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First off, I would assign them some of the reputation points or whatever they're called from that adventure.

This will cause stories to be told about them, absolutely.

Second, they should presented with an overwhelming encounter. Zeech will try to arrest them for certain, and possibly execute the cleric after a show trial.

Should the party allow this Lashonna can make contact with the imprisoned party and offer to pull some strings, to get them out, in exchange for going and doing chapter 9.

If the PCs resist the party devolves into a melee. This should be an encounter with overwhelming odds, with Erinyes showing up in waves. If you let them kill Zeech it's hard to fix the finale of the adventure path, but maybe Lashonna can take over rulership and sell the ziggurat as a tomb for Zeech rather than a monument. If the fight goes on too long, eventually Baldumek the Pit Fiend may show up.

Make sure the party has adequate routes of escape. Make sure they know they can use them. Don't be afraid to kill a few of them in this case. This was a monumentally stupid decision that they made worse by fighting.


I'm making some changes to the Age of Worms adventure path, and I want to make sure that I'm not badly screwing everything up. The ebon triad pretty well foreshadow a number of the adventure path's (Hextor -> Prince Zeech, Erythnul -> Bandits & Giants in Kings of the Rift, Vecna -> Library of Last Resort). I would like to replace the evil gods with fiends that the party are likely to interact with during the course of the adventure.

In my campaign setting powerful fiends are practically gods for all intents and purposes.

I would like to replace Hextor with Buldumek (the pit fiend advisor of Lashonna). I would like to replace Erythnul with Alakora (the marilith in Kings of the Rift). I, however, am having a tough time replacing Vecna with a neutral evil fiend. Yugoloths don't have a bunch of representation that I can see in age of worms. So I would like to replace Vecna with a named Yugoloth that the PC's can face in place of Darl in the Library of Last Resort. Anyone have a suggestion?


I'd also like a copy!


4 people marked this as a favorite.

Alright, well just so that we have up to date links in this thread. I'm going to reproduce non-broken versions of the links:

Age of Worms Minis suggestions

On Iron Balls

AoW Prelude - The Mine Office Side Trek

Some Errata for the Whispering Cairn

Jeremy Walker’s disturbed dragon blooded halfling, Demon Boy

Peter Fuesz' most excellent ideas for Blackwall Keep

Expanded Eberron Conversions

Expanded Eberron Conversions again

foreshadowing The Age of Worms Spoilers

Some good suggestions for “fixing” 3FoE

AoW Wikipedia Timeline. This url was actually never broken, but it’s hard to tell which links are broken in advance so I replicated the link anyway.

Dragonchess as a skill

Offbeat and disgusting ways to bring Zeech’s chefs into your home

One of several excellent discussions about Dragotha and high level play. (And for the record bracers of armor will *never* count toward the deflection modifier, jeez)

Another Dragotha discussion. Also excellent

Making Dragotha’s lair

Final battle with Super-Kyuss and subsequent discussion

Age of Worms DM-Created Resources

TPK Jay also had awesome ideas about the trip from Diamond Lake to Greyhawk

I’ve Got Reach’s Monologue for Theldrick

The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out limerick

Erik Mona DM's Greyhawk Apparently this has a cool mini-adventure idea I could not find to verify


Joey Virtue wrote:
Thanks I was wondering the same thing why they were not working.

I can't get these to work by deleting "archive".


TyroAmberhelm wrote:
Well? How did it go?

It went pretty well. I've got to say my party trashed Adimarchus pretty hard. I had difficulty eating up their resources right before the final encounter, then they didn't have too much trouble with him. They went in prepared for blasphemy though, so there is that.


I'm running the last session of Shackled city this sunday. Any tips?


I'm reworking Adimarchus's statistics. For his AC he's listed as having an insight bonus as +9. Anyone know where that bonus comes from? Is it just a fudge factor to get a reasonable AC?


Finished with Shackled City proper, I'm using "Enemy of my Enemy" in place of chapter 11 and doing a custom battle/fight with Adimarchus for chapter 12. Surprisingly we've only had two deaths the whole campaign. Part of that was due to a dropped player switching sides.

Test of the Smoking Eye - 2 Deaths. Cleric drops from the campaign and comes back as a major villain. After the party defeats Kaurophan in flies the party's former friend and some low level undead. The party was weakened by this point and after a tense very close battle the rogue is killed after failing a save to hold person (coup de gras from a skeleton), and the party sorceress is pushed into the flame beam, allowing the, now evil, cleric to complete the test.

Since then there have been some tense battles and close calls. Unfortunately it has gotten quite difficult to put the members of the party down at this point.


