Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Magic missile only get sneak attack through Surprise Spell feature. The surprise spell feature is clear, you can use Surprise spell only once per spell, period.
Scorching ray does not require Surprise spell. A regular rogue with Use Magic Device can use a 11th level wand to cast 3 rays of scorching ray. Surprise spell is limited to once per spell, but our rogue doesn't even have that feature. He has sneak attack, which is not, by raw, limited to once per round. It's limited per attack roll. For example, you can sneak twice with rapid shot, and only once with manyshot. Scorching ray rolls three times to attack, although the description says it's a volley. That's the debate, and that's what needs to be FAQ'ed. I think we all agree that Surprise Attack can only do SA dice damage once with Magic Missile, but that doesn't help our example of the Rogue with UMD and a scorching ray wand.
The Simulacrum Lich is wonderful. It worked great for my players the first times I used it. Also it's very "lich-like", kind of contingency plan (pun intended). I vow I'd make a lich called "Victor von Doom" who will use thousands of simulacrums :P
Quicken Channel is a good Idea, really. That, Quicken Spell, and maybe a Conductive Mace, and he's good to go. Add a high level demon and his bodyguard Paladin, and that's an epic fight!
I've done the Simulacrum Lich trick so many times to this players that it is already a Cliché for them :P. I'm going to change this time, to bring a bit of variety (and because he's a cleric too).
Unless he has a reason to prebuff (like he is scrying them right then, and the PC aren't using any "false vision" spell), I'd rather use the rounds during Time Stop to cast buffs to protect himself. I'd give him scrolls of Time Stop so he can properly cast every single spell he needs :P.
Yes, the curse will go around DC 33 too. That's a very high DC, but: several characters are inmune to the curse (lich, vampire). Several others can survive for a lot of years (elves for example). The PC have already a "fountain of youth" in the Baroneess shrine. And the PC have enough resources to remove the curse, even without the auto-success remove curse from the obelisk.
The need to buff Nythoggr depends only on your party damage per round. If the party isn't able to do a huge amount of damage per turn, then the regular linnorm might be ok. Although he is only a CR 18 monster vs a full party. But if the party is just slightly optimized, they can utterly destroy a creature that brings so little beside AC, Hp and damage. Any decent archer will obliterate him in seconds.
Ok, I have found the Templates for Nythoggr.
He'll be an Advanced Giant Boreal Terror Cairn Linnorm.
That gives him +14 Str, +4 Dex, +10 Con +4 Wis and Cha, +1d6 cold damage, cold inmunity, aura of Fear (DC 33), and Colossal Size. Even leaving the feats as they are in a regular Linnorm (no Combat Reflexes), the old beast is now really a Terror to Behold.
I'd make the obelisk just giving him Cover while he is coiling around it, no need for further buffing I think.
He'll be something like
+46 AC, 400 hp, +32 bite for 4d8+20 plus poison, +32 claws for 2d8+20, +27 tail for 4d6+10 plus grab, CMB 48, and the Breath Weapon, Fear and Poison DC will go around DC 33.
Btw, I have similar concerns about Nythoggr..
I plan to give him Advanced template, as I do with most creatures, but also some Holy Aura spell while near the obelisk, or similar protection stuff
Also, I'll change his DR to Cold Iron + Good, at least that will mean something (any +3 weapon counts as cold iron, and all weapons are at least +3 by now, change Lightning Reflexes for Combat Reflexes, and removing Blind Fighting (which is pointless in a creature with true seeing) for something useful, like Toughness.
My Adrastus can't be a
Worm that Walks, because the PC already know he is a Lich.
I'm concerned about Adrastus survivality, though. He is pretty much a walking deas (pun intended)
My players can do 170 hp damage against Armor 33 in one round. I mean, any of them can. I'm specially concerned about the Inquisitor archer, as he can win the Initiative easily, and will chew through DR (with clustered shots), and 170 damage vs AC 33 is quite easy for him. He can also shot from round 1, so you can't really use minions to block the path, like you'll do with a pouncing eidolon.
So I'm thinking about changing him a bit. I guess the first step is to raise his AC into the mid 40s, at least. Any suggestions?
I think he really needs to take Quickened Spell, and some of the Lich-only feats, too. Raising the DC on Implosion might also be needed.
Also, at the very least Wolfang should, and would, fight besides him.
