I'm so glad I'm not the only one, shall we say, surprised by this. I remember being a teenager reading these when they came out and wondering what the artist was smoking.
The Starless Night picture sort of reminds me of an American Indian, if he was kind of old and had been rolling in a blueberry patch. Not really of a supposedly youthful drow (who I am led to believe do not look like wrinkly, constipated old Vulcans), though.
Is it just me, or were there a lot of covers like that? Never was a fan of Easley, either.
Thanks for your suggestions, guys.
They do seem to enjoy the RP aspects of the game, so it's not ALL hack'n'slash... they just don't seem that creative about overcoming their problems. Like, they never research their foes, or try diplomacy. And they don't seem to want to keep track of what information they do get (I'm thinking of Tsuto's journal and Shalelu's information). I guess I could try to kill them off until they shape up, but it doesn't seem like that fun a solution... not to mention that I doubt they'd take it as a hint. *sigh*
My fear isn't so much that they'll deal with the runewell later as that they'll ignore it completely and miss the whole concept of how to deactivate it. They've already forgotten the hint about what happens when they touch the water, or Erylium bled into it (we only play once every other week). I guess I'll end up having a sinspawn emerge to terrorize the city to lure them back down there, though it's straining believability to think someone went down there and dripped blood in the well. Also, if that someone isn't still there, they still won't have a clue what to do.
Also, since I'm using the "level up at set points" method instead of handing out XP, running extra combats is just a filler rather than having a purpose. I'll probably have to follow William's advice and let them level after dealing with Gogmurt, if they survive that encounter. Then the runewell can disgorge a spinspawn to lure them back into the catacombs. Maybe I'll let them make an Int check to remind them of the clues they've seen already. :/
Heh, no, I meant that I offer free HPs in exchange for anyone willing to write a paragraph about what the party did last session. I'd planned to put it up on our website, but no one wants to do it. :( It would have really helped me out, since I'm running this AP for 3 groups and it can get confusing! Oh well.
Motivating them with perks just doesn't seem to help in general. I had a hard time getting them to pick out traits, which essentially are a bonus feat. One player picked a trait and refused to meet the prereqs for it (racial). Sigh. I gave in on that one.
The group consists of:
I'd say they're all pretty good roleplayers. They just... need a push sometimes. Right now they're at a loss as to what to do, so I came right out and said maybe they should re-read the handout with Tsuto's journal. Their response: "Meh." Didn't bother to dig it out. They probably will next time though.
With any luck they'll at least attempt to do something about the runewell before tackling Thistletop, but they seem to have forgotten about the clue with Erylium's blood (and that something similar happened when the paladin stuck her arm in the runewell), and I hate to spoon-feed them the solution... :/
The most obvious hook is, of course, the
sinspawn. Maybe they're so sinful that that consuming their sins taints the soul, putting a mark on the sin chart? (I haven't read the last few modules closely recently, but AFAIK all this does in the early modules is affect the haunts the character may trigger. In the late modules, I believe it just gives them weapons to use from the 'real' runewell.) You could also play with consuming them being equal to being bitten, but that may not be fun, depending on your group. Maybe their sins are worth more hps because they're so concentrated, or something.
You might also cook up some new responses from Aldern, if you play him as obsessing about her character. The ghouls could represent greed, and I shudder to think of the sins of the ogres.
It's late so I'm kind of blank right now, but I think eating a Runelord's sins should be pretty epic. Sorry, I'm not of much help right now. :/
William-Scott Hathaway wrote:
They aren't that creative a group, it would seem - smack and attack is the order of the day most of the time. Today I introduced them to some of the NPCs that might be able to help them, so maybe they'll take the hint.
William-Scott Hathaway wrote:
I'll probably end up doing this, just because I hate bookkeeping too much to go back to XP.
