Wolf in Sheep's Clothing

Brian J. Fruzen's page

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16. Goblin Squad Member. RPG Superstar 6 Season Star Voter, 7 Season Star Voter, 8 Season Star Voter. FullStarFullStarFullStarFullStarFullStar Venture-Lieutenant, Wisconsin—Menomonee Falls 205 posts. 2 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 19 Organized Play characters.



***** RPG Superstar 2015 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

When: January 12-15, 2017
Where: Hilton Milwaukee City Center
Register for a badge here!

Midwinter Gaming Convention is a 4 day convention held each January in Milwaukee, WI. Started in January of 2000, this event was founded on a Classic World of Darkness Live Action Role Playing game (LARP). The mission of the Midwinter Gaming Convention is to plan, promote and produce a high end gaming convention in Milwaukee, WI every January, providing a full gaming convention experience for a reasonable cost.

This year's event will be held at the Hilton Milwaukee City Center and features more events than ever before, in a gorgeous historical hotel. Featuring Live Action Role Play, Tabletop RPG's, Miniatures Wargaming, CCG's and a Board Game room with amazing Play to Win games, there is something for everyone. Watch for a great lineup of special guests as well.

We still need GMs! GM two or more PFS slots and earn a free badge! Use this link to our Google document and put your name under the event(s) you'd like to run.

PFS events on the schedule:

#2-11: The Penumbral Accords (RPG)
#3-03: The Ghenett Manor Gauntlet (RPG)
#4–08: The Cultist's Kiss (RPG)
#4–13: Fortress of the Nail (RPG)
#6–04: Beacon Below (RPG)
#6–06: Hall of the Flesh Eaters (RPG)
#6–18: From Under Ice (RPG)
#7–24: Dead Man's Debt (RPG)
#7–27: Beyond Azlant Ridge (RPG)
#7–99: Through Maelstrom Rift (RPG)
#8-01: Portent's Peril (RPG)
#8-04: Wardens of Sulfur Gulch (RPG)
#8-05: Ungrounded but Unbroken (RPG)
#8-06: Reaping What We Sow (RPG)
#8-07: From the Tome of Righteous Repose (RPG)
#8-08—Tyranny of Winds, Part 1: The Sandstorm Prophecy (RPG)
#8-09—Forged in Flame, Part 1: The Cindersworn Pact (RPG)
#8-12—Tyranny of Winds, Part 3: Caught in the Eclipse (RPG)
#20: King Xeros of Old Azlant (RPG)
#31: Sniper in the Deep (RPG)
#33: Assault on the Kingdom of the Impossible (RPG)
#34: Encounter at the Drowning Stones (RPG)
#38: No Plunder, No Pay (RPG)
AP #67: The Snows of Summer (RPG)
AP #68: The Shackled Hut (RPG)
AP #69: Maiden, Mother, Crone (RPG)
AP #70: The Frozen Stars (RPG)
No Response from Deepmar (RPG)
We B4 Goblins! (RPG)
Pathfinder Society Quest: Honor's Echo (RPG)
Pathfinder Society Special: Year of the Shadow Lodge (RPG)

***** RPG Superstar 2015 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

When: May 27-30
Where: Hyatt Regency Milwaukee

Nexus Game Fair has over 400 board game, CCG, miniature, and RPG events scheduled! Plus the Milwaukee Company of Gamers (MILCOG) Board Game Library will be there, featuring over 1,100 games for attendees to check out and play at their leisure.

Please use this link to register for badges: Nexus Game Fair 2016

Player registration begins April 24th.

We still need GMs! GM three or more PFS slots and earn a free badge! Use this link to our Google document and put your name under the event(s) you'd like to run. GM six or more slots and earn on-site housing. Please contact me with any questions!

PFS events on the schedule:

#2-03: The Rebel's Ransom (RPG)
#2-16: The Flesh Collector (RPG)
#3-10: The Immortal Conundrum (RPG)
#3-13: The Quest for Perfection—Part III: Defenders of Nesting Swallow (RPG)
#3–25: Storming the Diamond Gate (RPG)
#4–05: The Sanos Abduction (RPG)
#4–14: My Enemy's Enemy (RPG)
#4–20: Words of the Ancients (RPG)
#4–22: Glories of the Past—Part I: Halls of Dwarven Lore (RPG)
#4–24: Glories of the Past—Part II: The Price of Friendship (RPG)
#4–25: Glories of the Past—Part III: The Secrets Stones Keep (RPG)
#5–09: The Traitor’s Lodge (RPG)
#6–21: Tapestry's Toil (RPG)
#7–14—Faithless and Forgotten, Part 1: Let Bygones Be (RPG)
#7–15: The Deepmarket Deception (RPG)
#7–16—Faithless and Forgotten, Part 2: Lost Colony of Taldor (RPG)
#7–18—Faithless and Forgotten, Part 3: The Infernal Inheritance (RPG)
#7–19: Labyrinth of Hungry Ghosts (RPG)
#17: Perils of the Pirate Pact (RPG)
#24: Decline of Glory (RPG)
#50: Fortune's Blight (RPG)
Pathfinder Adventure Card Guild Adventure #2-1—Dark Waters Rising - 2-1A: Goblins? Gross!
Pathfinder Adventure Card Guild Adventure #2-1—Dark Waters Rising - 2-1B: The Problem with Dragons
Pathfinder Adventure Card Guild Adventure #2-1—Dark Waters Rising - 2-1C: Small Town Politics
Pathfinder Adventure Card Guild Adventure #2-1—Dark Waters Rising - 2-1D: Cut Them Off at the Source
Pathfinder Adventure Card Guild Adventure #2-1—Dark Waters Rising - 2-1E: Midwife Crisis
Pathfinder Adventure Card Guild Adventure #2-1—Dark Waters Rising - 2-1F: Good with Ketchup
Pathfinder Adventure Card Guild Adventure #2-2—City of Secrets - 2-2A: Night on the Town
Pathfinder Adventure Card Guild Adventure #2-2—City of Secrets - 2-2B: Life's Tough in the Big City
Pathfinder Adventure Card Guild Adventure #2-2—City of Secrets - 2-2C: I'm Not Myself Today
Pathfinder Adventure Card Guild Adventure #2-2—City of Secrets - 2-2D: The Idol of Sycorius
Pathfinder Adventure Card Guild Adventure #2-2—City of Secrets - 2-2E: A Bad Day to Be Good
Realm of the Fellnight Queen (RPG)
The Godsmouth Heresy (RPG)
The Ruby Phoenix Tournament (RPG)
We Be Goblins Free! (RPG)
We Be Goblins Too! (RPG)
We Be Goblins! (RPG)
Pathfinder Society Quest: Phantom Phenomena (RPG)
Pathfinder Society Special: Ruins of Bonekeep—Level One: The Silent Grave (RPG)
Pathfinder Society Special: Siege of the Diamond City (RPG)

