I would use knowledge, nature or profession, alchemy as potential skill checks. I would alter the DC based on the surroundings. Obvisouly you can use judgement in assigning the DC too. If the campaign will not benfit from your players wrestling with lycanthrophy I would lower the DC to promote the chance that wolfsbane would be found.
I like how you’ve positioned the PCs as the last hope to contain a situation that could otherwise entirely wipe out Clover’s Crossing. Hopefully the characters will be motivated to stay and help.
I’m assuming you have four to five PCs and the average party level (APL) is 4. If so, the CR7 wizard encounter would be considered an epic difficulty per the challenge rating table in the core rulebook. I would let them sleep before that. Maybe the cleric mutters something as he dies that will warn them to take inventory of their resources before continuing. Or perhaps the human slaves ask to be led back to the surface and ask the PCs to stay for a village meeting to discuss the situation.
My guess is they will need to rest before the CR7 encounter. In APL/CR terms, your ghoul patrol ranks as a hard encounter and the cleric encounter ranks as challenging. Even though you stripped the cleric’s powers, when you tell the PCs that a cleric of pharasma turns to collect their brains, they will probably unload on him, depleting many of their resources.
For my 5th level caster the extra hit points of the summoned creatures have meant they last for the full spell duration rather than being dropped before the spell ends. In part this is due to the additional damage they're doing too. They put down opponents faster which increases their longevity. If you find yourself using summon monster to call multiple, lower level monsters often, you might consider superior summoning too.
The encounter was all a bad dream. Little did the bard know that the drink he accepted in that bar in Lepidstadt contained the venom of a Shiver Dream Spider. The group attempting to gain information about your motives to defend the Beat (Esoteric Order, the prosecution, etc.) was trying to "loosen your tongue" but instead threw you into a coma. Your DM rolled his saves and unfortunately the bard failed and lapsed into the bizarre dream about Morast. When your bard wakes, the summoner is standing next to him in the university medical school, wondering who slipped him the drug.
Sean Mahoney wrote:
Agreed. While Mr. Schneider did some great writing in the Journal, I would prefer something like these that focus on key personalities in the module/campaign. I also like that this tool engages the players as well.
I'm only two modules into Carrion Crown as a summoner, but spells that target touch AC, like acid arrow, are much better choices if you choose offensive spells. Summoning elementals and celestial template monsters have been useful for me. The Smite Evil ability of the celestial template has been key, since we've ruled that Smite Evil allows the summoned monsters to affect incorporeal beings. Spells that target Will seem more useful in the second module. Disrupt undead has been useful and if you don't have a rogue with disable device you'll need to pickup Knock.
He should have some sort of cat as his constant companion. I would probably go with one of the large cats like a panther for a good thematic match with a fighter, but if you need something more plausable then a smaller, black housecat. Whenever the hound, or the soul-laden drawing of the hound, gets close, the cat senses the presence of the hound and does all the things scared cats do, like hiss, arch, fluff up, etc. A big fighter overly concerned with his cat could lead to all types of speculation, or he could play himself off as an animal lover to the druids.
If your PC does play a paladin, I would consider an antipaladin. I know that may be a bit cliche, but I think you won't have to do much more work to create a nemesis for your PC paladin. I could see putting your paladin into situations where he needs to act and yet that act causes the loss off an opportunity to smite the antipaldain - like save a drowning child as the antipaladin who just threw the child into the lake laughs and walks away.
The reflex saves for the paladin and inquisitor may be their lowest save, so I would put a nemesis in that focuses on battlefield control or blasts. I'm leaning towards an arcane caster, rather than your alchemist. That role could also provide a quick, magical means of escape.
If you're tied to your gunslinger I would emphasis the roguish element - perhaps make him part of an organized group he can tap for resources that help keep your rival party one step ahead. I'd make sure he can land a shot from long distances - a sniper vs sniper scenario against your PC sniper would build upon the childhood tension already built into your story.
Erik Freund wrote:
Care to share more on the concept? Does the orrey help PCs through the dungeon, take them to the dungeon or become the objective at the end of the dungeon? I'm curious to see how the three pieces (Rozenport, dungeon and orrey) intersect.
I would add the Misfortune and Fortune hexes. Since you only forfeit your move with cackle, you can keep adding and extending hexes in combat and they can stack. Your spells should reflect your party. Specifically, if you need AoE attacks, focus on those since your hexes are generally single target specific. If you could use another front line member, you can pick up summon monster.
