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Ezren

Haladir's page

RPG Superstar 2014 Star Voter, 2015 Star Voter. Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber. 3,195 posts (4,942 including aliases). 1 review. No lists. No wishlists. 22 aliases.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Rynjin wrote:
Special: The Vital Strike Feat may be used in conjunction with the Spring Attack Feat.

That's pretty much how I've house-ruled it at my table.

I freely admit that I'm not a rules maven, although I do have a pretty decent working knowledge of the Core Rulebook. (Other books... no so much.) I find that I end up making Old School table rulings a lot of the time to make the game move, and then look up the real rule after the session is over.

Example of a recent table ruling:

PC: I jump off the 20-foot wall, sword down, and try to land on the orc guard below. I want to use my momentum to add more damage.
Me: Huh. Okay. Make an Acrobatics check, followed by an attack roll.
PC: [rolls] 26... and 24.
GM: Okay. You land on the bad guy, impaling him with your sword. Roll normal damage, and add your 2d6 falling damage to your regular weapon damage. You made your Acrobatics check, so take [rolls 1d6] 4 hp from the fall. Also, make a Reflex save, or you're prone. The DC is... [pulls out of the air] 15. [Rolls saving throw for guard... a 4.] You also knocked him prone.

Mark: When you GM, how much "Old School" ad-hoc table-ruling do you end up doing? Especially if the PCs try stuff that isn't directly covered by the rules.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Easter eggs. You know, those little gems the writers drop in that are subtle (or not-so-subtle) in-jokes, messages, or references to other things outside the game.

I have two.

1) The description of the prostitute from the NPC Gallery in the Game Mastery Guide that references the Random Harlot Encounter table from the 1st ed AD&D Dungeon Master's Guide.

2) The message at the end of the credits page in the sixth volume of every AP.

What are yours?


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I guess I'm old-school, but I only bother drawing a map if there's going to be combat there. Then, I draw it with Vis-a-Vis wet-erase markers on a 1980s-vintage Chessex battlemat.

Non-combat areas I describe verbally, and let the players draw their own maps.

For that matter, I don't bother with tactical maps for small combats that I know the PCs are going to win easily. I just describe things old-school.

Worked in 1985, still works now!


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Orfamay Quest wrote:
Haladir wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:
Haladir wrote:

There is no Christ figure either.

I'm fairly sure that this is untrue, since "Christ figure" is a label applied by the reader, not the writer.

I meant "Christ parallel" in my game world.

However, I believe you are mistaken about the term "Christ figure" in literature. Deliberate use of Christ figures by the author is a long-established literary technique.

Much less common and less well-established than you think. Don't confuse a Campbellian hero with a "Christ figure"; in fact, that's a common mistake that leads to the "Everyone is Jesus in Purgatory" trope I cited earlier.

Thanks for the info!

I'll tell my old thesis adviser that she was wrong.

Oh, sorry, that's an "appeal to authority" fallacy.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The PCs are exploring the dungeon of a temple of Urgathoa. They get into a room that a necromancer wizard is using as his study. The wizard likes nice stuff, and has his study decked out with a lot of nice furniture.

I draw the rooms on a vinyl battlemat, and I decided to draw a few pieces of the furniture in case the fight I know they're going to get into in the next room spills into this one. Anyway, I draw what's intended to be a desk chair, but it comes out looking a little like a toilet.

Player 1: Is that a toilet?

Player 2: I check it for traps.

Player 3: If it doesn't have a trap, it's not much of a toilet.

Player 2: [not getting the plumbing joke] I disable the trap.

Player 3: Well, if you disable the trap, it becomes an uncomfortable, smelly chair.

Player 2: [now gets the joke] *laughs*

Player 4: The wizard sits on the throne!

Player 1: The Throne of the Necromancer?

Player 4: No, the Bidet of the Dead!


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Well, I'm a Christian, and I run a game setting with lots of deities... and none of them is Yahweh. There is no Christ figure either. In fact, I try my hardest to exclude all real-world religion from my game world.

I bet that would make your friend's head explode.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm with wraithstrike on this question. I think a paladin should be able to use Smite Evil on a worm that walks... or any evil-aligned swarm for that matter.

My reasoning doesn't get into parsing the rules too deeply. The question is: Would it be more fun if the effect worked? At my table, the answer is a redounding "yes." So, smite away, Ms. Paladin! Making a PC's signature power fail in an encounter with a worm that walks seems like a petty "Gotcha!" to me.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I consider individual 3.x rules on a case-by-case basis, which is my policy on 3PP PFRPG stuff.

That said, one feat I always allow is Practiced Spellcaster (from Complete Arcane) which is pretty much necessary for a multiclassed caster.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I did SCA back in the '80s. It was kind of fun, but not really my thing.

I did a few of those "How to Host a Murder" parties back in the early '90s. Those were kind-of 'LARP Lite' events, but got repetitious and seemed too canned for my taste.

In the late '90s I got talked into joining a Vampire LARP. It was interesting, but got really weird. I think a few of the players may have had some trouble distinguishing fantasy from reality... or were on something. It really wasn't my scene.

It's been more than 15 years, and I really don't have the urge to do it again.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

This isn't exactly an old rule I want to bring back. It's a thing I've noticed in play under 3.x rules that I don't recall ever experiencing with AD&D.

My issue is buff spell duration. As written, I think they encourage rushing through encounters and running through dungeons.

Specifically, I'd like to eliminate the buff spell durations of "1 minute/level" and "10 minutes/level," replacing them with durations of "5 minutes" and "4 hours" respectively.

With 1 min/level spells (and to a lesser extent 10 min/level buff spells), players start to adopt a "No time to look around! GO! GO! GO!" attitude when exploring.

