Ogre

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6 posts. Alias of golem101.



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Hope it's the right forum area for this thread. Please move it to a more appropriate section if deemed appropriate.

In a few months I'll run (for the second time) Blood of the Gorgon, which I planned to be the capstone adventure for a rather shortlived campaign - the campaign outlived the planned timeframe, but that's another story. Right now I'm looking for stuff to keep the campaign going onward for a few levels more after that adventure, and it struck me that Ashes at Dawn would be quite appropriate.

For those who don't know...

Spoiler:
the BBEG of Blood of the Gorgon is an alchemist who dabbles a bit too much with monstruous extracts, and during the final stages he escapes a confrontation with the PCs only to be found afterwards in his not-so-secret lair outside the city, fully corrupted by his blood-tainted concoctions

So, the PCs follow him up to an altogether new city, and the BBEG is not just hiding, but actively wreacking havoc among a secret vampire coven, hiding among the jaded and bustling upper class.

For further reference, the campaign is Andoran-based, mostly centered in the Darkmoon Vale area with Olfden as the base of operations. The vampires would be ex-nobles biding their time during this "democracy madness", rightfully scared to be exposed to the public by the recent events.

Do you have any tips and tricks to play for this adventure? Suggestions on stuff to change, add, remove? Is it a good idea at all, or should I scrap it and look at other more plausible material?

Thanks!

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Is there an archdevil/infernal duke/super-powerful diabolic being that ha some domain over the avian creatures in Golarion?
I'm currently looking for an infernal patron for a (Cheliax sponsored) harpy tribe, but most resources I have always make a reference to Pazuzu, which is a demonic being.

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After a bit of hiatus, I'm getting back on track for a new campaign, this time going full steam on a custom built world.

Cutting it short, one of the main themes is the lack of advanced industry and the abundance of monstrous sized animals and creatures.

So I'm looking for a themed PDF about extracting useful parts from slain monsters (bones, horns, fangs, talons, hides, armor plates, venom sacs, exotic internal organs, etc), as harvesting prized pieces from the fallen enemies serves almost totally the role of conventional fantasy treasure, both in the mundane and magic department.

A while ago I came up with some rough and tumble rules for hacking apart foes (mostly aberrations, dragons and magical creatures), but something a bit more focused and professionally thought out, would be greatly appreciated - and help me cut some slack.

Thanks!

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Please bear with my rusty English, as it's not my primary language, and trying to express kinda vague, personal concepts is a bit hard.

The last day of september, a friend of mine passed away from cancer. The illness developed mostly without symptoms, and by the time the first ones showed up, it was too late for any attempt of cure or therapy. In a short three months he wore out, leaving a sense of loss that I know no human words can properly describe.
We knew each other since 25 years ago - a veritable lifetime of friendship - and he's been a regular player at my table ever since, every friday night. He was a great chess player, a good connoisseur of fine music, a passable guitar and piano player, a cinema enthusiast, and a superb writer. Way better than professionals.

A couple weeks later I found myself in possession of one manuscript he wrote about 20 years ago, a typewrited 100-pages long adventure. It's a murder mistery based investigation for Call of Cthulhu (our RPG of choice back in the days), that in the text frequently addresses me directly as the GM (Keeper, in the game) to make adjustements or to cover blank elements, as I'd deem most appropriate. Very few cosmic horrors, and a lot of old fashioned hardboiled detective action, Philip Marlowe style; maybe even more akin to the older Fu Manchu novels.
After a feverish reading and a lot of nighttime crying, fueled by copious amounts of single malt, I decided to give the original text to his beloved wife, as a keepsake of his uncanny knack for writing and as a tangible explanation of how I got to know him.
Then I asked her the permission to actually complete the adventure, filling in the blank spots, adjusting the design elements he was not so sure of, and double-checking the game stats. To have it published in print, even if just in a small private run. We cried a lot more.

