We just finished Hollow's Last Hope and we are transitioning to this module. I really liked all of the added stuff for Falcon's Hollow. Last game night we spent 4 hours just banging around Falcon's Hollow, gathering info, playing 'mig-a-mug-tug' and 'knivsies', with lots of role playing. Having the different factions, some points of interest, and notable NPCs adds just enough to draw the PCs in yet leaves it wide enough open for the DM to really develop their own story. I actually liked that these things were somewhat vage buecause it lets the DM and players fill in the details making it their story and not just following a module's predetermined plot.
Since the games 'mig-a-mug-tug' and 'knivsies' weren't really defined I had to make them up on the spot. Here's what I came up with:
How it works: Players have to buy a drink to enter the game. They head over to the mug-tug bar along the wall and find a team to tug against. Once it's their turn they all climb up to the rafters, one character each stands on 1 rafter. There's only 1 rafter in front of the first person on each team and then the open hole. Every player rolls 1d20 plus whatever modifiers are necessary (we play MicroLITE d20 so we rolled 1d20+Phys+STR) Add up the total for each team, highest number wins that round. Winning team moves back 1 rafter, loosing team moves forward 1 rafter, and start another round. Rounds go untill the front person falls through the middle thus causing the rest of their team to fall. Loosing team now has to go and drink their entire stien... game on! Assign falling DMG accordingly, start applying modifiers as they get more drunk from loosing, let them use spells to power up (besure NPCs power up too if the PCs buff up)
How it works: Players must buy a drink and then sit down at a knivsies table. Essentially each player makes a melee attack roll against themselves if you make your save then you miss your hand but if you fail then you hit your hand (roll for DMG!) and have to drink their entire drink. Keep rolling ATKs and Saves untill someone at the table 'misses' which ends a round.
I actually did build the upper level of Droskar's Crucible. Used mostly World Works Games terrain; specifically Interior Works: Castles & Keeps. Used a lot of bits from other sets like Interior Works: Pubs & Inns and Village Works. Plus some casted bits from Hirst Arts Mold #85.
You can see a lot of photos and how I built it in the links below. Also shot some video of setup, game time, and tear down.
Hope this inspires someone to do the same; it's a lot of fun to game on!
Great adventure and our group had a blast with it. The dog sledding was a great addition and really made for some fun situations. Especially when the party was on it's way back down!
I also took the liberty of making some props that added a lot to the adventure. Here are some pics and descriptions of what I did. Be sure to click on the photo and check out the descriptions for tips on how to do them yourself!
Really hard to nail this down; some groups fly through encounters and knock out modules in a few hours while others take three times as long on the same encounters. My group right now really takes their time on things, there's no rush to the finish line of an adventure, and lots of time spent at the game table having fun that doesn't necessarily directly translate into working to complete an adventure.
Here are some publish adventures we've ran. I would say we are a good estimate on how long it takes to compelte these instead of how short =)
Hangman's Noose (module) took us 3 sessions of 6 hours each.
Tim Hitchcock wrote:
True; but isn't the point of having all of the wonderful art work in the modules so that you can share them and use them as props to paint a more vivid picture?
A module is for more than just the DM; it's for the players too. I want to share with them much of what makes it great which includes the artwork.
Thanks for the links and info.
James points out exactly why I posted this question!
If I were to just point players or other DMs to Paizo.com and say "you can find out bout Patfinder Society and Golarian there" they would end up the same as me; find a few brief descriptions and left wanting.
Perhaps the solution is that we need to be directed toward the proper products. I understand Paizo isn't in the business of giving away everything for free. For example when you click on Pathfinder Society, read the brief description, there could be a link to that new book that's coming out. Or if there was a link under the Pathfinder RPG page to Pathfinder Official Setting - Golarian it would have a brief description then links to the products that have much more detail and content on the world.
I was looking around for resources that better describe the Pathfinder Society as my players are really interested in it. However I've found little more than a brief descriptions (when you click on Pathfinder Society on Paizo.com and under the description for Pathfinder Chronicles: Seekers of Secrets—A Guide to the Pathfinder Society) I thought awesome; I'll buy this book and have all the answers.... can't even pre-order for a few months.