How to motivate them is another story. These are players who refuse to do a short recap of what happened last time in exchange for free Hero Points... /undead threadjack
I kind of turned that around in my homebrewish alt-FR game. In the Moonsea there, they worship the Dark Gods, but they basically get lied to - they don't think they're evil, just harsh in response to a harsh world. So Loviatar, for example, takes on the suffering of her flock, and teaches wisdom through painful experiences. Her clerics flog themselves in return for donations to the church, sending the pain of those donated for to Loviatar through their own suffering.
For another example, Bane is seen as a savior, rescuing the flock from false gods who would make them too weak to survive in their harsh environment. His "might makes right" rule comes naturally to them because their whole culture is based on it. And submitting to authority (Bane's authority, of course) both strengthens his church and makes people work together more in a chaotic frontier, ensuring more little Banites eventually.
I don't have any experience twisting the Golarion gods this way, but I'm sure it could be done. Because, who wakes up and goes, "Welp, gonna worship a crazy evil god from now on."
My face to face group is going through RotR, and I've been using the "level at set points" method - but now they're stuck on what to do about the
spoiler:Not sure what to do about this, other than returning to giving out XP instead so they can see what they need to level. I think it would encourage them to try to do something about their problems instead of ignoring them if they could see they weren't far from leveling.
runewell under Sandpoint, and I think they may just ignore it and go for Thistletop. I want them to be 3rd level when they tackle Thistletop, but if I just push it on them without them having completed the Catacombs, it feels kind of cheap. Like, "you haven't actually earned this, but here it is anyway." I know it isn't mandatory to finish the Catacombs before Thistletop, but if they don't level they'll get smeared, and I'm back in the conundrum of handing out "unearned" levels...
In fact, they're coming over today, so I guess I'll see if I have to drop some fairly obvious clues about what to do, or what. Maybe I'll level them anyway and allow bad things to happen later if they don't deal with their problem...
Actually, you know what else I could use?
I could really use an archetype for a fey-powered paladin. Like, a paladin who got his powers not from a god, but from an extraplanar fey being. Basically just a flavor thing; if you could think of some reskins for paladin powers to make them taste more fey, that'd be great. I can't really think of any specific powers, but if you can that'd be brilliant.
(This is for way farther down the road in my campaign.)
This is really cool. I look forward to seeing what you do with the encounter. I do have one request: I want the sister to be scary magic-wise, but distinctly fey with all her magic. If you have to reskin a less feylike spell to sound/look fey, I'd be good with that too.
Thanks again for your hard work!
Thanks for being willing to take another crack at it, GM Solspiral! I did quite like your first idea, it just didn't jive with what I had planned. Maybe next campaign...
-You mention masters who does the sister work for? A demon, a wizard, an evil god? What is that villains objective?
I'm afraid it's terribly cliché, but the villains are evil extraplanar fey who mean to take over the world as part of their planar war with other fey. The sister is more or less at the bottom of the food chain of villains, as she's mostly human, but she's still quite powerful and placed as a liason between her masters and the local warlords she's inciting to destabilize the region, as well as having to oversee the arrival of the horde of troops from all over the region.
-Obviously the sister wasn't always evil and can be turned back to good, why did she go evil in the first place? Was she an older sister that protected her younger sister from sexual abuse? Did she turn evil because she's greedy at her core?
She's actually the younger sister of the PC rogue, but having spent time on the fey plane, she's spent many years under their control. They're both from an evil region where might makes right, and the PC lost her sister years ago after living at a church for some time after their parents died in a fire. The PC doesn't know what became of her.
Basically, her surroundings encouraged her toward an evil bent - the region's religion of "the strong rule and the weak serve" went well with her being chosen by the fey as their liason, removing her from the ranks of the weak. She knowingly sends out the warlords to destabilize this region, and means to take over with the horde, but evil isn't so deep in her that her family can't win her over again - she does love her sister, and may be willing to sacrifice her growing power if her sister stands against her. Basically, it will be a test of her loyalty to those who 'saved' her from a bad life vs. her loyalty to her sister.
