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77 posts. Alias of Molech.


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I think I'm going with Mestama.

Thanks TONS for bouncing off some ideas with me -- sometimes it just helps to have a sounding board to help articulate just what I'm looking for and figure out a direction in which to go. After looking at your suggestions and looking at a few things myself, your idea of Mestama has really struck home.

Now, with Mestama as the Intelligence-and-Force behind the Fiend, I can develop that BBEG, design the NPC stooge that will make the horrible deal with the Fiend to betray & trap his friends, and then build a location and come up with a MacGuffin for the PCs.

Initially, I'm thinking of having the Fiend BBEG be a Lamia Matriarch Cleric of Mestama -- but we'll see.

Voodist Monk wrote:
So the act of betrayal is the punchline... moreso than the actual value of the souls, themselves?

Yeah, that's what really stands out to me as inspiration from the published text. The adventure module, of course, uses a Daemon as this Fiend, though it doesn't matter to me which of the three Evil Outsider alignments the BBEG is -- it could be a Kyton Cenobite (They love torture.) for all I care.

An Evil Outsider 'god' that loves to feed on people's pain of being betrayed or tricked by a loved one. I've never read anything of the Infernal Duke, Ose, so I'll grab the book and take a look. And thinking about it, I will consider good ol' Lolth from FR and make this a Drow thing. And I'll also take a good look at The Kyton Demagogues.

This is for a Homebrew inspired-by and expansion of the adventure Tears at Bitter Manor -- but so little of the Steven Helt adventure is actually being used (not in Taldor, no retired adventuring-group MacGuffin, no 'ancient, ruined' manor house, etc.) that it's much more a 'General Discussion' question than a Tears at Bitter Manor- appropriate Thread.

The point of inspiration from the module is a Daemon (which I could change to Demon or Devil) who offers an unattainable gift -- eternal youth -- to an aging NPC if, IF, said NPC tricks and traps his close friends and family so that the Daemon can torture them and feed on their souls and, all the more vile, revel in the misery of the victims who know it was their dear friend/family member who betrayed them and trapped them.

In the published adventure (unless I missed it completely, which is possible), it is not written to which of The Four Horseman (or to which Harbinger if not an Apocalypse Horseman) the Daemon serves.

But in MY game, that will be critically important. I will build the whole adventure around it.


Which Demon Lord or Apocalypse Horseman (or Harbinger or even Archdevil or Malebranche/Whore-Queen) would be a PERFECT fit according to It's Title and Area of Concern and Domains & Sub Domains?

The Fiend (BBEG) will grant an NPC some specific, incredible WISH So. Long. As. the NPC betrays his or her close friends and family such that they know it was he/her who betrayed them.
....Who should that Fiend worship?



Well, almost two years later and my PCs are *Finally* meeting Tegresin in tomorrow's session.

Madame Carrington the dream-reader in Korvosa (from "House on Hook St") is sending them to the Shadow Plane's 'Nightmare Realm' Demi-Plane. The PCs also got a little help in the form of some magical charms from (Richard Pett's) Gnome Wererat Lich, Sliris. (I made "The Styes" Old Korvosa.)

Specifically in The Nightmare Realm (Demi-Plane of The Shadow Plane), the PCs will be in the Veiled Bazaar, an ethereal-like shadow market introduced in PFS.

That's where they're meeting Tegrsin -- projecting himself in a Dream-reality (Nightmare-reality) into the Nightmare Realm, where he's still in a prison cell. The PCs will assume his little prison cell in the middle of the Veiled Bazaar is actual rather than metaphysical.

I'm really looking forward to Tegresin voluntarily answering so many of their questions about where they've just arrived ("Please help me, I adventurers."), even answering how to get from the Veiled Bazaar in The Nightmare Realm of the Shadow Plane, all the way to Duskfathom -- where they're tracking some of Norgorber's Cultists and an artifact called The Nightmare Key.

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Okay how 'bout this?.... Szass Tam is CR 32 (if I remember correctly from 3.5). Belimarius is

''City Outside of Time'' spoiler:
CR 20 -- though it makes a point of noting she is less powerful than the other RuneLords.
So, ....Would that make Xanderghul and Alaznist and Sorshen around CR 23?...CR 25?...CR 27!?

If you were to do a Homebrew statblock for Szass Tam today I think he'd probably be around CR 25, Mythic Rank 3 or 4 maybe.
I think for me, it just makes me want to have, as I DM my campaign, a 'chapter' where the PCs go to Faerun through some Thassilonian time-portal-gate-thing and deal with some stuff in Myth Drannor or Netheril or something. Maybe have The Symbul make an appearance. ....Have Mordenkainen from GH show up.

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I can use this as much or more than the Xanderghul post.

After reading the Dave Gross novel with Zutha as the antagonist, I'm adding the RuneLord to my current campaign, only to have the PCs eventually find where Zutha is(?) at the end of the novel and have to deal with it....

I recommend reading the novel and not looking under the Spoiler tag -- but if you're not going to read Lord of Runes and want to find out the ending....

