I have never run anything there, but I think the idea of using some Byzantine terms is a good one. They are not terms most players will be familiar with and will add flavour (if not over done)
However I think the developers were just getting the feel of the place over to reader rather then trying to talk about details.
In Varnhold Vanishing
Abigale now Paladin/cleric of Erastil 7/1. Baroness. Main healer and Tank
Kelso. Item creating Wizard 8th. The only subtle one in the party
Jarl: Archery focussed ranger 8th, favoured enemies humans and fey. Really beginning to see this character shine. Was a bit over shadowed by Sven and Abigale (except against the human bandits) But all the archery feats are now meshing for serious damage.
The need for out of combat healing can be satisfied with 2 partial healers like a witch and inquisitor at low to mid levels. Have not tried it at higher levels yet.
Our group do not like relying on consumables, we always have sexier stuff to spend money on. But we do go without a cleric/oracle when we all want to play different classes. Serpents Skull we have an inquisitor, druid, sorcerer and monk. Kingmaker Paladin, rogue, wizard and Ranger. Both are at mid levels with no deaths.
To go back to the party composition. I think it will suffer from mid levels onward. The lack of versatility, battle field control and utility could at some point lead to a TPK. Often in places it will not be obvious to the GM. The AP expect a balanced party.
That said we are having great fun in Kingmaker and Serpents Skull with party's that look a bit dysfunctional. Leaving out arcane utility/control is risky from mid levels upward (they will be awesome in combat though)
I am running this one. Looks like:
They knew the NPCs they would be travelling with, and therefore knew the gaps the NPCs could cover but went with what they were interested in. The best way to play in my book.
Been playing since the 70s and not seen it as problem. Lots of GMs allow 15 minute adventuring days and do not protect their creatures/opponents from scrying.
With proper pacing and monsters/npc acting intelligently wizards, GOD or otherwise are powerful but not dominant.
I have seen every kind of character out shine the rest of the party over the years. Although with the rogue it was only in his own mind (he had a knack of landing the killing blow on powerful creatures and naming himself " giantkiller" dragon killer" etc)
There are a couple of previous thread along the same lines. It is very attractive. The one thing that I think you need to think about is the aura of cowardice. She has some pets with her, they have a fear inducing howl. You have to think about your party being split when they face her. Look at the obits thread for the number of people the original Nualia has killed because of this. Why not think about an inquisitor?
I have been playing with the same small group since the 70s. we all DM on a rota.
So if southern Garund has suitable trading partners, it explains why the pirates of the shackles can have a deal with Eleder and still make a living. This was what my initial thinking leads me to.
Sargava is an isolated ex-colony, who could be devastated by the Shackles. So the agreement protects their shipping and serves as a guard against their former masters (at a crippling cost) To the pirates Sargava is a minor part of their possible targets, so giving it up in exchanges for a steady income is not too much of a sacrifice.
You appear to be short of some skilled characters as well as ranged attacks. So I would think that Ranger and Inquisitor as suggested by Gerald or possible Bard. Particually as this could fill in some holes in the Summoners spell list.
Which ever looks like the most fun to you. Currently playing a paladin and an inquisitor and having a blast with both.
Name: Danna (sorcerer 9th)
I have been running ST for years (started in 3.5). Finnally had my first PC death. To a wandering monster (or four)
The party were travelling on the isle, there is a tropical storm which penalises perception (random weather) and I roll 4X Deinoychus. In their suprise round 2 hit Danna. They then went before her. One dead sorcerer. Four CR3 creature do what all the nasty's before could not.
We have had many close fights (recently the large serpant in ToD) but this shows that travelling unprepared and with your perceptions impared is dangerous. Well at this level she will be raised, but it is good to keep the players on their toe's
There was thread a while ago about who do all the pirates in the shackles preyed on. The pirates have an agreement with Sargava. While some traffic down to Savgara may not be covered by the agreement, it does not makes sense that that Sargava could survive if a majority of its trade does not get through.
The obvious answer is that the piracy takes place north of the Eye of Abendego, and the pirates travel to and fro between the shackles and Rahadoum/Cheliax. However this is not how the AP shows this happening
People came up with some ideas about undersea civilisations around the shackles, who have trade routes the pirates raid. This is interesting but changes the politics of the region, so I do not want to pursue this.
So my idea is that we know there are countries south of the Mwangi Expanse/Sargava. Makes sense that the merchants are travelling between the inner sea area to them and back.
So here is the question “Do we know the names of any of these kingdoms?
I do not have a great knowledge of all the APs but here my 2c.
