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Alurad Sorizan

magnuskn's page

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber. 6,443 posts (6,445 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 alias.


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Yeah, I probably should try that with Deathless.

Sunder is banned at my table, always has been. It causes too much problems.

And thanks for the good wishes on the new job. :)


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Session of September 17th 2014:

Five players in attendance. Player six (Paladin) down with the flu. I myself almost got a cough two days ago but it seems to have passed.

The party traveled up the river on Colyphyr, disintegrating the (abandoned) gate on the way. After arriving at the mine, the Omox demon there introduced herself and gave them all her treasure for getting rid of the other inhabitants of the caves. Since Melazmera already was dead, the party looted her hoard and let the Abyssal Harvester live, since he pleaded for his life with them (seriously, can you blame the poor monster, after seeing them destroy the opposition last week?).

The party descended into the next level and found it abandoned, save for the human sacrifices. The monsters had retreated to the mine below, to mass for an all-out assault on the party. After looting generously all the accumulated treasure and making the freed captives comfortable, the party descended via Mass Fly the last 200 feet into the mine proper.

I had replaced all the useless normal demons with the mythic Minotaur Miners Scorpion so graciously provided in his statblock document. Hepzamirah also was his upgraded version.

The party put all of them down, but it was somewhat of a struggle. The Sorcerer escaped by a hair's breath being critted for 400+ damage by a Mythic Improved Vital Strike, which could have turned the entire encounter by itself. Since he wasn't, he only ate 200+ damage from the two regular hits he got and survived.

His use of the Deathless spell prevented two more deaths (Hepzamirah is a fricking beast) and the minotaurs really didn't live long enough to do much more of their shtick. The rest of the adventure proceeded as in the module.

The party now has advanced to level 15/tier 7 and next week probably half the time will be spent leveling up, selling loot and getting new equipment.

Meanwhile, I still got to get going on writing the new campaign. Since I have a new full-time job, there is little time, especially with the other stuff I am doing aside (reading about politics, watching anime, reading books, comics, watching vlogs of some internet personalities and also playing a few PC games). Oh, well, I'll just have to make time. :p


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Beast Totem is wasted on mythic, the player can get Fleet Warrior at tier 3, which is better in almost all circumstances.


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captain yesterday wrote:

Magnuskn,

you should do The Dead Heart of Xin after Rasputin Must Die! that should get you all fired up again

and i totally agree we need more Brandon Hodges like yesterday:)

Although that module is very good, too, it wouldn't fit thematically and I might want to run Shattered Star by itself one day, contrary to Reign of Winter.


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Piccolo Taphodarian wrote:
What is the difference in double total damage and double damage? Nothing. "Total" has no meaning in Pathfinder. In fact, it has no meaningful difference in the English language. If you were to say "double damage" and "double total damage", you would be saying exactly the same thing absent clarifying language to indicate what the differences were. That language does not exist. Thus you cannot claim it is crystal clear. It is solely your interpretation.

The difference, as I pointed out multiple times already, is that you double every source damage with Foebiting. Which is not done on critical hits, there you only double the fixed bonuses and the weapon die. Weapon special abilities and precision damage (outside of the Duelist, I think) are not doubled or tripled or quadrupled on a crit.

Hence, Foebiting is working on a different level than normal critical hit multipliers. It also works for doubling damage on a non-critical hit and works there in the exact same way it would work on a critical hit. The price you pay for doubling the critical hit is the additional mythic power.

Is it overpowered BS? Yes. But it's the way the rule works. I am actually willing to let it work that way to get this AP out of the way as soon as possible at this point, because I've basically given up on presenting a challenge. I'm mentally down to closing the AP in 16 encounters, beginning next Tuesday. Big, epic encounters, but only 16 or less nonetheless.

After that, it's homebrewn time for the next year and a half, with the addition of Rasputin Must Die! (which is basically the best AP module Paizo has ever published. Big props to Brandon Hodge, who is keenly missed in the AP line.).


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Odraude wrote:
I betcha there won't be chainswords :p

HERESY!


