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Disappointed...


Kingmaker

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I hadn't read through all of this AP before, but it was brought to my attention that there were some problems with this AP starting with a tournament invasion and progressively getting worse up to HAVING to make a deal with a demon to defeat the main obstacle.

I couldn't believe these claims were legitimate. Sure, Paizo did similarly stupid things in their early AP's, but had gotten much better with such heavy handed railroading since then. So I pulled out my copies, found where the tournament/invasion material begins and started reading.

Really?

Maybe it is because I have become so spoiled with your copious amount of really good writing, but whatever the reason I am very saddened by how bad you guys are in this AP. This thing starts off so awesome, the tournament has so much potential for awesome, not to mention the invasion and final climax. But such blatant and heavy handed railroading makes it hard even for a DM with over 25 years of experience like me to rewrite into the more free form and fun set of experiences this AP can be.

I don't think I'll have much problem derailing how you have the tournament and invasion being, but as we get to the final scenes and how they have only one set of tracks to go down in order to win the day, thats going to be a lot of rewriting.

I'm sure I can do it, but with you guys I shouldn't be needing to.

Very, very disappointed.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber
Robert Miller 55 wrote:

I hadn't read through all of this AP before, but it was brought to my attention that there were some problems with this AP starting with a tournament invasion and progressively getting worse up to HAVING to make a deal with a demon to defeat the main obstacle.

I couldn't believe these claims were legitimate. Sure, Paizo did similarly stupid things in their early AP's, but had gotten much better with such heavy handed railroading since then. So I pulled out my copies, found where the tournament/invasion material begins and started reading.

Really?

Maybe it is because I have become so spoiled with your copious amount of really good writing, but whatever the reason I am very saddened by how bad you guys are in this AP. This thing starts off so awesome, the tournament has so much potential for awesome, not to mention the invasion and final climax. But such blatant and heavy handed railroading makes it hard even for a DM with over 25 years of experience like me to rewrite into the more free form and fun set of experiences this AP can be.

I don't think I'll have much problem derailing how you have the tournament and invasion being, but as we get to the final scenes and how they have only one set of tracks to go down in order to win the day, thats going to be a lot of rewriting.

I'm sure I can do it, but with you guys I shouldn't be needing to.

Very, very disappointed.

Robert,

Are you talking about "War of the River Kings" part 5 of the Kingmaker AP? (I'm guessing so, since it is the only part of that AP that has a tournament in the beginning) but I'm not remembering anything about making a deal with a demon in this part, and I did a 6 player conversion for this part. (I can't imagine I would have glossed over this in either reading it or converting it).

Help me out... where in the AP does it say/imply that making a deal with a demon will help them defeat

Spoiler:
King Irovetti?

Thanks.

~Dean

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Read the adventure more carefully. While the assumption is that...

Spoiler:
...the PCs go to the tournament and are tricked, this is not the ONLY way to play the adventure. If the PCs don't fall for the trick, then they shouldn't go. Nor should the GM force them to go simply because we chose to put the tournament into the adventure and also chose to put it at the start of the adventure.

As detailed in the adventure, if the PCs don't fall for Irroveti's trickery and they don't go to the tourney, then you can proceed with the war more or less as written but without starting with an unexpected attack on the PCs.

The tournament, in this version of the adventure, instead becomes a true celebration instead of a ruse. The tourney is a tradition in Pitax, and once the PCs defeat King Irovetti, holding the tournament is a great way to help the beleagurerd citizens get over the dark times. You might need to change a few NPC names here and there, but the PCs won't notice if you do.

Osirion RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4; Contributor; Publisher, Legendary Games

Color me similarly confused. I don't recall that there even ARE any demons in WotRK, much less any that you COULD make deals with, much less any that you MUST make deals with. So that one I just don't get.

As for the tournament...

I wrote the tournament section as an introduction to Irovetti, as at that stage of development I presumed it would be the first contact between him and PCs (and, in the original, there were some layers of deception about who the real Irovetti was, as the person who greets them as him is not actually him). They had no particular reason to suspect he was any more of a douchebag than any other lord of the River Kingdoms (in other words, he probably IS, but hadn't done anything against them really). The invite was sent to some upstart fellow lords and could offer them a chance to meet and take the measure of some of the other River Kings, and maybe to promote their nation or make alliances.

As the AP was developed you can see he is foreshadowed as a bad guy in Blood for Blood, and potentially as far back as Rivers Run Red (if you decide a certain rabble-rouser works for him), so the PCs have more reason to be suspicious. Even if they are suspicious, there are still reasonable motivations for going - still, getting a chance to meet the other River Kings, promote trade with other nations, make alliances, gather intelligence... you know, actually role-play some diplomacy. Even if Irovetti IS a scoundrel, you wouldn't automatically assume he'd try to pull something too treacherous right out in the open, with the other River Kings right there watching.

Even if he did, you're high-level adventurers and full of safety mechanisms (and for that matter could just teleport home each night and return in the morning for the festivities).

Even so, regardless of whether the PCs it's clearly spelled out in the adventure that the tournament invite is just that - an INVITE. PCs aren't required to attend, and the adventure proceeds just fine without them going. If you still want to use the tournament events and other bits for fun after the war (or entirely outside it, dropping it anywhere in the River Kingdoms you like, at any time you choose), you can!

