Axebeak

Haldrick's page

311 posts (312 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 alias.


RSS

1 to 50 of 311 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | next > last >>

Name: Sven
Race: Half Orc
Classes/levels: Rogue 16
Adventure: Thousand Screams
Location: First room in the house

Name: Abigale
Race: Half Elf
Classes/levels: Paladin/Cleric 16

Name: Kelso
Race: Gnome
Classes/levels: Wizard (Illusionist) 16

The Gory Details
So we enter the room get attacked by numerous large fey creatures. One lets off a prismatic spray.
Sven has to hope the right colour comes up. It doesn't Turned to stone.
Abigale is calm, massively good saves. Not even worried by being hit with 2 rays. Roll a "1" Poisoned dead

Kelso also turned to stone.

The final character managed to finish the fight. Dump us into her portable hole and flee home


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I am currently Playing in Kingmaker, Curse of the Crimson Throne, Munies Mask and Giant Slayer.
I am running Jade Regent and Ruins of Azlanti


Plenty of other people have mentioned the story for this chapter has problems.
I am removing Jurix entirely. She adds nothing useful. She asks the party to do things they will not do. Then she offers a deal re the out of water section that offers little upside to the party.
I will be changing the motivations of Naqualia. She will be destabilising the city to keep Rillkimatai's attention away from the real threats/agenda. She is also trying to find Vallik, not because he/she/it knows the location of the Trident (as her boss has already infiltrated it and left) but in case she has information re the defences of the Compass. How much of this the party sees is unclear.


I am just starting to prepare to run this AP for the second time. I did not consider this much first time around. So apologies for the Thread necromancy

The Gazetter says:
"Ancorato and nearby islands have a humid subtropical climate.
While temperatures in the region can reach 100° F, for
the most part the temperature ranges from the low 70s
to the high 90s. The air is humid, and when it’s hot, it
often feels like every breath is forcibly swallowed rather
than comfortably inhaled. The temperature in the region
rarely drops below freezing, and when it does, it’s only for
a few hours during the night. While generally wet—as
daily rain showers sprinkle the region in the afternoons
for periods of time lasting from 20 minutes to an hour
a day—the region sees a potential for violent storms,
especially in the late-summer to late-fall months.
Winters tend to be dry."

I read this differently then PonyFlare. The important bits to my mind are "Ancorato and nearby islands have a humid subtropical climate" and "Winters tend to be dry."
The coldness is mention as an exception to my mind.

So while you would not normally start a colony over the winter. The lack of storms would be good. Not so hot while building the colony. Survive on stores transported/foraged food. Plant crops in the early spring ready for the rains.
Then the faceless stalkers come calling.
I am therefore going with Adams thinking


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I would add more minions (as well as adding some levels)
Witch is certainly more agressive (and very hag like)


Ted wrote:
Haldrick wrote:
I think they would be ordered to flee and crop up in Book 2. Either in a seperate encounter or maybe helping the faceless stalkers

Agreed. But, realistically, Ochymua will at some point have no more use for these two - I would argue that by the time the PC's reach Spindlelock, Ochymua will have moved on to the greater parts of its plan and neither the tower nor Rayland or Eliza would serve any purpose. It might be interested to know (through its telepathic bond) that other colonists have arrived, but I think the most Ochymua would do at this point would just be to let Onthooth know that there are more 'biological subjects' available for its experiments, knowing that the aboleth and its minions will take care of any new colonists.

I'd assume Ochymua won't be back to refresh its Dominate this time and in 11 days the spell will wear off. I imagine Ray and Liz would stick around until then, but if your PCs don't return to the tower to confront them, things would get interesting once the spell expires. They will both return to their senses. Rayland will be mortified by what he remembers he has done and will seek out the colony and attempt to explain to Ramona what happened to him, perhaps throwing himself at her mercy and seeking redemption OR, possibly, arrogantly demanding to be re-instated as the colony's governor. That could result in some fun fireworks! But, Eliza is in it to win it and would, most likely, pretend to go along with Rayland until she gets a chance to escape. If it gets to that point, you could run her as a recurring villain. Eventually she'll find Golandral's skum or the faceless stalkers and join them. She'd definitely take part in the events at the end of Book 2. I would have her lead the assault. I think there is some suggestions in the book that Eliza might lead an assault of skum on the colony, but I'd have her trying to take charge of Thandalhu's minions instead. I'd try hard to arrange for her to escape that bit too, only to have her show up...

