Elephant

Grendel Todd's page

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32. Goblin Squad Member. Organized Play Member. 260 posts (306 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 10 aliases.


RSS

1 to 50 of 260 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | next > last >>
RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

6 people marked this as a favorite.

Given that the Emerald Spire is in effect about as big as an AP, are we going to see an Emerald Spire Player's Guide at some point?

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

n00bxqb wrote:
10-point buy, low magic, low wealth, no hero points and you probably don't even need to scale encounters. 1st level will probably be ridiculously easy, but it should scale fairly well beyond that.

I'd disagree with the Hero Point, as I find them useful as a counter to less magic items available from loot divisions (which gets rather noticeable once you hit higher levels). That being said, I can see the point of one less optional rules set at the table to keep track of being a good thing, so you could go either way with it. Pros and cons on both sides.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Actually it's 5% every time you enter a new hex, 15% each day, AND 15% each night camping out, so over all lots of little chances for extra action. One thing I like to do there is roll for potential encounters before play & note down results so I'll be ready well ahead of time (so, for example, I'll know the 3rd hex they enter will have 4 bandits wandering about pretending to be hunters because they're outnumbered, the second day out they'll run into a herd of Elk that will aggressively attack because it's spring and the young bucks are challenging everything, and the 5th night camping they are attacked by a pair of trolls looking for a late night snack - maybe slap the Young template on one or both to give low level heroes slightly better chances. Being ready ahead of time for wandering critters really helps with fine-tuning fights, adding terrain features (like maybe a cave with a small entrance so the Pcs can hide from Trolls if they need to retreat), or even working out special loot for the monsters so you can get a little extra gear to the party, etc.

Getting your group well-versed with the KM building rules well ahead of time is also good. Amongst other things It'll mean that if they have any problems with them you'll get plenty of warning (first time I ran KM my players HATED the rules, so I ended up having to find an alt set of rules to use on the fly - didn't work too well). Remember also to look up advice & suggestions here on the forums for pros & cons of the system (it really was effectively a play test rules set for the revised & updated rules we'll likely be seeing in the upcoming Ultimate Campaign Guide book in, what is it? March? May?). The free Wayfinder fanzine also has a few issues with additional buildings & optional rules that are worth checking out.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

I'm very curious how this threat will play out - I just started a KM game a few weeks back with 9, so I suspect I could use advice as well on that front. I'll share what I've come up with, and what folks have suggested to me:

a) No summons/summoners - not so useful for me since I already allowed one before I got that little gem, but I'm allowing him to run a Synthasist (doubly cursed!) under the idea that it'll reduce the amount of character actions he brings to the table. Summon spells - when they are used - give minimum results as long as the group is big. Also banning companions an standard leadership for the moment. This is all to reduce the player economy of action & keep combat moving faster than a snails' pace. Getting players to get organized before their turn also helps - maybe a return to the classic "caller" system? - I've suggested it but been unable to get my crew to go with it.

b)Wandering monsters are your friend. They really really are. I've found they're especially useful in KM for filling in xp & loot that might otherwise seem lacking because of a larger group.

c) On planned encounters: The suggestion on adding extras to a fight is good. Adding one or two mooks per pc above 5 is a good start. Remember the base assumption that a group of 6 + counts as an apl +1 works (kinda) for realigning many encounters as well, so adding the Advanced (or other) template (s) are a good way to beef up solo or boss critters too. With some of the encounters though, it may be worth it to beef up a critter to the next tougher size/type

such as:
...like shifting the cursed advanced bear in the temple ruin to a dire bear, or making tuskgutter a dire boar, rather than the advanced boar setup he's stated with.
Another trick I've done is to add a second or third unit of mooks with different gear/tactics to spice an encounter (such as adding polearm/spear wielders to add reach to a fight, or maybe a shield-wall crew to keep the enemy away from archers).

d) xp jiggering: I always use the generalized, rather than exact split, rule for divvying up xp, as it stops arguments at the table about too many pcs reducing individual pc xp yields fairly effectively. If they know they'll all be getting the same cut, no mater how many above 5 they have, they tend to be more comfortable with the extra help. You might also bump the bonus exp for exploring, quests & kingdom management by one step (usually 1 CR rank should do it).

e) adding adventures/encounters: one great thing about KM is it's flexibility for adding in new material. Unlike some other APs, it's fairly easy to modify a module or encounter from another AP and just tuck it willy-nilly into an otherwise empty hex. Same goes for whole-cloth original encounters. I'm currently planning on tucking in "From Shore to Sea" in Candlemere/part two, and am considering squeezing in the adaptation of "Castle Amber" discussed elsewhere on these forums (something I seem to recall at least one other has done with their KM game to some success). Also hoping to squeeze in "Thornkeep" and "Emerald Spire" (once it's out) if I can ever settle on where to tuck them.

Anyway, thats more than I'd originally intended to toss out, but hopefully useful advice none the less, and I look forward to seeing what you and others have to say on the subject (given I'm in a similar boat).

