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My advice for sidequest is yo tie them to PC's background.
Use the background of one of your players and tie it to the cybermonks
Core game =/= Core rule book
Rogar Valertis wrote:
But Rise of Runelords is a pretty classic adveture, and lotcof people who liked Iron Gods, liked RotR.
The problem with Giant slayer is not that it's classic. It's that it is unspiring, specially books 3 to 5. I played it and liked it (msinly liked my char), but will not put it ahead of RotR, CotCT, Kingmaker, Iron Gods, Reign of Winter, Skull and Shackles, Hells' Rebels...
Reading this is one of the thibgs made me change some stuff in books 3 and 4.
I'll involve the two android PC with Casandalee's background, using the Androids' renewal as a plot device: one of the PC was born in the Aurora, the other was a lover/friend of Casandalee in a past life, several renewals ago. With flashbacks and stuff.
The other way to entangle book 3/4 with 5/6, is to make the TL more a presentar threat in books 3/4. Make Furkas a real TL members, not a past one. Make Iavengeih to be attacked by TL Gearmen. Make those TL spies, part of the players' background, so they have a reason to follow the tracks of Therace, Yegrexi, and other TL dudes, who are trying to hunt down Casandalee. This way, book 5 becomes a personal issue.
I have made a few changes in the plot, after some of my players worried about not knowing enough of what's going on, and why should they care, other than "becsuse plot".
I think Casandalee/the helpful AI is understated in the AP, and villains that only appear in the last chapter are more boring than recurring villains. Also feels the Technic League should have more time on stage.
So here is what I made:
I think the idea of the AI speakibg them through monitors is great. I'm going yo make Hellion an avatar of Unity, instead of his enemy. Unity sent a minor avatar to Scrapwall to get the excavator, becsuse hd wants to use it to FREE the Divinity from it's Silver Mountain trap. He used Hellion's nsme snd appearence, becsuse his logic tells him, after studying the residentes of Scrapwall, that FEAR id the only thing organic beings respecto there.
This way, it's Unity who will speak through monitors. He might be sble to do it again in other places (such as the Aurora), and maybe he can "Take Direct Control" of a few robots here and there, giving those robots Avatar's template (as Hellion's).
Speaking of which:
I'm going to make Casandalee an android oracle. And that's it. They'll find his body in the choking tower, and maybe resurrect her (my version if the game had the crash 250 years ago, but a simple "her body was in an stasis pod" would work for ressurrecting a 500+ years old corpse.
Cassandalee had orders to restart Aurora's AI, called Destiny. Unity's idea was to absorb that AI into Unity's network (he is called Unity for a reason), and start mass producing Androids for Unity's plan. But them Casandalee got herself free from Unity's control, perhaps because of Destiny's influence, and realized how this was not a good idea. He disvovered Unity's plan, which includes the destruction of orgsnic life, as the most logic step to defeat Dominion of The Black and their ability to corrupt orgsnic minds.
After Cassandalee's betrayal, the android left Aurora with the Compact Core. Several years later, after hiding herself in Scar of the Spider, she was killed and captured by Furkas minions, who brought her body to the choking tower.
The PC might get the help of a decent level oracle, and also the Compact Core AI help with rolls, info, and ocasional disable of electronic devices (my group is only 3 players, a fourth body might be hrlpful)
And about msking the League more involved
Entangling the Technic League:
My group background includes a dude that hates the TL, and was a Chile experiment with them, and is looking for the responsibles, which are Garthone and his crew.
The other two are Androids, with ties to Khonir, who want revenge on Garthone. They are also looking for answers about Androids bature (where did we come from? Are we alive? Why Do we renew every few decades? Can it be stopped? Do we have soul?) More people in the League will be infected by Unity, whose goal is to infect all cyborgs. Others in the League are just pawns, and follow orders through Ozmin-Garthone chain of command.
So I'm going to make the players more involved with Casandalee (one of them was a Casandalee's ally in a past life, another one was created in the Aurora, they fobt know yet, but will have flashbacks) and the Technic League more involved in Cassandalee's hunting race. Therace, Nargim Haruvex, Furkas, etc will be TL members, hunting Cassandalee (Logan's race anyone? ). They don't know why Ozmin wants her death, they jyst follow orders.
This way the PC might get more hate toward the TL, and Garthone, and will feel Unity's involvement sooner as well. So they don't have to push toward Divinity just "becsuse someone dangerous live there and nobody else cares enough to stop him",but because they hate the guys there.
Jeffrey Swank wrote:
This.By far, the bestiary thing Paizo dies, is APs (and advetures in general). Sci -Fi games also have a problem here, with little sdventure support, and we as GM have less assumptipns to work with: Fantasy has Tolkien "as default", 40 years of DnD, snd several millenia of myth and legends to draw inspiración from. Comparatively, scifi is just a blip in the radar, Achilles snd Gilgamesh were being written for centuries before George Lucas or Orsson Scott Card existed.
