Keep Calm and Carrion's page

Organized Play Member. 482 posts (961 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 3 Organized Play characters. 8 aliases.

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Phillip Gastone wrote:
No doubt people are going to be rather freaked out by the fact that Bran can spy on their sexy fun times. 'King Bran is watching you sexxor'

Also, he can warg into either partner. Maybe into both.

Maybe his white-eye moments are just him surfing for weirwood porn.

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Irontruth wrote:
If you only go by what was shown... literally the only thing he does to affect the story is confirm Samwell's findings.

It's true that the showrunners chose to deemphasize the ambiguous magical forces of GRRM's world. We don't get as much reflection on the nature of prophecy, for example, or Bran's hidden exploitation of Hodor's body, or Sixskin's attempt to escape death.

But that doesn't mean these elements are entirely absent from the show. You hear a lot of complaints that the show was hamfisted, gratuitous--but it was capable of subtlety and nuance, up to the very end.

Was Bran a puppetmaster? Without being in his point of view, where the novels should take us, it's impossible to say for sure--your perspective, that he was useless, is just as much a fan theory as my own. The text is open to interpretation. I rather enjoy the ambiguity.

One place I regret how the show leaned away from magic is with Dany's relationship with her dragons. There's plenty of material in the books implying that she and Drogon have a wargish connection, that he responds to her strongest emotions and supressed desires--and vice versa. The actions of Drogon after her death--sparing Jon, destroying the throne--gain an additional layer of meaning if it's possible that something of Dany's spirit lives on in Drogon, as the spirit of Orell lived on in his hawk.

One of GRRM's greatest accomplishments as a writer is his ability to imply so much more than he says outright. It would be a shame to restrict our appreciation of his ideas to the ones that are revealed with absolute certainty.

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I like that Bran's chessplaying is left hidden in the margins of the show. I mean, it seems clear enough--whenever someone apologizes to him, he's like, "Hey, it's what was needed to get us to this point." It's amusing to see people miss the forest for the trees: "Ugh, Bran's so useless, why is he warging out in the middle of the battle? Why doesn't he DO something?" The kid can mentally travel through time and influence people's actions in the past. He's not checking his email, folks.

Then, at the end, "Why do you think I came all this way?" Heh.

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Geborah picks up the bottle and smiles. "You really are the most remarkable scoundrel, my sweet." She uncorks it and fills one of the tiny glasses with the potent spirit, then slides it to her waiting familiar.

* * * * *

Not long after, 'Auntie Geb' approaches one of the guards on duty at fortress Balentyne's gates. "Young man, if you please...my songbird is terribly ill. I beg you, take us to Master Rayard at the rookery. I know he doesn't see many visitors, but he'll want to help, I know it."

Golachab does in fact seem quite ill. She'll have a devil of a hangover, Geborah thinks.

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LE Female Changeling (Ash Hag) Cleric (Theologian) 4 // Witch VMC | HP: 34/34 | AC: 18 (12 Tch, 16 Ff) | CMB: +3, CMD: 14 | F:+6, R:+4, W:+9 | Init: +4 | Perc: +10, SM: +13 | Speed 30 ft | Active conditions: none

As the top of the Frosthamar’s mast sinks beneath the water, Geborah cackles and rubs her hands together over a tree stump she set burning to vanquish the chilly morning air.

“Isn’t this just the best game ever? I swear none of them suspected a thing until the seconds before Tatienne drove her tines in. That’s how it should be at Balentyne.”

“And it will be, thanks in no small part to our secret weapon, here.” She reaches out and grabs the back of Timeon’s neck, giving him an affectionate shake. Her eyes gleam, remembering when she had him on a literal leash in the dungeons beneath Cardinal Thorn’s mansion. He’s grown an inch or two since then…but Balam and I still have him firmly bound. “By the subtle providence of Asmodeus”—and the hidden hand of His Eminence—“we have among us the ideal guide. Timeon grew up in the town of Aldencross, in the shadow of Balentyne tower. We shall rely on him to tell us many things about the town, its people and customs, as we lay our plans for its conquest. Do your part well, squire, and who knows? Perhaps Cardinal Thorn will make you lord of these lands once the nation is restored to the proper worship of our Dark Prince.”

