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Lopo

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber. 422 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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I've got two:

Sound of a Thousand Screams - Probably my favorite finale of any AP, but admittedly part of this is because it involved the First World heavily, and I love fey-themed stuff! However, I also loved that the PCs actions had ramifications throughout the adventure. The fact that they could do this and cause that to happen gives them a feeling of accomplishment well before the adventure climax occurs, and it's always significant when the players can feel like their actions actually mean something! I also loved that the threats in this adventure were often real. My players are a pretty tough crew, but this has not been a walk in the park for them at all. A fantastic completion chapter for a wonderful AP!

The Dead Heart of Xin - I think Brandon Hodge has become one of my most well-loved adventure writer because he's mastered the art of pacing and PC significance. A lot of what I love about this AP has been described above by captain yesterday. What's most awesome about all of it though is that it shows how Mr. Hodge continually evolved his adventure writing based on feedback from those that ran his past adventures. He listened to the players and wrote an adventure that gave them what they asked for. Again, player actions throughout the AP and the adventure adjusted its play. I love it when this happens. Another thing I loved about it was the opportunity for roleplay encounters throughout . . . it wasn't just a slugfest.

Great thread, Mr. Groves! Best of luck in the continual honing of your craft! I'm a big fan of your stuff, as well!


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Kaelidin wrote:

I wish they would make a sticky for this. I've been wanting to get Kingmaker forever, but the cost per book is more than a hardcover corebook from my searches.

Like 5 years after release they do a hardcover omnibus of the 6 books and call it a day. Personally I wouldn't need the supplemental materials like separate maps, cards character portfolios etc, just the books in 1, hardcover or soft isn't as important to me either.

I do hope that Paizo looks at it as an opportunity and does so, or at least flat out say no, so at least we know to look for other means.

They've pretty much already said not to get any hopes up, actually. Many times. While the six books in an AP do cost more than a single core book, the page count is also significantly larger, so that makes sense. The other problem that has been repeatedly documented, which you also state openly here, is that if they started making hardcover omnibus of every AP for cheaper than buying the AP books themselves, there is no incentive for purchasing the AP books . . . which, inevitably, destroys their subscription numbers. Thus, they begin competing with themselves, as AP subscriptions are pretty much their bread and butter, and the income they get for those subscriptions is what helps pay for all those other fun things they do (such as the opportunity to do the Rise of the Runelords Anniversary Edition!).

In short, don't expect any hardcover omnibus to get done. If they ever do another one, it'll probably be either Crimson Throne, or one of the other unconverted APs.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

So, I know it's early yet (having not even gotten the first adventure to read and all), but has anyone else given any serious thought about how to incorporate the Queen's Hand from the PCS: Rival Guide into this? I mean, c'mon! A team of highly trained special investigators that works directly for the queen? A province (or whatever they're called in Cheliax) in the early stages of rebellion? These two have to go together somehow!


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Scott Calnan wrote:
spectrevk wrote:

Okay, so your real problem isn't replacing him as a combatant (that's easy; Foxglove manor is a creepy haunted house, you could put any ghoul down there), it's giving the PCs a reason to a) go to Foxglove Manor to fight things and b) follow the trail back to Magnimar.

I haven't read through the Skinsaw Murders in a while; is there any good reason why Aldern's debtors couldn't simply recover his corpse, turn him into a Ghoul, and set him loose on Sandpoint to collect more greedy souls?

Ghoul Fever affects the living, not the dead. The reason I'm thinking of going the Golem route is that that gives time for the body to be recovered, made into a Golem, give it sentience (There is an awakening clause), and unleash on the villagers and finish his work.

He may have already been suffering from Ghoul Fever when they met him in Burnt Offerings, but wasn't showing any symptoms of it yet, or not bad enough symptoms so as to be recognizable. His slaying merely finished the process a little quicker, and now the Strix has an obsessed mortal enemy on his hands!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Nobody, huh? Any idea on how to price these things? Any standards? A friend of mine said that some general pricing for abilities equating to a feat to be around 5k gold, while abilities that generate powers equivalent to class abilities could be anywhere between 10-26k gold.

That's a good start, I'd say. Still, some of the above abilities for the items listed don't fall into those categories either (although the fly spell as a swift action could equate to the Quicken metamagic feat, which would mean that cost would be 5k).


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

So, I've tried to reconstruct how some of the Unchained Scaling Item examples were created, but I'm getting some weird variables here that I can't pinpoint. I'm not the greatest mathematician, so please forgive that!

I understand how the system works. I've gone over that rather extensively, and I've figured it out pretty well. It's the cost for applying certain abilities that does not make sense to me. Thus, I was wondering if others may have figured out some of the standardized pricing for this stuff.

For the Armageddon Plate:

What would the pricing be for the 8th level fear ability? It appears to mimic a monster special ability, not the spell (the spell would cost too much anyway for the level it gets unlocked), and I see nothing on the magic item pricing chart that equates to this.

Additionally, how would one price the DC increase and ranged attack retaliation for that fear ability at the unlocked 13th level?

