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Will Pratt, you'll have to excuse all of us from harping on your players. I think that every single campaign journal of CotCT that I've ever read, and from the experiences in my own game, the PC's universally have a long, deep hatred against the queen and her minions. So much in fact that joining her would be unthinkable.
That being said, this seems like a cool turn of events for your game. Run with it!
As far as what should happen next? It all depends on what you think would be a satisfying ending to your long campaign. If you're pretty sure they want to go all the way in helping the queen, here's my take.
The rebels have not been idle. Sabina Merrin has killed Zarmangaroff and defected. Later she leads a group of rebels to Longacre Building and frees a huge contingent of Grey Maiden recruits who are not loyal to the queen. Blackjack kills Trifaccia in public and delivers a blow to the morale of the monarchy.
When approached and asked to join her cause, Illesoa demands the PC's prove their loyalty by performing the following tasks:
1). Blackjack, "hero of the people", has been fighting our forces in the streets and rallying people to the rebel cause. Eliminate him.
2). I have it on good authority that the remnants of the Arkona family have discovered my plans and now oppose me. Discover what they know and if necessary they must be defeated. (If your players haven't figured out that Illesoa is going to murder just about everyone in the city in a bid for immortality, this might be a good way to clue them in.)
3). Neolandus Kalepopolus still lives. The former seneschal may cause an unnecessary legal complication for us. Capture or eliminate him.
4). Bishop Keppira d’Bear, priest of Pharasma and suspected sympathizer to the rebels, is reportedly attempting to summon the aid of Planar Outsiders to thwart us. Find her and destroy her summoned minions. (Here's a good opportunity to throw in some extraplanar creatures for the PC's to tangle with.)
5). I suspect there are shoanti warriors hidden within the city. Proof of an alliance between the traitor Cressida Kroft and the unpopular shoanti savages would be very helpful towards swaying public opinion in our favor. Forcing the barbaric shoanti from the city, perhaps by finding and killing their leader, would be even better. (There are indeed shoanti in Korvosa, led by the famous Krojun Eats-What-He-Kills.)
6). Sabina Merrin and her traitorous Grey Maidens are a menace and need to be stopped. Sabina is a brilliant general, defeat her and you'll throw their organization into chaos long enough for us to reclaim the streets.
7). Rumors of a new band of adventurers aiding the rebels disturb me as well. (The rebels are sorely outmatched, can you blame them for turning to hired mercenaries/altruistic adventurers? Peruse the NPC Codex and build the crazy high level party of your desires. Then throw in Trinia Sabor as the fifth member!)
8). Cressida Kroft must answer for her crimes. She hasn't been seen publicly for a while. If you can locate the rebels secret hidden base and capture her our work will become much easier.
At any rate, keep us updated on the progress of your campaign. It certainly seems to have diverged from the usual events and I'd love to hear how it all turns out.
The Manor encounter as written was going to be too easy for my players. (I have a large group.)
To compensate, I threw in a few more zombies as meat shields and changed Jolistina to a Witch. Her opening salvo was a Web spell followed by a Stinking Cloud (nasty combo) while the pathetic zombies swarmed them. It made for a more challenging and memorable encounter I believe.
Having just run my second session inside castle Scarwall, I can certainly understand the sentiment of Rockstream. Scarwall is becoming long and tedious, but that might be because my group has managed to avoid all spirit anchors thus far.
Jam412 and NobodysHome are right on. There's a lot of dead space that you don't need to detail out. I ended up just describing non-vital parts of the castle instead of drawing them on the battlemat. I also don't ask for search checks for every single door that leads to nothing, only when it's relevant. Wandering monsters and the skeletons that inhabit the barracks are out also. They are just time wasters.
So what should you keep? Whatever you think is awesome. I'm having a blast describing the place. Sial, and to a lesser extent, Laori make great tour guides as they describe the horrors that must have occurred in the castle courtyard, the historical significance of the Star Tower, and all the other rich backstory of Scarwall that the players would not otherwise know about without the two members of the Brotherhood of Bones.