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

I have a new crew wanting to do something sandboxy, so I'm again giving Kingmaker a good run ( just in time for the new Ulitimate Campaign Guide!).This time my heroes are a bunch of amoral (but lawful leaning) thug... er... adventurers:

Focus, an elvish Plague Sorcerer wiho hides his horrible, pock-marked features under a shadowed hood.
The Elf with No Name, a half-elf Ranger good with bows and a forgettable name here to homestead himself a future.
Gruunth, a half-Orc Cavalier of the Order of the Pale Dragon - dumb as a post but as good and noble as this group gets.
Grautha, a half-Orc Cleric of Pharasma here to get those she meets right with the Lady of Death.
Gel'nock, a half-Orc Rogue ex-Bandit working with our heroes rather than being put to the sword.
Kazooie, a Breegul Synthisist (home brew bird race) with a thing for "riding" his bear Eidolon.
Dorn, a Kellid Barbarian from Numeria with a thing for Greatswords
Tim, a savage human Wizard from the wilds
Deus Sertova, a Sulis Bladebound Elemental Knight Magus - psychotic bastard son of the king

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

So far combat hasn't been much of a problem, but then again, 1st level parties usually resolve combat quickly, thanks to low HP & lack of options, no matter the number. I'm a bit more worried about down the road with that: the six-man campaign I was just in ended at 13-14th level and combat craaawled.

Leadership won't be a problem for a while, and I'm currently planning on restricting it to the Bullet-Points: 2 Options for the Leadership Feat article from Super Genius Games, so folks can have non-combat flunkies.

I like the requisition idea! I've already got an Obsidian Portal site up for the game, and have been stressing the players make full use of it, so perhaps I can encourage that sort of game prep/transaction through there. I've already stated we'll be handling all Kingdom and Crafting management through there, so that's less things to have to manage at table. Now if I can only figure out a way to get them to handle loot division in a similarly less slow way...

I have considered splitting the group up (and, in fact, was what I did the last time I ran KM), but having the free time to do so may not be an option.

I was concerned about the Synthisist, but the player has been bending over backward to assure me what I says goes for him, so I'm letting him run it for now (he's also running it in conjunction with a home-brewed bird-race built up in the ARG - a serious labor of love character - with the understanding that if the character proves too much she will be carried off by amorous Owlbears and never be seen again).

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Heh, I'll definitely keep the spell-casting advice in mind. We have 5 casters (4 arcane, 1 divine). The one summoner is a Synithisist, which - while it has it's own problems - at least solves the multiple character problem. The Cavalier in the party has a mount, but the mount seems mainly to be used for battlefield mobility, and goes on his initiative, so that shouldn't be a problem. The Wizard is using a bonded item rather than a familiar, so no issue there. They're all 1st level, so it's pretty easy to cap any extra allies from this point forward.

The interesting point alignment wise is, while they're all mostly neutral, about half are Lawful, and only two are evil (one is good, but enjoying a low wisdom and playing being relatively oblivious). Three are Chaotic Neutral however - it remains to be seen how much of that is CN for the role-play & how much will actually be problematic (the closest we have to the classic CN/CE "jerk" character is actually LE, so I've already got my work cut out on that front - the rest are all pretty well behaved, good role-players).

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

So I've always been fond of large groups, and don't usually find them that hard to manage, but Pathfinder, with it's attention to game balance, can get a little tricky. With my new Kingmaker campaign I have nine PCs (most of whom are amoral buggers, several on the shady side), slightly large even for me.

My question then for my fellow GMs (as well as players with constructive experience) is on what worked for you, and what didn't, as well as what strategies help with resizing encounters without adding precariously to combat time and session length.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 aka Grendel Todd

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Congrats to those of you who made it - I look forward to your merry monster mashing. As one of those no longer under the gun I can finally relax and join the chorus cheering you on. Best of luck!

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 aka Grendel Todd

1 person marked this as a favorite.

"We who are about to die salute you..."

Best of luck to you all, and hope to see y'all on the other side (fellow competitors or no).

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 aka Grendel Todd

Thanks for your observations and commentary, it's proving quite educational. I'll definitely keep it in mind if I advance (and failing that, should I find myself involved in future competitions). For those of you who like the organization, please give it a vote. I'll happily chat more about it once voting is done and the contest has moved on.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 aka Grendel Todd

Oh, and... Smurf?

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 aka Grendel Todd

I was introduced to the little brown box (1st ed. for those who never encountered it) at an impressionable age and have never been the same since.

I'm a GMing addict. While I like to play when I can (currently a regular in a CotCT game a friend of mine is running - just hit our 2nd year too - there was pie!), I suffer from withdrawals if I'm not running something at least once a week (no joke - it isn't pretty). These days I'm running two weekly Pathfinder APs (CC & JR) and one WoD game.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 aka Grendel Todd

Mine is done and in - ran it through the family member with the English degree (my wife's pet name for me is "the Word-mangler!") and butchered it down to size. Now to twiddle my thumbs for a week and think about what monstrosity to submit if I'm lucky enough to saunter onward.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 aka Grendel Todd

Seconded! (or is that third-ed?)