''Lord of Runes'' final pages:
Zutha the RuneLord Lich is at the bottom of the Cenotaph being constantly eaten-'alive' by the ghouls and ghasts who were suppose to serve in his army. His incredible Regeneration is sustaining them and keeping him reforming, but the hungry dead consume him so fast that he can't get off a spell or even move. Thus, for the next gazillion years he'll be down there being eaten, um, 'alive.'

I figure Zutha will start to figure out a way to escape for just an instant so his corporeal body can reform -- haven't thought of just how, yet. ....And I want my PCs to arrive just as he's coming back to power.

Dot for future reference

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The Shifty Mongoose wrote:
Just think of the look on Karzoug's or Krune's faces if they'd ever found out.


That's what intrigues me. And makes me consider changing my thoughts.

But I don't give a damn about the look on Karzoug or Krune's face -- I want it to be the look on the Players' faces.

If my PCs have it in their heads that the Peacock Spirit was a symbol of hope and beauty and condolences for the Varisians during the Thassilonian Empire -- and they talk to present day Varisians about The Peacock Spirit and find some of its old shrines and sacred places (such as the one in Roderic's Cove) -- then late in the campaign the look on THEIR faces when they learn it was Xanderghul the whole time could be a really good gaming moment.

And I see Xanderghul inventing The Peacock Spirit (not unlike a Vigilante) so that his peasants and slaves would worship him; it's brilliant design.
....But I'm still uncertain. In my head at least, none of the RuneLords were powerful enough to be godlike in giving Clerics and Oracles spells. (just like Razmir isn't powerful enough) And I really like The Peacock Spirit as a godlike symbol for the ancient Varisians.

Clearly more thought is required.

My plan is to have them make PCs that first session simultaneously with beginning play. I'll handout copies of the map and gazetteer and let them peruse what they want, start to build their PCs, and ask me questions and get in some roleplaying.

So the Player who's thinking about a Wizard or Arcanist can glance at the gazetteer and start developing the PC -- roleplaying with certain NPCs here and there -- even before he's allocated his Ability Score Points. And when that Player gets an epiphany that he wants to play an Undine Investigator instead he can start on that build, with the gazetteer and our early roleplay in mind, while I roleplay with the Player who's been reading over Thieve's Guild info cuz he's thinking about an underworld PC. And when I need to answer a question from the Player who's all the sudden fascinated with the ancient, crumbling clock-tower and its mysterious, robed caretaker (or whatever), I'll answer his question about how the Summoner he kinda wants to make could fit in the background with that mysterious, robed caretaker.

In addition to the gazetteer and map, I'm also giving a page of 'Rumors' -- any one of which a Player can latch on to for the beginning of his PC life. Or, if the Player is all ready with his own (hunting down the man who killed his dog, or whatever), I can point him to a couple good spots in the gazetteer from which he could choose to consider, and then get to the Player who wants to play a Cavalier and is interested in being the Constable's son.


I'm confident that my first session will work out very well this way. Based on your advice I'm going to try to find ways to tie NPC relationships together with the PCs -- so if one PC is the Constable's son then another PC also has a tangential relationship with the Constable (or his family) so that when I'm answering for one PC, another PC can be involved as well.

And I think my prep for sessions two, three, etc. (until my big Campaign MacGuffin drops) will be in how to move each PC's gametime forward without excluding other PCs too long, and looking for more possible tie-ins to make that easier.

Right now I have a gazetteer with about sixty locations & rumors, most with an interesting NPC or bit of Fluff.

Under the assumption that it would be foolish to expect the Players to read the whole thing before they make their PCs, I'm hoping they'll peruse a handful of rumors/ locations and pick one or two that sound cool to them -- use them as a jumping point -- and mixing them with some things they come up with on their own.

I’m starting a new campaign in a month and am going to begin differently than I’ve ever done personally — though I know it’s a popular DMing style.

I’m going to build off of what the PCs’ backgrounds and initial goals are instead of just throwing a Macguffin at them.

So a PC that wants to join the Thieves Guild or Wizard Academy or City Guard War College — or a PC that wants to learn who his father was or get vengeance against those who killed his brothers or join PFS,... whatever.... That’s how I’m starting the campaign.

It won’t be too long before a Macguffin drops on their heads and they start an adventure as a group — but at first, I’m making the game completely PC-centric.

I know there are many DMs who DM whole campaigns this way, that it’s a gaming style that gets much play. But I’ve never really done it beyond periphery and side quests and such.

And I’m hoping for advice, techniques, experiences, etc so I can start off my campaign well.


All the PCs have in common is that they are in the poorest district of the city and hope to one day Get OUT. (After they play through their backgrounds and goals a while they’ll all happen to be in the same place at the time the Macguffin falls into their laps, joining them as a group and giving them the opportunity to get out of the poverty in which they live.)

The campaign begins in Old Korvosa and will play out all over Varisia.

.... So, what are the best ways to DM a PC-centric start to a campaign?

“The Book of the Damned” mentions that Rubicante, the infernal Malebranche “Who Grows Red,” was “widely venerated” in the Thassilonian Empire.

Can anyone expound on that and/or provide other sources?


Here are a few examples....

