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walter mcwilliams's page

RPG Superstar 2013 Dedicated Voter. FullStar Pathfinder Society GM. 605 posts. No reviews. 1 list. No wishlists. 2 Pathfinder Society characters.


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kbowen0188 wrote:

One of the things I worry about with the AP is that at some point some of the players may decide that it is simply better to up and leave instead of dealing with what is going on. I am working on a few different ways to really develop a genuine sense of attachment to the city, both to avoid this happening and to really get the players invested in the story as it plays out.

While designing a few things here and there, I thought I might ask some of you folks if you've ever done anything like this and if so, did it work?

Hopefully, like others have said in their responses to your posts, your players understand their role in the story intuitively. Even if they do however, we as DM's should give them something to really sink their teeth into. All the previous posters have given great advice on this and the only two things I can add are:

a) I did an in-game newsletter "The Korvosa Chronicle" which my players enjoyed and if you search the boards there are details available. This gives you an outlet not only to connect with the PC's but to unload a lot of the background info.

b) Once they connect with an NPC or two kill them off (7-days is a great way to knock off NPC or PC family members / friends) or injure them in someway. This serves two purposes. First, it endears them to the city and her citizens and second furthers their dislike for the villain. My PC's really connected with Kressida. As the villain rose to prominence Kressida and the Korvosa guard's responsibilities and prominence fell. My group disliked that a lot and really rallied behind her.

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I created an in game newsletter I named the Korvosa Chronicle. It gave a voice to Korvosa and allowed me to impart a lot of backstory information, drop red herrings etc. It also gave allowed the competing factions (pro-Illeosa vs. rebels) to give voice to their positions. In the end, I had the Chronicle go underground as Illeosa's reign became bloodier and more controlling.

It was fun for me as the DM and the players.

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Best blog post of the year!

Tels wrote:

By the way, if the player does play as a Cavalier, and makes it up to Scarwall, you *need to have an improptu Jousting challenge between the Cavalier and Sergeant Lashton on the Causeway.

You could do it by having them roll Initiative each round, but that only matters for who attacks first. Otherwise, movement takes place at the same time, and a tie in the initiative roll means both characters attack at the same time.

I would also rebuild Lasthon to be a bit more effective on a charge myself, but opt for a much more tanky Lashton so no one gets one-shotted on a Spirited Charge.

The ACG released just before I began HoA so When I ran CotCT I rebuilt Laston as a cavalier (order of the dragon of course).

As for the mount question in general, I really can't add much.

On a "cavalier" note, I also modified the Order of the Lion Cavalier order to a non-mounted order and converted all my Gray Maidens.

deusvult wrote:

Agile weapon enchantment.

Enough with the Dex-to-Damage crud. If you want to do damage, invest in Strength.

Or any stat for that matter!

Secret Wizard wrote:
Varalash wrote:

3 - Can I combine this with a swift dismount? assuming I need to for whatever reason, attempt a swift dismount (if successful, free action DC 20 ride) then full attack. (If I fail it's a move action, so I'd still get a single attack?)

Level 7 Roughrider class feature:

Leap from the Saddle (Ex)
At 7th level, after a roughrider’s mount takes a single move, he may attempt a fast dismount (DC 20 Ride check). If he succeeds, he can take a full-attack action.
This ability replaces Armor Training 2.

I think that you cannot combine it with a swift dismount since the point of Mounted Skirmisher is that you are better at using your mount's movement to attack.

I agree 100%, I also don't believe you can spit it up.

Atarlost wrote:

Chaotic Good Paladin

Lawful Evil Paladin
True Neutral Paladin
In fact every possible paladinoid except the already extant paladin and antipaladin

Completely Pet-less unmounted Cavalier that still has Tactician


CG Paladin - See Charlie Bell's RPG Superstar 2013 entry here

Completely Pet-less unmounted Cavalier that still has Tactician -

I converted my CotCT Gray Maidens to this.

Does anyone have a map of Saventh-Yhi with a hex overlay on it? Can anyone recommend a software application that can accomplish this?

