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Wormcaller

Rakshaka's page

RPG Superstar 2013 Star Voter. 1,106 posts. 2 reviews. 1 list. No wishlists.


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Star Voter 2013

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I have been running Carrion Crown as well as play in a Kingmaker game, and both I and the DM from that instituted a maximum 5 buffs per PC rule, which has made the choosing of which buff might be the most useful a fun tactical decision besides the usual 'buff everything, be immune to 90% of the effects, and stomp everything with un-typed damage and conventional ranged/melee attacks within 2 round' fights. Even in Carrion Crown, in which my PCs have 1 mythic tier, the horror factor has persisted due to the fact that someone has nearly died every session, even at level 12. I think a buff limit should be considered for 'Unchained' as something beyond a houserule.
That said, I don't plan on allowing my PCs to advance past the second tier of Mythic, in largely thanks to your cautionary tale, Magnuskn. Thank you again for consistently posting this journal. While I own the WotR AP, I hesitate even further to run it now, at least not without some of the heavy overhaul suggested by others.

Star Voter 2013

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Thematically speaking, having two sides on a conflict engage in an epic fight for the ages (i.e. mythic) shouldn't be resolved in less than six seconds. While its true that a lot of fights in PF can be as short as a round or two, Mythic accentuates this to such an absurd degree as to not even be believable. The problem isn't with both sides being fair, its the fact that both sides are armed with thermo-nuclear detonators that end the fight on their activation. This is okay sometimes, but when every single fight (and the from play journal, sounds like what happened) devolves into it, it looses everything that should make Mythic feel.. well, Mythic.

Edit: Ninja'd

Star Voter 2013

I thoroughly enjoyed it. The battles were great, the CGI wasn't as over-the top as the last couple, the characterization of Thorin and his descent into madness is great, and there's enough Simarillion sprinkled in to keep me happy. Yeah, Legolas is a total jerk who gets to use "Matrix" rules at two points in the movie, but otherwise the action seemed a bit more 'believable' than the last two movies. Oh, and the ending doesn't go on for 45 minutes; I had hardly noticed that 3 hours had gone by.

Star Voter 2013

Second skullboy's idea, keeping in mind the mind flayer's enormous ego. The AP and module aren't really clear on who other members of the Unseen are (Telakin's clique), but I would imagine that Xyrxog would not only have ties to them but also to the agents of Kyuss in the next module, giving you a plethora of options for enemies to supplement a street-side assault by Xyrxog. I would give him the option of escaping, forcing your PCs to track down a potential arch-nemesis before he gets out of hand.
Ideas for Allies in the Attack:
-Spawn of Kyuss
-Unclassed Avolakia (you never actually fight any of these in the AP)
-Charmed Adventurers
-Doppelganger Assassins

Star Voter 2013

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A Wendigo. What, you thought the consensual imagination of thousands of players wouldn't give life to something? Now for some Vekkers stand-ins... (Don't eat each other, Paizo-nioans!)

Star Voter 2013

Interestingly enough, for some reason, Qlippoth do not share the mobility of their demonic cousins; some of them have dimension door abilities (which are limited, not at will), but no teleport. Another example is the Ceustodaemon, which unlike the rest of his Daemonic brethren gets D-Door but not teleport. I wonder why these specific ones are limited in their mobility more so than all the other outsiders?
I might be missing some, but these are the ones that come to mind.
Agree about the teleporting not being useful in combat; eating up your entire turn just to reposition is rarely a combat effective move, especially when you're competing with four other PCs actions to stay alive. Now, giving outsiders the Dimensional Agility chain... that seems like a way more interesting fight.

Star Voter 2013

Yes, what happened to your PCs? Did they immerge triumphant or were they skewered on the swords of Rune Giants, transmuted into golden statues as a warning to other adventurers?

Star Voter 2013

I love the game, have been enjoying it since I got it (60+ hours into it). That said, the platforming DRIVES ME NUTS. The game isn't a platformer by design; the controls aren't precise enough and the map texturing isn't done well enough for it to be remotely considered in that vein, yet I find myself having to do ridiculous precision jumps to get to some of those shards (there's one particular one in the Hinterlands in the valley with the Fereldan Frostback and its wyrmlings, which up until I week ago my friends and I had dubbed 'The Valley of No'. I think I spent thirty minutes jumping around like an idiot, trying to scale up to the shard.)

Star Voter 2013

Carrion Hill.. that place has some history and has changed hands so many times, you never know what you're going to find there. Also, its the Golarion city that reminds me the most of 'The Styes'.

Star Voter 2013

I like the saber, but simply because it reminds me of the Kergan from The Highlander. As to the cross-guard 'problem', I'm hoping we get some sort of cool trick like Cortosis gloves (or whatever they would have to be called in Disneyland). Visually, I would love it if the bad-guy gripped the lightsaber away, like The Son in Clone Wars. It will be horribly ironic if said saber wielder loses a hand.
Unrelated: Does anyone else think the snowy-planet the Sith's walking through might be Dagobah? Like it starts freezing over once Yoda dies and maybe later gets influenced by the dark side. It has a very 'frozen swamp' look to it...

