It overcomes Dr magic and nothing else. +3 also lets you get by cold iron and silver, +4 for adamantine, and +5 for alignment. Dr slashing/bludgeoning/piercing/- and probably some others I'm forgetting still apply regardless of +s if the condition isn't met or they lack an ability to nullify Dr in general like a paladin's smite.
Immersion would be an issue. Having characters from other media being present would break immersion pretty hard for me if I weren't paying in that setting. The cast from LOTR just showing up to be there in a campaign would just be strange to me and really add nothing more than fanservice. Such a thing would torpedo a lot of interest I'd have in continuing a game.
Conscription can take a few forms. Our DM used the chinese conscription system for a reworked Jade Regent game. A term of service was required from an able bodied member of the family, can volunteer so selection is random for your family, and special circumstances are accepted (one character was entering into the army as a means of getting out of a jail sentence and did so in place of a family whose only son recently died). It can very muc not be just grabbing people wholesale.
I know that this is necroing but the thread has good ideas that I wanted to add to. Our DM was quite disappointed by the fact that the first 3 books were not set in the country so what he's doing is having us play through the country before the fall. He looked at the state of the country in the later books and has built the early adventure off of how he thinks the situation could have led to that. Naturally this means the potential of a fair bit of rewriting later depending on how the PCs may influence the "past" of the AP. We're currently doing the ruby phoenix tournament as a means to earn our way back to the living world after traveling the underworld for an equivalent of 25 living years as a time skip but we've gotten glimpses of what our past actions enabled for the present compared to what he revealed about the original book.
I've had issues with this because the last time I played a pally it turned into "wait until he turned around for torture" for a while which sucks. There's a give and take on both sides, not just the paladins which ties into deciding if this adventure/party is appropriate for the class. It feels like people expect the paladin player to bend way more often in my experience though.
My group had a blast up until the last book. It wasn't a matter of her not being well foreshadowed as the DM tried to compensate it's just that it went from (mostly) being a game pitting our up and coming kingdom against the politics and threats of the new area and how the world reacted to our handling of that to "here's nothing but combat and the definitely final dungeon" It became unsatisfying, we didn't like it, our DM didn't like it (as he preferred RP over combat if it seemed reasonable) and we decided to retcon the thrashing of Pitax as the close. If we ever do return, and we've been asking him to consider it, it'll likely be having to answer for the more unusual choices we made over the game and then dealing with the wrath of Surtova.
I really second the need for healing. As the Ap goes on, when they PCs get hit, they are getting hit HARD. Their current greatest fear is the cleric going down because that means at best they have 3 rounds of hell to try and get through and the monsters are more than capable to taking down at least one of them a round without the healing.
My first thought is that they seem to be all damage, no healing (alch gets some, but given what you wrote I wouldn't figure it to be a major focus) so if the tides turns sharply they don't have much to gain back traction. I don't see anything I'd lay squarely at your feet, they charged in and paid the price for that. You've got a melee heavy party and that is a weakness open to be used against them. You mention other things that they feel imperiled by, can you give more there? This just really looks like the "if it could go wrong it did" type of situation. That said, it could also be a wake up call to diversify some of their tactics since later on it's specifically stated that the enemies should have a good idea what they can typically do and will prepare for that.
Nick has greenlit book 4 and I very doubt they would allow it to go that far. While they give them some latitude, they are still a kid's network.
EDIT: I'd also be really disappointed in the crew for that direction, in the longshot it's touched on. They've been great at showing that disability =/= ineffective or unable to live well and that idea seems a complete 180.
I'll definitely say that mythic gives way more oomph to melee than casters from what I've seen. Casters do get spells that deal craploads of damage or override immunities, but a lot of that is tied to mythic power and that can be depleted rather quickly while melee doesn't need to spend a whole lot.
I completely missed that the woundwyrm was in the document. Definitely would have made for a more interesting fight. May use the rift idea for the Umbral dragon in book 4. Book 3's been a bit lackluster with the hex exploration but I think book 4 will spice it up more than enough.
Alsoreworking moonscar into a chaotic hold for the paradox manuscript to give it a bit more significance to the party and also a stress test to see where the CR should be roughly ballparked on out. Definitely hold to the idea that each tier is basically a level for the pcs.
Typically only creatures that get an alignment subtype can have natural attacks be treated as that alignment for purposes of damage reduction. PCs don't bypass Dr based on their alignment either.
Amulet of mighty fists is one way to do it. You can go for the plusses or take an alignment based enhancement on it.
Even low tiers I would honestly say that a single tier is equal to about a 1 level increase. You can start to do some really crazy stuff, though you are limited by mythic power for some. Assuming you are playing with others, I would not. Depending on what you took you could easily dominate a fight without expending anything. If you are playing a solo game (you have a main PC an some npcs to control while the dm runs) that'd be up to what the gm wants, but if you're playing in an actual group I feel it would be unfair to the others at the table.