Shackled City (DM)
Age of Worms (DM)
Savage Tide (Player)
CotCT (DM)
Second Darkness (player)
Jade Regent (player)
Carrion Crown (Player, Chapter 4)
Kingmaker (Player, chapter 1)
Serpent Skull (on deck circle to DM)

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I play with extremely experienced gamers so I run all my AP's. one-offs, etc at 15 point buy in. I limit max starting abiity scores, including racial bonus to 18, and minimum to 9. I like the 1st ed. feel 15 point buys have. I remember when a +1 bonus was great and anything better epic lol.

The subject line of this post might be the one tag line that actually motivates me to give this a try!

Converted The Lost Cavern of Tsojcanthlast year as a sequel to my CotCT campaign

When I and my fellow players played through this we loved it. I agree however, that the players must develop some level of empathy with the beast and his plight.

Why is NO Changes not an option?

PossibleCabbage wrote:
Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
Inquisitor gets Reapting Crossbows for free. With the Endless Ammuntion special ability, you can make a full attack with a crossbow without a single feat.
We're actually starting a campaign soon and I was thinking of making a Dwarf Inquisitor whose primary weapon is a repeating crossbow (it's not going to be a bow, because a dwarf with a bow just seems wrong, plus other concept reasons.) Other than endless ammunition on the repeater, how would you suggest building that so it's not incompetent in combat?

I've intentionally not procured endless ammo or any other game mechanic that would eliminate the handicap of having to reload. I like the challenge and game play of having to monitor your ammo.

Playing a 10th level inquisitor now using the repeating crossbow and having a blast. I took all the standard archery feats and when I get spun up with judgments and buff spells it's a crap load of fun and I can hit pretty hard.

Balistero - 4 enervations followed by a critical hit from Vampiric Touch!

Reading these posts is crazy! How do GM's who perpetrate this type of insanity keep players in their groups! So thankful for the great GM's I have in my circle of gamers!!

I probably fall in the middle. I generally customize and add to the AP to meet player expectations and work their backgrounds into the overall story. I also add a lot of my own ideas, NPC etc, steal from other GM on this site etc. I have omitted encounters and story elements that didn't fit for my group.

I think personalizing is the most important job any GM can do when preparing and running an AP. You also need to adjust as the campaign moves forward. If PC's become attached to a particular NPC that's not fleshed out in the source material then build on it. An escaped minor bad guy with a two line paragraph that escapes your PC's can become a memorable bad guy. That caved in tunnel on the AP Map can be yours to expand for some wicked cool idea that's been floating around in your head.

Personalization is what makes AP's more fun for everyone!! And allows DM's to let their personal creative juices flow!

The Shifty Mongoose wrote:
Yay! Your group is doing post-AP stuff? Or will you end it there with the Mythical ascension?

Yep - it will involve the rescue of our caravan mates who we lost along the way.

Concerning pathfinder AP so far our group has continued on past the AP, which we all like.

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I have GM'd Shackled City, and Curse of the Crimson Throne to completion and Rise of the Runelords and Age of Worms past the half-way point. I have played and completed Savage Tide, Second Darkness, and Jade Regent and currently play Carrion Crown. We have had character deaths and maybe one almost TPK. Jade Regent was the only AP my PC did not die in, and I was below zero multiple time in all of them.

I do not consider, in any way, any of the chapters of these AP's meat grinders. IMHO most PC deaths are directly related to bad luck (x3 crit with a lance) or a bad idea (moving into the open field with enemy cavalry within charging distance vs. taking cover like the rest of the party)

Our current Carrion Crown party is anything but "optimized" (that word and "build" always leave a bad taste in my mouth). We had a kick-butt 12 round battle at the end of book 3 in which my PC died. Why did he die? Two reason. Fate - Vampiric Touch crit and bad play on my part. Became impatient and made my move on the bad guy one round to early.

End result I died - but it was an awesome, fun kick-butt fight and now I get to role-play my PC's touch with death since I was raised.

