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RPG Superstar 2015

Adivion Adrissant


Carrion Crown

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RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

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If I might make a suggestion in this most awesome thread, I've got an idea to give Adivion the means to taunt the PCs with some villain monologuing while they're on their march up the spire. Just have him cast message and then use it to make harsh whispers of all those lines Brandon shared above. He's from the Whispering Way, after all. So, the evil whisperings of a madman's message spell ought to be a perfect fit. It also keeps him out of sight for a bit while he completes his transformation, since a message spell can travel around and down the spire to reach them, regardless of where Adivion retreats.

Just my two cents,
--Neil

Contributor , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2015

4 people marked this as a favorite.

Glad you like the idea! I don't have my final copy in front of me, and should probably refrain from posting it whole-cloth as it is since I don't own the words anymore, but "the Wardens," as I called them, were a LG haunt that could produce (if I recall correctly) blessing of fervor, break enchantment, breath of life, greater heroism, haste, heal, mass cure critical wounds, and, I think, restoration each once, and only one effect per round. There were 8 spectral wardens (one for each effect) and one would disappear once an effect was spent. The haunt could only be harmed by channeled negative energy. Caster level was about 15 or so, but I don't recall the exact breakdown beyond that. Wouldn't be hard to reconstruct.

If you read my breakdown of forsaken liches above, and the autonomous nature of the disembodied soul, I remember that I really drove this point home in my original by having the soul actually detach after Adivion's death (in other words, hinting that at least a shard of Tar-Baphon's soul was escaping) and try to flee. I think it was treated as a greater shadow, and was meant as a sort of horror movie double-take scary moment after the antagonist's "final" breath that also left open the possibility of the Whispering Tyrant's essence being freed if you didn't catch it. I think hints of that remain in the "Continuing the Adventure" segment. Just some food for thought if you want to play with it.

I love stacked elements like this in my home games, and to a lesser extent, my professional writing, but you just can't have that many independent dynamics in a published adventure without really muddying the waters for GMs, so proceed with caution when working in these sorts of ideas. There is a reason they were edited. =-)

Contributor , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2015

Neil Spicer wrote:

If I might make a suggestion in this most awesome thread, I've got an idea to give Adivion the means to taunt the PCs with some villain monologuing while they're on their march up the spire. Just have him cast message and then use it to make harsh whispers of all those lines Brandon shared above.

--Neil

Neil, that is BRILLIANT! It is even moreso effective considering the "Whispers" haunt that plagues the PCs when they are in Renchurch, as it whispers to them (and magically dominates them, among other things) to eat dead flesh, attack their companions, etc. After dealing with that for a whole dungeon, that should make some players' skin crawl when they start hearing a new voice whisper to them, for sure! =-)

Silver Crusade Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Wow, Neil! You are just plain mean. Definitely stealing this idea to use against my players should they get this far.

Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

Loving this guys. Keep up the awesome work!

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
Loving this guys. Keep up the awesome work!

See? This is what happens when you inspire us to go above and beyond. I, for one, really loved the entire campaign outline for Carrion Crown. It's a compelling story from start to finish with lots of good ol' gothic horror overtones the GM can play up along the way.

In addition, the story arc gives great insights into a significant period of Golarion's past. I don't think that can be underestimated. And it's generally what I look for in every new AP module I work on. I relish opportunities to widen the storytelling, not just for the campaign...but for the campaign world, as well.

And, for me, judicious use of a simple spell like message seems perfect for the Whispering Way, since it literally requires you to whisper your messages, and they can travel unseen and around barriers to reach their intended destination. For a villain like Adivion Adrissant or any of the other major players in the AP, that can really help drive home the paranoia factor. It sets the mood in a tremendous way and keeps the PCs on edge if they can hear a villain's voice, but not see where it's coming from. That's a good effect in any horror movie.

Silver Crusade Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Wes has posted some awesome background material that can be found in the Adrissant family history thread.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Speaking on the matter of Broken Moon...

Spoiler:
How important is it that the journal reveals the letter of introduction for Vrood and his goons was from him? For that matter, is there any other debased noble working with the Whispering Way that might suffice? My idea was to present Adivion Adrissant as one of the guests of the lodge for a dual purpose. One, I want to introduce him as a character so the players can later go 'Oh, it's that guy!' at the end of the adventure path; and two, one of my players' characters is a magus who one day discovered a black blade possessed of a mysterious and unexplored past. As a magus himself, I imagine the intellectual Adrissant might be intrigued by the lithe elf maiden with the big bad black blade and take it upon himself to examine the sword, recognize it, and exposit on its origins just to show off how smart and charming he is. I've already decided the sword was created from the repercussions of the vampiric rebellion against the Whispering Way... (it was forged from a shard of the shattered sword of the Tyrant's general as a tool against the Way,) so this will serve a third purpose. It introduces players and characters to the idea that the vampires of Ustalev are against the Whispering Way and hold a remaining mutual non-aggression pact with the nations of the land... so that they can get used to the idea they might need to ally with vampires in a future module.

Since I'm introducing Adrissant as if he's a plot device to explain one of my player's character's class features, this will hopefully keep group's suspicions low.

Having a Black Blade Magus in the party ripe for backstory exploration was a happy coincidence, but if any of your PCs have anything left open for you to develop plot-wise; like a mystery, or an unnatural family history or this, that, or the other thing, this might be a handy way to introduce him.

I'm thinking of having him appear again at the Palentine Eye party in module 5, but I haven't worked everything out yet.

Dark Archive

After seeing a Holiday special I have finally decided which destinguished gentleman Adivion Adrissant looks like: Here he is singing to some nobles at the Cheliax Embassy in Caliphas.

Dedicated to Mr. F. Wesley Schneider.

Contributor , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2015

Drakli wrote:

Speaking on the matter of Broken Moon...

** spoiler omitted **

The specifics of your campaign brought a couple if things to mind that you could consider working in. Don't overdo it, of course, but I thought of the following connections:

Spoiler:

Remember in SoG, in the lowest level of Gallowspire, you actually have Sey'lok -one of Tar-Baphon's generals -laying in wait to ambush PCs, recently returned from his banishment on the negative material plane. Though it may be a little close to the final reveal with Adivion just a few encounters later, there's a place to consider working in your magus' black blade's history. When Adivion first recounts the tale of the black blade, you could work in an incredibly foreboding tale of this merciless general, his banishment, unknown fate, and prophecy of resurrection if the Tyrant should threaten to rise. Just one more angle to put it closer to home, if it works for what you're doing.

And remember that you've got a vampire NPC ambassador in Renchurch you might work in at an earlier meeting, making her later appearance maybe have a more treacherous impact -either because she manipulates the PCs early on in a betrayal of her vampiric kin, or because she's there for her stated purpose -to broker a peace in revenge for the PC's retaliation against her clan.

Just some specific plot points you could play with to tie it all up nice and tightly with your specific group. Makes those encounters all the more meaningful and exciting!

Grand Lodge

baron arem heshvaun wrote:

After seeing a Holiday special I have finally decided which destinguished gentleman Adivion Adrissant looks like: Here he is singing to some nobles at the Cheliax Embassy in Caliphas.

Dedicated to Mr. F. Wesley Schneider.

Actually, thats NOT half a bad idea! (The concept, not the song choice)


In my campaign Father Grimburrow took a stromg dislike to the gnome rogue Knickabocka who made a 'donation' to the church of Pharasma of some rocks made to look like gold ingots via prestidigitation.
After he cast zone of truth on the party, the Father was able to get two of the members (including the rogue) to admit to stealing church property (from the Restlands).
Knickabocka became convinced that the priest was out to get them and at the end of the last session of HoH I had Father Grimburrow disappear from town. Next session the party will discover that the real Grimburrow is dead in the cellar of his residence. His throat was slit only recently, but there is evidence that he had been held captive there for quite some time... So who was pretending to be him?
The players have no way of finding out that it was Adivion Adrissant at this stage, but it should make for a nice surprise at the end of the campaign.