Paizo can give us good advetures, and even better, a framework that serves as an example of what constitutes good advetures in a Sci Fan enviroment, with Fan meaning Fantasy ;)
Melee will be there. Being a shirtless barbarian witha battle axe won't work, but being a Jedi with a light saber, an assault terminator ultrsmarine with stormshield and thunderhammer, a cyberninjas with a monoedge power katana, a spice-infused fremen with a crysknife or a clawed 4 armed alíen with wookie level strength and predator like reflex will of course be part of the game, because they are standar tropes of the genre.
It worked well enough for them to explore the galaxy, abduct some kasaatha and lashunta, and a few rhubchaliks among other stuff.
Them crqp hit the fan and everhthing went south and they crqshed
Golarion is missing. We dont know if it is destroyed, teleported, in another plane, or inside of a god's pocket after a maximized empowered intensified godly shrink item spell.
The test of the solar system, except golarion's moon, is there
Of course it's not impossible. Just make the 2h throw a standard action like the 1h throw, and there you go. You play, without an specific rule for 2h improvised items. The difference is minimal, and it doesnt happen often enough yo warrant a difference (for example, in your case, despite throwing several improvised 1h, you have never, ever, in any game, throwm a 2h ítem,as you have just said. why need anspecific rule for sonething you have never needed to do, ever?)
There are also real world difference between throwing sonething barely aerodynamic, such as a battle axe, snd something not at all, like a chair or a piece of a tapestry for example, or if it has a handle (like a sledge hammer) vs something that doesnt, or a lighter weapon even if two handed, instead than a heavier item. We dobt get a specific rule detaling rang of the improvised throw depenfing on the aerodynamics and weight and handle of the item, because it doesnt matter enough.
Not to mention the fun paradox of being easier to throw a bastard sword using one hand instead of two.
Edit: and this finishes my thread-hijack. I think we are going too off topic with this throwm 2h item and tiny armor stuff, even if streamlining the system was on topic
So you like having niche rules that by your own admision you didnt even know they existed, so you played without them. And you would have had continued to play without it, if you haven't read this thread, without any harm to your fun, as you have been doing until today.
Fair enough. I beg to differ. And I think yours is a great example of what I meant when I posted about the kind of rules I think can be streamlined without any harm to the game or the "Pathfinder experience".
No, they are there so you can play the game since you started until today, without knowing the rule exists, and not having any problem at all for not using it, even if the situation happens often enough in your games.
Sure it happens. Don't know why the granularity needs to be so tiny as to have a different rule when you pretend to be a magic elf throwing a falchion than when you pretend to be a magic elf throwing a scimitar, tho. Why such rule?
Does your game improve by a lot if your character can't move in the same round he throws a falchion, once in a lifetime? Would it be unplayable without having an exception to the exception?
Thiscpulf be covered by using the generic -2/-4 circunstantial bonus and call it a day. It doesnt happen often enoughor is critical enough to warrant rule space, eother in the book, or in the pkayer's heads. Most of them don't even know these rules exist anyway. And are pretty happy with their games without them.
I've never heard of those 2 rules before, where are they from?
Check here the table for armor for unusual crestures, tiny size, snd the smsll asterisk leading to the rule.
You can find the rules for throwing 2 handed weapons here., The relevant quote being
And the reason why you never heard those (and hundreds of other rules like those) is becsuse you never needed such granularity to run your games or play them. Yet those (and hundreds other rules) exist in the game, just becsuse someone thought 20 years ago we wpuld need them to properly pretend to be magic elves killing princess-kidnapping dragons.
A bit off topic, but in my Iron gods campaig I made Llama to be both Core and electricty at same time. It means the targetgets the worst of Core or electricty Resist, and hardness aply just once. Makes plasma an upgrade over láser/arc, instead of a downgrade.
A tweak like this to how Resist are applied is the kind of cchance that can keep backwards compatibility (your bestiary numbers are still usable) but cchance thibgs enough to make the new game different and the rules adaptable to the new enviroment.
I often forget rules that exist just because someone wrote them and serve no purpose other than existing so people can forget about them here and there. Tiny sized plate Armor giving you half Armor Bonus, for example. Two handed improvised throwm weapons being full round action. Etc.
Those are the rules that *I* want to be streamlined. Rules that serve no narrative purpose other than cluttering the book, and exist just because someone in WotC twenty years ago thought it was a good idea to make an exception for tiny sized armors for realism, but not for gargantuan sized armor for the same thing.