As a GM, I HATE THAT!!

It's almost impossible to build ambiance or a sense of place when the cleric or wizard keeps saying, "How long does that take? Hurry up! Only 6 more minutes of this awesome buff spell! Come on!"

Dropping the duration of the "1 minute/level" spells to "5 minutes" means that the spell is obviously intended to be used in a specific single combat and its immediate aftermath (or preparation). It's still long enough that it's OK to cast it a bit before the battle starts. But now, it would be so short that there would be little incentive to start rushing through the dungeon looking for more enemies to fight before it wears off. The idea of those spells is to use them "once per combat" (or possibly "through a very short series of closely-timed combats").

Extending the "10 min/level" spells to "4 hours" means that you'll only need to cast them once (or possibly twice) in a given game-day, which would allow the PCs to explore at leisure without a self-imposed ticking clock.

I haven't implemented this in my games yet, but I'm strongly thinking about it.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

One of the points of the "Shopkeeper's Daughter" encounter is to make some enmity between the owner of the General Store and the party. I played it such that Shayliss' paramour was blackballed from the store, and Vindler charges a 50% markup on everything for all of the other PCs.

This means that the PCs can't one-stop-shop for anything they might want to buy. The town is statted up very nicely in the "Sandpoint" appendix of the ROTRL Anniversary Edition (which is essentially verbatim from the Sandpoint Gazetteer from Pathfinder #1). If you look at the shop descriptions, just about any item is available from some other specialty shop in town. This gives you an excuse to actually role-play any shopping the PCs need to do, and have the PCs interact with various Sandpoint townsfolk.

If you can, pick up Rise of the Runelords Face Cards, and use those to really drive home who the PCs are interacting with. NPCs really stick when the players have a face to go with a name.

EDIT: I now see that this deck is sold out, and going for over $100 in the aftermarket. Instead, grab the art from the RotRL PDF and print your own face cards onto card stock.

You can also design a few short encounters in town, akin to the ones presented under the "Local Heroes" section. Some of them don't even need to be encounters: just interesting interactions with the NPCs. For example, one thing I've stolen from another GM is that a number of children in town start playing "Sandpoint Heroes," and sometimes follow around the PCs dressed up like them. (Here's an example of my use of that encounter in my Runelords PbP. Pardon the typos-- I posted that from my smartphone.)

Reference to above link:
If the PCs had followed the mini-versions of themselves, they would have had to rescue the kids from a pair of very real goblins that were harvesting useful garbage from Junk Beach.

In short, make Sandpoint out to be a friendly, quirky place filled with friendly, quirky people. Give the town itself a chance to be a character in your story.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

If I were the GM, I'd allow Smite Evil to work on a worm that walks. Not letting it work seems like a technicality.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

48. Open the Bestiary to the doppelganger page, and set it where the players can see it. Send one player an otherwise innocuous note.


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Your humble narrator

Sorry for lack of update today. Busy day at work, and my wife and I went out for dinner and a movie. I'll get things moving tomorrow.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

About 10 years ago, I was jogging on a trail that went around the shore of a small lake. It was about 6:30 AM, and the sun hadn't fully risen. As I'm running, I hear the sound of rustling leaves above me, and then something fell on me, landing on the side of my face and shoulder. It was fuzzy, but squirmed and half-fell, half-jumped off.

I screamed like a little girl at the squirrel that fell out of a tree and landed on me.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

For rules, I keep my laptop on the table, open to the PRD in 3 or 4 browser windows. "Find on page" is very useful.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Ahem.

Back to the topic of the thread...

In my Runelords PbP, the combat is technically still going on, but the party is pretty close to winning.

The party consists of five second-level characters: Fighter (sword & shield), Rogue (no archetype, but archery-focused), Oracle of Flame, Sorcerer (arcane bloodline, enchantment/pattern focused), and an aasimar (gnome stock) druid of Gozreh. All of them are pretty much generalists, and none have any weird ability combos.

The fight is currently in Round 15, and will probably keep going another few rounds.

The Setup:
I rebuilt Erylium slightly as a 3rd-level witch with the bouda archetype from the Monster Codex-- that let her not have a familiar, and the archetype seems tailor-made for worshipers of Lamashtu. I also changed up her hexes to Bouda's eye and Misfortune. (Slumber seemed a bit too powerful.)

In my version, I had 10-foot-tall stone double doors separate the Cathedral of Wrath from the Shrine to Lamashtu, locked with a Superior lock (DC 40 Disable Device to open.) That's pretty much beyond the capabilities of a level-2 party, because I wanted the fight with Eryllium to be the the boss fight of the Catacombs. A set of keys to all locks in the complex could be found floating in the Meditation Chamber; Eryllium herself had a duplicate set.

Anyway, the party took their time checking the doors for traps, and Eryllium noticed them there-- and that they weren't using the "secret knock" that she had previously established with Nualia and Tsuto.

I decided that the Cathedral of Wrath would be lit with four continual flame orbs suspended from the ceiling on chains, so that the party could observe what the quasit was up to.

Also: the party had been warned via Tsuto's journal that there was a quasit down there, and they had also gone shopping. But none of them thought to buy cold iron weapons.

The fight:
Round 1: The party entered the Cathedral, and saw the Runewell and larger summoning pool, along with the rune-carved walls. Eryllium hovered above the pulpit, screaming obscenities and threats at the party. She then cut herself with her dagger, letting a drop of blood drip into the Runewell. Both pools bubbled vigorously. The party charged in to attack the quasit.

Round 2: The demon became invisible, and a sinspawn erupted from the summoning pool, attacking the druid. The PCs then focused their attention on the sinspawn.

