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Joey Virtue wrote:
Bahamut wrote:

This AP has been the deadliest I've ever run. 15 permanent PC deaths in a six person party and they're in the back 1/3rd of book 4.

In book 2 had a kineticist (pyro) suicide himself to kill Marrow, the leader of the Smilers. A Gunslinger (Techslinger) accidentally killed himself with grenades trying to take out the Rhu-Chalik. Kulgara killed a Barbarian and a Brawler with her suicide plasma grenade. Hellion literally ripped a Fighter (Cyber Soldier), and a Samurai in half.

In book 3 Xoud nuked a Necromancer and the Bloodrager with a Fireball after opening his Eversmoking Bottle. Xoud later took out an Oracle with Cloudkill. They tried to recruit Ilarris because they had successfully recruited Sanvil in book 1. She turned on them in the malfunctioning android foundry and using she Wand of Lightening Bolt fried the party's Alchemist and another Samurai.

Now in book 4 the Colour Out of Space disintegrated a Rogue, another Samurai, and a Cleric in an almost TPK. This most recent death was the Vigilante going down to the Pale Stranger.

They most recently almost died to the Shipmind, and again to the damaged Annihilator Robot. They start the Dominion Hive proper next week. I'm expecting more deaths.

Do you have any house rules that make things more deadly or are they behind level because of 6 players? How are your stats generated?

I don't have any special house rules, and I've been adjusting encounters to they'll gain the proper amount of xp. They have 2 helper NPCs as well, Sanvil and Isuma. I have them generate stats 4d6 drop the lowest.


Name: Yuolmai
Race/Class/Level: Kitsune Mesmerist 9
Location: The Lower Sellen River, Andoran/Taldor border
Book: Dreams of the Yellow King
Catalyst: Going mad too many times...

The Details: During the mad-dash escape from Bokrug in the Dreamlands, the rest of the party were desperately attempting to wake up by lowering the Concentration DC by means of inflecting damage on themselves by leaping off of the stairs of the palace. Yulomai got the bright idea of drinking an alchemist's fire to wake up and ended up burning to death, which led to a phobia of fire.

Next the Leng pirate captain got a lucky crit on Yulomai upon which she fell into the water and promptly drown, inflicting another lesser madness of paranoia onto her.

The final straw was going toe to toe with the Nightmare Dragon in the moon prison where Yulomai faced the full brunt of its breath weapon and subsequent attacks the next round.

This time upon waking, she got the the greater madness of psychosis and her alignment changed to Chaotic Evil. She began plotting against the party unbeknownst to them.

This culminated when during a random encounter vs river pirates on the Sellen, she took control of the Brawler's character via Dominate Person and began trying to systematically pick off the party.

She did not count on the Gunslinger/Rogue's penchant for crits with her musket, and she got her head blown off on round 3.

Everyone was very amused. Including Yulomai's player, who promptly rolled up a Yathiddian Arcanist refugee from the Dreamlands.


clgarret wrote:
Did no one else have deaths vs the Keeper in the Mysterium? That thing was ridiculously lethal.

Almost. Their Aasimar Gunslinger/Rogue got off a lucky crit round one with a musket and landed 75 damage. But that was really the only attack they weren't nickel and dimeing that thing down.

The rest of the party is a unique 0HD Construct Brawler, a Human Cabalist Vigilante, a Vishkanya Zen Archer Monk, and a Yathiddian Arcanist, plus Winter.

It's gaze attack plus spell-like abilities were hammering them until the Arcanist and the Cabalist Vigilante teamed up to cast an Acid Pit/Black Tentacles combo and the Brawler grappled the Archon down into the pit after climbing up the chains in the room and falling onto it from the ceiling. Which almost killed him.

They were all pretty banged up after that fight.


This AP has been the deadliest I've ever run. 15 permanent PC deaths in a six person party and they're in the back 1/3rd of book 4.

In book 2 had a kineticist (pyro) suicide himself to kill Marrow, the leader of the Smilers. A Gunslinger (Techslinger) accidentally killed himself with grenades trying to take out the Rhu-Chalik. Kulgara killed a Barbarian and a Brawler with her suicide plasma grenade. Hellion literally ripped a Fighter (Cyber Soldier), and a Samurai in half.

In book 3 Xoud nuked a Necromancer and the Bloodrager with a Fireball after opening his Eversmoking Bottle. Xoud later took out an Oracle with Cloudkill. They tried to recruit Ilarris because they had successfully recruited Sanvil in book 1. She turned on them in the malfunctioning android foundry and using she Wand of Lightening Bolt fried the party's Alchemist and another Samurai.

Now in book 4 the Colour Out of Space disintegrated a Rogue, another Samurai, and a Cleric in an almost TPK. This most recent death was the Vigilante going down to the Pale Stranger.

They most recently almost died to the Shipmind, and again to the damaged Annihilator Robot. They start the Dominion Hive proper next week. I'm expecting more deaths.


RedRobe wrote:
Anyone still playing Valley of the Brain Collectors? I am preparing to resume my campaign that's been on pause since September 2017 so I could finish a home brew campaign.

Yeah, my PCs are in the Dominion Hive now and almost bought it on the Annihilator Robot. Robots having full attacks with both ranged and melee attacks hurt.

That being said, I've been finding this ap particularly deadly. I had three PCs get disintegrated on the Colour Out of Space in just this book. I have a party of six PCs plus two NPCs: Sanvil from book 1, and Isuma from this book.


Deinonychus XD


Things I loved:
The APs, specifically Kingmaker, Skull and Shackles, Carrion Crown, Iron Gods and Strange Aeons. The ability to successfully iterate and expand the 3.5 rules set and make it satisfying to play again after I was burnt out on 3.5. Archetypes, something I didn't know I needed, even 5th edition D&D integrated Archetypes into their classes. All the great little source books like Distant Worlds, City of Strangers, Path of the Hellknight, and Magnimar City of Monuments. Base classes I fell in love with like Gunslinger, Witch, Oracle, Investigator, and Slayer. The preponderance of Mythos content and stats for things like Kaiju in the bestiaries.