I still think d20 is the most robust game system I've played, and that's why I'm in this forum and not in Vampire the Masquerade or FATE or Marvel RPG or whatever. However, there are a LOT of rules that could be stresmlined without losing anything.
I'm a huge fan of Unchained, for example, and I hope it becones the default action economy and unified skill system in SF
Umbral Reaver wrote:
Why would Paizo want to include an unrelated company's IP?
They wont. But i'll be surprised if the "space bugs with a queen" trope doesnt make the cut. Be it Zerg, Aluens, Marvrl's The Hice, Spaceshup Troopers arachnids, Ender's buggers, etc.With it's own twist, but they'll exist
One thing tat people hace not talked mucho about, is Star Wars sagaof gilms, and the cchance to grow the fanbase.
Disney is going to produce 1 film per year gor a while. That's going to produce a big bunch of nrw custoners interested un Sci-Fi (with magic, none the lesS). Even witjout the brand, that's going to produce a big wave to surf over. Just like Lord of The Ring movies helped to produce new fantasy stuff in general, even gor setting that were not Tolkien.
Specially with the younger people, I thibk thid might be a selling point. Paizo need new custoners, cant keep selling thibgs to tha same guys forever.
I'm not very happy with Helkaarg's vehicle and his duel.
As my PC have a War Buggy on their own (we are using fuel vehicles and advanced firearms), and my Scrapwall is a bit more like Bartertown with plenty of vehicles there too, I'm thinking to build a few more encounters with vehicles and change Helkaarg's duel encounter a bit too, to make it a Car Duel.
First, the Death Race:
. Players know there is an event, called Death Race, where all the major gangs race (in my game, that implies 8 groups:
Steelhawks (proud brawlers)
Smilers (mad guys rising ghasts and trying to look like them)
Redtooth Raiders (human poisoners and drug dealers)
Halflifers (ogrekin radioactive mutants, which follow Gunshy and worship the mutant manticore)
Forged (mad cyborgs which implant themselves junk and scrap using Rust-Risen rules but alive)
MoleRats (which are the disease-spreading ratfolk in my game)
Burned -mad pyromaniacs, and the players themselves once they have the scrapworth). The PC will get an invite once they have Scrapworth 5.
The race would be around the City, over the scrapwall itself (the mountain of junk has a road of sorts over it, and off-road vehicles can climb the hill and run over it).
The goal is to win the race, ussually by being the last vehicle being able to move, but it can be won by making enough skill checks (most of them Proffesion: drive, but also Perception, Acrobatics, Climb, Sense Motive, Intimidate, Bluff, Survival, Knowledge Local and several REF, FOR or WILL saves can be used as alternative for different obstacles, to scare away drivers, to gain the crowd's favor, etc)
If the win, they increase their Scrapworth by 2.
Then, Car Wars:
Whenever they are ready for an Arena Duel (at Scrapworth 8), they'll have to face Helskarg in a Car Duel, facing her spiked road roller with a demolition ball while the troll attempts to hit their vehicle with the autograpnel so it can't escape. The Arena will have pit traps, buzzsaws, Scythes and other stuff, strategically situated to surprise the PC here and there (Helskaarg of course cheats and know these traps)
I'm still wondering if letting them use firearms here, mainly because one of the players is a Spellslinger and might feel cheated if he can't use his guns in so many encounters in a row just because rules say so
Also, a few things about the first few encounters (I'll spoiler tag, just in case someone reads it without having played the first book)
first few enemies are tough:
My group wasn't ready to kill a hardiness 10 guy, at all. The claws from the first level eidolon could not damage it, and that was the highest damaging thing they had. First level spells won't cut through hardiness 10, even if they are electricity, and 1d8 hand guns won't work either.
In the end, I solved it by giving the players hints that they could try stuff to do through the removed plates in the repair drone chest, and making the repair drone sometimes act confused. They did some disable device rolls that I let them use as CMB attacks to grab some wires and damage him (1d6 damage, but ignoring hardiness) and such. A really tough fight if your party doesn't have a barbarian with a 2 handed weapon). Later when they went into the wrecked spaceship, they found the good condition repair drones, and ran back to Torch. I liked that, it's good when the players have to think alternatives other than "we kick door, we kick arse, rinse and repeat". They bought a few adamantine bullets, a big 2 handed hammer for the synthesist (who can use any weapon made by him, per gnome racial trait), and proceed with caution and using Enlarge Person when needed. I also was pretty laid back when giving them the chance to attempt stuff, like using the grippers to attach a drone to a wall.
Later, with the help of Khoine Baine and his 5d6 shocking grasps, things were easier.
But, depending on your party composition, your first encounter in this adventure path can be the last one as well. Keep it in mind and be flexible, it might also encourage them to think outside the box and try some maneuvers, which is good and can help later too
After we sadly TPK in my long Shattered Star/ Runelords campaign, we chose Iron Gods as our next target.
