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I'm actually working on the same thing. I think Kendra makes a great villain in this campaign. One that's been with the group from the start. I haven't fleshed out the details either, but I like to think the Professor is not only a Professor Van Helsing type, but also a dabbler in the macabre. I'm not a fan of how the Esoteric Order of the Palantine Eye works, and I'm probably going to focus on their pursuit of forbidden knowledge. One of the gothic tropes that wasn't touched in the adventure path was Jekyll and Hyde. (At least that I can recall). So I was also toying with the fact that perhaps the professor or the order was involved in some experiments that went askew. What if Kendra actually was a test subject for a ritual or potion that split her personality? Perhaps she isn't all evil, perhaps she has an evil counterpart. This would also help with any spells of detection. Perhaps Kendra doesn't realize about her evil half? She might even actively try to track down A.A. not realizing it is herself. I'm thinking like Tristan/Malken from the "The Enemy Within" Ravenloft novel. I'll nail this down more as I develop it some more. But I think she's a good villain and will make a more memorable ending to the campaign.

Sorry to "resurrect" a dead thread, but this is Carrion Crown so maybe it fits. I'm another old Mystara DM and I agree with some of the points for this adventure path being set in Glantri. I had a few similar ideas but what I have in mind would be a high fantasy campaign (as Glantri usually is) but with horror undertones. It takes away from the gothic horror but would still make a fun campaign.

SPOILER WARNING for both Carrion Crown and Glantri!!!

I would make the main villain Synn the night dragon. She has learned of the Radiance and seeks to become a powerful Dragolich through the use of its power. (This keeps the meta plot somewhat in tacked). I would also have the professor be a professor from the Great School of Magic and also a secret member of The Brotherhood of the Radiance. (As opposed to the Order of the Palantine Eye.) Being a member of the brotherhood, the professor stumbles upon Synn's scheme and is killed. His funeral would then be the catalyst for the campaign start, as it normally would.

I can see Book One being set in Klantyre, with ghosts a plenty. Book Two set in Aalban with constructs galore. Book Three in Morlay-Malinbois with were creatures. Book Four in Nouvelle Averoigne. Book Five in Boldavia and wrapping up the campaign in a darker version of Fenswick (perhaps it is even becoming a portal to the Shadowfell).

Dealing with the Radiance you might even be able to throw in a revamped version of Mark of Amber etc. Perhaps the secrets to Synn's defeat lie with Rad?

Just something I was toying with, but throwing it out there.

I understand. I hate to loose players but you have to learn to let them go if RPG's are not what they like. I tried to get a friend to play years ago and all they did was make the rest of the players miserable. Eventually we told the player to stop coming and it made the other sessions better. I've played with up to 6 people years ago and over the years the group has changed. I miss those days, but now I have two dedicated players and if I ended up with only one, as long as that player and I enjoy the game I'll keep playing just one on one. But it sounds like your other players are having fun, so don't assume it's all your fault, your player may just not be into it. But hopefully if you all talk together you can find out what everyone likes and hopefully go from there.

So far it sounds like you're doing what you can to motivate him. Ipslore is right, you do need to talk to him in private and ask him what is wrong. Is he only playing because you and your other two friends are playing, or is he really enjoying the game? Besides using the goals he wrote down, ask him what kind of stories he likes. Sometimes what I like as a GM isn't the same as what the players want. For example, I like small towns and villages and dungeon crawls, and I also like a lot of story in my game. One of my players likes city based adventures, and not too much story. So sometimes I try to come up with games that he likes so that some games he enjoys and some games I enjoy. But remember that you can't always make everyone happy and if he's really not interested, you might have to ask him to stop playing with you. You should also talk to all three of your players and ask them all how they are enjoying the games and what they want to see in the future. Maybe your other two players can help motivate the third player. Good communication between the GM and the players is important. Good luck!

Those pesky PC's can frustrate you at times. But, as others have said, I would let them go. However, so much can happen before they get to Harrowstone. If you have time to prepare them, there's a few things you can do.

First, perhaps you can have a wandering troupe of Varasian gypsies encounter the party on the way. Perhaps they are in trouble, (maybe a wandering monster or the townsfolk are blaming the recent troubles on "those damn gypsies!). After aiding the caravan, or simply interacting with them, have the elder Matriarch of the clan be a Harrower and give a reading which reveals a few more facts about Harrowstone. You could also try to stress the importance of research and protection before they journey to the prison. Or perhaps you can have the clan mention a run in they had with the cultist of the Whispering Way. Perhaps they can drop hints about how the cultist were doing various research in the town. They may not bite, but if all else fails you can have the Varasian's give out most of the information either through the Harrowing or simply by telling them.

