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I would say they fight on your side until the end of the fight. My PCs have used this to make and keep allies.
Have the guy with high intimidate look menacing. "Tell me what I want to know before I let Bruno do what her wants to do"
"Take me to your leader, he can decide what to do with me."
So what you are saying is that high level play does not work if you just jump in to it. I can see that.
It is possible that I have just never seen good high level play. Can you give examples or a link to PbP? I know I have hard time with high level play but I want the game to be good through all levels. Since I have started talking about my fun levels have move from 8 to 12. Once Idea of how those levels work in a fun way set i could farther and still enjoy things.
I should have been more clear. They did go to Renchurch first to rescue the count. They simply skipped the witchgate stuff. Once they were there the buffed up, landed on the roof of the cathedral and cut a hole. Fun fight followed. They fell victim to the suffocation haunt but only 2 of the 5 needed to breath anyway. The cultist that fire the ghoul gun were chump change due to death ward and got captured. They interrogated the cultist and found out that the count was down below. The druid became an invisible earth elemental and scouted the whole basement. He hollowed out chamber near the end and then used a portable hole to taxi the party to it. PCs buff, break wall and attack. They skipped all the witchgate stuff, the outbuildings at Renchurch, and everything underground except the last two encounters. The worm that walks joined the last fight. Every PC had immunity to fear after the suffocation haunt so the tyrant's whispers never got used since I was saving it.
The above run through of book 5 was quite a bit of fun but much of the material went unused. The gallowspire got itself skipped totally. The PCs used divination to find out that they needed to go to the top. They were not stupid enough to fly though the undead cloud. Instead they used ectoplasmic fireballs to clear a patt, dim door to get to the top, and undeath ward to keep the cloud from converging on them. I did have few stronger undead try and get through but fail saves prevent that. Once at the top, cleric and druid used 4 earthquake spells in 2 rounds to make a hole. They even made very difficult spellcraft and knowledge engineering rolls to guide the collapse the way they wanted. The BBEG and dragon showed. The cav charged the lich and destroyed it in one go. The dragon got in a set of actions and two of the PCs did fall but the cav was not one of them. The bard dim doored the cav to position with a charge lane and the cav ended the dragon.
The fight itself was not bad but they skipped all of book 6 except the end.
I think that part my issue with high level play is that I like using published material. At low levels I rarely need to change a thing. At high levels (9+) I have to redo most everything since it is unlikely that my PCs are going to actually go room by room and deal with things.
Often I rewrite the BBEG to be an actually challenge then have every other critter swarm over them in waves. I would say I use APL +6 or 7 in my late game fights in order to challenge my PCs, though rarely in single foe more then a level or two higher then the PCs.
carrion crown ending:
My PCs skipped all the witchgate stuff with windwalk and life bubble. The also skipped most of the book 6 by using several protections from undead, dim door to travel up the tower, and a few earth quacks to break in. Once they got their the the BBEG got 1 action in witch he kill the caviler witch promptly got got brought back. Then he charged and one shotted the BBEG.
Lets assume that the PCs find a clue that the dragon did not die, say an old journal in his former lair or he tripped an alarm when he peeked back at the area.
If mindblank is not use then divination should work to find him with all that much trouble. Getting to his plane could be tough since forks are not going to be common.
If this kind of thing is a single encounter in the high level world then how would you expand it to an adventure?
Outsiders make great henchmen but how do you explain their getting here. I suppose DM fiat works and can be explained by a god supporting the BBEG. If they do that though then why do the good gods not send angels to help the PCs?
I really like the idea of the early level object lesson on letting the BBEG have the time he needs.
In your games do you keep the pressure up form level 5 onward? This can lead to the PCs gaining 10 levels in a month. It does limit item availability and crafting time nicely and might even explain why the BBEG did not see them coming. On they other hand how do you justify a swordsman who had trouble with a troll three weeks ago being able to down a storm giant with a single swing today.
If you let months or years go by with no active threats what do you let them do with their downtime?
Lets take an example. A few centuries ago dragon dominated the region of the world. Then one day he just disappeared and has not been seen since. People have moved in and built a thriving kingdom in the area and even re purposed the dragons old lair. The dragon did not die, instead he moved to his new lair in demi-plane of his own making. He then lost track of time perfecting it and finding rare treasures through the multiverse. Now he looks back at his old domain and hates what he sees. The PCs are the kingdom's greatest heros and the stand for everything he despises.
