I have another couple of pages related to the first document. I wrote up some post-rescue dialogue from Harliss (and a line from Lars, owner of the Rusty Shunt), as responses to my players questions. This document is probably less useful and more specific to my players and their actions and outcome, but I offer it up anyway. I will also tack on the list of questions the players asked to help with the context.
Even if its not immediately / directly usable, it may inspire you in your game and with a little work be adapted to fit your story-line
Any interest, let me know.
P.S. @Garm; Did you use the first document in your game? How did it go?
That's the kind of idea that makes me wish I had some artistic skills. Most of that complex is pretty straight-forward, but that room in particular can be a little confusing, both to describe and to visualize as a player.
Kudos for this effort and thanks for the pics of the finished product.
If you want some hints on future projects, a big one to work on is "the Wreck" from SoS. Great big elements in very confusing configuration. Get that one right and its a work of art.
The Ziggurat at Golismorga, Pretty simple but there is a lot of detail that can be sketched in ahead of time, keeps the game pace up. Plus, I expanded each level about 20 or 30 feet to accommodate my rather large party.
DKV's:area on Divided's Ire. The bridges and the drop-offs would be great to visualize.
you know, Death Knight Vanthus
Another one I'd build, even tho its not really complex is Wat Dagon, just because of what it means to the story.
NPC Dave wrote:
Great! I'm glad to see this AP survive as long as it has. (I have friends who have children younger than STAP).
NPC Dave wrote:
I don't see a problem with a character belonging to as many as make sense (tho I'll agree that more than 2 is impractical). You'll note that the all the Affiliation Score charts start with "3 or Lower". And a few of them can generate significantly more than 30 points to a dedicated player.
NPC Dave wrote:
It's really a bit more than simply being a citizen, the character should be interested in participating in the governing and/or bureaucracy of Sasserine. The Witchwarden bonus would apply in any case.
NPC Dave wrote:
No, we would not have ignored the penalty, had any of my players had an interest in affiliating with more than one group. Qualification for an Affiliation is based on the tenets and restrictions outlined in the membership section, not the actual score. As I pointed out above, having a score lower than 4 does not keep a character out of an Affiliation. It just means they are a junior member for longer.
NPC Dave wrote:
No, not unbalancing but, as above, simply being a citizen does not enter a character into the affiliation automatically. I would happily allow any Dawn Council member that bonus.
If you read ahead (which you really should), esp. in the Dragon mags articles Savage Tidings, you will discover a couple more Affiliations pop up as the adventure continues. You may want to prepare you players for these future additions.
Since you are so early into the STAP, I have one great big bit of advice. Read thru the ENTIRE adventure path completely before you continue (if you haven't already) both the Dungeon mags and the associated Savage Tidings from the Dragon mags. There are actually a whole bunch of articles from that last year (before it even *cough* Demonomicon of Iggwilv *cough*) that may prove interesting and helpful you a DM wishing to understand and provide more depth to this adventure.
You may want to go back and reread sections before continuing. There is a lot of stuff that carries over to later adventures and some details from earlier modules are explained in later text. For instance, what happened to make Vanthus the way he is, is explained well into the adventure path. You will gain a whole lot of insight and places where you can improve your storytelling with foreshadowing and the like.
Have Fun with this Great Adventure Path!!!
Well, they made it :-)
'BOUT TIME! :D
Really glad you got there and had a good time of it. Its refreshing to read another take on that encounter.
My group had been on a bit of a hiatus, I needed a break to recharge my DM battery. My guys just finished mopping up Red Foam, so you are still behind us, but not by much.
Just realized something else - with nondetection Noltus will seem to be a non-caster. Is there a spell that lets you appear as, say, a high level divine caster to arcane sight, while you are in fact a spell-like ability wielding demon ghoul?
I'd have Noltus explain that he uses powerful magicks to avoid detection, how else do you think he has survived so long in these demon and skinwalker infested jungles.
Zombie Boots wrote:
Yes, yes it is.
Zombie Boots wrote:
These are very broad strokes.
-- You could have him 'discover' the party's plan and flee to the main island, and perhaps Manthalay could insist that the mayor send out a search party to find his wayward nephew (maybe Avner ends up in some sort of dungeon or cave complex). Hijinks ensue.
If your group of players is larger than 4, its pretty much mandatory (especially for the lower levels) as you will likely have more -- and larger -- opponents. IIRC I added 10, 20 and 30 feet respectively to the decending levels.
My group going through the Ziggy was 6 strong (bow spec Ranger, Monk, Barby, Cleric, Illusionist and FTR/Rogue Tempest wannabe). At first they tried to assault the stronghold without breaking the Tear. On their first attempt they used illusions to look like Kopru and weren't fully buffed. Their second assault they took time to buff and use Invisibity; after that failure, they decided to consider the breaking of the Tear.
