Paizo Top Nav Branding
  • Hello, Guest! |
  • Sign In |
  • My Account |
  • Shopping Cart |
  • Help/FAQ
About Paizo Messageboards News Paizo Blog Help/FAQ
Water Elemental

Mike Shel's page

Contributor. 205 posts. No reviews. 1 list. No wishlists. 1 alias.


RSS

1 to 50 of 205 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | next > last >>
Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Abyssal Lord wrote:

Will the AP featured an Anck-Su-Namun-like villainess?

Heh heh heh.

Contributor

6 people marked this as a favorite.
TimD wrote:

...pull out a book titled “Valley of the Brain Eaters” by Mike Shel...

Ehem, yeah, sold.

-TimD

That's Valley of the Brain Collectors. Brain eaters is just so gauche, too disgusting and depraved and...

JAMES! SEND BACK MY TURNOVER! I HAVE SOME NEW IDEAS!

Contributor

John 'Deathginger' Goodrich wrote:
So. Chenk ... Everyone's happy that nobody's dead.

Any player paranoia starting to creep in?

Contributor

Brelar Darheek wrote:

Brelar casts summon Mike Shel!

Brelar casts dimensional anchor!

Brelar casts create delicious Indian food!

Brelar waits patiently...

:D

It's well established that Summon Mike Shel is only a cantrip, and I gain a +5 to my save when Mark casts it.

Contributor

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Brelar Darheek wrote:
Ok, next time I have lunch with Mike Shel, I'm going to kick him in the balls. Just sayin :)

I'll be skipping that lunch.

Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Dasrak wrote:

The equipment and books that give the observatory value are sold in a separate lot, so I wouldn't count it towards the cost of the building. I also wouldn't consider the land itself to have any intrinsic value; the mansion is built on the outskirts of a small town, hardly a desirable location. If anything, I'd be inclined to reduce the price since the out-of-the-way location will reduce the amount of interest in the property.

Spoiler:

A) The enormous telescope and seat mechanism are fixed in place in the observatory and are not a part of the lot you reference. It would have a substantial gp value.

B) The mansion is built on a hill opposite the ruling noble of a well-established town and would be considered a very desirable location.

C) If you're GMing it you can do whatever you'd like to do, but I think letting the place go for less than 60K would be a mistake.

@Orcsmasher: James and I assumed that the price of the manor would be well out of the PCs' price range and would be purchased by Arnholde Devy, the baron-to-be, when all was said and done. However, it's up to you how you'd like to handle it.

Contributor

My assumption is that the price would be higher than the 40K, as you would need to include the value of the land itself. The mansion also has

Spoiler:
a fully functioning, state-of-the-art observatory
I assume that would jack up the price considerably as well.

Contributor

Silverhand wrote:
Skeld wrote:


I get around this by using a flip-mat and drawing one room at a time (plus maybe an adjoining room/hallway/etc.). I generally don't pre-draw areas and my drawings are fairly rudimentary.

-Skeld

I see your point. The room-by-room is good...but as you said, it has limitations (often rudimentary etc...).

To my way of thinking, the room-by-room negatively impacts the sense of place. The map becomes a quick battlefield to be erased shortly after the conflict. All the gorgeous detail of the map gets glossed over. IMHO.

First off, I really love designing maps and often do my best brainstorming messing around with them. Honestly, my map design is often driven as much by aesthetics as encounter demands. But after complaints about map size for Ghennet Manor Gauntlet, I made sure all my future PFS Scenarios fit on a standard flipmat or employed Gamemastery maps.

However, when doing stand-alone modules or AP adventures, I've allowed my love of map aesthetics to guide me, which may admittedly lead to some unwieldy configurations. With something sprawling like the monastery I think TheInnsmouthLooker's idea of printing off a smaller version to reveal and reference along the way, drawing out encounters individually as needed, works well. Using programs to print play maps to scale (as recommended by the Haunted Jester) is also very cool. I recall a certain venture captain doing exactly that with Ghennet Manor at GenCon a few years back; he let me take it home with me. I think it was one of those nice Shackleton boys. It made for a really cool game.