Round 3: The quasit began casting summon monster II, intending to summon a fiendish giant centipede. Since she was making noise while casting, I let the PCs pinpoint her square with a DC 20 Perception check. Both the rogue and fighter pinpointed her, firing an arrow and crossbow bolt, and both successfully hit their targets, but neither weapon penetrated her DR 10. The rest of the party dropped the sinspawn.

Round 4: The quasit's summon monster went off, and a centipede appeared adjacent to the sorcerer. The two would fight in melee combat for the next few rounds, with the sorcerer using the wand of shocking grasp recovered from the Meditation Chamber. At the same time, the quasit cast hold person on the fighter, who failed his save. The party then attacked the now-visible quasit. Everyone blew their Knowledge (planes) checks, and no one knew that the demon was resistant to fire. Both the oracle and the druid wasted fire spells on her that couldn't get through her energy resistance.

Round 5: The quasit cut herself again, causing the summoning pool to bubble violently again. That's when the magic of the runewell began to diminish. (On subsequent attempts to use the runewell, I was going to have it create a fleshdreg twice, then a fleshdreg swarm before running out of Wrath Points.) The fighter remained paralyzed. The druid then started to cast summon nature's ally i to bring in a celestial eagle. [Note: At the time, both the player and I confused summon monster with summon nature's ally. The eagle shouldn't have had the celestial template, but it turned out to be the only truly effective attack they had; I just let it go when I realized this a day later.]

Round 6: Another sinspawn rose out of the summoning pool, biting the oracle and causing her to succumb to its sinful bite. The summoned centipede also bit the sorceress, poisoning her. The fighter finally saved vs. the hold person. The demon then became invisible while the rogue and oracle fought the second sinspawn.

Round 7: The quasit began casting summon monster i as the druid's summoned celestial eagle appeared. The eagle made its DC 20 Perception check, and attacked the quasit, hitting it rather severely. Since it had the celestial template, its natural attacks bypassed the quasit's DR. The quasit lost its spell while defending itself.

Round 8: The quasit fought the celestial eagle with its natural attacks, doing all of 3 hp damage. The eagle did considerable damage to the quasit, but then disappeared at the end of the round. The rest of the party dispatched both the sinspawn and the fiendish centipede.

Round 9: The demon used its Misfortune hex on the druid, but he saved. The sorceress hit the quasit with color spray, stunning it for 1 round, while the rest of the party missed.

Round 10: The rogue hit the stunned demon with a crit, plus sneak attack, and the demon went below 10 hp for the first time. (Alas, that would be as low as its hp would go.) Everyone else's attacks failed to penetrate her DR or energy resistance.

Round 11: The demon used her cause fear spell-like ability, and the fighter and sorceress both failed their saves, running out of the room. The druid cast some healing and the oracle climbed the pulpit to get a better angle on the quasit.

Round 12: Eryllium used her fetish to cast touch of fatigue on the oracle at range, but the oracle made her saving throw. The sorceress shook off the fear effect and returned to the room, but the fighter kept running. The druid cast more healing, and the rogue continued to hit her with arrows that failed to bypass her DR.

Round 13: Out of spells, I decided that hexing the PCs would only serve to prolong this fight, so I had her throw her returning dagger. She missed. The sorceress hit her with color spray again, stunning the demon again while it was hovering over the summoning pool. The oracle then decided to take a running jump at the demon, intending to grab it out of the air and drown it in the pool! She rolled a 24 on her Acrobatics check, and successfully grappled the stunned demon, and the two fell into the five-foot-deep summoning pool! I decided that the pool was so cold that it would do 1d3 nonlethal cold damage per round. I also decided that a stunned creature would not be able to hold its breath before being submerged, so it would have to start making Con checks immediately.

Round 14: The demon wakes up, and tries to escape the pin, but the oracle holds fast. The druid also enters the pool to assist the grapple; and the rogue does too, stabbing the demon with a sneak attack. The quasit makes its Con check.

Round 15: The demon fails to escape the pin, but makes its Con check. The rogue sneak attacks again but doesn't get past its DR. The oracle holds fast. The fighter gets to the edge of the pool, intending to attack the quasit with his masterwork mithril ranseur (from the statue of Alaznist) next round.

At this point, the quasit is probably dead, but I want to keep playing it out to see what happens.


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Your humble narrator

Prologue

Lightning flashes across the black sky, briefly illuminating the circle of brightly-colored, yet run-down wagons. Rain pours down on the encampment, deepening the gloom. In one of the wagons, the light of an oil lamp seeps out of canvas shades over the windows, indicating someone is still awake.

Inside the wagon, an ancient Varisian woman sits at a felt-covered table, hands waving over a crystal ball, muttering her thoughts aloud to herself. "Yes. Yes. They are coming. They are coming. The lord of the castle calls them, and they come, even if they do not yet know it. And who are these newcomers who will arrive yet never leave? Time will tell. And what will they be doing? What do the cards tell us...?"

She asks herself a question, then turns over a card.

Spoiler:
Card #1
Suit: 1d6 ⇒ 1
ethic: 1d3 ⇒ 2
moral: 1d3 ⇒ 3

Card#2
Suit: 1d6 ⇒ 4
ethic: 1d3 ⇒ 3
moral: 1d3 ⇒ 3

Card#3
Suit: 1d6 ⇒ 2
ethic: 1d3 ⇒ 3
moral: 1d3 ⇒ 2

Card#4
Suit: 1d6 ⇒ 3
ethic: 1d3 ⇒ 3
moral: 1d3 ⇒ 3

Card#5
Suit: 1d6 ⇒ 1
ethic: 1d3 ⇒ 3
moral: 1d3 ⇒ 3

Card#6
Suit: 1d6 ⇒ 6
ethic: 1d3 ⇒ 2
moral: 1d3 ⇒ 3

Card#7
mystery roll: 1d6 ⇒ 3
Suit: 1d6 ⇒ 1
ethic: 1d3 ⇒ 1
moral: 1d3 ⇒ 2

"The tool they want... The Foreigh Trader, crossed by...The Snakebite."

