Villain Concept: The Herdmind

Go down

Villain Concept: The Herdmind

Post  Grey Pen The Flawed on Fri Nov 30, 2012 3:23 pm

So I'm getting ready to run my first Pony Tales game next week, and I thought I might like some extra opinions on my Big Bad.

Essential plot is that a mysterious entity has been possessing ponies all over Equestria, absorbing their consciousness with itself to create an enormous hive calling itself "The Herdmind" (Think Petey from Schlock Mercenary).

In particular, I'm having trouble figuring out how exactly the players go about defeating it; see, I only have two regular players. Suggestions?
avatar
Grey Pen The Flawed
Best Pony
Best Pony

Gender : Male
Posts : 1251
Join date : 2012-11-16
Age : 25
Location : In the kitchen, at the table, or in my room drawing...

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Villain Concept: The Herdmind

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Fri Nov 30, 2012 3:54 pm

Orbital Friendship Canon. Why mess with the classics?

In seriousness though, I'd try coming up with a whole bunch of ways the big bad *could* be defeated and letting the players try to pursue one of those paths themselves - rather than outlining one specific railroad. This will help the player's feel their role in the game is more interactive. Try asking yourself, "If I was a player... What would I do to try to take this guy down?" Putting yourself in the player's mentality will help you design the challenge to be more interactive.
avatar
Stairc -Dan Felder
Lead Designer
Lead Designer

Gender : Male
Posts : 3098
Join date : 2012-07-19

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Villain Concept: The Herdmind

Post  A1C Bronymous on Fri Nov 30, 2012 4:32 pm

Give them anything they ask for and it WILL go down. Not the best course, but if all else fails, and you desperately want them to succeed, a DM Ex Machina would do the trick.

But only as a last resort.
avatar
A1C Bronymous
Air Commander, Equestrian Armies Pegasus Corps, Eastern Skies Command
Air Commander, Equestrian Armies Pegasus Corps, Eastern Skies Command

Gender : Male
Posts : 5727
Join date : 2012-07-18
Age : 27
Location : Columbus, MS

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Villain Concept: The Herdmind

Post  SilentBelle on Fri Nov 30, 2012 8:21 pm

Oh, if the players die, then have the players be assimilated instead of killed. Then they fight it from the inside in some sort of warped reality. That could be a fun way to salvage a TPK situation and would be a neat way to explore some more surreal circumstances Very Happy

Another option, maybe have a certain number of 'carriers' (possessed ponies) that are the physical vessels that act as channels between the herdmind and the material plane. They have to go on a quest to locate and purify all the carriers.

Or maybe there is one being that is the center of the herdmind and they have to find that creature and get rid of it, or if the herdmind isn't actually evil, come up with some sort of compromise. Anyway it could play out like a mystery where all the minor villains leave some sort of clue (maybe a wave of psychic energy when they die) that leads the players to eventually comprehend the magnitude of the threat of the herdmind. Their actions provoke the herdmind's rancor and it becomes a race between whether the Herdmind can stop the players before the players can confront the herdmind or if the herdmind can take over all of Equestria (if it is set in Equestria)

This is also a good premise to give each character a unique nightmare style challenge that explore their character as the herdmind tries to take them over as they sleep.

It sounds like a lot of fun, and I wish you well in making the best campaign you can Very Happy


Last edited by SilentBelle on Fri Nov 30, 2012 11:47 pm; edited 1 time in total
avatar
SilentBelle
Monster Overseer
Monster Overseer

Gender : Male
Posts : 1162
Join date : 2012-07-19
Age : 30
Location : Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

View user profile http://www.fimfiction.net/user/SilentBelle

Back to top Go down

Re: Villain Concept: The Herdmind

Post  Jason Shadow on Fri Nov 30, 2012 10:30 pm

Maybe the Herdmind just wants a body of its own, and the PCs could construct one for it.

Spoiler:
And then kill it once it's no longer possessing any innocent bystanders.
avatar
Jason Shadow
Very Special Somepony
Very Special Somepony

Gender : Male
Posts : 244
Join date : 2012-07-18
Age : 22
Location : Barely outside your field of vision

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Villain Concept: The Herdmind

Post  Grey Pen The Flawed on Sat Dec 08, 2012 12:03 am

Silent Belle has lots of good ideas. My comments:

SilentBelle wrote:Oh, if the players die, then have the players be assimilated instead of killed. Then they fight it from the inside in some sort of warped reality. That could be a fun way to salvage a TPK situation and would be a neat way to explore some more surreal circumstances Very Happy

...That's an awesome idea! Why didn't I think of that?

Only... I don't write "surreal" too well. Could anyone suggest some sources of inspiration?

SilentBelle wrote:Another option, maybe have a certain number of 'carriers' (possessed ponies) that are the physical vessels that act as channels between the herdmind and the material plane. They have to go on a quest to locate and purify all the carriers.

