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Bishop Ze Ravenka

Herremann the Wise's page

RPG Superstar 2013 Marathon Voter. Pathfinder Society Member. 248 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.



Shadow Lodge

Hello, is it possible to change my next subscription shipment (to be authorized tomorrow) from USPS Priority Mail, to USPS - First Class mail?

Best Regards
Herremann the Wise

Shadow Lodge Marathon Voter 2013

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I thought (keeping it general so as not to identify particular entries) that it would be interesting to post a thread focusing on things we're seeing in the better items that we wish some of the others entries could have done. I think most of this stuff is going to be equally important in the latter rounds as well.

Name
This element is so crucial and it relates to what the item actually is. Lanterns, boots, quills, cloaks and gloves are all OK but when you see so many, it makes it so difficult to make your pair of boots stand out. Unusual items become much more identifiable and this is something that most of the better items have in common. As for the name, alliteration works well most of the time. However, some of the better item names also use good connotative words while also telling me what the item is and cluing me in as to what it does.

Mojo/Wow Factor/Superstar
Most of the best items have a trick or a "thing" that makes them cool and memorable. However, what makes the very best items stand out from the ones that have a neat idea but not much else is that the better items are a more cohesive, unified whole. All aspects of these better items work together towards a single purpose. Rather than a suite of abilities, these items do one thing and do it really well. They don't need the support or padding of extra tidbits of stuff. They don't need the extra line giving you a bonus to "this" or a free "that". They are living or dying by their one cool thing. They are focusing on selling their cool idea and only their cool idea; rather than diluting it with stuff that is not directly related.

Active Voice
This has been said numerous times before but not many entries have taken note of the advice: please use the active voice with your writing, only use the passive when you have good reason to. Have you noticed that some entries are more engaging to read and not just because they are paragraphed instead of a wall of text? Giving your writing access to the complete world of verbs boosts your descriptions, and tightens your writing. Most of the best entries focus on using the active voice. The lesser entries suffer from bloated writing with less clarity, with their designers using the passive voice almost exclusively.

And so what things are you observing that the better items are doing?

Best Regards
Herremann the Wise

Shadow Lodge

Hello,

I would like to cancel my subscription for the miniatures Pathfinder Battles: Rise of the Runelords Case Bundle.

Thank you very much for the help.

Best Regards
Herremann the Wise

Shadow Lodge Marathon Voter 2013

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Hello Everyone,

With less than a day before the big reveal, I thought I would post some “imagined” feedback that might help the top 32 sculpt their round two entries. It's a bit all over the place but it is based on feedback given in previous years that seems applicable to this new "Organization" round. I hope it helps; take out of it what you can. :)

The Good:
- The execution isn’t great but there are still a lot of useful ideas here for a campaign. The submitter got the “antagonist” part right.
- This organization is seven bags of fun for a DM to throw at their players. Excellent stuff!!!
- I really like how this competitor writes. She has clearly expressed herself, hit the notes she needed with not a groat more. Other competitors are struggling to present half as many ideas within the same word limit.
- Love the name, premise and delivery.
- This one hooked me straight away. Excellent ideas and description had me engaged from the get go.
- Mojo through the roof on this one. I’m not quite so sure on the execution but damn do I want to get this group into my game like yesterday! Why hasn’t anyone come up with something like this before?
- Now this is how you write! Economy of expression, with precise dynamic language. I really want to workshop this one for our next RPG Superstar panel. This gal knows how to turn a phrase and convey an idea.
- Smart design. The writer has picked the point exactly where the reader can join the dots without it being vague. I can’t believe they packed this much useable detail into so few words.
- My players are going to love to hate this bunch.
- I love the versatility offered here. There are so many ways I can push this lot in front of the PCs.
- This is good stuff. This organization is doing something and I mean DOING something. There are so many consequences here for the PCs.
- Scarily good. This gives me so many ideas and that is the best sign that the writer has hit on something special. I love it when Superstar gives us these moments.
- This writer has nailed unique and gonzo together but in a good way. This is weird but a good weird. It is making me think and again, that is the sign of a good submission.
- An old concept but a fresh presentation really makes this sing. Engaging stuff.
- This one’s mojo gets it through but only just… and I mean only just.
- This is really innovative. I don’t think anyone’s done something quite like this before. Wow!!!

The Bad:
- Clunky prose has let this submission down. Needs a good edit and trimming; a shame too as there are some real novel ideas here.
- I can’t see how this organization is going to realistically get in the way of the PCs.
- This organization is really only a single idea. Too monotone and boring.
- As a DM I am going to struggle to steer this organization into the path of the PCs and be able to keep them there.
- I need more. I understand that the word limit does exactly that but this competitor needs to be smarter with the information they are throwing at the reader. Too many words on stuff that’s simply not important within the abbreviated space provided. I don’t think this writer has the chops for the big time.
- This organization does not logically work. How are they going to stay together? What’s keeping this lot from imploding in one great illogical mess? It’s a shame as what at first seems a clever idea ends up having too many holes in it.
- I need more here. There is simply not enough action where I can throw this organization into the PCs path. This organization is too static.
- Too many clichés. This is just boring. I know this is fantasy but if I see another cliché I am going to SCREAM!
- This submission needs development on a massive scale. I understand the word limit but this is just too darn vague. Looks rushed and feels incomplete.
- A good idea let down by poor execution.
- You would think that a guy that could produce THAT wondrous item could follow up with something half decent. It would seem not. So many gaps to fill, I don’t quite know where to start.
- [SKR]WHY!?! You have the opportunity to make up any name you can think of for a headquarters and you come up with… Riverwood! Now I’m not suggesting that competitors should go overboard here or ridiculous but when you come up with a name… please make it sound like an interesting place, just in case you know, the PCs want to go there, claim it, or destroy it, or something. If you think it sounds boring then it most likely is.[/SKR]
- I really wanted to like this competitor’s submission but let’s face it… this organization is flat, typical, clichéd and boring. It is simply not superstar.
- Awesome premise but then it completely under-delivers.
- Completely misses the mark. The writer has simply not given me the tools to drive this organization.
- There’s not enough here to make this organization memorable. Essentially too hollow and unremarkable.
- Sorry but for me this organization is gonzo for gonzo’s sake.

