One could build one party and the other the other party, and then you pick four encounters from different APs at different levels and let the same objective GM run the four encounters for the two different parties. The GM can also determine conditions like everyone at half hp and out of focus points but 10 minutes time before combat, or everyone knew a particular skill challenge was coming up the next day so they have time to pick the right spells. Running 8 encounters is still an investment but might be doable.
I really love this resource! I notice that the courses only go up to Year 3. This should coincide roughly with the party starting book 3 (where they graduate). What do you plan to do/suggest for leveling up past then? Just going back to the original system?
Thanks! I haven't given it much thought yet, but I was under the impression that at some point the original system wants characters to switch to the practical research activity. Alternatively, I have seen many ideas of not immediately making the PCs teachers, but first let them supervise other students or do some graduation project (or both at the same time). I think this would be a good option for book 3 rather than more courses.
So rather than traditional courses, switch to other things like internship / practical research / graduation project / custom courses / inventing new spells / supervising newer students / learning to teach.
I think I've seen literally every class mentioned in this thread now for Samurai, besides full casters and alchemist. So maybe the word Samurai is actually as versatile as something like the words Mage or Hero, and we won't come to any conclusion because basically everything is possible.
I did like the Swashbuckler solution though, for keeping a weapon sheathed to gain panache. You could disallow tumbling through to gain panache with this option, and instead give it any of the thousand Samurai mechanics discussed in this thread to compensate.
Agreed. Isn't unarmored swordmaster just a swashbuckler or a monk with monk weapon? Isn't armored swordmaster on a horse just a fighter or champion, possibly with cavalier?
I guess letting monks use Japanese-style swords would fulfil one part of the fantasy. Homebrewing that is easy: give a weapon the monk tag and possibly remove another tag if it's too good.
Cintra Bristol wrote:
Not yet, I'll probably improvise something in my campaign. But someone on reddit started work on this:
I really like this and have started fleshing out the new teachers. Since their names were similar, I have made Xhosiliawa a kobold and a sister to Xhokan from the Powderpile. Varashod is an android. Working on the others.
While the vanilla 'Life in the Magaambya' study system is too bare-bones for my taste, the expanded Magaambya with weekly checks is too overwhelming for me. So in my system, I picked some parts from these systems, as well as from the Monthly study system (which includes exams, and roles for branches), to make a new bi-weekly study system. I don't have a calendar or exams but I do have a course list, as my players indicated they would like to choose the courses their characters are following, and I've seen some nice examples of courses online already.
So with that, I present:
for the Magaambya. This document is written from a player's perspective. The branch benefits remain the same, though you could also change the benefits based on what courses the players took. I also encourage to combine it with an NPC Influence system, for which many options can be found online: I personally like this one best. How many Influence Points (or Friendship or Relation Points) you need for an NPC to give a certain advantage is left open. I also had to introduce some new teachers, else the teaching load of the staff mentioned in the AP would become ridiculous. For example, there is only one Emerald Boughs teacher mentioned (Zuma) and it is mentioned that he only teaches electives, so I made up some alchemy and other related courses for him.
Now we have 4 possible study system options (3-monthly, monthly, bi-weekly and weekly), so I hope this will be useful to someone. Please let me know if you have any critique!
Speaking of generic names, I think 'Spy' would be an excellent class name that could cover some things that the current rogue does not cover. Stealthy poisoner with smoke bomb and some ki magic (ninja) could be covered by it, as could the Vigilante (though this is already an archetype), but also more diplomatic characters that don't necessarily want to use music, the gods, or the blood of their ancestors to influence people.
I think you are drawing very different conclusions to me about the difference between a tool, and AI given your use of comparisons like drawing/painting and cameras.
What's your conclusion? Both photography and painting are art forms, wouldn't both human-GMs and AI-GMs be valid TTRPG forms?
I would not agree that generating “art” and text “supports” storytelling.
Why not? And what do you think of virtual dice rollers and fantasy name generators that have been around for much longer?
In my opinion, it's only a matter of years before most of the media we consume (books, memes, films, etc.) will be mostly AI-generated. TTRPGs will follow suit, with AI taking a prominent role, just like VTTs have taken an important role since the pandemic.
