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Advice for GMs starting Iron Gods


Iron Gods


I've begun preparations for starting an Iron Gods campaign to run with my friends and have read most of the over-arching story of the campaign. However, after I began Council of Thieves and saw how many people complained of needing to rework the story (and I did rework the story with a good amount of effort), I would like to be slightly more cautious entering into this one.

So, veterans of the Paizo messageboards, what advice would you give to a GM before starting this campaign? Are there any massive plot-holes or wonky mechanics that need to be addressed? Or are there additions you may think of that would improve the campaign? Thank you in advance.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Book 1: Fires Of Creation: The biggest problems you will have are ...

  • Hetuath (area B13) has very significant offensive fighting abilities. If the PCs aren't on their game, he can kill PCs.
  • The Collector Robots (area C12 and D9) have a Hardness of 10, and this can be a big problem. Consider reducing their Hardness to 5, to "ease" the PCs into the concept of "Hardness" without actually killing them. You can leave the Gearsman (area D7) at Hardness 10, because that is not a "required" encounter.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Book 2: Lords Of Rust: You have to watch for ...

  • Some of the encounters in this adventure are much more dangerous then they appear on paper, specifically the gunfight in Aldronard’s Grave, Birdfood’s human bane arrows, and Kulgara chainsword. You shouldn’t have to change this encounters, but do watch them carefully to avoid a TPK. (Hellion’s encounter is also dangerous, but the adventure gives the heroes adequate warning.)
  • The biggest issue you will have with this adventure is getting the PCs intrigued with Casandalee to want to find her. Particularly militant heroes may try to go directly to Starfall. Be ready for that action.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I have only played in this path before (and only briefly) but I would recommend thoroughly understanding the difference between robots and constructs (ie that Robots have hardness).

In addition if your players have characters from Numeria I would maybe throw them a bone and tell them that specifically robots tend to react strangely to critical hits and that electrical attacks can be helpful.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

A technological weapon called Autograpnel can be looted several times in the adventure path, starting in book 1. It's mechanics are not fully explained in the technology guide (it references a pull combat maneuver which doesn't exist and lacks stats needed to act like it used the pull monster special ability), so I recommend for the GM to revise that item/it's mechanics in advance.

I've seen people complain that Book 3 is a "filler adventure", but my players mostly enjoyed it. Furkas is a great recurring threat in the Choking Tower, hating him for being annoying motivated my PCs very much... Iadenveigh was also fun because I got my players to connect with the town/NPCs in it.

Book 2 and 4 are more sandboxy adventures. I needed more preparation time for those because I couldn't tell where my players will go.

Motivation wise: PCs that are tied to Torch are not the greatest choice. Having one PC that is interested (or becomes interested) in technology helps me as a GM to keep the party going in directions the other PCs might not purse. The party needs to be quite proactive ('This sounds weird, check it out!') to keep the adventure on track. Passive motivations ('Protect this city!', 'Let us prepare for this upcoming mysterious danger!') might make it hard for you to keep everything going.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Book 3: The Choking Tower: The adventure isn’t too bad, but here are a couple things to watch for …

  • Characters with obvious technology and/or Android characters will have problems in Iadenveigh. But, as long as you let the PCs know what to expect, dealing with it is the hero’s problem.
  • A high level wizard, who is also a ghost is a frustrating opponent for your heroes.
  • Beyond that, the areas in the tower can be cramped placed for combat.


Many thanks Lord Fyre for the examples of problems in each book. These suggestions will be put to good use.

Also thank you, rkotitan and Mimski. I will attempt to make the distinction between the enemy types and revamp the Autograpnel.


The whole adventure path begs you to create cool handouts. Like access cards, computer displays and logfiles. There should be a resources thread somewhere here

Here is a link to my dropbox, where I have created a few things for my offline- and my roll20 group. It is in german, but maybe you get the idea.
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/zheeh4el9hngi2y/AAANRkeKpLgiSCHINGNxnsgta?dl=0

The access cards are a design I found here in the board, and I customized it a little. There are also some psd files, so if you have photoshop you can easily edit them


Excellent. Thank you MasterZelgadis.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

The dark folk in book two have at-will deeper darkness that will cause a lot of problems for your average group.


jabberwoky wrote:
So, veterans of the Paizo messageboards, what advice would you give to a GM before starting this campaign? Are there any massive plot-holes or wonky mechanics that need to be addressed? Or are there additions you may think of that would improve the campaign? Thank you in advance.

