Obviously it seems the Earth aspect is a bit divisive.
In my mind it fills me with both excitement and apprehension. I am excited by the prospect of the visit to a world without magic (or at least very hidden magic) and how Paizo handles this. However I could easily see it being mishandled by a DM, rushed writing or by players to cause a very awkward book.
I expect a quality product from Paizo and hope that the result meets the expectations of the people here who are excited by the prospect.
P.H. Dungeon wrote:
I had a player in my Savage Tide campaign playing a goliath barbarian. He had some cheesy racial feat that would let him assume large size when he went into his rage. They were on the Isle of Dread and he'd wandered off with a fellow PC to get some fire wood. The pair runs into a T-rex.
I remember that T-rex. He ate our dwarf barbarian/ranger. The character was an absolute powerhouse but didn't have any weapon other than his greataxe. So the t-rex swallowed him whole and he couldn't get free before dying.
Another addition for myself for worst death:
Hidden for RotRL spoilers:
Playing in the first book of RotRL I had a half-elf trapper ranger. We hadn't gone too well and had already lost one character to insanity by touching the runes. So we reached the castle and come to a area with two doors (the nursery and harem) and a corridor.
My ranger kneels down to start unlocking the nursery when two players got bored. Both of these are playing paladins mind you. One starts banging his sword on his shield and walking down the corridor to attract the attention of the bad guys while the other opens the door to the harem as my ranger finishes unlocking the door.
As you might guess this didn't go down well. The paladin who walked down the corridor ended up attracting another encounter while the second paladin charged the bugbear ranger in the harem. The serpant sorceror and my ranger moved to back the second paladin up after we both took swift actions to face palm.
As soon as my half elf appeared the bugbear dropped his weapon drew his bow and took an attack of op from the paladin to shoot me. This was due to tactics since he hated elves and my character embraced his elf side and made no effort to hide it. Nat 20, Nat 20 to confirm with a elf bane arrow. Large damage rolls dropped my ranger to a few off his con from full.
The paladin completely ignores my ranger which I thought was odd since he had sworn the oath of charity and the bugbear can't attack him and me, out of character, telling him he needed to do something. Several rounds later the ignored ranger bled out on the floor of that room.
So my character died because two people were too impatient to let my character do his job of checking doors and unlocking them. The game lasted one more session before breaking up.
Damn Trial of the Beast is lethal:
Race: Orc (wearing a hat of disguise to make him look human)
Classes/levels: Fighter (Two-handed) 6
Adventure: Trial of the beast
Location: 1st Level of the tower
Catalyst: Guardian of the tower and some unlucky damage rolls
The group was clearing out the schloss without too much issue until they came across the final tower. Deciding to break in using the fighter lockpick method the Guardian was alerted and had a readied action to attack when the door was opened.
Usually the first one in was the tower shield fighter but since he had fallen into every trap in the flooded lab he elected to go last this time. Urhgan walked in first and received a claw to the face.
Both Urghan and the dwarf held the line with the cleric channeling as best she could while the alchemist and gunslinger tried to lay waste to the golem. Some poor rolling from urghan had him miss every strike against the Guardian and after two claws brought him down to 1 hp the maximum damage rend coupled with some con loss from an earlier battle spelled the end for the big orc.
However his sacrifice gave the party a chance to finish off the golem and eventually make their way up to finally defeat the promethean and end the threat at the schloss.
My party just cannot make a will save to save their lives.
I just had my party 'take on' the Erinyes. Thanks Trinite for the idea to have her just take off when the bridge was cleared. The Erinyes feared the cleric and the fighter that had fly on sending them out of the fight. The alchemist went down in one round of focus fire leaving only the gunslinger and the second fighter who were shooting from the rusted lab and cowering behind his tower shield at the opposite ledge respectively. I had her then announce fulfillment of her contract and disappear. The party was freaked by that fight.
My party feels like this dungeon was just made to slaughter people.
Well I had the talk and the players acknowledged my concerns. We're working on fleshing out their current characters. I've also decided to tone back the combat until everyone gets settled into their new characters giving them time to care about the characters and want them to stay alive. Though I also did warn the players that the majority of gear in the dungeon would be aimed towards the surviving characters to help them catch up with the new power creep.
Rather than the hero point system I am using the Harrow one and adding the option to turn it in to escape death.
I am chiefly using the harrow system since the rogue stole a harrow deck at the start of the game and I intend to run the harrowing to explain why they are getting the powers they are and how these cards keep mysteriously appearing in their pockets.
I'm running Carrion Crown so:
The trolls at the gate in Schloss Caromarc killed 2 and forced one retirement. They went back and still lost one more person and had another on negatives. It was a slaughter.
Agreed with everyone else about the air elemental and the Erinyes
I'd like to thank everyone who has put in their 2cp on this topic.
