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Ninja

B_Wiklund's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 357 posts (1,525 including aliases). 39 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 4 aliases.


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Cheliax

Yep I would agree with Brute, if the party doesn't want to go out of their way to undo the curse they don't need to. That and there's plenty of castle, dungeon stuff in Crown of Fangs. So skipping out on some might be a good thing. As for the XP thing well I would just bump em up to where you want them for CoF (unless you want to throw some other encounters at them)

Kudos to the party for managing so well. My group had a tough time of it in Scarwall, Still it was fun when they went directly to Mithrodar (they fell for the hag's ruse) and realized they hadn't a snowball's chance in hell.

Cheliax

Brett Hubbard wrote:

I'm getting ready to run the last areas of Crown of Fangs on Sunday night, and I have a question about

** spoiler omitted **

Thanks in advance!

Well the thread say's spoilers... Just ran this last week so what I decided was:

1. I just described it as running from floor to ceiling, an amorphous floating mass in the centre of the chamber. For some reason I imagined it as somewhat funnel like.

2. I didn't really conceive it as an obstacle though no one in the party wanted to go near it. You couldn't see through it so it could interrupt line of sight (Gives somewhere for Ileosa or a party member to go). It didn't come up, but I suppose someone within two squares of the edge might have 50 percent concealment. Anything beyond that would probably be out of sight.

But its pretty up to GM interpretation.

Cheliax

I got David Foster Wallace. Weird.

Cheliax

Werecorpse wrote:

I have looked at the Ileosa combat issue and it seems pretty binary to me

either you have protection from evil and her best attacks are thwarted or you dont and you are charmed/dominated due to the high DC's.

is this about right?

yep, which is why in hindsight I would recommend making her a sorcerer still focused on charm, enchantment but with a wider assortment of offensive spells. A party with a good amount of casters capable of casting (and recasting) protection from evil will box her in.

or the other possibility would be to houserule protection from evil nerfing it (maybe a +4 to saves. vs compulsion). Seriously, its a horrible spell for 2nd level.

Cheliax

Some overall thoughts on the campaign:

-the first half is solid, gritty and was very memorable. Myself and the players really digged Korvosa, its details, the feel of the city. The first two adventures were fantastic stuff particularly Seven Days.

-the second half after leaving Korvosa is good but just too long. I had been tempted to change things a bit more but was too busy so stuck to the book but shortened as much as I could. I know this was a common complaint. After the first three adventures I was looking forward to a few adventures outside of the city but after playing through them I realized the same thing.

-Serithtial. Yep, the whole get the magic sword to kill the baddie is a fine plot device but I felt that it might've put too much emphasis on the character who has it as then it becomes about supporting that character so he can get the swing in against the Queen. I think it would've been better to have found another device to defeat the Queen (one that encompasses more of an active group effort) and reduce the sword's role.

-The Harrow Deck of Many Things is a lot of fun!

-This was the second time I've ran a campaign to the higher levels (the other was Savage Tide). Its just not that fun. Lvl 10-12 seems to be the cap. A high level political campaign could work but a slog of high level battles is just draining.

-I think I'm done with APs for a long time, that and D&D. Its far too rules intensive. I'm curious to try out Savage Worlds or well anymore rules-lite RPG. I like Pathfinder but really anything d20 right now does seem to appeal.

Cheliax

Finished running Crown of Fangs yesterday and brought Curse of the Crimson Throne to its end.

So first, the battle with Ileosa. I used the Queen's stats as is, added two more simulacrums and another Dread Wraith. The minions were an effective screen and the wraiths brought down one of the party members halfway through the battle (which gave him the opportunity to play the summoned paladin, a reborn Mandraivus courtesy of the harrow deck). The cleric and the fighter wielding Serithtial courtesy of fly made a beeline to the Queen. Most of the battle stuck to this pattern as the rest of the party dealt with minions, healing, buffing, recasting dispelled spells etc. and the fighter, cleric and later the paladin going toe to toe against Ileosa.
Overall, the Queen was boxed in courtesy of protection from evil. The Queen exhausted her greater dispels as the battle progressed using some targeted dispels against protection from evil and a few area dispels. She was able to get off some quickened charm monsters that got a hold of the Serithtial wielding fighter and the ranger (both of which were later dispelled in the following rounds). Essentially she was not able to keep dispelling as the party with a good bulk of spellcasters had a greater capability of casting more protection from evil.
I actually shortened the combat reducing Ileosa's hp as the outcome was all but certain.

