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Pathfinder Traits in Age of Worms


Age of Worms Adventure Path

Andoran

I was reading this thread --> I am a hyperlink <-- and got to thinking...

I was wondering if anyone had created a list of campaign traits like the ones that appear in the APs now for the folks that want to run Age of Worms, either in Golarion or the Greyhawk in all but name default setting.

It wouldn't be too hard to adapt the ones above but I was wondering if anyone had already done this.

Andoran

EATERoftheDEAD wrote:

I was reading this thread --> I am a hyperlink <-- and got to thinking...

I was wondering if anyone had created a list of campaign traits like the ones that appear in the APs now for the folks that want to run Age of Worms, either in Golarion or the Greyhawk in all but name default setting.

It wouldn't be too hard to adapt the ones above but I was wondering if anyone had already done this.

I created several custom traits for my current campaign based upon the PCs known race and character classes, but not a complete list for all player characters.

I suppose I couly do one up. It's relatively trivial work. I'll see if I can get to it this weekend.

Andoran

I started one based a little on the traits in the existing AP Player's Guides and the Occupations in d20 Modern for the game we were discussing in the other thread I started but I wasn't sure if someone else had made some already that I could jack and mutilate. I'll whip something up based on Hagen's work and see what folks think.

Out of curiosity, how long did it take you to run Age of Worms when you did it before?

Andoran

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Here are the ten traits from the link above converted to be on par with the APG traits and be setting neutral. In all honesty, they seem a tad too generic and thus not of the same caliber of the AP Campaign Traits in my opinion.

For courtesy's sake, the large post is behind the spoiler space.

Spoiler:

Arcane Upbrining
You were raised by those well versed in the ways of arcane magic . Your interest and exposure has granted you more knowledge and ability than others.
Benefit: You gain a +2 bonus on two of the following skills: Bluff, Intimidate, Knowledge (arcana), Knowledge (history), Spellcraft, Use Magic Device.
Secret: Descended from the Green Lady.

Cairn Seeker
You come from a long line of treasure seekers and cairn hunters.
Benefit: Your familiarity with tombs gives you a +1 dodge bonus to AC and a +1 bonus to reflex saves against traps.
Secret: Character's ancestor discovered and died in the Whispering Cairn.

Child of the Marsh
You grew up in the Mistmarsh among the marshmen.
Benefit: You gain a +2 bonus on all swim and survival checks.
Secret: Marshmen tribe killed by Twisted Branch tribe.

Creature of Darkness
Your time spent working in the mines of Diamond Lake has accustomed your eyes to the darkness and made you hardier, but your health has suffered for it.
Benefit: You gain low-light vision. If you already have low-light vision, you instead gain darkvision 60 ft. If you already have darkvision, the range of your darkvision increases by 30 ft.
Secret: Character works in Dourstone's mine.

Dragon Slayer
Your father was a renowned dragon slayer. Two years ago he set out eastwards after a black dragon which was sighted near the Mistmarsh. A few weeks later his body, stripped of valuables and covered with acid, was found by a patrol from Blackwall Keep.
Benefit: You receive a +2 morale bonus to all attacks and damage rolls against dragons.
Secret: Father was killed by Ilthane.

Noble Blood
You were born into a line of noble blood. Over the years, your family lost all of its wealth and power, until destitution forced it to relocate to Diamond Lake. However, you have never forgotten your noble heritage and tend to look down on the common folk.
Benefit: You start play with a masterwork melee weapon of your choice and you also gain a +2 bonus to charisma checks made to influence nobles.
Secret: Balabar Smenk responsible for his family's recent financial problems.

Planetouched
You are descended from a lawful outsider.
Benefit: Regardless of your actual alignment, spells and spell-like abilities with the law descriptor treat you as if your alignment were lawful. Magic items are similarly fooled.
Secret: Vaati ancestor.

Refugee
Your family came to Diamond Lake during a recent political upheval to escape the horrors of war and pestilence. The hardships you have suffered have strengthened your resolve, but have also made you resent those responsible.
Benefit: You gain a +1 bonus on will saves.
Secret: Family comes from Alhaster.

Scholarly Upbringing
You have grown up well read with an appreciation for legends and lore of the past.
Benefit: You gain the Bardic Knowledge ability of a level 1 bard. If you’re already a bard, you gain a +2 bonus to your bardic knowledge checks.
Secret: Descended from the Order of the Storm.