She looks at the circle of faces gathered around her fire. Her respect for these men and women has grown and grown. If she ever had doubts about their ability to carry out Cardinal Thorn’s will, she has none now.

“Let us consider how we might best set in motion the fall of Balentyne tower. We have a month to accomplish that—but for caution’s sake, let’s allow ourselves three weeks. It seems to me that before we take any action against it, we should take a week or so to learn all we can of its strengths and weaknesses. Of course, we forsaken cannot enter the town as ourselves—we know from our encounter with the shore patrol that our stories and descriptions have been circulated far and wide. I think we should present ourselves as a small caravan of travelers who fell in together to make the journey here but aren’t otherwise connected. That way if one of us falls under suspicion, the rest of us won’t be immediately condemned.”

“Timeon, you can’t lie convincingly, so you’ll work to say as little as possible. When you’re recognized, you’ll explain that Sir Balin died in the line of duty and that you just aren’t ready to talk to anyone about it—that you’ve returned to Aldencross to rest a while. Sir Balam can be a kindly knight of Sir Balin’s order who has assumed responsibility for you and is considering taking you as a squire once you’ve recovered. Perhaps he can offer his services to the fortress; even if he isn’t accepted, he might learn much from its captains.”

“Tatienne, I think you could most easily pass for a traveling scholar. Perhaps you could be writing a book about the great fortresses of Talingarde—dedicated to the glory of Mitra, of course!—and seek permission to explore the tower and interview its inhabitants.”

“Wraith, it would be useful for one of use to pose as a traveling merchant, and you best fit that role. Not only could you exchange our hides, ivory, and captured weapons for gold, and perhaps find us items necessary to our plans, you could ingratiate yourself with the town’s shopkeepers, and see what you can discover about the tower’s supply.”

“Jezabel can pass herself off as a traveling entertainer, ‘Saucy Sally Madcap’. She can sing and play the fool. People expect and tolerate a certain amount of eccentric behavior from performers, so she’ll have license to do and say and ask things others couldn’t. She could learn much in the taverns of the town.” Of course, with her voice and her sense of humor, not everyone will believe she could make a living performing… they’ll assume she makes money entertaining men the old fashioned way. Which could be useful, too. And I’m sure it won’t be the first time Jezabel’s been offered money for that.

“I plan to have ‘Auntie Geb’ be a newly displaced servant looking for a new situation after the death of her old master. I will approach various people in the fortress looking for employment. Whether or not I get a position, I should be able to see behind the scenes of the castle’s daily life.”

“Nothing says we have to stick to these disguises, of course. For example, if I get a job that gives me access to a library that Wraith could exploit, we could switch disguises. And of course we could stop using a disguise that has attracted too much attention, or create a new identity to take advantage of a new opportunity. These just seem like good roles to start with.”

“But I’m sure you folks have ideas too. There’s no rush to choose. What do you think?”

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Jezabel wrote:
Ahahaha! Always jumping to conclusions. It need not be a spy. The gods might have spoken to them. Plenty speak to me.

Geborah nods as if agreeing. ...or he could have been deluded. It is hard to imagine a spy that could deceive Tiadora.

When the captain mentions stopping for water, Auntie Geb cups her hands and whispers an incantation. Her hands immediately overflow, and the smell of fresh, clean water rises from the splashes at her feet. "If it will save time on the journey, Captain, I will gladly refill your barrels with fresh water every day--water enough for everyone on the ship, or if you prefer, just myself and my companions, so that you can stretch your remaining stores to the journey's end. It would seem safer not to stop, and our job is to keep you safe."

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LE Female Magpie Familiar (Magical Beast) | HP: 17/17 | AC: 16 (14 Tch, 14 Ff) | CMB: -1, CMD: 9 | F:+2, R:+4, W:+5 | Init: +4 | Perc: +12, SM: +6 | Speed 10 ft, 40 ft flying | Active conditions: None

"Horrors. Horrors."

