I'm starting the campaign off in Numeria. One of the players is going to be a barbarian chieftain, while the other players will be his three wives, each one representing an aspect of the Triple Goddess. The maiden is a fiery-tempered sorceress, the mother is an exiled winter witch, and the crone is an oracle of bones. The fifth player is either going to be the clan's wise man (a bear druid), or an android rogue who is the barbarian's "brother." :D
Paladin of Baha-who? wrote:
Reading the stats for the cleric of Zon Kuthon, who is LN, with apparently the ability to channel Positive Energy -- is this a mistake? According to the CRB, neutral clerics of an evil deity still have to channel negative energy.
Yeah, just reached that part of the adventure and wondered the same thing myself, especially since one of my PCs wants to take Gein Kafog as a cohort. Perhaps he can channel positive energy since he's a heretic of Zon-Kuthon's faith instead of a true cleric of the Midnight Lord?
Lord Snow wrote:
Jeez, your'e fast! wasn't Beyond the Doomsday Door only released like a week ago? your'e blazing through this AP!
Yeah, we generally burn through APs very quickly, keeping pace as they are released (or sometimes outpacing them). We play every week for 6 hours or so with a group of players who have been through every AP from Rise of the Runelords on.
I'm currently running two different groups through this AP. So far, we've had 5 total deaths in one group and 3 in the other. The first group is midway through "Beyond the Doomsday Door," while the second group is in the Black Keep in "The Asylum Stone." I don't have time to go into too much detail, but here are brief summaries of the deaths so far:
"Curse of the Lady's Light:"
"The Asylum Stone:"
"Beyond the Doomsday Door:"
Yeah, when I ran it, Abra immediately blew his Will save against the mind fog, which means the only way he could have possibly acted normally would have been to roll 3 natural 20's in a row--a situation the party samurai found himself in as well.
And speaking of mind fog, I'm pretty sure these seugathi should be rated as a higher CR. They've got comparable HP, AC, and saves for a CR 6, but then you add in the fast healing, madness aura, powerful spell-like abilities with high DCs (mind fog, phantasmal killer, oh, and they can cast confusion just in case you make those saves against their madness aura), and the confusion command ability, and they become rather impressive adversaries, especially when fighting more than one at a time.
I actually like the design there. It tells the players right away, "This adventure is going to have some nasty fights. Be careful." I think by the third chapter of an AP, we can start assuming that the players are fairly experienced and skilled, and it's time to up the difficulty a bit.
True, but there's a fine line between "very difficult" and "Total Party Killer." My second group lost their rogue to the lone seugathi under the Lady's Light, and there was much griping about how ridiculously powerful the monster is already. I think I'll replace this encounter with three cloakers instead so my group doesn't walk out on my game in protest. :)
I do like a brutal encounter right off the bat to set the mood, just be warned that this one is very deadly!
So, the encounter with the three seugathi along the Halflight Path is brutal. I ran it for my gaming group today, and the party barely made it through in one piece. The party consists of a cleric, and abjurer, an Aldori swordlord, and a samurai. The only reason they survived was because the swordlord made his Will save against mind fog. The rest of the party was confused for pretty much the whole fight, and the swordlord was still confused for about 80% of it. They ended up killing poor Abra Lopati and nearly killing each other, as well. As it was, three of four PCs were left with permanent insanities. Three DC 20 Will saves each round versus the madness auras, a 15-foot-wide hallway so there's no room to get away from them...was this early encounter meant to be so brutal?
Mike Shel wrote:
I've posted my own review of this excellent product. Kudos to you, Mr. Shel! I look forward to more great adventures from you in the future! :)
4. Russel Torres (sp?) - Quest for Perfection, Part 3 (Kept everything going at a good clip, without sacrificing any of the fun, during the noisiest session we had. Best crow-beastie battle cry).
Two "L's", actually. Russell. :)
"SQRAWWWWK!" -Advanced Giant Owlbear
Rugger has said he wants to pop in with another guest post at this point in the story, so I'm waiting for him before I continue on with my own journal entries. It might be a bit though since I know he's busy with work this week.
Sorry to interrupt but I just wanted to let you know this Journal has inspired me to run my own Jade Regent campaign for a group of real life friends. I hope that their game runs with half as much dedication and fun that I see presented here.
I'm glad to hear that, mathpro! If I've inspired only one person to play in this excellent adventure path, then I've done my job. I hope you and your friends enjoy it as much as my group! :D
The dwarf fighter taught Kelda how to properly braid her hair.
The kensai gave Shalelu his first horse as a gift, and constantly has drinking contests with the elven ranger (he usually loses them).
