Rich Diver

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EccentricOwl wrote:
But you've intrigued me so much that I might throw away the Conan universe in favor of Golarion if even half of what you guys said is true. ;)

Serpent's Skull is totaly Conan-esque. It does need some changes to function perfectly, but the overall AP is great, particularly Books 1 and 3.

Book synopsis:
Book 1 has the players as cast aways on a deadly island with a tribe of cannibals and other nasty stuff. Book 2, though it can use some trimming down, has a long journey through a jungle, ending at a great long-abandoned temple. Book, 3 has the players exploring a lost city filled with great moments. Book 4 is the not-so-good one, consisting of 7 mini-dungeons which get repetitive, although they are extremly deadly, and it does have a great moment before that where the PCs get to beat a Gorilla King in several challenges. Book 5 and 6 consist of the exploration of an underground city and the final battle against its Serpentfolk inhabitants and their resurrected God.

The AP, exactly as written, is FAR from perfect, but in the hands of a good DM that realizes what to cut and what to leave, I believe it to be one of Paizo's greatests.

PbemDM wrote:
I would suggest that you drop the Ilmurea plot entirely (including the Juliver / Eando Kline part). Vyr-Azul and all the rest of the serpentfolk are still sleeping, and won't wake up for a long time, unless Yarzoth or someone else wakes them up.

Yeah, I have dropped that plot, technically. The threat of the sleeping army remains, as it is Yarztoh's end game, but Ilmurea will never appear in the game nor the Pathfinders.

PbemDM wrote:
Kick off the Vaults adventure early but drop most of the Vaults. (I'd still use the Gorilla King encounter because it's cool.)

I've actually dropping all Vaults, as I find them boring. I'll keep the Gorilla King, though.

PbemDM wrote:

Have M'ddegog take Yarzoth's brain and occupy her body. M'ddegog becomes the new BBEG, though an unexpected and non-standard one. Lead up with the Ivo Haigan encounter, maybe one other brain-controlled enemy, then the final Yarzoth-M'deggog climax. The closure comes from stopping Yarzoth's plot, and now the Pathfinders (or whichever faction) set up an outpost, get famous (or rich, or powerful, or whatever motivation). Mission success.

Alternatively, Sozothols (sp?), the serpentfolk ghast from the end of Book 3 makes a good BBEG if you give him a compelling personality and hone his plan a bit. (More detailed than "undead empire mwuhahahah".) If he hooked up with Yarzoth, they'd make a good team.

I don't like Sozothala as a BBEG, but M'degog could work. The other option I'm considering is using the Emperor of Scales, which has the same CR and is a bit more unique.

Thanks, Maplewood, nice ideas.

What I have so far is: The Serpentfolk army lies dormant in Ilmurea. Yarzoth and other Serpentfolks are looking to bring them back. Ydersius' Skull is an artifact that will allow her to lead/control said army. NO Ydersius resurrection whatsoever.

I like the idea of using Savith's Tomb, though still not sure in what capacity.

What I am still not sure is the endgame and the Spears role. I have two options:

1- The Spears are a way to reach Ilmurea, and Yarzoth needs to activate them. In this scenario, the PCs should stop the activation and destroy Yarzoth + the artifact.

2- The Spears are a way to destroy Ilmurea, as you suggest. The PCs should activate them all before Yarzoth can bring the army to the surface. I should modify the means of activating the Spears in this scenario, as per written they are a total bore ("Activate them normally, just in a special order", no fun there)

I'm still struggling to find a good BBEG, also.

Hi, guys. My game of SS has basically died (we found campaigns we liked better). In order not to just abandon it, we a re going to play 3-4 more sessions and give it a finale. My players were currently on Book 3, having explored 4 of the 7 districts. I'm considering giving some closure to the "other castaways" NPCs while they explore the final districts, and then doing a BBEG, probably related to Yarzoth (whom I kept alive as a recurring villain). Any ideas on what this BBEG could be? They'll probably be level 11-12 by that point (I'll do a level up after each session from now on, to spice things up)

Or any other suggestions regarding this whole idea?


One of the players on my table wants to become a Lich, and it's gonna happen. I was considering options to grant to the other players in order to balance the party, and besides allowing/creating other templates, I thought that maybe allowing a PC to take on one or two archtypes ON TOP of the class, instead of replacing class features, could also work.

It would obviously depend on which archtypes, but... do you think this could work? Would it be under/over powered compared to Lichdom?

I suck at modifying the system, so I'll value your opinions.


