Spooky

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...because some of us work night shift and Noon is our Dawn.

Which is a real issue with availability since that means our group can only play weekends. Otherwise someone's always stuck at work. Thus we're getting started a month late. However! I finally managed to corral my gaming group into one room for some playtesting. It only took a month.

Meanwhile, I read the book cover to cover twice and came away unsure about the whole thing. Which is already a red flag, I'm used to being able to read a Pathfinder book ONCE and having an idea how the rules work.

But my players really wanted to do the playtest. Because playtesting means having a say in things and that's cool.

So... Character creation.

Lost Star

Cast of Characters:
Sirtir, elven druid. Built with the point buy system. Took just over 3 hours to build.
Fimbly, elven paladin of Torag. Rolled for stats. Took 2.5 hours to build.
Bookworm, goblin alchemist. Rolled for stats. Took just over 2 hours to build.
Arianna, elven cleric of Calistria. Rolled for stats. Took just under 2 hours to build.
Myself the GM, who ended up with a migraine an hour and a half in. A migraine caused by 4 people demanding rules clarification on everything under the sun. Not a good start.

So first session we notice that building characters takes a long time and a lot more effort than Pathfinder 1st.

Begin the arguing.


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This was just too cute not to share. Cute in a way that warms this rakshasa's black heart.

So we're just getting into the Thassilonian Laboratories when...

My player (solo campaign, I GM) decides to turn east and beelines it right to the hiding place of poor little Stink. He squeals and blubbers and cries and huddles in a pitiful little ball, calling them bullies as the module expects.

Now, this is an evil party. Both PCs are Gray Maidens. The inquisitor immediately takes out a holy symbol of Asmodeus (she worships Belial but still carries her old Asmodean symbol around for emergencies) and shows him that "we're the good guys."

Stink's eyes get real wide. He thinks they've been sent to help him. The PCs don't say anything to the contrary. He tells them in broken Infernal about the bullies and how they hurt him. And all the while his evil little mind is thinking. Because while he may be an idiot (int 4) and he may be a coward, he is also a devil.

He proposes a contract. He says he'll give them his "shinys" if they kill all the bullies. But it has to be official so he squiggles out some smears on the wall and calls that a contract. He puts a big fat handprint on the wall and squeaks that the PCs need to sign too.

The PCs get out the gloves and sign their names. They're lawful evil, contracts are standard procedure, no souls are at stake, it's just putting into "writing" the fact that they're gonna go kill some dudes and get gems in return.

Contract signed, they take on the rest of the dungeon. Now, the bullies were described as "meany imps an' icky Lord Baz, he's mean!"

Long story short, they take on all of the devils. A few lemures are left wandering around. Every little imp is slain.

Lord Baz tries to sic the PCs onto the Suzerain and gets killed for it. "I'm sorry, we can't do that. You see, we've been contracted to kill you." [stab]

The PCs seek out the Suzerain and are welcomed as honored servants. "You're wrong. I only serve the Queen!" [stab]

The PCs return to Stink with news of their success. Stink praises them and cries and tries to hug the inquisitor. He declares the contract complete. The rogue demands payment first. Stink realizes this (he's new at this, remember) and fetches his shinys, giving them to the PCs with the drippiest little expression of glee on his face.

The PCs watch as the squiggles on the wall fade away. Stink is dancing around chanting that he's just brokered his first contract, it's the best day in the world!

It was his first contract, isn't that so cute?


Note: Thread contains spoilers.

Been awhile since I posted to these boards.

Anyway...

So we're starting Shattered Star maaaaaybe tonight, definitely this week. Big problem, though, neither of us like the Pathfinder Society as it's written in the vast variety of canon sources. Elicits groans all around, actually. But I adore Thassilon, even dragged my player (yes, I still solo-GM) through Second Darkness so I could fold the results of that AP into this AP.

So I came up with a solution.

My compliments to everyone involved in writing/creating/designing this AP, by the way, because this was amazingly easy. It seriously took me three hours to alter the first volume.

On Korvosa and the Gray Maidens:
After adventurers overturned the monarchy and King Glorio Arkona the First took control of the throne, the remains of the Gray Maidens splintered. A faction stayed in Korvosa and was eventually hunted down after an assassination attempt against the king went horribly wrong.

There have been multiple assassination attempts against King Arkona. Unfortunately the first few were paladins who wanted to prevent the city from falling back into the clutches of an evil power. Through careful PR works and using the will of the people, paladins are scarce on the streets of Korvosa, largely unwelcome in the city's new order. After all, the paladins of Abadar and Iomedae did nothing to prevent Ileosa's rise or protect the people.

As the paladins have largely been driven underground and Iomedae's faith lost favor, the Gray Maidens have splintered and been driven every which way. Some want to take the crown back right away. Some want to increase their numbers. Some merely want to survive, becoming mercenary groups. Some will play the PR game. And some seek artifacts, allies, power.

On the Darklight Sisterhood:
Yes, I am well aware that this group no longer exists in Pathfinder canon. But they played a distinct role in the Curse of the Crimson Throne game I ran way back when with the beta rules. Then the group hadn't been retconned out of the game yet. They were merely... unsupported, as was 95% of Golarion at the time.

The Pathfinder society is mentioned in #61 (Shards of Sin) as being largely uninterested in Varisia. The whole Heidmarch backstory relies on this fact. But Varisia is a former Chelaxian interest. I reworked the Darklight Sisterhood into a group insistent on spreading Chelaxian interests, especially in those areas lost since Aroden's fall. An excellent ally for the Gray Maidens to seek out. Which brings us to the PCs.

On the PCs:
The PCs are Gray Maidens. Both of them were low level initiates in the Gray Maidens when Ileosa fell. They seek allies, something to help them retake Korvosa, put a true Chelaxian back on the throne, anything. When the Shard of Pride presents itself the choice is obvious.

