Glass Dragonfly

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Name: Zarine Lambert
Race/Class: Kitsune Oracle (Heavens)
Adventure: Tide of Honour
Location: Streets of Enganoka
Catalyst: "This Plot Twist Card will speed things up!"

As the party strolled out from their meeting with the Three Monkeys, casually counting their gold pieces and wondering when they'd encounter Kaibuninsho, Zarine's player had a clever thought. "Hey, you know how we can catch this Kaibuninsho guy right away? I'll play this Plot Twist Card I drew this session. 'Not As It Seems: An empty street conceals assassins!'"

Well, if you insist. Start the combat music, because Kaibuninsho is right behind you. One full attack was all it took. Kaibuninsho was killed on the run, with Zarine's severed head in-hand. The party didn't hesitate to double back to the Three Monkeys, proudly proclaiming the quest complete. The minor matter of Zarine's death was resolved a few days later by a drunken faux-Shinto priest and some very expensive gems.

Name: Zarine Lambert
Race/Class: Kitsune Oracle (Heavens)
Adventure: Tide of Honour
Location: Shadow Maze
Catalyst: "You call that a CR 8 trap? I'll give them a CR 8 trap..."

By the book, the shadow mirrors in Shinju no Ie cast shadow evocation when you shine light on them. I knew immediately that this was too lame for me to leave alone. If I used a trap that dealt only 5d4+5 damage (20% that with a DC 22 Will save!), my players, all seasoned powergamers, would make fun of me for softballing. So I traded all those weaksauce effects for serious threats, like circle of death, maximized enervation, and phantasmal killer.

That last one was the only trap they actually stumbled into. In the corridors of the Shadow Maze, they heard the voice of a woman, and the burbling of a newborn.

"Inainai... baa"

Three PCs turned the corner to investigate. There, in the looking glass, was a woman playing a game of peek-a-boo with baby Momo-chan. The image was too dark to see much detail; was that O-Sayumi's birth mother, or her stepmother, Tarukimi?

"Inainai... baa"

They inched closer, bringing their light directly to the mirror to get a better look.

"Inainai..."

Spoiler:
BAAAAA THE WOMAN HAS NO FACE ROLL A WILL SAVE

And then they burned another diamond on Zarine.

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I'd like to cancel my Adventure Path subscription.

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Broken wrote:
** spoiler omitted **

It's not a great plan, but I don't want him to actually succeed anyways. Although my players are gullible enough that it could...

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In my game, RotR specifically never happened, so Tsuto is still around and insanely jealous of his sister. I had him join a rival caravan, which was always a few steps ahead in the Lands of the Linnorm Kings. It later got wiped out on the Crown; only Tsuto survived, and ended up joining the party's caravan. I haven't decided how he'll betray the party yet--maybe he'll join the Jade Regent, or maybe he'll quietly kill Ameiko so that the PCs put him on the throne instead.

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I used a few different songs for Kikonu.

To introduce Kikonu and his awful play: Kō Ōtani - Sign of the Colossus

For Kikonu's not at all serious attempt to fight the party: Kō Ōtani - In Awe of the Power ~Battle with the Colossus~

Kikonu escaped the fight. When the party next encountered him, Kikonu was in the main courtyard, giving a rather uninspiring, Kefka-like speech to some of his surviving minions (the ogrekin ranger, some troglodytes, a half dozen corbies, and Zaiobe). I had a lot of fun chewing scenery with this in the background: dBu music - AB -北極に双つ星-

Naturally the party jumped in and fought everybody at once. And won (barely). My song of choice: O-Life Japan - 好奇心優先

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They actually have a loophole that works: the seal can be taken from the Material Plane via special portals blessed by the gods, and they just secured an agreement with some deity or another. Please tell me it's Sithhud, restored to power by Katiyana destroying the entire Crown of the World, because I've never dreamed this adventure could end so hilariously.

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Umbranus wrote:
When I talked with the GM I got the impression that a Samurai totally fits in where they are going to. Seems that was wrong.