The Ugly:
- This does not follow the template and is all over the place. Very disappointing considering how much we all loved her wondrous item.
- It says a Golarion organization and this is just… not that. Should be disqualified.
- This organization is dead set for the PCs. How is this going to antagonize them or present some measure of villainy? Pure failure to read the instructions on the tin.
- I literally can’t read this. The writer has misguidedly gone to a thesaurus to pile in as many out-of-context big words they can find. This IS NOT writing; it is torture!
- I am sure this is the most boring organization the competitor could think of. Ross, can you just check that the emails match up on this one or something because there is NO WAY, that the author of THAT wondrous item could have written THIS.
- Ahhh… the unprepared deer in the headlights follow-up submission. This one’s just weak sauce and that’s a shame because I golden ticketed this competitor. What a waste!
- Don’t DM the DM. Don’t present the DM with vague, undescribed mysteries. The DM needs to know this stuff so they can present this organization to their players and your submission has failed the DM with a lack of information. The DM provides the mystery to their players, not you to the DM.
- Please tell me he didn’t go there? He went there didn’t he? Seriously, who did he think was going to try and publish this? Push weird and gonzo too far and unfortunately, this is what you get.
- If you only have 100 words to describe your organization’s goals, why start with THIS! Too much useless detail that leaves me with no clue why this organization even exists. What self-respecting NPC would buy into this rubbish?
- If this was design a villain, then fine but this simply is not a true organization. Fail.

Feel free to add more good/bad/ugly comments and stuff that you think will help guide the top 32.

Best Regards
Herremann the Wise

Shadow Lodge Marathon Voter 2013

The "create a new organisation" round seems a great way of getting the top 32 to flex their writing chops. It should really highlight those who are serious about making top 4 and give them a good opportunity to build some momentum at the start of the competition. I'm not too sure all of last year's top 32 made the most out of the "archetype" round; this year's top 32 round seems to give a little more creative room.

What do you think?

Best Regards
Herremann the Wise

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Background:
I'm a busy family man and professional and my spare time generally comes in 15 minute allotments (except for tabletop gamedays once a month). I've played and DM'd every version of D&D and Pathfinder since the basic red box (1983) and I'm a subscriber to just about every subscription Paizo currently offers. I would like to support Paizo in their online endeavour but I've got a feeling it is simply not going to be for me.

While I have played numerous computer games since Dungeons of Daggeroth on the TRS-80 and Dark Castle on my MacPlus through the decades, I have never played an MMO. I think I have always feared the time sink qualities of such games and avoided them.

I wonder how many people are similar to me in this regard:
- Time poor
- Wanting to support Paizo in playing their online endeavour
- Want to see some strong Pathfinder elements in the game.

Is it possible for me to enjoy this experience too?

Now you will have to excuse me because obviously my knowledge of MMO's is incredibly lacking. But is there a way that I as a player can contribute and be involved without the time dedication required in the "adventuring" component of the game?

Could I for example:

- Create "NPCs" that basically just "sit" in the village, township or city they live in? I don't control them, but I create their existence. Their stats are rolled (for example my NPC "Tom" has his stats randomly determined) and I the player through a character creation system work out that becoming a smith is his most suited occupation (you could have a very large number of occupations to choose from here). I set how he will work within the game, his alignment and react to different things (how he does his job as smith). For example, as part of his creation, he is apprenticed to a local smith within a particular town (the computer chooses the town most suitable in terms of population) and that is where he lives.

- However, Tom the NPC smith produces things that adventurers and other NPCs require and so develops on his own but in symbiosis with the adventurers that need his services. The fun for me then becomes watching him develop over time (along with tens of other NPCs I have created). Some will not develop that much, but some may rise in status, becoming important cogs in the town (and possibly realm).

- It would be fun to check in and see that Tom had levelled and the option was there to move him to his own smith in a different town. Perhaps a different NPC I created has been murdered by an adventurer and I get to put a bounty on the offending character's head? Perhaps another NPC has been upgraded to captain of the guard in such-a-such town and so on. Perhaps Tom the smith is the only one in his new town capable of crafting a particular item. Perhaps my mage is the only one capable of identifying a magical item that an adventurer has brought in? It would be fun to play with these tropes of the pathfinder game within the online MMO.

- I understand that the OGL does not extend to computer games, but I'm sure you could do something for NPCs here that more closely follows the typical level 1 to 20 abilities of that Pathfinder game, than what you have planned for the MMO (and I can understand on both counts why the traditional MMO play needs to be quite different from what happens at the tabletop; this just allows a compromise for the dearth of people looking for something more closely tied to the pathfinder experience). I think this might be a neat way to hook in more of your paizo audience that wants to help create this online sandbox, without requiring the extreme time commitment of adventuring and typical MMOing.

- Alternatively, as well as NPCs, perhaps I can also create monsters. Perhaps I can create a little tribe of goblins? Dependng upon their success against adventurers in their little pocket of the realm, I earn some sort of currency to then craft tougher monsters. Perhaps earning enough currency to introduce a dragon into the game.

Is there anything that time poor me can do to add to the online Golarion world without having to commit to the time requirements of playing it to its fullest? Perhaps if you have two games in one in symbiosis; one for the PCs (hardcore MMO players), and one for the NPCs and Monsters (time poor but interested in bringing and developing Pathfinder to an online community), then you will have something for everyone and a unique experience in the MMO world.

Is any of this possible?

Best Regards
Herremann the Wise

Shadow Lodge

Hello Everyone,

Just curious as I would have thought magical earrings quite common - but in fact they are not. And so... which slot on the body would a magical earring go?

Best Regards
Herremann the Wise

Shadow Lodge

Hello Everyone,

The following is what I have done that is slightly different and will hopefully provide a few ideas out there for other GMs (particularly the foreshadowing mentioned below).

It took almost a year but I finally got my Kingmaker campaign started (and we are now three 10 hour sessions in). Like some other GMs, I knew my group would be looking to interact with the various goings on in Brevoy as well as the hexploration of the Stolen Lands. While my group would enjoy a sandbox, I also knew that they would need a few more directed vignette's along the way. However, reading through Haunting of Harrowstone (and now Rule of Fear), I could not help but thinking that super-imposing certain elements of Ustalav onto Brevoy could work (I have not specifically set this in Golarion and so have a little wriggle room in this regard). Of note is that I have selected the slow advancement track

The PCs started out in Restov with an old Patron (Galhavrin) of theirs owning the charter and organising the party to attempt to map the area (with various conflicting political intrigue from the Swordlords of Restove in the background). The party consists of:
- Human Fighter [Weaponmaster]
- Human Ranger [Guide - and the only girl in the group]
- Halfling Sorcerer [Celestial]
- Elvish Magus
- Human Druid [Gozreh]

They have cleared out the Thorn River Bandit Camp as well as dealt with the Mites and Kobolds and so at this point, I have kicked the Haunting of Harrowstone into gear. They are visited at Oleg's trading post by Oleg's wife's (Svetlana's) uncle - Professor Petros Lorrimor. He has delivered a package from their patron Galhavrin which includes a nice little wand of cure light wounds (CL 5) and so with the great trust and friendship they have already developed with Oleg and Svetlana, that relationship has been quickly extended to the Professor as well.