Regarding the combat deaths, as a new DM I am still struggling to find the balance between challenging, easy and TPK. Through most of the first book I made the fights a little too easy until the last boss. Throughout this book they have gone from slogfests to near tpks to piddling easy fights as I try to get the balance right.
It is a fine line that I am trying to work because what is CR+or-1 depends on the party and that really is a matter for another thread. The experienced players know when I am softening up fights and after a few soft balls want a higher challenge. Going hard at them flusters the casual and beginner players into making errors which can get the party into serious trouble (Especially since they are the only sources of healing) and some of the fights are outright hard even for experienced players. All I can do is adjust as I go and learn from my mistakes.
In the end I don't want to punish my players for dying. I want to stop the idea that killing characters is a good thing. I want them to be invested in their characters and want to keep them alive. The players are my friends and I want this to be an enjoyable experience for both them and me.
As such I intend to talk to the players who are intending cannon fodder characters and try and work with them to make characters that they want to keep alive. To try and find out why they feel this way and explain my side to them. As long as people aren't trying to do deliberately kill their characters then my issue doesn't exist. If they wish to continue in this vein then I may need to consider some of the steps that have been advised here. I’ll post again after my chat.
Shuriken Nekogami wrote:
you don't need to mechanically penalize these characters for dying. you merely need to make encounters easier so that they feel less need to use mass sacrifice tactics. the easy way to fix this is to dumb down some of your less intelligent monster's tactics. instead of focus firing the trolls on the firemaking caster, try breaking them up into smaller groups. adventure paths tend to offer less treasure than normal anyway. maybe, some of the monsters retained damage from the previous wipes or something.
Long answer here:
I don't as much want to punish them for dying. I want them to stay alive it was a harsh encounter and as a rookie DM I didn't realise how bad it would be.
I did the fight myself with the same characters as a test and while it should have scared the bajeezus out of them it shouldn't have been the near party wipe it was. It was a bunch of bad dice rolling mixed with bad tactics.
There were lots of things they did wrong tactically that could have turned the battle. I have now checked the forums for other 'problem' encounters and will be keeping an eye on those encounters marked as potential killers.
In the end I don’t want to do this to punish the players. I want to do it to stop the idea of profit by sacrifice. People shouldn’t be thinking well I’ll use this character until level X where my SUPERMEGAAWESOME dazzling display character works optimally or my druids pet gets its size increase or I’ll spend all this characters gold on his weapon then I’ll kill that character and loot that weapon with my guy who just spent all his gold on his armour and shield.
Spoilers regarding book 2 of carrion crown:
Technically only 3 characters have been killed in combat. The rogue retired due to roleplaying and undead hunter (a mix of several classes) due to making a sub optimal build and wanting a chance to try again (He played it for only one very memorable session)
The barbarian player opted to have his character die after realising his math error with hp after the fight with Vorkstag and Grine. Most likely had he calculated correctly then the party would have healed him more and he would have survived.
The trolls at the gate of book 2 caused the death of the magus and paladin. The party went in loud which got the attention of the boss troll as well. 3 trolls are really bad news even if the worst of them is using a 2d8 crossbow with a not spectacular attack bonus. And when the magus goes invisible, dashes past the two trolls and aggravates the boss troll into melee it caused havoc on the battle field.
Though all these character changes have happened within 3 sessions so it may be that they have that feeling of impending doom. I’ll keep that in mind and if the players feel that way in our talk I’ll pull some punches for the rest of the dungeon. Give them a chance to get into their characters.
Brannon Branduin Brighthammer wrote:
Are these all relatively new players? That makes a difference, too. I guess it comes down to doing what's fun and fair for everyone involved. If some players (I don't know how many you have) are trying to keep their characters alive while others are playing carelessly, there's clearly some sort of disconnect regard to expectations.
I suppose I should have brought up the party makeup. I have 5 players:
Alchemist (Original surviving member) - Casual player. Has her character planned out for a while and plans to head into Master Chymist. I have been helping to foreshadow her mental break. Much of the plot now is focused in on her since most of the newer characters don't yet have a heavy link to the plot this will change soon enough.
Sorcerer (Original surviving member Currently on hiatus) - Experienced role-player. Character has a terminal illness which was worked out pre start of the campaign with eventual retirement due to succumbing to the disease at the start of book 3. Currently resting in town due to staying up for several days straight using stimulants aggravating her illness. Player switched to a paladin and died helping the surviving party members escape from a troll attack. Player is now running a barbarian who is related to a dead character. He made the comments regarding replacement characters and already has two lined up.
Cavalier (3rd character for this player) - Experienced Player. Originally was playing a rogue who got arrested his next character was a magus who became lunch for trolls by running in under invisibility and fighting the advanced troll solo then trying to burning hands while being unprotected and being on less than 10hp. The other player who made the comments regarding replacement and has one lined up.