That is not to say there will not be a place for human GMs. Just like people have continued to draw and paint even though we have cameras, and people still calculate things by hand even though we have calculators, people will keep GMing. But AI will be a huge support, and in many cases I think a human GM might not be needed at all in the future, except for those who want to have that old-school feeling, just like some people right now do not want to use digital dice-rolling tools because they like rolling physical dice.
Already people are generating art and text with AI to support their storytelling. As long as we view AI as a tool this is the way to go in my opinion.
It doesn't really make sense that a crime boss could amass wealth and power in a society where wealth is meaningless.
Maybe she wants to go back to the old ways, or just keep wealth for herself instead of sharing it with society. However...
This sounds like a very good idea to me. The events with Salathiss and Froglegs like you mention, and later with Dimari-Diji visiting Nantambu, could all result into big changes in Nantambu society.
And thanks for answering my questions! This helps.
Plane of Axis? I missed that, is it in the Mwangi expanse book? And yes I would have to make sure Osibu still plays an important role, I didn't yet have a solution for that. Taking your and hauk's ideas together, maybe Nantambu is on the edge of becoming a paradise, but some troubles need to be solved (stone ghost, frogless, salathis, etc.) and once Osibu is protected and Dimari-Diji visits Nantambu, the heroes can help shape Nantambu into a paradise city like Osibu.
Another thought on this (apologies for the double post): if Nantambu is so utopian, then it makes Walkena's argument significantly weaker - why put up with his tyranny when a perfect life is so relatively close at hand? The hardscrabble lives folk make in Bloodcove or while (re)building Vidrian are somewhat cheapened if they could just move to a nearby slice of paradise.
This, however, doesn't seem an issue to me. Because it is already the case (Nantambu being a haven of peace and culture), just to a lesser degree. And Nantambu is much too open of a society for Walkena.
In my opinion, the high levels are not so much of a problem. Characters have so many options there already, and would likely use their reaction for something else. What you can do is make the DC the same as the primary check DC (or 2 less as proposed in this thread), but only for DCs up to 20. After that, keep it at DC20 like in the core rules.
In preparing for this AP, I've decided that I really wanted to lean into the utopian aspects of Nantambu. It is already described as a haven of peace, learning and culture, but I want to take it one step further. The Magaambya being focused on both arcane and primal magic also gives me solarpunk vibes, with nature and magic (instead of nature and technology) as core aspects of the city. With so much magic going around, and so many people dedicated to improve society, and such long periods of peace due to the tempest-sun mages, in my campaign I imagine Nantambu has recently developed a post-scarcity society where everyone has their basic needs met. Unseen servants keep the streets clean, primal magic causes an abundance of food, and healing magic keeps everyone healthy (though resurrections would still be rare and costly). Money is no longer necessary: everyone can ask for basic things like food and minor healing, and if anyone needs something more special like a big house, or transportation to another city, it is freely given if it is 1) abundantly available and 2) deemed necessary. The chime-ringers help in making sure no one gathers wealth for themselves (cough Froglegs cough) and also that slackers (cough Chizire cough) get a bad reputation and might be refused luxury goods and services.
Now, the question is, if I make such a choice, besides the effects on the story it will also have mechanical effects.
These changes are great! I am still preparing but I've also read similar qualms about Koride, and I also thought the Vesicant Egg could use an update on the role it plays in the AP. Your rewrite solves a lot of problems I've read from others.
I will also add here the idea I've read somewhere else about the animal trader in book 1, to make it more like an animal hospital. In general, the vibe of this AP could be much more positive, and I was thinking of making Nantambu much more of a utopian place, but a utopian place overrun by insects seems even more fun!
If you really want to give a discount by using Diplomacy, you could make it up to 25% of the full price of the item. That way, if they are cheeky and try the same trick again later to sell the item for a higher price with absurd Diplomacy rolls, and you make them sell the item for 25% of the full price more, then they haven't earned any income, meaning the Earn an Income activity and the Bargain Hunter feat are not useless.
Example: they want to buy an item worth 100gp, they get critical success on Diplomacy (I would require multiple rolls, to make the NPC helpful and make a request, etc.), the NPC hesitates but sees the hero really needs the item, and it offers up to a 25% discount, meaning the PC buys the item for 75gp. The NPC would then still have made a 25gp profit to cover their costs, as someone has sold them the item for 50gp at some point in history. Later, when the PC comes across a better item, they want to sell the same item again. This would normally yield them 50gp (half the normal price), but they convince the new buyer to pay 75gp with several high rolls. Then in the end they earned nothing, and if they actually want to earn something with diplomacy they would need the Bargain Hunter feat.