Or the change of Damage Reduction from DR/magic to DR/- in the modified Invulnerability ability for the unlocked 16th level ability?

For the Armor of the Celestial Host:

Is there a standardized pricing for all of that fiddling with the maximum Dexterity bonus and Armor Check Penalty? I know that the original price factors in the armor being mithral (or so it appears to me), but how about all the other changes applied to it both at the start and throughout the unlocked leveling process?

What about the changing of the fly spell casting becoming a swift action?

There's all kinds of examples of this throughout the example items where I don't see rules that apply to their cost in creating magic items.

Is there a chart I'm not finding somewhere? Are there become a de facto magic item creation equations that have been agreed upon for the pricing of these kinds of things?

Thanks in advance to anyone willing to tackle this issue and help me out a bit!


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Dot!


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I will only say this about Xanderghul: In my Golarion, he's already awake and he has the power to "awaken" illusions as well, making them sentient beings.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Matthew Downie wrote:
Actually, given that your caster level, BAB, and Will save go up, overall it's probably no worse than what a Fighter gets most levels.

I fighter gets a feat every level! I'd gladly take that!


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Rogar Stonebow wrote:
Look up paizo's rules for class building, they consider spell progression as an ability that happens at the specific level. They build classes so that something happens or improves almost every level.

Boy, they sure did fubar the sorcerer's 2nd level then. What a horrific level! I'd play a sorcerer over a wizard any day of the week. The bloodlines give them far more flavor, as does the spontaneous spellcasting when trying to make a character of theme. I love everything about the class (even with their gaining new spell levels one level later, which I have no issue with whatsoever). I do wish the developers would have given the sorcerer something to look forward to at 2nd level though! Would have been nice!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Rednal wrote:
(And before anyone points out - again - that there are canonically CE Lovecraftian beings, I know there are. But there are also ones that aren't evil. And if new ones are introduced, I hope they will also not be evil. Essentially, I'd like for the evil ones to be considered outliers, not representative of how most of the Old Ones are.)

There is a 3rd Tier Universal Path Ability in Mythic Adventures called Beyond Morality that effectively removes any alignment from the individual. Whenever someone tries to use an alignment-based spell or effect against someone with Beyond Morality, it treats the individual as though they were the most favorable alignment. One might interpret this to mean that such a person would be immune to things like a Paladin's smite ability, for instance.

It might be worth it to you to turn this ability into a feat in which to give to all mythos monsters and Great Old Ones so that their alignments aren't necessarily a detriment to them. Instead, these unthinkable creatures are simply beyond any type of common morality that exists in the world.

Just a thought!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Kvantum wrote:
So is there any chance this won't involve 17th level PCs vs a CR 20 Star-Spawn of Cthulhu as a BBEG in the final adventure?

Honestly, I hope not! The Starspawn of Cthulhu is a truly wussified CR 20 creature. They'd need to do something far more epic than that for a finale in an AP as incredible as this one should be!

And yes, I am absolutely looking forward to this one! I'll most certainly resubscribe for it after HV!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Mythraine wrote:
Dreaming Psion wrote:
The War of the Skies adventure path! Aerial combats, dirigibles, gryphon riders, cloud castles, dwarven Sky Citadels, etc.

This sounds fantastic.

+1

And it would be even more fantastic if they gave us a three-dimensional map to be able to pull off the combats easier!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Turin the Mad wrote:
Whether or not the GM can hack it is another matter. ;)

See, I'm not one who ever wants to see evil win. I prefer to back the good guys. Thus, if as GM, I'm playing the good guys, it means I have no incentive to want my PCs to succeed. A full party TPK is not something I'd seek to avoid, but would actively seek to perform because I don't want to see evil win. That's not a healthy game style for us! (Then there's the fact that none of my players desire to play evil characters either . . . )

Of course, Paizo could always choose to do the evil vs evil scenario, but that doesn't at all sound like what the vast majority of the people want to see either. They want to be evil defeating good (which I can't understand, personally). If Paizo chose to do the evil vs evil thing, it would probably disappoint a great deal of people who actually want this AP! Again, it would not do a thing for me, since I wouldn't want either side to win, then!

It's just best I stay away from this one! ;)

It would be difficult for me to run or play in.


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Barachiel Shina wrote:

KINETICISTS = "Avatar: The Last Airbender" campaign setting.

I only want to see more Kineticist material after this book. Yes, it is the only class I am really interested in. Especially since it doesn't rely on psychic spells. Which I hate.

See, I actually think that the kineticist is the most boring class in this book. It's the one I'm least looking forward to. However, I've rather psyched about the Mesmerist and the Occultist.

Yes, I went there . . .

Luckily for both of us, all of these classes will be available, so we can both be quite happy!


