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UrathDM's Conversion and Additions Notes (Spoilers)

Second Darkness

I have been working on updating/converting Second Darkness to Pathfinder rules, incorporting new material from various books as I go. I intend to post notes about conversion issues, updates, and my original pieces here. First off: Riddleport.


Riddleport's stat-block got an update in Varisia: Birthplace of Legends, and the Campaign Traits for Second Darkness are also addressed there.

The Riddleport Thug and Riddleport Thief stat-blocks do a lot of heavy lifting in the Shadow in the Sky ... random thieves, random mook enforcers, random prostitutes, scripted goons... really, almost everyone. Fortunately, the Game Mastery Guide, the NPC Codex, the NPC Guide (Campaign Setting line), and the Inner Sea NPC Codex are there to help with specific versions of Prostitutes, Merchants, mooks and so on. Even if you plan to continue to use the original stat-blocks, if you have an electronic tool like HeroLab or PCGen, it is fairly easy to add an Archetype to the Riddleport Thief. It won't make much (if any) difference at these low levels, but even just seeing the Archetype name in the stat-block can be a reminder of how you want to give each a different flavor.

That brings us to one of the first difficulties... the CR for these is low. Comparing their actual abilities to the expected abilities of CR 1/2 and CR 1 challenges, they're somewhat weak. Consider adding a level to each to keep them in the appropriate challenge range.

Pirates of the Inner Sea (Campaign Setting line) has a section for Riddleport Pirates to flesh out the fleet.
Black Markets (Player Companion line) places a Black Market in Lubbertown.
Undead Hunter's Handbook (Player Companion line) has a section for how cities view Necromantic activity. Here's my version for Riddleport:

Riddleport attitude toward Undead:

Obvious Displays of Necromancy : Felony
Dealing in Onyx Gems: Misdemeanor
Possession of Onyx Gems: Legal ​

Inner Sea Temples (Campaign Setting line) has two resources to draw on... Cayden's Hall is a major Caydenite temple in Absalom... and Imvrildara is a msjor Calistrian temple in Kyonin. The first has plenty of details to borow to flesh out the Publican House immediately; the second, well, has lots of uses later.

Doesn't Arnando Rolf seem like a good candidate for Warpriest?

Arnando Rolf as Warpriest:
A great bear of a man who carries a notched longsword. Operator of the Publican House, a temple to Cayden Cailean.
Arnando Rolf (Warpriest) CR 7
XP 3,200
Male human (Ulfen) warpriest of Cayden Cailean 8 (Pathfinder RPG Advanced Class Guide 60)
CG Medium humanoid (human)
Init +3; Senses Perception +3
AC 16, touch 9, flat-footed 16 (+5 armor, -1 Dex, +2 shield)
hp 63 (8d8+24)
Fort +10, Ref +3, Will +9
Defensive Abilities sacred armor (+1, 8 minutes/day)
Speed 30 ft. (20 ft. in armor)
Melee +1 longsword +10/+5 (1d8+3/19-20)
Special Attacks blessings 7/day (Charm: charming presence, Strength: strength surge), channel positive energy 3/day (DC 17, 3d6), fervor 7/day (3d6), sacred weapon (1d8, +2, 8 rounds/day)
Warpriest Spells Prepared (CL 8th; concentration +11)
Str 14, Dex 8, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 17, Cha 13
Base Atk +6; CMB +8; CMD 17
Feats Brew Potion, Great Fortitude, Improved Initiative, Lightning Reflexes, Power Attack, Weapon Focus (longsword)
Skills Acrobatics -7 (-11 to jump), Diplomacy +8, Heal +9, Intimidate +7, Knowledge (religion) +8, Sense Motive +10, Spellcraft +8
Languages Common, Skald
Other Gear +1 chain shirt, mwk heavy steel shield, +1 longsword, 4,065 gp
Special Abilities
Blessings (7/day) (Su) Pool of power used to activate Blessing abilities.
Fervor (3d6, 7/day) (Su) Standard action, touch channels positive/negative energy to heal or harm. Swift to cast spell on self.
Power Attack -2/+4 You can subtract from your attack roll to add to your damage.
Sacred Armor +1 (8 minutes/day) (Su) As a swift action, grant armor enhancement bonus or certain powers. Use 1 fervor as free action to also activate Sacred weapon.
Sacred Weapon +2 (8 rounds/day) (Su) As a swift action, grant weapon enhancement bonus or certain powers.
Warpriest Channel Positive Energy 3d6 (3/day, DC 17) (Su) Positive energy heals the living and harms the undead; negative has the reverse effect.
Leader of the church of Cayden Cailean in Riddleport

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Greg A. Vaughan posted his intended stats for the Riddleport Gendarmes and their officers previously. Unfortunately, some of the material is not Open Content, and they were not used. Here, however, are my treatments of the Riddleport Gendarmes and Riddleport Gendarme Officers.

Riddleport Gendarme:
Riddleport Gendarme CR 1
XP 400
Human (Varisian) fighter (shielded fighter) 2 (Pathfinder RPG Advanced Player's Guide 108)
N Medium humanoid (human)
Init +2; Senses Perception +1
AC 17, touch 12, flat-footed 15 (+4 armor, +2 Dex, +1 shield)
hp 19 (2d10+4)
Fort +5, Ref +2, Will +1 (+1 vs. fear)
Speed 30 ft.
Melee light shield bash +4 (1d3+2) or
. . rapier +5 (1d6+2/18-20)
Ranged light crossbow +4 (1d8/19-20)
Str 15, Dex 15, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 8
Base Atk +2; CMB +4; CMD 16 (18 vs. dirty trick, 18 vs. steal)
Feats Combat Reflexes, Improved Shield Bash, Rapid Reload, Weapon Focus (rapier)
Skills Climb +4, Diplomacy +1, Knowledge (local) +2
Languages Common, Varisian
Other Gear chain shirt, light steel shield, crossbow bolts (20), light crossbow, rapier, crowbar, 222 gp
Special Abilities
Combat Reflexes (3 AoO/round) Can make extra attacks of opportunity/rd, and even when flat-footed.
Improved Shield Bash You still get your shield bonus while using Shield Bash.
Rapid Reload (Light crossbow) You can reload fast with one type of Crossbow or Firearm.

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Riddleport Gendarme Office:
Riddleport Gendarme Officer CR 6
XP 2,400
Human (Varisian) cavalier 3/fighter (shielded fighter) 4 (Pathfinder RPG Advanced Player's Guide 32, 108)
LE Medium humanoid (human)
Init +5; Senses Perception +12
AC 20, touch 11, flat-footed 19 (+7 armor, +1 Dex, +2 shield)
hp 57 (7d10+14)
Fort +9, Ref +3, Will +5 (+1 vs. fear)
Defensive Abilities active defense
Speed 30 ft. (20 ft. in armor)
Melee +1 longsword +12/+7 (1d8+4/19-20)
Ranged mwk shortbow +9/+4 (1d6/×3)
Special Attacks braggart, cavalier's charge, challenge 1/day (+3 damage, +1 dam while only you threaten), tactician 2/day (Outflank, 4 rds)
Str 16, Dex 13, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 10
Base Atk +7; CMB +10; CMD 21
Feats Alertness, Combat Reflexes, Dazzling Display, Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Outflank[APG], Point-Blank Shot, Practiced Tactician[APG], Skill Focus (Perception), Weapon Focus (longsword)
Skills Acrobatics -4 (-8 to jump), Diplomacy +7, Handle Animal +7, Intimidate +7, Knowledge (local) +4, Perception +12, Ride +2, Sense Motive +3, Stealth +2
Languages Common, Varisian
SQ mount (horse named Animal Companion), order of the cockatrice
Combat Gear potion of bull's strength; Other Gear +1 chainmail, mwk heavy steel shield, +1 longsword, arrows (20), mwk shortbow, sunrod (3), 228 gp
Special Abilities
Active Defense +1 (Ex) Swift action to share dodge bonus with adjacent ally or 1/2 bonus with all.
Animal Companion Link (Ex) Handle or push Animal Companion faster, +4 to checks vs. them.
Braggart (Ex) Demoralize as a standard action, +2 to hit demoralized targets.
Cavalier's Charge (Ex) Mounted charge grants +4 to hit and -0 AC rather than +2/-2.
Cockatrice's Challenge +3 (1/day) (Ex) +3 to damage target, -2 AC vs. others when used, +1 damage when you are the only one threatening the target.
Combat Reflexes (2 AoO/round) Can make extra attacks of opportunity/rd, and even when flat-footed.
Dazzling Display Intimidate check to demoralize can affect those within 30' who see you.
Mount (Ex) Gain the services of a special animal companion.
Outflank Increase flank bonus by +2 if flanking ally has same feat. If you crit, ally gets an AoO.
Point-Blank Shot +1 to attack and damage rolls with ranged weapons at up to 30 feet.
Tactician (Outflank, 4 rds, 2/day) (Ex) Grant the use of your teamwork feats to all allies in 30 ft.

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The Rotgut Ripper just seems to me to be a great candidate for changing into a Vigilante, so here he is.