5 people marked this as a favorite.
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Technotrooper wrote:
I love Paizo, but have to admit I am frustrated with spending $150+ on MA and WotR and then hearing about all of the problems and issues on the forums here. I am a somewhat new PF DM and the thought of trying to "fix" things on my own is daunting. Most companies that put out a "flawed" (I know some would argue this is an overstatement) product usually try to "make things right." It sounds like Paizo does have enough "irons in the fire" to prevent that from happening in this particular case...which is too bad.

Yeah, that persistent lack of accountability is troubling me, too. It would be unacceptable in most other industries, but something about the roleplaying market seems to want make many fans apply a lower standard than they would anywhere else. It really baffles me.


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James Jacobs wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
Skeld wrote:

Lesson learned.

-Skeld

Did they? We'll see.

Iron Gods's new rules were written by the same guy who's developing Iron Gods.

Hell's Rebels and Giantslayer aren't linked to ANY new rules in any significant way.

Make of that what you will.

Well, I've started up my suscription again with Iron Gods, so I'll know soon enough. Although I kinda get the feeling that the Technology Guide is absolutely needed to run that AP, which I kind of disapprove about.


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Skeld wrote:

Lesson learned.

-Skeld

Did they? We'll see.


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Piccolo Taphodarian wrote:
all of them unless otherwise stated

And there is the rub. It does state otherwise. Total damage. All abilities are doubled. This is not the same as normal damage multiplication by critical hit, hence it is doubled after the critical hit. The language is crystal clear.


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Tangent101 wrote:

Seeing this is a Demon Lord and this is his plane, I could easily see the Demon Lord able to manipulate that plane to act much like the final building in Runelords when you have "weak points" where Karzoug can appear before the heroes.

So have him create a weak point in his plane, project an image through it, and attack the Mythic Party through summons and magic. It's in character, and also keeps the Demon Lord safe from permanent death - especially as he doesn't know if a certain Demon Lord renown for killing off other Demon Lords might have subverted a couple of the characters, and is looking to add a new island to her domain.

He's not stupid. Don't play him as such.

OTOH, playing him like the AP expects gives me a reason to complain about WTH the author was thinking when he wrote down those tactics. :p And I got a serious case of "Whatever, get it over with" going on about this AP by now. -.-


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Piccolo Taphodarian wrote:
If it does not say that, then the specific rule concerning multipliers applies.

That is word parsing and has no corroborating evidence in prior rules. The part alone which allows you to double damage from weapon special abilities and precision damage overrides normal rules concerning critical hits, not even to mention that normal rules always talk about multipliers, not doubling total damage.

I have to rule in favor of the literal text, not try to parse around it with maybe's and could be's.


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Skeld wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
Ssalarn wrote:

Actually, the biggest problem with Mythic Adventures was that Paizo listened too closely to their fans. Most of the big issues with the system can be traced to changes that players wanted during the playtest, including the comparative value of mythic tiers, the strength and implementation of some of the more troublesome abilities, etc.

I think that if you think Paizo isn't listening to its players, you aren't paying attention.

I said that they are not testing their new systems properly. Which includes feedback from fans, yes, but in the end they have to test out their math by themselves. Which obviously did not get done with MA.

The biggest problem I see with Mythic/WotR was that the rules and the AP were developed concurrently. If they had put out a Mythic Module at launch and waited a year on the AP, I think the AP would have worked out better (from a rules standpoint; story-wise it's awesome like it is).

-Skeld

Sure. But that didn't happen.


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Ssalarn wrote:

Actually, the biggest problem with Mythic Adventures was that Paizo listened too closely to their fans. Most of the big issues with the system can be traced to changes that players wanted during the playtest, including the comparative value of mythic tiers, the strength and implementation of some of the more troublesome abilities, etc.

I think that if you think Paizo isn't listening to its players, you aren't paying attention.

I said that they are not testing their new systems properly. Which includes feedback from fans, yes, but in the end they have to test out their math by themselves. Which obviously did not get done with MA.


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wraithstrike wrote:

Other than the ACG error what are examples of quality slipping?

Yeah Mythic rules won't make it to my table, but not all of them are terrible. I just don't have time to fix the really bad ones, nor do I want to play mother may I as a GM with the book.

