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Are there any plans to flesh out the Archduchy of Ravounel, or to include information on the Archduke/Archduchess?


I have a question. Has anyone used the crusader generals of the city, Dyre and Marcovina? Is there any official word on their surviving or dying in the attack on Kenabres?


I am looking at doing the Sarkorian Prophecy at some point. http://pathfinder.wikia.com/wiki/The_Sarkorian_Prophecy

There is also Storasta, river port lost to the demonic Worldwound that is detailed in the Lost Cities of Golarion book. http://pathfinder.wikia.com/wiki/Lost_Cities_of_Golarion

I am planing on hiding part of the Lexicon of Paradox in Storasta in the form of a Druidic Menhir with various sigils and glyphs that make up part of the portion of the book that Areelu Vorlesh destroyed - but I digress.

Those are the only two Paizo products that come to mind. If you can find a copy of Demons and Devils (an old Sword & Sorcery book from D&D 3E) there were a number of short dungeon crawls with fiendish opponents in that publication.


Hayato Ken wrote:
Don´t know about anyone else, but with this AP the soundtrack will be a lot from the band Ghost B.C. for me.

For me, Ot3p


I love the troop idea and will work on building a few appropriate troops to toss at the group. It always seems to me that the default idea of 4 PCs leaves every encounter a little on the weak side.

Sometimes more mooks on the table are enough to divide the party's attention and extend the battle. I will always increase the HP of boss types to be maximum. On final bosses that number may be doubled, particularly if they are without lackeys.

Add a few combat maneuvers - remember a tripped hero is a hero that cannot attack and draws AoOs when trying to get up.


I love it - Defy the tyrants, don't be silent!


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The scales of Terendelev were wildly popular with my group. They felt this was a very significant event - some have assumed this is the beginning of their mythic ascension and they have taken to calling themselves the Scions of Terendelev.

I have six players and wanted scales with unique powers for each of them so I had to design new scales (based around level 2 spells and powers). Since this was so significant for them I figure I will make them Mythic Items that grow with the characters as we go.

Some of the ideas others have listed above are what I was thinking of. Here are some of my twists.

Cloud Walk - Levitation (3/day, duration as per spell) > Air Walk (same) > Flight > a communal overland fly called cloud chariot.

Sacred Weapon - Align weapon (good) > Communal Align Weapon (Good with no need to touch the weapons of others who hold a scale) > Later on add various weapon qualities.

Sacred Protection - As Protection from evil 3/day as the spell > Communal (again, no need to touch the weapons of others who hold a scale) > Etc.

Sacred Body - Aid 3/day as per spell > Communal Aid > Heroism, etc.

Weapon recall - Retruning weapon 3/day as the spell.

Edit: I just received a text from one player who thinks they may mount the scales in some sort of badge or leather shoulder piece like in the BBC's The Musketeers. They REALLY like these beyond what powers they bring.


This is what bothers me. If you are not going to include anything about a location listed on a map then why list it on the map in the first place?


Walter Sheppard wrote:
Saint Caleth wrote:
Arthur Perkins wrote:
All of that raises the question of, since fireball is a three dimensional spell, why not cast it above the target so just the one down facing arm hits the ground and spares everyone in the surrounding squares.
Interestingly I have found that DMs get really huffy when you try to use the z-axis. This also applies to mmoving flying creatures directly over someone's head so they can't 5-foot step away.
Whenever I read about what other GMs do, I wonder if my area is just a little bubble of awesome volunteers that work with players to craft amazing table experiences.

Our table loves the z-axis.

On players creating undead things get sticky. This is purely from a role playing perspective - Our group has always seen spells with the evil descriptor as being corrupting by nature - their continued use would lead to an alignment shift due to repeated exposure to dark energies such spells expose the caster to.

That doesn't mean I or the other GM I alter with wouldn't allow a non-evil necromancer at the table but the caster would be in a constant struggle with "damnation" as it were, as he or she poured dark energies necessary to animate a corpse through their mind and body.


TheWarriorPoet519 wrote:
And I can imagine fewer implications worse than making the asian culture elves or the nordic culture Dwarves or what have you, or god forbid, the tribal analogues be Orcs. Just let the real-world-cultural-analogue human ethnicities be human, and come up with original cultures for the non-human races.

Heh, I don't know why but for some reason this reminds me of one of my friend's homebrew worlds back in 1st Ed D&D. The empire builders were the Lawful Evil orcs. Humans were largely tribal (places in the border of faery had knights and such, but that was the influence of the fae) and the primary source of slaves for the orcs. The elves and dwarves were the ruling races of faery and loosely banded with free humans to topple the evil orc empire.


Tacticslion wrote:
... aaaaaaaaaactually - I don't know if you care, feel free to ignore if you don't - it's been noted by James Jacobs that the Starstone wasn't an Aboleth artifact. It was summoned by aboleth magic, yeah, but that was an accident. They didn't want the Starstone - its arrival was an unintended consequence (and they're really peeved that more gods have spawned - they hate gods). It just happened to be in the area where their magic "space rock summoning epic spell" (tm) was aimed. Which is pretty interesting.

True enough, but I didn't say it was an aboleth artifact just that it was of their magic. That is exactly what James Jacobs and the recently released Mythic Realms said; the Starstone is "a combination of starstuff, aboleth magic, god blood, and Golarion's scar tissue, among other things."

Not that I am even a proponent of Aroden doing this for some evil purpose. But he wasn't any more "good" than he was "evil" (thus the LN alignment). He was Azlanti, and the Azlanti owed most everything they were or achieved to the Aboleth.

My point: Aroden comes off as arrogant, and if you look skeptically at him, he is even suspect in some ways - This is one of the great things about him. This creates good opportunities for schisms, heresies, and conflicts within the story. Otherwise he is simply background for Cheliax, Taldor, and a device to remove prophecy / add free will for characters.

I like adding in strange bits like this and letting my players squirm as they try to decide what is real.


Just catching up this morning and read about your surgery. Speedy recovery and +1 on less abdominal pain!


Ninja in the Rye wrote:
Khelavraa wrote:

No Aroden was not white, just a member of what considered itself to be the master race of humans. And in my view quite a bit of his race's arrogance seemed to shine through.

While he embraced pantheism, the way he did it sounds pretty arrogant. Once he ascended as a god he proclaimed himself the steward of humanity's past and future and "allowed other specialized deities to look after other aspects of development". Mighty generous that he allowed the gods who fought and imprisoned Rovagug, gods who had led humanity since the dawn of time, to continue doing their thing.

Considering that those gods sat back and did nothing while the Aboleths took control of humanity's fate, someone had to step up who was actually willing to pay attention.

His looking after humanity can be played both ways. Aroden raised a potent artifact of aboleth magic and founded the greatest city on the face of modern Golarion around it, which makes him look more like an aboleth sleeper agent secretly bent on trying to bend the rest of humanity to the old masters' will. In this possible case Aroden may not have KNOWN he was a sleeper agent.


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This is kinda off topic at this point because Aroden doesn't bug me nor does what he and his church did. I simply agreed that he is arrogant and somewhat self-entitled. I actually like him that way because that arrogance gives me conflict and grist for stories.

