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Since the beginning of history, the mortal world has measured time in ages. Ages of Glory, of Dreams, and even of Great Sorrows mark the human tally of years, giving a sense of order to the events of past centuries. But one Age has yet to occur—an age of darkness, of decay, and of writhing doom. Astrologers, diviners, and the servants of Fate believe that the Age of Worms may begin at any time. The canniest among them fear that it has already begun and the Herald of the Eternal Night calls...
The PBP Guides:
Hello, potential applicants and readers! First off, I want to introduce myself. I have been around on the Paizo boards for many years now. Last year I had to step away to help my significant other through a hard time she was having medically, but we made it out the other side. During this time I spent my free time researching the retro-clones in my nostalgia for the “good old days” of gaming.
After a few interest checks I have finally stuck upon the following game idea. Using the Age of Worms. one of the best Paizo APs (imho) chalked full of nostalgic goodness and using the Sword & Wizardry Complete.
So without further ado...
I present Herald of the Eternal Night (Age of Worms Sword & Wizardry Edition). This game will be Episodic, much like a TV Series, we will focus on each module and replace any fallen players during the transition from episode to episode. Part I is "The Whispering Cairn".
Sword & Wizardry:
The Sword & Wizardry Complete rules are available for download on this very site!
Sword & Wizardry Complete
We will be using standard character creation rules for Level 1. Though you can shift your attribute scores around to be control the character you want to play. I have access to the Player's Companion which includes the Anti-Paladin and the Bard class... No one can play an Anti-Paladin.
I will be accepting 4 to 6 players.
There is a bit of details in the spoiler's below that should help to generate a small background. We will add more background once characters are accepted using the "Backdrop: Diamond Lake" suggestions for character ties.
I am only using a single House Rule for now.
The first one is a slight adjustment to Assassin. Their backstab has a 25% chance to kill the opponent, provided the opponent's hit dice are no more than 1 higher than the Assassin's level.
And now to the story...
Welcome to Diamond Lake, a small mining town nestled in the rocky crags of the Cairn Hills, three days east of the Free City of Greyhawk to which it is subject. Iron and silver from Diamond Lake's mines fuel the Greyhawk's markets and support its soldiers and nobles with the raw materials necessary for weapons and finery. This trade draws hundreds of skilled and unskilled laborers and artisans, all hoping to strike it rich. In ages past, Diamond Lake boasted an export more valuable than metal in the form of treasure liberated from the numerous tombs and burial cairns crowding the hills around the town.
These remnants of a half-dozen long-dead cultures commandeered scandalous prices from Greyhawk's elite, whose insatiable covetousness triggered a boom in the local economy. Those days are long gone, though. The last cairn in the region coughed up its treasures decades ago, and few locals pay much mind to stories of yet-undiscovered tombs and unplundered burial cairns. These days, only a handful of treasure seekers visit the town, and few return to Greyhawk with anything more valuable than a wall rubbing or an ancient tool fragment.
In the hills surrounding the town, hundreds of laborers spend weeks at a time underground, breathing recycled air pumped in via systems worth ten times their combined annual salary. The miners are the chattel of Diamond Lake, its seething, tainted blood. But they are also Diamond Lake's foundation, their weekly pay cycling back into the community via a gaggle of gambling dens, bordellos, ale halls, and temples.
Because work in the mines is so demanding and dangerous, most folk come to Diamond Lake because they have nowhere else to turn, seeking an honest trade of hard labor for subsistence-level pay simple because the system has allowed them no other option. Many are foreigners displaced from native lands by war or famine. Work in a Diamond Lake mine is the last honest step before utter destitution or crimes of desperation. For some, it is the first step in the opposite direction: a careful work assignment to ease the burden on debtor-filled prisons, one last chance to make it in civil society.
Despite its squalor, Diamond Lake is crucial to Greyhawk's economy. The city's directors thus take a keen interest in local affairs, noting the rise and fall of the managers who run Diamond Lake's mines in trust for the government.
This is the place you grew up in, this is the place you plan to leave behind for a better life once certain financial obligations have been met.
