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So, I got the news of Gary Gygax's death last night just as we finished a session.

The players had just waded heroically through the goblins in the glassworks. Their reconnaissance was good, they knew where their foe was, they had a sketch plan of the interior. A classic, well organised raid. The ranger (goblin favoured) charging in pausing only to impale fleeing goblins with arrows, the half-orc dancing-girl monk laying down bladed scarf death to the left and right. The rogue, sneak attacking the surprised goblins and the wizard - well it had to be a magic missile.

The game is still the same one I started playing back in, what was it 1977? For sure it has changed, but the thief is still back-stabbing and the wizard has the same spells. What struck me last night, as I wound down from the game back home was how far Dave Arneson and Gary Gygax's idea had come, without being diluted - and what a powerful idea that made it.

As if to underline that thought - we took the game a step forward last night. For the first time, we used Skype to bring a player who could not attend to the table. He was stuck home with sick family and it took us the best part of an hour, two computers, two web cams and lots of fiddling to get it to work - but it did work for us. It was a bit odd, but we all settled into it OK. We pointed the webcam at the map and the party wizard went from an NPC to a PC for the night.

Another example of what a brilliant concept Dave and Gary came up with. How far it can be stretched and still remain true to its roots. Gary's presence in the gaming community will be missed. DnD has given me countless hours of pleasure, my condolences to his family and friends.

I guess we will now have another reason to remember GM's Day - when the community lost the first Dungeon Master.

So, one of my players has decided to take an interest in all things thassilonian. Which is good. He has taken the language and made a bee-line for the "Lighthouse". He then went to see Quink and made a good impression on him. He is now spending time researching the subject.

What do I reveal?

Previously Mr Jacobs has said that since finding out about anything Thassilonian is a DC 30 check, it should not be revealed before 4th level. Fair enough, but this guy is going direct to a source - Quink. Now, if he was to use Quink as a sage he would have to pay, but this is just him engaging Quink in discussion over a cup of herbal tea in the shadow of the Lighthouse.

I figured I should let him see the first page of the article on Thassilon - nothing too controversial there and nothing I can see that breaks the story.

Or is there?

PandaGaki wrote:
Tsuto got captured, interrogated and is currently in a jail. So far my plan is to have him hanged

I really like the idea that if they hand over a prisoner to the authorities, the PCs get to find out about the punishment. It fits with the slightly gruesome nature of ROTRL.

How about you break the cliché and *not* have her rescue Tsuto. Then when the PCs are in Magnimar they just happen across a public hanging - of Tsuto. Of course Lyrie will have followed Tsuto to Magnimar, tried to bust him out of jail but failed. As the PCs move closer to see who is being hanged, who should they come across but Lyrie, distraught and past the point of breakdown. She is now a broken woman, pathetic and of no danger. Maybe she tries to rush the scaffold to reach Tsuto, only to be cut down by the local guard.

That way the PCs see the psychological trauma they caused by their kindness and adherence to the law. Don't give the chance to just kill them when they try to get revenge. Twist the dagger more subtly...

When is RotRLs supposed to start? Does it even have an official start date? When is the Swallowtail festival? I have no books with me.

Either way - thanks Lilith they are fab and groovy.

Mayhem at the White Deer

"You saw it all you say?" The young man asked eagerly, leaning forward to hear over the bustle of The White Deer.

"Ay." The man took a sip of ale, "The whole thing, just outside of here. Caught me a fair bruise too." He gestured to an angry welt on his forehead, "but it wer worth et."

The conversations lulled as ears strained to catch his words. "I've heard fancy sword-work called the dance of death before, but this was the only time that description has ever made sense. You've never seen a half-orc move like that, I can tell you. The whole thing was like an heroic story. She twirls in with them tribal warscarves, deflecting a burning branch into a nearby trough, before doing a handstand, kicking the blighter in the head and then flipping over to punch him straight onto a burning pole, all before he has a chance to blink. In the meantime, that Varisian cousin of the Mayor's is loosing arrows, hitting goblins right, left and centre before toppling this enormous cart onto them, squished one goblin to jam it did. Before the others have a chance to do anything in return, one of em is impaled on his sword and the other has had its neck broken by another deadly swirl of the dancer's scarf. The leader of the blasted things gets shot straight through the head by the Varisian, who gets a rat-dog’s teeth in his leg for his trouble before the mangy cur is sliced open by even more fancy twirling."

