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Ron Lundeen's page

Contributor. Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game Subscriber. FullStarFullStar Pathfinder Society GM. 337 posts (914 including aliases). 2 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 13 Pathfinder Society characters. 2 aliases.


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Jason S wrote:
I was just curious what people have seen, on average, with convention play for OP. (APCG developers can feel free to post anonymously on their alts :) ) Yes, this is probably colored by the players that attended, but nevertheless I’m just interested in what you’ve seen.

I'll tick through with my experience. I played 4 sessions at PaizoCon.

Jason S wrote:
How many players did you have at your table? Did you ever have a solo or 2 player table? How often did you have a 6 player table?

4, 4, 5, 5

Jason S wrote:
What level was the player skill? Better than expected? Less than you expected?

Better than expected, especially from the guy who had barely played the game before.

Jason S wrote:
Did anyone roleplay? :)

If you mean, "did something that didn't seem like a good idea because they felt it was what their character would do," the answer is no. And Kyra didn't ever shout "Blessing of the Dawnflower upon you!" before using Cure, or anything like that.

Jason S wrote:
Did anyone at the table misunderstand a rule and then have it corrected by playing OP? (I think this is one of the greatest benefits of OP).

Only once. One of the other players and I weren't sure how a summoned creature and location interacted. But Tanis happened to be right there to set us straight. (Quite a perk of playing at PaizoCon.)

Jason S wrote:
Were players teamwork orientated and did players discuss choices (at critical points) or did everyone "do their own thing"? Did players ask for blessings at critical points (or where they were in trouble) or did they just roll and fail without asking for help?

We all helped and coordinated a lot. This is probably because the first scenario is ruthlessly brutal; one player at our table and a few at other tables were trying it for the second (or more!) time, hoping to finally win it. After that, we learned some good cooperation pretty darned fast.

Jason S wrote:
Did players try to work as a group or did some players "go rogue" and start exploring locations that benefitted them in terms of boons (but perhaps they couldn’t close the location)?

No, we all worked well together about what locations each of us would be best at (and best at closing).

Jason S wrote:
Did you ever have time to harvest locations for loot (by not closing a location on purpose)?

No, harvesting locations for loot doesn't seem particularly useful in OP, particularly once you know someone's already got a weapon 1 or item 1 you're looking for.

Jason S wrote:
Were there any characters archetypes that were played more than others? Were Seoni and Kyra really common? :) Were any class decks more common than others? Were any class decks rarely seen?

We had two Arabundis, which mean a lot of extra d4s on combat checks for everyone!

Jason S wrote:
Were healers frequent or were people flexible enough someone would play one if no one else was playing support? Were there ever too many support characters at a table? Did you ever play in a group with no support characters (and were you successful)?

Let me expand on my earlier response to say we had the following:

Tables 1 and 2: Enora (me), Kyra, Arabundi, Merisiel
Table 3 and 4: Enora (me), Kyra, Arabundi, Arabundi, Seoni

Jason S wrote:
I imagine players are very flexible with what characters they play in adventures 1+2, but in adventures 4+ do the trends in the paragraph above still hold true?

As your question is specifically about convention play, which I haven't done at those levels, I couldn't say.

Jason S wrote:
Was there anything else you were surprised by?

Yes, how much we had to just do ourselves (or were empowered to do by ourselves, you might say). We had a volunteer "run the box" at our first table, but he had to leave after that. He set up the second scenario, but I "ran the box" thereafter. I had a couple of questions at one point, but literally couldn't find any volunteers in the area to ask (although, as I mentioned above, the one time we had a pretty critical--like, win-or-lose-the-scenario-based-on-the-answer critical--question, Tanis happened to be there).

In all, though, I played with very pleasant, skilled people and would gladly play with any or all of them again.

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zeroth_hour wrote:
Yay, I get a Councilor's Ring! And Enora.

Are we going to have whole tables of Enoras with Councilor's Rings at PaizoCon, I wonder?

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At the risk of a mere "I'm awesome" post, I did this last night with Heggal and won it on the first turn.

Only one location: Helm. Start there.

Starting hand includes a Farglass, Blessing of the Gods, and a couple other useful cards.

First turn, flip Blessing of Asmodeus onto the blessing discard pile.

Play the Farglass, note that the Hurricane Winds henchman is the second card down, move it to the top.

Encounter the Hurricane Winds and defeat it.

