To back it up 10 pages: "OK, now I know we're doomed. Belkar is acting like a ranger."
Also, Durkon as a bat was awesome, though I have to wonder why the staff didn't convert with the rest of his equipment.
Lord Fyre wrote:
Yeah, that would be awesome. With Julio coming in to back up the Order, I can see Tarquin wanting to bring in an old ally, too, so having Laurin gate in reinforcements, including Sabine.
I... completely forgot about that. Here it is again, for everyone else who needs their memory refreshed. Be sure to keep reading into the beginning of the next strip.
The psionic blast was clearly a stunning affect. Elan and Vaarsuvius are both still unwounded, not to mention the raven. V, Belkar, and Roy are shown taking various amounts of time to recover. I'm assuming random duration per person, in rounds, and Elan just recovered faster than Roy. Or maybe proximity to the psion plays a roll, since Roy was closest to her when she blasted them, and he's stunned the longest.
The irony of Roy's namesake sword being shoved through him (and Elan) isn't lost on me.
So we talked about it in last night's session, and she liked the copper dragon idea. I told her that her grandfather was a copper dragon, who had been married to her elven grandmother for over 100 years before a blue dragon came and killed them both. Her mother saw the whole thing from where she was hiding, and saw that the copper had wounded the blue dragon badly, cutting off two fingers (toes?) from his front left claw. Also, a jade comb that had been an elven family heirloom caught the blue's eye as he left, so he took it from the body of the elven grandmother. So when they eventually meet Ghlorofaex, I'll embellish his look a little to say he's missing two fingers on one of his claws, and she'll know this is the dragon she's searching for revenge against.
The bigger issue is that the player who wasn't there for our character building session last week has a very specific backstory idea in mind that he really wants to go with, so now I need to come up with a way to accommodate that. He's basing it on a character from a series of novels, and trying really hard to make every single detail from the novel fit perfectly. His novel character came from a family of wandering performers. Apparently, the family was researching some sort of ancient evil to do a performance about it, and they were killed for knowing too much, with his character being the only survivor. He was a child at the time, and came home just in time to see the bad guys leaving and get a hint of what had killed his family.
I told him his character didn't see the killers when he got home to find his family dead, but he found the 7 point sihedron star symbol. I haven't read far enough to know exactly how I'll tie in his family's murder 5 years ago. I know there's something about the skinsaw men using that symbol and killing people, but I haven't read enough to know the details yet, or know if they were active 5 years ago. I figured the timing of his story with the character's family murdered 5-7 years before he became a real adventurer at 15 would fit with the activation of the runewells and awakening of Karzoug, so I'd just find a way to make it work once I've read more and know all the details of the campaign's story.
The bigger problem is that after spending half the session finalizing characters last night, we started playing, and the group's having a hard time focusing. They had no interest whatsoever in the Swallowtail Festival, or RPing any of the games, other than the cavalier wanting to test his strength when I mentioned a weight lifting contest. Some of them at least played along with the environment - the cavalier made a point of introducing himself to the sheriff and offering his services if any trouble came up, and the oracle with an interest in religion introduced himself to Father Zantus. I think the cavalier's heading for a pride sin point, while the ranger and sorceress who decided to sleep in and skip the opening of the festival already earned a sloth point each.
But the new guy who'd never done a table top RPG before was just being silly, in ways that led me to use my "You can do that, BUT..." GM voice. He wanted his ranger to shoot at the butterflies with flaming arrows when they were released, and had to be talked down. I'll see how next session goes - I'm hoping once he gets into some combat in the game, he'll calm down during non-combat play. I may have to have a talk with him about RPing, and about how his character is supposed to be a resident of a game world and should be trying to fit in a little with society, and not just a video game toon who goes around shooting everything. I'm afraid he'll use his character's "I love nature and hate human society" back story that I helped him come up with as an excuse to be disruptively anti-social (half-elf ranger with humans as a favored enemy, due to bullying as a kid growing up in a human city).