Star Voter 2013

Shadows already had an ill-reputation from my playing group, so upon seeing just two spawn from an area, they went on 'red-flag/ full-defensive mode'. The PC's makeup included a Monk, which with Mage Armor cast on him gave him one of the best ACs in the game. The shadows needed 20s to hit him, so he basically drew all the shadows to him while the rest of the party fled deeper into the knot. They never did take out the shadow room, but everyone was fine with that. I used that room to drive the PCs deeper into the dungeon while also cutting them off from the outside world. The shadows spawned every two rounds, which after four such rounds was enough to raise alarm bells with my group. The other 3 PCs had a collective strength average of 10, so the danger was the shadows going after the weaker PCs. The biggest danger was a critical hit; a lucky one from one of them can kill a PC of any level instantly.

Star Voter 2013

The Asmodean Knot is one of my favorite dungeons of the whole AP. Here's some stuff I am remembering from a few years back that worked for me:
-Runecurse: Absolutely love this mechanic as an active hazard which helps fuel the theme of infernal machinations and such. Even if it is quite deadly, I would keep it intact.
-Shadow Room: The upside is that the shadows aren't too intelligent and as the DM, you control the spawning rate. That said, I would describe the mirror's image as a reflection of the PCs where their shadows leap away and come to life through the mirror. Give them some sort of visual cue that the mirror is responsible for spawning the creatures. Otherwise, either reduce them to young shadows or do as I did, and use the room as a way to cut off the PCs from the outside, forcing them to do the dungeon in its entirety..
-Sian: The trick is to use her for hit and run tactics. I used her in the interconnected chambers with endless floor/ceiling loop effect, simply so she had plenty of means of escaping once she delivered a poisoned sneak attack. Consider having her do the same in any fight where she could reasonably backtrack behind the PCs. Remember to always give her an escape route.
-The Imp: I actually got my PCs to go through all the trials it suggests, but it was creative role-playing that won the day for me. I played him up as an invisible spirit, a lost ghost claimed by the Knot whose only hope of passing was to get brave heroes to undertake the trials it failed. It made it very funny when its true nature was discovered.
Most of the other fights are pretty straight-forward and the advice given in the module worked out well. Good luck!

Star Voter 2013

Its a shame you can't use Advanced Players Guide, because without Shadow Strike, it kind of hedges you into having to play a race with Darkvision. Otherwise, you're going to have a lot of situations where you won't be able to sneak attack your target due to concealment from lighting.
That said, as far as Core rulebook:
As someone who has DM'd Carrion Crown as well as running a fair amount of supplemental material, I assure you that the Will save is fairly key. Even if not running the CC AP, Ustalav itself is known for its haunts, undead, curses, and what-not, and many of these employ 'save-or-suck' effects. Fortitude is secondary in this degree due to the number of diseases, Lycanthropy, level drain, and the like. In this regard, Iron Will (and even Improved Iron Will for when it matters) and Great Fortitude are solid choices.
Terrain in Ustalav can be varied, but a lot of wilderness involves difficult terrain, so I like Nimble Moves and Acrobatic Steps for setting up that Sneak Attack or breaking away. If you're utilizing Acrobatics to move around, that half speed penalty can bog you down if you have to worry about marsh or brush terrain.
There are a lot of grabby monsters in Ustalav (or certain parts), so if you think there's gonna be a lot of those, Defensive Combat Training and Agile Maneuvers can be helpful in resisting that.
Besides that, your best bet is to focus either on ranged (sniper) or melee and devote your other feats towards that. Hope that helps!

Star Voter 2013

1 person marked this as a favorite.

This is sort of 'Dragon-lancey', but I'd love to be able to journey Azlant right before Earthfall. Between there, Thassilon, and some of the other lost kingdoms, you could weave a pretty effective narrative about the events that brought about the cataclysm. Double bonus points to anyone that could write the module where the PCs interact with that history, whether they are responsible for some of what happens or happen to prevent a worse future than what follows (like the entire world being destroyed instead of altered and covered in darkness). Also, since the landscape gets so fundamentally altered, it'd be neat to try and re-discover lost sights that were prevalent before the catastrophe.

Star Voter 2013

Congratulations on finishing! What out of curiosity were some of your favorite moments in the AP?

Star Voter 2013

First real glitch of my game. There's horses in it, which you can make jump. For some reason, a combination of jumping, dismounting, and talking to someone while inside a building makes the horse vanish into a pocket dimension, forcing you to restart if you want it back. Otherwise, I'm having loads of fun playing it. Just got it today.

Star Voter 2013

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I disagree with the map packs being useless. As a visual aid without spoilers for PCs, I've used the applicable ones (Lepistatd and Caliphas)to give the PCs visual representation of their path through the city. The locations that matter I simply highlight or mark on the map, allowing me to control the flow of information better than with a reprint of the city map from the module, especially the locales that read, "This location is detailed on page x of the modue". While they are not the most detailed, they do give the PCs some idea of the layout of the city. Its easy enough to transpose the scale from the module to the big maps.
That aside, I think Rule of Fear is great for giving extra flavor to the overall AP. It helps to detail a number of locales and personalities encountered throughout the journey across Ustalav. Besides that, it has helped to influence a number of expanded material present in these sub-forums.
Carrion Hill is a fun module to run, but obviously isn't for everyone. My players are fans enough of Lovecraft and the whole Mythos thing, so inserting it in my CC campaign made perfect sense, to the point that I made additional things to have the overall arc make more cohesive sense.

