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Smuggler's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 13 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 Pathfinder Society character.


I'm fine with Paizo sticking with 3.5 or going with a 3.75 or whatever incarnation they want to put out, as long as it still feels like D&D to me. I'll still buy their stuff for certain. If they switch to 4E, I'll have to seriously consider how useful it will be to me after I get to peruse the rules on the SRD, considering I don't have to sign up with a monthly fee just to check it out. I'd want to reserve a potential switch to 4E AFTER seeing some rules. Based on what I've seen so far (and it's rather limited) I'm not too excited about it.

I wasn't sure I was going to enjoy the switch from 2E to 3E. Turns out I loved it. I was of the opinion that AD&D and 2E was seriously broken though. There were so many wonky mechanics and judgement decisions on little things that should have been standard, that it was hard to run. D20 and 3rd Edition fixed almost all of this. Is it possible that I love 4E as well? Yes, it's possible. Is it likely that it so drastically changes the game as to make it flow and remain flexible, while still retaining the same feel that I'd grown to love that I will no longer see 3.5 as a viable game? I can't see it happening. It will really have to blow me away to make me a customer.

I'm not that thrilled about 4.0 from what I have seen, and granted it hasn't been much, but is that for my lack of looking? Not at all. When 3.0 came out, I was excited because I could see how things were going to work. It made me want to buy the new books and new adventures and give this whole D20 thing a try. It looked as if most of the non-rules issues had been covered, yet it was still the game that I had grown up with. Now, I have to create a Gleemax account, sign up for stuff, blah blah blah to get the information I need to make an informed decision. Maybe I'm not looking that hard. Hell, I don't even know what the cost for such things are because I can't be bothered with WoTC at the moment. I kind of feel like they've blown me off in a way, and I couldn't care less.

That's thanks to Paizo. I was really dissapointed with the cancellation of Dungeon and Dragon magazines. I haven't missed them much with the advent of Pathfinder and Game Mastery to be honest.

In a few words, if Paizo wants to publish in 3.5/3.whatever until they decide it's no longer feasible, I'll be here to the end. If they switch to 4E, I'll have to decide if the game fits what I like the most about it.

3.5 is still fresh to me, and it's all that I need to do what I want to do with the game. Am I clamoring for 4E? Not at all. If I check it out, it will be for free through whatever nefarious means at my disposal before I decide on making a single 4E purchase. It has to blow 3.5 out of the water, like 3E did to 2E, for me to consider switching over to 4E. If not, I'll use what is at my disposal to play for a long long time without even skipping a beat.

I can only hope for 2 things:

1) Paizo does well with whatever they decide to do. I'm really impressed with what they've done for the game, how they deal with their customers, and the high quality products they produce.

2) The game in the end still feels like D&D. I don't play much else, for a reason. It's what I like.

Thanks for asking Paizo.

Go Red Sox!

Much obliged JJ. You guys are doing a great job.

Is there any possibility of giving us a location for Scuttlecove? I want to incorporate it into a Saltmarsh campaign that I am about to begin running, which will eventually tie in to the STAP. I'd like to give the PC's the location to Scuttlecove without having to change it up later when Paizo comes out with a map far superior in appearance to one that I could create.

A similar thing happened when I began running the SCAP, and then several months later Paizo came out with their 4-part Greyhawk map that included Cauldron and Sasserine. By then, it was too late to change for my particular game.

A few more to add... Lord Vhlantru disintegrated an arcane trickster. Freija Doorgan then killed said arcane trickster with her prismatic spray (poison). Ti'irok Coalfire claimed the life of a battle weary aasimar paladin and his lizard-folk ranger comrade, near exhaustion at the time, fell to a charge of a pair of flamewarders whom he called on to aid the paladin.

My favorite quote from last session (ended in a pseudo-TPK):
"I didn't think they would both hit me." <player of the lizard-folk ranger>

Having a blast.

Tongue-Eater got a rude awakening at the hands of a lizard-folk wielding a greataxe in my campaign. He got critted on the charge after the pc's barged in the back way and round 2 was more of a formality than anything. Good luck with the beefed-up Eater of Tongues!

