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The Hungry Storm (GM Reference)


Jade Regent

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Fox1212 wrote:

A question about Katiyana's ghost.

Is there any way of driving the ghost from Bormurg's body? Protection from evil would block control for a time, but when it expires the possession continues. Short of killing Bormurg, I don't see any other way of ending a Magic Jar effect.

The only solution I can think of other than the ones Xan_Ning gave is to restrain the possessed Bormurg and successfully use Turn Undead. She should be forced to flee out of his body if she can't make him flee physically.

...That one depends a bit on how your GM responds though.

(My first group had an inquisitor and my second made use of the spirit sword.)

I'm pretty sure players are given the sword to ensure that they have a method of banishing her. Otherwise it's really difficult to expel ghosts, short of higher-level strategies like antimagic fields, or plane shifting the possessed victim away and then using dispel evil to force the ghost back to the material plane (Bormurg is neutral, so in such a case it might be feasible that dispel evil forces the evil ghost, but not the possessed victim back to the material plane).


Xan_Ning wrote:
Fox1212 wrote:

A question about Katiyana's ghost.

Is there any way of driving the ghost from Bormurg's body? Protection from evil would block control for a time, but when it expires the possession continues. Short of killing Bormurg, I don't see any other way of ending a Magic Jar effect.

The only thing I've found is the 3rd level Inquisitor spell Cast Out. I did not know that Protection from Evil and Dispel Magic won't work until prepping for this encounter yesterday. Right now I don't see anyway for my group to force her out of Bormurg.

The same happened to me. I thought that Prot from Evil would expel the ghost from the yeti until I began to prepare the encounter.

Xan_Ning wrote:


Edit: Just remembered that you do pick up the Nine-Ring Spirit Sword earlier in the necropolis. That gives you a way to kick her out.

That might work, only that I seem to recall -- though I cannot find it-- that attacking Bormurg did not affect Katiyana in any way. In any case, the DC for the Spirit Sword's destruction is just 17, which translates in just a 15% chance of it working, if my math does not fail me...


Gluttony wrote:
Fox1212 wrote:

A question about Katiyana's ghost.

Is there any way of driving the ghost from Bormurg's body? Protection from evil would block control for a time, but when it expires the possession continues. Short of killing Bormurg, I don't see any other way of ending a Magic Jar effect.

The only solution I can think of other than the ones Xan_Ning gave is to restrain the possessed Bormurg and successfully use Turn Undead. She should be forced to flee out of his body if she can't make him flee physically.

...That one depends a bit on how your GM responds though.

(My first group had an inquisitor and my second made use of the spirit sword.)

As a matter of fact, I'm tempted to encourage my group to try to trick her out of Bormurg, by using bluff (we have a bard with access to Glibness. Maybe Suishen can point it out to them, or just drop a clue. If they enrage Katiyana so that she tries to possess one of them, she would leave the host....


Fox1212 wrote:
Xan_Ning wrote:


Edit: Just remembered that you do pick up the Nine-Ring Spirit Sword earlier in the necropolis. That gives you a way to kick her out.
That might work, only that I seem to recall -- though I cannot find it-- that attacking Bormurg did not affect Katiyana in any way. In any case, the DC for the Spirit Sword's destruction is just 17, which translates in just a 15% chance of it working, if my math does not fail me...

The 2-charge effect of the nine ring spirit sword is specifically to force ghosts out of possessed creatures. I don't see why it wouldn't work.

I believe what you're thinking of is that regular damage to Bormurg doesn't effect Katiyana, which is true. You've got to either expel Katiyana or kill Bormurg before you can start to damage Katiyana.

Also, while it's true that she's only got a 15% chance of failing any one save vs. the sword, if it's used 4 times in one combat there's a 48% chance she'll fail at least one save to be expelled for Bormurg. A much better chance. (Also presumably smart players would be throwing down effects that make it more difficult for her to make her save)


Gluttony wrote:
Fox1212 wrote:
Xan_Ning wrote:


That might work, only that I seem to recall -- though I cannot find it-- that attacking Bormurg did not affect Katiyana in any way. In any case, the DC for the Spirit Sword's destruction is just 17, which translates in just a 15% chance of it working, if my math does not fail me...

The 2-charge effect of the nine ring spirit sword is specifically to force ghosts out of possessed creatures. I don't see why it wouldn't work.