The man chuckled. "I tell you, I wouldn't want to be on the front row of any dancing show she is in." Taking a last sip from his ale he leaned forward to the now rapt room. "All the while this is going on, this lady in leather armour is shooting arrows to distract the goblins before rushing one of them with a water trough, single-handedly grabbing the scrawny beast by its neck, and then holding it, kicking and screaming under the water until it drowned."

He leaned back triumphantly, a freshly drawn glass of ale now in front of him. He smiled as the questions began; he would be dining out on this tale for weeks.

Elsewhere, the Sheriff and Mayor discuss the potential danger to the city should the goblins tribes be ganging up, a lonely gravedigger sets about cleaning up the old priest's grave, and our hapless heroes get themselves some well earned food and drink, on the house, in the company of a very grateful Aldern Foxglove.

The Swallow Tail Festival...

Dear Mother,

And you thought my short trip down here would not be exciting! This past week has been a strange culmination of events in deed, almost as if the recent unpleasantness is more recent than many would like to believe.

I think something is on the horizon, I feel myself being drawn towards it, it is the same as when I felt I had to leave Celwynvian. Two weeks ago Auntie Hannah and I were out collecting and came across a tribesman from Storval Plateau, he had been set upon by goblins, thankfully they must have thought him already dead, we managed to bring him around and brought him down to Sandpoint to rest up. This week a travelling troupe came in to town for the celebrations of the recently rebuilt cathedral's dedication. Travelling with them was non-other than half-orc girl Auntie Hannah and I helped deliver in the plains near the Yondabakari River.

And then today, at the dedication, Sandpoint was attacked by goblins, I am sure their goal was to burn it down again. Everything was going along nicely and then we heard the screams, shortly followed by a goblin chant as they came straight for the cathedral, it was a short bloody battle but we defeated them and with no damage to the cathedral. We also managed to keep one alive for questioning, as I write he is still unconscious, the Mayor wants to wake him and but Auntie Hannah said the shock could kill him, and then we would have nothing. He will be awake soon enough; patience is one thing these humans have never had.

I will write again soon.


I have been cajoling / bribing my players into writing a chronicle of each session and they are rather good. I use something called Fate Points in my game, which work a bit like Fate pooints in WFRP. Anyhow - fate points are a rare and valuable resource and whomever writes up the chronicle gets a fate point. My PCs are

Hadamar - elf, mage from Mierani forest, but came to Sandpoint 10 years ago. Relatyed to Hannah Velerin

Rowena - half orc, monk dancing girl adopted by VArisian tribe. Uses bladed scarf as monk weapon.

Cam - human, ranger from Velashu uplands

Zinaida - elan, lurk from Magnimar.

bugleyman wrote:
at the end of session #1 they had just cleaned out the glassworks and overcome Tsuto.

Hell's teeth! How long was the session? I'm two sessions in and they have only just finished the initial goblin encounters.

Oh - and my lot waded through most of the goblins, except when the mage was surprised and took a crit. :-)

Just added my vote - we are currently in 3rd place:

Unearthed Arcana 379
Eberron 377
Pathfinder 370

There are only 9 votes in it! Go do your bit for Paizo

No, not at all. I believe it is a common complaint.

My lot currently take great delight in re-characterising any native Chelaxian as Chill-lax-ing. Apparently to chill-lax is a new fangled conjoined word meaning to chill out and relax.


They may just be yanking my chain. And any time I print out a picture of an NPC they deface it with horns and moustache and daft speech bubbles.

A thing of beauty and an obvious hole filled in the scenario...


