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Zellara

Cintra Bristol's page

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Maps, Modules Subscriber. Pathfinder Society Member. 996 posts. 1 review. No lists. No wishlists.


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I just spotted this card, and came to see if there was any discussion. I'm interested to see how this one gets ruled. If it's just once per turn, it's really not as good as the Eagle. Perhaps if you had to recharge a card each time you use it?


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I'm currently running Half-Dead City. I posted some critical comments (as well as compliments) earlier in this thread, so it's time I came in and posted an update based on actual game play.

We're about halfway through the second exploration site.

Spoiler:
The PCs explored the mausoleum, then the grounds, of the House of Pentheru, and have now evacuated back to the living city to recover before exploring the house itself.

One of the things I'm particularly enjoying is the mix of logical-consequences (reasonable explanations for the church running the lottery, and their attitude toward it; reasons for why all the critters are at any particular site) with a liberal spicing of misdirection and the twisting of expectations.

Spoiler:
No undead at all in the initial tomb. Non-animate mummies that (literally) pour out from behind a secret door during a particular death trap - OMG! Mummies! Places they suspect to be trapped that aren't. Places they don't even think about traps, that might be. The ubashki swarm was great fun, and got a particularly good reaction from our cat-hengeyokai sorcerer.
Not to mention the sheer paranoia the players feel whenever they're moving through the necropolis, even in broad daylight. They're just as worried now about competitor teams as they are about lurking undead.

The first encounter in the Pentheru mausoleum was absolutely a delight.

Spoiler:
OMG it's a mummy! And then the gradual realization that it wasn't, quite, but all the players rolled low-single-digits on their knowledge rolls to try to figure out what it was, so they got to figure it out by trial and error. One PC is a swarm-form druid - my favorite moment was when he did a swarm attack that sprayed the adherer with bugs, and had all those parts of him attach like, well, bugs, on flypaper. Priceless!

This adventure has so far resulted in a level of clever (or, sometimes, "oops-we-really-wish-we'd-been-more-clever") play, without ever tilting over into boring over-caution. The players are thinking more, and having tremendous fun solving things by interacting with the scene in the adventure, rather than just through dependence on reference to specific character powers. (That is, everything isn't "I can solve this with this spell" or "I beat it into submission," it's much more frequently "hmmm, what's going on here, and how to we want to approach dealing with it.") And it's great fun listening as the players come up with their own theories for why certain things are where they are (such as a certain cut rope, or a certain axe and its wielders).

My group has been playing together for years, so it's not like I need the adventure to teach them how to play the game - and yet, it is, in a wonderful way, doing just that. It simultaneously sets expectations and rewards a style of play that is incredibly fun.

Jim Groves, with this adventure, you've moved up into the top of my list of preferred adventure writers. And the best part is, we still have the second half of this chapter to look forward to!


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I've considered - although not actually tried out - a House Rule that once a Loot card is passed up, it goes into the box as the type of boon it is (Weapon, Item etc.) so that it can re-circulate into future scenarios. I'm not really sure why this would break anything. I don't think this would break anything. It certainly wouldn't give any guarantee that you'd have access to those cards ever again...


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Regarding burning wooden doors - just because they're made of wood and therefore flammable, doesn't mean they burn quickly. When you build a fire in a fireplace, and put a couple of little pieces of wood in there, it takes a LONG time for them to burn to the point where they're breakable. And they're usually positioned on a rack to allow for proper air flow, with a chimney above for ventilation.

A door stands upright in a tight-fitting frame. A fire spell would do half-damage of the expected damage amount. To get the door to actually catch fire at that point shouldn't be automatic. Lighting a wood fire generally requires some easily-ignitable tinder to catch and keep the fire burning there for a while, allowing the larger blocks of wood have time to catch. Is he taking the time to position tinder? Probably needs to be something more substantial than just a few pieces of crumpled paper...

Even if you decide to allow the door to catch fire at that point, the fire is going to burn upward on the surface of the wood, and cause lots of smoke that has nowhere to go except into the room where the PCs are standing.

In other words - your player is apparently very good at fast-talking you into accepting reasons for letting him get away with stuff, much of which is outrageously unbalanced. And he also apparently looks only for interpretations of rules and situations that are in his favor, not what makes for a good game for the whole group. Stop and think about whether what he's proposing at any given time really makes sense, and don't be so willing to let him get away with stuff like this. It's okay to say no - and based on these examples, he's being abusive of the rules and spirit of the game, so it's important for the group's enjoyment that you do say no to him on stuff like this.

And let him know that he shouldn't be trying so hard to abuse the spirit of the rules and to outshine all the other players - this is a group cooperative activity.


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Please cancel my Player Companion subscription. Thanks!


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I've posted a review. See it for some information about the set contents.

WotC has clearly already benefitted from the lessons WizKids has learned doing Pathfinder minis. The smaller minis are separately bagged and tucked into the hollows of the plastic shell holding the large minis. Between that and the separate bases and posts for flying minis, I had no damaged minis in my case of this set, and no bad paints either.