Also, instead of Summon Monster IX, he will use Gate, to bring a Purogaus (an Inmolation Devil)
3.5 Loyalist wrote:
Fun fact: a Magus has Intimidate and Dungeoneering as class skills too, so he can be as good in those two as the fighter. But, as he has a greater sinergy with INT, is more than probable that the Magus will have more skill points, which mean he can complete his skill set with Knowledge Arcana, Knowledge Planes, Spellcraft, Use Magic Device or Fly. Which the fighter doesn't. And can do several out of combat stuff, like detecting magic, buffing the party, healing the group with infernal healing, scout through invisibility and fly, teleport the party around, dispel bad conditions like polymorph, or create buildings from nothing with Wall of Stone and doing all kind of things that defy the laws of physics
At first level it's behind the Fighter in DPR, but not in frontline tanking, which is the original statement. Also, at first level, most fights are against guys with really few hp. Take Rise of runelord example: goblins. Overkilling a goblin with 4d6+6 does not really translate into real DPS. At second level, the magus can Spell-strike and thus gets 2 attacks.
At first level the Magus can cast Shield twice per day, which means he'll have AC 22 right from the begining (buys a chain shirt with 100 of his 140 starting gold, doesn't need to buy a shield), 23 with dodge in the two most important fights of the day. At first level, a fighter will be able to buy Scale mail at best (he can buy chain mail, but then he has 25g for the whole gear, with a heavy wooden shield and a longsword costing 22g) That gives him 18 armor, 19 if he buys Chain Mail, 20 with dodge. The Magus have the same armor *without shield*, and much better when fighting the tough fights of the day.
Once the Magus starts to hide behind Displacement, Mirror Image, Interposing hand, Blink, and similar stuff, there's no contest.
the problem is that the balance between steady and "spendy" isn't balanced if you can spend more than you need.
a knife "might" be balanced vs a grenade, because you have only 1 grenade, which is spendable. But a Knife isn't balanced with a box full of grenades, if the box has more grenades than you need.
A few posts ago, I commented that a Magus 9th level magus can spend a spell per round for 25+ rounds a day. That's 8 encounters with 3 rounds per encounter (average combat length). More than enough to level up.
Same goes with Rage. Rage is limited, only if you spend all of it. If you have more Rage than combat rounds, it's bassically limitless. And, at a given level, that's true. You can't fight enough encounters a day to make a 9th level barbarian lose all his rage. Before you do, he'll be a 10th level barbarian.
An Inquisitor can use Greater Bane pretty much in every combat against every major enemy too. Same goes with Judgments, and he has spells to further boost his abilities.
Favored enemy is situational, but a scroll of Instant Enemy cost 525g.
And so on.
Plus the problem is not that the fighter isn't capable in combat. The problem is he is inefficient in everything else.
THis is a bit old, but as it was directed to me, I should answer.
First, 21 < 22. Second, the magus can take dodge too. Third, at first levrl you just use a short sword. 4th, first level gets old reaaaaaaly quick. In Rise if Runelords it last a bit longer than the goblin assault. You have 5 other full books to rock. And fifth, once the magus can use arcana points to recover first level spells, he can keep himself shielded in every encounter until he level up to get another level without even going to sleep.
Now factor in Mirror image, blur, interposing hand, and similar spells...and also add the ability to dimensional door out of problems, fly, stoneskin, etc...
Sometimes bad tactics can overwhelm even powerful characters. Having 10d8 sneak attack isn't very useful if the player never pit himself into flanking. Are your players veterans? Are they used to play published AP? Because it's surprising they are so scared about the fights. It's true that Havelyn poses a decent threat, the gestalt isnt shabby either... but they are perfectly doable with standard 15 point buy characters. A party with two levels above the suggested part level should take the castle by storm. Actually I've read about groups that killed the enyore garrison, and my group didn't, just because I changed the garrison to 1000. Tacitus Wand of fireball is all you need to masacre the whole 100 lowbie guards
actualy discovered that Tiadora was tied to Adrastus by the power of the truename. They even thought about taking her prissioner, but then during combat they were careless. With so many PC doibg damage close to 200, it was quite easy to kill her unless you were very careful
wasn't your party loaded with plenty templates and several gimmicks that made their characters above average? How can they fear those fights? They should be roflstomping those encounters.
Finally, the King is DEAD!
The pretty much anticipated fight vs the king was as expected.
I increased the potency of the encounter, giving the king much better build, equipment and pre-buff, and also added a 15th level wizard to the party. The 4 cavaliers were cavaliers of the lion, to give "for the king" buffs to the inquisitor and King, and also have different teamwork feats, so they could share all of them through Tactician. Not that it mattered a lot..