A little advice on this little pickle that I've DM'ed myself into would be fantastic.

The Setup: The characters (lizard-folk ranger 17, aasimar sentinel 17 and half-elf rogue 7/wizard 5/arcane trickster 6) had made it to the chambers of The Thirteen after successfully aiding in the evacuation of Cauldron. They were on cruise-control until they ran into a group of flamewarder guards while battling with Freija Doorgan. Things spiralled out of hand for the trio quickly as more haraknin joined the fray along with Ti'rok Coalfire. It was a real messy fight and the arcane trickster was the first to fall to Freija's Prismatic Spray and then regrouping with the haraknin force and the giant. It was nip and tuck right to the bitter end, but superior numbers got to them and it was a TPK.

The Problem: Of course, as we know, the gate opens with the failure of the PC's and we have Carceri-on-Greyhawk with fiends flooding through the gate, etc... The trouble is, as final as that seems, the characters aren't really dead and the campaign didn't just come crashing to a halt. Earlier, while on Occipitus, the trio had simultaneously acquired the Sign of the Smoking Eye as they all selflessly sacraficed themselves to the flames in a display of comraderie that I could not ignore at the time. I had the powers of good reward that act and they all gained the template, thereby gaining the "lie-in-state" boon of being able to reconstitute after death. So now I have three players who desperately want to get back to Cauldron to get back to the fight and shut that gate down, slay as many fiends as possible, and take it to the Cagewrights.

The "How would you do it?" part: I'm interested to hear how some of the other DM's of the AP would handle this, bearing in mind that none of you would have had the lack of foresight to dole out the template to three seperate individuals at once in an act of DM kindness/let's keep the campaign rolling.

How many demodands come through at once? There's vague hints that a decent sized group was gathered near where the gate was going to open (Asylum). How many come through after the initial opening?

How do the Cagewrights handle the opening of the gate? Do they teleport up to Cauldron to start interacting with the horde or do they hang back to see what happens? Do they then move into Carceri through the gate to free Adimarchus?

At this moment, I'm not sure how I'm going to handle things but I have a small respite of a week or so as the characters have decided that taking out Hookface once and for all should be their first matter of business, before they begin the mind-boggling work of trying to close a gate and stop a demodand horde. I think it was more tangible for them to consider this first instead of trying to tackle the near impossible of not even knowing where to start, and to be honest, I'm a little grateful that they were overwhelmed, as I'm overwhelmed some at the options myself.

Thanks in advance.

So far I've used "The Stink" in between Life's Bazaar and Flood Season and only had to modify the map a little. I used parts of "Racing the Snake" (the gorge, the yuan-ti, and the kobolds) as a the overland journey for "Zenith Trajectory". After that I used "Death of Lashmire" as a strange event that occurred after their return from Occipitus due to an unlucky plane shift random location result that left the unprepared PC's scrambling not to drown off the coast of Sasserine. I used the dungeon "The Catacomb of the Scion" from Libris Mortis as the undetailed catacombs beneath the Cathedral of Wee Jas. I have also used a couple of Maps of Mystery to flesh out some of the underdark areas as well. There is a map for a Stone Giant clan that we used and I also couldn't resist using the map for the Cryomancer's Tower (cool stone icicle tower map from the same issue as Test of the Smoking Eye) as Fetor's actual abode. I placed it near Karran Kural (sp?) and had Fetor teleport back to it. The gang had to find a way in, fight through his ice paraelementals on the upper floors and his Black Ice Golem (Dragon #324) guardian. I described the tower itself along the same lines as the other spell-weaver dungeons and the guys thought it was ultra-cool. I'll probably wind up using the Red Dragon lair 'map of mystery' as well when the heroes eventually look to plunder Hookface's den, assuming they survive their upcoming encounter with the beast.

