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116 posts. Alias of Orthos.

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I'm looking (distantly) to run a modified Reign of Winter for my Neverwinter Nights server community one day, using a Spelljammer crew who have made semi-regular guest appearances and been part of small-scale "let's go travel to this other planet and do a one-shot quest for funsies!" stuff. I'd like some advice/suggestions for adapting the AP accordingly.

I know the plot's going to start on Faerun - since that's where the server's set - and Rasputin Must Die! and possibly Witch Queen's Revenge are going to be relatively unchanged as far as locale (plot modifications remain to be seen - I imagine there's at least a decent chance that the party/parties will decide "@#%$ it, we're helping Elvanna" rather than aid the multiversally-infamous Baba Yaga). Rather than just bouncing around Golarion's solar system otherwise, though, I want to go more Spelljammery and have the Dancing Hut lead the party/parties on a merry chance throughout the crystal spheres.

The Shackled Hut is possibly best to stay on Golarion - meaning the portals that appear in Snows of Summer will need to take people from Toril to Golarion, simple enough - to explain all the backstory stuff. What's still undecided is what to do with the other two chapters. My knee-jerk reaction is to revamp the one that's all about dragons to be set on Krynn somehow, and to plonk down the remaining one on Oerth somewhere there can be a guest appearance by Tashonna/Tasha/Iggwilv. I'm not quite familiar enough with Dragonlance (outside the barebones of the first few books) or Greyhawk to know right off the top of my head where those should go.

The alternative is to put The Shackled Hut instead on a different world somewhere, then revamp Witch Queen's Revenge to go to Golarion to tangle with either Elvanna or Baba Yaga - depending on which side in the conflict the PCs choose - rather than solely into the depths of the Hut, probably by going through Elvanna's backdoor portal there and into Irrisen proper, and having the final showdown there instead of in the depths of the Hut's demiplanes. This adds a third adventure that needs a location, if Shackled Hut isn't set on Golarion; could bring Eberron into the mix somewhere there, as either that adventure or one of the other two (though probably not the dragon one, given the near-complete absence of dragon interaction with humanoids in Eberron).

Advice, suggestions, and recommendations welcome! I saw how much this forum was good at providing alternative options for Rasputin Must Die! for players who don't want to have Earth show up in their fantasy game, so I'm quite eager and curious what you might all recommend in this case.

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This seems like the most logical place to put this.

Hello! Long time no see for some of you. In the past year and change I and my fiancee Scintillae have been working on an idea for a YouTube project combining playing video games with discussing books. After a lot of discussion, procrastination, and consideration, we started Crit & Crit (short for Critical & Critique) in late 2021.

We currently just completed a series on the first Harry Potter book coupled with Final Fantasy V, and have two other series - Pygmalion by George Shaw and Mega Man X, and A Christmas Carol by Dickens and Pokemon Christmas - in our backlog. More HP/FFV is coming in the future, though we will be having short breaks between books to discuss other things and play other games.

Click here to view our channel if you think this is something you'll find entertaining! We upload on Sundays and Wednesdays, around noon US Central time.

So my party has basically done everything possible to derail this campaign - completely benignly, not out of malice or wanting to fhtagn with me as the DM, just that they're a very abnormal party as far as following the expected progression of events. And while most of this I can roll with fine, there's a few things I'd appreciate a little feedback or suggestions on.

Party composition, for reference: (We are playing a Gestalt game, since only 3 PCs)
Halfling Swashbuckler (inspired blade) |Magus (Bladebound/Kensai)
Changeling Oracle (Mystic Theurge)|Invoker (Star Pact)
Human Oracle (Life)|Harbinger (Crimson Countess)

First and foremost, Vanthus. At the end of Tides of Dread, the group did everything in their power to prevent him from being returned as an undead. They disintegrated his corpse after casting rest eternal, mixed the ashes with holy water, and buried the bottle in the hallowed graveyard in Farshore. This is obviously not enough to stop someone of Demogorgon's power from bringing him back, but I'm going to have to either explain how he got a physical body back in his undead form, have him come back as something incorporeal, or have him return as not-an-undead - and I don't want to make him just come back as a demon, that kinda nukes the reveal at the end with Ghorvash.

Secondly, Golismorga. The group was extremely suspicious of N'glothnoru, quickly discerned its true nature, and the party Star Invoker basically bullied it into a deal that keeps it from harassing the party - I forget the exact spell (if any) she used, I'll have to ask for a reminder - before getting as much info about the city out of it as they could. In addition, once there - and after getting some more info from Rakis-Ka - they decided to not shatter the Tlaloc's Tear and instead beelined directly for the Ziggurat and the Bilewretch, using a clever combination of magic and stealth to bypass most of the defenses, get inside quickly, and deal with the bosses and the problems of the shadow pearl-bilestone pipeline. Their main reason was that they feared the aboleth would be a greater threat than the kopru and their underlings, and that they didn't want to harm Barbas with the removal of the Cerulean Curtain and the flooding that would follow.

I'm not too worried about the deal - aboleth are schemey and I'm sure N'glothnoru will be able to weasel its way out of any parts of their agreement that it doesn't like - but without the city being flooded I'm not sure how he's meant to escape from his current prison. The state of Golismorga doesn't affect much of the plot going forward, admittedly, so I could just leave it all as water under the bridge (or not, as the case may be) but that feels kinda... anticlimactic. Like no Chekhov's Gun payoff for the deal with N'gloth.

Thirdly, I'm looking for a reason to get the group moving toward Scuttlecove and the later parts of the plot without pulling the damsel-in-distress thing with Lavinia; this group wouldn't likely respond well to that particular story beat, which hasn't aged well I admit and also doesn't jive greatly with how Lavinia's been played. I'm half tempted to have her run off on her own after Vanthus's return, instead. I'm also leaning toward pulling on a plot thread from the Wells of Darkness to lure the group down - apparently one of the imprisoned fiends there is very late for a meeting with an eldritch being from beyond the stars and has been receiving messengers demanding it pay its part of the deal, and I'm leaning toward having them approach the Invoker mentioned above and getting her to intervene on behalf of the dark places between stars.

And last but not least, I'm also wanting to bring back the ex-paladin Larcos from War of the Wielded, which I ran between chapters 1 and 2. The party made an enemy of him by keeping the intelligent blades (most of them, one of the really problematic ones they imprisoned) and killing the Kogloxen instead of using it to follow his scheme. He's particularly spiteful and vengeance-driven against the party Magus, who claimed one of the intelligent weapons as her Black Blade.

I replaced Rowyn with him in Chapter 3, since they had very thoroughly killed her in the first part before she could escape, and that worked well for the group; instead of killing him in this second encounter, they dumped him on a fortified island for the local authorities there to deal with. I'm thinking he's long since escaped and needs to show back up, though I'm not yet decided how.

Open to thoughts/suggestions all around!

Shadow Lodge

In the mountains to the distant east, something stirs. Beyond the bitter cold of the barren lands, something wakes. A gasp, a scream, and an inhuman sound, as whatever slumbered forgotten in solemn Siberia comes forth from its prison once again, leaving the snow and stone red in its wake.


As such things often do, word of the supernatural spreads along an unseen highway below the normal flow of information througout Europe and the lands beyond. Unbeknownst to the masses, secrets of ancient evils - the things barely spoken aloud for fear that even the thought of such could summon their wrath - are passed from hand to hand, mouth to mouth, ear to ear. From the shadows of the darkness beyond the boundaries of this known reality, on the leap day of this fateful year, CastleVania has returned.

As with all its previous resurrections, the Demon Castle's location has shifted once again. Those brave or foolish enough to seek its mysteries find themselves directed to the village of Băile Tușnad, little more than a stop on a well-used trade road passing through central Transylvania that received the occasional passersby but few permanent dwellers... until now. In the wake of CastleVania's appearance the village has become a gateway to the ancient keep and its haunted grounds, one by which nearly all travelers bound for the Palace of the King of Darkness - regardless of their purpose - will pass. The village, once nothing more than the site of a spring where traveling shepherds would pause to water their livestock and bathe, has opened arms to the trade and development, and the welcome growth of trained warriors, mercenaries, and opportunists to protect it against the growing threat of CastleVania's expanding influence.

