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I saw your review and I just wanted to personally thank you. Not just for myself, but for Neil, Thurston, Jeff, Jonathan, Sean, Chris, Andrew, and Jason Nelson.. and our artists and layout folks.
This one was really a team effort and everyone involved made it a great product. I'm really glad you enjoyed it.
Happy Birthday John!
You are a scholar and a gentleman, and a genuine pleasure to work with. Hopefully I can attend PaizoCon this year and we can have a proper conversation.
I remember John as a potential rival but he has demonstrated to *me* time and time again that he is the best at what he does—the cheerful, thoughtful, imaginative developer for a program that brings joy to countless people all over the world.
A toast to John Compton.
captain yesterday wrote:
Thank you. You are very kind.
James Jacobs is actually responsible for Ithanothuar, and I think the addition is inspired.
I *DO* take credit for the Grundlescorn sisters.
This just goes to show that all products are the result of teamwork and collaboration. Behind every great writer is a great (and hard-working) developer.
There seems to be a very great deal of hand-waving involved in setting up the PCs into being interested in Skirgaard, in travelling there and in arriving at the hit and run tactics phase of this campaign.
Sorry for the thread necromancy, but I just saw this and thought I would comment. It was an intentional decision, Robert. Speaking mostly for myself, I couldn't see a lot of travel encounters that the PCs couldn't bypass without much difficulty, and I pitched it to the developer that way. Rather than invest the word count in just getting to the area, I focused everything in the location.
I have not seen the very last chapter, but I have seen all the previous five. I have a little better access than some other posters, since I wrote chapter five myself.
I know what you're talking about in terms of Curse of the Crimson Throne, but you concern is unwarranted. Kintargo remains an integral part of every chapter (including the last one). The PCs do take some "field trips" outside of it, but not to exclusion. Chapter Five for example the players coming and going from the city a bit to the neighboring countryside, alongside actual city encounters. The city remains however, their base of operations.
I am confident that Chapter Six will have the players starting and finishing in Kintargo, with their hellish excursion sandwiched in the middle.
Hell's Rebels is very much an urban campaign with some fun side trips which will serve to keep things fresh and varied just when I think the PCs will most appreciate a short change of scenery.
Devastation Bob wrote:
In the false Akhentepi tomb, what happens if they successfully disable the trap (not by finding the hidden torch trigger, just made the perception and disable check in the boxed trap section) but then try to open the northern doors? Will that still trigger the waterfall, or is that turned off with the trap? What's in that room if the trap is turned off?
That is a good question!
There is nothing beyond the north doors besides a small space and a grate that leads to the aqueduct. It is a dead end.
First, the doors should be difficult to open and if the players were able to successfully locate the trap, they might (at your discretion) realize that the closed doors were part of the trap mechanism they discovered and disabled. In that case, they'll know not to bother.
If that is too kind for your taste, consider telling them if they succeeded on their Perception check by 5 or more.
If you don't want to tell them at all, do bear in mind these are not normal doors. They're part of a trap mechanism. forcing them open should be difficult. You might want to have them break them down or set a Disable Device check to open them. Say... DC 20, which is the same DC check to disable the trap.
If they do open the doors, flood the chambers for 4 rounds but don't trigger any of the other trap effects. After all, they found the trap fair and square and disabled it once. This should not be an opportunity to "trigger it anyways".
Hope this helps!
James, you did a great job here. I echo Amanda Hamon Kunz's feedback. For example, the part about ambient moisture is a trap that you perpetrated upon yourself. I know what that's like, because I'm very detail oriented too. Sometimes, however, we make life difficult for ourselves by trying to explain too much. I'll speak frankly, when it comes to rule trolls, everything you say may be used against your actual intention. Ergo it's necessary to be frugal and efficient with our words and to avoid extraneous details. A simple approach may be to say the blade reforms after a round with an option to make the process faster with water, and forego mentioning anything about ambient moisture.
