Don't Set Out To Start an Adventure, Set Out To Finish
A character may make a joke. A character may not be a joke.
I am looking for players who are knowledgeable, somewhat experienced and most important able to see it through to the end. I will be basing character selections based off of Posting history, Crunch and Backstory. I’m starting this recruitment because I want to test my skills in a shorter and faster paced game than in an AP. I’m also doing this because I want to give new PbP players a chance to get in a game which can be preparatory for players hoping to join the best games on these boards (which usually involve high posting rate). New players are the lifeblood of our game, and I firmly believe is our duty to work in order to get them involved and transform them into good PbP players. Of course, I’m willing to commit to your same posting rate, even higher if needed, and I expect my players to do the same.
Before you start creating your character, please take note of the following suggestions.
First of all, you may want to start from reading instead of writing. As a DM, I value player’s knowledge and tend to prize those players who are able to come up with interesting character ideas which are tied to the campaign setting and to the adventure I’m going to run. This means that if you manage to acquire a good knowledge of the setting of this adventure, your PCs is likely to reflect that, implying a higher chance of being recruited for you. Take your time, read and think about what you’ve read before getting to work on character creation.
Read the guides - If you’re a PbP beginner or you just haven’t done it yet, please read the excellent guide written by Doomed Hero about PbP gaming. If you’ve already read this guide, there’s another excellent guide expanding DH’s guide you might want to read:Painlord's Advanced Play by Post Play. Even if you feel you already know a lot about PbP, these guides are going to help you out for sure if you haven't read them yet, no matter how much good you are at PbP. There's always something to be learned, and these guides are the perfect mentors for any PbP player.
Ability Scores – 20 point buy.
Hit Point Generation System – Maximized hp at 1st level, then half your HD +1 (e.g., 1d6=3+1; 1d8=4+1; 1d10=5+1; 1d12=6+1).
Alignment restrictions – Non-evil characters only. Good alignment recommended but not necessary.
Traits – 2 traits, no drawbacks for a third
Legal sources – All Paizo, No 3PP
Race restrictions Most races published by Paizo are acceptable, but know that more common races are likely to be looked at first. I'm trying to avoid a party full of rarities, but if you impress me with your app, almost any race is possible. Races that are a flat "no" right from the get go are things like androids, drow nobles, kasatha, and wyrwoods.
Classes Much like races, most Paizo published classes and their archetypes are up for grabs. Unchained classes are allowed (and are the only summoners I'll even consider). Due to my dislike of guns and modding APs to include them, gunslingers are out, and due to alignment restrictions paladins and monks are also off the table. As a side note, those are not allowed.
Guns and Technology None. No guns, no tech. That means no archetypes, classes, races, items, anything that is at all related to advanced technology.
No Anime I don't watch or like anime, but I can sniff out most of those all too popular anime-based characters. Please steer clear of those tropes entirely. If I smell them, I'll overlook your character in favor of another.
Yes I made a seperate section just for posting. It's that important! I'm going to hold you to the same standard as I hold myself: I expect you to post as often as is needed, adjusting to the pace of the group as set by me. I plan to post at least once per day on weekdays. When you do post I expect you to push the action/story/RP or leave/pick up RP hooks. If our pacing changes to the point of negatively impacting your ability to keep up, I hope and expect you to talk to me earlier rather than later. I promise to do the same if our positions are reversed
Roleplay What I love about PBP is the ample opportunities for roleplay and character development, and this AP plays right into that. I expect players to build relationships with the other PCs, NPCs, and even their environment. It shouldn't be up to me to push your characters along! It is expected that you roleplay out your combat unless you're in a time crunch (ie, at work). Just tag it with an ooc comment that says "work" or whatever else to let us know what's up.
Rolls Passive rolls will be handled by me, but if you are looking for something specific, you roll it.
Combat I will roll everyones initiative and put you all in order like so.
Player 1 and 2 are up
Either player 1 or 2 may go.
Delaying actions will not be allowed. It is a pain in the ass to keep track of changing initiatives
Please do not turn my recruitment thread into a roleplay tavern!
Same Team APs go better when the party is willing to work together. This means that creating enemies within the PC group is a bad idea, and that playing the "lone wolf" is just as bad. Don't get me wrong, all your characters don't have to be friends. Nothing wrong with a good rivalry (like Gimli and Legolas!) but at end of the day, the goals are the same. And I hate lone wolf syndrome.
