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Ashes at Dawn (GM Reference)


Carrion Crown

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Haunting of HarrowStone
Trial of the Beast
Broken Moon
Wake of the Watcher
Ashes at Dawn
Shadows of Gallowspire


Frankly, I expected a more original hook for good characters/Clerics of Pharasma/Paladins working with the vampires than 'for the greater good'. :/

Other than that, a very solid chapter, with cool NPCs and best artwork to date. Quinley Badsel and Blood Knight are perhaps the best drawn characters so far.

Cheliax

You already have it? Perhaps I... *checks his 'My Downloads' page* ... drat, not here yet. I can't wait!

Sczarni

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Really fantastic, in my opinion.

I cannot wait to get through the whole bit and on to Gallowspire itself.

BTW, those who are interested in continuing the AP past the last chapter, definitely check out the Dungeons of Golarion book as well. It segues from Book 6 to the Spire itself quite nicely, if with a LOT of creature/encounter statting.


Toadkiller Dog wrote:
Frankly, I expected a more original hook for good characters/Clerics of Pharasma/Paladins working with the vampires than 'for the greater good'. :/

I agree, and I'll have to come up with something for myself. My main bit is that I find the vampires very, very interesting and cool-- but my PCs will think, rightly, "Abominations! Kill them!" ... I'll have to make the vampires into reasonably non-abomination vampires so the PCs interact with them in ways other than putting the pointy end of stakes into their hearts.

I'll also have to think of a way to integrate the Tomb of the Iron Medusa into the game.

And a PC backstory.

Should be fun.


Problem. Oh, PCs stop reading, because I can sense your language.

In Broken Moon, one of the journals states "They bore invitations from Adivion Adrissant in Caliphas..." and it's essentially made clear in that module that invitations to the Lodge do not come lightly.

However, when the PCs arrive in Caliphas, Ashes at Dawn has no statement about what would happen if the PCs used gather information to learn about Adivion, Knowledges, what would happen if they tried to find him, etc.

Any help? My PCs will remember his name and will want to find him to see what his connection is.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16

Speaking of the Knowledge checks, the DCs seem awfully low for characters of this level. I mean, book 1 was expecting the PCs to hit DC 25s, and here in book 5, there's lots of DC 20s, a several DC 30s, and I only see one DC 40 (and that only exists as a stop-gap in-case the PCs don't make allies).

And the library is giving a whopping +6 to checks. I guess the point the module is trying to make is "make sure they know everything."

Osirion

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RAMOSKA IS BACK! :D My favorite Nosferatu from Curse of the Crimson Throne!


Quote:
I agree, and I'll have to come up with something for myself. My main bit is that I find the vampires very, very interesting and cool-- but my PCs will think, rightly, "Abominations! Kill them!" ... I'll have to make the vampires into reasonably non-abomination vampires so the PCs interact with them in ways other than putting the pointy end of stakes into their hearts.

I won't have that problem with my PCs. One of them is a Dhampir and none of them are of good alignment. Ashes at Dawn is one of the reasons I asked them to make morally ambigous characters. Allying with the Vamps will be a logical choice for them, but I expected something that would make them go 'WOW' or present a dilemma at least.


Maybe it's "growing up" amongst so many WoD campaigns, but I'm always supprised to see so many people who are sure their PCs are going to freak out and go nuts killing vampires in this adventure (and similiar senarios in other adventures). I'm currently running CC on a PbP, and only one of the players really goes back to my days of WoD, though one more is familiar with the morale ambiguity in those games...but I'm really starting to wonder if the rest are going to respond like it seems almost everyone else here has...definitely something to think about.


Quote:
Maybe it's "growing up" amongst so many WoD campaigns, but I'm always supprised to see so many people who are sure their PCs are going to freak out and go nuts killing vampires in this adventure (and similiar senarios in other adventures).

Vice versa for me.... but then, my players violently reject anything that could even be remotely construed as related to Vampire: The Gathering / WoD. To be honest, I'm kind of with them. It also really doesn't help when the adventure has things like this: "The PCs venture into the decadent society of the Vampire Underground," in it... Ouch. I'm definitely won't be giving my players any hint of that. If it even smells like Anne Rice or Twilight, that'll be the end of that.

Of course, I was entirely lost at the very premise of this adventure. Vampire serial killer (i.e. "serial killings that seem to be targeting vampires")?? No such thing. The sentence doesn't even make sense to me - I recognize the individual words, but...

At least the adventure has the good sense to talk about the killing of vampires, but only really gives lip service to it. The statement: "Ashes at Dawn assumes that the PCs are willing to work with the vampires (to a point at least) to solve the murders, but they are not required to do so to succeed in this adventure. If they want to kill all of the vampires they meet, they may certainly do so, though the adventure will be much more difficult." is sort of weaksauce and doesn't fill me with a lot of confidence. I'll probably have to re-write a lot to make this work for me and my players (not really why I buy published adventures. Ah well, you win some, you lose some).