Things I hated: Not much really. Chained Summoner, and the Mythic Rules come to mind.

Things that I will miss: New APs in 1st edition is probably the thing I will miss the most. I hope the best for 2nd edition.


Dracovar wrote:
blahpers wrote:
Dracovar wrote:

I always liked turning a cow into a goldfish. Well, a herd of cows into goldfish.

Then taking them to a tavern and sponsoring a goldfish swallowing contest.

Dispel Magic and/or death of the polymorphed critter (usually via acid damage in the stomach) would, at least back in previous editions, cause the creature to revert back to original size.

Making for quite the Alien-esque "cowpocalypse" in the tavern.

Ah, I love variants on the ol' "throw a feather token (tree) in its mouth" strategy.

Used a feather token (tree) placed dead center of a railway track once, right before a bridge over a very high chasm and timed so the train couldn't slow down enough to save itself...

Then the item was banned... :-(

I had a player once place a feather token in the hull of a Chellish warship during Skull and Shackles and then nonchalantly ask how much XP the ship was worth as it sank from the enormous hole in its bottom hull.


With Polymorph Any Object I had a Wizard in a game always threaten to "Turn the air, into Bears." He ended up turning the air in an enemies' lungs into bees. That wasn't craziest thing though. In one encounter he turned an enemy into butter. Then the party's token evil character took said butter and sold it to various food vendors in town and then gleefully waited until the spell's duration ran out.


Cori Marie wrote:
Bahamut wrote:


As a player, the only ap I've finished is Rise of the Runelords last year and we TPK'd hard on Karzoug. The GM reset the encounter to be nice and give us a second crack at it. We TPK'd again.

Oh man, that's the opposite experience of our group. Mostly thanks to the Gnome Wizard, they took Karzoug down in a single round for the most anti-climatic boss fight I've ever seen. The goblins in book 1 gave them more trouble.

That was not our experience, unfortunately. I wish it had been that easy. We had five players; a Slyph Winter Witch, a Gathlain Sorcerer, a Human Samurai/Savage Technologist Barbarian, a Human Warpriest, and I was a Ratfolk Investigator.

The GM started the encounter with Karzoug casting Time Stop, then Prismatic Wall behind us, then held his action to Tsunami us into the Prismatic Wall. myself, the sorcerer, and the Witch failed our saves for both the Tsunami and the Prismatic Wall, which killed the three of us. Karzoug then picked off the Samurai and the Warpriest.

The GM reset the encounter to give us another chance. This took longer, though Karzoug's opener was to Maze the Sorcerer, who failed the save and was basically out of the fight. He Baleful Polymorphed me, and Feebleminded the Witch and again, picked off the Samurai and the Warpriest.

So that was basically that :(


I've tried to run Shackled City at least half a dozen times, never getting farther than Bhal-Hamatugn in Zenith Trajectory.

I've started Age of Worms a couple of times but it never got past the first dungeon.

As a player, the only ap I've finished is Rise of the Runelords last year and we TPK'd hard on Karzoug. The GM reset the encounter to be nice and give us a second crack at it. We TPK'd again.

I've played in Carrion Crown twice and never got past the 1st book.

I played a very entertaining game of Hell's Vengeance, but the GM moved away at the end of book 1

I'm currently playing in Return of the Runelords and we're near the end of The Polymorph Plague.

As a GM I've been much more successful. I finished a Kingmaker game in about 30 months of weekly short sessions and that game was a blast.

Same with Skull and Shackles which my group finished in just 18 months with longer sessions. Both Skull and Shackles and Kingmaker have been my favorite to run so far.

I've finished a play through of Shattered Star, which wasn't as fun do to all the incredibly long dungeons that was fatiguing to both me and my players. It took about 26 months.

I've tried to run Carrion Crown myself but only got to the end of book 2. Which is a shame, I really like that ap.

I only got to the mid point of book 2 of Serpent Skull and I already wasn't enjoying it be the time the game collapsed.

I tried to run a group through Wrath of the Righteous, which was fun up until about lvl 10/mythic rank 3-4 and then my PCs got bored one-shotting everything in sight. It made me never want to use Mythic rules again.

I'm currently running Strange Aeons, which I'm having a blast running and my PCs are greatly enjoying. They're half way through book 4 currently.

My Wrath of the Righteous group switched to Iron Gods and have never regretted it. Though, it is by a country mile the most lethal campaign I have ever run. I have 15 permanent character deaths and they're in the back 1/3rd of book 4. Iron Gods has shocked me at how lethal the encounters have proven.


This was easily the deadliest AP I've ever run. My seven person party is in the 1st half of book 4 and I've had 12 permanent PC deaths already. All of them in books 2 and 3. I have one player on his 4th character and another one on his 5th.

They did have to run from Hetuath in book 1, killing it the 1st time by holding an action to close one of the automated doors on it. (They had no effective weapons to hurt it)

In book 2 I had a Kineticist detonate himself to kill Marrow, a Gunslinger killed himself with grenades on accident, Kulgara killing a Barbarian and a Brawler with her suicide grenade; and Hellion ripping a Samurai and a Fighter in half with his attacks on the same round thanks to dual initiative. That's not counting the Wizard almost dying to Helskarg in the arena after he chucked a cylex charge at her. She speared him with the autograpnel and pinned him to her spiked armor for his trouble.

In book 3 the party decided to try and recruit Ilarris and she betrayed them in short order, killing the Alchemist and another Samurai with her wand of Lightning Bolts. Xoud killed the final two, a Necromancer and an Oracle with a Fireball after they popped open his Eversmoking Bottle without healing after a nearby fight.

In book 4 they've gotten very close. Just last session the Vigilante and the Hellknight Signifier almost bought it in an encounter with 2 color-blighted Athachs.

The current party make up is: A Human Ninja who's almost died so many times he's stopped counting.

A Wrywood Rogue which is his 2nd character

An Android Wizard/Technologist who's the only other person in the party besides the Ninja to not have to replace a character, but just barely.

