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Things you've changed, and things you should have. [Spoilers]


Rise of the Runelords

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I've done this same topic for Jade Regent, and figured it would be fitting to make a version of it for RotRL. I'm interested in knowing what people have changed in the AP (and why), and what things you ran as-written but now feel like you should have done differently.

For me, there's 2 major things so far:

First of all, I kept Lonjiku alive at the glassworks. I felt that he's too good as an unlikable character to simply have him show up once, be a jerk, and then wind up dead, so I had Tsuto encase all of him but his head in glass, while being careful to keep him alive throughout the process. Essentially I made Tsuto's motivation for keeping his father alive the hope that he could "convert" Ameiko so that he and his sister could kill their father together. When the PCs arrived Tsuto still hadn't quite given up on the hope that Ameiko would turn to his side, so Lonjiku was still alive. I plan to have Lonjiku play a potential part later in the adventure during the giant raid on Sandpoint.

***

Second, I'm planning to massively expand the raid on Sandpoint by Mokmurian's giants. I've picked out and statted up 8 NPCs from the Sandpoint gazetteer (Belor Hemolock, Veznutt Parooh, Niska Mvashti, Jubrayl Vhiski, Kaye Teserani, Abstalar Zantus, Gavin Derevin, and Ameiko Kaijitsu herself, whose stats I simply took from Jade Regent rather than stat her up myself), and will be randomly assigning 2 NPCs to each player. At various points during the battle, I plan to cut to the various NPCs for a short encounter (Belor getting a few rounds to fight Longtooh, Veznutt using illusions to aid some guards in fighting a stone giant, Ameiko protecting her father from an Ogre, etc.) to show the players that they're not the only ones doing things in the heat of this massive battle.

I also levelled up, or changed the levels of a few of those NPCs to better fit the encounters I had planned for them:
--Belor Hemlock got changed to a 7th level Fighter, having leveled up thrice since the start of the adventure.
--Veznutt Parooh got changed from a Wizard 2/Expert 4 to a reclusive Wizard [Illusionist] 7/Expert 1.
--Abstalar Zantus got changed to a 5th level Cleric, having leveled up once since the start of the adventure.
--And finallly Gavin Derevin got changed from a Paladin 2/Expert 3 to a Paladin 7/Fighter 2, becoming the highest-level NPC in Sandpoint, but being a bit depressive over the loss of his brother, and oblivious to calls for aid because of that depression (hence why the PCs were the ones dealing with trouble in the early books).

The other four NPCs; Ameiko Kaijitsu, Niska Mvashti, Jubrayl Vhiski, and Kaye Teserani I kept as the levels presented in the Sandpoint Gazetteer, though I gave them some neat tricks (Niska has the Leadership feat, with her daughter Koya as a cohort, Jubrayl has lackeys, though not actual cohorts, and Kaye fights all her possible encounters alongside a trio of NPC barbarian bouncers from her brothel).


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Pawns Subscriber

I didn't give Malfeshnekor Blink as a pre-combat buff, because I thought it was just too cheesy and over-the-top.

He got whupped. Bad.

So that's a thing I wish I hadn't changed. He looked insanely tough for four 4th-level characters, but barbarians with 2-handed weapons and paladins smiting evil cut right through that DR.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Gluttony, I am TOTALLY stealing this idea regarding the giants attack on Sandpoint when we get to it.

I made a few changes...

In Burnt Offerings, I changed the map of the Catacombs a bit. The shrine to Lamashtu seems to dead-end, but there's a secret door (DC 30 to detect) that leads into the Temple of Avarice and Lesser Runewell. Mainly, I wanted the party to go through the whole dungeon rather than waltzing straight to the boss battle. There was also a secret door in the "floor" of the spherical 0-gravity Scribbler's Room, that leads to a passage that connects to a trap door in the floor of a closet off the Temple. The secret door that leads back to the Shrine is easily visible from that side. Also, the only way into the Catacombs is via the storeroom-- the other entrances were never broken through.

After the PCs' first assault on Thistletop, they were chased out of the goblin lair. While the party was licking its wounds back at Sandpoint, Nualia and Lyrie used animate dead and lesser animate dead to create a whole bunch of goblin zombies to thwart another assault by the PCs. (I made Nualia a 6th-level cleric, and changed Lyrie to a 5th-level necromancer, so they had access to a lot of undead-making magic.) Oh, and Lyrie trapped the entrance to the third level of Thistletop with explosive runes, and Nualia used a blast glyph of warding on the entrance to the chamber she was in.

I wrote a segue adventure between Burnt Offerings and Skinsaw Murders that involved the mayor of Sandpoint hiring a team of dwarven miners to collapse the smuggling tunnels. Unfortunately, Jubryal Vishki's Sczarni had an operation in progress that was using the tunnels to bring in shipments of greenblood oil and flayleaf while the dwarves were there, and a fight broke out that left one dwarf and two Sczarni dead. The party investigated, which led back to Vishki. When they broke into his office, they found him murdered and mutilated... with a 7-pointed star carved into his chest and a note to the party paladin pinned to him!

Then there was the subplot of a faceless stalker killing one PC off-camera and replacing him (with the cooperation of the player, of course), and the party finding the corpse of that PC in the Catacombs... with the stalker-in-disguise still with the party!

As a subplot, the party barbarian continued to see Katrine Vindler (the subject of the Shopkeep's Daughter plot in Burnt Offerings), but she broke it off publicly in the Rusty Dragon, telling the barbarian that she was leaving him for Banny Harker, who could provide her with a much more stable income, and was less likely to end up dead. [FORESHADOWING!] Of course, when both of them turn up dead, Sheriff Hemlock comes knocking on the barbarian's door-- because everyone knows what happens when a barbarian gets angry!

I also ran a subplot between Misgivings and Magnimar-- the party was waylaid by the remains of the Redshiv Bilger's gang. They defeated the gang, and turned the prisoners over to the guards in Magnimar. The party was then called to testify in an arraignment presided by one Justice Ironbriar. Later, he summoned the party to his office, ostensibly to talk about the case against the Bilger Gang, but really because he'd learned that they had discovered Foxglove's apartment and wanted to find out why. They told him they were chasing down the Skinsaw Man murders, and then he tried to feed them misinformation implicating the Sczarni gang The Gallowed as followers of a demon cult. He tried to get them to investigate The Gallowed-- which would have hopefully (for him) elimated both the Gallowed and this party, but they smelled a rat and didn't take the bait.

