My group is almost done with the first module in this series. it's been a LOT of fun to play so far. Although, given that half the group decided to take advantage of the recent release of the advanced races guide they make for one weird looking group of press ganged sailors.
that aside, they've learned harsh lessons about having balanced characters - pure combat skills are important but they've had to learn the value of skills they normally wouldn't consider key. things like perform, heal, profession: sailor, and swim. they've learned to count ammo and to think in THREE dimensions during combat (yes Virgina you CAN fight in the rigging!) Bluff is proving to be extremely useful as well as diplomacy and intimidate. its been something of a learning experience for my players but...they've adapted well and everyone is really enjoying themselves.
next up is the grindylows cave and the mutiny afterwards. we shall see what they do if/when they rid themselves of master scourge and mister plug. he's lashed every one of 'em at least once and the gunslinger has been slammed a couple times for being impertinent. so I suspect some bad things are gonna happen to those two should they survive the mutiny.
maybe Wish or Limited Wish could temporarily remove (or maybe shift and/or trade off) the daylight vulnerability?
alternatively, a vampire necromancer could create simulacrums of him/herself (or someone who looks close enough) and then just magic jar them. pop their actual body somewhere safe, maybe stuffed inside a portable hole or something and just wander around in the daylight without any of their vampire weaknesses or powers.
Also you will have plenty of time in game to be making potions and other knickknacks that an Alchemist should be crafting.
the necromancer in my group spent most of her down time on kingdom turns scribing scrolls. LOTS of scrolls. at current time, she's got her entire spell book duplicated so many times in scroll form that we've all lost track of just how many scrolls she's made.
Kingmaker is one of the few campaigns where item creation feats are a must. It doesn't even matter what it is you're creating...alchemy, enchanting arms/armor, brew potions...spend a year of kingdom turns brewing potions, scribing scrolls, and crafting/enchanting magic items and you'll be set for several levels.
Diego Rossi wrote:
And that right there is the problem. I like the idea of my players forming a witch coven. thematically, it works in all kinds of ways. I just see two obstacles - the RAW seem to indicated that a coven needs an actual hag in order for the coven to work and secondly that the coven powers are way over powered for lower level covens.
i'm not sure how to address those questions yet.
see, I think I'd like to see a witch coven in action player characters, but I really don't like the idea that they NEED an NPC monster in order for it to work. that seems like a wasted hex, and rather limiting thematically speaking (c'mon! witch covens rock! and it's awesome for players to make a party of witches and go do witchy things).
ok, so lets venture into territory that's different from RAW. perhaps the coven can still be formed however...they don't get ALL the hag coven abilities unless they've got an actual hag into the coven. they 'only' get the hex ability as listed in the description - a caster level boost. that's actually not a bad balance, least when I think about it.
apologies if this has been covered before (my searches didn't return anything directly on point) but I've got a couple players considering playing a coven of witches for skull and shackles. so here goes:
Coven (Ex): The witch counts as a hag for the purpose of joining a hag’s coven. The coven must contain at least one hag. In addition, whenever the witch with this hex is within 30 feet of another witch with this hex, she can use the aid another action to grant a +1 bonus to the other witch’s caster level for 1 round. This bonus applies to the witch’s spells and all of her hexes.
1. does the coven need an actual hag to form the coven, or does it just need more than one witch who has the coven hex in order for this to work? the wording is a bit vague. plus, I highly doubt the usefulness of a hex that requires a player group to somehow attract and keep the services of an NPC monster.
2. assuming the coven doesn't need an actual hag to form said coven, does the coven gain the actual 'hag coven' spells and abilities or do they just get the bonuses listed in the coven hex? those powers of a hag coven are pretty hard core. seems a bit much to give a low ranking level 2 or 3 coven of witches a massive power boost like that.
thanks in advance for any advice/suggestions!
I just downloaded my PDF copy of adventure #2 for this AP and skimmed it early this morning. I am very impressed with what i've seen so far, and I've got every reason to believe this story arc is only going to get better as it moves forward.
i'm finishing off kingmaker this month with my group (we've got about...4 sessions left I think) and then we're taking a short break and firing up the pirates. I am already pondering other ships and crews for the party to plunder!