At this point the Professor plans two days travel north to go to his home of Ravengro (I've placed it halfway between Oleg's and New Stetven in Brevoy). However, they are alerted by a local hunter that bandits having set an ambush site along that road and so the PCs are easily encouraged to escort the Professor to Ravengro while trimming up the local bandit population at the same time.

This has worked a treat, bandits have been despatched and the Professor arrives safely at his manse in Ravengro that second evening and the PCs are invited to stay over and meet his daughter (Svetlana's cousin) Kendra. That night however, each of the PCs suffers a particularly vivid dream/nightmare. :)

============[ Foreshadowing the Haunting of Harrowstone ]============

I think there has been some mention on a different thread regarding a poster's ideas regarding Blackwall Keep in the Age of Worms adventure path. I did foreshadowing then and I have done it again now with excellent effect - I could not be happier with the results. I have told the players to turn over their character sheets and proceeded to hand out the following five characters (each sheet produced in Hero Lab had an extensive background reading for each character):

- Vance Saetressle (The Lopper)
- Jerome (A first-day prison guard who has been blackmailed by a Thieve's Guild into joining the prison and finding a particular piece of evidence that they need returned - otherwise his family will be dealt with)
- Eduardo (The other first-day prison guard who is a young man eager to impress)
- Professor Hean Feramin (The Splatter Man - who has only just received notice that he is about to be executed the following morning)
- Vesorianna Hawkran (The Warden's Wife)

Please note that I have made a handful of minor adjustments to make this all fit seamlessly:
- The Lopper freshly arrives the day of Harrowstone's burning.
- The Splatter Man does not do the levitate potion thing (which seemed a little strained to me)
- The lift can also go to the first floor where provisions (such as big barrels of oil and prison food are kept).
- The final events would be guided by me but my player's through a couple of fun curveballs which was fantastic.

The set is staged in a courtroom in New Stetven where the Lopper is sentenced to his short unreturning stay to Harrowstone by the judge. There is a small amount of interaction with some relatives of his last victim in the public gallery ("you note the young girl's eyes are the same as her mother's - your final headless victim").

The next scene involves a "tea" at the Hawkran Manor for the latest two inductees (Jerome and Eduardo) of the Harrowstone Brotherhood. The Warden and Vesorianna treat them to a civilized tea where he learns of their different backgrounds. Importantly he discusses with them the oath of the Brotherhood and why Harrowstone does what it does and the role it plays in the country at large. The bell sounds of the latest arrival (the Lopper) and the three of them leave Vesorianna to wait for the wagon carrying the prisoner - where they learn a few more things about the Lopper and his hideous crimes.

The Lopper is taken in under guard to where the lift is. At this point the Warden invites one of the new guards down to the dungeon area while the other is "hazed" by having to load the returning lift with over thirty freshly delivered barrels of oil and provisions to be taken above.

The Warden, two guards and Jerome the new prison guard go down to the dungeons via the lift where they are met by the hulking figure of Gurtis Vortch. Vortch takes the new guard Jerome and easily handles the completely cuffed Lopper as they take him to U4 where the oubliette is. However, also in that wing is the freshly moved Lopper (in preparation for his execution).

Vortch torments the Lopper telling him that he normally breaks at least one leg when he throws someone into the oubliette to "start" their stay at Harrowstone. He dismissively thrusts the Lopper into the oubliette except the push is interrupted by the maximised empowered magic missile courtesy of the Splatter Man. A reflex save means the lopper is free on the ground and he quickly snatches the warden's keys. The splatter man quickly finishes off the new guard "Jerome" with another barrage of missiles while the Lopper unlocks his chains and discovers a masterwork dagger on Vortch. He also notices that Vortch is weakly trying to get up. Within a minute all the prisoners of that wing have been secretly unlocked from their cells while the Lopper has sawed off Vortch's head.

At this point the prisoner's dash out of the ring but the Warden pulls the deadfall and the stalemate begins. Sort of. My player's had so much fun with this - even the player playing Jerome. They try to bargain their way out but this fails. Meanwhile Vesorianna has entered the prison wondering what the hell is going on. Now at this point the two player's playing the Lopper and Splatter Man devise a Hannibal-like plan where they wear prison uniforms (and faces), carrying the now-unconscious Warden. They plead with the guards above to send the lift down so they can escape - they are pretending to hold the other prisoners off with some sort of device.

The lead officer upstairs rolls a 1 on his sense motive (I rolled everything in front of the players for this). The Splatter Man rolls a 20 on his bluff!!! Just one of those moments, so they are about to winch the lift down when Vesorianna who had not witnesses any of this runs in - guess's the situation and pulls the safety latch on the lift sending 30 barrel's of oil crashing over 80 feet down into the dungeon.
She is quickly removed by the new guard Eduardo as the remaining guards struggle to maintain order.

Below, the splatter man feels the full weight of the lift destroying his two legs, the Warden is similarly crushed while the Lopper with his good reflex save dodges out of the way (except for the wave from broken barrels of oil exploding over everything and everyone).

At this point, all the PCs wake up and get up to look out of their windows where upon the hill... they see the distant shell that is the burnt out remains of Harrowstone prison.

I left the game right there.

From this point:
- The PCs will get to know the Professor and his daughter a little better over breakfast and go into Ravengro for some much needed supplies and shopping and where they can hopefully make a few friends and links - I'll certainly be pushing some strong connections here with those listed as friends of the Professor.
- The PCs will return to Oleg's for some more hexploration where in about two months, they will receive the tragic word from Kendrea of the Professor's sudden death. Hook, line and sinker I think for a perfect introduction to the Harrowstone module - they should be close to 3rd level by this time (remember slow advancement).
- I think this gets over two of the primary hurdles I have in Harrowstone:
* Having the PCs care about Harrowstone and its people enough to stick around and try and save them.
* Giving the PCs some metagame knowledge that is in-game enough that they can use it to fight against the potential TPK that is the splatter man encounter without having to underplay his abilities.
- I'm looking forward to reading future installments of the Carrion Crown path to work out additional ways of integrating it into Kingmaker and the political intrigue I have tried to set up in Brevoy(/Ustalav).

If I get the time and it is allowed, I will do up this Foreshadowing of Harrowstone in pdf form for other GMs to use as suits. I can thoroughly recommend doing something like this to really ratchet up the excitement and expectation of the adventure (which is seriously one of Paizo's best thus far).

