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Laori Vaus

Luna eladrin's page

862 posts. No reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist.


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Sounds like you have lots of plotlines for the next adventure. I would use the Tashanna plotline if I were you. It can also make things more complicated for the PCs after all! A pity that one of them read the forum.

Very cool beginning (literally!), ryschwith!
I think I might have encountered the same problem if I had used it. My players are very eager, too!
I played out the scene that Dryden Kepp (whom I made the stepfather of two PCs) went into the woods (drunk) in order to hunt the weasle, and the players almost stopped him from going. But then they got involved in other events and Dryden managed to sneak away anyway.

It is even more funny if you know that the player has political ambitions (in Irrisen) for this character. Also he does not pray to any god, because 'religion is opium for the people'.
'Volshebnik' means 'sorcerer' in Russian, but my player changed it to 'Volshebnin', since 'all Russian dictators have a name ending on '-in'.
The player (who is a 'she', by the way) has already told me that perhaps her character will not remain chaotic good. She sees him as a naive idealist who will get 'wiser' (and more ruthless) as the campaign progresses.

With a nice bottle of chianti :-)

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My group consists of:

Aleksej: NG human bard (basically a Russian ballet dancer)
Anastacia: N human rogue (plans to be a ranger/rogue), Aleksej's twin sister
K'wanda B'nana: NE human rogue (plans to be a fighter/rogue)
Vladimir Volshebnin: CG human sorcerer (with an ermine familiar called Medvedev)
Zikimo Talib: N human druid (with his wolf Chikuk)

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Last weekend we had our second Reign of Winter session. My players did something I never expected and I want to share it, because it was so surprising and may perhaps inspire you.
As this is for DMs only, I will put it under a spoiler button.

They met with the three winter-touched sprites, which was a tough fight, but they managed. They even managed to capture one of the sprites. Now one of my players is playing a druid who is interested in the workings of the body. So he was wondering whether the fey really had an ice shard in their hearts, as told by Yuln Oerstag. So they decided to pummel the sprite unsconscious. Then they cut it open to see its heart. So I told them: "Are you sure? Since this will probably kill it." Yes, they were sure. So I rolled damage for cutting open the sprite. It survived the damage (I rolled a 1). So they saw the ice shard in its heart and then decided to remove it. Again I rolled for damage, and again I rolled a 1. So I told them: "the sprite is bleeding to death. You will need to stabilize it, but since it is its heart, you will need needle and thread!" Then one of the other players, the bard (basically a gay Russian ballet dancer), said: "I have needle and thread". He had indeed bought needle and thread. I then let them roll a heal check, and rolled very high, with aid another. In other words, they saved the sprite's life, and it no longer had an ice shard in its heart. Later that evening they managed the same procedure again (and again successfully, now using cure spells as well) with Fawfein (he almost died). This means they now have two no longer winter-touched fey accompany them, who are very grateful for saving them from the Jadwiga witches.

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If I want to give my players clues, I just let them roll an appropriate knowledge check if they have one. Then if they roll high enough (and usually there is one player who does), I give them the relevant information. This usually works.
If they do not have knowledge, just let them roll intelligence checks and tell them: "You remember..."
And if they have forgotten something, just let them roll the same knowledge check the next playing session. Chances are they do not even remember the previous one.

I have just bought Coliseum Morpheuon. Not only is it high-level, but it also looks like a very impressive and original product. Thanks for the tip.

Great read! And inspiring too!

We have started Reign of Winter in March. We will be starting our second session this weekend.

Thanks Dragonchess player for pointing out the symbolism. I hadn't noticed it as yet and wondered about it.

Yes, that is probably true. But also it is a pity. I have a lot of low-level modules. At first I even bought the Pathfinder Society Adventures, but I haven't bought one in a while, since I have so many low-level adventures already.

- emphasize the weirdness of the underground environment in TLD; it really freaked my players out;
- your players do not need to do the whole of CoBi. My group used teleports a lot and therefore some of the encounters were skipped. However, they did all the important encounters in the order they chose, and it gave them the idea they were in control. So let your players control the pace of this one.

