Big Jake's page

Organized Play Member. 907 posts. 2 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 alias.

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Please cancel my Pathfinder Tales Ongoing Subscription.

If you can cancel the current order, please do. If not, just let me know.

Thank you,

Casey Jacobson

I just found this preview of Chapter 1 from Ghost Story on the Penguin Books web site.


Has order #1211502 been shipped yet? I just got my new address, and changed it in my profile.

If it is not too late, please ship my order to:

[Edit: Address redacted.]

And if you have any problems with the address in your mailing system, please let me know.



Is it too late to change the shipping address for my order, (1188033)? I am moving soon and would like the book shipped to my next address.

If you can, please use the following address:

Casey Jacobson
9804 Love Road
Ft George G. Meade, MD 20755


Casey Jacobson

Wizard Magazine named The 25 Greatest Sci-Fi Shows Ever! (click link to read on line)

I have to say that I like the list, but I'm disappointed that Stargate SG-1 didn't make the cut. The magazine cited that it basically went on too long and that two spin offs make Stargate a poor choice.

I can't agree with that logic. X-Files (#8 on the list) went at least one season too long, and two Star Trek shows made the list.

I don't think I would put V over Stargate, and I would have easily taken Night Gallery off the list, which I always saw as more of a horror show, anyways.

Oh well. I'm still a Stargate fan, and it brought my wife into Sci-Fi as well. She just suggested last night that we begin all 10 seasons over again, now that the summer's coming up, it'll give us something to watch.

I've been re-reading some older Marvel storylines, and I came across this gem in Captain America #400, page 8, part of Operation: Galactic Storm.

Iron Man had left Cap back on the Kree world Hala, possibly to his doom, and defends his position to the rest of the Avengers by saying:

"Cap was getting out of tight scrapes before you were born. He'll manage. I'd be willing to bet Tony Stark's fortune on it."

Then thinks to himself:

"Am I just whistling in the dark? Can Cap survice everything the Kree may throw at him? Will the blood of one of the greatest heroes the human race's ever brought forth be on my conscience...?"

Gotta love the moment.

Damn you Tony! (...for being right.)

1 person marked this as a favorite.

My group is led by a cleric of Sarenrae, who offers "the bad guys" a chance to redeem themselves before entering in combat. Even then, he tries not to kill anyone, if he doesn't have to (and he never *has* to). He also sees his mission to redeem as many people as possible, and tries to make as many contacts with the NPCs as the AP goes along.

So when the party met Devargo Barvasi, he made sure to leave with the encounter with a contact, if not a potential ally, regardless of alignment, deeds, etc., believing that further contact would only help redeem Devargo later on.

Of course, as written, Devargo dies shortly after the quarentine of Old Korvosa; Devargo closes his docks and is killed by his ettercap ally. I didn't particularly like that ending for him, and that he wasn't around to put up a fight against Pilts Swastel as he sets up his Empire.

Now, my group just finished searching the Direption and decided to take the dead body to Old Korvosa, specifically to Orisini's place, to question the body. They came on shore unnoticed (using water breathing to bypass the patrols) near Eel's End. They quickly noticed the change of Old Korvosa, empty streets, empty Eel's End, and instead of going towards Orisini's place, they stop by to see Devargo to see what's going on.

So, they enter Devargo's throne room, which now is covered in webs like the hold below, and occupied by ettercaps, large and medium monstrous spiders, and a spider swarm, with five "cocoons" hanging from the ceiling in the back of the room.

They fought off the monsters, and rescued Devargo from one of the cocoons (0 Str, 5 hp). After healing him up, and letting Devargo know about the Queen's Physicians, Devargo now owes the PCs big time.

I'm looking forward to Escape from Old Korvosa, to see what the PCs will request of Devargo to potentially liberate the city from oppression, murder and fear.

I've been running CotCT for a few months, and my group of 4 PCs, having finished everything else in the adventure, is about to storm the hospice, but they've only just made 5th level. Escape from Old Korvosa says it's an adventure for 8th level characters... so is my group falling behind?

They've hit every encounter in the first two adventures, and even had a little more, and they'll hit sixth by the end of Seven Days, so what am I missing?

Have other groups ran into this problem?

I was volunteering at a book fair for the elementary school my dauther attends, and I noticed they had the digest-sized Spider-Girl, Vol 3. I thought it looked cool, and wondered how it would do.

