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The Superstars should all have their maps in now and the judges are busy making their initial comments for Tuesday's next big reveal...In the meantime tell us about your favorite RPG Map.
One of my recent favorites was the city of Cauldron. Sure we all knew how that was going to end from the start but that was half the fun.
Pentraeth House’s gleaming white masonry and sculpted dragonesque chimneys command the attention of visitors to Kintargo, Cheliax. The ostentatious mansion features a grand two-story ballroom with one of the Inner Sea’s most magnificent works of stained glass art: A nearly floor-to-ceiling curved window featuring a wondrous seascape.
Home to Sir and Lady Vastin, minor nobles with growing influence in the city, Pentraeth House is quickly becoming a major hub in local politics. The couple host frequent parties, and each opulent affair increases Vastin influence and prestige.
Sir Vastin, a shipping magnate, uses the parties as a way to flaunt his success. Meanwhile his wife, the rumored leader to a group of revolutionaries known as Kintargo Unbound, quietly nurtures sedition against House Thrune among her attendants.
Sir Vastin retains the PCs’ services again. Tonight they will provide security, supervised by Vastin’s halfling valet Mr. Atticus. The valet leaves all necessary planning to the PCs as long as it doesn’t involve canceling the ball, inconveniencing guests, or increasing costs. Mr. Atticus is resolute on these issues — he is equally invested in protecting Sir Vastin’s reputation and life.
Complicating matters, Captain Caecilius promised bribes to a guttersnipe crew. Since his death, the guttersnipes have not received their tribute. Unbeknownst to anyone, two guttersnipes are coming tonight to forcibly collect on Caecilius’ promise.
Part Three: Uninvited Trouble (CR 6)
The massive ballroom swirls with color and motion. A string quartet plays an up-tempo melody as a cosmopolitan array of revelers dance and mingle. The guests’ attire blends the classic Chelaxian styles with a smattering of Varisian flair.
A floor-to-ceiling stained-glass window dominates the curved western wall of the ballroom. Its images of emerald sea-dragons and tall masted ships are backlit by magical daylight. Tables arranged beneath the window host several men in age-worn finery talking quietly. The ascending spiral staircase in front of the group leads to an ornate catwalk made of pale wood that seems to bisect the stained-glass windows where cobalt sea and clear blue sky meet.
Midway down the hall, two private balconies overlook the dance floor from the north and south walls. Sir Vastin and a young nobleman share drinks in the northern balcony alcove. The eastern wall opposite the great window features a larger balcony where the severe Lady Vastin sits in a trim Andoren-cut gown while her flock of attendants gossip and laugh.
Investigating the Ballroom
Once the PCs spot Kabe or when all the PCs have had the opportunity to take an action read or paraphrase the following:
With a sudden crash, a large stone bursts through the rigging of a stained-glass ship, raining down multi-colored shards. Partygoers scurry for cover as a small but portly draconic silhouette flies through the open glass on four overworked wings. A second sleek dragon follows closely behind. Both yellow-gray mottled dragons perch on the catwalk’s rail. The slim one menaces onlookers with his beak-like mouth and a hiss.
Creatures: This is a complicated encounter with a number of NPCs.
Sir and Lady Vastin - When the guttersnipes land Vastin assumes its an assassination attempt. He shouts to the PCs, “deal with these creatures!” he then flees to area f the obligatory shrine to Asmodeus.
Lady Vastin calmly ushers her entourage into the upstairs family rooms of the house and bars the doors.
Guttersnipes - Known around Kintargo’s waterfront as Gnar and Boll, the pair are vandals and extortionists. Gnar is the rotund crew leader and Boll is his enforcer.
Gnar imagines he’s clever, charming and superior to other crew leaders. He tires of the paltry scores his crew brings in. He believes it’s time for Vastin himself to pay up.
Boll is lithe, muscular, and frighteningly fast. Despite his silent obedience, Boll is deceptively cunning. A psychopath, he prefers the simplicity of senseless violence to the responsibility of leadership.
If any dock toughs escaped after the warehouse raid in Part Two, they reported to Boll. He recognizes the PCs from these reports and quietly notifies Gnar before attacking the PC identified as least dangerous.
PCs may attempt negotiations with Gnar. If the PCs can shift his attitude to Friendly, he and Boll will agree to leave and deal with Sir Vastin later. Gnar’s starting attitude is Hostile, offering a bribe of at least 100 gp his attitude shifts to Unfriendly and if the bribe exceeds 300 gp it shifts to Indifferent.