Yes, I agree.
The problem with the stat blocks can partially be avoided by using monsters from the bestiaries.
Also, my experience is that a high-level adventure does not need a huge dungeon map, since the group can use teleport, plane shift, gate and similar spells. You only need small locations with huge rooms.
Moreover, since encounters can be a bit higher, since high-level groups are very powerful and versatile, you will need less of them.

Another solution is to make shorter high-level adventures. There are lots of ways to link adventures, so that would not be a problem.

A third solution is perhaps to make the environment more dangerous, so that the NPC stats need not be so high, i.e. introduce general rules to make the adventure tactically more dangerous.
E.g. consider an adventure on the elemental plane of water.

I would like to see high-level adventures in general. I have an enormous collection of adventures, but I always notice I have more and more difficulty finding relevant adventures when my players reach high levels. This starts around level 12 and gets worse from level 16 onwards.
Even in adventure paths you often need something extra at high levels, e.g. side quests. I have players who use all their abilities to the max when they reach high levels, which often leads to unexpected plot developments. Sometimes I suddenly need a short high-level adventure or encounter to add in. Usually I then end up writing my own, and since I usually need it next play session, this is stressful (as high-level adventures need lots of prep time and I combine DM-ing with a busy job and running a family). So yes, every high-level adventure, even the smallest, is welcome.

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I was already beginning to wonder whether I was the only one to notice the parallel. I have a number of Doctor Who fans in my group (at least two, excluding me), so there will certainly be Tardis comments I guess. I was also toying with the idea of using the Tardis noise when the group is switching from one adventure to another. It is surely appropriate.

Thanks for your feedback, Canadian Bakka! Unfortunately we have finished the Savage Tide about a month ago, but perhaps these gruesome ideas will be useful some other time, or they will inspire others.

We will be starting Reign of Winter tonight with the same group, + one extra player. Again they have thought up some pretty weird characters, so who knows I am going to need some other gruesome initiation in the near future :-)

One of my PCs was lawful evil. She had a strong connection with Glasya, and of course devils do not want a savage tide. It will disrupt all their fiendish political manipulations on prime material worlds.
This turned out to be a very strong motivation for her, also because she wanted to make a career and win Glasya's favor.

I am going to run this for a party of five and am just going to add a zombie or elemental here and there. Adding low-level creatures is usually better than giving the main villains extra levels. Alternatively you could make the snow more dangerous or add more random encounters.
Or you could do nothing at all. The first encounters will be easier, but then they will level up more slowly because they have to divide the xp amongst 6 people instead of 4.

Thanks all. I am looking forward to Reign of Winter as well. I talked about the grim fairytale side with my players and it does not seem to bother them. The origin stories they invent for their characters, are sometimes worse :-)

I am lucky having a really loyal group. But I know the problem. I started STAP with 6 players and ended it with 4 players. The same 4 players will be starting Reign of Winter now.

Yes, I will have fond memories of this campaign.
I think my players chose Reign of Winter because it is so different from Savage Tide. I was reading through Wrath of the Righteous, and though that is an awesome campaign, I was thinking: "O no, more demons!"
No demons and pirates for a while!

What about introducing the character in Iobara? They can even find him stranded in the snow...

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TBA, of course I will be watching this forum and commenting when I have ideas.

Carborundum, I hope you will get to finish the campaign one day. When the children are older, you will have more time, and hopefully new players :-)
My daughter is 15 years old and will be playing in Reign of Winter.
I also DM for her and 3 other teenagers. We have played Crown of the Kobold King and Revenge of the Kobold King and they will be starting Hungry are the Dead soon. I like DM-ing for teenagers. For them all is new, so it reminds me of the days of First Edition.

Last night my PCs finally did it: defeat Demogorgon and once and for all end the threat of the Shadow Pearls.
One of the PCs has claimed the throne of the Abyss.

