A few good low-level cold climate missions:
I find that cold climate adventures are underrepresented in the D&D cannon, usually revolving around frost giants. I think it would be cool if you tapped into the Russian or East Asian folklore for some monsters like the rusalka or the tengu. Of course Norse mythology is always cool and everyone gets to swing a big hammer. Swinging big hammers is never not fun. I highly recommend the Frostburn book if you're going to do a campaign like this. Frostfolk might be just the mooks you're looking for.
An adventure I had a blast with and cannot recommend enough is The Styes by Mr. Pett. My group had a blast with it despite some hasty alterations (one player who was supposed to flake showed up with his girlfriend.) This adventure really captures the Lovecraft feel and is a good mix of investigation/stealth and good old fashioned cultist bashing dungeon crawl. There is a particularly good part where the PCs are lead into an insane asylum. Just as my PCs were touching the blood covered walls of the deepest, darkest cell the cleric's cellphone went off with the most cheerful whistling I had ever heard. Though cellphones are now banned from my games it remains one of my favorite memories of DMing.
Hey, this is a bit of a weird thread as the system is a bit obscure. Some of my friends and me were watching Samurai Jack last night and were remarking on its slight planetary romance feel. I, on little sleep, promised to run a planetary romance campaign. Low and behold, I discovered Polyhedrons 160 & 161 is my room and fell head over heels for Iron Lords of Jupiter. Has anyone run a campaign in this setting? I was thinking of fleshing out some new races and monsters; what have other people done in this regard? I've never used d20 modern though I know D&D well enough. Also, as magic doesn't exist in ILoJ, I was hoping to have some sort of psionic advanced class. My players and I all don't use the ones from D&D. I'd also love to hear how campaigns felt or played out. Finally, I'm looking for music to use as well. Preemptive thank you Paizonians!
Another great moment from a campaign I ran set in the World Serpent Inn: One of my players, the same one who played the dwarf incidentally, was playing a drow assassin and was sitting around in the taproom. I announced something had come out of the fog and was ordering a drink. Before I could describe the creature, the player told me he wanted to hit on it. He delivers a cheesy one-liner I can't repeat on these message boards and the nycaloth, so taken aback, challenged him to mortal combat. This resulted with the drow delivering another one-liner (again inappropriate) and landing himself at -2 hit points in one round.
I was DMing a game in which a player (a dwarven fighter) had just gotten killed by the half-dragon fighter who was possessed by a shadow demon. They had a junky funeral and, in accordance to what I guess they thought were his final wishes, put him on a cart, set it on fire, and pushed it down a hill towards a river. It was then that the cleric realized he could cast resurrection and the entire party went running down the cliff after the body, which was still burning and rolling at top speed. A great scene.
Crimson Jester wrote:
The world has many types of environments and has an emphasis on planar magic and outsiders without much planar travel.
Empires come and empires go. Legacies are left behind; cryptic portents of things to come, great tragedies and heroics stowed away in libraries and temples, and massive piles of rubble and refuse, abandoned and forgotten in the far corners of the world. But an empire is never truly gone. The githya are a race of magically animated rubble and junk left over from the 12 Empires; the magic items and arcane energies of these great societies infect the surrounding items, pulling them into a functioning humanoid form and bestowing life into them. A githya’s soul is not so much a specific soul, but rather a fragment of the collected souls and memories of the empire they belong to.
Physical Description: Githya are perhaps the most varied race on Syntala. Their bodies can come in sizes from 3 feet to 9 feet, weighing radically different weights, and even being made of many different materials, from copper and iron, to stone and paper, to even petrified wood or mithril. A githya’s face often appears as a mask, made into a motif common to its empire of origin or covered in ancient forgotten runes. A githya’s appearance tends to mimic that of the inhabitants of their empire.
Society: The githya have existed in the shadows since the beginning of Syntala though they have only begun to assert themselves in the most recent empires, beginning in the Goblin and Elven Empires. Githya flock together by what empire they are from, often forming their own communities and clans, reviving old practices of their souls’ fallen heydays. Githya have been found in places where ruins permeate the land, such as the excavation of Poldarus in Silverwolf, the few mysterious ruins found on Ishkale, and in the Fallen Cities in the Starscape. Githya dress in the fashions of their empire if not forgoing clothes altogether.
