use some nets, entangling the high AC players ?
Or add an elder stone giant (upgrade), and bog down the area with rock to mud...
I know almost nothing about historical naval warfare but to me it would be hard to see ballista and catapults ever doing the type of damage that canons can do. Of course they had Greek Fire which was much more deadly than alchemist fire!
Catapults and ballistae did do terrible damage in their times they were actually used, since they were used against structurally weak(er) galleys in a different age. Nevermind that damage from a catapulted rock seems way low... just envision what will happen if one of those actually hits a car, nevermind a shed.
Unfortunately, there is no plunging fire in Pathfinder.
Sailing ships of the late medieval and renaissance times, nevermind in the age of sails were built with far stronger sides (several inches thick, about 8" and up for warships, usually planked in several layers with something like oak or teak, if available) and structure with dozens of additional reinforcing spars giving lateral and structural strength and elasticity. Pretty resilient.
Just remember that 12-pounder cannonballs (which were in regular use on english frigates ) bounced off (!) the sides of the US frigates in the war of 1812 at greater than point blank range, with much stronger 18-pounders hardly penetrating. That's telling something about the strength of tarred and layered hardwood. Wooden sips only became obsolete with the advent of rifled gunbarrels and shaped projectiles. and even "Monitor" and "Merrimac" stood hardly any chance to penetrate oaken planking reinforced with iron/steel plates in the civil war.
If interested, have a look at "USS Constitution" in the Boston Naval Yard. Or the tripple decker "HMS Victory" in Portsmouth or the Dutch East Indiaman rebuilt near Amsterdam . Those sides are NOT made from plywood.
I'd like another Sandbox, almost regardless of where it is placed. It allows the players to shape the story (if they are into roleplaying) instead of being forced along by outside events or being outgloried by the spectacular surroundings like strange planes or planethopping. Even better if it allows one to explore a new region of Golarion, be it Casmaron, Garund or Arcadia
and yes, another real "urban" Adventure path in the vein of Crimson Throne would be a winner, too. Absalom ? Sounds good. Although I'd settle for a less civilized, more evil or cruel city. Say Katapesh ? Kaer Maga ? Or something in Thuvia or Ossirion.....
for me :
positive : (would make me re-establish my subscription)
Say how about an Urban dwarven campaignˆˆ
as for the druid
- Stage a riot around guard headquarters ("have the city pay for antidotes") making it harder to access, and of course, the guards are affected by plague too, so are pretty likely to be pressed to the limits..... "best I can offer you is a squad of four guys who just survived it". nevermind them protecting houses etc of those who have fled the city now ripe for plundering, keeping the city gates shut or quarantining ships in the harbour.
nevermind them being non functional silhouettes (mostly to fool observation through telesscopes and countercheks with the ship register) .... and easily spotted at catapult/late-medieval caannon range.
What makes sailing ships so distinctive is the shape and location of the hull of their main propulsion system: masts, sails, standing riggingˆˆ
one might of course go a) with different cut/shaped/coloured sails b) butter the ship up with some "permanent illusions" spells... which might just be cheaperˆˆ
having only played in the original Runelords, yes, it was pretty deadly. we suffered painfully (no big need for Coup de Grace then), and stopped playing the AP after issue #4 for something more interesting. And yes, IMHO the new version has been significantly updated in deadliness.
As for CdG..... I am not fond of it, and usually, most of my NPCs will "full attack"" helpless NPCs (being unaware of the rules concept - you know, that seems a bit Meta )......
But having recently GMed a SnSh campaign where our group mercilessly used CdG actions ( Witch with Persistent Sleep-gaze, aided by fighter/polearm co-workers) to disable opposition which saved the groups collective aXXes several times I am not sure anymore.
The problem being - there are hardly any BBEG groups to fight who even get the chance to use such meta-tactics, but usually only one nasty BBEG, who is probably unwilling to both take the AoO and leave other combatants unchallenged. One Dragon,one Mokmurian, one runelord.
And yes, knocking opponents out, and then having the BBEG leaving their mark on them has its uses - and nevermind, that is how lesser villains IMHO actually progress to become more than "just a goon" ?