This was a great campaign. We had a lot of fun, and a great final evening with some memorable fights, especially against St. Kargoth, and the final one against the Prince of Demons, which was still tough after all the PCs had done to weaken him.
However, they won, with some very clever manoeuvring and some very tactical use of spells.

We will be starting a different campaign soon. I have had my PCs choose one from several campaigns and they have chosen Reign of Winter. Very apt, with the Olympic Winter Games going on in Russia at the moment. And something very different from the Savage Tide!

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PC : Maegara (21th level LE ranger/blackguard/death knight)
Adventure : Prince of Demons
Location : Wat Dagon
Catalyst : St. Kargoth the Betrayer

The two death Knights could not resist dueling, LE against CE. It was actually a quite honorable and fair fight. At first it seemed Maegara would win, as she had gained initiative. But later on Kargoth was the stronger of the two. She lost the duel and died.
The other PCs were waiting to intervene. She had told them that she would say a codeword when she had had enough. But in the end she decided to fight all the way to the end...
When she was dead, the other PCs finally intervened and killed St. Kargoth. This was one of the memorable fights of a great campaign.

You could link Tyralandi to Malcanthet instead of to Graz'zt.
If you delay the kidnapping, it would perhaps be a good idea to let Lavinia be kidnapped after the PCs have been away from Farshore for quite some time, so that they can get the idea that they have sort of neglected Farshore. I do not know whether that will work for your PCs. Or you could let them find clues in Scuttlecove that Vanthus is back, and that the Crimson Fleet is planning something which relates to the Abyss.

Perhaps she is not as powerful as she used to be. If you look at Russian fairytales this is hinted at. She used to be a goddess, but when Christianity arrived in Russia, she was demonized as an evil witch.
You can see it in the older fairytales, where Baba Yaga usually helps the heroes, whereas in the newer she is usually an enemy.

Low visibility is probably the best solution.

I was reading through this adventure and noticed some things that I am wondering about:

1) The locations are to be explored in a specific order so that the PCs can find all the clues. However, since the PCs are flying to the mine, they will probably see all three locations at once (from the air). What is to keep them from going to one of the other locations first instead of going to the Karggat Mine? This is how players are, after all. (Mine are, anyway.)

2) The Sultur Mill outpost has pipes coming in from the north in room C7 (the silo room). These pipes are for the transportation of ore from the Karggat Mine. However, if I look at the map on page 3, the Karggat Mine is lying south of the Sultur Mill. Do these pipes have bends? And if so, how is the ore kept flowing through them? If the ore is not transported via the pipes, then how is it transported? And what are the pipes meant for?
If the pipes run from the mine to the Sultur mill, where in the mine do the pipes start? Also, ore should then be flowing upward, so how am I to interpret this?

3) According to the description in the adventure the Karggat Mine and the Sultur Mill are somehow linked. But on the map they are quite far apart. How am I to interpret this?


I was just wondering because of the saving throw of 18. I was wondering what it was based on. Sometimes my players try to deduct such information. Not that they can at this level, but I would like to know it just in case.

It seems I have to make someone up then.

In location F there is a sound burst trap made by one of Teb Knotten's minions. Does anybody know who made this trap, as I cannot seem to find anyone in the adventure who fits the description. I was also wondering why the saving throw for the trap is 18.

We will be starting this campaign in a month or so.

I think I will mostly ignore the -4 as well, as one of my players will specifically be playing an archer.
Moreover there are foes with arrows as well, so this will also weaken them.
I am thinking of letting it snow on and off, so that the -4 will apply in some combats, just to give the players an idea of the disadvantage the bad weather gives them, so that they will be motivated to end the winter.

If you allow paladins, do not forget that this will create problems in Enemies of my enemy and Prince of Demons because of the Orcus plot. Of course it will be less of a problem if you stop at Tides of Dread.

The black raven wrote:
BTW, the reason why I interrupt boxed text is that it often ends with Roll Initiative without giving us any opportunity to take precautions that were becoming obvious when we got the new info given in the boxed text.