Relations: The githya interact with races depending upon which empire they’re the remnants of. A githya of the Empire of Goblins we be at the throats of any elves it met, while a githya of the Empire of Dragons would be very friendly to drakiths, and a githya of the Empire of Man would be fiercely nationalist.
Alignment and Religion: Githya share the alignments of the empire they belong to and venerate the same deities.
Adventurers: Githya commonly become adventurers and their various immunities and knowledge of ancient sites are in high demand. Githya often join expeditions to ruins of their empire of origin free of charge. Occasionally, a githya feels like it does not belong to any empire, and such free-willed githya turn to adventuring for purpose.
+2 Constitution, +2 Intelligence, -2 Dexterity: Githya are durable and filled with fragments of knowledge from many beings, yet are uncomfortable in their bodies, like a child going through puberty.
Small or Medium: At a githya’s creation, it can be either Small or Medium size.
Slow or Normal Speed: A Small githya’s speed is 20 feet while a medium githya’s speed is 30 feet.
Darkvision: Githya can see in the dark up to 60 feet.
Living Construct: A githya is considered a construct with the following exceptions. A githya has a Constitution score which it uses to calculate its hit points and is not immune to mind-affecting abilities. Unlike other constructs, githya are subject to critical hits, effects requiring a Fortitude save, death from massive damage, nonlethal damage, stunning, ability damage, ability drain, and death effects or necromancy effects. Githya do not heal naturally. However, a githya is immune to poison, sleep effects, paralysis, disease, nausea, fatigue, exhaustion, and energy drain. Living constructs can be affected by spells that target living creatures as well as by those that target constructs. Damage dealt to a githya can be healed by a cure light wounds spell or a make whole spell, for example, and a githya is vulnerable to a harm spell. However, spells from the healing subschool provide only half effect to a githya. Githya do not eat, sleep or breath, though a githya spellcaster must still rest 8 hours to prepare spells.
Ancient Knowledge: At creation, a githya receives Skill Focus (Knowledge) in a Knowledge of its choice.
Languages: Githya begin play speaking Common. A githya with a high Intelligence may choose any language.
Here are the drakith in full:
Once, a great empire of dragons spanned across Syntala. The dragons unleashed powerful magic onto Sytala and then disappeared. After the Draconic Empire fell, it gave way to the Cyclopean Empire, which gave way to the Goblin and Elven Empires, which, in turn gave way to the Empire of Man. While elves, goblins, and even a minority of cyclopses roam the land, they dragons have all but vanished from Syntala. What they left behind are the drakith.
Physical Description: Drakith stand a bit taller than humans, averaging between 5’6” and 6’6” and weigh as much as a standard human. They have slightly elven features, a slender build, long limbs, pointed ears, yet are as well built as humans. Their bodies hint at their draconic heritage though; many have small scales, odd skin colors, or even small claws.
Society: Drakith have no cities of their own, blending into human or elven cities with minimal problems. However, drakith are inexplicably drawn together, whether through some hereditary bond or just a desire to be near those like them. They often form clubs or societies within major cities, where other drakith can meet and socialize. The easiest example of this is Blood and Scales Society, a large organization with guildhouses in Silverwolf, Mycedreon, and Alakir most of all. Indeed, drakith feel a strange connection to Ishkale, and many finance expeditions into the southern pole’s infamous forests and glaciers.
Relations: Most of the races appreciate the drakith for what they are: a bunch of mysterious if not helpful eccentrics. Humans and elves enjoy the company of the dragonfolk, while gnomes admire their refusal to be normal. Though they try to relate with half-elves and half-orcs on the basis of being cultural rejects, the half-breeds feel the drakith haven’t had to deal with rejection on the level that they have. The dwarves find the drakith overly exuberant and annoying while the halflings frown upon their purposeless wanderings.