Rotgut Ripper:
Trash handler
Hyram Crooge (Intrigue version) CR 6
XP 2,400
Male bugbear vigilante 5 (Pathfinder RPG Bestiary 38, Pathfinder RPG Ultimate Intrigue 9)
CN Medium humanoid (goblinoid)
Init +7; Senses darkvision 60 ft., scent; Perception +9
AC 21, touch 13, flat-footed 18 (+5 armor, +3 Dex, +3 natural)
hp 68 (8d8+32)
Fort +5, Ref +10, Will +6
Defensive Abilities evasion, unshakable (+5)
Speed 30 ft.
Melee +1 short sword +12 (1d6+6/19-20)
Special Attacks hidden strike +3d8/+3d4, startling appearance
Str 21, Dex 16, Con 16, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 6
Base Atk +5; CMB +10; CMD 23
Feats Improved Initiative, Stealthy, Toughness, Weapon Focus (short sword)
Skills Acrobatics +10, Bluff +10, Climb +11, Disable Device +11, Disguise +8 (+28 to appear as part of polite society while in your social identity), Escape Artist +12, Intimidate +9, Knowledge (local) +11, Perception +9, Sense Motive +8, Sleight of Hand +10, Stealth +13; Racial Modifiers +4 Intimidate, +4 Stealth
Languages Common, Goblin
SQ dual identity, social grace, social talents (case the joint[UI], gossip collector[UI], social grace[UI]), stalker, vigilante specialization (stalker[UI]), vigilante talents (chase master[UI], evasive[UI])
Other Gear +2 studded leather, +1 short sword, hat of disguise, concealable thieves' tools[UI]
Special Abilities
Case the Joint (Ex) Over 1 hr make Know (eng) roll to gain rerolls based on layout if return in next week.
Chase Master +4 (Disguise Req'd) (Ex) Gain listed bonus to all checks made during a chase.
Darkvision (60 feet) You can see in the dark (black and white only).
Dual Identity (Ex) Each identity maintains own alignment, can switch over 1 min. Magical means treat an ID as non existant while not adopted.
Evasion (Disguise Req'd) (Ex) If succeed on Reflex save for half dam, take none instead.
Gossip Collector (Ex) Gather info in 1d2 hours (faster in area of renown). Beat DC by 20 means instantly known.
Hidden Strike +3d8/+3d4 Extra damage vs. unaware/startled foes, less vs. flat-footed/flanked foes.
Scent (Ex) Detect opponents within 15+ feet by sense of smell.
Social Grace (Bluff) +4 circumstance bonus to selected skill while in your social identity.
Social Grace (Knowledge [local]) +4 circumstance bonus to selected skill while in your social identity.
Stalker (Ex) Perception and Stealth are always class skills for members of this race.
Startling Appearance (Ex) Attacking unaware foe makes them flat-footed and they -4 to attack you for 1 rd.
Unshakable +5 (Ex) Add the listed bonus to the DC of foes attempting Intimidate checks against you.

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There's also a Serial Killer archetype that I did not use, but is quite fitting.

Liberty's Edge

Well dang, too late for me as I'm running book 5. Good work though.

J-Bone wrote:
Well dang, too late for me as I'm running book 5. Good work though.

The section on Imvrildara in Inner Sea Temples may still be of use there, depending on how far along you are.

My Take on Cyphermages
I left out my write-up of the Cyphermages as a Magic School (as presented in Inner Sea Magic (Campaign Setting line).

The Cyphermages, as described, seem to me to be a cross between an Academy and a Guild (two sub-types of Magic School). As such, I have written it up that way.

Order of Cyphers:
Order of Cyphers
Type Magic, Academy
The Order of Cyphers promotes the study of ancient Thassilonian artifacts from across Varisia, especially the Cyphergate of Riddleport. They place a particular focus on the study of history and languages as well as Divination magic.
Location Riddleport (Varisia)

Entrance Fee 200 gp
Entrance Exam DC 20 Knowledge (history) check
Tuition 100 gp/semester

Education Check Knowledge (arcana), Knowledge (history), Linguistics
Semester 3 months
Flunk 4 consecutive failed Education checks

Donate Thassilonian Artifacts (+1 Fame) Once per semester, you may donate a collection of archaeological artifacts created by Thassilon and worth at least 250 gp per level.
Discredit a Rival (+1 Fame) Once per year (4 semesters), you may attempt to embarrass a rival by discrediting that rival’s research. Roll both Knowledge (history) and Linguistics checks and add the results together. The GM does the same for the rival. You must exceed your rival’s total to succeed. Failure by 5 of more reduces your Fame by 1 instead.
Discover Significant Thassilonian Site (+2 Fame) Once per year (4 semesters), discover a previously-unknown site relating to Thassilon. Each such discovery must be a new site, not a new level or room in a known site. Sites must contain at least 3 rooms or chambers. A permanent magical fixture, such as an altar or animated statue, counts as 1 room or chamber for this purpose; a guardian creature does not.
Donate Thassilonian Magic Item (+2 Fame) Once per semester, you may donate a magic item created by Thassilon and worth at least 500 gp per level.
Prove or Disprove a Current Theory of Thassilon (+5 Fame) Once per year (4 semesters), you may submit a report attempting to prove or disprove a current theory regarding Thassilon. Succeed at a combination of one each DC 30 Knowledge (history), Knowledge (arcana), and Linguistics skill checks. Add a +5 circumstance bonus to one of the checks if you have obtained proof in the form of successful research in a Thassilonian archive or an artifact that corroborates your claims (GM’s discretion as to what qualifies).

Advanced Study (2 PP) By virtue of extensive study, you become Specialized in one of these skills: Knowledge (arcana), Knowledge (history), or Linguistics.
Disciple (10 Fame, 5 PP) You have been accepted as a disciple of one of the senior members of the Order. Tuition fees are halved for you, and you gain a +1 Competence bonus on Education checks, representing the coaching of your master.
Historic Find (1 PP + 1 PP/spell level) Your research has led to finding a lost or obscure spell. Select a spell that is on your class list but your GM has ruled would not normally be readily available (such as from a sourcebook not in use in your current game). As always, the GM has final approval over allowing the selected spell. If you are a specialist, it must be a spell of your school. If you cast arcane spells spontaneously, this spell replaces a known spell of the same level. You must be of sufficient level to cast the selected spell.

As I noted in a thread about indexing/listing the various rules subsystems, the Research mechanic of Ultimate Intrigue needs a specific focus and a time limit to really work. What follows is a skeleton for the Cyphermage Library without specific KP thresholds, and more suggestions for where to put them.

Cyphermage Library:
Order of Cyphers Library CR: 12
XP: 19,200
Complexity: 32 (Average)
Languages: Common (Taldane), Varisian, Thassilonian, Elven, Azlanti
Research Check: Knowledge (arcana), Knowledge (history), Knowledge (local); Knowledge bonus: Knowledge (history) +2
Kp: 40

Research Thresholds:
(Designed by the GM, but suggested to vary by the topic, with recent history being in steps of 5 (7 thresholds) and ancient history in steps of 8 (4 thresholds).
Additional Languages: The Library of the Order of Cyphers contains volumes of historic lore pieced together from many sources, and penned by the hands of members from many different lands. As such, the effect depends upon the age of the topic to be researched. Research on topics of Varisian history after the Chelish colonial effort are more standardized and do not have any modifier. Research on topics related to Thassilon, however, requires poring through collected volumes written in Ancient Azlanti, Thassilonian, and other even more obscure languages, resulting in the prolonged use of Linguistics and Comprehand Languages in order to proceed (Research checks require three 8-hour research periods instead of one).
Penalty for Failure: Failing two consecutive Research checks means that the dizzying array of documents and artifacts in the collection has confused the researcher. The researcher may not make any additional progress. Furthermore, the library’s Knowledge Points returns to maximum, and the researcher cannot try again until either gaining an additional rank in an appropriate skill of has found some clue to help with the checks.
Time Constraints: varies as needed by the adventure

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This post is about some general issues and thoughts on the AP as a whole.


  • Bastards of Golarion adds the Half-Drow Half-Elves to the world of Golarion. Dropping a few in here and there during Endless Night might be appropriate.
  • Inner Sea Races, the Advanced Race Codex, the Inner Sea NPC Codex, and Blood of Shadows all have additional materials for Drow.
  • Into the Darklands remains the only rules treatment of underground travel that I know of for Pathfinder.
  • The Shattered Star Adventure Path updates the various Skymetals, including Noqual. The changes are actually pretty slight, though, and the write-up in the Second Darkness Adventure Path remains usable "as-is".
  • The Skull & Shackles Adventure Path has some pirate-themed content that may be useful for Riddleport, but little of direct use after that.
  • Plot & Poison from Green Ronin is referenced in the AP (Rise of the Runelords used material from it as well). The book was revised from 3.0 D&D to 3.5 and is available in PDF from Green Ronin as the Advanced Race Codex: Drow. In addition to the items used specifically in the AP, there are some other useful goodies to be found here as well.
  • The Advanced Bestiary, also from Green Ronin, is used in a few places. An updated version for Pathfinder was released (relatively) recently.
  • Freeport: City of Adventure, again from Green Ronin, is a pirate city. In some cases, it might make a good replacement for Riddleport, depending on the themes you want to emphasize. In any event, there are several new classes, spells, and other tools that can help make Riddleport more pirate-y. A Freeport Bestiary has been released as a follow-up supplement. Like the Skull & Shackles AP, though, these are mostly going to be of use in Book 1, and not as much later (though PCs using the new "crunch" should be fine).

NPCs Galore
One of the challenges against Second Darkness mentioned in the discussion of "which AP is likely to be next to get a hardcover compilation" is the prevalence of classed NPCs in the adventure. In updating/converting, the monsters are usually dead-on for their target CRs, and no work is required to replace the 3.5 version with the Pathfinder version in most cases (the Muck Lion in Descent into Midnight, particularly, was not so easy). NPCs, however, routinely present additional challenges. Classes have become more powerful, and have new options that must be considered; the CR calculation is different from 3.5; races have changed as well; commonly-used magic items have been re-modeled; some spells have changed significantly. All of these combine to make the conversion more challenging.

