Spirit Caterpillar

Drakli's page

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber. Organized Play Member. 867 posts (889 including aliases). No reviews. 1 list. No wishlists. 2 aliases.



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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Probably "it doesn't deserve to live because what it is" shouldn't extend much beyond fiends, undead, and aberrations.

Even aberrations are an edge case since there are non-inherently hostile aberrations. Flumph and naga are good examples, though I don't have my 2E bestiary on hand so I don't know if they're still aberrations. Aberration is a weird creature type, since the qualifier for it is mostly "being weird."


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tqomins wrote:
To help with monster creation until we get the GMG, I put together a spreadsheet:

Wow, that's pretty cool! That helps us get the benchmarks pretty nicely! It's a good start.

Looks kind of like you are the Help Hound!


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James Jacobs wrote:

Familiars are based on real-world animals, so the game expects us all to use that knowledge as to whether or not a familiar can fly. You COULD build an owl familiar that couldn't fly simply by choosing two other abilities (say, damage avoidance and darkvision), but thematically, that would suggest you don't really want an owl.

... Now I kind of want a wizard with a familiar that's an owl who (hoo?) can't fly. Maybe they're an owl with a crippled wing that the wizard rescued and raised and fell in love with and adopted as a familiar.

Or maybe it's a cute little baby owlbear!


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Is it just me, or is that black-scaled Kobold on the cover totally a Nightfury?


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I have a concern. I've looked through the Core Rulebook and the Bestiary for 2E, and I can't find any rules for building monsters or NPC for that matter(adide from building NPCs long form, which I don't think we're doing anymore.) I looked at the Pathfinder rulebook schedule, and it looks like the next release is the Gamemastery Guide in mid January. Do we have to wait 5-6 months before we learn how to craft npcs and custom monsters?

The game doesn't seem ready to play without that, since not all of us run the APs.


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I'm a player in a Doomsday Dawn playtest, so I wanted to post this here instead of in one of the forums for Doomsday Dawn to avoid spoilers.
I think there should be a Player's Guide for the module-set. There are a set of Backgrounds in the module that don't appear in the playtest Rulebook (the GM noticed this after we'd already created our characters and chosen our backgrounds.) If we'd known about it ahead of time, we may have chosen BGs tied to the story.


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Personally, I nominate the three Azi from the final volume of Legacy of Fire; dragon-fiends inspired from Persian mythology.

Azi, Gandareva
Azi, Sruvara
Azi, Zahhak

I particularly like the lore and feel of the multi-venomous Sruvara, and the serpent-shoulder'd Zahhak has a great Final Fantasy super-tough secret-boss look to it that I appreciate.


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I just finished listening to the Glass Cannon Playtest and... was falling damage really something that needed to be fixed?

For reference, falling now does one point of damage per foot, as if the PF2 Playtest.

The GM said they did research and falling usually kills people. Well, getting attacked by a fire-breathing dragon usually kills people. How many people in recent history have survived being bitten by a fire-breathing dragon? Zero.

... realism is overrated anywhere you need to survive fire-breathing dragons.

But more seriously... I'd really rather not have twenty foot pits become save-or-die effects for first level characters. Frankly, pits are the pits as it is. When you're at the bottom of a pit, you can't affect the battle above you, and you're a sitting duck for things like alchemist's bombs. The DCs for climbing out of pits makes you waste time and possibly take more damage falling back in again. Perhaps climbing is more forgiving in PF2. If not, that can really take you out of the fight unless you have a flight effect, and that's if it doesn't kill you outright.

Um... re-reading that paragraph, I'm starting to realize how much my perceptions (as a GM) have been colored by 'Create Pit' being my players' go-to-tactic. Hum.


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I created a Mite druid (level 4 or 5,) as a gremlin villain for a homebrew setting I was running for a while. He had a giant ant companion and used summon swarm (guided with vermin empathy.)

The players did not want to fight him. I might still have the stats kicking around somewhere.


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I hope this counts as being tied in enough to Wrath of the Righteous. I've been reading Worldwound Gambit recently (which is pretty good, except that the present tense narrative is somewhat jarring,) and mulling over Worldwound stuff and this upcoming path, and I think I really understand the demonic groove better now... at least, where it differentiates from the devilish groove and the daemonaic grooves.