And expand it has. In the mere three months since its reappearance, night has not been benevolent to the people of Băile Tușnad. The beasts of the wilderness about have become rabid and feral, driven into the city where before they would never venture, destroying life and livestock. The dead have become restless, and wander the lands aimlessly, assaulting any living beings they encounter. And within the past few weeks, nature itself seems to have turned against Băile Tușnad: weather has become erratic, storms and other maladies seemingly conjuring into existence from nowhere, and the coming of spring seems to be delayed by an onset of an extended winter.

As the capstone of this devastating malevolence, within only the past week the moon itself has inexplicably vanished from the sky on what should have been the week of the full. With each passing day the darkness grows, as if the stars themselves are following the moon's example, winking out of existence one by one.


♫♪ Serenade of the Hearth ~ Michiru Yamane (Order of Ecclesia) ♫♪

Date: March 23, 1816 CE
Time: Noon
Place: Village of Băile Tușnad - five kilometers north of CastleVania's gates

By foot, by horse, or by caravan, you have made your way to the village of Băile Tușnad, following whatever contacts or informants have passed on the information of CastleVania's return and the location of its reappearance. Even during the day the blight of its presence is obvious: the air is frigid despite the strained glow of the sun, as if its warmth provides no lasting heat, and what should be fields of green sprinkled intermittently with color from the awakening of spring instead provides shades of brown and red not unlike a fall following a poor harvest. The village consists of no more than fifteen small homes as well as a few buildings that appear to be shops of some sort, a town hall that is easily the biggest building in Băile Tușnad, and an inn that claims second and strongly rivals for first.

The villagers seen on the streets are few, preferring the safety of their homes even during the day, but those you see are pleasant and welcoming despite their timidity. All requests for lodging, food, work, or information are directed to the massive inn at the village's center. Already present are several people who do not look to be natives of Băile Tușnad, and nearly all are in one way or another garbed as adventurers and travelers, not unlike yourselves.

Here, the next chapter begins.....

N/A Entropic Axiomite Doodler 1/Author 5/Talespinner 7/Ad-Lib Artist 2/Worldbuilder 5

Well it's certainly been a while since I ventured into this part of the forums but here goes nothing!

This is a campaign I've been wanting to run for quite some time, a more open, freeform exploration story centered in the world of the CastleVania games and associated media (including the Bloodstained games and of course the CV anime). I'll be making some adaptations and adjustments for the sake of the system and the PbP format as well as the group dynamic versus the usual single explorer mechanic the games are built around, but I hope to get the feeling and atmosphere of the CastleVania setting and the open, nonlinear nature of exploring the castle and its mysteries down for your enjoyment and challenge.

I'm basing much of the early portions of the castle on the Maure Castle modules from Dragon Magazine, but pulling other sections from other areas and of course making my own adjustments as I go.

Feel free to ask any questions you have in mind, and I'll do my best to answer them swiftly and thoroughly.

This is going to be a fairly laid-back, casual project for me, so I wouldn't expect anything intense as far as expectation of schedule - if you can post two or three times a week, that'll be plenty for me, as that's about the rate I'll likely be making my own updates.

Character creation rules to follow; after that, feel free to start dropping inquiries and concepts and anything else you all feel like sharing. Thanks for stopping by and here's hoping this is fun for everyone involved =)

Dark Archive

Trailer for Otosan (formerly known as Mother 4)

Demo link in video description.

I'm working on putting an adventure together, and part of the plot I want to do has several groups being instigated into conflict with one another by a fiend or some other evil creature with the ability to hijack divination, communion, and/or prophecy, thus convincing these groups' spiritual leaders that these conflicts are necessary and spurring them to action by divine command.

Does any creature already exist that possesses this ability or something like it?

Table of Contents link for convenience.

This is a story set in my group's homebrew gaming world that I have been working on and off on for about ten years now. I welcome any feedback, questions, or comments from anyone who would be generous enough to read it as I write. I can't promise a specific speed or rate of updates, though I will do my best to keep them semi-consistent around the general chaos of the rest of my day to day life. =)

Thank you in advance, and hope you enjoy!

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Come one, come all, old aliases no longer seeing use due to lost PbPs, abandoned concepts, outdated jokes, vanished forumites, and changing community policies. Come and kick up your feet, lean back in a squeaky old rocking chair, and sip some old fashioned lemonade, and let's reminisce in a completely forum-legal and appropriate manner about the Old Days, how's that sound old chaps?

I recently started playing Dwarf Fortress again! It's been years since I'd touched it last and a lot of things have changed, but a lot have stayed the same. With the help of the DFWiki and some playthroughs on YouTube, I have begun making my way through the world of Dwarves and their Fortresses and the dangers, wonders, treasure, and chaos that come with them.

Follow along as I recount the tales of tragedy and triumph that I have to offer from the realm of Dwarf Fortress! =)

Shemmishthem, "Plankscholars"

Camade Liceva, "The Realm of Legends". What more fitting world can there be for our Dwarves to live and prosper in??

Of course, we'll need to select a proper location for our fortress. Can't just build in any old place. For those unfamiliar, you typically want most if not all of the following for your fort, especially if you're a first-timer: a nearby river, NO nearby aquifer, lots of wood in the surrounding area, and a ready availability of metals in both shallow and deep areas nearby. There are other things that you can prefer or not at your leisure - a temperate climate and calm environs helps, avoiding an evil-infested territory keeps some problems to a minimum, and not being too near other communities - especially those of goblins - can stave off hostilities for longer.

As you can see, I found a pretty suitable location here. My cursor isn't visible in this shot, but the place I've selected is in the inner curve of those grey mountains, alongside the green and gold areas in the bottom-center-right. It is to the descent of these mountains here that we will travel and build....

Plankscholars!! ... wait, what? Who picked this name?

Well, nothing for it now. We're in the southern foothills of the mountains and our dwarves are stuck in the open sun! Get digging, ladies and gents! We'll start by building a simple meeting area for people to gather whilst they wait for more instructions, then work on more detailed tasks.

It doesn't take us long to get a few rooms dug out. Most of these will be storage rooms for supplies - wood, stone, and so forth. That room at the bottom will be a kennel for our war and hunting dogs.

Meanwhile, all our chickens are underfoot! A coop is quickly constructed a short distance outside the main fortress entrance.

Stockpile rooms are made and designated, now it's time to start on workspace and residential. Dwarves don't want nor need a lot of room space unless they're nobles, at which point they get cranky and fussy and suddenly want a huge room all to themselves. So in the meantime, all these little apartments will do them just fine. And this big room here next to the stockpiles will be perfectly sized and located for a labor locale, where all our workshops will be set up.

That doesn't take long at all! A stockpile for finished goods is quickly added adjacent to the working quarters and a woodworker's is the first craftsdwarf workshop built, and almost immediately begins churning out the beds and doors that'll be needed for the residential areas. Meanwhile a food stockpile is constructed to the north, and work begins on a kitchen, brewery, and slaughterhouse.

Huzzah! A tavern is completed as well. So far so good! But there's already dwarves not at work. Let's do something about that.

... hey there little guy. Where'd you come from? I didn't bring you with me.

A representative from the homelands arrives and offers Kosoth Erithamen, our expedition leader, a barony title for establishing our fortress in such a remote, uncharted land. Here's hoping it doesn't go to his head.

We sent our miners down a level into the mountain to start delving, digging out stone and gems and carving open a large side space here to be used for eventual burials. Our chief miner, Led Medtobthimshur, carved out most of this on her own! Uhm, in fact, it's been a while since she's come back up. Led, you doin' okay down there...?

Oh. Oh no. Oh. Um.

So something I'd either forgotten or hadn't learned at the time, dwarves have... problems... with stairs. And Led here accidentally dug away the upwards stairs that would have been her way out. So with nowhere else to go and mining orders waiting, she dug and dug and dug until she got too thirsty to work, had a freakout, ran around the room, and died of dehydration.

Plankscholars's first loss. You will not be forgotten, deep delver.

A coffin is swiftly built, new stairs are built down - and properly back up this time! - and Led is the first to be interred into the burial chamber, along with a slab inscribed with the details of her life, accomplishments, and passing. May she rest easy.

... and the rest of the dwarves scarpered off with her belongings. Well, I guess she doesn't need 'em anymore.

I'm gonna need a new chief miner, though. And more labor in general.

... perfect.

Shadow Lodge

Just another day on the Astral Plane.

The common room of the World Serpent Inn is as bustling and busy as ever, planar travelers coming and going at all hours of the timeless day, talking and arguing and bartering and threatening and all over a weatherworn table of unidentifiable wood or stone and one of a trillion different drinks and meals courtesy of the mysterious forces that occupy the realms behind the counter.

