Laori Vaus

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Organized Play Member. 64 posts. No reviews. 1 list. 1 wishlist. 8 Organized Play characters. 1 alias.


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My questions aren't very common and I'm not sure if this would be answered by anyone here, but I'm running Plunder and Peril for some friends.

They don't tend to ask a lot of questions, but I do and I like to overthink things.

Warvil being trapped on the island for 2 years while he was married to Varossa seems wild to me? My personal opinion, she seems like the type who'd just take his/their ship and move on with her life? How did he end up on that island? Did Varossa just let her back on the ship just like nothing had happened/normal? Seems just bizarre to me! Haha it's probably never going to come up but I was like "woah this is pretty weird."

I'm curious as well how Besmaran priests were able to execute criminals using the Blackwarn's Gallows. Like did they climb up themselves? I am assuming majority of the clergy do not use magic so I was trying to think of a mundane way it woulda happened. The lighter chains are attached underneath so that seems weird and interesting how they did that easily. I'm again thinking about it too much but *I'd* be asking all these questions if I was a player because I'm obnoxious like that.

Thanks for anyone who wants to discuss and I hope this is the right board for this!

My questions aren't very common and I'm not sure if this would be answered by anyone here, but I'm running Plunder and Peril for some friends.

They don't tend to ask a lot of questions, but I do and I like to overthink things.

Warvil being trapped on the island for 2 years while he was married to Varossa seems wild to me? My personal opinion, she seems like the type who'd just take his/their ship and move on with her life? How did he end up on that island? Did Varossa just let her back on the ship just like nothing had happened/normal? Seems just bizarre to me! Haha it's probably never going to come up but I was like "woah this is pretty weird."

I'm curious as well how Besmaran priests were able to execute criminals using the Blackwarn's Gallows. Like did they climb up themselves? I am assuming majority of the clergy do not use magic so I was trying to think of a mundane way it woulda happened. The lighter chains are attached underneath so that seems weird and interesting how they did that easily. I'm again thinking about it too much but *I'd* be asking all these questions if I was a player because I'm obnoxious like that.

Thanks for anyone who wants to discuss and I hope this is the right board for this!

I was considering running this but I wasn't sure how these new occult rules played out and the story seems convoluted. I am enjoying reading your game sessions.

As a middle school teacher, a lot of the tricks I use also work with adults ;)

When playing long games where there are many weeks missing in between, I learned that repeating a clue many times works best. Don't be afraid to tell them to "take notes". People just forget things. I also have the players sometimes work together say what they think is happening and why.

I also abuse when players tend to forget things, because if I fudge an encounter as a GM, I can go back and fix my mistakes by introducing it a different way in the next session. Don't be afraid to abuse this sometimes.

GMs may not hear this often enough: but you're doing a great job! Good luck!

A friend of mine made actual play podcasts (of AD&D) that were very fun to listen to and now that there adventure is over, I want to try to find more!

I have downloaded and tried listening to a couple other podcasts (they were not actual play podcasts), and they were alright. I felt like the topics covered in the descriptions sounded neat, but the intro dragged on and I lost interest.

My current RPG of choice is Pathfinder; so I hopped on the Paizo forums and did a search about podcasts. Well, a lot of the forum posts are old or the links are broken.

So here I am: a complete podcast newbie, unsure where to find cool podcasts, but is looking for a podcast. It'd be cool to find an actual play podcast, but I won't complain if not. I want to find something interesting, good pacing, etc.

TLDR: I want to find a Pathfinder/D&D podcast that is interesting. Actual play would be nice.

Among the treasure players can find in this book is a druid's staff with a spellstaff spell still in effect on it (the spell rusting grasp is in the staff).

Now, from what I've understood about the rules (which I could be wrong):
1.) Only the druid who cast it can use the spell.
2.) If the druid loses his spellstaff-ed staff, he can't cast spellstaff again.
3.) You can't identify spells once they've been cast.

If all the above understandings are true, then this item is quite boring and useless? I might fudge the rules and allow the players to both identify the spell and maybe use it.

Unless, is there another fun reason that this spellstaff-ed staff exists? Does anyone have any neat ideas that they used this with? Who is this mysterious druid?

Good morning!

I am planning to do a small encounter in Golarian's past, about just before the Varisian wanderers settled in Ustalav. Since the fall of the Thassilonian empire, the Varisians who survived had been travelling away from that destruction I assume. There is roughly 6,000 years between the fall of the Thassilonian empire and the Varisians arriving in Ustalav. Were the Varisians just travelling around for 6,000 years? I am imagining a post-apocalyptic world (similar to shows like Thundarr the Barbarian, Korgoth of Barbaria, Fist of the North Star, etc), where humans are just taking advantage of each other constantly (which is why no major cities sprung up around Varisia and Hold of Belkzen for that amount of time). I am curious your thoughts on this.

