Adam Daigle wrote:
Sorry about that, then. Perhaps if down the road we do a similar book that talks about the law and chaos axis of alignment we can address the finer points of moving along that spectrum, but it wasn't relevant to this particular book.
James commented that he'd leave everything exactly the same. I was afraid he'd say that.
I hope eventually you guys do up a similar book, but also add in the evil alignments as well. It seems like a lot of players take CN to be the same as CE. It'd be nice to show them the difference, and let them know just how wrong they are in thinking that CN gives you a license to be a *insert paragraph long series of inappropriate words*.
So what happened on Sunday's game.
Lost Island of Taane-Thak:
I homebrewed the whole thing, including the waves, blizzard, traps, etc, but the idea and concept of the port and what frost giants that will be found, are courtesy of Raging Swan Press and the Frost Giant Pirates pdf. In it, I'm having that part of the island is actually an iceberg, their pirate ship. This is how they're going to get back to the mainland to attack. What available soldiers Balentyne can afford, they'll send out. This will be my explanation for why there will only be 100 soldiers when the party gets there.
Since the party were able to con the Yutak clan out of so much of their ivory, Kargeld didn't get anything for his seal pelts. Having overheard most of the conversation with the group and the medicine man (the only one who could talk common), he knew there was an open invitation for them to go back to island and get the rest of what was "owed" to them. Not that the party actually required any more money nor had they properly earned it other than through bluffs. That, and the chief enjoyed loud clothes so he was paying three times the cost of what everything was worth (as per the book says he will).
So, as "compensation" for leaving him and his crew alone with all those bugbears, he demanded they go back to the island and get what he felt he was due.
Because of them doing the side adventure of getting the ice troll king to agree to join the cause, and him agreeing to reinforce all of their weaponry and armor (I made him an artificer with a proper ice forge), they've been granted an additional three weeks to play with. This allowed them to go for the Lost Island side quest.
Knowing that they had plenty of time, but unsure if they should, the tiefling decided to have his imp familiar (devil wizard archetype) Commune with Asmodeus and asked his six questions. All of them basically told the group to go for it, and they had time before the bugbears would try to take down the Balentyne Wall.
Kargeld turned the boat around, and they headed back the way they came all the way up to the land of the Yutak. Once there, they talked with the chief and medicine man again, and as promised, they were paid the extra they thought the party was owed, and stayed around to hear all the legends and stories that the elders knew, while having supper.
At the same time, the wizard showed the medicine man how to use an alchemist's lab, and how to make various items that might help the tribe. Granted it would likely greatly off balance the ecosystem, but he didn't really care about that.
Thankfully the majority of the players were there as they had to keep one player from getting too antsy and want to kill everyone off. They knew he likely would, and even I had to step in and tell him straight how things would play out. That's three times now it's happened. I don't think he's really cut out to play evil. If it wasn't for that contract, I don't even want to consider how things would be playing out right now.
Anyways, the tales talked of how there was an island completely surrounded by winter itself, raging rapids, and an almost impenetrable coral reef. On that island were frost giants, frozen in place, thanks to the meddling of an old wizard. No captain yet had been able to brave these strange ocean currents and survived. This immediately had Kargeld raise an eyebrow. His greedy mind immediately thinking about fabled treasures that no one except him could get their hands on. The prices he could sell them for. The prices he could sell his story for. He saw nothing but fame and fortune after that. He had a sturdy vessel, and a hardy crew. He could handle it. He even proclaimed as such.
The party were all smiles as they bluffed him with sarcasm saying that it was mighty dangerous, and asked him if he didn't hear what the elders said. They subtly goaded him until he even got exclaimed that he'd be able to get there in just a few days. With the cargo no longer on the ship, but with the bugbears, he felt that the ship could easily maneuver in the weather and stay afloat.
The wizard told Kargeld that he wouldn't help him at any point during the trip. At least not for free. The captain didn't trust the wizard, and said he wouldn't need any arcane help. However, he wasn't against the idea of the cleric using guidance.
During the trip, the group immediately realized that they'd all bitten off more than they could chew as they were presented what could only be described as a black hole and a series of unholy storms with the wrong colour of lightning. Speaking of which, lightning during a snow storm? They really had taken one heck of an adventure, and they all hoped they'd live to tell the tale someday as they all tied themselves to the ship, praying to Asmodeus to please not tip over. Before it really got bad, but as soon as they realized the sudden temperature drop, they used a majority of their Endure Elements.
The wizard use rope trick and had the imp and the ice mephit hide up there, and used Prestidigitation as often as he could to keep the ship as clear as possible. He soon realized that he was doing this all for free, but also came to the decision that his own life meant more than money.
The party had to make save after save to not be sickened, slammed hard against the boat, or thrown overboard (they were tied off, but they can still be flung around and over).
Kargeld made amazing Profession checks, and his crew each aided him to through the waves, and keep the hail and snow from weighing down the ship. Eventually they came to the eye of the storm, and could see the island, completely surrounded by a sleet storm, and what looked like an endless coral reef.
Despite all the good rolls, Kargeld couldn't help his ship from at least getting a few scratches due to their incredibly sharp edges. Thankfully they didn't sink. When they finally got through the brunt of it, they dropped anchor, and surveyed the damage.