I ran a full session of the PCs playing tourists in Magnimar, starting with the Aquaretum, and the highlight being the Mayor's Menagerie. That was both unexpected and totally improvised. I really wish the book Magnimar: City of Monuments had been published when I ran that. To this day, when the party encounters something disturbing, one of them asks, "Um, can we maybe go to the zoo instead?"

I had planned to segue from Skinsaw Murders to a heavily modified version of Expedition to Castle Ravenloft, so I changed many of Xanesha's minions from faceless stalkers to vampire spawn, and I made her a 9th level Varisian vampire. After we completed it, though, I decided that I liked Runelords better, and continued with Hook Mountain Massacre. I had the party find a letter from Lucretia to Xanesha in the clocktower, pointing them to Turtleback Ferry. (A plot addition that Paizo added to the Anniversary Edition!)

As a side-quest, I ran a version of the PFS scenario, King Xeros of Old Azlant, set in Magnimar. Write up here.

We played the overland journey from Magnimar to Turtleback Ferry, and there were a couple of wandering monster encounters, plus some unplanned and improvised encounters in the gnome village of Sipplerose. I've run Hook Mountain Massacre pretty much straight, with a couple of changes with the Graul Farm encounter. I upped the rating to NC-17 and described some sexual abuse of the Black Arrows. I also made Vale Temros to be female-- but the Graul boys were abusing Kaven when the PCs entered the barn ("You got a purty mouth! Lemme hear ya squeal like a pig, boy!")

The party has just finished the combat encounters in Fort Rannick. I'm planning to add some non-combat traps or other deranged weirdness to the exploration of the fort for the next session, as they pretty much blitzed through it to keep their buff spells up.

[Note: The fight with Lucretia went much better for the party than I'd expected, mainly because the wizard successfully counterspelled three of her spells in a row (the last two of which were dimension door to try to escape), and then the barbarian successfully scored a critical hit for 99 points of damage, when she still had 80 hp!]


Definitely going to be stealing your idea Gluttony.


Wow, multiple people like my ideas? Hmm, perhaps I'll write up the additions I made and share them then...


Please do!

I love the idea of Jubrayl sneaking into the Valdemar estate during the raid.

I plan on statting out Kendra Deverin and having her, Ethram Valdemar and Titus Scarnetti in council during the raid. Thus, they are grouped together for one such NPC-scene.

Not sure what to do with Abstalar. Maybe have him leading a group of townsfolk to safety... when maybe a giant shows up, just in time for Belor to arrive. He is able to fight it just long enough to delay it from pursuing the townsfolk. Would be a climatic point to switch back to the PCs (Belor reaching negative hit points; of course he won't die, but the players don't have to know that).

I'd love to know what all you've got written up/played through.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

I am about halfway through book 5 and have not changed anything other than adding a few bad guys here and there.

Other than adding extra mooks i have no plans on changing a thing.

Oh, well I guess I added some of the player made stuff in Burnt Offerings adding some of the games to the festival and added the Chopper Island adventure. I also added a little crypt under the graveyard with a Thassilionian Mummy and some Ghouls in it. So I guess I added more than i though.


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Detect Magic wrote:

Please do!

I love the idea of Jubrayl sneaking into the Valdemar estate during the raid.

I plan on statting out Kendra Deverin and having her, Ethram Valdemar and Titus Scarnetti in council during the raid. Thus, they are grouped together for one such NPC-scene.

Not sure what to do with Abstalar. Maybe have him leading a group of townsfolk to safety... when maybe a giant shows up, just in time for Belor to arrive. He is able to fight it just long enough to delay it from pursuing the townsfolk. Would be a climatic point to switch back to the PCs (Belor reaching negative hit points; of course he won't die, but the players don't have to know that).

I'd love to know what all you've got written up/played through.

My favourite of the possible events I've made for Abstalar is this one (Note that reference to Card #7 is in relation to the system I used to randomly determine which player controls which NPC, it's essentially a random distribution of 8 cards, 2 to each player. Abstalar was the NPC on card #7. Also note that I included a small number of ogres in the attack, as most of these NPCs are too low-level to handle stone giants. The PCs aren't`intended to get directly involved with any of the ogres in the attack, only the NPCs do so.):

Quote:

Abstalar & 3 Acolytes vs. 1 Ogre (coincides with MILL POND)

As Abstalar and his acolytes tend to the sick at the Sandpoint cathedral (working in the stone half of the cathedral that wasn’t burned down by dragon fire), an ogre barges in through the front doors! The high-priest and his aides aren't the greatest of fighters, but they know they're likely the only ones around with any chance of protecting the unconscious patients at all. Abstalar quickly sends one acolyte off to get help while he and the other 3 acolytes (see GMG, "acolyte", change alignment to CG & domains to chaos and good, and remove all weapons) confront the ogre.

Creatures:

Abstalar should be controlled by the player who drew card #7 while the acolytes, patients, and ogre are controlled by the GM.
The acolytes move to use their touch of chaos ability, and hostile spells on the ogre, though they are wary about actually blocking the monster’s way. If even one of them dies, the other two flee. If Abstalar is defeated, they all flee.

This particular ogre switches out its martial weapon proficiency (greatclub) and weapon focus (greatclub) feats for improved unarmed strike, and weapon focus (unarmed strike) respectively. It moves in a set goal between 4 patients, going between each patient in a predetermined order (Savah > Ilsoari > Sabyl > Titus). It spends a round moving to a patient, a round picking him or her up to examine (automatic grapple), and a round bludgeoning them against the floor (treat as a coup de grace with an unarmed strike if the victim is unconscious, and as an automatic critical hit (but without the coup de grace’s save vs. death) if they are conscious). If the ogre is prevented from doing what it was attempting to do on any given round, it tries again next round (unless a patient escapes its grasp, in which case it moves on to the next one next round).

At the end of the 12th round, the town guard arrives and the ogre turns its attention to them, ending the event. It is assumed that the guardsmen manage to kill the ogre.

Patients:

The four patients that the ogre examines and attacks are in different conditions, and can potentially help fight back against the ogre if they are healed. Of the four, Abstalar knows relatively how injured the patients are relative to each other (Sabyl being in the worst condition, followed by Ilsoari, then Titus, with Savah in the best condition) but is only aware that Savah Bevaniky has any fighting ability.