Two things. First definitely use Delvesdeep's altered villains. I started doing planning for the ordinary set of Cauldron's villains and it is way too hard. I don't know about your players but mine do not have an encyclopedic knowledge of every single thing that's happened in the campaign so far (just finished chapter 8 after two years). The link is here: http://therpgenius.pbworks.com/w/page/22143306/Alternate%20Villains. Now that we're at the point where the cagewrights are at the forefront I am so glad I did. The party barely has a handle on all of the characters with this slimmed down version, and it seems to be working pretty well. They know at least half of the cagewrights well, that simply wouldn't be possible with the campaign as written.

My biggest problem is foreshadowing Adimarchus more.


TyroAmberhelm wrote:
What did everyone use as a Mini for our beloved BBEG?

I had one 3D printed.


Shebelrth has been taken.


If you are one of my player's you will ruin the campaign for yourself by reading this.

------------------------------------------------------------

First off read this reddit thread:
http://www.reddit.com/r/rpg/comments/29xp9z/my_year_of_lies_part_one_my_gro ups_experience/

(Not me, but I'd like to do something like this. Who wants to play one of my villains?)

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My players:
Tordek, Vampire 4/Fighter 10 (Using the savage species progression of the vampire, and some weird LA buyoff house rules. Currently he seems balanced with the rest of the lv. 12 party. I think he will end the campaign as a full vampire and level 16 fighter.) Carries an intelligent axe which was possessed by Drakthar at the end of Chapter 2. Also carries an intelligent bastard sword possessed by an angel that they found on occipitus.

Erod, Rogue 8/Assassin 4, Currently serving as Embril's second in command at the church of Wee'Jas after killing her previous second in command, Ike Iverson. Carries a dagger that steals souls. Called "the babykiller" due to an unfortunate incident with the umberhulk attack. Alignment: LN.

The Wanderess, Dragonfire Adept 12 (From Dragon Magic, its a warlock-like base class). Has a dragon mask that grants some sorcerer-like casting. Father was murdered by one of the cagewrights. Took a vow of "I-don't-have-to-come-up-with-a-name-until-I-kill-my-father's-killer".

Jandar, Ranger 12, Formerly a were-rat but was cured of lycanthropy by the party sometime back in Ch. 2. Also proselytizes for Crazy Jared. Has minor healing ability related to that.

Sparrow Vanderboren, Favored Soul 12, Betrayed the party and became lord of Occipitus. Now an NPC with the smoking eye template and an army of Demons. Managed to get both Erod and the Wanderess killed at the end of ch. 6 with her betrayal. Tordek was bleeding out and was drug away by Jandar. They don't like her. Currently controlled by a shadowplayer.

------------------------------------------------------------

The party is just wrapping up chapter 7 with some notable victories under their belt.

(1) They saved Terrem and gave him to a Rakshasa for safekeeping.

(2) They put an end to the danger that was Drakthar by accidentally entrapping him in an axe, which while turning its owner slowly into a vampire will almost certainly not try to control him at the worst possible moment.

(3) They prevented a flood of cauldron and replaced the old head of St. Cuthbert by writing to Sasserine and calling Shebeleth to the post. They also took over the dungeon from ch. 3 and are using it as a base of operations after recruiting the remaining alleybashers and hillfolk. Shensen runs it for them.

(4) They saved that dwarf Splintershield by giving him to their gracious patron Vhalantru.

(5) They beat the tar out of Nabthatoron and forced him to serve them at their behest once. Also pretty well convinced of the fact that Nidrama is secretly a demon or hag masquerading as an angel.

(6) One of their party members got control of Occipitus and betrayed the rest of them, and is working her way toward demon-lord-hood.

(7) After navalant was assassinated by Mhad the party managed to barely sway the election in Cauldron away from the "evil" Vanderborens in favor of their beloved patron vhalantru. Also they killed Ike to rid the church of Wee Jas from his evil influence so that Embril could run it in peace.

(8) (I ran the last laugh guildhouse before the Karran Kal bit). Managed to save Fario and "convince", Jil to join their side on the condition that her boss Last Laugh guildmaster also be allowed to join them. The guildmaster and jil now live with them in their complex outside of Cauldron.

<s>So as you can see things are going really, really well for the party. </s> Or at least they think so.

I have a few problems. A string of betrayals is going to happen to the party over and over and over again starting right when they get back from karran kal. (Ie, Shebeleth, Vhalantru, LL guildmaster, etc.). How can I keep it from getting stale after the nth betrayal? I'm thinking that I'll maybe try to subvert it on Embril and have her betray the Cagewrights instead. Can this be believable?

I'm not sure how to foreshadow Adimarchus harder. The party was drawn into a dream of his at the end of chapter 2 during their fight with Drakthar, but basically haven't heard from him since.

Mechanically, they are feeling the lack of a cleric. The problem isn't healing, they have a fistful of magic items for that, the problem is the lack of buffs. Not having access to protection from evil, freedom of movement, and death ward has been and will continue to be a problem going forward.