And guys, if you enjoy the adventures, write a review!

Contributor

6 people marked this as a favorite.

While I'm not sitting in on the meetings Paizo has about this sort of thing (any sort of thing, actually), I think you can safely assume that there will not be another AP focused on technology and/or Numeria for many years to come. This is also true for APs that include a trip to Earth, or are focused on pirates, or feature any other prominent twist/hook found in previously published APs. Numeria is the only techno-fantasy realm in Golarion, and there is plenty more of the world left unexplored. Paizo has demonstrated a commitment to trotting around the Inner Sea and beyond. The only exception, really, is Varisia (for reasons well explained by others).

Personally, I would recommend that you keep your subscription: the AP might just surprise you. If Paizo announces Iron Gods 2, then a wallet vote might make more sense, IMHO.

Contributor

Congratulations, Victoria. Now the real fun begins! The Paizo folks will help you along the way--trust their judgment and guidance.

Looking forward to reading your published adventure!

Contributor

I also believe that giving the players access to the town map is more immersive and increases the likelihood that they start caring about the town...thinking of it as their town, and that serves both the storyline and their enjoyment of the adventure, IMHO. Seeing the town layout in its entirety, after all, doesn't give away any "secrets," per se.

Contributor

John Benbo wrote:
If you like Rich's work, I recommend you check out his novel released last Fall- it has everything I like about Rich's writing, but amped up a 100%. The book is called Crooked.

Thanks for the heads-up on this! I immediately purchased a copy for my Kindle and am gobbling it up greedily. Wonderful stuff!

Contributor

the Haunted Jester wrote:

Question about the Monastery:

** spoiler omitted **

Glass windows.

Contributor

FLite wrote:

Lets see, I have played it once, run it once. Neither time did anyone kill the old ladies.

Unfortunately, I played it after I ran it, and the groups casters used up all their spells on the river encounter. The decided to rest for the night in the inn, and explore the place the next night. And since I knew what was going to happen, I didn't want to be too vocal about yelling "No! That is a really bad idea!"

As a result, we wound up fighting Ahendile, then explored the basement.

As a side note, what *does* happen if the party comes to the inn, puts everyone to the sword immediately, then explores the basement. I mean, if that happens, Ahendile would never get the message, and presumably would not show up? (I mean besides the fact that they would probably drop an alignment level toward evil.)

Spoiler:
You mean they immediately murder a harmless, mentally-challenged stable boy and storm in and murder three otherwise defenseless old ladies? I'd say each unprovoked, cold-blooded murder would count as an alignment level drop toward evil for all involved (including those who stand by and allow it to happen), don't you? So no, Holy Ahendile wouldn't be alerted to their presence, but evil-aligned PCs are not allowed in PFS play. Game over, hand in your character sheets.

I don't know how often this kind of thing happens at PFS tables, but wouldn't murdering someone you just suspect is evil be an evil act itself, even if your assessment later turns out to be correct?

Some may disagree...

That's my .02, anyway.

Contributor

John 'Deathginger' Goodrich wrote:

The Session Where A Lot of Saving Throws Were Made

...

Those dice can't cooperate forever... >; )

Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.
James Jacobs wrote:


Bonus Answer: Yup, I did indeed know that. Stephen King throws Lovecraft easter eggs into his novels a lot (and at times, eschews the easter egg for full on Lovecraft stories, of course). I like to think that Randall Flagg is indeed Nyarlathotep. He certainly fits the personality!

Other than the short story "Jerusalem's Lot," what other full on Lovecraftian stories has Stephen King written?

Contributor

James Jacobs wrote:
Kairos Dawnfury wrote:
Oh! I got one. Who is your favorite Villian and why?

Oooh... that's a tough one.