The priestess of Shelyn flirts heavily with Sandru, though now she's secretly engaged to the party's naive monk (which he hasn't fully realized yet). It became even more complicated when Prince Bakrasahn of Ordu-Aganhei took a keen interest in trying to make the priestess his wife!
My character is a half-elf bard who had a childhood crush on Ameiko. Her feelings and relationship with Ameiko have been her main focus all campaign long, and they have been developing further as the game progresses. I've been chronicling Thalia's thoughts in my campaign journal, located here. I'm a bit behind where we're currently at in the campaign, but we're not able to play for the next few weeks, so hopefully I'll have some time to catch up before our next session.
This may be a little early, but it was suggested in the old room sharing thread that a new one be created for this year's PaizoCon, so as not to confuse people. I figured I'd make the first post since I'm getting ready to book a room and wouldn't mind having some roommates to split the cost.
I'm going to be booking a room at the Redmond Town Center Marriott with the PaizoCon rate. It'll be for Thursday through Sunday night, at $85 a night, so it comes out to $340 total. I am male, but I don't mind having either male or female roommates. I am flying in from Orlando, FL, and will probably be arriving some time Thursday afternoon. If you're interested in sharing a room, post a reply here or send me an e-mail at email@example.com
Thanks, Monrail. I mainly write for my own enjoyment and for the other players in my gaming group, but that doesn't mean I don't enjoy words of praise from other readers. :)
The last few weeks have been pretty busy so I haven't had a lot of time to catch up on the journal, and I'm going on vacation next week so that won't help matters, either. At least we won't be playing for the next couple weeks. I'm still about four-and-a-half gaming sessions behind, so there's a lot of fun stuff coming up. Wait until we get to Hongal! ;)
The NPC wrote:
Upon reflection my questions could have come off as over aggressive and for that I apologize.
It's no problem. I just wasn't sure where you were coming from.
With that in mind the reason I was going "Hmmm..." is because the women are all very saintly (for lack of a better term at the time of writing) or are that empathetic kind of misunderstood while all of the males (or at least main cast males) are jerks. Even the quite one (The monk) is just a smug quiet jerk. So over all to my perceptions this was starting to look as if Lifetime made a fantasy movie. So it threw me off.
That's part of the way the characters are being role-played. Roga and Yuto both have a Charisma of 8 and Rugger has a Charisma of 6, which is reflected in their personalities and their interactions with the other PCs and NPCs. Roga and Rugger are good people and well-meaning, but have very abrasive personalities. Yuto started out as simply naive, but the influence of the other male characters in the party has slowly corrupted him into, yes, kind of a smug jerk. He resents the relationship Thalia has with his sister because it's stronger than their familial ties, since he spent nearly all of his life in the monastery away from her. Yoska has a Charisma of 12, which isn't bad, but he's definitely an antihero, what with being a Szcarni bloatmage with a chip on his shoulder regarding his brother. The female characters definitely have their flaws as well, but since these writings are from the perspective of Thalia, these are downplayed. She looks up to Aurora as a role model and, of course, has deep feelings for Ameiko which blind her a bit to their shortcomings, not to mention she's averse to admitting to her own foibles.
That's how I see it, any rate. Perhaps the other players in the group might want to comment about their own characters?
At any rate, I'm glad you're reading the journal and I thank you for taking the time to comment as well. I like to hear people taking an interest in my writing. I hope to have another content update soon, though with Thanksgiving coming up, it may be put off till next week.
The NPC wrote:
As to the first question, I'm not quite sure how to respond. There's never been any indication that Sandru is a misogynist or would have any reason to assault any of the women in the party. I don't think the character is written to be that way, either: perhaps you or your DM has a different interpretration of him?
As for the second question, or group consists of six males and one female, with ages ranging from 23 to 32. We are all close friends and have gamed as a group for over 6 years. The female player is bisexual and plays Aurora, the priestess of Shelyn, while the male player who plays Roga is homosexual. Everybody else is heterosexual, including myself.
Our gaming sessions are frequently infused with mature content that others may find offensive, but we understand that it is all just a game and we are very comfortable with ourselves and each other. For this journal, I've been challenging myself to explore the thoughts and relationships of a homosexual female character, including mature themes and situations, which I understand may be off-putting for some people. I would never force anybody to read something that makes them uncomfortable, however.
The party has invested about 4,000-5,000 gp of its own money in the caravan. I know the party cleric bought the royal carriage straight up out of her own personal funds.
We started playing through "The Hungry Storm" this past Sunday. Our party's caravan is pretty well-rounded, consisting of an armored wagon, two supply wagons, two horse trains, a fortune-teller's wagon, and a royal carriage. With all the wagons, a party of 6 PCs, and a dozen NPCS (Ameiko, Koya, Sandru, Shalelu, Ulf, Kelda, 5 extra drivers, and a cook), our consumption is in the low 30s, so all of the scouts are set on hunting duty just to make sure we have enough food to get from settlement to settlement, which are few and far between in the Crown of the World.