I used to think that Daemons and Demons weren't different enough in what they want from the world. The Demons want to Destroy everything and the Daemons want to kill everything... it all seems to shake out the same.

But that's really shortsighted of me. It's really underestimating the demonic goal. Destroying is not the goal. It's the means. The Demons and the Abyss are like an ever spreading virus, or a fiendish zombie apocalypse, or gray goo assimilation scenario.

The Devils crave rulership of the cosmos, the Daemons want to end it, the Demons destroy and ruin all they find because the Abyss wants to infect, consume, and convert the cosmos into more of itself. The destruction of the standing order assists in the spread of demonic entropy.

Superficially, they have more in common with Devils because a cosmos ruled by Devils will be more like Hell, but the drive of the Demons is more instinctive, hardwired, almost mindless (in motivation, if not in strategy;) ...the spread of a contagion that expands because that is in its nature. It feeds. It grows.

I'm really looking forward to the Worldwound Path with this new groove for Demons in my head.


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Weresharks, for example. They can't breathe under water and don't even have a swim speed... which kind of spoils the shark part of being killer-shark hybrids. I assume this is because lycanthropes use the base creature's speed (and not the animal's movement rates) and don't gain the subtypes of the base animal (like aquatic.)

Compare this to werebats who can fly which is a pretty iconic element of being a bat in the same way as breathing water and swimming are to a shark. They also have claw attacks, which aren't evocative of bats inherently but are of giant bat humanoids in media (like the Man-Bat.) Arguably, they shouldn't get that because dire bats in PF don't have claw attacks. And werecrocodiles, which have a swim speed and the sprint movement ability, (and can hold their breath for a long time, though that's a special quality, so I suppose that bypasses the rules.)

I guess what I'm trying to say is that werecreatures can't always capture the essence of the animal they're lycanthropes of unless you're willing to bypass the rules and the wereshark could stand to gain from the example of the werebat and werecrocodile.


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Kevin Andrew Murphy wrote:
The definitions are mostly arbitrary. A lamia, which is a sexy woman from the waist up and a snake or lion from the waist down, is a magical beast. A mermaid, who is a sexy woman from the waist up but a fish from the waist down, is a monstrous humanoid. Ditto with centaurs. Harpies, sphinxes, and manticores, all of which have human heads but animal bodies, are magical beasts. Nagas, which have human heads and snake bodies, are aberrations.

Actually, lamia and harpies are monstrous humanoids.

That aside; honestly, what actually bothers me is that there are prestige classes and flavor-text elements and etc based around arbitrary choices. For example, there's a prestige class that grants bonuses to damage and other matters against aberrations due to their unnatural nature, but I can't really see what's inherently unnatural about naga compared to merfolk or manticores.

Water Naga lead lives rather like that of unusually intelligent snakes, Guardian Naga are benevolent protectors of holy sites and sanctity, and there's an archetype of druid for nagaji that involves becoming a naga.

Blah, I don't know, doesn't seem so unnatural to me.


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Kthulhu wrote:
If you're a centaur cavalier, what do you get instead of a mount?

Tired legs.


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I think you’re experiencing a disconnect between Paizo and yourself on what this particular Adventure Path is for; on what the AP is, as a whole, about.

The theme of the Carrion Crown Adventure Path involves exploring the various different subjects of Gothic literary and Hammer movie horror. The Whispering Way serves as a bridging story element. I’m sure there’s a term for this kind of a literary device, but I can’t remember what it’s called. The pursuit serves as an overarching framework allowing the heroes to take part in a series of self-contained stories… each exploring a different source of horror (Ghost stories and hauntings in volume one and Frankenstein & mad science in two, for example.) It provides the impetus for the characters to move from one story to another, where they wouldn’t otherwise have the reason.

Removing Volume 4 would hobble a chunk of the very point of the Path. The different chapters and horrors themselves are the purpose of the Carrion Crown AP.

If there’s a flaw or a failing in the Path, it might be that it does too good of a job at making the framework arc seem important (at least for yourself…) obscuring the relevance of the individual stories. Perhaps it’s overcompensation. In my experience, several past Paths do poorly in representing the over-arching villains providing the motivation and wind up with a “Who’s that guy/group? Oh, he’s/they’re the cause of all your troubles up to this point! Oh, really, um, okay, we’ll fight them then, I guess?” climax final volume.