On the relics - The knights of Ozem and Iomedae worshiped the goddess Arazni. They were her church - Retconning in general and specifically of Arazni's status is one of the things that does bug me. According to the Artifacts and Legends after Iomedae ascended the knights of Ozem and Iomedae's followers returned to Last Wall to establish Iomedae's first church. The Church of Aroden did not "Take care of relics". They took that molten armor and made relics for themselves.

You know, you are right. That +2 bonus surely made him completely superior to all the other gods out there I am sure ;)


Except that +2 across the board bonus to all abilities the Azlanti boast isn't actually from superiority. It is from the tinkering of the Aboleth and comes at the cost of being subservient to them.

When the Azlanti stopped being subservient the Aboleth wiped them out.


Then we are bound to disagree. Especially since the church of Aroden didn't act as caretakers for Iomedae's molten armor they crafted it into relics for themselves. The Thorncrown was the only thing they did not co-op.

Granted that was Aroden's Church, not Aroden himself. It still comes across as a reflection of his attitude to me.

I am not saying that he was even a bad or poorly thought out deity. Or that he didn't have a place to claim as humanity's shepherd if you will. Just that he comes across as arrogant.


No Aroden was not white, just a member of what considered itself to be the master race of humans. And in my view quite a bit of his race's arrogance seemed to shine through.

While he embraced pantheism, the way he did it sounds pretty arrogant. Once he ascended as a god he proclaimed himself the steward of humanity's past and future and "allowed other specialized deities to look after other aspects of development". Mighty generous that he allowed the gods who fought and imprisoned Rovagug, gods who had led humanity since the dawn of time, to continue doing their thing.

We also know his church was pretty grabby with other gods relics. Arazni's Bloodstones were claimed by the church and most of Iomedae's melted armor and accouterments from her ascendance to godhood were scraped up by priests of Aroden to make artifacts for their church.

So, yeah, he comes off as pretty arrogant and entitled.


James Jacobs wrote:
Khelavraa wrote:

James I have a question for your pondering... about Aroden, and Arazni, and Iomedae.

We all know that Aroden's Church was grabby with the goddesses artifacts, taking them for their own use. I.E. The Bloodstones of Arazni and scraping up all the metal that melted off of Iomedae when she ascended after the Test of the Star Stone to forge into relics and artifacts for the Church of Aroden.

What artifacts and/or relics did the Church make from Iomedae's molten armor? Where are these now that Iomedae has inherited all that was Aroden's church?

Unrevealed at this point.

Thank you! This gives me hope that one day this will be revealed... Hunting for cool stuff for my Cleric, Inquisitor and Pladins? No, why do you ask?


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Yeah, people don't do jumps like that (ie from high altitudes) in my games. Bless home-brewed rules of common sense and critical tables that can result in painful lessons for why these are bad ideas.


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James I have a question for your pondering... about Aroden, and Arazni, and Iomedae.

We all know that Aroden's Church was grabby with the goddesses artifacts, taking them for their own use. I.E. The Bloodstones of Arazni and scraping up all the metal that melted off of Iomedae when she ascended after the Test of the Star Stone to forge into relics and artifacts for the Church of Aroden.

What artifacts and/or relics did the Church make from Iomedae's molten armor? Where are these now that Iomedae has inherited all that was Aroden's church?


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SiegeDraco wrote:
Love this thread! My wife and i enjoy theorizing the how/why of Aroden's death. My personal favorite theory is that as a god of prophecy, he intentionally removed himself from the picture so that the prophecy of the end of the world no longer being a certain thing anymore. Also makes me wonder about the relationship between the 4 (and 5th) horsemen and Grotus.

Wow, that is so close to what my character Temperance (an inquisitor of Iomedae) said about a statement in the Book of the Damned regarding Asmodious's ascendance over the other gods. Long story, but the statement bought her some time before the rest of the party showed up to save her and created a theological firestorm. This is paraphrased from memory:

HK Torturer: "You and your goddess are nothing to the might and ascendance of Asmodeus!"
Temperance: (Laughs at him) "You still do not understand, Aroden won."
HK Torturer: (Uncertainty creeping into his strident voice) "Aroden is DEAD and can do nothing!"
Temperance: "Aroden sacrificed himself to break all such prophecies - the Ascendance of Asmodeus is as broken as all other such prophecies..."
(Dead silence, then a murmur rippled though the crowd)


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Wow, earlier in this thread so many folks put forth the earth analogs on Golarion as something that is less than favorable and now we are getting this argument? Remember this thread is about what bugs you – everyone has a right to their opinion.

While I understand the need for some frame of reference I too would have preferred something a little more imaginative – little things such as the Aldori Sword Lords using Katana style swords (something I found refreshing rather than - “oh, we are in the shogunate now, let's get out the samurai gear”).

For illustrative purposes here are some of the things I think Paizo got right:
- Absolom, the Star Stone, the fall of Azlant.
- Cheliax, Westcrown in particular, and the evil vassal states.
- Varisia, Magnimar, and the diversity of this region are fantastic.
- The Aldori Sword Lords
- Lost Lands like Thassilon, Jistka, etc. (basically the Lost Kingdoms & Lost Cities books)
- The Distant Worlds book
- The First World
There is more, this is just a sample.

Some examples of what falls short or feels like it was added in after the fact:
- Androran (We're Mericka!)
- Galt (zu Aristos! Madame La Guillotine awaits!)
- On the far western continent savage Amerids await (Oh look, red skinned humans with Mohawks! I wonder if they'll be friends with me?)
- Osirion (Walk like an Egyptian...)
- Stereotypical lands like Qadira and Vudran – the culture and look could have been pushed further from our reality.
- Kyonin (Oh wait, we need an elfin realm)
- The Five Kingdoms (Oh wait, we need a dwarven realm)

Other worlds that got it right:
I don't care if you liked it or not but the World of Greyhawk had a diverse mix-up of races and history and had a passionate following for over 30 years. That is a hell of a run for any game world.

Eberon has been mentioned, attacked and defended – I only have a few of the source books so won't jump in, but I like what I have read and would incorporate things like the magic blended with technology if I ever had time to write up a game world of my own, “Mage-Steam Punk” if you will.

There are other influences like Talislanta, think more of Jack Vance's Dying Earth series than the traditional mix of Tolkien with Earth Mythologies and cultural analogs.

Sword and Sorcery's Scarred Lands had a terrific take on a world that was both unique, seamlessly ensconced in the game system, yet accessible.

All in all I believe that a lot more fantastic themes could have been included on Golarion without losing easy points of reference.

Speaking of diversity -
I have a problem with a certain lack of permeability. The non-human races feel more like they were bolted on after the fact as I mentioned above.

Some areas are sort of self-contained microcosms. Things going on in them never really affect anything outside of them. Take the Whispering Tyrant. His history does not seem to have affected any country other than Ustalav and Last Wall; yet supposedly he had conquered most of central Avastan not once but twice. Yet there is no mention in the other countries about how this affected them.

The last problem I will bring up is history (mainly of gods) getting retconned. What bothers me with the retconning is we have build campaigns around certain facts. Many of my own characters and the campaign I run involve:

- As a knight of Ozem Iomedae was a paladin of Arazni not Aroden.
- Arazni was at least a demigoddess or goddess (As she was worshiped by the knights of Ozem and Iomedae) not just a “Herald to Aroden”, “mythic hero god” or “knight” of the crusade.