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 aka Grendel Todd

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I finished my first draft this morning, and given it was a 500+ beast, I've been feeling like Cinderella's step-sister all through the editing, debating which of my toes to cut off just to squeeze my foot into this dang slipper...

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 aka Grendel Todd

Congrats one and all! I'm still a little wobbly over finding myself amongst you, and am glad I gave what thought I had to my organization a month back.

Now I just need to write it up...

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 aka Grendel Todd

Wow! I'm immensely grateful to have made it this far, and appreciate both the advice and commentary that's been given. I look forward to showing what I can do with this opportunity, and hope everyone has fun with the results.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

me too! me too! (please)

E-mail:
GrendelTodd@Gmail.com

Goblin Squad Member

If the game is taking into account an accelerated time cycle, I'd really like to see Age and aging as a relevant point to the game. I like RPGs where my PC can grow from a snot-nosed young punk to a venerable sage, and I've always looked for MMOs that allow for that element to keep characters from being static. I've been disappointed that in most games characters only change their look through gear or barber/hairstylist-visits.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Gluttony wrote:

My players are nowhere near the special reward in Brinewall castle yet, but I want to start thinking about it now, mostly because magic items is an area of GMing where I'm pretty weak. I don't really know what to give them, so I was hoping for some assistance.

The party consists of
- A halfling paladin who uses a warhammer and tower shield, and is rather Charisma-based.
- A dwarf druid, very focused on druid magic.
- A human magus, kind of a jack of all trades and with by far the most skill ranks in the group, she likes fighting at range or with reach.
- A tengu monk, plans to go monk/duelist, uses a siangham since it's both a light piercing weapon (for duelist) and a monk weapon.

The only one I can think of anything for is the monk, who would probably love a Ki focus siangham. He was thrilled with even his regular one since it was the only weapon we could find in the core books that fell into all three of the light, piercing, and monk categories and would allow the class combo he wanted to work the way he wanted it.

Here's a quick set of suggestions:

A small-sized magic shield +1 or +2, Blinding for the Halfling Pally,
Druidic Vestments for the Dwarf Druid,
Headband of Vast Intelligence +2 for the Magus.
I think your right on target for the Monk.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Karui Kage wrote:

I had a few questions in regards to NPC Relationships.

1. A player is allowed to give a gift/insult once per level in an attempt to raise their relationship score. If they forget or are otherwise unable to do so during one level, are they allowed to later? This is especially important during the first book when Ameiko is in a coma for part of the adventure, as the players may gain more than one level while she is out. Personally, I am leaning towards saying that the gifts/insults can be given whenever, up to a max of their level, but am willing to hear other opinions.

The restriction of once per level IS a pain to keep track of, but I've been sticking to it and it seems to be working well and keeps it from being abused (which I know certain players will, if I let them). Don't forget the DCs are exceedingly low early on, and in beating the DC by 10+ boost you by 2, not 1, so any lost ground is easily made up by even the most unskilled PCs at low to midlin levels.

Karui Kage wrote:


2. The special relationship bonuses given at the end of a module, are those given to the entire group? For example, killing 10 goblins during the first book for Shalelu.

Yes, the award is for all the PCs. That being said, I've only been applying it in my game to those involved who helped in those circumstances. So if someone wasn't on hand to help kill those 10+ Goblins, oh well (if they're involved in enough Goblin butchery later, such as having a run in with Goblins while Caravaning, I'd give it to them then).

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Technically both deaths came from rejiggering Thistletop as a side adventures for JR, and both characters died one after the other in successive sessions, but this really doesn't have any spoilers for the other AP.

Name: the Traveler
Race: Human
Classes/levels: Figher 2
Adventure: Brinewall Legacy/Burnt Offerings
Location: Thistletop
Catalyst: Mobbed by Goblins and Goblin Dogs
The Gory Details: Having single-handedly survived falling 80' into the surf to swim into a nearby cave to, again, single-handedly kill the Bunyip, Traveler was pretty confidant when he showed up late to the party, tucking himself around the corner of the door while everyone else scooted onto the fortress roof to fill the Goblin Dogs in the courtyard full of arrows and daggers. Sadly the half-dozen Goblins/Goblin Dogs playing whack-a-segul on the other side of the wall overheard their bark/squeeks and came barriling around the side in search of the trouble, stumbling into him. While the 4 Goblins in the towers were busy keeping the rest of the PCs on the roof occupied (including chucking pickles in random directions), Traveler found himself in a bad situation going worse when the dozen opponents he had to himself went up half again as the 6 or so Goblins from inside finally made their way out through the front as well. Thanks to the Diehard feat and luck he managed to hold out long enough for the rest of the gang to deal with the enemy above and join him to kill the enemy bellow, but he just couldn't keep up, surrounded as he was, and took one nasty shot that killed him outright right near the end.