The cleric used Mending to try fix what he could, but the crew ended up having to use some of the spare wood from the empty crates and barrels to do a proper patch job. However, it'd take a while.
The party made a deal with Kargeld to stay with the ship, and that he'd get first chance to take whatever loot they were able to get from the island. He was unsure, but he didn't want the ship to sink, so reluctantly he agreed.
The first thought of the party was if that was what they had to go through just to get in, would they have to go through this again once they left. (The answer is no because the curse will have been lifted. Not that I'm telling them that.)
They stepped into the brink as they walked passed the beach, and into the raging sleet storm. All of them immediately felt the cold, and were glad of their Endure Elements, but I had it be so cold that they still took 1d6 if they were wearing metal, as Chill Metal. Those that were taking damage, had Resist Energy go up, which would last for 40 minutes.
Eventually they found a path that stopped the brunt of the wind and made their way to the top of what was obviously a very large hill. From there, they searched around to find a hidden entrance, that lead inside the mountain. There they came across a wall of ice that'd be shaped up and covered the windows. The wizard knew of a riddle where the frost giants would only wake during the dawn of a new day. With any and all windows being covered, they'd have to deal with those. They continued searching and came across what looked to be the remnants of an ancient looking, frozen throne room. Inside what was like a great hall to them, stood a half dozen giants.
As they stepped forward, four beings teleported in. A male arctic elf fire elementalist wizard, his ice mephit improved familiar, a female half-elf bard, and a female catfolk ranger. They are not impressed with the trespassers entering the complex, and plan on doing something about it.
Next session, the party takes on the descendent of the wizard that cursed the frost giants.
Oh I guarantee it.
@Alexander Augunas -- It's mainly the fact it's a PrC. The anti-paladin by itself is specific alignment, and you get slower spells. As well, they're an anti-paladin ninja. They get sneak attack AND smite good, as well as poison use. They also get spells quite quickly as well. And if you're a fallen paladin too, you get even more bonuses based on how many levels you lost. They make for great NPCs elaborate and possibly tragic backstories.
My suggestions would be the White Necromancer from Open Design/Kobold Quarterly 19, a LN and CG Paladin, the Wolf Shifter from Wayfinder 5, the Guttermage from Urban Adventures: The Great City Player's Guide (0one Games), and a racial archetype for gnome barbarians (Rawr).
Half-Dragon Paragon Homebrew:
Hit Die: d12
The half-dragon's class skills are Diplomacy (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (all skills, taken individually) (Int), Perception
(Wis), and Sense Motive (Wis).
Skill Ranks Per Level: 4 + Int Modifier.
In addition, each half-dragon paragon class gains class skills based on its parent dragon.
Black: Handle Animal (Cha), Stealth (Dex), and Swim (Str).
Table: The Half-Dragon Paragon
1st +1 +2 +0 +2 Sorcerous blood, Frightful Presence
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Half-dragon paragons gain no proficiency with any weapons or armor.
Frightful Presence (Ex): Whenever you attack or charge, all opponents within a radius of 30 feet who have fewer Hit Dice than you become shaken for a number of rounds equal to 1d6 + your Cha modifier. The effect is negated by a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 your character level + your Cha modifier). A successful save indicates that the opponent is immune to your frightful presence for 24 hours. This ability can't affect creatures with an Intelligence of 3 or lower, nor does it have any effect on dragons.
Sorcerous Blood (Ex): A character's half-dragon paragon levels stack with sorcerer levels for purposes of determining the caster level of arcane spells granted through sorcerer levels. For example, a 2nd-level sorcerer/3rd-level half-dragon paragon's caster level is 5th for the spells she can cast as a sorcerer. This increased caster level affects only spells that the character can cast; it does not give her access to higher-level spells or more spells per day.
Keen Senses (Ex): At 2nd level the half dragon gains superior low-light vision, allowing them to see four times as well as a human in shadowy illumination and twice as well in normal light. It also has blindsense out to 60 feet, and darkvision 120 ft.
Natural Armor Increase (Ex): At 2nd level, a half-dragon paragon's natural armor bonus improves by 1.
Breath Weapon (Su): At 3rd level, a half-dragon paragon's breath weapon increases their damage one progression (d8 becomes d10) to that of their true dragon heritage, and deals the same elemental type of damage. If the half-dragon is already capable of this, then they instead gain an additional use of their breath weapon.
Elemental Claws (Su): At 3rd level, a half-dragon can imbue her claws with elemental damage of her breath weapon, dealing 1d6 damage on a successful hit. You can use your claws for a number of rounds per day equal to 3 + your Charisma modifier. These rounds do not need to be consecutive.
I tell ya, it's always about the timing. Anyone else seen the cover and read the synopsis of the upcoming chronicles book Chronicle of the Righteous? Looks pretty nasty for the bad guys if you have those things ready to take them down. I might just have to get a copy just to give my players a bit more of a fight.
This was something that Gary was going to add in Book 6, but forgot, and was planning on adding later with a web enhancement.
Major question regarding Grumblejack.
Why is his CR 18? The math doesn't add up at all. Also, what's Exalted and how does that affect him, if at all? He's an ogre (CR 3) fighter 10 (+10 CR) half-fiend (+3 CR). That's 16, not 18. Even if you give him PC wealth, that's still only 17.