Star Voter 2013

The more I see the Shemhazian, the more I simultaneously drool and shiver. The photos above make it even more amazing, but dang is that thing creepy looking. I think its the face; something about it reminds me of old White-Wolf wyrm-tainted horrors from Malfeas.

Star Voter 2013

I think your EL for this encounter is 26. You take the highest CR monsters (8 Rune Giants = CR 23] and add +1 CR for each grouping of monsters beneath that, down to a certain point (I believe the group's party level minus eight) (+1 for fire giants, +1 for storm giants, +1 for cloud giants, +1 for Harridan. The blast shadows I believe are a CR under and would add them as environmental effects. However, since they obviously didn't engage the PCs en masse, I would grant the PCs tactical advantage as far as their environment. I might be off about all this, but that feels about right. If you CR out your PC's party (6 17th level guys= CR 23) The description of the fight sort of supports that.

Star Voter 2013

Colour out of Space hands down. Out of all the monsters in a certain horror-themed AP, this one had the most impact not only on the background environment (those aren't mannequins, they're the colo-bleached remains) but also on the PCs themselves. Anything that psychologically changes how a PC perceives the world (color-blighted madness) is horrifying. Kill a PC? Meh. Drive one permanently insane? Now that's horror.

Star Voter 2013

Carrion Crown

Be cautious introducing Mythic into this one. The themes of horror and survival against overwhelming odds can be diminished with some of the power that is given to PCs. I would caution not to use Mythic for the first three books, then introduce it as a catalyst during the BBEG fight of the fourth module. From then on, it lends itself well as PCs have already surpassed the point where Raise Dead (or even Resurrection) is affordable, so death except by certain means is no longer the threat it was.
For my part, I did exactly this, retooling the end fight of the fourth module and certain parts of the fifth and sixth to give it that epic feeling without diminishing the storyline. Its working fantastically so far (we're 2/3 of the way through module 5).

Star Voter 2013

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After the last episode with the Werewolf and Dean being a demon earlier, I think the show has jumped the shark.. wait, what was this thread about?

Star Voter 2013

Not to disagree, but from the module:
"E12. Upstairs Apartment: 'Creatures: Radvir has used his dominate ability to charm a number of mercenary guards into defending his shop..."

The ones in the abbey are charmed:
"F3. Dining Hall: Creatures: Six mercenary guards occupy this wide dining hall. Aisa and Hetna purposefully chose them for their weak minds and physical prowess and cast charm monster on each of them to secure their loyalty..."

Star Voter 2013

Exactly how I played it.

Star Voter 2013

Yeah, some of their alignments were evil. Also, the dominated party had been duped by the vampires into believing that powerful adventurers were coming to rob the place and kill its owners. All about how you spin it, and with a +8 racial score to bluff, its easy for even a vampire without it as a class skill to spin pretty effective lies. The adventurers backstory is that they were originally buying enchanted clothing at The Noblemen's Stitch when the residents decided they would be good as guards.

Star Voter 2013

Its actually a fairly awesome encounter.

Spoilers:

From what I recall, Arkminos has different classes since that adventure was still 3.5 and alchemist wasn't around. I believe he was a Wizard/Rogue of about 11th level, where the party is 5th/6th level at that point. Its not supposed to be a winnable encounter; the PCs have to negotiate with a far more powerful enemy rather than fight him. For his part, Arkminos doesn't want to fight the party but seeks compensation for the research they are interrupting (I think they need a body that he is working on); he actually lets them step out of combat even if they initiate it since he doesn't want to waste the resources. What's fascinating is that he seems to also be dissatisfied with his employers in that adventure just as he is in Ashes at Dawn.

Star Voter 2013

All good! I debated using Mythic monsters in the Nobleman's stitch but decided against it for story purposes. In my game, the blood of the Blood Knight is being used to fuel Mythic ascension for some of the vampires, and I'll probably have some of these threats present in the Abbey. There's a Mythic Glazbrezu who's got some neat tricks in Wrath of the Righteous that I bight borrow from, and I've got Legendary Game's Mythic Undead and have been looking for a chance to use the Witchfire from that.

Star Voter 2013

I need to make sure credit is where it is due; Keep Calm and Carrion did the bloodsucking-fiends. Can't wait to use them in the basement.

Star Voter 2013

...so in light of all that. The nabassu were kind of a throw away fight. The warehouse I had draped in Deeper Darkness, but Daylight helped to counter that. All of my PCs without any knowledge of what was coming had Spell Immunity with Enervation selected, which significantly reduced their effectiveness. Remember when Telekinesis used to be cool? I had to roll 20s on the caster level checks to effect anything. Yeah, against a flying, full-plate wearing, scythe-specialized fighter with holy weapons, these three poor demons didn't have much of a chance. I was okay with that, I nearly killed three PCS in the previous fight. Oh, the Ghouls can't see though Deeper Darkness, which makes the fight even less in their favor. I think they all died to a single channel anyways. Oh well.

