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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.
We played this with our post-level 5 characters, and found it a little awkward, and not particularly hard.
I see what you're doing with the design: by seeding everything with henchmen that don't allow you to close the location, you make people run down decks. This doesn't work in practice, though, because you have so many villains, and defeating a villain allows you to close a location automatically (and without the difficult checks that some of these have!) while the villain runs off. The exception is if there is another villain in that stack, of course, but then you know just where a villain is, and whether he's the only villain left, and can pick the best character to go beat him.
So ultimately you'll end up having all the villains run to the Runeforge Hub, which you must visit last, and defeat all the villains there one at a time.
It seems you could just start by seeding all those villains in the Runeforge Hub, and put normal (if tough) henchmen in the locations as normal. Or you could use the henchmen you've picked, instead, and that makes everyone have to drill through all the locations all the way to the bottom of each--which might run you out of time more often than not.
Anyway, we had a reasonably good time--my Seelah must have faced Mammy Graul about four times, leading the other players to comment that Seelah and Mammy might have something going on on the side--but it just seemed like you could more easily arrive at what you're going for here.
Thanks for setting this out!
Isn't it much more usual for the GM to make those rolls for the player in secret? I've done that plenty of times:
Player: "Do I think he's lying?"
I haven't actually done the template application, and I acknowledge that my response would be more complete if I had, but regardless:
Apply both templates, then compare the final stats to the "Monster Creation" table in the Bestiary. Whatever it's closest to is the CR it ought to be.
The strict math of templates creates wonky situations (e.g., young spectres) and a reasonable check against the Monster Creation chart allows for a more accurate assessment of final CR.
The NPC wrote:
Is it just me or were they putting a little extra effort in trying to sell Rahadoum as a neutral nation?
They have to be presented as neutral. It's one of the Laws of Man. :)
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!
Resounding yes. We have played PACG more than 100 games and it's still our "go to" board game.
We played the entire AP from beginning to end during the playtest. We've played up through adventure 3 in the current set, and since we had a fairly spectacular death, we've started over (Lem's former player with a new character, the others of us making "backup" characters), and we're in the middle of adventure 2 as of tonight's game.
On top of this, we've played the Perils of the Lost Coast three-scenario adventure about a bjillion times to show off the game to other people.
Hello! I had a 3-day ticket and a banquet ticket in my cart, and when I went to check out, the banquet ticket dropped out as "unavailable." Is the banquet already sold out, or is this somehow related to the e-ticket issue?
Captain Bulldozer wrote:
I'll note that the parrot art on the playtest card was the first "hey, this is just placeholder artwork" moment I had...because it was the most terrifying parrot I've ever seen.
Hayato Ken wrote:
The anvil trick is interesting, considering that an anvil weight was 200lbs so far. Looks like a dwarven mainly option.
It's a dwarf in Highhelm that teaches it, so that's not unexpected.
James Martin wrote:
To echo Liz--hey, it worked for me! :D
Glad it's been going great! I think the missing piece is that each item of proof adds +4 to the Diplomacy check. I'd run with that.
Now I'm wondering what I should do when the characters inevitably ask the aasimars to fight Dakang. It feels obvious to me that the aasimars should help the characters. Or at least I can't come up with any excuse why they wouldn't. Any suggestions?
Dakang is their leader--why would they help the PCs fight him, even if the PCs uncovered some undead? If anything, that might make the aasimars trust Dakang even more: "gosh, our leader was wise enough to keep everyone out of the crypt because it was full of undead! He's really looking out for us!"
If you really think the aasimar have become very trusting of the PCs, I'd probably reflect that in the Diplomacy check to convince them (they also should get bonuses for any items of "proof" they find in the temple).
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).
Creighton Broadhurst wrote:
Two to three weeks, I'd wager. So, soon! And thanks for the vote of confidence!
Unrelated to the Timebender mostly, but Ron, were you at the GameHoleCon a few weeks ago?
