MaxTheDM's page

40 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


Hey, I'm reading the Aura of Justice ability (it's very strong in our current campaign which has lots of undead and devils,) and I had a rules question; the ability seems to allow everyone to add the paladin's damage bonus for sure, but what about the CHA to AC and attacks against the target? Does everyone use the paladin's CHA bonus or do they use their own?

Warped Savant wrote:

For healing, my group recently finished Crimson Throne and the only healing we had was the witch, and it was more than enough.

(Group was kitsune rogue, human unchained barbarian, half-orc witch, catfolk fighter)

That is a lot of martial classes! I guess I shouldn't be surprised; my last group was Gunslinger, Rogue, Monk, Bard, it can happen sometimes (But the bard also permanently died and was replaced by a Cleric, so YMMV.) How did they do with just the witch for spellcasting? Did they have to fall back on Use Magic Device a lot? I feel like some kind of divine character is really really useful (and somewhat necessary) in some parts of this campaign, at least from what I've read. Especially with how much ability drain/damage spam there is.

Oh man, fickle winds, I hadn't considered that. That's a really good defense against the alchemist, I'll have to keep that in my back pocket. Definitely for bosses like Rolth. Would you happen to know if a bomb that misses because of something like Fickle Winds or Deflect Arrows scatters in a random direction like normal?

I had considered making the Grey Maidens tower shield specialists (the archetype, it drops the -2 but they lose weapon training, and they get to add shield to touch AC), but they still lose a lot of damage just to counter one player. Admittedly when I wrote up the palace guards I got them to 28 AC (30 with shield wall), and their touch AC was 18 (not super high, but the cover/concealment is the big reason to take it.) I'll still probably hang onto the idea in-case the alchemist turns out to be a real problem, but for the moment I'll probably leave them be.

Good point about the energy resistance and limited bombs, and I love the idea of Rolth creeping around to buff enemies for revenge. Yeah, I see your point about the Paladin; she is probably going to be the most powerful party member with her smites. Thankfully she will not be an archer, but a glaive build, so she'll still be stuck at melee range, albeit reach. I have never played with a reach build, so I'll be interested to see how that works out.

Good point about the general AC awesomenessdog, it doesn't look like anyone in the party will have much trouble hitting in this campaign. Oh well, I was planning on tweaking a lot of named NPC's to better challenge my party anyway.

Thanks for the tips everybody! Yeah, I think they're going to be pretty stacked in the damage department, but I can see where the healing falls short. The alchemist has been talking about taking Healing Bombs or Spontaneous Healing+Healing Touch, but with all the other discoveries he is talking about I expect it to fall to the wayside. I suppose if they really need it they can adapt. Our sorcerer is going to be Star-soul bloodline, so no dice on him being the healer.

As for the blood veil, I think the combo of the paladin being immune and getting the remove mercy, and delay disease on the alchemist formulae list, should be enough to get them through but it'll probably be a close one. They will definitely be leaning hard on the paladin for healing.

After my last campaign with a gunslinger, I'm a little nervous about the alchemist targeting touch AC, even with the lower BaB. He has also discussed wanting to take the TWF chain and Fast Bombs to throw even more. I think this is in part because of seeing how strong the gunslinger was targeting touch AC. Right now I'm just hoping that I can keep him in AoO range so he doesn't get to full attack without any consequences. I don't really know any other ways to challenge a touch-attacker.

Hey everybody! My group just finished our Hell's Rebels campaign and are about to start Curse this coming weekend. I'm super excited, and in finishing my preparations I wanted to ask for some advice about my party's composition before we get started! Any help would be appreciated.

My party consists of:
Half-Orc Paladin of Shelyn who uses a glaive, because it's Shelyn's favored weapon. I don't know much about her intended build, but I imagine it will be standard 2H build with some combat reflexes feats.
Tiefling Alchemist with the grenadier archetype, intending to use bombs and the wings discovery to fly out of melee range; he's mentioned wanting to develop simulacrum as well.
Aasimar Sorcerer who intends to build for blasting for the most part. Played the wizard in our Rise campaign, so I know how he plays a caster; he's going to compete with our alchemist for number of explosions.
Tielfing Barbarian with a 2H weapon and a bite attack, intending to go Lunar totem and flavor rage as a werewolf type tranformation. Very cool idea, very simple build for the most part. I'm hoping to get them to use a greatsword or falchion so somebody is able to use Serithial.

Is there anything I should be looking out for with a composition like this?

Thanks for the advice! I didn't realize how much of a bump mythic gives him. I'm not very familiar with the rules but I'll give them a second pass and see how I feel after that. Looking at his stats alone, the difference between Advanced and Mythic didn't seem that big, but with bonus abilities I imagine it's a lot more. I'll have to look into that!

I didn't know about Hell dragons, but that sounds like a much better option for her. Also a good point about Nox; maybe I'll see if there's something else I can do with her, since she would be the only combatant not capable of flight, and thus mostly useless in the grand scheme of things. I will have to see if there's another way to include her. I chose bearded devil because that's the contract type she had, but I suppose she could be promoted to a more powerful type, such as an Ice Devil or Erinyes.

Hey everyone! I'm running the final battle for my group this week. We have a:

Gunslinger 17 (Pistol style! Never misses)
Rogue 14/Shadowdancer 3 (Rapier critical build. Uses his shadow to set up flanks)
Cleric of Desna 17 (Mostly spams healing spells)
Unchained Monk 12/Paladin 5 (Flying kick and jabbing style, high mobility & damage).