One would figure Sgothgah (and his infant Kraken) would most obviously worship Rovagug? But I'm thinking maybe Groetus would fit better?

Korvosa is known for gazillions of Magistrates, a tangled and grossly inneficient morass of beuracracy; it makes most sense that Mr. Dory would be a Magistrate, I guess? But the Magistrate of what? Something that focuses on Old Korvosa likely.

Master Refrum would be a Cleric of whom? Abadar like Ishani? Or maybe Sarenrae?

The Alchemists' Quarter? It would most easily fit on Garrison Hill in Old Korvosa??? Or would Old Dock actually somehow be better?

Constable Jute sounds like a Captain under Cressida Kroft who is the head of the Korvosan Guard in Old Korvosa maybe.

Hopene'er Asylum could be on the other side of Garrison Hill from Refrum's place -- or squeezed between the ruins of Fort Korvosa and Old Dock? (I actually think the Hospice of the Blessed Maiden back in Korvosa proper might fit -- though in my homegame it's become a secret front for the Red Mantis.)

Flotsom seems tricky. Maybe the best bet is to alter a section of Bridgefront?


Also, what are some great aspects of Old Korvosa that could really embellish "The Styes"?....

If you squeezed in Salvator Scream -- who is now a lonely spectre haunting Old Korvosa -- where might be a good point in "The Styes"?

Might Vimanda (Melyia Arkona) have a reason to jump in such an advnture -- or Glorio Arkona himself? Could the PCs meet Mr. Dory for the first time with one of them?

Pilts Swastel was Raised by an Academae Wizard after he was killed during the events in "Escape from Old Korvosa" because he was smart enough to pay for such a contingency. Now he's slowly rebuilding his vile "empire." Could you maybe see him (or Devargo Barvasi) having info on The Lantern Man or the killings or something?

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I'm hoping that Richard Pett himself will see this and give his 2 cp -- all other advice equally and eagerly appreciated:

"The Styes" in Dungeon 121 is a "district" that's "in a large port city in (my) campaign world. ....It could be part of a free city that has fallen into despair and decay."

So I'm choosing Korvosa -- and the district of OLD Korvosa. Pett also wrote the Bloody-great adventure "Escape from Old Korvosa"!

It seems like I can put the adventure into Old Korvosa about as seamlessly as one can do any outside-published adventure. That said, I'm still hoping for any and all advice or suggestions or ideas on how to merge "The Styes" into Old Korvosa (which is the decrepit Endrin Isle just off the peninsula that is Korvosa -- Glorio Arkona's palace is there, as are the ruins of Fort Korvosa, Devargo Barvasi's criminal stronghold, Pilts Swastel, etc., etc.)
....And really lengthen and flesh-out the adventure.

We know Korvosa quite well. Curse of the Crimson Throne both in softback 3.5 and hardback compilation. The softcover Guide. And a couple PFS Scenarios and the two modules.

My new campaign takes place after the events of these adventures -- and quite a bit of Homebrew adventures as well. It will start in Old Korvosa -- with a modified "Styes" adventure.

You know Korvosa. You know "The Styes." Where are some perfect locations and encounters and NPCs to merge and combine? How would YOU put "The Styes" in Old Korvosa?

The only other monkeywrench that I'm dealing with -- and this is one I'm probably going to have to do all by my lonesome -- is that I'm starting this as a new campaign. The PCs will be first level and citizens in Old Korvosa -- or maybe in the city proper. Obviously I have to rework the combat encounters since the Pett masterpiece is designed to be challenging for 9th Level PCs. (My PCs will probalby be 3rd Level when they encounter the Aboleth at the end -- they just won't fight it; it'll be something they deal with a couple years later in the campaign.)

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@ Sheepish Eidolon,

Hey neat, thanks.

Mark Hoover 330 wrote:
"The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh"


It's one most of the group know very well.

And only two years ago my buddy DMed a campaign in Saltmarsh based partly on the old 'U' Modules and mostly on the write-up from the 3.5 DMG 2 that's so awesome. ....I wont be able to use it.


Mark Hoover 330 wrote:
Then there's the PFS adventure I played in (I unfortunately don't remember the name) where the PCs are sent to a Varisian town to root out a political spy and return them safely to Absalom, while also secretly gathering info on what they know.


This sounds vaguely familiar; maybe I DMed it a few years ago in PFS. I'll go through my Scenarios to see if I can use it. I assume it was season 4.


Mark Hoover 330 wrote:
Finally, if you're planning to do the Runelords AP there are little mini-quests that are meant for level 1 PCs who survive the initial start of the AP to get to know the town of Sandpoint. Perhaps take your inspiration from these?


I remember the 'side quests' published during the Second Darkness AP, one of them I really liked. But Sandpoint?

Maybe you're talking about some adventures in the hardback RotRL -- I have the six softbacks.

Mark Hoover 330 wrote:
I'm wondering how the urban adventure you run now will prep the players and their characters for crushing the Runelords later?


So, I don't want Sheila Heidmarch to go to some no-name 1st-Level scrubs with the mission of Gotta find the Seven Shattered Stars of the Sihedron to complete the Artifact that will prevent the rise of the Runelords. She'd go to Absalom and get some heavy-hitting PFS bad-asses.