Second, in a similar way you could move up the encounter with The Crooked Kin from "Trail of the Beast" in Book 2. After having befriended the carnival troupe, have them pass on whatever important information you want your players to have. Remember, they've been traveling around the country and so know a lot of information and lore. You could also have a performer be a Harrower and perform an informative reading. In addition to passing on information your players may have missed, bringing The Crooked Kin in earlier will foreshadow the events of the next chapter.

A final idea would be to have the town attacked, similar to Event 5: Smoldering Revenge on Page 23. You may have to change the setting, perhaps the townsfolk are gathered in the town square, arguing about what to do when they are attacked by the forces of the prison. (Rising undead, beheaded, whatever you like). This may distract your players to stay, fight and save the townsfolk. Afterwards, have one of the wounded, an old timer from back in the day ramble on about how the evil is tied to Harrowstone and those 5 prisoners! Other townsfolk in the crowd could mention bits and pieces, "He's right, I thought I saw strange birds in the sky the other day and I could swear they reminded me of The Piper of Illmarsh! What if they were his dreaded birds back from the grave?" Something in a similar vein but you get the idea. A bit heavy handed, but it might help you get your information across.

Thanks everyone for the great advice and so quick too! You've all kind of confirmed what I had ideas about all along. I have a separate email account just for anyone interested in joining the game. I have this posted at the store. I'm planning on playing every two weeks, for a few hours each session. I work retail so I'm off ever other weekend and Wednesday, so that's going to be the choices for play. Plus every two weeks will give me more prep time, etc. I have a list of ground rules prepared and I'll send them out in the email replies I send to potential players. I'm expecting to teach the game. So I'm going to start with 0-level characters and go from there. I feel if you limit the player's choices, at least in the beginning until they get a handle on things, it will be easier to teach. I'll let regular players know they'll have to go slow and help teach newbies, or they can wait and join later sessions. I'm also going to limit rules to the Core Rule book only. I will add supplements later as I see fit. And instead of tackling an AP, I'm going to stick to the modules relating to Andoran and the Dark Moon Vale area and do a kind of sandbox with those modules and some of the early PFS from Seasons 0 and 1 that are in the area. I've also stated that I'm very laid back, and so are my games. "Rules Lawyers" need not apply. I think it will be fun for all. There's some 3.5 players there who've never tried Pathfinder, but seem willing. So we'll see what happens. But thank you all again.

Hi All:

If things work out, I may be starting a new Pathfinder game at a local gaming store. I've always GM'd for my friends, but never a bunch of strangers before. Is there anything I should be aware of? Should I lay certain ground rules? Anything I should watch out for? Any advice or helpful tips would be appreciated. Things are still coming together so nothing set in stone. Could be various ages and various experience levels from newbies to experts.

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K_GM, the sequel to "Hour of the Knife" is called "Shadow of the Knife" and it is a fan-made adventure that you can download at the old Secrets of the Kargatane website. It was done with loving care and a pretty good sequel. It was also meant to give the DM a glimpse into life in the "new" Zherisia cluster that the domain of Paridon joined with. It's a free downlaod, so you can't go wrong with that.

As to the question of which books are worth getting, I guess it depends on how much you want to adapt. Honestly, I think the setting was in it's prime in second edition, so I'd recommend the hardcover "Domains of Dread" book. It retains all the information of the setting while for the first time, it also makes the domains a place to actually use as a campaign base instead of "a weekend in Hell" adventure. Plus, this book still retains references to the various TSR worlds the darklords and domains come from.

If you'd rather have less to convert to Pathfinder, than I'd get a copy of the Sword & Sorcery (3.5) players handbook and the gazetteers. It's true many of the gazetteers are hit and miss, but they do contain a wealth of information. But the backgrounds on some things have changed to be more coherent and so as not to reference any old TSR/Wizard worlds for legal purposes.

Favorite adventures, I'd have to say the "Castles Forlorn" boxed set. It is massive but also gives you the best details on a small domain. And "Bleak House" was a great culmination of a wealth of stories and characters spread throughout other products on Van Richten as well as a great adventure. And as others have said, each gaming group has a favorite module that others may have totally hated. Good Luck!

The starting hook/adventure is indeed always the hardest to come up with. I agree with Stabatha on this, no matter what you do, at some point you're going to have to "force" something on the PC's. Are you starting in a village or city? If so, why not have someone either kidnapped or something valuable stolen from someone in a dark alley. Say for example, a noble or wealthy merchant is attacked, perhaps he had some important plans or information about an attack from the enemy country? The PC's could just be in town, each not even with each other. But then our victim (or friend/spouse) of victim cries out for help. Heroes of course will come running. Perhaps this wealthy person offers gold or other compensation to whoever can get the item/person back. You don't need an established group, all five PC's could just join in the chase. They may be even trying to get there before the others. Eventually they'll have to work together so that each can get at least part of the reward. This wealthy patron can then be so thankful and impressed how well the group worked together that he has need for them for something bigger. You get the idea. A bit cliched, perhaps, but at least it's open-ended, and not too forced. I mean the PC's could choose not to help, but then where's the fun in that? Hope this helps or at least gives you some more ideas.

