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  1. #1

    The Spider, The Gorgon, and other nasty dudes...

    Would it be correct to assume that awnshies such as the Spider do not follow the normal domain turn rules?

    I say this because the map appears to confine the Spider to a single forest province. Even if we assume that this counts as "elven", so that the source rating can be maximised, and if we further assume that the Spider has some holdings outside this province, it is still difficult to see how the standard rules would give the Spider the sort of GB and Regency to constitute a major threat. As far as I am aware, it is supposed to be virtually suicide to invade an awnshie's territory. Granted the Spider probably has access to the gamut of Realm spells (and isn't afraid to use them), but even that requires a significant income to power.

    The Spider is, of course, merely the extreme example.

    Is this correct? Or is the reason that the Spider and the Gorgon aren't constantly swarming through everyone else's territory because they aren't, in fact, that powerful from a military perspective?

  2. #2
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    Okay... anyone that thinks that the Gorgon isn't powerful had better kiss their butt goodbye when he invades. Gorgie has so much going for him that it's hard to imagine him NOT walking all over Anuire.

    As for the Spider, you are correct, his powers are pretty minimal, other than a few things going for him.

    1. He no doubt has leadership feat, with attendant cohort at half GB cost. Sure, he has minimal GB anyways, but that still buys quite a few goblin units. Say an income of 2, with no court, he could maintain up to 8 gobbo units. Then, if necessary, he even drafts in some more goblin skirmishers.
    2. His defences. The spiderfell, with his ability to see through the eyes of spiders, means he perpetually has a scout unit up. Means that he doesn't easily get picked on without warning first.
    3. His defences, reprised. Consider his webs, and that of his giant spiders and spiders units - meaning, the whole Spiderfell could also count as a fortress for his purposes. Any unit entering has a +2 attack rendered against them IMC upon invasion. His high warcraft score also means that he will probably get to control where the battlefield is.
    4. His personal power. How many characters have the ability to stand against him in Anuire, easily? Many would die. Most lack the weapons to even harm him.
    5. The balance of power around him. Any nation that slung the troops to defeat him w/o a trusty alliance could bring about their end. Medoere, Endier, Roesone? They lack the resources to do it. All have powerful enemies. Sure, Ghoere could probably do it, but why bother? Besides, if they failed, Gavin Tael would just create another enemy, which he doesn't really need.
    Actually, his realm magic, if he even has any (can't remember off the top of my head) is minimal anyways... considering Caine controls the sources of the Spiderfell.

  3. #3
    The Spider cannot take on a united front, however this is not the case at 551 MR. The Spider is surrounded by five domains, of which only one (Ghoere) is big enough to not be seriously threatend by a rampaging Spider.

    But most importantly, the Spider cannot really be rooted out of the Spiderfell given the conditions in the forest. The place is meant to be akin to a living nightmare. As such, the Spider is able to launch attacks and retreat back into the Spiderfell without risk of a significant repriesal.

    Mechanically, I have always thought the 0 province level represented a complete unknown by everyone other than the Spider. Goblins have been living in the region since before humanity, so it is not too big a step to have some sort of underground goblin kingdom with the Spiderfell lying over the top. Such arguments could put the actual province rating at say 7 which would give the Spider some reasonable amounts of GP and RP. Combine with local temple and guild holdings and that number increases again.

    On top of this, many nearby domains may even pay tribute to the Spider to keep him away. Endiere strikes me as the most likely target here.

    At the end of the day, the threat of the Spider is not that he will conquer you, it is that you can never conquer him... well not until you are ready to clear cut and burn the Spiderfell down anyway.

  4. #4
    Senior Member The Swordgaunt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cutenfluffy
    <snip>
    Plus epicsoul's points 2 through 5.

    This is how I have pictured Spidey. I always make a point of being difficult to play with whenever an awsheghlien is involved. They can not be defeated whithout some old fasioned, nitty-gritty hero work. These guys know full well that only an alliance can threaten them, and alliances usually pivot on a few charismatic or shrewd individuals. Thus you have assassinations, ambushes on travelers, hosage situations and all sort of evil directed at their opponents. Cut a link, and the chain will break. These Scions have centuries, some even millenia, worth of political experience on any who oppose them. They belong in the Premier League of the game of thrones.

    I also remember a piece of DM advice I read in a Dragon magazine back in the early 90's. If the NPC/monster is highly intelligent (say 22+), odds are he will have planned ahead. When the players plot and scheme, listen. If their ideas doesn't strike you as particularly inspired, assume it has been considered by the foe. Of course, remember to factor in character flaws, such as arrogance, delusions of grandeur and other Evil Overlord traits. And one should try not to make dead end scenarios...

    The nasties have been in the game a long time, so short-changing them would remove their scare factor.
    -Harald

    Today, we were kidnapped by hill folk never to be seen again. It was the best day ever.

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  5. #5
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    A former DM of mine used the Spider to such maddening
    effect that I ended up building Earthworks...at very
    great expense...all along the border I shared with
    that hellish nightmare realm!

    As the Regent of Roesone it was a very draining
    expense as well...harried constantly by monstrous
    spiders and such...and finally I got so angry that I
    set about completely obliterating any stand of trees
    within catapult range...seems to be a running trend of
    mine when trees are around!