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LE Female Changeling (Ash Hag) Cleric (Theologian) 4 // Witch VMC | HP: 34/34 | AC: 18 (12 Tch, 16 Ff) | CMB: +3, CMD: 14 | F:+6, R:+4, W:+9 | Init: +4 | Perc: +10, SM: +13 | Speed 30 ft | Active conditions: none
GM Phntm888 wrote:
The snake yet stands, however.

Now there's something you don't see every day.

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LE Female Changeling (Ash Hag) Cleric (Theologian) 4 // Witch VMC | HP: 34/34 | AC: 18 (12 Tch, 16 Ff) | CMB: +3, CMD: 14 | F:+6, R:+4, W:+9 | Init: +4 | Perc: +10, SM: +13 | Speed 30 ft | Active conditions: none

Dearest. Geborah coneals a shiver at the word.

"Tiadora. I had no doubt you'd wait for me...a little while, at least. May I present Tatienne Talbot of Cheliax--Balam Kael, a knight sworn to the Dark Prince--Wraith Bonewalker and Jezabel--Dante Alighieri--and Grumblejack."

She arches an eyebrow when Tiadora denigrates Grumblejack. "He has followed orders loyally and well; such service deserves to be rewarded."

Geborah is clearly accustomed to such comforts as the manor offers. After a steamy bath, she demands that the maidservants dress her hair elegantly and lacquer her nails. She watches them closely, eager to punish any mistake, but finds no fault in them.

Sense Motive on servants: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (10) + 8 = 18

"Tiadora's trained you well," she remarks. "Tell me everything you can of her. Now."

The servant's livery might offer hints to who their mysterious master is...

Knowledge: Nobility: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (3) + 5 = 8

...but Geborah recognizes none of their insignia. She has them dress her in red silk and black velvet, the silver Archstar burning on her throat, and composes herself to meet the master.

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There's a million ways to make this work, honestly. Perhaps it's best to start with your bad guy's personality and motivations, to narrow down what sort of masquerade she'd be most comfortable with and find most useful.

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Good roleplaying at my table entertains me and my players. I try to encourage it. Offering mechanical advantages on rolls is worth trying; it might be just the motivation that some players need to put a little more effort into their play.

Try to be interesting. Try to be eloquent. Try to be memorable. It makes for better games.

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TarSpartan wrote:
CdG is a full-round-action, exposing one to attacks of opportunity. It is rare that multiple party members cannot reach one another with a double-move, so the odds of being able to pull this off without taking significant damage from another party member are slim.

A full round action takes a character's entire turn. Examples include a full attack action, running, and withdrawing. The action is complete by the end of the character's turn--there is no opportunity for other characters to double move, or take other non-immediate actions.

In any battle where combatants are temporarily helpless--hit by Hold Person, for example--coup de grace is the optimal strategy. Creatures like wights that create spawn when they kill should coup de grace as a matter of course. Creatures motivated by hate and revenge focused on a single person, like Revenants, should coup de grace the second they get their chance.

I've used coup de grace as a threat from an NPC more often than I've used it for real: "Drop your weapons and surrender, or your friend gets a red smile!"

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Since Miracle (and similar core spells) can do anything that a 0-level spell could reasonably do, Prestidigitation has never been able to do anything. Everyone who has ever used Prestidigitation to any effect has broken RAW.

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LE Female Changeling (Ash Hag) Cleric (Theologian) 4 // Witch VMC | HP: 34/34 | AC: 18 (12 Tch, 16 Ff) | CMB: +3, CMD: 14 | F:+6, R:+4, W:+9 | Init: +4 | Perc: +10, SM: +13 | Speed 30 ft | Active conditions: none

Geborah is laughing too, laughing so hard she weaves a little as she finishes circling around Blackerly and steps up beside him. "Wraith, you funny, funny man! I'm going to split a side laughing!" Then she stabs her long nails through a gap in Blackerly's armor, tearing a wound between his ribs.

Claw, melee attack against prone opponent, flanking with Grumblejack: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (15) + 2 = 17
Claw damage, if applicable: 1d4 ⇒ 3

"I didn't say I'd split my side," she says, then laughs even harder.

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A spell I haven't seen mentioned is Phantasmal Revenge, a spell that could eliminate active serial killers, decimate criminal syndicates, and perform surgical counterinsurgencies.

