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Alurad Sorizan

magnuskn's page

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber. 6,667 posts (6,669 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 alias.


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One of the most important parts of being a GM is to be able to lose with grace.


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James Jacobs wrote:
Thanks for the detailed feedback, magnuskn! There's certainly a lot for us to think about in looking over how Mythic Rules interacts with the game, particularly at high level play. I don't really have much more public to say at this time, but I did want to thank you for the review and impressions you had of the campaign and of the Mythic Rules.

Thank you for reading and leaving a reply. I want to say that I really appreciate the work you and the rest of the Paizo staff are doing for us. I understand that not everything works out as intended and that you guys are always sorely pressed for time.

However, you guys really got to do better on testing out how new rules affect gameplay. The reputation of Paizo depends very much on the quality of your work and when it becomes clear that said work doesn't really function as intended, that reputation takes attrition damage, which is accumulating dangerously over the last years.

Since it apparently isn't possible to fix those problems afterwards in a satisfactory fashion (for the explained reasons of not wanting to change page orders in published books and, again, lack of time), getting it right on the first is very important. IMO, you need to invest more time into playtesting new systems before publishing them and that includes also taking more feedback from the mathematical theorycrafting types, who sadly have a problem expressing themselves amicably when they find errors.

And, yeah, when I get passionate I sometimes am less than perfectly polite, too. I am sorry about that. I try to do better than my "first draft", too. For example, I rewrote some parts of this review to be way less sarcastic than my first take before putting it up on the web.


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Let’s open with a disclaimer: This a review with some anger in it. If that hurts your feelings so much that you can’t stand to read it and think that no constructive feedback can ever be taken from words written with some passion behind them, then you can stop reading now. And probably should never aspire to be someone who publishes a written work, because getting negative feedback and learning from it are an important part of being a writer.

That being said, welcome to my review of Wrath of the Righteous and the applicable parts of Mythic Adventures. Why review these two together, you ask? Because, as it applies to this AP as written, they are inextricably linked. Wrath of the Righteous was conceived to be used with this new set of rules and as such, when looking critically at the adventure path, one needs to look at the rules behind the roleplaying to see why this adventure path so disastrously fails.

And, yes, this AP is a failure on a truly epic scale. Or, I guess, a mythic scale. It doesn’t fail because of its story, which is pretty rote to the standards AP’s aspire to, only scaled up in the degree of severity if the party somehow manages to fail at their task. No, it fails because Mythic Adventures is, simply put, broken. Broken mechanically in a way which makes a joke of opponents which should make your players characters shiver with dread, but instead makes those opponents into walking loot piñatas.

Now, rambling aimlessly is pretty fun, but it makes for a poor review. Hence I’ll put some structure to this, before you all wander off bored. Spoilers, of course, abound after this paragraph, so read further at your own risk.

The AP and its story

The story of Wrath of the Righteous is quite standard. Bad guys want to take over the world, you stop them. Contrary to some AP’s, you get to know a lot of the bad guys up close during the first module, although they don’t leave much of a personal impression. Which, given how at that point they could reduce your low-level player characters to ash with a glance, is probably somewhat of a good thing. Not that there is much to them as personalities. Beyond evil gloating and evil ranting, that is. I think the villains with the most personality in the AP are an ally who betrays you (Nurah Dendivar) and that one female Glabrezu who talks with you during part three. You could add Nocticula here, too, but she is actually an ally with more likeability to her than Iomedae herself.

The story is competently written as AP’s go, with no immediate logical contradictions beyond the usual “Why don’t the villains stomp on the party when it is still not on their level of power”. But then again every AP seems to suffer from that problem, due to the level system of Pathfinder.

There are laudable efforts in the AP to present to the party options for the redemption of evil opponents but they are pretty bare bones. You mostly get a paragraph or two about it for some of the more important opponents or a sentence for the minor villains. Arueshalae, the risen succubus, gets several pages dedicated to her, but her redemption comes far too easy if you follow the options as written. Furthermore, while much is made of her desire to be good, not much is given to you about what actually prevents her from fulfilling that desire and how those problems may manifest. She already appears to be redeemed, as far as her presentation in the AP goes.

Another positive aspect which should be mentioned is that the AP presents you with a selection of NPC’s, who can even accompany you on your adventures. Where they will probably stand in the way and perish, due to their comically underpowered level and WBL, but the thought counts.
The NPC’s however also present you with a problem. There are too many of them. The AP starts out with throwing you together with four NPC’s, of which exactly one has a personality which goes beyond white-bread or stereotype. It then adds another five NPC’s to the party to those first four in the second module, at which point my players stopped caring, because the different NPC’s were blending into each other. It didn’t really help that most of them were pretty boring personalities, as presented by the AP.

