John Davis 2's page

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Thanks for the help, guys. It sounds like Linguistics is the easiest way to solve the problem.

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

I have a couple of questions about Nosoi Psychopomps taken as Improved Familiars:

1) Their languages are listed as Abyssal, Celestial, Infernal. Can they learn any others, and if so, how?

2) They have an innate Speak With Dead ability (3/day at 12th level), which sounds really interesting. However, since this is language-dependent, isn't it almost useless? They can't even employ an interpreter or use their ability to let someone else speak with dead, so they can only speak with dead creatures which speak Abyssal, Celestial or Infernal, which must be a very small group indeed...

Thanks in advance,

The B scenarios are a lot less scary if you remove the Carrion Golems, Arboreal Blights and Demonic Hordes until you start AP 1.
Adding a couple of blessings to the blessings deck is a good idea for 4 players too.

Climber's Gloves reads: "After you shuffle a location deck, reveal this card to examine its top card."
If an effect causes several decks to be shuffled (such as a villain escaping), can I use Climber's Gloves to examine each shuffled deck, or just one of them?
I know Ring of Climbing has errata but it's not obvious to me whether this should also apply to the Gloves...

I'm finding AP3 pretty challenging with 4 characters. One of the scenarios I failed twice before completing it, and I've had one character down to 0 cards in his deck and a couple of characters down to 2-3 cards. The last scenario I completed on the last turn of the Blessings deck.

Sure, a well-equipped Alain should be able to defeat most villains, but you're not always exploring with Alain. Earlier today Harsk encountered a villain and had to make two DC30ish checks to defeat him - he succeeded, but could easily have failed, even with help from other characters. And earlier, Alain lost by 4 to an Ivory Guardian, which was painful.

One thing that has bothered me in Wrath of the Righteous is the distribution of types of boons available. There seem to be many opportunities to acquire weapons, armour and allies, but very few opportunities for spells or items. At the end of AP 3 my spellcasters are still carrying spells like Agility and Frigid Blast because they just haven't found anything better :-(

Thanks Vic. I hadn't seen the thread on the Canyon. For now I'll play it as a Summon - if this isn't the case, this gets nasty...

Follow-up Maggot Swarm question: I have three characters at the Canyon location and one of them explores and encounters a Maggot Swarm. How many Maggots do the characters have to fight? I think the answer is "three each" but I want to be sure.

Follow-up question: do I have to beat every Maggot Swarm by 4 (to avoid having to shuffle it back into the deck), or just the first one, or the first one each character fights?

Hawkmoon269 wrote:

It applies whether you reveal the lance or discard it, since they are separate sentences and it only refers to "this check" not to "if you discarded it."

Also, notice they are separated by the sentence about proficiency penalty. So it is no more tied to discarding it than it is tied to taking the proficiency penalty.

Thanks Hawkmoon, that's the way I have been playing it - I just had a moment of doubt... Amazingly quick response too :-)

Does the condition "On this check, you may reveal a card that has the Mount trait..." only apply if you are discarding the lance, or can you use it when you are only revealing the lance?

I pressed on but have been defeated by the scenario. I encountered, among other things, 2 Spiked Pit Traps, 2 Poison Spiked Pit Traps, 1 Explosive Runes, 1 Bilious Bottle and 2 Arboreal Blights.

I really hate the barriers in WotR...

carterjray wrote:
As other people suggested, I'm not sure why this location wouldn't be your priority to close first? When I played through it I put all four characters there and powered right through it, then spread out after that.

The problem is that all 4 of your characters need to pass Wisdom 10 checks or Eustoyriax is evaded. That's pretty challenging unless you have a handfull of blessings. Then you need to win a combat 22 check with the exploring character (by no means trivial, since you have just recharged your hand). And, assuming you win the combat, Eustoyriax escapes to a random location and you lose 5 cards from the blessings deck. If you're really unlucky, he may even return to the Chasm of Shadows...

Gauntlet of Ruin: "If you would defeat Eustoyriax, but the Chasm of Shadows is not permanently closed, Eustoyriax is undefeated instead".