The other problem was the bard with the back story from a novel trying too hard to force his PC's story to be the main storyline, instead of going with the flow. His character came to Sandpoint to study The Old Light and learn about ancient Thassilon from the local historian, and he didn't care if the rest of the town was busy with a festival that day. He met Brodert Quint and got annoyed that the old man wouldn't drop everything to show him his research. Not that Quint is shy about talking about this stuff, but he invited the bard to come by his house tomorrow to see the research, and enjoy the festival for now. I actually had to use the line "These ruins have been there for thousands of years. They're not going anywhere."
Unfortunately, we started late enough and spent half the session on character building, along with some silliness once we really started playing, so we didn't even get as far as the goblin attacks. I'm hoping once we get into the action, they'll settle down and play along with the story a little more.
I wasn't thinking of hiding from her that her grandfather (or maybe great grandfather) was a copper dragon. I was actually thinking the good dragon and the elf could have been married, and had a loving, stable relationship, for 100+ years before his death. I just have to work out the details.
The big question is how much to tell her about her grandfather's death. She'd probably know he was killed by another dragon, but how much detail should I give her. Should she know it was a blue dragon that killed him? Should I give her Ghlorofaex's name? And if she doesn't know it's him, then how do I handle the big reveal when they meet?
It depends on the exact story of the grandfather's death, more than anything. If Ghlorofaex attacked at the elven/dragon family's home, then witnesses might have seen it and passed on the story. If he just left home one day, and got in a fight that killed him while he was away, then nobody will know the details other than Ghlorofaex.
I think I'm leaning towards an attack at their home, with a hidden witness (the parent of my player's sorceress?) seeing the whole thing. Hmm... maybe Ghlorofaex has a distinguishing mark that makes him stand out from other blue dragons (ie the one armed man, the 6 fingered man, etc), so the sorceress will know him when she sees him, even without knowing his name.
I really wish I had more time to read the adventure before starting. I've only gotten through half of Burnt Offerings, plus the appendices covering Sandpoint and Magnimar, and our first session is tonight. We'll spend the first part of the session finalizing character details, then playing out the Swallowtail Festival, so we may not even get to the goblin combat tonight. If we do, that'll definitely be as far as we get. Any last minute advice?
I should have time to at least finish reading Burnt Offerings and move into the next chapter by next week's session. But if I have to spend a lot of time on drawing maps and other prep work along the way, it will slow the reading ahead. I really wish I'd known more than a couple of weeks before starting that I would be running this, so I could have had time to read the whole thing in advance.
So I looked up Ghlorofaex in the adventure.
He's a very old blue dragon, which puts him at 601-800 years old. Given elven lifespans, he could easily have met the sorceress's grandmother 700 years ago, when he was a young adult.
Very greedy, like most evil dragons. Has a horde with a couple of unique jewelry pieces that could be my sorceress's family heirloom. I really like the irony of picking one of the cheapest pieces in his collection and making it her heirloom, like the silver bracelet worth 25 gp or something. I might go with the jade comb worth 300 gp instead, just because it sounds more distinctive.
The trick is fitting him into her back story. If he just attacked her family at some point, and magical scarring caused the taint in her bloodline, then it's easy. But like I said, the player prefers an interbreeding angle. I just have to figure out why a blue dragon with this kind of personality would do such a thing.
Or perhaps the interbreeding took place with a good dragon, which was then killed by Ghlorofaex. Hmm... copper dragon and black dragon are both the same bloodline powers, so it's mechanically the same. It would match her PC's alignment (CG), and have a natural environment of hills, which could place it at the edge of the mountains in Varisia, perhaps near the Meilani Forest. I can work with this - I think this will work.
I know the town square is available as a published map to buy, but I decided not to buy it, more because I don't trust Paizo to get it here in time than because of the price. Given the problems they've been having fulfilling subscriptions the last few weeks, I don't trust them to ship me anything else until I know that mess is cleared up. But that map is shown in the book, so I can just draw it on a blank grid map based on what I see there.