1st – Savah Bevaniky, NG female human Fighter 2 Rogue 1 (Currently unconscious at 0/29 hp, dies when hp reaches -16. Savah wakes up when grappled and is thus not helpless or subject to coup de grace. She attempts to escape grapple and then moves to get a torch from a sconce in the wall, using it as a weapon against the ogre [torches deal 1d4 bludgeoning plus 1 fire, and are simple light weapons])

2nd – Ilsoari Gandethus, LN male human Wizard 4 Rogue 2 (Currently unconscious but stable at -4/20 hp, dies when hp reaches -9. Ilsoari had his spellbook confiscated by sheriff Hemlock due to his specialty in Necromancy and the recent ghoul outbreak, and is missing his spell components, but he can still prepare certain spells, and cast them if he is healed thanks to his spell mastery and eschew materials feats, and the spell-like abilities granted by his rogue talents)

3rd – Sabyl Sorn, LN female human Monk 4 (Currently unconscious but stable at -11/24 hp, dies when hp reaches -12. Sabyl takes an extra round to get her bearings before joining combat against the ogre)

4th – Titus Scarnetti, LN male human Aristocrat 6 (Currently conscious and resting at 0/27 hp, dies when hp reaches -10. Titus expects others to defend him, and thus makes no attempt to flee unless healed. If healed, he flees to another room and does nothing to help in combat)

Development:

The results of this event are likely somewhat ambiguous. If all the patients and acolytes survive it’s a definitely success, and if all the patients die it’s a failure. If some die and some live, which is likely, the outcome will likely feel mixed. Regardless of the outcome however, any NPC who survives this encounter survives the raid

I plan to stat up the 4 patients for this event, but haven't gotten around to it yet. The 4 patients are all from the sandpoint gazetteer however; Savah runs Savah's Armory, Sabyl runs the House of Blue Stones, Ilsoari runs the Turandarok Academy, and Titus is of course the head of the Scarnetti family. For extra impact, make sure the PCs have met some or all of these NPCs earlier, so that the players will care more about their fates.


That's pretty cool. Do you have Abstalar statted out for that encounter?

Also, have you considered allowing the players to take on the role of some of the monsters during the raid? That might be pretty fun.


I do. I made him a 5th level, standard cleric with his spells prepared mostly around healing and beneficial spells, but with a few damage-dealing options.

I've considered letting other players take control of minor NPCs when one of their teammates' NPCs gets their encounter (such as controlling the acolytes or patients in this one), but I've not considered an encounter in which the player controls a monster. It's a neat idea, but I've already got my setup (8 NPCs, with all of their potential encounters planned) and I like it. I don't really want to cut any of my NPCs from the list, so I'll likely avoid letting the monsters be taken control of.


Haladir, would you please elaborate on the Jubrayl Vhiski sidequest? Given that one of my PCs is a former/redeemed Sczarni cleric of Sarenrae that actively opposes the group, that sort of thing could be really useful.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Rune wrote:
Haladir, would you please elaborate on the Jubrayl Vhiski sidequest? Given that one of my PCs is a former/redeemed Sczarni cleric of Sarenrae that actively opposes the group, that sort of thing could be really useful.

That played out in Sessions 22 and 23 of my campaign. At the time, I still had time in my personal life to do a full session log write-up, so you can read the logs at my campaign journal site at Obsidian Portal:

Session 22

Session 23

Note that a good chunk of it was written specifically for my party and the characters' back stories.

Cheliax

Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

Nice thread! I am just preparing now for a 6x PC AE campaign -- my first AP to run. Anyone know of an equally interesting thread on PC backgrounds or tie-ins to the AP? Some might involve modifying the AP itself so I was not sure if my questions were appropriate for this threat.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'd been contemplating running Carnival of Tears between Hook Mountain Massacre and Fortressof the Stone Giants, but I think I'm going to run a heavily modified version of Seven Swords of Sin instead. I'm going to use a running NPC foil as the antagonist. The NPC is a former PC whose player had to resign from the campaign, and I've used her as a recurring foil.

I'm planning to use the outline presented in a two-year-old thread about this possibility.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I think I've hammered out my plans for the next parts of my campaign...

The party is in Hook Mountain Massacre currently. The just successfully completed Chapter 3: "Down Comes The Rain."

My players really like combat, so I am going to add two combat encounters to the moody and brooding exploration of Whitewillow: one encounter with a pair of will-o-wisps that try to lure the party into a murky pool infested with leech swarms, and a second encounter with a corrupted now-carnivorous unicorn with Druid levels.

Chapter 5 will play normally, but the note to Barl Breaknones from Mokmourian doesn't yet hint at an attack on Sandpoint. Instead, it refers to an agent who's charged with recovering an ancient sword that will be used to rally more giants to the cause, hinting that the sword may be in Magnimar.

The party travels to Magnimar, and trace the sword to the museum in Magnimar, where there's been a break-in, and the sword is missing. Also investigating are the Pathfinders, and Venture-Captain Heidmarch contacts the party, offering the assistance of the Society in exchange for some assistance at Heidmarch Manor. We'll then play a modified version of the PFS Scenario The Golemworks Incident. After that, Heidmarch fills the party in on the collection of Thassilonian swords, many of which are now missing. She also offers membership into the Socitey. From there, it's off to Kaer Maga for a modified version of Seven Swords of Sin.


Great thread!

I've added in tons. Easier to do because we don't use XP, I just follow the levelling suggestions. Most of the stuff I've added has been side-questy, and based on PC background.

Burnt Offerings:
Right after the Swallowtail festival, the wizard went straight to Quink for info on Thassilon, his passion, which led to an ancient ruin full of non-magical books - and monsters.

Then we followed the adventure up until Thistlepoint, when the wizard charmed Kendra Deverin into declaring a martial law type situation, giving the deputised PCs great control over the town for a short while.

After Thistletop, the Shoanti paladin needed to go looking for a lost kinsman, leading to an adventure in the Brinestump with lizardfolk, a green gag, and an ancient Thassilonian tomb with mummies and a +2 headband.

Skinsaw Murders:
Before heading off to Magnimar, the party encountered Vhiski, who was actually plotting with the party wizard. The wizard left the party, Vhiski got arrested but escaped, and off they went.

In Magnimar, the ranger's Hellknight parents have been trying to find their runaway daughter, leading to much hiding from the Hellknights. Also, Vhiski put out a contract on the party, leading to "random" Sczarni attacks.

