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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber. Organized Play Member. 21 posts (51 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 4 Organized Play characters. 1 alias.


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Sad to hear about this. It won't be the same without you, Liz.


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So, there's some conflicting information about the ultimate fate of Baba Yaga's daughters...

Spoiler:
In Part Four of the adventure, various places state that Baba Yaga uses her daughters in order to maintain her long lifespan, implying that if she didn't magically cannibalize them, she would grow old(er) and die (or, at least, become undead, since her death was separated from her. Vigliv more or less says this directly at the beginning of this section, and the text references it a few other times).

Spoiler:
Meanwhile, in the Baba Yaga section of the book, it says that she achieved the secret of immortality long before that whole silly Irrisen experiment, and implies that Baba Yaga doesn't need her daughters' energy in order to stay alive at all. This section isn't actually all that clear about what she uses it for.

I'm guessing that this is just something that got changed between when the adventure was written and when it got published, but maybe someone saw something I missed or can clarify it, or offer their own theories or answers that might be cool as to why Honored Grandmother does...what she does.

Spoiler:
Personally, my guess is that the Baba Yaga section is right, and that it's not related to her survival. Rather, she just uses the extra energy when she's in a bind. Maybe she extracts however many extra uses of mythic power from each daughter, which she taps into whenever she needs more than her normal daily allotment.


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Lanathar wrote:

The main driver for my questioning was trying tk work out what would happen if the pcs got to vsevolod lost the fight and retreated.

I am struggling to work out what he would do in the meantime because ot obviously wouldn't be standing waiting for them to come back.

I would have thought summon more allies but he has no more sacrifices...

My group ran into him headfirst and lost badly. I don't remember how much of it was their idea, and how much of it was the various NPC hangers-on that this adventure path throws at the group, but somehow they decided to go through and round up all the residents of Artrosa (that hadn't already been killed) to help them fight Vsevolod.

Some of these attempts failed, and ended in fights, but for the most part, they were successful. Since the party and their new allies together were far too strong for the encounter, I wound up deciding that the first thing that happened when Vsevolod succeeded on his ritual was to open up a gate to the Abyss through which he could bring in reinforcements, to even up the fight.

The resulting combat was pretty GM-intensive, as I had a lot of NPCs to keep track of, but overall I think it worked out pretty well.

The important thing to remember is that round two should be easier, if they failed the first time, not harder (generally speaking). Perhaps Vsevolod starts hunting down other Artrosa denizens (possibly allowing the PCs to ambush him mid-fight if they're clever, or maybe just expending some of his resources). Perhaps he decides to party with his minions to celebrate their victory. Perhaps, in the tradition of Russian folklore, he sleeps for several days after achieving his heroic victory over the witches (naturally his warrior instincts allow him to wake up when the PCs return, but this would explain inactivity while they lick their wounds).

Hope that helps!


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My group is wrapping up book 5 pretty soon, so it's been a long time since I looked at Artrosa. I remember having some issues with these kinds of questions as well. I don't remember how much of this was coming from the adventure and how much I made up to fill in the gaps, but here's how I ran it:

Vsevolod is trying to conquer Artrosa and claim it for Kostchtchie. In order to do this, he must travel to the heart of the dungeon (the eon pit) and perform a special ritual which will perform a special ritual to transform the dungeon's essence. There are several places in the adventure where mention is made of how Artrosa is suffused with the essence of womanhood in its various forms (the one I remember off the top of my head is that this is part of why the warden's lover decided to swap genders), and since Kostchtchie is so violently anti-woman, the place would need to be "cleansed" of that essence before he could take over. In order for the ritual to be effective, it needs to be performed in the eon pit. The exact effect the ritual would have doesn't matter unless the PCs fail, but it would probably change Artrosa quite a bit.

The Warden, if I remember correctly, is very explicitly stated to be holding back on fighting Vsevolod because she is worried that the coven of hags will attack her while she's weakened and take over. She wants to work together with the PCs to deal with both threats, but her position as warden prevents her from asking for help, or something to that effect.


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In the text of the spell antimagic field, it states that "Certain spells, such as wall of force, [i]prismatic sphere, and prismatic wall, remain unaffected by antimagic field." While it calls out those three spells in particular, the phrasing of the statement indicates that they are example, and not necessarily an exhaustive list.

Looking at those three particular spells, none of their descriptions mentions that they are unaffected by an antimagic field: that information is only included on antimagic field's description. The only connections I can see between these spells are 1) they are all powerful "wall" spells, and 2) they are resistant to being dispelled by dispel magic.