For that matter, PCs don't have to be level-appropriate for the module to participate in tournament events. Given the tendency for PCs to min-max, they probably can acquit themselves quite well at the tourney several levels lower than their competition. Heck, they could play the NPCs and just have fun with it (I ran that as a session at PaizoCon last year and folks had a great time).

I'm not seeing the railroad. Perhaps you could explain.

Cheliax Owner - Enchanted Grounds

Yeah, after reading the OP I went hunting, and couldn't find a single reference to a demon in the entire module. I also see nothing about cutting a deal with anything (or anyone) in order to win the war.

Just for grins, I did a search of the sixth module for demons. None there, either, unless you count a particular set of statues. Nor do I see any deal-making going on in order to defeat the Ultimate Big Bad in the series.

You should poke through those two books with a less critical eye, RM55. I see no reason for any disappointment. In fact, I'm a bit the opposite: I'm having trouble trying to figure out how to move book 5 away from the sandbox aspect in order to have a believable war. Likewise with book 6: with all those things at her disposal, I'm trying to figure out how the PCs don't get completely crushed by overwhelming odds as they "explore" within that realm.

But, that's four (and five) books away, so I'm not worried about it, yet. I'll figure it out.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Robert Miller 55 wrote:

I hadn't read through all of this AP before, but it was brought to my attention that there were some problems with this AP starting with a tournament invasion and progressively getting worse up to HAVING to make a deal with a demon to defeat the main obstacle.

I couldn't believe these claims were legitimate. Sure, Paizo did similarly stupid things in their early AP's, but had gotten much better with such heavy handed railroading since then. So I pulled out my copies, found where the tournament/invasion material begins and started reading.

Really?

Maybe it is because I have become so spoiled with your copious amount of really good writing, but whatever the reason I am very saddened by how bad you guys are in this AP. This thing starts off so awesome, the tournament has so much potential for awesome, not to mention the invasion and final climax. But such blatant and heavy handed railroading makes it hard even for a DM with over 25 years of experience like me to rewrite into the more free form and fun set of experiences this AP can be.

I don't think I'll have much problem derailing how you have the tournament and invasion being, but as we get to the final scenes and how they have only one set of tracks to go down in order to win the day, thats going to be a lot of rewriting.

I'm sure I can do it, but with you guys I shouldn't be needing to.

Very, very disappointed.

Seriously, are you reading the same module as everyone is? I understand that everyone is entitled to their opinion, but holy crap! And you claim to have 25 years of GMing experience. Seriously this whole AP is very sandboxy if anything it takes an experienced GM to tie everything together better.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Maybe possibly he is thinking of the end of Savage tide for the deal with a demon reference?


Robert Miller 55 wrote:

I hadn't read through all of this AP before, but it was brought to my attention that there were some problems with this AP starting with a tournament invasion and progressively getting worse up to HAVING to make a deal with a demon to defeat the main obstacle.

I couldn't believe these claims were legitimate. Sure, Paizo did similarly stupid things in their early AP's, but had gotten much better with such heavy handed railroading since then. So I pulled out my copies, found where the tournament/invasion material begins and started reading.

Really?

Maybe it is because I have become so spoiled with your copious amount of really good writing, but whatever the reason I am very saddened by how bad you guys are in this AP. This thing starts off so awesome, the tournament has so much potential for awesome, not to mention the invasion and final climax. But such blatant and heavy handed railroading makes it hard even for a DM with over 25 years of experience like me to rewrite into the more free form and fun set of experiences this AP can be.

I don't think I'll have much problem derailing how you have the tournament and invasion being, but as we get to the final scenes and how they have only one set of tracks to go down in order to win the day, thats going to be a lot of rewriting.

I'm sure I can do it, but with you guys I shouldn't be needing to.

Very, very disappointed.

As Lil John would said, "WHAT!OK!"


Robert Miller 55 wrote:

I hadn't read through all of this AP before, but it was brought to my attention that there were some problems with this AP starting with a tournament invasion and progressively getting worse up to HAVING to make a deal with a demon to defeat the main obstacle.

I couldn't believe these claims were legitimate. Sure, Paizo did similarly stupid things in their early AP's, but had gotten much better with such heavy handed railroading since then. So I pulled out my copies, found where the tournament/invasion material begins and started reading.

Really?

Maybe it is because I have become so spoiled with your copious amount of really good writing, but whatever the reason I am very saddened by how bad you guys are in this AP. This thing starts off so awesome, the tournament has so much potential for awesome, not to mention the invasion and final climax. But such blatant and heavy handed railroading makes it hard even for a DM with over 25 years of experience like me to rewrite into the more free form and fun set of experiences this AP can be.

I don't think I'll have much problem derailing how you have the tournament and invasion being, but as we get to the final scenes and how they have only one set of tracks to go down in order to win the day, thats going to be a lot of rewriting.

I'm sure I can do it, but with you guys I shouldn't be needing to.

Very, very disappointed.

What Chapter of the Kingmaker Adventure Path are you reading? *Puzzled face* There's no such railroad in the entire campaign unless you plant it there.