Eric Hinkle wrote:
Don't know about the side quests, but those would be nice too. However, Minion Quest is already done, it's just gotta be edited and reformatted into a comprehensive and legibly (ie. it's just notes right now) written copy so that it can be edited and put into a pdf format. He said he was hoping to have something done by April or May for those of us who want to run it at a gaming convention.
James Jacobs wrote:
I have to side with Pendagast on this one. It may be an "experiment", but it looks lazy, uninspired, and like you guys literally ran out of ideas. The words Snow, Frost, White, Cold, Chill, Great Frost, Ice, Glacier, Artic, etc, didn't fit the bill? That's like Canada naming two of their football teams "The Roughriders". Which we did. Still, I guess it could have been worse. Could have been like WotC 3.5 and had a Knight/Knight/Knight (base class, fighter archetype, and PrC). Nothing like confusing the GMs and players alike.
I remember a player who actually ended up playing an NPC for missions because he loved his magic greatsword so much, that when it was getting upgraded at 1000 gold a day, he would literally camp out IN the blacksmith's forge. He'd get him something to drink, make sure his food was prepped, everything, so that the blacksmith would put a full 8 hours into the weapon. He was also there just in case someone ever tried to steal it. So if we were ever called away for a mission, he'd play the NPC. It ended up that the NPC gained more levels than the actual PC.
Now, of course this is partially the fault of the GM. He shouldn't have purposely sent us off on missions on a regular basis when we needed to upgrade our gear.
I do allow everything. My Friday DM allows everything. Hell, I allow nearly every 3pp item that you can access so long as it fits my game (ie. don't try to put the erotic books in the campaign because that's a "no"). I mean, if you want to play a 13 year old flat-chested blue-haired girl who only diddles herself and uses her quarterstaff for self pleasure, and wants to "spray" the local red dragon with their juices to put out his breath weapon, again, then I'm probably going to have to say no this time.
And yes, that honestly happened in a game with two hentai-obsessed players who decided to randomly derail a campaign, hard, before leaving.
Not necessarily, no. Depends on what he was doing or planning during that time, and IF it was actually for the player's benefit. There are a lot of dick DMs out there.
I've been in my share of groups. Over the course of my gaming life, I've had the misfortune of meeting LOTS of dick DMs. Because of this, I've grown incredibly paranoid of all GMs in general. I've also stayed to being the DM, which my players like because I'm more than fair. It's kind of like being the employee who's had so many terrible bosses that you want to become your own boss because you know you'll be 10x better than any of them.
Things that make me leery are:
Another thing that's made me cautious is I've come to ask the group how many characters they've gone through before I joined. If the number is 2+ each, and they still haven't made it to session 10 yet, that's a valid concern.
Share your stories with the vast number of dickish DMs you've had to deal with in your lifetime? I've lost count how many I've had, but I know I've been in about six groups already.
I don't think I've ever had a "good death". And I, unfortunately, have only ever actually known dick DM who like killing you off on purpose.
1st Stupid Death: 3rd level Elf fighter that the DM made himself in 2E Ravenloft, because that was his rule. He was also a stereotypical drunk fighter. Again, his rules. And being an elf, he didn't hold his liquor very well and always had a hangover. Well, I wasn't there for this because I was at a friend's wedding during game night, and the inn was burning down when the rest of the party realized that the inn keeper was secretly the serial killer we'd been looking for. So the LE necromancer, who was also the best friend of the GM, decided to be a dick and run up the stairs to yell at my character that the inn was exploding in fire. Well, the DM decided that since my character was still half drunk, that he'd want to escape as quickly as possible. Guess what way that is. The window. From three floors up. Needless to say that he didn't survive the max damage rolled. Well, he did actually because the DM decided that, that was too mean. So instead, I was at -9 hp instead, and all of my items including armor, weapons, etc were all destroyed instead. I came home to find an e-mail regarding this. I told them that they were both dicks, and quit the game.
2nd Stupid Death: Different dick DM asked all of us to make characters with a full background as it was going to be story intensive. Sweet, I liked that idea as I was never allowed to be creative before. DM decided that I was too extensive, and instead had my entire background worth of NPCs (girlfriend, mentor, friends, parents, legacy, etc) all killed off. Painfully. My character was a LG paladin, so he didn't exactly take it all that well. He also decided to have my character robbed of all material possessions. So I decided enough was enough. I became a fallen paladin, on purpose, and took a level of blackguard. He had me executed by the followers of my previous god. Then he quit the game and moved away.
3rd Stupid Death: Joined a group who was desperately looking for someone who could play a cleric, as none of them were or could. I agreed, but if I knew then what I know now, I definitely wouldn't have. You should take it as an omen when you go there, and one of the players, who's a really good friend of the DM, is on their 2nd character after only five sessions, and that the DM very nearly TPK'd the entire party twice in the last three sessions. I took it as them just not having a cleric. I was wrong. We were in the fey lands when the half-orc monk kept getting charmed and made to dance for their amusement over and over again. The DM was using a stupid high pitched voice on purpose and laughing maniacally. I had enough, and cast spells on the fey. It turned out that while they hated all orcs, even half-breeds, they were all GOOD creatures. Not chaotic or evil, just really mischievous and playful, and my killing the 1 HD fey angered the elders. So, they put me to death. I couldn't fight them off because they summoned high level centaurs who grappled me and pummeled me with their hoofs, and then took me in irons to the council. Where I was executed. I complained about the DM openly, and I was booted from the group.
