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Lopo

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber. 368 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
boring7 wrote:
Also, multiple ranged attacks from lots of mooks already kind of operate like that, since they are all within range of the target, I presume that part of the troop or swarm's charm is that they get a larger attack bonus (so the jerk with a 37 AC doesn't just laugh it off).

Actually, as I understood the troop subtype from looking it over in RoW:B5, you needn't have an attack bonus at all. You've got a large number of enemies attacking a specified area with a plethora of arrows . . . the troop makes no attack at all, and instead you treat it more like an excellent ability: PCs roll a Reflex save for half damage, while those with evasion dodge all of it successfully.

Same goes for melee, except without the save. These are a large swarm of enemies flooding over and around you. There is no attack roll, only damage.

I used a troop of hobgoblin regulars against my PCs just last Tuesday, and they were a hit with my group. They loved it!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
(The adventure that "B" happened to me was, by the way, "Red Hand of Doom," so that was more amusing than annoying, since that particular adventure's got a pretty good reputation...)

Not only did I absolutely love Red Hand of Doom, I incorporated it into my current Kingmaker campaign. Save for the one player that I told, all the others think it is part of the actual storyline of the AP, and they are loving it too!

I've always meant to thank you for the greatness of that mini-campaign, Mr. Jacobs. Well played, sir! HUZZAH!!


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

You may wish to consider the module Crucible of Chaos by Wolfgang Baur. It's all about the lost city vibe, and it puts together a better inherent story, as well. It's PF 3.5 version, but it translates incredibly well and is an excellent adventure. It's for 8th level characters, so don't know if that'll make a difference.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Shain Edge wrote:
Example is if a dog killed your favorite cat. Is the dog evil? You could think so, because that cat has meaning to 'you'. It's amazing how we are ok with a mountain lion killing a fawn, but if the same killed a child? It's a 'man killer(!!!)' and must be put down as dangerous (if not evil).

Because it is a man killer . . . it killed a man (using the term as encompassing all mankind here, should said child have been a girl). Are you saying that this animal should not be held responsible for its actions?

Perhaps the people in the area where this child was killed should seek to make a treaty with said mountain lion. Maybe ask it not to kill children, or anyone, anymore. Surely, if these people simply communicated rationally with this mountain lion, explaining to it that killing people is wrong, it will understand and quit doing it. Such is how any purely rational, intelligent being should react, I would think.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Lucius Erasmian wrote:
zergtitan wrote:
Lucius Erasmian wrote:
False. I am without fault.
then the fault you bear is pride for you lack humility.
Modesty is a virtue only to the weak.

And the meek will inherit the earth!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Ditto on the "get this done" vibe!


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Just a note: I'm relatively positive that Jason B. stated there will be no playtest for this book. Can't remember if it was earlier in this thread or in a different one, but I've noticed a couple people getting excited about playtesting . . . might want to just look forward to the book next Spring! Playtesting isn't going to happen for this one!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Some of the discussed issues of versatility for sorcerers are not as applicable anymore either thanks to gear. For 5k gold, a sorcerer can get their hands on a Mnnemonic Vestment, which enables them to cast any spell they can get their hands on. Likewise, Rings of Spell Knowledge can help them to know more spells, as can favored class bonuses these days. Limitations to these items are obvious, but they greatly increase the sorcerer's versatility at any given time.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Bossun wrote:
With the aforementioned information in mind... what I want to see is a skill test system for everything, most especially trap finding. Make trap finding something more than some one in the party spotting a trap and the rogue disabling it because he just happens to have +1 to +10 points better in disable from his class. Make it worthwhile to be a rogue! You remember that D&D movie that only the otaku/cult mentality types liked because they love D&D that much? I want to see traps like that! That's what makes it exciting to be a rogue. I want to be a rogue because the game makes it worthwhile and fun to be one, not because the party needs one "just in case we run into a trap".

I can completely appreciate this thought, though I think more needs to be done with traps period. Traps in 3.X have always been something of a disappointment in that they're not dangerous. You get a nice CR 16 trap that's really nothing more than pathetic because it has a DC 33 Perception/Disable Device score which any rogue by that time has no problem disabling. And these high CR/easily disabled traps take up half-a-page with their descriptions on how they work, despite the fact that the trap itself will never be used because it will be seen and disabled before anyone ever triggers it. Traps need to be made deadly again, or at least something more than just free XP. Devise a system that makes them a challenge! I'm fine with the rogue being the primary trap finder/disabler, of course, but if it actually became something of a mini-game in and of itself, that would be cool, too!

Bossun wrote:
Give us a threat system, and give certain classes like rogues and rangers a way to ignore threat so that they can target that pesky spell user anyways.

Be careful with this. Now you're talking about taking PnP gaming and turning it into an MMO, which I would not appreciate one bit. Challenges in PnP gaming should not be programs. That would make the whole system far less fun when you can force an enemy to behave in a certain way through a threat system like some bot in a computer game. I want villains/enemies that think for themselves and adjust according to their intelligence and what the GM knows about how they think. When you attach a system that dictates how villains/enemies perform, it cheapens them, and it destroys enjoyment and intuitiveness in the game.

Bossun wrote:
Above all, expand on your teamwork feats idea. GIVE US MORE BENEFITS FOR WORKING TOGETHER AS A TEAM AND LESS BENEFITS FOR BEING THE STRONGEST IN THE PARTY! It is a team game, not a soloist game. Reward the party with a system that supports teamwork.