The Staff bustle about, carrying trays easily twice their gnomish size with impossible alacrity, dodging patrons and each other with acrobatic expertise that would shock any poor Primer to first stumble onto their demonstration. They vanish into doorways, under tables, through walls, and around corners, only to re-emerge somewhere else in the room, their trays refreshed and their vectors adjusted toward the next table on their list.

A thri-kreen weapons dealer argues in rough, ragged clicks and screeches with a mercane supplier, who looks down on the mantiswoman with that patient but condescending smile that says he's only willing to deal with her nonsense because it makes him a tidy profit by the end of the day.

A blue slaad babbles incoherently toward a roaring fireplace on the "east" wall of the room as if deep in the throes of a vibrant debate, and judging by the breaks in the frog's tirade it's almost as if something is actually responding and the beast is taking the time to at least hear its response before continuing its ramble. Meanwhile a panther-headed rakshasa and a woman apparently carved of obsidian speak in low tones from nearby couches.

An iron door at the "north" rear of the room occasionally swings open, emitting a low rumble of noise and a rusty creak as rough-garbed figures come and go - mostly harsher-looking mortals, planetouched, and the occasional fiend.

To the "west", a small band dominates a raised dais recessed into an alcove in the wall. A halfling woman plays an erratic tune on some kind of pipe instrument, while a vanara uses all five of her available limbs on an extensive drumset, an elf with serpentine scales plays long-clawed fingers on his piano, and a warforged strums vigorous riffs from a guitar built of gears and pistons. Behind them the alcove walls are strewn with a curve of windows displaying a spiraling night sky, stars and galaxies and nebulae whirling into infinity through an impossible void.

Nearest the door that serves as the entrance, the "south" and front side of the room, stands another slaad, this one a white, towering so tall it nearly scrapes the ceiling with its twisted crown of horns. The monstrosity's asymmetrical arms hang at its sides, the smaller right occasionally folding against its chest as if to cross its arms while the much larger, muscle-bloated left drags the ground like a glacial gorilla. The being is eerily still, almost anathematically so for a slaad, unmoving as a statue until it very occasionally shifts or blinks or breathes.

In the center of all, behind a squared bar of wood and stone with open seats in all directions save toward the rear, stands the man of the tavern - its bartender, server, host, and powers know what else, the man known as Mitchifer. Tall but not unreasonably so for a human man, with grey-white hair deeply receded and darkly-bronzed skin, it's only once you step close that you notice the oddities - how his golden eyes have slit vertical pupils, or how his thick bushy beard is actually composed of tiny wriggling snakes. Yet he exudes an aura of calm, comfort, and welcome, so despite his unusual appearance he provokes almost no anxiety nor unnervedness as he is approached. He waves as visitors both fresh and veteran enter the inn, welcoming them one and all to his establishment, inviting each and every one to pull up a stool or claim a chair at one of the many tables scattered about the room, order a drink and flag down one of The Staff for a solid meal.

Welcome to the World Serpent Inn, and the beginning of a tale that will span planes, realities, and universes abroad.

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N/A Entropic Axiomite Doodler 1/Author 5/Talespinner 7/Ad-Lib Artist 2/Worldbuilder 5

Welcome FAWTLfolk to "Orthos Tries PBP Again"!

Today's offering is a planar-based campaign centered at the World Serpent Inn, so characters can originate from the setting of player choice or none at all.

We'll be using Pathfinder rules with 3.5 stuff available by request - I as GM will be making use at least of monsters, races, classes, items, and possibly spells and feats, so those are on the table for players as well (so long as I have access to anything you request and I approve), only fair. Ditto with 3rd party PF stuff, though my usual declaration of "If it's on d20PFSRD, I'll probably allow it" is in play.

25 Point Buy for character creation. Go nuts.

We will be starting at level 2, with normal WBL - 1000 GP.

We will be using the d4 method for rolling HP from this point forward, but characters begin with maximum HP for these two levels.

We will also be using this Inherent Character Bonuses chart, so make sure you include its bonuses in your statistics.

Likewise, all characters receive 2 more skill points per level than normal.

Two Traits, as usual.

As this is a planar campaign (and I do mean planar - many different locales to be visited on many different planes and universes) with the potential to pull PCs from any setting, almost all character options are on the table. If you would like to use a 3.5 or homebrew race, let me know and I'll approve if necessary and/or tell you if any tweaks need to be made to the racial properties to bring it up/down to PF standard, or if it is still powerful enough that Level Adjustment or some other payoff feature is going to be needed anyway. (Not likely needed unless someone wants to play something really crazy.)

Evil characters are allowed, but with the caveat of that they need to be a flavor of evil that is capable of working with the party. I'm sure we can all manage that. =)

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More information here.

May you whip angelic recruits into shape in the afterlife, good sir.

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I made these for Scint's Babynerds game and thought I'd make them available for anyone else who wants some voice clips of a Mark Hamill's Joker-styled Rolth. I labeled them for use based on as he casts his spells, as per his default spell list in the original printing (not the rerelease, if it's been changed). Enjoy!

Rolth Voice Clips

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Here comes Azathoth! Here comes Azathoth! Right down Azathoth Lane!
Nyarlathotep and all his Shoggoths drivin' you insane!
Men are dreaming, children screaming; all their faces are white.
Gibber like mad and say your prayers, 'cause Azathoth comes tonight!

Here comes Azathoth! Here comes Azathoth! Right down Azathoth Lane!
There's his avatar, piping madly for that sanity drain!
Hear those victims gibber and die, oh unspeakable sight!
Jump in bed, cover up your head, 'cause Azathoth comes tonight!

Here comes Azathoth! Here comes Azathoth! Right down Azathoth Lane!
He doesn't care if you're rich or poor, 'cause he's completely insane!
Azathoth doesn't know you, children; we're to small for his sight.
So fill your hearts with dread and fear, 'cause Azathoth comes tonight!

Here comes Azathoth! Here comes Azathoth! Right down Azathoth Lane!
He'll come around when the pipes go out, and Apocalypse begins!
When he wakes the world will end, ceasing his dream of our light;
So chant "Iä! Hail! Blind Idiot God!" 'cause Azathoth comes tonight!

Here comes Azathoth! Here comes Azathoth! Right down Azathoth Lane!
Nyarlathotep and all his Shoggoths drivin' you insane!
Men are dreaming, children screaming; all their faces are white.
Gibber like mad and say your prayers, 'cause Azathoth comes tonight!

When he wakes the world will end, ceasing his dream of our light;
So chant "Iä! Hail! Blind Idiot God!" 'cause Azathoth comes tonight!
Yes Chant "Iä! Hail! Blind Idiot God!" 'cause Azathoth comes tonight!

Some verses courtesy Irregular Webcomic.

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No release date yet, but some FAQs:

kothoses wrote:

From the FAQ

Will the server browser work again?
Yes, the server browser has been rewritten so you can once again find servers for multiplayer. At this time the original NWN restrictions apply: The server host must be reachable at the external UDP address and port advertised through your NAT firewall.

Will 1.69 clients be able to connect to NWN:EE servers?
No. While save games and modules created in older versions of Neverwinter Nights are usable in Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition, NWN 1.69 players won't be able to connect to NWN:EE servers. Like all previous patches, we change the networking model continuously to allow us to implement new features and fix bugs. You will need the same NWN:EE client version to connect to an NWN:EE server.

Jason Knipe: The graphics engine has been updated so that everything runs through GLSL shaders, including the toolset. The shaders reproduce the old hardware T&L functionality from the original NWN, and were not meant to add detail or fidelity that did not exist in the original. However, this means that you can create and apply your own custom shaders in the game which opens up a wide variety of graphical possibilities.

Bernhard Stöckner: We've done a thorough security audit of the codebase, removing all known exploits and crash issues in the process. We have also addressed a great many engine, game and rules problems, as well as improved server performance significantly.

On the big feature front, we have done work as well. In addition to things mentioned elsewhere, you can expect to see a collection of new scripting commands and ini configuration flags, hak loading before character creation, area instancing, and much more as the beta will progress and bring in feedback.

Last, but not least, we've approached the NWNX developers and are actively helping them with a clean and complete rewrite of the codebase to the new release, so that the majority of server transitions will go as smooth as possible. Future patches will receive the same loving attention!

