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Bombs unfortunately are Standard actions, not attack actions. Therefore, no vital strike. While it does say that bombs can be effected by feats that affect weapons (Weapon Focus, PB shot, etc.), it follows nearly the same wording as casting a spell. Just because you attack with a spell or bomb doesn't make it an attack action, which is what vital strike needs.
I find Chime of Opening to now be pretty worthless. It requires a CL check to open most locks (at CL 11), meaning that this awesome, 3,000 gp magic item is foiled by a 150gp superior lock. I mean, it's magic and should be able to override mundane items, but DC 40 will never be reached. Its sort of a reflection of how worthless the spell Knock has become.
Dude, way to make a vampire that actually behaves and fights like a vampire out of mythology! I'm totally stealing these guys for the basement portion. My biggest problem with vampires is that I have never (over the course of at least 6 modules) successfully drank someone's blood in combat (at least not in 3.5); the mechanics have always made it too difficult. This solves that. You're awesome!
A good stat block, one I may end up using. I already used Florian's stats in a different vampire battle, and found that he definitely needed to be able to affect his undead allies to be effective.
I just noticed that there is a significant disparity in the treasure output of the module's vampires versus the bestiary ones (29K). I thought that your vampire might be a little under-treasured, but compared to the ones in the module, he's spot on.
Well, if you look at the treasure output that the sample vampire in the Bestiary has, their gear is actually right on par gp-wise. I believe the vampire there has a Headband of Charisma +4 (16,000), a Cloak of Resistance +2(4,000), and a ring of protection +2 (9,000). The vampires above actually have less than 29,000 a piece, which is what your PCs would be getting three times with the Bestiary vampires.
Alright, here's three more I'm using as sub ins so my world isn't flooded with identical sorcerers, fighters, and charmed guards.For the first one, I realized I needed something to interact with customers during daylight hours, especially one with the ability to make suspicious customers forget what they've seen while also not feeding off the main food source that the vampires consume. Since Ludvick's traditional minded court probably has a suspicious attitude of foreigners, exotic vampires would probably find a place with the leader of the traitors rather than Ludvick.
Male and Female human vetala ninja 8
LE Medium Undead (augmented humanoid, human)
Init +10; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception+23
AC 25, touch 16, flat 19 (+6 dex, +4 natural, +5 shield)
hp 84 (8d8+48); fast healing 5
Fort +10, Ref +14, Will +6
Defensive Abilitieschannel resistance +4, improved uncanny dodge; DR 10/ magic and good; Immune undead traits; Resist electricity 10, fire 10
Weaknesses vetala weaknesses
Speed 30 ft.
Melee 2 claws +10 (1d6+4 plus paralysis)
Ranged +1 shuriken +14/+9 (1d2+5)
or +1 shuriken +12/+12/+7 (1d2+5)
Special Attacks drain prana, malevolence (DC 18), paralysis (1d4+1 rds, DC 20), possess corpse, sneak attack +4d6
Str 18, Dex 22, Con --, Int 14, Wis 15, Cha 22
Base Attack +6; CMB +10; CMD 26
Feats Alertness(b), Blind-fight(b), (b),Deceitful(b), Improved Initiative (b), Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Quickdraw, Skill Focus: Disguise(b), Throw Anything, Weapon Focus: Shuriken
Skills Acrobatics +24, Bluff +19, Craft: Clothing +10, Diplomacy +10, Disable Device +6, Disguise +30, Escape Artist +9 Heal +12, Intimidate +10, Knowledge: Local +6, Knowledge: Nobility +6, Linguistics +6, Perception +23, Profession (Tailor) +10, Sleight of Hand +16, Stealth +24, Use Magic Device +17
Languages Common, Draconic, Elven, Varisian
Drain Prana (su): Must establish or maintain a pin, deals 1d4 charisma damage, affects victim as if by modify memory as if vetala had concentrated for five minutes, and vetala gains perfect knowledge of any memory it eliminates.