Star Voter 2013

I just ran the upper floors to this last night. This is how it went down:

-PCs pre-buff 10-minute a levels 15 minutes away from the shop.

-PCs turn corner to arrive within 120' feet of shop. Front door has three guards in front of the main door. They see the easily visible, armed and armored group and signal those inside by tapping the door. With a really good perception check, one of the PCS see this and begin approaching.

-Charmed guards (2 2nd level guards and a 3rd level captain) buy the time necessary to let the inside setup, eating about three rounds of dialogue and non-lethal attacks before the now-locked front door is before them. One PC hears a spell being cast from the second floor through one of the walls (really high pereception check) and knows something is going on.

-Quinley picks open the lock and the door is opened. On the ground floor are about a dozen dominated nobles, two cavorting about naked to provide a further distraction. They are positioned in front of the curtained hallway that leads to the basement and the stairs going up. Inserted among them is the Vetala shopkeeper, who with a +30 disguise check and potion of [Non-detection drank, blends in with the rest of the crowd.

-PCs use detection spells to try and find visible threats and are unable to. Overlapping effect from Fighter's Horn of Goodness allows re-rolls versus dominate for some of the charmed nobles, who flee. Group of six charmed human guards, which has been replaced by a party of Elves emerge from upper rooms and take position on balconies.
(I like party versus party fights, so changed the six charmed guards into an adventuring group, mainly using the NPC codex. The party consisted of an elvish druid (7), ranger (8), 2 fighters (8), magi (8), and gnome sorcerer (8). The fighters were the same ones from the module with their races swapped, the magi is listed above, and the rest are directly from the NPC codex. )
Two fighters vital strike with crossbows and hurt flying Dhampir, gnome follows up with magic missile, Magi casts haste, Ranger pin-cushions PC oracle, druid casts spit poison blinding the Dhampir PC.

-PC Fighter and Dhampir Magi move to engage other party. PC Fighter drops druid with one hit (critical) but gets pin-cushioned by NPC Ranger. NPC Magi wails on PC fighter and misses every time (bad dice), while the Gnome tries a Phantasmal Killer but fails to effect him. Enemy fighters split up, one engaging airborne, balcony adjacent PC fighter while the other moves down the stairs to block the non-flying PCs. PC Oracle utilizes reach rod to heal at range while PC Bard drops her own Haste. At bottom on round, Vampire Alchemists emerge from sewing room on second floor, completely buffed with mutagens and extracts. Vampire Sorceress behind curtain directs nobles to flee out the door while the Vetala blends in and moves with them.

-Alchemists break bad, hurling four bombs at airborn PC fighter, dropping him into negatives. They utilized the extracts illusion of clear and targeted bomb admixture to confound the PCs. NPC fighter bases fallen fighter and the oracle that's about to heal him. Bard utilzies Cacophonous Call to eliminate the threat, allowing the Heal spell to go off. NPC gnome uses major image to present a troop of soldiers moving stop the PCs, which eats up about two rounds of Quinely's turns. Dhampir Magi jumps back in the fray and lightning bolts the balcony, hitting four of the five still standing NPC elves. NPC magi fails her save and drops, Gnome is nearly killed but still up, but the remaining fighter and ranger save. Vetala keeps blending in with crowd.

-Alchemists target Dhampir. He shrugs off the first volley due to energy resistance, but the second alchemist switches his energy to cold and significantly hurts him. Fighter stands up and uses Mythic point to close and strike one of the Alchemists. The NPCs spread their damage, with the ranger pin-cushioning the bard, the Gnome dropping another Phantasmal Killer on the fighter (he saved), and the other fighter moving to engage the PC fighter on the other balcony. Oracle channels, which causes the Vetala to break its disguise and leap forward, sneak-attacking the oracle. The party is now quite spread out, but thanks to haste, a mere move action away/

-Alchemists split both directions along balcony and hurl more cold bombs.The first one is able to drop the Dhampir into the negatives while the second is forced to eat an attack of opportunity due to being pinned against the wall, which results in a critical hit from the PC fighter, misting it. Bard uses inflict wands to heal Dhampir, as does oracle. Gnome and NPC ranger continue attack, injuring the Oracle further and keeping the fighter on the ropes with Scorching Rays and combined attacks from the remaining fighter. Vetala darts away, disappearing Vampire Sorceress (who used to be a living ally of the dhampir) taunts the fallen PC before disappearing for the next fight in the basement.

-Remaining alchemist injures the PC fighter, but he's too close, and a full attack later, is turned into mist. Elven Archer, Gnome, and NPC fighter concentrate on fighter and re-bloody him. Bard returns fire with her short-bow, dropping the gnome with arrows (some of the luckiest rolling I've seen versus mirror images). Oracle further heals Dhampir, who moves to engage remaining fighter. Vetala re-appears on balcony, sending a hail of shuriken at the oracle, dropping her and nearly killing her.

-PC Dhampir and Fighter converge on the Vetala, injuring him. Bard heals oracle back to life. Vetala attempts to move away and is stopped by the fighter's Standstill and Pin-down feats, unsuccessfully attacks. More arrows sink into the bard, nearly dropping her while remaining NPC fighter re-positions on balcony to flank with Vetala. PC Bard unloads three arrows into him and drops him while Oracle continues to heal the party.

