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JulianW wrote:

In the encounter where Tark and his orcs attack the boat, are Tark's orcs meant to get onto the boat?

None of them have swim or climb and previous encounters have established its hard to climb up the side of the boat (DC15) and hard to swim in this river (DC15 - although maybe its easier here) - so is the intent ?

- only Tark boards and the others lob javelins from the bank
- the orcs get to cheat and no one sees their rolls (its only hazardous terrain for PCs... ;) )
- its really hard for them to get onboard and the party can laugh at their clumsy attems

I know I'm replying to a thing from years ago, but...

I just ran this encounter as it's written, and the orcs on shore actually really worked. The PCs were preoccupied with Tark, Melira, and Chokehold, and the other orcs floundering on a lot of their rolls ensured that they didn't get to the ship immediately, and when they did, they arrived little by little, basically in waves.

They also gave me an answer to what the captain and crew were doing: operating the ballista. Bloodtusk and his folks took shots at the orcs approaching the ship and weakened them, and called for the PCs to finish off those who'd gotten on board.

Our Druid fell to Tark (but survived), and Melira managed to get our Barbarian into "Only alive thanks to rage" territory, but the party emerged victorious. The Ranger (an archer with orcs as a favoured enemy who had explicitly been spending all her time aboard the boat in the crow's nest, and thus got to start the battle up there) had a particularly good time of this encounter and was responsible for both Melira and Tark's defeats.

Welp, I decided to give my players some time post Varnhold Vanishing to get their kingdom a little bigger, and what do they do? They up and attack Drelev and start stealing his territory before he ever gets the chance to attack them.

They've beaten him and his forces and captured his city now, and are 11th level. They know Armag exists and sounds like a guy that they want to deal with, but they don't know where he is exactly.

I think I'm gonna have to scale up the aggression from the local boggards (who they've clashed with a few times already, but never conclusively) and try and nudge them towards dealing with M'Botuu and reaching 12th level before they find Armag's Tomb.

...Of course they might wind up finding it early. The results of that, if it happens, remain to be seen. They handled Fort Drelev a level earlier than expected, so who's to say they wouldn't succeed in Armag's Tomb as well? (Though the tomb certainly looks like a far bigger challenge than Fort Drelev. Guards and Wards especially can be deadly.)

I like both 1e and 2e. I'm playing in campaigns of both right now (and as a typical forever-GM, that's just so very special to me).

Whenever I play one I inevitably feel myself longing for the other, but that's not because the one I'm playing at that moment is bad, rather it's because the other is good. And both provoke that longing in me. Both are good fun!

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Just got the chance to try it myself, and I'm having fun. The biggest problems will pretty much all be fixed by more books coming out.

One member of my group is extremely anti-2e, though. It's a shame. He rips apart things that are issues in 2e that were already issues back in 1e and that he used to ignore.

Honestly, I think he has a problem with some of the new moves towards political correctness and inclusivity and the like in the game mastering section of the CRB, and is throwing a tantrum about it. Declaring the game to be a GM's nightmare, mechanically constraining, and impossible to build a creative character with a whatnot, when his real problem isn't actually with the mechanics at all, and he just doesn't want to admit that any part of something he dislikes is good.

Definitely don't restrict all combat equipment. It's just not that kind of setting. People wander around with guns, and some people (mercenaries, adventurers, etc.) probably have big guns, and other such heavy weaponry. Just having them isn't against the rules in the setting (unless otherwise specified).

A trap on the front door is definitely dumb. I've wandered into random office buildings just to see if I could use the bathroom before, and it'd be kind of unbelievable to say that nobody has managed to set a trap like that off.

I don't actually have the book in front of me right now, so I don't have the layout of the place, but maybe you can adjust things around a bit? A public area that's relatively safe in the front, with the trap moved just past an "employees only" door, or something.

...An extra couple of rooms (and more importantly: Doors) in the way also helps explain why the cops might not crash the party. If the PCs go in guns blazing right off the sidewalk, yeah, someone might get alarmed, but if there's a few rooms in the way you might rule that nobody outside hears it over the hustle and bustle of the city.

