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It's irrelevant in my opinion, as the OP has a clear vision of the PC he wants to play, a shield maiden.
I could link a couple images and sources that show shieldmaidens but none of those will have a giant hammer with spikes and a horned skull used as a light shield by shoantis.
So if the goal is to provide help to the OP, that's not a good advice. If the goal is to prove you are right in a internet argument even if it means derailing the thread, then it's going to work pretty good I guess
I'm using prophecies too. One PC is a witch with time patron, and her tutor is Madam Mvashti.
I think the problem is the OP proposes a moral dilemma. Moral dilemmas are for worlds with relative morals, like ours, where good and evil are points of view. Pathfinder is a world with absolute morality, dominated by alignments, which are defined by the rules.
So he is asking if that is the *right* thing to do, while he should be asking if that's the *lawful good* thing to do, which is not the same.
Dude, your group is great. Kudos to Theresa and Josh, and kudos to you for solving it. "Talk it as grown up" is always the standard advice because it is the best solution when people is reasonable, but I've seen it failing often, it's not that easy to do it well.
And to be honest, when doing it right, for the good reasons, things like having a "frisky" paladin and a "grumpy" cleric going back and forth about moral stuff, can be a great roleplaying experience.
I left *most* swift actions as one action, as per the book. That include some nerf to warpriests, Magus, quicken spell etc. It's mostly a nerf to spellcasting classes, for the most part, which I think it's well deserved. Yes, some class are hit harder than others, but you can make other classes now which work better. Same goes with, for example, pets: big, single attack pets (and monsters) become scarier, while adding natural attacks to your standard rutine (ie: adding bite, gore and tentacles to your standard greatsword swinging) is pointless now. Again, probably it was about time, as natural attacks had a bunch of adventages that weren't really balanced in my opinion.
However, I changed a *few* swift actions to either free actions, or reactions (which means you'll lose your AOO, unless you have combat reflexes). Mainly those that would be totally useless as an action. For example, "Fur" domain has a swift action that increase your movement by 10'. It's useless to spend an action (which would move you your standard movement) to add +10' to your move rate. So that one is free. Arcane Strike is a Reaction, so you lose your AOO if you want to use it (Again, unless you have combat reflexes), because as free action it's just plain damage, and as an action it's losing an attack to add a bit of damage to other attacks. It doesn't make a lot of sense. None of my players have this feat though, so it's mainly a NPC issue (and many have combat reflexes, as I give Power Attack, Combat Expertise and Point Blank Shot for free to those with prereq, and ussually means a few extra feats for the NPC as writen)
I also made all rages (such as bloodrager and skald's song) to be like the Unchained barbarian. Temp hp work better than Con modifier (and helps the barbarian, instead of making him harder to survive), and the Unchained rogue took the place of the normal rogue, although I don't have any player with rogue or babarian (I have a Bloodrager1/Cleric5, though)
On the not so bright side, I tried dinamic creation of magic items, and I think the idea is good, but need a lot of minor tweaks.
EDIT: oh, I see. I was answering to the sky citadel comment, before I read the rest of stuff. It's ok, the key used to open some stuff for the return of Krune, then. Thanks
I've recently bought Race for the Rune Carved Key, to addapt it for my Rise of Runelords/Shattered Star non-PFS campaign. It's nice.
However, unless I'm missing once and again something, I still don't know what is the Rune Carved key for. Is it used in some other different PFS scenario? What can you use it for? Or is it just a McGuffin, without real value, other than the historical one?
That's a pretty fun group. Congrats on finishing. Our GM left the campaign (and PF... ) when we were trying to recover Fort Rannick. I took it again, like 1 year later, starting fom 0, but mixing the plot from Shattered Star too. We have finished Burnt Offering and are close to finish Curse of Lady's light, next stop Skinsaw Murders!. I expect this to be a 2 year campaign, maybe.
Also, related to PF Unchained revised action economy and background skills. Although it needs a few tweaks, it's working as a charm. I've taken both, and automatic bonus progresion, and I don't plan to go back, ever. Best thing since sliced bread, in my opinion.
lots of thanks for your effort ^^
About the Paradise, the opening scene in Second Darkness is about a gambling den, playing a game called "cheat the devil and take his gold". Mechanics aside, it's a game where you try to cheat your way through bidding, winning money from other players, trying to get a big pot against "the devil", which is more or less an Imp croupier. The interesting thing is that people who lose, can get an extra attempt, but they are marked (with Arcane Mark or something like that, can't remember), because this is a 1 time use only special bet. This could work well, modifying it a bit, for Paradise. You play, you gamble, you try to cheat and win gold. If you need more gold, or another try, you can. You have to get this nice tattoo, though. It's a seven point star.