Inside, I added a few extra mooks and I made good use of the Naga spellcasters and behemoths to whittle away their defenses. Flooding the middle chamber was a good idea, it gave them something else to consider tactically. The Barb *still* has the Cloak of the Manta ray. Gawdz I hate that item. :)
Pray that some of your characters are Lawful; the 'wretch's breath weapon and the ce-ment pond he hangs out in do some nice extra damage. This group has a real distaste for BBEG escaping, so they are prone to chasing them down when they try. When the 'wretch moved into the bile to get a better attack angle, the Monk decided to give chase and DOVE INTO the Black Bile. That shocked him hard.
Play up the atmosphere of the fleshy Zig, my guys were seriously creeped out by the Zig and golismorga in general, due to that Far Realms -- Lovecraftian vibe.
Luna eladrin wrote:
What would be original suggestions for this
I don't have any specific pre-made adventure suggestions off the top of my head, but here are a couple of things I used out of Stormwrack (if you have access to that book, it might give you some inspiration). You could have a few Coral Golems guarding a sunken temple for one additional encounter and a trio of Hammerclaws with a water naga ally in another
I actually used these as guardians for the Glutton's lair, the golems outside and the 'claw/naga combo inside by his hoard.
Carbo', make sure you play up the aberrant flavor of Golismorga! Just using the few creepy interactions presented in the text really disgusted my players.
It was great!
Charlie Bell wrote:
I have always thought that Kansas' Magnum Opus had an interesting D&D vibe and different sections might be used for adding mood to encounters, like the Charon and Obox-ob encounters you specify above.
There is a short (maybe 30 sec) vocal interlude, but the rest is instrumental about 8 or 9 minutes or something like that.
Troy Pacelli wrote:
So, I read a thread a little while back about Graz'zt not playing a huge roll in the STAP and why that might be. My question is (because I haven't yet read that far ahead) just how big a role does he play. More importantly, is his apparently minor role in as Tyralandi's patron really crucial? Like, if I make Tyralandi's patron some other evil demon (one from our campaign world) will it seriously mess up the big dénouement of the STAP? Any insights for me.
Graz'zt's attentions are... occupied... elsewhere.
He is currently embroiled in some plot or other against the Demon Queen of Spiders.
His only scheduled interaction in the Savage Tide is at the last, when the Demon Prince Demogorgon is defeated and the Crown is up for grabs (literally!)
I think you can safely change up Tyralandi's patronage to whomever you like. You can bring in Graz'zt at the end, or not, as you see fit (several Demon Lords make an appearance to vie for that Crown).
Check out the Conclusion text in the final chapter of the path for more details.
Actually, her gear is a sizable haul for characters of that level and the xp for killing her is significant too esp. if, as in my case, she is not played to her fullest capabilities.
While those things aren't *bad*, they can make a party a little overpowered for the rest of the chapter and more moving forward.
I've also run it twice, each time with a group of 6 PCs. The first time I don't think I made Capt. Javell's prowess clear enough, and the party defeated her (Honestly, I was quite sloppy with her abilities). Second run thru, I made a bigger production of how fast she was taking out the Savage pirates. I also reviewed the mistakes I made the first time around and clarified her combat abilities in my mind, should they attack her again. They balked at attacking her on the second run thru.
For a party of 4 balanced PC's, Harliss is probably enough to TPK. For 6 PCs, she could use a couple more levels.
Generally, if the party attack, she should try to convince them that its more important to save Lavinia than to spend time and energy on her. Dropping one of the PC's should make that evident as well.
Things that can go wrong:
Kain Darkwind wrote:
First, let me say that I am unfamiliar with Improving Monsters in Pathfinder, so this is meant to educate me more than a critique. Here are a couple of questions about possible discrepancies with your Improved nabassu.
AC 32, touch 15, flat-footed 27, combat 45
hp 239 (9d10 + 90);
Melee bite +28
Hey Carbo, where are you at in LD? My crew is just about to finish the Zig with the 'wretch
Upon arrival at Shedrilavri (sp?) generally only souls and slaves are granted entry no one is allowed to enter the city with clothes/armor on. In order to be granted an audience with Malcanthet, the party have to determine how to gain entry. Either go in as slaves or try to diplomance the mariliths guarding the gate at the dock, giving up their equipment to the demons (so polite of them) or stowing away beforehand on the Wyvern. there is also the "Kick in the Door" option (KitD))
What did your party do? any of the above, or something else?
Lord Snow wrote:
I have to side with Cale on this one. I gave my players the "vague" explanation and throughout that section of the game they complained bitterly, because they didn't know if they were "doing it right" and had no way to gauge their success or failure. I think had they not known anything was different they would have enjoyed it more, though I bet they would have earned fewer VP (the new mechanic really got their meta- up).