Also, while it's true that she's only got a 15% chance of failing any one save vs. the sword, if it's used 4 times in one combat there's a 48% chance she'll fail at least one save to be expelled for Bormurg. A much better chance. (Also presumably smart players would be throwing down effects that make it more difficult for her to make her save)

Ooops... I was thinking of the 3-charge effect (destruction of the undead). I had completely forgotten about the 2-charge effect. Definitely yesterday was not my best day, with this oversight and the one about the Whispering Shrike not being broken.

Thank you, Gluttony!!


I am just ending Frozen shadows (final encounter with kimandatsu will probably happen next week)

And I have a few questions for futuer prep.

My biggest question revolves around ULF.

The whole reason the party is looking for him is because he is the best guide to get them across the crown of the world... but if thats the case I find it hard to reconcile all of the difficulty they will have in book 3. I skimmed book 3 in the store (will buy next week) and I understand there is a story line about an evil fay and the hungry storms and all that... but I still get the impression Ulf should be good enough to get around most of it... or at least know whats coming as I dont get the impression the obelisks popped up over night so he should generally steer the caravan around such obvious dangers.

with that in mind I plan to have him killed before or during the rescue. the players will get to him and find that he and Ukshakka were poisoned by the ninja when the ninja realized the PCs were looking for Ulf as well as the Sword. so he used his one spell for the day to cast Delay poison on Ukshakka giving the PCs time to cure her (they got antidote from Goti's Lab but will take some time to figure that out) but he will end up dying shortly after they find him, just enough time for him to give some sage advice and cryptic portents about the passage.

but before committing to this I want to know how important Ulf is to the future of the story. Is he a back ground NPC like Sandrew or does some future plot revolve around him?


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blue_the_wolf wrote:

I am just ending Frozen shadows (final encounter with kimandatsu will probably happen next week)

And I have a few questions for futuer prep.

My biggest question revolves around ULF.

The whole reason the party is looking for him is because he is the best guide to get them across the crown of the world... but if thats the case I find it hard to reconcile all of the difficulty they will have in book 3. I skimmed book 3 in the store (will buy next week) and I understand there is a story line about an evil fay and the hungry storms and all that... but I still get the impression Ulf should be good enough to get around most of it... or at least know whats coming as I dont get the impression the obelisks popped up over night so he should generally steer the caravan around such obvious dangers.

with that in mind I plan to have him killed before or during the rescue. the players will get to him and find that he and Ukshakka were poisoned by the ninja when the ninja realized the PCs were looking for Ulf as well as the Sword. so he used his one spell for the day to cast Delay poison on Ukshakka giving the PCs time to cure her (they got antidote from Goti's Lab but will take some time to figure that out) but he will end up dying shortly after they find him, just enough time for him to give some sage advice and cryptic portents about the passage.

but before committing to this I want to know how important Ulf is to the future of the story. Is he a back ground NPC like Sandrew or does some future plot revolve around him?

Well in the vast scheme of the plot Ulf is unimportant (he actually will leave the caravan at the end of the trek under most circumstances) but he is a key source of info for things in the third book. Mostly it is his relationship with a local tribe that gets the caravan to have a safe stopping point which is off the beaten trail about 1/4 the way in. He basically is there to function as a GM's mouth piece about various facets of the adventure, a convenient source of info. He knows a good bit about whats going on but alot of things like the obelisks that even if he knows about them the point is that they are showing up where they arn't supposed to be (and yes in a few cases literally overnight).

In a way Ulf's function with the caravan is somewhat like Sacajawea was to Lewis and Clark someone who knows the terrain and is mostly familiar with the locals to give you an advantage. They certainly didn't have an easy time of crossing the frontier of the US even with an expert guide. The point is that as bad as it might be with the guide it would be far far worse without them.


cant ukshakka play the same role but with less of a,
"i am the god of guides" air about him?

for example... wouldn't he know enough to not be surprised by the frost giant and his wolf? I feel like if run properly no party should ever have to face that encounter because Ulf will just say, there is a giant or ghost of a giant that inhabits this area and doesnt like us to leave the trail, lets force march quickly through here and should we stop be extra careful to protect the pack animals from wolves.

while ukshakka, knowing the path but not the fine details of each location may say, "Ulf always said to stay on the trail here but I am not sure why, sometime he seemed overly cautious" thus if the party camps and the wolf attacks the pack animals they may get drawn into a confrontation with the giant also.


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blue_the_wolf wrote:

cant ukshakka play the same role but with less of a,

"i am the god of guides" air about him?

for example... wouldn't he know enough to not be surprised by the frost giant and his wolf? I feel like if run properly no party should ever have to face that encounter because Ulf will just say, there is a giant or ghost of a giant that inhabits this area and doesnt like us to leave the trail, lets force march quickly through here and should we stop be extra careful to protect the pack animals from wolves.

while ukshakka, knowing the path but not the fine details of each location may say, "Ulf always said to stay on the trail here but I am not sure why, sometime he seemed overly cautious" thus if the party camps and the wolf attacks the pack animals they may get drawn into a confrontation with the giant also.