Actually Mythic Adventures and Wrath of the Righteous is the perfect example of why I would consider the quality of Paizo's books to be lower than it was before the release of MA/WotR. The ACG has some bad things I've noticed, like the dex-to-damage issue and Divine Protection (although I haven't really read carefully through, waiting for that until I get a hardcopy), but otherwise it seems like a fine book.

But Mythic Adventures and Wrath of the Righteous showed once again that Paizo shoves out new rules and sub-systems without really testing them or, if they make a playtest, really listening to the feedback from fans.

Those new rules don't work at all, at least in the context of CR appropiate mythic opponents providing any type of challenge to a mythic party. Paizo really screwed up in their calculations of what kind of power mythic player characters have at their disposal, as is evident from what those monsters are supposed to dish out and take as damage.


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Piccolo Taphodarian wrote:
You doubled everything from Foe-Biter? I don't plan to do that. I will follow the multiplier rule. Foe-Biter will be like adding another multiple to a crit. There was nothing in Foe-Biter that appeared to override that rule.

The wording is pretty clear. "When this item deals damage, its user can use mythic power to double the total amount of damage it deals. If the attack is a normal attack, the bearer can expend one use of legendary power to double the total amount of damage. If the attack is a confirmed critical hit, the bearer must instead expend two uses of legendary power to double the total damage. Damage from weapon special abilities (such as flaming) and precision-based damage are also doubled."

That implies that all damage is doubled and not just multiplied like on a crit or with certain feats. Just like Smite Evil damage is doubled against undead/evil outsiders/evil dragons on the first hit. Since damage sources like precision damage and weapon special abilities, which normally are not multiplied on a critical hit, are also doubled, the wording indicates that this is a separate kind of enhancing damage than the normal rules for critical hits.

I may not like it, but those are the rules. Blame the developers for that.


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Orthos wrote:


Paizo Devs have stated, ON MULTIPLE OCCASIONS, that the APs are written so that low-optimization, brand-new-to-the-game players and GMs can play them, and that ANY GROUP WITH MORE EXPERIENCE THAN THAT WILL NEED to make adjustments - and that it's MUCH MORE LOGICAL for the more experienced groups to adjust UPWARD than to expect the newbies to adjust DOWNWARD. It's not hypothetical. It's how they said they do business. Intentionally.

There are no less than four people in this thread who have said that very same thing, countless times.

Yes, That Is Paizo's Design Statement. That Is How Things Work. I don't know how else to say it.

Only that, if you at the actual AP's, that mission statement is more than a bit BS.

Yes, there are lots of "soft" encounters in every AP module, stuff which isn't threatening to anyone unmodified.

However, at the low levels there are quite a lot of very dangerous encounters, some of which would be extremely lethal if some of those opponents would not have ridiculously bad tactics. Xanesha, The Splatter Man, that air elemental in Carrion Crown and many more.

Those encounters show that Paizo is fully willing to spring some hardcore difficult encounters on the players, be they optimized or not.

The lack of high-level hard encounters can therefore be safely attributed to the developers having problems writing challenging high-level encounters, not a general desire to have all AP combats be with monsters equipped with nerf bats.


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Actually it was 508 damage at lvl 13/ tier 6. I don't have the exact stats before me, but let's see if I can recreate the hit.

Stats: STR 22, CHA 29 (Including Anarchic Gift and Iomedae's Favor).

Weapon: Legendary Holy Avenger with Foe-Biter.

Feats: Mythic Power Attack, Mythic Improved Critical.
Path Abilities: Fleet Warrior, Critical Mastery

Base Damage: 1d8+6+2d6

Additional damage:

Mythic PA: +12
Smite Evil: +13

Mythic Critical Hit: 24(3d8) + 18 (STR) + 78 (Smite Evil first hit on an undead/dragon) + 72 (Mythic PA, doubled on a crit before the multiplier) + 12 (Holy) = 204 damage x2 (Foe Biter) = 408 damage.

Hmmm, either I am missing something or he was off by a 100 points. :-/ Well, not that it mattered on this encounter, since it still would have one-shotted both Kestoglyr and Melazmera (also the latter already had eaten 150 damage from the archer), but at least it would keep the numbers a bit down.