This one's an alternative for the numerous sword and board fighters that guard the lower areas. Mainly, its the same idea with different stats, weapons, and feats.
Male and Female human vampire fighter 8
LE Medium Undead (augmented humanoid)
Init +8; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception+23
AC 29, touch 17, flat 22 (+6 armor, +6 dex, +1 dodge, +6 natural)
hp 84 (8d8+48); fast healing 5
Fort +13, Ref +13, Will +6 ; +2 vs. fear
Defensive Abilitiesbravery +2, channel resistance +4; DR 10/ magic and silver; Immune undead traits; Resist cold 10, electricity 10
Weaknesses vampire weaknesses
Speed 30 ft.
Melee Slam +13 (1d4+5 plus energy drain)
Ranged +1 mighty composite longbow +17/+12 (1d8+9 19/20 x3)
or +1 mighty composite longbow +14/+9 (1d815 19/20 x3)
Special Attacks blood drain, children of the night, create spawn,
dominate (DC 18), energy drain (2 levels, DC 18), weapon training (bows +1)
Str 20, Dex 24, Con --, Int 12, Wis 15, Cha 20
Base Attack +8; CMB +13; CMD 31
Feats Alertness(b), Combat Reflexes(b), Deadly Aim, Dodge(b), Improved Critical: ongbow, Improved Initiative (b), Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes (b), Mobility, Point Blank Master, Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Toughness(b), Vital Strike, Weapon Focus: Longbow, Weapon Specialization: Longbow
Skills Acrobatics +15, Bluff +14, Climb +9, Knowledge: Architecture and Engineering +5, Perception +23, Sense Moive +11, Stealth +15, Survival +10,
Languages Common, Varisian
Finally, for the number of charmed guards, I figured I'd use another adventuring party. I'm going to use the NPC Codex and use the following stats to accompany the fighter that's presented as the charmed guard: Island Defender (Elf Druid 7), Trickster Mage (Gnome Sorcerer 8), and Orc Slayer (Elf Ranger 8). Since there's 6 in the module, I'm going to double the fighter. The 6th will be an elven Magus. The idea is that they are waiting in the high end guest quarters on the second floor while their magic items are worked on. They've all been dominated and are being used as bloodbanks and hired muscle.
8th level Magus:
Female elven magusi 8
LN Medium Humanoid (elf)
Init +4; Senses low-light vision.; Perception +7
AC 24, touch 13, flat 21 (+7 armor, +3 dex, +4 shieldl)
hp 52 (8d8+16)
Fort +9, Ref +7, Will +8
Speed 20 ft.
Melee [i+1 ]ongsword[/i] +12/+7 (1d8+5 19/20 x2)
Ranged mwk light crossbow +11 1d8 19/20)
Magus spells known (CL 8)
3rd- dispel magic, haste, vampiric touch
2nd- cat's grace, frigid touch, glitterdust (DC 16), mirror image, scorching ray
1st- corrosive touch, shield, true strike, unseen servant,vanish
0- acid splash, arcane mark, detect magic, light, read magc
Str 10, Dex 18, Con 14, Int 18, Wis 8, Cha 12
Base Attack +6; CMB +6; CMD 20
Feats Combat Expertise, Skill Focus: Use Magic Device, Slashing Grace. Weapon Finesse. Weapon Focus: Longsword,
Skills Knowledge: Arcana +13, Knowledge: Dungeoneering +12, Knowledge: Planes +13, Perception +7, Ride +9, Spellcraft +15, Use Magic Device +15
Hope these stat blocks help to diversify oher people's experience with this part of the module!
I knew that the way it's presented, my PCs would have walked in with Freedom of Movement and Death Ward and simply separated and destroyed the two of them. Also, my PCs have a single Mythic Tier, so upping the ante was absolutely necessary. Besides that, I love having vampires using dominated minions to fight for them, especially other adventuring parties. While speed-bumps, it created the moral quandary of whether or not to kill those who made the mistake of encountering a vampire. The coolest moment was the opposing party's cleric using Shield Other on Merrick and then fleeing into the maze, giving her extra oomph when she when she finally got chased down (she moved around a lot in the fight).