So where can I find some of the content that will be in this book? Just the basics would be nice; like what are the ranks (I've seen 'venture capitol' but what else and who reports to who?), what does this Grand Lodge look like, who are these Aspis Consortium louts, and how does a character even get into the society (I'm not talking about signing up on the website; I mean in game role playing... like what's the secret handshake =)?
Please help fill me in!
You have to know your group to really answer this question. I can't run ANY module in less than 8 hours. Our current group loves to mess around, take their time, enjoy the ride; it's not a dash to the finish line.
You'll have to keep the group focused on gaming (no fart'n around wasting time with out of game stuff), they will have to know exactly what their actions are when their turn comes, and not waste time looking up stuff. If you don't like to be rushed then I really don't know of any module you could run (paizo or otherwise). I think you'd have to just pick out a handfull of encounters and start right in the first encounter.
Again; it comes down to your group more than the module. Do you think your group could actually finish a module in that time frame?
Yeah I got burnt on the maps! So I printed them out (same complaint as you) and thought I would just cover up the stuff they shouldn't see. I didn't have time to pull it in to a graphics manipulation program and delete them so I just glued on some small rectangles of paper to cover the DM only information. Then players proceeded to hold the maps up to the light and read what I covered... then I hear "So what part of the dragon is 'the ambush'?" and everyone chuckles.
I too have had players say this is a great adventure. We are almost half way done and they are really enjoying it. I thought the dog sledding was going to be an hour of boring Handle Animal checks but the players really spiced it up! The bridge encounter took almost an hour itself given the party dynamics and the fact that someone fell into the ravine.
I've bought and read over this Pathfinder Society Scenario now. Looks to be a fun take on high adventure into the mountains. Wondering if anyone else has ran this and has some advice that would help it work smoothly.
Love the concept of the dog sledding but don't want to get bogged down in the details of the system. We are using Microlite d20 system which keeps the rules light, mechanics swifth, and the action fast. Would especially like to hear how you ran the dog sledding challenges.
Are there two different Critical Fumble Decks ? I see one with the bloddy monster head and the other with the bloody d20. What's the difference?
A quick gewgle img search shows you what I mean. http://images.google.com/images?hl=en&q=critical+fumble+ deck&gbv=2&aq=f&oq=
Thanks for the tips! Which of those would you recomend above all the rest?
No need to limit to region, level, setting, or anything. We play a non-persistent and setting neutral format; one adventure we may be in Absalom and the next adventure we may be in Waterdeep! No persistent characters and no persistent campaign.
We just did Hangman's Noose (urban murder mystery). I'd really like to try a Pathfinder Society Scenario. Please recomend one that is not a 'who done it' or focused on investigation and interigation.
Looking for something with action yet a solid plot. Doesn't have to be a deep or convoluted plot but it should be consistent, complete, and no gaping plot holes.
What say you and why?
Well we've finished the adventure and it was a blast. This was one of the best times gaming we've had in years. The last act was 90% role playing which is a huge stretch for our group who is usually 80% hack :)
The MicroLITE d20 OGL system was a perfect fit. Since it's completely compatible with the SRD but also because if fits our gaming style as well.
Anyway here's the last post to the campaign journal for this module:
Judge Trabe yelled out for help as he lay on the flagstone floor while Alister Wade readied a final attack to finish the old man off. Before he could make it to the judge Valeros and Tablark threw themselves between the two men and stopped the fight. Kyra quickly restrained Alastir and held him at knife point. Wild accusations and insults were shouted between Alastir and Silman. Each accused the other of blackmail, deception, and the reason for being there. Alastir quickly produced a letter from Silman Trabe stating to show up 'where we did it' with 1000 gold pieces or he would rat out Alastir Wade as the murderer. Judge Trabe responded saying that he had received a letter from Alastir telling him the same; show up to the courthouse with 1000 gold pieces or he would squeal to authorities that Trabe was the murderer. The game was afoot!