I'm echoing several posts here but I think rephrasing with a new presepctive..first, however, I am definitely am a fan of wizards.
From a DM planning perspective wizards may represent more work because they represent many variables. For example, when faced with an opponent in combat, the fighter will most likely turn to melee combat. The wizard, however, represents a multitude of variables, reflected in their spell options, which may impact the campaign arc in an unpredictable way. If a DM is not good at working around unplanned results in their campaigns, the wizard may be a stressful point of chaos in an otherwise orderly, masterfully planned campaign arc.
I think part of why players may not run is because they're incented to fight. They are heroes who fight where other can and will not. Taking away that as the prime reason for combat may help. I think awarding some degree of experience for surviving an encounter also offsets the other major game mechanic incentive to fight (XP).
Another idea to setup an encounter requiring a retreat would be to preface that specific encounter with smaller encounters that deplete your caster resources, healing capabilities and health. This should make them less confident in their abilities to deal with anything and perhaps more likely retreat and then return later at full strength.
Steve 'Taz' Cansdale wrote:
Would you mind sharing the experience tracker?
I'll second the question about paper minis for Carrion Crown. That would be a great resource.
Personally I feel sitting down at the gaming table represents a commitment and desire to interact with the other players at the game. For example, many of our group commit to traveling a good distance to game because they desire to role play and interact socially. If texting or IMing occurs to the point where a lack of commitment is felt by the others players then I will ask that player to reconsider their desire to be a part of the group. I feel if they spend most of their gaming time texting another person then perhaps they should be spending their time with that person rather than the folks at the gaming table.
Your party might welcome having Kendra along as a local, human liaison. Per the players guide, Varisians are a superstitious lot. The players guide even mentions a subconscious resentment for elves. I imagine the sight of a tiefling would send children running to their mothers. You have some great role playing opportunities with the races your characters have chosen.
I'll have to post on recent experience. A gnome witch, but a big part of the fun was the gnome aspect of the character as well. He took vomit swarm so just picture an 3 foot something gnome vomiting a whole swarm of spiders (which would subsequently crawl back in - that was a whole lot of fun for everyone. Most of the part would take part of their subsequent round to comment on how disgusting they found the whole process. I guess the take away is that the entire character (class, race, personality) makes up the fun for me.
My assumption is that he is headed for surgery, chemotherapy and radiation treatment to treat his stomach cancer. Having lived day by day with someone who went through that regimen for another type of cancer, I can tell you treatment will be brutal. There may be days when he'll need motivation to just get out of bed. Running his campaign may be that motivation.
I'll echo what was said before. Kingmaker will always be there; your friend may not be. Play his campaign. Help the new players - you can set them up with classes that are more simple to play. If everyone is having a good time working through the learning curve shouldn't be too big of a problem.
Do you think they'll stick through a whole AP?
If not, the first Kingmaker adventure is very sandbox in style, i.e. ride over to this hex, explore, fight; ride to next hex, explore, fight. Lots of action to keep them engaged. They should be talking about their battles from session to session.
When you get into kingdom building later you might begin to lose them, however, but you could always end the AP after the first and second adventures when the exploration transitions to kingdom building.
I think the guidelines found in the bestiaries for these races, however, lend themselves to a playable PC:
With conjuration as your focus, I like summon monster I due to the extended duration you receive with your conjuration focus. I would propose the option of going divination as an opposition school since spells like identify and locate object can be used when you have downtime. I do, however, prefer to ready spells that support combat either as battlefield control, buff, debuff, etc. If you drop enchantment as an opposition school I would pick up sleep at first level over feather fall.
Find a new player for your Carrion Crown adventure, one that is really excited by the CC Player's Guide. Instead of having K play, have the new individual play.
If K approaches your husband at work about being "kicked out of the group" your husband can honestly correct him by clarifying that he was not "kicked out of the group" but rather another member of your group identified someone that you wanted to give a turn at the table.
I would split corruption and depravity, using the PF insanity rules for the mental side. For corruption, I would use the old Ravenloft Campaign Setting Power Check system.
If you have access to the old Ravenloft Campaign Setting the rules for Power Checks start on page 82. Essentially the system was a way to tempt characters down the path of evil by rewarding them for evil acts with physical awards that had increasingly disturbing side affects. For example, +4 to stealth, but only when you're on all fours and your hands grow leather pads and fur, resembling paws. Or you can cast charm person once per day, but when you do spider skiiters out from your clothing.
