Althought I agree with Mykull in general, I don't agree about the chapter of the tree. Make them run the chapter without leveling, without resting, and with the time constraint, and they'll sweat enough (+ it specifically says that each guy thinks they can take the party because they are slowly getting insane)
But aside from that, more intelligent monsters is definitely awesome, ask yourself the question often : would that monster think he can take on the party ? Does he care if he can or not ? Would he fight to the death ? Would he seek revenge ?
I had a lot of the baddies that they left for dead in flood season come back later to get revenge, that was an amazing showdown in secret of the soul pillars. Also the imp sold a wand of water control for his life and that has had repercussion all the way to chapter 11.
Intelligent baddies can really ruin your player's day :)
no, the 3.5 CR are (from experience) between 1 or 2 below CR in pathfinder.
AND I run the game one level below (but we have strong rolled stats I have to say).
So basically, if the chapter is for level 10-11, they'll be 9-10 during that.
I then switch 3.5 for pathfinder, sometimes compare the two if it's more than rabble, and add a template if it seems a bit underwhelming.
Like the hydra before going to see the Kua-toas, I pimped it yo.
What happened in my case is that there was a low death count in the first chapters (althought they "failed" the bazaar right off the bat, they failed to save the slaves) but now at higher levels they are eating it (2 tpks already, not counting when only 1 or 2 died)
In my game the chapter ended up being one of the most memorable.
1st of all it was a good way of having the characters away while stuff happened to Cauldron, like the tax raises, the unrest, what was subtly escalating suddenly became much more apparent when they came back.
2nd in my game, they did not kill the Imp in the flood festival (Gut) and the imp has been following them while invisible and trying to corrupt the less good of them all. When the wizard died while fighting the salamander and the fighter died against the bebilith, the Imp tried to have them sell their soul to go back and help their friends, the wizard (good) refused, the fighter (neutral, low wisdom) jumped on the occasion, triggering a chain of event that still has consequences in chapter 11 (they are now about to go to hell to save his soul)
3rd The succubus escaped, coincidently they found a poor woman that was captured by evil demons that needed a way to go back to the material plane, so they brought her along, bringing her back to Cauldron, where she became the concubine of the now lawful-evil fighter, and people started to disappear....
4th I used the smoking eye template from the repository which gave a wish to whoever has the smoking eye, once a year, while standing in the skull.
5th the barb/cleric dwarf did no hesitate to throw himself in the fire and came back, but the fighter, part of his deal with the imp was to get control of Occitipus to give it to devilish powers (instead of demon vs angels), so he grabbed his goblin companion (another player, goblin druid )and tossed him in the fire, also getting the template.
6th The dwarf used his wish to ask his gods to bring his best friend, the wizard, to life, and he came back to life. The wizard, seeing that the fighter was alive, realized he must have made a deal with the devilish imp (since he was proposed the same deal but refuseD) and wanted to ask, in front of everyone, if he made a deal. The fighter did NOT want him to reveal his secret, so he used his wish as follows :
I WISH HIM DEAD !!!
Hilarity ensued, we paused the game for about 3 weeks. When we came back, the dwarf was about to jump the figther, but what they didn't plan was the wish getting "perverted" and the wizard turning into a Lich, with the fighter as his philactery...
God that was good times....
Also my players are idiots and it took them forever to get out of the swamp.
It's absolutely possible I guess that they are barely out of the blast zone if not at all... I'll have to reread how volcano explodes to have a better idea if the volcano can still be a danger for the refugees...
But how well would a city like Sasserine deal with so many refugees do you think ?
Also I'm since the volcano was the least favorable of successes, that most people will see : you failed to save the city instead of : at least you saved the region, would that be a correct assumption ?
Basically the remaining players have been away for 3-4 days after the volcano exploded, where do you think the refugees will be ? how things went ? at least I don't have to deal with the characters for those days, but someone is bound to tell them what happened in the meantime ?
I would think Sasserine saw the smoke in the distance and sent some help to see what's going on, they probably have access to some scrying to see that the refugees are on their way, maybe send more protection and food, but how will they greet them you think ?
