Fire Giant Forgepriest

Ian Bell's page

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It's still impossibly game-y feeling - it doesn't feel like something that grows out of the fiction at all, it's the worst kind of immersion breaking for me.

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I like this in general.

However - I question the idea of having spells, and Spell Points, and then you don't use the Spell Points for casting your regular spells, but rather some other 'spells' that aren't really spells. This is 100% going to confuse people.

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The critical failure on spell saves is probably the first rule I'd remove from a game I GM. Those sorts of effects always disproportionately affect PCs, and I've never seen a fumble system that increases fun for the players. Leave that sort of thing for games like Blood Bowl.

EDIT: Honestly, in general, critical failures - especially when tied to chance of success - have the effect of discouraging players from trying heroic, low odds things under duress, which is another thing I don't want. Just really not a fan of this system in general.

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Fuzzypaws wrote:
Kaladin_Stormblessed wrote:
That sounds cool until someone summons a lillend azata and the GM needs to stop and customize it, or (possibly even worse) have the player do so. Let alone if they summon 1d3 of them.

Summoning is already a gamestopper unless the GM enforces that characters with summoning spells have their stuff looked up ahead of time, instead of poring over the options in the monster manual. So if you want to summon chaotic outsiders, you have your little stat block already written out in your notes or you don't get to.

The GM would already have this worked out ahead of the adventure and presumably could just toss d100 a couple times to build it instantly if forced to improvise.

If the player has to pre-prepare the stat block, it becomes just another vector for min/maxing rather than any kind of flavorful chaotic randomness.

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Arssanguinus wrote:
Save that now at mundane tasks a legend is barely distinguishable from a barely trained individual.

Who cares? If the DC is 10, why does it matter if the legendary character beats it by a lot more or a moderate amount more?

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It seems silly to base your argument on 1e abilities we don't even know are going to be there in 2e. (I rather think that Divine Grace will not exist as-it-is-now in 2e, frankly.)

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thejeff wrote:
Threeshades wrote:
That's your preference. Mine is what we have right now. I like how these characters look despite practicality. And I think its alright to have some characters be a little more exposed for reasons of sex appeal as long as its done for both genders. And it's not like unarmored pants are going to help seoni against sword blows and dragon claws. Since she's a sorcerer we won't see her in armor anytime soon.
It's not so much armor against sword blows and dragon claws. It's "Completely impractical even for walking in the woods not expecting to be attacked by anything."

I mean just the ticks and burrs alone...

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I'll give it a chance, but the short description makes it all seem a bit game-y and 4e-ish, which concerns me. If it ends up being more along the lines of 5e in terms of filing off the edges while remaining more of an experience than a boardgame, then I'll feel a lot better about it.

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I'm padding out the content of the adventure to put it on the medium XP track instead of fast, so my plan is to have a lead from the fishery take them outside of town to a nearby village for a couple days, then they can come back to Les Miserables barricades already in progress and have it make a bit more sense.

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I think you mean the inferred maximum would be 24; A +25 is a 45/55 chance against a DC of 35.

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Mort the Cleverly Named wrote:
Ian Bell wrote:
If Luke Cage doesn't have a secret identity that needs mechanical representation, then by Pathfinder standards he should probably be playing a brawler.

The Masked Performer Bard also has the mechanical representation of a secret identity, but it explicitly is one that everyone knows about. Why is it acceptable for them but not Luke Cage?

Further, Dual Identity is just one of a big pile of abilities for the Vigilante. For example the Arachnid Wildsoul is pretty obviously Spider-Man. After a story arc where Peter Parker reveals his secret identity to the world is he supposed to retrain to another class that doesn't actually support any of his iconic abilities because ignoring Dual Identity is totally unacceptable? Similarly, does every villain Vigilante that gets defeated and forcibly unmasked have to do a total rebuilt after because that isn't okay?

One can certainly, intentionally or not, end up with a Vigilante whose cover is totally blown. The issue is that the game does not address that possibility or give guidance to its implications, which really is important given how much time they spend talking about the feature. By doing it purposefully one shines a spotlight on that issue, but they are not responsible for creating it.

It seems pretty clear that the intent is that you shouldn't just drop the vigilante class in as a regular option for every game:


Game Masters should consider carefully whether
or not a vigilante will make for a good fit with their
campaign. The class is one that requires a degree of social
aptitude and roleplaying to make full use of its potential.
Campaigns that focus more on wilderness exploration,
travel, or dungeon delving and that are lighter on politics,
negotiation, and manipulation might require a vigilante
player to put in additional effort to make full use of his
class features.