I did not see any demons in that book either.


wraithstrike wrote:
I did not see any demons in that book either.

I can't remember their being a single Demon or devil in the entire AP.

There are a few daemons and some soul eaters, but thats is all i remember on that front. That said in Robert Miller 55's defense, he didn't say that there actually where any, only that it was what he was told by a friend.


Zombieneighbours wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
I did not see any demons in that book either.

I can't remember their being a single Demon or devil in the entire AP.

There are a few daemons and some soul eaters, but thats is all i remember on that front. That said in Robert Miller 55's defense, he didn't say that there actually where any, only that it was what he was told by a friend.

O.o

Some friend - the nutter didn't even get the AP correct for Robert Miller 55 to come in here and gripe about.


Zombieneighbours wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
I did not see any demons in that book either.

I can't remember their being a single Demon or devil in the entire AP.

There are a few daemons and some soul eaters, but thats is all i remember on that front. That said in Robert Miller 55's defense, he didn't say that there actually where any, only that it was what he was told by a friend.

...Yeeeah...but that said...

He goes on to say that "I pulled out my copies, found where the tournament/invasion material begins and started reading."
Sounds pretty difinitive to me... ;-p


Philip Knowsley wrote:
Zombieneighbours wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
I did not see any demons in that book either.

I can't remember their being a single Demon or devil in the entire AP.

There are a few daemons and some soul eaters, but thats is all i remember on that front. That said in Robert Miller 55's defense, he didn't say that there actually where any, only that it was what he was told by a friend.

...Yeeeah...but that said...

He goes on to say that "I pulled out my copies, found where the tournament/invasion material begins and started reading."
Sounds pretty difinitive to me... ;-p

Well, he doesn't mention the Demon thing again after that. He was providing background. I think his entire point is wrong, but lets not kick him for something he hasn't done' all right?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The timing and topic of this thread makes me believe that this is a spillover from a thread on RPG.net, and if that's the case, I can resolve the confusion: The OP has accidentally mingled elements of Kingmaker and Savage Tide.


Que? "Blatant and heavy railroading"? That's a pretty heavy accusation, especially if you don't back it up.

Nobody forces you to enter that tournament. You can send an RSVP reading "Dear pitax boss - f@@@ you sideways! Love, the Kings" and he can't do anything about it.

And while the last part of the story changes the pace and requires the heroes to act if they want to keep their kingdom, that's hardly "railroading". Especially not "blatant and heavy railroading".

And what's that about a deal with a demon? It must be important the accusation, since there is CAPITALISATION involved, but that's nowhere to be found.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting Subscriber

The only thing I am thinking is by demon he means Evindra, maybe?

Other than that maybe the OP has Regeneration 5 (acid and fire)...?

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

It’s been three and a half years since Savage Tide; you’d think people would be over the deal with demons thing by now.

Add me to the chorus of people who don’t see the ‘blatant and heavy handed railroading’ in War of the River Kings. Specific examples would be nice.

Of course, the accusation was almost inevitable, if not from the OP then from someone else; there is probably not an Adventure Path that Paizo has published where the cry of ‘Railroading!’ has not reared its ugly head at least once. It does seem a bit odd for Kingmaker though, given that it is by far the most open and least linear Adventure Path that Paizo has published to date. And if the events in War of the River Kings do constitute railroading in the OP’s eyes, bad enough that it ‘makes it hard for even a DM with over 25 years of experience’ (yes, but at what?) to fix … well, then I wonder where the OP has been spoiled with the ‘copious amount of really good writing’ because there are far more obvious examples of what certain people refer to as ‘railroading’ throughout the APs.

And that’s not a bad thing.

You’d think that by this point most people would have figured out what the Adventure Paths are and what they are not. They are not a series of random modules that happen to be set in vaguely the same region or have vaguely related themes. They are not a campaign setting. They are not written to cater to every possible play style and every character option from every third party source book ever written. They are not personally tailored to your group. What they are is a campaign – a series of closely related adventures that take one group from first level to high levels and an ultimate climax that has been in some way foreshadowed throughout the path. Sometimes, to make sure that this comes to pass (and the characters playing Kingmaker don’t decide to go off and invade Taldor, or search for artifacts in Katapesh, or give up on being kings and adventurers and take up careers in pig farming) the GM needs to give the players a nudge. Sometimes those nudges are more obvious than others. The skill that Paizo demonstrates time and time again (admittedly with varying levels of success) is writing adventures with ways to make those nudges less than obvious to the players.

In most adventures there is an obvious way to do things and then there are about ten thousand less obvious ways. Quite rightly, the Paizo APs tend to give most focus to the obvious way ad provide some material to suggest what a GM and group can do if they go down one of the less obvious routes – they cannot possibly predict and cater for every possible way a group may tackle an adventure. It is the job of a GM (particularly one with 25 years experience) to know their group and tailor the adventure accordingly if the way it is written does not fit their group’s play style.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
FallofCamelot wrote:

The only thing I am thinking is by demon he means Evindra, maybe?

