JankInTheTank's page

Organized Play Member. 53 posts (1,848 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 9 aliases.


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M Human

Hello all! I am the late addition to the game mentioned above.

I find myself GM'ing way more often than playing, so i have a bunch of classes that i would love to play and would be happy to fill in gaps.

I agree that arcane magic or ranged would be a good addition.

the Blood of the Storm trait caught my eye and i would love to build off of that. probably as a witch with the elements patron. I like the idea of a non-typical witch. probably male instead of the usual female witch, and possibly a child. probably not really young, but maybe a 12 or 13 year old. someone who knows they have unexplained powers but is still learning just what that might mean. i understand some people really don't like RP'ing interactions with children in this setting, sp please let me know if that isn't something any one of you wants to see in this campaign. I am happy for it to be an older person if needed.

if i go ranged, I really like the idea of doing a ranger with the trophy hunter archetype and dinosaur hunter trait, but i think with the emphasis on not having normal access to supplies it would be hard to locate a gun and ammo after first level. I'll probably go with a falconer archetype instead and stick with bows. but the guy will still be very much a trophy hunter looking to go kill himself some dinos... think the hunters from Jurassic Park 2.

M Human

hello all! checking in as Galen Taldane!

I do not have my character built yet, but will hopefully have time to finish that today. what is the deadline for finished characters/aliases?

I'm definitely interested, haven't gotten into a 2e game yet, and spend most of my time GM'ing and on't get to play much.

Name: Galen Tadlane
Ancestry: Human
Background: Missionary
Class: Cleric of Sarenrae


Galen grew up in the church. his parents were both priests in the church of Sarenrae. as soon as he could read, Galen was memorizing holy texts and assisting his parents in performing their duties. Though he felt a bit restricted in his choice of career, Galen had a happy childhood and a loving family. Growing up, he always had a wish to see beyond the tiny horizon his close-knit family offered him.

As he grew up, he decided that he wanted to leave and see the world. his parents were hesitant to let him go, but finally he found an opportunity. he began speaking to higher priests within the church and got their blessing to become a missionary, opening up the world to him. with the church's blessing he could finally get out from under his parents' constant oversight and see all the corners of the world!

Then the whispering tyrant escaped and wrought destruction on a grand scale. Galen in his naiveté saw this as an opportunity. there would be thousands of people needing aid and potentially more open to hearing the message of Sarenrae. even better that the destruction was caused by the undead! He might even get to cast down holy fire on the evil undead. the call to adventure and holy justice was too much for Galen to resist, and after an impassioned argument with his parents he finally swayed them and convinced them to let him go. now he travels towards Isger, his father's scimitar at his side.

look! a PC with both parents currently living!

I am interested, Love this AP. would very much prefer waiting until the full rules are released

Peachbottom wrote:
I'll make an alias on the Paizo website if I get picked. I'm just about finished running a 4 year long Curse of the Crimson Throne campaign. And I'm excited about relaxing from the GM side for awhile and picking up a PC. This campaign sounds like it'd be great fun.

Congrats! that's a fun milestone. I am getting close to that myself. We just started book 6 in Curse of The Crimson Throne this weekend. It's my first time GM'ing an AP and it feels good to have the finish line in sight!

This game seems like it will be a fun excuse to play with evil PCs which is a fun and interesting change to the standard game. adding a LG paladin into the mix seems... difficult. it would be like having Captain America rolling with Deadpool and the X-force constantly yelling 'language!'

There are ways it could work. either you play the Paladin to be less of a conflict with the party (he holds himself to a higher standard, but doesn't feel he has a responsibility to 'save' his team and has no issue using evil to fight evil.) or choose a different class with less restrictive requirements.

possibly go with an antipaladin and redo the background, or use a warpriest or inquisitor to still have access to divine spells and the feel of someone on a divine mission without the full paladin experience. In my current RL game I am running, one of our players started with a Paladin but realized it was difficult to play in that setting and ended up retiring the character to be replaced by an inquisitor. when the inquisitor died a firey death, he brought in a warpriest. they have a similar feel without being as hard to play in grey areas.

as far as our possible shared backstory, I'd have to think about that. easiest solution is that there were two rings, which could be interesting. if your character was the Original who got corrupted or another evil duplicate, Jonah would likely kill that character almost immediately, no questions asked. I could see yours maybe being a dead version of The Original who was then raised to undeath after the original had already been reincarnated. maybe Jonah is willing to work with him temporarily in order to learn the secret of how to destroy the ring, but will likely still want to destroy you as soon as he has what he wants.

it's just such a big part of my backstory that my whole deal is killing undead copies, I don't know that we could work together. different rings, maybe. Jonah could be convinced that it's outside the scope of his mission to destroy all versions of the ring. or maybe he doesn't find out that your character is a product of another rign until after they have been working together for a while.

Alias ad Tempus wrote:

A variation on the Ring of Equilibrium. But something went wrong!

uh oh. I have the feeling our characters aren't going to play well together. this is the artifact I was mentioning as being the inspiration for my character. basically he's the evil copy that got made when someone used the ring, and is hunting down all other duplicates which he considers to be abominations.

ok, here we go. this is my submission of Fianna StormSoul, a barbarian witch. I will wait to make an alias if I'm chosen, since the creation rules for this game are pretty unique, so the odds of reusing the alias for any future game are slim.

Looking forward to a chance to try this one out, I combined 2 classes I haven't actually played as before. should be an interesting combo with plenty of options without doubling down on any one thing or being too over the top.


Fianna StormSoul

Female Changeling witch 3/ barbarian 3
LN Medium
Init +2; Senses Darkvision; Perception +5

AC 13; Touch 12; Flat-Footed 11 ; uncanny dodge
HP 42;
Fort 5 ; Ref 5 ; Will 2

Speed 40;
Melee +6 Earthbreaker (2d6+5, X3); B;
when raging: +8 (2d6+8, X3); B;

Witch Hexes:
cackle, evil eye, misfortune

Spells Known
2nd—Summon Monster II, Glitterdust
1st—Shocking Grasp, Enlarge Person, Mage Armor, Burning Hands, Cure Light Wounds, Charm Person, Ill Omen, Snowball, Long Arm


Str 16, Dex 14, Con 14, Int 16, Wis 8, Cha 15
Base Atk +3; CMB +6

Bonus non-combat: Extra Hex
Bonus combat: Power Attack
Level 1: Step Up
Level 3: Cleave

Skills Acrobatics 7, Climb 7, Craft: Alchemy 7, Handle Animal 7, Intimidate 7, Knowledge Arcana 8, Knowledge Geography 5, Knowledge History 8, Knowledge Nature 9, Knowledge Planes 8, Perception 5, Ride 6, Spellcraft 8, Stealth 8, Survival 4, Swim 7, Use Magic Device 6

Languages common, elven, giant, orc

SQ Darkvision (Ex), claws (racial), witchborn (alt racial), hulking changeling (racial), Fox Familiar (class feature), powerful stance (rage), fast movement(Ex), Rage (Ex), danger sense (Ex)

background blurb:

Fianna has never met her true mother. She was dropped off with her family as a baby by an unknown man. Her pale skin and mis-matched eyes identify her as a changeling, but her adoptive family never explained that to her. As she grew up, she found herself always the center of much unwanted attention. Hushed whispers, side glances and outright hostility from some neighbors.

She was adopted into the Inkit tribe of Kellids in Numeria. Her adoptive parents knew what she was, but tried their best to hide her nature. Between the traditional superstition of the Kellid tribes, and the animosity between them and the witches of Irrisen her parents knew life would be hard for a changeling girl.

As she grew, her nature became harder to hide. She was exceptionally tall and well-built (likely meaning she was descended from an Annis Hag), and those mis-matched eyes were a dead giveaway.

Things finally got out of control when Fianna finally manifested her own powers. During a massive thunderstorm in the hill lands where she lived, Fianna felt an un-avoidable call to go outside. She stood in the rain, lightning striking all around her. Witnesses swore that one or more bolts hit her, but caused no harm. When the storm was over, lightning was leaping from her hands, and her eyes were glowing faintly. That day she was exiled from the only home she had ever known.

With the powers came the desire innate in every changeling: to find her hag mother. Not knowing where to go, Fianna did her best to live off of the land, finding odd jobs and scraping by. Finding the call for adventurers to tame the wilds was attractive to her in many ways. It would allow her to make use of her skills as a forager and actually get paid for it, and would put her in a position where she could use her magic without being shunned for it.

10 minute background:

5 background concepts

She is a changeling, given a combination of physical stature and magical talent from an unknown hag

Her magic stems from control of the elements. She is most at home outdoors, especially during violent weather.

She was raised by a barbarian tribe and learned their ways, which included being suspicious of technology and magic. Because of this she lives with shame for being what she is, constantly in conflict with pride in her power.

She does not like being alone, but often finds herself alone. The tribes don't accept her, and neither do the more refined and noble lines of the cities.

She is both physically strong and mentally impressive, but lacks 'street smarts' and often finds herself rushing into things without thinking them through.

2 goals

Learn who her real mother is

Gain glory in the riverlands in order to carve out her own reputation, hoping it will lead to acceptance

2 secrets

Fianna keeps her nature as a changeling secret, using makeup to darken her skin and wearing her hair long and draped over one side of her face to hide her mismatched eyes.