Graphically, other than the UI scaling, it looks nothing more than an ENB mod, there certainly wont be a massive jump in fidelity but if it gets a decent level of community support the cell shading functionality will make for some interesting possibilities for community created content to look really nice and crisp

I am hyped, but lets set expectations, Beamdog are just very committed modders in terms of what they can actually do, I do not get the impression they are reverse engineering the combat system for example, however there was one bit what was VERY interesting and I think @firewraith might be happy with, (Haks loading before character creation).

Other than a break in college that led to skipping the entirety of Generation 3 - so not much of value lost - I've been heavily into the Pokemon series since I was a teenager. Unfortunately, while I did enjoy Sun (and Mimikyu jumped immediately to my number 3 favorite spot), the announcement of "Ultra Sun and Moon" as the followups was underwhelming at the time, and I had almost decided to skip the next games entirely and just wait it out for the unnamed Switch game announced for next year.

Then about a month ago I read the words that changed this from something I would likely pass on to something I could not wait to get.


Also new critters even from Sun/Moon and a very different looking story.

So yeah. Preorder already paid, just waiting for the end of next week to go pick it up. Anyone else?

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As some of you may know, in addition to Pathfinder one of my primary hobbies is playing on, DMing for, and administrating for a Neverwinter Nights persistent world, Cormyr and the Dalelands (username there is Edge). Starting about a year and a half ago, I began running a highly modified version of Rise of the Runelords set in Faerun as a series of semi-weekly events, each about 2-4 hours long. After a long absence on Paizo, I've decided to cross-post my summaries of the events in a journal here.

Note that this will be highly modified from the base Runelords plot between the change of setting and an intent to connect it to a much larger, overarching plot involving all the Runelords.

So with that... let's begin =D

Book One: Burnt Offerings

Characters of Importance:
Zander Jaredson - Male Half-Gold Dragon Human Paladin of Torm
James St. Bell - Male Human Paladin of Torm
Velenya Tevlanos - Female Half-Iron Dragon Human Eldritch Knight
Tessela Kennemen - Female Human Cleric of Kelemvor
Paythin Alderan - Male Human Fighter/Weapon Master
Sophia Leonsbane - Female Half-Elf Fighter/Weapon Master
Azonis Fulgate - Female Half-Elf Bard/Arcane Archer
Trent Dy'nei - Male Human Fighter/Weapon Master
Jason Fletcher - Male Human Fighter/Purple Dragon Knight
Cassandra Rosewood - Female Human Rogue/Shadowdancer

Quest One: Burn! Bobonga! Burn!

A cry for help came from the village of Collinwood, not far from the city of the Eveningstar, claiming goblins were attacking and the city was burning.

The party - composed of a combination of concerned or curious adventurers and locally-stationed Purple Dragons - heeded the call, routing the assault and tending to the fires and wounded. They discovered on some of the fallen goblins a curious seven-pointed star that none were able to identify. Goblins have always been a problem in Cormyr, especially in the forests around Arabel and Suzail, but to so brazenly attack the city was unprecedented, and especially the bizarre emblem they wore. Suspicions began to fly immediately that there was more to this than simple goblin troublemaking....

Shadow Lodge

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Welcome back to Orthos's insane attempt to run a Savage Tide campaign using the Gestalt rules. Like my now-completed Kingmaker campaign before - which I will be completing the journal for, eventually! when I have time! - this game is set in our homebrew world of Finiens, specifically in the country of Olympia and its adventurer-founded and adventurer-heavy southern port city of Port Haven in place of the standard starting location of Sasserine.

Dramatis Personae:
Aidan Trembell - TN M Human Harbinger [Crimson Countess]|Oracle (Life) (Player: Aszimar)
Audra Volante - CG F Halfling Swashbuckler [Inspired Blade]|Magus [Bladebound, Kensai] (Player: Scintillae)
Nashota - TN M Half-Giant Aegis|Soulknife (Player: Kamon Ishako)
Rin - NG M Human Investigator|Slayer (Player: Edward Falcona)
Twila - CN F Changeling Invoker (Star Pact)|Oracle (Theurge) (Player: ebon_fyre)

For quick reference: Audra's player played Elegy in Kingmaker, Twila's played Lilith, Nashota's played Takeshi, and Aidan's played Derrick. Rin's player is the new guy in the group, though an experienced player previously in his own right.

This is not an April Fool's Joke. I repeat, this is NOT an April Fool's Joke.

So if you've spent almost any time on YouTube within the past few months, no doubt you've seen the "Where's the Fair Use?" #WTFU movement and the mounting series of complaints about the abuse of Fair Use laws with regards to DMCA and copyright-related takedowns of videos and channels.

Well, unbeknownst to pretty much everyone, the government has had a form open for a while now for people to send in complaints and commentary as they prepare to re-analyze the DMCA laws and associated ordinances and consider re-evaluating and updating them. Unfortunately, this flew waaaaay under the radar and news only really got out last night/this morning... and the form closes at midnight tonight.

Here's a video explaining the basics, and includes links to the forms as well as phone numbers and other contact methods. I highly, highly, HIGHLY encourage everyone who is able to send something in.

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Samurai Jack was one of the BEST shows I ever saw growing up. I'd put it on par with Gargoyles or Batman:TAS. I am IMMENSELY thrilled to see it returning at long last.

So one of the PCs in my group is an Ifrit Wishcrafter Sorcerer who also happens to be a Harrow reader. Needless to say, she's the one who received the Cyclone card when Eloais's cart went up in flames upon their arrival, and after getting the fire put out and the rest of the opening scene under control, she sat down to do a Harrow reading while the rest of the party talked to the NPCs or scouted out into the nearby cactus forest.

Lacking an actual Harrow Deck of my own, I got her results by rolling d100 and rerolling any results over 54, then just counting down the list on the Pathfinder Wiki.

Here's the results of her first attempt:
The Paladin (LG, Str) - lawful good card of strength. It represents standing resolutely against trouble, without backing down.
The Queen Mother (LN, Wis) - lawful neutral card of wisdom. This formian is the personification of knowledge, who is fond of the powerless, the underclass, and those who will show her obeisance.
The Betrayal (NE, Cha) - neutral evil card of charisma. It represents selfishness and envy.

The Idiot (NE, Int) - neutral evil card of intelligence. It represents folly, greed, blackmail, bribery, or hubris.
The Carnival (CN, Wis) - chaotic neutral card of wisdom. It represents illusions and false dreams.
The Snakebite (CE, Int) - chaotic evil card of intelligence. It represents poison, venom, assassination, and discord.

The Fiend (LE, Str) - lawful evil card of strength. It is a devil that devours the masses of the innocent, and can represent the deaths of many in a disaster.
The Midwife (NG, Wis) - neutral good card of wisdom. It represents the enabler or conduit of new creation, information, or arrivals.
The Demon's Lantern (CE, Dex) - chaotic evil card of dexterity. It represents an impossible situation of traps, mind tricks, and sleight of hand.

The Harrower's personal interpretation:
[9:20:22 PM] Belladonna: Past: A force standing against trouble, against all odds, attempting to help those weaker than him/it, standing against selfishness. This sounds like someone attempting to stand for the lower classes in Denvushain against a liege that is seen as selfish and abusive in power.
[9:22:23 PM] Belladonna: Present: Greed, folly, blackmail, pride / illusions, false dreams /poison, assassination, discord. Someone, perhaps the paladin from the past?, is deluded by their pride and ends up part of a plot to create discord.
[9:25:54 PM] Belladonna: Future: deaths in a disaster, masses of innocent / new creation, information, arrivals / impossible situation of traps, mind tricks, sleight of hand. This force will cause a great number of deaths and a large disaster, impossible to avoid, however something better may rise from the ruins of the devastation.

Looking not far from the mark, but just enough off to keep things interesting. =)

I'd like to allow her to keep the Harrow readings as a major part of her character and incorporate them more into the adventure as possible. As written, they really only make a direct appearance during scenes related to Eloais's death at the beginning; once the pugwampis have been found and dealt with, I don't recall the adventure ever making much of a deal of Eloais's ill-fated divinations, the repeated presence of the Cyclone, and so forth ever again.


So I know there have to be at least some Paizonians besides Icyshadow, Scintillae, and myself who are into this new little game that's part Earthbound, part Bullet Hell, and part gut-wrenching sucker-punch to your heart. Who's all out there, and which of us are trying to SAVE the world versus which of us are going to have a bad time?

Popup windows displaying "f", "38", "27" are appearing any time I load a new page, along with a checkbox for "prevent page from displaying more messages". Not sure why.

