Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
Having him enhance it was what I had planned - he wasn't going to get whole artifact at one go. My end decision was to just tell him to look for something else, because it's too complicated to construct.
A player in my Wrath of the Righteous campaign would like to get a Staff of Eldritch Sovereignty. I thought it would be interesting to chart it out as a legendary item, which he would complete at Tier 10.
I'm looking for advice on how to go through the upgrading process to put some of the more awesome spells and mythic abilities into the staff, as in which things should be major artifact legendary item boons, minor, etc?
Toby Rogers wrote:
I used something similar to start my current campaign. I wanted to begin with something exciting - I run a police procedural, and didn't want the first encounters to be the investigation and stuff.
So, I plunked them into the In Media Res combat at full health. Anything they used was then considered 'spent' when we went back to the beginning and did a "how-did-I-get-here" story. So, during the first combat of the backstory, the rogue's daily was spent and (character-wise) he just didn't use it.
If you aren't intending to do a "how-did-I-get-here" backstory, just tell them they've been fighting. Perhaps tell them they've spent two healing surges, and go from there? or even no surges?
The gaming group that I play with has decided to start offering some Pathfinder Society adventures. Our first will be on June 4th, when we'll be running Pathfinder #4: The Frozen Fingers of Midnight.
We do our event sign up through warhorn: http://www.warhorn.org/GamesAndStuffLFR/.
While we primarily do LFR stuff, we're branching out, and everyone is welcome.
You could consider the Viktor Saint DeMaine trilogy of adventures in Dungeon. Set in Eberron (Sharn), with a 5-10 range.
I wanted to make a quick post about the Pathfinder to 4e conversion site I'm writing up. The site is Dungeon Monkey's conversion wiki.
The website is kind of a thought-experiment for me, since I don't have a 4e group to DM for right now (my group passive-aggressively resists a 4e switch).
Anyway, comments and suggestions are welcome. I hope that this is allowed; if there's a problem, let me know.
I was wondering if anyone has started converting anything of this great adventure over into the new 4th Edition rules. I will be running this adventure and plan on converting it over. If anyone does have some of it done and would like to share please feel free to email me. If anyone else would like to help again feel free to email me. I will gladly share anything that I have.
My plan is to convert it (and possibly RotRL too) because I want to have a goal for parsing the books. However, I don't have them yet.
I know that a lot of other people have replied, and I haven't read all of them. Here's my suggestion (in my rambling style): Decide, in a meta-game fashion, how much money you'd like them to get from it as usable income. That's how much they get per 'period'. A good period is weekly, monthly, quarterly. If it's weekly, they get say, 1/50th or so of it. If it's monthly, they get 1/10th or 1/12 or so. If it's quarterly, they get 1/4th of it. Give them/Provide them with/etc a majordomo to administer their properties and get them the money regularly. Unless they are really interested in the minutia of the simulation.
Give them some options for improving the area-Recovering an old dwarven mine that fell to some dark threat ages ago, perhaps negotiating a trade route for some diplomancy/bluff/skill challenge excitement.
As DM, you decide, in a metagame fashion, what challenges they are going to face, what rewards they get from them, etc. Do that here, and save yourself a lot of economy simulation. Of course, if you enjoy that part, other posters have useful information.
Soccer Zone wrote:
1. Our party consists of a NE druid, a CE ninja and a LE monk.
That seems to be your primary problem. All the others (except #3) seem to flow from that.
Soccer Zone wrote:
2. When the player recovered the blue Nixie they demanded more money saying "we could sell this ship on the black market for more gp" and it took some out of game "persuasion" to get the to accept 500 gp each.
It's unlikely that they could even sell it on the black market - it's a little big and noticable...
Soccer Zone wrote:
5. The ninja (and his player) hates anything constant (thus he has refused Lavinia's offer to become her bodyguards and troubleshooters, will probably not join the lotus dragons and hate Lavinia because shes a permanent employer).
It seems like he's playing CE rather well to me....
Soccer Zone wrote:
6. When the players first met Vanthus they basically said "just another obstacle in our path" and did not hate him in the least (so I cant motivate them there).
If the players have attachments, etc, then Vanthus could make it personal. IMC, one of the players owns a bar and the Lotus Dragons tried to torch it. That sort of thing.