My rule of thumb has been to try to preserve the expected challenge over keeping to exactly the "build" published.

Generally, unless the NPC calls out that non-standard stats were created, the NPCs' stats match the "Basic NPC" or "Heroic NPC" arrays in the Core Rulebook. On the whole, the NPCs drop 1 CR in almost every case. Even then, they may be weak for their theoretical CR. (I use HeroLab, which has a tool to show how a creature compares to the Monster Stats by CR in the Bestiary appendix; this can be very useful in measuring how effective the changes are -- however, the ability of spells and magic to significantly alter the stats of a creature makes this less effective when assessing creatures with a lot of magic to use, like spellcaster NPCs.)

Drow NPCs
The Drow are a bit more complex to convert, in part because of the presence of two race entries.. Noble Drow and Drow. As a rule, I find that using the base Drow entry for most works well. The Drow Noble should be reserved for those with a name from a Noble Family (Azrinae, Dolour, Misraria, Parastric, Vonnarc, etc.) They're typically the "End Boss" of an adventure, so it is fitting that they should be a little more potent than their minions. In some cases, especially later in the AP, this opens up some Feats for them to play with.

(Un-)Sympthetic Elves
One of the noted flaws in this AP is that the Elves come off as too arrogant and hostile. Re-reading the entries for Elves in the Inner Sea Primer, Inner Sea World Guide, and Inner Sea Races, they don't look much better.

The AP itself does not help. Since the encounters, especially in later volumes where stat-blocks eat up a lot of space, are primarily about overcoming opposition, there are few (none, really) scenes of friendly interactions with happy Elf children, pleasant Elf shopkeepers, kindly Elf former-adventurers who take a shine to the PCs, and so on. The GM needs to insert these, preferably early (maybe a nice Forlorn shopkeeper in Riddleport, for example, and some friendly faces in Crying Leaf) to counteract the increasingly negative view of the Elf government that the encounters in the AP will be giving.

Especially in book 5, when the PCs are in Iadara initially and have some "Downtime" to work with, this can be a good time to set the stage. On "day 2" the PCs deal with a friendly shopkeeper; on "day 3" they return and find the shop shuttered.. neighbors mutter about "sedition" and shy away from the PCs. Maybe someone admits the shopkeeper was taken away for "re-education". That sets the stage for the PCs to realize that something is rotten at the heart of Elven politics, but it is not a trait of the population in general. It also helps to make Quilindra's tale more believable.

It is also important to give the PCs plenty of reasons to suspect that Queen Telandia is not in complete control of the government.. that ministers like Villastir undermine her orders or otherwise discredit her. A few words from a friendly Elf along the way can really help set the stage here. Forewarning the PCs to set their expectations is probably a good way to avoid having them turn squarely against the Elves altogether and be more focused on the Winter Council as the problem.

Gone, never to return...
Another of the perceived flaws in the Second Darkness is that a lot of time is spent getting to know Riddleport.. then the PCs leave and never return. Well, that is not how it must go, but it is certainly the way the AP reads for its base assumptions.

  • The Armageddon Echo: Add some time for the gate to re-charge, so the PCs can return to Riddleport (maybe by boat?) and check up on things there.. especially if they decided to retain ownership of the Gold Goblin.
  • Endless Night: There really isn't much room here for the PCs to go back during the adventure, although as noted in the AP, they could have access to teleport by now, and could go back to Riddleport after escaping House Vonnarc. In that case, a few Downtime days can be inserted before heading off to Kyonin. From there to Crying Leaf could get them some more friendly Elf encounters, as well.
  • A Memory of Darkness: There's no reason why, after fleeing Iadara, the PCs cannot return to Riddleport (again, possibly via teleport). Alternatively, while fiddling with the aiudara, a mishap puts the party in Kaer Maga, or the ruins of an abandoned watchpost where the Elves formerly spied on Thassilon. Regardless of how, it is likely that the Winter Council's hit squads will be following them, and probably won't be above using innocent bystanders (are there such things in Riddleport?) as hostages. But it should be safe for a few days, anyway, and perhaps other interested parties (see below) may help out.
  • Descent into Midnight: The most likely opportunity to get back to Riddleport comes after the AP. During would be challenging, and the beginning of this section tries to impress that time is of the essence. Returning to Riddleport leaves the PCs unable to see the hints of time running out... the shadow in the sky over Kyonin and the repetition of the early signs from Shadow in the Sky. If the PCs insist on "going home" for a bit as part of their preparations, again, the other "interested parties" can be used to prod them along if they're taking too long.

Mordant Spire Spite
The nature of the Mordant Spire Elves has been evolving over the course of Pathfinder's release. They were Gray Elves in the days of D&D 3.5, but have become increasingly different from their mainland kin since then. In reading their "mission-statement" in Mythic Realms

Mordant Spire Elves:
Mythic Realms wrote:
The Mordant Spire elves go masked, listen to unheard voices, and spend as much time beneath the water’s surface as above it. They speak Azlanti in preference to Elven, to better understand the fallen empire whose secrets they protect. Though their forebears used their observatory to spy on Azlant, the elves of the Mordant Spire have turned their gaze to watch the mysterious aboleths beneath the waves and the ambitious humans of the Inner Sea region. They intend to keep the secrets of Azlant lost to humankind forever, for Golarion cannot endure a second Earthfall.

it seems to me that the underlying situation in Second Darkness is a direct affront/challenge to that position.

Allevrah used them to obtain exactly the kind of information that they don't want anyone to recover, and plans to do with it exactly what they want to prevent. That, to me, says that their increasing rudeness to other Elves may stem from feeling that they can no longer trust other Elves, either, after a member of the Winter Council betrayed their reason for being.

Do they know what's going on? Not in detail, perhaps, but they would know that their former contact with the Winter Council, who was privy to some secrets, is now "on covert assignment in the Mwangi Expanse" indefinitely. Any agents of hers would probably have been warned that she was now a renegade (even if the Dark Fate was hidden). There is a good chance that they have resources to hear that the Winter Council is now in disarray, and to learn what Allevrah proposed. The spire itself could easily tip the inhabitants off, as well (see below), to some of these things.


So.. they took it lying down? Giseil is their only act in response? Hardly. These are people who mind-wipe intruders who learn too much... I don't see them taking the situaiton so passively.

It would make sense to me to replace Kwava's Ekujae heritage with a Mordant Spire agent pretending to be of the Ekujae. No mask means his true affiliation is not suspected much (Bluff vs. Sense Motive will come into play often, though) while he keeps a watchful eye on what the agents of the Winter Council (the Shin'Rakorath) are up to in Celwynvian. Was it happenstance that he was assigned to Riddleport, or was it his own manipulation that put him where there were suggestive rumors of Drow activity? Kwava's "vision" could just as easily be a warning from the Mordant Spire's "mind". This would also help to motivate Kwava to stay with the party when they leave, arranging to be "re-assigned" to Celwynvian with them instead of remaining in Riddleport. Once the destruction of Devil's Elbow confirms the situation to some degree, he may put his mask on and come clean about his background. In that case, though, it is important that he knows no more than the PCs do about the specifics of the plot.. perhaps his memories were altered as part of his mission, so that in case of capture he could not reveal even more secrets. The Mordant Spire Elves would almost certainly want to have one of their own on-site to ensure the destruction of any records that could be used to re-discover the magic involved (with implications on Abraxas' deal offered after Allevrah's defeat).

Wheels Within Wheels
So who else would be keeping an eye on things? Who else keeps an eye on the interactions of Elves and Humans in major cities.. like, say, Riddleport?

Other Eyes:
The Wasp Queens (Inner Sea Combat, Campaign Setting line), keeping an eye on the Winter Council for Queen Telandia. There's a temple of Calistria in Riddleport, after all, and Elves make splendid Calistrian Prostitutes. The Wasp Queens may all be female, but they employ both genders as informations, I am sure, so there are Wasp Queen eyes on the situation in Riddleport for sure. That their reports probably provide some basis for Queen Telandia to trust the PCs later helps, too. That last, of course, depends on how the PCs act; their pasts may haunt them if they've been particularly un-heroic where the Wasp Queens' agents could see.

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

This is all solid gold. Nice job incorporating the developing world back into this great AP.

This post is about Relationships in Second Darkness.

The rules for Relationships appeared first in the Jade Regent AP Players' Guide, and were later reprinted and updated in Ultimate Campaign.

Originally, only Romantic and Rivalry types of relationships were present. Ultimate Campaign introduced Parents and Siblings while tweaking the Rivalry to be "Childhood Rival" and Romantic to "Spouse". One that is missing, it seems to me, is "Friend" -- the "Comrade-in-Arms" or "War Buddy".

In any event, the steps on managing the relationships, and even for turning them from friendly into something more hostile, are presented. There are a few bits of information that help guide the growth of the Relationships : Events, Gifts and Insults, and how any Campaign Traits influence the Relationship. Typically, the Campaign Traits give a boost to the potential relationship with one or another of the NPCs.

In addition to the Relationships, there is the potential for the NPCs to become Contacts (also explained in Ultimate Campaign). Some of the factors that may work against a given NPC as a Relationship partner may actually make the NPC more appropriate and attractive as a Contact.