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

Nexus Game Fair has over 400 board game, CCG, miniature, and RPG events scheduled! Plus the Milwaukee Company of Gamers (MILCOG) Board Game Library will be there, featuring over 1,100 games that attendees can check out and play at their leisure.

Please use this link to register for badges: Nexus Game Fair 2016

GM three or more PFS slots and earn a FREE BADGE! Use this link to our Google document and put your name under the event(s) you'd like to run. GM six or more slots and earn on site housing.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8, RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16 , Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8

1 person marked this as a favorite.

The Gloomsworn Path
==========
Those wishing an audience with the dark fey Queen Frilogarma would first need to find passage to the stalactite city known in the deep of Nar-Voth as the Court of Ether. There are numerous ways to take to the queen’s fantastical city, yet none are bereft of mortal peril. The Gloomsworn Path was one such route and stood until recently at the precipice of the Endless Gulf, presenting a near insurmountable barrier to those who walked its trail uninvited. Dark folk sentries and allies of the Queen long ago employed the use of gloomwasps to secure the passage, allowing the temperamental creations to flourish in the unending dark. After a time, the dark folk abandoned their posts, leaving the passage’s protection in the capable embrace of the swarm that matured there.

The Gloomsworn Path is now in disarray, savaged by the crashing tide of a purple worm that burrowed to the hive’s heart and gorged itself before succumbing to grievous wounds inflicted by the hive once moved to wrath. Yet few of the gloomwasps survived the assault, and the hive fell to ruin around the hulking predator that still festers within it. Pressing a newfound advantage, svirfneblin spies dared to take the broken hive and establish permanent refuge for those that would stand against the Court of Ether. They fell in the attempt, but not before nearly exterminating what remained of the hive’s inhabitants. Less than a handful of the once mighty gloomwasp swarm remain, and Queen Frilogarma would not have a route to her city persist long without guard. Upon word of the Path’s newfound vulnerability, she dispatched two nuglub trapsmiths to the colony while she entreats the dark folk to resume their vigil over the area.

The path is not likely to remain so lightly fortified for long.

The Court of Corpses (CR 10)
==========
A1. Entry Hall
Few of the numerous cages built into the walls of this debris-strewn chamber stand empty. Fresh svirfneblin corpses are held aloft by dark vines that puncture the earth behind them, as if reaching out to present a silent warning to those who would dare to travel further. The cavern’s eastern entrance is clogged with thick roots that form a path leading through a smooth gray wall.

The thick root-like vines mark the beginning of the Gloomsworn Path, a twisting mass of plant growth that mires in the rock here and then travels the miles-long ceiling of the Endless Gulf, twisting from stalactite to stalactite before arriving at the Court of Ether. Its thick bark-like exterior is carpeted with delicate strands of fungal growth, each topped with a tiny phosphorescent nodule that glows dimly in a 15-foot radius when disturbed. Creatures moving at more than half speed over the vine bridge set the path they took to glowing for one round in their wake.

The cages hold what remains of creatures that dared to trespass near the Court of Ether and also include corpses more human in appearance and in varying states of decay. The iron bars (hardness 10, 30 hp, Break DC 23) are held fast with good locks (Disable Device DC 25)

Creatures: A single gloomwasp in the northernmost cage is hiding amidst the vines and watching for intruders. When the gloomwasps numbers were more plentiful, they would assault enemies from behind the cage bars, retreating to the hive only when left no other recourse.

Gloomwasp CR 6
XP 2,400
hp 66 (R3)
Tactics: When PCs enter the cavern it first alerts the gloomwasp in area A2 with its telepathy then casts dust of twilight on the PCs if they are using light sources, or attacks with one light ray at the nearest PC before retreating through the small tunnel entrance at the cage’s ceiling. It then attempts to regroup with the other gloomwasp and nuglub in area A2.

A2. The Hive
The smell of rot ladens the air of this chamber, which consists of a vine bridge extending from a cave opening to the southwest and reaching to the cavern ceiling to the northeast. The husks of dead gloomwasps are scattered across the hexagonal floor, which is dominated at its center by the still remains of a gargantuan purple worm, its burned and blistered body dangling off a precipice of hive cells that sags under its immense weight.

The massive weight of the purple worm collapsed much of the hive’s support structure when it burrowed in, causing the lower layers of the hive to tear free and fall to the cavern below. Grievously wounded gloomwasp crawled from its mouth before succumbing to injury and death on the cell floor where their bodies yet remain.

Creatures: Two nuglub gremlins and another gloomwasp are here on the command of Queen Frilogarma to ensure attempts to reach the Court of Ether do not go un-harassed. If given warning of the PCs presence one nuglub attempts to hide behind the corpse of the purple worm, between the vine path and the comb support. The other nuglub and gloomwasp try to hide amidst the stalactites in the northeast corner of the map until both gloomwasps are present. If caught unaware, the trio is toiling at the hive cells in the southeast quadrant of the hive.

Gloomwasp CR 6
XP 2,400
hp 66 (R3)
Tactics: The gloomwasp fights to the death, hovering outside of the PCs reach in the space between the cavern wall and the north side of the hive.

Gremlin, Nuglub (2) CR 2
XP 600 each
hp 19 each (Bestiary 2 143)
Tactics: The nuglub attempt to rupture larva cells on PCs who were damaged by the gloomwasp’s light rays and to trigger the falling worm trap while safely on the southern side of the vine path. The nuglub flee if reduced to half or fewer hit points, drawing the PCs over areas prepared with snare traps, marked with an 's" on the map.