Skill checks in APs tend to not start out too hard, but then scale up at a rate that can be difficult to keep up with.

Iirc, I had a 14 Cha on my technomancer, and took Skill Synergy at 1st level, but didn't actually bother going beyond that during the course of the AP. It went okay. I took Skill Focus in Bluff when the AP ended and we levelled up to 7 (in preparation for Signal of Screams), but didn't really need that much investment otherwise.

I actually played AtAT as a Technomancer who was the face of the party and captain of our ship.

It's not too hard to make it work. Obviously I wasn't as fully optimized as I could've been, but you really don't need to be in AtAT.

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Y'all might come to some more productive conclusions if you cool off on taking digs at each other and actually converse politely.

(Like half this thread is an example of stuff that tends to get deleted when someone from Paizo steps in.)

I don't have much to add. Already said my piece.

I imagine in a setting with monsters, most places allow carrying weapons. I'm not from a place where that's common, so it's a little unusual to me, but it's easy enough to see why people would want to carry their pistols, or even rifles around.

As someone mentioned above, item levels are a good answer to "You got a license for that blaster?" coming up. Beyond that, I could see certain specific areas having restrictions (police states that want to keep their citizens in line are just one example, another might be a high-security area where they demand you hand over your weapons at the door).

In places where it's controlled, the PCs have to get creative. Disguise yourself as a guard, charm the guard padding you down, bribe someone, sneak in the back way, use sleight of hand to hide a pistol on your person, grab a glamer for your weapon, create a distraction and slip in during it, etc. Basically, there's lots of options the PCs could potentially go for.

Likewise, for other issues, cameras can be disabled, or made useless by showing up in disguise. Social norms can be gotten around by being outside of them, or above them, or even just pretending you are. IDs can be falsified, law enforcement can take too long to show up, and even when they do show up, they can be diplomacized, bluffed, killed, etc., or you might secure permissions from them in advance.

Just gotta be creative.

Just finished this one recently. It went well.

Party of 6, built for various things. Skill, spells, shooting, melee, they're covered for everything, though of course not everyone is good at everything.

The party went for Madelon's residence first after learning about the resistance, and immediately blundered their way into the sonic trap. A high roll of the d6s and five botched saves later and the party's mystic and technomancer were both already down. The mechanic also figured out that the trap seemed to have a line to the Azlanti base, and they rightly assumed that they'd just sounded the alarm. They grabbed their unconscious people and bailed, leaving the ranger (converted from PF) to watch from stealth in the forest, since he was the only one of them who made his save, and his stealth is very good. They figured they'd at least try and get an idea of how fast their enemy responded to things so that the mission wouldn't be a total bust.

The ranger rolled terrible stealth, the bad guys rolled great perception, the ranger lost initiative, and he got captured. He spent the rest of level one in prison, roleplaying with the captured colonists, and getting interrogated by Olaraja. The scene basically cut back to him between each of the missions that the rest of the party did.

...The fact that the party botched that early trap so hard actually did amazing things for the early campaign though. With healing resources in short supply, and one party member missing, the five PCs on the outside really felt the pressure of going into missions with some damage already on them. The ranger got to feel useful in prison too, managing to goad some info out of Olaraja during their interrogation sessions (info which I quietly removed from later datapads so that his achievement would really feel worthwhile), though taunting the azlanti man earned him one heck of a beating when Olaraja snapped on him.

The battle with Olaraja went great too. Once again, the party was devastated by a trap (it actually got the exact same 17 damage roll as the previous trap, the PCs just fared better because they were 2nd level this time), and then Olaraja used the captive ranger to try and goad them into dropping their weapons. Fortunately Cubber saved the day with a distraction, allowing the solarian (second-best stealth in the party) to slip into Olaraja's office and around behind him using the same secret passage he'd used to get behind the party, getting the ranger away from him, and providing a flank to the soldier. Still, by the end of that fight, only the solarian was still standing.