Hi, guys. I am running a SW Saga game this weekend, and after creating some pre-gens a doubt arose in my mind: why can't archtypes be more versatile? That gave me the idea to just open up the archtypes like the Talents from SW Saga. Basically, instead of committing to an archtype "for life", players can choose to replace the class features they want for any equivalent archtype class feature.

I know some of you may hate this because of the "concepts" behind the archtypes, but I believe that such stiff characters are not necessary.

So, my question to you is purely mechanical: do you think this could affect the game balance in any way? Are some class features supposed to suck, for balance's sake? Or will this have no big effect on balance as long as specific broken combos are looked out for?

I'm running the game on Eberron, so there were some changes...

Faction: Free Captains (from the Lhaazar Principalities)

Rival: The Aurum (replacement for the Aspis Consortium)

Other Factions: They have good relations with the Wayfinder Foundation as they kinda like Gelik; a friendly rivality with the Red Mantis; and haven't really interacted with the Stormreach Government, but they are good friends with Jask.

Thanks for the input, guys! The issue has been cleared out on my play group.

There still seem to be some gray areas to this situation (particularly, how a Spiritual Weapon would work having been cast before the RS) but I think the most important issue has been cleared out.



Say what? It seems pretty clear to me that it does block lines of effect:

"A line of effect is a straight, unblocked path that indicates what a spell can affect. A line of effect is canceled by a solid barrier."

A Wall of Force is a solid barrier by all standards, imho.

For That matter: what happens to any effect that remains connected to its caster once said caster is imprisoned in a RS? (such as Illusions or a Magic Jar spell)

So, several questions about this little troublemaker

- Can a person inside a Resilient Sphere (RS from now on) cast Call Lightning?

- What happens to creatures summoned when the creature that summoned them is entrapped in a RS? Can they still receive orders?

- And Spiritual Weapons?

Hi, guys. In my 'Eberron Evil-Aligned Characters Campaign', one of my players has decided to become a Lich as soon as he meets the pre-requisites. To balance the game, I've decided to give the rest of the players some new powers, all created by me for this particular plot. I also thought to share them here as soon as I finish working on them, to see if someone finds it interesting or wants to throw some feedback...

For starters, I have the powers I'm giving the AntiPaladin of the Dark Six...

Only one Blessing may be active and must be selected the start of each day. Each Blessing also contains a curse, as the Dark Six are a wicked group of individuals.

The Devourer
While blessed by the Devourer, the creature’s weapons are granted one of the following bonuses, selected each time the Blessing is activated: Shocking Burst, Corrosive Burst, Flaming Burst or Icy Burst; and the creature receives Resist 20 to the same element as the weapon’s Burst property.
Curse: Nature’s destructive power discerns no friends nor foes, and the creature receives Vulnerability to the opposing element (Fire <> Ice; Acid <> Electricity)

The Fury
While blessed by the Fury, the creature gains +4 morale bonus to STR and CON and deals double damage on a charge.
Curse: As madness consumes the creature, he receives a -2 penalty to AC and may not willingly give nor receive any sort of aid to or from allies while in combat.

The Keeper
While blessed by The Keeper, the creature is under a constant Death Ward effect and may cast Inflict Light Wounds as Spell-like Ability.
Curse: The Keeper’s hunger for souls must be sated. While blessed, the creature must always kill unconscious foes and may not use any healing powers or items he may have.

The Mockery
While blessed by The Mockery, the creature is considered as under the effect of a Ring of Mind Shielding and deals extra damage equal to his [Character’s main casting attribute] score when flanking or attacking by surprise.
Curse: The Mockery is always treacherous. The creature is forced to use Bluff in all social situations and receives his own [Character’s main casting attribute] score in extra damage whenever he rolls 1 on an attack.

The Shadow
While blessed by The Shadow, the creature gains Spell Resistance equal to 12 + the creature’s level, and ignores all armor penalties on Stealth rolls.
Curse: Light always counters the shadows. The creature suffers from light-sensitivity and spells with the [light] descriptor ignore the Spell Resistance.

The Traveler
While blessed by The Traveler, the creature gains one of the following: 60 ft. fly speed (average), 30 ft. climb speed, 40 ft. swim speed or a 30 ft. increase on normal speed. He also gains a +10 profane bonus on Disguise checks.
Curse: “Beware the gifts of the Traveler”, the saying warns. Each time this blessing is activated, there’s a 10% chance the blessing fails and the creature is unable to activate any of the blessings for the next 24 hours.

We have several games runnign at the same time. Age of Worms took us almost 3 years to finish. Serpent's Skull has taken so far almost 2 years and we are finishing Book 3.

Serpent's Skull can easily end after Book 2 (yay, we found the city!), Book 3 (we found and conquered the city!) and Book 4 (same as 3, extra dungeons).

