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I've played a few more since my original posting, i now rank them as follows:
Didn't work for me
Serpent Skull book 1 is great, book 3 is good if ther GM alters the hell out of it, as written it's not so hot. Book 5 was voted by my playing group as the worst adventure they have ever been through in 30 years of role playing. They hated it so much that they avoid other adventures written by said author of this book. The insanity metric must be changed for book 5 to work so there is a way to get around it, if your part goes insane time after time after time after time the players will hate it. IN book 6 we got tired of fight after fight against the same creatures and stopped the AP due to boredom.
Skulls and Shackles- we have had a good time, my group thinks it the 2nd best AP they have played after Kingmaker. Book 1 is unique the DM has to spend a lot of time developing the NPC's to work and allowing the players the feeling that they control their destinay through NPC interaction. People complain it railroady but my group didn't feel railroaded at all in fact they enjoyed the uniqueness of the AP. Book 2 is very sandboxy which makes it a great Op for a GM to add stuff into the story. Book 3 was OK, book 4 is a meat grinder but fun. We haven't reached book 5 yet.
Nothing exciting, he tried to get into a snake attack position, Isthreth didn't like someone behind him and pumelled him with 3 club hits that beat him to a bloody pulp. The party leveraged Vailea to get him raised.
The party discovered and avoided the net trap, they disarmed it and decided to walk around it. The guards watching this had time to get the hunters next door and they all came attacking from the ruins at once. Tallcock was the only party member they could reach and the used their future sight and confirmed 2 critical's, knocking him to kingdom come. It was a tough fight but the party was able to take the rest of the Cyclops down.
This player has not played every session so while the rest of the group is level 10 he is level 8. The party has 3 x lvl 10's, 1 x lvl 9, and 1 x lvl 8.
Five deaths in the same game session, a record for out gaming group.
Name/Race: Conchibar/Gnome - Cohort
Details- The party’s tank ran due to a Fear Spell. Tallcock a Alchemist/Barbarian was under the influence of a Confusion spell. The party was low on Spells. The party’s Wizard also went down but stabilized. It was a knock him down drag it out fight. Most party members went down from incorporeal touch attacks. Every few rounds someone did get hit by the confused alchemist.
In the end the confused alchemist/Barbarian Tallcock was standing with 6 hit points and only 1 Animate dream remained with 3 Hit Points. Tallcock got a final blow in and killed the creature but still had 2 rounds of confusion left. He had healing potions on him. But, he rolled to hit himself on the chart and killed himself with no one else standing in the entire room.
Later in the same game session;
Later in the same game session;
I really love Freeport. But, at this point my home game players are burned out on pirate themed stuff. We played the 3.5 version of Freeport 2009-2010 time frame, and are now playing Skulls and Shackles. I'm a big fan of Green Ronin material, just this doesn't appleal to my group of players at this time. And by the way this also applies to Razor Coast, which we won't be playing due to the same pirate theme fatigue.
Yeah, we're moving onto a different campaign. Another player wants to run a home made city creation.
They were under the impression Ezra wanted to take over the ritual and complete it himself. So, the party decided to kill the only descendent of the victor to try and drive the wraiths off. They figured if they can't do the ritual no one can. So, even if they lived Cardinal Thorn would have been pissed and either fired or destroyed them.
The party should have just ran off after they felt they were outmatched. A couple of players would probably have survived. And the campaign would continue, but with them deliberately betraying the ritual the campaign ends, living or dead. I can see Cardinal Thorn Resurecting them to keep loyal followers, but since they weren't loyal there is no reason for him to do that.
Oops we had a TPK. 2nd to last day of the ritual.
Ezra the Thrice Dammed and his 3 wraith spawn along with some super high rolls on the Con Damage drain did them in. The party already had spent resources on earlier fights. Including the Druid who did not have a way to damage incorporeal due to not having a magic weapon and having used all his magic fangs earlier in the day. The party wasn’t really set up to fight incorporeal, no ghost touch weapons and the spells casters had split levels in spell casting so they were under spell leveled.
The campaign was really fun up to this point, but so it ended in a blaze of glory.
I haven’t read all the posts on this thread so I’m not sure if it’s covered.
But here are some specific examples of not being cohesive.
Skulls and shackles- you meet a bunch of cool NPC’s they leave on Harrigan’s ship. They don’t re-occur until book 3, and one of them “Caulky” seems to have a brand new personality. Skipping all of them in book 2 is in cohesive. Why not have at least one of them show up in book 2 abandoned by Capt. Harrigan, where he/she can talk about something the PC’s will really hate him for, cruelty, etc. It seems almost as if the author of book 2 did not know anything about the NPC’s in book 1.
Kingmaker- Nyrissa doesn’t really get foreshadowed much until book 5. Almost as if the authors of the previous books didn’t know much about what was going to happen in the end. Why not have her assault on the players kingdom start earlier with slowly grow in power with explained cross overs between the 2nd world which the party has to deal with but they can’t do anything to fix them, leaving the party worried about what is coming later.
I think the main thing making it difficult for me was keeping it within time frame and not changing the story for the main characters outside of the scenario despite some players best intention to do so.