The whole resistance thing went down over the course of 2 days.

Major Spoilers here:

Towards the end, the PCs can basically discover that this whole thing has been a dream that they've been having back in the asylum. Their dreaming minds are grasping at straws for ways to get out of this situation and then trying to rewrite reality to make their escape real.

Perhaps the new PCs were actually the ones supposed to be in the asylum in the first place, and this is a dream reality in which they switched places with innocent others (the PCs who died) and only joined the quest later instead of immediately.

Could be some neat psychological horror in discovering that their current PCs are basically responsible for the deaths of their previous ones. That their current PCs dreamed up the previous ones and subjected those innocent people to madness and death simply because the current PCs were just that desperate to save themselves, and sacrificing those people was the only route that would lead to this reality.

Leaves them with a nice horrifying "Congratulations. Was it worth it?" sort of realization.

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magnuskn wrote:
Good to know that War for the Crown has really a ton of prep work. I mean, it was pretty predictable, but still good to know. I guess those flashcards were handcrafted, LittleMissNaga?

They were. I bought some coloured construction paper and a 2-pack of black permanent markers from my local dollar store, and doodled a little line-drawing mugshot for each important NPC beside some jotted notes on them (usually their name, race, title, and any distinguishing features).

Cheap, but effective prep material. Very time-consuming to make, though. If you crammed together all the hours I worked on those things, I'd say that I probably spent almost a full week on them.

Running through this one, and things are going great so far.

Regarding areas like the Bleeding Forest and Bonetown, creative geography edits are definitely the way to go. I put the waterfall cave in the bleeding forest, for example, so that the players would realize themselves after searching the rest of the river that the place they were looking for was somewhere beneath that crimson canopy. It worked perfectly.

The most unexpected thing I've faced thusfar is how resistant the PCs are to scouting forests for lumber, and stone for quarries. They complain a bit about always being sent on the dangerous missions, and insist that Ramona and Carver are trying to get them killed, but they still ultimately do those dangerous missions. "Go look at trees", on the other hand, sends them into fits of rage about having to do such a pedestrian job.

...I'm probably just going to let them keep finding other things to do until the plot moves on. They seem to take some mild pleasure in deliberately shirking that work in particular, so there's no hurry to say that an NPC eventually gets around to doing it in their stead.

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Get them to talk using Truth or Dare.

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UnArcaneElection wrote:

Bachuan seems an obvious parallel to North Korea (although for some weird reason it is listed on the linked page as being "Lawful Neutral", which seems to be applied to more nations than it should be).

Paizo is reeeerally generous with its neutral alignments at times.

My top pick to avoid would be Rahadoum. Plagues, famines, narcotics, slavery, and Alahazra's backstory makes it clear enough that you can get 'disappeared' in Rahadoum without actually trying to break their rules. Plus if you're in the capital, there's the threat of invisible outsiders battling it out in the streets.

...Also, I can't take the heat. I'd be a sweaty corpse before the enforcers ever got to me.

Rahadoum are those people who get burned and then take it out on others. I don't really like those people. I think they're bad people, and that living in a nation run by them would be really stressful and dangerous. I'd call them Lawful Evil, but Paizo definitely can't. There's be uproar if the atheistic nation was labeled evil, even if the label wasn't at all based on their atheism.

I think I recall an NPC in a published adventure somewhere (though this may have been added by the GM running it) who was facing some family trouble from being gay. He was a minor nobleman from Taldor, and while his family was technically alright with him being gay, they still wanted him to provide an heir, which he was distinctly uncomfortable with.

Taldor is very old-fashioned. If there's a place likely to be at least somewhat uncomfortable with LGBT stuff, it'd probably be Taldor (especially their older, stauncher nobility).

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Tossing in my experience as an oozemorph (played from level 1 through to 17). There's early challenges for sure, but I think it helps to just let the party know exactly what to expect... Not that I did. Poor girl reverted to ooze-form for the first time mid-conversation with an NPC. Just collapsed into a puddle. Fun times.