Name: Hobbs
Race: Half-fiend (using Advanced Racial Guide beta)
Classes/levels: Oracle 1
Adventure: Brinewall Legacy/Burnt Offerings
Location: Thistletop Dungeon, level 1
Catalyst: One-shotted in the surprise round in the Temple.
The Gory Details: Hobbs joined up as a disillusioned turncoat, splitting with the bad-guys once he met our heroes as they were heading downstairs and he was attempting to leave. Giving them some much-needed exposition as t what was going on, he helped them in their hunt, killing just about everyone/thing they ran into, up until they wandered into the Temple of Lamashtu, which he new little about (his information was about as good as Oriks' as to what was what). None of them spotted the two Yith Hounds floating above as they entered the Temple, so were at a loss when one howled and another dove in to bite. Two PCs failed their saves miserably and fled (or hid in a corner cowering), leaving him and Shalelu to fend them off, and he couldn't take one bite, dropping in the surprise round, only to bleed to death a few rounds later as Shalelu was too busy fighting for her life (even the JR level 6 version had trouble here) and the other PCs fled or incapacitated with fright.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Technically both deaths came from rejiggering Thistletop from RotR as a side adventure, and both characters died one after the other in successive sessions, so to avoid spoilers for THAT campaign path I'm stuffing the play-by-plays behind spoiler-tags for those concerned about such things.

Name: the Traveler
Race: Human
Classes/levels: Figher 2
Adventure: Brinewall Legacy/Burnt Offerings
Location: Thistletop
Catalyst: Mobbed by Goblins and Goblin Dogs
The Gory Details:

Spoiler:
Having single-handedly survived falling 80' into the surf to swim into a nearby cave to, again, single-handedly kill the Bunyip, Traveler was pretty confidant when he showed up late to the party, tucking himself around the corner of the door while everyone else scooted onto the fortress roof to fill the Goblin Dogs in the courtyard full of arrows and daggers. Sadly the half-dozen Goblins/Goblin Dogs playing whack-a-segul on the other side of the wall overheard their bark/squeeks and came barriling around the side in search of the trouble, stumbling into him. While the 4 Goblins in the towers were busy keeping the rest of the PCs on the roof occupied (including chucking pickles in random directions), Traveler found himself in a bad situation going worse when the dozen opponents he had to himself went up half again as the 6 or so Goblins from inside finally made their way out through the front as well. Thanks to the Diehard feat and luck he managed to hold out long enough for the rest of the gang to deal with the enemy above and join him to kill the enemy bellow, but he just couldn't keep up, surrounded as he was, and took one nasty shot that killed him outright right near the end.

Name: Hobbs
Race: Half-fiend (using Advanced Racial Guide beta)
Classes/levels: Oracle 1
Adventure: Brinewall Legacy/Burnt Offerings
Location: Thistletop Dungeon, level 1
Catalyst: One-shotted in the surprise round in the Temple.
The Gory Details:

Spoiler:
Hobbs joined up as a disillusioned turncoat, splitting with the bad-guys once he met our heroes as they were heading downstairs and he was attempting to leave. Giving them some much-needed exposition as t what was going on, he helped them in their hunt, killing just about everyone/thing they ran into, up until they wandered into the Temple of Lamashtu, which he new little about (his information was about as good as Oriks' as to what was what). None of them spotted the two Yith Hounds floating above as they entered the Temple, so were at a loss when one howled and another dove in to bite. Two PCs failed their saves miserably and fled (or hid in a corner cowering), leaving him and Shalelu to fend them off, and he couldn't take one bite, dropping in the surprise round, only to bleed to death a few rounds later as Shalelu was too busy fighting for her life (even the JR level 6 version had some trouble here) and the other PCs fled or incapacitated with fright.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

One possible house-rule you might consider is a return or adaptation of the old Training rules from earlier editions, with an added stipulation of reasonable explanation for multiclassing into key classes. If you set bare minimum requirements for certain Classes (such as apprenticing to a Wizard, studying at a Monastery to become a Cleric or Monk), or proving themselves to the local Thieve's Guild by robbing a bank (for the Rogue), you're realistically providing the "why" and the "how" of the PC in question multiclassing, and possibly giving extra adventure opportunities ("Ah my apprentice" the Wizard sighs, "I am in desperate need of a Roc's egg - won't you be a dear and go fetch me one?").

Some classes (like Barbarian, Sorcerer or Oracle) arguably don't even need training, just the right background/montage explanation.

The challenge here is setting stipulations that don't pull them unduly out of play (why I'm against training times in a new class longer than a few weeks, though that's more an issue for the speed of game between adventures - in something like Kingmaker time isn't as important as the more traditional questing plot-line).

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Diego Rossi wrote:

@ Grendel

it wouldn't be a bit underwhelming for warriors?

True, that is a problem for single-target combatants. A few solutions that might work (depending on the build of the character) would be to tack on their damage if they have Cleave or other extra attacks (making the argument they can hammer multiple targets in short order). I'd also been considering applying Precision damage (from sneak attacks and such) under the theory of ambushes, hit and run tactics, etc. The key point here is to give each player the option of coming up with an argument for how their Hero can affect the tide of battle - even if it's easier to see how a spellcaster can do it with spells/bombs/whatever, all PCs should get a shot at doing something cool.