I have built a couple of my characters in various campaigns around some of this history – and campaign events centered around them. In the campaign I run many details I have extrapolated from these histories is or is going to be evident.

Maybe it isn't truly an attempt at retconning but if not then some of the writers really don't know their material and Paizo needs some fact checking to go along with the editorial process.


I would say more about the rest of the world in general but it sounds like the lands to the west are already slated to be a 'native american' analog - which is of no interest to me.

A full write up of Garund and lands south of Avastan would be welcome.


MagusJanus wrote:
Khelavraa wrote:
Spastic Puma wrote:
I like 4th edition.
Heretic!
Shall we weigh the heretic against a duck?

Indubitably!


Spastic Puma wrote:
Gnomes are cool though, right?

Gnomes are totally cool. But...

Spastic Puma wrote:
I like 4th edition.

Heretic!


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Confession: I hate hobbits and halflings as character races and banish the race from any game I GM.


Great Thread! I am following this.


If I play it will be a magus or a inquisitor of Iomedae. If I'm GMing then I will play demons and baddies.


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long-staff sixpenny striker wrote:


How are everyone else's Shiv games going?

We are done with Souls for Smuggler’s Shiv - here is how things went for us. Many suggestions on this board helped make this a smooth run - many thanks for suggestions and resources everyone. And a ton of thanks to James Jacobs for some truly memorable NPC allies and villains!

When our group was discussing if we wanted to do this AP I described the overall plot as Indiana Jones and the Expedition to the Temple of Serpent Doom. Setting the expectations helps my players either get behind an AP or down-vote it. This one got a lot of player support and I have a group of dedicated leaders, survivalists, scholars, and exploration oriented characters.

This helped in that the first part of this installment is all about survival. The wizard / scholar was a little at odds-ends until later in the adventure. Fortunately the entire group is pretty much self-starters and he found lots to do while talking about what Ieana was up to.

Our cast:

Ashton De Winter - Human Wizard (Generalist) male with proficiency in rapier. A disinherited noble and one of the foremost scholars of the Mwangi in Avastan and quite a linguist. Recently from college in Absolom he spent some time in Cheliax - he comes equipped with extra money to fund an expedition and a first-class map of the Mwangi. Boarded in Corentyn, he was intrigued with Jask Derindi and struck up something of a conversation with him via message spells during the evenings. The two had more than a month of scholarly discussions before being wrecked upon Smuggler’s Shiv. Was rather put off by Gelik from the start mainly from his attitude towards others.

Martiven Hadley - human Rogue (spy) male - this man is the nominal manservant to Ashton De Winter. Hadley deflects most questions about his breadth of skills as something he picked up in the "regiment" and questions about his past are deflected just as easily. He boarded in Port Peril, having gone ahead of Lord De Winter to arrange for supplies for an expedition into the Mwangi to be shipped to Eredar. He is charming in a very non-threatening way and women have a tough time not sharing what they know with him. He uses his bluff and diplomacy skills to great effect and even Aerys “warmed” to him (allowing her to indifferent) in the days preceding the departure of the Jeniver.

Dursirius "Dusty" Nolicci - human female mulatto (half-chelish/half-zenj) ranger (Archer) from Sargava. Her father was a disowned noble/mother a servant in his house. She endured regular beatings by her father but this forced her to became very adept at anticipating attacks. Dusty boarded in Blood Cove after joining up with Tio (See below) who helped her escape some thugs who were after her "cargo". She is fetching something for Lady Madrona Daugustana, a small, magically sealed duskwood coffer from an Aspis agent in Blood Cove - she is determined to see this delivery through. She and Tio developed a smile and nod acquaintance with Ishirou while in Bloodcove.

Tio Arabasti - human (Garundi) female fighter (two-weapon). A well traveled soldier with broad linguistic skills. Boarded in Blood Cove after she helped Dusty escape a pack of thugs - the two women are friends and to some degree are becoming partners. She and Dusty developed a smile and nod acquaintance with Ishirou while in Bloodcove.

Jask Derindi - (GMPC Castaway standing in since our healer player has medical complications) Was Loaded aboard in Corentyn Jask has spent much of his time aboard the Jenivere bored out of his skull. Long message spell discussions with Lord De Winter has forged a strong bond between the cleric and the young explorer before the story even started.

Numair - a big, muscular human (Garundi) male paladin - 2-handed. Player returned from active duty, so the character joined partway through. This guy is made of Str (17 +2 racial = 19), Con, and Cha.

I ran the opening scene like an episode of Lost. Basically, after we had something of a camp set up we did a series of flashbacks on how and why people were on the Jeniver, some background on each of the characters and establishing who knew whom and how well.

The characters explored a bit at first and debated quite thoroughly what had happened. After watching Capt. Alizandru Kovack and Ieana (Yarzoth) interact and reading the captain’s log, several felt that was a creeper who displayed classic stalking behavior and Ieana (Yarzoth) was just another victim, others (particularly Ashton, the wizard - she stole his MAP!!!) felt that she must have had some kind of spell on Capt. Kovack.

I plotted out a couple of l overnight camps that the pair made while exploring their way south (reasoning that they needed sleep and while knowing the general direction they wanted Ieana (Yarzoth) does not have a high survival skill). The group quickly found the captain’s first camp and tracked the south to a second camp then struck south into the main interior.

Here they encountered and skirmished with several groups of cannibals and many other Shiv denizens. The group was haunted by the corpses of blood drained monkeys and knew about the winged creature that was toying with them. When they found evidence of diabolism at one of the abandoned camps they became convinced a real devil was bound to the island! I did nothing to dissuade this line of thought, I even had Aerys dub the thing the “Red Mountain Devil”.

The Castaways and NPCs:
Naturally, Jask was completely won to the PCs side very quickly (which was good because our original healer turned out to not be able to play). Everyone believed him innocent and the documentation they found simply backed him up. Most of the others became friendly very easily and rolled well on will saves to improve morale. However, even with bonuses for RP, secure camps, shared equipment, beneficial spells, etc. Gelik consistently was fighting between frightened and shaken (I rolled quite a few 1s through 5s for this guy’s will save). So, he not only alienated everyone with his tongue, he looked like a coward.

Pezock was a fantastic addition to the cast of NPCs. The group loved him - and he became a faithful companion to them as they helped him get revenge on the cannibals. He has been recruited to the “crew” as it were. Sasha didn’t trust him due to her “mommy issues” but he eventually overcame her distrust of him.

The Group worked through the individual quests, some quite rapidly some were left until the main threats to life and limb were disposed of.


  • Jask’s first task was completed quickly and he was free from his chains. The female ranger has some romantic leanings towards him - I play him as a Morgan Freeman character which may be why...
  • Sasha got her pets with the help of the PCs early on, and romance was brewing with the male wizard.
  • Aerys was won over by the party rogue (Hadley) and the females of the group - Tio and Dusty. They took time to help Aerys get over her drinking and they found the viper nettle for her in good time.
  • Jask’s second task was accomplished securing this freedom.
  • Ishirou was liked by everyone, especially the party rogue - they spent a lot of time going over traps for defense, etc. He also was saved by helpful spells when attacked in camp. Ishirou caught more diseases than anyone else, if someone in camp was randomly attacked it would be him - the dice hated this guy. Each time the party took the time to nurse him to health before striking out again. He shared his map - and once the group had cleared the island they took the time to help him get into the treasure pit. He had to insist on the group getting a share of the money - they thought it should be his.
  • After all this Gelik was odd man out and while they wouldn’t leave him to die in my mind he had to impress them. So he started by entertaining, and handling some of the medical camp duties. Once back in the fold he told them of the Night Voice.