Hmmmm.

I guess I'd have to say Wilbur Whatley, since he's such a cool character and is obviously a villain and not just an impartial alien.

Ten kinda-random runners up off the top of my head (see how many you recognize):

Rasalom
Asenath Waite
Randal Flagg
Joffrey
Iggwilv
The Smoking Man
David Lo Pan
Ash
Tharizdun
Norman Bates

Ha! Knew all but the first! Hats off for the David Lo Pan pick.

Contributor

Thanks for the report!

Sounds like they're making short work of it. It's much harder to trick players these days...I look forward to hearing more.

Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.
John Goodrich wrote:
Mike Shel wrote:
John Goodrich wrote:
I'm just completing a year-long Osirion-themed campaign, and *now* thos comes out. My timing is awesome. They're currently in the Mud Socerer's Tomb...

Do tell...

; )

When we get somewhere, I promise to tell you as much about it as you please.

Thanks for the awesome adventure. I was referred to it specifically, when I was asking for very good toms and crypt adventures. having read it a time or two, I can see why. I enjoy the style, and it's nicely adaptable to Pathfinder and Osirion.

You're welcome, and thanks! I'd love to hear as much about your sessions as you'd like to tell.

And speaking of tomb adventures...

Contributor

Es geht um verdammt Zeit!

(mit freundlicher Genehmigung von Google Translate)

Contributor

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Gancanagh wrote:
Does flying Piramids mean technology or does it mean magical and fantasy?

Spoiler:
Magical technology.
Contributor

John Goodrich wrote:
I'm just completing a year-long Osirion-themed campaign, and *now* thos comes out. My timing is awesome. They're currently in the Mud Socerer's Tomb...

Do tell...

; )

Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.
CAndrew Wilson wrote:


"The captain of the Abacus takes the boat down whichever river fork the PCs suggest; however, both routes lead to the encounter described below.."

...is super lame. The illusion of choice is not a choice. I'd feel better having players just head right into the encounter rather then having them left with a fake "decision" to make. (Apologies to Mike Shel, but this element of an otherwise intriguing scenario is lacking.)

No apologies necessary. This is an oft-cited complaint about the scenario that is totally my bad (rather than a glitch that appeared during John's development). I had intended on inserting combat tactics affected by the presence of the tree canopy overhead and neglected to do so.

Mea culpa. ; )

Re: the power of the encounter itself, while I believe it can be a dangerous combat, I haven't heard any tales of actual TPKs.

Contributor

2 people marked this as a favorite.
'Sani wrote:

My witch is definately be at Neutral on the good evil scale, nothing so far has come up that has codified lawful/chaotic so I can shift that either way depending. I'm willing to worship a bit of a ways away from the character alignment if it makes sense for the character to do so. And while I know I don't NEED to worship anything, I wanted to explore my options just for flavors sake.

Where did you find the main religeons of Irrisen? I couldn't find mention of them anywhere.

You should find the info here.

Generally speaking, the offspring of Baba Yaga are an irreligious lot, though Duchess Weneschia Elvanna, ruler of Algidheart, is a cleric of Zon Kuthon.

Contributor

7eye wrote:

After reading through The Dragon's Demand, and the monsters contained therein, I have a new hypothesis about the enigmatic entities that comprise the Dominion of the Black...

** spoiler omitted **

Your thoughts? Plausible theory, or farfetched conspiracy?

Heh, heh.

Ahem...

Contributor

Greg Hurst wrote:
The 3 other ones Chris mentioned were written by Mike Shel who'll also be there. I'm thinking from last year that he doesn't generally GM, but maybe I'm remembering something else.

No, I do not GM. However, I enjoy sitting back and watching the carnage!

Contributor

GM Tektite wrote:
Luisila, I see you've learned how to cast Summon Mike Shel.

Don't be too impressed. It's only a cantrip.