Soccer Zone wrote:
What can I do to motivate these players (and their characters).
I seriously doubt you actually can motivate the characters to continue the adventure path. If the players hate the NPCs and/or situation, it's a lost cause. The adventures in Savage Tide seem to require an element of selflessness that evil PCs are unlikely to be able to muster. Also, given the way they've treated Lavinia (#3 could reasonably be taken in-game as "the druid is always leering at Lavinia"), do you think she'd want to hire them?
I'm going to venture that your campaign is already off-the-rails. I'd suggest having Lavinia cut ties with them and let them do some no-adventure path stuff, since they want to accumulate wealth and rampage around. Perhaps the players will work out their evil character urges and be willing to pick up as a more responsible, non-evil group of adventures that Lavina hires for more reliable service....
Like Niko, in my group we made it through the AoW, although it was a real drag toward the end. I didn't have the PCs allies help as much as Niko did, but they turned up somewhat.We did skip a number of combat encounters. Some I combined, some I let the PCs diplomasize their way through.
The campaign was very high powered, I thought. My party used a number of WotC splat books (including the Tome of Battle, which was a significant part of the party's power). It seems that the bad guys were ramped up to deal with the power-creep of late 3.5. If the PCs didn't have access to a lot of the spells that they did, or the Tome of Battle for the primary fighter, I can seem several occasions were the party could have TPK'd.
Well, the PCs don't know (or have you told them?) how long it will take Kyuss to emerge. Perhaps every time an Angel or Knight goes down, the worms shudder/flinch as if rebuked or slowed by the death of the minion. You can adjudicate it so that the PCs don't know how long he has left to emerge, until there's only zero to two? minions left.
I suggest (strongly) depriving him of his spontaneous clerical casting, and using the provided clerical spell list. It's hard enough on them that he has ~12 Time Stops. Letting him Time Stop -> Harm, Harm, Harm will hurt them a lot.
Rather than Manzorian show up with the Sphere, you could have Celeste show up. He's locking the area down with Dimension Lock, but noticed / foresaw them having trouble (he's an epic wizard, after all) and was able to spare Celeste to aid them.
As a few others have mentioned, having clerics of the temples show up and help doesn't seem too Deus Ex Machina. Perhaps if they are sufficiently lower than the PCs, they'll be useless in the actual fight, but enough to keep Kyuss from fully pressing his attack on the PCs? Or, just providing Heals, Mass Cures, etc and summoned monsters to slow Kyuss down?
Well, I made a couple of mistakes during the AoW campaign myself - nothing so dramatic, but still. So, I gave extra XP for the encounters that I overdid, etc. I generally owned up, but since the PCs still won the battle, it wasn't a problem.In your case, I'd say that owning up is probably not the best idea since they lost. You can give them extra XP if you want, or up the treasure in the next adventure or two by ~20%. If they lost a significant sum of money (as in, they are considerably less effective because of the monetary problems), then weaken the next set of monsters.
Rob Bastard wrote:
I'm afraid your gonna have to decrease some of your items' power in order to "stick rigidly" to that rule. Don't forget that when "stacking" magic items, you need to multiply the cost of additional items by 1.5 (more if it uses a different body slot than normal). For instance, your cloak actually retails for 48,000 (24,000 + [16,000*1.5]).
In the Magic Items Compendium, WotC revised their magic item rules for adding a set of bonuses to items:
so that they are regular price regardless of the original item's enchantment (it doesn't affect the o. i. price either). So the Greatsword and cloak seem okay (although I'm not sure that Nat.Armor is appropriate for a sword....)
Skull Head wrote:
Charles is right about the arcane + divine bonuses overlapping. Also, I agree with Charles about the fact he needs to be tipped off before buffing.
During my experience, he kicked my PCs butts pretty badly (killing one via Destruction, I think, who was then brought back via Revivify or something similar - I was pretty loose with those spells). His guys helping him certain made it difficult, as did the Blade Barriers that I seem to remember. I considered my PCs at that point underpowered for the given adventure, but only a bit (5 PCs, 1 level below the suggested range).
Allen Stewart wrote:
For starters, can Kyuss be harmed while in his monolith? (I recognize that the Monolith itself is invulnerable). Can he retreat back into the Monolith during the fight to heal up in safety?
