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Alternative Adimarchus & The Cagewrights


Shackled City Adventure Path

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Aaah, Jil's love-interest would make sense. Unfortunately it doesn't apply to my campaign, but fits in nicely if it did. Artus hasn't come into play yet for my campaign, and this would allow an earlier introduction to him.

I do like Keith's reasoning that Jil believes Drakthar and his goblins are morons that need to be smacked around because they jumped the gun. Very cutthroat and nasty. And the party gets to do the dirty work.

I can get Artus to pass the word along straight from Jil, or have Jil do it personally. My group hasn't encountered Jil yet, and getting that going would be good. Just need to figure if Jil would trust Artus to handle it, or if Jil would want to do it personally.

Thanks for the suggestions.


Keith Richmond wrote:
I was thinking of tweaking Drakthar's Way so that the cagewrights are basically using the PCs to clean up Drakthar, since he's blown his hand and they want to give people the impression it's nothing more serious.

I did exactly that. I set it up such that the Stormblades stumbled into the goblins and Drakthar's Way while investigating the disappearances of the townsfolk. They were all dominated, and sent out to ask about Cagewrights. So the commission from Terseon Skellerang was not to collect goblin ears (bleh!) but to investigate (at Vhalantru's behest) the Stormblades' strange behaviour. The Captain explained that he couldn't order an official investigation because their parents were too influential.

It worked out very well, and certainly set the stage for a more believable rivalry between the two adventuring groups. The twist is that they killed Annah, and I haven't decided whether to bring her back, or have something else come back in her body (thanks to somebody's suggestion on this board), or...


And while I'm here, let me thank everyone on these boards, in particular Delvesdeep, for the very inspiring ideas that have helped me to make an excellent AP even better for my players. My game is run as a play-by-post so it's sloooow (only got to Chapter 3 after a year), and I probably won't be able to use the excellent Demonskar Ball in its entirety, but that and the alternative Cagewrights especially have given me lots of ideas.

Thanks, Delvesdeep!


Vivriel wrote:

And while I'm here, let me thank everyone on these boards, in particular Delvesdeep, for the very inspiring ideas that have helped me to make an excellent AP even better for my players. My game is run as a play-by-post so it's sloooow (only got to Chapter 3 after a year), and I probably won't be able to use the excellent Demonskar Ball in its entirety, but that and the alternative Cagewrights especially have given me lots of ideas.

Thanks, Delvesdeep!

No problems :) I'm honoured that you enjoy the document enough to actually use it in your campaign.

Delvesdeep


How do you integrate this into the HC? What villans do you take out and what do you replace them with? How do you integrate the dreams in the game?

do you just describe the dream to one of the PC's?

It's confusing


G'day Daniel. Have you had a chance to read or skim over the document here. A lot of the answers you seek are written within it but I'll try my best to answer your questions here as well.

Daniel Smith 76 wrote:
How do you integrate this into the HC?

If you plan on using this document, or even parts of it, you use the SCAP adventure path almost completely as written. To integrate the ideas into the game have a look at the Foreshadowing parts of the document to see when you can introduce the new elements and ideas in.

The biggest change using the ideas in this document rather than those just found in the Hard Cover have to do with Adimarchus and the Cagewrights - thus the title.

As written their are a lot of unknown and toothless major villans in the adventure path and with the biggest of these being Adimarchus himself. If you weren't to use this document you could easily exclude the last two chapters (and The Test of the Smoking Eye adventure as well for that matter) with no real problems or damage to the plot in general.

There are just too many Cagewrights IMHO. Trying to foreshadow every single one of them was too difficult so when the party actually came face to face with them the party had no idea who they were. Considering that the Cagewrights are meant to be the mastermind sinister organisation behind the evil that befalls Cauldron, these Cagewright battles become an anticlimax to say the least.

Follow the foreshadowing tips to when to best introduce the villians.

What villans do you take out and what do you replace them with?

Again this is in the document but basically I attempted to get rid of all the boring, faceless, non-essentual Cagewrights and leave only the more memorable and important villians. Some other important villians I promoted to the position of Cagewright again in an attempt to reduce the sheer amount of villian found within the Path - Vhalantru is one example.

I also broke the Cagewright into 3 distinct levels and groups - apprentices, masters and leader (Dry'yrd). This is also more easily understood by the party rather than having up to 37 'Cagewrights'.

How do you integrate the dreams in the game?

One of youe party should possess the 'Dream Haunted' trait found at the back of the SCAP HC. If not just choose a character to have the trait that they may not even be aware they have.

They the party that the character is an extremely restless sleeper - rolling and thrashing about, mumbling, talking and even screaming while they sleep.

Write up a few minor 'nightmares/dreams' where they have visions of angels and demons fighting, a colossal horned skull, a weeping angel with silver hair, a terrifying spiked cage etc which will seem confusing to the player at first but latter reveal important clues to the plot.