It really wasn't.

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Matthew Downie wrote:
Can you get enough ranks of UMD to make use of a wand of reduce animal?

I don't think it would be necessary to use it more than very occasionally, and certainly not more than a dozen times. So it'd actually be cheaper to just buy potions of reduce animal for 300 gp each.

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There's only one dungeon past Book Three where a huge mount absolutely isn't usable:

Spoiler:
Shinju no Ie

There's also two dungeons where a huge mount won't fit, but where you should be able to draw encounters outside:

Spoiler:
Seinaru Heikiko and the onsen

And there's one last dungeon where a huge creature will mostly fit, except that you'll want reduce animal for a few sections:

Spoiler:
Munasukaru's Penance (mainly because the House of Withered Blossoms is in the way)

I'm reviewing at the maps right now, and you could easily ride a huge creature everywhere else. It's not even a question.

Book One and Book Two are very mount-unfriendly, but since you're not a Mammoth Rider yet that doesn't particularly matter. Book Three is mostly ideal for mounted combat out the gate if your GM ditches caravan combat (have I mentioned caravan combat is bad lately).

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The early oni are important in the context of their own adventures, but in the grand scheme of the campaign I don't think they actually matter.

Suishen is an artifact sword from Book Two. It's the ancestral blade of the Amatatsu family. While that's cool, you could easily substitute some other weapon.

I have an alternate opening for the campaign, if you like:

Spoiler:
I suggest having the PCs start off in Minkai's borderlands, where Hirabashi Jiro and Habesuta Hatsue have recruited them to fight the bandits of Seinaru Heikiko. Run the first part of Book Five basically as-is, scaled down a few levels. But before doing so, take care to foreshadow a few additional things.

The PCs should get an especially detailed look at Hatsue's young recruits. Name a few characters, make them seem interesting. But most importantly, make one of them a woman named Ameiko--a relatively ordinary, hotheaded peasant girl who really wants to beat up some bandits.

Further, while planning the attack on the fortress, have Jiro comment that it's almost strangely well-defended, as if there were something of great significance they were holding there. Hatsue also comments at some point that she recently had a portentous dream--within a forlorn shrine, she beheld a shining imperial dragon, which told her a some great secret--but she can't remember what it was now. Hatsue has a lot of weird dreams, it seems.

Of course, the PCs defeat the bandits, and go to the forlorn shrine. The hidden cache opens when they near it, as if by fate, and inside they find the Amatatsu Seal. From the seal, they have an epic vision of the past and potential future, and discover that the rightful heir is none other than a certain ordinary peasant girl, raised in secret on the borderlands! Further, they learn the significance of the House of Withered Blossoms, and that the first step in their quest to defeat the Jade Regent must be to travel there.

Almost immediately after they open the box they get attacked by the Jade Regent's ninja, using the stats from the Lake Market attack from Book Four. You may or may not want to throw in Miyaro at this point; the party is being told by the seal directly that they need to go to the House of Withered Blossoms, so they don't need her to tell them that, too.

After all that, you can run the rest of the campaign more or less as expected, with the PCs travelling through the Forest of Spirits in reverse.

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Erutaki = Inuit
Varki = Sami

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Andrew Jackson 394 wrote:

I am having a 50/50 time with it at the moment. I love the story but I can't be bothered with combats just for the sake of XP.

I wish APs ran just to 10th level but that's just me.

I realy want to finish JR but high level play is just not for the group I play with, combats when you are traveling and you only have one encounter a day are either pointless or long drawn out slug fests.

Hopefully now we are in the house of withered blossoms it will be a bit more interesting than the forest of spirits was.

At the risk of spoiling things... you're doomed. The dungeon is level after level of nonstop combat. There are so many encounters that even the interesting ones are suffocated by the grind.

On the plus side, the next books do offer a lot more story, and at last a bit of freedom (though I think it could be emphasized more).

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It has cold resistance 10, pulses with light, and has an environment of "any land", so it'll probably be fine crossing the pole.