Well the only problem is that ukshakka dosen't know the path she (according to her write up ) actively refuses to go anywhere near the path over the crown of the world out of respect for her late father.

As far as encounters where Ulf should know somethings wrong like the Giant ect. Well he probably does say to stay away from those locations (he did in my game anyway) and the hard headed adventurers (specifically the overly curious wizard ) didn't listen and went to see what it was.

Of course via GM's fiat you can alter any character or item as seen fit. I know I took a liberal pen to some of the encounters in the third book. So I guess in short no there isn't a real reason you couldn't replace ulf with ukshakka as long as you correct the story/encounters as you go along.


so it DOES referene who you are with and its important to the plot.

in other words he is not back ground like sandreu or koya.


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blue_the_wolf wrote:

so it DOES referene who you are with and its important to the plot.

in other words he is not back ground like sandreu or koya.

In a couple of specific scenarios/encounters yes. The most blatant one is at the edge of approaching the high ice there is a village there that pretty much only lets the caravan in because Ulf is with them. The other is Dead mans dome which has Ulf reveal the location of the landmark to the PCs as a kind of emergency choice of battle ground .

Andoran

I have honestly found this to have been the worst book in this Adventure so far. Yes I understand the purpose/concept/point of Jade Regent is an epic overland journey, but dedicating almost an entire book to practically nothing but random encounters and a few scripted encounters that honestly don't stand out from the random ones was a mistake on Paizo's part. It was a boring, senseless, slogging endurance test for the players in my group, who already have been finding JR to be not very much fun at all. Please JJ and the rest of the Paizo staff, never subject players to this sort of torture again.


Copernicus Mandrake I wrote:
I have honestly found this to have been the worst book in this Adventure so far. Yes I understand the purpose/concept/point of Jade Regent is an epic overland journey, but dedicating almost an entire book to practically nothing but random encounters and a few scripted encounters that honestly don't stand out from the random ones was a mistake on Paizo's part. It was a boring, senseless, slogging endurance test for the players in my group, who already have been finding JR to be not very much fun at all. Please JJ and the rest of the Paizo staff, never subject players to this sort of torture again.

If you're not finding JR fun then you could always move onto a new campaign rather than play something no one is enjoying. From the tone of your post it sounds like your group didn't really enjoy parts of the first two books either so I doubt things are going to get better with the last three.

Personally, I love The Hungry Storm and I think Jason Nelson did a great job. Well, fine, the caravan rules are still a mess but that is a technical problem of the AP not just this module. Besides the random encounters, I count no less than 20 (A to S) encounter locations some of which are quite extensively detailed. If you find that this is too many encounters while the party goes over the Crown of the World well you can always cut some for brevity. I doubt Jason will track you down and hit you with his frost spear for cutting an encounter here or there.

As for your feeling that the scripted encounters simply come across as more random encounters, I don't know what say. All I know is that if I was trekking across the Arctic on an expedition, and constantly on the move through a frozen wasteland, then anytime I encountered something that wasn't more snow I would consider it a fairly random encounter. Honestly, I'd be more surprised if i encountered something that was familiar and not random.

Paizo did very well to manage expectations regarding this AP. You even mentioned you were aware that this AP involved an epic overland journey. Travelling thousands and thousands of miles on foot across vast landscapes pretty much indicates how encounters are going to be set up for much of the journey. It's going to be a lot of vignettes and set-pieces rather than full-blown dungeons, wilderness exploration and urban adventuring. Even if they did fit more exploration themes into the journey, most wilderness encounters are still usually set-pieces at best.

All in all, I think it's simply a matter of capitalizing on the more-detailed set-pieces and getting as much as you can from them. Places like Iqaliat, The Storm Tower, and the Uqtaal Necropolis. It would have been nice if the word count could have allowed for a bit more detail and exploration on Ul-Angorn and Jaagin but there's only so much room and the caravan is on a schedule that doesn't necessarily allow for leisure time in these villages.

Cheers,
Tony


While the random encounter number is quite high, a lot of them are really interesting little things. And the rest of the module seems detailed enough.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Legendary Games just released their new Adventure Path Plug-In, Under Frozen Stars, which is an adventure designed with the intent of tying this particular AP volume into the overall plot a little tighter. It explores the ancient city near the storm tower and is written by Jason Nelson himself. I haven't read it through thoroughly yet, but from what I've seen it looks to be really great stuff.