Gunslinger (3rd Character for this player) - Experienced player. Played a wonderful superstitious barbarian until he realised he had made a math error with his rage and should have been dead 20hp ago. Replaced with a mixed bag undead killer who retired due to sheer lack of undead but was endless fun for the short time he was there and will likely be showing up randomly again. Replaced with straight gunslinger. Player plans to retire from role-playing at the end of the year and shall be sorely missed.
Cleric (Newly joined to the campaign) – First game in Pathfinder. Player is just trying to learn the ropes of the system and is trying to get into her character. Her character is well built but she still doesn’t quite know everything she can do.
So it is surprisingly the experienced players that are the problem here.
I thought I had been. The party seemed really excited about the roleplaying aspects. I mean one player retired his character due to filling the travel time with the circus and having the party do some performances. He decided his character was going to join the circus and worked with me on a new character who the party started to interact with before he even made the switch.
It seems like the dungeon sections of the book which are light on roleplaying seem to make the characters forget what they are doing. I have already altered the dungeon to add roleplaying in and tie up some loose story items. I'm trying not to have the adventure have too many large sections of dungeons without plot.
Part of the problem is the adventure path. It does give the proper wealth as what was calculated in the Carrion Crown thread but a lot of it is in consumable items such as potions and alchemical items. The party seems to hang onto these items and forget their sale value leaving them short. IE they are sitting on about 12k gp worth of items that they never use but haven't sold.
I've been running my first DMing game using the Carrion Crown adventure path. Things had been going fairly well through the first book and well into the second.
One player retired his character due to roleplaying aspects (He got arrested, if he hadn’t then he was leaving to join the circus) and he brought in a new character of the same level with funds equal to what a character of that level is meant to get.
This character was a bit stronger than the others because of being able to spend all his money on his own character rather than having shared party funds that people were withdrawing from as needed.
Soon afterwards 2 other characters were killed in combat including that same character who had just been brought in (Standing in the open while wielding fire is never a good thing with trolls around especially with an advanced one directing them "Kill the burny man!"). So more new characters came in at the same level and they got ready to go out again to rescue the bodies of their comrades. Pretty much straight away another character died and a new build came in and I wondered if I was being too harsh on the party.
However later on this player stated to me that he and another player who had died were of the opinion that since there was no real penalty for death they were just going to build characters to last a little while, let themselves die and bring in characters who were optimized to that level.
This idea of deliberately getting characters killed for profit and to bring in builds that are weak at low levels at their peak rubs me the wrong way and feels like a snub to the players who struggle to keep their less optimized characters alive. It also really surprises me as both of these players are normally excellent role-players.
So I am trying to work out a way to curb this behaviour before it becomes a real problem for me.
I am considering running with the old school new characters start at average party level -1 to at least punish this kind of behaviour and promote actually trying to keep their characters alive. If a character leaves due to fully developed role-playing reasons then I won’t punish them for that.
Also I want to arrange to have a chat with the players in question and let them know my concerns. I am to let them know that planning character death as a for profit scheme seems like power gaming, something both of them have complained about in length in the past.
Death happens but I am surprised at how much of a difference it seems to make for the DM to suddenly have much stronger and optimized characters appear essentially from nowhere. Does anyone have any other advice or have come across this situation before?
Because I'll summon one of my goons next to them and have them attack instead. At them my minion I'm right behind you!
Seriously though the only character I've had without some form of ranged weapon was my 7 dex lore oracle with the blind curse (Done mostly for amusement to have a stumbling and bumbling melee combatant who always seemed to get lucky thanks to sidestep secret)
By the way, I omitted the flesh golem hound because, as has been pointed out, it is pretty absurd to think that the hound would have scared the trolls. Heck, they could have just killed it slowly over time by throwing rocks and shooting crossbow bolts.
Yeah I had the same thing. Especially after my PCs managed to get unlucky and activate all 3 trolls resulting in a near party wipe. What I did was change the trap to have a reset timer. After all Trolls wouldn't care much about being sent flying over a waterfall. They regen, spend a half a day getting back and then the trap reactivates. It slows the trolls down and creeps them out without harming them or the trap.
Having played a bit of the Skull and Shackles campaign there are a few things I can offer:
A swim speed just adds many options. Anything that can supply those to others such as Touch of the Sea can help in any situation in which you are out of the boat.
A lot of the time you want to avoid heavy armored characters in this kind of campaign since the impact on their swimming and balancing capabilities can be crippling. As well you likely won't be doing daily ship duties in your Full Plate and spending several minutes trying to get into armor will be a hassle. Armored coat can be useful as a quick emergency armor since it can be donned with a move action.
Also remember that you can't consume potions underwater. This can make life hell for an alchemist. There are potion sponges that allow you to have a potion underwater but since they are one use and cost 2gp a pop it can be expensive for a low level character. In that vein as well there are special underwater crossbows that have a 20ft range increment underwater allowing ranged combat.
As David Haller stated any sea fight can be three dimensional. Make sure to keep that in mind for your fighting capabilities and for DMing that you will need to keep track of player and monster depth.