Sometimes, the other PCs might need to prepare to carry you in a bucket. Sometimes they might need to speak on your behalf, or play charades with a wobbly puddle. Sometimes they might get it wrong, and that's okay. Don't trash it just because they interpreted your jiggling overtures of diplomacy as "The ooze monster wants to seduce the princess". Roll with it, and have fun.

Embrace your ooziness fully. It can have its mechanical downsides, sure, but don't think of it as just a problem to overcome and nothing more. Don't go quiet and mope while you're in slime form, keep playing! Your time at the table isn't finished for the next 23 hours just because you're now being carried in a bucket. And don't forget that your humanoid form can have oozy fun too. I was the lockpicker of our party, and I'd tend to flavour it as forcing my gelatinous eyeball into the lock so that I could see what was going on while I worked, then jabbing the lockpicks through the back of my distended ooze eyeball to get them in there too.

You're a weird ooze monster. Be weird.

Mechanically, I just didn't focus too much on the belt and gear and whatnot. I think I eventually bought an ioun stone or two, and a good amulet, but for the most part I was getting buffs from our cleric, like bull's strength.

...And before anyone says that this was weakening the cleric by frivolously wasting his spell slots: We've heard that before. His response was "90% of the spells I cast on her were low level slots that I could afford to give out to improve her, and the party as a whole. I'd be a bad cleric if I wasn't willing to buff an ally who needed it. The one high level slot she used (mass bull's strength) was a domain spell that I was going to use whether she was in the party or not, because the other domain's option was terrible".

I like options. If PF has the option to do anime stuff, then cool. I'm all for that.

That said, I don't think PF is the best system to play an anime-inspired game. My favourite choice there would be Mutants and Masterminds. There's probably even better choices than that out there too, but M&M is something I actually know how to play.

Also a fan of point buy, particularly because every advocate of rolling stats that I've gotten to play with in person said, when asked why they preferred rolling, that it's was because they expected that if they rolled below-average, the GM would let them take a more average spread instead.

...Basically, they wanted the chance to be better than the rest of the players, with no chance of a downside. Also, I've caught literally every stat-roll-advocating player I've ever played with (which is about 2 dozen of them) cheating at some point or another. So really what they wanted was the opportunity to try and pull a fast one on the GM and say "No, really, I totally rolled these awesome stats while you were helping that other player out".

There will be rolling players who don't cheat, of course. I've just never met any, and after so many cheaters, I think it's easier to just favour players who are eager for point-buy. Someone asking for a system where they can't cheat just earns immediate trust points from me.

...Whew, that was off-topic. As for Giantslayer, I was pretty firmly in the "Never going to run this, but I'll buy the books to mine them for stuff" camp until Ironfang happened. I actually like the look of Ironfang, but the rest of my group disagrees vehemently, and has recently been considering giving Giantslayer a shot, since it no longer looks like the worst AP to them.

magnuskn wrote:
Oo. I had her figured as somewhat of a pushover. Then again, my guys are pretty experienced when it comes to taking out caster bosses.

Likewise. Personally I anticipated Elvanna being too easy for them, and added a fight with a Pit Fiend right before her, and added a pair of Squamous Demodand allies to the encounter with her. Turned out to be just right for my group, who were coming in with four Mariliths from Greater Planar Ally on their side (three after the Pit Fiend got through with them). Resulted in a fight that was challenging, but winnable.

War for the Crown had me doing more work than any other AP I'd ever run.

It was a great adventure, but by the end of it I had over 100 colour-coded NPC flash cards. It was a lot of prep compared to what an AP usually needs.

Wrath of the Righteous was honestly not too bad, though I let the mythic PCs smash through everything without much adjustment. I know a lot of folks advocate serious balance-edits for the opposition in that one, and it definitely would have taken a lot longer if I'd gone that route.

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Depends on the vigilante. I've had one whose social identity was often used to case enemy organizations, and the other PCs knew about it (and helped cover for him) right from day one.

