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I think the best way is show them the consequences of their actions
A rival team who perform better is a good idea.
Intimidate has a short time scale. Have intimidated NPC come after them/hire others to do likewise, in revenge for their bullying.
Swap in a few good aligned magic items.
Let the realise good characters/NPCs get price discounts at some shops etc
So my players are old and crafty. The party gets to Brimwall early afternoon, they go to the lighthouse, then the graveyard. They talk to Spivy (but do not see her) Spivy tells them about the “bird men” in the castle. So they hid in one of the buildings and observe the castle.
I roll to see if any dire corbys left to hunt to day (they hunt on alternate days) They hunted today. So dusk the hunters return. The party return to the caravan to rest and reassure everyone they are ok. They carry on observing the castle. When the next group of hunter leave they follow and kill them.
I do not agree with leo1925 about the reletive time taken to adapt a AP compared to running a npc. But these are personal opinons. You have four players, which is what the AP is designed for. Make minor changes, and let the chip fall. Maybe next time they will act like a team. If they cannot co-operate to create a party, will they act as a team in the AP?
I think I would go with you initial thought. An Archer Cleric looks a good option. Core rule book contains everything you need, and you will be a useful/powerful character. On top of this he/she could be fun to play. Personally I like clerics and enjoy playing them.
With any class with know all the spells on there spell list I always pick up Scribe scroll at some point. It is possible to just leave slots open and prepare the utility spell you just found you need, but I prefer to make scrolls
Kikonu gave half the key to Nindinzego as a sign of friendship (p49). You could a) state that he did not know of it's significance (but now does) b) Nindinzego took it after Kikonu carelessly let it be seen/had a minion steal it or c) in your campaign Nindinzego got from somewhere else (its your campaign after all)
You have not said if there is another divine caster in the party. If not then you need access to lesser restoration and remove paralysis. The later should be ok for a scroll or two. The first on the campaign. Spectral weapon can help in combat situations without risking your own skin.
I think Nicos and I are saying the same thing, but in different ways. What I was saying is that there are no skill essential to the fighter to function as a class (unlike spellcraft for a wizard) So they can use there 2 skill points in ways which are interesting for the player. I like to use unusual skills with fighters to add depth and help with out of combat roleplaying.
My group has no problem with fighters. There lack of skills mean out of combat can be tricky, but it is not crippling. Fighter do not need any/many skills so the points you have can be put where you think you can have fun.
We have never found the "full casters dominate every thing/other classes are weak/boring" stuff you see a lot of on message boards. Probably playing styles have a lot to do with it. After a "GOD" wizard has sprayed battlefield control spell everywhere, someone still has to put the badies down. Fighter are just as fun to play as anything else if you like them. If you do not then they will suck for you.
So since my earlier post things have been firmed up, but nothing changed substantively
Zarzuket Gnome summoner from Whistledown. Has a quadruped eidolon.
Yazayah Shoanti Barbarian. Orphan taken in by Shalelu. Will be using Thunder and Fang feat from "Varsia: birthplace of Legends". This is looking like a frightening character.
Cathran Half elf oracle of fire. Elven parent from crying leaf. Concentrating on casting, week physical stats
Romulas Half orc Inquisitor of Desna. Uses a great axe.
The party has good melee ability but lacks an arcane full caster which may hurt them later on. In the early adventures the combat encounters are going to fall down quickly
Definitely agree with Peter. I had them investigate the plantation Vanthus was sent to, to see if there were any clues as to what sent him off the rails. Vanthus was using this are for weapon running to savages (lizardmen I think).
I started this in 3.5 and converted to Pathfinder.
A lot of the stuff about Lavinia and her brother has been said.
Like all AP try and tie your characters to the campaign. I had a half elf who's parents had retired to a new colony similar to Farshore which the Crimson fleet destroyed. This information came out in drips throughout the campaign. The sorcerer had a favourate uncle who turned out to be a necromancer. They came across his trail several time before he turned up as a statue at the basilisk lair.
I had recurring encounters with the Scarlet Brotherhood right the way up to IOD (just to spice things up really)
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