The transition from part three to four of Legacy of Fire is, let's say, a major shift in gears and a feasible jumping-on point. Players/PCs who start there would be a little lost, but no more than intended, really. Part six would lose some of its luster, however, as it's mostly set in revisited locations from parts 1 and 2.
In my campaign, I introduced Amwyr Yuseifah and his slave caravan early, giving the PCs a chance to encounter him (and perhaps rescue some of his concubines) before he spends a year in captivity. Not much "adventuring" involved, but some nice roleplay as two of the PCs scrambled to pool all the cash and valuables they had one them, managing to buy nine of Amwyr's 12 slaves, then find respectable occupations for them around town. (Two became house servants in the Wharfmaster's Manor, two became employees at the Infusium, two became handmaidens to Lady Mayor Almah, one became an acolyte at the temple of Sarenrae, and two accompanied a PC on his nine-month journey abroad.)
Alternatively, you could try this 3rd-party adventure: Death in the Painted Canyons. With the caveat that I know nothing about this adventure past its back-cover blurb, it seems like it could be slotted in as the PCs helping Lady Almah establish her authority against conniving rivals while striking a first blow against some of the Carrion Tribes.
Actually, if anyone has uses DitPC in a Legacy of Fire context, I'd be interested in hearing about it, though its window of opportunity has long since come and gone in my game.
Boy, I hope that blog post comes tomorrow--(looks at clock)--I mean today! I'm kinda locked into running this in some fashion for my group at Gary Con on Thursday. With that in mind, I've started crunching Broken Chains to see how it slots into LoF. Non-spoilery first reaction stuff:
First of all, it's a long adventure with a lot of variety in the opposition. On the medium XP track, 4 PCs who start this adventure fresh at 6th level and are thorough in their work could very well come awfully close to reaching 8th by the end--toss in a few random encounters or have them start a little past 6th, and reaching 8th may be within their reach. Which means that, were to you bump everything in here up by +1 CR, this could function as a replacement for The Jackal's Price for those who are so inclined.
I, on the other hand, have been looking to slot this in alongside The Jackal's Price, so to that end I think I'll mostly be keeping the levels as they are. May keep the first section as written, then punch up the final sections, as I think about it. Bump up the entire adventure to suit 8th-level PCs and you'll wind up with a massive XP infusion to deal with. (If 4 PCs are 8th level when they begin Broken Chains, they can earn enough XP to reach 9th, and if they're 9th--as they might be if they hold off on this until dealing with TJP--they won't quite reach 10th level.)
Also, and this is a major benefit, Broken Chains really "feels" like Katapesh. A lot of cultural details that Legacy of Fire barely touched upon--such as pesh, slave rings, humans and gnolls living side-by-side--get plenty of screen time here.
As for my thoughts on tying this into Legacy of Fire: The adventure itself really just tosses you into the action, allowing GMs to come up with their own hooks to explain how the PCs are initially approached.
Now I'll get just a touch spoilery:
As I write this, my PCs have just defeated the Sons of Carrion and are half a day away from reaching Katapesh and kicking off the next section of The Jackal's Price. Here's three possible hooks I have to ponder to tie them into Broken Chains, which begins with an Eagle Knight agent recruiting the PCs to seek out an undercover Twilight Talon who's gone missing, amid signs of foul play.
* Amwyr Yuseifah: My group's PCs rescued this broken old slaver back in House of the Beast and have managed to get him home to Katapesh--amid much debate as to whether he really deserves to live at all--to receive their promised reward of a coffer of gold and their own exotic slaves. (Most of the PCs want their slaves so they can turn around and free them.) My inclination is to tie Amwyr to the Garden of Chains, perhaps having him come back after his 16-month exile to discover that his business partner, Fat Aghurr, has steered their slave ring down a path so nasty that it falls beyond even Amwyr's remarkably callous comfort levels. If Amwyr's lost his fortunes and influence, he may find himself demoted from co-owner to lowly auctioneer--and if that's the case, then there's a secondary NPC (Saiyd) that he can seamlessly replace.
My PCs are bringing Amwyr home, even accepting his payment of slaves, but that doesn't mean they like him. In fact, the night before they reach the city, one of the PCs' cohorts--who entered my campaign as one of Amwyr's concubines, purchased from Amwyr on his way to Pale Mountain--made it pretty clear that left to her own devices, she'd kill him and leave him for the vultures. So Amwyr's none too fond of the PCs, and while he scurries about to secure their reward, he's also bad-mouthing them to anyone who'll listen. That might catch the ear of the Eagle Knight who kicks off the adventure.