Fianna is unaware that the Technic League knows of her existance and has been tracking her. They heard rumors of her powers and how they manifested and are interested in using her to find her hag mother for their own ends.

3 people

Her father Kongor has stayed in contact with his daughter. Even when the rest of the tribe voted to banish her, he defended her. He loves her like a true daughter and even her magic doesn't scare him.

Her friend Gorm was raised in the same tribe. When she was banished he secretely left with her. They have never been romantically involved, but Gorm has always treated Fianna well and the two of them travelled together and worked as mercenaries for a while. They eventually split up, but are still on good terms

Her half-brother Balta. He was the first one to bring her nature to the attention of the tribe elders. He hates and fears her, and blames her for the loss of his real sister who she was swapped with at birth. He has sworn to kill her if she ever shows her face again in the lands of the Inkit tribe.

3 memories, mannerisms or quirks

Fianna's most treasured memory is that of the night she stood in the middle of a raging storm, feeling the power inside of her respond to the power all around her. She dreams often of that night and loves to stand in the rain with her head uncovered.

She dreams of her mother's face. She doesn't know a name or location, but she sees the hag almost every night.

She hides her true nature by wearing her hair down over one eye. It makes her look shy, but she is not shy at all. She is quick to drink, quick to laugh, and quick to throw down a challenge at the slightest provocation.

This sounds really interesting. I will try to put something together quickly, depending on my stats. I've been wanting to try out a witch for a while, but I need to choose what to pair it with.

4d6: 4d6 ⇒ (2, 1, 6, 6) = 15 14
4d6: 4d6 ⇒ (6, 4, 6, 3) = 19 16
4d6: 4d6 ⇒ (6, 1, 4, 4) = 15 14
4d6: 4d6 ⇒ (1, 5, 6, 5) = 17 16
4d6: 4d6 ⇒ (3, 1, 1, 4) = 9
4d6: 4d6 ⇒ (2, 3, 6, 4) = 15 13
4d6: 4d6 ⇒ (4, 6, 2, 1) = 13 12 -->8

for a final spread of 16, 16, 14, 14, 13, 8. pretty well-rounded. I'll put something together asap

there is a lot that goes into making one of these! this is taking a while to build.

I missed the first time around that we were doing automatic progression. adjusted for that now.

still need to do equipment, feats and background. but we're getting there!

found an interesting artifcxat while looking through existing ones. I'm not going to use it as my artifact, but it gave me inspirration for my background.

basically it's a ring that when you die it plants a tree that creates a new copy of you. but at the same time it creates another copy of the same power but opposite alignment somewhere else in the world. my character will be the product fo such a secondary creation gone wrong, creating a shadowy undead evil copy of the original. he decides to hunt down the original and the other evil copies of him/them. ends up being an evil undead that hunts other evil undead.

I built out the classes, stats and spells and I'm really happy with my inquisitor/gunslinger/sorcerer.

character sheet so far, please give feedback if you have time. I don't honestly know how you will be able to verify these complex builds, but if you see anything glaring let me know

Belltrap wrote:
@JankInTheTank As someone also looking at playing a gunslinger myself I think the Spell Cartridges feat from Heroes of Golarion might be of interest to you.

unfortunately this one doesn't jive well with inquisitor. I already have a bunch of swift/imemdiate actions, would rarely have one to spare to use arcane strike.

starting to build my character. never played in something this high-powered. my race build is looking super OP, but I guess that's the point right?

I am going to be building an undead Gunslinger/Inquisitor/Sorcerer. basically an undead cowboy/bounty hunter pulled in from the Weird West. emphasis on luck, shadows and undeath.

for the artifact I am thinking of making the artifact his gun. either one or a pair, depending on your thoughts on the power level, based on the Pale Stranger's gun abilities.

thinking a pair of guns that magically reload/create their own ammo and never misfire. instead of taking a normal action, one gun can be used for a single powerful shot. if it threatens a critical it automatically confirms, and regardless of the confirmation roll always deals an extra 6d6 damage.

Alternative that might be more flavorful would be a single gun that automatically reloads, doesn't misfire, and once per day as a move equivalent action the wielder can speak the name of his target, granting the gun the effects of Greater Named Bullet on the next shot.

If those look like poor design for an artifact, I can work on picking a non-weapon artifact, or I welcome your help in tweaking this into a workable idea.

I will figure out the rest of the character and post it up soon hopefully.

M Human

ok, I'll get us started again then. Has anyone heard from Honsul one way or another?

M Human

looks like we have 3 so far. if we can get a fourth we can start moving things along and I can bot Garran to provide healing at least. once he is back, he can choose to resume or pull out of the game.

M Human

Hello all. I am the GM who will be picking this game up.

I'd like ot get things moving again as soon as possible, so once we have at least 4 players chime in and say they are still here I'll start posting in the gameplay thread.

for posting expectations, I would like players to post at least 5 times a week when possible. if you have anything come up that makes you unable to post, please let us know in the discussion thread and someone can post for you.

If there has been a full day since the last PCs last post, I will post and will bot anyone who has not yet done anything for that cycle. in general outside of combat this will mean the PC will smile and nod and go along with whatever scheme is being discussed. if in combat they will default to a standard attack action with whatever they used last against the closest enemy. I will not use any of your limited resources or spells when botting unless it is very clear that you would want that.

I am running 2 other games of RoW that are both much further ahead but are still in book 1. if interest falls off too much on this game and we dip below 4 players, I may consider folding the remaining players into one of my other tables, depending on if either of them need new players.

Finally, feel free to ask me any questions or send me messages to collaborate on side plots involving your PCs. PbP leaves lots of opportunities to tie in backstories, and I have really been enjoying a few of my other players that have gone above and beyond in tying themselves into this AP.

I am interested, but like the posters above I want to know more details on how monstrous CR levels interact with the gestalt levels. for example, if I play a CR 8 creature does that mean I don't have any actual class levels, and pick up 3 level 1 class ability sets at level 9? or does the 8 levels basically count for one of my 3 gestalt classes with a new class being added at level 1 next level?

so for example if I played a CR8 creature and wanted to go barbarian, sorcerer, rogue would I be a CR8/barbarian8/Sorcerer8, then at level 9 be a CR8/Rogue1/barbarian9/sorcerer9?

if that is not the case I will likely just play a basic race and rely on more levels of gestalt powers.

and to clarify, for the minor artifact. does it have to be custom, or can we choose any minor artifact already in the game? and is this in addition to the gold we start with?

I would be interested. I really love this AP.

Disclaimer, I am already GM'ing 2 tables of Reign of Winter in PbP. on the plus side, this means I have very little prep-work needed to run a third group that is at the very beginning of the game.

I would want to make sure that enough of the players are wanting to continue even after a lull in the action and through a GM switch. I've already had to add 2 players each to my other games, and would prefer to have a committed group if I'm adding on a third table.

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I will be starting my group through this final chapter starting this weekend! We finally made it through a long slog in Scarwall where my completionist players left no stone unturned.

After such a long dungeon crawl, I am going to try to streamline the castle as much as possible. My aim is to have 3 big memorable fights inside the castle then let them explore a bit to figure out where Illeosa went and make sure I nudge them towards the ghost. One of my players has been convinced since the beginning that the Tiefling killed the king, so bringing resolution to that will be sweet. and the throwback artifact is something I am really looking forward to watching them deal with.

It has been a fun ride, and I'm hoping that the final chapter will be a success.

We have definitely not made it through without casualties... every player has had a character die at least once, though 3 of them were revived.

for the final fight, I am going to redo Illeosa as a sorcerer instead of a bard.

spoilers of course

Any good stories of using the two captured and mind-controlled people from the end of book 1? they escaped in the final confrontation with the PCs, but I'm having trouble thinking of interesting ways to have them stir up trouble in book 2.

I'm thinking of three options, but I think they are mostly mutually exclusive so i need to choose one now.

1. the party finds Eliza while wandering in the island. either as a random encounter replacement or inside one of the ruins. I'm considering toning down the blast shadow encounters (especially the trap) and putting her in there. she acts friendly in this case, claiming to have hidden from her controller long enough to shake free from the compulsion. she acts as another source tryign to nudge the PCs towards killing off the hag. assuming she wins back their trust, I may have to fin a way to use her in book 3 as well.

2. the party finds both of them in the woods, and they are hostile. likely set up as an ambush after the PCs start acting suspicious of the other goings on in the village. this is the elast interesting option but involves a combat and wraps it up tightly.

3. Eliza ditches or kills Rayland, uses Alter Self to hide the skin condition and tries to worm her way back into the colony. happens while the PCs are busy on a side quest and when they return they find that Eliza is in town and has been accepted back in by many townsfolk with open arms. she helps sow seeds of distrust in the village, and joins in the fighting in the finale of book 2. this seems harder to pull off, as the PCs might just kill her on sight, bu could end upw ith some really fun RP as they try to convince the town not to trust the woman, while several well-liked and influential people in town argue very strongly for giving her a second chance at letting her prove herself.

Would love to hear about other games where the dou survived and what you did with them

M Human

Hello all. I hear you are looking for a new GM!

I need to spend a little time getting caught up on what has happened so far in this campaign, but I should be able to get you guys posting again in the next day or two.

