The Article. Really brilliant but the TL;DR version the best viewing order for Star Wars that still includes prequels is
IV, V, II, III, VI.
After Empire Episodes II & III are an extended flashback and episode I is omitted entirely.
What are your opinions? Will you introduce your younglings to Star Wars Universe with this order?
So I'm fleshing out Chapter 2 of book 1, and I decided I want the climax to be a fight against the Son of the Sandpoint Devil. Now I have two choices.
Here's my options
1) The Son of the Sandpoint Devil is a Sandpoint Devil with the Young Template applied (along with some other adjustments) to bring him down to CR 7. With both the party and the key NPCs (Ameiko, Koya, Sandru and Shalelu) together fight the creature. With 9 characters I'm looking at an APL 4.25 party which against CR 7 puts it at the high end of its range. Furthermore the Devil will be at half hp. Should I give the Sandpoint Devil an extra half-action per round in order to balance the action economy slightly, or is it already a bit too dangerous for the party?
Son of Sandpoint Devil
This mangy pony-like beast walks perversely upright. Wings, a dragon’s tail, and a fanged mouth complete its vile appearance.
SON OF SANDPOINT DEVIL CR 7
Hellfire Breath (Su)
Caravan Battle Statistics:
The idea is that the players who each took a trait to link them to an NPC can control them for a combat, to make the NPCs feel more useful and part of the group as they take on a mighty beast together. My worry is that this could be the deadlier option.
2) Alternatively, a safer option is to use the Red Mountain Devil from Serpent's Skull #1 (altered slightly). This is a CR 5 monster, so a challenge for the APL 2 party (APL 3 if they bring along Shalelu). While still dangerous far less punishing.
The Son of the Sandpoint Devil CR 5
Giant winged chupacabra (Pathfinder Adventure Path #19 78)
CE Medium magical beast
Init +6; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision;
AC 15, touch 13, flat-footed 12 (+2 Dex, +1 dodge, +2 natural)
hp 51 (6d10+18)
Fort +8, Ref +7, Will +4
Speed 30 ft., fly 60 ft. (average)
Melee bite +9 (1d6+3), 2 hooves +9 (1d4+3)
Special Attacks chupar, pounce
Str 17, Dex 14, Con 16, Int 3, Wis 15, Cha 16
Base Atk +6; CMB +9; CMD 22
Feats Dodge, Flyby Attack, Improved Initiative
Skills Acrobatics +10, Fly +7, Perception +7, Stealth +10
Languages Abyssal, Varisian
Bay(Su): When the Sandpoint Devil screams as a standard action, all creatures within a 300-foot-radius spread must succeed on a DC 15 Will save or become frightened for 2d4 rounds, or shaken for 1 round on a successful save. This is a sonic, mind-affecting fear effect. Whether or not the save is successful, creatures within the effect are immune to the Sandpoint Devil’s bay for 24 hours thereafter. The save DC is Charisma-based.
Breath Weapon: Once every 1d4 rounds as a standard action the Sandpoint Devil can unleash a 20 ft. cone of flame, dealing 5d4 damage, Reflex DC 15 for half. In addition a character must make a Will Save (DC 15) or take a -2 penalty to attack rolls, saving throws and skill checks for a number of days equal to the damage taken. This is a curse effect that functions at Caster Level 6th.
Son of Sandpoint Devil II (Caravan Statistics)
In any case I'm honestly not sure which way to go. What do you folks think?
Monte Cook, Skip Williams, Jonathan Tweet and Danny O'Neil team up to build a trickster god's Megadungeon.
I backed this at the $175, so there will be one level co-written by me. So you know that's an incentive to back.
Traps are a problematic in Pathfinder. They are mostly a nuisance rather than an obstacle or an encounter. It's a problem that needs some rectification. At the same time, completely rewriting the trap rules will require rewriting the rogue, and the trap stat-block. Troublesome.
So I've come up with a solution that uses some existing rules but also still lets trap-finders shine, while keeping other characters invested.
When a trap activates, everyone in the area gets a Perception check vs the Perception DC of the trap, characters with Trap Sense may add this as a bonus to the Perception check. Those that succeed may act in the surprise round (roll initiative as normal characters with Trap Sense add their Trap Sense bonus to this Initiative Roll). The trap always acts on an initiative count of 10 + CR.
The players who succeeded on the Perception check now have a surprise round to act before the trap activates. Characters who passed the perception check know where the trap was triggered, and where the trap is likely to effect.
A character with Disable Device can attempt to Disable the trap in this surprise round by taking a -5 penalty to do the action hastily. A particularly complex trap may require a -10 penalty at the GM's discretion. A character with the Fast Disable talent may ignore this penalty (or take only a -5 penalty for particularly complex traps at the GM's discretion).
The Rule in Play
Merisiel, Amiri, Kyra and Seoni are exploring the Catacombs of Whut in Osirion (they are 5th level). They come across a chest, with weird writing on it which Seoni translates as the treasure of Keftet, the Quartz Prince.
Merisiel takes a 10 on her Perception Check, and identifies the trap, and the trigger (opening the Sarcophagus). She decides to Disable the Trap, except now horrid scarabs are crawling through cracks in the wall and floors (distracting the Rogue). Unable to take 10, she needs to roll, and sadly gets a natural 1, even with her bonus she has failed the check by 5 or more accidentally activating the trap.
Perception checks are rolled: Amiri, Merisiel and Kyra all succeed vs DC 20. Seoni, still distracted by the crawling scarabs does not realize the danger she's in.
Amiri goes first, with Seoni oblivious she tackles the sorcerer out of the danger zone.
The Block has its turn:
It attacks the two targets - Merisiel (Not flat-footed thanks to Uncanny Dodge, and having acted in the surprise round: AC = 19). Falling Block 1d20 + 15 ⇒ (6) + 15 = 21 and Kyra (heavily armoured as she is she has an AC of 20), the falling block rolls 1d20 + 15 ⇒ (10) + 15 = 25.
Ouch! Both girls take 6d6 ⇒ (5, 3, 6, 2, 2, 5) = 23 damage, and the Mummies in the next room get a Perception check to hear the commotion.