The only real downside to tying Amwyr to the Garden of Chains is that the nature of the slaves he specializes in doesn't really match the sort of chattel the Garden of Chains deals in. But it's not unworkable.
* Haleen Tropp: This NPC, who may be closely tied to one or more of the PCs, ran off from some bad debts in Katapesh back in Howl of the Carrion King. In my campaign, she's the sister of one PC and the cohort of another, and now she's come back to Katapesh with them. I've long been intending to add a short side adventure to address Haleen's bad debts in Katapesh, and this may fit the scenario. The simple solution: The Eagle Knight who recruits the PCs offers them a nice chunk of change for their efforts. If the PCs are somehow hard up for gold, this may be motivation enough. My PCs, on the other hand, are a wee touch cash-poor but otherwise quite wealthy by any reasonable standard. I've established that Haleen owes her money to someone tied to the Duskwalker Guild, but I've otherwise been keeping things vague, with the intention of sucking the PCs into a den of thieves as they discover that Haleen's shady beneficiaries don't just want their money back, not even with punitive interest--they want a pound of Haleen's flesh for reneging on the debt in the first place. I haven't yet quite worked out how to tie into Broken Chains from this angle, but the baddies in this adventure are actually running an illegal (or at the very least gray-market) slave ring, which the Duskwalker leadership wouldn't approve of, if they knew. Perhaps, Haleen and the PCs start to get mired in dealing with the Duskwalker Guild, and then our undercover Eagle Knight could approach them with this job as a chance to appease the Duskwalkers by quietly eliminating a corrupt wing of the guild.
* The Demon Smugglers: Perhaps the most organic solution, but also the one requiring the most work: Make Father Jackal and this cult affiliated organizations. The Garden of Chains baddies handle "production," while Father Jackal oversees international "distribution." There's even an NPC in Broken Chains you could reasonably refer to as "Mother Jackal." Were I do to this, I would probably convert Father Jackal's lackies from a Rovagug cult to Lamashtu followers, and have the heroes' raid on FJ's lair produce evidence that leads them to the Garden of Chains.
Dunno. Still thinking. Have about 54 hours to settle on a solution. :)
Pazhvann was the first to appear, drawing the PCs to the oasis, where he tried to barter for the Scroll of Kakishon with a low-ball bid of a carpet of flying. The PCs, who at this point have become rather paranoid due to Zayifid's ongoing meddling, were rude and confrontational, so as soon as the PCs noticed the Sons of Carrion coming, he provided some backstory on the warband. (Unable to locate the Scroll with his divination spells due to the PCs' countermeasures, he'd been following the Sons for a while now as they hunted the PCs.) Then he rolled up his carpet and vanished; "I am not your enemy, but plainly, you are not my allies." He shifted to the Ethereal Plane to observe the battle, and the PCs assumed he'd gone entirely.
The PCs then had a few minutes to prepare, spending the first few discussing tactics and then when I officially "started the clock" they spend 15 rounds prepping. Two PCs take to the air, and another perches up on top of the sphinx with a cohort and Amwyr Yuseifah.
Wave One: Shiz sends her first wave over the ridge, sending in the Sordaiv berserkers first with the intention of using them to soak up the PCs' spells and bombs. (And hey, they're human, so she considers them completely expendable.) The raiders ride in on dire hyenas, splitting up and spreading out as quickly as possible to force the party alchemist and sorcerer to "waste" their artillery on single targets. The PCs toss down an entangle spell and later a wall of fire to wall themselves in, forcing the Sons of Carrion to take long approaches to reach them. Rather than sticking to the round-by-round schedule of each wave as published, I sent in Wave Two about the time half of Wave One had been dropped. Meanwhile, disguised as a Carrion Guard, Zayifid spends the first wave of the battle flying invisibly over the battlefield, making a beeline for the isolated party sorcerer.
Wave Two: Shiz sends her in Three Jaws gnolls and more hyenas. About half of the Sordaiv raiders are still standing, with most of the survivors in covered positions and plinking away at vulnerable-looking and exposed members of the PCs' group with bows, managing to do a little damage here and there. Just as Wave Two starts closing in, Zayifid appears, popping into view as he sneak attacks the sorcerer, badly wounding him--it's only the sorcerer's mirror images that keep him alive. This shuts down the sorcerer and the cavalier/ranger races up to run interference. Amwyr panics (he's literally lying prone at the feet of what he thinks is a gnoll assassin) and drinks a potion of gaseous form the PCs had provided him with. The sorcerer dispatches his wounded cohort to watch Amwyr, so she drinks her potion of gaseous form as well. This effectively removes both the cohort and Amwyr from the rest of the fight. With the sorcerer and ranger/cavalier busy, the Sons of Carrion start pressing in closer; some of their dire hyenas reach caravan members, but the Outriders are keeping them at bay. The sorcerer flees to the cleric, and the alchemist is still raining bombs on the enemy. After trading blows with the ranger/cavalier, Zayifid turns invisible again, taking to the air.