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

Thanks for the kind words, Joseph. The city at the top of the world was something I thought would be neat to explore on a journey like this, but there really wasn't room in the AP adventure itself so I didn't pursue the idea at the time. Covering 4,000 frozen miles in 40-something pages was challenge enough as it was!

That said, last year when we were looking ahead at APs to support with Legendary Games and brainstorming product ideas, this idea came quickly to mind as a natural place to develop a supporting adventure, both to connect the flow of this adventure a bit better into the overall campaign but also just to satisfy what seemed to me like a very natural curiosity. You've got your PCs on this months-long journey over the pole, and you've discovered this legendary ancient place where almost no one has ever been and come back to tell the tale... and you assume they'll just walk on by like it's nothing? Have your players no sense of adventure? Shoot, have they no GREED? Surely if it's going to take months to get where you're going, you can spare a few days to at least poke around the edges and find a few souvenirs, whether to keep or to sell. Who knows what you might find? Maybe it's just me, but it seems like the thing my players would be excited to discover (especially if they'd been getting bored with a long string of disconnected events).

Check it out for yourself at our product page here on Paizo. If you liked "The Hungry Storm," and especially if you liked the adventure's themes but felt like it could use a little something extra, I think you'll really enjoy it.


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Joseph Wilson wrote:
Legendary Games just released their new Adventure Path Plug-In, Under Frozen Stars, which is an adventure designed with the intent of tying this particular AP volume into the overall plot a little tighter. It explores the ancient city near the storm tower and is written by Jason Nelson himself. I haven't read it through thoroughly yet, but from what I've seen it looks to be really great stuff.

my group finished book 2 last night, so I'm picking this up for ideas. Thanks for the heads up!


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Last Friday, the 7th of September, my group finsished Night of the Frozen Shadows. I had to completely improvise the final showdown but it was for the best, my group thought. I'll post in the correct forum for that what happened, but I did have a question on thoughts concerning the distances in this new one.

I was going to script out encounters beforehand like I did in the Brinewall Legacy, simply so I'd know what to expect and how to have the NPC Rangers (Shalelu and Ulf) interact with the party in regards to the wilderness because the only PC with anything remotely tied into the natural world is a multi-class Druid/Cavalier Halfling on a Battlecat.

Looking at the map provided, it's hard to guess roughly how far it is from location A to location B, etc, and I was wondering how other groups did that, so I could better estimate travel times and encounter ratios.

One thing that did happen tha I also want to incorporate is that both Wodes the Raven and the Troll Sorcerer Goti Runecaster both survived.

This is my first real forray into the DMing world and I wanted some advice as to how to handle calculating distances and how to incorporate other NPCs that were designed to be encountered but weren't.


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There are versions of Adobe that come with markup tools, including "distance measuring tools". I've used them to make a series of points indicating a day's journey on the maps (using the inner sea poster maps before). You can set the scale to ready anything.
The problem I'm having so far is that the travel distances assumed in the adventure is twice the overland speed of a wagon, according to the core rules. That's going to be even slower over the crown of the world when you get into icy wasteland situations.


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You mean that the AP assumes that the caravan is able to travel twice as far in one day than what the rules say? If I understood you correctly, then what do they say?

Also, Chernobyl, what have you found to be the hardest thing to do thus far in the Hungry Storm as far as DM-ing is concerned?

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

Glad you enjoyed the Under Frozen Stars adventure and that it provided you with such inspiration to really take the campaign in a fun direction!

I'd love to see your review of the adventure on Paizo or Drivethru, if you haven't already!

Cheliax

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I really enjoyed running this section of the AP. Gave me lots of opportunity to add personal sections for the characters. I have a star souled Gnome who is a reborn demon from the dawn war expelled from heaven by the gods in the first battle, when his forces tried to win the war by using the Star Stone (a living star) to destroy the fledgling gods. He has a piece of the star stone and if able to reunite the pieces may well rise in power to the point he will be able to take on the challenge of Star Stone and return to the heavens to oust Desna. He learnt a lot of his story by visiting the Namless Spires.

Ok so who said I have to stick to canon... :o)

Also the final battle was epic, the character couldn't rest as one of them is under the effects of the mummies curse so they are desperatley trying to get out from under the mountain and find help before they die of con loss. So they were low on resources when the fight began. Brilliant fight with characters dropping and getting back up until the LE Monk killed her with the Ghost Sword.


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DM Player Nate wrote:

You mean that the AP assumes that the caravan is able to travel twice as far in one day than what the rules say? If I understood you correctly, then what do they say?

