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eastuart's page

Goblin Squad Member. Adventure Path Charter Subscriber. Pathfinder Society Member. 9 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 Pathfinder Society character.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

I too, would love a copy of the conversion - erik.stuart at gmail dot com.

(You've clearly created something of great value to this crowd. Thank you!)

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
drsparnum wrote:


So far, Kranthos made them sweat a little, and Darl made them sweat a lot.

What book is Ironward in? I could use it. I'm considering having Brazzemal attack with either Necrozyte or Xyzanth at the same party has already faced and driven off (but not killed) Necrozyte and Xyzanth. Do you think that would be too much?

Krathanos actually could have TPK'ed the party, but, as suggested in the scenario, when the PC's were "on the ropes", he started pulling his punches and gloating. Played all-out, he's too tough for the typical PC party. Darl, on the other hand, doesn't screw around, and he also doesn't suffer the usual NPC disadvantage of "too many PC actions vs. one monster". Add to that the likelihood that he's well prepared, and his group can be really, really tough. If the monks hadn't failed on about 5 consecutive attempts to sunder the archer's bow, the battle could well have turned out very badly for the PCs - as it was, they were still very scared.

One big issue with pairing Brazzemaal with one of the other dragons is simply space, though I suppose you could always make the Vault significantly larger...

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Vexer wrote:
I recently started DMing Savage Tide with a 3-character group consisting of a favored soul, a gold dragon shaman, and a rogue. I was and am concerned that this group composition may be ineffective against a campaign as undead-heavy as AoW; with useless sneak attacks and no undead turning. So I was interested to learn that the group with both a cleric and paladin got TPKed while one with neither made it through the home stretch. My players knew nothing of Age of Worms other than its title and I haven't been giving them hints about what to expect, so I'd like to know how Belvis the favored soul fared.

Warning: lots of potential spoilers below...

Though the original party had a cleric and a paladin, the overall party composition was far from optimal - in particular, they had no primary arcanist (duskblade and bard), no strong ranged attacks, and no strong scouting or trapfinding. None of those were really the reason for the TPK, though - that was the fault of 4/5 failed saves vs. Telakin's Confusion spell. I do think that some of the later combats would have been difficult for the group.

The second party (which made it from Zyrxog's lair through to the end) was very well-constructed:
- a dwarven defender with a zillion HP, an AC in the 50's, and an ability to make the squares around him difficult terrain, forming a difficult-to-penetrate front line
- an archer (able to deal ~300 damage in a full attack) and a fighter scout who could hit 3 times on a spring attack (thanks to a feat and a magic item), each of whom stayed, well-protected, behind the dwarf
- a well-rounded wizard for general arcane needs, who had a good sense of when to attack & when to defend
- the favored soul, who basically made the party unkillable with an endless panoply of buffs: sky-high saves via Mass Conviction & Recitation (and immune to various other threats via Death Ward, Heroes' Feast and Freedom of Movement); Greater Magic Weapon, Magic Vestment, and Fortunate Fate (basically a contingent Heal if you hit 0 HP) for everyone; massive amounts of healing; and occasional offensive spells (e.g., Bolt of Glory or a targeted Greater Dispel Magic) if he ran out of useful buffs to provide. When you have a Mass Death Ward up, and can get off a couple of Mass Heals to benefit friends and blast undead, who needs a cleric?

In addition, the favored soul was also the party diplomat, so he was key in the appropriate scenarios. (Among other things, he attracted the eye of the lillend in the Wormcrawl Fissure... who can say what happened that night?) :)

Summary: _in the context of a well-rounded party_ (defense, offense, and utility were all well covered), the favored soul was very, very strong.

For your party, I'd be concerned about whether there are simply enough characters to fill the needed roles. Also, I don't know that a 3-PC party has the luxury of a rogue in AoW - too often, he may simply end up being "trapfinder". (Our party's scout served dual duty as heavy-melee-damage-dealer and scout/trapfinder.) Even if you scale down difficulty, too, don't forget that variance increases sharply as party size goes down; all 3 could easily fail key saves, and even if 2 do, things could get very hard very fast.

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

Our group's epic journey against the Age of Worms came to a successful conclusion earlier this month. For posterity, and for anyone else's possible interest, I thought I'd frame some of the "stats" of the campaign.

Warning - a few spoilers, here and there, below:

- Length: 22 months (2/28/07 - 12/13/08), about 75-80 total sessions
- PC level at finish (that is, start of the final battle): 22
- PC deaths: ~20
- TPK's: 1, at the hands of Telakin (!)