Overall the battle was big, and epic enough that I think most of the players got what they wanted from the showdown. That said, it felt a bit weak that the Queen was essentially undone by this overpowered 2nd level spell. I was aware that protection from evil would be one of the things that Ileosa would have to look out for but I thought with her number of greater dispels she'd be able to knock the party off balance for a greater period of time than she did. Her defenses are great and she can't be overwhelmed but all of her offensive abiltiy lies in compulsions.
If I had to run the battle again, I'd keep two of the Furies as elite minions, and I'd be tempted to make Ileosa a sorcerer still focused on charm, confusions etc. but with some more varied spellcasting ability so as not to be completely gimped by protection from evil. I liked the evil bard concept as its fairly unique but the final villain can't afford to essentially lose their all of their offensive abilities. Its either that or just make her a dragon....

Cheliax

Christopher Paul Carey wrote:


We don't have any Brackett lined up right now, although we are all big fans of her work here and have certainly discussed the possibility of bringing out more of it one day.

Haffner Press has also been putting out a lot of Brackett of late if you need to satisfy an immediate fix.

Thanks for the reply and the tip. Would definitely look forward to seeing more of her work but have enjoyed the line and the chance to discover some old authors. Planet Stories certainly resparked my interest in delving more into the 'classic' SF, fantasy. Hopefully after I finish my stint at being a student again I'll restart my sub. Thanks for the good work!

Cheliax

Well the other day I happened to be walking by a used bookstore sadly closing up so like a vulture I descended into the stacks. Picked up quite a bit including one or two books by Brackett. Just finished The Big Jump which was quite enjoyable and started to wonder if there might be any plans to publish further Planet Stories featuring her work. Failing that anyone know any good sources to locate more of her stuff?

Cheliax

0gre wrote:
B_Wiklund wrote:
0gre wrote:


This sort of greedy GMing philosophy has really started to bug me. It isn't YOUR world, it's a world that you share with your players. As a GM you should strive to say yes to your players and give them options as often as possible. Forcing players to cowtow to your limited view is just not cool in my book.
Meh..., if you let the players know in advance this is how I roll as a GM (and your methods still keep the game fun) and they agree then all's well I'd say. A GM forcing players to kow-tow can and often is just as intolerable as the GM giving all the options and always saying yes to everything.
Always saying yes leads to munchkin-ville. There is a happy medium. Setting things up so someone has to play a specific role is where I draw the line. I would say the same about someone requiring a wizard or a rogue. Players should have the choice about what they want to play.

Yep the trick is to strike that balance. Some groups are quite easy to reach that point while others not so much or a few holdouts amidst the players. A bit off topic but I feel for a campaign a GM needs to pitch a campaign concept (e.g. low magic, realistic middle ages murder mystery a la Cadfael or crazy powerful viking sons of gods vs. vampires from outer space) and then its up to the players (after willingly saying yeah I'll go for that) to concoct a character that has a reason to be there. They have a choice (and no one should feel they have to play the ____) but with some liberal guidelines. I still regret allowing a player to play a ninja in my CoCT campaign. Not for any power issues it just feels really stupid to have an elven ninja in Korvosa.

And yes, a party can be fine without a cleric and a DM should modify to some extent accordingly.

Cheliax

0gre wrote:


This sort of greedy GMing philosophy has really started to bug me. It isn't YOUR world, it's a world that you share with your players. As a GM you should strive to say yes to your players and give them options as often as possible. Forcing players to cowtow to your limited view is just not cool in my book.

Meh..., if you let the players know in advance this is how I roll as a GM (and your methods still keep the game fun) and they agree then all's well I'd say. A GM forcing players to kow-tow can and often is just as intolerable as the GM giving all the options and always saying yes to everything.

Cheliax

One thing I've done is port in reserve points from Iron Heroes. Essentially each character has RPs equal to their max HP. Outside of combat they can spend 1 minute of rest to convert one RP to a HP (essentially they spend this time first aid, reset the joint or just gritting their teeth and pushing on). Off hand I can't recall how quickly they recover them (it might be level + Con score per 8 hours rest). Either way, handy for the party without the cleric and even with the cleric. Combats remain just as challenging, deadly and if needed they can still gulp down a potion of cure mod.

Otherwise in response to the original question, clerics aren't necessary but they do make things a lot easier.