Best Regards
Herremann the Wise

Shadow Lodge

Hello Paizo,

I received order 1664446 by USPS First-Class Mail and there is a small problem:
- I received:
Carrion Crown Deck
Rule of Fear and
Tomb of medusa
- However, I did not receive AP44 Trial of the Beast (although I have been given access to the download) but instead a Game Mastery Map Pack - Crypts was also provided.

This Map Pack is excellent so if you could please charge me for this accidental addition. If you could also send me AP44 though, it would be much appreciated.

Best Regards
Herremann the Wise

Shadow Lodge

Hello Everyone,

Can anyone suggest an appropriate city map that I can use to represent Restov for my PCs? This can be from a previous AP or module or any sort of Paizo/Pathfinder product (or other product if you think it would fit).

Best Regards
Herremann the Wise

Shadow Lodge Marathon Voter 2013

Hello Everyone but specifically to the Top 32,

I was wondering if you could tell me a little bit more about you?

Is this your first or fourth time entering? Do you have a website or blog I can look at? What do you do when not designing gaming stuff? What's it like to be in your shoes at the moment in the spotlight? Any really weird advice for those who didn't make it?

Basically, I would like to know a little bit more about you.

I'm really excited for you all and cannot wait to see what you design so I can do some serious voting.

Best Regards
Herremann the Wise

Shadow Lodge

Hello,

I have just added a Pathfinder Module Ongoing Subscription starting with The Godsmouth Heresy which has been placed in the sidecart awaiting my normal Adventure Path Subscription shipment.

Is it possible to send The Godsmouth Heresy on its own now or as soon as possible rather than waiting for the next subscription shipment? I would love to be able to download the pdf soon.

Thank you very much for your help.

Best Regards
Herremann the Wise

Shadow Lodge Marathon Voter 2013

Hello Everyone,

I was wondering if anyone has posted/published a comprehensive guide to producing correctly formatted stat blocks for Pathfinder? Such a thing would be invaluable for everyone contesting.

Best Regards
Herremann the Wise

Shadow Lodge Marathon Voter 2013

Hello Everyone,

Now that I've happily completed my item, I thought I'd post a handful of things that I've learned through the process of trying to craft a wondrous item that may help fellow competitors. This is my first year contesting and so I've pretty much gone over every thread I could to work out what the judges want to see. I'm hoping like everyone that I've got something that will attract the judge's attention but realistically, I think it's going to be a struggle with so many strong performers entering. I hope the following helps:

- Toughness. Making top 32 this year is going to be real tough. More than any other year, competitors have a good idea of what not to do. This means differentiating your item from the rest is more important than in previous years.

- Focus. Have your item do a single thing and do it really well. Diluting an idea with extra "things" muddies the impression it gives the judges. If you need to add more things to your item to make it better, then it wasn't good enough in the first place and adding those extra elements is not going to change that. This should also keep your word count down.

- Language. Neil gives some excellent advice for active versus passive voice in last year's Crystal Chalice of Dawnflower Dew thread as does Sean in auto-reject #10. If you have a look through some of the rejected items threads, you can see another important language issue that people were getting tripped on: clarity and concision. Suet-thick prose filled with lots of big words makes for terrible wondrous item reading (and more than likely reading in general). Yes this is fantasy. Yes this involves writing. But expressing in simple terms what your item does and what it looks like is best. Flowery/pretentious prose weakens more than strengthens a submission. Another element of language important for the contest is knowing the jargon in the core rulebook. Know and understand how certain elements are expressed and use that language in your own writing.

- Elegance. This is the holy grail of design and is equally difficult to achieve. If you find your item has too many exceptions to too many rules, then you're kludging your entry with unneeded complexity. Elegant rules on the other hand present fewer corner cases and describe more situations with simple statements. This becomes more difficult when trying to break new ground with items that haven't been seen before.

- Familiarity. If you are like me, you have become way too familiar with your item; you have lost the ability to freshly analyze it. Receiving feedback from just about anyone helps immensely. However, breaking your description down sentence by sentence really helps. Write out every question that the sentence answers with the answer it provides. This way, you directly see what your language is expressing. It will help you note gaps or confusion in rules application as well as where you have over-emphasized a particular element, or under-described another. It also highlights what is filler and what is essential. Be ruthless in cutting away the fat and stick to the meat of your description.

- Be direct. In previous years, reading some rejected entries has been like wading through thickened soup trying to find out what the item actually does. Be direct and state with no confusion what your wondrous item does. This is the most important element in your description so make sure it's easy to find (usually right in the starting sentence) and simply expressed. If an item is weak sauce or not superstar material, doing this will feel a little awkward and exposed and thus be a good sign that your item is not up to scratch. Hiding it's purpose amongst the description is a sure sign your wondrous item is not superstar. At the same time, if you can't express the core of what your item does in one sentence, then perhaps the item is too complex or muddied in purpose.

Anyway, I hope you find my experiences above of some use and best of luck everyone in capturing a top 32 spot.

Best Regards
Herremann the Wise

Shadow Lodge Marathon Voter 2013

Hello Everyone,

Just pondering which of all the wondrous items from past RPG Superstar competitions is your favorite?

For me, it still has to be the Migrus Locker.

As good as the creepy flavor is, it is the player and DM applications of this thing that keep you continually thinking. Simple item -> many uses seems the key.

I also thought as a runner-up the Charts of the Shadow Voyage worthy of note in terms of flavour and visuals.

And so what is your favorite?

Best Regards
Herremann the Wise

Shadow Lodge Marathon Voter 2013

Hello Everyone,

Any advice on the following would be appreciated.

In regards to a magic item's requirements and from the core rules:

"Certain requirements must be met in order for a character to create a magic item. These include feats, spells, and miscellaneous requirements such as level, alignment, and race or kind."

The "miscellaneous requirements" are then expanded upon with some core rule magic items requiring the creator to have ranks in a skill as a requirement. Is it possible then to come up with a further style of requirement? Does this need to reflect the nature or capacity of the creator or could it be furthered to include a specific material or item? Could it even be furthered to require a particular process in the item's manufacture such as the tempering of the item's glass by a dragon's breath?

I'd love to be daring with this project but I would not want such pushing of the envelope to transgress the line of auto-fail stupidity. Any thoughts appreciated.

Best Regards
Herremann the Wise

Shadow Lodge

Hello Everyone,

The Magus should be a class that seamlessly blends the arcane with the martial. However, what role can the magus play as part of an adventuring party? Are they meant to be in the thick of the action, or constantly skirting around melee to take down the biggest enemy threat with sporadic high damage attacks? I think if done right, the Magus should be capable of focusing on either or doing both somewhat admirably.