Oh, and a healthy boo to the first encounter: "The adventure assumes the PCs travel by horseback,". At 11th level?


Guess playing VtM before Twilight, and likely before Ann Rice (least before any of us had ever heard of her) helped. Also, the fact that we played monsters, not some prancy little metro sexual emo whelps, but honest to god tear your throat out and gnaw on the cartilage monsters. But I could see where newer groups would be weary. I was pretty hesitant to play Werewolf the Apoc, having heard it was a bunch of save the world tree hugging hippies.

I don't own the adventure yet, so I can't really follow much of what you said, though it does sound like it shouldn't be much of a problem with my group. I'm not understanding your point on the vampire serial killer thing. Truly curious, by the way. You don't understand a serial killer that specifically targets vampires?


Fraust wrote:
I'm not understanding your point on the vampire serial killer thing. Truly curious, by the way. You don't understand a serial killer that specifically targets vampires?

I think it's more about "how is that a bad thing". For a lot of groups the Killer would have to be doing more than killing undead parasites that plague humanity for killing him to be the lesser of the evils.

I'm going to reserve comment on whether or not it would work until I see the actual adventure. Personally, I don't see a problem with the adventure being much harder if the players decide to kill them all and let the Gods sort them out. Being good means doing what is right, not what is easy.

Grand Lodge

Fraust wrote:
You don't understand a serial killer that specifically targets vampires?

Most adventurers then are serial killers of monsters... they come into an area, kill until their bloodlust is slaked and then move to a new area to kill again.


I understand the "how is this a bad thing", it's just the statements made, like "the sentence doesn't even make sense"...guess I'm just making sure this is his point.

Helaman...honestly, I haven't dealt with mentality like that sense I was in about junior high/highschool. Like I said, maybe it's the groups I've played in, but I just haven't personally seen that much in the kill-all-the-things-that-aren't-PHB-races style games. Occasionally I've seen characters that are specifically designed to be bigoted or ethnocentric to some degree, but as far as what's normally talked about on the net? Nope, just like a lot of the problems that people talk about on the net, I just don't come across them. Maybe I'm lucky (run into plenty enough other problems...ever seen two grown men have to be pulled off eachother because of a magic game?)


Arnwyn wrote:


Of course, I was entirely lost at the very premise of this adventure. Vampire serial killer (i.e. "serial killings that seem to be targeting vampires")?? No such thing. The sentence doesn't even make sense to me - I recognize the individual words, but...

So, we're going after Buffy in this part of the AP?


Fraust wrote:
Also, the fact that we played monsters, not some prancy little metro sexual emo whelps,

:D

Quote:
I'm not understanding your point on the vampire serial killer thing. Truly curious, by the way. You don't understand a serial killer that specifically targets vampires?

Nope. I would never, ever, use the tremendously inappropriate misnomer "serial killer" in such a circumstance. Just as nobody would ever call a person who swats mosquitoes a "serial killer" (of mosquitoes). Definitely a WTF moment.

(Also, see both Tobias' and Helaman's posts.) While my players certainly aren't necessarily "kill anything not in the PHB" type of people, vampires (or undead in general - definitely those marked as "any evil") aren't really given the benefit of the doubt. And good on 'em, AFAIC.


Arnwyn wrote:


Nope. I would never, ever, use the tremendously inappropriate misnomer "serial killer" in such a circumstance. Just as nobody would ever call a person who swats mosquitoes a "serial killer" (of mosquitoes). Definitely a WTF moment.

Exactly.

Now, if he's also killing people he "suspects" are vampires or are in league with them, and is taking out innocents simply because they fit his "vampire" profile, that would be a different kettle of fish.

Grand Lodge

Tobias wrote:


Now, if he's also killing people he "suspects" are vampires or are in league with them, and is taking out innocents simply because they fit his "vampire" profile, that would be a different kettle of fish.

Bingo. Thats my position...

@Fraust
LOL - I heard and seen similar things in my time but never Magic the Addiction.


Came close once in a second ed all thief campaign, but only ever saw people actually need to be restrained durring magic. Horrible game...

I can't say that I understand the sentament, but to each their own. Though I do have a proposition...what would be the thoughts of you who share this paradigm to see a vampire hunter who is doing so well that s/he has the local vampire population in an uproar...causing them to hunt more frequently, and make attacks on potential enemies they would likely not have if things weren't so tense?

Cheliax

Arnwyn wrote:
Fraust wrote:
Also, the fact that we played monsters, not some prancy little metro sexual emo whelps,

:D

Quote:
I'm not understanding your point on the vampire serial killer thing. Truly curious, by the way. You don't understand a serial killer that specifically targets vampires?

Nope. I would never, ever, use the tremendously inappropriate misnomer "serial killer" in such a circumstance. Just as nobody would ever call a person who swats mosquitoes a "serial killer" (of mosquitoes). Definitely a WTF moment.

