Bahor (Glorio Arkona)

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My players suprised me again today.
Always a good start for a topic, eh?

I have these villains in my game: large sized demon elves - pretty much beefed up drow with dark eldar manners.
I thought it would be cool for them to have this armor made out of liquid metal; essentially a metal elemental that is joined to them, fighting and protecting them.

So the players fight a single one of these guys, (it was a bit of a freak accident, very cool and thematic fitting with the story) - and like all PF players they instagib the poor guy before he even gets to take a turn ...
THEN the bard remembers the lore about the "living armors" and decides to dominate/bind the thing before it can react.
I rolled a 1, he rolled a 20 ...

Now I'll admit, I wasn't really planning for anybody to get their hands on these things. They were just a cool description coupled with an excuse to give a scary enemy 2 initiative slots.

But come on; when the player pulls of something impossible with some quick thinking, cool roleplaying, and lucky rolls - I like to reward it.

Now I just have to find some way of statting out this thing without making it overpowered.

My first idea is the following, using rules for making intelligent items (and I still haven't figured out how these work completely):
it's got 12 int, 16 wis, 10 or 12 cha,
it's got a alignment and goal tied to serving the elves, and they are evil dicks so ...
it's probably against anybody not of elven blood (that's all of the players btw) and sees them as unworthy , or possibly: vermin.
it can either be used as a constant Shield spell OR as a constant Haste spell (just the extra attack, none of the other modifiers)
and getting it to cooperate is a Will save vs Ego.

does this seem ok to hand to a level 11 character?
what is it's ego score?
how often do you make the Will check/what situations/intervals are cool but won't tied down the game in excess rolling?

I chose the shield/haste combo to simulate how depending on it's masters wishes it can either lash out at opponents near him, or protect him from blows
- I feel that all the liquid metal, shapechanging stuff can just be made of Handwaveium(tm) and be part of the description of how it moves.

Anybody got some ideas or insight for how to make this? I'd love to hear other versions if they make sense (was playing with the idea of just giving the player a pet elemental, but it seems like more bookkepping and bother than fun).

So the gang is getting back together after a while (last game was before summer)Yay!
And like any GM worth his salt, I of course, don't have any proper notes and my memory is shoddy :)

there, now they won't know what hit them.

Last times our great(...?) heroes were adventureing they decided to amush a youngling dragon ( it was more like an execution)
and carry the corpse home for mounting and bragging rights ...
it's parent took offence and ambushed them on the way back to town,
glorious/hilarious battle ensued and the end result was that the dragon escaped ... and at least 1 player died
(it's ok, they know a druid in the woods, he'll fix him up ... )
So now they've pissed that dragon off ...
They have also (like players often do) ignored completely the fact that there have been (several) signs of giants coming down from the mountains.
Or the fact that they have aquired an amulet that the giants are looking for. (completely clueless, despite my careful hints)

So here is what I'm going to do: the dragon will contact the giants, manipulate/make a deal with them
(this is ridiculous easy since the players have kinda set themselves up by previous actions),
and point them in the players direction - it will then leave, because that magus left some scorch marks and it needs some "me-time".

the result of this is that next session starts with the giant attacking the village the players have set as base.

the village have no walls or fortifications except the natural:
it is a triangle shape - made by a river splitting in two and the 2 new offshoots "cage" the village.
the bottom of the triangle is made by a natural cliff along that side. at the smallest the river is maybe 2meters wide and have 2 bridges ...
so even without bridges the giants can cross fairly easy.
it's major buildings are: an old inn, a guardhouse, and a abadoned church ... so - pretty much nothing that can survive a siege.

for the record, the pcs are all lvl 11:
a human magus (eldritch scion) katana-wielding spellcaster/"attack helicopter" dpr-focused and tanky
a hobgoblin (unchained) Rogue (knifemaster) 2-weapon fighter, dpr-whore and quite tough
a human bard (archivist) mostly a pure buffer/utility caster and face
an elven ranger, switch-hitter likes tripping, he's also Large sized (it's along story)

Still with me? good, ok here's the questions: How would you do such a siege?

one big battle with ludicrus amounts of giant just swarming the players ?
or in waves of increasing numbers and power? (it's a trope for a reason)
would you have lulls in the battle to allow players to rest and explore options? (like bringing the fight to the giants or negotiating or outright leaving) or would you just keep pounding them untill you run out of giants?

other questions is consequences: what natural enemies have the giants kept in check up there in the cold mountains that might come down and mess with the players at a later point in the campaign?

