We are about to close the book on my first original campaign this next week(should be capping off my players are level 10 so I am pretty proud). Anyways I have really been wanting to run The Shackled City and I am going to be converting things over while our secondary game takes the lead. Anyways I was mainly looking for advice for the adventure path itself, anything I should know before running it, and I am also sure I am not the first to adapt it so any advice is also welcome.
Thanks in advance.
Chapters get more difficult to adapt later; early they are pretty straightforward. If your party is optimized, most of the later battles will need additional "chump" enemies (whole "economy of actions" issue with boss battles). Discourage archers and chargers; narrow hallways make it difficult. But make sure someone has access to range; either arcane or a little dex on the fighter. I had to adapt some fights because their wizard banned evocation and their fighter had a 10 dex.
Chapter 6 really needs a rewrite; they got lazy there. Vital chapter they basically left as freeform.
Chapters 7 and 8 especially are hard to rewrite. Tons of class-leveled guys that often "fight solo".
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I'm about 3/4 through Shackled City right now. Just finished putting a lot of the later creatures in Hero Lab for ease of conversion. There are some online resources that provide better foreshadowing for the players, I don't know where exactly it's been a while but they are worth looking in to.
There are often spots where the players don't necessarily know what they're supposed to do next, so you'll have to improvise in some spots. Some of the later chapters are difficult to make exciting. I don't have my book in front of me, but the chapter where
Also, if your party likes cool and powerful magic items they may be disappointed for the first half of the adventure. There are a lot of low powered items, but PCs that like lots of toys will have to wait a bit.
The adventure with Bhal-Hamatuga
If you don't have a rogue with maxed out Disable Device and Perception you'll probably miss out on a lot of sections as well as find a lot of areas very deadly. You'll also need to be able to convert
Now, having said all of that, the adventure is very fun, and if run well can really give your players a sense of epic accomplishment. You'll almost certainly be level 18+ by the end of it, unless you have a lot of PCs. I'm running it with a group of 9, which is a little crazy, but 6 would be just about right.
There are two key resources I used which proved invaluable: (1) The Shackled City message board on this website and (2) The RPGenius website at http://therpgenius.pbworks.com/
The messageboards have lots of good ideas; the RPGenius has lots of good products. Have fun.
I too just started running this for my group as an alternate game when someone cannot show for RuneLords. I love this camapign. We only have a group of 5PC's but we have all been gaming together for over 15 years, and they should be OK...
I don't plan on doing a whole lot of converting. we'll use the PF ruleset, characters, spells etc...
I've been running this AP in Pathfinder for the past 13 months and we have loved it. Since it is 3.5e and not Pathfinder I find that most of the encounters are a bit underpowered (in some cases esp if you have a paladin in the group). We also have five to six PC's in the group which also contributes to the overpower factor.
I've used http://therpgenius.pbworks.com/Shackled-City-main-page heavily in my prep and have contributed back to it some of the resources I've created for it. Several people have contributed PF conversions for encounters/room/critters and so forth.
A great mod like this shouldn't languish because of difficulty in supporting it. I was glad to see several people pick it up and run with it.