After defeating the lamia matriarch, the feast at Haldmeer's was attended by the ranger's Hellknight parents, but also crashed by daemon's hunting the dwarf cleric of Irori. These daemon's are actually allies of Karzoug's, as the cleric holds in his body one of the magical keys to Karzoug's prison, though he doesn't know it (this player gave me great liberty to fill in the mysterious details of his backstory - he said his character belonged to a secretive order that had pretty much forgotten their raison d'être, but he knew he was one of the special ones because he was so sickly - a condition I've eecided is caused by the magical key). So I'm assuming the dwarf will live to the end, and be a primary target of Karzoug's in the final battle.

Whew!

And there's a half-Orc sorcerer whose backstory has not yet come into play.

But I'm totally taking your idea for the battle of Sandpoint, Gluttony!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Well, we just played "The Haunted Heart" last night, and it didn't go as we'll as I'd hoped. I tried to re-create the mood of brooding horror I'd successfully done in Skinsaw Murders, but my players just weren't into it-- constantly cracking jokes, making really bad puns, and trying to engage both their pixie guide and Myriana herself into tangential, meaningless lighthearted conversations. The party didn't fall for the Will-o-wisp encounter I wrote, and the horrific evil unicorn never even got to act (two fireballs and a flame strike took it out before it got to act!)

If I were to run Runelords again, I'd probably just skip this chapter, at least with my players.


These are all great ideas guys thanks! I have only made it to the battle at Fort Rannick and I don't have my notes in front of me so I can't tell you everything I did so I will just give some examples of some classes I changed. I made Tsuto into a Zen Archer/Sniper who escaped jail in Sandpoint and popped some urban sniper/gorilla warfare at them in Magnimar from some pretty far distances before they finally caught up to him in the woods outside of Turtleback Ferry. I made Mammy Graul into a Witch thinking that a gross inbred blob would be more likely to get her magic from outside sources than studying spellbooks. I made Dorella Kreeg an Undead Sorcerer based on the comment that she received her magical ability from a near death head wound...this isn't a huge deal but I like the idea of the Grasp of the Dead ability bursting through the floor all poltergeist style. That is all I can think of at the moment.


I didn't want to use the Skinsaw Cultists as written because 1) I only had 3 minis, so I didn't want to do 4 at a time in waves, and 2) I wanted them to feel like a competent murderer cult, and therefore actually hit the PCs without needing to roll 20s.

So! I reduced the 13 cultists to just 5. I added rogue levels to make them cleric 1/rogue 5. I gave them the knife master archetype, and allowed it to work with war razors (hopefully not an abuse of power -- war razors have the same stats as a dagger, after all, and it could be considered not to be listed in the Knife Master description since the War Razor is a campaign setting item), and the Gang Up feat. Because there are fewer masks needed, this afforded me more loot, and I got a belt of dexterity for each cultist.

I replaced Justice Ironbriar's levels in Cleric with Inquisitor, Preacher archetype. The PCs gave advance warning of their arrival, so he was able to cast Invisibility on 3 of the cultists and Silence on one of them, and sent them ahead to sneak up on the PCs.

Justice Ironbriar had 2 cultists with him. I gave him a good amount of buff spells known, and a +1/Agile sword accompanied with good dex (I might have kept his stats the same, in fact). He did not benefit from Cat's Grace or whatever the other spell was. Those spells aren't on his list, and potions wouldn't last long enough.

The end result challenged my party. Be warned if you decide to do this, a gang of 3 cultists built like this do massive sneak attack damage, and can all be standing abreast to do so because of Gang Up. My party managed pretty well due to the fighter having Shield Other up, sharing damage with the cleric (the cultists had no time to position more optimally, with Silence ticking down). The fighter might have gone down, if it weren't for that. So, this can be unexpectedly powerful! But take one cultist down, and it ruins Gang Up, so it's not too overpowering.


Additionally, I added Lyrie back, better than ever. The party had captured her in Thistletop (she gave up immediately after being blinded). Since the AP establishes that Sandpoint sends criminals off to Magnimar, that is what happened. Ironbriar let her out. I suppose she technically didn't commit any crimes anyway, but it's easier just to let Ironbriar manipulate the system. They knew each other slightly. I don't recall if Lyrie actually had ties to the Skinsaw Cult, but I made an on-the-spot "yes, minor ties" when the party was interrogating her way back in Burnt Offerings, so if that's not by-the-book, note that as another thing I changed.

Anyway, I had changed her from a generalist to a metal school specialist back in Burnt Offerings (not a great school, but had what I wanted at the time), so I of course maintained that for The Skinsaw Murders. I gave her enough levels to be level 8, a new spellbook but no other gear, and had Ironbriar tasking her with protecting his love, Xanesha. I removed the two faceless stalkers in the clock tower (because the modification of the cultists, removal of the two faceless stalkers, and addition of Lyrie was a net loss in 200 XP or so, as I wanted to remain about where the adventure is in XP terms).

In any event, I had assumed she'd get stomped by the party, but not before providing for a significant annoyance factor with battlefield control spells and buffs for her and Xanesha. But she escaped after being dropped off the tower (always keep that Feather Fall handy). So it appears I must add her into some encounter later down the line! Not sure where, though. I'm thinking with Barl, as Lucrecia is likely too proud to accept the help from another arcanist.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I've just completed re-working Part 5 of Hook Mountain Massacre, "Harrowing the Hook", which I'll start running later this week.

I'll preface this by saying that my party pretty much steamrollers the encounters as written. I thought that was mainly because I'd been running a 6-PC party, but two of my players resigned 5 sessions ago. [Nothing bad-- they had moved such that they were now an hour's drive away, and decided that they didn't want to be getting home after midnight on a weeknight any more.] The two former PCs volunteered to help man Fort Rannick, and haven't been with the party for Chapter 3 at all, but the remaining 4 PCs still aren't being challenged very much by the module as-written. [Honestly, I have really effective players!]

I'm expecting the PCs to go to Fort Rannick before hiking up Hook Mountain to see if Jakardos and Vale have any advice-- If they ask, they will get a map that will give them a +4 on Survival checks to find the clanhold. I also expect the PCs to ask for volunteers to help them with the attack, and I'm planning to have the two former PCs go with them if they do.

So-- what I'm changing...

On the journey...

Spoiler:
...they'll be attacked by three fire drakes.

Area D2

Spoiler:
Entrance

I'm adding a big concealed spiked pit trap near the entrance, although I fully expect our rogue with the +20 Perception to notice it.

