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Seagull

John Mangrum's page

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber. 402 posts. No reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist.


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Idar wrote:

Sorry about the lack of detail in the previous post, lemme see if I can clarify some things. Appreciate the responses though!

The players managed to take over the monastery and they're about to explore the outer portions of Kelmarane, the areas outside of the battle market and the ruined church. The adventure hints that it should take more than one day to explore, as it describes the various things that happen on each day. How long do you think it should take to explore a ruined structure in the Ruins of Kelmarane.

Assuming we're just talking about the generic ruins (as opposed to the named sites), then just a couple of minutes per building for a basic walkthrough. The ruins are broken shells, for the most part. It's the sort of thing I would (did) handwave along the lines of "you spend an hour going door to door, searching the ruins, until [next interesting thing happens]."


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Idar wrote:

Hey all, I know this is a dead forums, but I'm running the game for some friends.

We're on part three, handling the exploration of Kelmarane. I was wondering how you all handled time passing. To be more specific, how long does it take to travel between each location on the map, and handle the problems there?

Are you referring to the locations on the outskirts of town, such as the monastery and the refuge?


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Haladir wrote:
I haven't actually run LoF, but I presented it as one possibility for my current IRL campaign. I had been planning to use the City of Brass write up from the WotC 3.5 book Planar Handbook

As a note, the City of Brass in LoF was presented so as to, if not actually complement, at least not actively contradict The City of Brass boxed set by Necromancer Games (now under the Frog God's shingle).

(Link goes to store page.)


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The ultimate Big Bad in Kingmaker is also motivated in part by a prophecy. Since the prophecy was laid down before the fall of Aroden, it spelled doom for the Big Bad at the time, but during the AP itself, the Big Bad isn't certain whether the prophecy is still valid.


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My group just entered book five this past week. I'm certainly enjoying it, but I also converted everything to Pathfinder and freely introduced newer elements. Swapping out a sorcerer for an inquisitor, adding appropriate archetypes, and so on.


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I didn't try slipping any Easter eggs into my chunk of Ships of the Inner Sea, but I do have a personal fondness for slipping the rare little in-joke so obscure that literally only I could possibly "get" it into my writing. The braggart captain of the viking ship I handled includes taming "the winter wyrm" among he and his crew's many epic accomplishments.

In the mindsphere surrounding my home games, "winter wyrm" is that viking's nickname for a specific white-scaled kobold.


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Kalindlara wrote:

It appears that Valenhall is actually fairly closed-off from native contact, although the passage is a bit vague. From the ISWG:

Inner Sea World Guide wrote:
Guarded by einheriar and valkyries and ministered to by a trio of reclusive norns, Valenhall certainly seems to have one boot firmly planted in the supernatural world, leaving it relatively free from interference from the native peoples or other Avistani settlements

Valenhall is isolated, but it's a nigh-legendary realm, not the Ulfen colony. That would be Port Valen, not coincidentally located nearby.


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In my game, I rule that a willing ally can voluntarily forgo its Dexterity bonus (and any associated dodge bonus) to its CMD. An unconscious ally is treated as a helpless target (so the character making the combat maneuver check automatically succeeds as if they'd rolled a natural 20).


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My players are approaching the end of The End of Eternity, and I thought I might offer up some side notes I prepared. I'm running a mix of the published and director's cut versions of the adventure, so the Pleasure Palace is still intact. The palace contains an extensive but wildly outdated library. Since a few party members were of a mind to do some research during their stay, I jotted down some bullet points on the state of the Inner Sea around the period when the library was last likely to see much new material.

(As a note, this convinced me that the "Common" tongue spoken in Kakishon is not Taldane but Osiriani.)

Quote:

Out of Date Research

While the antiquity of the reference works at the Pleasure Palace shouldn't affect most Knowledge checks on topics of fauna, flora, magic, planar subjects, or religion, it may play a large factor in Knowledge checks regarding geography, history, local matters, and nobility. Here's a very brief recap of the state of Golarion when Nex stopped updating the library in the Age of Destiny (circa –300 AR):

Race
* Chelaxians:
The Ulfen and Taldan peoples have not yet encountered each other, so the Chelaxian ethnic group will not exist for many centuries.
* Dwarves & Gnomes: Both races arrived (separately) in the Inner Sea region thousands of years ago.
* Elves: Having largely fled Golarion just before Earthfall and not yet returned, elves are extremely rare in the Inner Sea region (though the wild elves of the Mwangi Expanse are present).
* Keleshites: The Padishah Empire of Casmaron has not yet expanded to the Inner Sea. Qadira has not yet been founded and the Keleshite people as a whole do not yet have any significant presence in the region.
* Vudrani: The Vudrani have not yet arrived in the Inner Sea, and Nex has not yet claimed Jalmeray. (The Vudrani do arrive in time to interact with Nex shortly before his disappearance, however.)