Every chapter give the player a printed handout of one of the dreams presented (ie Haunted Dream One during Chapter one etc). These will help foreshadow Adimarchus and the final chapters of the AP which would otherwise remain unknown.

do you just describe the dream to one of the PC's?

The player in my party at first kept the dreams to himself but later started to share them. This at first disturbed the party and made them suspicious of the character. But as they began to link the dreams that started to piece together a story which made them curious about the angel and the evil that befell him.

It's confusing

This is just an alternative option how to play the Cagewrights and Adimarchus so don't feel pressured to use the document. If you are interested read through the document and hopefully a great deal of your conserns and confusion will be addressed.

If not I'm happy to continue to answer questions here :)

Delvesdeep


The answer about the dreams helped a lot because I still wasn't sure after re-reading throught it a few times, but that's cleared up. I was thinking, so I could keep "The Test of the smoking eye" that you still need it to kill Adi, or free him from his cage, his Demon Side anyway. I think i might have it as a draw for one of the evil characters in my campaign.

I was thinking of giving it to one of the stormblades as well, to get them more involved in the plot.

Also I was thinking I would foreshadow the Necrocants in chapter 3, changing it so that Sarcem sent a letter to Jenya about the wands being completed, but the Necrocants intercepted the note carrying party and destroyed them. (except for one that got away). I'm also considering of putting in the spiritual priest in chapter 3 in the form of Sarcem, disguised, so he can gain the favour of the PC's and help out at the Church of St. Cuthburt, and manipulating things from outside but near the system. (He has nowhere to go since his shrine has been destroyed.)

I'm sure i'll have questions in the future, thank you ^_^ what do you think of my work so far?


We'll see how it goes, first session on Sunday.


The Test of the Smoking Eye adventure becomes far more important and relevant IMO with the inclusion of the Haunted Dreams. By the time the party appear in Occiptus the location will already have some unheralded relevance and at least its previous importance will begin to dawn on the party.

Now it's my turn to be a little confused :).

Are you changing Sarcem for Shebeleth?

Delvesdeep


I was reading over Flood Season, and have found a difference between the HC and the Dungeon mags. It lies with Grehlia (who doesn't exist in the mags). The HC introduces her as the head of the Ebon Triad cell that Triel and the others in the Kopru ruins work with. The thing is that Grehlia left to join the Cagewrights.

Supposedly she was recruited by Fish. And this is the crux. According to the alternative setup, Grehlia doesn't exist, and Fish's "apprentice" is Jil. I like the idea of foreshadowing a member of the Cagewrights by name, along with the Ebon Triad working on the cages.

So the question remains. Who among the Cagewrights involved the Ebon Triad in the creation of cages? And did that person recruit the leader of the local cell to become a Cagewright apprentice?

Or if the local Ebon Triad cell wasn't altered, how can I foreshadow without giving too much away? I see Skaven getting involved in the creation of the cages, so maybe he could be the contact. He is also the highest level wizard there and has Craft Wondrous Item.

I grabbed the diaries from RPGenius. Great work there, and with a little alteration, I can use it as a foreshadowing device.


section8 wrote:


I was reading over Flood Season, and have found a difference between the HC and the Dungeon mags. It lies with Grehlia (who doesn't exist in the mags). The HC introduces her as the head of the Ebon Triad cell that Triel and the others in the Kopru ruins work with. The thing is that Grehlia left to join the Cagewrights.

Supposedly she was recruited by Fish. And this is the crux. According to the alternative setup, Grehlia doesn't exist, and Fish's "apprentice" is Jil.

Like so many great ideas found in the SCAP Grehlia's place and involvement in the greater scheme of things remains unknown to the party. The DMs know about it but the players never get an opportunity to find out anything about Grehlia. Coupled with the fact that she plays only a minor role in the plot this is why she is not included in the alternative version.

If you would like to include her, Grehlia would need to be foreshadowed heavily but I just don't think her role in the path warrents that much attention and focus in preference to the other 'more important' villians.

In terms of rationalising the Ebony Triads involvement in the plot, not many parties are going to have the time, interest and care to even investigate the details. If you find it important then Shaven would be a good 'creater' prehaps following old intructions and rituals written out for him by Fetor (good foreshadowing there) which also instructs him to use (insert Fire Giant smith's name here) to manually assemble the 'device'.

Try not to give too much away but enough to amke the party curious and to foreshadow future villians/events you intend to use later.

Good luck with your game and if you need any more help please let me know

Delvesdeep


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
delvesdeep wrote:


Like so many great ideas found in the SCAP Grehlia's place and involvement in the greater scheme of things remains unknown to the party. The DMs know about it but the players never get an opportunity to find out anything about Grehlia. Coupled with the fact that she plays only a minor role in the plot this is why she is not included in the alternative version.

Delvesdeep

Grehlia (for some reason we called her Grehalia throughout) turned out to be a key NPC in our SCAP game. The GM first mentioned her in Flood Season, when the PCs were investigating the backstory of the kopru ruins and their inhabitants. The PCs made a note to hunt for her later, though circumstances kept preventing them from doing so.