I absolutely agree with this! One of the big issues I find with the game as it currently stands is that everyone wants to be the Big Show, that one character that can do it all. If I can't build a character that hits every time, deals an enormous amount of damage on every hit, can roll high on every skill check, have high save DCs for my magic that can't be defeated, and never fails a saving throw, then there's something wrong with the class/game. I would actually be more appreciative of a system designed where a single character can't do near as much cool stuff on his/her own, but which becomes more potent when actively and cooperatively working tactically with a group. A system that encourages this and not "why can't my fighter/rogue/monk/barbarian/sorcerer/etc. completely win the game alone?!?!" would be most welcome!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
magnuskn wrote:
JFK68 wrote:
I don't think Great Cleave works on Mirror Image.

Not per RAW, since Paizo inexplicably decided to buff the best second level spell in the game and then, when people were justifiably upset and confused by that decision, clarify via FAQ that, yes, they wanted Mirror Image to be even more OP than it already was throughout 3.0 and 3.5.

I don't roll with that, hence (Great) Cleave/Whirlwind Attack work just fine to get rid of Mirror Images. Arcane casters are OP enough already and that way those otherwise almost useless feats have some value at high levels.

Granted, I'm coming into this late, since I never really played 3/3.5 AD&D, but only Pathfinder, I'm going to say that they actually kind of weakened mirror image from 2E, since you can actually dispatch images without even rolling high enough to touch the actual individual. In 2E, if you didn't hit the AC of the real creature, you didn't touch a single image either. The PF mirror image spell says that if you come within 5 of hitting the target creature's AC, you've still dispelled an image. That only makes it easier to get through the spell, at least from my own personal history. Do players hate the spell? Oh yeah! When my monsters/villains use it, I hear a collective grinding of teeth around the table! I'm fine with that though, because it does give my enemies a little more longevity in combat, which makes things more exciting at the same time.

Naturally, magnuskn, I agree with all the talk about there being major issues with Mythic play. I do admit though that one has to be careful about assessing Mythic will supplying all the problems when our own house rules can oversimplify things for our players and make it so much easier on them, as well. Not to say that said villain above couldn't have been taken down just as easily by a magic-using member of your party perhaps, if Great Cleave hadn't worked to eliminate all those images. However, the fact that Great Cleave worked on a spell it shouldn't have via a house rule can't be used as justification that Mythic makes combat too easy. That's an unfair and misleading justification.

Truly enjoying this thread and the discussion taking place here. I believe that you're doing the community a service via the keeping of this log thread, though it sounds like that may be coming to a close soon, sadly. Keep up the good fight, sir!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Auren "Rin" Cloudstrider wrote:
Rathendar wrote:
Not seeing it your way here.
just as humans use cattle on farms for sustenance required to survive, vampires use free humans for sustenance. at least vampires don't cage their "meal tickets" the way humans do. humans keep cattle encaged behind small fences on a farm to be raised for nothing more than to die and feed their human masters, vampires don't do that to humans at all.

I'm actually a little bit concerned that, in your personal view, humans equate to nothing more than cattle. ;)

Humans are intellectual superior beings to cows. Vampires are not intellectually superior beings compared to humans, but are equally intellectual due to the fact that they are human undead. If a vampire that once was human maintains its human intelligence, it should realize without doubt that killing other humans is an inherently evil act that one should not do. That it chooses to do so, treating another human being as nothing more than a (relatively) mindless animal, indicates the inherently evil nature of the vampire.

Especially since, if blood is all it needs, it could simply take the blood from the cow.

Just sayin'.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
OldManJim wrote:

Here's a link to the map of The Stolen Lands / Brevoy / Pitax / Mivon etc.

Be warned, it's a 16.5MB jpg file.

It shows what I think are the house borders in Brevoy, along with major towns & my best guestimate at major roads.

This version of the map should be useable by any GM running Kingmaker without giving any major spoilers, plus the Stolen Lands are left empty (no Fort Drelev / Varnhold) so you can place them differently if you wish.

Seriously, dude . . . this is the most incredible thing ever!!!!! You're amazing, and I pray your life is truly blessed!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

This was the first AP I ran to completion.

1) GM Ease of Play: (3/10) If Kingmaker needed a GM willing to put the work in to make that AP his or her own, Serpent's Skull required just as much effort just to make the AP viable for play. Book One served its purpose exquisitely well, but Book Two through Four required an enormous amount of work on my part to run well, especially the infamous Book Three. Books Five and Six ran themselves relatively well with a couple alterations here and there, but without the extensive work in those middle books, it's quite possible a group will never get to the final third.

2) Synthesis of the Story: (6/10) I actually think the story does fit together fairly well, and it even has its moments of excitement for the players. However, it can get quite railroady in Book Two and in Book Five, especially. The PCs are literally expected to go a certain way, or to work with certain races that there's no guarantee or likelihood that they will or would. I had to eliminate a significant portion of Book Five because for my players it just wasn't feasible that they'd deal with a certain group. There were workarounds, but they were all still involving dealing with that certain group in some capacity, and that just wasn't possible. A few more or different story options would have increased this score by a point at least.

3) Role-play Friendly: (9/10) This AP still worked quite well in this category. There were plenty of NPCs for the characters to interact with, which was truly necessary since there was virtually not travel outside the location discovered at the beginning of Book Three. Civilization, in general, was out the door by Part II of Book Two, in fact! This is one aspect this AP still got right, which is one of the reasons why I love Paizo so much! They never fail to give me plenty of viable roleplaying encounters or opportunities for my players!

