Any thoughts on how one would run Ghoul Fever in 5E? I'm not sure why it was removed, but its loss kind of breaks the plot of the AP I'm running, so I'm going to add it back in.
With only three diseases in the DMG and no real discussion of how disease is supposed to work in 5E, they don't give us much to go on.
I've seen other GMs say they just run it like it works in 3.x/PF, which I can do, but it ends up feeling a bit out of place compared to other status effects.
I guess, in the long run, it doesn't really matter, as the party includes a paladin who is likely to cure the infection on any PCs before it really becomes an issue (and NPCs can just succumb or not as the plot demands), but I'd still like to have some rules to work from.
Last month I started a new run of RoTRL with 6 new players (I previously ran it for a group of 6 that expanded to 7). Whereas my original run started in PF and then converted to 5E at the start of Sins of the Saviors, I'm doing 5E from the start this time around.
The idea behind this thread is to discuss what I've done to convert Burnt Offerings, any issues that came up, things I might want to do different if I did it again, etc. If this ends up being popular, I'll create like threads for the later chapters as we reach them.
I am working from the Anniversary Edition of the AP.
I am using the general rule of "Divide PF DC by 2, then add 5, adjust if needed."
The PCs all started at level 3 (I worried that level 1 5E PCs would be far too easily murdered by 5E goblins, as the latter have a much higher to hit bonus and damage than their PF counterparts) with 30 point buy and a feat. (Alt humans get some tweaks to compensate for the lost bonus feat) All in all, I like the additional options granted by feats and the added flexibility granted by the 3 more points for attributes.
I also converted the Campaign Traits from the ROTRLAEPG and the APG to use 5E rules and had each PC take one. (I'll dedicate the next post to listing them.)
I am using Milestone leveling. I plan to have the PCs hit level 4 after defeating Nualia. I realize this means the PCs will go a long time before they hit their first level-up, but I want to keep the general level feel the same as in the AP (I have buffed a few opponents in the early fights to keep them from being a cakewalk.)
I am actively trying to reduce the number of generic magic items in the campaign while including flavorful ones (sometimes changing or customizing items to do so.)
The party, as of the start of the campaign consists of:
Two players missed the first session and joined up in the second:
No, these characters aren't related, though they both use bows and both players have the same IRL name. Confusion abounds.
This won't be a campaign journal or have in-depth recaps, but will mostly look at the nuts and bolts aspects of converting the mechanics over and the results thereof.
I switched my campaign over to 5E at the start of chapter 5. Conversion hasn't been too tough, though the party now has enough Sihedron Medallions and Rings to make the ascent to the Pinnacle of Avarice, so they'll be facing off against big-K very soon and here is where I'm running into issues.
Because spellcasters in 5E have way fewer spells per day (particularly high-level ones) and they way the Concentration mechanics work, I have to throw out his tactics as-written in the AP.
I have made a houserule that allows Thassilonian specialists to prepare and cast 1 additional spell of each level per day at the expense of their two oppositional schools (since specialists are the default in 5E and don't gain additional spells or have oppositional schools.) So I'm looking at giving him Meteor Swarm and Shapechange as his 9th level spells. (Time Stop really isn't that useful anymore, since Concentration prevents the layering of buffs and the various Wall spells require concentration as well.)
Since he'll have Shapechange, I'm wondering what would be an appropriate transformation for him. (I know giants would be out, since they're slaves from his perspective.) I was thinking either Adult Gold Dragon (since how often do the PCs get the opportunity to fight a metallic dragon, most of the time?) or a Pit Fiend. Both, again, are questionable, since the Runelords saw dragons and fiends alike as servants to bend to their will. Is there something obvious I'm missing? As a 20th level caster he can become anything CR 20 or lower.
I figure he'll probably Shapechange once the PCs close to melee, since it will give him an HP boost, plus, as a dragon or fiend, he'd still have the ability to cast spells if necessary.
I'm definitely going to consider Karzoug a Legendary creature, so he'd get Legendary Resistance and Actions. So far I've got:
I'll also give him Lair actions within the Eye of Avarice. I decided on the following:
For those familiar with 5E, does this seem like it should work well? Any suggestions on tactics for him? He'll still have his blue dragon, glaive, rune giant and wardens of thunder.