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Malwing wrote:
Sub-Creator wrote:
The one set of rules I've been thinking about incorporating from 5e were the resting rules, where you can rest for one hour and recover a certain number of spells, hit points, and special abilities. I love this idea simply because adventurers having to take 8 hour breaks constantly in the middle of dungeons feels a bit off to me. This gives them options to take short breaks--especially during more time sensitive situations--and keep the ball rolling.
I still find short rests annoying from the perspective of playing a fighter that's conservative with resources. But I wouldn't argue too hard against having short rest rules although I'm biased because, as I said, I'm a very resource conservative player so I've almost never have a situation where I'm deperate to rest in either game unless I'm at like 10% HP or something.

Conserving resources isn't terribly difficult when you're a martial class. It's those characters that need to keep the martials alive via healing and whatnot that tend to need such breaks. However, as a martial, it can be useful for both you and them if you can regain a bit of those hit points without magical healing (via spell or potion).

Regardless, I thought the idea of quick breaks a useful one.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The one set of rules I've been thinking about incorporating from 5e were the resting rules, where you can rest for one hour and recover a certain number of spells, hit points, and special abilities. I love this idea simply because adventurers having to take 8 hour breaks constantly in the middle of dungeons feels a bit off to me. This gives them options to take short breaks--especially during more time sensitive situations--and keep the ball rolling.


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Short Notice


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Just a Guess wrote:

As to blizzard: It states affecting the area around him. have you treated it as following him or as affecting the area he used it in and staying there?

As it is centred on him, and the FAQ about spells centred on large creatures states that the area is measured from the outer edge of the creature's square, that makes it a big affected area.

I didn't have it follow him. He uses his breath weapon to create it, so it's not a spell effect, but supernatural ability (I picture him breathing out all around him to form a blizzard vortex). Thus, where he breathes it out is where the blizzard stays.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I have a five-person crew for Runelords, and Arkhryst definitely did her job for me. Next to Xanesha, he was probably the most difficult fight they've had thus far (we just finished Book 5 yesterday). He never landed in my fight either, though he only destroyed one of the giant zombie minions of our undead bloodline sorcerer.

I can tell you that blizzard worked to tremendous effect for me! Its hindering effects on sight and movement (1 square = 4 squares) made the party struggle for a while since they hadn't pre-buffed with flight spells at all. Eventually, they forced Arkhryst to retreat back to his lair, but he didn't come out to fight them there. Instead, he hid in his network of tunnels for them to open the portal to Runeforge, then stealthily followed them through.

While they were exploring, he was doing the same and went into the Necromancer wing where the lich there turned him into a Ravener. That led to an awesome and hair-raising final chase through the Halls of Wrath with Arkhryst the Ravener seeking to destroy them all the way through! They finally tried to ambush him in the Hall of Preparation, which turned bad for them in a hurry -- blizzard in that room worked to his advantage with the high stealth score he had! They finally put his down, but it wasn't until he had virtually wiped them all out.

Good times.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The APs I've completed as GM are but one:

Serpent's Skull - Players had a blast. Was a lot of work, but worth it in the end.

The APs I'm currently running as GM are two:

Kingmaker - This campaign will be closing on the completion of its third year at the end of the summer, and we should be finishing the campaign about that time as well. We just completed Book 5, and there are a few things to do before Book 6 can begin. Everyone has loved this AP. It's been an absolute success.

Rise of the Runelords - We gather to play this one about once every 4-8 weeks. It's the first AP we ever started in PF back in 2010, and we are at the very end of Book 5. Players have enjoyed it despite the rather hectic scheduling through the years.

The APs I'm currently playing in, but that are not finished are one:

Jade Regent - I've been thoroughly enjoying this one. I've enjoyed the Asian flavor thus far, and the group has been a great deal of fun. It helps that I am now an enlarged dwarven magus using the Hammer of Thunderbolts. Joy!

The APs I am getting ready to run as GM are two:

Shattered Star - My group and I love all things Thassilonian, pretty much from our experiences with Runelords. Thus, this is the campaign we will be starting when Kingmaker reaches its conclusion.

Carrion Crown - I also have a group that enjoys the old Gothic horror schtick, which makes this a no-brainer for them also. Will be looking to run this one after Jade Regent has concluded, probably about the beginning of next year.


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Rogar Valertis wrote:
My two cents: playing an evil campaign is possible if your players are mature people and the GM is experiences. Is more about trying a different prospective on adventuring than "being evil" per se. If your players enjoy roleplaying and deeply complex characterizations and you are good at curbing excesses and situation with the potential to ruin fun for everyone then an evil AP is a great opportunity. If you don't have that kind of human material or experience then evil APs are probably not the right choice for you.

Nope. I'm not buying.

All of my players are incredibly mature . . . mature enough to know beyond all reasonable doubt that playing evil characters is not something they're interested in. Also, mature enough to know that to desire evil to gain victory isn't their cup of tea at all.

I would also argue that playing evil is quite easy, actually. It doesn't involve a great amount of depth at all, as evil is very much engrained within human nature. Unwillingness to lie, cheat, steal, or even bend the rules to get what you want or desire (lawful evil characters do this according to the society they wish to uphold, as well, though they do it in a fashion that would be logical, with loopholes -- think lawyers!) isn't easy to play. If you don't believe that good would be more difficult, look at all the Paladin alignment threads out there! People can't seem to grasp how good can even be quantified in-game!