Given that little else in the original post seems to make much sense, its possible I suppose, but doubtful, given that Evindra is not a demon and that you don't HAVE (capitalised) to make a deal with her to defeat the main obstacle.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting Subscriber

She was the closest possibility I could think of.

Cheliax

John Mangrum wrote:
The timing and topic of this thread makes me believe that this is a spillover from a thread on RPG.net, and if that's the case, I can resolve the confusion: The OP has accidentally mingled elements of Kingmaker and Savage Tide.

This was exactly what I was thinking. I read that in the thread over there and after consulting the module in question I found the OP over there had gotten a few things wrong. RPGNet posters tend to get negative real quick especially when it comes to Paizo. The thread went from Kingmaker to how all Paizo APs are horrible railroads and take a look at what the did with Savage Tide!!!!

Qadira

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

SO, if someone were to want to put a demon into this AP, where would you do it? I have two characters that have demons in their background and would love the opportunity to push those buttons. Any ideas on placement and timing?

Thanks.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Gamemastery Module D3 Demon Within fits a bit after KM3, and can provide a possible ally for the Kingdom too.

Running it at the moment in my Kingmaker/Slumbering Tsar/Other Stuff campaign.

Allying with the devil:
I really don't get the "ho noes we might have the option of allying with a demon/evil aligned creature, but perhaps not that bad towards us" thing though...


In KM 5

the word demon is mentioned 5 times
the word devil 6 times

none of them have any relevance to the OP

Osirion RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4; Contributor; Publisher, Legendary Games

Shieldknight wrote:

SO, if someone were to want to put a demon into this AP, where would you do it? I have two characters that have demons in their background and would love the opportunity to push those buttons. Any ideas on placement and timing?

Thanks.

In my original turnover, I did have a half-fiend minotaur as Irovetti's jailer and a bone devil as his torturer, so I suppose you could do something like that. Some of the edits/development done in WotRK were done to dial down high-magic elements like those (including axing two other tournament events) that were just a little too over-the-top for the flavor and feel of Kingmaker, which is much more on the gritty side.

I suppose you could put a demon of some sort into the Lonely Barrow as a servant or guardian of the fallen warlord if you really wanted, or a succubus in Drelev in Blood for Blood wouldn't be a bad fit, but I don't know that the AP really calls out for extraplanars. In fact, I find it a refreshing change of pace that the AP in general is pretty light on extraplanars up until SoaTS, and even they are extraplanars in a very different direction from what that usually implies (First World rather than demons/devils/etc.).

My two bits on the subject.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I think KM has no need for demons or devils.
It has it's own unique villains and i guess most groups will be surprised who is the BEG in the end.
And there are demons and daemons in the AP but they are not the main issue of the campaign.

The big devil campaign is the CoT campaign.

Qadira

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Perhaps I did not clearly state what I was looking for. I just want a spot where I can add in a demon/devil that I can use for closure on a character background. Doesn't have to be part of the main story. Just want a good location/time to put a higher level demon/devil into the AP.

Andoran

I, also am disappointed. The part in WotRC where you have to

Spoiler:
Eat platypus in order to enter the interdimensional wormhole
was totally unacceptable!!

Cheliax Owner - Enchanted Grounds

Shieldknight wrote:
Perhaps I did not clearly state what I was looking for. I just want a spot where I can add in a demon/devil that I can use for closure on a character background. Doesn't have to be part of the main story. Just want a good location/time to put a higher level demon/devil into the AP.

Maybe as an assassin sent to kill your PC? Pick a named bad guy, have him cut a deal with something extra-planar to secure the services of a Shemhazian (the ultimate demon assassin) for 12th level+ or a bone devil for lower level.

If you want to drop one in to be found rather than it finding the PC, put it in Fort Drelev. The motivations there are pretty easily changed to involve temptation from devils and demons.

Or, just create a "prison" and drop its entrance into an unused, remote hex. The PCs crack the prison and have to fight it to keep from loosing it on the world.

Osirion RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4; Contributor; Publisher, Legendary Games

Drogon wrote:
Shieldknight wrote:
Perhaps I did not clearly state what I was looking for. I just want a spot where I can add in a demon/devil that I can use for closure on a character background. Doesn't have to be part of the main story. Just want a good location/time to put a higher level demon/devil into the AP.

Maybe as an assassin sent to kill your PC? Pick a named bad guy, have him cut a deal with something extra-planar to secure the services of a Shemhazian (the ultimate demon assassin) for 12th level+ or a bone devil for lower level.

If you want to drop one in to be found rather than it finding the PC, put it in Fort Drelev. The motivations there are pretty easily changed to involve temptation from devils and demons.

Since I'm planning to use a version of WotRK closer to my original in my home campaign, I've left Irovetti's possible role much more ambiguous in the events of Blood for Blood. Info-gathering has indicated that he COULD be behind it, or the cultists of Gyronna, or possible possession (the PCs suspect a ghost, but the weapon-domination probably qualifies), or possibly Imeckus Stroon the wizard. So in sum, they don't necessarily see Irovetti as trustworthy... but then, he's a lord in the River Kingdoms, so they wouldn't expect him to be trustworthy. But, so far they figure he's just another "scum-neutral" guy, and I plan to keep it that way.