A Wisdom 29 check is required to close my location. Play the Blessing of the Gods as the Blessing of Asmodeus atop the blessings discard pile.

Bury hand. Close location. Win game.

I'm super skeptical of people's amazingly lucky play reports, so feel free to be skeptical of mine, but I found it pretty amazingly fortunate.

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I really, really want it to be Iron Gods. But that's because I'd like to see my RPG chapter appear in the card game!

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On the most recent earning's call, Hasbro's CEO acknowledged that its games were overall on an upswing, and singled out Dungeons and Dragons in particular as doing well.

In all, D&D sales probably contribute an amount not much more than a balance sheet rounding error to Hasbro, but the CEO calling it out seems a good sign for the game.

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Any of them. Seriously.

I've run Rise of the Runelords as gestalt, and I'm just about through Shattered Star with gestalt.

Here's the sneaky trick of it: you control your PCs' leveling. If they are one or two levels behind the "recommended" levels for the adventure, the challenge level works itself out just fine.

For example, we started Into the Nightmare Rift (recommended for PCs of level 13) when they were still 11th level.

If you want to put a little bit of extra work into the world-building, you can do that: for example, I make a few of the NPCs that the PCs face (both opponents and allies) gestalt as well, so the PCs aren't the only ones out there.

Full disclosure: in my gestalt campaigns, I limit people to only two classes: no multiclassing or prestige classes. Archetypes for either or both classes are okay, though. In Shattered Star, I have:

* a magus/wizard
* a fighter/alchemist
* a fighter/monk
* a cleric/monk (zen archer, which is not really very monk-ish)
* a bard/oracle

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Andrew L Klein wrote:
Any chance of this getting put up to DriveThru?

As TES mentions, there shouldn't be any proxying or new cards required at all to play this. That was part of my design--you already have all the cards you need to play.

I suppose you could have scenario cards, like LudwigO made, but I suspect there wouldn't be room on a regular card for these--some of the rules text and flavor text is really long, since I had a half-page rather than card-size to work with.

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Hawkmoon269 wrote:
If you could be any ally in PACG, which ally would you be?

The RotRL ally Aldern Foxglove, because I just can't see anything bad ever happening to that guy (although I haven't played past Deck 1).

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Just dropping a note here to mention that the printer-friendly version of Shield of Rannick is now also up at www.welbybumpus.com.

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I put my first skill feat into Wisdom, primarily to more reliably recharge my spells. I put the second into Strength, because I found myself in melee a lot.

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Hmmm, sounds like a good design challenge, though. I'll give this some thought, and see what I can come up with.

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Scott Keim wrote:
Scott Keim wrote:
This one actually happened to me: glanced at my cell phone and somehow my brain saw "You have 2 undead messages" instead of unread. Yeah, my creates typos.
And now I've lost my mind - I swear I typed my BRAIN creates typos.

The low-hanging joke here, of course, is that the undead took your brain...

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Myth Lord wrote:
That awesome Aurumvorax ripping through that robot should be my background from now on. Love that picture.

I loved seeing the art for The Choking Tower throughout, as it's a thrill to see my words come alive in art, but I particularly liked that aurumvorax image!

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Mike Selinker wrote:
We are discussing this.

Quick, everybody fill your decks with blessings from the blessing deck discard pile before they tell us not to!

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Thanks to everyone for the thoughts and feedback here--I've uploaded a new version of Shield of Rannick to WelbyBumpus.com (you'll know it's the newest version because it has v2 in the file name).

In the new version, I've cleaned up some text, improved some of the story, and clarified the Sihedron Medallion rules in each scenario. This took a bit of doing, since what you do with the blessing deck is different based on what you're doing with the Sihedron Medallion.

* Banish or Display: you reveal the medallion, banish or display it, do the thing it makes you do, then advance the blessing deck.

* Shuffle: you reveal the medallion, do the thing it makes you do, then advance the blessings deck, then shuffle the medallion back in.

This is now set forth in each scenario, so should be clear--let me know if it's not!

For those interested in the gory details, here's one of the cases we went through in hammering this out:

Let's say you're playing 5A: Unearthing the Battlefield. You've done not so great, and your blessing deck has two medallions and two blessings in it. For your turn, you flip the medallion. You have to look at the "When the Sihedron Appears" section immediately and do what it says, so you make the check, then advance the blessings deck (say you flip a blessing), then shuffle the medallion back in. Now you've got one blessing and two medallions in your blessings deck.