"The weapon they need...The Fiend, crossed by... The Cyclone."

"The knowledge they seek... The Liar."

"And the Lord of the Castle... The Theater, crossed by... The Waxworks."

She studies the cards for several minutes, as she curls her lip in a wicked smile. "Yes! Yes! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!" She cackles loudly to herself, as another crash of thunder drowns out the sound.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

My usual reaction to a TPK is that the bad guys capture the party and stabilize their wounds, for later use as slaves/sacrifices/lunch. This allows me to run a "prison break" scenario where the PCs break out of jail, find their captured equipment, and open up a can of hurt all over their former captors.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

In my view, animating the remains of the dead is desecration of a corpse. It's an evil act. I would not want the remains of my dead loved ones made to dance like a puppet by a necromancer. It's a foul abomination. The dead should rest in peace.

Animating the dead will be an evil act in just about any game I GM, whether or not "evil" has any level of in-game objective reality.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Not exactly a one-liner, but we all had a good laugh...

One of the players meant to make a comment about the party being a bunch of "murder-hobos," but accidentally said "murder-hippies" instead.

Me: Wait-- murder-hippies? Like the Manson Family?

Player 1: *sings* "Helter-skelter... helter-skelter... helter-skelter.. yeah!"

Player 2: You harshed my mellow, man. Now ya gotta die!

Player 3: ...by smoking a POUND of weed!

Player 2: ...and dropping 20 tabs of acid!

Player 3: Not acid like LSD, real acid!

Player 1: Ooh! Look at the pretty colors... LIKE YOUR BLOOD!!!

Me: Peace, love, and... MURDER!!!


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Under raging stormclouds, a lone figure stands silhouetted against the ancient towers of Castle Ravneloft. Count Strahd von Zarovich stares down a sheer cliff at the village below. A cold, bitter wind spins dead leaves about him, billowing his cape in the darkness.

Lightning splits the clouds overhead, casting stark white light across him. Strahd turns to the sky, revealing the angular muscles of his face and hands. He has a look of power—and of madness. His once-handsome face is contorted by a tragedy darker than the night itself.

Rumbling thunder pounds the castle spires. The wind's howling increases as Strahd turns his gaze back to the village. Far below, yet not beyond his keen eyesight, a party of adventurers has just entered his domain. Strahd's face forms a twisted smile as his dark plan unfolds. He knew they were coming, and he knows why they came, all according to his plan. He, the master of Ravenloft will attend to them.

Another lightning flash rips through the darkness, its thunder echoing through the castle's towers. But Strahd is gone. Only the howling of the wind—or perhaps a lone wolf—fills the midnight air. The master of Ravenloft is having guests for dinner.

And you are invited.

Overview I6: Ravenloft is a classic AD&D module, published in 1983, and is still hailed as one of the greatest published RPG adventures of all time. I have played through this module twice back in the day. I also ran it as an 11-hour marathon session on Halloween Night in 1990.

I'd like to run this classic again in the current era, using modern rules with old-school flavor. To keep the old-school flavor, I would like to restrict character creation options to the Pathfinder Core Rulebook.

I would like to run a party of five or six PCs, depending on the character submissions.

Character Creation Guidelines: Pathfinder RPG rules.

Ability Scores:20-point buy.

Starting level:Character level 5.

Hit Points: Max at Level 1, then hit points of "average Hit Die rounded up" at each level. d6=4; d8=5; d10=6; d12=7.

Starting wealth: 10,500 gp.
You may not start play with any item with a price more than 5,000 gp.

Character Build Options: Character options are restricted to the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook only, plus what's listed below. That means:

  • Core classes
  • Core races
  • Core feats
  • Core spells
  • Equipment and magic items from Core Rulebook only.

Traits: All PCs start with two Traits. These must be chosen from the Character Traits Web Enhancement document.

Bonus Feat: All PCs start with one Bonus Feat at Level 1, chosen from the following list:

  • Acrobatic
  • Alertness
  • Animal Affinity
  • Athletic
  • Deceitful
  • Deft Hands
  • Magical Aptitude
  • Persuasive
  • Skill Focus
  • Self-Sufficient
  • Stealthy

Alignment: Any non-evil alignment.

Magic Item Creation: I would discourage this, but if you want take Item Creation feats, you may purchase magic items that you could create at cost (i.e. half the list price). This does not allow you to start play with a magic item with a price over 5,000 gp. Also note that during play, you will most likely not have the opportunity to craft new items.

Setting: This adventure takes place on Golarion. Please note that the original module I6: Ravenloft was published years before TSR published its Ravenloft: Demiplane of Dread campaign setting, and did not use any of that material. I won't be using any of it either.

Character Background: Your character should be from Golarion, and you have been adventuring with your companions for some time. We will be starting play in central Ustalav, three days journey east of the town of Carrion Hill. Please write up a background for your character, such that he or she will have been adventuring in Ustalav for a while. Once character selection is complete, I would like the selected PCs to figure out a collective history in the Discussion forum before we actually start play.

Class-Specific Home Rules:

Clerics: Clerics must worship a single deity. While the rules say that a cleric can be within one step of a deity's alignment, I discourage that. An alignment mismatch means that your cleric is a heretic in some way, and is only barely keeping the faith, making it that much easier to become an ex-cleric.

Sorcerers: Sorcerers gain their Bloodline spells on even-numbered levels. (i.e. one level earlier than standard.)