Religion
* Aroden:
Aroden has not yet raised the Starstone from the Inner Sea, created Absalom, or become a god.
* The Ascended Gods: Cayden Cailean, Iomedae, and Norgorber all have yet to be born.
* Rovagug: Xotani the Firebleeder will not emerge from the Darklands for roughly 2,400 years, but the Tarrasque's infamous rampage is less than 400 years old. The first Spawn of Rovagug, Ulunat, was defeated roughly 3,000 years ago.

Politics
* Ancient Empires:
Three post-Earthfall civilizations of northern Garund (the Jistka Imperium, Shory Empire, and Tekritamin League) have all long since collapsed—two of them having fallen to an ascendant Osirion.
* Katapesh: The origins of the city and nation of Katapesh (as well as the earliest legends of the Templars of the Five Winds) still lie about 2,500 years in the future. In this period, the region remains a sparsely populated southern province in the ancient empire of Osirion, mostly abandoned to the native gnolls. If certain legends regarding Xotani are to be believed, it may currently be covered in lush grasslands rather than arid wastes.
* Nex, Geb, & the Mana Wastes: Nex and Geb have been at war for roughly 600 years (nearly as long as Geb has existed as a nation), and will continue for another 8 centuries. The conflict is still in the process of creating the Mana Wastes as they are understood today. Both Nex and Geb (the individual archmages) are still alive and extremely active.
* Osirion: Ancient Osirion is long past its peak but still technically covers all of northeastern Garund, including the modern nations of Rahadoum, Thuvia, and Katapesh. In practice, however, the empire has already lost control of Rahadoum and Thuvia. Osirion lost control of its southernmost provinces (now the nations of Nex and Geb) centuries ago.
* Taldor: The nation of Taldor is about 900 years old and still ascendant. It is still several centuries away from sending out the Armies of Exploration that would spread Taldan influence throughout the Inner Sea region (and result in Taldane becoming a widespread common tongue).


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It occurs to me that a theoretical Kingmaker hardcover could benefit from the fact that this AP was used to springboard a lot of creatures that then appeared in later Bestiaries. There's a fair amount of page space devoted to stat blocks that would be freed up in a compilation.


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I've run Blood in Moondale (it was the adventure derailed by continual light, in fact), and be wary of the fact that it is, essentially, a murder mystery with only one suspect. You'll need to flesh it out quite a bit to make it work. (Same can be said for the rest of the adventures in Book of Crypts, really.)


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I can't say with absolute certainty, but it looks like Michele Chang's style to me.


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Zaister wrote:
That kind of mystery would probably easily be foiled by this spell.

Personally, I've always considered lycanthropy a curse that simply mimics a disease, so that spell wouldn't apply. (There are others that could, though; divination is precisely why mystery adventures can be tough to pull off.)

But then, back in 2E, a find-the-werewolf adventure I was running got blasted completely off the rails by a continual light spell, so you never know what's going to do it.


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Find-the-werewolf mystery modules tend to be pretty thin on the vine, actually. Even Ravenloft back in the 2nd edition D&D era really only went to that well twice, with mixed results.

However, Broken Moon (Pathfinder Adventure Path #45, from the Carrion Crown AP) does include an minor element of this, however.


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Whoops! Meant to say four 10th-level PCs. This is the same group, BTW, that you watched tackle the Isle of the Dead at Gen Con. Due to my cross-country move, a series of technical hitches, and various other delays, this was our first session since then! Next week, the Fire Forge.


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My PCs just tackled the Black Spire last week (and spent this week's session licking their wounds). Interesting thing about this encounter in particular is that the conversion from 3.5 to Pathfinder changes it considerably. In 3.5, the ghasts lose their ability to spread ghoul fever, but keep their paralysis. In Pathfinder, they can now spread ghoul fever again, but lose the paralysis! Quite the game changer!

My PCs have faced ghouls and ghasts several times over the course of the campaign, and I looked at the pack of no-paralysis ghasts and foresaw a total rout, even with the antimagic taken into account.