Compare that to Regular Play
A trap gets triggered, the GM makes a couple of attack rolls, then some damage rolls and that's that. The players get pinged for damage due to one bad roll and we move on to the next encounter.
The party doesn't get to make any decisions of their own. This rule adds gameplay, and choice and that's the heart of good role-playing and exciting encounters.
Taking 10 and Taking 20
Another useful thing is the Take 10 and Take 20 rules. Rather than making your player roll (or roll in secret) insist that they can either take 10 or take 20 to search for or disable traps. Now whenever the player chooses to take 20, warn them that there is a chance of a Random Encounter (I say 25%, increasing by 20% every time the player takes 20). The more time players take in the dungeon the more of a chance a monster might stumble across them. Again this is about choice, do you take a cursory look over everything and risk failing against a particularly nasty trap, or do you take your time and risk alerting the dungeon to your presence?
Now for this to work it means you occasionally need to throw in traps of a much higher CR (APL +2 or +3) at the party. That way the players don't automatically spot every trap they stumble across. If the Rogue player has thrown everything they have into Perception (racial bonus, plus skill focus and alertness etc) then don't punish that player. They have spent resources to be great at the trap finding niche, let them take their 10s to find traps even beyond the normal range. Disabling such traps are still a tricky endeavour.
The only time you want the PCs to roll is if they are stressed or distracted. Disabling a trap to continue down a corridor because you're being chased by a raging ogre requires a roll. Disabling a trap while holding your breath underwater requires a roll.
Otherwise the character should take 10 or take 20.
Hi all, just thought I'd take time to post feedback on a game I ran tonight. Home modem conked out so this is posted from my iPhone. Excuse typos/poor formatting.
Encounter 1- Blue Eyed White Dragon
Riding a flying sleigh to the First World North Pole the PCs were deputized by an elf as official "helpers" and were given ambrosia laced Sugar Plums granting each 3 Mythic tiers.
The sleigh is attacked by an Invincible Young Adult White Dragon. Amiri uses leaping attack to wrestle it down with a spectacular grapple check. Lirianne takes control of the sleigh and crashes it into the dragon. Merisiel takes no AoO flanks and sneak attacks.
Toy Store Collapse, Bleached Snipers
The villain himself steps out Vital Strikes Lirianne for 50+ damage. Promptly murdered next turn. Mythic Vital strike seems deadly in monster hands.
More tomorrow. Am sleepy.
I will definitely weep manly tears if my item doesn't make it through.
I've been pondering it for a long time. I forced myself to move away from the idea and look elsewhere to make sure it was the best. Yet it came in a flash of inspiration and has seen many hours of perspiration. Figuratively because of all the time I put in, and literally it's really hot down in Australia at the moment.
It's an exciting item that does something I haven't seen before. It has a really great visual appeal and is something I could see many adventurers wanting to have handy.
I'm waiting for it to be proof read before I look over it again one more time. Then it's submission O'Clock.
An idea I always wanted to try was giving players traits for completing chapters of the AP (not books, discrete chapters of the books). These relatively minor perks reflect the PC's experiences throughout the campaign and help shape the characters and their relationships with the NPCs around them.
At the end of each Chapter of the AP you'll earn Chapter Traits. Chapter traits are small perks that give your characters small bonuses that will a) increase your relationship scores with your allies and b) provide a perk for your character. At the end of each chapter you may choose one Chapter Trait.
Chapter 1 - The Brinestump Marsh
In thanks for your help with the imposter Walthus helps you raise a hatchling viper from birth.
Benefit: You have a viper except the poison deals Dex damage. The viper is trained for Performance and knows the following tricks (come, fetch, heel, perform, and stay). Furthermore your training with the viper has given you a resistance to venom and gain a +1 trait bonus to saves vs. poison.
Shalelu's Goblin Slaying Tips
Sandru's Fencing Lessons
Ameiko's Tian Lessons
Rat Bitten Twice Shy
COUNT DRACULA CR 12/MR6
Male Human Mythic Vampire (nosferatu) fighter 11
N Medium humanoid
Init +5; Senses Perception +22, Darkvision 60 ft., Low-light vision, scent
So this is my first attempt at creating a mythic monster, and I decided to start with Count Dracula. I took the General NPC from the GMG, added the Nosferatu Template and the Mythic Vampire template. It took me about 1 hour to put this together (and I double checked the math but I could be wrong). Some things to note:
A CR 12/MR 6 creature should be roughly equivalent to a CR 18 monster, but Dracula's damage and hp are paltry when compared to the Monster Statistics table. Damage and hit-point wise he's closer to a CR 13 creature although the DR 15, Channel Resistance +12 and fast healing 5 might mitigate that.
He also has a BOATLOAD of special abilities to keep track of:
He has 6 mythic points to spend, either on adding to rolls, or on his three mythic feats (Dodge, Vital Strike and Spring Attack). His treasure is for a CR 12 NPC. With his Children of the Eclipse ability he should never be found alone, although I doubt ghouls would be much of a danger to higher level PCs, Shadows are a problem at any level with their incorporeal touch attacks and strength drain.
Anyway please critique, double check my maths and feel free to use in your own playtests.
Mythic Setting Ideas:
So before I jump into the Mythic Playtest I feel I can't do Golarion justice with mythic quests before book 6 of any AP. It's an old world mentality but there it is. So I've decided I'll run adventures in one of the following settings. Mythic from the ground up.
The Church of the Martyr keeps their flock safe from heresies such as vampires, werewolves, mummies and Sasquatches. Most assume through their Inquisitorial arm. But there is a secret dagger the Church keeps tucked away, a group tainted by creatures of the night, dhampyr, shifters, changelings, doppels, gillmen, tieflings. Creatures with enough humanity to care for the innocents, but enough monstrousness to be damned. When all else has failed, when all is lost Bad Blood is called to deal rescue the innocent.
Inspirations: BPRD, Hellboy, Van Helsing, Angel, Buffy, Monster Squad!
This is easily the best podcast to ever be cast into the crazy ether. I hope you folks are all listening while you wile away your work hours. You should check them out
They've also got a Kickstarter for a Graphic Novel & Concert Film going at the moment. You can check that out HERE.
