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Water Elemental

Mike Shel's page

Contributor. 233 posts. No reviews. 2 lists. No wishlists. 1 alias.


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Contributor

Thanks to all you GMs last night! You did an awesome job. Same for the indefatigable semaphore corps that was the HQ staff. And thanks to Kreighton Shaine himself. You are a fine elf, sir!

Contributor

Glen Shackleton wrote:
Mike you did an awesome job. I love your work in general but this special looks like its going to be awesome. Love the part 5 twist.

Thanks for the praise, but understand that John Compton's fingerprints are all over this thing. The part 5 twist was in the assignment outline, so I can't claim credit for the concept. I love it, too!

Mark Garringer also deserves some glory for his help in brainstorming and planning. He will be serving as the overseer for the special at GenCon, only five days away! I'll be wandering around observing the mayhem and helping out if I can.

With that said, I'm going to refrain from chirping in on any specific mechanical issues from now on to avoid confusion. John and Mike Brock have the final word on such matters.

See you all at GenCon!

Contributor

I'm not sure if John, Mike, and others on the PFS team have something they're going to do where the aid tokens are concerned. However, I'd recommend that GMs have a bullet-pointed player handout for their tables that lists the parameters and possible uses of the tokens for easy reference.

Also, the compass of the map of the Grand Cathedral should be pointed to the right had side of the page (it now faces what should be west).

Looking forward to seeing you guys bring this to life only five days from now!

Contributor

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Echuir wrote:
Has the update for 6-00 Legacy of the Stone Lords been completed?

Will hitting the refresh button on my browser every three minutes speed the process at all?

No?

OK, I'll be patient.

...

...

...

hits refresh

Contributor

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Mizkitty wrote:
So is the June 27 version the final version or is it still the play test version? Kinda cuttin it close if its not the final.

No, the final version hasn't been distributed yet.

But fear not! John and dozens of his whiskey swigging quasit minions are feverishly working on the final version of the scenario as we speak.

Note: Truth be told, it's only two quasits, and one of them does nothing but peel John's grapes.

Contributor

I have discovered the "internet." It's nothing special yet, and may never be, but I've created a Facebook page for those who might be interested. With enough "likes" I get a free set of steak knives.

Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Sissyl wrote:

Seconded Mud Sorcerer's Tomb, the Sinister Spire.

I really can't agree with Tomb of Horrors, though. It is rather incomprehensible why people think it is such a great adventure.

I must confess that MST is actually an adventure in homage to the Tomb of Horrors...

Contributor

TriOmegaZero wrote:

The reviewer also shows some deficiency in knowledge of PFS rules as this scenario is unlikely to be a players first organized play experience as the minimum level is 3.

Mike, loved this scenario, creeps out my players every time. :)

Thanks, though I can't take all the creepy credit. I sent in my turnover, which I thought was pretty creepy, but then it got...

Daigle-fied.

Contributor

justmebd wrote:

I happened to see Mike's name as I scrolled through the Messageboard, and now I've caught up on everything.

Having not read the scenario, I can't YET offer a good review of it. However, based on this, I will be getting it just to put a review up.

You deserve better than this, Mike.

Thanks, but I'm not special — everyone on the boards deserves better. No one likes a negative critique, but it helps if the poster puts a bit of thought into it. Smug calls for punting my pudenda might give someone a chuckle, but it doesn't illuminate. Unfavorable commentary is useful if it gives some quantifiable reasons for the dissatisfaction.

This particular scenario produced some strong reactions and those reactions have had an impact on my design work. For instance, I now work harder to make the backstory discoverable for players in situ. If you're unhappy with a scenario, by all means, let Paizo and the author know, but doing so in an insulting manner is counterproductive. Deliberately cruel language may seem clever or edgy, but it just gets you marked as a creep.

Contributor

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Dear evdjj3j:

Thank you so much for your thoughtful and cogent review of this scenario. I was especially charmed by your call for the brutalization of my testicles. I think I speak for many scenario authors when I say that it's this kind of insightful critique of one's work that makes all the time and labor that goes into producing PFS scenarios and other Pathfinder products worthwhile. Should you deign to participate in any other material I have written, I hope you will provide more of your adroit and penetrating commentary.

On the off chance that you are under the age of 13 — chronologically or emotionally — let me make a recommendation: while the internet provides a level of anonimity and therefore offers opportunities to ignore basic rules of courtesy, try to refrain from coarse insults. It tends to mark one as a troll and results in others making an uncharitable assessment of the poster. Indeed, some may make comparisons of the poster to specific parts of the anatomy.

Sincerely,

- Mike Shel

Contributor

Nullpunkt wrote:

...

So I've tried to let them know the hard way that they are getting in over their head by exploring the mansion just now. They are also aware of the fact that they are actively working against the express wishes of the local authority.

I'm afraid we are walking down a slippery slope here with torches and pitchforks or a gravestone engraved with "TPK" at the end.

Any advice how I could steer them away from the mansion and towards the kobolds' lair?

It sounds like you've done about as much as you can do to steer the PCs away from disaster, but they're apparently not a very wise bunch. There's only so much you can do to encourage players to avoid total failure. Frankly, I'd let things play out as they would, given the circumstances. Let the party proceed as they wish, with the subsequent torches and pitchforks. It may be the only way they learn that subtlety, diplomacy and cooperation are tools of the trade as well.

Alternately, you could have the local constables (the more competent Gergis leading them with Lezara Dodgion along for good measure) discover the party's skulking, have them hauled up before the baroness and have her read them the riot act: come clean and do these tasks for me or sit in our lovely jail.