4th Stupid Death: High level bow ranger character was near death after a major battle that shouldn't have happened (misunderstanding thanks to a botched diplomacy check from the PC erinyes), and I was given the chance to surrender to what we believed was a CG paladin. I agreed, and was forced to stand up. As I stood up, the "paladin" took his attack of opportunity and killed me. Turns out he was actually an anti-paladin and there was no misunderstanding (think Mars Attacks with the white dove). He later walks up to the hurt red dragon PC, and goes to "heal" him. The dragon didn't have spellcraft and ended up getting disintegrated. He then laughed and teleported away.
Thomas Long 175 wrote:
^Solid hardcore +1 to this.
I've been in my share of groups. Over the course of my gaming life, I've had the mismortune of meeting LOTS of dick DMs. Because of this, I've grown incredibly paranoid of all GMs in general.
While this house rule "could" potentially be fun, chances are it's not for the benefit of the player.
At the very least a few of the guards should have been drunk. Although, if Grumblejack's making too much noise because he's defending himself loudly, against the stupid PCs trying to kill him off without making proper use of him as a minion, then that's their own fault.
bruce novakowski wrote:
Any more on when the book 6 comes out. my players are biting at the bite. they been hunting dragons for the hords so they can support the invasion. if i do not know when the book comes out it. my adventure will soon be known as the dragon wars lol. but serious a general time frame would be nice.
Gary's hoping by the end of this week. That's about all we know.
Eric Hinkle wrote:
I don't know. I was thinking of adding more to it than just that. He's Lawful Good, not Lawful Stupid. Although, he is close. Maybe spill the beans on how Thorn trained them all, used coercion, was the one behind their release of the prison in the first place, and now that they're no longer useful he's trying to kill them off. Which is true.
I have seen this, but since my party's not there yet, I haven't actually looked too hard into what I should do. I houseruled that after their training with Thorn, they learned how to perform CPR on each other. There's a feat in Overpowered Feats that gives you Extra Lives. Three to be exact. I revised it so that as long as someone with the Heal rank was around to "revive" you within 10 minutes of you dying, you could be brought back to life that many times. This would supersede the pacts made. As well, the Diabolist is key for spellcasters as they're the most squishy. The "Hellish Soul" ability is crucial for them, and something I'll definitely consider adding to the contracts. It specifically states "If killed by any means outside of the will of Asmodeus, the archdevils, or another influential force in Hell, the diabolist can be resurrected as normal." While the class ability is forever, and practically at-will should the party have means to resurrect the fallen character, I'm giving the contract version three uses. Basically, three strikes and you're out. Asmodeus will only tolerate failure so many times. Even he understands the everyone has an off day. Three? No, you're weak and insignificant.
As for lycanthropy, there's belladonna here and there in the campaign (namely at the beginning) so having wererats or werebears definitely wouldn't be out of the ordinary. If I were to implement it, I'd have them give up two feats. There's a Rite Publishing book to get my reference better, Faces of the Tarnished Souk: Le Loup Solitaire, after an alpha pack leader werewolf. I'd also suggest looking up "Curse of the Moon" by Sean K. Reynolds as he tells you how you should best deal with it in game. There's even racial class levels for lycanthropes.
First feat: Afflicted Shapechanger. This gives the PC the transformation ability to turn into whatever animal form they were afflicted or born with, giving them the shapechanger subtype (this is important because rangers don't get that as a favored enemy). The transformation takes one full round, but they can only transform at night. The light of the full moon changes this to a move action. As well, they gain low-light vision, +2 natural armor, +2 Wis, and a feat that the original animal has (ie. weapon focus [bite] from wolf, etc).
Second feat: Lycan. This allows the lycanthrope to transform at any point during the day, without the need of the moon, as a swift action. In the presence of the moon (full, half, quarter, new) it's done as a free action. They get empathy towards their animal brethren as a ranger of their level, DR 5/silver, and two more feats of their animal affliction. They also gain access to their animal hybrid form. While in hybrid form, they can speak.
The Last Feat would have to be Alpha Pack Leader. This gives you +2 to all six ability scores, and allows the PC to take HD levels of the animal that he's afflicted with, which will also give them more bonuses to stats and natural armor. Use this web enhancement as an example. Finally, they gain DR 10/silver. They can also curse other people with their disease. Gain the ability to speak in all forms. During a full moon, they gain 10 temporary hp.
Staying with the evil theme, let's update the Disciple of Asmodeus from Book of Vile Darkness.
It was only ever 3.0 so it's buff, and some new skills would do nicely.
Skills are: Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Gather Information (Cha), Hide (Dex), Innuendo (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (any) (Int), Listen (Wis), Scry (Int), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), and Spot (Wis)
Change to: Bluff (Cha), Diplomacy (Cha), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (all) (Int), Linguistics (Int), Perception (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), Stealth (Dex).
Feats can probably stay the same, but only Leadership is actually still relevant.
Skill requirements can stay the same, although technically according to the PF conversion they should all be lowered by 3 ranks.
HD is now d8.