I agree. In my campaign only Eliza survived. I had the group meet her again, levelled up and with charmed helpers.

Adult content spoiler:
Then they met her propped up against a tree, dominated by Ochymua. Had a conversation with him through Eliza. He then forced her to cut her own throat. Not strictly by the rules, but it made an impact


Clearly it depends on how well they get on.
Personally I waited till they proved themselves to Koloshkora.


As mentioned earlier Ruins gives out a lot of kit to help with the underwater stuff. I am running this for a party, 1 elf 3 Humans. Only one does not have a swim speed, all can breath under water, 2 or 3 have freedom of movement.
It is not a major issue.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Book 3 is not a diversion, or no more then Book 2 and 4. All are getting the characters from the castle to Minkai.
It has been commented on before that half the AP is getting you to Tian Xia, and another book to get to Minkai. So it is not a very Oriental AP.
I am running this and the party are just approaching the Forest of Spirits. My players found nothing wrong with book 3. We had long dropped the caravan rules.


Further to the last two posts. The encounter as 4 CR9 creatures ambushing a 10 level party is difficult. With sneak attack Cecaelia Ruffian have a damage output way above standard for a CR9 creature.
This turns this into a potential TPK unless the party see the Cecaelia Ruffian (they have stealth +23)
GMs need to look at this very carefully.


Eretas wrote:

The Cecaelia Ruffian, with 6 Hitdice for the Cecaelia and 7 rogue level are much higher than a CR9, How do you deal with them?

** spoiler omitted **...

I assume it is CR6 and 7 levels of Non role class which adds 3 CR


Name Violation wrote:
I mean, couldn't you "scribe a scroll" by carving on a stone or wood tablet?

Obsoletely. That is what I meant when I said "I am sure underwater races could make scrolls for their environment. But can the characters use scrolls found/made on land?"

I would even allow underwater folk to have waterproof paper/ink.
My question was simply about scroll created to be used on land.


When I said "inclined to say no" That is in general. If the players/character do thinks like avr suggested then obviously they should be rewarded.


Thanks for the quick reply Pizza Lord

I am running Ruins of Azlanti.
All the characters can breath water, so casting isn't a problem.

I am sure underwater races could make scrolls for their environment. But can the characters use scrolls found/made on land?
For the reasons you set out I am inclined to say no, unless the rule say otherwise


Is it possible to read a normal scroll written for the air breathing world underwater?

The rules for the "potion sponge" on page 177 of the Advanced Race Guide obviously makes clear potions cannot be used without the sponge, but I cannot find anything about scrolls.

Common sense would indicate that you would need waterproof ink and paper.


This is one of the few dangerous encounters I referred to earlier, it is completely over the top.
A CR8 monster would be difficult for the characters at 5th/6th level. With all the others opponents either before or at the same time turn it into a killing machine.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Sorry for the late reply.
I agree with Yakman. It will work fine ending with book 3. The AP takes a different tone after this and it can logically end here.


I have not read or played the AP. But as others have commented on the party is horribly imbalanced. This is something that gets worse with levels.
You can get away with a combat heavy mix at low levels, but it gets increasingly difficult. The system/writers assume access to magical solutions to issues. When melee is your only solution things turn into a meat grinder.
I am running Jade regent with a Barbarian, Warpriest, inquisitor and summoner. I can see the lack of a full arcane caster causing problems at high level.


Either
most people playing this are not using these boards or
they are shy or
this AP is not very deadly.