But the one I'm talking about is for the third fight against the goblins, that takes place at the north gate. Without a map in the book to work with, I pretty much have to just guess what it's supposed to look like, which is why I'm looking for help.
While we're on the subject, are there other published maps that go with later parts of this adventure path? I'm still reading Burnt Offerings, so it'll take at least a week before I read far enough to find out what other maps I need. Given the lead time in mail ordering them, any info I could find out in advance would be helpful, so I can order stuff now to use in 3+ weeks.
She'd be willing to change dragon colors, though she thinks fire is too common, so she wants to avoid red. So I could give her a back story based on one of the named dragons in this.
But she really likes the idea of some sort of breeding with a dragon having happened at some point, so I'm trying to work out a story based on that. Maybe one of them used magic to appear as an elf, seduce the sorcerer's grandmother, and then took off after one night, taking a family heirloom with him.
Thanks for that. I noticed some of the links were broken, including map links.
Does anyone have a map for the Die Dog Die encounter at the north gate? I'm trying to draw my maps today for use when we start tomorrow, and I'm hoping to get through the whole goblin raid in the first session. We may still be finishing character building/back stories for the first hour or two, and I don't know how much they'll get into RPing the Swallowtail Festival before the goblins arrive, so we may not even get that far in the first session, but we'll see.
As mentioned above, Cure is already restricted to "at the same location". So are Lem and Valeros's powers to aid others. Hopefully, you're only using those powers to help people at your location.
But I do agree that the game is fairly easy. One suggestion I've heard to make it harder, which I haven't gotten around to trying yet, is to add an additional location. With 5 players, that would mean 8 locations instead of 7. It doesn't really increase the chance of death, but you do have to explore faster to win before running out the blessings deck.
Another possible suggestions to make it tougher is just go with a smaller blessings deck. But I think I prefer the extra location idea.
I feel dumb. I'm so used to Pathfinder Society, where you can't change details of the published adventures, that it only just occurred to me that I can just change the color of a dragon in the adventure to match the character's back story.
The exact dragon colors aren't essential to the story, are they? In many adventures, changing it to a black dragon should work just as well as any other color of evil dragon, unless there's an environmental reason why a particular type is best suited (red dragon in a fiery area, white dragon some place cold).
I'm thinking of suggesting to the player that her character picked up the draconic bloodline from magical damage that her mother sustained during a dragon attack while pregnant with her. Her motivation might be a combination of revenge for that attack, and to recover a family heirloom that was stolen by the dragon. I'm thinking I can check the dragon stats and find a piece of jewelry or something in its horde that could be her heirloom.
Furious Kender wrote:
Yeah, but the Pathfinders aren't stealing it back from people who involved in that theft. We're stealing it back from their buyers, who may have believed they were engaging in legitimate commerce in buying these things. We don't know enough about our targets to know if they're good or bad people. We just know we're supposed to steal something from them that they bought, and might not know was stolen.
I don't remember all the details, so maybe there's more to it than that, but my recollection is that the main mission was "Go be muggers", and I was really glad I wasn't playing a lawful or good character that session.
I think she was going with black dragon bloodline, for the acid, but I'll have to double check with her. Even if I am remembering correctly, she's still finalizing character details, so she may have changed her mind. Or I may be able to talk her into something different.
What color dragon is Arkrhyst?
Actually, I should have checked the players guides before anything else. The anniversary edition players guide talks about dragons in the Kodar Mountains and a green dragon in the elven Mierani Forest. Given that the draconic sorceress happens to be an elf, that seems like an obvious tie in if she would consider going green dragon bloodline, but I don't know how to relate that to the story of the AP.
It's not the word count that's the problem with Many Fortunes of Grandmaster Torch. It's the plot.
The mission is literally "Go be muggers". Any lawful aligned character who doesn't walk away and refuse to play the scenario after Grandmaster Torch tells them what he wants them to do gets an alignment infraction. I know the Society isn't exactly a squeaky clean organization under normal circumstances, but this one's just a whole lot more blatant about stealing from random people in the middle of a major city, with nothing to even pretend to justify it.