To be honest, though, running the AP, I haven’t experienced such a problem. My players became engaged with the plot, conflict, and characters of each volume so far… and without losing sight of the pursuit, realized that each situation they’ve happened upon holds potential to get gravely dangerous unless someone intervenes as only they are poised to do. Perhaps your GM is overstating the dire immediacy of the Whisperers compared to the threats in the individual stories, or perhaps it’s just a “Your mileage may vary,” situation about this kind of literary device.


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I admit that one of the things that bugs me... or at least, sometimes feels hard for me to mentally resolve, is the Golarion ecosystem. Golarion's ecology is an evolutionary riot.

You have fauna, mega-fauna, magic-fauna, giant vermin-o-fauna, and dinosaurs all in the same environment (say, the Mwangi,) without somehow driving each other extinct or consuming all the resources.

Frankly, I LOVE Pathfinder Bestiaries and LOVE that they include real animals, monsters, and prehistoric animals. I don't want them to stop.

Sometimes I think there's a problem in my brain because I can't just enjoy it all without wondering how it all fits together without major extinctions.


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Say, for anyone still mulling over what the Whispering Way might use as a substitute for the Raven's Head, I just had a lovely idea!

The Whispering Way forcibly calls an ancient, storied, raven-like psychopomp from Pharasma's Boneyard, and imprison it. The cultists torture it horribly over the course of days or even weeks, meticulously recording its screams and delirious ravings, either scribed into a scroll or using a magic item that stores sound.

Thus gained, the Chronicle of Raven's Tongue. While brewing the lich's elixir, the Whispering Way cultists recite or replay the litany, infusing the potion with the essence of the raven psychopomp's suffering.

Later, the party find the psychopomp's broken form in one of the Way's dungeons, its once regal raven wings pierced and pinned to the walls. Apart from the horrific tragedy of the holy servitor's torture... this is an "Oh heck," moment, when the party realizes the Way has their final component.

My original thought is putting it in Renchurch, but if there was an opportunity to slip it into the previous module, that might lend a touch of urgency for the party to strike at the Whisperers.


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At the risk of sounding like a jerk, one big thing that bothers me is... all the people complaining about real-world analogues in Golarion. It just... irks me.

There are two or three major reasons this bothers me:

1) Most D20 and fantasy campaign settings in general come across not as original world or settings, but generic rehashes of Idealized Medieval Eastern Europe, usually with really goofy names for everyone and everything. It's very hard to find honestly original fantasy settings, and people often call them too gonzo when you do. Apart from the sameyness this gives the genre, see criticism (2)

2) Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but mostly that makes it sound like cultures other than Medieval Eastern Europe are just not welcome in D20 fantasy. This may not actually be intended, but that's what it sounds like.

3) People have problems with analogues of real-world cultures on Golarion, but they're okay with creatures based from various different cultures of Earth mythology like trolls, dragons, goblins, sphinxes, minotaurs, rakshasa, manticora, vampires, and oni; (that's setting aside the Earth creatures like dinosaurs, tigers, and humans, if it's realism we're complaining about.)

So... to end this post on a positive note, I'd like to praise Paizo for including inspirations from real world cultures, ethnicities, folklore, and mythology in their fantasy world. Thank you!


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HappyDaze wrote:
The human-centric influence is sometimes too strong. I recently got my hands on Pirates of the Inner Sea and I was disappointed not to see at least one group of monstrous pirates. A band of orc or goblinoid reavers, or gnoll slaving ships could have really made the fantasy stand out a bit more. Maybe some dissatisfied tiefling pirates that hunt Chelish ships and harass their navy would be nice too.

I know this isn't a thread about pirates and I don't want to derail, but I have to admit I'm disappointed by missing the opportunity to see a bugbear or hobgoblin dressed as a pirate captain. Or gnoll buccaneers in general. I figured a place like the Shackles would be an unsavory enough place that we could see... shall we say, traditional evil races there without immediately going, 'Oh, it's an orc, killit,' but no. Meh. Even if they're cruel and unsavory, it'd be nice to actually get some hob-nobbing with hobgoblins so they could get some dialogue outside of death-screams.

That actually encompasses two of the things about Golarion that bug me...

1) There are plenty of "designated evil" races that have languages, and cultures, but really, there's rarely a reason to have a conversation with them. Because, you know, evil.