I believe that the intention was yes, he could be harmed. That's how I ran it, although it didn't occur to my players to attack him (they buffed instead).
Allen Stewart wrote:
WHY the insane limitation against Kyuss acting against the PC's on the first round following his emergence from the prison? What purpose does this serve other than getting him killed? How have other GM's dealt with this limitation, other than disregarding it entirely (which is what I'm likely to do)?
I considered it him taking a one-round action to emerge from the monolith. I.E., his action starts in the first round and finishs just before his action in the second round.
I'm afraid I don't have answers for the other questions, though.
I don't have it in front of me, but I'm pretty sure that Dieties and Demigods indicates that his Fire Resistance should be 36 (which would make the 6 an unfortunate typo): base of 35 + 1 per point of divine rank.
Why the gods are specifically resistant to fire is a bit odd, though.
Allen Stewart wrote:
You were Far Too Easy on your players.
Perhaps, but it seemed like a lot of fun for the players, and certainly was fun for me.
Derek Poppink wrote:
Thanks for a great write up! My AoW campaign is on hold following the Champion's Games, but I hope it will return sometime in the next year.
In my campaign, we took a break after Champion's Belt, too. We were going through a player shake up, and I wanted to give DMing a break (as I mentioned above, it was my unretiring). My wife ran a short, two adventure campaign arc for 1st level PCs. This let me play an actual PC and helped introduce two new players to the group.
In game, I said several months passed as the PCs enjoyed their time in the sun for saving the Free City (Sharn).
Christopher West wrote:
Then I had Manzorian offer to let them draw from his Deck of Many Things. (I picked up the Green Ronin accessory and thought this would be a great time and place to introduce it.)
I got one from Paizo and used it before Library of Last Resort. Wasn't too bad, except it turned the NG Druid NE, and caused his animal companion to turn against him.
Christopher West wrote:
Anyway, so now I need to retool my Age of Worms campaign to accelerate the final chapters, or maybe skip over some parts. (I don't want the PCs hitting epic levels before they face the finale.)
Well, in addition to removing some encounters as suggested above, put the PCs on a time crunch. Let them know, in some of the adventures, that the enemy is considerably ahead of them. Maybe the harbinger is about to escape? Maybe Brazzamel is about to get the phylactary?
Thanks for the tips! I am thinking about having him summon an Iron G as you suggested. I might give them one round to go off before he manifests, but definitely not 2 lol
In my session, it didn't matter much. They spent the two rounds preparing themselves, not getting free blows in. Plus, as long as Kyuss has his spontaneous cleric spells (his most powerful feature), he can Time Stop, for 2-5 rounds, and use four actions to quicken-harm and harm himself.As long as he's alive when he gets to go, he can get himself back to near full HP.
Any words of advice, highlights, warnings, etc. for those DM's that are still running early adventures?
I can give what I remember, but only in the form of a rambling post! It would be an epic poem or a series of limericks, but I'm not very good at Englishing.
I'll clarify anything I'm confusing about. I've just rambled for over an hour writing the below stuff...
The first thing I noticed is that the enemies in AoW pump out a massive amount of damage. My players (other than the archer) didn't really bother investing in armor, so the statted up monsters near the end had virtually no miss chance most of the time. Beware the end affect of some of the beasties getting a full-round attack action against a PC. The barbarian managed to get a full round from Dragotha, Maralel, Kyuss, and a few others. Pretty scary, and the maths....
Around level 15 or so, I got seriously tired of rolling so many damn dice. My work-around was to do averages, and to let my players do the same. Ex: 10d6 = 35 damage, 10d8 = 45. So, when the archer's fullisade of arrows hit someone, the 5d8 + 20d6 + XX became 5d8 + 70 + XX. This was particularly helpful with Dragotha and Kyuss (breath weapon and engulf, respectively).
The PCs get a number of wishes late in the game (The ring of three wishes, the three scrolls of wish, maybe some others?). The magic item use of wish is wonky, so I limit it to a 25,000 gp magic item (or a 25,000 gp improvement to a magic item). Given the very short time frame of the last adventure, those wishes were used to get important magic item improvements done, and yesterday!
