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The Strange Aeons Experiment


Strange Aeons

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Sczarni Order of the Amber Die

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Spatula wrote:
Aerick Lim wrote:

Erasmus's stat block(s) are ready and uploaded to our Dropbox for the end of Dreams of the Yellow King!

How was the experience of being a Medium in the Dreamlands? Did you stick with Champion spirits, or rely on more of a variety?

Erasmus channeled the champion spirit the entire time. Well, except for when he had the cognitive block madness and couldn't use any of his abilities. Aside from that, he focused on Nissa because he couldn't really channel anyone else when they were on the river. Favored locations were hard to come by, and we were reluctant to stay at port too long in Razmiran or Galt, only to have Erasmus exhibit some variety. Although that's not a complaint because the champion spirit is always good to have, and was definitely helpful in the Dreamlands. Since you couldn't really die there, it seemed like some of the encounters were extra difficult, and we still "died" many times even with the champion spirit active. The multiple attacks, including haste, was extremely useful after we found the vorpal sword though, which I will miss VERY much!

The Exchange Order of the Amber Die

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Quinn's stat block after completion of Dreams of the Yellow King has been uploaded to Dropbox for your perusal!


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Daniel Scholler wrote:
Quinn's stat block after completion of Dreams of the Yellow King has been uploaded to Dropbox for your perusal!

Out of curiosity, how are Quinn's bonus/penalties vs. cultists/others being handled? Did his bonuses apply vs. nearly everything in book 2, or just the human cultists? Was there anything he could use the higher values against in book 3, or did he have to use the lower settings for "other targets"?

The Exchange Order of the Amber Die

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Spatula wrote:
Daniel Scholler wrote:
Quinn's stat block after completion of Dreams of the Yellow King has been uploaded to Dropbox for your perusal!
Out of curiosity, how are Quinn's bonus/penalties vs. cultists/others being handled? Did his bonuses apply vs. nearly everything in book 2, or just the human cultists? Was there anything he could use the higher values against in book 3, or did he have to use the lower settings for "other targets"?

Unfortunately, it only applied to the human cultists--but I did ask every time if a creature was a follower of Hastur, just in case! In Dreams of the Yellow King, we didn't come across any worshipers of deities or religions aside from Razmir and Hanspur, but we were just passing through--it wouldn't have mattered if I had taken the time to research them. The nature of the module (going through different Dreamlands) didn't really lend to Cultic Study too much, but that's fine. I'm sure I'll find a good use for it soon, because I've been itching to use the higher values for quite some time now.

What was really useful though was the Sense Madness ability. Since lesser and greater madness was a big part of the module, with some of the bad ones not being obvious (like the one that turns you evil), this ability might have saved us from a TPK when Feiya turned against the group. Admittedly, I failed a few checks to get us to that point, but when she finally tried to kill me it worked! If she had succeeded, the others were sleeping so it would've all been over. Also, the bonus to saves against compulsions came in handy, as did Foe of the Strange campaign trait, because the others spent a lot of time being confused in this module--it was awful to watch!

Sczarni Order of the Amber Die

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The stat block for Erasmus at the end of module 4 is now available in our Dropbox!

P.S. Now, before you raise your eyebrows about a MEDIUM taking the Power Attack feat, if you've been following along with our reports you know that our group has a lot of healing and plays defense very well, but we've been having a lot trouble with offense--especially against creatures with DR and fast healing. With the attack penalty more than mitigated by the Champion spirit bonus, I can honestly say that the extra damage (especially with a keen weapon) made a very big difference in every encounter.

Semi-Spoiler:
There's a great piece of artwork in The Whisper Out of Time that displays Erasmus in a way that makes it totally believable that he has Power Attack!


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The stat block for Winter Klaczka at the end of module 4 is now available in our Dropbox!

It's been really interesting to see Winter develop as a character across the entire experiment, but especially in this module. She started out as a skilled, focused healer, but has gradually gained feats that bring her closer to Pharasma and changed up her spell allotment for greater versatility. Check her out!

Order of the Amber Die

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Feiya's stat block for the end of module 4 of Strange Aeons is now available in our Dropbox.

More importantly, Daji's stat block for the end of module 4 is also available!

Order of the Amber Die

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Our new map contest is now LIVE until April 14th!

We are giving away four beautiful maps--the entire lunar prison from Dreams of the Yellow King. The maps have been remastered and scaled to a 1" grid, and are ready to leave Order of the Amber Die HQ and see more action on your table.

The best part? They're FREE.

Here is all you have to do.

The Exchange Order of the Amber Die

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The stat block for Quinn at the end of module 4 is now available in our Dropbox.