Cheliax

I would suggest Savage Worlds would be a good fit to run Rifts. For my next campaign I may very well be doing a rifts-esque setting with this system. Additionally, there are a few supplements for Savage that do the post-apocalpytic and sci-fi thing quite well. Also Day After Ragnarok (Atomic Overmind Press) is totally worth checking out. Its not Rifts but it operates at that level of delicious lunacy.

Cheliax

Are wrote:
B_Wiklund wrote:
ghettowedge wrote:
The villian can select the effect that is blocking his spell, if he knows something is blocking his effects. But then it only targets that spell and doesn't automatically hit lower level stuff.
I'm not sure if I completely get what you're saying. First, while I would like the villain to be able to select the effect that is blocking the spell (i.e. ignore higher buffs such as stoneskin and select for protection from evil) I don't see anything in the spell description that would allow for that.

This sentence says you can choose a specific spell effect to try to dispel:


Targeted Dispel
One object, creature, or spell is the target of the dispel magic spell. You make a dispel check (1d20 + your caster level, maximum +10) against the spell or against each ongoing spell currently in effect on the object or creature. The DC for this dispel check is 11 + the spell’s caster level. If you succeed on a particular check, that spell is dispelled; if you fail, that spell remains in effect.

Yep that's the case in a targeted dispel the scenario I was querying about was just the area dispel. So yep, the villain has to cast each time for each PC if they want to take down the protection from evil. Fair enough I suppose. Still think protection from evil is way too powerful for its level.

Cheliax

cthulhu_waits wrote:
Also since Protection would be up on each one of them, a targeted dispel at just that spell would only bring it down on the one he targets with it.

Yep, thats why I was looking at the area dispel. But after hearing other people's take on it, yep it seems that short of disjunction or an anti-magic field there is no way to specifically target protection from evil.

The disjunction was a good idea and would be nasty in the right circumstances but given where the final encounter needs to happen that spell would also put an end to the villain's machinations.

Cheliax

ghettowedge wrote:
The villian can select the effect that is blocking his spell, if he knows something is blocking his effects. But then it only targets that spell and doesn't automatically hit lower level stuff.

I'm not sure if I completely get what you're saying. First, while I would like the villain to be able to select the effect that is blocking the spell (i.e. ignore higher buffs such as stoneskin and select for protection from evil) I don't see anything in the spell description that would allow for that. The second sentence about hitting lower level stuff I'm not certain what you mean. Once an effect is dispelled on a target in the area its used up for that person.

Cheliax

Ah what the heck posting in an OTD thread...

Re the platform, sounds like a bunch of hypocrites worried that someone somewhere might be having the type of fun that they probably secretly wish they were having. And yes its not the official Republican party's platform and hopefully isn't shared by too many of them.

I'm still not sure why these threads always devolve into what they usually become...

As for Canada, houstonderek, while our system of social programs is certainly not without its flaws, I'm pretty confident in stating that we've avoided the excesses of many of the European countries cradle to grave systems but nor have we adopted the American model. Its pretty middle of the road and all things considered running reasonably. Arguably, Canada has weathered the recent economic slump with the least amount of issues amongst the G-20 nations. The sky isn't falling up here. I'm not saying its perfect but it isn't all that bad either.

Oh and regardless of one's political stripes, Edmund Burke had a lot to say worth listening to.

Cheliax

Zeugma wrote:

@ Set: The author of Neuromancer William Gibson? I have that on my "to read" list but I don't want to be disappointed. Is it still worth reading?

Edit: How can they "wrap up" the Star Wars prequels, when they're prequels?

Neuromancer is a great read. Count Zero and Mona Lisa Overdrive, eh not so much.

Virtual Light again another good one. Don't bother with the two other books that follow.

Spook Country. While not blow me away good also stands out.

Gibson's short stories (collected in Burning Chrome) are probably his best stuff.

Cheliax

magnuskn wrote:

I wonder where the tipping point from "normal campaign" to "near-TPK-land" is. So far the group has suffered one casualty, in the Dead Warrens, when the Rogue didn't manage an DC 11 fortitude save vs. paralysis.

But I am beginning Escape from Old Korvosa now and in the very first encounter, against the two Red Mantis in Vencarlos home, the players dominated. I think the Rakshasas later on will be a problem, but by cursorely looking at the encounters in the future, I haven't seen them being much more deadly than other high-level stuff I did in the past. The Demilich could be a problem, but with a Paladin and his "aura of all-smiteyness", he should go down quite fast.