However, one of our players was not fond of mixing vanilla and chocolate, and the rest of us thought it would be OK to change the pace a bit and step out of Golarion, so I made a few (drastic?) changes to my Iron Gods campaign. As there are sometimes requests in the forum for alternative magic, alternative divine, world, or tech for this campaign, I thought I might let my changes drop here, in case someone finds an idea or two that they can borrow and adapt. As a seccondary reason, some people might chip in and make suggestions that I can borrow too :P
Story Background and chages to the home world:
My world, Numeria, is pretty much a magicless XXth Century level tech world. Or was. 200 years ago, a mad woman, wearing a mask, started to talk about the end of the world. She wears a mask, is named Brigh, but is referred to as the Prophetess. After she shows some sign of accuracy, and a huge display of Charisma, people started to believe her. For unkown reasons, those with true faith started to do a few miracles, such as healing by laying on their hands on the diseased, and such. Most people in the world did not believe such miracles, though. They discarded the stories as superstition.
Somehow, one day, The Prophetess warned the world about the destruction coming from the sky. That day, stars fell through the sky. The two superpower nations, believing they were under a nuclear attack, retaliated. The world-wide armaggedon should have wiped every single life from the face of the planet, but The Prophetess, somehow, made a Miracle and destroyed most of the Nuclear bombs (along with most tech in the world). She dissapeared after that (her followers say she Ascended into godhood).
The problem is; the nuclear fallout, and the destruction of most working technology, produced a near-armaggedon level of destruction, regardless. More importantly, the fallen stars happened to be alien ships, which leaked their own mystery radiation, biological hazards, and clouds of nanites, which changed the world, forever. Soon, the humans and animals that survived the apocalypse, changed forever. Mutations went wild, and entire populations of humans changed into orcs, skulks, trolls, ogres, and such. Newborns were mutated as well, born with lower height or other traits. Radiation created ghouls and other freak creatures.
More importantly: some of the newborns were born with strange tatoos that could change colors and lighten themselves (similar to the ones that androids have). Within the shortspan of a generation, those with the strange tatoos discovered they could made "magic". Soon, androids were revealed to exist too. Distrusted at the begining, and extremely secretive of their origin, they still provided some insight about the tattooed and their magic powers. They were able to control "nanites", some kind of invisible creatures that could be ordered by these tattoed men to do things that common men would consider impossible, such as fabricate walls, produce force shields, generate heat or cold, alterate thought patterns, and even animate corpses. At the begining, only a group of men could use this magic, the Technic League. Soon, the ability to do so was too widespread to be controlled anymore, with more and more newborns having nanite-based tattoos. The rest of the civilization crumbled in less than one century, with most of the survivors becoming mad-max style wanderers, or raiders, becoming gatherers or predators of the few resources left, as well as scavengers of the miracle-like technology that the alien ship spread through the world. One hundred years later, all androids went down, and reset their memories, effectively dying and being reborn again, with their previous knowledge wiped. Whatever secrets they knew, if any, were lost with this First Generetion Memory Wipe.
And thus we arrived to the current day. The world (particularly the place around the starfall) is a radioactive wasteland with acid rains, desert-like landscape, filled with monsters, raiders, and alien and robotic menaces. Mad Max style gangs and tribes assault those who attempt to trade between the few cities that still prosper. The Technic League has a stranglehold over alien technology, and the few still working labs and factories, giving them a massive power over the rest of the communities and towns, such as Torch. The only little hope the world has, beyond technology, is faith. Faith in Brigh, the Prophetess. Faith in divinity, and the miracles it provide, is the only thing that humans have that technology can't copy, upgrade and mass produce with ease. It's what keeps humans and machines sepparated, the only thing humanity can be proud of, so far...
Technology and game system Changes:
First thing that I wanted to change: Laser weapons and other alien tech should be superior to non-alien tech. Currently they are not, in my opinion. Also, fireweapons should be the go-to option whenever available, and not an afterthought for those who can't properly specialize in the composite bow with strenght modifier
Here is what I did:
Beam weapons (Laser, sonic, zero, etc) are touch attack at all range increments, regardless of the "ballistic" quality of the armor. They are also 18+ /x2 crit chance, making them specially useful against robots (currently, in normal Iron Gods they arent, as hardiness affect energy damage as well, some robots have energy resistances, and x2 multiplier is way worse than x4 vs hardiness, giving no adventage at all).
Time Worn doesn't exist. In my game, the starfall happened 250 years ago or so, not a few thousands. Most alien tech is still working well. I also feel that "Time worn" and the skyrocket price of tech is a balancing factor to avoid the tech being "commonplace" in normal Golarion, and I understand it, but such fear is unwarranted in my own world.