Overall, I mostly fudge rolls unless we are talking "are we being stupid" or "big-end-fight" situations occur. Makes for a better story and greater enjoyment, giving more purpose to PC deaths.
first part of the AP is pretty deadly (check the obituaries) but fun.
second part is good, one might have some quibbles, and rather sandboxy
third part : railroadish, but has some good scenes. The regatta, if properly prepared can be terrific
fourth part : one...ahem huge island dungeon crawl plus a (IMHO railroadish) pirate party. The whole setup smacks more of a feudal kingdom (are you fit to rule this, our domain ?) , than of a confederation of pirates. YMMV
fifth part : another set of smaller dungeon crawls, not much piracy anymore. Most astoundingly the one dominant BBEG gets slain here....
sixth part : huge but abstract sea battle plus dungeon crawl to become the pirate king. Huge parts of it can be bypassed by a very simple deduction
IMHO : a good AP, but there could have been so much more piracy ( I don't see freebooters skulking around castles) - sneaking over overgrown islands, ghost ships etc.... mostly missing. Many of the fantastic NPCs introduced early on in the path simply dwindle away. There is also a tendency by the authors "to build" the most notorious pirate captain
A lot of non-combat skills are heavily used (Professions, bluff diplomacy etc stick out ), and in parts the the AP can be pretty "Jack-Sparrow-ish"
There will be strong difficulties to replace dead charatcters during part #1
Gunslinging is supported, but in a minor way, and apparantly not necessary for the players.
Overall, good start, less fun later on in the path unless you like the "we sneak through this ancient castle of our BBEG" approach
I'd give a 2- (B-).
"Isles of the Shackles" will be an almost quintessential purchase.
Excellent support material : check out some of the books for Freeport by Green Ronin and the donwloadable "Razor Coast" by Nicolas Logue
actually you do not want to fire with cannon too much. you never know which part of the opposition's cargo you might damage/spill (yes, overly realistic). shoot some barrels of rum... ouch, major fire hazard. Rip apart those fine silks, Split open the bags of pepper and other spices. Trash the porcelain... Hey, even kill the enemy crew/potential slaves. But yes, they add flash and bangˆˆ
It also perfectly eludes me, why cannon fire should be so much more useful than having a flying/mounted caster striking the enemy ship without chance of a miss, in precisely the indicated spot, usually with a spell designed for maximum carnage in that area.
Cannons in Morgan's and Bartholomew's age where more intended for intimidation, unless one actually encountered a warship. Which often ended very badly for the pirates - perhaps less so in their hometurf, the Shackles....where they have facilities for repair
Our finalparty consisted of :
Tiefling fighter/rogue 8th/6th (raised once)
Although with a much changed final three AP paths. Everybody stuck to his "piracy" concept", nothing too exotic racewise or gunslingery. Noone actually wanted guns, though some were left lying about. The only "gun" they had was a limited shots sonic projector (weighing over a ton), which they used mostly to criple ships or blatt through obstacles
looking at the rather low AC (tropical conditions) of most opposition in this AP, I don't really see much of a benefit by taking gunslinging. Nevermind the usually crowded conditions. And pirates are trying to capture vessels intact, not sinking.
And historically, most piracy (except the Hollywood type) happened without Canons and Handguns, so..... well, it seemed to have worked through intimidation, archery/crossbows. Nevermind, water spoiling powder etc. it being expensive and possibly needing an Alchemist to procure.
Who exactly does Elizabeth Swan plunder, pillage, murder rob or maraud for undeserved loot ? CG..... the chaining of Jack Sparrow to the Pearl in part II - might be seen as self defense. Nevermind her going all out in order to ressurect him. Tries to protect the innocent....
Similar for Orlano Bloom's character. Or even the boatsswain's mate.
Far too little robbing in PotC for a real piracy movie....Argggggh !
And Besmara loves her freedom to cause chaos and take what she wants (and seems quit at ease with the pirates than squandering or being robbed themselves).
Besmara is basically the anti-pode to Abadar
what you might do is have the players throughout the next adventures meet survivors who have been attacked by the Wormwood (and you could realy play up the tortured Caulky angle in AP#3 - no idea how your group would react to some of the more gruesome stories you could conoct around her.... Torture and scaring her to death just for the fun of it, accidentally putting out her eye witha carelessly hurled knife - even into the.... territory of her being is personal "slave"....let's not delve too deeply there.).
Or, just have maimed survivors on floats and rafts (look up the RL picture "The Raft of the Medusa", you can always find it on the net, but it is even better in the Louvre *snobmode /Off*) who have been drifting without water and supplies because they would not join his crew.
Why not, after a few weeks/months they returrn to Rickety's and find dozens of dead, and crippled survivors, who faced Harrigan shortly ago and suffered his wrath for the locals squibbing "his prize", the Promise. Rickety nailed to his own wharf or sawmill..... workers used as rollers for transporting heavy trunks...
If you want the fear of God about Harrigan stuffed down the players throats, these indirect "encounters" might prove quite valuable ?