If I was running this as a non-PFS scenario I would have took my time and played out all the things the players wanted to do, and wouldn't have been too concerned about players moving the story in a completly different direction.
When I mean different direction I had a player who was trying to poison the groom and take his place in the wedding ceremony and he himself get married to tha Blackros daughter. Way off story. But would have been a super fun twist in my own campaign.
Well I screwed the pooch on this one. I ran it the other night and thought it was a group effort to influence the NPC's. Even with that and 3 of 6 players having a good diplomacy skills the group barely got the 3 required. In the end they got 5 out of 6. But 3 of those just barely influenced on the last round of social interaction. Oh well the players got one on me.
As a side note this is easily one of the most difficult things that I have run and I have been DMing various games for 30 years. From players going off book and trying to keep the game within a time crunch, to the large number of NPC role playing that is introduced at the exact same time, to the difficulty of the shadow demon having a gazillion resistances and being incorporeal, this scenario had a lot of stuff going on.
I have now played this as a player and judged it and both times I came away with a empty feeling that something was missing. I applaud the effort of creation of a scenario that is really different. I think in the end if there was a sense of accomplishment it would have been better, but coming up against a creature that could not be defeated and left on its own accord made things seem in the end an empty accomplishment.
My group tripped the alarm, the module isn't clear on what would happen but since White robes and most Gray robes are not elightened enough to be on the 2nd floor, the modules hints they gather on the first floor.
For those who have played a number of the Pathfinder Modules, I curious how you would rank how good them are.
I've played or DMed 7 of them and I would rank the ones I have experience with as follows:
1-Feast of Ravenmoor
My party's in a bit of trouble also, but not a TPK yet.
They first collected info in town and discovered the secret door. First time they went in to the keep a little bit and scouted as much as they could without fighting anyone or being discovered
2nd) they tracked down the scouting party outside of the keep and took 1 captain down.
3rd) they returned to the keep and went up to the Rookery and took it out.
4th) they found out about the Captain fooling around and instead of framing them they ambushed and killed them one by one on the road between the city and the town. But they were seen and this put the Keep on high alert.
5th) The inn keeper saw them using the secret door so the party decided to kill him. His wife reported it to the castle and Lord Havelyn came down to investigate with Father Doonigan(sp?) the part tried to take them out and after 2 rounds of combat decided it was more prudent to run.
With a number of unsolved deaths in town and eye witnesses to some of them I decided that the town would start getting scared and some of the wealthier folks left town and some shops closed up, dropping the town totals and reducing the parties ability to buy items and spells.
6th) they decided to attack some merchants leaving town and attacked a shop that was selling magic items. This effectivly shut down the town, eveyone ran to the keep for protection or left town. The party no longer has access to any items or spells for sale.
7th) they came in through the secret passage and decided to attack the barracks. Thee were 2 Players with one level of evil cleric, so they used silence, damaging bursts, and coup de gras to try and kill as many sleeping guards as possible. They took out about 15 of them but they soon found themselves beset by dozen of guards. 3 of the 5 party members were able to escape. 2 went down to negative hit points but instead of being killed they were captured and stabalized for questioning.
8th) The 3 remaining party members used invisibility, levitate, silence, and locate object they scaled the outer keeps wall at night, and walked along it a bit to triangulate where their jailed comrades were. Once they determined they were in the mid levels of the keep they took out a couple more guards and ran off.
That is where we stand, All 4 captains killed, the rookery taken out, 35 or so of the regular garrison killed. 2 players captured and in cells, and no player deaths yet.
Thanks for the feedback.
This stems from I'm about ready to start Way of the Wicked and somonee wants to run a cleric who worhsips a god other than Asmodeous. It the land of Talnigarde no other religons are known to exist besides Mitra and Asmodeous, so the cleric would need to create the itme himself or find someone to create it for him (which is really difficlt at the start of the campaign). I'm thinking for a cheap one I will make it a DC10 craft check and he can make it a divine focus himself with a night of worship.
My group is really enjoying this AP, we are only about 1/3 through book 2 at the moment it is one of their favorite AP's (this is our 5th) I've played it pretty much as written but I changed it to the slow track and have added various things into the AP.
I think sprucing up the first 20 days with a couple extra encounters was needed. Also my players thought the jobs rolls were pretty tedious so I glossed over those after our first session. As far as the Rum rations, I wasn't to strick on that as soon as a player thought of a creative way to avoid it I allowed it.
For grok just don't curse it doesn'r really matter for her. For Rosie change it to a silly exclamation she puts in her sentences that makes her distinctive and probably drop her last name. For Rianis think of a drill sergeant, maybe the one from Biloxi blues who doesn't swear that much, just tries to make the privates feel inferior, call them pond scum, worthless, soft, and landlubbers for example.
I have a 2 lvl 4's and a lvl 2,
Dungeon crawls with not much more:
For me the story lines are getting a bit repetitive, not sure if it's me, the groups I play with, or the scenarios I'm playing. For the most part I find the judges I play with to be top notch.