Saves are reduced to more incline to the current Pathfinder ones, making it +1 at 1st level and +3/+3/+5 at 10th.
Casting ability for spells: give +1 casting level at levels 4 and 6.
Well, if your players are having a really rough time, there were a few suggestions on how to beef things up:
1) Thorn raises them as undead and they gain templates (skeleton lord, zombie lord).
And there's what I was thinking of doing:
For doing the side quest, Barrow of the First King, I think I'm going to use the Dungeon 13 adventure, "The Treasure Vault of Kasil". Maybe variant a little bit. As for the relic of Asmodeus, I just found a bunch of artifacts that I've converted. Not sure which ones I want to use though. Likely one of the first two.
Benefit: These boots grant immunity to mind-affecting effects and paralysis. 3/day the wear can cast Haste (self only). As well, if the wearer is a spellcaster, the boots can recall one spell per day of every level through 1 to 9.
Signet of the Nine
Amulet of Ordered Malevolence
Crest of Vile Darkness
Reaching for Damnation
The Serpent's Coil
There's a story behind each item of course. I didn't write them up, but Google would help you find them. As well, this is just how I interpreted the conversion. Other people might know how to go about doing it better. ^^;
@ Ravingdork and Ashiel -- You two are hilarious. Your builds mean nothing to Hecate.
Personally, when I looked over the playtest I felt nothing but boredom. I feel no satisfaction at all from this. Not even remotely. This is not something I was looking forward to seeing. If I want mythic stuff, I'll use the 3pp Godlings. I'm not looking for superheroes, or anything like that in my games. As such, I felt absolutely robbed that THIS was the book that Paizo decided to go "Let's bring back the Archmage." No. A thousand times, no. I felt less robbed by Red Goblin when they made the Archmage an epic prestige class. At least that I could understand. But for an official game only to allow Mythic archmages? That's not something I'm happy with. I almost fear how they're going to implement this with Pathfinder Society.
Thumb's down for me. Not buying this when it officially comes out, and my group's never going near it, despite the whining I'm sure I'll hear about it being the only "legal" way to become an archmage by my wizard players.
As Inferon said in the OP, and to paraphrase it, this is not my perfect idea of an RPG, but some people will find that it is. That's fine. I won't dispute that. You guys have fun. But you can count me out.
For those of you who really want to mess with their player's heads:
If anyone wants to really mess with their players, give Thorn the 3pp Paranoid flaw (-3 to Sense Motive against all strangers because you always think the worst of everyone) and the 3pp Split Spirit feat.
I'd do this, but I plan on using the Iron Lich template from Pathways 20.
Technically though, you could do both.
So one of my players would like to play a cloud giant war hulk, but we've agreed that the War Hulk is a little on the blah side. These are what I'd do to it for a conversion. Wanted other opinions.
Prestige Class is from 3.5 Miniatures Handbook.
d12 - stays
I know a lot of people think that the War Hulk is fine by itself without any BAB because of the Strength increases, but that was also back when you could take a level of cleric for Divine Power and magically gain a BAB of 20. Pathfinder nerfed that hard. Now you get a max of +6 to your attack, and it's a luck bonus. The extra attack you also gain doesn't stack with Haste or the Speed property.
I see that many aren't all that happy with him becoming a fallen without a whole lot of work going into causing him to fall. I say go with it. I mean, make your PCs do at least a little bit of work, but let it happen. However, if you don't want the party to keep him, don't let them. Kill him off, or at least let the PCs work for it through battle with someone sent by Mitra.
Check out the Proscriber. It's from Tome of Horrors, and is also in the PFSRD. It says, when you deviate from your deity's words, has this come after them. It can be mild punishment or it can be extremely harsh. It just depends on how much you've strayed from your alignment and who've you now joined up with. I think selling your soul and becoming a fallen paladin to your arch-nemesis is grounds for getting trounced.
It's only a CR 15, but you could easily advance this, add class levels, or throw on a few templates. Since the PCs have already taken on a CR 20 by this point, a Mighty (+5 CR) version of this might be in order. It doesn't matter if the PCs are unconscious or only grazed. This thing came after Richard, and he's the target so only he needs to be "dead". So if you really don't want the party to have Richard, make the Proscriber CRAZY overpowered. Let them realize they've still got a long way to go. It doesn't have any treasure so even if they happen to defeat it they don't get anything other than more xp.
At the very least, it's an idea that you may or may not want to use. I plan to have them take on a mighty version of this beast now that I know about it.
Want people's opinions. I was inspired by Gary reading a pbp about the frost giants. I'm putting this out simply because I unfortunately couldn't find a module that already dealt with this kind of thing. If there is, I'd love to get pointed towards it. Otherwise, this is the homebrew solution I came up with.
The Lost Island of Taane-thak:
As is described by the write-up, a whole bunch of frost giants are in a sleeping state thanks to a good wizard.
I was thinking of having the hidden island located 100 miles East of Seal Isle. While talking to the Yutak tribe, they swap legendary stories of each other's culture. That's when they learn about the cave of the sleeping frost giants. They could use them to their advantage. For rescuing them and waking them up from their centuries long slumber, they can lay waste to the town where their jailer lived -- Balentyne. That might satisfy them.