My brother is GMing the campaign himself now, and had a PC who nearly wrecked the ship to rescue a fellow group member, put in the sweatbox for 2 days (useless, she was a beastbourne Tiefling - and incidentally she is a callistrian hook.. ahem exotic dancer oracleˆˆ) but then proceeded to cut off her hand and made the character eat it...... raw. After that... no more mercy for Harriganˆˆ
The question is, to what degree of nastiness do your players' enjoy themselves, and where does one asa GM and playyer crossthe line into "too much horror". By your description.... it does look a bit hard to get them into a "Harrigan must DIE" mode
Guy Kilmore wrote:
dim light to the observer, perhaps ? Hide in plain sight works on the elf. But not on the dwarf ?
After all, even dragons can go invisible, although they would see each other quite plainly.
Or even worse... have a shadowdancer hide in plain sight, pullling out his gem of seeing....and suddenly popping up out of nothing.
Let's catch someone from the rulesteam to verify this ( i mean someone with actual paizo credentialsˆ). I think otherwise we can spend days and hours making up fun examples.
that's ok fitz. but I do see groups of payers sort of revlting (andlater taking it out on rickety's) because of the huge contractual fees.
All that being said Rickety makes absolute sense as an out-of-the-way wharf, resupply depot, low-key trade area and shipyard.
we could call the painted on or canvas shrouding for a short period of time "squibbing". have a look at "master and Commander" - both the movie and the factual book. though - who would reallly purchase some canvas for 2000gp ?
BUT : a ship is a composite of its hull shape and size, the placement and size of masts, the location of holds and superstructure. affecting its performance. the IRL Admiral Alexander Cochrane, the man after whom fictitious Jack Aubrey was shaped, just as an example found out that placing two larger cannons on his foredeck both cost him 20% speed, and their actual firing through recoil tore his foreship apart. He never tried how the ship would handle in heavier seas... he went back to the much lighter original cannons.
pirates steal cargo... what precisely is keeping them from stealing the actual ships the cargo is on to hide their tracks ? taking a look at the "Whyddah" "Queen Anne's Revenge" or "Royal Fortune" here...
don't squib... steal !
An if you have 120 tons of capacity for the cargo hold... you ccan't put 120 tons of gun on deck, which would make the craft topple over. One may add hammocks and additional provision spaces below deck good or raiding, bad for endurance.
Aft castle/stern castle. Nice for fighting but major hassles in a storm and affecting drift.
Higher/lower masts, changed sail......will wreck either the speed, maneuverability, trim ( chance to move windwards or speed on most courses ) and probably make the ship top-heavy.
Best choices : get a better plan for a faster ship, find some way to increase material strength while maintaining stability.... or stealˆˆ Enchant the ship versus fire ( a besmaran Hallowing might be a good idea) . Protect the helmsman at all costs ( wall of force, glasssteel cylinder etc.). Enchant the ship with a silencing field. In an emergency... use illusions.
yes, my ex-GF (10 years) was running a small wharf/repair yardˆˆ I know my boats and sailcraft *grin*
trip : often enough the most likely to be used (wolves etc.). Troble is the rules question of what exactly happens if you a get tripped again and b having enough people arund to to deliver AoOs to make it worthwhile
Sunder : makes you massively unpopular with your players
Disarm : hardly worth it, unless to show off or in specific duels/situations
Feint : can be... extremely brutal at higher levels
Overrun : ? never seen
Bull Rush : having had at least three characters killed by this, I would say, yes, it is used and , with some forethought by the GMis very deadly. ledges, paths over and along lava,
that way, by rushing Scourge and Plugg off the ship in the final storm - securing themselves with ropes. Wet deck, sloped surface....
Grab : don't get me started. Killer
Brace vs. charge ? given the range of lances.... *facepalm*
Toadkiller Dog wrote:
ahhh, oooops. We mean the creature with Int 3, Wis 17 and and a CHA of 14 who is utterly immune to any mind-effecting effects and... just by the way... a direct offspring with a single-minded pupose of a major deity ? I have known live priests (with huge followings) and lesser Stats
aka = this guy www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/magical-beasts/spawn-of-rovagug/ xotani-the-firebleeder/xotani-the-firebleeder-original
a thing that is an aspect of a a deity incarnate ? I can only see Jhavul ( a mere Efreeti-Lord) who has done nothing but heal the beast lose to it and being sucked in - or rather - as described, enclosed in its ribcage. If Xotani can now command his plane shift powers... even worse. Taking command of his ability to grant wishes.... please no
Never mind that wishes do not beat spell resistance per se?
So now we seem to have a plane shifting monstrosity, ready to burn a hole into the background of existence to free Rovagug (the sole purpose of the Spawns ). Whether that thing has the desire to smooch Ymeri (or whoever) seems pretty irrelevant.
That is not speculation, that is a thesis,and I would await some reply
hmmm, very little you can do then.