Anybody want to tell me which are the really dangerous encounters in the AP? :)

There are quite a few but ones that standout.

Escape - Fungal guardians at the entrance to the Arkona dungeon. No one died but it was by the skin of their teeth for everyone.

Vimanda while not deadly her own was able to draw the party into numerous traps in the labyrinth.

The party got the prisoners and left the Arkonas alone. I imagine any party setting out to exterminate the Arkonas could easily bite off more than they could chew.

Ashes - Don't get me wrong the battle at the end is deadly especially as the party has to keep going. By the time they get to the Mantis leader they'll be vulnerable. Granted I added a dragon just for kicks so hard to gauge as written.

Scarwall - This is a serious meatgrinder. The encounter with Nihil was probably the deadliest on its own but Kleestad is no push over (unless the party is rested and ready.) I skipped over the demilich.

Crown of Fangs - Mavrokeras put half the party out of commision for awhile. Togomor if used differently as presented in the book is also vicious particularly with Sermignatto.

Cheliax

Icetitan, consider you note heeded. In the final analysis I'll run the encounter so that while challenging, and epic its the players having fun that matters. This has probably been the highest body count D&D campaign that I've ran but no TPKs. Once or twice during this campaign they teetered on TPK but I've been pretty good about working things in so that they have a way out. Well thanks for the tips!

Cheliax

All right so my party is coming up to the confrontation with the final villain in the campaign. Many of this villain's powers are rooted in enchantment compulsion, mind-affecting stuff. The party is more than likely going to have protection from evil up on each of them in addition to other buffs.

So my question is, the way the rules are written can the villain select for Protection From Evil to be the effect dispelled or does it need to start with the highest level buffs (say stoneskin or the like)?

Cheliax

Wow, thanks IceTitan for a very thorough review, well laid out. It sounds much deadlier than the writeup for tactics given. I suppose some more close reading of her spells is in order. I think its fair to say even with 7 good guys they should be hard pressed even with their protections.

Well we'll see how it goes hopefully there'll be a balance between incapacitating players but still giving them ways to react/solve. It still feels like it may well be a very swingy battle.

Cheliax

Tequila Sunrise wrote:

I'm halfway through the best of Lovecraft, and I'm a bit disappointed. I think the two biggest reasons are:

He's a good writer, but things that he thought were scary just aren't to an educated mind. For example, "more heinous than the blackest voodoo ritual" doesn't mean much to anyone who knows that voodoo is just another religion, no more sinister than the next.

I think you're taking that statement a little too literally. Lovecraft is pretty clearly riffing off the connotations that voodoo inspire (and yes he is being stereotypical).

Tequila Sunrise wrote:


Also, most of his stories seem to be based on the premise of some supernaturally sinister phenomenon that's somehow escaped the notice of the wider world. For example, Whisperer in the Dark is about a sinister group of extraterrestrials who have existed in the Vermont mountains before Cthulhu came. They leave physical evidence of their existence, and an old lone redneck proves their existence with nothing more than a tape recorder. And yet the wider world knows nothing of these aliens, or scoffs at the idea of their existence, which is absurd. Sure, scientists tend to be a skeptical bunch, but if there's something to be discovered, one of them will document it sooner or later. And if it's as obvious as aliens running around Vermont, it'll be documented sooner rather than later.

I'm just going to chalk this one up to an issue around suspension of disbelief. While I admit that today the premise of scientists completely missing such widespread evidence of pre-human inhabitation of the Earth is perhaps a bit harder to swallow, in the 1920s this would've been more credible to Lovecraft's audience. At the same point Lovecraft was writing for the pulps. Strict verisimilitude wasn't what they were known for.

However, I would add, on these grounds then you might as well chuck out Verne, Wells, Poe's sci-fi, a good amount of Bradbury, Asimov and well the list goes on. I'm sure that fifty years from now SF being written today will hold similar issues.
For my two cp, are Lovecraft's ideas and stories gripping on their own? If you say yes, then just enjoy the ride.

Tequila Sunrise wrote:


In other news, George RR Martin is freakin' awesome. Dark and gritty, but I just couldn't stop turning pages! The Song of Ice and Fire is on my top ten list along with LotR, Harry Potter and Wheel of Time.

Well I enjoyed the series so far, until the nagging feeling arose that Martin has no idea how to resolve this series. I could be wrong but the huge wait for the next book(s) seems to indicate he may have realized that. Granted it might just be my growing annoyance with overly long fantasy series (seriously do you really need 8 books to tell your story?!)