Also, Chernobyl, what have you found to be the hardest thing to do thus far in the Hungry Storm as far as DM-ing is concerned?

from book 1:

The Brinewall Legacy, Page 24 wrote:
Overall, the journey from Sandpoint to Brinewall covers about 500 miles—unless the PCs upgrade Sandru’s caravan, it’ll take them about 16 days to reach their destination.

500 miles is pretty accurate from the route described and my adobe distance measuring tools using the Inner Sea poster map. 500 miles in 16 days means about 31 miles in a day.

Table 7-9 in the Core Rules shows that carts or wagons can cover 16 miles per day. Table 7-8 Terrain and Overland Movement shows that trackless Tundra is only 3/4 of this speed, or 12 miles per day.

I haven't actually started running Book 3 as yet, I'm prepping it, and one of the things I do is to find the time that the overland journey takes. Another thing is adjust for a 6-person party, which typically means determining which encounters need more monsters and which encounters need tougher monsters, in order to maintain the XP budget for the campaign. We've had 3 PC deaths, so the group is running well ahead of the Wealth by Level table. And I have to come up with some kind of narration or alternate encounter to provide for "caravan encounters" since the entire caravan system is completely out of whack on combat resolution.


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My group's only had one PC death this adventure. That was in the last battle of the last book against Kimandatsu. Both hits for her round landed against the barbarian who'd already been whacked once. First hit did someting like 18 damage. Second hit rolled a critical threat, second roll confirmed it. so the damage (2d8+11)x4 ended up looking like this:
8+7+11=26, 26*4 for critical equals...104 damage.

Yeah, her negative hit points surpassed her Con. Yay for the Amatatsu Seal's resurrection function.

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2012 Top 8

One thing I did at the beginning of this book that I think is starting to pay off is to have Ameiko commission a Night Monarch Vardo, which was finished by the time the PCs left Kalsgard. She named it "The Kaijitsu Phoenix," and the interior contains a large common room on the first floor and two bedrooms and a bath upstairs. I modeled the interior off of a mix between Howl's Moving Castle and Serenity.

When Ameiko was showing it off, one of the PCs commented on the lumpy couch and mismatched chairs. Ameiko confessed the Vardo itself was so expensive she'd had to fill it with secondhand furniture.

I have two main reasons for adding the Vardo in an adventure that involves a lot of travel and climate hazards. One, to give the PCs a table to sit around and talk when it was snowing too hard to travel. I'm hoping to get at least a couple more of these "family building" scenes out of it. Two, I think the addition of a reliable "safe place" by contrast enhances the players feeling of danger and isolation from the environment outside-- especially when the safe place is eventually violated.


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Finishing up my prep for Book 3...has anyone stat-ed a toughened version of Katiyana for a 6-player group? I'm thinking of adding on +1 cleric level, seems simplest. ideas?

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

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With a larger group, the best strategy is not trying to make Katiyana tougher; it's providing more targets for the PCs. What kills solo bad guys is the action economy, and against 6 PCs for a solo BBEG to have a fighting chance it would have to be almost impossibly tough to hit, have lots of extra attacks, or otherwise try to make up the actions. Long story short, there's just not really a way to make that work in most cases. Make her a higher-level caster, her spells get better and she gets more of them, but she still only gets one saving throw against each thing PCs throw at her, she only gets to act once per turn, etc.

Your better solution is to balance and encounter with her with minion creatures or active hazards that present some legitimate threat to the PCs. They don't need to be anywhere near as tough as her, but they have to be credibly dangerous in some way, and not so densely packed that a single AoE spell will wipe them out. Minions that arrive in waves (and from different directions) can work well, as even when the first batch gets wiped there's another coming, and from a different quarter so that one battlefield control spell doesn't bottleneck all reinforcements.

You can also focus on non-creature hazards like traps, or in the case of the Storm Tower like the wind that blows down the tower and pushes PCs away (forcing them to expend resources to overcome it) or the lightning pillars that PCs can smash.