One thing to consider, if your party (and the DM) isn't really big on Roleplay (rather than roll play), they could find themselves doing quite poorly due to them skipping some of the lesser encounters.
Things to be aware of:
I wanted to play up the Olman souls in the Cerulean Curtain and, as written, there are only a couple of phrases that the party can hear when they pass through the barrier. So I cobbled together a few more as clues, fluff or red herrings and handed them out randomly as my players passed through.
They seemed to go over pretty well with the group so I thought I would post them here in case someone else wanted to do a similar thing. They are probably pretty cliche and somewhat tuned to fit into my campaign, so feel free to modify them to fit your particular details.
I also included the ones from the Lightless Depths.
Cerulean Curtain phrases:
I got this AP and I wanna run it, and darn it I intend to but I hit a small snag. I'm reading ahead to familiarize myself with it before I take on the lofty mantle of DM and when I got to Part Six I noticed there were a lot of maps missing on the way down to Golismorga and beyond. Anyone know where I can get these maps so I'm not Ad-Hocing the adventure and looking like a tool?
There are no such maps for those locations, feel free to hoc up anything you'd like. :D
Troy Pacelli wrote:
So, I know that there is a ship called The Gallivant wrecked there. Anyone know any history? Is it from a classic module or something?
A casual Google turns up nothing but Savage Tide references that are appropriate.
I have considered tying The Gallivant in to the background info from the Exploring the Isle of Dread(Dungeon Sept. 2004) article. In my STAP, Urol was with Larissa V on her trip to the IoD, but before that, I have him on board the ship that Capt. Rory Barbarosa, from the Exploring backdrop, sails to the IoD and if you read that background information, there is an encounter with an unnamed shipwreck (likely the Gallivant) where they are attacked by Kopru.
Actually all that backdrop info is pretty good, and is usable in the STAP, so if you have access, I consider it recommended reading for a STAP DM.
For that matter, weren't there some other similar easter eggs in the STAP? I seem to recall a room description somewhere which referred to the "Tammeraut's Fate" Dungeon adventure, plus some others which I didn't identify.
Just in case:
Kraken's Cove in The Bullywug Gambit has the trophies you are looking for.
Ninja'd during the preview!!!
I can't believe it took me this long to make this connection.
Is it 'Tear' as in liquid from a crying eye?
Or is it 'Tear' as in Rip in the fabric of the universe?
Until now, I have been thinking "teer" rather than "tare", but now I see that it could go either way.
Even better, as a liquid Tear meaning, the whole blue 'bubble' can be the Tear.
So, how did/do you interpret this?
Turin the Mad wrote:
I would never turn down a chance to peruse your stat blocks Turin, no matter HOW gruesome.
Waaaaaaah! A hundred is even rounder! (Even though he did, like, months and everything!) :-)
My players took 48 days to get from Ft Greenie to Farshore, and the assault on Farshore came early 49 days later, so that's 97 days. So somewhere between 97 and 110 seems quite reasonable.
Zombie Boots wrote:
Pulling extraneous "random" encounters is a good idea, but I disagree with removing the Savage Monkey encounter. They are not much of a threat but provide a valuable bit of foreshadowing for the upcoming and significantly more dangerous encounters with the Savage pirates.
Most of the AP modules have a "Scaling the Adventure" section, providing recommendations on how to reduce or increase the power level of encounters in that book. Seek out that section and start with those reductions.
Also, consider adding a DM run PC or hirelings of which your players can make use. This can provide some more RP opportunity. Find out if any of them are interested in the Leadership feat. In SWW there are a number of lower level NPCs and PC replacements with very brief outlines that you can move back into earlier episodes and NPC's to be recruited/hired by the PC's.
There are two other big issues to contend with. XP and treasure. For the XP, a really good way to handle it in this situation is to just award them xp based on completing chapter milestones, rather than keeping track of xp directly.
Smarnil le couard wrote:
Yep, the entry (K.) notes that the Entrance to Golismorga is 10,700 feet below sea level. The Thanaclan plateau is about 3,000 feet above the rest of the IoD and the IoD is anywhere from a couple of hundred to a couple of thousand feet above sea level depending on DM interpretation of descriptions presented in all the IoD materials. I would say a reasonable (and round) distance would be 14,000 feet.
So, Levitating at 20 ft per round will take nearly two hours.
Using a Fly spell, would take about 10 minutes to descend to G'morga, requiring a 10th level caster (and the return trip would take 4 times as long, and multiple casting at that same caster level)
That's 280 50' ropes per 'walker rappelling. A freefall would take about 78 seconds, give or take.