Cheliax

Hartnell: Well obviously there's the Daleks. The Edge of Destruction was an interesting one. As far as I know the only episode set entirely in the TARDIS.

Troughton: Pretty limited selection but Tomb of the Cybermen

Pertwee: Like Baker there's a lot to pick from here. For now, I'd say the Time Warrior, gave us Sarah Jane and the Sonatarans.

Baker: A lot of them have already been mentioned. I'd add Robot was a solid story introducing a new Doctor.

Davison: Caves of Androzani was probably his best but Enlightenment was another fun and imaginative episode from the era.

Colin Baker: ... sorry nothing really memorable. Definitely the low point of the series. While Baker wasn't the problem he wasn't helping either. Maybe the Dalek episode for the Alexi Sayle cameo?

McCoy: Ghostlight was a fun one even if it has its weak points.

Cheliax

Hey all, so my group is perhaps two sessions away from the final showdown with Ileosa. They're still in the castle and have yet to face Togomor and Sermignatto. I changed things around a little bit allowing them the opportunity to find Venster's body and retrieve the Harrow Deck of Many Things. It seemed a good way to end the last session.

Luckily, no campaign shattering things came up. Quite the contrary I now have 4 evil clones of the party's thief running about unbeknownst to them.

However, one card did come up: the paladin (Which basically gives the party member a holy avenger that they can use once to summon a paladin 2 levels higher then themselves to aid them in one encoutner).

While I'm not going to change anything I am somewhat concerned about the last battle with Ileosa. Its already a six person party. While not all characters are crazy tough, a few are, particularly the fighter (two-handed weapon specialist, power attack and a few other feats like Leap Attack). The fighter single handedly mows through encounters with Serithtial. Which is fine at this level that is what they're supposed to do and I can usually still give them challenging encounters.

However, with now 7 characters on the good guys side that last encounter is not looking so good. My thought is to save Sermignatto until this battle. Though I wonder if that might be compensating too much? Fo folks who ran the final battle how deadly, challenging is it?

Cheliax

Ah what the heck, you don't see too many kraken villains...

Cheliax

Crown of Fangs

Who: Varisian Bard
Catalyst: Trifaccia's wish powers. Good old save or die.

Last book how many more?

Cheliax

I've actually wracked up a fair amount of PC kills in this campaign.

Seven Days to the Grave
Who: Elf Ninja
Catalyst: Lady Andaisan's Slay Living. Yeah kind of cheap but hey there it is. The Temple of Urgathoa came very close to TPK in the battle with Rolth. After Andaisan rose up as a Daughter the party carrying their dead comrade bugged out. Alas they left Rolth's body intact... heh heh..

History of Ashes
Who: Human Wizard
Catalyst: Ambushed by Red Mantis assassins who then won the initiative in the following round. Snikt, snikt went the sawtooth sabres

Skeletons of Scarwall
Who: Elf Ninja, again. Random encounter with a hydra crossing the hold of Belkzen(which apparently is the land of monsters from greek mythology in this campaign. Never a good idea to stand next to one.

Who: Varisian Bard. Bellshallam's breath weapon. Not quite able to get negotiations with the cursed dragon off to a good start...

Who: Shoanti Cleric.
Catalyst: Kleestad's breath weapon 2nd time round. Classic doctor's dilemma: heal the fighter or yourself? She did the heroic thing but paid the price.

Now finally starting the last book so we'll see how much more PC death is to come...

Cheliax

psionichamster wrote:

Bahor = perfect "sub-boss". If the PC's left on a not so bad footing, he could be a valuable ally up until they off Queen Ileosa.

Then, he'll flip on them and attempt a coup.

Whether or not he's successful depends a lot on how fast the party kens to his betrayal.

That would fit Bahor's personality and goals. I've been toying with the idea that Glorio makes a public thing of leaving Korvosa vowing his return. He leaves the palace defended by magical wards and the like to deter any unwelcome guests. Secretly, Bahor and his rakshasa relatives take up residence in the Cerulean Society guildhall. This way they're no longer targets for Ileosa to pick off.

I think there will be more than enough elements in play until after Ileosa's defeat. I might have Bahor tip the party of about the surprise waiting for them in Harse but that would be the extent of his active involvement. If the group is interested in dealing with the aftermath I could have the Cerulean Society invovled in picking off nobles and targeting the PCs until Glorio is ready to return to Korvosa to pick up the pieces. Either that or the rakshasa puts the hooks into one of the houses so as to be a puppetmaster rather than rule openly. Lots of possibilities.