2) I sometimes wonder why the heck races like orcs, ogres, and hobgoblins collect money if they don't have neutral ports to spend it. At least gnolls can shlep on down to Katapesh to spend their ill-gotten gains.


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Timothy Hanson wrote:


Yeah, except he does not really want to fight a forest fire, he more or less wants to start one. So nukes should work, I just think it will burn very fast.

Actually, I think it's more like igniting an A-Bomb using sticks of dynamite.


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Ashiel wrote:


Heck, Golarion is seriously like somebody duct-taped everything from the Forgotten Realms to Call of Cthulu together in some sort of sphere, rolled it around the office a few times, and said "Hey guys, we've got it".

With these words, I now associate Golarion with Katamari Damacy. Maybe forever. :D


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The Final Villain is a Dragon.

I've seen a lot of APs which use dragons. Many of them used them well enough, but in all of them, the dragon served as either an incidental encounter along the way, as one of the major lackies, or as the real boss's mega-tough second, third, or fourth in command.

A non-random 'random' encounter;

A Mega-Mook or Lieutenant;

Or a Major-Domo/General.

Despite arguably being the most potentially formidable customers in Golarion, the Dragon is never The Boss at the end. He is even arguably even seldom the boss of his own fate.

You'd think that sometime or other one of the creatures with the strongest creature type, the longest mortal lifespan, great spellcasting abilities, the potential to get mightier than the Tarrasque, and the widest range of challenge ratings without gaining character levels... would do something worthy of a band of heroes starting up an Adventure Path to just stop her.


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LeadPal wrote:
Question: are the mohrgs allied with the aranea or the oni, or are they a faction unto themselves? They don't have an origin listed.

When I first read that section, one thing immediately became clear. The Mohrgs have to be undead geishas.

Stick with me on this. Don't imagine skeletons in kimonos.

Imagine slender... even gaunt, pale women all painted up and wrapped up in traditional geiisha garb, with great long, segmented tongues lolling and questing from their mouths.

This is why they don't immediately slaughter their victims as a mohrg normally would.. they're geishas, and they carry off their victims (read "guests") to entertain them and sooth their wearied brows. However, the geishas' murderous mohrg instincts drive them to make torture of their performances, slowly and surely killing their honored guests with kindness. How intentionally ironic the slowly murdering torture-performances are... ie, whether the mohrg geisha understand what they're doing causes pain and suffering rather than calm and happiness; or if they exist in a fugue state of routine and simply don't realize they're driven by undead instincts of hate is up to you.

You can play up the horror of their knowing cruelty, or the tragedy of their broken condition.


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James Jacobs wrote:


Fair enough. It's certainly true that we haven't done much at all with orcs.

Yet.

That will change soon enough. [/i]
.

Personally, I think the best character development the orcs of Golarion ever got was way back in the story segments of the APs where Eando Kline worked his way through Belkzen.  All the different tribes, individuals, settlement details, and (violent) customs he encountered along the way did wonders to personify orcs as a people in Golarion.  I'm away from my AP collection right now, but I want to give the writer(s) big kudos and recommend anyone who sees the orcs of Golarion as under-characterized read those stories!  Now if I could only remember which volumes they were...


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FallofCamelot wrote:


Heh my players call him Ben. Funny old world...

Heh, neat!

There's a bit of a story about how he got his name in my game. My players and their characters decided he needed a name to humanize him before the judges and courthouse, that being called The Beast was only hurting his case.

So, they had a jam session with the Beast, trying to brainstorm with him over what he'd like to be called, while fitting him for a poncho they were sewing together for him out of curtains, (They thought keeping him from going around shirtless would also make him more respectable. Yes, my group became rather attached to him.)

One of the characters asked him, "Well, what did your creator name you?"

The Beast paused for a moment, then said, "I remember he called me 'vengeance,' sometimes."

All the heroes just sort of looked at each other and said, "Ah, no, no, we can't use that," then one of them asked, "Well, how about Ven?"

He tried it out a few times, and liked it. :)


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There is another angle you could play: What if he wasn't allowed to resurrect her?

The simplest approach is to invoke the will of Pharasma. Pharasma is all about life and death occurring according to the ways of fate and the natural balance. Defying a death already happened is questionable at best, and certain priests, psychopomps, and the goddess herself might object to the way that a nobleman's resources effortlessly recant the death of his lady while any peasant husband must mourn the loss of his wife when harsh childbirth claims them.

