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And then I'll attack Drezen. In the "all out assault" way that the module mentions. So I need to find monsters that are on theme for 4 Level 11/Tier4ish PCs. So 3-4 encounters of CR13/14, if I go with the module recommendations
Use this monster, The Mountainous Feaster and use several armies of dretch to simulate this thing spawning mobs of them constantly. You'll bring the whole Attack on Titan vibe to the assault! If there are any named NPCs from Drezen that escaped, like the incubus Exorius, the succubus Kiranda, or the tiefling Chorussina use them as army commanders.
--Vrock the House!
Alushinnyra is a city continually cloaked in darkness and shadows. It's also called the Porphyry city due to the stone used to construct many of its buildings. It's also home to incubi, succubi, shadow creatures of all types, and lots and lots of cambions (think 7 deadly sins).
Look at the districts and you'll have some guidance on naming conventions. The Fleshmarkets for example could have a slave trading auction house called The Dark Lady's Thrall Emporium or a brothel called The Perilous Embrace.
I rolled a random encounter of the adult umbral dragon pop up in concert with the PCs hunting down a certain disgraced lilitu and they faced her and the dragon in it's underground lair/ apothecary shop called Penumbral Potions & Poisons.
When I rolled the Drinker of Thoughts encounter I had the Oolioddroo run an inn and tavern near the Gates of the Moon called The Thirsty Dreamer.
As my PCs searched out magic items in the metropolis I made a tailor shop selling clothing based wondrous items called Nightblade's Needle run by a drow blackblade magus.
--Vrock the Casbah
Re-writing the adventures to fit your party is always going to be a given since the designers and authors can't anticipate every hiccup we experience at the table.
In my group we have a long history of planar adventuring from 2e Planescape and our group is a Golarion reimagining of that group of adventurers. The paladin from the old campaign met and fell in love with a demon (alu-fiend) and even though the current paladin (same player) has the Touched by Awfulness trait I re-wrote the mythic trials so rescueing Arueshalae was his campaign mythic trial (and the falling in love option of the succubus's redemption) and the rescue of possessed Jesker Helton was the trial for our tiefling inquisitor of Erastil because of shared god and the theme of an inquisitor casting out the demon from his fellow priest.
We're on the last set of encounters in the Ivory Sanctum and defeating Jerribeth will make up for our dwarven barabrian champion missing the night they faced the Woundwyrm. The glabrezu has not only already killed the dwarf once in the Sanctum, but it was her blood that gave him the stolen fury trait.
--Vrock and Awe
My party fluctuates from 4-7 players, 20 pt buy, and they're all veteran players so the stock adventure is not going to challenge them. I have really enjoyed using sc8rpi8n_mjd's statblocks for the BBEGs and sub-boss monsters. I've also liberally used the simple advanced template on all the mooks to make them more than just a speedbump.
As you're still hexploring, I recommend using 15% per hex entered and 45% per day exploring or resting for random encounters, as well as using the weather (and tables) from the Worldwound setting book. I do not use straight xp (use SKR's step system, similar to Unchained staggered advancement rules) so I don't worry throwing to many or too few encounters. I really enjoy using the extra enemies in the bestiary of each adventure somehow.
Ok did some digging and the 3.5 FAQ had this to say about Resistances and Vulnerabilities...
From the 3.5 FAQ:
If the creature has both resistance and vulnerability to the
So I haven't found anything that changed enough in Pathfinder to supersede this. Looks like you're correct.
Most of my skills would have just a few ranks (+class skill bonus) and I rely on lots and lots of masterwork tools, equipment, & alchemical items!
Day job I'm a Warrior/Expert with ranks in Climb, Heal, Knowledge (alchemy, engineering), & Profession (clerk). Security contractor in industrial setting: Confinced space/high angle rescue; Basic first aid/CPR/AED; Hazmat, fire protection/ Machine Rescue; paperwork galore
Outisde of work my addition skills are Craft (cartography, painting), Knowledge (geography, local), & Survival. Chalkboard art, photography, illustration; map making, orienteering, navigation (esp cities); basic woodcraft, weather prediction (stormchaser).