There will actually be a bit of a break between #4 and #5 in my home game, as we kinda skipped #3 (for a variety of reasons; we ended up doing a large section of RotRL Skinsaw Murders down at Candlemere and then most of Hook Mountain Massacre in the far western failed colony in the Glenebon Uplands at around that level range), so the events of #3 (up-leveled, of course) will happen once they are able to settle down a bit after pacifying Drelev and dividing it up between their main kingdom and their satellite kingdom in Glenebon.

Anyway, long story short, I think the motivations of the Drelevs are a lot more plausible if they are left more ambiguous. It gives the players more to worry about!

Drogon wrote:
Or, just create a "prison" and drop its entrance into an unused, remote hex. The PCs crack the prison and have to fight it to keep from loosing it on the world.

I was thinking that, as an "event" at some point during the campaign, some excavation/construction at the presumptive capital/Stag Lord fort/ruined monastery of Gyronna, somebody could dig up a little idol or shrine or some such thing that is the touchstone releasing the plot-device demon or allowing it to possess that person and eventually make trouble for the PCs (perhaps one of their NPC advisors), before being revealed as connected to your PC's background.


Robert Miller 55 wrote:

I hadn't read through all of this AP before, but it was brought to my attention that there were some problems with this AP starting with a tournament invasion and progressively getting worse up to HAVING to make a deal with a demon to defeat the main obstacle.

Are you referring to this thread on RPG.net ?

I am running Stolen Lands for my players right now, and the disappointment of the OP there made me skim through the 5th module to see by myself if it was that bad and if I would have to plan changes when our campaign reaches that point. I didn't find any "heavy handed railroading", the whole tournament part could be skipped with little work for the DM.


Jason Nelson wrote:
Since I'm planning to use a version of WotRK closer to my original in my home campaign, I've left Irovetti's possible role much more ambiguous in the events of Blood for Blood.

Jason, would you amenable, and are you allowed, to say what other tournament events were in the original? If possible, I plan on having an event per player so they can all get in on the action. I don't suppose you had any rogue or caster-type events?

Come on, give up the goods! Don't make us send a Tane after ya! ;)

And if you already posted the info elsewhere, I apologize. I try to keep up with the Kingmaker threads as best I can, but...:)


Adrien Meyer wrote:
Robert Miller 55 wrote:

I hadn't read through all of this AP before, but it was brought to my attention that there were some problems with this AP starting with a tournament invasion and progressively getting worse up to HAVING to make a deal with a demon to defeat the main obstacle.

Are you referring to this thread on RPG.net ?

I am running Stolen Lands for my players right now, and the disappointment of the OP there made me skim through the 5th module to see by myself if it was that bad and if I would have to plan changes when our campaign reaches that point. I didn't find any "heavy handed railroading", the whole tournament part could be skipped with little work for the DM.

Wow, I didn't realize there was such hate for Paizo and the APs on that site, or at least in that thread. I wonder if any of the posters have even read the adventure in question. I'm reading on page three and not one of them seems to have actually read the adventure, they're all just dog-piling the APs and Paizo in general. Looks like it takes reading through to the last page to find someone quoting the actual AP. Heh, three cheers for people bashing something as a railroad that they've never even looked at!


I think it's pretty interesting that there's so much misinformation on that thread even from those who claim to have read/played/GMd the modules they talk about.

For instance, the one that complains about a module where you are "railroaded into a shipwreck no matter what the PCs do, and exactly these specific people survive". In the actual module, it gives you suggestions for what to do if the PCs are able to avoid the shipwreck, and it also says "these should survive, but if you want others to survive that's fine, and if one of these die, then <suggestion>".

Cheliax Owner - Enchanted Grounds

idilippy wrote:
Heh, three cheers for people bashing something as a railroad that they've never even looked at!

Heh. That's alright. They come over here and try to look smart and we get to bash them, in turn, for being raving lunatics who like to parrot what the ill-informed spout at them.

What goes around comes around.


Drogon wrote:
idilippy wrote:
Heh, three cheers for people bashing something as a railroad that they've never even looked at!

Heh. That's alright. They come over here and try to look smart and we get to bash them, in turn, for being raving lunatics who like to parrot what the ill-informed spout at them.

What goes around comes around.

Yes, the endless cycle of violence and ignorance. Until one day the chosen one will come from afar. Through much peril, braving troll and flame, this chosen one will break the endless cycle, and everyone will actually read through something before bashing it, resulting in a golden age of knowledge and internet civility...

Osirion RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4; Contributor; Publisher, Legendary Games

ChrisO wrote:
Jason Nelson wrote:
Since I'm planning to use a version of WotRK closer to my original in my home campaign, I've left Irovetti's possible role much more ambiguous in the events of Blood for Blood.

Jason, would you amenable, and are you allowed, to say what other tournament events were in the original? If possible, I plan on having an event per player so they can all get in on the action. I don't suppose you had any rogue or caster-type events?