The biggest gap is the technology. The theme of the adventure path promises high tech, but the PCs cannot afford technology until 7th level. And that is right before they head into Iadenveigh, where they ought to hide their technology. Some threads that discuss this are Lord Fyre's Technology The Wires Behind The Magic and my Going Wild with Technology. My own party was interested in crafting due to the science-fiction emphasis, and the Pathfinder crafting rules are too slow, so I switched to the Making Craft Work rules.

In case PCs need a place to buy and sell technology, see The Tarnished Halls, Numeria's biggest black market.

Mimski wrote:
A technological weapon called Autograpnel can be looted several times in the adventure path, starting in book 1. It's mechanics are not fully explained in the technology guide (it references a pull combat maneuver which doesn't exist and lacks stats needed to act like it used the pull monster special ability), so I recommend for the GM to revise that item/it's mechanics in advance.

The autograpnel is the party gunslinger's favorite weapon. The houserules I made are that the target trying to escape the hook uses the Grapple rules with the autograpnel's stats (and a +1 autograpnel gets +1 to this check) and the bearer's BAB. A hooked creature cannot move farther from the autograpnel but can move in a circle or move closer.

Mimski wrote:
Motivation wise: PCs that are tied to Torch are not the greatest choice. Having one PC that is interested (or becomes interested) in technology helps me as a GM to keep the party going in directions the other PCs might not purse. The party needs to be quite proactive ('This sounds weird, check it out!') to keep the adventure on track. Passive motivations ('Protect this city!', 'Let us prepare for this upcoming mysterious danger!') might make it hard for you to keep everything going.

My PCs are heavily tied to Torch: the gunslinger was Khonnir Baine's forge assistant, the magus was Khonnir Baine's field agent, and the party even invited 17-year-old Val Baine (I aged her) to join the party. They left for Scrapwall in order to protect Torch from whoever sent Meyanda. They used Torch as their home base in the downtime between modules.

They adopted dual identities to protect Torch from the Technic League. In Torch and Iadenveigh they hid their technology and acted as ordinary townsfolk employed by Khonnir Baine. In Scrapwall and Scar of the Spider they were the archelogical Sixth Expedition under false names--Gremlinbane, Lifestealer, Cold Iron, Jolt, and Nightingale. In Starfall some adopted a third identity and they ran into the motivation problem that Mimski described: Inconspicuous PCs Unmotivated in Palace of Fallen Stars. In the Divinity, they told Unity that they were a repair crew trained by Casandalee, forcing me to rewrite that module.

Lord Fyre wrote:
Some of the encounters in this adventure [Lords of Rust] are much more dangerous then they appear on paper, specifically the gunfight in Aldronard’s Grave, Birdfood’s human bane arrows, and Kulgara chainsword. You shouldn’t have to change this encounters, but do watch them carefully to avoid a TPK. (Hellion’s encounter is also dangerous, but the adventure gives the heroes adequate warning.)

My memories of those encounters brought out a laugh. The gunslingers were outgunned by my party, and the first wave against Birdfood happened to be the non-humans in the party. Fighting Kulgara was brutal, however, with the party's overconfident fighter running away on his last few hit points and the more experienced players stopping her with battlefield control tactics.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Gwaihir Scout wrote:
The dark folk in book two have at-will deeper darkness that will cause a lot of problems for your average group.

This is true. PCs unprepared for Darkness will have a rough time with these foes.


Mathmuse wrote:

The biggest gap is the technology. The theme of the adventure path promises high tech, but the PCs cannot afford technology until 7th level. And that is right before they head into Iadenveigh, where they ought to hide their technology. Some threads that discuss this are Lord Fyre's Technology The Wires Behind The Magic and my Going Wild with Technology. My own party was interested in crafting due to the science-fiction emphasis, and the Pathfinder crafting rules are too slow, so I switched to the Making Craft Work rules.

In case PCs need a place to buy and sell technology, see The Tarnished Halls, Numeria's biggest black market.

Now that is a rather important point with the adventure path. Thank you very much Mathmuse!

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