Single enemies die so quickly to this party! Against the nemesis devil, rivozair, mangvhune, etc, I have had to almost double the HP of the enemies to give them a chance of winning. Also, every party member has a method of flying (carpet, boots, wings of the gargoyle, and Tengu wings feat for the monk.)

From what I have seen, the final battle looks really easy, especially compared to our last finale (Rise of the Runelords.) It's worth noting, I am not familiar with Mythic rules and not comfortable with using them, so it's possible that the Mythic levels make Barzillai more dangerous than it looks on paper.

It's also important to note, my group needs to expedite the finale, so I'm skipping most of the tower of bone's combat encounters and just doing the lore stuff, which might be why this fight looks easy to me; it seems like it's designed for a well drained party, which mine will not be in this case.

I am currently considering rebuilding it thusly; Weakened Barzillai with the Advanced template, Rivozair (adult horned devil bound blue dragon but I've added the Broken Soul template,) Nox (Bearded Devil Fighter 10,) and 2 hounds of Kintargo. To compensate for upping the difficulty in case I go too far, I'm going to let my party maintain the benefits of the Song of Silver even in hell, and they will be going in at full resources (I expect they'll cast a few buff spells before as well, assuming they realize they are about to fight big B.)

The lore behind it is that these two both signed a devilbound contract with Barzillai, and the meta reason for choosing these enemies is that these are the two villains my party hated the most, and seeing (and killing) them one last time will be a fun send-off for these guys. Do you think this is going too far? Is there something I'm missing about this encounter as written that makes it harder? Every time I've seen this fight mentioned, most people said that it was underwhelming.

Wow, thanks guys! Very insightful and detailed, I really appreciate it. What drew me to the idea was actually Sabina's love for Ileosa. It seems like a really interesting plot beat that is a little wasted, since all the pieces are there for a "spare the villain" ending, but they are kind of hand-waved away instead (Which I understand! IMO the party shouldn't feel bad about killing the main boss.) With the crown swaying her towards evil already, it wouldn't take much alteration to say Kazavon was taking over her mind instead of just cutting her loose. A "green goblin" style mental takeover is a great idea. It just seems like such a cool missed opportunity, to have the heroes save the queen at the end (in all likelihood, she'd probably willingly abdicate the throne at this point were she saved.)

I'm not sure whether I'll do it or not, but it would be a pretty cool mix-up to the formula. If it would work on anyone, it would be my party. They kept trying to redeem/recruit Lucrecia the Lamia and Malfeshnekor the Barghest of all people (2 evil minor characters with little to no redeeming qualities), from Rise of the Runelords, and intend to play a "sailor moon" style cast of good characters this campaign, so it might just be in the cards. We'll see.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Hey all! I'm reading through the adventure path, and something occurred to me while I was looking at the final battle and then item codex. Has anyone's party attempted to destroy the crown of fangs and spare Ileosa? Reading through it seems fairly difficult but not impossible. You'd have to remove the crown from Ileosa's head and destroy it with Serithial, and even without the crown Ileosa herself is still a reasonably potent enemy (and specified to still be evil), and backed by a Taniniver and her simulacrum.

But as difficult as it might be, it doesn't honestly seem that complicated; grapple Ileosa, yank the crown off her head, and smash it. It's probably more complicated than just head on fighting her, but it's certainly doable; I don't see anything on her sheet that makes her immune to maneuvers. So I'm curious, has anyone done it? Or at least tried to?

Thanks both of you! That helps a lot. I forgot spawn still had dominate (I thought they didn't for some reason???) so that would certainly make the encounter more difficult depending on how many of them use dominate. I might err on the side of caution and limit it to half the vampires using it at a time. I can definitely see, now that you point it out, that these fights are going to be VERY tactics reliant. That's kind of good though, I can play it as hard or as easy as the party can handle.

I have learned what my party will be; lunar totem barbarian (themed like a werewolf for rage, bites and swings a big weapon), star-soul sorceror, alchemist, and paladin. Given the Alchemist gets delay/remove disease and will probably prepare it a lot, and the Paladin is immune to disease, I expect they'll be pretty safe from blood veil honestly. Not that I'm complaining, I imagine it gets more annoying than scary or entertaining once the party knows how it works. I am excited for our alchemist to race against the clock to try and come up with a cure, I think that will be a fun narrative, especially with the group trying to unravel the conspiracy and going up against the Queen's Physicians. I expect the alchemist's player will get a kick out of that.

Hey ya'll, going to start DMing Curse of the Crimson Throne within the next few weeks. I've been reading through and it looks like a great adventure! But I have heard down the grape-vine that chapter 2 can be exceedingly lethal based on mission order and a couple of seemingly innocuous decisions. So I'm curious, what is the deal with that?

I've heard the sea hag encounter is really deadly, and it's the first one presented in the chapter. Are the party meant to go there later in the chapter?

I've also heard that the vampire spawn can be really deadly if you approach the encounter the wrong way. Does that mean approaching at night?

And the temple of urgothoa looks on paper pretty dangerous to me. Is it meant to be completed in a single run, or is the party supposed to fall back?

At low level I prefer not to kill my party members, because they don't have access to revival spells. So I would appreciate any assistance in keeping them breathing (or at least, giving them a fair chance to stay that way!)

Hey all! My group ran through RoTR and loved it, and developed a huge love for Sandpoint. Now we are looking at running Return (we have been playing hell’s rebels between the two) as our next campaign. I was wondering if anyone has changed the first adventure path to take place in Sandpoint, and if so, how did it go? I know it will take some work, but it’s also only 1 adventure of 6 so I wouldn’t mind doing some bigger rewrites. Any help would be appreciated.

Dark Umbra wrote:

Hello, there!