Cheliax

Cesare wrote:
Has anyone done what roguerouge is proposing?

My group is approaching the endgame of the AP as well and I have been thinking about how to restructure Crown of Fangs so as to avoid the dungeon-fatigue/doing the same schtick twice.

I have a few things that my players have provided to help me. Firstly, one of the character's father was sent to Magnimar at the end of Seven Days to try to raise a force against Ileosa. Secondly, the party has gone out of their way to recruit Varisians and Shoanti to their side (even promising the Shoanti a return to the lowlands). Also, the Daughter of Urgathoa and a ressurected Rolth are still in play. That and Bahor. (yep lots of loose ends)

So what I've sketched out are a few things:

-Aware of the party's actions and the Shoanti threat Ileosa ordered the Gray Maidens to establish a garrison at Harse to protect Korvosa from an attack. In order to get the Shoanti army and clutch of Varisian sorcerors within striking distance to invade the city this outpost must be taken. However, aside from some Mantis assassins the Maidens also brought a secret weapon with them. Some very nasty creature. Something like a pit fiend but maybe not quite as high CR. The party doesn't know this but they will pick up some clues that something very nasty is waiting for their army. Investigate and defeat the pit fiend before it wipes out most of their force.

-Renedevous at the Boneyard; sneaking into the city to make contact with Cressida and the resistance. Arrive in time for a secret meeting with a priest of Asmodeus who opposes the Queen. Rather than forced blood donations I'm thinking that the 'cure' to Blood-veil was somehow tampered with so the Queen can use it as a sympathetic focus for the ritual. So basically everyone who received the inoculation is going to become an unwitting sacrifice. Additionally, the attack force in Magnimar was also inoculated with the Blood-veil vaccine. To complicate matters the priest brings another brother of his Church but this brother is actually under the control of the Daughter of Urgathoa. The Daughter (advanced to make her deadlier) teleports in with minions.

-Potential side-quest: Rolth (probably now a lich of some kind) was sent to Magnimar to ensure the army received the tampered Blood-veil vaccine. The party may go to Magnimar to root him out.

-Infiltrate the castle: The party will still infiltrate the castle but I'll cut it down quite a bit. Focus mainly on the party finding Togomor, discovering the false Ileosa and the location of the Sunken Pyramid (which I may just put as a dungeon complex underneath the Mastaba, not sure)

So the only other thing floating around is what to do with Bahor but the group is still in Scarwall so have a bit of time to figure that out. So that's my rough plan thus far. Thoughts, comments appreciated.
-

Cheliax

Hsuperman wrote:

My group never actually did cast dispel evil; they just killed the anchored creature. Nevertheless, I would say that casting dispel evil should work automatically on the chains. You already have to make a melee touch attack (which is scary enough since you have to go adjacent to the spirit anchor), but also there is nothing listed in the dispel evil description that requires a dispel check.

As for the dimensional anchor effect on the castle, I allowed my group to still summon creatures. The wizard in the party is a conjurer, so not allowing summons would've have absolutely crippled him. I think the main reason for having the dimensional anchor is to prevent them from teleporting in and out and forcing them to find a place to rest, and thus receiving those unsettling nightmares. Of course, if your party is clever (like mine was), they'll just walk out the front door and then teleport :P

Thanks for the suggestions. The party has a cleric that sometimes does the summon monster thing but removing that ability wouldn't cripple her. I'm inclined to do the total effect just to be consistent.

Oddly enough my party basically did the walk out and teleport without realizing it. They returned to the orc encampment where they left a small cache of loot they were planning on selling. Next session they're planning on teleporting back in.. Maybe they end up in the moat? Cue evil GM laughter...

Cheliax

A quick question as my group is likely to face one of the anchors next session, how does dispel evil work to free the anchor (i.e. is it automatic or does it need a dispel check, if so against what CL?) Any thoughts appreciated.

Also, does the dimensional anchor effect on the castle make summoning monsters impossible?

Cheliax

Paul McCarthy wrote:
I've been meaning to start Lions of Al-Rassan, Werthead, but wasn't a huge fan of Tigana so I kind of put Kay on the backburner. I found Tigana a bit of a chore, not exactly brimming with action and certainly a huge read. How was Lions in relation to Tigana before I endeavor on another massive tome of his?

