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Oh, and regarding the Dream Dalliance trap - the word "elucidarian" doesn't seem to appear anywhere in the AP. Is there a way for them to find out about this trap and its bypass password?


I love this! The research rules in Ultimate Intrigue are my favorite chapter of that book.

My players will be getting to Jorgenfist in about a month to six weeks. It's been over a year since I quickly read the book through, and I haven't gotten to the library yet on my detailed re-read studying of it as we go. So I'll just ask:

Once they find the library, assuming the story is going as per the expected plot, will they be in a position where they are likely to feel like they can hang out for weeks studying? Or will they be rushed off to some other emergency?

The answer to that really affects how much of this we'll be able to use. (I'm hoping they can hang out.)


My players are about to go into Grazuul's lair and (hopefully) figure out how to operate the dam.

At that point, I can easily see them calling their job done and heading home.

They've shown no real interest in Lamatar, so getting them into The Haunted Heart will be contrived, at best. Thankfully, The Haunted Heart doesn't really seem important to the story at all.

More problematically, though, I see no motivator to get them into Harrowing the Hook. Even if they decide to figure out who sent the ogres to destroy the dam, I see no clues in the AP that would tell them to climb a ten thousand foot mountain.

"Now that the dam is fixed, let's randomly go mountain climbing for no reason in the pouring rain and falling snow!"

What am I missing?


So last night we began the Graul homestead, where Shalelu made herself valuable for the first time since pre-Thistletop.

So players started referring to her but some had a hard time remembering her name.

Until somebody accidentally called her Chalupa. Suddenly everybody could remember her name just fine because her name instantly changed to Chalupa.

Had to share.

That is all.


They managed to see pretty much everything, and only two of them died. (One stabbed himself in the throat with a piece of wood that he thought was a silver dagger and failed his save against his own coup de grace, the other leapt out a window and had a series of unfortunate rolls, taking massive damage as she hit the ocean far below.)

We'll be picking up the next session right outside Aldern's lab, meeting the Skinsaw Man. Unfortunately for them, before the party was cut by 2/5ths, they actually managed to DEFEAT Iesha's revenant. They wouldn't take any hints that she should be let by, and kept fighting her. They're real proud of themselves for it, but as a result they are hurting, and they don't have Iesha to soften up Aldern for them.

It's going to be interesting. That's for sure.


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Last night the same group I described above continued on to The Misgivings.

I thought my head was going to explode under the effort of keeping a poker face when one of the players blurted out:

"Wait! Aldern's father didn't actually die here! He faked it and now he's studying in the basement of that sanitarium! Zaicarlu is Aldern's dad!"

And everybody looked at her with surprise and sudden comprehension as they all clearly decided she'd figured it out and was totally right.


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I ran The Thing In the Attic Saturday, and it had a very unexpected ending.

They could tell Habe was hiding something, but weren't sure what it was. Habe had his orderlies bring Grayst downstairs in order to avoid disturbing the other patients. After the meeting, they camped out on the bluff above the hospital, hoping to see activity giving a hint to what was going on. When they saw nothing all night, they returned in the morning.

They insisted on going upstairs to see Grayst again, but Habe insisted that he would be brought down again. The PCs decided this was just too suspicious and surprised me by immediately attacking Habe at the door, using non-lethal damage. Habe ran, screaming, to Zaircarlu's door and began pounding and screaming, "Help! There's crazy people attacking us! And not the ones that live here! Help!"

In the meantime, the orderlies scattered, afraid to face the heavily armed and totally unreasonable intruders.

Then they managed to Charm Habe, despite the penalty for Charming somebody who you're attacking. So he became friendly and escorted some of the party upstairs while some stayed downstairs. And one stayed on the 2nd floor while two went to the third. So the party was split three ways.

Zaicarlu, in the meantime, had his zombies exit through the exterior cellar door and attack the ground floor from outside, going in through the doors. But the party's Warpriest killed all four zombies in a single round with channelling. Zaicarlu decided that he wasn't a match for somebody who took down all his toys so quickly, and used his potion of Gaseous Form to escape before anybody even saw him.

At the time, I assumed Zaicarlu would become a future villain. But then things took a turn for the unexpected.

After killing Pidget and Grayst and putting Habe (who had been knocked unconscious in the fight with Grayst) into a bed, they searched the place and found Zaicarlu's journal entry about trying to find a way to trace ghoul lineage.

They decided that Zaicarlu was obviously a researcher doing important work that could be useful. He's actually one of the good guys, they decided.

And then Habe woke up, pissed.