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I finally introduced Adivion last game. We're at the beginning of Ashes at Dawn and Lord Adrissant was

Spoiler:
schmoozing the Palantine Eye in order to get into their archives. He needs a replacement item for the carrion crown now that the Raven's Head is in PC possession.
The delay has given the PCs a little bit of downtime so they can pursue their own projects, enchant some things, etc...

I remade him using the original notes (thanks Brandon!) into a Bladebound Magus. I upped his level by one to give him more oomph and gave him a longsword and breastplate. I plan to draw him to get a better sense of who he is. Dammit, Brandon, it's been a long time since I had a GM-crush on a villain! You did this to me...

My PC (singular) had a very, ah, interesting conversation with him in the corner. The standard villainous "I'm acting civilized to you so I don't get thrown out of here like one of your lot, you filthy adventurer" conversation where he tells the PCs to stay out of his way, maybe take a few months off, he's just trying to make the world a better place, surely individuals of your skill can comprehend that...

I haven't finished with his new stats yet but I'll post them when I've remade him. And now I need to write a new scene on the tower.

Though making him Bladebound has opened up a whole new level of creepy. I've had him whispering sweet nothings to his sword and making promises about this grand scheme of theirs and how it can never fail... I've had him grab it by the blade and slide his hand up it without getting cut because his sword cares too much to injure him, even had it glare at the PC as he walked away. And then had the Order's master scold him for it. "You know weapons aren't allowed in the ritual hall, Adivion, you're never going to get anywhere in this organization if you insist on carrying around that damned sword."

I'm hoping to convey the sense that while the whole plot and plan is Adivion's willing, willful doing...

Spoiler:
it was the sword who suggested it in the first place!

Contributor , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2015

LOVE that approach! Very nice. Very evil. Happy I could help! =-)

Dark Archive

ANeblousMistress,

Spoiler:
you just pretty much described in exacting detail my PC (although he was a Grey Elven Wizard who used an ancient Alexandrite rapier) that I run through the beginning to end of our Council of Thieves campaign last year.

He now is an advisor on the small council of the Lord Mayor of Westcrown as well as the Signifier of the Hellknigts of the city, another PC (a Paladin) is both Lord Mayor and Para Lictor of the Order of the Rack. Who says Lawful Good and Lawful Evil cant come to an understanding?

Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

4 people marked this as a favorite.
ANebulousMistress wrote:
A wide variety of awesome things.

Love. It.

I still really wish we could have had Adivion be a sword swinging magus. It was the way the outline intended, the way Brandon wrote it, the way Rob developed it, and the culmination of a series of deliberate choices. Without going into too much detail, though, sometimes the art just doesn't work with you and getting changes from out of house isn't an option. But it's AWESOME to hear that some groups are working this out closer to how we actually intended.

Also LOOOOVE the sentient blade angle. I'm a HUGE fan of objects as villains (my longest running game in college had the villain be a artifact level sentient suit of armor, which freaked folks out when they thought they had beaten the baddie and then his armor came back with another wearer and the same agenda). If you wanted to add another layer, you've got a few options for cool swords. Raven's Head has a cousin magic weapon, a sword called Corpselight, which was carried by the brother of Raven Head's initial wielder (see Rule of Fear page 5). It was lost in battle against the Whispering Tyrant, but might have been tainted from an undead destroying weapon to something more sinister since its mysterious disappearance. Another option for a sinister named sword would be Ungarato, one of the Alara'hai or Seven Swords of Sin. It's the sword of the champion of Gluttony - which is to say, necromancy - and, were it sentient, would be keenly interested in finding its way into the hands of a champion on necromancy magic or spreading the influence of that type of magic.

Just a few ideas, but overall, good show and good luck!


There are a number of reasons why I'll be sticking with the non-sword Adivion.

First of all, I'm all for 'one picture is worth a thousand words'. Since Adivion is represented as a Halberd/Glaive/whatever-wielding Magus, I cannot picture myself telling my players, here's the main boss, but imagine him with a sword. It kinda ruins it. Even though it's a wrong representation, it's still a good drawing.

Second of all, a sword is such a mundane weapon. Everybody wields it. The most famous magus in fantasy literature (Elric) wields a sword, so this will be a nice change.

Dark Archive

4 people marked this as a favorite.

We can combine many of the great ideas here.

What if the weapon wielded by Adivion was indeed itself a villain in the story, the players would be facing off against not one, but two adversaries with the same goals and lofty ambitions. This ancient weapon would be ever whispering in Adivion's ear, just as itself had learned the secrets of The Whispering Way millennia ago, now it in turn spurns Advison to the final end game. (If the players meet him through out the campaign, this would explain why at times Adivion acted in one manner and at other times he acted in another fashion, almost a dual personality // except that there ARE indeed two distinct personalities at work here.)

Now a weapon such as this need not be overly powerful, indeed all it need require is a high intelligence, and a willing and capable wielder, such as one Adivion Adrissant. And for those whom wish to still use the artwork provided in the AP but are drawn to the idea of a rapier wielding arch villain, simply have the weapon have the unique quality of being able to shift form and be any form of weapon that suited the wielders' need. When Adivion begins his transformation, the weapon finds itself transforming from a rapier to a glaive because of the very nature of the eldrich transformation that consumes Adivion.

And ...

Perhaps it was even this magical weapon that issued the order for the good Professor's early death.

What if in his many years of research the Professor found traces and snippets of knowledge linking Adivion's weapon to the Whispering Way and had tried to alert Adivion of his concerns. Adivion may not have the heart in ending a old friend/rivals life, but the weapon he wielded (or wielded him) had no such compunction. The weapon may even have seen Professor Lorrimor as a rival of Adivion's attention. Thus was the good Professor's fate sealed.

Just some thoughts.


F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
ANebulousMistress wrote:
A wide variety of awesome things.

Love. It.

I still really wish we could have had Adivion be a sword swinging magus. It was the way the outline intended, the way Brandon wrote it, the way Rob developed it, and the culmination of a series of deliberate choices. Without going into too much detail, though, sometimes the art just doesn't work with you and getting changes from out of house isn't an option.

I am pretty disappointed to hear this. For what it's worth, when you have an outline, a writer, and a developer come up with a concept please follow through with that concept. A piece of artwork should not change it. I know how heavily artwork weighs on this stuff but to me the words are much more important.

In fact, I firmly believe that the strongest aspect of the APs is the writing and development the weakest aspect is the art. I hate the thought of the art driving the writing and development. My group is almost finished with Broken Moon and I don't think I have shown them a single piece of art work from it yet but I have worked almost every line and piece of written back story and description into formats I can expose directly to the players. I even share the stat-blocks after the fights. The artwork, not so much.


I actually feel really bad for your players, because the art in Broken Moon, moreover than anywhere else, is really good. I seriously considered using Auren Vrood's art as the main villain's. Not to mention the werewolves and pack leaders. My group were flabbergasted by them.


Toadkiller Dog wrote:
I actually feel really bad for your players, because the art in Broken Moon, moreover than anywhere else, is really good. I seriously considered using Auren Vrood's art as the main villain's. Not to mention the werewolves and pack leaders. My group were flabbergasted by them.

Our group thought the art was pretty good, other than the werewolves (with the exception of the one on page 51) Those were pretty bad.


Of course, YMMV, especially in this case, since they have an anime feel to them, but still, better to let the group decide then deny them outright.


Tangible Delusions wrote:
Toadkiller Dog wrote:
I actually feel really bad for your players, because the art in Broken Moon, moreover than anywhere else, is really good. I seriously considered using Auren Vrood's art as the main villain's. Not to mention the werewolves and pack leaders. My group were flabbergasted by them.
Our group thought the art was pretty good, other than the werewolves (with the exception of the one on page 51) Those were pretty bad.