If it forces a first person viewpoint, I won't be playing. I can't play any FPS due to motion sickness. Even the unity environment demo made me nauseous after running around for five minutes. I'm all for you having an option to zoom to first person, but I need a character to focus on or I can't play.
I feel your pain Imbicatus. I'm the exact same way. I used to play every FPS game there was back in the day. Maybe it's just because I'm getting old, but I can't even watch my son play Minecraft for five minutes without getting motion sick.
A forced first person view in PFO would simply mean I wasted my money on the kickstarter. The game would be unplayable for me.
Not so much a phrase, but one thing I've noticed are items that start out with a unique and interesting power that might be worthy of superstar status. Then are followed by an unreadable wall of text detailing the items real powers that turn it into a SAK SIAC with the most confusing rule mechanics I've ever tried to read.
Most of the items I've ended up voting for have usually been the ones with the shortest descriptions.
Has anyone else done something similar? I'd really love to compare finished products....I'm getting close with mine, will be done by Friday.
Any chance you can share your finished product with us CaroRose? I was considering using Gaming Paper for Scarwall myself and would love to see how it turned out for you.
This isn't a bad idea. It's actually mentioned in the desciptive text of area G5 as something that is being actively worked on. It's actually too bad the plague zombie angle wasn't explored further in the module and only gets mentioned when the party is on the cusp of the thrilling climax of SDttG.
As for how to implement it? Just do it. Im having a hard time stressing just how hamstrung the Korvosan Guard and Sable Company are with crowd control and losses due to plague. Throw zombies at em. Let the party come across regular folk being pursued by blood veil zombies and rescue them. Let them find another lair that belongs to Rolth where theze things were made and grow his mystique even more before they actually meet him.
Honestly not much needs changed plotwise. You'll just need to craft a few of your own encounters. Go for it.
F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
How about this. I would gleefully give you my money to have a large wall print of Korvosa hanging above my head as I GM Curse of the Crimson Throne. It's that awesome.
Whoever is responsible for this artwork did an absolute fantastic job. Not just in portraying the major landmarks, but even in little things like getting the exact number of battlements around the East Shore city wall precisely perfect in their number and location.
Seriously, if you have wall prints available of these, then you own some money that currently resides in my pocket.
DEWN MOU'TAIN wrote:
How do you think the wheel of time is going to end? what do you think the epilogue will contain?
My own personal theory for some time has been that Rand will balefire the Dark One using so much power that his thread is burned away a few years into the past.
The final chapter will go back to the beginning of the story with Rand and Tam walking through the woods. Rand looks over his shoulder and instead of seeing the Myrddraal, he sees.....nothing.
Trying to conduct an actual Harrowing by using randomly shuffled cards has a tendency to bring the game to a halt while the GM looks up card meanings, matches, and tries to come up with a convincing interpretation that matches the card meanings.
My advice is to choose the cards you want for your reading and stack the deck. This allows you to pick visually symbolic cards and meanings that are relevant to the adventure and lets you conduct your Harrowing without any long pauses that break the atmosphere.
My players caught on to this eventually, so I stopped stacking the deck and just started preparing the interpretation. I simply laid out the cards and no matter what cards they were I gave them a Harrowing that described doom and gloom, enemies everywhere, path filled with peril, etc.
At the end of our Second Darkness game I'll be running CotCT. We're wanting to try the APG version of the Hero Point system from the system we currently use. I'm worried that the change might be too confusing for some of my players if we used the APG points system side by side with the Harrow Points given out in CotCT.
I'm especially worried about the more casual gamers at my table who don't even bother to learn what their spells and abilities do. Springing two different additional points systems on them may bring the game to a screeching halt.
How did those of you who played/GMed Crimson Throne like the Harrow points? Good? Bad? Confusing?
Is there some way of combining the two while retaining the flavor of Harrowing at the start of each module?
