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I'll be at PaizoCon. I got lotteried (lottereyed? lottereied? man, you'd think a freelancer would be better with words) into an event on Sunday afternoon, so I'm not available for the Aristocratic Luncheon of Freelancer Grace and Class that y'all are putting on...but I'll be around.
I got a few neat lottery events, but I went to sign up for other events and everything is either "event is full" or "signup not yet open."
Open registration opened today with errors, it's now closed, and we have no word on when it will open again? Is that about right?
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.
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
What non-combat villains do you mean? The Pirate Council? That's easy--it just costs you a plunder card. Or do you mean the villains that have checks you need to make or you evade them (more like THEY evade YOU, amirite?) like Scourge and Plugg?
In any case, I have a few thoughts about your character choices:
First of all, I was in your exact position: starting with two other players that wanted Jirelle and Merisiel. I actually went with Oloch, but he's not a base-box character.
So, thoughts from the base box:
* Having a highest *anything* of d8 isn't bad, so your group will probably be fine with Charisma, even if you play Seltyiel.
* Lem seems better than Seltyiel to pair with your kids' characters, because he has a good Charisma and some healing. But he'll be competing with them for finesse weapons. Alahazra is probably a better choice than Lem, since she also has a good Charisma and provides healing.
* Alahazra is bad at facing barriers, but so is Seltyiel.
Perhaps try Seltyiel, and if it's just not working for you, switch to Alahazra?
This is neat to see. Seelah and Valeros are the only characters I've played through every scenario of RotR (although I got most of the way with Amiri), and Seelah was my favorite of the two.
Pirate Rob wrote:
This came up on Board Game Geek a little while ago, and I'll state here what I said there: I can't believe this hadn't come up before! I've failed to beat a villain a few times when testing Shield of Rannick, but we never had the medallion go into a location. Shuffling a medallion into a location deck without a rule about how to acquire it is problematic--there isn't any check listed about what to do if you encounter one! So medallions can't go into location decks.
Do this instead: When a villain escapes, examine the cards from the blessing deck that you shuffle with the villain. If you find a Sihedron Medallion, take another blessing card instead and shuffle the Sihedron Medallion back into the blessings deck instead. (Yes, this might mix up the order of Sihedron Medallions if there are more than 1, but that could be good or bad!) So, basically, what Jones said.
I'm going to include this in my next round of edits to the .pdf.
Thanks very much for the positive review! It makes my work in putting these alternate adventures together worthwhile to know that people are playing and enjoying them.
As to your specific questions:
1) Yep, you'd need to discard an ally when defeating the Bhole Jaws to have its location permanently closed. Defeating a villain means you don't need to make the "When Closing" check, but the scenario power still triggers: when you would permanently close a location, you must discard an ally or it isn't closed. So you'd need to have an ally in hand to do that.
That's difficult, sure, but note that the locations are all packed with allies, and the scenario contains an intentionally difficult choice: do I put acquired allies in my hand because I need them to close locations, or do I set them aside in order to better defeat the monstrously difficult Bhole Jaws?
2) Yes, Junk Beach is easy to close because Poison Traps are pretty easy at this level (don't tell that to Kyra, though!). Note that the Temple is even easier (it's automatic!) and so is the Dam (also automatic, but at cost!)--part of the design in including an extra location was to be sure a lot of the locations were fairly easy to close.
Glad you liked it, and happy to answer any other questions!
It won't unbalance your characters to do that first; you end up with a bit better gear and a single skill feat, I believe. (The Shield of Rannick AP is designed to be a little bit harder than RotRL, and some of that difficulty comes from jumping right in to Chapter 1 with Basic cards, but it doesn't have to be that way if you don't want to.)
Vic has two notes in there, one being that when you don't actually encounter Kerdak Bonefist, even though he is undefeated, you don't loss blessings.
Like others, we've been playing this on "hard mode." :-)
1) Yes. We observed that the "When Closing" requirements on the locations really only come into play when temp-closing a location.
2) An undefeated villain pulls blessings off the top of the blessings deck, like usual. Hitting Kerdak Bonefist too many times means your time gets very short. Aggressive scouting to spot Kerdak Bonefist worked best for us.
3) Yes. We had to try three times, and we're pretty good at this game.
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.
You've got it right. On our second attempt at this, my Feiya hit Omara Culverin on turn 1 while we weren't really prepared and nobody could temporarily close their location (they were at the Sea Fort with no armors in hand). So we lost a lot of time of the blessing deck.
Fortunately, we managed to pull out a win, primarily from spotting Kerdak Bonefist through our spyglass and avoiding his location until we'd cleared everything else out.
Final checks of 50 and 50 (Damiel and Jirelle were both using Ranged) were difficult, but we did it!
Just to give folks an update here: someone identified an error in one of the new henchmen (Titanic Bulk) as presented in the .pdf. I've fixed the .pdf and the printer-friendly .pdf.
On the plus side, the cards you can order from DriveThruCards.com have all the right numbers on them.
You can get the .pdf with the correct numbers at the website.