The Whispering Cairn:
The lively mining town of Diamond Lake, a muddy smudge on the map of the hills east of the fabulous Free City of Greyhawk. Diamond Lake's inhabitants are predominately miners and laborers, serious folk who spend most of their lives toiling below ground. When not working, the miners celebrate along the Vein, a seedy road lined with ale-houses and brothels. Overall, the village is a sooty, sullen place prone to unpleasant bursts of violence and passion. But Diamond Lake holds plenty of opportunities for adventure, for the uplands surrounding the town are rife with the ancient tombs and burial cairns of long-dead cultures.
Idly chatter around the village speaks of a trio of richly dressed adventurers who frequent the taproom of the Feral Dog, Diamond Lake's most notorious tavern. The confident heroes of Greyhawk spoke of hard-won battles on their journey to Diamond Lake, and of their intention to explore the long-abandoned Stirgenest Cairn on the lake's distant southeastern shore. The natives of Diamond Lake, know that cairn is oft explored by the community's youth, who always find it completely empty of marvels and perfectly harmless.
Not so another cairn within a day's ride of the village. This cairn lies near an iron mine that went dry about 50 years ago. The mine's charter lapsed when its manager died a few years later. Situated in a sort of no-man's land, the cairn was all but forgotten, its yawning entrance overgrown with weeds and choked with debris. Rediscovered by a curious teenager a decade ago, the cairn has since been a sort of community secret held by Diamond Lake's youth, who dare each other to disappear into its cyclopean entrance to prove their bravery. Occasionally, when the wind is just right, haunting, almost magical tones emerge from the depths of the forlorn tomb. Those who know of its location call it the Whispering Cairn.
If adventurers from the Free City expect to discover hidden passages and riches within the Stirgenest Cairn, it stands to reason that the Whispering Cairn might also hold a genuine opportunity for profit. In the rough-and-tumble mining village of Diamond Lake, where desperate folk slave in dank tunnels to profit wealthy masters, an opportunity for profit is an opportunity to escape.
Yeah. The complete version. Though I am not sure if I have the revised. I'll check when I get home.
And since you can get the FGG version which is the complete version here on Paizo for free that is even more reason to go with Sword & Wizardry.
I'll post up the recruitment thread tonight after I have a chance to type up the game description and information.
My last interest check did not generate anywhere near what I hoped it would generate (1 person in 36 hours). I don't know if it was because it was an older AP (Age of Worms) or if it was the system choices. So I am breaking it into piece mail.
I have become slightly obsessed with the new retroclones (or even the old originals) over the past year. The urge to run something using one of them begun to build.
Originally I set my sights on Age of Worms (the amount of throwbacks in this AP has always astonished me) but without the previous interest I've decided that could certainly be tossed.
Now I am just looking for the interest in playing one of the retroclones (or AD&D). And if the interest is there which one has the biggest following. Each of them has pros and cons...
Sword and Wizardry Complete has a more extension list of Monsters available to it.
Adventure, Conqueror, King has a rather interesting choice of classes between the main book and companion which I liked.
AD&D 2E is a system I have a familiarity with (atleast formerly) and is a complete game with all the splat books.
Dungeon Crawl Classics has the old school feel, but is a bit more modernized however it has some odd mechanics (Luck... Funky Dice).
I am considering running an Age of Worms campaign, but I have no interest in using Pathfinder or D&D 3.x/4E/5E.
I currently have three choices in mind for the campaign.
Adventurer, Conqueror, King
Just testing the waters for popularity of these systems and the Age of Worms which is one of the most "throwback" of all the APs ever released (and my personal favorite).
Sword and Wizardry Complete has a more extension list of Monsters.
Adventure, Conqueror, King has a rather interesting choice of classes between the main book and companion which I liked.
And AD&D 2E is a system I have a familiarity with (atleast formerly) and is a complete game with all the splat books.
I am going to apologize for this, but I am going to shut this game now. My Significant Other just found out that she has some medical issues and it looks like it could be a long road ahead of us. I don't know how much creativity and focus I would be able to give the game now. While slow (because I set the pace I know) we have a great crew so this is kind of disappointing but life doesn't always give you the best options.
Again I apologize, happy gaming in the future. Maybe I'll see you about on the flip side.