I've also been running games for over 20 years, so I've got plenty of experience doing it. My friends would say I'm pretty good at it. ;)

For us, it's a question of morality and ethics, even in the characters we're portraying. I run evil characters as GM with the knowledge that such characters will get defeated by my players. It's not about evil winning with us. Evil is there to be defeated, not to be the stars of the show.

Thus, I disagree with your two cents. But, I will not argue with your play style! If you enjoy evil, have fun with it RV! I wish you many happy hours of gaming!


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Tangent101 wrote:

I'm curious as to how people would handle an adventure or AP where incrementally the players are put on a path of Falling and becoming evil. Each step, the easier path is the one that increases the chance of becoming evil. The good path is the path of suicide.

You'd see a lot of groups go into the path of evil, more being annihilated, and a few lucky (or very tactically adept) ones somehow remaining Good.

My group would be all about going that difficult path to suicide if it meant doing the right thing. They're awesome that way! =D


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CorvusMask wrote:

Really what confuses me about subscribers is that I'd stick around to first part at least before unsubscribing <_< Heck, I'd get them anyway even if I'm not planning to run them since I like reading material even if I don't get to use them

Its kinda like people who unsubscribed from Iron Gods without giving it a chance, saying "Nope, I won't have any interested in it no matter how well it is done" is kinda... Eh, you know.

Iron Gods was in no way my cup of tea. I'm a fantasy nut, but not overly big on sci-fi. However, I'll admit that their story and continuity in Iron Gods was great. Even more important than my appreciation that they created a great AP in a genre I'm not big on, though, is that I have players who would choose it as an option for a future game.

Hell's Vengeance, being an AP for evil characters, does not give me such an option. My players won't do evil. Period. Doesn't matter how great the story might be. You can criticize that all you want, CM, and tell me I'm being silly, ridiculous, unfair, or a whole host of other flavorful titles. What it comes down to in the end is: My players won't play such a game, and I don't enjoy running evil campaigns either.

Thus, there's no purpose for me to spend my money on this one and give it a chance. I hope it's fantastic! I want Paizo to make money because I enjoy the products Paizo puts out.

This one is a no-go, however. I'll look forward to Hell's Rebels and whatever AP follows Vengeance!


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Duiker wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Duiker wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

Is there any official confirmation that Hell's Vengeance will "undo" the results of Hell's Rebels? (Or even that it's a sequel?)

All I've seen is that you're expected to play evil PCs. Has there been any further information?

I have seen no confirmation of that one way or the other. The only details tweeted by those actually there are the title and the fact that you're playing evil characters. Everything else has been speculation and assumption that this will be the worst thing ever and the standard threats to unsubscribe. After a hundred AP volumes, I kind of tend to give Paizo the benefit of the doubt that even if at face value I don't see the appeal that they're going to put out a damned good story that's worth giving a chance.
Cheers. I just wondered if I'd missed something - my recollection is that the REAL Adventure Path spoilers/news comes on the Sunday of Paizocon.
Yep! That's my understanding as well. If I recall, there's a panel on Sunday discussing it in more detail and the presentation tonight was just a teaser on the heels of giving a lot of Occult Adventures details, and product announcements.

No threat here, my friend (Duiker)! I meant no disrespect to Paizo at all, which is why I wished them all the best with this one. This simply comes down to play style. This AP could be the greatest, most unbelievably awesome story ever conceived in modern day gaming . . . but once you've slapped the "Evil PCs" tag upon it, there's nothing about it that my group will buy into. Nothing.

I don't blame Paizo for making this AP. I know there has been an outcry by many for an evil AP, and now they've got it. Which is cool! I buy APs to give my players options of campaigns to play, however, and this provides us with none. My players want to play heroes, and good-aligned ones at that. Literally, there is one kind of AP that is of absolutely no use to me, and an evil one is it.

I'll plan to resubscribe after this one is done. Has nothing to do with giving benefit of the doubt though, and everything to do with a play style that's useless for myself and my group. I suppose you can take that as you will.


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Samy wrote:
Starglyte wrote:
Well, all my guesses were wrong. The next AP after Hell's Rebels is Hell's Vengeance. Evil PC AP.
Seriously? Ah hell. Seems like a bit too much hell in a row. I think I'm'a pass.

I'm with you there, Samy. My players don't do evil. No use for this AP at all. I wish Paizo the best with it, of course, but I'll not keep my subscription up for this one.

It will also be the only AP in their line that I'll not own. Sadness . . . :(


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Thanks for all the responses and ideas, all! Greatly appreciated!


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Doomed Hero wrote:
Effortless Lace?

I just looked at this magic item . . . unfortunately, according to the rules, it won't allow me to wield it one-handed, but instead wield it two-handed without size penalty. I was disappointed.

Plus, it appears effortless lace only works on slashing and piercing weapons, not bludgeoning. Something else I find absurd, personally.