Knowing he was caught in the obviously illegal act of aiding a necromancer and all the stuff that goes with it, he offered them a deal: "If you don't report me for the oh-so-heinous-and-horrible crime of doing my best to help my patients heal, or at least be comfortable for as long as possible, and then after they die through no fault of my own, donating the bodies they aren't using anymore to a scientist doing (admittedly illegal) important work on trying to find ways preserve life and save even those who seem beyond saving; then I won't report you for attacking my hospital without provocation, terrorizing my employees, and killing some of my patients. I know people won't look kindly on my relationship with a person they won't approve of, but it seems you've got more to lose here."

They said, "That sounds fair. But when Zaicarlu returns, please let him know we'd like to discuss his work with him and maybe help him if we can."

So Habe is back in business and has blackmail material over the party, Zaicarlu gets to continue his work, and the party is working towards allying with a necromancer.

I find that hilarious.


Thanks for all the feedback. Having studied it more closely I can see that it isn't quite the meat grinder it seemed at first. the number of save or die haunts seems smaller after you've read through it a couple times.


I'm about to run the Misgivings in the Skinsaw Murders, and it really looks like a serious meat grinder. It's hard to imagine it not being a TPK.

So I have a question for those who have run it:

The Carrion Storms outside are what make it so ominous. Without the ability to leave the house and return, is it even survivable? (I guess it must be, since plenty of people here post about making it through and moving into subsequent chapters. But it seems pretty rough.)

Has anybody tried running it without the Carrion Storms outside? That would seem to make it a lot more reasonable. Maybe come up with some hurrying factor instead so they don't take a week?


I'm going to format this to print nicely on a 4x6 and stick it in my book to have handy when we get there. (Probably in 4-6 weeks.) Thank you!


I'm glad you like it!

Callum wrote:
To get the sinkhole in Sins of the Saviors to give access to the eastern steps in the Cathedral of Wrath, you'd need to have the Catacombs about 30 feet west and 20 feet north of where you have them (which would put the spiral stairs that lead up out of the Catacombs in an "alley" further to the west) - but then the tunnel from under the Glassworks would have to head northwest to start off with, before veering northeast!

The Runewell needs to be under the north wall of the garrison in order to cause that wall to collapse. The access through the Cathedral of Wrath is a narrow walkway, which I took to mean that the northern wall of the Cathedral hadn't collapsed and that there is a space there between the rubble and the wall. The access isn't described as "direct access", so I believe it means that the access provided is simply to the door of the Cathedral and the hallways beyond, under the assumption that the spiral stairs down are the only likely destination for a party going there.

The tunnels, especially the "50' west and then 100' north" were problematic, but I also figured the exactitude of placement wasn't nearly as critical.

Regarding the depth, I figured the Cathedral had a much higher ceiling than the rest of the Catacombs. This not only fixes the depth problem, but also allows the Cathedral to look more impressive and also gives Elyrium a lot more room to fly around in. It also makes the collapse of the ceiling and the garrison wall above make more sense.

In my campaign, the players immediately dug upwards at the stairs. The mapmaker failed his Cartographer check by a little bit and collapsed an unmarked building. I decided it was a poor old couple's hovel, and the old man basically extorted 350gp out of the PCs to help him pay for a new home. He handily didn't tell them that it had been an abandoned building that he and his wife had been squatting in. (I did erase a Greed point from the character who most quickly agreed to the payment, though - I'm not a total dgm.) :)


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Narsham wrote:
Fortunately, the idea was shot down.

That was actually quite a brilliant plan, in it's own incredibly fool-hardy way. Just out of curiosity, how would you have ruled it?


I've been looking for a map of Sandpoint showing the exact location of the Catacombs of wrath and the smuggler's tunnels. I found one that had the right idea but had the Catacombs in the wrong spot. (And since the location matters in later chapters, that was a problem.) No others seem to exist.

So finally, I decided to just make one.

The catacombs are placed pretty much exactly spot-on as far as I can tell. The location of the tunnels is much more vaguely described in the book, so I took a best guess as to what made sense. As far as I can tell, the tunnels shown on my map shouldn't lead to any major conflicts with the written material. (I'm using the Anniversary Edition, if it matters. I assume the placement is the same in the original edition, but who knows?)

My players have taken over the Catacombs as a home base. One of them has the Profession(Cartographer) skill as well as Dungeoneering. I've given them the map and said that it is assumed he'll update the map as his skills improve, so far as long as he's with the party, if you decide to dig through the surface somewhere, he'll make a DC25 Cartographer skill check. (It's hard making maps underground.) If he makes it, the map is spot-on. If he fails, the breach through the surface is actually a number of meters away from the expected spot equal to how many he failed by, in a randomly chosen direction. Once he leaves the party or dies, his current Cartographer skill score will be written on the map and that is the score they'll use from then on.