However, right off the bat I have a disconnect with the nature of arcane study and the quick martial delivery of arcane effects through standard rather than spontaneous casting methods. The "feel" of the magus seems somewhat distorted - spontaneous casting ala the sorcerer or bard would seem to marry up far better with this concept rather than the awkward moonlighting study concept presented. Library expeditions for esoterica just does not mesh with a martialist in my opinion when the magic and the weapon-skill need to be as one.

However if an intelligence based study version is required, what if the Magus "invests" arcane energy directly into their weapon to be accessed as appropriate. They study various rituals to imbue their weapon with a spell effect that may be accessed later, rather than being a half-weapon, half-casting two-"weapon" fighter? Such a ritualistic approach is the only way how I can make the Magus concept as presented work in my head in terms of roleplaying it. Otherwise it just feels like a fighter and a wizard bolted together rather than a true base class.

Anyway, in terms of playtesting, this was the very first thing that struck me as awkward. I would prefer the "story" of the Magus to be either spontaneously arcane weapon dancing, or carefully invested rituals into the Magus's weapon; not a frankenstein of the two.

Best Regards
Herremann the Wise

Shadow Lodge

Hello Everyone,

I've been making plans for this adventure path and have come to the conclusion that a couple of my players would be "OK" with the start but they would not really appreciate the "placing the train upon the tracks" nature of the starting point. At first, I thought I'd just ratchet it back to the night before as the Jenivere crunches into the reef surrounding Smuggler's Shiv. But the more I got thinking about it, the more I thought a fuller prelude might be in order with the starting point being a murder mystery in the last port of call: Senghor.

The aim here is to:

- Get the PCs to know a little bit more about one another. The starting on the beach thing is excellent, but starting on board the Jenivere with poison coursing through your veins a little bit less so. A more passive start travelling through the canals of the Senghor metropolis allows for a more thorough build-up to the action to come.

- It allows the PCs to see the 5 NPCs more in their natural environment. Aerys Mavato drinking herself into oblivion and getting into trouble; Gelik Aberwhinge regaling a tavern audience with tales of the latest ship to meet it's doom upon Smuggler's Shiv; Ishirou making strange dealings procurring an impressive (but disturbing looking) scroll case; Jask Derindi in the stocks awaiting his passage on board the Jenivere to Eleder to face his doom; Sasha Nevah being her mysterious but enigmatic self. I think this is important as it gives these NPCs a more immediate direction as well as a "relationship" with the PCs.

- The murder mystery (of two of the Jenivere sailors) is a good start for 1st level PCs finding their way together and gives them a little XP to begin with (in exchange for the XP they would receive for changing the NPCs attitudes).
The murders will be at the hands of Yarzoth as she makes her final plans for getting to Smuggler's Shiv. With the two sailors disappearances, Captain Kovak has enforced all crewman to stay onboard until the Jenivere departs. The PCs are charged by a couple of the onboard sailors with trying to find out what happened to the missing Giv and Speck.
This will be framed so that the 5 NPCs are possible suspects that the PCs have to investigate (I need to write this up further). In the end, the PCs will hopefully discover the bodies and realize something weird is going on: in that Giv was momentarily seen on board (Yarzoth) after his death - providing they make a good enough heal check to determine time of death.

- I might place Smuggler's Shiv a little closer to Senghor so that there is less time between the murder mystery and the abandoning of the Jenivere near Smuggler's Shiv. I plan on having the Jenivere be wrecked a little further out so that accessing the ship is more difficult from the Shiv.
Yarzoth as Ileana secretly abandons the ship with the captain well before it crashes into the shiv reef. A tropical storm continuing at this point might add nicely to the overall drama. The PCs will be able to rescue some of their stuff when it happens (what they bring with them to the mess) but accessing their sleeping bunks will be significantly more difficult (and the hold impossible) with the threat of the ship breaking up. The PCs will hopefully board a lifeboat (the 4 NPCs not including Jask will have boarded a separate lifeboat) otherwise they will have to make alternative arrangements in making landfall.
With the poison running through their veins some or all may succumb while they are in the lifeboat or hanging onto wreckage. Either way, this allows the joining up with the regular module except that the 4 NPCs will be elsewhere (Jask will hopefully be saved by the PCs otherwise his ghost may task them to clear his name).
The important thing here is that the PCs realize they were poisoned, and that the captain abandoned ship (his log notes would be particularly interesting given the erratic path of the Jenivere before crashing into the Shiv.) The NPCs might be unsure of the NPC motives as well as the mysterious Ileana leaving with the captain. This should propel them nicely as the mysteries of the Jenivere's doom are slowly unravelled.

- I'm going to get to work on the map so that traversing certain parts of the Shiv are more difficult. Beaches are broken up by cliff faces stretching out into the surf meaning that access to other parts of the island need to be made by scaling the cliff tops to the Jungle above. Other parts of the Jungle will be near impassable (and particularly dangerous with the plant life taken out of the Heart of the Jungle book - how good is that supplement!). Having some massive undefeatable dinosaur upon the Shive might be interesting too. In this way, the island is discovered in a more metered way with different revelations propelling the story and PCs forward.

- With the extra XP they have gained, I will most likely be more aggressive with the cannibals making the PCs have to defend themselves more so. Evidence of the cannibal’s behaviour (ritually eaten carcasses) will be hopefully confused but eventually differentiated from the Red Mountain Devil.

- Meeting up with the NPCs should be quite interesting - they will have made a makeshift camp further down the map. How they react will depend very much on their interactions with the NPCs thus far. They might ally or they might be aloof. Perhaps there are secrets they know that they may reveal if made friendly. I enjoy having NPCs like this to play with - they become excellent role-playing vehicles.

- Of further interest is:
* The recent wreck that’s tale was told by Gelik (allowing for further NPCs to have knowledge of what's going on with Yarzoth and the Tidestone). These NPCs might fall victim to the cannibals with maybe one escaping to tell the tale (before dying from some horrid tropical disease).

* Ishirou's scrollcase being washed upon on the beach to be discovered by the PCs. They discover inside numerous "treasure maps", one of which they hopefully work out is upon this very island - the treasure pit. How this plays out with Ishirou when they finally meet up with the NPCs might be very interesting.

* Needing a craft to make it to the Jenivere when the seas are calm (otherwise the danger of being thrown onto the reef is too great).

* A mysterious box in the hold of the Jenivere (although now, the hold has become a home to a CR 5 Bluetip Eurypterid.

* Having Jask either tagging along if the PCs need the help or more than likely having a bad infection claim his leg (boot soup or something). This means that he will have to wait in a secured psuedo-cave in one of the cliff faces. Jask will be good for some divinations augmenting the nightmares the PCs will suffer. He will claim things as either good or bad juju producing a range of weird juju fetishes in his tiny cave.