As if reading my mind, a couple of 8-year old boys walked up and said "Cool! Spiderman!" "Huh? Spider-Girl?"

Then: "Gross! You can see them!" (I hope I don't need to say what he was talking about.)

The two boys quickly went looking for another book.

It was kinda funny to watch.

Paizo Crew:

I'm gearing up to run Curse of the Crimson Throne, and I'm now looking at the APs with a more DM-oriented eye. Now that I'm getting my handouts ready, I realize how much I depended on the "Dungeon Resources" downloads when I was running SCAP and AoWAP.

I prefer to show my players the pictures of the NPCs, and usually give out printed material to be added to the campaign journal. Though I have the PDFs as part of my subscription, printing out some of the handouts is tricky at times, and printing out the pictures of the NPCs is beyond tricky, due to the colored backgrounds and wrapped text.

Can we get a download for handouts and artwork (minus the maps, since those are sold separately) for us to use?



I'm gearing up to run Curse of the Crimson Throne, and as I've been going over the AP, Players Guide and Guide to Korvosa, I haven't been able to find much informaiton on the leaders of the the churches.

Specifically, I'm looking for the clergy of Serenrae, but I'd like as much info as I can get.

Am I missing the information somewhere that someone can point me to, or post for me?



Has anyone else read this?

I can't believe that there aren't more people on this board that's read this book.

It's a really great read. Someone's gotta go get it and back me up on this.


I went to see Journey to the Center of the Earth at a Real 3d theater, and it was outstanding!

I really enjoyed the movie, I liked the characters, and loved the scenery. Oh... and the 3d aspect was phenomenal. The whole experience felt like a Disneyland entertainment ride, minus the moving seats.

I kept putting my hand out to try to touch things, and I ducked several times as things came flying out of the screen.

I went in hoping for a good time and a good re-make, and I wasn't disappointed. I hope the DVD delivers as well as the theater experience, because I want to pick this one up.

So, I've seen the order numbers rising and rising over the past several years (my first purchase was Order #117495 on Mar 3, 2004), and I have a couple of questions:

What was the first Order Number?
When was the first order made?
Do the numbers go up consecutively?
Is there a "P1M Bug"?
Is there a "Congratulations! You're the 999,999th Customer! This is not a joke! Please Click Here!" extravaganza planned?

Just curious.

Lisa Stevens wrote this in another thread:

Lisa Stevens wrote:

Just to tease you guys a little more, we have a new employee coming onboard in a few weeks. A press release should be out in a week or so, but I am going to give you a hint. This employee worked with me at WotC. It kind of feels like I'm putting the band back together...the band.

::exit to the Peter Gunn theme song::


Hmmm. What can we piece together from what we know from Lisa's Profile?

Someone from her TSR days? Hmmm. She said WotC, but maybe she's lumping that all together into one experience.

Her last job seemed to be with Star Wars d20, but she was also doing Greyhawk and RPGA.

I wonder if the new person left WotC a while ago, or perhaps is still there for a few more days or weeks....

Come on! Join in the speculative fun!

Now up on the WotC Website:

Wolves of Maldeen by Nicolas Logue

Not long ago, a young hero—a mere boy by the standards of most—proved that youth and inexperience mattered less than courage and a willingness to stand when no one else would. The young Maldeen created a legend at the age of fourteen, but didn’t stop there. Only after another 60 years did he retire, leaving behind a legacy built on protecting the innocent and stamping out evil wherever it was found. Now the Wolves of Maldeen live to preserve the code of honor this man left behind. Members of the organization roam the land—often in groups called Packs—sniffing out evil where they can. Members of the Wolves are noble and pure, and they seek justice above all. Find out if your character has what it takes to join the Wolves, and the cunning it takes to survive.

See it now! (1.2 Mbs PDF)
Those who seek to emulate Maldeen must have the discipline to walk his path, which might lead them into conflict with others. However, since conflict is a part of life, a follower of Maldeen readily deals with it—whether through force of arms or force of words.

About the Author
Nicolas Logue is a composite of several different real-life madmen and degenerates. A collection of works are attributed to “Nicolas Logue” such as Voyage of the Golden Dragon, Eyes of the Lich Queen, and Pathfinder #3: Hook Mountain Massacre. Another “Logue” has recently been hired by Paizo Publishing as their Organized Play Coordinator. Yet another is a stage actor and fight choreographer in NYC.