Anyway, I hope somebody finds it useful: Here you go.


I think Nualia believes she's close to freeing Malfeshnikor, and I can't imagine her wanting to stop under any but the most extreme circumstances. That said, she'll also have been told that her fortress has been under repeated attacks and that she's losing defenders.

I think that she would send Ripnugget out to recruit another dozen goblins, to come and help in a surprise attack on the PC camp at night. Whatever goblins remain at the fortress attack from one direction while the reinforcements attack from the other, and they all get air support from a yeth hound.

Nualia is insane, but she's not stupid. And she wouldn't want to send a yeth hound out to attack the PCs by itself, and she wouldn't trust a bunch of goblins to take down a party already proven to be adequate at goblin crunching. But coordinating an attack that lets her one of her yeth hounds attack from above while the enemy has to defend against threats on the ground? Yeah, she'd be all over that.


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My players had already cleared out most of Thistletop including the villain of the first book (staying vague to avoid spoilers in this intro). All they had left to do in book one was figure out how to open the special doorway downstairs and clear out what was behind it.

They had been complaining about a general lack of offensive magic treasure, when I allowed them to buy a Wand of Magic Missiles. Their VERY first encounter with their new wand was that door....

And Here's What Happened:

They found the coin slots. I described them as being pretty big for coin slots because I wasn't sure how they pictured the coins in the game and didn't want to make them quarter-sized and make it impossible to figure out. So, to make sure they could take any reasonably-imagined coin, they were two inch by half inch rectangles.

They put a couple things other than coins in the slot, and I had those things whisked away to the treasury but they didn't open the door.

"Hey! Maybe it needs a magical sacrifice! I drop my Wand of Magic Missiles in!"

Uh, okay!

I'd already established everything vanishes, so okey dokey! One less wand!

About five seconds later, they figured it out. There was much head banging.


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We had our first RotRL PC death tonight. The player joined the group recently and in his first session I just gave him a copy of Valaros the iconic character so that he'd have something to play. The plan was to roll up his "real" character before his second session, but Valeros worked out well for him and he ended up getting pretty attached and leveling up a few times. This was his fifth session playing Valeros, and Valeros was fourth level as the party encountered Nualia.

Nualia's Yeth Hound bayed in the first round, and everybody except the party monk made the save. The monk and Valeros normally work together as both the heavy hitters and the damage sponges. But the monk was panicked and ran away down the hall where she was caught in the blade trap and very nearly diced to death before being dumped into the pit, where she was still panicked and useless for the rest of the battle.

But Valeros figured he and the rest of the party would be okay. One other character had already closed with Nualia, and Valeros wanted to take up a flanking position. To do that, though, he'd have to pass through a square threatened by both Nualia and her Yeth hound, provoking an attack of opportunity from each. He decided to not do that, planning to take a five foot step on the next round to get there if the combatants were still in the same position.

But then the metagaming discussion suddenly started and the rest of the players were telling him he should take the flanking position because of reasons too detailed to get into here. He resisted, they pointed out that he has an AC of 21 so he won't get hit, and 36 hitpoints so it'll be fine if he does. To say they were underestimating their foes is an understatement.

Just before I put the kibosh on the metagaming, he concedes and moves the extra square.

For her AoA, Nualia rolls a nat 20. Then she confirms the crit. Her normal damage is 1d10+4. I roll two d10s and they both come up 10. That's 28 points of damage from one hit. The Yeth Hound also bites him for 8 points. (He made his save for that, though.) That's 36 points of damage caused entirely by metagaming. (That'll learn 'em!)

He's at exactly zero hitpoints. He's in the position he wanted, but if he attacks, he'll fall unconscious. He doesn't have a healing potion, so he decides to hope that he won't get hit again and will wait for healing from a compatriot.

Then it's Nualia's turn and she channels negative energy for 2d6. I roll boxcars. 12 points to anybody who fails their save, or six to anybody that makes it. Valeros, sadly, didn't make it.

From zero hitpoints, he takes 12 damage. Have I mentioned that his CON is 12? Dead in one round because of bad advice from fellow players. Painful.

Rest in peace, Valeros. Rarely have I ever seen anybody die so PRECISELY. (I actually had to look up the rule to see if death happened right at negative CON or if it was one point later.)

