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Scarab Sages

Interestingly I opted to make use of her alluring racial trait to make her a more interesting character. To be clear she has not been tempting player characters. Not consciously, at any rate. She is a devout member of the clergy who has not been promoted to higher ranks. This is mostly because various members of the congregation have reported unwanted advances from her (that she is completely oblivious too).

Far from being some wanton hussy she appears to simply be a rather sensual woman, unaware of the effect she has on others. When made aware, she apologises and mutters something like "oh dear, this again." In the end the church saw the opportunity to send her off with royal accuser Omari as she may be able to put her unnatural ability to good use in help in the investigation.

When first met in Briarstone Asylum she is missing her holy symbol (it's missing from her stat block). There is a wooden holy symbol of Pharasma in the ruins a few rooms away so I decided it was hers and concocted some story about her dropping it or having it knocked from her hands while escaping from some doppelgangers.

Scarab Sages

You might want to consider the Silksworn (silks worn, not silk sworn) Occultist archetype who gets his powers from dressing up posh in fancy clobber.

Scarab Sages

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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Plus if you were to have the happy benevolent revolutionaries take over, that just sets up the sequel AP where things didn't go according to plan.

Ah but that would just be delaying the long awaited dwarven adventure path for even longer now wouldn't it? :p

Scarab Sages

Crystal Frasier wrote:
We've always portrayed Taldor as a nation whose glory days are long gone and whose infrastructure and social order are slowly decaying while everyone with the power to turn that around refuses to acknowledge there's a problem.

Indeed you have and that's what makes Taldor good. It can be enjoyed with wanting it to change in the same way that one can enjoy reading the original Gormenghast trilogy without being a fan of Steerpike and quite enjoy the crumbling state of decay as a setting, nay, as a character all of it's own. It is in that regard that I like to think of Taldor as the thing we know and like which is unlikely to ever change much. My vision does not differ much but my preferences clearly do.

I should probably not run this adventure path. If only I'd had a Payer's Guide to look at to help me make this decision. Don't worry. That's not a dig. I'm sure there are very good reasons for it's delay.

Scarab Sages

I do not like the new visual style. Apparently merely expressing this was enough to get my previous post removed. I shall therefore not go into further detail.

Scarab Sages

WormysQueue wrote:
So unless the mere thought of a woman ruling a country seems to revolutionary for you, I don't think that you need to fear much.

Oh no problems there :). We definitely have differing opinions on Taldor 'though :p.

Scarab Sages

I haven't fully read the first book yet but my more recent impressions were formed by the press releases, the fan reactions o them, and the introduction to the first book.

Scarab Sages

That does sound quite reasonable Skeld. I'm hoping it's more along the lines of holding things together instead of letting everything go to hell in a hand basket.

The fact that I initially misread Eutropia as Eutopia probably didn't help either as it seemed the authors might have been a bit heavy handed when naming that npc.

I wouldn't have too much of a problem playing as a character who supports the regime but having to portray npc after npc after npc who are pro dissestablishmentarians (as opposed to all the antidisestablishmentarian npc's that I'll relish playing) might grate after a while if every single npc who sides with the pc's has a belief system that I fundamentally disagree with.

Also Taldogis is supposed to be a pun according to the blog post. Really? Maybe it's because I'm British and have a British accent that it simply doesn't seem like a pun. It might work if you have a really strong Bronx/New York accent (Taldaw/Taldawgis but Taldor/Tal-doggies/doggis simply doesn't work with a Briths accent). Puns that require a regional accent are less effective than puns which do not require a specific accent to sound similar (such as the Bloodthursday beast, a pun on bloodthirsty but it only comes out on Thursdays - a weak pun that requires a specific British regional accent to pull off as, everywhere else in the country, it just doesn't work. People in the Birmingham area would be more likely to pronounce Thirsty as Thirsdee and Thursday as Thursdee but in most other parts of the country the difference between the two would be too pronounced for it to pass as a pun).

Is it supposed to be a pun on something else?

Perhaps I'm missing some vital piece of information that makes this even remotely pun-like.

Scarab Sages

Hello everybody,

as a long time GM I have known for quite some time that this AP was coming out. Initially I got excited. A war of succession has a lot of dramatic potential. Immediately I thought of the wars of king Steven and The Empress Maud who's war for the English crown raged from 1139 to 1147ad and forms a colourful background for the Brother Cadfael books (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Empress_Matilda).

However, as time drew on I began to suspect that we'd be talking less Steven & Maude and more Oliver Cromwell's revolution. It became apparent that the adventure path might be geared less towards a struggle for the throne and more towards radically altering Taldor altogether.

Now this presents a problem. I rather like Taldor. I like it the way it is. It has class structure, honour, tradition - it is an unchanging stable rock in the mad crazy world that is Golarion. You always know where you are with Taldor and it's nice to have something reliable to come back to once in a while.