Area D3

Spoiler:
The Rune-Bound King

The dead rune giant's glaive is a gargantuan +1 glaive, worth a good amount to a collector. Of course, it's 40 feet long and weighs 80 lbs...

Area D6

Spoiler:
Clanhold
I've re-worked the Ogre Taskmaster to be a whip specialist, and will use the whip to try to trip the PCs so the regular ogres will be able to make short work of them.

I've added another room off the northern tunnel from the main den: former slave and animal pens, that are now the ogres' sleeping quarters now that the main clanhold is a weapons foundry. I've put 6 more normal ogres, plus one 5th level ogre ranger who's tending his pet advanced giant owlbear. He'll release the beast to attack the party, then join the fray himself.

Area D7

Spoiler:
Circle of Sisters

The hag coven also has animated two ogre corpses into fast zombies, to run interference so that the coven can possibly get a couple of spells off. There's also a wand the party can find in a pile of offal.

Area D8

Spoiler:
Abandoned Shrine

The abandoned shrine to Lamashtu is now under an unhallow effect. I changed Lamatar to a cairn wight, and gave him a +1 frost two-handed sword. I also added two other cairn wight 4th-level rangers (also former Black Arrows), all of whom still wear the tattered remains of their uniforms. The party will be able to tell which one is Lamatar by his military insignia. (He's a colonel.)There's also some treasure-- the three eyes of the image of Lamashtu are large garnets, and there are three fairly high-level spell scrolls in a hidden compartment in the altar.

Area D9

Spoiler:
As The Dread Kings of Old

I've added the animated corpse of Barl's slain bodyguard as a stone giant zombie. I've also added the ogre 7th-level priestess of Lamashtu. I had planned for Lucrecia to be there, but they killed her at Fort Rannick and burned the corpse in a funeral pyre.

I'll let you know how it plays out!


I allowed Malfeshnekor to leave his prison once the arcane lock was opened. I hadn't realized there was a permanent binding spell in place, so I assumed that once the door was open he was free to escape.

My players have since read up on the encounter and have brought this to my attention. So, I've decided that "in my world" the binding spell had been weakened over the centuries. When the party entered the prison, the spell finally failed.

After failing to charm the party's paladin, Malfeshnekor realized he could leave... used dimension door to pass through the portal of greed, activated invisibility sphere in the following round and made his way out of the dungeon (though, he had to move at half speed due to squeezing).

The party has vowed to track him down and put and end to him. I think I will have him rally the remaining goblin tribes in the area to attack Sandpoint.

Thus, book two will have to be delayed.


Detect Magic wrote:

I allowed Malfeshnekor to leave his prison once the arcane lock was opened. I hadn't realized there was a permanent binding spell in place, so I assumed that once the door was open he was free to escape.

My players have since read up on the encounter and have brought this to my attention. So, I've decided that "in my world" the binding spell had been weakened over the centuries. When the party entered the prison, the spell finally failed.

After failing to charm the party's paladin, Malfeshnekor realized he could leave... used dimension door to pass through the portal of greed, activated invisibility sphere in the following round and made his way out of the dungeon (though, he had to move at half speed due to squeezing).

The party has vowed to track him down and put and end to him. I think I will have him rally the remaining goblin tribes in the area to attack Sandpoint.

Thus, book two will have to be delayed.

And the magic of happy mistakes continues :)


In book one, the party captured Tsuto, Orik and Lyrie, so I had the party called as witnesses at their trial. Which was presided over by Ironbriar. Tsuto was sentenced to life in prison, and was sprung by Ironbriar to join his cult (did I mention the fact that I had Ironbriar be Tsuto's real father?). Orik was sentenced to the Black Arrows, and the party was paid to escort the "prisoner" to the fort as the hook for book 3.

Also in book 3, I made the ogre sorceress of the aberration bloodline. I also made Lamatar a Dread/Cairn Wight Ranger 8 with a +1 frost longsword. I made two of the hags be other varieties (green, annis and some other, I forget) and gave them 5 levels in witch (one gravetouched, one with prehensile hair). The hags had their room hidden in an illusion of fog, and were invisible, I think. I also added a stone giant zombie to Barl's room, and I made his throne room NOT be open to the sky, but the hag's room mostly was (two escaped via flight).

This was all pre-AE, when everything had to be hand-converted to PFRPG rules. But I still modify feats and spell lists for every major spellcaster to reflect the other sources of these I have available.


TwoWolves wrote:
In book one, the party captured Tsuto, Orik and Lyrie, so I had the party called as witnesses at their trial. Which was presided over by Ironbriar. Tsuto was sentenced to life in prison, and was sprung by Ironbriar to join his cult (did I mention the fact that I had Ironbriar be Tsuto's real father?). Orik was sentenced to the Black Arrows, and the party was paid to escort the "prisoner" to the fort as the hook for book 3.

My group just kills all the NPC-villains. It's understandable, but a bit boring. Hell, they charged Ripnugget as he was attempting to parley with them. In a homebrew game they did the exact same thing to an orc chieftain... so, I guess it's to be expected.

I had Orik approach them and tell them he was abandoning Nualia (confessing that he had not known what he was getting into when he was first hired, and that he felt Nualia had gone too far). He left for Magnimar and hasn't been seen since.


That attitude may be common, but it will hurt them in the long run. I'm thinking of several "enemies" in this AP alone that aren't what they seem, and could be a great source of backstory, intel, and aid, provided they aren't hacked down before they can get past "Hello".


TwoWolves wrote:


In book one, the party captured Tsuto, Orik and Lyrie, so I had the party called as witnesses at their trial. Which was presided over by Ironbriar. Tsuto was sentenced to life in prison, and was sprung by Ironbriar to join his cult (did I mention the fact that I had Ironbriar be Tsuto's real father?). Orik was sentenced to the Black Arrows, and the party was paid to escort the "prisoner" to the fort as the hook for book 3.

Great ideas, especially Ironbriar being Tsuto's father!

Wish I had read this 6 months ago...