So yeah, in a game where there's no story impact or importance to the presence of the vigilante as character-with-secret-identity, then there's not necessarily going to be much of a reason to care if the identity gets out. The book pretty much tells you to not even use the vigilante in games like that, though.

I would, personally, rather let the consequences of the secret getting out be mostly in my hands as a GM rather than a particular mechanical representation that might not reflect what's going on in any given game.

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Mort the Cleverly Named wrote:

The only weird part is that a known Vigilante would have to change identities at all. If everyone knows that Luke Cage is Luke Cage, shouldn't he just get his Intimidate Bonus or Reaction bonus depending on the person, rather than depending on whether or not he spent a minute grunting and winding himself up first?

Well, that isn't the only weird part, I've got a list of those that starts with switching forms and thus alignments before kicking puppies, but this is the one that is going to come up the most in this situation.

If Luke Cage doesn't have a secret identity that needs mechanical representation, then by Pathfinder standards he should probably be playing a brawler.

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I'm about 99% sure that line in the Throw Anything feature is just there to stop you from adding the bonus twice.

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Put it this way: if you just delete the Throw Anything ability, the Bomb ability still contains the "additional damage equal to the alchemist's Intelligence modifier" language. So no, they don't lose it.

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Jack of Dust wrote:

- Vanaras get to keep their climb speed at 30. Seriously, was nerfing it to 20 actually necessary? I find it very hard to believe that some GMs had a problem with them being fast climbers.

This was literally just fixing a typo; check their bestiary entry, they were always supposed to be 20.

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Looking forward to it, I was putting notes together to start running this soon this week.

If there's one ancillary product I would wish for besides the hardcover, it is Face Cards. We got a lot of good use out of the RotR ones.

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I think it is likely that she has a leg up on someone else inside an AMF given her +5 major artifact sword is still functional and all their stuff isn't. Probably fights.

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I'm not sure about that one, or if it is really going to affect the gameplay the way you want it to.

I feel like if my characters care about the plot, time sensitive events, etc., the last thing I want to do is force downtime on them. If I'm already trying to create a tight narrative event with players racing against time or whatever, deaths even using the normal rules already kind of spoil that tension, and it seems like adding extra downtime from deaths on top of that would lead to a feeling of 'we've already failed, might as well give up' as soon as someone drops.

Or they decide the downtime is too punishing narratively, and push on without the dead guy, meaning you have the age-old 'player with nothing to do while everyone else has fun' issue.

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Random idea that struck me upon reading this thread:

Every time you die and come back, the GM picks a new flaw (with no offsetting trait) for you based on the circumstances of your death.

Killed by a fireball? Now you have the "Burned" drawback. Etc.

That way you get an annoying mechanical drawback to getting killed that's probably not going to be big enough to drive you to a new character, and it's also tied into the ongoing narrative.

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Melkiador wrote:
Murdock Mudeater wrote:
Though regarding permanent spells which no longer have a legal target, I think the GM could reasonably suppress the spell effects while their target is no longer valid. I don't think it would dispel it, but I think the spell wouldn't affect targets that it can't affect.
Spells continue to affect "non-legal" targets all of the time. The Share Spells ability lets you cast Enlarge Person on a companion creature without ever actually changing the "Target" nature of the spell.

That's not really a relevant comparison, since Share Spells has explicit language that allows it.

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Imbicatus wrote:
Actually, I think the easiest way to kill one is to herd a rhemoraz into the mindscape, let it fail it's save and then calmly walk up and lay down to be eaten. The heat ability will do 8d6 fire a round as long as it stays there, which should be enough to overcome the fast healing.

If the remorhaz is calmly lying there, it won't be doing any fire damage.


...These internal fires cause the armor plates along its back to glow red-hot when the creature is particularly angry, excited, or in pain...

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The reason they worded as they did was to make it 'clear' that the Charisma bonus was going to get lumped into the max Dex armor cap, lost when flat-footed, etc. You still can't add the same untyped stat bonus twice to anything, regardless of weird wording like that.

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Speaking of fireproof swarms, hellwasp swarms are one of the few things on my 'nope' list.

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The cleanest solution to all these problems is for the fire lance to use its own special ammunition.

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My reading of the "...ceases to revere nature" line in the ex-druids section is that it is essentially talking about something more akin to a cleric changing gods, rather than what's gone on in this thread.