Wizards: Wizards start play with the following number of spells in their spellbooks: 0-level: all from [i]CRB[/b]; 1st-level: 8; 2nd-level: 5; 3rd-level: 2. A wizard PC who would like to start play with more spells in her spellbook may spend starting money to purchase spell scrolls and spend the copying cost.

Recruitment ends Saturday, 04 April 2015, at 5:00 EDT.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
zergtitan wrote:
Have you ever been to New England?

Nope.

Furthest east I've been is somewhere in Atlanta, at the airport, which was a long complicated flight to Gen Con. The furthest east I've been OUTSIDE of an airport is Indianapolis, for Gen Con. Not counting trips to Gen Con... I've never left the Washington/California (and thus Oregon) side of things.

Wow! Knowing that you're such a Lovecraft fan, I find that surprising!

Any place in New England you'd like to visit some day?


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

There are no named NPCs associated with the temple of Shelyn in Guide to Korvosa.

For my Korvosa-based, non-Crimson Throne campaign, I designed a character named Ellandra Velloria as the high priest of Shelyn in Korvosa. She is a half-elven bard 5/cleric 3/mystic theurge 3. Here's her write up at my campaign site. So far, I haven't had the need to fully stat her up.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Wayne, thanks so much for your artwork and also for taking the time to make this thread!

How much of your inspiration comes from existing characters in the zeitgeist?

For example, I've seen some crosstalk on these boards that your inspiration for Valeros was Val Kilmer's portrayal of the character Mad Martigan from the 1988 film Willow. Was that an intentional homage?

I was also wondering if you took inspiration for your design of the iconic hunter Adowyn from Rose Leslie's portrayal of Ygritte in the HBO version of Game of Thrones?


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Rynjin wrote:
Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
Rynjin wrote:

It happens IRL all the time. Your best friend tells you some lie about your half-brother that he raped your wife or something, and you believe him...

Charm Person explicitly allows that sort of thing. As long as you pass the Cha check, they believe you. Give them a plausible reason, and you're set.

Just because you believe the lie does not mean you are forced to then go kill your half brother.

As per Charm Person, yes, yes it does.

You give the justification (in my case, as I recall, it was that the brother and father had been replaced by dppelgangers or something), tell them to do it, and make the Cha check.

100% rules legal.

Dumb as hell, but legal.

And that's why the game has a GM to adjudicate things. In this situation, the GM can say, "No. Because that's dumb."


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Spook205 wrote:
3.) If there were infestations of Giant Polyps on Golarian, where would they be?
3) Giant polyps? I assume giant versions of the primitive tiny water-borne creatures, and not the things that grow inside of people. I suspect the best place for them would be in any soggy area... the Sodden Lands come immediately to mind.

I have a sneaking suspicion that Spook205 meant "Flying Polyps"...


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The magical school of necromancy is not inherently evil.

Whether or not animating corpses as undead creatures is evil depends on the game-rules of your campaign world. In canon Golarion, animating corpses through necromancy is an inherently evil act.

In my version of Golarion (i.e. in my home game), the dark magic used to animate a corpse uses Evil energies from the Lower Planes. The act also messes with the normal Order of Things, which makes Pharasma unhappy. I also say that creating undead pulls a fragment of a living soul and binds it to the undead. In the case of mindless undead, this doesn't prevent the soul from being judged and sent to its destination in the Great Beyond, but does diminish that soul in some way. This also means that unintelligent undead hate and envy the living in an instinctual way, and will seek to destroy life when not controlled by magic. Creation of sentient undead corrupts the soul of the creature, retaining it in the ghoul/mummy/vampire/etc, turning it evil (usually).

The other thing about animating the dead: it's desecration of a corpse. Would you want a necromancer to make the bones of your dead husband, mother, or child dance like a puppet? The dead should be respected, and animating them to do your bidding is anything but respectful.

I happen to like the "undead are almost always evil" concept. However, if you want to use a different metaphysical backdrop in your campaign world, go for it!


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I would totally buy a revised hardcover edition of either Curse of the Crimson Throne or Second Darkness.

Of the two, I'd actually vote for Second Darkness. Crimson Throne works very, very well as-is with the Pathfinder rules. All you really need to do is substitute in PFRPG versions of the monsters, and run it straight. Honestly, I think Crimson Throne is still the best overall AP that Paizo has done!

A revised edition of Second Darkness would give the devs a chance to fix the way-too-choppy transition between the Children of the Void and Armageddon Echo; re-write the elves so that they're not a bunch of xenophobic jerks; and just generally address the complaints.

I know that James Jacobs has mentioned on his "As Me Anything" thread that he has a whole bunch of ideas on how to fix Second Darkness and make it into the amazing AP that it deserves to be.

And the 10th anniversary of the Adventure Path line in 2017 is only two years away...


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I had it be Katrine Vindler got involed with the PC Ulfen barbarian during the Swallowtail Featival, while she and Banny Harker were on the rocks. They carried on for a while during the course of Burnt Offerings, until Banny Harker pulled a romantic stunt in the Rusty Dragon to woo her back. It worked, and the PC was somewhat humiliated. Two days later, when both Katrine and Banny were dead, the PC was Hemlock's suspect #1!


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Well, yeah, but I thought a lecture on Biblical studies was beyond the scope of this thread.


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Krensky wrote:

And apparently the Presbyterian Church has changed its constitution to recognize and allow same sex marriage.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/18/us/presbyterians-give-final-approval-for- same-sex-marriage.html?_r=0

The Presbyterian Church (USA), to be specific. (There are other, more conservative Presbyterian denominations that do not support LGBT Christians.)