I really would recommend concentrating on two or three really interesting NPC companions, if Paizo decides to continue to add permanent companions to their AP’s. I know it worked out pretty well in Jade Regent, where Ameiko and Shalelu made really interesting NPC’s whom enriched the campaign. However, too much is too much, especially if the many companions you get are difficult to distinguish from each other or have no defining personality traits associated with them.

The modules:

The Wardstone Legacy: WotR starts out pretty strong, with an epic scene which sets the tone for the AP. There is not much interactivity to it, but with some slight modifications it can make your players feel as if their characters are more involved.
The modules continues to present interesting options to your group and gives it all a slight sandbox feel. The final assault on the enemy stronghold is not as much of a fight as it could be, as the opposition feels way too weak for the dire predictions the writer makes about the necessity of multiple forays. The module ends in a suitably epic way and all around stands as the best part of the adventure path. The binding on this book (and Sword of Valor) was pretty weak, btw, with multiple people experiencing pages falling out. Which has never happened with any other AP module for me aside from this book and the next one.

Sword of Valor: This module starts with the group given command of a small army of Paladins. Which kind of presents a problem, as 100 level four Paladins would simply end the entire opposition as presented in this book. So the GM has to contrive why they cannot accompany you into the dungeons you are presented with during this module. If the best you can say to your players is “look, this is an abstract system, so let’s not think about it too much”, you got a problem.

Since this module happens below tier three, opponents still present a challenge. If your group is not careful in following up on leads that Nurah is a traitor, they can be in real trouble if they suddenly get assaulted from the front and the rear later in the module.

The module adds another four significant NPC’s to the five you are already traveling with after the first module and it gets really hard to keep some of them apart in terms of personality. If you want to keep all nine NPC’s relevant as personalities, you better come prepared to add significantly the descriptions given in the two first modules.

Demon’s Heresy: Aaand here is where things fall apart. The module itself is pretty okay, from a writing standpoint. However, mythic tier three (and getting more mythic feats) is the breakpoint where the ridiculous power issues crop up. Fleet Warrior and Mythic Improved Critical+Mythic Power Attack for martial characters, Arcane Metamastery for arcane casters and just a lot of other options which come together in really scary ways. Although you’ll probably see the immediate results of tier three from your martial characters. The casters just come together in combinations which are not just as obvious.

Unless you heavily modify the opposition in this module, they really don’t represent much of a threat. I used heavily beefed up encounters and still only managed to make half the modules opposition worth my players time.

Midnight Isles: This module makes a demon lord sympathetic. It introduces the Midnight Isles, the ruler of the realm, Nocticula and the capital of her realm, Alushinyrra. Aside from the future problem of presenting a city with an absurdly high gold pieces limit in what appears to be reasonably friendly terrain (a feature of the game world my players are sure to try to take advantage of in future AP’s), the story again is suitably good. In fact, I think meeting Nocticula may count as the most interesting moment the AP has to offer, since she doesn’t behave quite like you’d expect her to and there are even tantalizing hints at a redemption story.
The combat is, again, not a threat at all in the form it is presented in the module. You may lose a PC’s to a lucky critical hit, but at this point getting a PC back is a matter of will, not resources.

Herald of the Ivory Labyrinth: This module is something of a mess. The party goes into an environment where they have a set of goals, but no set way of getting there. Encounter areas are vague for the most part, ways to get from part A to B are also vague and the story itself is haphazard at best. Combat is an utter joke at this time, with the party being able to land single hits which wipe out everyone but the last optional encounter (Baphomet) in one hit.
Oh, also Iomedae, as written, is a douchenozzle.

City of Locusts: At the point I am writing this review, I am one encounter away from ending the AP, where I combined three encounters as written (with vastly beefed up opponents) to present at least a little bit of a challenge. Combat is mostly meaningless, since the party can only really lose if everyone gets killed. Even the most mighty opponents can be brought down with two critical hits (or just two characters regularly hitting one opponent with a full attack). The story aspect has mostly fallen to the wayside, given how the last module didn’t present much of a story and this module also only offers the slightest excuse for one. With the last opponents vanquished and their objective met, the party will have done a great service to Golarion and walk as living demi-gods over its surface. But what does it matter, if they didn’t really have to struggle to get here during the last months? Mythic Adventures was as like typing in cheat codes in a computer game for them.