* Introducing a volcano onto the Shiv. It might not do much (except perhaps augmenting the physical effect of the tidestone) but it certainly adds to the Jungle/Lost world feel.

Anyway, I thought I'd present this to everyone here for possible ideas and suggestions and to discuss alternative ways of starting the adventure path. As further instalments are released, there might be more ways of tying things together foreshadowing and enriching the interactivity between the different instalments.

Best Regards
Herremann the Wise

Shadow Lodge

Hello Everyone,

I'm just looking for a few ideas here for changing around the dynamic of the Stolen Land module - mainly introducing a "Bartertown"-like bandit village to add some role-playing depth to the bandit interactions.

I'm looking at starting the first module a season back to when the Stag Lord arrives to claim the Tuskwater Fort.

Effectively, the relationships would be:
- The bandit village (call it Haven for the moment) is a neutral entity for many of the bandits sitting upon the Shrike within the walls of an abandoned fort. No fighting or burglary within it's walls (except in the pit). It is the slum of the slums there but it is protection against the deadly plains and hills of the Greenbelt (where no one goes except in groups and the fort is locked up from Dusk to Dawn). It has several "leaders" or notable bandits that the PCs can interact with in a non-combat capacity.
- Many in Haven are bandits who have fallen upon banditry to survive. Given a chance of legitimacy in a new kingdom (carved out by the PCs), such men would happily leave banditry behind. Of course there are always a few bad eggs who will deserve their come-upance at the hands of the PCs.
- Oleg's is also considered neutral ground for many of these bandits as he provides legitimate goods and is considered friendly to many of them and will serve and buy from anyone regardless of who they are.
- The Stag Lord arrives and shakes the bandits of the Greenbelt up big time. Effectively starting a war upon many of the other bandits in the Greenbelt, he is looking at conquering them all under his umbrella. Many have commented upon the parallels between George R.R. Martin's Game of Thrones and Kingmaker/Brevoy. For me, the Stag Lord is equal parts "The Giant that Rides" and "The Hound". He has the complete maniacal nature of Gregor Clegane mixed in with the extreme rogue's competence of Sandor Clegane. I like the idea of the Stag Lord as a possible recurring villain. I certainly want the opportunity for the PCs to really hate him. I want the PCs to really hate the things he does in the Greenbelt, before they get a chance to confront him. What truly dastardly and despicable deeds can he do to rile the PCs up? How can I make the PCS REALLY hate this guy?

I think by introducing a bandit war, it gives the PCs a little more space to choose how they will react to the various bandits in the Greenbelt. As long as it provides a shade of grey rather than "kill all bandits except for the cranky ex-paladin", then I'll be happy. With maybe a couple of other pockets of Bandit groups, I think this provides a suitable change from the exploring mentality that encompasses the majority of the module.

So anyway, any suggestions for Bartertown/Haven?
- Is the pit the only place where disagreements can be settled? Two walk in but one walks out.
- Is there an "Aunty Entity" figure there? What about "Master Blaster" (or is this going too far?)
Is there a plan against Oleg's that the PCs get wind of?
- Is there anyone strong enough here to stand against the Stag Lord or will the place quickly fall and disband without PC assistance?
- How do the PCs manage to swing events to the most optimal outcome for their future endeavours? Can the PCs kill many birds with the one stone? Will inaction see many flock to the Stag Lord's banner presenting an even greater threat to the Greenbelt?

I think there are many places you can take this, all rich in fun and depth for the PCs to chew on. If you can help me round this out with some suggestions, it would be hugely appreciated. Help me bring Bartertwon/Haven alive.

Best Regards
Herremann the Wise

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Hello Everyone,

How do the bandits of the Greenbelt make a living? Where do they go to perform their banditry (aside from poor Oleg's)? I understand they venture North into Rostland but that's a fair way away. Is there anywhere else south or west that is an easy enough target? Surely lone bandits would suffer a terrible fate in the greenbelt dying in the jaws of some worg or somesuch. So do they perform expeditions grouping together in significant multiples? Where to though and perhaps they have boltholes or safecamps within the boundaries of Rostland?

I suppose I'm trying to get a solid idea of how the bandits work as I'm looking at starting my Kingmaker campaign slightly differently to how it is written. I'm thinking of starting the campaign from an earlier point on the timeline:

- Having the PCs assist Oleg in establishing the outpost (Oleg already deals with many of the hunters and trappers and even bandits).
- The PCs are tasked by someone who has recently purchased the charter for the Greenbelt lands.
- The Stag Lord arrives at his fort as Oleg arrives at the outpost.
- There are several bandit groups that already exist in the Greenbelt. Some will cave in to the Stag Lord while others will attempt resistance.
- The Greenbelt is more dangerous than presented in Stolen Land. Everyone locks up at dusk as the dangerous denizens of the night and dark roam the plains and hills of the open Greenbelt.
- The forest areas are continually highly dangerous (although the forest area north and east of the Thorn River) are slightly less so. The Hunters and Trappers that venture here have had an effect although most regard these lone men as crazy or strange thrill-seekers.
- Only the most capable venture alone while any banditry is definitely done in larger groups.
- Numerous ruins dot the landscape, some providing safety while others the mere illusion of it.
- As well as the Thorn River Camp, I was thinking of introducing a more neutrally based bandit town further East in one of the old forts.

And thus the question becomes, what do the bandits have to rob aside from poor Oleg's and each other?

Best Regards
Herremann the Wise

Shadow Lodge

Hello Everyone,

The Kingmaker adventure "path"/sandbox has gotten me absolutely pumped in terms of DMing again for our group (we are a group of 6 DMs and 1 player). I plan to run it in a few months when our current campaign has a break. However, I have a few issues with the "story" setup that I need to resolve so if you can help - please add your thoughts and experiences.

The charters presented to the PCs in the first and particularly the second module seem overly "nice" to me.
- Why would the Swordlords of Restov entrust such a conceivably important mission to a bunch of 1st level novices/amateurs (albeit with potential)? Don't they have a more experienced crew that they could send?
- Why do the PCs get the soft/rich Greenland belt charter and not one of the harder ones?
- Alternatively why not group all the people they have sent forth with these charters to just the Greenbelt to ensure the venture before spreading out to the harsher regions?
- Why not just hire the PCs rather than basically handing them a fortune in land and resources? Surely one of the "lesser" swordlords would like to see himself prince of a new province rather than a can-kicker to his superiors? Surely someone of importance in Restov is owed a big favour?
- Surely if this venture is successful, it is going to drain Restov and other Rostlandi interests of important population, soldiery and labour. Is this what they want leading up to a potential civil war? This means as a separate entity it is a threat. As a tightly held commodity, it is a crutch.