I have to face an issue my players have with enemy morale - especially with dimension dooring of enemies when they feel overpowered by the players. I GMed Rise of the Runelords for my group and there were a lot of boss enemies which were capable of just poofing away if combat turned out to be lost for them.

Oh, this is a tough situation. I also DMed RoTR before Hell’s Rebels and found that a lot of NPCs did have teleportation as their escape route. Thankfully for me, my party enjoyed the recurring enemies instead of being annoyed by them.

It sounds like right now you have a pretty tidy solution to this problem in the form of modifying the Song of Silver. It’s also worth considering, have your players attempted to adopt tactics that would prevent people escaping this way? Counter spelling with dispel magic, opportunity attacks, the disruptive+spell breaker feats, and some class abilities like stunning fist are all good methods for them to try if they suspect an enemy is going to run. Dimensional Anchor is only a 4th level spell and doesn’t allow saving throws. Maybe throw out a couple suggestions for ways for them to prevent it? In the short term, anyway.

xTheJim wrote:
Menador Keep has turned out to be super fun, I'm in the middle of running it right now. It's so open, and at 8th level there's a ton of ways that the heroes can approach it. I'll give you my summary to compare:

Sounds like a fun time! I notice your group also went for the "set fire to the stables" route. Gets them every time. Having just finished Menador I can say I enjoyed it a lot as well!

My group (Tengu Monk, Half Elf Bard, Half Elf Rogue, Tiefling Gunslinger) snuck back in after their first attempt by staking the place out and scaling the walls, only just barely managing to avoid getting caught because of their invisibility magic. They made their way into the secret passage in the armory, took down the Graven Guardians after a bit of effort and some illusionary magic to appear like Torag worshippers, and convinced the Archons to let them use the Anvil of Unmaking. Not a lot to say about the Archon encounter, except that charisma skill DC 30 seems a little steep, especially since the alternative is to murder 2 Lawful Good Archons. I just lowered the DC and kept the story moving, since we were on an IRL time limit.

They split up again at this point, and left the Gunslinger to activate the Anvil so the rest of the party could free Zorumar/the halfling prisoners with a bit of a head start. This is where things start to get hairy. By and large, they did well! The Monk bust open the prison door, enlarged himself, and carried the halflings in his backpack. The Rogue went the opposite route and had Zorumar shrink him, turn invisible, and fly him over the edge of the balcony. The Gunslinger activated boots of levitation and gently floated down the balcony edge, taking a decent amount of damage from archers along the way. These plans mainly worked because the chaos of the earthquake + the group being undetected until then, and when the troops mobilized it started to get worse.

The monk tossed the halflings over the gate, used Abundant Step to appear on the other side, and caught them. He made the required skill checks, but that was so creative I almost just let him have it without rolling anything. Unfortunately that left the bard, who was badly injured by arrows from the balcony at this point, alone. They decided to cast invisibility. This would have worked out, except that the Erinyes, who the group has come to fear at this point, had truesight and had no other targets she could see. :(

The bard gets dropped to -4 and the rest of the group, because they split up, have no idea. Eventually, they end up having to just hightail it outta there before the place collapses, meaning that the bard was stuck in the keep when it collapses.

I feel quite bad about killing the Bard, but there wasn't really anything else I could do. The Erinyes would certainly shoot them, because she's evil and because it's the only logical thing to do. And because of the landslide they can't even recover the body to try and revive later. When they get back to Kintargo we'll do a funeral scene and introduce their new character, probably as a contact at the Ruby Masquerade, but maybe I'll add something little in between the masquerade and this to give them a breather. They've definitely earned it. I am also considering the possibility that the bard was taken prisoner, rather than killed (Erinyes have their lasso and can fly), so that's something I might use at a later date, possibly in Kintargo Keep.

Kasoh wrote:

Its an amusing part of Pathfinder and TTRPGs in general when perfectly reasonable plans are not considered because the entire table cannot participate, so instead the table goes with the eyebrow raising 'Lets all disguise ourselves as clowns and throw poisoned pies over the edge' plan.

The clown plans are my favorites, to be honest, because they're the ones where the party is clearly having fun and doing the thing they want to do, rather than what they think they're supposed to. But you do end up with situations where, for example, the rogue could probably do a huge amount of scouting and stealth (Menador), or the bard could handle all the talking (the banquet), but it would be boring for everyone, so they opt for something unexpected. Like lighting the stable on fire to distract the guards so everyone can tag along into the secret door, instead of just the rogue investigating it, for example! I love them, but they do have some, let's say, unorthodox plans. :)

Who doesn't love a plucky, unpredictable rebel? I think it adds to the charm.

Kasoh wrote:

I have my post session notes from my group's run through. Amusing enough, so I'll share.

** spoiler omitted **

** spoiler omitted **...

Sounds like a fun time Kasoh!

Honestly, I don't know why, but the encounters in the book seem to assume the party will just walk into Menador through the front door? But then there's only two or three boxes describing what happens if they do that. It just seems like a miscommunication or something; it's a rebellion campaign, so it feels logical to assume the group are going to want to do sabotage or something (my group has always leaned towards subterfuge). Lots of earlier encounters like the holding house were written around that idea, but the first time they directly attack the military, it's assumed they'll just barge in the front door and massacre everyone? Kinda weird. They are even expressly barred from using their rebel-actions (if you actually use the sub-system, which we have elected not to do) to gather any information.

Then again, your group opted or the direct approach and it seems to have worked totally well for you! so I imagine it's a group-by-group thing.

