Convincing Orcus (Wizard Cleric of Ioun and The Raven Queen)

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Build:
Wizard, multiclassed into Cleric, Divine Oracle Paragon and Epic Demigod.
Main powers: the famous Seal of Binding + Regeneration trick, combined with
Orb mastery and lots of (save ends) effects.

Fluff:
The character is devoted to neutrality and thus naturaly attracted to Ioun and the Raven Queen, both deities who care little for alignment. It must be said though that he is in no way selfish, he prefers acts of kindness over evil deeds which could have more gain and hunts down evildoers simply because he thinks what they do is wrong. The difference with good-aligned people is that he doesn't do this for some kind of heavenly reward or deific purpose, he just realises that it's a lot more pleasant and safer to be surrounded by good people.

Belief and teachings:
Death is unevitable and shouldn't be feared or sought after, it will come when it does, cares not for your personal convictions and is as good a part of life as any other aspect. Knowledge is another unevitable thing of life which comes by itself and cares not about who you are or what you do. It can -and should- be sought after, as knowledge and experience is what makes a person who (s)he is. Good people respect other people's freedom of choise and life, which is key to obtaining the knowledge that makes one himself and good people will often teach and spread their knowledge to other, which is something to be greatly respected. Evil beings generally seek to deny others their paths of life and search for knowledge and keep all their gathered knowledge as secrets to only themselves. This is evil, the way of Vecna, and should be opposed by all possible means.

Goal:
Worshipping both Ioun and The Raven Queen, one opposing Vecna and the other opposing Orcus, as the character grows in power, he devises a plan to serve both their Gods -and everyone in the universe- in a way none other can:

His theory:
- Vecna is the enemy of all Gods -and Ioun in particular-, wanting total domination and the death of all Gods and other beings who oppose him. He is the God of Undead and Secrets. Vecna is a threat to everything and should be destroyed.
- Orcus was the former god of Death and seeks revenge by overthrowing The Raven Queen and reclaiming the place he believes should be his. He is worshipped as the Demon Prince of the Undead and Vampires owe him their "lives". While Orcus is without a doubt evil, he's not as bad as Vecna.
- The Raven Queen orders the Cult of Orcus to be stopped so Orcus can't claim her throne. This doesn't mean Orcus has to die or be trapped. He just has to be convinced to stop making false claims on the Goddesses' throne.

His plan is to find Orcus, not to destroy him but to convince him of the truth:
1. Death should be neutral. All life and unlife, Good Gods and Evil Gods, benefit from this. An Evil God being in charge of Death would provoke the anger or all Neutral and Good Gods and will inevitably trigger a war that would once again result in Orcus' demise should he ever succeed at regaining the Throne of Death.
2. If the other Gods aren't worse enough, Orcus regaining Godhood would certainly anger someone other than Gods of neutral or opposite alignments. Orcus' ties with the undead would certainly give him the title "God of Death and Undead", a title which is bound to anger Vecna, God of the Undead. While he seeks to destroy all, this is a slap in his face and will not go unanswered.
3. Orcus is evil, driven by hatred of life, revenge and greed for power. A neutral God replaced by an evil one would cause an inbalance and should be avoided at all cost.
4. Orcus has been blinded by revenge and trapped in the past. The only reason he's after The Raven Queen's throne is some nostalgic feeling (ironic and really unfitting for an evil god). He should accept what he is/has become: demigod of the undead.
5. This doesn't mean Orcus should stop aspiring Godhood, only that he's soliciting for the wrong job. He should overthrow Vecna and become the new God of Undeath. This function fits him more, gets him more power and all the dark knowledge of power possessed by Vecna. A lot more fitting for him.
6. To get there he would have to form a temporary alliance with the group. If he accepts this new course, it's not impossible that even Ioun or The Raven Queen (or other Gods) themselves would lend a hand if it means getting rid of the most evil god of 'em all (in case of the Raven Queen, she might still hold a grudge that he had the guts to challenge her, but maybe she'll throw him a bone if he sees the light and stops making his false claims to her throne). He helps the group getting the right artifacts/power needed and instead of thwarting his plans, they assist him.