He then put her in Vaprik's Voice as the person who had tempted Alec Tercival into drinking the Amaranth Elixer. The PCs captured her at that point, managed to trick her into allowing herself to be Dominated, and pumped her for information. This was the breakthrough they needed to start understanding what they were up against.

On Occipitus the Dominate was dispelled by babau demons, and finding themselves in a hostile environment the PCs struck an uneasy truce with Grehalia. They became separated by the events of the tests and the PCs later found that she had Plane Shifted back to the Prime Material. They were uneasy, because she knew too much about them; what if she went to the Cagewrights with it? The party wizard was also halfway in love with her and wondering if she was safe.

After Occipitus the PCs worked out a detailed plan to remove all of the Cagewrights, a few at a time. They started with Karran-Kurul, and there they found Grehalia's soul bound in a gem in the dracolich's horde. Without a body to put the soul into, they were stumped; apparently she wasn't dead and could not be raised. (They guessed, correctly, that her attempt to bargain with the Cagewrights had not gone her way.)

Eventually they managed to nick her body from the Cagewrights in Cauldron and restore her, offering her an alliance against her former masters. She accepted. (The wizard had been working on a morally dubious plan for putting her into another Cagewright's body, using the power of the Soul Pillars, but as it happened this wasn't necessary.)

They've so far destroyed Shatterhorn together and are plotting against the Cyst. Everything has gotten out of order and the GM is scrambling to cope, but the feeling of PC initiative and action is quite enjoyable. And having Grehalia in the party makes the rest of the Cagewrights a lot less faceless, though there are still just too many of them.

I suspect Grehalia is planning to subvert the energy of the final ritual to her own ends. We'll see if she can trick the PCs into letting her succeed.

She's been a really vivid NPC. One of the PCs commented to her: "You know, the Cagewrights shouldn't just have turned you into a gemstone and buried you in a dracolich's lair; that wasn't sufficiently respectful of how dangerous you really are." She knows a lot about the Cagewrights and their workings, having helped make the Soul Cages. I think the game really needs someone like that, though there are multiple possibilities for who it could be (Fetor would be a good one too).

I believe the endgame is going to involve the PCs trying to open the cages in Cauldron (those Shackleborn prisoners are their siblings!) via opening the one in Carceri, having first gone into Adiromachus' dreams to try to restore his sanity. They then have to come up with an alternative use for the ritual energy, so that the eruption doesn't destroy Cauldron. That part of their plan needs a lot of work still; they are pumping Grehalia for ideas and trying to decide which of her ideas are good and which are...well, you don't really want to give the High Priestess of Vecna too much latitude in ritual design.

Even with all this, several of the Cagewrights they've killed have been ciphers to them. They have names, but not real emotional connections. (The ones the PCs do feel they know: their father Dyr'ryd, Embril, Shibbeleth, Fish, and then Fetor and Grehalia.) I don't think there is time and space for genuine involvement with all of them, and I strongly agree with your reduction of their numbers.

Mary


Thanks Mary - I'm glad you agree with the reduction in numbers for the Cagewrights. Just too many to care about and even attempt to make important and memorable.

The way your DM used Ghelia (sp?) was very campaign specific and seems like it worked to both foreshadow the rest of the Cagewrights, give the players more involvement and sense of direction and bring in a valuable ally. It is amazing how diversions to adventure plots often pan out this way and become incredible important to the game from that point on.

I'm sure that of the people who have chosen to use the ideas found in the Alternative version presented here everyone of them who be using it in a different way. This could be through personal preference, circumstance or confidence.

I'm just happy that people have found value in its use somehow.

Thanks for your input Mary - a very clever way of including an otherwise seemingly 'worthless' villian. Just goes to show that every campaign is different even when you are using the same adventures1 :)

Delvesdeep


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

This information is great, but I cannot seem to get to the RPGenius.com site. what gives? Am I web illiterate? Did I do something dumb?


Kirwyn wrote:

This information is great, but I cannot seem to get to the RPGenius.com site. what gives? Am I web illiterate? Did I do something dumb?

I'm no computer expert myself. Are you using the right address - therpgenius.com/index?

If you are still having trouble maybe someone else can help because that's as technical as I get :)

Delvesdeep

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
delvesdeep wrote:


I'm sure that of the people who have chosen to use the ideas found in the Alternative version presented here everyone of them who be using it in a different way. This could be through personal preference, circumstance or confidence.

Hey Delvesdeep; one thing I was wondering about: the Haunted Dreams that you wrote (which are excellent I may add) only number 10, but there are 12 chapters in SCAP. Originally I was thinking there was to be one for the beginning of each chapter.....

That may be a false presumption I see. Was there any particular parts of the SCAP that you intended for each dream to be presented???