Note: While all of the Gray Maidens in Curse of the Crimson Throne were single-class fighters, their fluff implies that many more martial classes were tapped. Thus, one PC is an Inquisitor of Belial and one is a multiclassed Fighter/Rogue.

On Belial:
Archdevil of Lust. Governs the twisting of that which is beautiful into that which is useful. Obvious enough. Besides, it's been six years since the Gray Maidens fell, not all of them will have kept with Asmodeus since contracts were broken all over the place when Ileosa fell.

I also allowed Asmodeus, God of Contracts; Dispater, Archdevil of Monarchy; Moloch, Archdevil of Obedience; Doloras, Whore Queen of Suffering; and Rubicante, Malbranche of Nobility.

Now then... Changes to the first adventure itself...


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Arena style combat, no terrain, no tactical advantage to either side.

Level 16 Summoner vs Level 10 Tier 6 Summoner/Guardian

Initial assessment

The level 16 summoner is a leftover from my Carrion Crown campaign. Not optimized for arena combat. The eidolon (Veli) is optimized for caster lockdown with reach, bite, grab, grapple, constrict. The summoner (Asira) is optimized for skirmishing with +2 icy burst composite longbow, improved critical, movement feats. Both of them are below Wealth Per Level guidelines due to their involvement in a treasure-light AP (and never having sold any of the gear they pilfered through book 6).

The level 10 tier 6 mythic summoner is built specifically for arena combat on a mount. Eidolon (Gap Dragon) acts as that mount. If the Gap Dragon falls the mythic summoner has Mythic Augment Summoning to increase the power of Summon Monster V. The summoner is built for spear-charging and locking enemies in place. They were built with level 10 gear (since from what I've gathered wealth is based on level, not level+tier, feel free to correct me if I'm wrong).

First battle

It took 6 rounds.

The summoner opened by popping Beast Fury and charging Veli on the back of the Gap Dragon. They hiffed on all attacks. The Gap Dragon went (its normal turn this time) and got a claw attack off but did no damage. Asira moved away from Veli and shot, hitting the summoner for small damage.

And then Veli attacked. Bite, bite, tail, grab, grapple.

Round 2, the summoner popped Ally Defense, speared Veli for small damage, and jumped off her mount, ran away. The Gap Dragon popped Mythic Companion and still failed to attempt to escape the grapple. Asira peppered the summoner with arrows, hitting 2 of 3 for decent damage. Possible crit but didn't back it up. Meanwhile, Veli rips the Gap Dragon in half.

The mythic eidolon is dead.

Round 3, the summoner popped Mythic Power to go twice. First action, create pit under Veli. Veli makes his save (he saves on a nat 3). Second action, the summoner swears and pulls a Summon Monster V, mounts a Large Mythic Earth Elemental. Asira cast Banishment, the Elemental disappears. I allow the summoner to make an acrobatics check, lands on her feet.

And then Veli charged the summoner. Bite, grab, grapple.

Round 4, the summoner popped Mythic Power to add 1d8 to her roll and escaped the grapple. I allowed her to run the f$@@ away. Asira full attacked with the bow, hit twice for small damage. Veli charged. Bite, grab, grapple.

Round 5, the summoner popped Mythic Power to add 1d8 again and failed. Asira watched. Veli toyed with the summoner. End grapple as a free, full attack, grab and grapple as a free. Summoner ended the round in negatives, grappled again.

Round 6, the summoner popped Mythic Power one last time to add 1d8 again and failed. Asira pointed and laughed. Veli ripped the summoner to shreds.

Results

The Gap Dragon, the mythic eidolon, lasted 2 rounds. The mythic summoner lasted 6 rounds even with Epic DR as a power. Asira was unscathed, Veli took 3 points of damage.

Initial Conclusions

A level 10 tier 6 summoner is no way in heck as powerful as a level 16 summoner.

Upcoming...

A second battle between the summoners. This time the mythic will open with charging the squishy little skirmisher with no real melee weapons. If she can take out Asira before Veli can do much then she might be okay.

An analysis as to why I think the epic summoner is so weak and how this translates to mythic as a whole.

And hopefully... More matchups of classes vs their mythic counterparts.


Werewolf PCs. Who has them? How did they happen? What did you do with them?

I'll go first.

Lauren, CG elf Inquisitor of Calistra

As this is a two PC party, Lauren took 9 bites during the assault on the Stairs of the Moon. Despite her inherent large Fort save the law of averages caught up with her and she failed one critical save at the jaws of one of the Silverhide rangers in area E7.

After the battles the party became engrossed in the reconsecration of the temple and Lauren forgot all about the wolfsbane doses she carried. They met with the Prince's Wolves, gathered horses, and the chase was on.

Four days later she realized she might have been infected. By then the wolfsbane had no effect and the remove disease scroll was useless. And they had no way of knowing if either of them was a monster.

The full moon was approaching. The party came up with the plan to sleep in trees that night. They set up camp early, said goodbye to their horses and tied them for the night, and each climbed their respective trees. They stashed weapons and armor in a bag of holding and hung it in Asira's tree.

The GMPC Asira was forced to watch as Lauren changed at the rising of the moon. The werewolf fell out of the tree and eviscerated one of the horses. The other broke his ties and bolted, never to been seen again. The plains of Ardeal were haunted by one more werewolf that night.

Lauren awoke in a ditch several miles from camp. Her clothes were gone, shredded by her ordeal. But she failed her will save so she has no recollection of her actions that night. She knows intellectually what happened but mind and heart are two different things entirely.

Post your stories of werewolf PCs. How did they happen? How did players react? Heck, how did GMs react?