I suppose these are only small issues, but I know for my group who play a gritty hardball game, these elements would be issues that in the end will dampen versimilitude for them.

How has your group resolved these "issues" or alternatively, have they not worried about such things?

Best Regards
Herremann the Wise

PS:

My rough plan to get bolster this is as follows. It means a greater interest in Brevoy politics but I think that would be a fun addition to the Kingmaker campaign.

- The original charter to the "stolen lands" was owned by one of the Houses (perhaps House Lebeda). It basically said that they owned the stolen lands in perpetuity. However, seeing the non-profitability of the venture after several colonising attempts, they decided to desolve the original charter into four separate charters that they could sell off to interested buyers or possibly as alliance favours.
- In the end the four charters drifted into separate ownerships with mixed but in the main little success. In terms of the political landscape, the charters dissolved into obscurity as the lands were pretty much abandoned to the wild.
- A scholarly wandering wizard however hears from one of his contacts (potentially one of the "rangery" PCs) of the disappearance of the Greenbelt Tyrant (potentially a large dragon or some such). Several months later the contact confirms the siting of the massive dead body decomposing in one of the valleys. This represents a significant shift in the greenbelt as the region becomes potentially safer to once again attempt to colonise.
- This wandering wizard pools the majority of his funds (selling almost all he owns) to purchase the greenbelt charter with this new knowledge from its current owner. He then pools together his contacts to form a speculative venture into the greenbelt. However, he holds off on registering the charter with the officialdom in Restov so as to not create too much interest in the venture until it has at least tasted some element of success. He knows that when the Charter is officially registered, certain parties will start investigating their own interests in the south.

I have further ideas but this is the basis for the moment. I'm obviously waiting for the entire path to be revealed before setting things in stone.

Shadow Lodge

Hello Guys,

I have several orders that are waiting in my sidecart as well as a new one just placed. I was wondering if you could ship them all together as soon as possible?

I'm looking at:
- Order 1245177 (Campaign Setting and Gods & Magic)
- Order 1237411 (Game Mastery Item Cards - whichever ones you have available)
- Order 1215971 (Cheliax)
- Order 1215800 (Adventure Path Subscription - Bastards of Erebus & The Sixfold trial)

I understand that you are moving and I hope all goes well in the new place. If you can charge my card (giving me access to the AP pdfs) and send the above as soon as possible, it would be really appreciated.

Best Regards
Herremann the Wise

Shadow Lodge

Hello Friendly Folk at Paizo,

This one might be a little complicated but if you can help me out, I'd really appreciate it.

I have recently made the following orders:

#1215800
- Core Rulebook
- Adventure Path Subscription (starting with Bastards of Erebus)

#1215971
- Cheliax Pathfinder Companion

#1224102
- Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Ongoing Subscription (starting with the Bestiary as I did not wish to purchase a second core rulebook).

I received notice today that the Core Rulebook has shipped - so thank you very much! :)

Now shipping for me to Sydney Australia is close to USD40 a pop so if there is anything you could do to help me out here, it would be really appreciated.

What I would like is to:
- Have the Cheliax companion, Council of Thieves Subscription (However many are about) and Pathfinder Bestiary ship together when all are ready - I gather this is waiting on the Bestiary.
- Have the rest of the Council of Thieves, as well as the Core Rules Subscription ship when the final Council of Thieves (The twice-damned Prince) module is ready to ship.

Obviously the less I can spend on shipping, the happier my wife and thus the more I can spend on Pathfinder products. If this is going to be too awkward, then that's cool too - just hoping you guys can help.

My second query is in regards to getting a free pdf of the Core Rulebook. I purchased the core rulebook as a standalone (order #1215800) but have since (order #1224102) gone for the subscription - even though it starts with the bestiary. Is there anything you can do to wrangle this around?

Best Regards and thanks for any help you can send my way.
Herremann the Wise

Shadow Lodge

Hello Everyone,

I have no idea if this has been mentioned or not so here it goes.

One of the things I liked about playing a 4E Cleric (one of our regular group ran a 4E one-off) was the ability to help an ally as well as do something else during a turn. As it stands in 3.5/Pathfinder for a cleric, the usual role is to make a decision each round as to whether to help an ally or to have a dig yourself.

If certain curing spells/blesses/prayers/group buffs could have their casting time changed from a Standard Action to a Move Equivalent, I have a feeling that the burden on playing a cleric could be lessened. Perhaps a new selection of spells that do this could be crafted. I would still maintain the personal buff spells/attack spells as a standard action.

What are your thoughts? Does it make the already powerful Cleric too powerful?

Best Regards
Herremann the Wise

Shadow Lodge

I was just wondering what (official or otherwise) knowledge we have of Irori to date. I've plucked out the following but is there anything else around?

Standard Information:
- Deity: Irori
- Alignment: LN
- Portfolios: God of history, knowledge, self-perfection
- Domains: Healing,Knowledge, Law, Strength, Rune
- Favored Weapon: unarmed strike

Other references:
- "Mindful priests of Irori"
- Relationship with Southern monks devoted to self-perfection who guard their "brethren in the faith"
- The House of Blue Stones: a monastery/library in Sandpoint

From the Blog:
- Symbol of Irori - Dark blue hand, palm out, inscribed inside a sky blue circle

Best Regards
Herremann the Wise

Shadow Lodge

Hello Everyone,

My group have just chased Ilthane off, she has been sent with tail firmly between hindlegs getting blasted by maximised and empowered lightning bolts. I believe she would fly back to her lair, feeling seriously outmatched by the group.

However, my PCs intend to blast her out of her lair or wherever she has gone. What would you do? I'm not too sure I'm keen to send the PCs into her lair at their present level. I'm not too sure whether to change the status of what's happening there either (I was intending a year's downtime between the 6th and 7th modules with the Age of Worms temporarily averted by the PCs at the Champion's Games).

What would you suggest?

Best Regards
Herremann the Wise

Shadow Lodge

Hello Everyone,

Due to a large group and some interesting augmented story elements, my PCs killed Lord Raknian along with Bozal Zahol down in the Kyuss Shrine as they were preparing the final sacrifices before its release on the morrow. The Ulgurstasta remains unreleased deep below the arena and the PCs are due to fight Auric's Warband (it currently being just after midnight going into the final day).