Thanks
Robert


The dreams are meant to correspond to each chapter up to chapter 9 but the final 'dream' is given to the party after they rescue Nidrama from Embril in Chapter 11. The continued part of Haunted Dream 10 is not a dream at all but part of the Nightmare Realm when the party enter into the Dream Realm and relive each of Adimarchus' dreams again. When they enter into his final dream, Haunted Dream Ten, they witness the final part which reveals Antux's deception.

From Chapter 10 until the party finally kill Adimarchus' Inner Demon in the Nightmare Realm, the Dream Haunted character will have dreams and visions directly from the Inner Demon revealing the location of Skullrot, the villian Dark Mrykthal (sp?), the Inner Demon sitting upon his Throne of Madness etc.

Also feel free to include other dreams into the mix to reveal and foreshadow campaign specific characters, villians and events plus dreams which are just a maddening mix of confusing visions which make sense later. Such visions could include demons and angels battling, a colossal horned skull, a weeping silver haired angel, a frightening spiked cage etc

Hope this is useful

Delvesdeep

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
delvesdeep wrote:


Hope this is useful

Delvesdeep

Yes; indeed it is; thankyou.

Robert


This is great work, Delvesdeep.
One of the party members, a dwarven cleric, lost his previous adventuring party to the Necrocants, 8 years before. So the encounter had a special meaning to him. I've got a couple of questions though (not specifically for you :-)).

delvesdeep wrote:

Cagewright Foreshadowing

Chapter 5
When they arrive Meerthan is prepared and quickly tells them that Fario, Fallian and Shensen were ambushed by the Necrotaunts are hiding in the jungles a few miles from the Lucky Monkey.

Meerthan teleports them to the Striders...

Meerthan can only teleport 4 creatures, how did you solve that? My party consists of 5 and I counted the halfling as luguage :-)

delvesdeep wrote:
Khyron retreats after things start to turn against his group...

He won't come far with movement 20' and his invisibility is countered by detect invisibility (standard spell for the group's mage). So I gave him a scroll of planeshift (he shifted to the ethereal plane, but the PC's think he went to Carceri) to escape.

delvesdeep wrote:
Meerthan produces a large ornate silver mirror and begins to chant...

Takes 1 hour casting time and I thought only the caster can see the image (well, I changed the rules, giving bystanders a hazy view)

delvesdeep wrote:

The crazed looking Cagewright shifts his attention to the temple around him, silently scanning about the room until his gaze settles directly on the party.

‘And now you have brought them to me!’ he screams on the brink of losing complete control.
Suddenly a cold calm settles over the Cagewright and he speaks directly to the scry...

Detect scrying is not a blackguard, neither a cleric spell, so how did he noticed the scrying? He doesn't wear his ring and his Int is only 8.

Thanks,


I can see you are a bit of a rules lawyer :)

I'm one of those annoying DMs who never lets rules get in the way of a good story. As a DM you can always justify anything with a bit of creative manipulation much like what you did with the scrying.

With the teleporting if they really want to know (mine never asked nor cared about the rules/spells etc at the time) you can simply say to the players 'you are not sure', 'the spell he cast is unfamiliar to you' or he reveals a strange disc from beneath his robes and begins to chant etc. I'm sure if you really wanted to make everything legitimate having him possess a scroll of teleportation circle etc.

Meerthan lets Kryon(sp?) go and directs the party to do so, so even without a scroll etc the party should allow him a quick exit. If he dies...well the party do not learn anything about his Cagewright master.

The actual specifics were not my primary concern when I first wrote up the event. I was more interested in creating an opportunity to foreshadow an otherwise 'faceless' collection of villians. The mood, imagery and seen of foreboding/dread of Alurad was my direct motivation.

Sorry about the rule 'holes'. Hope you found the document useful in any event.

Delvesdeep


delvesdeep wrote:

I can see you are a bit of a rules lawyer :)

I'm one of those annoying DMs who never lets rules get in the way of a good story. As a DM you can always justify anything with a bit of creative manipulation much like what you did with the scrying.

You are totally right, story goes beyond rules. The thing is that one of my players is a long time DM and I and don't want to get embarassed by misusing rules too obvious.

delvesdeep wrote:
With the teleporting if they really want to know (mine never asked nor cared about the rules/spells etc at the time)

Mine did neither

delvesdeep wrote:


Meerthan lets Kryon(sp?) go and directs the party to do so, so even without a scroll etc the party should allow him a quick exit. If he dies...well the party do not learn anything about his Cagewright master.

That would have been a pity, since the later scry on Khyron and Alurad proved a fantastic foreshadowing event.

delvesdeep wrote:


The actual specifics were not my primary concern when I first wrote up the event. I was more interested in creating an opportunity to foreshadow an otherwise 'faceless' collection of villians. The mood, imagery and seen of foreboding/dread of Alurad was my direct motivation.

Sorry about the rule 'holes'. Hope you found the document useful in any event.