From Previews for June and Beyond by Bart Carroll, on the WotC website:

July: D&D Insider
Last month, we ran through the list of preview articles we'd publish every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday leading up to the launch of 4th Edition. This time, we present the following announcement from Chris Youngs:

Dungeon Magazine Announces New Adventure Path

WotC wrote:

The Elsir Vale has known a decade of peace following the rise of the Red Hand. The valley, as well as the town of Brindol, has flourished after adventurers defeated the threat posed by the hobgoblin armies. But now, from out of the hills to the north, a new threat has emerged. Natives of Brindol have been abducted, and the town’s war museum—dedicated to those fallen in the war against the Red Hand—has been raided and desecrated.

Meanwhile, beyond the Vale, the rumbling rumors of more trouble have begun to surface. Warbands forming in the mountains… Monsters crawling forth from the dark bowels of the world… And people everywhere have begun waking up at night in a cold sweat, uncertain where their feelings of dismay and panic come from…

The Scales of War Adventure Path will premiere in Dungeon #156, July 2008, with the 1st-level adventure “Rescue at Rivenroar,” by Wizards of the Coast designer David Noonan. Scales of War will continue each month in Dungeon, taking characters from 1st level all the way to 30th over the course of 18 adventures, spanning 18 months. This is the most ambitious Adventure Path in Dungeon’s history, and will take full advantage of the versatility of the new 4th Edition D&D rules. Support articles will appear regularly in Dragon, beginning with issue #366, August 2008.

Watch D&D Insider for more details in the coming weeks!

I picked up Mario Kart Wii and spent about an hour playing against random people on-line and had a blast!

I was looking at the options of creating rooms and playing against friends, and I wondered how many of us on the Paizo boards would be interested in on-line races.

To do so, anyone interested would have to add all the other interested Paizo Players as friends, then... I'm not sure I haven't done it yet. But I think we could create rooms or just see who's on line at any give time.

For anyone who's interested here's my info:

Big Jake

I am concerned about my shipping address I entered for my account.

I have a 4-line address:

Address Line 1
Address Line 2
City, State, Zip

Yet, every time I enter my address, the Address Line 2 does not appear, and it is not put on my shipped orders.

Sometimes it causes my packages to get delayed, other times it doesn't make it to me at all due to mis-handling.

Is there any way to get my address corrected so that all my shipments get my correct address?

Thank you,

Casey Jacobson

I never bought the DMG II, so the first time I saw anything with Affilitations in it was in Savage Tide. I thought they were really neat.

When I found out they were in the DMG II, I borrowed a copy and read the rules.

I was shocked and confused at the rules about affiliations, because the affiliations I've seen in published adventures (including Shattered Gates of Slaughterguard) don't seem to follow the rules from the DMG II.

I'm bringing this up now, because I want to make some affiliations for use in an upcoming campaign. I find that the affiliations in Savage Tide are much better than the ones in DMG II and Complete Champion.

So, does one make an affiliation similar to the ones in Savage Tide? Are there any guidelines to follow for benifits, requirements, and general mechanics?

I just got back from watching the new Iron Man film.

It turns out that Jon Favreau (the director) and Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man) are going around the world doing press interviews and whatnot, and they are here in Korea.

The production company contacted AAFES (Army and Air Force Exchange Services) Theater and set up an advanced screening at the theater on the Army post here in Seoul. They announced that we were the first group to watch the movie... and it was freakin' cool. (Yes... I said freakin'.)

I had the chance to shake hands and get autographs with both Jon Favreau and Robert Downy Jr. Very cool.

The film is great. There are a ton of appropriate references to Marvel universe icons.

You get to see Tony Stark go through a "learning curve" as he develops his suit, similar, I suppose, to Peter Parker fleshing out his abilities.

The fight scenes are cool.

The special effects are as good as Transformers.

All in all, they didn't screw up Iron Man. Really good film, I can't wait for the sequel.

Oh, and a quick spoiler.

Tony Stark is Iron Man. :)
Just go see it!

Shut down all the trash compactors on the detention level.
Shut down all the trash compactors on the detention level!!!

My 7-year old daughter overheard me talking to my wife about Gary Gygax, and she asked me what we were talking about. I told her that Gary Gygax, the man who made the game that I play with my friends, died last night.

She said that in her 1st Grade class, her teacher said that when someone dies, people can have a party to celebrate their lives. And, following the wisdom of my daughter, I'm trying to get some friends together soon to play a game to celebrate Gary's life.