And yeah, we can thank RogueRogue for the troop idea. It hadn't occurred to me before, but it turns the speed-bump soldiers into something that can at least deal damage and take a few hits. Those soldier statblocks don't have a high enough hit bonus to land attacks against my PCs, even with their attack bonus recalculated properly. Using their crossbows (I believe +8 with deadly aim) against my PC's (AC's of 16, 23, 23, 25) they could *maybe* land a few hits, but because of the map layout they'll likely be stuck using their halberds (+5 to hit), if they can even attack at all given the reach property. Yeah, I've enjoyed all the narrative beats of this chapter, but the encounter design has been messy, I think it must have been rushed or something.

roguerouge wrote:

Sounds like a great, tension-filled set piece!

Player panic is the great leveler. That and facing troops with no area of effect spell casting.

I think it's okay if Lucian goes down like a chump. He did so in the most humiliating fashion at my table, at least. Didn't harm the narrative or the tension at all, as the troops and the erinyes were the real stars in that battle. Heck, a faerie dragon can humiliate Lucian with a judicious use of grease spells, let alone a gunslinger. Given your player's morale, it might be good for the table to not buff Lucian.

You know, I think you're right, having had a little time to think about it. I don't need to kick them when they're down, and they're gonna feel great when they overcome the Keep on (hopefully) their next attempt. On a side note, Lucian did, in fact, get knocked over with a grease spell from the Bard. I'm interested to see what they try for their next attempt; I expect they'll want to be sneaky, but I don't foresee their original plan working again, so they'll have to try something new. They use a group-chat to communicate plans without me knowing (I have encouraged them to do so), so I can't know for sure, but they mentioned trying to climb up the cliff face and enter through the Wyvern nest.

My main plan right now is to release the slithering trackers in the halls, and to have the Erinyes patrol the keep in the air, watching in-case they try their original plan again (rappel from mountains). That should be enough to feel like the defenses have been bolstered, without screwing them out of any chance at stealthy re-entry.

Long thread ahead! Thought I'd share my experience with the keep, since I posted a few days ago asking for advice. Feel free to share any experiences you've had, I'd love to hear how it went, and whether other parties tried a different approach.

My group, for reference, consists of (all 8th level):
Tengu Unchained Monk - High AC, high damage, high speed. Very self reliant.
Tiefling Gunslinger - Pistol style, pretty solid build, basically never misses because of how poor most humanoid touch AC is.
Half-Elf Bard - Primarily uses inspiration and buffing/curing spells. The group's main support and only healer.
Half-Elf Unchained Rogue - Rapier style fighter. Low HP, high AC, crazy sneak attack damage.

So they snuck into Menador by scaling the cliffs from above while invisible, and then disguising once they found a place inside to hide. Aside from a close call with the Erinyes because of truesight, they managed to scope the place out a good bit without drawing attention to themselves. Eventually, the Rogue snuck into Lucian Thrune's quarters and found the secret door, and the group decided that must have been where the Anvil of Unmaking was. So they lit a fire to draw attention (largely unnecessary because they were already unnoticed and so they only raised the alarm more, but it was fun at least) and headed down.

There, they used silence to kill the Host Devil and steal the chest of potions, and then stumbled into the Wyvern den, and the monk got full attacked. Anybody else would definitely died, but his high AC (even higher, because of a mage armor potion) kept him in good shape. The rogue decided to try to climb on the wyvern, which promptly began to fly away to get Lucian, realizing it was cornered. As expected, the Gunslinger obliterated the wyvern before it could get there, but his roaring and the gunshots alerted the guards. They hurried upstairs to try and escape, and bumped into Lucian as he went to check on his beloved wyvern.

I was at a bit of an impasse; they were terrified of Lucian, and though he was surely some kind of combat beast. From my perspective, even after I rewrote him (Ditched the NPC levels for Cavalier ones, swapped many of his feats for a better combat build, since I assumed he'd be caught on foot) he still wasn't able to take them all on at once, especially with surprise. Still, I didn't want them to feel cheated, so I had him follow his tactics as written, and thankfully he arrived before they could properly hide, so they didn't get a surprise round.

Much to my amusement, half the party tried to fight and the other half tried to run away. The gunslinger used dust of disappearance and tried to slip past Lucian onto the balcony, the rogue hid and waited for Lucian to enter the room to stab him, the Monk tried to fight Lucian 1v1, and the bard cast invisibility sphere and tried to hide.

Unsurprisingly, these disparate plans struggled against the organized defenses of Menador (Defenses which I had to organize myself, because wow is Menador Keep messy. The biggest change was swapping the soldiers for three Dottari Troops.)

The rogue ran to the kitchen and tried to interrogate Zorumar for more information (a success, he told them about the secret door, but they couldn't act on it in the moment,) and then got pinned between a troop coming up the stairs and the Erinyes. The gunslinger relied on invisibility to sneak around, and then got spotted and tailed by the Erinyes (which saved the rogue's ass probably.) The monk, backed by the bard, actually handled the fight against Lucian pretty well, but when his troop arrived to back him up, they only escaped because of a lucky stunning fist that stopped Lucian from taking opportunity attacks. Through the whole fight, the bard kept running between the different group members, not sure who to help, and then getting turned around by some new threat (the troop from downstairs arriving, the erinyes leaving her room, etc.)

