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Goblin Squad Member. Organized Play Member. 331 posts. 10 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 2 Organized Play characters.


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I ordered some Grab Bags from Frog God for the first time this year and here's what I got:

100$ Grab Bag:

Razor Coast
HC5 The Pirate Coast
HC7 The Golden Meadow
NS1 Vengeance of the Long Serpent
NS2 Beyond the Wailing Mountains
NS3 The Death Curse of Sven Oakenfist
NS4 Blood on the Snow
S&W DM screen
S&W Coloring Book

M3 Tower Chaos
G7 Morrick Mansion
K2 The Diamond Fortress
K3 The Doom of Listonshire
Shrink wrapped box set of the City of Brass (Yay!)

Out Of Print Grab Bag:

M3 Tower Chaos
G3 The Hall of the Rainbow Mage
G5 Chaos Rising
G6 The Grey Citadel
L2 Vampires and Liches
H1 Bonegarden
K4 Coils of Set
K6 Shades of Gray
K7 Tower of Jhedophar
The Mother of All Treasure Tables

I'm delighted with what I got and excited to read through some good adventures.

A big "Thank You!" to all the Frogs for their hard work and commitment to producing such high quality RPG products.

Did anyone else order 2015 Grab Bags from FGG? Is so, what did you get?


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Cross-posting this from the SK kickstarter in case people are on the fence about getting Sword of Air as an add-on at the end of this kickstarter:

I just got my copy of Sword of Air in the mail today and I gotta say that it looks like one incredible adventure.

I got really excited just flipping through and reading random bits here and there. This thing oozes Lost Lands flavor and lore. I didn't realize that this adventure would be so wide ranging geographically.

And the art by Artem Shukaev is amazing!

Great job Bill! (and everyone else that contributed to making this book so excellent) I think this one definitely deserves a place on the shelf with Rappan Athuk and Slumbering Tsar.

Question for the FGG crew: Where can I find more information about Abad Durahai and Alesardin from the Gulf of Akados region map?

Thanks!


Bill Webb wrote:

We are extending our sale until January 4th--I just need more space! With Sword of Air and Quests of Doom arriving over the next 60 days or so--the warehouse is just too full. Now is a great time to get the books you are missing from your collection.

We've decided to extend our 30% OFF sale for Christmas until midnight on Sunday January 4th. The coupon code is: XMAS2014

We've sold most of our Holiday Grab Bags so get them while supplies last! There are maybe 30 left of my collection and 65 or so left of the $300 for $100 boxes.

Does the 30% off apply to the Grab Bags? And what is the shipping cost to Canada on Grab Bags?

Thanks! and Happy New Year!


Thanks Greg!


Shem wrote:

Greg,

Any chance we can find out what three old Necromancer game adventures will be in Cults?

Yes, I'm curious to know this as well.


Hey Knick,

Thanks for checking in!

Yeah, we finished book 1 and it went really well but the game is on hold at the moment as our group alternates DMs.

Still planning to finish these session logs eventually and hope to continue the campaign at some point.

Your advice as I DM'ed part 1 was invaluable and greatly improved the campaign. I still check these boards regularly and really enjoy reading your posts.


the brothers of seven

they come up in Rise of the Runelords


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sounds great! love Logue's stuff


James Jacobs wrote:
Laric wrote:

James,

I'm curious, were you at all inspired by Night Below when planning the structure of this campaign.

Not directly, no. It was more inspired from stories of Mothman, the Jersey Devil, some other cryptozoological/UFO abduction stuff, and the writings of Clark Ashton Smith, Lovecraft, Blackwood, Chambers, and a few other authors.

Cool stuff!

I haven't actually read Night Below, just a synopsis, but it seems to have garnered mixed reviews over the years.

Until Shadows Under Sandpoint comes out, are there any classic underdark centric adventures that you would recommend?


James,

I'm curious, were you at all inspired by Night Below when planning the structure of this campaign.