That's not a dig against other posters, rather I say that simply out of pragmatism. We protect GMs from unnecessary rule challenges when we provide tight mechanics.
The infravision trick was neat but Amanda has a point, newer players may not get it and wonder why you are providing a weaker and slightly more complex power than darkvision.
All that said, did I like it ? Absolutely! You found some neat new design space and that is important. Congratulations on your first up on this road. I look forward to your future entries!
@Charlie, Sub-Creator, Lord Gadigan, awesome posts!
(As were previous ones)
I should have said I welcome essays but don't want to demand them. I love to hear about why they were awesome. Soooo helpful. The comments about Gallowspire especially.
I just didn't want to go negative. But i get that a little is necessary to contrast.
Reading and taking notes!
Anonymous Visitor 163 576 wrote:
I'd like to vote against Council of Thieves. Just terrible, not so much an adventure as a loose collection of notes, and anti-climactic after the much better books 4 and 5.
It's not a vote. I appreciate the thought but I would rather hear what you do like for a chapter six. Please?
What's your favorite Chapter Six of any AP? If you have more than one, you can list them in order of preference. Please be specific in you can.
Transparency: We learn from studying the work of others. There's a lot to be learned from trap design, use of templates, and monsters with class levels. Balance of story versus combat. That's why I am asking.
If you want to say why that chapter 6 is a favorite, I'm all ears, but a short answer is a good answer too. No essays required.
What not to do: Please don't tell me you don't like high level adventures and what the "sweet spot is". Please no editorials on what Paizo should do in the future (I have no say in that). Please don't argue with each other but respect that people have different opinions. Just tell me YOUR opinion.
Bear in mind this is *me* asking and not Paizo. If you want to speak to them, feel free, but pretty please also answer my question too.
Thanks in advance, I appreciate t!
Alex Smith 908 wrote:
What were the plot elements in question?
Send me a PM and I'll answer, or ask in another thread and send me a pointer. Its not relevant to this book and it would be an unnecessary thread derail. Although, I can't guarantee it is worth your time. It was not a particularly provocative decision that I think anyone is going to care about.
I defer all similar posts with the same response. I like the Occult Bestiary. Lets use this thread to talk about this cool book that was actually written. ;-)
I'd like to know who wrote the dreamthief hag. I'd like to thank them.
In 2010, I lost to Matt Goodall in RPG Superstar (he went on to write "Cult of the Ebon Destroyers").
My pitch was "Doom of the Dreamthieves" which was about extra-powerful night hags that raided Absalom from the Dimension of Dreams. It was a ridiculously complex planar adventure that couldn't actually be written without Occult Adventures (so the pitch was YEARS ahead of its time, the core rules sort of lacked the support it would have required). The proposal had other issues. It was waaaay too long for 32 pages and it drew upon plot elements that the Development Team wanted to quietly forget. "Doom of the Dreamthieves" had fans though! Some people wanted it! I failed very boldly. (Best final round RPGSS advice I can give is to know how many encounters you need to write your adventure).
So, when I saw the dreamthief hag I was touched. In a good way. It made me smile.
Now, having said that, I hope no developer makes a special effort to publicly say there was no connection. Because that would make me sad.
The Blog wrote:
Nothing warms my heart to a black cinder than a returning villain!
Go, go, graveknights!
My very good face-to-face friend and professional colleague, Ben Bruck, will be delighted that he claimed the character death!
Awesome read, Order of the Amber Die! I was glad to help!
[Not to be a shill, but the actual isomorphic map is in the Giantslayer Map Folio. The full color version was not available to the Order in time to play their session. Adam Daigle gracious gave his blessing for me to send them my turnover version. I dare say the isomorphic perspective really adds to the fun of the player's strategic planning]
Thank you guys so much for playing and promoting this AP!