A comment for Paizo - the lower MSRP for each booster means my local FLGS is willing to stock these on speculation - and they're selling rapidly - where he can't stock the Pathfinder boosters because people in my area just won't buy a booster at that price point.

Paizo should examine this set and have some serious talks with WizKids about options for quality improvement. Both the separate-flying-bases, and the fewer paint steps (and resulting reduction in paint-step-related flaws).


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Yikes! Glad you're okay.

As a person who suffers from frequent heartburn, but who has also suffered a pulmonary embolism (blood clots that block the arteries in the lungs), I know how frustrating the medical run-around can be.

Hopefully this was a one-time thing, but if you still have symptoms in the future, and you don't think it's just heartburn, another possible cause to consider is panic attacks (yup, I've got those too), which can present as a feeling like your heart is racing combined with pressure in your chest.


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Thanks, Sharaya. I got the email, and I appreciate the quick response and resolution!


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Okay, I was confused when the Ranzak promo stayed in my sidecart instead of shipping with my subscriptions, but I assumed that was intentional for some reason, and it would ship next month.

But I just got an email that it's shipping separately now, with shipping charges attached, and that it's too late to change this.

I really hope that last bit isn't true - nearly doubling the cost with shipping charges isn't what I put it in the sidecart for. Can you catch this one and ship it with next month's subscriptions instead?


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Matthew Morris wrote:

Part of my semi-sarcastic pointing out of there not being a left handed iconic (seriously, we're 10% of the population!) is that being 'diverse' always runs into limits. Paizo expends the effort (in art orders, writing etc.) to make 'diverse' iconics of colour gender and sexuality. Paizo also puts a limit on how many resources they wish to put into making their iconics and their products truly diverse. Thus no left handed iconic because the expense of layout and ordering art is too much for them to justify making 10% of the population feel included.**

Actually, you should take a look at this post, where Erik Mona responds to a complaint about the upcoming Seelah mini being left-handed.


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Ooh, I forgot about Crucible of Chaos! I'll have to go back and take a look at it. Thanks!

I've got the other ones, although I didn't think about Lost Cities, I'll check it out too.

Since I made the original post above, I purchased a few PFS Scenarios, so I'll share what I found in case they're useful to anyone else:
- The Rebel's Ransom works pretty well as an additional tomb, but not in chapter 1; it really needs to be inserted later in the AP, probably during chapter 3 part 2.
- Wrath of the Accursed is a city-based investigation in Sothis, and while it's pretty cool, it doesn't fit what I'm looking for. But perhaps it could be modified and inserted into the Tephu activities in Chapter 3.
- Wonders in the Weave Part 1: The Dog Pharaoh's Tomb. This comes closest to what I was looking for - it has a small tomb that can be borrowed and modified with minimal effort.


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And... looks like the answer is in yesterday's Blog entry. FLGS participation delayed til at earliest Sept. 3rd.


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So... still no word on organized play at gaming stores? At least it would be nice to know if there's a specific date by which we should have received information?


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Rob McCreary wrote:
As it says in the first paragraph of the sidebar...

Oops, you're right. I think I saw that on my first read-through, then forgot when I was skimming back through to load data into RealmWorks. (So - I did fail my perception check!) But that makes perfect sense - Thanks!


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In the Red Herrings sidebar on page 30, two locations are listed in the Star Chart section that don't appear to be in either of the first two chapters. Mahhept's Marvelous Maps, and Pahak's Prognostications.

Am I just failing my Perception test here (in which case, can someone tell me where to look)?

Or were these cut from the adventure? (In which case, would the author be interested in sharing anything with us for these locations?)


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I put the Character Card in between the Discard Pile and the Character Deck. I play two characters at once (and my husband plays two for a total party of four); so to keep things straight, I put the two character decks in the center where they're handy, then I place their character cards, and then the discard piles go to the outside edges of the table. If I have the deck and the discard pile adjacent, then when I have to shuffle the discard, I can easily get it confused with the Character Deck. (Although now that you're making me think about it, that's probably because the two characters have the pile order flipped compared to each other. Hmmm, might have to try changing that.)


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As you have Valeros in your party, you should also always be exploring alongside him, at least until you get to the point where Lini is always able to make all her rolls by herself. By exploring separately, you're throwing away the value of his +1d4 to an ally for combat - which doesn't require him to spend any cards at all.


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I've run the complete Age of Worms campaign.

(We did the Red Hand of Doom adventure after that, but it isn't an Adventure Path per se.)

A sub-group got about two-thirds of the way through the Savage Tide path, but bogged down somewhere around 13th level. I'd like to go back and re-try that one someday.

We then completed the Rise of the Runelords.

And we're currently only 1 or 2 sessions away from completing Kingmaker.


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A while back (running 3.5 pre-Pathfinder), one player in my group had a very high AC compared to the rest of the party. It really was the situation of, foes that could hit his AC would auto-hit everyone else.

As GM, I actually appreciated the fact he had a high AC, as when a fight was going against the PCs, I could have the enemies focus more attacks on him, knowing very few hits would go through. I got to the point where I relied on that fact to help me re-balance fights mid-way through.