My timeline for tomorrow's "planned" festivities is the final fight at dusk (6:00pm) after a day of preliminary events. However with Lord Raknian and Captain Okaral missing, as well as Lord Smenk (the manager of Auric's Warband to boot), I'm thinking the PCs are going to find themselves on the end of a harsh inquisition. With the support Raknian would have in Greyhawk, I'm thinking legal action of some nature might be in store. A situation where the group has to talk there way out of what will be "made" to look like cold-blooded murder and an attempted cover-up.

Any ideas as to how to finish off what has been an exceedingly enjoyable 5th module for my group?

Best Regards
Herremann the Wise

Shadow Lodge

Hello Everyone,

I've tried finding out what has happened to Enworld but no luck so far - they have been offline for over a week. Does anyone know?

Best Regards
Herremann the Wise

Shadow Lodge

Hi Everyone,

I was just wondering what other DMs have done to introduce downtime into the adventure path? Obviously, between adventures but what about during the actual modules. What have you done to each of the modules to give your wizards and crafters extra time to put spells into spellbooks and craft items?

Best Regards
Herremann the Wise

Shadow Lodge

Hi Everyone,

I was just wondering what caused the split between Allustan and Tenser (Manzorian)? There are hints here and there but nothing substantial.
I have a player playing a wizard apprenticed to Allustan and so the issue will most likely come up sooner or later. I was just wondering if:
a) There was an official/semi-official reason or
b) What other DMs have come up with regarding this (and Allustan in general).

Best Regards
Herremann the Wise

Shadow Lodge

Hi Everyone,

There have been several requests for an errata thread but understandably, the Dungeon staff have plenty on their plate bringing out new stuff rather than revising old stuff. As such, I thought I'd start this thread to help everyone out (and I'll then start up individual threads for each of the other modules).

Feel free to post on this thread - if it is to work, it needs as many people posting as possible. There are several areas that I think are worth covering:
- Incorrect monster or NPC stats
- Typos and incorrect references
However, the one that I would like to see the most of is
- DM warnings and suggestions.
For example, the iron balls in area 23 have concerned many DMs as well as the use of Swarms in area 7 against parties that may not be prepared or able to reasonably cope with them. These don't have to be things that need to be changed, but just issues that DMs should be aware of.

If there is anything else you think this thread should be doing, post it and I'll edit this post. Remember, the aim of this is to have a lot of useful information in the one place - a Whispering Cairn Compendium so to speak. Soon I will collate all the responses into a single post to post up later. We'll see how this goes.

Best Regards and Looking Forward to Your Responses
Herremann the Wise

Shadow Lodge

Hi Everyone,

I was just wondering on some advice hunting down some resources suitable for the Age of Worms adventure path. In particular any details or maps of the Greyhawk, Diamond Lake, Cairns region that I can purchase would be appreciated. As I am more after fluff than crunch, any edition that I can purchase online would be cool. As we are finishing off the current campaign, I won’t be starting this with my group until mid to late December so I have a good amount of preparation time up the sleeve.

On an additional note, if you have already done a chunk of the adventure path, is there anything that you would have done differently or perhaps set up at the outset if you had have had the opportunity? What would you have developed if you could go back in time so to speak?

The five players have already decided on characters as follows:
- Cleric of Heironeous (Garrison)
- Paladin of Heironeous (Garrison)
- Wizard, apprenticed to Allustan (Allustan’s Manse)
- Ranger, underneath Merris Sandovar (Bronzewood Lodge)
- Drunken Friar of someone he can’t quite remember at the moment (Jalek’s Flophouse)
This is fairly well rounded but the lack of finding and disabling traps does have me a little concerned. Any advice?

As I am a DM who is big on little details (with a group of players of like mind), I was not overly happy with how the module starts the ball rolling. As such, I was planning the following (comments or further ideas would be appreciated too):

- The Whispering Cairn is actually not well known at all. Details of it have in fact been lost, although obviously some people have made contact with it – and almost all of them have paid with their lives.
- The entire group are old childhood friends from Diamond Lake although the Drunken Friar has only recently returned to town after several years travelling the fairs.
- The group plan an evening at the Hungry Gar tavern. This night however involves one of the worst storms seen in years with lightning, thunder and cold driving rain closeting people inside the inns and taverns for the evening.
- All are there except for Brother Arnanbadullus (the friar) who witnesses an unusual event whilst relieving himself under a sheltered eave on the way.
- He sees a desperate figure throwing a bag or sack high onto the Emporium’s steeply gabled roof before seeing the figure scurrying into the shadows. This is quickly followed by Kullen the half-orc and company yelling and searching around in the storm, obviously looking for their assailant. Not wanting to be caught up in anything to do with the half-orc, the Brother circles around the back way to the Hungry Gar, meeting the others inside. This is where the campaign will actually start – previous information given to the player in question.
- While the group discusses recent events, a ruckus will develop in the Inn as word spreads of a local garrison boy: his corpse hanging in the main square, tortured and “halved”. [I am hoping that this will be enough motivation to get the group wondering who was killed and what could be in this bag on the Emporium’s roof that the boy was killed for].
- Kullen and friends will be seen hunting around the alleyways and periphery of the square looking for “something”.
- From this point the group should get an early taste of the Emporium and its many delights, eventually ending up on the dangerously steep roof with the rain, thunder and lightning pounding down nearby.
- They will find the backpack on the roof and inside will be... I suppose I should not say unless one of my players stumbles upon this.

Actually, I’m pretty sure they won’t so here we go:
The truth of the matter is that the three adventurers in town commissioned the garrison rogue, now dangling in the square. While Khellek, Auric and Tirra have been saying they are looking for the Stirgenest Cairn, in actual fact, Khellek has recently stumbled upon information relating to Ulavant’s mission to a “Whispering Cairn” almost sixty years ago. This leads them to the Diamond Lake’s garrison and the cartographer’s office. They needed to bribe a corrupt local to get hold of a particular map in that office - the garrison boy. However, Smenk being Smenk, he hears about this and gets Kullen and gang to get to the rogue before the visitor’s do and find out what all the big money and whispers are about.

What the PCs will find in the bag are several maps... including one penned by Ulavant himself detailing a smudge high in the Cairn Hills with the words “Whispering Cairn” next to it. These details are obviously different to the other maps in the backpack. In addition is a note detailing the directions as well as a small wooden box containing a nice fat diamond that has obviously been used as payment. Carelessly forgotten by Khellek though is an eight-pointed star printed on the underside of the cloth wrapping the diamond in its box.

I figure this should motivate the PCs to investigate what all the fuss is about. With a week’s holiday in front of them, a trip to the Whispering Cairn should soon be organised by the group and upon the path they go.

If you guys have any further ideas or suggestions, I’d love any and all help and assistance.

Best Regards
Herremann the Wise


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