To help me out, it would be awesome if each one of you would send me a PM with the following information:

1. confirm that you are still wanting to play this campaign.
2. a quick run-down of your character's crunch. let me know your race, class, archetypes, normal weapon loadout, and any tweaks or exceptions the last GM allowed you to take in making your character
3. a brief rundown of your character's story/personality. especially anything you would like to see me work off of or interesting inter-party dynamics you've been seeing.
4. what you want to see from me. let me know if you have any preferences on PbP style, pet peeves with GMs, etc. I will do what I can to take it into consideration, but no promises.

If you want a look at my GM style, in addition to this game I am also running 2 concurrent games of Reign of Winter.
Table 1
Table 2

OK, in that case I'm in! luckily play by post moves slowly enough that I should be able to at least get people posting again while I get up to speed. I'll try to read the gameplay thread today.

I am considering running another PbP, and Ruins of Azlant seems like a fun one to do. I have not read the books yet, so I would need a little time to read the AP and read the existing gameplay, but if you are still looking for someone I would be interested

After a few weeks of no games, I'm back! the party is still in Scarwall and they are having a pretty rough go of it. they played the earlier chapters a little fast and loose, and it worked out ok because the combats aren't that challenging for the most part. but now things are getting a bit tougher...

Name of PC: Rosie
Race: Halfling
Class/Level Ranger (trapper)13
Adventure Skeletons of Scarwall [/b]
Catalyst: opening too many doors

The Gory Details:

The party is still moving around the castle trying to piece together what is going on. they have some info about the Anchors, but don't know for sure where each of them is.

They came into Madravious' hallway from the North, and were all pretty nervous about the intact armored skeleton they had to pass by in order to get into the hallway. The haunt (and attack from the unique wraith) are on a 2 round delay, so they had time to open the door to the next hallway to the west before the haunt happened.

Of course, that's the hallway with a Trench Mist in it. so while trying to fend off the wraith, who caused some significant Con drain to the warpriest, the room was slowly filling with trench mist. Those things roll a lot of dice! most of the party ran for the door, but Rosie stood still to dish out the hurt to the Wraith (she has been taking undead as her favored enemy since fighting the final dungeon in chapter 1!). This meant she got kind of stuck in the bottom right corner of the room. she tried taking a shot at the mist but took an AoO which Crit and killed her.

Luckily she passed her save to avoid being chained to the castle, so the party can revive her next time we play.

She had a good run, and was the only player who never had a character die in this campaign until this battle. This is now our 7th PC death in CoTCT (plus 2 animal companions). I have the feeling there will be a few more before we're done!

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Back to back posts for me! things are getting hairy...

Name of PC: Xallan
Class/Level: Warpriest of Iomedae 13
Adventure: Skeletons of Scarwall
Catalyst: crits kill PCs

The Gory Details:

The party is very quickly learning how brutal Scarwall is. They've been winning encounters easily enough, but still have had several encounters that needed over 200 hp of healing between rooms.

They have started their journey into madness by attacking the main gate. the gate assault didn't go smoothly, so they flew on to the top of the gatehouse and killed Castrothane (one anchor down before they even knew what anchors were...)

they cleared the rooftops of some guards, one of the barbed devils, and several gargoyles. then they got curious about that little tower on top with no stairs leading to it... so they flew up and piled the party plus NPCs on the two balconies. they busted down the doors at the same time and found the banshee inside.

holy cow banshees are insane! she wailed at them, and I made the call as GM to tone it down slightly... my players are all new to this game, and that felt like too rude of an intro to undead power levels. so I made it Only a level 10 wail of the banshee. Sial, the Magus, and Xallan failed their saves. 100 hp dropped sial and the magus, but Xallan still had 30 hp.

a few rounds later, the ranger had taken a big hit from the touch attack, and Xallan took some damage then healed himself back up a bit with his swift action healing. the banshee touched him again and rolled a natural 20... and confirmed. the first round of 14d6 dropped him unconscious, the second round from critting killed him. And he failed his will save so is now stuck in the walls of Scarwall

Name of PC: Nyther Darken
Class/Level: level 12 (sorcerer (draconic)/Unchained Rogue/Arcane Trickster
Adventure: History of Ashes
Catalyst: don't heal a downed ally!

The Gory Details:

It's been a little while! the summer slowed us down a bit at the end of book 3. the party had very little trouble with the Cinderlands. Only the Havero gave them a real scare. they blew through the desert in maybe 3 sessions.

Upon being called back to Korvosa, they decided to go investigate and aid the resistance. they had a rough time with the beastie out front who came very close to killing both the Magus and an animal companion with its Con poison. (seriously, 1d6 con damage with 3 saves to cure is rough!)

Once inside, they let the barkeep get away so the mantis knew they were coming. Koriantu stood in front of the alter pretending to not see them coming. to the sides were Cinnabar and a regular assassin (invisible of course).

Nyther snuck ahead, wanting to get a big shot off with a scorching ray against an unsuspecting cleric. he saw the invisible enemies using his own mantis mask, but was too far into the trap at that point, and well in front of the less sneaky allies.

Cinnabar finished summoning the 2 giant mantises, then attacked, while the party was distracted by an assassin, a second mantis, and spells from the cleric. over 2 rounds, Cinnabar dropped Nyther down to -10 hp, with several attacks left. I had her hesitate to end his life, and get yelled at by Koriantu. the party's warpriest decided that the right thing to do was revive Nyther with a cure spell, and Nyther stabbed at Cinnabar's feet.

So of course, the next round Cinnabar went after Nyther again. this time she got a crit and dropped him to -25 and killed him.

Nyther has had many close calls up to this point, often because he runs way ahead of the party and gets in a sticky spot. up until now he has always survived which made him even more foolhardy.

The party was STILL holding on to the scroll of Raise Dead from the temple in book 2, and used it on Nyther. so I finally dropped him and he stayed dead for a whole minute...

"Did somebody mention cooking people?"

I've been wanting to play a witch for quite some time, but often have toruble fitting one well into a group. Especially since so many abilities are quite evil!

I will be going with the Dark Sister archetype.

Samantha Vieri is frustrated with her place in life. an expert manipulator, she has been working her way up the social ladder as best as she can. Most people are completely unaware of her status as a witch. it is a secret she keeps close to her chest, but uses deftly in her pursuits.

In the back of her mind, however, she always feels her mysterious patron pushing her for more. Move higher. Make bigger moves. Make a place for yourself. you're better than these so-called rulers

But as a woman from a poor family, she has risen just about as far as she is able. she is not welcome in high society, and has no angle she can see into the aristocracy. But still the voices in her head beg her for more power. more prestige. She hatches a daring and dangerous plan. if the current government was no more, she could find a high place in whatever new form rose next.

She is a very pretty and unassuming girl. many think her almost naive and innocent, or as innocent as one can be in a city run by devils. She can play the part of the good hero, but her heart is black and tainted

I am interested! Kingmaker sounds like a really fun one, but my RL players have never been very interested in the idea at all. I like the bookkeeping, they find it a bit of a chore.

I would likely be trying out my first bard as a PC

Holy moly, my party is happy to be done with book 3! We finally finished dealing with the Arkonas, and it didn't end well.

Name of PC: Boom
Class/level: Alchemist (Grenadier) 10
Adventure: Escape From Old Korvosa
Catalyst: Greedy Party
Honorable Mention: The rest of the party

The Gory Details:


So after dealing with the dungeon/labyrinth and saving the NPCs (see my above posts for how well that all went), the party got a brief rest by playing a modified Academy of Secrets. I thought we were done with book 3.

But no, 2 party members convinced the others that they should totally go back and raid the Arkona manor and take all the loot. It took some doing, but they had beaten all the scary things in the dungeon. And this time, the party had a Paladin! (replacement PC for Balta who died in the labyrinth)

They managed to talk their way in to the mansion and talked with Glorio, who told them he would have their backs once they were ready to fight the queen. despite this, as soon as his back was turned they started trying to take things. a fight broke out upstairs with 2 guards. it wasn't too hard of a fight, but burnt off some spells. then Glorio came out to play.

I had swapped all of his rogue levels for Mastermind Investigator which seemed fitting but i had never had a reason to try before. I figured it would help him not have to rely on mooks for precision damage. also having some extracts turned out to be a great help for him.

His DR, huge AC, SR and now fire resistance from an extract made for a very tough fight. The paladin of course charged right in, but even with smite evil up whiffed a few attacks and didn't get a crit with his falchion. Glorio returned with his mass of attacks and studied target bonus, along with multiple crits and dropped the paladin unconscious in 2 rounds. Some scorching rays and lightning bolts were chipping away at the others faster than they were dealing with him.

The Magus, Alchmist and Glorio were all flying around the room above a shattered window into the garden below. the magus went down and fell into the garden. next the alchemist used a CMW wand to get the paladin back in it. the paladin was once again outclassed by the sheer number of attacks and massive to hit bonuses (28/28/23/18/13 is not joke at this level!). the alchemis ran out of bombs and just tried to be a flanking buddy for the arcane trickster before going down as well.

it was down to the ranger who was doing MAYBE 1 or 2 damage a round, and the trickster who was having trouble getting much more done. in their final round, they combined for maybe 15 damage. Glorio offered to allow them to surrender, then got the trickster to 1hp. they reluctantly agreed.