This is the one and only PFS scenario I've ever played that I would refuse to ever GM or put on a game day schedule in the future. I'm treating it as retired, even if Paizo isn't.
That's why I said Lini needs 3 or 4 Cure spells in her deck if you play her this way (instead of using blast spells, which is how I usually play her). Seelah can't heal her discards the way Lini can, because she only has one spell.
So the draconic sorceress has a back story idea having to do with trying to track down the dragon who tainted her bloodline. She left it kind of vague, as we haven't worked out details, so maybe it happened a couple of generations ago, and that dragon may be dead, but maybe she's trying to find out what happened to a family heirloom it took or something.
I'm trying to figure out how that would lead her to be in Sandpoint. Maybe she's just traveling a very long distance and happened to be passing through Sandpoint and decided to stick around an extra couple of days because she heard about the Swallowtail Festival. But then, if she's got her own personal quest, why would she stick around to play hero in Sandpoint for any length of time, even after the goblin attack?
Not having read very far into the AP yet, I'm not sure if there's anything even remotely dragon related in this one. I do want to read the whole anniversary edition before we get too far into it, but all I've read so far are the appendices on Sandpoint and Magnimar, and the first half of Burnt Offerings. I need some info on this right away, so we can figure out her back story before the first session on Monday.
I'm the GM for this group, so if anyone has any suggestions, don't worry about it being spoilers. But you may want to include spoiler tags, just for other people browsing the thread who might not want to know.
I probably should have included a smiley on that. I was kidding... mostly. :p
My campaign hasn't started yet, but I'm already considering giving one player a greed point for choosing the Rich Parents and Merchant Family traits on his PC.
I've already decided that I'll start the day of the Swallowtail Festival by asking how early the characters are going out to the festival, since it starts in the morning. The PCs mostly won't know each other, so they'll be arriving at the festival separately. Those who sleep late get a sloth point. :p
Lini can fight without spells, but it's going to be pretty awful unless she finds a weapon.
She can do just fine discarding for the 1d10 strength, adding 1d4 from an animal, playing a blessing for an extra 1d10, then making sure she has at least 3 or 4 Cure spells in her deck so she can keep getting all those discards back.
I'd say Ezren's the hardest.
I can't believe someone suggested Harsk. He's a weapon heavy hitter, and great at assisting his allies in combat. He's terrible at acquiring allies, but he has survival as a skill, which is useful.
Amazing the 5+ year old threads you can necro when you come here looking for information and search for the name "Norah". Is there any sort of standard for the save DCs to get this done?
I kind of like the idea of a will save, then two fort saves, all with DCs of at least 18. Also, this whole thing seems like a way of baiting PCs into getting a pride point.
Time for me to make a contribution.
I'm preparing to run this campaign, and reading through the Anniversary Edition for the first time, and I realized that the appendix about Sandpoint is just too long for me to remember everything. There's 20 pages of good stuff in there, so I need an easy way to find things quickly. If my players ask where to find a store that sells particular types of items, I want to be able to find it easily, not spend 5 minutes skimming that appendix and holding up the adventure.
So I went through and made a map guide. This is just a quick guide to help me remember what's what quickly, roughly sorted according to why the PCs would care.
Information (see also 4 and 22 in stores (goods), above):
Founding Family Homes:
This thread is too long!
I know there's a ton of good stuff in here, but the thread's so long, and some of the 5 year old links are broken, so finding stuff could be tough. My group's first playing session will be Monday, and I haven't even finished reading Burnt Offerings yet (I really want to read the whole campaign before we get to far in). Is there any stuff in this thread I should be aware of for my first couple of sessions?
As I said above, the initial question in this thread is fairly common. This is one of those cases where the rules are completely accurate, and say exactly what they mean, but without the extra knowledge that some locations are exceptions to closed locations not having cards to explore, it's easy for newbies to think that there's conflicting information here.
Here's my recommendation for an FAQ to cover this:
The rulebook says to banish all cards from a location when closing it, but then it talks about encountering cards at a location. Do we banish them or not?