Wasn't it specified in the SCAP that the baddies were resting, a bit insane and too sure of themselves, so they wait for the players and al think (because of their recent spike in insanity because of the portal) that they can take the players no problem so they specifically don't band together ?
Anyway, in my game, the too insane to realize the danger flew well, and it didn't prevent my players from getting the beating of their life.
Sad I'm late to the party, my players just went through chapter 10, by luck they went directly to the tree, but the wizard got desintegrated, the backup caster/knolwedge guy was carrying 7 negative levels. They used ALL of their healing, they fought dyrryd while seriously wounded, and once they killed him, they realized they were in no shape to explore more to find a way to stop the ritual, so they just destroyed the tree, closing the portal but destroying cauldron (and themselves) in the process.
WE HAVE TO PUSH THROUGH !
I just finished chapter 10 with my players and we play pathfinder, 5 players.
I find that at lower level it doesn't make much difference if you convert or not.
But later on, challenges are going to be underwhelming if you keep them at 3.5.
That is my opinion from experience.
I tried to use pathfinder stats for everything that had a pathfinder equivalent, and starting chapter... 7 ? 8 ? I started converting anything that didn't have a straight up conversion (like NPCs)
a level 4 npc in pathfinder is almost identical in 3.5, but at level 15, they would be missing many feats and abilities that would make them a fair challenge for the characters.
So, my players are level 16.
One of the players sold his soul a long time ago and finally died.
His friends are hellbent (hehe) on saving his soul, so going to hell to reclaim it.
The plottwist is that because of some strange combination of wishes. The devil that contracted disappeared from existence.
But since a wish is not enough to break a contract, there's a paradox where his soul is still bound to hell and to a hellish owner, but no one can remember who the contractor was.
Basically, there's a powerful devil that OWNs his soul, but has no idea why.
For this reason, I think it IS possible to have him relinquish the soul at the end of said quest (since it's not a normal situation with the contractor that got erased from Existence)
The reason I need some help is that 1- I never ran a quest that high level (I am running SCAP and that's how they got to this level and it's a first for everyone to get so high DM included), 2- I never ran an extra planar quest (high or low level).
Here's my first thoughts :
His soul was bound to Dis - That way, they can still "Go down in hell" but not too deep, it's a major sidequest, but I don't want it to last a year by going down 6 levels in hell. I want them to get 1.5 level and get some equipment since they recently lost almost all of their gear, almost.
The rescuers will have to make their way to the outlands, find the gate town of Ribcage and find a way to get into hell (first third of the side quest)
Once in avernus, they will have to find what happened to the strange soul that was bearing an owner mark, but no contractor (second third of the side quest)
And finally, they'll have to get down to Dis, and find a way to convince the owner to reliquish the soul in exchange for....... ?
My way of thinking, is that open confrontation is impossible ; if they just go gun blazing, they will die. But Devils being lawful and respecting of their twisted laws mean that there is more than enough room for roguish activity, information gathering, diplomacy, etc.... my goal is not to make a 100% fighting sidequest.
Anyone would like to share their ideas ? Thanks !
As some might have gathered from my other posts, when my PCs went after the three of shackled souls it was without their caster and/or knowledge guy.
So they thought : well, we just found all those adamantine axes... and that's a tree...
2 + 2 = ....
So anyway ! volcano has exploded, destroying Cauldron.
We are now taking a break (I take a break between each chapters) and want to have an idea of what the refugees will do/think/suffer etc...
To give an idea, I am taking Mount St-Helens as my example volcano to determine how it exploded, how far ash goes, etc...
We are in forgotten realms which only means that I put Cauldron, Redgorge, kingsfisher, sasserine, etc... in Chult, in the middle of the jungle.
I am thinking they'll want to take refuge in Sasserine because redgorge and kingsfisher are probably too small/too close to the volcano.
I am thinking hookface (who wasn't killed previously) will come and take a look at the whole thing.
Maybe some demons from the Demonskar will even bring popcorn and see how the thing explode.
But what to do with 5,000 refugees ? Especially in those circumstances ?
I have a couple of ideas, but I wouldn't mind having some outside input.
Thanks y'all !
I very much like your ideas, thanks for the pointers, I guess my first order of business would be to calculate how far the townsfolk were able to go !!