Her motivation is a caretaker of the way into the vampire's lairs, a lair that in her eyes might be sought out by hunters due to the recent slayings. Furthermore, her lair's proximity to the park where the slayings are taking place has made her not only fearful for her own safety but also the safety of those beneath her. In short, she has become paranoid, and seeing a group of armed adventurers (probably bearing Raven's Head) means that they are there to kill, no matter their words. This is what triggers the fight. The aftermath is up to the players, which should greatly affect their interaction with Ludvick.
I plan on using that build where they encounter the traitor. There are more than a few Vampire Sorcerers lurking in that area, so that will give me some variety to those fights. Stay tuned, because I'm gonna have a couple other sub-ins up in the next couple days (A Vetala Ninja Shopkeeper and a Vampire Fighter Archer).
As far as numbers go, I'm assuming about 150 for the whole city. You have to figure that if Caliphas is the vampire capital of Ustalav (and probably contender for having the most per-capita in the world.), there's probably a percentage of about 1 vampire per ever 100 humans. Since the city sitting at around 15K people, I could see the 150 mark easily being met. I like the number on a whole since its large enough for the pettiness of politics to come to the forefront while still being small enough that everyone knows who the movers and shakers in the community are.
Our Druid fight went pretty awesome, but I gave her a few reinforcements besides what's written. I gave here a party of 5 7th level adventurers she had charmed into defending her grove, as well as a version of the Topiary Guardians from the Bestiary in the back of the module (I also greatly changed the environment, with half the greenhouse composed of fauna and large trees while the second half was a topiary maze that she could move in and out of with impunity. The Topiary Guardians (advanced, fire-resistant, giant template) could tree stride around the hedges as well, delivering fire seed attacks among other things. Made for a really good fight.
Here's an alternate for the numerous vampires taken straight from the Bestiary that fill the module. I like variety in my enemies, so here's one I plan on using for the "Traitor Revealed" portion of the module. These guys are built with a Heroic NPC point array, with '*' indicating a spell or ability used that alters their statistics.
Male and Female human vampire alchemist 8
LE Medium Undead (augmented humanoid)
Init +8; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception+22
AC 32, touch 20, flat 22 (+9 dex, +1 dodge, +8 natural, +4 shield)
hp 82 (8d8+40+8); fast healing 5
Fort +12, Ref +19, Will +7 ; +2 vs. poison
Defensive Abilitieschannel resistance +4; DR 10/ magic and silver; Immune undead traits; Resist cold 10, electricity 10
Weaknesses vampire weaknesses
Speed 30 ft.
Melee Slam +8 (1d4+2 plus energy drain)
Ranged Bomb 14/day +16/+11 (4d6+8 fire) or (4d6+8 cold and stagger [Fort DC 18]) or (4d4+8 force and fall prone [Reflex DC 18])
Special Attacks blood drain, children of the night, create spawn,
dominate (DC 18), energy drain (2 levels, DC 18)
Alchemist Extracts Prepared (CL 8th)
3rd- arcane sight, non-detection, thorn body-
2nd- alter self, eagle's splendor*,invisibility, resist energy, see invisibility
1st- illusion of clear, longshot, shield*, targeted Bomb admixture* (2),
Str 14, Dex 28, Con --, Int 19, Wis 12, Cha 18
Base Attack +6; CMB +8; CMD 22
Feats Alertness(b), Brew Potion(b), Combat Reflexes(b), Dodge(b), Extra Bombs, Improved Initiative (b), Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes (b), Mobility, Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Toughness(b), Throw Anything(b)
Skills Acrobatics +18, Bluff +13, Craft: Alchemy +20, Heal +12, Knowledge: Arcana +13, Knowledge: Nature +13, Perception +22, Sleight of Hand +20, Spellcraft +15, Stealth +18, Survival +9, Use Magic Device +15
Languages Aklo, Ancient Osirion, Common, Necril, Varisian
SQ alchemy (alchemy crafting +8, identify potions), change shape (dire bat or wolf, beast shape II), discoveries (dispelling bomb, fast bombs, force bomb, frost bomb),gaseous form, mutagen* (+4/-2, +2 natural, 80 minutes), poison use, shadowless, spider climb, swift alchemy
Combat Gearpotion of bull's strength, potion of greater magic fang (CL 10) potion of haste, potion of fly, potion of inflict serious wounds Other Gear belt of incredible dexterity, cloak of resistance +2, handy haversack, headband of vast intelligence +2, 220 gp
Depends how you feel about Circle of Death.