TL;DR: Her environment has twisted her towards evil, but it's not her nature.
This is great stuff, but I have two concerns: 1)the tree and druid angle sort of take away from my theme of redemption of the sister/corruption of the PC. The sister is there to lead the horde army for her masters into an invasion of the human lands, which means she also couldn't stick by the tree that long. I would prefer to keep the limelight on that particular PC rogue and her sister for this encounter, so I don't think I want to add another relationship into the mix.
2) It seems like it would be difficult to deal with the tree's protectors without rousing the horde camp to come to the sister's aid - they are all around her 'base.' I'm also unsure of how to communicate the tree's significance to the party before they jump headlong into battle.
I'm sorry I couldn't use your awesome idea (though I love the awakened bee swarm; may use that somehow). If you're not fed up with the idea yet, I'd love to hear another idea. I guess I just want some interesting terrain that might give the sister an advantage (so they don't all whale on her at once) and some tactics I might use for her and her horde guards (any kind of giant, goblinoid or fey), while keeping the rest of the camp from charging in for a TPK? A tall order, I know, but I have faith. ;)
Hey Solspiral, thanks in advance for taking the time to do this! I have a request for an interesting location for an encounter I have planned.
Lots more here::
I'd like to make a tough but beatable encounter for the group against the sister of one of the PCs, who has been turned to evil in the years since she last saw her sister. The sister should be a feyblooded sorceror with the wildblooded (I think) trait of having an animal companion - a giant wasp that she rides. (I'm thinking that however the sister is defeated, the wasp might make a nice bit of 'treasure' for the PC whose sister it is.)
The party currently consists of:
and a number of ex-PC NPCs, including:
I plan for the sister to be in a vast Horde camp (all kinds of goblinoids, fey and giants), which she is in control of for her masters.
To make this survivable, I need some clever help. I'd like for the PCs to be able to sneak into the camp and deal with the sister without bringing the army down on their heads; turning the sister against her former masters will be a possibility. But I need it to be a close thing, and for the terrain to help them.
Any ideas? Thanks again!
Edit: They may all be lvl.7 by the time they confront the sister. I guess I'm looking for tactical advice as well as a location.
I'm wondering if a glitterdust spell continues to affect anyone who walks into it after it has been cast, or if it only affects those caught in its radius when it is cast?
My friend is saying that only emanations have an effect that continues to affect those within its area after it has been cast, and glitterdust is a spread, not an emanation. Does this hold water?
That is certainly what it sounds like to me. It makes me angry, and sad. I think I've had enough of this thread. There are obvious posters who make it unpleasant to read.
Whoa. I've been reading this whole thread, and I've been at it for hours. I didn't get all the way through yet, but I really wanted to add my experiences to the mix before I have to turn in.
I live in Denmark, and sexism isn't something I experience on a regular basis. That said, there are a few things that have happened while gaming...
The one that popped to mind first was the last con I ever attended. In it, I signed up for a slot of D&D that turned out to be for an evil game. Okay, I thought, that'll be different... but within seconds of being handed the pregen character sheets, the character I picked was whisked out of my hands and I was given the token female character, because hey, I didn't want to make the guys play her and be uncomfortable, right? Okay, I thought, I can live with that. So in our first scene, we were breaking out of jail, and one of the other players announces that he's going to rape my character. Yeah, another one of those again, sorry. The DM told him to roll for it vs. my Strength, which of course sucked because, hey, female characters must have sucky Strength scores. To this day, I have no idea what was going through that player's head, because he was laughing about it as though I might join in until I got up and left. The DM came out to apologize later, but... yeah. That was the cherry on top of the con FUBAR for me. Last one I went to. No intent of going to another. Creep factor too high to waste my money and life on.
In an earlier game at a school, one of the players insisted on going into details about how great the sex he was having with the NPC barmaid was. I didn't stay with that group either.