I inserted some more diplomacy things, where certain fights could be avoided, because it felt like the last couple were too combat heavy (but see below). I wound up skipping a lot of fights in Dawn of a New Age, because running an 8 spellcaster battle against my PCs (who have saves high enough that the casters aren't much of a threat) would be very tiring for me.....
I seem to run a really brutal campaign (I don't know if that's me or the adventures, since AoW was my coming-out-of-retirement campaign), so I was pretty lavish with the awesome magical items:
Boons are personal, use/command-word, slotless "staffs" that allow the user to use a set of spells / abilities on a 20 charge scale. They're from the Advanced Gamemaster's Guide (I believe). They recharge on some schedule that was longer than the rest of the campaign.
Let's see now... for earlier adventures:
The battle was pretty hard. Despite the adventure write-up, I did not power-down Kyuss when the PCs arrived. He still took 2 rounds to emerge, though. The players were somewhat tired from fighting Maralel and Lashonna, but they were out of time and couldn't rest.
Kyuss was able to do a significant amount of scaring the players. The rogue/wizard had the staff of the magi, and had it on absorbing mode. I decided to have Kyuss try to overload the staff with quickened dispel magics, just because it's funny to think about.
The PCs had absurdly high saves at this point, not in the least because I kept missing the dispel check to remove Mass Conviction. As a result, the direct effects of Kyuss's spells didn't happen. The fact that he kept throwing around Time Stop and Imprisonment scared the PCs.
He kept throwing the worm onto the archer (who's force enchantment got around the DR) and the wizard (who kept summoning healing with the staff of the magi).
His first attack with his mace was 20-20-17, insta-killing the party's warblade. As before, when the warblade lost her head to a vorpal sword, I allowed Delay death to keep her from dying, but she was incapacitated. The other attacks hit the rest of the party. During the wizard's round, he dispelled the Cowl (I put them at CL 20), and I realized that the mace was vorpal. Awesome! Next round, full attack includes a critical hit with a natural 20, vorpalling the gated solar. Against, delay death.
For the PCs, it became essential to dispel the Cowl so that anyone not holding the Rod of Law could actually hit Kyuss's AC.
During the finale, the PCs realized inherently that they could detonate their boons as a Staff of the Magi's retributive strike. The warblade was first, because the PC's actions reflect the player's dedicated CN alignment. When she detonated, the party saw that Kyuss was stunned (following the Hand of Vecna rules). The barbarian was next. They actually wound up on other planes. The cleric cast Miracle to try to bring them back, which succeeded. On his next turn, the cleric (who was the last member to have one) used his. He was actually a Risen Martyr (Exalted PrC) and his purpose was defeating Kyuss. His destruction was enough that Kyuss was defeated.
I am hoping for an opening round from Kyuss that will put a huge hurt on their egos :)
Are you going to give them the two rounds that it takes for Kyuss to pull himself out of the Monolith?
My Kyuss did not lose his divinity, because I'm a DM that likes running tough battles for the PCs.
If you swap one of his 9th level wizard spells out, you can put in Prismatic Sphere or Disjunction. Disjunction will totally debuff them without making caster level checks. Prismatic Sphere will provide him an excellent (and mostly safe) place to rest while Harming himself. Particularly if you use Summon Elemental Monolith as a 9th level cleric spell during a Time Stop and then retreat within the Prismatic Sphere while controlling it.
Throwing worms onto people (since it's a free action) will help - hit spellcasters as much as possible, because they'll have to waste their spell action to remove it.
Possibly swap a 7th level Wizard spell for Force Cage to hinder their actions.
As a side note: Don't forget that his Executioner's Mace is vorpal. A PC and a called Solar lost their heads to it (The PC had also lost her head to one of the Eyrines Devils earlier in the same manner).
Chris Salvato wrote:
Any advice, shortcuts, references, tips, or cheat sheets would be appreciated.
When my group went through, they didn't do any exploration of the Cenoby before Ekaym provided his information - that's probably due to the fact that my PCs joined for different reasons.That said, they are unlikely to explore before the first match, since they have the first match the day immediately after the pre-games party. My players elected to explore during the day off.
As other people have mentioned in other threads, when the PCs get to the cleric dude (Bozal?), swap his Harm for Blade Barrier.
During the party, my PCs (who aren't RP-heavy) didn't do too much mingling. They did a bit of betting (make sure that it's available to them). The more they bet (on themselves, in theory), the more they'll have invested in winning and the more they'll (try to) avoid getting caught in an area that could expel them.