(Also, see both Tobias' and Helaman's posts.) While my players certainly aren't necessarily "kill anything not in the PHB" type of people, vampires (or undead in general - definitely those marked as "any evil") aren't really given the benefit of the doubt. And good on 'em, AFAIC.

But mosquitoes notably lack the capacity to dread their own demise upon seeing the fate of an erstwhile acquaintance. I'm sure that mosquitoes, gifted sentience, would regard humans as dangerous mass-murdering monsters who crush harmless, starving creatures (What, you need ALL your blood?).

As I understand it, the killings are destabilizing the vampire power structure, which means that the younger, more reckless and bloodthirsty members will start with the wanton slaughtering.

Of course, you could just kill ALL the vampires; that works even better.


Okay, rules-clarification-gripe about the Blood Knight who shows up wielding his paired bastard swords.

The statblock shows that he does indeed take -4/-4 penalties for having an 1H weapon in his offhand and the TWF feat.

However, I distinctly remember that the 3.5 ruling on the topic of "hand-and-a-half weapons" (bastard sword, dwarven waraxe, et al), is that such weapons are essentially two-handed martial weapons with an exception made for those who want to drop the exotic feat on them, but that for de facto weapon size category purposes, they're two-handed, and for instance, the 3.5 feat Oversized Two-Weapon Fighting could not apply to an off-hand bastard sword because it was more akin to a 2H melee weapon than a 1H.

Has this ever come up in the PFRPG version of the rules, and if so, what's the Golem's stance on the deliciously superpositioned psuedo-category of hand-and-a-half weaponry?

Cheliax

Daviot wrote:

Okay, rules-clarification-gripe about the Blood Knight who shows up wielding his paired bastard swords.

The statblock shows that he does indeed take -4/-4 penalties for having an 1H weapon in his offhand and the TWF feat.

However, I distinctly remember that the 3.5 ruling on the topic of "hand-and-a-half weapons" (bastard sword, dwarven waraxe, et al), is that such weapons are essentially two-handed martial weapons with an exception made for those who want to drop the exotic feat on them, but that for de facto weapon size category purposes, they're two-handed, and for instance, the 3.5 feat Oversized Two-Weapon Fighting could not apply to an off-hand bastard sword because it was more akin to a 2H melee weapon than a 1H.

Has this ever come up in the PFRPG version of the rules, and if so, what's the Golem's stance on the deliciously superpositioned psuedo-category of hand-and-a-half weaponry?

Best as I can tell, PFS utterly reverses this. Bastard swords are listed in the table of 'Exotic one-handed melee weapons'. They don't appear in the martial weapons list at all, and it's a special notation in their rules text that permits them to be wielded two-handed with martial weapon proficiency. In short, under PFS they are not two-handed weapons at any point, if you see what I mean.


Ninjaiguana wrote:


Best as I can tell, PFS utterly reverses this. Bastard swords are listed in the table of 'Exotic one-handed melee weapons'. They don't appear in the martial weapons list at all, and it's a special notation in their rules text that permits them to be wielded two-handed with martial weapon proficiency. In short, under PFS they are not two-handed weapons at any point, if you see what I mean.

...which is exactly the way it was listed under equipment under the 3.5 SRD; it was only later errata and FAQ that brought it up. Hence why I'm asking.


Daviot wrote:

Okay, rules-clarification-gripe about the Blood Knight who shows up wielding his paired bastard swords.

The statblock shows that he does indeed take -4/-4 penalties for having an 1H weapon in his offhand and the TWF feat.

However, I distinctly remember that the 3.5 ruling on the topic of "hand-and-a-half weapons" (bastard sword, dwarven waraxe, et al), is that such weapons are essentially two-handed martial weapons with an exception made for those who want to drop the exotic feat on them, but that for de facto weapon size category purposes, they're two-handed, and for instance, the 3.5 feat Oversized Two-Weapon Fighting could not apply to an off-hand bastard sword because it was more akin to a 2H melee weapon than a 1H.

Has this ever come up in the PFRPG version of the rules, and if so, what's the Golem's stance on the deliciously superpositioned psuedo-category of hand-and-a-half weaponry?

There was no such ruling in the 3.5. Everything in bastard sword description (both in 3.5 and Pathfinder) indicates that it is a two-handed weapon that can be wielded as one-handed weapon with special training. Meaning, when you have special training, ie. Exotic Weapon Proficiency (or in the case of Dwarven Waraxe, be a dwarf with Martial Weapon Proficiency), you treat it as a one-handed weapon. One handed weapons can be wielded in both main and off hand.

The only way the bastard sword is different from other one-handed weapons is when someone of different size is using it. Ie, a small character could use a Longsword made for a medium creature as a two-handed weapon, whereas he cannot use a bastard sword. Similarily, a large character couldn't use a longsword as a light weapon (large characters can use two-handed medium weapons as light weapons), but he could use a bastard sword/dwarven waraxe.