I think the encounter I put in the original manuscript was a bit more dynamic in these kinds of ways (though perhaps too complicated, and that's why it got changed in the final version), so if you'd like to take a peek you can email me at

Spoiler:
tjaden jason at gmail dot com


Chernobyl

Jason has the rights of it.

trust me Katyana can be incredibly tough just as she is when she can hide behind partial cover and have an effective AC of 29+ and then she just rains call lightning storm for something like 9d6 a shot.

but you still have to have something else out there to keep the players occupied rather than just full attacking Katyana and pumping heals or countering her magic.

the undead in the adventure are actually pretty good you can add one or two extra if it seems to fit. they are not too dangerous but they get a first round attack from invisibility and they have that nifty parilization when some one fails a save.

one thing I did was gave Katyana a special spell that let her resurrect (or animate dead) the remorhaz from a distance. its a bit of cinematic fun when the remorhaz charges up the central shaft and attack the players. I had the remorehas stay on the edge of the central shaft so that if the remorehaz had a player in its mouth when it died they would get one desperate last attempt to escape its grasp before it fell down the shaft (taking the PC with it on a 300 foot drop)

anyway the point is... dont buff the boss buff the environment and the minions.

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

blue_the_wolf wrote:

anyway the point is... dont buff the boss buff the environment and the minions.

That right there is the phrase that pays. Golden advice for every GM.


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thanks for the advice guys, I'll look at some stuff.


Did any one else change the locked room in the tower? on the way up the tower the group decided not to waste time on the room and just went up to battle katiyana planning to check the room and the refuse pile at the bottom after.

I think the control room with the crystal scorpions is a bit random so instead I made the room her personal quarters, an idea that I found lacking in the original plan.

I then just added a trap door in the first floor refuse pile and another one in a random structure outside of the lake of black slush which will lead to the the side quest "under frozen stars" if the group chosees to take the bait.

that's the plan at least. did any one else make different changes or have suggestions about what changes I can make to that room?

Andoran

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Okay, I used the caravan rules a few times in Brinewall Legacy, and they worked ... okay. I'm fairly good at description, so I basically just used the dice-rolling and input from players to present almost-scripted vignettes.

I foresee a more difficult time in Hungry Storm, so I'm looking for some advice.

(1) 10% cumulative, with reset, per day is absurd. The PCs will gain XP like crazy. Part of the problem is that the caravan moves too fast, per Brinewall Castle it somehow moves twice as fast as it should, and I slowed it down to about 12 miles per day. Given that, I calculated about 300 travel days, and I generated encounters using 2% cumulative, with reset, per day.

That got me 20 encounters. The average XP per encounter is probably about 1500, so that's 30000 XP, or 5000 XP each in my 6-player group. That seems about right to me.

Any thoughts? How many encounters did people have when they ran it by the book? How much XP did the PCs end up collecting?

(2) I'm fine with the caravan encounters in theory, but the math is seriously messed up. I've lowered the damage to 25% of what's listed, because I can tell just by eyeballing it that it's way too high if the caravan is supposed to have any chance to survive.

Do I need to lower the AC, the hp, or any of the caravan attribute checks (e.g., Resolve, Security)? They look okay to me (though I'm shaky on the hp), but my confidence in the math is shot.

(3) There are a few encounters that give full stats of the monsters and say they target individuals, not the caravan.

The problem seems to be that the caravan encounter rules are basically just a very abstract rules-set for mass combat, and that's fine ... but it gets messy when you keep the caravan (and all its travelers) present, but dispense with the mass combat rules.

How do people handle that in practice? Do GMs honestly roll init for each of the NPCs? Just the major NPCs? Handwave it?

Anyway, I haven't finished reading the adventure, but I do find it ambitious and interesting. I just wish the math had been thought out better and some advice given on how to run the mass combats when the adventure intends that caravan rules not be used.

Andoran

BTW, I'm more than happy to share the Google Doc sheet I'm building. It's not complete yet, but here it is. Just be aware of the changes I'm making in the assumptions of the adventure, as detailed in my post above.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AngpkjTPHSQydDloM0NDOUxlUUNZQX BLRW5iRHBfQmc


I dumped the caravan mechanic entirely and for caravan fights I am simply letting the players fight a normal battle with 'some' of the enemy while letting them know that the battle is taking place around the caravan and other people are fighting off enemies in other places. usually I have Ameiko standing on a wagon in the middle playing some bardic bonus for everyone.

as for random encounters, I tend to not like RANDOM encounters but rather place encounters, even if from the random encounter table, where I think they make sense. the problem is that the hungry storm campeign already has a fair share of specific encounters and by adding the random encounters by almost any calculation your really just adding a bunch of more or less meaningless 15 minute adventure days. so instead I create little mini adventures... like a day in which the caravan is hunted by a pack of winter wolves leading to a day long series of encounters and some sort of final showdown, or an encounter where the owners of a bridge or ferry charge a high price for crossing giving the party the chance to make alignment effecting decisions in the use of diplomacy, combat or quick thinking to get across the river.

ultimately though i think its safe to ignore the random encounter table and as the DM just throw in encounters where you see fit.