And.. I am to understand from the Order's GM that the final boss fight was very challenging even though they didn't have a death...? (No spoilers desired, just hoping for confirmation)
Chopswil, I flagged your post for being in the wrong forum. I will copy and paste it, and answer it in the correct forum. Nothing personal intended, I just want to foster open discussion here and mechanical discussions in the thread reserved just for GMs. And its a good question!
Forum Mods, I'm fine with you deleting this post.
gustavo iglesias wrote:
I was going to edit my post. I saw that I misunderstood and you have my regrets about my tone. But you got it right—combat isn't the solution here, although there is a lot of combat to be had.
Its not a good question to answer.
And you should duck out of this thread, player! I can't be responsible for spoilers here! :)
gustavo iglesias wrote:
In a RPG, if the enemy has numbers, it can be exterminated. Vague references work better if you want to avoid PC hunting giants to death
Yes, you understand. But there is nothing vague about it in the actual text. It says quite explicitly that no population numbers are given and why. I was just more detailed here. :) You are free to assign a population if you wish.
Generic Villain wrote:
I have no idea, speaking honestly. I have a cop out answer and my real answer. I'll offer both because they both have an element of truth:
Cop-Out Answer: I don't really know how many giants are going to be required to conquer Avistan. I had no way of knowing how large the previous adventure was going to be in terms of population—or how big the next one was going be. I didn't want to throw out a number and have it be wrong. There’s so many people who just want to nit-pick a potentially wrong answer. I’m afraid of mass combat simulations to debate who is right and who is wrong.
Real Answer: It is a bad question from a narrativist point of view. No personal jab intended! The moment I assign a specific population, I have hamstrung the adventure. The Sabotage and the Outrage mechanic become pointless. The goal of the adventure was to encourage stealth and guerrilla style tactics. The only way to effectively achieve that goal is to make attrition of the giants an unobtainable or unrealistic objective.
The fact is, a blunt head-on confrontation at that level should fail. Because giants are dangerous. Depending on your group, that kind of systematic series of fights might even make for a tedious game. Plus, no group can sustainably go from fight to fight to fight. They have to stop and rest and replenish their resources. How does one simulate the giant response? The portion of the camp they cleared remains empty and deserted? No way! Plus, players shouldn’t be counting dead bodies, they should be exploring cool encounters and learning secrets—and that notwithstanding, there is still a wealth of good old combat to be had.
I don't mean to sound evasive and I do get what you mean. It is a fair enough question if this was a novel. Honestly, if I had to guess, I would be just making something up whole cloth. But I went for the lengthy reply to explain that the decision was deliberate and I feel it was the right call to make. It encourages the PCs to approach the problem with creativity and not just brute force.
Hope this helps!
EDIT: Removed an unnecessary remark about myself.
Generic Villain wrote:
Why don't we take this to the GM discussion thread down below? I'll watch for the question and reply. I think that thread would be most appropriate for nuts and bolts discussion. :)
Does this trend continue through the entire AP or is this just a spike in the first books?
I'm actually running the AP and I am halfway through Chapter Four. There is a fair amount of DR. I would defend the reasons why that is not a flaw, but in the interest of a short, honest answer. Yeah. There's a fair amount of DR in all the chapters. Not on everything, but I can see wanting an adamantine weapon.
As the author, I'm going to abstain from the art discussion except to point out one thing.
I'm sure that wasn't requested in the art order. I'm reading this depiction that it was some sort of intentional decision on the part of Paizo, and unless they contradict me—I cannot believe that to be true.
Dealing with artists is different than dealing with authors. We're a whole lot easier to edit.
xavier c wrote:
Can you give more info on the Birelus?
They come from a time when humanity did not live apart from nature, and in fact appealed to spirits of nature for intercession when life was cruel. These creatures are a humanoid embodiment of nature manifesting as humanoid.
They're pretty interesting. Incorporeal. Capable of possession—because they're spirits. But not undead. Kinda playing with animism but not exactly going there. Got antler horns!
