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Laori Vaus

Luna eladrin's page

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber. 913 posts. No reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist.


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Richard Pitt wrote:
That is truely amazing. I may well steal your idea and use Challenge of the Fang to get the rimebelt too, ifu don't mind.

Please feel free to do so. It fits so well into the campaign it would be a shame not to use it.

In Challenge of the fang the PCs receive a firebird feather. This is not the same feather as the key to Baba Yaga's hut.
I am going to use the feather for them to summon a firebird when they are in Maiden, Mother, Crone. I am going to use part of the story of the Firebird Suite (the ballet by Stravinski) in the third book. The firebird will lead them to a magical egg, which they can destroy in order to ban Kostchtchie from Iobaria for 100 years.
I am going to add a side adventure with a dungeon in which they can locate the egg. This dungeon will be linked to a background story of one of the PCs and involves the wendigo.


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I used Challenge of the fang for gaining the rimepelt. I made Czerwonya one of the children from Waldsby and then had the village threatened by wolves led by a winter wolf. Then Kashka (if I have the name right; it is Nadya's neighbour who takes care of the children) remembered an old prophecy about the prey, the predator and the hunter and told the group that the black rider sometimes was the hunter. I added some symbolism about the maiden (Czerwonya), the mother (her mother, who asked the group to go search her daughter) and the crone (grandma), so this is a nice link to the next adventure. So when Czerwonya disappeared in the forest, the group tracked her and found the gateway to the Margreve (as in the adventure; I made it an enclosed part of the first world, not Irrisen). There I ran all the tests as written, and when they returned, they could track Czerwonya to the tree house, where they could save her and grandma from the wolf (for which I used a winter wolf of course). My players immensely enjoyed the adventure.

As for Emil: my group intimidated him during their first visit to the inn. They were in an intimidating mood, since they had just quarreled with Birgit Holorova. Then Katrina tried to soothe the matter by offering them tea, and tried to poison Vladimir the sorcerer (who acted as the group's leader at the moment). This failed spectacularly. Vladimir of course got very angry, which made the situation even worse, but instead of attacking, he berated Katrina for her behavior and the bard Aleksej talked to Emil in the kitchen and sympathized with his plight and told him his friends were only pretending (or some such story; it has been quite a while ago). He also showed interest in his crossbow and praised his shooting. So basically they were driving a wedge between Emil and Katrina.
Much later they were asking for volunteers for attacking the pale tower, and Emil (and a few others) volunteered. During the raid on the pale tower (which sort of went like a commando action) Emil had a lot of lucky dice rolls and the PCs were very impressed with his shooting and kept complimenting him. Also Vladimir managed to use diplomacy to convince some of the guards to leave the pale tower and join their cause (which Vladimir, who is a member of the Heralds, is calling 'the revolution'). Emil got more and more inspired, and they ended up with a group of guards, Emil, and a group of villagers all wanting to introduce the revolution to Waldsby.
When they successfully completed Challenge of the fang I ruled that Waldsby according to the ancient pact was now under the protection of the winter wolves, and that Baba Yaga would honor that pact (Elvanna would not, of course). So they left the village defended by winter wolves and ex pale tower soldiers. Emil volunteered as leader, together with Birgit Holorova and the owner of the saw mill (I forgot his name). The PCs organized an election and of course supported Emil, and he won. Katrina was not pleased of course, but then a female PC (Anastacia) began to flirt with Emil, so that Katrina would get al jealous and protective and suddenly started supporting Emil again.
This made Waldsby a really fun part of the campaign, which the players enjoyed very much, and had the added advantage of breaking the linearity of the campaign a bit, since the players really had the feeling they could take their fate in their own hands.


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I like your changes, Richard Pitt. I have kept a lot of the first book as written, except I made some of the PCs related to Dryden Kepp in Heldren, and another PC already a member of the heralds.
I am using some Margreve stuff in the second book (Challenge of the fang, which I used for the rimepelt and went very well) and perhaps in the third (Grandmother's fire), but I have not decided this yet.
Since one of the PCs is a herald and has high charisma, too, Waldsby has sort of been changed into a herald stronghold (with Emil Goltiaeva as leader - very long story).