4) Combat Design: (5/10) The vast majority of the combat design worked well for the appropriate levels and 15-point character builds, but there was a ton of repetition found here, especially in Books Three and Five. Naturally, this does favor the PCs, because once they realize the best tactic to defeat a specific type of enemy, and then they face that enemy a dozen or a score more times in rapid repetitiveness, well, you understand . . . The final conflict, as written, was a huge letdown, too. I did a lot of beefing up the second to last encounter to make it a CR 20, which I accomplished by throwing in villains from earlier that had interacted with the PCs (in some cases numerous times) but always got away. By doing this, it caused the final confrontation--a CR 19--to be more hair-raising because they'd had to use up more resources in the fight immediately prior.

5) Fun factor: (7.5/10) We certainly did! My players had a lot of fun, though had I run everything "by the book," this probably wouldn't have been the case. Still, that's pretty much a given for any AP, I think. There were moments and aspects to the AP that wore on them a bit more, though. More traps, more high-end treasure, and more variable enemies would have increased the fun factor a bit more, I think. All of my players commented upon the completion of the AP that for a legendary lost city, there was nothing there for them except for discovering its history (a mechanic I had to build in, since the AP had nothing for that) and saving the world. It just didn't live up to their expectations of what it should have been.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Right there with ya. I love Varisia. It's probably my favorite place in Golarion, and there's plenty they could do there. Keep bringing those Varisian APs as far as I'm concerned. So far, they've not gone wrong there.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

More than anything right now, I'm looking forward to seeing what they've cooked up for this new martial combat system, as well as how they plan on fixing action economy. It's the systems they're playing with moreso than the classes they're "fixing" that make this book worth it to me. People will complain about class issues until the day RPGs go out of style; they'll never fix such things to everyone's contentment. However, if they can make combat more intuitive, that'll be a godsend, I agree!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Seannoss wrote:

Hit points for both the enemies and PCs are a joke when it comes to mythic output. We can all cheat for the NPCs and hand wave their HPs but the character's HPs are written down. There are many foes that can drop a fully healed player in one round or one attack.

If mythic is supposed to be fantasy super heroes then each rank or tier should grant an extra 50-100 hp.

That . . . does nothing, except increase the math. If my players are gaining 100 additional hit points every tier, and my baddies are increasing 100 hit point with every rank, I'm just blowing up the math department, but doing nothing to fix the problem. As far as gameplay is concerned, you're increasing the fights by--what?--a round? Half a round? Still not superhero material here.

I always thought this hilarious when I saw friends playing FF games, too. "Look how much cooler this is!" they'd tell me. "My tabletop character has 16 hp at level 3, but my FF character has 500!"

My response: "And how much do the enemy hit you for in FF? 80-100 points of damage a shot? How much different is that than your tabletop character getting hit for 3-4 points a shot? None, except you've got more math to work out."

Tossing hit points around means nothing unless you cut back on damage output. Problem is that doing this makes it feel less mythic in the eyes of many. The system is rather broken, of that I absolutely agree, but throwing out hit points arbitrarily won't fix that.

Well, except it'll make it even easier for PCs to walk through the game, because now they don't have to worry about getting hurt hardly at all while taking down the big bads in a round or less.


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I, too, am running this one currently. Almost completed with Book 4. Here's my thoughts:

1) GM Ease of Play: (4/10) If the GM isn't willing or able to do a lot of his/her own stuff for this AP, you'll literally miss half its potential. You've got to make this one your own if there's any true enjoyment to be had, as far as I've experienced. Thus, the amount of work a GM will need to put into it will be immense. Anyone looking to run this AP must go into with that understanding right from the start. One-a-day encounters do run rampant throughout the early books, and can still be present in books 4-5 if your players are heavy explorers.

2) Synthesis of the Story: (6/10) Do to its sandbox nature, there's a lot of room for interpretation here, but there is a story that runs throughout, and it can be seen if carefully brought to the attention of the players. The problem is if you don't plan for it the metaplot, your players will miss it. Someone above wrote that it's easier to take Book 6 out than it is to try and fit it into the story of Books 1-5 . . . that's true. However, I'll say openly that Book 6 of this AP is quite possibly my favorite Book 6 in any AP to date, so ripping it from the AP was never an option for me. Instead, I figured out a way to integrate the fey into a key role for the AP rather than having them play around the periphery as written.

3) Role-play Friendly: (10/10) Hands down the best RP opportunities of any AP written thus far. There's so many options and so many possible outcomes that roleplay almost becomes a necessity for enjoyment to Kingmaker. Many encounters can be completed without a fight at all if players wish to be more diplomatic than heavy-handed, and the sheer number of fleshed out NPCs is incredible.

4) Combat Design: (8/10) The vast majority of the exploration one-a-day encounters will be easily walked through by any party. However, the dungeon encounter areas are solid and will be dangerous to many. A couple of the boss fights will be quite deadly, though I don't think there was ever really a threat of a TPK in this AP. Some random encounters that can be APL +4 or +5 in the first book could do it, but only if they're rolled and players are truly careless.