Personally, I like the variant someone suggested wherein you banish 1d4 cards from your deck and soldier on.
Hey, I was just evaluating the penalty of banishing cards at the end of the game, for something else. I want to drill down into this a bit more: would you banish 1d4 cards of your choice from your deck, or 1d4 random cards from your deck? Would the latter seem *too* detrimental (like if you banished a loot, or something)?
Sean Becker 690 wrote:
There is actually a pretty active group in Bloomington Illinois. We can't make it up on a regular basis, but it is only a 2 hour drive. We could do a special trip up on the weekend.
Or we could come down there from time to time--when and where do you play?
When there is a "mandatory" location for the adventure, it's usually the first one listed. If you were going to randomize, you should at least keep the first location locked. Perhaps safer to keep all of the locations identified for a single-player game locked, as those three (or sometimes two, or sometimes four) are technically the only locations that must appear for the scenario to "work."
Other than that, the locations often tend to alternate in (very roughly) an easy-hard-easy-hard order; randomizing means you might get all easy locations, or all hard ones. Which might be part of the appeal of randomizing, actually.
If our high-level Kingdom of Toads adventure was just not over-the-top enough for you, we've made it mythic! Kingdom of Toads: Mythic Edition presents our high-level adventure with mythic-level threats and challenges. Check it out!
Michael Klaus wrote:
I was wondering: Since I assume that you have no interest in making a profit from promos, might this be a way to allow players to get old ones? I just came up with this to shock a certain someone who tried to sell me his 5 Blessing of Zogmugot for around 65$.
I'll sell you 5 blessings of Zogmugot for only $60. :-)
Which game store? I live in Skokie, with relatives in Oak Park. I'm trying to get PACG started at our new FLGS, Aw Yeah Games.
Saturday afternoons are not ideal, but I might be able to make that work once a month or so. Weekday evenings tend to be better for me.
That reminds me of this old article.
Have you defeated Karzoug and want to keep playing?
The Mhar of Leng adventure is a five-scenario adventure scaled as a "Chapter 7" for the Rise of the Runelords PACG adventure path. It uses primarily the cards you've already got, with a handful of villains and henchmen you can print out from the .pdf, proxy, or order from DriveThruCards.com.
You can download it from WelbyBumpus.com here for free.
Get it, play it, and let me know what you think!
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).
Andrew L Klein wrote:
That's the Man's Promise you're thinking of. It's our favorite in regular play. Being able to explore without spending a blessing in hand is very nice.
We have Jirelle in our regular group, and got very used to her structural damage reduction. Since we don't have that in organized play, we almost always take the Kraken for our OP games.
what sort of card-quantities are we talking about? - I'd certainly be interested in this, depending on how many cards I'd need to proxy
Four. Two villains new villains and two new henchmen (although you'd need up to seven of each henchmen, based on how many players you've got--Bandits or similar will do).
I'm a big fan of using what we've already got, just putting them together in new ways. For a higher-level adventure, though, I felt like I needed just a couple more villains and a couple more henchmen to make the story and power level fit right.
Ron Lundeen wrote:
Hey, all! I've put together a "Chapter 7" for Rise of the Runelords, for those people (like me) who wanted to give their Karzoug-killin' characters another high-powered adventure to play through.
I've tested it with my own group, but I know all high-level characters are different, so I'd like to get others' thoughts on it, too, before releasing it to the world.
If you'd like to playtest a five-scenario "Chapter 7" over the next week or two, please Private Message me and I'll send you the latest draft so you can play it and circle back to me with your thoughts.
Okay, so I put some thought into my problem with this scenario after my imaginary conversation above. I’m not complaining that the scenario is tough (tough scenarios are nice to see from time to time); I *do* think this scenario feels a little lazy in the design department, because it feels like someone came up with a generic “Tough Scenario Template” and applied to another, more reasonable scenario.
Here is the generic Tough Scenario Template:
1) In addition to all other locations, add the Torture Pit (if the Torture Pit is already included, add the Shrine to Norgorber instead).
2) When building the location decks, replace all allies with monsters.
3) When you defeat a henchman, do not banish it; instead, put it in a pile next to the scenario card. When you encounter the villain, each other character must summon and encounter a random henchman from this henchman pile.
4) The villain gains the power “After you act, discard 1d4 cards from the blessings deck.”
Viola--tough version of any scenario!
We, too, have breezed through AP 4 and 5 so far but hit a wall with this. We've lost it twice and it hasn't been close either time.
We will play it again, and play until we win it, but we'll definitely have to adopt the "spread out and temporarily close locations strategy" to beat it. We have Damiel, Jirelle, and Feiya, so we have limited scouting ability.
This scenario just feels like petulant meanness. It's difficult, but isn't a clever kind of difficult, like Bizarre Love Triangle, just an additive sort of meanness that seems a bit lazy in the design department:
"I've designed this well-crafted scenario about finally beating a nemesis of the PCs."
"Is it SUPER TOUGH? Did you use ALL the tough locations?"
"I could; I don't know if it matches the theme of..."