How would you run the return of the great dragon to his old stomping grounds?
I have run Carrion Crown and Skull and Shackles. I found books 5 and 6 in both APs did not really address what a high level PC can do. Carrion Crown was better but still not great.
Thanks for the response by the way.
I agree totally with not using 1 v many fights. Those are never fun.
So if the PCs are going in fully buffed and in all likely hood they only need to fight this one fight today how much do you amp of the bad guys to prevent anti-climax with a few well placed SoDs?
By now the PCs can likely cast vision. Repeated castings will should let you learn alot. Using commune repeatedly should let you identify and locate just about anything. I know you can prevent with mind blank but that simply turns of their powers. If you do that then they might as well not have them.
As to the economy I can see that they would simply want more wealth to have more items to be better at their job. On a different note a good PC may see setting up a post scarcity economy as good for many folks. I understand the point of the game is to kill monsters but the world often does not make sense if the magic is not a major part of the world's economy.
If you keep high level NPCs rare then where do you find enough challenge your PCs. How do you account for their magnified impact on the world?
Rep management is great idea. Can you give an example of how you did that in a game you ran? For some reason I have not actually read RotRL. I should do that.
I would love to play a high level game that does not go stale quickly as the PCs find a way into the room more often then not win before the other side goes. In the adventures I have read I have had to modify the BBEGs capabilities significantly in order to close up some easily cover vulnerabilities.
I realize that things need to change when PCs get to higher levels. At low levels things like walls and door can channel a party through a dungeon crawl. At higher levels they have so many different ways to find out what is going on and just skipping over to it.
For this discussion lets assume that the table has reasonable rules that prevent snow con wish machines, nested fast time planes, abusive trap rules, and huge armies of bound outsiders.
What makes a good story at 13th level and above? How do you present a new BBEGs arrival on the scene? If he is not new why has he not moved against the PCs already?
Part of making a boss fight interesting is softening the PCs up by having them wade through your minions. How do you do that at higher levels?
If you play in a standard setting what do you do when the PCs want to use their new powers to completely change how the economy works? How do you explain that this has not been done before? At these levels they can introduce teleport trade routes, build and airforce, set a near instant communication between villages, provide water for millions, feed a nation with ease, and make an invading army of low level warriors pointless. I am say that those abilities are bad, just how do you deal with them in game.
One of the main reasons I ask this is I have not seen a published adventure that truely addresses what high level PCs and BBEGs can do. Is there one out there?
At high levels I would tend to think that many dragons would be reckless and bold in the field. They do not bring their items with them and they have get out of death cards. If they die this is minor set back.
Lairs on the other hand are much more terrifying since a loss here means losing treasure and maybe life.
@Anyzr: Your wizard starts with only 880,000 (more with feats) in gear. No custom items. No spells up unless the are permanent. You have to do any all prep in the arena itself.
The arena is 100 feet to side and the walls are made of force. Going into an extra dimensional space counts as leave the arena. There is no surprise round.
This favors the martials about as much as can think of. A well made archer may be able to take down 2 or 3 foes if gets an action but I do see a way for him defend himself if is targeted. If a caster can buy the time he needs then he defend himself or simply attack while unseen.
What can a wizard do in this situation that other can not?
I still think a full caster will come out on top.
I am not sure if echtoplasmic spells let you get back to the material or if ghost touch weapons can hit ethereal beings but time stop+etherealness+mindblank+invisibility should get 20 min to prep.
I think that the summoner is the only non full caster that can get you with resorting to UMD.
How big is the arena? Smaller favors martials.
Can we wish in a dragon? Can I use Polymorph any object to make said creatures?
As long going into the ground does not count as leave the arena then I change shape and earth glide 100 feet down. Make a hallow and buff there.
An MMM is an even better place to buff from since I can the astral project out it and back into the arena.
In a case of still wanting minions I cast heightened mount alter summoned monster. At this point the casting last long enough for the azata to change out spells. I am sure I can find a use 10 to 15 13th level clerics. Not that the wizard is the only one who can do this.
It is simply a case of full casting trumping all else. At this point the caster can set multiple get out of dead cards. While the martial folks can not. Caster can also get around it with things like flesh to stone or trap the soul.
In a battle like this it is about the ability to not be targeted. Just about any 20th level character can wipe out a body with a single action. If you go first and use your action to do so then who ever goes next can get you. You need to have build that makes it difficult to target you in the first place.