Yes I thought that too.
I think it's related to the fact that in the first version of the AP, Athroxis was the "hardest" NPC and was "at the end" of the dungeon (in the description, at least).
If the portal should be in a single wing of the dungeon, it should be Sloth, because it's conjuration magic. But it's not really a big issue, and it's easy to apply a good dosis of handwavium and change it to some other place
I don't think the forbidden schools for Thassilonian magic are related to focusing or just being lazy. It's something intrinsecal to the sin magic itself, those sins oppose each other. If it was just a matter of lack of study, a Runeforged weapon wouldn't get magical properties against a kind of sin magic just because it holds the opposite sin(s). It's part of this kind of magic, and thus a supernatural handicap, not just that you didn't like to attend that particular class in Hogwarts.
Runelords dodge that supernatural forbidance going through different methos, such as conjuration, enchantment, or deception of people who can, or using magic items or powerful artifacts. I personally love this part of the Runelords personality/background, YMMV
I don't think the lackeys she dominates are "better than her", to be honest
James Jacobs wrote:
Most of them seem to aware of the weakness that having a ban school is, and try to circunvent it, it seems.
Krune does something to get Contingency in Waking Rune. Azlanist is a demonologist, even with Conjuration as a forbidden school. Xanderghul have armies of angels.
I love that about them. They are focused, because of their Sin Magic, but they are incredibly smart, and they understand that they should overcome those weaknesses.
James Jacobs wrote:
We'll reveal a lot of this in time, but for now, I'm keeping those cards close to the chest. Until then, the best resource to reference for hints would be the Runelord article we put in the last volume of Shattered Star.
It's a pitty that my campaign probably will finish sooner ^^
But I understand that Xanderghul is probably a major mover and shaker in Golarion, both if he's already awake (be it Razmir, or somebody else) or slumbering and getting ready to be back. Karzoug was a major thread, and he was literally a middle of the pack Runelord.
@Myrryr Xanderghul's was the Kodar Mountains in north Varisia and part of Linnorm Kings land, Southmoor. Most of Azlanist's kingdom is underwater now, including Xin, the original capital of Thassilon, but the most relvant part, Hollow Mountain (which is where Urath DM confirms that Azlanist hides) is above sea level. Also half of Sorshen kingdom was sunk.
EDIT: a map of old Thassilon
The Paradise could be great, specially if the PCs manage to know a few people there who could be good people. Things like someone trapped in a debt, trying to gain money to pay for it, or a father who needs gold for his (diseased?) son, and they aren't really that greedy. It could be a good roleplaying season, my group likes those. We played one session the other day without rolling dice, or even having chars. We forgot to bring the PCs :D, so we went to investigate a bit about the shards, the Runelords, and Natalya, the first book Shattered Star varisian rogue which stole the first shard, and we had good fun with such an uncommon session.
We could play the Paradise a bit, and then sink the whole thing, before the PC can save those who are redeemable (or some of them at least). That could make them hate Lucretia personally, and Villains are much better if PCs hate them and want to defeat them for other reasons than "XP and treasure". Black Magga could work, as long as the PC "feel" that let Black Magga come with the flood was part of the plan (it's not, but they might not now)
Some of the runelords don't have lvl 20 yet. Krune is 18th I think. Besides that, "pick Inmortality discovery" is just the mechanical thing. It still has an effect in background and fluff, which is more important, specially for NPCs. Bathing yourself in the blood of 1001 virgins in the Great Mastaba has a very different feel than drinking water from the fountain of youth, becoming a lich, creating the sun orchid elixir, or having a painting in your cellar that becomes old for you, even if all of them could work as a Discovery of Inmortality
I've heard the theory about the Peacok spirit, and it sounds solid. The part about masquerading as Razmir sounds more convoluted, though. Specially as Razmir is mortal and still seeks inmortality through sun orchids elixir through contacts in Thuvia. He's getting older, by the Campaign book, which doesn't make sense if he were Xanderghul
I know the canon material for a few Runelords, how they survived and where they are trapped.
Karzaug survived in Xin-Shalast in an extradimensional pocket realm between Leng and Golarion, as seen in book 6 of Rise of Runelords.
Krune went into a slumber (how fitting for a Sloth runelord), and he's described in The Waking Rune.