Touched by Madness
Some people think you’re eccentric. Others think you’re a little crazy.
Benefit: Your mind is disorganized and chaotic. You gain a +2 bonus on all saving throws against mind-affecting effects, save for those effects that cause confusion or insanity.
Secret: Character receives periodic visions of the Age of Worms.

Andoran

I think it was about 35-40 sessions to get the end of The Spire of Long Shadows, which is where we ended it due to my foolishly letting the power curve get completely out of control by allowing WAY too many WotC splat books into the game. They slapped down the Harbinger like he was a little b$*@+. The Knights of Kyuss were mere annoyances (hey had death ward up).

I know that the campaign was about 13 to 14 months long or so in total, but there were many missed session in there so it was not every week, It's difficult to say at this stage but 35-40 sessions is about right.

Typically, our sessions on a Saturday start between 5:00-6:00 p.m. and run to about 11:00 with an our or so for supper. Sometimes it would go as late as 1:00 a.m.. I'm just trying to give you the general rule. Calling the majority of them five hour sessions would not be wrong.

Andoran

So roughly 60 sessions or 300 hours to complete the campaign probably. That sounds about on par with the time it took us to finish Shackled City. I was curious how long it might take. I'm wondering if the increased power levels of PF characters would change that at all.

Andoran

Well - I think it depends.

Everybody's approach to running an AP is different. In particular, when it comes to Age of Worms, you will find that you will need to provide extra XP opportunities to the players at a few stages of the campaign so the players hit the right power level curve. These additions are easy to add-in organically to your campaign, but they are necessary and are not reflected in your 60 session calculation. I also think that those XP holes are particularly large at levels 18-20. And high level combat encounters can take a VERY LONG time to play.

I also think that many groups' play styles differ dramatically. For example, when I ran Age of Worms for my local group, they went through some sections much faster than the podcast crew tends to play. While it's a sweeping generalization, I think it would be fair to say that my local group is more tactical in its play style, while the podcast players who are largely based in the SF Bay area are comparatively more role-play centric in a lot of their play styles. I think that extra RP time adds quite a bit to campaign length.

Lastly, adding in material and role-play and combat opportunities on the fly is, imo, vital to making ANY AP "be all it can be". As we were discussing in Episode 018 of the podcast, while what any particular GM adds in to his or her campaign will vary according to the degree that his or her own players "go off script" -- it's necessary to recognize that every group WILL (and indeed, should) "go off script". The longer an AP is, the more it will got off script. Letting the players decide how the campaign develops in accordance with their own choices will impact on what gets added and what gets ignored.

My expectation is that 80-90, 4-to-5 hour sessions should see the campaign to its conclusion when pursuing a more fulsome approach to a complete AP campaign when using the FAST XP track on PFRPG. So I would budget 400 hours, not 300 -- but that's me. Everybody's play style is different. For your group, 300 might do it.

Andoran

Very true. I tend to encourage more RP time and don't use minis so combats move along much faster. My players have a bad habit of losing focus (well only two of them really) but they all tend to stay 'on the rails' no matter how much I've tried to give them a sandbox. if there is a hook they will follow it like bloodhounds. Of course, I do have a couple new players so the dynamic may change.

Shackled City took probably 300ish hours to finish. I ran a game that went from 1st to 25th and that was probably 300 hours but there were only three players and no casters. Dragonlance Chronicles took probably 150 hours or so but that was 2E and we all know how fast that system moved along combat-wise. I'm curious to see how PF deals with high level play.

When I run games I tend to hand out levels at set points during the game so XP droughts aren't a bad thing for me really and it encourages more roleplaying and less seeking out fights just for the XP. This also speeds up play and story progression considerably. However, I was thinking of adapting an old 2E rules module about character trees, where each player makes three characters and can swap out between chapters. Whenever the active character gains a level then a level is given to one of the other characters in the tree. However, that really only works if XP is being handed out and of course I don't know how well it would fly with the tighter power curve of 3+ editions.

When I did out all the math for encounters considering a 3.5 progression it looked like Prince of Redhand was really low in XP and then Spire of Long Shadows had those infamously deadly encounters that dumped XP on the party like crazy. I'll be adding the Tolstoff stuff from Elder Evils/Exemplars of Evil but where are there other dry spots that could be filled?

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