However, the trek won't be that easy. They'll have to discover the island from the legend lore's clues, brave the rapids around the coral reefs, and enter the cave that's in the middle of a constant blizzard. But even inside is a peril waiting for them.
The wizard knew that he wouldn't survive forever, and left in charge of the cave, a single ice mephit, Rime. He was the wizard's improved familiar. Should anyone actually manage to free the frost giants, or at the very least get close to pulling it off, the ice mephit was to immediately contact the wizard's current heir, Rhodulus the Ironic, a NG arctic elf fire elementalist wizard.
Rhodulus never thought it actually possible to get called so he slacked in his studies, and was fairly adamant with shirking his responsibilities, unless it was that to a fair maiden. However, he did manage to become powerful enough for Rime to continue on as his familiar like he had with his grandfather.
As lazy as Rhodulus was, he wasn't stupid. On the off chance that the frost giants ever did wake up, he had readied a wand of wall of fire and scroll of teleport just in case. No one will be more shocked than him though when he's summoned to the ice cave.
Rhodulus will be at a level appropriate to that of the PCs, but no lower then 7th level so Rime can be his familiar. He'll come with his friends: Sheryl, a CG female half-elf bard; and Tabitha, a NG female catfolk (cat's claws) companion bond ranger (natural CS and FE giant +2). They're both two levels lower than Rhodulus.
With the opposition dealt with the party can finally deal with the riddle. How do you wake up the frost giants? The riddle talks about sleeping until the new dawn breaks and the aroma of aromatic spirits fills their nostrils.
What this means is that the party has to find someway to shed some light into the cave, over the giants, and have each one of them inhale smelling salts. If the PCs look around and make a DC 20 Knowledge (engineering) check, they'll notice that an ice wall doesn't quite look like the rest of the walls. It's a magical shaping transmutation by the previous wizard. It covers the original window that let in light. The PCs will need to destroy this by whatever means they can pull off.
Taane-Thak is a frost giant/sorcerer 2. Her and her crew, while they aren't fond of it, will agree that the PCs did save them, and will work for them for a price. If the PCs introduce them to Thorn, he'll recruit them and eventually he'll gain the king and queen for Book 5's write-up.
For their first order of business, they are to take out Balentyne. This allows the PCs to go to their next destination, Mathyrn, and get them to send a majority of their troops to help fight the giants, leaving the wall mostly unguarded with but a skeleton crew.
So, what do you guys think? Note that I'm writing this at almost 4 AM because inspiration struck me, so I'm not sure how coherent this reads.
So while going over Thorn, I noticed that he doesn't have a Fort save (+21) and he doesn't have the additional 18 hp from favored class. Also got a question. Why does Thorn have resurrection memorized? Who would he use that on? The frost giant king? Have him, Thorn, and the gelugon all fighting the party?
Also, this was something I mentioned in Book 4, but Brigit's Wall of Stone is DC 21 and Fire Storm is DC 24.
I know it's unnecessary to do so, but in my Friday game, we just finished a Gary Gygax module that was all about undead. More specifically, that campaign revolves around the new variation of the spell Undead Clone. I know it's not Pathfinder specific, but I did find something that is, and it just came out in Pathways 22 today. It's the Iron Lich. Thorn's been so paranoid lately, and all through the campaign he's been watching through the eyes of the 9th Knot who've encountered various constructs as the campaign's been progressing over the past few years. He could have contacted the ice troll king, Sigarth Iekenhart, and had such a thing at least partially created. Then using various other contacts and connections, could have had certain creatures and beings craft it without fulling knowing exactly what it was. Just Group A to build Part A, Group B to build Components B, etc, etc, etc. Then he could have completed the rest of it himself. With that, he wouldn't need a phylactery anymore. Everyone thinks Thorn's dead because no one knows that such a thing could possibly exist, and are all surprised when he comes back for his revenge.
The Mead Hall of the Elven King:
This is an optional scenario given to us at the end of the book. I want to go ahead and do it, but ramp it up a little.
Looking up elven artifacts, I came across enchanted ones that were quite literally artifacts. They're +4 holy keen longswords that can cast heal/3 and discern lies at-will, or other variants of just as high spell-like abilities. I changed this up a little seeing as how we'd actually like for the party to make use of it, and we don't want them too rich. The banshee's only a CR 13 after all. So instead the sword is a +1 axiomatic keen longsword. The crown I'm going to make a circlet of mindsight. It makes sense for a king to be at least somewhat aware of his surroundings. Not everyone's going to agree, and assassins tend to be invisible.
My write-up is that the king was originally LG but became LN. He was fair to everyone on the outside, but he was slowly being corrupted by his charismatic advisor, a secret follower of Asmodeus, who helped his regal appearance seem more noble than it really was. Neither the king or queen realized what was going on as he was a trusted friend, and had been for a great number of years.
His queen (now a banshee), found out about his corruption, what their advisor had been doing to him, and confronted her husband about it. Unfortunately, it was too late. The king had been charmed and attacked her, meaning to only silence her and get her to see what he did. She feared this new man that used to be her husband, and defended herself. She managed to knocked him unconscious using various blunt objects around the room (vases, chairs, etc), but was unable to do anything more as the advisor showed up, and saw what she had done.
Knowing what she would likely do with the knowledge she had, and that she might be able to reverse anything he'd done to the king if given enough time, not to mention have him thrown out or even killed for his treachery, he considered his mission a failure. Without hesitation he killed both the king and queen, then teleported away.