It's the only thing I can imagine that could give a semblance of... logic, maybe, to what has happened. Again, words fail me.
It may not be the greatest adventure ever, it sure is not a novel or even a novella, but to me it's the greatest legacy I could ever think of. He gave me his idea.

So, now I find myself re-writing the text (I will NOT allow an OCR software lay its soulless gaze on it), making annotations, checking rules and resources, changing bits and adjusting where necessary - the least possible. The prospect of changing too much, or deviating from his original concept is absolutely terrifying to me.
Sometimes, while I'm typing at the keyboard, I feel like he's right beside me. And I cry a lot.

Dark Archive

Easily the best feature of the whole internets.

Seriously, it's really great. Now, if only I could bring myself to learn how to use properly the focus feature...

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New desktop!

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Creepiest larvae ever.

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Hell yes Vencarlo!

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I'm building a Summoner NPC for a campaign, and the concept I made up for her does not really need the Summon Monster spell-like ability, while a few more evolution points would be nice (I'll be using the broodmaster archetype).

Is there a 3PP that somehow works out a way to eliminate/reduce that one class feature in exchange for a bit more oomph for the eidolon(s)?

If not, what would you consider a balanced trade off for a zeroed (or just strongly nerfed) Summon Monster ability?

Thanks!

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Gully Foyle is my name
And Terra is my nation
Deep space is my dwelling place
The stars my destination

I owe my username to Alfred Bester, that was the least I could do.

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I was looking for the PFRPG version of the Ethereal Marauder, and suddenly noticed that both it and its weirder cousin, the Ethereal Filcher, are missing from the three Bestiaries published so far.

As these planar-hopping weirdos are not under any IP like the... Eye Tyrant or the psychic-almost-Cthulhu-spawn (wink wink), I wondered why these critter didn't make it to official PFRPG status.

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Unfortunately life has suddenly become much more difficult, and my finances hit a rather rough patch.

I'm quite sad to lose my charter subscriber status, but for a while I need to focus resources on more pressing matters, and gaming expenses are subject to a heavy rebalancing (zeroed).

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Simply awesome. Whoa!

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I'm working on a major NPC that will be the main nemesis for a long-spanning subplot: a lizardfolk stalking the descendants of the adventuring group that more than a century before disrupted the reptilian empire of his tribe, and helped the humans reclaim the swamplands by draining them with canals and landscaping works to gain a large swath of useful soil for agriculture.
It lives in the canals and the sewers of the sprawling city, stalking his prey like a methodical yet savage serial killer, and emerges to strike while moving unseen among the populace.

I thought of it as a Urban Ranger (APG archetype) with an evil twist, and it seemed to me that both the Skirmisher and Spirit Ranger archetypes would be fitting too - with no overlapping class features substitutions.
However, the Skirmisher archetype

Quote:
Hunter's Tricks: [CUT] This ability replaces the ranger's spells class feature. Skirmishers do not gain any spells or spellcasting ability, do not have a caster level, and cannot use spell trigger and spell completion magic items.

while the Spirit Ranger archetype

Quote:
Spirit Bond (Ex): At 4th level, instead of forming a bond with his hunting companions or an animal companion, the spirit ranger forms a bond with the spirits of nature themselves. Each day, as long as he is within one of his favored terrains, the ranger can cast augury (Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook 245) as a spell-like ability with a caster level equal to his ranger level. In addition, he can call upon these spirits to cast any one ranger spell that he is capable of casting, without having to prepare the spell. At 8th level, and every four levels thereafter, he can cast an additional spell in this way.

Does the Spirit Bond spell-like ability ignore the limits of Hunter's Trick (I'd say yes, as the latter says nothing about spell-like abilities)? And that extra spell cast by the spirit is inhibited too (I'd say yes, as the Skirmisher ranger can't cast any spell)?

Any other advice on how to build a better soft-skins (humans) hunter?