At the beginning of the next turn, you flip a medallion so you again do the steps in "When the Sihedron Appears"--make the check, then advance the blessings deck--but you flip another medallion when you do. Since you've revealed a medallion, you immediately perform the "When the Sihedron Appears" step: make the check, then advance the blessings deck (flipping over the final blessing). Then "shuffle" both medallions back into the empty blessings deck. Your blessings deck now consists of two medallions, and that's it.

At the start of the next turn, you'll flip a medallion, make the check, then flip the other medallion and make the check, then try to advance the blessings deck again but fail to do so, immediately losing the scenario.

It's pretty rough when you get down that low but--and here was the important point for me--you're out of the infinite loop.

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ThreeEyedSloth wrote:
Still have my money on Jade Regent.

I want this to be Iron Gods, out of sheer vanity--I'd like to see my third chapter of that, The Choking Tower, made into an official card adventure!

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Nohwear wrote:
I am thinking of joining the organized play. Which is the best character if I wanted to focus on allies?

Heggal, without a doubt. He really relies on allies, and has the ability to get several. Heggal is my favorite of the 4 or 5 OP characters I play. (As a useful aside, I also think he's the most powerful of the characters I play.)

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Here's an unrelated question (although it's about 0-3D Going Under, so this seems the right place to put it):

The villain makes you summon and encounter the Blackwater Charda henchman. The Blackwater Charda henchman is one of the henchmen shuffled into a location during setup, so might not be available.

The best we can tell, the aboleth's power is ignored as impossible if the Blackwater Charda hasn't been defeated and sent to the box; otherwise, it forces you to summon the Blackwater Charda as normal.

(This initially seemed an error to us, but upon reflection makes some balancing sense: if you encounter the aboleth early, it's combat difficulty is so high that it's something of a kindness that it's not able to throw the charda at you, too; by the time it can throw the charda at you, its combat difficulty will be more manageable.)

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What do you do when you've gone through the entire Rise of the Runelords path for the PACG? Rearrange the cards and do it again!

The Shield of Rannick adventure path is an entirely new 30-scenario adventure path with an independent story. It uses only the cards from the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Rise of the Runelords Base Set and the six adventure decks--no need to print your own cards (but you will need all six adventure decks to play it).

You can download it from WelbyBumpus.com for free.

Get it, play it, and let me know what you think (and how I can improve it!).

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Hey, I've been looking into this in the past week or so.

I'm an RPG publisher. I'm quite familiar with the Pathfinder Compatibility License, as I use it for all my Run Amok Games products. Here is the obligatory plug for my highly-rated Pathfinder RPG games.

I had the good fortune to be accepted in the recent issue of Wayfinder, and that got me thinking a bit about the Community Use Policy, and how it differs from the Pathfinder Compatibility License. I'm quite amazed at just how much stuff--including oodles of art and even a few maps--that the CUP lets you use that the PCL does not. The key restriction within the CUP requirements is that you must not make any money from your product--essentially, you have to offer the product for free.

I'm down with that. I've freely shared some PACG scenarios before, and even (I claim) the very first fan-made scenario.

Specifically, I'm interested in rearranging all the cards from Rise of the Runelords to make a parallel adventure path, just the way OP is a "parallel adventure path" to S&S. You can see the similarities--there has to be, as the same cards are used--but it's a different story (in S&S OP, it's being captured by Jemma Redclaw and earning your freedom, rather than being press-ganged and having to overwhelm your captors).

I've gotten as far as laying out a structure for this RotR AP: the scope of each adventure, the villains and henchmen that I would use in each scenario, and so on.

My plan is to produce a .pdf. It'd be like the compilation of the OP scenarios, but all in one file. It would have one (or maybe two) scenarios per page. I'd be able to illustrate it fairly lavishly, because I'd be offering it for free under the CUP instead of under the PCL.

I still haven't yet done all my research for this; I've got several posts from the Homebrew forum still to review about releasing your own scenarios, and I still need to get a handle on just how much of a look I can use without violating the trade dress limitations of the CUP, for example. I also have a nagging suspicion that people over on the Board Game Geek forums are doing whole adventures and adventure paths left and right, but I'm rarely over there so I don't know. Plus I'm designing the whole thing.

But it'll be fun!