Also, Oversized TWF doesn't mention the difference between a bastard sword and, say, a longsword.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Ice Titan wrote:


However, when the PCs arrive in Caliphas, Ashes at Dawn has no statement about what would happen if the PCs used gather information to learn about Adivion, Knowledges, what would happen if they tried to find him, etc.

Any help? My PCs will remember his name and will want to find him to see what his connection is.

Yes! This has been bugging me as well. I'm sure we'll learn more about Adivion in the next adventure, but who are the Addrisants? They're obviously a noble family of some import. Do they have a manor in Caliphas? Are the other family members aware of Adivion's nefarious agenda? What happens if the PCs decide to track down a member of this noble house for information? This would all have been useful information at some point.

Cheliax

+1 to more info on Adivion or at least his family in general.

I know a lot of the AP hinges on the PC's foes being mysterious and largely unknowable lest they skip large (and fun) portions of it. However, I'd rather not run a campaign with an -entirely- absentee villain. I like to provide vague clues and hints that will make since later rather than immediately. Also, when it -does- come time for the big reveal I'd like to give them something they may feel was worth chasing after for so long.

Though it's hard to say without knowing the substance and goals of the final installment.


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I've come here to share two quick things:

First is Radivir. There was some talk about him as a monk and how his wand plan as a rogue doesn't actually work. So, since Ultimate Combat came out, I remade him as a tetori monk.

I would honestly ignore the skills section here. I guarantee them to be rubbish. There are also probably a host of other mistakes, but, well, here you are.

Oh, and as a final note, he is really very mean to casting characters or grouped up characters. If I was more lucky I would've been able to kill one of my PCs, and this was a one-enemy vs. all-the-PCs combo fight.

Radvir Giovanni CR 13
Male human vampire tetori monk 12
LE Medium undead (augmented humanoid)
Init +9; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +23
-Defense---------------------------
AC 31, touch 22, flat-footed 25 (+5 Wis, +1 deflection, +6 Dex, +2 dodge, +6 natural, +3 bonus) 35 mobility
hp 149 (12d8+96); fast healing 5
Fort +13, Ref +15, Will +11; +2 vs. enchantment spells and effects
Defensive Abilities channel resistance +4, evasion; DR 10/magic and silver Immune undead traits, Resist cold 10, electricity 10
Weaknesses vampire weaknesses
-Offense----------------------------
Speed 70 ft.
Melee unarmed strike +17/+17/+12 (2d6+7/19-20 x2) or unarmed strike +15/+15/+10 (2d6+8), unarmed strike +15/+10 (2d6+5/19-20 x2)
Ranged wooden stake +14 (1d4+7)
Special Attacks blood drain, children of the night, create spawn, dominate (DC 21), energy drain (2 levels, DC 21), stunning fist (12, DC 19, fatigued, sickened, stunned)
-Statistics--------------------------
Str 25, Dex 20, Con —, Int 14, Wis 16, Cha 20
Base Atk +9; CMB +21 (+25 grapple); CMD 43 (48 vs. grapple)
Feats AlertnessB, Vicious Stomp, Combat ReflexesB, DodgeB, Improved Grapple, Greater Grapple, Panther Style, Panther Claw, Panther Parry, Improved Critical (unarmed strike), Improved InitiativeB, Lightning ReflexesB, Lunge, Mobility, Ki Throw, ToughnessB, Two-Weapon Fighting, Body Shield, Improved Trip
Skills Acrobatics +20 (+36 jump), Bluff +17, Craft (clothing) +17, Craft (shoes) +11, Disguise +17 (+27 with hat of disguise), Escape Artist +20 (+28 to escape grapples), Knowledge (local) +11, Knowledge (nobility) +11, Perception +23, Sense Motive +28, Sleight of Hand +20, Stealth +23
Languages Abyssal, Common, Draconic, Varisian
SQ change shape (dire bat or wolf, beast shape II), gaseous form, shadowless, spider climb … graceful grappler, counter-grapple, break free, inescapable grasp… ki pool (9)
Combat Gear bloodbrew elixir (4 doses; see page 35), potions
of cat’s grace (2), potions of displacement (2), potions of haste
(2); Other Gear +1 amulet of mighty fists, headband of mental superiority +2 (Int and Cha, Disguise) wooden stakes (9), hat of disguise, ring of protection +1, gloves of arrow snaring, courtier’s outfit, jewelry worth 100 gp, 208 gp
* See the Advanced Player’s Guide.