Unfortunately, this ended up backfiring on all of us. The player in question drew a lot more foes to attack him, so he ended up getting hit almost as often (total hits/damage, not percentage of hits) as everyone else. So even though I thought he was enjoying things because he could see how often the enemies missed him, I didn't realize until too late that he came to feel that his super-high AC wasn't really benefitting him.

I've seen the opposite happen, though - a PC with high defenses is pointless for the enemy to attack, so instead of going after him, they ignore him to go after his "squishier" allies.

I guess my point is - make sure you're on the same page with your GM when going for this sort of concept. Do you want to attract (and hopefully shrug off) a ton of attacks, or do you prefer to be seen as the impossible target (ignored by cannon fodder, but occasionally drawing the ire of a special foe designed just to get past your high defenses)?

And be sure you and your GM communicate if it ever starts being, as you said, "funny and cool" for either of you, or seems to be irritating the rest of the group.


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The concept has slight Spoilers for Rise of the Runelords. It is a complex of rooms created by people who embraced the sin of Envy.

WARNING: This can also only be done with players who trust their DM.

Spoiler:
I completely re-did the Envy section of Runeforge - I didn't want to do the Mordenkainen's Disjunction trap, which is the entire Envy section, so I started from scratch and built the following. As the PCs enter the Envy wing of Runeforge:

The PCs walk down the hallway and see an intermittent flash of light from up ahead. Moving forward to investigate, they see a large room with a floor of alternating black and white tiles (like a vast chess board). The far wall has stairs up to an overlooking gallery/balcony, and a section of the wall by those stairs looks melted and fused, but appears to be made of some silvery metal. (And I wait until the entire party ventures into the room to investigate, or else commits to waiting in the hallway while others investigate - and there's no real reason for everyone not to enter, so you can assume they all will go in and investigate.)

Once the PCs are all in the room, there's a brilliant flash of light that envelops the PCs, and as it retracts and races up the steps and down a hallway off that balcony, it has all their magic items floating within. The PCs have any non-magical clothing and gear they were wearing and/or carrying (unless it was contained within magic items that have been taken, such as bags of holding), and nothing else.

And now the PCs much traverse a gauntlet that is designed to challenge and humiliate those setting off the trap, for the amusement of the creators of the trap. The hallway leads to a wide room bisected by a gap, with flat pillars of varying widths forming a sort of path (leap from pillar to pillar) across, and with lots of spiky metal bits about 30 or 40 feet down, to skewer anyone who fails a jump. (The DCs are set to be possible but difficult for the PCs without magic gear - and several of the pillars are 10 feet wide to allow multiple PCs to stand on one and Aid Another, but not to get running jumps once they've made the first leap. Eventually, after taking some damage, they get across. Powerful air elementals punish anyone who tries to fly, knocking them back toward the beginning, but don't bother anyone who is standing/jumping/falling.

Next the PCs enter a wide cavern with no floor, and narrow rope-and-board bridges that link to one another and connect pillar/platforms. An obvious exit is seen on the far wall; the bridges close in onto a single path going to that exit. (I "drew" the map by placing popsicle sticks to stand for the bridges, connecting circles just large enough for one PC to stand on. Picture connecting the popsicle sticks as triangles, assembling enough to make a big triangle sig sticks long per side - the flat side forming the long side where they begin, the far point being the exit.) Again, air elementals punish anyone who tries to fly, but leave anyone on the bridges alone. As the PCs start moving across the room, strange mechanical spiders come out from below, and move toward the PCs to attack. If PCs are on a "circle" (pillar top), the spiders make normal attacks - if the PCs are on a bridge, the spiders damage the bridge, automatically cutting one end. (PCs can make a saving throw to avoid falling, then climb up the still connected end, but spiders will try to get there are cut that end, too...) Any PCs who fall (or are knocked out of the air while flying) fall through a "false floor" at about 50 feet down, and are teleported back to the entrance of this room to try again. Eventually, the PCs get everyone across.

The third room looks a lot like the second (identical popsicle-stick setup), except each bridge has a small plaque at the PC's end of it, announcing a challenge. Each bridge basically requires a choice between two skill checks to cross it - failure usually means taking damage, but in some cases (or failing by too much) might result in a fall. The skill checks are mostly reasonable, so the odds look not-too-bad.

The surprise comes once the PCs start crossing - as any bridge is used, it collapses, so no one can use that path thereafter. The PCs should eventually realize this means that only two bridges go to the exit, so the whole group won't be able to succeed... So they start crossing the room, doing the skill checks. When they get to the point where there are only 6 bridges forward, the plaques are different, and are meant to appeal to those embracing different non-Envy sins - Wrath, Greed, Pride, Lust, Sloth, and Gluttony. For example, "Only the Wrathful will succeed." These bridges are made of stone. When someone steps onto one of these bridges, a spherical force-field surrounds them until they pass the challenge, but each challenge is actually set up to make a person embracing that sin fail rather than succeed. So for example, the Wrath bridge entrant might be faced with an old woman holding a sword and looking terrified. If the PC slaughters her, they fail; if they speak to her, she begs them to spare her life, and if they then refuse to kill her, they succeed.