"DO IT! And y'know what would be tougher? Adding another location!"
"Sure, but you don't even know what the scenario is about..."
"Plus the ship is anchored, so they can't even use their ship powers!"
"And a henchman that wipes a random character's hand! And one that makes you banish your most awesome cards! And make it so you have to fight THOSE SAME HENCHMEN OVER AND OVER."
"I suppose we could craft a story that..."
"FORGET STORY! FIGHT THE SAME TERRIBLE HENCHMEN OVER AND OVER FOR NO GOOD REASON! RANDOMLY!!"
"Plus, you discard blessings from the blessing deck for fighting the villain. EVERY TIME you fight the villain!"
"That doesn't even make sense...losing blessing is like losing time. Does the villain delay you, or something? How does it fit into the story?"
"FORGET STORY! TOUGHEST LOCATIONS! EXTRA LOCATION! ANCHOR THE SHIP! KILLER HENCHMEN YOU FIGHT RANDOMLY OVER AND OVER FOR NO GOOD REASON! PLUS THE VILLAIN COSTS YOU TIME--AND MAKES YOU RECHARGE A CRAP-TON OF CARDS EVERY TIME, LIKE SOME SORT OF HOPPED-UP JUBRAYL VHISKI! DO IT!"
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.
DM_Kumo Gekkou wrote:
Do you guys have a specific program you use or what? How do you present the scenarios, adventure paths, etc to your characters? I've tried adjusting them down but they come out nearly unreadable when shrunk.
I don't shrink them down, I just print them out on regular paper. That's how they're intended to be used (that is, they aren't intended to be shrunk down to card size).
As Seelah I just completed the Brigandoom scenario and collected an item as my reward (Potion of Healing). As I create my deck to venture forth, can I add the item into my deck? The reason I'm confused is because Seelah's card list states that she can't have any items.
No, Seelah cannot keep items between scenarios. You can let someone else you are adventuring with (if any) keep it as one of their items, though.
As I said when I played Seelah, "Material items freight your soul, and I'll have none of it!"
I also agree with ThreeEyedSloth's assessment. Being restricted to the Class Decks severely cripples many characters, or makes them simply unplayable: Meliski, Siwar, Zarlova, Tontelizi, Vika, Wrathack, etc.
Although I imagine that a few of the characters are less than optimal when restricted to their deck cards, I think you're being overbroad in describing who is crippled or unplayable: my friend's Meliski and my Vika have both done very well, and we've had a lot of fun with each. Neither has seemed unreasonably constrained.
I want to see that card.
NPC: "You must undertake these three tests of might, mind, and quickness..."
The original question of this thread (can you explore outside of your explore step) was answered today. And the answer is no.
This is a pretty comprehensive change to how we play. It was typical for us to, for example, draw a Detect Magic into our hand and then play it at the end of the turn. Just last weekend, I felt like I'd pulled off a good maneuver by starting my turn (not at the Torture Pit), using the Pteranodon to move to the Torture Pit and explore, then use my move to go back to my original location and explore there. That seemed a slow but effective way to get through a difficult location safely.
Upon initial consideration, I think the FAQ isn't complete enough. If a card lets you do X and explore, can you still play that card outside of your explore step for X, but not get the explore? More specifically:
* Can I reset my hand then, if I drew a Detect Magic, play Detect Magic to examine the top card of my location deck (being unable to encounter it, even if it is a blessing or has the Magic trait)?
* Can I use the Pteranodon (or similar move card) to move at the start of my turn, even though I can't then explore when I do?
I'm currently playing in a two character campaign as Meliski and I'm just curious as to how other people are building him. I think we're on the third pack/expansion and we're playing the Shield of Rannick campaign (or whatever it's called).
First, you're correct, it's "Shield of Rannick." /shameless plug
The Meliski in our group is only through adventure 2, but also plans to go Brawler. He's taken +1 to Strength and +2 to Charisma, with a 2-dice reroll power feat, +1 weapon, and +1 spell. His player uses Meliski as a buffer primarily, following others around in order to grant them rerolls as necessary.
Same here, and it looks like an interesting set of scenarios. I'm looking forward to throwing my Vika or my Heggal at them!
We've noticed that the increase in difficulty has served to limit our choices.
With RotRL, we feel like we could play practically any combination of the characters and have a good shot at success (although we have one player who insists that a healer is always required, even in RotRL).
Due to the increased difficulty in S&S, we feel more constrained in our character choices: taking characters with poor Wisdom and Constitution, or without either Survival or Craft, is a noticeable hindrance that the other players have to make up for. So we avoid those characters. We also found that we need to run with at least one dedicated healer and preferably one other divine caster with a Cure or two.
The few times we deviated from this in S&S, we found the game frustratingly difficult.
Our success rate with S&S has been pretty good, but only because of the constraint in our "party building." I also hope WotR is partway between the two games for difficulty, if only so we again feel like we can run with nearly any combination of the characters and succeed.
Scott Keim wrote:
The low-hanging joke here, of course, is that the undead took your brain...