Right now I'm leaning towards scrapping the Harrow Points and just doing the Hero Points. I'll just keep the Harrowings in as flavor. Any thoughts?
Clark Peterson wrote:
I used this to devastating effect playing an elven paladin in our RotR game. Elven curve blade + Improved critical + Staggering critical + Smite Evil = massive damage and a frustrated GM.
Kirth Gersen wrote:
The thing is, as you correctly pointed out, Obama claimed he was not running on a policy of 1 - 3, and yet those are exactly the things he did. Why should we believe Ron Paul any more than Obama? They'll both say anything to get elected.
Paul has a decades long track record of voting exactly the way he says he will, always in accordance with the constitution. The positions he has taken haven't changed a bit since he first took office in the 70's. In fact it's quite a trip when I stumble upon the occasional video clip of a younger Ron Paul from 20 years ago or so talking about the exact same things that he does today.
Both John McCain and Chuck Norris call him the "most honest man in politics". Type "most honest politician" in a Google web search and Ron Paul's name pops up in the auto-complete search results.
In fact, it's this honesty that is his greatest stumbling block in seeking the white house. Cable news hosts love to ambush him over the Civil Rights Act, drug laws, and unconstitutional programs that people love because they know he's not going to dodge the question, or compromise his position. He tells the truth and probably ends up marginalizing himself from those who don't understand the legal nuances in his opposition to things that are conventionally popular.
What I like most about Ron Paul is that his overarching philosophy isn't based around the artificial Left vs Right divide on issues, but rather a solid adherence to the constitution and liberty.
Issues that are actually going to be relevant in the 2012 election (sorry evolution, you aren't one of them) will be along the lines of the War on Terrorism, loss of civil liberties, the crushing debt and yearly trillion dollar deficits, monetary policy, the Federal Reserve, and the economy. I think Paul is right on all these issues.
Let's end the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, and Libya.
Let's end the misnamed Patriot Act and honor civil liberties again.
Draw down our military from around the world where it is no longer needed and stop spending a trillion dollars a year on maintaining 1,000 military bases around the world like we're playing a real life game of Risk.
Obey the constitution and make gold and silver available as money again. Allow other free market currencies to compete with Federal Reserve Notes so that we can end their monopoly over the money supply.
Undo the moral hazard created by having a lender of last resort. Don't bail out failed businesses. End bad regulations that drive businesses out of this country. Allow capital formation to come from a stable money supply and minimize the boom bust business cycle.
These are the issues that Ron Paul is actually running on.
Allow me to clarify this ID issue somewhat by quoting part of a chapter specifically on Evolution vs. Creationism from Ron Paul's new book Liberty Defined.
"The creationists frown on the evolutionists, and the evolutionists dismiss the creationists as kooky or unscientific. Lost in this struggle are those who look objectively at all the scientific evidence for evolution without feeling any need to reject the notion of an all-powerful, all-knowing Creator. My personal view is that recognizing the validity of an evolutionary process does not support atheism nor should it diminish one's view about God in the universe.
"From my viewpoint, this is a debate about science and religion (and I wish it could be more civil!) and should not involve politicians at all. Why can't this remain an academic debate and not be made the political issue it has become?
"The answer is simple. Both sides want to use the state to enforce their views on others."
Later in the chapter he mentions the very same debate question and answer session that seems to have sparked most of the discussion in this thread.
"One of the silliest questions posed to the Republican presidential candidates in 2008 dealt with evolution. Why should an individual running for the presidency in the United States be quizzed as to whether or not he or she believes in evolution? The question was designed in an attempt for the supporters of evolution to embarrass a candidate who supports creationism, or, if the candidate backs away, to drive a wedge between the candidate and the religious right.