They all eventually jumped over the balcony and high tailed it down the path. Before they could escape, they got hit by a bunch of volley attacks, since they never really tried to attack the troops (I think they were scared of the auto-damage mechanic): the volleys knocked the rogue to 1 hp, barely scratched the monk (evasion! only one failed save out of five) but he was hurting from earlier so he dropped to about 12 hp, the bard turned invisible to dodge the worst using their last spell, and the gunslinger was dropped to -22 and died. :O

They picked up the gunslinger's body and fell back to their camp, and that's where we left off. They have one oil of life which they plan to use now, and one scroll of raise dead, though I don't think any of them can actually use it (no one thought to put ranks in UMD.) Then, they don't really know what to do. Some want to go back to Kintargo to get reinforcements of their own (either Vandelflek the fairie dragon, or the Hellknights) and some want to try to scale the walls with grappling hooks and just go full assault. I think they could definitely pull off an assault, as long as they commit to it instead of getting scared off.

The defenses that are left right now are: Lucian Thrune, 3 Dottari Troops, 1 Advanced Erinyes, 2 Slithering Trackers. They didn't kill anybody in their escape attempt, though Lucian was reduced to about 4 hp. I'm thinking that Lucian will send the Erinyes to get reinforcements first, and then when that fails he might send her to scout the mountains. My biggest worry is Lucian getting blasted off the table anticlimactically because of his terrible AC; to combat that, I think I might stick the Devilbound template on him, and say he signed a contract to get revenge.

Some great castings here, some of which I’m gonna swipe! In my mind, here’s what we’ve got.
Barzillai Thrune: Jude Law. Matches one of the art pieces really well, and honestly as much as barzillai is presented as a kind of flamboyant villain, I have thus far played him as a very straight laced, military patriot type guy because that will be better received by my party (including a tiefling and tengu). I also think this will boost the impact of his later actions, as it is revealed to be a ruse.
Rexus idk about, I didn’t like his original character art so I did my own and it looks very different (mostly I think he looked older? And my PCs are all in their early 20’s so it felt weird.)
Might be an oddball but for Jackdaw, I was honestly picturing up to now an older Natalie Dormer but because of her age and role in the story, I think Laura Dern is kind of stuck in my head too.

Hi! My group is really loving Hell's Rebels so far, but I'm having a bit of trouble. See, so far my party (Unchained Rogue, Bard, Unchained Monk, Gunslinger) haven't been having a very hard time in most of the fights They don't optimize much, but they do tend to angle for surprise attacks. Without giving them any extra treasure, or them really buying better gear, the Gunslinger/Monk/Rogue all have ACs around 22-24, and the Monk can get up to 27 with mage armor, so most of the enemies in this chapter can barely hit them so it doesn't matter that they all have pretty low HP (Menador guards, once I fixed the math on their statblock, have a +7 to hit) and they deal a lot of damage too, so nothing can really last long. They lack magic power, but I've found Hell's Rebels doesn't really require to much of that so far. After the aboleth and draugr in Dead in the Deep went out with a whimper (the Aboleth died in about 2 rounds of attacks) I have decided I'm going to need to boost the difficulty somewhat. However...

Menador Keep is a scary place. ~50 guards, an advanced Erinyes and Host Devil, 2 slithering trackers, and Lucien + his wyvern mount. And the group is currently in disguise, sneaking around trying to find the Anvil of Unmaking. I know that individually they could take any encounter in Menador, but if they raise the alarm they are guaranteed to have everyone in the Keep on them in 2-3 rounds, given the speed at which some characters can reach them.

So I guess I have two questions really. For one, is Hell's Rebel's just a really easy adventure path, and I need to up the difficulty across the board?

And, does anyone have any experience with how difficult Menador Keep is in general? I can't tell if the group triggering the alarm would be a TPK (they seem to think so, anyway), or if the group would be able to handle it.

Hey guys, I'm reading through this adventure in preparation of running it after the holidays are done. I had a question about the later parts of the adventure for those of you who have already run through it.

While reading part's 5 and 6 I liked the idea of having a timeskip after the negotiations where the group settles down a little bit (ideally for a year or so, but the time is flexible for sure), before Barzillai's influence begins to effect the city. Then, the group would reunite to track him down and kill him again to save Kintargo one last time. The problem, however, is that over the course of 5 and 6 the negotiations are kind of spread out, so it makes it difficult to believably take a break (if Kintargo is still in open revolt against Cheliax, why do they take a full year to open negotiations with them, for example?)

The idea being that they get to describe their character's starting to settle down, and then they are forced out of "retirement" for the final parts of the adventure.

So I was just kind of curious if anyone had run a similar idea, and if it worked or not.

DM here, we're coming up on the final battle. I'm reading Karzoug's tactics and it says that he
"Casts meteor swarm and quickened time stop." and then that other monsters take their listed actions, but I was under the impression time stop gave him a few free turns to act on his own, but he cannot damage enemies during this time. So what does he do on these rounds? Is he supposed to cast his buffs in this time? Because I though they were pre-cast (after all, he does know the group is at his doorstep.)

Any help would be appreciated, I want to pre-plan out as many rounds as possible so the fight goes smoothly.

Hey everyone! My group is currently on Sins of the Saviors (about to enter the Shrine of Lamashtu) and I need help! They have learned about Karzoug, but don't seem to realize exactly what they're up against (long story short, they've kind of trounced all the wizards they've gone up against so far, so no fear in that respect). I need to make them scared of him, or at least have some respect for his power, because right now they are kind of happy-go-lucky about the whole thing. I want them to realize the exact scope of the evil that he is, and just what he's capable of, so they know why it's so important to make the dominant/commanding weapons and stop him. Any advice here?