Is there anything obvious I've missed or anything that would be cool to throw into this mix? I'm open for suggestions

So ...the day I always knew would come - is close

In my campaign I removed elves but left some hintings in wall murals and myth about the terrible 'Eldren' who disappeared ca 500 yrs ago.
One of the pc's is a half elf, and through cool quests, messing with forces he doesn't understand, and a perfectly timed reincarnate spell he has become a full blooded Eldren.
So I should probably figure out what their racal bonuses and such are ...

My idea is simply to take the elf template, slap a large size on it, and call it a day. -Maybe remove 1 or 2 small elf skill bonuses to pretend that it's balanced. (I'm also adding more dex to offset the size penalty)

The end result is a normal elf - large sized ( meaning 10' reach), with +2 str +2 dex -2 con +2 int (is that correct?)

My depiction of them has been vague of course; they are large, have magic, wear armor made of 'living metal' when they go to war, were decadent and cruel, had pale almost blue skin, some of them had horns or antlers... so one part fey crazies, a large part drow, a small part demonic dimension jumping aristocrats.

How would you stat them? (It's allowed to use more than standard points if needed, it's a quest reward )
How would you stat their 'armor of living metal'?

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I read somewhere (I think it was here) someone mentioned that they only played with 11 classes and 7 races (which is the setup from CORE)
-but they picked from all the books, and agreed before starting a campaign which classes and races were in their game.

So over the weekend I've been thinking about that premise and compiled my own list of which classes I would use, if I were to 'remake' the standard so to speak (maybe for our next campaign).
Here's my list:

  • Bard
  • (Unchained) Barbarian
  • Bloodrager
  • Brawler
  • Cavalier
  • Druid
  • Investigator
  • Oracle
  • Paladin
  • Ranger
  • (Unchained) Rogue
  • Sorcerer
  • Witch

...Aaand it seems I've gone over my self-imposed limit :/
-Maybe I should cut the druid and the barbarian ... hmm?
I tried to pick the classes that are:

  • fun to play,
  • have unique abilities,
  • don't have a solution to everything (encouraging teamplay)
  • most have enough skills to be involved with the whole game, not just the combat.
  • few of them do the 'same' thing as the others

I also avoided some classes that have themes or mechanics that I don't like or don't consider positive additions to my idea of the game.

What are your thoughts on such a list?

What would your list be if you were to 'slim down' the avalible material to what you consider it's core? and why?

As a sidenote: When looking through the classes I noticed that 9th lvl arcane casters always gets 1/2 BAB while 9th lvl divine caster always gets 3/4 BAB - Why is that?!
If it's supposed to be a 'balancing act' because the arcane spellists are more powerful then - I don't agree. What do you think?

I'm looking for opinions on how to portray dragons.

First off, some disclaimers:
1.If you're in my group stop reading
2. this is for a homegame and differs somewhat from RAW.

right then, let's get to it:

My characters are lvl 11 at this point, they are:
A hobgoblin rogue (knifemaster, can do some insane damage at times)
a human bard with Leadership (archivist, pure 'buff & face' build)
an elf alchemist/shadowdancer (might retrain into ... god knows, he does buffs, healing and ranged damage for the moment)
and a human magus with Leadership (eldritch scion, high str&cha)

the current storyline is about the groups efforts to strengthen their hold on a region of the midlands, rebuild the magus' ancestral mansion, forging alliances with the nearby villages and becoming lords of the region.
And of course there are problems brewing around them: a troll pack they dispatched was carrying an important amulet stolen from a frost giant jarl and the giants are coming down from the mountains. the players have yet to pick up on this as the first group of scouts have barely been detected.

Also there is the issue of the dragons that just woke up.
some sessions ago a large block of ice came down from the mountains and inside it was 3 hibernating dragons (1 elder & 2 younglings)

the first youngling was killed singlehandedly by the rogue right after it had woken (he rolled amazing and used some inventful and brillint tactics to avoid facing it directly)

The second one they baited with a ox and shot full of arrows and bolts (leadership feats and buffer bard! OMG!)
As they transported the dragon corpse towards town the Elder made it's attack, it used illusions, it's breath weapon and flyby tactics to avoid full attacks and to engage only who it wanted to at any time, when it hit half health it escaped using invisibility and it's speed, swearing revenge at the group.
At this point there was 1 character dead (will be ressurected by the local druid soon) the bard was stabilized, and all the followers he had brought were dead (10 lvl 1 rangers)

Now it's the holidays coming up and next time we play they will probably prepare for and then face the dragon the second time. It is highly likely that it will attack the village they live in now.

for the battle I used a adult green dragon, with spells changed around a bit - the description was more like a forst dragon, with antlers and green swirly patterns and whatnot.