But if my 1st Level PCs in Korvosa have a little urban adventure, unrelated to anything with Sheila Heidmarch, and at the end of which they find this weird-looking shard -- and gain a couple levels -- they can be led to Sheila Heidmarch to find out what it is. And then, with one Shard in hand, a few levels under their belts, and a vested interest in the thing they've found, Sheila Heidmarch can tell them what the Shard is and have them go find the rest. ....That's where I'm at right now in concept and design (Obviously I can change as needed while I develop this thing.)

Think of the way the published Shattered Star AP is designed, Sheila Heidmarch sends the PCs to find the missing Pathfinder who has one Shard already -- then when they find her and the Shard, they start looking for the others.

In my case, I want them to be random, ambitious young folks in Korvosa who get caught up in a fun-raucous adventure, at the end of which they'll find this unknown Shard. That'll be the MacGuffin for the whole campaign. They want to find out wtf it is -- probably so they can sell it for lots o' gold -- and while no one knows (in Korvosa, in Kaer Maga if they go there, in Riddleport if they go there, etc) what it is, they hear maybe the Pathfinder Venture Captain in Magnimar might know. And they'll get to Sheila Heidmarch on their own time.

This way, my PCs aren't 1st Level when they start tracking down the Shattered Stars of the Sihedron -- and they only accidentally found the first one.

...In other words, the real campaign doesn't start at 1st Level.
Hope that answers your question.

@ Paul J at home,

To help give me a break from DMing (and time for me to work on the campaign, one of the Players is going to run both Portent's Peril and The Green Market as homebrew one-shots before we start the campaign. I'll obviously have to run a 'quiet' PC since I've DMed them both for PFS, unless he dramatically changes the Scenarios.

I am thinking about taking some time to go through those season 4 PFS Scenarios (since they're in Varisia) to see if any others will help me out.
@ Wheldrake,
I won't be able to use City State because one of my players knows it almost as well as I know it (having both DMed campaigns around it so many times over the decades that many elements are ingrained into us). City State is also more of a campaign primer, I just need a quick couple adventures that I can manipulate and adjust and draw from to use as an intro into the campaign I want to run.

But hell yeah!, I'm with you all the way in love for City State -- it was actually the FIRST thing I thought of, too: 'Boy, I hope I can find an adventure like 'City State' to start out with.

Ooh, "Murder's Mark" is one I hadn't yet thought of.

I've been looking at the second of the 'Free Port' trilogy, "Terror in Free Port," since it has fewer pirate motifs than 'Death' and 'Madness.' I'm also taking a close look at "The Styes" to see if I can find a way to Level it Down.

With these to pull from I should be able to have fun coming up with a good Homebrew adventure in Korvosa for 1st Level PCs that will lead to the campaign Macguffin.

But keep 'em coming!


Oops, I was confusing "Murder's Mark" with "Dawn of the Scarlet Sun." But it's all good.

I need some suggestions for great low-level urban adventures. I'm looking for something dramatic and dynamic right off the start, not exactly easy to find at 1st level. These are experienced PCs who have seen it all before; I want to blow their dice away.

Suggestions for awesome 1st Level adventures from just about any published module ever are welcome. I have all of Paizo's adventure books, about 4/5 of the PFS Scenarios, all of Dungeon Magazine and a host of other published adventures from which to pick. I can't see the forest cuz all the trees are in the way: I'm overwhelmed with too many choices so I'm coming here for ideas.

The adventure will take place in Korvosa a year-and-a-half after Curse of the Crimson Throne and a few weeks after another long-term campaign in Korvosa/Varisia ( in which vampires from Ustalov (from Carrion Crown) invaded, Queen Ileosa was resurrected, Runelords Sorshen and Krune were almost awakened, and the PCs accidentally raised the city of Xin from the ocean floor.)

Now, a couple weeks later, a new group of 1st Level Korvosans need an adventure to get a new campaign off the ground, giving them enough experience to draw the attentions of Sheila Heidmarch so she can send them on a grand quest that will make them legends in their time (by preventing the rise of all the Runelords).

We won't start for another few months, and I'll be scoring the upcoming AP for material as it comes in each month starting August -- I just need a great 1st Level adventure, urban setting, to get started.

ALL suggestions appreciated!

Thanks, I'll check it out when I get home.

Can you remember from what source?

I am going to be spending the next week or so building a stat block for the Red Mantis god, Achaekek, assassin for the gods.

For my game, I'm trying to make Achaekek CR 26 (Barbatos & Ragathiel equivalent).

I'm going to go through the six Bestiaries looking at the CR20-and-up entries for individual abilities and features I think are apropos for Achaekek and appropriate for CR 26.

And you guys know how challenging getting that accurate can be.

I want him clearly stronger than the CR 25 Tarrasque but not so strong as the Mephistopheles and Cthulus of the game. I want my overpowered 20th level PCs to ultimately, eventually defeat Achaekek with the adequite knowledge and proper preparations.

Any abilities or features that you think either fit the Fluff of the assassin bug/god -- or the CR 26 Crunch -- will be GREATLY appreciated! All suggestions and advice welcome.