I'm also surprised not to see a lot of interest in spells like Seek Thoughts and Discern Lies, which could transform human relationships.

Commune--imagine the questions a panel of nobel prize winners could pose with Commune. Or imagine the value that you could get out of it by posing the big questions: "Is there a God?" Or for you simple pleasures folks, reflect that with twenty questions you could pick a winning lottery ticket out of a million possible numbers every week, or out of a trillion every other week.

If Wish is out, Summon Monster IX gives you access to diverse spells through creatures like Ghale and Trumpet Archons and Astral Devas.

Protection from Arrows would work against bullets, right? Probably worth the slot.

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Happy birthday...to me
Happy birthday...to me
Happy...birthday...Succubus in a Grapple thread
Happy birthday...to...me


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LE Female Changeling (Ash Hag) Cleric (Theologian) 4 // Witch VMC | HP: 34/34 | AC: 18 (12 Tch, 16 Ff) | CMB: +3, CMD: 14 | F:+6, R:+4, W:+9 | Init: +4 | Perc: +10, SM: +13 | Speed 30 ft | Active conditions: none

Rolling her eyes in exasperation, Geborah is about to protest wasting time in the library when she catches sight of a title: Pauline in Peril, Part Four: Enslaved in the Vampire Crypts of Alichino. She discreetly tips it into her bag on top of Tatienne's find, along with Part Five: Vampire Rebellion Below Karcau: the Ensparkling.

She slips upstairs with the others, motioning for them to stay quiet as she listens at the doors.

Stealth: 1d20 + 2 + 1 ⇒ (14) + 2 + 1 = 17
Listen at Office door: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (12) + 5 = 17
Listen at Private door: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (11) + 5 = 16

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Bane and Prayer both offer saves.

Cause Fear is one that works at low levels. Even if the opponent saves, they are shaken for a round.

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LE Female Changeling (Ash Hag) Cleric (Theologian) 4 // Witch VMC | HP: 34/34 | AC: 18 (12 Tch, 16 Ff) | CMB: +3, CMD: 14 | F:+6, R:+4, W:+9 | Init: +4 | Perc: +10, SM: +13 | Speed 30 ft | Active conditions: none

Geborah closes her eyes and relaxes, a faint smile on her face. She's been a prisoner long enough to learn to sleep in chains. In her dreams, she wears a judge's robe and wig, and wields a flaming gavel. A long line of weeping people await her attention. When they are dragged forward by clawed hands, each and every one of them is shocked to see her. Her laughter roars like the heart of an inferno. The gavel crashes again and again. "Guilty! Guilty!"

Her eyes flutter open; a sharp and eager grin spreads across her face. Softly, she recites the Rite of Welcoming Darkness as she draws the Archstar from her shift. For a sacrifice, she bites her own tongue and lets a few red drops spill to the ground. "Accept these precious rubies, Asmodeus, in earnest of greater gifts to come." Geborah refreshes her spells.

"Time to make our move," she whispers to the others. She brings out the veil, pulls out the thieves' tools and daggers, and passes them down the line to Balan, towards Fireskorn and Tatienne.

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Refuge is Wiz 9, Cleric 7.
Greater Bestow Curse is Wiz 8, Cleric 7.
Mass Planar Adaptation, Banishment, Epidemic, and Plague Storm are Wiz 7, Cleric 6.
Plane Shift is Wiz 7, Cleric 5.
True Seeing, Greater Contagion, and Major Curse are Wiz 6, Cleric 5.
Control Water is Wiz 6, Druid/Cleric 4.
Planar Adaptation, Dismissal, Sending, Summoner Conduit, Soothe Construct, and Plague Carrier are Wiz 5, Cleric 4.
Aggravate Affliction, Animate Dead, Bestow Curse, Contagion, and Stone Shape are Wiz 4, Cleric 3.
Unliving Rage, Ancestral Regression, Cleromancy, Gentle Repose, and Lesser Animate Dead are Wiz 3, Cleric 2.