I have just encountered Eustoyriax at the Chasm of Shadows. So far as I can see, I can never defeat him, since I can only close the location after I have defeated him. Is this really the designer's intent? If so, it seems harsh.

Thanks for the replies. Glad I picked it up now :-)

The villain Faxon has the following rules text: "While you act, before any character plays a card, that character recharges a card."
Does this effect trigger each time a character plays a card, or a maximum of once per character?

Suppose I have Mist horn in my hand ("Display this card next to a location. Reduce damage dealt by monsters at that location by 3") and I encounter a Mongrel Wizard ("Before you act, Mongrel Wizard deals 1 Acid damage to you. After you act, Mongrel Wizard deals 1 Poison damage to you"). When am I allowed to play the Mist Horn and what damage can I prevent?

There are many old posts on this site with variants for making the game more challenging. It might be worth you looking at some of those. The game does get a bit harder as you progress, but I suspect you still won't find it very challenging from what you've written here.

I think this sort of deck stacking could work if you had a non-playing "dungeon master" to do the setup. If it's done by the players it really does change the game balance a lot - knowing which monsters and boons are coming up is a massive advantage and I think would also reduce the tension a lot.

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Last Saturday I was exploring and encountered a Locked Stone Door. After a mighty effort (Find Traps spell and Blessing of Abadar) I managed the Dex 17 check to defeat the it - "If defeated, examine the top card of the location deck and return it to either the top or bottom of the deck". Top card was a Chime of Unlocking (Reveal to defeat a barrier with the Lock trait)...

Doesn't sound broken to me. I don't usually find healing to be a decisive factor in whether I complete a scenario or acquire useful boons...

I've reached the end of AP6 successfully with two duos:
Amiri + Lem
Valeros + Sajan
Both were fun to play. I've also played Kyra + Seelah but they died in AP6 so not particularly recommended :-(

Definitely overpowered. Far too many abilities compared to other allies.
Even if his only ability was "Recharge this card to add 1d4 to your check", I'd still use him!

Hawkmoon269 wrote:

Well, admittedly I've never tried any of these things, so I can't speak to their effectiveness. Can I ask a few questions though:

1. What size groups are you using this in and what are their make up? (I'm wondering if you have any "weaker" skills where the highest in the group is only a d8 or less.)

Various groups of 2-4 characters.

Hawkmoon269 wrote:
2. Are you through deck 5 yet? If so, how has this worked with some of the really high closing requirements and other higher checks?

Yes. Only really an issue in scenario 5 which doesn't have too many locations to close. But you do need to play for closing more, rahte rthan just relying on blessings to do all the work.

Hawkmoon269 wrote:

3. What was the reason you felt your d4 rule was necessary? I'm surprised you implemented this if you didn't usually see more than one or two blessings.

One of the biggest improvements is ha it encourages characers to carry the blessings they actually want to use for themselves. Without this rule, the blessings are effectively a single pool shared by the whole party and it doesn't really matter much which character has which blessings.

Apart from that, knowing other characters can only add d4s to your checks means you have to think more about what your character can deal with on their own. Additionally, all the non-blessing boosts are relatively more useful - this helps the Aid, Find Traps and Cloud spells, Lem and Valeros' powers, Wand of Enervation etc.
Hawkmoon269 wrote:

4. How often do you feel you fail a non-combat check? (Either to defeat/acquire or as part of an encounter or closing requirement.)

Hard to say. Maybe 1 in 3? apart from sme of the really hard checks with little downside which we wend to fail all the time ("Dexterity 12 check or take 1 damage", "Wisdom 8 chack or difficulty of checks is increased by 1" etc)

Hawkmoon269 wrote:

I play with the standard rules and we also tend to not spend more than a blessing or two on a check, other than the villain. But I was under the impression people using the d4 rule did so because so many blessings were being played. Basically, I guess I'm wondering if we'd experienced the same thing in the standard game but had different levels of desire for success rates. I'm just curious how it works for you. Thanks for sharing.