The level 7 caravan has Attack +10, AC 16, Security +10, Resolve +13, HP 160, and does 1d6+7 damage. Besides Enhanced Caravan several times, we have taken Extra Wagons, Merchant Mastery, Lucky Caravan, and First Strike for our feats.
Our first random encounter was with a polar pudding, a CR 7 caravan encounter. The pudding has AC 20, HP 85, Attack +13 and does a whopping 6d8+3 points of damage with each attack. Our caravan has a 55% chance to hit the pudding, and assuming average damage, does 11 damage a round (15 on the first round due to First Strike). By contrast, the pudding has a 90% chance of hitting the caravan, doing an average of 30 points of damage a round. Worse, if the pudding hits the caravan, it has to make a DC 22 Security check (our caravan has a 45% chance of success) or become mired, taking a -2 penalty to AC and attack rolls and becoming unable to move (i.e., flee the encounter).
Assuming the caravan and the pudding hit each other every round for average damage, the pudding will wipe out the caravan in 6 rounds, long before it is able to get through the pudding's 85 HP. It takes 2 DC 17 Security checks to flee the encounter, which our caravan has a 65% chance to make--assuming, of course, it hasn't failed the previous Security check when it was hit. Our GM did some hand-waving to allow us to escape even though we had been mired, but if he hadn't, that would have been the end of our caravan. Of course, had it been a straight up fight between our PCs and a white pudding, we would have decimated the ooze without taking much harm to ourselves.
Several days later, we encounter a band of ice trolls, a CR 8 caravan encounter. The trolls have AC 21, HP 100, Attack +15 and do a stupidly high 10d6 points of damage with each attack. Our caravan has a 50% chance to hit the trolls, while the trolls have a 95% chance of hitting us (only because they miss on a natural 1), doing an average of 35 points of damage a round. We only have to reduce them to 40 HP to get them to flee, but that takes 5 rounds of combat assuming we hit them every turn (a poor assumption with only a 50% chance of hitting), during which our caravan would take an average of 175 damage and be destroyed.
When we actually played it out, there were a lot of nat 20's and high damage on our side and a couple really low damage rolls on their side, which allowed us to force them to flee with just over half our HP left. Of course, we track them down to prevent further attacks, re-engaging in combat. We somehow manage to defeat the trolls, but survive with somewhere around 35 HP remaining.
Based on our experiences, it seems that the enemies scale up way too fast for an average caravan to keep up. Both these encounters are allegedly on CR for our caravan's level. Their attack bonuses are high enough to basically hit every time they attack, so the only way to survive is to focus completely on offense to take Extra Damage as much as possible. Even then, they have enough HP that the caravan is going to get trashed every fight. Perhaps the best strategy then is to focus on mobility and just run from every caravan combat?
I received my confirmation e-mail for this month's shipment. I didn't realize the Pathfinder Beginner Box was included in the RPG subscription, however. I don't really want the box--is there any way to cancel that part of the order and just get the new issue of Adventure Path or is it too late now that the e-mail has gone out?
Thank you in advance for your assistance.
Thanks again for the kind words, Monrail. If anybody else wants to leave comments or critiques, feel free to do so! I've got two more posts before I'm caught up on last week's session. Hopefully I'll get them done today since we play again on Sunday.
Thanks for the kind words, Monrail. I've got one more post before I'm caught up to where we currently are in-game, but we play again on Saturday, so I'll have a few new posts to make next week as well. :)
Our party consists of the following:
Female half-elf bard (geisha)
We've played several sessions already and are almost through the first book. I've been keeping a campaign journal here for those interested in checking it out. It contains spoilers, naturally, so use caution if you're playing in the game. :)
Well, perhaps he can ask one of his friends to make the test in his place. You know, like we used to do in High School...
Do you like me? Please mark yes or no.
Okay Lem, now let me know what she says...
I'm really excited about these rules as well, although I do have one concern.
So in order to tell if an NPC is interested in starting a relationship with you, you have to make a Sense Motive check with a DC equal to that NPC's romance score. The DC for that check seems really high--in the 30's for most of the NPCs, and a 40 for Ameiko! I feel sorry for the poor clueless fighter who can never know when his love interest is ready to take the next step because he can't make that Sense Motive check.
Is the DC meant to be this high? Also, do you have to make that check first before attempting the (much more reasonable) Diplomacy check to secure the relationship, or can you just try the check each level and hope for the best?