I'm considering having the inhabitants of Runeforge refuse to speak his name and be generally hesitant to talk about him, since they can sense his (seemingly) inevitable return. I imagine the statue at the end of Saviors will help, but I want them to know how cruel and evil he is as well as his raw gamey power.

zimmerwald1915 wrote:
Mudfoot wrote:
It sounds entirely appropriate that the envious one should be jealous of the others for having intact dungeons of their very own...
It sounds like this could spill over into the player's actual feelings, though, not just the PC's. Isn't there guidance in the AP for what to do in this situation? Using one of the other dungeons, for instance?

Yeah, that's the worry! Thematically I understand why it's written that way, and there is some poetic justice to it, but the distinction is important; the character should be envious, but the player should be having fun no matter what!

I can't find anything about it in the Anniversary Edition, but that's sort of along the lines of what I was thinking. Taking one of the dungeons that doesn't matter that much to my party (not greed because Karzoug, or wrath/pride for the other PCs) and converting it into an envious dungeon. I suppose I could still keep the theme going and have the envious faction have stolen the wing from whoever had it before, which would explain why it's probably not as tightly themed as the others.

Hey all! My group is heading into Runeforge soon, and I've determined what their highest sins are each. Our Fighter is prideful, our Wizard wrathful, and our Cleric envious. Reading through I noticed that the halls of envy are the only parts not present in the dungeon, because of damage. However I feel like my Cleric is excited about the sins coming into play, and I don't want to disappoint her by wholly destroying the wing of the dungeon she would interact with most.

So my question is, is there a way around this problem? Has anyone expanded the halls of envy (even just a bit, to make it less disappointing to see it destroyed)? Or is there another way to ensure everyone's sins come up? Like exacerbating their personal sins while they're in Runeforge. I'd appreciate any help you can give!

Hey all! I’m planning to run this adventure after my group finishes Rise of the Runelords, and they are huge fans of Ameiko. I wanted to indulge them in that, but because Jade Regent isn’t particularly to my liking, I had a different idea. I was thinking of replacing the petrified Shensen with Amaya Kaijitsu from one of the appendices. This is for two reasons; number 1 is that I can link the Kaijitsu family to the story (Amaya seems like a cool NPC, and it would be fun to connect it to Rise of the Runelords), and number 2 is that I can swap out Shensen. I don’t hate her, she seems like a cool character, but I kind of want to swap her out for the same reason I don’t want to run Jade Regent (that is, it seems like the spotlight will get stolen away from the PCs).

So I was wondering, will this disrupt the campaign at all? I seems that Shensen’s main role in the campaign is that she is capable of bardic performance, and since Amaya is as well she should be ok on that front.

Hey all! My party just rebuffed the giant raid on Sandpoint. They are now licking their wounds and preparing to chase the surviving giants to Jorgenfist and rescue their captured friends. My only problem as a DM is that...to be honest, chapter 4 looks kind of dull as written.

There's nothing wrong with the content (the dungeon looks fun enough, if a little old-school for my taste), but it seems to me like I'm looking at essentially grinding combat for the remainder of the chapter - not that that's bad, but it's not really to my group's taste and I know if we run it as written, everyone (myself included) will just be trying to finish it as soon as possible so we can move onto more interesting content. So my question is, does anyone have some advice for keeping this chapter fresh and exciting? For reference, my group had a fine enough time in chapter 3, but they were getting tired of continually attacking Fort Rannick by the end, and they decided to stealth attack/assassinate Barl Breakbones rather than trying to clear the Clanhold one room at a time.

So what can I do to spice it up? I generally prefer to run fewer but more difficult battles as opposed to many simple/easy ones, which is essentially what I believe the dungeon will boil down to (room after room of 2-3 stone giants or similar guards, with maybe a trap or hazard). I love the potential to ally with Conna, so maybe I can twist the adventure so rather than raiding Jorgenfist on their own, they can do a difficult favor for Conna to prove they are trustworthy, and she and her Giants can help them burst through the defenses in a climactic raid?

Any help or suggestions would be appreciated (my group is currently most invested in rescuing their friends (specifically Ameiko) from the giants, but they are also hankering for some retribution).

Hey all, I’m about to run the back half of Stones over Sandpoint, and my party is engaging Teraktinus at the beginning of next session (I’ve got about a week, don’t worry lol). While I was looking at his stats, I noticed some very strange things; I’ve been referencing the SRD stats because I heard that the book version has his attack bonus calculated incorrectly, but if I remember correctly these problems are present in the book as well; https://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/unique-monsters/cr-10/teraktinus/

1: His HP seems inflated. Normal giants have 102 HP, and he has 151, after only 2 levels of ranger. Where did these 49 HP coming from?
2: What’s up with his attack damage? His heavy pick does 1d8+11, but his strength bonus is only +8, and it’s only a +1 weapon. Where are the additional 2 points of damage coming from? He does not have weapon specialization either, which is what I initially thought must be the case.
3: He has way too many feats! After 2 levels of ranger, he would gain 2 additional feats, one of which is a TWF style feat from the Ranger style ability. So why does he have 5 more feats than the normal stone giant?

There may be a good explanation for these things! But I don’t know it (this is my first Pathfinder campaign). So, does the math check out and I just don’t fully know the rules behind it? Or is the statblock busted and I’m better off stating him up myself?

Hey all, I’m about to run the back half of Stones over Sandpoint, and my party is engaging Teraktinus at the beginning of next session (I’ve got about a week, don’t worry lol). While I was looking at his stats, I noticed some very strange things; I’ve been referencing the SRD stats because I heard that the book version has his attack bonus calculated incorrectly, but if I remember correctly these problems are present in the book as well; https://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/unique-monsters/cr-10/teraktinus/

1: His HP seems inflated. Normal giants have 102 HP, and he has 151, after only 2 levels of ranger. Where did these 49 HP coming from?
2: What’s up with his attack damage? His heavy pick does 1d8+11, but his strength bonus is only +8, and it’s only a +1 weapon. Where are the additional 2 points of damage coming from? He does not have weapon specialization either, which is what I initially thought must be the case.
3: He has way too many feats! After 2 levels of ranger, he would gain 2 additional feats, one of which is a TWF style feat from the Ranger style ability. So why does he have 5 more feats than the normal stone giant?