-PCs drop Vetala with a freakish magic critical hit (petrified him for an hour) but have no knowledge of the thing's ability to rejuvenate, which it will. Bard finishes off ranger with arrows.

I am slightly proud that I made this fight last 8+ rounds, a hard feat in many combats. The environment helped with this a lot.

Star Voter 2013

I noticed the discrepancy too but since my PCs don't have any timeline on Renchurch other than the fact that its corruption occurred during Tar-Baphon's reign. I'll probably do something similar to what you're both suggesting.

Star Voter 2013

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Alright, here's some paintings that I've thrown in some of the vampires' loot piles to help foreshadow certain historical allies of the Whispering Tyrant, some of which are in the next module:

Malyas:
"This painting features a regal yet feral-looking vampire clad in full-plate and wielding a morning=star and a spiked shield seemingly made of human skulls. He stands triumphant atop some ancient battlement overlooking a lake framed by mountains. The vampire has his foot on the neck of another vampire, a clear depiction of Luvick Sievrage"

-Knowledge History (DC 25) or Knowledge Relgion (DC 32) identifies the triumphant vampire as a depiction of the vampire general Malyas, a staunch ally of the Whispering Tyrant. Worth 1,500 gp

Fall of Arazni:
"This massive, 10' wide painting depcits a great battle, a legion of mail-clad warriors pitted against a sea of undead horrors. Above this mass hovers two figures, a horror-stricken golden=armored angelic woman who is in the death-throes from an attack from the second figure, a skeletal, crowned human radiating power. His iron-mailed fist is driven through the heart of the angelic woman, her fallen sword clearly descending towards a lone warrior in the sea of battle that shines with holy light"

-Knowledge: History (DC 20) or Knowledge: Religion (DC 25) identifies the two forms above the battle as Arazni and her slayer, Tar Baphon. Her sword is falling towards a depiction of Iomedae. Worth 2,000 gp

Dragon Themed Paintings (3):

A Series of 3 paitnings done by one artist depicting Tar Baphon and dragons. The frames are all made of dragon's bones stitched together with silver thread.
-Painting 1: "This painting depicts a crowned, skeletal figure subjugating a trio of immense black dragons. Despite their massive sizes, the three bow in deference to the figure, whose crown seems to intentionally resemble one of the dragon's heads."

-Knowledge: History (DC 30) or Knowledge: Arcana (DC 35) reveals that the subject matter is a depiction of Tar Baphon on the Island of Terror, a place where he among other things subjugated a trio of black dragons, eventually binding one of them into what would be his crown.

-Painting 2: "This painting is a stylistic, ethereal depiction of the same skeletal figure swirling amidst a flowing vortex of shadows. A great portion of the swirling shadow resembles a great draconic form with red-eyes, a creature which by the depiction seems to have the skeletal figure at an impasse.

-Knowledge: History (DC 25) or Knowledge: Arcana (DC 33) identifies the swirling draconic creature as a depiction of Scrivanier VI, a legendary ancient Umbral dragon known to lair in the region of Virlych, an area that holds the Whispering Way's greatest places of power. The painting represents the mastery that the Whispering Tyrant was unable to demonstrate over his shadowy foe.

-Painting 3: "This painting shows the same humanoid, crowned skeletal figure riding an immense, skeletal dragon. The creature, whose bones are occasionally flecked with dull red scales, radiates some sort of fell-light from within its chest cavity, its eyes, and its mouth. It and the skeletal humanoid soar above a distant throng of marching masses."

-Knowledge: History (DC 25), Knowledge: Religion (DC 28) identifies the skeletal red dragon as one of the Whispering Tyrant's more powerful servants and mount, the Ravener Marrowgarth.

Each painting is worth 750 gp on its own, or 3,000 gp as a set.

Vampire Mythology Painting:
"This painting shows a rendition of the goddess Urgathoa standing above a crouched woman, blood from a cut on the pallid princesses wrist running into the woman's mouth. Beneath the woman, five children caper, each with strangely different features. One is handsome with fine features adorned with a fanged smile, the second is feral looking cursed with bulbous ears and stretched skin. The third possesses ivory-like skin and long fingernails while the fourth appears to be wrapped in scroll-papers. The fifth is the strangest of all, possessing no lower torso like her progenitor."

Knowledge: Religion (DC 25) Reveals that this is a somewhat heretical depiction of the genesis of vampires and their different breeds. The five breeds depicted are Moroi, Nosferatu, Vetala, Jiang-Shi, and Manananggal. The belief is somwwhat controversial among Moroi due to their elitist view of themselves and preferred disassociation with the other breeds.

-The Painting is worth 1,250 gp

St. Vesbias Painting:
"This paintings shows a brave young knight defiantly holding back a legion of undead while wielding a massive greatsword of orc-make. Despite the overwhelming odds assailing him, he looks unafraid as a number of wounded soldiers retreat behind him."

-Knowledge: History (DC 23) This painting is a depiction of St. Vesbias, a simple foot soldier during the Shining Crusade who took up the gigantic sword of an undead orc general and sacrificed his life so that his unit might escape. It is said that his remains were buried in a church dedicated to Pharasma, though few of the church know where this is.