5) Fun factor: (10/10) Hands down, this AP is awesome if the GM puts forth the effort to make it so. Kingmaker is built for GMs who customize their games to those playing in them, and I can say that my players haven't had so much fun in an AP yet compared to the enjoyment they've gotten out of this one. However, if a GM doesn't want to put the work into it to make it great (which will be extensive), I can see the score for such a group being significantly lower than how I rank it.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Odraude wrote:
Alex Smith 908 wrote:
Artanthos wrote:

I want a Glitterboy.

I thought people wanted less anime in Pathfinder.

People want less non-Tolkien in their Pathfinder, since other people having fun with their non-Western settings ruins the quality of their fantasy apparently.

You're allow to have fun, but only if it's fun accepted by the fantasy fan base. Or else! :p

100% AGREED!!!

Wait, did you just--

Ooooooooh, you sly space lion, you!

For the record, I am a HUGE Tolkien fan. Just sayin'.


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Lord Snow wrote:
Quote:


believe that we GMs too often out-think ourselves at these things. We have this deep-rooted idea of what we think a campaign should be about that we completely throw out any semblance of all the other possibilities of what it could be about. Your players put together a party like that, they're not in it for saving the world--at least, not at the outset. Knowledge and riches, my friend (to paraphrase a rather well-known archaeologist out there). Focus on that, and the glory will undoubtedly show up later.
I'm confused. How does the search for knowledge and riches correlates with staying in Wati and bruising knuckles on zombies and cultists? especially when local authorities go as far as demanding that you fight their own monsters just to prove yourself worthy? Shouldn't they just step away at first sign of trouble and find another tomb to explore?

Funny you should ask! Though I'm glad you did, because the answer to how the search for knowledge and riches correlates with staying in Wati to deal with the undead plague is easily pointed to in the first adventure! I'll put it in a spoiler tag, however, so as not to throw out legitimate story points in the open (I try to be careful about this).

Spoiler:
Two areas in the Sanctum of the Erudite Eye offer clues to something significantly big being held at the Sanctum. The first, which is also incredibly subtle, would be in the library, when they find the tablet containing the decree of Pharaoh Djederet II, which alludes to a powerful relic that might easily tempt the clergy there. Granted that the Knowledge DCs are a bit steep here, but the PCs can determine from this that Wati was the location being spoken about.

The second, and most telling clues, can be found in the Reliquary of the Thrice-Divided Soul. Here, Ancient Osiriani hieroglyphs literally spell out that this chamber held an artifact/relic of some kind that contained a portion of the soul of the Forgotten Pharaoh that has the power to raise legions of undead and the damned! Additionally, while the knowledge roll is quite difficult at their current level, it's possible for the PCs to even determine that a source of overwhelming necromantic power resided within this room via use of detect magic!

So, your party discovers the info in book one listed in my spoiler above, then book two happens, and a legion of undead suddenly rise up in the city, originating from the Necropolis? I don't think it would be too difficult for them to put two-and-two together as to just exactly why, do you? And you've got two self-motivated knowledge hunters in your party that now have the opportunity to get their hands on this big and powerful secret; plus, they'd currently have the perfect idea as to where it is, which, if they don't take advantage of this opportunity to recover it, they may not have again. And just how much do you think knowledge of something like that might go for? You recover it, study it, and then sell it to the temple or some other collector for an amazing amount of gold . . . which makes the whole thing worth it to those motivated by greed.

Seriously, this could be a completely self-motivated transition for doing book two without any need for the local authorities butting in, which you seem to have such an issue with. Keep the authorities out of it entirely, man! Let your group be the ones to put it together an go for the prize themselves. It literally suits a party composition like the one you just gave the concepts for above, as everything they would possibly desire would have just fallen right into their laps. It's all right there in the books.

Lord Snow wrote:
Also... while players might accept that transition, I as a GM don't. And a campaign is as much a story for me as for my players - I'm not providing them a service, I'm playing a game with them. If I want my campaigns to go a certain way, I'm sure to try and influence things to get that. And choosing an AP where I feel the story is incoherent and clunky is a bad way to do it :)

And this is the truth of the matter, LS. It's not that the AP is lacking at all, but simply that it doesn't fit into your parameters of epic storytelling. You want this story to be about saving the world from the get-go, and it's not. Thus, you take issue with how it's done. That's fine! Not all APs are built to the desires of every individual. Completely understandable. It's not precisely what you were looking for.

I would contend, however, that this AP works just fine as written . . . Better, actually, because not only is there a legitimate connection between books, but there's also plenty of self-motivated possibilities for characters to continue the story without ever needing outside interference! Treasure hunters seeking a big payday or scholars seeking knowledge about Osirian history both have ample reason to buy into what's going on and go digging further into the happenings of future books beyond the first one.

In the end, however, I'd say you've psyched yourself out of enjoyment of this AP, not that the AP is incoherent and clunky. There's plenty of coherency in this AP, and you don't even need to look overly hard to find it. Whether it's the story any individual wants to tell or not, well . . . that's for each individual to decide for him- or herself!


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Lord Snow wrote:
Tangent101 wrote:

Why risk their lives?

Because they're adventurers, not greengrocers.

If they are too scared to "risk their lives" in a desert to stop a threat then they have no purpose in calling themselves adventurers and shouldn't be in the game. If your players need a greater reason for their adventuring than stopping a threat and finding treasure while doing so, then play Wrath of the Righteous or the like instead.