When you take all of that away you're basically left with something like Andoran. A bunch of jumped up revolutionaries with no idea how to run things who think that being independent makes them oh so important and brag and boast about their independence without actually putting much thought into how to run a country or get along with their neighbours.

If it doesn't end up as bad as Andoran then you might end up with something like Cheliax (equally unpleasant to my pro Taldan outlook - I did mention a certain fondness for Taldor earlier, right?).

The reason that this is a problem Is that many of my players are quite excited about this adventure path. I am less enthusiastic than they are and it has been suggested that someone else run it but, the only other player willing to do so (and one of the vocal enthusiasts fr this AP) isn't inspiring a lot of confidence among the group in his abilities to GM it well.

I'm a bit of a traditionalist. When I see phrases like "let's modernise Taldor" I don't exactly feel enthusiastic about it. Instead I feel my shackles rising and want to rise up and fight back against this radical newfangled notion. In one regard this could almost make me the perfect GM for this AP. I can run encounters where npc's espouse the virtue of traditional values possibly causing the pc's to consider the values of their cause. If a pc is sneaking down a corridor and hears to guards standing by a door around a corner holding a conversation about the current political state of affairs maybe he'll stop to ask himself if he really needs to upset the apple cart. A defeated noble knight could lament the social ramifications of his defeat. He will now be unable to protect and provide for those under his charge. By trying to overthrow the "natural order of things" the pc's will be setting off chain reactions that have horrible ramifications for people further down the social ladder. This should be adequately reflected - possibly shaming them into mending their ways.

However, in the end, my gut feeling is that for the authors of this adventure path, Taldor is less like the comfy old armchair that we all know and love but rather an abomination like Gormenghast (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gormenghast_(series)), even 'though Gormenghast actually has it's charms. They want the players to see it as an oudated mess that barely functions. Something to be washed away amidst a tide of "modernisation". Unfortunately when you do away with tradition & culture everything becomes rather bland and same-ish. The McDonaldisation effect. Nobody in their right mind wants that.

An interesting twist would be to play princess Eutropia as a villain and the pc's as her villanous henchmen (or unwitting dupes). That could actually be quite a fun campaign to play. Playing it ironically (and often reminding the players that "of course, you know that what you're doing is actually bad, right?")

******

So my gut feeling is that perhaps I should simply refrain from running this adventure path because I personally strongly disagree with the underlying sentiment - the common cause, the theme of the campaign. It rankles me and I don't like it.

What do you people think? Do you think I could enjoy running this campaign? If so then please offer suggestions for ways in which I could find it enjoyable. I'd be most interested to read what people have to offer.

Scarab Sages

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Oh I don't generally play Occult classes at all. I just feel that the archetype really fits the AP.

Scarab Sages

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I don't know if I'll be playing or gm'ing this one but I'm rather taken with the notion of the Silksworn Occultist archetype from page 29 of the Heroes of the High Court book. It's basically an Occultist who wears silk and fancy garments who practically lives in high society.

Silksworn

Either way it would be nice to see it suggested in the player's guide.

Scarab Sages

"Political intrigue" good.

"Pc's decide the fate of a nation" Bad. Stand by for imminent disaster and more kingdom building/management adventure path gimmicks (as if Kingmaker, Hell's Rebels and Ironfang Invasion didn't have enough of that already).

On a more serious note, it would be nice if this AP had echoes of the civil war between Prince Stephen and the Empress Maude (England, 1139-1153). Now that was a nasty war of succession as numerous heirs disputed their claims to the throne after King Henry 1 (and I wouldn't know much about it if it wasn't for all those wonderfully well written Cadfael books). Maude's son Henry 2nd (who went on to become king after Stepehn, who was winning the war, died of old age) is the same one who had Thomas a Becket murdered (the archbishop of Canterbury).

Scarab Sages

Name: Chaplain Setrakian (npc)
Race: Ghoul (formerly human)
Level: Ghoul (formerly Asylum Chaplain)
In Search of Sanity: A tumbled down courtyard

Catalyst: Ilaesi Scaen

The Gritty details.....

So...

my group of self styled heroes rescued Chaplain Setrakian, the ghoul. They did not immediately realise he was a ghoul. When they led him into the Chapel and had Winter Klaczka (who's surname is really hard to pronounce, by the way, Klashjka is as close as I can get) channel energy to heal them they observed that Chaplain Setrakian was not healed by the power of his own goddess. More importantly, he noticed this. Poor Chaplain Setrakian fell into despair, believing that his goddess has turned her sight from him, casting him aside and bestowing her favours upon Winter Klaczka in his stead. He became morose, found little sustenance in the food that was offered him and eventually followed the heroes into the boiler room where he carnivorously devoured two giant rats they had just slain.

A few days later he wandered off looking for something to eat and was ambushed and slain by "Doctor" Ilaesi Scaen. The doppelganger who'd managed to escape the party earlier in our very first session. She throttled him then took his form and snuck into the sanctuary feeling very smug for herself.