So I'm wanting to look a bit more in-depth into Australian history, geography, culture, and mythology for a project of mine. Wikipedia is a... decent starting point, but I was hoping some of the locals might be able to point me to something more thorough, precise, and/or detailed, and something that will avoid too many misrepresentations or biases. Any links or suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks in advance!

Anybody else heard of/looked into this? It's pretty funny and kind of awesome thus far =) Also happens to be done by Stjepan Šejić AKA Nebezial, one of my favorite artists on DeviantArt.

Previews of current and future chapters, side character art, and other such things on his DevArt here.

Digital version of the first issue can be purchased here.

The Naga called me Sukoshi Toge, or "Little Thorn" in their tongue. Not an uncommon appellation, given the cloak of brambles and briars I wear, as much a part of my flesh and bone as anything else that grows from within them. The Dwarves on the ships hence and Humans of this land like simpler terms, of which "Thistle" seems to be the most common, along with "Ivy", "Monk", and "Archer". These callings are sufficient, all in all. A name that is not a Name is but a name, and I will answer to any that does not malign me. So long as it is not that which I hide, it holds no power over me.

I only hear my Name in my dreams, in deepest slumber and vague memories of a life I left behind long ago, or in the invigorating fevers and muse-images of a flayleaf haze. These have been more and more as of late, as I find my worldly possessions swiftly dwindling and with them any opportunity to escape the confines of this wretched bolthole of a town. Yet better this than the battlefield, where from the Shadowlands flow the Never Dead, the Oni, the Maho, and the Kage-no-Ongaku: the Music of Shadows. Yes, better this than the ever-lingering risk of the taint, the sundering of the soul, the endless dissonant song of corruption.

My countrymen - by life if not by birth - would call me a coward and denounce me as without honor. I would see no reason to argue such with them. But there is no weight of honor that is worth the danger posed by the creatures of the Shadowlands, most of all that dreadful song, that ancient otherworldly melody from the skies that sings of the end of worlds. I have heard its songs before, in my youth and in my nightmares, and there is no price I would not pay to put myself well away from its symphony.

Thus am I here, in the land of Storm and Wind, tucked away between the forests and the mountains in the miserable little hovel called Diamond Lake, stolen coin flittering away on days of pointless labor and failed pursuits and nights lost in a mist of illusions and inspirations, one ear open to rumors and legends of something, anything that might begin a road toward escape from this place. Safe I may be from the horrors of the Shadow, but a safe prison is no less a prison.

I have heard tales of an abandoned cairn, a tomb of lost treasures and old histories left fallow, secluded away and out of sight to all save the most perceptive of strangers and most informed of locals. Noted for the strange sounds and voices heard from within its dusty catacombs, this Whispering Cairn has received far less attention than some of its sister tombs, and may still have riches for the taking. And it's not as if my dwindling honor will be noticeably besmirched further by adding graverobbing to my crimes....

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So long story short my players have been trying to do research on "The Queen of Forgotten Time". For the first time, they've dared to ask people outside their inner circle, and one of their allies - a council member from a neighboring colony - mentioned she'd heard the title before as part of a childhood rhyme. Figured I'd post it here for anyone who might want to make use of it.

The Queen of Forgotten Time
Lives in the land sublime
Where sapphire waterfalls gleam
And with ravens the canopies teem

The Queen of Forgotten Time
Has a house on the edge of rhyme
Just beyond the graveyard's snows
At the top where the beanstalk grows

The Queen of Forgotten Time
Drinks the finest of emerald wine
From vineyards in the forest’s depths
In the land of a thousand breaths

The Queen of Forgotten Time
Sings with harmonious chime
The ancient, unending song
And the wolf and the frog sing along

The Queen of Forgotten Time
To find her the tower you climb
In the fable beyond the looking-glass
In the halls where stained soldiers march past

The Queen of Forgotten Time
Lives beyond the palace of knives
Where the blooms reach up to the sky
Where the bear and the rook will fly

Have a dance at the crystal ball
With the swans and the tower of dolls
To the beat of the miners who dig
Dance the weaver, the spinner, and the pigs

With the maiden who tempered the fiend
And the daughter of frost who had gleaned
And the child in the pearl-laden tower
Woven into the ebony bower

Beyond the hedge of the thorn
And under the edge of the storm
Sing the voices of infinite prime
For the Queen of Forgotten Time

Won’t you dance with the dragon at dawn?
And the troll when the sun’s almost gone?
A waltz for the unending rhyme
In the garden of Forgotten Time?

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I know I can't be the only person - player or GM - in this campaign whose group created a flag for their kingdom. Let's see what everyone has =)

Images if you have 'em, otherwise descriptions are fine =D

Here's Iomrall

New SquareEnix RPG... well, this thing has an awesome soundtrack, which is to be expected. But that's not enough to carry the game itself, sad to say, and SE just doesn't have the mojo it once had to guarantee anything they make is a must-buy for me.

So. Has anyone else managed to play it? Is the gameplay any good? And the story? Recommend or not, and why?

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Ambrosia Slaad wrote:
Orthos wrote:
Monrail wrote:
Having already been intrigued by the various lore snippets provided in your campaign journals, now I would really like to see an overview of your homebrew campaign setting somewhere!
It's been something I've been meaning to do... I'll see about posting it up somewhere in homebrew =)

You could start a blog {nudge, nudge}... easier to do in installments and update/edit/expand previous entries as you go.

You too, Mikaze.

Here goes nothing!

Silver Crusade

It's been over 7500 years since the first human, halfling, and dwarf expatriates left behind the shores of Paziou, ancient motherland of their kind, and set to the seas - the dwarves to never leave it, the halflings to ply the world over, and the humans to settle, beginning first in desert Anhur just across the Gulf then spreading to lands beyond and afar. In this time the old continent and its history have been lost to time, ancient civilizations of man and dwarf consumed once more by mountain and jungle, banished by neglect and forgetfulness back into the stones from whence they grew. History records almost nothing of this ancient time and the civilizations that once existed within these lost lands, and both our most coherent records and our counting of the years begin not from the emergence of intelligent life within the depths of the dark continent but on the year of the founding of the first civilization after departure.

My name is Siobhan. I am a historian, scholar, seeker of ancient truths, legend and lore, and the thrill of the hunt. A few years ago, I had learned that travelers had returned to the ancient continent and founded new coastal communities, the port villages of Sandpoint and Magnimar, providing an incursion for inquisitive and adventurous minds to return to Paziou and investigate the deep secrets of history. I and my sister Roisin, though somewhat reluctantly on her part, spent the next year preparing, gathering information and supplies, and at last catching a ship at Quenton to make the journey north around Anhur's coast to Sandpoint, where our investigation and adventure is soon to begin.

So rolled up a 10th-level Spriggan Arcanist (CR 13ish) in preparation for my Kingmaker session last night, and did some pre-game testing with her to have a feel for what I was up against. Note that this is pre-revision.

Her blood foci were in Conjuration and Protean Bloodline, with Spell Focus and GSF in both Conjuration and Evocation, Eschew Materials (bonus feat), and another feat I can't remember at the moment (sorry!). I actually was kind of lazy about the setup and didn't actually put together a whole spellbook for her, just what she had prepared at the time, but I can definitely see the appeal of having the ability to reshape your entire spell list when you find your setup doesn't quite work against your opponent - great for PCs for obvious reasons, as well as for recurring enemies or enemies who have the opportunity to study up on the PCs in advance.

In play, it really felt very little different from running a Sorcerer. Spells on-hand were about the same, spell slots available were about the same. She made very sparse use of Blood Focus, and the few times she threw it out, it was always to use her Protean Reality Wrinkle ability. (Saved her spell slots that would have been spent otherwise casting blur, likely, since she got it as a bloodline freebie.) It won't be missed. Combat-wise she tossed out some pit spells, ice storm, and black tentacles, flew away from melee threats, and plinked away at foes with Evocations when they couldn't reach her. Standard Conjurer tactics given she didn't have a BSF to go kill things for her.

Players should run into this NPC in next Friday's session so I'll be back then with live play results, hopefully using the revised Arcanist if it's re-released then.

I'll post her statblock when I get home, though that will be late tonight - it's going to be a long day here.

Grand Lodge 1/5

I love this blog! I just recently made an islander kahuna or priest, using the arcane healer bard archetype! I love to do this sort of thing with all kinds of classes! Thanks for this post, John! Awesomeness...