If this was standard pathfinder I would assume this dragon would go back to it's lair, heal up, stock up on gear and consumables (it now knows that the magus likes fire and lightning for example) and then return to kill everyone as revenge for the killings of it's sons/brothers (I haven't decided on the direct relation yet and frankly don't care, dragon-relations are probably very different than human, the most important thing is that their deth pissed him off)

But this dragon does not have a lair, or a treasure pile ...
So should I let him aquire a scroll or three before their next showdown? -I know the players will do their best to even the odds.
I had originaly planned for dragons to use the agile mythic template or whatever it's called - it's the one that lets them have 2 turns in the round on different initiatives. would this be too strong for these guys to handle?
Would this flying apex predator maybe just go hunting for smaller prey for a while before returning? they are after all almost immortal and coming back for vengance later after a couple of months or years of preparation and leisure might make sense ?
I'm also considering wheter or not the giants will get involved soon, or if they will be involved later ...

tl;dr: all the characters are either dpr or buff focused glass cannons, they've pissed of a homeless Dragon, what would be the most logical actions of said dragon? what would be smart tactics to use? should I tone it down to give my players a chance or not? (I'm personally thinking no, dragons are supposed to be awesome, but tpk's are no fun)
What other things than attacking them in their village and killing loads of civilians would be good stages for their eventual showdown?

Evocative right?

(but just in case I'm going to put everything in spoilers, muhahaha)

Fluff and backstory:

The Fledgling order of the Shrouded Star have just finished a long quest and have recently arrived back in the capitol to their base of operations, but all is not well.
A terrifyingly cold and long winter has taken hold of the city and if it doesn't end soon then the city, nay; the country could be dying.
At the heart of this is an Eldren spirit, cloaked in the body of a ritual vessel, stalking the streets and using it's magics to bring the city to it's knees.
All to get at the heart of the country: the Consul, ruler and protector of the land, whom figts his own war in the shadows against more than one force of destruction.
All of this is unknown to the poor freezing inhabitants of the once great city of Tuchan, all they know is that this winter should be ending, but it's not.

Behind the scenes:

So if it isn't obvious, I don't know what I'm doing here.

They finished the quest in the south waaaay ahead of my planned schedule and they decided to ditch or delay a pile of sidequests I had waiting in that region because they "wanted to go home" I guess.
Players can be fickle things, and I guess we're all human, but G'DAMN - I had some stuff ready for that region!
So anyways, I described the journey home, through villages they had helped on the way the first time they passed through - giving some nods and hints at how they had influenced the region while at the same time my brain was scrambling through old ideas and half-formed thoughts and concept of what I wanted to have waiting when the got to the city.

So here is what I came up with:
A while back they fought a cult that was trying to summon a dark god and they foiled those plans (because that's what adventurers do: foil stuff .. sometimes they just soil stuff.)

But unknown to them (the players got some havy foreshadowing, but their characters know nothing) something managed to get through (what?!): the spirit of a deceased elf that wants to bring down the country that killed it's kin. (oooooh!)

This entity is in a borrowed body and weak, it's goal is to remove a magical effect that is preventing alomst all dimensional travel in the land, this is unknown to the population by the way ("dimensunhnal wuht?") an effect maintained by the Consul (benevolent tyrant/ruler) who is something else that he appears.
If the barrier breaks then the exiled Eldren (that's my fancy word for elves btw) will return in their dimenional ships and start a new war of genocide (elves are demons in my setting, they are wholly evil, full stop, no doubt) against the humans that defeated them the first time.

to summarize:

1. it's cold
2. there is a "possessed thingy" loose
3. it wants to kill the ruler/destroy some mcguffin in the palace
4. if it does there will be crazy dimensional-hopping large sizes elves appearing all over the place to eat your babies and burn your cow

my notes on ideas for this plot:

-My first thought for the stats of the possessed is simply an elf sorcerer/dragon disciple with a ice-theme.
- Ice golems/elementals?
-Those cold riders . seem to be perfectly fitting for some city skirmishes
-I was thinking of throwing a Linnorm at them, for the lulz - maybe some crazy summoning scene outside the city ...
-Having the "possesed" use magic to masquerade as some innocent looking npc seems like a cool idea, the thought of bringing their cohorts and followers outside to investigate something and the having one of their redshirts throw of it's cape and cackle manicly while twirling their mustache and summoning a linnorm might be cool ..
-... I dunno ...