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But I mean the key to Baba Yaga's hut she is carrying. If I remember correctly, she is carrying the cold nugget.


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You have just given me an idea. What if Jadrenka is captured while the PCs are in the dungeon? Then you can even add a timer to the adventure and the PCs can prevent the capture.
What did you do with Jadrenka's key? Has Caigreal taken it away or doesn't she know what it is?


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Looks like you are having a nice flow in the story! I remember this scene with my party. This was when Cora died.
Have fun!


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Perhaps Elvanna wants to recruit outside help in the Abyss.
I will be adding some plot lines in Maiden, Mother, Crone based on the story of the Firebird Suite by Stravinsky. This is the origin of Kostchtchie after all (though his name is spelled differently there):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Firebird


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I have just read the 3rd book and I read somewhere she can tell them that she is not allowed to help them. I do not think she can tell them she is the warden, but you could consider let her tell them in the end when they receive her key.
I plan on playing three different Jadrenkas:
The maiden: like a giggly girl who is flirting with the handsome male PCs
The mother: commenting on that the group has forgotten to wipe their feet and close the doors behind them and has left mess all about
The crone: complaining about her back, the cold drafts and noisy youths (the PCs).


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Since you are using demons, have you considered placing the adventure on a cold outer plane, e.g. a layer of the abyss?


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Anything with fire spells will do. A druid will also do nicely. And characters with ranged attacks and bows (especially at first).

Have fun with the campaign!


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So the queen has an artefact, the others might use age resistance and the souls of the queen and her children are taken by Baba Yaga. That answers all my questions, thanks!


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Thanks for all the reactions. I like your idea, Zhangar and perhaps will use it.


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Does anybody know more about the longevity of the jadwiga? Are Baba Yaga's daughters basically immortal? Or do they just age very slowly? And what about subsequent generations? Do they retain this immortality/longevity? Or are they more like humans? Another question I have is that when Baba Yaga picks up a daughter after 100 years of rule, sometimes reference is made to children and grandchildren leaving with her. What happens to those children and grandchildren?


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Yes, I am reading this, too. However, it has been a year since we finished Savage Tide, so I visit this forum only now and then (being busy DM-ing Reign of Winter).
Hope you can keep up the campaign and do not have too many players walk out on you. It is really a fun campaign and we enjoyed it immensely.


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Tangent101 wrote:

My group OWN a covered wagon. It was from a previous encounter with a wizard who feebleminded a centaur... (I enjoy reusing old Dungeon magazine adventures, what can I say? ^^) needless to say, it's not going to make it into Irrisen. I mean, how'd they get it over the bridge, let alone through the snow? ;)

I even remember that adventure. Was it called Centaur of attention?

I have also added some extra opportunities to trade, linked to a background story of one of the PCs. They actually met a foreign trader on their way to Whitethrone.


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The changes you made, really give the campaign a storytelling flow. I am jealous of your ideas :-)

My group finally caught Teb Knotten in the bear trap (long story).


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I remember my player group was very careful. They basically lured some bandits outside. They also managed to convince the half-orc rogue to stand aside.
Nevertheless, they still had a tough fight, but finally they managed well enough.


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Perhaps you missed some encounters in the wilderness. I added only one extra random encounter and my group was still level 2. I think the encounter is basically meant for level 2.


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Those are really nice ideas. I especially like the lady of the lake and Red.
I made Dryden Kepp the stepfather of two of the characters, so I made that storyline personal.
I introduced a version of Little Red Riding Hood in the second book, by inserting the adventure Challenge of the fang (from Tales of the old Margreve from Open Design/Kobold Press), which basically has the PCs in the role of the hunter.


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It sounds like Tangent101 has the right idea. You could even let Rokhar take his prisoner to the gate and give the group a chance of catching up. (Maybe the lady uses tactics to delay him, like deliberately falling and such. Of course she can leave a trail as well.)


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My group was level 2 and consists of 5 PCs and it still was a very exciting fight. No casualties, however (only some almost-casualties).


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Let them start in Whitethrone and be part of/connected with the resistance.


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Perhaps they can do a nice ritual to destroy it. You can let them find objects, a rhyme consisting of various sentences, or someone who can teach them the ritual. Or a combination of all three.