Paizo Top. 4

-James Jacobs
-Nic Logue
-Mike Shel
-Richard Pett

3PP Top 3

-Greg A. Vaughan (Also love his Paizo stuff)
-Bill Webb
-Matt Finch


I agree with victor, pathfinder really drags the higher you go.


souls for smuggler's shiv is my pick


check this out:

Announcement


FWIW,

I would still very much like to see Shadows Under Sandpoint come out at some point.

I'm a big fan of most everything that JJ has written (and the APs he's designed).


I didn't get a shipping notice either but I got my package.

Not sure, but I don't think they sent notices this time around.


Got my Barakus shipment! Everything was there, Thanks Frogs!

PS - Flipping through Cyclopean Deeps looks absolutely awesome and I was also very impressed with RA expansions!


welcome back! looking forward to listening to new episodes!


I have Bards Gate and I would say that you are safe to pass on it. I don't think that it is up to the same standards as most other products released by FGG and Necromancer Games.

In agreement with others that Stoneheart Valley is probably a better lead in to Tsar.


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Pan wrote:
Laric wrote:
Maybe we could all just agree to disagree?
Putting aside the insults, this thread has been a decent discussion on what does or does not work for folks with MM. I for one appreciate the input so far.

I didn't mean that people should stop posting their impressions of Mummy's Mask.

I meant that it should be ok for someone to say that they like or dislike something and why without having someone else:
-discount their point of view
or
-try to convince them that they are wrong
or
-insult them

Which are all things that I have seen happen in this thread.

Whether you love or hate Mummy's Mask, people have different tastes, that's ok. We're all simply letting the ice cream makers know which flavors we like and which flavors we dislike.


Maybe we could all just agree to disagree?


Cool!


congrats!


Thanks Olondir! Unfortunately, I am really behind on my session reports and this situation played out a while back, but I do appreciate your suggestions.

The PCs decided not to return the Queen's Brooch AND not to sell it as well. Additionally, they did not tell or show anyone that they had the brooch. They didn't even have it appraised by a jeweler because they already knew what it was worth.

For a while, I considered forcing their hand by having the Cerulean Society approach them with an offer to buy it. From the DM side of things I felt I could justify this by having it be that Grandmaster Boule (on behalf of Glorio) had arranged to buy it from Gaedren but the old fishery burned down before the exchange could happen. The orphans who survived the blaze could have described the PCs to Boule.

Later, when the PCs had the Raktavarna on them, I was thinking of having a similar scenario occur but this time it would have been to clue the PCs into the fact that they were being spied on.

In the end, I didn't do it because the players had made a conscious decision to keep the brooch a secret and had taken all the necessary precautions so I felt that they should be allowed to succeed.

Did your players return the brooch to the queen?


Windspirit wrote:

After reading the full library part, I do have a slight concern. After they discover the Handout, what's the motivation to go after the Architect?

The library hunt has so far a good arc, but after the handout I fail to see (except that the library points are still not 0) the motivation to dug on. Then they get the last piese from the dark library that would lead to the last one....however why bother. they now have a location of the heart. Even if they later can get the info that someone discovered something, I miss the point why the architect is important.

some other things ...
= in the spiral library the stalkers just attack. How do curators or permitted guest get past?
= the dark library has no public access methods. How would permitted guest get past the glyp?
= after the spiral library the PC don't really need any permission s anymore

I think these are great questions Windspirit and I share your concern around the PCs going off chasing after the Heart of Hakotep in Sothis (which is what I would want to do if I were playing this adventure).

Another question:

I was intrigued by the Udjebet encounter and all the possibilities that could come from it. Is the Uraeus Ring that she is looking for supposed to play some role later on in the AP or is this meant more as a side-trek that left up to the GM's discretion to explore?


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captain yesterday wrote:

Well thanks Laric:) would delete myself if i could:)

it seemed at the time as if he was lumping in and judging all APs by one AP i could've said that in a more constructive manner then what i did:)

Thanks!

For what it's worth, I've often read comments by you on the paizo boards and have usually found them to be quite helpful and insightful.


captain yesterday wrote:
if you picked this AP as your first, or are judging all other APs by this one then good riddance to you, don't need you around to be honest:)

Captain Yesterday, to me, your comment seems disrespectful and insulting. As such, I have flagged it for Paizo to review.