Hi! If someone still has these maps and can send them to me, I'd be grateful... eac_sama at hotmail . com


I'm planning to run this as an online game, and I have two players. As they have shown interest in playing a Druid and a Summoner; I thought that perhaps a combination of those two classes, with summons + eidolon + animal companion, plus letting them make the PCs with point buy 25 could settle the matter...

What do you think? Could this work? Or would it still be overpowering for them?

Fubbles the Baby Cow wrote:
Running a horror-themed AP is tricky task in a F2F campaign.

Yes, that's what I was afraid about. So, after much consideration, I've decided to go a different way...

Helaman wrote:
For classical simplicity? Rise of the Runelords.

You, sir, are right. I had forgotten about Anniversary Edition, which uses PF rules. I'll get a copy of this one instead.

Thanks a lot for all the responses!

Hi! I was considering running a game of Carrion Crown via for some friends I have on a different city and I wanted your opinion.

Do you guys think is a good AP to run online? Do you have any advise for me?

It'll be my first time running an online game, so any tips are appreciated...

Zelgadas Greyward wrote:
There was a discussion about it being not a greatsword (as shown in that one picture) but since my PC uses a greatsword, I want to stick with that.

Excuse me... what is this picture you are referring? I ask because I was wondering if there is any picture of Savith anywhere, and this caught my eye...

thebluecanary wrote:
MajorTotoro wrote:

I've used excel-based creators ever since I started playing D&D, and this one has to be the best I've ever seen. I have only one issue: having to select each level manually is very tedious, particularly as it really chugs every time you select a new level. If somehow it could be changed so that you could select the first level of a class and then drag the cell down to the level you want (something that could be done in several 3.5 character creators), that would be AWESOME.

That would be my only suggestion to this great tool you have created.

Thanks a lot!

You can do what I do. Select the first level. Then, click the field that sits under the drop down. You should see a number. I then hit enter, (now it should be a number 1) Type the number you saw above. Repeat.

I don't understand what that field is. Under each dropdown sits next level's dropdown, and I cannot click the dropdown for anythoing else than openning it.


I've used excel-based creators ever since I started playing D&D, and this one has to be the best I've ever seen. I have only one issue: having to select each level manually is very tedious, particularly as it really chugs every time you select a new level. If somehow it could be changed so that you could select the first level of a class and then drag the cell down to the level you want (something that could be done in several 3.5 character creators), that would be AWESOME.

That would be my only suggestion to this great tool you have created.

Thanks a lot!

Jenner2057 wrote:
On another note, my PCs were a bit cool towards the whole Discovery Points too at first, usually just leaving the camp to mop a few of those up instead of assisting with Mysteries. Then I came right out and told them metagame-wise that there are PA bonuses and xp story awards for claiming the city first.

I'll probably do just that.

Ithuriel wrote:
I kind of think it would be funny if the pc's were boasting to the natives about the "dragon" they killed because they thought the natives were just that dumb and about the point the kongomato flies over.

That sounds cool. I may steal that idea...

Only the Shadow Demon proved a challenge to my players, they sorted out all the rest of the enemies with real ease.

So, GMs: while running this module, were you constantly updating the players on how the Victory Points race was going (i.e.: which Faction was on the lead), or did you keep that information to yourselves?

I ask this because my players don't really care about the Discoveries, they are just invading one district at the time. First they gained control over the Government District and yesterday they finished the Military District (at the same time slowing down the "Aspis Consortium"). I am keeping track of their camp's Exploration checks and Victory Points, but I'm not sure if I should encourage them to start discovering more and fighting a bit less (by showing them a Victory Points Chart at the end of each session) or if I should just let them keep at it.

Also, I think the whole Dragon Rumor on the Mercantile District turning out to be a Bat is utter and total crap. Paizo's APs, while I love them, are always really low on dragons, which I think sucks (even more if you consider the original name of the game); and this would be a real let down for my players. I'm SO putting a Dragon running that District.

Crellan wrote:

I greatly enjoyed DMing the first two modules in this series, but the total lack of maps in Seven Spears is making it nearly impossible for me, especially since we play online. What maps did people use for all the major encounters in the city? Does anyone have maps they can share?

Thanks in advance...

So far on my campaign, most encounters have been on the outside, so I just use the place as it appears on the city map and add a bit of detail. My PCs have cleared the Government District and are halfway through the Military; and there has been only one fight on the inside of a building so far (Akarundo). We play with a battlemat that can be drawn, so the lack of maps hasn't really been an issue for us.