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My group did all the side quests and had maximum victory points. But the fight against Vanthus was still tough. He dropped the pearl, but the gnome wizard managed to catch it and teleported away with it in order to prevent explosion (and risking his own life, which was very brave).


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These are great ideas. I would be interested in how it turns out.


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Spoiler:
Yes, there is Kostchtchie in Maiden, Mother, Crone. You can easily add extra cold-themed demons to this adventure as well.


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If you want to change the final chapter: do you have "the witchwar legacy"? You could use that one as well.

Since one of my players wanted to play a rebel/revolutionary, I adapted her background story in order to make her character one of the Heralds. My group will be starting on The shackled hut this weekend. They are mostly very experienced players and heavily into roleplaying. My problem is a luxury problem, namely that they always take too many NPCs along. They attacked the Pale Tower with Nadya and her 4 warriors, Emil Goltiaeva (long story; they more or less set up Emil and Katrina against each other), Iziamir the blacksmith, Hatch and several Pale Tower guards, one of which was charmed. The others were more or less converted to the revolution (after consuming lots of alcoholic beverages and having to listen to a long political speech, made by the rebel character, accompanied by a successful diplomacy check).


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Check out "Tales of the old Margreve" by Open Design/Kobold press. It has lots of ideas loosely linked to fairy tales. It has a little red riding hood adventure (Challenge of the fang), but it is level 4, so you will have to adapt it. But there are also higher-level adventures in this book.


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I do not think letting them suffer the consequences of their actions vindictive. So let them go away on their own and see what they make of it. You can always have Nadya turn up later and help them. Moreover players will not appreciate it if you force an NPC upon them, so if they do not want to take her along, that might also be OK.

If they are sympathetic to rebellious characters, it is also possible to link Nadya to the Heralds and introduce them a lot earlier in the campaign.

Is there any possibility to link Nadya to the background story of one of the PCs? That is what I did, and it works every time.


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Stirges are always good. My players have something which might be called a 'stirge trauma'.
I used stirges, goblins and frost firs. I also used some polar animals.


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They convinced Jairess to help them, and then she told them that Radosek was interested in her. Then the bard seriously considered the plan of dressing up as Jairess in order to 'seduce' Radosek. Since he did not have enough ranks in disguise, the plan was ultimately discarded. Ultimately they managed to defeat Radosek in 3 rounds or so.
They defeated everyone in the tower in one go, without resting, which I think is quite an achievement. Now they still have some loose ends to tie up, such as closing the gate.


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Great that still so many people are running this campaign. Have lots of fun!


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My players seem to kill everything in sight. They killed Izoze right away (though she managed to severely wound the sorcerer) and they killed the doll after a very difficult and prolonged fight. They then set the hut on fire, to which I ruled that Hommelstaub spotted the smoke and tried to surprise them in the night. He almost succeeded. But this meant that Hommelstaub was already dead when they arrived at the portal. Luckily the troll put up a good fight and the sprites managed to lure 2 people into the pit (such fun!).
At the moment they are in the Pale Tower, where they are either killing people or converting them to 'communism' (thanks to a sorcerer with a very high charisma who is a member of the Heralds of Summer's Return and also wants to collectivize everything in Irrisen; he tried this in vain with the group's treasure).


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If you use 3.5 rules, consider making Rowyn a thrall of Malcathet (from Dragon 353).
Rowyn remained a recurring presence in my campaign until the very end.

Spoiler:
She tried to steal Demogorgon's throne from under the PCs' noses, but failed in the end. However, it was quite a surprise for the players that she turned up in the end.


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Thanks for your feedback, Tangent101 and Zhangar. And as this is the DM thread, you do not really need to use spoiler buttons here.
It gives me enough ideas to develop this plot line even further. Whether or not for immortality or youth, Baba Yaga needs her daughters for some purpose connected with her own life.
I have been thinking about the origin of the daughters. My ideas thus far are that they are the children of Baba Yaga and Russian tsars (and other, even older rulers), linking her and her family firmly to Russia. And they might indeed be in stasis or in a different timeline before they become the rulers of Irrisen (The idea with the tsars is that the rulers are one with the land, as was often seen in pagan times, such as with king Arthur.)
I am also thinking of linking Russia's health to Baba Yaga's, which gives her an extra reason to rejuvenate. I am linking her to the "mother Russia" idea. This fits nicely with the idea that "Irrisen is a crucible". Irrisen is only there to keep Russia alive.