But first off- if it makes for a better story (not to cheat the players) ALWAYS FUDGE THE DICE to make for a better, more entertaining story. Yo are sitting around the table for a fun narrative, not for interpreting some dice.
Nevermind, somebody who wants a ninja android pirate aboard his campaign.... no real surprise there, that things turn out funny.
If they still have the "sharing of the loot" before them...mercilessly cheat them on that.
Or. Call the campaign quits and perhaps take some more thorough and planned out notes on the npc motivation for the next outing.
Harrigan in itself is not the most capably setup BBEG anyway, since he is utterly absent for most of the plot and development so some care must be taken with regard to that.
methinks : you are
you seem to have gone far too easy on that android player,attempting murder ( i am not even consideing what would have happened in a IRL navy if someone attempted it ) and never really established where the cruelty aboard comes from.
And playing Scourge and Plugg as some sort of comical buffoons ? this is not a Gilbert and Sullivan play.
your campaign... and your chance to wreck it - looks like you have some heavy housekeeping to do.
some examples (and it seems a tad late for that)... our Harrigan casually stepped on sailors hands (crushing thmem on purpose) while scraping the decks or nailed a carpenters helper to the mast when a "1" was rolled for the skilll check. he chained the dead blasted corpse of our gnome thief to the foremast when that guy blew himself up stealing.
Harrigan is the BBEG and he is hardly to be seen for three issues so you really need to rampup the hatred
Toadkiller Dog wrote:
they merge. The following entity is now called Xotani. not Jhavul (I'd go along the thesis that in a merger the dominant part gets tobe named ).
and .... but not befoe katapesh suffers greatly from the reborn Spawn of Rovagug. I would also recommend page 54 of he AP#6... the only thing jhavul s
oh, and page seven Jhavul becomes th e newest incarbarnation of xotani. laves little doubt to his evebtual mega-lomanic occupatio...
Toadkiller Dog wrote:
for one - i have sinceredoubts that an efreeti lord can hold the raw power of a Spawn in check. that thing is similar in power to a Tarrasque. According to the AP Xotani will merge with Jhavul and is thereafter only called Xotani (!). He will then blast a major gap into the landscape (10s of miles around - cracatoa volcanoe sed up..... ) and planeshift away.........Pactmasters and others (Ossirion's Pharao) will now be very angry
the players will have created a now plane-shifting spawn of rovagug...
What I meant - most of what you actually achieved throughout the ME-AP did not really affect the ending. yes, perhaps who survived etc. But the universe as was - ended on a very similar note
@geraint and Groves : if Second Darkness happened, events in most other parts would be very different.
Nevermind setting free the Spawn of Rovagug in Legacy ( have a quick look at how that affected the whole of Casaron )......... Or not resinking/eliminating the Rise of Xin Shalast.... ahem...
waking a vengeful evil god might be one of the lesser worries ( I never really saw the deeper logic in Serpent' Skull ).
Fail on some of the APs you are facing a very different world. Back in the Dungeon Times, not winning Savage Tides had mostly extraplanar repercussions. Similar for Shackled City. but for the Pathfinder APs ?
ouch. Basically you get condemned to either reset to a previous point of the timeline or ignore the effects.
If you doubt such consequences... take a good hard look at KotDT's "pack of Doom" storyline.
PS I never liked the "points of light" concept of the FR. but it was consequent in a way.
if you "need" anything to be nigh uncurable, just add some increase to DC as a progressive side effect... say +1 to DC/3 days, makes it harder on the healer.
For someting really uncurable, make the disease a curse with a steadily increasing DC.... heal = pretty useless against those and so much more fitting into the medieval mindset-
say like Midas' Curse or the Fisher King's never-closing wound.
Adam Daigle wrote:
yeah it (amongst other things ) "jazzed" me out of subscription having played the original "mace of St Cuthbert adventure (back at dragon #100), for terrible effects on our campaign world....... nope, not really up my alley, part of town or even city. That and "Wrath of the Righteous" =/= bad jazz
I do not think that me preferring an advancing setting is saying that I think PC actions don't matter "AT ALL". Rather the contrary. Every GM worth his salt can revise a new canon locally to accomodate his players. But being shown the aftermath of an AP lends it real consequence in the first place
so...basically Mass Effect IIIˆˆ on paizo's side ? with players asking for more indiviualization ?
Lord Snow wrote:
Matter of GM style.At low-level you get threatened by the mooks - then by their second string leaders... hired assassins ... the gang bosses.
We had a pretty solid strata of gangbosses build up for our last urban campaign, and while you could struggle and push around the paizons going up against the underbosses or even the local king of crime..... now THAT proved far more difficult (yah fun ting, he was one of the character's brother and their confidant...oh the fun we hadˆˆ).