I've run a game for another whose social identity was their quest-giver/noble sponsor. They never actually learned that the private mercenary he always sent with them was just him in disguise.

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Voted. Not switching.

I really hope Paizo proves my fears wrong and creates something great, but my hopes have been dying bit by bit as the playtest has gone on, and at this point I'm the last person in my group who even cares about the future of Pathfinder. The rest have already started purchasing books from WotC and planning D&D 5e campaigns, with occasional talk of playing PF1 adventures that we haven't gotten around to yet.

Even if the new edition ends up being great (which, at this point, I don't think is going to happen), I doubt I'll even be able to get the entire group to willingly come back and give it a try. Too much animosity.

So... Yeah, we're almost certainly not playing PF2. At best, I may keep up with adventures if they seem easy enough to convert backwards to PF1.

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I always felt like Pharasma was basically just GM to a big game that the rest of the deities are playing. She's doing her best to be impartial and stuff, and judge fairly but she's got biases of her own, and some jerk players who deliberately push her buttons, so she does make biased calls sometimes.

I've been growing to be okay-ish with Sarenrae as time goes by, but her "True Neutral" murder cult is still a problem. As people above have said, she talks a lot about redemption, but doesn't actually seem to be very good at it. She let the cult of the Dawn-"Agree with me or I'll kill you"-flower go unchecked for way too long. And I'm only assuming she finally got around to telling them to chill because of PF2's change in which alignments she accepts for her clerics. Maybe they've actually just decided to go with "Nah, her murder cult is toooootally Neutral Good (and if you disagree, they're coming for you)". Mostly though: Yeah, Sarenrae's okay. I don't like her worshippers.

I don't dislike Calistria, but I do dislike the kind of characters she tends to inspire. For every one decently-made one, there's a hundred amateur seductresses and horrifically evil psychopaths insisting that they're chaotic neutral and that they're just following the revenge code.

Asmodeus is definitely a mary sue, but it helps somewhat that he's his own sue, in a way. The whole Ihys story is a lot funnier if you assume Asmodeus is lying through his teeth about it all to make himself sound more awesome. Same with all his "Exactly as planned" stuff.

I think my least favourite is actually Cayden Cailean, because he's... well, he's kind of dull. He's the joke character of the roster, and sure the accidental god schtick is funny, but it's all about him, and leaves his faithful as being just a mix of stereotypical adventurers, and friendly drinkers. Nothing really inspiring. He was the first deity I ever had a character worship (though in retrospect, she would have gone for Besmara if I'd known Besmara existed at the time), so it feels awkward to call him my personal bottom of the barrel, but oh well.

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PCScipio wrote:
The final encounter of the Jade Regent AP. I don't remember how many rounds, but about 3 x 3 hour sessions.

Ooh, that one stretched on forever here too.

It went by pretty rapid fire for us, at least, but we had at least 3 dozen straight rounds of "He made his saving throw again" and "Nope, that still doesn't hit his AC" before the tide finally turned.

It was so bad that a min/level spell the PCs had trapped a different enemy with elsewhere in the dungeon actually expired mid-fight, and said enemy had enough time to head up to where the final battle was taking place and join in.

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1of1 wrote:
LittleMissNaga wrote:
I'm always miserable in what the weather folks on TV like to call "Beautiful" weather. Give me the chill, and the damp, and the gloom any day. A nice"Dreary" autumn is my perfect tank top and shorts weather.

Same for me. 10C/50F is my ideal room temperature.

These meat things we're walking around in are kind of haphazardly thrown together, so it's pretty hard to standardize stuff for them.

Yeah. My whole group, being from a somewhat-colder climate than the one the Paizo office is situated in, tends to have a laugh whenever we convert the Fahrenheit and remember what sorts of weather the rules consider to be extreme cold.

I wear my summer clothes in ranges of weather that seasoned fantasy adventurers (who are presumably much tougher than me) could freeze to death in, apparently. It makes me chuckle.

It basically just gives them one extra use of it. Not too big a deal. Their access to loot is supposed to be bonkers in the dream world anyways.