Come on, give up the goods! Don't make us send a Tane after ya! ;)

And if you already posted the info elsewhere, I apologize. I try to keep up with the Kingmaker threads as best I can, but...:)

I did previously post a rogue/monk/barb-oriented contest called "The Tower of Jewels." Hopefully you can find it searching the Kingmaker boards. For one that was just a wee bit higher on the 'high magic' end of things, consider the following:

The Pillars of Life and Death

Contestants enter a grid 100 feet on a side. A total of 36 10-foot spiraling glass columns are spaced every 20 feet on the grid, including around its perimeter. These pillars are sensitive to positive and negative energy, causing them to fill with a glowing light (positive) or inky darkness (negative). The energy required to fill the columns may come from channeled energy or from cure or inflict wounds spells. Damage from necromancy or death effects (e.g., chill touch, vampiric touch) is treated as negative energy damage by the pillars, and effects that cause negative levels count as 10 points of negative energy damage per negative level. Damage from light-based effects (e.g., searing light, sunray) is treated as positive energy rather than inflicting its normal damage. The pillars save at +10 against all effects which grant a saving throw, even if normally harmless.
Physically, each pillar is AC 5, hardness 0, and 12 hit points, and is not subject to critical hits when empty. For the purpose of positive and negative energy (including alternative effects described above), each pillar begins at 0 hit points, brightening when they absorb positive energy and darkening with negative energy, up to 100 hit points of each. Pillars can absorb both types of energy simultaneously; they do not cancel one another out but accumulate separately, with light and dark spiraling around the pillar.
Each competitor is given a colored token, and when they cause a pillar to reach 100 positive or 100 negative hit points, they ‘capture’ the pillar as it turns wholly white (positive) or black (negative) and the crystal sphere mounted at the pillar’s top glows brightly in their color. This is true even if another contestant has charged the majority of the energy into the pillar; it is the one who pushes the pillar beyond 100 positive or negative hit points that captures it (this includes creatures summoned by a contestant). Captured pillars become as hard as stone (hardness 8, 180 hit points).
Competitors may use melee, ranged, targeted, or area-effect abilities to charge the pillars. All contestants on the field are protected as death ward. A contestant who destroys a pillar receives one penalty point, which is deducted from the number of pillars they have captured when tallying the winner. A contestant who attacks another competitor is disqualified.

Contestants: Unless otherwise noted, all spell ranges are touch. A mass cure/inflict wounds spell can target up to 4 pillars at once. Irovetti’s champion is given a special holy symbol warded with magic aura to appear nonmagical but which functions as a lesser metamagic rod (empower); it can be used three times before its power is exhausted.
Yegina Varudu (Mivon - gnome female cleric of Rovagug 11) Touch Attack +10 melee, Channeling 6d6 negative, DC 20, 8/day, Spells (DC 16+spell level) 6—harm (x2), 5—shout, slay living (x3), 4—inflict critical wounds (x5), 3—inflict serious wounds (x5), 2—inflict moderate wounds (x5), shatter (50 feet), 1—inflict light wounds (x6), Strategy Yegina will use her area-effect powers while moving from pillar to pillar and targeting them with harm and slay living. If she sees a positive pillar near filling, she will use shatter to destroy it; if there are several near filling, she will use shout.
Levyn Gudmestad (Pitax - human male cleric of Pharasma 11) Touch Attack+9 melee, Channeling 6d6 positive, DC 18, 6/day, Spells (DC 16+spell level) 6—heal, mass cure moderate wounds (50 feet), 5—breath of life, mass cure light wounds (50 feet, x3), 4—cure critical wounds (x5), 3—cure serious wounds (x6), 2—cure moderate wounds (x6), 1—cure light wounds (x7), Strategy Levyn will try to hit the largest number of pillars with his area-effect positive energy, but if a pillar is close he will focus touch-based cures on it. All of Levyn’s cure wounds spells are empowered because of his Healing domain.
Memon Esponde (Independent - human male sorcerer (celestial) 12) Touch Attack+9 melee, +9 ranged, Channeling none, Spells (DC 15+spell level) 6—empowered enervation (55 feet, x4), 5—empowered vampiric touch, enervation, or summon monster V (x6), 4—enervation (55 feet, x7), 3—vampiric touch (x7), 2—spectral hand, 1—chill touch (x8), Strategy Memon will let others do most of the work and try to capture pillars that are nearly filled. He will spend the first 2 rounds summoning bralani azatas, which he will command to fly in wind form and use cure serious wounds on nearly-filled positive pillars, while he flies on heavenly wings to the center of the arena and uses enervation and vampiric touch on negative pillars. Once his bralani have used up their cure serious wounds, he will summon another.

Winning: There are two winners in the contest. The first competitor to charge a pillar is given a wand of cure light wounds, inflict light wounds, or ray of enfeeblement (CL 1, 50 charges). The contestant who charges the most pillars is declared the grand champion and is given a phylactery of negative channeling, phylactery of positive channeling, or a wand of vampiric touch (CL 6, 50 charges)


Adrien Meyer wrote:
Robert Miller 55 wrote:

I hadn't read through all of this AP before, but it was brought to my attention that there were some problems with this AP starting with a tournament invasion and progressively getting worse up to HAVING to make a deal with a demon to defeat the main obstacle.

Are you referring to this thread on RPG.net ?