Here's the real problem:

PRD wrote:
Pod Spawn (Ex) Should a moonflower's pod prison kill and digest a Small or larger creature, the pod transforms into an adult moonflower with full hit points after 1d4 hours. The newly formed moonflower has its own consciousness, but some aspect of its trunk or blossoms resembles the creature that died within. The dead creature's equipment remains inside the new moonflower and can be retrieved by killing it.

It would a great pet for most of Book Three, but bringing it into civilization would be insane. It would literally be more destructive than all of the villains in the AP combined. This thing could devour an entire village of peasants and spawn hundreds of copies of itself in the time it takes for the druid sleep and prepare spells. Even if they keep it away from people, it could spawn more of itself by catching wildlife and livestock. The moonflower plague would probably destroy Hongal and become a major threat to its borders forever; there's just not much that can fight an exponentially growing horde of CR 8 monsters. The party needs to either develop perfect control over this thing, or destroy it before it grows out of control.

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E.S. Anderson wrote:
Tsauhm wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
DarkKnight27 wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
It's a +2 bonus to healing done with cure spells. So you'd roll, for cure light wounds, 1d8 +2 +your caster level (max +5) to a maximum of 1d8+7.
Ok, so do you, the character, get the bonus when a any cure spell is cast upon the character (either from you or your friendly cleric or a wand), or do you only get the bonus when you cast cure spells upon yourself from your own spell slots. Or is this a bonus anytime you cast a cure spell, either on yourself or someone else, whether it comes form your own spell casting ability or a wand, scroll, staff, etc...
You add this bonus when you cast the spell. It's not a great trait option for characters who can't cast cure spells.

Allo there,

So this trait would not affect the channeling ability of clerics, but rather only when they -- or other like casters -- actually cast some manner of heal spell? Thank you.

-Tsauhm-

Bueller?

Not just any manner of heal spells, but only those with "cure" in their name.

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Tiny pair of dangling lungs.

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PRD wrote:
Outsiders breathe, but do not need to eat or sleep (although they can do so if they wish).

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erikdlan wrote:
- One of them could fall in love with one of the ladies in the caravan (Ameiko, Shalelu or even one of the female pcs), this could create some roleplaying situations or even the upset you describe: "I would give my live for you and you act like we don't even have faces!"

I've got the perfect character for this. The caravan has hired two guards, Melvus and Lanalee, who are having a not-so secret affair. The party has so far resisted intervening, even though their romance has been interfering with their duties, but if it turns into a love triangle with Bevelek...

Doram ob'Han wrote:
In my game, Bevelek is superstitious. He knows every urban legend in Varisia, and belIeves them all. He knows all the Varisian superstitions (like spitting over your shoulder whenever you see a black dog).

I've already given the role of superstitious Varisian to Sandru--he never misses an opportunity to point out a bad omen. I can definitely borrow your other two ideas, though.

Doram ob'Han wrote:
I also have character slugs for a magewright, a cook, some guards and a couple passengers, if you're interested.

Absolutely. I'm certain my players will want to hire more NPCs as soon as they can afford it--they seem to enjoy designing their dream caravan as much as actually adventuring.

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We have tons of material written on JR's four major NPCs. But what about the other two guys?

The Jade Regent Player's Guide wrote:
Sandru's caravan starts with six travelers—Sandru, Koya, Ameiko, Shalelu, and two Varisian brothers named Bevelek and Vankor (additional drivers for the caravan, with Sandru himself serving as the third driver).

I want to spotlight these two characters next session--I think I'll have them get upset and protest that they're being ignored by the rest of the caravan. "You act like we don't even have faces!" Does anyone have any ideas for how to roleplay them from that point on? And especially, does anyone have any good artwork to depict the two?

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My party is finally entering Brinewall's vault tonight, and I'm definitely going to have Koya perform a reading before they go in so that I can steal the Empty Throne bit. Thanks!