I may have not used the right forum if so I'm sorry lol, but at the same time, although it happened in SCAP, I am looking for ideas of the damage the volcano would do which could be very general instead of campaign specific.
Oh most of those characters are not coming back lol, only 2 are maybe coming back just because he has a power that when he dies his body gets teleported (still dead) somewhere else, and he took the ashes of the desintegrated wizard with him. So they'll be the core of the next party that will keep on going.
I will look into Vesuvius, hopefully I'll get info like how far the ash went, how long the eruption last, etc....
A good way to start my search :)
It's mainly to know how the geography would be affected to then describe : that's the landscape now.
Alright guys, I need some help and ideas.
So I am DMing the Shackled City campaign, we just finished chapter 10.
For those who don't know the campaign that's how it goes :
The bad guys want to open a portal to the abyss, but they need to a lot of power to power their portal opening artefact, so they made a ritual to awaken the volcano that's under the main city.
So now that the city has been evacuated, the heroes need to stop that portal because if the portal to the abyss is permanently open, it won't matter how far the evacuation goes.
But the bad guy lair where the artefact is in the middle of said volcano. The fact that the artefact is pumping the volcano's power keeps the irruption in check.
But things go sour as first, in the first 10 minutes, their teleporting wizard and main source of knowledeges gets desintegrated by a pyroclastic dragon and then their back-up source of knowledge gets level drained by a nasty trap (7 negative levels total).
So when they get to the artifact, spent, wounded, bleeding, tired (because it's time issue, no sleep permitted if they want to make it in time!) they realize that without knowledge guy they have no idea if there's a failsafe or safe way to stop the whole thing. So they grab the adamantine axes they found and destroy said artefact by chopping it to pieces.
This releases the full power of the volcano and without any means of teleporting (since wizard was desintegrated and didnt prepare any scrolls of teleport) well... they succeeded in preventing the portal from opening but all died in the process (woot !)
Now, the campaign won't stop here, but one thing I am curious and don't know where to start is... how could I estimate the damage, lava, etc... a Volcano would do ? the city is obviously gone, but what of the surroundings ? how would you gauge this ?
Worst comes to worst I hope the little summary entertained you :)
I gave this a lot of thought and here are my conclusion :
The difference between slippery mind and hard to fool are in the duration of the mind affecting.
AKA : duration instantaneous or not ?
Dominated for X days ? Hard to fool is your friend because you are under an effect that lasts X amount of time.
But you got hit by feeblemind or insanity ? That's too bad, because duration is intantenous. People want to argue that Even though the spell is instantenous, the effect lasts SO hard to fool should work. I don't agree because 1- the easy answer, it's instantenous, and by definition instantenous has come and gone, so there's no magic left, if you detect magic on the dude, there's no magic left to fight, the spell turned to brain to mush and you're stuck with it, it's not affecting your brain to act differently. 2- to those who would argue against it, you know what's also an effect of an instantenous mind affecting spell ? Phantasmal killer. So I guess if you get killed by phantasmal killer, since fear is mind affecting (that's what kills you) you get a new save every round to come back to life ? 3- What is I think the biggest pointer : Instantenous "effect" still work on in anti-magic zone. So how can you argue that there's still an effect to suppress with hard to fool, but not an effect to suppress by anti-magic ?
Now, Slippery mind, Slippery mind, you fail a will save, you get ONE extra save, and it doesnt specify, just like the Hard to fool : IF you are still under an effect.
You get dominated : Slippery mind = one extra save only, hard to fool : one save EACH round
So they are both good because in one situation hard to fool gives you more chances to wriggle free, but in the other situation slippery mind applies but not hard to fool.
It all makes a lot of sense although the wording are subtle.
I think it's one of those cases where they use the word "effect" with two meanings and that's what confuses people.
Effect 1 = the effect of being UNDER an ongoing spell
That's my take, and usually I'm pretty humble but on this one I'm 99% of myself.
Can't believe there would be two talents that does the exact same thing but one is 100% better than the other.