Wave Three: Shiz, her mutant ettin, and three Carrion Guards crest the ridge with her last three dire hyenas. Shiz has spent the intervening rounds casting as many buffs as she can on herself, including protection from energy (fire) for her and the mutant ettin. (In a pure oversight on my part, however, I forgot to have her cast protection from energy (cold) on herself, leaving her vulnerable to the sorcerer.) Shiz and the ettin keep the alchemist busy; he drops several explosive bombs on them, but is frustrated by what little effect they're having. Meanwhile, Shiz penetrates his protection from arrows with a critical hit from her human bane crossbow, and the ettin's acidic breath weapon takes him by surprise as well; the alchemist is forced to retreat and regroup. The cleric channels energy, and Zayifid reappears in the air above him, flinging daggers down at him. The first is a sneak attack and badly wounds the cleric. The Sons of Carrion are getting pretty tattered at this point (there's literally dozens of bodies piling up all over the place, some of them on fire), but Zayifid taunts the PCs, laying out his new tactic: he's just going to kill one of them here and now, preferably the cleric, but anyone will do. Then he'll retreat and recover, and be back in a few days to kill another. And then another, and finally the last of them, until he gets what he wants. What Zayifid (and the PCs don't know) is that Pazhvann is hovering nearby, silently observing everything from the Ethereal Plane. As soon as Zayifid appeared in the battle, Pazhvann started buffing himself, then invisibly returns to the Material Plane. When he suddenly burst back into view, he's a 12-foot-tall figure of awe and terror, clad in glowing armor, and he zaps Zayifid with a dimensional anchor. This is great for the PCs, who'd been so preoccupied with the Sons of Carrion themselves that the cleric failed to prepare his usual Zayifid countermeasures that day. The sorcerer pulls out a scroll and zaps Zayifid with glitterdust; now Zayifid knows he has no option but to fight to the death, and at this point he knows he's doomed. Pazhvann and Zayifid trade a few bitter words, but otherwise Pazhvann simply hangs back, content to have his foes all wipe each other out.
Meanwhile, a combination of bombs and spells have finally whittled Shiz down, and a single arrow from an Outrider drops her. No longer shadowing Shiz, the mutant ettin now starts charging the mounted Outriders, knocking two unwounded warriors into negative hp in as many rounds. A Carrion Guard moves in the ettin's wake, intent on coup de gracing any fallen foes it reaches (but ultimately it only reaches one Outrider). The alchemist, who's down to his last two bombs and basically digging through his pockets for magic to keep himself going, hucks one bomb at Shiz when he sees a Carrion Guard races over and pour its healing potion down her throat, then hurls a bead of force at the ettin, hoping to trap it as it's barreling down on the central group of PCs. The bead fails to trap the ettin but badly wounds it; on the other hand, it vomits another spray of acid all over the alchemist, leaving him, again, barely conscious.
The ranger/cavalier flies over to the wounded ettin and slays it in one blow with a well-timed critical, and Zayifid drops down to attack the fleeing cleric, finding himself having to cut a path through the PCs' minions. The ranger/cavalier's leopard companion pounces on the badly wounded Zayifid, dropping him into negative hp. I kept him conscious for dramatic purposes, but at this point he drops to his knees and he's done. The ranger/cavalier shares a few words with him, then coup de graces him.
While the two Outriders still on their feet trade blows with the last Son of Carrion still standing off in the distance, the battered PCs find themselves warily eying Pazhvann, who looks rather uncomfortably like the wrath of god at the moment. Pazhvann is plainly pondering whether to simply take the Scroll of Kakishon by force at this point, but fortunately, the social-fu cleric made a fantastic diplomatic appeal, his DC 30+ Diplomacy check helping to mask the fact that my players just really can't stop themselves from mouthing off to every genie they encounter. On the other hand, Pazhvann just helped slay someone he considered a brother for 25 centuries, and he's not in the mood for more killing. Declaring that he thinks he's making a mistake, Pazvhann tells the PCs that he will return in one month to make a final appeal for the Scroll; hopefully they'll be more amenable to discussion at that point. "Until then, use your time to mourn your dead, as we shall mourn ours." (The Outrider who died was a cousin to the ranger/cavalier, y'see.) Pazvhann plane shifts away, but first he issues a warning, echoing old folktales about the Templars: "Where Pazhvann cannot succeed, my mistress must call upon Davashuum."