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I have a dwarf character who just got a Hammer of Thunderbolts. Is there a way for a medium-sized character to wield the artifact with one hand? He's a Magus (Spellsword Archetype), and I'd love to be able to continue to use the athame if possible!

That whole large weapon for it the warhammer is what's stifling me on this. How do medium players wield it without size penalties?


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Tels wrote:
Fourshadow wrote:
Sean K Reynolds said "If you play an RPG to maximize your damage, you may as well play a video game."
No, this is basically declaring that one person's way of playing a game is 'wrong'.

You absolutely could interpret it that way! my interpretation of the quote, however, would be that if one enjoys soloing games, perhaps it would be more fun for you and those around the table if you played solo games. ;)

Clarification: "You" here not intended to point a finger at anyone in particular on these forums.

Greylurker wrote:
little bit on Multiclassing that actually sounds pretty neat. Kind of like 4E feat dip multiclassing.

This actually scares me just a touch . . . When you start looking to 4E for inspiration . . . Oi!

All the same, I'm looking forward to this one.


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WormysQueue wrote:
Still there was never any need to get those high-level-NPC more involved in your campaign than the high-level NPCs from the Golarion setting. While they had a lot of exposition through the novel line that hadn't to mean anything for one's own campaign (And if you needed a reason why they didn't interfere in one's campaign, well it was the novels which gave it to you - they simply were busy elsewhere).

All those powerful NPCs in the Realms made it difficult to justifiably explain why they never showed up when a huge problem arose though. They were everywhere! And their driven purpose in the Realms was to affect it, both overtly and covertly. Having some great Realms-shattering storyline happening and not working these NPCs into it was virtually enough to destroy suspension of disbelief. Even those players that hardly knew anything about Realms continuity still knew about Elminster and Drizzt and the Seven Sisters and so on. If everything in Faerun was going to the hells in a handbasket, did it make sense for a few of these superpowers--namely the ones that could teleport around the world on a whim, and who were so connected with the Weave and the gods that they knew everything that was happening anywhere in the world--to not show up and do something about it? It didn't make sense.

To Paizo's credit, the NPCs they have hovering around their world aren't nearly as intrusive. Yes, there are powerful ones, but they either keep to themselves or are the big bads your characters are supposed to beat! The ones we read about in their PF Tales novels are cool, but none of them are overly powerful. The two coolest, in my opinion, are Radovan and Jeggare from Dave Gross's novels, and I've got PCs in the world that could easily walk either of them, or both of them together. That's good thinking on Paizo's part, as far as I'm concerned. They saw the problems an overabundance of potent NPCs created and learned from it.

And WQ, this is coming from a person that still enjoys reading about the Realms. I always enjoyed that world!

WormysQueue wrote:
Some people here in this very thread have argued that they had problems with the realms because of new published material antagonizing what they had developed in their own campaign. That's something I never really understood. Why should I let myself get stifled by anything an author writes?

At one point in my campaigns, I had ten players around the table. (One thing I loved about 2E, you could run a game with these types of numbers no problem--not the same in PF!) While the majority of them were the folk I described in my post above--they had lives and other things to do other than keep up on Realms continuity, there were a couple of them that were exactly the opposite. They read every book (including ones I hadn't read!), and knew every little thing that went down in the Realms. It meant I had to try and decipher this intricate puzzle to keep everyone happy. You know how some people are! If the world's creators make it canon, how can you say it's not? Telling those people, "In this game, that and that and that never happened, but this and this did" just never really worked, because it all created the whole to them. Missing anything meant it affected everything else.

Thus, the majority of my group back in the day would argue that this bit of continuity really screwed them over, while the minority of the group would argue that that bit of continuity was crucial because, without it, these other things don't make sense! Either way, you're ruining the experience for some people or for all people.

Again, haven't had this problem in Golarion yet because they created a static world in which the players' continuity is the only thing that matters. (And what I want to do with the rest of it, of course, as it sounds like you do, WQ!) From a gaming and player perspective, this works better for us.

That's not to say I'd get all disgruntled if they did it otherwise. I played in the Realms for 15 years plus, as I stated, and we made it work. There were just a lot more complications involved.

WormysQueue wrote:
One the other hand, why should the authors of a campaign setting let themselves get stifled in their creativity, because some readers could take offense with it? Because that's exactly why they thought they had to destroy the Realms and create a new version.

This was an interesting note you made, too, as I'd not heard this one. I do recall listening to Greenwood, Salvatore, and a couple of the developers (Baker, I believe was one of them) comment that because 4E was so drastically different mechanically, they needed to jump the Realms so the world would work mechanically with the system. The price one pays for having a world that requires adaptation to the game that's being played in it, as opposed to stories just being told via novels.

Perhaps there was a little of both going on!


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WormysQueue wrote:
As I said before, I can rearrange the material as I like, but then it's me who's breaking the canon.