You do banish location deck cards when the location is closed. However, certain locations instruct you to leave cards there, or put new cards at that location, in which case you can explore and encounter those cards like normal.
Resolution: On page 13 of the rulebook, replace the last sentence of the "Closing a Location" section with the following:
"Characters may moved to closed locations. While most closed locations won't have any cards to explore, some locations instruct you to leave or put cards there after closing the location. Characters may explore and encounter those cards as normal."
The raven should have some worthwhile HP, due to advancing in level with his wizard. I don't think the cat or dino are technically animal companions, so they should just have basic HP for their races. With the dino, that might be enough to survive, though he's already injured from a triceratops horn through his chest earlier. For the cat, even min damage from 13d6 would knock it unconscious. Though it's possible I'm wrong about the cat. It might actually be a true animal companion at this point, in which case it gets better HP and evasion.
I am not a big fan of leveling up hand size just yet for any PC. I think it makes you more vulnerable then help. But that is just me.
I like boosting those with only 4 up to 5. In fact, I'd go so far as to boost Sajan up to 6, because he's so reliant on having as many blessings as possible in hand. But I agree that I probably wouldn't boost the other 5 or 6 card hands up just yet.
This question actually comes up a lot, so I'm hoping they change the the next edition of the rulebook to make it clearer.
As already explained, you do banish all the cards when you close a location. The key phase in your second bolded sentence is "if there are cards there". Usually, there aren't, so that sentence won't apply. But some locations (I can think of two offhand) have special wording that allow them to have cards there after being closed.
Thanks for the recommendations.
I'm re-reading the appendix on Sandpoint in the anniversary edition to get to know the town better. Isn't the Scarnetti family supposed to be slightly mafia-esque? With a more experienced group, I might go for something like that and play up the intrigue, but it's a new group, with some total newbies, and I don't know them that well.
My group did a character creation session last night. Some of them did more of the "assigned reading" (AP players guides) in advance than others.
The one with the most detailed character and back story idea is doing an Order of the Lion cavalier, which means he has to be loyal to a specific ruler and their domain. He also took the Rich Parents and Merchant Family traits, to start with extra cash and get more money when selling stuff. I think he gets a greed sin point just for those trait choices. :p This also means he's supposed to be related to one of the Sandpoint founding families. The character is LN, worships Abadar, and he prefers the idea of his character growing up in Magnimar rather than Sandpoint.
I'm figuring the obvious choice is to have him be loyal to the Lord-Mayor of Magnimar, and see himself as a protector of Magnimar, along with the villages, towns, farmland, etc that are considered holdings of Magnimar, trying to spread civilization to the wilds in the area. That works for both the cavalier order and Abadar worship. The question is which Sandpoint family to put him in.
The others had less of an idea of what to do for their back stories, though recommending campaign traits from the AP players guide helped. The bard was easy - he's in town for the theater. A player with a ranger saw the monster hunter trait and decided he liked that idea, so his character heard rumors of the Sandpoint Devil and came to town to go hunting for it.
Any suggestions for why a chaotic good elven draconic sorceress who worships Calistria might be in Sandpoint for the Swallowtail Festival? I'm sure we can come up with something eventually, but I figured I'd ask for suggestions.
Did somebody actually write up speeches here on the forums? There's so much stuff around here, I have no idea where to find everything.
My group will probably start next week, though we may spend some time finishing character creation and back story writing first, so the actual playing time may be short. I was just going to read them the summary of the speeches from the anniversary edition instead of going through all of them.
Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:
I'm sure it'll be explained in another strip or two. Maybe Miron was just the northern most of the three enemies at the time V said it or something. Or maybe V really was just reminding Roy that they're on a time crunch because Xykon had moved on to the gate to the north, though that seems like a really cryptic way to do that.
I have a strong suspicion that V's odd behavior two strips ago (telling the others to run despite the wormhole chase and poking the bad guys with an occasional spell, then watching them move around) was some sort of scouting technique, which will also be explained at the same time.