A Drow Samurai, this guy's on his 5th character.

A Dwarven Cleric of Erastil, this guy's on his 4th character.

A Kitsune Vigilante, which is his second character.

And a Human Wizard/Hellknight Signifier, which is his 2nd character.

That's not counting both Isuma, and Sanvil Trett, whom they successfully recruited as a point of pride. He's still a backstabbing CE dirtbag, but he's their backstabbing CE dirtbag.


Imperial I Class Star Destroyer (Star Wars)
The Sulaco (Aliens)
Klingon Bird of Prey (Star Trek)


As to the OP: here's a dragon that hasn't been mentioned yet that I'm particularly fond of; the dragon from John Gardner's Grendel.


UnArcaneElection wrote:

Considering that Medieval artwork of dragons often shows them as being not much larger than the horse of the knight fighting them, I like the idea of them actually being much smaller than they look, and using extremely powerful Illusion magic (which bypasses even the ordinary versions of Antimagic Field and True Seeing, as well as ordinary disbelief even with instruction from someone who knows better) to make themselves look much bigger than they actually are, and even to protect themselves from magic. If you find a legendary "vulnerable spot" on the dragon, it means that you actually properly localized the dragon within its illusion.

Dragons were depicted as smaller because medieval artists wouldn't paint any dragonslaying saint as being noticeably smaller than said dragon because that would undermine the symbolic meaning of the painting.

Medieval European artists were all Catholic and the slaying of a dragon was an act symbolic of the goodness of The Lord smiting the inferior powers of darkness, a metaphorical recreating of Micheal casting Lucifer out of Heaven, Jesus triumphing over sin, and the like.

You couldn't have Saint George be too much smaller than the dragon because it wouldn't line up with the message the Church was pushing, especially if said dragon was the size of a jet engine liner and the dragonslayer was painted to scale.

The artists' priority was much more centered around getting across the symbolism the Church wanted, not being accurate to any lore about a dragon's size.


Dhampir
Ratfolk
Gnoll

In no particular order


Diffan wrote:
Daw wrote:
Diffan wrote:
Torturing fiends for information is, in fact, not evil.
Our definitions of "fact" appear to be at odds. You have the right to your opinion of course.
It was more or less a response to the notion that Torture was stated to be factually Evil.

In games that I run, it is an evil act.


Piccolo wrote:
Mikaze wrote:
Probably needs to be pointed out again: Demons have souls.
Nope. I go for a much older and well established concept called "ancient religion" which is far older than Pathfinder, you and I combined. Demons don't have souls, and they are monsters incarnate. They also don't have bodies either, which is another thing Pathfinder and every D&D version got wrong.

False equivalences are fun.


ultimatepunch wrote:
Diffan wrote:
ultimatepunch wrote:
Diffan wrote:

3.5 but not Pathfinder things

• Tome of Battle...learn to love it
Tome of Battle was the most 4th edition thing about 3.5. Which makes it the least 3.5 thing about 3.5.
Nope, that's incorrect. Complete Scoundrel gave us Skill Tricks which work nearly exactly like Skill-based and utility powers in 4e. Reserve Feats in Complete Mage were also a step into at-will magic territory that became 4e At-Wills too. The Knight's Call of Challenge is practically a 3.5 versions of a Mark. The roots of 4e were seeded all throughout 3.5 supplements, not just one. Regardless though is the fact that the Tome of Battle IS undoubtedly revised 3rd edition. It was such a great book that a very distinguished 3rd party publisher decided to make a better Pathfinder version.

So it was one of a few books that pushed 3.5 towards 4e.

My point is that it made 3.5 FEEL like a very different game. Our group tried it, after a few sessions the players with ToB characters said they would reroll. We haven't used it since. We had been playing weekly since 3.0 was brand new, so ToB seemed ridiculous to us.

It is a fine book, if that is what you are looking for, but it does not feel like 3rd edition D&D.

Since running/playing 3.5 non-stop from 2002-2013 I've slowly come around to the conclusion that late 3.5 is best 3.5.

I too, at first, hated ToB and books that came around late in 3.5's life cycle. Like Tome of Magic, Magic of the Incarnum, and the second round of Complete books.

Upon reflection, if I ever went back to 3.5, I would toy with only letting my players pick stuff from 2005 onward; say everything after the Eberron core.

3.0 and early 3.5 were backwards facing in outlook. Trying to making the d20 system fit into a 2nd edition play paradigm. 3.5 only flourished after the designers took the reigns off and let the system go places and do things that weren't constrained by earlier iterations of D&D.

It wasn't an accident that 4th took the most interesting stuff out of late 3.5. 3.5 got shut down just as it was getting really interesting.


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I finished GMing Skull and Shackles all the way through last summer and my players had a great time. The first book was rough (it's so dis-empowering), but once it opens up (and boy does it) players in S&S have all the freedom in the world (provided their GM is game).

I did what was posted above: I emphasized the how nasty the officers were and how much the crew began to admire and respect the PCs as things went along. If your GM is game, you have to build relationships with your NPC crew members. This will make the back half the first book well worth it. (Trying to remain spoiler free).


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My group also used the ship-to-ship combat as presented in the S&S Player's Guide and they really liked it; by the end of the campaign they were sad that there wasn't more opportunities to use the rules in the campaign because they wanted to do more single ship-on-ship battles rather than the fleet battles at the end of the campaign.

They were so enthusiastic that they coated their ship's ram in Glaucite (the Iron/Adamantine alloy) in preparation for ramming more ships.


My group renamed the Man's Promise as Blackbeak's Cutlass, their captain was a Tengu with a famous pirate ancestor. They named the rest of the ships they captured: Salty Surprise, Sea B*!$@, and Bone and Ash. That last one captained by a Gnoll mercenary and crew they allied with.


Six weeks ago I wrapped a 2+ year long campaign of Kingmaker (April 2014-September 2016). I work at my local public library in young adult services so this game was an after school program. My players were all in middle or high school when we started (ages 12-16) and one player graduated high school by the time we finished.