In the end I would say that a druid would be most effective. Their weather based casting and ability to interactive with the sea wildlife will come in quite handy.
We just had our first session yesterday.
to save space:
We all started off on a merchant ship which the navy inspected and declared to be a pirate ship (captain had retired and gone legit). The captain ordered everyone off the ship and blew up his store of gunpowder destroying his ship and crippling the naval ship. Over the next three days the survivors were lost at sea until they each fell to exposure before being picked up by the passing wormwood.
Morgan - female human "drunken" flowing monk - the player wanted to do a drunken monk but decided that a flowing monk fitted more she worked with the dm to exchange a couple of things to keep the drunken monk feel. Morgan (just "Morgan) is a fun loving, live life to the fullest lady who never turns down a drink or a fight. She has struggled with her tasks aboard the ship but her defeat of owlbear has earned her some respect.
Killesandra - female human cleric - abandoned in her time of need by her old god Killesandra is an angry young woman whose lust for combat is insatiable. After the ship she was on was destroyed she swore an oath to serve any god that would let her live for her vengeance. Who has answered her prayers has yet to be revealed (dm created a different set of gods). Sandra has had an up and down ride with the ship so far but her mood was greatly improved when she got a chance to slaughter some rats and thump some pirate heads who tried to get in her way.
Richard - male human sea singer bard - a closeted gay bard whose love of the sea drove him to sail on many ships. He projects a carefree personality but behind this mask he carefully categories people and tries to work out how to best use each persons skills in order to ensure the survival of the remaining crew. He sees any ship as better than none and is trying to make this work.
Human male whip fighter - for the life of me I can't remember his characters name. son of the lost ship captain. He wanted to go down with his father but Richard under orders from the captain detained him and grappled him onto a lifeboat. Now disillusioned with life he is angry and bitter at both Richard who took him away and Morgan who tried to get him out of his despair of his fathers death but only raising his ire. He has been hunting powerto get his venegence upon the navy. He has courted favour with Plugg selling out other people on the ship in order to get into Pluggs good books. He will survive and get the power to have his vengeance in anyway he can, not caring who has has to step on to do it.
Odir - male undine Druid (undine adept) - rescued by the previous captain from another shipwreck. Odir seems to have had little luck on the high seas. Using his abilities to create water, know direction and to be able to hunt and swim in the water he tried to keep the crew alive. While skilled in surviving and feeding people he is a reluctant combatant preferring to avoid unnecessary combat. He makes liberal use of his spells to disable or hamper opponents without harming them. Gaining friendships with both the ships cook whom he is working for and the quartermaster he believes that this ship is a bad place to be and trying to convince the others to jump ship at the next port.
Name: Yet to be named (Created and died in the same session)
The Trolls! My god the Trolls!
After successfully completing the trial and getting the beast declared innocent Lorni the sorcerer needed several days rest and her constant carer Gene Eric decided to stay behind to nurse her back to health. With the arrest of their ratfolk rogue Willard and the death of the Barbarian Ugh Ugh during their last encounter the group was down to bare bones
So as the last remaining original member shy Ira spoke with Judge Daramid who wanted to investigate what is happening at Schloss Caromac. The judge recruited Patricia, cleric of Sarenrae and Sundar, paladin of Torag and member of the eye to assist Ira the Alchemist, Syldar the bladebound magus and Gregory the jack of all trades hunter of undead (Ranger, Cleric, Gun slinger, Alchemist) in this valiant endeavour.
Sensing something was amiss as they approached the group found themselves in a desparate encounter with two trolls, two trollhounds, 3 goblins and their troll leader Grokk who despite his fixation couldn't help but notice the explosives of the alchemist.
Moving first Syldar used invisibility to sneak past the trolls and head towards Grokk hoping to surprise the troll while brave Sundar moved right in front of the hounds standing fast against their assaults while Ira lobbed bombs into their midst, Gregory blasted away with his blunderbuss and Patricia tried to keep her allies alive.
Sadly Syldar overestimated his chances and stumbled while attempting to skewer Grokk failing to connect with his enchanted blade. Grokk's counter attack was swift leaving Syldar nearly on his knees. Escaping away without even harming the great troll who turned back to keep firing from his vantage point.
Sundar bravely kept all of his opponents preoccupied smashing his foes down with his earthbreaker helping Ira and Patricia bring down the two hounds and all the goblins only to see Gregory knocked into the earth by a shattering set of blows. Syldar appeared from behind and seeing his fallen comrade torched both trolls with a burning hands spell. Finally able to reach a foe that was singing them with fire one troll charged and brutally took a large chunk out of the whispy magus leaving him bleeding on the ground but giving Patricia time to heal Gregory back enough to starve off death and give Ira the opening she needed to down the first of the trolls.