My other question is this: was Lamashtu being pregnant and a mother of monsters inspired by Yog-Sothoth at all? I remember in Dunwitch Horror, Yog-Sothoth impregnated a woman. I've heard rumors you like Lovecraft.

Loren Pechtel wrote:
Quark Blast wrote:

Any official book.

Any game system.
I'm thinking especially spells that looked "awesome" at first glance but then because of game mechanics, GM fiat, something else, turned out to be completely worthless.

I'll start things off with an equivocal choice.

True Strike

Seemed like a good idea at first, but 7 points guaranteed (Magic Missile two rounds in a row) usually beats half that even adding in the 1-in-50 confirmed crit that isn't possible with MM.

1) True strike isn't meant for ordinary combat use. True strike has value when you're using it to land some special attack.

2) It's useful in an item. Consider that 2000gp bow. It at least lets a wizard that's out of spells at least do some damage.

Yes, you use True Strike to help land something that might be impossibly hard. For example, Dimensional Anchor is a spell that requires a ranged touch attack. Those that can cast the spell: usually have low BAB with okay Dex or medium BAB with low Dex. If you are fighting a boss wizard that is teleporting around, you can't afford to miss (and he most likely has good touch AC). Also since True Strike is level 1, you can actually Quicken it at some point in the future, combining it with said spells that require you to actually hit.

On the RPG Superstar page (, whenever I click any of the Contest Rounds links on the right side of the page (e.g., the page reloads several times (in 1 second intervals). I am using Chrome.

The problem is exactly what Misroi said. There's not much mystery. Though, they actually haven't figured out it's Aldern. I guess I just wished the mystery was more mysterious, rather than having the PCs rush up to Misgivings day one of the investigation. I expected to toy with the PCs a little more; so I made finding info about Misgivings a little bit harder (like it takes more time than just a day or so). I had a bunch of red herring ideas but because I accidentally said the word "Misgivings" in that speech in the Sanatorium, the PCs already discredit all the red herrings :'(

One member of the PCs was determined to get revenge on all the goblins for killing his family. With 6 players, sometimes its hard to RP so fighting ends up being easier when faced with a town's looming demise. They did spare 2 goblins, Gogmurt, the goblin wives, and goblin babies.

I did send a couple minions after them (the bugbear, a yeth hound), but felt sorry since they encountered the shadows and Malfeshnekor and got rekt a bit. I still am kind of a new GM, but because I didn't expect them to rest so much, so I didn't put up much of a fight. That's one reason I was explaining to be prepared for anything.

Right now I have 3-4 players and it's easier~

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My Thistletop experience was... odd.

None of the PCs could follow that druid goblin easily; use that to your advantage when retreating. He, Gogmurt, got away. His firepelt cougar, did not. The PCs didn't want to kill such a beautiful animal (we had a paladin of Shelyn with us). And the goblin didn't want to leave his animal to die. So, info for the firepelt cougar was traded (all while they are trading, he never left the hiding place, so it was like the forest was talking). The PCs promised not to kill any goblins. The PCs also intimidated him not to attack. Then they rested after clearing out the forest before Thistletop island. I did not expect them to rest then, so I didn't not come up with night attack ideas. Gogmut didn't attack since he was quite low on HP and spells.

The next day, they killed all the goblins in Thistletop and dumped all their bodies in the water and rested in the fortress. So, my plan for their was to have Gogmut throw a swarm on them and other nasty things in the forest (revenge for murdering his entire tribe!). But, they needed to be driven into the forest. Queue Bruthazmus. And the PC he sniped from one of the goblin towers was an elf. Doing 15 dmg with one arrow scared the bejezus outta the players. Unfortunately, instead of using his climb and stealth to get away, he felt he could take on the PCs alone and fell to one save or die slumber spell. It was his character, but I shoulda gotten Orik in there. They never slept in the forest. Gogmurt never got his revenge :(

The next day they found Malfeshnekor! Passed right by Nualia's door. They saw I rolled a 2 and hit the armored paladin and were scared. They ran. They then tried to sleep in the underground dungeon, again, due to little prep, I didn't punish it.

My recommendation is to plan for everything. The dungeon shouldn't be static. The PCs shouldn't be allowed to easily sleep under enemy noses. I moved Nualia to the Lamashtu shrine for her fight.

In book 2, there so many red herrings that are and could be. The moment Misgivings was mentioned, the PCs wanted to go running off to it (this was even before the Walking Scarecrows). The PCs did not care nor did they believe any of Sandpoint citizens were responsible (even with the mention that Chopper was a Sandpoint citizen and *he* was a ritualistic murderer). I had all sorts of investigation ideas and even added some other plot hooks (like investigating Chopper's Isle to see if the murders were related, Titus Scarnetti being a good suspect). The moment the PCs found out about Misgivings, they gave up on Caizarlu as a suspect.