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The Block Knight wrote:
Book Four: I have a real soft spot for the Penance and, personally, I'd be hard-pressed to cut most of it. But in your case, for the sake of brevity, I am again forced to agree with the consensus on this (but for anyone else who has the time this place has wonderful potential).

For what it's worth, I don't think it's worth cutting any actual rooms or descriptions, just fights. I think it would really creepy for the party to explore through the first level, on guard for anything to pop out, only to find that it's empty but for the disturbing murals and mutilated slaves. The current dungeon has some highlights, they just need room to breathe.

The Block Knight wrote:
Book Six: This one's a long time away since you're just starting (I can't believe some people have actually finished the AP already) so you definitively have time to think about it. This is the only spot where I disagree with LeadPal (actually I only sort of disagree). His advice for the Jade Palace is quite epic and really awesome but with one major caveat - you need to be really experienced with running high-level cluster-f***s. There's already a lot of high-level NPCs running around in the palace for the final fight. A lot of GMs are going to have trouble just running it as written. Throwing in more NPCs and a crumbling building will add to that stress. Even if you don't use rules for, or keep track of, the actual combats with the allies and background fights (just run it using story-based fiat) you'll need to at least keep track of all their locations while dealing with the main party fight. While an amazing visual, the level of prep it would take is somewhat staggering. Granted, like I said, this is still a long time away so if you start preparing for this now you could have the finale of a lifetime. Combat Manager could also help.

That's entirely fair. My group is barely into Book Two and I'm already mulling over how to run a finale like this--trying to prep it a week or two before the session is unrealistic to the point of being crazy, and in that case you should really try something less ambitious.

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The first and best place to make cuts is Munasukaru's Penance. You can seriously remove 3/4ths of the encounters without affecting anything important.

Here are some more specific cuts I'd suggest:

Book One:
Since you can skip almost all of Brinestump Marsh with Clark's prologue, you probably don't need to cut too much of Castle Brinewall. That's good, because Brinewall is the most tightly-written dungeon in the AP. The giant toe-biter and phycomid are just random closet monsters and can be removed easily. The troglodytes and their monitor lizard aren't very memorable either.

Book Two:
Don't bother tracking Notoriety Points--just decide on your favourite NP events and make them happen. In another thread, someone suggested having the NPCs investigate one lead (Suishen, or a guide) while the PCs investigate the other, and that can help reduce investigation time. You can skip the shark-eating crab, but otherwise I'd keep the rest of the investigation intact; personally, I think it's already a little bare-bones.

There's a lot you could cut from Ravenscraeg, but choosing is hard. You can reduce the number of ninja in the fortress, but you need to keep enough to establish that it is indeed a fortress full of ninja. The ochre jelly, the spider eater, the hellwasp swarm, the executioner's hoods, the giant crawling hand, the samurai guardian statues, the trolls, the blindheims, and even Jorgan are basically just bonus XP fights, but they provide much-needed variety from killing ninja. So maybe try burying the ninja in an avalanche.

Book Three:
Book Three's random encounter chart is very important to build atmosphere; it'll take a long time to run them all as regular encounters, but if you try to run them with the caravan combat rules, you will make me cry. Even if you fix the math, rock-em-sock-em robots is not a good system for roleplaying. So besides skipping a few boring ones, there's not a lot you can do here.

You could conceivably drop the entire Katiyana sidequest, since it's just a one-time obstacle in the story arc, but that leaves the current adventure with zero plot. So I'd do an abridged version: skip either the dragon or Tunuak, turn the Storm Tower into one or two big fights, and remove a few encounters from the Spirit Road, starting with the yetis.

Book Four:
The Penance is so long that if you emptied 3/4ths of it, as I suggested, you're already done here. As long as Munasukaru is still at the end, what you choose to cut is not even that important.

Book Five:
I'm tempted to suggest removing Seinaru Heikiko entirely, because it's basically Ravenscraeg made boring and higher level for no good reason. But alternatively, you could make everything in the dungeon five levels lower, and let the PCs feel like superheroes by demolishing everything at once. To make things more interesting, keep your favourite of the named NPCs at the same level, and have them show up near the end of the party's romp.