Thanks in advance.

I dunno, what is the Tourist Abatement Bureau?

I admit to struggling with Mercer Cucuteni's job description as Magistrate of Tourism. All ideas welcome.

We're at 26 so far and canon is that there are 'currently' 23 and the number fluctuates.

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I'm trying to further develop Korvosa for my homegame; finished is Curse of the Crimson Throne but we're still using the setting. And I'm looking for ideas for specific Offices of the Magistrate.

Korvosa's laws are codified to be infernally complex, purposely ambiguous, and often overlapping or redundant. There are Offices of the Magistrate for a whole host of areas of law and legal code that bloat up the civil courts, bloat up the bureaucracy, and bloat up regulation and licensing.

Now that the PCs are getting into Korvosa I'm finding myself in need of Magistrates and their areas of concern, the more complex and overlapping and ambiguous the better.

A few are published:

Magistrate of Commerce ....Collects taxes
Magistrate of Expenditures ....Spends taxes
Magistrate of Regulation ....Checks weights & measures
Magistrate of Tourism ....I decided this would be for making Korvosa more hospitable to Cheliax and her citizens, cuz otherwise it just seems Dumb.

And a few I have ideas for....
(But I'm hoping you guys can critique mine AND give more examples for me to use);

Magistrate of Trade and Business ....Generic business license every entrepreneur needs
Magistrate of Agriculture ....Licensing to sell foods
Magistrate of Imports ....Codes for imports
Magistrate of Exports ....Duh
Magistrate of Divine Law ....Laws for casting Augury & such or praying in a public building, etc.
Magistrate of Arcane Law ....Laws for Invisibility & such for the markets and such
Magistrate of Fire Control ....The only one who can prevent forest fires is you
Magistrate of Slavery & Servitude ....One needs a license to keep a slave or indentured servant
Magistrate of Apothecary & Health ....Drugs and alcohol and herbs and medicine
Magistrate of Child Services ....For when kids break the law or when adults break the law against kids.... & orphanage stuff
Magistrate of Gambling ....Gambling licensing
Magistrate of Pest Control ....Rats and lice and Otyughs and Chokers and Goblins
Magistrate of Arts and Humanities ....Licensing for the opera and art galleries and bookstores & such
Magistrate of Personal Services ....Legal code for prostitution, physical therapy, dental work, surgery, anytime someone puts their hands on you and you pay them for it
Magistrate of History ....Licensing for media, print, city communication, propaganda

What are some others I can further add to make the Korvosan bureaucracy convoluted? And which ones of mine would you alter?

All good ideas, thanks.

Thanks Carson!

Thanks for everything guys -- Great Ideas!

(I don't know why I was so stuck on this one but I feel much more confident now.)

@ DM Asmodeus:
I think this is solid, great plan. Maybeaybe they can get lots of geographical info on Varisia at the University but no mention at all of Avenia. But they hear that so-and-so in Korvosa may know more -- and also in the such-and-such private library there may be more info -- that kind of stuff. Then individual PCs can go seek out different clues. I think small, private libraries and unaligned-with-the-University individuals could be the way to go.


Azih wrote:
Is it possible that the name of the village turns up nothing

No. The adventure is inspired by "Lady of the Mists" by Peter Aberg in Dungeon 42. The town is Avenia and it's the crux of the first half of the campaign.

Great idea it just can't work in this situation.


@ Ultra Geek:
Ooh, I Really like this. At some point they get a map and then someone steals it and they have to track that NPC down. It also fits perfectly as the PCs are NOT the only ones searching for this guy hiding out in Avenia.


@ John Hawkins:
Yeah, it looks like I'm going to have quite a bit of prep work this week but you're absolutely right. I'm going to have to use a handful of those ideas. But that's exactly what I'm trying for.


@ Coffee Demon:
Always a fear. That's one of the reasons I really want to have a good, fun roleplaying experience in Korvosa. ....But ultimately I've learned from my Players that as a group they want a designed adventure more than a Sandbox. They rely on a DM that's pushing some kind of campaign, though obviously no specific scenario-railroading. In the past when I've given a completely open situation and a multitude of choices and wide-open direction, the game slowed down and became somewhat directionless.
--Different groups for different styles of play ....(But you're right; it's always a fear.)

So my PCs have just arrived in Korvosa from Cheliax searching for a "secret police" administrator who's gone AWOL. (The PCs are good guys who have been doing what they can to hinder or fight against Thrune and 'general Evil' in Cheliax. And now this monstrous villain no longer has the protection of Cheliax-- Thrune, the HellKnights, the Church of Asmodeus -- thus he can be captured and made to answer for his horrible crimes against humanity. (Think the hunt for Adolf Eichmann post-Nazi Germany.)

So, the PCs have just arrived in Korvosa knowing only the name of this tiny village somewhere deep in Varisia where this villain has gone in hiding. Now, the obvious thing for them to do to learn where it is is to roleplay for three minutes a search in the Korvosa University, or city records, or somewhere for a detailed map of Varisia and find out the location of this tiny village. Then leave Korvosa behind.