I didn't want to just hand out a TPK on a fight that was supposed to be over their level, but you can't just walk into a crime lord's house and attack him and walk away. So he made the 2 conscious members make a choice. one party member was going to live out the rest of their days in the labyrinth! Boom was chosen and is for all intents dead.

They had already sold off the ring of evasion, so Glorio made them take a non-useful ring with another bloodstone in it that they have to wear now so he can keep an eye on them.

And of course, they didn't get any of his treasure!

First "TPK" of the campaign! and I don't feel bad at all about it

Welp, I'm back again just one session later! This time not a PC, but an animal companion

Name of Companion: Paco
Class/Level Animal Companion (hippogryph) 9
Adventure: Escape From Old Korvosa
Catalyst: Friendly Fire
The Gory Details:


After the last session's two deaths, the remaining 3 PCs slept and recovered, having not accomplished much of anything in the last foray. They had at least seen the secret pathway into the torture chamber, so the first step was to go back in there and fight the Asura.

She gave them a pretty tough fight, as the party is not really used to dealing with all those resistances, and 6 attacks per turn is pretty rough. the ranger dropped unconscious, and her hippogryph tried to protect her. He was the only target in range on the next round, and was also dropped into the negatives.

At this point, the arcane trickster had already used up all of his scorching rays (wasting 2 that didn't break SR, and the high touch AC was giving some trouble). so the alchemist decided to stop messing around with blinding and tanglefoot bombs that weren't doing the trick and went for damage.

Unfortunately, one of the bombs missed and bounced over to where the ranger and her mount were bleeding out. Paco the hippogryph failed his save and died, but the PCs lived to fight another day.

The party has finally rescued the important NPCs from the dungeon and are quite happy to be done with the place!

You don't have to run the thug encounters all at the beginning of the module.

I ran the first little group shorty after they arrived in Old Korvosa, before they got to the fencing academy. This one was mostly to give a bit of the flavor of the area, showing the chaos in the streets and roaming gangs of thugs. they were no challenge at all for the party.

I didn't run the second attack until after the group had met Laori. I figured with the fighting between arkonas and the emperor, the areas near the arkona grounds were likely not as full of thugs.

After fighting off the second group, the party was moving towards the palace on their own, so i didn't end up running the 3rd encounter.

Hey all,

I am close to wrapping up Escape From Old Korvosa with my group (well, sort of. I'm adding in Academy of Secrets next before we leave the city) and I am starting to prep book 4.

I have read the old books, and am running this with the revised hardcover edition. I think the changes they made helped out a bit, removing the convoluted interconnected string of events and making it a little more sandbox-y.

I still think I am going to make a number of changes, and wanted to get thoughts and other ideas from the group here.

To start with, I want to make the travel more interesting. I am going to be using some stuff from The Angry GM blog that gave some cool ideas on making travel more a part of your game. To make that really work, though, I want to have some extra optional locations and enemies that the party can stumble on.

Some ideas I have so far for extra encounters (both for optional locales, and for things the party can fight for Respect Points):

* either the Red Dragon from the random encounter table or a group of fire drakes
* Harassing attacks from Cinderlander and Assassins if the party doesn't take steps to hide themselves
* an ancient ruin full of undead shoanti (maybe? plenty of undead next book, is it too much to add more here?)
* Ash Giants
* An orc warlord with a camp full of orcs that have been harassing the Sun Clan.
* some sort of ancient statue that has a hidden entrance to a dungeon. what kind of interesting loot could one find in a hidden temple in the middle of nowhere?
* environmental dangers. are any of these actually dangerous to a party at this level?

What other interesting encounters could I add to spice up the days of travel?

Are there any good maps of the Cinderlands that have been made? the one in the book is fairly empty. I'm guessing there aren't really many roads out there or anything, but the map feels very bare.

And finally, I would like to possibly make the House of the Moon a little more interesting. Has anyone changed that quest up a bit? The way it is written it feels like it could have been a random encounter. Go in, fight one creature, done. What could be added to make it more interesting?

I'm back, with a 2 for 1 Friday the 13th special!

Name of PC: Balta
Class/Level: Half-Orc Inquisitor (Sacred Slayer) 9
Adventure: Escape From Old Korvosa
Catalyst: Splitting The Party + Curiosity
The Gory Details:

The party made their way into the Arkona dungeon, having dealt with the upstairs peacefully. They found the entrance to the labyrinth, and spotted the crease in the floor easily. they were worried about what would happen, so they spread out a bit just in case one side was going to fill with sand/water/lava. So when the dungeon turned, the rogue got left behind. then another lever was found and quickly pulled, hoping to get the rogue back. now the party was even more split up.

A few rounds later, Balta found herself stranded alone in the teleporter room. She played with the 2 switches a bit, but had no way of resetting the dungeon rotating lever. she decided to try out the green orb, which was currently set to deposit into a cell in the torture chamber.

Balta saw the 6 armed creature and decided to attack. Growth domain let her get big, busting out of the cage and she charged in. 5 attacks from the Asura with 2 crits knocked her quite close to death. she tried to run away and got grappled. then pinned. then tied to a torture rack where she bled to death.

Name of PC: Grace
Class/Level: Human Unchained Monk 9
Adventure: Escape From Old Korvosa
Catalyst: Symbols, DR, and bad luck
The Gory Details:

While Balta was meeting the torturer, 3 of the remaining 4 party members stumbled into a room with a symbol of stunning that the rogue failed to detect. the ranger and rogue failed their saves. then the dungeon rotated and they found themselves looking at the throne room and a sphinx.

Grace was the only one on her feet and had to fight off a sphinx on her own while the other two recovered from being stunned. she managed to hold on for 3 rounds which bought enough time for her companions to get up, but the DR 10/Good plus fire resistance meant her attacks were not doing a whole lot. She went down just as the other two were getting into the fight. The rogue (arcane trickster) used ranged legerdemain to flip a lever and get out of there, but it was too late to save Grace.

Her death was much more heroic than Balta's, and was likely the only thing that prevented a TPK.

The remaining 3 PCs managed to defeat Vimanda (barely) and retreat from the dungeon to try again next week.

After a brief delay due to real life health problems In the family, we got back into this campaign! This week we again had 3 players, Zo'Lil, Fae (who changed his character name to Nemo this week, as it became really apparent that having a character named "Fae" in a fey heavy campaign was going to be a pain), and Homer.

Session 4:

The session began with the Black Rider having just fallen off of his horse at the feet of the party. He called out to them and they came over to speak with him at length.

I won't go over the whole conversation, as it went pretty much by the book. They tried to help him by giving him healing potions, he told them it was too late for him, as he had been attacked by a white witch who had tried to turn him into a winter-touched fey with a shard of ice. If he lived, it would eventually work into his heart and give Elvanna control of one of the riders.

He laid out the situation, with Baba Yaga missing, Elvanna tring to spread eternal winter, the hut being captured, and the plan to fall back to Artrosia.

I did away with the Geas, 'cause I think it's a heavy-handed solution and I'm playing with a very new group of players who would not like it very much I think. They have had trouble RP'ing much simpler mind control effects, so I decided to just let this be a naturally railroady AP instead of forcing it like that.

I also significantly changed the Mantle. I made it an actual item. My group is using a higher than recommended point buy already, so adding more to their stats didn't seem like a great idea. Instead I made the mantle a magic item that grants Darkvision (seemed suitable for a midnight fey), and allows them to take on the appearance of the black rider once per day. Taking his appearance doesn't grant any powers, but does show to anyone they are talking to that they are the black rider now. For better or worse!

After the long conversation it was through the portal! And into a fight with a giant mantis. They were intimidated by the large size, but it died very fast to a raging elemental strike from Zo'Lil.

The woman fighting the praying mantis thanked them for their help, and asked how foreigners dressed for summetime arrived in this part of the forest. Nemo indignately pointed to the cold weather gearthey were wearing, and Nadya just laughed and said clothes like that wouldn't last a night in Irrisin.

During the conversation, the party quickly realized this woman was the mother of the soul that had inhabited the creepy doll they destroyed last time. They debated how to tell her the news, but held it to themselves for now, and accepted Nadya's offer of hospitality in Waldsby.

It was too late in the day to go immediately, and the group set up camp. Not long into the evening, a female fey bard strolled by, and asked to share their fire in exchange for songs. The party accepted, though Nadya was very hesitant. The party asked her why and she said she didn't trust the fey.

The party liked the bard, Mierul, well enough and enjoyed having her join them. Mierul asked a lot of questions, and again the party thought it was strange that people noticed so easily that they weren't from around here.

Homer especially took to the fey woman, and the two bards played many songs together, then retired to Homer's tent to make more music…

In the morning, Mierul was gone, and the party continued to Waldsby. Along the way they were attacked by ravens. The birds didn't do much damage, but Nemo was blinded! For 4 days!

Once in Waldsby, the group wandered around and checked out the little village. The welcome was not very warm, but the party barely noticed when they were too busy looking at the similarities between this town and Heldren.

They found themselves in the tavern where they were told they should leave town immediately… and it almost worked. Both Nemo and Zo'Lil failed their saves against suggestion, but luckily Homer saw what was happening and stepped in with a song that snapped them out of it. They were angry but didn't come to blows and just left the tavern, planning to leave the next day.