*edit* Aaand Deskari was easily exterminated. No big surprise.

The mechanical side and how it destroys the AP

As you likely have surmised by now, I am not happy with how this AP has developed. Much of this is due to how Mythic Adventures was designed and I am putting the clear blame on the developers for that.

Some small disclaimers before I go on.
- My group already nerfed the normal rules of Mythic Adventures, by limiting mythic power regeneration to 1d4 points per day, then effectively getting only half its daily uses (3+1 point per tier) and also forfeiting the additional attribute points each second tier.
- The monster stats were beefed up considerably throughout the entire AP, with help of the stat blocks provided by Sc8rpi8n_mjd. Thanks, mate!
- However, the party consisted of six players, with characters built at a 20 point buy. Encounters were almost always adjusted to reflect this.

Given all of this, the mechanical side of the game completely collapsed somewhere in book four. Legendary weapons, full attacks after moving and vastly enhanced critical hits pumped up the martials to a ridiculous degree. Casters were a bit slower to follow in the overpowered department, but boy did they catch up by this current point.

At the point this review is written (level 20 and tier 10, although this cropped up around level 15 and tier 8), when a martial character hits, how the game proceeds depends on if he rolled a critical threat. If he does, he autoconfirms the critical hit for something like 400-800 damage, normally taking out whatever he has hit on that strike. With casters, it depends on how much mythic power they want to invest in that round. With enough opponents around and the right spells, they can put out thousands of points of damage, with no resistances or immunities allowed.

This makes normal gameplay utterly irrelevant. Only by anticipating the player characters and putting in specific defenses there is even a modicum of challenge. Or by having defensive abilities which simply negate attacks, something which the opposition, as presented by Paizo, does not possess.

So, what went wrong? At my best guess, nobody of the developers thought to test high level combat under mythic conditions. At all. Otherwise they simply could not have missed that the monsters and opponents they thought up simply couldn’t match in HP the damage output player character could provide with single critical hit. If there was one single high-level game playtest at Paizo of Mythic Adventures, I would be incredibly surprised (unless they did it after publishing it or with martial characters which took the “flavor options” over the obvious ones).

Be that because of time constraints or lack of care, we are left with a broken product. Anyone who wants to experience the story, I recommend that you don’t use Mythic Adventures to tell it or at least a very heavily nerfed version of it. Very heavily nerfed. Way harder than I did.

I managed to finish the campaign because I hate the idea of abandoning a campaign once started. Many other GM’s who posted on this AP’s sub-board, people who were as excited or more than me about this AP, dropped it midway through. I personally would counsel against playing this AP, because of its corrosive way of undermining trust in Paizos developers and also raising expectations that the game will always be so broken even without the use of Mythic Adventures.

May the developers learn something and stop rushing out products. I understand the time constraints of having a constant output of published work, but the stellar reputation Paizo has among many gamers also depends on them publishing polished and well-written supplements. I have noticed that the care the writers seemed to have earlier in the lifecycle of this edition seems to have vanished ever more with the addition of new splatbooks. How Mythic Adventures destroyed Wrath of the Righteous is so far the greatest example of the tendency of Paizo developers to not think their new rules through to the end and publish new sub-systems without a proper playtest in-house. If I can give any advice to the writers, it is “stop adding new sub-systems to AP’s, they make the experience almost always worse”.

Finally, I asked each of my players to give a very short review of the AP. Here is what they said:

Samurai: The setting was good, although there were too many fights. It felt too much like a tabletop and the rules were too complicated.

Cleric: <sarcastic> One-turn offense rules. Yeeeeah. Yippeeee.

Ranger: I had a lot of fun, although I did not get a lot of the rules. But I loved being super effective throughout the entire campaign!

Barbarian: The AP had a nice story, although it was very fight-centric. The mythic rules are way too broken, though.

Sorcerer: The story was nice. Although Mythic Augmented Maximised Empowered Meteor Swarm at DC 81… are you kidding?

Paladin: The setting was super. Mythic is much too powerful. It is a nice idea and has a lot of style, but it is simply too broken.

My final verdict:

The story aspect (story, characters, setting) gets a 7/10 from me. It is epic, true, but the storytelling is standard. Other AP’s have done this better and have a better follow-through on story aspects.

The mechanical aspect (Mythic Adventures, opponents, extra rules) gets a 2/10 from me, due to the positive experience of the first two modules. If it were Mythic Adventures alone, it’d be a 0/10, because this system destroys campaigns.