Skinsaw man is no match for the PCs on his own, I know from experience and also from other GMs. Like always, I think the best choice is to add minions in his room, indeed something like one or several goblin ghast assistants. I don't know how he is supposed to get sneak attack damage as written, maybe by feinting or something?
Deriven Firelion wrote:
Did anyone do some PF2 monster conversions for Runelords?
Yes, all of them. Check A Series of Dice-based Events and its corresponding discord server.
PC: Galathorn the Unbroken
Officially there is no impact for virtuous players in Runeforge. Which I think is kind of boring, so you can search the forums for alternative boons and penalties as there were plenty of suggested options. Or even better, come up with your own!
I would only give a boon to a player that has no sin points though, and even then you might consider keeping the original ruling because Runeforge is all about sins, not virtues.
Filthy Lucre wrote:
Exactly how much downtime is expected to occur in any given chunk? The reason I ask is that I just crunched the numbers and unless I'm mistaken, it would take a level 3 Wizard who critically succeded their craft check something like 44 days to complete a level three item worth 75gp. Am I doing this math wrong or am I just assuming 'downtime' is much shorter than it actually is...?
I don't think there are expectations. I run a converted PF1 AP and I just give a few weeks of downtime between books.
Note that for what your player is doing he is better off just buying the item, then spend the rest of the time adventuring (if possible) or if everyone wants downtime, use the Earn Income action. Unless there is no 3rd level settlement anywhere near, which I doubt. Or he has a cool uncommon formula of an item not sold anywhere nearby.
Crafting is almost never the best option, check the homebrew forum for ideas on how to change that.
I've run one homebrew campaign and one AP is currently near the end. As someone fresh to roleplaying in general, for the homebrew campaign I was very grateful for the pathfinderwiki to read up on the lore. Then I thought of an overarching story, and made encounters 1-3 sessions in advance.
When I switched to running an AP, the thing is that it is easier, but takes the same amount of time. Where I would actively look for monsters and lore in a homebrew campaign, for the AP I could just read the book. It requires less creativity, but still gives the option for creativity by making changes to the AP and tying in player's backstory, etc.
So APs have my preference unless I have a very long creative spark.
Can't edit my post anymore so here's the aftermath.After the fight with the sinspawn men, the party went on towards High Lady Athroxis. In the waiting room I put a prison with an Aasimar Sinspawn Cleric of Iomedae for Mok's player to play as (the group already has a paladin of Iomedae). With the help of this cleric they defeated Athroxis and found the teleportation circle to get out of Runeforge. They took Mok's body with them, but instead of going back to the material plane, Iomedae's herald grabbed them and took them to the Boneyard, to the River of Souls.
There they saw Mok's soul going towards Pharasma's judgment, fought some Astradaemons, and also figured out that some of the souls from Varisia were missing the greedy part of their personality, causing a wrong judgment from Pharasma and disturbing the whole process. Outsiders asked them to figure out what was going on with this, as the PCs suspected Karzoug had something to do with it.
In the boneyard they found a high level cleric NPC and paid him to cast the Resurrect ritual on Mok, but unfortunately the NPC failed because he had never tried to resurrect such a powerful person before. It cost them most of their coin. Then they realized the NPC could also use the Raise Dead spell, which is more expensive but at least wouldn't fail. They sold everything they didn't need and Raised Mok's body, then returned to the Material Plane with the help of Iomedae's herald.
My players disliked Belor so much they thought he might have something to do with all the murders. It was for similar reasons: it seems like he's not doing anything useful in the AP and he's a lousy sheriff.
What helped in my case was a bit counter-intuitive: giving them a badge that said they were on a mission for the sheriff of Sandpoint. In the meantime Belor would go look for other recruits, or train the guards in case there would be a ghoul or goblin attack. But the badge helped make the relationship more clear: the PCs were on an official mission, rather than doing this guy a favour. In later books they just took the role of independent investigators but for book 2 it helped them being able to say they were on official business everywhere.
As Arcaian said, a small village isn't supposed to be able to defend itself against high level monsters such as giants. Goblins and orcs are already a threat to them. This is why remote villages in for example Varisia are under protection of larger cities, who can come to their aid with small armies or send adventurers to help.