A day or so later our heroes returned to the chapel and Baisily Harbour quietly mentioned to one of the heroes that Chaplain Setrakian was looking a bit better. More like his old self again. Perhaps he was starting to recover from whatever nasty event had occurred to him.

Shortly afterwards "Chaplain Setrakian" approached the heroes proclaiming that, as his goddess had abandoned him, he needed to seek a new path in life. He desired to assist them in exploring the ruins. Perhaps there were other survivors in need of rescue.

None of the players who had realised he was undead and realised he was a ghoul realised that .... undead don't heal over time. He shouldn't be looking healthier. He should not be benefiting from the healing abilities they used on him so far.

They still haven't realised. It's a new session tonight. Let's see if I get to make another entry here soon (I'm planning on yhaving Ilaesi Scaen/Setrakian kill off and replace a former pc who's player left the game with no intention of returning soon. Just not quite yet. Got to get the doppelganger to know them first so it can impersonate a former comrade more effectively).

Scarab Sages

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Page 60

Winter Klaczka has Charisma 15, Extra Channel as a feat and only 6 Channel Energy attempts.

This should be 7/day. She's not a Life Oracle or something. 3 for cleric. 2 for Charisma, 2 for Extra Channel.

Copied over from the Obituaries thread....

Quote:

So...

my group of self styled heroes rescued Chaplain Setrakian, the ghoul. They did not immediately realise he was a ghoul. When they led him into the Chapel and had Winter Klaczka (who's surname is really hard to pronounce, by the way, Klashjka is as close as I can get) channel energy to heal them they observed that Chaplain Setrakian was not healed by the power of his own goddess. More importantly, he noticed this. Poor Chaplain Setrakian fell into despair, believing that his goddess has turned her sight from him, casting him aside and bestowing her favours upon Winter Klaczka in his stead. He became morose, found little sustenance in the food that was offered him and eventually followed the heroes into the boiler room where he carnivorously devoured two giant rats they had just slain.

A few days later he wandered off looking for something to eat and was ambushed and slain by "Doctor" Ilaesi Scaen. The doppelganger who'd managed to escape the party earlier in our very first session. She throttled him then took his form and snuck into the sanctuary feeling very smug for herself.

A day or so later our heroes returned to the chapel and Baisily Harbour quietly mentioned to one of the heroes that Chaplain Setrakian was looking a bit better. More like his old self again. Perhaps he was starting to recover from whatever nasty event had occurred to him.

Shortly afterwards "Chaplain Setrakian" approached the heroes proclaiming that, as his goddess had abandoned him, he needed to seek a new path in life. He desired to assist them in exploring the ruins. Perhaps there were other survivors in need of rescue.

None of the players who had realised he was undead and realised he was a ghoul realised that .... undead don't heal over time. He shouldn't be looking healthier. He should not be benefiting from the healing abilities they used on him so far.

They still haven't realised. It's a new session tonight. Let's see if I get to make another entry here soon (I'm planning on yhaving Ilaesi Scaen/Setrakian kill off and replace a former pc who's player left the game with no intention of returning soon. Just not quite yet. Got to get the doppelganger to know them first so it can impersonate a former comrade more effectively).

Scarab Sages

It's also worth noting that she does not have a holy symbol in her stat block. This obviously means she cannot heal reliably. Perhaps she's simply not willing to take that risk.

There is a wooden holy symbol of Pharasma in location B11. Perhaps she dropped it there fleeing from the ghouls and doppelgangers during earlier events.

Scarab Sages

Okay, so I'm having a few problems with the brambleblight.

When it animates brambles they can animate and attack or entangle as per the spell. No save dc is listed. Should I be applying the Brambleblight's charisma modifier to the save? It's Blight Aura is constitution based so maybe I should use Constitution instead.

Secondly in the Ecology section it indicates that the Brambleblight should only be able to animate one patch of brambles at a time. This is not indicated at all in the Animate Brambles ability in the stat block. I almost feel as if it's fair to allow it to animate one from each of the large mounds on the floorplan of the room and keep it hidden among the mounds of rotting brambles 'til the pc's manage to spot it. This way it can become quite a fun fight with them faced with masses of writhing brambles and trying to work out where the true danger lies.

Better than just revealing it straight away and saying "let's fight."

Scarab Sages

Oh, the Gunslinger has a Bolt Ace archetype which is basically the Gunslinger with a Crossbow instead of the guns. That might suit the Arbalest quite nicely. The Hellion should probably be a Barbarian. It would depend on how closely you want your pc's to resemble the heroes from the game. I'd actually encourage it as it's a thematic challenge.

Scarab Sages

Shadows of Esteren is a purely psychological game. There are no physical ability scores. Instead the ability scores represent elements of the character's personality. So an aggressive character with a high Combativeness stat will have a fairly easy time striking foes in combat but will tend to have a fairly low defence. I believe the stats are combativeness, creativity, empathy, reason & conviction.