Umm... switch scenes. Maybe have a small group from the PC's army break away from the main army when the place starts to rumble after the defeat of Rhoswen. Cue new temporary PCs who fight their way into the palace to save their King and companions. Any former PCs laying around from character switches? Bring them back... once the players finish the module and clear the way to their former PCs the monk can take control of his living character again... everyone can carry out bodies... and once you are safely back home... Resurrection.
Clear and decisive ownership?
I believe the idea is the penalties come from there being no clear ownership of the hex. There are fights breaking out between the land grabbers, etc. By building the exact same improvement right next to you it makes things stabilize because the officially sanctioned hex looks more appealing then the chaotic battle torn improvement. Likely it leads to the other improvement going defunct like when two stores build right next to each other. One of them is going to take a blow that forces them to shut down eventually. I dunno, that is just how I view it.
Theran continues to fill his pack with treasure without even heeding the words of his companions.
Well, if they don't want any. It is all yours... or maybe they do. Raldor is picking about YOUR treasure. Torbin has stolen that staff from YOUR treasure. You can feel the weight of the gold and other items in your hand as your grab handfuls and stuff it into your bag. It is glorious, a treasure befitting a true hero.
Theran seems to be looking hard at Raldor who is showing interest as well as Torbin who carries the staff, but he is occupied by the worthless gold that he is shoving into his bag.
I would suggest more then just the classes of your party... more detailed information or else it is going to be guesswork on how to optimize the encounter.
like for example... I am basically floored by how they do 1500 HP of damage in a single round / every round. Or how they could possible "always win initiative" too.
Duncan engages the wayward armor so that it can no longer move into the back row of his companions and with a mighty blow he cleaves part of the armor away, but the reminder of the armor continues the mindless assault turning his focus on his opponent like a challenged knight until...
Torbin races around the animated armors to reach his hand forth for the azure staff at the moment that he touches it the room is filled with a brilliant flash of light and the armors turn towards him completely ignorant of all other enemies now.
You can feel magic pulsating through you. Not the cold magic of the arcane, but the spreading warmth of the divine. You can hear distance singing upon the wind, the most beautiful voice that you have ever heard. In the flash of light you are revealed a vision of three people... a beautiful woman of perfection sits upon the ground as she sings over the world. A protective knight stands over her with a hand comfortably on her shoulder and an old mage dressed in an odd assortment of colors seems to be staring right at you. He offers you a smile... then you are dragged back to the hectic combat.
Religion Check: The Celestial Forge was the place where the god Reorx forged items for the other gods... this azure staff has the symbol of Mishakai etched into it.
Theran joins with Duncan in combat, but his attack is turned away by the steel plates.
Salmoryn is quick with the bow and the arrow strikes through the animated armor with great efficiency.
Marik, the Knight, is quick on the draw. An arrow is pulled from his quiver and fired at the animated armor in quick succession. The arrow passes harmlessly by the possessed plate mail but Raldor closes on the first of the guardians with the slash of one shortsword that rakes over the steel in a shower of sparks while the armor moves like a fallen warrior to avoid the secondary blow.
The engaged armor moves with an uncanny quickness as it smashes the bulk of its mail at Raldor, not once, but twice. Attack: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (20) + 4 = 241d20 + 4 ⇒ (6) + 4 = 10 Good thing we confirmed those crit rules... The animated armor does a grave amount of damage to the taller half-ogre (10 damage) but the ranger manages to avoid getting slammed by the armor a second time.
The other suit of armor closes the distance between the remaining companions and itself. 1d6 ⇒ 4 It leaps off the platform at Renagir proving that it is not confined to it. 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (7) + 4 = 111d20 + 4 ⇒ (17) + 4 = 21 The aged warrior manages to avoid the initial slam, but is caught in the chest with the bulk of the second slam. (5 damage)
Renagir attempts to counter attack and keep the animated armor at bay with a quick thrust to its stomach plate, but the blow deflects harmlessly off the armor.
Torbin, Duncan, Theran, Salmoryn can GO!
There is no longer a confirmation roll. As far as I can tell you do double damage on the attack. Rolling all dice included in the attack twice and adding twice the static bonus. I don't know if I read it right but that is what I took away. However you didn't roll a natural 20. You rolled a 15 but the question is a good one for future reference.