I actually had something similar in mind from the beginning. See, any sentient, sapient creature *can* be absorbed, and act as eyes, ears, and hooves of the Herd, and add their knowledge to it; kinda like the Internet. BUT, only a small hoofull of ponies, labeled "Pushers" (totally NOT a reference, BTW), or else the Thinker (see below) can do the actual absorbing. I haven't quite decided what the criteria for a Pusher is, except that the subject must be a Unicorn. Pushing also requires the victim to be unconscious, asleep, or completely informed and willing. So, theoretically, purge all of the Pushers, and keep them that way, and then it's only a matter of time.

SilentBelle wrote:Or maybe there is one being that is the center of the herdmind and they have to find that creature and get rid of it, or if the herdmind isn't actually evil, come up with some sort of compromise. Anyway it could play out like a mystery where all the minor villains leave some sort of clue (maybe a wave of psychic energy when they die) that leads the players to eventually comprehend the magnitude of the threat of the herdmind. Their actions provoke the herdmind's rancor and it becomes a race between whether the Herdmind can stop the players before the players can confront the herdmind or if the herdmind can take over all of Equestria (if it is set in Equestria)

The "central being" you mentioned is another thought I've had for a while. IT (Not a reference!) calls ITself the Thinker; that is, the one who does the thinking, the planning, the deciding. IT is also the only one, besides the Pushers, who can absorb other creatures into ITself.

SilentBelle wrote:This is also a good premise to give each character a unique nightmare style challenge that explore their character as the herdmind tries to take them over as they sleep.

Good idea! *scribble*

SilentBelle wrote:It sounds like a lot of fun, and I wish you well in making the best campaign you can Very Happy

Thank you! I'm gonna need it Mad

Will be posting some statistics for lower-level Herd Members here in a few minutes tomorrow. The lab top has been commandeered...


Last edited by Grey Pen on Sat Dec 08, 2012 12:12 am; edited 1 time in total
avatar
Grey Pen The Flawed
Best Pony
Best Pony

Gender : Male
Posts : 1251
Join date : 2012-11-16
Age : 25
Location : In the kitchen, at the table, or in my room drawing...

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Villain Concept: The Herdmind

Post  SilentBelle on Sat Dec 08, 2012 12:07 am

I look forward to seeing them Very Happy
avatar
SilentBelle
Monster Overseer
Monster Overseer

Gender : Male
Posts : 1162
Join date : 2012-07-19
Age : 30
Location : Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

View user profile http://www.fimfiction.net/user/SilentBelle

Back to top Go down

Re: Villain Concept: The Herdmind

Post  Grey Pen The Flawed on Sat Dec 08, 2012 3:20 pm

Here they are! Now, these are not fully fleshed out, so of course suggestions are welcome.

Workers
These guys aren't really meant for combat. They're meant for carrying packs, pulling carts, grunt work. So these stats are more just in case.

HP: 5
[+1] Struggle
Deals 1D6 damage to a single target.
[-3] Run Away!
Exit combat.

Catchers
These guys are here for the purpose of capturing and restraining potential Herdmind members, until a Pusher can come and Push them.

HP: 10

[+1] Kick
Deals 1D8 damage to target.
[+1] Grab (working name)
Flip a coin. If heads, target is stunned.

Will post again momentarily. Phone is being stupid...


They're lik
avatar
Grey Pen The Flawed
Best Pony
Best Pony

Gender : Male
Posts : 1251
Join date : 2012-11-16
Age : 25
Location : In the kitchen, at the table, or in my room drawing...

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Villain Concept: The Herdmind

Post  sunbeam on Sat Dec 08, 2012 3:47 pm

Grey Pen wrote:Here they are!
Catchers
These guys are here for the purpose of capturing and restraining potential Herdmind members, until a Pusher can come and Push them.

HP: 10

[+1] Kick
Deals 1D8 damage to target.
[+1] Grab (working name)
Flip a coin. If heads,target is stunned.


How long is someone supposed to be stunned, 1 round or (save ends)?
avatar
sunbeam
Epic Pwny

Gender : Male
Posts : 1930
Join date : 2012-10-24
Age : 23
Location : Elsewhere

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Villain Concept: The Herdmind

Post  SilentBelle on Sun Dec 09, 2012 1:59 am

sunbeam wrote:
Grey Pen wrote:Here they are!
Catchers
These guys are here for the purpose of capturing and restraining potential Herdmind members, until a Pusher can come and Push them.

HP: 10

[+1] Kick
Deals 1D8 damage to target.
[+1] Grab (working name)
Flip a coin. If heads,target is stunned.


How long is someone supposed to be stunned, 1 round or (save ends)?

Indeed, a relevant question. Also how powerful do you want these guys to be? Are they just supposed to be a minor nuisance to the players, or do you want them to offer a big challenge to the players? Because 10 HP is really low. I want to get a scope of the whole encounter you plan before taking a real shot at critiquing it Very Happy How many players and how many foes?
avatar
SilentBelle
Monster Overseer
Monster Overseer

Gender : Male
Posts : 1162
Join date : 2012-07-19
Age : 30
Location : Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

View user profile http://www.fimfiction.net/user/SilentBelle

Back to top Go down

Re: Villain Concept: The Herdmind

Post  Paper Shadow on Sun Dec 09, 2012 5:12 am

Grey Pen wrote:Here they are!
Catchers
These guys are here for the purpose of capturing and restraining potential Herdmind members, until a Pusher can come and Push them.