So I decided to make the fight a little more interesting while maintaining the same XP "budget." I took out 6 of the 12 ghasts and replaced them with 2 ghasts with class levels (riffing off the ghouls in the Monster Codex): a 5th-level fighter wielding a greataxe and a 4th-level ranger with favored enemy (humans).

Well, it turned out to be a great little fight, in that for a while there I thought I'd just accidentally inflicted a TPK on my party (four 4th-level PCs and three 8th-level cohorts). The regular ghasts went down pretty quickly, as expected, but the two leaders--whom I imagined as having been Gebbite invaders lurking in the shadow of the Spire ever since the Eater of Magic's death--went through foes like buzzsaws!

No actual deaths, fortunately, and the only PC to actually drop only went down to -1 hp. With the exception of a PC who managed to remain totally untouched, however, everyone else was within a hit or two of dropping, and in the meantime the ghasts had killed or driven off half of the party's griffon mounts. The PCs actually had to use the Heal skill to get their fallen ally back on his feet! And it took the collaboration of literally every party member to succeed at that check! In the end, victory came from the PCs convincing the remaining griffons to stop standing their ground, defending themselves, and instead pounce on the last ghasts standing.

So, uh, yeah... great fight, but not sure I'd try that trick again!


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It doesn't suit your needs, but the module The Demon Within takes place in two sites that play significant but "off-screen" roles in The Worldwound Incursion (the Cathedral of Saint Clydwell and Clydwell Keep). The adventure itself requires some retconning to act as a prequel (and is too high level to work for the Wrath PCs), but you might find the maps and locations useful for some homebrew.


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The founder of the Technic League started organizing in 4501 AR, and the group didn't enter Silver Mount for another 8 years.


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It was mainly due to this adventure that I decided to use the medium XP track when I converted the campaign to PF. On the fast track, completionist PCs in this adventure can easily end up a level ahead of the curve until well into The End of Eternity.


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The product I'm gagging for is Righteous Relationships. (Or whatever the actual title will be; the Ultimate Relationships plug-in for Wrath of the Righteous.) I'm running that campaign now and am at the point of having to write a version of it myself...


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Since we're talking pure hypotheticals, the one I'd most like to see is Savage Tide, since the end of the Paizo era of Dungeon Magazine has made collecting a full run of those issues virtually impossible. (My kingdom for the penultimate installment!)

The AP I think would likely gain the most benefit would be Second Darkness, though I think to a much lesser degree Legacy of Fire would benefit from a second pass as well.

My guess is that a PF hardback of Curse of the Crimson Throne would probably be the best-received, however.


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As I understand it it's not a "misprint" so much as an element of the old calendar that slipped through the cracks and was grandfathered into the new "Earth" calendar. I assume it's being quietly ignored these days. (As a GM who is "deep into timekeeping," I do ignore it myself.)


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Ravingdork wrote:

This source says the official Pathfinder calendar uses twelve 30-day months, which would be a 360-day year.

However, this source seems more in line with the real-world calendar, which has 365 days.

Which one is official canon? I ask because I'm creating a downtime calendar for my friends and I to use during our Kingmaker game. We're sticklers for details such as this.

Originally it was the former; as of The Inner Sea World Guide it's the latter. Paizo has gradually adjusted Golarion's solar and lunar cycles over time to make them more closely resemble Earth's. (This because doing otherwise creates headaches for those deep into timekeeping.) The only significant differences these days are that Golarion has a leap year every eight years, not four, and -- here's an obscurity -- the Inner Sea's lunar calendar matches what would be seen over North America rather than over Europe, despite the apparent geographical analogues. :)


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As the adventure itself shows, just because her trade is legal doesn't mean it can't earn her enemies. Part of her choice of headquarters is doubtless also due to the secret motivations of her business partners, who likely pointed out the location to her in the first place.

Even so, it is a suspicious choice, which is ultimately what gets the adventure rolling.

ETA: Silly me; I wrote the entire post above thinking about the wrong NPC. The explanation for the NPC you're talking about is simpler: she's strung out on her own product and paranoid.


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Should I mention that a voyage to Arcadia gets a brief recounting in Ships of the Inner Sea?


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It does assume you have access to the Player's Handbook or D20 SRD for the basics.


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Here's James Jacobs with an answer:

Worldwound Terrain


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The staff has addressed this before and suggested swapping out disguise self for veil.


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Both are currently on hiatus due to my imminent move, but I'm currently GMing two campaigns: I'm in year/book four of Legacy of Fire, and less than a year into Wrath of the Righteous, having just wrapped up book one. During that period I also started running Serpent's Skull and Way of the Wicked, but they both quickly faltered due to various real-world reasons.