Of course the chances of Orcus just talking to them from the start are slim, it's likely that the only way to get to him they have to kill most of the forces he's gathered to overthrow the Raven Queen. And even then he might be too self-confident or too evil to consider negotiating. It might be easier to use Seal of Binding+Regeneration(+Resistance) and while he's trapped and slowly dying, talking into him.

The main question though is: do you people think Orcus could/would accept? Fluff-wise, there's just too little stuff about him (or other gods) in the books.
hmm... With a diplomacy score from heaven, or an intimidate score from hell combined with that binding theory it seems plausible... On the other hand, Orcus is a special case since he is half-entity, and as such likely doesn't care to much if he is killed (once).

I think it depends a lot on the setting, and how the GM plays him. Had I been your GM the answer would be no, you would likely kill him, and he would be spawned somewhere and bar the divine link providing "Seal of binding" (without you knowing it), making your next combat all that more dangerous.

Magic Rafiq Control Deck [EDH][1vs1][multiplayer] [] Inferno Beatdown [EDH][multiplayer][1vs1][] Gwendlyn Combo/Control Deck [EDH][1vs1][] Merieke Casual Deck [EDH][multiplayer][] Roleplaying Magician class [D&D 3.5]

Of course the chances of Orcus just talking to them from the start are slim, it's likely that the only way to get to him they have to kill most of the forces he's gathered to overthrow the Raven Queen. And even then he might be too self-confident or too evil to consider negotiating. It might be easier to use Seal of Binding+Regeneration(+Resistance) and while he's trapped and slowly dying, talking into him.

The main question though is: do you people think Orcus could/would accept? Fluff-wise, there's just too little stuff about him (or other gods) in the books.

This is pretty much the crux of the problem. So far as I've read about Orcus, he doesn't seem like the "reasoning" type. Dude carries around the skull of a dead god on a stick for goodness sake!

Generally, the demons (and demon princes) have stuck me as being the sort of CE which is so self-absorbed that it only cares about its one particular (emotive) focus, and achieving that end. Orcus is one of the "slaughter 'em all" types who, fixated on usurping the Raven Queen, is planning on doing it via army rather than other means. Heck, the Dragon piece on the Cult of Orcus made it seem like he doesn't even care about what his cult is doing, aside from building him more undead to command.

So no, I think he'll be more Hulk-like in that restraining him and trying to reason with him will only make him stronger and angrier. Doesn't mean your character can't try (people go quest for all kinds of crazy things) and depending on your DM, you might succeed.
I agree that he definately doesn't look like the "reasonable" type of guy.
But really it's just convincing him of a simple choise between two things:
A) Suffer the humility of defeat by the hands of "mere" mortals (albeit all on their own ways towards "immortality)", possibly having his soul sent to the Raven Queen for judgement -which must be his ultimate humiliation.
B) A better chance of godhood than he had before, with more powerful allies and potentialy even help from other deities.
(Admitted, he's not the kind of "guy" to be happy to accept help from the same he's trying to defeat, but in his greed he should be able to see the benefit of a temporary alliance.)
As of skills needed to "persuade" him:
I'd agree that intimidate is a part, but should it get a bonus because he's trapped in seal of binding and surrounded by other people who haven't even done a thing yet but are certainly able to do even more damage to him?
Instead of diplomacy, or certainly in addition to it, use religion? It seems more of a theological issue, more trying to convince him of the truths of the Gods instead of making stuff up to sooth him or make him more "friendly" (which is a lost cause anyway, the only chance is to please his lust for power).
I agree that he definately doesn't look like the "reasonable" type of guy.
But really it's just convincing him of a simple choise between two things:
A) Suffer the humility of defeat by the hands of "mere" mortals (albeit all on their own ways towards "immortality)", possibly having his soul sent to the Raven Queen for judgement -which must be his ultimate humiliation.
B) A better chance of godhood than he had before, with more powerful allies and potentialy even help from other deities.
(Admitted, he's not the kind of "guy" to be happy to accept help from the same he's trying to defeat, but in his greed he should be able to see the benefit of a temporary alliance.)
As of skills needed to "persuade" him:
I'd agree that intimidate is a part, but should it get a bonus because he's trapped in seal of binding and surrounded by other people who haven't even done a thing yet but are certainly able to do even more damage to him?
Instead of diplomacy, or certainly in addition to it, use religion? It seems more of a theological issue, more trying to convince him of the truths of the Gods instead of making stuff up to sooth him or make him more "friendly" (which is a lost cause anyway, the only chance is to please his lust for power).