Ironically the stats can be used against a character. If a hero hears a low growl in the darkness nearby then they could be called upon to roll a Reasoning test. If they pass they are afraid whereas if they fail they are fearless. Likewise a character in great danger who passes a Reasoning check could suffer Analysis Paralysis. A warrior being taunted by an enemy might pass a Combativeness check, fly into a rage and lash out physically (severely hurting the ongoing negotiations).

Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 1st & 2nd edition have a very good character class system that mirrors late medieval to early renaissance life with careers from all walks of life being available. Rather than gaining levels, however, characters can migrate from one profession to another in a very tinker, tailor, soldier spy kind of manner. It has a brutal lethal combat system and a really good insanity system as well. The reason I recommend 2nd ed is that it's better organised and easier to read than the 1st edition was (although it toned down and stripped out a lot of the professions). If you're going to be looking at 2nd edition fro inspiration I highly recommend getting hold of the Careers Compendium which reinstitutes a lot of the missing careers that were removed from the core rulebook and includes a few of it's own.

If anything the WFRP insanity system would be really helpful for running a Darkest Dungeon style campaign and it's fairly easy to port across as it stands alone from the system without relying on too many of the other rules that surround it. When characters witness or take part in particularly madening activities they gain Insanity Points. Pretty much 1 per situation although occasionally more. When they get a certain amount of points they make some sort of mental resistance roll (i.e. a Will Save) and failure results in a random madness. In first edition it was 6 insanity points for a roll and in 2nd I nbelieev it's every 10 points. The points are traded in for the roll so they can start building up towards yet another potential madness and more and more until they become a gibbering wreck or are forced to retire from adventuring for their own good. I'd say it's more balanced than the Pathfinder one.

Conversely the Shadows of Esteren insanity system is very different. Every character has an underlying psychosis. A madness that is chosen at character creation (often dictated by their stats). As their sanity crumbles their psychosis begins to manifest, growing stronger until it dominates every aspect of their waking world for them.

Scarab Sages

Like Gulthor I would recommend using another system for Darkest Dungeon. Not 4th edition 'though. My recommendations would be Shadows of Esteren if you're wanting to focus more on the psychological aspects of adventuring and Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2nd edition of Zwiehander if you're wanting to focus more on a complex combat simulation (with psychological elements thrown in).

If you really wish to stick with Pathfinder then my suggestions would be as follows:

From Horror Adventures use the Fear, Insanity & Madness systems. The Tortured Crusader archetype is blatantly the Darkest Dungeon Crusader and the Martyr archetype from the same book is blatantly the Leper.

Unfortunately Pathfinder is a very magic heavy system where every character has magic coming out of their ears, two thirds of the classes are spellcasters and there are magic items, potions and scrolls left, right and centre. Unfortunately this doesn't really evoke the Darkest Dungeon feel. This is one of the main reasons why I would personally recommend other, less magic heavy systems. If you want to go Low Magic then Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay covers that aspect very well with the spellcasting carreers being few and far between (and often with stringent entry requirements).

Read up on lots of Call of the Cthulhu/HP Lovecraft stuff. It's very thematically appropriate for Darkest Dungeon. The theme of a few small and insignificant heroes trying to stand up against an ancient overpowering evil that does not care for their very existence. Keep the game dark and gritty (unfortunately Pathfinder's level based health increases don't really mesh well with dark and gritty but there are ways to make it work).

Balance is important in a low magic game. You want the game to be ominous, dark, and dangerous but if your players begin to complain about not getting enough magic or treasure or the fact that the priest in the abbey in town can't cast any healing spells (because he's a level 4 expert) then you might want to have a sit down with them and discuss what kind of game they'd rather be playing and see if it can match your vision in a way that won't involve too many compromises.

Another problem with a low magic campaign (where magic is rare in frequency) is that if all the players decide to play spellcasters that immediately changes the nature of the campaign. There are, essentially playing on easy mode whereas it's only the monsters and the npc's who are at a disadvantage. A cleric in a low magic game has a really easy time because they are basically the armoured healing wizard.

Resist the urge to have shops full of magical items on every street corner. Don't have other wizards around willing to teach spells at a price. Keep the magic rare but also encourage the players to not rely too heavily on it. Make magic socially unacceptable. Superstitious peasants don't take too kindly to foul sorcery (and foul sorcery is whatever they think it is). Too many magical displays and a character could end up being drummed out of town or even burnt at the stake or drowned in a ducking stool. Even when they aren't casting spells maintain that air of menace and suspicion. Playing a spell casting hero who has to hide their magic in a game where magic is unacceptable can be quite an entertaining twist.

Since the Horror Adventures book has got a section in the back for creating old school Ravenloft style Dark Lords with their Domains consider making The Darkest Dungeon a Darklord in it's own right (or whatever lurks in it's darkest depths) and then it's Domain si the Hamlet, the surrounding lands, and the other smaller dungeons that dot the landscape. That would be a very nice way of handling it.

Scarab Sages

I know it's been a long time but still this was sooner than expected.