If they use up their dream copy of the scroll, they retain the physical one, but they don't get a new dream copy every time they go back into the dreamlands.

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I'd explain that the PCs getting swarmed by everyone at once doesn't happen because that'd be a really dumb response on Nox's part.

Sending all your forces at once to respond to a disturbance by relatively unknown forces is just begging for an enemy group to take advantage of that. Whether by ambushing all your people by luring them into a big fortified position just outside that they don't know about, or just by leading them on a merry chase while a second team takes advantage of the distraction to get in, swipe what they need, and get out.

A more measured response is a more sane one. Restructure the defensive lines to make sure there's no holes your enemies can get through, and to ensure that your people are waiting in good ambush spots, make sure everyone is alert, start casting medium and long duration spells, move or destroy important documents, have patrols start seeking out your enemies not to destroy them, but to get further intel, and then to hold them off while a runner falls back to the nearest defenders and warns them to start casting short duration spells, and to send a team around through a side passage to catch the intruders in a pincer strike.


Tarik Blackhands wrote:
Green Smashomancer wrote:
MageHunter wrote:

That's less an issue of Sarenrae and more the murderhobos killing in her name.

She disapproves of those that do not respect redemption, notably the cult of the Dawnflower. Golarion has many real world issues including the perversion of faith to justify violence.

Does the cult of the dawnflower not have clerics? Warpriests? It seems to be that Sarenrae is willing to sponsor them. And you can't just say "oh they're actually being sponsored by something evil they don't know" cause that's straight headcanon. Good headcanon, but headcanon.

As of the PF2 playtest, not anymore. Sarenrae evidently got tired of tapping her foot and looking cross at those yahoos (and other TN divine casters of her) while handing them holy power and cut them all off. Good for her, even if it ruins a bunch of jokes for me and others who like sniggering at cosmological inconsistencies.

Yep. I think it's pretty clear Sarenrae's interested in redemption and goodly goodness, but her paladin code is worded in an unfortunate way that's very easy to interpret as "I will give everyone who disagrees with me one chance to change their minds, and if they don't, I will kill them".

Big problem being that prior to PF2, Big S was allowing a whole bunch of people to interpret it that way and not smacking them down and revoking cleric/paladin powers. It's nice to see that she finally noticed what sorts of deeds her "True Neutral" murder-cults were committing in her name, and got around to doing something about it.

Interestingly, that old "Agree with me or die" stance works out with a lot less problems if you assume a setting where Sarenrae is the only non-evil deity, and there's no atheists. Where everyone is either with her, or evil.

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Asmodeus' Advocate wrote:
No point being rude about other people’s temperature acclimation, it’s largely out of an individual’s control. If you’re from a hotter part of the world, you’d prolly be pretty miserable in the wintertime where I’m at, on account of not being accustomed to it.

Yep. I'm always miserable in what the weather folks on TV like to call "Beautiful" weather. Give me the chill, and the damp, and the gloom any day. A nice"Dreary" autumn is my perfect tank top and shorts weather. That's going to be different from people in other areas, and even just people with other preferences, and that's fine.

As mentioned above, the most important thing for the game seems to be defining when you've got new levels of environmental effects. Add me to the camp who thinks that eschewing precise temperature altogether and just saying "The temperature is extreme heat", or whatever, would probably be more useful.

Douglas Muir 406 wrote:
Oh! Almost forgot: it looks like your group is mostly human, amirite? No gnomes or halflings?

Nah, humans aren't a popular choice here. I don't think I've seen more than one human PC in nearly ten years.

This entire group has darkvision. They are all medium sized, though, so squeezey hazards work.

Kayerloth wrote:
:D Well obviously the legends of the Queen have inspired a crazed group of fanatics (heretics to the Warpriest) determined to free her ... so there must be cultists wandering around searching for the way down into the Old City along with hidden cultist shrines within the sewers.

