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Fixing Issues in AoW and Fitting it in to Faerun


Age of Worms Adventure Path


Ok.... I am going to be running a Forgotten Realms version of the AoW and I have been going through the 2 adventures I have changing what I think needs to be changed. Most things don't require too much changing, however there is one large problem that I have that I need advice on changing.
the Grimlocks in Three Faces of Evil....
hmm...
Well I tried to give them the benefit of the doubt but I just can't let this one slid. Grimlocks with Bows - a huge strech as far as I can tell... but still do-able.... somewhat. But the kicker is that at the end the boss has some written letters...

umm... guys... Grimlocks don't have eyes and can't write.

It's in Black and White in the MM.

So...

What have you DM's out there done to fix this? Did you replace the Grimlocks with some other (Derro?) underground race?

What is your solution?


Don't have an answer, but instead another question about the grimlocks.

How do they target Everburning Torches? The senses they use (Hearing and Smell) would not detect one. I guess its a non-issue, but its makes thier main tactic (using darkness) sorta useless because my party is relying on the Ever-burning torches at this point.


Well, I did not like to have Bhaal worshiping Grimlocks either. So here is what I did:

1) The Hextorian are Banites, no other changes. Easy one.

2) The Labyrinth is still filled with the Kenkus, but it leads to the Bhaalite leader (a Kenku assassin)

3) The grottoes are filled with undead and lead to the Faceless One (who is indeed placed somewhere else), leader of the Myrkulian cult.

I can't tell you if it will work because I pulled a TPK on my players on Sunday. The went for the Banite temple first, the cleric easily wiped out the skelettons with a well done turn attempt and they had a couple of lucky criticals to take care of all the cultists and Tiefling fighters.

Unfortunately "Beast" gave them a real hard time and by the time this horror was down they had depleted their healing resources.

Their logic was to push forward with the assault because they did not want to let the survivors (a couple of cultists had escaped deeper and warned the clerics) warn their leaders or the other temples. Perfect logic, I have nothing to say against that.

But they had used all their spells and the wand of burning hands was close to useless against the remaining Tieflings and Theldrik.

In the end, Theldrik managed to take them single-handedly. His Hold-Person prevented the last surviving hero (the cleric of Tyr, oh irony) to flee and he slit his throat...

I felt really bad, because they did not do any gross mistake and were even quite lucky with their rolls. So the only reason I saw for this, was that the set up led them to believe (rightfully so) that they had to press on in order to prevent the temples and the Banites to put up an irresistible defense. Furthermore they had slipped secretly in the mine and did not consider going back to rest on the surface.

TFoE is a player-killer in that it puts them under pressure to carry an assault through, but pits them against very strong opponents. Hence the equation "the stronger the opponents, the more often resting places are available" was not respected...

Now I find myself wondering if I will bother at all starting anew and let them roll new characters... There were also so many mistakes in the adventure that I felt a bit annoyed. Maybe I will just skip the AoW?

Sorry for sounding so bitter, but that's just how I feel...

Bocklin

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Jarjaxle wrote:

Well I tried to give them the benefit of the doubt but I just can't let this one slid. Grimlocks with Bows - a huge strech as far as I can tell... but still do-able.... somewhat. But the kicker is that at the end the boss has some written letters...

umm... guys... Grimlocks don't have eyes and can't write.

Grimlocks with bows or other ranged weapons isn't unusual or wonky at all. The combination of blindsight and scent allows them to target anyone within 40 feet with ease; they can sense all foes in this range as a sighted creature can. Beyond this range, grimlock ranged attacks are far less effective. So that's all good.

As for a grimlock writing words... that is indeed more of a problem. The unspoken thought we had at Paizo during the adventure's development was that this grimlock is doing some sort of spirit writing. The crazy incense and drugs he's been taking, combined with divine insight and eerie powers granted him from forces beyond are what actually guides his writing. Unfortunately, none of this really made it into the adventure.

If the "spirit writing" angle doesn't work for you, changing this grimlock into a derro is probably the best bet.


Jarjaxle wrote:

umm... guys... Grimlocks don't have eyes and can't write.

It's in Black and White in the MM.

So...

What have you DM's out there done to fix this? Did you replace the Grimlocks with some other (Derro?) underground race?

What is your solution?

You could just make his freaky beholder eyes special items that give him the ability to see when he wants. Its essentially a semi-worthless item to a PC, but very useful to Grallak.


James and blackotter both offer very good suggestions for the Grimlock situation.

I too have no problem with grimlocks using bows at a short range. I'd probably make it so they rarely hit, but it'd still be annoying from a PC-perspective.


Spears or other thrown weapons would be more feasible than bows. The beholder eyestalks are a good idea.


Why not just have one of the faceless one's lackies transcribe the grimlock's stupored spiritual ramblings? Maybe just some freaked-out miner that was threatened with being the grimlock's dinner if he didn't write down every word during the visions. As for the bows, I find them a little far fetched as well. I'm giving them throwing blades much like a sharpened stone discus. It is a clumsy racial weapon that might ricochet off of a wall or two before hitting its' target, the weapon's stats are: exotic ranged weapon; cost -; Dmg (S) 1d6; Dmg (M)1d8; Crit x3; Range 10 ft.; Weight 5 lbs.; Type Piercing and bludgeoning.