Name: Dornin the Bear
Race & Class: Dwarven Feral Hunter
Location: L7, Eastern Lookout Tower, Book 1, the assault on the town
Catalyst: Bad dice rolls and way too many orcs

The Gritty Details: Quite a short one really as it's 2.24am as I write this.

Our party of heroes entered the tower and were almost ambushed by some rather badly hidden orcs. Kagak of the Rolling Thunder drummed his orcs into a frenzy. Six or seven rounds later our heroes had failed to roll above 3's and 4's on all attacks while the orcs pulled off criticals, normal hits, and generally laid them low.

It actually got so bad that the party cleric was able to channel energy some three or four times without risk of healing enemies because none of them had been wounded yet.

Dornin, having already regained consciousness once, decided to throw caution to the wind and attempted an all or nothing, do or die, assault on an orc thatw as threatening the party healer. His attack grazed down the surface of the orc's armour. When the orc retaliated Dornin was not so fortunate. As it stood someone was going to die (the wizard and his apprentice were both down and out as was the party tank). At this point only Dornin and Drunag (the dwarven cleric of Bolka) were conscious although most of the orcs were preoccupied with a swarm that the party wizard had summoned (using the scroll from the plague house).

Dornin was a kind lover of animals who was always upset when they were harmed. He found the earlier portions of the adventure traumatising. His player is thinking of creating a slayer or rogue next. We'll see how that goes.

Scarab Sages

Ultimagus wrote:
Did any of you figure out a good place for her to show up again? It would have to be somewhere in the area just north of the survivors' shelter, since she has nowhere else to run. I think it would be a major faux pas to just let her vanish entirely.

On page 25 (Baisily Harbour).

Spoiler:
Baisily Harbour (LN female human Varisian survivor) is a patient who’s quick to smile and frequently sleepwalks into the hall. She might be replaced mid-adventure by a doppelganger who seeks to destroy the chapel’s Desnan shrine.

If you check the spoiler I think that's a perfect opportunity to reintroduce her myself. Now the trick would be ensuring she manages to remain hidden 'til the time comes.

Scarab Sages

Oh Fedora Ferret you made me laugh at least three times. We have a player who has a similar problem in our Crimson Throne campaign. I'm finally going to start running Giantslayer soon so hopefully I'll get to start making some posts in this thread eventually too. Although I'd prefer it if my players didn't just throw their original characters away to petty deaths in the hope of getting replaced with something better.

Scarab Sages

Erm, I'm not entirely sure what the purpose of this thread is. You've basically posted an npc stat block. Is this for discussion or something?

Scarab Sages

cappadocius wrote:
Balgin wrote:
Still no suggestions for the Schrodinger's guard then?
22 survivors. 12 named. You've got ten generic NPCs that can be whatever and whomever you want.

Like replacement characters, obviously.

Scarab Sages

It's a nice idea Ken but, due to the complexity of Pathfinder character creation, you must be careful not to disrupt the flow of the narrative with too much mid game admin. Mid session character creation updates can help to kill the mood somewhat for such an intense adventure as this one is intended to be.

Scarab Sages

Adam Daigle wrote:
I can also confirm that RuyanVe's analysis is spot on. I didn't nail things down in the text because I wanted to allow for some GM flexibility, but I did keep a calendar when plotting things out so they'd make sense.

Interesting. I was getting more of a half a week feeling initially but then as things started to pile up (like doctor Scaen's mound of cadavers) I began to suspect it must be somewhat longer than this.

Scarab Sages

Kahel Stormbender wrote:
Due to bad experiences in the past, I like to know what books people are pulling the unusual stuff from. Sometimes it's an "Oh cool, where's that found" thing. But when GMing I like to know exactly how a class works.

I also like to see the new rule, spell or class ability etc in context. I often ask a player where they found something. if the answer is "I just looked it up on a wiki" I get disappointed. I want to know where something came from and why it was there in the first place. If I'm describing the result of an ability being used it helps to know the story behind it. Maybe it's something the pc learned from a Qadiran merchant. Perhaps they have an ability to boost skill checks after the roll. It helps to make the session fun for players if I have a context for these things beyond what's written on the character sheet. Of course I can make up my own stuff but if there's something that exists it saves me a bit of bother.

When it comes to each player having to have a copy of every resource at the table, as far as I'm concerned I don't mind players lending & sharing at the table during the session for the purpose of qualifying for this requirement. In fact, if I happen to have a resource on hand which one of them needs & has misplaced I'm willing to allow my copy to count for requirements only. Many other PFS gm's I've met are similarly relaxed about documents being present. As long as there's a copy present that's okay (for that session only). It saves having something like 7 core rulebooks and 7 APG's cluttering up a table :p.

Scarab Sages

Thanael wrote:

Check out the 3pp Adventure Up From Darkness. The PCs wake up entombed and with amnesia. It even uses the idea of players not knowing their character abilities.

EZG: " Best one shot in ages."