Group name: Reckless Endangerment (party #2, started at level 7, hired by Eligos to investigate the fate of the first party)

Belvis, human (now outsider) favored soul. Timid but charming, and the defensive lynchpin of the party - his magic made the PCs very difficult to kill.

Brutus Cassius, human scout/fighter. Socially direct, tactically savvy. The party's best melee damage-dealer, and their leader in battle.

Geordi, human archer. Careful outside combat, but a veritable hailstorm of piercing-damage doom when threatened. Wearer of the Circlet of Zosiel.

Glint, dwarven defender. A bulwark of defense and the (lawful) conscience of the party. Ended the campaign as the ruler of Alhaster and the bearer of the last two fragments of the Rod of Law.

Irklur Delmar, human transmuter. A brilliant, though prone-to-inebriation, mage, and a walking cornucopia of interesting spells, curious items, and odd bits of knowledge.

(The first party consisted of Luke, a human cleric of Pelor; Gustavus, a human paladin of St. Cuthbert; Illiana Cloudgazer, a human bard; Mandingo (I didn't choose the name), an elven duskblade; and Fife, a half-orc barbarian. They met their doom when they saved tremendously poorly against Telakin's Confusion spell...)

The final battle against Kyuss was about as dramatic as could be expected, given that they had successfully fought despair and destroyed the Unlife Vortex, and that I didn't bump any of the Wormgod's stats. I did alter his spell list (in particular, some of the players weren't thrilled about a couple of Disjunctions) to give him a fighting chance, given how weak he is physically. They did destroy Lashonna and Dragotha as well.

Darl Quethos & co. probably ranked as the last strong threat to the party, largely since they were able to prep heavily to face them (and since Darl, as a cleric, could prepare non-core spells). The PC's were on the ropes for a few rounds, but several key rolls got them back in the fight, and eventually Darl fled the scene (with most of his allies) after being hit with a Power Word: Blind.

Before Darl, the Swords of Kyuss presented a real TPK possibility, but the PCs made several key saves and teleported away, returning later (properly warded). Earlier in the campaign, the Alkilith demon and the Temple of Hextor were particularly memorable, on-the-edge-of-the-seat fights.

My favorite single session was probably the Gala. The scenario was fantastic, and the players performed admirably (even managing to save the cake from collapsing, courtesy of a Servant Horde!).

If I ever run the campaign again, there are probably two major ways I'll consider doing things differently:

- Evening the balance between players and NPCs/monsters with regard to non-core material (whether this means restricting the PC's access or increasing the bad guys', I'm not sure). We used Spell Compendium, Complete Warrior/Arcane/Divine/Adventurer, and PHB II, and the resultant power discrepancy was pretty marked; I had to work _very hard_ to figure out how to give the PCs a challenge, even on the major encounters (Brazzemaal, Dragotha, etc.)

- Generally, "loosening up" and being more open to take things in random directions. We played AoW pretty much "by the book", with only a very few exceptions (a 1-session intro, some adjustments to EaBK). Partly, I tried to keep the party on the "main track" because I didn't want it to become a 3-year campaign, and partly I wanted to do it in as "official" a way as possible. Next time, though, I'll be happy to add stuff and subtract other things if it feels like the right thing at the time.

Anyway, happy holidays, all, and have a great, wormy New Year!

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

It's likely going to become relevant in tonight's AoW session (when fighting Brazzemal in KotR), and I can't find a clear rule that covers this, online or in the books. Does a dragon's crush attack require an attack roll?

(Ability description says you make a Ref save to avoid being pinned, but it doesn't seem to apply to the damage.)

Also, it feels like a missed Ref save should also result in being prone as well as pinned, but I don't see that this is an actual effect - please let me know if I'm missing something there.

My current opinion is the following:

- Damage is automatic if you're affected (i.e., under his body when he lands)
- Ref save avoids being pinned (and Freedom of Movement doesn't help here, since it's a save, not a grapple check)
- PCs who save pick a square adjacent to the dragon and aren't prone
- PC's who don't save are pinned but aren't prone if/when they escape

Any well-supported contradictory takes?


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
drsparnum wrote:

1. The Octopus Tree fear affect:

The effect says PCs need to make the save every round that they're in range. Then it says that once they make the save they're immune for the day. Aren't those two points mutually exclusive?