I can't get enough of Beyond Belief! I JUST CAN'T OKAY!
"When does a story begin? Does it begin Eon's ago when the gods chose mortals over great and noble spirit kind? Does it begin a century ago when those noble beings who rebelled escaped their unjust prison? Does it begin decades ago when my evil became LAW? Does it begin years ago when a ship lost in a storm crashed into a murky swamp? Does it begin weeks ago when pathetic goblins discovered the explosive secrets inside? Or did it begin days ago when a band of friends escorted a caravan down a lonely coastal road?"
12 Rova 4712
The ride down Lonely Coast Road was relatively uneventful and the trade of goods with the Magnimar merchant went smoothly. Ameiko Kaijutsu was beginning to suspect the rumours of violent goblins from Brinestump were exaggerations. She was about to proclaim as much when suddenly a firework exploded!
The horses were spooked, and the guards and friends she had hired were about to earn their pay. Goblins burst forth from bushes and trees, firing arrows and attacking with their scrap metal weapons.
While Sandru Vhisky and Ameiko Kaijutsu tried to get the wagon horses under control, and Koya Mvashti complained about the bumpy ride. The party had problems of its own.
A goblin leapt out of the tree (with a natural 20 on it's acrobatics check) doing a sweet backflip and landing behind Darktread the exiled ninja of the dragon clan. The goblin and the ninja exchanged blows back and forth.
The Half-Elf Druid Mordred worried about his foster mother, rushed towards the wagon horses and attempted to soothe them. Ordering his battle-cat Avalon to kill as many goblins as she could. The horses' panic was great and so Mordred leapt atop one of the steeds and with the aid of Ameiko & Sandru managed to stop the caravan before it careened off the path. Avalon crushed a goblin skull in its jaws with ease.
Garfaz Starclaw's horse had panicked. The Tengu Samurai was cool under pressure using his reigns to calm the horse and steer it towards the goblin menaces to the East. The goblins, despite being under attack from a giant cat decided to team up against their dreaded horsy enemy. Garfaz's blade destroyed any goblin it could reach.
Brando "Little Cat" Tormir another of Koya's wards, and a ranger to boot charged in sword-first killing a goblin with skill and ease.
Shalelu was under assault by a small pack of goblins who recognized her as a slayer of their kind. Hoping to return the favour she had once done him, Cale Anders charged into the fray destroying a goblin with one swift strike. While Ameiko's younger half-elf brother Rorrin Kaijutsu used minor magics to attack the goblins.
The battle was a tricky thing, but the skill of the caravan guards won out. Two pieces of treasure stuck out:
The party spent the evening at the Rusty Dragon talking to their allies. Darktread's legendary bar-tab growing even larger. As Ameiko and her younger brother Rorrin tried their hardest to puzzle out the ancient Lantern. Rorrin's arcane studies served him well as he came to the realization that the Lantern could generate magical light, and magic items with a certain Arcane Kanji would glow if the light covered them. Curious Ameiko charged the PCs with dealing with the Goblin Problem, and perhaps discovering the source of their strange magic items. The mark read Amatatsu, but whatever the word meant seemed to have lost meaning for the characters, as if the knowledge was a song they once knew but could no longer even hum the tune to.
The night ended with a Fortune Reading by Koya, the cards predicted danger in the coming days particularly mentioning the players should "beware the dead". That much would be lost, before much could be gained, and a land freed from bondage and slavery. Ameiko extracted a promise from Darktread to make sure Rorrin returned home safe, she had already lost her father, and her older brother the previous year. She didn't want to lose the last member of her family to goblins or worse things that might reside in the Brinestump. She entrusted the lamp to Rorrin, in the hopes that he might be able to use it to track down further Tian artifacts in the Swamp.
13 Rova 4712
The party spent the next morning buying some supplies with the payment they had earned guarding Ameiko's caravan, and arming themselves with knowledge about the Brinestump swamp (what little there was to learn). Shalelu warned Cale of a creature that stalked the swamps. A Soggy River Monster had been spotted by farmers, with a face that opens sideways. Koya gifted her wards with potions, telling them to be careful and to visit an old friend of hers, a halfling named Wolthus who knew the swamps passing well who might be able to lead them to the Goblins. She recommended a gift of tea, to make him more likely to share his aid. While Cale learned from a shopkeep that Wolthus was fond of snakes, keeping many as pets.
They travelled overland by foot, reaching the New Fishing Trail by mid-afternoon. The swamp itself was dark, wet and creepy. The first bridge they crossed revealed an ambush predator, a Belostomatid. The creature's paralytic venom, and mighty claws nearly killed Mordred's faithful kitty Avalon. Fortunately some lucky strikes from Brando and Garfaz ended the creature before it could make a meal of the cat. Darktread and Rorrin barely entered the fray. "It's too dangerous! For my bar tab!"
The rest of the old road was easy enough to traverse, and it wasn't long before Walthus' shack came into view. Rorrin and Cale volunteered to speak to the halfling, after a protracted period of knocking the halfling finally answered the door. Haggard and exhausted, he appeared to suffer from many snake bites, and he seemed completely uninterested in tea. Perplexed, Cale asked the others to scout the perimeter of the house for anything unusual, while he knocked a second time.
Realizing he was outnumbered the imposter attempted to make a dash for it, but the kiss of Galfaz's razor-sharp katana meant the Faceless Stalker was dead within half a dozen paces, landing in two clean halves before he realized he was dead. After a search of the home, the party discovered the real Walthus hiding within. Though he had no specific knowledge of the Brinestump Goblins, he knew someone who did. Old Megus, a witch of some skill who resided at the end of The Witches' Walk. He offered the party his hospitality, and a cloak of resistance as payment for his rescue.
Quotes of the Night:
Mordred: "I use all my potions and healing magics to heal my kitty to full health."
Walthus: "Where's that thing! That imposter?"
MVP: Cale Anders, for using great tactics against the bug, and realizing the imposter.
Funniest Player: Darktread for refusing to allow Rorrin to get into any danger whatsoever.
Honorable Mention: Galfaz, for killing things with style.
Current XP: 468
Finished it today, it's a really great side-scrolling stealth 'em up. Providing perfect visual cues for sound travel and lighting.