Note that while listing the Campaign Traits that would give a bonus to a Relationship with the NPCs, the same traits are listed for multiple NPCs. In reality, the GM should decide which one NPC best matches the trait for his/her campaign and go with that.

There are not a lot of candidates for relationships in Second Darkness. The obvious ones are Samaritha Beldusk and Kwava, both of whom appear in Shdaow in the Sky. However, while both appear there, neither is expected to stay with the party for long. Later, Shalelu and Kaerishiel appear and could become candidates. Their involvement begins and ends in The Armageddon Echo, though, so there's not a lot of opportunity there.

Other Candidates:
Unfortunately, just about every other adventurer-class named NPC in Shadow in they Sky and Children of the Void is an enemy. Saul Vancaskerkin is certainly one, and the PCs will probably have to kill Bojask to get to him. Hans and Beyar aren't adventurer-calibre, and may well be killed in the Return to the Gold Goblin after the Boneyard Ambush. Akron Erix might be considered a possibility, but the PCs do not spend a lot of time with him, and his task is likely to take him away from them at the end of Children of the Void.

Samaritha is the more fleshed-out candidate. She meets the PCs early and can become an acquaintance of theirs. As she is presented, she is not an adventurer, and has no desire to be one. She plays a role in Children of the Void, but disappears after that unless the PCs do something to make her stay -- recruit her as an additional party member or as a Cohort, for example. The trouble with recruiting her is that she is presented as unwilling to adopt the vagabond lifestyle of adventurers; she's a researcher seeking a stable place in which to work.

Children of the Void:
The events of Children of the Void can be used to change Samaritha's attitude. Her loyalty is a strong personality trait, and could become her motivation to go with the PCs in a number of ways. Perhaps she feels she owes it to her fallen comrades to seek out and spoil the plot of the Drow. Or, perhaps she feels she owes something to the PCs who rescued her and her surviving team-mates. In the latter case, the more members of the cyphermage expedition to Devil's Elbow that the PCs save, the more her motivation would rise.

Good "gifts' to boost a relationship would be demonstrations of loyalty, gifts of obscure written lore or magic, and wizard-themed magic items.
Effective "insults" would be to disrespect her abilities. Treating her as a "trophy" or as a less-qualified member of the party, for example.

Campaign Event:
Rescuing her and her companions in Children of the Void should be good for boosting a Friendly Relationship... I would suggest +1 per cyphermage companion who makes it back alive to Riddleport with the PCs' help.

The "Fools for Friends", "Looking for Work", and "Researching the Blot" campaign traits would be the ones to give a bonus to Samaritha's Relationship score.

Kwava presents a differnet challenge. He's there on a mission, first and foremost; one which he feels is divinely inspired. He'd need a powerful inducement to leave with the PCs (unless, as I suggestd previously, he's actually an agent of the Mordant Spire Elves). He is less fleshed-out than Samaritha, and thus gives less to work with.

Good gifts would be Ranger-themed items, of course, or something useful for Ganmeed (his Animal Companion). If he's actually a Mordant Spire Elf, then gifts of lost lore and ancient magic would be suitable.

Lament for Emerald Rains:
The recovered music found in the Conservatory would be one. The memory globe that might be recovered in the Library of Dust segment is another.

Insults would likely be things such as talking down all Elves based on the actions of a few, or comparing the Elves unfavorably to the Drow (a comparison that the AP itself makes a little too easy).

There are no scripted Campaign Events that make sense to boost his Relationship score, so the GM will need to watch out for opportunities on this matter.

The "Into Enemy Territory", "Fools for Friends", and popssibly "Scouting for Fiends" Campaign Traits seem like the best fits to give a bonus to Kwava's Relationship score.

Shalelu poses some other issues.. first and foremost, she may need to be replaced if you're running in a world where she has already appeared in Rise of the Runelords. Events there may make her participation in Second Darkness difficult, or even impossible. Fortunately, all that's required to correct that is changing her name.. so Shalelu Andosanna becomes Shalona Sandonna and it's all good. More of a problem is that she's introduced in The Armageddon Echo and doesn't haven an official role after that.

Gifts and Insults are covered in her write-up in the Jade Regent AP Players' Guide.

Campaign Event:
The rescue from the Armageddon Echo is the key event, I would think. There may be multiple opportunities to rescue Shalelu during the events of the adventure, but the bonus should only be earned once.

The "Scouting for Fiends" and maybe "Researching the Blot" Campaign Traits seem like the ones best suited to give a Relationship bonus to Shalelu.


Kaerishiel is a great candidate for a resentful rival early on, and a friendly one later; his relationship as scripted in the adventure is close to the model of relationship conversion, so adding the Relationship rules mechanics may help to hide the scripted nature of his change of heart and may help the PCs feel that their actions can help change the attitude of more Elves.

Gifts for Kaerishiel would be similar to the Ekujae version of Kwava: ranger-themed magic items or things for his animal companion.
Insults would also be similar to Kwava's... puttting down Elves in general, comparing Elves unfavorably to the Drow. Pointing out that the Drow ARE Elves would qualify as an insult for Kaerishiel, and showing him up in a contest of some kind would definitely increase the Rivalry aspect.

The "Into Enemy Territory" Campaign trait is the only one that really jumps out as being appropriate for Kaerishiel.

This post is focused on Shadow in the Sky, volume one of the Second Darkness AP.

Shadow in the Sky

Shadow in the sky takes place in Riddleport, a city described for the players in the Second Darkness Player Companion and detailed for the GM in a support article in the AP volume itself. I've discussed Riddleport previously, so there's not much to say about it here.

Bojask was originally supposed to be a Half-Orc, but the art order was messed up and he doesn't have the appropriate look. So make him a Half-Orc.

Most of the NPCs don't need much adjustment, but if you want to add the Intrigue angle to the AP, fleshing out Shorafa Pamodae is probably a good investment. Her art suggests she may be a Div-spawn Tiefling, but Devil-spawn could also fit... and the "Unearth Secrets" Devil-spawn Race Trait from Blood of Fiends would help an information broker (although as a Non-Player Character she would need to take the Additional Traits feat first). In any case, if only to play off their differences, she should not have the same Heritage as Lavender Lil, who would most likely be Demon-spawned.

The Adventure - On and Off the Rails
The adventure is pretty railroady at the start. There's a lot of text telling the GM what should happen, and some sidebars on how to run gambling games until the players become bored with them. The GM is left to breathe life into those guidelines, to make players feel the the raucous and rowdy atmosphere hinted at by the artwork.

General Flow:
The assumption is that the PCs a) intervene during the Gold Goblin Job (which can be viewed as a Heist from Ultimate Intrigue) and b) accept Saul's offer to work for him. But what if they're unwilling to do that? As suggested in the AP's troubleshooting section, the GM can send them to St. Caspieran's Mission, but what about after that? The Rotgut Ripper (with or without conversion to a Vigilante) is still too high a CR encounter for 1st or 2nd level PCs.

From here, it may pay to make Saul into the enemy earlier, and alter the existing encounters from ones where the PCs protect Saul's interests to versions where they interfere with Saul's plans.

There are a couple of encounters that won't happen if this is the route things take (the drunken sailors, Zincher's Unfriendly Warning), and the PCs certainly won't be earning the Story Award for getting the Gold Goblin back into profitable operation this way. As such, some additional random encounters (such as a friendly Elf or two) will be necessry to supplement the XP earned. This period is might be good point for PCs to try their hands as gladiators in Zincher's Arena. The missing experience is two encounters each of CR 1 and CR 2. That should fit into a 3-day tournament for the PCs in Zincher's Arena... facing monsters and NPC gladiators for a purse about equal to what they would have earned working for Saul (est. 500 gp, but see below). The PCs should be fresh for each battle, except perhaps the two CR1s, which could go back-to-back, or be combined to make a third CR 2 battle. At some point, someone (probably their handler or manager) should tell them "Ya need ta be showy out there, right? If'n yez jus' kill 'em fast, and efficient-like, that's borin' an' ye'll be booed out. Ya need ta win the audience over, y'see? That's where ya makes yer money." So, accordingly, the winner for the tournament is not the one who kills the most, or the fastest.. but the one who wins with the most style. This is a good place for the Performance Combat rules from Ultimate Combat.

The Flat on Rat Street:

Instead of Saul sending the PCs to Lymas Smeed's place, he decides to distract Zincher and the Overlord's forces by manipulating the PCs into doing in the moneylender. Preparation will require a new Non-Player Character that the PCs become friendly with.. who is then killed by Bojask after word gets out that he has had business with Smeed. The rest of this encounter can proceed from there.

Alternatively, Saul could "pay his debt" by giving the PCs' friend to Smeed as a slave. PC followers of Cayden Cailean probably won't stand for that, and will move to take action against Smeed... as Saul planned all along. It may backfire on Saul, though, as he is now squarely in the PCs' sights.

Samaritha Beldusk:

This interaction is harder to replace. Fortunately, if the PCs don't take Saul up on his offer, they may be casting about for something to do, and the wizards of the party may decide to approach the Cyphermages. In this variation, the PCs meet Samaritha at the Cyphermages' hall, where she might complain about the pushy customers she has to deal with at the Gold Goblin, and the occasionally-suspicious behavior of her employer. It would help later if a PC becomes romantically interested, or at least friendly, in Samaritha at this point. A rival could work, but a friendly connection will help more with The Raid and the Return to the Gold Goblin later.

Attack on the Foamrunner:

For this encounter, replace Braddikar Faje with Bojask as he leads a gang of Saul's men intent on stealing casks of wine from the ship. In this variation, it is Saul's men who are the aggressors, and a work crew of Clegg Zincher's men who are the beleaguered victims.