After several minutes of back and forth bickering Tablark had heard enough and suggested they take two men to the confession chamber and extract the truth from them. Most were in agreement and they hauled the two gentlemen into the room first strapping down Alastir to the restraining chair. During the scuffle to restrain Alastir; Silman tried to escape but was held tight. Now strapped to the chair Alastir insisted he had no hand in this mistrial, he reminded them that he actually gave them a letter to prove his point and that Silman had not, and that he had not brought the 1000 gold because it was preposterous; he explained his motive for coming tonight was to defend his honor from baseless lies. Pleading to the paladin; Alastir convinced Sir Cole to detect evil on them... Alastir's aura was neutral and Silman's aura was evil! What's more; a quick search of Judge Silman Trabe produced a parcel holding two thing bars of platinum worth about a 1000 gold no doubt plus a letter from Alastir. In light of these discoveries; Tablark called out for the croaker to come forth. The horrible visage of what Jarbin Mord had become, the croaker, floated through the wall into the room. Tablark asked the croaker which one of these men should die for murdering his wife and son to which he replied "Everyone of you should die for your hand in it." Through further conversation it was obvious the croaker did not know exactly who the murderer was and that it was up to the jury to figure it out.
While most of the party was interrogating Alastir or talking to the croaker there was a private conversation going on between Killian and Silman. After which Killian drew a dagger, declared Alastir Wade to be the true murderer, and lunged forth to slit his throat. Tablark snapped into action and deflected Killian's attack by stabbing him in the arm. Valeros and Tablark instantly apprehended Killian and strapped him down to the rack. Seeing an opportunity in the scuffle; Judge Tabe broke free from Kyra's grip only to run straight into Sir Cole. Valeros butted up two small tables and the paladin tied the old judge to the tables securely. Kyra then had the bright idea of disarming all of the accused culprits to which everyone agreed. Alister Wade, Killian, and Silman Trabe were relieved of their obvious effects. As Kyra took her time to search over Killian she noticed he was wearing a padded girdle! What's more he had some makeup on his face, his monocle was false, and pulling off his top hat reveled he was obviously hiding his true identity and that he was clearly not Killian!
Nobody close by could identify who he truly was. Alastir demanded to have a look at him so Tablark and Sir Cole lifted up the chair so he could get a clear picture. "Sveth; is that you?! You're the true culprit here no doubt!" accused Alastir. Recalling back to their clues; most remembered Sveth as being Jarbin Mord's only true friend. Sveth confessed that he wrote the blackmail letters to summon the two gentlemen there and that he was helping the croaker to seek out the true murderer. Believing his story and that he was not much of a threat; Sveth was released from the rack. While this was going on Silman Trabe saw another opportunity to escape. He bucked, struggled, and managed to break the little tables he was strapped too. He crawled over to Killian and pleaded with him to convince everyone to not kill him. Kyra and Valeros both tried to grab the judge but he shook them off. Seeing that his groveling was going nowhere he sprang into action shoving Valeros aside, shirking off Sir Cole's attempt to grab him, and sprinted down the hallway.
Kyra and Valeros bolted from the room, down the hall, and chased the old judge. Silman pulled a potion he had hidden in his waist and quaffed it as he ran. With Kyra hot on his heels; Valeros took a moment to drop his sword and pull a short bow. Valeros managed to fire an arrow off just before Silman slipped through the door but it missed and lodged into the door frame. Turning south and running through the great hall now Kyra was still not able to catch up so she stopped and pulled out her light crossbow and fire a bolt which wildly missed. Valeros popped through the door way and into the great hall. Firing another arrow; with true aim it sunk deep into the old man's thigh causing him to fall and tumble. Kyra wasted no time, pounced on Silman, and started punching him while shouting "stop resisting!" Silman was not going with out a good fight! He grabbed the light crossbow and tore it right out of Kyras hands and punched the cleric in the face. By now Valeros was upon them with his longsword and stabbed Silman. Kyra stood and drew her scimitar but the quick thinking judge used the crossbow to trip Kyra and knocked her to the ground. Valeros slashed Silman across the back while Kyra lept to her feet now with a scimitar poised to strike. The old judge finally yielded and was hauled back to the confession chamber.
While they were off scuffling about in the great hall Sir Cole did some investigating of his own. He recalled from his visions a man with a scar on his left cheek. Searching through Alastir's beard he noticed a scar in the same place! When Valeros came back in the room and Sir Cole explained his revelation then Valeros explained how in his vision the murderer was cut on the face by Jarbin's wife. Everyone agreed they now had enough evidence to point to Alastir Wade as the murderer. Tablark and Sir Cole again grabbed the entire chair which Alastir was strapped to and followed everyone into the gallows. The croaker passed through the wall into the room to watch the proceeding.