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The effect lasts until just before the warrior's next turn would start. "Effects that last a certain number of rounds end just before the same initiative count that they began on" is not particularly ambiguous. The effect begins on the warrior's initiative count.

The full round action nature of it doesn't change the fact that it starts on the warrior's turn; he could, for example, take the full round action to Dazzling Display, then take a swift action afterward, which clearly would be happening with the demoralizing effect already in place. I think that should make it clear where you start counting.

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Yeah, 4e specifically included a clause about OAs not being permitted during your own turn because these situations occasionally get very annoying to resolve. If you wanted to prevent this in a PF game that's the house rule I'd suggest implementing.

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Kahel Stormbender wrote:
Tacticslion wrote:
Kahel Stormbender wrote:
Then again, the fact that there's a consequence for failing, you can't take 20 to begin with.

Please see all skills at all times.

There is always a consequence of failure (or the potential thereof).

Taking 20 for searching on traps? You've no idea if there's a trap you'll trigger while searching or not. It's just something you've got to try to do your best at.

Since some people seem confused about the take 20 rules, here's the entry in the Core Rule Book. It's on page 86.


Taking 20: When you have plenty of time, you are

faced with no threats or distractions, and the skill being
attempted carries no penalties for failure, you can take 20.
In other words, if you a d20 roll enough times, eventually
you will get a 20. Instead of rolling 1d20 for the skill check,
just calculate your result as if you had rolled a 20.

Taking 20 means you are trying until you get it right,
and it assumes that you fail many times before succeeding.
Taking 20 takes 20 times as long as making a single check
would take (usually 2 minutes for a skill that takes 1 round
or less to perform)

Since taking 20 assumes that your character will fail many
times before succeeding, your character would automatically
incur any penalties for failure before he or she could complete
the task (hence why it is generally not allowed with skills
that carry such penalties). Common “take 20” skills include
Disable Device (when used to open locks), Escape Artist, and
Perception (when attempting to find traps).

The bolded part is for emphasis. It doesn't say taking 20 is action type times 20 for length of time it takes. It says it USUALLY takes action type times 20. It does say it takes 20 times as long as it normally would. For a disguise check it takes the time to apply the disguise, plus the time to reach your destination, plus the time it takes for interacting with someone who could see through said disguise. Multiply THIS...

RIGHT before the part you bolded:

"Taking 20 takes 20 times as long as making a single check
would take"

There's no ambiguity there. It's always 20x longer than the normal action. The "usually" is because most skill checks are 1 standard action, not because it's "usually" 20 times longer.

Walking to where someone else is making their opposed check against you is not part of the time it takes for you to make your check.

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Do you think there will ever be an official change to bring sorcerer's bloodline bonus spell progression in line with every other caster, or is that too big a change to make at this point? It's kind of a bummer thematically to have, say, a fire sorcerer and not have your bonus fire spell until 3rd level, etc.

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A class being called "water kineticist" does not mean that any conceivable power that interacts with water/ice in any way fits them thematically. The swim thing makes great thematic sense - they use their kinetic powers to make the water push them around rather than swimming themselves in the traditional manner, and they get it early because it seems like one of the first things you could do with that kind of power. Turning water into something you can breathe*, which is the only way that using kinetics to get water breathing makes thematic sense, sounds like a much more difficult thing to do.

Meanwhile the air guy just needs to use his air moving powers to move some air near his head and hold it there. Seems like it should be much easier for him, right?

There is no theme problem here at all, assuming you look past the word 'water' and examine how the class is actually meant to manifest its powers in-world.

*presumably by continuously manipulating the water around his head into a perfluorocarbon that allows liquid breathing.

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One house rule I use is that any bonuses to fear saves apply to the DC to intimidate someone, which occasionally can make a difference via various buffs, class abilities, etc.

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DM_Blake wrote:

Others have quoted the rule.

Here's how I use it:

The DC listed is the DC to identify what a monster is. If you exactly hit this DC, you know that's an orc, or a griffon, or a dragon, or whatever. Given just that, it's fair for players to assume their characters know some very basic general stuff (e.g. dragons fly and have breath weapons and like to eat meat and hoard treasure) but not specific abilities (such as SR or resistances or SLAs, etc.).

For every 5 they beat the basic DC they get to know one useful thing. The big question is, what is a "useful thing"?

