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ShawnCowles

Sphere of Destruction or Unstoppable Monster

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My brother and I were having a discussion the other day, and I'd like to see what you all think of it.

In this scenario there is an unstoppable evil trapped underneath the world, and a bunch of cultists are trying to free it. If the players don't stop the cultists in time the evil will be released and the world is going to be destroyed.

In the instance that the players fail, what would be the most effective (from a psychological standpoint) way to do it?

I proposed a giant monster, able to destroy buildings at a touch, with almost limitless hit points. I think this would be the most effective because (as it is a creature) you might think that you have a chance of killing it and saving the world. As you attack it however you realize that your most powerful spells, weapons, etc do absolutely nothing to the creature as it smashes cities and fortresses. The fact that you thought you had a chance, but are totally ineffective I think would add an element of failure to hopelessness.

My brother proposed a sphere of destruction that slowly expands unstoppable destroying anything it touches. The players realize there is nothing they can do about it from the start.


I prefer the monster (if you couldn't tell), but I'm interested in seeing what other people think. Keep in mind, however, that when this thing is released the world is over. It took all of the power of a god just to contain the thing. Admittedly it emerges somewhat weak, but it should still be an unstoppable force of destruction.

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A Duplicating sphere of destruction that reproduces uncontrollably and destroys buildings with a touch?

And it must scream and emit fog.

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My gut reaction would be a mixture of both really. On its own the sphere seems a bit tacky (like one of those effects cheap TV shows use when the big bad arrives) and seems a bit contrary to the whole "big bad" being released. The monster alone is also a bit anti-climactic (it actually makes me think of one of the season finales of TorchWood).

I would start off with an egg or sphere appearing over a certain point and then as it matures a ring would appear underneath it and start to expand corrupting/destroying anything it touches. After a while the egg would crack open causing the ring to expand abruptly and releasing the monster that would then set out destroying everything else/corrupting the land beneath it. This is more personal preference though.

From a psychological standpoint a monster based one would be better if you plan on the player playing past that point. But that's simply because it at least gives the player some hope or reason to keep playing. The expanding sphere is just a big "give up now" sign. Not many games really go into this kind of "you lost but you can keep playing" style, most recent one I can think of is Dead Rising 2 Off The Record but that's down to its sandbox like nature. The deciding factor would probably be the type of game you want to incorporate it in.

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I think a huge amount of flying monsters or other similiar things is more interesting, as you could kill them but theres so many or they reproduce that you cant stop them.

You could also add a huge monster that comes some time after the swarm of small ones or the small ones could spawn from the big monster.

Anyways, i find a huge swarm of evil thingies scary.

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Ever heard about CERN, and their relatively new particle accelerator (world's largest).
There were someone who believe it might create a black hole, that will continue to grow until it swallows the world. Anyways sphere of destruction, slowly growing, "eating" everything it touches. You see nothing (it will be completely black, not even light can escape). How about multiple spehere's of destruction. In the beginning you can move through them, but eventually the cut off the remaining world into tiny fragments. Similar to a mass strike of nuclear missiles, and you're lucky enough to not be in it's kill radius.
You could come up with a 100% fiction explanation, but dark matter /dark energy might be fitting as some pseudo science explanation.

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You know, I think it depends on your storyline and so on... which can work better into the plot? Because really, either way works provided that you can "sell" the concept to the player. To me, the monster makes more sense because cultists seem to love those things. The monster could be a "no hope" situation depending on how you do that... I mean if this mountain comes and steps on you, it doesn't really leave much of an impression of a fighting chance. Though necrosphere could work too if you just spin it right - I think it's all about context!

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A Giant Marshmallow Sailor == ULTIMATE EVIL

But seriously, it depends on the setting, what the player went through and what the cult is about. If it is about worshipping a monster, then a monster is good. If it is about evil in general, it might be a sphere.

It may be a gazzilion other things -- hordes of omnivore locust consuming the world, an unstopable force pushing the Earth into the Sun, a plauge cloud that melts flesh and steel into a stinky sludge... Anything.

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How about a sphere of corrupting influence. Wouldn't it be insidious if there was an emanating point of evil and everyone who fell under its influence went dark side? You wouldn't know who was your ally and who was out to cut your throat in your sleep.

No offense, but isn't this more about writing than gameplay?

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How about a sphere of corrupting influence. Wouldn't it be insidious if there was an emanating point of evil and everyone who fell under its influence went dark side? You wouldn't know who was your ally and who was out to cut your throat in your sleep.

No offense, but isn't this more about writing than gameplay?


I would say not, I want to convey the futility of the situation though the mechanics, not the writing. The goal is to try and encourage players to want to go out fighting by giving them a situation they can struggle against, but not stop.

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My vote is for an unstoppable monster. If faced with something like the sphere, I'd more inclined to run than to fight against it. A monster of some kind I'd at least figure to have some sort of weakness that can be exploited even if means throwing wave after wave of men against it.

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