The moment that several people became curious of the armor and staff by stepping towards them the suits of armor come alive. The magical animated plate armor clamors as it moves, banding and grinding like the vengeful spirit of a fallen defender.
Marik and Raldor can now GO!
It might seem a bit heavy-handed to some, but in the sense of the story makes perfect sense for the Hell Knights to bar passage to and from Korvosa while there are riots and turmoil.
It would have become a much different campaign if the characters had left, though you really needn't fear that. You could have done a different module (Paizo has tons) while dropping news from Korvosa into the story. Once things started to settle down and the PCs returned you could have kicked off Seven Days to the Grave! And boom back on track!
Just remember that the APs modules are not set in stone. You can make alterations as you will as long as you take a good look at the storyline and get info to the players that they must know for the story to make sense.
All in all, I say you did a great job trying to maneuver them back towards the story. Atleast they didn't try to fight or sneak their way pass the Hell Knights.
Almost as soon as Marik crosses the threshold of the door into the darkened room beyond and several of his companions follow suit. There is a spark of light as fire lights the room as it spreads through a channel in the stone from the door to a risen platform. It appears that several chests have been open and some of the contents spilled out. More skeletons litter the platform in various stages of betrayal...
It appears the treasure is mostly gold, but you notice several platinum in the coins. Some weapons are scattered about the room and treasure. Two suits of armor flank the cold forge that rests upon it an azure staff.
This is a campaign journal for my Friday Night Game Night. It consists of two different groups that rotate Friday Nights with me at the DM Helm.
Currently the game hasn't started so I don't have names but the characters have been mostly created and the game begins at level 2. Oh... and the world is a mishmash of worlds into my own homebrew.
Human Cleric (Folk Hero) - Spent the last year of the Crusade aiding the villages that were financial ravaged by the war and aiding the wounded warriors returning to Bordin's Watch from the Crusade.
High Elf Monk (Hermit) - A mysterious monk that is training upon the Shadowdancer path. A follower of the Xae Yae faith and servant of the Twilight Monastery.
Sir Drock Kalath; Dragonborn Fighter (Noble) - Fought in the Crusade under the banner of the Knightdom of Halstein. Currently travelling the Valelands to recruit people for the Endless War in Northern Halstein against the demonic influnce of the Chaos Scar.
Half-Elf Warlock (Sage) - Not much is known about this character yet.
Tiefling Wizard (Acolyte) - Raised in the Triadic Church by Father Dietrich, uncle to the Human Paladin & Human Cleric.
Ignore the man behind the curtain... aka Dice Rolls:
Marik: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (15) + 4 = 19
Theran: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (8) + 2 = 10
Salmoryn: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (16) + 4 = 20
Duncan: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (10) + 2 = 12
Torbin: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (14) + 3 = 17
Renagir: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (20) + 2 = 22
Galahad: 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (12) - 1 = 11
Torbin, Salmoryn, Renagir, Marik:
It appears the room was altered by the magic... or your perception. Careful inspection of the changes allows you to reveal a hidden doorway.
The spell permeates the temple itself. It doesn't appear to be a spell of arcane origin... you may have just discovered an ancient divine curse! The spell seems to be meant to protect the place from robbers... it is likely the effects get worse when you touch something or have the desire to remove it from the temple... Powerful work to protect what amounts to junk.
After the sound beating that the group gave to the other goblins they do not look to be slowing down or looking back. They are scatter to the four winds in full retreat.
Just a reminder that gold has very little value in Krynn. Which is why the gold items were described as useless. I also forgot to mention the dead goblins.
All the goblins that the party fought that fell to their blades and arrows were dead. Among their belongings were some raggedy leather armor, some dented and banged up shields, hilted hunks of metal that could function as short swords, and a few steel pieces each (12 between all 5 goblins).
Apologies. I am overlooked it. You are the only one the seems to be chasing after the goblins. How are away from the temple are you willing to go before you return to the group. The goblins are in full retreat and run as fast as they can for as long as they can. How long will you pursue them alone is the only question I have?