Thank you for your time and have a nice day. For me, it's on to Rise of the Runelords, which at least is an AP which I know is well crafted and which doesn't fudge around with barely tested new rules.


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Session of December 16th 2014. Final Session.

Aaand we are done. Finally. Six players in attendance, which is good for the end of a campaign.

The session began with the party confronting Deskari, Khoramzadeh reborn, Areelu Vorlesh and her familiar Grimkrak in the roots of Threshhold. I was thinking about adding some balors as trash mobs, but ultimately decided against it, because of time constraints.

The session started with a few harsh words between Deskari and the party and then initiative. The entire opposition used Mythic Improved Initiative, with the Paladin still going first, because he rolled a natural 20 and also had the whole initiative stuff.

Since the party was 200 feet away from everybody (they phased out of the ceiling, with the opponents in three corners of the room), he only cast a buff and tried to get nearer to Khoramzadeh.

Deskari took his turn and used his swarm ability to damage the party. Half of them made the fortitude save of DC 44 to avoid being nauseated. He also cast an area Greater Dispel Magic to debuff the party a bit and then his turn was done. His potential should have been more in melee range (or at least 100 feet range). Areelu got her turn and cast a Horrid Wilting. Sadly all the memorized quickened spells had too short a range. Grimkrak went mythic invisible and started for the Paladin.

And then the Sorcerer got his turn, which pretty much ended the encounter. Using several extended Time Stop spells, he buffed himself to the gills and then cast the following combination (with legal mythic methods, as far as I know):

Greater Dispel Magic + Moment of Greatness to do a targeted dispel on Deskari, dispelling the Greater Spell Immunity, Freedom of Movement and Unholy Aura on Deskari.

Limited Wish to give Deskari a -7 to one save.

Mythic Augmented Maximised Empowered Elemental Disintegrate (2 rays), with Elemental Body and Fiery Body on the Sorcerer, for 2x360 damage + 224 in rolled damage against a DC of 40-something. Rolled high on the first save (the one with a -7 to save, though, so failed that one) and a two on the second save.

Ouch. Deskari had his Demonic Aura still on, reflecting 290 damage (which didn't even came close to killing the Sorcerer), but he fell when the Ranger got her turn and critted him twice with her bow, for 233 damage each, plus a gazillion normal arrows. She even almost killed Areelu with her remaining attacks, including a third critical hit.

The rest was the mop-up, although Khoramzadeh almost managed to filet the Ranger with his one and only full attack.

So, yeah, the campaign ended on a whimper, just as predicted. I'm posting my review thread in a bit, I just need to write down into readable form the short comments my players made when I asked them to do so.

My final words (although I'll happily reply to comments): I wish I never had started this campaign. As far as roleplaying campaigns go, this has been my absolute worst experience as a gamer and I feel like I wasted my time as a GM entirely. I'm not going to do the "I want my last year of game time back!" bit, but I will say that the only good thing I can take from this campaign is that I won't be fooled in the future in running it, because of ignorance.

What I do hope is that people who read this campaign journal will take the correct lesson from all these posts: Don't play Wrath of the Righteous, unless you plan to exclude the mythic rules completely or modify them so heavily that they are unrecognizable.

Peace out.


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Freehold DM wrote:
magnuskn wrote:

Finished the game today after 107 hours. My verdict: Lots of tedious filler with a decent main plot but a weak main villain. The companions (always the defining and most important element in a BioWare game) were okay (half) to mediocre to outright despicable. The best companion was about as exciting as Jimmy Vega from Mass Effect 3. The romance I got was pretty bland, too.

Otherwise, a solidly constructed game, but not a very exciting one.

7,5 out of 10.

harsh rating from the Russian judge?

A solid game with some obvious flaws. I am not a game magazine where an 85% is already considered a bad rating by fanboys. Given how many other better games I've played in the past, giving overenthusiastic ratings seems like making a bad precedent to me.


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Session of December 9th 2014

Four players in attendance. Hopefully next week it'll be all six, since it will be the last session of the campaign.

The party entered Threshhold and I basically handwaved every combat encounter other than the one I had prepared. It's a bit of a shame about the three Raspers and three ancient black dragons, but I want to get this over with.

Half the session was looking through Threshholds different rooms, casting dimensional locks and collecting information and treasure. The combat encounter was the party against Diurgez Broodlord, a veteran Devastator, the Echo of Deskari and some Fallen Angel which had been prepared by Scorpion.

