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Nathonicus's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 98 posts. No reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 1 Pathfinder Society character.

Silver Crusade

Recently I've been inspired by some DMs I've seen use low CR monsters very effectively due to numbers and good tactics. The prime example being militarized hobgoblins using readied action to move and attack in formation, granting flanking bonuses and really hemming the party in.

I am about to have my the level party enter the Shudderwood, and want to use wolf packs in a way that reflects how wolfs actually hunt, and see if I can make a bunch of cr 1/2 critters really dangerous.

My thoughts are:

1. Tail the party: Wolves should be able to track them and attack when they are separated/unprepared. There will be a whole pack of wolves, 12-15, with an "alpha pair" that are advanced and have a single combat maneuver feat.

2. Separate the weak: If the wolves can pull off an ambush, they will charge and attempt bite/trips in the first round, targeting the smallest/ weakest looking characters. Should any be successful, in successive rounds wolves that are adjacent to a downed character will attempt to aid a Drag combat maneuver to pull the character away from the "herd".

If noone is tripped in the first round, they will surround a "weak" member of the party and use flanking and aid another to try and get trips or drags going.

One a character is separated, additional wolves that have delayed or readied will then step in to block the path and either fight defensively or take total defense to try and cover the retreat, as the remaining wolves try and drag off and kill the prey.

3. Morale: Being animals, they are out to hunt and will flee if getting the worst of it.


Would trying to grapple, then grapple/move in later turns be better than drag as far as gaining distance?

Even with good hunting tactics, are basic wolves likely to put much fear into a level 7 party? (ACs are 18-22 ish, CMD on the weakest member is around 15/16.)

Any other thoughts for cool hunting tactics?


Silver Crusade

Ok, so my 5 level 7 PCs are set to try and cross a large river soon, and lurking in the river are 3 scrags.

I could use some advice on the encounter, both in terms of tactics for the scrags and trying to make it more fun for the PCs.

1. Forewarning. They will likely have to rent/buy/steal a boat for the crossing. A nearby community can assist, with legends of the scrags. (Diplomacy to gather info.) Due to the hazards of the river, the community owns a Wand of Water Breathing. This could be be bought/stolen/ or simply the use of it could be paid for by party. Intense scanning of the river for hazards reveals much debris from recent storms, including whole trees, drifting in the river, and may reveal the presence of a scrag swimming with eyes above water to search for food (Perception vs. stealth + mods for distance, cover, etc.)

So with that forewarning, PCs who treat the river crossing as dangerous should at least have some preparation, and might even choose to delay crossing or better prepare.

2. The river. The river has an average width of 500', swim dc of 15, and a fair amount of debris moving with the current. (These either require a REF save if they move into your square for 1d6 bludgeoning, or can be mounted with an acrobatics roll to get out of the water and keep from drowning.) The scrags are hungry but smart, and will attack in the center, when shore is roughly 250' away. PCs who are watching the rear of the boat will have a chance to spot them swimming below the surface of the water.

3. Tactics. Here's where I can use the most help. The PCs will likely be in one or two small boats. I was thinking the scrags might start by striking the bottom of the boats to get them rocking, or even trying to tip them one way or the other. (Acrobatics checks to keep from sliding to the edge, or if at the edge, from falling in the River). Having them grab PCs and then try to drag them into the water seems like a fair way to have them attack - as it exposes them to AoO and also makes them sit out of the water for a round before they can try and move the character into the drink. Most of the time they won't be attacking in mass or with full attacks, as they are trying to come at the party from all sides and separate them.

4. Consequences. Anyone going for a swim may have a really tough time. Also, the scrags are going to try and split the party, taking PCs into the river to drown.

Is this too tough? They've fought trolls before, so know how tough they can be, so there should be no fooling around. My gut says it's a challenging encounter, but not too bad for a 7th Level Ninja/Witch/Fighter/Barbarian/Ranger unless they go in blindly or react foolishly. The scrags want to live, so will retreat if they get into the Danger Zone.

Your thoughts much appreciated.

Silver Crusade

Hi folks,

Despite it's apparent merits, I'll be replacing Wake of the Watcher with a bit of homebrew and the module the Harrowing. As the players have a long-standing feud with a group of Varisian circus performers, it will fit in nicely.

Are there any critical elements to the ongoing pursuit of the Whispering Way that I need to work in, or can I just put in clues in Feldgrau that lead to Caliphas to lead into Ashes at Dawn?