The Assassin - Hired to kill Sir Vastin; Kabe is a dwarven sorcerer with a reputation for arson and the occasional murder. He infiltrates the party as a minor noble traveling from the Five Kings Mountains to seek his fortune in Varisia.
Kabe is carefully considering his options and planning his approach when the Guttersnipes arrive.
Crowds - (Core Rulebook 436) If combat breaks out the guests panic. Crowds of guests, staff and musicians move toward the front exit. The map denotes the starting locations for the four crowds of panicked guests. Each crowd moves 30 feet towards the main double doors. The crowds cannot move through one another’s spaces but they can move together becoming a larger single crowd. A crowd larger than Large size counts the five feet on either side of the door-frame as two squares each.
PCs may attempt to direct a crowd as normal.
Gnar CR 3
During Combat: Gnar is prone to pontificating even while fighting. He prefers to perch and focus on causing property damage with his breath weapon. If forced to fly, he attempts to maintain the high ground. The banisters of the catwalk and balconies are his favored perches, if PCs close to melee range he will ascend to land precariously on the chandeliers.
Should Boll require his assistance with a difficult foe, Gnar will swoop in and flank with his enforcer. Also, if the attackers have wooden bows or crossbows, Gnar will cease his wanton destruction of Pentraeth House in favor of unleashing his rotting breath on as many archers as possible, softening up bows for Boll to sunder.
Morale: A coward at heart, Gnar flees if reduced to 10 hp or if Boll is slain.
Boll CR 4
During Combat: Unlike Gnar, Boll seldom stops moving. Silent and cruel, Boll prefers to attack with his claws and flensing bite, using wing trick whenever possible. Boll doesn’t fight fair; his tactics include upending drinks into an opponent’s face or grabbing stray bits of clothing to maneuver into better biting position. He prefers to eliminate spell casters and archers quickly. Boll will attempt to sunder any previously damaged wooden weapons with a vicious bite.
Morale: Boll is fearless and enjoys every opportunity to inflict pain. He fights to the death.
Kabe CR 1
During Combat: Kabe moves from his starting location k and takes the most direct route to the spiral staircase and the second floor. PCs should deduce that Kabe is the assassin as he is the only guest running towards the fight. Kabe fights whomever gets in his way, guttersnipes and PCs alike.
If Kabe makes it to area f, he attacks Sir Vastin preferably with burning hands if he has any remaining.
Morale: If reduced to half hit points Kade surrenders.
Sir and Lady Vastin
Development: If the PCs negotiated with Gnar and managed to improve his attitude to Helpful, Gnar decides he likes the PCs and could become a valuable ally when the PCs return to the waterfront in Part Four.
Kabe still carries his written orders. The unsigned parchment bears the unique sigil of his employers, a revolutionary group called Kintargo Unbound and contains specific information on tonight’s events.
Whip-crack fast, this black and gold scaled, serpentine wyrm strikes, the massive serrated mandibles atop its eyeless, insectoid head snap closed with devastating force.
A kaliswyrm hunting from its lair gains a +2 Circumstance bonus to Stealth checks made to hide. During combat, a kaliswyrm concealing a portion of its body inside the lair gains the benefits of partial cover. Furthermore, it may drag a single creature of Medium size or smaller into the lair to suffocate.
An abandoned lair vanishes in 1d6 days. Anything left inside appears on the ground where the lair was anchored.
Nab (Ex) If a kaliswyrm hits with its bite attack, it deals normal damage and attempts to start a drag as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity.
Poison (Su) Spit—contact; save Fort DC 13; frequency 1/round for 6 rounds; effect numbing, -2 penalty to Strength and Dexterity; cure 1 save.
Spit Venom (Ex) As a standard action a kaliswyrm can spit venom up to 15 feet as a ranged touch attack.
Descended from the outsider subjects of mysterious ancient experiments with draconic blood, kaliswyrms are now typically encountered in cities with connections to Thassilon such as Magnimar and Kaer Maga.
A hunting kaliswyrm prefers to surprise its prey, striking and dragging it back into its lair to suffocate. It restrains its prey with vice-like mandibles and serpentine coils, sadistically relishing the final terrified struggles of its meal. If an enemy seems formidable the kaliswyrm spits a numbing toxin before engaging.