Delvesdeep

Don't understand me wrong, I wasn't criticicing your write-up, just pondering the rules issues, no matter how trivial. Anyhow, I'm using a lot of your ideas (Shebeleth, Adimarchus' mad dreams, etc) in my campaign and they are working out fine.

The clash with the Necrocants ended in 5 rounds (they made all the important saves), but was exiting, nevertheless. Thanks for all your efforts and sharing them.


I've got an old Dm in my group too but that was when we used to play 1st edition so the rules have gone past him which is probably why I find myself more concerned about a fluid plot than the rules themselves. Now that I think about it this my groups focus and demand for a 'logical/exciting' storyline in previous campaigns is probably the reason why I was always concerned with the SCAP offical plot in the first place and my motivation to change it slightly.

I have only one 'rules lawyer' in my party who can annoy me to no ends at times so I can see why you were being cautious. They use rules like a fighter wields a sword, looking for any 'loop-hole' or method of elevating their own character and own sense of importance amoungst the playing group. Unfortunately they are usually the players who are the most passionate about the game also which is why they pour over the rule books continously.

Its an age old DM delemia - to encourage/respect the rules or to ignore them for the good of the game.

I'm glad the foreshadowing has proven useful to you. The ideas I produced here are untested so I am interested in how they are working in different games so I can cee how they will work in my game in the future (my party has just entered the Demonskar)so...

I have a few questions for you (and anyone else who has or is using the document)-

1 How have the party found the dreams? Did you just photocopy them and hand it out to the Dream Haunted player, the party in general or read them aloud? Are they beginning to pick up clues/make connections or are they just confused ath this point?

2 How have you played out the Shebeleth senerio? Has the party taken to him or are wary/suspicious? Did you alter anything to suit you party?

3 Did any of the Necrocaunts escape other than Krython? What was the party's impression of Alurid?

4 How is the Cagewright structure working for you? Is the Apprentice/Master/Leader breakdown easier to understand and use? How is all your foreshadowing going for the other Cagewrights?

5 Is there any Cagewright or important NPC that you believe needs more opportunities to be introduced earlier in the campaign?

Thanks

Delvesdeep


delvesdeep wrote:
I have only one 'rules lawyer' in my party who can annoy me to no ends at times so I can see why you were being cautious.

Yeah, he knows more of the rules than me. But I have to admit I'm a bit of a perfectionist myself. Anyhow, the plot is way more important.

delvesdeep wrote:

I'm glad the foreshadowing has proven useful to you. The ideas I produced here are untested so I am interested in how they are working in different games so I can cee how they will work in my game in the future (my party has just entered the Demonskar)so...

I have a few questions for you (and anyone else who has or is using the document)-

1 How have the party found the dreams? Did you just photocopy them and hand it out to the Dream Haunted player, the party in general or read them aloud? Are they beginning to pick up clues/make connections or are they just confused ath this point?

The party's elven cleric started to dream just after he was raised from dead (killed by the cryohydra, pit of 7 jaws) on the way to Bhal-Hamatugn. Dreams about the angel (Nidrama), strange red landscape with fireblobs emitting skull, angels fighting demons and the cage. Unfortunately, he retired to Fey forest (a park in SW Cauldron) and has been replaced by a much sturdier dwarven cleric. Through library research, they have found out that the skullthing is on Occipitus and that 50 years ago a great demonic war was fought. They haven't been able to find out who the demonlord of that place is, yet.

We are now close to the tax riot and they have also discovered that more people in Cauldron are having these dreams (a carpet seller, a fishmonger, etc). Moreover a couple of strange suicides happened, a man jumping out of the window, another one drowning himself in the lake.

delvesdeep wrote:
2 How have you played out the Shebeleth senerio? Has the party taken to him or are wary/suspicious? Did you alter anything to suit you party?

Shebeleth, archbishop of Pelor arrived in a golden coach as reported in the Cauldron Herald. Before they were invited by Shebeleth they heard about his good deeds for the poor and those suffering from the flood damage. Brother Kristof is a good friend of the party and highly praised the archbishop.

During the meeting (Shebeleth presented himself as a spiritual leader, not interested in material enjoyment: cheap wine and bread and a piece of cheese) he revealed himself as the secret investigator of the missing highpriests. He asked them to keep their eyes open for possible corruption in the city and then he implicitly accused the temple of Kord. Why Asfelkir didn't support the poor, while the temples of Cuthbert and Wee-Jas at least did what they could. Perhaps he went a little too far, for the party has also good connections through their fighter with the temple of Kord.
Anyhow, Asfelkir has become suspicious about Shebeleth's true intentions. Although he has more muscles than brains, he can't believe that such a highup Pelor archbishop comes to Cauldron only to feed the poor. The rising popularity of Pelor's temple even taking in promising Kord candidates has made him furious. Recently, wrestling the group's fighter (during sunday rituals) he specifically asked him what he knew about Shebeleth and on which side he stood.
So the enmity between Pelor and Kord is set into working...

delvesdeep wrote:
[3 Did any of the Necrocaunts escape other than Krython? What was the party's impression of Alurid?