If you cannot post within a 24 hr. period, please let me know so I can bot you along.
Rules Disagreements These never happen right? As a rule, I tend to play RAI rather than RAW. There will be exceptions of course and we can't always tell what RAI is supposed to be. More importantly, I may change a rule now and then for the story. The story is what is important, the story that the players and I are writing together. If the story conflicts with a rule now and then, I'm likely to modify or ignore the rule for that instance. However, the rules are there so we all know what to expect out of the environment, so it will not happen with any frequency.
(3)CLW potions each (1d8+3)
(2)CMW potion (2d8+6)
Potion of magic weapon (1)
Vial anti-toxin (1)
Everfull Mug (3/day 12 ounces of fine beer or wine)
Blank Map book (waterproof)
Silk 50 ft.(1)
Grapple hook or Grapple arrow/bolt (1)
Start with 150 gp.
Default perception which assumes you are always taking 5 on Perception unless you specifically say otherwise.
You may take the Favored Class Bonus from any race.
There are no prerequisites for Prestige Classes i.e. You may enter them at first level'
All classes except Int based casters receive 4 Skills/Level, in addition we use consolidated skills
For each negative level, -1 to any d20 roll, -1 to level-dependent class features, and -5 HP.
Wands and potions always grant the average amount of HP.
A character who dies comes back with a negative trait(Chosen by me)This can be removed with DM Fiat. A character is dead when they reach negative con + level
Chainmail bikinis grant an armor bonus equal to the wearer's Charisma bonus, plus any relevant enhancement bonuses.
Automatic Bonus Progression: In order to face the dangers of the game, characters in the Pathfinder RPG normally need items that grant bonuses to their statistics. With this variant, characters instead gain those bonuses automatically as they increase in level, allowing them to use magic item slots for more interesting items.
All characters gain the abilities listed on the table below when they reach the appropriate level. Decrease character wealth by level to half the normal amount. The automatic bonuses are often more beneficial than that reduction in wealth, but characters have less flexibility, so the advantages and disadvantages balance out. Items that only grant bonuses to AC, saving throws, and ability scores don't exist in this variant, and wish and similar spells never grant inherent bonuses to ability scores. Magic weapons and armor do exist, but grant only special abilities, not enhancement bonuses; calculate their prices with the table below.
Armor Attunement: The character can attune herself to one suit of armor or one shield in her possession; she can change that attunement once per day. If she selects a normal set of clothing as her armor, it counts as having a starting enhancement bonus of +0. The attuned suit of armor gains a +1 enhancement bonus at 4th level. At 8th level, she can split her attunement between a suit of armor and a shield, granting each a +1 enhancement bonus. At 9th level, she can grant a suit of armor or a shield a +2 enhancement bonus (instead of granting each a +1 enhancement bonus). At 14th level, she can either grant a suit of armor or a shield a +3 enhancement bonus or grant each a +2 enhancement bonus. At 15th level, she can either grant a suit of armor or a shield a +4 enhancement bonus or grant both a +3 enhancement bonus. At 17th level, she can either grant a suit of armor or a shield a +5 enhancement bonus or grant one a +4 enhancement bonus and the other a +3 enhancement bonus.
Deflection The character gains a +1 deflection bonus to AC at 5th level; this bonus increases to +2 at 10th level, to +3 at 16th level, to +4 at 17th level, and to +5 at 18th level.
Legendary Gifts: The character gains three legendary gifts at 19th level and five more at 20th level. (If you're using the variant with no magic treasure, characters gain seven more legendary gifts when their effective level reaches 21 and eight more when it reaches 22.) Select these legendary gifts from the following list.
Legendary Ability: Gain a +1 inherent bonus to any ability score. You can select this legendary gift multiple times, and it stacks up to +5 in any one ability score.
Legendary Armor: Your enhancement bonus from armor attunement increases by 2. If you are attuned to a suit of armor and a shield, you can either increase both bonuses by 1 or increase one bonus by 2. The enhancement bonus on a single attuned item can't exceed +5, but you can use the excess to add special abilities to the armor or shield (see Magic Weapons and Armor). You can select this legendary gift multiple times; it stacks up to +10 on any one suit of armor or shield.
Legendary Body: Increase your bonuses from physical prowess to +6/+6/+4. This counts as two legendary gifts.
Legendary Body 2: Increase your bonuses from physical prowess to +6/+6/+6. You must already have legendary body to select this legendary gift.