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But punching everything and setting it on fire is our core competency! :-)

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Mad Jack Deacon wrote:
I just have this image in my head of a bunch of local yokels easing out of the shadows to threaten my character who just reaches into a pouch, tosses out a handful of Caltrops, and runs off saying "So long suckers!"

You get ambushed by yokels? We keep getting ambushed by reefclaws, ogres, or other creatures that we have a hard time justifying why we might have blundered unwittingly into them. Unless they have levels of rogue, I suppose!

Worst is to get Ambushed by the Warlord--2 points less on each die rolled!

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Mike Mistele wrote:
Congratulations, Ron, on the publication of this one! It's the big time! :D

I agree! I'm very honored, and looking forward to seeing what people think!

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I wanted to reiterate that this is a great opportunity to show Paizo what you've got. Be professional and serious about it, and you can go far. I submitted to a PFS open call in early 2011...and my first AP adventure is coming out this month.

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I was lucky enough to be one of the playtesters of this game back in 2012. I made up my own scenario and shared it on the playtest forums on December 27, 2012 (and Mike liked it!). To my knowledge, this is the very first fan-made scenario for the game. I had to wait a bit to post it publicly, since it uses cards from Set 6, which wasn't out until recently. So here it is--the first fan-made PACG scenario ever!

Otherworldly Incursion
(appropriate for characters in the Chapter 3 - Chapter 4 range)

Lovecraftian horrors press in upon reality! Only by careful research and slowly collecting staunch allies and supernatural favor can the PCs hope to shut down the Leng Device and stop The Thing From Beyond Time before all hope is lost!

Players Locations
1 The Leng Device
1 Apothecary
1 Temple
2 Habe's Sanatorium
3 Village House
4 Waterfront
5 City Gate
6 Town Square

Villain: The Thing From Beyond Time
Henchmen: Leng Spiders

Rules:
Replace the rule text on The Leng Device with "You may not permanently close this location until all other locations have been permanently closed."

Every time you gain a blessing, put a marker on this card. Add the number of markers on this card to your checks to defeat Leng Spiders or The Thing From Beyond Time.

You may discard an ally to add 1d4 to any check against a Leng Spider or The Thing From Beyond Time, instead of that ally's usual effect.

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Dragon78 wrote:
Aberrations make sense to me. Though I would also like to see magical beast, fey, other evil outsiders(oni, azura, qlippoths), plant creatures, and proteans.

It's worth pointing out, for the purposes of this product thread, that many oni have the giant subtype.

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thunderspirit wrote:
Mike Mistele wrote:
All kidding aside, Ron is a fabulous writer, and a great guy. Congrats to him, and very much looking forward to seeing this AP!

And this.

Thanks much for the votes of confidence!

I'm ridiculously excited to be crashing onto the adventure path scene with this, and in such august company!

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Adam Daigle wrote:


So, sound off, freelancers! Who's with me!?

I'm coming for my first PaizoCon ever!

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James Martin wrote:
Lithovore wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:

I guess that the first thing they do is to dump any unsolicited material in the trash bin, likely without reading it. Sounds harsh, but the very last thing a publishing company wants is to have someone sue them over a manuscript/idea which was sent to them over 10 years ago and now by chance or by parallel design made its way into print.

I also have a devious plan in play. If for instance I got the ear (or eye as it were) of one of the staff, they might just ask about the alluded to idea and thus any info I divulged would, per definition, become solicited. "best evil laugh"

Enter RPG Superstar. Write for third party publishers. Write for Wayfinder.

If you want to be noticed or solicited, show you're worth being noticed or solicited.

To echo Liz--hey, it worked for me! :D

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I ran Rise of the Runelords with gestalt characters, and I'm deep into Shattered Star with gestalt characters as well.

I let my PCs play gestalt characters for two reasons: Primarily, it's to ensure that they have stamina to go longer in each adventuring day without a rest. I like that they can power through most dungeons with very few (or even zero) rests, without having to continually retreat in order to recover daily uses of rages/spells/channels, etc. Secondarily, it lets people play with combinations that wouldn't multi-class well, so we see fresh new things at the table. Sure, there are some power-munchkins that will play a fighter/monk for all the great feats, but I've currently got a witch/ranger (does witchy things but is a good hand in melee when necessary), a fighter/alchemist (a sword-and-board fighter with mutagens and more flexibility), and an oracle/bard that serves as a stellar party-buffer and knowledge guy.