OK - I see the links for the art - very disturbing Lilith. Good but deviant...

But where are can I find the maps and words mentioned above? A compiled pdf would be amazing. And convenient too. I am trying to imagine my players faces when flicking through a bone-fide journal and coming across Lilith's artwork. Slack jawed disbelief possibly. I may have to do the happy DM dance.

This was brought up in another thread - would Paizo consider releasing short Adventure Paths?

By this I mean 3 scenarios rather than 6, with a smaller level progression. So for example 1st to 8th or maybe 4th to 11th level. Whilst I love the idea of long running campaigns, it is not always practical to run one. Then we could explore more unusual AP ideas that maybe would not sustain a full 6 episodes without the commitment of year and then some of play. Maybe a few of the GM modules could be hooked together more tightly - not that I know anything about these products.

Just a thought

Shorter paths is a great idea and worthy of its own thread...

Snark seekers rarely have an issue with wiliness. Tenacious, elusive, obfuscated and occasionally ferocious I will grant you. But wily no...

For the Snark was a Boojum you see

Any more tidbits on Irori? I have a player about to generate a psionic character - I know, I know - but he really wants to play a psionic character and I figure it is his game too.

Anyhow, I was picking up on the idea mentioned elsewhere that if anyone would have associations with psionics, Irori would.

So, before I make it all up myself, is there anything official(ish) we can have?


I have to post on this thread - just to bump it.

Truly bizarre and awesome. I plan on using this next week and have no idea how the players will react. Slack jawed in dis-belief I suspect...

Oh happy days...

It's true - the release date in the shop listing has moved back to March. Poot...

On the plus side though they have put up what I assume are the final artwork for the Players Guide and the Pathfinder number 7. Nice. All red or perhaps, just perhaps it is crimson...

DangerDwarf wrote:

Sure, I now it is a long shot but I figured I'd ask around.

What I'm curious about is if anyone else has been using BECMI in Golarion?

What is BECMI?

Mike McArtor wrote:
DM Jeff wrote:
Then I remember how completely thrilled I was hearing how our Golarion hardcover will be system-less.
Umm... where did you hear that?

This is in the discussion on the product page:

Eric Mona wrote:
A significant majority of this book will be systemless, for sure.

SirUrza wrote:
Against it as well. The point of buying adventures from companies is to avoid a lot of the prep time a DM has to go through when creating their own adventures.

Yeah - what he said...

Prep time is a precious resource for me and needs to be spent on making sure the game is interesting and PCs fit into the plots etc - the absolute last thing I need is to be hunting down stats and deciding on opponents.

I note, with interest that all the talk is of converting systems that in my mind are essentially still D&D, just another flavour. Now what would be a challenge is to shift to an altogether different system like Warhammer, Mongoose Runequest or the long awaited Basic Role Playing from Chaosium. Now that would be fun.

Salama wrote:
Host of Angels wrote:

my mail address is: hostofangels at yahoo dot com
Your mail address doesn't seem to work, it says it doesn't exist. I was going to ask if stealth really isn't usable as untrained in your campaign, or is it a typo?

Doh! - at yahoo dot co dot uk

What was I thinking. I blame the lack of sleep

And yes, Stealth can be used untrained - typo. For that matter I just double checked and Craft, Intimidate and Perform can all be used untrained too.

Yes - please post the synopsis as soon as possible. It will give me an opportunity to work some character background into the plot. Surely, the issue of players getting their hands on the synopsis is not a big problem. How many players buy the Pathfinder books? If they do, well that is their own funeral. Sorry - a bit harsh I realise but I'm in that kinda abrupt mood...

James Jacobs wrote:
GUIDE TO KORVOSA: This is a 64 page book all about Korvosa. It'll be really helpful in games where the PCs are particularly prone to being distracted, and VERY helpful for GMs who want to know more about the city or want to expand parts of the adventure.

Drool, dribble, slurp. Now look at the mess I made. This is your fault Paizo. I can't wait.