In Nadya's house that night, the party finally sat her down for some hard news. It took a couple tries, but they eventually got out the fact that her daughter was nto being held captive in the Pale Tower, but was dead, and her soul captured and used for a guardian doll.

Nadya was stunned into silence, but someone else didn't take the news quietly. Suddenly dishes were flying off of the shelves and a tiny voice cried out in agony. Nadya revealed the little house elf that lived with the family and who had a great fondness for the little girl. He was furious and swore revenge on the witch that did this to his best friend. He asked the party to please smash the soul gem and release Thora to the afterlife so she couldn't be used in any more dolls.

Nadya spent the night gathering supplies, ready to bring the fight to Nazhema in the Pale Tower and get her revenge for the fate of her daughter.

Unfortunately before they could set out, soldiers arrived in town, going door to door and looking for travellers matching descriptions of the party! 3 of them came to Nadya's door, and after threatening her son got into a fight with the party. The soldiers were quickly dispatched, and the group plus Nadya left town as fast as possible.

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I'm not really sure why they don't like Blackjack all that much. Always funny which NPCs the players care about and which ones bug them.

I actually thought that Blackjack wasn't scripted to appear all that much in the AP as written, so I made sure to have rumors about him around before he came in at the end of book 1.

I also had them run into Blackjack while casing the Hospice in book 2. he let them in on some background info about the warehouse belonging to the arkonas, etc. Then when they had to retreat after dealing with the top floor, he joined them in clearing out the second section. For some reasont he players were really worried he was a bad guy who was going to stab them in the back when they were weakened. Not sure what I did to give off that vibe.

For right now it's really just the one player who really wants to sell the stuff. at least 1 player is adamant about giving it all back when they save him, the others are undecided or just not vocal one way or another.

The environmental stuff really makes the early levels harder. I am running this as the very first AP that any of my players have played in before, so I am intentionally softening up the cold weather dangers. I let them get cold weather gear very easily, and even let them buy snowshoes (which are in the players guide). It made it so that we weren't constantly doing Fort saves and having people fatigued.

The enemies themselves can be a bit hard for low level play, just because we're talking fey instead of your standard human fighter 1s running around, or goblins, spiders and orcs. flying, good AC and DR make them a bit harder. my party has a lot of magic users, so the DR was less of an issue, and they do get a cold iron longsword right off the bat, which went to the one melee player.

The lodge is often mentioned as very deadly, and has a ton of entries in the obituaries thread. my players did very well at beating it piece by piece, but it can be very hard for level 1 players. The winter portal is also tough, and is a spot where I really did play up the environment to make it harder and more climactic.

For Firstborn's point about the NPCs, it's an issue that comes up in a lot of APs. you want an NPC to hang out with the group for story reasons, but adding another activation on the PC side can really make it tough to keep things challenging.

Both of the groups I GM for right now have 5 players. for both groups, I have reworked the NPCs a bit to make them significantly weaker in combat than they could be. Really make their focus be as a story component and make them either mostly insignificant or even a liability in combat.

Take Nadya for example, the first big NPC that will be hanging out with the party for quite some time in the early books. drop one or more of her class levels to start with, and be sure to not optimize her completely. then when you get into fights, be sure to really play up her lack of fighting experience. she's a trader, not a warrior. she can defend herself ok, but working as part of a unit is hard for her. maybe she rushes in without thinking and gets surrounded sometimes. maybe in the Pale tower she lets the whole situation with her daughter get into her head and goes rushing off by herself to find the witch. maybe in the caravan she stays behind to protect her boy instead of running out to help in the encounter.

I'm running Escape From Old Korvosa now. My PCs found the lockbox at Vencarlo's house and got it opened. At least one player just wants to sell it all off. Especially with how much that amulet costs.

Vencarlo's Gear Spoilers:

The player who was trying to sell off the Blackjack gear made a really good point. Why did Vencarlo decide it was a good idea to go in to the Arkona manor as himself?? As my player put it, either:

A. This box is just his spare outfit, and he has a second complete set of gear that he is using while trying to save Neolandus, in which case they could just sell it off without it being that big a deal.

B. Vencarlo is an idiot for walking into the maw of the beast without any of his gear, and somehow hoping to save Neolandus from a family that he knows is incredibly dangerous as a middle aged fencing instructor. If this is the case, he is probably dead and doesn't need his gear anymore anyways.

So that made me realize I need to come up with a good reason behind what Vencarlo went in there to do.

The best I have come up with so far is that Vencarlo went in to try to barter for the release of the Seneshal, but what could he have to offer that could be worth the same as the secret of Neolandus' survival? Maybe Vencarlo went in planning to offer up his own secret in exchange. The party has encountered Balckjack a few times already, and he even helped them clear out the Temple at the end of book 2. it's known to the PCs that the Arkonas and blackjack have had a lot of run-ins.

So if this is what I go with, Vencarlo goes in with a plan that likely ends in him sacrificing himself, giving up his secret identity and then dying or being imprisoned forever, but at least he saves the city by getting Neolandus out in order to overthrown the evil queen.

This is why he sends the note to Cressida. He is hoping that by the time someone comes in answer he will be gone, but Neolandus will be hiding out at the fencing academy ready to be picked up by agents of the Guard.

At this point, Vencarlo doesn't have someone to pass on his mantle to, but leaves his gear behind in the hopes that someone worthy will find it and carry on the tradition, even though his own plans for succession were such a failure.

Of course, his whole plan fails when Bahor decides to just throw him in the dungeons and doesn't accept the deal. I am still trying to decide if Vencarlo told his secret first and it wasn't good enough to win the release of Neolandus, or if Bahor just told him right out that no secret was worth giving up his trump card for and tossed him to his sister for the insult of even trying that gambit.

What have other GMs done with this? Have your players even thought it was odd that the gear was away from the guy who could have been using it to go sneak through the manor batman-style and maybe avoid being caught?

In my game, I'm trying to use the academy a bit more than the AP has as written. One of our original PCs had studying at the academy, and at the end of book 2 left the party to return to see what had caused the academy to close its doors.

Because my party is new players, I've been letting them swap out charaters between chapters so they don't get stuck with a character that they don't like or that isn't built well. So essentially this original PC has become an NPC.

At the end of book 3, I am going to have the wizard NPC send a message to the party asking for their help. I am then going to run a heavily modified Academy of Secrets between chapter 3 and 4.

CoTCT and AoS spoilers:

The way I'm running it is that in addition to the knowledge drop at the end of book 3 about the Fangs of Midnight, Neolandus will also mention that the queen has been spending a lot of time at the Academy pouring over records with Togomor. Hearing that Togomor has his job now, Neolandus will recommend trying to figure out what she was researching, hoping it will give more information about the Fangs.

Of course, the queen was really trying to learn the rituals needed to summon a devil to sign her contract. She got some devils summoned, but of course has no idea about the devil history of the academy. the power of her rituals broke something, and basically triggered the breaching festival early.

Now all of a sudden, the various halls are locked down with their key light puzzles, and the hall of wards is inaccessible. of course the hall of wards is where Illeosa made a summoning circle, so it is where the PCs would need to go to figure out what she had been doing.

Also, they find out that the only sure-fire way to end the unplanned breaching festival is to win. Without that, there's no telling how long the grounds will be on lock down. This "breaching festival" has been going since the beginning of book 2, and shows no sign of stopping.

The administrators are getting desperate, and have called in the wizard NPC to help. Now she is reaching out to the rest of the party to give it a go.

So in the end, the PCs will learn more about the academy, beat the devils that have it under their control, and will learn about the deal with the devil that Illeosa has on top of her artifact.

To run this module at level 10, I am tweaking a lot of encounters. most of them are easy enough to just reduce the number of devils, or demote a few of them to less scary creatures. the treasure at the end will also be a whole lot less, so as to not unbalance the campaign. Likely going to be a unique magic item for each character crafted by the academy.

This week, once again we were down to 3 of 5 players. This time we had Zo'lil, Fae, and Cato. Hopefully Avid is still in this campaign, I'm a little worried he might be flaking out on us. Oh well, it happens.

This week we made a huge amount of progress, partyl because the lack of real role play options and partly because a few combats were circumvented.

session 3:

The session started with an interrogation of Rohkar who was tied up and poisoned last week.

He gave them what information he could, while still trying to make himself look to be the victim. He hid his nature as a cleric, and told a story of being coerced into captureing Lady Argantea. He didn't know much about the plans of the Fey, but knew who the two leaders were, and gave what info he could.

Sadly for Rohkar, it wasn't enough to save his life, and he was killed at the end of the conversation….

The party had a brief fight with Izoze as they tried to cross the ravine to head to the winter portal. They scared her off, but couldn't quite finish her off due to her fast healing. They wanted to follow her, but following a flying creature is tough.

They killed the 3 skeletons pretty quick, then skipped the fight with the frost firs which they left in peace. They found the hunter's body and were able to locate his traps. I moved the weasel to this point, and they tracked it following a blood trail. In the end they managed to not fight it. They instead gave it some food and ran away.

Next they found the guardian doll's house which was quite a crazy encounter. Zo'lil's player hates dolls. She thought this was an incredibly creepy setup. Everything about this doll was raising her hackles. It was great.