The other three characters, miraculously, dispatched the Yeth Hound and got Nualia below 15HP. So she cast Sanctuary and tried to escape, but one of the PCs made their will save and was able to attack her, bringing her to -1 hp.

I wondered if they would tie her up and heal her.

Nope. They took vengeance for their fallen friend by hacking her unconscious body to death. Little do they know they each got wrath points for that! :)


wrmusall wrote:

feel free to pass this out to your players

The Sandpoint Register

That's awesome! I'd love to use it, but would need to change a few details to match our game. Could you provide the source document? I can retype (plagiarize!) the whole thing, but it would be a lot easier if I could edit it instead.

Thanks for the awesome prop!


**Minor spoiler alert**

A question occurred to me as I was reviewing Thistletop Dungeon Level Two in preparation for running it in two weeks.

How can level two be sloped if level one isn't? I was assuming that level one was excavated in the centuries after the event that tilted level two. But if somebody in level one dug down and discovered the preexistng level two, then the stairs would be further from the edge of the map, one would think, and would probably come through a ceiling instead of a hallway at the proper floor level.

The entryway really indicates that level one must have already been there when the tilting event happened, and it's all one rock. So why is level one level?


You make some excellent points. Thanks!

The players are pretty green and much of their success in the goblin tunnels came down to lucky rolls, not tactics. One of them in particular rolled three crits in a row against Gugmurt. It made me glad for my "all rolls must be fully visible to everybody" rule because I might not have believed it if I hadn't seen it.

Still, your point about expecting daylight-dependent Sandpoint humans and getting the PCs instead is a REALLY good excuse for having the goblins become more lax at night. I want to challenge the players, and I don't mind killing one or two, but TPKs tend to kill games.

Gogmurt left out mention of the bridge trap in hopes they would all die there. But it occurred to me today that the party consists of two medium and three small creatures - exactly the maximum safe load - so they can't set it off anyway. (Which is probably a good thing, because that bridge is a TPK waiting to happen. I could just rule that it takes less weight than what is written, but I don't really want them dead. If they had a rogue I might do that since they'd have a chance to see it, but as it stands, I'll keep it as-written.)

I suspect they'll probably seek to surveil Thistletop during the day while they wait for nightfall. So I'll let them see the bird game (I think it's great atmosphere for goblins) but it won't be distracting the goblins during the attack. Similarly, they'll see the very puzzling sight of a couple goblins pitching armloads of pickles out of their guard tower as Bruthazmus or Orik storms up their stairs and then carries them away by their ears.

They are planning on having a couple silence spells ready to keep things quiet. Thankfully, one of them has already mentioned to the rest that when guards suddenly find themselves unable to make a sound, they'll freak out. That hadn't occurred to three of the players and they were imagining it just keeping their activities quiet without actually alerting the targets of the spell. (Their sneaking skills are terrible - I'm expecting some Three Stooges style action.)

I was picturing the fortress on high alert and couldn't see a way for them to succeed. But your post gives me plenty of ideas on why they could still be in a lax defensive position. In fact, if they do surveil Thistletop during the day, I'll let them watch the place go from high alert to goblin shenanigans over time. The island will look crazily tough in the morning, but by afternoon there will be the bird game and the pickles. By evening maybe they'll watch a goblin set another goblin on fire for fun. They'll get a chance to watch goblin psychology in motion. Fun stuff.

Thanks for taking the time to reply!


Spoilers Ahoy ---

At the end of our last session, the party had cleared out all the threats in the goblin tunnels leading to Thistletop. Gogmurt managed to send off the animal messenger to alert Ripnugget, but he did it off-screen so the players are unaware a warning was passed.

They actually spared Gogmurt in the end, who ran off to the south after providing the party with a lot of intel about the fortress on Thistletop. He didn't mention the bridge trap, though. He also claimed zero knowledge of what was downstairs, other than "the b!+** Nualia with her messed up arm." He blamed all his misfortune on her.

Night was falling and the party was spent on spells, so they decided to move off to a safe distance and make camp. They'll return the following night after sunset to make a nighttime raid.

They are four characters: A monk, a cleric, a druid (with a velociraptor companion), and a ranger. They all have lowlight vision or darkvision. I've decided there is a half moon. There will also be a lot of fog. I'm unsure how to run this combination as far as visibility.