At yet ANOTHER first-and-only game with a new group, one of the other players simply tried to bully my character into doing what he wanted... and when I told him that was b$%#, he actually punched me in the face. He didn't get tossed from the group, as the DM was his friend, so I left.
All of these are obvious ways of how NOT to keep a female player (or in the last case, ANY player), but there are little niggly things too, which have been brought up by others. Things like being spoken over and ignored when you have ideas as to what the party could do in a given situation. Dumb blonde jokes as a staple of your joking. (I'm not blond, but the vibe can be unpleasant anyway. Maybe if some of the dumb blondes were men...) Unwanted advice every time you make a move. Lots of other things, some of them hard to formulate for me, that basically say "Deal with it or GTFO."
Right here on the Paizo forums, someone once mentioned that her character was against the church of Erastil because the church placed women as subservient to men. She was pretty much shouted down by people getting in a twist over her position, in her own home game, on a FANTASY RELIGION. Feminism was brought up in a negative light ("Hyuck hyuck, those damn feminists, what will they think of next"). Things like that make it harder to want to participate.
Most of the gaming I do now is online, with a smaller percentage being with my face-to-face group of friends. If I were to be lured back into gaming face-to-face with strangers, an all-female group would definitely alleviate most of the concerns I have with doing so. Don't get me wrong, female groups can have bad chemistry or styles or whatever, but I don't think the most egregious of the behaviors I've experienced would originate with them, simply because they don't automatically see another woman as "other" and therefore fine to treat as an object of gaming-at rather than a member of gaming-with.
For the record, for those who were interested in that, when I first got into gaming Dragonlance was a horrible bore. I leapt right at the Forgotten Realms, though. I think it was primarily because of the fiction I read about it, the terrible, terrible writing notwithstanding. It was fun to actually be able to step into the world a book had described, and affect things there.
Oh, that reminds me of another anecdote: my very first DM (a teacher who caught me reading Lone Wolf choose-your-own-adventure type books and told me that D&D was kinda like that, but much better) had to leave the school we all were learning to play at, and one of the older students stepped in to take the roll. Another girl around my age (12) was "the pretty one," and LAWDY but did she get spoiled. In battles, she made the last attack and was thus awarded all the experience for killing a foe (none for us). She found the good treasure, she got to make the fun discoveries... yeah, favoritism pretty much killed that game, which was an extension of the very first game I ever played.
I like the combat aspects of gaming as much as my male friends do; I can never help but suspect that claims of women naturally liking less combat, rather than being socialized not to engage in it, is gender-essentialist nonsense. The only caveat to that is that online combat is so, so slow that it's preferable to avoid it when possible, just to avoid boring your players to death.
Okay, one last anecdote:
I came across a job posting for a (video) game design position recently. The headline read, "Are you interested in advancing games for women?", and I was thinking HELL YEAH until I clicked the link. The very first lines of the job description said, "We’re looking for someone who relates to girls (aged 8-12) and who finds inspiration for their next game in pink hearts and cute ‘n’ fuzzy baby animals ... You must understand the ingredients that make a great girls’ game and use these in your design—whether it’s a cooking quiz ... or dress-up game. " Wow, thanks for the breadth of scope, game company. I'll check right in with you when I want to ensure girls grow up knowing they can make a difference. /sarcasm
Whew, that got long, and now it's REALLY late. I just want to say thanks to TanithT, Alice Margatroid and all the other gamers who are helping women find a voice in gaming.
While the player who might have been going to drop out is staying, meaning there's only two spaces in this game, I'm also running the same AP for a different group of 2nd level, and they could use one more. So in the end, I've selected 3 characters to join our campaigns.
Zack Muad'Dweeb, rathandal and Fabian Benavente, I'll PM you today. Everyone else, thanks for your interest and your interesting characters. Good gaming to you all.