Mindblank+invisibility+spellbane I purge should let you act. Greater invis for when you attack. Certain Eatherness is even better.
While the deamon body is very powerful it is hardly need for this build. It just helps to be in a differnt
Mindblank will always be up. Cast timestop when you go first. If the areana has stone in change into an earth elemental and move inside of it. Cast MMM inside the rock and enter it.
If that does not work just hide in rock and buff yourself there.
What stops him from polymorphing any object into the body he wants and taking it over that way? With a small statue of the thing the body lasts for an hour.
He can wish in a planatar or other powerful body and take it that way.
The part that takes the longest is transferring the gear to the new body.
Also realize that Anzyr is argue the extreme case so that rules can be changed to make more sense. As it is he can actually build the body in the arena in short order.
If he can not make a new body he use wish to cast greater planar bind and make allies to fight for him that way. Use Dim lock and just forget the circle. Win the check and order them to kill everything in the arena that is not the caster or his ally.
My problem with gentleman's agreement is why NPC's do not do it to each other. If it can be done and it is not difficult to do at least someone would do it to get ahead. It makes the world hard to believe.
I am looking to flesh out they ideas I already have and for new ideas.
I could use builds and write ups for the primary NPCs, tribal descriptions. chieftains, kings, interesting places, what is outside the city, and map.
Further refinement of my ideas would also be great. I have no idea who the wizard on the island is or witch cults are active in the city.
Lastly I need a systems for gaining followers at low levels, wandering monsters, and a way to reward goblin behavior. I am thinking of using hero points that can earned by acting like a goblin. This is done to encourage the players to write and sing songs, engage in arson, and make poor but gobliny decisions.
Also witch books develop goblins the most?
So my players would like to play a goblin game. They want a sandbox to play in. I could use some help in building the sandbox.
We would keep to low level so it will not likely go past level 6. We add in P6 rules.
My ideas so far.
The main setting is ruined city at a river intersection that divides the city into 3 parts.
Tropical setting so that monkey goblins can also be around.
River is dangerous due to hippos, gators, and other predators that enjoy a good goblin snack.
The goblins found out about soccer really like the idea of Hooligans. The different tribes use colors and shirts to identify themselves.
Every ten days every goblin gathers at the stadium to watch their tribes soccer teams compete for cup. Riots are common and expected. The underking does provides refs instead of players and prevents the riots from turning into all out war. Wooden buildings are erected in the surrounding area between cups. The buildings that burn best achieve great honor for those who built it and for those who burned it.
A wizard and his apprentices have tower on small island in the middle of the river. The goblins do not mess with him due to his might balls of fire that have on occasion destroyed entire tribes.
A temple that devours most offers to change those who can plunge its depths. Many kings and chiefs have undergone the change.
Several cults are operate in the ruins and mostly left alone by goblins.
Barb 6 monkey goblin claims the title of overking. He leads a band of elite goblins and grants the right to host him and his men to his lessor kings. He defends that kingdom until he gets bored, runs out of food, or burns the building down. This is an honor most kings would like to refuse.
Wererat Druid 6 is rabid conservationist of rats. Only those he deems worthy may hunt rats. While he does encourage the sacred hunting of rats they may not be over hunted. Every tribe and kingdom aspires to have as many ratters as possible since rat hunting is both glorious and provides much needed food for the tribe. Those who do not follow his edicts face the wrath of those have given up tribe to receive the blessing of the rat (Lycanthropy).
Shaman 6 is religious leader of the city and controls the sewers. Leads the largest tribe and claims the color black. While others may venture into sewers at his sufferance only those of his tribe may sleep underground. He demands tribute from all surface dwellers. Claims the title of underking.
Each section of the city has king that leads the larges tribe in that section of the city and claims to rule over the chieftains of other tribes in the area. This title changes hands every few months since a dead king's tribe will often follow those who kill the king. This often combines two tribes together but the old kings cronies will frequently break off to form their own tribes.
The northern tribes breed pigs and goblin dogs and often hunt in the jungle to the north.
The SW tribes are the most warlike and raid humans farther down the river. As such the often host a party that comes looking for vengeance.
The SE tribes are more peaceful and control a mine. These tribes are more likely to build things and the stadium is in their territory.
While all tribes are fractious fight with each other with in their own section they will band together to if tribes from outside their section attempt to invade them. This difficult anyway since river crossings are dangerous and bridges fortified on both ends.