Last I currently have two shadowplayers. I'd like to add more for other primary villains in the campaign. Is there any interest?

The currently living cagewrights are:

Leader:
Dyr'ryd (Not sure if this would be interesting)

Masters:
Shebeleth (Currently gets a bunch of on-screen time)
Alurad (Has a secret relationship with someone in the party)
Embril (Might turn on the cagewrights)
Vhalantru (Probably is currently too scripted to be interesting)
Last Laugh Guildmaster (Currently being played by a shadowplayer)
Gau Kleeoch (Has been very poorly foreshadowed)

Apprentices:
Fetor (Probably will die next session)
Bhash-Febi (A custom character that was the murderer of Wanderess's father)
Ike (Deceased, soul trapped by erod)
Rhiavadi (Very scripted)
Jil (run incidentally by a shadowplayer)
Blue Duke (Deceased)

At this point the actual statting of Alurad and Gau Kleeoch could also be changed. If anyone would like to run one of these villains in a manner consistent with the description on the above reddit thread please let me know.


Cable17 wrote:

Hello everyone!

I have been running a group through the Shackled City since January of 2014 (so almost a year and half now). We have made pretty quick progress (relative to the majority of stories I’ve read), and the party is now fighting the dracolich known as Vitriss Bale in Karran Kural, which is near the end of Secrets of the Soul Pillars.

I am writing this post (as the title suggests) to ask for advice, feedback, suggestions, and anything else constructive that you might be willing to give me to help me improve the quality of my campaign as we head into high levels and the endgame of the story.

Chief among my concerns is the fact that I have not done a great job of introducing the Cagewrights early on in this campaign. When I first started running the table, I was pretty bogged down with real life work, so I struggled to just provide the material of a given chapter. As I’ve gotten a better handle on everything though (and I owe a lot of that to the great materials at provided at this site), I have realized that I really should have dropped more hints and introduced more seemingly innocent appearances of the Cagewrights. However, I don’t think it’s too late, so I am open to any advice about how to start moving them on to the scene (and I’ve done a bit of it already).

Hi!

Funny enough my party is at the exact same point! They are literally waiting to kick the door in on Vitriss Bale. They're a little underlevelled and I think they're going to have a tough time with this fight.

I would highly, highly recommend using the "alternate villains" here: http://therpgenius.pbworks.com/w/page/22143306/Alternate%20Villains. If its too late for you to do that think of every NPC that the party has met thus far. How many of them could be Cagewrights. I would also limit the total number of cagewrights to 13 rather than the huge number they currently have. If it were me, I would say Dhorlot is one of the six cagewright masters. You can increase his power by giving him that weird demodand template that Vhalantru gets.

What NPC's have the party actually met?

I would be likely to suggest:

Cagewright Leader: Dyr'Ryd

Cagewright Masters (6):

Thearynn
Alurad
Viirdran
Ssythar
Freija
Vhalantru

Cagewright Apprentice's (6):

Kyan (Maybe de-level him a little bit, and let the party get sniped by him throughout chapter 9)
Gau (Delevel a little bit, apprenticed to Freija)
Shebeleth (Delevel, apprenticed to Thearynn)
Dhorlot (Apprenticed to Ssythar, give the same template as vhalantru, can be encountered in ch. 8)
Rhiavadi (Apprenticed to Vhalantru)

Finally pick another NPC that the character's see a bunch and make him the cagewright apprentice of Viirdran.

Replace Embril's role in Chapter 11 (if you decide to run it, I'm skipping it in favor of a plane-hopping diplomacy adventure a'la Savage Tides' ch 11: "Enemy of my Enemy".

Other useful question's might include who's running Occipitus? Any other major villains survive? Was drakthar killed in battle or Staked? DId the party destroy the phylactery of that lich in ch. 6?


Sounds like you guys had a great deal of fun! I have to steal your music/roll credits idea. Aren't undead immune to crits? (:-P) We're on the Test of the Smoking Eye now. Any tips?


The Mayor of Cauldron was just murdered while the PC's were away to Occipitus. They discovered this through their contacts with the Alleybashers. Now I'm running an election which they are trying to influence. My group of PC's want to convince Vhalantru to run. Currently I'm telling him that a Vanderboren and Taskerhill are running. Has anyone run the election of the new mayor? Any ideas?


The campaign is built for six players. If you don't have that many you might have more trouble. You could consider pointing that out to the DM. Alternatively you could try some lateral thinking. If you're unable to talk to the DM maybe you could try picking up some hirelings in Cauldron. This is a trap heavy dungeon. You need a rogue. If no one is playing one, hire a rogue. You could point him to one of the many good resources available on this board.