Cunning nocturnal predators, kaliswyrms have a rudimentary understanding of humanoid language and habits. They prefer to lair in alleys among the detritus and refuse, satisfying their hunger and murderous urges on vagrants, prostitutes and thieves. Animals and vermin can satisfy a kaliswyrm's diet, but if forced to subsist only on beasts it will abandon its current lair for a better hunting ground. In some rare cases, a fortunate kaliswyrm will make an alliance with a gang or thieves guild, which will feed their enemies to the wyrm.
Mostly loners, kaliswyrms seldom live near one another. Those few instances where a group of the creatures share a territory usually end in jealousy, violence and cannibalism.
When the vial is thrown with a successful ranged touch attack, the skull torments a single target of Large size or smaller. The skull moves with the target, its chaotic orbit distracting in combat. Any combatant in melee with the target is considered to be flanking with the skull.
The skull’s trailing smoke and embers are blinding. The target (and any creature occupying the same space as the target) is effectively dazzled. Furthermore, each round the target must make a Fortitude save (DC 14) or become sickened by the smoke. Creatures with the scent ability suffer a -4 penalty to this save, while creatures with the fire subtype are immune to the sickening effect. The skull and smoke dissipate in 5 rounds.
If the initial attack roll fails, treat the vial as a splash weapon to determine where it shatters instead. If there is no valid target in that square the skull shrieks before dissipating harmlessly.
Legions of four-inch insectoids rapidly click-clack down the pit walls in an eerily coordinated formation. Armored in a razor-sharp, barbed carapace, each soldier brandishes a crab-like arm ending in a serrated stinger. The horde rasps in a humanlike voice “Die!”
Njaa’mende CR 7
----- Defense -----
----- Offense -----
----- Statistics -----
----- Ecology -----
----- Special Abilities -----
Poison (Ex) Swarm—injury;save Fort DC 17; frequency 1/round for 6 rounds; effect 1d4 fire and 1d4 Con; cure 2 consecutive saves. The save DC is Constitution-based.
Njaa’mende revel in slaughter and are among the most efficient hunters in the Mwangi Expanse. Utilizing near-human intelligence, the njaa’mende employ cunning tactics and magical abilities to make up for their minuscule size. They combine elaborate pit traps with deception and illusions to lure prey into deadly ambushes. When a trap is triggered, the njaa’mende swarm in and quickly devour the hapless creature. Soldiers bite and sting, and their serrated stingers cut through tough hide easily to inject a boiling poison. The searing toxin softens tissue, making it easier to consume. Colonies have been known to bring down prey as large as a high girallon; however the njaa’mende prefer humanoids.
Colonies of njaa’mende divide labor among castes similar to ants, except that a njaa’mende hive submits completely to the telepathic will of a solitary queen. She rules over a territory of about a mile in any direction from the central hive, where she spends her life laying eggs, analyzing complex stimuli received from her soldiers, and directing the colony.
Njaa’mende queens are careful to ensure succession. As a queen nears the end of her lifespan, she births an heir. When the heir reaches maturity, she consumes the old queen, absorbing the racial memory of her predecessors and becoming the mind of the colony. Should a queen die with no heir, her colony becomes fatally complacent, neither eating nor working until it also perishes.
Only in cases where the hive is directly threatened does the queen join an attack swarm. In those rare circumstances, the queen is better able to focus her attention and that swarm gains a +2 racial bonus to Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma. If the queen’s swarm is defeated, there is a 10% chance that the queen was killed.
Many njaa’mende colonies are religious, following either Lamashtu, their progenitor, or the destroyer Rovagug, whom their nature emulates.
Andoran Mercantile League
At the heart of mercantilism are personal property rights. Few take these rights more seriously than the Andoran Mercantile League, also commonly referred to simply as the Mercantile League. Most Andorans think the Mercantile League is an association offering merchants discounted services including legal representation, armed protection, and asset recovery. Unbeknownst to most Andorans, the Mercantile League is now secretly plotting a darker course. In opposition to the nation’s militant abolitionism, the Mercantile League employs slave-finders to track down and return escaped Chelish slaves to their former masters.
Structure and Leadership
It is late evening in Sandpoint a warm summer rain shower has driven most folks indoors.
Inside the Rusty Dragon there are few grumbles about the weather as a small cheery fire crackles in the hearth and the delicious scents of food both exotic and familiar waft from the kitchen. The clink of cutlery on pottery and a low contented murmur of people enjoying the food and company fills the bar, while a small band plays a lilting familiar tune from their place near the hearth.
The door opens and a cool damp breeze wafts inside as a young man in unseasonably long sleeves steps inside with a nod to the Shoanti man perched watchfully near the door.