It was an immensely satisfying and rewarding game to run. I wish I had had more time to flesh out the game (it needs a lot of outside prep to turn it from a good ap to a great one) though I did try to add a few touches of my own, such as expanding the role the Old Cults (particularly Hastur) played in the region; as well as dramatically expanding the role of the Swordlords including a rebellion by them against the Sutrova family inspired by the PCs actions.

I had to accommodate as many players as I thought I could get away with so I had eight PCs in total finish the campaign. Most of the kids playing have moved on to their own games, including running a sequel to Kingmaker staring the children of their characters 20 years in the future.

Anyway, my players:

Ajani: Male Human Wizard (Universalist) 15, this was the de facto leader their party and the one making most of the decisions in their kingdom of Ravenguard. This guy grasped the rules the fastest and is the one running the sequel campaign on his own. Ajani built his own wizard academy, had a goblin and a boggard for apprentices, attempted to woo the Old Beldame and recruited her to teach at his academy, forged alliances with Chief Sootscale, the centaur tribes, and the lizardfolk to create a huge multiracial force to siege Pitax and win, conquered Pitax and renamed it to Notax to drum up business for economic renewal after the siege, created his own demi-planes and cloned himself repeatedly, having his own clones teach at his academy, and made a bargin with Hastur for power and knowledge that came back to bite him big time. This guy was all over the place and was constantly busy with side projects. He also was the one most interested in the kingdom building mechanics and recorded the growth of Ravenguard diligently. A really standout player, he'll be a great GM.

Andolos the Golden, aka Andolos the Executioner, aka Andolos the Dragonslayer: Male Human Paladin 15, this guy was the face of their group and the most visible member of their party to their kingdom and to the wider world. The player himself rode a very fine line between righteousness and being a sociopath, but always made the good decision in the end. He was also a murder machine and gave me respect for the Paladin class in Pathfinder for how much damage he could stack into one good hit. He built a multi-denominational cathedral in the capital of Ravenguard, Gravestag (get it?), courted, married, and had children with the centaur princess Xamanthe, summoned a young celestial brass dragon as his bonded mount that was subsequently stolen by another player. He also had the best roll of the game when he threw his Holy Avenger sword into the heart of the black dragon Ithuliak with double nat 20's in the last book of the ap. This guy was always a wild card, but was a blast to play with.

Grimjaw: Male Strix Ranger 14, A lower key player, he mostly hung his hat on the fact that he was a strix and so never really fit into Ravenguard in a meaningful way. He got killed. A lot. The party was always willing to resurrect him, he had a habit of getting in over his head in combat. He also had a habit of getting his animal companions killed. He went through two lions before he settled on a roc that by then he was too scarred for to sent into battle. He married a nixie and built a cabin in the woods by her pond for them to live in, but got freaked out at her immortality and strange fey nature. Eventually, she sided with Nyrissa much to his horror. He was the PC who was tasked with carrying Briar and had a very odd, almost dependent relationship with the sword. He would often voluntarily fail a will save only to let the sword puppet him in a fight, since his own will saves were so low. His funeral ended up kicking off the sequel game run by the the player who ran Ajani.

Artemis: Female Halfling Druid 14, this player was missing for large swathes of the campaign and so got stuck as the warden of the kingdom as an excuse to explain away their long absences. Another low key player, Artemis was very quietly supporting. Always willing to back up other players, but never taking glory for himself or his character. Ended up ditching his animal companion for the domain spellcasting (was paranoid about his leopard, Sparky, getting killed after what happened to Grimjaw's companions. He was also the youngest player at the table and took a long time to come out from the older player's shadows.

Dr. Afro Sciccors: Male Human Cleric of Pharasma 14, despite the name, this guy was the chillest player at the table and a calming influence over the most excitable members of the party. Reveled in being a cleric, resurrected other PCs and NPCs alike at least a dozen times, was the only player to know about Ajani's bargin with Hastur and tried to atone him out of it to the point of taking on some of Ajani's debt to Hastur onto himself. Found a token of Nyrissa's on the body of the Stag Lord and had reoccurring dream conversations with her over the whole of the campaign, became the mayor of Varnhold, had a NPC cohort Inquisitor of Pharasma who liked to cut the fingers off of necromancers which scared the crap out of him. This guy was an absolute pleasure to play with.

Xenagos: Male Human Cleric of Gozreh 14, this guy moved away irl, and then moved back in the space of a year and rejoined the campaign. Though because of it, he didn't quite fit with the rest of the party who was there the whole time. He mostly showed up as a social roleplayer, which was fine. He never quite got the rules down and tried to play a battle cleric and poorly optimized it. As a result he didn't do much in the scheme of the game. Nice guy though.

Sir Lord Jaximus, the Lionblade, thrice-knighted, baron of Fort Jaximus (formerly Fort Drelev): Male Human Bard 3/Rogue 3/Lionblade 8, yes, that was the name he wrote out on his character sheet. The actual younger brother of the guy playing Andolos, this guy was also quite a character. He played an exiled Lionblade of Taldor and boy did he let everyone in game know. He also crafted numerous ridiculous disguises, which came in handy when it was time to infiltrate Fort Drelev (which he later took possession of), founded his own Lionblade school, created a wrist crossbow with adamantine bolts and a magical winch so he could hook into enemies from a distance and flying into them dagger first, obsessed with Numenrian tech and bought timeworn energy weapons that often blew up on him. This guy went off in random, but usually entertaining directions and was largely ineffectual in combat, so he compensated by trying to have as much fun in combat as possible by doing crazy stunts.

Raven: Female Halfling Wizard 3/Rogue 3/Arcane Trickster 8, the only girl in the party she played up being the unpredictable halfling trickster to the nines. She stole the Paladin's dragon bonded mount by beating him in a dad joke contest, tricking cultists of Hastur into an acid pit, convincing Ajani to use Polymorph Any Object to turn her into an anthropomorphic unicorn, and various other antics. None of this ended up being annoying at the table though, if anything it endeared her to the other players. Important since she was an addition to the game in progress and they were leery about letting her join at first. She added a lot of levity to the game and made it more fun in general.