Basically, his modus operandi is burning a ki point for AC and then provoking from up to three people-- his AC will be 39 while he does this. When people attack him, his Panther Style feats go off and he gets to attack them before he gets attacked. He trips them, then gets an attack (Vicious Stomp) and an attack (Improved Trip) and keeps moving. He can make a retaliatory unarmed strike from Panther Style 3 times and gets 5 attacks of opportunity-- so, the final time he provokes, he'll trip his opponent and then use his last attack of opportunity to stunning fist to stun. In addition, whenever he trips someone he can put them in another square he threatens-- he uses this to break up the PCs formation so that he can get to the casters without a hassle. His goal is to provoke from no more than 3 opponents every turn.
Once he's cracked the oyster that is the PCs formation, he finds someone scrawny with low AC-- like a wizard or cleric or caster-- and grapples them. Then, inbetween maintaining and dealing energy drain with his unarmed damage, he moves around with them. Tetori lets him keep taking opportunity attacks in the grapple so he can keep his routine up indefinitely. If anyone successfully gets a 39 to hit him, he uses Body Shield to make his AC 43-- if they miss now, they attack their friend.
If people start getting smart and flying out his reach, his shop's ceiling is only 15ft high and he uses lunge with grapple to just pluck them out of the air. If anyone tries to use freedom of movement to escape, he burns a ki point to hang onto them for a round-- and then likely uses another ki point the next round to "flurry" with TWF/Imp TWF and add the grab quality to his unarmed strikes, dealing damage and re-grappling a new opponent.
If you wanted to make Radivir more of a threat, you could even let him use his Break Free ability to, for one round, ignore being staked or being lured out into the sun.
I would also like to say that I lowered his treasure a small amount to accommodate my PCs going into treasure town in the next few sessions. You can add whatever else you'd like to him to make him more boss.

Oh, and as a bonus so that you all don't have to do the math, here's Merrick's best of all friends from Restoration Park.

Dragon CR 12
N Gargantuan advanced giant plant
Init +8; Senses low-light vision, tremorsense 60 ft.; Perception +12
-Defense-----------------------
AC 23, touch 10, flat-footed 19 (+4 Dex, +13 natural, –4 size)
hp 201 (13d8+143)
Fort +21, Ref +8, Will +7
Immune mind-affecting effects, paralysis, poison, polymorph,
sleep, stun; Resist acid 20
-Offense-----------------------
Speed[/b] 10 ft.
Melee 4 bites +16 (2d6+11 plus grab)
[b]Space
20 ft.; Reach 20 ft.
Special Attacks engulf
-Statistics--------------------
Str 33, Dex 18, Con 33, Int 5, Wis 16, Cha 10
Base Atk +9; CMB +24 (+28 grapple); CMD 38 (can’t be tripped)
Feats Cleave, Great Fortitude, Improved Initiative, Power Attack, Skill Focus (Stealth), Vital Strike, Weapon Focus (bite)
Skills Perception +12, Stealth +5 (+13 in undergrowth);
Racial Modifiers +8 Stealth in undergrowth


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Toadkiller Dog wrote:
Frankly, I expected a more original hook for good characters/Clerics of Pharasma/Paladins working with the vampires than 'for the greater good'. :/

I'm getting around that by introducing in the second book a "Home for Unwed Mothers." This is a hospital that young pregnant women can go to in the later stages of their pregnancy. They will be cared for and treated well even after they give birth to the child. 2 months after the baby is born the mother should be strong enough to leave and is invited to do so.

Depending on the resources available to the woman (both mental and financial) she will either be given aid in establishing a home for herself and her newborn babe. Or she will be encouraged to give up the baby for adoption. In exceptional cases a marriage may be arranged with an elderly man (40s and upwards) who is willing to marry her despite her having a child that isn't his.

This is inspired by the tenets of Pharasma as well as Boardwalk Empire which had a similar "hospital" in the first two episodes. Ever a pragmatic god, Pharasma's teachings can be seen as to encourage people to see that a baby is given the greatest chance of success in life. That said, no-one except for renegade staff members would force a child to be separated from it's mother.

This comes into play in the fifth book in the following way

Spoiler:
Homes for Unwed Mothers have existed since antiquity in Ustalav. However 50 years ago they suddenly saw a boom as philanthropist Luvick Siervage donated a large amount of gold to the hospitals. This saw the facilities of the Homes improve dramatically and also saw the establishment of new Homes beyond Ustalav's borders.

Now Luvick's motivation lies in two parts.
1) He knows the importance of unborn lives in Pharasmin teachings and so he sees the inhabitants of these hospitals as human shields. Should the need ever arise, he is willing to see dozens of pregnant women massacred in the Homes. And that's just to start with.

2) He views himself as a farmer, with humanity his sheep. He tends to the flocks, nurturing them. Allowing them to gain a stable ground so that they might have better their lives. A happy and healthy flock is a feritle and complacent flock. He also likes to milk his "cows", keeping them alive so that they can provide plenty of "milk" year after year. Although just as humans sometimes like to have a "leg of lamb" so too does Luvick sometimes thirst for a more tender meal.

I love playing evil characters and creating propaganda that allows them to delude themselves into thinking that not only are they doing the right thing, but they're doing it for the greater good. Lawful Evil characters can do a lot of good in the pursuit of their evil deeds.


