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I'm a LG Paladin of Serenrae, would I tolerate a group member summoning Daemons or Devils to fight other evil?
I think the more important question is, do you think it would be fun for the player who is having an awesome time summoning demons and suchlike for you to start giving him a hard time about it?
This is why I don't let paladins play in my games. There is way too much of a tendency for them to become the fun police.
Cross off "paladin" on your sheet and write "awesome magical knight guy that likes to go on adventures with other people and let them have fun however they enjoy the most, while I have fun however I enjoy the most."
Pretend alignment doesn't exist, and just go have fun!
That's my 2 cp at least...
Here is a Richard Pett adventure project that needs some love. I can't imagine why this thing hasn't funded yet. I'm guessing perhaps a lot of OSR-types aren't familiar with his excellent work. At any rate, if you'd like to see a Richard Pett adventure, go kick in a few bucks. Thanks!
Cool, we're using the pre-nerf Heirloom Weapon trait, as I suspected, and I also get to choose another trait. So let me put it bluntly, what's the most broken one I can get? :)
I'm also going to ask if he'll just let me make a katana finessable. He'll probably do it. Just thinking about all this cheese is kinda fun.
Haha, it's all quite funny really.
I don't normally do this sort of thing, but the guy who is running this is a big powergamer, and has always annoyed me with it, so I'm out to show him how it's really done! (That's my goal anyways)
And Taason, drow aren't in eastern lore BECAUSE THEY'RE PRETEND. Further, some of us find Tolkienesque settings the yawnsville of make-believe land. (Although in fairness, this drow thing isn't quite the pinnacle of creativity either.)
Anyways, thanks to those who answered my questions. This guy is going to be a bit ridiculous I think, but it should be fun. Once I get level 2, two-weapon fighting, and am dual-wielding wakazashis and flying around the battlemat with my ki pool in my hand, it's gonna be on!
Updated sheet HERE if you care to see.
EWHM is right on the money. I got frustrated with my group for a long time, until it finally struck me like some sort of revelation that they were simply CASUAL, are were not going to read rulebooks between sessions.
We've since been playing the Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG beta and 1981 Basic D&D. It's been a lot of fun, plus it's less prep work for me.
Sounds to me like they've had their chance to figure out Pathfinder, and it hasn't panned out. I'd just switch to a lighter system, and I am of the opinion that you don't need to consult them about it. In my circles, the person putting forth the effort to DM gets to pick the game.
What you describe sounds like a bunch of people that just want to hang out and roll some dice. You don't need a 600-page rules system for that.
Pathfinder is a great game, but it's not for everyone.
So, my brother-in-law has decided he wants to run a drow noble campaign, tells us to roll stats three ways and take the best set, and gives us the Heirloom Weapon trait. (Has this been nerfed? It seems the version on d20pfsrd doesn't jive with my adventurer's armory book.)
At first, I was going to run a caster, but it looks like we already have a sorcerer and an alchemist, so I think I want to go ninja.
I am taking a wakizashi for the heirloom weapon, and Weapon Finesse for my first feat. I figure I'll use my 2nd level ninja trick to pick up two-weapon fighting, and get another wakizashi.
So far, I haven't had the opportunity to sift through all the new options between Ultimate Combat and Ultimate Magic. Honestly, I haven't even gotten that familiar with the APG content yet.
Also, a few questions about all the spells I get as racial powers: Does the armor arcane spell failure chance affect those spells? What ability modifier do I use to calculate my spell save DCs?
Lots of good insight in this thread. I should also note a few things about my group. We've been playing together for a while, and have developed sort of a synergy which enables us to do some things like this where other groups may have difficulty. Trust isn't an issue, as they trust me to guide things along fairly, and I make it a point not to abuse that trust. And finally, when we made the adjustment from using mechanical dice rolls by the book for everything, it took a few sessions for everyone to get acclimated, and we experienced a few of the examples people have posted of things that can go wrong, but we've pretty much gotten it down to where things move along nicely and the game just feels less contrived.
I could definitely see this approach not working for PFS play, or with groups that don't know each other as well.
Lastly, I also want to make it clear that I am not trying to preach that my method is the "one true way" or anything like that. It is simply meant to share our experience with regard to ignoring the RAW and using something else with success, in the hopes of encouraging others who might be unsatisfied with certain parts of the rules to try something else.
I usually don't do play reports because I find them boring as hell, but I tried my hand at typing one up that might be entertaining to read. I still think it's too long and gets a bit too much into the minutia of the game, but I'm curious to hear people's thoughts. Please drop a comment and tell me what you think.
WARNING: The session report contains spoilers, so only GMs should look at it. It also contains some naughty language, as it is meant to be an accurate reflection of things happening at the table, so if you are bothered by that kind of thing, you've been warned.
"I search the room, I roll a 13."
Followed by 3 other people telling me what they rolled.
It totally breaks that versimili-whatever-word. And for other skills, looking up all the rules around them can be a real game killer. Sometimes finding something or knowing something shouldn't be left to chance.
I still have people spend their ranks, and take ranks spent into account when adjudicating things, but ultimately I try to avoid players making skill rolls now, and our games seem to flow a lot better and feel less clunky as a result. I just decide what they know or don't know. I determine if they find things based on where they look. If something is hidden under a pillow, they can find it by looking under the pillow, not by making a DC15 check or whatever. If they want to craft something, and they spent ranks on it, I'll just say yes or no. Some things like acrobatics still work well with dice rolls, but I much prefer DM fiat or a die roll made by me for things like spellcraft, appraise, etc.