I haven't really gotten a chance to test any of the rules yet (RAW or otherwise), but reading through the design notes for coming up with your own encounters I can already see monsters get a much more consistent upgrade in to-hit/dmg/AC progression by CR vs. Caravan by level. Where the Caravans have an edge is in HP, though that advantage swiftly drops off at higher levels/CR. The best a caravan can get for damage output is 4d6+lvl(+1 per Balista), if I recall correctly. I don't like just bumping up damage per level, as has been suggested though. Much prefer a system where PC actions (or at least caravan jobs) are important to evening up the inequalities. Perhaps each Guard and Ballista could grant an additional die of damage?

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

I'm considering adding an "Economy of Action" rule for Hero characters in combat, wherein each round each PC can state they're doing one thing (cast a spell, chuck a bomb, etc) to assist the Caravan as a whole. Damage from such area effect attacks would stack on with the base damage the Caravan does, while healing effects heal the Caravan's HP. A key element of this is that it has to be able to affect a group of targets, so Fireballs and Channel Energy would work fine, but single target effects would not. Obviously this would require a little judicious GM adjudication (since I'm really unwilling to write up another 20+ pages of rules just for all the random things PCs might try to pull), but otherwise should work well for giving the players the feeling they add significantly to the battle.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

While setting books are nice (and yeah, I will be buying this one), I'm a much bigger fan of the APs (especially when they have nice tie in books - like this one). I'm skipping the next couple of APs as it is (no interest in GMing pirates & artifact-collecting, though I'll play 'em if one of my friends decides to give one a try), but a Sword & Planet fantasy is definitely my bag of tea.

In general I've really liked the "nitch"/experimental campaigns over more traditional ones.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

I've always followed the rule of thumb that "what's good for the goose is good for the gander" - ie. if the players can make use of it, so can the GM. Give Antagonize to an antagonist NPC sometime and let him loose on the PCs. I have had players actively beg me to ban broken Feats before for just this reason - as nasty they can make it, they know I can get a lot more evil with it, and for them, it just isn't worth the pain.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

I'm getting a lot of mileage out of my Vivisectionist Alchemist/Raging Drunk Barbarian/Master Chemyst. Another surprising combo for me was a Rogue/Cavalier. Finally Antipladin/Oracle of Battle/Witch works pretty well.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

I introduced them in my Kingmaker game, and have since been using them to great success in both my Jade Regent & Carrion Crown campaigns. They work very well for giving the PCs that little extra something when their chips are down and their backs are to the wall.

I hand out bonus HP in CC when ever they hit one of the suggested "Harrow" points, which works very well, while in JR I give them out at the end of very hard boss fights (near TPK situations), though I suspect I'll give out more at the end of key chapters. I also use them as a reward for cool things players do (bringing snacks, helping with setup, painting minis or other artwork - anything that really adds to the game), though I try to restrict such individual awards to about one a session.

My experience has been that some players really get into the economy of them, spending them as frequently as they get them while others though will just sit on them until they max out, using them sparingly. The split is roughly half n' half, group-wise.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Like what I'm seeing so far, though I trust this will not be the end-all & be-all of the abilities to come. I wants' to build me a Troll! (well, maybe a Troll-kin - I've never been satisfied with Half-trolls).

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Thanks for the romance scores and relationship rewards! I think this is one of the cooler sub-rule sets I've seen. Think we might be getting a few more pieces like this for filling out JR as it comes out?

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Being a seasoned gm of heavy rp games may warp my view a little, but I frankly found the two pages quite reasonable for what they're up to so far in the AP. More would to my mind be too much - harkening back to the OPs question as to wither they overshadowed pcs, really. I'm used to having plenty of flex room for allied npcs if they're going to last for more than a scene or two, so making it up to a certain extent suits me just fine.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Oh, and just wanted to say I've been loving BL so far - my party's perpetual habit of nearly dieing in every major fight notwithstanding :)

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Rob McCreary wrote:

I have to disagree here. During development, we track XP and treasure totals for each adventure to ensure that each adventure gives the PCs enough XP and treasure to get where they need to be, and that information is used to create the "Advancement Track" at the beginning of the adventure.

While we generally assume that most groups will also have random encounters, not every group does, nor will every group meet every encounter, but we hope that the combination of the two averages out. And the Advancement Track is there to help GMs know where their players should be at certain points in the adventure, so that if they miss some of the encounters in the adventure, the GM can add more to get them to the correct level.

In any case, we assume that the PCs will hit every encounter, and add up all of the scripted encounters in the adventure to reach the XP totals in the Advancement Track.

Looking back at my tracking worksheet, the PCs can each acquire just over 2,700 XP by the time they finish the swamp, bringing them to 2nd level. After exploring the first level and environs of Brinewall Castle, the PCs should each have about 6,800 XP, bringing them to 3rd level (and thus able to make a "serious attempt" at exploring the remainder of the castle). At the end of the adventure, if they have met every encounter, each PC will have over 11,000 XP, well above 4th level.

As a side note, the assumption is that there are 4 PCs in an average party. If a PC party is larger or smaller than this, the GM will need to make adjustments to the encounters (and the XP given) to reflect this.

