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Just started AoW - any suggestions?


Age of Worms Adventure Path


I've been wanting to run this campaign for years! We're really excited to start. Just launched Whispering Cairn tonight. Almost killed a gnome caster with those wolves.

I've read over most of the boards for AoW. There is some awesome stuff here by other DMs. Thank you SO MUCH for sharing so many tips, and catching any errors!!!

Is there anything else you might want to share?

Some of my players do read the Paizo boards, so please don't mention anything specific about upcoming battles or monster types - but if there is another plot tip, or any other suggestions, let me know.

We are playing with the official Pathfinder hardcover books and using the Golarion setting.

I'm open to suggestions on locations deeper into the AP!

I decided that the "Free City" is Oppara in Taldor. I've put Diamond Lake north east of there, just south of the mountains.

Thoughts on who should be the three evil gods for the three faces of evil?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Bloodwort wrote:


Thoughts on who should be the three evil gods for the three faces of evil?

Rovagug, Asmodeus, and Nethys seem like the obvious picks since the Ebon Triad are set up as more or less destruction/tyranny/evil magic.

A more subversive and canon-bending read could involve Sarenrae, Iomedae, and Desna. (Treat the Triad as sects that get spells as though they follow these gods, but they're evil and get the evil goodies instead of the good goodies.)

A more neutral triad could involve Gorum.

Taldor

I also chose Oppara as the Free city stand in. I am using Zon-Kuthon, Asmodeus, and The Whispering Way as my 3 evil cults.


Hmm... interesting choices on the gods. I'm not familiar with the "whispering way". Is that in the Pathfinder gods and magic book?

Taldor

Whispering Way is more of a philosophy then a religion according to the campaign guide. It's most famous member is Tar-Baphon. I figured it was the closest thing I could get to Vecna in PF

Andoran

Gyronna, Ghlaunder and Dahak. Each of these minor gods shares a portfolio of "destruction" - that's the operative theme of the Triad.

I have a lengthy number of changes to customize AoW for Golarion; however, as my players read these boards I have mailed those details to you. Check your inbox.


In my conversions I did Zon-Kuthon, Urgathoa, and Lamashtu. Any clerics I did were given the Separatist Archetype so they could choose destruction or another domain as needed.

Taldor

Steel_Wind wrote:

Gyronna, Ghlaunder and Dahak. Each of these minor gods shares a portfolio of "destruction" - that's the operative theme of the Triad.

I have a lengthy number of changes to customize AoW for Golarion; however, as my players read these boards I have mailed those details to you. Check your inbox.

Don't suppose you could toss those my way as well?


Spire of Long Shadows is a death trap.

Chapter 3 is short on XP. I would suggest a side quest or altering the chapter so they level up correctly.
The good thing is that it is easier than the first two chapters so it gives the party some breathing room.

For the higher level boss fights I would ask other GM's if they have converted them to PF already. It will save you a lot of time and trouble.


Wow! Steel_Wind, you did a lot of work on your AoW game. Nice job!

Thank you for sharing.


@wraithstrike, thanks for the heads up!

@Cylyria & @tangible, thank you for the ideas. I will definitely check those out!

Andoran

Thanks for the kind words. I have mailed the outline of my major changes to those who requested them. If I missed somebody -- just post here or send me a private message and I will send them to you.

I cannot send you the electronic data files. I WILL try and post my new PFRPG stat blocks; however, I don't expect those to be in some condensed and usable form until the end of August.

A few general observations on converting the 3.5 version to PFRPG mechanically (as opposed to just story/plot changes)...

First off, you want the Paizo .PDF versions of the AoW AP. And yes, it makes a difference. The problem with working with the print version or a scan of the magazine articles is that all you have with either magazines or scans is an image of the page -- and you don't want that. You want the actual electronic data. Paizo's .PDF files were created from the export of the data and graphics that were used to create the actual magazine, and while the Dungeon PDF files are not as sophisticated as the Adventure Path .PDFs are now, they are still pretty good. You can block, copy and paste the text data from the PDF into MS Word so that you can work with it, reformat it, search and replace and so forth.

I have the original AoW magazines, but I still bought the AoW Dungeon issues in PDF form all over again when I decided to convert it to PFRPG earlier this year. It took me about ... 4 to 6 hours or so to go through all of the PDFs and copy paste the text into MS Word and half an hour or so per module to strip out most of the hard carriage returns left over from columnar formatting that I did not want in my text. It's a little tedious to do this, but after the first issue or two, you learn the process and it mechanically goes VERY fast and you zoom through it. As you do it, it also provides you a nice once over read through of the entire AP. You aren't reading for detail at this point, but it does get your creative juices flowing, as it were.

And as it happens, all of those .PDFs are now on sale. So you can grab all 12 issues of Dungeon in the Age of Worms for about $43.00 this month. The original online supplements to those issues of Dungeon remains available on Paizo's website along with the AoW Overload (be sure to get those files). All of that gives you the longest AP Paizo ever did -- and imo, the most heroic and world shaking AP Paizo ever did -- for about the cost of 2 issues of Pathfinder AP. It's a bargain.

After that, HeroLab is your best ally. It makes updating stat blocks and converting a 3.5 monster to PFRPG a mostly straightforward affair.