Contributor

cartmanbeck wrote:


I actually got to write up the Ammut as my very first Paizo submission, and I'm really eager to see how the final version turned out. :-D

It's very cool, as is the artwork. Nicely done!

Contributor

4 people marked this as a favorite.
brad2411 wrote:
Awesome now I kinda want us to lose

I have done my best to see that that happens. ; )

Contributor

LordNull wrote:
Can anyone list what new monsters on in this volume? Thanks

Spoiler:

Ammut (outsider)
Mummy Lord (Template)
Neshmaal (outsider)
Set Guardian (construct)
Shabti (outsider)

Contributor

2 people marked this as a favorite.

This is officially my favorite thread of all time.

Contributor

Thrawn007 wrote:
I have one question for GenCon Prep. I have ordered every map from the PaizoCon version of this module. I'm hoping that whatever the surprise encounter is, will be contained to one of the maps already used. If not, can you tell us what map it is, so I have time to order and ship before the con?

You won't need any additional map packs than those found in the PaizoCon version of the scenario. I'd strongly encourage GenCon GMs who can afford it to have those map packs ready for use to speed up the game and pre-draw what custom maps you can (the Brothers' Arches, for instance).

Contributor

Zandari wrote:

A few other minor questions:

F1. Demonic Greeting - Subtier 3-4 (CR 5). The text says Dretch Demons (plural), but does not specify a number. One CR 2 Dretch plus two CR 2 CW Servants give us an encounter CR of 5. Is that logic correct and there should be only a single Dretch?

F2. The Clockwork Portal - Subtier 7-8 (CR 9). The text says a single CW Mage, but below that it says "hp 102 each", indicating multiples. The CW Mages are CR 6 each, so it seems there should be 3 of these to get to an encounter CR of 9. Should there be three?

G. The Host of Yealek-Vor - Subtier 7-8 (CR 10). The text says Nabasu Demons (plural) but does not specify a number. Should this be singular? Two CR 6s makes the CW Soldiers an 8, added to the CR 8 Nabasu makes a total encounter CR of 10, right?

Understand that the version of the PDF you have now is the playtest version used at PaizoCon, not the one for GenCon. Corrections will be made and the aforementioned twist will add substantial content to the adventure. I'm not sure what John's release date is for the GenCon version, but it's probably 2-3 weeks out.

Contributor

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Mike Shel wrote:


But, O me Brothers & Sisters, I'm getting more and more excited about the twist: I think it'll both surprise and delight players and GMs alike.

And rumor has it that the real Kreighton Shaine will be present at GenCon for the event...

Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.
TOZ wrote:
GM Lamplighter wrote:
Like TOZ said, I have no idea what my party could have done after the throne room...

I'm not saying it's going to be aliens...but I imagine a spaceship crashing into Jormurden and aliens attacking. ;)

John is very aware of the resource challenge and we have already bandied about some ideas re: this. The journey through Jormurdun will need to get tightened up some.

But, O me Brothers & Sisters, I'm getting more and more excited about the twist: I think it'll both surprise and delight players and GMs alike.

Contributor

3 people marked this as a favorite.
TOZ wrote:
*curls into a ball, rocking softly*

That 5th star comes at a cost...muhuhahahaha

Contributor

I'm very much looking forward to details re: the playtesting of the special on Friday night. Come on, guys! Spill the beans! Success? Fun? Wondering about the twist come GenCon?

Contributor

Dorothy Lindman wrote:

On the throneroom map, what's the rise between each "step"?

There are stairs to each layer, so I'm guessing it's probably 10 feet, but it could easily be higher. (The side view doesn't have any scale on it, and it's not the same size as the top view so...not assuming anything.)

I'd like to get it clarified because we have several leaping characters in our area (blame Tony for that one)...

Five feet.

Contributor

Lady Ophelia wrote:

DO NOT READ THIS THREAD UNLESS YOU PLAN TO GM THE ADVENTURE!

I REPEAT THIS THREAD HAS EPIC SPOILERS! DO NOT READ!!!

Ok, now that we got that out of the way, place questions and awesome cheat sheets to help out below!

** spoiler omitted **

Spoiler:
Yes, if you had to draw the entire map of some encounters you would be right to damn me. However, I had conceived of players viewing the full map of the Grand Cathedral and selecting where they would be positioned for the briefing (and therefore the subsequent combat encounters, which are actually influenced by PC location); the PCs also choose their location in the Throne Room. The GM would then draw only that area of the map for players. I haven't had a chance to read over John's developed text yet, but I'm assuming he retained this notion. Unless, of course, he wanted me to be lynched by a gang of angry GMs.
Contributor

8 people marked this as a favorite.
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
Paladin of Baha-who? wrote:
That might be what Iron gods turns out to be.
Maybe, but I'm pretty sure the theme of Iron Gods will be more Robots than Aliens.

You just keep telling yourself that.

Looks again at turnover manuscript. Caresses it. Smiles knowingly.

Contributor

5 people marked this as a favorite.

Alright, who came up with "The Chapel of Rent Flesh," huh? Give that man or woman a raise...and keep them under close observation...

Contributor

GenCon just released the exhibit hall map and it appears WotC don't have a booth. Was this the plan all along? What's up?

Contributor

How is it that the beholder and mind flayer were excluded from the OGL, though dozens of other monsters created specifically for D&D (that is, not orcs or goblins, etc) were not?

Contributor

As cool as this would be, chavamana's right. None of the maps were designed with a 32x24 map grid in mind. The monastery complex, for instance, is pretty sprawling.

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

7 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

10 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

4 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...

; )

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