It seems unusual to say "certain spells" unless the intent was specifically to be vague, and allow GMs a certain amount of wiggle room: if it was something inherent to the spells, it seems like it would be worth mentioning in the spell's descriptions, like how it says that they can't be affected by dispel magic. Similarly, since this spell itself wouldn't be updated when future products came out, and any future spells that would be immune to an antimagic field would need to have that information included in their descriptions anyway, the vagueness doesn't seem to be to intended just to allow for future spells, either.

With all of that in mind, how unreasonable would it be to houserule that antilife shell falls into the category of certain spells that are unaffected by antimagic field? It's also a powerful "wall" spell (a higher level than wall of force, in fact), although it lacks the resistance to dispel magic.


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My group is just about wrapped up with part 5, but I've read all the way through the end of the adventure path. I'll go ahead and preface my response by saying that while I stayed very close to the adventure's story, mechanically it was modified heavily, as we decided we wanted to play with mythic rules, and by book 3 I was adjusting just about every encounter as a result. I'll also preface it by saying that I make a lot of monsters from scratch in my free time, so my definition of "easy to modify" or "easily scalable" may not be the same as yours.

1) GM Ease of Play: 7

For the most part this was good, though nearly every adventure had one or two aspects of the main plot that I felt a need to tweak, and the final adventure was particularly bad in this regard. There were also a few individual encounters that either lacked info or didn't make sense as written, and needed to be redone, although no examples immediately spring to mind.

2) Synthesis of the Story: 5

For all the complaints about the early geas effect, my party didn't even notice it, and they about as vehement witch-haters as you can get. That said, I feel like the lack of ties to Elvanna in books 3 and 4 (and no attempts to interfere with the party in books 5 and 6) really hurts. Book 4 was particularly unrelated to the plot, and I made some major plot alterations to try to bring it more in line.

3) Roleplay: 7

My group tends to be very goal-oriented, so there wasn't a whole lot of chatting up NPCs for the sake of chatting up NPCs, or that sort of thing, but I felt that there were plenty of colorful NPCs and opportunities to roleplay. That said, maybe I just wasn't looking that closely.

4) Combat Design: 8

I can't really comment on this with any degree of accuracy past the first book, for the reasons I outlined above, but overall I don't have much in the way of complaints. Book 2 seems to be a bit easy, as written, book 3 perhaps a bit tough. My party has had extreme difficulty with some slightly advanced versions of the rifle troops in book 5, and I suspect that the normal rifle troops would prove incredibly lethal for non-mythic characters of the listed level, but that's the only thing that really stands out.

5) Fun Factor: 9

I've had a blast running it (especially book 5, which is why I decided to run the AP in the first place), and my group certainly seem to enjoy playing it. Anything that we can stick with for almost two years must be doing something right.


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voideternal wrote:

I toyed with the idea of having them find motorcycles. Maybe broken ones that can be fixed with Make Whole or something. According to Google and the Internet, motorcycles were used since World War I, and some makers like Harley-Davidson were quite famous. So now, I seek advice at a rather high level:

- Is this a good idea? Are there better alternatives? Should I have them find some crashed Fighter aircraft instead? Should I just stick with horses?

Sounds pretty cool to me, but be aware that it will come with some complications. The biggest concern I'd have at this point is speed: 60 miles per hour translates to over 500 feet per round (600 according to the text of wind walk, 528 according to my math). That's an unseemly amount of movement, and I know that it would cause me all kinds of headaches vis-a-vis mat size and the fact that someone would want to use ride-by attack to be virtually untouchable in combat. Maybe if you gave them a movement speed of 120 or 150, and treated them as being able to "run" indefinitely, you could let them get high overland speed without combat being too incredibly ridiculous, but it's something to be aware of.

Also, if they want to use them after leaving Russia, they may run into concerns about gasoline, which could be a plus or a minus, depending on your position.

voideternal wrote:
- How would one make stats for such a thing? Should I treat it as a creature or follow the Ultimate Combat vehicle rules? Personally I'd like to treat it as a creature since my players and I are more familiar with those...

I'm not very familiar with the vehicle rules myself, but I don't see any reason you can't treat them as creatures, especially since a mount's stats aren't generally that important. You can probably build a reasonable approximation from scratch: construct, hardness 10 or so, I'd probably say 5-8 Hit Dice, but that's hardly set in stone. Obviously no natural attacks, but maybe figure out trample damage, because I guarantee a PC is going to want to run someone down with one.

If you assume the rider can set a kickstand as part of dismounting, and that the motorcycle can't take actions on its own (barring magical shenanigans), I don't see why they need to be handled all that differently from horses.

voideternal wrote:
- How unacceptible is it for medieval fantasy heroes to spam composite longbow arrow barrages or do lance-spirited-charges on a motorcycle (with no hands on the handles)? How about for a fighter aircraft?

