James Jacobs wrote:
Thanks for the honest reaction, James. I still hope, that there will be an official "patch" for the caravan rules here on the Paizo boards. It isn´t too late for that, becaus the vast majority of GMs and players hasn´t even started the campaign.
Our group for instance starts "The Brinewall Legacy" in Decemeber. I hope, I don´t have to drop the caravan rules. I did that with Kingmaker. The kingdom building rules were not realistic enough for me and my group, but I hope that I can use the additional rules this time in my campagin. Without them the long, long journey could be a little boring. Because most journeys are boring. This campaign NEEDS a proper caravan system, please give it to us, Paizo! :)
James Jacobs wrote:
Great news! Thank you.
Will Hongal be covered in the upcoming books in the AP? If not, are they the Dragon Empires version of the Mongols?
Hongal definitely is the Golarion version of Mongolia, a land ruled by steppe warriors (see Kobold Quarterly #19). I wonder how much information there is about this land in "Forest of Spirits".
I think the other seals have fallen into the hands of the Five Storms. The PCs can become Amatatsu scions via the one in Brinewall.
Do I have to use a spoiler tag in a GM thread? Okay, here we go... :)
Do the PCs know, after opening the warding box, that they are now Amatatsu scions? I´m thinking about giving them a hint, a magical tattoo on the palm of their hands or something like that.
By the way, I find it strange that a non-relative to one of the five royal families can become the emperor or empress just by touching a royal seal. I think the reason for this is obvious: If Ameiko dies, then the campaign isn´t over. But does it make sense story-wise?
I´ve read about the problems with the motivation of Ameiko, Sandra, Koya and Shalelu. Some GMs complained, there is no reason for, say, Shalelu to NOT accompany the PCs on different occasions.
The easy solution: Leave them out. Will Shalelu, Sandru and Koya become necessary or important in "Forest of Spirits" and the following two installments? If not, I´m thinking about ignoring them completely.
Note: I will leave the whole romance thing out of my campaign.
I just skimmed the adventure and it seems to be everything that I was hoping for. Lots of outdoor encounters, interesting locations, some dungeons (but not too many), and very fine roleplaying opportunities. I think it captures the feel of an epic journey and incorporates the caravan rules better than the - excellent! - first two installments.
Jason Nelson wrote:
I might compare the adventure in some ways to Sea Wyvern's Wake from the Savage Tide AP (at least from playing in it; I've never read the adventure) - you have a long journey with a number of events that happen along the way. Some of the events are one-offs, but others build upon one another. I'd say this mod has a stronger central core than SWW, as there are some key locations, but the adventure is more about the journey and how the PCs choose to get from here to there, and what they encounter along the way. There are scripted social encounters where they will have opportunities for negotiation and there are also plenty of modular situations that can be used to facilitate the social game along the way.
That is what I was hoping for. The first two adventures were pretty site based, so this is a welcome change.
I really want to make a witch I think, but I'm a little worried about the fragility of my familiar. I've never played a caster that used one and from what I can tell they look pretty breakable? Any tips on what I can do to help out with my little friends survivability?
A good GM knows "the witch problem" and will act accordingly. Unless the player does something really stupid, I, as a GM, would not kill a familiar. If a player chooses a cat or raven or something else bigger than a cockroach, that´s fine. He or she should not be punished for that.
Rise of the Runelords: "The Skinsaw Murders"
Curse of the Crimson Throne: "Edge of Anarchy" and "Skeletons of Scarwall"
Second Darkness: hmm... maybe "The Armageddon Echo" (the only AP that I don´t like)
Legacy of Fire: "The End of Eternity" and "The Impossible Eye"
Council of Thieves: "The Sixfold Trial" and "What Lies in Dust"
Kingmaker: "Sound of A Thousand Screams" (that´s easy)
Serpent´s Skull: "Souls for Smuggler´s Shiv"
I find oversized breasts and chainmail bikinis just silly, infantile. But I´m really annoyed about oversized elven ears and swords the size of a mobile crane. It looks so... WoW. I really don´t like that part of the Paizo artworks.
On the other hand Paizo has produced some of the best looking books ever. The Bestiary 1 and 2, The "Books of the Damned" and so on look awesome.
I think you underestimate the popularity of WoW. Darnassus has become one of the best known names in the fantasy genre. I think more people could tell you what Darnassus is than what Barad-dur is.
Anyway, it´s just a cloak. :)
No AP in Alkenstar? Great news! My group would never, never play an adventure in Alkenstar. We really like guns - in Shadowrun, but not in a fantasy setting. One of the good things about playing in our own campaign world is that Alkenstar is not on the map. Yes, I really hate it, the only thing I hate in Golarion and by far the worst part of this great campaign world.