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Yellow Sign and Overwhelming Presence are Wiz 9, Bard 6.
Euphoric Tranquility, Mass Charm Monster, Irresistible Dance, and Greater Shout are Wiz 8, Bard 6.
Greater Scrying, Project Image, and Waves of Ecstasy are Wiz 7, Bard 6.
Joyful Rapture, Ki Shout, and Resonating Word are Wiz 7, Bard 5.
Unwilling Shield, Greater Dispel Magic, Greater Heroism, Mass Suggestion, Mislead, Shadow Walk, and Vengeful Outrage are Wiz 6, Bard 5.
Legend Lore, Envious Urge, Serenity, and Utter Contempt are Wiz 6, Bard 4.
Feast on Fear, Truespeak, Treasure Stitching, Break Enchantment, Dominate Person, Hold Monster, Sonic Thrust, Wall of Sound and Echolocation are Wiz 5, Bard 4.
Sequester Thoughts, Curse of Disgust, and Smug Narcissism are Wiz 5, Bard 3.
Triggered Suggestion, Nixie's Lure, Apparent Treachery, Remove Curse, Scrying, Charm Monster, Confusion, Crushing Despair, Lesser Geas, Fear, Communal Tongues, Control Summoned Creature, Malicious Spite, Overwhelming Grief and Terrible Remorse are Wiz 4, Bard 3.
Mindlocked Messenger, Blood Biography, Enter Image, Versatile Weapon, Cauterizing Weapon, Tongues, Heroism, Hold Person, Rage, Suggestion, Communal Share Language, Reckless Infatuation, Unadulterated Loathing and Distracting Cacophany are Wiz 3, Bard 2.
Hideous Laughter, Jitterbugs, Share Language, Obscure Object, Magic Mouth, Adoration and Unnatural Lust are Wiz 2, Bard 1.

Spell Sage looks like a good archetype for a wizard who wants to specialize in enchantments or sonic blasts. Overwhelming Presence looks like a pretty fun spell to cast at level 11, even if it costs two level 6 slots.

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I'm actually a Beast-Wrestler Brawler.

My favorite enemies include bears. And druids. And other succubi.

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BROETUS, the mad god of the party's end.

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Dave Justus wrote:
So if you are a sorcerer and using any rod except a quicken rod, it takes a full round. If your spell is modified by the quicken feat, but your are using a rod, it will take a full round action (at least as the rules are written).

So your interpretation is that spontaneous casters lose the benefit of Quicken Spell if they use any other metamagic feat or rod along with it?

That seems hard to justify. "...spells modified by the Quicken Spell metamagic feat... can be cast as normal using the feat" is pretty unambiguous. Spells modified both with Quicken Spell and other metamagic feats fall in the category of "spells modified by the Quicken Spell metamagic feat". And additional metamagic applied by a rod works "just as if using a metamagic feat".

I interpret this to mean that a spontaneous caster's spell modified with Quicken Spell, whether from a feat or a rod, has a casting time of a swift action, even when modified by other metamagic. Outside of this thread, I'm not aware of any other GMs who interpret differently.

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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Keep Calm and Carrion wrote:
So this is an Imp lich? Or a man-sized box in really big brick? I do love the idea of a superintelligent lich not having the wisdom to keep his phylactery in a space large enough for his body to reform in, but I suspect that's not the scenario you had in mind.
I thought a lich reforms "nearby" its phylactery, not immediately in contact with it. So if you had it in the wall of a room, it would reform in the room near the wall.

Yeah, some folks interpret "nearby" to mean there doesn't need to be line of effect between a phylactery and its lich's reforming body, which I suppose is no more silly than deciding that liches can make things that already exist (swords, children, planets) into phylactreries, instead of making them from scratch.

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Extend Spell is particularly useful with spells that have costly material components, such as Stoneskin and True Seeing. It's also good for spells you really don't want to have to recast while you're in the middle of something else, like Disguise Self, and spells you want to last a long time while you're not around, like Quest and Suggestion.

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Your players may go to the prison any time they like. Thirty days is a deadline...if they haven't stopped the haunting by then, there's a small-town apocalypse.

The order they accomplish things in is largely up to them. You present their surroundings and circumstances to them; they make decisions on how to proceed. If they are paralyzed with inaction and fun is suffering, you goad them into action with NPCs and events.