Except you're not breaking canon because you're creating it . . . by playing the game. That's one of the beautiful things about how Paizo does this. They give you all the backdrop details. All those little intricacies about what could be going on here and here and here and there and over there. They don't give you the storyline of the whole world past a point (4708, as you stated). Thus, everything that happens beyond 4708 in your games is canon!

I usually play different APs with different years as the starting time. Our Runelords game was in 4709; Serpent's Skull in 4710; Kingmaker also in 4710 and has progressed into 4714. As we continue playing new APs, the events from those APs has taken place, and the results are canon in my world. There's continuity there that's beautiful because we made it! My players like that a lot too! It's fun for them to hear about stuff their old characters have already done and how that changed the world someplace else.

In Forgotten Realms (the world I ran for nigh 15 years between the mid-90s to 2010), the continuity often got in the way for my players because I was the only one keeping up on it as GM. They would construct character stories from stuff they'd learned in past campaigns, to which I would tell them repeatedly, "No, no, see that's changed because of such-and-such who wrote a book about it." It aggravated them a great deal.

No such problem in Pathfinder! Everyone is much happier in my crew!

I love advancing continuity! I just love when my players are the ones doing it and not necessarily a plethora of writers and developers for the company.


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If run "as is," I've found that PF APs usually last us between 18-22 months. Kingmaker will probably make it to the 3 year mark because I added a large amount of stuff to it, both my own and other module/mini-campaigns (playing weekly, ~4 hours/night).

When I used to GM 2E, the campaigns were much, much longer! I've run five 2E campaigns to their conclusions. The shortest took about two years. However, the last one I did completed in just over three years, while the CoRD game (2E Forgotten Realms -- our primary world of choice) took almost 7 years, and our Ravenloft 1890s game ran for about 9 years.

In 2E, our characters averaged about 12-14th level by completion. PF really streamlines the leveling process, so we're usually finishing APs at about 17th level.


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Gargs454 wrote:
For instance, while I said earlier the idea of the megadungeon in the Stolen Lands sounds awesome (and still think it does) I could see that causing issues with some of the players that I have played with over the years. The main issue being that a lot of my players do not like the idea of ever leaving a dungeon unless every single critter inside has either been freed or killed. Granted, there are things the GM can do to handle that, but that is a different issue.

I think the group can definitely play a large part in determining this, absolutely. My players have been much more organic in their thinking in this campaign, as opposed to simply being a band of adventurers out to kill everything. Making them royalty has certainly had a change in mindset as to how they play this one, and it has been for the best, I assure you! They don't necessarily seek to "kill everything," for instance. They haven't always cleared entire dungeons just to say they have, but have gone in with purpose and, when achieving that purpose, sealed the place back up and made it next to impossible for anyone else to fine (as an example).

Basically, they haven't been XP sponges. Their mindsets have been far more focused on the mission of growing a kingdom and political intrigues. They do what they think is best for their kingdom. It's been a blast!


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Orthos wrote:
Yeah I learned the hard way that Kingmaker is not the game to throw a ton of extra events and encounters into if you're still using XP, and once this campaign is over we will not be using it for any future ones. It was a long hard road to convince me to do that, but it did the job.

I'd hate to disagree, but I have to! I've thrown two modules, a mini-campaign (Red Hand of Doom), and been creating my own Lovecraftian storyline throughout this campaign using the slow progression XP charts the whole way. My group has just now gotten to the point of starting the 5th book, and they're 5k away from 14th level.

Needless to say, I've added a ton of additional content (including a lot of political intrigue involving Mivon) to this campaign, while still using XP, and it's worked out perfectly in our run.

Again, individual mileage may vary.


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Use Gedovius, the gargoyle rogue, from the dungeons of Irovetti's palace in Book 5. The background of that character is just too cool to be simple fodder. I actually added 5 mesmerist levels of the Occult playtest to make him a bit more powerful, then turned him into a recurring assassin-type able to manipulate the minds of those around him so as to keep from being caught in my players' kingdom. His connection to Irovetti gives some very interesting leads towards Pitax, yet Irovetti's ability to lie via his bard skills offers him a great amount of leeway in "honest" denials.

In my game, the players never actually caught Gedovius, but there was evidence left behind in one of the assassin's victims that led to the perpetrator being a gargoyle. Thus, between the sorcerer's legend lore spell and the master spy, connections were made as to this gargoyle's origins, and its connections to Pitax.

Just one example of something that gets virtually no time in the books which can be played up more in the campaign! You can find his stats/story in Area S2 (pg 48-49)


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I'm simply using the slow progression. It's pretty much done all I needed it to, and players have had more time to play with their current levels. My players do like to keep track of advancement, so eliminating XP would not be something they appreciate overly. I also like it because the chaos in level advancement can add some interesting depth to the campaign. They've fought things 4+ CR higher than them at times, and been able to slaughter things that would have been a challenge, except they had out-leveled it by the time they came back to it. That's almost like a reward in-and-of itself for them!