The party will likely be 16th level when they face him, consisting of a half-orc Battlemaster Fighter, half-orc alchemist, half-elf rogue, human barbarian (wolf)8/druid(moon)4/ranger(hunter)4, human light cleric, and halfling warlock(GOO)2/bard(lore)14.
Figured I'd share some of the house rule feats I'm using for my 5E games.
One note for Thug, I have house-ruled the Great Weapon Fighting style to do Strength modifier damage on a miss if the roll is within 5 of the target's AC, so Fighter/Rogues can't use a great sword and re-roll their sneak attack damage. A different option would be to restrict the feat to only allowing sneak attack with one-handed weapons.
I recently coverted my RotRL game over to 5E. As part of the conversion, I re-worked the PCs magical items to eliminate a lot of the fluff and bring them more inline with the 5E aesthetic. (I also wanted to replicate some of the PF abilities that didn't exist in the 5E version of their characters.)
Frost Giant's Heart (requires attunement)
This was modified from a Belt of Dwarvenkind. I figure there are other versions based on the other giant types. A fire giant version would grant fire resistance. A stone giant version would grant Darkvision and allow a rock-throwing attack. Etc.
I gave this item to the Wolf Totem Barbarian/Druid. Her player decided to take the height increase, with the added side effect of her dark hair turning white and her normally yellow eyes turning ice blue when she rages.
Blackspike (requires attunement)
This was given to the party rogue, as a replacement for his +2 corrosive rapier. The acid lingering ability was to help make up for his loss of bleeding sneak attack.
Impaler of Thorns (requires attunement)
Obviously, this is an existing weapon in the AP, but with very different abilities. The original was pretty lame (IMO) and collecting dust in the party's bag of holding, so I decided to give it some abilities more worthy of the name post-conversion. It's now the main weapon of the alchemist.
Chain of Penitence (requires attunement)
This was a conversion of the holy silver flail used by the trip-focused fighter.
Robe of Runes (requires attunement):
Another converted item from the AP, though this is more on-par with the original.
Flame of the Dawnflower (requires attunement by cleric or paladin of Sarenrae)
This is was a custom weapon for the party cleric, obviously modified from a flametongue.
I wanted to take a moment to share my version of the 5E Alchemist. Since 5E doesn't have 6-level casters, I opted to make it a 5-level caster.
I basically took a mix of the paladin (believe it or not) and warlock to create the abilities.
Haven't had a huge amount of testing yet (we've only played two sessions of our RotRL game post-conversion) but so far so good.
So this happened a couple sessions ago, but I keep forgetting to write it up.
The party was infiltrating Hook Mountain and encountered the hags and Bayden (I moved him into their room because I knew the party would shred the hags easily without any physical support, and of course lone bad guys never do well.) The party's Dual-Cursed Oracle of the Dark Tapestry decided to try to hit one of the hags with Murderous Command, which failed due the Mind Blank they all had up, even after she forced a re-roll of the save with Misfortune.
The hags retaliated by hitting her with Baleful Polymorph. The oracle failed her Fort Save and found herself turned into a toad. I double-check the spell description and have the player roll a Will Save to retain the oracle's mind. Which succeeds.
Baleful Polymorph wrote:
If the spell succeeds, the subject must also make a Will save. If this second save fails, the creature loses its extraordinary, supernatural, and spell-like abilities, loses its ability to cast spells (if it had the ability), and gains the alignment, special abilities, and Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma scores of its new form in place of its own. It still retains its class and level (or HD), as well as all benefits deriving therefrom (such as base attack bonus, base save bonuses, and hit points). It retains any class features (other than spellcasting) that aren't extraordinary, supernatural, or spell-like abilities.
So, by succeeding on the second save, she maintains all her supernatural and spell-like abilities, as well as the ability to cast spells that aren't hindered by her new form. Since she had Silent Spell and Eschew Material Components, that meant anything without a Somatic Component was fair game (at 1 higher level, of course.)
End result, a flying toad (thanks to Wings of Darkness) hitting people with things like Murderous Command and Touch of Madness, immediately prompting Hypnotoad jokes from the players.