I usually custom name and often design my PC weapons as well, giving them unique physical and occasionally emotional characteristics. My bladebound magus' sword moans when I choose to use a weapon other than her. My ulfen sword and board fighter has a longsword named Heart-ripper and named Thorak's Storm. My Inquisitor's repeating crossbow is known as The 8th Act.

I also don't limit customizing/naming to weapons either. Anything unique, that adds flavor to my PC's is a good thing or spend extra time invisioning.

I used one for our Jade Regent campaign and it worked for 17 level ups and countless rewrites for upgraded equipment etc no problem. The one I'm using for our Carrion Crown campaign has also held up perfectly through 9 levels.

thenovalord wrote:

Well done

Start part 5 in two weeks

Which was your favourite module?

My PC was an Ulfen fighter, heavily inspired by Bernard Cornwell's Uthred character, so I really enjoyed the earlier installments better the later. I also tend to like lower and mid level play over high. Here is how I ranked them from most favorite to least favorite.

Night of Frozen Shadows
Brinewall Legacy
The Hungry Storm
Forest of Spirits
Tide of Honor
The Empty Throne

Mythic Super Jager Overlord wrote:
Congrats! I hope some day our group is able to achieve this mantle of success. My players are still in the arctic. They are getting ready to go "talk" to the dragon Vegsundvaag.

Vegsundvaag was one of my PC's highlight. Big crit with my longsword Heartripper for the kill!

This past Friday, April 18 2014 - The group I am lucky enough to have gamed with on a weekly bases for the past 5 years or so succeeded in placing Ameiko Kaijitsu to the throne. We had a blast and special thanks to DM Anthony who did a wonderful job over the past year (about average for our group to finish an AP). This is my groups fourth completed AP the others being (Second Darkness, Curse of the Crimson Throne, Savage Tide)

Final group composition:

Ingvar "Bloodtooth" Ingvarson - Ulfen, Shielded Fighter 16
Ishida Katsumoto - Tian, Monk of Many Styles, Samurai
Aiyoko Katsumoto - Tian, Geisha 16
Taslan - Samsaran - Wizard 16
Yuka - Tengu - Ninja 16

We still have some cleaning up to do, our caravan and its friends are missing, presumably still in the grasp of the Jade Regents surviving supporters.

As a special gift - we earned Mythic Tier I!

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I am playing BB magus in both PFS and a home brew game at the moment and having a blast.

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I agree in principal with Greywolflord. As a DM or PC I don't like an over abundance of "helper" NPC's. I think AP's "As Written" in general are beginning to rely to heavily upon them, and the enemy-of-my-enemy is my ally concept. They're now predictable!

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

He receives normal arcane pool (number of points equal to 1/2 his magus level (minimum 1) + his Intelligence modifier) until 3rd level at which point his pool becomes and remains 1/3 his level (minimum 1)plus his Intelligence bonus.

Does anyone have hex maps of Saventh-yhi and Illmurea??

Kudaku wrote:

-Change wasn't needed, it was balanced and acceptable.

The problem was the ease of acquisition since a single dip in Master of Many Styles monk would let you pick the feat up as early as level 1. It was a feat well balanced for the level when it first became traditionally available (level 5 at the earliest). The published change throws the baby out with the bathwater - a better fix would be to refine the requirements or reverse Crane Wing and Crane Deflection - that way it requires a bigger investment, comes online later, but still provides a unique and attractive quality to fighting with a free hand.

As it stands now you can simply take Crane Style for the Fighting Defensively benefits, grab a shield which will overall impact your Armor Class more than the new Crane Wing ever will, and leave the one-handers (yet again) in the dust.

I really hope this change gets rolled back.

I agree Kudaku condensing a 5 feat progression down to this few feats has the potential to be a bit unbalancing. Add to that, mitigation of the most substantial penalty, -4 to attack for fighting defensively, of the style to an inconvenient -1, and the fact that combats are dominated by melee attack gives the opportunity for a free attack every round at you highest BAB -1.