For those of you who have run this, what did you think? I wanted the investigation to be more meaningful than a wasted session.

I actually had a pretty rough time with my group, but I too stuck with it and it got better.

First, I did not GM (nor was present) from the beginning to before the Catacombs. When I did GM, I had 6-7 players, one of which was the GM before me, and half were battle-oriented meta-gamers. I am a RPing sort of GM.

Thistletop was a breeze for them. I wanted to run Thistletop silly; e.g. overwhelming odds except the enemies are goblins. Goblins are so hilarious. I used the Classic Monsters Revisted Paizo book and read the entry on goblins. I was very disappointed with how Thistletop ended up becoming in my game :\ Also, PCs might try to rest at every opportunity so have good back up plans for this. I just think the "heroes" in my game were extremely disappointing for a 6-7 player table.... took them 5 days to actually beat Thistletop (this isn't including fighting Malfeshnekor).

Now we're down to 3 PCs. They are humbled by this fact now I think :)

RotR is actually really hard to get info across to players... my current goal with my game of RotR is to teach my PCs how to think. One way I try to do this is with NPCs. You'd be surprised what an RPing discussion with Brodert Quink can accomplish.

Mvashti's harrow readings are a fun way to foreshadow. When the PCs met her, she gave a harrow reading to he player I'd chosen for the obsession in Book 2. She looked upset at her cards and pointed at the innocent looking unicorn card and said, "that's bad..."
PC: "a unicorn?"
her: "here its bad...." (referring to the unicorn being misaligned)
*awkward silence*
PC: "what does it mean?"
Mvashti picks up her deck and casually explains, "Just avoid haunted houses and you'll be fine."
PC: "what? Why?"
Mvashi: "Something bad is going to happen to you, so just avoid them."
4 sessions later, they discover about said house ;) the PC is deathly afraid of going there now. He thinks he's gonna die.

Sometimes I change monster names and even pictures and descriptions of them (the internet has fun images of random monsters). Also, if monsters know about the PCs ahead of time (like they have intel), the monsters would prepare accordingly.

Why not let the ranger try to fight a group of goblins on his own? Have him roll the battle vs a group of goblins (and maybe a bugbear). Maybe he encounters two boars instead and gets roughed up? Either way, instead of having him die, have Shalelu save him. I can imagine, arrows flying from the forest somewhere and goblins dropping like flies! Of course the rest of the goblins retreat after seeing the Hunter! Something like that will make the PC appreciate Shalelu more and humble him. It will also be exciting. He might also develop a love interest in Shalelu which will be interesting later on ;)

I know that PCs always think they are on their own in any adventure... they like to always assume the guard is useless. I always try to add in parts where the guards are heroic. For example if you are playing the Anniversary Edition, Hemlock and the PCs go to explore the graveyard and find a group of skeletons! Some GMs forget Hemlock is there and never play him (which of course makes him a lame sissy!!). I for one, depending on the party, would increase the difficulty of the encounter and add Hemlock and make him bad ass in that encounter (of course he won't be the hero, but he'll be able to hold his ground and help the PCs). I try to add other parts where the guards try to save the day and show they are doing their best. During the goblin raids, explaining how other guards are working together to kill the goblin threats around them helps bring that to home.

As for other NPCs in town. Have Brodert Quink identify things in the Catacombs of Wrath that the PCs could not (that would get them humble). In our game, Quink is the go to character for any questions they have on Thassilonian because I set him up as someone they could get answers from (don't roll for him, just let him answer a couple of Thassilonian inquiries to make him seem competent).

Have the PCs get to know the NPCs through random fun quests? Like have they go to a bar and introduce some NPCs. Think how can an NPC help the PC the most.

When the PC stabbed that guard, maybe a Sczarni member noticed and walked up to the PC and offered to assist him (which is why he didn't end up in jail). They can owe the Sczarni now. As part of the "family", maybe they have a reason to want to protect the town.


I was using the iconic Kyra from NPC Codex ( and I noticed that she gets her deflection from Shield of Faith and Ring of Protection +1. Are these supposed to stack?


The easiest way to fix the problem is as Jonathan Cary suggested, ask that all children have to be with their parents (except those rare cases where the kids are very well behaved).

This should be the norm everywhere. I'm not saying kids are bad, but I would not want to be responsible for a kid for 4 hours! What if something happens to the kid? Who becomes responsible? I think its SAFER to not allow kids without parents at these sort of events. I'm surprised these rules aren't enforced at all gaming events, mostly for the safety of the children than anything else.