-The painting is worth 700 gp due to deterioration of the paint in spots toward the top.

Besides what's in Restoration Park, some of this should help detail some of the history that is at play in the final module. Enjoy!

Star Voter 2013

Yeah, between that whole article on Wishcraft and Wish-warps from the Legacy of Fire AP as well as constantly having something hostile to you granting you powers that it is always trying to pervert, I think an Efreeti is a terrible choice. I can think of few DMs who would allow someone 3 wishes a day for free.

Star Voter 2013

Rakshaka wrote:

This might seem kind of dumb to others, but here goes. I think you can grapple a creature in gaseous form. Here's the spell text:

** spoiler omitted **

No where does it say that the creature is immune to grapple. In fact, it would be weird for a 3rd level spell to accomplish what a 4th level spell does (Freedom of Movement) plus other benefits.

I'm not saying it makes sense, (and I'm gonna feel dumb if I am wrong), but I think you can grapple gaseous creatures... Unless the simple inclusion of the word 'insubstantial' (which isn't defined anywhere else in the CRB.. its not incorporeal) means otherwise.

Never mind, I'm being foolish. Found a bunch of threads stating that you can't grapple a gaseous creature. Not sure I totally agree with this since I can think of fringe instances where that wouldn't make sense.

Star Voter 2013

Big fan of Shining Children. There's a reason those crazy Thassilonian Runelords bound them, and it wasn't just for their use as a light sources (though some did. For a mere 16HD, you're getting some the best SLAs in the game.

Star Voter 2013

This might seem kind of dumb to others, but here goes. I think you can grapple a creature in gaseous form. Here's the spell text:

Gaseous Form:
The subject and all its gear become insubstantial, misty, and translucent. Its material armor (including natural armor) becomes worthless, though its size, Dexterity, deflection bonuses, and armor bonuses from force effects still apply. The subject gains DR 10/magic and becomes immune to poison, sneak attacks, and critical hits. It can't attack or cast spells with verbal, somatic, material, or focus components while in gaseous form. This does not rule out the use of certain spells that the subject may have prepared using the feats Silent Spell, Still Spell, and Eschew Materials. The subject also loses supernatural abilities while in gaseous form. If it has a touch spell ready to use, that spell is discharged harmlessly when the gaseous form spell takes effect.

A gaseous creature can't run, but it can fly at a speed of 10 feet and automatically succeeds on all Fly skill checks. It can pass through small holes or narrow openings, even mere cracks, with all it was wearing or holding in its hands, as long as the spell persists. The creature is subject to the effects of wind, and it can't enter water or other liquid. It also can't manipulate objects or activate items, even those carried along with its gaseous form. Continuously active items remain active, though in some cases their effects may be moot.

No where does it say that the creature is immune to grapple. In fact, it would be weird for a 3rd level spell to accomplish what a 4th level spell does (Freedom of Movement) plus other benefits.

I'm not saying it makes sense, (and I'm gonna feel dumb if I am wrong), but I think you can grapple gaseous creatures... Unless the simple inclusion of the word 'insubstantial' (which isn't defined anywhere else in the CRB.. its not incorporeal) means otherwise.

Star Voter 2013

I really like the idea of his memories of events in the far past coming to the forefront under the Vetala's influence. Keep Calm and Carrion has really good suggestion for possible things to foreshadow. So, as far as good memories to implant, we have:
1)WT's Generals, all of whom deserve foreshadowing (I did something similar to this, using paintings found in a lair of Urgathoan, Whispering Way-allied vampires)
2)The history of Renchurch and its subsequent fall. (St. Vesbius)
3)The final moments of Oothi, her demise and survival at the hands of heroes. Perhaps he remembers himself as one of those.
4) The construction of the Witchgates, or perhaps the last memories of an unfortunate teleporter who ran afoul one of the guardians at that place. That might be a cool way to foreshadow the Banshee.

I like the 'memory-trigger' mechanic suggested as well, having things foreshadowed or half-remembered based on certain triggers. That way, it could almost be like an ancestor or even the PC themselves gaining foresight of what's to come. This should help create a decent impact with all of the things that happen and are fought in the last module.

As far as not-so-good memories, the Vetala would probably use these to facilitate the Barbarian as a proxy against any foes the Vetala might have. While this might be too evil, the target that immediately comes to my mind would be the Inquisitor for the church of Pharasma (name escapes me at the moment.) Clearly a hardliner against undead, the barbarian could be 'tricked' into seeing her as an enemy.
Another idea would the to habe the Vetala obsessed with gaining the memories of someone important, like Prince Galdana, Countess Caliphvaso, or Prince Orduard. With the countess, you already have involvement in the overall plotline (she owns the Abbey where the witches are), even if a bit of a red herring. In this way, the Vetala could offer a deal: get her the countess so she can figure out where the witches are. You'd have to omit the information at Radvir's that links the two while still steering them towards the abbey. This could work though...

On my painting: My notes aren't at work, so when I get home, I'll post up some of "Historical works of art' found in the vampire lairs that is helping me foreshadow the baddies in the next module.