I have really fallen in love with Quinn, both as a character and the Investigator class. The Cult Hunter archetype really shined this module, allowing me to protect my party and eradicate a few cultists and extraplanar creatures. I'm excited to see how the next abilities play out in higher levels as well as pushing how far I can manage to survive as the "meat shield" for the group.

Order of the Amber Die

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Alahazra's stat block from the end of marathon 4, The Whisper Out of Time, is now available in our Dropbox.

We're looking forward to presenting lots of our compiled data on these iconics as the AP draws to a close.

Enjoy!

Sczarni Order of the Amber Die

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Hello all! Last weekend we took a break in the middle of Marathon 5 to do an interview with our friends from Nerd Podcast Radio. Please listen to the non-spoiler portion and/or the spoiler portion at your discretion.

Highlights from What Grows Within coming soon to the Paizo Blog!


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

fun. looking forward to it.


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Aerick Lim wrote:

Hello all! Last weekend we took a break in the middle of Marathon 5 to do an interview with our friends from Nerd Podcast Radio. Please listen to the non-spoiler portion and/or the spoiler portion at your discretion.

Highlights from What Grows Within coming soon to the Paizo Blog!

Just listened to both, great stuff. I've been following your order for RoW and Emerald Spire, having run both, your notes have been a great help and inspiration, so thanks.

I started running Strange Aeons 2 sessions ago and we are loving it, I think In Search of Sanity is Paizo's best book since Souls for Smuggler's Shiv.

Order of the Amber Die

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ibayboy wrote:
Aerick Lim wrote:

Hello all! Last weekend we took a break in the middle of Marathon 5 to do an interview with our friends from Nerd Podcast Radio. Please listen to the non-spoiler portion and/or the spoiler portion at your discretion.

Highlights from What Grows Within coming soon to the Paizo Blog!

Just listened to both, great stuff. I've been following your order for RoW and Emerald Spire, having run both, your notes have been a great help and inspiration, so thanks.

I started running Strange Aeons 2 sessions ago and we are loving it, I think In Search of Sanity is Paizo's best book since Souls for Smuggler's Shiv.

Thank you, and I'm glad our work has helped (and inspired)! That interview was a great time, and it was fun to finally tell the story of where the Amber Die came from--not that we really know. :)

It's interesting that you mention Souls for Smuggler's Shiv, since as GM I am constantly tearing through published material trying to figure out where we'll go next. I stopped immediately when I hit Jacobs's adventure, and read the entirety in one night. I've been considering Serpent's Skull as a fun throwback for a while now after being so inspired by PF37; you may have just helped me sell the group on it, since we all loved In Search of Sanity, as evidenced here. Thanks again!


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Adam Smith wrote:
ibayboy wrote:
Aerick Lim wrote:

Hello all! Last weekend we took a break in the middle of Marathon 5 to do an interview with our friends from Nerd Podcast Radio. Please listen to the non-spoiler portion and/or the spoiler portion at your discretion.

Highlights from What Grows Within coming soon to the Paizo Blog!

Just listened to both, great stuff. I've been following your order for RoW and Emerald Spire, having run both, your notes have been a great help and inspiration, so thanks.

I started running Strange Aeons 2 sessions ago and we are loving it, I think In Search of Sanity is Paizo's best book since Souls for Smuggler's Shiv.

Thank you, and I'm glad our work has helped (and inspired)! That interview was a great time, and it was fun to finally tell the story of where the Amber Die came from--not that we really know. :)

It's interesting that you mention Souls for Smuggler's Shiv, since as GM I am constantly tearing through published material trying to figure out where we'll go next. I stopped immediately when I hit Jacobs's adventure, and read the entirety in one night. I've been considering Serpent's Skull as a fun throwback for a while now after being so inspired by PF37; you may have just helped me sell the group on it, since we all loved In Search of Sanity, as evidenced here. Thanks again!

No problem at all. My group really enjoyed Serpent's Skull, however book 3 needs a lot of work, its very hard to run as written. It is really just a sandbox framework, which might not suit your groups style of playing as written. In hindsight a campaign combining SS and Skull and Shackles could be awesome. Get rescued from the island by pirates, gain fame and fortune by finding the lost city, then take on the pirate hierarchy.


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Adam Smith wrote:


It's interesting that you mention Souls for Smuggler's Shiv, since as GM I am constantly tearing through published material trying to figure out where we'll go next. I stopped immediately when I hit Jacobs's adventure, and read the entirety in one night. I've been considering Serpent's Skull as a fun throwback for a while now after being so inspired by PF37; you may have just helped me sell the group on it, since we all loved In Search of Sanity, as evidenced here. Thanks again!