So, I know from reading the wikis that the Consortium is a sort of evil mirror to the Pathfinder Society. My question is, how reliable are they to do what they're paid to do.
Quick summary (or as quick as I can make it):
I used the version of the Foxglove letter in the Community Created Stuff thread as a handout and the players started obsessing over all the random stuff in it "Why would a ghoul need a diving helmet? Is there something in the water under the manor? Why did he pay all this money to something called the Aspis Consortium?" and start making plans on going to Absalom to find out what Iesha was doing there. After repeatedly telling them the current date and giving them a link to the Golarion calendar, I finally tell them "All this stuff happened before the campaign started. Also, Absalom is thousands of miles away. You'd have to pay someone to teleport you there if you wanted to get there in a reasonable amount of time." to try to get them back on track.
After this, they realize the money to drop at the Saw Mill was likely for nefarious purposes, rather than actual trip, but forget about the fact that according to the ledger, the last drop happened months previously and calculate that according to the previous schedule, the next drop should happen in five days, making plans to stake out the sawmill that night. I just roll with it at that point, because at least they're moving in the right direction.
The next day the party decides to do some investigation. The party, through some knowledge checks, knows The Brotherhood of the Seven to be a somewhat prestigious secret society of nobles within Magnimar, but no one knows who their members are, being secret. They also know the Aspis Consortium is a trade organization that also does some mercenary contracting and funds "treasure-hunting" expeditions to various locales. I likened them to the for-profit rival archaeologists Indiana Jones runs into.
Aleksandr, the human fighter is the disowned son of a Magnimar noble house and has a maxed out Linguistics skill. He decides to forge a letter from Aldern Foxglove stating that the fighter has been placed in charge of Aldern's business ventures while Aldern is away. I roll for him secretly and get a 28. He then takes the wizard and the cleric with him down to the Bronze House to see if they can find out what Aldern was up to.
After a brief moment where the clerk at the Bronze House mistakes the wizard for a nobleman out with his two bodyguards (I've been playing up the paranoia in the city created by the "Star Murders" and that all nobles refuse to go out in public without multiple heavily-armed bodyguards), the fighter introduces himself, explains the other two are in his employ and they're here at the request of his friend Aldern Foxglove and presents his forged letter to the clerk. The clerk examines it, pulls out a pair of obviously well-made/possibly magical spectacles to examine it again (providing a nice moment of tension) before nodding and informing them to wait while he retrieves the necessary documents.
A few minutes later, the clerk returns and addresses all three of them by name and informs them that "Director Sloan" (I can't find a title for the guy anywhere and I couldn't pass up a high-level operative in a shady organization being called Director Sloan) would like to speak to them in his office. Here's what I had happen next:
The party went back and forth with him, gathering some information on Magnimar, the Star Murders and Xanesha's public face, as well as what Aldern paid them for (I told them he funded a treasure-hunting expedition in the Mwangi Expanse. The sort of high-risk, high-reward ventures that someone on the cusp of losing their fortune might engage in) while Sloan got information by the two Thassilonian ruins they had encountered, some information on the Runewell (but the party used their one refusal to not tell him how to activate it) as well as how he knew Aldern was dead (he received a message from Sandpoint). Sloan also offered them a job should they find the hero thing wasn't lucrative enough.
I tried to play him up as personable, but shady, and very much with his hands in many pies, but I'm not sure I played the shadiness up enough.
The party is now about to venture into The Shadow Clock. They had left Ironbriar and the cultists' bodies in the Sawmill after looting them and then holed up to decipher Ironbriar's journal (which took them 3 days. I rolled really well for them.) They have since heard that a Justice Dormus is investigating Ironbriar's murder, having found no evidence of the Skinsaw Cult or their activities on the scene, but instead all the mill workers dead along with Ironbriar, who had a seven-pointed star carved in his chest. (Xanesha and her stalkers were busy hiding evidence and I figured them making Ironbriar look like another murder victim after the fact would be a nice twist.) The City Watchmen who worked closely with Ironbriar are also eager to bring his killers to "justice". They also know the Council of Ushers is debating whether to use city funds to resurrect Ironbriar, as he was a respected servant of the city and they believe he died in the line of duty.