Level 7 Sorcerer, 21 Cha; 74HP (7d6+2d8+45)
Level 7 Cleric, 14 Cha; 54HP (7d8+2d8+18)
Level 7 Fighter, 11 Cha; 43HP (7d10+2d8+0)

Yeah, there's a huge difference. Even if the fighter gets 14 Cha, he's still not near the Sorcerer! Crazy! That CR would probably be higher so I should be careful.

(the title of this is most amusing)
I wanted to create an NPC party consisted of 3 skeletons: a sorcerer, a fighter, and a cleric. I decided the Skeletal Champion template is the best to use (I think??). For quickness, I used the Iconics from the NPC Codex (Seoni, Valeros, and Kyra) for level 7 (or level 4):

My problem is calculating the HP. The sorcerer has so much Cha! She can easily get more HP than the Fighter skeletal champion (with usually negative or zero Cha). The cleric can also get more HP than the fighter. Is this supposed to be normal? Or am I doing something wrong with the templates? If this is so, the sorcerer/cleric skeletal champion is going to be way harder and stronger to kill (spell casters are already powerful).


Woooo! You guys are awesome and work hard! Congrats :D


Well, I think the penalties for being blind are much worse than the flanking bonus, so covering your eyes is worse!

But, the OP is right, no where does it say that the enemy has to see you to be flanked by you.

But! Your sorc has to be threatening! And while he's casting a 1 round spell (e.g. Summon Monster X), he isn't threatening.

Also, when the sorc is next to the enemy, the enemy gets a perception check to notice (DC 0 Perception check for the enemy because the sorc has a -20 to being in combat as per the core rulebook > glossary > invisibility). The sorc can't stealth either (because he wants to be actively threatening?). In short, the sorc is putting himself in harm's way; a smart fighter can even determine the square and attack it (making it quite dangerous). I would even rule that the enemy must notice the ninja doing more dmg and assume flanking (and he'd move out of flanking's way).

At lower levels, player's don't have access to the higher level divination spells, so you can build a lot of mystery then. At higher levels, I have been actually writing plots where I want the PCs to try using these divination spells. To learn to think of magic solutions to problems without busting down the door and killing people. That's why they are higher level; challenges they once couldn't solve at all can be solved.

In a recent game I GMed, a PC's brother-in-law was murdered; one of the PCs thought to raise dead him. But the 5k gp is a steep cost at lvl 4. Thus prevented the party from doing so.

If you don't want the PCs using these spells, you need to be aware of their existence when writing a campaign for PCs. You've identified them, so now think of ways to hide things. Speak with Dead only works if the corpse isn't destroyed. There are loads of spells to protect against scrying/detecting alignment. A sneaky enemy who's more political will probably employ these protections.

Rules wise, the casting character with silent and stilled spells still has to make a concentration check while casting adjacent to a foe. So, there are obvious signs of a spell being cast. Roleplaying wise, a GM could describe the caster's eyes glowing or wisps of magic light gather to her fingertip as she casts two missiles of force, etc.

Silent spell is useful for when you are hiding and want to cast and stealth. Or you are in a silence spell, gagged, etc. Still spell is nice for when you are bound completely. Or wearing armor (I suppose?).

In the end neither feat says the DC for the spellcraft check to identify the spell is increased. But if the caster is hiding in a large cavern, not being able to hear him cast might make it harder to perceive him :P

This brings up other questions. Can a witch's hex be identified while casting with spellcraft? Can a witch use her hexes if tied up or silenced? I don't really know the rules for super natural abilities. I know a cleric needs to hold up her holy symbol in order to channel (I don't even know if silence affects channeling).

This chase scene rewards characters who have skills like acrobatics, climb, escape artist. I feel like not many players select these skills because they aren't used all the time. This makes characters who chose those skills feel very useful :)

And yeah, it sucks when players don't have those skills, but players can't be good at everything; they need to learn how to deal with things. My party had no one who was good at those skills. But the determined paladin was determined (and rolled well). The druid had spider climb prepared. The wizard in our party just cast blindness on her and she could no longer run. The wizard also had levitate which helped with the falling.

Well, rolling til he gets a 1 or a 20 seems to slow down the game. The coin toss was a suggestion to speed up healing after a battle? I guess the whole 1 point in UMD just to do something seems like a lame meta-gaming thing to do.

I know a fighter character who took 1 rank of Use Magic Device. He claims that now he can use his wand of cure light wounds whenever he wants. In the rules for UMD, it says a player can't take a 10 or a 20 with UMD, but when the character fails, the wand charge is not used up. It also says that if the character rolls a natural 1, he can't use the wand for 24 hrs. I was wondering how groups handled such a situation?

Let's assume the character has Cha mod of -1. This puts his UMD at a 0. So he has a 50/50 chance of rolling a 1 and a 20. Would this just be a flip of a coin? Or should we just give the player his use of his wand?