Dark Archive

I'm running a Darkmoon Vale campaign focused on evil feys, werewolves and a wicked cabal of hags for a rather large group of players (9 of them!), and between high-profile adventures I need to add a number of side treks and minor encounters/one-nighters to pad up the PCs XP count.

We're currently in the latter stages of Crown of the Kobold King (I plan to run Revenge of the Kobold King and Hungry Are the Dead too), and I fear that they will emerge from Droskar's Crucible a little short on XP - a little too much than something handled comfortably with a random encounter or two in the woods - before facing the next challenge, an updated and customized Wingclipper's Revenge from an old and very much loved Dungeon Magazine issue.

The same problem will resurface later on, I already know that, and I need to fill a few blank spots up to the campaign's end, foreseen at about 8th-9nth level (yes, it's short).

Other than pillaging the very awesome Tales from the Old Margreve adventure collection and some more Dungeon Magazine issues, I wondered if some PFS scenarios would fit in the campaign easily enough, and Tide of Morning and The Beggar's Pearl struck me as an almost perfect fit. Are there any more?
Also, other than the usual suspects for background infos (Gazetteer, Campaign Setting, Inner Sea Guide, Darkmoon Vale Guide, Andoran Companion, Dwarves of Golarion Companion) is there some more sourcebook/adventure/module that holds relevant stuff for my games?

Thanks!

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I'm toying with the idea of a mostly urban steampunk campaign for the near future, and I've been struck with the idea of adapting the summoner class to the concept of stand-manifesting individuals (inspired by JoJo's Bizarre Adventures).

After some very basic tinkering, I've pinpointed the main hurdle to overcome in the monster (not eidolon!) summoning abilities and spell list, so, it would come down to just two points:
A) the summon-monster I-IX class ability
B) the spell list

A) it does not really fit with the main idea, it's just too "fantasy spellcaster" themed. I'd like to change this to something closer to the eidolon's summoning/link with the character, but right now I'm a bit burnt out on ideas - except granting more evolution points, which is something that I'd like to avoid.
Maybe a custom-fit version of the sorcerer bloodlines (no bloodline arcana, less powerful bloodline powers spread out in 9 levels)?

B) once again, the summoner's spells should be more focused on himself and the eidolon, thusly removing the Summon Monster I-IX (plus summon swarm and creeping doom) from the list and somehow having the few attack spells (acid splash, aqueous orb, but also wall of fire/ice and incendiary cloud) as magical effects generating from the eidolon - the summoner has the spell on his list, but the caster is the eidolon.
I'm all ears for suggestions on which spells would fit as replacements and how to implement the eidolon as the caster feature.

Regarding archetypes, all those presented in UM seem to work pretty fine except the Master Summoner (see reasons explained above).

Thanks!

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Yay! New desktop image!

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I finally assembled enough tiles and buildings to finish a simple layout of 6x6 6" tiles.
I used WorldWorks Games TLX - Streets of Himmelveil set for the basic tiles and a number of David Graffam's buildings to get a nice pseudo-medieval feeling.

As the buldings are glued to the same tiles of the TLX set (in 3"x3", 3x6" and 6"x6" sizes) the overall modularity of the TLX system is not gone, and what is shown in the pictures is just one of many possible layouts.

Regarding the photos, blame my lousy skills, they don't really look as good as the thing is "in real life". ;-P
I think that it could work quite well also for a city like Korvosa (to be honest I intended it for a homebrewed taldan city of my own devising).

Well, enough ranting, here's the photos!

FlickR set

Next, I intend to do another 6x6 6" layout, this time with some unique buildings (the imposing west gate house, a tudor-style house, the cottage, and an asylum based structure), less streets and more canals (from the WorldWorks Games TLX - Himmelveil Canals set), and maybe a small port area.
Also, some papercrafted figures, such as Nwah's Hellknights, props for street signs, statues, etc.

Dark Archive

I regret having to cut this subscription too (after the Companion one), for the same reasons.

