Thanks for the overview kevin_video. Good to know. (And sorry to hear about your health issue).
On another (somewhat related) note:
"Journey Through the Center of the Underdark"
(Available at the Dungeon Masters Guild website, which has a preview and several reviews of the product). For $1 you get some very unique/cool ideas for underdark encounters.
Hi Irontruth,I agree with you that a rule-system can enforce a 'gritty' setting (very lethal combat, low magic, etc), but I have yet to find a rule-system that encouraged "dark" or "horror" (the latter always feeling like a tack-on point-system of corruption/darkness/insanity).
Can you supply a few examples?
I have read-through the Shadow of the Demon Lord rules (but not played it). The rules are very tight; very much in league with D&D 5e. The class/career path system feels like the next generation of Warhammer rpg.
Correct: it used to be called "infravision", seeing into the inferred spectrum, or heat signatures. A 1e-2e (or OSR) thing. My bad.
In Dark Suns (old D&D setting) where wood was rare (desert setting with little vegetation), spell books and scrolls were made from knot-work. A series of strings/ropes with intricate knots tied in them.
This method could also be effective underground if you rule that darkvision can't read ink from a page.
The strings/ropes in that setting were often made from woven Giant's hair, but for the underground setting could even be made of roots, preserved entrails, etc.
As far as I can tell, this is the timeline of the project:
Throne of Night successfully funded in May, 2013.
That is roughly 6 months between book releases. The July 2015 update from kickstarter said they will release the remaining 4 books + the bonus adventure at the same time. 5 books x 6 months each = 2.5 years from the last released book.
Using that estimated schedule, the remaining 5 books be finished in approximately Oct 2016!
By my math, we should be getting the remaining books in about 6 months from now.
May I ask why everyone is suggesting we'll get something in April?
Also to copy Papa DRB:
Q1. If I wrote an Adventure Path, would you legitimately support it?
Q2, If I did this, what level would you want it to go up to?
Q3. Is having it supported with Hero Lab files a deal maker?
Q4. Some APs, like Castle Whiterock, have pregens. Would you want these added?
Our group desperately wanted to play this, especially after having so much fun in WotW.
However seeing the delays, we elected to wait...
In the 2 years since, we have switched over from Pathfinder to D&D5e and our group loves it. I think it will be a hard-sell for our group to go back...so it looks like ToN missed the boat....
I know someone mentioned it in the Kickstarter comments, but it is worth repeating here:
Mark Sweetman wrote:
Hi Mark,I'm also pledged at the $250 level. Were you notified via Kickstarter, or did Mr. Clarke personally notify you?
I don´t buy into all the excuses made here for the benefit of Mr. McBride....
I agree with you Mr. Lord Hyperion that Fire Mountain Game's lack of communication regarding these (HUGE) delays is deplorable.
However, the fact that he is still (paying?) for artwork indicates the project is not dead. But he has no 'binding' constraints for deadlines (except for "personal honor and integrity"), so F.M.G. can take their time finishing the project.
I'm like most (?) people who've back this project: I've written it off and possibly in a few years (?) I'll be pleasantly surprised to get a package in my mailbox.
The newly announced 'Rage of Demons' (5e adventure path, due Sept 2015) looks like it will have tons of underdark fun!
ENWorld just posted (May 7th) some art previews, including a very colorful cast of characters:
It looks like they have added a lot of "character" to what would normally be just another bunch of underdark monsters to kill. At the very least, a Throne of Night game could mine this adventure for lots of interesting NPCs.
Kevin_Video, what convention in Canada do you go to? I'm in Manitoba.
Thank you everyone, for your consideration.
The intent of this map is indeed an 'escape' scene. The extent of the map reflects that (an entire city would be too large, but a few individual streets would be too small).
The idea came to me with the thought of using Pathfinder's "Chase Card Decks". Larger streets (in white) would get you to an escape route faster, but have more encounters/cards, while less used streets (brown) would be slower/less cards.
As many have speculated, the large open are is indeed on-purpose: I imagined herds of human chattel and task-master crowding this open-air flesh market. Parade lines of slaves await in chains for their new owners. Etc.
I take no offense by any of the critiques. Indeed - I hope to use the criticism to improve my next round submission.
As for other options for slowing down the enemy (wands, grease spell, etc), dwarves have never been known for abundant arcane skills. Items that fighters (most typical defenders) could use would be best.
Others have commented on the short duration. There was little wiggle room to increase that and keep the price-point of the item down.
Again, my thanks to all those star voters!
The low/entry level cost of this item was purposeful: a city of dwarves could not afford to distribute them to their guards otherwise.
I wanted to add a little more "oomph" as Liz Courts mentions; I was going to include an ability that 4 (or more) of these shields could be locked together to 'hold' a portal that did not have a lockable door/shutter (like an open archway, for example). The larger the archway, the more shields would need to be locked together.
I imagined the same condition happening in an underground dwarven city if Drow or other monsters broke through the walls. The valiant dwarven guards would need some way to momentarily hold back this horde so the children and weaker dwarves could have time to escape.
As far as I can tell, this epic battle would be split into 3 separate combats:
First: against Brontes (Titan) plus his planar ally Tassia. (CR21)
Next: the Dragon Regina (CR22)
Finally: the Princess and the Angel. (CR24)
With the "Veil of Mitra", there will be no teleporting to rest/refresh between battles.
Is that typically how other DMs approached this battle?
A question regarding Antharia Regina (silver dragon):
The text on page 82, as well as the map on page 79, shows the dragon is perched invisible on the lesser spire.