But the thing is, the first volume in the AP did NOTHING to set them up as that sort of an adventurer. For example, when I talked with my players about this AP, based only on the knowledge in the player's guide, here are the concepts they came up with:

1) A greedy local
2) A motivated explorer from a far off land (say, a Pathfinder)
3) An Osirion scholar
4) A mercenary type who's in it for personal benefit, working for the others

If this list sounds familiar, it's because it should be - remember "The Mummy?" from the first adventure and the player's guide, it's very easy to get the impression that these kind of adventurers would be a perfect fit for the story - after all, they came to Wati to explore it's tombs - and nothing else is presumed about the reason they are there.

LS, honestly, if I were running this AP, and my group came to me with those four character concepts, I'd be sending praises to my Lord above, man. That group does this AP without any outside need for motivation. To heck with risking their lives to stop an ancient evil. The need to establish that type of story is now gone. I've got two characters almost completely motivated by greed and two characters motivated by the thirst for knowledge. This AP has enough built-in material in all six of its books to keep this group motivated and pushing toward the goal of riches and knowledge without my having to hardly get involved in establishing them.

I believe that we GMs too often out-think ourselves at these things. We have this deep-rooted idea of what we think a campaign should be about that we completely throw out any semblance of all the other possibilities of what it could be about. Your players put together a party like that, they're not in it for saving the world--at least, not at the outset. Knowledge and riches, my friend (to paraphrase a rather well-known archaeologist out there). Focus on that, and the glory will undoubtedly show up later.

There's nothing wrong with the story structure of this AP from what I can see. It anticipates that adventurers will come into it living for the moment, and if you have PCs that enter gameplay with that mentality, you'll do just fine. Especially if they have a group construction like the one you posted above! Everything you need to keep this AP running from beginning to end (at least book 4, as I've not seen the last two yet) is built right into the AP itself. It works quite well for what it is, though too often I think we try to turn it into something more that we (the GM) want it to be. Mummy's Mask needs time before it becomes that epic story. It unfolds slower. There's nothing wrong with that because a lot of characters won't be in it for epic storytelling from the beginning. There's more than enough to keep characters interested in knowledge and riches involved though, until the epicness of what's to come really comes to the fore.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
memorax wrote:
Good opinions stated . . .

I honestly don't think the problem here is that players can do legendary things that future bards will sing about with relish. Mythic play means players being able to do mythic things that mere mortals can't accomplish. That's cool. I'm all about that!

In fact, I seem to recall someone above equating it to Herculean acts of power and grandeur. How awesome is that?!? When I put that mental image in my head, it's just WOW, that'd be cool!

However, as cool as great feats of Herculean effort are to perform, there comes a time when having no challenge against them just makes it boring! I'm reading posts here (and in another thread that's been quite consistently updated) where GMs are hand-waving encounters because there is no challenge anywhere in this AP, if run as written (and sometimes even with changes made).

Hercules walking right up to Hades in his own realm and curb-stomping him in less than six seconds without even straining a muscle isn't mythic, it's comedy. Such ridiculousness can't be taken seriously. That's the equivalent to what players are doing to Demon Lords in their own realms in this AP using mythic rules. It's not fun, man. It's laughable, and that's not a winning AP.

Let me also toss out my agreement with Jawa, though. I own every Paizo AP save one, and their quality has always been top notch. This AP sought to use a new system of rules, and, unfortunately, it fell down. This wouldn't dissuade me from purchasing another Paizo AP using the mythic rules in the future even, because I believe the company can learn from this one and improve upon it. And would! There's a learning curve in everything. Just because one AP falls down doesn't mean there's a problem with the process. One failure provides for a learning moment. It's not the end of the world.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
mikeawmids wrote:
5: when the PCs are sent to the temple of the erudite eye, they witness confrontation between cultists and Nebta Khufre, who escapes with the mask.

This is the only one that would raise my warning meter big time. I know that if it was my group, they'd undoubtedly figure out a way to involved themselves in said confrontation, defeat Nebta Khufre, and take hold of the mask. Naturally, this makes for a bit of a situation for the continuing campaign as written. As well if the cultists were the ones to get away with the mask!

Not allowing the PCs to do anything about what they're witnessing shackles them pretty badly, and it requires a lot of railroading. Now, I have no problem with railroads, but I specifically construct railroads so that it feels much more natural with my players. I also tend to allow them to do what they wish and throw consequences at them, which helps to eliminate railroad feel. I would be concerned about any situation that intentionally forces my players not to act, or to absolutely act in a certain fashion.

But that's just me. You know your players better than I do, and what their preferences are. If it works for you and them, I say have fun with it! =)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Zaister wrote:
So, which part is "The Hill Giant's Pledge"?

I believe it was mentioned above that it's the 2nd installment.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Sub-Creator wrote:

Love the idea of this AP! Love that it starts with orcs, as Paizo hasn't done anything with orcs yet, and I've been truly missing them!

Probably the only thing I'm not excited about is the book with hill giants . . . I know they are a staple, but that's the one type of giant I feel has been overplayed, and, well, they're just boring. With so many different giants in Golarion that are incredibly awesome, I'd rather see hill giants replaced. However, I can understand the old school thought that pushes for the inclusion of hill giants, so it really doesn't dissuade from my excitement of this AP!

Once upon a time, we thought goblins were boring too.

Let's see what we can do with hill giants before we call them boring, is all I'm saying.

Mr. Jacobs, your work has thus far been phenomenal, and I've appreciated a great deal the job that yourself and Mr. McCreary have done with the APs. I own every one of them to date, in fact, except Crimson Throne, because a friend of mine purchased that one.