Helaman wrote:
Most adventurers then are serial killers of monsters... they come into an area, kill until their bloodlust is slaked and then move to a new area to kill again.

Agreed. Many adventurers are psychopaths. Paladins can often be the worst of the lot. This is why I hate playing adventurers (in Serpent's Skull I'm currently playing a colllege frat-boy). I've got one "adventurer" who believes in all the propaganda of the Pathfinder Society. He's a poor, deluded little halfling, but he lives by the ideals of the Society rather than the actions many of it's members commit.


I did a kill count after I finished DMing Savage Tide and it was something like this - around 150 humanoids, 130 fiends (demons, devils, demodands, half-fiends and their ilk) and god knows how many less sentient beings.


John Lynch 106 wrote:
Toadkiller Dog wrote:
Frankly, I expected a more original hook for good characters/Clerics of Pharasma/Paladins working with the vampires than 'for the greater good'. :/

I'm getting around that by introducing in the second book a "Home for Unwed Mothers." This is a hospital that young pregnant women can go to in the later stages of their pregnancy. They will be cared for and treated well even after they give birth to the child. 2 months after the baby is born the mother should be strong enough to leave and is invited to do so.

Depending on the resources available to the woman (both mental and financial) she will either be given aid in establishing a home for herself and her newborn babe. Or she will be encouraged to give up the baby for adoption. In exceptional cases a marriage may be arranged with an elderly man (40s and upwards) who is willing to marry her despite her having a child that isn't his.

This is inspired by the tenets of Pharasma as well as Boardwalk Empire which had a similar "hospital" in the first two episodes. Ever a pragmatic god, Pharasma's teachings can be seen as to encourage people to see that a baby is given the greatest chance of success in life. That said, no-one except for renegade staff members would force a child to be separated from it's mother.

This comes into play in the fifth book in the following way** spoiler omitted **...

how do you plan to pass the info of the protection plan on to the players.

I have a plan similar to yours. I might add them together. The vampires actually help solve crimes, and keep order in other ways, but this is only known to the hi level politicians on the nation.


wraithstrike wrote:
how do you plan to pass the info of the protection plan on to the players.

Well if they've gone out of their way to kill every single vampire in sight and show all indications of continuing down this avenue, a messenger tends to be the most direct manner.

wraithstrike wrote:
The vampires actually help solve crimes, and keep order in other ways, but this is only known to the hi level politicians on the nation.

Don't be mistaken. The vampires are evil creatures who do everything in their power to increase their own comfort levels and their personal power. It just so happens that some of the elder vampires have more refined methods of attaining these goals.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Sorry for offtopic!

@Toadkiller Dog: I can't seem to find a way to Private Message you but I'd really appreciate if you can drop me an email on pathfinder. croatia@gmail. com :)


John Lynch 106 wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
how do you plan to pass the info of the protection plan on to the players.

Well if they've gone out of their way to kill every single vampire in sight and show all indications of continuing down this avenue, a messenger tends to be the most direct manner.

wraithstrike wrote:
The vampires actually help solve crimes, and keep order in other ways, but this is only known to the hi level politicians on the nation.
Don't be mistaken. The vampires are evil creatures who do everything in their power to increase their own comfort levels and their personal power. It just so happens that some of the elder vampires have more refined methods of attaining these goals.

I think your idea works. I will probably have the dhamphir be the one to deliver it. I have also thought of most of the questions they would such as "Couldn't they just attack people in their homes anyway?"

I will say the majority of these houses are in certain communities meaning they know where to go for the victims. That means guards have to be posted, meaning that is less people out trying to kill vampires. If the areas are not guarded they will kill some of these people and turn a lot more, making the vampire army bigger. There is also the fact that a woman and a child are easier to kill if they have nobody with them.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Spoiler:
I was wondering if dhampirs ran the risk of addiction if they were to drink bloodbrew elixir like vampires and vampire spawn or are they treated as though they were living beings as per the last paragraph? I'm thinking they can, since vampires and vampire spawn are undead and have no Con scores, because otherwise the -2 penalty to Con they are supposed to get for missing their daily dose would be a typo. But since dhampirs do have Con scores, then it would definitely apply to them and that information was left out of the description due to last minute editing. If the answer is no that's fine, but I may just go ahead and run it as though they can get addicted. Just to give it a kind of Blade vibe, if you will.

I ask because two of my players will be dhampirs and I want to have that bit of info tucked away should it come up in play.


Blayde MacRonan wrote:

** spoiler omitted **

I ask because two of my players will be dhampirs and I want to have that bit of info tucked away should it come up in play.

They are only treated as undead with regard to negative energy affects so the it would affect them like it would any other living creature.

Grand Lodge

Spoiler:

A feat I saw before as an optional one on the boards was that Dhampir can drink blood a number of times per day as a full round action and get 1D6 HPs back... this could be a fun feat.