Skorn: Sounds good.
Fabian: Yes, the eagle shaman would be fine. Don't worry about not knowing the background of the AP - your shaman wouldn't either, after all.
I don't need a formal application; in a day or so I'll pick from the applications here.
Character roundup - so far we've got:
If I missed anything let me know.
Fabian: Sure, a Shoanti druid would be fine. What quah were you thinking of taking?
A little more information on the party:
Feel free to ask about anything else you want to know.
rathandal: The entire party is level 3. I'm hoping for posts at least once daily, but down to 3-4 times a week is also acceptable. I'll PM you some information on the rogue in a bit, so you can see if she's still interesting.
Edelsmirge: Feel free to post different concepts in the event that the rogue is taken.
I'm running Burnt Offerings for play-by-email on Yahoo Groups, and player dropout has left some openings. I'm looking for one or two people either willing to take over an existing character (female half-elf rogue or female half-elf barbarian) or to create a new character using only core races/classes, who has been captured by the goblins of Thistletop and will be released shortly by the party.
Again, this is for pbem, NOT pbp.
Preference will be given to players who can spell and punctuate correctly. If you're interested in one of the existing characters I can tell you more. If you want to make a new one, right now I'm just looking for a short background/concept - don't go to all the trouble of making a whole sheet.
The current composition of the party is:
female half-elf rogue (up for grabs)
Wow, thanks for the replies! I'd almost given up on checking this thread. :) I took Cleave for my lvl.3 feat, and I'll probably go for Spring Attack too. Leap Attack looks really good, and Powerful Charge too. But wouldn't Shock Trooper leave me too open to counterattacks?
Barbarian doesn't make much in-game sense for my character, so I think I'll stick with straight fighter. On the chance that I can convince my DM to allow it, though, what did you have in mind?
My DM is running us through the War of the Burning Sky AP, and I have a greatsword-wielding fighter that just hit 2nd level. His feats are Cavalry Errant (a background feat from WotBS), Dodge, Weapon focus: greatsword, Mobility and Power Attack. Does anyone have any suggestions as to what feats I should take through lvl.20? Obviously I'll be taking the weapon specialization and focus tree, and I'd like to take improved critical and weapon supremacy (from PHB2), but other than that I don't know. The DM said I probably won't need the mounted feats.
Any 'official' source is probably OK.
bigkilla: Sounds reasonable. The lookouts don't expect anyone from that side, either.
Haha, I can absolutely see the goblins doing that. Annoying little ankle-biters. *g*
I'll have to remember that for when my second group makes it this far. I've already envisioned the fort as pretty much a giant windfall/logjam, so this meshes nicely with that.
Jasonfahy, how did you handle the 'knock the goblins off the bridge' part? Did you just say every hit did it, or...? I love your ideas. Haha, Grom is awesome.
The group I ran through that part saw the goblins on the other side of the bridge and the goblins started shooting arrows at them to scare them off.So the big dumb fighter cut the rope bridge down.
Hahahaha! How did they end up getting across?
My party sabotaged the already trapped bridge (none of them tripped the trap on the way over, so they don't realize it's trapped), so now they're on the island and the bridge will snap the moment anyone steps onto it. Not sure what their idea was with that...
Gutsy or something... *g* I'm springing Bruthazmus and Orik on them as a suggestion to return to Sandpoint and restock, but if they stay after that, they'll definitely have visitors during the night (and eerie chanting and groans from little throats in the background, muahahah).
Thanks for the link to your account of what happened. :)
The idea with the burning skeleton is interesting, I may use that. Thanks, Doug.
I'd be interested to hear how things go for your group, jasonfahy. I love that your bard is tied to Nualia like that.
This is awesome. Thanks a ton! :D
I see she has lesser animate dead. With the party staying at Thistletop, she won't have a chance to prepare and cast it that much to produce enough zombies to get in their way. Any advice on that? Should I just fudge it?