I'm also unsure just how alerted to make Thistletop. They will have found a lot of dead and looted goblin bodies in the tunnels, and will have noticed the conspicuous absence of Gogmurt. They'll also know that Gogmurt signaled a retaliatory attack from Sandpoint. But it has also been a full 24 hours since that warning. Perhaps they'll think the raiders got the vengeance they came for and were daunted by the sight of an easily defensible bridge leading to an armed fortress, and went home? Or perhaps they'll be anticipating the nighttime raid.

Would anybody from below be tasked with reporting to the surface and providing additional muscle in defense? Bruthazmus, perhaps? Would some of the defenders of the fortress be sent out to defend the approach in the tunnels?

When there is a battle on the surface, I'm unclear how well sound travels to the subterranean levels. Are people downstairs going to immediately hear that there's a struggle, or is the stone thick enough that they will be oblivious?

Any other thoughts you think I should be thinking?

I've got almost two weeks to prepare - our next session is 1/21/17.


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Could you be any more awesome?

No. No you could not. You are legend. Thanks for completing this amazing thing.


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shadowkras wrote:
It hurts my suspension of disbelief that someone is willing to pay for all those small-sized dogslicers and short bows.

I can totally imagine finding buyers - just not at a shop in town. Take a pile of dogslicers out to the home base of a tribe of goblins and you'll be their favorite arms dealer. It's all about finding the right buyer.

Actually, I wonder.... What if the PCs collected all the dogslicers and horseslicers they could, and then brought them along when they visited Thistletop? They could pose as arms dealers and get invited inside!

Not that this sounds like a GOOD idea, but I bet it's an original one...


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CorvusMask wrote:
Imagine all of the goblins trying to carry a horse and putting way too much effort into it. Much funnier than "boo doesn't make sense, skip" :D

I totally agree. I think the horse is great idea specifically BECAUSE it is so illogical. It's easy to forget how crazy the goblins are. That one would concoct this plan and convince enough others to help is just perfectly gobliny.


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You. Are. Amazing. My group is just finishing up the first chapter of the first book, and they've already got a couple things written on their character sheets as loot that they haven't appraised yet, like the silver earrings from Glass & Wrath. I was going to have to hunt them down in the book and try to figure out where they came from. But now I don't need to!

I've been reading a lot of (very) old threads today, like, from 2007. So when I got to the end of this one I thought "Oh no! He never finished it!" And then I realized that this is actually an ongoing thing right now. I'm so lucky to be running at the right time!

Thanks for sharing the fruits of your obviously debilitating mental illness with us. It's amazing that this is coming from somebody who isn't even running it. You, sir, are an insane saint among the insane.


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Ninja in the Rye wrote:
Plastic grid sheets?

From ArcKnight. They're amazing. Their online shop is terrible at showing how great they are, so first I'll point you to their Kickstarter where they have great videos and lots of details: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1534484023/clear-map-grids

Once you've looked at that and begun to realize that nobody could ever possibly live without this thing that nobody's ever heard of, here's the store where you can find them for sale now: http://arcknight.squarespace.com/shop

Enjoy. :)


ghostofafrog wrote:
Hey, If i wanted to print these maps, (particularly the GlassWorks one) how big would I need to make the paper to get the 1-inch-square grid that the players could put their pawns on?

I like to use a program called Big Print, which you can get here: https://woodgears.ca/bigprint/

It's meant for woodworkers who want to print full-scale templates to affix to boards for cutting, but it's amazingly useful for printing big maps. Most of the maps I've found in this thread are already to right scale if you just print them with Big Print, but it also allows you to adjust the scale with great accuracy.

It costs $22, but it's well-worth it to me. I use it every week. I have some transparent plastic grid sheets. So I print the maps on however many pages they take, cut off the margins with a paper cutter, assemble and tape them, and then keep them in a stack. When needed, I grab the fullsize map I need, throw it on the table and cover it with a grid sheet, and I'm ready to go.


Wow. I just picked up a pristine copy of the Anniversary Edition at a garage sale. I'm really excited because I've wished for a long time I could run this AP but didn't like that it wasn't standard PF rules. Didn't even know this version existed.

So I thought, I bet there's an errata thread on the forums. Holy cow! Whatta thread! You guys are awesome!

And that two-part compiled list comes out to 25 pages. Incredible.

Thankfully, I'd already decided to commit the sacrilege of using the book like a would a regular paperback module by writing notes right in it and highlighting and so forth. I'll spend the time making all these changes right in the book. I just hope there's still room for notes! :)


It looks like you are needing a more detailed weather map kind of thing than this, but maybe you can find it helpful:
http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2q8if?Weather-sunrise-sunset-moonrise-moonset-p hase#1


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I was looking at pictures of Tengu, and was struck by how much they look like plague doctors. In fact, I'd be surprised if I found out that they weren't inspired by plague doctors. And that gave me another idea.