Could also be that the other damage is hidden in some buff or item I had not taken into account.


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Well, I hope your players won't start doing more than 500 damage on a crit, like the Paladin did yesterday. Twice. ^^


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I have the advantage of having Scorpions statblocks available. The majority of the work comes from having to decide how to pull five or six encounters together into one. :p


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That would put me in the awkward position of having to scramble to get a homebrewn campaign off the ground very soon, which would be somewhat disastrous. I need more time to write up a decent plot and build the first three to five levels before I begin there.

Hence, I'll keep up with the insanity for a few months more and still try to get every module done in four to five combats each.


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Yes, I can always nerf the mythic rules (...even more than I already have), I can pump up HP x20... I really don't care that much anymore. I want this AP done and do something which isn't hampered by Paizo's limited capability of building decent high-level encounters or roleplaying focused AP's. :-/

As for how Paladin, Samurai, Barbarian and Cleric got to Melazmera and Kestoglyr, the Sorcerer cast Mythic Fly twice with Abundant Casting, so they all had the movement they needed. The Ranger is an archer. And the party got a bit lucky with their crits, grantedly. We roll openly (well, they do :p), so they were legit rolls.


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The Paladin in my WotR campaign, at lvl 13/tier 6 is doing 508 points of damage on a critical hit at this point, with Critical Mastery, Foe-Biter, Mythic Improved Critical and Mythic Power Attack. One such attack one-shots everybody until the final opponent of module five.


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The sad thing is, even with Scorpions enhanced stat-blocks, aside from Baphomet himself there is not one opponent in the next module which won't be one-shotted by a critical hit from the Paladin (or the Samurai, come to think of it).


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I think we cap at around 1000 damage in one hit, although I am sure I will be disabused of this notion quickly by someone here or in practice by one of my guys later on. :p


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Arioth Vulpe wrote:
Quote:
*shrug* To each their own I suppose. I love the Arcanist personally, it gives me everything I want out of the Wizard and nothing I don't. I'll probably never touch a Wizard NPC again without rebuilding them.
And that's the problem. Why WOULD you play a Wizard or a Sorc when you can have the Arcanist?

Flavor. Having more spells per day. That's about it, I guess.


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Taking Critical Master also seems to be the only viable thing to do for Champions in the tier 6 range, otherwise it's back to Precision and Impossible Speed to fill out the gaps.

All in all, there are many abilities which are borderline useless, and obviously so, while a few abilities are very obviously better.


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How's it going in your campaign, Scorpion? I fear your statblocks are not holding up anymore in my campaign, where with tier six the martials have begone doing ridiculous damage (with Critical Master), upgrading themselves from "ridiculous damage without the italics". :p

The Paladin just pulled two times 508 damage on The Defiled One and then Melazmera, while the Samurai only did some 400-something damage on Kestoglyr. ^^


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Session of September 9th 2014:

4 players in attendance.

A total rout for the opposition. :-/ Non-mythic enemies seem more and more pointless by now. The fight was the party against Kestoglyr, 3 Bodak companions, the The Defiled One and Melazmera. The Abyssal Harvester was also supposed to help out, but since nobody got near the runestone until the fight was over, I decided that it would think caution to be better than valor and just not attack those obviously insanely powerful beings which were just obliterating the other very powerful beings they fought.

To be a bit more precise, the party arrived on Colyphir, although I did not pull the childish prank the book wanted me have Nocticula pull... it seemed out of character against the extremely reasonable personality she had during their face-to-face meeting.

I won't bother with doing a detailed rundown of the fight, but the relevant part basically was that Critical Master, together with the other standard feats/path abilities/Foe Biter allows crazy damage. The Paladin critted both the Defiled One and Melazmera for 508 damage, which instantly put them down. Kestoglyr also exploded on a critical hit by the Samurai. The other three were easily put down by the rest.

Of course I was completely using Scorpions upgraded versions, which by now seem to have still been wildly optimistic in their assessment of how tough the players would turn out to be. They are still excellent, but the mythic rules outpace them easily.

At this point, running this AP is more about me not being ready by far with my homebrewn campaign and the sick fascination of seeing how insane things will still get. Oh, well.