Yet, the "tactics" text in her stat-block (page 85) says she is in disguise (as a typical knight) alongside her daughter the princess.
The product discussion threads (here at Paizo) are great resources, answer lots of questions, give alternate builds for NPCs, etc.
Of course the downside is: you have to go through thousands of posts to pull out the good stuff...
Myself personally: our group is currently on Book-6. I have 'adjusted' the setting of this adventure path to be in Paizo's campaign setting: the Inner Sea (specifically Mendev).
My group completed the final battle with Thorn, and it was...
...not fun (from both the players AND DM's opinion). Let me explain so hopefully other groups avoid this pit fall.
Problem #1: Thorn has watched the PCs from the beginning, so he choses his tactics/spells to best defeat them. At the same time, the PCs have also tailored their spells towards countering a lich/cleric's spells.
In play this ends up in a very frustrating (on both sides) series of "counter this, counter that, didn't work on him, debuffed, etc"
Problem #2: Thorn uses Anti-life Shell. This frustrated all the melee-types in the group (who had to basically 'sit-out' the entire encounter (I tailored Thorn's spells to include Fickle Winds which also countered all missile attacks).
Problem #3: We had a lich PC in the group (but I'm sure vampire PCs would equally apply here).
Overall, it was a long, frustrating, drawn-out fight. Not the 'epic' battle that everyone was hoping for.
Before I try it on my GM I wanted to ask people here what they thought. I want to use the nameless demilich on the Nythoggr's Cairn. I was thinking of dropping the skull in that hole above the cairn. Would they battle each other or would i be adding another enemy to fight?
An interesting plan.But, as you said, (with its ability to FLY) the demilich has an equal chance of flying back out of the Cairn and attacking its captors (YOU), OR fighting Nythoggr. Since Nythoggr can also fly, this could end-up in a 3-way battle (YOU/demilich/Nythoggr).
You have to remember, the Nameless Tyrant has been trapped for centuries (and is very smart). If it knows this will be a losing battle, it may just try to escape (finally free at last)...
If Thorn had enough notice (i.e., the PCs made several assaults against the Agathium), would he begin to trap his area with "Symbol" spells (e.g., Symbol of death, Symbol of Insanity, etc).
What other preparations would he make?
Due to his paranoia, I'm guessing he wouldn't join forces with his allies (Wolfram, Grigori, etc) even if he heard them fighting near by...
The PCs usually take refuge in the cleric's (lesser) demi-plane (made permanent).
But after gaining Thorn's phylactery at the Cairn, they are very fearful of Thorn locating them due to the connection he has with his heart/phylactery). They are especially fearful of Thorn finding out where their "secret" demi-plane is.
So, not wanting to leave the phylactery unattended, but needing a way to transport all that loot from Nythoggr's Cairn, the party did something truly evil (and paranoid):
They called for 10 of their minions. And with the promise of a share of loot, the minions were "asked" to haul all the treasure through a (temporary) Gate to the demi-plane. Meanwhile the PCs remained at the Cairn, guarding the phylactery.
But much like the Pharaohs of ancient Egypt, the PCs decided they couldn't let anyone live who had seen their secret hoard/lair. So while the minions were taking the last load of the loot to the demi-plane, the PCs "dispelled" the Gate, leaving the minions trapped inside the demi-plane to die of starvation...
Actually, the players have taken precautions against this. The group's sorcerer always uses his highest spell slots (8th-level spells) to give everyone in the party Mind Blank. They can't be scryed on.
That is a big chunk of the party's resources they've used to be cautious. As a DM, I reward them for that caution.
I think they are pretty much sacrifices to be tossed out to test the PCs abilities. The real stuff happens down below.
I'm not too concerned at making this initial encounter a little more challenging for the Players (by throwing in a few potions).
After the Giant encounter is over, my players will predictably just step back outside, teleport to a safehouse, heal, wait a day to refresh their spells, and try again at full strength.
(This "15-minute work day" tactic is not a reflection on the player's tactics, but instead it is a glaring loophole of the game system: all versions of D&D had this problem).
Unless you change the giants and give them flying items (such as potions), there's nothing stopping the PCs from doing that.
Thanks kevin_video. That's what I thought.
I'm guessing since Thorn had placed king Ingolfr Issox at the atrium as his 'first line of defense', AND Thorn knows the PCs tactics very well (via Scrying), he would at least supply the giants with a potion or two.
(I may have to change Grigori's feats to give him Brew Potion...hahahah).
My PCs are about to assault the Agathium soon.
I have some concerns about the first encounter: with the Frost Giants and King Ingolfr Issox.
It states the battle with the Giants will be in the Atrium (room 1-2) with vaulted ceilings rising more than 100-ft in height.
What's to stop my players from flying to the ceiling (they almost always have Fly spells running)? Even if Ingolfr is considered 30-ft tall (and has a reach of 15-ft), the PCs would be out of melee range.
The best these giants could do would throw a few rocks...
And don't forget that increasing the linnorm's stats will also increase the curse. That's the only reason I'm not increasing any of this stuff. I know full well my PCs would never be able to do anything about that save. Granted the obelisk will be cure that, but you'd need PCs will a really good knowledge check. Although, your PCs could probably pull it off.
Is the boxed text (page 40) supposed to mean that the Death Curse of Nythoggr supersedes RAW (rules as written)? Because a RAW Linnorm's curse can simply be eliminated with a 3rd-level "Remove Curse" spell...