I want to keep my Pathfinder charter subscription though. :-)

As a small note, my profile keeps showing that a Companion subscription is still associated with it, even though Companion products don't show up in the listed future shipments.

Dark Archive

Unfortunately, the recent rise in VATs here in Europe is taking quite a toll on my gaming hobbies, and I have to cut some expenses (after the LoF Map Folio ships, I'll have to cut the Chronicles subscription too).

I'll keep following these lines through my LFGS, and by purchasing some PDFs along the way.

I want to keep my Pathfinder Charter Subscription, though. ;-)

Thanks.

Dark Archive

Yesterday I bought "The Cartographer's Annual - Volume 1 (Download)" along with a bunch of other stuff.
The whole order is listed as pending, and in the usual confirmation e-mail I noticed that my credit card has been charged just for a fraction of the total (not even covering the single download item), and that the remaining items will be charged for only at the moment of shipping.

I thought that the downloadable item would be available from My Downloads list, but it seems missing. Immediately afterwards, I wondered if the download would be made available only when the rest of the order will be shipped and charged for.

If the latter option is the case, no problem at all. I'm just asking clarifications as my previous Profantasy download order had a little mishap that Cosmo fixed very quickly, and I'm a bit worried that the same problem surfaced again.

Sorry for the hassle, and thanks.

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I just bought Campaign Cartographer 3: Symbol Set 1 -- Fantasy Overland (Windows Download), which I guess should appear on "My Downloads", but it seems to be hidden/missing.

I double checked the page, the confirmation e-mail charging the credit card, the order history invoice which confirms that the order has been approved approved.

Am I doing something wrong (or simply not looking hard enough), or some sort of mishap happened along the way?

Thanks.

Dark Archive

I'm putting the finishing touches on the overall design of a short campaign set in Golarion, which involves a number of investigations and conspiracies related to the vacant office of a divine-appointed Guardian of Time (and to the murder of the previous Guardian).

Unfortunately, after looking in a number of products - Campaign Setting, Gods and Magic, PF 18 for major demon lords - I couldn't find any specific deity or divine/mistyc being directly related to the domain/area of influence of time.
Some, such as Irori, are related to history, or knowledge, or law, or even immortality, but none is said to have a prominent role regarding the flux of time.

Can anyone help me out? Did I miss some important piece of info?

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I'm reworking an old campaign of mine to be set in Golarion, updating it to the beta PFRPG rules. Right now, I'm just working out where it's set (I decided for the Ustalav/Belkzen border, in the Palatinates area) and some background details. After this groundwork, I'll move on to the rules-updating stuff.

My homebrew campaign had ruins from a conveniently generic "Ancient Empire", and the Thassilonian Empire is just a perfect fit. So I pillaged my Paizo shelf for reference material, and started rummaging through it.

Argh. Problems. I'm using both the various articles published in Pathfinder and the hardcover Campaign Setting, mainly.

In PF #1, in the background article regarding the Thassilonian Empire, the region that now corresponds to the Ustalav/Belkzen Border (as in the Lost Kingdoms page, HCCS) is described as such: "The lands of old Gastash remain fertile, including the region around the modern city-state of Korvosa and its holdings".
Unfortunately, the Hold of Belkzen is a barren wilderness - Ustalav is a bit off to the east and does not really fall into Gastash territory - and the region around Korvosa falls squarely into the Eurythnia domain, as backed up by the info from the CotCT AP.

It's a somewhat minor inconsistency (also as Gastash was the domain of Gluttony, associated with necromancy, its current state is quite fitting too, opposed to its past plentiness).
However I'd like to know the "canon" position regarding the Gastash/Eurythnia extension and fertile/barren condition inherited from the past: is the PF #1 specific article correct or the more recent CS is to be considered more precise?