Legendary Mind: Increase your bonuses from mental prowess to +6/+6/+4. This counts as two legendary gifts.
Legendary Mind 2: Increase your bonuses from mental prowess to +6/+6/+6. You must already have legendary mind to select this legendary gift.
Legendary Shieldmaster: Gain a +5 enhancement bonus from armor attunement for both your armor and your shield. You can select this legendary gift multiple times, choosing a different attuned suit of armor or shield each time.
Legendary Twin Weapons: Gain a +5 enhancement bonus from weapon attunement for two weapons at the same time. This counts as two legendary gifts. You can select this legendary gift multiple times, adding an additional attuned weapon with a +5 enhancement bonus each time.
Legendary Weapon: Your enhancement bonus from weapon attunement increases by 1. If you are attuned to more than one weapon, you can increase only one weapon's enhancement bonus in this way. The enhancement bonus on a single weapon can't exceed +5, but you can use the excess to add magic abilities to weapons (see Magic Weapons and Armor). You can select this legendary gift multiple times, and it stacks up to +10 for any one weapon.
Mental Prowess At 6th level, the character chooses one mental ability score (Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma) to gain a permanent +2 enhancement bonus. At 11th level, this bonus increases to +4. At 13th level, the character chooses a second mental ability score to gain a permanent +2 enhancement bonus. At 15th level, the character increases one of these enhancement bonuses by 2. At 17th level, she chooses a third mental ability score to gain a permanent +2 enhancement bonus.
Physical Prowess At 7th level, the character chooses one physical ability score (Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution) to gain a permanent +2 enhancement bonus. At 12th level, this bonus increases to +4. At 13th level, the character chooses a second physical ability score to gain a permanent +2 enhancement bonus. At 16th level, the character increases one of these enhancement bonuses by 2. At 17th level, she chooses a third physical ability score to gain a permanent +2 enhancement bonus.
Resistance: At 3rd level, the character gains a +1 resistance bonus on all saving throws. This bonus increases to +2 at 8th level, to +3 at 10th level, to +4 at 13th level, and to +5 at 14th level.
Toughening: At 8th level, the character gains a +1 enhancement bonus to natural armor. This bonus increases to +2 at 13th level, to +3 at 16th level, to +4 at 17th level, and to +5 at 18th level.
Weapon Attunement: The character can attune herself to any one weapon in her possession, and can change that attunement once per day. The attuned weapon gains a +1 enhancement bonus at 4th level. At 8th level, the character can split her attunement between two weapons, granting each a +1 enhancement bonus. At 9th level, she can grant a single weapon a +2 enhancement bonus instead of granting two weapons a +1 enhancement bonus each. At 14th level, she can either grant a single weapon a +3 enhancement bonus or grant two weapons a +2 enhancement bonus each. At 15th level, she can either grant a single weapon a +4 enhancement bonus or grant two weapons a +3 enhancement bonus each. At 17th level, she can either grant a single weapon a +5 enhancement bonus or grant one weapon a +4 enhancement bonus and another weapon a +3 enhancement bonus.
Magic Weapons and Armor: In this system, magic weapons, armor, and shields never have enhancement bonuses of their own; those bonuses are granted only through attunement. Any weapon, armor, or shield special abilities on attuned items count against a character's enhancement bonus from attunement. To determine an attuned magic item's enhancement bonus, subtract the cost of its special ability from the enhancement bonus granted by attunement. (This applies only to special abilities whose cost is equivalent to an enhancement bonus, not to those that cost a flat amount of gold pieces.) For example, if a character with a +3 enhancement bonus from weapon attunement wields a keen scimitar, she subtracts 1 point of her enhancement bonus (for the cost of keen), leaving her with a +2 keen scimitar. If a character doesn't have enough of an enhancement bonus to afford the special ability (such as a 4th-level character with a vorpal longsword), she can still use the weapon's power on its own, but the weapon gains no enhancement bonus.
In this system, adding bonus-equivalent special abilities to items costs significantly less because you are paying only for the special ability, not for a base enhancement bonus (see the table below). To determine the price of specific weapons and armor, remove the flat enhancement bonus and reduce the item's cost by the amount listed on the table below. For example, a flame tongue is normally worth 20,715 gp, but under this system, it would lose its +1 enhancement bonus and its price would be reduced to 18,715 gp. Specific weapons and armor can be attuned; they then grant the character's enhancement bonuses from weapon attunement and armor attunement as normal.