Caution: Shinju no Ie's dungeon is a maze! If you don't drop it, tell the party the solution right away. Overall, this is a much better dungeon than the last one, with lots of cool encounters, and so I suggest keeping it mostly intact; however, the only encounters you should absolutely keep are the shogi board fight and the illusionist.

The onsen is at most three or four encounters long, and the siege is just one humongous fight, so you're probably fine there.

Book Six:
The Imperial Shrine doesn't really need any encounters besides Shigure and Onoko, and maybe the Rokurokubi, and the Well of Demons is just as good if you remove all unnamed monsters and play it as a boss rush.

Actually removing encounters from the Jade Palace is probably a bad idea--this is the BBEG's lair, of course it's jammed with monsters! Instead, have the entire party's roster of allied NPCs help assault the Palace in an epic battle royale. During a thunderstorm, of course. While they handle the small fry, the PCs have enough freedom to beeline for the Jade Throne and fight the endboss party.

Oh, and find some excuse for the Jade Palace to crumble around the PCs while they're fighting said endbosses. (Actually, at level 15, who needs an excuse?) Besides that a disintegrating throne room in a thunderstorm is a totally rad location for a final encounter, this lets the PCs watch their allies continue to fight outside while they deal with the Jade Regent.

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Caravan combats are scientifically proven to cause tabletop cancer. Little known fact.

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Cutting the AP short would be weird. You might be better off grafting the travel bits onto an campaign of your own design. Except for the caravan combat, which is terrible, Book Three is extremely cool, and I'd pick it up regardless; other than that, most of the path is building up to the party's arrival in Tian Xia, and it wouldn't be recognizable without it.

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You'd almost certainly want to downplay how evil goblins are. No baby-eating and only a minimum of fires--goblins may be a little crazy, but they're not necessarily nonfunctional in regular humanoid society. They're distrusted, but they are accepted on the fringe of human society. Then the PCs can be a group of heroic, progressive goblins prophesied to lead Minkai to greatness. That's a perfectly serviceable campaign right there.

On the other hand, if the players really want to play the psychotic goblins of Golarion canon, this campaign is gonna get silly immediately. But that's fine too.

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gang wrote:
magnuskn wrote:

A more serious suggestion would be saying that, taking the AP as it is, an all-Goblin party is impossible. Nobody of the four NPCs would agree to that, given their background. Nobody in Minkai would take them seriously or want them as rulers.

If the OP wants to do that, he has to rewrite the whole campaign, NPCs, plot, everything.

Or just handwave it and have fun, maybe?

Not an option. As you can see, APs are serious business.

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I take it you have a more serious suggestion?

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Have the PCs start in the Licktoad Village instead of Sandpoint, and change Ameiko to a goblin bard of Tian descent. The PCs soon undertake a quest to depose the Jade Regent and install the first goblin empress of Minkai!

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An artifact can only be destroyed in one specific way, listed in the description. Nothing else damages them. So, Suishen isn't affected by caryatid columns at all.

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The NPC wrote:

So the big bad behind the Jade Regent is weak against weapons imbued with Imperial Honor. The obvious weapon is Suishen and the other families' guardian weapons.

My question is what about the unarmed or natural attacks of members of the royal families. Including the PCs who have been brought into the family?

As intended, probably not. But I'd definitely say yes, myself. Unarmed PCs are getting a raw deal from the actual ancestral weapons, for one. But more importantly, it would be really, really cool for a monk to punch the big bad and deal bonus damage from the BURNING POWER OF HONOUR.

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magnuskn wrote:
Uh, two of the players think it is fun. What the others think may be a whole other matter. ^^
Tommy GM wrote:
Fortunately, the overall group of six players is cohesive on a personal level both at the table and away from the table. In addition, everyone is on-board with this as a plot development.