Religion just isn't going to work to convince any God - they are religion after all. No, you'll need to stay social.

Now, here are my thoughts (channeling Orcus :devil to your choice:
A) Puny mortals, about to kill me? Can I even be killed? Bah, I am Orcus, and I will get my revenge on these whelps!
B) Allies? Orcus has no need for "allies" - Orcus needs only slaves and minions to serve the will of Orcus!

Roughly speaking, the reason why CE folks generally don't form permanent alliances is because they can't stand being subservient. CE is an inherently selfish alignment, and what Egomaniac can stand having to rely on "equals?" Vecna, back when he was LE anyhow, knew the value of a good plot, and that alliances founded on greed could be very good indeed. I don't think Orcus would enter a plan where he would not dominate the other Gods directly, and even if you agreed to help Orcus out, he would just treat you like slaves.

I'm just not seeing it, I guess.
Actually, Orcus IS unquestionably an exception to every rule about demons... which somewhat annoyed me with all the emphasis on demons are strictly retards hellbent on destruction and its devils that make deals and grant power when there are tons of human cultists in the book who have, yes, made deals that grant power. I'm the only person in my group who gives a damn about the differences between demons and devils, so I decided "eh, screw it" and am probably going to have demons and devils behave however. Orcus and company sure don't act CE.

It'd be... a max complexity level 33 skill challenge, in my book to persuade him, just because I'm stingy like that.

You have some pretty damn good arguments though, interesting stuff. I might have to use this hook myself.
If I was the DM i'd put a DC 20 diplomacy check, 4 success before 2 failures to see if it works.
If I was the DM i'd put a DC 20 diplomacy check, 4 success before 2 failures to see if it works.

Thats.. pretty easy. DC 20? I mean, 1/2 level per skill means at at level 30 they'd already have gotten 15 of the 20 DC.

Unless im misunderstanding. I would think something as difficult as this would be like, DC 35, 40, 45, etc. Or harder!
Hmmm the max bonus in Diplomacy that a player could have is...

+10 from the appropiate stat (+5 start, +4 if you put in a point from lvl 1 to 30 and +1 if you used the Demigod 2 points into it)

+8 from being both trained and focused

+15 for half level

+4 from Crown of command

+4 if you use the Astral Speech paladin lvl 2 ulitity (you said wizard cleric so I'll leave this out)

+1 if he has a Half Elf friend

+2 if his race gives a bonus to Diplomacy

So that leaves a +40 modifier without Astral speech... I think a DC 50 is in order to give a little pressure (I'm sure no one thought they'd see such high DCs again) and of course bonuses from high Insight also help as well

So you do stand a good chance of talking him down
Everyone is forgetting that Pun-Pun just plane shifts into 4.0, kills Orcus, goes away, problem solved. haha xD
Thats.. pretty easy. DC 20? I mean, 1/2 level per skill means at at level 30 they'd already have gotten 15 of the 20 DC.

Unless im misunderstanding. I would think something as difficult as this would be like, DC 35, 40, 45, etc. Or harder!

I was joking.
Wow, thought this thread had died, glad it didn't.

You have some pretty damn good arguments though, interesting stuff. I might have to use this hook myself.

Thanks!