Seeing one of his females killed Grokk came down from his vantage point and charged the group. Between his and the other trolls blows Sundar finally fell but not before giving his allies the chance to escape. Patricia and Ira ran away and during the confusion Gregory snuck off as well tail between his legs deciding he might have better luck elsewhere.
The remaining two went back to town to recruit more members gaining a Cavalier named Mark, a Aldori swordlord and a new mysterious stranger who claimed to be a gun slinger. Alerting Judge Daramid to the danger facing the Schloss before leaving the group came prepared with alchemist fires, flaming weapons and a readiness to win.
The group fared better this time with the cavalier fending of blows left and right assisting his allies defence. At first the group was handling things well keeping the fire damage up to prevent the trolls from regenerating before Grokk realised this and ordered the other trolls (Calling in the ones from the next room as well) to attack the one defending the others. One troll was brought down before Mark took one too many blows and fell to the ground. The sword lord stood firm but in one sickening flurry of blows the swordlord was grabbed up and ripped in half by Grokk (Rolled exactly the numbers to kill him. I actually didn't know his hp since this was a new character). In return Patricia threw Keros oil onto Grokk and in with one bomb Ira brought down the second troll and set Grokk on fire.
With all his allies dead, on fire and with multiple enemies around Grokk finally ran away taking a fireball to the back from the enraged fire cleric but still managing to get away. Just to get into the front entrance the group had lost 3 companions. They looked upon the gateway into the suddenly far more foreboding Schloss with fear.
It also didn't help that I was rolling half in the open (several players could see my rolls and some were indeed watching) and for once the dice gods decided to shine their light on me. I have never rolled so many nat 20's in my life (admittedly I also rolled a ton of 1's as well). The group was handing me different d20's throughout the day and my rolls kept turinng to gold. The dice only had 6 numbers it seemed 1,2,17,18,19,20.
My party is now incredibly afraid of the dungeon and are probably going to be disappointed. I really didn't expect it to be that bad. I upped the XP and was semi glad for the loss of characters since their equipment helped the party a lot. The group didn't take stuff from Vorkstag and Grines in part because it was a crime scene and in part because it actually all belonged to someone, which means the group will likely not ransack the Schloss requiring the party to be given rewards at the end.
I too enjoyed the write-up. What was Willard trying to achieve by running around town screaming about the golem? He was trying to start a riot so that the children he hired could rob some homes? This AP demands a lot of self-sacrifice, so it seems appropriate that a character with those motivations has found an appropriate exit...
Thanks for the compliment.
In regards to Willard he was trying to get people to riot at the chymists for owning a golem while the city was up in arms about golems instead of rioting at the courthouse. In part this failed due to his own hysteria as the way he roleplayed the scene it seemed very much like Willard had snapped.
The other problem was because it was too late. The mob had already started gathering at the courthouse and the party began their raid while Willard was still running about town. The ones who did check it out found the front gate smashed in and the half wrecked scrap of golem. The sounds of combat from inside made people stay out and assume the guards were raiding the place. Since you can't see what is happening inside the chymist from the outside due to the grime and fumes. Since the threat of another golem had been neutralized physically it only serves to fuel the mobs own demand for justice.
My guess is that he thought it was a +4 to modifier, not +4 to score and so only +2 to modifier.
That's correct. He thought he was getting a +4 to the modifier. Part of the reason I ruled for the character to die is that he was playing as a no retreat no surrender style character so eventually the player knew he was going to die due to that. Also the party was struggling with healing due to his having to save against healing spells. The player said that he already had another idea in mind and agreed that this was a fitting death.
Name: Ugh Ugh
(Technically not a kill but he won't be back)
It was a rough time for the party with rumors of the beast being talked up around town and the party began to fear a riot. Deciding to take the law into their own hands the Cleric, Sorcerer and Ugh Ugh decided to distract the attention of the Chymists while the ratfolk rogue Willard would break in.
Things went to crap because Vorkstag and Grine had been expecting something like this and their golem dog was out. Willard saw this and started running around town assaulting people and yelling about another golem in town. This resulted in several guard members chasing Willard around town until they got back to the chymist lab where the guards caught him.
Willards reaction to this (just when the guards were about to listen to the explanation of the sorcerer) was to drop a smoke bomb and break free of the guards and start running through town screaming again. The guards eventually brought him down and took the struggling rat to jail. Of course the next day when the guard catch some of the children that the rogue brought together to help build up the riot and organised them to break into folks homes while this was happening his jail time will be extended for quite a while.
This left just the Cleric Sorcerer and Ugh Ugh to break in. After a valiant fight with the golem dog where they were assisted by the sudden appearance of a magus, poor Ugh Ugh was nearly beaten. In a valiant assault against Grine he took even more damage from some thrown poisonous axes before a lucky hideous laughter brought Grine down to earth to meet the ready barbarian.