Anyone else using this approach? If you hate looking up skills all the time and grinding your game to a halt playing by the book, give this a shot. It's worked well for our group.
Here is the paper model of the chelish crux I used. I assigned each symbol a number 1-12 and randomly rolled what the combination was, ensuring no symbol/number was used twice.
Then I let the players make Knowledge(Planes) checks that would give the players a hint as to what the next part of the combination was. If they made a low check, I just told them one or two symbols that were not the next part of the combination. If they made DC20, I narrowed it to one of 4 possibilities. DC25 narrowed it to 3 possibilities. I used the Book of the Damned Vol. I (the source of the symbols) to throw in a bit of lore pertaining to each symbol as well. I highly recommend this book if you are running CoT, it has some good stuff in it.
My group was able to solve it before the 8 failures caused the combination to reset. It still isn't a perfect solution, because it's a combination lock, and there really isn't any rhyme or reason to the order of the symbols for the players to discover, but I found it to be better and more immersive than a simple series of Knowledge checks or DD checks.
I just printed it on cardstock and taped it together. Hopefully others will get some use out of it as well. Enjoy!
I have one PC in the Pathfinder Society already, and I'm anticipating having the entire group as members before long. (The group is currently finishing up part 3 and exploring Delvehaven).
The recent blog post inspired me quite a bit. I think that after part 6, the PFS will send the group to Egorian to retrieve more artifacts stolen/hidden by the House of Thrune, specifically looking for some well-kept secret that the party themselves will not be privy to and will only learn about through play. I imagine a HUGE megadungeon complex underneath the House of Thrune, and I plan to sprinkle in some extra-planar travel to Hell and the Astral Sea.
I really liked the previous poster's idea about bringing Aroden back, so I'll have to include that, and that potentially gives me the link to the Astral Sea I need. And when he comes back, he's gonna be pissed, and there will be war. Even if the party doesn't care much for the good vs. evil aspect of this conflict, the PFS would much rather see Thrune out of power, so I think I'll have good hooks.
In short, I think it's gonna be awesome!
I'm interested in running some planar adventures - either adding some stuff to one of my current campaigns, or perhaps even building an entire campaign around the theme. Problem is, I know nothing of the planes. I was hoping I could get some suggestions as to good material I should look into that would give me a good feel for planar travel.
Back in the summer, when we were playing 4E, I did read the 4E manual of the planes, but it didn't seem to be much help at all.
Is 2E Planescape material the way to go? Are there any good Planescape novels (or any other novels) that would be a good primer for someone looking to get his feet wet?
To clarify, I'm not really interested in mechanics. I just want to be able to properly capture the sense of awe and wonder and "take-everything-you-know-about-reality-and-throw-it-out-the-window-because -it-won't-do-you-any-good-here".
Your suggestions are appreciated!
well, all I can say is that in the case of my party, they came in, stayed on the platform, and fired off a few shots at him, forcing him to approach the stairs. The fighter then went down to the bottom of the stairs, making himself the only legitimate target. The Outcast king makes his 4 attacks against the fighter - all 4 miss. The party proceeds to unleash holy hell on him, destroying him in the same round.
perhaps I'm just bad at running the monsters, or the PCs are good at tactics, but my experience was the opposite. i felt he didn't even pose a remotely legitimate threat to them, and i blame it mostly on the platform, which gives the PCs a HUGE advantage in the encounter if properly utilized.
Hi, my party has the following:
I want to give the cleric some tools for casting damaging spells, for those enemies that have DR and situations like that. I wasn't sure if he could legally use an inflict wand.
Furthermore, maybe I am just going about it the wrong way and maybe the rogue is the one that should be putting ranks in UMD and handling this job.
Input is appreciated.
I too plan to use this module to teach a brand new group of players the game. The encounters seem perfect, but does anyone have some ideas for some better hooks? I was originally going to go with Hollow's Last Hope, since the story is very engaging, but I don't think it's a good choice due to time constraints (we will have maybe 4 hours tops).
We are starting book 2 soon, and if the Trials are half as fun to play out as they were to read, then an awesome time will be had by all.
There is one question that I haven't been able to find the answer to, and I'm sure my players will ask.
Why were the Pathfinders kicked out of Westcrown? I haven't had any success in finding the answer to this.
It's true. If you look at prices of things like staying at an Inn for the night, buying food and beer, etc. it's definitely comparatively high. So I guess my number is a bad example if you are trying to maintain some sort of economic realism. However, it is worth pointing out that it has had no ill effect on our game thus far.
The point being, I just wouldn't worry about it too much. When you are looking at things in relation to starting wealth, things can seem expensive. But just say that they just paid a month's rent, so they have a month to start earning money from adventures before they have to pay again, and you will quickly see that spending a great deal of time trying to figure it out is time that could be better spent on other things. 5sp or 5gp or 50gp, it will be such a small percentage of their wealth, it shouldn't really matter.