With a fairly strong group I felt they needed more of a challenge, so in several cases I upped hit points and numbers of opponents as well as spiced up the cannibals with some customizations, including some different weapons for the three consorts, a couple of specialized hunter types (Barbarian/Rangers) and a couple of sub-chiefs who were looking to challenge Klorak the Red soon.

Not long after the incident where the Red Mountain Devil dropped a drained goat into their campfire the PCs discovered the dryad and made a third move of camps. It took them about ten days to hook up with the Dryad, and while moving their camp to her tree I had a monsoon hit - this was a couple days before they PCs decided to raid the Cannibal camp. This caused a ship, the Maiden’s Fancy, to go down in Desperation Bay, a single survivor clung to wreckage and washed ashore near the lighthouse on Smuggler’s Shiv.

The cannibal fight was quite memorable. The group saved an intended victim (the new PC paladin) in a daring nighttime raid with the help of all the Castaways. Even with the PCs creating distractions and taking the camp by surprise several were badly wounded.

The Cannibal Fight:
The party drew off about half of the cannibals with a staged fire. In the initial attack the wizard made short work of the witch and with Pezzok’s help took her down quite handily. As they mopped up the remaining cannibals near the fire the returning cannibals unleashed the Shiv dragon on the group while Klorak directed three of the consorts to the lighthouse balcony to hurl javelin into the characters while he prepared to face them in his lair.

The Castaways, Pezzok, the wizard, the rogue, the cleric (Jask) and the newly rescued paladin ended up holding the courtyard and fighting the brunt of the remaining cannibal forces while Gelik supported with inspiring words. The fighter and ranger headed to fight the consorts and Klorak the in the lighthouse. The female fighter went straight for the tower entrance but was slowed a couple of rounds while taking out the two guards at the front door. The female bow spec. ranger had hot dice and killed two of the consorts and badly wounded the third before several hits and a crit took her down to 1 HP - still, she quaffed a cure light wounds potion for 4 points and staggered on inside a couple of rounds after the fighter.

During this time Gelik was killed while trying to stay out of sight but still provide support. Several of the returning cannibals tried to flank around between the storage house and the butchery, they caught him from behind and killed him in a couple of rounds. This was a surprisingly sad moment, many in the group felt he had tried to win their support and they had failed him (it was quite a time later that they found the scroll of raise dead).

In the main fight the party rogue and Ishirou were both down but stabilized by the cleric. Aerys and Sasha were reduced to under half their HP, and the wizard proved that color spray is one of the best spells to have in this situation. Sasha took the flanking cannibals head-on while Pezzok managed his own flanking maneuver and thus earned Sasha’s trust.

The main event happened in the lighthouse with Tio (fh fighter 3) standing alone toe to toe with Klorak the Red and a (badly) wounded consort. The consort chucked the last javelin at her and missed, Tio tripped the consort with her whip and circled away while Klorak was still closing to attack. He got her with the AoO drawn by her whip use but missed with his regular attack.

Second round she thrust (rapier) and hit but he rushed her (she hit again on her AoO) and pinned her to the wall, touching her bloody wound and smearing her blood on his face and chest, eyes rolling and a guttural moan of something escaping his lips - this really horrified the whole group, BIG kudos to James. They still talk about this moment now that they are safe in Eleder.

The next rounds saw Dusty (fh ranger 3) coming in. She and the last consort fought it out. Both drop - Dusty at 0 HP and the consort with rage ending began bleeding out, well in the negatives. Tio and Klorak fought until she successfully confirmed a crit and tripped him with the whip then confirmed a crit with the rapier and ran him through. She had something like 5 HP left.

In the aftermath Gelik was buried with all due honor. The group cleaned up and rested a day or so before the strange weather (lightning from the tidal stone). Also, it turned out the captured paladin had seen Captain Kovak and a cannibal warrior enter the caverns together while he was a captive. The warrior returned alone from elsewhere and left the afternoon before the PCs attacked.

Pretty much the PCs really got into their groove at this point. Translating scripts making notes, when they found Captain Kovak’s note explaining things they reopened their discussion about what “That Woman” (as Ashton the wizard called her) was and what could she be after.

Mother Thrunefang:
Once they found the captain’s note they felt really bad for the man. After they cleared the caverns they took the time to bury him with all honor as they finally understood what had happened. Again they felt they had somehow failed - so this part of the story had some extra emotional impact.

Mother Thrunefang proved to be a fairly easy fight with the addition of a paladin, even with me giving her extra minions on hand, maximum HP, and resistance to channeled energy. The fighter and the ranger spent much of the fight paralyzed but the wizard shone with darkvision (cast on the paladin) and glitterdust blinding a group of the minions.

Once the group started working on the pictograms they really got excited, this was what they had really been waiting for. Early foreshadowing of Red Mountain and the “devil” that was stalking them helped make the pictogram jump out at them. They recognized it in the carvings immediately.

Once they decoded the clues under the lighthouse they practically did a forced march across the southern part of the island. Running into clues that a few of the Cannibals were not present when they attacked the lighthouse. They were ambushed by a small group of cannibals that they wiped out. Tracking showed that at least one shod humanoid and one barefoot had recently used the trial up to Red Mountain.

The Red Mountain Devil was another great fight - the Ranger got knocked off a bridge by a flyby attack that sent her into the water. A blue shark took notice and its fin surfaced as it swam over to investigate causing all kinds of distress. She managed to launch out of the water to safety as it cruised in close enough to make a charge move and attack on the next round.

Once the fighter caught the devil with her whip and pulled it to ground the fight was pretty much a “Tank and Spank” as MMO players call it with the Paladin keeping it’s attention and the others flanking. It was satisfying in the extreme for the players to at last lay eyes upon this adversary and a stand-up fight was really enjoyed at this point.

Exploring the Temple of Zura was a lot of fun for the PCs, with the Wizard and Cleric being pulled along by the others as they stopped to try and translate various carvings. They by and large avoided the traps except the last one. This triggered a fight with the Gibbering Mouther and the soul dolls used this opportunity to stay hidden and track the PCs.

The final fight was beefed up to deal with 6 experienced players.

Yarzoth and the Temple of Zura:
I used the skeletal champion stats for the skeletons and increased the number of them to match the number of the party. I also added a cannibal sub-chief (Savage Barbarian 3rd) whom Yarzoth dominated after she left the lighthouse. On their confronting Yarzoth she did a mini-rant about how they couldn’t stop her now - I filled them in on their .

I must say while it was still a fairly fast fight it was memorable, with lots of back and forth with odd rolls making for some great play. The cleric, paladin, and rogue fought and destroyed the skeletons in a couple of rounds, leaving the paladin in a duel with the cannibal sub-chief.