I would unhesitatingly recommend Al-Rassan. IMO its one of Kay's best (next to the Sarantium Series). Al-Rassan I think has quite a bit more action and a lot of good character conflicts/tension to keep it going. Granted I liked Tigana but I can see your point about it not the most action-y read. Well them's my two cp.

Cheliax

Oh and given the Hellraiser influences, Hellraiser soundtrack by Christopher Young has some good grandiose horror atmospherics.

Cheliax

All halfling monks. All drunken master halfling monks.

Cheliax

Nevynxxx wrote:

Not sure I was too taken with this one. Some great one liners, and Amy trapped ... was a work of pure genius, but felt badly paced, and I noticed the ** spoiler omitted ** before the Dr, which is disappointing.... Next week looks like it could be very cool though....

** spoiler omitted **

Re the statues

Spoiler:

I was scratching my head (single) for most of the episode over that. How do they not realize? However, the Doctor does mention quickly the oversight was a result of a perception filter

Cheliax

Hey all a question for those who ran/played thru Scarwall. My group of six is on the cusp of wrapping up Ashes but I am a bit concerned about adding Laori, Sial and his Asyra to the party creating a group of nine. High level combat is already becoming somewhat of a headache as we go around the table.
However, they're fun NPCs and they do have a role to play. The players quite enjoyed Laori in Escape and were suitably distrustful of Sial when they encountered him in the Acropolis (even if his chain devil aided the party against the Mantis).
So the question is how to include them but not always have to deal with nine party members in all combats? My general feeling is that Laori, Sial and Asyra will go with the party to Scarwall and once inside split up but remain reachable through magic in case the party really does have a need for them. Of course this might also mean they call the party if they need them.

Any other ideas?

Cheliax

While not organ music, Lustmord is good for ambient creepiness. To be honest I think the organ music is a bit over the top (unless that's the intent)

Check out Katchuturian's Masquerade Suite (on itunes). Great for the Danse Macabre.

Cheliax

They're not truly essential but my group is almost done History of Ashes and they've certainly enjoyed them and it helps give Zellara a more definite role throughout the campaign. Curious what is the difficulty your having with the rules for the readings? I generally do the spread and unless I know what the prescribed reading is for that card from the Harrow book I just wing off the picture, concept and somehow link it back to the adventure. As a GM for an AP its pretty easy as you know what's coming as opposed to a more free-form wandering campaign.

Still if it feels like it won't be fun than don't worry about it.

Cheliax

Next session, the party in my campaign should be ready to seek out the Cindermaw. Just curious to see if folks had interesting, colourful stories. I've got a bit more time before the next session so I'm hoping to have time to come up with ways to heighten the drama of it.

Cheliax

Good job on the proposal. I actually quite liked the ziggurat and really dig what I see here. Out of the four this has my vote. The vibrant use of setting, Indian vibe got my attention right off the bat. Thuggee cultists, naga, garuda, wereleopards. Would love to see this in print and run it. Though the name and the whole ebon thing definitely needs a change! Good luck.

Cheliax

Re Shackled City. It is set in Greyhawk and was the very first AP that Paizo did, it was originally published in Dungeon Mag. So technically its not part of the Pathfinder (but certainly if you liked it it could be ported in easily) setting/adventures etc. But sounds like you're looking exclusively for Golarion APs which are Pathfinder.

Re the earlier APs (rise of the runelords, curse of the crimson throne) you shouldn't find any problems between the adventures and what is written in the campaign setting book. RotRL and CoCT are set in the Varisia region. Neither of them deal much with the Inner Sea area (Cheliax, Taldor etc.) Regardless, both should be a lot of fun to run/play. I am currently running a group through Crimson Throne and they've had a blast in exploring Korvosa and are now just on their way to the Cinderlands.

Also something to bear in mind if you're just starting out there are also individual pathfinder modules (stand alone adventures rather than larger campaigns). Crypt of the Everflame seems like a solid intro to the setting and the game.

Cheliax

Well I'd have to disagree about the other authors in the "Lovecraft Circle." August Derleth was really the only one who gave the mythos that good vs. evil spin. Granted he was one of the most prolific of that bunch (he was also the guy who though coined the term the Cthulhu mythos but wanted to originally call it the Mythology of Hastur, after one of his own creations.)
Clark Ashton Smith, Robert Bloch, Robert E. Howard and others all wrote some great Mythos stories. Even Derleth had some good ones. Moreover, much of the mythos were created from their collaborations so it wasn't just Lovecraft writing in isolation.