Of course this attracted the attention of Vorkstag who after downing the Magus proceeded to bomb the barbarian from afar but before the alchemist could escape Ugh Ugh caught him with a well thrown lasso of rope (Nat 20). Vorkstag had just enough time to scream for the monks before meeting his end. The pair of zombies came and lashed out a few blows before being brought down.
The party had survived but only just. This was until two days later when Ugh Ugh’s player realised that he had used +4 for con instead of +2 while raging and should have been dead by nearly 20 points several times. So out of dramatic sensibilities Ugh Ugh went to sleep while the others looted the chymist lab and never awoke, the wounds and exertion too much for him.
Well I have received a couple of text messages from my players. As it turns out the barbarian player miscalculated his hp while raging thinking he was getting +4 con instead of +2 and with his ferocity going he was dead by nearly 20 hp. I ruled that his character died from his wounds after dropping out of rage. I know the player well, he's an excellent role player but sometimes his math is off.
On the other hand the alchemist has been messaging me and has been asking about the sewer system, whether there are any entrances nearby and where is the crowd. Looks like she's planning a jail break. So that should be quite interesting.
Well I ran my session last weekend and things didn't quite go as planned. The party was doing some stuff around town and noticed the growing unrest which was good. Unfortunately the party missed their perception checks to spot Vorkstag in the crowd riling people up.
The ratfolk rogue decided he would take advantage of this and recruited some young thieves (Who the group had encountered earlier and had used their services as spies and information gatherers) to start spreading rumours about the beast making the situation even worse and planning with them to do some looting while everyone would be busy at the courthouse (Why yes the rogue is evil).
Realising things could go bad the alchemist moved all her stuff into the courthouse (in the defence chambers) to ready herself to defend the beast if things went bad.
The sorcerer realised that the group needed evidence from Vorkstag and Grine in order to incriminate them. The original plan was for the cleric, barbarian and sorcerer to create a distraction while the rogue sneaks in and looks about.
The rogue (After making sure his ‘gang’ knew what to do) set about scouting out the place and with some decent climb and perception checks manage to catch a glimpse of the golem dog. This resulted in a ratfolk running through town screaming about another golem in town. This caused a city wide chase sequence as he was riling people up worse, attacked guardsmen who tried to apprehend him and nearly caused the riot to go off there and then. The rogue was eventually hogtied up and carted off to jail and I let the player know he needed a new character as this one wasn’t coming back for a long while.
Meanwhile the cleric, barbarian and sorcerer who now realise that everyone is preoccupied attempt to break into the chymist lab. In a hard fought battle in which the superstitious barbarian was brought to negative hit points multiple times the group was saved by the sudden appearance of a sylph magus (The rogue players new character)
After taking a couple of hours to rest up and case the place to see if anyone reacted to the dog, the alchemist in the courthouse was greeted with the sight of the parties inn burning to the ground. (This got me a slow clap from some of the players who had realised what those perception checks in the crowds were for). The new band of four valiantly fought their way through the chymist lab defeating all who stood before them. As the party cleaned the place out they realised they had enough evidence to point the guilt at the evil duo.
However while they are looting the place the alchemist watches from the courthouse window as the angry mob begins its approach calling for the beast to be brought to justice.
The session ended there but now I’m stuck with the dilemma of having one PC take on an increased crowd. From the raise dead in case two, from Vorkstag, from the Rogues gang and from the Rogues own mad rush through town. I’m likely going to have to employ something different and give the player a chance to role-play her way out of it because otherwise the crowd will steamroll her.
I've been struggling with that same question. It depends on your group and the situation.
In one campaign I went through 8 characters in 9 sessions. I was bringing backup characters to every session and even the other players were going 'Isn't that a bit much target someone else?' (Admittedly they were all logical deaths nothing against the DM.) By the end I didn't even bother with logical reasons for my character to be there and I realised that I no longer remembered what was going on and nor did I care since the character would die before then end of the session. That is going too far.
On the other hand no deaths makes the PCs lose the thrill of the combat since there is no real penalty for failure. Players get bored and just want to move on rather than feeling pleasure from a hard fought fight.
You need enough danger to make the PCs feel threatened but not so much that it makes them throw their arms up in the air and no longer care about the adventure.
The way players can react to that is different so it is up to the DM to make that judgment call because only you know your players
A nice idea but like I said the aim is to make the players break into the chymic works not to stop them from doing so. Plus I already arrested the rogue during the first book for breaking and entering.
Thank you everyone for the advice. I'm going to run as planned but if the PCs do remain at the inn they will only face the mob as Vorkstag will slink back into the crowd so as to not be noticed by the pcs.
Well this has been my first attempt at DMing so I haven't always been sure of when to use the stick and when to use the carrot. I only know a couple of DMs in real life and one keeps telling me to slaughter the party for not being optimized and the other is playing in the game. That's why I thought I'd ask.
The party currently consists of:
So far the party has come close to dying a couple of times and I have been keeping on the gloves but the party has noticed this and told me that I don’t have to hold back so much. I still need to learn the art of giving the party a challenge without demolishing them and having to haul on the reins too. Splatterman, I played to his intelligence and wisdom and nearly TPK’d.