The fighter, ranger and wizard took on Yarzoth. After taking a couple AoOs running past the skeletons the ranger took a few shots that did considerable damage forcing her to retreat early. The soul dolls jumped the fighter and ranger dealing considerable damage with their cause wounds attack, but were pretty quickly destroyed.

On Yarzoth’s return she summoned snakes and the three unloaded on her as the rogue snuck around the side. The ranger again drilled her with arrows and the fighter did good damage and managed a whip - trip before being driven back by Yarzoth’s summoned snakes. Oddly, the wizard is the one she managed to dominate and he turned on the other two - blinding them for a round and stunning them for 2 rounds with color spray.

By this time the skeletons were down and the paladin told the cleric to go help the others. The paladin and cannibal were merrily beating the hell out of each other the whole time - both rolled lots of hits but minimal damage so this drug on longer than I had thought it would. The paladin killed him in time to see the end of the fight up at the alter.

In the next round the mage made his save but faked her out, telling everyone to get back. He then wheeled and hand of the apprenticed her in the gut - Crit.... she tried to run for the statue but the rogue blocked her and the wizard finished her off.

The group figured out the statue’s trick and they again went crazy with translating the Azlanti scripts and wizard recovered his precious map. At the end of it they had cemented the other Castaways loyalties with excellent treatment and full shares of treasure.


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This is exactly what I am doing. I am even including some masterwork Elysian Bronze Azlanti armor of various sorts.

Of course our group is sort of very old school and prefers to find cool treasure rather than buy things so I tend to seed things into the APs.


Feel free to use any of my ideas, that's why I shared. :)

Long story - but my group has not let anything about what they have found out. They have all the surviving NPC castaways with them and all of them are very loyal (Gelik didn't make it through the final showdown with the Cannibals). They approached the faction I made up themselves...

I have introduced the other factions to some extent, but so far no one's loyalty to the other survivors has even come close to breaking.

In mine there isn't going to be a race... more of a shadowing by shadowy forces. However, I am including all the original factions plus a couple of additions.

Shadowy Shadows:
I too am including a hostile Mzali force once the work of the discovery gets out. However, much earlier in the story the Order of the Coil will play a big part in this. See This thread for some of the uses. However, I am changing things up since my last post there.


trellian wrote:

Have anybody tried switching out the four skeletons by Yarzoth's side in Z8 with two degenerate serpentfolk skeletons? My 6 PCs have had an easy time so far in the dungeon. I guess they have spent 2 cure spells and a couple of channeling attempts so far, and have neutralized the flensing room trap. They have yet to encounter the mouther or dolls though.

I have read that Yarzoth is a tough opponent, but I feel that her four skeletons will disappear in one round courtesy of the cleric, and that even though she has formidable defenses around her, the sheer economy of actions of the PCs will do her in quite easily. They did take down the mountain devil in 2-3 rounds though, mostly due to the cleric casting Sound Burst, stunning the devil and causing him to plummet 30 feet to the ground with a (for them) lucky 18 points of damage.

I had a table of 6 experienced 4th level PCs. To up the challenge I used the skeletal champion stats for the skeletons and increased the number of them to match the number of the party. I also added a cannibal (Savage Barbarian 3rd) whom Yarzoth dominated after she left the lighthouse.

I must say while it was still a fairly fast fight it was memorable, with lots of back and forth with odd rolls making for some great play.


There is talk of a Mwangi Faction here: http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2ptux?Creating-a-Mwangi-Faction


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I am guessing it is never too early to start fleshing out this section of the AP (the PCs and their very loyal castaways have just arrived in Eleder). I think after reading this book and the warnings about just how sparse this “sandbox” is I decided to get some ideas together. I like including some extra places to explore, placing the Vaults of Madness within the descriptions of the areas. Adding things like great vaults under the temple of Abadar and hiding the Mantis blade sound like great things to do just to keep things interesting and that faction in town long enough to be part of the endgame.

For my group I will be adding some interest to discovering the mysteries—the PCs seem really invested in studying the ruins of Saventh-Yhi themselves. So things like puzzle-tiles and hunting out clues to unlock them are really great and imaginative things to add – thank you for sharing that idea. I have decided good physical descriptions are needed for each area and the city as a whole. Also, there needs to be something more than a river canyon and a couple of uninteresting monsters who just happen to be hanging out guarding the entrance to this ancient city.

Doubling up on the encounters is something I do too. My PCs like the feeling of being on the edge of what they can handle.

More dinosaurs are always a great idea, and T-Rex sounds like a great way to beat up the characters a bit. =)

I think adding another bit about Zura's cult just to complete that story would work well. again, thanks for a great idea!

Azlanti rchitecture:
I know I may be in the minority but I am not a fan of duplicating ancient Greece for the Azlanti. That seems a little too predicable for my group. Instead I am going with more of a Imrryr, the Dreaming City (from Micheal Moorcock's Elric series) for architecture and feel.

The architecture is characterized by tall and slender multi-hued, tiered towers, broad domes supported by slender columns, ornate fountains and large monuments. The outer faces of the ziggurats are columned and have galleries along the base. Inside I plan on a great many mosaic floors and decorative stone benches carved into the walls. Many of the buildings and towers are made of stone in pastel shades, some in darker stone. Every column, arch, support, and buttress has decorative carvings that match the theme of the district.

The River Maze:
I am constructing a “River Maze”, much like Imrryr's Sea Maze, that holds a few clues that all is not as it seems. First it will have both a solid land route (some caves and some canyons) or two and a couple of river routes. The path inward is not that hard to figure out – yes a few choices lead to traps and dead ends but on the whole it is easy to follow the current up stream. Likewise, on the land routes will have a few false leads but many can be figured out: “You come to a meeting of halls, much like a 'Y'. You can continue ahead and up or turn sharply to your left and head back down...” I will add some fortifications (accessible from secret entrances) to make some of the dead ends into killing grounds. I may yoink some of the descriptions of the old I3 Forbidden City module from way back when for some of the feel and the cavern passages into the city.

On the way out there are a lot more choices that would lead to doom. Some of the “major” river channels lead to waterfalls that drop hundreds of feet into blade-lined, spike bottomed pits and on to underground rivers with no air pockets. Taking the wrong path on the way out (or taking that sharp left-hand turn I mentioned earlier) leads to dead ends with murder-holes, clever slide traps into pits of green slime, etc.


John Mangrum wrote:
I think Khelavraa's ideas and mine might mash-up well.

I agree! :)

I really like John's take and was planning on something of the same sort of schism in the Freemen that gives way to a larger movement to repel the oppressive colonials.

The camp stats look solid to me. Thanks!


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I have been working one up because my group has expressed extreme distaste to outright hatred of all the normal factions. As far as needing trailblazers goes more than half of what the party does is clear dangerous monsters and situations out of the way.

Here is what I have so far in the same format as the AP write-ups - I will get a full faction write up made if there is interest.

Free Peoples of the Mwangi:
Faction expedition leader: Yallathoon (fh fighter 7 / duelist 2 (tribal champion); CR8; NPC Codex, page 216) lead the native expedition. The Mwangi Free Peoples are a mixed group of Zenj tribal members, Garundi, jungle elves, jungle gnomes, and odd misfits. All they want is the city of Saventh-Yhi to remain free from exploitative outsiders. Further Yallathoon and the other leadership hopes it is possible to set up their own capital where they have control of the deep Mwangi Expanse. They plan on using its natural defenses to keep the Sargavan government, the Aspis Consortium, and other scavengers at bay.