They asked some very good questions of the little girl's image, and found out both her name and her mother's name, so that will be fun in book 2.

After making it through the ice blocks, Zo'lil wasn't going to give the creepy doll the chance to follow them. After a bit of dancing lights and talking, Zo'lil had enough and attacked the doll.

This fight was a mess. Cato managed 3 (yes, 3!!) misfires in one combat. That's 6 rounds without firing a shot, plus spending 3 grit points on clearing his musket.

Fae got paralyzed for most of the combat. Zo'lil had to do all the work, and eventually finished the thing off, thanks to bloodrage. It was still a much longer combatthan it should have been. At the end, they retreated to the lodge to sleep it off.

The next day they made it all the way to the winter portal. I didn't make them fight a random encounter, but they saw some wolves and some sgns of larger predators following them.

At the portal, I went a bit leient on the environmental rules, which are quite hard for my group of entirely new players. I cut their visibility to 15 feet, but didn't make them slow down as much as they should have.

It was still a very tough fight. The atomie oracle caused a lot of trouble with hit and run attacks. He also deafened both Cato and Fae. Teb Knotten came very close to knocking out Zo'lil, which could have led to a TPK. Her bloodrage kept her in the fight long enough to finish him off. Luckily, she is a fire elemental bloodrager, so Teb wasn't nearly as hard to cut down as he could have been.

After collecting the loot from his cave, they moved to check out the portal. A black rider came stumbling out and fell from his horse into the snow. I ended the session here, and will have them all level up for the next session!

It was a fun session, but at least one of the players was annoyed at how there didn't seem to be a very clear goal for this section, or a good reason why they should care about the winter weather enough to go tromping off after some fairies.

Hopefully I can draw them back in with some (highly edited and trimmed down) exposition from Black Midnight next week.

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My party stole Manjenko, which led to one of the party being kidnapped by Barvasti and brought back to Eel's End. The party went in and rescued her, and in the process killed the ettercap and most of the guards. The spider king escaped, though.

I just brought him back in the last session. I wanted to give them some reason to care one way or another about Pilts, so when they finally made it to the palace, Barvasti was standing by the Emperor's shoulder whispering in his ear. He told Pilts that the party couldn't be trusted due to his previous dealings with the group.

I was hoping he would make the fight a bit more challenging, but in round 1 he ate a critical hit from a scorching ray that dropped him dangerously low. He came close to knocking out one of the original party members that had stolen his hideout, but he didn't really make much of a difference

Hey all,

I am running my party through this AP, and we're dealing with the Emporer tonight. so the labyrinth is not far in the future. I am just really confused about how this should go down.

major spoilers:
How do you avoid the party just seeing the illusion wall and going strait in to save the seneshal and then just peace out? one room and they have the guy they're looking for?

I also don't see any other way in to the torture chambers. so if they don't notice the wall when they enter, how will they find the seneshal? I don't see anything in the labyrinth itself that could get them to their goal. am i missing a connection?

I am considering just having one of the teleport circles go in to that chamber, and have the wall illusion be the easiest way back out once they end up in that room. is there a better way to go about this?

Or are they supposed to wander the labyrinth until they find a few NPCs who then help them find the hidden room? this comes back to what happens if they just find that hidden room from the beginning?

For our second session of Reign of Winter, we were going to be down 2 players. Both Avid and Zo'lil were out for real life reasons. I was willing to run a game as long as there were at least 3 people present, so we gave it a go.

I was a bit worried about how deadly this one might be with only 3 players, especially seeing the number of people who have obituaries from the Sentinal Lodge.

Session 2:

I went ahead and statted out Yulin who would be going with them. I used the stats for a Caravan Guard from the NPC codex, but swapped some feats out. As a 2nd level fighter he had a good bit of punch, but with the con drain from frostbite he only had 12 HP.

With a party consisting of a gunslinger, sorcerer and bard, the players went about this session very cautiously, which is rare for them.

On the way to the lodge, they spotted a campfire with 3 bandits. They discussed for a while, and eventually came up with a plan to lure one into the woods to get some information. They made a decent plan and the dice were with them. Most of the group hid deeper in the woods, while the bard used Message to whisper to one bandit and convince him he was hearing the voice of Shelyn who was asking him to come into the woods to receive a personal quest. The bandit rolled low on sense motive, so he excused himself and went into the forest.

Down the trail a ways, he stepped in a bear trap and then was hit by a magic missile and went unconcious. They tied him up, dragged him off and questioned him a bit. They learned that the bandits did indeed have Lady Argantea, and that it was done under orders from the Fay. They also learned that the bandits were lead by a necromancer named Rohkar.

They went back and made quick work of the last 2 sentries, even though they were on alert after one of their guys wandered off.

Approaching the lodge, they party spotted the tripwire and avoided the crossbow trap. They sent Homer the Bard in to peek in a few windows, which let them see both bedrooms and the main room without being seen. When he looked in the kitchen, Ten-Penny spotted him and raised the alarm.

The bandits in the main room came running out the front door, into the line of fire of the party's gunline. 2 light crossbows, a musket and a heavy crossbow (along with a bear trap just off of the porch) killed them off quite fast. Yulin charged in and finished the last one with his longsword.

At this point, Ten-Penny and 4 weakened, sick bandits came out to help. There was a bit of a bottleneck and shots were traded back and forth. Ten-Penny got in a flank on Yulin and dropped him with a sneak attack, leaving him at -5 hp. This panicked the rest of the group who were scared to get in melee with their one tank down. They did a firing retreat towards the forest. The retreat was slowed down when Cato had to stop and reload his musket.

Luckily the dice smiled on Cato this session. He rolled a critical that blew one bandit away, then the very next round used fast reload plus an alchemical cartirdge to fire in back-to-back rounds, landing ANOTHER critical, this time on Ten-Penny. 4d12 is a lot of damage for a low-level combat, and he ended up doing 37 damage, instantly killing off the half-orc thief. Guess they'll never know how helpful she could have been!

After finishing the bandits, they walked into the lodge and started looting. They were unable to get into Rohkar's locker or the cellar (someone In this party really needs to take some levels in Disable Device!). Soon, a frozen skeleton came down the stairs. And died on a bear trap at the bottom of the steps. Rohkar yelled some threats down the stairs, the party tried to intimidate him by lying and saying that they were sent by the winter-touched. Unfortunately they tipped their hand when they guessed Izoze's gender wrong, and Rohkar tried to trap them.

He went invisible and walked around them while they were trying to set up an ambush at the bottom of the stairs and force him to come down to them. He walked right past them and into the yard, where he raised up 4 bandits (including the headless Ten-Penny). He came back in with his unit of undead and had the second frozen skeleton join from upstairs.

The fight was surprisingly short as the dice landed in the party's favor. The zombies and skeleton were handled quickly, and Rohkar didn't have a lot of punch without them. He got up his shadow double from the trickery domain, but it didn't cancel a single attack. He got a bit of damage off on to Cato, but not enough to bring him to 0. the party dropped him to 2 HP and he surrendered.

They tied and gagged him, took his gear and looted the rest of the house. They are going to interrogate him to start off the next session. They didn't notice as he palmed his holy symbol, so I don't think they have any chance of figuring out his actual class. The players are all pretty new, and wouldn't likely piece together the abilities and spells he used during the combat.

The party found lady Argantea and let her out. She had a little more information to give them, but not much that hadn't already been discovered. They found the map in the planning room and copied it down. They also found a captive winter-touched sprite, but were unconvinced that it would be a good idea to let it out. They haven't decided yet what to do with it. Fae and Homer want to see what they can learn from it, Cato thinks that keeping a fairy around is likely a terrible idea.

The group brought Lady Argantea and Rohkar back to town. Yulin gave them some gold, and took his leave to escort his Lady on the remainder of their journey.

At the end of this week's session the party leveled up (I use milestone advancement, so even the people who aren't there on a given week will continue to advance with the group). Next week they will question Rohkar and hopefully push on towards the winter portal!

The group handled this session really well considering they were short 2 players. Some creativity and a really good ranged attack group really made quick work of what could have been a dangerous scenario. The only one to go negative this time around was Yulin.

Hey all,

I have just started running Reign of Winter for one of my groups. I have not found a lot of logs/journals/etc for this AP, and I found them immensely helpful in preparing for the Curse of The Crimson Throne game I am running.

Hopefully I will be able to keep this running and end up with a journal that goes beyond book 1 (where a lot of the journals I found end...).

I am planning on sticking pretty close to the plot of the book, but I have a number of changes already in mind. My hope will be to smooth out some of the abrupt transitions between books and keep things moving forward.

We had our first session this week. It was a short session, because a part of it was spent finishing up character sheets and talking over schedule/expectations etc.

We are playing with a 5-person party:

Fae - human sorcerer (arcane bloodline). A beggar, from a line of beggars spanning several generations. but somewhere in the family was a powerful arcane spellcaster that causes magical talent to appear every few generations. Each of these are born with a specific birthmark.

Cato - human gunslinger (musket master). Cato is a poor shepherd boy, who stumbled on a strange musket in the fields one day. no one else has seen such a weapon, but Cato quickly learned how to use it and how to make the things needed to fire it. He swears these designs were spoken to him by the gun, which he fears and worships like a deity. whether it really is a talking gun, or if the boy just has a knack is still to be seen.