There are 3 "charges" in the game. Electricity charges (such as the ones used by a laser gun), which can be taken from alien charged silverdisks, or from Numeria tech level batteries (which are often non portable or weight 40+ pounds and really innefficient). Nanites, like the ones used by hypoguns, which come from nanite cannisters only. And fuel, used by cars and some Numerian-level technology of jury-rigged weapons and gear, such as flaming throwers and such. Some portable generators allow to burn fuel and gain electricity, but even this is not really cheap, and fuel is scarce by itself, as there are no reliable ways to produce it anyways and is almost always saved for cars, Mad Max style.
gun nut specific changes:
To my dismay, players opted by non-gunslinger-related characters for the most part. They are interesting charaters, and well related to the vibe of the adventure (like a synthesist summoner who has a "marine power armor" eidolon), but still not related to firearms and tech firearms. However, I have a spell-slinger dude, and they all use firearms as sidearms for ranged combat.
So to made them easier to use, and based on the tech guide "semiautomatic" quality, which gives them a "free feat" in rapid shot, I decided to give a few free stuff for fire arms users. That, together with the fact that they are simple weapons, will make it easier to drop them for the minions of the evil guys and raider gangs and stuff, and will make them the weapon of choice for feat-starved low level guys, or nice sidearm for feat-starved spellcasters which would not normally use weapons regardless (my PC) (as a side note: I ussually give for free several tax feats which in my opinion should be part of the regular game, including power attack, deadly aim and point blank shot, to those with the pre-req. I haven't in this AP, changing that for the modified fireweapon stuff)
Weapons have a "Stock", a "barrell", a "sight" and "mounted options".
Mounted options are:
I want to achieve a "fallout 4" feeling with these changes, making the PC wanting to scavenge weapons and use the modifiers for their own, custom made firearms, if they feel so.
This modifiers can be taken from wepons with a Craft: gunsmithing skill, and added to other weapons. Weapons have +5 DC to the regular gunsmithing rolls to solve missfires and such for every added custom modification. About prices, ranges ussually go for about 1/2 of the cost of the weapon, but...
prices, tech, and bartering:
I have changed the economy as well.
Most alien tech prices go down. At the bare minimum, all of them cost 1/2 as much. I started trying running the prices as they are, but tech become "sell-it-so-you-can-buy-regular-magic-items" stuff. Why pay 1500g for 5 charges of Trauma Pack, if you can buy 100 cure light wound charges in a pair of wands?
Then I also went to a "barter" system. Gold coins do not exist. Most people barter goods for goods, with ammo, pure water, fuel, battery charges, food and medicine (anti-toxin, anti-plague, etc) being the most common "coins". Silverdisks are used because of their ability to be recharged (many of them still work in my world, as they haven't been depleted for several millenia), and become a "de facto" coinage system, but most people (including traders) dont have more than a few dozens, 100 at best, and nobody, ever, carries 4 thousands of them waiting to buy the party unwanted scuba diving suit. They can trade that suit for some other gear, with a few caveats: the trader would need the suit for something (which might not be the case in a desert, for example), the trader will offer only things he has, and the barter is done by the needs of both bartering sides, not by the nominal price of the tech item in the book. So he might give you a half-useless overpriced magic rod for your overpriced scuba diving-suit, but he's not going to give you a +5 longsword for it. And he might not give you nothing at all if he lives in a desert.
I did this in part because of the overpriced techstuff, but also because I think it adds to the post-apocalyptic vibe, more than the usual pathfinder assumption of "everybody is forced to buy your crap at half price, regardless of its usefulness". As a side effect, it makes the prices of everything just a guide, and it heavily deflates the regular level-up inflation, so players aren't able to buy the whole Torch just because they sell a high level useless tech item. It also makes high level interesting but overpriced gear more attractive to keep, because the cost of opportunity is not that high (a player might want to keep an astronaut suit, but no one will do if it costs as much as a vorpal sword for what it is effectively a half-arsed halfplate with some energy resistance)
My players whined and grumbled a bit at the begining (it's a radical change from my ussual "go by the book" approach to selling and buying items), but I think they trust me, and I think I can pull this off, making "gold coins" obsolete and giving the game a much better "mad max style" where the players will have to use what they find, instead of buying/crafting a wish list. Of course, it also means I'd have to keep an eye on their chars, so I can change or add some treasure to fix whatever unbalances might arise (such as too much "wisdom gear" for a group that needs "Int gear", and is unable to sell Wisdom gear to buy/craft Int gear), but that's not a problem, and I already have done so in the first few sessions when needed.
the adventure so far:
My small group consists of a little mutant man (a gnome, by game rules, with a few racial traits changed) that has a power armor (synthesist with humanoid eidolon, modified rule-wise). He was betrayed by a man, who left him behind during a scavenging mission in a cave, and he had to scrap-build his armor to survive, a-la Tony Stark. He is seeking revenge for a few years now. His nemesis will be Nargim Haruvex (whatever is left of him, that is).