I know this, I don't know how to make a good caster without help/research - and I want something easy to use since small nifty abilities are something I forget in the heat of battle.
She is going to need alot of hp/defence/saves because my group is lvl 10 and the rocket tag has started.
Magus, Alchemist, Rogue/Barbarian and BufferBard equals a lot of explosions and deathrattles in very few rounds - my villians are monologuing a lot more these days just to at least let the group know the whys and hows of the situations they foil and soil (and blow to kingdom come).

What i need help with: :

-Stats for my "Returned Elf", for inspiration think of a young Flemeth from the Dragon Age games or that IceTits (what's her name again?)sidekick in Bound by Flame.
-Ideas for a vague sequence of events/ how it all fits together
-suggestions on how to make a biting cold winter a cool opponent in itself.
-Some help with what it is exactly the Consul is doing to "Lock down" the whole country from other planes, and how it can be destroyed.
-Possible start (at least the warning shots) of the return of the demonelves(tm) in case the players f%$! up
(it's no fun threatening to blow up the world if you never connect the red button to the explosives - also I don't mind if this plot starts, the group is past lvl 10: the gloves are of and All. Bets. Are. Off. :) )

And thank you for reading all that, I know I ramble, you wil just have to forgive me ... I've had sugar today.

So I just read this blog about tiers and it got me thinking.

My game is changing, the pc's are lvl 10, one of them has take leadership (I'm not sure if one of the others are considering it) the group is slowly evolving from troubleshooters in a fledgling group to leaders of a organization.

last game I got a confirmation that there are some encounters where rolling the dice is just busywork; it can be fun to show of how powerful they are now and again - but there are some enemies they beat hands down, always. (of course disregarding insane luck, critical hits, ambushes or other shenanigans)

this makes me think that there might be some encounters in the future that will not be fights to the death, but more story elements.

Meaning: wheter or not they win is not the question,
but how long it takes them (in case a baron with a twirly mustache is running out the back door while they are slaughtering henchmen for example),
or how they do it (maybe killing those indignous ppl from wherever might be fastest, but it sure as hell isn't going to give you a nice reputation)

so how would you resolve such fights? my 2 thoughts are:

1.) Any monster/npc/etc under a certain CR I don't roll dice or initiate combat with unless the players insist on tryong out there new sword. The whole encounter gets roleplayed out with narrative and descriptions. If a players suggests something very specific I make them roll for that part of the fight - for example subduing a young enemy soldier without killing him in the middle of an ambush. but most of the fights gets reduced to a story with cliff notes.

2.) Something similiar only with an added mechanical element: like a "Warfare" stat or something? I don't know if any of the Ultimate-books have anything like that? open for suggestions.

tldr: at higher lvl, low lvl enemies still exits (in my game), but are hardly capable of scratching the pcs. how to keep a skirmish against 5 lvl 2 bandits from being just a dicewank that wastes gaming time and turn it into a part of the collaborative storytelling?

In a home game using the eberron campaign setting I am playing a phalanx soldier/urban ranger-thingy and I've recently started on this class .

So I've been reading up on what I can do later in the game and my first question is: Dimensional savant says you can flank with yourself and flank from all points that you teleport between.

My character is a reaching, greater tripping, shield slamming, teleporting, asskicking, mean machine and I'm wondering; if I'm flanking from all those points, do I also threaten from all those points?

'cuz that would be Rad, bro. like, Wicked, dude.

any thoughts on that?

(like I said, this is a home game, so I'm not looking for a PFS-ruling, just opinions on if this is fair/logical)

So I'm playing an eberron homebrew megadungeon-like game with some friends, one of these is playing a crafting-focused cleric and because of his build I'm starting to think about potential enchantments for my gear as we play on ...

adding Bashing to my +1 shield would be cool since it's my main weapon a lot of the time (I love shield slam)

that's 4000gp, halved when the player does the crafting ...

but I remember reading that you can add weapon enchantments to a shield as well, so ....

the first one that caught my eyes is impact .