(Pazhvann won't return; by the time his deadline arrives, the PCs will have either transitioned into TEoE or Davashuum will have reacted "poorly" to Pazhvann's decision to spare them.)
It took us a remarkable six sessions (which probably means about 12-18 hours of game time, using a virtual tabletop), but we've completed the Carrion Siege at last! The players came away quite pleased with the slightly boosted version of the encounter I used. They suffered only one casualty (an NPC Outrider whom, in rapid succession, dropped Shiz with an arrow, got slammed right out of his saddle by the ettin, and was then coup de graced by a Carrion Guard), but several PCs and followers were in dire peril at various points, and the players remarked on how they consistently felt challenged, but never unfairly overwhelmed.
It's a Legacy of Fire miracle! I was certain that the final shipping delay would push this module a month past the point-of-no-return in LoF where I would be able to incorporate it, but now, the...
Sons of Carrion siege
...has taken us a full month to play out! So now (crosses fingers), I expect the module to hit my inbox more-or-less the very day I need to seed it into The Jackal's Price.
TES: I'm looking at using this adventure as a possible means of resolving Haleen's debts in Katapesh. If it works out at all, I'll post conversion notes (bumping it up to 8th level and thoughts on incorporating it into TJP) sooner than later.
Shattered Star assumes that Rise of the Rune lords Curse of the Crimson Throne 2nd Darkness and Legacy of Fire were completed.How many years would that be I was thinking of making a Character that was the Son of my Wife and I's Rise character but i don't know if that can be done any help?
Informally, Shattered Star takes place about 5 years after Rise of the Runelords and about 4 years after Curse of the Crimson Throne and Second Darkness. (Legacy of Fire isn't connected to Shattered Star; different continent.) Might want to ask your GM about the timeline they're using, though.
Also this is coming out soon. It takes place in Katapesh and can be scaled up I'm sure.
I'm hoping to slot it into "The Jackal's Price" more-or-less the moment it comes out, to be run either concurrently with TJP or just after that story's resolved (but before moving on to the next chapter, for obvious reasons). My intention is to run it for 8th-level PCs and somehow use it to resolve Haleen's bad debts.
At any rate, I'll post 8th-level upscaling notes shortly after it's released.
The Golux wrote:
Whoops! Sorry, yes, typo. For summon monster XIII Sarenrae followers add "all the other efreet" to their summoning list.
Followers of Sarenrae can add "redeemed efreeti (LG)" to their summon monster XIII summoning list. Based just on that, she definitely has a few efreeti allies, but they're almost certainly outcasts or self-imposed exiles from the City of Brass.
One subtle thing you could do to throttle back on the XP is to give the caravan NPCs (namely Garavel and the guards) their fair share of XP for encounters in which they meaningfully contribute. They're not on the level of the PCs, but having those extra arrows and scimitars flashing around certainly doesn't hurt.
I've added my revised stats for Shiz and the Mana Wastes ettin to my conversions thread, for the record.
As I just mentioned in another thread, I'm currently running the Carrion Siege in "The Jackal's Price," and as written it strikes me as really underpowered. To make the Carrion Tribes' final stand a little more memorable, I've made the following adjustments.
Wave One: Give the 8 raiders 4 dire hyenas to ride.
Wave Two: Give these 8 gnolls another 4 dire hyenas as well.
Wave Three: Revising my earlier take on Shiz, I decided at the last minute to run her as an inquisitor instead. Certainly fits a vengeful gnoll obsessed with hunting down the destroyers of her cult! I've also made the ettin a Mana Wastes mutant and changed the final 3 gnolls into Carrion Guards instead. Because my PCs killed the deathstalker scorpion the Carrion Tribes were "milking" for venom back in "House of the Beast," these Carrion Guards' arrows are not poisoned. Lastly, I've tossed this group 3 more dire hyenas to ride.
Shiz's stats don't include the effects of her spell suite. In my campaign, this is a total grudge match; the PCs encountered Shiz back during "House of the Beast," when they nearly burned her to death. She's gained a level since then and has completely devoted her tactics to countering my PCs' usual tricks. I encourage changing her spells and tactics to match your own PCs.
I crunched these numbers myself back when I was converting LoF to PF, and on the fast XP track, House of the Beast can easily end up putting the PCs a solid level ahead of the curve. Going just off the adventures as published, expect the PCs to stay a full level ahead of the game through The Jackal's Price and into The End of Eternity. However, TEoE runs a little shy on XP, so once they hit Chapter 4, unless you pile on the random encounters, the XP curve normalizes and they should stay on track through the rest of the campaign.
