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Good point, I'd also completely forgotten about the Yeth Hounds. That said you could argue that they'd be difficult for Nualia to field against Sandpoint. Their Bay affects everything except evil outsiders, so they can't be used in close coordination with the goblins, who are just as likely to be panicked by the Yeth Hounds if they are within the area of effect. Also, and this may have just been an oversight, Nualia doesn't share a common language with the Yeth Hounds, meaning involving them in any precise tactics is right out. Given that Nualia's plan is freeing Malfeshnikor you could infer that her conclusion is she can't employ them in this way, otherwise the presence of the Yeth Hounds is pretty fatal for Sandpoint. The average damage of Sandpoint's guards doesn't crack the Yeth Hounds DR though, and Sandpoint's magic users might not have adequately prepared spells/wands to drive them off.


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I see what you're saying about Lamashtu's motivation, and obviously it's ultimately DM's discretion, but going by the rules it's ridiculously unlikely. In terms of spells Mage's Disjunction would be needed to permanently free Malfeshnikor and Lyrie lacks the INT to cast it. Anti-magic field won't have him free long enough to make it to Sandpoint.

That leaves the method the Wizard who cast Binding setup to end the spell's effect. But the caster may not have set one up, it may require a person or object that no longer exists, it may not have been documented at all or in a way that survived the end of the Thassilonian Empire, and the documentation might not even be in Thistletop. Even if none of that's true Nualia and more likely Lyrie have to find it and know it when they do.

Also, as an aside, given Lyrie's obsession with Tsuto and her past willingness to kill to get what she wants I don't think her association with Nualia is likely to be a lasting one.

I think it can be inferred that Lamashtu knows Malfeshnikor is subject to a Binding spell and she knows that it can be broken, but if there is a method outside of Mage's Disjunction she doesn't know what it is, otherwise she would have shown Nualia in her vision. From her perspective she has a useful, but mortal, minion in Nualia and a somewhat more useful, immortal, minion in Malfeshnikor. Being a god trading one for even the off chance of regaining the other probably makes sense.

In the end if, as DM, you want Malfeshnikor to be released you can justify it given enough time, but if you want to put a large gap of time in Burnt Offerings without rewriting it completely I don't think you need to factor the Barghest into your plans.


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I allowed some non-conventional race choices for my players including, most regrettably, a goblin. At the risk of being redundant I really regretted this, as the level of hand-waving early on always bothered me, especially in book one. On the plus side though it allowed me to show the welcoming, fair-minded nature of the people of Sandpoint (with notable exceptions like the Scarnettis). Unless your group is planning to run Second Darkness in continuity with your RotRl campaign I wouldn't worry about the setting specific issues created by a Drow PC. Their native land and others of their kind are beyond the scope of the campaign.

To echo what others have said that the player wants to play an evil PC is more concerning to me. I know your group is in your 30's so I assume they're all pretty mature, but putting it in terms of desired alignment makes it sound like they're looking for a rationale for future actions as opposed to a trait to define their character.

Before saying yes you should ask the player more about their character. What are the character's goals? What is the character willing to do to accomplish their goals? What motivates them? If they can give you good answers to questions like that at least you know they don't just want an excuse to mess up the story and screw-over the other players.


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I can't see any way Nualia succeeds in releasing Malfeshnikor, even with seven years. Assuming she even makes it to his prison (possible since she'll have Tsuto's help) he's just as likely to kill her and anyone with her. Assuming she isn't barghest food she, the goblins, and any remaining allies (probably just Tsuto and Bruthazmus, Lyrie and Orik surely didn't sign up for raiding a human settlement) will probably attack Sandpoint and almost certainly be defeated. Sandpoint is expecting an attack, has reinforcements from Magnimar, has fortification, and is populated by multiple NPCs with character levels. The surprise attack during the festival was a success only in that it achieved a very limited goal at the cost of a large number of goblins and an insider who aided in the town's infiltration. IF the PCs won't investigate the Glassworks surely someone in town can be persuaded to check in on the beloved innkeeper, so the smugglers tunnels wouldn't be available to Nualia.