Auren Vrood can't legally cast his highest spell levels due to the progression of Agent of the Grave PrC with regards to spell-casting advancement. By the rules, he shouldn't have any of his 6th level spells but does. The biggest thing is Circle of Death, which has caused more party wipes than anything else in the campaign. I ran it with his extra spells (actually gave him another level to make it legal) for a couple reasons. 1) I wanted my players to experience the same thing that everyone else is facing through the path. 2)I have really good players, very tactical savvy with the ability to anticipate perils they might face. A couple Death Wards and Harrow Cards helped my PCs survive, but it helped heighten the dramatic tension of the encounter. There have also been DMs who have foreshadowed this attack at Ravengro (I did) by describing the area where the professor died as a ring devoid of all life, a perfect circle where no grass grows.
No, I never got back on that night. I played about two days ago and haven't had too many issues since then.
Has anybody been able to do a new character in seasonal play? I keep searching for the option but it hasn't appeared yet.
Really liking the changes in 2.1: Mass Salvage, less keystones needed for the rifts, the super-rifts, and the new gems are all pretty neat. So far the highest I've gotten is level 20 on the rifts. Hoping 5o push that further.
Gods really hate it when other Gods intervene in the mortal realm, so why not have the following happen if they are raised:
1)Urgathoa takes slight to the notions of Pharasma robbing her of some new prizes (cause if you die in Renchurch, you're probably going to end up undead), and so sends her Herald, Mother's Maw to destroy them. Pharasma can no longer interfere without rousing the ire of other gods, so they must face it alone.
2) Something happens with the resurrection, and Daemons, Groetus, or some other entity unfriendly towards Pharasma has corrupted the journey back. As a result, the PCs are haunted by Minor Reapers (from that book's bestiary) that only appear when a PC falls below 0 hp. That way, the other PCs have to protect the fallen while potentially having the fight escalate with additional reapers.
3) Luciamr decides he's had enough of this upstart Adivion and what he's about to do to WW. He decides to use Limited Wish to raise the PCs with the stipulation that they defeat the Black Friar and leave Renchurch for Lucimar to dwell in, after agreeing to deal with Adivion.
4)Their dying bodies are possessed by the Ghosts of crusaders from the war against The Whispering Tyrant, who agree to sustain them for the price of facing a proxy of their hated enemy one last time.
Hope some of that helps.
Okay, I'm getting excited for this, especially with the Dragon Orb revelation. Don't know how likely any of these are, but it'd be cool to see:
An A.I. Lich might be significantly terrifyin; something that has dozens of housing units sothat it can shift its consciousness to and from as well as robotic, undead minions to animate. It'd be sweet to explore some abandoned complex, only to have cyber-Lich wake up and start animating the place. Then have it animate its main body and join the attack with chainsaws and lasers.
That's actually a pretty cool angle, and I may have to steal it.
I know all the Mythology says that Banshees have to be female elves, but what if Oothi were an exception? Assuming your PCs are traveling through Virlych already, it'd be neat to have her bone's destruction facilitate the creation of the Bansheee at
Renchurch. As to how she gets there, maybe the events of that module combined with the redirective energy of the witchgates brings her all the way to the last one. Might make it more memorable than a "stock" banshee.