Agree that it could amount to a lot of hilarity depending on where it happens, but that will also depends on when it happens. (day vs. night to start off)
He is still evil, but my personal belief is that no fantasy justice system uses detect evil as compelling proof (aka: not because you`re evil at the core that you broke an laws, not because you're evil that you go around murdering people) so depending on the situation, evil guy might win people`s favour vs. good lich. The evil guy has been helping the city, and the good lich well... thanks for all the help, but you`re kinda going against everything we believe in, you better go to rest now... now Evil guy get out of here, we don`t like what we had to do and we don`t like that you had us doing it, so if that`s all please leave my temple.
That`s what I thought about RAW... how would you deal with prevent SU apart from dead magic/anti-magic if it came up in your game?
Because really it's a case of : I can't debuff him too much because as a undead he is immune to most debuffs that would work on living prisonners, and since he can SU transform himself, simple manacles or bars won't do the trick.
I guess custom make magic supressing manacles ? He may have access to a wizard high enough to make those (the wizard wouldn`t ask too many questions since traitor guy is representing the guard/army and they did have problems with wizards and magical creatures in the past) but do you think it would be dangerous to introduce such an item in the game? (Because if Traitor guy keeps Lich guy locked up in the basement with anti-magic manacles, it will surely come up at some point and someone will free him, even maybe traitor guy himself (im sorry I had to do this to you, but I had to finish my plan, you understand right? besides you`re immortal now, so what`s a couple of weeks/months in a basement... water under the bridge right buddy ? we'll just start adventuring again like before right, just you and me ?)
I was going with 5th element reconstruction (my own thinking, never read any other ideas to be honest)
Like at first it looks like nothing, but after a while there's the organs, then the skeleton, then the muscles etc....
In my mind it wouldn't be tethered, so it would start next to him, but stay wherever it started building. So he couldn't have someone stay behind and destroy the body because it would reappear wherever he is then.
Traitor guy knows Lich guy is an undead, Lich guy may have said that he seemed to share many abilities with a Lich but it's 100% possible traitor guy doesn't know the finer workings of Lichdom. The traumatic experience and destroy the body until exhaustion makes absolute sense with how the character was played before becoming an NPC. But once he wakes up or sees that simply destroying the thing is not enough... he could get someone to cast an anti-magic field, but that's not permanent enough, and there is no permanent anti-magic field lying around (there could, but since it was never introduced, I feel that would be a bit too "convenient" to the DM)
So I'm still stuck, how would you proceed to prevent the Lich from using SU to escape.
Understandable that things don't compute, there's a lot of "had to be there" thing.
Lich guy had to do a lot of research and divination to figure out that wish boy was his phylactery, and by then they already split up with him, so he didn't let his phylactery romp around unabated on purpose.
The reason he still wanted a friendship (until he didn't) was because they were friends since Level 1 and with his knowledge, understood that wish boy made a deal to save his life, took an extremely stupid decision and was now slowly losing himself (since he was going from neutral to evil, and fulfilling his part of bargain to the devils), wish boy was slow wisdom and pretty enamored with himself, so it was "in character" to jump on the occasion to come back to life without thinking about the long term.
Later on, they split up, but that was still before he found out that they were linked that way.
Which also means that Wish boy doesn't know that he is the phylcatery, and will literally have no idea why there would be a body suddenly starting to build itself around him.
Now the Lich wants to make plans to contain him, but the traitor before he was traitor started his own personal goals, married into minor nobility, used his newfound title to join the army/town guard with a rank, and go up the ladder. But now that he's LE and left the party, he went on his job full time and took advantage of the chaos in the city to go up even more and at this time is second only the Captain (and I think coincidentally, that is where the captain disappears (Shackled City) so that would leave him in charge of the army/guard. So getting to him is not super easy.
And since the "killing of the 3 friends" happenend outside of town and really there's only the Lich left as a witness, if it became public it would be the undead's word against the Lieutenant of the guard who has been helping the town in its dire needs. I mean, they know the Lich was an adventurer that saved the city in the past.. but that was when he was living. People have a problem with undeads (as they should lol).
Also, it is part of the plan that if both traitor and Lich are still alive once the campaign is over (which should be at level 20, once again we're in the Shackled city campaign) I have been working on an epic go to hell quest to save the soul of traitor.
But still, my question was about how to deal with the Lich if he reforms next to traitor, not the other way around ;p
Yep, the character was allowed to keep his old alignment (good) and is following the rules of the good-aligned lich.