Avid - Half-Orc cleric of Sarenrae. Avid is a half orc that tries very hard to blend in with human society. He has spent most of his life trying to hide his more orcish appearance and to learn to be refined in his speech and actions. But under the surface he still has a latent orc rage that comes out when it has been bottled up too long. One such event ended in the death of a classmate, and led to a period of travelling and seeking redemption.

Homer - human Bard. Homer is the old man of the group at 63. He has lived most of his adult life in Heldren, where he owned the local tavern until recently. He loves telling wild stories, and made the best cider around. But recently he has come on hard times, and is suffering greatly from depression because his daughter ran off with the son of Homer's best friend. After the boy poisoned his father. Now Homer seeks to leave it all behind and go back to his roots as an adventurer.

Zo'Lil - Aasimar Bloodrager (fire elemental bloodline). Zo'lil is unusualfor her kind. Instead of a mix of human and celestial, Zo'lil has celestial and fey blood. This heritage leads her to be somewhat detached and capricious, often making rash decisions without fully considering their consequences. She is not fully good and kind, but is also not evil. She is prone to bursts of rage, combined with fire. She has the least tie to Heldren and is just passing through on a Walkabout to find her place in the world.


These 5 strangers are all in the tavern, hearing some of the odd rumors of cold weather, strange animal sightings, and the passing caravan of Lady Argantea. Suddenly, a heavily injured man stumbles through the door, yelling for help.

After rendering some aid and getting the man something warm to eat, the group talks ot the man enough to learn that his name is Yulin, and that he is the only survivor of an attack on Lady Argentea's caravan. He is somewhat incoherent, talking about the winter-touched, and wondering how they followed him so far south and what is happening to the world.

Avid is able to get him to slow down and answer a few questions, which leads the party to understand that the Lady has been kidnapped and her guards killed. This was done by a band of a dozen men plus an unknown number of winter sprites with ice in their hearts (and we got our first player saying "like in Frozen!" just wait…. Haha). Yulin gives his cold iron sword to Zo'lil to help aid in rescuing his Lady.

When the group goes to investigate, they find several carriages wrecked in the road, with bodies everywhere. One of them has been frozen into a statue and is missing his arm. Homer finds the arm and a masterwork longsowrd in its grip.

Fae hears some noise coming from one of the carriages, and decides to investigate. He doesn't listen to Avid who is concerned about a trap and just pops the door open. 2 zombies are inside, but are quickly killed by Zo'lil and Avid.

A large number of foot prints very clearly lead into the forest, so the group decides to follow. They find a chest on the side of the road, but are much more cautious this time and see the tripwire. At this point, they realize none of them has a clue how to disable a trap, so they throw stuff at the rope until it triggers. They see an empty chest, but figure out pretty quickly that the treasure is underneath. They find a weapon cache of all of the looted caravan arms and armor.

At this point, they realize it will be dangerous to go forward in the snow, and backtrack to get some cold weather gear, sell off the weapons, and check in on Yulin. Avid spends his magic for the day healing Yulin, and the party asks him to come along. He is still hurt from his frostbite, but his desire to see the Lady Argantea safe leads him to come along despite the pain.

The group is ambushed by an arctic tatzlewyrm, which does a lot of damage to zo'lil, but is driven off by a fear spell from Avid.

Further down the path, Fae notices some odd fetishes hanging from trees, which turn out to be crows skewered by tiny little arrows. They heard voices speaking from all sides and dancing lights all around. Fae and Zo'lil both understood Sylvan and attempted to talk to the sprites. They took a guess and told the sprites that they were here to help drive out the winter-touched, which of course was the wrong side to say they were on, and the sprites attacked.

The battle took quite a few rounds as the sprites were difficult to hit, but they also didn't do much damage and were eventually beaten. The final blow was caused by a huge hit from Cato's musket that obliterated one of the fey.

Shortly after this battle, they saw hoofprints crossing over the human prints they had been following. A good knowledge role from Cato identified them as stag prints. There was some debate as to whether it was worth diverting from their course to find a stag, but the vote swung towards checking it out. They found the white stag, and amazingly it could talk!

They spent a bit of time talking to the stag who answered very few of their questions and tried to get some answers of its own about why these people were wandering the woods. The party stayed respectful and answered everything that was asked of them. They managed to glean the fact that the bandits had gone to the Ranger lodge further in the woods. The party and stag parted ways with a bow. Now I have to decide if the stag will make another appearance later, or just raise an alarm and be done…

The party headed towards to lodge, picking back up on the bandit trail. Before they could get to the lodge, a river stood in their way. There was a snowman with a sign on its neck that had a spell rigged to warn off intruders that approached. The party decided to back track and try crossing at a different point. The ice here was weaker, however and Yulin fell through the ice. Several others quickly got him some rope and hauled him out, but two ice elementals popped up to attack them.

The elementals were a surprisingly quick fight. Zo'lil quickly took one of them down with a fire-infused longsword hit, and then Yulin rolled a massive crit that destroyed the second one with almost maximum damage.

At this point the small bits of damage were adding up, and spells were running low. The party decided to retreat for the night and push back in the morning. Also time was running late, so we ended the session here. Next week this new party will get to the lodge and try to locate the kidnapped Lady!

I would definitely be interested in hearing your thoughts, especially from the players' side of the table. I am getting the feeling that some work may need to be put in to make the story flow a bit better, so any thoughts specifically about where the story felt weak would be helpful.

I know I want to try to tie the story together a bit tighter, but I do not have a good plan in mind on how to accomplish that yet.

Hi all,

Fairly new GM here, but learning quickly on my feet! I'm currently GM'ing for 2 different groups. Group 1 is going through the Crimson Throne AP, and group 2 has been doing a string of stand-alone modules to learn the system.

Group 2 has recently decided that they want something with a bit more story to it, and that they're ready to try a campaign. I want to run Reign of Winter, as it looks like a really fun one!

My question is this: are there any good GM or player logs from someone running this campaign in the past that I can read through? I found several for CoTCT, but it is a much older AP and seems to have a lot more play-throughs. I haven't been able to find any log/journal/notes that go past book 3.

I know it's a big thing to ask for, but has anyone finished the entire AP and recorded all or most of it as they went?

I found those resources to be a huge help in thinking through my Crimson Throne game. It helped me think through what parts were going to be hard/easy, and tended to give some cool ideas for side plots or ways of integrating other material.

Name of PC: Thorbalt
Class/Level: Dwarf Inquisitor 6
Adventure: 7 Days to The Grave
Catalyst: crazy alchemist and overconfidence


We're playing through the AP with a group of new players, but with a party of 5 (wizard, ranger, paladin, inquisitor, rogue). The one player who has spent a lot of time building his character and reading optimization guide online has not been overly challenged by the game so far.

He often finished a session having barely taken a dent, and often didn't even cast spells. I had been slowly trying to add difficulty to the adventure as people were finding some of the first 2 books way too easy.

In the hospice, I gave the physicians a bunch of consumables that were being tossed around (alchemists fires, tangleburn bags, thunderstones). the Inquisitor looked at his sheet and said "I've got a bunch of stuff like that!"

So for the rest of the session he used a lot more items and tried to be more of a support character than he usually is.

I tooled up the good doctor quite a bit, as I don't like his default build. He was now an alchemist, taken from a thread on these forums. haste, rapid shot and fast bombs meant a lot of bombs in one round if he wanted.

Thorbalt decided to try to convince the doctor and physicians to focus on him to try to spare some of the softer targets in the team. so he walked into the office and dropped a smokestick to block LOS to the rest of the party.

The doctor shrugged and decided if this crazy dwarf wanted to be a target he could be a target. 4 bombs, 4 hits. no misses due to the concealment. 16d6 + 16, and I rolled way more 6s than i should have. he went from full health (56?) to dead in one round.

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I like the idea of the 7 different artists that had their work influenced by a certain someone that are referenced in Escape from Old Korvossa. I'm trying to find ways to hint at their existence before the PCs find their collected remains.

I have already decided to have the toy-maker from Raker's Alley be one of the 7, so when the PCs cleared out the shop instead of just finding poorly-made toys and such, the toys were actually creepy and evil-looking. I tried to describe it like something you might find in the Joker's lair. I also tried to point out that there was a lot of creepy blue stuff mixed in.

Then in the Corowyn Manor, they found a couple of paintings by mr Scream. I was having trouble describing them, however.

Have any of you GMs come up with fun descriptions for Scream's work that you give as flavor text?

And as a second piece, has anyone come up with other pieces from the other artists that could be sprinkled in the PCs' exploration of the city to tie in creepy blue things? maybe a poem, or song, or mural or something else?

Thanks for your help all!

M Human

Hey guys,

GM Red Box invited me in from another game we're playing together. I'm going to take a little while to read through the player's guide and the threads going on this campaign page, as I have a pretty full week, but I will get my charater started so that i don't slow things down.

I am going to be playing a dwarf brawler with the caravan guard trait, the rest of my sheet I'll build out later today if possible!

Looking forward to playing with you guys.

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Hey all, newer GM here, running my first AP, and I've chosen to run through Crimson Throne. The AP looks like a ton of fun, and I've found a lot of great ideas for improving it on these forums and elsewhere.

I've run a few smaller adventures before, but this is my first attempt at a larger campaign.