All in all, Dungeon and Dragon magazines save me one hell of a lot of work and make me look like a devious genius, which I certainly am not. :)


I think that was one of the many continuity issues that came up throughout the series due to the many different authors involved. You're right, as it reads, it wouldn't make sense. You can address this minor issue in one of two ways. The Temple of Lordly Might issues a (public or private) apology to the Church of St. Cuthbert and begs forgiveness for their shortsightedness regarding the importance of the matter, and then pitch in to help with the pushing back of the waters when the heroes return. There may only be a few charges left on the wand but they keep it, as you simply don't throw these things away.

Or you could have it be Kristof Jurgenson who shows up to lend a hand with the wand, as I believe the text implicitly states that he helps with the flood when the heroes return.

Either way, how you handle these minor details and inconsistincies are up to you and your specific campaign. You probably have another fix that you could use in your own game that would personalize the event even more.

When you see something in the series that doesn't fit, tweak it to your individual game. These boards are great for suggestions regarding just such things.


I've also had to alter things considerably to tailor them to my own style and group. I tend not to keep too many secrets from the players once they've discovered things for themselves and I'll dole out the backstory to them afterwards to keep them straight on what is going on. Hence, I've had to do some tinkering here and there, but on the whole so far it's been only some minor changes.

I ran the players through "The Stink" as an interesting interlude between Life's Bazaar and Flood Season. It fit well with the characters and set up an interesting plot device that I employed later in the AP Series. I really didn't mess with much until "The Zenith Trajectory" at which point my story arc differs some from what appears in Dungeon. I wasn't a big fan of Gottrod and Crazy Jared, so I decided to do an overland journey to the north in the mountains using a jumble of the adventure and the gorge from "Chasing the Snake". At the end of the gorge they encountered Maliss and his band of Kobolds who were using the "Pit of Seven Jaws" as a toll route into and out of the underdark. The Stormblades had previously collapsed the other routes into the underdark from the Cauldron vicinity and the characters thought this odd. It's allowed me to play with the plot some and also point them out as pawns to Vhlantru later on in the story. The group also learned from Maliss about Bhal-Hamatugn and journeyed there with the Yuan-ti with some prior knowledge of Dhorlot. I skipped Gottrod all together and crazy Jared was little more than an interesting hermit they met along the way. Once in Bhal-Hamatugn the players learned some background about Maliss's previous dealings with Dhorlot and the Kuo-Toans there and it seemed to make more sense to them. The dragon escaped only to appear later with his progeny (the half-dragon/half-minotaur barbarian) to assault the party.

Ike and Embryl have been tracing the party's progress and engineering events to lead to the death's of the characters, at the request of Vhlantru, and Kaurophon is merely an agent of theirs who is supposed to see to their death on Occipitus. The assassins and priestess of Wee Jas on Occipitus also served as the first overt attempt on the character's lives (I beefed them up a fair bit to make them more of a threat) as the whole 'lens of the blacksun' thing didn't make much sense to me.

After surviving Occipitus and returning, the characters found that plane shifting can have some unpredictable consequences and they found themselves reappearing on the prime off the western coast of Sasserine, some 200 miles out into the ocean. I ran the group through "The Death of Lashmire" after they had to swim for their lives, as another interulde, and they eventually teleported back to Sasserine with a scroll that they found in Lashmire's abode. On the march back from Sasserine they were accosted by Dhorlot and his progeny and it was a tough fight to the bitter end. It tied the dragon in with the cagewrights and let the characters know precisely that someone was not happy about their return. They really found this out when the assassination attempt in Secrets of the Soul Pillars caught them off guard as they were relaxing for the night, swapping tales with Kristof at the shrine of Pelor. From there they were certain that the higher ups in the Temple of Wee Jas wanted them dead for some reason, and it really made the encounter with Ike Iverson all the more pertinent.