The world is not set, and other people evolve or get pushed aside, too. Kings commoners, adventurers
what I do not like is there being no " real " alternative ending a Plan B) or C)
say, "Second Darkness ": The dieties see the catastrophy coming and decide to intervene this time, but for a certain numer of cylces lose part of their powers. The Meteroid breaks up into still destructive, but not Golarion-shattering fragments, but for a decade to come, no 8th or 9th level divine magic, and major disturbances in high level magic
or Milani the goddess throws herself into the breach... meteoid shattering in upper athmosphere. 5 years of drought and famne, after which Milani' remains slowly reforms, now wih a different aspect... say, like "Defiance"
please tell that to players struggling through "Second Darkness" (meteroid strikes golarion ) or "Legacy of Fire" (failure results in a freed spawn of Rovagug or a Spawn/Efreeti Lord Hybrid looking for his reign of fire ).
No real effects on the world as such.... right.
"Carrion Crown" also features a very dismal and threatening finale.
"Serpent Skull"- you now have a very active, phobic to anything non-reptiloid deity bend on Revenge.... And his main Atzlanti opposition out of the game.
yeah, no real "change to the world, either.
It truly might be nice to know what officially/supposedly happened and who, if anyone, covered it up to lessen the impact
hey do the classic : nail his ears to the mast.and after some time, when the char ets tired.... they will rip off, leaving deep scars.
Nowadays ist just denotes someone who will "take you for a wild ride on the lying side"
We actually played Rosie as a character( the player joined late, and everyone was on the boat already) , and hence had her switched some :
normal 22 point PC stats. Bard (streetperformer 1), perform fiddle, perform stand-up comedian (cussing).
str 12 int 13 wis 9, Dex 16 Con 12 Cha 17 (roughly)
Force of will (old 3.5 feat, replaces CHA as main stat for will saves ) an later on Weapon finesse, Skill Focus Diplomacy, Dodge, Combat Reflexes, Vital Strike, Fleet of Foot, some other stuff.
Char caused a lot of havoc with Scourge's whip, and later an enchanted Scorpion whip (she actually carried four for various purposes )
But I will say Skull & Shackles was my least favorite AP, possibly because I went into it wanting so much to enjoy it. I've a lot of small little problems with the volumes I have (I confess I stopped buying halfway thru), but I think the biggest handicap is that the Pathfinder RPG concepts (wizards and trolls and plate armor) don't map too well on a campaign trying very hard to look like a 17th century high-seas adventure.
I would then cordially invite you to grab a copy of Scott Lynch's "Red Sea under Red Skies" or Tim Powers original "On Stranger Tides" to have blast in (almost) cannon-free fantasy settings with brilliant pirate plots.
ok, no trolls in either, though
Grey Lensman wrote:
hmmm, I meant something with more "AAAAAAAAAAAAAARGGHHHHHH", flashing sabres and swashbuckling... ˆˆ
Flynn, Fairbanks etc. or Cutthroat Island, PotC or Polanski's Pirates....... yeah and some less "demons and golems" and some more "sharp duels"
Actually - and I realizes they are far harder to write up than one BBEG - I do miss fights against groups of opponents ( three and up) which due to the economy of actions put more pressure on PCs, and allow a wider versatility of actions for the GM
"meet the linear Guild !"
OH and I don't think the Paizo APs are actually shorter...savage tides, level 1-20 stretched over 10-11 issues (?), but only took up part of the issue itself (not the 50%+ the paizo crew aims at ). But, there has been a strong tendency to insert masses of fluff, instead of "cool situations"... "Ẃho writes up the coolest Pirate Captain" in SnS comes to mind (I really did NOT need two pages of backstory for Mr. Plugg or a write up of the Master of Gales... or Andorax Endymion. That is stuff much better located in the player's guide - or a "Nasty Pirates of the Shackles" companion . But there were up to eight pages of those writeups in almost every issue....
Just my take, I guess
yes, a brilliant idea ! ( ok, to each his own). and actually the final six levels of SnS had some of the...ahem....... dumXXXXXed dungeon crawling ever. Straight boring and off the shelf, slightly adaped for pirates. THERE IS NO DUNGEON CRAWLING IN PIRATES !please name me a decent pirate movie that runs that way
Which is why I loved "Savage Tides" until one started changing planes: fun, unexpected exploration, ships, lone islands, great recurring villains ( all me "vanderboren !" ).... lovely. And only one large dungeon area.....
hated Age of Worms ( no worms fo me), Shackled City was sooooo... uneven in quality
hmm, for one, I never allow take "10" if there is a sizable risk involved. Chars under stress = sizable risk. There may be a long debate about it. page 86, main rulebook
personally, for the upper bridge, I'd refer to pages 172 and 193 of the core rules (difficult ground = usually skill check involved in crossing = 2xmovement + half movement from acrobatics. ). Acrobatics use always reduces one to half speed ( or a +10 difficulty). RAW.