You know that does look quite promising. It might serve as something to run beforehand as a warm up game. Especially as I'm waiting for some players to become available.

Scarab Sages

This looks like a fairly sound idea. The only issue you might have is that the lost memories are not supposed to be regained until halfway through the adventure path (at the end of book 3). I'd suggest gradually giving out character information throughout the first book as it becomes necessary but do not assume that the missing memories will slowly come back over the course of the first book.

Scarab Sages

Still no suggestions for the Schrodinger's guard then?

Scarab Sages

Kalindlara wrote:
I'm still waiting to play at a table with someone else who has one of these...

You are not alone (although you are probably not on the same continent :p).

Scarab Sages

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Alec Keeler wrote:

I was actually really pleased that it's in there. One of my players wanted to play a Paladin, but was having a hard time deciding which deity to worship. She liked some of what Shelyn was about, but wasn't sure about her as a whole.

So, we came up with the idea of her "worshipping" Zon-Kuthon's former self Dou-Bral. Knowing full well that he is now evil, her paladin is trying to bring him back to the light from the darkness of whatever he encountered and was corrupted by in the Dark Tapestry.

It doesn't really work out with RAW, but I thought it was a pretty cool idea. I decided that Zon-Kuthon would grant her divine power out of some twisted humor and the assumption that with his power she would eventually corrupt herself.

So I think it'll be neat for her to find the shrine to him in the chapel, and it'll turn some heads when she goes and kneels before it in the morning.

This actually ties in with a heretical worshipper of Zon Kuthon in Shattered Star who is able to channel positive energy. He doesn't worship Duo Bral, however. He worships Zon Kuthon as someone who takes on the suffering of others and is (in his heretical belief) an innocent martyr who has simply been misunderstood by his orthodox worshippers.

Scarab Sages

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Zon Kuthon isn't only about inflicting pain. He's also about enduring suffering. Since many of the inmates of the asylum are suffering conscientious staff members might offer a small prayer to Zon Kuthon from time to time for their favourite inmates.

"Oh please let this be enough. Hasn't he suffered enough already? I don't even try to understand why you must inflict such suffering upon him but please, could you just go easy for a few days? Grant him some of your strength that he may endure these nightmares."

Scarab Sages

Abandoned Arts wrote:

Only one post so far?

The obits are always my favorite page...

Well ... it's kind of in the queue for me for now. I'm going to finish running Giantslayer first (and that would involve finally getting to start Giantslayer ... there's been some delays). I'll probably end up running both AP's simultaneously alternating books because most of the players who want to take part in both can't arrange times to all be available together twice a week.

I swear it's like trying to herd cats.

Scarab Sages

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John Ryan 783 wrote:
If it really bothers them then you can always use the reality altering properties of the mist to explain anything to them. Maybe there is a pocket of it somewhere in the area that is altering the space enough where they can't use the most powerful tool a player has, an automatic knowledge of geometry and spacial placement.

How very Ravenloft of you (which is, of course, completely in keeping with the character of the mist anyway).

GM Thing wrote:
1) "Doctor" Ilesi Scaen: This doppelganger is a though opponent but according to its tactics, it will try to escape ASAP... but where does she go thereafter? It would make sense that she'd alert the other doppels, but then what? If I put her together with any of the others ones, it will be a slaughter for the PCs (at least a CR5 for a 1st level party).

If you want to be really nasty and/or cunning then have her clamber up into the courtyard above. Realising that she's going to have a hard time sneaking past the guards posted at the barricade (B3/B4) she sneaks into the collapsed ruins of the shed and hides.

Assuming your pc's don't discover her but, instead, head into the building and interact with the survivors, have her come across the sleepwalking Baisily Harbour and throttle her in frustration as she sleeps. Since Baisily could become replaced by a doppelganger why not use Ilesi Scaen for that role? It saves having to displace any of the other doppelgangers from their locations and allows the smiling "Baisily" to accompany the heroes on on their enxt excursion into the asylum. When she gets one alone the smiling chapel guard might turn very nasty and the wicked doctor could put in a fresh appearance.

Insert evil laughter here :). You know what? That was good. I should sue that when I run this thing......

Scarab Sages

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Now I don't know about the physical edition but in the pdf pages 25-55 inclusive have their page numbers missing. Now I know the adventure's supposed to be set in an asylum and meant to have the pc's questioning their sanity but the gm shouldn't have to find himself questioning his own sanity simply trying to read the thing :P.

There's no artwork that would cover up the page numbers or anything. They simply aren't there.

Scarab Sages

Actually, given that Tolman Leolies is supposed to be in the chapel distracting the children that leaves 2 mystery guards unaccounted for. I'm starting to wonder if the 22 survivors was a typo and there are only supposed to be 12 (plus Winter for 13) as there are only 12 detailed in the entry. If so then there simply aren't enough guards to fill the positions at B3 and B4 'though. It's possible to assume that he shows the pc's into the chapel and then is asked to help calm the children down (probably because Maev is throwing a hissy fit again). Even so that's still one mystery guard to summon up from nowhere. Maybe it really is a doppelganger after all :p.