To foreshadow them a bit, a trapper at Oleg's will mention that he suspects there's Plague to the south. He was hunting down there when he saw, way off in the distance, three plague doctors conferring with one another. And there would be no reason for a plague doctor to be wearing his plague doctoring outfit if there wasn't a plague. And there were three of them so it must be pretty bad. So, upon seeing them, he hightailed it north to get away from plague country.

Of course, what he saw were three Tengu. He just didn't get a close enough look to realize he was seeing monsters.


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In the absence of the Stag Lord, Davik Nettles' story needs to be reworked.

My thoughts:

When Davik set up his crossing, he brought his wife with him. As time passed she became pregnant. A few days after his daughter was born the priestesses of Gyronna came in the night and stole away the infant, replacing her with a beastly little demon creature.

Suspecting the cult, Davik set off to find his daughter. In his absence, the Murder Hag (as the high priestess shall be known - perfect for the leader of a bunch of crow people who follow Gyronna) paid his wife a visit.

She told lies about Davik and, with a mixture of psychology and magic, turned Davik's wife against him. She was convinced that the loss of their daughter was Davik's fault. When Davik returned from his unsuccessful search his wife lured him out to the bridge and surprised him with a knife. In the struggle, they were both badly wounded and fell into the water to drown.

The loss of his daughter and the betrayal by his wife drove his spirit insane and he has returned in his current form to seek vengeance upon the Murder Hag.

The cries and squeals of the orphaned demon infant drew the attention of fey who whisked him away to the First World and raised him there for their own dark purposes. (dun dun dun!)


This prompted me to look through the forums for Gyronna-related stuff. I came across the thread questioning why Gyronna cultists would have a great big fort when they normally just have piles of rocks for shrines. It was suggested there that the original cultists there were heretics for which they received Gyronna's curse and became zombies. I like that.

So... what heresy would require the original cult to have a fort??

Perhaps the fort was already there and abandoned when the original cult found it. The failed defense of some long-forgotten general. The Gyronnists used it for shelter and set up a small shrine inside. Taking up residence there, they restored it. Finding themselves inside a reasonably defensible fortress, after a generation or two they turned their eyes to conquest and neglected their goddess in favor of riches and power. They began saying that their goddess required things that she never communicated to them - she began to be used as an excuse for whatever the leaders wanted. Their power began to spread, Gyronna got jealous, and she smote them all. And the fortress fell back into disuse.

The Pengu, knowing the history, decided to reconsecrate the place and try to gain favor with their goddess by using the fortress as a foundation to build what they hope will eventually become a pilgrimage site, capable of housing the faithful visitors as well as serving as a base for traveling evangelists.

How Gyronna will feel about this is not yet known since they've only just begun. But I'm thinking it will annoy her. When the PCs come and wipe the place out, they may gain the favor of Gyronna for a while. Which would be a bit awkward - Lawful Good and Lawful Neutral people with the favor of a Chaotic Evil goddess will have some internal conflict to resolve...


Ooooh! Instead of the Stag Lord and his human bandits taking over the abandoned monastery and making it their fort, the Tengu cultists of Gyronna are there to revive it.

Maybe some of the human bandit gangs are looking for chances to abduct sacrifices to sell to the Gyronna-worshipping Tengu. Captured members of those gangs would know enough about the cult's activities that getting inside the fort will once again be possible. Instead of posing as people who belong there, they would need to pose as bandits with an abduction victim to sell. They get brought inside the walls and can begin their murderhobo activites.

It would be worth it just for the look of confusion on the player's faces when they see a bunch of obviously avian-related priestesses with pet cats....

You've just added a whole new subplot to my Kingmaker! Thanks!

Mashall


I'm now thinking I'll be keeping human bandits around, but they won't be organized. They are outlaws hiding in the Stolen Lands and stealing from farms and such whenever they get the chance. A particular large gang of them will be the ones robbing Oleg, but even those guys are just in it for themselves.

Most of them will know about the Tengu incursion to the south, and they will not be welcome in Tengu territory. The Tengu have set up at the fort and are preparing an attempt to take over the same area as the PCs, but working from the south instead of the north.


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My other big change will be replacing the Sootscale Kobalds with Dread Gnomes. Not because of any change needed to the plot, but because once I thought of "The Office of Gnomeland Security" I knew I had to use it.


OldManJim, it's in Varnhold Vanishing (book three of the AP), starting on page 64.

