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Zach M.'s page

Pathfinder Society Member. 20 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


Lantern Lodge

Ice Titan and Martin have some great ideas. Let me throw one more out there.

If your players are still dead set on traveling across the ocean, through territory that has never been explored with untold dangers, have one of the seven Linnorn Kingdoms suddenly, and unexpectedly, blockade Kalsgard. They aren't, after all, united and they're VIKINGS. Devise a story for why Kalsgard and one of the other Kingdoms would be at each other's throats. Design in such a way that it would take months for the situation to resolve.

Here's an example from my game. My players decided that they didn't want to waste their time trying to find Ulf. They went to the two named merchant guilds that travel across the Crown of the World - the Rimerunner's Guild and one other one named in the back of the book. The latter told them that they only deal with referenced clients, and both of them told the players that it would be 3-4 months before trade started up again. My players absolutely did NOT want to wait 3-4 months. I didn't make it off limits, but rather made the option less attractive.

If you go with the blockade route, you might run into the problem of your players railroading from the AP and wanting to get involved in the national turmoil. You'll have to take that into consideration and devise something that will make it less likely they'll want to do that.

Lantern Lodge

I wanted to get some others' feedback about the Shark-Eating Crab encounter (p.22). My party at the moment consists, regularly, of 3 players: a rogue, wizard (abjurer), and a sorcerer (boreal). I'm concerned, that even with the support of two NPCS (Spivey and Kelda) this is going to be an extremely challenging encounter that may result in a TPK.

Did anyone else's party have problems with this encounter? Any ideas how I might go about keeping it a challenge, but one within their abilities to handle?

Lantern Lodge

Cintra Bristol wrote:

Small correction: The formula in cell C3 should be:


Then copy and paste-special, Formulas to paste the formula without changing the cell colors.

The dollar signs "lock" the cell reference when you copy - so this version makes it always refer to Column A for the numerator (total miles) and Row 2 for the denominator (speed).

You're right. Small oversight on my part. Thanks Cintra.

Lantern Lodge

Ice Titan wrote:

EDIT: I couldn't format it right on the forums, so I made it a google document.

Hungry Storm Travel Time

I could not for the life of me get this to show decimal points because I am not a person who uses Excel. If anyone knows how, please tell me so that I can make it show decimal points. It really irritates me that the 56 mpd caravan's first trip from Iqualiat to L takes 2 days and its second trip takes 1 day. >:/

Thanks so much for this Ice Titan! This is incredibly helpful.

From what I can gather with your excel doc, the problem seems to be with the formula - the "QUOTIENT()" formula, by definition, returns an integer rather than a decimal. You have a couple options:

1) At the top of the google doc, go to "Format", then "Number", then "custom decimals" (or simply pick "2 decimals"). You should be able to change the numbers are displayed, although using the "QUOTIENT" formula will make the decimals all 0s.

2) The other option, and what I would recommend, would be to do a simple division in the cell (e.g., =A3/$C$2) rather than using the quotient formula.

I hope that helps!

Lantern Lodge

atheral wrote:
And neither players or GM(me) realized the implications of what had happened until the session was over, they had just beaten back 6 Viking Huskarls with an episode of My Little Pony....never saw that one coming.

This is classic! I love it. It's moments like these that make Pathfinder and RP games worth it.

Lantern Lodge

Asurasan wrote:
Zaranorth wrote:
Jason Nelson wrote:
Long story short: You might remind your PCs from time to time that they have options other than ALL-OUT ATTACK. :)
Just remember to award them XP even if they do run. Nothing like fleeing from something that they know will kill them, only to be told they don't get any experience from it. That'll lead to the players choosing to take on horribly out-matched fights that the characters would never choose because they meta-game know that that's the only way to get XP. (Thankfully we broke the only DM in our group that had that attitude of it early on. There's little more aggravating than being "punished" for doing something wise in-character.)
I think both of the above mentioned things are pretty good options, I'm generally quick to award my players for navigating an encounter by means other than combat, so the XP reward would be a given. After my players Ogre encounter in the first book they re-read the escape rules for themselves. With luck they might take them to heart in the future if they land a bad string of random encounters.