I thought this might be a different way to provoke the party. That is kind of the goal here. Because the party intends on just handing over the evidence and hope to use the local guards to arrest the alchemists (Which will most likely result in a slaughter and the pair getting away). So I want to provoke them into going against the alchemists themselves.
I've been running a carrion crown game which has been highly enjoyable but my party sometimes goes a little wild.
They decided to leave one party member behind during the trial to present evidence while the rest went to gather evidence. Which has lead to the group having the evidence from Sanctuary just after the completion of the Hergstag trial.
Being very suspicious of the Alchemists now the group went up to the chymist lab and knocked on the door confronting Grine (Who had just woken up). The Ratfolk rogue decided on the tactic of implying they had enough evidence to point the blame at them. Grine managed to keep a neutral face (No one has sense motive and they all rolled badly) and told them to get lost. The rogue proceeded to mock Grine (He already provoked splatterman in the first book and nearly died for that) before the group left loudly mentioning the inn they are staying in and that was where the session ended.
The group intends to set an ambush for Vorkstag and Grine not knowing about the upcoming riot tonite. This will leave my group deciding between the need for their ambush or for the defence of the courthouse.
My intention is to remove one mob from the main courthouse attack. Vorkstag has put on a disguise and gone around town riling up the people against the outsiders who would defend such a murderous beast. During the second wave of attacks on the courthouse a mob lead by Vorkstag will attack the inn and burn it to the ground if the pcs don't stop them.
So either way the PCs have to defend themselves against a mob and if they fail at the inn then they lose all their day 3 evidence and their belongings while if they fail at the courthouse they suffer the usual penalties (Though the PCs have successfully presented every piece of evidence so they should succeed at the case).
I'm not a complete bastard. I intend on running carrion hill inbetween the end of the court case and Caromacs mansion and will up the treasure if I end up destroying everything they weren't carrying on them.
I'm just wondering if this is a little harsh or if there might be a better way have the alchemists reply?
My best death was my first death which was in the mutants and masterminds system. My teleporter grabbed a bomb that was due to go off in 20 seconds and started teleporting straight into the air to get as much height as possible before teleporting the bomb away (worked out at about 3 and a half miles over the city) before falling back down teleporting gaining more velocity as he fell (since the teleport kept your momentum).
My worst death was due to deck of many things and the dice gods hating me. My ring of invis became intelligent, LE and wanted to kill any spellcaster who wielded it. So it used its telepathy to turn the party rogue against my wizard. Now our party tactics were generally to go in invisible and scout first. Well by sheer dice roll bad luck the ring got purge invis once a day.
As long as someone is capable of cure spells you are good.
I have a Cleric, Sorceror, Barbarian, Alchemist and Rogue in my party. They steamrolled a lot of fights once they worked out what to do. Just be careful with splatterman. I nearly TPKd with him.
I finally got off my first session with my group and it was a blast. I have to say that the 'Weegee board' as my group has come to call it is a pretty unimpressive pc magical item but an extrodinary DM tool.
I have been giving whoever has been holding it dreams about how the splatter man managed the escape though they haven't worked that out yet.
I managed to drive one PC (The party rogue who nicked the box containing the 'ghostbuster traps' and 'weegee board' while the rest of the group was fighting the centipedes.) halfway around the bend. When he awoke after the dreams, the board was spelling out H-E-L-P-M-E over and over again. He went screaming out the room to get the others. When they all came in the board was doing nothing and he thrust it into the hands of the party alchemist and ran downstairs.
The spirit plachantte is an excelent way to drip feed your pcs eerie hints on what is really going on and allows a dm to let pcs know a little bit more of the flavour that they might never normally see.
Also I removed the professors Journal from the chest and instead had Kendra notice that it was missing after several days and requested the pcs to find it. This allowed the pcs to enter into harrowstone and find the diary nowhere near where the body of the professor was found hinting that something might be wrong with his death. (It hadn't rained for the last nearly 3 weeks at the time and the farmers had been worried about a possible drought)
The way I am running the first book for Carrion Crown is that I am cutting the PC's off.
I am starting the AP with them outside Ravengro and being taken by carrage to the town. On their way they will get a harrow reading from a fellow passenger (The harrower from the 3rd book who I have added to have been 'friends' with the prof at one point).
During the harrow an orbs haunt will appear causing chaos with the carriage. After resolving the run away vehicle the carriage will try to leave and will end up coming back saying the orbs were still out there. The town of ravengro is cutoff increasing paranoia and forcing the PCs to resolve the issue unless they wish to spend the remainder of their lives there.
I'm getting ready to run this pretty soon and have decided to alter a few things:
That's the plan anyway. I'll see how the pcs derail it.