-if I'm reading this right I need to make the shield a +3 weapon alltogether to get this: +1 first, then the special ability is a +2 ability

that's 18000gp, halved again because we have a crafter in the group.

so after spending 11000gp on crafting a shield that was a '+1 heavy spiked shield. into a 'impacting bashing spiked heavy shield' :

is this allowed?
does it do 3d6 damage? (meaning does the different shield and weapon enchantments stack)
what is the damage bonus from the different magics? i.e. bashing adds +1 to attack and damage, does that stack with the +1 weapon enchantment?

special advice section:
is it worth it to spend 9000gp to go from 2d6 to 3d6 on shield bashing?
any enchantments that would be better?

for reference the party is at the verge of hitting lvl 7, the character is a mobile phalanx soldier that uses shield slam to knock foes into walls and out of the way and a guisarme-glaive to trip everything in reach.
the other players are a warforged invunrable rager barbarian with a earth breaker, a buff/heal martial cleric crafter and a glass cannon zen archer who is whining about that he missed out on 2 sessions and is behind on xp.

thoughts? comments? vague philosophy?

So christmas vacation is over and I'm looking at my scribbled notes from last game, realizing that:
1.) I need to start writing neater, some of this stuff is incomprihensible - seriously; what is that supposed to say? is that an "E" or a "T"?!
2.) I don't know what I'm doing with this plot thread anymore: there are some corrupted dryads to the northeast, and some bandits with their pet zombies to the south but hell if I know what I was thinking.

And now that I'm doing some top grade ass-pulling and beating this stuff into some semblance of a plot, I can see that I'm going to do another labyrinth.

Last time I did one I made an incredible detailed map with twists and turns, I populated it's hallway with bizarre undead, I played creepy music in the background and described the haunted ruins of a crashed sky-city with as much anachronistic panache as I could muster. As the players navigated the winding halls I kept meticolous track of where they were, but didn't draw them a single line on a paper - all map-making was done by them without my interference. I though it was a pretty good setup before we played, I was even a bit proud.

And it was s~@!, utter waste of time.
I could have railroaded them through the whole sequence with some good descriptions and a couple of wandering monsters and the result would have been the same.

After the game I asked for feedback and we all agreed that while the mood of the labyrinth was cool, the execution was a bit of a waste of time and it didn't add anything to the game (except giving me more stuff to keep track of).

So now I'm seeing that the corrupted dryad that I'm using as a boss for the end (who might be a fungus queen in the end) is going to make her lair in a old overgrovn druid grove surrounded by a thorny hedge maze.
In the final encounter I'm going to sprinkle treants, shambling mounds, maybe some effed-up redcaps and other fey/sylvan stuff - all of it in a hazy fog of fungal spores and sharp thorns. I might throw in some spiders, because, hey: why not? and I just saw the hobbit movies again so steal where you can.

thanks for reading all that nonsense, here is the actual question: how do you handle mazes and labyrinths?
do you make it a series of skill checks with matching descriptions? (climb to get to There, stealth to go over There, acrobatics to leap over that to end up There etc)
Do you make a map of the whole thing? either by hand or by using a generator?
Do you put the whole map on the table as they enter it? do you cover the map with post-it-notes and remove them one-by-one as some sort of geographical strip-tease? or maybe just describe the turns and let them make their own map?
Or how about something like the chase-cards? just slightly refluffed for the game ...

I'm stumped on how to do it this time, I have untill next week to come up with some cool way to describe being lost in a maze to my players - and this time I'd like it to be more fun.

So I'm playing a game next week in a pf-eberron setting.
We're starting at lvl 5; I've made a phalanx soldier 3 / urban ranger 2.
It's a trip-build; combat expertise, improved trip, combat reflexes, improved shield bash.

why I'm dipping ranger:
If you're wondering, I'm multiclassing to ranger because I prefer the skill ranks, class skills, ability to use CLW-wands and the other ranger wands, & the other class abilities from the ranger class.
The original build was pure fighter 5, but I realized that the ranger dip doesn't lose any feats because of the fighting style feat.
I also don't consider the lvl 5 phalanx ability that important since I'm not that focused on damage - another player has a 2handed warforged barbarian to deal with the dpr-olympics :)
In addition I'm aiming for the Blade of Orien prc next lvl. (A teleporting warrior-type) -so none of the class abilities will scale beyond where they are at lvl 5 ...