I wish I had removed the tentamort from Thistletop's 1st dungeon layer. Burnt Offerings already has enough climb around the ceiling / flying / invisible / blinking / incorporeal creatures. One of these every now and then is fine, but having every monster prove difficult to hit... it's just not very fun :[


I also remember I converted Ironbriar to the Inquisitor class which made him pretty nasty. I love the idea of Ironbriar being Tsuto's father.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Pawns Subscriber
Detect Magic wrote:
I wish I had removed the tentamort from Thistletop's 1st dungeon layer. Burnt Offerings already has enough climb around the ceiling / flying / invisible / blinking / incorporeal creatures. One of these every now and then is fine, but having every monster prove difficult to hit... it's just not very fun :[

The AP (at least the AE version) specifically says that the tentamort sits in the window, and implies that it's quite safe as long as you don't approach it, since Lyrie studied it for several days. So my party didn't approach it, and I didn't have it attack.

If a party insists on killing everything it finds, then complains because some things are hard to kill, I am less than sympathetic. My party skipped both the shadows and the tentamort, then came back much later to kill off the shadows. They saw no reason to kill the tentamort (or the bunyip, for that matter).


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I wish I could claim credit for the idea of Tsuto and Ironbriar being related, but someone else long ago on these boards did that. I'm frankly surprised it didn't become official in the AE.

There is a lot of room for more character development for the leadership of Sandpoint and their ties to Magnimar in the new Magnimar sourcebook. I sure wish I had it before I ran the first two books in this AP.


NobodysHome wrote:

The AP (at least the AE version) specifically says that the tentamort sits in the window, and implies that it's quite safe as long as you don't approach it, since Lyrie studied it for several days. So my party didn't approach it, and I didn't have it attack.

If a party insists on killing everything it finds, then complains because some things are hard to kill, I am less than sympathetic. My party skipped both the shadows and the tentamort, then came back much later to kill off the shadows. They saw no reason to kill the tentamort (or the bunyip, for that matter).

I moved the tentamort into its lair (where the party found it). It attacked, and rather than flee they fought it.

I expected them to flee from the shadows (I even told them out-of-character that shadows are brutal for their CR... a hint that running was an option). They didn't. The paladin's player was absent, so I let his character (the only one with Knowledge: Religion) realize that the shadows were undead. With that, I had him begin channeling positive energy. That helped, but they still took a bunch of Strength damage.

My party never encountered the bunyip.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Always fun to read how different party's encounters play out.

After my party decided that storming across the bridge to Thistletop was a good idea; and then after a couple of bad swimmers nearly drowned in the churning waters below; they thought this watery cave might be a good place to rest and heal up. It wasn't long before the Bunyip made an appearance. It dropped the party's rogue unconscious before being taken out by the fighter and Shalelu. It wasn't nearly as epic as I was hoping, but there was a good bit of tension when the Bunyip appeared. I used the Nessie miniature from Horroclix for the Bunyip. So it looked like it was going to be really tough. But I rolled poorly in the later rounds giving the party a chance.

Once in Thistletop the party had no problem with the Shadows having a full Cleric, a barrage of Magic Missiles, and Nualia's +1 bastard sword in a capable fighter's hands. A couple of PCs took Strength damage, but nothing close to death.

They totally skipped the Tentamort.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Pawns Subscriber

Give flying spellcasters space.

I will admit, after finishing the first 3 modules of Curse of the Crimson Throne, I complained on these very boards that EVERY spellcasting BBEG in those books could fly, resulting in a lot of party frustration (and snide comments). And there's a whole thread dedicated to Elyrium for RotRL.

But now I know why those poor, poor spellcasters have to fly.

The party just finished the Graul farmstead in Hook Mountain Massacre. I thought Mammy Graul was going to be a tough fight, and might even send them back to Magnimar to remove Blindness or Curse.

Instead, the bard made a 28 PER roll as they were approaching Mammy Graul's room, heard her buffing herself, and, as any reasonable party would do, cast Silence on the door as the paladin and barbarian rushed in.

Her room is 20'x30', she is described as too obese to get through the door any more, and there's a second floor, so you can assume 10'-12' ceilings in her room. With those dimensions, there was nowhere she could go to get out of the silence, and the party's 'epic battle' with her turned into a pinata party. The party couldn't stop giggling except for the paladin's player, who really felt after all the build-up she should have been at least mildly tough.

If you haven't played this yet, definitely have some way for Mammy to get the heck out of the room if someone casts Silence; her hand-to-hand combat skills are nonexistent, and floating around with wands of Magic Missle and Vampire's Touch just doesn't count as being effective. (We found nothing in RAW that said wands required verbal activation, so I at least gave her those, though I'm sure I'm going to regret it when the party does it to me).


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Pawns Subscriber

Speaking of the Graul homestead, having all the Grauls stay in place as the party exterminated them one-by-one did not work for me at all.

I realize that the Grauls hit for tons of damage; I nearly killed the paladin in a single blow in a surprise round when one of the Grauls crit her with his ogre hook.

But even my players were wondering, "Why aren't they mounting some kind of defense?"

Having each Graul ignore the sounds of fighting, ignore the screams of their brothers, and go 'every monster for himself' might provide for less-deadly combats, and some realism when you consider they're all CE and therefore more interested in saving their own hides than in helping their brethren, but it made the farmstead a bit too easy for my party. (Other than the basement fight with the initial crit and the dire rats, it was a walkover.)

If I do RotRL again, I'm definitely going to have the Grauls have some kind of "defense plan" that gathers some of the more mature ones in a single room for a better 'last stand'. Last night was a good session (at 1:45 am stopping time our latest yet), but both I and my players felt a bit dissatisfied that the Grauls had mounted such a puny defense.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The way I played the Graul farm encounters...

1) I re-drew the map of the farmhouse to make the rooms all a bit bigger, and added more traps (akin to the ones you see in "hillbilly horror" movies like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre).

2) I decided that, for the most part, the Grauls were used to being the uncontested masters of their place, relying on both their numerous traps and their own fighting skills. Since they usually terrorized travelers and lone hunters, the generally would underestimate armed parties-- especially after defeating and capturing a squad of well-armed and well-trained Black Arrows.

What befell Jakardos' squad:
I figured that Jakardos' squad was severely wounded from the fight against the Kreegs when they ran into the Grauls. I also figured that Jakardos' squad was originally 8 rangers-- one died at Fort Rannick, and four were tortured to death by the Grauls. I placed seven sets of Black Arrow ranger gear in the attic, along with Jakardos' bow. The party was a bit reluctant to give that back, but they did. One minor thing I changed was Vale Temros' sex: she's female in my game.

I updated the "Morale" section for all of the Graul boys such that any one would call for help if brought to 50% hp. I gave the others only a 50% chance of heeding the call, since they all like to laugh at each others' misfortune.