No only Khyron escaped with planeshift. They took the body of Renita home and the cleric asked her a couple of questions: where was their hideout (the village), where is the village (south), who was Malruin, etc. The second try failed (will save), but they will continue dragging out all she knows (which isn't much).

During the scry I showed them an A4 sized picure of Alurad. Great impact! That he had grown mad (he thinks he is Adimarchus, isn't it?) was for a cleric of Erythnul not so strange (they remembered Tarkilar, also grown mad). Meerthan informed them about Alurad (he should have been dead), the Cagewrights and their leader Dyr'ryd, the demodand, but not too much (no clue what they're upto) and the disasterous encounter 30 years ago (where the Cagewrights summoned a twoheaded demodand).

delvesdeep wrote:

[[4 How is the Cagewright structure working for you? Is the Apprentice/Master/Leader breakdown easier to understand and use? How is all your foreshadowing going for the other Cagewrights?

...

O yeah, this works much better. I was already getting a headache of so many faceless villains. So, yes I'm using the structure you proposed. I will keep a couple of the others in (but not as masters or apprentices, but rather as associates, after all the cagewrights like to have others doing the work). Grehlia I've already foreshadowed during Floodseason (see Skaven's diary) as being involved in the construction of the cages.

Ardeth Webb plays a role on the background. She has been responsible for injecting some fiendish blood in a number of family trees in Sasserine and Cauldron (an idea I found on this forum). The players are currently investigating the pedigree of the Veskar family (anyone interested, I can post it) and the wizard (with the shackleborn sign, which he found out during the fight with Zenith) discovered that his father left Caudron a half a year after his birth and that he took a new name. They also noticed that a certain Ardeth Vaine appeared several times in the family tree. If they are going to search the Kharatys family, they will find her there also.

Vhalantru Malachite fortress, a great introduction. The ball, where he warned them for the Stormblades. When they where invited in the cusp to meet Celeste and waiting in the lounge Vhalantru introduced them to the other nobles as Cauldron's saviors and asked for an applaus.
Later he paid the money for Zenith's rescue (they told him of the sign on Zenith's face and he promised to research it). He also expessed his concerns about the tax raises and blamed Taskerhill and Skellerang. Since they were curious about Zenith's reunion with his father (and wondered why they did not get a response of Celeste after a divine sending one day before they would arrive with Zenith in Cauldron) Vhalantru had to arrange a meeting a couple of weeks later in the cusp. He told/lied them Zenith had arrived safely in the Crystal Mountains and had made peace with his father. The curse was lifted. Celeste was alright, he had recieved a message that she was still in Sasserine, she thanked the PC's for their excellent job. Pc's were very happy then...

However, a week later Terrem disappeared and also a certain Ricaldo Veskar, a skinner once captured by Kazmojen the slavetrader, sold to the drow and rescued from the underdark by the PC's on their way to Bhal-Hamatugn. The group's diviner tried to scry on the boy, but noticed the magical block. Same with Ricaldo: paranoid diviner scrys on Zenith: same result.
Later, after they met Meerthan, the striders travel to the Crystal mountains to find out that Davked hasn't been in Cauldron for 10 years, that he is healthy, his wife still lives and that Zenith was already mad (dreamt about angels) when he went on crusade in the underdark.
They also investigated Lady Celeste and discovered that she doesn't seem to excist, neither in Cauldron, nor in Sasserine. They are getting a bit suspicious about Vhalantru, but will not confront him with their knowledge.

Embril Aloustinai They met her at the ball and were highly impressed, and the wizard PC danced with her without getting embarrassed. He visits the temple of Wee-Jas every sunday and has listened to her compassionate speeches. Since the 13 are complete, she is still in the news, but she does't appear in flesh anymore.

Nulin Wiejeron His name is still unknown, but it is rumored that the jester of the last laugh is actually a twin.
As soon as they are going to investigate the last laugh they will hear more of him. After a more or less disasterous infiltration in the Alleybashers (that was just before the Lucky Monkey attack, where he met his old buddies...), the rogue prefers to keep a low profile.

Gau Kleeoch Nothing yet.

Jil Met her when they saved Rufus. Then disguised when she told them about Drakthar's entrance. The last time was when the rogue was doing a job with the Alleybashers (Maple introduced him). They were going to rob Udoo the silkmonger, but the Last laugh (Udoo's protectors)
was warned and Jil personally (since she knew of the PC's involvement) waited them up with a couple of her thugs. He was pinned on the ground and she humiliated him, let him feel her whip and broke Maple's arm as a warning.

Ike Iverson[/b} They met Ike as judge during the trial on Keygan Ghelve. He asked for a death penalty, while 2 of the PC's defended Keagan. Lord Vhalantru did his best to play the good guy and Keygan got away rather well (later Keagan sold his shop and joined the MTA)

[b]Zarn Kyuss They have only heard of the blue duke during Drakthar's way and know he is an ogre mage (Kallev told that, during her forced labour she was killed by Xoden). Soon he will be installed as second in command after Skellerang, I'm curious how they will respond ("a man in blue will be your doom").