I say "try", because this is not a gaming weekend for my group. We can only get together when all of our work schedules are free on the weekend, and we're all crossed-up right now. But I hope to be able to get together, even if just for a few hours.

I hope you and yours will be able to, as well.

I've been mulling this over a little in my head but I haven't really brought it up with anyone:

Are the 4e combat rules (as much as we've seen, anyway) a natural, logical, progression of the D&D game?

Here's my reasoning:

D&D essentially evolved from historical war gaming, and the D&D combat rules followed that model, such as, movement expressed in inches, or the order that combat was resolved ("Casting!" Remember that?).

3e made some changes, moving away from the historical war gaming mindset of combat rules by expressing movement in feet, and changing the way initiative and combat actions were resovled.

4e combat rules step even further away from 1e, seemingly following along the lines of DDM or MtG: Attacks v. AC, Attacks v. Reflex, checklist abilites, and abilities that function like "tapping" manna (per Chris Pramas' insight).

It seems (or could be debated) that the 4e combat was designed to bring D&D combat in-line with what non-D&D players could understand, or at least be comparative to the combat resolution of the other games they may have played.

Any thoughts?

I realize that this thread might just turn into another thread where people want to post what they "read into" Chris Thomasson's article and how it offended their senses.

That is not my intention.

I don't usually pipe in on these topics, but I felt obligated to defend Mr. Thomasson and his article.

He did NOT say that anyone's game sucks.
He did NOT say that any earlier edition sucked.
He did NOT say that we should drop our games for 4 ed.
He did NOT insult any player of any edition.
He did NOT say that PC decisions don't matter.
He did NOT say that PC decisions don't carry risk.
He did NOT say that the tactical elements of the game are gone.
He did NOT say that they were playtesting storytelling.
He did NOT say that PCs are super heroes or uber-heroes.
He did NOT say anyone was playing any edition of the game "wrong."
He did NOT say he uses previous editions as toilet paper.
He did NOT talk negatively about previous editions.
He did NOT say PCs are protected from anything going wrong.
He did NOT say stupidity is rewarded.
He did NOT say smart players aren't necessary.
He did NOT say any previous edition of the game is a bad system.
He did NOT say they were making up rules as they went along.
He did NOT mention alcholol or drinking.
He did NOT say the game was about winning.
He did NOT say there are no consequences.
He did NOT say they were running ad lib sessions.
He did NOT say PCs are invinsible.
He did NOT mention respawning in any way shape or form.

I guess I could go on, but I hope I made my point.

I hope noone is offended by this post. I respect eveyone in the Paizo community. I accept that there are differences of opinion. That's fine.

I think it is ridiculous that people are making up stuff to complain about, especially from an article such as this, from a person such as Chris Thomasson.

Chris Thomasson is a D&D player. He invented the adventure path idea. (Read his editorial in the front of the SCAP hardcover, if you haven't.) He has not abandonded us, the Paizo community, or the 3.5 players.

He was in position to help make the Dragon and Dungeon magazines (and by extension Paizo) the iconic things that they were at the end of their run.

He is now in position to create great things for 4th ed.

Paizo used to be a place to come to to avoid attacks on game designers, game designs, and the whatnot. The various threads that attack 4e and their designers (who happen to be some of our favorite 3.5 ed designers and writers, by the way) is discouraging.

I've recently been given the opportunity to run a campaign again (after a two-year hiatus), and I'm looking at Rise of the Runelords.

Since it's set in a new setting, I've been looking over the books to see what can be handed to the players "as is." Obviously the player's guide and obviously not the adventures.

But... are there parts of the books (or PDFs, actually) that are meant to be printed and handed to the players directly out of the sourcebook?

What information have you DMs handed out "as is" and what information have you edited to hand out to your players?

Thanks in advance.

I really should know this, but in 3.5 do you take weapon finesse:

A: Multiple times, once for each applicable weapon

B: Once, and it applies to all applicable weapons

Thanks in advance.

For those in Korea:

World Wide D&D Game Day will be held at the Moyer Rec Center (located with the bus station) on Yongsan Army Garrison in Seoul.

Events will run from 10 am to 8 pm on 3 November.

The adventures are for 4th level characters. Pre-generated characters will be provided, each with a free pre-painted plastic D&D mini.

I still have room for additional DMs. For more information, send me an email at:



Casey "Big Jake" Jacobson

I grew up with Prince Valiant in my house. My mom has been a Looooong time reader, and I picked it up in the 80's.

