roleplaying opportunity. In my last blog, I described how I created allies for the PCs in battle. Here is a presentation of the allies in a non-combat function.

Dak,

Githzerai Waveshaper

Ally Card

While in Dak’s presence, +5 to Arcana and Streetwise checks about places in the Elemental Chaos.

Rituals (no cost)

Waterbreathing

Water Walk

Craft/Sell

Waterbane Weapon

Seashimmer Cloak

Gendar,

Drow Merchant

Ally Card

While in Gendar’s presence, +5 to checks related to drow.

Craft/Sell

Amulet of Aranea

Spider Potion (3000 gp)

Poisoned Weapon

Rod of Feythorns

Spotted Toadstool Venom (4000)

Vale,

Human Necromancer (?)

Ally Card

While in Vale’s presence, +5 to checks related to Vecna.

Rituals (no cost)

Gentle Repose

Speak with Dead

Craft/Sell

Tombforged Armor

Rod of First Blood

Vampiric Gauntlets

Vampiric Weapon

Marek,

Deva Invoker

Ally Card

While in Marek’s presence, +5 to Religion checks and Arcana checks related to the Astral Sea.

Rituals (no cost)

Hand of Fate

Craft/Sell

Potion of Vigor (3500)

Ghoststrike Oil (1500)

Potion of +1 Healing Surge (5000)

Osrik,

Dwarf Paladin of Moradin

Ally Card

While in Osriks presence, +5 to checks related to dwarves or Moradin.

Craft/Sell

Dwarven Spirits (Minor; +2 Fort/-2 Will for encounter) (Price —)

Armor of Dwarven Vigor

Battleforged Shield

Moradin’s Weapon

Ironskin Belt

Mirana,

Former Exarch of the Raven Queen

Ally Card

While in Mirana’s presence, +5 to checks related to the Raven Queen or History.

Rituals:

Raise Dead (5000)

The Summer Court

Summon Card

You possess a golden thread of hair from Quelenna, daughter of the Summer Queen. Break it as a minor action to call upon fey allies for assistance.

Airship Crew

Sandra (pilot)

Krull (deck hand)

Chance (navigator)

Repair

100 hp/day

1 damage = 200 gp

Planar Ports:

Gloomwrought (Shadowfell)

Cendriane (Feywild)

Regnesia (Keslinn)

Brass (Elemental Chaos)

Chernoggar (Astral Sea)

Sigil (Astral Sea)

Arvandor (Astral Sea)

Astrazalian (Feywild)

Black Shade

Planar Dromond

HP: 500; Cost 1,125,000

AC 3, Fortitude 20, Reflex 2

Speed fly 5

Crew: Requires 3 people to fly.

Load: 20 Medium creatures or 10 tons cargo.

Runekeel:

Perform the Plane Shift ritual at no cost to go to a location for which you have the planar coordinates

Out of Control:

When not docked and unpiloted, the dromond falls 100 squares per round.

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3 thoughts on “Ally Cards – Part 2

  1. I like this idea. This goes a long way toward improving skills out side of combat. You are fixing the issue by creating NPCs that can craft, etc. but don’t cost the PCs feats or other precious character building resources. I think one of the problems with skills in 4e is they are heavily tied to combat. If you spend points on feats to train a new skill or some other non-combat role, you are directly diminishing your character effectiveness in combat.

    A new parallel system of non-combat skills would really help here. It would be easy to add because if the skills had no use in combat, you wouldn’t have to spend time trying to balance them against existing combat-centric skills.

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