Hope this helps,


Hawkmoon269 wrote:
One thing I've seen people say they do is limit blessings. I've seen people say they only let the blessings be a d4. Or that they limit the number. Or that they limit them to only from the same location.

The variant I recommend is that blessings played on other characters only give d4s (unless the character has some special power to give a bigger die, like Seoni's). I have played this a lot and it works well.

One thing I've thought of, but haven't tried since I'm happy with the game as is, would be "Diminishing Returns on Blessings". Basically, the first blessing adds the same die (or 2 if it is the right blessing), but the second one adds the next smaller die, and the third even smaller, until each one is only adding a d4. And the character powers would override that. So if your character always added a d12, it would always be a d12 and not effected by the diminishing returns.

I don't think this would have much effect. It is pretty rare that I see more than one or two blessings played a check (except when everyone's throwing one in to defeat the villain at the end).

There are 2 problems with scenario 5 which combine to make it too easy:
1) There is one less location than normal
2) One of the locations contains only the villain

With 2 players, there are only 21 encounter cards, and there is not even any danger of meeting the villain when you are not set up to defeat him. It's just dig through those two locations, defeat the henchmen, close the locations and then take whatever time you need to defeat the villain.
I just don't think it's a fitting climax to the adventure.

Having played scenario 5 with two characters a couple of times, I recommend adding an extra location, at least for small groups. The scenario wasn't particularly difficult, given that it is the final scenario of adventure 5.

Pirate Rob wrote:
Related to this, can I recharge the spell I've discarded to Seoni's power since it counts as playing a spell?

No, because you are not playing THAT spell. Seoni's power does not have a recharge ability.

Lollingsgrad wrote:
Do you think this would make the game far too easy? Any specific examples where it would be totally broken?

You are definitely making what is already a pretty easy game easier and also potentially removing some of fun too - a lot of the memorable moments happen when an unprepared character has to fight a difficult opponent. If you want to be able to choose which character encouters each enemy, stock up on spyglasses, augury spells etc.

Draco18s wrote:
John Davis 2 wrote:
The house rule I use to tame blessings a bit is: Blessings played on another character always add d4s, unless the character has a power which overrides this. This has the nice side-effect that it actually matters which character has which blessings in their deck.
Oh god, adding d4s? No. No. No one would ever play a Blessing on someone else for a freaking d4.

With respect, this isn't just some crazy idea I've just thought of. I've played two groups of characters through to the end of AP4 with this rule, plus some other house rules to make the game more challenging. I'm not suggesting everyone should use it, but if you're finding the game too easy, this might help.

The house rule I use to tame blessings a bit is: Blessings played on another character always add d4s, unless the character has a power which overrides this. This has the nice side-effect that it actually matters which character has which blessings in their deck.

Munchwolf wrote:
I was going to suggest the same reward, but specifically each player can look through the item deck and take any potion they want.

Sorry, yes, that's what I meant.

Interesting idea.
1) Take out all the Blessing of Irori stuff. It's needlessly complicated.
2) Rather than using the Mystic Inscription, create a new card with the rules you actually want. This way, you can have multiple different checks to defeat if you choose. Use a Poison Trap to represent it, until it is encountered.
3) Reward: each player may choose a potion. This is a low level quest and only merits a low value reward.

Best of luck!

Colin McMillen wrote:
I liked the harpies' ability -- it guaranteed that we had both Valeros and Lem's "add 1d4+3" feats available every time. ;)

Not so much fun if your group has Harsk rather than Valeros (as mine does) - no way he's going to make that Wisdom save!

It does suck to get pulled to the courtyard or mountain peak though.

On the upside, if you defeat the Harpy Monk at the Mountain Peak, you get to close the location before it affects anyone else. Not so with the courtyard :-(

Erixian - possibly so by the time you reach AP 4, but removing monsters earlier gives a better experience for APs 1, 2 and 3. Also, I'm removing some non-Basic monsters, which would not be removed in AP 3 or 4 anyway.