I think keeping the Fighting defensively penalty at -4 and keeping the feat progression inclusive unless the PC actually has "x" levels of Monk would keep this more in line, and prevent the one level dip that gives these substantial benefits to easily to the +1 BAB classes.

Jade Regent Ulfen Fighter - Longsword - Heart Ripper
PFS Black Blade Magus - Longsword - Mournglaive

Today a collection of pre-biblical masks goes on display in Isreal and it made me think about one of the coolest design features that has precipitated throughout most of the published pathfinder materials are masks. It seems every AP holds one or two unique veils with the first, Xanesha's Medusa Mask still being my favorite. Here's the link to the article

Any one else enjoy the Masks of Golarion?

S'mon wrote:

I know, I know, no plans revealed, can't cannibalise sales, etc...

But it is (1) the 10th anniversary of the APs (b) Has a precedent with the 2012 RoTRL and (c) Most importantly, will be when I will most likely be in need of a new epic campaign! :D

Getting APs in the UK is not a cheap or easy prospect. I'm currently running Curse of the Crimson Throne in Pathfinder - acquiring all six issues of the AP here in the UK was an adventure in itself! I now have everything from brand new & unused (#2) to used with the original GM's sticky-notes included (#3) to a laminated ex-public-library(!) copy of #4. Final cost inc p&p was similar to what it would have cost to buy the issues at retail in the UK, that's around £75 - maybe a bit less.
By contrast, just being able to pay £28 on amazon and have a copy of Runelords shipped to me was wonderful, and my Runelords AD&D/OSRIC campaign kicks off 7.30pm GMT this Wednesday on Dragonsfoot forums (places available). :) Those two and my Loudwater 4e D&D game will likely keep me busy to late 2016, but by 2017 I'll be looking for a new campaign. Which is where that tenth anniversary hardback comes in...

(Yes, I had a lot of coffee this fine morning). :D

S'mon - If you're interested I have an incredible amount of detailed information from CoCT campaign I would be more than happy to share. It all rests on my google share drive, so contact me with an email and I would be happy to share.


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I currently play an inquisitor in our Carrion Crown campaign the only other caster is an oracle w/ the life mystery and we also have an alchemist. We're 8th level and beginning to feel the lack of an arcane caster. The oracle w/ the life mystery heals better than most clerics of equivalent level. IMHO the real challenge in groups lacking a full caster is access to certain benchmark spells at later levels than those of full casters. I feel that in published materials, where challenge ratings are balanced in part by the assumption of a standard four food group with full arcane/divine caster style party, access to benchmark spells increases the difficulty of many challenges; especially capstone encounters which tend to be CR +3 or better.

That said, it's fun to utilize our resources in different ways to overcome the challenges with a different utility belt. Encounters last longer, new spells, equipment and tactics are developed. Resources husbanded, terrain and stealth are used more prominently and wands and potions seem to have usefulness beyond the norm.

I still our parties lack of a full arcane caster will be an exceptionally difficult hurdle to overcome at the higher levels, but it will be fund finding out if I'm wrong.

Ellis Mirari wrote:
God forbid your character isn't 100% effective against every opponent. That's just wrong.

So so true, one of the few disturbing trends I notice in PF is that every class must be 100% effective vs every creature type; or in every encounter type every class must have something to do.

Abbadon666 wrote:
MY GM does not allow weapon enhancement to by pass specific material DR. It has started to hurt my character's effectiveness and quote "I think the weapon enhancement rule is bullsh$t and is a lazy persons way out of being perpared

Been my house rule since Pathfinder Beta first proposed the change, and I will never change it. Just like 50% miss chance vs. 1/2 damage vs incorporeals.

Jason S wrote:

Do you advise that I purchase one of the Kingmaker books and run the mass war using those rules? Or the rules regarding Ultimate Campaign? Would that kind of mini game even be fun?

I’ll keep an open mind, but my initial thought was I wanted to keep it abstract, rules light, and feature personal combat (not mass).