Just a quick question for those who've gotten to / past this adventure:
Having just run the battle with Brazzamel, I thought I could contribute a bit: Grappling, especially with the Snatch feat.
That's one of the things they are discussing on the message board! The cost of hiring of the crew, what sort of cargo they want to carry, and all of the costs involved. I think they planned on paying for it themselves already. I suppose once I told them Lavinia planned to finance the voyage they may not ask her to pay for the use of her ship.
One thing I'm planning to do when I get the chance to run the Savage Tide adventure path is offer the PCs a stake in the adventure:
I can't really afford to pay you up front, but I can offer each of you a share in the venture. After we establish contact with the colony, it should begin to pay-off rather quickly.
Lavinia could offer more than one share each, and could give the PCs the opportunity to invest in more if they wish.Purchasing a share costs 1,000 gp (Whatshisname Miravachi has several dozen or more; it's not really necessary to go into much detail as long as his investment is at least 60% of the investment) and returns 20 gp a week after the venture takes off - basically when the ships successfully make it to the colony. They wouldn't know ahead of time the return on it, though.
This would let them get 'paid' for the transport without getting money up front. It might also help get them more invested in the business of running the colony and more likely to do stuff for the colony without direct payment.
Improvements in the colony could also increase the weekly return, if you wanted to do that.
I thought I'd share how Kongen-Thulnir is shaping up in my Eberron campaign. Tilagos was located in the Bitter Sea, north of Karrnath, and Kongen-Thulnir is/was hidden in the cliffs of the Gorodra Gap in the Mhor Holds.
Kongen-Thulnir was a colony of the Giant's empire in Xen'drik so many eons ago. When Xen'drik was shattered, the colony was cut off from help against the various regional problems. The city prevailed, but the limited population of giants brought an increased dependence on Warforged. When the last mortal ruler was deposed 2,500 years ago, the warforged began to rule themselves.
The giants of Kongen-Thulnir are Large and Huge sized Warforged. These warforged are different from the standard warforged, because they are larger, lack the branding symbol of House Cannith, and take real names, not the general action-verb name. Game effect: None, I'm going to use the standard Giant stats for them. Perhaps give them 25% fortification? These giants are much more LN and TN.
Kranathanos, the mad titan, it turns out, was a despotic ruler of Kongen-Thulnir for a long while, until the druids freed the city from him.
The PCs arrived at Kongen-Thulnir before the dragons, and so had some time to wander around and talk with the residents. The city consists of the warforged giant nobility, and medium sized warforged (some of which have House Cannith brands, but not all) and a large, varied selection of mortals. The same ritual that protects the city (including from teleport/dimensional travel in) has the subtle effect of finding people throughout the world who'd like it in Kongen-Thulnir and drawing them there.
Kongen-Thulnir contains a working (although not fully) Creation Forge. Warforged regularly get upgrades. Although the cost is great, a new Warforged can be created. Since it's so expensive, generally it's used for other purposes. With sufficient success, a Warforged can be reconstructed into a larger body, working its way up the ladder (somewhat meritocratic). Reconstruction can optionally erase a personality (essentially, a death penalty). During times of crisis (say, an invasion of dragons) the warforged can go into the forge and get large (temporary) bonuses. These include flight, improved ability to attack, special weapon properties (dragonbane, for instance). Mortal generally believe that the personality erasure is necessary/unavoidable when getting reconstructed-one mortal told the PCs about it and now the warforged barbarian is scared of that. (the WF barb being scared of things is kind of a running joke in my campaign).
After the PCs met with Achaime Silvereye and convinced him to provide them information about the druid's unspecified treasure, the dragons arrived. That was the end of the session.
Ideally, I'd like the PC warforged to find out he was given incorrect information and go in for a boost in the coming battle. I'd like to have a combat inside the forge.
IMC: One of the Giant words for the creatures known as Warforged is Warchild.
I agree with your interpretation of the phrase, "put him up", but I think that the context modifies it some:I remember reading that other buildings (including perhaps the mine-office the PCs start at) were abandoned for so long that there was no record of who owned it in the first place, and therefore it was up for grabs. I assumed the abandoned Observatory fell into the same category.