Aaand that fight was pretty anticlimactic. The Sorcerer cast three mythic augmented fireballs in one round (there is some mythic spell from one of the additional books which gives you more swift actions for ability damage) and put out somelike like 1800 damage to three of the four enemies. Diurgez died, the Echo of Deskari died and the Devastator was pretty damaged. Before the round was over, they died, too.

In return, the party ate a lot of damage from Diurgez retributive abilities and the Fallen Angel critted the Sorcerer and then beat the snot out of the Samurai.

The group then proceeded to clear out the rest of Threshhold and is now facing, as a cliffhanger, Areelu Vorlesh, Grimkrak, Korramzadeh reborn and Deskari himself in the roots of Threshhold room. We'll pick up from there next week. I hope to write my review over the weekend and be ready to post it on Tuesday.


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So, what's it gonna be, a lich cat or a mythic agile goat? :p


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I don't know, there aren't that many places where you really need to platform (although it helps to get to places you are not supposed to go yet, sometimes). The shards are almost always reachable by running around and trying to get to them from a better spot, i.e. there is normally some sort of path to them, if you come from the right direction.

What drives me crazy is the sloooow climbing of ladders and the Hissing Wastes, which are way too big and empty.

Also, too big zones with not enough content. Collection quests don't really count, I can do MMO's for that. Currently, I am level 20 already and still have at least two entire zones to do before I go into the endgame. Haven't even finished Hissing Wastes yet and still got to kill a lot of dragons.

I hope Witcher 3 fills its world a bit better, with more story content.


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Now I wonder which of those four authors is Mikaze. :p


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If you think killing babies is a good act in any form or shape, you have some serious issues with your moral compass and should probably reflect on that for a long while.


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I could use a post by Mikaze, who has been AWOL for a few months now. :-/


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Session of December 2nd 2014

Five players in attendance.

Well, I managed to get a challenging fight out of the Soul Foundry, by simply having Khoramzadeh, Terendelev and the two other NPC's which were inserted by Scorpion (the Son of Shax and Shaohaz) ambush the party before the Soul Foundry itself.

Three PC's dead if not for Augmented Mythic Deathless, one really dead. One Miracle cast to get them fighting again, the dead PC only being temporarily alive (she had been slain by a death gaze after being drained of 17 CON). She, the Ranger, was brought back via a True Ressurection scroll they had lying around.

Khoramzadeh died of massive damage (yay, rolling a one ^^), Terendelev was caught in big K's death throes and died, the Son of Shax escaped and will appear again in Threshhold.

I'm wrapping up this campaign in two sessions. We'll be having a break between the holidays, so I want to start out the next year with RotRL.

I guess I'll go descriptive for most of the upper level of Threshhold, have Diurgez Broodlord and some other dudes confront them before going through the Worldwound and then have Areelu and Deskari confront them down at the roots. Those will be two quite involved fights and I hope to have the time to finish out some of the descriptive stuff, too.

After that, a review of the AP in a new thread.


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GreenDragon1133 wrote:

Darth Sidious is Anakin's father?!?

;)

That... actually might be more true than you'd probably think.


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Session of November 25th 2014

Six players in attendance.

After some preliminaries for the next campaign, the party leveled up to lvl 19, distributed some loot and teleported to Iz, to the Yearning House. After their flimsy disguises being seen through immediately, they were invited in and had the "pleasure" of seeing scores of their Simulacrums servicing numerous demons in a lot of way. Ahem.

The Vrolikai teleported to Sister Perversion and was promptly dispatched by Nocticula. The party went to look what was up and had a nice chat with Nocticula, getting all the information they needed from her. Sister Perversion attacked afterwards, with the rest of the brothel staff joining her, which I happily skipped due to it being just a waste of time.

The party looted the location and used the Mirror of Mental Prowess to get to Mistress Anemora. I had added a Devastator (enhanced by Scorpion) to the fight and managed to hold off the party via better line of sight and quickened Wall of Stones and Blade Barriers for about two rounds. An Earthquake by the Cleric didn't really do much, since the oppposition was flying, but the combat ended quite decisively when the Paladin had the following round of combat:

Move to Devastator, eat one AoO for 56 damage (half of which ended up being temporary HP), hit the Devastator with a nat 20 for 506 damage, hit it again for 70 damage, hit it again with another critical hit, Devastator down. Amazing initiative for another move, another Amazing Initiative for another attack, nat 20, another Amazing Initiative for another attack, Mistress Anemora down.