Other PC is an Android Magus Bladebound/kensei. His sword will be related to Casandalee (whose name is Destiny in my game) and his sword's ego will push him to search for her.
My other PC is a spell-slinger android, who is a more advanced model (more human-like, took the racial trait to remove the malus to empathy and such). He already speaks Androffan, although he doesn't know why, and he has some flashbacks when he enters in some of the ship wreckages and such.
The two androids are living with Khonir, and have the trait.
So far, they solved the Fires of Creation mystery. They let Garmen Ulreth leave, and claimed the Silverdisk Hall for them (but have no plan to run a casino, as they did want to please Serantha Olandir). They uncovered Sanvil Trett, who they trusted in the begining. He told them his story, including how he feared Garthorned and how he was a drug addict, and also told them he is almost certain that Khonir is a Tech League fugitive, but he did not want to betray him. They believed him, and planned how to hide the fact Khonir is alive. I'm undecided if Sanvill might change his mind again later.
They killed Meyanda and all the orcs, and decided to go to Scrapwall to investigate what happened. I changed the first part of Lords of rust, and instead of a group of Saerenrae Crusaders in a lost castle, they faced several Smilers who were attacking a caravan. I used a lite version of the vehicle combat rules and made a somewhat refreshing and fun vehicle vs vehicle combat, with one of the Smilers vehicles using a harpoon, which mimicked the autograpnel rules without the adamantite part, and some other guys in motorbikes and so. Players had their own cheap, jury-rigged vehicle as well, and at the end they took the smilers car and a few bikes, and some fuel, leaving the rest for the caravan survivors, which told them about Scrapwall gangs and how does it work (a hint about scrapworth)
I changed Meyande's black nanite hypogun and Mw Spiked Gauntlet for a +2 Strength Power Fist, which requires 1 charge per hour of use and does 1d8 damage (1 size upgrade). Also changed Garmen Ulreth's rapier to be the Magus' bladebound weapon, and Yurian's skillslot to be a +2 INT enhancement skillslot, which they still have to find someone who can install in one of the PC
Any suggestion and criticism is welcome. And anything there is free to steal too.
I don't think most people would classify Halo or Mass Effect as "post-apocalyptic" even if the civilizations are ciclyclally wiped by an armaggeddon there, but YMMV. I wouldn't say that Christ's era Rome, following the bible story, is post-apocalyptic because of Noah's flood. Nor I would classify Dragonlance as post-apocalyptic either, even with the cataclysm.
DarkSun, on the other hand, I would.
Kris Schnee wrote:
(...) they can't have it both ways: minimal rules plus specific mechanical benefits for all the gadgets(...)
Exactly this. Same goes with them having a harder time to find armor of gear because of unorthodox choices. You cant be a special snowflske and find everything fits your size as well. It is a fair assumption that if you play a moongoose you will need to use moongoose armor and thst's harder to find
Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
That is true, there are several post-apocaliptyc worlds, and that is why I added that I want it to be Mad Max of Fallout style, not Thundarr/John Carter.
I dont think Golarion is postapocalyptic, unless we count Earth as postapocalyptic too. Both Golarion and Earth apocalypses are too old, the world has healed. Golarion was apocalyptic right after the Star Stone destroyed half the world, during Times of Darkness. Not now, 10000 years after that
@Yakman my idea is that Arcane magic is robotic in nature: nanites, controlled by androids, robots and cyborgs (non androids spellcssters (humana, etc) get the cybertech that gives you glowing tattoos for free). It is dirty, because it comes from what caused extinction, and technological in nature. Justo a tech so advanced that seems magic.
Divine magic is diferent. It is pure, natural, human in nature. It comes from faith, not science. That's what I want to use as shock vslue. If faith is the only redeeming thing for us, humans, and the last standing bastion to defend our moral high ground vs machines, and Unity becomes a GOd and he gets robots and android clerics and Oracles... then humanity is hopeless. Machines are better and we are doomed, even if Unity dies, their rise is inexorable. Their evolution is measured in months, ours in millenia. They can be upgraded, they have magic, they are stronger, dont get sick or hunger of die. Our god(s) are dying, theirs are being born. We have no way to win in the long run. Unless, maybe, we get a machine god ourselves, that is built as benevolous with humanity. Like Cassandalee.
This is what I want to achieve. This feeling.
If you dont want to move up complexity and tour group feels more confortable with a system that do not pay sttention to detalle, the easiest waynis to ignore the +1 light hammer. Make it a light hammer, period.