The biggest things to watch out for is the
Constrict and Quickness abilities. Stress the nature of the wounds on the beast, walls, and anything else. With any luck, your Druid will be packing Freedom of Movement. Otherwise, its going to hit someone for 8d6+18 dmg a turn, which will usually result in a couple of dead PCs. You can slightly mitigate this by having the A.P. make sub-optimal choices during combat (it has no intelligence score) such as using its Web and Moan abilities. In this way you can buy your Pcs time to kill it or for the beast to come to the rescue. I really like the idea of getting The Beast to the lightning spire in an attempt to revive him...
+1 to the Harrow Cards. They've given my game that extra thematic cool-ness, especially when the cards used match the encounter they are in artisitically or thematically. Also, the extra Harrow awards are pretty awesome, and with the wrong party composition, the one in the third book could be a necessity.
Due to the overabundance of Lycanthropy and few ways to deal with it in that book, The Eclipse's power to make a player immune to Lycanthropy can be a life-saver.
Disagree about Lamashtu. As stated in her write u[, all mothers at least pay her lip-service for fear of deformity of their children. While her true clergy are definitely evil, I have a hard time viewing them as insane; afterall, aren't procreating and maternal instincts a natural part of any community, even if the root values are twisted? At the end of it all, the cultists are simply emulating their patron, procreating for the very reason that anyone does. This isn't an insane motivation, even if the means are violent and bloody. Wanting to mutilate youtself just to see if you can feel anything and destroying things because 'everything sucks' (can someone else extrapolate the motivations for a Rovagug priest?) are about as bat-crazy as you can get.
Esoteric Order FTW? But seriously, if you are using the organization, how about prepping the PCs for Virlych with the wealth equivalent of Hetna from the coffers of their order? Afterall, the organization has already shown interest in stopping the WW, so giving the PCs the equivalent of Hetna's treasure in consumables should lessen the sting of missing out on her loot. Items I could see would be scrolls of Breath of Life, Death Ward, Raise Dead, Restoration, and the like.
I know I'll never use the mini in any actual combat (except one the players are destined to lose), but that aside, Lamashtu looks absolutely amazing. I mean, I don't often get creeped out by minis, but dang, good job, belly and all! The supporting cast is also quite impressice- for those of us not in the know, whatsup with Etania's stomach?
Tybid, its almost like our groups are running at the same pace. My PCs next encounter is the one you just ran. We won't be running it until the beginning of September unfortunately due to me switch-gaming with the other DM (he runs Kingmaker) and vacations in August. Still, I like reading about how other players fare against certain encounters before I run them.
Did you run the version straight from the module? I'm curious, because I was planning on using the Tetori Monk rewrite of him; his stats didn't look that impressive to me on paper, but sometimes I underestimate a bad guy's abilities.
-Nightshades: Some of the best CR'd undead in the game IMO. Running Carrion Crown, so these guys are sure to get their use. I particularly like the Nightskitter (CR 12) from Undead Revisited.
-Daemons: For some reason, these guys are fun to run. Maybe its their unusual and awesome abilities or what they represent, but I've had fun with every one I've ran.
-Vampires: So many ways to run them. Also, since their gaze works on all Giants, its fun to utilize such creatures as unconventional minions; my players were horrified when they came upon an imprisoned group of Ogres (blood banks) being forced to do things they would never do, like read, add, tell jokes, and wear human clothes. The only downside is having to custom make such monsters, but I've been having fun pumping out Alchemist, Monk, and other awesome creations with the template.