Lady Thifirane Met her at the ball. Played her as a haughty noble. Not much interacting here.

b]Fetor Abradius[/b] Nothing yet.

delvesdeep wrote:
5 Is there any Cagewright or important NPC that you believe needs more opportunities to be introduced earlier in the campaign?

I don't think so, like I said we are just before Demonskar and too much information also can become dazzling for the players.

So I will gradually introduce the others.
At this point they know that the Cagewrights are led by Dyr'ryd, are organized in master and apprentice structure (Alurad and Khyron), used the Ebon Triad for building cages, are linked to Carceri, may have something to do with the disappearance of Zenith, Terrem and Ricaldo.
They know there is corruption going on in Cauldron, probably for at least 10 years (that Triel investigated corruption they heard from Skylar Krewis)
The dreams and increasing madness in Cauldron are still largely a riddle.
They know still very little of the Carcerian sign, but suspect Terrem and Ricaldo have also one.

Sorry for the long rant, hope you can use some of it.


I really like this plot shift but I have concerns about using it in my own game. Mortality at my table is generally pretty high and SCAP looks to be a really tough AP. So players are going to die, my problem is that this plot alteration seems to require a player that can't be allowed to die because if s/he does then this whole aspect of the plotline goes off the rails. There is no way that I can easily fudge most of this as the rules, at my table, are that when the going gets tough the DM rolls in the open and you live and die by those rolls.

No chance on my players giving up on that as its just these tension filled segments of the game when your characters life hangs on the outcome of that d20 bouncing down the table that my players seem to play for (in other words I think they all show up for cheap endorphin highs without all the hard work of, you know, doing exercises or something).

So I'm looking at ways to incorporate these interesting ideas without having to play favorites with a character and concoct some story on why that player can't die.


Jeremy Mac Donald wrote:

I really like this plot shift but I have concerns about using it in my own game. Mortality at my table is generally pretty high and SCAP looks to be a really tough AP. So players are going to die, my problem is that this plot alteration seems to require a player that can't be allowed to die because if s/he does then this whole aspect of the plotline goes off the rails. There is no way that I can easily fudge most of this as the rules, at my table, are that when the going gets tough the DM rolls in the open and you live and die by those rolls.

No chance on my players giving up on that as its just these tension filled segments of the game when your characters life hangs on the outcome of that d20 bouncing down the table that my players seem to play for (in other words I think they all show up for cheap endorphin highs without all the hard work of, you know, doing exercises or something).

So I'm looking at ways to incorporate these interesting ideas without having to play favorites with a character and concoct some story on why that player can't die.

What the prophesing dreams concerns, it's no problem. In my game one of the players with the dreams retired, but still conveys further dream sequences to the party. And look it from this point of view: Adimarchus has gone insanely mad and his dreams/visions spread out over the Cauldron region. Anyone can be infested by his madness and nightmare dreams. I can see your concern in a later stage, with the smoking eye.

Fortunately, at that stage the dying character appears in the eye of the skull, IIRC.

Well, just my thoughts


I've recently made some inclusions to my own personal version of this document including Celestes role in the Adimarchus plot and was wondering if people would be interested.

Also I'm thinking, assuming that the website can take it, about creating a document that bundles all my documents in one. This would include this document, Skyes Treasury (new chapters included), the Demonskar Ball, the Acquirers, Sasserine and my 'almost' completed version of the Seige of Redgorge.

Would anyone be interested? Does anyone else have any changes/additions to this document that recommend me making if I was going to update it?

Delvesdeep


I'd be interested, Delvesdeep. The work you've done is really wonderful stuff, and I think it makes the AP feel more like a cohesive whole, rather than a series of linked adventures.

My group has just started Flood Season (though we're on a break while I change jobs), so I've still got time to employ your story mods. I honestly haven't decided which way to go just yet, because part of my reason for running the Shackled City is to see what a published AP is like when compared to a home campaign. On one hand, I want to run it as written, but on the other, why not make it better for the players by learning from others' insights?

I tend to look for your stuff over at therpgenius.com, since I think this kind of thing works best as a Word doc download. Was that your intent, or were you thinking of making a bunch of posts here?

Either way, I hope you decide to do it!

Thanks much,
Ully


Ully wrote:

I'd be interested, Delvesdeep. The work you've done is really wonderful stuff, and I think it makes the AP feel more like a cohesive whole, rather than a series of linked adventures.

My group has just started Flood Season (though we're on a break while I change jobs), so I've still got time to employ your story mods. I honestly haven't decided which way to go just yet, because part of my reason for running the Shackled City is to see what a published AP is like when compared to a home campaign. On one hand, I want to run it as written, but on the other, why not make it better for the players by learning from others' insights?