Failure means the bridge collapses with force field still intact, and the PC falls and vanishes. Success means the force field goes away, and the bridge collapses after tilting to deposit the PC on the end position. Anyone falling is deposited back at the entrance, just like room 2, but enough collapsed bridges means there's nowhere for them to go.

So eventually one (or maybe two) PCs make it across the final bridge of the third room, and enter a hallway leading into a fourth room. A placard over that doorway announces, "Thank you for providing us with Entertainment. Enter and beg nicely, and we may return your belongings." The room beyond has comfortable chairs and magical viewing screens to watch all the areas of the preceding gauntlet, and is surrounded by the living quarters of those who created this complex - and absolutely no one is there. (The inhabitants of this complex died out centuries ago.) All the PCs' magic items are in a jumbled pile next to two big red levers, one of which says "RESET" and resets any collapsed bridges, the other of which says "SAFE MODE" and locks the bridges and removes any dangers, allowing the remaining PCs to walk across the now-safe bridges and join whoever was triumphant.

And just to add final insult, there is a single exit from this set of rooms - an obvious door (on the other side, it's a very difficult to find secret door) that leads to the hallway right outside the first room of the Envy complex (where they would have first seen the intermittent flashing light in the tiled-floor room). So they could have bypassed the entire gauntlet if they'd searched for a secret door right before entering that first room.


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Final battle for Kingmaker. Not necessarily much of a spoiler, because I'm doing it a lot differently from the adventure. I'll be running this sometime in the next three weeks.

FULL DISCLOSURE - I'm converting the adventure path to 4E, which changes a number of player options considerably. (No easy way to get a whole party flying; push/pull/slide powers to reposition allies and enemies; completely revised stat blocks from the published adventure.) But the core ideas should port over to Pathfinder pretty well.

Slight Kingmaker Spoilers:
I decided to have the final battle take place in the Fable in the "tree" section, and I'm changing things so that the tree still is in its "infitite height tree-trunk" mode. (Nyrissa has noticed that several of the PCs aren't as effective against flying foes, and the party has no way to fix that at this point.) And created a "Nyrissa Simulacra" stat block - they've already faced the simulacra in a couple of fights and figured out she has simulacra running about, but three Nyrissas at once should be a surprise.

Okay, the battle will take place in an "infinite height tree" - thick branches radiate out from the trunk, and after they get out a certain distance, they start branching out in smaller branches and leaves that become impenetrable blocking terrain, effectively turning the battlefield into a very tall cylinder with bridges (branches) radiating outward from a central column (impenetrable tree trunk).

So the complicated part - to do the "battle-map" I'm putting a height-track on the table. (Position minis according to their comparative height up the tree.) They have to venture out onto the branches (because the tree trunk takes up the center area). Rather than specifying exact positions of every branch, the players will choose their distance from the tree, and the quadrant (north, south, east, west). Take the max distance in each dimension (height difference, each distance out from trunk center in perpendicular quadrants OR subtract those distances out if same quadrant OR add them if opposing quadrant but apply partial cover) and plug into a simple formula to determine distance between foes.

The BBEG, and two identical simulacra of her, will be flying around (only semi-successfully avoiding flying within melee reach of people standing on the branches). The PCs will need to move about in the 3D environment, probably taking advantage of push/pull/slide powers to help the melee folks engage the enemy - and they'll have to deduce which BBEG is the real thing and which two are the simulacra. (The real BBEG has different attack bonus, damage expressions, and some other differences to help them figure it out. But she can also teleport and re-confuse the issue if things seem to be going too fast.)


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The front section of pages in my copy of AP#79 (The Half-Dead City) are coming loose from the binding. I've taken a photo and sent it to customer.service@paizo.com - is it still possible to get a replacement copy?


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You should be aware that as you start the kingdom building process, the kingdom is extremely fragile. An event like this can cause the kingdom to fail very easily. Later on when the kingdom has multiple cities, the various rolls mostly become "only fail on a 1" - but in the beginning, that's not true at all.

So particularly in the early months, don't feel like you have to go by exactly what the event says. If this is your first session, the kingdom can't be that big yet. So a plague is probably a bunch of people sick in the capitol city, right?

Give the players a chance to role-play finding a cure. Maybe there's a temple in Restov that would be willing to send help, in exchange for having one of their priests placed on the ruling council. Maybe there is a fey creature they can learn about from one of their allies, who can provide them with a special plant that can be used to cure those who are sick? Maybe a Gyronna cultist is bringing infected blankets and distributing them to the poor to create unrest, but the cultist has a stockpile of the needed cure in her cellar (since she doesn't want to get sick herself).

In other words, create a quick mini-adventure, let the PCs solve this one like adventurers, and then give them a Loyalty boost (instead of penalty) for their quick action during this difficult time, and remove all the Unrest for the same reason. And let the players think this was just a sneak preview of how tough things might get someday if they don't take care of their kingdom well.