That's just my opinion anyways, and it works for my group that has little care for the intricacies of economics, etc. ymmv.
my PCs, "The Westcrown Detectives", have a small office/residential space above a brothel. It's a pretty small office with three private offices, a lobby, and a storage room where they keep weapons and beer. They just sleep in their offices or on the couch in the lobby. I charge them 50gp/month for the space, which is a pretty arbitrary number, but seems to be reasonable given their adventuring income and income from side jobs. As they gain notoriety, anonymous donations to their cause are a tool I'm keeping in my back pocket in case they get strapped for cash.
(We just completed part 1 of the AP)
I am looking into buying Pathfinder Chronicles: Heart of the Jungle. I am expecting to play in the Serpent's Skull AP soon. I hope to glean some good character concept ideas, in addition to just wanting to learn about the region. Will I have to be worried about spoilers? I am also DMing Rise of the Runelords and Council of Thieves for my friends, and I have yet to find any content outside of the AP books themselves that I would be concerned about my players getting their hands on, so I figured it should be safe. Just looking for confirmation.
P.S. - I know about the Sargava Player's Companion, and I will be getting that as well. Just hoping to be able to safely consume as much delicious Golarion content as possible, without potentially ruining my experience as a player.
My group has recently begun the Council of Thieves adventure path. We are going to be running our second session tomorrow, and I was reviewing the loot to ensure that everyone would get something this session.
CoT Adventure Path Spoiler:
The first session netted only 1 item, really. Just a masterwork dagger. They did get other things, such as a pound of Flayleaf, and other flavor items like that, but not much in the way of weapons or armor.
I see that pretty much all the weapons and armor in the Bastards of Erbus' lair is for physical damage dealers. There is a wand or two, but nothing much for the casters.
Is it just normal that at low levels all the weapons and armor are for the physical damage dealers, while casters just get scrolls/potions/wands? Or should I insert an item or two for them? Even in paging through the core rulebook, there isn't a lot to offer them. Anyone have any suggestions as to how to keep my casters from feeling like they got the short end of the stick without giving them a too-powerful item?
Just a helpful anecdote: When me and my gaming buddies started gaming again after a 15-year hiatus, we played 4E. We did this because we played D&D before (2E), so we figured we would continue to play D&D.
I had heard about Pathfinder, but when I saw the thickness of the book at my FLGS, I just kept walking.
Then Free RPG Day came. A few of us went to the FLGS to play a 4E game we had signed up for, and afterwards went to look at the goodies table. I couldn't help but notice Master of the Fallen Fortress. It stuck out like a shining star amongst the other lesser-quality freebies.
Eventually, our group began to grow discontent with how far 4E had deviated from the game we grew up with. I tested out the free module with a few players, and after some discussion, we made the switch.
Today, we continue to play Pathfinder because it is a better system to give us what we want to get out of our games. However, it should be noted that it was the high production quality that drew me in at the beginning. If it weren't for the shiny, beautiful artwork, we may have gone with a different game or even stuck with 4E.
I guess my point is to not sacrifice the quality that Paizo is known for in order to stuff more goodies into the box. Whenever I open my wallet to buy something that says Paizo on it, I know I am buying a product of superior craftsmanship. I'd rather see no starter set than one that contains crappy newsprint booklets and cheapo dice.
I'm glad to see this. I'm not sure what the stated intent of the product is (Intro to PF vs. Rules-Light version, etc), but personally I've been working on creating my own rules-light game to teach a group of friends that have never played RPGs before.
In my own games, I play Pathfinder. I love Pathfinder and I am in wholehearted agreement with Steel Wind when he refers to it as "D&D done right."
However, it is a complex game built for people who have experience with RPGs. Character creation alone can take several hours.
So I wanted something you could use to create new characters with a group of noobs in under 30 minutes. At first, I was just going to go the premade route, but then it dawned on me that character creation is one of the key things that makes an RPG an RPG (at least for me).
I've looked at various free offerings out there, and playtested a few. The most fundamental problem I had with all of them was that they weren't pathfinder. I tried Basic Fantasy RPG with a small group, and while it looked great on paper, it turned out to be boring to us. On every turn, "I hit him with my sword" and the wizard only having one spell didn't make for a great deal of excitement.
The current thing I'm working on is taking Microlite20, and sprinkling in some Pathfinder/3.5 things like feats and additional race/class options. I also had to add the Charisma stat. It's important in games that I run.
Anyways, I'm rambling now, so I'll get to the point. The list of things I would look for in an intro Pathfinder set are the following:
1. Faster, less complex character creation process.
2. A set of premades for those who don't care about creating their own character.
3. Limited but interesting options for characters. A subset of feats, spells, and equipment from the regular PF game. A pared-down set of skills. All options should have examples of how they might be used in a game. Example character builds that illustrate how the same class can come in many different flavors. Tables that characters can use to roll for or select premade equipment packs and things like that. These are helpful in a number of ways. If you need to make characters quickly, you can roll on a series of tables to make selections. Also, sometimes just looking at tables like this can help steer players to make selections on their own by seeing the examples.
4. The main thing is for the game to be fun, fast, and easy. I want a game I can use to teach new people. Whether the games is separate from PF or a subset of it, the important thing is that the PF Core Rulebook is the natural next step for people who want more after playing the intro game. Someone who has played a few rounds with this intro game should find the core rulebook much more approachable and familiar.