This game makes you feel like a ninja in a way no other game has.
Grab it for Xbox Live if you're into that kind of thing.
Okay so I'm running Jade Regent in about a month. I'm going to run We Be Goblins as a Prequel, and use Clark Peterson's excellent introductory prologue.
But this game is going to be running in 6 hour sessions only once or maybe twice a month, so that means I'm going to need to put together a more focused experience than the AP assumes.
If I changed JR to the Fast XP track, what encounters/story elements would you cut to keep things going?
Hey all, with the great big Seabox that Skull & Shackles is there's an opportunity to insert a bunch of great 3.5 era Dungeon Magazine adventures.
Be aware that even if you don't want the adventures there's some great maps to be found in these issues and many of them can be downloaded FREE.
Also I'm putting stars on the titles I'm most likely to convert and use myself (keep an eye on my various Dudemeister's S&S threads for those conversions). The others are here for GM inspiration.
With Paizo's big sale on here's some adventures I'll be using adapting and borrowing:
Dungeon 104* - Dragon Hunters (Level Range 5-10)
I just really like this adventure
Dungeon 105* - The Stink (Level Range 2-7)
Could easily be set in one of the larger ports around The Shackles.
Dungeon 106* - Tammeraut's Fate& Pirate Seacave Stronghold Map (Level Range 6-10)
Possible Sequel to Cracking the Rock in Book 2
Dungeon 107* - Freeport: Dead Man's Quest (Level Range 1-5)
The Return of Captain Morgan!
Dungeon 111* - Strike On the Rabid Dawn (Level Range 15-20)
Secret Asmodean Cultists among the pirates and the PCs must stop Asmodeus' Herald from being called to the fray. This fits so perfectly I might spit.
Dungeon 114 - Torrents of Dread (Level Range 6-10), Backdrop: Isle of Dread
If you're going to drop the Isle of Dread anywhere, the Shackles is the place to do it.
Dungeon 118* - Box of Flumph (Level Range 1-5)
FLUMPHS! 'Nuff Said... oh alright, another great ship map, a great map of a port town and probably something I'll use to expand Rickety's Squibs.
Dungeon 121* - The Styes (Level Range 7-12)
An incredibly popular adventure that could be placed anywhere in the Shackles.
Dungeon 123* - Salvage Operation (Level Range 1-5)
Dungeon 125 - Seekers of the Silver Forge (Level Range 15-20)
Replace Gith with Gillmen, add some Aboleths, and Gol-Ghan references to taste.
Dungeon 130 - Map: Jungle Trading Port
Within the Circle is a great low-level adventure, and if you plan on running Jade Regent then Palace of Plenty should give you more bang for your buck.
Dungeon 137 - The Spider Eaters (Level Range 1-5)
A Pirate Island, and some sexy spiders.
Dungeon 138* - The Weavers (Level 9-11)
Highly regarded Sequel to the Styes
All of the following have bits for the Savage Tide Adventure Path: A great AP and you should collect everything from 139-150 anyway it'd make a great Sequel to Skull & Shackles you can force one of your players to run (or make 'em walk the plank).
Dungeon 139** - There is no Honor (Level Range 1-5)
Great maps, Parrot Island!, Pirate Ship Map
Dungeon 140 - The Bullywug Gambit (Level Range 1-5)
Great Maps, awesome encounters
Dungeon 141 - The Sea Wyvern's Wake (Level Range 1-5)
(Great for Random Sailing Encounters)
Dungeon 142 - Here there be Monsters (Level range 7-11)
Nothing particularly piratey about this one, but some great island exploration encounters.
Dungeon 143 - Tides of Dread (Level Range 8-11) Backdrop: Farshore
Steal some encounters
Dungeon 144 - The Lightless Depths (Level Range 9-13)
Some neat Aquatic Encounters
Dungeon 145 - The City of Broken Idols (Level Range 14-16)
Taboo Island works well as a Gol-Ghan ruin.
Dungeon 146 - Serpents of Scuttlecove (Levels 13-20); Backdrop: Scuttlecove
Again some good maps and great encounter ideas.
Dungeon 147 - Into the Maw (Levels 16-19)
A little Piraty, and a good way to expand beyond the campaign as written.
Dungeon 148 - Wells of Darkness (Level 17-20)
Nothing particularly piraty about this one, useful for expanding beyond the AP.[/spoiler
Dungeon 149 - Twisted Night, Enemies of my Enemy (Levels 8-12 & 19-20) [spoiler]A nice Varnhold Vanishingesque adventure, and a little something to help you continue the campaign.
Dungeon 150 - Prince of Demons (Levels 20-21) [spoiler]Extraplanar Piracy![/url]
BONUS: Dragon Issues - More support and inspiration for Players and GMs.
Dragon 305 - Learn to Fight with Flair!
If there's any others you can think of or other adventures from 3pp, PFS adventures or Modules line modules that you think would make a good fit, post them below.
Yoho me hearties,
Prologue: One Misty Mourning
Rain spattered upon the deck of the Misty Mourner, the sailors eyed the Chelish Captain with wary suspicion. The Chelish Navy was powerful even in the free waters of the Shackles, and with the secret of gunpowder stolen from Alkenstar many a ship in the Chelish navy had found itself fitted with a powerful compliment of cannons.
"Everything seems to be in order, and I hope you find yourself sailing with fairer winds than these. Captain..."
The Chelish Captain walked up the gangplank back onto his boat. The crew breathed a sigh of relief.
Yet, just as the Captain Morgan was about to give the order to release the grapnels from his ship words could be heard over the patter of rain.
Four members of Morgan's crew leapt to, and needed little convincing to man the emergency boat. Lowering themselves down into the ocean the mighty half-orc woman, and an imperious looking Tengu began rowing with all their might. The hull of the Misty Mourner shattering to splinters in their wake. Then after less than a minute of bombardment. A mighty explosion caused the dinghy to bob from the waves. The Misty Mourner's powder had gone up, lit by Morgan no doubt, to give the boats more time to escape. Whether by luck or Besmara's blessing the sails of the Thrune's Fang II were burning and torn. Morgan's Crew had a small chance of survival.