I'm suddenly wondering if I need two-weapon-fighting?

The plan is to use a guisarme-glaive for AoO and tripping, and a spiked shield for enemies that get past and adjacent.

So how does it work?

1 round - I stab an enemy with my polearm.
On the enemy turn he moves adjacent (not with a 5ft. Step to keep this simple) he eats an AoO for that.
2 round - I shield bash the enemy (or use bull rush to move him away)
On the enemy turn either he or another enemy provokes a (reach) AoO, I stab with the polearm.

-is the AoO a TWF-attack since it is in the same round, and I'm using a different weapon than what I used for my attack?
-do I apply twf-penalties retroactively to the shield?!
-is there a scenario where I will get twf-penalties using these tactics?

I'm pretty sure the answer to the first 2 questions is "nope", but I want to be sure.
I'm also thinking to get the bodyguard feat later and use it with the same setup (polarm-and-shield)

If this is a silly question I apologize, I'm just double-checking things before the game to make play run smoothly. Dotting my "i"'s and such.

I'm havung trouble finding an answer to this simple question:

Can you wear a circlet/headband and a hat at the same time?

I've let a player do this and I suddenly got to thinking about slots and started wondering.

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Don't know if this should go in advice or rules.

so ok, just levelled and many things happened at once.

I'm playing a paladin4/sorcerer1/dragon disciple3
I just got my first iteratives (+6/+1)
I'm toting around 3 different swords: a large bastard sword, a normal bastard sword & a longsword. I'll most likely be using the longsword the most from now on because it's ... better on all counts.

so what types of attacks can I do or what combination of attacks?

-can I bite, claw with my left hand, and then cut with 2 longsword attacks?

-can I make a bite attack when I'm two-handing the large bastard sword?

-is it possible to use a claw attack & then swing the two-hander? (I don't think so, but just checking options since the wording on changing grip made me wonder)

Anything else I've missed?
Any advice/clarification will be rewarded with good karma! :)

Need a good blaster/control spell selection for a lvl 10 npc that will be fighting on the players side in a siege.

Strong fire focus with some divination probably.

Preferably spells and tactics that are easy for a gm that doesn't play casters regularly to describe to his players while they are busy doing their own thing elswhere in the battles.

Thanks for any input! :)

So one of my players posed an interesting idea/question:
He is a paladin with the catch of guard feat. He is thinking about taking a lvl of fighter for the tower shield prof (and the extra feat).

Could he use the tower shield as an improvised weapon?

He does not have two weapon fighting, nor will he ever get it because of abysmal dexterity. So any attempt at doing a sword/tower shield-combo will have all the minuses as usual.Only the imrovised penalty would be removed, per the normal use of catch of guard. Correct?

This is for a home game, and I'm not looking for ways to turn him down (it sounds cool, so I approve) I'm more looking for thoughts and suggestions on how to rule it:

What damage dice would a tower shield have?
Could you add shield spikes to it to increase the damage dice?
Would allowing the use of feats like improved shield bash and similiar be overpowered? (I think some of those rely on twf, is that right? Any ways around that?)

Btw: He is thinking about the holy vindicator prc in the long run. Any obvious pitfalls with such a combo?

Thanks for any thoughts on the manner!

So recently I've noticed that I want to use more classical an weird monsters in my homebrew campaign. This is not much of a problem, but the setting (or what the players know of it so far) is deeply low fantasy. Now as they are starting to explore the lands I want to do more roaming monsters and random encounters. Eventually I might introduce a quest to find out why all these mythical monsters are returning.

So what would be a good plot to explain why the monsters are returning to a world that has had mostly peace from them for the last hundreds (somewhere between 200-500) of years?

things already in the setting:
in my setting there are no evil or good outsiders, so "the devil did it" doesn't relly work.
-I actually ignore the planes in general. When I use demons, they are reskinned and refluffed as corrupted elven souls trying to claw their way back into the world. Elves are kinda the ancient big bads in my worlds history.

There is currently 4 established but hidden bad guys in the story:
the First Vampire that went south to get an artifact that will give him access a location of great power in the engame. The vampire cause undead to rise in areas he visits or stay too long.
A demon/eldren possesing a corpse and plotting something nasty and uncomprehensible (haven't decided on his agenda yet)
A rakshasha pretending to be a benevolent ruler, kills of magic users so that there is no-one around to discover him. Thereby partly responsible for the "magic dark age" the setting is going through.
An ancient body-switching sorceress that has managed to stay hidden, is mentoring one of the pc's and a associate of the thieves and assasination guild, no-one knows her secret.