Are the story awards for relationship xp being counted towards that total? That may account for some of the "missing xp" people are looking for right right there.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Having run several, I'd definitely agree on KM, SS, JR & CC. KM, SS & JR all have solid collections of useful npcs that you could easily use as the basis for a party surrounding and taking direction from a PC leader, with only a modicum of adjustment (ie. throwing out any of the usual suggestions these APs make for why they're not more helpful). CC has Kendra, who serves fairly well as a support npc - throw in an Acolyte from the temple of Pharasma and one of the Deputees from Ravengro, and maybe one other npc to fill out what ever role your lacking, and you should be set. CC, JR & KM also has a lot of non-combat options for garnering xp (KM has kingdom building & exploration, JR has relationships, and CC has a wide variety of investigation and other intrigues - all with bonus story awards).

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Early on when my party arrived in Lepidstadt, I had one of the PCs literally bump into AA in the Inn they were getting rooms at while he in turn was leaving, and said PC recognizes him as someone she'd met at a party in the capital a decade before. They traded pleasantries before he took off, and they've largely forgotten him now, but he did briefly mention his plans for going off to a certain Hunting Lodge with friends, and that perhaps he'd see her again there.

My plan is to have a Simulacrum of AA traveling with Count Galdana to keep an eye on him, possibly as his secretary, and insert them into the mystery at the lodge in BM (possibly combining the Count with one of the other characters there - Cilas Graydon or Corvin Tergsvor). If the Simulacrum of AA is suspected/found out, either in BM or AaD, he should still be manageable (tough in BM, not so much in AaD). This earlier entrance to the storyline should solidly plant not just AA, but the Count as personae the party knows.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

dartnet wrote:
Oliver von Spreckelsen wrote:
Perhaps another series of modules akin to the Osirion arc (J1 and J4)would fill this need? You are looking for a second campaign arc, but not an Adventure Path.

This is something I would love to see more of. Linked modules that are not APs or PFS.

Hint hint...Nudge nudge...Poke poke.....

Especially in the 15-20 range. Too many APs rap up before then, and yet I still have players who want to get all the way to their capstone abilities.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Lack of a cleric shouldn't be that big of an issue in HoH. My group got through it just fine without one, though admittedly theirs was a large and at times varied company. The adventure is well padded with healing loot, and Holy Water is not hard to come by. Also, if the group is small there's always the option of recruiting an ally. I had Kendra assisting my group for a bit (they were also short on arcane casters), and you could always see about the local Temple sending along an Acolyte if things are looking truly dire.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Through Harrowstone my group was sagging a bit in the xp department (large group), so I actually added a number of encounters for the trip north to Lepidstadt:

Early on they stopped at Castle Andatchi at the suggestion of the PC Dhampyr, who felt she'd better visit her Vampire parent while she was in the neighborhood. While there the party was suitably creeped out, but ended up lending a hand when "Mother" had to go deal with an Orc raiding party trying to slip past the boarder (she is a true Ustalavian patriot after all).

Next night they found and played through the encounter with the Crooked Kin, and because they failed to kill the Feaster before it could escape, they've had (well, specifically the party paladin has had) to deal with occasional ambushes for the rest of the trip (thanks to the inventive uses of plot-twist cards, the two seem to be developing a very... disturbing... rivalry).

Once in Tamrivena I ran the Black Goat scenario (Kobold Quarterly 17, author Richard L. Smith II), which fit very well in that paranoid place. I found that a Seugathi (Bestiary 2) makes for a very good Sleeper-in-darkness.

From then on it was a small helping of wandering monsters for the remainder of the trip (though I personalized the pack of Ghouls as having come from Clover's Crossing, led by the party Bard's ex-girlfriend wishing only to "bring him home").

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

I've been having great success with a Alchemist/Barbarian and just hit 12th, so I suppose I'll weigh in. Keep in mind this character was not built, per se, but evolved in play to become what she is.

At this point she's a 1/2 elf Alchemist (Vivisectionist/Beastmorph) 8/Barbarian (Raging Drunk) 1/Master Chymist 3, and so far it's been a pretty brutal combo.

Following the classic 4d6, take best 3 & spread as you will:
Str 14
Dex 16 (15 +1 for level)
Con 12 (11 +1 level)
Int 18 (16 +2 for race)
Wis 14
Cha 10 (9 +1 for level)

Gear stat boosters include a Belt of Giant Str +4, Gloves of Dex +2, and a Headband of Mental Superiority +2 (not included in the stats above).

Traits:
Lost love (Orphaned)
Rich Parents

Feats (not listed in order received):
Dodge
Eldritch Claws (usable only in conjunction with my Feral Mutagen)
Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Launching Crossbow)
Extra Discovery
Master Alchemist
Toughness

Skill Focus for being a half-elf is in (Craft Alchemy)

Discoveries (again, not in order taken):
Feral Mutagen
Infusion
Sticky poison
Bleeding Attack
Preserve Organs

Advanced Mutagen:
Nimble

I use Acrobatics & Stealth a lot these days. Early on I focused a lot more on Heal & Craft Alchemy (original concept was a half Shoanti/elf Doctor, and before Vivisectionist/Beastmorph archetypes where available), but somewhere along the line I became the party's support tank (honestly didn't see that coming) and began focusing a lot more on combat utility spells/mutagen effects.