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Looks nice. :) Looking forward to the next entry, very much so. :D


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Eh, she'll be very good a bit later on, believe me. I just had last week the opportunity to see the Sorcerer do an empowered maximised enervate on an opponent, followed by quickened mythic disintegrate. It worked quite well.


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The difference between 15 and 20 point buy remains marginal and is mostly a beneficial factor in the 20 point buy department towards taking the more MAD classes, IMO. Having a natural 18 still cripples the character in about every other stat and if you don't prevent your players from min-maxing their initial stats, a 15 point buy does not much to prevent that situation, either.


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I don't know, the objective of "running the modules as it is" kinda becomes moot when it requires the players to consciously avoid taking everything good. Compare to a normal AP, would your players avoid taking Power Attack or Spell Penetration? Would you consider a normal AP well crafted if it would require your players to?


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Tier three (i.e. the start of book three) is when things get really out of whack.


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I guess you didn't hit them with Scorpions upgraded encounter area? That alone made the encounter 100% more interesting than it would have been with a simple cave.


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For a book or so. After that... nope.


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That sounds exactly like what is happening with my group. :)


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It certainly helps that the dislike of mythic adventures is pretty high on this board and the problems are so universally recognized as existing, so the usual apologists have basically already given up defending it. :p


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As usual with Paizo AP's, "going after the other players" is not as easy as it sounds, since many of the fights happen in small areas. I'm enlarging many of of the fields of engagement already, but since the higher CR demons mostly happen to be large or huge in size, their own size hampers their movement. Since they often get killed as soon as they get in reach of their opponents, losing a round teleporting around the battlefield is not so viable an option as it may sound.


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Huh, then I guess my original advice stands. I guess having that one character designed to take hits and him actually working to be the one to stand in front of the big ugly monsters also helps the party in my campaign. ^^


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That the monsters and NPC's often have poor feat selections has always been true for AP's, mythic or not. :p Now, since you have a lot of adventure before you until the end of the AP, my advice would be to try to run them from the book and if you notice that they are now too weak, to mix in some of Scorpions versions for the boss fights. I'm pretty sure that, as soon as tier three rolls in, you will notice a decided upgrade in the capability of your player characters, so keep an eye out for that.


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I would say that the lack of teamwork tactics is what is working mostly against your party, but also that they do not seem to have any reliable damage dealers. The sneak attacking multi-class character would need a flanking buddy to get in his damage and would be sub-par in the hit department, while the monk/ninja is... a monk/ninja, so same problem. Especially if they don't work together. I can't really talk about the summoner. The wizard should do fine, especially when tier six rolls in and he can augment his mythic fireballs.

In the case of my group, I got three strong melee characters and an archer ranger who takes care of the airborne threats, so they simply kill everything before it can act. The sorcerer is also coming into his own and the cleric provides support and more firepower via Destruction and other spells. Overwhelming offense always is the best concept in Pathfinder, coupled with a smart buff/debuff plan and a high initiative.


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Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
Sounds like an enjoyable evening. Regarding the normal encounters, weren't those already pointless in other APs?(I guess the point of depleting party resources is moot with mythic recuperation, which changes APL greatly +2 for that fact alone). Anyway, this seems to be a working way for you to finish the adventure path, with minimum of headache for you.

Yeah, I am not doing pointless mini-encounters anymore, aside from story relevant stuff, like Minagho yesterday. I hope to get it done in a few months.

Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
Yeah, I really can't defend that one, since I was part of the playtest like you and Matrixdragon. The system MIGHT work for low level / low MR games, but only if the players are decidedly bad at min maxing. Once problem here, is that some of the cool powers are simply ways to weak, and straight improvements.....

Moreover, the majority of mythic feats are upgrades to existing ones and there are some staple feats about every martial (and caster) character will take in a non-mythic game. Now, which mythic feats happen to be the most overpowered ones? OH, RIGHT, the ones which are the upgrades to the staple core feats which almost everyone takes! >.<


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Divine Protection, of course. There is some other stuff which isn't really designed very well (the whole dexterity-to-damage thing comes to mind). All in all, I like the book, but I am incapable of understanding the thought processes which went into writing Divine Protection and it then getting through the editorial process.