1) Souls for Smuggler's Shiv is amazing. There's general consensus on this. It's one of the best AP modules ever, and might be the best Volume 1 of any AP. The only reason I say "might" is because there are some players who won't love the hardscrabble, bare-hands aspect of the first half of the module, where you're starting with no equipment and have to worry about stuff like diseases and tropical rainstorms. But IME those guys are a minority, and anyway this module offers so much more -- cool encounters, all kinds of tropes. It's just really solid and well done.

AFAICT this is the general consensus on the forums: most people like SfSS a lot, and many people absolutely love it.

2) BUT. BUT BUT BUT.

The rest of the AP is a very, very mixed bag. Volume 2 is (IMO) okay to good, a race against rival factions across the savannah of not-Africa to find a lost city. But after that it gets wildly uneven and famously grindy. There's some good stuff in there, including a cool fight with, basically, King Kong. But pretty much everyone agrees that there are also major flaws. The back half in particular is notorious for being super grindy.

Again, AFAICT this is the general consensus on the forums: many people like SS, but a large minority are very critical of the later modules.

3) My understanding is that you Amber Dice guys run the APs absolutely straight, as written, with no DM adjustments or tweaking. If that's how you plan to play it, then ask around first, because a lot of people think the latter part of SS, as written, is... troubled.

Whatever you do, I'll be watching with great interest!

Doug M.

Order of the Amber Die

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Thanks for the great input here, guys. If you're on this thread then you probably already know that we like to put a unique spin on all of our projects. For The Emerald Spire Project, it was trying to see how fast we could get to the bottom of a newly released superdungeon and still achieve success. For The Giantslayer Endeavor, it was about setting world records, including the shortest documented completion time of a played-as-written AP. For The Runelords Relay (currently in part 5, PDF coming), it has been about how many PCs and iconics we can get into a contiguous storyline, which was seen 18 iconics by 11 different players across 4 years. The Strange Aeons Experiment has been particularly intriguing, because we have been hit with something new and unfamiliar--it's been such a ride that it will always hold a special place with us.

Based on what you both are saying and what I've seen on the boards for SS, it seems that there might be some interest in seeing an AP that the community finds difficult to run as-written, played in its entirety by a group that specializes in running material as such?


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Adam Smith wrote:
Based on what you both are saying and what I've seen on the boards for SS, it seems that there might be some interest in seeing an AP that the community finds difficult to run as-written, played in its entirety by a group that specializes in running material as such?

Well if that's what you're after, there's always Second Darkness...

Doug M.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Douglas Muir 406 wrote:
Adam Smith wrote:
Based on what you both are saying and what I've seen on the boards for SS, it seems that there might be some interest in seeing an AP that the community finds difficult to run as-written, played in its entirety by a group that specializes in running material as such?

Well if that's what you're after, there's always Second Darkness...

Doug M.

Or the AP the community has found it most difficult to run as-written, Wrath of the Righteous...


I'd be more interested in SS than in Second Darkness or WotR, to be honest


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gustavo iglesias wrote:
I'd be more interested in SS than in Second Darkness or WotR, to be honest

Firm agreement. WoTR has an excellent opening and there's much to like in the first half. By the back half, though, the Mythic rules really turn it into rocket tag -- and if the players are competent, then it's rocket tag that they're always going to win.

Doug M.


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Douglas Muir 406 wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:
I'd be more interested in SS than in Second Darkness or WotR, to be honest

Firm agreement. WoTR has an excellent opening and there's much to like in the first half. By the back half, though, the Mythic rules really turn it into rocket tag -- and if the players are competent, then it's rocket tag that they're always going to win.

Doug M.

Yeah WotR was a cake walk, my paladin was one-shotting nearly everything.

Order of the Amber Die

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Well guys, you must have piqued some interest here, because I got a couple of emails from OAD members last night asking if SS is next. :)

Thematically, we've faced more than our share of evil outsiders over the years, while the "serpent/jungle campaign" has eluded us on several occasions. As GM, I have a real desire to see what we could do with mythic rules, especially with some data tracking in reference to the rocket tag that might result. For the players, they loved Cult of the Reptile God enough to play it a couple of times, and that module was the attempted launch of a serpent campaign that always led to TPK or petered out. Playing Serpent's Skull would give the players a chance to redeem themselves and at the same time see the serpent/jungle theme through. What's the general feeling about the difficulty of SS compared to other APs? Has anyone played both Serpent's Skull and SA?

I hope everyone will like the data we've compiled throughout Strange Aeons, it's probably twice as much as during The Giantslayer Endeavor, and will be released with the final blog report of The Strange Aeons Experiment.