I would love to use system that grants followers to an goblin with a PC class. They gain the followers as long they can provide food, water, and a roof.
A check over 20 for first level PC is fine if the expectation is take 20. In face a DC under 20 when they can take 20 has no point. Traps should be hard to find with a casual glance but fairly easy with a dedicated search. DC 24 to 30 does that nicely at low level. Just depends on where you want the reward point to be.
As to the traps, my PCs like to roll a 50 pound rock on a rope down hall way ahead of them. If they do that it should find both. The rock may get stopped by the axe. That could lead to the unfortunate "I jump over the plate." "You find a pit" interaction. Still the traps pretty easy to find if they simply look.
Given that this is not needed for the main plotline i would not take pains point out the door or the anvil.
I would see the DC of the door to a 30 myself. That means that person with perception +10 who search the room throughly will find the door. Others will not. I nice reward for a heavy investment.
I would set the DC to find crestent scrachtes around the anvil at a 15. It someone has perception of +5 I would simple point them out. This is likely but if no has a good perception they still find it if they take thier time.
A DD check DC 20 on the anvil should reveal that it is connected to mechenism below. 25 will reveal that it interacts with something over there (+2 on the check to find the door) and 30 will simply reveal the door.
This way they PC may turn the anvil with out knowing what it does. I would love to narrate the grinding of gears and pulling of chains coming from the solid wall to the north (or whatever) as the turn the anvil. The door would suddenly pop open with and a gout dust would flow into room blinding and choking everyone for a moment. Once the dust settles a door leading to a dark hallway is revealed.
Some parties my may back off at all the noise (wandering monster check) or freak out over the dust. This time the dust hides only the door, next time an air elemental.
4 PC with no str bonus can turn anvil. If 1 has 12 then it only takes 3. A 16 allows for 2 to do it. A lone PC can do it by himself.
I would stress that the designer took pains to make this difficult to do with less then 4 people. What ever is back there was not meant to be accessible to only one person.
My pirate game just ended and the were craziest party i ever ran.
LE Magus. The most normal of the group and also leader since he could actual pass for sane. Alcholic. He is to Wine what Nero Wolfee is to food.
NE Witch. Malision in cruel is a cold sort of way. She kept a zoo of baleful polymoprphed folks for fun and ate children.
CE Monk. Worshiper of Zon Kuthon who got made anyone died since they could no longer suffer. Got regen ioun stone simply to make sure those who tortured did not escape. Clock of the manta ray and high speed made him a torpedo.
NE Cleric. Followed horseman of war and just wanted the largest body count he could make. Total short term view and acted like a 4 year old most of the time. Was crucified nearly to death repeatedly by the magus as a time out.
LE Bard. Convinced self and others that he was a fallen god of lies. Never once told the truth.
Barry, I am glad you have fun in your game.
I personally do not enjoy high level play because of things like this when I DM. When I play I would not want the DM to try and make wind walk interesting. I just want "You arrive at blah". The story is at blah I do not care about the farmlands or caravans. I just want to fight the monster at the end. For me high level play is about the game and not the RP. To me only low level stuff is good for RP. I think many of folks on these boards look at pathfinder as a game first and story second.
I have a house rule that all SLA wishes are also GM fiat even if they are within the scope of wish. They are meant to further plot. This does not mean that every wish screw you over. Often the work as intended or close to it.
If someone is cursed and remove curse will not lift it then a wish from a genie may do it. Or may move the curse or may change they curse or may lesson the curse.
This also allows me to prevent chain binding of genies (or sims) that lead to broken games.
Do not bind 200 genies and show me how wall of stone done 200 times can make you castle. Just bind one and wish for a castle. It might be filled with monsters but it is yours once you get rid of them. It might be a castle mini. It might be just what the plot needs and you get your castle done for free. It might move you to castle of a former lord. Fix it up and take the land and have at.
In my games travel by horse and by windwalk and by teleport take about the same amount of game time. 2 or 3 sentences and some tick marks on the calendar (or not). What makes wind walk great is distant problem.
Any army is marching on 5 towns at once each separated by 100 miles. Teleport works but uses up 5 spells. Windwalk can do it in one but if you do the timing right might actually cause them to use the hustle rules at 12th level.
It is great for searching large areas. 1st level might be consumed with the search for the jungle temple. At this level it is simply flight and perception check or moving in the trees at 60 MPH. I would even include all the low level encounters the literately breeze right by.