I thought the werewolf art had a very distinct 'furry' feel to them. Which makes sense. No, seriously. If you want a really good looking humanoid-werewolf your best bet is going to a furry artist. They have the most practice.

F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
Sentient swords for the win

You know... That was my plan... I just hadn't figured out who wielded Adivion's sword prior. Maybe some trust lieutenant was forcibly disarmed before Tar-Baphon's imprisonment. Maybe Corpselight has been remade. Maybe the lore is wrong, maybe Ungarato wasn't really a falchion. An infinite number of maybes...


Toadkiller Dog wrote:
I actually feel really bad for your players, because the art in Broken Moon, moreover than anywhere else, is really good. I seriously considered using Auren Vrood's art as the main villain's. Not to mention the werewolves and pack leaders. My group were flabbergasted by them.

Been gaming with my group for quite a while, trust me, for my group the art is not the strong suit of Broken Moon. They do see the artwork after the battle (or interaction) but not before. Their reaction is either non-plussed or laughter, those are not the reactions I want the artwork to solicit.

Lets look at some specific examples:

Pg. 6: Is that thing even in the adventure? What is it? The Weaverworm? Doesn't seem like it. Not a bad piece of art but no context to show it to the players.
Pg. 13. Mr. Estovian Generic-bookish-dude. Uninspired.
Pg. 14+: The rest of the NPCs. Not bad but pretty bland.
Pg 23: Now the werewolves begin. Why do they all look like they are from Hannah Barbara Saturday morning cartoons? Why do they all wield blocky, chipped (made from stone?), unwieldy weapons? Very bad.
Pg 28. Cliche gypsy fortune teller #35.
Pg 34. Better wolves, overall pretty good piece of art work. Does not match anything in the AP though. Were is that tower supposed to be from? Stairs of the Moon? No way.
Pg 41. See above. More Saturday morning cartoons and stone weapons. Bad.
Pg 46. This, to me, is the oddest one. Overall not a terrible piece of art but man the context is nonsensical. "The tree does not realize that werewolves revert to human form upon death, however, making its deception unrealistic to those with knowledge of lycanthropes." Why? It did kill a few so it would know they do revert to human form. But, even more importantly, the hallucinogenic spores of the tree make it seem like a "perfectly ordinary tree—or at worst, a treant or some other friendly tree-like creature." so as to lure prey to approach it. Why would dangling wolves or skeletons cause anything to approach it? Its choice of deception makes no sense and it doesn't even have the power to do that anyway. Plus, it swallows its prey whole, why would it have any skeletons hanging on it to begin with? The whole point of the tree is to look innocent and blend in until it's too late. Not a very bright Hangman Tree this one. Finally, exactly when would I show this picture to the players? If I show it before the fight they will just sit back and pepper it with fire and arrows until it died (it's 10' of movement would mean it would never catch them) or they would completely ignore it and give it a wide berth. They would certainly NOT approach within 50' of it. The only time I could show this artwork would be after the thing is dead. I'm sure there is an editorial story behind his one.
Pg 48. The generic dark beauty. My players actually asked me if this art was reused from a previous adventure they went on. Maybe it is, I don't know.
Pg 53. The Festrog is pretty cool.
Pg 56. Anime "big sword" wielded by cartoon wolf. No thanks.
Pg 58. Acretia is pretty cool. Sufficiently undead. Looks like it could be a Monk as well.
Pg 60. Auren Vrood. Ok, so the art itself is not bad but I don't know how that is Auren Vrood (who is human). If that guy went into Ascanor you would think the people that saw him would remember more than just that he had a weird homunculus. Which is univerally how any NPC at Ascanor that saw him describes him "a guy with a weird homunculus" not an "undead guy with burning red eyes and an exposed chest cavity". This piece of art definitely came out of the generic undead necromancer pile.
Pg 63. Fine, I guess. Not much context here but whatever, there are skeletons in the adventure so I guess the screaming paladin would fight them at some point.


Quote:
"undead guy with burning red eyes and an exposed chest cavity"

That's just a suit of armor made of bone. I would imagine that he doesn't wear it when he travels around. I'd atribute red eyes as a side effect during spellcasting, not all the time.

There's no point discussing the wolves, because me and my group appreciate the anime feel, whereas you don't. So let's just agree to disagree on that one. :D

As for the NPCs, well, they're just people. I really don't know what you expected. It's easier for PCs to remember and imagine the NPCs if they see it.

And the Hangman Tree, well... It's a Hangman Tree alright, but that encounter really makes no sense, I agree. Bad, bad design. I really don't see how displaying corpses would attract anyone to come closer. It's either a very stupid tree or a bad idea from the developer. Whatever the case, the end result is a nonsense encounter. I just removed it from the game.


Toadkiller Dog wrote:
Quote:
"undead guy with burning red eyes and an exposed chest cavity"
That's just a suit of armor made of bone.

Maybe, but he's a necromancer and doesn't wear or have armor. Further proof that his artwork came from a generic pile of work I guess.


Mr. Vrood's described in books 1 and 2 as having that breastplate. It's odd that it isn't reflected in his statblock (I'll probably give him some special necromancer's robe), but that's how it is.

To get back on topic - I started my game 3 weeks ago, so I've had the benefit of immediately introducing Mr. Adrissant to the party. One of the PCs is an elven adjunct professor at Lepidstadt, so I made Adrissant the top history professor as Lepidstadt, and a former pupil of Petros Lorrimor. Adrissant attended the funeral (along with Horace Croon, Kvalca Sain, and Rhakis Szadro), and returned to the Lorrimar household afterwards. He didn't say much, but when the party opened Petros' chest they found last-minute letters to the party members, Kendra, Szadro, Croon, Sain, Lady Zunaida, Judge Daramid, Adrissant, and others. Adrissant torched his letter after reading it. Two of the party members had instructions to immediately to go Adrissant if Kendra was missing.

Many years ago Adrissant and Lorrimar researched an odd issue: what if the Whispering Tyrant had living descendants? What they found was Lorrimar himself was the descendant. Lorrimar considered this information to be dangerous oddity - it was unlikely to provide any benefit, but the information could put Kendra in danger if the Whispering Way or other parties knew. Adrissant agreed with him, but was secretly inspired, for suddenly there was a way for Tar-Baphon to walk this land once more. So he researched the Carrion Crown, with his intent to remake the Professor into the Tyrant. And integrated himself into the Way with the promise of the Tyrant's freedom.

The Professor was supposed to be out on other business when Vrood visited Ravengro. But fate is what it is. Adrissant is well aware of what a failed lich would be like, and is aware of Gallowspire's boon to the undead. And so when the time comes, Kendra will serve as an acceptable replacement...

The party will meet Adrissant again in Lepidstadt, where he'll be amused to act as the sounding board for their theories as to what's really going on in the trial. Later, in Caliphas they'll know he's in town but they just keep missing him. Until he - or rather, simulacrums of himself and Kendra - meet the party for dinner and to explain to them that they should probably leave Ustlav before it's too late.

If it ever comes up later as to why he didn't steal the effigy himself and made Vrood go through all the hoops facing Alpon Caromac, the honest answer will be "because he's kinda of a dick."

Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

cibet44 wrote:
I'm sure there is an editorial story behind his one.

Ha! You can say that about anything. Definitely in this case, though it's not a story for the message boards.

Overall art will always be subjective and - even after a second look - Broken Moon doesn't stand out in my mind as being particularly remarkable or regrettable. As the GM you know your group better than anyone here, though, so if showing them the art isn't getting you the responses you'd like it might be worth keeping it to yourself. GMing should have its privileges after all.