the drop from the stone bridge G2 is a 200' drop as well. splosh and who exactly cares ? G3 states 200'. ignore 20' for water, 20' of non lethal damge.... = 16D6 of lethal...app 54 points ? before probably drowning in medium/heavy armour, in turbulent waters ? pretty deadlyat level 7. After having been struck by an elementalˆˆ
oh, and troll hoards... my players usually go for "fullnuclear blast" (after 20 years playing with me). Which also might explain our by now pretty distinctive "I know, but my PC doesn't" attitude. Never mind the players rarely going for "mending" or craft "sewing"
Nothing bad about making it easier on the players, but as written... very tough cookie.
personally , I absolutely change stuff for a fun and entertaining story, but the thread aims at "are the APs too hard"
My brother played part one of CC, the group then refused any more involvement. he said " we must have lost half of the lecturer's students while finishing"....
hmm are we reading the same AP here ? any move over the bridge = check, plus extra checks for being struck by arrows. with slowed movement since that bridge is swaying..... (nevermind me feeling nasty, why doesn't the "archer" set the bridge on fire with her flaming arrows ? ). for your average wizard/sorc/cleric/oracle/alchemist that sounds like an untrained acrobatics DC with quite some encumberance...
other bridge : bypasing the door (whatever means) triggers the elemental and there is not a single clue that the tattered frayed uniform is a helpful bypass in any way... Nevermind that you have to dig it up in a room where you have just been fighting trolls... probably with acid or fire based magic.....
sorry... CC is a meatgrinder. I like the story of "Trial", the implementation in itself is still very hard on the party
But seriously, a mass save or die spell against 6th level characters is a really douchey thing to pull. ** spoiler omitted **
seems to happen more often than not.
Spoiler:and we had a very similar, nigh-campaign ending moment like that in the 3.5 Ravenloft adventure.
Entered the local church to bury the (off-screen dead) mayor, and the local priests cast it the instant you open the door. From a (the single one in the whole adventure) scroll.
And that was mostly a "greet and meet" encounter, not the BBEG.
So some designers seem to think such stuff is "necessary", at least for a horror adventure ?
King of Vrock wrote:
Here's a link to the most recent thread about this subject (in which I am a poster) and it breaks it down very succinctly. Note especially Shadowlord's break down towards the end of page 2.
So. I see a lot of players arguing that Shadowdance should be treated one way (which they like). There is also a number of well reasoned players who think differently.
Notice anything ? Players. Not the crew designing the game.
As for "too easy" : we lost six chars over all (then lost the whole crew in a major gambit at the end). Three in the first installment, then one in the second, the other two over time. Strangely enough, two players made it through to the AP's finale with their initial chars (Rosie and our Witch, and the captain character was lost only just before our take of AP#6)....
So AP#1 probably was/is the most deadly part of the whole run^^
yeah well, hide in dim shadows that DO NOT EXIST. Not in the first place. To the observer. Who you make a stealth check against... You do not approach him/her in concealment. Concealment/cover that does not exist to anyone with darkvision.
By our take, blindsight, blindsense, scent... hey even touch are.. useless because the Shadowdancer (or whatever uses a similar power) is hiding in a shadow... and hence is in STEALTH. Oh wait it is actually not at all...
If people are observing you using any of their senses (but typically sight), you can't use Stealth. Against most creatures, finding cover or concealment allows you to use Stealth.
Once the Shadowdancer is with 60' there is no more concealment, no more cover provided by dim light. And he/she is "only" using the normal "Stealth" skill according to the power description, although with extraordinary conditions. But those DO NOT apply to those with Darkvision. So... no more extraordinary conditions for stealthing, or rather using stealth ? Or do you think that someone walking over open ground from stealthed cover is still "hiding" ? Let'S go into "stealth" in dim shadows and run over ground covered in bright light all the way, with no cover ? Just because the Shadowdancer noticed something shadowy some time beforehand ?
oh, and nevermind the Sahuagin, who where the initial opponent in this thread approached in "Shadowdancer hide in plain sight " have Blindsense anyways. They do "observe" the Shadowdancer, without sight. Bon chance !
please, let's just take this to the rules forum. This is getting tiresome. And it is not about "too easy" as far as the AP is concerned, or is it ?
King of Vrock wrote:
Based on what part of the rules would that statement rest, precisely ?
Or on what part of common logic/sense ?