There may be a good explanation for these things! But I don’t know it (this is my first Pathfinder campaign). So, does the math check out and I just don’t fully know the rules behind it? Or is the statblock busted and I’m better off stating him up myself?

AwesomenessDog wrote:
All that said, goblin is an uh... interesting choice.

Haha, yeah! He isn’t set on it yet but the idea was essentially that he would masquerade as the sickly young child of a noble family as his cover, and then go goblin mode when he wants to fight, because “nobody expects the kid to be a goblin.” He’s not wrong lol. Thanks for the answers everybody.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Hey all! Currently my group is playing a different campaign but I plan to, once we finish, start Curse of the Crimson Throne with them. One of my players is interested in playing a Vigilante (specifically a goblin Teisatsu, long story but he plans to disguise himself as a child for his alter-ego), and I was wondering what kind of experience the forums might have with this class in Curse.

Have you or any of your group members played one? How did it fare? Were it's abilities relevant? My gut instinct says this campaign seems good for a Vigilante, but since it's such a niche class, I figured I'd double check before giving the concept the all-clear.

Yeah, I forgot the part where he can’t leave the room, that puts a pretty serious damper on his combat ability; he’ll effectively be limited to defending himself and trying to scare them into leaving. I might do something like you suggested BishopMcQ, (This is making me think that Nualia’s plan was lacking in the first place; I don’t see how she could have freed Malfeshnekor. Early game villain oversight I guess).

I think I might have him try to talk his way out of the fight, hoping to get the PCs on his side through manipulation and careful sharing of information. Still, I’d like to boost his fighting ability a little in case the negotiations go sour (and when do they not?); mythic levels are intimidating but it does look like the mythic barghest is a lot scarier, which is all I really want. My biggest worry is they’ll take him out easily and then think “well what was the big deal about this guy?”, which would be a bummer because I spent a lot of time getting them all scared of him in the first chapter.

As for class levels, do you think it would be beneficial to use Bloodrager class levels, so he can still cast spells while in his rage? Or is there something I’m missing that makes the Bloodrager weaker in that regard? I’ve never really looked at the class until just now, when I remembered that it gave that benefit.

Thanks for the advice!

So my group only found Malfeshnekor after they finished Hook Mountain. When they came back to Sandpoint, they returned to finish investigating Thistletop and well exceeded the DC ~25 perception check to solve the puzzle, and thus made their way in to the back chamber. Now that they are level 11, I'm worried that Malfeshnekor is going to be a pushover, and I'd rather not turn one of Alaznist's lieutenants into a joke. So I'd like some advice for making this fight a bit tougher; one CR 7 enemy isn't going to pose much challenge at this point, even played well, especially since they have full resources.

The composition;
Elf Wizard 9/Inquisitor 1/Anchorite of Dawn PrC 1 (He multiclassed primarily for RP reasons, but he's still quite well built)
Halfling Fighter 10/Ranger 1 (Critical build with 2 Kukris)
Human Cleric of Sarenrae 11 (Pretty standard healer/support style)
Human Bard 10 (This is actually just Ameiko from the Rusty Dragon. I leveled her up for the giant raid, and didn't expect them to bring her along to this battle, but I didn't want to have her change stats so quickly between this and the Raid later on).

So I was thinking of applying the Advanced Template, but I can't think of a good way to make up the remaining CR. Maybe some wizard or barbarian class levels? What would you all recommend? I've already described the room layout and contents, so I can't give him additional allies (at least not ones who aren't hidden).

Thanks in advance :)

Hey all! I’m running my group through chapter 3 at this point, and we’re coming up on the end (currently in the Hook Mountain Clanhold). I’m now trying to think of how to run the raid, and I have a few questions. (I’m also going to put below who my PCs are):

Halfling Fighter 10 (TWF Critical Kukris) (Might be multiclassing into ranger going forward)
Elf Wizard 9/Inquisitor 1 (Multiclassing into Anchorite of Dawn going forward, he took a level of inquisitor so that he could get an animal companion and some proficiencies)
Human Cleric 10 (Sarenrae)
Elf Ranger 6/Fighter 4 (Shalelu, who the group brought along so often that I’ve upgraded her to official party member and leveled her up).

Question 1: The way I’m setting it up, I want to give them a little time to prepare, and they may try to recruit allies. Did any of your PCs try to recruit help from Magnimar or the Black Arrows, and if so, how did it go? What did you do? I think Jakardos might be willing to come along to help his daughter, but they aren’t exactly in a position to reinforce anyone.

Question 2: Are there any NPCs who would help fight that aren’t the obvious listed ones? I plan on having Hemlock, Ameiko, Zantus and Orik (who has become a Paladin in our campaign, after being redeemed by the cleric) assist in the battle one way or another, (I’ve buffed up their HP and/or AC without altering their offensive abilities, just so they don’t get killed off without a fight, but they’re no higher level than before). Are there other NPCs in town who might volunteer to help fight?

Question 3: I’ve heard Teraktinus is kind of a pushover, and I’ve seen a lot of people say their raid was easy (for example, I’ve heard stories of Paladins wiping Longtooth in one or two rounds on their own). But my group has pretty low optimization (they focus more on Fluff than on Crunch, to the point where sometimes I have to force them to equip new magical items), so I’m worried they might not be able to keep up. How hard do you consider the raid to be?