I am running Stolen Lands for my players right now, and the disappointment of the OP there made me skim through the 5th module to see by myself if it was that bad and if I would have to plan changes when our campaign reaches that point. I didn't find any "heavy handed railroading", the whole tournament part could be skipped with little work for the DM.

Well that was a Lulz worthy thread.


Shieldknight wrote:
Perhaps I did not clearly state what I was looking for. I just want a spot where I can add in a demon/devil that I can use for closure on a character background. Doesn't have to be part of the main story. Just want a good location/time to put a higher level demon/devil into the AP.

Candlemere Island? I know the inference there is the Great Old Ones, but it doesn't have to be.

Vordakai's Tomb? I know he prefers daemons to demons, but there's no reason he couldn't have one bound there or a pact with a devil.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
idilippy wrote:
Wow, I didn't realize there was such hate for Paizo and the APs on that site, or at least in that thread. I wonder if any of the posters have even read the adventure in question. I'm reading on page three and not one of them seems to have actually read the adventure, they're all just dog-piling the APs and Paizo in general. Looks like it takes reading through to the last page to find someone quoting the actual AP. Heh, three cheers for people bashing something as a railroad that they've never even looked at!

There's a small but extraordinarily vocal component of posters over at RPG.net who despise Pathfinder and 3.5 on principle (the former because it's based on the latter). The current, sometimes unpleasant tone they create now is actually an improvement on what the atmosphere was like before some moderator crackdowns on the "toxic edition wars." Previously, this same little bunch would flood into every Pathfinder thread and basically render the site worse than useless for productive discussion of the game.

And as for the bashing stuff they've never even looked at, yeah, much as I love the site some folks do love hopping on the 5-minute hate bandwagon now and then.

Osirion RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4; Contributor; Publisher, Legendary Games

Zombieneighbours wrote:
Adrien Meyer wrote:
Robert Miller 55 wrote:

I hadn't read through all of this AP before, but it was brought to my attention that there were some problems with this AP starting with a tournament invasion and progressively getting worse up to HAVING to make a deal with a demon to defeat the main obstacle.

Are you referring to this thread on RPG.net ?

I am running Stolen Lands for my players right now, and the disappointment of the OP there made me skim through the 5th module to see by myself if it was that bad and if I would have to plan changes when our campaign reaches that point. I didn't find any "heavy handed railroading", the whole tournament part could be skipped with little work for the DM.

Well that was a Lulz worthy thread.

I read through the whole 6-page thread, and I actually found it pretty interesting, and mostly civil. There were some "Paizo sux" things, but ultimately I think the annoyance came from a couple of fundamental misunderstandings:

1. The guy was running *my* original manuscript, and not the final version.

2. Paizo develops, edits, and revises things for a reason. They look at what the author provides. Most things they keep. Some things they change. Sometimes that's to incorporate specific IP that they want/need to include for internal company reasons (e.g., a new monster). Sometimes it's because they think the author wrote a clunky piece. Take, for instance, the 'unbeatable champion' in the manuscript, which was based on an idea that I had that sounded cool to me... but the devs decided, wisely, that it was lame. They took it out and replaced it with something less lame.

(Likewise, the mass combat rules weren't written at the time, so there was no way to incorporate scouts and recon into the adventure. The two battle sites were essentially "encounter areas" that assumed the encounter had already begun. That's made pretty clear in the manuscript, that there is more info needed for how to make the mass battles happen, so in that case it was incumbent on the GM running it to figure out how to mix-and-match the party battles concept of the original with the mass battles rules, but that's another issue entirely.)

3. Taking #1 and #2 together, this suggests why it's probably a bad idea to share unpublished manuscript ideas, because even when it's clearly stated that the OP in that thread WASN'T using the official published version, the other people in the thread acted as if he WAS using it. They weren't ragging on ME for writing a flawed manuscript. They were ragging on PAIZO for allowing such a thing to exist.

Which they didn't.

The parts being complained about didn't exist in PAIZO's version of the adventure. Yet they get blamed, admittedly by only a few who probably were not fans of theirs anyway, for something that they didn't do. Which sucks.


I hope that doesn't dissuade you from sharing your original manuscripts in the future, though. Your original "End of Eternity" worked better for me than the published version did, especially concerning the interaction between the various factions and their motivations.


Jason Nelson wrote:
Zombieneighbours wrote:
Adrien Meyer wrote:
Robert Miller 55 wrote:

I hadn't read through all of this AP before, but it was brought to my attention that there were some problems with this AP starting with a tournament invasion and progressively getting worse up to HAVING to make a deal with a demon to defeat the main obstacle.

Are you referring to this thread on RPG.net ?

I am running Stolen Lands for my players right now, and the disappointment of the OP there made me skim through the 5th module to see by myself if it was that bad and if I would have to plan changes when our campaign reaches that point. I didn't find any "heavy handed railroading", the whole tournament part could be skipped with little work for the DM.

Well that was a Lulz worthy thread.