As to the other points, I don't consider playing intelligent monsters intelligently 'punishing' players. Rewarding players for doing foolish things, like wandering off alone into an unknown hostile area, is generally a bad idea as it may turn on them someday soon. But I see nothing wrong with sending down a contingent of skinwalkers to 'introduce' themselves to the rest of the party.
Garden Tool wrote:
+1 for the Garden Tool
Jason Rice wrote:
If a mundane blindfold can protect against a Medusa's Gaze, I don't see how a Magic item that protects against gases doesn't protect against a gaseous breath weapon, unless the weapon or magic item specify otherwise.
Jason Rice wrote:
By RAW "A creature is immune to its own breath weapon unless otherwise noted." and by extension, logic or at least RAI, Gorgon's can't turn each other to stone. The species would have died off long ago if this were the case.
Blayde MacRonan wrote:
For those that say the monk doesn't really belong in a high fantasy setting, I say look no further than the Bloodguard from The Thomas Covenant series. I'm not a big fan of those books, but I loved the Bloodguard. Sure the Pathfinder monk has obvious Asian origins, but that doesn't always have to be the case.
+1.Back in the 1.e days I adapted The Land and ran a short-lived campaign. Great fun.
The Bloodguard were awesome. Monks on steroids!
Seriously good read, too. I highly recommend the first trilogy and I liked the second too.
Lord Foul's Bane is a helluva title too, thats what first hooked me.
I wish I'd thought of both of those.
Just an update. I saw the Toss (Ex) ability on page 54 of the Tides of Dread Dungeon mag under the Stegosaurus entry. I'll use this for the basis of the Ankylosaurs augmentations. I think Toss is better than Awesome blow (greater distance and more damage), and I will still add Tail Sweep to get more than one square at a time on that tail attack.
STR: 1d4 + 1d6 + 8 ⇒ (2) + (5) + 8 = 15
STR: 1d4 + 1d6 + 8 ⇒ (2) + (2) + 8 = 12
STR: 1d4 + 1d6 + 8 ⇒ (4) + (4) + 8 = 16
STR: 1d4 + 1d6 + 8 ⇒ (1) + (5) + 8 = 14
Come to think of it, someone in the Savage Tide sub-forum did use "Torrents of Dread" in the real Savage Tide campaign, but - because of potential kopru over-exposure - swapped out the kopru with something else in either "Torrents" or "Lightless Depths". Unfortunately, I can't remember who did it and what monster race was used instead.
Don't remember who, but I do remember it was Illithids that they swapped for the Kopru.
"The Porphyry House Horror" is also a little awkward, due to its location (go to Scuttlecove at level 10, go back at level 15 for SoS), and it's denizens like Tyralandi, the yuan-ti and the Orlath might come off as "ho hum -- more of the same". Then you have the issues with how much power the Scuttlecove folks have gained as a whole when the party return at 15th level (Kedward Bone, for instance, gains 5 levels of Diabolist in that time).
I do like all of these related adventures, though, and I plan on incorporating some of the subplots into the mainline (rescuing Aaron Islaran is one).
It's called out in several locations. Divided's Ire, Wat Dagon, the Interdiction Zone generated at Lemoriax, even the Lemorian Golem back in Fogmire. These all have (or are) foci for/of Demogorgon's Will.
1) Plane Shift has a miss chance of 5-500 miles. Even Greater Teleport can fail if they don't have a reliable description. Iggy was using the thin area between the planes as a target for her gate(s), and thats not a valid target for Gr Teleport. You also have to consider the interdiction zone, it might affect teleports to the beach.
But the best reason is that the party are there to clear the beach so that the invading army of Eladrin can use the beach as a staging area (to distract Demo.)
DM Mistake 1), if the summoned Demons can't touch them, they should stand back and use Dispel Magic to drop that buff and then attack, or just use their SLAs if they can't crack the Caster Level.
Thanks for this insight, my players won't be there for awhile, but I am already prepping some ideas I have. I wrote a program to randomly map the Blast Disks so that I don't have to mark up the battlemat and potentially give away their locations.
How did your group handle the blast disks?
Something else to consider is the number of PC's you are going to have. If there are more than four, you will need to make adjustments to the encounters (above adjustments you are already making), otherwise 5 or 6 PCs have an advantage and will mop up the encounters fairly easily. You may also consider having them lag by one level, so that for a level 7, 8 and 9 chapter, have them level to 6, 7, and 8 instead.
The first step is to look at the last paragraph of each chapter's introduction, they give you a general guideline.
Here There Be Monsters Intro:
"The PCs should be 7th level when they begin "Here There Be Monsters." They should gain enough experience to advance to 8th level by the time they reach the shrine of Demogorgon in Part Four, and to 9th by the end of the adventure."
I would use this to give xp organically.