I think that the current team, Mark Schultz and Gary Gianni, are producing the best stuff in the history of the strip. The devotion they give the Aurthurian figures, and the history of the main characters is great.

But it is the story lines of the past couple of years that have really made this strip burst out as what I consider the best written comic strip out there today.

When I was in Korea in 2003, the local paper didn't carry Prince Valiant, and in my internet searches, I discovered that it is distributed by King Features, who doesn't maintain a free on-line comic service like some others do.

They do, however, provide a pay service called Daily Ink, which is well worth the $15 a year for any comic strip fan.

But I digress... Anyone out there read Prince Valiant?

I've been pouring over my books, and I can't find what I'm looking for, so I hope someone can:

What is the cost to sanctify a weapon per Book of Exalted Deeds? Is it a +1 (or more) equivalent, or a +gp vaule?

Thanks in advance.

I'm getting ready to go back home after an 8-month deployment, but I found out that I may be leaving for Korea 60 days after I get home.

Before I left, we had just finished up SoLS, and if we're going to finish AoW, it will have to be in record time, like finishing an adventure per session.

It's not ideal, and my players might not even be up for it... I'll find out when I get home... but does anyone have any suggestions on how to abbreviate each of the last six adventures to make them playable in maybe 10 hour sessions?

Has anyone else been reading this series? If not, you're missing out! I just finished the third book, and I was left in awe.

I loved the first book, and I thought I knew where everything was heading... but boy was I wrong. Each book takes you deeper into parts of Eberron you've only ever dreamed of. (You'll get it if you're read it.)

Anyways... anyone else out there? What's your comments, praises or critiques?

Well, after a year of running my campaign, I've had to call it to an early end... or at least on hiatus. I'll be leaving for Iraq in a few weeks for a 6-month deployment.

But I figure with a laptop and a six-month time frame I can run a quick campaign while I'm over there. I'm planning on taking the Shackled City Hardcover and the core rule books just to keep the packing simple. I'm also torn about running another Age of Worms campaign, but I think I'd rather travel with just the one book vice the 12 magazines.

My other RPG goal is to set up some events for this year's World Wide D&D Game Day, assuming they'll do it again. I ran a table two years ago in Korea, and a table last year in California, so now I can try to extend my streak to a third continent in three years.

So, I'll be away from home, but not from the message boards. I guess it's time to get out my notes from my previous two SCAP campaigns.

My party will face the Harbinger next session. (Spire of Long Shadows)

I don't generally have much faith that any single high-level caster can really survive against a group of adventurers. It usually just comes down to hp vs. damage potential.

A 15th level fighter can lay down serious damage in a round.
A 15th level caster can lay down serious (SR by-passing) damage in a round.
A summoned huge earth elemental can lay down serious damage in a round.
A 15th level rogue can do decent damage, even without sneak attack damage.

Really, if the PCs roll well and do decent damage, the Harbinger might get two rounds to act.

So, I'm curious: How did your party fare against the Harbinger? I know that the PCs can have their collective butts handed to them *if* they don't kill him in three or four rounds, but how long did the fight last in your campaigns?


Big Jake

I got this idea after I saw the "sorcerer on a black dragon" mini. I added an evil minion to the Ilthane encounter due to my party's size/level, and I thought that a sorcerer dragon rider would have been neat.

On an easier level, I was running an encounter in Spire of Long Shadows, and everyone kept calling the ghaele eladrin a "she" because of the mini. My first response was "it's actually a guy," but quickly decided it was easier to change the gender of the bad guy... er, gal... to fit the mini instead.

I've been pouring over The Spire of Long Shadows, but I don't see any entry for rooms 12A, 12B, or 12C. Am I just missing it?

The Set-Up

Ballaxus has placed several cold suspension spheres (Dragon 313, November 2003) throughout the North Quarter so he can easily access three at any location using his telekinesis rays to lob at the PCs (10d6 cold damage, 30 foot radius spread, Reflex DC 15 for half).

A group of four troll hunters are on patrol as the PCs enter the ruins, triggering Vision 1. The trolls are completely hidden by the illusion (total concealment) as they stop to venerate King Kyuss.

The Introduction

At the end of the descriptive text in Vision 1, add:

"As the vision fades, four of the worshippers... trolls, armed with large battleaxes... turn towards you, and while one blows a long note on a horn, the others advance and attack."