The Wizard started the fight trapping the inquisitor archer behind a wall of force, and casting a quickened Tiny Hut. The cavaliers did their tactic stuff, and started Patrol (good feat for bodyguards). The cleric used a bladebarrier to split the enemies. And then the PC started to act. With Reverse gravity, most of the NPC "fell" to the roof. There they were trapped by a icy wall dome from the bone devils. The king moved and made two attacks vs the antipaladin, using smite evil (he was buffed by Bestow Grace of the Champion, among several other spells). Howevr, that was his last action, the group Rogue used a desintegrate scroll to remove the wall of force, and the Inquisitor archer did 200+ hp to the king in one round (as usual). The rest of the fight was a bit of cleaning up. The wizard failed a save for Polymorph and was transformed into a little dog, and the rest of the group fell into several spells (Dominate, spiky pits, etc)
The PC then went to animate dead Chargammon, and to steal the treasure of the dragon. They were quick, so there was no real reason to make the Brine Dragon to steal the treasure before they arrive, except heavy Deus Ex Machina, which I don't like. I gave them 200.000 gp, which they have decided to spend in the army
Two days later, the PC received the visit from Tiadora. They were quite usure about believing Dessiter or not, but they choosed to cast Augury to know if going with Adrastus were Weal or Woe. They also used Commune to ask Asmodeus about it, and they learned Adrastus really was thinking to kill them. So they defeated Tiadora and the 9 erinyes (which killed the Necromancer with their arrows, as the wizard has very low AC and Mirror Image isn't useful against True Seeing)
They went to visit Naburus, and there they made the judgement. Dessiter was the Devil's Advocate for Adrastus, and he did a very poor defense of his case (on purpose). Naburus ordered the PC to kill Brigite of the Brijidine as a test of strength to become (one of them) Cardinal, and then they are free to search the Devil's Heart and try to slay Adrastus Thorn.
My players are getting too used to stomp everything in their path. I think I have to be more deadly, the necromancer death was because they were taking the Erinyes as a joke fight. So I chosed to focus fire with all the erinyes against a low AC PC instead of scatter the shots. I have to make sure the next fights are much more deadly
Anyone else having trouble with the circlets, my party are perhaps relying on them a bit too heavily, they have spent less than 10% of the last 8 sessions in their own natural forms.
My players are never in their own natural form, unless they are nude having a bath or something. I don't see a problem with that.
However, if you feel it's too powerful, you can always enforce the rules. Technically, the hat of disguise is a magic item, so it requires a command word. And it last for a few minutes, like the Disguise Self spell. I don't enforce that, because I enjoy the freedom that the hat gives to players (we have a drow looking half-drow, for example, that couldn't play in a regular zealot-based xenophobic kill-the-evil society, nor the anti paladin could have a spiked rune-covered full plate of hellish design)
Also, ignoring the hat of disguise ilusion is just a DC 11 will save. Anyone who has a reason to be suspicious can pretty much pierce it. Tacitus did on my game (he casted detect magic once, and saw a lot of magic item auras in the PC, which shouldn't be there if they were real peasants/farmers/normal citizens)
That being said, after Throne of Night, Gary had mention contemplating doing a sequel to Way of the Wicked, which included expanding the tyranny beyond the island. It would be decades later, and you'd be playing offspring of the previous characters.
There we go.
The PC spent a week or two in Matheryn, while they waited for Chargammon to attack in a New Moon. They used that time to do a bit of research, built some magic items, and made some evil.
The vampire PC entered in form of mist into the Royal Silos, which were being used to feed the poor and the war refugees. He summoned rats, infected them with the Tears, and then ruined most of the grain.
He also infected himself with the disease, then disguised as a plague doctor, and helped to spread the disease into the relatively safe neigbourhouds.
They went into the palace in the right night, waited until the dragon assaulted, and watched the Black Death Incarnated that Chargammon is, to destroy the guards, break the walls, and crush the magic defenders. They entered through the hole in the wall, using a Wall of Stone in form of stairs, and followed the path of destruction. They watched the battle between Chargammon, Sir Richard, and Bellinda, and were absolutelly shocked when Bellinda killed the Dragon so easy. They proceeded to kill every single enemy in the path to the king's chamber. The fights were quick and dirty. The poor Sleepless night couldn't even act, and most of the guards were completelly useless. The dwarven guards couldn't hit any of the front-liners even with a 19.
The PC arrived to the King's room, and found themselves surprised by a wave of dispelling energy, right before the King arrived with a flash. I've added a Wizard to the king's party, and I've changed most of his stats, so I hope they can stand a chance against the party.
The PC are truly terrified about Bellinda. Some of them think Bellinda is Antharia Regina. Some believe she is some kind of goddess, or the avatar of Mitra. And they start to understand that there are movers and shakers beyond those they thought were the leaders and the puppetters in the shadow.
Everywhere through the AP. They appear in book 4, 5 and 6 at the very least, I think, but they are also mentioned in other books. In book 2 for example, there's a bit of info about them when talking about the past of Farnholde, and also in the article about Glastenhall
Finally killed the dragon. Tough tough tough enemy.
Erimanthius started the fight with the joke, in a surprise round (we were roleplaying the conversation, I said the joke, and then asked everybody to save).