Additionally, my players pretty much stopped the vast majority of hex exploration after Book 2. Once they started getting into the ebb and flow of ruling a kingdom, they actually found that simple exploring no longer was something they had a lot of time for! They started hiring out that gnome troupe to do a lot of the exploring for them. That's really another thing that makes this AP so awesome: there are a ton of different ways it can be played, and none of them are wrong or boring. In some ways, I feel that if I were just giving them XP at "appropriate" times, it might have actually hindered the randomness of the sandbox.

Still, individual mileage will vary.


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Gorbacz wrote:

/sarcasm

What, Asmodeus CR 36? That's two rounds of combat from a moderately optimized mid-level party, and when I say "moderately optimized" I mean that even chimpanzees could do that, let alone human beings who actually comprehend what 'math' and 'balance' mean.
/sarcasm

Well, I can't speak for mid-level, moderately optimized parties or anything, but if you throw a CR 36 against a party of level 20/tier 10 heroes, you're almost certainly looking at a 1-2 round fight, tops. Either he'll be dead within that first twelve seconds of mythic combat or they all will.

I mean, CR 30s have a rough average of about 775 hit points, right? Based on Nocticula and Cthulu and such . . . . At CR 36, you're probably not looking at much more than 1100 or so, which still places this "god" within single round for a buffed up melee type or wizard that can bypass any and all immunities or resistances.


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Zagig wrote:
Well, I don't want to have them gain a bunch of XP through the Scenarios and then the regular parts of the AP are too easy.

I'll be using PFS scenarios with my group. They already know that they'll be gaining no XP for them, but will be gaining the riches that come from them, which will effectively raise their WBL, which should be prize enough!

All my players have indicated they're fine with this arrangement. It's really the stories they enjoy. =)


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I am indeed one who included Red Hand of Doom into my KM game. It truly fits in there rather seamlessly . . . In fact, many of my players still believe that it was part of the actual Kingmaker campaign! I run my game at slow XP progression, so it was a bit easier for me to incorporate it.

Spoiler:
In my campaign, Hargulka, from Book 2, was an advance Wyrmlord seeking to weaken the area before the main body came in. At that point, I pretty much threw them into the whole thing going into Book 3. While I didn't do it this way, it would be easy for someone to replace the Ghost Lord with Vhordekai (BBEG of Book 3), if they so desired.

Granted, due to the nature of the KM AP, there's a lot of playing around with the Red Hand mini-campaign, but it works beautiful if you have the time or inclination! My players loved it!


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3.x

I played 2E for nigh on 17 years and couldn't stand 3.0/3.5 rules. It was too rigid for me. Encounters were more epic in 2E because they required everyone get involved, which I've noticed in this edition isn't necessarily the case. And 2E allowed the GM more wiggle room within the rules.

Now, I'm definitely getting used to 3.x, though there are still aspects about it that I find ridiculous (like the amazingly high damage output at higher levels). Having a blast with PF!


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thenovalord wrote:

You should have hung around for books 4 to 6......you would have really disliked it by then...everyone knows everything and you just interfere with the NPCs very important lives

Four was that bad I dropped out for most of it

Five was the best of the bunch

the writer of book 6 obviously forgot the PCs would be 16th and therefore full of tricks, resolve and bypasses....and the ending one big anti-climax....

A problem I have with most PF AP's...the writers seem to want to be novelists, where everything is an npc, not adventure writers where the PCs have input and independence of thought

Or you just need to consider who's running your games and not play in one of their games again. Serpent Skull was the first AP I ran and completed for my players, and they absolutely loved it.

thenovalord wrote:

A railroad is ok if done well

You go from a to b to c etc.....they are adventure PATHS after all

What is needed is what you do at each point is....
To be interesting
To have some affect down the line, gives the players choice

SS fails for me as it doesn't matter what you do, someone gets there first, the npcs are too over bearing, important, invincible etc

That's just poor GM'ing you're talking there, my friend. Again, I had none of these problems in the game I played. My players determined how things went down. They were even able to form an alliance with the vegepygmies (and that took some work on their part)! Not all the factions arrived at Saventh-Yhi (at least until much later) because my players tried to keep things on the hush-hush (except they let a couple things slip, which enabled a couple of the factions to arrive shortly after them--one actually before). Their actions determined events that took place in Book 4 (which I actually blended in throughout Book 3). Book 6 was by no means a cakewalk for them because there were numerous villains from earlier books that had gotten away and warned the enemy of their capabilities.

Everything ran smoothly for me, and much of what happened was dictated by the PCs themselves, by their actions. Again, they loved it! If an AP doesn't allow for player decisions and their consequences (good or ill), that's a GM not doing their job. It's not the AP's fault.


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archmagi1 wrote:
My biggest problem to date, is that without the revenge vs the cult or vs Nebta angles, the motivation for a Neutral party to continue along the AP past book 2 is a bit esoteric. My players understand its an AP and requires a certain amount of "just go with it", but I can easily see how other groups might not care to go do research about the mask (particularly when legend lore will give all the artefactory powers anyway, and is cheap), and even less to go tromping off through the desert to kill a miniscule cult. Book 5 and 6's stakes are a bit easier to sell to a N party, but its the mid-3 through 4 pull that really is difficult for a group who isn't out to save the world.