If there was one feat I'd drop as being virtually useless, it would be the Exotic Weapon (Launching Crossbow) - I used it once or twice, but have perpetually found better uses for myself in combat since then.

Most of the time I use Feral Strength Mutagen with Heroisim, See Invisibility, False Life & Barkskin up (cycling through Flight, Invisibility/Greater Invisibility, Bear's Endurance, and Shield). Currently armed and armored with a Frost Dragon-bane Greatsword +1 & Mythral Ghost-touched Full Plate +1, Amulet of Nat Armor +1 & Ring of Protection +1 (meaning my AC starts at 28 & can get upwards of 37 when cranked up on Mutagen & spells - a little worse at the moment, actually, since excessive use of a Rod of Wonder has left me tiny for a day).

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Brodyz wrote:

I just realized that Google Docs allows PDF's. I slapped together a couple of anti-orc posters that my group will see on the gates to Tamrivema tonight. There is a half orc in the party, so that could be interesting...

Here is the link...

Go to [url=https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=explorer&chrome=true&srcid=0B56ASfNXDAyCODdmMTM4MDAtZjA3OC00ODdjLWFmMzgtZDhmYzZlZDA4NWMx&hl=en[/url].

I hope I pasted the link properly...

Oh, I used images from a Google images search for orcs, so if any of the art is copyrighted then I will take them down.

Wow - wish I'd had these a month or two ago when my troop went through there. Great stuff. Sadly I'm already 1bout half-way through TotB, so most of this is water under the bridge for me, but the Clover's Crossing stuff gives me some good ideas (my group has been saying they want to go check it out eventually).

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Alephtau wrote:
I would tend to agree as well, but curious what Paizo's official stance would be. And another i remembered while at work was Trust Points, though not sure what adventure they were in, but if i recall correctly it was not stated there either.

Trust points were in Haunting of Harrowstone if I remember rightly. I've been up front about things like trust & relationship points, since I generally feel it helps the players get on board with focusing on such elements - how "meta" it gets really depends on the group (I have one group which is excellent about such things, the other not so much).

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

I actually found Kingmaker to be one of the better APs for large groups, thanks to it's Sandbox nature. I ran not one but two large groups competitively (and with flunkies) through parts 1 & 2 without too much trouble. Things I found I needed to consider though:

1) Wandering Monsters are your friend. They do very well for helping make up for lost xp due to excessive party split.

2) Side-adventures: due to excessive xp spread from having such a large number of PCs wandering around, tucking in a few extra encounters, side-treks & modules actually works out nicely.

3) use Table 12-2 for Abstract xp, rather than divvying xp up exactly. I've found many players get cranky if they feel other players are "stealing they xp" due to party size. Especially in the 6+ groups, it's just easier (math wise & socially), and keeps the griping down. Also keeps the group leveling within a reasonable pace for the AP.

In general remember less xp per PC will mean a Medium advancement track can feel like your on slow, so you might consider kicking the advancement track up by one (med. to fast) - only problem with that of course is if your group ever drops bellow 6, suddenly their zipping more quickly through the campaign, level wise.

Wealth is a different matter, as far as Kingmaker is concerned. Once they get that city you and they can use that as a lever to re-balance PC wealth for what ever shortcomings a large party might otherwise generate.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

I understand your pain (as a fellow Goblin-lover), but I think you'd have similar problems running a Goblin in any of the APs (unless the GM took steps to substantially change things - tho the upcoming Pirates path might work better for it).

My CC campaign has enough trouble as it is: two Dhampyrs, an Elf, and a bunch of foreigners. Pretty much the only character I DON'T harass is the native Ustilavian Varisian Fighter (and he's dumb as a post)! Generally though the only PC I have to worry about getting into real trouble with the locals is the Dhampyr Death Mage - looking strange and acting odd is not a crime, but in a Pharasma - dominated society like Ustalav, Undead-generating Necromancy (like what he wants to do) is a definate no-no.

A Goblin would have (I think) both more, and less trouble than that. Ustalav doesn't have native Goblins, so many might simply mistake him for a degenerate & deformed half-orc (not without it's own perils, but you can use suggestions from the CCPG on half-orcs for a model on how to handle things if you go that route). Disguising himself as a deformed & freakish halfling, gnome or child of some sort works about as well (though he might need to worry about being harassed into joining a freak show or being abused by drunks or other obnoxious jingoists). Magic, as you say, helps out a lot, but I'd recommend beefing up your Bluff skill to pair with the Disguise.

All is moot however if your GM is adamant in thinking it's a bad idea - it just wont be fun if he/she can't see the fun in having such a character in their game.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Grendel Todd wrote:

As they usually do, they made a group ready made for internal strife and ill-prepared for the dangers they (as players) expect to face. What can I say - they're all seasoned Vampire/Call of Cthulhu players...