Also: Torandey in past Cyrusian (northwestern Varisia and southern Irrisen/Land of the Linnorm Kings), and Xin-Edasseril/Medesa in past Edasseril (the isles west of Varisia, up to the Mordant Spire) are cities that still stand in modern Golarion, but I didn't find any indication of them in the maps available.
Can anyone provide me with more accurate details on their location?

Thanks!

Dark Archive

I was fiddling with the various options for shipping & handling and suddenly I found myself with the order placed (I intend to place it in the very near future, but not right now).

Please cancel this order, guys. Sorry for the hassle.

Dark Archive

I received the usual "ping" e-mail for incoming orders, but this time it seems that something went wrong.

First thing, it says that order was declined due to an invalid answer from my banking service. I checked it yesterday, and it was fine. I'll double check it tomorrow morning (monday), but I never had a problem with it and I used the same service with every single Paizo payment I did, so probably it's just an hiccup.

Second, the order doesn't show the preorder copy of the Pathfinder RPG Beta that I placed some time ago, but just the subscription items (PF #12 and #13, CotCT Map Folio, PF Companion #1, PF Chronicles Hardcover Setting).
The preorder does show in my own "My Account" page within the order history window, but does not appear in the aforementioned order. Please, DO add a copy of the Beta rules to my order, or just merge the subscriptions items with the preorder.

Thank you.

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I'm running "Glacier Season" (from Dungeon Magazine #87) with some older 14° level characters taken straight from the 3.0 rules and updated as per Alpha Release 2. The adventure was designed for 15° level characters, but taking in consideration the slightly higher power level of the revised classes, it was just fine. I used the standard XP progression, and standard HPs.
Where possible I used the updated rules for 3.5 creatures, PrC (spellsword, assassin), and obviously spells and magic items as a base to build on the AR2 test. I used the Core books, the first four Complete books, the Draconomicon, Frostburn, and various monster manuals plus the Advanced Bestiary by Green Ronin.
I didn't do the math to see whether the encounters were average, easy or challenging, as I'm lazy as hell and I was interested in seeing how the AR rules can be effectively dropped into a pre-existing adventure.

PCs Update

Keep in mind that none of my players is a min-maxer, power player or has character optimization as his foremost goal.

  • Dwarf Fighter: very easy, no problems at all. Slight changes regarding feats such as Cleave and Improved Cleave. Nice boost both in offensive (attack bonus) defensive abilities (AC value), and the armor training lessened the impact of heavy armor penalty regarding various skills.

  • Human Cleric (god of valor from Greyhawk setting): also very easy. Minor issues regarding domains, as the previous War domain granted proficiency in weapons such as longsword, but the larger feat pool and human favored weapon filled in the holes. Adjusted some ability-boosting items. Slightly diminished CoDzilla syndrome, thanks to a better distribution in spell selection.

  • Elf fighter/wizard (evoker)/spellsword: again very easy. The PrC wasn't a problem at all. Adjusted some ability-boosting items. Given his long-standing use of the Wings of Flying magic item, and his brand new hippogriff familiar-mount (taken with the Improved Familiar feat from Complete Warrior), the new Fly skill was a perfect fit. The slightly improved HPs value fit very well with the character and gave him a better edge in close combat.

  • Halfling rogue/ranger: switched the ranger levels with fighter levels. Went for the TWF feat tree, with disturbing glee. Also choose Minor+Major Magic and Bleeding Attack as rogue talents.

OK, as the following contains a number of spoilers regarding both the aforementioned adventure and others from which I've pilfered encounters and scenes, I'll put everything under a "read at your danger!" warning flag.

Spoiler:

NPCs/Creatures Update

  • Taigiel, Half-Dragon (white) ranger: switched to multiclass fighter/barbarian. Not really a problem, some minor adjustements.

  • Oftir, Human cleric (god of undeath from Greyhawk setting): very easy, and I switched the Evil domain for the Death one, to better test the new turning/channeling rules. While in the original adventure he was a cleric of the god of slaughter and carnage, I was interested in seeing the rules for negative energy channeling and also I held him responsible for the various undead frost giants that prowl the tundra between Latona and the dragon's lair. Frightening result.