You are in the deep end now, I am afraid. The adventure paths are not laid out as a neat series of events. Storytellers are expected to read the whole adventure in advance and have a good idea how the action might evolve from different paths the adventurers take.

It is a lot to expect of a new GM. Perhaps you might take a break and run a number of one shots first to develop your skills. I highly recommend We Be Goblins, fun material that proceeds in a nice linear fashion.

As for new dm advice...google for it! You will find an embarrasmuent of riches.

When you are more confident and experienced, read Haunting of Harrowstone cover to cover, then return to this forum and read the Harrowstone sticky thread.

Good luck, and have fun!

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Yes. The character may "jump as a swift action"--this specific rule overrides the general rule that jumping takes a move action. The acrobatics check is made as part of this swift action to jump.

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Buy a Tightfit Belt, a Portable Hole, and a Flying Carpet. Wear the Belt. Put the Hole on the Carpet and fill it with seawater.

The big advantage here is that all three items will be useful even when you're not squidding. Also, unlike the Cauldron, a Carpet/Hole combo can carry tons of sea water and marine life and still fly.

Just watch out for Bags of Holding.

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So is this a Bestiary succubus (with the Breath of Life instead of Energy Drain) that you'll add class levels to? Or is it going to be a custom race around the power level of a tiefling?

If the former, make the most of its baked-in feats (Agile Combatant, Combat Reflexes, Weapon Finesse) and sky-high charisma and make a Dervish Dance bard.

If the latter, how about a swashbuckler? It fits the agile combatant role that your rogue/shadowdancer would, but benefits more from charisma.

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Bachelor Snuff only works for men (well, male humanoids). Though I guess it might also turn ladies' teeth and nails golden.

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It is a terrible houserule that punishes martials for getting better at what they do. Critical fails in general are terrible. Unfortunately, they are popular.

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How about a Sage bloodline sorcerer? Spontaneous casting, with INT as your casting stat.

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You know who likes making Demon Bane weapons? Qlippoth Lord cults.

Scarab Sages

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I've got an Arcane Duelist bard in PFS who will eventually want to take advantage of his Arcane Bond class feature to enchant his masterwork weapon. I've read all the relevant resources I can find, including the FAQs in this forum. I'm a little worried that I'm overlooking or misinterpreting some rules, though.

When I become a level 5 bard, I can enchant it to +1, paying 1000g to do so. It takes 2 days, I have to make a DC 10 Spellcraft check, and I have to have enough fame to buy a 2,000 gp item (not a problem). Seems simple so far.

Let's say I want to make it a Dueling weapon. I would need to pay 7,000g, pass the DC 10 Spellcraft check, and have enough fame to afford a 16,000gp item, right?

Let's say I want to make it Keen. Do I have to be CL 10 to do that, or can I just add 5 to the difficulty of the Spellcraft roll (making it 20) before I'm CL 10? Can I use a scroll of Keen Edge to meet the spell requirements, or is increasing the Spellcraft DC my only option?

Is there anything I'm overlooking? Who should witness my spellcraft rolls, and should this go on a chronicle sheet somewhere?

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They could run a soup kitchen, with a huge pot of really cheap stew that never comes off the fire--they just keep tossing in new, uh, cuts of meat every night.

The cheapest pie shop in town is another option.

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toastedamphibian wrote:
Can you forcefully oil someone against their will?

Oh, no, sir, plaase PLEASE don't oil me! [shivers]

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Captain Morgan wrote:

They are way behind on WBL though, and this AP has such a reputation for being under-financed. I'm wondering if I should give them some sort of wealth/gear infusion now and/or after they clear Schloss Caromarc. Ideas on that how below, but I'm not sure if I should let them clear the trial at least before dumping stuff on them. There's loot to be had at the Chymic works, at least.

One interesting wrinkle: the party announced in court they found tools belonging to Vorkstag at the crime scene, after ringing the Chymic work bell and telling Grine they had tools belonging to Mr. Vorkstag. So now Vorkstag and Grine *know* the PCs are getting dangerously close. What sort of actions should V&G take? The book mentions V&G spread rumors which grows the size of the mob on night 2, but I can't find mention of other offensive actions they take.