PS. I am not using XP either so that gives me a LOT more flexibility and players dont feel forced into dealing with situations in the most XP relevant way.

Shadow Lodge

What's between the Stormspear and Rimethirst Mountains? Have I really read correctly that there are supposed to be 1000 miles from Kalsgard to the Rimethirst Mountains, which should pass entirely without incident?

If my math is right, that's 800 miles between the two mountain ranges which doesn't appear on any Paizo map. The Inner Sea maps all stop at the Stormspear Mountains, and the Crown maps all start at the Rimethirst. If that's true, that's a lot of space to leave off of all the maps. What's there? A lot of nothing? Erutaki villages?

Given how prolific people are about settling every available piece of land, it seems like there would be something there, but I can't find any official information on it. I'm tempted to use it as evidence of what a good guide Ulf is: there would be a lot of attacks, but he knows how to avoid them. Except that I know my players are going to ask about the geopolitical situation in a space the size of Varisia, especially if it is completely unsettled. ("Why are there no people here," they will ask. "Is it haunted? Are there things we can kill? Why not?")


It is correct (by the book) that that journey is supposed to pass without incident.

I inserted a sidequest of passing through a haunted forest, allying with centaurs, and taking on a skeletal champion necromancer. It let the party catch up on some XP they lacked, the witch picked up some new spells (among which she got one of her new favourites, Magic Jar), and they got a nice magic item or two.

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

If you are at this point in the AP, might I be so bold as to suggest you pick up a copy of The Baleful Coven from Legendary Games, an adventure penned by RPG Superstar Matt Goodall and specifically designed to help fill in the gap in between adventures 2 and 3.

If you like that one and want to plan ahead for enriching your party's expedition across the north pole, you should also check out its companion volume, Under Frozen Stars! Sure I'm biased, but both adventures are really excellent for making your JR campaign that much more awesome!

Shadow Lodge

Already picked them up, and I'm definitely putting them both in.

My confusion was all about the map. 800 miles is a lot of space to not exist on any Paizo map, and since I'm doing the "Indiana Jones" red line of travel, drawing on the maps, it will be weird to have that big empty space.

I like the centaur idea, and I'll probably add in a tribe of adlets, as well, using the 800 miles as an opportunity to emphasize what an amazing guide Ulf is (something that I think is missing from the module). Whenever possible, I want the players to feel like having Ulf along is making the passage much, much easier.


Doram ob'Han wrote:


My confusion was all about the map. 800 miles is a lot of space to not exist on any Paizo map, and since I'm doing the "Indiana Jones" red line of travel, drawing on the maps, it will be weird to have that big empty space.

Yup - I had the same question

(see my post, half way down page 2 of this thread, Apr 16th).
Some answers followed.

Shadow Lodge

I saw. I was hoping to draw out something more specific (or be pointed to an existing map). Got a couple good ideas (centaurs! witches! adlets!), but it just appears to be a dead zone.


(Sorry if this has been mentioned before, I scanned the thread and didn't see anything about it.)

My group are going to finish Ravenscraeg in the next session or so and will soon be heading out over the Crown, so I've been looking over Hungry Storm.
Unless I'm reading something wrong, the caravan (and thus all its guards and NPCs) are with the PCs for every random encounter, and through the Uqtaal Necropolis too. If this is right, doesn't it significantly raise the parties chances of winning?

Andoran

Faanku wrote:
[How to handle NPCs/caravan in encounters?]

This is an area in which I wish more advice had been given, in the Players Guide, Brinewall Legacy, or Hungry Storm. You've got a few possibilities:

(1) If the encounter is a caravan encounter, and you're using those rules, there's no problem. If not ...

(2) As I was reading, I was shaping narrative snippets in my head designed to briefly separate the group from the caravan for encounters that target the PCs. I don't think I'll be able to do this every time (it'll damage suspension of disbelief, if nothing else), but I should be able to do it often.

(3) You can assume that the statted encounters are those the PCs are fighting, but that there are more foes simultaneously attacking the caravan and NPCs. You can just hand-wave the rest of the combat, assuming it roughly follows that of the PCs (i.e., if they're winning, so is the caravan in the larger battle).

This advice is actually given somewhere in the AP, but it is problematic, especially if, like me, you have a group who is tactically minded. (E.g., "But why can't I catch any of the ones fighting Shalelu in my fireball?" or "Do we get the benefit of Ameiko's bard song?") Your players need to really understand the motivation for doing things like this for it to work, and not all groups (or even all GMs) are like that.

I'm using a mix of all three of these. Hope this helps.