Rangers are great in this AP not just because of acrobatics.There is a LOT of wilderness involved. They'll get a lot of use for survival, tracking, stealth, speak with animals and other nature spells like animal messenger, etc.
But the main reason is because the campaing is called GIANTslayer, and Rangers get a class feature called "Favored enemy". Pick Orc at first level, then Giant, then Dragon. You'll not be dissapointed. We have a full ranger, and a druid with ranger dip for the feat that allow full favored enemy, and it's murder.
Right now we get +8 to hit and damage to giants (including the spell that adds +2), wich are 3/4 of our enemies.
In the process to design a world to adapt Iron Gods, I have found a problem.
I want to make this a postapocalyptic world, closer to Mad Max or Fallout than Thundarr the Barbarian or John Carter of Mars.
I'm going to make magic just high tech. The androids, and some humans, will be sbloe to control nanites in their bodies or in the enviroment, to get all kind of magic effects. The technic League is good at mágico because of this.
Then, the problem comes with divina mágico, I think. Parte of the core appeal of Iron Gods is how a machine can achieve godhood. I think part of what makes Unity a cool villain is that.
Then the problem is how to contrast that with regular divine magic. I feel using normal Gods, like Golarion has, somehow breaks the inmersion I want to produce.
How could I dodge this problem?
What else could be? How to make divine magic feel different than arcane, something that Unity can give to his faithful, and contrast it with already pre-existing God/Gods that is flavourful and makes sense in a non-fantasy (maybe even Earth) world?
We recently made this encounter in my game. I made her a gravewalker with, but also made an ogre zombie (his lover and sexual toy) who had a swarm of cockroachs inside. When pc killed the ogre they freed the swarm. Also I had a shelf full of pickled punks, with 2d6 of them breaking and joining the fight, plus two regular zombies. Have Mama Graul a scroll of dimensional Door and made her use animate dead with the fallen grauls. It was a fun fight, although the PC were never in dangerous, but they had to over come different challenges to beat it
Bigger "clips" or longer batteries is an option I'm thinking. The issue with it is that we, as a group, have yet to decide the overall tone of the campaign. Unlimited (or close to) laser ammo will work great for a space-opera style. For a grittier "survival" game, such as Fallout (specifically, the first fallout), it is better if ammo is scarce and/or expensive, just because it feels like you "have to make every shot count" because you don't know when you can reload.
It's purely a matter of what flavor I want to give, and I'm undecided yet. I'm leaning toward MAd Max/The Wasteland, but unsure.
Energy weapons having crits with 18+, and an effect in crits (daze/staggered, slow, burning, bull rush, etc) could work well. Maybe 19+ crit for sonic, zero, gravity, plasma and arc, and 18+ for Laser (I can't think a proper Laser ability for crits), making laser more accurate than other blasts. Will think about it.
Right now I'm leaning toward using better crit threat range for energy, and not a better crit multiplier. The reasons are: spells that can crit, as scorching ray, have x2 multiplier, the higher chance of crit make them better overall wepons vs robots because of crit vulnerability, and it goes better with the idea of better accuracy
Yep. If you use the "attacks vs objects" rule, then the players are totally hosed. Not only because energy weapons: spells like fireball also do half damage, and more importantly: a huge percentage of weapons would be considered "innefective tools" vs planks of glaucite, regardless of hardiness and damage, such as daggers. Just like you can't take down a stone wall with a dagger, no matter if you are specialized and have power attack and whatever, because it is an ineffective tool (the example in the book says hammers and picks are effective vs walls).
It would make a lot of character concepts unplayable. Robots are creatures. They have hardiness, and they substract their hardiness from damage, but that's all.
Another clear example is that objects are not subject to critical hits. Robots are not only subject to them, but they are even vulnerable.
None.He is tslking about energy doing half damage vs objects, but that's not in effect with Robots as they are not objects, they are creatures. But if you use that house rule, energy weapons are even worse: laser, gravity, zero and plasma guns would do 50% damage to robots, while s musket do 100%.
Even arrows would do better, as bows can be mighty and add stength
Possibly, but I'd like to point a few things:
I have exactly 0% intention to model reality in an Adventure about a spaceship full of sentient robots that crashes in s world of magic wielding elves. I want verosimilitude with the imagined world, not real life, so real life tissue damage is not a factor, specially when the PC are going to shoot robots, oozes, fire elementals and ghosts.
I'm not a gun expert, but nobody is when we talk about laser pistols and plasma guns and gravity cannons. We are free to imagine them as devaststing as we want. For the campaign inmersion, it "should" feel that a laser pistol with a few remaining charges is a powerful magic treasure, and currently it doesnt.