Thanks for all suggestions!

So after this weekend my players have progressed through the plot like a rocket and I find myself in the odd situation that I'm running out of plot.

The premise of the game is that the pc's are working for a nobleman that investigates supernatural threats and throughout this "season" (I'm using tv-terms here for simplicity) they have been building their organization and gathering resources.

Last session they got the secret approval from the leader of the land and are now a small secret society dedicated to unrooting evil in the land. The campagin uses undeads as main opponents and the(1st/current) BBEG is an ancient vampire that they have some beef with.

I have about 4 stories almost ready for the next session, no details but enough to wing it. they migh progress through these way faster than I have thought originally.

1. a cursed village of zombies in the desert - no idea to the reason yet. but one of the causes is a revenant that they dispatched previously.

2. they still haven't finished my version of the skinsaw AP, and need to find Xaneshas hideout and to rid foxglove manor of ghosts.

3. a farmland community that sacrifices travellers to a statue that is secretly a demon turned to stone.

4 a red herring where they chase down the vampire in a remote village and realize it's just one of his spawn in the end (this wil be the tie-in to the final fight.)

-When we are done with these stories the next major plot-point will be the travel into cloudy mountains to confront the bbeg. but between here and there I want some more stories like the supernatural show, with monsters of the week and new challenges to give them some more levels and to let them enjoy the feeling of having a faction to watch their back.

They have currently fought: ghouls, zombies, a werewolf, savage hobgoblins, faceless stalkers, evil cultists, a frankensteins golem, a will-o-wisp, wolves and bandits.

TL;DR? I need story ideas for what a group of secret "inquisitors" can get involved with in a low magic setting with a dominant undead theme.
Major inspirations are any film or show like van helsing or solomon kane, and the supernatural show.
So what do you suggest? :)

some background:
At the start of the game one of the characters was weilding a longbow. later in the game aparticullary nasty trap led to him damaging his hand permanently (it was froze, broken off, then glued on again, doused in bad healing potions and thawed) and as aresult his arm has permanent damage, the flesh is pale, he has little or no sensation in it, and it twitches at times -giving him a minus to any actions that require 2 hands.

As the party has gained the services of a competent dwarves smith the character has asked him if maybe he could make some sort of braced gauntlet with a locked grip to hold his bow, and if maybe one could add the buckler to it as well. my first thougt was "no", but then the next ws "why the hell not?"
So I'v been looking at magic items that do something similiar, I came across the transformative effect that is a +4 (or +5? I can't remember) which allows your weapon to change into any other weapon, which is way beyond what I'm thinking. then there is the fighters fork that can extend itself which is closer, but still a bit off.

So I'm a bit stumped, what I was thinking about first was that the smith can make some kind of hand-to-elbow contraption that has a deflecting surface like a buckler and has a folded up bow under it, pulling some lever on it will let clockwork and other smart things pull out the 2 sides of the bow and attach them to the hand and then extend the bow and string it. it's not magic, but engineering.
The effect will be to remove the penalties he usually have for holding the bow, thats it. I guess I can make the bow masterwork and keen (as almost everything the smith makes gets those added) but the bare bones is just the ability to hold the bow.

Then I thought of the locked gauntlet, price 8 gp.

So I don't know quite what rules or thoughts to use here,

1.) I could give him a custom extended locked guantlet with a buckler attached, to a cost of roughly (masterwork+guantlet+buckler) 163 gp (?) maybe with an added price for the custum build. he would have to manually attach the bow to his grip and securing it.

2.) some kind of fancy clockwork thingybob, standard (or maybe a move?) action to ready from "shieldmode" to "bowmode" at a price of: hell if I know.

3.) option 1.) -but with some sort of integrated crossbow (light or hand version, cost will be (masterwork+guantlet+buckler+handcrossbow)413 + maybe something extra for the custom job (enchantments can be added to both buckler and crossbow maybe)

4.) give up, stop overhinking it, say "I'm sorry but you'r hand will always be a problem, but with time maybe you can compensate in other ways"
(like increasing your bab, or maybe waiting until they find somebody who could cast restoration or some similiar spell - there is currently no such person in their game. but one of the npcs is starting on that road ... )

I'd be happy with any thoughts you'd like to share on the subject, because I seem to have mentally painted myself into a corner and can't decide.