"The way the question was asked made it even sillier. It occurred May 3, 2007, in the first presidential debate in Simi Valley, California. The debate was moderated by Chris Matthews and John Harris. One of the moderators called for all the candidates who believed in evolution to raise their hands. At the time, my first impression was that this sounded like a third-grade class exercise. I interpreted raising one's hand as an all-or-nothing answer and as in insult and didn't bother to answer the question; nor was I called upon to discuss my views."
Paul states quite clearly that belief in God and belief in evolution are not polar opposites, and it is quite possible for open minded individuals to accept both as he implies above.
More importantly, he recognizes that there is no constitutional authority in Article 1 Section 8 for the federal government to play any role in education. Far from attempting to impose any sort of theory for or against evolution, Paul understands the role of the 10th Amendment in retaining this power for the States and the People.
Our current GMs houserule is that an attack roll of a natural 1 is not just an automatic fail, you lose all of your other iterative attacks that round. Plus a draw from the critical fumble deck on a confirmed fumble.
Also, when confirming a critical hit and drawing a card from the crit deck, anytime you draw an effect that states you do normal damage plus some debilitating effect, you still only do normal damage if the effect does not apply to the creature being critted.
Ross Byers wrote:
I'm surprised no one at Paizo has taken it upon themselves to do this already. However, since your post on Friday many AP covers have been updated to their multicolored goodness.
If anyone else sees a wrong cover on Amazon, keep in mind that if you simply report it as being incorrect they will just take down the image unless you also include a url where they can acquire the real version. They also seem less likely to update product pictures for products which are currently "out of stock".
According to Mr. Baggins it's "as light as a feather".
As a GM, I purchase Adventure Paths for one reason only. Adventures. I fully support using the freed up 2 pages for more adventure goodness. In fact, I would wholeheartedly approve taking out everything not related to the Adventure Path such as the ongoing fiction. The fiction is ok, but I don't buy Adventure Paths for fiction.
More adventure, more adventure, more adventure....
James Jacobs wrote:
Well the niche that is trying to be filled with the magus is *very* similar to the cleric. With his Medium BAB, d8 HD, medium armor prof, and full divine spellcasting he is the proverbial martial divine caster.
So when developing the proverbial martial arcane caster I'd like to see Medium BAB, d8 HD, medium armor prof, and *full* arcane spellcasting.
No one ever complains about there not being a good martial divine caster because there isn't just one, but two of them. Paladin and Cleric. There is no such equivalent class for arcane casters. Heck you could even make the magus into two separate classes, one based off of the cleric and a Full BAB, d10 HD, Full armor prof, and a reduced spellcasting progression class based off the paladin or bard.
I'd just hate to see months of effort and hype go towards the creation of a class that is little more than some sort of a variant of an armored bard sans bardic abilities.
Kirth Gersen wrote:
I was merely pointing out that the income tax is actually Theft by Deception.
It may surprise you to learn that paved roads existed prior to the implementation of the income tax. Some were evenly privately owned and operated. It wasn't until 1913 that the "third world" country known as the united States exited the "neolithic era" and began taxing the wages of citizens.
If you are serious about how roads can be provided without government theft of your money you might want to read this.
Government apologists often balk at the idea of ending the income tax and IRS. "How will the government provide X service?" is often the rebuttal. Most have no idea that the income tax provides less than half of the revenue to the federal government. The reality is that the revenue generated from the income tax only goes towards servicing the interest on the debt while most of the on budget expenditures are covered by inflating the money supply via the Federal Reserve and borrowing from foreign countries. OF course corporate taxes, excise taxes, and payroll taxes make up a smaller portion of the revenue as well.
The government has been spending way more than it takes from the people for decades. With trillions in debt and nearly a hundred trillion in unfunded liabilities in the next few decades, the farce that we can police the entire planet earth by ourselves, provide unlimited healthcare, and all live at the expense of everyone else will eventually have to come to an end.
The real tragedy is that most Americans are not required to file or pay taxes. We all continue to do so out of a very rational fear of our government who will not hesitate to use force to destroy the lives of those who do not automatically submit to the conventional wisdom that their income is taxable.
