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I've been going through the Rod of Seven Parts adventure/source book, and it's a fun read. The side effects of the Rod are mighty interesting to read, but it makes me wonder how assembling it would affect the party. Namely, it turns the bearer into the worst kind of Lawful Stupid imaginable: obsessed with neatness, will not abide by chance, will not break any law or rule, will not lie, shuts down when having strong emotions, starts to take everything literally and considers metaphors to be lies and eventually becomes hostile to all those that do not share its views. And that's not even counting the mechanical differences.

If a player were to choose this alignment it would take only one session before the others would ask them to cut it out. But having a magic item turn you into this is both fun and a danger at the same time. It requires cooperation between the DM and the player to properly roleplay this, but my question is: how do you do this while keeping it fun for the other players?

Sure, you can go with having the party each carry around one or two parts of the Rod, but doing so will either mess up their skills (bard, thief) or ruin their spellcasting (mage, non-lawful priest). Plus, if you give players parts of a magic item they will want to assemble it, no matter how dangerous it is.

So what do you do? Have them carry it around in bits, with only one person with three or more parts while the others have up to two so that the side effect of 3+ parts (not wanting to part with them) comes into play? Have them assemble it anyway and somewhat downplay the consequences? Or something else? From what I've read the book also suggests that you have an NPC carry it, but this would make the party sidekicks to someone with a completely awesome weapon, which (in my eyes) kinda takes away the whole reason to use the Rod of Seven Parts in the first place.

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There are a lot of cultures, religions and organizations that have rules and customs that seem overly fussy to outsiders. But when you dig into why they are present and the history behind them, you understand that they are not arbitrary but part of a greater scheme of things for that group.

In short you learn the context in which odd customs, and beliefs exist. And that what you need to do with the lawfulness Rod of Seven Parts. If all you ever present are the odd customs and belief then the players will look on them with annoyance. However if this a backstory behind them, a reason why, then the annoying customs will be part of the challenge in dealing with the issues of the events surrounding the rod.

I doubt they will stop viewing the customs as anything but annoying, but they will understand if it a result of something that makes sense and perhaps even tolerate it in pursuit of a larger goal.

And score bonus points for coming up with a specific reason for why annoying custom exists. The intent behind some of the purity rituals of various religions was born of an honest effort to combat the presence of disease and illness in their societies.

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