If Saul is not being played as the enemy, run it mostly as written, but the PCs are there with Samaritha because she was warned by Saul. Add a couple of enemies to offset her presence.

Timing-wise, this is the point to insert Samaritha's acceptance as an apprentice Cyphermage... due to start in a few days (after the Raid, but before the departure for Devil's Elbow)

The Raid:

If you have not made Saul the obvious enemy, the PCs need a reason to be here. This is where being friendly, or romantically linked, with Samaritha comes into play. It is a bit contrived, but the PCs are just there waiting for Samaritha.

If Saul is being played as the enemy, then the PCs may be here because they heard rumors that the other bosses are moving on Saul, and they want to make sure Samaritha gets out safely.

Boneyard Ambush:

At this point, the PCs have become too much of a problem for Saul to ignore.. either they're getting too close to the truth (as in the AP's presumed path) or they have interfered too often with his plans. Either way, they have to go. So Saul set them up. If they're not working for Saul, then he has to let them find out surreptitiously. If they've been friendly with Samaritha, Saul can let her "overhear" that he's arranged a meeting with his agents to plan how to deal with the PCs. Samaritha warns the PCs, and they go to the ambush site, unaware that it is an ambush. Samaritha can go with them.. or remain at the Gold Goblin to keep an eye on things.. little knowing that Saul plans to use her as a bargaining chip if the ambush fails and will then get rid of her once he's sure the PCs are gone.

The rest of the ambush plays out as written.

Return to the Gold Goblin:

This piece is mostly as written, now that the PCs are squarely on Saul's trail and out for his hide. If they need more motivation, and Samaritha has remained at the Gold Goblin, she would likely be made a hostage. Being a damsel in distress doesn't really fit her, though, so it would be best if she managed to free herself and take out a few thugs on her own during the PCs' assault. PCs can improve any relationship with her by showing respect at that point.

The remainder of the adventure runs as written.

An Elf in Need
Getting a friendly encounter with an Elf into play early will help with the bad impression later. If you're using the Random Encounters in Riddleport, replace one of the encounters with locals (Con Artist, Thugs, or Zealous Merchant seem like the best candidates) with the PCs happening on the encounter in-progress as the locals try to prey upon Elurmon (m or f NG Elf Ranger 1). This works best if the PCs are actually good-hearted people who will intervene and lend a hand; if the characters are being played as cold or anti-heroes, it won't work as well.

Elurmon is here to bring a message and/or supplies to Kwava, and to bring back more detailed reports than an animal messenger would. This is Elurmon's first visit to Riddleport, and so s/he's on guard against the dangers reputed to lurk everywhere in human cities. Some arrogant/condescending comments like "I never expected humans to show such decency" even while thanking the PCs for their aid should help to prepare the PCs for the later attitudes they will meet.. and getting them in early will help the PCs understand it is a matter of ignorance more than malice. If the PCs are being played as anti-heroes, though, this may prejudice them even more.

If the PCs do lend a hand, and the Shin'Rakorath are being kept under observation by other interested parties, that could help with the PCs' reputation later.

Zincher's Tournament
So, since we might need a tournament, I might as well come up with one.
The prize is 500 gp --a bit lower than normal from the Performance Combat rules, but this is a low-level combat in a very corrupt operation. The winner is the one who gains the most Victory Points.
Victory Points are earned by completing bouts in the Arena, and influencing crowd reactions.
Four CR 1 encounters, two CR 1 and one CR 2 encounters, two CR 2 encounters should even out any XP missed from the adventure. Probably, the two CR 1 + one CR 2 format makes more sense as the PCs work to earn themselves a reputation as participants. If your PCs are not going to be eager to do repeated arena combats, though, one CR 2 may have to do.
Even cominng in second should help them with XP and cash to replace the missing encounters if they refuse to join Saul.

Running the Gold Goblin
This aspect becomes a little tough to reconcile with later rules. If you want to run the Gold Goblin as a Building/ Organization from the Ultimate Campaign rules, the money is wildly off. As written, Saul can be paying the PCs a steady salary and as much as 50 gp each in bonuses. If that is assumed to be coming from the profits, then the Gold Golbin needs to make at least 240 gp per week (for a 4-person party) up to 360 gp (for a 6 person party) over and above the amounts Saul skims off for Depora and himself.

One version of the Gold Goblin I worked up has modifiers of +251 gold, +62 Good, +28 Labor, or 105 Influence ... for +26.1 gold, +7 Goods, +3 Labor, or +11 Influence on any day using Take 10 for the check and not including the Skill of the one making the check. At a 5-day work week, that's 130.5 gp per week; well short of the 240+ needed for the scenario.

More reasonably, the 50 gp bonus is for the party, not per-character, if the Downtime rules are to be used as a basis.

In this case, the weekly Profit check is modified. The level of the profitabiliy (-4 to +4) becomes a modifier to the daily proft checks that week, with 10 times the effect (so a -4 Profitability Rating means a -40 on the daily profit checks). The various tasks that the PCs can do to affect the roll for changing the Profitability Rating normally on the Profitability Rating.. only the effect of the Profitability Rating itself on the profit check is multiplied.

Other than that, most of the discrepancies can be assumed to be due to Saul's skimming and the overall corruption of the operation. There's little need to obsess over the details once Saul is out of the picture, and the standard Downtime rules can be used. If the Players get curious, you can explain any apparent loss in revenue as being due to Saul's familiarity with the way Riddle port operates -- something the PCs can't expect to re-create.

The Rotgut Ripper
The Rotgut Ripper is too much of a challenge for low-level PCs, and the PCs will only be about 3rd-4th level at the end of this adventure. The Ripper makes a better challenge if the PCs return to Riddleport at around 9th level (maybe during a pause in The Armageddon Echo). At that point, if the Ripper has killed someone the PCs were friendly with (perhaps one of the unfortunates at St. Caspieran's, or even one of the clergy there)... they may be motivated to take out the Ripper.

Words cannot describe fully how happy I am that you are doing these conversion notes!

SD is an AP with a lot of potential (the worst case endgame scenario is ... memorable, as is the spell used to set up the action in Book 4), but I suspect that a revised edition of this AP will be a long time in coming (if at all). Therefore, many thanks from me for doing this work!

Bellona wrote:

Words cannot describe fully how happy I am that you are doing these conversion notes!

SD is an AP with a lot of potential (the worst case endgame scenario is ... memorable, as is the spell used to set up the action in Book 4), but I suspect that a revised edition of this AP will be a long time in coming (if at all). Therefore, many thanks from me for doing this work!

Yeah.. the underlying lore elements are great, but the dismal sales (due to poor reception overall) pretty much make it unlikely to see an update anytime soon. So here we are with my attempt.

Really, a lot of individual mechanics have been updated (as noted in the first few posts). So now, it is the AP itself that will be getting the focus in the remainder.

This post is about the Elf Issue.

One of the most-discussed flaws in Second Darkness is that the Elves of Kyonin come across as arrogant jerks, and players sometimes wind up more sympathetic to the Drow point of view than that of the surface Elves. It is not like there is no reason for this.. the AP certainly gives plenty of ammunition. So how does this happen, and what can we do about it?

1: The Adventure Path Structure
One reason is the nature of Adventure Paths. They're 6-volume campaigns designed to take PCs from 1st to around 17th level or so.. some coming up short of that range. Each adventure is, itself, 42 pages out of the 96 in the volume it was printed (the remainder being support articles). Of that 42 page count, as the AP progresses, the combats become more complex. The NPC stat-blocks are longer, because the NPCs have more abilities at higher levels than at lower (and the Tactics section of each can become longer as a result); this eats into the space where the AP can provide guidance. At the same time, while it was relatively easy at the start to predict how the PCs would be following or deviating from the plot, as the AP goes on, there is more and more room for the PCs to deviate from expectations, making it more and more difficult for the AP to provide guidance except for specific topics. More and more as the AP goes on, then, it relies upon the GM to add to what is in the written work. But, some GMs buy published adventures because that's not something they can do, or that they do not want to do. For some, it is a matter of available time. For others, it is a matter of lack of confidence in their ability to add to it (and, especially, to ad lib something at the table with no preparation). Regardless, the AP's structure expects more "winging it" from GMs in the later volumes, and not all GMs are prepared to do so.

2: The Lantern Bearers Mission
The Elves are generally a Chaotic Good race, valuing freedom and benevolence. But the mission of the Lantern Bearers/ Shin'Rakorath is genocide.. the eradication of the Drow. A side mission is silencing those outsiders who have learned too much. The Winter Council controls them from the shadows, using them to enforce what the Council belies is proper Elven lifestyle and behavior.

Wow. That sounds like Lawful Evil to me.

So there's a big disconnect between the stated alignment of the Lantern Bearers and their mission... as well as the goals and methods of their masters. That has been raised before, but the AP doesn't suffer as much from it because the Lantern Bearers are "only" the Shin'Rakorath Mercenaries (agents of the Winter Council) in the AP. However, people with access to the Faction Guide and later treatments of the Lantern Bearers get the full disconnect laid out for them.

3: Portrayal of the Drow
I think a part of the issue is also that GMs are unwilling, or unable, to portray the Drow properly. Part of it is that there are only hints in passing in volume 4: Endless Night such as "performance torture chamber" or the encounters for Zirnakaynin mentioning casual violence on the streets. Most GMs probably would have a hard tome portraying these kinds of scenes without some preparation, and as discussed in #1, that doesn't always happen.