A very low Initiative roll almost got him killed... The Vampire Antipaladin was teleported (Dimensional door) behind him, and using a full round made more than 150+ hp damage on him (with no crits and missing 1 attack). Few extra hits, and then the Dragon started the show. Using quickened confusion (I made him a Wyrm), programmed image (creating an illusory prismatic wall) and reverse gravity, he created havok into the PC. The vampire PC, who fell to the roof, used spider climb to move over him, and then drop over him with a death-from-above style charge, which he used a slam to hit the dragon (And give him a couple negative levels). Very cinematic scene, actually. Then the PC swarmed the dragon, who casted Antimagic Shield, flight to a wall (using spider climb) and then punched the PC 1 by 1.
It was almost a TPK. The antimagic shield, combined with huge (41)armor, and specially the damage reduction (and the PC having non-magical weapons inside the Antimagic field) made him almost untouchable. He was only 40 50 or so hp left, but there wasn't a lot of ways to deal with him. Antimagic dragons are a PAIN in the ....
However, the Wizard used a Desintegrate to produce a cave-in, desintegrating part of the columns to make the roof fall over the dragon. That was a 8d6 cave in, and the dragon rolled a 2 in his save (plus the negative levels and the -2 from Antipaladin aura...) He took a good bunch of damage, but was alive yet. Then the antipaladin went out of the antimagic field, drawing a dagger, and throw it against the dragon. Being out of the antimagic shell, he could use supernatural abilities, such as Smite Good, which made the dagger to pierce through the damage reduction, and sealing the fate of the dragon.
Then Dessiter appeared. It was a very very very fun roleplaying scene. The group doesn't really trust Dessiter. The Vampire Antipaladin, who is a fanatic follower of Thorne, actually wants to kill him. But some in the group think that Dessiter *might* be right. And if he is, then they are dead if they go to the Agathium
We left the game there. They are now lvl 14th, and heading to the Adarium to fight the King. They aren't sure yet about what to do next.
They'll suffer with the few groups that teleport in or fly (the moondogs, the inquisitor retinue, the dragon, etc)
The easiest way is just focus on saying Yes. When the PC bring a plan, make it happen. The PC wanted to send both captains to die in a farm far away, then let them do it. Ask for some roll, and allow them to get their plan working.
In my game, they killed the cleric with a plan about using belladona in a nearby village, poisoning the people, then make some guy to tell father Donnaghin that there was a Chollera rampage and they needed their help with Cure disease. Then they ambushed him there and killed him. The plan wasn't perfectly executed, and they actually got a few problems while doing it, but it's a plan. And having a bad plan is better than having none. Anything that keeps the action moving forward is good
I would had let them use the farmer idea, just make the farm to be 1 day traveling instead of 1 week (honestly, 1 week traveling will put them almost out of the borderlands if they do just 20 miles per day). It was a decent enough plan to make it work.
When GMing a Sandbox, free-form play is important. Just because the storybook says Eddarly and Mott will challenge to a duel, it doesn't mean it should be that way.
almost finished book 4...
The PC went to the temple of Shakti, and using bluff, disguise and Domination (from the vampire antipaladin), controlled the leader of the oreiads. Told them to go somewhere else, and then tried to manage to transform Shakti back into Lawful Evil. However, it didn't work. Despise having good disguise and bluff (over 50+ rolls from the party face), the Tatanka Rakshasha readed their minds with Detect thoughts (although half the group wash shielded...) The fight was nice, with the rakshasha teleporting outside the temple, casting self-buffs, then entering through the balcony and hitting the PC archer inquisitor. When the PC tried to fleed, she tripped him. A swarm of summoned devils from the summoner keep her surrounded, while the rest of the PC got ready to attack. She was able to full-round against the Vampire (I gave her 5 extra attacks with the extra arms), but it was a flurry of misses against the AC 42 of the Paladin (which doesn't wear a shield, by the way). Next round, a volley from the archer finished the fight.
The Toshigami was cool fight too. I put around 60 sprites and 40 pixies, which were a pain with their lesser confusions and color sprays. Even with DC as low as 14 or 11, when you have to roll +25 times per round, there's a good chance you botch one... Also, I gave the Cherry Blossom the ability to give each good creature in 50 feet aura of protection (+4 AC and saves and lesser globe of invulnerability), which caught off-guard the wizard and his fireballs. The toshigami did a good pounding on the half-drow Magus, but failed a lot of attacks (wich was able to hit with 9+ or so). She damaged him three times, though, draining a lot of ability points.
After that, the PC found the hungry cristals. The fight was one-round long, when the Summoner cast Hungry Pit on the REF 0 poor oozes.