If you don't mind spoilers from the Campaign Setting Book: Rule of Fear, you could darken the atmosphere and further develop the bleak and terrible moods that drive Caromarc's acts of monstrous creation:

Spoiler:
According to Rule of Fear, Caromarc was outraged at the overthrow of the aristocracy and his resulting loss of power. Apparently, the creation of the Beast was actually an act of revenge against one of the most important architects of the push toward Parliament, Dr. Henri Moritz. The Doctor was blamed for the creation of the monster that destroyed him, and up until the conclusion of Trial of the Beast, no-one knew Count Caromarc made him.

What if the loss of power in and of itself wasn't the reason behind such a terrible fury. What if the fall of aristocracy "caused the death of his beloved wife" by preventing him from resurrecting her?

Let's say he lost his son and wife to birth complication during the fall of nobility. Restriction closed rapidly around the power of the ruling class, binding up much of Caromarc's resources in struggling to maintain his status. Perhaps even worse, the proponents of the new egalitarian order leaned heavily on those who could have been his allies. Doubtlessly, Count Caromarc could have, would have spent every last copper from his vaults to save his wife, and more... but what if the insurrectionists got to the church? If they influenced high ranking church officials, if some of them were priests, they might have blocked the revival of his wife on the grounds that aristocrats deserved no greater exemption from the reality of death than the common folk, tragic or no.

How angry would that make Caromarc? Angry enough to plot murder? Angry enough to create a symbolic son to avenge the death of his symbolic mother?

... Only to realize he had created a son in fact and be too ashamed (for many reasons, not the least that he begot his son as an act of wrath,) to accept him.

Oh yes, there's a lot you can do with this if you like to ply a tragic mood.


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Personally, I think the sting of "helping the Beast fight," would be alleviated by handing the Beast's stats over to the players and letting them run him during the Promethean Battle.

It makes sense that the PCs wired into the Bondslave Thrall would have a full idea of his capabilities. Having a cool overpowered monster character to mess around with for a session should be more than enough to make people excited and engaged with the dramatic finale.


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I have a player in one of my games whose PC will be getting the Leadership feat and an NPC cohort soon. Now I presume that the cohorts are supposed to be built using the elite array like the section in the Creating NPCs chapter of the Pathfinder Core Rulebook outlines... but I wanted to pick peoples' brains on the matter.

For example, my roommate is against that idea. All the NPCs in his game have always gotten their stats the way his players' characters do, by rolling the dice and making the best of what life gives you.

I know in the pre-Pathfinder days, when my players started experimenting with the ability score arrays, I always built NPCs on the same array as the players (32, usually.) Only since Pathfinder have I started using the Elite array because that seemed to be what I was supposed to do.

So I'm wondering what you all do with your npcs? Elite array? Different arrays? Roll their stats? Whatever seems most fitting for the character?


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Just recently in a game I'm running, the party ranger took a critical hit from a chupacabra. The result from the Critical Hit Deck was "Bone Masher: Normal Damage and 1d3 Str damage (arm.)" Essentially, it broke his arm or sprained it or something like. The part I'm uncertain of is that it says "Limb useless until healed." Is that until the ability damage is healed or until the hit point damage is healed?


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I have a character with scent in my game.

His player kind of uses it as an excuse to say "Wait," anytime anything tries to ambush them, "Didn't I smell it? Scent specifically says "A creature with the scent ability can detect opponents by sense of smell, generally within 30 feet. If the opponent is upwind, the range is 60 feet. If it is downwind, the range is 15 feet.""

Theoretically, I could say this makes scent way too powerful as a PC ability, but frankly, every 1st level druid and 4th level ranger potentially gains scent as a bonus ability with a whole pet animal attached as a bonus.

What bugs me the most about this is that lots of animals hunt by stealth. It's what they do. Since all animals have scent, how do they even catch anything if everything worth catching knows they're there?

I suppose I should just remind him that lots of creatures instinctively stay downwind and intelligent hunters learn to do the same; but does anyone else have tips for keeping scent from overwhelming their games?

Also... what kinds of illusions and self-alteration spells does scent penetrate?