Yep, I recognize that as a DM. Sometimes I describe boxed text and I am just about to tell the players that there is a monster in the room as well, and the players are already in the room.

No kidding, we play European style, too. I am from the Netherlands. Even my group with players aged between 12 and 15 years old is playing European style. I have even seen them playing gathering food in the forest and cooking a meal. I had never seen that coming.

Well, my group is not good, so that makes a lot of difference. I really enjoyed how my players kept speculating about the use of the tooth of Ahazu and kept experimenting with it (in vain of course).

I agree with the advice above. You can spice things up by adding more savage creatures to remind the PCs about the savage tide. Also, do yourself a favor and read the whole campaign through at least once before starting it, so that you can foreshadow certain things. I foreshadowed for one that Vanthus had been having contact with demons and this was a prime motivator for my campaign.

It was not Malcanthet, but Red Shroud, and she does not loan it to the group, but sell it, and I seem to remember that is was for 40,000 go, but my memory might be wrong.

This is a tough campaign, so 3 characters instead of 4 can be a bit harder. But if you give them a head start with "funeral procession" this should probably solve itself.
The group might need a rogue, especially when they tackle the Lotus Dragons.

I am going to remember this idea and probably use it as well. We are in EOME now, so this won't be long.

"No, I will sleep alone!"

(Really happened in my campaign!)

PC : Morlam (19th level gnome wizard)
Adventure : Enemies of my enemy
Location : Nine hells
Catalyst : assassin devil

Because one of my PCs worships Glasya, I added her to the potential allies the PCs can win in Enemies of my enemy. The PCs visit Glasya in her palace on Malbolge in order to ask for her help (actually they are on a mission to free some souls she has in her possession - long story). She invites the PCs to spend the night and says she will give them her answer the next morning. They have dinner with Glasya and then she asks whether they want to sleep together in one room, mocking the fact that adventurers always do this and then block the doors and station guards. "No, I will sleep alone!" Morlam the wizard calls out. Morlam wants to claim the throne of the Abyss for himself after Demogorgon has been defeated and makes no secret of it.
What the PCs do not know at this point is that Moloch has sent some assassin devils to Malbolge in order to create havoc there and discredit Glasya in her role as leader of Malbolge. What better way to do this than to kill the prospective new ruler of the Abyss?
When the wizard sleeps, one of the assassin devils teleports into his room and assassinates him.
I was surprised as a DM. I kept waiting for him to tell me how he would protect himself. But the wizard just went to sleep. He had posted no guards and he had not taken any precautions at all (not even an alarm spell). In Malbolge, of all places! I guess he had it coming.
In the meantime he has been greater ressurrected, but the assassin devil has taken off with his original body and all his possessions. Which he will want back of course. The PCs have already announced they are going on an assassin hunt next time!

Perhaps my reaction is a bit late, but I used Mictlantecuhtli as the third god. If you use C1 (Hidden shrine of Tamoachan) you will find that there is a maquette there of Mictlan, which is his city of the dead.

I think the immovable rods are referred to in the general description of the wreck.

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I actually added some houses which were really alive, in the form of gargantuan and colossal mimics. These and the pillars freaked my players out.

That is just great! Sometimes this happens, and the players do exactly what you want. Just never let them know that they do :-)

Just let this depend on the PC's actions. They might surprise you. Mine do so all the time, so when I plan these things in advance, they never turn out the way I expect them to.

I tend to use pictures for foes the group fights against. Does anybody know of a nice picture I can use for Enderan?

You could let him return because in the afterlife he discovered that even his god Laogzed does not care. His race is dying out because of Demogorgon. The PCs are the only ones who can probably avert the end of his people, if he is only there to point them in the right direction.

He need not necessary know he will be coming back as another race when he agrees to come back. It makes for fun roleplay when he discovers this afterwards.

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This happened in my savage tide campaign. The group is trying to free Shami-Amourae from the wells of darkness and has already acquired the key from Ahazu (a book of infinite spells).

The wizards goes on to tell Shami that she will be freed, saying:

I have the key which fits your lock!

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