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My players are interested in solving the Baba Yaga problem. It might be that they will try to attack and kill her, but it might also be that they will try to negotiate with her about another route to immortality without having to kill her daughters (they do not know about killing the daughters yet, but they suspect things and I think I know how my players will react). The Dutch Wikipedia had an item on Baba Yaga where she makes tea from the leaves of blue roses, with which she can prolong her life. My idea was to run a double adventure at the end: first Witchwar legacy, in which they find a reference to blue roses. Then they have to use the hut to return to this world and travel to a monastery in Tibet, the Sera monastery in Lhasa. This will consist of a trek through the Himalaya searching for the monastery, followed by enemy parties (I do not know yet who or what they are, but they will probably have modern weaponry) and fighting yetis and other monsters. They can find the roses in the Sera monastery (the name is derived from se ra, which is Tibetan for wild rose). Or perhaps in the monastery they can find the wisdom to discover the roses. Since the PCs have a lot of very intense personal plotlines running (mostly childhood traumas), these can also be resolved in the monastery (and they can find personal enlightenment here).
This is still all mere conjecture, as we are at the end of The snows of summer at the moment, but I am already brainstorming.


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My group took a number of villagers along to the Pale Tower (Nadya, Hatch, Iziamir the smith, Emil Goltiaeva (long story, but basically they got him away from his wife). Since there are 5 PCs, this makes for a very large group. I am going to solve this by letting the defenders come in groups with only a short pause in-between. So far it has been very exciting doing this and things are still dangerous enough (2 PCs nearly died in the first fight, against a number of guards, the troll and the elemental from the hot pool).


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Nice. Are you going to use Witchwar Legacy in the campaign? I have vague plans to add it at the end of the campaign, if necessary partly rewritten.


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As for the geysers: there is a hot pool in the Pale Tower and it does not affect the ice at all. Probably the magic of the winter portal is much stronger than the geothermal activity.


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You could rule that it is a minor artifact. It could attract all sorts of unwanted attention if they try to sell it. Also, there might be a previous owner from whom it was stolen and who wants his chest back.


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Congratulations on completing the campaign!


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I let them have all the treasures. There are a lot of negotiation possibilities in the subsequent adventures, so I knew they were going to miss treasure there (and they did; a lot, in fact).


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I am now preparing the second book and I am adding an adventure from "Tales of the Old Margrave", namely "Challenge of the fang". It is basically a darker version of Little Red Riding Hood. I am adding the encounter because I wanted to expand on the rimepelt storyline. My group can take the rimepelt from one of the wolves in this adventure (which I will be changing into winter wolves).


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There is another thread already about music, so I am not going to advise any music here (just check out Russian composers), but I would like to add one inspiring book series to the list, which I hope is still in print:

C.J Cherryh:
- Rusalka
- Chernevog
- Yvgenie

This series perfectly captures the atmosphere of this campaign.

I am adding some fairy tales to the campaign, e.g. the adventure "Challenge of the fang" from "Tales of the old Margreve" (from Open Design/Kobold Games), which is a Russian/Slavic version of Little Red Riding Hood.
I am using this adventure in Waldsby, and the PCs can earn the rimepelt here (instead of just killing a winter wolf with two different eyes).


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I am curious to hear what they finally did, and what the consequences were.


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You can always have them roll a knowledge check (or an intelligence check) and if they roll something decent, give them some warnings about the fire.


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I have to share this one with you. It is a Dutch song which my players immediately associated with this campaign. As it is in Dutch, I have added a link to an English translation:

Drs. P. Dodenrit

English translation


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Yes, I make my own, too.
However, I do use the little box with NPC cards. I have noticed too many NPCs are confusing to players after a while, and the cards work great. I also make my own cards for NPCs who are not in the box.


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Very nice indeed!


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I like option 2. I am considering using that one in my campaign as well, or a variant. It would be an awesome encounter.

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