Base Price Modifier
Bravery grants +1 Will instead of +1 fear resist.
If you are using Two-Weapon Fighting, you must take your attacks in pairs (one primary, one off-hand) when possible, unless you also have the Improved Two-Weapon Fighting feat.
The three feats, Power Attack, Deadly Aim and Combat Expertise are no longer feats but combat 'options' that any character, NPC or monster may use at any time they choose. Characters count as having these feats for the purpose of qualifying for other feats and abilities.
The feats Weapon Finesse and Piranha Strike no longer exists and any character, NPC or monster may use their dexterity modifier in place of their strength modifier with any 'finessable' weapon. Characters count as having these feats for the purpose of qualifying for other feats and abilities.
The feats Two-Weapon Fighting and Vital Strike automatically upgrade into their Improved and Greater versions when the requisite BAB and DEX score is reached, they count as themselves AND the Improved and Greater versions once the requisite BAB is reached for the purpose of qualifying for other feats and abilities.
ANY Improved Combat Maneuver feat now automatically scales into it's Greater version when the BAB prerequisites are reached and counts as both feats for other prerequisites. Performing combat maneuvers now only provoke AoO's from a failed combat maneuver attempt.
There is no exotic weapon category, instead they are considered a martial weapon
Detect Magic does not detect illusions or abjurations.
Protection from Evil/Magic circle spells work like the Light vs. Darkness spells i.e. Pro evil(First level Spell prevents Charm Person, Magic Circle prevents Suggestion).
The Heighten Spell Metamagic feat is a freebie for casters.
Creatures taking damage from a Dazing spell are also dazed for 1 round. If the spell allows a saving throw, a successful save negates the daze effect. If the spell does not allow a save, the target can attempt a Will save (DC 10 + level of the spell + your Cha./Int modifier) to negate the daze effect. If the spell effect also causes the creature to become dazed, the duration of this metamagic effect is added to the duration of the spell. A dazing spell uses up a spell slot two levels higher than the spell’s actual level.
Dazing is a mind affecting effect. And therefore creatures like undead are immune. Once a creature has been affected by Dazing every round after the first it can make a Will save to act normally for that round. If the creature is subject to continuous damage (Ball Lightning for example) it receives a -2 penalty to its Will save to act normally for the round Dazing Spell is included in things that have immunity to stun, paralyze.
The Selective Channel feat is a freebie for Divine casters.
Clerics may choose any two domains they wish so long as they are appropriate for their god.
Breath of Life is called Cure Deadly Wounds; classes that automatically receive Cure spells also receive Breath of Life, and it can be spont-cast by clerics as if it were a Cure spell.
Spells(and abilities duplicating the effects of spells) with the [scrying] or [teleportation] descriptor cannot penetrate to an area that is entirely enclosed by more than 1 ft. of solid stone, 3 ft. of earth, an inch of metal, and/or a thin coating of lead. This guideline, provides a rationale for both castles and dungeons.
When you roll a 20 on an attack roll your attack always hits and deals double damage this is a critical hit.
Higher than x2 crit multiplier
"Focused Skill Trait: Gain +2 [insert skill]"
Combat feats like Weapon Focus now apply to weapon groups instead of a specific weapon by default. Pathfinder frequently forces a player to invest heavily in a single weapon. For instance, two-weapon fighting rogues are stuck with mirrored weapons so their Weapon Finesse and Weapon Focus benefits apply to both their attacks. Expanding these feats to cover the weapon groups mentioned under the fighter’s Weapon Training would make things much more flexible. We might finally see a samurai wielding a daisho.
Agile Maneuvers:A character adds their dexterity to the CMB if they’re wielding a finesse weapon and their strength otherwise. This goes hand and hand with the previous change. Making combat maneuvers more accessible will be a recurring theme.
Toughness now includes Endurance and Die Hard
Improved Trip, Improved Disarm, Improved Dirty Trick, Improved Feint, Improved Reposition, Improved Steal
Replaced with Deft Maneuvers: You do not provoke an attack of opportunity when performing a trip, disarm, dirty trick, feint, reposition, or steal combat maneuver. In addition, you receive a +2 bonus on checks with these combat maneuvers. Now a prerequisite for the relevant greater combat maneuver feats.
Why is it so hard to pull off combat maneuvers in this game? It seems like you need three feats before you can attempt to trip someone without impaling yourself on your own polearm. Wrapping up all these improved combat maneuver feats into a single package simplifies things. It would prevent fighters from being stonewalled if a monster is immune to their combat maneuver of choice and make the feats much more attractive to feat-starved classes.