I am going to post brief summaries here from our sessions, because I personally like reading that kind of thread before I run a game, to see what others have done and what fun ideas other players had for solving the problems presented.

There will be spoilers! I will try not to spoil things ahead of where we are at, but no promises.

So we just finished session one, and had some good fun.

The Party:

Rosie the halfling ranger. Not Sable Company, but wants to get a hippogryph somehow. Was once a drug addict, has since found her way.

Janay the Elf Abjuration Mage. Awkwardly tall, used to be a Lamb working for Gaedron.

Gork the half-orc Paladin. lost his wife to an "accident" caused by Lamm, dedicated himselfto protecting the weak and finding revenge.

Thorbalt the Dwarf Inquisitor. Lost his daughter, and found religion to be a good way to hunt down those who wronged him. Took in Rosie (the only 2 who know each other before the adventure) and helped her recover from her drug habit.

Session 1

the party arrives at Zelarra's house and hear her story. They find her house to be a bit creepy, and are suspicious of the food offered. they still end up agreeing to go to the fishery to find the gangster.

Zelarra sends them on their way with 3 harrow points and a confusing harrow reading. Thorbalt grabs some bread and stuffs it in his pockets on the way out.

The party decides to try their luck at a night-time infiltration of the hideout. they try a few windows, but don't see much of anything in the dark. they enter through the office, but Gork makes a ton of noise (6 total on stealth) which gets Bloo barking. Rosie has some trouble with the lock into the big open room of the fishery, and Thorbalt examines the desk full of challboard ledgers, stealing several of them.

The group can't decide which way to go, and end up splitting up slightly. Rosie and Janay make their way into the big room with raised catwalks. Thorbalt and Gork hear someone coming through the opposite side and stay to fight.

Janay finds a large half-orc who looks intimidating but doesn't have much willpower and charms him.

Gork and Thorbalt take a couple rounds to down a man carrying an acid wand, and loot him. They are then confronted by a bleary-eyed young orphan who comes out and asks what Bloo is barking at. The adventurers tell the boy that they are here for Lamm and ask for directions. the boy tells them they should definitely check out the large ship outside. the half ork, dwarf and young boy head to regroup with the girls.

Meanwhile, Giggles the half-orc tells Janay about the other members of the gang, including a mean little gnome named hookshanks. as the party is about to regroup, the orphan (aka hookshanks the gnome) tries to stab thorbalt in the back. lucky for thorbalt the gnome is really bad at stabbing in the back. They drop him and steal his stuff.

Even after finding out that the orphan boy was really not a little boy and after getting almost stabbed in the back, the party still follows his advice and go explore the spider-filled boat. spiders are fought, fortitude saves are made. no one is seriously hurt.

Until Gork falls in the water and almost becomes shark bait.

Finally our motly troupe finds their old nemesis Mr Lamm. there is some yelling, some threatening, and a quick crossbow bolt into Thorbalt's shoulder. Suddenly the party pulls out all the stops. spells are cast, smite evil is called out, judgement is levied. 4 attacks from range later and Lamm is down, even with an angry crocodile trying to get at the melee PCs. Thorbalt the Inquisitor decides he wants to be the one to make sure Gaedron doesn't have a chance to slip away this time, and risks an attack from Gobblegut. He goes down as the party's first disabled character, dropping to exactly 0 hp.

The girls roll their eyes and shoot the angry lizard until it goes away.

Of course the only one who can cast any healing spells is the one down on the ground. Luckily he is only disabled, and will be fine.

And at this point we had to end our first session. We'll pick back up with looting the room and figuring out what to do next time!

M Human

Dotting this thread for now, thanks for choosing my character! I'll get an alias set up and write some thoughts on connections in the morning. Looking forward to this one!

Here is my submission. sorry I'm so late to the game. I am brand new to PbP...

One thing I wasn't clear on was the bonus feat(s). Can I choose Power attack as my free feat for being a 2/3 BAB character? will it just come into effect when I hit level 2 and have the +1 BAB pre-requisite?

I have Power attack listed in the stats below, since I am guessing that's how it works, otherwise I'll drop it.


Elyas Tamran is one of a long line of priests, clerics and religious acolytes. His father Bail is a cleric of Iomedae, assigned as a missionary to the frontier lands. He trained his son in the ways of the faith, hoping he would choose a similar path.

Elyas was initiated as a cleric of Iomedae, but it was a choice made from duty and not his own personal convictions. As he grew older, he started to see flaws in his father's faith. He disliked the black and white way of seeing the world, and the pressure the faith put on others to convert.

Elyas started spending more time with friends in Phanedar, especially Corin Barns. Corin is a smooth-talking entrepreneur and con man, and Elyas' best friend. He is also a terrible influence in Elyas' father's eyes. Through his friendship with Corin, Elyas really started questioning why his family was here trying to convert people to faith in Iomedae. What good where they bringing to the frontier, to people that didn't even want to hear their message?

His beliefs were further challenged by his friendship with Marian Zaman, a pretty girl of Vudrani descent who lives in Phanedar. Her belief in foreign gods was strange to Elyas, but he quickly noticed parallels between their faiths. He saw that her gods were as effective as the one his family was sworn to. Marian helped him see many of the grey areas in life that are just part of the reality of living out in the wild, where law and order aren't always the answer.

Elyas still serves Iomedae, but he has started to make compromises in the way he performs his duties as a cleric. He has started to take lessons from a local herbalist named Janine who is teaching him non-magical ways of healing that can be even more effective than magic in times when there isn't enough magic to go around. He has taken to these new studies, and incorporates herbalist remedies in parallel with his divine magic.


Name – Alignment – Race – Suggested classes(NPC only) – Relation to Character if any – Occupation/Purpose in Phaendar

Bail Tamran - LG - Human - Cleric - Elyas' father - in Phaendar as a missionary. doesn't live in the town, but spends most days here, pleading with the people to follow his faith.
Mina Tamran - NG - human - no profession - Elyas' 15 Y/Old sister
Corin Barns - CG - human - Rogue - Elyas' best friend - con man/businessman
Marian Zaman - NG - human - expert - a friend/crush of Elyas - works with her family as craftsmen, primarily wood carvings in the Vudrani style
Janine Goldheart - NG - elf - expert - mentorto Elyas in the ways of natural healing - lives just outside the village where she grows her own herbs for remedies. is well known in town for her skill with healing.

stat block:

Male human cleric 1
NG Medium humanoid (human)
Init +0; Senses Perception +3
Aura aura of good, aura of law
AC 16, touch 10, flat-footed 16 (+5 armor, +1 shield)
Vigor Points 8
Wounds 30
Wound Threshold 14
Fort +4, Ref +0, Will +5, +2 trait bonus on all saving throws against illusions.

Speed 20 ft.
Melee longsword +2 (1d8+2/19-20 X2)
Special Attacks channel positive energy (1d6, DC 10, 5/day)

Domain Powers (Luck, Tactics)
Bit of Luck (6/day)
seize the initiative (6/day)

Str 14, Dex 11, Con 14, Int 12, Wis 17, Cha 10
Base Atk +0; CMB +2; CMD 12
Feats Endurance, Extra Channel
Bonus Feat - Power Attack (once he gains +1 BAB)

Skills Acrobatics -5 , Acrobatics (Jump) -9 , Climb -3 , Escape Artist -5 , Fly -5 , Heal +9 (1 rank) , Knowledge (Arcana) +5 (1 rank), Knowledge (Religion) +5 (1 rank), Perception +4 (1 rank), Ride -5 , Sense Motive +7 (1 rank), Spellcraft +5 (1 rank) , Stealth -5 , Survival +4 (1 rank) , Swim -3
Traits - skeptic, frontier healer
Languages Celestial, Common
SQ aura, aura of good, bit of luck, bonus feat, skilled
Gear scale mail, longsword, buckler, holy symbol (wooden), healer's kit



Bit of Luck (Sp) You can touch a willing creature as a standard action, giving it a bit of luck. For the next round, any time the target rolls a d20, he may roll twice and take the more favorable result. You can use this ability 6 times per day.
Bonus Feat Humans select one extra feat at 1st level.
Channel Positive Energy
Channel Positive Energy (Su) You can unleash a wave of positive energy. You must choose to deal 1d6 points of positive energy damage to undead creatures or to heal living creatures of 1d6 points of damage. Creatures that take damage from channeled energy receive a DC 10 Will save to halve the damage. You can use this ability 5 times per day.
Cleric Extra Channel
Orisons You can prepare a number of orisons, or 0-level spells. These spells are cast like any other spells, but they are not expended when used and may be used again.
Seize the Initiative (Su) Whenever you and your allies roll for initiative, you can grant one ally within 30 feet the ability to roll twice and take either result. This decision is made before results are revealed. You can use this ability 6 times per day.
Skeptic Growing up, you were always around magical effects to the extent that you realized that much of it was smoke and mirrors. You gain a +2 trait bonus on all saving throws against illusions.
Skilled Humans gain an additional skill rank at first level and one additional rank whenever they gain a level.
Spontaneous Casting You can channel stored spell energy into healing spells that you did not prepare ahead of time. You can "lose" any prepared spell that is not an orison or domain spell in order to cast any cure spell of the same spell level or lower (a cure spell is any spell with "Cure" in its name).

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