Cool - you sir are a gentleman. Yes please include all sections you have, they are all ace. By the way this will be used for a Curse of the Crimson Throne campaign.

My modified skill list looks like this:

CRAFT (___________) (INT)
KNOWLEDGE (__________) (INT)
KNOWLEDGE (__________) (INT)
KNOWLEDGE (__________) (INT)
KNOWLEDGE (__________) (INT)
KNOWLEDGE (__________) (INT)
PERFORM (_____________) (CHA)
PROFESSION (__________) (WIS)

Please note: the asterisk * denotes an armour check penalty and the x is for untrained skills. I also have 5 slots for Knowledge skills as these feature heavily.

Thanks for doing this, I am most extremely grateful.

my mail address is: hostofangels at yahoo dot com

Salama - I love these sheets. I especially like that they are so beautifully simple - and landscape, that is a touch of genius.

However, I use a modified set of skills with several skills rolled into UltraSkills (tm). So Hide and Move Silently is Stealth - that kinda thing. Now, I tried using my copy of Acrobat Pro to modify the skill list, but had loads of problems formatting and also the little blobs you use for untrained skills I could not delete / move.

So - can you post me a version that is not a pdf, or could I be so bold as to to request a special version?

Thanks for the great work either way.


James Jacobs wrote:
Korvosa's more like London, but on the sea; it's got a big wide river flowing through town.

Oh goody - a real den of iniquity then? By the way - London is almost on the sea. The river is tidal, very wide and in the past it was a massive port with inconceivably huge docks along both shores. A very fine role model for any city...

I have the self same plan in mind - but having seen the first Pathfinder booklet, I know it is going to take my group at least 2 months to finish each module. My big problem is that they want to get going NOW and I need to keep them off my back until February...

Any preview material - or an early release for the Players Guide would be nice :-)

Personally I can't wait for a few less combats and dungeon crawl - if Crimson Throne can do this, I for one will be a happy bunny

Each to his own...

you what?? Sounds like a lot of numbers for a small selection of spells.

I like your line of thinking - and yes I am more than happy to play dirty....

Michael F wrote:
I'm wondering if the OP hates magic in general, or is more annoyed at the sheer amount of "accounting" necessary to track all the magic that characters can acquire as the move up in levels.

My problem with magic items is just as you suggest - the overwhelming number that players fail to keep track of. I also struggle with running games with high level NPC festooned with magic. I get *very* little prep time and at about 10th level seem to spend all my time just reading up on the items.

But - I see the points being made here. Furthermore, I and my players don't have the inclination (or time) to start on a new system. We are wedded to D&D. I also want to run a pathfinder story arc. From another thread I started - it would appear that Crimson Throne is less combat oriented. I plan to run this and will tweek excessive magic items downwards. I will also make it harder to identify them. If I remove a big item, I have in mind that one player may instead discover a new power that an item they already posses has. There is something about this in Unearthed Arcana I think, but I will just wing it :p

Thanks for the comments. I don't really hate magic items, just spinning a good headline...

James - your words are music to my ears. To be honest my all time favourite game is Call of Cthulhu where the idea of actually getting involved in a combat is sheer madness. However, most of my group are monogamously D&D players. And between you, me and the rest of the board I do enjoy a little hack fest once in a while.

As to the suggestion of using the other scenarios in the Dungeon magazines that came with the Age of Worms scenarios (EricThe Cleric) - well, I sliced the AoW stuff out, perused the rest and then dumped it. Sacrilege? Possibly...

So - can anyone suggest a good one shot scenario, to run for maybe 4 sessions (of 3 to 4 hours), level 1 to about 7 and that has pregen characters included?


CourtFool wrote:
This is one of the reasons I do not play D&D.

Um - so what brings you here? Are you converting the Paizo stuff to another system?

Hmmm - I may have to have a second look at it then...

Moff Rimmer wrote:
Some classes don't need magic items as much as others.

Surely that presupposes you need magic? I don't see what you mean by this.