Plus one name for multiple things to keep things simple (ish) like they did with Feats kinda makes sense
The thing is that all feats work the same. You can get a feat of a certain level only if your character is that level or higher, no matter if it's a class feat, general feat, skill feat, etc. It makes no sense that it doesn't work this way for spell levels too, instead relying on an arbitrary formula just like the archaic ability scores->modifier formula (which also should've been removed in my opinion).
Hm, my paladin player probably won't like that he can't wade through a troop of low-level enemies with his high armor, as every attack by the troops asks for a reflex save so AC is meaningless. Does anyone know why even melee attacks require a reflex save? You'd think having good armor helps when wading through a bunch of goblins or orcs.
Lucas Yew wrote:
Fully agreed. With a better system than ever for heightening spells, it's a really missed opportunity. There are still so many spells that do similar things even though they are separate spells. We could easily have 20 levels of spells corresponding to item levels and character levels and basically all other levels in the game, where most spell effects would be defined by heightening.
Illusory creature/object could be the same spell, many damaging spells could be the same spell, but once you heighten it to a certain level something cool happens for example.
Oh that's amazing, thanks!
This character (Twisted Fate from League of Legends), or any other character that uses magical cards to attack.
Edit: never mind, turns out there are feats for fighting with playing cards!
I have a lot of trouble killing my players as a GM, but this is at high level. The suggestions about which level enemies to use stop working at very high and very low levels: at low levels, every level difference with a monster is much more impactful, while at high levels, level differences matter much less, even though this is not reflected in the rules.
Also if you have 5 or 6 players, make sure that you don't just use higher level enemies, but more enemies. Preferably intelligent ones (not zombies) that know to focus on the PC with the most damage and the least defensive options.
You can absolutely still "main" a stat and not start it at 18. 18 isn't the norm, its the specialized equivalent that chooses specialization as opposed to average skills. But for the most of the game you won't even be that far off from a player that starts at 18 if you start at 16.
You'll be 1 behind for half of the game (lvls 1-4 and 10-14 and 20). So it's about a 0.5 point difference. That is noticeable, but not as bad as some other suboptimal things in the game.
I played strictly with the given times, but besides the times I made a lot of changes. The players started playing as NPCs before the PCs arrived to save the day. The NPCs killed some goblins and a bugbear before giants arrived through the north gate (the goblinoids came through a hole in the wall that the giants created by throwing stones), then held their ground 1 or 2 rounds before the PCs arrived. I think I subtracted 1 or 2 rounds total from the timer to compensate for this.
The PCs dealt with the giants quickly but were always one step behind. They let Longtooth attack all buildings before killing him at the final spot, Teraktinus went to the lighthouse and back and they saw him at the edge of town when he ran off with a Hellflume stone, even attacked him from long range but without any effect. In the meantime they fought other giants that came from the east and were pillaging, and they did manage to catch up out of town with the giants that looted Scarnetti manor since they were travelling slowly with all that loot.
Overall, many NPCs died, and many were captured, so the PCs rested, interrogated a captured giant, and immediately went after Jorgenfist. Which is what the AP assumes. But most importantly, the players liked this encounter, though the slow moving paladin did not have a mount and was frustrated that his allies went faster than him, he often missed out on the action. But he was more angry at his allies as he believed that the encounters were waiting for them to arrive (they were not).
Yes they are combat rounds of 6 seconds. But of course if you find it unrealistic you could change it. Without mounts or movement spells, the PCs will have a difficult time being everywhere at once, but that is exactly what the AP assumes: they can't solve all the problems, and the town will suffer losses. A likely outcome is that they capture NPCs and return to Jorgenfist with them, in which case you have a nice hook for the next part.
Most of these questions are answered with notes and journals in this AP, which some GMs (and players) find a bit boring. Off the top of my head:
-going to Thistletop: Tsuto's journal
I think these are more for when you don't have anything else as a GM to steer the players in a certain direction. If your players have certain motivations, you could use other things like NPCs to steer them in a certain direction. In the Thistletop example: maybe have a guard NPC tell the PCs that they saw goblins go north-east, or sailors who saw goblin activity increase near Thistletop, or rumours of gold and treasure in that area, etc. Also, if you can somehow tie in the PCs backstory to go in a certain direction it's even better. But all of this can be a lot of work of course, so it's good to have something as simple as a note to fall back on.