I have only seen the first two parts but I would consider Shattered Star
I think the Dungeon Mag AP were tougher. Lost someone in Age of Worms (just before it folded) at the half way point.
Playing in Kingmaker just finished the 2nd book and the most dangerous things have been wandering monsters and Serpants Skull only in 2nd book hasn't dangerous.
Don't get me wrong we have all fallen over etc but nothing has looked like TPK us. We have bee playing since the 70s, so are at least experienced, if not expert, but not much into optimising
I did not say it would be too strong with 5. I simply pointed out the AP is designed for 4. You have stated that you have experience of the APs with 5. Obviously you are happly with that (And that is the whole point after all)
You said that the GM did not want to amend encounters. I simply think that 6 PCs may be the point when amendments will be necessary to keep a sense of threat.
Of course as I said it depends on builds and GM style.
Rathender has some solid advice. Remember that what often kills big baddies is action economy, simply adding a few levels does not always raise the threat level enough. Adding in competent helpers/Allies so the party cannot get 6 to 1 is important.
Having 6 PCs should not be an issue if some of the encounters are adjusted.
Well like all the AP it is writen for 4 PCs. All the adventures have advice of scaling the adventure for higher levels, so that could be useful. But honestly without amendments I think your party will be too strong.I am running it for 4 reasonable (but not completely optimised) PCs. They have not lost anyone and are rarely on negitive hps. So far half way through ToD.
Of course it depends on the build and DM style.
The problem with relying on CLW wands is it takes recourses my group prefer to spend on sexier stuff. A 5th level ftr, cavalier, ranger etc after a hard but not massive fight can easily be 20-30 hp down, taking 4-6 charges to recover. Those wands disappear very quickly at mid levels. I am sure it can be done but the party pays a price in it soaking up disposable income.
Having said that a paladin can act as group OOC healer at a push and does lots of fun stuff in combat.
I agree with previous posters Clerics are powerful and fun, but that a personal thing which I understand not everyone will agree with
Luna has given you a good overveiw of the campaign. More answers should probabaly be in answer to more specific questions. I will simply add that it is inmy opinion the best "Dungeon" adventure path. Which is saying something as age of worms was good. It has good roleplaying, a variety of opponants and some memorable big baddies. I am only on 5 of 12 and am converting to pathfinder like crazy
My memory of 3.5 is a bit rusty, and a lot of things depend on the rest of the party.
As I said I now play pathfinder and my 3.5 is in the attic, so I am relying on old memories
Kaskus and Zan: I think your ideas are the most likely.
I played 4th ed when it came out, but dropped it fairly quickly, So I am not an expert, and am years out of date. But here goes.
Just a few of the things I remember.
Ninja'ed by more eloquent people
I am not sure I would want to try Serpents Skull with only wands for healing. We are only on book 2, but I think the DM would have to change things a lot (I am also unsure where you would get the wands from before 4th).
However the class which has not been mentioned yet is inquisitor, a reasonable melee presence, skill and spell + some class abilities. I think a witch would be too similar to a wizard for what you are looking for.
Firstly I am playing this so I do not have total knowledge.
Wilderness types obviously do well. Classes with mounts get more use then normal and are therefore good choices.
Face characters seem to have great fun.
The lack of long dungeons favours classes which do well with short adventuring days/one encounter a day, so ninja's should do well. Having said that I am playing a half orc rogue, so take my advise with a pinch of salt.
My take on inquisitors is not so automatically dark. Any religion can benefit from such a skilled operator. Here’s mine:
Angradd is the dwarven god of aggressive combat. It makes sense for the church to train inquisitor to take on enemies of the dwarven race. Gardura expected to be fighting orc, drow, gready humans may be even dragons. Her first mission was to be a (junior) member of a team to hunt down a dwarven heretic and traitor. When a faint clue pointed towards Eleder, the junior member was sent to investigate. Regrettable she was ship wreaked on a notorious island on the way!
Clearly you have raised her level of threat considerably. Her Rapier attack has improved by 3 and her spell selection is vastly more dangerous. Only you know your party well enough to know if that is the right thing.
Looking at the Obits thread the final fight with Rowyn has not caused to much of a problem. For a final fight it should be tough so I would go for it.
It is certainly a nice conversion.
I am running an abberant sorcerer in SS. I have just hit 4th, so it is early days. I have just taken shocking graspe and an considering ghoul touch or elemental touch(APG). I am certainly looking to have a few more touch spells then you. Vampiric touch certainly. There are not enough touch spells to not have another theme. Your list has more utility spells then many sorcerers, which I think is a good thing.