The troll hunters fight straight-forwardly, immediately moving into melee, trusting that another patrol will arrive quickly.

When Ballaxxus arrives, hovering 50 feet above the gound, he first flings an orb into the midst of the melee, catching as many PCs as possible, even if it means hitting some of the trolls. He opens his center eye at the end of his action, keeping bead on any apparent spell casters for one round.

At his next initiative, he closes his center eye and uses eye rays as descibed in the Monster Manual entry, tossing in a second orb as well. He keeps his center eye closed in subsequent rounds if he is able to subdue enough of the PCs quickly. If not, he opens his eye and keeps it centered on a spell caster while the second group of trolls arrives.

Once the PCs defeat the beholder, the remaining trolls flee for 1d4 hours before mustering around a strong troll leader, but by then the PCs may have already moved on.

The Pay Off

The PCs can easily find Ballaxxus' lair, which is simply a 15-foot wide, 70-foot deep crater with a tunnel shooting of at the 30-, 45-, and 70-foot deep mark.

In the first tunnel the PCs discover the beholder's alchemy lab and 5 doses of alchemical silver. On a table they also find a kyuss-worm infested troll arm. The worms are all dead, and the arm is not regenerating.

In the second tunnel, they find a study, where Ballaxxus was keeping a journal. If they can read the beholder language, they find out the basic information as presented in "Exploring the Ruins," and that the beholder has discovered that the creatures inside the obsidian ring are susceptible to silver.

They can learn the descriptions of the eviserator beetles and the Nezaarin, but none else. Ballaxxus also describes the ground inside the ring as "infested with the worms" and the occoasional appearance of swarms of them.

The final tunnel is the beholder's living quarters and treasure room. Roll random treasure, or add items you think will be usefull for the PCs.

I would like to put in a request. I've read that the PCs will have a ship of their own in Savage Tide.

Can you (Paizo) provide miniatures-scale maps of the upper and lower decks of the ship? That would totally rock for any encounters that occur while at sea.

My players just finished up A Gathering of Winds, and now have their eyes on locating Ilthane's lair before going on to meet Manzorian and onto The Spire of Long Shadows.

I have no problem with this. They've been talking about the dragon's lair ever since Encounter at Blackwall Keep, and they've got every right to want to find it.

The player that runs the party druid says that he'd like to use find the path to locate the lair, but is hesitant to bring it into the game at all because he doesn't really like that spell when he DMs his games. I don't have a problem with the spell (at the moment) but I wouldn't want the party to all of a sudden start using it on off-the-wall ideas (great... let's go find the *next* closest dragon's lair!) and have that wrench in the gears.

So... since I've never had a player actually use this spell in a game, how is it supposed to work?

Can you say "show the way to Ilthane's lair" and you're on your way?

My bottom line is: I'm going to allow the spell to be used, but I want to make sure we're using it correctly, and consistently throughout. I don't want to say "Sure, you find Ilthane's lair" because I actually *want* them to find it to further the story on, then say that the same spell worded the same way doesn't work the next time because it would derail the game or cause me, or the players, grief over rules interpretation.


We just finished up A Gathering of Winds. As I showed the players the pictures of the contents of Icosial's tomb, I thought, then said to my players:

"It would be really cool if each of these items were on a card in the Item Packs."

They all agreed.


Is there any chance that Paizo could make Shackled City, Age of Worms, and Savage Tide Item Packs? Especially as a complete set of the unique items?

It would be super cool to hand out a card with Zosiel's diadem, or Alakast, or a lightning sword, or a hegmonic plate, or a pearl that turns ordinary folk into savage cannibals.

Proud Polly (CN female human rogue 3, Overload p. 11 "Companion" and p. 21 "Emporium Encounters")

The PCs recognize Polly as an *ahem* employee of the Veiled Corridor. Due to the timing of the dragon's attack, most of the employees and clientele of the Emporium were not in the building and survived the destruction of the establishment. Many of them are waiting to see if their services will still be needed when Zalamandra re-opens, but Polly is ready to move on. It was Polly who approached Merris with the idea of forming an adventuring party, hoping he would be able to recruit from the garrison's militia and clergy. She is extremely happy having Mélinde and Father Childramun in this group.

Polly speaks for the others, as she is the least "shook up" over the dragon attack. She considers herself the leader of the group but realizes that without a clear short-term goal the group will not likely work together. She also knows that they need money to get them started, and that without a single magic weapon among them they may not be able to overcome many obstacles.