All in all, a really great group of players and a really good ap to run.


James Jacobs wrote:
Marvin Ghey wrote:
Kind of the flip side of that, which BBEG do you find most frustrating? Personal/in-game reasons fine by me.

Nyrissa, but not becasue of her. Because the customer base had indicated they wanted a sandbox adventure where the players could make their own way and that didn't have a strong looming threat of a bad guy/gal urging them along a specific, single story line to defeat him/her, but as it turns out, folks really DO want that.

It was frustrating to give people what they asked for only to have them (still) complain about us giving it to them, in other words.

Which is too bad, Nyrissa is very much my favorite BBEG in all the adventure paths. In the Kingmaker game I'm running I was able to build her up and as the PCs are entering book 6, they both hate and fear her for what she's done to their fledgling kingdom of Ravenguard.


James Jacobs wrote:
TMP wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Archpaladin Zousha wrote:

As the go-to person about the Aldori Swordlords, I've a question about them that Purple Dragon Knight's questions sparked:

Since the Aldori Swordlords are, as you said, self-made, how do they run Restov in a civic sense? Since there doesn't seem to be any one leader to the Swordlords, and since rank isn't passed by bloodline, do they have some kind of "Swordpact Council/Senate" that makes diplomatic/civic/policy decisions for Restov?

I actually didn't invent the Swordlords, and a fair amount of their development has happened in the Player Companions and Campaign books not under my direct direction, but if I'm the go-to person about this because I'm the one who answers the questions the fastest, I guess that works.

There is a council of Swordlords who run Restov, more or less. I suspect it also has a single figurehead type person as well who works with the council. It's not something I've put much thought at all into; the bulk of the design work that's gone in about these folks is swordfighting and not politics.

The Lord Mayor (Sellemius) doesn't have the name Aldori, so infer he's not a Swordlord. If so, what's his relationship to this council?

Ally. Perhaps puppet. Perhaps opposition. I'm not familiar enough with what we've said about him to say for sure, but the idea that there's a sort of check and balance between the Swordlords and the Lord Mayor is pretty compelling.

I'm running Kingmaker right now and the material lists a Lady Jamandi Aldori (Half-Elf Ftr 14) as the cheif Swordlord (at least in Restov). I think this was before the Aldori Swordlord prestige class was implemented so I stated her out as a Ftr/Swordlord. I also have her more or less running the big political decisions and letting the mayor do the day-to-day running of Restov.

The fleshing out came about because my PCs wanted to make a formal alliance with the Swordlords against Pitax in exchange for their support against Issia in my Kingmaker game.

So I guess there is an Aldori leading Restov? Her level and race were listed in the city block for Restov in Kingmaker book 3.


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terraleon wrote:

Ars Magica, all the way.

But I'll second Delta Green and Cthulhutech, but I don't think those two are very unknown. Hell, none of them are very little known any more, I think.

-Ben.

I'm going to second Cthulhutech, on the last legs of a two year long campaign with the system. I wish they had been able to release more material for it, I know they had a lot of production problems.


Thread Necromancy!

I've run two short games of Alternity, one Star*Drive and one Dark Matter; me and my players had a blast playing and the system is a contender for one of my top RPG systems of all time.

The Star*Drive game ended with the players barely being able to fend off a Kroath attack in Stoneburner ruins on Yellow Sky to recover an infant Stoneburner kept in stasis.

For the Dark*Matter game I ran the Killing Jar adventure and loved it.

I've also been in a bunch of custom Alternity games as a player, the most recent one being an extended game where the GM adapted Halo to Alternity. We all started as ODST Marines who graduated up to Spartan IIIs. Alternity rules make Covenant weapons extremely lethal where plasma is concerned.

So yeah, I love Alternity and I'm glad to see it's still being played.


I've been GMing Skull and Shackles for about 18 months now and I'm really loving running it as much as my party likes playing it, which is to say a lot. :) They are currently 11th level and on the first part of book 5.

My party is as follows:

Artemys Saan: CG Female Strix Gunslinger (Pistolero). She's the ship's gunner and the first part of what another PC dubbed "The Monster Trio" after characters from One Piece since she can deal a crazy amount of damage, just bought a heavy bombard which she installed at the top of the giant's tower on their fort on the Island of Empty Eyes and is in love with it. Also just replaced the ship's ballista with cannon.

Chak-Chak Qucheep: CG Male Tengu Rogue (Cutpurse). Their captain, skill monkey, and face-man all in one. Has been able to get some ships to surrender to him by reputation and the Diplomacy skill alone. Prides himself on having a ship crewed by mostly ex-slaves or non-humans. Lack of arcane firepower in the party led him to max out the Use Magic Device skill and take the Leadership feat to acquire an arcane caster in the form of Druuga, the female Orc Witch (Scarred Witch).

Khnum: LN Male Undine Monk (Ki Mystic/Elemental Fist). One of "The Monster Trio" and the PC who gave them that moniker. Uses aquatic nature and crazy amounts of Ki combined with his Marid Style feats to clear decks of enemy ships single-handedly. Is the ship's quartermaster. Recruited the survivors of the sahuagin tribe in book 2 as monks and trained them as such during downtime. Took the vows of celibacy and truthfulness which makes healing him difficult.

Eldrid: CG Male Aasimar Cleric of Cayden Caliean. Fancies himself a swashbuckler and an expert in everything when his character is neither. Plays the fool of the group who sees himself as a romantic hero in the making but is in over his head at all times. Is the ship's carpenter and sawbones. Just came into his own as his higher spell levels have begun to kick in. Character was also a replacement for another PC that had to leave.

Former PCs:

Derak Finnson: CN Male Dwarf (Saltbeard) Barbarian (Sea Reaver). The final piece of "The Monster Trio" he and the monk could take a ship by themselves by the time they were level 5. Liked to gamble and never forgot a grudge. Was the ship's master at arms.