My only problem with this book are the CRs. My group has a Cleric, a Druid, a Ranger, a Fighter and a Summoner. The Eidolon has been nerfed and still is incredibly broken. Added to the high AC and damage of the Fighter (Crane Style) and the damage output of the Ranger (Bow FS), I'm really struggling with making the encounters challenging. So far, they haven't had one since the Demon on book 2. They defeated Akarundo and the Half-fiend Dire Ape extremely easily.

I really have to kill that Summoner -.-

Mark Knights wrote:

Anyway, I have gotten them all written down, omitting the scores for the pathfinders (who my group is affiliated with) and looking at the rules it tells me they get 24 points to spread amongst the faction scores... Looking at every other faction they have 30 points distributed. Is this a deliberate attempt to have the PC's struggle to keep up? Is it due to the fact the PC's are the adventurous type and they are meant to be the 6 point difference? Or is it just a mistake?

Does anyone know the answer on this? I have had a quick read through this thread and not found out anything specific.

I think this is because they used the set values (12-10-8) and because PCs have the added extra of being able to put NPCs working on the scores to raise the values.

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Hi! I'm working on converting this AP to Eberron, and I had a question: What did you do regarding Pharasma? The Eberron deity of Death, The Keeper, is quite different from Pharasma in several ways, most notably its Evil alignment.

Sloanzilla wrote:

Is anyone else finding this to be a little easy?.

I do, but there's a Summoner in the party, so it's probably that.

Between RtT and CoSS, I put them against a CR 10, a Jungle Giant. The Eidolon killed him in one round. ONE.

Today we start playing CoSS, and I'm actually raising all the CRs because of my experiences with RtR.

Ok, so, lots of people consider City of Seven Spears and Vaults of Madness should be run as one adventure, and not one after the other.

My question id, how do you deal with the difficulty level of VoM if you do this? It is, after all, written for characters several levels higher than CoSS.

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I believe most of the problem lays in the DMs and players. After reading the reasons for all the 'bad rep', and after playing for a long time D&D and other very different games, I think the issue arises from one really bad methodology that tends to occur almost exclusively on D&D tables.

The DM and the player don't discuss the theme of the adventure to be played before said adventure starts.

Most tables, in my experience and from what I seem to read here, just let the players create any character they feel like without considering what the adventure is about.

I talked with my player before running SS, and explained that it was an adventure about exploration and discovery. We never had a motivation problem.

I do not believe the AP to be perfect, obviously (I modified RtR quite a lot), but it seems to me that most of the problems people had with it would have never had appear if the DM had just sat down with the players and explained the theme and feel correctly in the very beginning.

So, a player of my Serpent Skull's Campaign wants to take this feat tree. He plans to use it with weapons, but it seems to me that it's meant to be used only with Unarmed strikes. It's not specifically stated, but it is mentioned in the flavour text, and it does require Improved Unarmed Strike. What do you think?

Thing is, I've already run/played most of the modules; and I'm not really interested in the ones I haven't; that's why I'm looking for an AP book.

Any level range between 1 and 12 would be fine.

Hi. Next month I will be returning back home for a month or so, and my old group wants to play PF. I'm DMing Serpent Skull to another group, and I really like Paizo's APs. Obviously, we won't have time to run an entire AP, but I was wondering if any AP has a good book to run separately from the entire AP, as an adventure on its own (kinda like the first book of SS). What would you recommend me?

It cannot be from Kingmaker, as I will be a player of that AP soon.


About the arrows, it's explained right there in the adventure, pg. 35:

"Arrows in cave passageways on the map indicate the direction of downward slopes."

The dotted lines seem to indicate holes in the cave, if you read every room's description closely.

Hope this was useful.

In the end, it took 6 sessions of about 6 hours to run SfSS. The party only missed the Vegepygmy part; and they only lost one PC (an elven bard at the hands of the Mother).

Hi! Quick question: reading the Spirit Dancers section, the bonus they give for a +5 "once per adventure", means 'once per module' or 'once per session'?. I supposed it was the first one, but it seems to be a very small bonus considering once per module means only 5 times (at best) during the whole AP. 'Once per session' feels excessive, though, so I was considering making it about 3/per module. What do you think?

Great to know! I'll start reading and converting, then. If you have any more ideas, keep them coming. I will return when I have something to share.


Hi. I was considering running this AP, but before I wanted to ask you: how "convertible" to Eberron (or any other setting) do you think it is? Can it be done? If so, with how much work? If not, why?


My two cents:

I'm currently running Racing To Ruin.

SfSS went great with my group, and is definitively the best adventure I've run in my 5 years as a DM.

RtR has been fun for now, but it is quite heavy on Railroading.