BTW, I've just about finished my Google Docs sheet to help me keep track of the trek across the Crown of the World. My assumptions: (1) The caravan will do approximately 12 miles per day. (Note that the speed listed in the AP is WAY too fast. Dunno how that slipped past editing.) (2) It's approximately 3,600 miles over the CotW. (3) I changed the 10%-cumulative-per-day encounters (way, way, WAY too many encounters, even at the wrong faster speed) to 2%, and I generated them in advance.

This worksheet won't survive 100% intact, because the actions of the players will impact it, but I think it's going to make running the trek much, much smoother. Folks are welcome to take a look:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AngpkjTPHSQydDloM0NDOUxlUUNZQX BLRW5iRHBfQmc


Nice info, thanks.
Out of interest, where did you get 12 miles/day from?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game Subscriber
Jeff Wilder wrote:
The caravan will do approximately 12 miles per day. (Note that the speed listed in the AP is WAY too fast. Dunno how that slipped past editing.) (2) It's approximately 3,600 miles over the CotW. (3) I changed the 10%-cumulative-per-day encounters (way, way, WAY too many encounters, even at the wrong faster speed) to 2%, and I generated them in advance.

1/ I think some people miss that this is based on a 12 hour day on open road. That means the wagons are doing less than 3 mph... I think that isn't unreasonable, especially when you drop it for terrain.

3/ Remember that the frequency of checks drops to weekly instead of daily on the High Ice (about half the total distance, but more of the travel time). Also, that half of the random encounters are non-combat.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Faanku wrote:

Nice info, thanks.

Out of interest, where did you get 12 miles/day from?

Core Rulebook page 174 Table 7-9 shows Cart or Wagon base speed as 16 miles per day.

Core rulebook page 172 Table 7-8 Terrain and Overland Movement show "trackless frozen tundra" as 3/4 of base speed, thus 12 miles per day.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I've had some confusion about the caravan traveling over the Crown of the World as well. But first, the Jade Regent Player's Guide specifies the base speed of the caravan as 32 miles per day. On page 24 under "Travel" Table 7-8 on page 172 of the Core Rulebook is referenced, but proceeded by the statement that "speed assumes travel on a road over clear terrain." What is the Path of Aganhei considered? It's hard to believe that the caravan's speed wouldn't be reduced by tundra, snow, ice, blizzards, whiteout (page 66 of The Hungry Storm) and any other number of things. At this moment, once the Rimethirst Mountains are passed I have a hard time believing that the caravan could actually maintain 32 miles per day. When you add tracking time of year, especially because I don't believe it was established previously, there are a lot of variables to track that have to be presented just right to avoid bogging the game down in a non-fun way.

Anyway, there are a lot of loose variables that I'm trying to account for and I'm certain that a consensus can be reached between conversation and citing specifics. Just in writing this I've discovered more information regarding caravan "speed" later in The Hungry Storm PDF. If I feel like I can bring clarity I'll be sure to post later.

Oh, and how are caravan horses supposed to survive a trek across the north pole?


xebeche wrote:
Oh, and how are caravan horses supposed to survive a trek across the north pole?

Magic.

As for the rest, I believe there are a LOT of circumstances during crown of the world travel that can slow caravan speed to a crawl.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Gluttony wrote:
Magic.

I walked right into that one. I'm the guy that asks "what magic, and who's magic?" But Ulf Gormundr might smear the horses with animal fats accounted for by the caravan's consumption for all I know.

Shadow Lodge

The caravan requires one casting of endure elements per point of consumption, every week (Hungry Storm, page 36). When camped, the sashimono of comfort takes care of the caravan. If the horses are really a problem, that could be fun to play out. As the horses get sick and die, the caravan can encounter herds of yaks or woolly rhinos, which they can train and hitch to replace the horses. (That's my plan, personally.)

Horses are a bad idea, though. Just ask Robert Falcon Scott...


Doram ob'Han wrote:

The caravan requires one casting of endure elements per point of consumption, every week (Hungry Storm, page 36). When camped, the sashimono of comfort takes care of the caravan. If the horses are really a problem, that could be fun to play out. As the horses get sick and die, the caravan can encounter herds of yaks or woolly rhinos, which they can train and hitch to replace the horses. (That's my plan, personally.)

Horses are a bad idea, though. Just ask Robert Falcon Scott...

This is also a good plan. One of my parties sold all their horses and bought yaks for this very purpose. (Yaks can be found in the Adventurer's Armory. They cost 24gp per yak, and so they actually prove to be pretty cost-effective for caravans going north.)

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