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I would buy an S&W conversion of Tsar even though I own the PF edition already. I have stopped playing PF but would still love to one day be able to run a group through Tsar.


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The coupon problem was fixed yesterday and I got my pdfs. Thanks FGG!


So what should we do if it says that the coupon codes from our backerkit purchases are expired or invalid?

I got Dirty Tricks, CD and RA expansion and none of the coupons work.


Cool! Good to know. Thanks for posting.


My understanding is that only those who ordered Dirty Tricks through the SOA kickstarter would have received it.

If you ordered Dirty Tricks through the Lost City of Barakus Kickstarter, like I did, I think those will only be shipped with the Barakus books.


Riggler wrote:

I find it really hard to take seriously criticism of an AP volume's adventure from those who mostly just read adventures, especially those who rarely run a table.

Riggler,

I know that your comment was not targeting anyone specific but I feel compelled to reply.

I've run Kingmaker in the past, currently running Curse of the Crimson Throne. I've played in Rise of the Runelords and Legacy of Fire. I've also read about half the APs that Paizo has put out so far.

I think it is absurd to suggest that you have to run an adventure in order to decide whether you like it or not. Yes, some adventures play better than they read, but there's a ton of adventures out there that I'm not excited about running, should I have to play through them in order to be allowed to say that I don't like them? Should my players be forced through such a useless exercise?

When I post or write a review I'm trying to provide Paizo with feedback on what I liked and didn't like about one of their product so that they can take that into account along with all the other feedback, including yours, for their future products.

I did not like The Half-Dead City. You did like it and it sounds like you are having fun running it. Good for you!

One experience does not invalidate the other.


Sorry, due to a copy/paste error on my part, two of my responses inadvertently got switched. Here's what it should say:

Jim Groves wrote:

FIRST TWO DUNGEONS: That's somewhat unkind to the PFS freelancers and developers who work very hard to deliver some great adventures.

I did not intend this as any kind of disrespect to PFS freelancers or developers. When I buy an AP I expect it to feel different than a PFS scenario. Because the Half-Dead City was set up the way it was, it reminded me of linked PFS scenarios that I've played or read, that's all. I'm not saying that PFS scenarios are bad, I'm saying that I expect an AP volume to feel like one big adventure instead of three smaller loosely-related ones.

Jim Groves wrote:


That said, you sound like you're looking for the "crisis trigger". I respect what you've said.

Actually, I'm not looking for the crisis trigger in this adventure. I'm fine with that happening in the second adventure.


Hey Jim,

Thanks for your reply.

Just to clarify some things:

Jim Groves wrote:


INTRODUCTION: The introduction is actually quite short, as it stands. You suggest that we have no introduction and just start them at the tomb. I see that as a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" proposition. If some introduction is not present, I feel many GMs would be much more upset. As it stands, the introduction is easily expedited. You suggest this is a long drawn out scene when its two short read-aloud texts, which are incredibly easy to zip through or bypass. There is a generous amount of background information, but that is there to provide a contextual rationale and verisimilitude. I feel you're depicting me as standing over your shoulder rapping your knuckles with a ruler if you don't spend 20 minutes droning aloud. That's a bit unfair.

This is where I question "armchair reviews" because I have to wonder how it would actually play out if I got you at a table with some players in front of you. Whether that opening scene might not just be over with in a few minutes and then you would be on to proper play with the PCs fully engaged.

I don't have the adventure in front of me at the moment, but as I recall, the introduction is more than just two read-aloud texts as I think the adventure encourages DMs to have PCs roleplay meeting NPCs at the lottery. However, the PCs have little chance of discovering any worthwhile info or affecting the outcome of the lottery, making this a futile and possibly frustrating exercise in my opinion. But from the posts above it sounds like this was a big issue for most groups.

My suggestion in the review was simply that instead of starting the PCs off in an encounter where they have no hope of affecting the outcome (i.e. the result of the lottery) why not give them a quick blurb explaining what went on and start them off where the adventure truly begins (i.e. the entrance to the first dungeon-crawl).

