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Undead Anarchists - Criticism and ideas needed

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Eldan's picture
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Undead Anarchists - Criticism and ideas needed

Warning: if any of the people on Giant in the Playground should, by chance, find this topic, please stay out. You will spoil your own fun

Okay, first a little explanation. I've found a group of players, and they wanted to play an undead campaign. After some debate and deliberation, I came up with an idea:

The players are undead anarchists, infiltrating the dustmen.

They will be fairly high powered, and suggested characters include death knights, ghosts, suel lichs, gravetouched ghouls and vampires.

So far, so good. I have a general idea on how this adventure will run:

Background, prologue:
The characters are approached by a Revolutionary League recruiter searching for undead. He has a magical item, a lens, which gives him lifesight. He uses this to find hidden undead in the streets. After barely surviving many such encounters, he finds four likely recruits sharing anarchist ideas and forms them into a cell.

Beginning:
Before the infiltration begins in earnest, the party is approached by another NPC, one I have used before for and liked: a Rogue Modron Anarchist called Sum of Squares. His distinguishing features are that he has only one eye, the other covered by a copper-plate "eyepatch", and has painted his entire body black with oil paint.
He presents the party with their cover story: the dustmen have found an isolated demiplane in the ethereal, with a strange and unique connection to the negative energy plane. Using a special planar vehicle, they have launched an expedition to investigate, and find potential inhabitants. Due to the planes unique characteristics, it is almost impossible to enter and leave. Two years later, there has been no message from the expedition, but a group of planewalkers has found the ship, and sold it to the Anarchists. The party will pose as inhabitants of the demiplane (it needs a name, actually), who were converted to dustman cause and have used the ship to find the dustmen of Sigil.

Infiltration:
With the help of an anarchist mole already placed in the faction, the party will join the dustmen. To see if they can be trusted, they will be sent on a difficult mission for the dustmen..

And this is where I need a little help, for two things, mainly:

a) What kind of mission do the dustmen send people on?
I have one idea on this: I vaguely remember an idea someone mentioned on this forum. An ancient baatorian weapon lies buried in the Abyss. A device, originally mounted on a tower, which can affect an entire planar layer and dampens emotions. While the baatorians used this to break Tanar'ri resistance in an important bloodwar battle, one of the few semi-successful invasions of the Abyss, the Dustmen intend to smuggle this weapon to Arborea, near the sensate strongholds there. Since the PCs are heavy hitters with some chance to survive in the Abyss, they will be sent along with a few more regular dustmen.

Good idea? Alternate ideas? What kind of problems could they run into, apart from a few fights against Tanar'ri? Suggestions for interesting, not too often used layers of the Abyss they could go to?

b)What kind of dirt and dark could they uncover on the Dustmen, once the infiltration is complete? It should be something which allows them either to directly weaken the dustmen, or to sway the public opinion in Sigil against them.
Here, I thought of two things: since the players are undead, they can go to the negative energy plane with slightly less danger than other people. What could the dustmen high-ups and Skall hide there? Also, there are rumours that the dustmen are not using all the corpses they don't destroy as workers... what are they doing with the rest?

disorder_cleric's picture
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Re: Undead Anarchists - Criticism and ideas needed

I was thinking about this all night while I should have been working. I think vampires would have all the necessary skills for this mission and they would put all those skills to the test.

There are several phases to this mission

1. Collect information on the whereabouts of orb, staff, tome, Deathstar whatever your doomsday weapon is called.

2. Journey to where object is and liberate it from it hosts. It may be lost. Therefore hosts won't know they have it. If they do know about it you can be sure it is well guarded. One would need to make a deal.

3. After collecting item then we must journey to Sigil and find a couple of pawns to help us deliver the payload. Since just waltzing into Arborea, near the Sensate stronghold is likely to get you blasted back to the negative energy plane for good.

Here is the question for undead experts does glamor work over portals? If not they would have to travel with the pawns, which would likely compromise the entire operation. I suppose they could go into smoke form and hide in a bottle or something to deflect detection.