I'm an ordained Elder in the Presbyterian Church (USA). I've been a member of the Covenant Network of Presbyterians since 1995, and my local congregation as a whole joined the network in 1998. We;ve been working for full inclusion of LGBT Christians in the church for a very long time. It's good to know it's finally come true!


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I'm pretty sure the devs talked about optional rules that monkey with the action economy was something they were considering to include in Pathfinder Unchained. I would not be surprised if they presented a new optional combat mechanic that got rid of iterative attacks.


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Joshua Hagan 64 wrote:
I have been looking for as much information as I could find for Shemhazai,Empyreal Lord of Vision to no avail. I have a player that was hoping to play a character that worshiped Shemhazai, with the ultimate goal of trying to free his god. Currently he looking at an inquisitor, but he was also interested in possibly shifting to a Mystery Cultist, if we could find more information on domains, obedience, boons, favored weapons, etc.

As Adam said above back in October, the listing is from one of the hardcover rulebooks, meaning it's not necessarily canon for Golarion. This name is not listed in either Chronicle of the Righteous or Inner Sea Gods. There do not appear to be any Golarion references to an entity of this name. I suspect it's included in the Bestiary for a GM to define as she sees fit for her home game.

The name itself is from real-world mythology.

'Shemhazai' is from the Book of Enoch, an ancient Hebrew religious text that Christian scholars consider to be part of the Old Testament Apocrypha. (The Apocrypha are Hebrew texts were written at the time of the Old Testament, but are not considered to be canonical books of the Christian Bible.)

According to the Book of Enoch, Shemhazai is one of the fallen angels who sided with Lucifer. The fallen angels fathered a race of giants with human women called the Nephilim. Yawheh considered the Nephilim to be abominations and destroyed them all in the Great Flood.


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Far Too Many Shades of Gray

The campaign that's all about the moral ambiguity. Quest-givers all run their own agendas. Bad guys have noble aspirations and are just misunderstood. Authorities are almost as corrupt as the cabal of cultists, who are really only trying to improve their lot in life. No one's a good guy, no one's a bad guy. Every actions the PCs take have questions of morality, and discussions of right-and-wrong take precedence over the overall plot.

Solution: If that's the game you like, great. If you'd rather be the Big Hero Who Saves The World, you might want to find another game.


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16. A kitten.

Spoiler:
Bonus points if you are Skeletor.


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As GM, I would certainty rule that ascension to godhood is well beyond the power of a 9th-level spell, regardless of how perfectly it was worded.


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Who Needs a Writers' Circle When I've Got a Gaming Group?

The campaign is set in the world of the GM's unpublished/incomplete novel, and the events are the plot of same. The GM reacts very badly to any player action that deviates from the preconceived storyline.

Similarly, a PC might be the protagonist of a player's novel, and refuses to bite on plot hooks that could besmirch the purity/nobility/ruthlessness/etc of the novel version of the character.

Solution: Have an out-of-game chat with the offenders to gently remind them of the difference between a story and a game.


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This RPG is for porn...

Encounters with NPCs invariably turn sexual, with emphasis on the scandalous and explicit details. The "maturity" of the scenes tends to be inversely proportional to the maturity of the players.

Solution: This usually corrects itself with the players' acquisition of a real-world sex life.


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RIZZENMAGNUS wrote:

a willingness to kill a PC.

i dont mean that as a tongue in cheek comment, but as a serious one.

If you have a DM that is willing to fudge rolls, to tweak rules, and modify encounters simply because players get struck with bad luck, then that is a DM, IMO, that doesnt value the life and hard work that a player puts into his/her character.

By telling the players straight out "i will kill you. I do not hide my rolls, i do not fudge encounters, if the goblin crit kills you, then you will die and may need to roll up a new pc." i have had pcs laugh at this until they did die, and then they get all pissy because i didnt save their pc. i just look at them and say "what did i tell you at the start?"

I'm going to have to completely disagree with you entirely on this point.

As a GM, I'll let PCs die due to stupid tactics, obviously bad decisions, heroic action to save others, or in the final battle with the BBEG of the campaign. I'm not going to kill a PC due to Thug #3 getting lucky and scoring two critical hits. This is why I roll ALL my dice BEHIND the screen: I'm not going to derail the story just because of a few particularly unlucky dice rolls. (Complicate the story? Sure. Derail it? no.)

This is for the very reason you cite: I value the work players have done to craft a character that fits my campaign, carefully nurtured over several weeks/months/years, and that I've incorporated into the storyline of my game.

Getting killed isn't fun. The PCs are supposed to be the heroes of the story. While it can be dramatically appropriate (and a fitting end) for a PC to die in the right circumstances-- especially if the player chooses to sacrifice the character for the greater good (of the story). But it's just not fun to get killed in a meaningless random wilderness encounter.

Of course... I don't actually TELL my players this...


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In Korvosa, there are established temples of Sarenrae and Shelyn as well. Their high priests aren't detailed in Guide to Korvosa, so I'd assume that they're lower level than D'Bear, Reebs, or Tuttle. (They can't cast 7th-level spells.)

Non-canonical Korvosan NPC clerics in my campaign:

Ellandra Velloria, high priestess of Shelyn. Bard 5/cleric of Shelyn 3/mystic theurge 5
Viorec Korvaski, high priest of Sarenrae. Rogue 2/cleric of Sarenrae 9.
Zeldra Rallick, cleric of Urgathoa 4, priestess of the Pallid Princess at the Pantheon of Many.

Depending on your version of Varisia and where you are in your version of Golarion's timeline, the retired PCs who saved the world in Rise of the Runelords, Curse of the Crimson Throne, or Second Darkenss, might be around somewhere-- probably running a tavern somewhere out-of-the-way, as that's the typical retirement plan for former adventurers.