4: Portrayal of the Elves
Just as the AP structure begins to work against the portrayal of the Drow in Endless Night, it works even more strongly against the portrayal of the Elves in A Memory of Darkness. Villastir sneers at their warnings. Telandia dismisses them casually at first. Someone tries to murder them. Then Telandia imprisons them. Those are the scripted interactions with the government of Kyonin, and they're not really going to do much to get the PCs to sympathize with the Elves.

Queen Telandia is acting when she dismisses them, but there's no guarantee that the players realize that (because the PCs may not pick up on the clues). The Winter Council may be her political opponents, but the players may not realize that, either. That Telandia locked them up with someone who can guide them to the Winter Council as a means of appealing for their help is... easy to miss. Fairly often, the players will come to the conclusion that the Elves really are just jerks.

5: Later Materials
It is bad enough that, by the time the PCs escape Kyonin, the PLAYERS have little reason to think of the Elves as anything but arrogant jerks, but the later materials discussing how Elves treat Half-Elves is not at all redeeming. James Jacobs has lamented that the portrayal of the Elves in Second Darkness is incorrect and one of its greatest flaws. I would have to reply that the later material has failed to rehabilitate them.

Inner Sea Races, in the section on Half-Elves and their Relations, speaks of the "pity and disgust with which elves view their mixed-heritage brethren". The Ekujae are described as either welcoming or exiling their Half-Elven children. The Mordant Spire Elves "often" take their Half-Elven children to live in the Spire and be raised with the "insular, ethnocentric outlook of those elves". Half-Elves of Snowcaster ancestry are "almost universally rejected by their elven parents". These traits are elaborated upon in Bastards of Golarion, such as in the description of Erages:

Bastards of Golarion, Erages wrote:
Originally a rustic fishing village, Erages was quietly used by the aristocratic elves of Iadara as a place of exile for any shameful half-blooded children they procured via relations with non-elven guests or visits to the human city of Greengold.


Bastards of Golarion, Erages wrote:
Though Erages is often regarded as a sanctuary for half-elves who are unwelcome in the less tolerant realms around the Inner Sea, the rights of its people are still subject to the elven overlords of Kyonin who control the city. Citizens live mostly as they please, but always with the knowledge that distant rulers control the fate of their beloved city.

The description of the Mordant Spire Half-Elves (Spireborn) makes it sound like the Elves are occasionally deliberately breeding Spireborn for some reason.. then taking the children back to the Spire to be raised there. True or not, that's the lore for Spireborn, so Players and GMs aren't exactly wrong for taking it at face value.

The Snowcasters cast out those Twilight Speakers who become "tainted" by outsiders (such as by having children with non-elves).

For the Ekujae, the tribe may either welcome or banish the Half-Elf child. If banished,

Bastards of Golarion, Wildborn Heritage wrote:
These rejected children are forced to live among humans, and oftentimes the elven parents are forbidden to ever see their children again. Some tribal elders even deem it necessary to brand such children on the arm or back with the mark of an outcast, so they may never be accepted in another Ekujae tribe, and are instead met with rejection wherever they turn.

So, these don't paint all that rosy a picture of Elves, either, regardless of whether they are in Kyonin or not. I would say these bits and pieces do not help rehabilitate the Elves in the AP, and instead provide players, especially those with Half-Elf characters, plenty of reason to in-character despise the Elves.

The flip-side, Half-Elves living with their Human parents, are not much better, though in different ways. That's not what we're discussing here, though.

Elf and Half-Elf PCs
All of this kind of comes to a head when there are Elf or Half-Elf PCs. Some GMs advocate running the AP with all Elf PCs who are members of the Shin'Rakorath. That's one option.. the PCs can now sneer at other races, too, and avoid being sneered at themselves by the Elves. For me, though, it feels like a cop-out. The main issue in the AP is actually the Winter Council and its policies. Allevrah and her plot are a SYMPTOM of that problem. The AP is structured to make her the "final boss", but I really feel like that misses the mark. The battle with Allevrah should have been late in book 5 or early in book 6, followed by a second final showdown with the Winter Council (or, the information needed gained in a different manner and the whole of books 5 and 6 swapped).

However, with Elf and Half-Elf PCs, if they are not members of the Shin'Rakorath, they may have access to the later materials that paint such a bleak picture of Elven treatment of Half-Elves. Half-Elf characters with bitter memories of being exiled to Erages from a family in Kyonin while a retainer (and agent of the Winter Council) contemptuously told them to be glad they were tolerated enough to only be exiled is one possibility. A Forlorn Elf who has visited Kyonin and been repulsed by the way the "normal" Elves treated humans and, especially, half-elves is another possibility. These offer rich ground for role-playing, but require some effort for the GM and Player to establish the background appropriately.

Conversely, if one of the PCs is a Lantern Bearer (or aspiring to be), there's room for the growing disillusionment of the PC as the Shin'Rakorath's true nature is revealed during the AP. A reformation of the Shin'Rakorath of the AP into the more "Good" Lantern Bearers of the Faction Guide is also fertile ground for role-play material, and plays well with trying to rehabilitate the surviving members of the Winter Council.

So how can a GM address this?

Well, points #1, #3, and #4 require that GMs put in the work the AP assumes or expects. There's no real away around "filling the gaps"; a missing element is not going to spontaneously correct itself. It is possible for a GM to easily downplay or omit something that is present, but something that is missing needs more effort. Hence, in my previous discussions, I've talked about adding positive Elven encounters early on in the AP chapters. It is also necessary for GMs to really work at portraying the Drow as the cruel and malicious beings they are. This needs some tempering, as you could easily overstep the bounds of what your players can deal with (or want to deal with in a recreational pastime).

Example that may be too much for some:
During Endless Night, casual comments heard from passing Drow like "Ah, the screams of that human child as young Misraria peeled the skin off were splendid.. he really knows how to prolong the agony and keep the subject feeling it" are the kind of thing I mean.

Point #2 is more sticky. The Lantern Bearers' Mission, in the AP, is to exterminate the Drow and non-Elves who know about them (shades of Daleks!). That's decidedly pretty Evil, and at odds with the Lantern Bearers description as a Good organization (in the Faction Guide). One way to view that is that the Faction Guide's Lantern Bearers are the facade of the organization, and only those who have advanced within find out how dark it really is. Another view is that the Faction Guide's view is post-AP, and they become more tolerant at least of outsiders knowing the Drow exist.

Point #5 is not something GMs can do much about. Kyonin needs a source book published with several positive encounter sites to really counter the bad PR in these other products. All that GMs can do is to remember that, in order to present the bad news that motivates outcasts to become adventurers, the good things may be understated, and it is up to the GM to remind the Players of that.... preferably through things their characters encounter to give them a better impression of Elves overall.

Here's a shorter add-on post about the Jinin Elves and the Elf Issue.

The Jinin Elves are in the Dragon Empires region. Their origin is linked to that of the Drow:

Origin of the Jinin:
the Jinin were originally part of the same group of Elves who refused to go to Sovyrian, and instead sought refuge under the Calphiak Mountains in the Caves of the Craven. While working their way deeper into the Darklands, an oracle named Jininsiel received a vision that she felt led to salvation for her people. The Elves were divided on the issue, with the larger portion refusing to accept Jininsiel's vision and her interpretation of it. The groups split, with the larger group denying the smaller a fair division of the food supplies they had brought. The smaller group eventually reached the surface in the Dragon Empires and founded the kingdom of Jinin there. The larger group later became the Drow.

The Drow hate the Elves who fled to Sovyrian, in part feeling they were cowards and weaklings who abandoned Golarion when the going got tough. How much of that is the result of Demonic Patrons encouraging the resentment to grow is unclear.

The Jinin Elves, as an offshoot of the same Elves who sought to remain on Golarion rather than escape, may harbor some of the same resentment toward the Elves who have returned from Sovyrian -- though probably a lot less of it than the Drow.

The Inner Sea Race Guide notes that a small number of Jinin Elves oand Half-Elves have made the trip to the Inner Sea.

What all this means is that Jinin Elf and Half-Elf characters are positioned for a different sort of rich role-play experience than Inner Sea Elves and Half-Elves would be.

A Jinin Elf is in a position to call the Winter Council on their shenanigans even more than a Forlorn Elf would be. The Jinin have remained Elves after surviving Earthfall, and have adapted to their new environment. Their strong embrace of traditions mirrors the emphatic insistence of the Winter Council on 'the proper way of Elven life", but in a good way.

And that mirroring reminds me of another point. The Elves of Kyonin and the Drow are reflections of each other. Both share the arrogance, the isolationism, and the sense of racial superiority that is prevalent in other Elves as well -- and they direct that dark side at each other. The fears of Malindil are a theme that Elf PCs could pick up on and use for some interesting role-playing opportunities.

Malindil's Fears:
After seeing Hiallin transform into a Drow in front of her, just as Allevrah did some years ago, Malindil suffers a breakdown as she becomes certain that she is going to be the next to fall. The fear is not unwarranted, as the Elves of the Winter Council have become the villains of this piece, and the plot to destroy Kyonin by repeating Earthfall started as a cruel plan to eradicate the Drow.

Children of the Void

This part of the adventure is more "sandbox-y" than Shadow in the Sky, so it doesn't need as much work about keeping it "on the rails".

The Elf Problem (II)
This is probably a good place to both foreshadow the conflict in A Memory of Darkness and to (again) try to innoculate the Players agsinst the upcoming Elven arrogance and, well, jerkishness. So how?