I am running this and truthfully apart from a couple of encounters in Book 2 have never really troubled the characters/players


2 people marked this as a favorite.

The last book of Serpents Skull has has this as well. We all joked about selling the doors and hiring mercenaries to complete the adventure


Generally I agree with John Mechalas. I think the lack of engagement with the NPCs was a weakness in the AP. They certainly don't dominate/star in the adventure. As I said above I had to put in work just to remind the players that the NPCs were there.

HOWEVER some players do not react well to NPCs who are not subordinate to the characters. So clearly the AP will not suit everyone.


I read the entire AP. It takes us years to complete an AP so there is plenty of time to go thro' it several times.
The players make any character they want (they read the players guide) Often we end up with an unbalanced party. The players just have to learn to deal with what they have.
I look for places I can tie characters into the AP
Before starting each book I read it in depth. Often running a test run of the whole book or specific parts of it. I find this often throws up issues a simple reading does not show.


I cannot see anything you proposed causing any problems


As others have said the AP is fairly forgiving so any classes are OK. I am running this and my group have a very sub optimal mix and are doing OK. What is important is characters who are invested in the NPC's not Sandpoint, so are motivated to travel.

While not essential Legendary games have 2 plug in modules which are good.
I scrubbed the relationship and caravan rules.

It is worth thinking how to make the NPCs useful (as well as engaging)
I made Koya a harrow reader and as I advanced her gave her item creation feats.
Shalelu scouted as none of the PCs are good at that
Sandru ran the caravan and dealt with dealing with anyone the met (who they were not killing)

See how the party like the NPC/caravan vib. If it is not working for you send the caravan and most of the NPCs back after Ordu-Aganhai


I think they would be ordered to flee and crop up in Book 2. Either in a seperate encounter or maybe helping the faceless stalkers


I agree keep her/them missing.

It is a weakness of the AP, that the whole issue of where did the first wave of colonists go, is ignored for all of the 2nd book. The characters are invested in finding the missing people. The colony would be on edge. Yet the go on a resource hut/diplomatic mission/explore the island jaunt. The final big boss is a red herring who they can fix on, but the process of getting there is ignores the missing people.
Having said that, my table is loving the AP just starting Book 4.


Personally I would not give them much money for the scrap. Scavenging can fund a life but shouldn't make you rich.
I would play Sanvil as helpful, maybe paying a slight bonus on top of anyone else, but making it clear he is a businessman not a charity. That makes him believerable but also encourages the party to return to him.


Firstly, is the ruin part of the rain of stars?
The clans generally regard technology as taboo, and avoid such ruins, so it makes more sense for the ruin to be something related to the clans heritage rather then the star ship. However just a few ideas

The ruin is the resting place of a legendary hero. All the clans claim the hero as an ancestor. If it is a technology ruin, maybe the hero was placed here to guard the ruin to hold back the taboo content. The hero sacrificed his/her self to hold off/shut down the terrible robot/mutant/radiation/ whatever you want.
Lastly is the hero still active? Undead/immortal from radiation/an android in suspended animation


Agree with Derklord


Generally anything which the stat block says is cast at the beginning of the day or before combat is already in the stat block.
So for the scribler
His DR comes from the stoneskin, the freedom of Movement is listed in his defenses.

However stat blocks are famously difficult to get right.

His attack is listed as +19
11 from BAB 4 from strength 1 from weapon focus = +16
Bulls Strength gives +2 and extended Greater Magic Weapon +3, so they appear to have left off the bulls Str
The Hit points appear to have the Bears Endurance, but are 2 short but not included the Toughness feat.

Take my comments with a degree of caution as I have only spent 10 minutes looking at it, and have probably missed things. The principle of my first sentence is correct. Most of the time I just run with the stats as printed as if I had the time to re check every stat block in an AP I would have time to write my own adventures.


Well this is embarrassing. Having adjoining entries on this thread.