OK, so I’ve played about 20 PFS scenarios and they are all seeming kind of the same after a bit and are getting a little boring: explore the newly found ruins, escort someone, night in the museum, go get the goblins, etc. etc. I know there are limitations to what PFS scenarios can do in a 4 hour time slot, but what scenarios stand out as being really different. Examples I can think of is the Temple of Emperial Enlightenment, the Bloodcove Disguse, and We be Golbins.
The Shifty Mongoose wrote:
My party loved the opening book mainly because it's really different than anything else they have been through. I thought it was semi-sanbox within the limitations of the ship environment. There were lots of options for them to get into trouble or sneak around, lots of role playing opportunites. Sand box style is not great for all groups I find it works for some and not others. Some groups without a clear direction do nothing at all and find it a bit boring.
Again I would say Carrion Crown would be best for you since you have eliminated Rise of the Runelords.
Steve Geddes wrote:
We are starting with Way of the Wicked and Slumbering Tsar and see how they go. Since we haven't gone down this road before we may be back. My group loves the Pathfinder game and some are active in PFS, but they are frustrated with the Paizo AP's problems revolving around tight schedules of a magazine type product.
In my group having index cards with the pictures of the crew on them was very helpful. It really helped everyone track who was who.
As was suggested above be sure to put in a extra set of stairs getting from the main deck to the hold on the Wormwood map. It's not very practical to go through the officers quarters every time.
Sargavia and the pirates of the Shackles have an agreement that the Pirates of the shackled will not attack ships headed into or out of the Sargavia. (This is in the campaign guides).
Bloodcove is supposed to be a hub of valuable items coming out of the Mwagbi expanse, but is also a pirate city run by the Aspis Consorsium. (This is in the campaign guides).
So it is easy to think that shipping skirts way around the Shackles but there is no threat from the shackled pirates once then get south of the shackles
Along comes the PC’s and they are not shackled pirates so they raid in a relatively pirate free area, eventually this will get the attention of the free pirates. If the party does not come to join the Hurricane king, Sargavia may put pressure on the free pirates to reel in the rogue pirates that are messing up their shipping lanes. If too many ships are hit the Aspis Consorium may step into the picture driving the PC’s to seek protection from the free pirates.
Im also increasing the guards on the ships in ths shipping lanes as the players reputation grows.
I'm saying at the start that they can sell their pluner in Bloodcove as long as they stay friendly with the Aspis C. Senghor on the other hand charges 200 GP tax for a non-allied ships to enter their port to sell their wares. Senghor is my game is also anti-pirate so they are much more suspicious of stolen items entering their city.
Anyway that's the way I'm playing it.
My players are really tired of running through AP after AP to them they all seem similar these days. So something radically different would be needed for my group to play. (So the Mythic adventures may work for them). For me its no longer what I would like to see its what I can get my players to play. The setting, cold, hot, viking, planets, all doesn't matter to them.
A revised kingdom rules fixing the glitches, with more emphasis on politics over exploration would get my players interested.
So it sounds to me a 6th level PC will get an artifact or God given power that bumps him up to take on CR 9 challenges.
I'm a wait and see on this one, I'll pass judgement when it comes out.
I'm still in love with 1 to 12 pathfinder play as written, but who knows by next year I may be itching for a change.
I'm running my group on the slow track and adding stuff into the adventure. So what I'll probably do is give the officers of the ship 50% of what the players get when they are in no danger. If the players decide to take them along or want them to particapte actively in ship vs ship combat they will receieve an equal split of XP. They also are avaliable for players to take as cohorts if they so desire.
The regular crew will just get a generic NPC stat block I figure once they port some will quit and ohters will join keeping their level roughly the same.
We'll probably finsih book 1 next week. So we're not quite there yet.
Our group plays each Sunday 8 hour sessions.
We are starting Curse of the Crimson Throne today
We also have a group that meets every other Tuesday with some cross over players from our Sunday session and that group is playing Skulls and Shackles, we are in book 1.
Mort the Cleverly Named wrote:
I have everything mentioned above. River into Darkness has a different city map for Bloodcove then found elsewhere. But I do find the adventure really nice and I am going to input it into my campaign the first time the party goes to Bloodcove. I'll tie it in by having the party owe a debt to the Apsis C. and to get them off their back and make an alliance with them they will ask the party to go on this trip described in the adventure.
I actually found the pathfinder socitey scenario the Bloodcove disguise much more helpful:
I'm going to change the plot completly but use most of the encounter areas and stat blocks listed in the adventure.
If you wanted to use kingdom building rules on the island I would think anything that is not readily avaliable on the island would be much more expensive and hence add to the cost of many buildings. I heaven't read this yet but I would think it would be highly unlikely there would be a stone quarry on the island so shipping stone to the island which would be off a major trading route would be much more expensive then acquiring stone in kingmaker, hence any building requiring stone I would think would be at least x1.5 the cost if not x2 cost.
So it appears I was wrong in fact he was poisoned and shot in the chest, he walked off and was shot in the head 3 times, he was still alive so he was clubbed into unconscious had his penis cut off tied up in a rug and thrown in the river. Where he woke up and got free of his bindings but then finally drowned.