5. Spell cards and power cards for things like flurry of blows, etc. New players do better when they see examples of things that they can do in my opinion.
6. As long as you don't have to do 20 pages of errata to your core rules to make the intro game work, I call it a victory! :P
P.S. - I really liked the 3.x Basic Set, especially the minis and the double-sided tiles.
I'm working on creating a character for Serpent's Skull, and I think that I like the concept of a bushman-style bard. I envision him playing drums and being an orater/storyteller. I wouldn't have him wear any armor, except perhaps a buckler (a darkwood buckler would be sweet but I don't think I'll be able to start with one). Spears and shortspears are simple weapons, and they fit the theme, so I'll probably have him use a regular spear for melee, and some shortspears for throwing.
Skill-wise, I'd like him to be good at athletics, swimming, survival, etc.
What I'm looking for help with are feats, traits, and options that would make this character mechanically sound, while strengthening the theme. I don't have the Sargava player's companion, so I'm at a bit of a disadvantage.
Maybe there's a better class to choose to play this type of character, but the jungle bard is the one that popped in my head and I'm a big fan of skills.
I kind of picture him like the main character from The Gods Must be Crazy. He would be at home in the wilderness, but pretty much a fish out of water anywhere else.
Your suggestions are appreciated!
P.S. - The way I statted him up so far is
Please make a note if any of your suggestions would be hurt by the way I did the stats, or make a recommendation as to how I can better arrange my stats.
We just played our first session of CoT last week and had an absolute blast. However, we were lucky enough to have a player that did a lot of work creating a backstory for the group and he even detailed out the entire neighborhood they live in.
If you want to use any of that, and your players are open to it, check out the info in this thread.
There's quests built in and a lot of easy ways to make the transition into the AP content whenever you feel it's appropriate.
Also, for more insight into CoT, be sure to check out the Chronicles Pathfinder Podcast episode 6 for an in-depth review.
I can't speak for other APs, but my group is loving CoT and we haven't even completed the first book yet.
There are a lot of people you meet in the first book. By the time you do all the work to work them into the story, you might as well have just run the first book. It goes by very fast already, and there are only three sequences of encounters that aren't optional side treks. I'd recommend just running it and cutting out a few encounters and hand-waving the leveling.
He added some location details for the neighborhood. It's good stuff. Feel free to lift it if you find any of it useful. These are all keyed to locations on the Westcrown map, but I don't think I'm allowed to post the map.
Finchtown is a small community in southern Westcrown. It has a large temple in the center, with the neighborhood built around the temple. It’s name comes from the brightly colored birds that have nested in the neighborhood.
1. Tarmag Residence:
This is a simple one story house. Gunstar Tarmag (half-orc fighter) works as a guard for the mayor’s office. He keeps to himself.
2. Morthorse Residence:
This is an immaculately kept two story house. Madame Solinda Morthorse (human, age 83). Madame Solinda is the previous owner of the Velvet Songbird. She is old and suffers from minor dementia. Miss Mia and her Dolls take care of all of her affairs. Madame Solinda goes to the Velvet Songbird every morning and drinks until someone has to bring her home.
3. The Velvet Songbird:
A brothel and entertainment venue. Its four stories make it the tallest building in Finchtown. It has a large stage and bar area that take up two stories with a balcony that overlooks the stage. The third floor is filled with rooms dedicated to prostitution. The top floor is a mix of residential and office space.
The establishment has 10 resident prostitutes and is owned and run by Miss Mia Floon (14th LVL Human Bard, age 48 & ex-slave of The Burning Temple of Amadeus). All of the resident prostitutes (known as Mia’s Dolls) are currently under bardic training from Miss Mia. Every night two of Mia’s dolls open for a touring national act. Miss Mia is known as a very convincing woman and nearly always gets her way. Mia’s dolls love working for her and there is a waiting list of women waiting to get in.
In the back, up four flights of stairs, on the top floor is a small detective agency run by Snaggle and Ihgrim Lichskar – ex-guardsmen and scoundrel respectively, and a young dwarf with a drinking problem.
4. The Finchtown Inn:
This three story inn is pridefully painted the red and black of Asmodeus. The first floor is a parlor area with a piano and a giant shrine to Asmodeus. The entire interior is also in a red and black motif. The second floor has four rooms for guests. The third floor is the home of the proprietors.
The Finchtown Inn is owned by the Gigbatchi family. Francolio, Bel and their 10 children – ages 0 to 13. They are Asmodean zealots! They go to The Burning Temple of Asmodeus every day and try to convert everyone they meet, even practicing worshipers of Asmodeus. Francolio is a gruff quiet man. Bel is always pregnant and loves to gossip. The 10 children are neighborhood nuisances and troublemakers. Several of them have oddly devilish features like rows of razor-sharp teeth or eyes that occasionally glow red.
5. Finchtown Bistro:
This two story building is a café with outdoor seating that gets a little dangerous near the giant pear tree. It serves simple food and drinks. The owners are a young couple Jonyve Croi (a master pastry chef, age 29), and Dina Croi (beautiful, but a drug addict, age 23). They open early in the morning and all of Finchtown smells like whatever they are cooking. They are a very popular spot, and are always crowded.