Your question was kinda tricky. They are a new race of giant, but they are a corruption of another type of giant, specifically taigia giants. A certain runelord may be involved. They are not undead, but have neat necromatic powers.
Living Effigy- a Huge construct
I all but fainted when I saw this.
I drew (graph paper sketch) the isomorphic map depicted. That is beyond my wildest expectations. Not to be a salesman, but I consider that map to be a must have for Chapter Four.
To be clear: There is a perfectly serviceable traditional top down map in the adventure. It shows the elevations, but this would be an awesome in play aid for players who wish to devise raids and plans in advance.
Not to change the subject, but folks should really take a look at the Campaign Map Folio. It has my isomorphic which has been beautifully redrawn!
When people get the adventure, I can't stress enough how useful I feel this will be! And to staff: I am just floored by how magnificent this came out.
Product link: Go here
Some of my peers have said that Pathfinder Core Rules don't lend themselves to adventuring underwater very well. That while there are temporary fixes for short adventures and encounters, long term it is more of a hassle than fun. They're citing movement tied to a skill, slow movement in general, weapon penalties and added combat complexities, and so on.. plus other logistics (how do wizards prepare spells, blah blah).
1.) Do you find that to be true?
2.) If so, do you ever wish it wasn't?
Golarion has so many cool and terrifying mysteries under the waves, I wish we could explore them more. Not just to race to Aboleths, but to other stuff as well.
If it troubles you much, by all means make her a male opera singer.
And bear in mind, she's not there to be won as a prize by male characters. Or female characters. She's in a committed relationship with an important NPC who cannot undertake the task herself—because too many other people would be endangered if she took a needless risk for personal reasons.
I appreciate the concern and it is noted. A writer has to make some choices sometimes and this was one of them. I'm not perfect, but I know I have great Editors like Judy Baur to help when I don't see my own biases.
Luna eladrin wrote:
Oh, now that is awesome. You must be a fantastic GM blessed with the coolest players. Thanks for sharing!
A few stray comments:
The Technology Guide does have some Golarion Campaign Setting material (Androffan tech) in it which will have to be changed or removed in accordance to the rules. Sections of the book are also posted as part of the Paizo PRD as Core Rules Content. That makes it a valuable resource and at least as baseline for comparison in making technological content.
So I think both perspectives have some merit but neither are exclusively correct.
We're going to have some technology. The parts of the Technology Guide that are open content are a resource for consistency. We have a responsibility to produce content that is mechanically balanced and consistent with the Core rules. That's why a baseline really is an important tool.
But.. as an author who has communed with both the publisher and developer, we're aiming for Sword and Planet. Not everyone knows what that means. I struggled with it myself. As "homework" I sat down and watched the film version of "John Carter." Without getting sidetracked about things like critic reviews and what fans of the novels felt about the adaptation, its a great visual two-hour primer on some of the themes and tech levels we're looking at. You'll see guns, energy weapons, flying ships but also a healthy dose of sword-fightin' that comes straight out of sword and sorcery style action.
(And I enjoyed the movie whether that matters or not)
Hope this helps!
Sir Croome? From Seeker of Secrets? He's no coward. I think he's British. Well, the Golarion equivalent, Taldane.
There are a lot of cameo's and special mentions throughout the scenario.
Seriously, if you read it again if he didn't duck behind the barricade, he'd take a crossbow bolt in the head. Then he runs off to fight an elephant by himself.
Aint that tuff enuff? Fabulous Thunderbirds? Bueller?
I thought that was pretty badass for a guy with a monocle. Elephants are CR 7.
That said, there's no harm in swapping him out. I'm not offended on Sir Laribold's behalf. There's just a lot of NPCs that have small roles or are just mentioned by name. This is to reflect how much of the Society is present for this special occasion. Its likely not all players will catch the references, but they're kind of like "legal Easter eggs."