Here's the rub: After the PCs "deal with" the villain in this tiny village way out deep in the Varisian wilderness, I want the next chunk of the campaign to take place back in Korvosa. And I want the PCs to already have a good potential base of operations, several contacts, a working knowledge of City politics and operations, and a good feel for the atmosphere and, er, theme of the city. Korvosa is a Big part of the later campaign. It has to come alive with detail and development.

So I want to develop Korvosa a bit while they search for where this tiny village somewhere in Varisia is.
--And that doesn't happen if they roleplay for three minutes looking in Korvosa University for maps of Varisia and then immediately leave.

So what can I "throw at"(?) my PCs in Korvosa that will make them have to explore and/or make contacts and/or learn about Korvosa in the process of researching where this tiny village in remote Varisia is?!

All ideas, suggestions and advice VERY welcome!


He allows "Harmless" mind-affecting such as telepathy and Mind Blank and such, yes.

Hey, I need rules help in Psionics.

A 20th level PC has the following effects going:

Mind Link

Battle Sense


I need to know if this PC will know if one of the PCs, who is Undead, has failed his Will Save against Control Undead.

I just don't know.


The Sheppard's Bluff: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (10) + 12 = 22

Assassin's Stealth: 1d20 + 11 + 2 ⇒ (16) + 11 + 2 = 29

Five Mercenary Rogues' Stealth: 1d20 + 8 + 2 ⇒ (6) + 8 + 2 = 16

*purchases PFS 7-05

...You know, someone should update the Pathfinder Wiki lists -- PFS 7-05 is not listed as an adventure in The Precipice Quarter.

There's maybe a good year or two of PFS adventures published after the last update of the lists.

Thanks guys!

Are there any adventures or source material for The Precipice District in Absalom -- other than "Hangman's Noose" & "Black Waters"?
(Or The Inner Sea Guide?)

I don't think so but I'm hoping there are maybe one or two more PFS Scenarios in old Beldrin's Bluff; that's the one source (PFS) that I have lots of material but haven't read much of it. The Scenarios just sit idly in My Downloads.

Does anyone know of any adventures or source material for The Precipice District in Absalom -- other than "Hangman's Noose" & "Black Waters"?

Oh, or The Inner Sea Guide?

I've got all that but I'd like more.

I have a bit of a problem on which I need some advice.

I'm DMing my first PbP and am overwhelmed with good candidate PCs. I've narrowed down from around 25 to 12 good ones and want to get down to 7 or 8.

Here's my problem:
One of the PCs I'd like to leave off is the Player who had the idea for the campaign in the first place. In many ways it's that player's game! The PC doesn't fit as well as most of the other PCs and I feel I have to trim down a few good choices anyway.

From a moral standpoint, what do I do?

test: 1d20 ⇒ 3

test: 1d24 ⇒ 9

test: 1d30 ⇒ 8

test: 1d100 ⇒ 4

test: 1d14 ⇒ 2

test: 1d16 ⇒ 6

test: 1d12 ⇒ 2

test: 1d100 ⇒ 21

From Gruumash:

Gruumash wrote:
So perhaps she stumbled across this plot by Abraxas to pit Andoran and Cheliax against one another. However you want to play it out. Perhaps being a hero for the local military perhaps even an officer she had gotten to know the Chelaxian forces and comes to an uneasy truce and respect between her and the Chelaxian Hell Knight leading a group LN type. Didn't agree politically but had a peace and line of communication between them. Had built a type of friendship so when a local demon worshiper cult had begin to stir the pot she didn't buy it and neither did her friend. They looked into it from both sides but politics being politics neither of their superiors wanted to believe them after years of bad blood. Her and Hell Knight team up to try and stop the on coming war and prove that demons are behind it. He knows a diabolist who can help them get some answers as well as proof to the demons behind this. They are lead to the Abyss and the Hell Knight is killed and her party too? As they try and get to the Abraxas minion?

captain yesterday wrote:
1) how long has he been gone, in game?

150 days and 6 levels of XP (long time -- 12-15 sessions)


captain yesterday wrote:
2) does it have to be southern Andoran?

Big yes -- this is where our campaign is. They've got maps of the whole region, tons of NPCs, even played through the early tension betwixt Cheliax & Andoran as a result of Abraxas's scheming.


captain yesterday wrote:
3)* is the Abyss that much different then in Canonical Golarion? specifically is Abraxus' realm the same?


I couldn't delete 25 years of Abyssal development just because Paizo was forced to for copyright reasons.
Think of it this way: Take the published Abyss from 3E and ADD the Pathfinder Demonlords to Layers that are "empty" in 3E -- in cases such as Lamashtu & Abraxas where they're in both editions, 3E trumps Paizo. (So Abraxas rules the 17th & Lamashtu the 503rd.)
But I try (quite successfully) to meld ALL the published material from ALL the old editions. Lamashtu's Paizo canon is just added to her old canon.

captain yesterday wrote:
4)* What would be the Golarion equivalent to Yeenaghu?

No change. Yeenoghu IS Yeenoghu. Demon God of Gnolls.