1. Anything that varies due to the opponent (knowledge to identify a monster, acrobatics to get around a Monster, perception to see a trap or monster) grows in difficulty as the opponent does. I think while some skill checks will be Easy, to Represent The character Being Epic, as A Gm you should Give These Characters those Moments To Feel "wow That Was Easier Than At level 1.

2. Make Skill Checks More Exciting :D

3. Make Consequences For Certain Things. Not spotting A Trap is Deadly. You cant take a 10/20 on Everything. The rules Say when You Take A 20, It is Assumed you fail Many Time Before Succeeding. Sometimes Failing Once Means you Can't try again (like knowledge, spellcraft, appraise).

7. I Like What Whale Cancer Said. Make Dungeons Not Static. Sometimes Taking Time to Search a Room completely means More enemies Will Come. Especially if Some enemies Managed To Retreat Or Raised an Alarm. That Means players Must Have High perception rolls To Make That DC 15 with rolling. Sure, you'Ll have A PC with 17 perception That auto finds The Item, then Let Him Have His glory.

I too get Annoyed when players All Shout "I take A 20 To Search This Room" In Every Room! I have Added consequences For Taking Too Long. I also Dislike when players all say They are Aiding another For Skill Checks. Sometimes I add consequences for Rolling lower Than The Required Aid another DC 10: "you've actually Upset The Man You are Trying to negotiate with By Your Rude Comment. -2 To The Total Diplomacy Roll Instead Of +2." I'Ve Only Used This Once For A Very impatient NPC.

I was reading through an adventure that had a pit fall trap in a narrow hallway. Let's say those who wandered first would obviously fall in the trap first as the floor opens up (or saved with Reflex). My question is, now how would the other characters cross this hole in the floor if it takes up the whole hallway? Do the options change if the pit has a spiked floor? What if there are enemies on the other side shooting arrows/bullets at the PCs?

Firing back and forth seems really boring for some PCs, so I always like to give options to PCs to do other more exciting things if I can think of it.

I found a similar thread to this, but I wanted to clarify (because Weapon Finesse has to be applied to a specific attack). So, I am making a wizard with Weapon Finesse (touch) feat. What if I use a Wand of Chill Touch, which requires a melee touch attack. Would my feat still apply to that attack?

In the rules, you only need to use a wand in one hand. I'm assuming that you can just touch with the wand so I don't need another free hand to deliver the touch. Is this assumption correct?

Hector Gwath wrote:
Clerics make for poor pickpockets and burglars, so what of thief gods? Their clerics venerate them, but are unable to imitate.

Why sneak and steal when you can use magic to charm or disguise (sometimes even sneak)? These come with the domain spells of those gods for a reason.

Pendagast wrote:

I suppose I float along the neutral good-neutral axis with bouts of lawful evil.

I almost never coup de gras, I dont want to kill the PCs but sometimes I feel the lawful evil coming on when I HAVE to do something like "the goblins wouldnt leave the dwarf alive who just beheaded 12 of their mates in front of them, now he's unconscious at their feet, what would they do?" oh crap....stabby stab time.

Sometimes creatures get cocky if the enemy is already dying anyway. Unconscious and dead are very similar to most unintelligent creatures. Even my own PCs ignore an enemy if they are unconscious.

I could see a goblin just looting the dying dwarf and leaving him there. Goblins don't seem to "mercy kill" (which is what a Coup de Grace sounds like). Because really, if left alone, that dwarf is dead. Dying creatures who are alone rarely survive.

When I GM for power players that like the challenge, I am usually "Lawful Evil". Power gamers need rules so they don't complain so much; so at least I can say, "well that's in the rulebook so I'm not doing anything wrong." I also like to give them a challenge, so I up the CR on challenges for them (tho I don't see this as evil) and really try to kill the PCs.

Lately, I've been GMing for new people (and I mean REALLY new people) so I am "Neutral Good". I try my best to follow the rules so they can learn; but I don't want them to die outright (so I have fudged a roll or two before). Tho I really like playing enemies like Goblins which are tough but they are easily distracted so it's funny and the PCs have a better chance. Also playing quirky humans (like a spellcaster who gives up in melee combat; a greedy NPC who can be easily bribed to attack his enemies). All these present different ways to present a tough challenge to a PC without fudging rules and makes it fun.

Yeah most of the humans will give up if dropped to low health. You can also talk to PCs as free actions. It's a good way to show the personality of the NPC villains.

A lot of the orphans who grow up in Korvosa become part of the military, so I believe they take care of them well (Korovsa is big on the military). The church of Abadar and Saranrae usually check up on orphanages. But you can play the darkness up however you want.

I suggest you read the Guide to Korvosa if you want to add more things to the city. Your players will only have read the Players Guide (if even that; mine didn't). So it's up to you to introduce the city. I learned the hard way not to give history lessons all at once (its boring to them if its not relevant). Just think about things you want your PCs to know without giving them huge history lessons at the last second.