Meh, I can't see myself playing evil Adventure Paths nor being interested in playing such if some come out. Evil isn't a joke (and it's definitely not pretty, as one Infernal Duke's portfolio goes to show), and it isn't something I'd have fun playing, unless my targets are all a-hole victims who deserved all the misery my character brought to them. Playing the nice guy usually just feels better, and I prefer playing a villain who changes to good rather than a good guy changing to evil...or just an outright evil guy.
you know, don't take this the wrong way but...I think you've got the wrong view of 'evil'. consider this for moment - nobody in the real world gets up in the morning and says to themselves 'today i'm going to be oogidie boogide all together EVIL', then cackles madly and heads off to be mean to puppies and kick nuns in the shins.
ok, well maybe Microsoft does that, but nobody else does.
look, 'evil' isn't about being mean and nasty to people. I can be like that but it isn't always the single defining characteristic of 'evil' campaigns. i'll use my kingmaker game as an example - my players are all completely corrupt and vile. the nice guy is the CN ranger but even he occasionally deals with demons. know why their kingdom works? Because they don't see themselves as 'evil'. they see themselves as smart people who sometimes have to do questionable things in order to protect their kingdom from bandits, spell casting liches and invading armies. they keep taxes low, build infrastructure, and throw hugely popular parties for their loyal subjects...and their people love them for it. But along the way, they've made deals with devils, used demons as spies, unleashed daemons to devour the souls of their enemies. they've spread plague, dealt drugs, sold people into slavery, raped, looted, and pillaged. But in their eyes, all of that was for the greater good. each and every low down vile act was literally for the benefit of their kingdom...and they don't see themselves as 'evil'.
I guess what i'm saying is that 'evil' isn't always an objective standard. even the real world you see examples of otherwise good people/organizations doing horribly bad things to achieve a greater good. sometimes it even works. so in our fantasy world, you could take a page from reality and instead of seeing the bad guys as one dimensional cardboard cutouts of 'evil', try to understand the motivations behind 'evil' acts. is someone dealing with demons because they're just lazy...or are they desperate to fight off cheliax infiltrators and feel they've no other choice but to turn to the enemies of Hell for help? maybe they've become grave robbing necromancers because they're trying to find a cure for a family member who's infected with vampirism. there's all sorts of reasons why someone might become 'evil' but did so for the 'right' reasons. And maybe sometimes out of those horribly evil acts...some good is the result.
something to consider anyways.
James Jacobs wrote:
You could run a Skull & Shackles game with evil PCs with pretty much NO changes to the adventures. As long as the PCs are motivated by a desire for more money and more power and want to be pirates, that is...
after wallowing in evil for most of Kingmaker, I think my players are gonna go good aligned for skull and shackles...
yeah, no kidding. i'm running Kingmaker right now and the party has built a mostly evil society. no destructive inter-party conflicts to speak of (although there have been disagreements). In fact, the sorcerer, blight druid and plucky girl necromancer are about to complete their decades long preparations for lichdom.
so yes, you CAN run a standard AP as 'evil'. it just takes a bit more prep work and a slightly different way of looking at the encounters. the players in my game stopped looking at undead as an obstacle, and started using them as resources. that required quite a bit of change in some encounters, lemme tell ya.
old drake brings up an interesting point - modify the start of the AP. when I started this series, I modified the ending. the players were each scions of a noble family from Restov, but they were the 'black sheep' of the line. they'd each done something to earn themselves exile...but politically speaking, they couldn't be FORMALLY exiled. so they each got themselves a nice letter informing them that they were now given land grants in the Stolen Lands, given a bit of money and told to write their parents from time to time.
in brief - the group consists of the twincest wondertwins (infernal bloodline sorcerer and blight druid), a wizard necromancer with a clinical interest in cannibalism and a ranger who is the last living descendant of the vanished king of Brevoy.
the result was a very cohesive group of evil characters who have ended up doing the right things for their kingdom for all the WRONG reasons. it's made for a much more involved campaign, with the players being personally invested in developing their own storylines and side interests (the necromancer building her fleshwarping vats, for example). A bit of a kick at the start of the game went a long way towards really making my players invested in the game. their long term goal is STILL to eventually build a kingdom/empire strong enough to smash its way into Brevoy and seize the throne of their homeland.