As Alastir was being nosed Tablark announced that all who find Alastir Wade guilty of murdering Malena and Gabe Mord say aye; everyone except Sir Cole said aye. "We here by sentence you to death!" decreed Tablark as he pulled the lever. The floor gave way, instantly Alastir dropped, and with a mushy cracking sound the mans neck was crushed; then under the weight of both the man and the heavy chair the rope snapped sending Alastir crashing to the floor under the gallows. Jarbin Mord rasped and hissed "Justice has been served and my revenge fullfilled." The visage of the croaker broke up and dissipated. The cold chill in the room and overall gloom of the building lifted.
What to do with the evil judge? Debating ensued amongst the party and even the idea of also stringing up Sveth for his perpetration against them was mentioned. However in their blood lust debate nobody noticed Sveth dip into the shadows and slink off. Valeros and Sir Cole had seen enough and were satisfied; both men left the courthouse. Kyra and Tablark decided the judge had to die as well so Kyra held him while Tablark lodge the axe in the judges chest; ironically enough as you recall the axe he carries is the murder weapon. Kyra let go of Silman and he collapsed to the floor. Tablark determined he was still barely alive and cleaved the man's fat neck.
From the hall Kyra heard a disturbing noise. It sounded like a large table being slid across a stone floor. She went to open the door to investigate but it was blocked shut! Sveth had slid the rack to the door and wedged it up under the latch making a very durable blockade. Tablark took his axe to the door now. Sveth ran down to the great hall and brought down the chandelier where he grabbed several of the lit candles and started to lite the halway door on fire. While Tablark worked on the door the cleric summoned some water as it was apparent a fire was near given the smoke that was filing the hallway outside the door. A few moments later Kyra and Tablark burst through the door into the hallway. Smoke was billowing from the end of the hall to the west. They grabbed the body of Silman Trabe and used him as a battering ram; breaking a man sized hole through the middle of the door and pulling him back out. Flames were now licking out from the bottom of the door. Thinking fast; Kyra tore off a bit of her robes, wrapped it around her hand, and doused it in water. She managed to get the door open only to reveal open flames which were now leaping up the door frame and to the ceiling. The dwarf and cleric doused each other with the water they had left and plowed through the flaming door way and into the great hall just in time to see Sveth slip out the front doors and into the dark of night.
Kyra and Tablark ran to the front doors with steam trailing them as they ran. Looking out into the dilapidated neighborhood of Beldin's Bluff the could only make out buildings shrouded in darkness; Sveth had escaped. Luckily they had escaped with their lives as well.
For the last act of this adventure I have 6 or 7 players showing up so I needed 2 more characters. We left off right with Alister Wade and Silman Trabe showing up at midnight. So I've converted both of them to PCs. I think it will be a blast to watch the players role play this out and they will have a hoot with it.
I've read several and ran one GameMastery Module now. Love the quality; great products. Just saw another thread here pointing someone to the Pathfinder Society Scenarios. Reading over the brief descriptions and revies it looks like something that may suit my current group well. (We play one-shot modules monthly; no persistent characters or plot)
Wondering; are the PS Scenarios pretty much the same thing as the GM Modules just geared directly towards the Pathfinder game? Are they 'longer' or 'shorter' ? I'm looking for modules that have the same quality content of the GM Modules but don't take as many hours to finish.
I love Hangman's Noose. We haven't finished it yet but they are about 90% done now. This is after 10 real time hours. I admit our current group is pretty slow; they are quite thorough and I tend to provide detailed descriptions of rooms and combat. Something that I realized, which may have sped up the adventure, is that they shouldn't have to go through the whole courthouse before Alister Wade and Judge Trabe show up at midnight. However I've also saved a lot of time because I didn't throw every monster at them; so it's a wash really. I bet we have another 2 - 5 hours real time left to finish it up.
This is easily one of the best adventures I've ever participated in; very fun module. Great mix of hack'n slash with indepth and dynamic roleplaying. Lots of NPCs to run though; also it's a very complicated and convoluted module for the DM to run.