Darkvision - by the rules - supercedes darkness within its range. Darkness (or dim light) does not exist for its user. Hence, you cannot hide in or behind something that is not existent for the observer. Same as for smell, sonar, touch or blindsight based on another sensory means (say... Lifesight... yeah that was 3.5 only as far as I can remember ). Same as hiding behind an illusion (concealment, right) if the observer has a means of reliably penetrating the illusion - say true sight or a gem of seeing.
By your take on the rules, an orc could backstab/sneak attack anyone in total darkness, but not in dim/shadowy light which gives concealment ?
let's wait a second
In an area of dim light, a character can see somewhat. Creatures within this area have concealment (20% miss chance in combat) from those without darkvision or the ability to see in darkness. A creature within an area of dim light can make a Stealth check to conceal itself. Areas of dim light include outside at night with a moon in the sky, bright starlight, and the area between 20 and 40 feet from a torch.
Taken from this part of the rules : http://www.d20pfsrd.com/gamemastering/vision-and-light
nevermind the following further down on the same rules entry...
Characters with darkvision (dwarves and half-orcs) can see lit areas normally as well as dark areas within 60 feet. A creature can't hide within 60 feet of a character with darkvision unless it is invisible or has cover.
there is NOTHING about cover or the Shadowdancer gaining invisibility or any sort of cover from Hide in Plain Sight...
A shadowdancer might hide in or behind a shadowy area, which conceals it... unfortunately, those DO NOT exist for characters with darkvision ? So there is nothing to "slip into" because there is no shadowy area within 10' (and you are hiding from the observer, not from... reality, right ? After all, blindsight still finds you, as does smell, leaving an underwater wake... etc.).
By your take, an orc would face a 20% chance of concealment, because "in fact" the target is in a dim light area.... though one which he ignores ? Same for sonar (blindsight) ? Because... there was "dim light" ?
In all honesty, perhaps ask a GM/rules designer ? Or just play it differently to the factual rules while at your own table.
Told to just go about there lives and return in 2 weeks or less. Not really sure where this will go. The anti pally whom resisted twice is big on anti slavery. He will be looking for a cure for them. mean while I think I have an aboleth turning pirate and seeking more slaves. That and a new home.
Drop the Anti-Paladin a hint about the virtues of "Protection from Evil" vs. Dominate Monster... and have a couple of scrolls of Dispel Magic ready ? Hopefully for the Cleric or Sorcerer to use and free as many as possible from the effect^^... then grab some more protection from evil/good and head for the tentacle fish^^
Any insight :
We had under water speech (unaided) force a concentration check on casters (DC 15+2x spelllevel). Once you have Water Breathing or related magic = no real problem ?
And yes, I would assume the croc being able to listen in on (simple) commands. If your GM feels nasty or disinclined, have the croc make a perception check for actaully "hearing" the command.
Conchobar... I find it astounding he even made it this far^^ I have the nagging suspicion he is one of the most killed/maimed/exiled "friendly" NPCs in the first installment.
Does anyone ever pick him over Rosie ?
there is a myriad of other threads on this, and your choice depends very much on what your group wants and what you care to master
3) Legacy of Fire :
4) Skulls and Shackles :
Con : needs STRONG rehashing (IMHO) of the plotline, especially the three final "dungeon crawls" - may I ask what were they thinking ? And gets to topform only if massively redone and expanded. Many NPCs are truly...archetype and not really original at all. Some encounters are excessively deadly, even early on in the AP. Do read the board.
I personally think skulls and shackles sounds like a good deviation from the norm, but king maker sounds good for two of the players who like intensive RP and and sandbox type games. How much leeway is there for battle oriented (with not much social skills at all) characters to do to not feel out of place? I have one player who loves making unusual races with battle themed classes ( grippli ninja, for one) and optimizing them for combat. Will I have to add/change things for him to not feel out of place, or is it fairly balanced for a mixed group like mine?
Skull and Shackles can be made sandboxy if you feel like grabbing some of the details provided by DM_Dudemeister and Sabredoriaclark and YT on the boards. The first three parts of it provide wide roaming and sailing, but the final three parts are more railroadish and oriented towards dungeon-themed adventures. The location of the shackles provides for more exotic races than the Lost Kingdoms
Almost anything goes in Kingmaeker if you feel up to writing it.
Skulls and Shackles
The initial adventure has all the pleasantness of "mutiny on the bounty" in its first part which makes escape into piracy and your own ship all the sweeter.
Sailing, ships, piracy and the sea have been... streamlined for landlubber use, and the final three installments feature a lot more dungeons than one would expect from a piracy AP.