I would suggest one of two cases in this chapter:
1) A half-elf among the cyphermages with a background in Kyonin. Having fled the segregated settlement of Erages, perhaps s/he opens up to the PCs and expresses some emotions (positive or negative) about the PCs' acceptance of Samaritha. A melancholy fireside chat remembering being driven from home, with younger siblings crying while an aloof retainer (perhaps an agent of the Winter Council) handed the half-elf child off to an "overseer" from Erages, and the lack of any communication since then, should help paint some of the picture for the PCs.

2) A Forlorn Elf who had been to Kyonin and left, disturbed at what the Shin'Rakorath were doing on behalf of the Winter Council. Being older, this Elf may have been able to understand the political ramifications of the actions to undermine Queen Telandia, and may have been disgusted with Elven politics enough to leave. This makes less sense as the Cyphermages are low-level, but something along this line is an option.

Sandbox Woes
The adventure is somewhat of a sandbox, as noted, so there are no "rails" to worry about. However, there are some details that are left open, and the PCs need to deal with them eventually.

1) What do do with the cyphermages
After rescuing the syphermage survivors, what do the PCs do with them? The adventure seems to assume that they "somehow" get back to Riddleport, but that "somehow" seems to be an issue. The Flying Cloud has set sail for Riddleport with the remains of Goldhammer's expedition, and there are no other ships expected by the PCs. Leaving the cyphermages in the ruins of the port is little better than leaving them in the ruins of other buildings at Witchlight. The PCs have no idea of how many Akata there are on the island, and so they have no way to say that the number they have dealt with a signficant portion (even if, in the end, it is actually almost all of them).

One solution would be, if the Teeth of Araska adventure occurred on the way to Devil's Elbow, or the PCs were to capture the Teeth of Araska shortly after rescuing the cyphermages. That would give the PCs a place out in salt water safe from any surviving Akatas, where the Cyphermages could wait.

After meeting up with Zincher, it might be feasible to bring the cyphermages to Zincher's Camp, but I doubt Zincher would accept refugees from a rival organization into his camp. That might change if

the potential Void Zombie assault on Zincher's Camp occurs, though
-- at that point, he'd likely welcome any additional firepower. Unless it's too late by then :).

2) Goldhammer's Dwarves
The adventure mentions a reward for rescuing any of the missing Dwarves from Goldhammer's expedition. Unfortunately, as noted in the GM thread for this volume, there aren'y any due to a mixup with the art. If the GM has already mentioned it, the Players are likely to feel a little cheated if there aren't any.

What that means is there is no art for Dwarven Void Zombies. That, I think, should be less of an issue than the response in the GM thread made it sound. There's darned little art for ANY undead other than humans (that I know of, especially including tokens for Virtual Table Top applications). So I don't let that bother me, and some of the Void Zombies are now Dwarves. While it is not hard to create them, it is certainly easier if you use electronic tools. Use them to help smooth any XP and treasure gaps. And, again, where to put them? Really, wherever you put the cyphermages.

NPC Conversions
NPC Conversions become more challenging as the Adventure Path progresses. Even here, we have a challenge: Shindiira Misraria. The Cleric's power to Turn/Rebuke Undead changed significantly from D&D 3.5 to Pathfinder, and instead of "scaring them away or controlling them", the base version became "harm them or heal them", with feats expanding that to allow "scare them away or control them". At the same time, the now-absent ability of Evil Clerics to Rebuke Undead is part of the setup of the final section of the adventure.

As the levels rise, the differences in how D&D 3.5 and Pathfinder award Feats becomes more of a factor. At levels 1 through 4, there is no practical difference; once you reach level 5, though, the difference begins to have an impact. A 5th level Pathfinder character gains the Feat that would come at 6th level in D&D 3.5. At 7th level and after, the Pathfinder character now has 1 or more additional Feats compared to a D&D 3.5 character of the same level.

In addition, the formula for evaluating the power of NPCs is different. In D&D 3.5, CR was equal to level. For Pathfinder, it is level -1. That's something true for all NPCs where all HD come from class levels, and it means that maintaining the CR requires adding 1 level in many cases. That, in turn, can mean the opponent gains another Feat, or an increase to an Ability Score, and more skill ranks. It is even arguable that additional equipment should be included.

Further, the merging of the Hide and Move Silently skills into Stealth, and of the Listen, Search, and Spot skills into Perception, often means that NPCs have some skill ranks freed up to re-allocate.

Making changes to the Feats and Skills of a character can impact the written tactics as well, which in turn can affect how the scripted encounters play out. While a certain Feat may seem to "make perfect sense" for a given foe, the existing design that chose something else probably at least partially represents a conscious choice NOT to optimize the enemy too much. Having more Feats to play with makes it tempting to make the enemy "better"... but that may not be the best thing to do. The published version aims for a moderately low level of optimization, so my conversions will, as well. For that reason, I generally don't also add new equipment while adding a level.

Together, these things mean that altering opponents' classes becomes more work, and carries more "collateral damage", as the levels increase. The Armageddon Echo will likely be the last volume where it will be fairly "safe" to make such changes. There are, for example, two spellcasters in the AP whose story role is "alchemist". One of them I will change to be the Alchemist class, but the other appears in Descent into Midnight, and changing that character to an Alchemist would require completely replacing the Tactics section, and nature of the encounter would also need to be changed.

Akron Erix
Akron is simpler. The change here is just to add some representation for newer classes. He could be left as-is, but his background just kind of demands that he become either a Brawler, or an Ex-Monk Brawler.

Akron Erix was CR 6 as an Ex-Monk 2/Fighter 4. In this conversion, I've made him an Ex-Monk 2/Brawler 5. Skill ranks freed up have gone to Bluff (how did he manage to deceive Zincher long enough to gain the crime lord's trust without that?) and Knowledge (local).

Akron Erix as Monk/Brawler:
Akron Erix (Brawler) CR 6
XP 2,400
Male human (Garundi) brawler 5/ex-monk 2 (Pathfinder RPG Advanced Class Guide 23)
N Medium humanoid (human)
Init +6; Senses Perception +7
AC 16, touch 16, flat-footed 13 (+1 deflection, +2 Dex, +1 dodge, +2 Wis)
hp 49 (7 HD; 2d8+5d10+9)
Fort +8, Ref +11, Will +6
Defensive Abilities evasion
Speed 30 ft.
Melee +1 cold iron warhammer +9/+4 (1d8+3/×3) or
unarmed strike +9/+4 (1d8+4) or
unarmed strike flurry of blows +8/+8/+3/+3 (1d8+4)
Special Attacks brawler's flurry, brawler's strike (magic), close weapon mastery, flurry of blows, knockout 1/day (DC 14), maneuver training (grapple +1), martial flexibility 5/day, stunning fist (7/day, DC 15)
Str 15, Dex 14, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 10
Base Atk +6; CMB +8 (+11 grapple); CMD 24 (27 vs. grapple)
Feats Combat Reflexes, Crushing Blow[UC], Deflect Arrows, Improved Grapple, Improved Initiative, Improved Unarmed Strike, Lightning Reflexes, Martial Weapon Proficiency (warhammer), Stunning Fist, Weapon Focus (unarmed strike), Weapon Specialization (unarmed strike)
Skills Acrobatics +10, Bluff +5, Climb +11, Intimidate +8, Knowledge (local) +8, Perception +7, Sense Motive +10, Swim +7
Languages Common, Osiriani
SQ brawler's cunning, martial training
Combat Gear potion of barkskin +3, potion of lesser restoration; Other Gear +1 cold iron warhammer, ring of protection +1, key to lockbox in e5, chelsh cigar (worth 5 gp) (5), platinum piece (46)
Special Abilities
Brawler's Cunning (Ex) Count as Int 13 for the purpose of combat feat pre-requisites.
Brawler's Flurry +5/+5/+0 (Ex) Can make full attack & gain two-wep fighting, but only with unarmed strike, close, or monk wep.
Brawler's Strike (magic) (Ex) Unarmed strikes overcome DR as various things.
Close Weapon Mastery (Ex) Weapons of the close group deal dam as unarmed strike at -4 levels.
Combat Reflexes (3 AoO/round) Can make extra attacks of opportunity/rd, and even when flat-footed.
Crushing Blow (-2) Stunning Fist reduces target's AC
Deflect Arrows (1/round) While have an empty hand, negate one ranged weapon hit you are aware of (unless from a massive weapon).
Evasion (Ex) If succeed on Reflex save for half dam, take none instead.
Flurry of Blows +5/+5/+0 (Ex) As full-rd action, higher BAB and combo unarmed/monk wep as if two-weapon fighting.
Improved Grapple You don't provoke attacks of opportunity when grappling a foe.
Improved Unarmed Strike Unarmed strikes don't cause attacks of opportunity, and can be lethal.
Knockout (1/day, DC 14) (Ex) Declare before attack, if hit then foe is unconscious 1d6 rds (Fort neg), resave each rd.
Maneuver Training
Martial Flexibility (move action, 5/day) (Ex) As a Move action, gain a combat feat for 1 min. More gained for greater actions.
Martial Training (Ex) Brawler levels count as fighter/monk levels for feat/item pre-reqs and effects.
Stunning Fist (7/day, DC 15) You can stun an opponent with an unarmed attack.

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Shindiira Misraria
Shindiira is more challenging. The adventure background calls out that she was chosen to be here because of her expertise in crafting magic items, so she needs to keep her Craft Wondrous Item feat, but she is also described as being the one to keep the ghost of Virashi at bay with her Rebuking powers, so she also needs something to let her do that. The alternative is to re-write the background, which may be more attractive to some. In addition, while it is tempting to convert her to a Warpriest, charm person (a key tool in the adventure setup) is not available that way... although everything else works.