The research checks help, but aren't essential for defeating the five prisoners. It is a shame if your PCs aren't able to discover any information since all of their backstories are really cool. An alternative approach would be to substitute some of the facts in the research checks with rumors gathered via diplomacy from the townsfolk. In this way, you could give some of the story, albeit through the narrow-minded and prejudice filled eyes of the townsfolk. Truly though, your players have more than enough time to complete the module before the ultimate bad stuff happens. Consider also that it is a horror game, and a lot of that goes with not necessarily knowing why stuff is happening. Remember also that some of the haunts help convey the final moments of the prison, making actively seeking information (or using the Spirit Planchette in the prison) a viable solution to find out what they need. Hope that helps you!
Sorry its taken so long to get this up, here's so more:
1)I am the childe o f_______
a)Ludvick Sievrage: This works best in my opinion if the Dhampir in question is the party leader or someone who exerts a lot of dominance in their daily dealings. Having such a powerful figurehead for a father sholud not necessarily be a way to bypass the role-playing required to gain the Vampires’ good graces but rather an opportunity to showcase the themes of agelessness and being locked within a certain timeframe that vampires exude. The dhampir might represent to Ludvick either an earlier emotional failure, a secret shame, or a target of resentment if the Dhampir’s birth killed the mother. In all three cases, the reason for the Dhampir not immediately knowing the location of the Vampire’s court and not immediately being helped by Ludvick is more readily apparent. Whether or not the mother is still alive creates its own interesting dynamic. In any case, solving the vampire murders helps to cement Ludvick's respect for his child, something that would lend itself to good role-playing.
b)Lady Evgenya: One who seems to travel in high circles, and has such would make the Dhampir’s father as high nobility. Yes, I know it’s a given that the Dhampir’s mother should be mortal since it seems inconceivable for a vampire to carry a child. Without even touching Twilight with a 30’ pole, I think in a fantasy world, what's to stop from a creature that drinks the blood of others from using this blood to sustain life? At any rate, if the PC were using this idea, I would recommend the PC have some knowledge of vampire culture, its outer mysteries, and a lot of other information up to the location of the current vampire court. Alternatively, the PC could be invited by a proxy, a la Quinley, to re-attend the court, only to be attacked by Merrick, who has grown paranoid due to the killings taking place near her area. Also, by having Lady Evgenya be linked personally and a likely next target for the vampire killers, it makes the stakes more personal and her plan more appealing. Oh, if one isn’t comfortable with vampires having babies, just have her be turned into one after the Dhampir’s birth and have the father be dead or some noble she turned the tables on and now controls.
c)Merrick Sais: Same birthing situation as Lady Evgenya, except the father could be a ranger, druid, or another in tune with nature. This takes a little bit of finesse since the encounter with Merrick in the greenhouse is worth running and a good chunk of XP. For this reason, there needs to be a reason that the Dhampir wouldn’t want to cross paths with his/her mother. I could see Merrick having a Darwinist view of vampirism as it relates to nature, and would thus choose the best and brightest specimens to become spawn (in my game, she had a dominated group of NPCs defending her grove besides the other defenses). In this regard, there would be a constant need for the dhampir to be powerful enough in her eyes to garner respect coupled with a simultaneous fear that she wants to make the dhampir into the ultimate hunter by turning them. In this way, the fight in the greenhouse becomes a little more personal.
d)Radvir Giovanni: Having Radvir as the Dhampir's father has serious story connotations that must be examined. Foremost among questions is whether or not Radvir is doing what he is doing because of the Dhampir, whether due to events that lead about the Dhampir's birth or possibly as revenge for the Dhampir's exile. Its possible that Radvir sired the dhampir in an attempt to create a mortal agent that he could use to further the Whispering Ways goals, one who could be inserted among men of higher learning such as Professor Lorrimer or Adivion Adrissant. Much of this depends on whatever the DM designates Radvir's motivaion to be, whether its whole-heartedly serving the Way (a srange thing for a vampire), or if its simply an attempt to break free from the bond of master and spawn that exists between vampires and their makers, in this case Ludvick. In this case, its important to stress the theme of slavery represented by this bond, especially in the dealings with the vampires themselves. What also might make this interesting would be Radvir's possible willingness to confide his plans to his child, especially if the company he is traveling with displays a willingness to kill vampires.