Act 2 Synopsis
Our would be heroes left the barrister's lounge into a narrow hall which wrapped around the inside perimeter of the building, past a steep set of stairs leading up, and ending at a doorway into another large room. Searching around a table it was apparent that this was the bailiffs quarters. Killian thought it wise to search one of the large cabinets in the room. As he grabbed for the handle the doors erupted sending shattered wood across the room. A horrid ghoul burst forth wearing what was left of a bailiffs uniform and a hand axe lodged in its chest. The creature lunged out of the cabinet toward Killian and Valeros; it's veins had been ripped out which then floated up like marionette strings as a child's voice laughed wickedly. Everyone in the room leaped to action and after several square hits the monster slumped against Killian. Valeros and Killain wasted no time having at the provisions found in the cabinet; namely 8 potions. Kyra had no sooner worked free one of her bolts from the wall when the ghoul stumbled back to its feet and clawed at her. Killian took no notice of the surrounding battle, walked right between Kyra and the ghoul, then began looting the other cabinet! Everyone else however turned and faced off against the monster which now had a death grip on Kyra's throat but they once again knocked it down. This time Kyra drew her scimitar and hacked the corpse up into small pieces. Soon the party worked their way back to that last stair case leading up.
Into the bell tower, through a metal hatch, the group found themselves with a great view of the dilapidated neighborhood of Beldin's Bluff. Some searching and investigating yielded nothing. Everyone was about to leave when a nasty, undead, stirge swooped down and surprised Killian. The horrible creature looked like a cross between a harpy zombie and a monstrous insect. Darting from the creature's mouth was a grotesque tentacle tongue with a hole which it injected into Killian. It was all he could do to resist the horrible sucking from the creatures fleshy nozzle. The rest of the party surrounded the creature and it was an orgy of weapons assaulting the stirge which thankfully knocked the creature back a bit and released Killian. However the ghoul stirge wasted no time injecting his victim again but this time Killian could not resist and the monster and it began sucking out Killian's innards! After draining his constitution Tablark and Madge made some parting swipes at the creature as it took flight from the tower into the night sky. As the party regrouped and patched themselves up as best they could a few realized that Sir Cole was no longer with them. Someone recalled him mentioning heading down stairs...
Sir Cole had decided not to even head into the bailiffs quarters and went exploring for himself back on the main floor. Heading down the north east hall there were several doors and the hall ended in a group of small jail cells. Behind one of the northern doors was the gallows. As he stepped inside his original vision struck him but this time more vivid and richer detail. When he came to he witnessed the croaker walk up the steps to the gallows and over to the noose that he was hung from. The paladins morale was crushed and he quickly closed the door.
Proceeding down the hall and into the holding quarters he found 4 small cells who's doors eerily swung too and fro despite a lack of wind in the room. While searching the second cell Halgrak scrambled out from under the bed only now he was gangrenous ghoul who's skin wiggled and writhed with a horrible bacteria. The ghoulish Halgrak clawed away at Sir Cole who sliced him here and there and eventually struck the creature down. Luckily, being a paladin, he was immune to the affliction that overtook Halgrak. Further searching of the cells turned up a message scratched into the bottom of a bed from Jarbin Mord to his friend Sveth.
Off through another door to the west; Sir Cole found the confession chamber. Many different implements here were used to procure a confession from the accused before a guilty verdict could be issued. The flaying rack, restraining chair, and iron maiden were prominent features. While searching around he approached the iron maiden when suddenly the door flung open and a ghastly monster, that must have once been a cleric, attacked the paladin. This beast savagely clawed, kicked, and bit Sir Cole. The fight was clearly not going well for our paladin but the tide soon turned in his favor with a devastating thrust from his longsword into the creatures chest. Unfortunately this was not enough to finish the ghast and Sir Cole fell under a barrage of clawing and biting.
It seemed all hope was lost for the paladin as fell to the ground unconscious. It was just then that Valeros rushed into the confession room with the rest of the group in tow. Killian made the mistake of standing too close to the restraining char. The ghost of Mords young son, Gabe, shoved Killian into the chair! He was instantly strapped down and Gabe began turning the screws on the head vise to crush Killian's skull. Valeros, Tablark, Kyra, and Madge were able to finish off the ghast but not before it bit down onto Valeros' shoulder leaving a burning, infected, wound. After the monster fell Tablark laughed about the idea of helping himself to Killian's loot before unstrapping him but it was merely in jest and he quickly freed the man. Kyra saw to Valeros and determined there was no poison in his body but he was clearly ill from something. With a bit of magic and some potions they were able to revive Sir Cole and get him back to his feet.