I sure was! I played nothing Pathfinder-related, though, because the trip was recommended by my superhero-RPG-loving friend Jake. We played Savaged Lady Blackbird, the old TSR Marvel game, and a superhero RPG called Icons. I had an absolute blast, and I blogged a little about it here.
Were you there? Did we run into each other?
Reviewed first on Endzeitgeist.com, then submitted to Nerdtrek and GMS magazine and posted here, on OBS and d20pfsrd.com's shop.
Sorry to hear you found the balance so off it deserved a one-star review; most of my readers also thought initially that temporal flurry seemed like a broken feature. In play, we've found it's much more limiting than it appears on paper and making it work well is part of the trick of playing the class.
Thanks for the review!
Dropping a comment about the game generally, rather than this scenario specifically:
We also got lucky in fighting Pillbug early to send him running, then killing a henchman at the Waterfront to find that's where Pillbug had run to. Having a location with just the villain makes planning easy.
This setup can happen as early as turn 2 (and we've had it happen a couple of times in turn 3 or 4), and it puts the scenario pretty much on a win condition immediately. This makes it pretty much the opposite of being in the last couple of cards and still frantically searching for the villain for the first time. Part of the randomness of the game, I suppose.
I'll probably try Cult of the Moon Sisters soon, but I've got one question. That +2 to all bane difficulties when Blessing of the Gods is on top: Does that stack with the normal Werewolf power boost?
Yes, it does--be careful fighting werewolves when the moon is full!
We're starting a new group of characters from the beginning, so we'll probably insert this after The Poisoned Pill this time around, to face it when the characters are much less advanced. I expect it will be more of a challenge without all those extra feats and good equipment.
You'll probably find this to be a more appropriate difficulty then. This scenario shoots for a middle ground: it's perhaps not great for starting-deck characters, because many of the damage-dealing potions are in their decks and not in the items pile; the potions in the items pile ramps up once the players have banished theirs in place of better items.
Because this scenario is a bit more difficult than The Poisoned Pill, very advanced characters will have less of a problem unless you apply some of the difficulty increases floating around out there (the simplest of which, I think, is to add one more location than the number of players requires).
Mark Stratton wrote:
I'm glad to see that benefit helping out, and I'm glad you enjoyed it!
I first thought it was way too easy (most Cache barriers have a DC of 10 to 12 so far), but then I realized the "fight-a-monster" effect is part of its "cost". Still, allies are powerful cards to suddenly get 1d4 of, since you'll likely be able to use them for 1d4 more explorations right away. So I might make it a 10 instead.
I agree that the Traitor is the best thematic monster, but it's hard to summon a particular monster (which is why the existing summon effects summon a specific henchman or a random monster). E.g., what if it's stuck in a deck somewhere? Perhaps make it a random monster, but with the traitor effect:
If undefeated, each character at this location discards a random ally from his hand, then summons and encounters a random monster from the box; banish this card.
Oooh, what a neat idea! Thanks for the vote of support!
Vic Wertz wrote:
We try not to divide up forums until we see clear divisions that are all going to generate regular ongoing traffic. I suspect that we will indeed want such a subforum, but we're not quite there yet.
Is that a challenge to create substantially more fan material? Because I can do that.
Goodness gracious, I love this scenario. It demands cooperation, but is deceptively difficult.
"What can possibly be deceptive about it, Ron?" is the natural response "The villain is a ludicrously difficult Combat 20 then Combat 20!"
Here's the rub: the Sandpoint Devil is a hand-killer that you must prepare yourself to defeat. This means that you must hunt for the minions (to reduce the combat difficulty of the Sandpoint Devil) and you must enlist allies (to further reduce the combat difficulty). You'll be saving Blessings much more so than usual to ensure the Diplomacy 8 checks to gain allies, so you're not exploring as much; further, since you aren't acquiring those allies, you can't use them to explore, either. So the timer is very likely to run down on you with this one.
I also note that the Glassworks, a mandatory location here, is one of the harder locations: you have to discard on every failed check, which is not only checks to acquire or defeat cards, but on everything: failed checks to recharge a spell, for example. So that adds to the difficulty here as well.
