Hilary Moon Murphy wrote:
Right on! It's astonishing how many different stories and approaches will come out of this scenario, and I'm so happy that GMs get a chance to be even more creative than usual and have significant control over the story at the table. While I put goblins on a chart, for example, I did that because, well, I like goblins and they fit in/under Kaer Maga. A GM can look at that chart and say "Yes! Goblins! I know why they're there..." or "Here we go again; Duckwitz and goblins, I'll pass, and go with _____ instead." It's freeing, certainly, but you're not kidding: it is heavy lifting!
I love to hear about all the work you guys are doing. I'm so excited!
I wanted to provide a bit of assistance too. By its nature this scenario requires the GM to build up the "connective tissue" of whatever location she chooses. Since only some of the pieces are set by the story arc, it can be tricky to make choices that fit thematically and reinforce the adventure's story. It sounds like those of you already talking about your plans are doing just that, but I thought some might find it helpful to get a sense of what I had in mind regarding the theme of each location since I was sometimes a bit subtle. I hope this helps GMs as they plan and run it.
The theme I had in mind was "alien horror and madness." I tried to write location descriptions in a Lovecraftian way (ornate yet vague; suggestive not explicit). The antagonists all have an alien, inhuman way of viewing sentient life, and the caverns themselves work to transform and warp those who enter.
"Things fall apart" kept running through my head as I worked on this section. The instability of the location itself reinforces the breakdown of normal order (in "Recovering the Implements" and "Raising the Dead") and instability between planes (in "Summoning Gone Wrong"). The antagonists in these arcs broke both physical and social boundaries, yet their own successes seem to crumble almost immediately as well.
This location and its story arcs are all about entrapment. The antagonists have all captured prisoners, but even the villains themselves were lured into a location designed to ensnare and destroy them. By capturing what they want, they hasten their own destruction (at the hands of the PCs).
I'm excited to hear what you think of it. It was a challenge to write, and the developers had their work cut out for them with a project this complex. I think they did a wonderful job. I'll check in here once in a while to provide (totally unofficial) suggestions.
Also, I don't know if the "Additional Treats" is my mistake or not, but I'm totally taking credit for it. That's awesome.
As Damien_DM says, be sure to cut the vault name off the handout. It's there so the GM knows which one is which.
Bongo BigBounce wrote:
I'll take the blame for that. In my original turnover she was not a mutant in the lower subtier and was in the higher, which added unneeded complexity. I think the developers made the wise choice to make her more consistent between subtiers and removed the mutant template while beefing up her level in Subtier 4-5.
My (totally unofficial) suggestion is to have the tactics remain as written except she casts cacophonous call on the toughest-looking PC in place of the breath weapon.
Still looks awesome! I like the map as well. Compact while fitting in a lot of rooms, with simple 90 and 45 degree angles. Should be easy to draw. I have high hopes for this one.
Thanks for the kind words. I was definitely thinking about GMs drawing it out when I designed it. I hope you like how it plays.
A peculiar, lupine grin is fixed on the face of this dashingly attractive elven figure.
Agoravore CR 3
----- Defense -----
----- Offense -----
----- Statistics -----
----- Ecology -----
----- Special Abilities -----
Pressing Throng (Su) Three times per day the agoravore can cause a humanoid creature within 30 ft. to experience a phantasmal hallucination of a crushing crowd of tightly-packed, pushing, shoving people. The target is allowed a DC 17 Will save to avoid the effect. If he saves, the target is shaken for one round and the hallucination fades. If he fails, the target cowers for 1d4+2 rounds. This is a mind-affecting fear effect and the save is Charisma-based.
See Through the Scrum (Ex) Crowds within 60 ft. of an agoravore grant no penalty to its vision and never provide cover or concealment against it.
Wisdom Drain (Su) With a touch attack the agoravore can drain 1d2 points of Wisdom from a target who is currently suffering from agoraphobia (at the GM's discretion), or is shaken or cowed by Pressing Throng.
Agoravores are shapechanging fey creatures who long ago refused to move from their homelands even while cities grew up around them. They are urban predators that feed off the mental distress of people who are afraid of large, busy public spaces by draining their Wisdom. They live in almost every city in Golarion, but feed just carefully enough to avoid raising suspicion.
In their natural forms, agoravores look like caricatures of elves: their ears are longer and more pointed, their mouths and eyes larger, and their skin slightly luminous. While they spend most of their time shapechanged into other forms to either throw off pursuit or build a victim's trust, they always have trouble repressing a predatory grin.
Agoravores mill about at the edges of crowded marketplaces or near the walls of large taverns, looking for signs of anxiety. When one spots a suitable victim, it approaches in the guise of a friendly guide, an elderly woman, or a child. Capricious, unpredictable, and often brazen, an agoravore is just as likely to feed upon its victim in the middle of a bustling bazaar—where it disguises its actions as comfort for the terrified—as it is to escort the victim to one of its many dens scattered throughout the city or town.
Agoravores hunt at any time of day or night. Some prefer crowded marketplaces during daylight, while others enjoy large, busy taverns. They particularly favor festivals and major religious holidays, since many people who are usually nervous around crowds are willing to come outside and celebrate.
Congratulations fellow 32—I'm honored to be among your ranks.
A bit about myself, you say? I live in Edgerton, Wisconsin, about an hour from Lake Geneva, where our little hobby began. I'm married to a lovely wife who recently let me make some renovations to my Nerdery in the basement. I have two children: a daughter who is named after a certain elven princess (but can behave like a balrog) and a son named after a series of English kings.
I've been gaming since 7th grade, right at the tail end of AD&D. Most of high school and college were spent playing, and eventually running, 2nd Edition. I played 3E briefly, dabbled in Torg (anyone else?), West End Games' Star Wars RPG, played MtG for a bit, and dropped d20 gaming entirely for several years once I was introduced to the versatile (and highly crunchy) HERO System in graduate school.
I didn't get back into d20 again until Gen Con 2012 when I was wrangled into joining a group of my friends to play The Race for the Runecarved Key together. They all had their own PFS characters, but I was stuck with a Kyra pregen. The excitement of the big room and the competition, however, was pretty intense, and I had a better time than I expected I would. Our group advanced to the second round where the outstanding Chris Mortika was our GM, and we managed to escape the dungeon just before time ran out. A few minutes later, we found out we had won our subtier and boons to create goblin characters. I was hooked on Pathfinder.
Since then I've been buying books, listening to Pathfinder podcasts, and running adventures. I currently have two groups playing through The Rise of the Runelords Anniversary Edition, one of them with mythic rules. I'm astounded not just by the sheer amount, but also the high quality of the material this fan community has produced, and don't know how I'd find the time to run a good game without it.
Oh, if you saw a guy at Gen Con 2013 with a plush goblin dressed as an alchemist, that was me...
Anyway, last night I was playing the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game to pass the time, but tonight I have work to do!