I like it, but I think I'll save that for later. A "Defend the dungeon" plot could really shake up the formula, and it'd make more sense to put that in the palace. No reason I can't have a cultists scouting party or something for some foreshadowing, though.

Kayerloth wrote:

It's a classic way for the "bad guys" to travel secretly back and forth between above ground locations. Smugglers, Robbers (think of all the 'rob the bank' movies you've seen where they're tunneling in), Kidnappers, Escapees from the Jail (or slave pens or ...).

Escaped pets ... from the normal lost dog to snakes and alligators or worse.

What's in the abandoned city?

The old queen's a mythic NPC with that ability that lets her grant spells like a deity (the party's Warpriest has her as a patron). Back when the place was still in use, the queen had herself bound and restrained down there to protect her subjects from her lusts and rampages. She's still all tied up in the old city's palace, and the PCs need to get some information from her that's more specific than can be conveyed by any of the divinations they have access to. So they need to go ask her in person.

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4th level party will be going into the absurdly spacious sewers soon, trying to reach the abandoned underground city buried beneath the regular city.

I'm a bit lacking for sewer ideas, though. I can think of otyughs, and... well, that's it. I know they're escorting a bumbling weaker-than-them warrior with a penchant for charging into trouble and needing to be rescued, but I can't really think of anything to do here. Help?

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I do like hearing what the folks working on an adventure have to say about it.

I'm also quite happy with a longer adventure.

I think I'm basically satisfied either way.

Heh. I played a ridiculous Unchained Phantom Thief Rogue with Healer's Hands and requisite other things in my last campaign, so while I agree it's an awesome direction to go in, it's not the one I'm taking this time.

The Shaman suggestion is really resonating with me. Have told the GM that I'm going that route.

Hmm. I've only ever played a Shaman once, and only for three levels of stone shaman. Might be fun to give it another try and maybe play one for a bit longer this time, if the game lasts.

Set to be a player in an upcoming home game in one of my players' new homebrew settings. I'm the experienced one in this upcoming group, and the new GM'd requested I play someone capable of healing and helping the others, to help it go more smoothly.

My usual go-to choices for such a character have seen a lot of use lately, though. I think playing another bard, oracle, or witch would bore me right now, and I'm all for helping out, but I'd like to have fun too. Cleric seems like a no-brainer, but I prefer to avoid playing a heavily faith-based class in a new setting when I don't know the pantheon very well yet.

So... I've ruled out all the good options that have come to mind. Or at least to my mind. Anyone else have suggestions?

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Baba Yaga seems to like forcing anyone she feels like into servitude. They may work for her, fear her, maybe respect her power, but I get the impression that a lot of Grandmother's "Employees" don't like their boss.

I even ran a few of them as partially-sympathetic. "I know what it's like being forced to do her dirty work, and it sucks. I'm sorry, but I'm magically compelled to stop you". Led to players trying to find tricky loopholes to bypass guardians without killing them (or sometimes, to using nonlethal, because they really didn't have anything against the people there fighting).

Others will be actively antagonistic, and probably trying to exploit loopholes of their own. Maybe an: "Oh, yes, I am supposed to help people working for Baba Yaga, but I'm also supposed to kill intruders. Since you're trying to save her, I'm going to choose to interpret your presence here as an intrusion and use that as an excuse to stop you and ruin her day".

Others might actually just look threatening, but will actually help if you're honest with them.

A lot of the citizens are remade petitioners, and immune to hostile transmutations, which probably includes being turned to stone. That helps. It also probably helps her public image that a medusa wouldn't be as much of a threat to people on Axis as on the Material.

I don't know about the rules as written, but after two medusae in this AP (one of which actively tries to manipulate you into position before turning anyone to stone), it seems they're probably intended to be able to control when they activate their stone-gaze, and when they keep it turned off.

Depending on the gloat-level, I'll probably let someone bluff to try and get a surprise round. Lead the villain's monologue to your advantage.

It's not a free shot, exactly, so much as an opportunity to earn one.