once players get above lvl 7, the item creation feats REALLY start to hit their stride. scrolls, potions, forging rings, custom magic items...you name it. you know your players best, so you should have an idea of what they'll go for, just be aware that once they start building/developing cities you aren't playing a 'standard' game anymore...it's like with Rogue Trader from FFG - it's a game of SCALE and not pure number crunching. so plan accordingly.
i'm gonna stick with the theory that the Eye was the result of the 'super magical shockwave' that resonated around the world when Aroden died. given that theory, almost anything could be at the center of that storm. the storm itself could even be some kind of super massive elemental being that was brought into existence the moment Aroden kicked the bucket.
incidentally...the idea that Aroden died to break the bonds of prophecy is something that's been kicking around the back of my head since Kingmaker came out. lets just say that some of the details of the last adventure in that series give one some rather interesting insights about the state of prophecy in the pathfinder setting.
i'm leaning more and more towards the theory that Aroden's death rattled the whole box of chocolates. so there must have been something previously existing in the area that got it's cork popped but good and whatever the hell THAT was formed the Eye of Abendego.
here's another thought...maybe the Eye is sentient. think about it. if it was formed via magical shockwave and its been around for over 100 years then maybe whatever is causing the storm could have given the storm itself some level of self awareness.
i'm not saying that the giant permanent hurricane is out there writing war and peace while solving 5th order quadratic equations...but it might have an order of intelligence all its own. possibly even thinking on a much vaster scale than mere mortals can imagine. if we're going to go with the theory of 'magical shockwave weakens dimensional barriers' then maybe the storm is actually some sort of elemental being from the fringe zones of the elemental plane of air. it's tied to that area because the dimensional barriers are weakest there and it's 'stuck'.
hmm...ok, so lets assume for the moment that Aroden's death was indirectly responsible for the Eye forming. Aroden dies and it sets off a sort of super magical 'shock wave' across Golarion. Prophecy is all mucked up, dimensional balance is knocked off kilter...and the Eye is formed.
that begs the question of just what it was that keeps the Eye in place? I think something in the center of the storm keeps it anchored there. maybe a planar gate? if we assume Aroden's death triggered a series of magical events across the planet (which seems to be the case) then there must have been something in that particular area that was knocked around by the Aroden death shock wave thingie and the Eye was the result.
if its a gate to somewhere...maybe its a gate to an elemental plane (water or air most likely)? or maybe it's just a rip in dimensions...not set in one particular place, but several realities overlapping on top of one another. THAT'd be a mess.
personally, I like the adventure paths and the map folios. awesome products. I like the players companions mostly because I like the focus on one particular subject...but you might consider campaign setting books if you want a broader overview of the setting.
Inner sea magic was pretty nifty. I'd have preferred a bit more of an expansion on some of the types of magic...but I can extrapolate what I need for my campaign based on what they've given out in that book.
again - adventure paths! even if you don't play through the AP, the setting materials alone are worth the expense.
just my .02 cents.
hmm...reavers could be a template. i'm not sure how i'd go about making one for 'em but you could probably just borrow something close to what fits your ideal 'reaver' and adjust as necessary.
I like the idea of using the old 'exploding pearl of madness/insanity' from Savage Tide. that was an awesome adventure path...damn shame it'll never get reprinted (damn you WoTC! *shakes tiny fist*).
James Jacobs wrote:
now you have me wondering what ELSE happened/was happening at the time Aroden died. the setting book(s) certianly imply rather heavily that the Eye was formed as a direct result of the death of Aroden...but then again, that's implication only. perhaps intentinally so? metagaming aside, that opens up a few possiblities. such as...maybe someone/something wanted people to believe that the formation of the Eye was somehow related to Aroden's death.
Or the Eye could have just been a massive side effect. that still leaves open the question of why THAT particular side effect in THAT particular place...
hmm. I shall continue to ponder this awhile. what the hell...i'm stuck here at work 'till midnight and don't have anything else to do anyways.