It's neat stuff. Too high level to introduce during Stolen Land (book one), which is where I am, but definitely good for later.

M


Hmmm. The undead river encounter. Nice idea. I'm picturing lots of dead Pengu and lots of Pengu afraid of that whole part of the river. :)

Excellent point about the infiltration of the fort as a human bandit. Not sure why they wouldn't use the gate, though - they can't fly.

The first time I ran it, the infiltration gambit actually made the entire fort a little too easy. I'm thinking maybe removing that as an option might be a good side effect of using Pengu.

On the other hand, it might be too much of a good thing. It's hard to imagine a really good alternative plan. I guess maybe bringing lots of food and water and laying seige might be effective. But it would also expose them to lots of random encounters.

Not sure. I'll have to focus on that and find a way to keep the climax encounter fair. I like that it's made harder, but it might be made too hard...

m


Silkenray, thank you thank you thank you. This is an amazing piece.

I've printed it out on parchment, cut each page to size, and bound it with old string. It looks gorgeous. A perfect prop.

m


Thank you for the thoughts and ideas.

The Pengu have grown on me. As much as I'd like to have the Stag Lord equivalent call himself the Raven King, the recent showing of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell on BBC America would make it look like I was stealing a little too hamhandedly from there - which is unfortunate because it's exactly what I would have called him even without seeing or reading JS&MN.

Instead, I believe he will be The Murder Father. (Taken from the collective noun "murder of crows" and a twist on the Native American myth of the Crow Mother.) Instead of a helm he'll have a pair of ceremonial wings carrying the same enchantments as the Stag Lord's helm.

I also like the idea of making them river bandits. That works as well for Pengu as for human bandits, and makes a lot more sense than the cross country bandits as written. They could set large nets across the rivers, dropping them to allow passage only after tolls have been negotiated. And they could similarly control fords.

Kyudoka's ideas of making the bandits mercenaries for the River Kingdoms or Issia also work fine with Pengu, and I think I'll work that in too.

Thanks for the inspirations!

Mr. G.


I started KM with some friends and my wife. We got as far as finishing The Stolen Lands, and then I moved to another state, killing the game. Now we have some new friends to run though KM, hopefully all the way this time, but I need to change up The Stolen Lands so that my wife isn't just playing the whole same adventure a second time.

Most of the details are pretty easy to swap out for other things, but I need to do something new with the bandits and they're a pretty huge part of the module.

Thinking about them, there are a couple odd things. The whole area is practically unpopulated. Supposedly a whole gang of bandits is making a living robbing.... trees? The nearest big target for them is Oleg's, but it's really far to the north for a regular job. I'm thinking it would make sense to replace them with something similar that doesn't actually rely on having a lot of people around like bandits do.

Enter the Tengu. They set up a roost at the fort just like the Stag Lord and, like the bandits, they found Olegs and are regularly robbing him. Unlike the bandits, they aren't really terribly reliant on thievery - it's just a handy way to get shiny things. They are populating the area, and so can be run into practically anywhere, like the bandits, but they don't have to have a terribly strong reason to be there.

They are human-like enough to be parleyed with like bandits, but inhuman enough that the idea of going and clearing out an infestation of them isn't necessarily going to look like an evil act as long as the Tengu are attacking and robbing humans from time to time.

And their stats are similar enough to the bandits that it's nearly a one-to-one replacement.

Has anybody done anything like this? How did it go?

Any comments or suggestions on things I may not have considered?

m


In an attempt to flee a battle an NPC mounts a light horse. He has the ride skill. Before he gets the horse moving he is reduced to zero hitpoints. Thus, he is staggered. Can he stay in the saddle and have the horse gallop away? Does the jostling reduce him to -1? Does he fall? What happens?

And, does the ride skill even enter into it? Would a non-skilled rider be treated the same way?

Thanks,
m


Not sure if the OPS crack was aimed at me or the OP, but in case it was me: Nothing could be further from the truth.


Who needs a rogue in Kingmaker?

My group has only had three players until now - a fourth player will be joining us in the next session.

Until now they've had a healer, a caster, and a tank. Now they have a chance to get a rogue, but they've decided on a ranger instead since they've never had a single opportunity to need a rogue.

Besides, they are supposed to become the leaders of a kingdom. Tough to appoint a felon as chancellor.


While relieving his bladder onto a prisoner being interrogated, the party sorcerer waxed poetic: "I dream of building a kingdom based on the premise that nobody shall ever be pissed upon again. Unless they really deserve it."


Whisperer In the Green
Voice of Souls
Enslaver of Voices
That Fey B*~%# What Killed Me Wife!