Yeah, it's a different matter if it's just two guys trying to derail the game. But it sounds like most of the group is ok with it, so it's ok to use a little GM fiat to nudge it forward.

There is the matter of the one player who seems to be staunchly against it, but if it's just the one person playing the unfavourite, they are the problem.

But, mind you, I'm not at the table and don't know all the facts, so, eh.

magnuskn wrote:
Hey, I'm not saying that they cannot succeed. But if they do, it has to be by good roleplaying and not only because the GM liked the idea and overruled the desires of the other players and the personality of Ameiko, Shalelu, Koya, Sandru, Spivey, Helgarval, Suishen and other NPCs which would be heavily against such an outcome.

I think I saw you say somewhere that you don't change adventures that you run. Do you feel adventures actually shouldn't be changed? I'm honestly curious--it's a viewpoint I've seen but don't really understand.

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Converting Ameiko to Asmodeus is extremely unlikely, but I'm going to go against the grain and tell you to let it happen. The players think it would be fun, and you, yourself, seem to think it would be fun, so don't make it harder than it needs to be. If the players put in fifteen levels of effort towards this outcome, they deserve it.

Irnk, Dead-Eye's Prodigal wrote:
@ Tommy GM: You are asking about ways the Asmodean PC's can improve thier chances. Well, the first thing they really need to do is study thier history. Why/How House Thrune was able to seize control of/convert Cheliax, which means you need to decide why/how House Thrune was successful. In all likelyhood, unfortunately for you & the brothers BAD, it didn't happen in one generation. Which means their greatest chance at success is the long haul & by long haul I mean setting things up for future generations. Get an Asmodean presence set up, things like a Monastery, cede the Asmodeon Church responsibility for reclaiming the northernmost territory from the Barbarians, things like that. Remember, it took Housr Thrune at least two or three generations of almost total anarchy to claim Cheliax. Minkai hasn't seen anything like that bad yet.

Minkai isn't in anarchy, though--it's brutally oppressed by an illegitimate ruler. While an Asmodean dynasty might not be less oppressive, it would be entirely legitimate, and since much of Minkai is obsessed with duty, that gives it a major advantage.

Irnk, Dead-Eye's Prodigal wrote:
Another thing for you to consider, the Amatatsu Seal is a literal gift from the gods of Minkai & I strongly doubt they/she will allow an encroachment by Asmodeus without repercussions. Have the Bad Boys even encountered the Seal yet? If not, their first encounter may come as an unfortunate surprise to them.

The gods are ok with letting the bad guys hold onto the other four seals, and have let the Five Storms take over Minkai with no repercussions. In fact, Minkai has had plenty of evil rulers in its past--not only would an Asmodean dynasty fit right in, it would probably be supported at first, being more legitimate.

magnuskn wrote:
Suishen also is something to take into account.

It's pretty easy to get around. It's Suishen's duty to serve the PCs regardless of their alignment, as long as they don't betray the family or prove unworthy as an heir. There's no reason that Asmodeus-worshippers would be unworthy unless you say so.

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Haha, that's priceless. I think I can actually top this story, though. In Council of Thieves, my party walked into eight consecutive traps, all of which had the same, easily circumvented trigger.

Spoiler:
It was a corridor full of mirrors that curse whoever looked at or touched them. Most of them did ability drain, IIRC. My character was the only one who never touched any, although I did send in my familiar, since it was immune to damage and drain--naturally, the mirror I chose inflicted confusion instead (which also affected my character for some reason). While I was incapacitated, the party continued to disable the rest of the mirrors with their faces. We ended up burning a lot of time and resources on recovery, and couldn't heal everything.

Why did we do it this way, instead of something sane like throwing summoned monsters at the mirrors? Because behind every mirror was a bit of treasure, and the party had crippling trust issues--if you didn't find it yourself, there was no guarantee you'd ever see it. In this case, it was the cleric who refused to share his spoils. To this day I'm still not sure what he found.

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Michael Radagast wrote:
While we're on the subject - what does Suishen mean? Is it related to the Japanese element Sui - Water?