At a table near the kitchen two of Gorvi's boys exchange a bit of gossip. "You know how red faced ol' Grump gets, he was shaking angry today" the young story teller squeezes his face into a paunchy angry parody of the old farmer as he shakes his jowls in mock rage before dropping into a barking laugh. "The sheriff still wouldn't organize a hunt for Grump's devil. Seems when Hemlock went out to Grumps farm last week he found the hog pen unlatched and a mess of goblin tracks. But still old Grump insists it was the devil and keeps pestering everyone about it."
"Those goblins are becoming a menace. I was down dumping a load at the junktoss talking to Gorvi when down below we see three or four of the little buggers out in the broad daylight." Roost, shakes his head before taking a drink and continuing, "Gorvi got his tusks all in a knot over that an he was into the little shack of his and back out in a flash. That battered crossbow of his was all cranked and ready but them goblins had already skittered off like rats. I swear they'll be in the town soon enough."
Nearby Niska's distantly related niece finishes a Harrow reading for gangling youth with a mop of bristly blond hair. As the band finishes it's tune she returns to her seat at the bar where Ameiko smiles and makes polite conversation with her patrons then suddenly laughing as a particular account reaches its unexpected comic twist. Camaraderie flows from the tap faster than the Two Knights beer. It's a good night.
There's a short quiet commotion as the lead musician attempts to get the attention of the cleric of Sheylin who sometimes sings.
It is late evening in Sandpoint a warm summer rain shower has driven folks indoors. Inside the Rusty Dragon there are few grumbles about the weather as a cheery fire crackles in the hearth and the delicious scents of food both exotic and familiar waft from the kitchen. The low contented murmur of people enjoying their food and each other's company fills the bar. Ameiko smiles and makes polite conversation patrons at her bar suddenly laughing as a particular account reaches its unexpected comic twist. Camaraderie flows from the tap faster than the Two Knights beer. It's a good night.
Welcome to Sandpoint:
This is the OOC Discussion Thread for the Ruins of Thassilon PBP. For the moment I'd like to use this list to focus on building the character's connections to each other and the city of Sandpoint. Feel free to use the light RP intro above to help introduce us all to your PC if you’d like.
Everyone can go ahead and make their character, character creation guidelines can be found on this site, here. (We'll also be using that site as a way to track props and other notes from the game. Some of the house rules are up as well.) But before you get locked into any final decisions and we rush into play I want everyone to have a feel for our version of Sandpoint and each other's characters.
If you are familiar with the Dresden Files RPG you know it uses a system where every player helps shape the game brainstorming together and defining bits of the city and the PCs cooperatively. I'd like to borrow some of this concept for establishing Sandpoint in this campaign.
Much of the heavy lifting in Dresden is done by reality: what’s really where and who’s who. Much of that same work has been done for us by the Paizo designers. What we need to do is decide how your PCs fit into what’s there and what about Sandpoint interests us as the players of this game: thematically and specifically. So feel free to drop in on any part of this discussion whether it involves your character or not.
The current year is 4711 it has been 9 years since the Chopper’s (Jervis Stoot) murder spree that claimed the lives of 25 men, women, and children. Four years ago the new Sandpoint Cathedral was consecrated during the annual Swallowtail Festival and for a time it seemed the Late Unpleasantness was finally laid to rest.
I am looking to start a Pathfinder PBP set in the village of Sandpoint. This somewhat alternate Sandpoint has not seen the events of Rise of the Runelords , in fact none of the AP’s set in Varisia have occurred. Certain events such as the Late Unpleasantness, and the Licktoad goblin’s grand discovery (We Be Goblins) have occurred but the repercussions of those events will likely play out differently than they would have in the original adventure paths.
Players interested should submit a short character concept / background. I don’t need a novel or a complete character sheet just a few lines to give me a feel for your character, his or her goals, and an idea of how your PC ties into the local community. If you are familiar with Sandpoint and Varisia and there is a particular region or story you would like to see explored let me know that as well.
I have no idea what sort of response I’ll get from this invitation but I may not be able to take on every player who applies I will look at the concepts and make my choices from those concepts if I have more players than slots.
Play Style: I am a veteran player and GM; but, this is my first play by post. I’m looking for player’s who are more interested in telling a good story together rather than getting bogged down in the minutiae of the rules.
Part of the reason I only want loose backgrounds to start is so that characters can be woven together and into the village itself. Sandpoint will play an important role in the campaign and PCs should feel at home there.