Jim Groves wrote:


FIRST TWO DUNGEONS: That's somewhat unkind to the PFS freelancers and developers who work very hard to deliver some great adventures.

Actually, I'm not looking for the crisis trigger in this adventure. I'm fine with that happening in the second adventure.

Jim Groves wrote:


That said, you sound like you're looking for the "crisis trigger". I respect what you've said. One thing to consider (very mild spoiler, probably won't wrreck the story, but I err on the side of caution):

I did not intend this as any kind of disrespect to PFS freelancers or developers. When I buy an AP I expect it to feel different than a PFS scenario. Because the Half-Dead City was set up the way it was, it reminded me of linked PFS scenarios that I've played or read, that's all. I'm not saying that PFS scenarios are bad, I'm saying that I expect an AP volume to feel like one big adventure instead of three smaller loosely-related ones.

Jim Groves wrote:


WATER TRAP: I appreciate the point Laric, I really do, but that trap is killing PCs. I don't do a happy dance reading that, because that's not my goal. However actual play experience is pointing towards it being a meaningful challenge. Again, you might not see that from an abstract reading.

Fair enough.

Jim Groves wrote:


I DO take your other comments as constructive feedback. You have a lot of worthwhile observations and I really did read them when you first posted them a few weeks ago.

I believe you. You are one of the most committed posters at Paizo, a fact which I appreciate. I can also sense your enthousiasm and energy at working for Paizo and writing adventures.

Jim Groves wrote:


Again, I'm sorry it disappointed you.

Reading The Half-Dead City, I definitely got a sense that you put a lot of effort into writing it. Sometimes it just comes down to people's taste being different. Good luck with your next project!


Jim Groves wrote:
But please know that I have and continue to find some of the critiques to be somewhat puzzling.

Jim,

I realize that you might not have been referring to my post above, but I was one of the people who posted expressing my disappointment with the AP and without elaborating in this thread why I felt that way.

I did submit a review of The Half-Dead City when it was first released explaining why I was disappointed by it and tried to give some constructive feedback.

I have copied the review below in case anyone is interested:

Laric's Review of The Half-Dead City wrote:


When I learned that Paizo was going to put out an Egyptian themed AP, I was excited. When I heard that the first adventure would feature dungeon-delving and a rival adventuring party I was ecstatic. Unfortunately, having now read The Half-Dead City, I feel it could have been much better. So what went wrong?

The Good:

1) Exciting themes: Egyptian tomb-raiding featuring lots of death traps and a rival adventuring party
2) The author does a good job with room descriptions which are lush with detail and give the adventure an atmosphere of mystery and dread that is appropriate to the themes
3) The first dungeon-crawl features a very evocative Water Flooding Room Trap.
4) The third dungeon-crawl has clues to the fact that the PCs are not the first ones to explore the temple. It's a nice mystery which is related to the rest of the adventure path

The Bad:

1) Slow start: The opening of the adventure seems like a huge time waster with lots of speeches and a sham tomb selection lottery (i.e. there is no real element of chance with regards to which dungeon-crawl the PCs will enter first). The PCs also cannot gain much in the way of meaningful information from this opening scene. Since it's the start of the campaign, why not just start with the adventurers standing outside the Tomb of Akhentepi with a short explanation of what went on before?
2) The first two dungeon-crawls have little to no bearing on the rest of the adventure which makes them feel more like a series of linked Pathfinder Society Scenarios than the start of an adventure path.
3) Unfortunately, as written, the Water Flooding Room Trap (mentioned above) malfunctions and leads to the room being filled to a maximum of 2 feet of water?!? As stated in the adventure texts "There is little danger of drowning, even for Small creatures, but smaller creatures such as animal companions or familiars might require assistance, and any PC who falls unconscious into the water will require immediate aid to avoid drowning." Seems really anti-climactic even for a 1st level party.
4) The ambush encounter is bland and unavoidable
5) The other Rival Adventuring Parties: The adventure introduces a half-dozen other adventuring parties. Unfortunately, they are featured in a single roleplaying encounter, the sole purpose of which is the introduction of The Scorched Hand, which is the main rival party of the adventure. It would have been nice to have these other rival adventuring parties to be encountered in the first two dungeon-crawls because there is currently little chance to do any roleplaying during the first two dungeon crawls given that the enemies almost exclusively consist of vermin, constructs or undead.
6) The Scorched Hand: I was hoping that the adventure would provide a timeline and guidance on how the main rival adventuring party would explore the dungeon in parallel to the PCs. As it currently stands, the DM is given no guidance for how to play the rival party beyond "You should deploy them wherever makes the most sense for your story and campaign " and as a result, it is assumed that the Scorched Hand merely waits patiently for the PCs to arrive.
7) The fact that there is only one way to access each and every level of the three dungeon-crawls makes the adventure feel like more of a railroad than it should. A good dungeon-crawl would allow the PCs to approach from several different directions. Yes, in this adventure, the PCs can choose to go left instead of right, but there is only a single entrance on every floor and the PCs must find this entrance in order to proceed.
8) Finally, because the rival party is not showcased enough in the rest of the adventure, it didn't feel satisfying to me for it to be the last encounter and it's quite possible that a party completing this adventure might feel as if they had not really achieved any meaningful milestone. Sure, the Scorched Hand paid off some thugs to ambush the PCs earlier in the adventure and their leader has ordered some sort of temple guardian to block the PCs way, but there's a good chance that the PCs may not even find out that the Scorched Hand had any roll in this until they actually come face to face.

Overall Impression

I feel disappointed by this adventure and think that this is a missed opportunity on many fronts. I would have much preferred that the three dungeon crawls be combined into a single larger one that required multiple forays to completely explore. I would have also preferred it if the adventure allowed the PCs to interact more with the rival adventuring party and featured more puzzles and obstacles that needed to be solved by thinking on the players' part rather than just rolling dice.


Interesting. Thanks!


Kain Darkwind wrote:

Actually, Cap, would you mind going over a few of them? I agree with Pete here, Mummy has been pretty disappointing to me.

Moreover, it is not due to the 'traditional' nature of the AP in the slightest. I'm not sure which APs are considered 'traditional', but if Rise of the Runelords and Shattered Star are among them, they are some of my favorites. With the exception of Chapter 3, which featured a hot fat chick, research done mechanically, incorporated exploration, and generally featured some interesting NPCs, this AP so far has left me feeling a little underwhelmed.

I'm a huge fan of the Mummy movies. I love Egyptian mythos. This AP should by all rights be one of my favorites, and it really isn't doing it for me.

So I would very much like to hear what the happy folk are seeing that I'm not. I want to like this one, but so far I'm not. Even the Bestiaries aren't as interesting as those in recent installments.

My thoughts exactly. This AP has so far been a great disappointment to me.

I cancelled my subscription after reading the first adventure but have kept buying volumes as they come out from amazon. Unfortunately, I haven't seen anything so far that would make me want to run this AP.

I still have hope that part 5 and 6 by Michael Kortes and Mike Shel respectively will be good based on their previous work.


AD&D 2nd edition were the first rules I played with and I have a lot of nostalgia for them so I totally understand where you are coming from. I think it would be doable and if 2nd edition is your preferred system then I say go for it!

Having said that, I do think it might be a lot of work converting any PF adventure to 2nd edition due to monster stats and encounter balance considerations.

If you want something "rules light", that runs faster and has an earlier edition feel I would highly recommend Blood & Treasure

I converted my Crimson Throne campaign to B&T and I was really happy about how it turned out. It was also very easy to do since B&T has most of the 3rd edition monster stats and because B&T is somewhere in between 1st/2nd edition and 3rd edition.


Great news! Thanks!


SESSION 6 - EDGE OF ANARCHY

In which the PCs have a little downtime.