I did not do a completely faithful mechanical conversion to PFRPG in all cases. Some of the encounters and NPCs in AoW will benefit with some updating of the class selection to make your adventure seem more firmly rooted in Golarion and in Pathfinder RPG. By way of example, I changed the Faceless One in Three Faces of Evil from a male Wizard to a Female Tien 7th level White Haired Witch. I changed her two apprentices from Wizards to witches as well. I finished off my re-working of the Faceless One's lair by changing some of the Kenku to Tengu Ninjas. The god they served was, as noted previously, changed to Gyronna and the rebranding of that aspect of the Triad was complete.

Using Herolab (admittedly I have a full version of Herolab with all the expansion bells and whistles which helps a *lot*) this did not take me long to do. Half an hour, tops, and it was done.

Generally speaking, you also need to be aware of power creep in Pathfinder RPG. If you are using Ultimate Combat and Ultimate Magic at your table, you absolutely MUST ensure that your NPCs are using spells and items from these books. If you do not do this, your play balance is going to suffer for it -- and not just a little. Again -- Herolab is your friend. It's an awesome program and I highly recommend it.

The main problem with the original AoW is that it is too deeply rooted in Greyhawk lore. You need to surgically cut these elements out and rebrand them with Golarion-centric elements to make the AoW work. For example, you need to *completely* cut out the Wind Dukes of Aqaa and Mishka sub-plot and refocus the story on the AoW plot in its new Golarion form. I changed it in mine, flowed all of those elements it into the new focused plot and altered the Rod of Seven Parts to become The Runestaff. It all fits very nicely. A little bit of elbow grease and the alteration buffs right out so it fits seamlessly.

This is not as hard or as radical as it sounds. Golarion is mostly the love-child of Erik Mona and James Jacobs -- the same two creative minds behind the AoW. It is not surprising that the elements of Greyhawk they both loved was something they wanted to preserve and promote in their own game world. Accordingly, the AoW fits quite nicely into Golarion with a little bit of lubricant and some sanding here and buffing there.

Do all of the above and I am confident as all hell that you will find that your AoW campaign is the best AP for Golarion you will ever run. Yes, even better than Rise of the Runelords.

Taldor

Thank you very much for the outline. There are some very interesting ideas in there that I will have to ponder. I am gonna be finishing the first book this coming saturday, but I think it is still early enough to use a lot of what was in there. Thanks again!


Steel_Wind wrote:


I have the original AoW magazines, but I still bought the AoW Dungeon issues in PDF form all over again when I decided to convert it to PFRPG earlier this year. It took me about ... 4 to 6 hours or so to go through all of the PDFs and copy paste the text into MS Word and half an hour or so per module to strip out most of the hard carriage returns left over from columnar formatting that I did not want in my text. It's a little tedious to do this, but after the first issue or two, you learn the process and it mechanically goes VERY fast and you zoom through it. As you do it, it also provides you a nice once over read through of the entire AP. You aren't reading for detail at this point, but it does get your creative juices flowing, as it were.

I am actually done with my conversion through Issue 131 (8 out of 12 completed). Never thought to get the .pdf's as that would have saved me some time and I already do the same thing with the current APs (paste into a doc and making some changes helps when I run at home). I agree it helps a ton with getting acquainted with the AP as a whole.

The changes you made were great and I would love to see your stat block and creature changes if and when you get to that part.

Andoran

I think I've got a PM of the outline of changes (yes, there are quite a number of them) via PM to you all. If I missed anybody - post here or via PM and I'll make sure you get a copy.


I'm just about to start running this using Pathfinder, but keeping it Greyhawk. I am however interested in any stat block conversions that people have done. If anyone has any of that kind of thing, and is willing to share I'd be most appreciative.


My quick thoughts:

The last encounter in 'The Whispering Cairn' can be really deadly. Be careful with it. I wouldn't have the constructs chase fleeing PCs who are clearly trying to escape the area the constructs are guarding.

The second issue is a real meatgrinder as well, _especially_ the last encounter.

The third adventure (with the llzardmen) is really underwhelming, I suggest either subbing it out or greatly increasing their numbers.

The big boss in the 4th AP can easily cause a TPK if too many PCs fail will saves, too.

One last thing: It makes me cry to hear about someone not running this in Greyhawk. This is the ultimate Greyhawk AP!

Ken

Andoran

kenmckinney wrote:


One last thing: It makes me cry to hear about someone not running this in Greyhawk. This is the ultimate Greyhawk AP!

I've run it in Greyhawk and I'm now running it in Golarion. I honestly prefer it in Golarion.

Don't knock it if you haven't tried it.

Andoran

Steel_Wind wrote:

I think I've got a PM of the outline of changes (yes, there are quite a number of them) via PM to you all. If I missed anybody - post here or via PM and I'll make sure you get a copy.

I'd love a copy!

Taldor

Here are several threads that will help make book 3 even better

Blackwall-Keep-3D-Extravaganza

Modifying-the-Adv-Path-The-Battle-of-Blackwall

Ilthane-appearance-in-Encounter-at-Blackwall

Blackwall-Keep-Plot-Tweakings

These 4 threads gave me a ton of great ideas to use for my campaign


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Steel_Wind wrote:
kenmckinney wrote:


One last thing: It makes me cry to hear about someone not running this in Greyhawk. This is the ultimate Greyhawk AP!

I've run it in Greyhawk and I'm now running it in Golarion. I honestly prefer it in Golarion.

Don't knock it if you haven't tried it.

I've been enjoying it in FR, whilst ignoring the FR conversion notes and plopping it on the other side of the map, for a few years now as a PBEM.

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