(and Maglubiyet is "Big Boss" or "too-powerful-enemy" of the Pathfinder Goblin-Heroes: Hadregash, Venkelvore, etc., etc.)

JohnHawkins wrote:
The missing PC gets attacked by someone who blasts them with a Prismatic spray , the violet ray hits and they get sent to a random plane. Wasn't that convenient when they turn up with the rest of the party


Now THAT is the kinda cheesy thing I was hoping to use.

As it turns out a couple folks have some really cool ideas that aren't as wonderfully full of fromage and fit the campaign -- but I will try to mix the ideas together and really want to use this one.

Because she's a Magus-Paladin and the Player hasn't asked for a special favor, I'm assuming she'll be LG.

When the Player had to leave the group the PC was only 2nd level so he's just rebuilding her to 8th. Back then the PCs had just helped abandon their village (got villagers to flee) from a Goblinoid army. When the Player left I just said the PC would become a basic soldier (I think the PC started as Ftr-Magus) in the Andoran militia -- making it an open-ended departure and allowing an easy way back in. (The Player hated having to leave the campaign.)

One key event from our earliest gaming sessions was, when the Goblinoids attacked she (PC was age 14, youngest of the siblings!) just went to the armory and grabbed the biggest weapon she could find -- it was a cool Bastard sword she didn't even know how to use. The Player really rolled with that and wants that sword to have been Intelligent -- though she didn't know it then. If you remember Weapons of Legacy from 3.5 -- kinda one of those things.

In the meantime, early sessions to the present, I could have had her doing almost anything in Andoran; I just need a way to have gotten her to the Abyss.

As it turns out, the lair the other PCs are in on the Abyss belongs to a "companion" of one of Abraxas's minions in Andoran.

Thanks guys!

How could an adventurer, Magus-Paladin (not Barbarian, my bad), with an Alexander the Great theme and an Intelligent sword, get to the Abyss from SW Andoran in the middle of an Abraxas / Maglubiyet / Yeenoghu plot to get Cheliax and Andoran to go to war?

I like Boring7's idea about an Abyssal assassin. Unfortunately, I've recently, two times, played the PC-captured-by-the-bad-guys card in this campaign and I can't do it again.

There's gotta be some more cool, creative ways!

(I'm busy prepping Abyssal encounters for the campaign, leveling two PCs in other campaigns I'm playing in, keeping track of a brand new PBP I started in, playing Euchre AND Spades tournaments online, and, of course, working FULL time -- I'm too busy to think of a creative device on this one!)

Over the summer I started my Abraxas Gambit campaign in SW Andoran -- in a tiny village not too far from Chimera Cove.
A month or so in one of the Players had to end because of real-life schedule encroachment, but now is now coming back.

This Saturday's session.

And I can't think of how to get that PC into the Abyss....

...The PCs were in a big, classic dungeon-crawl and decided they'd try to cleverly talk around a tough fight with an Abyssal denizen rather than fight it. I've been encouraging them to try creative, wacky stuff for encounters and so I promoted their approach, which ended with them successfully making a deal with said Abyssal denizen and going to his master's lair on the First Layer of the Abyss.

We stopped the session at the conclusion of that encounter -- I wanted to do some prep before going to the Lower Planes -- and we're starting this Saturday with the PCs stepping through the portal.

And yesterday our old gamer said he could make it back to the game. This Saturday! So how do I get his PC from backwater Andoran to the Abyss -- specifically this Abyssal denizen's lair?

....The returning PC is a badd-asss Magus-Barbarian with an "Alexander-the-Great" theme.

....The campaign's NPC plot revolves around a deal between Abraxas and Maglubiyet to join forces in Maglubiyet's latest war on Yeenoghu in the Abyss. Abraxas's main plot for this assistance involves instigating a war between Cheliax and Andoran so his proxies can use that as a cover for what they're doing in SW Andoran / SE Cheliax.

....The PCs were eventually going to go to the Abyss themselves, to fight (presumably Abraxas & Maglubiyet minions) and rescue a good guy trapped down there -- they're just getting a taste now with this unexpected turn of events.

....The Players were originally asked to try to make PCs who were the children of the Andoran village innkeeper -- or a best friend of one of the siblings or something really close: an adopted elf child, maybe.

The players did really well, only one decided to be a "friend of" the family and the rest had fun wrestling over who'd be oldest or youngest or whatever, and we began.

....But now that the youngest sibling -- the cool Magus-Barbarian who's been gone for a while -- is back, I have to shoehorn a reason to get her in the Abyss.

Ideas please:

My group is leaving Magnimar for Ilsurian where they will begin to track down a vampire they know is killing Fey and has just left the Sanos Forest heading east (Thus they will begin the search in Ilsurian.).

My problem is that by choosing this course of action as opposed to another (heading far north to the Kodor Mt.s looking for Xin-Shalast in an effort to find the nearby Dark Tower of Cabilar), they are biting off more than they can chew at this level (6th Lvl Gestalt). They can't handle the vampire they are hunting at this time but it's what they want to do, leaving the search for the Dark Tower of Cabilar near Xin-Shalast for later.