So, please don't take this as a disrespectful comment when I say that I have seen what you have done with hill giants. There are numerous adventures out there that highlight them, a couple that feature them, and I've also purchased Giants Revisited, which has hill giant culture fleshed out in it. All that I've seen on this particular type of giant has not impressed me -- not anything close to the wondrous makeover you gave to goblins, especially!

Thus, my assessment on hill giant boredom stands . . . Though I'm more than open to being proven wrong on this account in the future! If anyone has the potential to do so, I have no doubt it'd be the Paizo crew.


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Love the idea of this AP! Love that it starts with orcs, as Paizo hasn't done anything with orcs yet, and I've been truly missing them!

Probably the only thing I'm not excited about is the book with hill giants . . . I know they are a staple, but that's the one type of giant I feel has been overplayed, and, well, they're just boring. With so many different giants in Golarion that are incredibly awesome, I'd rather see hill giants replaced. However, I can understand the old school thought that pushes for the inclusion of hill giants, so it really doesn't dissuade from my excitement of this AP!


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Scribbling Rambler wrote:
Zhangar wrote:

I would guess that the goal for the summoner is to make something that Paizo can actually use in an AP - the Rivals Guide is the only thing I can think of that actually had statted up summoners. Otherwise, Paizo stays the hell away from the things as NPCs or opponents.

There is one in a recent AP volume.

There's a summoner statted up in The Harrowing module, as well.


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Joshua Goudreau wrote:

*casts raise thread*

I'm curious how this has been going for folks using it. My above mentioned Wrath of the Righteous game stepped down in favor of some old school 2E action, however, tonight I am starting a Serpent's Skull game for a different group and might give this a whirl. For this game especially it seems like magic should be ancient and wonderful, not standard fare.

My concerns are that it be a simple system to implement and this seems to be. If I can grant simple bonuses to the characters each level and then just drop certain items from treasure hoards in the AP that would be fantastic. I'd really like a lower magic feel this time around.

So does this work when applied to APs?

I think it does. I'm the one GMing the Kingmaker game mentioned a couple posts up. I'm finding that players are truly enjoying the lower magic feel this inherent bonus system is supplying to the AP. There's only one kicker that I've found, but I'm going to spoiler it because of the connections to Kingmaker Book 5 & 6:

Spoiler:
The biggest kicker with this system is when you find those truly powerful weapons/armor that the magical pluses help to give significance. For example, the artifact sword, Briar. It's a +5 cold iron vorpal bastard sword that has a couple other SPAs awakened throughout the adventure. When you take away the +5, all you're really left with is a vorpal blade, which is cool, but not near as cool as it should be as an artifact! What I've chosen to do is connect other weapon special abilities to it to make up for those pluses a bit, such as mimetic and invigorating, which help to make the weapon more unique. It also ups the power level significantly though, so feel free to do with this what you will!

I think you'll find this quite enjoyable and simple for your campaign though.


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rknop wrote:
Selgard wrote:

You can't trademark a term someone is already actively publishing and then prevent them from using it.

-S

...well, you can't legally, but you can try. And, if you're big enough, and have a big enough phalanx of lawyers, you can make life difficult and expensive for those who would challenge you.

(That's the foundation of a nontrivial number of patents nowadays.

I remember LucasArts doing this with the word "Empire" actually! The film Dark City was supposed to be called Dark Empire, but they were told the usage of "empire" in the title wouldn't be allowed because Lucas already had claim to it with from Empire Strikes Back. If you watch the commentary of the film, they actually talk about it in there.

People with money just get crazy when it comes what they think belongs to them.


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Thank you, Good sir!


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Out of curiosity,

Spoiler:
does anyone have a hand-drawn map of Thousandbreaths from page 25 of Book 6? I only ask because using the one right out of the book means having those silly location letters still present, which kind of detracts from the beauty of the whole piece of work . . .

Thanks one way or the other!


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The gentleman that is currently DMing our JR campaign right now draws all the maps out ahead of time and just sets them down on the table when we get there. He doesn't bother covering up anything. To be honest, we haven't had any metagaming problems with it thus far. Our group is pretty good at staying in character, so using tactics that wouldn't make sense except through metagaming just don't occur. I think you'd find that it's not as much of a worry as you might think it is.

The only thing that I wonder about in this revealing method is secret doors and rooms! That's the one metagaming aspect that I've found very difficult to shut off! "Wait! There's one more room over here that we've not explored, and there appears to be no way into it . . . Let's start looking around for some secret doors here."


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Cthulhudrew wrote:
how many "end of the world" predictions have we seen (in recent years, no less) where the prophets were wrong and they seemed to not lose much in terms of influence and faith?

If they were wrong, then they are not prophets.

Otherwise, I agree. Incorporate them into an AP! Namely, one based in Absalom, maybe? =D


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Silkenray wrote:

I'm playing Kingmaker, and my GM asked me to illustrate Zuddiger's Picnic for him. I tried to stick to the "woodcut coloured with watercolours" style, and bound the finished result into a PDF. If you download it should be laid out properly like a book, with a front and back cover and two-page spreads.

Here it is.

Feel free to print out, share with your gaming group, or modify it as needed. :)

I have downloaded this and will be using it in my campaign. Phenomenal work on this Silkenray!


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Aarontendo wrote:
ShadowcatX wrote:
Changing Man wrote:
Blackerose wrote:
Every author/artist is more important to me than a fictional book. You can't forget behind the "business" is a human writing because they enjoy the material, and enjoy making people happy.