Improved Bull Rush, Improved Drag, Improved Overrun, Improved Sunder.
Replaced with Powerful Maneuvers: You do not provoke an attack of opportunity when performing a bull rush, drag, overrun, or sunder combat maneuver. In addition, you receive a +2 bonus on checks with these combat maneuvers. Now a prerequisite for the relevant greater combat maneuver feats.
The same deal as Deft Maneuvers. More combat maneuvers at a lower feat investment is just a good idea all around.
Precise Shot replaces it as a prerequisite for further archery feats.
I like Point-Blank Shot, but Precise Shot is the real breadwinner for any ranged build. It’s the one trick every archer wants out of the gate and the one combat feat many wizards and sorcerers would love to cherry pick to aid their ray spells. The loss of Point-Blank Shot can easily be compensated for by Weapon Focus or Weapon Specialization, but it’s not like archery builds are hurting anyhow.
Mobility:Merged with Dodge.
Dodge Revised. You gain a +1 dodge bonus to your AC. This bonus increases to +4 against attacks of opportunity caused when you move out of or within a threatened tile. A condition that makes you lose your Dex bonus to AC also makes you lose the benefits of this feat.
Spring Attack isn’t a great feat, but it lends itself to interesting builds. Unfortunately, the prerequisites of Dodge and Mobility are often too much for a player to stomach. Merging these feats makes Spring Attack more accessible and subsequently transforms two mediocre feats into a single spectacular one.
All iterative attacks at full attack bonus and allowing characters to sacrifice an iterative* to move their move speed, and increasing RUN distance by move speed×2 each time the character gains an iterative. Makes the game far more fun for higher level martials.
Sorcerer Bloodline/Oracle mystery spell progression gets their bonus spell on the Wizard/Cleric progression. A fire-bloodline sorcerer should not be waiting until level 5 to cast scorching ray or level 7 to cast fireball. It is however, cool that a 5th level Fire sorcerer's only 3rd-level spell known is fireball.
Detect Magic: The range of this spell is reduced to Touch. Lingering magic auras can still be detected, but you must be in the same space as the former effect.
Spells that deal a particular type of energy damage (Fireball, Lightning Bolt, etc.) may be added to a spellbook or as a spell known with a different energy type than listed, within reason; Fireball can become “Acid Burst” or Lightning Bolt can be called “Frost Bolt”. and deal the appropriate energy type when calculating damage. These are treated as separate spells, and a spellcaster must learn the base version of the spell if they wish to cast it with that energy type. Spells with additional effects that are dependent on their energy type may have that additional effect changed or will not be allowed to changed, subject to DM discretion.
With spells that heal, the dice that are rolled are the average HD of the target, rounded to the nearest die. Cure-like spells on a barb would be xd12+x. Fighter 3 Wizard 3 would be xd8+x. Channel is also affected. Cleric 3 channeling would heal the wizard 2d6 and the barb 2d12. Of course, pre-calculate your "healing die" when you level to speed play.
Spells that have a capped caster level, such as heal, etc, cap at either the HD of the target, or the caster level of the caster, whichever is lower. CLW from cleric 10 healing fighter 7 would heal 1d10+7. CLW from cleric 7 on fighter 10 would do the same. Cleric 18 heal cures fighter 7 70 and fighter 20 200.
Channel Energy Ability, picking if it harms or heals seems weird too me. If you fill a room with light (an Energy) then it hinders or helps per sensitivity to it.
Like other applications – Please like your fellow applicants’ submissions by hitting the add to favorites button near the character you like. Of course, this is non-binding at all for me: it’s not a voting system in which the most voted characters get recruited automatically, but it tells me who you would like to play with, which is one of the main criteria for my choice.
First timers (Part I) – One of the primary aims leading me to start this recruitment is to give new PbP players a chance to join a consistent game. As a consequence, I plan on recruiting at least 2 PbP first timers. This doesn’t mean I won’t be recruiting experienced players (they are going to be necessary to give the new players an example to emulate), nor that I’m going to recruit newbies if there aren’t good submissions on their part. Take note of this simple observation: I can easily assess the value of an experienced PbP player by reading its previous posts, checking if he has been consistent in the game he played and judging if I like his posting style or not; I can’t do the same with newbie players. You have to strike me with something good to impress me. It’s like when you have a job interview and you have no curriculum: I need you to work hard to prove me that you’re worth the risk I’m taking recruiting you. So, as a tip, heavily invest in your character: make sure it is a great character with a correct character sheet, has a good story, an amazing personality and a well-detailed appearance.