The Wizard character is looking for a way to revert the process but can't help but notice how strong he is and how this helps with the grand scale of things (since they are on a quest to save the whole city) although this decision means that he is shun by most who know his secret, even old allies, and most recently, his father (lots of good drama RP)
Also, this is quite the opposite, it is a fantastic party and the treason was in everybody's mind of the biggest highlight how stuff that happened had huge repercussions, everyone played their RP brilliantly (The selfish neutral character who sold his soul to stay alive, but became Lawful Evil as part of the whole selling his soul process) and slowly changed his view on life and what he wanted and needed to do to achieve it. How the Wizard understood the implications of selling your soul so he tried to suffer the presence of his former friend in hopes that he'll be able to save him until the treason was complete and the he gave up on him. Really it was memorable moments that will stay with us forever.
So no, not terrible group. No need to prohibit PvP because they never actually rolled an attack roll against one each other, it was all 100% RP and it was brilliant.
Ok... so after a wish turned sour, one of the characters became a Lich, one of the players (who ended up betraying the whole party so he wouldn't die; made a faustian pact with a devil to come back to life) wished the Wizard dead so he wouldn't reveal his secret to the rest of the party. He got half is wish because the wizard is dead, but the wizard is now an undead lich.
Just to make things more interesting, the wizard found out that the traitor (who made the wish) has been turned into his living phylactery (talk about a love-hate relationship)
They tried adventuring together still, but at some point the wizard decided that he was beyond immediate redemption (since his pact turned his Neutral to Evil) and they had to split up (not on good terms, 2 other players died permanently because of that traitor).
So the traitor became an NPC for now since he can't still travel with the Wizard and the new group.
Matt and FJ, stop reading if you're here.
Anyway, I have to think (as the DM) that the wizard might get killed while adventuring, and if that happens, he'll start rebuilding himself near the traitor guy.
Traitor guy doesn't want to outright kill Lich guy because "bah we're friends, I forgive you, sure I killed some people I shouldn't but who's perfect amirite ?" So he would probably look for a way to imprison him for when he wakes up in 1d10 days (or more because he can just destroy the body and let it restart the restoration process).
The challenge :
Lich guy is undead : can't hit him with non-lethal
Traitor guys knows all of this because they traveled together for many levels, so he knows what he can and can't do and has the ressources and counsel to plan according to it (no use in putting him in shackles if he can just turn into a mouse !
Ideally they would still be able to speak because "he is his friend and wants to tell him about what he's accomplished"
Any thoughts ?
Characters are level 13 now so nothing that is too much over.
Thank you !
In theory should be a yes/no question but seems harder than expected to find an answer...
Destroyed magical item, -12412421 hp.
Makewhole repairs if double CL YAY, easy !
Any other way ?
I understand the repair for half price and half time as repairing a damaged item and not a destroyed item ( because destroyed = all its magical power is lost.
I understand that if that's the case, it makes repairing destroyed magical items extremely hard and maybe unpractical, but in my mind, that's the price to pay for destroying a magic item, all magic is lost.
It hasn't been played out yet, it has been postponed for more urgent matters, the PC that betrayed the group came back to town and revealed the secret of the wizard to the city of Cauldron (that he is an undead) in the hopes that if the wizard told the city that the fighter betrayed them and worked with the devils, "it's your word against his, but who would believe an undead"
More to come...
I very much like all those ideas thank you Chillsabre.
The idea behind finding a Celestial instead of a regular high level priest is trying to bank on the : help us, we are doing good, and you are good, so you should help us because you are good.
But I like the ideas of Quest/Gaea's spell, and or reservations if the whole party is not of the right alignment.
Also the diamond, it is true that is a problem on its own finding a diamond like that, I'll have to keep this in mind.