My reasons don't include to fill gaps in the party (in both campaigns, I've had six players) or to jack up the power level (it's easy to just keep the PCs one or even two levels behind the suggested adventure level and it keeps the challenge appropriate for them).

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Thanks much for highlighting my newest adventure! I'll keep the great adventures coming!

Ron Lundeen
Run Amok Games

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Reposting cartmanbeck's scenario in order to add my analysis:

The Devil Hunt
The Devil Hunt scenario is intended for characters who have finished the first chapter of the Rise of the Runelords campaign, Burnt Offerings. The Sandpoint Devil is an extremely difficult villain to defeat, but the players will get the chance to reduce his power if they hunt down the henchmen in the other locations first.

The citizens of Sandpoint have been disappearing at an alarming rate, and the mayor thinks that the Sandpoint Devil is behind the disappearances. She has asked you to hunt down the devil and destroy it if at all possible. Several townsfolk have offered to help, and some of them even have valuable clues as to the best places to ambush the devil. Take out the Sandpoint Devil before it kills again!

Setup: Remove Ilosari Gandethus from the Allies deck. If that card is in one of the players’ decks, simply ignore the sentence about rolling to randomly summon the Sandpoint Devil.

Players Location
1 Junk Beach
1 Wooden Bridge
1 Glassworks
2 Waterfront
3 Goblin Fortress
4 The Old Light
5 Warrens
6 Town Square

Villain: The Sandpoint Devil
Henchmen: Ancient Skeletons

During the Scenario:
When any player defeats one of the Henchmen, place that Ancient Skeleton card in a pile next to the scenario card. For each card in this pile, the difficulty of checks to defeat the Sandpoint Devil is reduced by 1.

When you encounter an Ally card, instead of attempting to acquire it, you may attempt a Charisma/Diplomacy 8 check. If you succeed, place that Ally card in the pile of Henchmen next to the scenario card, and add a random blessing from the box to the top of the Blessings deck.

When you encounter the Sandpoint Devil, if either of your combat checks to defeat it do not have the Magic trait, the Sandpoint Devil is undefeated.

Ignore the first power listed on the Sandpoint Devil card (instead treat it as any other villain).

Award: Each character chooses a type of boon. That character gains one random card of that type from the box. In addition, each character may choose to banish any one card from their deck when rebuilding it at the end of this scenario.

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The Pillbug's Revenge scenario is intended for characters who have completed The Poisoned Pill (and may have completed all of the Perils of the Lost Coast and even some or all of Burnt Offerings). Plentiful poison damage makes this scenario challenging.

Freshly escaped from prison, the notorious poison-merchant Aliver "Pillbug" Podiker has vowed revenge upon Sandpoint! Pillbug Podiker has equipped a cadre of ne'er-do-wells with powerful poisons. Furthermore, he has tainted potions all over town with his vile toxins. Someone must bring Pillbug Podiker to justice--again!

Players: Location
1: Farmhouse
1: General Store
1: Waterfront
2: Junk Beach
3: Apothecary
4: City Gate
5: Prison
6: Guard Tower

Villain: Pillbug Podiker

Henchmen: Bandits

During This Scenario: If you encounter a boon with the Alchemical and Liquid traits, you take 1 point of poison damage. (You then encounter the boon normally.)

All damage dealt by Bandit henchmen is poison damage that may not be reduced.

Reward: Each character gains a random ally from the box.

Comments are welcome! Also, my previous fan scenario is here.

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The Cult of the Moon Sisters scenario is intended for characters who have completed Perils of the Lost Coast, and perhaps even Burnt Offerings. The presence of two villains—each of whom becomes very powerful when the moon is right—makes this scenario challenging. It only requires cards from Sets B and C (but it doesn’t matter if Set 1 cards are already included, too).

Two powerful werewolves—twin sisters steeped in astronomical lore—have arrived in the Sandpoint region in advance of certain eldritch cosmological conjunctions. These two demagogues are attended by a coterie of cultists and monsters, whose powers fluctuate as the moon waxes and wanes. These two sisters and their vile cult must be stopped!

Setup: Remove the two Werewolf cards and all the Cultist cards from the monsters and set them aside; the two Werewolves are the villains of this scenario and the Cultists are the henchmen (and can be used to close locations, just like any henchmen). If you need more henchmen than this, use any card you can remember is intended to represent a Cultist (like unused Loot cards).