His true identity was never discovered.
What do you guys think?
gustavo iglesias wrote:
Gary, about the everybody favourite frost giant...
Regarding the Martial Weapon Proficiency feat, that's not Gary's fault. That's the default feat that frost giants get automatically. And I think you're thinking about d20 3.5, not Pathfinder. Humanoids of any kind are not proficient with whatever weapon they have in their stat. They are proficient with whatever ARMOR they're stated with. As per the Types write up for humanoids, which a giant is a subtype.- Proficient with all simple weapons, or by character class.
- Proficient with whatever type of armor (light, medium, or heavy) it is described as wearing, or by character class
If the frost giant was a cleric, he'd be in the same boat, and would need that feat to use the great sword. The same goes for the Skill Focus. ALL frost giants have that. You're right about the sword damage though being 4d6.
Although, granted the king could be a "unique" type of frost giant that doesn't get such feats. Good luck trying to pull that off with things like monster builders or Hero Lab though. You'd have to literally build it from scratch.
That's fine if you're wanting to get rid of the Finishing feats, as you're correct that they're not the best thing to have in this unless we're supposed to kill the party. I'd suggest Blind-Fight, Critical Focus, and Improved Critical (greataxe). Improved Initiative wouldn't be a bad plan either because you'd probably at least like a chance to not be dead last. However, if he does get changed, he'll need to written as a "unique" frost giant. This is what I'm planning.
I'm also changing the greataxe so that the party can "keep" it. It won't just immediately shatter. However, it'll be made of ice (3pp special materials), which means that it's only worth 1/4 the actual amount it'd normally be if it was sold, and that's if they can do it before it melts.
Fire Mountain Games wrote:
Yup, I appreciated everything you've given me answers for so far. The reason I asked was because sometimes the creator has an idea in their head, and I like to flesh that out. Making up my own when the creator had a different plan never actually sits too well with me. Hence why I've been asking about all the side quests. At any rate, this is what I've got so far:
The PCs will swim down to a large cave that will continue on for quite a ways. After a couple of smaller encounters (random generator for undersea) the PCs will finally come upon what can only be described as Atlantis. Elegantly tall and shimmering structures made of some kind of luminescent corral. In the center of the city is a large statue of a brine dragon. Behind it is a direct route to a set of stairs leading to a massive temple. Inside a religious ceremony with Benthysara and her court is taking place.
Her court consists of all merfolk (a couple of them with third party classes). A female sorcerer 4/rogue 3/fighter 2/duelist 1 (CR 9), a female fighter 8/waverider 3 (CR 10), a male druid 7/wavekeeper 4 (CR 10), and a female cleric 14 (CR 13) with the Water and Law domains. Benthysara herself is an ancient wyrm (CR 17).
If they need help, they can call upon the guard for an additional 250 soldiers (CR 15; 5 mobs) by blowing the horn.
A total of an EL 19 encounter.
If the battle looks like they're going to lose, Benthysara will bargain with the PCs. Especially if she finds out about which dragons they've defeated in the past.
gustavo iglesias wrote:
Since when do half-dragons with supernatural abilities like breath weapons and claws care about that?
Gustavo, I don't think Gary cares much about Belinda to start with... Otherwise, that's a brilliant tactic. Perhaps we can use the image of an army of bugbears plowing through Gary's front yard as a more effective threat. We seem to have a few spare bugbears nowadays.
No, that probably wouldn't work. You need to have them ransacking his liquor cabinet.
There's actually a feat that does that, and traits are half feats. As Gary said, you have to be careful about making traits too powerful and giving too much benefit to a caster.
I was thinking about adding these:
And just because I didn't feel like sleeping. Here's the aasimar cleric that the PCs could face in the side quest. It's kind of rough, but anyone who wants to use it can clean it up however they like. Also, I gave him traits on purpose, of which I felt fit best for his race, his upbringing, and where he was raised.
The Angelic Bodyguard:
Roshan (Persian for bright, light)
Male aasimar cleric of Mitra the Shining Lord 15
LG Medium outsider (native)
Aura Good (Overwhelming)
Init +4; Senses darkvision 60; Perception +12
AC 20, touch 10, flat-footed 20 (+7 armour, +3 shield)
hp 100 (15d8+15+15)
Defensive Abilities Resist acid 5, cold 5, electricity 5, fire 10
Saves Fort +13, Ref +10, Will +17; +1 vs. charm and compulsion effects
Speed 30 ft. (20 ft. in armor)
Space 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft.