With one corrupt Justice already exposed, the party doesn't know whether they can trust Dormus or any of the others, so they don't want to just come clean with him and present their evidence. But they also don't want Ironbriar to be resurrected.
So they came up with a plan that's rather convoluted:
1) They will send their translated copy of Ironbriar's journal to Lord Justice Argentine with a letter explaining themselves, and that they have proof to back up their claims.
2) They are then going to stash Ironbriar's original journal and the cipher key they created in Aldern's secret stash in the 3rd floor fireplace. (They moved into the Foxglove Townhouse after they killed the stalkers, using a forged letter from Aldern giving them possession of the house.)
3) They are going to pay the Aspis Consortium to store the lion key until they or their authorized representatives come to reclaim it.
4) They are going to send a letter to Aleksandr's (the disowned noble fighter) one brother who still likes him, telling him that should anything happen to Aleksandr (they're convinced they're going to find a marilith in the Shadow Clock and likely be killed) he should go to the Aspis Consortium for the key, and then to Aldern's townhouse to open the stash and deliver everything within to Lord Justice Argentine.
So, my question relates to action number 3. How likely is Sloan to screw them over?
My gut is he'll stick to what his organization was hired to do, as direct betrayal is bad for business. And from his perspective, all he's receiving is a key with a lion's head on it. It's obviously important, since the party is paying for its safe-keeping, but they're not telling him what it's for or what it's protecting. I would imagine he would at least snoop around into what the key belongs to. And if he somehow catches a hint at something as important as the personal records of a corrupt Justice and leader of a murder cult, I imagine he'd be very anxious to get a hold of it.
My PCs are nearing the end of book 2 and I had them encounter the following rumors/overhead conversations on the street:
"I saw the Scarecrow. I swear to Abadar. He was stalking down Starsilver Lane last night, larger than life, his eyes burning like a forge and the bloody heads of his victims hanging dripping from his hand."
"You been hitting the flayleaf again?"
"Pshaw, someones always doing that down there."
"They should call him Morty One-Eye with the way he's always 'seeing' things."
"What was a po-dunk town like that doing with a gambling barge anyway?"
"Beats me. Some noblewoman was running the place. Course she's dead now, so you can't really ask her why."
"Cailean's cloudy cup! Isn't that the third one this month? The Lord-Mayor needs to do something, or soon we'll all be washing our own small clothes."
"The good Justice is doing his best. No one has even come forward to say they witnessed one of the murders."
"Still, it's been months and people are still dying. At some point you have to say enough is enough."
"How would Graham even know what a demon looks like? Last month he saw a firepelt and thought it was a displacer beast."
"What's the running bet on how long this one lasts before Lord Renova finds out and takes him on a 'hunting trip'?"
They're now worried they're going to have to fight a Marilith. :)
Anyone else have any good rumors/stories their party encountered?
(BTW, the spider-things is a reference to a random encounter the PCs had while patrolling Magnimar at night in the vague hopes of catching the murderers in the act. One of the random encounters in the Magnimar book is an "An earthquake opens up a cavern, releasing 1d6 shriezyxes", which is a bizarrely specific occurrence for a random encounter chart. It didn't help that once they dispatched the beasts and summoned the Watch, I unconsciously made the guard rather nonchalant about it, complaining about having to fetch a wheelbarrow. This prompted my players to wonder how often this sort of thing happens in Magnimar and proceed to crack jokes about it.)
So in my RotRL game, Orik surrendered to the PCs and was a general font of information about Thistletop (at least what he knew) for them. I played up "just a regular merc who fell in with the wrong people/made poor decisions" angle, particularly where it came to Nualia and Lyrie. They decided to spare his life after swiping his magic armor.
Keeping that angle in mind, when the party just recently made it to Magnimar in pursuit of those behind the Skinsaw murders, they ran into Orik in an inn, dressed in the guard uniform of a minor noble house. Orik informs them about the Sihedron murders in Magnimar and they have everybody on edge, with some nobles among the victims prompting every house that can afford it to beef up their security. Hence his new job. He then informs them that he has it made, and that he even gets a "special bonus" from Lady Rinova, wink-wink, nudge-nudge.