Trap: The purple worm remains a threat even in death, as the nuglubs have carefully cut away cells holding it aloft so that it might fall when larger intruders step toward it to investigate. If any medium-size or larger creature steps onto a hive cell adjacent to the worm, the entire corpse will slide off to the cavern below, tearing away all hive cells north of the bridge with it. A small size creature can trigger the weakened floor by spending a standard action stomping and kicking the floor adjacent to the worm.

Weakened Floor CR 5
Type mechanical; Perception DC 20; Disable Device N/A
----- Effects -----
Trigger location; Reset repair
Effect 100-foot fall into collapsed gloomwasp hive (2d6 non-lethal plus 6d6 lethal); multiple targets (all creatures on hive cells north of the vine bridge); DC 18 Reflex save avoids. Note: damage from fall lessoned to account for air-pocketed hive structure on the cavern floor below.

Trap: The ceiling, suspended 10 feet above, is the uppermost layer of the hive. Many of the cells overhead still contained gloomwasp larva when the purple worm destroyed the hive. Without the support of the colony, those larva have died and began to putrefy. A phosphorescent fungus known as pulsing puffs has invaded some of the dead cells (marked on the map with an ‘R’,) which now have swirling masses of tiny lights glowing faintly from behind distended wax coverings. These cells are on the verge of bursting, and will rain down the rotting, radioactive slurry the gloomwasp larvae were gestating in when triggered. Injured opponents risk infection by the invasive phosphorescent fungi.

Bursting Larva Cell CR 3
Type mechanical; Perception DC 20; Disable Device DC 20
----- Effects -----
Trigger touch; Reset none
Effect Shower of irradiated rotting pus and gloomwasp larva corpse (exposure to pulsing puffs plus advance radiation poisoning effects by 1 day); multiple targets (all creatures in square); DC 20 Reflex save avoids.

Pulsing Puffs
Type disease (fungus), injury; Save Fortitude DC 16
Onset 1 day; Frequency 1/day
Effect 1d4 Dex damage; Cure 2 consecutive saves

Development: If a nuglub manages to flee, it attempts to reach the Court of Ether to warn of the PCs attack, scurrying along on the underside of the vine bridge as necessary to avoid the PCs harassment. If presented with the opportunity, it gleefully attempts to kneecap any PC that catches up to it, even if the action turns out to be suicidally foolish.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16 , Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8

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A whirlpool of gnashing, jagged blood red crystals fold together like petals to reveal a creature whose outer body consists of stone plates, dark earth and red-hued gemstones.

Geomaw CR 7
XP 3,200
N Large aberration (earth)
Init +2; Senses blindsight 40 ft.; Perception +13

----- Defense -----
AC 19, touch 7, flat-footed 19 (-2 Dex, +12 natural, -1 size)
hp 85 (10d8+40)
Fort +9, Ref +3, Will +7
Defensive Abilities blood lantern; DR 5/piercing
Weaknesses blind, blood gorger

----- Offense -----
Speed 10 ft., burrow 20 ft.
Melee bite +15 (2d6+10 plus grab)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 5 ft.
Special Attacks crystal gnasher, fast swallow, swallow whole (2d6+10 damage plus 2 Con damage, AC 16, 8 hp)

----- Statistics -----
Str 24, Dex 7, Con 18, Int 6, Wis 11, Cha 13
Base Atk +7; CMB +15 (+19 grapple); CMD 23 (can’t be tripped)
Feats Great Fortitude, Improved Initiative, Lightning Reflexes, Power Attack, Weapon Focus (bite)
Skills Perception +13, Stealth +7 (+15 in rocky areas); Racial Modifiers +8 Stealth in rocky areas
Languages Canto
SQ freeze

----- Ecology -----
Environment any underground
Organization solitary
Treasure incidental plus blood crystals

----- Special Abilities -----
Blood Gorger (Ex) A geomaw that has swallowed a creature whole devotes much of its body to the task of devouring it and loses its burrow speed.
Blood Lantern (Su) As a free action on any round in which a victim it has swallowed whole suffers Con damage, a geomaw may emit a scintillating pattern of red-hued light from the crystals that cover the outside of its body. All creatures within 30 feet must succeed on a DC 16 Will save or be fascinated. This is a sight-based, mind-affecting compulsion effect. A creature that saves cannot be affected by the same geomaw’s blood lantern for 24 hours. The save DC is Charisma-based.
Crystal Gnasher (Ex) Rows of razor sharp blood crystal line a geomaw’s oversized mouth. Its bite deals damage as a creature one size category larger.
Freeze (Ex) A geomaw can hold itself so still it appears to be a cluster of naturally occurring cave crystals. A geomaw that uses freeze can take 20 on its Stealth check to hide in plain sight as a patch of natural cavern crystals.

Birthed from the unfathomable terrors and untold wonders of the cavernous deep, geomaws roam the Darklands finding easy prey among the covetous races of Nar-Voth and Golarion’s surface. Their hulking bodies can extend up to 15 feet long and almost as wide, weighing between 2,000 and 4,000 pounds. Despite its great size, a geomaw requires sustenance infrequently and can go weeks or even months between meals. It can wait perfectly motionless, displaying its open maw as a cache of valuable crystalline formations. This ruse bears some truth. Duergar, derro and even drow hunt geomaw for the blood crystals that grow in them, while dark folk have devised sacrificial rituals so that they may feed on the faint blood-tinged rays of light resulting from a geomaw’s digestion process.

Geomaw have little society of their own and seem content to traverse the outskirts of wilder civilizations, feeding on the blood and flesh of unwary creatures that seek shelter or riches by delving into caves near the surface. On the rare occasion one cares to converse, it does so through a series of thumps and clinks produced by tapping its crystalline teeth together. Groups of geomaw have been known to produce hauntingly beautiful sounds in such a manner.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16 , Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8

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Salvation's End

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16 , Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Pyroclastic Spike
Aura moderate transmutation; CL 7th
Slot none; Price 28,000 gp; Weight 5 lbs.