3) I changed the Mammy Graul encounter quite a bit...

First, I increased her to be a 10th-level necromancer. As in the module, as soon as intruders entered her room, she set her zombies on them, and started shouting, "Hucker Graul, get in here! Dinner's getting uppity!"
Second, I changed her three human zombies to be ogre zombies (the corpses of three of the Graul Boys' fathers-- whom Mammy killed when she'd tired of their company.)
Third, Mammy trapped her bedroom door with a symbol of pain.
Fourth, Because the party had been very effective in neutralizing enemy spellcasters via silence, Mammy had a single-use dispel magic item on her that didn't need a command word.
Fifth, she had a minor image around her bed that it was a four-poster with full canopy, granting her total concealment, but allowing her to see through it.
Sixth, Two rounds after combat starts, Hucker Graul and three donkey rats would attack from the rear, hopefully with surprise, and hopefully splitting the party's attention.
Seventh, I gave her the Improved Counterspell feat, and she used that to successfully shut down two spells that the party tried to cast (including silence).


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Pawns Subscriber

I immediately vote for the single-use Dispel to get rid of the Silence. She was nasty enough for my group of inexperienced players IF she'd had spells to cast, but Silence in that room just obliterates her with no challenge. Your modifications would have been a TPK for my party, but that's why each GM adjusts for his/her party.

I do like the rest of your changes, though, especially the Grauls being smart enough to call for help.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Yeah-- I'd learned from experience that my group of six very-experienced players tend to steamroller over any single-boss encounters. I'm very much tailoring the encounters to my group so as to present an appropriate challenge.

Two of my players recently resigned, so I'm down to a 4-PC party. I ran Skulls Crossing as-written, and they pretty much steamrollered over that one too without breaking a sweat.

This is why I seriously beefed up the "Harrowing the Hook" chapter. We'll be playing part 2 of that tonight.


Any tips on running the giant/dragon attack on Sandpoint? If its already been discussed somewhere, please point me in the right direction. Going to run that real soon here.

Thanks

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Haladir wrote:
I ran Skulls Crossing as-written, and they pretty much steamrollered over that one too without breaking a sweat.

I just ran this last week. I added two Kreeg and three regular Ogres at the top of the damn, and all Ogres at full strength, and the party turned them into Post Toasties. So I can feel your pain Haladir. I too am looking to beef up some of the future encounters.

If you don't mind, let us know what you did to beef up "Harrowing the Hook."

Cheers,

Mazra


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Mazra wrote:
Haladir wrote:
I ran Skulls Crossing as-written, and they pretty much steamrollered over that one too without breaking a sweat.

I just ran this last week. I added two Kreeg and three regular Ogres at the top of the damn, and all Ogres at full strength, and the party turned them into Post Toasties. So I can feel your pain Haladir. I too am looking to beef up some of the future encounters.

If you don't mind, let us know what you did to beef up "Harrowing the Hook."

Cheers,

Mazra

Look about 15 posts earlier... ;-)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Cool! Thanks. That is what I get for not reading the whole thread. :(


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

In the very first session of Burnt Offerings, I significantly expanded the festival by adding a bunch of competitions and events. Each PC got to participate in one event:

- the half-orc barbarian took second place in a wrestling contest. Prize: 50 gp.

- the cleric with craft (woodcarving) tied for first in a carving competition. Prize: 25 gp and a set of mwk woodworking tools.

- the ranger took second place in an archery competition. Prize: 50 gp. Pity he didn't get first place, the prize for that was a masterwork bow.

- the warlock (from the lands of the linnorm kings) found an old Ulfen man there and played hnefatafl with him. Prize: an ivory drinking mug, beautifully carved with depictions of warriors in combat with linnorms.

- the rogue, rather than competing, served as a judge in the cooking contest between the three local taverns. Happily, he picked Ameiko Kaijitsu's entry. The town council gave him an honorarium of 50 gp for his time.

- the druid steadfastly refused to participate in any contests. So instead, I had Madame Mvashti approach her with the cryptic message "Thorny briars do not hinder those who love the land", and handed her the "Briars" card from a Harrow deck. During the Gogmurt encounter, this card popped out of her belt pouch and granted her immunity to entanglement for the duration of the encounter.

In order to make Madame Mvashti sufficiently mysterious, I re-statted her as a high-level sorc/cleric/mystic theurge so she can do things like go invisible, appear suddenly, teleport away, and so on.

Also, Madame Mvashti was originally an Arodenite. She was a child seer of Aroden; he died when she was 8, and she's spent the rest of her life tending to the fulfillment of prophecies she made as a girl. Prophecy doesn't work as reliably as it once did, but even today she can see murkily into the future -- enough to know that it is not her path to defend Sandpoint from its aggressors, but to shepherd those who do. I figure she'll show up once per book and give one of the PCs a cryptic message and a Harrow card that will provide a helpful bonus in some future encounter.

I'm just waiting for someone to manage to ask her who she is so I can say "The last prophet of a dead god, child." ^_^

Cheliax

I changed th plague of ghasts or ghouls to an undead plague with different types of undead to be encounter throughout the mod. I understand seeing the same monster allows players to put to use what they learned in previous battles. I also see it as easier on the DM to not have to memorize so many different monsters. I still think it sucks when 3 out of 4 fights are against the same type of monster. Skin murders were full of ghouls or was it ghats up to the eyeballs. Sometimes I swapped one of a group out for another type of undead, sometimes I swapped multiple ghasts for another type of undead.


I'm going to mod the start of the Skinsaw murders. I want to bring Jubrayl Vhiski into the story a bit more. So Jubrayl's name will be on the note found with the first "two" murders. The Sheriff just wants the PC's backup in detaining him for questioning. Jubrayl will go calmly to jail suggesting that the good Sheriff would rather have him fight so an "accident" could happen while he was resisting arrest. I'm not going to reveal much about those first murders. Like I said the sheriff just wants the PC's help as muscle. However a day or two later when the second murders happen and a PC's name is found on a note.. (which of course clears Jubrayl's name). the back story will be Jubrayl had a bad feeling about this and skipped the meeting. However he arraigned to have a man hired as the guard (who becomes a ghoul).


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While there are a lot of ghouls (and some ghasts) in Skinsaw murders, I think the key to running them all without it getting monotonous is to simply not have them be fought too much (the farm is really the only place where there is definitely too many ghouls and not enough encounter variety). The creepy factor can be emphasized with grisly crime scenes and clues slowly accumulating, stalkers and shadows in the night, things going missing, pets going missing, people going missing...