I don't advise it if it's not something your group would find fun. Perhaps a large combat battle will be in the offering as a follow on after the AP is complete. The ending of this AP is very ripe for follow on campaigning.

What makes this perhaps the most intriguing of all the AP's to date are the numerous possibility's presented to the PCs and DM on how this entire AP can payout and end. Before KM, CoCT easily offered the probability of a throne to any aspiring PC. Civil War, Revolution, Political intrigue, mass warfare, resistance movements; really all are wonderful and easily workable plots which the DM/Party can easily work into the AP framework.

So yeah, it's easy to work either into the story at any level or degree to best meet your players needs. Let us know what you do and how it plays out.

It's been awhile since I've studied the source material for this AP. However, I don't think the arc will be significantly hindered, one possible outcome would be if the party defeats Krojun and his burn riders but do not slay them you could spin this into grudging acceptance from Krojun and you continue the arc.

If they kill everyone, then the party might have a very hostile trip across the Cinderlands to reach Scarwall.

Is this may also be a great way to weave the kothunites into the story and have them broker a peace between Krojun and the party.

Orthos wrote:
walter mcwilliams wrote:
I have half-baked plans to convert the 3.5 Dungeon magazine levels of Maure Castle into Sorshen's tomb.
Can you tell us which volumes those were in?

Issues 124 & 139

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Never ever ever bemoan having poor PC's it is by far better than rich ones.

I completed my groups follow-on to CotCT over the holidays. I'm an old school gamer and a big fan of WoG, and I really enjoy bringing the old modules back to life for my younger group to enjoy. I converted S4 The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth for my follow on. The party's paladin while investigating under Castle Korvosa was imprisoned by Sorshen in the Prison of Zagig (I renamed it the prison of Eros)to drive the party. I used King Arobasti's opening of Bloodsworn Vale as a cover for his search for Sorshen's greatest treasures and the caverns, and made Drelzna Sorshen's daughter. I came up with this idea shortly after we finished the campaign in 2012. Everyone had a blast, and I worked the new mythic rules in for the party by giving Drelzna a few mythic tiers and having her defeat act as the catalyst for the players to take their first mythic tier.

One of CotCT strengths lies in the ease with which it lends itself to follow on campaigns and adventures. I have half-baked plans to convert the 3.5 Dungeon magazine levels of Maure Castle into Sorshen's tomb.

This was the third AP I ran to completion and I loved it so much I would buy a ROTRL style edition just to have it. I will echo the suggestion of others - print the PDF. I actually do this when running any of the AP. I print all 6 pdf (adventure only) and bind them. That way my players never really know what chapter they're in, though they're all good a figuring it out based on level and other clues.

As much as I hope they will stop all the class bloat, they wont!! They really do need something to market every month to make money. So we do we've always done. Invoke rule zero, drive on, play and have fun!


Like you I despise bloat! For my own PC's I almost never go outside the core and advanced players guides. When I DM those two volumes are open to everyone...Anything else from any other source (no 3rd party ever)I have absolute veto on. If I approve a spell, feat, or whatever from a splat item I try to do so "in game". A new spell maybe found is an ancient library or whatever.

As a player when I have to sit down beside those 500hp damage/round at 1st level dudes, I let them do their thing and just have fun playing my PC. What makes RPG cool is everyone takes something different from the experience and has fun with it.

Crane Wing, as Kudaku pointed out, is nothing more than the melee equivalent of Deflect Arrows. What makes it better is the fact that there is a propensity for melee combat over ranged combat in your average Pathfinder game thus it sees far more use than Deflect Arrow. But, I agree with you 666bender.

Runelord Zutha rules the RPG world!!

Enough is enough we don't need any more base classes, archtypes, prestige classes etc.

No experience with this sort of thing. However, I am quite certain Serithtial will not go along with it. If I remember correctly the sword is aligned LG. An interesting play would be is the Cressida does redeem Sabrina would be to have the sword in her hand in an end game. Sabrina may also bring some Gray Maidens with her. If I remember correctly she "personally" inspired several of the maidens.

No brainer Bard!

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