Nix Tharel wrote:
that's all well and good...but if you'll note, I didn't ask what killed Aroden. I asked why the Eye of Abendego formed at the exact moment Aroden died. the question of what killed Aroden isn't necessarily tangental to the reasons the Eye formed in the first place.
what IS relevent is that the Eye seems to have some sort of link to Aroden. But *why* does it have a link to Aroden? it's not like the center of that spot of ocean was previously linked to Aroden after all. what makes THAT particular spot of Golarion so special?
with the new AP Skull and Shackles coming out, i've been reading up on the places near where the AP will presumably take place. And one of the most striking features of that area of the world is, of course, the Eye of Abendego.
what I think I know about the Eye - it formed at the same time Aroden died. it's a permanent storm. nobody's been to the center of the storm, or if they have they kept quiet about it. there's rumors of at least one ship found floating out of the Eye intact but missing it's crew, and the ship being relatively pristine despite being almost a century old.
*why* did the Eye form? was something in that area intimately connected to Aroden? or was Aroden himself in that area when he died? If the Eye formed when Aroden died, maybe it formed around the place where he died as well...if so, could the Eye be protecting Aroden's corpse?
what was in the center of the Eye before that storm kicked off? What was known about the history of that place prior to Aroden's death?
somehow and for some reason, the Eye is connected to Aroden. either he died there or something intimately connected to him is at the center of the storm, with the storm forming a barrier around it once Aroden died. possible temporal anomolies could be at the center of the Eye, perhaps the center of the storm is a portal to a demi-plane. it seems unlikely that there is any active intelligence behind the Eye of Abendego, which rules out any sort of conspiracy or plot...meaning that if someone could penetrate into the center of that storm, they could plunder its' treasures without consequences (or less consequnces than would be the norm anyways).
thoughts? comments? suggestions?
James Jacobs wrote:
for Kingmaker, I left it up to my players which alignment(s) they wanted to play. my only stipulation was that they HAD to be able to work together.
they've built a mostly functional society based on using undead labor to build roads, cut wood and fight their battles. Pitax and Brevoy *hate* them and Mivon is mostly 'meh'. that aside, it's been interesting seeing evil characters go and do the right things for all the wrong reasons.
As I understand it, star mountain is BIG! like...giganticly over the top stupidly large machine kinda big.
well...ok. that's all good. big shiny place for foolish players to go muck about with. But...what if star mountain wasn't the ONLY ship to come crashing down? what if bits of it broke off as it arced across the sky, and those bits embedded themselves along the flight path of the ship as it came crashing down? it might be reasonable to assume that some of those bits were 'merely' the size of say...a modern day cruiser or perhaps skyscraper. and you could drop something like that almost anywhere in the world, long buried and deactivated/dormant until [insert cause here] wakes it up.
just a thought anyways.
And while i'm thinking/pondering, I have a suggestion. lots of good ideas in this thread for incorporating old stuff/modules from previons editions of our beloved incarnations of D&D into Numeria campaigns. but...that's approaching the subject from the perspective of 'sci inserted into fantasy'. lets flip that around a moment and go from 'fantasy got into my sci fi'. A potential for all KINDS of fun would be to see some of the technology from say...Eclipse Phase getting into Pathfinder. Transhuman modification and immortality (not to mention custom morph designs), nanofabrication tech, sythmorphs, portable computer that store data on a nano scale and are very durable. do some reading on the Eclipse Phase forums and ponder the big bads from that universe getting lost and ending up on Golarion. interesting stuff indeed...
I think i'm going to go with 'guns are rare but not out of reach' approach. if they eventually want to put cannon on board their ship(s) then they'll be able to do it...it will just be expensive.
to be honest, if they pick up enough spell caster types then cannons become an expensive luxury.
which implies that either the Aboleth were somehow blind enough to miss a HUGE FREAKING ENERGY SOURCE they called down to smash Azlant (quite a miscalculation from a species known for their mastery of magic) or that somehow the starstone hid its powers from Aboleth scans and let them pull it out of the sky. that also further assumes that the starstone merely saw the Aboleth's call as simply the most efficient means to touch down on Golarion...the fact that it ended up destroying the crap out of Azlant and kicking off a thousand year life murdering storm of ash was somehow acceptable to the godrock.