The four aboard the dinghy were:
Peter Backbeard - Male Dwarf Witch: Hunting for the ancient secrets of Ghol-Gan, Peter signed on to the Misty Mourner under Captain Jonas Morgan in the hopes of meeting a contact in Port Peril about a map. A tiny dinosaur rests atop his shoulder, and his long back-hairs seem to move of their own accord.
Sally Dread-Morgan - Female Half Elf Buccaneer (Bard): A storyteller from Port Peril, Sally signed on to Captain Morgan's ship in order to learn the Captain's life story, and to learn if they were indeed related.
Buttons - Female Half-Orc Juju Oracle: Called by the wendifa to the ocean, Buttons is named so for the bizarre collection of buttons she keeps, some of which she sews onto raggedy dolls for her own inscrutable reasons. Captain Morgan took her aboard the ship believing "Having juju sea spirits on your side might be worth a button or two."
Samrow Seaspirit - Male Tengu Corsair (Fighter) - Signed on to Captain Morgan's ship in the hopes of becoming an officer, Captain Morgan hired Seaspirit to absorb the bad-luck aboard the ship (a job he is still doing aboard his new boat).
The days were long, and while they told stories over rum, to keep down the boredom, soon the rum was almost gone. They rolled the bones to determine who would get the last swig, and though Sally Dread-Morgan lost many of her fine possessions to her fellow boatmembers, the taste of rum was oh-so-sweet.
But then another day passes in the heat, without shade. Even watered, the unrelenting heat caused each to pass out in turn. First Samrow, insulated by his fine black feathers, then Sally, with her slight elf-blooded frame, and then Buttons passed out mumbling about the wendifa. Peter Backbeard was last, but upon the horizon he spotted a sea serpent?
Chapter 1: Welcome to the Sweet Trade
The crew of the Mourner found themselves rudely awoken by a savage looking man with a long black beard, and cracking a whip to punctuate his points.
Half-dazed the crew realized that they had been rescued from death by a crew of pirates, and there would be no illusions they had been press-ganged onto the crew.
The Mourners raced upstairs to the Main Deck where they learned that they served on The Wormwood under Captain Barnabas Harrigan, not that they would be speaking to the man. They were given to Mr. Plugg to shape into pirates as he saw fit. He quickly made it clear to the party that they were to obey without question and the smartmouthed Backbeard earned his first lash for insubordination at that point. Ordered to climb the rigging to determine who had the skill to serve as a Rigger on the ship, Buttons proved herself more than able to perform the task (rolling two twenties in a row to make the accelerated climb checks).
Plugg then asked for a volunteer to serve as cook. Backbeard volunteered, if only to get out from Scourge's zealous punishments. "If I find even one hair in my soup, I'll flay you alive got it." Threatened Plugg.
Sally Dread-Morgan, and the Tengu Samrow were made swabbies, their first task to catch rats below decks. Samrow tried to use the opportunity to look around, letting his work suffer severely (rolled a 2). Sally on the other hand worked diligently at her task to catch as many rats as possible.
Meanwhile in the rigging Buttons was having the time of her life making the repairs needed to keep the ship in sailing trim (rolled a 19 on her Dex check. Button's dex mod is -1.)
In the kitchen Backbeard bluffed Kroop telling the old cook that he was in charge. Kroop found that hilarious, and said: "Well then Master Cook, if you're so smart then you'll at the very least know how to fish for turtles. So why don't you go and do that." Working diligently Backbeard managed to catch enough Sea-Turtles to make stew that night.
The day seemed to pass quickly as the clock struck its terrible tone. Samnell was brought up for shirking his duties and received 3 lashes from the whip-happy Master Scourge. Then came the main event. A sailor by the name of Jakes Magpie was keelhauled, dragged beneath the ship on a terrifying deadly trip. The price paid for stealing from his crew-mates, by the end all that was left of him was a messed up mass of pulped flesh.
That evening Sally Dread-Morgan and Buttons drank deeply of their rum ration. Buttons fell almost immediately ill and rushed to a hammock to sleep off the booze. Sally slurred her way through their origin tale, drawing a few interested listeners among the crew, but no new friends. Samnell and Backbeard sipped their ration, and while Samnell went straight to his hammock in the hopes of sleeping off some of his wounds, Backbeard challenged the only other dwarf on the crew "Narwhal" Tate to an arm wrestling match. He used a touch of fatigue in the hopes of weakening Narwhal, but the Dwarf sailor seemed resistant to the magic. His strength though was no match for the mighty Backbeard, and the dwarf with the animated back hair one a pouch of gold and silver for his troubles. Still though, he was beginning to grow worried about the whereabouts of his familiar.
Thus ended the first day upon the Wormwood, the first of many to come.
Went to the midnight screening. It was the best Spider-Man movie ever made.
I want Emma Stone to be my high school girlfriend.
Martin Sheen made an awesome Uncle Ben.
Andrew Garfield was a great Peter Parker.
Action scenes were kinetic, and it felt like a really tight movie.
So I've been thinking about the nature of combat in Pathfinder. If there's one point of contention I have it's Save or Die mechanics. So I've been thinking to a couple of The Alexandrian articles:
I've also been thinking about how Pathfinder handles Afflictions. Particularly Poisons, Curses and Diseases. I like the idea of using ability damage more regularly.
I've decided in my games that monsters are no longer going to have access to straight Save or Die effects, and instead such abilities would become ability score damaging poisons, curses or diseases.
Replace the Ghoul's Paralysis ability with:
Ghoul Paralysis Poison [Paralysis] Fort Save DC 11; Frequency: 1/round for 6 rounds Damage: 1d3 Strength Damage; Cure: One save.
If PCs fail their saves against the Ghoul Poison describe the feeling of weakness as the poison seeps deep into their flesh.
Replace the Medusa's Gaze attack with.
Medusa's Curse [Petrification] Fort Save DC 16; Frequency: 1/round for 6 rounds Damage: 1d6 Dexterity Damage; Cure: Two Consecutive Saves. Special: Any creature reduced to 0 dexterity from the Medusa's Curse is petrified.