Then they went to the Dragon's tower. They split the group, and while one of them solved the chess riddle, another one tried to advance. They found the Visitor, which was a cool guy and helped them (having 50+ rolls in Bluff and Diplomacy is such a boon with non-hostile NPC...). They discovered that the Visitor was invited into the tower. He had a letter inviting him. The rogue stole the letter, and gave it to the PC vampire (so the PC is now, officially, invited into the house, and can enter the tower. He was outside, spying the tower windows using form of mist and spider climb)
They are now ready to enter into both the Dragon's Vault, or the Dragon's chamber.
I need to think a bit about the fight, so I can make it cool. Don't want to see the dragon dying in one full round, as happened with poor Argossrrian.
We are already in the middle of book 4.
the PC did a bit os robbery and spoil of war in daveryn. But they got lucky and found the duke soon. A bit later they visited the Baroness (which one of the players knew from background) and then found polydorus tower and the letter from stormborn king as Jeratheon was imprtant part of one of the PC background, they inmediately went to rescue him (a fmale dragon in my game). They receive the charge from tiadora to convince chargammon. They killed the stormborn king easily (too easily, even if I upgraded him heavily and used a retinue of avoral cohorts. But knowledge is very powerful, and knowing beforehand that the eagle was lightning based is a huge advantage.
They convinced chargammon to join the war effort after promising him to defeat erimanthus.
THey went to the island, found thr first cohort, and killed her and her four elder water elemental with ease. There was a fun moment when one of the elementals tried to bull rush the vampire antipaladin into the running water. However, it missed just by two.
The PC are going to infiltrate thr island right i the next session. The vampire player will have some problems to get invited into the lair, though.
Book 3 finished.
the lord Abbot made a good fight. With several spells on him (and heavily modified) he trapped most the party in a corridor with blafe barrier, which made a lot of damage in several rounds. Frightful aspect and holy aura were a nice detterrant, but the magus stole the holy aura, and the inquisitor crushed him with arrows.
They solved a few riddles, and then proceeded tt
EVen with +8 to armor (gave him breast plate and shield), Ara Mathra is way too weak. I suggest to pimp him a lot more. Specially with more spell casting
THe pc spoiled the place, we did a brif introduction of book iv (the arrival of the army) and we called it a day.
On a side note, I d like to see a timeline for the Order. I think the adventure contradict itself. Sometimes it say it was Macarius who introduced the Darius house i to Mitran religion. Then it says St Angelo was alive 150 years ago. While the Bictor was 80 years ago. It is a bit confusing
Patrick Kropp wrote:
This was nearly one month ago, wow.I haven't had internet in a while. In case you are still interested, this is a copy paste from an old reference sheet I had. I hope there aren't too much unaccuracies. You can use them as a base.
Aegis, Scutum y Tarja, Shield Archons
LG advanced Large outsider (archon, extraplanar, good, lawful)
Init +7; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +17
Aura aura of menace (DC 18), magic circle against evil
AC 33, touch 10, flat-footed 27 (+9 armor, +1 Dex, +6 natural, +6 shield, –1 size) (+2 deflection vs. evil)
hp 130 (9d10+81) (+14) (+9)
Fort +15 Ref +9, Will +10; +4 vs. poison +2 vs evil
DR 10/evil; Immune electricity, petrification; SR 21
Speed 40 ft., fly 90 ft. (good); 30 ft., fly 60 ft. in armor
Melee +3 shortspear +21/+21/+16 (1d8+13)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks transpose ally
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 9th; concentration +13)
Constant--magic circle against evil
At will--aid, greater teleport (self plus 50 lbs. of objects only), message
1/day--disrupting weapon, divine power, shield other
During Combat These two large angels are just large enough to completely block the entrance to the bridge. And they will not leave their post. They will have cast shield other on each other and it will easily outlast the duration of this battle. On the first round of the battle against our villains, they use their 1/day divine power spell-like ability. This grants them a +3 luck bonus on attack rolls, weapon damage rolls, Strength checks and Strength-based skill checks. They also gain 9 temporary hit points. Further, whenever they make a full-attack action, they make an additional attack at their full base attack bonus. This effect last for nine rounds. Other than that, they hold their ground and fight till defeated.
Morale These bastions of good fight to the bitter end. They will defend their post till they are forced to return to the celestial
realms or until the battle is won.
Str 22 , Dex 15, Con 27, Int 16, Wis 18, Cha 17
Base Atk +9; CMB +17 (+20); CMD 30 (34 vs. bull rush and trip)
Feats Combat Reflexes, Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Shield Focus, Stand Still, Weapon Specialization (shortspear)B
Skills Diplomacy +14, Fly +7, Intimidate +14, Knowledge (religion) +14, Perception +15, Sense Motive +15, Stealth +1, Survival +15
Languages Celestial, Draconic, Infernal; truespeech
SQ spear and shield, stability
Spear and Shield (Su) At will as a free action, a shield archon can transform his hands into a +1 tower shield and a +3 shortspear, or either individually, or back to hands again. He cannot transform both hands into shields or both into shortspears. A shield archon never takes the typical –2 penalty on attack rolls while wielding a tower shield. A shield archon’s weapons cannot be
disarmed, but they can be sundered. If a shield archon loses his spear or shield, he can manifest a new one as a full-round
action. When a shield archon is slain, these two items fade away—they cannot be looted or wielded by any other creature.