Most of the modules seem relatively unrelated in Carrion Crown, so I suspect it will work ok to replace it, but wanted to check for important stuff I might be missing.

Thanks for any help.

Silver Crusade

I'm working on an achievement system for my Carrion Crown campaign. I'm trying to bring a lot of atmosphere and depth to the setting, but I'm finding lately that my enthusiasm for creating evocative set pieces is getting drained by long combats where we spend more time looking up rules and describing the game mechanics of what a character does versus keeping it "in-game".

To encourage the players to be more evocative and help create the world (and also just to keep the mechanics rolling) I hit on the idea of creating a list of achievements which they could unlock for excellent role-playing or spot-on management of the mechanics.

Can you help me think of ways to encourage excellent play mechanically?
What about ways to keep the roleplaying going?
What would be good rewards for unlocking an achievement? I was thinking of just doing bonus xp, or potentially they could get a bonus themed to the achievement. Maybe I'll even do tokens that they could turn in to use.

Here are some examples, please let me know if you have ideas. Also curious as to what people thing appropriate rewards might be.


On the ball: Be ready to act at initiative step without delay for an entire combat.

In character: Speak In-Character for an entire combat or rp encounter

Evocative description: Preface a key attack, action or skill attempt with a flavorful description of how they are going about it that still makes it clear what is being attempted.

Rules mastery: Use the time other players are taking their turn to look up any relevant rules for an unusual circumstance or action that will occur on their turn. (i.e. Have the book open to acrobatics if they know they are going to tumble through an opponent, getting to the monster manual if they are summoning)

The masochist: Handle any environmental hazards, saving throws, etc. that negatively impact their character at start of turn without having to be asked.

Cartographer: Volunteer to map the party's progress

Loremaster: Volunteer to keep notes on the session for the party


To go beyond just handing out DM boons, I might also give each of the players a token that they can award each session to the other player who helped keep the action moving or who most amused them with their rp.

What do you guys think? My hope is to speed up the initiative order and also to get the players more involved in building atmosphere and the world.

What would make good rewards?

Silver Crusade

My group is about halfway through the trial, and pretty soon they will be on their way to the Schloss - which has me very worried.

Party composition is a little different than I am used to, currently:

Ranger 4/Inquisitor 1: Two weapon wields and carves things up
Scout4/Cleric 1: Melee-focused rogue
Cleric4/Rogue 1: Flanks with his travel domain and stabs with his sword
Fighter 5: Takes it on the chin for the party

So it's a very strange mix with a lot of low-level divine powers which came in very handy throughout the first module and with good melee damage. The things I am worried about are:

No arcane spellcasters
Diminished divine spellcasting from multiclassing
Diminished trapfinding from multiclassing

I am pretty sure that they will be able to beat the crap out of the monsters, but a few encounters I am really worry about, like the:

Air elemental trap which I am pretty sure will drop someone over the edge with no fly, featherfall, or similar to save them

and the

Erinyes trap which I am pretty sure they will trigger and have no way of fighting her except for trading arrow fire for a few rounds (which will favor the Erinyes heavily)

While I am worried, I don't want to fudge the module to make it easy on them - after all, this is the flipside for rolling through harrowstone with 3 of the 4 characters either channeling positive energy or disrupting undead. Do you think the module will be too tough without some dedicated spellcasters? Can they get by with a trip to the magic shop counting on Use Magic Device and some luck?

Are there other difficulties I have not foreseen that I could perhaps foreshadow, at least so they can buy some scrolls and potions?

I love atypical party compositions, and this one has been very effective so I don't want to modify the module for them, but I would like to be fair and give them some forewarning about things they might need.

Suggestions appreciated.

Silver Crusade

So I've been trying to source minis for the complete Carrion Crown path, and really couldn't find a good miniature to represent Grine, the Dark Creeper Alchemist disguised as a Gnome. So I decided to make one! Unfortunately, scale got away from me a little bit, but I think the overall result is good. I certainly learned alot (like how hard it is to keep a mini to "small" size.) So while not a complete failure, this one gets mostly chalked up to "learning experience" as this guy is definitely the tallest Gnome ever in existence! (Same size as a reg 28mm fig.)

Here he is:

My Grine mini in the Dakkadakka gallery

I welcome your feedback!

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