This depends largely on how much you value realism. I don't have much trouble envisioning someone using a lance while riding a motorcycle. A bow I think would be much harder. Perhaps a quick and dirty solution would be to make the DC to "Guide with knees" much harder on a motorcycle (perhaps also have it increase based on the speed they're going), and have failure by 5 or more cause them to veer off in a random direction and/or hit something, crash, and take a lot of damage (perhaps 1d6 for every 10 feet of movement they were going to make? Ouch!).

All in all, it sounds very exciting, but be prepared to houserule some weird situations.


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None of them seem overpowered to me (some perhaps slightly on the weak side), and that's the main complaint that 3PP/homebrew spells typically get. Stonestrength specifically is worse than bull's strength in almost every instance.

The only thing that really bothers me is the maximum damage on teeth of the wind. 15d6 is a lot for a 4th-level spell, and will let 15th-level casters who have it spam a lot of damage. It's probably still not broken, but I feel like it should probably be dropped to max 10, unless the high damage is supposed to be the main "selling point" of the spell, which doesn't seem to be the case.

I also feel like the chilling mist would be more enjoyable at the table if it allowed a Fort save for half or possibly to negate, even if the damage needed to be increased in order to rebalance it.


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I may be a bit biased, but A Necromancer's Grimoire: Secrets of the Witch was written more or less specifically to address the fact that witch "covens" don't really do anything. It's got a few rules for hag-style covens, but mostly it's got about 30 new spells that are specifically designed to be cast by multiple casters working simultaneously, and are more powerful when more members of a given coven work together to cast them. Something you might want to consider, if you're looking to make covens more relevant (I don't think they really come up in Reign of Winter at all).


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Rasputin Must Die was one of the major selling points for me on the adventure path in the first place, so I'm entirely not in the market for a reskin...

...which is why it's so frustrating that going to Oerth and fighting Iuz sounds almost as cool, and I'm only vaguely aware of Greyhawk. I may have to write a short mini-adventure where the PCs have to go do just that between APs 3 and 4 or 4 and 5.


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So, I'm looking to start running this campaign in the near future, and I'm pretty excited, but I was struck by the slightly odd twist in the first adventure of making Waldsby a "mirror" of Heldren.

For one thing, this feels like it was originally meant to take a larger role, but was cut down for whatever reason. It is vaguely explained that they are the same "due to being connected by a leyline" (for all the good that explanation does), and, other than having a similar layout, the same statues, and those two long-lost twins, there doesn't really seem to be much point in making them the same.

At the same time, my group is a lot less invested in the Pathfinder campaign setting than I am, and so they probably wouldn't mind if everything in the adventure that currently takes place in Irrisen instead took place in a mirror fey world (winter court, anyone?) or an alternate reality, or something to that effect, which I think might be more fun and allow me to play a bit more with the similarities.

Long story short, I was wondering how other people are handling these twin villages. Are you playing the similarities down, and just removing the connection altogether? Running it as-is with a weak connection and weaker explanation (in my opinion), or trying to expand the connection into something more noticeable and relevant?


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Did you know that Necromancers of the Northwest also has a variety of free content on our website every week? In fact, in celebration of our release of Ancient Warriors: the Vikings, we have a whole week devoted to additional viking content. So, if you're on the fence about picking up Ancient Warriors: the Vikings, why not swing by and get an idea of the quality of content you'll find within?


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Necromancers of the Northwest is proud to announce the release of our latest product, A Necromancer's Grimoire: The Wonders of Alchemy. This 40 page .pdf provides over 100 new items, and gives you a reason to want to put ranks into Craft (alchemy). From the back of the book:

Alchemy Like You’ve Never Seen It Before!

While alchemy has long been a major staple of the fantasy genre, it has never been a particularly powerful or even relevant ability in 3.5 or the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. The items that can be created with Craft (alchemy) tend not to be worth the effort once one gets past the first few levels of the game (and even before that their value is questionable). The alchemist class has almost nothing to do with Craft (alchemy), and its extracts don’t feel alchemical so much as they do like spellcasting by another name. For years, players who wanted a character who toiled away crafting mad concoctions and brewing strange potions had to accept that such activities would never be of any real use in the game.

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The whole thing is available right here on the paizo website for only $2.49, so don't wait. Check it out today.


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Yora wrote:

Another important thing is that you can prepare spells in slots for higher levels. There are a lot of good spells at lower levels, while those for higher levels are not always that useful in as many situations. If you run out of 3rd level slots but want one more lightning bolt, put it into a 4th level slot fow which you don't have much use.

As I understand it, the spell is then cast exactly as if it was prepared in a 3rd level slot.

Can you point me to where it says that in the rules? I seem to recall it being the case, but after poring through the core rulebook, I can't seem to find anything to support it.