Players: Location
1: Town Square
1: Warrens
1: Woods
2: Wooden Bridge
3: Treacherous Cave
4: Garrison
5: Farmhouse
6: Shrine to Lamashtu

Villain: Werewolves (2)

Henchmen: Cultists

During This Scenario:You must defeat both villains to defeat this scenario. When you corner and defeat the first werewolf, set it aside. You win when you corner and defeat the second werewolf.

If the top card of the Blessings discard pile is a Blessing of the Gods, the difficulty to defeat any bane is increased by 2.

Reward: Each character chooses a random blessing from the box.

Comments?

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Andrew Torgerud wrote:
Author should have just left it off and said "Plot Device - no one sees this coming"

But then people would have been saying, "We should've gotten a check for this--even at a high DC, you should've given us a check!" And I agree with that sentiment, so there is a check that's possible, but intentionally quite difficult. (As Torch has been masquerading his intentions from the Decemvirate for years, it's reasonable that he's very, very good at bluffing.)

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Man, they let that guy write another scenario? Sheesh!

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The polarpillar caterbear looks even more frightening when next to the svathurim picture, because it looks like the svathurim is trying to get away from it!

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Because "tiers" of classes aren't a formal part of the game, and actual "tiering" is highly subjective for many classes. Because the classes are intended to be balanced against each other for typical adventuring (whether you agree or not), we're not likely to get a formal adjustment of the APL based on tiers.

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Very sad to hear. My wishes and prayers for a speedy recovery, as well.

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These Lamplighter meta-faction requirements dovetail quite well with some of the "Hurt Me Plenty" PFS meta-rules from about a year ago over here. Off to build a character meeting both sets!

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Arkos wrote:
Our general comment during part 1 was "Pay up, and remember that the Aspis are a bunch of jerks who show up and take your stuff. You probably shouldn't do business with us ever again. If I had the Aspis knocking down my door, I might even lead a revolt!"

I really played this up with one group: all the NPCs kept seeing the PCs' actions in the best possible light and promising to spread the good name of the Aspis Consortium all over the city. E.g., the rescued husband at the Fishbowl: "You guys are the Aspis Consortium? Huh, never heard of them before, but you guys saved me and my daughters from certain death, so I'll tell everyone I know how great the Aspis Consortium is. Thanks, Aspis Consortium, you're real heroes!!" Delightfully frustrating for them.

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Kyle Baird wrote:
PFS specifically isn't for everyone. If you want to jump to the "end" of a Pathfiner's career without going through all the trials and tribulations, go play something else.

Some might consider this sentiment to be elitist and exclusionary. It sounds a little bit like that to me, and I generally agree with you.

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Bruunwald wrote:
NEWS FLASH TO GAMERS: What we do IS BORING.

When my 11-year-old brother asked to join our D&D game, I let him, with the following disclosure:

"D&D is a totally awesome game about doing math and waiting your turn."

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Brain in a Jar wrote:
So what exactly is the loophole because i'm not seeing it?

Use the fortune hex. It lasts until round 2. In round 2, cackle twice, extending the fortune hex until round 4. In round 3, cackle twice, extending the fortune hex until round 6....

...in round 1000, cackle twice, extending the fortune hex until the end of round 2000.

Then, stop cackling and go adventuring. Your companion has 1000 more rounds of fortune, and you don't have to do anything further to maintain it.

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Mergy wrote:
Although the PCs had better kill it with those attacks, or the victim gets a first-class ticket to Hell.

Unless some really knowledgeable PC shouts, like a tent-revival preacher, "This poor prostrate SINNAH! A protection from evuhl will SAY-VUH his immortal SOUL-AH!"

You don't hear tent-revival preacher voices in your heads? Hmm. Maybe it's just me.

Have fun!

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Jim Groves wrote:
Damn you Thirsty, you're always just one step ahead!! I need to set a trap for you!

No, no, no! Not a trap, a haunt. That's what all of us writers are using these days! :)

More seriously, I'm familiarizing myself with the ebon acolytus. It wasn't the creature in my turnover, but I think I like it: you've got three rounds (the initial grab, the prostration check, and then the sacrifice round) to either beat the thing to death or escape the grapple (or make a sufficient Knowledge check about the sacrifice to at least make your companion more recoverable). That seems to put the combat on a tense timer, which is good for combat encounters from time to time.

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