After dispatching with Ike, the characters met with the Stormblades to talk about Todd's death and their involvement, and from that point I had them lead the characters (figuratively) to Karran Kural. They told the party that there was yet another underdark entrance underneath the Temple of Wee Jas, beneath the catacombs, and that it was through there that the characters found the Soul Pillars and will eventually find the hidey-hole of the cagewrights and the Tree of Shackled Souls. It also gave me a good chance to throw a huge undead fest at the players straight out of Libris Mortis, and flesh out the lower chambers of the Cathedral of Wee Jas. It has tied things in nicely. It also gives the characters a quicker route to the underdark and their informant Maliss, who can perhaps guide them to the ruins of Shatterhorn.

This was just some tinkering that I did as it makes the characters appear to take more initiative rather than simply have Jenya cast Find the Path and send them on their merry way once again. I'm trying to make it feel to the players that they are discovering the adventures as they go rather than having them stuffed in their pockets from the highest level priest in town and told "I'll pay you if you succeed..."

The underdark entrance under the Cathedral catacombs will be their secret that they can use against he Cagewrights instead of them following some random lava tube to the adventure before the slaughter. Having a pseudo-ally in a high level Yuan-ti ranger with intimate knowledge of the underdark beneath Cauldron and Shatterhorn will also be a nice tie-in come the time when they finally strike blows against the 13.


We have a small group and at the moment I'm DM'ing the AP series. I run the Arcane Trickster NPC.
They were pegged "The Fiend Slayers" by Kristof Jurgenson when they returned from Occipitus.

Avarion Tath, Aasimar Sentinel of Pelor 14 (NG Paladin from Dragon Magazine #310.). His Celestial Minion is a leopard named Maehdros. His backstory includes his uncle being one of the priests of Pelor who mysteriously perished/vanished and he journeyed to Cauldron to investigate once hearing about it from an uncaring high preist in Sasserine. Avarion is death to fiends of all types and a paragon of good, an example to be followed. Avarion is soley responsible for the current rise in popularity of the Shrine of Pelor in the city with the fall of the Temple of Wee Jas.

Krelthass, Lizard Folk Ranger 14. Krelthass has a monitor lizard companion named Skrel. Krelthass journeyed from the jungle swamps at the behest of his chief, who was slowly losing sanity due to recurring visions of the "Eye in the Darkness, The Eye Wreathed in Flame." Drawn to Cauldron upon seeing patrol members wearing the city's emblem he soon teamed up with Avarion and Quarso after fighting off a small group of goblin bandits riding dinosaurs. Krelthass is an archer without peer and an absolute menace with a two-handed weapon, his chosen style of combat. Krelthass hunts fiends like some men hunt small game. In his off time, Krelthass provides guard services to Maavu Arlintal in exchange for room and board.

Quarso Westkey, Half-Elf Rogue 7/Wizard 5/Arcane Trickster 3. The son of the owners of the Westkey Map Market, Quarso is an adventurer first, and a cartographer/archaeologist second. He eventually plans on settling into the family business, but he is currently too enbroiled in the intrigues of the city to actually get much finished beyond merely making notes. There are some who feel he might make an excellent Lord Mayor in time.

The all have the smoking eye template due to the selfless act of sacraficing themselves as a team to the plasms. I couldn't resist. The added benefits also offset their lack of a fourth team member.

Great Fun!

Since I last reported each of the two PC's (I also run a third NPC's) had only experienced an untimely death once, but had been returned to life. We've finished playing through the Test of the Smoking Eye and are onto the Secrets of the Soul Pillars. There is one (or 3) more deaths to report. The Paladin got lit up good by the lich at the end of the Test of the Smoking Eye. Seeing that the heroes would not be able to defeat the lich while he stood in the negative energy, he bravely bull-rushed him out of it and "plugged" the hole, so to speak, to prevent the lich from healing himself up. They had the lich and his summons on the ropes but his harm spell healed him up to full as the paladin once again stepped free of the negative energy flames. He was probably at about half of his hit points when he got lit up by Unholy Blight spells in the next two consecutive rounds. He got pasted good and died.

The ranger and the arcane trickster continued on to the final part of the test and obliterated Kaurophon as they beat him to the punch on initiative. Kaurophon didn't make it out of the first round. Once they destroyed him, the remaining player, distraught with the death of his comrade at arms, along with the arcane trickster NPC entered the plasma chute with their expired comrade and they all sacraficed themselves.