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Lord Fyre wrote:

Whoever flagged the Ravishing Ruby as appropriate for 5th Level heroes is doing serious drugs.

** spoiler omitted **

Based on the info I have, I believe that's a typo in the introduction, and that the Ravishing Ruby is actually designed for 8th-level characters.


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Shaun wrote:
Katapesh City hasn't been statted out since the release of the Game Mastery Guide, as far as I know. I am writing its stats out and as a metropolis it gets 6 qualities. Notorious, prosperous, strategic location and tourist attraction all seem to make sense to me. What do you think the other 2 should be?

Here's the stats I've been using:

Spoiler:
KATAPESH
N metropolis
Corruption +2; Crime +5; Economy +7; Law +3; Lore +10; Society +1
Qualities academic, notorious, prosperous, rumormongering citizens, strategic location, tourist attraction
Danger +20

DEMOGRAPHICS
Government
magical
Population 212,300 (169,840 humans; 12,738 dwarves; 10,615 half-elves; 4,246 half-orcs; 6,369 halflings; 6,369 gnomes; 2,123 other); approximately 70% of the population is free, 25% are permanent slaves, and 5% are temporary debt slaves or criminals serving time as slaves

NOTABLE NPCS
The Pactmasters (unknown)
Pactbroker Hashim ibn Sayyid (N male human expert 6)

MARKETPLACE
Base Value
30,400 gp; Purchase Limit 200,000 gp; Spellcasting 9th
Minor Items all; Medium Items 4d4; Major Items 3d4


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Lamontius wrote:

caption for the first picture shared,

"Hold my beer, I've got this!"

You're not far off!


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I was non-specific in my art notes (just "some huge sea monster"), so I can't say what sort of creature it is with authorial... um... authority. My educated guess, however, is that it's a (really awesome) water orm (Bestiary 2).


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Dragon78 wrote:
What kind of dragon is that?

For the crew's sake I hope it's not a linnorm!


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John Mangrum wrote:
I happen to be having a pretty crummy day, so the illustration on the right is quite the pick-me-up.

Oh, wait -- is it horrible of me to say that I meant the illo on the left? The Kraken's Spite half-page intro, I mean.

(This is why I'm better off sticking to port and starboard.)


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I happen to be having a pretty crummy day, so the illustration on the right is quite the pick-me-up.


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Thanael wrote:
So any nods to Ravenloft in your entry? Is it a vessel from Ustalav?

I wrote the Kraken's Spite (thus my delight above in seeing it on the front cover). No Ravenloft nods, though there do happen to be undead and curses in the mix.


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Dragoncat wrote:
I'm curious--are changelings capable of having children? Or do they have to be transformed into hags first?

From a few months back in this thread:

John Mangrum wrote:

1. Are changelings capable of having children? (Or can they not become mothers unless they "mature" into hags?)

2. If a changeling *can* have children, are those children also changelings?
James Jacobs wrote:

1) Yes, they can have children. Unless we have said otherwise in some book somewhere, of course... I'm not 100% up to speed on what we've published for them yet. And assuming so, then...

2) Yes.


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I'm running Kakishon as paradisaical but resource-poor, so obtaining new spells is tricky. (A magus PC introduced at the start of the chapter, and native to Kakishon, is presented as having already scavenged every spell he could find from the Pleasure Palace.)

That said, Artel Norrin is a reasonable source; I imagine he'd allow wizards to copy spells from his spellbooks under the same sort of trade terms that he uses when crafting weapons.


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The "fatal gore" ability was removed in the walrus' Bestiary 4 entry.


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Various professionals have touched on this topic over the years, and the general answer is that, yes, nationwide television advertising is astoundingly expensive to the point of being an economic bad bet for companies at the RPG industry scale.

Personally, the only time I can vaguely recall there being TV ads for an RPG were during the initial D&D fad in very early 1980s.


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Undead Kobolds? But why? wrote:
Does anyone here still have the audio files made by Skyler Brungardt?

I have copies, but I'm not in a position to send out large files right now (on board a ship with fairly tight bandwidth rationing). Remind me again after the 19th and I'll get them to you.


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My group effectively TPKed themselves right away, so my advice is just a caution that the adventure path has a very different style than those Paizo puts out. Paizo's APs, being fairly heroic in nature, tend to also be reactive in nature. "Here's your PCs; something bad's going to happen, you need to stop it." If the PCs get stuck, sooner or later, the GM can always just have a bad guy kick in the door to get things rolling again.