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Midnight Anarch wrote:

What mode are most of you finding that players take to infiltrate Fort Hailcourse? I'm curious whether players are opting to go up the walls, one way or another, and end up dealing with the tougher scenario up there or instead opt to burst through the front door (or otherwise enter there).

How has the choice of entrance gone for your players?

We had an oozemorph shifter who compressed her way through an arrow slit and then opened the doors for everyone else from the inside.

The initial encounter was a little tough, since she was alone in melee and getting ganged up on, but she lured the enemies near the arrow slit so that the casters could blast spells at them (and reach in and poke her with cure spells when necessary), and it worked out alright.

Breaking into the fort was probably the most intense part of that dungeon, honestly. It was dynamic, with running battles against waves of skum, but very easily handled beyond that point (the skum are kinda weak). There were, at least, some battles best described as two oozes sloshing and melding together as they struggled for superiority. That was pretty memorable.

That's Bestiary 1, page 7. The aasimar.

Name: Breezy Headwind
Race: Sylph (Small-sized, Gnome-born)
Classes/levels: Occultist (Sha'ir) 4
Adventure: Songbird, Scion, Saboteur
Location: The joust
Catalyst: Baron Nicolaus Okerra
The Gory Details: Breezy was the only PC who opted to joust, and after getting an early lead in the first match (earned by lightly jabbing Titus back and forth for four passes, racking up repeated hits without ever dismounting him), ended up against Okerra in her third match.

Okerra got a crit on his first roll. He rolled really high on his damage, and it turns out that nonlethal can spill over and become lethal if you take too much of it. Breezy was dead on the spot.

Fortunately I'd already added the local archbanker to the list of party guests and declared that she was watching the joust and could hit Breezy with a Breath of Life before it was too late (Bartleby paid her in advance to handle emergencies and dodge the scandal).

Breezy went on to meet Okerra in the finals and seized victory with a critical hit of her own. Not long after, she saved Bartleby from assassination and pretty much cemented her position as the star of the evening.

I'm surprised I haven't heard much about any of you dashing diplomats and highborn nobles having bitten the dust yet. Ah well, I'll kick things off.


Here's the standard format.


The Gory Details: (optional)

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GM PDK wrote:
So consensus is to add one social round for each Senator added yes?

Dunno about everyone else, but I added a round for every four that were added, and it worked out pretty perfectly. Tight enough that PCs had to scramble to do everything they wanted to, but not so tight that they didn't have some room for errors and do-over, and were able to get it all done in the end.

In our case, it was 32 additional NPCs and 8 additional rounds. Worked great!

So Aresphena tries to trick PCs into looking horrified for her tableau, while also keeping up her innocent facade.

...How would one go about doing that? Any ideas?

So far all I've got is "She tells you her story, which involves such brutal and horrifically triggering things having happened to her that I don't want to repeat them".

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Would it track creatures in gaseous form?

If it does, you could use it to track escaping vampires.

Meirril wrote:

Sorcerer. Pick up Infernal (Celestial) Healing, Cha is primary stat so social skills are the automatic forte of this class. Then throw in some blaster spells and you've covered all of his bases. This won't be a long term healer but that isn't what the player is looking for, is it?

I know of Infernal Healing.

What's Infernal (Celestial) Healing?

We have a political intrigue sort of game coming up, and 3 of the 4 players have roughly settled into what they want to play at this point (a skill-heavy rogue, an occultist, and a shifter).

Player 4 is stuck, and we've all tossed around ideas, but gotten nowhere.

He says he thinks we need more healing capabilities (particularly at low, "pre-CLW-wand" levels) and wants to be able to do some of that. He'd also like to be able to have a presence in combat, and to have some social skills.

We pretty much all think the best options for what he wants are witch and oracle, but he hates witches and doesn't want to play a class he doesn't have fun with (understandable), and is playing an oracle in the campaign we're currently doing, and doesn't want to play another one right away. His own favourite class is the cleric, but he's been struggling with hitting all three of his requirements (particularly getting good skills) at once.

Any advice we might give him? Cleric builds? Unconventional oracles? Other options?

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