She tells the PCs that they want to help, but they're not sure how. If the PCs suggest that they stay in town and help rebuild, she says that they want to take a more active approach, "...like you guys." A sense motive check DC 10 will reveal that they are looking for a paid job, and they will accept any offer from the PCs.

If the PCs don't readily offer magic weapons, Polly makes a point of telling them that they don't have any, and that the fight against the dragon has proven that they are sorely under-equipped. (Depending on how your party distributes treasure, it may be possible that they have several extra +1 longswords.) They will graciously accept any magic weopons the PCs can give, and will understand if they won't give them away, or if they don't have any.

I am a big fan of the Deluxe Character Sheets, and I've downloaded all of the ones from the WotC website that were made for all of the classes in the Complete series.

Is it possible to get four-page PDF Deluxe Character Sheets for the new classes in the Dragon Compendium? I know that I can use the general character sheet for them, but it would be neat to have specific sheets for each of the classes, so that the sheets can include class-specific items, like two spell progression charts for the Savant.

I got my copy of Dragon in the mail today, and I had the silly thought of Paizo sending me a Valentine's gift.

I just wanted to say, Thanks for being my Valentine, Paizo! I'm sorry I didn't send anything, but you'll be getting my re-subscription money soon :)

General Announcement:

The Free City Arena Committee, chaired by Loris Raknian, announced that the Champion's Games will be temporarily postponed to repair damage to the arena and its substructure. The damage was caused when a powerful beast escaped from its cell into the arena itself, interrupting the Parade of Champions Past.

The creature, which was meant to be featured in the popular beast match in the third round, apparently killed its handler and escaped its cell by collapsing the arena floor. No spectators, parade participants or gladiators were killed in the incident, and the Committee assures all that at no time were the spectators in danger.

Loris Raknian extended his gratitude to the gladiator team "The Blink Dogs" for their part in containing the beast, and rewarded their efforts with a special monetary award.

The Free City Arena will use this extended time between matches to acquire a new creature for the beast match, and to conduct a thorough investigation into the circumstances of this incident.

Just a couple curious questions for the Paizo staff (and contributors), if you're inclined to show us some insight into creating the Adventure Paths.

After publishing the Shackled City AP, there were a couple of threads where the Dungeon staff discussed some of the issues that came up (continuity between authors, plot hooks left unexplored, a loose outline, to name the few that I remember), and some changes that were going to be made for Age of Worms AP.

I also realize that the Paizo staff have listened to their subscribers, the DMs that run their games as well as the players that have been in them, and I think I've noticed changes from the SCAP to the AoWAP based on their feedback.

So, I was wondering...

What are the "lessons learned" from the AoW AP, and what changes do you think will be made in AP3? (From a publisher/editor's perspective... I'm not asking for details on the plot for the next AP.)

What has been the most helpful DM feedback from AoW AP so far, and how has it influenced the projections for AP3?

What has been the most helpful feedback from the contributing authors, and what changes might we see based on their insight?

Just curious.

After reading Eric's suggestion about using a wish spell to change the outcome of the fight against the ulgurstasta (Click Here For More Information), I've thought of an interesting option to the begining of the adventure: The PCs have already failed, and are going to try to stop the ulgurstasta again.

I imagine you could start at the point when the PCs first go to see Eligos, like in Part One: An Opportunity for Violence. You'd say something like:

"You hear the door chimes ring, and the steady footsteps of Pollard as he comes to greet you at the door. Pollard politely says, 'Please come in, you are expected.'"

The entire Part One plays out exactly as written, but just as the party leaves, ready to go and join the ranks as gladiators, you'd say something like:

"You hear the door chimes ring, and the steady footsteps of Pollard as he comes to greet you at the door. Pollard politely says, 'Please come in, you are expected.'"

But this time Celeste speaks first, after a worried look at Eligos, she says "What do you remember?"

The players will go on about what they were told, and it will be clear to Celeste that the PCs know nothing about what is going to happen (has happened). She tells the PCs that Ekaym's sister is dead, and their mission has changed.

"It's taken the Circle months to get us back to this point. Someone in the arena has used the Apostolic Scrolls to summon an ulgurstasta, and if it is allowed to mature, it will turn all of the citizens of the city into undead. Again."