Hoppi Hapenstance, 3rd Gnome Ranger, a local from Walti. Belgamson died (see the obit thread) The player wanted to continue with a small frontliner, enter Hoppi. Next level he gets an AC and will be riding into combat.
Denen Tombguard, A Pharasma worshiping Pahmet Dwarf Diviner. Finding det secret doors very useful (together with Flurry of Snowballs)
Tamsuma, A Pharasma worshiping Life Shaman from Katapesh. Principle healer and 2nd fighter
Yamsel, A herbalist from the Mwangi Expanse (Alchemist) Ranged specialist and trap spotter


Name: Belgamson
Race: Gnome
Classes/levels: Fighter 3rd
Adventure: The Half Dead City
Location:The Sanctum of The Erudite Eye
Catalyst: Rolling badly in combat
The Gory Details:
The party was fighting the skeletal Champion of Nethys. As is often the case our dice were cold and particularly Belgamson.
Eventually the opponent roll a crit. He (it) had a X3 weapon and high pluses to damage. Belgamson did not survive. He was buried in Wati, his home town.


Our Party comprises the following:

Belgamson, Gnome Fighter, a local from Walti
Denen Tombguard, A Pharasma worshiping Pahmet Dwarf Diviner.
Tamsuma, A Pharasma worshiping Shaman from Katapesh
Yamsel, A herbalist from the Mwangi Expanse (Alchemist)

Still in book 1 and having fun


Just a personal opinion, but I have certainly found them less and less useful.
They frequently have sub systems (some of which work, but most don't) and an overview of a town you start in, which are helpful. But the character advice has become increasingly generic.


Many thanks.

We have not got there yet, but it will be useful when we do


The Pirate AP S&S is also heavy with humanoid encounters


Heavy Weapons will certainly cause problems right from the start.
Later on there may be issues but not insurmountable ones.


Just some subjects, rather then theories:

Why did the Gnomes leave the first world
Death of Aroden
Who is a Veiled Master
Secret goal of the pathfinders
Links between the Pathfinders and the Aspis Corporation


The balance is fairly typical for AP

This varies between books, but is fairly linear

It is clear what the BBEG is quite quickly. As earlier it is patchy with mystery/detective work needed at times

Not sure what you mean by slow

Book 4 is a bit of a mess from a GM point of view, but it is less clear if players would notice the logic flaws. If this worries you then it could be a lot of writing.I tinkered with the first book a little just for tone. I adjusted some encounters in Book 2 which I found over powered.

So far I have run Books 1-3, and am preparing book 4. I have only read books 5 & 6.

Hope that is of help


1 person marked this as a favorite.

That is why I think classes should not have less than 4 skill points per level


That CR7 encounter is particularly tricky with the Yeth hound. It is very easy to end up fighting Nualia with only half your party, the other half running in fear.


I don't have a specific build, but a warpriest with sacred weapon damage increasing with level could work for you


I think this definitely depends on the AP.

I have been looking at the AE of Rise of the Runelords recently. I could not see much that would allow any character to understand what was going on till very late book 3 or more likely book 4.

I am running Jade Regent and The characters know quite quickly what is going on.

I am in Kingmaker, starting book 5. We have a running bet between the player about who/what is at the end as we no idea.

Iron Gods starts slow but you have good clues by book 2.

Serpent Skull is a quick reveal by the end of book 1.

War for the Crown has a late reveal (but not as late as Kingmaker)

So there is a lot of variety


3 people marked this as a favorite.

This question may impact the
"This outsider was summoned and has been a guardian here for 1,000 years"
Staple
They cannot do this without adequate supplies


1 person marked this as a favorite.

The group I play with are sticking with 1st Edition.

We have just finished Serpents Skull and will start Giant Slayer or Hell's Vengeance with that GM.

We are 2/3 way through Kingmaker. That GM has Wraith of the Righteous to run.

I am half way through running Jade Regent and have Iron Gods, War for the Crown and Rise of the Runelords (AE) to run.

We also have the hardback CotCT and Emerald Spire

This lot will keep us busy till the 2030's
We tried the play test. It didn't turn us off like 4th ed D&D did bot the changes were not "Wow we have to chuck away £100's of stuff to start a new edition.