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James Jacobs wrote:


As for which is older regarding qlippoth and proteans... depends who you ask. Certainly the multiverse as we know it had proteans in it first, but when they opened up access to the Abyss... the Abyss was already up and running with qlippoth inside it.

Personally, I like to think the qlippoth were first. But there's no way to know for sure.

I suppose it depends on whether, with infinite chaos, the Proteans created an entire abyssal universe (or place outside the universe, as the case may be,) whole-cloth, possibly including a timeline and history that in non-linear context had always existed to its inhabitants but really only just started now by the standards of the universe... and their creation was something they could neither contain or control.

Or if they just split the fallen tree or overturned the rock and found whole worlds of squirming life underneath, writhing a primal dance older than time or thought... and sadly, when the Proteans tried to put the bugs in squeamish Law's hair to make it cry, they discovered too late the things were poisonous.


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Pendagast wrote:
Serpent'skull would have been the place to hide said person, opportunity missed!

Funnily enough, I placed an Azlanti survivor into the Serpents' Skull and she's being played by one of my players.

She is an Oracle of Stone who had her gift turned against her for blasphemy, petrifying her for over five hundred years.

Serpent's Skull Spoilers Below:

Spoiler:
I placed her on Smuggler's Shiv. She was a former member of the Zura cult there, until she spoke out against the cult's decadence and earned an unholy smiting from the Demon Queen of Vampires. As the AP unwinds, I'm planning on using her as an info-dump and plot-hook source, because she was -alive- during the backstory of the path.

As for how I'm handling her +2 to every stat... I'm not. The player rolled obscenely well for the character (seriously,) and I said "that uber-ness represents your plus two to every stat." I did give the human +2, though, to be fair.


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Believe you me, the last thing I want to do is blame Paizo for the realities of game publishing.

Thankfully (and I thank Paizo for it,) the fact that all of their game books now come in PDFs does a lot to aleviate my dread of entropy.

I would like to suggest that Paizo render up PDF versions of their Planet Stories line. I don't know if there are any copyright logistics of the matter that would interfere at all, but considering Planet Stories is supposed to be all about keeping the old forgotten works of classic pulp authors in print, thinking of them becoming gone for good again is a little depressing.


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Makes it tough to run a lifespark golem, (from Advanced Bestiary, or just flesh golems in Classic Horrors Revisited,) spell-caster I wager; unless you, as a GM, are willing to bend the rules.

Personal spells don't seem to allow spell resistance, though. Or at least, they don't refer to SR in any personal spell listing.


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Kevin Mack wrote:
Well since I plan to run this at some point. Anyone have any suggestions about having certain NPC'S live? I mean would it derail the story if they (The pc's)managed to rescue say the halfling? I imagine if they were unable to save any of the NPC'S my players would quickly become annoyed.

Save the sexy halfling! Seriously, I described her as gorgeous, but my players (male and female) all went "Woah" collectively when they saw her portrait.

My advice to you is... this is the point where you don't want to "roll over" the heroes' actions, unlike escape attempts.

There are a couple of NPCs that probably "need" to die. For example...

Spoiler:
The awesome encounter with the Gut-Lurcher can't happen if the sorceress doesn't die.

... and a few should die, just to show the PCs things are serious, but if the heroes actually do make a serious and well-planned concerted effort to protect NPCs, give them a shot at succeeding. It's the hero thing. Maybe their devotion gives Mord doubts, and he receeds after a half-hearted swipe or two.

On the other hand, if the players leave everyone to fend for themselves, chew through the NPCs according to Mord's schedule. Just do it. He means business.


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Penny Sue wrote:
Any advice or tips for running this adventure? I have a lot of my own ideas about these questions but would love to hear yours as well!

Well, I've run this adventure and it went pretty well, so let's see what I can offer...

Penny Sue wrote:


Managing all of the NPCs and the complicated, interwoven, plot between all of the NPCs and PCs?

Conveying the complicated plot in a way so that the players can figure it out? Was confusing enough for me reading it and I had all the answers in plain sight!

Remember, the ghost has an inside man, and he can pass on information if the players get stymied. They weren't directly involved, so he technically doesn't have a grudge against them... in fact, they may be his best tool to get things where they need to be.