See, I don't agree with this. You could have absolutely neutral characters and still easily go through this entire AP. Two possible examples would be for monetary (ie. treasure hunters) or scholarly purposes. Neither requires a desire to save the world, and both can act as a form of personal enrichment exclusively (or to share an incredible discovery with the academic community of Osirion or elsewhere). These two routes could even be taken with minimal alterations by the GM.


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CWheezy wrote:
Depending on class make up they either win extremely hard or just regular hard

Class makeup would be:

- Paladin of Sarenrae
- Master Spy Rogue (scout)
- Sorcerer (arcane bloodline)
- Monk/Inquisitor/Barbarian/Bard
- Heavens Oracle
- Druid (this one is off-and-on as to whether he shows)

I will also say this: I'm intending to give Cthulu that mythic feat that makes him immune to smiting, and am teetering as to whether I want to also make him immune to critical hits (albeit, not sneak attack damage, cuz that would totally screw the rogue). Still determining how I wish to play that one, because I know the Monk/Inquisitor/Barbarian/Bard halfling is also very reliant on crits for damage potential.


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NobodysHome wrote:
You know, maybe Hathor and Cthulu should come along...

I'll be throwing 5-6 PCs at ~19th level 5th Tier against Cthulu. We'll see how that goes!


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Sorry for the double post! I just got back here too late to edit the last one!

I've found enough info to make a pretty good dent in what I need to do with Mythic up to Tier 5, so don't bother answering the second part of my post above! (Unless you want to!)

My apologies again!

Merry Christmas everyone!


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NobodysHome wrote:
(2) The "easy switch" gets turned on. Not to repeat myself ad nauseum, but the CRs of all encounters get dropped too low for even non-mythic PCs. (Generally from character level to character level - 2). For mythic PCs, the encounters are just pathetic. I've heard it was for XP reasons, which (if true) is just yet another argument for dumping XP entirely.

Well, I'll disagree with the bolded part (which I added). I think it's yet another argument for fewer encounters in a book, so that the encounters that do exist are more story-based and less "just because." The occasional encounter to allow the heroes to feel like heroes is great, but we don't need adventures that have 19 of them and two worthy ones. We need more APs that focus on great story and great story-based encounters. You do that, there's no issue at all with the XP system.

I've been running games for 20 years (nigh on, anyway), and I've never had an issue where the XP system inhibited my storytelling capabilities. If such happens, that's a flaw in designing the story, not the XP system itself.

Not saying that playing without XP is a bad thing, mind you! If that works better for you, then by all means do so! Whatever is most fun for you and your group, I say go for it! However, I don't believe for a second that it's an issue of pointing the finger at the XP system and saying, "It's all your fault," is accurate.

It's the design decisions that make or break a system. Paizo has focused their current design for their adventures on a plethora of meaningless encounters with a couple significant ones thrown in, which leads to this outcry that XP is to blame. Tweaking that design philosophy slightly so that there are fewer insignificant encounters and more story-based, meaningful encounters would also fix the problem without having to eliminate the XP system.

-----------------------------

On a separate note! For those of you that have run Mythic, I could use some of your input here. I'm planning on adding a Mythic adventure at the end of my current AP, but will only be granting my players 5 mythic tiers. I've heard that 3rd Tier abilities are where things break down. Any suggestions as to changes I should make to see to it that no one can one-shot or easily eradicate Cthulu (CR 30) would be appreciated!

Everyone is awesome! Thanks in advance! =D


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I don't know about PFS, so I can't say anything about what's legal or illegal. I can tell you that, in Golarion, there's a university in the Mwangi Expanse called Magaambya that has the knowledge of taking druid spells and making them arcane. It was a specialty of its "founder" -- Old Mage Jatembe -- to do such.

I believe there are rules for it in Inner Sea Magic, but I don't know how or if such a thing will help you for PFS. Still, the precedent is there for such a thing being possible in the world!


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I haven't decided on race yet; either human or half-orc.

I plan to play a Hunter Mammoth Rider with a Megatherium animal companion (as they have the natural ability to climb). Rather than going all 9 levels in Hunter though, I might dip 2-3 levels in Ranger or Fighter for better BAB and Favored Enemy/Feat help.


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Mogloth wrote:
Doing away with XP would be an incredible thing. XP is so archaic.

Don't see the point of making such a drastic change, honestly, since they already give you what you want at the beginning of every adventure anyhow. There are those of us that still enjoy XP, actually. I know my players very much enjoy the tangible reward at the end of every game.

Additionally, as mentioned already, XP doesn't hinder anything when it comes to progression through adventures. Make more higher CR fights instead of all these APL -2 ones we're getting, include more story awards for roleplaying XP, and you could easily get up to 20th in six books (if so desired). Again, this matters not to me, as I have no problem with them cutting it off at 17th or so at AP's end.

I do so love archaic things! History is awesome!

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