    My neighbor came up with a different plan. The ruler
    of Ilien in our game decided to breed and release
    giant Wasps into the Spiderfell in hopes that the
    creatures would kill the spiders...he was wrong.

    I agree that the only real way to get rid of that
    realm was burning it to the ground...something I
    proposed to neighboring realms as the Regent of
    Roesone; but none would go along (I suspect because
    the DM didn`t want them to! Dastardly fiend!).
    Ghoere was busy with a war against Mhoried. Ilien
    (another PC) decided he didn`t want to provoke the
    Spider after a near assassination soon after his Wasp
    episode. Endier said they liked it where it was as
    "protection" of all things! The only other two
    nations bordering the Spiderfell were busy at war with
    each other.

    Eventually my earthen wall was finished...and sporadic
    torchings on the other side of it kept the killing
    field wide open against attacks by whatever. The DM
    tried night attacks and this was the only time the
    darned spiders had much effect...so I started keeping
    large hunting cats on the wall imported from Khinasi
    lands.

    Eventually I got so fed up with spiders that I
    launched an ill thought out assault on the Spiderfell.
    It took the entire treasury of my kingdom, the loss
    of hundreds of soldiers, the deflection of
    assassination after assassination; and finally I got
    to fight the Spider. I died; but my retreating
    soldiers did as I ordered: set the entire forest
    ablaze.

    It was a nice end to the story...although Endier and
    Ghoere created two provinces out of the burned wreck
    after chasing the Spider underground.

    It was a good game...too "Michael Roele" for me though
    since my character died! LOL


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  6. #6
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    Yup. Spidey can do just fine on his own. I often have used him as the main annoying thorn in the side of realms and characters (if playing at adventure level). Never enough to do more than raid and pillage, but always has to be factored in.

    Oh, and BTW, Endier wouldn't be paying tribute to the Spider. They are the only realm truly safe from his predations... as long as he remembers his oath, and doesn't solve the riddle...

    The other realms, they may provide some tribute. I prefer to think along the lines as suggested earlier, however - that there is a small underground warren of goblins that provides limited income to Spidey. Worse, these warrens have caverns that link all the way into some other surrounding lands... such as the Fell Mound of Roesone, and perhaps even as far away as Diemed.

    That means that he can raid in more locations than one, if he truly wanted to. I usually leave these raids at "player" size raids, or event level scope at most - rather than actually bringing in units. Just enough to have an adventure, or tie down a court action...

  7. #7
    Senior Member ploesch's Avatar
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    Something I feel is made too little of is the fact that these creatures of True Bloodlines and humanod troops are not given enough credit (in the rules) for Loyalty.

    The Spider, Elvish Nations and any creature of possessing a True Bloodline would command much respect from their subjects.

    Take the Spider. The Goblins likely feel he is what keeps them alive and safe. That, and his affinity for true spiders would give him many benefits, IMO.

    Everything epic soul mentioned and more...
    Calling on the natural spiders as levies, or even irregulars.
    Tributes and possibly other holdings in other realms.
    Possibly having a high level realm, but considered elvin in nature.
    And just because of his true bloodline and the nature of goblins he likely has half the muster cost for Goblin troops, possibly no muster cost.
    He may even create goblin units he hires out as mercs to gain additional income.

  8. #8
    Senior Member The Swordgaunt's Avatar
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    The Eyeless One

    This is just a wee bit off topic, but Old Eyless is a bit of a mystery to me. He is not an Awnshey, right? But he's bound to be quite old and at least a bit evil. Is there any canon or fan-work availible on this guy?

    I remember reading something about him being the court magician of the Manslayer. Did I just make this up, or are there some truth to this?

    Could he be seen as the Mage-regent of the Peaks, only that he dooesn't give a goblin's ear about politics? And where does he fit in in the Grand Scheme of Things?

    Info or thoughts, anyone?

    ---

    In my previous campaign, the rumor was that he was indeed the Slayer's magician before Deismaar. He also had a daughter living in the Peaks. A beutiful, black-haired half-elf Sourceress/Druid of Erik. One of my players' Wizard fell in love with her, and all sorts of problems followed. A bit like "Meet the Fockers" meets "Lord of the rings".
    -Harald

    Today, we were kidnapped by hill folk never to be seen again. It was the best day ever.

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  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by epicsoul
    Oh, and BTW, Endier wouldn't be paying tribute to the Spider. They are the only realm truly safe from his predations... as long as he remembers his oath, and doesn't solve the riddle...
    Is this from the novel 'the Spider's Test'? I haven't read it so a few brief details might be useful.

    Also, The Spider River gents... it flows from the Spiderfell along the borders of three domains. Anyone else think river boating goblin raiders sounds cool?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by cutenfluffy
    Is this from the novel 'the Spider's Test'? I haven't read it so a few brief details might be useful.

    Also, The Spider River gents... it flows from the Spiderfell along the borders of three domains. Anyone else think river boating goblin raiders sounds cool?
    Yuppers, from the novel, as well as the PS book. The PS book has the answer to the riddle, in Kalien's safe...

    Basically, old Richard Endier had a riddle contest with Spidey, and stumped him. Spidey made an oath to not attack Endier until such time as the riddle was solved.

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