I think it's just a made-up name, and any meaning is coincidental. Maybe it's the personal name of the spirit bound within the sword.

My players are just about to finish the first book--now that I'm thinking about it, I might change the sword's name to Suika (水火), meaning fire and water, since it's a flaming weapon. Oh, and when the PCs first hear the name, I'll have the ones who speak Tien roll Linguistics. Whoever rolls the lowest will interpret the name as Suika (西瓜), meaning... watermelon. Slash slash!

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For Jade Regent, Endurance is probably much stronger. Endurance has more spells that the party is likely to want on an average adventuring day, while Healing leans more towards spells that the party can save for downtime. (This is not one of those APs where you need Restoration on demand at all times). It's already very easy for the party to access those spells in downtime, because they can lean on both the NPCs and, in a pinch,

Spoiler:
the Amatatsu Seal, which has extremely powerful healing magic built-in.

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Gluttony wrote:
** spoiler omitted **

Oooh, I actually like that better than the truth...

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Gluttony wrote:
For anyone past this point already, I'm wondering how you handled the Yeti caves?

Excision. I'm filling in S11 and S10b, so that the yetis only show up in the final encounter. Because I agree, they only have one chance to impress anybody, so it ought be in a gigantic battle royale. The PCs are free to travel into the yeti caves through the passage in the throne room, but there will be no resistance, and the exploration will be glossed through quickly--they've already fought the entire tribe!

In fact, I'm considering using the layout for S11 to S15 to expand Tunuak's bore, or possibly for a bonus dungeon somewhere else in the adventure. I have no interest at all in running more than one encounter with yetis, at least in the necropolis.

I'm mildly concerned about how this forces the party to go through the antilife shell in S10, but the final encounter seems to assume they do that anyways. I'll probably add some other ways to bypass it. Under consideration: an offering to Fumeiyoshi, destroying the stone tree, spending charges on the nine-fold spirit sword, and a piece of magic jewellery hidden in S5.

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With 4+ PCs, 4+ NPCs, and around 15 levels of gameplay, there's too much risk of repetition with only 3 categories, so I'm throwing out the gift/insult requirement and just letting the PCs roll whenever it feels appropriate.

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Druu Ogre wrote:
My big concern with Suishen is that it will make all the rest of the fights too easy, even for a group as poorly balanced as mine. It has eliminated almost all weaknesses the two weapon fighter has. Because its caster level is 20, all of its buffs are effectively infinite, and even if I use charm or fear effects, Suishen can just use its ego to dominate the player (he needs to roll a natural 20 to prevent it), which practically gives him immunity to such effects.

Well, you're playing it wrong, as noted, but even if you weren't, is this really that much worse than spamming protection from evil and remove fear? (Presumably through potions, for this party?) That's SOP for every game I've ever been in. Being at the receiving end of dominate spam is so little fun that it's actually good for there to be easy counters.

Suishen's resist energy power is not a big deal, it just saves the party a small amount of money. The protection from energy upgrade is pretty overpowered, though. I recommend making it continue to operate 3/day instead of at-will. The other powers seem fine to me.

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The issue is deeper than just overly long fights. By Pathfinder standards, authentic samurai duels are inherently low-level affairs, because high level characters are assumed to have easy access to superpowers. Somewhere between level 5 and level 10, combats start looking like shounen anime, where the barbarian is flying in every combat, the ninja always starts by spamming shadow clones, and the wizard is throwing energy beams that explode boulders.

I don't think there's a single combat in Forest of Spirits that actually could resemble anything like a samurai movie, at least without converting it to another ruleset. Honestly, I'm expecting full-on Dragonball Z action by the midpoint of The Hungry Storm.

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I have many, many complaints about this AP. But less complaints than any other AP so far! High fives for everyone!