I read through the whole 6-page thread, and I actually found it pretty interesting, and mostly civil. There were some "Paizo sux" things, but ultimately I think the annoyance came from a couple of fundamental misunderstandings:

1. The guy was running *my* original manuscript, and not the final version.

2. Paizo develops, edits, and revises things for a reason. They look at what the author provides. Most things they keep. Some things they change. Sometimes that's to incorporate specific IP that they want/need to include for internal company reasons (e.g., a new monster). Sometimes it's because they think the author wrote a clunky piece. Take, for instance, the 'unbeatable champion' in the manuscript, which was based on an idea that I had that sounded cool to me... but the devs decided, wisely, that it was lame. They took it out and replaced it with something less lame.

(Likewise, the mass combat rules weren't written at the time, so there was no way to incorporate scouts and recon into the adventure. The two battle sites were essentially "encounter areas" that assumed the encounter had already begun. That's made pretty clear in the...

Hey Jason,

That was really just my gut reaction to many of that attitudes and the general tone of the thread. It seemed fairly clear to me that many of those commenting negatively hadn't actually read the product. (I was also in something of a bad mood at the time, having just handed in notice at my job.)

The Apocrypha is really useful, and I personally hope that both you and other writers will continue to post it. It lets us get a better grip on the your intentions, and lets us better make our own changes, fitting the project to our game, as opposed to the 'average game.'

Sure the unbeatible knight was suck-tastic, but it could be the source of other ideas(I.E. i am having very serious thoughts about using a Fae knight, in the style of the Green knight of arthurian myth in the tournement, as a direct result of the idea of the unbeatable knight element from your notes.)


Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

I blame Jason Nelson for all this unpleasantness.

Get Him!!!


Mairkurion {tm} wrote:

I blame Jason Nelson for all this unpleasantness.

Get Him!!!

*Grabs a crude spear and starts to give chase.* Piggy!!! Piggy!!! Piggy!!! Piggy!!! Piggy!!!


Zombieneighbours wrote:
i am having very serious thoughts about using a Fae knight

...yoinked... Thanks! Cool idea.

I think I shall go a little more in the direction of a Harry Dresden
type experience though...
Summer Knight anyone...? Or perhaps Winter is more your cup of tea?
Sweet!

Zombieneighbours wrote:
*Grabs a crude spear and starts to give chase.* Piggy!!! Piggy!!! Piggy!!! Piggy!!! Piggy!!!

* grabs crossbow & starts cranking back the string...*

"which way did he go...?"


Philip Knowsley wrote:
Zombieneighbours wrote:
i am having very serious thoughts about using a Fae knight

...yoinked... Thanks! Cool idea.

I think I shall go a little more in the direction of a Harry Dresden
type experience though...
Summer Knight anyone...? Or perhaps Winter is more your cup of tea?
Sweet!

Zombieneighbours wrote:
*Grabs a crude spear and starts to give chase.* Piggy!!! Piggy!!! Piggy!!! Piggy!!! Piggy!!!

* grabs crossbow & starts cranking back the string...*

"which way did he go...?"

Sorry, I got my reference wrong, it should have been...

"Kill the pig, Cut her throat, Spill her blood."

Cheliax

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I was wondering if someone could give me a link to these origonal drafts people are talking about.


Say what you want about the balance issues or whatnot, Jason's original script is (to me) far superior than the final product on several levels.

Jason's Irovetti + goons: A threat, a real danger, fights will last and when you stand in the end, you will feel like you have bested a KING and his champions.

Paizo's Irovetti + goons: A fair challenge for a lv12-13 party, but a walk in the park for a lv15 party. No chance of PC death, Irovetti is more of a comic relief type villain that belongs in old comic books than a true rival for the PCs and their kingdom.

Jason's Attacks on the kingdom: Fiendishly clever, using weaknesses and taking into consideration that they are HIGH LEVEL and have access to HIGH LEVEL magic. Mundane methods will NOT save the day.

Paizo's Attacks on the kingdom: Meh, leave a competent cohort behind with some armies and all is well. Armies bang impotently on the walls, and you can ignore them completely in the field, allowing the players to focus on walking right into Pitax, swat the flies that is the "elite defenders" away like flies, and tell Irovetti that his shenanigans are over.

The fights so far in Jason's part 5 have been innovative, hard and terrifying. It has been a wake-up call for players that have hand-waved most non-magical encounters and not really had to THINK much in order to defeat the opposition, without any of the encounters being "cheesy". Which is the kind of challenge I think a conniving king should be able to mount. And this is something they NEED to have in the back of their heads for Part 6, when the difficulty curve comes back with a vengeance, as Richard Pett doesn't know how to "play nice".

Sure, there were some encounters that gave me pause, like the nigh invincible knight in the joust (sure, I guess it makes sense that the conniving Irovetti would get the BEST for his entry, but it kinda rubs it in the PCs face to be so outclassed), and the channeling challenge where my group would likely not be able to hold their end of the hospitality deal as a high level cleric of Rovagug is in the competition, and our cleric is a firebrand of Sarenrae. As most people know, Rovagug and Sarenrae are arch-enemies, and they have orders from their gods to kill each other on sight.

But all in all, Jason's original draft has spirit and gusto that I sorely miss in Paizo's part 5, which as written, easily is my least favorite part of the AP, and would have been nothing but a series of anticlimactic tedium for my relatively overpowered party.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

I really like how the OP never bothered to come back, but such is the way of "I don't like something *pout*" threads.

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