i'm still not sure i'd trust the starstone any further than I could throw the chapel its house in these days. the godrock seems to have an agenda, it definately thinks on a time scale almost incomprehensible to mere mortals and it's a source of unspeakable power. AMORAL power. it's elevated evil gods as well as good aligned ones. if you passed the test of the starstone and you wanted to become the god of He-Who-Talks-Loudly-On-His-Cell-Phone-During-Movies then the godrock would be just spiffy with that and zap you into divinity.
well...if you want to just run with the idea that 1. the starstone is alien and 2. it's got an agenda then I think you're on firm ground no matter where you take it.
as to point the first - sure. assuming the undead in question retains its intelligence, then there's not reason it couldn't work a forge, hammer metal, or scribe the occasional scroll of poetry. odds are that the transition from life to undeath is going to warp the perceptions and worldview of the now undead craftsman tho, so that might affect their creative process in strange ways. paintings would take on a darker tone, poetry would be perverse and twisted, jewlery would have a subtle taint/twist to it. so buyer beware.
point the second - again, sure thing...but you still have to stop and rest/recover spells. even the undead have their limitations. undead spell casters don't sleep...but they DO have to rest in order to regain spells. and spells is what fuels their magic item creation feats. additionally, it is likely that once again their undead state is going to color their creative process in odd ways. potions brewed by an undead horror would likely taste strange. wands would be carved from disturbing substances. scrolls penned in blood on sheets of vellum made from human skin. magic swords quenched in the blood of living victims. things of that nature. functional, but unpleasant to use.
we're finishing up Kingmaker soon-ish (they just started war of the rivre kingdoms), and i've put forward the idea of running Skull & Shackles as our next story.
I'm a subscriber, so I have my PDF copy and reviewed it. I like what I see so far, and it looks like a pretty darn nifty concept. coming right from Kingmaker, this AP looks like it might have a similar 'sandbox' style approach as it moves forward.
party breakdown at this point is probably going to be something like this:
i'm thinking so far that everyone's character concepts would fit the theme (more or less) so no problems there. that said - I suspect that guns will be something the gunslinger will want to see more of as the AP progresses. it's too early to tell yet just how big an impact firearms might have in this AP...but I suspect that most ships aren't running around fielding 12 lb brass napolean cannons and that guns in general are fairly rare.
we probably won't start for a bit yet tho, they've got a war in the River kingdoms to finish and several secrets yet to uncover. probably won't get started on this AP until the 2nd module hits shelves. can't wait to get started!
here's what I think I know about the starstone:
1. the Test is mysterious and highly personal.
1. the starstone has an agenda.
there's a lot of unknowns regarding that god rock. given a choice between lichdom and taking the Test of the Starstone, I think I'd go with lichdom. at least you know what you're dealing with...I just don't trust anything connected to the aboleth.
oh dear, don't get me started on planar binding. luckily for me the necromancer hasn't figure out yet the implications of her grabbing the Eye of Abbadon off Vordaki the lich. she grafted it to her head and has the ability to summon/bind daemons once a week. instead of wreaking all KINDS of havoc with that power, she's mostly stuck to just using the scrying power to spy on neighboring kingdoms.
incidentally, specialist wizards get frighteningly nasty past level 10. the party necromancer has maxed out feats to let her summon/control/buff her massive horde of undead. But lets be honest here - any specialist wizard is going to be fairly tough once they hit double digits.
that's...inventive! And very strange.
I can't entirely blame my players for weirdness tho. i've thrown many a GM for a loop with my tactics. like...my celestial bloodline sorcerer getting into an aerial dogfight with a green dragon (and winning!). taking down a horde of charging bugbears with poison toads. Catching a red dragon monologuing...and hitting him with a decanter of endless water on geyser mode....then there was the time when I zapped an elder blue dragon with feeblemind AND magic jar, and beat his spell resistance AND he flubbed both saving throws. Oh the joy I had that day with my brand new edgar suit!
sadly, I rarely get the chance to play anymore. I mostly run games for our group.