Cheliax

I'd also suggest checking out Tides of Dread from STAP. I ran it and I still think it was the highpoint of the AP for my group. The party was able to create defenses that added to their 'victory points' and then carrying out specific tasks/encounters during the battle wrack up further points indicating the result of the greater battle.

Cheliax

dm4hire wrote:
Splintering off from the evil campaign discussions in the general forums I'm wondering what elements would make for a working "Evil" campaign? What type of stories do you think should be presented? What elements do you think should be included to help keep an campaign on track? Should vices be included as elements to portray reality or should they be just window dressing that aren't really addressed (such as drug use)? Anything else that might be added to an evil campaign?

This is one of those things I'd be curious to see if it could work beyond just an amusing one-shot. I have some memories of what were pretty silly 'evil parties' from when I first started gaming and yeah it was mostly over the top and devolved into un-fun backstabbing.

But how could it work? The one thought I have right now would be something akin to the Godfather, so more in the LE, NE territory than CE. A party working together to hold up their faction in some underworld conflict, maybe ultimately taking over the family business? The family would be almost certainly involved in some perfidious schemes ranging from fairly tame things such as blackmail, extortion to of course murder, slave trade, political corruption etc. In this setup the party would while certainly be 'bad guys' could still draw the line at some things (kind of like Corleone not willing to get in on the drug racket). I could see that working with the right group and there's lots of film, literature to serve as a template.

Cheliax

Been tempted to grab this. Any reviews?

Cheliax

Tides of Dread was certainly the most memorable of the adventures in the AP for my group. They had a lot invested in Farshore and the adventure did well to draw many of the features of the Isle of Dread together. In fact the two adventures the followed almost suffered as they didn't feel for my group as 'epic' (particularly the Lightless Depths).
Re the battle for Farshore. It can be a bit of a slog on paper but as long as you keep ratcheting up the drama in the narrative things go well. I added a pair of black dragons to the fleet who came up through the bay underwater as the opening move in the battle. That got the ball rolling nicely. I know I removed a few things but I can't recall offhand.
As for the final battle with Vanthus by the time he shows up the party will in all likelihood be quite battered. I found Vanthus was quite deadly enough for the time he shows up. Stopping him from detonating the pearl was a satisfying climax.

As for Vanthus second appearance, he definitely will need buffing up. I don't recall what I did exactly but as written he is very weak for such a high level party. The shadow demons help but if you don't want Vanthus obliterated in 2 rounds give him a bit more.

Cheliax

Hired Sword wrote:


I agree with you, as a swashbuckling themed adventure the Savage Tide is immensely fun. But we are talking about 5 levels of limited to no upgrades to equipment and, unless they take crafting skills, another 5 levels of the same or they must endure the 6 month delay on round trips to Sasserine. Really depends on your players I guess.

Not having access to the magic Walmart was a nice thing about the campaign actually. The party was still picking up treasure from encounters (often altered it to suit the party more) and I did fudge somethings like the Olman bequeathing additional items to the party in exchange for their aid. Going back and forth to Sasserine would definitely take the wind out of the sails (and ruin the whole remote corner of the world idea). But yeah depends on the group and how needy they are about magic trinkets.

Cheliax

Good luck with STAP. My group had a lot of fun with it. It is still my favorite of the Dungeon APs. I also had a three person group occasionally augmented with various rotating guest stars that I gave a player to control most of the time. As for cutting stuff from the adventures the first half as written I found was good. I excised filler encounters here and there but nothing much more. I even added in side treks during Sea Wyvern's Wake.

Once you get past the Isle of Dread part then I started cutting or folding things in together. I actually had the campaign end with a significantly revised Serpents of Scuttlecove that included elements of Into the Maw, and some of the other abyssal adventures. The campaign was fun but I didn't think the group was too eager for high level play. The abyssal adventures were well done but they are also the easiest to jettison.

Cheliax

Also agree Moon was a great low-key, mature SF with some solid storytelling, emotional core but also big ideas. No big explosions, crazy robot monsters etc. Had a good sort of Ray Bradbury vibe too it. Highly recommended. Rockwell gives a fantastic performance. I liked District 9 a lot but this would take my vote for best SF film of 2009. As for Sunshine worth the watch, but in the not-bad but not great category.

Cheliax

Funny, I almost did the exact same thing but due to the additional work I just gave the physicians a good amount of acid flasks to give the same type of flavour (and inspired by the pic in the book)

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