Sandpoint would doubtless suffer some casualties, so in the future you could have some NPCs be deceased or scarred by the events. Perhaps Nualia would be repelled back to Thistletop and it would be decided she should be contained there rather than a costly raid be undertaken. Assuming Ripnugget survived the two of them would not continue long together, she'd probably kill him and appoint a more compliant goblin lieutenant. Contained on Thistletop the number of goblins would probably decline but the survivors would be a bit more experienced.

It sounds like you've considered most everything else. As long as the Catacombs are still taken on early that should be fine, and while Aldern's obsession becomes ickier when applied to a new generation of heroes as long as you still set it up you should be good to go.

I hope this helps, it's not the way I'd go but I'd be interested to hear how changing up the campaign in this way works out for you.


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Thanks for the ideas, my players will probably scout the Fort for a few days so that should give them a few chances to catch him and interrogating him will let me foreshadow Lucretia more than I've been able to so far.

I guess my one concern is that they will learn about the plan and bypass the fort to deal with the dam. The flood scene sounds like something my players will enjoy. I could just have the flood start as soon as they head toward the dam but that seems like some pretty severe railroading.


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Spoilers for Book 3: The Hook Mountain Massacre

While under suspicion of betraying the Black Arrows a poorly guarded Kaven escaped from the party's custody in Turtleback Ferry. Per page 145 of the Anniversary Edition of RotR Kaven will flee to Fort Rannick to try to reunite with Lucrecia. While the party is in hot pursuit his lead on them is such that, barring some magical intervention that I can't foresee, he'll make it to Lucrecia in time to warn her and she'll flee with him to Hook Mountain.

All of this makes sense to me logically, and I've already come up with an encounter to replace Lucrecia, but I'm worried about unforeseen consequences that might arise from Lucrecia's absence. I figured that she would have left the scroll listing the Paradise customers behind in her haste, but is there any other information the party will miss if she isn't there in person? Am I better off running the encounter as written, maybe just with Kaven on hand to help Lucrecia in battle? Should I fudge things to give the party a chance to catch Kaven?

Any advice or input is greatly appreciated.


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My group meets about once a month since I started running RotRL, so far we've cleared about one book a year. I think your idea of recasting the PCs as Black Arrows sounds like an inspired one, though I think book two is one of the stronger ones in the adventure path. I think Latrecis's point about introducing the soul harvesting is especially salient, perhaps Xanesha is still running the Skinsaw Cult in a nearby town, a brief investigation into some murders leads the party to the cult who are headquartered at the Shadow Clock leading to Xanesha and her correspondence with her sister.

Honestly though I've always found the central appeal of the campaign is Sandpoint as a setting and keeping things somewhat decompressed to allow the players to become invested in it is key.


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I use a modified version of the downtime rules from Ultimate Campaign in my Runelords campaign. Naturally it depends if it is the sort of thing your players will enjoy, but doing odd jobs around Sandpoint gave me a good chance to introduce a lot of the NPCs around town and PCs owning property in and around Sandpoint is going to pay off in book four.

I found the prices and construction times were both too high as written though. The benefit of the buildings to my players are chiefly in roleplaying, most of the buildings would take until the end of the campaign to complete, and at their level it was going to start throwing off the wealth by level. I'm sure the authors did some research to arrive at their conclusions but 20 days to construct a bedroom seems ridiculous. I ended up dividing costs/construction time by ten.


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I agree with a lot of this advice so far but I wanted to echo Urath DM on the downtime rules from Ultimate Campaign. While I'm moving away from the mechanics as written in my campaign, it's still proven a great way to get even PCs with fairly undeveloped characters into the setting.

I've had a PC purchase the Glassworks, causing them to console a somewhat grieving Ameiko while negotiating the purchase and accepting a shady loan from Jubrayl Vhisky to avoid breaking the bank. A PC who wanted to build a home interacted with both Sir Jasper at the Sandpoint Mercantile League to buy land, and Titus Scarnetti to secure lumber despite Titus's suspicions of outsiders. PCs have wound up securing capital by acting as substitute teacher at Turandorok Academy and apprentice alchemist at Bottled Solutions. At the same time that PCs are putting down physical roots in the forms of homes or businesses they are making connections with NPCs in the community who helped them out along the way.