I just scanned the player's guide and the Guide to Korvosa but I couldn't find anything. are there any laws mentioned which prohibit weapons of some kind - at least in the public? I would presume that a city with such strict laws as Korvosa would at least ban the most dangerous/obviuos/military weapons from its streets. To be armed in your everyday life might be normal for kaer maga or some frontier places in the wilderness - but in a big civilized city? I don't know. If I had not overlooked something - any suggestions on this topic?
Well, keep in mind that while Korvosa is a large urban city, it's still in the middle of that large frontier known as Varisia. So ownership of weapons could be quite common. Besides, only in our modern backwards way of thinking does restriction of the ownership of arms by the citizenry qualify as "civilized".
It could very well be that a Lawful Neutral (currently) society with it's own Korvosa City Charter would recognize a persons right to arm and defend themselves and their property. It would only be when an actual crime was committed with said weapon that the law would intervene (assault, vandalism, etc.)
Now let's say hypothetically that somehow Korvosa came under the rule of a Lawful Evil tyrant. (Far fetched I know, but this is all hypothetical!) Then you would probably see new weapon laws passed to disarm the citizenry to the highest degree.
Restrictions on the right to carry your arms with you outside your own residence or property. Ownership of said arms would likely require registration of some sort. Anyone found guilty of a felony or various misdemeanors would face the possibility of losing their license to carry or own arms of any sort. Those are the sort of things you might expect.
It seems as though you just answered your own original question. The problem lies not so much with the AP in itself, as evidenced by the numerous posters who agree that CotCT is a fine adventure. Instead, it seems as though your main problem in enjoying the adventure has more to do with your DM not being able to adjust when the players want to deviate from the railroad tracks a teensy bit.
So how can we help you with that? We can't. Not really. Unless maybe you can gently prod your woeful and inflexible DM onto these boards where he'll have a dozen Campaign Journals for CotCT to read over and access to dozens more helpful people who have DMed this path already.
Even if he never gets good at coming up with stuff off the cuff, he'll have plenty of ideas to steal from when the players don't strictly follow the path as written.
Quite frankly, most of the time I see people multiclassing or digging through splatbooks is because they are looking for something that matches a character concept that can't be fulfilled with the basic cookie cutter classes. Everyone here has seen the fighter, cleric, wizard, and rogue played out several times over.
But let's say you've got a player who wants to make a character like "D" from Vampire Hunter D. He'd want to be stealthy, while being a good fighter, with some abilities focused on combating undead such as the Channel Energy ability or Smite Evil, and a few minor magical spells at his disposal. You can either deride your player for wanting to make a Fighter/Rogue/Paladin/Sorcerer, or you can say, "Hey, that sounds cool. Let's come up with a way for to do this."
It all comes down to what kind of DM you are. Are you the kind that looks for every conceivable reason to say "no" or do you look for ways to say "yes". Personally, the more I game with the former, the more I try to be the latter.
You might want to look up "Complete Control - Character Design for the Uninhibited" from Dreamscarred Press. It allows character creation without classes. You simply buy your abilities, saves, base attack, spells and feats using Experience Points. There's a PDF available from the Paizo store for relatively cheap if you care to check it out.
I'm going to be running CotCT sometime in the future and I can't help but wonder...
has anyone had Gaedren Lamm survive first contact with the PC's?
To me it seems a bit of a waste to provide a tragic background for each character as a means to introduce a bunch of complete strangers to one another, only to have it all resolved within the first session. After that, there seems to be little holding the group together besides a little metagaming.
I'm thinking that keeping Lamm around as a possible reoccurring bad guy will let me stir the passion of the PC's when I need to keep my players focused on the game. Otherwise I can see my players asking themselves "why is my character not fleeing the city like any rational person would?" when the crap hits the fan in Korvosa.
So how about it? Has anyone had Lamm play a more prominent role in the Adventure Path besides getting squished like a bug in the first couple sessions?