Star Voter 2013

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Thanks for replies all. This came about because I was designing a vampire lair. I wanted to use mirrors to have their gazes be reflect able, then realized that a lot of vampires would be cowering in their own lair. The consensus seems to be the inclusion of weakness enabling devices is based upon the level when the vampires are encountered.
On a side note, has anyone ever grappled a vampire then jumped into moving water with them? I can't see it coming up much, but that would be a pretty neat way to take one out.

Star Voter 2013

Oh, believe me, between Stoneshape and some of the other Druid spells, I've crafted coffin scenarios that were as vexing as hunting down a Lich's phylactery. It's amazing how many one inch tunnels you can put into a 5' cubic square of stone.
Its not so much the action economy that gets me, more of the "Is this monster behaving like every legend and myth that's been told about" shtick. More often than not, its alway better to mist the vampire from damage than wasting the action on turning them away. I'm wishing I was wrong about that and am looking for examples to solidify my conflicted opinion.. 'Has PF made vamps no different than any other monster? Is the folklore (weaknesses) ignored in favor of the mathematical practicality of damage until death?

Off to bed, so I'll be back to respond in 7-10 hours.

Star Voter 2013

Petty Alchemy wrote:

Well, if the vampire is appropriate encounter level, then the PCs also have super powers and can punch out Dracula.

Normal mortals that deal with vampires have to rely on their weaknesses.

It's difficult to keep up with the mist when it slips through cracks.

Unfortunately, the only stories I have are sunlight, else I like to mix up the vampire weaknesses so knowledge checks are relevant, else everyone knows what to stock up on.

I shouldn't have discluded sunlight as a way to destroy vamps, provided its done in a creative way. If so, please elaborate!

Star Voter 2013

Alleran wrote:
The standard non-magical adventuring kit that all my characters carry (even at 20th level) includes a mirror and a couple of garlic cloves, plus a vial or three of holy water. Various other alchemical and adventuring items (smokesticks, tanglefoot bags, etc.) as well, naturally, but I definitely make sure to include some anti-vampire measures.

At 20th level, is this due to vampires in your campaign, player knowledge of how vampires mechanically work, or just old folklore (which is prevalent in media depictions of vampires)? Also, has anyone (after 20 levels), actually used said items to 'turn' (make them flee) vampires?

Star Voter 2013

Which module? If its the second one, allow me to fuel your paranoia. Our popularity score with no dice or math tricks, ended at 666. No joke. One of the few times I've been freaked out running a role-playing game...
But if you have legitimate fear about any of the modules, voice them and I'll give my 2 coppers.

Star Voter 2013

Gimme 24 hours for a response. I feel partially responsible for your dilemma since I statted out the memory thief in question.

Star Voter 2013

...or do they just get full attacked, misted, and slain in their coffins? I am curious because I'm running a module with vampires (Ashes at Dawn), and so far, I've never seen garlic, holy water, or anything else used in any fight against vampires (after 10+ years of 3.5 and PF) Obviously, why would a PC waste an action on an uncertain result when they can just slash the poor vampire to death and track them to their coffin (which is easy for most PCs, just follow the 20' moving mist at a speed of 30')? Nonetheless, I am a huge fan of old mythology and folklore, and feel that sometimes, the vampire fight plays out like a fight against any other monster rather than embracing the stories about them. Anyone have anything or any stories where these weaknesses actually came into play? (Besides Sunlight.)

Star Voter 2013

Skull and Shackles seems to be the most popular for evil parties. Of course there's 'Way of the Wicked' as well.
Beyond these obvious choices, there are some APs that work better than others. Kingmaker and Council of Thieves lend themselves well to this play-style; Kingmaker is open enough that a DM could rewrite it with minor effort while Council is easily portable as long as you change a few motivations. I believe both of these APs have groups that are running evil parties in their respective sub-forums.

Star Voter 2013

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Might as well dot the whole thread, so full of awesomeness is it; great player input, good DM creations and outstanding writer feedback have turned this from the module I was most dreaded running in the AP into one of my favorites. Not to do a 'let's pat each other on the back', but I love the amount of ideas that have sprang up here.

Star Voter 2013

Okay, what if Player B is merrily playing away when the entire floor of the room vanishes, dumping him and said piano into a 1000' pit? Player B has featherfall prepared. Does he grip the piano as it plummets for a round (or beyond)? Is he prevented from casting Featherfall since the piano would plummet at a much faster rate than him? IS he not allowed to do anything but play the falling piano until it hits?
(I'm gonna say RAW, he has to stay with the piano... which seems ludicrous. Even dominate (which is more explicit control) gives you a save to snap out of a suicidal situation.)

Star Voter 2013

Age of Worms: The champions Belt-
Up to that point, I had mainly bought random Dungeon magazines or inherited copies from others. When this module was recommended for its gladiatorial combat, I couldn't help reading into it and becoming enthralled with the over-arching plot of the AP, resulting in me getting every part of the AP and then running it twice. Since then, we're trying to finish Kingmaker (I play), and Carrion Crown (I DM).

Star Voter 2013

Some ones I've liked:

Runelords:
Yeah, the whole of Misgivings. Best haunted house in an adventure ever. Hands down.