Maybe I'm just greedy, but I never show my players the art. I guess I want to be the players' only source of details about the story... so maybe that makes me a megalomaniac rather than greedy. The fact of the matter might also just be that having seen the process a thousand times, I know the telephone game that proceeds from the original idea for a character or monster, through the author, through the developer, through the art order, through the artist, through art director tweaks, then - eventually, after a few more creative steps - to the final product. That we constantly get such a high caliber of work at all constantly amazes me, and both our art staff and editorial team consistently goes out of their ways to work with each other and revise to each others' needs. We'd of course like all of our books to be lavishly illustrated and enjoyable to look at, and honestly I believe our art team does a fine job of that. I wouldn't consider every piece a player handout, though - especially for groups not playing the iconic characters.

As for the first point specifically, yes, the weaverworm is depicted on page 6 and 87. This is an example of what sometimes happens when two different artists receive descriptions of the same creature to illustrate - which we try to do as rarely as possible. I'm actually cool with both of them, the first is really stylized and imposing (which I really dig), but then the second is grosser (which I also dig). If we ever reprint the monster I'd choose one and send it as reference for a new body shot, but due to the restrictions of producing a monthly product I feel like the disparity is both minor and acceptable.


Speaking of art, I have a question about Adivion's pre-lich art. Does the fact that he appears to have silver eyes mean anything? Does it have anything to do with the Dusk Moth? Was it artistic license (or lazy artist)? Are they just really light blue? Touch of albinism?

Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

No special direction was given to the artist in terms of Adivion's eye color. Do with that information what you will.

In general, we try not to hide important character elements in the art. If something's important, we'll say something about it in the text. If somethings an interesting flourish in the art that's not described in the text, totally feel free to either run with it or consider it artistic license - your call!


F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
cibet44 wrote:
I'm sure there is an editorial story behind his one.

Ha! You can say that about anything. Definitely in this case, though it's not a story for the message boards.

Hah! I knew it. Well maybe you can reveal the story in your memoirs some day. Or just leave it in that journal you keep in your desk detailing your evil plans, you know the one.

F. Wesley Schneider wrote:

As the GM you know your group better than anyone here, though, so if showing them the art isn't getting you the responses you'd like it might be worth keeping it to yourself. GMing should have its privileges after all.

Maybe I'm just greedy, but I never show my players the art. I guess I want to be the players' only source of details about the story...

Yeah the problem is they always ask: "Is there a picture?". If I think the art adds to the game I show it, more often then not lately I've been not showing it until later. Unfortunately the reaction has pretty universally been "Yeah, thanks for not sharing that one."

Keep up the good work. We only have 3 volumes of CC left. Thanks for everything.

Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

cibet44 wrote:
Hah! I knew it. Well maybe you can reveal the story in your memoirs some day. Or just leave it in that journal you keep in your desk detailing your evil plans, you know the one.

This is EXACTLY what Paizocon and Gen Con are for. What doesn't get said on the message boards often gets said over drinks at an awesome con.

cibet44 wrote:
Yeah the problem is they always ask: "Is there a picture?". If I think the art adds to the game I show it, more often then not lately I've been not showing it until later. Unfortunately the reaction has pretty universally been "Yeah, thanks for not sharing that one."

Did I mention that crying is a pillar of my GMing method? Hard to please players usually back down after 10 or 15 minutes of bawling about how they don't appreciate you.

This is something else that goes over super well at conventions. ;)

cibet44 wrote:
Keep up the good work. We only have 3 volumes of CC left. Thanks for everything.

Really hope you guys are having a blast! Keep up what sounds like a great game!

Dark Archive

Crying!

That's just brilliant.

Genius!

Thank you!

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter 2013

F. Wesley Schneider wrote:

Maybe I'm just greedy, but I never show my players the art.

That seems awfully mean! The art in Carrion Crown and in Paizo as a whole generally is fantastic. I like the anime wolves. The picture of The Splatter Man (the green glowing skeleton in HoH) got "ooos" from all the players when I showed it to them.

The only one I have a problem with is Quinley Basdel from Ashes At Dawn as he is clearly not wearing the same equipment as his stat block. (Picture has full-plate, stat block is a rogue with leathers).

Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

Hey, it's supposed to be good to be the GM.

My PCs have to prove that they deserve art. ;)


4 people marked this as a favorite.

I've been a busy rakshasa...

I remade Adivion using Brandon's original notes and I've added a touch of Wes's madness. I upped his level by 1 because I honestly expect the PCs to be level 16 by the time they reach him and a BBEG with the same level seemed weak. I have a sketch almost finished, pre-elixer, and I want to do one post-elixer. I dunno, maybe I can get the disembodied soul right.

Spoiler:
Adivion Adrissant
CR18
Male human forsaken lich magus (bladebound) 17
NE Medium undead (augmented humanoid)
Init +7; Senses Darkvision 60ft; Perception +15
Aura delusory aura (100ft, DC23)

Defense
AC 29, touch 17, flat-footed 26 (+9 armor, +4 deflection, +3 dex, +3 natural)
HP 199 (17d8+118); Gallowspire fast healing 20
Fort +18, Ref +13, Will +16
Defensive Abilities channel resistance +4, soul shield, spell storm; DR 10/adamantine, 15/magic and bludgeoning; Immune cold, electricity, undead traits; SR 25

Offense
Speed 30ft
Melee +1 icy burst shocking burst longsword +20/+15/+10 (1d6+9/(17-20)x2 plus 1d6 cold and 1d6 electricity) or
spell combat +1 icy burst shocking burst longsword +18/+13/+8 (1d6+9/(17-20)x2 plus 1d6 cold plus 1d6 electricity) or
disembodied strike +18 (1d8+8)
Space 5ft; Reach 5ft (10ft with disembodied strike)
Special Attacks disembodied strike (1d8+8), greater spell combat, improved spell combat, soul lash (8d6, DC 23), spell combat (–2 attack, +2 concentration, double bonus), spellstrike
Magus Spells Prepared (CL 17th; concentration +23)
6th - chain lightning (DC22), flesh to stone (DC22), true seeing
5th - acidic spray (DC21), cloudkill (DC21), cone of cold (DC21), corrosive consumption, telekinesis (DC21)
4th - arcana theft, dimension door, fire shield, phantasmal killer (DC20), shout (DC20), stoneskin
3rd - dispel magic, fly, force punch (DC19), lightning bolt (DC19), slow (DC19), vampiric touch
2nd - acid arrow, elemental touch (DC18), frigid touch, invisibility, mirror image, scorching ray (2)
1st - corrosive touch, grease (DC17), hydraulic push, magic missile (2), shocking grasp (2)
0(at will) - acid splash, detect magic, flare, ray of frost, read magic

Statistics
Str 22, Dex 16, Con --, Int 22, Wis12, Cha 20
Base Atk +12; CMB +18; CMD 36
Feats Combat Casting, Critical Focus, Defensive Combat Training, Destructive Dispel, Eschew Materials, Improved Critical (longsword), Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes, Toughness, Uncanny Concentration, Weapon Focus (longsword), Weapon Specialization (longsword)
Skills Craft (alchemy) +26, Fly +15, Intimidate +20, Knowledge (arcana) +26, Knowledge (history) +16, Knowledge (religion) +23, Perception +15, Perform (dance) +10, Sense Motive +11, Spellcraft +26, Use Magic Device +16
Languages Abyssal, Ancient Osiriani, Common, Draconic, Infernal, Necril, Varisian
SQ arcane pool (11 points, +5), counterstrike, improved spell recall, knowledge pool, magus arcana (arcane accuracy, hasted assault, maximized magic, quickened magic)
Gear +3 mithral breastplate, black blade, belt of physical might +2 (Strength and Dexterity), bone beads, cloak of resistance +3, headband of alluring charisma +4, scarlet and blue ioun stone, ring of protection +4, scroll of mind blank, diamond dust worth 500gp, spell component pouch, spellbook

But Adivion isn't the only villain here... A bladebound magus gets an intelligent sword to stare over their shoulder...