Yesmoro: N Male Nagaji Summoner (Synthesist). Left pretty early in the game, was replaced by the Cleric. Was the ship's arcane support. Eidolon was a giant shark with taloned arms.


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James Jacobs wrote:
Bahamut wrote:

Mr. Jacobs,

With the coming of the new Strange Aeons AP I was wondering, what's your favorite Mythos creature(s) and why?

(Sorry if you've already answered this question)

Thanks!

Hastur is my favorite, because he's so mysterious and thought provoking and creepy, and combines into one entity everything that's compelling and frightening about human nature AND inhuman nature. And the fact that I liked the picture of him in the 1st Edition Deities & Demigods book the best of all the Cthulhu Mythos monster pictures certainly helped!

His complicated real life backstory (Bierce to Chambers to Lovecraft) certainly helps with the enigmatic nature of his being. His exact nature was and is very hard to pin down but I agree that somehow works in his favor to make him seem compelling and strange.

The illustration where he's depicted as a giant tentacled, cilia-covered dinosaur? That's a good one, I wonder which source the artist pulled for that one? Mostly he gets illustrated in the form of the King in Yellow, such as in Bestiary 4. Maybe the kaiju-sized worm/lizard thing was a Derleth interpretation? Idk.

Thank you again for answering!


Mr. Jacobs,

With the coming of the new Strange Aeons AP I was wondering, what's your favorite Mythos creature(s) and why?

(Sorry if you've already answered this question)

Thanks!


thegreenteagamer wrote:
When it comes to Grognards, my thoughts are usually, "if second edition was so good, why aren't you playing second edition?"

It wasn't, I don't (anymore)


Does anyone else feel a massive amount of sympathy for Jezeletrix? I kinda want mu PC's to redeem her and maybe make her a cohort rather than be kill crazy. Just curious.


Thanks Jester!


In the Forgotten Realms setting, the main campaign setting mentions cretures called Ghazneths who were enimies of the Cormyrian royal family the Obarskyrs. The books describe them as "magic draining winged creature of great power." But that's it.

I wanted to know if anyone out there knew what exactly they were and where I could find stats for them.


And the 2nd to last group I tried to run through only made inside Jzahadirune and no farther. (Sigh). The party was made up of two pairs of couples, in real life and in game. And the two couples really didn't like eachother from the start, so this didn't last too long...

Ecyrial Drathamore: Human, male, CG, Tantrist 2 (from The Book of Erotic Fantasy put out by Valar, check it out, its good.) This was the guy who played the Pixie in the last group, to his credit, this was a much less annoying choice.

Cora Thorngage: Halfling, female, CG, Rogue 2. Ecyrial's significant other in real life too. She had a feat called limber, where in if she didn't have sex with Ecyrial everyday, she would lose a +2 modifier to Dex score. Yeah.

Aust Nailo: Elf, male, NG, Ranger 2. The melee combat specialist, he had a two-bladed sword and got knocked out every combat.

Xilo Xilocient: Elf, female, NG, Wizard 2. Aust's lover in real life as well. Yeah, she hated Ecyrial in real life too and it split the group up fast.

Iria Uluuathass: Drow, female, NE, Necromancer 2. The who played her made up his own Necromancer class from several different sources. He played this character in the first group as well, I just liked his class and conniving little drow antics that I asked him to bring th character back, unfortunatly, he wasn't able to play that long...


Like I said this is the 3rd! group I've tried to run through this thing, let's hope this own sticks.

The first group I ran made as far as Bhal-Hamatugn and we're about to fight Dhorlot when it all fell apart. This was them at the time they stopped playing.

Ik: Half-Ogre, male, CG, Barbarian 5. Strength of 29 and an intelligence of 4. He didn't talk much and let his Greataxe talk for him. He was so big, he took out most of the walls in the Lucky Monkey just to get around.

Aradyl: Pixie, male, CN, Psion 3, Ectocrafter 1. This guy was the bane of my exsistance. He's the main reason I am loath to allow non-PH standard races into the fold of my games.

Ter'iane': Farie Dragon, female, CG, Psion 2. This was the Pixies' cohort and mount, and God the headaches they caused me...

Dahnia Greensboro: Human, female, N, Sorceror 6. She was only in for a couple of sessions. She was an agent for the MTA who hooked up with the group in exchange for helping her investigate suspicions aroung Vhalantru.

Machiel Lightbringer: Assimar with Vampiric bloodline, male, LG, Paladin 4. I really liked his concept, the vampire bloodline was starting to influence his daily life and he was paranoid the church of Pelor was going to find out and excommunicate him.

Skang-key-ho (get it?): Human, male, LN, Monk 6. A grappler, this was the smart-ass of the group, more so than even the Pixie, he liked to beat up on the groups Rogue constantly.

Cade Underhill: Halfling, male, CN, Rogue 6. The groups resident Rogue, until he and the Monk got into a big fight over a sword they both wanted and Skang beat him to a bloody pulp, tied him up, and threw him into the pit of the seven jaws. That was a fun day.


Okay... This is my third group to take a run at Cauldron and they just started on Saturday. And they are....

FU Zakennayo: Human Male, Monk 1

Graham: Human Male, Fighter 1

Tonic: Elf Male, Ranger 1

Persephone: Human Female, Rogue 1

Parminion Boken: Human Male, Fighter 1

VLHUURG!!!: Human Male, Barbarian 1

Galstaff Wizard of Light (snicker, snicker): Human Male, Wizard 1

Astrid Amakir: Elf Female, Druid 1

Yeah, 8 people. The guy playing Galstaff (he he, sigh, oh 8-bit theater...) is a DM too and will take have the party and DM something with them to lighten the load 'cause 3 other people want to join. yikes.


Keep in mind, this is for a sci-fi setting of my own devising, and the measurements are in the metric system.