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You place a curse on the subject. Choose one of the following.

* -6 decrease to an ability score (minimum 1).
* -4 penalty on attack rolls, saves, ability checks, and skill checks.
* Each turn, the target has a 50% chance to act normally; otherwise, it takes no action.

You may also invent your own curse, but it should be no more powerful than those described above.

That last line is a potential gold mine. I know I've seen another thread like this but my search-fu has failed me so let's make another one. Let's see some interesting, fun, flavorful, and/or just plain out-there curses that fit the bill of "no more powerful" than the listed three but are certainly more interesting alternatives.

1. "May you be just about to sneeze forever."
The cursed character always feels as if they are just on the verge of unleashing a sneeze, yet it never comes. The stuffed, congested feeling refuses to fade until the curse is broken. If the character sneezes due to another effect (such as sneezing powder, another spell, etc.), the feeling is not relieved.

This imposes a -4 penalty on Perception, Initiative, and Concentration checks due to distraction.

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Act One: The Devil of Dark Wood

In the northern regions of Olympia, near where the Titans part to create the great mountain walls that separate the southern lands from the frigid terrain of the Ice Claw, tucked away in a series of valleys and plains between the mountain foothills and the westernmost edges of the Sentara Woods, is the city of Meinwenn. Northernmost true city in Olympia, this metropolis is sequestered at the foot of the mountains, built like its capital predecessor onto the slopes of the Titans through the masterwork combination of human ingenuity and kobold skill. A city of trade and travel, it is the last northbound and first southbound gateway of Olympia before entering or after departing the icy tundra of the lands beyond the mountains.

Yet it is not in Meinwenn that our story unfolds, merely where it begins. For in Meinwenn is where our protagonists receive word of trouble, adventure, and mystery. A couple of days to the east, at the edge of the elven wood, lies the village of Rybalka. There a strange rash of unprecedented crime has been unleashed. Animals and people have gone missing, seemingly without reason or hint as to their departure, frequently over the past few weeks. Furthermore, the city's temple and library, a shrine to Corian the Ascendant, has been raided and ransacked, seemingly without provocation. The villagers, wary of the dangers of the wood - this region, closest to human lands, is said to be fiercely haunted - have elected to request the aid of investigators from afar, and called upon the adventuresome population of Meinwenn's ever-shifting citizenry to answer their pleas.

Our story begins five days after the temple incident, as our would-be heroes complete the two-day journey to arrive in Rybalka at dusk's first dark.

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"Prince of Demons" contains an extensive set of criteria and list of possible options and sidequests that the characters can undergo for the - eventual - purpose of powering-down Demogorgon so the PCs can take him on pre- or early-epic. Without this, in the original system, he was a CR 32 threat that could easily trounce a team of 20th-level (or higher!) heroes singlehandedly. However, today was released a ruleset allowing PCs to take on monsters of that kind of caliber without relying on extensive epic-level advancement, and thanks to the blog and Wrath of the Righteous we have a solid foundation for the expectations of dealing with Demon Lords.

SO. What are some ideas for Mythifying Savage Tide?

(Note that it's been quite some time since I read through STAP extensively, so my memory may be subpar.)

I'd say the optimal place for the PCs to pick up their first dose of Mythic power is the Shrine to Demogorgon in Chapter Four, with the battle against Olangru and the Lemorian Golem as the capstone that gives them their abilities. However, if you wanted to introduce the power sooner, you could tie it to the Idol of Camazotz in Chapter Three, or even go back to Chapter Two and have them pick up Mythic somehow during the investigation of Kraken's Cove and the Savage Tide there. However, IMO at least, those are a bit too early and a little underwhelming for Mythic triggers, while decimating the villain's temple and destroying a golem built in his image pretty much screams the perfect opportunity.

Defeating Vanthus in Chapter Five is the next obvious advancement point, and the Bilewretch in Chapter Six and Cold Captain Wyther in Chapter Seven after that.

Scatter further advancement points through the Abyss after that (navigating Divided's Ire and nixxing Vanthus for good for starters; after that, negotiating with Iggwilv, Charon, Red Shroud, Ahazu, Shami-Amourae, Orcus, Malcanthet, and many others are all notable points, as are defeating/negotiating with Demogorgon's generals), and heck just scattering a few through the last chapter for successfully invading Abysm as needed. In a few months, thanks to Wrath, we'll have an example of how it looks to sic a level-20/tier-10 party on a full Demon Prince, and can use that as a guide for how an encounter with a non-debuffed Demogorgon should go.

Thoughts? Suggestions? Alternatives? =)

I've gotten PMs from someone I'm not interested in speaking to. Is there any way to block these? Or am I just limited to deleting them as they come in?

Anyone else read?

Warning, today's comic is both a major spoiler and a massive heartbreaker. Click back to the beginning if you're new, do NOT look at the newest strips.

Gonna try a project. Link me a picture of something interesting-looking and I'll try to stat it. =)

Shadow Lodge

Chapter One: Thorn Within

"So point your fingers, Point right at me;
For I am shadows and will follow you - One and the same are we...."


Noon rings twelve strikes on the great bell of the Grangoban, towering tall over the city of Suir - tradepost, military city, metropolis, and last leg of the first line of defense of northern Galadae against potential aggression and assault from the lands of Anhur. Despite the hint of impending threat, there is no brooding melancholy nor fearful hush over this city. High noon is a bustling, busy, noisy time of day as in any major metropolis, a vast swarm of activity milling about its many streets, market-goers and soldiers and travelers and simple passersby coming and going, living and loving, dreaming and doing. Were it not for the occasional sight of passing troops marking in formation as they move from base to base or go about their daily drills, it'd be easy to forget that the threat of war was only a few hours away, should someone choose to make the first move.

All is not peaceful, though, and that's where you've come in. Whatever your reason, you've found yourself in Suir, looking for work. The flyer from the military caught your eye: a simple bounty hunt, kidnapping, or search and rescue, it seems. Without enough information to discern which and no description of the missing, you've been forced to attend the scheduled meeting to glean more information. Noonturn, on the nineteenth of Ianuwary, at one of the military installations sprinkled across the city, Station Dair.

Dair is little different from any other Galad urban outpost: A large ring of buildings, some inventory, some barracks, some various training quarters, around a wide field used for drills, skirmishes, and the like, with a sturdy wall of stone and iron around its borders to prevent accidental or intentional civilian presence, patrolled by armed troops in groups of three to keep an eye out for too-curious flying passersby. For those familiar with the local timeline, Dair was constructed twenty-four years prior, after military forces being moved north to reinforce the border began to swell over the resources of the prior three stations. A fifth was built some nine years later, but none since, and the flow of volunteers and conscripts alike has slowed to where no excess appears needed.

The only entrance by ground to Station Dair is a single gate on the north side of the west wall. It is to here that your directions sent you, and a mention or a copy of the request flyer is enough for the attendants there to allow you entrance... albeit escorted by a soldier called, requiring a wait of a few minutes. Led in, you passed several barracks and training chambers before being escorted into a meeting and consultation area with a moderate-sized waiting room. Several simple chairs are arranged around a large wooden central table, where several pitchers of water and empty glasses have been left waiting for you.

You are left here in the company of other adventurers, bounty hunters, or would-be do-gooders, likely here for the same reason you are, with only a word of, "The Captain will be with you all shortly" from your escorts. Any attempts to leave the room are met by two armed soldiers stationed just outside, who ask you politely but forcefully to return to the waiting room until the Captain arrives.

N/A Entropic Axiomite Doodler 1/Author 5/Talespinner 7/Ad-Lib Artist 2/Worldbuilder 5

"And now the dreams and waking screams that ever last the night;
So build the wall, behind it crawl, and hide until it’s light."

Link to the player info document, for easy reference. Apologies again that it's so big, I tried to narrow it down as much as I could without losing too much necessary information. Be sure to read the racial sections - some of the core races (mainly elves and dwarves, sorry Tordek/BT!) have had their core flavor changed for the setting.

Campaign Starting Information:
All your life, all you have ever known was darkness.

The sun is a legend, its light long forgotten. The moon a myth, empty and vain. The cycles and patterns they established, more habit or tradition than fact. Years, months, days are as they are only because they always have been.