  • Joltar & Kag, Troll fighters: very easy job to do the math for CMB, feats, skill points. Vast improvement over standard rules in terms of combat efficiency.

  • Tomar, Human rogue/assassin: very easy, and once again the PrC was not a problem. Very effective, and interesting to see the new poison rules in action.

  • Ice Golems: adjusted the CMB/feats with no problems at all.
  • Remorhaz: adjusted the CMB/feats with no problems at all.
  • Frost Wolves: adjusted the CMB/feats with no problems at all.
  • Frost Worms: adjusted the CMB/feats with no problems at all.
  • Yrthaks: adjusted the CMB/feats with no problems at all.
  • Mastodons: adjusted the CMB/feats with no problems at all. I felt that the Trample ability under the new CMB needed a bit of house-ruling, but not really a problem.
  • Frost Giants: adjusted the CMB/feats with no problems at all.
  • Titan: didn't do the math for a conversion/update. It was meant as a roleplaying encounter and I just wished it to stay that way.
  • Ice Mephits: adjusted the CMB/feats with no problems at all.
  • White Dragons (mature adults): adjusted the CMB/feats with no problems, and used a few feats from the Draconomicon.

Adventure Summary

The characters pulled out of retirement when they heard that an old enemy of theirs was seen in the northern lands (I used Helios as a proxy for Vortigern, from Necromancer Games' "The Wizard Amulet", my first ever 3.0 adventure!), where he allied with a powerful wyrm and killed a wizard in the town of Latona to steal some arcane secrets regarding ice constructs. As they had quite an axe to grind with this elusive mage - he escaped their wrath a number of times - this was the right time to finally catch up with old grudges.

The initial encounter with Taigiel was handled in a purely roleplaying style, with some use of Sense Motive. Just after that, the group had the first encounter with the Ice Golems, and the half-dragon took quite a mauling within the first rounds, as the characters didn't realize at first the constructs' strategy. After a bit of strategical re-assessment, everything went smoothly, even using just basic tactics and powers, trying just a few of the new abilities. The rogue was very happy of being able of sneak-attacking constructs. The group equipped themselves with two sleds pulled by riding dogs afterwards, and left for the northern town of Latona.

The following long trek went pretty smoothly for the rest of the first evening of play, with more roleplaying interaction with Taigiel, and some random encounters added to the fixed ones. The need for elemental resistance absorbed a nice value of the group resources, and the wizard learned quickly that flying during a blizzard is not a good idea. Many encounters were a bit harder than planned, and even simple enemies seemed somewhat more challenging as the group was taxed for magical healing, cold damage resistance, and the higher number of feats available to creatures gave them better performances.

A battle with some Ice Mephits was the first real application of the new Fly skill, and after some tentative aerial maneuvering (both from the player and from me), the wizard took the hang of it; the rogue riding atop the hippogriff and the cleric (using winged boots but with only two ranks in Fly!) joined in the dogfight, while Taigiel and the dwarf fighter provided ranged support. Being quite underpowered and frail, the mephits went down quickly, and the encounter was very pleasant to run.

During following encounters with Frost Wolves and a Remorhaz the characters used more freely their new abilities, and Taigiel had a couple of glorious moments with his barbarian rage powers; the pool points system seemed very interesting to use. A first use of "Ev's black tentacles" spell against the Remorhaz was somehow ineffective, but the new grapple mechanics performed smoothly. The cleric tried some tactics to use his positive energy channeling even if in melee, and was pretty much satisfied with both the results and the tactical limitations.

The group met also some human bandits, but thanks to a couple of Intimidate checks the encounter was almost purely a roleplaying one, as the characters tried to gain as much information as possible from the raiders while the NPCs tried to get away with their lives and a small gain (money for information). A couple of times I called for Diplomacy checks for support, and some Bluff versus Sense Motive, but mostly I managed to keep the scene with only roleplaying interactions.