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This is an interesting discussion. I'm prepping the first chapter of Mummy's Mask right now, and I've actually added a warning to my players that there are surprisingly frequent opportunities for interaction in that adventure. ("Surprising," because the initial concept sounds like a lot of dungeon delving, and so they might not think they need to build characters that are equipped for social scenes.)

Then again, my group likes to stop and talk to almost everything. When I ran Fortress of the Stone Giants, they did most of the exterior and ground-level without a single fight, by intercepting and recruiting a bunch of different factions. (They did gain an entire character level during that time. Okay, they did about half a level-worth, and then the running joke took over. "Let's see if we can get to next level without rolling initiative," someone challenged. And I ran with it, building on the info in the adventure. It was awesome!)

I think many of the adventure paths really do make this possible, if you can get yourself to set aside the monster stat blocks and allow other options when the opportunity arises. And yes, if you can ignore the "fights to the death" statement that is so common in Morale entries. Admittedly, if you spend a lot of time updating stat blocks and working on the combat-prep, this can be really hard to do.

Oddly, I think that "fights to the death" is made necessary by the long stat blocks and strict limits to word count. If something doesn't fight to the death, then you need at least a couple of paragraphs explaining what it wants and how it should interact. And you might need info on what happens later if that creature survives the adventure. If something "fights to the death," that's all the author needs to say. And that doesn't mean I am required to have the creature fight to the death - it just tells me the adventure assumes the creature is unlikely to survive, so if they happen to survive anyway, it's up to me to figure out what to do with them, but I don't have to worry that the next chapter will have further info about them and contradict whatever I came up with.


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So are the castle maps/floorplans in the revised version the same layout as in the original?


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Character Name: Harsk
Role Card: Tracker
Skill Feats: Dexterity+2, Wisdom+2
Power Feats: or bottom card, recharge a card to add 1d4+2, Gain the skill Divine Wisdom +1
Card Feats: Ally+2, Blessing+1
Weapons: Longbow +1, Dagger +1, Returning Throwing Axe +1, Shock Longbow +1, Venemous Dagger +1
Spells: -
Armors: Snakeskin Tunic
Items: Holy Candle, Masterwork Tools, Crown of Charisma
Allies: Vale Temros, Sage, Father Zantus
Blessings: Calistria, Erastil, Iomedae, Shelyn, Shelyn, Torag

Character Name: Lem
Role Card: Virtuoso
Skill Feats: Dexterity+1, Charisma+3
Power Feats: Weapons, recharge to add 1d4+2, by you or another
Card Feats: Weapon+1, Spell+2
Weapons: Deathbane Light Crossbow +1, Heavy Crossbow
Spells: Lightning Bolt, Sanctuary, Haste, Cure, Find Traps, Augury
Armors: -
Items: Wand of Enervation, Sihedron Medallion
Allies: Sage, Black Arrow Ranger, Black Arrow Ranger
Blessings: Calistria, Iomedae, Lamashtu, Pharasma, Shelyn

Character Name: Lini
Role Card: Shapeshifter
Skill Feats: Wisdom+4
Power Feats: Weapons, add 1d4+3
Card Feats: Item+1, Ally+1, Blessing+1
Weapons: -
Spells: Major Cure, Cure, Aid, Holy Light, Scrying, Scrying
Armors: -
Items: Medusa Mask, Sihedron Medallion, Amulet of Mighty Fists
Allies: Saber-Toothed Tiger, Snake, Cat, Toad
Blessings: Desna, Desna, Gorum, Iomedae, Lamashtu

Character Name: Valeros
Role Card: Weapon Master
Skill Feats: Strength+2, Intelligence+1, Charisma+1
Power Feats: +1 hand size, Add 1d4+2, You may use Melee in place of Ranged
Card Feats: Item+1, Ally+1, Blessing+1
Weapons: Flaming Mace +1, Impaler of Thorns, Icy Longspear +1, Bastard Sword +1, Longsword +2
Spells: -
Armors: Shield of Fire Resistance, Elven Breastplate, Elven Chain Shirt
Items: Spyglass, Crowbar, Staff of Minor Healing
Allies: Black Arrow Ranger, Brodert Quink, Shalelu Andosana
Blessings: Calistria, Gorum, Gorum, Lamashtu

No deaths. Amazingly, we've never lost a scenario - although I think we've finished on the last turn at least three times.


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During checkout, it didn't give me the option to have the first item held until next month's subscriptions. (I guess because this is a subscription itself.) Is that possible? Thanks!


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There are a handful of major trade routes defined in the Inner Sea World Guide, p.252-3. Most of them are shipping routes (sea travel or up and down the Sellen River); the one land route is the one that goes up over the Crown of the World. There's no map, but the descriptions are pretty clear if you compare them to the Inner Sea map.

I do wish the national write-ups listed major exports.


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From a couple of favorite books:

(The War God's Own, by David Weber)
The gods watch over many, many worlds, not just one. Those worlds aren't all in the same universe - the good vs. evil gods may be battling for supremacy over one another across many alternate versions of the same world. So their attention is divided. And if they act too directly, it can cause that entire universe/version of reality to splinter and collapse. Even the evil gods don't want that to happen, as it destroys their stuff. (It might even damage them to directly cause that sort of damage to a reality.) Therefore, the gods are limited to working through intermediaries (priest, paladins), and occasionally sending greater servants (heralds) to perform specific tasks.