The year, such as it is, is 887 SA. Which stands for “Surface Abandoned”. 887 years - or so the sages have reckoned - since the Above was devastated by the Catastrophe, driving the survivors deep below ground. None - even the long-lived elves, ael, dwarves, or arachnes - still live that remember that world firsthand, but the earliest years of exile below were filled with the records of the escapees. They tell stories of devastation and loss, cities reduced to ash in seconds, magic setting the sky aflame, summer turning to winter in an instant, people turning to stone or smoke or water on the spot, or - worse - warping into insane, hungry monstrosities and devouring their friends, family, and countrymen without hesitation.

This is where you were born, grew up, lived, learned, and worked all your life, never having once seen the surface in anything more than books and paintings. Such dangers are lost to you except as part of history - now, you simply have to deal with warring neighbors, natural dangers, the occasional earthquake, rampant lycanthropy, lurking unchecked vampirism, and the hidden dangers of the dark imprisoned within the stone.

You're an adventurer, tradesperson, wanderer, or whatever you choose to call yourself, currently located in Galadae. You've had some historical success, a few minor adventures of your own or with friends and allies you've since parted ways with, and gotten some practice under your belt (hence your characters beginning at Level 2). You are in Suir, a city in northern Galadae. You're looking for work or money, bored and looking for adventure or entertainment, or perhaps feel it your civic duty to assist the powers that be when a notice for help catches your eye at a local inn, tavern, bulletin board, or waystation:

Wanted: Adventurers, Bounty-Hunters, and/or Trackers to locate and return missing person. Meet Captain Milton at Station Dair on 19 Ianuwary 887 at Noonturn for details. Payment offered.

Thanks to the Grangoban, the massive clocktower erected in the center of Suir, knowing the current time is far from difficult, and any native of the city can point you in the direction of the various troop stations on request, so finding your way to your destination is simple. Station Dair is a secondary facility for Galad soldiers - a training hall, medical facility, and fallback point should ground be lost against the Anhuri in the conflicts along the northern border. Thankfully it has been years since the Sand Empire gained ground so swiftly, so you do not fear having to worry about a sudden influx of wounded or retreating soldiers during your meeting.

Further information about the city, the region, the ongoing Galad-Anhuri conflict, or other world details can be ascertained with appropriate knowledge checks, gather information, and such like.

Our story begins with your arrival at Station Dair. An aide ushers you into a large, spacious waiting room with several chairs and couches as you arrive, informs you that Captain Milton will be arriving shortly, thanks you for your patience, and returns to his post.

"Have come ye now to seek the wise
Vafthruthnir, sage, the knowledge keeper?
To tell the tale of light's demise
With sullen cry, oh darkness seeker?

'Tis boots much smaller than thy own
Shall scale the mount to enter the hall;
Thy bones shall rest far from thy throne
When time shall come for the sun to fall."

A most intriguing tale, is it not? And merely the beginning thereof, penned centuries before even I set foot upon this lowly earth. One might declare such things prophecy; in my time however it has become foolish to place too much stock in the ideals of such preliminary declarations. Everyone knows the tales of kings and tyrants undone by prophecy, when had the word of divination been discarded and ignored all would have passed without incident or notice. No, most prophecy is merely a skillful maneuvering of the mind into predictable, expected patterns and a series of desired reactions... or a hidden message that all things have been put in place, arranged in advance, to give the impression to the unlearned, unaware, or unobservant that mystical precognitive power rests within the hands of the declarer. Such is the case in this tale.

But I get ahead of myself.

Some of you may know who I am, by reputation or rumor if nothing more. Many of you do not. Allow me to explain for the uninitiated and clarify for the marginally aware. I am The Informant. A sage, much like Vafthruthnir of old, keeper of knowledge, learner of legends and lore, giver and seeker of information.

What's that, you say? My name? Such information is highly prized, my guest, and all things come with a price. No, spare your coin; I only accept payment in such triflings for information of equal value and availability. Gold, for all its assigned worth, is plentiful enough that it passes through the hands of all of us from time to time, some more than others. Information, knowledge, truth, however... these have true value. Rarity, indeed, shared only sparsely and available to few, and as a merchant of the highest caliber I will accept only something of equal worth for that which I wish to distribute. Sometimes a favor, sometimes a task, sometimes a secret of equivalent value. My price? Nay, not the method by which I work. Rather, name your own price, curious one, and I shall determine if it be significant.

But we may attend to such business at a later time. For now, we are distracted from my true purpose here. My title you have, and it shall have to suffice for now.

The strange events of the past year have demanded answers from across the lands and over the seas, as far as the Isles of Senkaku and yes even the distant shores of Wachara and Teremvor. And the blame lies at our dear kingdom's feet, and dare we blame them? For the lands to the north have no king, answer to no lord, and did the storms of vengeance not sweep through our forests and our plains, ravaging the land and scarring the sky? But no, the blame is not ours to bear. Thus have I been summoned before the queen and court, to provide our questioners with the answers they so seek.

For knowledge is my business, and it is business I do well.

Still yourselves. The tale is long, and there is much to tell. We shall return to the mysteries of Vafthruthnir in time. His name shall mean much, you shall soon see, but more important are names with which a sparing few of you will be familiar, and the rest no more so than that of a long-ancient giant sage. This is a tale far more recent, for it begins no more than a trifling few years ago, at the closing of the year, in a village of our very own - a tiny hamlet upon the border of our lands, neighbor to Sentara of the Elves, a little place called Somerset.

It is here that we begin the tale of Fimbulwinter, the Storm of Storms.

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To avoid taking over Magical Beast's thread, I'll just move this discussion over here. Sorry for the derail MB!

So as stated in the prior topic, my players have voted four-to-one to scrap mass combat entirely. Which, I don't blame them. Any mass combat system complex enough to be interesting will likely be a pain in the neck for us to learn, and the extremely simplistic one packaged with Kingmaker/Book of the River Kings doesn't have the detail and complexity wanted by the one player who wants mass combat and is sluggish and boring for the rest of the group.

What they'd rather have is a system in which they get to be the superheroes that Pathfinder PCs level 5+ are supposed to be - shock troops and one-wo/men armies who can stand their ground against entire hordes of lesser opponents. And, for situations over even their head, the option and opportunity to find, mentor, and train NPCs with similar superior potential to fight alongside them in the "small army" of their kingdom.

Well, it certainly supports the Royals Who Actually Do Something trope. =)

While this saves me having to learn a new mechanical system, it also requires me to replace the mass combat sections of the story with massive fields of mook soldiers, preferably with a handful of superior general "boss fights" for the party to actually have difficulty with after mowing through or fireballing down the mass of enemy forces. From what I remember, the places where Mass Combat is a big thing are in Chapter 4 (where there's some barbarian gangs, if I recall?) and Chapter 5 (versus Pitax).

For the Barbarians, I'm heavily considering just using the 3.5 Mob Template to create massive enemy swarms for the party to fight. For Pitax though, they're more likely to have regimented soldiers who will hold the lines and fight in a more traditional warfare manner. By this point, also, Irovetti (or in my game, Havelock) would be well aware of the party's shock trooper techniques and have prepared ways to face off against it, either trying to overwhelm them with sheer numbers or to face them with equally-few but superior forces of his own.

Thoughts? And any scenes I missed?

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By suggestion of this thread, here is where I shall be displaying some of my ideas for magically-potent versions of ancient animals.

Let's begin!