Spoiler:
Corpselight
Aura strong abjuration; CL 17th
Slot -- Weight 5lbs

Statistics
Alignment NE; Ego 22
Senses 60ft vision and hearing
Int 18, Wis 14, Cha 14
Communication telepathy (touch), Azlanti, Common, Draconic, Thassalonian, Varisian
Lesser Powers arcane pool (5 points), black blade strike, energy attunement, spell defense, transfer arcana, Alertness, knowledge (arcana) +12
Special Purpose return to the hands of the Whispering Tyrant

Description
Corpselight was a +4 undead bane mithril longsword wielded by the crown of Ustalav as a symbol of power over darkness. It was captured early in the rise of the Whispering Tyrant. Rather than destroy the blade the Tyrant took it for himself, its corruption a symbol to demoralize the living. Through foul magics and alchemical transmutations the Lich-King twisted the once-noble blade from its purpose to a new one. Its magic was unraveled and its shining mithril transmuted from the inside-out to dull black iron, reforged into a +3 unholy longsword. Presumed lost during the siege on Gallowspire, Corpselight has passed from hand to hand, slowly forgetting what it once was.
Corpselight still craves the touch of its true master and will bond itself to anyone whom it feels may bring it closer to this goal. It will take on the properties most desired by its wielder when commanded to. It secretly chafes under a mortal's hand and will exert a subtle influence over its wielder, constant whispers driving him to forsake all other goals in favor of Corpselight's purpose.
Corpselight has a highly tactical mind. It will take control of its wielder if it considers the action advantageous.

There's a distinct 'puppet' feel to Adivion. Even as-written in the AP, he is a puppet to his own ennui. I've merely... altered what was already there...


Very cool weapon writeup, Nebulous! I would probably change one of the languages to Aklo, probably Common. :)

Dark Archive

Hey, ANebulousMistress:

Funny you should say that...:
I had a bladebound magus in my game who recently died. Before that I was planning on his mysterious sword turning out to be Corpselight. Looks like great minds think alike! X3

Lantern Lodge

It's been a while since I've returned to this thread, I have to say I LOVE it!

My campaign is in super slow motion at the moment, we've only played twice since October (we are doing filler games between the other two campaigns, one of which is on the cusp of ending (1-2 session more) at which point I take over its rotation slot.)

So my group has been staying at the Manor in Ravengro, and Advion is one of the guests, he was just packing up to leave for the Lepidstad so I think I will point out his sword when he rides away.

Silver Crusade Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

When I posted my initial version of Adivion Adrissant, I made the same mistake that had been done in the module - I left out his magus bonus feats. In a way, that actually turned out to be a good thing, because it made me think really hard about his fighting style. Especially considering that I'm looking at dealing with 10 PCs and 3 pets. Fortunately, Morrowgarth is going to be there to help out but I also didn't want Adivion to come off as looking like he was some overrated second-stringer using her (Morrowgarth) to make himself look more badass than he really was. So I asked myself, 'if I know I'm going to be dealing with more than 5 people at once, how would I want to go about it?' The answer came to me in a flash: be as mobile as possible. Once I latched onto the idea that superior mobility was the key, I then looked at all my books to find the feats I would need to emphasize this aspect of Adivion, but nothing was catching my eye. Then I looked at his spell list and one spell amongst them made me smile: dimension door. I knew then what I had to do.

Adivion Adrissant v2:

So I had to restructure his feats (which included dropping Critical Focus) to accommodate the four feats I wanted to use, as they don't fall into the combat, item creation, or metamagic categories to be taken as bonus feats, but it'll be worth the extra work just to see the look the players' faces the first time he casts dimension door and is suddenly in the midst of them (flanking with himself where possible) as he appears in as many as twelve different spots on the top of Gallowspire, engaging in witty repartee as he goes about the work of making them dead. It will definitely be a memorable moment for all involved.

Adivion Adrissant CR 18
Male human forsaken lich magus (kensai) 17 (Pathfinder RPG Ultimate Magic 9; Pathfinder RPG Ultimate Combat 55; Pathfinder Adventure Path #48 pg 82)
NE Medium undead (augmented humanoid)
Init +13; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +16
Aura delusory aura (100 ft., DC 23)

AC 30, touch 23, flat-footed 21 (+4 armor, +4 deflection, +9 Dex, +3 natural)
hp 197 (16d8+118); Gallowspire fast healing 20
Fort +18, Ref +13, Will +16
Defensive Abilities channel resistance +4, canny defense, soul shield, spell storm; DR 10/adamantine (up to 150 damage), 15/bludgeoning and magic; Immune cold, electricity, undead traits; SR 25

Speed 30 ft.
Melee +2 icy burst shocking burst grudge blade +21/+16/+11 (1d6+8/15-20 plus 1d6 cold and 1d6 electricity) or
spell combat +2 icy burst shocking burst grudge blade +19/+14/+9 (1d6+8/15-20 plus 1d6 cold and electricity) or
disembodied strike +18 (1d8+8)
Space 5 ft.; Reach 5ft. (10 ft. with disembodied strike)
Special Attacks critical perfection, disembodied strike (1d8+8), greater spell combat, improved spell combat, perfect strike, soul lash (8d6, DC 23), spell combat (-2 attack, +2 concentration, double bonus), spellstrike
Magus Spells Prepared (CL 17th; concentration +22)
6th – true seeing, walk through space
5th – cloudkill, corrosive consumption, symbol of striking (DC 21; already cast), telekinesis
4th – arcana theft, dimension door (2), fire shield, stoneskin (already cast)
3rd – dispel magic, fly, force punch (DC 19), lightning bolt (DC 19), vampiric touch
2nd – acid arrow, elemental touch (DC 18), frigid touch, invisibility, mirror image, scorching ray
1st – corrosive touch, grease (DC 17), hydraulic push, magic missile (2), shocking grasp
0 (at will) – acid splash, detect magic, flare (DC 16), read magic