Alignment & Religion: The drakith race, while unique and very culture oriented, seems to have lost its direction. Though some drakith call for the establishment of drakith cities on Ishkale, most seem to go about their lives as humans do. Many scholars suspect the dragons created the drakith to serve some purpose or accomplish some goal, yet that goal was forgotten eons ago. This lack of purpose leads many drakith to a more chaotic lifestyle, though they have no preference of good or evil. Drakith venerate deities based on class rather than race.
Adventures: Many drakith are adventurers, pushed to this career by their insatiable curiosity and natural talents. While some drakith bring back eldritch artifacts to study, many simply want to experience the world, and are perfectly happy to be paid for it.
Male Names: Alagi, Centreco, Geoven, Kalabar, Siken, Viralikar
+2 Dexterity, +2 Charisma, -2 Wisdom: Drakith are agile and commanding, yet are rather aimless.
Medium: Drakith are Medium Creatures and have no bonuses or penalties due to size.
Normal Speed: Drakith have a base speed of 30 feet.
Low-light Vision: Drakith can see twice as far as humans in conditions of dim light.
Draconic Immunities: Like dragons, drakith are immune to sleep effects, and gain a +2 racial bonus against paralysis effects.
Resilient Hide: Drakith retain resiliency to a specific type of energy from their dragon ancestors. A drakith gains Resistance 2 to his choice of acid, cold, electricity, or fire.
Draconic Blood: Drakith sorcerers with the Draconic bloodline treat their Charisma score as 2 points higher for all sorcerer class abilities.
Skilled: Drakith have a +2 racial bonus on Knowledge (arcane) and Use Magic Device checks.
Languages: Drakith begin play speaking Common and Draconic. Drakith with high Intelligence scores can choose any language.
You have put my mind to rest.
Physical Description: Weirds are of standard human height and weight. Their skin is grayish and their hair is shock-white or silver. A weird’s eyes are always a metallic color (most commonly gold) and their pupils glow slightly.
Society: Weirds are commonly found in cities in and around The Great Empire where they stay together in close-knit and mysterious family bands. Outside of the city, weirds travel in caravans, often camping next to or in between Transitionals. These caravans are often led by a council of the eldest weirds in the caravan. Often a weird who is exiled for one slight or another joins a human establishment. This is a fairly common occurrence, as weird culture follows a strict series of often unnecessary and contradictory rules.
Relations: Weirds have minimalist reactions with other cultures, spending most of their time secluded from the rest of the world in their close-knit groups. Weirds tend to have a haughty approach around other races, feeling their appointment as guardians of Transitionals makes them more important than other races. As such, most races have a short fuse when it comes to weirds. The one exception are the gnomes who find the weirds fascinating and frequently volunteer to help the weirds in their duty, much to the weirds’ chagrin.
Alignment and Religion: Weirds approach life in a very dutiful way, enforcing laws as best as they can. This leads most weirds towards lawful, with no preference for good or evil. However, chaotic weirds are commonly exiled from weird society, and make up a majority of weird adventurers.
Adventures: Weird adventurers are most commonly exiled members of the race who have been cast out due to breaking a rule or offending an elder of the caravan. Occasionally, a non-exiled weird joins up with a group if their purposes intersect. It has not been unheard of for groups of weirds to assist the Arbiters in transportation, and a caravan of elite weirds guard the Veiled Corridor, the transitional connecting Silverwolf and Zalir’Basan.
Male Names: Bal, Eli, Kae, Lam, Yinar
+2 to One Ability Score: Weird characters get a +2 bonus to one ability score of their choice at creation to represent their varied nature.
Normal Speed: Weirds have a base speed of 30 feet.
Gravitational Disjunction: The Astral Plane’s influence allows weirds to alter their immediate gravitational field. A weird can reduce his weight to nothing, leaving no tracks and walking over pressure plates and water at 5 feet a round. This is such a taxing ability, a weirds must make a DC 10 Fortitude save each round to avoid taking 1 point of nonlethal damage. The DC increases by 1 each round after the first.