Amorphous Elasmosaurus
CR 10 - XP 9,600
N Huge magical beast (aquatic, water)
Init +8; Senses low-light vision, darkvision 60 ft., scent; Perception +17

AC 26, touch 13, flat-footed 20 (+4 Dex, +1 dodge, +12 natural, –2 size)
hp 132 (12d10+72)
Fort +16, Ref +12, Will +11

Speed 20 ft., swim 60 ft. (90 ft. in elemental form)
Melee bite +21 (2d8+13/19-20) or 2 slams +21 (2d6+9)
Space 15 ft.; Reach 20 ft. (15 ft. in elemental form)

Str 28, Dex 19, Con 22, Int 4, Wis 16, Cha 9
Base Atk +12; CMB +23; CMD 38 (42 vs. trip)
Feats Dodge, Great Fortitude, Improved Critical (Bite), Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Toughness
Skills Perception +17, Swim +20
Languages Aquan (cannot speak)
SQ amphibious

Compress (Ex) Due to its semi-fluid nature, an Amorphous Elasmosaurus can squeeze without hindrance through spaces that would normally not allow a creature of its bulk to pass. As a full-round action, an Amorphous Elasmosaurus can move up to its Speed through a Space narrow enough to permit the passage of a Medium-sized creature or larger without penalty; it can force itself through a space only large enough for a Small creature, but its speed is halved and it is considered flat-footed during this process and until its next turn.
Elemental Form (Sp) An Amorphous Elasmosaurus can assume the form of a Huge Water Elemental as a standard action; this functions as an elemental body VI spell except the Elasmosaurus does not gain any of the size bonuses, penalties, natural armor bonus, or swim speed increase (though it does gain the greater swim speed of the elemental itself, listed above). It can return to its normal form as a free action. While in elemental form, an Amorphous Elasmosaurus is effectively invisible underwater, and gains a +30 racial bonus to stealth as long as it is submerged.
Vortex (Su) In its water elemental form, the Elasmosaurus can create a whirlpool as a standard action, at will. This ability functions identically to the whirlwind special attack, but can only form underwater and cannot leave the water.
Water Mastery (Ex) An Amorphous Elasmosaurus gains a +1 bonus on attack and damage rolls if both it and its opponent are touching water. If the opponent or the Elasmosaurus is touching the ground, the dinosaur takes a –4 penalty on attack and damage rolls. These modifiers apply to bull rush and overrun maneuvers, whether the Elasmosaurus is initiating or resisting these kinds of attacks. These bonuses and penalties apply regardless of which form it is currently in.

Amorphous Elasmosaurs are seafaring predators who evolved from lesser common plesiosaurs due to frequent exposure to elemental energies, often due to their hunting grounds or lairs being near a rift to the Elemental Plane of Water. They have developed the ability to dissolve their bodies into liquid form, mimicking the elementals from which their power is inherited, and hunt stealthily through the water near-invisible and unheard as they pursue prey, then reverting back to their natural form to attack - these Elasmosaurs almost universally prefer the taste of live prey, and always fight in their natural form unless on the hunt or forced to take elemental shape.

In areas with a high population of Amorphous Elasmosaurs, especially if there are large levels of competition among packs or within a pack to establish an alpha, it is extremely common to see Amorphous Elasmosaurs with a second neck and head replacing their tail, due to two of the creatures accidentally or deliberately retaking physical form while in the same location and merging. These Elasmosaurs have the Amphisbaena template in addition to the extra abilities of the statblock above.

Hello SS folks =)

After nearly four years of hiatus, I've decided I want to run Savage Tide again. However, save two of my players I have a completely new group these days, and the chances of gathering up the remains of my old one - even after the coming year or so it will take to finish the Kingmaker game I'm in the middle of - are slim to none, so I've decided with the approval of the two players who remain to restart STAP from the beginning.

Unfortunately, my last group was halfway through The Lightless Depths - at level 10, and halfway through the plot - when the game I ran back in 2008 finally died out. So that's six chapters of STAP that, while some things might be different, would still be pretty repetitive to the two returning players. To keep it interesting for the people who have run through this bit before, I decided I'd use another adventure to insert new plot threads, new dungeons, new NPCs allied and enemy alike, and possibly shore up some parts of the plot. As the title suggests, I obviously decided to go with Serpent's Skull. (Skulls and Shackles was actually my first choice, given the shared pirate theme, but one of my players has expressed repeated eagerness to run that one, so I decided I wouldn't steal it from him.)

So I'd like this thread to be collective advice for merging the two. Fleshing out weak encounters in both plots, fitting things together, interweaving the various details. There's a good bit of fortune in that there's already some bit of a decent-sized snake theme in STAP - a few Yuan-Ti are encountered in early chapters, building up toward Serpents of Scuttlecove - and it doesn't take much reflavoring to paint Demogorgon as a major patron of the snake people, now even superior to Ydersius since the latter's decline. It also allows me to move STAP's plot out of Greyhawk, where I ran it previously, and into my own homebrew setting, something I'm really enjoying converting over for my current Kingmaker game.

Here's the basic ideas I have so far for plotting things out:

1. Run There Is No Honor as normal. Maybe replace some of the Lotus Dragons with Yuan-Ti.
2. Run The Bullywug Gambit as normal, up to Kraken's Cove. Have a few Yuan-Ti in the ruined Cove, to note their resistance to the Savage Tide (as blessed of Demogorgon, one of their gods, I'll be allowing them to add their Poison resistance save bonus to their saves versus Savage Fever), but at least one to show they aren't immune. Possibly change the Bullywugs/Boggards to something else. (Not Yuan-Ti though - have Harliss despise them.)
3. Mingle The Sea Wyvern's Wake with Souls for Smuggler's Shiv and possibly Racing to Ruin. As the Factions won't be a thing, RtR may need some further adjustment, but I recall SWW being the chapter that bored my players most; the only part they really enjoyed was the Sargasso. Perhaps have them get caught in Journey's End, and have Smuggler's Shiv's islands be inhabited floats within the mass? Then discovering the cannibals, instead of worshiping a Ydersian ghoul, they revere the Mother-of-All? (And yes I know the levels won't line up, but I'll be running the thing Gestalt again so I'll be adjusting everything anyway ;) )
4. Run Here There Be Monsters as written, or with the adjustments I made prior. Other than utterly grossing out everyone (including myself) with Olangru's temple, the players LOVED this chapter. I had them actually make it to Farshore, but they had gained a third ship, the Nightshark, from one of the pirate encounters and let the NPCs sail off with the Sea Wyvern, so I turned it from an escort-the-squishy-low-level-NPCs mission to a rescue-the-squishies one, which I think they enjoyed better.
5. Mingle bits of City of Seven Spears and Vaults of Madness into Tides of Dread. Replace most of the Olman ruins on the island with old Yuan-Ti stuff, or have the Yuan-Ti predate the Olmans. Tie the strange, demonic worship into the serpent theme. (Yes, my setting uses Yuan-Ti rather than Serpentfolk, so all SS's guys will become Yuan-Ti.)
6. The Lightless Depths? This is where my last group left off. They enjoyed the first parts - dealing with Emraag, the descent (even the Black Pudding, which scared the daylights out of the Barbarian and Cavalier), the Mongrelfolk village. But once they got to Golismorga, despite having tons of fun with the Lovecraftian flavor (which I am VERY loathe to lose, otherwise I'd simply just replace the whole chapter with The Thousand Fangs Below), they seemed really frustrated about the railroady nature of it, especially when we got to Tlaloc's Tear, which was the very last thing that happened in my prior play-through: they were already wary of the aboleth-disguised-as-trog-ghost's advice, and thus unanimously decided not to smash the Tear and flood the undercity. Advice would be very welcome.
7. Really play up the snake themes in Serpents of Scuttlecove, possibly integrating parts of The Thousand Fangs Below not used in Chapter 6. This chapter is probably one of the stronger ones for the purpose of tying these two together, but I never got to run it myself so I can't say how well the adventure itself holds up. I also want to tie the Lemorian Half-Fiends to the Yuan-Ti somehow: in my setting, Yuan-Ti have a process they call Petitioning where, after performing rituals for some time (involving consuming certain meats, being subjected to venom via injection and ingestion, wearing the shed skin of a Yuan-Ti, various ritual activities, etc.) they can transform another humanoid into a new Yuan-Ti, usually a pureblood but on rarer occasions a Halfblood, Abomnination, or even Anathema. I'd like the Lemorians to be a specialized variant of this ritual, used by the Demogorgon-worshiping portion of the serpentfolk.
8+. Beyond...? No real concrete ideas for the later points in the story. Adding Sanctum of the Serpent God to Wells of Darkness somehow is really the only solid idea I had thus far: WoD was frequently viewed as the weakest STAP adventure, so it seemed like the best place to stick Ydersius (or whatever I convert him to) so that he'd be able to have his moment without upstaging Demogorgon.

Any advice would be appreciated! I also posted this over in the STAP forum, so hoping to get input from both sets of players and GMs in the long meantime between now and when I actually begin running this again. Greatly looking forward to it, and would like to use all that time to make these two plots work together as well as possible. =)

Looks like the links for "last post in this thread" and the link that goes to each individual post (under the "x hours x minutes ago" or "date and time" text on the right of each post, next to Edit/Reply/Flag) have vanished some time within the past ~30 minutes. Gary, what button did you click now?? ;)

EDIT: And now they're back. Huh. Nevermind then?

Dual Path feat specifies that the character gets both of the first-level abilities of their respective paths, but makes no mention of the final 10th-tier ability. Does this mean they only get the ability from their base path? Or is it missing some text that should say they get both, choose one of the two, or something else?

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