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CG Female Human (Varisian) Witch (cartomancer) 3
stats:
hp 17/17 | AC 12; touch 12; flat-foot 10 | Fort +2; Ref +3; Will +5 | Init +2 | Perception +2

Zee stands at the ledge, looking down at the crashing surf a thousand feet below. The wooden platform stretches 50 feet away, and she grasps a flimsy rope, steeling her nerves to swing across. "Don't fall, Zee! It's a long way down!" observes a disquietingly cheery Nalathi. "NO, DON'T FALL, ZIOMARRA!" booms the voice of the animated face of The Fiend from the oversized Harrow card hanging from her friend's neck, "BUT IF YOU DO, I WILL CATCH YOU! HA HA HA!" She looks back to her friends standing behind her... Brianna ignores her while she paints the facade of Kaer Maga on a canvas at an easel; Joanna stares at her impassively while standing in her Hellknight armor, clutching a black-bladed two-handed sword in her hands. Somethings's not right about that... "Are you going over or what?" asks Teldon. Wait, that's not Teldon, that's 'cousin' Milos Drendori from the family carravan. What's he doing here? Another voice cries, "Swing across, my dear! The cards show it's easy!" The Amazing Zograthy turns over a battered Harrow card... The Avalanche. That's not a good card. The old man laughs menacingly, and he and Milos grab Zee's shoulders and push her roughly over the edge. She swings through the air far too slowly. She sees the gargoyles carved on the opposite pillars turn to look at her with glowing red eyes and their stony mouths turn to evil grins. "I got you, Zee!" says Embyr, standing on the wooden platform. Zee reaches out to grab the Tower Girl's arm, but now there's a Thassilonian dagger in her own hand. As she passes, she unthinkingly stabs Embyr in the neck, and the girl falls backward off the platform. Then the rope snaps, and Zee falls after her... falling... falling to the angry surf below...

"AAAGHHH!" Zee bolts upright in bed, trembling uncontrollably. Her eyes dart around the unfamiliar room, and for a moment, she doesn't know where she is. "What?! Where...? Pathfinders. Heidmarch Manor. I spent the night at Heidmarch Manor...

He hearbeat stops racing, and she rises from the bed. She walks to the small writing desk in the room, and opens her Harrow deck. She shuffles and lays out the cards in numerous complex patters, which etch their own magical patterns in her mind; her spells for another day. Completing that, she lays out a short reading for herself.

Summing up the reading in a single card...

The Brass Dwarf:
suit: 1d6 ⇒ 3 ...Shields (Constitution)
Ethic: 1d3 ⇒ 1 ...lawful
Moral: 1d3 ⇒ 2 ...neutral

Today's Harrowed feat: Constitution

The fiery dwarf represents strength and steadfastness in the face of danger. Though the road be perilous, I will stand my ground and not succumb to my own fear.

She then closes her eyes and prays a silent prayer to the Starsong: Blessed is the long road, the destination, the homeward path, and all who make the journey. Please bless my dreams to be bright stars in the night sky of my mind, and may your blessed starlight illumine my path.

With that, Zee gets dressed and heads downstairs to join the others for breakfast.


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Kelsey Arwen McAlibert wrote:
California man files ballot measure to execute all homosexuals by firing squad.

Huh. That was an interesting read.

I seem to recall someone important once saying, "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone..."

And something else about "Judge not others lest you be judged yourself..."

And another suggestion to "Remove the log from your own eye before you remove the speck from someone else's..."

And that the greatest commandment is to love your neighbor.

And something else about putting away weapons drawn in his defense.

The fact that Mr. McLaughlin is advocating murder in the name of Christ indicates that he hasn't actually read this book he purports to be defending.

I think the guy needs to see a shrink.


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[My low-level PCs are lost in the mountains, running out of food. They just killed an elk and need to preserve it so they can travel.]

Barbarian: I'm going to make venison jerky.

Rogue: I'm going to scout ahead while you jerk your meat.


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CG Female Human (Varisian) Witch (cartomancer) 3
stats:
hp 17/17 | AC 12; touch 12; flat-foot 10 | Fort +2; Ref +3; Will +5 | Init +2 | Perception +2

At Teldon's statement of confusion, Zee smiles the smile of a mother who is gently correcting the misbehavior of a child who didn't understand what he'd just done. She places her hand on Teldon's shoulder and leans in to speak quietly to him.

"Teldon, eu nu te blestemat, mai ales nu în numele Desna. Tu și cu mine suntem prieteni și aliați..." She speaks in rapid Varisian, speaking softly yet firmly, while looking Teldon right in the eye.

Varisian:
"Teldon, I have never cursed you, especially not in the name of Desna. You and I are friends and allies. But friends can get upset with one another. What upset me was your callousness and disrespect to the dead-- especially in front of our prisoners. That woman Embyr had been their friend. I was shocked that a man of your intellect and scholarship would behave in such a manner.

You see, when you volunteered to retrieve the body, my heart warmed that you would so something so selfless and compassionate. We all expected that you would lower her body down to us gently and respectfully. But when you just dropped her into the water, we were all horrified-- you turned our expectations on its head. That is why we all reacted with shock and anger. Speaking just for myself, that woman was the first person I had ever killed. I am still very much upset with myself for letting her fall, for I had no intention of killing her. I feel that any loss of a person's life to be a tragedy. Watching her body fall made me re-live killing her all over again. Honestly, I fear that I'll be re-living her death in my nightmares for a very long time."

Zee shudders a moment, re-living the experience of watching the body fall one more time.