Here's an example: when the PCs saved a child that Gaedren captured and returned her to her home at Trail's End, all her brothers and sisters were happy and said the players were like Black Jack the hero. So, I had a subtle way to introduce who Black Jack was before the end of Chapter 1. And the PCs pay more attention to random things when they are in a good mood (after having saved the kids, they were in a GREAT mood).

Another example: in one of the mob encounters, I added more lines to the people who were in the mob. They talked about their views on Korvosa (i.e. about the Seneschal, about the king, etc). I wrote up some ideas for other encounters and how to add info about Korvosa.

I felt I had to add more riots/mobs. Even if the PCs don't get involved in them, they at least overhear people arguing/ feel the craziness. Maybe one day the PCs overhear a guard complaining about how people need to stop making a big deal about stuff. The reason for this is because, if you just let the PCs shop and relax, the city doesn't seem in peril. You should describe the city even in off days.

Again, I don't know how your players are. I just noticed this helps if you want to make Korovsa seem more alive.

My PCs sneaked in at night, so the children were all freaking out and not fighting the PCs. Some PCs calmed down the children with Diplomacy checks/magic while the other PCs fought the minions. The minions gave up at low HP and so the PCs tied them up. The children had fun poking the minions with brooms and taunting them. With Gaedren, his death was sort of on accident/purpose. One character is chaotic neutral and wanted revenge.

I thought about giving a character dying words instead of just knocking out. I find this more exciting to give that bad guy a final dying "curse you" before knocking out.

Well, you know the monsters that are going to appear in the adventure. I always take notes on the monsters. Like if a monster has poison, I make sure to have the rule for poison written down on a note on the monster entry. This works with any other special attack, defense, etc. If I know the PCs are gonna be fighting in a dark cave, I always have the rules of darkness handy. Fighting underwater? Rules for that. Etc. In short: you know what they are gonna face so have the rules ready.

Read the posts in this forum of Rise of the Runelords. Some people talk about their campaigns and give advice on certain parts. I really like reading some of their stories :)

If you have a lot of time on your hands: read the whole adventure before you GM it. Take some notes or write down ideas. Sometimes you can add a few things here and there to make it more interesting for your party.

This piece of advice is great for the first part of the adventure: read about Sandpoint and get all your PCs character sheets/background stories before playing. I recommend you read about the different places in Sandpoint and try to help it come alive. Let the PCs explore the town. Think of places or people in Sandpoint that would interest these PCs the most. It really helps the PCs feel like they want to save the town if they like the people in it. But of course they don't have to like everyone. There's people they'll hate too! It's what makes it fun. If you don't mind the extra work, don't be afraid to make the PCs from Sandpoint (of course they'll probably know a lot about the town so you, as the GM, will have to too).

I agree with Timothy Hanson. Sometimes good guys and bad guys have to work together. As long as what they are doing isn't something that goes against their alignment (i.e. the bad guy is saving a town; the good guy is killing innocents), then their alignment doesn't change.

Good/evil, Chaos/lawful, there's nothing in the rules saying they can't work together. Especially if their goals are similar. Just as a lawful good paladin will probably argue with a chaotic good cleric about philosophy and approaches, it doesn't mean they can't work together to save the town.

10 Questions this one? I thought they were good questions too.

Edited to fix the link (I am new to this)

I think after the PCs find out what he's been doing to the children, they might not be so lenient... My party wasn't. He's a crimelord and a terrible man. But he's also quite frail. He died by accident when the Paladin got a critical hit and impaled him. The paladin felt bad that he died but couldn't forgive him for his crimes against all those children. And Zellara.

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I really don't think this one should be rushed because the mood is what makes it interesting. But since we want to shorten it, I suggest the following:

Crove (the guy who runs the insane asylum) is the guy who is essentially the leader of the cultists (so he's the most interesting to fight/talk to). He knows the most about the monster. But his asylum area is quite long to go through in my opinion. His asylum has two levels and so many little battles with insane people and guards in his ward. The lower level has more insane people and monsters. There's just a lot to explore it takes forever. I think maybe just having one floor and taking some of the monsters out? Again, the monsters and craziness of this dude is what makes it interesting (but also long).

The other two cultists aren't as interesting as the leader but going through their areas is faster.

The Sunless Grove part was actually pretty quick and the most fun for me. You can skip the Dark Creepers room completely if you want to shave off a fight.

If you don't have resourceful PCs, you can always use an NPC the mayor provides to help translate the books the players find in the Sunless Grove to save some time. And the mayor can help locate and recognize the cultists to also save time.

I had so many issues when I ran this module with my players. They were a bit inexperienced though.