Stability Shield archons receive a +4 racial bonus to CMD when resisting a bull rush or trip attempt.
Transpose Ally (Su) Once per day as a standard action, a shield archon can teleport to the location of a willing (or unconscious)
ally and immediately teleport that ally to the archon’s previous position, in effect switching places with
Death from Above.
Death from above Aasimar paladin riders (9)
You Shall Not Pass
The Flame That Sings.
Suchandra, Celestial Phoenix.
Shroud of Flame (Su) A phoenix can cause its feathers to burst into fire as a free action. As long as its feathers are burning,
Smite Evil (Su) A celestial phoenix can smite evil, gaining +6 to hit, +20 to damage, and +6 deflection bonus to armor.
The Master of Serenity, head of the Serene Order CR 15
Skills Diplomacy +23, Heal +18, Knowledge (planes) +19, Knowledge (religion) +19, Sense Motive +18, Spellcraft +19;
My Lord Abbot is more melee-oriented, I gave Ara Mathra equipment to match his drawing, most monsters got the celestial template, and I fully revamped the Master Monk and several encounters
I havent made a report in a month, as I was moving, and was without Internet.
We have played only a couple sessions.
The fights have become increasingly difficult, since I have modified most of them heavily.
The Leonin Huntress was with a celestial dire tiger companion, which smited to the ground the evilness of one of the PC devils, a Erinye. Then, after the pounce, both the leonin and his tiger were sliced into pieces.
They made an interesting fight against the Monk and the Oracle. I made the master monk to be a Monk 15/Oracle 1, and the oracle to be a Monk 1/Oracle 14. The oracle wasn't very tough, but the Monk was great. I made him a Flowing Monk with Crane Wing style. He was able to deflect 1 arrow/throwing knife per turn, to deflect 1 melee attack per turn, reflect failed spells against his SR back to the caster, and to interrupt attacks by tripping guys as a free action. Cool combat.
Then they went into the Cathedral. Six angels with antimagic field attacked them, and they proved to be a tough match. Although the angles dont do a lot of damage, they were generally anoying, specially against a group where almost everybody cast spells.
Then they killed a few easy archons, and were surprised by the Ghaele, which used a few spells in human form before she died.
Later on, they entered the cathedral They were attaced by a group of paladin ghosts, and it almost went tpk. The ghosts do a lot of damage, and I was crit-happy that night. Several players used their free wildcard ("dream journal of the pallid seer"). Finally they killed the ghosts, and controlled one through the Necromancer.
They decided to try to sneak to the final combat. They used the portable window (from 1st adventure!) and went straight into the vault, killing the golems with ease. Wall of stone, Hungry pit, and several othre spells later, the PC won. However, they are now right before the fight against Lord Abbot, which should be interestng.
And the unnamed cities aren't relevant to the story, as nothing core happen there. I guess they are unnamed so the GM could insert any city of their own creation in those spots.
Magus with Dex and scimitar have better AC than fighters right from the begining ( with shield spell), and once they can cast stuff like mirror image, displacement, etc... they are way beyond fighters in frontline tanking
Yet another session with combat intensive focus.
We followed the session from the fight with the Peri. The players advanced through the stairs, but where assaulted by the phoenix. He was flying above them, and started the fight using quickened wall of fire and firestorm. The PC were protected with Communal Protection from Energy, but the firestorm and wall of fire was eating through the shield very fast. The Phoenix used his fire storms and wall of fire before engaging in melee, and grabbing one of the Players, with the intention of throwing him from the top of the mountain. However, other player managed to cast Lithany of Escape, and freed him.
After some rounds, the phoenix fall. After the resurrection, the players where ready to engage him in full round. However, the phoenix (which I made a Celestial templated phoenix) was able to smite evil the paladin, punching him near death (+20 damage per hit with smite evil). The fight was short after that.
The players went back to sanctum, and rested there a bit, being attacked by a pair of storm giants flying in rocs, and a flock of pegasus. The PC defeated the giants and roc easily, but the pegasi were defeated by a group of infernal griffin (like those in the heraldic of Barca).
The PC then go to the Laberythn, defeating the archons and blinking dogs in unisteresting combats (the PC have way too much forces in this AP. They are right now a group of 6 players, with bone devils, half-fiend ogres, a medusa, hell-hounds, a Bloody Skeleton Storm Giant, and several other stuff. The minions alone can defeat things like the Legion Archons without a sweat). They resolved the three riddles with ease (one of the players solved two of them nearly instantly), and they found and killed the Kirin.