Anticlimatic end for the fight, to say the least.

Oh, well. I think early January will be when RotRL starts, unless the holidays throw things off too much.


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Indeed. Regular play from level 1-20 is interesting enough, IMO.


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If I get the Sleeves, I can change outfits for every occasion, every day. Brilliant for a social campaign and on countless occasion in about every other campaign. I don't know why I'd need a second mechanical benefit for a mere 200 GP on top of that. If I already have some other bracer in use, it costs another 100 GP more to get the Sleeves built in on top of that other magic item.

Methinks some people want too much for a 200 GP magic item. It already is fantastically useful for that price.


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I hope this movie bombs so hard that Fox has to close down. :-/ Greyscale already said it so well that I can' add anything to it.


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Bah, reality is overrated.


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Well, one thing I can say for mythic is that it makes fights actually faster at high level. One crit, dead. ^^


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Session of November 11th 2014

All six players in attendance.

The session consisted about 50% of selling off loot, getting their reward from Ioemedae (The Samurai having been promoted to be her new herald) and then buying stuff, after leveling up their characters.

That being done, Drezen was attacked by the demon army. The party fought four mythic Nalfashnees (i.e. cannon fodder) and the combo of Zelmisdria and Axrivauxus in the tower, which ended quite poorly for the enemies shortly after the first round. The party then proceeded to fight Carrock and four Gallu demons in the courtyard, which again went quite poorly for the enemies. Carrock managed to pummel the Paladin deep into negative hitpoints, but again the Deathless spell prevented a dead character.

And that basically was it. If I don't sound too motivated, it is because the damage output of the party is so insane that hitpoints might as well not exist. If a critical hit happens, every enemy but a demon lords is one-hitted.

I tell you guys, I'll give myself some time when the AP ends for writing the review of it. Although it is not exactly the fault of the AP itself, the sloppyness of the design of Mythic Adventures deserves some condemnation. To say the least.


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I'm very much looking forward to Rise of the Runelords SE, although I'll have to adjust encounters upwards a lot, due to having six players and a 20 point buy as standard (although the latter with conditions attached, no base attribute before racials over 16, only one attribute under 10 and only down to an 8).

But, yes, I expect that AP to be much easier to adjudicate, especially since I have been an active player in it with my other group. We are still in book six and just spent one session basically just wandering around and trying to find a hidden path. Very much fun, really. No, not joking, we had a blast. :)


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Meh, nobody commented on my weekly entry, although the party wacked a demon lord. :p


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Lord Snow wrote:

However, we are privy to Harry's thought process. Unlike you, he did encounter a person who objected to have door opened to her by him - Murphy. Didn't stop him. In many other small moments we witness him thinking and feeling and acting in a way that is a bit more than just "being a gentleman".

While I agree that no one detail alone is condemning, the accumulated weight of all the small things becomes a bit much even midway through the first book, and while the rate of sexism occurrences slows after that, they do just keep on piling up.

And you know what, I would do it just as Harry does, because opening doors and being polite is who I am. That Murphy is offended by that is more of a reflection of her issues as a person (not a woman) than any "sexism" of Harry.


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Mythic is broken as hell. If your players take the logical options (i.e. mythic feats which are extensions of the feats everybody takes normally, like Mythic Improved Critical or Mythic Power Attack) and the path abilities which are good vs. the ones which are useless (and those are pretty easy to distinguish), then the game is a mess after tier three.

My group is now entering the last module and is destroying everything. This is despite massive upgrades to what the actual books are presenting as their opposition and some significant nerfs to the mythic rules.

I highly recommend against using mythic rules.


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If you can, your GM should hang up his shield and let someone else do the job. The bottle doesn't work this way, anyway.

Quote:
There is also a 10% chance (91–100) that the efreeti of the bottle grants three wishes. In either case, afterward the efreeti disappears forever, and the bottle becomes nonmagical.


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An Andoran or Taldor based urban campaign would be very much appreciated.


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I'm probably just going to give Rasputin a shard, although I maybe will have to change the shards around, sloth doesn't really become the guy. His justification for owning it will probably gaining power somewhere... it doesn't have to be too deep. ^^


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Given how Butcher is a Pathfinder fan, he'd probably love to hear this. :)


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I would be very interested to see that, if only on an academic level.