First timers (Part II) – I know this recruitment post could prove a little bit overwhelming for you. But trust me, it was designed to be this way. If a player isn’t able to read this post and conform to it, probably he won’t be able to follow my instruction when we get into play. So following this recruitment is for all intents and purposes your first trial. Show me that you can follow my instructions. Show me that you will be a focused player.
Party assortment– Party balance is a myth...not only is it a myth, it's actually a detriment to good roleplay. Play what makes you happy. Play the mechanics that excite you and what you want to play. Play it with joy and play it well. I’ll try to recruit the best players, not the characters with the best builds. I do like a traditional party (arcane caster, divine caster, skill monkey, tank/damage dealer).This doesn’t mean I will be recruiting a wizard, a cleric, a rogue and a fighter at all. As I said, I believe first of all we need people who can have fun together. Builds and character’s option come after, even though they still retain their importance.
How many recruits? – I’ll be recruiting a party composed of 4 members, if there are enough good submissions of course.
Mapping tools – We’ll be using Roll20 for combat encounters. I’m pretty good at it, or so my players have told me. As a consequence, I expect you to have a Roll20 account or to create one after you’ve been recruited. If you don’t know how to do it, I will be there to help you to create your own account and teach you how Roll20 works.
Ok, I've got this AP sitting around, and I've never run it. Figure I probably should since I paid for it.
Second Darkness is an older AP from before the Pathfinder rules. Hence I will have to change all the encounters anyway. Thus it doesn't much matter what I allow the players to build.
Now before visions of Rifts dance through your head, I'm not going to go that far. I think I will be going with the advanced bonus progression from Unchained, and just drop out most of the magic items. This means easier balance for me and less to convert. I will likely toss in some flavor stuff items, but nothing for basic stat stuff.
I expect very regular posting. Now this doesn't mean you have to pipe up if there's no reason for your character to do something, but when I'm calling for initiative I expect a response. You should be checking in at least daily so combats can proceed (unless I am given warning). I run fast paced games and spend far too much time on these forums. I prefer to keep things moving.
I run a more beer and pretzel style game than deep roleplaying. I will tend to run things with plenty of smartass comments and out of genre references. That's just fair warning.
I'll give recruitment a week or so.
I'll need a build and a short background. You're first level so your bio should be a paragraph not a novel.
What I want in a player:
1: Game starts at a certain time, you show up at or before that time.
2: Game starts at a certain time, you start playing at that time. Social hour is over.
3: Do not bring your personal issues to the table and expect free therapy. It's called 'Gaming', not 'Group'.
4: Once gaming starts, stay in game, or at least on topic. Do not try to be better than AmTrak at derailing.
5: Figure out your turn BEFORE it's your turn.
6: Take your turn ON YOUR TURN. If it's not your turn, shut your pie hole.
I am interested in players who are:
* Cooperative - Players should be working together for their shared party goal (in this case, rooting out the evil near Hommlet and finishing it off). Players should help each other out, without necessarily "telling other players how to play their character" -- offer hooks and ways to make interesting story beats, or ideas that a player might enjoy, without trying to tell them how to optimize or that they are "doing it wrong."
* Risk-takers and adventurers - This may seem like a no-brainer; of course we're playing adventurers. One of the reasons that some players go to hyper-optimization is because they fear failure at the hands of chance. But adventuring is risky business. Sometimes gambits won't work out. Especially in old-school dungeon crawls like this, this is a risk you need to be ready to take. This doesn't mean you should take foolhardy risks, but you should be willing to accept that sometimes you will just pull the trigger and see where the dice fall, and sometimes that will mean an uphill battle as things go sideways when the plan doesn't survive contact with the enemy. Struggle against adversity with panache. Don't take stupid or unnecessary risks, but recognize that just because you aren't guaranteed 100% success in something doesn't mean you shouldn't try. Creativity and planning are important, but luck will play a part too.