This. So very much this.

But then, these realizations don't mesh so well with current entitlement and instant gratification culture...

When did expecting people to fulfill their promises become something to be looked down upon?

Your terminology is wrong here. They didn't promise you anything according to the ToS that I saw written above. They gave you an estimate. A hopeful estimate at that. The only promise they made via the KS is that you would get a product eventually. That's the only promise they should be held to. If it takes another three years for them to complete it, oh well. So long as that product makes it to your hand, you've gotten what you paid for, and their promise is fulfilled.

You're putting your own stipulations upon the contract that don't exist in the actual contract, then telling that person he's unethical. This sounds very much like hypocritical thinking to me. My suggestion: read what the contract says and expect nothing more than that. You won't be disappointed.

Aarontendo wrote:

Yep, wow. I work hard at my job as a teacher, and I have a lot of student loans to pay back. Additionally, I'm paying for some further education.

I don't know anyone's personal situation here, but I'll say that my gaming budget isn't so great that I can just shrug when someone makes off with $100 and "goes dark" on a project.

My advise to this would be stop throwing around your $100! I'm a teacher too, and I've never once given to a KS because, frankly, I don't have that kind of money to burn, period. From everything I'm reading here, most Kickstarters sound like they're nothing more than a shot in the dark. Why continually throw money at a shot in the dark? When the product hits the market, pay for it. If a KS gets you aggravated because the silly thing keeps failing, my suggestion would be to learn the first or second time to stop giving to them.

Or, learn to be a bit more patient. It may just take longer to get to you.

Aarontendo wrote:
I do fail to see how wanting to get something that was paid for is entitlement. It's not as if people want something for free. They've paid over a year in advance for a product, which takes much of the finance burden off of the shoulders of the creator.

That's not entitlement at all. Demanding to get something on an estimated delivery date, however, is beyond silly. As stated above: the only guarantee the KS makes is that you will get the product. Eventually. If that doesn't bode well you, my suggestion would once again be don't give to the KS.

Or, learn to be a bit more patient. ;)


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Yeah, I'd be all over this one too. Love the idea.


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DMantium. The strongest of metals that can only be destroyed by GM fiat. It's rare . . . or so very rare . . .


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James Thomas wrote:
Or how about one for certain non-human races?

Such as a First World AP with a party of gnomes?


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Very excited to hear how you all enjoyed this AP! It's my intention to run this one after my current crew finishes Runelords (in probably a year or so), either as a "few years down the road" thing or as an immediate necessity thing requiring it be done in a matter of a couple months (give-or-take)--for obvious reasons.

My group is already planning their characters for it though, getting back stories and connections established (for instance, the two ladies I've got in the game are playing daughters of Brodert Quink). I would be very interested to learn of any tweaks for encounters that you think might be necessary to help make the AP more memorable. Not all, of course, that would be crazy, but are their some specific ones you thought could have been more interesting and how?

My intention is to play this AP on the slow progression track, so I can include various other Pathfinder missions that the players will be required to go on for the Society (primarily from the Pathfinder Society missions that I've bought and downloaded). In this way, I hope to have them returning to Magnimar regularly and making the city more important to them, as well. I'm also planning to do a little something to start with that requires their doing a bit more research rather than Sheila just giving them everything. The plans are yet fuzzy in my head, but the hopes and dreams are there!

Anyway, great write-up and responses from your players. Thanks for all the info thus far!


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Serpent Skull was the first AP I GM'ed for Pathfinder. All the information you need to run that game is there in the books; however, book three does necessitate some intervention if you want it to be more story-driven. Otherwise, you almost have to treat it like a mini-game.

Never played Second Darkness, so can't comment on that one.


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Krome wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Personally, I believe XP should ONLY be awarded for completing quests. This provides incentive for players to be more creative in how they deal with obstacles. Killing is not the only way to deal with monsters then.

And killing the monsters should not be the only way to get XP when dealing with monsters. The objective is to defeat/overcome the encounter. You don't have to kill the monster/NPC in order to gain the XP award. Getting them to flee or subduing them are two other viable options amongst many others.

My KM crew goes out of their way to keep the vast majority of those they face alive. That doesn't mean they don't get XP for defeating the encounter. Of course they do! I couldn't even fathom the death of the enemy being the only way to achieve an XP award. That idea is absolutely foreign to me.


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dotting

(and to push it forward onto the first page)


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Dungeon Master Zack wrote:
We're not talking about a pointy stick, we're talking about weapons and magic that can fell demigods.

And far, far, far too easily, might I add. Tough to point to a demigod as being anything special when they can be completely eradicated in a matter of 12 seconds or less. But, that's partly why I have an issue with stats for anything "godly" at all.

Just my opinion.


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I've gotten into the habit of running most everything on the slow track, except the Rise of the Runelords AP that I'm running now, which is on the Medium track. Slow progression enables me more leeway to do more things inside the story or to create additional stories for my players. Kingmaker is our primary game right now, and I don't see how anyone can play that AP with the standardized Medium progression rate. That AP would be no fun at all if you couldn't add in your own story lines. Not that the AP is written poorly, mind you; it's awesome! However, there's simply too many possibilities to just run it with what's been written.

So far, our group has selected Shattered Star and Skull & Shackles as almost certain future games after we're done with the couple we're playing now, and I've already told them that both of these will be played on the slow progression, as would Carrion Crown (another they've shown interested towards), because there are simply too many ideas I've got for all those APs. Granted, it does help that my players enjoy longer campaigns, typically running 2-3 years in length.