Heading back down the east wing hall Valeros wanted to peek into the gallows. Opening the door to the eerily chilled room he too saw the visage of the croaker march up the gallows to the noose. ZOINKS! Valeros slammed the door shut and everyone moved on to the next door. This door actually led outside but directly into a large cage where a stockade stood in the middle. In the distance was the ruin of Beldin's Bluff; between that and the cage was the graveyard where those hung with no better arrangements were buried by old Mord. Hands erupted from the earth around the graves and soon zombies began pulling themselves out. It seemed nobody had the testicular fortitude to enter this room; ZOINKS! The door was slammed shut and off they went.
Down the only stair case yet to be traversed the party found themselves in the dank basement of the courthouse. To the right Sir Cole entered a stone room glazed in frost and obscured by a light fog. From what he could make out; this was the morgue as small steel doors lined the walls and there were a couple of stone slabs with bodies laying on them. To the left of the hall was the old records room now knee deep with a mix of salt water and sewage. Some monstrous water centipedes chased the paladin out of the room and into the hall where he made short work of one but two others ran the opposite toward Killian who's morale broke and he turned to shove his way passed Valeros and everyone else. Valeros was having no deserters to this party, grabbed Killian, spun him back around and pushed him forward. Killian recomposed himself and stomped one of the bugs to death then kicked the other one down the hall at Cole. With out hesitation or effort the paladin raised his sword and sliced the centipede in half right in mid flight.
Searching the records room turned up documents about Daben Blossomheart which was Madge's father. Clearly it detailed how he was convicted and hung for stabbing a nobleman to death and robbing him. The halfing was crushed by this evidence as she was in stanch denial of any wrong doing by her father. Madge ran from the records room and into the morgue crying. Before anyone could react to her everyone heard her sobbing turn to questions "Daddy? Is that you?" followed by the moans and groans of zombies then muted sounds of bones breaking with a final yelp from Madge. Now our would be heroes snapped into action and quickly setup a cleverly tactic to deal with the zombies.
Valeros tossed Cole a bottle of brandy which he fashioned into a Molotov cocktail with great haste. Stepping into the room he held the now lit firebomb behind his back and waived his other hand shouting to get the zombies attention. This worked quite well and they slowly closed in on the paladin. As he swung his other arm around to throw the cocktail it slipped from his hand, dropped at his feet behind him, and exploded! This scalded his ass thoroughly and some splashed onto Kyra. Then everyone moved into position allowing just enough room for them to come through the door one at a time to be rendered by the party from all angles. Like sheep to the slaughter the mindless undead filed through the doorway; barely getting in a hit before they were chopped down. Kyra presented her holy symbol to one with such force that it destroyed the corpse in a fiery blast. Minutes later the group had slain most of them, breached the room, and finished the rest off.
Tablark was the first to start making his way down the hall back to the stairs leading up to the main floor. As he paused to wonder just what other horrible undead may be up there he heard the distinct sounds of battle. Steel on steel clanged while two men shouted at one another. Tablark called for the attention of everyone and they all filed upstairs toward the great hall. They came upon a man of considerable panache barely fending off a dashing gentleman. The tall man adjusted his top hat gallantly and assaulted with a barrage of thrusts, parrys, reposts, and finally gashed the heavy man in the arm. As he stumbled back from the attack the older gentleman rolled his ankle and fell with a yelp.
What will our adventurers do? Will they step in just in time? Who are these two men and what brought them here? We'll find out in act three of Hangman's Noose!
If you're familiar with the plot of this adventure then this will make sense. If not then it may be rather confusing. We all had a blast playing this adventure; hands down one of the best modules I've ever read and had the pleasure of running.