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Yeah, although normal adventures are hard to balance at high levels, at least I got the background of having played and GM'ed 3.0/3.5/PF since it came out, so I can adjust things. Since my next campaign will be homebrewn, adjustments will be much easier than with a published adventure, too.

Mythic is broken as hell and it is almost impossible to adjust, because since this is the first time I run it and I don't fully understand where the breakpoints are. One thing is clear, the developers never ever ever played a single high-level encounter with mythic opponents and an appropiate party before publishing Mythic Adventures and this AP. Otherwise it could simply not have escaped them how badly mythic opponents would fare against PC's. It's really highly disappointing and has led to me losing a lot of confidence in the developers lately (together with some stuff from the ACG).


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Thanks, I was just getting a bit worried what was happening. :) I'll look forward to the update, whenever it can appear.


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Piccolo Taphodarian wrote:
I've been doing my pre-game preparation calculations using expected min/maxing by my players, it seems next to impossible to follow the rules and challenge mythic characters. I think I'm going to go way outside the Pathfinder rules to challenge them in mythic, while not killing them. I'm going to write up abilities for monsters myself that will give them a chance, especially big brutes.

And I am already using Scorpions upgrades, which include vastly superior abilities than the regular ones (Nezirrius Improved Shadow Doubles, for example, which I am kinda sorry that I could not use). The main problem for the villains are that a.) their initiative sucks compared to the party ; b.) the martials can reliably hit even the enhanced AC's Scorpion has provided ; c.) the damage output of the party is enough to kill or heavily damage opponents before they get their turn. The players position themselves well enough that I can't get to the Sorcerer and Ranger easily, too.


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<calls out loudly in sadness at no update for now more than two months>

<a forlorn echo answers him>


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Session of September 2nd 2014:

Five players in attendance. Player six is really starting to miss a lot of the sessions lately and barely can stay two of the four hours for the others. :-/

Anyway, the group did quite a lot today. They entertained Vellexia, did not try to talk to Shamira when she passed them by with her retinue (a wise decision, since she probably could still kill them easily at this point) and took the deal Nezzerius offered them, losing out on about 100k of treasure (loot from Nezerrius and also the 50k bribe they gave the assassin). They easily smushed Minagho (the Ranger did about 332 damage in one turn without any crits, then the Sorcerer first used an empowered consecrated enervation on her for six negative levels and then a mythic disintegrate), which was enough to put them over the top of the needed notoriety threshhold to get noticed by Nocticula.

Nocticula contacted them and they went to her meeting place. I did not put the useless encounters before them there, just had them meet Missus N. The meeting went very well, with me playing Nocticula as an extremely courteous and reasonable being, helping them with no strings attached. Even the normally pretty brash Paladin player was just as courteous in return. Of the five present players, three took gifts from her, but the Paladin and Sorcerer politely declined, which will reap heavy dividends for them later in the campaign. The player of the Samurai might go either way, we'll see.

The session ended with the party stepping into the transportation pool Nocticula provided for them to Colyphir.

The little combat this session wasn't really a challenge at all, given how the party got the drop on Minagho. Given that they invested 100k gold for that, it was a deserved easy win. Even with Scorpions statblocks, the opponents lose out on the initiative rolls all the time, AC 40 is just not enough anymore and even maximised hitpoints don't help.

I'll just do two big fights to finish the module. Next session it'll be Kestoglyr, his bodak cohorts, the abyssal harvester and Melazmera the umbral dragon, then probably the next session the entire rest of the mine, including Hepzamirah. I'll have to enlarge the area in the mine itself or they confront the party in the top level in the big empty area.

Anyway, I'm getting this AP done as quick as possible without missing out on the story. The normal combat is beyond pointless by now, only those mega-encounters have a chance of denting those guys.


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Peter Stewart wrote:
I regard divine politics as sort of like the Cold War. They can nudge things, they can arm and provide advice to those that fight for them, but the moment one jumps into the fray directly everyone knows the entire thing will spiral into Armageddon. As a result generally speaking both the good and evil gods just sort of sit on the sidelines rather than wreck the world.

Which is fine, until demons eat all your worshippers.

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