I don't include specific data (such as exact HP, AC, resistance values, SR, etc.). I consider all that numerical stuff to be metagamey and outside the parameters of in-game knowledge.

But that still leaves a whole lot of "useful things" that might be learned.

What I do is make a mental list of things I think would be useful in an encounter with this creature and then I arrange them from most obvious to least obvious. Yep, this is a judgement call. Note that what is most obvious is not always what is most important - if a monster has a very powerful mental ability that is not obvious when he uses it, and also has a weak breath weapon that everyone can see, then the breath weapon goes higher on my list. Another example, in the real world we all know that cheetahs are very fast, it might even be their one defining characteristic. But it's not exactly obvious when you look at them, especially in a fight - you might notice sharp claws and fangs and camouflage fur before you notice their defining speed.

Once I have this mental list sorted by most obvious feature to least obvious feature, I just tell the players however many items on that list they are entitled to based on their skill check - one useful thing from the top of the list (most obvious) for every 5 points they beat the check.

This is basically what I do, with the addition that I let them identify a monster's type with a flat DC 15 if the monster is harder than 15 to identify specifically.

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Yes, however, in that case the bite would be treated as a secondary attack - -5 to hit and 1/2 strength bonus to damage.

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Yeah, Nualia is immune to hold person. Mistakes like that happen, though, especially after a 27 year break!

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I don't think he would lose his inquisitor features any more than he would his cleric ones. Inquisitors don't have a code of conduct/class-power-loss class feature. Changing his class to inquisitor is a good call I think.

As far as seeking revenge, when he got away charm-free in my own game, he didn't seek revenge. He's smart, long-lived and they already beat him once, he can afford to start over somewhere else and keep playing the long game, rather than risk getting killed in a revenge attempt. I'll probably make him a recurring antagonist in as many campaigns as he keeps surviving.

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Remember that the module does not expect the party to be able to teleport back to Sandpoint right away. If they don't just sit around for a bunch of time in Magnimar, they should be fine time-wise, though I wouldn't let them know that. The uncertainty of when the giants arrive should be enough to keep them from dawdling. A day or two to sell stuff and check in with the mayor on their previous mission, etc., on top of the regular travel time shouldn't be something to be punished.

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Jacob Saltband wrote:
BretI wrote:
Cap. Darling wrote:

How can you say that one in 216 is the smartest man in the World?

It is my impression that most players don't roll dice any more (thank goodness!) when generating characters.

What I've heard is that when the Dev get together and make up characters for their games they use the 4d6 dro lowest.

For my groups, the only system we use point-buy for is 4e, and we don't really ever play that system anymore - just one game that's wrapping up and hasn't had a new character in ages. Every other chargen method we use involves at least some stats being rolled.

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When I dump a stat, I dump wisdom. It neatly explains why you would ever become an adventurer in the first place.

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"I can't fly around on a huge dragon until I'm really high level and not all the time!" doesn't sound like a bug to me.

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Kestral: you're also making the assumption that you can treat the magic item costing guidelines as a hard and fast rule, which they explicitly say they are not. Continuously usable fabricate gloves pretty obviously fall under the same "DM says hell no" clause as the continuously true striking mace in the example of magic item costing that they give.

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22. Potion Miscibility Table


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You should watch the episode of the X-Files titled "Home" beforehand as it's pretty much the direct inspiration for the Graul house. Will help you get into character!

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Unslain or not, did Ostog ever put on a shirt?

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Buri Reborn wrote:
Ian Bell wrote:
So your argument would be that vertical growth/power creep can only happen at level 17+? I disagree.

Depending on a measure that tests the whole range of abilities, hence floor to ceiling, absolutely. What you seem to be implying are plateaus which are different from the ceiling.

To illustrate, if CRB spells of a certain spell level were graphed as such:


And another book came along that introduced a set graphed as such:


No plateau has been raised. The CRB has only ever bookended the absolute range to the game. Paizo's job all these years has been to fill in the middle with interesting options. I have yet to see something that actually breaks these plateaus or even the ceiling outside of mythic. Mythic's whole point was to do so and, even then, Paizo was very conservative in how they did it. It could have been much, much worse.

But games spend significant time at all those in between levels. If spellcasters are now more powerful at 5th level with a certain option in play, then for those X months of game time power creep has demonstrably occurred. As a DM you have to care about how the game plays the whole way through, not just for the final encounter when they've hit whatever the maximum level for your campaign is going to be.