Rival Factions: The Sargavan Government & Aspis Consortium. The Free Peoples are at complete odds with those who have come and taken land and lives. They seek to limit the hold of the exploiters of the Expanse.

Ally: In my campaign they will approach the PCs via the ranger's Zenj grand-parents who arange for them to speak to the leader of the combined Mwangi Freepeoples’ expedition, the tribal champion, Yallathoon.

The Offer: Like the other factions she will offer to outfit and organize an expedition to Saventh-Yhi - supplying food, water, supplies, porters, mounts, hunters to gather food and barbarian warriors to act as guards. They do not offer any gold or bonuses - but instead offer to support the party’s exploration and publication of the discovery and exploration of Saventh-Yhi. (The party can negotiate compensation in the form of goods up to 1000 gp worth of gear each).

Special: During the journey they provide a +4 Diplomacy bonus when dealing with native tribes. Once a base camp is established the Freepeople's knowledge of local medicine reduces the chances of disease considerably. Native knowledge of the jungle environment allows for a higher defense with natural snares and traps, their knowledge of the ways of the Mwangi Expanse allows them to keep closer tabs on all the other factions.

Notes: Yallathoon mentions that Diamata Sirathini (fh Ranger 5; CR4; NPC Guide, page 27) would be an excellent scout and guide for the expedition. Upon talking with Diamata we find she will not help until they get the blessing of Nkechi the Tempest... and so I tie them back into the AP with a group of freedom fighters with less mercenary/acquisition based motivations.


This AP sold me on the paper minis and your collection is fantastic!


Faction = Currently undetermined but I am betting that it will be The Mwangi Freepeoples (yeah my own custom writeup - that includes some Freemen) because the party seems to seriously dislike or distrust all five of the standard factions and one of the party has mentioned getting help from close Zenj relatives in her background.

Rival = Aspis & Sargavan Government (and any other exploiters of the Expanse and its peoples).

I will update as things develop.

Gnoll Bard wrote:

spoiler:
I'm doing my best to keep the Red Mantis mysterious at this point; Sasha warned the party that they contacted her and were interested in the notes they found on Smuggler's Shiv, but they didn't tell her why. So far the party hasn't encountered even one (living) Red Mantis Assassin, but I'm planning to introduce clues that the cult is shadowing their expedition. I'm hoping that this way the actual appearance of the assassins will be more dramatic, and they'll be more likely to live up to their fearsome reputation.

Thank you GB - I am quite taken with that idea!


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My players have taken the temple of blood on the Shiv and the wizard / scholar is going happily mad with all the carvings and translations. He is working non-stop with Jask to translate and work through the entire story of the Azlanti cultists of Zura. They have pieced together enough to know that they may be able to find a way to Saventh-Yhi. Discussions of an expedition have heated up already.

During their time on the Shiv - many conversations of politics with each other and the NPC Castaways all of my player characters have expressed dislike of almost all the factions. In fact I started to realize that our resident wizard / scholar does not like the Pathfinders or any of the others at all looking at them as little more than exploitative looters. The Paladin of Iomedae has issues with Pathfinders stealing certain of Iomedae’s religious artifacts. No one liked Gelik (let’s face it, he would have been the first one ‘voted off the island’ but he died in a fight against the cannibals.) and that has reflected poorly on the rest of the Pathfinders.

Granted the have not made it off the Shiv yet, but during interactions with the Castaway they have expressed extreme dislike for the colonial government, the pathfinders, the Mantis and even hatred of the Aspis Consortium. They have expressed distrust of looters like the pirates and feel that any agreement with a pirate would be treated more like “guidelines” to the party’s detriment.

However, we have a half-Zenj ranger PC who thinks members of her tribe, the freemen, and others that want free of the colonial yoke may be a viable source of back up on their own expedition. To that end I am coming up with another faction and am looking for some feedback. For those who are interested in a sixth faction less intrusive expedition backer here is what I have so far:

The Mwangi Freepeoples:

Faction leader: Yallathoon (fh fighter 7 / duelist 2 (tribal champion); CR8; NPC Codex, page 216) lead the native expedition. The Mwangi Freepeoples are a mixed group of Zenj tribal members, Garundi, jungle elves, jungle gnomes, and odd misfits. All they want is the city of Saventh-Yhi to remain free from exploitative outsiders. Further Yallathoon hopes it is possible to set up their own capital where they have control of the deep Mwangi Expanse. They plan on using its natural defenses to keep the Sargavan government, the Aspis Consortium, and other scavengers at bay.

Rival Factions: The Sargavan Government & Aspis Consortium. They are at complete odds with those who have come and taken land and lives. They seek to limit the hold of the exploiters of the Expanse.

Ally: In my campaign they will approach the PCs via the ranger's Zenj grand-parents who arange for them to speak to the leader of the combined Mwangi Freepeoples’ expedition, the tribal champion, Yallathoon.

The Offer: Like the other factions she will offer to outfit and organize an expedition to Saventh-Yhi - supplying food, water, supplies, porters, mounts, hunters to gather food and barbarian warriors to act as guards. They do not offer any gold or bonuses - but instead offer to support the party’s exploration and publication of the discovery and exploration of Saventh-Yhi. (The party can negotiate compensation in the form of goods up to 1000 gp worth of gear each).

Special: During the journey they provide a +4 Diplomacy bonus when dealing with native tribes. Once a base camp is established the Freepeople's knowledge of local medicine reduces the chances of disease considerably. Native knowledge of the jungle environment allows for a higher defense with natural snares and traps, their knowledge of the ways of the Mwangi Expanse allows them to keep closer tabs on all the other factions.

Notes: Yallathoon mentions that Diamata Sirathini (fh Ranger 5; CR4; NPC Guide, page 27) would be an excellent scout and guide for the expedition. Upon talking with Diamata we find she will not help until they get the blessing of Nkechi the Tempest... and so I tie them back into the AP with a group of freedom fighters with less mercenary/acquisition based motivations.


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I have been giving morale bonuses to the saves based upon how the PCs have been treating their fellow castaways:
+1 for a camp
+1 for generosity (sharing of goods and weapons)
+1 for effective casting of spells to directly aid/heal the NPCs.

Strangely, the only one not to make it to hopeful at this point is Gelik - but then again he is close to being voted off the island.


mplindustries wrote:
Bill Kirsch wrote:

Okay, guys. I plan to run this for the first time with two significant changes:

A) It'll be run in the Forgotten Realms setting (probably somewhere in the Sea of Falling Stars or off the Sword Coast).
B) It'll be a one shot. No further adventure once they get off the island.
So what modifications, if any, do you guys recommend?
I'm not converting to 3.5, though. It'll be the Pathfinder system.

Just let it resolve. Make the thing Yarzoth wants actually be on the island--some MacGuffin or whatever instead of research.

That way, when the leave, they don't feel like there's more. It would defeat the purpose of the one-shot if they all started asking things like, "Well, wait, what did she want?"