e)Other Caliphas Vampire: I wasn't sure from the beginning that the Dhampir PCin my group would live all the way from the first to the fifth module, and it seemed unnecessary to set up a big backstory or reveal future plot-points when the PC in question might die ignobly along the ay (there's lots of places for this, its a pretty lethal AP, and Dhampirs aren't the most survivable races). To my surprise, the typically headstrong player has one of the few PCs to have survived all the way to this module, so towards the end of the fourth one, I asked him to come up with a backstory. While he did a great job doing so, I was hard pressed to integrate the module's players in with what he had written without giving to much away.
His Backstory:If the PC has a reason to seek out the vampire father in question, nothing is more compelling than the possibility of that vampire becoming a target of Radvir.
. Basically, he's born to a noble vampire named Lucien, a vampire who serves with Ludvick's court but is not one of his children. The dhampir's mother survived his birth and eventually was turned into a vampire. The dhampir was raised in vampire culture (I allowed him to roll his Knowledge: Nobility with a +4 circumstance bonus for determining etiquette, and even if he were untrained, would have still let him roll it.) He falls in love with the human sister of one of his rivals, an elitist vampire named Reylis. For whatever reason (reasons I came up with for the Dhampir to unravel), his mother was killed in a blood ritual by the Whispering Way, resulting in a series of rash words and acts. Ultimately, his perceived lack of credentials in the eyes of the vampire nobles leads him to fight a duel against Reylis, which he loses. He is exiled until he comes into the service of the Professor some years later. When the player provided all this information, i decided that I needed more vampire nobles than just Ludvick and Lady Evgenya for him to interact with, so created Reylis and had his father Lucien still be alive.
f)Other Non-Caliphas Vampire: If not for my player's backstory, this would have been the route I had taken. A Dhampir could easily be the result of the experimentations of Conte Ristomir Tiriac since he is known to be seeking a cure for vampirism. and the PC could be a by-product of such endeavors. In this way, the Count could provide early incentive for the PCs to help Ramoska Arkminos. Dealing with the Whispering Way could have been a misguided attempt to further the Count's research into the cure. In any case, this sort of background creates the possibility of both distrust due to being an outsider but also possible acceptance on the merit of name recognition and the value of bloodlines.
2)My mother is ______________
a)Alive: If the Dhampir's mother is alive (or father), consider using them as bait or a hostage by Radvir once he knows that he is being investigated. Also, consider thematically what the mother represents to the Dhampir, that last link to the characters humanity. This can be important if one plays up the constant temptation given by the vampires to join them, to gain great power at the cost of humanity and servitude. In this way, it could be relevant to showcase the freely given love between the Dhampir and parent versus the forced love implied through the vampiric bond. Finally, there could be feelings of resentment between the parent and the Dhampir, feelings brought upon by everything that the Dhampir could represent, whether shame that their one child isn't normal or the need to forgot the trauma that brought about the Dhampir's existence.
b)Dead: If this is the case, how did she die? If the Dhampir's birth was the cause of her death, it is easy enough to foster a wall of resentment between the Dhampir and his creator. Overcoming the blame for such a thing could prove a crucial moment of role-playing for gaining acceptance into the vampire underworld, or could be used (in the case of Radvir) as a reason for going down a darker path. If it is not the birthing that killed her, how or why did she die? Its reasonable that the creation of a Dhampir could be a social blunder if not a crime in vampire culture. Afterall, having something walking around in broad daylight that proves the existence of vampires seems to run cross purpose to the secretive means of vampire society. Its conceivable that the mother is killed in retribution for the Dhampir's birth, while the Dhampir ix exiled from vampire culture. Finally, its possible to involve her death with the Whispering Way, as my player attempted to do. This took a bit of a re-write of the module, which I'll explain below.