WotK, being villainous, is designed for PCs (and players) who need to be far more proactive. "Here's a seemingly stable scenario; your PCs must figure out a way to ruin it." Particularly early on, if the PCs wander around aimlessly, the world just keeps on keepin' on, and if they flub something, there's no help coming.

My players tend to handle the former scenario well; the latter, not so well.


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Woo! Front cover! :)


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When using Adobe Acrobat (not just AA Reader), extracting all of the artwork in a given PDF to .png format is, essentially, a 2-click process. (Sorting it out is another matter, and takes a few minutes.) Between that and Photoshop, prepping adventures for the virtual tabletop I use (D20Pro) is usually quick and painless.


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Sharaya wrote:

It looks like it needed some extra poking and prodding. I have fixed things, and you should be good to to go now.

If you have any further question, please let us know.

Fantastic! Thanks!


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I'm informed that my payment method was declined, but I'm not certain whether this is a glitch or related to the fact that I did recently change payment methods (though I have used this method successfully before). Since being informed of the problem, I was given access to the PDF of Adventure Path #85, but not the other two books in this month's subscriptions. Could I get a clarification on why the payment method was declined, and on whether I'm clear to pick up my subs at Gen Con?


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I enjoy running prelude adventures, and was planning on running The Demon Within for my group (as a one-shot, set five years before The Worldwound Incursion). My players declined in favor of jumping right into the AP, but it's out there. It does have some issues--not only do you need to convert it from D20 to Pathfinder, but it was also early days for Golarion and Mendev, the Worldwound, and even demons themselves have evolved slightly away from what's presented here.

At the very least, however, it provides complete maps from two notable (though offstage) locations in the AP: The Cathedral of Saint Clydwell and Clydwell Keep.


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Oh yeah, Madfang--that reminds me. When my group went through House of the Beast, the PCs never laid eyes on the Whispering Stalker, though one PC did have an uncomfortably close encounter with it (hearing only a squeaky voice and feeling a tiny hand on his leg) while sitting motionless in the dark, hoping the mob of gnolls just past the nearby open door weren't overhearing anything.

Anyway, the PCs left the House of the Beast having never solved the "mystery" of who or what the rumored Whispering Stalker had been. Another loose thread: After the PCs killed Madfang, one of them decided to keep his head as a trophy. After the heavy fighting died down, the PCs left the head in a pile of loot while they mopped up what little resistance remained. When they came back, they discovered the head (but none of their other treasures) missing.

Six months later and well over 200 miles away, just after they'd wiped out most of the Demon's Womb (losing a PC in the fight against the Midwife in the process), someone or something unseen rolled a leathery object down the hall into the room with them. Initially thinking it was a stingchuck or some sort of trap, they approached cautiously and were disturbed to discover that it was Madfang's badly preserved head...


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Tanstaafl48 wrote:
Thanks you for the reply. I really love the Broken Chains idea -- I've had that module for a while and always wanted to use it, but for some reason didn't make the obvious setting/level connection with LoF.

There are numerous potential connections in Broken Chain just begging to hook into The Jackal's Price. BC is 1 level low for where the PCs are expected to be as they reach that point in the AP, so I bumped up the opposition a bit. I also used the "quest giver" to resolve the loose thread of Haleen's bad debts in the city (since she had now become a cohort). The PCs took Amwyr home, only to discover that he'd been taken for dead months earlier and had lost control of his business and home. Insisting he still had savings to pay off the heroes, Amwyr took them to the Violet Fire, where the PCs immediately found themselves up to their necks in trouble with Guildmistress Blacktongue, who'd purchased Haleen's debts some months back. (In my campaign, Zayifid survived HotB, and thanks to his whisper campaign and Felliped's account of the fall and rise of Kelmarane in a Pathfinder Chronicle, the PCs reputation had preceded them to the city.)

While two of the PCs were "relaxing" at the Violet Fire shortly thereafter, one of them discovered that one of the tiefling courtesans was an undercover Gray Talon, who nudged the PCs in the direction of Whispershade. The deal was simple: Haleen is in deep to the Duskwalkers, and Blacktongue intends to make an example of her. Find our agent, and A) we can pay you a reward to help with Haleen's debts, and B) if you confirm that this slave ring--dues payers to the Duskwalkers--are breaking the law, you can use that proof to negotiate with the highly legalistic Blacktongue, trading her vendetta against Haleen for a bigger fish.

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