Jonyve manages the kitchen with a staff of two. He makes wonderful pastries, but is obsessed with making a torble pie (Pathfinder adventure past vol. #25 bestiaries). He has figured out a way to neutralize their acid, prepare and cook the torble. It is like nothing anyone has ever tasted, yet delicious. He loves the idea because of the abundance of torbles in Westcrown, so he won’t have to spend any money on materials. The problem now is that the torble pie keeps causing the eater to go temporarily blind, deaf or any number of problems. He constant tries to use his neighbors as guinea pigs for his next torble pie recipe. Some neighbors keep eating the pie due to the exciting taste and end up miserable for the rest of the day.
Dina is a flirty young woman who is obsessed with drug use. She runs the front of the bistro with a staff of two. She is constantly doing some drug, or talking about drugs. She is an efficient manager despite constantly being in another world.
The couple fights loudly all day, but makes passionate love every night. This is their routine.
6. Finchies’ Paradise:
This three story building is owned and operated Duga Toredo (Human Merchant), brother of Alvedi Teredo.
The top floor is Duga’s home. Duga dresses like a noble, but doesn’t really know how a noble dresses. He is good at talking, but will never hear a word you say. He lives a lavish lifestyle and he has a good view of the city. He likes to show house guests his view of the city, then tell them how good a view it is.
The second floor is designated for Armor. He’s got it all plate armor, chain armor, leathers. What’s that? You are looking for some mythryl? Duga can get that for you with a “small” down payment. What do you mean you put a down payment on some armor three weeks ago? Don’t worry; he just needs some more money to get it through customs.
The first floor is for weapons. He’s got it all flails, swords, pole arms. What? You say you need that scabbard fixed. Just a quick non-refundable maintenance fee and you can pick it up tomorrow. What do you mean you left it here yesterday? You can’t rush fine craftsmanship. Did you want to upgrade to a jeweled hilt? He’s got a good gem man.
The basement is for special customers. He has a collection of slaves for sale. What do you mean they look malnourished? He’s been eating like a champ. What do you mean that girl looks dead? She’s just tired from exercising all day. Duga’ll sell you her for a discount.
Duga doesn’t go out into Finchtown as the neighbors seriously despise him. Many neighbors have been trying to figure out a way to kick him out of the neighborhood. If you need a weapon or armor fixed you're better off going to Bucky Fellini or Crag Meatfist.
7. The Giant Pear Tree:
This 50 foot tree is the only known tree to produce the fruit known as the giant pear. A giant pear looks like a watermelon sized pear. It is too tart for human consumption, but the finches love it. It is probably the biggest reason the songbirds stick around. The tree is dangerous as several people are wounded each year from falling fruit
8. Fellini Residence:
This is a two story building shabbily painted off red and dark grey – practically mocking the status quo. The first floor has a large iron door that rolls up like a garage door. This opens up to a workshop for swords… only swords. The top floor is an apartment.
Bucky Fellini (Human Ranger, age 51) works as a dottari at station F. He is a low ranking guardsman. His bad attitude has kept him from promotions his entire career. He lives alone. His wife and children were killed in an unfortunate shadow beast incident. He has since made it a point to go out every night and kill one, and has for the past 20 years. People in the neighborhood know that he is a Shadow Hunter, but he refuses to talk to anyone who would bring it up.
Bucky has trained himself in the art of blacksmithing and will only make large swords. He will take orders and do repairs. He only works as a sword smith as a hobby, but a very dedicated hobby. He likes to leave his large door open while he works and is often surrounded by the local children. He likes to teach them smithing and telling stories.
9. The Burning Temple of Asmodeus Rectory:
This two story house is connected to the temple through the basement. It is immaculate and bedecked with all things Asmodeus inside and out. Signus Pratt lives here with his child slaves.
10. The Combat Mill:
This is a large barn-like mill. In the main room is the pulverizing stone that mills the grain. Hundreds of bags are in either corner, some as uncracked wheat and the other as bagged flour. The mill is owned by Wolven Kolganer, an extremely rich merchant. The mill is run by seven slaves that Wolven named after animals. Goat is in charge. He manages the entire operation. Dog and Puppy work upstairs putting the grain on the mill stone and bagging the resultant flour. Mule, Horse, Camel and Mustang work in the basement pushing a giant wheel around in a circle all day. They are giant hulking men.
For five hours a day the slaves mill the grain. Then, after they eat lunch, they train in the back to fight in the blood sport arenas. They fight once a week. They are known as Wolven’s Pride. Nobody has died in three weeks. They are doing pretty well.
11. Grain Silo:
This is a silo that the Combat Mill uses to store grain. It is about thirty feet high and is covered in graffiti.
12. Wiscrani Wonders:
The two story building has three doors in the front. Two of the doors are fake and rigged with a magical practical joke. The shop itself is filled with secret doors and goes into the second floor and into the basement. Nobody know where the proprietor, Kinst Rago (Human sorcerer/bard) sleeps. He is a borderline insane practical jokester. The shop itself is filled with the most bizarre things found in Westcrown. Most of the items are mundane yet strange (a music box with a lich ballerina in it), valuable (the scepter of a forgotten king), or magical (eye patch of invisibility). He is a powerful man, but acts like Willy Wonka with a.d.d. mixed with Pee Wee Herman. The shop is completely cluttered and it is almost impossible to tell what is of value and what is worthless.