I noticed the PCs really need to have a good reason for why they are helping this town. Because the monster seems so scary that if the PCs have no connection to the town, they want to leave it! Even PCs that lived in the town thought fleeing was the best option. I guess maybe they were more cowardly? Maybe I just really made the monster seem scary (haha!).

The insane asylum was so long. It took forever because of all the lunatics and guards battles and size and exploring. The PCs started getting a little bored with the area (even tho they thought the lunatics were interesting but I guess there was just too much). Maybe my party was just slow or I should have done stuff differently to make it more interesting?

Crove cast web and the fight was pretty much over. The only reason it wasn't was because he wanted to talk to them to figure out why they were here. The bard ended up finally escaping from the web and went invisible and cast Deafness on Crove so that saved the day pretty much. (I think I was being pretty lenient with this tho)

Then that chaos beast under the asylum is tough. The PCs had to run away from him and had no way of getting rid of his curse (restoration is a higher level spell). (I was also being very lenient with this)

The other two cultists weren't as eventful. The necromancer has a tentacles spell that is quite harsh (the PCs almost gave up after dealing with that spell!). The bard took care of the alchemist/rogue guy quickly with Charm person.

Also, I did this module part-way with one group and most-way with another. Both groups wanted to go to the insane asylum first. I felt like this was sort of lame because Crove was like the cultist leader and the other cultists were small fry? Did anyone else feel this way?

The party really wanted to two cultists to help them. They didn't care if they were evil, they wanted help defeating the monster (because they were terrified of the monster). But like the cultists would rather die than face the monster; so why didn't they just kill themselves if they would rather die? So I wasn't sure if the cultists would team up with the PCs or not. Would they? The alchemist was making a poison to stop the monster, so he'd probably help.

I'm curious about other people's experience?

MechE_ wrote:

My PCs in the Curse of the Crimson Throne AP wanted to do the same thing, unfortunately for them, the AP took this into consideration... Korvosa, being a a strongly lawful neutral city, has many laws handling everything from prostitution to property transfers.

When the owner of a home passes, the home is transferred to the ownership of the city and kept in Escrow for 2 years to allow for heirs to lay claim. If a direct heir (filed with the city clerk in advance) lays claim, the property is immediately transferred to the heir once the appropriate taxes & fees are paid. For non-direct heirs, the property is held in Escrow for the full two years to allow for potential direct heirs to come forward.

I would say that this is probably a pretty good model for a lawful neutral city and what I would go with. Just my 2 cp though.

EDIT: Of course, it could still be pulled off, but it would be a bit more difficult and require more time and roleplaying - which isn't always a bad thing. My party later sold a boat that they "acquired" from some well connected bad guys, but they sold it in another city, so it was significantly simpler.

That's all true. But I guess if the party is still wanting to be illegal about it, there's probably ways around selling a house without letting the city be involved.

(tho, if I were the buyer, I'd want the city to be involved to make sure the purchase is legit! unless the house was SERIOUSLY discounted)

kmal2t wrote:

so...your PCs are squatting in a house and trying to take it as theirs by Decree of Finders Keepers?

I'm pretty sure the city would take possession of it and sell it for tax revenue or something. Worst case I'd imagine that a neighbor would take claim of it as the next closest person to the lady/man or they could buy it from the city etc.

Korvosa actually has some rules for this. The city repossesses the house if no family claims it. But it also says that depending on the area, houses take a long time to get repossessed, sometimes even years.

If the neighbor can just repossess the house, why can't adventurers? Would you think there's sort of a process for selling a house that the city needs to watch over? Or do people just sell houses like they sell stuff? If it takes years for the city to do something with the abandoned house, can adventurers get away with selling the house to someone?

Zahir ibn Mahmoud ibn Jothan wrote:
I'm hard pressed to believe thatt a LN city doesn't have laws on how to handle such a situation, and those laws wouldn't include "the adventurers nearest the home shall be able to lay claim and sell for their own profit"

Well, of course it's illegal. But probably with a few Bluff and Linguistics checks, one could create a forgery and sell the house. Those were my thoughts.

So, a lady/man dies in her home and she has no family to claim the home. My group of players wants to sell the house.

Should houses acquired in this way account for the treasure found by the party? I have never thought about this before!

Any advice on how I should handle this? The city the campaign is set in is :
Large City Lawful Neutral
GP limit: 40,000g Assets: ~37,000,000g
Population: ~18,000
Type: isolated

(it's Korvosa)

My thoughts: taxes are paid on houses so there is some way to keep track of ownership; it would be chaotic to sell a house that wasn't the party's to begin with

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I know this is an old post but I found it and thought it was great and I wanted to add my own opinion.

I love the list, but I think its just too big. In my opinion, if you start giving players lists of random rumors, they aren't gonna remember them all. And even if they keep the list someone and look over it, its still going to be a pain and extra book keeping.

