Sunday, 6 January 2013
The rotting creature raises it's coathanger-thin arm. Upon it, the sacred gem of the EverQueen! Perverted to the call of dark magic! The emberous balefire flickers on the doomhand of your nemesis!
“You were a fool to challenge me hero” it sneers through smirking tomb-grey lips “now you die! Like your father died! And at the hands of the power you sought to preserve. What sweet irony. The forest will be mine adventurer! And the dark embrace of death your own! HAHAHAHAHA!”
You summon your last dregs of strength and, with a mighty blow, drive your fathers blade through the rotting skull of the evil Liche! The jewels fall from his eyes! His bones burst into blue flame as they fall to the ground! As you draw your breath a chill wind seems to blow. Already, as you stare down at his ruined form, the world seems somehow lighter, as if nature herself was somehow aware that a great evil had been slain.
“No Xanthor” you say “you were a fool to doubt the power of friendship, that is the true gem of power.”
Your adventure is over. Turn to page 234
And snaking from the liche-robes hem, a rope of flesh, twitching and curling. Xanthor's broken body, shudders, raises a foot off the ground, makes a slow irregular oval in the air and zips away, exactly like a lip-lick tongue goes hiding in the mouth.
The dagger-teeth already there, appearing in a church-yard arch above. The lower jaw grates the needle-knives up out of the ground, squealing on the broken rock. You stare into its endless throat. The jaws close.
Your adventure is over.'
The AnglerLiche is a cosmic monster, evolved to eat heroic souls.
It farms them like Ants farm Aphids on the leaf. Creates a PseudoVillian lure, one made to outrage every decent mind. Then sets it plotting and murdering. The schemes of an AnglerLiche Lure make no long-term sense. The lure itself is barely awake, much of it's plotting is semi-random instinct action. It does have enough Lich-type skills to fake a decent prick, zap a few thralls, burn a village, sack a town, perv a girl. But the only reason it does anything at all is to provoke the response of decent pure-hearted heroes.
The fish itself lies hidden out of space, beating its timeless fins in the slow anti-flow between realities, drifting, with just enough push to maintain it's position relative to this time and space.
It thrusts forth the lure to tickle awake the hero's heart with pheromonal death-games. Watches it progress, occasionally dipping back into reality to encourage its growth and development. (Hero's grow on horror to oppose.) This can take years, or days, the fish doesn't care about time. It cares about quality.
When the Hero is finally as ripe as it can be, a showdown's engineered. The hero wins. The fish arrives Cheshire-cat style and feeds.
When your players encounter one, all they will know is that they have met someone totally evil who really really pisses them off. It doesn't have to be a Liche. To create an AnglerLiche lure. Imagine the kind of villain you usually invent, then create a slightly more shit version of that. A bit flatter, a bit less well thought out, a bit more incoherent. The fish is not quite as smart as you, but it knows just as much. Like the DM it is outside reality. You can use your meta-knowledge to make someone who will provoke both players and characters to heroics, that is what the fish is doing after all.
But remember the tube of grey flesh that puppets the lure, that is something players can notice. And remember the Lure has a slightly different fictional signature than the rest of the game you make. Whatever kind of game you run, it's a little 'off'. In gonzo games its a little to serious and dramatic, in serious games its a little too cheap and cartoony. And remember it's plans make no real sense. The players, and characters, should be able to work out something is up.