Defeating the Sandpoint Devil really requires teamwork; you likely need two people at the location when it's found, in order to share the load of the double Combat checks. Valeros or Amiri might be able to make both checks, but the requirement to have the Magic trait as well means even those combat monsters likely need some arcane or divine assistance. Fight the Sandpoint Devil alone, and you're quite likely to lose, running down the timer further.
We played this scenario twice: the first time was with Kyra and Amiri, and we noted that the setup of the game was against us: neither of us had stellar Charisma, so the Diplomacy checks to enlist allies was hard. Furthermore, neither of us had high Dexterity (Kyra's is abysmal), so the checks on half of the locations was quite difficult for us. We'd encountered the Sandpoint Devil only once (which was enough to wipe Amiri's hand), then lost by running out of time.
The second time, I swapped Seoni in for Amiri. We got lucky in that we didn't encounter the Sandpoint Devil the first time until we had an ally and a henchmen to help out and we could share the Combat checks: we only barely beat the Combat 18 checks, and fortunately Seoni's attack had the Magic trait. By the time we ran into the Sandpoint Devil again, we'd collected all 3 henchmen and a total of two allies. The Sandpoint Devil was alone at the Glassworks, the last open location, and we ganged up on him and took him out on the second-to-last card.
I'm definitely including this in our future games, particularly whenever someone comments that the game seems a bit easy or doesn't seem to require much teamwork.
Great design, cartmanbeck!
Reposting cartmanbeck's scenario in order to add my analysis:
The Devil Hunt
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.
Villain: The Sandpoint Devil
During the Scenario:
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.
It stands up to my real world, as I'm not sleeving my cards. :)
Cognitive bias tangent: I'd be interested to know whether more purchasers do or don't sleeve cards for this game. I'm fairly certain there is a false-consensus bias in this forum on this issue: I assume that only a few people actually sleeve cards, because I *don't* sleeve my cards. I've seen posters here insist that *most* people sleeve cards when they themselves do. I guess I'd be interested to hear actual figures on this, to the extent there are any.
Eventually the game will outgrow the box anyway
Not true; the box is designed so that all of the cards from the Base Set and the entirety of the Rise of the Runelords adventure path will fit within.
I don't know how Paizo does things, but if their current "print run" of this game completely sells out, and they have to produce another, would the second printing have corrected cards? Don't they include fixes in re-printings of their books?
If that's the case, I'd like to know when that happens, as I'll happily buy another base set (mine will be worn down by then, anyway!).
Looks right to me. I would add:
* Put your character card in front of you, with the side regarding your Strength/Dexterity/etc. face up. You can ignore anything with a checkbox next to it; those are advances that become available after a few games.
* Look over your character card, in order to get a sense of the dice you roll for certain abilities and bonus skills you have (like Valeros' melee skill) for certain checks. Also review your powers, as those provide effects that you'll use very often in the game.
Mike Selinker wrote:
Oh, no! That villainous Pillbug has gotten to the Holy Water, too! :)
Better even to take out "and Alchemical" entirely then; otherwise, he's tainted the Blast Stones as well!
My initial sense is that this variant would make the game a LOT easier, even though it restricts some players' explorations. Characters that provide advantages for being apart (like Harsk) lose that a little bit with this variant, but seem to gain a lot more in predictability.
I'd like to hear how your win/loss ratio changes under this variant.
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!
Villain: Pillbug Podiker
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.
Or at the beginning of a scenario. Bottom of page 4 under Setup.
Or even during a scenario, by giving one card at a time to each other during the appropriate spot in the turn order. That's the slowest way, but sometimes very necessary!
We gave this one a try over the weekend. It was fun but we actually failed to defeat it in two plays both times due to the blessings deck running out.
Thanks! "Fun but kind of hard" is my design philosophy for everything! :)
Since we started with the actual game (having played dozens of playtest games months ago), we've played 10 games. In that 10, we've lost one game and had one character death (Kyra, who admits she wasn't paying enough attention to heal herself).