I am looking at This AP at the moment.
It strikes me to be normal AP in relation to this. There are redeemable foes and some who are beyond redemption.


Sunderstone

Shortening Book 4 and reducing "the Madness" sound like a good idea.

I agree book 3 & 4 and Book 5 & 6 are really two long books.

This is not that unusual. Iron Gods is really a trilogy each made of 2 books.
I like your changes. We negotiated with those inhabitants so the alteration would have been mainly flavour to us.

Definitely enjoyed it. We have 3 GM running APs, we alternate between the 3. That GM is running Giantslayer or Hells Vengeance next. Currently we are starting Book 5 of Kingmaker, Then I will run Book 4 of Jade Regent


Lord Fyre
Thinking about it the AP could end after any book
Book 1- instead of following up on what you found, sell it for a pay day
Book 2 Get paid for guiding people to the city (a bit weak)
Book 3- Definitely Find and explore the city
Book 4 Thinking about it this does not work. You are too invested to stop here.
Book 5 Defeat the Serpent folk save the day (This would need sme work but could be done.

While we did the play test we are not looking at 2nd Edition. I have 3 APs to run in 1st Ed and loads of options I want to play. 2nd edition had to be a big improvement to get us to give up on 100s of £ of stuff we have invested in. So I have no idea about conversion


5 people marked this as a favorite.

We recently completed this AP. We started about the time it came out, but it is one of 3 being run in the group. Even so you can tell we are not quick.

Since I wrote the following in the “Who are your Castaways” a few things changed.

Quote:

“We have reach 12th level now.

Tian (Monk) Has become the skill monkey/2nd rank combat person
Valden (Druid) Has 2 modes a) Buff his dinosaur animal companion into a killing machine or b) Wild shape and cast spells or buff himself into a slightly less dangerous killing machine
Toomba the sorcerer has the aberrant bloodline so has just gained long limbs/fortification/SR. His mage armour has been very useful. He does not cast it on himself often, monks wildshaped druids and Animal Companions like it a lot.
Gardura, inquisitor A bit of a glass cannon. Devastating when not fallen over. Main Healer”

Tian died a couple of times. On each occasion only a reincarnate was available. So Tian went from Human to Elf to Halfling. From a mechanical point of view the character was fine in each new form. Towards the end Valden lost his T Rex animal companion (hit with a prismatic spray and ended on a random plane) He was replaced by a velociraptor who was not quite so scary. Valden also started summoning a lot more towards the end.

Toomba just got more powerful without changing much.
Gardura multiclassed into fighter. She was finding that without extensive preparation she was missing too much with ¾ BAB.

So how did we find it?
Book 1 is widely regarded as a great module and I would agree.
Book 2 is on tight railroads, but enjoyable enough.
Book 3 we really enjoyed the sandbox of a city to explore.
Book 4 This became a drag, particularly with the titled madness
Book 5 and 6 were ok without being great.

The final fight we had some sensible tactics. The Druid pin the Big Bad Guy (BBG) in place with summons creatures. Even the BBG finds a purple worm a distraction. However the normally effective Toomba’s sole contribution was communal Prot Energy. Everything else bounced off SR or was saved.
On the who we enjoyed our time in the jungle and thanks to everyone who helped produce the AP.


Like most things it depends on your table/how you play.

Our group played through most of Serpants Skull without a full BAB character. As we got to higher levels we found the 3/4 characters were increasingly into combat before they could buff up. Eventually the inquisitor multiclassed into Fighter.

Our Kingmaker group's only divine spell caster was a paladin. The constant drain of gp's into consumables got to the point the paladin multiclassed into cleric. We just felt we had sexier things to spend our money on.

Our Jade Regent group's only Arcane caster is a Summoner. They are doing OK at the moment, but I think it will cost them at higher levels.

DMing styles make a massive difference in all of this.

1 to 50 of 311 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | next > last >>