We left the game there, and they have to fight yet versus the Leonal (which I'd give a celestial dire-tiger companion), and then two very heavily modified NPC, an Oracle 14/monk 1 and a Monk (flowing monk) 15/oracle 1, which will be a very fun fight I think.
To High God of Krynn, what I'd do is to mix all the fights together. Add the Titan, the Dragon, the Solar, the 20th level half-dragon Sorcerer, and maybe
Spoiler:. that should be enough challenge for most parties, unless they are extremely maximized. You have a "fighter" which is a 60' tall Titan, a "cleric" which happen to be an exalted archangel, a high level buffed arcane caster, and a dragon, plus an extra powerfull ally. It's roughly a 25th lvl Challenge Rating. If you need more, I'd add "advanced templates", and several warm bodies (like cavalier bodyguards, 15th level clerics, and a couple of extra angels), but probably you'll get more just by optimizing the NPC and their tactics, that by adding extra NPC.
sir Robert, either as a redeemed paladin, or a vengeful ghost paladin
Stephen Hawkins has a very high INT, and he knows jack about contracts. He is a world first class expert in physics, though. Having high INT doesn't make you omniscient. One of my Players have spent 8 ranks in Proffesion: Lawyer so far, to know about the contract. Contract Devils have +19 in Proffesion: Scribe (which will work as lawyer in a medieval society). If that PC has ranks in Spellcraft and knowledge arcana, he knows a lot about spells and magic beings, but that doesn't make him an expert in laws (or in infinitesimal calculus, for that matter)
Eric Hinkle wrote:
My PC interrogated some people through Ezra, as it is said in the book that he takes the memories of people he kill (that's how he recognize the PC mission, because of the previous Knot he killed).
However, that Ezra knows things, is not the same that Ezra tell them the truth...
Patrick Kropp wrote:
there's a magical item which solves that:Pact Partchment. In my game, we use that as the contract.
About Kevin Video player: the only solution is to tell that player not to play. He obviously don't like APs, so there's no point to make him play something he doesn't like, and make everybody else experience disgusting. When my mates go to play Basketball, I play with them. When they go to play rugby, I don't go, because I don't like the game. Simple as that.
That said, I'd like to point one thing. That HE, as a person, know more than YOU, as a person, about contracts, doesn't mean his 2nd level character know more than a devil about contracts. Dessiter has +19 in the appropiate proffesion skill. I bet he can juggle with the character enough to make him belief he is signing an adventageous contract. If he can't stay In Character and accept that what HE knows is not what HIS character know, then he have little moral supperority to claim about "propper roleplaying"
If the Sheriff died, then you have a normal AP. Nothing to loose there.
EDIT: Example, in WotW campaign. The PC have to take down some watchtower, and kill the guards of that tower, plus the liutenants.
If the wizard of the tower survive, he'll come later to attack the PC lair, in Book II (like 5 levels later). If the wizard doesn't survive, then the PC are attacked by the brother of a different PC (the watchtower scout).
And there we go.
We started with the fight vs three advanced shielded archons.
With extra armor from the advanced template (and adjusting a minor error in the statblock to count for shield focus), they were quite tough. They posed some threat too, with the extra +2 to hit and damage from Advanced Template and Divine power up from the begining, they were doing like +21/+21/+16 with 1d8+13, which is decent damage. I killed a couple zombie cyclops, but the use of Dimensional anchor forbid them to use Transposition succesfullly.
Inmediately, they faced 9 lvl 7 paladin aasimars, with celestial pegasus, which had flyby attack and sprited charge, plus death from above feat (+5 when charging from above). They did some damage to the Paladin (3d8+40 or so), and they Crit another zombie cyclop, which was obliterated by the impact. However, quick succession of attacks from spells and bows, and the pegasus died fast, with some paladins falling to the river and drowing, and other falling to the ground to be slaughtered.
The PC took care of the prisioners, jailing them. One of them forced the Reeve to acept that his wife lay with all the PC to save the women and children (which is an utter lie). After some torturing, the PC went to the Phoenix mountain, using the zombified corpses of the celestial pegasi as mounts (which I find very evil, actually). Once there, they were surprised by The Flame That Sings (with a very high stealth skill, that's easy) The Peri started the combat with a flame wall in the surprising round, and some pyrotechnics to full the room with smoke (which she is immune to). After a few fireball and flame strike (using to her adventage the ability to fly, while the rest of flying magic is forbiden), she engaged in melee, in form of Whirlwhild. With a very high armor (34 with the advanced template, plus -4 DEX and -2 to hit for those captured by the whirlwind), the fight wasn't easy. However the Dimensional anchor was again very useful as it forbid her to use Flame Jump(to heal). The Greater Invisibility of the rogue made her really high armor much more easy to target, and she finally went down.