Moff Rimmer wrote:
Also, what's the difference between getting a magic sword or having the wizard cast greater magic weapon?

I don't see that as a problem. The magical buffs available to wizards and clerics could still be available. Everyone has access to them, so no problem. What you would loose is all those pesky potions of Mage Armour and Shield of Faith. Admittedly, a bad guy whose tactics rely on quaffing half a dozen potions before combat is going to be hard done by, but that would be rare enough.

Moff Rimmer wrote:
Also, monsters are set up assuming that certain magic is available to the party.

Well - granted some beasties need specific magic to combat, but that would be where magic weapon spells come in I suppose. So long as the players had some fore-warning as to their opponents, they should be able to cope. And if they really do require a specific magic item, well, then they have to go find it first. Maybe they can borrow it from a temple or something. But the vast majority of monsters would not fall into that category - wouldn't they?

I suppose part of the problem would be higher level non-magic users not having access to magical protection. Hmmm - maybe some sort of magical tattoo that can't be removed....

I especially hate how higher level characters are festooned with them, and given that some of my players are pretty inexperienced, they forget half of the items they have.

I want magic items to be objects of awe, wonder and enormous rarity.

What would happen do you think to game balance if I just scrubbed 95% of magic items from the game? All the NPCs loose their items and players don't get them either. Magic shops don't exist - you can't buy them, they are too rare. Item creation feats are super high level. Would it still be a fair fight? Obviously monsters that require magic to hit them are an issue, but I could just ignore that defensive capability.

Just a thought...

I just finished my last campaign (Age of Worms) and am trying to decide which to go for next - Runelords or Crimson Throne.

I want to run something where the emphasis is not on the Hack and Slash. Age of Worms was far too dungeon crawly for my liking and I would like the next campaign to be more investigative and involve more role playing. From what I have read Crimson Throne may be the way to go. Is this the case?

However, the players are champing at the bit, baying for new characters and new challenges - and Crimson Throne does not start until Feb. A month of gaming withdrawal symptoms could be dangerous. Are there any Gamesmastery modules suited to being run before part one of Crimson Throne? And how would that work given that the players guide is not available?

Alternatively - how about a one off to kill time till Feb? Any suggestions on sutable modules?


I thought Maptool was just for over-the-internet mapping?

How do you set it up for this sort of thing? Can it give a DM screen and a Player screen using the same computer? Or do you need to have two computers running across the net? I looked at Maptool and it made my head hurt. All that networking and setting up servers. Yuck!

Moonbeam wrote:
My group's half-orc ranger was raised in Sandpoint and had a crush on Nualia during his teenage years.

Moonbeam - you are warped, twisted and evil

Now that I can admire in a DM...

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YeuxAndI wrote:
I decided that since she was/is so incrediably beautiful she would stick in an artist's mind for a long time. Therefore, the statue of Desna in the Cathedral looks just like her. That way, when the PCs find the journal they're like WTF? Desna is a succubus?

I like this - I like this a lot. I was wondering the same thing about Nualia. It also hooks up nicely with a bit of added fun I was going to throw in. I have decided that the cathedral is complete in the usual way builders say something is finished - i.e. there have a month or so of further work to do tidying up and removing scaffolding. This way the fight sequences at the head of the scenario can have the added excitement of scrambling up scaffolding to catch a couple of goblins. Maybe the goblins try to squish the PCs by pushing the new statue of Desna / Nualia onto them. Or maybe the opening ceremony includes the revealing of the temple portico with attendant statuary.

Either way - nice red herring

And - having just had a look at Maptool, I recall trying to get this to work before and being very confused by it. All the server set up stuff makes my ears bleed. Can it be used with two monitors hooked to one computer to show a player and DM screen?

I've looked into do-it-yourself laminated maps, but have yet to find a good lamination service near me. I'm in the UK and stuff like that just does not seem to be popular - or cheap. I have the same problem with printing large format maps out. We used to have a Kinkos, but it folded and they shut all the branches in the UK.