And yes, House of the Beast is filled with mooks. If an NPC doesn't have an individual name, it's one-hit cannon fodder.
I'm using the Medium XP track, so my PCs are on track (they're going to hit 8th level right on target, just as soon as they overcome the Sons of Carrion), but they tend to be an offensive powerhouse. I have a ranger who's been slicing through gnolls like butter since 2nd level, a cleric who mainly acts as a healing battery, hanging back and keeping everyone else on their feet, and a pair of artillery pieces: an explosive bomb-flinging alchemist and a sorcerer whose main offensive spell is a cold-based fireball.
In House of the Beast, the sorcerer all but wiped out all of the unchosen with a single area spell. For our group, the adventure ended with a massive battle in which about 90% of the total enemies in the entire adventure hurled themselves at the PCs in wave after wave. The alchemist didn't run out of bombs.
So yeah, I can feel your pain. Here's an immediate bit of advice: The Jackal's Price has a reputation of being fairly easy. As written, I tend to agree. The Carrion Siege, which is where my players are at just this moment, is meant to be the last hurrah of the Carrion Tribes, but it's (supposedly) a CR 8 encounter against CR 7 foes who have open ground on their side, have at least a few rounds of warning (and more likely several minutes) to prepare, and numerous NPC allies. And most of the enemies in this "climactic" encounter are CR 1 mooks who individually are just on the cusp of being too puny to grant XP when defeated.
Going into this fight, I wasn't confident that a single baddie would so much as reach melee before getting blasted to dust. So with all of that in mind, I've done the following to boost the Sons of Carrion. (I also have an advantage in that I'm running on the Medium XP track, and thus have a slowly accumulating XP deficit that requires/allows constant topping up).
First Wave: As written, it's 8 CR 1 desert raiders. These guys are basically mooks being sent in ahead to soak up a few of the PCs' offensive abilities, but I've given them 4 dire hyenas to ride. (Those dire hyenas have always been a lot nastier than the gnolls riding them.) I've also made the raiders (who are al-Chorhaiv in my game) raging barbarians, which at least gives them an extra hit or two of survivability.
Second Wave: As written, it's 8 gnolls and 4 hyenas, each a lowly CR 1 critter. Even worse for their chances, they use bad tactics, eating up a round to pick off their own deserters. I've also given this wave 4 dire hyenas to ride.
Third Wave: As written, it's Shiz, an ettin, and 3 more gnolls. I'm running Shiz as a 6th-level inquisitor (CR 6), I made her ettin a Mana Wastes mutant, the gnolls are now Carrion Guards (who no longer have poisoned arrows), and the whole lot have 3 more dire hyenas between them.
A couple of things have happened in my campaign that you can't/might not want to reproduce, but here's the main thing to keep in mind: This battle is literally a grudge match. The Sons of Carrion have been stalking the heroes for weeks or months at this point, and they, perhaps for the one and only time in this entire campaign, know exactly what they're facing in the PCs. The Sons of Carrion should do everything within their tactical power to counter the PCs' usual tricks. My group, for instance, leans heavily on nuking the battlefield with deadly area effect spells. I don't know if my players have consciously realized it yet, but they are starting to voice frustration that the Sons of Carrion are staying so spread out that they're having to either "waste" bombs and area spells on single targets--or are otherwise holding off on their big artillery, which in turn is giving the mooks a chance to whittle away at the caravan's NPC outriders.
I also have an ace up my sleeve that you might not; Zayifid survived House of the Beast, and the Carrion Siege is thus fated to be his final stand as well. He's been posing as a Carrion Guard scout for the Sons of Carrion since the warband came together, and spends Wave One invisibly flying across the field of battle. As soon as Wave Two begins, he'll be in position to strike.
My advice: Within the bounds of internal consistency, pull out every cheap shot and dirty trick you can think of. Have your mooks ignore the PCs to target weak NPCs; don't just have them drop PCs and their allies--take the time to coup de grace them. There's virtually no chance of the Sons of Carrion doing much damage in this fight, so remember that to them, every death they inflict is a victory. (And also remember that even if the PCs aren't yet capable of casting raise dead themselves, they're practically within sight of a city where powerful priests are more than happy to part them from a portion of their generous piles of loot to cast it on their behalf.)
When it comes to the second half of the adventure, I don't have concrete advice there, except a reminder that The Jackal's Price considers that assault a "ticking clock" scenario: it's intended for the PCs to take out that whole nest of baddies in one day.