Why bring this up? There is no reason at all, apart from that the drug can be addictive to Dhampir if you want.

You could throw in as if under the effects of rage for X rounds/turns/Hours (who said it had to affect Dhampir EXACTLY the same way?) - the side effect being that apart from the rage (try being under that condition for LONG periods of time? Try doing something NON combative - can't? THAT'S the drawback) they now get access to the above feat.


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Yeah, that's what Dhampirs need. More drawbacks. Like -2 Con, Light Sensitivity and Negative Energy Affinity aren't enough.

Besides, that's not a feat, that's an ability of the Sanguine Sorcerer Bloodline.

Grand Lodge

Toadkiller Dog wrote:

Yeah, that's what Dhampirs need. More drawbacks. Like -2 Con, Light Sensitivity and Negative Energy Affinity aren't enough.

Besides, that's not a feat, that's an ability of the Sanguine Sorcerer Bloodline.

Well if they want to start messing around with "Substances" the results are generally pretty bad.

PCP anyone?

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

My two cents:

Spoiler:

Typically, I'd say the dhampir benefits from the bloodbrew like any other living creature. Since, unlike vampires, they derive nothing from drinking blood and have no dependence on it whatsoever, the addiction wouldn't hold.

However, as always, you're free to interpret it however you want for you own campaign. If you think having a dhampir be influenced by the bloodbrew ratchets up the tension for your campaign, go for it. My recommendation would be to have it affect them somewhat differently, though. Frequently drinking such magical "blood" might bring them closer to their undead state...making them more vulnerable to sunlight even as it boosts their half-undead metabolism. You might also want to have the bloodbrew have an opposite effect on them in terms of breaking free from a master vampire. Instead, maybe make them more susceptible to a vampire's dominate ability. That alone, could lead to some interesting roleplay situations for you if they continue to interact with the vampires of Caliphas and the Whispering Way.


--Neil

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Neil Spicer wrote:

My two cents:

** spoiler omitted **
--Neil

I like what you've suggested, sir, and will probably use this for my game when the time comes. Thank you very much for your input.


I noticed that the witch that turned into a vampire is attacking from within a fog spell, but fog spells grant concealment which means targeting spells can't be used, and she has no way to negate it, unless I missed something.

Did I miss something?

Paizo Employee Senior Developer

wraithstrike wrote:

I noticed that the witch that turned into a vampire is attacking from within a fog spell, but fog spells grant concealment which means targeting spells can't be used, and she has no way to negate it, unless I missed something.

Did I miss something?

Note that the only spells specifically called out as being cast from the solid fog are waves of fatigue and black tentacles, both of which are area-effect spells.

She casts her other spells and hexes as needed - if she's in the fog, she can still target opponents within 5 feet. Otherwise, she'll maneuver out of the fog (such as by levitating above it) so she can target opponents, then duck back into the fog for cover.


So what’s the story with the weird witch side quest? It doesn’t make much sense for the PCs to even hunt down the witches and it seems like an unnecessary and disjointed addition to the story. Why add all the “search for eternal beauty“ stuff at this point in the story. If I had to guess it was to:

- Give the PCs more experience to boost their level which in turn would boost the level of part 6. I really hate this; it seems the Pathfinder inflated medium XP chart is really causing havoc with the AP writers and developers. When I first read the expanded XP chart in PF I thought it was a great opportunity to allow more adventure and use of PC abilities at higher levels. I always though 3.5 went a little too fast at the higher levels. Unfortunately I don’t see that happening in the APs. Instead I see tons of backfilling ("If the PCs talk to this NPC and succeed at a DC: x Diplomacy check award them 62,000XPs") to get the PCs to the next level.

- Find a way to get expanded content (the witch PC class in this case) into the APs.

I'm disappointed with the latter half of part 5. My group is just about to confront Radvir so I'll be moving his coffin to the abbey to actually give the PCs a reason to go to the abbey and replacing the witches with (medusa) sorcerers. I’ll just ignore the “fountain of youth” stuff and the anti-paladin that seems to wandering around for no reason as well.

Finally, I’ll admit I’m no expert on vampire fiction, but apparently the Dhampirs backstory is identical to the Marvel comic character Blades backstory? I had no idea, and a couple of my players just thought it was hilarious. Thanks for that. In the future, if your NPC inspirations are obviously from existing and popular sources please obfuscate them accordingly. I prefer originality with a dash (a DASH) of familiarity, not wholesale copying.

Cheliax

Dhampir origin

Balkan mythology origins. If there was any copying then Blade copied off of the dhampir, not the other way around.

Unless you're referring to the specific dhampir NPC that appears in AaD, in which case the archetype he's representing was hardly original in either him or Blade.

"Born of both worlds, sired by a monster and now he hunts monsters, stalks the night to put them down, yadda yadda." That whole deal was done long before Wesley Snipes showed up in all black.