What I thought about doing is just picking a few rumors for each part of the AP CotCT. For example, in Edge of Anarchy (book 1), Part 2, The King is Dead, it tells you some info that happened (the seneschal is missing, Academae closed its doors, food is less frequent, etc). I don't expect the PCs to find all that info at once. So, each day they figure out more, and maybe add some rumors the OP provided above to add some flavor ("Queen Ileosa was married against her will to King Eodred. She's a sweet, innocent, misunderstood woman who needs help ruling", etc). I organized the rumors to different parts using this way.

I also have an order to the rumors. Like, rumors about people going missing before the PCs encounter Derros in the last part of book 1. Or maybe a rumor about a wererat before book 2. It's sort of like fun foreshadowing and I feel like instead of just throwing random rumors at PCs, it gives the PCs fun info before they encounter something.

The thing about CotCT is that there isn't enough XP to get to the right lvl, so these rumors give the GM some ideas for adding some side quests. Aside from creating part specific rumors, I used these rumors to sort of give the PCs some interesting things to do, while at the same time learning about the city.

In short: awesome list, but I think that the rumors shouldn't be random (and the GM should have a plan).

Isn't the crypt of the everflame the first of 3 books? You could have also continued the quests for those books if you wanted.

Grick wrote:
Alexis Jefferson wrote:
I think Grick is right about the magical staves not being weapons.

I think I was actually thinking of Rods, where it says "(Many, as noted in their descriptions, can function as light maces or clubs due to their hardy construction.)"

For staves, we have "A typical staff is like a walking stick, quarterstaff, or cudgel."

and UE Staves: "A typical staff also functions as a walking stick, quarterstaff, or cudgel."

However, it also says "A typical staff measures anywhere from 4 feet to 7 feet long and is 2 inches to 3 inches thick, weighing about 5 pounds. Most staves are wood, but an exotic few are bone, metal, or even glass. A staff often has a gem or some device at its tip or is shod in metal at one or both ends."

So, assuming you can choose how long it is and what material it's made of, I don't see why it couldn't basically work like a quarterstaff (or club, if you wanted).

As for enchanting: Arcane Bond: "A wizard can add additional magic abilities to his bonded object as if he has the required item creation feats and if he meets the level prerequisites of the feat."

Since the staff category is listed separately from the weapon category, does that mean you don't get access to craft magic arms and armor, but only craft staff? Or do you get both, since they could both (in theory) be applied to the same item?

And if it's both, does that mean a wizard with a ring can use craft amulet to add amulet magic to his ring? (At +50% cost like usual)

I guess that's the question I was wondering about. Can I make my quarterstaff +1 and eventually make it a magical staff (level 8)? As a GM, I don't see why not. It's not like the level one wizard can get a magical staff until 8th level, so he might as well be able to make it a +1 quarterstaff (even though magic weapons aren't super useful to my wizard build but I was still curious).

A quarterstaff is a weapon and a magical staff. The categories are needed for things like swords and stuff. But it doesn't say your item has to be from ONLY one of these categories.

Whale_Cancer wrote:

My previous thread on this topic:

Staves and Quarterstaves (or If a staff is a staff is a staff, are all staves the same?)

Thanks! I also found this excerpt in Ultimate Equipment ( s.html) :

"... A typical staff also functions as a walking stick, quarterstaff, or cudgel. ..."
'Functions' is a better word :P now I know not only does it look like a quarterstaff, BUT it also functions like one.

Then I could probably make it magic weapon at lower levels and make it a fancy staff at high levels. :D I know, magic weapon at lower levels is odd but I always see a wizard as Gandalf with a sword in one hand and a staff in the other (I'm an elf so at some point this can be a reality! XD)

Grick wrote:
Alexis Jefferson wrote:
So does that mean I can use it as a quarterstaff weapon for now (since I can't make it magical til like level 8 and I'm level 1 now)?

If your bonded item is a quarterstaff, then you get a masterwork quarterstaff.

If it's a staff (as in magical staves) then it's just an object, not a weapon. (Though you could probably use it as an improvised weapon)

Alexis Jefferson wrote:
Furthermore, can I make it a +1 magic weapon?

For a quarterstaff, sure, at level 5 you're considered to have the Craft Magic Arms and Armor feat.

For a staff, probably not. Some specific staves are considered weapons, but I think you would have to first make it into that particular type of staff, then go from there. You'll need to be level 11 in order to be considered having the Craft Staff feat.

Arcane Bond: "Objects that are the subject of an arcane bond must fall into one of the following categories: amulet, ring, staff, wand, or weapon."

I think Grick is right about the magical staves not being weapons. Maybe that was a better question to ask (hehehe). So are magical staves also weapons?

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