I rewrote extensively, but the players were absolutely enthusiastic about stretching their sealegs
Rise of the Runelords
This one does have some infamously brutal fights, which IMHO, are, if played with any degree of nastiness by the GM, will result in TPKs. Frequently. It is also pretty railroadish and does feature a number of scenes which it is essential to accomplish to even progress any further in the AP. On the other hand. It is a classic, and has some absoultely beautifully crafted parts, such as the the third installment
Curse of the Crimson Throne
the initial parts are fantastic and allow a stupenduous degree of adapting Korvosa to your group's liking. Individual shops, the revolution, setup of NPCs. The missions are pretty "low key" and not quite as deadly as they can be. there are some wonderful subgame with a "semi-rugby" and the chase card system for rooftop pursuits.
Once you leave the city, things tune up on the "dangerous" side, and especially Scarwall castle is a very scary place.
I cannot emphasize how much I am in love with this AP, which gave my group some of its best roleplaying moments ever.
This is a rare treat if your group likes social interaction or social intrigue at low-levels of magic.
Of course, adaption to Pathfinder rules is a necessity
How long does a single book in an AP last? Thanks for all these reviews, they are really helpful!
That depends. I have known groups, role-play intensiv in their outlook on bi-weekly turns to make them last 6 months or slightly more. per book.
Personally, with a once weekly (ok, make that 3/4 weeks) , 6+ hours playing, well-attuned group, I'd say around 6-7 sessions total per book. More role-playing, more time consumed.
Some takes on Fitzwalrus' speculations :
Our campaign - the oracle introduced itself as "one blessed by the powers" (he, ironically, served Nogorber), and faced some supervision. We have a cheap homebrew item in our camapign which registers that magic has been used by its carrier for some hours, and the rough type. Sort of a diplomatic "check and balance"
The witch never said anything (introduced herself as the cook ), same for the bard ( a refurbished Rosie).
Friend's group: everybody insisted on being a rogue and then played it to the hilt, wizard had his spellbook set up in some ... creative manner (and also had some nasty SLA Tiefling casting) , knowing from the AP description he would be kidnapped. They were casting magic only out of sight, with sleight of hand etc. Provided some nasty surprises. Oracle was small-sized (very ) and Life-type.
my brother's new group : Besmaran priests are "allowed on board" but face some harassment and are usually the first to be blamed. They have a "keeping mum" witch, and a sorcerer who wears a distracting spiked collar, massively increasing his concentration checks. The bard... yeah, just showed his colours and landed himself in the sweatbox for lying to the captain.
"Rise of the Runelords" : Save the world (!), recently refurbished, pretty tough in parts
"Curse of the Crimson Throne" : Very good (near excellent) urban AP, will need refurbishment since it is mostly written for 3.5. If you like to expand and "homebrew" a setting - like fleshing out a town, this is.... IMHO, probably the best AP. Tons of fun NPCs, storyline, twists.... the full social works. Opinions will vary
"Kingmaker" : the ultimate rural sandbox AP. Very flexible. Nice ideas and concepts. Does have nasty amounts of feys. Although anything but straightforward and will need strong player initiative, so some groups will hate it.
"Shattered Star" : If you love dungeoneering. Personally, I don't like the concept, but lots of people wanted it.
"Skulls and Shackles" : Piracy, always a popular theme but might need adaption for your group. Cruel and brutal in parts. Has good sandbox elements, but gets more railroadish later on
just my... shortlist.
Wouldn't know. I project onto them the deviousness of Geniekind displayed by the arabic sources. Int 14 would... by an older formula translate into an IQ (hate that) of roughly 140 ? Sounds pretty smart to me. Linked to a chaotic neutral alignment and the whimsical nature of Marids.....
consider this :
from Pathfinder #21 by Wolfgang Baur
I'd say some cruelty and "teaching" aspect might be well within the limits of the wishes ? Oh, and nevermind the binding of genies due to arcane forces by the Seals of Sulesh (more material from the Legacy of Fire AP? ), so getting "stuck" is more a matter of anti-genie mechanics, than a measure of the marid's power.
oh, and offer the lady Marid (sure to attract some male suitors) a nice corally cave on your island and voila, you have a very powerful, smart and flexible ally.... which might.... ahem blow a certain Eel straight out of the bay ? so, setting her free ? Wise choice ?
Richard Pett wrote:
Hitchcock's always mangling my NPCs, it's time he had a mauling back:) Hmmmmmmmmm....
Wonderful to know, when will we see the dismemberment rematch ?*breaks out the popcorn*
and, oh fugg, since you obviously read this : Sir, let me put it this way, you have a beautiful mind to steal from !
Neil Spicer wrote:
Thanks for the cents and the interesting take. *grin*
Am in all likelihood not going to play or master the path, but since I have the friend facing the problem in LoF, it sort of rang a bell, and I do care about the reasoning.
Intrestingly enough, that "sharing of the mold (ahem geas)" was one of the things we contemplated for his conundrum, so....
yeah thanks for the cents^^