On an unrelated note does anyone know why a bunch of pages have their page numbers missing? I know the adventure is supposed to be set in an asylum and to have the characters questioning their sanity but the Gm shouldn't have to start questioning his sanity just by reading the book itself. In the pdf pages 26-55 all have their page numbers missing.

Scarab Sages

Hey everyone, nobody's brought this up yet so here goes....

I have a problem with the guards at areas B3 & B4. There's just too many of them.

First off we have 2 guards in the side room (B3) to act as backup in case things get out of hand.

Then we have Captain Vaustin York and 4 other guards in the corridor at B4 (one of whom will be Denman Winoparess).

Okay, so we need 3 more guards for the corridor. If we go alphabetically, those would be DaNae Foulkes, Mura Yopchick & Naysa Walika.

Great now for the two guards off in the side room we have Tolman Leolies and .... we've run out of guards.

Who is this mysterious seventh guard? Obviously I can, as a GM, make up an npc to fill the role. It could be one of the remaining survivors or perhaps it could be a doppelganger pretending to be a clone of one of the other guards who hasn't been caught out yet (due to making sure it only copies those who are not in the same location). A traumatised doppelganger who has infiltrated the survivors in the hope of finding some kind of redemption.

Or maybe the 4 guards in B4 are supposed to include Captain Vaustin York and the 4 in Chapel Guards (4) below his stat block is a typo and should read as 3 especially as the description says there's only 3 guards at the barricade. This doesn't tally 'though as captain York is initially absent and only arrives when the guards call for him or if he comes out to see what all the noise is about.

Once again we have an extra phantom guard. Does anyone have any suggestions? Obviously I don't want it to be one of the children. Baisily Harbour & Loic Ulsohnen seems to be the only possible candidates as the other adults are all wounded or already chapel guards. If Baisily then that ties in to the possible doppelganger infiltration later on.

Since 10 of the survivors have no names, backgrounds or descriptions it could easily be assumed that any guards slain during an earlier encounter could come from that nameless number.

Scarab Sages

Marcus Gehrcke wrote:
Balgin wrote:
The Jester King wrote:
how many points are you guys giving your players for point buy? I was thinking 15 and fave 4 players. didnt want them to be to powerful running through a horror campaign. at the same time i dont want them to die all the time, cause thats lame and no one will have any fun.

None. My players are going to roll dice :D.

Probably the 7d6 method (as tought to me yb a bloke who lived 'round the corner back in the 90's) or the 24d6 method.

The 7d6 method is easy. It allows for a controlled rolling method without the extreme control of point buy. You roll 7d6. Drop the lowest. Assign one to every ability score. Then you roll the same 7d6 again, drop the lowest assign (but not before assigning the first 6 numbers that you set). Finally you roll the last batch of dice, drop the lowest and assign.

This way you're not pre-assigning dice. A lot of people want to roll all 3 sets and then assign them but that's not in the spirit of the 7d6 system. You essentially get to build and prioritise as you go with enough randomness to avoid the repetitive cookie cutter builds that point buy tends to generate or the extreme variety of 3d6 rolled in order.

It's a nice and simple system. I like it. If the players aren't feeling in the mood for it then we'll use the 24d6 method from the core rulebook so that they can pre-assign dice instead.

Super cool with the 7d6 - I didn't not know that one. Having tried many different ways since starting playing back in the days, so thanks for sharing :-)

That's alright. It's also known as Steve's method or Steve dice because I learned it from a guy named Steve in the early 90's who'd been using that method in his 1st edition campaign for years.

Scarab Sages

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The Jester King wrote:
how many points are you guys giving your players for point buy? I was thinking 15 and fave 4 players. didnt want them to be to powerful running through a horror campaign. at the same time i dont want them to die all the time, cause thats lame and no one will have any fun.

None. My players are going to roll dice :D.

Probably the 7d6 method (as tought to me yb a bloke who lived 'round the corner back in the 90's) or the 24d6 method.

The 7d6 method is easy. It allows for a controlled rolling method without the extreme control of point buy. You roll 7d6. Drop the lowest. Assign one to every ability score. Then you roll the same 7d6 again, drop the lowest assign (but not before assigning the first 6 numbers that you set). Finally you roll the last batch of dice, drop the lowest and assign.

This way you're not pre-assigning dice. A lot of people want to roll all 3 sets and then assign them but that's not in the spirit of the 7d6 system. You essentially get to build and prioritise as you go with enough randomness to avoid the repetitive cookie cutter builds that point buy tends to generate or the extreme variety of 3d6 rolled in order.

It's a nice and simple system. I like it. If the players aren't feeling in the mood for it then we'll use the 24d6 method from the core rulebook so that they can pre-assign dice instead.