Luther wrote:

Dhampir origin

Balkan mythology origins. If there was any copying then Blade copied off of the dhampir, not the other way around.

Unless you're referring to the specific dhampir NPC that appears in AaD, in which case the archetype he's representing was hardly original in either him or Blade.

"Born of both worlds, sired by a monster and now he hunts monsters, stalks the night to put them down, yadda yadda." That whole deal was done long before Wesley Snipes showed up in all black.

Well, Blade existed before Wesely Snipes (since 1974) and the specific issue is not the NPC being a Dhampir but his "origin story" being identical to Blade (both of them had their mothera killed during their own births by a vampire). Maybe I'm wrong, but that seems to me to be pretty unqiue to Blade is what I mean. Quinley from AaD has the exact same origin.

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

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cibet44 wrote:
So what’s the story...

Re: The "Weird Witch Side Quest"

Spoiler:

This part of the story wasn't tacked on just to "give the PCs more experience." Instead, it was meant as a murder mystery whereby the PCs got to trace the source of the vampire slayings beyond just the enabler (i.e., Radvir) and all the way to who he delivered the bodies to...i.e., the witches of Barstoi. The search for eternal beauty element is something already woven into the NPC Carmilla's background, as described in Rule of Fear, the definitive sourcebook for Ustalav. And the alchemy experimentation necessary to chase such a discovery dovetailed nicely with the witches' need for a laboratory from which to operate within Caliphas. Carmilla provided such under the belief that the witches could succeed where better alchemists had not.

Additionally, I can assure you this part of the adventure wasn't "a way to get expanded content (the witch PC class in this case) into the APs." If you look across each of the chapters in the Carrion Crown AP, each one features the iconic horrors of that genre. You get ghosts in the Haunting of Harrowstone, a Frankenstein monster in Trial of the Beast, werewolves in Broken Moon, Cthulu insanity in Wake of the Watcher, a three-fer with vampires, witches, and even a Headless Horseman in Ashes at Dawn (not to mention some sentient, creepy-crawly spider swarms), and of course, more ghastly undead horrors than you can shake a stick at (including a lich and several high-powered haunts) in Shadows at Gallowspire. So, if you're going to include a witch in this free-for-all, it's far better to use the actual witch class rather than make her a necromancer or sorcerer with the undead bloodline. Also, as it turns out, the last of the witches in Ashes at Dawn is actually the BBEG vampire at the end, with some good story reasons for why she became one, all based on that alchemical research conducted under the guise of searching for eternal beauty on behalf of their client.

So, the story reasons are there. But, since you feel like the last part of the adventure is disjointed from the vampire-fest in the early going, I guess that means those elements I referred to above just didn't come out strongly enough for you. The good thing is you've done exactly what every GM is expected to do with these adventure write-ups...i.e., you adapted them to your own group, playstyle, and understanding of how things read to you.

Re: The Blade "Controversy"

Spoiler:

I'm not familiar with the original Blade backstory in the comics. But, in the film, it's true that his pregnant mother was bitten by a vampire. The trauma of that event caused her baby to come early even as she was rushed to the hospital for her own injuries (i.e., the medics just assumed she'd been attacked by a mugger or something). Thus, the vampire "virus" transfered to Blade and he was born a daywalker (i.e., dhampir).

In Ashes at Dawn, I tried to do a slightly different interpretation whereby Quinley's mother was also pregnant before she was bitten. But, unlike the attack on Blade's mother, I simply made it so the midwife delivering Quinley was a vampire who preyed on expectant mothers when they were at their weakest. While it's unfortunate that you and your players saw this as "wholesale copying," I can assure you it's not. Marvel has no more claim on that origin than anyone else. And, the overall theme of how dhampirs come into being necessarily follows along these lines...unless, of course, you expect undead, bloodless vampires to still be capable of impregnating living women with their unholy seed...or that dhampirs spontaneously develop through icky fleshwarping magic...or some other contrivance. I felt that a vampire biting a pregnant mother made the most sense. So, that's what I put forward. Again, I apologize if it doesn't work well for you and your group. But, from the feedback of others, it seems to have worked for most people. And that's really always going to be my target audience.


I hope you and your group enjoys the adventure and what you're able to make of it.

My two cents,
--Neil

Cheliax

Yeah, I'm with Neil on this one.

Nothing is really original anymore if you dissect it enough. Everyone is going to see -something- that makes them draw a parallel between a given subject and something else whether it's from a pop culture icon like Blade or the stories that Albanian gypsies told hundreds of years ago.

Every once in a while something is going to seem 'too familiar'. But typically that's just a result of there only being so many stories in the world.

Honestly, I see the parallel and I still don't care. I can get over it. It's not like Neil named the guy "Edalb" or anything.


Neil Spicer wrote:
it seems to have worked for most people. And that's really always going to be my target audience.

/snark

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