Not only foreshadowing is good. Also the opposite (cant find any better word in english, so I'll use flashback)
By foreshadowing, I understand when you find a brief cameo of an important (in the future) NPC, item, zone, or event. But you can also help to give cohesion to the AP, when you make a brief cameo of a PAST event.
for example, let's say you fight in book 1, vs a goblin warchief. After some adventuring, in book 3, you might find hints that said warchief know something about the current evil dragon cult, so you can go back to unbury him, and Speak with Dead.
Or you could find a son of an old NPC, or maybe just find the magic weapon created by said NPC. Even if those events are minor, or sidequests, they help to provide a cohesive feeling. Do you remember when you saved the life or that sheriff, in book I? Well, he is no longer the sheriff, but he is married, have a son, and is very happy to help you with some piece of information you need.
About your map issue,
I made a Secret door on level 3, because I felt it was a nonsense that they should go back to level 1 to be able to go to the sanctum, or back to the levels when they are in the sanctum
This actually relates to things other have mentioned before: that if you don't behave with the cohort like you do with another PC, he'll leave.
Actually, by RAW that's not true. If you treat your cohort like a Harry Potter's Slitthering does with his elf, and whip and lash him, insult him, and give him just rags to dress and bread and water to drink, you get a whooping -2 to your leadership score for "cruelty". Which might, or might not, affect your cohort level, and the number of total followers you have.
So not giving your squire, apprentice, or arab-guy-you-saved-his-life-in-the-crusades a full share of the treasure is NOT required by the feat, by RAW.
It is PERFECTLY correct to build a cohort which has a background which implies he doesn't need to get a full split of the treasure. We have provided dozens of examples, from the guy who owe you his life, to a local bard who follow you to write an epic poem about your deeds. You could choose to build a different background on purpose. You could make a cohort that do not follow you, unless he get paid a full share. Hey, you could make your cohort a prince, that ask for the full treasure of the whole party because of his royal status, and it will be perfectly reasonable in-game. However, it's so because you are deciding to impose a tax in other players because of your feat selection, not because the feat ask for it.
A 10th level Magus has 8-9 arcana pool, and 6 first level slots. He could use Intensified Shocking grasp (with magical lineage trait) in each of those 5 combats with 3 rounds per combat, non-stop. That's not counting using other spells (like intensified and empowered shocking grasps as 3rd level slots). He has 24-25 spells (including Spell Recovery), so he can fight those 5 encounters with 5 rounds each, spending a spell per round.
Now let's compare the fighter's weapon specialization and weapon training, with +15d6 intensified shocking grasp that crit on 15+ with your keen scimitar and give you +3 to hit vs metal wearing oponents. And that's not counting the other stuff he could be doing with his spell slots, such as flying, being invisible, teleporting around or Force Hook'ing into pounce-like assaults.
But hey, weapon specialization is balanced, because you can use it as much as you want, instead of 25+ times per day.
I would take a power attack feat that benefit all my teammates in a heartbeat.
Armor training is decent. Actually, the best thing fighters have, in my opinion, when you don't take an archetype (As several archetypes take it away...)
BUT it's not even close to be near of being enough. If I compare it with everything a Magus has. Or a Summoner, or Druid, or even a Paladin, it's not even close. Fighters get 1 good thing, and everybody else get dozen things at least comparable.
Fine, then get Toughness and everybody is happy.
I take power attack, without anyone telling me if it is right or wrong to use it. However, if when using power attack, other players get a penalty to hit, I'd understand that they complain about my feat. That's the problem with your use of Leadership, it has an impact on other players.
You are pretending to take unilaterally a feat that affects everybody in the table, and then everybody else accept your conditions. That doesn't work that way. If all the table is OK with your cohort before you take the feat, or the whole group has decided they want a cohort, it's perfectly OK that he get paid. If YOU have decided that YOU want a cohort, you shouldn't be forcing everyone else to play a certain way just because YOU want a cohort. I didn't force you to take a certain feat, you shouldn't force me to pay for it.
On the other hand: I took a lot of feats that help the group. I took spell specialist in Dispel Magic to be able to better dispel spells that affect the group, and I don't ask for an extra share of the loot for it. I took Craft Woundreous Item and I don't take a fee for the group when I craft magic items for them. I took skill focus Disable Device, which help the whole group with traps, and I don't get extra gold for that. I still fail to see what makes Leadership a feat everybody has to pay for it, because several feats help the whole group.
I'd use adding their level to fear saves, maybe.
I always found absurd that when a dragon arrives, the only one that runs is the proffesional soldier. The minstrel (bard) the sage (wizard) and the half-blind seer (oracle) stay and fight. But the proffesional marine runs like a chicken, because Will is a weak save for them.