As a PC fails their Fortitude saves describe the PC's flesh rapidly petrifying, and their clumsiness as first their legs, then their arms and eventually their bodies and head are transformed into rock.
Change the last line of text of remove paralysis to read: This spell restores all ability score damage lost to paralyzing effects.
Change the text of stone to flesh and add: This spell heals all ability score damage caused by a petrifying effect.
I'd love to change all Save or Die effects to ability score damage (or at higher levels drain), but who has the time?
Avast ye Scurvy landlubbers and harken to yon Cap'n Dudemeister (or face the edge o' me blade!).
I'll be runnin' Skull & Shackles in a couple of weeks time for some o' me crew here in the Pirate Port of Sydney. So I thought I'd share what changes I'll be makin' to the Adventure for me own edification and to give all those other Captains out there a map so they won't be sailin' blind!
First things first:
This is the guide I put together for my players. It operates under the assumption the scurvy sea dogs own a copy of Pirates of the Inner Sea, and the GM has access to yon Bestiary 3, and Ultimate Combat.
Second things next!
The new opening vignette, note I'll be doing this before we've even created characters completely.
The players need to discuss only the following with each other: What is their character's name? What is their race? What is their class?
Day 1: Sunk
If any of the PCs refuse to abandon ship Captain Morgan shakes his head and yells:"It's a Captain's duty to go down with his ship, but it's a sailor's duty to do as Captain commands!"
If a PC is still being stubborn, he knocks the blaggard out and tells the others.
"Get off the damn ship, I've kegs of powder in the hold and ye'll not survive the blast once I set her off. With any luck neither will those thrice-damned bastards on the Fang!"
At which point the PCs should run, or be dragged away by other members of Captain Morgan's crew. The PCs have their packs thrown to them as they land on the life-boat by the cabin boy.
As the PCs make their getaway the Misty Mourner explodes, and wooden shards are flung in every direction, including through the sails of the Thrune's Fang II.
It'll take take time for the Fang II to repair it's sails, perhaps enough time for the PCs to get away and perhaps find land....
Day 2: A Wake For Captain Morgan
The long night of rowing has taken its toll, you're exhausted and with no shade on the little dinghy the sun beats heavily upon ye. You might have enough food to eat for a few days, but water will be scarce, and of course boredom might drive ye mad first. Then it hits you, Captain Morgan is dead. He was a man of honor, or at least, a certain kind of honor. Still, there's a bottle of rum in the boat, and you can't go wrong with a wake for a Captain who sacrificed his life to save yours...
Each player should tell the story of how they met Captain Morgan (as determined by which Trait they choose). Particularly good stories earn the player a Swashbuckler point.
Day 3: Rolling the Bones
The rum is gone... the water, well that's mostly gone too. There might be one swig left in the little canteen. There's only one fair way to determine who gets the last of it. Rolling the bones. Ye'll use your possessions as the ante, and whoever has the least at the end gets one last swig...
At this point players will play the Rolling the Bones game as outlined in the Skull & Shackle's Advanced Player's Guide, and then complete their character sheets.
Day 4: Become a sailor they said... see the world they said...
Another day... passes
Have the PCs make Fortitude Saves. Describe each PC passing out from thirst and exposure in order from lowest roll to highest.
Then read the following:
Day 5: Welcome to the Sweet Trade
Begin the rest of the AP as detailed in Skull & Shackles #1: The Wormwood Mutiny.
I just want to start by saying I love the Skull and Shackles adventure path. I love pirates, I love the encounters and I love the piratey pirateness of it.
The thing is their reasons for doing like half of the quests seem nebulous at best.
I noticed it with the Cracking the Rock in book 2. Why would the PCs go there and do that? Because it's supposed to be good luck? They get an Island Fortress out of the dealio, but later on they can win and island anyway... assuming they want to?
The campaign assumes that one of them will eventually become Hurricane King of the Shackles. Nothing in the player's guide points to that as being a character's ambition. There's not a lot to show that the Hurricane King even needs replacing.
Please don't get me wrong you've written a lot of amazing scenes, and the first adventure has the strongest opening I've ever seen. The issue is that once the PCs have their own ship they seem to be able to pirate about without issue during book 2. Why would they even need a letter of Marque in book 3?
They're pirates, since when do pirates need a piece of paper to tell them they are allowed to pirate.
"So we'll just continue doing what we're doing then?"
There were a lot of "musts" in the blurbs of the AP, but I thought the team would sort it out. So far though I don't think the motivations provided are going to cut it.
I need stronger motivations to A) tie the PCs together, and B) Propel them forward through the AP.
This will be done by 1) Rethinking the Traits in the Player's Guide and 2) Better using recurring villains an characters to entice or draw players into the amazing encounter sites peppered throughout the Shackles.
What do other people think, are they seeing the same issues I'm seeing? Or have they not progressed far enough for these issues to become apparent.
One of the common complaints of the Wounds and Vigour system from Ultimate Combat is that it artificially lengthens combat (particularly at low-levels). A fair assessment when a goblin's hp jumps from 6 to 30.
I'm thinking of implementing this system in Skull & Shackles. So with that in mind, I've decided Wounds and Vigour are for PCs and important NPCs only.
Standard fights take the assumed amount of time. PCs can use their abilities as written and can enjoy the visceral thrill of critical hits.
Boss Monsters last longer: with wounds bosses don't go down like chumps in the first round while being woodpecker by PCs, they're made of sterner stuff. It means epic battles can last longer, and the boss gets a chance to show off his schtick.
PCs are special- they are after all the heroes of the story, and like John McClane can take punishment and still dish it out, albeit mostly while limping.
What do others think? A good compromise?
Hi all, the following is a document I gave to my players as they are approaching 11th level and thus 6th level spells. In my game spells of this magnitude can't just be picked up at any old library, they require that the PC trade either some of their own spells or some magic items of worth. Some of these are from the AP (and support articles), some are from Guide to the River Kingdoms and some are made up whole-cloth. If you guys want to add some new spell casters to the list feel free.
During their younger years as wizards first come into their power they are often ignored by their most powerful peers (except rarely to groom a protege or promising talent). At some point around the time a wizard begins to unlock their 6th level valences they usually need to start seeking out other spell-casters of ability to trade spells with. This is of course a difficult balancing act: Wizards are incredibly jealous of their spellbooks and do not treat the trade of spells lightly.