Description
This 3-foot long magically-reinforced obsidian rod is capped with a globe of volcanic glass at one end, and a gleaming spike at the other. Veins of molten earth glow faintly beneath the rod’s surface, flowing from a swirling fiery mass at the orb’s core.

Three times per day on command, the wielder may activate the rod to receive temporary resistance to fire as if under the effects of resist energy, gaining 20 points of fire resistance for 1 hour.

Once per day, the spiked end can be driven into sand, mud, or loose earth as a move action, into dense soil or loose gravel as a standard action, or into stone or metal as a full-round action. Once anchored, a path 5 feet wide and 30 feet long erupts with rivulets of lava in the direction of the wielder’s choosing, originating in a square adjacent to the anchored pyroclastic spike. Creatures standing in the path take 2d6 fire damage as the ground spews forth super-heated sulfuric gases and begins to liquefy. 1 round after anchoring the rod, the affected area dissolves into a molten river 5 feet deep. The river of lava damages any barriers it encounters until it is able to flow freely forward to the full range of effect. The lava persists until the pyroclastic spike is removed from the ground, at which point the affected area immediately cools. Any creature in the lava is allowed a Reflex save (DC 16) to escape before the area is hardened to obsidian.

Construction
Requirements Craft Rod, firefall, resist energy; Cost 14,000 gp

***** RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

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Below are Pathfinder Society read-aloud missions and knowledge checks for each level of the Emerald Spire super dungeon. (Not all of the levels are complete yet, and I will be updating this thread as I write more.) While each level’s mission is meant to stand alone, I did try to create a sense of forward momentum for the Pathfinder Society as agents delve deeper into the dungeon.

I also wanted to inject some of the flavor found in parts of the book that PFS players may not get access to otherwise, which accounts for some of the regional information and quest NPCs showing up in the missions and checks.

I’ve also uploaded them as a single document to the GM Shared Prep Site

The Emerald Spire

Level 1—The Tower Ruins:
Zarta Dralneen, head of the newly-formed Dark Archive summoned you to her cluttered offices beneath the Grand Lodge in Absalom where she now imparts upon you your current mission for the Pathfinder Society.

“The success of the Society’s excursion to Jormurdun has emboldened the Decemvirate to explore some of Golarion’s forgotten ruins. Yet establishment of the Dark Archive must have cost them more than I realized. I had to bestow quite a few favors to get even a paltry force committed to the exploration of the Emerald Spire. It seems the Decemvirate doesn’t think we’ll find anything salvageable there, so I’m counting on you to prove them wrong.

“The Emerald Spire is an ancient structure, believed to be Azlanti in origin. I don’t know what you’ll find there, but there are rumors that things both dark and dangerous have escaped its depths before. Securing the old ruin might even help us scoop up some gratitude from the River Kingdoms in the process.

“Local law has been surprisingly complicit, helpful even, toward adventuring types provided the right channels are opened first. I don’t expect you to relish the task, but before we can begin our survey of the Spire you’ll have to meet with Lady Commander Audara Drovust, a paralictor in the Hellknight Order of the Pike. She runs the show at Fort Inevitable and we’ll need to keep her happy if we decide to send more Pathfinders to her doorstep. Obtain a letter of warrant and then complete a survey of the ruins surrounding the Emerald Spire. We need the area to serve as our base of operations as we delve further. Make yourselves ready Pathfinders, then be on your way to the River Kingdoms”

Note: This mission requires the insertion of a short roleplaying encounter prior to arriving at the tower ruins. To maintain “run as written,” the PCs cannot fail in obtaining a letter of warrant (mentioned in the ‘adventurers and the law’ section on page 6 of The Emerald Spire, detailing Fort Inevitable) from Audara Drovust, though poor diplomacy rolls may sour her attitude, affirming that if the Society’s reputation holds true that “all of you will be warming bunks in Fort Inevitable’s jails soon anyway.” Assume that the Society absorbs the costs of obtaining the letter of warrant, and that the 30% fee is already accounted for in the chronicle sheets. If too much time is taken in obtaining the warrant, remove a group of goblins from the dungeon.

Knowledge: History
15+ When the Worldwound opened and Mendev called to able bodied individuals to fuel the crusades, the small pathways leading through the River Kingdoms became better known as Crusader’s Road. It also became a hive of banditry, and the Hellknights established Fort Inevitable to protect pilgrims and crusaders alike. They dissolved the local government in the process.
20+ Southwood, the town that became Fort Inevitable was once the territory of the Kingdom of Zog, a powerful goblin tribe that a local hero, Tarrynna, overthrew about 400 years ago.
25+ Nhur Athemon, a powerful wizard of Azlanti descent once made the Emerald Spire his home. When Azlanti justice pursued him there, they reigned destruction down upon him the likes of which Golarion seldom sees.
30+ Evidence suggests that the spire was here long before Nhur Athemon settled into it. The original builders are unknown.

Knowledge: Local
15+ Lady Commander Audara Drovust handled the assassination of the previous Hellknight Commander and founder of Fort Inevitable, Emos Varden, poorly in the eyes of the community. As a result, a resistance movement known as the Seven Foxes has begun to gain popularity within the walls of Fort Inevitable.
20+ People are warned from traveling too close to the Emerald Spire. The glen that surrounds it is said to manifest dangerous creatures and more than one traveler has gone missing while detouring to witness the ancient structure.
25+ A local goblin tribe, the Bloodbriars, have been silent of late. No one has boasted of their defeat, leading locals to wonder what could have happened to them.


Level 2—The Cellars:
Venture-Captain Ambrus Valsin requested you meet him in the courtyard of the Grand Lodge, where a half-dozen wagons are being loaded with supplies. Valsin diverts his attention from the preparations to greet you. “Pathfinders in Fort Inevitable have drawn some attention, which I suppose is to be expected, but don’t worry. I didn’t call you here to assess any fines. A particularly wealthy scholar by the name of Abernard Royst, has discovered our intent to survey the Emerald Spire and contracted us to share what information we gather about the layout of the dungeons within.

“As fortuitous as this arrangement is for the Pathfinders, I do have an ulterior motive in my eagerness to accept Abernard’s offer. I’m not overly excited about the notion of exploring the Emerald Spire with the Decemvirate’s resources stretched as they are right now, yet that is the task set before us. The first excursion to the Spire has opened the way to establishing a base of operations at the ruined keep surrounding the Spire itself,” Ambrose gestures to the wagons in the courtyard, before turning back to you, his face dour. “I’m not convinced the place is as secure as our operatives believed though. I would feel much safer knowing the levels below have been cleared before we’ve invested too much into maintaining a presence there. That’s why I’m sending you.

“You’ll be heading to Echo Wood ahead of the supply caravan, and in addition to completing a survey of the cellars beneath the ruined tower, I want you to assess and eliminate any threats to our members who will be assisting deeper exploration efforts. Make yourself ready for the unknown Pathfinders, I want you on your way this afternoon, well ahead of the caravan leaving tomorrow morning”

Knowledge: History
15+ When the Worldwound opened and Mendev called to able bodied individuals to fuel the crusades, the small pathways leading through the River Kingdoms became better known as Crusader’s Road. It also became a hive of banditry, and the Hellknights established Fort Inevitable to protect pilgrims and crusaders alike. They dissolved the local government in the process.
20+ Nhur Athemon, a powerful wizard of Azlanti descent once sought refuge from Azlanti justice at the Emerald Spire. When found, they rained destruction down upon him, the effects of which are evident to this day in the broken green glass that surrounds the ruined tower of the Emerald Spire.
25+ Rumors persist that Nhur Athemon did not create the Spire however, and that the ancient structure is much older than even the Azlantis.

Knowledge: Local
15+ Ambrose Royst is one of the most notable adventurers permanently residing in Fort Inevitable, though he rarely risks entering dungeons himself anymore.
20+ The Emerald Spire has served as residence for many groups over the years, but few who dare to claim any part of it hold it for long. The Hellknight’s Order of the Nail was recently planning a raid on the tower themselves, suspecting it to be a hideout for a group of smugglers in the region, but their illicit activity came to a halt before the raid became necessary. It’s assumed the smugglers moved on to easier markets.
25+ Residents chancing to spend time near the Emerald Spire during a full moon have reported strange banks of mist traveling across the Spire Glen, the barren life-choked land surrounding the tower, and site of numerous horrifying tales.
30+ Ambrose Royst has been the subject of a “quiet” Hellknight investigation for suspected aid given to a group of dissidents known in Fort Inevitable as the Seven Foxes. The group formed following the brutal justice imposed by Lady Commander Audara Drovust after the assassination of her commanding officer, Emos Varden.


Level 3—Splinterden:
Venture-Captain Holgarin Smine displays only casual annoyance as he lifts the dried husk of a goblin corpse in one broad dwarven hand and pitches over the side of the Emerald Spire’s outer wall. Far below, Pathfinder agents have begun unloading supplies from Absolom with the intent to make the ruined tower surrounding the Emerald Spire a staging area for future delves. Holgarin, the officer appointed to oversee these efforts, extends his hand to each of you before beginning.

“The Emerald Spire is the latest pet project of the Dark Archive, yet Zarta has made herself understandably scarce when our diplomatic ties to the Hellknights that control Fort Inevitable are tested. As the only standing authority over the Echo Wood and the Emerald Spire, keeping within Lady Commander Drovust’s good graces is a necessary cost of doing business here. As it happens, I have a mission that could serve both us and our Hellknight neighbors.

It’s become clear that the Pathfinder Society is not the only ones occupying the Spire. If we’re to progress further we’ll need to contend with a group that are holed up in the Spire’s third level. We don’t know anything about them, except that if they’re hiding out here then chances are it’s because they don’t want patrols from Fort Inevitable to notice them. The letter of warrant supplied to us by Drovust gives us authority to ‘act in the interest of good order and keep the lady commander’s laws.’

Find out who these squatters are and ensure they’re no longer a threat to our goals of exploring the Emerald Spire. Dumping a few law-breakers into Fort Inevitable’s jail cells won’t do any harm to our relations with the Hellknights either.”

Knowledge: History
10+ When the Worldwound opened and Mendev called to able bodied individuals to fuel the crusades, the small pathways leading through the River Kingdoms became better known as Crusader’s Road. It also became a hive of banditry, and the Hellknights established Fort Inevitable to protect pilgrims and crusaders alike. They dissolved the local government in the process.
15+ The walls of Fort Inevitable were built around Southwood, a town along the Crusader’s Road by Emos Varden, a Hellknight Commander who was later assassinated for his efforts to end banditry in the area. His second in command, Audara Drovust was promoted to Lady Commander following the incident.
20+ Nhur Athemon, a powerful wizard of Azlanti descent once sought refuge from Azlanti justice at the Emerald Spire. When found, they rained destruction down upon him, the effects of which are evident to this day in the broken green glass that surrounds the ruined tower of the Emerald Spire.

Knowledge: Local
15+ Lady Commander Audara Drovust responded to the assassination of the previous Hellknight Commander, Emos Varden, unnecessarily harshly in the eyes of the community. As a result, a resistance movement known as the Seven Foxes has begun to gain popularity within the walls of Fort Inevitable.
20+ The Emerald Spire has served as residence for many groups over the years, but few who dare to claim any part of it hold it for long.
25+ A band of thieves known as the Splinters have begun recruiting in the region, promising prospective members that their leader has found a way to stay out of the Hellknight’s watchful gaze.
30+ A strange affliction has struck some of the animals in Echo Wood. Only recently a rabbit was found in a hunters trap with mangy purple fur. Though it had survived the trap, it died before it could be brought back to town.

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Heaven’s Bounty
==========
Drenchport is far from an idyllic welcoming community, and a vessel such as Heaven’s Bounty would seem out of place if not for its general state of disrepair. Space at Drenchport’s crowded docks is at a premium, yet no ship moors near Heaven’s Bounty. In the months since its arrival, residents of the dour settlement have learned that only the foolish dare to set foot on the Bounty’s weathered planks.

Adrian Voss, a rich Taldan merchant, built Heaven’s Bounty, and though its name might suggest a reverence to the gods, the truth is one of hubris. Voss demanded a vessel to impose his dominance onto the harsh and unforgiving laws of the open water and pillaged the Verduran Forest of materials fit for the task. He paid handsomely to have a magnificent ancient tree harvested as the Bounty’s mast and its occupant, Myrial, a dryad guardian bound to him in thralldom. The tortures she felt as they were inflicted on her tree and the constant agony she now lives in warped Myrial into something darker, but proved beneficial to the merchant captain. It’s said Heaven’s Bounty sailed faster and truer than any other.

The Eye of Abendego is a challenge not to be undertaken lightly, however. Voss met his end skirting the dangerous hellstorm, and took the dark secret of the Bounty’s resilience to the uncharted depths. The surviving crew limped into Drenchport many months ago, paid for a week’s mooring professing the intent to make repairs but disappeared to a man. Attempts to sell the ship have had no success amidst rumors that those who try to buy the vessel meet unnatural ends. The dock master sent a crew to reduce Heaven’s Bounty to flotsam and collect a little profit selling the debris, yet they failed to accomplish the task. Some did not return, and the ship remains an eyesore, a danger and an irritation.

A drifting corpse isn’t news in Drenchport, but grisly discoveries near the Bounty are on the rise. Victims are turning up lacerated beyond recognition. The fact that they are partially eaten doesn’t surprise veterans of the sea, but others point to Heaven’s Bounty, whispering of the horrors its unexplored hold contains.

Unnatural Wrath (CR 6)
==========
The weather-beaten planks of the Heaven’s Bounty groan as it rests low in the water. The ship is led by a figurehead that is broken and splintered, and the head of the once beautiful maiden depicted in the wood is missing. Remains of the rigging are rotting and hang from a single mast at the ship’s center.

The upper deck of Heaven’s Bounty consists of a main deck (A1), a captain’s quarters (A2) a small galley (A3), storage area (A4) and a crew quarters (A5). A set of stairs descends into the lower deck (A6). Large stairs lead from the main deck to the forecastle and quarterdeck, areas B1 and B2.

Prayers are carved deep into the wood over the entirety of the ship. In some areas, the prayers are scrawled over one another, making for near indecipherable scratching. All of these are written in sylvan. Only the mast is unmarred. If the PCs don’t know sylvan, a successful DC 15 Linguistics check or Knowledge (religion) check can reveal that the prayers are principally to Pharasma and the fey lord, Magdh. They call to the gods of death and fate for respite, and condemn them for their cruelty and betrayal.

The wood of the ship is in an advanced state of disrepair, and many of the doors are warped open. All doors on Heaven’s Bounty are good wooden doors suffering from disrepair (hardness 5, hp 10, break DC 13). Attempts to shut the doors result in them popping open again unless braced. A successful DC 20 Knowledge (engineering) check reveals that the alarming rate of decay is unnatural. The porthole (hardness 5, hp 30, break DC 20) on the upper deck is warped shut.

Adrian Voss’s captain’s log can be found in area A2 with a successful DC 15 Perception check. The pages are damp and stuck together. A successful Linguistics check DC 25 can impart some of the details regarding Heaven’s Bounty, its construction and logs of its cargo over the last few years. The former captain’s belongings are smashed and broken.

The lower deck (area C1 and C2) is flooded calf deep with water stained red with blood and counts as a shallow bog. The walls of the ship are visible through the ghoulish mutilated remains of those Myrial has murdered. The unconscious member of the dock master’s crew is there as well. He and the skeletal remains of the Heaven’s Bounty crew are intricately woven between the beams that make up the hull of the ship (hardness 5, hp 5, break DC 14). It’s here that Myrial will engage the PCs by turning loose two lacedons that rose from the former crew. She does so from behind the secret door, detectable with a successful DC 12 Perception check, though she has warped it shut (break DC 13).

Creatures: The shattered dryad, once bound to the service of Voss, achieved some freedom after his death. When Heaven’s Bounty settled into port, she murdered its crew and began to reflect on her existence. She turned to the fey lords and finally the gods, but her pleas have been unrequited, leaving her in a near suicidal rage. She spends her time below deck, hidden in the smugglers cache (area C2).

Though the PCs are not initially aware of her, she is unfriendly and will attempt to make them leave. She’ll warp wood beneath their feet, or open and close doors at random by manipulating the wood that forms them. A door she chooses to close using warp wood becomes stuck (break DC 13). She’ll also use command and confusion when the PCs seem occupied and not likely to detect her voice. Allow Myrial a Bluff check (opposed by Sense Motive) to conceal her spellcasting. If she fails, PCs can make the normal DC 15 Perception check to hear her voice. Once detected, she threatens to bind them to the ship like her previous victims, forcing them to endure the same suffering she has. If she recognizes any of the PCs as divine casters, she’ll tell them their gods won’t answer them on Heaven’s Bounty. If the PCs attempt to console her, allow them a Diplomacy check (DC 22) to improve Myrial’s attitude. Displays of divine magic make her volatile, conferring a -4 penalty to this check. Myrial wants to be free of the broken consciousness she’s afflicted with. Her grasp on reality is tenuous though and she tips into a murderous rage without much provocation.

If the PCs enter the lower deck without improving her attitude to at least indifferent, she immediately becomes hostile and unleashes the two lacedons she keeps bound within the hull with the rest of her victims. If discovered and engaged in melee, she’ll attack the PCs with a dagger made of a sliver of the mast, the bonded tree she still clings to.

Shattered Dryad CR 4
XP 1,200
hp 21 (R2)

Lacedons (2) CR 1
XP 400 each
hp 13 each (Bestiary 146)

Trap: While the PCs engage the lacedons, Myrial uses structural mishap to break the mast free of the hull, which triggers the flooding ship trap detailed below. She’ll condemn the PCs, accusing them of attempting to enslave her again, and continues using structural mishap to hasten the sinking of Heaven’s Bounty. She’s eager for the sea’s embrace since the gods and fey lords have forsaken her.

Flooding Ship Trap CR 1
Type mechanical; Perception DC 15; Disable Device DC 15
----- Effects -----
Trigger location; Onset Delay 1 round; Reset none
Effect rushing water (targets adjacent to the mast are knocked prone by rushing water, DC 12 Reflex avoids). The ship fills with enough water to sink in 10 rounds (water increases in depth by 1 foot every 2 rounds), though it will take 10 additional rounds for the ship to become completely submerged. Each use of structural mishap by Myrial advances the water by 1 round. When the water is 4 feet deep, treat the lower deck as a deep bog.

Development: Myrial is prepared to die in the ship and fights to the death if she becomes hostile, making every attempt to drag the PCs with her to a watery tomb. If the PCs are successful at improving her attitude and agree to help her, she’ll assist in repairing Heaven’s Bounty on the condition the PCs first order of business is finding a way to restore her as well. If using the downtime rules from Ultimate Campaign, consider the retrievable goods from the Bounty’s hold to be worth 5 points of goods.

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Burning embers glow between the coal-like, smoke wreathed plates that make up this insectile creature’s body.

Emberling CR 2
XP 600
N Small construct
Init +3; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +0
----- Defense -----
AC 14, touch 10, flat-footed 14 (-1 Dex, +4 natural, +1 size)
hp 26 (3d10+10)
Fort +1, Ref +0, Will +1
Defensive Abilities tempered plating; Immune construct traits, fire
----- Offense -----
Speed 20 ft.
Melee bite +5 (1d4+3)
Special Attacks forge spark, bellowing cloud
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 3rd; concentration +3)
Constant—detect magic
----- Statistics -----
Str 14, Dex 9, Con —, Int 2, Wis 11, Cha 6
Base Atk +3; CMB +4; CMD 13 (can’t be tripped)
Feats Blind-Fight, Improved Initiative
Skills Climb +9; Racial Modifiers +4 Climb
----- Ecology -----
Environment any urban
Organization solitary, pair, or colony (3-6)
Treasure standard (combustibles, magic)
----- Special Abilities -----
Bellowing Cloud (Su) As a standard action once per day, an emberling may stoke the fire within its body and surround itself with a cloud of smoke and soot. This effect is similar to obscuring mist except that it has a duration of 3 minutes and creatures within the cloud must make a Fortitude save each round (DC 11, +1 per previous check) or spend that round choking and coughing. A creature that chokes for 2 consecutive rounds takes 1d6 points of nonlethal damage. The save DC is Constitution-based.
Forge Spark (Ex) An emberling’s body erupts in an explosion of sparks when struck. Creatures that damage an emberling while adjacent to it must make a Reflex save (DC 11) or take 1d6 fire damage and become dazzled for 1 round. The save DC is Constitution-based.
Tempered Plating (Ex) Cold damage causes an emberling’s steel-like exterior to cool and harden, granting it hardness 5 and suppressing forge spark for 1d4 rounds. Dousing an emberling with water causes the same effect, though for only 1 round.

Animated by residual magic combining with creosote deposits in the crucibles of Golarion’s busiest forges, an emberling’s body consists of thick layers of carbon-rich plating that house a burning heart as hot as any forge fire. They scuttle across the ground on dozens of legs that resemble metal shavings and are adept at clinging to the walls of the exhaust vents in which they lair.

A newly formed colony of emberlings is content to bask in the heat of the flames that spawned them, though when these fires are doused and the vents begin to cool, they’ll spread across a city in search of new soot stained hearths to occupy. Vaguely aware of the process that formed them, some emberlings instinctively search out magic items to place in their lairs among other combustibles in an effort to create more of their kind. This activity, along with startled chimney sweeps and discontent residents that find they are sharing their home, is one of many reasons for district-wide fires erupting amidst an unsuspecting city populace.

Emberlings are extremely irritable, quick to anger, and attack relentlessly from a cloud of choking smoke and ash when provoked. Where magic arms and armor regularly fall between hammer and anvil, an emberling likely lies in a bed of cinders nearby.

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Groundbreaker Cloak
Aura moderate transmutation; CL 9th
Slot shoulders; Price 22,000 gp; Weight 6 lbs.
Description
This heavy dirt-caked cloak is made from the hide of a bulette, and features a plated dorsal fin that crests between the shoulders. As a standard action, the wearer may dive into the ground, gaining a burrow speed of 20 feet through sand, soil, gravel and stone. While burrowing, the wearer cannot run or charge, and travels along the surface, the exposed dorsal plate visible from above. As the wearer burrows, displaced dirt swells before him and collapses behind him to create difficult terrain in his wake. He has cover from attacks while burrowing, and can choose to make a free combat maneuver check against creatures standing on spaces he burrows through, causing them to fall prone if the check succeeds by 5 or more. Emerging from the ground is a move action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity.

Once per day, the wearer may perform a charge by diving deep into the ground, burrowing in a straight line beneath any obstacles and bursting forth into the air with sudden and extreme ferocity. This use of the cloak does not disturb the terrain as noted above, except where the wearer enters and exits the ground. The wearer ends this movement standing and the target of the charge is considered flat-footed against the attack.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, beast shape III, burrow; Cost 11,000 gp

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As part of a New Year's resolution, I vowed to create something that might have some value to others. Free stuff can still have value, right?

Since I'm a GM that occasionally likes to write stuff, an adventure to make use of the new Bones miniatures seemed like a good place to start.

The Fall of Fairhaven is a Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Compatible Adventure that uses a fair number of miniatures from the Vampire Pledge level rewards from Reaper Miniatures' recent Kickstarter. Rushing to the aid of a small town that finds itself without defenders in the wake of a natural disaster, players will find their mettle tested against those that think Fairhaven is vulnerable.

You can download it at Heroes' Rest.

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I have an idea of a my next character, and would like to hear some opinions on it in terms of feat choice, stat allocation (rolled 12, 12, 12, 14, 16, 16) and such.

The short version of the story is this: my character, who is a rakshasa-born tiefling, has been the victim of a partial lobotomy in an effort to curb his evil base desires. Years later, his infernal blood has manifested in a different way, granting him the powers of a summoner, and an eidolon that is the physical embodiment of the parts of his brain that he no longer has access to.

So how would the effects of a partial lobotomy be represented in the context of the Pathfinder game? Can the victim of a lobotomy still be a player character, and if so, can it still be built to be effective?

Wikipedia had this to say about lobotomies:

“anxiety feelings and introspective activities; and feelings of inadequacy and self-consciousness are thereby lessened. Lobotomy reduces the emotional tension associated with hallucinations and does away with the catatonic state. Because nearly all psychosurgical procedures have undesirable side effects, they are ordinarily resorted to only after all other methods have failed. The less disorganized the personality of the patient, the more obvious are post-operative side effects. ...’

Convulsive seizures are reported as sequelae of prefrontal lobotomy in 5 to 10 percent of all cases. Such seizures are ordinarily well controlled with the usual anti-convulsive drugs. Post-operative blunting of the personality, apathy, and irresponsibility are the rule rather than the exception. Other side effects include distractibility, childishness, facetiousness, lack of tact or discipline, and post operative incontinence.”

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Raw magic is woven into the fabric of any in-game reality, a case made no more evident than in the nature of the sorcerer class. So when Inner Sea Magic re-introduced primal (or wild) magic, a form of magic highlighting the often unpredictable and sometimes dangerous nature of raw magic, I was surprised to see it as a wizard archetype instead of a sorcerer bloodline.

Sorcerers currently have both the Arcane Bloodline, which imitates the studious wizardly way to magic (without the actual studying), and the Protean Bloodline, which favors the chaos part of magic. Separately, I don’t feel either of these work quite well enough to depict a sorcerer’s intimate relationship with the world’s raw arcane energies. So here is a reworking of the primal magic archetype just for sorcerers.

_________________________________________________

Primal Magic Bloodline

Your soul emerged from an arcane crucible, putting the mastery of primal magic just within your reach. You can seem distant at times, as you can feel the arcane fibers that are woven through creation, and while others would only dare tap these primal sources after years of study, you readily test your resolve to forge these unbound energies to your will.

Class Skill: Knowledge (planes).

Bonus Spells: identify (3rd), make whole (5th), dispel magic (7th), dimension door (9th), major creation (11th), disintegrate (13th), spell turning (15th), maze (17th), wish (19th).

Bonus Feats: Combat Casting, Improved Counterspell, Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Toughness, Skill Focus (spellcraft), Spell Penetration, Extend Spell.

Bloodline Arcana: Whenever you apply a metamagic feat to a spell that increases the slot used by at least one level, you receive a +2 bonus to any caster level checks to overcome the target’s spell resistance. This bonus does not stack with itself.

Bloodline Powers: You enjoy a more intimate relationship with the arcane, drawing forth magic in its truest form to mold and shape as needed, sometimes with unforeseeable consequences.

Primal Magic (Su): At 1st level, you may attempt to channel primal magic as a full round action to cast any spell on the sorcerer spell list. Essentially, you are forcing primal magic into the world and attempting to shape it into a specific spell effect. To use this ability, you first must expend a spell slot of the appropriate level, then begin to cast the spell as normal. If the spell is not one of the spells on your list of known spells, you must first make a spellcraft check (DC 20 + the spell’s level). If this check is successful, or if the spell is one that you know, you must then make a concentration check (DC 20 + double the spell’s level). If you fail either of these checks, you expend the spell slot anyway, but its actual effects are replaced by a primal magic event with a CR equal to your caster level and you are staggered for 1 round per level of the spell you were attempting to cast. If you make these checks, you cast the spell normally.
You may use primal magic in this manner once per day. At 5th, 10th, 15th, and 20th, you may use this ability an additional time per day.

Guide Primal Magic Event (Su): At 3rd level, any round after you have triggered a primal magic event, and while the effects of the event still persist, you may use a swift action to increase or decrease its CR by 1. If you make a concentration check (DC 15 + the primal magic event’s CR), you can instead increase or decrease the CR by 2. If you reduce a primal magic event’s CR to less than 1, the event is negated.

Primal Surge (Su): At 9th level, whenever you trigger a primal magic event, you roll the percentile dice twice to determine the event that occurs and choose which one of the two possible events occurs.

Primal Paragon (Su): At 15th level, you become resistant to the effects of primal magic events. Anytime an event would affect you, the GM rolls 1d20 + the event’s CR against a DC of 11 + your sorcerer level. If this roll fails, the event does not affect you. This is similar to a creature with spell resistance ignoring magical effects with an SR check. If the primal magic event is duplicating the effects of a spell that does not allow spell resistance (such as create pit), this resistance does not apply.

Primal Lifeblood (Ex): At 20th level, you are one with the arcana of creation. As long as the ageless veins of magic run throughout the world, so too shall you. You take no penalty to your physical ability scores from advanced age. If you are already taking such penalties, they are removed at this time. You will not die as a result of old age, although other means of death will still prove effective.

_________________________________________________

There it is. The only real changes I made were to adapt the primal magic ability as well as add the extra bloodline spells, feats and arcana. I thought quite a while about how to adapt the primal magic ability and figured that if the wizard archetype effectively removed the wizard’s greatest weakness, then uncapping the sorcerer’s biggest weakness is still in line with what the archetype was doing. In any case, the campaign I play in, which I adapted this for, is a high level, highly empowered game where a bloodline like this won’t necessarily be overshadowing anyone.

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I am reviewing Ultimate Combat and am reasonably happy with the direction the new cleric archetypes are heading. On that note, I immediately wanted to modify one of them: the crusader.

If you don’t have the book yet, the crusader takes on reduced spellcasting (only 1 domain, and 1 less spell per spell level) and gets bonus feats at 1st, 5th, 10th, 15th and 20th. These feats can be used on armor and shield feats as well as various weapon feats, most of which are limited to the deitie’s favored weapon. The crusader also gets an ability at 8th level that allows him to spread non-harmful touch spells to everyone he can touch at the time of casting for the spell and a spell slot 3 levels higher.

I am wondering if it would be unbalancing to replace the feats with other combat style feats, archery feats in particular (although I see little reason why other thematic feat trees could not be developed around this swap idea.) Instead of the armor, shield and weapon feats, I would use a feat guide similar to the ranger, or the zen archer archetype. At 1st level: Far Shot, Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, and Rapid Shot. At 6th level: Improved Precise Shot and Manyshot. At 10th level: Pinpoint Targeting and Shot on the Run. This list would have to be modified for the levels at which the crusader gets his bonus feats, and new archery feats from Ultimate Combat could be added as well.

I have little experience with playing archers or with archers playing in my games and would like to read your ideas on the matter.