Mega Dungeon: A complete AP underground, no sunlight for three years of game time, sounds depressing.
I would love to see an AP in Nex/Geb, the Worldwound, the Land of the Linnorm Kings or the Realm of the Mammoth Lords.
Council of Thieves is meh. It's not as bad as Second Darkness, but it's light years behind the other APs.
Second Darkness is the worst AP yet. Council of Thieves has - at least - one of the best modules in it: The Sixfold Trial.
I would recommend Serpent´s Skull. Not my favourite AP, but it´s straightforward and seems to be fun.
I own nearly every AP module so far and I love the concept and I love most of the adventures. But I´ve never read any single story. For our homebrew campaign the fiction is nearly worthless as "background material" and many stories have nothing to do with the AP plot. I´d like to see the fiction dropped. But...
I work at a newspaper (in Germany), I know that not everything printed is for everyone, so the current AP format is all right with me.
F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
Third, I feel like playing undead characters weakens the potential for fear in the adventures. As humans and human-like races the players can sympathize with the characters' situations and react in ways based off their own experiences. As undead, the characters become superhuman, immune to a host of dangers and effects and possessing weird new abilities. Such increased power, even if it does take a horrifying shape, doesn't serve to make the character's experiences more fearful or increase the relationship between character and player - a fundamental element to horror roleplaying to my mind.
I don´t think that "fear" is a factor in a fantasy roleplaying game. Sure, there can be a creepy atmosphere, but the Pathfinder (or D&D) characters ARE superhuman. That´s the reason why for my group Ravenloft never really worked. Fantasy PCs are meant to slay evil. A paladin running from ghouls and ghosts? Pah! A game like Call of Cthulhu is far superior in that regard.
You have Pett and Vaughan on this, and that's more than enough - The Handsome Yank and The Scruffy Saxon could get an assignment for Carebears vs. My Little Pony adventure and still make it a scarefest of epic proportions.
That´s right, oh yes. I´ve never read anything bad by RP and GAV.
Each adventure looks really interesting but the blurb doesn't really suggest how they will all tie together into an Adventure Path. It will be interesting to see how that's done.
The PCs are on the trail of the cult "Whispering Way". That will lead them to Gallowspire. It´s as easy as pie... but not for the PCs, I fear. ;)
The black dragon is Ilthuliak, the little pet of the fey-queen Nyrissa. The dragon has her lair in the First World. So I think the PCs face her there - and also Nyrissa. Scary.
Jason Nelson wrote:
I think there are answers to your questions, and hopefully some of those answers might increase your enjoyment level, or once you actually it the play-through of the adventure you'll find it turns out to be more enjoyable than you're expecting.
That´s right, you´ll never know for sure before you´ve played the adventure.
As for the tournament events, I'll say that I ran that section of the adventure as a PaizoCon event and the players had a blast both participating in and (in-character) betting on the events. A con game isn't the same as an ongoing campaign, of course, but still it was qutie a fun event.
I think I was a little unfair regarding the tournament. The setting is very cool, very atmospheric.
But I still doubt my players will attend it. I read the last paragraph of "Blood for Blood" again. It says about Irovetti:
While there’s no hard evidence to suggest he encouraged Baron Drelev to attack the PCs, the political situation should certainly suggest it.
But we´ll see if my players are as smart as I think. ;)
You´re right, this AP was fantastic and still is. I´ve never said the AP is bad, not at all. My "analysis" is about this module. I read the adventure, and I´ll play it, but I still think my complaints are reasonable. Others have no complaints, and that´s fine. But this is a discussion, and not only positive critiques should be allowed.
For me this adventure was some kind of a let-down.
If the PCs attend the tournament, it will hurt them. Luckily they won´t go, because at that point of the campaign they´ll know what a trickster Irovetti is. And if they attend, they´ll get nothing out of it. Archery contests and timbersports are fine in a level one module, but my players will probably expect more when they are rulers of a kingdom.
The Abbey is another red herring. A pointless search for a "super-weapon" that never existed. They´ll get some information about Briar and Nyrissa, sure, but I bet they´ll get much more of it in Kingmaker 6.
Most locales on the hex map are rather uninspiring. It´s apparent that these are the byproducts in the adventure. The dragon´s lair is atmospheric, but it´s empty (luckily at this point).
The palace is - for me - compared to such marvels like Scarwall or Clydewell Keep a little boring. Bards are the super villains, hmm... The best part is the dungeon.
Sorry about my critique, Jason. It´s just what I think at the moment.
The mass combat rules are superb, simple and easy. I´m looking forward to some of the battles.