I am playing in a group that should be playing it's first game this weekend. So far we have:
Female human bard (dervish dancer) - younger sister trait. This player intends on playing double for ameiko once she starts getting in danger.
Male human cavalier (dragon) - a retired character from a different campaign who had left to change orders and is being brought back here.
Female human oracle (nature) - rescued trait. Former trader whose caravan was destroyed by bandits and was saved by her bound mount carrying her to the outskirts of Sandpoint.
Cleric - haven't gotten much information about this character yet.
Undetermined character - player was tossing up between a non lethal ninja or a blasting caster.
Have to see how it all goes.
Honestly I'd be more worried if the party all formed up a lone and started marching around until they got to a square they couldn't enter cause there was someone in it. Always more curious how to handle that honestly. :/
I can see a way of handling that.
1) If the character ends their move on the same square then they automatically know that the bad guy is there and take a auto 5 ft step away.
2) If the character walks through the same square then the normal miss chance or DM perception check in secret as the bad guy shifts slightly to stay out of the way.
The +2 modifier basically becomes a way of providing a reward for the creativity without either nerfing the critter nor derailing the session in debate.
I agree creativity should be rewarded if it is a reasonable idea. Of course the bad guys has heard the suggestion and that might lead to a smart caster might down a potion of fly and that suggestion falls to the wind. It all depends on how smart and well prepared the bad guy is.
Glad things ended up well for you.
It is fine to play a RP-centric character as long as you clear it with the DM and the rest of the party. As long as the party agrees and their role within the party made clear it can work.
In one case we had a character who was a total pacifist cleric. He had no weapons, no armor and asked that we try not to kill our enemies where possible. He covered all our diplomatic roll and was able to work in combat in a way where he just did curing and buffing.
In another case we had a character who just wanted to RP so working with the DM he became a Noble that had hired the group on as escort and thus would provide lots of role play, give the DM many plot hooks. He generally either wasn't put on the board during a combat or would be put out and we had to protect him.
In both these cases the players and DM agreed to this beforehand.
I've been in a game with a couple of these sorts of issues.
I agree with the other posters that if the child is born without the parent being cured they will be a natural lycanthrope. Though I couldn't be too sure if the infected players due date happens to be on a full moon.
It certainly would be possible to lose the child due to trauma as a pc character. We had a sorceress miscarry due to getting struck by a lightning bolt and sent overboard as the ship crashed onto a reef.
Also it might get interesting with the PC if they wear armor as they are going to find things getting snug quickly enough.
In terms of the Periapt's effects it shouldn't stop a pregnancy however I wouldn't be surprised that in a world with magic in abundance that there wouldn't be a magical item that would act to prevent pregnancy.
I played this over the weekend on a Tier 1-2 and ended up with a TPK. The party was almost completely new characters.
1st Level Oracle
Straight off the bat it was clear that we didn't have enough healing for the fighting. The oracle was out of healing by the end of the 3rd encounter.
In the final encounter:
We made the mistake of attempting to sunder the tentacles in the caster. We thought this would free her but we wasted about 3 rounds of combat only to find it did nothing. By this time both our casters were down and with the rogue and oracle on 2 and 4 hp respectively. Both players soon fell to her rapier.
Warlocks are fine in general. One of the other PC's in a game I am playing in is a warlock. Sure he can fly, use spiderclimb, is invisible and can blast from range but that's all he does and it's easy enough to shutdown if the DM wishes (and at times he has. Oh look this creature has spell resistance, immune to acid, blindsense and can fly. Have fun!).
The warlock is strong at what it does, it is a decent single big hit class but usually needs another arcane caster to pick up all the area effect stuff.
General Chaos wrote:
With a bit of a sidestep is another example: Lichdom. I've had suggestions of "Good" lichs, but they just don't work that way. "I want to become a lich who uses his power for good.", and one of the material components is (under most circumstances) a mass murder of innocent people.
I saw one player who went with a more neutral aim for becoming a lich. His character was originally a farmer until bandits came along and robbed them and killed his wife. He them became a necromancer killed the man that killed his wife and raised him as his undead servant as punishment. He wanted to gain Lichdom so he could raise his wife, turn her into a Lich and they would live together peacefully.
Not exactly a good motive but not entirely evil.
A friend of mine played a fire mephling cleric who worshipped a goddess of chaos and fire (can't remember who) whom the party had to force clothing on because he refused to wear anything that wasn't fireproof. That character used to carry almost nothing but incendiary high explosives. Over his characters career he managed to blow up:
An entire fleet of ships - Planted bombs on a ship that was full of explosives and all ships were close enough together so one blew up another which in turn blew up another.
A dungeon floor - Caught in a wardrobe that shook him about setting the timers for all of his explosives. He offered the chaos and destruction up to his god. DM told him to pick two numbers on a D20 and if he rolled either the god accepted his offer and would save him. He managed to pick it so the party of adventurers watched a dungeon explode and then saw the cleric stroll out the front entrance whistling.