I'm currently thinking that Vorkstag may use one of the aliases from the Cabinet of Skins and Faces to hire some quality assassins or mercenaries. Perhaps the reclusive merchant Borgo Znojmo. That way...

I recommend waiting until after the Schloss to decide if the PCs need an infusion of wealth before the next AP section, because the players may or may not loot the place.

If the players are convinced Count Caromarc is a flesh-golem-manufacturing maniac or dead, they'll probably loot the place. In this case, they'll be pretty close to their WBL at the section's end, and you can make up any difference by adding a little gold as a reward from Judge Daramid and the Order of the Palatine Eye. In this scenarion, Caromarc has been driven completely insane by his stay inside the idol, and winds up getting sent to a sanitarium; he'll never miss what was stolen. You might have him pop up in Ashes at Dawn as a patient (or escaped patient!)

If the players aren't suspicious of the Count, or think he might be a useful ally against the Whispering Way, they probably won't want to burglarize the Schloss. In this case, the Count is not totally unhinged when they rescue him from the misery idol, and rewards them, perhaps with a stack of gold, perhaps with a selection of potions he brews on their behalf, perhaps some of both--enough to get them up to their WBL. In fact, if you give potions, go somewhat over the WBL, and give them potions that will be fun to play with, not just generic defenses and buffs and remedies.

Captain Morgan wrote:
One interesting wrinkle: the party announced in court they found tools belonging to Vorkstag at the crime scene, after ringing the Chymic work bell and telling Grine they had tools belonging to Mr. Vorkstag. So now Vorkstag and Grine *know* the PCs are getting dangerously close. What sort of actions should V&G take?

I had a LOT of fun in my game with Vorstag's alternate identities. One player came sooooo close to sleeping with it in the guise of the courtesan Olga Slovech...the reaction when they found her distinctively pale and freckled remains hanging in the Cabinet of Skins was everything I could have hoped for.

Instead of (or in addition to) arranging an ambush, you could send your players on a dangerous wild goose chase by having Vorkstag approach them as university lecturer Katarina Vilt and feeding them a bogus clue. That would widen the possibilities for the encounter to just about anything dangerous in Vieland.

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In the beginning, with new players and a new GM, it can be difficult to create encounters that challenge your players but don't overwhelm them. Instead of out and out cheating--lying about die rolls, altering stats on the fly, and other things that can cause players to lose confidence in your honesty when they notice--you can tune the difficulty of your encounters with reinforcements.

Start with small encounters that you're confident your players can overcome, and set them in areas where it's plausible that other creatures might become involved. If your players are coasting through an encounter, have reinforcements for the monsters show up in the middle of the fight. If they're struggling, don't.

Eventually your players will start making battle plans that involve stealth and isolation to prevent reinforcements. By then you'll have a better grasp of what they can and can't handle.

Not every fight needs to be a struggle, however. Sometimes it's good to reward your players for strategic play emotionally, with an easy victory. Other times, it's good to reward them with the additional treasure and XP they get off the reinforcements.

Have fun, and make sure they do too!

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Another path to consider would be a Cleric with the Evangelist archetype, a domain such as Charm or Trickery, and the Spellsong feat. That's a full caster with plenty of manipulative spells, insanely good buffing, and a way to hide spellcasting that compares favorably to Conceal Spell or Cunning Caster.

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Voomer wrote:
Where did your PCs rest when going through Renchurch?

They rested twice, each time teleporting out to the cage, then sneaking off to a different hideyhole each time. They covered their tracks well and used Mage's Secure Sanctum, among other safeguards, so I let them rest undisturbed. Otherwise I would have had the lichwolf and the worm that walks use hit and run tactics on them.

Each time they rested, I added a couple of encounters to Renchurch to represent the Whispering Way reinforcing itself, so they wouldn't get complacent. For example, all the Renchurch Novices they killed on their first trip came back as revenants that chased them around the ruins. Their reactions were priceless--"Oh, crap...we've just been giving the necromancers more bodies to work with!" They put some effort into disposing of bodies from that point on. :)

Voomer wrote:
Also, given the magic circle of good effect in the monastery, does that mean it is impossible to summon good creatures at all, or only that they can't touch the PC's foes in the monastery? If the latter, how is that any different than just having the monastery's inhabitants benefit from a PvG effect?