Scarab Sages

A spiked chain? I don't think so. Well there might be one or two Fighter/Barbarian archetypes that allow something similar.

Now if you were talking about a dwarf wielding a dorn dergar (a ball and chain with adjustable reach that can be wielded with either one or both hands) that's another matter. It "might" take investing something like 3 feats to do it properly but it's pretty impressive when pulled off correctly.

Scarab Sages

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Cole Deschain wrote:
Balgin wrote:
Hmm, while Lepidstadt (in Ustalav) obviously has a very Eastern European vibe it also has a very British feel to it's bureaucratic legal system (or very late Russian tsarist feel (very Crime & Punishment etc)). while not very British the character would be native to the area and fit the kind of vibe you were going for. It would also harken back to the Carrion Crown AP (itself set in Ustalav).
But then the people of Ustalav wouldn't be "quaint foreigners"! :D

Surely there's a rural/urban/suburban divide :P.

Scarab Sages

Concept: Gregor Ortinski
Gregor hails from Morast. He has memories of his early life on the edge of that great swamp. Many of these involve his mother preparing fish. The calm, methodical manner with which she would work the knife, rendering that dweller of the murky depths into something safe to eat has always stuck in his mind.

The Ritualistic trait seems to fit Gregor the best. However, sadly, for this adventure path I shall be playing the role of the GM.

Scarab Sages

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Cole Deschain wrote:
Balgin wrote:
While I agree with you entirely Paizo have, upon multiple occassions, suggested that it's similar to "Golarion's version of Game of Thrones". Andoren isn't very British. It's much more American revolution really.
Well, I was going for "First generation Andoren after parents had to leave Taldor in a hurry," especially since there really is no direct analogue for the particularly Victorian and paper-shuffly form of "British" I'm after for this character, who is going to be slightly bluestocking-esque.

Hmm, while Lepidstadt (in Ustalav) obviously has a very Eastern European vibe it also has a very British feel to it's bureaucratic legal system (or very late Russian tsarist feel (very Crime & Punishment etc)). while not very British the character would be native to the area and fit the kind of vibe you were going for. It would also harken back to the Carrion Crown AP (itself set in Ustalav).

Scarab Sages

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I would strongly recommend looking up the Shadows of Esteren albums.

Let's see.

Shadows of Esteren: Of Men and Obscurities
Shadows of Esteren: Rise
Shadows of Esteren: Dearg
Shadows of Esteren: Of Love and Fury

Shadows of Esteren is a medieval roleplaying game with a strong Celtic influence that has elements of horror, psychology, the supernatural and the unknown. You should be able to listen to some free samples here.

Scarab Sages

Blake's Tiger wrote:
Based on what I gathered from the Player Guide, the PCs were forced to do something so heinous that they entered a dissociative state (emotionally protecting themselves from their psychological trauma).

Either that, or someone wiped their minds & dumped them in an insane asylum to "hide the evidence". Probably evil cultists at that.

Scarab Sages

In all honesty, once you get back to Magnimar you can probably ask Lady Heidmarch nicely and she can sort out a fix. You might owe her a few favours for this assistance but it will probably tie in to the adventure path as a whole. Until then try to cope with this traumatic transformation.

Looking like Sorshen in one of her old abodes might bring with it certain benefits. Admittedly this is all probably very uncomfortable but the Pathfinder Society can probably help in the long run.

Scarab Sages

RuyanVe wrote:

Not sure if/when we're going to tackle this AP but I'd like to discuss an idea I have for character creation/getting them started.

I've enjoyed playing Planescape: Torment in the days past and liked it very much.
The main character in this old video/PC game regains consciousness in a similar environment (a morgue) and suffers from amnesia.

This feeling and atmosphere I'd like to recreate.....

I'm glad someone else spotted the similarity.

Scarab Sages

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Insane KillMaster wrote:
Franz Lunzer wrote:
Insane KillMaster wrote:
About the Fugue State: about how long a period does it cover? Could someone have been raised there in that time? Born during that time? Conceived during that time? etc?
** spoiler omitted **
Kinda looking for a more "precise" answer/info, but thanks.

I believe, prior to the player's guide coming out, someone who should know suggested four or five years. The guide itself suggests a more vague period with considerable chunks of life missing although it also suggests the players and gm finding a mutual agreement as to exactly how much missing memory feels right for them (with a few years being recommended as the bare minimum). It does recommend pc's having memories of childhood at the very least.

Scarab Sages

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minoritarian wrote:
Balgin wrote:


While I agree with you entirely Paizo have, upon multiple occassions, suggested that it's similar to "Golarion's version of Game of Thrones".

Yep, because of all the scheming noble houses. The Russian dvoryanstvo were just as scheming as our old nobility!

Oh absolutely. When people say British they can mean quite a lot of different things. I tend to prefer a wide variety of the periods of our green and pleasant land's history. I was trying to think of locations in Golarion that might fit the bill. Taldor is still probably the only likely location and it's much more Byzantine Empire than anything else.

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