Color spray is in no way affected by maximize, are you thinking mythic?
The save is the big one. Remember the surge die especially if it's targeting a particularly weak save. Later they're going to be pretty infamous among their enemies so spell immunity for the ones they use often would not be out of hand.
I don't think so, just need to focus on what you want to get out of it. The main point seems to be to help cement Areelu as threat and big villain since not much is made of her outside of historical knowledge. You can have NPCs explain the threat given that there are materials that mention her by name the pcs can find, but it violates to some extent the principal of show don't tell. I personally would go for the days leading up to the cataclysm. Kenabres despite being the place the first stone was erected doesn't seem to have too much interesting in history (you have the events that set off the 2nd and third(?) crusades, but getting into those would drag it some IMO).
Maybe have them flash to Sarkoris in its heyday, maybe a festival of some sort but also somewhat intangible. I'd try to give it the flavor of more a lucid dream. They have some RP during this time get to know the people and then they find themselves further forward. Whispers of witches and demon cults are growing, but overall most aren't paying too much attention. They want to focus on preparing for Aroden's return in the coming months. Then the last jump, panic in the streets and soldiers are rushing to where the worldwound will open. You could run a combat here an display Areelu's power without worrying about smashing the pcs (she had ascended to a half -succubus prior to opening the wound) it would make sense for her to target the npc "allies' because the PCs aren't really here. They can engage and strike down the rank and file cultists but an apparition of someone from that time rushed from their "body" showing it's more them acting in the place of others. It goes on for a while before all hell breaks loose.
If you're wanting to stick to canon it'd be very difficult. They weren't erected until the second crusade and Vorlesh was the one who opened the worldwound. She'd be a big deal well before the wardstone was around. To keep that I'd probably have an interlude where Iomedae (or another patron for the party) lets them glimpse back to the time before Sarkoris was torn asunder to see all that was lost. Not sure exactly how it was, but a bit of the glory days, back when they thought Aroden would return to lead humanity into the golden age and then everything goes wrong.
Seannos do you have access to faiths of purity? Iomedae is painted far more moderate and diplomatic in that that what you're pointing out. I reread it to be sure and a large onus is on justice and never willingly committing an injustice and recompensing it threefold if done in error.
And again the oath specifies evil and malicious, I can understand the player wanting to do the fall and redemption arc (though the fact you mention they typically play flirting with evil me a "have your cake and eat it too" vibe).
Depending on how you want to run it, you could make use of the capstone power from the old Inheritor's crusader.
Sword Against Injustice (Su)
At 3rd level, a crusader may use his power to judge the guilty and absolve the innocent. As a standard action he may announce he is bringing divine judgment upon a target who is accused of a crime, lie, or other affront to justice; the crusader makes a melee attack with his sword against the target as part of this judgment. If the target is innocent of what he is accused, the attack stops just short of striking him, as if hitting an invisible wall; if the target is guilty, the attack automatically hits with a flash of white light.
This attack requires no attack roll and cannot critically hit. If the target is protected by an effect that inhibits divinations (such as mind blank), the attack bounces off the target with an unpleasant metallic hiss, like quenching a red-hot blade in water. The crusader may use this ability once per day; each additional use beyond the first drains him, causing him to become fatigued. He cannot use this class ability if he is exhausted. He may expend a use of channel energy or lay on hands while activating this ability to prevent fatigue. Sometimes people wrongly accused of great crimes beg for the intercession of an Inheritor’s crusader, knowing this power will exonerate them.
I don't think he can enter the forbiddance around where she's holed up if I remember the spell correctly. The oath is also heavy on that it applies to malicious and evil outsiders which she doesn't really qualify as at that point (subtype issue aside). They give a pretty solid bit of headway that she's looking for redemption by her cell, unless he thinks desna is evil loving so in the event he does I'd say repercussions are in order.
Edit, misremembered forbiddance but he'll be taking constant damage in it since it's keyed to chaotic and good.
Iomedae explicitly gives them tools to enable them to redeem the fallen and also asks them when one should extend their hand to the enemy instead of the sword at certain points.She is rigid but does not dust off redemption though not to the level of sarenarae. If the player has RPd well, there shouldn't be an issue.
I don't really see anything disqualifying him. The darkest aspect is what his father did, and I really don't think she'd apply that to him. AS far as I recall she has no inclination against tieflings, so i really do not know why you see this as a roadblock. The tiefling is no more innately drawn to evil than aasimar do good. They have tendencies but lack the subtype so there's nothing that innately taints him. Iomedae value honor, valor, protecting one's fellow with your life, etc. if he's been playing a rocking paladin, I can't see the race factoring in.