So you guys all say diplomacy's the way to go here?
I always considered diplomacy to involve a lot of flattery and proper adressing (eg ranks or nobility titles) to get people to "like you" better, not really "making your point" but more getting them friendly enough that they'd help you even if your points aren't all that good.
I consider Orcus too smart and just too plain evil to fall for this. Probably the use of diplomacy should give an automatic failure (like intimidate does in the DMG example) 'cuz he sees it as a weakness, and an insult to him that you think he'd fall for such "flowery happy" crap.
This is really more a question of: "is your reasoning correct?" -which would be either judging my arguments or checking religion- and "can you convince Orcus that this is the only/best way for him to achieve power" -check the current combat(?) situation, power status of his cult, intimidate(?)-?
IMO you should need Bluff and Diplomacy because he's a Demon Prince.

Bluff to stroke his ego say DC 35 or so
then Diplomacy of at least DC 40

thats even if you can make it into a close enough range to even communicate with him

on another note... Convincing him that he is already the God of Blood or God of Slaughter might work better

but pitting him against Vecna!!! that's something that I would love to see!!! or at least read about... fighting for the title of God of Undead!!!

I am using the Cult of Orcus in my Shadowfell campaign... and the war has already begun!!
The thing I have trouble seeing is how you would get Orcus to even talk to you in the first place...
From his entry in the MM;
"Orcus finds amusement in the suffering and anguish of the living and satisfaction only when he drinks their blood. Most living things enrage him by their mere presence, and Orcus permits only undead to be near him; even his demon servitors are undead."

So parlaying with Orcus himself is probably not going to happen, unless your party happens to be undead. Once you've battled your way to his inner sanctum the chips are down, and once a living being has violated his sanctum with its presence there's no way he's letting you out alive.

That said, you could possibly try negotiating with Orcus via proxy, but in this instance I think it would be doubly hard to really convince him of your position, he is a Chaotic Evil demonlord after all. Even if you do manage to hammer out some kind of agreement you can be damn certain he's not going to hold up his end of the bargain. Once he's got what he wants the deal is off.

Of course, if you guys want to tell a different story go right ahead, it's up to your DM in the end; but I personally do not see Orcus, as written, being the kind of opponent you can overcome diplomatically.
I really don't think you're going to be able to convince him to give up on the idea of "God of Death" and the associated overthrow of the Raven Queen. On the other side, you might manage to convince him to try to take out Vecna as a stepping-stone to greater power, with which to overthrow the Raven Queen. Being undead at the time might be helpful - consider the Archliche ED. You can get the other good gods to help out largely on the premise that Orcus (kinda dumb in some ways, and predictable) is just easier to handle than Vecna. Bonus points on the convincing if you can dredge up the Sword of Kas from somewhere to offer him for the project.

Of course, at that point you're not really serving the Raven Queen all that well. For serving her - well, if you're going on a great quest of the faith, and providing such a service to the Raven Queen, talk to her first. I figure if you slaughter your way through is minions, lock him in a seal of binding, and then activate some artifact to let her know you're ready, she'll be happy to show up and accept a gift-wrapped Orcus - and she'll probably have some way of making sure that he's really dead when he dies this time.

Side note: I would not have described your character as Nuetral, back in 3.x. Fortunately, Unaligned fits him pretty well.
Orcus isnt about petty things, he covets ravens throne not for this but for power to destroy tharzidun his father and take over hell and the abyss. His goal is to consume the shard of pure evil piercing the hollows of the abysd and become a god. He'd go for what sounds good if it can be pulled off, but hes a plans of thousands of years guy, he could attack anyone at anytime, even the players.
Dont forget dcs.... They increase as players level. By increments of 5 level divisible by 5 for easy and 5 at each level of difficulty for that level, so at 30th its 30 easy 35 moderate 40 hard and to convince orcus 45 for not a shot but try anyway
This depends on if the DM uses Orcus straight out of the book or makes changes.  Orcus has an extreme hate for anything living in the book, I doubt you could say one word before he orders your party's death.  You can always change what you don't like though.  Just my 2 cents.
Hopefully you are good at shouting too, as Orcus will be damaging you durring the entire conversation unless you are 20 sq. away. (Aura 20: 10 Necrotic Damage) I hear it is hard to have a philisophical conversation 100 ft. away from eachother.
Well, if you beat the crap out of him, now he is damaging you for 20 Necrotic per round. (while Orcus is bloodied.

Just a thought.

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