Corruption occurs through six phases, but I would usually let player know that I would declare their player forfeit if they reached the sixth phase of darklord. As characters move further down the path of corruption, the side effects get increasingly disturbing. For example, while the character could cast summon swarm twice per day, the also develop a ravenous appetite for rotting meat. If they didn't consume at least 10 pounds of rotting meat a day they would take d4 Con damage because the swarm the character summons actually grows and lives inside them. If the swarm is not fed, the swarm consumes the character. From the flavor side, the swarm comes our the character's nose and throat and returns back into the character at duration end.
I loved this system and would encourage Paizo to develop something similar.
If you're a drow and spent most of your time underground and in dark areas, the clouded vision curse might be a good flavor combination?
What is the rest of your party playing? If you need flexibility, the witch draws from both the arcane and divine spell list.
If your party has most of the bases covered, you could specialize as an oracle in divination.
In playing a witch I found misfortune and fortune, both put into play and extended with cackle to be a powerful combination. I took extra hex as my extra feat and stacked cackle on top of misfortune right at first level. My decisions were not based on character flavor, however, but optimizing debuff power. IMO, however, the hexes are so good you definitely want to take extra hex at first level.
Can a first level human conjurer wizard cast summon monster I with a duration of four rounds? Here's my thought process:
1. Spell Focus - conjuration (prereq. for Varisian Tattoo)
I guess this relies on varisian tattoo stacking with gifted adept. As the character advances, would I calculate the 1/2 level bonus for the conjuration school summoner's charm before adding the varisian tattoo and gifted adept bonus or after?
Excellent point. In linking back to the OP question about a general power ranking, I think this flexibility puts the witch class even more in balance with the wizard.
I've only looked at the witch relative to the wizard and only at low levels. My opinion is that the two seem balanced, with perhaps the wizard being more powerful. While the witch has hexes like sleep, evil eye and misfortune which are powerful, especially when combined with cackle, the witch gives up some significant offensive and defensive spells such as color spray, grease, invisibility, blink, mirror image and displacement, although some of these can come into play for the witch depending on the patron selected.
The group I'm in rolls too: 4d6 drop the lowest, assign as desired.
If the player beat the odds and none of the ability scores are above 11, there's a discussion within the context of the campaign, i.e. will the character be interesting or will the character die right out of the gate. A reroll may be allowed in the latter case.
The characters will need to track some of the black market items back to the source (use a plot hook to align to the mission of your inquisitor). Turns out tracing the source takes them into interaction with a series of thieves guilds where your rogue can shine. They'll find shipments of alchemical items, very rare woods, huge heating vats and blank parchments for scrolls. Ultimately they get to a key thief boss, who lets them know that there is some big money floating around for some unusual items. Plus...there is a big shipment coming in. As the characters intercept the shipment they get their first insight into the mystery: a book titled A Treatise on Jellies, Puddings and Other Dangerous Oozes.
In order to get to the Sorcerer Ooze running the whole show (who somehow broke free of the gelatinous prison in which he was enslaved), they'll need to get through:
On occasion, they run across abyssal and aberrant sorcerers and their respective gangs. The ultimate goal of the sorcerer ooze is to become a fiendish ooze.
Turns out there are other inquisitors who are dedicated to containing oozes. The sorcerer ooze escaped from them and perhaps they can team up with the PCs for a big final battle.
Perhaps older than tribes of drow, the party must journey to an ancient temple in the heart of Xendrik. Here live the descendants of Aeren, kin to the elves who left Xendrik and formed Aerenal. Using the same magics as those of the Undying Court in Aerenal, the cleric can be brought back from the dead. But there is a heavy price. The adventurers must offer a Siberys dragonshard. The NPC drow knows of only one dragonshard, which is guarded by [insert creature appropriate for party level]. The path will be dangerous and traps are for certain, but if successful, the cleric will join the living again and perhaps the Aeren will reward the party with the Siberys dragonshard for their bravery.
Steve Beaman wrote:
Yes, the familiar is a spellbook of sorts. The witch must choose the spells to prepare after resting and then spend an hour communing with the familiar to finish the preparation. If the familiar dies the witch can cast the already prepared spells but cannot prepare any additional spells until a new familiar is secured. A new familiar may be secured a day later after conducting a ritual that costs 500gp per level of the witch. The new familiar starts with all 0-level spells and two spells of each level from which the witch was able to cast before losing the familiar.