We are just a few weeks away from finishing Strange Aeons and entering a short lull where we'll be able to complete Sins of the Saviors and move our RotR campaign to near-conclusion. There's been some stirring in the Order in regard to what will come after RotR in our "side campaign" slot, with the previous lead contender being Shattered Star.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Adam Smith wrote:

Well guys, you must have piqued some interest here, because I got a couple of emails from OAD members last night asking if SS is next. :)

Thematically, we've faced more than our share of evil outsiders over the years, while the "serpent/jungle campaign" has eluded us on several occasions. As GM, I have a real desire to see what we could do with mythic rules, especially with some data tracking in reference to the rocket tag that might result. For the players, they loved Cult of the Reptile God enough to play it a couple of times, and that module was the attempted launch of a serpent campaign that always led to TPK or petered out. Playing Serpent's Skull would give the players a chance to redeem themselves and at the same time see the serpent/jungle theme through. What's the general feeling about the difficulty of SS compared to other APs? Has anyone played both Serpent's Skull and SA?

I hope everyone will like the data we've compiled throughout Strange Aeons, it's probably twice as much as during The Giantslayer Endeavor, and will be released with the final blog report of The Strange Aeons Experiment.

We are just a few weeks away from finishing Strange Aeons and entering a short lull where we'll be able to complete Sins of the Saviors and move our RotR campaign to near-conclusion. There's been some stirring in the Order in regard to what will come after RotR in our "side campaign" slot, with the previous lead contender being Shattered Star.

I ran SS and have just started SA, we are 2 sessions in. I think Strange Aeons will be much harder, that might be a result of my GMing getting better. My feeling is that the AP's have been getting more challenging, but we've not played them all, or even really read the modules, untill we pick a GM. I have run CotCT, SS, RoW, GS, Emerald Spire,and SA. I've played in Savage Tide, Age of Worms, RotR, KM, S&S, WotW, and IG.

Sczarni Order of the Amber Die

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The latest stat block for Erasmus at the end of module 5 is now available in our dropbox for your viewing.

Note that these doesn't include his negative levels, or whatever is going on with him and the other spirit he's been having "issues" with. (I have no idea what's going on, so if you do--no spoilers please!)


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The stat block for Winter at the end of module 5 is now available in our Dropbox for everyone's viewing pleasure.

Also, a reminder that the player perspective write-ups are on the Strange Aeons living document, including Winter's (final?) letter to Mother Thestia.

Order of the Amber Die

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Feiya's stat block following the completion of module 5, What Grows Within, is now available in our Dropbox.

Daji too, and my fox is now one of the smartest members of the party!

The Exchange Order of the Amber Die

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Quinn, the one-time possessor of the Necronomicon, has uploaded his stat block following module 5 to the Dropbox for your perusal--if you dare!


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For some reason I was under the impression Quinn had permadied in book 1 or 2, but clearly that isn't the case! How many times has he shuffled briefly off the coil this campaign?


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Just started poking around the Dropbox, the script-style excerpts are really cool!

Order of the Amber Die

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Andrew Mullen wrote:
Just started poking around the Dropbox, the script-style excerpts are really cool!

Glad you liked them, we do too! They are from our resident screenwriter, Aerick Lim. He usually puts together a script of one of our favorite scenes from each adventure, and we like to give them a reread before each upcoming marathon. Stay tuned for more!

Sczarni Order of the Amber Die

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Andrew Mullen wrote:
For some reason I was under the impression Quinn had permadied in book 1 or 2, but clearly that isn't the case! How many times has he shuffled briefly off the coil this campaign?

Yes, Quinn was killed in modules 1 and 2, then two more times in module 5, but not permanently since we were able to recover his body. We've had to expend a total of 28K in diamond dust for raise dead and restoration spells just for Quinn. But we've all had our fair share of deaths so that's normal.

Sczarni Order of the Amber Die

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Andrew Mullen wrote:
Just started poking around the Dropbox, the script-style excerpts are really cool!

Thanks Andrew! I've had a lot of fun writing them, and in an ideal world I would try to script the entire sessions, but there just aren't that many hours in a day. In fact, I'm about finish the first draft of the script for module 4 in a few hours so hopefully that'll be available to you by this weekend. Then next week I'll be starting the excerpt for module 5! (The treatment is looking REALLY bloody so far, I might have to start putting a rating on these.)

Order of the Amber Die

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Hey everyone! Just wanted to let the folks on this thread know that we will be running a seminar at PaizoCon 2017 on Marathon Gaming.

Details can be found here.

Hope to see some of you there!

The Exchange Order of the Amber Die

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Hello all!

We are running another map contest for Strange Aeons. Tell your friends.

Click. Post. Win: Horror Hashtag Contest


A probably unexpected question about your last post on Tuesday
I see nice red with gold/brass pillars in the photographs: where did you get them?

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