Portal Sense: Weirds receive a +2 racial bonus on Knowledge (the planes) and Spellcraft checks related to the planes and planar magic. In addition, a weird who comes within 30 feet of a portal understands what it is, though the weird can tell nothing of its properties or even what plane it goes to.
Weirding: The bizarreness and malleability of the Astral Plane infuses a weird with minor powers, namely the ability to alter the outcomes of certain events. Once per day, a weird can add 1d6 to any d20 roll.
Languages: Weirds begin play speaking Common. Weirds with high intelligence scores can choose from the following: Abyssal, Aklo, Aquan, Auran, Celestial, Draconic, Ignan, Infernal, Sylvan, and Terran.
+2 Dexterity, +2 Charisma, -2 Wisdom: Drakith are agile and commanding, yet are rather aimless.
Sean K Reynolds wrote:
I just realized you could also soak paper in diluted white glue, then wrap that around the mini; when it dries, it should be hard. Cheaper and more available than epoxy putty. :)
Wow Sean, you're a craft wizard full of useful ideas. This seems the cheapest so I guess it just got promoted to best idea.
That's a good idea. I'm running this campaign for two groups: 4 highschool/college friends, and a group of adults varying in number from 5-8. That's at least $18 a game. But the players in my younger group usually have less money than me. Even dropping it down to $1 would give me many more options. Great idea!
Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Cool. That's one mystery down. Is this stuff available readily at hardware or art stores?
Hugo Solis wrote:
I'd suggest commission a custom paper mini from N'wah. His prices are good and you'd have your own, perfect mini
We have been using N'wah's minis when we can, but sadly most monsters have not been converted to the paper format (which I endorse wholeheartedly!) N'wah, if you are listening, please make skeletons! Where would I go to find prices for custom minis? Also, a slight aside, is there a place where I can get free paper minis? I have all of Paizo's but could always use more.
Sean K Reynolds wrote:
I've used sculpy for minis in the past, but it never fully dries and often melts in heat. What green stuff would you recommend?
As cool as that would be, I'm also a 16 year old kid with a minuscule budget. Anything too complicated is way beyond me and my current bank account of $11.
I was thinking more of human-sized grisgols (MM3) though raggamoffyns seem too ghostly for what I'm thinking of.
If you want to get the racial balance right you might want to check out the Race Creation Cookbook. It is completely point based, so making a very balanced race should be easy.
10 steps ahead of you. I'm just wondering because it was balanced for 3.5 not Pathfinder
I'm liking all of that especially the weight negation aspect. I've decided the weirds are humans who have been mutated by the astral magics of the Zyr, an ex-empire of partially sonic astral traders, who were raised on the astral plane. With the end of the 12th Empire, the Empire of Man, and the coming of the Empire of Madness, where the Far Realm will overlap my campaign world, the weirds have been sent out of their astral havens to try to prevent the apocalypse though they don't know it. Weird society operates on a very tangled and confusing set of laws and weird adventurers are often outcasts who have been put in exile for violating their caravan's code. Right now, the weirds have taken up guarding the Transitionals, places where other planes bleed over in the material plane allowing for instant travel and visiting demiplanes, restricting their usage and often times, refusing to allow entrance altogether.
As for the 3rd race (I'm thinking maybe calling them Butji which is possession in Romani) I think they might be living constructs, piles of junk abandoned by the 12 Empires and magically infused over the years to give them form and mind. They would get maybe a +2 on Disable Device, Knowledge (architecture and engineering), and Use Magic Device but healing spells would only heal them for half. They could probably cast mending 3/day. I don't really know what their stats would be, but have have an image in mind of a loose collection of discarded clothes, bent iron bars, weird springs and pulleys, walking around, casting spells, and talking to people.
So I'm homebrewing races for my Pathfinder campaign, and I was trying to figure out what my "wow" race would be (i.e. Eberron and warforged, Forgotten Realms and drow). So far the races I have are drakith (people with dragon blood), weirds (a race of albino portal users mutated by the Astral), and a yet-to-be-named race of collections of items given sentience (junk mummies if you will). Though I'm happy with these races, if would like some creative input for more of some developments on these races.