Contributor

Tomoe Gozen wrote:


Is there some function that points Contributors and staff members at threads where their name is told? Or is that just general narcisism that they are daily searching their name via the search function?

The proper spelling is "narcissism." And yes, that thing.

Contributor

Eadie Navhelan wrote:
Despite myself, I have a grudging respect for author Mike Shel.

Gee, thanks.

Contributor

chavamana wrote:
Mike Shel wrote:
Serpent wrote:

I'm slightly confused about the members of the Benhovy family:

** spoiler omitted **

Sir Pelle Benhovy is ** spoiler omitted **
Given that has ** spoiler omitted **

Uh, the sheriff's name is Sir Pelle Benhovy.

Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Uh, oh. You misspelled Cthulhu. That's like leaving a necessary sigil off a protection circle, no?

Contributor

This is awesome. Great work, Callous Jack!

Contributor

8 people marked this as a favorite.
Serpent wrote:
Mike Shel wrote:
Serpent wrote:

I'm slightly confused about the members of the Benhovy family:

** spoiler omitted **

Sir Pelle Benhovy is ** spoiler omitted **

Ah, gotcha. Thanks for the additional info, Mike!

It's a pity there was no room in the module for interesting tidbits like this. But I'll be sure to include new side quests and sinister secrets involving not only the sheriff...
** spoiler omitted **

I was thinking very seriously about posting additional information to the boards for fleshing out the townsfolk of Belhaim and even talked to James to get his OK. However, current Paizo assignments make it unlikely I'll be able to do that before at least November or December (and then only if there's sufficient interest).

In the meantime, here are a couple more tidbits for you:

Spoiler:
Xemne is actually a Galt ex-pat who fled Isarn after publishing a series of inflammatory tracts accusing the ruling council of betraying the revolution.

Shelyn cleric Nilos Genser has something of a drinking problem.

Butcher Orin Akil has three daughters who he jealously guards from outsiders. Unbeknownst to him, his youngest is having a fling with one of the underclerics at the House of Abadar.

Blacksmith Marcus Chance brutalizes his wife. Feltmaker Pelnas Megara, a rather asocial and withdrawn sort, has a thing for the wife and may one night hit Marcus over the head with a rock as he stumbles home drunk from Grayhands' tavern.

Contributor

Mechalibur wrote:
Is it me, or does it look like the boss might end up really easy? <egregious spoilers snipped>

The module assumes a 4 person party. You may be thinking of CR 11 vs, a party of 6 (for which PFS scenarios since season 4 are desigened).

Four 7th level PCs vs. the BBEG, even with the potential aid available(assuming they gather every scrap of it and have snapped up every bit of XP in order to reach 7th level) should still be a nail biter at least. The Core Rulebook (p 397) calls an APL+3 encounter "epic." So what would this one be?

Of course, some parties may prove me wrong. If you think the boss would be a cakewalk, deny the party some of the aid or XP opportunities to get them up to 7th.

Contributor

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Serpent wrote:

I'm slightly confused about the members of the Benhovy family:

** spoiler omitted **

Sir Pelle Benhovy is

Spoiler:
the one and only Benhovy in the town, he is an aristocrat, and he is naturally jealous of any esteem the party earns in the eyes of the townsfolk (who generally see Benhovy as a bully and an arrogant prick) and especially Baroness Origena.

The other members of his household are two servants. The sheriff is a bachelor, perhaps because he has not yet secured a politically and/or economically advantageous marriage.

Contributor

Jeff Mahood wrote:
In the interest of ease of tracking all the things that need to be tracked, I just uploaded this handy little document to the shared prep drive.

Nice work, Jeff!

I encourage all you GenCon GMs to print this out for yourself to make your lives much easier. I'll have a version of it on my Kindle.

Contributor

GeraintElberion wrote:

I actually think that the battlemap in Dragon's Demand is pretty lame.

It is a small, boring area with little sense of dynamic terrain in the cartography.

To each his own, but I beg to differ.