I like where you're going with this. I have only watched people play the ACG online so I may not have all the insights to how it can expand upon play in the AP. But I do like some of the mechanics I've seen, like the corruption trait and the barriers that allow you to gain one of three items but only at the detriment of your group.
I'm currently just about to run my players through the Ivory Sanctum in Demon's Heresy and other than adequately challenging my 7 player mythic group I want to somehow refocus the group on the redemption angle. So far the paladin in the group has taken to redeeming Arles and Arushalae, the barbarian dwarf is redeeming Joran, and the dhampir sor/oracle/mystic theurge/soon-to-be eldritch knight is redeeming Nurah.
However the group is too quick to kill in general... my tiefling inquisitor and the dwarf barbarian in particular. Both had no qualms about killing NPCs under possession or domination effects. They raised Aron after defeating Eustyriax, and nearly killed Jesker Helton before driving the Shachath out of him. I like the idea of Devotion points being used throughout the AP. That's something the Worldwound Incursion did well. It will especially play into their future meeting with Iomedae herself!
--Between a Vrock and hard place
The Rock of Bral is like a thousand times the size of this place, it's a spaceport, and its set in a space fantasy setting. Just because the concept has been done before doesn't mean this particular take of weird magic terrain that wanders between the Mana Wastes and Nex is any lesser. An asteroid city in Spelljammer is pretty normal. A floating orb in Golarion is far, far from ordinary... even for adventurers.
The smaller scale in itself makes it more interesting. Also the possibility of making this flip map actually FLIP is very cool. Hell I'd buy the .pdf to print both sides and glue it to a cylinder or sphere and use magnets or tape on minis to play out an encounter here. Hell make a mobile or orrey out of the system. Line of sight for ranged attacks and spells would be bananas! You're not going to get the same playability off the Rock of Bral.
--3rd Vrock from the Sun
Having just written a Nexian tomb set inside an enormous geode-like demiplane this map calls out to me in a big way. Talk about using terrain to make a dynamic combat encounter. This reminds me of what a battle could be like between two cubes on the plane of Acheron from the old great wheel cosmology.
Very cool stuff Garrick!
--Vrocket to the Moon
Congratulations Kiel on making the Top 32! As a stormchaser I liked that you used the term scud to describe the cloud as it disperses. I think solid fog and shocking grasp may have been better choices for the effects as the price would more accurately reflect the sheer usefulness of this consumable. Good luck in round 2.
--Solid as a Vrock
Staggered advancement is basically giving you a little bit of your next level early. So yes when you get skill points buy ranks in the skills as if you were 2nd level. No you cannot save anything until you level up. Just like normal advancement, when you get the skill points or feats you have to use them.
I would not be surprised to see a tin foil hat in Occult Adventures equipment section!
But as a follower of the paranormal IRL, the Occultist reminds me of John Zaffis, star of Syfy's Haunted Collector.
The explanation of how low-light vision interacts with the actual radius of the spells is a key point, especially with those who try a similar argument that having darkvision can negate a Shadowdancer's hide in plain sight ability.
Perhaps a follow-up article clarifying creatures and classes with shadow abilities is in order!
There is certainly a lot to keep in mind when creating a new monster, let alone a monster that fits into Golarion. With all the pieces of advice you're going to absorb keep this one piece in mind. Keep it Simple!
While you may want to give your monster a bunch of super cool and deadly abilities the one thing to remember is this beast is generally only going to live for 2-5 rounds of combat! In order to get the best bang for your buck you want to keep the monster's core concept tight and concise. Give it a really cool core ability that you can base the encounter around and that informs the creatures combat tactics. Obviously you have to watch that you don't fall into the glass cannon/paper tiger/one-trick pony trap, but a monster needs to be easy to run by the GM. A monster with more than 3-5 tricks up its sleeve is getting out of control.
I like having a strong offensive trick, a passive defense, and something a little weird.
Good luck to those lucky few who make the Top 16!
--Monster Stat Vrock
Unfortunately the armor doesn't state that. If it did why even pull the target towards you or grapple in the first place?
Usually a frog monster's tongue doesn't deliver its poison but pulls you closer to be eaten. The poison is a purely defensive adaptation. I think pulling a victim into the actual armor provides enough cinematic tension for the chance to afflict them with the toxin. It also fits with armor being a defensive (passive) item.