(The Curse of Chalion, by Lois McMaster Bujold)
The gods don't exist as physical beings of this world - they're beyond mortality. From their perspective, the sufferings of mortals are seen differently. Horrible suffering that leads to death just means the soul passes on to its reward. Suffering in life is transient. Thus, although the good gods may be saddened by evil in all its forms, they take some of those forms of evil less seriously. They take a long view. They simply don't see the urgency required to intervene in many things that seem horrible to transient mortals. And when mortals move on to their reward, they can gain this longer perspective. The ills of mortality will no longer weigh on them.

Or for an idea of my own:
The gods are like parents. Not modern helicopter parents, constantly swooping in to fix every little inconvenience for their children. But busy adults with their own concerns, and with a desire for their children (i.e. mortals) to grow up strong. They want mortals to choose their own paths, learn from their mistakes, and make their own decisions. Only then can they grow. So mortals are left to the consequences of their actions, even when those consequences sadden the gods. Prayer may help one to bear one's burdens - it shouldn't be expected to make those burdens vanish. (Even clerics with powerful spells don't "win the adventure path" with a prayer and a spell - they gain help against the foes they face, so they can choose to go on to face fiercer foes.)


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I have to say, I love the idea of escalating Death Zone locations with a variety of different penalties.

Someone should create this!!!


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Well, I'm sorry it turned out that way. Differences in expectations between members of the group can cause a lot of frustration for all concerned - I think you did the right thing by walking away.

Hopefully your other group will go better.


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Okay, nobody would have died from this one, but it still would have been a huge setback.

Party is trying to convince the powerful fey critter that she can trust them with the McGuffin. She says she's worried that they'll go after the BBEG and fail, and then the McGuffin will fall into the BBEG's hands.

Most of the party does a great job of role-playing, each person making one statement to convince her that they have the ability to defeat the BBEG.

Then the one player loudly announces, "We'll die trying!"

Powerful fey replies, "That's what I'm afraid of." And they have to go through the whole conversation again.


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Yeah, I've run into that a few times in the past couple of years. I run Kingmaker, and give them a character background questionaire designed to help connect them to the story and to some of the major NPCs and plotlines I'm planning (particularly to the building strife in Brevoy). One of my players created a character from Vudra, with no connections to anyone in the area, and then proceded to sulk and act out when none of the major stories centered on her character. Eventually that character died in a way that she couldn't be brought back, so the player created a new character - and even though we had talked by that point about why her prior character wasn't working for her, she created another not-connected-to-anything character concept.

Sometimes players don't think about how their choices interact with the story or the world - they're too focused on whatever cool build they've come up with, or they're too excited about some set of character-creation options they've never had the chance to play before.

For my upcoming campaign, I'm providing about a dozen bullet-points with restrictions on character creation, just to keep people "in the ballpark" for the campaign. They include race and alignment restrictions, among other things. Some of them are possibly too restrictive - but I'd rather have someone come to me and ask for an exception, and make their case (so we can work together on how to make it work), than risk having to deal with a disruptive character concept I didn't anticipate. Or a player that gets frustrated because their "cool idea" carries too much negative baggage (similar to your "persecuted planetouched") they weren't anticipating.


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Hawkmoon269 wrote:
I'm also wondering if there is a "story" reason they aren't locations. What exactly is a Death Zone in the Adventure Path story?

As I recall from the adventure, this is the section where the PCs climb to such a high altitude that they have to deal with real high-altitude issues - extreme cold, diminished to nonexistent air supply, and so forth.

I think it's okay to be at a closed stack, but if you do, you're not "moving forward" to get everyone clear of the death zone. And I suppose that works - because failing to complete due to the timer running out could be the equivalent of backing down the mountain instead of finishing the climb.

So - not seeing a reason why these are different from "Locations" other than there being no Location Card. Although I see Vic's point - if he'd categorically answered that way, someone would find an exception.


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Ahkhat is in the bestiary section in the back of the adventure.


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My FLGS sells a variety of sizes of white cardboard boxes for folks that play Magic and other collectable card games. One of the boxes has two "rows" for cards, and is about shoebox-sized. It is the perfect size to hold the entire game with all expansions, sleeved, plus and handful of index cards cut down to create dividers. It cost me only $3 or $4, I think.

Admittedly, there's no room for the dice (well, there is, but that's because I set them on top of some of the cards when putting the game away). And there's definitely not room for the main rulebook without folding it, which I can't bring myself to do.

And when the Character decks come out, I'll need to figure out a separate storage solution for them.

But for the price, it's a real bargain, and it works beautifully.


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theLegend76 wrote:
That's the order where they just send you goblins with fireworks in a box. lol

Hey, they could make big money for that!


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Sara Marie wrote:
Whomp whomp. Went down about 10pm last night over a suuuuper complex order. I've restarted it and I'll check back again tonight.

I don't know why, but statements like this always sound like a challenge - "How complicated an order would I need to make, to bring down their order spawning system...?"