I removed (most of) the AP 1 monsters at the end of AP 1 and (most of) the AP 2 monsters at the end of AP 2. Definitely gives a more challenging and thematic game.

An easy way to implement wandering monsters is to replace a few of the cards (3-6) in the blessings deck with random enemies. when a player reveals a monster, they immediately encounter it.
I've played this variant a lot and I think it improves the game.

Thanks for making these available, it is appreciated.

There's not much point just posting stuff like this if you haven't even playtested it yourself. Why don't you try them out and then post the ones work best?

Thanks for posting, this game certainly give some memorable moments!

Unfortunately, Vic, that link doesn't work :-(

Captain Bulldozer wrote:
Lini is so good that she's really too good. As a result, expect for her version in the next AP to be a little more balanced!

Really? I've been playing Lini solo and it has been really hard work. Even with discarding a card, revealing an animal and playing a blessing, she's only got 2d10 + 1d4 as a combat check, which can easily lose even against lowly 8-strength goblins. Some of the villains have been really hard to defeat - such as Nualia (1d4 damage before combat and then two combat checks). Earlier today I lost three combats in a row against Jaagrath Kreeg (combat 15 then combat 21). And I've really struggled at Guard Power pocations (encounter a bandit henchmn at the start of each turn).

Yes, she's good, but I've also seen her lose her hand to a bad combat result far more often than any other character I've played.

Just a quick post to say I am really enjoying Fortress of the Stone Giants. The difficulty of the game is definitely increasing and some of the new opponents are very nasty (looking at you, Harpy!).
Congratulations to the design team, this game is getting better and better.

Kennell Frederick wrote:
I also like the idea of adding 1 location to a scenario for solo adventures. Does anyone have any other ideas for making solo games more difficult?

What I do is replace some (typically 3-5) of the cards in the Blessings deck with monsters chosen at random from the box. When you flip a monster, immediately encounter it. Definitely adds to the challenge!

Looking forward to the next one. Really enjoyed Hook Mountain massacre!
I appreciate all the work that you guys have put into this - thanks for a great game.

1) How often would you expect to fail a scenario (time out the blessings deck)?
About 5% playing with 2-4 characters. Most common loss is Here Comes The Flood.

2) If you played the entire Adventure Path (packs 1-6) through ten times (just imagine!) with an average of 4 characters per playthrough (i.e. 40 characters in total), how many times would you expect to see a character die?
Don't know, haven't seen AP 4-6 yet. I've lost a couple of characters in maybe 200 scenarios so far. But I'll take some risks with characters to keep the game fun.

3) What would you do if a character died (and was not legitimately resurrected by some game effect)?
Either transfer in another existing character or put the party "on hold" until I play some more characters up to the right level (I am playing a number of parties in parallel and occasionally transfer characters between groups anyway).

Background: Late 40s, live in UK, used to play a lot of RPGs (only occasional now), board games, wargames, CCGs. Before Pathfinder I played a lot of the Lord of the Rings card game, which is far more challenging (the last LotR scenario I played, I failed on the first 5 attempts, even as an experienced player with access to all the in-print cards).

Jjiinx wrote:
Has anyone here played with the house rule that "add 1 die to a check" (such as blessing of the gods) should be interpreted as "add 1d4 to a check"? It seems like a huge difficulty adjustment and I'l love to hear any insight regarding it!

Haven't tried this but I use a house rule that blessings played on other characters always add d4s. I've used this in a lot of games and it works well.

I've kept a few basic cars in - sage, troubador, amulet of life spring to mind. Might keep some of the fundamentas spells too (cure, detect magic, invisibility).

Must say I completely disagree with kryvnus - I think this is a great scenario. I've beaten it twice in 3 attempts and it was a tense, fun challenge.

On the bright side, if you fail the scenario, you still get to keep the ally you Charmed :-)

h4ppy wrote:
John Davis 2 wrote:
One house rule I've used to increase difficulty is that dice added by blessings played on other characters are always d4s.
You're going to have fun when you get to the role cards (which turn blessing dice into d12s in some situations)!

Use the Golden Rule :-)

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