Council of Thieves:
In the Asmodean Knot, there's a Bearded devil imprisoned that is completely insane and has an intelligent glaive. The combat itself was awesome due to the resistances and powers of the devil versus the fifth level party. What made it great was being able to play up the devil's personality as well as the Glaive's, it really made it memorable beyond 'just another Devil in a Devil-AP encounter'.

Kingmkaer:
Tower of the Dancing Lady. Don't know if its for 5th level (I played), but we hit it then. The variety of combatants, the use of environment and traps, and the flavor of the place itself made it one of the more memorable fights in the AP.

Carrion Crown:
Vorstag and Grine's is often cited as one of the best fights in the AP. What makes it so good is again a variety of unique opponents, an awesome environment that directly affects the encounter, and the background elements (mongrelfolk, fumes, closet full of stolen skins). While 3D fights are sometimes tough to do on a 2d map, those elements also made the fight quite memorable.

Legacy of Fire:
Gartok and crew get another nod here, though my PCs were 6th level when they fought him. My fight played out like ThreeEyedSloth's, chaining one fight into the next.

Age of Worms:
Spawn of Kyuss in Blackwall keep. There's enough foreshadowing that its easy to play up the horror factor and the Spawn had such a threat level due to the worms and how quickly they could kill. Plus as a first encounter with them, there's enough unknown about the Spawn that they are terrifying. Nothing's worse than failing the knowledge check to figure out how to stop what's going to kill you in a matter of rounds. For this reason, I feel that the spawn's horror factor has yet to be duplicated in any other CR 5 monster so far.

Edit: I repeated the word Memroable about 5 times, my grammatical sensibilities couldn't take it.

Star Voter 2013

Mythic Wight Lord:

Mythc Wight Lord CR 11/MR 4
LE Medium Undead (mythic)
Init +9; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception+16
___________________________________________________________________________ ___________
AC 29, touch 20, flat 28 (+10 armor, +1 dex, +8 natural)
hp 237 (11d8+197)
Fort +19, Ref +18, Will +19 ;
Defensive Abilitieschannel resistance +4; DR 10/ epic and good or epic and cold iron; Immune undead traits; SR 22
Weaknesses resurrection vulnerability
___________________________________________________________________________ ___________
Speed 30 ft. (40 ft. without armor)
Melee +1 Greatsword +22/+17 (2d6+16 19/20 plus energy drain)
(Power Attack)+1 Greatsword +19/+14 (2d6+25 19/20 plus energy drain)
or slam +18 (1d6+13 plus energy drain)
Special Attacks create spawn, energy drain (1 level, DC 21), mythic power (4/day, surge +1d8)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 11; concentration +17)
Constant- desecrate
At will- deathwatch, dispel magic, see invisibility
3/day - air walk, enervation, haste
1/day - harm, shadow walk
______________________________________________________________________
Str 28, Dex 13, Con --, Int 13, Wis 15, Cha 22
Base Attack +8; CMB +18; CMD 28

Feats Combat Reflexes, Improved Initiative (m), Lightning Reflexes, Power Attack, Vital Strike, Weapon Focus (greatsword) (m)

Skills Climb +17, Intimidate +20, Perception +16, Sense Motive +16, Stealth +9,

Languages Common, Varisian
SQ Defensive Juggernaut, Martial Supremacy
Treasure NPC Gear (+1 fullplate, +1 greatsword, other treasure)
Create Spawn (Su] Any humanoid creature that is slain by a mythic wight lord becomes a wight itself in only 1d4 rounds. Although spawn so created are less powerful than mythic wight lords, they are more powerful than wights, and are treated as wights with the advanced simple template. Creatures with 5 or more HD slain by a mythic wight lord rise as a mythic wight instead (Mythic Monsters: Undead). Spawn are under command of the wight lord that created them and remain enslaved until its death, at which point they become free-willed spawn.
Defensive Juggernaut (Ex) A mythic wight lord has been saturated with fell necromantic energies beyond the kin of mere mortals. This energy infuse its armor, providing great defensive fortitude against the most destructive attacks. A mythic wight lord gains medium fortification (50% chance to avoid critical hits) and Spell Resistance equal to its CR+11 (22 for a typical mythic wight lord)
Energy Drain (Su) A mythic wight lord inflicts a negative level each time it hits a foe with a slam attack. Like cairn wights, a mythic wight lord can channel this negative energy through any weapon it wields, inflicting a negative level with each successful hit with the weapon.
Martial Supremacy (Su) A mythic wigh lord gains a profane bonus on all saving throws equal to its strength modifier. Additionally, a mythic wight lord gains bonus hit points equal to its strength times its hit die. (+99 hit points for a typical mythic wight lord).

Resurrection Vulnerability While a mythic wight lord is vulnerable to resurrection magic, it isn't quite as vulnerable as a typical wight. A raise dead or similar spell cast on a wight lord staggers it for 1dg+1 rounds if it fails a Will save, but does not destroy it. Using the spell in this way does not require a material component.


I wanted to create a martial threat on par with the old Swords of Kyuss and Kyuss Knights from Age of Worms since I have a veteran from that campaign. Hopefully this kind of delivers to that level of immediate threat without being too powerful (like Gallowdead would be at this point for my PCs) I used this as an agent of the Whispering Way, touched by the Mythic power that is responsible for the Bloodbrew Elixer.

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