My interpretation is that every qualifying creature is the locus of a MCAG spell. So summoned good creatures can't approach (or be summoned into) within 10' of them or touch them, and any ally that the Unhallow doesn't benefit--any living member of the Whispering Way, for example--still gets the benefit of Protection From Good if they're within 10' of someone the Unhallow does benefit.

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Voomer wrote:
Does the teleport trap affect summoning bringing creatures from another plane? Or does it only affect spells with "teleport" in the name? I'm finding the teleport trap mechanic a little unclear...

I believe it is meant to function against any spell of the conjuration (teleportation) subschool, as well as any SLA or other effect that results in teleportation. That's how I ruled it in my game, and it worked well.

This means, for example, that any attempt to Dimension Door within Renchurch puts the subjects into the banshee cage, which would be a nasty surprise if their first use of teleportation is one person using that spell to get across a battlefield or out of a sticky situation. Luckily for my party, they met the banshee together and at full strength.

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Leave the slot open! That way you can prepare any one of scores of powerful but corner-case spells when you have time to pray and meditate for a while.

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From Snowball:

You conjure a ball of packed ice and snow that you can throw at a single target.

A Snowball would not affect more than one Fine sized creature out of a crowd of Fine sized creatures sharing a space. Similarly, it will not affect more than a single worm in the mass of a Worm that Walks. So you'll ruin one worm's day, but the other ten thousand or so that make up the WtW won't be bothered.

There's some confusion in this thread that rises from a misinterpretation of the Worm that Walks' entry, which draws a distinction between single-target mind affecting spells and effects (which can affect it) and single target physical spells and effects, (which cannot). Since its entry calls out Disintegrate, a Force effect, as a physical single target spell, we can conclude that other energy attacks--fire, cold, whatever--are likewise considered physical attacks when applied to a WtW.

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Absolutely not. The player will shine against haunts and have some undead turning abilities, which is fine. There's plenty of other threats in the AP to challenge her and your party, and the inquisitor is giving up some great stuff--monster lore, a domain, and discern lies--in order to gain those powers.

In fact, I would go out of your way to stress just how deadly the haunts your party runs into are, so that she can feel proud of her build.

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I hid this uncomfortable hunk of magic up my &@$ for two years until, seven years after me and your dad were captured, I was sent home from that prison camp. And now I'm here to give you your father's magic watch, Jimmy...

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Spellsong is among the best ways to cast spells socially, if you're a bard or a skald or an evangelist cleric or whatever. Disguise your Charm Person casting as part of a joke you're telling, or your Beguiling Gift as part of a speech you give as you present the present.

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Lost Ohioian wrote:
Does pinning an opponent basically equal, the party wins?

Oh, honey, if I'm the opponent, EVERYBODY wins.

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Dwarves make less than ideal bards because of the subtraction to their charisma, which affects spellcasting and bardic performance. But if her concept is a dwarf who plays hurtful bagpipe music, I have a workaround.

Have her play an Empyreal bloodline Dwarf Sorcerer, and load her up with sonic evocations. (Ear-Piercing Scream, Shatter, Sonic Scream, Distracting Cacophony, Shout, Aggressive Thundercloud, Greater Sonic Thrust, Wall of Sound, Runic Overload). She can skin her spellcasting as bagpipe playing, her spell damage and DCs will key off of dwarf-friendly Wisdom, and she'll be wrecking people with music several times a day, starting at level 1. (Thundercaller doesn't get its sonic attack until level 3, and bards don't get as many spells a day as sorcerers do.) Beyond those spells you can flesh out her spell list thematically (Ghost Sound, Banshee Blast) and pragmatically (Grease, Glitterdust, Haste, Stinking Cloud)

If she wants to play a smooth, charming dwarf musician, this is not the way to go. But if she wants to play an earthy bagpiper who doesn't care what other people think of her music, this is a winner.

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