Tarrasque vs. Dracolich
Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #710
Got this great email from Martin Lavallee in response to my ghost story [The Craziest Jerk I’ve Been Yet] the other day:
“I am using a red dragon from time to time [to harass the group] and the PCs are about to become strong enough to engage her directly.
“They’re racing against time to find an artefact that is supposed to put an end to the undead threat once and for all. What they don’t know is, while it will eradicate all the undead at once, it will also wake The World Breaker, aka, The Tarrasque (which I’ve remodelled into a living mountain that cannot be killed, just put back into slumber).
“Now, back to the dragon, should the PCs manage to get their hands on the scroll, activate its magic, and destroy the undead, something will go wrong. My red dragon will turn into the first Dracolich (I have yet to find a plausible explanation for the transformation) and thus the dragon becomes the first undead and the cycle of unlife begins anew. Her fiery breath will turn its victims into ghouls or other undead instead of burning.”
I love the epic aspects of this. The last of the undead. The living mountain. The cycle. And in the middle is a recurring NPC who’s bugging the PCs, bringing it all down to the gameplay level.
Great stuff, Martin. You might also explore the two themes of immortality you’ve got running. There’s the evilness and corruption of the undead. And then there’s the immensity and inevitability of the mountain tarrasque. Contrast those to the frailty of the PCs who can barely challenge a pesky foe….