Personally, I think is the DM's task to translate the feel of exploration and adventure the AP needs to succeed.

Also, I am running the AP on Eberron, which I feel it really adds a lot. I'm not saying by this that Golarion is not a good setting; just that I feel this particular AP is AWESOME for Eberron.

Rathendar wrote:

Im running SS, and if I had to play, I'd definitively go with Druid. Ranger is another good choice, if you don't like casters.

ziltmilt wrote:
I'm sure this is covered either in the adventure or somewhere earlier in this thread, but do the NPCs adventure/explore with the PCs? I can't imagine that they would. Maybe you'd want 1 or 2, to fill in some of the party strength, if for example, they're missing a cleric. But, are you guys having most/all of the NPCs travel w/ the PCs? Or do they generally hang out at the camp?

I seem to recall this being addressed somewhere in the module, but I could be wrong. For my part, I would let the NPC accompany the PCs if the NPC is at least Friendly and with a Normal or Hopeful morale. My players only took Jask with them once, and decided not to do it again. They adventured without NPCs for the rest of the module, up to the Azlanti temple where I made Gelik offer his assistance as I thought his language selections and bardic knowledge abilities would be of use to the party.

I think there's no right answer to this particular situation.

That said, I would have let the PC join the fight and, probably, save the ranger. I don't like PCs dying without a purpose if I can help it, I feel it's unfair to the player and the story. PCs will always die, of course, but is my job to make each death feel like it was meaningful and epic. A guy being eaten by a monster with no actual plot significance just because he felt the need to explore a temple when the Big Boss had already been killed? Not epic, not meaningful; just lame.

You could say that they should have never split the party, but I can't blame them if they did so after killing the adventure's biggest threat. He's just accomplished a great goal, he should be rewarded, not killed by an unrelated monster just because the adventure says it's there.

I do think, as I've said before, that both solutions would be valid. Each DM has its personal style, I just thought I could share mine, as it appears to be quite different than the majority.

Even though I'm loving this AP, I have to say this: If you haven't liked two of the three modules you've read, probably you should not keep buying it. I think Paizo is making a great job at giving each AP a unique feel and a strong, particular theme. If your group only likes one certain kind of adventures, and a particular AP does not fit them, you should not force it. SS is about exploring: you really can't railroad exploration without ruining it. So, my advice, it's that is only worth to keep buying SS if you, and your players, like it. If not, which appears to be the issue at hand, spend your money in other APs or Modules that you are certain to enjoy. Carrion Crown is coming soon, and sounds awesome.

Pendagast wrote:
Poor Kalabutan villagers, where will they live now?

We will be playing Kingmaker in a few months, ran by one of the SS players, so I guess they can move there...

Thanks for the responses! Stormreach, the city that will be replacing Eleder, is actually similar in size to Kalabuto, and I will even use practically the same statblock. After reading your responses, I've decided to include two small settlements on the way to Tazion: an explorers' enclave (on the place where Kalabuto is) and a small, friendly native's settlement further along the road. Once again, thank you for the responses, they've been very helpful.

My party has established a base camp on the Thrunefang's camp and left to explore the Azlanti temple leaving there all castaways but Gelik. I've decided I'll include the harpy when they return to the camp, having she taken control of the four NPCs and residing on the Lighthouse. I'll use it as a 2nd level sorcerer but no Young template (my party is of five PCs, and they will also have Gelik).

Hey! As you might have read in my other thread, I'm running SS in Eberron. I am about to start Module 2, Racing to Ruin, and I have come to the conclusion that only one major change is needed to convert the adventure: Kalabuto has to go. There is only one city in Xen'drik, Stormreach, and it will occupy the place of Eleder. Yet, as I am not great on seeing the big picture, I felt the the need to ask you people: Will there be any grave consequences in not having Kalabuto in the module? Do you think the absence of the resting and re-equipping themselves on that city will affect the party considerably?

Basically, I want to know if there is any consequences that I'm missing, and what do you think could be a good replacement?

I had thought they could find some small settlement of friendly natives instead, or just one singular, resourceful ally...

LordHector wrote:
I changed the Red Mantis into House Thuranni's Shadow Network. Just change all Mantis humans into elves, and you've got it.

Uh, that would've been great, but I've already "made up" the Mantis as a sub-order inside the Emerald Claw (as I wanted to keep using Sasha's pic).

I am currently starting to work on "Racing to Ruin".

As for Eleder, the obvious choice seems Stormreach.

What factions did you use? I was thinking of:

Aspis Consortium > The Aurum
Payhfinders > Wayfinders
Sargavan Government > The Storm Lords
Free Captains > Not replaced, but inserted into the setting.

What do you think?

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