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Starting with 3rd edition (and including 4E and Pathfinder), PCs are able to trade loot for magic items - and can buy or make anything they can afford, with only some limits. So having lots of treasure directly increases PC power, which makes it necessary for GMs to increase the threats against them, which may increase the rewards PCs earn, and so on, and so on. Giving too much treasure literally breaks the game.

In 1E, there's only so much you can do with a million gold pieces. And buying a fantabulous magic sword isn't one of those options.

Interestingly, the default assumptions of 5E remove both the magic item dependency, and the ability to buy or make magic items.


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I'm prepping to run this AP, and one concern I have is that if one of the other groups mentions problems they're having with their assignments, my players may decide to help them. My players are like that. And that means I might need one or two additional sites for the lottery assignments those other groups receive.

I know, I could just dissuade them - but if they want to trade favors or make friends, why discourage them.

So, does anyone know of any published adventures that are good options for this? Maybe from Pathfinder Society scenarios? They don't have to match the excellence of the sites in the first adventure, but they should be (1) thematically appropriate to Osirion, (2) reasonable to place inside the boundaries of Wati's necropolis, and (3) preferably, relatively short (no longer than the first two sites in chapter 1).


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Harsk refers to Lini and Lem as "the kids." Although he also seems to be developing a sweet spot for Lini, so he doesn't say it when she's at the same location as him.


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They're returned to the box, but they're not "banished." (The only difference being, if you are playing the later scenarios where you can remove cards from the game if you banish them, you can't remove cards from the game that you return-to-box between scenarios.)


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Did the PCs already encounter the Scorched Hand? Do the players even know about them?

If not, just alter the Scorched Hand timeline entirely, so they're only now making their first (or second) expedition. Maybe they didn't learn anyone was exploring it at first, or maybe they were followed by a group of suspicious Pharasmins and couldn't get there without being caught for a few days. They might even have run afoul of something dangerous that did ability damage while on their way, and had to retreat for an amount of time similar to the PCs'.

Unfortunately, if the PCs (or the players) know the Scorched Hand were there, then you really can't do this. If the PCs discover the Ahkhat's controlling stone, you might allow them to talk to the Ahkhat (maybe they can find a scroll of Comprehend Languages if they don't have someone that can communicate in Ancient Osiriani; or maybe you could allow the Ahkhat to communicate to one of them telepathically, showing images of the people who came before and looted the place). That could give them descriptions of the Scorched Hand - and from there, the PCs might come up with some way to go after the NPCs.


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Yes, if there's something that we need to tell our retailers, that would be good to know.

I buy through my FLGS, but they didn't even get the promo for the last deck - they're not sure why. Makes me wonder if the distributer is keeping them back and selling them instead. So if there's a "retailer kit" - my FLGS doesn't currently know about it, and they'd really like the info.


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I have a player in my group that, in any given situation, will always come up with the worst possible thing to do - and do it. And she's incredibly stubborn.

They were in Magnimar, and had figured out that a bunch of the noble families were being mind-controlled and used by some strange cult. They found their way to the cult headquarters. They realized that wholesale slaughter of a bunch of nobles would cause them major problems, and they found strong evidence that the nobles never acquiesced to being in the cult or being controlled - it was definitely something that had been done TO them. So the nobles were mind-controlled, dangerous, but innocent. Everyone was very clear on the mission - kill the aberrant beings running the cult, and use non-lethal damage on any humans in the place.

They get into the cult headquarters, and things are going well. Several aberrants dead, and at least a dozen humans have been taken out - and every time one goes down, I confirm "Alive or dead?" and they confirm they want the humans alive. (4E, so the person who strikes the final blow makes that call, and can do so regardless of type of attack, rather than tracking lethal vs. non-lethal damage.)

My stubborn player has been having a frustrating time, though - she keeps rolling 1s and 2s for her attacks. Finally, she throws a fireball at a group of humans and manages to hit several human cultists, dropping them below 0hp.

I reach to take the minis off the board.
DM: Alive or dead?
Her: Dead!
DM: Um, are you sure?
Her: Yes, dead!
Several other players talking over each other: We're supposed to... They're mind-controlled... Wait, remember... No, don't do th...
Her: Dead, dead, dead!
DM: Okay, they're dead.

She was really upset that when everyone else got a blessing for resanctifying the temple to Abadar, she didn't get that benefit. (Abadar apparently didn't like her murder of rich people.)

We can still get the whole group to laugh by reciting "Dead, dead, dead!" But even reminding her of that event won't make her reconsider one of her crazy decisions...


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Dave Riley wrote:

Oh, lucky! Ours suffered an unfortunate water casualty that caused the card to bend, making it pretty noticeable even to our untrained eyes (suffice it to say, we don't know which of our cards are first or second printings). Ironing and trying to flatten it didn't work. Thanks Hawk!

When I put the Character Decks in my card, it says they'll be put in the "sidecart" for my next subscription shipment. Is there a way to do that with non-preorder stuff? I'm in no rush to get the magazine, especially since we've just-about finished our campaign, I can take it whenever.