I tend to look for your stuff over at therpgenius.com, since I think this kind of thing works best as a Word doc download. Was that your intent, or were you thinking of making a bunch of posts here?

Either way, I hope you decide to do it!

Thanks much,
Ully

I was just thinking that rather than have to pour over theRPGenius.com site for the related documents you could just dowload them in one hit. The only problems could be the size of the document and I guess the interest of people.

Koramado has done a great job with the site in general but I feel that it is harder in some ways to find related documents. It would be good if you could look up documents based on author (Chef has released some good stuff in the past for one) and I think the inclusion of the 'Whats New' part on the home page on the original site would be great to get back. Otherwise you just don't know if people have included anything new recently.

The RPGenius is still a god send but finding documents are just a little bit harder now days.

Delvesdeep


Out of curiosity Delve, I know you were doing adventures for your alternate AP, have these been finished yet, or are they still in the works? I am really liking what you have done so far and would love a chance to see what you've done for the Shackled City.


delvesdeep wrote:
I've recently made some inclusions to my own personal version of this document including Celestes role in the Adimarchus plot and was wondering if people would be interested.

Definitely, delves. Celeste is turning out to be key in my campaign and I'm always interested in your modifications. I am also nearing the point where we may have the Invasion of Redgorge, so that would be very timely.

RPgenius is not always the easiest thing to use, but I really enjoy browsing through the work that everyone has done. Posting them separately would not be a big hardship, personally. The site is awesome and tremendously useful.

I mapped out not just your simplified master/apprentice relationships, but also the minions and what areas each master attempts to influence (church, guard, politics, etc.). That simple 'org chart' has turned out to be very useful - just the process of making it cleared up a lot of questions. I have also found it useful to lay out the calendar as much as possible in advance to interweave the chapters of the books and your mods as well. The calendar is tremendously helpful since there are a lot of inconsistencies in the SCAP timelines if you pay attention, and the DM can spot those and resolve them before they become an issue - "whoops, this should have happened yesterday."

Haven't run the Khyron adventure yet, so no feedback there.

Jenya is currently having the dreams and confiding snippets of them to her friend in the party.

I plan to use the Shebboleth mod but they have not yet met him.

Again, thanks for being so generous with your work and time, especially given your hectic schedule.


On the topic of more DD publications, I am all in favor; heck, I'll even do some copy editing, if you like. I think it's fair to say that DD's mods have transformed the adventure path (ie a set of linked adventures) into a cohesive campaign, smoothing out transitions and increasing the comprehensibility for both players and DMs.

That said, I am also intensely interested in the previously mentioned org chart and calendar. Are either of these documents available for public consumption?


Olodrin wrote:
That said, I am also intensely interested in the previously mentioned org chart and calendar. Are either of these documents available for public consumption?

The org chart is pencil scribbles, but I certainly could cyberify it. The calendar is a spreadsheet but it is highly tangled with my party's doings. It also is not complete yet. I will try to put up the org chart quickly but the calendar will take a bit. Will PM you.


Treppa wrote:
Olodrin wrote:
That said, I am also intensely interested in the previously mentioned org chart and calendar. Are either of these documents available for public consumption?
The org chart is pencil scribbles, but I certainly could cyberify it. The calendar is a spreadsheet but it is highly tangled with my party's doings. It also is not complete yet. I will try to put up the org chart quickly but the calendar will take a bit. Will PM you.

Treppa,

That org chart and timeline/calendar sounds great.

Any chance of posting it up here or on theRPGenius site?

Thanks everyone

Delvesdeep

Cheliax

delvesdeep wrote:


I was just thinking that rather than have to pour over theRPGenius.com site for the related documents you could just dowload them in one hit. The only problems could be the size of the document and I guess the interest of people.

Koramado has done a great job with the site in general but I feel that it is harder in some ways to find related documents. It would be good if you could look up documents based on author (Chef has released some good stuff in the past for one) and I think the inclusion of the 'Whats New' part on the home page on the original site would be great to get back. Otherwise you just don't know if people have included anything new recently.

The RPGenius is still a god send but finding documents are just a little bit harder now days.

Delvesdeep

I think a giant all-in-one file would be a wonderful idea Delves. I'd be all for downloading it. I was just thinking about how difficult it was to find new stuff at RPGenius.


delvesdeep wrote:

Treppa,

That org chart and timeline/calendar sounds great.

Any chance of posting it up here or on theRPGenius site?

Thanks everyone

Delvesdeep

Definitely, but I'd like to run it by you first since it diagrams your mod. I would also like to get your draft Invasion of Redgorge. Check you RPGenius PM for Intrepid (Treppa). Thanks!


Tyro

Here is the information on the Cagewright alterations and dreams.

delvesdeep


I found the old thread. This should help with writing up the adventures.

delvesdeep


how can i get the demonskar ball, the .doc file says its corrupted when i try and download it.


This is a Bump for Moorluck.

Qadira

marked.

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