Sorshen, the Runelord of Lust, is inmortal thanks to the ritual seen in Curse of Crimson Throne (ritual that Queen Illeosa seeks for herself), and is currently trapped below The Great Mastaba, in a vampire filled dungeon which may or may not being trying to bring her back right now.
Zutha, the Gluttony lord, hid his soul in an artifact, the 3 part Gluttonous tome, which will transform his owner back into Zutha if it's ever put together. It's currently held by a Taiga Giant Lich, at least 2 parts of it (seen in Shattered Star "continue the adventure" stuff)
So, what about the other 3? Is there any canon, or hint, about how they survived, or where they are hidding? It's easy to suppose that Azlanist might be hidding below the Hollow Mountain, but that's not sure as far as I know. Also, I have no clue about how did she attain inmortality or survived the 10.000 years since the Earthfall.
The other 2, I have no clue
In a thread about fan added content to graul's farmstead, I read once a interesting encounter/creature to add. But I can't find that thread again, don't remember the monster name, and can't find them again.
It was some sort of undeads, dead babies un jars, that could break and be released. But it's like finding a needle in a haystack.
Does anyone remember that thread ir know the monster's name?
I guess I don't like the B7 being a loose thread or unresolved situation. I think it should wrap up the first 3 books, before the PC realize this is not the work of a snall group of low power conspirators in Magnimar, but it includes more powerful beings like Mokmurian and his army of giants. B7 is involved un everything from the original Nualia's raid with goblins (through Tsuto, Lonjiku, and feeding Nualia with gold) to Turttleback's ferry, where Lucretia is trying to reap souls faster. That includes a raid to Lady's might (the group of the dhampir, paid by them) to get the Shard of Lust. B7 holds 2 shards, Wrath and Envy, and tries to get the rest.
The B7 could work as a fake "mid adventure" BBEG. Once they are destroyed, the PC feel the day is saved, only to be in the receiving end of a giant's raid to Sandpoint and realize there's a lot more to fight
Yep, I guess I'm with you at the most basic level. The B7 should be relatively normal people with political and economic power, working for, or as pawns, of okder and more powerful creatures of real evil.
Ironbriar is the best possible example. I could ramp up the economic influence of Chrysalys Black (the owner of the Golemwork), and change the story to make Aldern Foxglove more relevant. Instead of unwilling and blackmailed by the B7, he could be a real heir to Vorel's ambition.
That would change his motivation quite a bit, changing how he's perceived from "tragic lover with lot of bad luck" to "evil monster", but my players already played books 1-2 and half of 3 of RoRL, and important changes like this make them happy because it shakes what they expect. Including stuff like Lady's Light change the tone a bit (from "let's save Sandpoint" to "epic worldwide adventure" but with muy group, I think it's worth it, so they don't play the same experience twice.
The problem with making the B7 regular humans with political power is the lack of said NPCs in the campaign, and the fact you need 7 of them. I guess I could make Grobarass, the mayor, one of them. He would be weak in a direct fight, but maybe this could become an interesting political struggle instead, my plsyers like those challenges.
Lonjiku, heir of a far realm, might work, with Tsuto taking over when he tries to get an out because he feels the whole "mass destruction and global dominatiom" goal could be a bit too far. This could be the thing Tsuto was blackmailing Lonjiku with, so he let the goblins go through his smuggling tunnels below the Glassworks. He's involved with the corruption of Nualia already in my game and my players know it and hate him, so it could work well. How to kill Ameiko's father could be a good RPing experience too. They'll need to convince Ameiko that his father is beyond redemption.
Sheyla Heidnarch is a great target too. Politically powerful, unsuspecting. The problem here is I need her to "push" the PC through the Shards and rejoin the Sihedron. It could work if she remain hidden until the very end, but by them, the B7 is irrelevant, do this might be a weak option. Also, not EVERY NPC should be a traitor, or the PC won't trust anyone.
Ironbriar, who could work as Pride, maybe Wrath.
Lonjiku, then Tsuto taking over, could work with envy's theme.
Chrysalys Black, the owner of the Golemwork, could work as Pride , maybe wrath.
Aldern Foxglove. Could work as gluttony as he feeds on humans.
Grobarass, the major. Being a fat man, Sloth. Need to depose him, not just killing him.
Zadani, the priestess of the Shax cult. Might ramp up her power in the religious power scheme, as a false priest of Saerenrae or similar good god. And this could work with The Dawn of Scarlet Sun with some changes, as they are tsrgetting saerenrae's church members.
Need a last one for greed. This could be Xanesha of Lucretia disguised, or a different human member. Titus Scsrnetti might work, but he's better un his role of "not every disgusting people are CE monsters. Some are just disgusting people", I think. I could make up a random rich family, owners of the Seven's Sawmill, but it sounds like a stretch. Maybe some crime lord or thieve guild master?