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Buri Reborn wrote:
Ian Bell wrote:
Vertical growth doesn't mean "has to be more powerful than the most powerful 9th level spell". A first level spell that's more powerful than other similar first level spells would also represent vertical growth in power, for example.
That's not really growth then if it's just a matter of demonstrating an outlier in normal power for a given spell level as that exists in CRB-only spells.

So your argument would be that vertical growth/power creep can only happen at level 17+? I disagree.

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Buri Reborn wrote:
Torger Miltenberger wrote:

I monitor any content from outside the CRB (and honestly CRB content too) that players want to use very carefully and vet it to the best of my ability before giving it the green light.

Many options (possibly even most) aren't a vertical growth of power but a lateral one, those I'm usually ok with.

- Torger

Interesting. What would you consider a vertical growth of power? I've not seen anything that tops wish except mythic wish and even that only modifies a couple of the particular usages in terms of resurrections, affliction removal, and being able to choose the outcome of a reroll.

Vertical growth doesn't mean "has to be more powerful than the most powerful 9th level spell". A first level spell that's more powerful than other similar first level spells would also represent vertical growth in power, for example.

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Shield bonuses don't stack.

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I would also replace the witch's patron spells with the bloodline spells. Otherwise you end up with a weird flavor mix where, say, a fire elemental blooded witch may not have much in the way of fire spells available.

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Reflecting on all the additional NPCs I added, as our final session is this weekend. Most of them were to tie in with things about the party members:

The most complicated set of NPCs was to handle the Nemesis story feat the half-drow inquisitor took at 3rd level after Tsuto had escaped (knocking him out with a roundhouse kick on the way). I think he expected me to use Tsuto as the nemesis, but I decided to go a different direction since I didn't think I could count on Tsuto escaping twice and it didn't make sense for him to do anything besides join Nualia. As this adventure takes place before Second Darkness, I used a series Winter Council agents who tried to hunt him down over the course of books 2-4, culminating in a big fight on the Storval Stairs, replacing the hill giants that were there. Their leader was an archery-focused inquisitor named Haras. I also got to work in a fun betrayal thing when one of the player's old college friends was visiting and wanted to be a guest player for a session; he was more than happy to act as a plant for the Winter Council in the group, and while he didn't succeed in killing anyone, he did escape and got to make a re-appearance for the end of the side story as well.

The Varisian ranger had her brother turn out to have settled down in Turtleback Ferry, with his new wife and a casino tattoo on his arm, which made that whole plot line a little more personal and fun.

For the Shoanti paladin, I decided that Nualia's Shoanti bodyguard Jagen, mentioned as having died in area E3 of Thistletop, was actually still alive and had been an exile from the same quah. They had a nice little confrontation and it gave me an excuse to put a magic earthbreaker in for him.

I didn't have to add any NPCs for the tiefling witch, but I repurposed Yap from book 3 to be the faerie dragon he got via Improved Familiar instead of a pixie, as written, and I decided to make the ice devil Gamigin his distant ancestor, as he had conveniently made himself sort of blue and frosty anyway.

Others that weren't directly tied into this game:

We're running Jade Regent (just finished last weekend) in the same group as well, so I had cameos and references to what the PCs and NPCs from that adventure were doing 5 years earlier throughout the early part of the adventures. I only let the PCs who were dead actually appear on screen, but I did have Koya and Sandru both play roles in addition to Shalelu and Ameiko who are already part of the adventure. My one regret here is I didn't retcon Nualia's baby daddy to be the womanizing rogue-samurai from the other party, which would have been in character for the way his early personality was, before he toned his act down as things got more serious in JR.

They ended up going all the way to Janderhoff to chase down details on the Vekker's expedition, so I added a calculating, clever dwarf merchant lord from one of the sponsoring families (don't have the name handy, it was Thor-something), who got them to concede that they'd give him the directions and details about how to get to Xin-Shalast after they returned in exchange for the details on their expedition.

Late in the adventure I added a captive mercane in Xin-Shalast, the Magnificent Merchant Venendolio Rendendosti, who was a LOT of fun to roleplay and gave me an opportunity to stick in a bunch of silly references to other games and settings in the stuff he had for sale. The party ended up buying the deed to the original Bazaar of the Bizarre in Lankhmar from him, which is where I think they are planning to retire after the adventure is over.

There were a few other minor ones but those are the main batch.

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Me: <reads boxed text for the garishly-decorated throne room in the Spire>
Player:, this guy was basically the Donald Trump of Thassilon?

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