No - for instance, a PC could fail his save, flee the area, have the effect dispelled, and then need to re-save upon re-entering the area. (Exactly this happened in my AoW campaign when the devils came hunting for the fragment of the Rod of Law.)

drsparnum wrote:

2. The Roc King

If the party raises the roc king to steal his feather he will only have 26 hp (1 hp/HD, as per the raise dead spell). If my player's go this route, is this the encounter intended for the glorious roc king?

There are many possibilites here, ranging from brute-force to creative. My PCs chose an interesting route: Raise Dead followed by Charm Monster followed by Speak with Animals, and then Fox's Cunning to give the roc enough intelligence to have a rudimentary conversation. They ended up hitching a ride to the Keep of the Shackled Conqueror on the Roc King's back. :)

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Allen Stewart wrote:

Although I didn't run it, the "dream" encounter in Library of Last Resort with the 10 Swords of Kyuss, is also a likely TPK style encounter.

My instinct is that it's a virtually guaranteed TPK unless most of the party has either Death Ward or evasion. (My PCs got Mass Death Ward up before any Swords got to act, and it was still a difficult, ~15-round combat with one "death".)

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

Love hearing others' experiences and comparing. My party's scariest/most difficult encounters:

Whispering Cairn: acid beetle swarm was quite hard (PCs had no good area attacks)

Three Faces of Evil: pretty much everything was hard - Battle Temple of Hextor (3 of 5 PCs incapacitated); Faceless One (battle lasted ~20 rounds, as he made a continuous fighting retreat through the maze back to the Black Cathedral); Ebon Aspect (high damage)

Encounter at Blackwall Keep: a random river encounter with 2 giant crocodiles was close to a TPK and resulted in the first PC death (due to drowning, of all things)

Hall of Harsh Reflections: our only TPK to date, against - of all creatures - Telakin (and a disastrous set of saves vs. _confusion_); Zyrxog and the advanced octopins was also difficult

Champion's Belt: the alkilith demon was quite tough, and scared the hell out of the PCs (especially when they didn't know how many Cones of Cold he could use); the Apostle came close to completing the prophecy, though they didn't fully realize how close it was until much later (for some reason, they chose not to read the Apostolic Scrolls until _after_ finishing A Gathering of Winds!)

Gathering of Winds: black pudding posed no danger of death, but it destroyed some expensive equipment!; oculus demon gave them a nasty scare before being crippled by a Feeblemind spell

Spire of Long Shadows: Swords of Kyuss (the party didn't have Death Ward, and a lucky series of saves against the first three Invocations of the Worm were needed to avoid death); Kelvos (the second time around, fully buffed and prepared; he _destroyed_ the party's mage, and did much other damage, and was finally killed by the favored soul who swung for the fences with a Bolt of Glory and made all three rolls: 1) touch attack; 2) miss chance due to invisibility; 3) spell resistance). The mage was killed for the second time in the same session by the Overworm, though the risk of party death was low and he was revivified.

Prince of Redhand: nothing was particularly risky (at this level, "risk" = "chance of TPK", since single PC deaths just cost party money for True Resurrection), though the favored soul was killed by the Overgod due to poor tactical positioning.

Library of Last Resort: octopus tree was difficult (and, at one point, had 3 of 5 PCs grappled). Titan was really hard, though (as suggested) he started "pulling his punches" due to overconfidence and quickly succumbed when the favored soul finally escaped from a _maze_ (assisted by summoned celestials with superior intelligence!). Darl Quethos, properly prepared, was extremely tough, and could have defeated the party if not for several fortunate die rolls. ... and, of course, the Swords and Boneyard were nasty, even _with_ Mass Death Ward.

One note: I've been mostly running the scenarios as written - e.g., not changing out spells or feats. However, when non-spontaneous spellcasters get a second chance vs. the party (Kelvos) or have a chance to prepare (Darl Quethos), they become a LOT harder - especially since, at that point, I give clerics access to all of the books that the PCs use. My party's favored soul loves using Fortunate Fate - but he liked it a lot less when Darl Quethos used it on himself and three of his friends. :)

Kings of the Rift: we've just started, but Xyrzanth was tough; PCs had to use multiple "fate points" from the end of Spire to prevent Constitution drain (and one PC did get severely drained), and they defeated him when he rolled a "1" vs. massive damage.

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

Regarding Kelvos & co., I've got a rules question on which I'm interested in opinions: does the Bolt of Glory spell affect them as evil outsiders or good outsiders?

The spell description - with different effects for an "evil outsider" and a "good outsider" - isn't clear whether evil/good refers to alignment or type. Of course, Kelvos and the Angels are evil-aligned but have the Good type.


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