If you think your players might be resistant to this, and you have the time, you can always do this through email. I've honestly had mixed results with this, one of my players couldn't be bothered to engage this way, but the others got even more engaged with Sandpoint while away from the table.

To add one thing there are other events on the calendar that thanks to the events of the Swallowtail Festival the characters may be primed to check out on the off chance that they are important to the plot. I'm at the start of The Hook Mountain Massacre and before the party departs for Turtleback Ferry I'm running them through the Seven Veils Ball. My group is pretty involved with Sandpoint but assuming yours aren't they might interpret the invitation to another festival in the town as a plot hook, once there they can probably be persuaded to take part in the festivities and interact with NPCs to pass the time.


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I'd like to echo Latrecis's observation about the stolen personal items, one of my PCs obsessed over the stolen possessions of another. Even while using the downtime rules with random events popping up it stuck out to that player. I ultimately stonewalled his investigation, which obviously isn't ideal.

I think you could still do Aldern though, with a slight adjustment to his character. In some ways it could work better, as written he's somewhat overbearing, depending on how quickly you're making your way through the adventure path it may be a pretty obvious leap from the target of the obsession back to him. Instead what if this whole time his obsession with the PC has mostly been in his head. He's been watching the object of his obsession for much of their time in Sandpoint quietly, completely beneath their notice. When the party begins asking about the Misgivings around town the townsfolk identify its link to Aldern and are surprised that the PCs don't know him, they've seen him around them so much they thought they were friends.

This culminates beneath the Misgivings when one of the PCs find the shrine to Aldern's obsession. Suddenly the PC is confronted by the grotesque extent of his pursuit without ever having any awareness of his existence. That seems much creepier to me in a lot of ways.


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I also introduced Ironbriar between Burnt Offerings and the Skinsaw Murders, he arrived in Sandpoint to collect the party's statements in regard to the captured Tsuto, Lyrie, Orik, and Nualia. Because they had read Nualia's diary which suggested a criminal conspiracy in Magnimar they asked Ironbriar about it.

I had Ironbriar talk about disappearances in Magnimar, his suspicions about them, and his frustration in his investigations being obstructed by the corruption of the city (I'm playing him more like a District Attorney than a Judge). When the party offered to help him investigate he demurred, but showed some openness to accepting their help down the road.

Playing it this way I think he earned some of the players' trust, demonstrating that he had some need the party, and suggesting that he wasn't corrupt by projecting the corruption on others in Magnimar's government.

Consequently when Aldern's journal led the party to Magnimar they sought Ironbriar out. He offered the party a lead (an actual Skinsaw Men victim, chosen for his greed but with no obvious ties to the cult) and listened to their leads, seeing how much they know.

After a somewhat disastrous encounter at Foxglove's townhouse Ironbriar sent town guards to bring the group in to offer them a new lead. On the way back to him they were intercepted by another Justice that I had added to the module who suspects Ironbriar of corruption. Because of her brusqueness, and her unwillingness to make any concrete allegations against Ironbriar when the party finally made it to him he was able to cast their suspicions toward her and shore up their trust in him.

This is the point I added in a side trek into the module. Ironbriar had received a lead into the whereabouts of a former Skinsaw cultist who had left the group after becoming a worshipper of Zon-kuthon. Ironbriar wanted this man killed due to his knowledge of the cult, and he also wanted the party gone as they were getting too close. Therefore he cast this man as his chief suspect, suggested that he couldn't pursue the lead within the confines of the law, but asked the party to do so intending to send cultists in to kill the survivors.

This side trek was all custom but I think as a hook you could use it to tie in any side trek or module centered on a single evil mortal, casting them as a former cultist whom Ironbriar wanted to silence. I think doing it in this or a similar way fills out the Ironbriar arc by building the parties trust for him while also foreshadowing his betrayal.

Sorry for the long post, but hopefully this will be of use to someone.


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Also I wish I'd have removed the well entrance to the caverns beneath the Misgivings. I appreciate the consistency of the ecology but in the eventuality that the players enter the Misgivings that way it's somewhat disastrous. The dungeon really falls apart from both a storytelling and engagement perspective if played in reverse this way.