Grammaton Cleric

1st:+1, +2+2+0, Cleric Uniform, Unarmed Attack d6/x2, Improved Disarm, Weapon Finesse

2nd:+2, +3+3+0, Uncanny Dodge, Two-Gun Shooting

3rd:+3, +3+3+1, Detect Emotion

4th:+4, +4+4+1, Evasion Mastery +1, Fast Movement +3 meters

5th:+5, +4+4+1, Fire Back

6th:+6/+1, +5+5+2, Improved Two-Gun Shooting

7th:+7/+2, +5+5+2, Improved Uncanny Dodge, Unarmed Damage d8/x2

8th:+8/+3, +6+6+2, Evasion Mastery +2, Improved Quick Draw, Fast Movement +6 meters

9th:+9/+4, +6+6+3, Increased Rate of Fire

10th:+10/+5, +7+7+3, Vicious Art of the Gun-Kata, Unarmed Damage d8/19-20/x2

11th:+11/+6/+1, +7+7+3, Grammaton Pistols

12th:+12/+7/+2, +8+8+4, Evasion Mastery +3, Multiple Opponets, Fast Movement +9 meters

13th:+13/+8/+3, +8+8+4, Firing in Your Face

14th:+14/+9/+4, +9+9+4, Intimidation of Presence -1, Unarmed Damage d10/19-20/x2

15th:+15/+10/+5, +9+9+5, Greater Two-Gun Shooting,

16th:+16/+11/+6/+1, +10+10+5, Evasion Mastery +4, Accuaracy, Fast Movement +12 meters

17th:+17/+12/+7/+2, +10+10+5, Intimidation of Presence -2, Improved Multiple Opponets

18th:+18/+13/+8/+3, +11+11+6, Focus of the Mind

19th:+19/+14/+9/+4, +11+11+6, Increased Rate of Fire

20th:+20/+15/+10/+5, +12+12+6, Perfect Gun Shooting, Deadly Art of the Gun-Kata, Intimidation of Presence -3, Fast Movement 15 meters, Unarmed Damage d12/19-20/x3

General Information
The Grammaton Cleric is the most focused fighter in the martial arts of gunplay. His combination of unarmed combat, firing rate, and proficiency with melee weapons makes him a deadly combatant. Mathematics, geography, and statistics taken from more than 10,000 gun battles allows the Cleric to make the opptimal use of his position, to effect the maximum opponents over the maximum field of fire while evading the statistical trajectory of return fire. This makes the master of the Gun Kata an adversary not to be taken lightly.
Clerics focus and training is highly based of the devoted following of their calling. They firmly believe that emotions cause the violence in the world are against them. The order sends them on missions that only benefits them, even though Clerics ally themselves with others to complete their goals, for nessesity only.
Game Rule Information
Abilities: High Dexterity is very important to a cleric not only for attack, but for the fact that the cleric will never be able to wear any other type of armor besides the one that is issued to him. Charisma is also very important because of the Cleric’s presence and tasks. Inteligence is important because the Cleric relies on his skills more than a soldier. Also, Constitution is important because Clerics receive less hit points than a soldier and his abilities require him to fight his opponents within 30 feet or less.
Hit Dice: d8
Starting Money: 2d6 x 200
Class Skills
The Gramaton Cleric’s skills (and the key abilities for each) are: Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int),Gather Information (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (biology, engineering, history, mathmatics, physics), (Int), Listen (Wis), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex), Freefall (Dex), Drive (Dex), Research (Wis), Computer Use (Int)
Skill Points at 1st Level: (4 + Int modifier) x 4
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: (4 + Int modifier)
Class Features
Weapon and Armor Proficieny: Grammaton Clerics are proficient with Clerical weapons and armor and proficient with Light and Medium weapons and Heavy melee weapons.
Cleric Uniform: Clerics automatically start with masterwork Cleric pistols and armor along with specially designed clips and vibro katana. This also means that he can only wear this uniform or solid grey or black clothing, and no showy including jewlery.
Unarmed Attack: As in the Player’s Handbook
Improved Disarm: As in feat in Player’s Handbook
Weapon Finesse: As in feat in Player's Handbook, the Cleric can use his pistols and katana with the feat.
Uncanny Dodge: As in the Player’s Handbook
Two-Gun Shooting: As the feat.
Cleric Way of Life: The Cleric’s Focus is so attuned that his emotions start to suffer. The Cleric looses the highs and lows of emotion such as love and hate, less intense emotions are permitted, however strong emotions are fiercely shunted aside. The Cleric must pratice at least one hour of every day to continue gaining levels. (Provided he isn’t in some way detained). The cleric can retain no wealth, other than to satisfy their immediate biological needs, or if it serves an immediate purpose to the Clerics' mission at a given time. The Cleric can use other weaponry, and equipment, but must discard them if their immediate purpose is served. The Cleric cannot wear any additional armor. The Cleric cannot engage in any meaniful romantic relationships with non-members of Tetra-Grammaton. Other associations with outsiders is strongly discouraged, unless it serves the immediate purposes of the Clerics mission or Tetra-Grammaton itself. If this code of conduct is violated, punishment is administed which can include death, mind wipe, or excomunication and banishment from Tetra-Grammaton.
Detect Emotion: The Cleric has an intutive feel for detecting the emotions of others and gains a +5 to Sense Motive checks.
Evasion Mastery: The Cleric’s understanding of battle allows him to get the bonus stated against all opponets in a 30 foot (10m) radius to his dodge involving AC.
Fire Back: If the Cleric disarms an opponet and he has one hand free, he may fire one shot as a free action with the disarmed weapon.
Improved Two-Gun Shooting: As the feat in Player’s Handbook, and as noted above.
Improved Uncanny Dodge: As in Player’s Handbook
Improved Quick Draw: The Cleric’s skill with weapons not only gives him quick draw for free, he can also quick draw weapons off the ground or from a wall, etc, with a Tumbe check of 20, the Cleric gets a +1 to Dodge AC for that round.
Increased Rate of Fire: The Cleric may take an extra ranged attack with each Grammaton pistol at a –2 when firing the weapons in semiautomatic.
Vicious Art of the Gun Kata: If the Cleric criticals with an unarmed attack, he breaks a limb, if the target fails the Ref save. The DC to resist = Damage delt + ½ Cleric’s level. The limb being broken in determined by a d4: 1-left arm, 2-right arm, 3-left leg, 4-right leg. The The pain stuns the opponet for 1d4 rounds. If you disarm in this way you still deal damage.
Grammaton Pistols: While using Grammaton pistols in melee combat,the normal –2 penalty for 2 weapon fighting are negated.
Multiple Opponets: The Cleric can take one shot or burst shot at everyone in a 30 foot (10m) radius in one round.
Firing in Your Face: The Cleric suffers no more attacks of opportunity while using his pistols
Intimidation of Presence: Opponents fear the Grammaton Cleric that they suffer the stated minus on all rolls or checks made against the Cleric
Accuracy: The Cleric no longer suffers penalties from his opponet’s concealment unless they have total cover or concealment.
Improved Multiple Opponets: Same as multiple opponets but 2 shots or bursts a round.
Focus of the Mind: The critical multipier of the Grammaton pistols increases from x3 to x4.
Improved Increased Rate of Fire: As above but with 2 attacks with each pistol taking a –4 penatly when firing in semiautomatic mode.
Deadly Art of the Gun Kata: As Viscious Art of the Kata except with d6 5-chest, 6-head. On a 5, the internal organs are damaged and the spine is broken creating paralisis. On a 6, the opponet’s head is fractured, casusing death, Fort or Ref save DC = damage delt + ½ Clerics level.