Yes, thanks for the comments. I will be the first to admit that I was a bit rushed in my submission, and there a couple errors that could have been corrected with a few more editing passes. I actually referred to Orcs of Golarion quite a bit while writing the story. I had hoped to do the orcs of this world justice, though I'm sure influences from too much Warhammer and Warcraft crept in regardless as I struggled to find a unique voice for Torgran. My idea for Torgran was "orc cavalier," and I hoped that image came out in the writing in his bond with his mount, his honor and his oaths.
All in all, I had fun writing the story, which is the most important thing. Thanks for putting on the contest and giving me an opportunity to flex my creativity a bit. :)
I got the shipping confirmation in my e-mail box. Thank you! :)
Way back when our group ran through Savage Tide, one of our players decided to help manage the many NPCs by making popsicle stick puppets of all of them so that I, being the GM, could hold them up to display who was talking at the time. That player is none other than the illustrious Lora Massey, she who won the GenCon costume contest for her awesome Feiya outfit. Today we started our Serpent's Skull game, the first adventure path in a while that Lora has actually been able to play with us. So in honor of the occasion and a new host of NPC shipwreck survivors, she has made new popsicle stick puppets for each of the castaways. And this time, the proof is in the picture. Just thought I'd share her art project with the community at large. :)
Sara Marie wrote:
I still have not received my replacement book. At this point, if you haven't already sent it out and want to wait to send it with my next subscription shipment, I would be okay with that. Thanks.
The woman in the Feiya costume is Lora Massey, a professional makeup artist and part-time costume designer. She has been a member of my gaming group on and off for the past several years. She also volunteered as a GM for Pathfinder Society at GenCon last year and this year. She's pretty awesome! :)
Today I received my order in the mail. However, one of the items in the shipment was wrong. The order was supposed to include the print edition of Pathfinder Tales: Prince of Wolves. Instead, I received Planet Stories: Before They Were Giants, a book I did not order. The other items in the shipment were correct (Advanced Player's Guide and Pathfinder 36 and 37). I would appreciate you looking into this matter and sending the correct book. Thank you for your attention.
Geeky Frignit wrote:
I think I'll give the BBEG a wand of inflict moderate wounds of some charges and have him UMD to heal himself up. He only needs to make a 7 on the roll to use it.
Remember, as a lich, his touch attack does negative energy. As per the Bestiary, "a lich can take a full-round action to infuse itself with this energy, healing damage as if it had used its touch attack against itself." So he's got a built-in source of healing already with no chance of failure. :)
In my campaign, she is Tascia Leroung, cousin to one the PCs, Traxus Leroung. Her motives are a bit murkier in my game as well: the PCs aren't quite sure if she's genuinely interested in ridding Westcrown of the shadow beast menace or if she wants to try to figure out the cause of it so that she can manipulate the beasts to her advantage.
I started off introducing them one at a time, introducing each PC to the NPC that favored their class. I briefly mentioned the others, and have them give suggestions every now and then, but for the most part I've focused on the "favored" NPCs. We've completed "The Sixfold Trial" now.
The tiefling rogue in the party took an immediate shine to Yakopulio, and the irreverent gnome shows up quite a bit. One of the other PCs is the son of a woman who runs a tavern, so there's a bit of rivalry between the gnome and his mother. When the party goes out drinking, they usually go to her tavern, the Bruised Eel, and even made use of her pimping services to distract Thesing from trying to seduce Calseinica with his elixir of love.
Another PC is a fighter/wizard going for eldritch knight, so I had Tarvi request his help in learning how to use magic. He happens to be a scion of the Leroung family as well, so Tarvi's parents are trying to fix the two of them up. Of course, Tarvi is against this, but the PC might pursue her with fun results--he hasn't decided yet.
We had one player whose PC was a cleric of Iomedae, but he moved away so we had his character go out in a blaze of glory, sacrificing himself to save Arael from a tiefling assassin. At his funeral, the halfling Fiosa took up his blade, even though it was too large for her, and pledged her life in service of Iomedae to honor the fallen hero's memory. Our new player's PC is a priest of Shelyn, and so he and Fiosa have many conversations over the natures of their faith and how best to do good in the city.
Besides those three primary NPCs, Ermolos, Larko, and Mathalen have played minor roles in roleplaying scenes, and everybody seems to like Janiven, so I've had Arael take a behind-the-scenes approach to running the Children, with Janiven acting as the front-man for the most part.
I would just like to take the opportunity to thank Richard Pett, Nicolas Logue, and the Paizo staff for providing our group with one of the best gaming sessions we have had in years. I ran the first half of "The Sixfold Trial" for my long-time gaming group today and we had a blast! It was a truly memorable experience. Coming from a group that has gone through every adventure path from "Shackled City" onward, this is no small statement. Bravo to Paizo for taking a chance on an adventure like this, and we look forward to more brilliance in the future.