Unholy Trinity: feedback please?

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I have an idea for a setting with three, secretly allied, evil empires, one of which is secretly ruled by a powerful lich and the rulers of the other two are each secretly allied with one. The liches have an agreement whereby each one takes care of one of the other's phylactery, so that if one of the liches is killed and the heroes destroy what they believe to be it's own phylactery, the lich will revive a few days later at the lich holding on to it's real phylactery. They will then contact the third lich - who actually owns the phylactery that was destroyed - and s/he will make another one to teleport to the lich who was revived, who will then teleport back to where s/he was killed.

The liches that aren't rulers also have agreements with the rulers that they are secretly allied with, whereby the lich will kill enough people on the borders of the nation to keep the population afraid, and the ruler will send their political enemies for the lich to kill in the guise of sending the prisoners on a quest against a common enemy; the lich who adopts a human persona for direct rule also adopts a lich persona for a similar purpose.

I'm also thinking that the BBEGs should be so ridiculously hard to kill that the PCs would have to try indirect approaches unless they are extremely successful at other quests, but I'm not very familiar with how hard a certain ECL would be for a certain party level .

The main continents, nations, and some of the significant NPCs are so far as follows


  • Antviceld: large quantities of metal ores and high populations of dwarves/gnomes leading to high levels of Dungeon-Punk Tech (DPT: trains powered by sails and wind spell-casters rather than engines, etc) for the two largest nations; high levels of war-faring Orc tribes outside the major nations

    • Maaltyd: the larger, central cities (with more DPT such as sail-rails) are less tolerant of Orcs and Half-Orcs, but the smaller, outer settlements have enough contact with Orc raiding parties to tell the difference between them and Orcs that have left their tribes and are helping the humans et al. defend themselves; is at war with Vernichten

      • King Fillipus Tigersoul (ECL 20): LG Human Aristocrat, trying to make the population more accepting of Orcs and Half-Orcs that have left the war-faring tribes

      • General Hetaglemen Strinoval (ECL 15): LN Human Fighter, family was killed by vampires secretly under Vernichten employ



    • Vernichten: alliances with major Orc tribes and vampire packs; is at war with Maaltyd

      • Empress Claudia Talonsword (ECL 20): LE Human Aristocrat,

      • Bloodsauger Nightshroud (ECL 25): NE Lich Cleric (Kyuss), controls the vampire populations

      • Silverna Lergen (ECL 15): CE Human Rogue/Assassin, uses a Ring of Invisbility to make Sneak Attacks without partners for flanking, harasses Talonsword’s inner circle with “pranks,” such as poisoning them or breaking into their houses/safes for “practice,” but has too much fun on their assignments to risk making them excessively unwilling to keep using her, and so tones it down (slightly) when Talonsword and/or Nightshroud legitimately threaten to kill her.





  • Nagalaut: high populations of dragons, therefore kobolds and/or sorcerers, with Tiamat’s on the mainland and Bahamut’s on the surrounding islands

    • Kariavimus: honors Tiamat; is at war with Gunun-Gair-Garam, maintains a large navy

      • Emperor Degimas Futozu (ECL 30): LE Lich Aristocrat/Sorcerer, uses illusions to disguise himself as a human and enchantments to keep the noble families under control and/or fighting amongst themselves

      • High Priestess Shandrik Thorex (ECL 15): LE Human Aristocrat/Cleric (Hextor) who handles state affairs when Futozu is in battle, either as the Emperor or a lich

      • General Dreisheg Loresfeld (ECL 15): LE Half-Dragon Fighter/Blackguard, commander of Futozu’s armies

      • Cascadora Kasirga (ECL 15): LE Human Ranger, renowned in the military for killing a large number of Gunun-Gair paladins



    • Gunun-Gair-Garam: honors Bahamut, large number of paladins and/or Dragon-borns, only paladins and/or Dragon-borns (who can prove their devotion to Bahamut) can be appointed to the highest positions of authority; contact with sea-elf communities, many people are half-elves (often amphibious); is at war with Kariavimus, maintains a large naval cavalry of paladins and/or rangers that can ride animals such as sharks

      • King Marithyulo Krujati (ECL 20): LG Dragon-born Aristocrat/Paladin

      • Dame Putilak Degelik (ECL 15): LG Half-elf (aquatic) Ranger/Paladin, most powerful archer in the naval cavalry

      • High Priest Keremat Pengerik (ECL 15): LG Human Cleric (Bahamut), blesses the naval cavalry to fight/breathe underwater





  • Vadiyanan: numerous warlords marginally united, large numbers/varieties of monsters, therefore Dragoons (homebrew prestige class I discovered on dandwiki. Thank you, Genowhirl!)

    • General Sagoretti Caudilo (ECL 20): LE Human Fighter/Legendary-Dreadnought, closest thing the continent has to a single ruler

    • Ejherda (ECL 15): NN Human Ranger/Dragoon, renowned on the continent for killing large numbers of monsters

    • Saganaka (ECL 25): CE Lich Wizard (specializes in conjurations over enchantments or illusions), enjoys wanton violence/destruction over evil as a philosophy in of itself; prefers summoning monsters so she can watch the fights that result.




Does anyone have any suggestions for what I could work on? Or maybe ideas for possible NPC's, conflicts, locations, side quests etc?

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Odds are, if 4-6 people can't figure out an answer you thought was obvious, you screwed up, not them. - JeffGroves
Which is why a DM should present problems to solve, not solutions to find. -FlatFoot
Why there should be the option to use alignment systems:
Show
If some people are heavily benefiting from the inclusion of alignment, then it would behoove those that AREN'T to listen up and pay attention to how those benefits are being created and enjoyed, no? -YagamiFire
But equally important would be for those who do enjoy those benefits to entertain the possibility that other people do not value those benefits equally or, possibly, do not see them as benefits in the first place. -wrecan (RIP)
That makes sense. However, it is not fair to continually attack those that benefit for being, somehow, deviant for deriving enjoyment from something that you cannot. Instead, alignment is continually attacked...it is demonized...and those that use it are lumped in with it.

 

I think there is more merit in a situation where someone says "This doesn't work! It's broken!" and the reply is "Actually it works fine for me. Have you considered your approach might be causing it?"

 

than a situation where someone says "I use this system and the way I use it works really well!" and the back and forth is "No! It is a broken bad system!" -YagamiFire

I like it. Sort of similar to what I have set up in my world in respect that the focal BBEG is a lich.

Very well thought out and planned.
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