Clerical Equipment
Cleric Armor: Counts as Masterwork, Light Armor
Cost: - AC: +3 DR: 3/- Max Dex: - Armor Check: 0 Weight: 3 kg. Speed: 30ft/20ft (10m/6m)

Grammaton Pistols: Counts as Masterwork, Auto-Fire option
Cost: - Damage: 1d12 Clip: 30 Crit: x3 Range: 60m. Weight: 2.25 kg. Type: Piercing

Vibro Katana

Wrist Holders: Allows Quick Draw and Rapid Reload once per battle. Holds one clip in each wrist.

Melee Clips: With these clips in, when you fight with pistols in melee combat, you can, as a free action, extend small nails at the base of the clips which add a +2 to damage and change to critical modifier from x2 to x3. Weight: 1 kg.

Weighted Clips: These can be thrown as a free action. If these are thrown, they land bullets up because the clips are round and weighted on the bottom. The Cleric’s skill ensures they are always thrown together. Weight 1 kg.


I like it, me and my friend came up with something like this, the Grammaton Cleric from the movie Equilibrium. I might post it and see what you think.


At first I was resistant to the new base classes. I love the 11 from the PH and think that there is enough variety to them to play for the rest of your bloody life, but then I got to looking at them when CW first came out and I drooled over the Hexblade.

So I softened up and opended up. I have to say its a tie between Hexblade and Warlock with Ninja running up a close 2nd. Hexblade is a great idea to begin with and Warlock does feel like a classic already as someone already pointed out.

Oh, and Flushmaster... Do you work for Wizards of the Coast already, if not you should man. Thats some of the best persuasive argument I've seen on these message boards. Keep up the good work


Oh where do I begin...

trolls. I love those regenerating bastards... Plus you can carve off a bit of troll, put it in a can, wait for it to regenerate past the top, shave it off and... troll burgers! An infinte supply too!

Mind-flayers are an awesome classic.

Nimblewights: Swordfighting golems! Yes!

Aboleths are great

And... swarms. "Quick!, where's the freckin' alchemist's fire!" I love it.


He he he, Oh... It gives me such pleasure to see that the guys (and girls) who make this delightful magazine are just as crazy (and uber-geeky) as the rest of us. It gives me hope for the future.


I love the adventure path (what little I got to DM anyway) I only got to "Zenith Trajetory" but I would have to say my players and I personally liked "Flood Season" the best. I liked the idea of th Ebon Triad. TongueEater was cool, but my psionic PC went invisible, disrupted him and his whole party of baboons into sleep and then coup-de-graced the lot of them. The psion thought it was hilarious of course. I like Tarkiltar personally...


I always pronouced it gizz-had-der-rune, and ball-hama-tu-gun


First of all, Big Jake that's some awesome role-playing, if I could ring half the emotion out of my hack and slashers that would be incredible. Way to go for the emotional juggular, I wish I was only so creative.

Second, that's a whole lot of work and effort Asceospades that I will have to steal (if you don't mind) the next time I run Shackled City.


Well, I had to stop run through AP I unfortunatly (grumble, grumble) Bascially my PC's ran away with the campaign and I was unable to reign them in without A LOT of fighting. I had to call it quits in the middle of Bhal-hamatugn a few months ago.

I really liked AP I too... Next time dammit! Next time!

Anyway, I lost one PC to Tartilkar (the gnoll cleric in Flood Season) and his spike chain. And another to Aushanna in Bhal-hamatugn right before I had to drop the campaign


Hey, Mark

I tried running Cauldron unsuccessfully a few months back (too many disputes with the PC's). So hopefully this advice isn't total bull

-I'm with Klysandral with rolling 4d6 and keeping the three highest. In my expierience, point buy just lead to insane min/max-ing and that has gotten WAY old for me.

-My PC's stayed at the church of St. Cuthburt in exchange for helping Jenna with some church matters. They later upgraded to the Drunken Morkoth.

-As for balance... Chef's salad is right on for playing your monsters smart enough to chalenge even very cheap PCs. I confess my PC were a little un-balanced, and I had a lot of them. A pixie male psion, a human male monk, halfling male rogue, drow female necromancer, assimar male paladin, and a male ogre barbarian. I let them bascially kick around the monsters and when I realized it would be too easy and tried to scale accordingly, my players cried bloody murder. Try to not let that happen to you, the campaign just broke down inside Bhal-hamatugn and I never went back to it.

Shame really, Shackled City is damn good campaign.

So hopefully you won't make my mistake and balance accordingly.