I agree completely with all of you. It was a poor oversight on the part of myself and the players, and I introduced the encounter with wording that unfortunately made the players think that there was no possible way to avoid it. I'm still relatively new to GMing, so this was an important lesson learned. I still gave the players XP even though they died. I might, at some point, even provide small XP bonuses for innovative ways of navigating encounters. I will have to find some good way to balance this out though.

Lantern Lodge


I'm almost thinking the book might be taking into account attacks from the PC's or something supplemental that I might be missing in my skim of the book thus far. That seems like the only way to manage the damage totals for most of these fights.

Also, I suppose this might be further incentive to not 'rush off' half cocked and actually have them take their time? Still speculating though, others with a bit higher level caravans chime in with your thoughts!

My players just finished the first caravan encounter in Book 2.

The Ulfen Raid
While the PCs were fighting, the caravan was having a rough time taking out the attackers. However, I realized afterwards that we also forgot to add the caravan level to damage which would have made the fight a lot easier. Lesson learned! The players' caravan got destroyed one time about a day after they left Brinewall Castle. I rolled an encounter for the Wholly Rhinos and the players did not realize they could escape the battle. They were able to repair the caravan on the road, but it set them back about 10 days in the journey.

My players decided, after looking through all of the feats and rules in the player's guide, to focus on offense rather than defense. They had the same worries that you did - namely that the caravan wouldn't be able to pump the caravan's AC high enough to counteract the high attack modifiers and damage. On the flip side, they are also rather stingy about putting their own money into the caravan, so they haven't bought any armored wagons to increase the caravan AC. On the whole, it seems that the best feat investment for survival is the increased damage feat. By about 7th level (roughly the start of book 3) the caravan could be doing 5d6+7 points of damage - an average of 23 points/round. Fights would basically be a "who can kill who first?" situation. When the caravan has 200 hps and the enemies have 100, it's likely the caravan will survive the fight simply because the damage discrepancy is lower and the caravan has twice the number of hit points.

I would also be interested in hearing about some of the strategies other groups have used.

Lantern Lodge

What I will probably do is inform my players that it's possible to gain notoriety points, but not inform them as to what actions add to their total, or even what their total is. If they somehow decrease their notoriety points, I will probably add in subtle in-game clues that will hint at that fact.

Lantern Lodge

SnowHeart wrote:

P.11 of Frozen Shadows: ** spoiler omitted **

Thanks SnowHeart. I somehow didn't see that in the AP.

Lantern Lodge

Ignore my second question. I found the answer to my own question (~440 miles).

Lantern Lodge

I have a couple questions about this adventure:

1) "The Brinewall Legacy" mentions a reward from Kelda Oxgutter should the PCs take her to Kalsgrad, but I haven't found any mention of that reward in "Night of Frozen Shadows." I can always improv this part, but I was wondering if I either missed it in the Adventure Path, or it was left out and there was something specific planned for this piece of the adventure.

2) About how long, in distance, is Kalsgrad from Brinewall? I want to make sure I have the correct number of days that the PCs will take to get to the city.

Lantern Lodge

Clark Peterson wrote:
Zach M. wrote:
Do you have any long-term plans for how this other caravan will tie into the overarching story?
Nope, because I don't really know how it will all turn out. Most of the AP authors work on the design team but not only would I never ask them what happens in future episodes (since they are under NDAs) but they would never tell me (ditto). So I won't know how it will wrap up, or what role things play in the over-arching story, until you do. BUT I figured building in some extra conflict doesn't hurt. If I don't need it, I can drop it.

Oh sorry! I wasn't implying that you would try to get information preemptively. I was asking based on your current knowledge of the campaign. By the way, I have to say that I am taking a lot of inspiration from your ideas; namely adding in interesting and novel events not scripted in the book. For example, I'm going to be dictating all of the caravan encounters that the PCs run across rather than relying upon the random encounter table.

Also, very nice job with the newspaper! I think it's a little too late for me to steal it myself, but I really do like it.

Lantern Lodge

Devastation Bob wrote:
Hadn't seen a thread for this yet and I like reading other people's concepts. I'm down with OPC.