The Characters
Davis, Elf Alchemist 2
Lithia, Korvosan Wizard (Evoker) 2
Vahak, Shoan-ti Oracle of Battle 2
Varamus, Korvosan Paladin 2

Downtime and Decisions

The day after the start of the riot, Korvosa is still reeling. The PCs decide not to sell or return the Queen’s Brooch

A week goes by during which the following things occur:
-Zellara is given a proper burial by Varamus
-Grau thanks Varamus for helping him
-Vencarlo and Lithia become friends
-Davis makes potions of healing

As the riots are getting back under control, Marcus Endrin recruits the group to help with Cressida’s problem. He has them flown to Citadel Volshyenek where Cressida explains the situation of the Renegade Guards. She stresses that she would like Verik captured alive. Davis suggests that he could use sleep poison to capture Verik if a fight breaks out and Cressida accepts to cover the cost of a dose.

On the way to All The World's Meat, the group stops at the market to sell off Gaedren’s loot. Varamus is set upon by a mad prophet just before an Otyugh bursts out of a nearby sewer entrance. During the fight, Varamus is infected with “Filth Fever”.

COMMENTS

Queen's Brooch
When the PCs finally decided that they were not going to return the Queen's Brooch, I knew that I still wanted to give them a chance to "meet" the Queen at some point during the first part of Edge of Anarchy so that they could see some evolution in her character when they saw her again at the execution scene. So after this session was over I started thinking about how I could provide the PCs with an opportunity to see the Queen without actually having to interact with her.


MrVergee wrote:
Puna'chong wrote:
I did the Academy of Secrets during 7DttG, actually, and adapted it to my own campaign and changed the level so that it'd work with the characters.
I would worry slightly about the characters' level to win the Breaching Festival. Adapting the adventure to suit level 7, for example, would make it very hard to explain why no one has won it in 150 years. The adventure as written is meant for level 13, which suits this idea better.

I guess it really depends on what type of players you have. If you have a group that's detail-oriented, I could see the history of the Breaching Festival coming into play more.

However, in my case, I think I've often spent way too much time thinking and worrying about issues which my players hardly seem to notice in the end.

So lately, I've been trying to focus on making sessions fun and memorable, because that's what my players seem to really pay attention to.


I've been running CotCT in Blood & Treasure since about a third of the way through Edge of Anarchy.

After running Pathfinder/3.5 for years, B&T was like a breath of fresh air.

We've played 10 sessions so far, the characters have gone from 2nd level to 4th level and it is going very well. We get a lot more done each session since the combats don't take as long and we don't have to constantly check the rulebook for rules clarification. Pretty much the only time that I have to crack open the book is to read spell descriptions.


Thanks for posting Puna'chong.

I really like your ideas, especially the fix of making the contract devil an Erinyes stat-wise, and agree with your reasoning that the module doesn't really fit the tone of the end of CotCT.

If I run AoS, I'll likely use your advice and insert it between 7DttG and EfOK.


Greg,

I love this adventure and I think overall you guys did a great job in updating it.

However, if you are planning on putting out a free pdf with errata on the FGG website, it should also include the map of the shrines to Muir and Thyr which is in the original Tomb of Abysthor adventure but is missing from Stoneheart Valley.


There is.

I find it annoying that the info got left out but if you do a google search for "the wizard's amulet pdf" the first result is the original adventure with supplemental information.


Oh, and by the way Greg, I love the sample Gulf of Akados Region map that you drew by hand.


I was talking about the Endhome and Wilderness area maps but thanks for your answer Greg! Now I really hope we make it to the regional map stretch goal because that sounds awesome!

Greg A. Vaughan wrote:
The Endhome area poster map should be the same one from the original book as far as I know.

I own the original Barakus book, but the reason it is confusing is that the book has two versions of the same Wilderness map, one with tags (p. 58) and one without tags (p. 6).


Laric wrote:

Will the maps be player friendly (i.e. not show any secret DM stuff) or is it designed mainly for DMs to use when they are preparing the adventure?

Personally, I'd be more interested in a player friendly map.

Still waiting for an answer to this question.


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Will the maps be player friendly (i.e. not show any secret DM stuff) or is it designed mainly for DMs to use when they are preparing the adventure?

Personally, I'd be more interested in a player friendly map.

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