The PCs will undoubtedly have many questions, and they discover that both Celeste and Eligos survived the tragedy and have full recollection of what happened. Unfortunately, all of their knowledge is of an apopolyptic future of the next three months, where undead ruled the city and the forces of Iuz were marshalling throughout the land, and they have no real useful information on how it all happened.

Ekaym remembers nothing, and is sorrowed by the information of his sister, but is intent on continuing his patronage of the PCs into the games.

Neither Celeste nor Eligos know anything about who controlled the ulgurstasta, who summoned it, where it was kept, or anything about the events leading up the the cataclysmic event because the PCs lost their second match in the tournament to a couple of dwarves. The PCs were able to find out what had happened to Ekaym's sister by that point, and were on their way back to Diamond Lake when the ulgursasta rose.

The PCs are also told that all of the major forces in the area are now busy on other tasks, some on other planes, trying to piece together vital clues, so it is still up to them to fight here and now and stop the ulgurstasta from rising.

Unfortunately, the wish was cast before the entire scenario unfolded, and many of the major NPCs believe that evil powers (such as Iuz) are responsible, and are mostly following the wrong leads. This will still put the ball in the PCs' court to find out what really happened, is happening, will happen (I'm starting to sound like Douglas Adams, I know), and the fate of the world isn't in the hands of the NPCs.

I think I'll need more time to really flush this idea out, but we're not playing again until after New Year's, so I have time to mull it over and look at anybody else's thoughts.

Is there any information on the Seekers, other than the little bit in The Whispering Cairn? I thought I saw something somewhere else, but I can't recall.

I've been thinking about creating a little tidbit about the Seekers, as well, and I don't want to contradict anything that's been written about them.

Okay... so the Free City Arena is huge. I knew that before I got my hands on The Champion's Belt... but I didn't really fully grasp it until I read through the battles in the adventure.

I was saying that I was going to use the gladiator arena map from Dragon #303, thinking it would fit. It will work fine for the second and third round, but the first round of combat involves four warbands, and putting them into a such a confined space will seriously negate some of the dynamics of a large-scale fight.

Then I looked at my battle map... I use the map that comes with the D&D Miniatures Started Set, which I had laminated. It's bigger, but not as big as I'd like.

So I invited a couple of my players to come over on a non-game day, and we played around with a couple of warbands on the gladiator arena map, and had some fun. I told them that we'd be doing some gladiator arena battles coming up in the game, and that I wanted to see how it would work out on the maps that I had.

The battles didn't work out as well as I had hoped. I mean, the battle maps were fine for the small warbands we used, but it was obvious that anything bigger would need a much larger space. I've seen somewhere that if the Free City Arena were a battle map, the battle map would be about 3 ft by 6 ft... just about the size of my dining room table.

One of my players is also big into miniatures war gaming, and he suggested that we lay down some brown cloth on my table, and use it at the arena. He talked about the differences of table top battles when you use hexes, squares, or measure inches with rulers and measuring tape. (I'm sure many of you are way ahead of me on this one... I've never actually played miniatures war games, though I've seen it in play.)

So, after a few hours of D&D Miniatures battles, and talk of designing spell templates, and what type of cloth to get, I've decided that we will run the Champion's Games on my dining room table. The freedom to move the combatants without a grid will be a nice change of pace for us, and the vast amount of room for the arena will also add to the experience, not to mention change the dynamics of ranged weapons vs. melee, mounted combat vs. foot soldiers, etc.

Combat on the battle maps works fine for me, and it definately works best to define confined spaces, but I think that having the Champion's Games on a large surface such as my dining room table will give a better game feel for the openness of the area.

I actually won't even be starting Hall of Harsh Reflections for another two weeks, but I'm getting excited about the The Champion's Belt. For the next month or so, I won't be seeing my table in the same light... I'm already thinking of it as my arena.

What plans does anyone else have for the arena battles?

Is it permissible for someone to post short, original adventures on these messageboards?

Would a forum for adventures be welcomed by the Paizo staff and/or the messageboard community?

Worldwide D&D Game Day is just around the corner, November 5th. It looks like I'll be running a table at A1 Comics in Roseville, California this year.

Is anyone else going to be out at a FLGS? With a little word on the street, maybe some of us in the Paizo community can meet face-to-face. What about the Paizo staff? Anyone going out and about Seattle?

I was in Korea last year, and I ran two sessions through the Eberron adventure they provided. I'm looking forward to participating again this year.

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