13. Devil’s Due Bookstore:
This two story building has runes of hell glowing at its entrance. It is painted crimson and black and radiates evil. The top floor has curtains with flowers on them and an herb planter hanging from every window. The proprietors are Tingmus and Dayn. They are openly gay and best friends with Haripan and Charipan from Animali Exotique. They are very active in the community.
Tingmus’ father was a renowned Diabolist and opened the bookstore when he retired. He would frequently hold rituals in the basement of the store. Some of the most unspeakable horrors ever witnessed by man came out of that cellar. He died several years ago and Tingmus took it over.
Most of the books inside are highly sought after diabolistic tomes. Although those books are the big money maker for the store, Tingmus and Dayn are focusing more on books about botany and home repairs.
Tingmus and Dayn have a beautiful apartment above the bookstore, but the bookstore and the cellar look the same as when Tingmus’ father owned it. They are seriously scared to go into the basement.
14. Pub & Potions:
This three story building is owned by two retired adventurers, Crag Meatfist (dwarf fighter) and Yaril Fleish (Elf wizard/alchemist). It is a potions house and specialty Dwarven Ale Distributor.
Crag is an experienced brew master and has spent all of his time adventuring picking up tricks and secrets to create dwarven ales rarely tasted outside of their homelands. It is his passion, and every dwarf in Westcrown has stopped by to chat with Crag. He distributes his beer to nearly every pub in Westcrown. He also brews one style of beer for the human population called “Sissy Drink.” It is a Westcrown favorite.
Yaril is an accomplished alchemist and has spent all of his time adventuring picking up tricks and secrets in alchemy. He sells mostly potions and alchemy items, but he does dabble in a small amount of other magical items such as scrolls, wands and wondrous items.
The space is awkwardly set up with the pub and potion store on each half of the store, separated by a three foot high wall. Yaril put up the wall recently because too many drunken dwarves were knocking over his potions.
The basement is three times the size of the shop and houses an incredible alchemy lab and brewery.
Yaril occupies the third floor, while Crag lives on the second floor.
15. The Burning Temple of Asmodeus:
This temple was originally built for Aroden. Shortly after it’s construction beautifully colored finches began to nest around the holy sight. Shortly after the unrest caused by Aroden’s death, the temple was converted for the worship of Asmodeus. It’s entrance is one of the known tourist destinations in the city as it touts old style Aroden architecture with sleek modern Asmodean style.
The Burning Temple always has 6 to 10 slaves. They are always children, and normally demihuman. After a certain age Signus Pratt (Priest) will often release them of their bondage. The higher ranked priests of Asmodeus have always thought of Signus as weak for this practice, but they understand that he wants children slaves that can act in the community but are under his thrall.
The temple is run by a low ranking priest of Asmodeus named Signus Pratt (63 year old human). Signus is generally a quiet man. He will generally preach the word of Asmodeus only when asked for specifically. He doesn’t push the religion down people’s throats. It is probably this lack of zealotry that has kept him from making his way up the ranks in the priesthood. He has been a priest at The Burning Temple for over forty years, and is respected by the community.
16. Tenthook Residence:
This is a one story shack. Lumpy Tenthook (Human, age 43 – looks 55) is a frumpy, nervous man. He is the resident pianist for the Velvet Songbird. He is afraid of his overbearing wife Catrine. Their three children (ages 8-15) bully him. He loves going to work to get away from the torment of home.
Lumpy’s father is Bullit Tenthook (Human fighter/rogue, age 103), a famous adventurer and member of the Pathfinder organization. Lumpy has done everything in his power to keep his father quiet, but he sits outside (either in front of the house or in Finchtown Square) and tells everyone tales of his adventures. He forgets a lot of things…or does he. The Westcrown government found out who he is recently, but feels that he is going to die soon. A deranged old geriatric isn’t a threat to them.
17. Bonice Residence:
This is a well kept one story house with a beautiful flower garden in front. Rayk Bonice and his three daughters Pearl (16), Ruby (18) and Jade (19) live in a house that is a memorial to Rayk’s dead wife. Rayk works all day at the docks to support his girls. In front of him they are perfect little angels, but as soon as he leaves they indulge in as much vice as they can handle. Pregnancies have been prevented with magical abortions. They have all overdosed on drugs at least once. Pearl is a thief. Ruby sells hallucinogenic drugs, and doesn’t pay taxes. Jade organizes diabolical little schemes to defraud someone such as: sleeping with a married man only to blackmail him, having neighbor kids getting hit by horses and demanding payment, etc…
18. Animali Exotique:
This two story building is it’s own miniature zoo. It has pens on the outside on both sides. It has 20 cages of all different sizes hanging on all sides of the building filled mostly by finches and strange birds. It is an exotic pet store. The proprietors are two eccentric sisters (human) who love animals. The store started off just selling songbirds, but has grown with the two weird women to carry all manner of domesticated (and sometimes not) animals. They purchase most of their animals from druids and rangers. They keep the dangerous and illegal animals in the basement.
Haripan and Charipan Hunanini live upstairs amongst their animals. They are obsessed with three things: animals, gardening (they take care of the whole of Finchtown Square almost on their own), and their fallen noble family.
19. Finchtown Square & Hellknight’s Prowess Statue:
Finchtown Square is the center of Finchtown and where the neighborhood residents meet and hold festivals. It has many trees and benches. Finchtown Square is filled with beautiful songbirds in the spring through fall. It is a well known place to visit for courting couples.