I posted this in the Stolen Land forum last night, but realized this morning it's more appropriate here since it spans the whole series. So apologies if you've seen it already - it's too late for me to delete it there.
----

I had an interesting thought this month and have decided to run with it. My players have just begun. They chased off the bandits at Olegs, randomly encountered a group of Grigs, met Bokken, dealt with radish-defending kobalds, and discovered the giant trapdoor spider.

I'm thinking that here, at the beginning, is a good place to foreshadow that something is going on that's big.

So I started thinking about Nyrissa and her goals. She wants to steal the Stolen lands and bottle them up. It isn't explained terribly well exactly how that works. There are dribs and drabs, and the mechanics of how you tear a giant swath of land out of its dimension aren't terribly important, so it's okay that they aren't perfectly addressed.

But I thought of a way to address it and add good foreshadowing at the same time.

On very rare occasions (like, just once per book!) the PCs will see a metallic sphere doing something up in the air. They may see light being projected out of it onto what seems to be an invisible wall. They may see it sprout an articulated metal arm wielding a shining instrument like a small knife as it seems to cut the air, leaving a line of black scar floating there for a few seconds before sealing. Perhaps they see it doing the same kinds of things on the ground. If it senses them watching, it will cut a hole in the air and float into it, disappearing as the hole heals behind it.

If it turns to them, they will see that one side of it is blackened and dented.

This is an enslaved modron, given to Nyrissa as a gift from an ardent follower of hers some time ago. The one who gave it to her stole it from Regulus (Mechanis, whatever you want to call it these days), and selectively destroyed parts of it, removing its freewill and disabling any communication with other modrons and anchoring it to this dimension. Nyrissa is using its abilities to weaken the connection the Stolen Lands have with this dimension so that it can be more easily uprooted.

Of course, the players never need know any of that. They will simply know that a damaged modron is working in the area on something. They are knowledgeable players and will know that modrons tend to work on repairing rifts in the fabric of space.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
kwade1076 wrote:
Something like this maybe?

You, sir, are a beautiful man. Don't let all those naysayers tell you any different.


Has anybody created a graphic for the "map" recovered from the trap door spider's lair? It's described as "a scrap of paper [...] that bears a simple drawing of a claw-shaped dead tree atop an otherwise barren hill, with a red 'X' scrawled in blood by the tree's roots."

That begs to be a handout, but I have the artistic ability of an epileptic hamster.

Anybody?


3 people marked this as a favorite.

I had an interesting thought this month and have decided to run with it. My players have just begun. They chased off the bandits at Olegs, randomly encountered a group of Grigs, met Bokken, dealt with radish-defending kobalds, and discovered the giant trapdoor spider.

I'm thinking that here, at the beginning, is a good place to foreshadow that something is going on that's big.

So I started thinking about Nyrissa and her goals. She wants to steal the Stolen lands and bottle them up. It isn't explained terribly well exactly how that works. There are dribs and drabs, and the mechanics of how you tear a giant swath of land out of its dimension aren't terribly important, so it's okay that they aren't perfectly addressed.

But I thought of a way to address it and add good foreshadowing at the same time.

On very rare occasions (like, just once per book!) the PCs will see a metallic sphere doing something up in the air. They may see light being projected out of it onto what seems to be an invisible wall. They may see it sprout an articulated metal arm wielding a shining instrument like a small knife as it seems to cut the air, leaving a line of black scar floating there for a few seconds before sealing. Perhaps they see it doing the same kinds of things on the ground. If it senses them watching, it will cut a hole in the air and float into it, disappearing as the hole heals behind it.

If it turns to them, they will see that one side of it is blackened and dented.

This is an enslaved modron, given to Nyrissa as a gift from an ardent follower of hers some time ago. The one who gave it to her stole it from Regulus (Mechanis, whatever you want to call it these days), and selectively destroyed parts of it, removing its freewill and disabling any communication with other modrons and anchoring it to this dimension. Nyrissa is using its abilities to weaken the connection the Stolen Lands have with this dimension so that it can be more easily uprooted.

Of course, the players never need know any of that. They will simply know that a damaged modron is working in the area on something. They are knowledgeable players and will know that modrons tend to work on repairing rifts in the fabric of space.


I used to do the random weather thing, but it adds a lot of verisimilitude to have realistic weather.


And, unless your players are ludicrously detailed in their notes and positively psychotic about analyzing session notes from long ago, they'd never notice if you just repeat these three years over and over for however long your campaign goes. ;)

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