My main problem is not with muskets and hackbuts, because i'm not going to put them. It is with "modern" fire weapon like a tommy gun. Those are Semiautomatic (and automatic) too, negating the rate of fire adventage that laser weapons have over muskets.
Energy resistance is easy to have, more than DR/-. That alone make most energy weapons bad. That they do much less potential damage adds salt to the injury
I think there is something flawed in the design.
Yeah, they no longer do things like they used in the good old past...
It is counterintuitive and breaks the inmersion in the AP in my opinion. Gunslingers should not use hackbuts over láser and plasma rifles.
Will also add pistols (with magacines), assault riffles, submachine guns, flamethrowing guitars and all the staple stuff :)
I'm already at half of my Rise of Runelords-Shattered Star campaign, and I'm starting to take a look to the next possibility.
We are thinking about a change of pace, with Iron Gods, playing in a distant planet instead of Golarion, with an apocalyptic future style, like Mad Max or Fallout, but adding technomancy (and techno priests, as faith and machines is the core of the AP).
As such, I'm planing to change the default technology to "modern firearms" so the PC get firearms as simple weapons and such. I plan to add vehicles too (motorbikes instead of horses, and so).
The problem I have found is.... modern firearms are better than futuristic energy weapons. By far. A M1895 Nagant revolver does 1d8 x4, while a laser weapon does 1d8 x2, and is fire damage (a lot of fire resist dudes in the game). Machine guns are even better.
So, how can I improve this, beyond the obvious "increase laser damage" option, which is not that great as it creates an inflation of damage?
Possibilities I have thought:
Swap generic crit multiplier of fire weapons to x3, and energy weapons (or most of them) to x4. This create the "feeling" of stronger damage potential, even if there is not a big difference. Lasers are timeworn too, while bullets work fine.
Alternatively, make Lasers to crit with 18+. That makes them useful vs robots, as robots have crit vulnerability
Bullets no longer shoot vs touch attack, but rays do. This is a generic nerf to firearms, but might be worth it, as they are going to be much more common. Piercing (expensive) bullets might ignore part or all of the armor bonus
Laser and other energy weapons ignore part of the hardness, like the laser torch does
Ignore the charges for laser and other energy weapons, making them amunittion-less. But this goes against part of the AP feeling, which is about finding charges to use the nice timeworn stuff.
Make force-fields much more frequent, and/or more powerful, to the point that ignoring them with energy weapons is important. Maybe even most people (or at least most bosses) have one, Halo style.
Please note that "don't make fireweapons more common" is not going to help, as the goal is to play a campaign with lots of gunfights, for a change of pace from the magic heavy Shattered Runelords mashup
So, what does the forum communal wisdom has to offer? Any brilliant (or obvious) idea I'm missing?
Matthew Downie wrote:
Well, that would be an exception. But creatures without forelimbs can't take actions that require two hands either.
I think yours is a reasonable RAI interpretation of the rules, and one I could back up. But it's not RAW, and doesn't work in game every well.
One of the problems with the grappling rules (and some other rules, like climbing) are writen with real world mentality. They try to "work" for man vs man wrestling, with rules that mimic that sort of combat well. But we are talking about a world were a sentient ooze tries to grapple a winged horse. Technically the horse can attack the ooze with two hoofs, as hoofs aren't hands. But if the horse were a bear (far more dangerous animal in a grapple), then he could only use one claw? How so?
That said: I was totally wrong about the issue, as I wasn't giving free damage to creatures with grab. That makes it quite dangerous: 2xdamage in aa grapple, or damage+pin. And make cobstrict creatures totally monstruous. To the point that I wonder if that free grab damage is RAI. A python could do 2x damage in turn 1 (bite+cobstrict) and 3x damage in turn 2 (grab+cobstrict+damage grapple option). With the damage output a bite/cobstrict has, it's kind of really dangerous for his CR.
Anonymous Warrior wrote:
Disguise self and a huge bluff score makes him safe. And those 2 things are easy for a bard vampire
Boomerang Nebula wrote:
He has 2 similar consecutie posts, and lately the site has been working awfuly. I bet he was able to post but unable to read if he posted
WotW has the stat blocks of most things printed, I don't think you need a lot of things to run the NPCs. It comes with an antipaladin archetype which is LE, and works better for the campaign. Other than that, you'll need the books that your player are going to use. Do if a player wants to be an occultust you'll need "occult adventures" and so on.
N. Jolly wrote:
That's true. A lot of people have a life that they feel it sucks. They can only exercise power in the game. Which would be fine, if they did against NPCs. But some people do it vs other players. Either as a GM or as a player, as they can't "exercise power" vs your boss in your job, or wherever, they do in game.
It's a sad but true part of human behsviour. That's why it is such a bad idea to duel him, etc. It's an out of game problem, should be solved out of game.