As for the last panel, I have no idea, but I doubt it's alignment based. Too many mixed alignments around there. I'd agree that Tarquin probably has a specific item to make him immune. Or it's a power that only targets enemies, as Tarondor said. But if that's it, then why is Tarquin's head glowing like the others?
Edit: So am I the only one who saw Miron pop out and think "They just got a ton of xp for defeating that bastard"?
I'm just preparing to run this for the first time, and after reading the appendix in the anniversary edition about Sandpoint last week, I just started reading Burnt Offerings over the weekend. I had assumed that stuff like this would be happening around town during the goblin attack, but probably out of sight of the PCs. The exception being Father Zantus, who the adventure actually says will help to heal the PCs, and that he only has limited channels left, because he would have already used some on other townsfolk.
Other than that, just want to pipe in with a "me too" on all the "Hail Stonk!" posts. I'll definitely be borrowing your work, though I do have to talk to my players and see how much local color they really want. We'll be doing a character creation session tonight, which will include me helping them come up with back stories that explain why they're in Sandpoint. I'll talk to them about how the adventure starts off with quite a bit of local color before we get to the meat of the adventure, and we'll see how enthusiastic they are for that. It's a new group, so I don't know how much they'll want to role playing their time in Sandpoint vs diving into the plot quickly.
Thanks for all the comments and advice everyone.
James, I just downloaded Wayfinder #7. I didn't know about the magazine before. I'll definitely use those carnival games, and maybe your Chopper's Island side adventure. I haven't even started reading the main adventure yet, so I haven't quite gotten far enough to make decisions like that yet.
I have the anniversary edition of the AP. After reading the short intro chapter, I went straight to the appendices in the back. I skipped the two pager on continuing the adventure at level 18, and I've been reading up on Sandpoint, which seems like a necessary appendix to read before starting in on the adventure. I'll probably try to finish reading all 60+ pages of the appendices before starting to read Burnt Offerings. Luckily, we're doing character creation this coming Monday, then starting to play the following Monday, so I have a week and a half (including two weekends) to prep.
This one does seem to have a ton of up front prep work, but I'm assuming I won't have to do this much reading on a weekly basis once we get going, just enough to know what's coming up next in the adventure. In general, how far ahead do I have to read to make sure I have all the necessary story to play everything out well? ie Is it best to try to read upcoming chapters in advance, so I can drop hints about upcoming events in advance? Or just make sure I'm done reading the current chapter? Or even just the small portion that I know we'll get to play that week? Or should I try to binge read to be done reading the entire AP as soon as possible?
Obscuring Mist isn't a "win" button, because you still need to take down the enemies after using it to avoid getting hit from a distance. It just controls the situation, letting you force the fight to become a melee battle, because nobody on either side can hit each other with much of anything else.
Yeah, that's what I'm thinking. The email on Friday was false hope, since it didn't actually ship until a week later.
Hmm... even though I got an email from Paizo on Friday, Oct 25 saying my order had shipped, UPS is only just finally acknowledging the tracking number. UPS claims they received the package on Thursday, Oct 31, and that it will take until Tuesday, Nov 5 for it to get to me. That's just about the slowest shipping I've seen inside the continental US, and I used to be in the mail order business.
Mark Hoover wrote:
Can you magic missile someone in the mist? You have a miss chance, but their vague outline is still visible. Also if someone cast Burning Hands into the mist, would that burn it up?
If you can see them, you can missile them, but you can't see them through more than 5 feet of mist. So you can hit someone in an adjacent square, or at the edge of the mist with MM, but not if they're further in.
I'd say BH would burn away the mist in the squares it affects.
Yeah, they were pretty atrocious. :p
Caiaphus Krupt wrote:
How anyone can manage to drawl a language as precise as Infernal is truly beyond my comprehension.
I'm reminded of the French class I took at Georgia Tech. Hearing a bunch of southern belles speaking French with a southern accent, especially after my high school teachers had emphasized proper pronunciation, was just hilarious to me.