* Able to fill a role in the team - The class/role structures of these kinds of games mean that everyone should have a part to play. Nobody is going to go solo, or if they do it's going to be a serious uphill battle. You need each other in order to succeed. Decide on one or two big things you want to do well -- melee combat, social interactions, arcane magic, whatever; try to fit with the rest of the group by covering an area that they need in order for the team to be stronger than any individual. Some players feel compelled to make characters who have no weaknesses and no drawbacks. Avoid this temptation. Make characters who will get their moments to shine and who will, in turn, need the support of the rest of the team. And don't hesitate to reach out to other players and offer "hey, let's share backstories and build in some kind of relationship between each other." Maybe you were old friends, or you used to have a romance but it fell apart, or you were even rivals and have learned to work together; having connections to other players, and to the world, will give you opportunities for your character to express his/her personality and for you to play your role beyond just what dice you roll to whack bad guys!
So, one of the encounters right near the end involves multiple creatures which can each grant a Wish to a mortal and there just happens to be a handy mortal nearby. What would be your best suggestions for possible wishes?
I have looked at this before with a certain Hard Mode and I want to avoid stuff like Wishing people into the Sun as being dull. Also the DC is probably too low for 15th-17th level characters. I have considered:
3. Anti-Magic Field, possibly useful, most of the creatures abilities don't depend on magic, most of the PC's do
4. Maximised Cloudkill, technically 8th level and so eligible, enemies largely immune but collateral damage
6. Waves of Ecstasy, thematically appropriate, has an effect regardless of save
11. Maze, for animal companions and similar low Int martial types
12. Wall of Lava, automatic damage, large blockage
13. Summon Monster VIII - 1d4+1 pouncing fiendish dire tigers, 1d3 armour destroying Bebiliths
14. Solid Forceage, trap annoying animal companions and martial types
15. Persistent Banshee Blast, minor damage and powerful control
16. Dazing Fire Snake, see above.
The first encounter was quite scary as the succubi realised quite quickly that they were not hitting with their bows and switched to their wands. 3d4 negative levels a round is scary when they focus fire. Two of them ended up fleeing.
Miglargu gave the overconfident druid a scare as he went scouting in the lake on his own. He nearly took him out with a bunch of smiting natural attacks.
Moonbeasts: Beast 3: Targeted quickened dispel magic
Once they got inside the main dungeon the dragon could have been dangerous but a dispel magic stripped the magic jar straight away and a 10ac doesn't work well against an undead hating ghost salt using ranger archer.
The vampire mistress was predictably quite vicious. She noticed the group arrive straight away and, warned by the succubi which escaped, summoned her minions to her and buffed them up. About 5 vampires beat the groups poor initiative but the first fireball failed miserably due to fire resist 30 from a communal spell so she ordered them to switch to magic missiles. I have never seen a level 17 druid run from a bunch of magic missiles before! She kept trying to hold monster people but even at DC30 no-one was succumbing so no cdg for her.
The cloven sister was also dangerous. I have her a mage armour from one of the vampires since there are 9 of them on that level capable of casting it and with the unholy aura that pushed her to AC44. She also fooled the group initially with a projected image hiding within a blade barrier. Ultimately though she just isn't all that accurate with her attacks and when they do hit they don't do much damage.
The final level began to get more interesting. The general was surprisingly effective. He does hit like a truck but I expected him to be hopeless with his terrible will save but without an arcane caster in the group it was less of an issue. He dropped the paladin to dead at least twice but he got back up both times. The druid had summoned some kami (added to his list via the ring) who could cast ranged Heal and Breath of Life. I did use the Wishes but I based them on the Generals terrible mental stats so he got a greater dispel and overland flight after his potion was dispelled. The glabrezu got a few hits off but then fell to a mixture of holy word and withering arrow fire.
The final encounter nearly didn't happen. The group had no way around the prismatic wall so resorted to trying to taunt her to drop it. I gave it to them but then forgot to make use of the private sanctum effect which would have prevented them seeing inside until they entered. She shared her smite with her mount and then started wrecking face on a mostly good aligned group pushing her AC to 48. The paladin went down but the druid dropped a level 9 spell slot and up came another 6 kami each with heal 1/day and breath of life 3/day. They were very much needed and they managed to push her into power word kill territory which let the cleric finish her off.
Our one actual death that stuck was the symbol of death which is just a very mean undetectable trap. Sadly the ranger only had 11 con and was taken down by it. Fortunately they had a resurrection on hand.
01- A pair of brass candlesticks carved into the image of monks raising torches (value 3sp each)
Lesser Treasure Table
01- A cloak of griffon feathers set on black velvet. (60gp)