The Varisian woman inhales deeply, holds her breath a long moment, then lets it out slowly. She switches her language to Taldane, "I do value our friendship very much. You are a very learned man, Teldon, and probably have the keenest intellect of anyone I've ever met. You have reached heights of scholarship that I doubt I'll ever achieve. You are an integral part of our little team here. I had been afraid I'd misjudged you, but the fact that you are seeking to understand speaks volumes to your character. I think we can chalk this up to a difference in expectations. Here, we respect the dead-- even the bodies of our fallen enemies. I have never been to Absalom-- perhaps your rites are very different than what I am accustomed to."

She pauses a moment, and then asks, "Are we okay?"

* * *

Joanna's powerful arms propel the boat steadily toward the wharf in Dockway. Zee takes one of the ties, hops off the boat onto the pier, and secures it to a piling. She speaks very quietly to her friends, "We are in agreement-- let's go straight to Heidmarch Manor. We should take the objects we found with us: some of these things are artifacts that the Society should study. The others... well, Lady Heidmarch can perhaps store them for us overnight before we can have them assessed tomorrow."


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The head of Vecna! Man, I haven't seen reference to this in YEARS! I fist heard this story in the mid-1990s, and it was old then!

I don't like to trick my players, and don't tolerate PvP in my games, so this would never happen at my table. But it's still a great story!


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...and I still don't hire people if they cuss during the job interview.


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CG Female Human (Varisian) Witch (cartomancer) 3
stats:
hp 17/17 | AC 12; touch 12; flat-foot 10 | Fort +2; Ref +3; Will +5 | Init +2 | Perception +2

When she notices unwelcome eyes watching the transfer of salvage, Zee returns the baleful gaze. To her friends, she whispers, "Hurry. News travels quickly in Underbridge, and we won't want to be here when they return with their friends..."

* * *

In the journey back to Dockside, Zee answers Teldon's question. There is no sense of lingering anger in her response.

"You don't know the Starsong? While I'm surprised that a man of your scholarship does not know her, I am more than happy to tell you about her. That is another name of the goddess Desna. She is the goddess of travel, dreams, fortune, and the stars. Some of her other names are The Song of the Spheres, Lady of Fortune, Tender of Dreams, and Queen of the Stars. Desna blesses and protects travelers; the road is her temple and the journey is her blessing. We Varisians sometimes call ourselves the Children of Desna, for we all have a natural wanderlust. That is why the traditional Varisian lifestyle is on the road, and why my people have founded so few cities. For there is so much to see and experience in the world, and Desna wants us to see and experience as much as we possibly can. After Desna blessed her people, she wept in joy; the glittering tears fell into the eyes of the Varisians, which is why so many of us have the gift of prophecy--in dreams, or in reading the stars, or through the Harrow. But Desna does not want us to place too much faith in prophecy: she shows those with the Gift possibilities-- goals to strive for or warnings against folly. For we all have the freedom to forge our own paths; to journey with those who choose to accompany us. We are all travelers in the great journey of life. Desna wants us to delight in discovery of the novel and to savor the experiences we encounter along the road, trusting our instincts and intuition as our guides. For the possibilities are as limitless as the stars themselves."

She pauses, gauging her friends' reactions to her mini-sermon. "Sorry. I could go on like that for hours. There is a Desnan way-shrine on the Lost Coat Road about three miles north of Magnimar, if you know where to look. An inscription is carved over the entrance: 'Blessed is the long road, the destination, the homeward path, and all who make the journey. Let each dream be a bright star in the night sky of your mind, lighting your path in the day.'"


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James Jacobs wrote:
Filby Pott wrote:
Have you ever run any D&D adventures converted to Pathfinder, and if so how did they go?

All the time.

I'm currently running Necropolis (a 3.5 adventure) and Temple of Elemental Evil (a 1st edition adventure) and they're a blast!

Cool! I was thinking of doing something similar with I6: Ravenloft.

When you convert an adventure from an earlier edition, how do you do it? Do you re-work each encounter area ahead of time (effectively re-writing the earlier work)? Or do you convert on-the-fly, running it straight out of the module and just substituting in the Pathfinder version of the monsters/NPCs?


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What? A meeting of old grongards and you didn't invite me?

I'm re-running Runelords as a PbP on the boards. I'm still not sure what I want to change vs. run straight. When I ran Runleords a few years ago, I tinkered with it extensively... so far I've been running this version more-or-less straight.

I think I'm going to add in a couple of side-quests to Burnt Offerings from Wayfinder #7. I'm still debating on whether I want to run the Toadstool Goblins side-quest I wrote and shared years ago.

I had been a player in the PbP, and took over GM duties when the GM went AWOL. He had set up the Glassworks battle with more goblins and Tsuto in the fight from the beginning. I had the goblins be extremely ineffective fighters, which didn't let them really make their superior numbers an advantage. When the battle turned against Tsuto, he used Acrobatics to run downstairs. Eventually, he ran into the tunnels, and I ran a Chase through the tunnels. I figured that Tsuto knew there was a rowboat on the beach at the end of the tunnels, and he was running for it.

I ran a long role-playing interlude through Sandpoint. I did this in order to bring the town more to life. With Ven Vindler hostile to the PCs (either overcharging them or simply banning them from the General Store), the PCs have to interact with other shops in town to get what they want to buy. This gave me the chance to do some role-playing in order to make the town seem more real and endearing to the players.

They're in the Catacombs now. One thing I'm adding to that encounter is a mechanism that Koruvus can use to release the zombie prisoners. I did the same when I ran the Catacombs last time, and it worked well then. It puts a timer on the fight: after Koruvus throws a switch, the zombies are all raised up and released after 3 rounds. If the PCs can't drop Koruvus and switch the lever in 3 rounds, they'll have a MUCH harder fight on their hands!

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