Str 22, Dex 16, Con –, Int 22, Wis 12, Cha 20
Base Atk. +12; CMB +18; CMD 39
Feats Combat Casting, Dimensional Agility, Dimensional Assault, Dimensional Dervish, Dimensional Savant, Improved Critical (rapier), Improved Initiative, Improved Vital Strike*, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes, Toughness*, Vital Strike*, Weapon Focus (rapier)*, Weapon Specialization (rapier)*
Skills Craft (alchemy) +25, Fly +13, Intimidate +20, Knowledge (arcana) +25, Knowledge (history) +16, Knowledge (religion) +25, Perception +16, Sense Motive +16, Spellcraft +25, Stealth +16, Use Magic Device +20
Languages Abyssal, Ancient Osiriani, Common, Draconic, Infernal, Necril, Varisian
SQ arcane pool (14 points, +4), counterstrike, diminished spellcasting, iaijutsu, iaijutsu focus, magus arcana (arcane accuracy, hasted assault, lingering pain, quickened magic), superior reflexes
Combat Gear scroll of mind blank; Other Gear bracers of armor +4, grudge blade, belt of physical might +2 (Strength and Dexterity), bone beads, cloak of resistance +3, headband of alluring charisma +4, scarlet and blue sphere ioun stone, ring of protection +4, diamond dust worth 500 gp, spell component pouch, spellbook (contains all prepared spells plus disintegrate and additional spells of your choice)
Gallowspire Fast Healing (Su): As long as Adivion is within 500 feet of Gallowspire, the tower continually infuses him with negative energy, granting him fast healing 20. Adivion loses this ability if death ward or protection from evil is cast on him, blocking the effect. Although a forsaken lich is normally destroyed automatically in 1d10 days, Adivion's Gallowspire fast healing renews and replenishes the arcane energies that power him, allowing him to survive indefinitely as long as this ability is in effect. If Adivion is reduced to 0 hit points, the effects of fast healing end immediately.
Delusory Aura (Su): Like his soul, Adivion’s mind is discorporated and scattered across the area around its corpse. This fills the area within 100 feet of the forsaken lich with an ever-shifting panoply of its darkest dreams, dashed ambitions, and enraged insanity. This area is considered to be under the effects of mirage arcana, but of a particularly disturbing variety. All living creatures within the area take a –4 penalty on any saves against fear effects. If the effect is dispelled, it reconstitutes 1 round later.
Soul Shield (Su): The shadowy double superimposed over Adivion’s corporeal form flits around his body, granting him concealment (20% miss chance). The miss chance increases to 50% in dim light. This ability never grants total concealment; it only increases miss chances.
Spell Storm (Su): Adivion is the epicenter of a squall of unchecked magical energies. If a spell targets the forsaken lich and fails to overcome its spell resistance, this uncontrolled magic redirects the spell as per spell turning.
Adivion is always considered to have 10 spell levels of turning left for the purposes of this effect, even if it is affected by multiple spells in the same round.
Disembodied Strike (Su): Adivion has a special touch attack that it can make as a standard action, using its highest base attack bonus. This attack originates when its disembodied soul reaches out independently and uses negative energy to deal 1d8 points of damage to living creatures + 1 point of damage per every 2 Hit Dice possessed by the forsaken lich. This attack has a reach 5 feet greater than the forsaken lich’s normal reach, and may be directed at nearby undead creatures to heal them, or used on the forsaken lich itself to heal damage inflicted on its corporeal form.
Soul Lash (Su): Unbridled magic endlessly funnels into Adivion's undead form, scouring his body and soul with mighty energies. As a swift action, each round the forsaken lich can unleash this dark energy in a blast of pure magical destructiveness. This blast takes the form of a 240-foot line of destructive energy that deals an amount of damage equal to 1d6 per 2 Hit Dice the forsaken lich possesses (to a maximum of 20d6) and paralyzes those affected for 1d10 rounds. Creatures that make a Reflex save partially avoid the arcane lash, taking only half damage and avoiding the paralysis.
This energy is not completely under his control. If Adivion does not spend a swift action to discharge the energy every round, it takes an amount of damage equal to 1d6 × 1/4 of its total Hit Dice.
Diminished Spellcasting: Adivion may cast one fewer spell of each level than normal. If this reduces the number to 0, he may cast spells of that level only if his Intelligence allows bonus spells of that level.
Arcane Pool (Su): Adivion has a reservoir of mystical arcane energy that he can draw upon to fuel his powers and enhance his weapon. He can expend 1 point from his arcane pool as a swift action to grant any weapon he is holding a +1 enhancement bonus for 1 minute. For every four levels beyond 1st, the weapon gains another +1 enhancement bonus, to a maximum of +5 at 17th level. These bonuses can be added to the weapon, stacking with existing weapon enhancement to a maximum of +5. Multiple uses of this ability do not stack with themselves.
These bonuses can be used to add any of the following weapon properties: dancing, flaming, flaming burst, frost, icy burst, keen, shock, shocking burst, speed, or vorpal.
Adding these properties consumes an amount of bonus equal to the property’s base price modifier. These properties are added to any the weapon already has, but duplicates do not stack. If the weapon is not magical, at least a +1 enhancement bonus must be added before any other properties can be added. These bonuses and properties are decided when the arcane pool point is spent and cannot be changed until the next time Adivion uses this ability. These bonuses do not function if the weapon is wielded by anyone other than Adivion.
Adivion can only enhance one weapon in this way at one time. If he uses this ability again, the first use immediately ends.
Spell Combat (Ex): Adivion has learned to cast spells and wield his weapons at the same time. This functions much like two-weapon fighting, but the off-hand weapon is a spell that is being cast. To use this ability, the magus must have one hand free (even if the spell being cast does not have somatic components), while wielding a light or one-handed melee weapon in the other hand. As a full-round action, he can make all of his attacks with his melee weapon at a –2 penalty and can also cast any spell from the magus spell list with a casting time of 1 standard action (any attack roll made as part of this spell also takes this penalty). If he casts this spell defensively, he can decide to take an additional penalty on his attack rolls, up to his Intelligence bonus, and add the same amount as a circumstance bonus on his concentration check. If the check fails, the spell is wasted, but the attacks still take the penalty. A magus can choose to cast the spell first or make the weapon attacks first, but if he has more than one attack, he cannot cast the spell between weapon attacks.
Spellstrike (Su): Whenever Adivion casts a spell with a range of “touch” from the magus spell list, he can deliver the spell through any weapon he is wielding as part of a melee attack. Instead of the free melee touch attack normally allowed to deliver the spell, a magus can make one free melee attack with his weapon (at his highest base attack bonus) as part of casting this spell. If successful, this melee attack deals its normal damage as well as the effects of the spell. If the magus makes this attack in concert with spell combat, this melee attack takes all the penalties accrued by spell combat melee attacks. This attack uses the weapon’s critical range (20, 19–20, or 18–20 and modified by the keen weapon property or similar effects), but the spell effect only deals ×2 damage on a successful critical hit, while the weapon damage uses its own critical modifier.
Canny Defense (Ex): When Adivion is wielding a rapier, he adds 1 point of Intelligence bonus (if any) per magus class level to his Dexterity bonus to modify Armor Class.
Perfect Strike (Ex): When Adivion hits with his rapier, he can spend 1 point from his arcane pool in order to maximize his weapon damage. Don’t roll for damage—the weapon deals maximum damage. This affects only the weapon’s base damage dice, not additional damage from sneak attack, magical weapon properties, spellstrike, or critical hits. If Adivion confirms a critical hit, he can instead spend 2 points from his arcane pool to increase his weapon’s critical multiplier by 1.
This ability replaces spell recall.
Fighter Training (Ex): Adivion counts his magus level –3 as his fighter level for the purpose of qualifying for feats (if he has levels in fighter, these levels stack), but forfeits the benefit of such feats with weapons other than his favored weapon.
This ability replaces knowledge pool.
Iaijutsu (Ex): Adivion applies his Intelligence modifier as well as his Dexterity modifier on initiative rolls (minimum 0). Adivion may make attacks of opportunity when flat-footed, and may draw his favored weapon as a free action as part of taking an attack of opportunity.
This ability replaces the medium armor ability.
Improved Spell Combat (Ex): Adivion’s ability to cast spells and make melee attacks has improved. When using the spell combat ability, Adivion receives a +2 circumstance bonus on concentration checks, in addition to any bonus granted by taking an additional penalty on the attack roll.
Critical Perfection (Ex): Adivion adds his Intelligence bonus (minimum 0) on critical hit confirmation rolls with his favored weapon. In addition, he may use his magus levels in place of his base attack bonuses to qualify for Critical Focus and any feat for which it is a prerequisite; these feats apply only with a Adivion’s favored weapon.
This ability replaces the magus arcana normally gained at 9th level.
Superior Reflexes (Ex): Adivion can make a number of attacks of opportunity in a round equal to his Intelligence modifier (minimum 1). This effect stacks with the Combat Reflexes feat.
This ability replaces improved spell recall.
Iaijutsu Focus (Ex): Adivion may always act and may draw his weapon as a swift action during a surprise round, though he is considered flat-footed until he acts. During a surprise round or when attacking a flat-footed opponent, he adds his Intelligence modifier on damage with his chosen weapon (minimum 0).
This ability replaces heavy armor.
Greater Spell Combat (Ex): Adivion has learned to seamlessly cast spells and make melee attacks. Whenever he uses the spell combat ability, his concentration check bonus equals double the amount of the attack penalty taken.
Counterstrike (Ex): Whenever an enemy within reach of Adivion successfully casts a spell defensively, that enemy provokes an attack of opportunity from Adivion after the spell is complete. This attack of opportunity cannot disrupt the spell.