And the manor actually has very few ghouls/ghasts in it. That place is an absolutely amazing haunted house to be honest, and for the most part I found that that's due to the abundance of haunts, which leave the players relatively helpless and afraid compared to normal encounters where you can smack the danger with a weapon until it stops moving.

Only the caverns under the manor really have a classic dungeon-like feel with a fair number actual monsters, and my players were actually relieved when they started running into ghouls and ghasts again after going through all the haunted upper floors. And then the realization (slightly nudged forwards by me) that they were actually happy to have the horrible murderous undead back just freaked them out even more.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Pawns Subscriber

We just completed the raid on Sandpoint at the beginning of Book 4, and to say it was anticlimactic is an understatement.

A group of four 10th-level characters (plus Shalelu in all likelihood) will take only 2-3 rounds to drop a small group of stone giants, and will then have plenty of Dimension Doors to get to the next attack.

So when I read the write-up, I thought, "This is so cool! They're going to be desperately fighting one group of giants as other groups come in and they're just going to feel overwhelmed and helpless!"

Instead it was, "OK. That group's dead. Let's see where the next one comes in, Dimension Door over to it, and kick its tail."

So I would cut the rounds in half, or even have the next group appear as the party just starts to engage the first group. Something to make it feel overwhelming, instead of carefully-paced to allow them to win.

I really wanted them to lose at least a few civilians. They lost two buildings, and they're making the captured giants rebuild them. Not exactly a "massive attack on Sandpoint".

The only epic part was the levitating drow paladin going toe-to-toe with Longtooth in the skies over the city. THAT was coolness... but Longtooth didn't have nearly enough hit points for that fight...


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I posted this in another thread, but I'll repeat it here...

Given that the number seven is so prevalent throughout this AP, I decided to add another chapter of Rise of the Runelords, to give it a Seven Book format.

Book 1: Burnt Offerings
Book 2: The Skinsaw Murders
Book 3: Hook Mountain Massacre
Book 4: The Seven Swords of Sin
Book 5: Fortress of the Stone Giants
Book 6: Sins of the Saviors
Book 7: Spires of Xin-Shalast

Here's my outline for Book 4...

Chapter 1: The Golemworks Incident

Spoiler:
After the defeat of Barl Breakbones in the Kreeg Clanhold, they learn that his leader Mokmourian has been trying to gather the fabled Seven Swords of Sin. "With all Seven Swords at our disposal, our army will be invincible!" says the letter the party found. In order to find out more about the Seven Swords and also to find buyers for all of the Thassilonian loot they've discovered, the party heads back to Magnimar to meet with the Pathfinder Society. There, they learn that Shiela Heidmarch has the Sword of Lust in the trophy room at Heidmarch Manor. While discussing the history of the Seven Blades of Conviction, four of VC Heidmarch's newly-purchased angelic guardian constructs attack! While the PCs and Heidmarch are distracted by the surprise attack, someone breaks into the trophy room and steals the sword. As the golem attack was an obvious distraction, they go to the Golemworks to investigate.
With this as the backstory, play [/i]The Golemworks Incident[/i]. At the conclusion, the party finds a clue that a recurring NPC foil has the Sword of Lust, and is bringing it to a potential buyer in Kaer Maga named Tirana.
.

Chapter 2: The Road to Kaer Maga

Spoiler:
On the trail of a former ally (and PC) who's now an agent for the Aspis Consortium, the party hops a ferry to Kaer Maga. While en route, they are attacked by boggards. (encounter cribbed from The Asylum Stone). At the end of the ferry ride, they ascend the Halflight Path, and are attacked by a pair of seguthi and a Worm That Walks (modifed version of another encounter cribbed from The Asylum Stone.

Chapter 3: Investigations

Spoiler:
In Kaer Maga, their investigation turns up two leads about this Tirana person. One, from a dwarven merchant, suggests that she runs a couple of gangs that he's like taken care of (from Seven Swords of Sin. The second, involving a transwoman prostitute, suggests that she is running a drug house (from Feast of Sigils. The party goes to investigate, encountering the gang, whom they defeat.

Chapter 4: The Feast of Sigils

Spoiler:
The party discovers the drug house is a front for a secret cabal of Lissala worshipers. We'll then play Feast of Sigils pretty much as written.

Chapter 5: Seven Swords of Sin

Spoiler:
The drug house conceals an entrance to Tirana's lair, which is an old Thassilonian magical research center that was more recently put to use by the now-departed Council of Truth. This will be a combination of elements of Seven Swords of Sin and the "beneath Kaer Maga" section of The Asylum Stone. I am redesigning Tirana herself to be another lamia matriarch, a sister of Lucretia.

At the end of this book, the party finds out about the imminent attack on Sandpoint. They also find an ancient teleportation device that they can use to send them to a small dungeon located on Devil's Plateau, near Sandpoint.

From there, pick up Fortress of the Stone Giants as written.


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A minor one from Hook Mountain Massacre:

Crowfood Graul has the Rogue levels and the terrain advantage necessary for amazing hit-and-run combat, so I replaced his Cleave feat with Improved Drag, and edited his tactics.

Crowfood snuck through the cornfield towards the PCs with stealth, preferably waiting right at the edge and hoping for one of them to pass within his reach (in my group one of the PCs did this, but you can always have Shalelu get grabbed if the PCs themselves are wise enough to avoid walking directly beside the field). Then, on the surprise round he used a drag combat maneuver to pull his unsuspecting target into the cornfield, prompting the others to follow him in. He shouted an alarm to his family inside on this initial attack, but after that did not continuously shout throughout the battle, as doing so would ruin the tactics I gave him.

Following that, a series of spring attack sneak attacks in the vision-hampering terrain of the cornfield proved terrifying, allowing Crowfood to continuously move in and out of stealth, sneak attacking targets and then retreating in unknown directions. There are still multiple ways for the PCs to deal with this strategy, including setting ambushes with readied attacks, fleeing out of the cornfield, flying, and burning the field down, but I think the encounter setup works a fair bit better this way than it does by having a lone fighter/rogue simply charge in and power attack repeatedly.

Simply put, Crowfood is a fighter/rogue and works best when you actually play him like a fighter/rogue rather than just like a fighter.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

That's amazing, Gluttony! I wish I'd thought of that!

It's something straight out of Children of the Corn!

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