First, given that it's the location of some pivotal events in the story, it was the logical choice as a battlemap.

Second, no similar map exists—the amphitheater has six tiers of varying height, chairs, two enclosed performer huts on the stage, and four sets of stairs. It's generic enough that a GM could re-use it for other adventures, but unique enough to make for an interesting combat.

As for the size, I created its dimensions to the limit a twice-folded book insert would allow.

Suggestions for clever alternatives or improvements, of course, are always welcome.

Contributor

Devastation Bob wrote:
Did anyone else notice the noblewoman is middle-aged and her son is old?

Lady Origena Devy is in her early fifties, her son Arnholde is about 18 years old. Not sure where your info came from...

Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Craig Mercer wrote:

If it could be arranged (as has been done before in the past), can we get these cut encounters of Mike Shel's in an on-line document?

Anything published by Paizo, whether its an actual product or web supplement, still has to go through development, editing, and layout process (as was the case for the web enhancement for Lady's Light). Given the jam-packed schedule the developers have for their product lines, it just isn't feasible.

I'm sure every freelance designer has stuff that doesn't make it into the final product for one reason or another. I have a bad habit of going over assigned word count, which makes more work for the developers (sorry James, Rob, Mark, Adam, John, Patrick, et al.!). In my experience, most of what James and the other developers trim off is by-and-large the editorial equivalent of woodshavings, not diamond dust. I trust the developers to know what's ultimately best for the project. Everything I've written for Paizo has been made stronger and better by the developers. It's an essential part of the process.

Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.
John Robey wrote:
Mike Shel wrote:
So: Was it a good read? Did you have fun?
Well yes, but that's not what the thread was about. :D

Fair enough ;-)

John Robey wrote:
(Also, it's worth noting that given the time constraints of the plot, inserting a lot of side-quests is really problematic. The entire "third act" sees the town being hemmed in by patrolling monsters, forcing the PCs to go face the dragon, or fight their way out of town.)

Actually,

Spoiler:
The first and second acts don't have serious time constraints, offering ample opportunity for those GM-generated side quests to replace the offending story awards (which I think are more prevalent in the first two thirds of the module anyway).

Also, it wouldn't be too much trouble to add a couple caves and encounters to the kobold lair, or an encounter or two in the flooded quarry. I had a deformed (read: understrength, with the young template) kelpie there, as well as a crocodile at the water's edge in the turnover--both were cut for space).

As far as the third act is concerned, time constraints don't prevent some additional combats (spicing up those grioth patrols, or creating patrol parties of differing composition). PCs could capture a minion from one of those patrols and gain XP (and info) for interrogating him/her/it.

The original turnover had some additional encounters that had to be cut for space. My favorites were a haunt in the hills of Dragonfen on the way to Tula's tomb, and a duel with Pelle Benhovy, instigated by the sheriff, who really hates the PCs.

Contributor

I think James answered the OP's question well. This was designed as a one-shot with a very specific goal: take new PCs to a point where they can confront a BBEG of this CR. There is ample opportunity for the GMs to yank out the story awards and replace them with encounters of their own design if you feel strongly about it. Indeed, there are hooks lying around to use for that very purpose.

My perspective is this: if we were talking about child rearing, over-rewarding children for mundane tasks ("Here's a $5 for brushing your teeth!") is bad parenting. But GMs aren't parenting their players. This is entertainment, not an avenue for people to gain important life lessons or build a healthy work ethic or learn the value of a gold piece. The most important question at the end of the day is whether all involved enjoyed their experience.

So: Was it a good read? Did you have fun?

Contributor

For those running this scenario at GenCon:

With your permission I'll be sitting in on several sessions and would be happy to answer questions for you, especially if you don't get lots of time for prep. Feel free to private message me here if you don't mind me sitting in to watch the action.

Contributor

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Great Excalibur reference!

Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.
uriel222 wrote:
But as SLA's though, right?