-now that’s taken care of, this is going to be a long post so bear with me.

Backstory: in my homebrew pathfinder game the players are currently following a plot thread that I’v based largely on the skinsaw murders AP. Throughout the last sessions they have been picking up clues and inadvertedly gotten in the cults crosshairs. Last game they decided to pursue this new mystery and went to the old mill they found out that this Foxglove character owned, where one murder victim was found last year. While there they fought a monstrosity made out of body parts and almost perished, but won out by the skin of their teeth.

so, I threw a CR7 flesh golem at a 4-man part of Lvl4 characters … I honestly didn’t think it would be that dangerous to them, just a bit challenging. They have after all fought bad odds before without much problems. But that damage reduction of 5 coupled with the fact that everybody in the group except the paladin decided to leave their tactical hat at home that evening meant that after the fight was over there were 2 unconscious characters and both the “tanks” had lost over half hp

After talking things over with Captain Hemlock and securing the carcass for study the group head back towards town, and their base in the smithy Outcast Arms. Before they reach their haven a mysterious fog seeps into the streets an alleys around them and from the fog a veiled, dark-clad figure carrying a quarterstaff flanked by masked and serious looking men with crossbows step towards them. That was where we stopped last session.

Now … this encounter is unrelated to the Carver Killings (as they are called in my game) but is part of 2 sideplots that I have ready. First, some secrets and lore: in my game elves have the same role as outsiders in a more traditional game, there was a great war some centuries ago and after that there were no more elves, why might be found out later in the game but is irrelevant now. What is important to note is that one of my players is playing a half-elf ranger (people treat them the same ways standard campaigns treat tieflings) and unknown to him the veiled staff-weilder is his twin. This has been foreshadowed in harrow readings and the player has expressed an interest in knowing about his heritage.

The Twin is in the employ of a powerful figure the characters know nothing about, said figure actively seeks out magic-users and kills them off, this is one of the reasons the lands low-magic: he is making sure he has monopoly. The reason these people are attacking the party now is because the bard(magician) in the party has gotten powerful enough to get noticed, and they’re here to exterminate him.

my intent with this encounter was to introduce the twin in a dramatic way: shadowy figures attack and in the fight he becomes unmasked, both brother become shocked, he escapes and will later return as a recurring antagonist.

A large part of this npc is also that he is a twisted version of the pc, and wil most likely go mad upon realizing he is not the only one. He has always belived and been told by his master that the reason he is alone is because he is different. But when he meets his counterpart who has managed to integrate into society better than him, he goes mad with envy and rage.

The twin starts out as a monk (or something similar) and wil later loose his monk levels and become more of an bloodthirsty warrior (rogue/ranger/fighter or something like that).

You still her? Thank you for reading all that, I’m sorry for the length.

Here are my problems:

1.) Last session I screwed up, and because of it the group is damaged and low on resources, lower than I planned. Should I start next session with giving everybody full hit points? Give back some spells to the bard? Or some similar repair to even out the playing field? I am also considering gimping my opponents slightly: the henchmen will be just the normal 1/2CR bandit from the npc list. But the twin will be equal or better than the group in levels. At least one of my players get very passive and afraid of losing his character if he has taken more than half damage. On the other hand I've played almost everything so far as neutral dm: "if you f#** up or get some unlucky rolls, the chips fall where they land" so in a small part I'm afraid of "compromising my integrety" but FUN trumps rules always so it's not a big worry, I just want to make sure I'm fair.

2.) The Twins Build: so ok I'll admit it outright, this guy is meant to get away from the party, it smells like trains and rails but sometimes that's what is needed. what I want him to do is to impress them with his use of dirty tricks or fancy maneuvers (my way of telling/reminding the group that there are options in combat they are ignoring) and I’d really like him not to fold in 2 after a round of combat. gear and style wise he carries a staff (that might be defending as well, I’m on the fence there) that allows him to cast obscuring mist and I’ve (arbitrarily) given him the power to see through fog without problems. His appearance is based on the dancing lady in the music video for “rolling in the deep” by adele.

TL;DR: Should I heal or otherwise “fix” the party to give them a fighting chance? Could someone help me with a showy monk build that will disorient and knock the players on their asses?

Thanks for any input.