It seems that it sparked a few ideas in your head, I`d be very interested to know what you think of it more in details. One qualm I have as I was saying is the time constriction, at the point they are in the story, the bad guys have put the main events in motion, so leaving for too long (aka interesting sidequest) could actually make them fail the campaign. But whether they get the resurrection or not, I want them to get a yay or nay with a little bit more flavor than `fine get your resurrection now let`s get back to the story` or `nope sorry, that's not how it works`
But as you said, I don`t believe you can just show up and ask someone for res, but I am wondering how to properly RP and illustrate that fact instead of plain boring answers
I agree it could spark some interesting good on good action and RP.
they are level 11, and yes 8 character death, the wizard died three times alone, first at lower level because of ennemy death attack, another time being constricted by a noble salamander where everyone was too busy to notice him going limp (fighter was dominated, cleric was fending off the fighter, a succubus was harassing everyone), then the fighter died against a bebilith (thanks to the druid, that sent the bebilith in the same pit the fighter fell in, making it a 1 vs. 1 instead of 1 vs. 5) but roleplayed it out and made a pact with a devil to come back to life in exchange that he has to become lord of occipitus and forward the devil agenda, then the ranger got fire giant to the face. Then to become lords of Occipitus (a semi-plane of the Abyss) they had to sacrifice an ally. The cleric sacrificed himself and his gods managed to intervene in his favor and send him back because they wanted a chance for a good guy to rule that plane of the abyss, but while that was happening the fighter took the druid and threw him in the fire, fulfilling the test of sacrifice and also gaining the powers of a ruler of Occipitus. When cleric came back, he used one of his newfound powers (a 1/year wish while in the fortress of Occi) to bring back the wizard to life, the wizard suspected the fighter made a deal with a devil so immediately asked him about it, to which the fighter used HIS wish to say " I WISH HIM DEAD " turning the wizard into an intelligence undead (he got his wish, but corrupted ya'know). Later on, the sorcerer (same player as the now dead ranger) thought he could take on a T-Rex in a random encounter by himself and got swallowed whole, and during an epic fight the barbarian (dead druid's player) and the cleric got killed by the leader of the cathedral they were fighting against, very epic...
So yeah, may deaths, 2 years out of game of playing almost every friday :)
Wizard is a PC, I am the DM.
The finger is being kept by the devil who dumped the body in the fire, so they don't have it "handy" (hurr hurr) so reincarnate or resurrections are not options, nor is wish since the PCs that have access to the 1/year either are dead or had to quit the party AND have used it anyway.
I am looking for an RP way because since I'm following a campaign that I want to bring to its end (if there's characters left alive) they can't leave on long side-quests because time is against them.
Then, when I look how hard it is to planar bind, especially something that can cast level 9 spells, I don<t want it replaced by a simple plane shift that makes it, by the mechanics super easy.
But if I refuse it, I don't want it to be too : no because no, I want it to make sense on why Good Celestials would refuse to raise a good guy if asked directly.
I`d be very curious in those reasons not to help.
Hi all !
So I'm running Shackled City (me is the DM) with pathfinder rules, we are presently middle chapter 7 and only had +/- 8 deaths since the start of the campaign ( half of which were unraisable)
But now there`s one death that the wizard really can't forgive so he's hellbent on finding a way to have someone cast true resurrection (since the body is missing, dumped in the fire of Occipitus, and only a finger is left that the devil that manipulated everyone is keeping).
So my wizard is looking at finding someone with True Res. Of course, no one in Cauldron that is high level... so he's thinking about teleporting around and coming back to Cauldron but even then not sure to find a cleric high level enough... So he's thinking about Celestials/Angels. But since he does not have Planar Binding (yet) and even if he did, is not necessarily powerful enough to bring a celestial that is powerful enough to cast lvl 9 cleric spells (using all the binding/calling outsiders mechanics), he's thinking about simply plane shifting to Celestia/Elysium/Heaven/whatever and going to ask around directly.
I am not sure how to handle this if he goes through with his plan.
My own reflex would be that 1- They wouldn't necessarily be seen as deserving a meeting with such powerful beings 2- even if they did, they wouldn't meddle in the things of mortals, dead is dead, even if it was unjust and by the hand of devils....
But then the wizard would want to RP it, and am wondering about other pointers on why Lawful Good beings would refuse to bring someone`s friend to life if they were asked to. At the same time I`m never a fan of circumventing mechanics; why would spell X would exist if you could use X instead which is easier (in this case, Im not high level enough to planar bind so Ill plane shift because it`s easier). I find it hard to make the difference between the players being crafty and just exploiting or going around a rule.