You catch a glimpse of a dire puma that lets out snarl, 3 miles later you blow over patch quicksand, the rope bridge sways and twists as you blow by, troglodytes stink even at high speed but they fail to notice you as you waft by. The temple looms before you.
If you just want to add some color to the spell talk about how much fun it is to fly at 60MPG. Let them fly right through the birds and scatter the flock. Have lightning tickle as it flashes nearby.
If you are running a sandbox it is great way to add plot hooks.
20 miles away a great caravan struggles down the kingdoms roads, 3 miles from them a band horseman makes directly towards them.
A forest fire blazes some distance to the north.
Although it is to far to hear the screams you see a village burning far to the south.
A cog tries vainly to beat a thunderstorm to port.
From this height 9 ancient ruins are visible. 6 of them have be cleared recently, 2 are off limits by order of the king and last has always been difficult to approach by land. Several parties have disappeared even though they flew in.
Wizard (with extra cheese)
1. Persuade a noble (5. Charm person 10. Dominate person 15. L wish ->quest) (be a crafter and offer him half price items, this works at any level)
2. Kill a BBEG (5 Invis plus wand of SM 2, likely to die 10. Bind many meatshieds, dominate some BDFs, buff your crew and take him down 15. Bind genies and make sims for many wishes. Create sim army and attack. Realize you do not need it when an optimized SOD takes him down in the surprise round before he even acts.)
3. Mooks (5. Fireball + init, summoned or charmed meat shields to keep you safe. 10. See 2 15. See 2 but do nothing yourself)
4. Stealth mission (5 Invis wand and good stealth, capture and charm someone for layout 10. Charm and dominate person for layout, magic jar to get in. 15. Simed up imps for commune to learn everything and then same as 10.
5. Trapped vault (5. Summons, invisibility, dispel magic 10. Lots of minions go first and you learn what is where. 15. See above but more)
The rest later.
1. Called creatures can not call other creatures.
2. Wishes granted by outsiders are narrative in nature always. (Does not mean they have to be twisted but can be)
3. Simulacrums may not copy outsiders, undead, or constructs. Dragons halve their age. CL for spell like abilities is halved. The new CLx 1.5 must be high enough to cast the spell or the SLA is lost. Must target a piece of the creature at least 1 cubic inch in size.
4. Teleport may follow any path to its destination but needs a path. Change range to 10 miles per level and greater to 100. A creature may not take more then 3 times its weight with regardless of carrying capacity. Dim door does not need a path.
5. Traps need a fuel source for their spells such as a wand, scroll, staff or charges per day item.
6. Any spell that makes something from nothing is permanent instead of instant. It the object is changed physically it can still be dispelled but a chemical change makes it permanent.
7. Time stop is an instant spell.
High level casters are still personally powerful and nigh unkillable but this should limit their ability to have unlimited minions and while they can still build it is shaky since it can be dispelled.
Any spell that makes a permanent something from nothing would change society. (wall of stone or iron, create food and water)
Any spell that makes a useful permanent change or easy healing will do the same. (Shape stone, remove disease, raise dead)
Movement spells change things as well (levitate makes cranes, at will fly makes and air force, at will teleportation effects trade)
I think evocation is the least likely thing change the world but from and adventure stand point an at will blast is nice to have.
At will short term buffs are very powerful because they can be always up.
If i could pick one spell to have as caster at will based on fun I would go with some thing like scorching ray or magic missile.
Wizards do not suffer all that much if they can not take feats so putting 3 into and AC will not gimp you.
Personally I think the druid would be the most fun. Wildshape is pretty amazing.
In several games that I have played the druid was able to use items to increase carrying capacity to the point that he could be the plane for the party. Earthglide is amazing for scouting. It allows you tank if you want. Some of the lower level spells lend themselves to metamagic well.
This thread is great. JJ thanks for input from one who actually does this sort of thing.
As a consumer I have never enjoyed reading the actually encounters and site descriptions. The adventure background and summary are always great. I would actually like to see the summary go into a bit more detail.
In the site description I only care about their usability at the table anyway. I would love more details on how the rooms interact with each other.
I am not sure that wild caller works with synth. If not then mine loses 80 or 880 when running.
i have 7 feats in fleet. If I could pick up EH a second time I could turn 4 into 30. Not sure how to get domain though feats.