It's a good nod to player choice, but all this choice really does is let players make a worse story for themselves.


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I wish I would've changed Habe's Asylum. Honestly I would've boiled it down to just the interview with Grayst Sevilla, I think it goes a long way to heighten the creepiness of the Skinsaw Man, but once all the fighting breaks out I think it deflates that somewhat.

Caizarlu as a red herring resolves itself almost immediately, the whole encounter just becomes sort of a non sequitur. His notes do foreshadow the Hambley Farm, but the hook for that section runs screaming into town the next morning so I don't think that's needed either.

My players were understandably reluctant to take action against Habe without the sanction of the law, so after knocking out the tiefling orderlies they left. Upon returning with the Sheriff and some guards all they found were four zombies and two half eaten tiefling orderlies, Habe and Caizarlu having made good their escape.

Maybe this section worked out for others, but personally I would mostly remove it if I ran the adventure path again.


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I have a question about other's experiences running the boss fight in area B37 (AE) of the Misgivings. I have five PCs and my instinct is that the room is too small, especially in terms of the Skinsaw Man's tactic of targeting the object of his obsession. In my campaign his obsession is for the archery focused Ranger, who certainly won't be approachable without using acrobatics, but might not be approachable at all due to the room size.

On the other hand maybe the point is having it be so confined that the PCs are tripping over each other, not being able to completely surround the Skinsaw Man, and him utilizing his acrobatics constantly. That had been my experience with the boss fight in the Glassworks.

Thoughts?


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Thanks Stebehil and Fromper for the advice, I suppose rolling for initiative is too leading.


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I'm going to be running my group through the Misgivings within the next one or two sessions and I had a couple questions concerning Iesha.

Is the assumption for the encounter with Iesha that the group sees her, perhaps recognizes her from the portrait, identifies her as a revenant with a knowledge religion roll, and decides to move the mirror to release her? My group isn't particularly likely to just destroy the mirror without cause, so I'm assuming unless a group identifies what type of undead she is the encounter typically ends in the attic.

The second question is about presentation of the encounter. To my mind once a group of adventurers encounters an undead creature for the first time they probably have an almost reflexive urge to attack it. My thought was to have the group roll initiative (Iesha would as well, withholding her action until she is attacked) and as each turn comes up secretly roll sense motive for each PC to give them a chance to realize she is not immediately hostile. Is this unfair though? Only one PC has Sense Motive as a skill, so the odds of the first PC acting not attacking are low. If I tell the players to roll sense motive it would be giving it away, so I'm wondering if I should go forward but have the DC of the roll be really low, or maybe if I should just not bother and just give the group enough rope to hang themselves and see what they do.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.


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Sorry for the thread necromancy but I came here looking for an answer myself and, not finding one, calculated it myself. I used the Building/Room rules from chapter 2 of Ultimate Campaign as well as the map/location descriptions from the Anniversary Edition of RotR. Naturally a lot of the rooms are approximations using similar rooms from UC.

The Glassworks breaks down as follows:

1 Gallery (Trophy Room) - 250 gp
11 Storage Rooms - 1,320 gp
1 Bunks - 400 gp
1 Kitchen - 160 gp
1 Dining Room (Sitting Room) - 480 gp
1 Lavatory - 120 gp
1 Bath - 130 gp
1 Laundry - 120 gp
1 Meeting Room (War Room) - 300 gp
1 Reception (Storefront) - 190 gp
1 Secret Office (Secret Room) - 220 gp
4 Artisan's Workshops - 1,440 gp

Totaling to 5,250 gp or 128 goods, 7 influence, and 124 labor in capital terms. I excluded the Smuggler's Tunnel figuring that once exposed the Sheriff would probably insist it was collapsed. If you decide otherwise I would treat it as a secret room adding 220 gp or 5 goods and 6 labor.

Obviously this isn't exact science. Also Ameiko, assuming she survived, would very likely be willing to part with the Glassworks at a much lower price after all she has been through and all the PCs have done for her and the town.