HP: 10

[+1] Kick
Deals 1D8 damage to target.
[+1] Grab (working name)
Flip a coin. If heads, target is stunned.
I don't think I like how a stun is a +1 Pip move. Although I know DMs won't do that, it does create the possibility of perma-stun. Unless that is your intention...

SilentBelle wrote:Indeed, a relevant question. Also how powerful do you want these guys to be? Are they just supposed to be a minor nuisance to the players, or do you want them to offer a big challenge to the players? Because 10 HP is really low. I want to get a scope of the whole encounter you plan before taking a real shot at critiquing it Very Happy How many players and how many foes?
I think he plans on making them a major nuisance, but not challenging. Their flavour is that they hold ponies in place for the mind-controller-things to get there. Basically, I would liken them to a Special Infected from L4D. Not hard to take down, but if you are by yourself, ggwp...

_________________
Ellipses are kinda my thing...

Based Emotion Chart:
avatar
Paper Shadow
Smile Like You Mean It
Smile Like You Mean It

Posts : 3748
Join date : 2012-11-23
Age : 24

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Villain Concept: The Herdmind

Post  Grey Pen The Flawed on Sun Dec 09, 2012 3:13 pm

I meant to put a save ends on there. I simply derped. No, they're not supposed to be challenging, though I see I also forgot a much more bothersome move they have. Lemme try again, with a slight octane (or HP) boost...

Catchers

HP: 20

[+1] Kick
Deals 1D8 damage to target.

[+1] Grab (working name)
Flip a coin. If heads, target is stunned (save ends)

[-7] Judo Throw
Fling target creature away from the battle, removing it from combat until the end of its next turn (a creature removed from combat cannot affect any other creature in the battle with combat talents or be affected by any combat talents - though it may still use [+] abilities to gain PiPs). You may choose to deal 3d12 damage to a creature thrown this way. Target cannot be killed in this manner.
((The idea being that the Herd wouldn't DARE intentionally kill it's target. It's goal is to absorb Equestria, not murder it, and you can't absorb a dead pony.))

And now a couple of extra, slighter bigger and badder guys. These are the ones you call when your standard Catcher isn't enough, or if the Herdmind decides that someone really and truly isn't worth having; an complete psychopath, for instance, could potentially affect the entire Herd's behavior, and is therefore extremely undesirable. Or, someone with the right sort of mind could potentially escape from the Herd (Such as Silent Night, one of my NPCs who is in fact a former Herd member) and carry sensitive information back with them, which would also be bad (as the Thinker has learned from cold, hard experience).

Anyways! Now something more lethal.

Fighters
Like Catchers, but... more so.

HP: 30

[+1] Spin Kick
Deals 1D8 damage to target, and 1D6 to adjacent targets.

[-3] Body Slam
Deals 2d8 damage to target. User is confused (save ends)

[-1] Brace
Gain Resist 3 until your next turn. ((I think that's right, I need to double check.))

[-3] Restore (working name)
Allies may each pay up to 3 PiPs. Gain XD6 PiPs, where X is the number of total PiPs.

[-6] Judo Throw
Fling target creature away from the battle, removing it from combat until the end of its next turn (a creature removed from combat cannot affect any other creature in the battle with combat talents or be affected by any combat talents - though it may still use [+] abilities to gain PiPs). You may choose to deal 3d12 damage to a creature thrown this way.

Will post more later.
avatar
Grey Pen The Flawed
Best Pony
Best Pony

Gender : Male
Posts : 1251
Join date : 2012-11-16
Age : 25
Location : In the kitchen, at the table, or in my room drawing...

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Villain Concept: The Herdmind

Post  GentlemanOtherwise on Sun Dec 30, 2012 11:26 am

If you're looking for a surreal representation of fighting the Herdmind from the inside, I suggest looking to classic "mental, representational world" works like Psychonauts. But what about this?

-inside the Herdmind-
Everything is an enormous suburban neighborhood; normal, sweet, calm... and slightly off. Everyone seems slightly like they've been hitting the pain meds, and slightly panicked, too. Around the players, there seem to be enormous moving carts everywhere, covered in completely silent ponies carrying packages. They seem to be moving the personal possessions of the players into new homes.

As the players try to leave the neighborhood, the world starts to make increasingly flimsy justifications to keep them in. Slightly addled and panicked warrior workers are carried in through suitcases by the servant ponies. Eventually, the Herdmind begins talking to them directly, begging them to stay. Should they choose to go any farther toward the outskirts of town, and the exit, the Herdmind manifests as a sort of artificial, abstracted and slightly insectoid spirit Princess Celestia, and tries to keep them by force. She tries to imprison, not to directly crush, for killing a pony mind in the Herdmind excises it; but she can be harmed by destroying the landscape, and by throwing the drugged ponies out of town.
avatar
GentlemanOtherwise
Background Pony
Background Pony

Posts : 88
Join date : 2012-11-08

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Villain Concept: The Herdmind

Post  Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum