It breaks down into about four parts.
Part one involves learning of the shadow fey problem as they take over Zobeck which you can switch with a city of your choice.
Part two is the shortest and involves making the journey through the shadow road to the courts of the shadow fey.
Part three involves the PC's arrival at the court and their slow rise in status through dueling and alliances.
Part four involves the feast, the firebird chase and petitioning the queen.
The final section which is an extension of the previous one involves confronting the Moonlit King.
Some parts can be left out relatively easily, but part three can be rather time-consuming as it may take some trial and error as the PCs get caught up in courtly intrigue and try to raise their status enough to gain an audience with the queen.
It's easy enough to adjust the CR by adding more creatures. The main problem with using it in Kingmaker without dropping another book entirely is that it's not a one-shot. It's a rather involved sandbox which can take up quite a bit of time. At a weekly, then bi-weekly pace, I think it took me about 18 months to run the adventure in its entirety, but I did not skip anything and ran every possible scenario involved.
A good GM could probably speed it up by changing the status rewards/penalties, but it will take some work to modify.
My order for the Demon Cults & Secret Societies (PFRPG) book is showing "unknown time frame". If this means it is not in stock, I will need to cancel my order as it will not be restocked any time soon. Of course, if it is in stock, I very much would like the order filled, I'm just confused by the "unknown" expectation.
After several delays due to one player being unavailable during the Fall, we finally finished book three. All in all, I have to say it was a pretty epic adventure and one that I really enjoyed running.
I ran it as part of our ongoing campaign, so I added a couple of things.
1) Our Pathfinder Society plot hook was centered around going to Nirmathas to find Canayvan Heidmarch, only to discover that he had been captured by the Ironfang Invasion. He was held captive in Kosseruk's camp, so the PCs would have the opportunity to rescue him at the end.
2) Qa'al the gunslinger (from book two) was responsible for capturing Heidmarch and delivering him to the legion. He then began stalking the PCs and had a few encounters with them throughout the adventure, culminating in a final battle on day two of the assault on Longshadow.
3) Ibzariak, the black dragon, escaped from the rangers and headed north to Kassen to get away from the battle and lick his wounds. This gave the PCs the chance to encounter the dragon (as we did not run book two).
4) Since there is a Council of Wyrms in the Fangwood, we added Svannost the Just, a bronze dragon, in the Mindspin Mountains to the east of Longshadow. The PCs made a trip to visit him and ask for help protecting Longshadow. This gave him the chance to make a dramatic appearance on day two of the assault on Longshadow.
Great adventure. Feel free to borrow my ideas to add to your own.
Peace out, Ironfang thread.
I think maybe it runs on the "easy-ish" side, in that the players usually win every individual combat which keeps the continuing damage from building up.
Really, it comes down to how well the PCs weakened the Ironfang Legion in the preceding events of the book. They could potentially have destroyed close to 75% of the assault units before the invasion begins. My group weakened a few teams, but did the best by sabotaging the siege weapons which backfired during the assault.
Errant Mercenary wrote:
Is the Defense Points system robust? Is is a cake walk, whats the difficulty like?
It's fairly simple. It's made to serve as an abstraction of mass combat. Rather than running battles between units, events subtract from the city's defense points. They earned points by reinforcing defenses before the assault and every turn of the assault subtracts from that total. Whatever final number the city is left with determines the outcome of the battle.
Anguish, freaking 5e is what derailed Legendary Planet. I'm a backer as well and everything was fine with it until the 5e license came out in the middle of the kickstarter and then suddenly everything was doubled.
What are you complaining about anyway. I doubt you've played the available adventures and have been sitting and waiting to run To Kill a Star. I don't want a rushed product anyway. I want quality.
I've been running the assault section of the adventure over the past few sessions. My advice would be for GMs to have a visual aid for Longshadow. I spent the time to draw my own map for the table, but a copy or print out of the Longshadow map page from the module would work fine.
I've switched to using pogs to represent groups and actions in the city during the assault. The props help the players really visualize everything going on.
As for healing between turns, you just use one turn to let your players heal. During that time, their Defense Points will drop based on whatever ongoing attrition is at play during the turn.
If I were using the second edition rules, I would not change this. The players need to use turns healing or relocating throughout the city or else their Defense Points don't really drop enough to keep them on their toes.
My players managed to blend in with the cult pretty well
by imitating the crazy stuff Junglan was shouting earlier about "Zandalus sees!" and the like. The tiefling almost ruined it for everyone, because he started to headbutt Dr.Elbourne when he first walked up through the crowd, thinking he might be Zandalus.
Fortunately for the party, the other players protested, and he immediately relented. They would have had to fight off the other culties and I had the mat pretty filled in with pawns.
They made their way through the kitchen and past the haunt. The three encounters with ghouls were an unexpected meat grinder and a welcome ramp up in the pacing. The collapsing wall trick caught them completely off-guard.
For the finale, they cut through Zandalus in a few rounds, so he wasn't exactly a cakewalk, but they were caught off guard when the Tatterman emerged a few rounds later. They were, of course, looting Zandalus and the room, as good player characters do.
Emerging from the smoke, the Tatterman five foot steps above their heads to take advantage of the higher ground +1 advantage.
The bloodmage failed one of her saves against the aura and presence and immediately started fleeing. The investigator, tiefling occultist and then Winter began taking shots at the thing. I had Winter prep two soothing words to help the PCs with conditions, so she helped the bloodrager shift down from frightened to staggered.
It took them a couple rounds to figure out the Tatterman had DR and regeneration. Then the investigator remembered the silversheen and immediately applied it to the bloodrager and occultist's big hammers, respectively.
The unfortunate thing was that the occultist was pretty banged up and went down in a couple more rounds. I played up the whole horror aspect by having the Tatterman whisper "Soon" through gritted teeth. Then, he leaned in to grasp the occultist by the horns, and his taunt became a gleeful "Now".
The Tatterman performed a coup de grace on the occultist by slitting his throat with his razor. Note: This was our only death of the first book, although we had several close calls. One time, the players were literally carrying the occultist and running into the chapel to have Winter heal him, with his damage hitting negative constitution in one more round.
Winter managed to score crits on the Tatterman with a light crossbow, twice. Note: I figured she'd grab a decent ranged weapon and added this to her gear. I had been playing up that before joining the group, she was continuously looking for ways out of the fog and running into monsters or misdirection.
The bloodrager dropped the Tatterman with a solid hit from her silvershen coated +1 Apocalypse Hammer. Winter immediately casts gentle repose on the dead tiefling as he was too far gone for her healing abilities at that point. I kept her occupied with this, so that she would not use her deathwatch on the Tatterman.
I know this is a cheat, but I did not want her to spoil the surprise of his return, when the Tatterman rose again as a Nightmare Creature and attacked the group once more. I switched pawns at this point from the Tatterman to the Nightmare Creature pawn from Bestiary 4 and it worked pretty well.
The PCs resume the fight and take the Tatterman down quickly at this point with the Bloodrager swinging with all her might. It was a good final encounter and I think it made for a good ending to an overall memorable and engaging module.
If a GM wants to extend the Tatterman encounter, or make it nasty, you can take advantage of his flying by having the Tatterman move away. He'll regenerate and can use his ranged abilities on the PCs as they scramble to keep up with him.
I ran it with the Tatterman just lurching forward and swinging with a mechanical, repetitive grace, almost like he was conducting a symphony with each swing and taking delight in taunting the PCs. I did add the claw attack as part of the full attack, as mentioned earlier in this thread.
I'd say that Wes did a stellar job writing In Search of Sanity and it should rank as one of the great modules of all time. I had a lot of fun running it and the players all enjoyed it.
Name: Malon Thrice-borne
In Search of Sanity
The PCs made it past Zandalus with little difficulty, but it took them several rounds to figure out they could use the silversheen to bypass the Tatterman's DR. By that time, they were pretty beat up. The Occultist and bloodrager flanked the Tatterman with their war hammers and tried to bring him down. The Occultist was dropped by a war razor slash. In most games, I might have the villain turn and confront a standing opponent, but this is the Tatterman. His whispered promise of "soon" became "Now" as he leaned in with a coup-de-grace to slit the tiefling's throat.
Winter cast gentle repose on the corpse in the hopes that they might bring him back, but for now, he is dead.
I'm loving playing through the Secrets of Sir Roderick's Cove now! So, I too am quite thankful for it. If the rest of the adventure path is this fun, this might be my new favorite.
The Kingmaker CRPG is the best dungeon crawler in ages! I absolutely love it and it's tough as heck! I love the challenge, which makes it even more fun.
"Wealth by Level, m***** f*****, do you use it!" or How to Account for Artifacts vs WBL in High Fantasy games?
Thank you for the excellent responses so far.
It seems excessive, but I've found a range that I'm comfortable with and I feel I can still balance encounters to come out as planned. My PCs are using mythic rules and we often have long stretches where they advance on the slow track, so this has resulted in a lot of loot in the campaign. I slow it down from time to time and whenever they hit the medium advancement track, they tend to catch up.
Things were fine until they wanted to start crafting everything.
"Wealth by Level, m***** f*****, do you use it!" or How to Account for Artifacts vs WBL in High Fantasy games?
I've told my players to stop crafting if they are over WBL+2. This has become a point of contention among the group as several of them have powerful artifacts.
How do other GMs reconcile WBL vs crafting and WBL vs having major artifacts in the campaign?
I've basically told them that they cannot have both.
I don't know if they released any face cards for Kingmaker. If they did, they must be hidden in the Friends & Foes deck. That set is long sold out, though. I do enjoy using facecards whenever possible, especially when running Pathfinder Society missions. Having a face to go with the name really gives the players a clear understanding of the NPCs.
If you want to use face cards for Kingmaker, I'd suggest just using whichever card best approximate the characters you want to represent. As long as you're consistent, it doesn't matter whether or not it's an official card for that character.