P.S. Hell of Eternal Thirst is a complete pushover as well, particularly since the adventure structure provides the PCs with a powerful ally and plenty of warning as to what they'll face. My PCs are such offensive powerhouses that they're honestly cocky and got completely blindsided by their first encounter with the temple's spectral inhabitant, but other than a surprise energy drain whammy, I don't think a single undead denizen managed to so much as lay a hand on the PCs. Don't sweat it though; treat that side adventure as a chance for the PCs to flex their muscles.
I plugged your stats into Hero Lab. It says...
1.) The vampire has one feat too many, so perhaps it's best to leave off Vital Strike entirely.
2.) HL says you're correct and the crossbow's attack bonus should be +12.
3-6.) Including the vampire's magic items, the listed saves and natural armor bonus are correct. (Fort +8 Ref +14, Will +5, natural +7)
7.) Skills are correct, except that Disable Device should be +20.
I'm a GM running LoF with a player who took the Finding Haleen feat. For the record, the way I converted the trait to Pathfinder was to say that whenever the PC takes a level in the class Haleen encouraged, they get the +1 hit point and +1 skill rank favored class bonuses rather than either/or.
My take: As a trait, looking purely at the mechanics, it's overpowered. Virtually identical to the Fast Learner feat, in fact, save that Fast Learner can apply to multiple favored classes, should the PC have more than one. (On the other hand, Finding Haleen doesn't include Fast Learner's human prerequisite.)
But that said, Haleen holds the potential of being a lot of fun in-game. In my campaign, she's become a PC's cohort--but not the same PC who took the trait--and I might, depending on how the timing works out, try adapting Broken Chains to resolve her "bad debts in Katapesh" backstory. Sure, a PC who takes Finding Haleen is basically getting a half-feat boost over everyone else, but for me that's definitely worth it to fully integrate Haleen into the story.
If you want to take a roleplaying stab at balancing Finding Haleen vs. Fast Learner, I'd offer this off the top of my head: The PC only receives the benefit of the trait so long as Haleen is alive. If something terrible befalls her, the PC's sorrow means they no longer receive the extra favored class benefits from there on out (though they keep whatever they already earned).
Extremely mild spoiler for Legacy of Fire concerning another named artist:
An artist named Vormeesa Hoon painted a 4-foot-by-6-foot landscape titled "Lost Kakishon," a masterpiece of exceptional realism and detail. The adventure doesn't delve into any details about Hoon herself, however.
No, not really. But between those two APs, Curse of the Crimson Throne has a much stronger focus on human villains. Carrion Crown has more monsters -- but of course each as plenty of the other as well. Personally, I'd recommend you try CotCT.
Tieflings are 0-HD native outsiders, so they don't gain the d10 HD, BAB, good saves, or skills associated with racial HD. Basically what they do get is immunity to a number of common low-level spells (like charm person) that can only affect humanoids.
These pages show the announced releases:
Next Release: Ultimate Campaign (April)
Next Release: Irrisen - Land of Eternal Winter (this month)
Next Release: People of the North (this month)
It's an Easter Egg rather than a direct connection, but there's a loose link between Legacy of Fire and Serpent's Skull. Maybe two, possibly.
In Dark Markets, the sourcebook on Katapesh that supports Legacy of Fire, there's a lizardfolk doomsayer whose apocalyptic predictions are clearly a distorted take on the looming return of Ydersius.
A much more nebulous connection may be hidden in "Coils of Flame," the set piece adventure in Pathfinder Adventure Path #20 ("House of the Beast"). The cavern detailed in the adventure features a statue of a snake-headed humanoid that the current residents have altered to more closely resemble a salamander. This otherwise mysterious deity may be Ydersius, which would mean in turn that the cultists who occupied the caves "long ago" and originally carved the statue might have been degenerate serpentfolk. (Not that long ago, though; the cave and even the mountain that houses it didn't exist until long after Ydersius was defeated.)
"This may sting a bit."
DM Dan E wrote:
What's your party makeup and, if I may ask, why do you expect to be losing the Hell of Eternal Thirst?
I'd go with a focus on playing a lycanthrope. There's plenty of support already out there for hunting them, but in this evolutionary chain of the rules we've never really had a decidedly official means of playing lycanthropes (particularly in a mixed party).
As I recall, from this point out the moldspeaker's main role is... hold on, spoilers...
First, to get the willies at the thought of the Scroll falling into the wrong hands, and later, to lead the PCs to Shazathared. The PCs should be capable of both without the moldspeaker's direct involvement, so really, yeah, all they're out is the sword. I'd say go with whatever your gut tells you; the story will survive either way.