Things changed for the worse when the two mature adult White Dragons showed up. The pair used a long trail of mastodon bloody leftovers to lure the group in an ambush; their plan didn't work, but neither the characters had the opportunity to properly buff up.
Even if sub-par in performance while flying, these two creatures literally mangled the group. Badly. The feat-enhanced breath attacks laid waste on the rogue and the cleric, and after some very difficult and tense round of combat during which the wizard and his familiar distracted the dragons from the battleground carnage, the group managed to land some serios hits, felling one dragon after a magical barrage followed by an impressive - and lucky! - series of criticals from the fighter and Taigiel, and managing to scare away the other (much to their relief, as they were really strained).
I used the really high CMB modifier to grapple characters, with the dragon pinning an enemy under his claws and savaging him, and it was scary. Also here the fighter complained about his damage dealing potential when performing only one attack, as the new Power Attack seriously limits the balance between hitting performance and damage results.

End of session 1.

After a bit of time spent to recover, the group went on towards the northern city of Latona. At the outskirts of the mountain range, the two troll fighters tried to extort them a sizeable toll, recognizing the group as wealthy individuals instead of common travelers; the encounter quickly degenerated into a battle, with the trolls taking advantage of terrain (I changed a bit the environment, placing their camp along a narrow ledge), and liberally using various combat maneuvers to trip, bull rush and overrun the characters. The fight was quite tense, fun, and showed how the CMB can really speed up things.

Also, during the following trek along the mountain pass I used the cabin scene from Pathfinder #6 (with a number of changes) to spice things up, and give the players a good old fashioned scare. At the end of the encounter they were quite nervous, and the haunting mechanics were formidable. They found a number of evidence hinting of Acessiwal alliance with powerful human magic users, which strenghtened the resolve to finally catch up with Helios/Vortigern.

At the end of the mountain pass, the group encountered the riddle-plagued titan (a funny encounter, good to change the pace after the cabin terror chapter), and then the pilgrim caravan led by Oftir, who was disguised as a low-level priest concerned with the protection of his followers. A bit of roleplaying scenes between the group and the crazed pilgrims, then the ambush sprung during a night stop. Oftir used a negative energy channeling (7d6 damage) to slay a number of followers, then cast "Create Undead" to get a dozen of Dread Ghouls - I used the template from Green Ronin's Advenced Bestiary - that proceed to slay the other pilgrims, while Oftir used his Call Undead Domain power to summon a host of icy skeletons.
The characters quickly dealt with the first wave of ghouls, then found themselves locked in a chaotic battle with other undeads (Oftir cast another Create Undead on the remaining slain pilgrim corpses) with a scary two round sequence of positive and negative energy channeling, in a head on challenge between the clerics that blasted away most of the undead host, then boosted it while seriously damaging the group, then again. Here, the "burst aura" of negative and positive energy channeling showed some problems, and while the scene proceeded without further hindrance, we discussed briefly how these mechanics can be easily abused both by players and mischievious and petty GMs.
The characters decided that a head on battle was not a good idea, retreated at a distance fighting their way out of low level undead critters, and then used magic and ranged attacks to destroy the undeads and blast the evil cleric into oblivion. Unfortunately for them, he was able to use his "Word of Recall" spell to escape defeat.

Once arriving at Latona, the group took the chance to rest a bit (level up!) and search for more information about Helios/Vortigern and Acessiwal the dragon. I had prepared a number of roleplaying encounters with sages and information dealers, and in a few days they learned a bit of past history and that the evil wizard was held responsible for a number of deaths, a trail that ended in a spectacular magical battle with a resident that destroyed most of his residence. While the characters where investigating the ruins in search of clues or useful bits, Taigiel (smuggled within the city walls with some magical disguises) that was waiting for them at the inn was slain by Tomar, who left some false evidence framing the PCs for the murder of a couple of other patrons.
The characters returned at the inn and discovered that the city guard was in alarm and on their trail for killing innocents and smuggling within the city walls a dead monstruous creature, possibly related to the white wyrm of the frozen north.