Nice idea with the earth elemental mountain. ^^


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Well, we'll see if it'll be RoW, after all there are two other very good AP's to choose from. ^^


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Needs to be done from time to time, or they will grow arrogant. ^^


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Well, if this is the AP I'm going to GM next (could still be Shattered Star or Rise of the Runelords), I'll try to track it, just because I think giving my players a hard time after Wrath of the Righteous would be the right thing to do. :p


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Well, there are lots of groups around and lots of people who make stupid mistakes (much of which are enumerated in the obituary threads ^^), so I expecting more early campaign deaths due to the weather. Cold weather gear doesn't exactly protect you perfectly and once you get the cold damage and fatigue snowballing...


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While I'll give myself a vote, I'll leave the final decision up to the group... I personally can't decide, since both AP's have excellent moments. Overall SS has better modules, but RoW has module five (best Paizo AP module ever) and the first two modules also seem excellent.

I'll probably add RotR to the proposals, given that I actually own the collectors edition, it just is in use with the GM of my second group... we have just begun the last module and with this two week hiatus, it may even be that we finish at the same time I'd begin GM'ing the new AP.


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A lot of the cold environment encounters were negated by the very fact of the adventure taking the party across the North Pole. Nobody in two groups with completely different people went without Boots of the Winterland, which made the fight against for example Tunuak way less interesting (although I got to dropkick Koya from an icy ledge to the floor 30 feet below, which was fun for everybody but Koya ^^).


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I think I am not going to pursue this particular discussion, because it will end in tears, since our definitions of chauvinism are extremely different.


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Constantine wrote:
I think the early Laurell K Hamilton stuff (before she started writing romance novels/furry porn)was better than Dresden. Dresden has now had a longer run for me, since I stopped reading the Hamilton stuff, and I love the characters. I don't think his books are constantly getting better though. He's had a couple of books that I didn't enjoy all that much (White Knight springs to mind). I had kind of said goodbye to Dresden until I heard some spoilers from Changes, and HAD to read that book, and now I'm back aboard the Dresden line...

I read Hamilton, too, until she began to write Pw/oP. I still like Butchers work way better. The mythology is more interesting and it has way less melodramatic vampires. Also, the protagonist is a guy, which seems to be a rarity among Urban Fantasy novels. I also enjoy the first person perspective a lot.

BTW, if anybody is going to go off on Butcher for having femme fatales in his book, how about the bishonen guys in most urban fantasy novels who fall all over themselves for the female protagonist and who are described in muscle-rippling detail by said female protagonists, too?


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Lord Snow wrote:
Couldn't agree more. Sure, Butcher's writing is not the greatest example that humanity has to offer

I actually disagree, at least as far as urban fantasy authors go, he is the best. And he manages to make his next book (almost) always to be better than his last one, a feat I have yet to see any other author manage, even the vaunted George R.R. Martin. And he writes very fast and comes across as a very congenial and funny person in his seminars and interviews. Also, he is a Pathfinder fan.


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While I definitely am disgruntled with some of the newer products (i.e. Mythic Adventures and a few of the things coming out of the ACG) and have heavily complained about them, Paizo has my business for the foreseeable time. I'm way more unhappy still at WotC for obliterating the Forgotten Realms to fit into their vision of 4E.

Also, Pathfinder is in many respects a great game and the people at Paizo haven't yet used up their share of customer loyalty.


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How is attacking a CR 4 monster as a level 2 party not sane?


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Session of October 07th 2014:

Sorry for the delay, I am coming off another double night-shift and just got out of bed here in Germany, where it is 05:00 p.m. already. Ooof.

Anyway, five players in attendance. No combat this session, the party argued for an hour if they were going to take Orengofta up on his offer to transport them into the prison and finally decided to do so. After 27 days of travel in prison carts, they arrived, then escaped their cells. They got the equipment back from a Secret Chest they had set up and proceeded to meet the immolation devil, with whom they made a deal to free him and he would give them information on the prison complex. After that they liberated Waxberry, found the spirit of that Saranrae priestess and took the corpse of the astral deva with them (to resurrect them later, since nobody wants more useless NPC's in the coming fights).

They finally met Alderpash and convinced him to try for redemption in return for setting him free. Next session will be a combat against all the prison wardens at once. After that the Herald and after that, Baphomet, although I'll doubt that they'll get to the last one on one session.


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Putting me in the same category of number-crunching as those others is very flattering, but untrue. I do some basic math and come to results which any other person who would do it would come to. Rynjin, RD and the others are way, way more into optimizing than I'd ever be, which helps them find those hidden flaws. I just see the obvious stuff and say aloud "Why don't the developers see this, too? Why don't they care?!?"