The heroes weren't on the jury. Everyone else was. Everyone else has information they don't. Play it up and goad the players into shaking down the jury members for clues. Diplomacy and Intimidate checks are fine to start with, but once things get crazy and people start dying, don't be afraid to forget the dice and just have NPCs spill their guts out of terror. (well, um, it'll happen literally too, but that's not what I meant.) I think that once the PCs realize most everyone had a reason to strike down Mord, the picture starts clearing up.

Penny Sue wrote:


Tips for getting it done in 4-6 hours of game time? We play one-shot adventures once a month for about 6 hours. If it's not possible then where's a good 'break point' to stop and start again next month?

The night is on a timeline. Things happen according to Mord's schedule. You get to be Mord's director. Look at the schedule ahead of time and adjust it to be shorter if you think you'll need it. (say, shorting something that happens an hour apart to 1/2 hour.) Most of all, make sure the players and their characters know they can't afford to drift off task, because that's when people start dying and coming back.

Penny Sue wrote:


Better way of keeping them in the building so either can't leave it or always end up back in it? Only lame thing about the module was that they suggested you 'warp' them back into the building if they leave; I didn't care for that.

To keep them in the building, I'd suggest taking away the doors and windows, and surrounding the outdoor areas they -can- reach with a tangible fog that gets thicker and firmer until it's practically solid, and the press of seemingly infinite broken-necked zombies, almost like they've fallen into a demiplane of dread whose borders won't open until the night is resolved.

A touch of Ravenloft here or there goes a long way, but I also can't help imagining a frankly wonderfully oppressive and horrifying episode of Samurai Jack where just that happened... he became trapped in a house where a demon long ago rose and did terrible deeds to claim the spirits within and it Won't Let Him Leave, stealing doors and windows, and creating layers of walls when tries to slice his way free, leaving him in claustrophobic rooms haunted by the ghosts of the people it stole. Or the old classic computer game Alone in the Dark, where the protagonist is trapped in a mansion crawling with zombies, spirits, less speakable things, and the mystery of their unholy existence, trying to leave by the front door finds you staring down the Cold Dark Void and an Eldritch Horror.

In horror games, a certain amount of "shutting down" the players is in bounds, because that's the point. Bad things are happening, they're in over their heads, and they can't just get away. It's all in how the you describe the horrible presence using them and keeping them pinned down that keeps it from sounding like a cheap "No, play the module."

Penny Sue wrote:
Ways to keep the mystery, suspense, and horror at full throttle? My players enjoy some music in the background so I've got some good creepy (yet not annoying) music to play. Anything else?

Work on your best intimidating croak. ;)

Seriously, I find Jarbin Mord to be the centerpiece of the module, and if the PCs are afraid of him, everything sort of flows from there. I got into the part by starting with the creepy croaking woman in the Grudge, and then transforming her into an imposing spectre of a giant of a man. :)

One thing that happened when I ran the game was that a PC (the boldest character in the group) cracked a joke at Jarbin. I had the strangled ghost try to laugh. One of my other players said, "That's the creepiest thing."

Hope it helps!


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Well... looking at the idea by region, these are my thoughts.

In Korvosa, he should have the biggest problems because the societal alignment there is not inherently good, and in addition, has a tradition of racism towards non-Chelish types, let alone toward non-human humanoids.

Riddleport might be problematic, because life and death are cheap there, and if a gnoll gets killed in the street, nobody's going to complain. That said, I'd tend to use Riddleport as a wretched hive of scum and villainy where anything goes as long as the cash still flows. If a hobgoblin sea-captain docks up at port, providing his coin is good, he's a paying customer. I find it useful to have places where the "enemy races" can interact and trade with the bastions of human civilisation as semi-neutral zones, particularly if there isn't an actual active war. Otherwise, I'm not wholey sure where they're spending their human-minted gold. Not sure that's how it is by "canon," but that's how I'd run it.

In Magnimar, I'd imagine a lot of due process, a lot of holding at checkpoints, interviews, and vouching for identity and good character. With alignment detection spells, legal knowledge of the existence of the reincarnation spell, and the fact he can demonstrate he's a temple trained monk, I'd suggest he could finally get a legal pass denoting him as a safe gnoll.

It's also worth noting, I don't think gnolls or hyenas are actually native to Varisia, so he may be almost as much of a curiousity as a threat. I won't go far as to suggest everyone'll go "DOGGY!" when they see him, (well, maybe the golems,) but they might not have the reflexive reaction of fear that comes from viewing gnolls raids as a real and valid danger.