Finchtown Square also acts as a hub for the local businesses as most will have an entrance on both the main street and the square. The gem of the square is the entrance to The Burning Temple of Asmodeus, which is often a tourist destination.
Hellknight’s Prowess is a statue of a Hellknight holding a woman’s severed head. It is a 20 foot tall bronze behemoth in the center of Finchtown Square. Behind it is the community’s well, and at the statue’s base is a plaque that simply reads, “Hellknight’s Prowess: To Commemorate the Finchtown Riot.” Once a month a group of Hellknights come to the square to polish the statue and flex their muscle for the once rebellious neighborhood. The residents know to stay out of their way, but the visitors are not as wise.
20. Dottari Station F:
This is a two story building with a fortress-like façade. It is painted in the black and crimson of most Westcrown government buildings. The Station boasts flags for Cheliax, Westcrown and Finchtown. Although the building is not officially in Finchtown, it has always associated itself with the neighborhood.
The top floor is used for the higher ranking guards and investigators. It is an open space filled with desks. There is an enclosed office in the back reserved for the district captain, Dontei Mhartis.
When one walks into the entrance into the 1st floor they are greeted by a large intimidating desk. Behind the desk is a large open area filled with desks and low level guardsmen. In the back is a large locked area that is the armory.
The basement has two levels. The first sublevel is filled with interrogation rooms, a small torture chamber, and the employee lounge. The second sublevel is filled with the holding cells and is twice the length of the building. Some people have been down there for a long time. There are rumors that there are secret tunnels running from some of the cells to the sewers.
This city guard station has around 70 guards in its employ. It is a bustling building with roughly 30 guardsmen in it at any given time. All the other stations, and some locals, refer to the station F guardsmen teasingly as “finchies.”
Dontei Mhartis is the nephew of the mayor and brother of the leader of all the Dottari. He has always looked up to his brother and wanted to follow in his footsteps, but he is a f**+ up and a scoundrel. He is now a sad middle aged man who hates his job. He spends most of his days in his office wasting other guardsman’s time with jibber-jabber. He does zero police work.
It is Rork Hammerhand (Dwarf fighter) who actually runs the Station. His desk is right next to Dontei Mhartis’ office. He is a tough cop and love, love, loves upholding the law to the letter. He also dabbles in diabolism.
21. Toredo Fish Co.:
This is an open fronted shack that is filled with troughs of questionably edible fish. The proprietor, Alvedi Toredo (Human merchant, brother of Duga Toredo), is a mean spirited fat guy who is always eating/covered in fish. He has two hafling slaves (Tibolt and Garie) that he beats in public and normally keeps chained to his waist – not because they would escape, but because he likes to keep an image of himself as a mean dude of Cheliax. Alvedi doesn’t really care so much about the fish business. He is much more interested in secretly selling drugs, even though it would probably be easier for him to just apply for a license. Deep down he is actually a sweet man who treats his slaves with respect in private.
There is a small latched cellar door in the back of the shack that Alvedi used to throw the fish guts, but now is occupied by an elven soothsayer whose name ironically is Omun Soothsayer. He keeps to the foul cellar only leaving occasionally to gather water. He is known to the neighborhood, but only the fearless actually approach him.
22. Alvedi Toredo Residence:
This is a small one story house connected to the back of Toredo Fish Co. It is a stinky, dirty place. Alvedi is a giant fat man who never wears a shirt and is always covered in fish guts. His house definetly reflects this. He is and forever shall be a bachelor. He has a small basement that is its own apartment for his halfling slaves Tibolt and Garie. They have it set up super swanky and try not to let Alvedi go down there.
We are finally about to start on the CoT adventure path. I gave my players a healthy amount of info about the setting and had them read the Player's Guide and Cheliax, Empire of Devils. Here is what our party looks like:
Human Ranger (Urban build from APG)
One of my players is particularly awesome when it comes to background stories and role playing. Here is the doc he created, which covers the backstories of the 2 humans and the dwarf:
Now, onto the hooks. There is a lot to work with, and I have some ideas of my own, but I definitely want to tap into the fountain of creativity here on these forums and hear your ideas as well.
For clarification, Finchtown is the name of a particular neighborhood in southern Westcrown - similar to a New York borough, but smaller.
The two elf characters have little or know background info as of yet, so I have to figure out how to tie them in.
Here are a few of the ideas I came up with so far:
1. The oracle lives in a fishmonger's basement, and is haunted by the spirits of those good men and women who have been written out of history by the Thrune leadership. I wanted to spotlight the way that history is rewritten to suit the needs of the current monarchy and give the setting a 1984 feel. I figure I can draw him into things by having the Dottari discover that in addition to selling fish, the fishmonger was also selling Flayleaf - which isn't so bad in and of itself, but he wasn't paying taxes on his profits from the drug. In the end, the oracle ends up homeless and is somehow drawn to the Velvet Songbird - maybe by hookers, maybe by the ghosts that haunt him.