Hal Maclean wrote:
not to mention the fact that it makes for one icky campaign arc. A nasty Qlippoth critter accidentally gets summoned by a bunch of confused worshippers of the Great Old Ones (hey, tentacle rapey monsters all tend to look the same to insane cultists), it ends up eating half the cult and impregnating the other half. the players get involved when they find a cultist (male or female, dealer's choice) exploded in an alleyway somewhere, and the mewling Qlippoth tiefling spawn sitting nearby....do they kill it with fire? pack it off to an orphanage? track down the other cultists and help? the cultists themselves might consider it a great honor to be host to a tentacle rape baby and fight to protect their 'child'. either way, the locals probably won't like anything about this situation, and will freak out quite a bit.
something to think about anyways. anywho, I love this book! so many possiblities!
it's totally worth getting the subscription tho. I usually snarf up PDF files like this and put 'em on my iPad. then let the gamer group see the new book next game session and ponder character ideas for later.
I'm not sure what flesh-warping is, but if it works on the original creature type, it should work on simulacrums as well. They are copies of the creature, but the copies can be affected by other things as well. A similacrum of a human can be turned to stone with flesh to stone for example.
fleshwarping was described in 'inner sea magic'. essentially you dunk some poor schlub in a vat of chemicals, chant some magic at 'em and (assuming they survive) they come out of it stronger in one area and much weaker in two other areas. plus - you can give them mutations and/or special abilities and attacks. it'll work on any corporeal creature (including undead), but if the 'subject' dies during the procedure then it's a wash.
assuming your simulacrum survives the chem bath, I can't see why fleshwarping wouldn't work on 'em. now, as to why you'd even want to flesh warp a simulacrum in the first place, I can't answer. But this is something I can see at least one member of my player group wanting to try...because I have weird players who like doing bizarre things to my campaign.
my players *already* built themselves a massive horde of zombies as their main army, then 'camped' them around a city/outpost they built to help control the roads between Fort Drelev and the village of Tazelford. they haven't started the war of the river kingdoms yet (the rushlight tournament is about to start), but when it does...watch out!
All that aside, spells like Simulacrum can be used in so many underhanded ways I can't even list them all...distractions, diplomatic incidents, spying, controlling organizations from within, using them to help coordinate armed forces and/or ruling a far flung empire (put simulacrums of yourself as advisors in every city you conquer and have them help to make sure your kingdom is run EXACTLY as you want it!).
to tell the truth, the idea of having simulacrums crafting magic items never even occured to me. doing so would seem a waste of the potential inherent to the results of the spell. Incidentally, I wonder if you could fleshwarp a simulacrum? that's got a few interesting permutations...
I've skimmed my PDF copy of this book and I *like* it!
I particularly look forward to giving my players expanded options on Tiefling characters. one note though - the Quillipoth horrors might not even understand/recognize (or care!) that humanity has two genders. Given that those things violate reality as much as they violate their victims...its possible that they might 'infect' male OR female victims as hosts for their tiefling spawn.
just a little something to give your players a bit more squick factor when considering potential storylines/backgrounds for your newly minted squid horror child.
i'm nearing the end of Kingmaker and my players have decided that they *really* want to have their centaur cavalry armed with muskets (in addition to sabers as is the usual). so they're spending a LOT of funding to bring in experts to manufacture guns, build an infrastructure, equip and train their people in the use of guns and eventually learn how to make their own.
Depending on how many kingdom turns they spend pushing this developement it might get done before the end of Kingmaker #5. should be interesting.
And to think I was worried about the abuses when one of the wizards in our Kingmaker AP picked up 'limited wish'. pondering the uses of simulacrum with regards to ruling a kingdom just opens up all kinds of interesting things for an enterprising/evil ruler. Kidnap key figures, replace them with simulacrums and BAM! you instantly control say...the underworld. or spy on other kingdoms. Or start conflicts within other countries. there are many copies....and so many many ways to abuse 'em!
I had the exact opposite problem with Kingmaker - magic heavy group (druid, sorcerer, specialist mage and a ranger). no tank or heavy/dedicated melee specialist type.
I think you could run anything without being 'magic heavy'. just let your group run with whatever they want, and adjust healing potions and the like with whatever treasure they find along the way. granted...spellcasters help a lot, but players can find work arounds for almost anything.