I'm GMing the campaign, and these are the characters my players have picked:

F Drow Rogue (Scout)
M Shoanti Barbarian (Invulnerable Rager)
F Half-Orc Sorcerer (Boreal)
M Half-Elf Cleric of Desna

I think the half-orc is my favorite archetype. His character wades into combat with a great-axe. The Boreal abilities will eventually become very cool. It also fits the setting of the campaign quite well.

Lantern Lodge

Devastation Bob wrote:
Deadliest Warrior dropped the ball on this one.

They got close. The did a Samurai vs. Viking episode. The Samurai won ... naturally.

Lantern Lodge

I had a Fighter/Barbarian character that had max ranks in a craft skill and also took the feat that allowed him to craft magical arms and armor (without being a caster).

Another character (barbarian/sorcerer/dragon disciple) has ranks in all of the social skills, as well as skill focus (intimidate), the intimidating glare rage ability, AND the feat that allows you to add your str mod to intimidate checks. He's a scary fellow.

Personally I think having feats & abilities like these give your character tons of flavor. Given they're not required to add flavor, but I always like it when characters take feats and skills that relate to how their character behaves.

Lantern Lodge

Clark Peterson wrote:
I'm working on my "Sandpoint Chronicle," a newspaper of sorts that I do during my campaign. I use it as a way to introduce rumors (without having to do the tedious rumor gathering in town), and to plant seeds and foreshadow things. I also use it as a way to recap the PCs achievements (from the eyes of the public, which is sometimes not so favorable). I also use it to set up tension with rival NPC adventuring parties. For instance, I intend to introduce a made up Kaijitsu brother of Ameiko's that has just come to town. His actual heritage is questionable. But I intend to have him and his band of roguish friends create a competing caravan to follow after the PCs to provide for some more fun and RP moments and chances for the PCs to interact with the caravan NPCs. I started this newspaper angle back in my first Shackled City campaign when I did a "Cauldron Chronicle". Of course, a campaign that stays in one core location gains more from such a device, but it is still worth it here. By the way, the Chronicle is run by a diminutive Joan Rivers-esque "gossip gnome," so lets just say the accuracy of the reporting is not always the best, which is part of the fun. :)

I love this idea! I'm actually a pretty new GM and just starting up my own Jade Regent campaign. I have to admit to patrolling these forums looking for creative and inventive ideas other, more experienced, GMs have used. I'd love to hear how the "Sandpoint Chronicle" and the competing caravan works out in your game.

Potential spoiler question::
Do you have any long-term plans for how this other caravan will tie into the overarching story?

Lantern Lodge

James Jacobs wrote:
There's a feat for Shoanti tribes in the Inner Sea World Guide. Also, there's a big article about the Shoanti in Pathfinder #10.

Thanks James! I must have overlooked that feat; it's exactly what I was looking for. I'm about to start the Jade Regent campaign, and one of my players is playing a Shoanti barbarian. I wanted to make sure he was aware of the flavor feat just in case he wants to take it.

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Liz Courts wrote:
They are likely covered in Humans of Golarion and the Inner Sea World Guide.

Thanks Liz. I don't have Humans of Golarion, but I did check the Inner Sea World Guide. It details all of the specific clans; I may have misremembered the in-game rules specific to the Shoanti clans. An enterprising GM can always ad-hoc rules if a player wants to play a Shoanti. I'll post back if I find anything in Humans of Golarion.

Lantern Lodge

I have a quick question about where to find some information about the Shoanti. A few days ago I remember reading a source book that had some in-game rules regarding the Shoanti tribes. If I remember correctly they were either racial traits or alternative racial (human) abilities. I can't seem to find the source despite a long search through various books and the forum archives. Can someone help me out? Thanks!

Lantern Lodge

Hey everyone!

I'm new to the forums and Pathfinder Organized play, however I have played with 3.5 rules for about 7 years and pathfinder rules more or less since they came out. I recently moved to Reno, NV and would like to get involved in Pathfinder play in the area, but I can't seem to find any games. I would like to get some people together for Pathfinder Organized play in the area and if possible, I would like to make it official play.

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