So I'm running a campaign with an odd looking final monster. He is an amalgam (from Advanced Bestiary)trumpet archon/ glabrezu, who is wrapped head to toe in sheet music. I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions for minis for this guy. Also, what minis have you used for other big bad monsters. I've always wanted to end Age of Worms with this guy.
Downer was one of the largest inspirations of my D&D campaign and I sorely miss it. While it was always nice to get DMing ideas from classic modules and the works of the great authors in Dungeon, Downer always reminded me of two very important ideas in DMing. 1) Every NPC can be memorable and 2) Keep the action going. I was playing in groups that weren't really catering to my explorer mentality and I remember Downer as a breath of fresh, creative air. It was always the first thing I would read in Dungeon (after of course the Map of Mystery) and I still see ideas from it subconsciously pop up in my adventures from time to time. While visions of ethergaunts danced in my head, my mind turned away from dragons and giants, and before it knew it, I was enraptured with illithids, spectral lyricists, and of course devils. I digress, Downer is really important to me. I trust you guys; Paizo has done the best work I've ever seen in D&D. So, please, please, please do Downer right. For me?
P.S. Guys, if you see Kyle (who is assume is hiding out in the Underdark somewhere) tell him thanks. From one monster enthusiast to another.
Cry Wolf was a great low-level adventure mixing fighting, negotiation, and interesting terrain for 2nd level characters. I'm not sure what Dungeon it was in, but it remains one of my favorite missions of all time. If your group is more of the butt-kicking bent, then Goodman Games Into the Wilds was a pretty cool set of 4 dungeon crawls in a large forest. The Distraction was another good one from Dungeon where the PCs race against time to stop a gnoll invasion. It was third level I think. I'm sure more will come to me. Long live low-level wilderness missions!
I understand your point and in fact agree with you now. However, essentially all of the play is about dying so I feel a lot of significance would be lost if Hamlet in fact lived. However, the prospect of a cambion Hamlet becoming king of an entire country is an intriguing concept.
Davi The Eccentric wrote:
Brilliant! Brilliant! Brilliant! HAmlet is a cambion but only slowly realizes this. He only unlocks his true heritage in the final fight! Brilliant!
Thanks! I checked them out but they didn't really help. Just statblocks and random plots.
My thoughts are that you'll have to be willing to allow for the possibility of Hamlet surviving. You shouldn't make the poison in Laertes' sword an auto-kill. Maybe the save is really high; something the PC has to roll an 18+ to survive.
I don't think Hamlet should survive, but I don't think the poison should be instant kill either. I'd have it start killing Hamlet, but have enough time for Hamlet to murder Claudius. However, if Gertrude is a devil, won't normal poisons not affect her? I need some way around this!
So I had the idea to convert Hamlet into a 1 player campaign. Gertrude would be a devil or something and Hamlet Sr. would be controlled by an ice devil(?) Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dvati. Yorick is a spectral bard who guides Hamlet, an eldritch knight, through the campaign. Hamlet struggles against Young Fortinbrass , a paladin, who is intent on ridding Demark of its devilish aristocracy, much to Hamlet's chargin. I'd change all the names around to make it more fantastic, and it think it would be fun to play a fighter/necromancer Hamlet. Thoughts? Suggestions?
Luna eladrin wrote:
Do you have Tome of horrors? Then check out the draug and the brine zombie. The draug are undead who can control ships. You can even create a scene when a ghost ship full of them comes rising out of the sea and comes flying to the island.
Good call. I was originally going to use a mob of humans with the zombie template, but this one is better thematically, and doesn't have aroun 110 hp.
So I'm going to run a 2 part Halloween game at my school and I'd like some input. And before anyone says anything, yes, I've read Tammeraut's Fate and this missions plot is largely looted from it. I'm looking for specific feedback on the parts, and all feedback is welcome.
Part 1: The PCs are all on a luxury/trading vessel headed towards the port city of Ska'Ven. This will give them a chance to introduce their characters and interact. As they continue to sail, in the wee hours of the morning a large storm hits their ship, but it is nothing the crew can't deal with. However, the 17 HD zombie shark that rams the boat is a bit of a problem. The boat runs aground on a mysterious island at around 4 in the morning and the PCs sort through the wreckage. The rain does not let up as morning rolls around and the PCs are forced to take shelter.