c)A Vampire: Its entirely possible that after the birth of the Dhampir, the mother could be completely seduced by vampires and decide to turn. I would caution against a stable, loving relationship between the two vampire parents and the Dhampir; you don't want an Adam's family scenario where hilarity ensues. However, having one of the parents be a suspect in the vampire killings could add a bit of personal depth to the investigations, especially if one of the vampires is not part of vampiric society as a whole. This is entirely conceivable if the birth of the Dhampir is frowned upon by the society as a whole. Finally, while this seems cheesy, its entirely possible for Quinley to be a brother or half-brother to the Dhampir PC, making him more memorable. This would mean that one of the first vampiric victims would be the PCs mother, raising the stakes on the investigation.
3)My Rivals in Vampire Society are _________
A lot of this depends on who the Dhampir's parents are, what weight that carries, and how vampire society as a whole views the Dhampir's existence. Think about the list of players and how each of them would regard the PC if they are the child of a particular vampire. For example, a child of Merrick could be looked down upon by the more effite vampires such as Lady Evgenya for their lack of social graces, while a child of Ludvick would inspire jealousy and mistrust in any of his other children. In any case, having a rival creates a connection that allows the NPC to expand upon the Dhampir’s past based on their interactions, whether actively aggressive or passively so. In this case, I used by PCs backstory to create Reylis, an unaffiliated vampire who views vampirism as an ultimate perfection of nobility and fighting prowess; aside from getting by Merrick, my PCs encountered this vampire en route to Ludvick’s who demanded a duel from the Dhampir to prove his worth (first to hit three times, Duelist vs Magus basically, with the Magus Dhampir getting the upper hand due to tricks like True Strike and Arcane points. At any rate its important for the PCs to constantly feel like they are being judged and evaluated by the other vampires, whether as potential future spawn, as pawns to be manipulated, or as rivals to be eliminated.
4) My story changes I’m using the basic framework of the module itself, but like Broken Moon have expanded a lot of stuff due to the use of Mythic and the PCs backstory. Here’s what I’ve done:
Hope any or all of the above helps to stoke the creative flames for anyone running this excellent module. Note that I didn’t expressly rewrite the main framework of the module, I think the author has done a fine job with the overall story. I also am very grateful for all the input he’s given on the DM thread for this module. Its helped to make some of the above ideas work as well as creating a memorable experience for my players.
So shadows are... hipsters? " (Scoffs) We're from the Plane of Shadow, you've probably never heard of it but we lived there before it was cool."
That helps soften them a little, shadows seem to be the alpha ambush predator of the Pathfinder world. Wasn't it you that did the thread about why shadows haven't completely overrun Golarion?
(Worries he can't make the opposed charisma check to make Matt Damon perform tasks against his nature. Decides to send him back and pulls out a mirror.)
(Speculates by the above words that he might have been sent to the world where the Wheel of Time takes place. Better hope he can't learn how to Channel.)
Erik Mona wrote:
...and this is why I continue to buy your minis and other products. Erik Mona (and others) rolling 20 on their customer service Diplomacy check.
Right? The lack of feats utterly kills golems. It reduces them to melee sluggers who are easily outwitted by dozens of builds.
Its the 140 hp.. a 14th level party will chew through that in a round. I've noticed its typically really hard to Under-CR at higher levels. Other than some of the Tane (Jabberwock, Bandersnatch), there aren't a lot of monsters that are a death sentence to fight if the party is 3 levels under the CR.
Edit: Winterwight might be another hard fight, if its DCs were just a little higher.
How would you make a Shadow weaker (young template doesn't work, makes it more powerful)? I guess maybe Give it a save for the strength dmg? Vice-versa for the wraith. DC 16 fortitude save making your pcs laugh? Remove the save and make it con dmg instead. That is exactly why Shadows are ten times worse than Wraiths... the lack of save.
Woops, meant Cloaker, not Choker. Forgot the Basi's were medium. I would still like some Dark, Lunar, or Water Naga as well.