Spoiler:
Id insinuation and psychic blast are listed as special abilities for the two new monsters featured in the module and are fully explained in their respective write-ups.

Sooo, technically one needn't purchase Psionics Unleashed to GM the module. However, I would strongly recommend adding it to your library—it's an outstanding resource. I'm planning on getting the Advanced Guide soon as well.

Excellent work, Dreamscarred Press!

Contributor

John Compton wrote:
My plan is to reveal how this interfaces with Pathfinder Society Organized Play in an upcoming blog. The new format certainly opens up new and interesting possibilities for sanctioning, and I believe the planned solution will encourage players to experience the entire module in all its glory.

This is very cool news. Before or after GenCon?

Contributor

leo1925 wrote:
Any chance of doing pawns for the new modules? or maybe just the first one?

From your lips to Erik Mona's ears.

Aromaz Esoj wrote:
Can the players be from Belhaim as it becomes the base of operations?

From Getting Started:

"A large part of the adventure is getting to know the people of Belhaim and exploring its hinterlands, so it’s best if the PCs are not natives of the town."

Nick O'Connell wrote:
So what's the new monster appendix look in this ?

Two new monsters, the artwork is awesome for both, but one of them reaches a level of Lovecraftian creepiness that makes me giggle like a monkey.

An evil monkey.

Contributor

I'm loathe to do any spoiling of Dragon's Demand, but let me remind you that dragons run the gamut of the CR range based on their ages and there are ways that you can boost a party's effectiveness vs. a specific type of foe with the gear and experience they gain along the way.

I feel very confident that the new module, combined with the other books you mentioned which are coming out during the same release cycle will provide a very clear idea how you can hunt dragons at 7th level and beyond.

Contributor

13 people marked this as a favorite.

I'm sure that PCs who survive the battering of the first five volumes will be worn out and not really wanting a challenge, especially any Lovercraftian horrors. Therefore, the concluding chapter of the AP will involve the party sitting down to tea with the Sky Pharaoh, explaining that Osirion already has a ruler, and everyone chuckling at all the fuss this misunderstanding has caused. E-mail addresses will be exchanged and the Sky Pharaoh will politely fly away.

...

I guess I should have spoilered that.

Contributor

Not sure if it's a recent development, but it's going to take some time for me to adjust to the new clean-cut Adam Daigle. It somehow seems...wrong...

Contributor

Lord Snow wrote:

Other than that, I'm actually rather shocked by the revelation that this module is about a green dragon. Somehow in my mind I had no doubt this would either be a red dragon or a black one, probably because this looked like a "standard" big bad dragon threatens small peaceful town story. I wonder what other aspects of this adventure will surprise me, because between the new format and Mike Shel being the designer for this one, it's an insta-buy from me. 24th of July cant come fast enough.

Yes...the cover would suggest that the BBEG is a green dragon. Of course that's what it must be. Why on earth would a green dragon be on the cover, after all...

1 to 50 of 205 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | next > last >>

©2002–2014 Paizo Inc.®. Need help? Email customer.service@paizo.com or call 425-250-0800 during our business hours: Monday–Friday, 10 AM–5 PM Pacific Time. View our privacy policy. Paizo Inc., Paizo, the Paizo golem logo, Pathfinder, the Pathfinder logo, Pathfinder Society, GameMastery, and Planet Stories are registered trademarks of Paizo Inc., and Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, Pathfinder Player Companion, Pathfinder Modules, Pathfinder Tales, Pathfinder Battles, Pathfinder Online, PaizoCon, RPG Superstar, The Golem's Got It, Titanic Games, the Titanic logo, and the Planet Stories planet logo are trademarks of Paizo Inc. Dungeons & Dragons, Dragon, Dungeon, and Polyhedron are registered trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., and have been used by Paizo Inc. under license. Most product names are trademarks owned or used under license by the companies that publish those products; use of such names without mention of trademark status should not be construed as a challenge to such status.