Personality/ Game-Style of the Group:
One of the Players is big on combat in an olde-school, 1970s adventure modules kinda way; he also likes Sandbox-ish stuff. Another is really big into Sandbox games. (Plenty of other "styles / personalities" but these are the two relevant to this current problem.)
...See, I designed this stage of the game to lend itself to Sandbox play, thus giving the Players complete freedom to do what they want. And I need to be able to let them just Hack-N-Slash SOON.

I was pretty sure, based on the group dynamic, that they'd seek out Xin-Shalast in an effort to find The Dark Tower of Cabilar nearby. But I was also preparing for them to make a return to Cheliax, go off to Razmir or Ustalov (where some intriguing NPCs are from) or even go to one of a handful of Varisian locations to continue their adventuring. What they are choosing to do (which makes perfect sense now that I think it through more completely) is track down this vampire who has killed Fey in the Sanos.

So,... How do I allow them to play out this stage of the Campaign without getting them in way over their heads (EL wise)?

A bit more detail....
Curse of the Crimson Throne
Carrion Crown Adventure Path potential Spoilers:

The vampire in question is Arkminos Ramoska, the Nosferatu who makes his debut in CotCT as a non-combat encounter, and is later a small part of CC. The PCs are aware that Arkminos Ramoska hates his vampiric condition and has been trying for gazillions of years to find a way to end his undead nature (He's an Alchemist.).

In this campaign he is one of many NPCs trying to track down one of Lady Lucilla Germanicus's potions (See "Lady of the Mists" by Peter Aberg in Dungeon 42.) in an attempt to study it to see if he can find a solution to his vampirism. Meanwhile, however, he is simultaneously trying an "old wives tale" he's recently learned that drinking Fey blood could help -- and he's of course doing his own alchemical experiments with said First World blood. (Special thanks to Paizo poster "Inkedmsd" for filling me in on this idea!)

At some point vampire-of-Caliphas Florian Lamorath (Luvick's proxy) was going to meet with the PCs and trade info about what Arkminos Ramoska has been doing for some info the PCs have. Now I may have to switch that around so the Nosferatu trades info about Florian Lamorath to the PCs. ...Or something.

But I know my Players and I have a feeling that they're just gonna want to kill. The solution I'm hoping for is for Arkminos Ramoska to give the PCs another monster to kill (in addition to info on Florian Lamorath and the vampires-of-Caliphas recently spreading to Varisia, PLUS agreeing not to kill any more Fey). Hopefully that would be enough.

But I'm at a loss.

What can I do to resolve the PCs' hunt for the vampire that's not cheese ("You can't find him") or some form of railroading?

NOTE: (For those curious about the campaign)
Additional inspiration is from Dungeon #1 "The Dark Tower of Cabilar," Dungeon #25 "A Rose for Talakara," Dungeon #42 "The Lady of the Mists" and its sequel in Dungeon #52 "My Lady's Mirror,"Dungeon #62 "Night Swarm," Pathfinder Module "The Midnight Mirror," and the Pathfinder Adventure Path Second Darkness.

Well, this is what I do for fun as a DM -- make campaigns from older adventures. I used to enjoy just rewriting them when mushing them together but now I have more fun trying to keep them as identical-as-possible to the original while still making it "my own" campaign.

Too many over the years to list (remember) but here's one I just started -- we've played one session and session two is this Sunday (I'll start a Campaign Journal in a week or so.)

Dungeon 42 "Lady of the Mists"
Dungeon 25 "A Rose for Talakara"
Dungeon 1 "Lost Tower of Cabilar"
Pathfinder Module "The Midnight Mirror"
NPCs from Carrion Crown -- mostly "Ashes at Midnight"
NPCs from Second Darkness -- mostly "Endless Night"
...and as the Campaign develops I may add more. Some possibilities include,...
Dungeon 61 "Night Swarm"
City of the Spider Queen
Dungeon 52 "My Lady's Mirror" (sequel to "Lady of the Mists")
maybe a bit from Shattered Star

Wow, thanks Captain!

One of the reasons I wanted to have part of this campaign in Nisroch is because of her novel Nightglass.

This will be a great help.

From page 34 of Cities of Golarion, can someone help me with info on Nisroch?

Specifically, I could use some physical description of the overview of the city -- what it looks like to people visiting for the first time, from a mile or so out. (I do have the big glossy poster map of the city but I'd love some canonical text, too.)

Also, once these people (PCs) are in, what are some sights, sounds, smells, etc. that taint them.

Further, if there is a name of an Inn, preferably a larger one, that's described (where the PCs can stay), it'd be great.

Finally, is there any mention of Skulks in Nisroch and if so, what's their shtick?



The PCs are entering Nisroch from Cheliax hunting down a Chelaxian official who's gone AWOL. In Nisroch they will, after doing whatever search they come up with, learn of the Inn their prey stayed at -- and his room. In the room some Skulks will attempt to steal their stuff (just like they stole the AWOL-guy's stuff). After the PCs defeat the Skulks they can find the guy's stuff in the treasure, including the clue that sends them to his next location.

So some descriptive info on Nisroch that's actually canon would be great. Not that I won't do it myself if necessary.

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