I'd personally jump at a Blood of the Moon book, but like others I'd prefer that it hew closer to Blood of Fiends/Angels than Blood of the Night in terms of content. But then, I'm biased; right now I'm preparing to revive an old 2nd edition Ravenloft campaign using Pathfinder rules -- and since all three of the main PCs are afflicted werewolves, I'm in the midst of hashing out an entirely new set of rules (a sort of combination template/prestige class, basically) to facilitate both werewolf PCs and ways to challenge them.
Howdy all. I'm starting the process of thinking up some ideas for a short adventure, and I'm all ears if anything has some good notions or knows of any existing adventures that could somehow slot in here.
The Setup: This is kind of an extended side trek from an ongoing adventure path, but doesn't actually have anything to do with the AP in question (Legacy of Fire). The AP includes a lengthy section of downtime, and includes various ideas on what the PCs might do to keep busy during that time.
One of the options is to travel abroad, and that's what one of the PCs did, traveling from Katapesh to the Lands of the Linnorm Kings and back to explore his draconic bloodline. Originally, I just worked out the timing involved to get the PC there and back before the next chapter of the AP began (it ends up being a 9-month round trip, as it happens). The player and I penciled in some basic notions of the various steps of the journey, but for the most part we just left it a blank travel itinerary.
Now, however, the player has an itch for a little play-by-post gaming, so we've decided to turn back the clock and actually play out the sorcerer's big adventure. Most of it I have figured out, either coming up with my own ideas or borrowing liberally from existing adventure scenarios. But there's one section that I haven't quite cracked yet. Tell me what you think!
Here's what's set in stone: The PC is Snowflake, a kobold sorcerer traveling with two human NPCs, one of whom, in the main campaign, is fated to become the PC's cohort; the other one is fated not to return to Katapesh. The women are Asta and Laetitia, and until just recently exotic concubine. Asta is Ulfen by birth, and Laetitia was born in Taldor. However, each of them was nabbed and sold into slavery in their youth, and all three of them are basically stretching their legs as free folk after about a decade spent as expensive property.
Snowflake (LN sorcerer 5, white draconic bloodline) is actually a dignitary back home, and was basically raised by humans. Asta (NG rogue [acrobat] 2/fighter [mobile fighter] 1) is somewhat simple and naive, but a gifted tumbler and acrobat--a physical valkyrie who doesn't know her own strengths. Laetitia (N rogue [spy] 2) is a cynical seducer and Snowflake's right-hand-woman/chief emissary.
Leaving Katapesh in September/Rova, their connections can get them as far as Magnimar, arriving in early December/Kuthona. You might well imagine, as I do, that securing sea passage to the Linnorm Kingdoms in the dead of winter is not going to be a simple matter.
So, those are the unalterable facts I start with. (Another is that traveling overland isn't an option; Snowflake doesn't have enough time to dip into a Jade Regent-style caravan trek.)
In the original bare-bones travel itinerary version of these events, I just jotted down that Snowflake and his companions somehow befriend a longboat full of (stranded) Ulfen raiders, who then carry them home to the Lands of the Linnorm Kings. Why? I penciled in that the captain of the longboat--a big, burly lunkhead named Kjell Thangbrand was instantly smitten with Asta, and that they would eventually go off together rather than return south.
That's all fine when you're handwaving, but now I'm eventually going to have to pull this together into some sort of coherent adventure. Poring though the setting, I did stumble into some luck: an explanation for what the longboat is doing just hanging out there.
So here are the story elements I need (or at least, would like) to slot together:
1. Snowflake, Asta, and Laetitia arrive in Magnimar. Getting even this far was lucky, and everyone says that as far as sea travel farther north goes, they've hit a dead end until spring at least.
2. Coincidentally, earlier this year the Linnorm King Ingimundr the Unruly sent a fleet of longships south to go a-rading and show up White Ingrid, but a freak storm sank half the fleet and grounded the rest along the Varisian coast. Great!
3. Since Snowflake and Laetitia's survival isn't really in question (the main campaign has since moved on, and they're both alive and well), it's fine to take a light touch, even play some elements for laughs. Asta and Kjell are designed for some light comedy, for example. Kjell, who calls Snowflake the "White Wyrmling," believes that the kobold spellcaster has Asta in his thrall, and keeps trying to appease Snowflake or force weregild payments on him in order to win Asta away. (In fact, Snowflake's already set his companions free; they're just working off a year of indentured servitude, which Snowflake eventually waives anyway.)