* Noble Dhampyr - raised by her Vamp mother, she still seems to be getting along better with Lorrimor's daughter & the natives of Ravengro than anyone else.
* Changeling Summoner - based loosely off of Luna Lovegood from the Harry Potter movies. Always wandering off by herself and seeing minor haunt manifestations in town.
* Tiefling Witch - looks more like a barefoot Varisian gypsy than a traditional Tiefling (thanks to the random charts in the Tiefling article during the Counsel of Thieves run), and she gets plenty of grief because of it.
* Aasimar Paladin (of Iomidae) - that halo of his makes him stand out as much as anyone else, and is perpetually in conflict (as you might expect) with the rest of the party over things like wanting permission to break into crypts and such.
* Taldain Corpse Mage - day job was being a gravedigger. Hasn't pulled out any of his serious mojo yet, so no one (in or out of the party) has really taken much notice of him compared to all the other freaks and foreigners in the party.
* Varisian/Ustalavian Fighter - a mercenary soldier who's not very bright, he's sort of the "everyman" of the party.
* Alkenstar Gunslinger - ugly and foreign, he keeps trying to play the romantic man with no name with a low charisma & no social skills to speak of. Best candidate for being run out of town so far.

The Noble class we're using is from the Freeport Companion, while the Corpse Mage is the subset of the Death Mage from Super Genius Games.

The lack of Positive Energy power the party can produce will certainly help balance the challenge for an otherwise large group I suspect - at this point the main healers/positive energy characters seem to be the Paladin (in a level or two) & the Witch (who has the Healing Hex in addition to her spells).

Well, we're mid-way through Trial of the Beast, and we've shrunk some & changed a few faces. Gone are the Summoner, the Witch & the Aasimar Paladin. A Human Rogue, Human Bard & Gnomish Oracle of Bones came & went. The Death Mage died and was Reincarnated as a Dhampyr (got GMs choice, and since the Dhampyr Noble fed on his corpse right after he died, it seemed like a thematically reasonable choice to me...), and they've been consistently joined by a Elf Ranger/Paladin of Erastil (brought over from my stalled Kingmaker campaign, so he has the iconic Stag-Lord helmet which occasionally causes trouble for him with the locals).

They also have Kendra Lorrimar with them as a Cohort giving some spell & divination support, & reacquired the Bard & Oracle (along with a few others) as low-level support Followers - all part of the Dhampyr Noble's ever growing entourage.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

8 people marked this as a favorite.
Kevin Andrew Murphy wrote:
I think opening a book only to find a soggy waffle covered with fish oil would be classed as the holiest of goblin miracles.

Goblins pray, and Goblins shout,

Goblins whine, and Goblins pout!
Should holy book come from up on high,
We pray for blockish print to buy!

Turn foulest writ to mushy goo!
Turn pages filled with sticky glue!
Lick the oil, taste the sea!
Then set on fire, fling it free!

Eat the letters! Munch the words!
Mangle nouns! Cut into thirds!
Like horse and Dog we'll chew them too!
Words are evil, cook them true!

Goblins dance with flaming fish!
Goblins love the sizzling dish!
That's the Goblins' edible text!
That's why Gods love Goblins best!

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Name: Craster Sorn
Race: Human
Classes/levels: Inquisitor of Calestra 1
Adventure: Brinewall Legacy/We be Goblins
Location: Kaijitsu Star
Catalyst: Trying to be the tank
The Gory Details: having already run two of my four players through We Be Goblins on free game day, and them having failed to take out Vorka, I'd re-jiggered things so the gang found Scribbleface's map (or a copy) at Licktoad Village once they'd cleared it out (the session before - they'd nearly had a tpk there too, but pulled through). Following it to the Kijitsu Star they saw evidence of the prior PC goblin's exploits, before tumbling in on Vorka & her companion first thing after dispatching on of her dogs. Craster & the party Druid fell to poor positioning and setting off AoO from Lord Licktongue, which gave Vorka enough time to hop back and hit them with a summoned swarm of Rats. Technically the Druid would have died too, but had 2 Hero points to spend to survive.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

James Jacobs wrote:
Amaranthine Witch wrote:
One thing I don't like at all: Ulf Gormundr cannot be romanced, as in his description it's stated that he keeps any relationship with the PCs strictly professional. The adventure is ok and the illustrations are really good (Asvig is so dreamy...)

Actaully, he can be. We didn't give anyone other than the core four NPCs romance scores because we were unsure of how popular those rules were going to be. Turns out, had I gone with my gut and/or had we used a more reliable method of predicting the future, we WOULD have put in romance scores for not only Ulf, but for other characters as well, like Kelda Oxgutter.

As a result, I suspect that we'll soon be posting a blog post about what additional NPC romance scores and all that should be. Keep an eye out! (Probably won't happen for a few weeks... but hopefully soon!).

Please do! I think it's one of the cooler elements I've seen for developing npcs in games, and I'm quite curious if there's a formula (or other guidelines) for estimating such scores, as I'll likely want to introduce this sub-rule into other APs I'm running (in my Carrion Crown game, several players kept courting Kendra, for example).

1 to 50 of 260 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | next > last >>