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Chernobyl wrote:
LeadPal wrote:
Chernobyl wrote:
The Paladin and Sorcerer start with 6 relationship points with their favored NPC due to CHA +2 at start. Is it possible for someone who wants to pursue the negative relationships to use the 4 point bonus as a negative? so a person with a 7 CHA (-2) would start with a relationship score of -6?
Higher relationship scores are better whether the characters are friends or rivals. Thus, the traits always intensify the relationship, even if it isn't in a positive way. A charisma penalty always decreases your relationship score, so a person with 7 CHA would start with a 2.

You seem to be contradicitng yourself. If the trait intensifies the relationship, wouldn't it be more negative? from a -2 to a -6?

No, because higher scores are better, even if you're enemies. Negative scores are worthless.

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Chernobyl wrote:
The Paladin and Sorcerer start with 6 relationship points with their favored NPC due to CHA +2 at start. Is it possible for someone who wants to pursue the negative relationships to use the 4 point bonus as a negative? so a person with a 7 CHA (-2) would start with a relationship score of -6?

Higher relationship scores are better whether the characters are friends or rivals. Thus, the traits always intensify the relationship, even if it isn't in a positive way. A charisma penalty always decreases your relationship score, so a person with 7 CHA would start with a 2.

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Question: are the mohrgs allied with the aranea or the oni, or are they a faction unto themselves? They don't have an origin listed.

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James Jacobs wrote:
Folks eager to see those kami stats should head over to the blog for a November Miracle!

Link

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Killing a few NPCs is a great way to establish that something is at stake (not to mention it keeps the number manageable), but the order in which they die shouldn't be based on how much party cares about them. Avoiding their favourites is boring, and picking on them is cruel.

If the NPCs aren't going to be killed in a fair fight it's better to either roll for who dies randomly, or establish the order of deaths long before the party has actually made a connection with anyone.

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Asurasan wrote:

The Oni(Ogre) Mage that can potentially try to track the PC's down in this AP(Seijuro I believe was his name). Should he be counted as towards Suishen's Oni slaying leveling up total?

I suspect not, but I just wanted to make sure one way or the other so my players don't end up missing out on any powering up of the sword at any point.

What is everyone's plan for this so far?

I intend to count it. I figure the sword should be at full power by the start of Book 6, which means it should improve once a book.

The flip side is that I don't plan to count all the oni in Forest of Spirits, only the BBEG at the end.

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Elven_Blades wrote:
Meteor hammer: a 3.5 Spiked Chain with bludgeon instead of piercing. Begs the question, why was the chain nerved in the first place. 25g for the chain, or 10g for the MH, which is way better now. At least swap the cost so there is some reason to justify the MH being better.

The meteor hammer is not as good as the old spiked chain, because you can't choose to threaten adjacent squares without giving up reach for a round. Though there's no question about it being way better than the new spiked chain.

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I'm agreeing, Fox. By tracing the edge, I mean following the cliffs around the High Ice at the bottom.

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Emphasis on "breast".

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Fox1212 wrote:

Hi all.

I'm half through my first reading of the module and the first point that came to my mind seeing the maps of the Crown has not been explained (maybe it's on the other half...). So, here it is.

Why does the crossing of the Crown go into the High Ice at all? After reading the gazetteer and Part One of the story, it's just assumed that the players follow the route on pg 18, but it looks easier to travel the outer rim. No ice, less extreme day/night conditions, easier to hunt for food, etc.... Either way -east or west- you'll have to cross one or two (probably wide) rivers, but compared to the dangers of crossing the high ice it should be simple. I'd even guess that building a bridge and a fortified encampment around it would be profitable if the merchant routes cross it often.

Could you point out the official reason for taking the apparently more dangerous (and probably slower even though it's a bit shorter) route?

Regards.

The party is railroaded onto the pole by Katiyana's morozko. Use the damage given on page 43; basically, if they try to go around, the caravan explodes.

It does make more sense for the Path of Aganhei to trace the edge of the High Ice, rather than to cross it. Since the party can't take it anyways, it doesn't actually matter which way the traditional path goes, so changing it isn't a big deal.

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