Question 4: Last one! Sorry, this chapter is kind of stumping me. Chapter 3 was pretty odd for my group, because most of their friends in sandpoint (excluding Shalelu) have been absent for ~15 sessions, meaning they haven’t had a lot of RP opportunities. Should I send along some friends for them to hang out with when they go on the adventure? Shalelu will probably tag along, but she’s already fulfilled her character arc, so it might still be boring. Should I have a new NPC (Orik maybe?) who they don’t know everything about for them to get to know on the adventure?

Thanks for the help all!

Cool thread! There’s a lot of good advice and ideas in here. My party did a similar thing; the wizard cast grease, forgot about it, and then fired burning hands into the greasy hallway, which I ruled started a spreading fire (I don’t know if that’s the case RAW, but it felt right).

Since the courtroom aspect has already been mostly covered, I figure I’ll suggest another avenue; you could have a private investigator (or investigators, plural) tail them going forward in the adventure. This would mean that the guard don’t get directly involved (doesn’t bog down the pacing too much) but also would provide a sense of consequence. these investigators could also be tweaked based on the party; if you think your group may want to attack them, then make them stealthy and give them many ways of escaping through the streets (plus, if they attack an investigator hired by the watch, that’s certainly a time to get the guard involved for real).

This also lets you give them a sense of time pressure and acts as a kind of red herring. Have the investigator sneak into their rooms at the inn while they’re out, and leave signs of entry (maybe stealing some minor trinket) which might spook them into thinking Aldern is still alive. It also adds the side quest of trying to prove their innocence before they get caught and locked up! Plus, they might surprise you, like trying to enlist the investigator to help them fight Xanesha and prove they are innocent.

My group didn’t end up doing it this way, but I totally would have if I had thought of it in the moment.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

My Party;
Level 4 Elf Wizard (Abjuration)
Level 4 Halfling Fighter (Kukri TWF)
Level 3 Human Cleric (Sarenrae - Good Domain)
They've also been dragging Shalelu around with them as much as they can. They are pretty new to Pathfinder, so I've been going a little easy on them, but they also have had some good luck (they managed to kill Erylium by complete accident, with no preparation, first turn), so I want to give them a good scare this session!

So my party has been going through Rise of the Rune-Lords, and have arrived at the Nualia boss fight. They snuck in through the tentamort cave on the side of Thistletop, and in order - Killed Bruthazumus (before he could raise the alarm), turned Orik, and kidnapped Lyrie. Then, tired out from the fighting, they climbed out and returned to Sandpoint. The next day, they infiltrated Thistletop again, this time sneaking past a couple of goblin patrols and heading to the bottom floor. They brought along Orik and Shalelu for this part, although Orik has been reduced to ~16 Hp by the trap (they had him take the lead, and I thought I remembered he didn't like going downstairs, so I decreed he didn't know about the trap).

They caused a lot of noise to draw out Nualia, but she sent out her hound to investigate - they ambushed it and killed it before it could bark, but she knew when it didn't come back that it had been killed, so she cast her buff spells and waited for the enemy to show up. Eventually, the party crept up to her room and burst in, and that's where we called it for the session.

My question is, how do I make this fight satisfying for the group? Nualia, even buffed, only attacks twice a turn, and she hits pretty hard, but the party has a good amount of healing and managed to get to her without using much of their resources - I'm worried they'll steamroll her. I suspect the party is going to try to talk to her to find out her motivations - I plan for her to talk long enough to get a feel for their abilities and make a plan, and then she'll attack them while they're on the backfoot. I have also toyed with the idea of her executing Orik "cutscene" style, to frighten the players and simplify the battle. I've also considered some backup showing up if the fight doesn't go her way - the party made a lot of noise, so some goblins or the yeth hounds from upstairs might come down to her rescue. Alternatively, I have considered her focusing on escaping using her spells and abilities, and having the party confront her later during Skinsaw Murders (maybe she breaks Tsuto out of prison before his hanging).

Ultimately, I just don't know what's the best approach; I don't want her to die unceremoniously (after all, the party managed to sneak past the first floor of Thistletop, so I want them to really earn this win), but I also don't want her to wipe the party, or bail without a fight and cheat the party of their confrontation. Does anyone have any advice or suggestions? I'm open to any ideas.

Hey guys! I'm a high school senior looking to meet other players around my age.

Specifically, I'm looking to DM the Rise of the Runelords adventure path in Pathfinder, and I need at least 3 other players for it, but I can take up to 5. Beginners are welcome, of course!

In terms of my style and influences, I'm a big The Adventure Zone and Critical Role fan, and my favorite show is probably a toss up between Avatar: TLAB and Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood. I personally like to try and balance role playing and combat, so there will be plenty of both.

We're LGBTQ+ friendly, everybody's welcome at our table!

If you are interested please email supermax17@gmail.com or post here.

Oops! Sorry, I think the link was busted. Here's a working one, just to be sure:

https://www.reddit.com/r/lfg/comments/d9ns34/offline_olympia_pathfinder_wer e_looking_for/

Hey everyone!
I'm a younger player (17), and currently looking for players close to my age in the WA, Olympia area to join a Pathfinder campaign. For more info, here's a link to my original, longer thread:
https://www.reddit.com/r/lfg/comments/d9ns34/offline_olympia_pathfinder_wer e_looking_for/

If you're interested, you can contact me here or on my reddit, I check my messages a couple times a day, so I won't take too long to get back to you!