The two Maginamarians in the party (the alchemist used to supply "discrete" services to assorted nobles and the human fighter is the disowned member of a noble house) recall rumors about Lady Rinova having flings with her hired help, and then said help disappearing under mysterious circumstances.
The two of them allude to this history, but don't flat-out say it. I figure Orik is going to somehow survive by the skin of his teeth and flee West, eventually ending up in Turtleback Ferry and being one of Lucrecia's favored customers.
Should he survive that, I'm at a loss as to any further hapless situations he'll find himself in. Maybe I'll just leave it there and have him move onto Korvosa. (I haven't read CotCT yet, but if I end up running it at some point down the road, I'm sure I'll find an appropriate cameo point for poor, foolish Orik.)
Anyone else pick this up?
I've played about 8 hours so far and I'm enjoying it (annoying bugs aside). I like the assorted references to Batman: Year One and even one (that I found so far) Easter Egg nod to Mask of the Phantasm.
The casting of someone else as Batman because they wanted a "younger Batman" and then having him doing his best Kevin Conroy impression is kind of silly, but he does a decent job.
I've played the previous two games on the 360, but I'm playing this one on PC because my dad was building a new rig and ended up with two Steam codes for it, and tossed one my way and free is better than $60. (To clarify, I'm an adult with a family of my own and my dad is in his late 50's, lest someone think my claims of playing TT RPGs for 25 years elsewhere on this site are somehow contradicted by this statement. :P )
My video card is a little behind the times (GTX 460) and doesn't play nice with the latest drivers, but once I got the settings figured out, it runs fairly well. It also has no problems recognizing and working with a 360 controller.
This came up in one of the numerous Swashbuckler class threads.
The complaint is that how hard a character is to hit has no bearing on their actual skill (though one can argue that hit points already reflect this somewhat.)
My suggestion on how to fix this would be to base AC/Defense on the highest of either 10+Reflex or 10+BAB+Dex (remove Armor and Natural Armor bonuses completely from AC make them DR instead, but let everything else, including Shield bonuses, still apply to AC) This would let you reflect both "slippery" folks like Rogues and skilled combatants like Fighters as both being tough to hit.
Doing that, since AC/Defense is now based entirely on being able to avoid being hit, you can probably ditch Touch AC as a separate value. (Effective values of Touch AC would go up a bit for shield-using characters, but I don't know that that's necessarily a bad thing.) Certain spells/abilities may need to be modified a bit, though.
If you're already eliminating Touch AC, I would argue for eliminating a separate flat-footed AC value as well to maintain the streamlining. That, and while flat-footed as a concept makes good sense and characters caught off-guard should definitely be easier to hit, I've never understood why a quick character is effectively penalized harder than someone who is slower. I'd probably pull something like the +2 to hit vs. flat-footed opponents form 4E.
Of course, armor as DR also introduces other quirks to the system. You may want to allow weapon finesse to automatically grant Dex bonus to damage instead of Strength, or you may end up with the Dex-based types unable to actually cause any damage outside of a crit or sneak attack against armored foes. (Then again, this might be considered a feature rather than a bug, depending on the type of game you want to run.)
There's a lot of discussion on the boards that rogues get outshined by other classes in stuff that's classically the rogue's schtick. (Sneaking/trap-finding and removal/opening locks, etc) Just trying to throw these ideas at the wall and see what sticks.
One idea that occurred to me was expanding/adapting the Trapfinding mechanic a bit by introducing the concept of Rogue Specialties. (I realize this may step on the toes of certain archetypes, but at the moment I'm focusing on trying to come up with a "fix" for the base rogue first.) This method would need a little more work, as the different specialties would need to be developed and balanced. Here's what I threw together quickly:
Specialty (Ex): At 1st level, a rogue chooses two skill-related Specialties. The options are as follow:
Improved Specialty (Ex): At 10th level, the rogue chooses one her Specialties. The bonus to skill checks increases to 3/4s of the rogue's level.
Extra Specialty (New Rogue Talent): You gain one additional Specialty.
Give the Rogue a bonus feat every 3 levels. The bonus feat can only be used for Skill Focus or one of the dual-skill feats (like Alertness). This would be really easy to implement, but kind of boring.