Mmm yes, my post lacked a lot of context.
I changed Norgorber appearance in the adventure, and my cult of murderers pray Shax instead. I also changed The Chopper's demonic influence to Shax, and Nualia herself was also infected by demons in the catacomb of Wrath who prayed Shax, who thus become a more coherent background enemy, instead of multiple different evil gods who aren't related (and sometimes even are enemies, as Pazuzu and Lamashtu).
Your point about the minor aristocracy and not "blunting" them as pure monsters is quite good, but I'm not sure how many of my candidates wouldn't work as such. Aldern Foxglove IS a minor aristocrat (and Vorel Foxglove was actually one of the founders of the B-7). The succubi Avalexi could work, through the charmed cleric of Shax (refluffed as a minor noble) in the Dawn of Scarlet Sun adventure that is her pawn. Xanesha and Lucretia could pass as humans and nobles, and in fact, they do. They are also incredibly old, an such could be kind of the "mentors" that have rebuilt the Brotherhood with the hopes to bring back the Runelord(s). Lucretia picture in particular scream hedonistic noble imho. I guess I could create random NPCs to work as liaison, either faithful, convinced, charmed, or deceived.
Lonjiku could work too. Maybe Lonjiku was involved, but then he didn't have enough "evil" in himself to finish the plans once it went too far, and Tsuto took over (envy would work perfectly for both)
The one that wouldn't work at all, is Nualia, which is too much a hammer instead of a precision tool of deception. I would need someone more Magnimar based, and wrathful. With a few background changes, maybe the Bad Evil Guy at the end of the Golemwork Incident could be it. Thoughts?
(As a side note: while Nualia had the Shard of Wrath, which she found below Glassworks, most of the Brotherhood won't have shards themselves. And they still work, mostly unknownly, as Karzaug's pawns, who, as lord of greed, desires to get all the shards and reunite the sihedron for himself). Some of his pawns hold, or search for, a few shards. Mokmurian has Pride. Nualia had Wrath, briefly. Probsbly Xsnesha or Aldern has an extra one. A few others are hidden beyond doomsday Doors, in the pocket realm where Headless Rider lives, in Leng, and in the lady of light (I changed the backstory of the 2 groups there, one of them Karzaug's pawns and the gray maidens are Illeosa's army, who is alive and under Sorshen influence in my game, competing with Karzaug for global dominion)
I think I have 6 of them. Ironbriar, Aldern Foxglove, Xanesha, Lucretia, Nualia, and Avalexi (the Succubi from Dawn of Scarlet Sin, which I'm going to play too). Those could be an "avatar" of Pride, Gluttony, Sloth, Greed, Wrath and Lust,although Aldern or Xanesha could represent Envy if the new candidate fits better with s different one But I need a 7th one.
Sheyla Heidmarch would be huge shock value. Lonjiku might work too. Maybe a leader of Lissala Cult? Trying to raise Krune? Some addition from any extra PFS scenario or some stand alone adventure?
My players carried their normal gear, but they used the xbow in the shooting range to shoot against some goblins (I changed the goblin dogs for spiders and put a few of them climbing roofs and shooting with shortbows, and they didnt have a lot of ranged weapons at lvl 1).
I changed bits of Book 1, as I also mixed parts of Shattered Star and configured the encounter to my PC's backgrounds.
One of the PC is a varisian witch that was in love with Tsuto years ago as a teenager, although Tsuto didn't love her.
Other PC is a tiefling oni-spawn samurai, which is a bodyguard of Ameiko.
So my changes:
Then they did stop the goblins, and after they found the Nualia's father grave desecratd, they followed the tracks. Killed Bruthasmuz there, rescuing a near-death Shaelelu in the process. I cut most of the "heroes of..." stuff because my players seemed to want to push forward the research about Nualia and it might feel anticlimatic.
I also made LONJIKU to be the father of Nualia's aborted monster baby. HE learned that Tsuto and Nualia were in true love, and blackmailed Nualia and forced her in the tunnels below the glasswork. That's what made Nualia become in contact with my version of Elyrium (which was a modified zebub, as I wanted to use the zebub ability to introduce images in your brain when he looks at your eyes, to tell my players things about Thassilonia).