When you place the order, you have to click on the box labeled something like "Shipping" at the top. Then you'll see the option to ship as soon as possible, or to ship with your next subscription order. (The "Shipping" box is alongside those for Payment and Finalize Order - and sorry, I'm probably getting the exact wording wrong, but hopefully it's close enough to make sense when you see it.)


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I've just ordered mine.

Thanks, Hawkmoon!


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I'm probably 3 to 5 sessions away from finishing running Kingmaker, and trying to decide what to run next. I've narrowed it down to either Carrion Crown or Mummy's Mask - which is weird for me, since normally I wouldn't consider running an AP if I don't have all the volumes yet. And actually, I've only read through the first chapter completely, because the theme didn't initially interest me. So obviously, I found the first chapter compelling enough to make me want to run it.

The good:
1) The initial adventuring site is top-notch. During the first session of the campaign, the PCs get to investigate an amazingly cool, thematic tomb. I particularly love the broken-rope-and-victim, and the water trap. These are the sorts of things that can really create paranoia (the good kind!) in my players.

2) The differences in the three "dungeons" - perfect! Anyone who thinks there's too much the same going on here, really isn't thinking about what these three locations are going to feel like. One is a tomb with traps and dangers. The second is a house, telling the story of the fall of Wati. The third is a temple, with cool and thematic features, a mystery to make the players curious, and some NPCs to interact with.

3) I'm extremely impressed by the amount of thought that went into how to make this all make sense. The text tells us the politics behind the opening of Wati's necropolis. The adventure thinks about how the economy reacts to this activity - actually, it makes that part of the whole impetus for the adventure. I love the variety of people shown in the adventure, and I really think the adventure does a great job of creating the proper mood, and conveying to the GM and players what this setting is all about.

4) The stuff that needs work in the adventure is all stuff I like to spend my time on. Hard to quantify this one, but it's true.

I do have three bits of constructive criticism for Jim Groves (and probably for the Paizo editing team as well) - these are three things that seemed wrong to me as I was reading chapter 1. I'll admit the first two are fairly nit-picky.

1) As I read, I was disappointed that other adventuring groups participating in the lottery weren't described during the opening scene. It seemed like there should have been a sidebar, at least. Then, boom! after the first site exploration, we have a scene to interact with the other groups, and there's a section with some great detail! I totally understand why that takes place where it does in the adventure - but in the scene about the lottery, I really wish there'd been a statement along the lines of, "Later in the adventure, the PCs will have an opportunity to interact with some of the other teams - you can find details about them on page __."

2) Particularly in the second adventuring site, there are several different encounters where the "monster(s)" at first can be mistaken for scene dressing. Paizo's standard "descriptive text" leaves out any mention of the creatures in a scene, for reasons that have been discussed many a time. But in cases where the monsters might be mistaken for mere objects, they really need to be in the descriptive text, because if not (and if the GM isn't really on their toes) it's a big red flag to the players. read assorted well-written descriptive text, then say... oh, and there is a statue that looks like, um....

This particular issue is exacerbated when after several rooms like this, you find a room that has a skeleton in it. Just a normal, non-undead, unmoving skeleton. So of course it's in the descriptive text. And the exits to the room are described after that, so for any player well-used to Paizo standard room description policy, it obviously can't be anything but window dressing.

3) Okay, my only serious issue. I read through the adventure, then read the section with the important NPCs. The NPC write-ups seem to assume that the PCs are going to try to befriend/recruit some of those NPCs. On my first read-through, the adventure itself didn't do much of anything to indicate that this was important or desirable. I really found myself wondering if someone other than Jim wrote the NPCs - and if so, Jim, did you have access to the way they were written up when you wrote your chapter? Because it really felt like someone added all that afterward, and if so, they should have gone back to edit the scene where you first meet the NPCs to help encourage interaction with others besides their leader.


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Cpt_kirstov wrote:
It doesn't sound like you finished the replacement process. you need to ship the broken mini to them, and they replace it with another of the same rarity

Wait - what! They don't even provide you with a replacement of the same mini you sent them???

Bad enough that you have to pay the shipping back, so that for any but the most rare figures, you're better off putting that money into buying a replacement rather than making them correct their quality issues. But with "another of the same rarity," assuming you get the predominent perfect distribution in your case, you have exactly one of each rare, send them your one and only Feiya, and get - something rare. Wow!

Really makes me wonder why Paizo is partnering with them... They're not up to Paizo's standards for customer service. They're not in shouting distance. Frankly, they're not even on the same planet.


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Since crossing the gap to enter the cathedral is the first step in taking the Test of the Starstone, and the Test reconfigures itself for each person taking it - there shouldn't be any sort of floorplan, NPCs who visit (other than those who enter once, to die/vanish when they fail the test), etc.

You may want to take a look at:
http://pathfinder.wikia.com/wiki/Starstone_Cathedral

For what it's worth, I don't see any mentions in the newly-released Occult Mysteries. The best source material is probably Mythic Realms, although it's more about how to use the Test of the Starstone as a source of power for PCs using the Mythic rules, not really any info on the Cathedral itself.

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