Special Attacks Channel Energy (7/day in 30 ft. burst, DC 22, 8d6), Sun's Blessing (channeling positive energy to harm undead add cleric level to damage; no channel resistance)
Attack melee +1 longsword +15/+10/+5 (1d8+3/17-20), or masterwork light crossbow +12 (1d8/19-20) [80 ft range]
Base Atk +11, CMB +13; CMD 23
Abilities Str 14 (+2), Dex 10 (+0), Con 12 (+1), Int 10 (+0), Wis 20 (+5), Cha 17 (+3)
Feats Alignment Channel (can heal or harm outsiders), Combat Casting, Improved Channel, Improved Critical (longsword), Improved Initiative, Lightning Reflexes, Selective Channelling, Weapon Focus (longsword)
Traits Adopted (human), Adrift, Scholar of Ruins (dungeoneering)
Skills Diplomacy +12, Heal +10, Knowledge (arcana) +4, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +4, Knowledge (geography) +1, Knowledge (history) +4, Knowledge (nobility) +6, Knowledge (religion) +8, Knowledge (the planes) +4, Perception +12, Sense Motive +13, Spellcraft +7
SQ Divine Presence (30 ft. aura, 15 rounds/day. All allies under Sanctuary, DC 22), Nimbus of Light (30 ft. radius 15 rounds. Acts as a Daylight spell), Touch of Glory (standard action gives bonus on a CHA based skill of Cleric level 8/day)
Spell-like Abilities (CL 15th; concentration +18, +22 defensively)
Cleric Spells Prepared (CL 15th; concentration +20, +24 defensively)
Level 0 (4)— DC 15: create water, detect magic, guidance, read magic
Level 1 (6)— DC 16: bless, bless weapon (D), detect evil, divine favor, protection from evil, shield of faith
Level 2 (6)— DC 17: align weapon, bull's strength, death knell, heat metal (D), lesser restoration, spiritual weapon
Level 3 (6)— DC 18: create food and water, dispel magic (2), magic vestment, remove disease, searing light (D)
Level 4 (6)— DC 19: air walk, divine power, freedom of movement, holy smite (D), greater magic weapon, tongues
Level 5 (5)— DC 20: breath of life, mass cure light wounds, flame strike (D), spell resistance, true seeing
Level 6 (4)— DC 21: blade barrier, greater dispel magic, fire seeds (D), heal
Level 7 (3)— DC 22: holy sword, greater restoration, sunbeam
Level 8 (2)— DC 23: fire storm, holy aura (D)
Domains Glory, Sun
Languages Celestial, Common
Possessions: phylactery of faithfulness, +1 ghost touch breastplate, cloak of resistance +3, headband of mental prowess +2 (Cha/Wis), pearl of power (2nd), +1 heavy steel shield of fire resistance 10, +1 conductive longsword (channel energy of a spell-like or supernatural ability has range of touch or ranged touch. Expends 2 uses of spell)
I'm going through book 4 slowly (I've found summers suck for free time), and I've made a list of a few things I'll e-mail you (when I'm done) that could be added to the errata. They're mostly small stuff.
At any rate, after reading over the Duke Martin, I've revised him a bit.
Since I'm allowing flaws into my game, I'm going to be bringing back the 3.5 one just for this guy.
In exchange, he'll also get the Run feat and Deft Dodger (+2 trait bonus to Initiative). If he's a coward, then he's gotta be good at getting away, and quickly. Also, thanks to Super Genius Games, I've removed Bravery all together. Instead, it's been replaced with "Into the Breach". Nothing else on the list really seemed to fit.
Into The Breach (Ex): Starting at 2nd level, the fighter adds half his class level to all Acrobatics checks made to jump or reduce the damage of a fall.
Just made sense to me. This way he could drop down from buildings, and take less damage while trying to get away. Even bugbears aren't stupid enough to jump off of a two-story building. A coward would chance it.
EDIT: BTW, what was the original plan for what the PCs are supposed to do with the slaves given to them?
Fire Mountain Games wrote:
Gary, questions on your suggestion.
What would be a good build for the king? Obviously you don't want him too high. I was thinking ice troll barbarian 2/expert 2 with craft (metalworking).
As for a homebrew adventure, do you have any suggestions? Maybe there's a mithral reserve up North, but it's guarded by something that's got a ward specifically against trolls. But even then, if they were to be to get past that, there's an ice golem inside (which would be pretty tacky I know considering they'll be facing off against the wizard's later). Just figured maybe if his clan likes mithral so much, have the PCs go after a chunk of it. Maybe artic elves in the upper North? They've been at war for some time, but just need the PCs to go infiltrate one of the camps nearby and get what they have. The elves and trolls have been at war for some time thanks their beliefs in Mitra vs Asmodeus, and the king believes that the mithral is what give them their advantage. As such, they fight almost every day. While his men distract the overconfident elves, the PCs raid one of now less guarded camps.
Perhaps a pre-made adventure that could be adapted for the low level party? There's not too many artic-based ones no matter what system you look at. There's barely even any arctic based creatures in Pathfinder. A couple I got suggested were all 3.5 ones, and they're fairly heavy on the "good guy" scenarios. The main issue I've found with villains is that bad guys don't like fighting other bad guys, and tend to just let them do as they want, or ask to join in.
Fire Mountain Games wrote:
So available for download tomorrow?
I take that concept, and ask for the ante to be upped for guns as well. I think everyone wanted a flurry of blows gunslinger after seeing Equilibrium. I want some gun-fu.
I'd even accept this as a monk archetype.
Ambrosia Slaad wrote:
This demands a sequel section in the next magazine, or first billing in a 3pp Advanced Race Guide book.
Okay, before I make my final decision, I need to know EXACTLY what benefits I'm getting out of this deal compared to the regular anniversary edition. The problem is the standard anniversary edition is very vague in what it gives compared to this one. I need comparisons. Especially if I'm going to shell out an additional $110 dollars.