What would the affect be of shifting Arborea [Olympus] one step closer to say Limbo? What would be the affect on Sigil? What would be the affect on the Prime Material? Assuming that is the way you wanted things to shift with regard to alignment. You could also shift the towards Neutral but that could shift it all into Sigil.

Sigil could get a lot more real estate. Two huge mountains in Sigil? This has epic written all over it. Gods in Sigil are a no-no per Lady of Pain. I would say someone is going to be Mazed.

There also the possibility of the vampires betraying the Dustmen. Parish the thought, to what end that would depend on who is really pulling the strings.

This could anger a fair number of really powerful beings. However that is right up Chaos's alley. Disturb the comforted and comfort the disturbed!

To me it make more sense, shifting towards Limbo. If one thinks of the local Denizens of Limbo, they would probably be in favor and likely would help, as this promotes ultimate chaos. Imagine the edges of Arborea starting to get fluid-like like a lava lamp.

This would drag the the whole bunch closer to the Tanar'ri. To what end, how would this further their causes? One step closer to unified chaos [if there is such a thing]. If I was a vampire I would volunteer. Things are bound to get more interesting! I think most of the other undead would just get blasted trying to enter into Arborea. Brute force is not going to work we need to be sneaky. Thankfully we have the right guys at our disposal, Tanar'ri.

Eldan's picture
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Re: Undead Anarchists - Criticism and ideas needed

Of course they are working towards betraying the dustmen, after all, they will be anarchist spies.

However, there are two things I'm thinking off now:

The weapon is inactivated, it needs to be started first. Since it seems to fit,there could be a connection to Hades. Perhaps they have to go there to find an ingredient, or it could actually cause part of Arborea to shift there.

Also, instead of just the anarchists betray the dustmen, which is to be expected, what if I pull one the other way round? The dustmen, Skall with his magic, as an example, found out they are anarchists and are using them. Pulling off this stunt will piss of the sensates enormously. What about, then, if the dustmen came out as soon as the plan was complete, blaming the anarchists? If they had some kind of proof that the party consisted of spies, suddenly they would find themselves hunted by both factions.

disorder_cleric's picture
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Re: Undead Anarchists - Criticism and ideas needed

A trip to Hades would seem to make sense if you could work it in.

Which always made me wonder. How can Arborea [Olympus] and Grey Wastes [Hades] not be opposites? CG vs. NE

Yeah I know it just one of those weird plane things. That probably is a question a clueless would ask as well.

One would think Dustmen have some kind of deal with Undead in that they do not attack Dustmen normally. However suppose it was not a deal and was in fact some type of artifact or spell or tome etc. Possibly undead anarchist could have a use for such an item. The Dustmen may have a long lost map to a portal directly to the Negative Energy plane. Being they are vampires they would seek to open this portal permanently. This would cause a flood of undead to enter Sigil. This would likely cause chaos which again is a Win / Win situation for them. With this surge of undead they could overthrow the existing order also good for the anarchist thing.

Burning Spear's picture
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Re: Undead Anarchists - Criticism and ideas needed

Not having anything to add but: I would love to play in this one Eye-wink

Zimrazim's picture
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Re: Undead Anarchists - Criticism and ideas needed

Undead campaign! Yay!

Dustmen like to hate one of three types of people:

You can buy a contract with the Dustmen (usually in exchange for a small amount of jink) that allows the Dustmen to use you as some kind of an undead creature -- a zombie, for example -- after you die. It's basically impossible to get out of such a contract after you sign it. Some people don't want to fulfill such a contract, and the Dusties don't like that.

In a more general sense, Dustmen are morally offended by mortals who have lifespans that are much, much longer than they "should" be. For example, powerful wizards who extend their lives for thousands of years. Perhaps the demiplane was created by just such a powerful wizard, and the fact that it's difficult to enter may be deliberate...

There is also a sect called the Prolongers that Dustmen really, really don't like. Prolongers survive by draining other people of their life force (much like undead do).

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