For the first alternate, changing her race to "Drow noble" makes sense (as she is from one of the main houses), and helps keep her CR up close to where it should be. Adding 1 level of Fighter avoids messing with added spells that could really change the tactics and the way the encounter plays out. Finally, freed up skill ranks are spent on Profession (Engineer) and Knowledge (Dungeroneering)... both of which make sense for a character from the Darklands and who built the prison for Virashi.

For the second alternate, as a Warpriest, the spellcasting worked out "just right" for the most part. Except for the lack of charm person. Using this variant means that something else... maybe a wondrous item that gets conveniently lost or desrtoyed... makes Zincher obey her. The exsting tactics work, and the same skill adjustments play out nicely.

Shindiira Misraria updated:
Shindiira Misraria CR 7
XP 3,200
Female drow noble cleric of Nocticula 5/fighter 2 (Pathfinder RPG Bestiary 115)
CE Medium humanoid (elf)
Init +2; Senses darkvision 120 ft.; Perception +6
AC 22, touch 11, flat-footed 21 (+8 armor, +1 Dex, +3 shield; +2 deflection vs. lawful)
hp 48 (7 HD; 5d8+2d10+12)
Fort +9, Ref +4, Will +9 (+1 vs. fear); +2 vs. enchantments; +2 resistance vs. lawful
Immune sleep; SR 18
Weaknesses light blindness
Speed 30 ft. (20 ft. in armor)
Melee +1 light flail +8 (1d8+2)
Ranged mwk hand crossbow +8 (1d4/19-20)
Special Attacks channel negative energy 3/day (DC 12, 3d6)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 7th; concentration +7)
Constant—detect magic
At will—dancing lights, deeper darkness, faerie fire, feather fall, levitate
1/day—detect magic, dispel magic, divine favor, feather fall, levitate, suggestion (DC 13)
Domain Spell-Like Abilities (CL 5th; concentration +9)
7/day—dazing touch, touch of chaos
Cleric Spells Prepared (CL 5th; concentration +9)
3rd—dispel magic, suggestion[D] (DC 17), water walk
2nd—bear's endurance, bull's strength, calm emotions[D] (DC 16), shatter (DC 16)
1st—charm person[D] (DC 15), command (DC 15), divine favor, protection from law, shield of faith
0 (at will)—create water, purify food and drink (DC 14), read magic, stabilize
D Domain spell; Domains Chaos, Charm
Str 13, Dex 14, Con 12, Int 16, Wis 18, Cha 10
Base Atk +5; CMB +6 (+8 disarm); CMD 18 (20 vs. disarm)
Feats Combat Expertise, Command Undead, Craft Wondrous Item, Dark Adept, Improved Disarm, Weapon Focus (light flail)
Skills Acrobatics -4 (-8 to jump), Bluff +5, Intimidate +6, Knowledge (arcana) +13, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +9, Knowledge (religion) +13, Perception +6, Profession (engineer) +10, Spellcraft +13; Racial Modifiers +2 Perception
Languages Common, Elven, Sakvroth, Undercommon
SQ poison use
Combat Gear +1 crossbow bolts (40), +1 crossbow bolts (10), scroll of charm monster, charm monster, wand of cure light wounds (32 charges), drow poison (10); Other Gear +1 banded mail, +1 heavy steel shield, +1 light flail, mwk hand crossbow, cloak of resistance +1, silver circlet (worth 350 gp, 1 lb)
Special Abilities
Cleric Channel Negative Energy 3d6 (3/day, DC 12) (Su) Positive energy heals the living and harms the undead; negative has the reverse effect.
Cleric Domain (Chaos) Granted Powers: Your touch infuses life and weapons with chaos, and you revel in all things anarchic.
Cleric Domain (Charm) Granted Powers: You can baffle and befuddle foes with a touch or a smile, and your beauty and grace are divine.
Combat Expertise +/-2 Bonus to AC in exchange for an equal penalty to attack.
Command Undead (DC 12) Channel energy can take control of undead.
Dark Adept Gain detect magic, feather fall, and levitate as spell-like abilities.
Darkvision (120 feet) You can see in the dark (black and white only).
Dazing Touch (5 HD max, 7/day) (Sp) Melee touch attack dazes foe for 1 rd, Immune if more HD than your level.
Drow Immunities - Sleep You are immune to magic sleep effects.
Improved Disarm You don't provoke attacks of opportunity when disarming.
Light Blindness (Ex) Bright light blinds for 1 rd, then dazzled as long as remain in it.
Poison Use (Ex) You do not risk poisoning yourself accidentally while poisoning a weapon.
Spell Resistance (18) You have Spell Resistance.
Touch of Chaos (7/day) (Sp) With a melee touch attack, target takes the lower of 2d20 for each d20 roll for 1 round.

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Shindiira Misraria as Warpriest:
Shindiira Misraria (Warpriest) CR 7
XP 3,200
Female drow noble warpriest of Nocticula 7 (Pathfinder RPG Advanced Class Guide 60, Pathfinder RPG Bestiary 115)
CE Medium humanoid (elf)
Init +2; Senses darkvision 120 ft.; Perception +6
AC 22, touch 11, flat-footed 21 (+8 armor, +1 Dex, +3 shield; +2 deflection vs. lawful)
hp 49 (7d8+14)
Fort +7, Ref +5, Will +10; +2 vs. enchantments; +2 resistance vs. lawful
Defensive Abilities sacred armor (+1, 7 minutes/day); Immune sleep; SR 18
Weaknesses light blindness
Speed 30 ft. (20 ft. in armor)
Melee +1 light flail +8 (1d8+2)
Ranged mwk hand crossbow +9 (1d8/19-20)
Special Attacks blessings 6/day (Chaos: anarchic strike, Charm: charming presence), channel negative energy 3/day (DC 17, 2d6), fervor 7/day (2d6), sacred weapon (1d8, +1, 7 rounds/day)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 7th; concentration +7)
Constant—detect magic
At will—dancing lights, deeper darkness, faerie fire, feather fall, levitate
1/day—detect magic, dispel magic, divine favor, feather fall, levitate, suggestion (DC 13)
Warpriest Spells Prepared (CL 7th; concentration +11)
3rd—dispel magic, water walk
2nd—bear's endurance, bull's strength, shatter (DC 16), silence (DC 16)
1st—command (DC 15), divine favor, murderous command[UM] (DC 15), protection from law, shield of faith
0 (at will)—create water, grasp, purify food and drink (DC 14), resistance, stabilize
Str 13, Dex 14, Con 12, Int 16, Wis 18, Cha 10
Base Atk +5; CMB +6 (+8 disarm); CMD 18 (20 vs. disarm)
Feats Combat Expertise, Command Undead, Craft Wondrous Item, Dark Adept, Improved Disarm, Weapon Focus (hand crossbow), Weapon Focus (light flail)
Skills Acrobatics -4 (-8 to jump), Bluff +5, Intimidate +6, Knowledge (arcana) +10, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +6, Knowledge (religion) +13, Perception +6, Profession (engineer) +10, Spellcraft +13; Racial Modifiers +2 Perception
Languages Common, Elven, Sakvroth, Undercommon
SQ poison use
Combat Gear +1 crossbow bolts (40), +1 crossbow bolts (10), scroll of charm monster, charm monster, wand of cure light wounds (32 charges), drow poison (10); Other Gear +1 banded mail, +1 heavy steel shield, +1 light flail, mwk hand crossbow, cloak of resistance +1, silver circlet (worth 350 gp, 1 lb)
Special Abilities
Blessings (6/day) (Su) Pool of power used to activate Blessing abilities.
Combat Expertise +/-2 Bonus to AC in exchange for an equal penalty to attack.
Command Undead (DC 17) Channel energy can take control of undead.
Dark Adept Gain detect magic, feather fall, and levitate as spell-like abilities.
Darkvision (120 feet) You can see in the dark (black and white only).
Drow Immunities - Sleep You are immune to magic sleep effects.
Fervor (2d6, 7/day) (Su) Standard action, touch channels positive/negative energy to heal or harm. Swift to cast spell on self.
Improved Disarm You don't provoke attacks of opportunity when disarming.
Light Blindness (Ex) Bright light blinds for 1 rd, then dazzled as long as remain in it.
Poison Use (Ex) You do not risk poisoning yourself accidentally while poisoning a weapon.
Sacred Armor +1 (7 minutes/day) (Su) As a swift action, grant armor enhancement bonus or certain powers. Use 1 fervor as free action to also activate Sacred weapon.
Sacred Weapon +1 (7 rounds/day) (Su) As a swift action, grant weapon enhancement bonus or certain powers.
Spell Resistance (18) You have Spell Resistance.
Warpriest Channel Negative Energy 2d6 (3/day, DC 17) (Su) Positive energy heals the living and harms the undead; negative has the reverse effect.

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I just got my copy of the Adventurer's Guide, and have been looking specifically at the two groups most associated with this AP: the Cyphermages and the Lantern Bearers.

The thrust of the Adventurer's Guide is "what happened to these groups AFTER the AP?", so there's little or no impact on the AP itself. Mainly, there are some hints that may help GMs decide how to handle things in the AP as a means of foreshadowing the after-effects. I will need to remember to do a post-AP post :) to address that, and maybe drop some comments in later posts about how this may affect a GMs planning.

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