4. Let's say that Kjell (human fighter 4) wasn't originally the captain of his ship. Let's say that the original captain died in the storm, and that Kjell's crew has been scrabbled together from the survivors of half a dozen ships. I'm thinking that one of those other vikings will eventually reveal himself to be an antagonist who doesn't agree with Kjell's decisions. Let us also say that by the time Snowflake and co. arrive on the scene, Kjell & co. have spent weeks scavenging parts from other wrecks--and maybe even doing some raiding in the Magnimar hinterlands--to repair or rebuild a ship to get them home. But now, just as they're all but ready to cast off, something's gone wrong -- something that a ship full of lunkheaded vikings with axes can't handle, but an ice-slinging kobold sorcerer and his two lovely rogues can. Maybe an incorporeal spirit? Maybe the dead captain's returned to reclaim his beached ship? Are boggards or goblins causing problems?
So--what would you do with these jigsaw pieces? How would you link Snowflake and his entourage to the stranded raiders? What could Snowflake do in a couple of days to win the raiders' support and get them headed north?
March? Oh, that's a pity. The timing of this adventure was so fortuitous for a while... I'm running The Jackal's Price right now, and I think that March finally pushes this adventure firmly out of my window of opportunity. At the current rate we're going, I think I would have needed to seed the story hooks for this by the end of January at the latest to be able to incorporate it. Back to the drawing board...
In my Pathfinder conversions thread I a suggested a retrofit in which the PCs wouldn't just be trying to escape Bayt al-Bazan, they'd also be searching the ancestral home of their nemesis for objects they could use to rattle his confidence in their eventual showdown with him (gaining mechanical benefits for doing so).
To lessen the surprise setback nature of the adventure's opening, I think I'll also make sure to stress during End of Eternity that, as mentioned in the adventure, Jhavhul is likely in possession of the scroll now, and will likely secure it somewhere he deems safe, making sure the PCs know that they *won't* be heading straight back to Xobhadi's house.
An easy fix that I've found useful is to pull in a rule from Trailblazer: Elite and Solo enemies. They utilize action points which are equivalent to Pathfinder's hero points, but action points are somewhat more versatile (and PCs get many more of them -- 6 use-or-lose action points per level). So keep that in mind.
Elites are the leaders in groups; double their hit points and give them 1 action/hero point to spend.
Solos are, well, "bosses" that take on the PCs by themselves. Multiply their hit points by the number of PCs participating in the encounter and give them a number of action/hero points to spend equal to the number of PCs.
These changes don't make the enemies particularly more dangerous, but do buy them several extra rounds of survival.
In practice, I use solos very sparingly; they tend to make combats into slogs and can get swingy when applied to big monsters with CRs already above the PCs' level.
Likewise, I'd think that Shattered Star would be negated, or at least made considerably more difficult, if only due to the massive disruptions in society going on in the Varisia region if the earlier APs end badly.
More difficult, definitely, but on the other hand the motivation to kick off the artifact hunt would be all the stronger. Now you aren't looking to prevent the possible return of other runelords -- you're looking for a superweapon to knock down the one in charge!
Pathfinder's Journal, Pathfinder Adventures #13, "Fear in a Handful of Dust":
I struggled for a moment to remember the formal greetings between Pathfinders. The three orcs around me remained stooped in a bow. "For the glory of the Pathfinders, the Will of Ten, and the memory of Durvin Gest," I said, "I, Eando Kline, thank you for your welcome."
There are times when a mount could be useful, but for the most part I wouldn't particularly recommend them for this AP. On the other hand, note that I say this as a GM of a LoF campaign with a player who just multiclassed into cavalier and has a camel mount.
Jimmy "Big Daddy" Ho-Chunk wrote:
I believe it's the section of the Mwangi Expanse that juts out on the northern shore of Desolation Bay (and is thus directly northwest of Sargava). It includes the Kaava Lands and the Bay of Senghor.
As a note, my "why not rent a boat" dilemma from earlier basically resolved itself. First, in my campaign, the PCs chose to wait until just after the autumn rainy season to make the big trek to Katapesh, and we'd already well established that the Pale River was a swollen whitewater for much of the month of Lamashan, when they'd be traveling--making it highly dangerous to navigate. In addition, I rolled a nat-twenny for the party ranger's Knowledge (geography) check, and so gave them a map of Katapesh with lots of the little sites from Dark Markets labeled. The PC cleric of Sarenrae wanted to visit Sleeping Dove, and later another PC wanted to go sightseeing at the Observatory. So despite my fretting, "What if we take a boat?" ended up just being a passing fancy on the lips of one player -- they gave themselves reasons to take the overland path.
I may have primed the pump a bit by offering to use a modified version of Jade Regent's caravan rules. This may have put them in the mindset of assembling a camel train, even though we ultimately chose not to use those rules after all.