(I don't have the adventure in front of me...) One thing to consider is that, if I remember it right, the observatory is/was abandoned, i.e., unowned. That means Filge has, at best, squatter's rights, and really no ground to press B&E charges.You can correct that by retconning Smenk's purchase of the Observatory (although that puts his finger prints on it even thicker), or have Smenk forge (or requisition a forging) a title / bill of sale.
Another option is to leave that open for the PCs to use, if they wind up needing the ability to weasel out of the B&E charges Filge might press.
On the plus side, (no books still), I don't think you can animate a body more than once. So, once the dust settles, the PCs can find the Land bodies and re-bury them. Smenk could offer to drop the charges if the PCs do him a couple simple favors: Some side quests to get the PCs up to the appropriate level for 3FoE - it's a bad idea for the PCs to go in under-prepared; followed by the 3FoE thing.
All you really need then is a final show-down with Filge to let the players get their just revenge. It's not another fight against Filge that I'm recommending against, it's another fight against him in the same place under the same circumstances and with the same prize in the balance.
That seems like a good idea. I think I'll find a way to use the Fountain (perhaps through some residual magic within the Fountain?) to do the time travel thing.
My current thought on the chain of events is that Filge persuades the Wild Watchers that the Belt trial is inapplicable and they proceed from there. The one Watcher challenges Filge, and the party returns during that fight (shortly before Filge will defeat and then kill the Watcher). The PCs then have a limited amount of time to stop Filge from completing the fight - the Wild Watchers know that Filge will kill their brother, and would prefer that not to happen.
I've had other things in the campaign happen like this, when the PCs fled a battle or dungeon; when they returned, things had changed:
It's seemed to work pretty well in those cases.
You can probably make it simpler by saying that it autohits (or make it a ranged touch) residents of the last square it stops in. It can hit any number of inanimate objects during its movement.For when it hits someone, you can either take the standard, auto-destruction, or treat it like the new disintegrate (particularly since it seemed based off the old disintegrate): 40d6 damage (maybe save?). If your PCs ever lose control, they'll appreciate it....
I'd suggest you make a ruling that there isn't pressure towards the sphere; otherwise, you have a rather complicated bag of worms.
So, Filge (Darl Quenthos) part I:
The party proceeded to use Commune to ask a couple of questions, which warned them that Filge and his crew were near the portal and planning an ambush. When they got through, the Wild Watchers demanded the two sides fight it out, but that they turn the belt over to the WW, as Filge had done with the Feather. Suspecting a trap, they were unsurprised when one of the WW turned out to be Filge and the other Krekie (who is an artificer IMC). Everyone except the Cleric and the party's archer were Dismissed. The Cleric and archer managed to retrieve the belt before running back to the storm-wracked Tilagos. There, they applied some more buffs and prepared to go back through. Krekie, however, had Dimension Locked the portal. One Dispel Magic later, the party went through and battle was joined. That's when things went downhill.
During the battle, the party's barbarian rolled a 1 against Implosion (and was Revivified immediately, although his prodigious HP was now in the crapper). Next, the party's Warblade failed her save against Destruction. The Filge's Efreet failed his save against Radiant Assault, leaving him dazed. The party's rogue went to town, with Filge having to save the Efreet with Heal. Then, the Efreet came out of daze and full attacked the rogue, tearing him apart.
With one party member annihilated and another in multiple pieces, the party retreated.
In their defense, they killed the Cauchemar Nightmare, both Sinfire twins, and Krekie. The Sinfire twins and Krekie were brought back via wishes (that scared the party). They captured/bird-napped Krekie.
Lessons learned: Save or die spells suck when the players are unlucky. Three Wishes is pretty awesome. Greater Spell Immunity: Holy Word is a must. Don't have the silenced monk move into the center of the party when you're planning to use Blasphemy. Also, Blasphemy + Empowered Ray of Enfeeblement FTW.
The party retreated to Tilagos and then Teleported to a random town in Karrnath. They plan to go to Flamekeep (their presence was requested anyway) and ask the Voice of the Flame to True-Resurrect their slain Warblade.
What do you think Filge would do in the mean time? He's not yet retreated from Tilagos, and it's got to be pissing him off that he can't complete the tasks without the belt the party keeps running away with.