Pretty much that would be it. You should try to give her a shorter term goal - something that might interest your players as well.

If you feel the need to make sure your PCs know they need to go after her and the captain make sure that they find evidence or remember her taking something important from them. For instance, one of my players chose "Boarded in Cheliax" as a background trait, it wasn't until they were gathering things back aboard the wreck of the Jeniver that he realized his precious map of the Mwangi was missing. This triggered a memory of seeing her wave his map case at him as she and the captain escaped the ship.


@ martryn - Epic! That is a way cool outcome for this encounter. If the whole table was cheering, you did it right. If the character that doesn't normally shine got to, you get bonus XP! ;)

Several things bother me greatly about certain assumptions of the game, one thing is with so many "intelligent" encounters is their willingness to die for really low stakes. Here you have the head of the Aspis do the intelligent things he could. He ran. He was caught.

Tremendous shows of force and immunity to regular weapons would be enough to make many a mercenary's blood run cold. That they should waver in the face of an overwhelming force of nature is, well, natural.

Another assumption is everyone walks around in armor all the freaking time. When I was younger I fought in the SCA and wore some very well made armor. It sucked, and no way in the world would you sit down to a meal in it, let alone sleep in it. Yes there are enchanted sets of armor that comfortable enough to sleep in but that is fairly rare.

I'd say this went by the numbers and went well.


Maplewood and Jenner have some great suggestions. There may be a number of reasons why the Chupracabra wouldn't finish them off.

1. As Maplewood suggests it may have young nearby and is attempting to drive them away before heading back to tend to the eggs/hatchlings, which are it's primary concern.

2. This thing has lived with the Cannibals all its life - and may have learned to respect the pointy things these odd hairless apes carry.

3. Any display of magic during the attack may spook it at first, much like certain animals are driven off by fire until they have encountered it once or twice.

4. And finally, you can let them get decimated - TPK. This is not the worst idea as some players fail to play intelligently when they are in an AP - thinking ah, I'll never have to re-roll.

If they do force the issue simply let them die, you have given them ample warning. You now have two choices - Continue as written or start from scratch.

A. Try to finish the module as written by either letting them take over the NPCs as PCs (describing the events of the original group leaving from this group's perspective) or if they do not want to do that then it's re-roll only this time they are stranded in a jolly-boat as castaways from a ship that was sunk by an encounter with a big sea-beast. They drifted for days and had passed out from dehydration and exposure only to wake up being nursed to health by the NPC castaways - who have organized a camp, set-up guard shifts, hunting and gathering parties, etc. The new PCs may get to hear some candid opinions about how others raced headlong into the jungle and vanished because they did so without proper preparation.

B. Simply have them re-roll and start in Sargava as hired explorers by a faction to check out the Shiv. See this group of 5 people (the castaways) were wrecked on the island and survived they overcame the hardships of the island and have been rescued after they took out a tribe of cannibals and a serpent folk who was after something big. The downside of this option is that it does take some re-writing on your part and they start in the pocket of whichever faction you choose.


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Vashir, That is a great looking map! I am encouraged to get combat paper and work with it from now on. We are not yet too this module but I think it would be good to get a head start on getting things like this set up.


Voomer wrote:
Khelavraa, when you refer to getting everyone up again, I guess you mean that the downed members got resurrected? I guess your cleric was just barely high enough level to do it himself/herself.

Yes, The Cleric raised the others and we needed to heal up.

Then -

spoiler:
Another haunt -the one where the water with bits of dead bodies fills the room - Has a Weird/Phantasmal Killer spell effect, causing one to believe they are drowning. This haunt killed the cleric and the rogue.

The witch once again saved the day by using the group's last scroll of Raise Dead to get the Cleric back... but the players are debating the value of completing the adventure, no one likes the amount of Save or Die rolls going on.

Apparently these haunts do more than just provide atmosphere as the author suggests.


Names: Vanya, Darath, Rochessa, and Nicolai...
Race: Female human, male human, female human, male human
Classes/levels: Paladin 13, Ranger 13, Rogue 10/shadow dancer 3, magus 13.
Adventure: SoG
Location: Hallway in Renchurch with human heads mounted along the walls.
Catalyst: Sometimes the dice hate you.
The Gory Details:

Spoiler:
Several things happened all based upon terrible party rolls to take out 4 of the 6 party members. Left standing - The witch and the cleric. The paladin and the ranger have ungodly fortitude saves and should have made it... The Rogue and the ranger have ungodly perception and should have made it. Doesn't help when a streak of ones and twos hit.

First, we all failed our perception rolls to notice the heads gasping for breath. So we stride down the hall and all get hit with a suffocation spell.
Round 1. The pally, ranger, rogue, magus, and cleric all fail initial save (Drop to 0 hp) and are rendered unconscious. The witch saved and now staggered animated her hair (now strength 22 thanks to a headband of intellect +4).
Round 2. The pally, ranger, magus and rogue all faill their second fort saves and drop to -1. The cleric and witch save - the witch runs from the hall back to the choir area carrying the cleric.
Round 3. The pally, ranger, rogue and magus all fail their final saves and die. The Witch uses her greater healing hex on the cleric. The shadows make it to the now dead bodies in the corridor.
Round 4. The witch grabs and pulls the pally free of the corridor as the cleric casts breath of life on her.

The three stopped the shadows by channeling like mad and re-buffing the pally with death ward. The cleric got some luck when the Shadows failed against the disruption of Raven's Head. And the undead scourge destroyed another with her undead annihilation. It was a very tricky moment that came close to a wipe.

The group had to retreat for a couple days to get everyone up again before heading back in.


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Maplewood, your work is amazing - those trackers are very helpful.

Maplewood wrote:

Glad you can use it. I thought this kind of sheet was really useful on the Shiv. Now with all these factions and random encounters, it seemed natural to create one for book 2. My group meets very infrequently, the PCs have only just arrived in Eleder so I actually haven't used this sheet yet.

I'm thinking of adding a row with random Weather results (temperature, amount of rain). I have to find an appropriate table with weather results.

While not perfect it does give you a starting point, take a look at the Donjon Weather Generator?

Generally, local weather patterns in the jungles of the tropics (at least those away from the coast) tend to be fairly regular. In the morning the sun rises heating the cool wet air and ground - Between 2 and 3 in the afternoon when the sun is at its hottest much of the moisture will have evaporated and gone up in to the air - sometimes forming clouds sometimes not but after the worst of the heat the water condenses leading to a sudden rainfall lasting for a few minutes to half an hour. Once done the humidity rises again as the resident heat warms the cooled water and the humidity rises. The jungle canopy holds the heat for much of the evening but the nights are a lot cooler and very moist as all that humidity condenses, soaking everything under the canopy of trees. Morning comes and the cycle begins anew.

Few if any large storms occur from conditions on land, however once a tropical storm makes land fall they are big brawling things with lots of rain, thunder and lightning. In the Mwangi jungles near the Eye of Abendigo I would presume quite a few thunderstorms peel off and head inland. I imagine these would be violent but relatively short lived fronts.

Weather in the Sargava savanna regions would likely mirror those found in Africa. Summer is the rainy season with storms rolling through with regularity, the plant life is lush, the streams and rivers flow freely or even flood. Winter is the dry season with almost no rainfall. The plants are shriveled and dry, herd migrations occur as they search for food.