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Caedwyr: As the author of that in particular section of the book, I've never heard of Ink & Quill, and Bastion Press only sounds vaguely familiar. I seem to recall originally getting the idea from something in one of the Complete books (Complete Arcane, or Complete Mage), but that was years before writing this, and I don't think there's much resemblance, especially with the inks. The only things referenced in designing the custom spellbook rules was the Pathfinder Core Rulebook, so if you're trying to find out if these rules will be compatible with those from Ink and Quill, it would only be by accident.


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Necromancers of the Northwest is pleased to announce the release of Codex Mechanica: On the Creation of Fabricants, available now for $3.99 from the Paizo store. From the back of the book:

Flesh is Weak, but Steel is Strong

For centuries, man has had a fascination with the idea of mechanical sentience. Archmagi and master sorcerers have experimented at length with homunculi, golems, and other construct servants, trying to create a machine with true human intelligence. With the invention of the fabricant, that day has finally arrived.

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Necromancers of the Northwest is proud to announce the release of The Blackshire Mercenary Company, available now for $2.49 from the paizo store. From the back of the book:

The Ebon Vault: Orbs of Power introduces orbs as a proper magic item type, with 50 all-new orbs for use in your game. Each orb serves as a focus for the spells the wielder casts, like a lens that allows him to make those spells more powerful, or have additional effects. These orbs range in price from 8,000 gp for the simplest of enchantments to a handful that are actually minor artifacts, giving a wide range of power and cost, and ensuring that every spellcaster will find an orb that fits his needs.

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From the makers of Advanced Arcana and The Ebon Vault: Secrets of the Staff, this book finally brings magic orbs into their rightful place in the magical arsenal of the arcane-inclined. If you think magic orbs are cool (and who doesn’t?) this is the book for you.


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Necromancers of the Northwest is proud to announce the release of The Blackshire Mercenary Company, available now for $2.49 from the paizo store. From the back of the book:

The Blackshire Mercenary Company is a guild of mercenaries with a reputation for getting things done-no matter how dirty they may need to get their hands in order to do it. A popular and wide-ranging guild, they have chapter houses in dozens of cities, and are an excellent, reliable, and affordable way to go about hiring mercenaries, especially for unsavory causes.

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Necromancers of the Northwest is proud to announce the release of their second 3.5/Pathfinder supplement, Into the Armory, which is available as a free download here.

From the back cover:

"Don't go into battle unprepared!

This Sourcebook for the 3.5 OGL and the Pathfinder® Roleplaying Game contains cartloads of new weapons, armor, and other equipment for DMs and PCs. In addition to these tools and treasures any adventurer would kill to have, this book also contains rules for Quasi-Magical items, a new class of semi-magical utility designed to both provide useful tricks for clever players, and to provide fun and exciting adventures. Finally, the book provides a set of optional variant rules for using siege weapons, and a number of exciting new siege weapon enhancements designed to enhance your game whether you use the variant rules or the original ones."


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Thanks for all the interest, and I'm glad to hear that you like it, for the most part.

To answer your questions:

The reason that some of the text is selectable and some of it isn't is beyond me. We made all the pages in Adobe Photoshop and then converted them to .pdf. I wasn't really expecting any of it to be selectable, and wasn't that concerned about it. If there's enough interest, we may release an all-selectable-text version in the future.

@alzrius
1) Wow, I can't believe we missed that. I'll make sure it gets fixed in the first version of the errata (we realized a while back that one of the nice things about releasing your stuff as free .pdfs is that instead of cumbersome errata documents everyone ignores, you can just update the original document)

2) It's designed primarily for living cruomancers, yes, but if you take a look at possess thrall and possession, vampiric you may find a way for even undead cruomancers to use them.

3) It's true that, theoretically, if a 7th-level blood power that did not specifically require Black Blood Magic existed that you would not need the feat to take that 7th-level blood power. All of the 7th-level blood powers in that book, however, specifically require that feat.

4) You're totally right about that. I don't know how we could have missed that. Thanks for the heads-up and we'll definitely have that fixed in the first errata.

Thanks again for your interest and feedback, everyone. We really appreciate it, and it helps us to make sure the material we make is the material you want.


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Necromancers of the Northwest is a small, third-party publisher that focuses primarily on producing content for 3.5/Pathfinder. What's really special about Necromancers of the Northwest, however, is that all of our content is available to the public 100% free of charge!

Our first book, Liber Vampyr, is a 90-page .pdf which attempts to re-examine the way vampires are handled by Pathfinder and the 3.5 OGL. Far more than a list of variant monsters, this book contains three new base classes, three new prestige classes, an exciting new system of "blood magic", and a dizzying array of feats and vampiric abilities. You could take my word that this fun, innovative tome has the power to radically alter the way you view bloodsuckers, or you could just go pick it up yourself at www.necromancers-online.com. After all, it's free.

While you're there, you may also want to check out our articles, as we have something new on the site every day Monday through Friday.