I'm blessed with an awesome group that way!

All that said, I'd be incredibly receptive to a slow progression AP!


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I think you'd be just fine, AD. That all three of your players are playing caster classes (no higher than 3/4 BAB) should make things a bit more interesting for you, but they should still be able to do it. And while a GMPC is something you could go with, I'm not so sure it's necessary either, since there are a plethora of NPCs in this AP that could take up the mantle and help if necessary . . . especially a very unique one in Book 3.

@Rojosama: You will break this AP. Everything in it would become so pathetically easy for your players that--if they desire challenge at all--you will either be working your bum off to increase the power level of every book, or you'll fly through this thing in a matter of a few months while your players wade through everything in less than a full round. I've said it before: I don't believe the difficulty factor of this AP is there. You can make it difficult, of course, but it's not ingrained within the AP. Gestalt would make it a complete waste of time.


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Lauraliane wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
That's pretty much my impression, too. I am very tempted to ask my players this Tuesday (when we begin to play again after the holidays) if they even want to use the mythic rules at all, partially or fully. The last session they just finished adventure one, so all is open in that regard.

Isn't your party made of 6 players though? Anything would be easy with so many players.

Also the module 1 is obviously not the right one to decide if you want to use the Mythic rules or not, because well the player are anyway not mythic in that module.

I think his point here was that because the players haven't actually become mythic yet, they wouldn't have to retcon anything by deciding not to go with mythic now.


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I would say be careful. I haven't run Wrath yet, and it's going to be a toss up as to whether I'm going to. I've read the first four books now, and I have been quite unimpressed with the difficulty level of this AP. Despite using Mythic system, it doesn't appear to be incredibly mythic in its difficulty. You might almost be able to play this AP with two regular characters and pull it off if their choices were decent.

Besides that, you get so much help throughout the AP that many encounters would be trivialized. The development team for Paizo said it would take the Mythic system to make this AP work. So far, the Mythic system has only appeared to make it a cakewalk. I'm really hoping the difficulty level escalates tenfold for the last two books, or I'm afraid this one might be a wash.

In short, I'd be wary of gestalt. Luckily, any campaign can be fun with the right people around the table. =)


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Tangent101 wrote:
half-brother Titus

I've a Titus in my campaign as well! He's a cohort of one of my players who thought it would be wise to get a cleric into a game of two sorcerers, a druid, and a monk. He is a cleric of Lissala (everyone else thinks he's a follower of Nethys; he Titus knows very little about Lissala, but he found this strange rune . . . ) and started as human, though after dying has subsequently been reincarnated as a goblin, which has been interesting!

Just thought the connection with the name was cool. Carry on everyone! =D


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Tangent101 wrote:

What I may do when I run WotR is craft an encounter of suitable difficulty for the party, composed of the creatures they fight (and maybe the opposing army's general). Then I describe the fight between the armies as akin to the actual fight between the PCs and their foes.

Though that might be difficult to pull off seeing that I'm not sure how to determine the CR of an Army, especially when it may have several advantages due to NPCs joining them. But I can always just wing it. ^^;;

Tangent, I would use the troop subtype found in

Spoiler:
Rasputin Must Die

With this, you can take any lesser CR creature and turn them into a CR worthy of fighting for the group. The rules for it are pretty easy, so creating them is worth it. I did this for my group using hobgoblins when I introduced Red Hand of Doom into my Kingmaker AP. It works very well.

Just a thought.


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Krome wrote:
Kayland wrote:

Did anyone seriously rework Aldern's mansion in the Skinsaw Murders? It seems....beyond severely harsh with the constant saves or lose stats. I could see my players going into two rooms...looking at me...giving me the finger and razing the place to the ground while just walking away from the A.P.

I was thinking about changing the Universal haunts to not be save/drains and instead just impart information combined with some short term effect...a set number of rounds of being nauseous etc. After all they're still too low at that point to be walking around with numerous ways to get rid of stat loss.

Fortunately the mansion is fireproof and cannot be burned down. The mansion is harsh... harsh enough we had a total party kill in it! On several of the haunts I even added in extra saves to give them chances. Still killed everyone.

The mansion really is hit and miss, I think. My group went through it without a single issue. No deaths, barely a scratched fingernail until they got down into the caverns, and even then they barely suffered an incident.

Spoiler:
The sorceress with undead bloodline essentially charmed Aldern before any attacks were made. They took him above ground where the revenant of his wife fought and tore him apart.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Nearyn wrote:
@Zhayne: Quite correct, I apologize for not providing enough information. At my GM's table, the players may decide for themselves whether they want to roll several times, or just multiply the result outright. They must, however, decide which they wanna use before the dice are rolled. I usually just multiply because it saves time, and lets my fellow players get their turn faster if I crit. This time, the dice came up in my favour.

That's a rule you all might want to do a retake on if you'd rather not have to deal with this sort of situation all the time.

Doing 4d8+24 damage, maxed out, would be 56 damage. Doing it the way you did it adds a significant amount of phantom damage to that tally, and you didn't even get max on the original damage roll, which would add even more. Chances are, at your level, 56 damage would have been enough, though average damage for 4d8+24 would amount to 42, which may not have completely killed the brigand.

Not trying to tell people how to play, but this house rule just strikes me as being somewhat broken. Eliminating it could help to alleviate problems like this in the future.

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