Now in no particular order:
Hollow Graves (Human Wizard 8) (Kyshahn)
Although not strictly speaking, a wizard of the 6th circle, Hollow is a member of the Pathfinder Society in good standing and thus capable of accessing centuries worth of ancient information. Of course the Grand Lodge in Absolom is some distance away from the River Kingdoms and such spells are expensive to procure. Hollow himself has actually devised a couple of lower level spells himself. One of which is described below.
Hollow Graves' Bookworm
School: Necromancy; Level: Sorcerer/Wizard 1
Razmir ( God? Wizard (Universalist?) 20 (possibly more)) (Razmiran)
Razmir is the ruler of Razmiran and a self-proclaimed living deity. In 4661 AR he appeared in lands which were part of the River Kingdoms claiming he had gained divinity through the Starstone. While he has no divine abilities, his incredible arcane power is enough proof of his godhood to many people. With his magic allowing him to reduce the city of Melcat to ash overnight, few can even question his immense power.
Castruccio Irovetti; The King-In-Iron (Human? ??) (Pitax)While Irovetti plays the extent of his abilities fairly close to the vest, his mastery of Clockwork devices and the ability to animate golems and other constructs is second to none outside the Golemworks in Magnimar. Whatever manner of spellcaster Irovetti is, an arcane spell caster would do well to get a peak at the wily king's spell archives.
Sorren Wightmane (Human Diviner 11) (New Stetven)Advisor to Nicolai Surtova, Candros is the eccentric advisor arcane to the Dragonscale Throne, currently under the control of the Surtova Family in New Stetven. Candros himself is uninterested in temporal politics, throwing his lot in with the Surtova in order to have a peaceful place to conduct his research. Strong in Divination magic it is said he has little regard for necromancy and illusion magic.
The Old Beldame ( Human? Witch ??) (Kyshahn)
A powerful witch and once the mistress of Katrina, the Old Beldame has retained much of her eldritch power by keeping her true name a secret. She often requires strange bargains from those who seek to deal with her. The frog-man Centripides wants her dead.
Imeckus Stroon (Human Evoker 12) (Drelev)
The brother-in-law of Baron Hannis Drelev, and the Magister of the Barony of Drelev. Detailed and analytical what he lacks in imagination he makes up for in diligence. He speaks softly and listens closely but when his ire is raised he does not hesitate to drop powerful evocations upon his enemies. He is rarely without his Dust Mephit familiar "Woodhouse".
The Wriggling Man (Transmuter ??) (The River Kingdoms)
Occasionally throughout the River Kingdoms a creature known as the Wriggling Man has been known to purchase powerful scrolls and magic items from the vendors in places such as Mivon or Sevenarches. Where the Wriggling Man resides nobody knows, those who have met him report thusly: "He wears an ivory mask, set in a constant frown. Few have heard his voice as he insists on only speaking telepathically. Worms have been seen crawling out of his robes and gloves on the rare occasion he's paid for things himself.
Vordekai (Cyclops Wizard (universalist) 20)
Although atrophied long before his death the Cyclops Wizard Vordekai once wielded great power. His crumbling spell books may be pieced together to learn some spells of even greater power. These books contain the spells: 6th - create undead, mage's lucubration; 7th - epidemic, create lesser demiplane 8th - binding, 9th - interplanetary teleport. The DC to learn each of these spells is increased by +10, and takes at least 1 week per spell level due to the ancient and esoteric manner in which they are recorded and difficulty of reconstructing them with modern magical techniques.
The Godmother (Fey)
Zool's mysterious patron seems to have some connection to the gnome, and the cold lands of Irrissen. Though the Irrisseni witches have a fearsome reputation, they are also known to make compacts with powerful cold-type fey. A spirit of winter might be amenable to such a compact.
Norauth the Withered (Enchanter 13) (River Kingdoms - Mivon)
Currently he resides in a Lizardfolk village south of Mivon, where he is attended by the tribesfolk there. Norauth was struck by a terrible withering curse which afflicts him from the toes up, and currently is unable to walk. Usually he is carried on a bier by his Lizardfolk allies, he desperately seeks a cure but so far the curse seems resistant to Divine means of reversal.
Thwm The Knowing Tree (Treant Wizard (Universalist 3/Druid 3/Mystic Theurge 8)) (River Kingdoms - Uringen)
Living somewhere in the Embeth Forest near Uringen, Thwm the Knowing Tree was said to have grown from an acorn that fell from the Tree of Stars. Ancient and patient he has been known to take students from many different races, but only the most patient and long lived have learned much of value.
Djenga of Oroskirr (Elf Wizard (Universalist) 14 (Iobaria)
Djenga is a wizard of some repute who seeks entrance into the impenetrable sphere of Oroskirr, she bends all her magic towards that goal. A wizard promising aid in her quest to do so would gain much in a trade with her.
The River Kingdoms are known to be home to many Hags, powerful monsters with potent casting ability. Although many of their deals may seem distasteful the potency of their magic can not be denied.
Naga (Wizards, Witches and Sorcerers)
There are many naga that call the swamps and rivers of the River Kingdoms home. Naturally magical Naga have been known to trade arcane secrets for treasure they might hoard.
Dragons (Wizards and Sorcerers)
Dragons are beings of pure magic, and Brevoy is lousy with legendary Dragons capable of weilding powerful arcane energies. Compacting with a Dragon is difficult to say the least. The white dragon Sjohvornor claims the northeastern Ice Steppes of Iobaria as his own personal demesne, and a canny wizard might be able to trade something for some of his arcane dragon secrets.
(Wizards, Sorcerers) Daemons are one of the most notoriously difficult outsiders to compact with, due to their nature as nihilistic eaters of souls. Still the Oculus of Abaddon makes a powerful bargaining chip for any caster wishing to bargain.
So Pathfinder does a lot of stuff great, its strongest suit has to be telling linear fantasy adventures, stories with distinct beginnings, middles and endings.
What if on the other hand you want to try something different?
How for example do you handle an In Medias Res opening where the players are up to their tails in trouble, and we cut back to the beginning to see how they got there.
