Power Checks (again)



Feb 01, 2004 20:07:15
What power check (if any) you would roll for following (or similiar) situation:

The party advances through the forests of Forlorn and spot the several goblyns. Creatures prepare to boil three strangers alive in great cauldron. They doesnt notice party that hiding in the forest. The challenge for party is medium and they probably will win but not without casaulties. party decide to retreat in forest and leave peoples to doom.

So what gradation of power checks you will roll for that situation?


Feb 01, 2004 20:46:33
goblyns trying to eat victims.
adventurers try to help victims.

1)adventurers fail and run away, after possible heavy losses.
=no powers check.

2)adventurers leave victims to die


Feb 02, 2004 0:30:13
2)adventurers leave victims to die

Why 10%? Just supposition?
The brutaly klling of strangers worns only 6%...


Feb 02, 2004 14:47:17
This is a REALLY grey area. While failing to even try to rescue a total stranger is not exactly a moral act (or moral inaction, as the case may be) I cannot think of any Ravenloft book that has ever called for a powers check for general inaction; this is not even heavily implied. It's up to the DM, of course, but I would be hesitant to require a powers check in this situation.


1)If the perpetrator had some kind of specific moral obligation to another (even a guide), then abandoning that person should be counted as a betrayal (major or minor depending on the final consequences). A party member voluntarily abondoning his friends who needed him or her in battle has betrayed them.

2) Some heroes have duties that require them to be morally exemplary and go above and beyond that which is required by others. (Paladins, for the most obvious example, or those using the ideas in Heroes of Light). A violation of their requirements should probably be treated as breaking a tenet, oath, or vow (depending on the situation and specifics of that character) in addition to probable suspension from their class.

If you feel that a powers check is warrented in the situation with the goblyns described above, 2% is probably appropriate. (Keep in mind the victims are total strangers.)


Feb 02, 2004 15:33:42
In my situation I make power check with 3% (as major betrayal) snd now I think I was right...
The situation looks like that you breaking the trust of stranges (they hoping that someone helps them and players was that someones).

The already standing one leg in darkness mage begins his corrupt


Feb 02, 2004 21:58:09
I'll second the call that this is a grey area. *AS A GENERAL RULE AS A DM I'D EPECT A HEROIC PARTY TO ATTEMPT A RESCUE* But, without knowing more about the circumstances its hard to give a definative answer on whether leaving the NPCs behind is powers check worthy.

(1) If the PCs have urgent business they are about and there are lives at stake if they fail, then IMO the PCs are within their rights not to intervene to save strangers. Certainly for a Paladin its an ugly box to be in (though that's not quite the same thing as whether or not the PC needsa powers check). I can't see punishing them with a powers check. Living with the knowledge that they left the NPCs behind is punishment enough (and a good judge will weave that thread back into the storry so the PCs don't forget).

(2) If the PCs have some kind of duty toward the NPCs (as guides, regional protectors or whatever) then absolutely they are betraying the victims about to become dinner. Power check of (more or less) 3% are definately appropriate. Maybe higher if the PCs screwed the pooch and/or got the NPCs into that fix.

(3) The hardest case to judge is when the PCs are just out in the woods for no urgent reason at all and come across strangers. It'd be wrong to say the PCs are betraying the victims because there is no relationship between them.

(a) Unless as the DM you've made it clear in your camapaign that heroes have a duty to rescue and everyone is innocent until proven guilty, then this is really hard to judge. There is also the degree of danger. No one should demand the PCs risk suicide. If its the three hags of Tepest putting victims into a pot turn your butt around and get out of there. if it looks like you could/should win without any of your team dying then it looks like you ought to go.

(b) Clearly trying to rescue them is the heroic thing to do. Or is it? In RL who says the NPCs are innocents? If the woods are by a road then the NPCs might be abducted ("innocent") passerbys. But if its in the deep woods isn't it just as likely (or even more likely) that the NPCs are malfeasors in their own right? What if the NPCs are evil druids or lycanthropes who have been a problem in the area and the goblyns are, to their thinking, taking care of local business? Can the PCs tell? PCs shouldn't be obligated to rescue somone/thing that they know will kill innocents down the road.

Leaving them to their fate isn't heroic, but also isn't as "powers check worthy" as number 2 above. I feel fairly strongly that any check the DM impliments should only be in the 1-2% range.

-Eric Gorman