I can just imagine all the Superstar hopefuls sitting ready to refresh their email and the paizo screen as the deadline creeps closer. I remember that nervous energy building up watching the screen at work, waiting to see if my name was there.
When I saw my name I screeched, I spored, I did the dance of ruin!
Here's to that feeling and to the soon-to-be Top 32. Get ready because it's a wild ride. Bring your A-game and may the best gamer win!
I order you to be quiet... or you'll see the violence inherent in the system!
--I'm the King of Vrock. There is none higher. Sucka PCs should call me sire!
James Jacobs wrote:
What's the lineup after that? Alphabetical? Looking forward to the Brawler!
--Vrock 'em Sock'em Robots!
I use SKR's Step system for alternate XP. Basically each session we play is worth 1/4 of a level. Each night at the end (or sometimes in the middle of a lengthy night) the Players get to choose either A) HD & BAB, B) Saves, C) Skills, or D) Special Abilities from their class chart.
I like it because my players tend to fall into the high reward spectrum and they get to improve their characters a little each game. It also means I can do away with some of the meaningless combat encounters in published adventures that are only there to pad the XP numbers in order to level. We generally play 20 pt. buy and have 5-6 players so I have to adjust most adventures to suit anyway.
--Vrock, Paper, Scissors
Sean has definitely been one of my favorite designers over the years. All my success in RPG Superstar is arguably from reading his blogs and posts. My favorite memory of Sean was the time I visited the old paizo offices back in 2009. He gave me and my gf the grand tour of the place, introduced me to the staff who recognized me from my now infamous Vrock puns (proof the staff pays attention to the community). He also gave me a stack of fiction that they didn't want to move to the new offices! Still have a few of those to read.
Good luck Sean and Jodi! You Vrock my socks off.
Congratulations Top 16. This round is key. Encounters are the building blocks of every adventure. Its the encounters where we spend hours of real time to determine minutes of game time! Make your locations dynamic. Utilize the terrain, traps, events, and secondary monsters/NPCs to make the Round 2 monster you chose shine!
--For those about to Vrock... we salute you!
Steven Helt wrote:
I saw a couple of mythic items during voting, but this was my favorite. In fact, this might be my favorite item in the top 32. Congratulations and keep thinking "cinematic"!
It certainly brings to mind the scene in the new Hercules movie where he uses a bolt of lightning that strikes his sword like a whip.
--Vrock and Awe
Welcome to the big show Top 32 class of 2014! Can't wait to see what you have in store for us over the neex few weeks. I'm really looking forward to the monster round (its always my favorite).
Be sure to go fill out your profiles so we can know a little more about you.
--So you wanna be a Vrock Superstar...
That's why they post the schedule for the entire contest my friend. You need to commit to participating on the blind faith your item has the mojo to move you into the Top 32. An hour a day working on your monster shouldn't be too hard to set aside. Use downtime like driving to brainstorm ideas. You've got a weekend between now and next tuesday as well. Plenty of time!
Well this Detroit Lions fan made it to the Top 16 on his first try in 2011, then I made Top 4 last year. I didn't even begin designing my items until the contest started, though my experience from 2011 told me to absolutely get to work on ideas for the following rounds immediately. That 3 day turn around is no joke! Just be prepeared for possible twists in later rounds. Look at past Superstar years and you'll have a good chance of guessing what those twists might be ahead of their reveal.
--If you wanna be Vrock Superstar...
So, maybe a silly question: would it be possible to farm panache points by critting or killing creatures summoned by an ally, assuming they had enough HD? They wouldn't be helpless or unaware, they just wouldn't retaliate.
That's just the worst kind of cheese dude... don't be that guy.
For those of us with groups larger than four I know I'd like to have some additional powers to grant them with their own Terendelev's Scales.
Cloaking Mists: Three times per day as a standard action, a scale can be used to cast obsucring mist. While concealed in the mists the scale grants the effect of the Blind-Fight feat to the bearer.
Graceful Movement: Three times per day a scale can be used to cast feather fall. Alternately as a standard action, a scale can be used to grant the target a +4 competence bonus to Acrobatics and Fly checks for 1 minute.
--We will, we will... VROCK YOU!