I gave them a break and brought them all back with the smoking eye template, as it seemed an appropriate reward for thinking of it.

I now have a two-headed monster on my hands as either don't fear death at all due to the "lie in state" ability, but that should make for some daring play in the future. Having a blast with this one. Kudos to Dungeon!

The Smoking Eye template might also be a game saver. The Imbued with Evil ability treats the character with the template as being evil for the purposes of that spell, if I am reading things correctly, which I might not be. If I missed on this one JJ or anyone else, please let me know. I noted the Blasphemy ability of the Morkoth as well on first reading and cringed.

My guys are just arriving on Occipitus now. Hopefully someone gains the template.


I knew that the AP was going to be tough going in and the party only consists of 2 PC's. There is an Aasimar Paladin of Pelor(Sentinel, NG Paladin from Dragon) and a Lizardfolk Ranger. They teamed up with an NPC rogue with a knack for the arcane and have done pretty well so far. But there has been a death or two. We're just into part 1 of the big fight in Bal Hamatughn (Zenith Trajectory) and they're having a time of it with the whips, their high AC's, lightning bolts and puddles of water. I can't wait for Aushanna and Mingh.

Death One, Life's Bazaar:

The Aasimar Sentinel, hot in pursuit of a fleeing skulk not 2 minutes into Jzadirune runs into the dual invisibility zones, with his companions bogged down behind him in the tunnel. He emerges and bursts into the chamber as the Pulverizer is commanded to attack and takes a nasty hit bringing him down to 3 or 4 HP's. He's slow on the draw for initiative and the Pulverizer crits him for 20 pts or something like that. The Lizardfolk and the rogue scramble to deal with the automaton and the dark creeper, but it shuts down and they manage to escape with the body of their fallen comrade.

Death Two, Flood Season:

Tongue Eater got smoked by a big crit from the Lizardfolk ranger and his new masterwork greataxe. The poor Lycanthrope didn't have a chance to get started in this one. The group smartly went around the back way and forced their way to the kitchen before the rest of the goons at the Lucky Monkey were alerted to their presence. Mopping up the rest of the mob was easily done, although more than a handful of Alleybashers escaped. Upon reaching the interior of the Korpru Lair they dealt with the Slaad but didn't finish it as they were confident that it had been dealt a final blow. The slaad feigned death and recovered. While it was doing that they set the webs alight in the spider portion of the caves and Skaven had to deal with that with the help of the wands and his Air Elemental. Forced out of the area by smoke, the group went on to deal with Triel and Tarkilar, whom they handled fairly well, only to return to an ambush by Skaven, some wounded Ettercaps, the Harpoon Spider and the recovered Slaad. This was an eyelash away from a TPK. The Lizardfolk ranger dealt with the Slaad and an Ettercap fairly handily, while the Sentinel took the fight to the Harpoon Spider (not by choice, but because he get 'hooked'). The rogue was scrambling to deal with the second Ettercap when Skaven had to come out of hiding to Lightning bolt the Lizardfolk ranger. After seeing the diminutive wizard, the ranger opened fire and was making Skaven rethink his tactics. The sentinel had to duck away to quaff a potion as Skaven had him all lined up for Phantasmal Killer, so Skaven redirected this towards the ranger who badly failed the saves. The sentinel managed to heal up just enough hit points for a critical hit by a vampiric touch by Skaven taking him into the low negatives, leaving only the rogue and the ranger's animal companion, a monitor lizard to combat the halfling. Using a flank they finally got the upperhand and Skaven was finally dealt with in time to save the dying sentinel. The rogue was down to a minimum of hp's and only the monitor lizard was remotely healthy.

Death Three, Zenith Trajectory: It hasn't happened yet, but my hunch is that the Kuo-Toan high priest will get them with the control water trick if he manages to lock one in the chamber. Hopefully, it will be the lizard folk ranger and not the paladin.

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