2. The witch is a female, and I have absolutely nothing to go on for her, so I was thinking about having her be a prostitute at the Velvet Songbird, but not a very popular one. As a favor, Mia asks the detectives to give her a job with them so she can clear a spot in her stables for a tiefling prostitute. Tiefling companions have experienced a recent surge in popularity among the minor nobility, and Mia currently doesn't have any is losing business as a result. I really don't have any ideas as to where her witch powers came from, though.
3. Miss Mia, the madame of the Velvet Songbird brothel, has heard rumors that the Hellknights believe that the inflammatory publications that have been circulating lately are originating in Finchtown. She warns the detectives to clear their office of anything illegal, as the Hellknights are expected to be performing searches over the next several days, looking for the source of the printed materials.
4. One of Snaggle the ranger's contacts in the Dottari comes to meet him at the bar of the Velvet Songbird to share some information on one of their current cases. At the end of their conversation, he mentions the upcoming searches that are to be performed by the Hellknights. He mentions that even the Burning Temple of Asmodeus is on the list of buildings to be searched. Since Snaggle spent most of his childhood there, he figured he'd be interested. This could lead to an interesting challenge where the party has to disassemble the printing press and hide it somewhere else in order to avoid Father Signus being caught. If Knowledge(Engineering) and other such skills aren't used, the press will likely be broken in this process. If the party does nothing, Father Signus will be caught and taken to Citadel Rivad.
5. Depending on how things play out, something bad should happen to the PCs friends, whether it be Miss Mia (I'd rather leave the brothel in place as a base for the players) or Father Signus. This when I would have Janiven approach them. I would also probably have her as someone who was also raised in Father Signus' orphanage, to make her offers more meaningful to the characters.
Some sidebar hooks:
1. Later, as the party (hopefully) flees the Hellknights in the sewers, the party encounters 1 or 2 tieflings. If the party defeats them and searches them, they will find the wooden coins imprinted with devil's heads and/or have the bastards of erebus rob the velvet songbird at some point. I feel that the party needs a stronger reason to go after them at the end of the adventure.
2. I would LOVE at some point to get Ihgrim, the womanizing rogue in front of Chammady Drovenge. The absence of Chammady and Eccardian in this episode kind of bothers me. I haven't read anything beyond the first adventure yet, so I'm unsure how strong the hooks are with these two villains, but it seems like it would be fun to entangle the party's rogue in some sort of tryst with Chammady, preferably as a part of a scheme where Ihgrim is trying to obtain information, wealth, or both.
3. When the party meets the Children of Westcrown (I will be encouraging the party to come up with a better name for this group), they notice that Yakopulio (the potential rogue) is wearing a beatiful jade pendant. In fact it is the one the detectives have been hired to recover. It could be a nice challenge to get it back without creating conflict within the newly formed rebel group. And if they go about it in a more forward and direct way, well hey, that can be fun too!
I want to sprinkle as much content from the player-created document into the story as possible. One of my biggest regrets from the last campaign I ran was only using the player background to explain how they got to the start of the adventure. Once we started playing it was never referenced again, which was my noob mistake.
I would also like to find a meaningful way to reward the player who wrote the doc, without making him more powerful or making the other players feel bad. He doesn't really care about in-game power anyways, as he is much more story and role playing oriented. I was thinking of allowing him to choose a second trait (I allowed everyone only one trait since we have a party of 5). Any other, more interesting ideas would be welcome. Although I suppose the best reward I can give him is to build the story around this background doc he gave me.
Thanks in advance for any ideas you share, and I hope you find some of this info usable in your own games as well.
P.S. - Big props to the guys over at the Chronicles podcast. Their last episode covering the Bastards of Erebus was simply amazing and gave me a ton of useful info that makes me feel a TON more confident about running this adventure than I did just a few days ago. Here is a link to the episode:
to add another layer of complexity to this thread, i noticed that ranged weapon attacks and thrown weapon attacks suffer a -4 penalty if the target is engaged in melee (unless the attacker has the precise shot feat).
is there no such penalty for spells or spell-like abilities that require a ranged touch attack?
consider the following diagrams...
attacker is using a ranged weapon (let's say a short bow) and suffers a -4 because the target is engaged in melee with the attacker's buddy, even though the attacker has a clear, unobstructed shot at the target's back.
attacker is a sorcerer with the aberrant bloodline and casts acidic ray at the target with no penalty, even though is target is obstructed by his buddy that is trying to dispense justice to the target with his club.
Now, I think I read the rules thoroughly enough that my descriptions of the two scenarios above are accurate, but I am still new and could have easily missed something (maybe cover rules affect the second scenario).
My question depends on if my understanding of the rules are accurate.
If I explained the scenarios correctly, why such a harsh penalty for physical ranged weapons compared to no penalty for spells? How is this explained? Is the spell assumed to be like a heat-seeking missile that can seek out its target and is perhaps thrown in an arc in order to circumvent the ally and hit the enemy?
If I explained it incorrectly, where is my mistake in the interpretation of the rules? I found stuff about casting spells when objects such as rocks or walls are providing cover, but nothing about when people are in the way. What page can I find the rules for this?
Thanks in advance!
Karui Kage wrote:
Check the Community Use Policy. As far as I know, if it wasn't in the Blog, then it isn't legal to post.
alright, after two paragraphs my eyes glazed over. I'll just not post to be safe. If I come up with something that utilizes free artwork, I'll be sure to share.
Also, thanks so much for the content you posted on the children of westcrown. excellent work!