Hmmm - I like the idea of Maptool, and since I usually use my laptop for rule reference and such like, the computer end is no issue. The problem for me is that we are destined to play in the basement of a games shop, so hauling a second player monitor along with me would be a serious hassle. I am also not sure about power supplies and such like. Worth an investigation though...

I'm amazed at how many of you seem to have huge stashes of minis. I don't own a single one. I usually just use spare dice and then print out an image on A4 for the players to see (either scanned from the module or snagged from the interweb).

I think, on reflection that a pile of flip mats and a couple of sets of coloured markers will do me. I don't want to give too much detail on the map as I find it restricts imagination. I always allow my players to add details to the environment themselves - so if they are fighting in a market and somebody has an idea for smashing a big ole pumpkin on a bad-guy's head, well wouldn't you just believe it, but there is a stall selling curiously out of season pumpkins. It makes for more entertaining fights.

Hmmm - those flipmats sound handy. How useful are the themed ones (tavern, woodland etc), I had intended on just sticking to the generic one...

I plan to start the series soon and have been giving the subject of mapping some thought. I realise now that, realistically I have very little prep time, and what time I have is spent note taking and considering NPC tactics. Maps get pushed down the list. Previously I have used:

1) Dunjinni to create gorgeous maps, printed on A3 paper - but it takes ages to make the maps, and printing is costly and a pain (I get them printed in a print shop)

2) Taking maps from pdfs and printing them onto A4 sheets then sticking the sheets together to make big battle maps - but the resolution of the pdfs is not great and I invariably don't have time to tape the sheets together so it all gets a bit messy on the night.

3) Doodling on scraps of paper and just free forming the combat without miniatures.

The last solution works well for me with other systems (CoC, FengShui etc), except D&D really does benefit from a map. I will be playing in a local games shop, where space is a bit limited. So, does anyone have any insightful ideas to help?

Has anyone used the Flip Mat things? I last used a battle mat about 25 years ago...

And secondly - what about miniatures? I am getting a bit sick of using spare dice - which invariably get knocked or picked up and thrown ("Arrgh, did you just use my hoard of NPCs to roll your damage?"). So far, I was thinking about getting some 1" stickers and some 1" steel washers. Any great suggestions?


Hi all

I am just coming up with plans to run Burnt Offerings at my local rpg club. To that end I am scouting around for any resources that are lurking out there to smooth my task. So, what is out there? Are there downloadable maps like with the last Paizo adventure path (Age of Worms)? I did see a link to some runes on the boards - but seeing as how I have not actually read the scenario yet it made little sense.

Anyhow, I will eventually be making a little website to support the game I will be running, with a chronicle and so on. When it is up and running I will make it public for all.


Just the information I was looking for. So, by my calculations he first module takes about 30 hours of play - which is 8 four-hour sessions. Or two months of weekly play.

Thanks for the info....

Warning Spoilers
So I am about to start Hall of Harsh Reflections - and can't decide who should be the doppleganger plant. The PCs consist of a Thri-kreen PsiWarrior/Psion, a Dwarf Cleric, a Ghost Halfling Druid and a Human Monk.

So - which PC do I take out? They all have special powers that they use regulalrly - powers that teh doppleganger will not be able to duplicate. All of the players are up to the task of role playing the swap. But I can't see how the swap would work until past the first minor combat.

Any ideas?

Host of Angels

I picked up Heroes of Horror hoping it would inspire me to inject a bit of something different into my Eberron game - to make it even more distinct from the Realms game I also run. Initially I was singing the book's praises, but on closer inspection it didn't work for me. The DM advice was sound but nothing really new. The mechanics (Taint etc) were far too unsubtle to work for my group. So - not one I would recomend.

Tome of Magic on teh other hand does deliver. It presents 3 incredibly detailed new magical systems, all of which are oozing with potential for using straight from the book or with a few mods. And all 3 could easily make excellent additions to an evil game.

Take a good long look at them both before you buy. But for my money ToM has potential, HoH is basically padding.

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