Osirion

Bocklin wrote:

Their logic was to push forward with the assault because they did not want to let the survivors (a couple of cultists had escaped deeper and warned the clerics) warn their leaders or the other temples. Perfect logic, I have nothing to say against that....

...I felt really bad, because they did not do any gross mistake and were even quite lucky with their rolls. So the only reason I saw for this, was that the set up led them to believe (rightfully so) that they had to press on in order to prevent the temples and the Banites to put up an irresistible defense. Furthermore they had slipped secretly in the mine and did not consider going back to rest on the surface.

TFoE is a player-killer in that it puts them under pressure to carry an assault through, but pits them against very strong opponents. Hence the equation "the stronger the opponents, the more often resting places are available" was not respected...

As written, the three doors from the pool chamber are locked, and it's unlikely the sound of fighting Theldrick's forces would spread to the other temples. If these had been left unlocked or open, then that makes the location much more deadly.

The scenario states the three leaders dislike each other, and don't speak unless they have to. Granted the PCs and players don't initially know that, but once they find Theldrick's journal, that becomes clear.

I also had two tieflings, who were blocked from getting into the fight, get sent off to try hack down the other doors, before coming back as reinforcements. When my PCs checked, they saw the damage (not enough to breach the doors, but close), and realised no-one had come to investigate, so decided to leave well alone.

They cleaned up the mess in the pool room, then barricaded themselves in the Chapel of Hextor overnight. This was a convenient place to level up, as they had earned enough for level 4 since coming down the elevator.

Osirion

T-Bone wrote:
Why not just have one of the faceless one's lackies transcribe the grimlock's stupored spiritual ramblings? Maybe just some freaked-out miner that was threatened with being the grimlock's dinner if he didn't write down every word during the visions.

That is a good idea; some frightened guy chained to the wall, trying desperately to please his captors? Maybe he comes to identify with them?

It stops the PCs firing off lethal area spells, too (not that my PCs have any, of course...)

T-Bone wrote:
As for the bows, I find them a little far fetched as well. I'm giving them throwing blades much like a sharpened stone discus. It is a clumsy racial weapon that might ricochet off of a wall or two before hitting its' target, the weapon's stats are: exotic ranged weapon; cost -; Dmg (S) 1d6; Dmg (M)1d8; Crit x3; Range 10 ft.; Weight 5 lbs.; Type Piercing and bludgeoning.

I don't know about exotic weapons, but I like the idea of just giving them sharp rocks to throw, since they're not great shots, it's simply to harass stationary PCs, and they're worthless to anyone else.

I'm already half-way through this part, so it's a bit late for the first caves, but along with the Hextorian tieflings' gear, the PCs have an absolute fortune waiting for them, in the form of masterwork Str-adjusted bows.

No doubt Venelle will be mightily pissed-off, when they come back up and flood her market...?

Osirion

OK; so I added the prisoner to Grallak's chamber, a captured miner, to translate for him during his visions.

I know, it's listed that he can speak Common (which I think is a bit of a stretch, being a blind, cannibalistic madman, who until recently, lived in the bowels of the earth. Though, if players are allowed to declare they know Undercommon, for the price of 2 skill points, then what's good for the goose, works both ways), and I did take advantage of this, to have him taunt the PCs from the safety of his mist.

However, I think when he's crying out in his fevered dreams, he'd more likely use his native tongue (which I had already told them was Undercommon, having forgotten that grimlocks had a language of their own...Duh, me).

It also allows me a backup plan, to fill in a few blanks in the PCs' understanding of what's going on; hints of their fatalistic suicide pact, to fuel the rise of the Overgod. In the event, I was able to throw these into the rants of Grallak and the chief, but it was theoretically possible for one of the PCs to kill either of the two in one blow, which would be a total waste of good material (LOL).
Having the prisoner be able to tell them 'He kept talking about you...' puts this info back on the table.

My group includes three divine casters, of different faiths (Cleric, Fighter/Cleric and Paladin), and this reflected the Ebon Triad far too well to ignore. I added some extra scrolls to his collection, which stated that he was expecting the PCs, and expected to die at their hand, to be reborn into a glorious afterlife of constant bloodshed.
They found the scroll that mentioned their 'Radiant Trio', plus 'the other one, tainted with Shadow', which caused some sideways glances at the Scout, and a rather awkward pause. (Tee-Hee!)


I added a Bhaalspawn to replace Gralluk Kur. I also changed the HQ of Bhaal's followers, it is sort of a combination of the Labryinth and the Temple of Bane (Hextor). Most of the opponents are humans with another MMIII race (whose name I forget) with a few Grimlocks whose caverns connect to this temple but are pretty much impossible to get to in this part of the adventure.

The interesting thing I added were mosaics of the Dead Three in each area. I am playing it as if this were one of the HQ's of the Dead Three while they were mortal.

Did you ever end up continuing the AP Bocklin?

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