Sources: Players may read, and are encouraged to read any of the articles that cover Sandpoint, Sandpoint’s hinterlands, and Varisia in general (Burnt Offerings, RotRl Players Guide, Brine Wall Legacy, JR player’s guide etc.). If there is specialized or secret information you would like such as “how to buy poisons in Sandpoint,” or “what’s really under the academy,” we’ll look into whether your character could reasonably know it.
Full character creation guidelines will come soon but here are a few notes to get started
Wow. I know the Celiax Player's Companion book is currently unavailable but ... Just wow.
bookislands at Amazon.com wrote:
I'm thinking even though we use that particular companion pretty regularly around here It's still in good condition. I might have to under cut those guys and charge about half that with free shipping. Just saying, 'cause wow.
Not that I would expect to get an offer for even my reduced price.
If you're interested though it would make Christmas very merry around here ;D
When alcohol, regardless of quality, is poured into and consumed from one of these tankards the draught is fresh and ideally served: crisp and cold or warm and hearty, even a wine that has soured to vinegar becomes drinkable with a Cayden’s cup. Sometimes a beverage even tastes as though spiced such as with a mulled wine or a hard cider. The cup has no effect on food or non alcoholic beverages.
The tankards are resistant to spillage. The lid creates a tight seal and unless a tankard is deliberately opened the lid will remain closed no matter how forcibly jostled. Because of this feature and their sturdy construction Cayden’s cups have on occasion been employed as impromptu bludgeons in barroom brawls. If employed as an improvised weapon a Cayden’s cup has the same statistics as a light mace.
Finally, three times a day as a standard action the bearer of a Cayden’s cup may take a deep draught emptying the tankard to fortify his courage and gain a +1 morale bonus on attack rolls, skill checks and saves vs. fear effects for the next 5 rounds.
I just received my download of Dark Markets and ran across the entry for The Gilded Shell.
Dark Markets A Guide to Katapesh wrote:
All of Malthus’s suits of armor are of masterwork quality. He is also interested in working new materials into serviceable armor.
There is also a chart of new exotic armors which lists each exotic armor with a GP cost and the equivalent masterwork armor. But the costs listed in the chart don't necessarily reflect masterwork prices (3 come in under the +150 gp cost).
So my dumb question of the day is could a person buy for example Masterwork Blink Dog Hide for 175gp or is that just redundant?
I started to convert a barbarian character I had made for a regular 3.5 game to the Pathfinder and discovered I'm not fond of the way the rage powers are listed. I went through the list and find a power that seemed to fit my concept read the description only to find out on the last line that I can't take it until a later level. Moving the level requirement to the top of the power would be a helpful change.
My wife and I seldom get to play D&D together because usually I'm the one running the game. So this year at Origins we were excited to play in the Pathfinder preview game together.
I've been meaning to post a thank you to Paizo for running the Pathfinder demos at Origins and to Greg in particular, for running a terrific game and giving us a chance to kill a few goblins together.
Now that I have some new ideas regarding goblin tactics I'm really looking forward to singing the goblin song and telling my players to roll for initiative for the first time in Burnt Offerings.
Again it was a great game Greg, and I'm looking forward to reading Pathfinder 6.
I just recieved issue 142 and it has a fairly serious printing flaw . . . page 35(36)folds over at an angle so that a large section of the page goes through the spine of the magazine to stick out at the end of the magazine. Normally when I've seen magazine erros I've been able to trim an uncut page or the like, but unfortunately doing anything like that in this case is not an option. Any hope of a replacement issue?
Okay I'm setting up my SCAP campaign and mid-prep I've decided to actually move the SCAP from a generic setting into Greyhawk.
I'm not looking to build a strictly cannon campaign but I am wondering what the veteran Greyhawk DMs may have done to insert the Cauldron Region into the world.
I know that the Cauldron Region is in the border of the Hellfurnaces near Jeklea Bay and the Amedio Jungle. What I'm particularly curious about is the governmental, political, and historical territories. The Hold of the Sea Princes seems to be the closest nation.
I'm thinking about casting Cauldron, Sasserine etc. as allied Free Cities but have not yet worked out all of the details.
I'm deep in the planning stages of a Shackled City campaign and have been reading some of the posts about how hard the campaign is and the numbers of PC deaths are rather daunting.
I'm currently running an Eberron game and I'm very pleased with the Action Points rules from the ECS and Unearthed Arcana books and I plan to keep using them as we begin the Shackled City.
I'm wondering if anyone else has been using these rules an if they seem to have any impact on survivability in the campaign.