On 2002-03-01 23:23, QD wrote:
It seems like D&D offers a lot of easy ways for players to see through the serpent people's disguises. Paladin's unlimited detect evil ability and dispeling the Alter Self or Polymorph Self spells come to mind. Seems like players (guards and council members too, for that matter) would start using these abilities after the first serpent person is discovered.
Okay, first keep in mind that this city thrives on trade from all over the place, which means that there are all kinds of people, good, neutral, and evil running around all over. Even Drac himself is Evil, and he's not a serpent person. So alignment is NOT justification for arrest/action on the part of the city officials. That is why there are laws. Orcs, for example, walk the streets freely, even though most are evil, because they agree it is in their own best interest to obey the laws so they have somewhere to buy supplies for their ships!
So if your party members start to 'scan' everybody they run into, keep in mind that roughly 1/3 of the total population of Freeport is likely to be evil to some degree. Also, using this ability takes concentration, so said paladin isn't likely to be having intelligent conversation while he's "giving the hairy eyeball" to anybody.
Also, said random strangers may notice, and take offense, or think said paladin is giving them the EVIL eye! The party may even get in trouble for 'disturbing the peace' if they start waylaying people to check alignment. After all, the party isn't part of the city guard!
As far as dispelling the polymorph effects, that is a contested roll on the part of the dispelling caster, so there is the potential for failure. Also, a PC of appropriate level for these modules isn't going to be able to do it very often, only a few times a day at best. Also, to even know that there is a polymorph effect being used, they would have to detect magic first, and even then make a lucky guess, unless other clues lead them to believe they are specifically dealing with a shapeshifter.
So in terms of "easy" ways to get rid of the polymorph disguise, well not really. Not unless you as a GM MAKE IT EASY. My party was totally gulled by the "Fake Egil" in TiF, because they never thought to check if their friend was really who he was....I played the "fake Egil" the same as I did the real one, and they never suspected....
My players keep saying I have a taste for blood...I'll answer them as soon as I'm done with my steak tartare...