Part 2: The PCs explore the island during the first day of the adventure. They come upon a ghost town full of the ghosts of the island's original settlers. A zany haunted house scene ensues. The PCs talk to the ghosts who tell them that their village was destroyed by a great red dragon who is long dead. They petitioned a wizard to destroy the dragon, but after it was dead, they became slaves to the wizard who lives in a castle on top of the island's cliffs. The wizard still has power however, and controls the shark that patrols the island as well as the bodies of the now dead villagers. The PCs should rest up with the ghosts, but as night falls, a mob of zombies enters the village to search for the characters.
Part 3: The PCs must escape from the zombies (as there are far too many)by most likely hiding in the crazy house/village complex. They pass a very disturbing and cinematic first night on the island, before the zombies return to the sands. By now the PCs should realize that they have to destroy the evil wizard in the tower. There are 2 ways of reaching his castle: you can take the underground caves, which is where the dragon died or the mountains and forests up to the castle, where the wizard's minions patrol.
Part 4A: The PCs decide to take the caves and have to get through the caverns while being hounded by the dragon's ghost. I'm probably going to lift many of these encounters from the Dungeon mission "Ill Made Graves" but those few encounters probably aren't enough, so this is where I'd like suggestions.
Part 4B: The PCs go along the mountains and forests. They'll probably fight some weird undead (I was thinking ghouls with crow wings). Any suggestions?
Part 5: As the night falls the PCs reach the wizards tower, they are forced to race against time to destroy the wizard before the zombies reach the summit and destroy them. The wizard will probably be a brain in a jar on top of a shield guardian. I need help stocking the wizard's tower with traps and monsters, but the need isn't as pressing as Parts 1-4. After the beat the wizard just in time, day will break, zombies will be destroyed and a ship of Ska'Ven mercenaries will show up to rescue them. And that's it.
That's the other kind of gargoyle i was thinking of making. Called a grotesque.
First try at Garguile:
Garguile CR 7
The gargoyle idea is nice. What would be kind of cool if you're using the gothic European motiff is to have them actually on the buildings and for some important or significant buildings to have the actual monsters instead of just statues. Maybe imitators want people to THINK they have gargoyles. Maybe they're even relatively rare and no one can be sure if the gargoyles are watching and listening, or if they're just statues. Or you could leave it all just a big mystery, get the pcs used to the idea of 'yeah, there are gargoyle statues on the buildings. No, we tried 'detect magic' a dozen times. It's all baloney. Hey, did that one move....?"
What if a council of Garguiles ran the thieves guild composed of both humans and various gargoyles (i have the book with the updated margoyles and such.) Do you know any other monsters who would fit well in the city? I'm an Irish mythology buff, not a French or German one so this is sort of uncharted territory for me.
The multiverse works kind of differently in this campaign. There is no blood war. The demons makes deals with the devils who them process their souls. All the different outsiders hate each other but must work in concert to keep the multiverse running. A demon might make a deal for a mortal's soul and if that mortal doesn't pay up an inevitable will show up to force him to comply. Another note is the increase of Pazuzu's power. He is my favorite demon lord and will play a big part in the campaign. Any mortal can call his name for a wish and his cult is steadily growing. Any thoughts?
Rayven is a huge city with tons of buildings and residents. Think France or Germany for atmosphere. Tons of tall towers with many bridges, gargoyles, and spires of all types. The city also has a large sewer system and many bridges between towers. Any ideas for cool encounters? Keeping with the central and western Europe feel, I was thinking of something with a springheel from Dragon magazine becomes somewhat of a hero among the poor as he kills yuppies.
Also worth mentioning are two new types of gargoyles I'm creating for this campaign. The first is the Grotesque which is a smaller gargoyle with the power to spray jets of water from its mouth. The second is the Garguile which is a smarter, angel shaped gargoyle who is proficient with several weapons and can use some spell-like abilities.