I like to think that my people skills are somewhat better than with those others, though. I manage a good dialogue with James from time to time, after all. :p


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Session of September 30th 2014:

Sorry for the delay, I had a night shift and thus just got out of bed an hour ago. Basically the night shift began one hour after we finished our session yesterday.

Six players in attendance, although one player left before the other arrived. I am beginning to have serious doubts about that first player contributing anything to the group, given that by now he has stated that he intends now to continue to leave 1 1/2 hours into the session forever and he is the person who contributes the least to roleplaying, too. Since he is a friend, it is not really doable to just tell him to stop coming, but his being here not only helps make a campaign harder to balance (six players), it also doesn't contribute anything to the group. Really a bad position to be in. :-/

Anyway, the group used the tokens given by Iomedae to teleport to the Ivory Labyrinth and met Odeenka and four Baphomet Golems (Scorpions Upgrades). While the golems inflicted pretty heavy damage, Odeenka just disintegrated by a crit from the Samurai, for 618 damage (double Critical Master path talent). And, yes, that damage was what we calculated together. The Sorcerer cast Reverse Gravity on the three restant Golems and the Ranger just destroyed one of them in one round. I called the encounter after that, given how they could barely catch the party before being destroyed.

The party afterwards teleported to Blackburgh and, after having a few off-screen encounters with normal demons ("You win, let's continue with the plot") were invited to meet Verbezzovor by one of his swarm. He pointed them towards Orengofta, who in turn gave them the information about where to find the Father of Worms. The party set out to the Lightless Maze and spent 18 days there navigating the tunnels (with further "You win" random encounters). After finally getting to the cave containing the Father of Worms (again, upgraded), they were confronted by him. He had better senses to detect them than they did, so he opened with a readied Mythic Finger of Death, which sadly was resisted by the scouting Ranger. The Ranger retaliated with a salvo which took off about 30% of his HP and since he rolled high on initiative, he got off a Wail of the Banshee and after that burrowed underground, to heal up somewhat with Channel Energy. After noting that he would not heal up to full HP even with five times 9d6, I waited until a good moment and surfaced near the Barbarian and Samurai. The round went: Mass Hold Monster, Quickened Cone of Cold, Amazing Initiative: Breath Weapon, Amazing Initiative: Greater Vital Strike on the Samurai, Fast Swallow, Samurai digested. Burp.

The Father of Worms was pretty comprehensively destroyed after that, which was especially funny since the Cleric cast Destruction on him as the last attack... meaning that he destroyed the entire body of the Father of Worms completely, meaning no blood. Which is why they had come here in the first place. Ooops.

The Samurai was True Ressurected from a scroll they found last module and I ruled that his gear had survived being swallowed. The party returned to Orengofta, who, after facepalming at the Cleric, suggested that he could take them prisoner and deliver them per hand to the Ineluctable Prison. I had to point out the spell Secret Chest before they accepted that, but next session will begin with them spending 6d6 days traveling in cages to the prison in their underwear. ^^


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Session of September 23rd 2014:

Six players in attendance.

The session pretty much was what I expected it to be last week. The aftermath of the finale of last week, leveling up, selling loot and getting new equipment. The encounter with Iomedae also fit into it and it went pretty well. Nobody was out of line, so I did not have to even think about how to handle disrespectful PC's. OTOH, it was a bit less than I hoped for with the Cleric and Ranger, who are both children of Iomedae, but if the players don't bite, then I can't do much about it.

Anyway, the party is well equipped and will get into the Ivory Labyrinth next week. That's a bit to prepare, to give them one interesting encounter and see if they go exploring a bit or head directly for Blackburgh.

And it seems that the next campaign has aquired an Investigator, which now makes the party Investigator, Urban Ranger, Slayer, Inquisitor and Bard. Quite the skillful party. ^^ I'll have to work to get player six (the current Samurai) to decide soon and work on a decent character background, or he'll just slop one character onto the stage on the day we start the campaign. Ah, well, the perils of being DM, I guess. ^^


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Brandon Hodge
Brandon Hodge
Brandon Hodge
Brandon Hodge

I may be somewhat of a fan.


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My review of the AP, after GM'ing it to completion. You might find helpful ideas there.


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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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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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If there only were a template which you can use for troops... there isn't one, just an example of a troop stat block.


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In the case of the Samurai, I think that specific rules text (You can get rid of nauseated with a standard action) overrules general rules text (you can only make a move action if you are nauseated).

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