Grudge Blade
Aura minor necromancy; CL 9th
Slot none; Price 10,320 gp; Weight 2 lbs.

Grudge Blades play a role in many of the conflicts driven by the diabolical elite, both petty and epic. The dull, dark-gray steel of the blades almost appears blunt on the edges, but these +1 rapiers are wickedly sharp. Each elegantly carved hilt displays an engraved, glaring eye that appears to wink and flash as you fight.
The true power of a grudge blade reveals itself against an opponent you have already injured with the sword. If you hit a creature with the sword on your previous turn, you gain an extra +1 bonus on damage rolls against that creature. As long as you continue to hit that creature at least once per round and attack no other creatures with the grudge blade, this damage bonus continues to build, to a maximum of +5; failing to hit that target or attacking anyone else resets the damage bonus to +0.

Construction Requirements
Craft Magic Arms and Armor, deathknell, magic weapon; Cost 5,320 gp

I'm pretty sure I've got everything straight this time around, but if I missed something or you just think that it's not a good enough build and you can show me where I can shore up a few things or even offer suggestions for combat tactics with what I already have, I would greatly appreciate any given. I've got time to work on this (my players are about to wrap up Broken Moon) but I want this particular encounter to be as memorable as possible for them. The last really good 'final boss' fight they had was Kyuss at the end of the Age of Worms campaign (those that were there still talk about that fight to this day and I want the newer players to have that kind of moment with this as well).

Grand Lodge

I like the Kensai take on it... why? Because I've always seen him as driven to excel and in this case pushing himself to truely master what ever he studies, whether it be his rapier or his magic.

Dimension door works oh so well with combat casting.

VERY well done.

Contributor , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2015

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Amazing work here, people! Absolutely loving watching the interchange of ideas and the molding of the adventure and villain to fit your respective groups. That's what it is all about! Very fine work, indeed.

Silver Crusade Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Brandon Hodge wrote:
Amazing work here, people! Absolutely loving watching the interchange of ideas and the molding of the adventure and villain to fit your respective groups. That's what it is all about! Very fine work, indeed.

It helps that this particular adventure path is one that makes you want to go that extra mile or so to make it as worthwhile for the players as possible. I'm pretty sure that as DMs, we all put in a lot of work anyway on what we run, but there's something about a gothic horror piece that makes you work even harder. I don't think I've ever been this involved on the forums where an adventure path is concerned for a long time.

Silver Crusade Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Helaman wrote:

I like the Kensai take on it... why? Because I've always seen him as driven to excel and in this case pushing himself to truely master what ever he studies, whether it be his rapier or his magic.

Dimension door works oh so well with combat casting.

VERY well done.

Appreciate the kudos!

That's one reason why I went with the kensai archetype as well (the other reason was the idea of Adivion being a master swordsman like Archibald Cunningham from Rob Roy or Febre', the man in black from The Musketeer. Then I realized that if either of these villains had had magic to bolster their fighting style, they would have been nastier still. I tried to reflect this with his spell choices, but I'm not so sure that I've done that well enough. I'm still trying to get a handle on the magus as a class (no one in my group has played one yet and, with the exception of PBP, I don't get to play at all).


Blayde MacRonan wrote:
When I posted my initial version of Adivion Adrissant, I made the same mistake that had been done in the module - I left out his magus bonus feats. In a way, that actually turned out to be a good thing, because it made me think really hard about his fighting style. Especially considering that I'm looking at dealing with 10 PCs and 3 pets. Fortunately, Morrowgarth is going to be there to help out but I also didn't want Adivion to come off as looking like he was some overrated second-stringer using her (Morrowgarth) to make himself look more badass than he really was. So I asked myself, 'if I know I'm going to be dealing with more than 5 people at once, how would I want to go about it?' The answer came to me in a flash: be as mobile as possible. Once I latched onto the idea that superior mobility was the key, I then looked at all my books to find the feats I would need to emphasize this aspect of Adivion, but nothing was catching my eye. Then I looked at his spell list and one spell amongst them made me smile: dimension door. I knew then what I had to do.

I love that idea. Waaaaaaay too deadly for my two PC party. If Morrowgarth survives to aid in the final battle (likely) I expect to confine her role to that of breath weapon. It would be a scene to hammer home the badassness of Adivion for her to land behind him and breath weapon through him, catching him with the full blast while he proceeds to not give a damn. Of course, were I to do that I should probably give him some sort of energy resistance or fire immunity...


Luther wrote:
Funny you should say that... I had a bladebound magus in my game who recently died. Before that I was planning on his mysterious sword turning out to be Corpselight. Looks like great minds think alike! X3

Heh. Wes gave me the idea... And now that the guy died you can reuse the sword wherever you see fit.

Brandon Hodge wrote:
Amazing work here, people! Absolutely loving watching the interchange of ideas and the molding of the adventure and villain to fit your respective groups. That's what it is all about! Very fine work, indeed.

I blame you. You're the one who wrote such a compelling villain. You inspired us to turn what could have been a "who was that guy?" moment into a villain worthy of the Bond treatment. Seriously, without you and Wes encouraging us, praising us, and egging us on I doubt I would have put this much thought into him. He would have been just another villain.

Silver Crusade Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
ANebulousMistress wrote:
Blayde MacRonan wrote:
When I posted my initial version of Adivion Adrissant, I made the same mistake that had been done in the module - I left out his magus bonus feats. In a way, that actually turned out to be a good thing, because it made me think really hard about his fighting style. Especially considering that I'm looking at dealing with 10 PCs and 3 pets. Fortunately, Morrowgarth is going to be there to help out but I also didn't want Adivion to come off as looking like he was some overrated second-stringer using her (Morrowgarth) to make himself look more badass than he really was. So I asked myself, 'if I know I'm going to be dealing with more than 5 people at once, how would I want to go about it?' The answer came to me in a flash: be as mobile as possible. Once I latched onto the idea that superior mobility was the key, I then looked at all my books to find the feats I would need to emphasize this aspect of Adivion, but nothing was catching my eye. Then I looked at his spell list and one spell amongst them made me smile: dimension door. I knew then what I had to do.
I love that idea. Waaaaaaay too deadly for my two PC party. If Morrowgarth survives to aid in the final battle (likely) I expect to confine her role to that of breath weapon. It would be a scene to hammer home the badassness of Adivion for her to land behind him and breath weapon through him, catching him with the full blast while he proceeds to not give a damn. Of course, were I to do that I should probably give him some sort of energy resistance or fire immunity...

I love your version of Adivion. I was going to go with the bladebound magus first, but I figured my players would expect that from me (I love me some Elric of Melnibone though I stopped reading after Tales of the White Wolf in 1994). But once I got a better idea of the character concept, I scrapped that idea altogether. Which lead me to the kensai build. This is something they won't expect.

Morrowgarth in my end game scenario will probably do a strafing run in the surprise round, catching Addy in the target area as well. I say 'a' because the paladin will have a flying mount by that time and will want to take to the sky to deal with the evil undead dragon (drawing him away is one of the reasons she's going to be there in the first place).

To help with that, Addy's going to have chill fire shield up and running. Since the breath weapon allows a Reflex save, I'll drop a d20 but have him auto-save to not take any damage (and in the process, preserve his badass mystique). I'm having visions him of cutting an image similar to Sephiroth standing amidst the flames of burning Nibelheim in FF VII. Heck, I even have a theme song picked out for Adivion: Zaibach by Yoko Kanno from the series Vision of Escaflowne (and found only on the VoE: For Lovers Only soundtrack album). I think that number should lend him just the right air of menace for this fight.