Or Flashbacks when PCs reveal heretofore unknown aspects of their past?
Or Forgotten Tales - Adventures the PCs may have had between other adventures?
The problem with a power curve like Pathfinder is that it's difficult to jump around in narrative time without feeling disjointed.
So do any of you try anything different in your games? What works? What doesn't?
So there is very little I actually want to change in Blood 4 Blood, my post here is just to add options so that GM's who have groups that decide they want to use some Kingdom Resources to solve some problems can.
Blood For Blood is easily one of the strongest books in Kingmaker, with active opponents. I will post up rules about "Wandering Armies", as the Tiger Lords and Boggards patrol their territories en-masse, the PCs might want to put together a force to deal with that.
Boggard Warden Guerrillas
Boggard Warden Guerrillas CR 6
Small Army of Boggard Ranger 6
Hp: 37 DV: 18 OM: +8
Tactics: Taunt Special Resources: Giant Frog Mounts
Special Abilities: Swimming (+1 DV in marsh/swamp terrain)
Speed: 2 (No penalty in marsh/swamp terrain); Consumption: 7
Leader: M'bogo Priest (Cha +3)
Spellcaster: M'bogo Priest (4, 3, 2, 1)
Tiger Lord Barbarians:
Tiger Lord Barbarians CR 5
Large Army of Human Barbarian 4
Hp: 52 DV: 15 OM: +5
Tactics: Relentless Brutality (+5 OM/-2 DV) Special Abilities: Berserker Rage (1/combat Heal CR x 2 Hp, gain +2 OM/-2 DV for rest of Combat).
Speed: 3; Consumption: 5
Leader: Ameon Trask (+2)
Hero: Tiger Lord Bravo (CR 9)
I like bite sized ideas that can inspire bigger things. So I've started a blog to expand on the doodles I draw on napkins during my lunch break. I hope to update at least a couple of times a week and I'll keep folks updated right here.
I occasionally want to reskin a monster or present something a little unique. Often times the simple templates from Bestiary will do, but sometimes I want to give something a bigger twist.
So here are some for folks to use.
Rusted (CR -1)
Constructs with the "rusted" template have succumbed to corrosion and prone to malfunction.
Quick Rules: -2 on all rolls, -2 hp/hd. Add Staggered Condition.
Rebuild Rules: HP: -2 hp/hd AC Reduce Natural Armour by -2. Ability Scores:-2 Str, -2 Dex. Special Qualities:Staggered Rusted Constructs have poor reflexes and can only perform a single move action or standard action each round. A rusted construct can move up to its speed and attack in the same round as a charge action. Difficult to Wind: Any construct with the Winding SQ only remains active for half as long when fully wound.
Ectoplasmic (CR +1)
Native to the Ethereal Plane, Ectoplasmic Creatures are formed from the very matter of the plane. Occasionally such creatures slip through where the material plane and the Ethereal Planes overlap.
Rebuild Rules: Add the following Special Qualities:
You may summon forth Ectoplasmic versions of monsters when casting a summoning spell.
Prerequisities: Spell Focus (conjuration), ability to cast summon monster
Benefit: Once per day when you cast summon monster you may summon an ectoplasmic version of one of the creatures on that list (apply the ectoplasmic template to that creature to create this monster).
Hiya, I'm about to start playing in a new campaign for Evil PCs. So I've decided to go with my favorite evil archetype: The Mad Scientist.
This character is evil.
Apparently Way of the Wicked promises to hit level 20, so for the first time I'm putting together a 1-20 build.
Dr. Archimedes Schmidt was descended from exiled Ustalavic nobility. Schmidt was always fascinated with biology, dissecting the family dog at 6. He attended university where he quickly earned a medical licence, often helping at the Temple of Mitra to save lives. Schmidt always resented the Mitrans, their constant bleating to their god for the ability to heal seemed so weak. If Schmidt could be allowed to continue his research he would be able to cure death itself.
"Technically, I vas arrested for grave robbery. Although I never vunce took a corpse from ze grave. I alvays experimented on zem in situ. I vould have gotten avay viz it too, if it vusn't for zat old man Jenkins and his meddling dog!"
25 Point Buy
Str 10, Dex 16, Con 13, Int 17, Wis 14, Cha 10.
The Plan: Using SCIENCE! My Alchemist will keep the party alive through his crazy experimental techniques (flavoring his potions and elixirs as being kept in syringes). Anyone he can't keep alive will get ZOMBIED! Later on he'll stitch bombs into his zombie minions and send them forth to fight opponents (or at least explode GOREiously). I'll be using Wands of UMD to cast Control Undead (hopefully someone else in the party will be able to craft the Wands) - Plague Zombies will be the funnest to let loose on the occasional population.
Sleight of Hand
1 - Point Blank Shot
H - Toughness
3 - Skill Focus (UMD)
5 - Die for Your Master
7 - Extra Discovery
9 - Extra Discovery
11 - Implant Bomb
13 - Extra Discovery
15 - Extra Discovery
17 - Extra Discovery
19 - Extra Discovery
2 - Infusion
3 - Spontaneous Healing
4 - Tumour Familiar
6 - Healing Touch
7 - Preserve Organs (or Leadership)
8 - Alchemical Zombie
9 - Implant Bomb
10 - Mummification
12 - Lingering Spirit
13 - Dispelling Bomb
14 - Tanglefoot Bomb
15 - Smoke Bomb
16 - Elixir of Life
17 - Explosive Bomb
18 - Immolation Bomb
19 - Plague Bomb
20 - Alchemical Simulcrum, Doppelganger Simulcrum
20 Grand Mutagen - Fast Healing
Finally a rules Question:
At 7th level, a reanimator adds lesser animate dead to his formula book as a 3rd-level extract. When he uses that extract, rather than drinking it, he injects it into the corpse he intends to animate, which rises as an undead creature under his control 1 hour later. The extract can only create zombies (including variant zombies).
This ability replaces the increase to bomb damage at this level.
Does this mean I can make Juju Zombies?
I'd like to stitch together an Igor. Otherwise I might just take Leadership to get myself an intelligent undead manservant/lab assistant.