As you enter the Ruined Temple known as The Celestial Forge an uneasy feeling spreads through you. You see what the goblins were scavenging at... a pile of broken pottery, some near useless gold objects, and some rusted arms and armor. There is nothing that anyone would find of value but yet a strange feeling of greed just creeps in on you trying to gather strength at the back of your minds. You begin to notice the skeletons of other would be adventurers and robbers now along with the fresh corpses of goblins as if some veneer had been removed by the greedy compulsions. It looks like most of the dead here killed each other...
The compulsion is not save worthy... yet. You can act as you want but you are aware of the effect inside the temple.
Torbin fires a bolt from his crossbow at one of the goblins that haven't been engaged in melee combat, but it goes wide. Duncan rotates the greatsword in his hand as he spins his body and brings it arching over down on one of the two goblin brawlers that were rising. Again the blade rends though the creature as another goblin collapses. Raldor bounds forward towards a goblin with dual blades drawn and ready to strike, but the creature manages to nimbly escape his attacks.
Salmoryn continues his assault as he releases another arrow towards the goblin that he already struck, but the chaos of the battle distracts as the shot misses. Malik fires another arrow which finds the mark of the last goblin struggling to rise from the brawl as the creature slumps back down.
Galahad takes stock of the battle as he pulls his longsword to his side, "Surrender creatures. The battle is over." as he glares first at the two wounded goblins and the last remaining unwounded goblin.
The goblins decide that fighting is pointless but they have no plans to surrender to humans. They use their nimbleness to attempt escape. Disengage as Bonus Action. Dash to run 60 ft and get into the foliage heading for the side of the temple and the taller Plains grass.
Torbin reloads his crossbow.
Theran and Renagir can GO!
Duncan Esteros finds himself leading the charge as he rushes one of the goblin's just ahead of his companions. A powerful blow from the soldier's greatsword splits a goblin observers though the collar bone causing the creature to collapse under the attack. Raldor takes aim on one of the unengaged goblins and let's fly an arrow which just misses the mark. Salmoryn Starpeak takes careful aim at one of the goblin bystanders to the brawl. A deep breath as the fingers release the bow string and the arrow flies true as it finds itself stuck in the shoulder of one of the surprised goblins.
Marik Irondale raised his bow and fired an arrow at one of the goblins watching the fight. His arrow strikes a vital area with pin-point precision as the goblin collapses. Torbin Juventus worried about accidentally striking a companion with an arrow holds a moment for a better view of the skirmish. Theran Silvermane rushes in behind his other companion engaged in melee as he maneuvers to the left of Duncan and strikes a blow that fells another goblin.
Galahad of Haven comes in behind his companions and takes up arms on the right side of Duncan. He attacks with his longsword. Attack, Damage: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (3) + 5 = 81d8 + 3 ⇒ (5) + 3 = 8 The young entertainer knight misses his target. Renagir Onselmin determined to not be a burden or get showed up by the younger bunch moves into attack as well. His strike aimed at one of the few standing goblins that were not engaged in a brawl. Attack, Damage: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (20) + 5 = 252d6 + 2 ⇒ (2, 1) + 2 = 5 The seasoned veteran manages to land a solid blow but does not down a goblin.
Duncan, Galahad, Raldor, Marik, Salmoryn can now act. Torbin can use his held action to act if he chooses.
A pair of voices in the already high pitched tone begin to raise over each other as the remaining ones inside quiet down. Violence suddenly breaks out as the sound of two bodies crashing into things. The pair of goblins roll through the door in a ball of fists and biting as they brawl. A half-dozen goblins follow behind them as they hoot and holler at them in the guttural language of the goblins without so much of a second of attention spared to the surrounding environment. It appears the party has complete freedom to act before the goblins could respond.
After careful inspection of the tracks in the area you have identified several goblin tracks, quite likely eight of them. A quick vision search reveals that they have been tramping around the ruins for awhile now. It seems likely to be several days at this point...
As the rest of the group gets closer but is signaled by Salmoryn to keep quiet they can now make out several high pitched voices, which has gone from talking to arguing in a guttural language of goblins. Several of them sound angry with each other... of course... goblin always sounds vile and angry.