End of session 2.

Overall

Classes: very well received, and considered a nice improvement over the basic ones (even with the 3.5 upgrade) regarding flexibility, flavor, and power level, which was valued better balanced for these higher levels, mainly because of the improved features.
The players expressed plainly that they would be really interested in taking the whole single class progression without multiclassing or various PrCs.

Some classes though have gotten slightly more difficult to properly handle by the DM in a complex situation, mainly because of the aforementioned improved variety and flexibility of powers (barbarian rage points, wizard school powers, cleric domain powers), and they need to be more carefully considered and planned before running the adventure (as in "I'll stick to this, this and this, won't care about the rest").

PrCs seem so far very easy to adapt to the AR rules.

The unlimited cantrips/orisons are quite good, and we didn't find any situation where these could be abused (again, most of the adventure so far is in the wilderness, so take this in consideration)

Feats and Combat Feats: well received and easy to adapt to.
Power Attack though was considered too toned down; even with Vital Strike as a high level replacement, a fighter-type character needs a better feat or class option for damage-dealing purposes.

Skills: some condensing was well received and played smoothly (stealth, but also acrobatics and diplomacy), and some other caused slight problems (spellcraft).

The main issue though, was with perception, that really does not work well as a catch-it-all single value; please take a step back to listen, spot and search. Too difficult to manage quickly the various facets of multiple senses during battle or a tense, nerve-wracking recon foray.

The new fly skill was a bit tricky to handle at first, but after some time spent battling ice mephits and a lone white dragon, we got the hang of it and was pretty fun.

New rules: the new turning/channeling rules are easy, fun, and very satisfactory for the player. The Selective Channeling and Turning Smite feats are a must have, and can be highly effective.
Unfortunately there's also a good many problems. The battle with Oftir highlighted them, where the evil cleric blasted away enormous chunks of HPs from the PCs and the party cleric had to burn a good number of daily uses to counter that in a drawn-out "who rolls the most" battle. I suggest using rules that discriminate between turning/rebuking undeads and healing/damaging energy blasts; the Turn Undead Domain from "The Book of Experimental Might I" by Monte Cook is a perfect fit for the former, IMHO.

The CMB value performed well during the whole adventure, and one of the players has said that he can't wait to see the monk in action; giants with Improved Sunder are scary as hell. Grapple finally made sense, and a famous "black tentacles" spell wasn't any longer a nightmare to handle in action.

We didn't test any of the new polymorph subschool spells.

Calculating XPs was very easy, and the various "speed" columns for advancement are an interesting tool for the GM, allowing to fine-tune an adventure for a specific campaign or personal style of play.

Uff, longest post I ever wrote on the Paizo boards!

Dark Archive

I have issues #5 and #6 of Pathfinder stated as "pending" in my order history, and I was wondering if this is due to my hold for monthly shipment option or if there's still some problem related to the Map Folio (that's from my Pathfinder Chronicles subscription).

Also, I still haven't received Pathfinder issue #4 (that's been shipped December 11, oder 850231): as I understand that for international orders there are delays and whatnots - adding them to the usual Christmas craze - I'm not really worried, as it's still in the 2 months delivery window, but it's getting close to the known limit...

Thanks.

Dark Archive

There's a new article showing up on the Dragon tab on the WotC site, and I just spent a full 10 minutes reading it, despite the blasted pinkish title that gave me the creeps.

http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/drcw/20071010

Well, English is not my primary language (I'm from Italy), but thanks to my long-standing hobby I have a good enough grasp of it - as a reader, at least; writing something with sense and fluency is a different matter.
But again, it made no sense to me at all.

Please someone cares to explain what this... thing... should mean? Because the only thing that comes up right now is a baffled "and so?".