They captured Tsuto in the tunnels (I made him run -he was a ninja with vanishing trick-, after ordering the goblins to throw Lonjiku into the glass furnaces. Players "had" to stop the goblins even if they hate Lonjiku, because Ameiko was there and she still doesn't want her father to die. Then I made a chase through the smuggler's tunnels, which ended with Tsuto and the party in a pair of boats). Then entered the Catacombs of wrath, where I modified a few things too (Koruvus was made a Goblin Alchemist, and he was experimenting with 8 glasswork workers, he infected them with an (hibbernated since Thasilonian era) Akata salivary. He had a bunch of extra akatas ready, which the PC killed too.
They researched the Lighthouse, and found some tunnel that went up to Chopper's island, where they found a few more pieces of the story (including a shrine to Shax, which they also found in Catacomb of Wrath), and put Das Korvut son's spirit to rest, using the Wayfinder's adventure.
Then they went to Thisteltop, but they asked for armed forces to help, so we did it a bit different. The PC entered by sea, in a boat, entering the lower levels, while there was a battle against the goblins out there (the "army" of militia cut the bridge and sieged the goblins while they cleaned the lower part). Nualia had the Shard of Wrath, which she took from the catacombs of wrath.
After that, they went to Magnimar and helped Natalya to flee from jail, and she told them about some "brotherhood of 7", about the shard of envy missing, and how the "Brotherhood of 7" was planning to get another shard, which is hidden in The Lady of Light"
They are now in a ship that sails to Korvosa, but will leave them in Lady's Light, or as near as possible
So far: Nualia is dead. Lonjiku is alive, and the PC hate him with passion. Natalya has fled. Tsuto is captured, but as Ironbriar is his father, don't expect this last long. Orik has gone to join the Black Arrows. Ameiko and Shaelelu are strong PC allies (and might be romance interest). Aldern Foxglove has the Envy's shard, and is becoming secretly mad. Sheyla Heidmarch is helping them, as long as they allow her to study the shards, and make the whole Sihedron if possible (which is going to be the end of the story, once they get Karzaug's last shard, and raise Xin's final threat).
Your players don't want to fight the goblins unarme and in casual clothes. I wouldn't try to force your players to do things they don't want to do, as those tend to end poorly.
Have an NPC come handy and give them weapons, or make one of the weapon smither shops to be open, or something like that, so they can take the weapons they feel they need, as others have suggested.
In any case, what do you mean by "they gear"? Weapons? Did not they carry a sword at least with them? If it's just armors, maybe make one of the town's wizards to appear and cast Mage Armor on the party's fighter.
We killed the guy in the spoiler tag without meleeing him that much. Used ranged weapons, and Summon Nature Ally->Stirges, then charged him to death, if I remember well.
We are doing it with a group of 3, a Goliath Druid, (archer) BeastMaster Ranger and Paladin (with Mount), and we are doing fine so far, but some of the fights are tough. Extra pets that tank a few hits help us, because we are only 3. The last dude in book 1 almost TPK'd us, because we pressed the fight when out of resources (no spells, lay on hands, etc). It was just the ranger conscious, with 2-3 hp left, trying to make the final killing shot.
As a suggestion: in later books, it might be useful to have players which can use large weapons. The Guide itself suggest titan maulers, goliath druids, titan fighters, etc. It's not needed at all, but it's helpful, and cool.
EDIT: Also, there's some dungeoneering, yes, but not all the AP is that. The second most used skill (after perception) for my druid is Diplomacy I think.
That's because players get more high level magic. It's teleport and raise dead and contact with other plane and planar ally what make the game more impredictable, not improved critical and greater weapon focus
I'm terribly happy to have gone Goliath as my archetype right now.
I'm not sure this is a great idea, and I don't have experience with gestalts. Probably others will help you more, although they'll probably need some extra info, like which class are you and which class is your team mate. But you should aim to something with a Pet, viability in hand to hand combat, posibility to heal out of combat with wands at the very least, and some magic ability to reinforce it. Druids, Rangers, Clerics, Oracle, Summoners can help, that would be my first instinct.
But I'd not go Gestalt unless everybody in the game is Gestalt, and I would ask the GM to have an open and friendly debate about how the game is going to be played. If he's not reducing the difficulty level for 2 players, then he should *really* suggest the other player to get a gestalt himself too. Other options include to level up the players much more than normal, reduce the CR (but it requires extensive preparation time in some cases, as some enemies will have to be rebuilt from scratch), find another player, or use NPC cohorts to fill up spots.
I'm the GM in a 3 player game in a RotRL/Shattered Star combo AP, and so far they have done well. They have 25 point builds, and have used some NPC help in some different scenarios, specially Ameiko and Shalelu have helped in different encounters.