When I described this AP to the group, I used Tomb Raider meets Indiana Jones as the best descriptor - to prep them for the kind of thing needed. As Glutton mentioned, diplomacy is an indispensable skill, and will be useful throughout the AP. Knowledge Arcana, History, and Religion are going to be inordinately useful as well. Linguistics will come in handy especially if your players are more self-motivating rather than sitting back and letting the story sweep them forward. Survival is a must (and a barbarian, druid or ranger will find themselves really useful).

Read and get comfortable with environmental rules about heat, diease and so on.

The first installment the PCs have their gear and whatever they and their fellow castaways can scavenge or hunt.

Be ready to handle a lot of NPCs... Some are quite compelling. You may want to look at some of the NPC posts in this forum, including the one on leadership.

In the third part of the AP is very much a sandbox, and you will either need curious PCs who actually want to explore the city or will have to motivate them to do so. The magic item finds are not really "good" until the 4th installment - you may need to remind the PCs that they need to sell stuff to their expedition backers and equip up that way.

That is as far as I have read deeply enough to actually comment upon. We are just starting Smuggler's Shiv ourselves.


This AP is rich in memorable NPCs, and interactions with them are important to the eventual outcome. I was inspired by Daviot about including the Hellknight Order of the Coil in the AP. So I decided to share some of the NPCs from various sorces outside the AP that I can imagine joining in the story during the course of the AP. The spreadsheet can be found HERE

Some of these are definitely rivals or foes, some are simply colorful background characters.

Spoiler:
These notes are specific to my campaign, my knowledge of my players, and the characters they are running -
Female human (mulatto – half chellish, half mwangi) Ranger
Male human (Absalom) Mage
Male human (Absalom) Rogue
Female half-elf Cleric of Calistria
Male human (Garundi) Fighter (Think LL Cool J)

From the CN to NG leanings of the group (and repeated expressed hatred for all things Aspis Consortium based) I think they will be leaning toward Pathfinder/Pirates or Pathfinder/Sargava possibly (the ranger girl is already half in love with Jask and they are still on the Shiv -perhaps I played him a little too close to Morgan Freeman...)

Adelle Duran – With her description and motivations for adventure, challenges, and living life to its fullest Adelle has great motivation to join up with an expedition into the Mwangi Expanse looking for one of the most legendary cities of ancient Azlant. In my campaign she may join the PCs expedition as a possible love interest and may be used as a replacement character should a PC die and choose to play her.

Diamata Sirathini – Will be hired on as a guide for one of the other expeditions. Depending upon how things go she may be recruited to the PC's side and may actually end up as a replacement character should one of the PCs die.

Esaye Polbele (Tribal Leader) – She and her tribe will be used to hunt the PCs and their faction. In my game she will have been killed and replaced by one of the serpent folk and is corrupting her tribe.

Illian Galanadrian – Is, of course, working exclusively for the Red Mantis as a special agent of their expedition. She may used to target any of the PCs for assassination should the party be having too easy a time of things.

Jaren the Jinx – Who refers to himself as “Perilous Jaren”, finds himself as second in command of the Shackles Pirates. He hopes that if they succeed in this endeavor he will shake his reputation as “the Jinx”. Again, here is another possible replacement character should a PC expire.

Kiro (Mud Shaman) – Can be used as foil or help. Likely at some point my PCs will go off the rails and get caught up in a side adventure from a random encounter. Kiro will be there to help kick their butts or give them a clue that will light a fire under their butts.

Lord Achimair – Sometimes you need a bad ass to run with. He would have heard rumors that filtered to him through Bloodcove and want in on the treasures.

Ntanga – Is simply a foil for the party. He will spy for the Ape King if I need, etc.

Tpannon – The 'legendary' water lord may be looking for a way to finally "die" releasing the current man from the burden of living up to the legendary name.

Yallathoon (tribal champion) – Is working with Esaye Polbele the Tribal Leader (see above) but has not been fully convinced that Esaye is the chosen one. She may just be sword fodder for the PCs or may even end up joining their expedtion if the group plays it right.


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Excellent ideas.

Daviot wrote:

Of the lovably hardassed face-punching enforcers of law that are the hellknights, the minor order known as the Order of the Coil, like that of the Orders of the Crux*, Pike, and Star, gets one brief paragraph of lore, be it on the preview blog, or on page 65 of AP #27:What Lies in Dust. And that's it, really.

In short, they're based in or around Eleder, and hunt down those who try to find, recover, and return Mwangi/Sargavan relics to civilization (especially the Pathfinders). Sadly, there's been zero discussion about them on the forums, and absolutely no mention of them in an AP that gives us the freaking gazetteer on Eleder...

I am working in the Order of the Coil as well. I am retooling Patronicus Drendane Cleric of Asmodeus from the NPC Guide, page 8 - I have added a couple of levels of Hellknight Signifier from Paths of Prestige. He is going to be working a bit “behind the scenes” until it is time to kick the PCs in the face.

Spoiler:
I really like these ideas:
Daviot wrote:

The Order of the Coil quietly sponsored the revolt in Racing to Ruin in a 'for the greater law' outcome, to stop the PCs' expedition in its infancy.

And

Daviot wrote:
The Serpentfolk see the name 'Order of the Coil' as a sign to their Dark God™, and have ... infiltrated them...

In my story the Hellknights are going to unwittingly provide crack troops and magic to the Serpent's cause, and may even lead them to spy upon the various factions for the serpents. I plan on having the Order of the Coil hire the “Rival Agents” in Kalabuto in the guise of a neutral or even friendly faction to the PCs, hopefully causing PCs to form rivalries with possible allies (and off-stage doing the same to other groups).

The Order of the Coil is one of the smaller orders of Hellknights so I am giving them limited resources. For this venture they are committing the following troops:
Patronicus Drendane (mh Cleric of Asmodeus 6 / Signifier 2, CR 7)
Several under clerics – one of whom is the serpent infiltrator who has dominated both the Hellknights.
Two full blown Hellknights (mh Fighter 5 / Hellknight 1) CR 5; Pathfinder #30, the Twice-Damned Prince, pages 20 -21
Several Cruel Devotee (*h Monk 5th) CR 4; NPC Codex, page 98
And finally a couple dozen Hellknight Armiger (mh Fighter 3rd) CR 2; NPC Guide, page 37.

Unless backed up with many resistance spells, the Hellknights in Sargava wear lighter armor than usual due to heat & most do not have shields because of their chosen weapon, the greataxe.

While their primary objective is to stop the spread of "...a disease of savagery by (say pathfinders and PCs) carrying curios from the jungles into the world..." I have given them a secondary agenda as well - To weaken the Sargavan government in hopes of returning Sargava to the fold of Cheliax. This fits pretty well with their traditional primary objective. If Saventh-Yhi is found or even the way to find it is found, then Sargava – specifically Eleder – will see a huge influx of pathfinders, adventurers, sages, explorers, and con-artists. These in turn will bring gold, treasure and goods. If it controls the flow of artifacts from Saventh-Yhi then Eleder and Sargava only get stronger.

Hopefully this will help others with ideas on Hellknights in this AP.

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