Zaibach

Contributor , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2015

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Just wanted to remind you guys to look up the very strict flying conditions around the Gallowspire Sarcophagus due to the raging undead storm. Even Marrowgarth and the nightwings should have something of a tough time getting in and out of the tower's upper stories, though those undead creatures are going to be less threatened by the negative energy critters that want to suck the life out of flying PCs.

I don't know how obvious the undead storm is as a plot device to you guys. It was constructed to keep PCs from just flying up to the top of Gallowspire for the finale showdown, missing everything in between. With underground dungeons, the bedrock usually controls that sort of thing and walls everything off, but with an open tower setup, I had to create something to prevent that sort of encounter leapfrog with PCs of this level.

Just be sure that you don't hamstring PCs one minute, then have other creatures do as they please. Don't want your players crying foul! =-)

And I LOVE the idea of Adivion being caught in Marrowgarth's breath weapon and sort of wallowing in it. Very, very nice!


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Blayde MacRonan wrote:
ANebulousMistress wrote:
Blayde MacRonan wrote:
mobility ideas
praise and undead dragons

I love your version of Adivion. I was going to go with the bladebound magus first, but I figured my players would expect that from me (I love me some Elric of Melnibone though I stopped reading after Tales of the White Wolf in 1994). But once I got a better idea of the character concept, I scrapped that idea altogether. Which lead me to the kensai build. This is something they won't expect.

Morrowgarth in my end game scenario will probably do a strafing run in the surprise round, catching Addy in the target area as well. I say 'a' because the paladin will have a flying mount by that time and will want to take to the sky to deal with the evil undead dragon (drawing him away is one of the reasons she's going to be there in the first place).

To help with that, Addy's going to have chill fire shield up and running. Since the breath weapon allows a Reflex save, I'll drop a d20 but have him auto-save to not take any damage (and in the process, preserve his badass mystique). I'm having visions him of cutting an image similar to Sephiroth standing amidst the flames of burning Nibelheim in FF VII. Heck, I even have a theme song picked out for Adivion: Zaibach by Yoko Kanno from the series Vision of Escaflowne (and found only on the VoE: For Lovers Only soundtrack album). I think that number should lend him just the right air of menace for this fight.

My player and I are both known for despising intelligent magic items as part of our loot. The act of having to fight your stuff for dominance in order to make the most basic decisions is something we hated as PCs and is a hatred we still hold to this day. So my initial idea was "what would happen to someone who gave up?" Because reading Adivion's motives in Gallowspire really sounded to me like someone who had given in to an obsession. A darkened mirror, really, showing what could happen to any PC were they to give in and just let go.

I might need Morrowgarth to keep a grapple-monster eidolon busy. We've had more than a few fights end with the eidolon grappling the villain and just constricting it while the PCs kinda watch. At least Adivion has the concentration check necessary to escape such a grapple. I think I'll drop arcana theft and maybe phantasmal killer in favor of more dimension doors. And he already has chill shield up...

I don't have plans for any music. All I have is my voice, an instrument that already inspires nightmares. And with that voice I plan this...

A second draft...:
Lightning cracks from the churning, corpse-gray sky above as the Bone Stair finally terminates at the vertiginous heights of Gallowspire beneath a massive crown of blades that cast dark shadows across the roof. A wide, round seal of shining silver metal caps the roof, inscribed with arcane symbols and powerful magic wards.

In the center of the seal stands Adivion. He wears fine black robes embroidered in silver and gold and a tall crown of bone. He grips a shining chalice with both hands and there is a distinct madness in his pale eyes. The souls of the dead and the damned rage around you all, their dance of destruction wrapping around the blades of stone that threaten to close in around you. The air is thick with anticipation.

“Why?!” he demands as you step into view. “Why couldn't you just leave us alone?! For so long we've been searching for that one spark, that one beautiful ray of light that would make this a world worth living in. And then you... You had to meddle where you weren't wanted. There's nothing here for you! Why?!”

“Now look what you've done,” Adivion says, with a defeated sigh. “Do you know why I chose Galdana? Before Tar-Baphon took his title he sired an heir. And long generations hence, he still has that heir. The Tyrant's blood flows through Galdana's veins. But not the mind...”

Adivion looks into the chalice's depths. The damned fly around him, surrounding him in a spectral ring. You can tell something has gone horribly wrong.

“Please don't make me,” he whispers. “Maybe they... No, no I can't...” His face collapses in defeat against some unheard command. “All right, all right... I'll do it.” He swallows nervously before drinking deeply of the chalice. The spectral ring dives at him before shooting up into the sky. The storm above ripples as something happens.

[allow the PCs free reign. Melee PCs can run up to try and smack the chalice away. Ranged PCs may try to shoot it out of his hands. The following line assumes they are successful.]

The chalice flies, blood red liquid fans out and hisses where it touches the silver seal. You can hear the chalice as it bounces over the edge of the tower to shatter on the stones below.

[the PCs may even kill Adivion here, he does not resist because he's gonna die anyway. Whether they act or not...]

Adivion falls to his knees, gasping. He looks up at you with eyes full of fear.

“Please... help me...”

His eyes roll back and he collapses, dead.

[depending on PC's actions he may even die in their arms]

For a moment all is quiet. And then the quiet ends. Adivion is thrown backwards, blood flying from his mouth. His eyelids tear open as his eyes burn out of their sockets. It appears as though his entire body is burning, searing from the inside-out by a terrible force. The howling storm embraces him, ripping away at his clothing and his skin with far too many claws. Or maybe it's a trick of the blades, shadows thrown where they should not be.

He hauls himself upright, dead and Forsaken. What remains of his soul tears at his skin, leaving black furrows that gape before sealing themselves. He looks at his hands and begins to laugh, the mad cackle of the insane. He levels his undead gaze at you.

“You did this to me,” Adivion Adrissant accuses. “You stole Galdana from me. Look! Look at what you've done!”

His voice changes as the blue fire in his eye sockets smolders to black. “Blood means nothing,” he says. “I am the only worthy vessel for the Tyrant. In life I was his servant. Now...”

He draws his sword and holds it aloft, a wicked black blade covered in angry red runes. The storm above strikes down to that sword, setting it aflame and the world changes. You and Adivion stand in a blasted wasteland. Gallowspire looms in the distance.

“Now I am the Tyrant REBORN!!”


Brandon Hodge wrote:

Just wanted to remind you guys to look up the very strict flying conditions around the Gallowspire Sarcophagus due to the raging undead storm. Even Marrowgarth and the nightwings should have something of a tough time getting in and out of the tower's upper stories, though those undead creatures are going to be less threatened by the negative energy critters that want to suck the life out of flying PCs.

I don't know how obvious the undead storm is as a plot device to you guys. It was constructed to keep PCs from just flying up to the top of Gallowspire for the finale showdown, missing everything in between. With underground dungeons, the bedrock usually controls that sort of thing and walls everything off, but with an open tower setup, I had to create something to prevent that sort of encounter leapfrog with PCs of this level.

Just be sure that you don't hamstring PCs one minute, then have other creatures do as they please. Don't want your players crying foul! =-)

And I LOVE the idea of Adivion being caught in Marrowgarth's breath weapon and sort of wallowing in it. Very, very nice!

Not forgetting it. Just recognizing that undead dragons aren't exactly going to have to worry about being energy drained by an undead storm even if it does mean having to fly through a hurricane and being struck by lightning.

Beautiful visual, isn't it? Morrowgarth being struck by lightning as she flies up, wreathed in electricity... Adivion recognizing her approach and stepping out of combat to cast a spell as she rises up and blasts them all... Heh heh heh...

Makes it worth all the rolls I'm gonna have to do to make it so.

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