Thanks everyone, appreciate the quick responses!

Tonight we encountered a wraith. The wizard wanted to cast a fireball. I say the wraith is immune to it being incorporeal but the wizard says that since the fire is magical in nature, it should damage the wraith. I say the spell creates the fire but otherwise fire wouldn't have any effect. Can anyone clarify this for us? Thanks in advance.

In my experience, yes, most gamers are socially awkward, but unless there's a scientific study done, who knows? I know I am. I think another question would be "how did you get into gaming?" I've always been a fan of fantasy and magic. In my early teens, my best friend's mom died of a sudden heart attack. My friend and all of us who knew her were in shock. My friend actually started down a dark road of drugs, sex, etc. At about the same time, his uncle got a bunch of D&D books from a friend. I had heard of the game, but never found anyone to try it out with. At this time, the new "Easy to Master" black basic D&D boxed set came out. We were looking for something to do, something to "escape" from the real world for a while. I bought the set and used the add on books we had and eventually we learned how to play D&D. It was a great time of learning and playing. We were able to create our own worlds, with our own rules. What we couldn't fight or overcome in the real world, we could in the fantasy world. We played every chance we got. Those are some of the times I miss. But I play Pathfinder now, about once a week, and have learned much since those early days. Another side note. I was never good with talking to people, but with RPGS, you learn to think on your feet and ad lib. Over the years, this plus working in retail, has helped me to think on my feet and I can pretty much strike up a conversation with strangers which I could never do in high school.

Still Roll them here. 4D6, drop the lowest and place the 6 scores where you like. We all still like to roll, like we've always done for years.

Sorry for the confusion. DM_Blake is right. I meant one thing and wrote another. Yes, the wizard had SR or "spell resistance" 20. He made the check (rolled higher than 20) and was affected fully. However he did make his normal REF save and took only half damage. Thanks for all the responses. It now makes much more sense.

Hi all! I DM a weekly PFRPG and this past week, an issue came up that our group wasn't too sure about. The wizard in the party casted a fireball spell to ignite a group of enemies. The party got the monsters cornered up on a ledge and the wizard flew up and used his fireball. To make sure he got every enemey in his area of effect, he actually was in the radius of his own fireball blast. He asked if he was immune to it, as it was his spell? I honestly blanked out on the answer. I ruled on the fly that though he created the fire/fireball, once it was cast, it ignited like a normal blast. He didn't have any magical fire protection, but MR 20, so I treated him like his fellow enemies and had him roll his saving throw against his own DC. He made the save. After the 20 resistance and only taking half damage, he hardly was damaged. He was cool with it and admitted he cast the spell too quickly and didn't realize he had put himself in harms way. I know that you can voluntarily lower or bypass your magical resistance, and can refuse a saving throw for a spell. But just out of curiosity, is a wizard (or any other spell caster for that matter), immune to their own magic?

hogarth wrote:

Try these threads: hives/ageOfWormsInVarisiaNeedGuidance hives/kyussInGolarionAgeOfWormsTieIn

(Actually, it's kind of the same thread in two different places.)

Thanks hogarth! Pretty much the discussion lead to where I was thinking of going. Definately makes better sense now, and I have a better context to put all this information into. And thanks for the speedy reply!

Hi all! I'm currently running AoW using the PFRPG, and so far it's been a success. By the end of our next session, the group should have completed "The Whispering Cairn." Afterwards, using research and other information they've learned from investigation and Allustan's help, I'll be revealing the information on The Ebon Triad. My question is, does anyone have any thoughts on which Gods from the Golorian setting to use, in place of Hextor, Erythnul and Vecna? Vecna is pretty iconic, and I don't have a problem keeping him as is, but I was just wondering what other good substitues would work for this AP. Thanks in advace for any ideas and thoughts.

Lord Thasmudyan wrote:

Anyone have any idea what Golarion gods I should replace the main gods in SCAP with? biggest problem is what to replace Wee Jas with cause Pharasma is not a good 1:1 replacement for the goddess of Magic and death. Any ideas would be helpful [/QUOTE

I'm actually struggling with this converstion as well. Some gods have an easy 1:1 replacement, but ones like Wee Jas have me stumped. The alignment is the toughest part, as Wee Jas is Lawful Neutral and the only gods that seem to match that would be Abadar or Irori, not very good choices for the goddess of magic and death.

Depending on how you want to slant the view of the church in your SCAP, I'd go with either Nethys if you want to keep the Neutral aspects, (although this seems more like Boccob then Wee Jas to me), but if your willing to dip into the Evil aspects, I'd be more inclined to try Asmodeus or Urgathoa. You may have to change how the church is viewed in Cauldron, or hide it's affiliation all together. For now, I'd lean more towards Asmodeus.