It also worked perfectly with the MicroLITE d20 rule system. Which is an OGL d20 system. Sorry Pathfinder; neat system but overly complicated and convoluted (hey, just like D&D v3.5! =)
Thread about preperation for this module: http://paizo.com/paizo/messageboards/paizoPublishing/pathfinder/modules/han gmansNooseAdviceOnRunningTheAdventure
While being dragged, unconsiouse, into the courthouse ; Sir Cole, Tablark, Valeros, and Kyra each had a vision through someone elses eyes. Soon after; all ten members of the original jury woke up in the court room where the trial took place 10 years ago. Converstations about visions and 'whats going on' quickly degrade into accusations and out right viloence. Valeros went to talk to Malgrim who insulted him and blew cigar smoke in his face; taking offence Valeros drew steel! Sir Cole was happy to see a good excuse to go and put the hobgoblin, Malgrim, in his place. Malgrim easily shook off both Valeros and Sir Cole who both yielded before an real blood was shed. During the 3 way boxing match Tablark and Kyra were interogating the rest of the jury; Kyra with her smooth diplomacy and Tablark with his rugh (yet effective!) intimidation. Ebin and Madge both folded under the pressure and spilled the beans on their personal vendetta's against old Jarbin Mord and why they voted to hang him. Patricia and Halgrak both stood strong and were not compelled to divludge much. Tablark went to look at the evidence table, with the murder weapon still there, when suddenly a chunk of the mural on the cieling crumbled, struck the table, sent the blood stained axe flying accross the room, and he narrowly missed being crushed. Ironically it was a piece of the mural depicting the deity of 'justice'. Tablark took the axe for his own; blood stains and chunks of gore still stuck to it. Patricia easily convinced Sir Cole that they should have a... private conversation... in the jurors box.
Malgrim then went off into judge Silman Trabe's office where books started flying off the shelf as a childs voice cackled. During the barage of books one clocked him good and Malgrim backed out of the room. Valeros and Killian took his place and searched the room finding a hand full of acrane scrolls which they procured.
Eventually everyone moved out into the main hall. Killian went over and investigated some debris on the floor under the chandellier while Sir Cole went to take a closer look at the big clock. When Cole approached the clock it erupted in a cacaphony of dimented chimes and assaulted his mind of which he was unable to ward against and it damaged his mind. Tablark swiftly came to his aid and destroyed the clock with his new axe. Tablark demanded that Patricia use her magic to aid Sir Cole and she assured him that she would 'take care of him'. Patricia and the paladin then went off accross the room where she tended to him.
Valeros found the deliberation room and searched it. Finding only the message "who's funny now Mord? - E.B" carved into the bottom of the table. This reaffirmed what Ebin had already explained about his motive.
Tablark and his now intimidated lackies, Madge and Ebin, went into the west wing office. There was a skeleton wearing judges robes with a long white beard sitting at his desk and a spiked chain still around his neck which was used to garrote him. His dog's skeleton also lay by the desk with kicked in ribs and skull. When approached the dog animated and attacked Tablark; all three screamed and ran from the room. It would seem Tablark is rather scared of ghosts! This drew the attention of most everyone and they flooded into the cramped office. Apparently it took a whole mob of people to kill one little old skeletal hound. Searching the desk produced a letter describing the misscarraige of justice against Mord, addressed to the district councilman, but it seems someone murdered him before the letter could be sent.
As the scuffle and shuffle in the office died down Malgrim went through another door into the adjacent courtoom. The door slamed shut behind him. Screams of horror from the hobgoblin were heard through the door; he exclaimed "No! You're dead! I saw you swing!" followed by gurgeled choking. Sir Cole burst into the court room to find Malgrim hanging from the rafters; hung by his own spiked chain. Nothing else is found in the room.
Everyone decided to head upstairs and found themselves in the barristers' lounge filled with couches, a large table, chairs, and an ice box. When Tablark saw a painting of Judge Trabe he was struck by the same vision; this time more vivid, intense, and detailed. After coming back to reality he assumed, based on what evidence he had, that Patricia was a key to this puzzel and was tired of her evasion of the truth. Charging up to her he backhanded her with his spiked gauntlets. As she fell to the ground Patricia screamed for Sir Cole to save her. The paladin was more than compelled and against his better judgement drew steel against Tablark. Patricia managed to cast a spell before anyone else could react and Tablark fell to the ground asleep. Kyra then lunged forward and severed Patricia's head from her prone body. Sir Cole shuddered and realized he was now back in control of his own actions as Patricia's charm was broken. Tablark looted her corpse (based on several actions his alignment was changed from Neutral Good to Chaotic Netural).
Sir Cole then asked Tablark if he thought Ebin is evil; to which Tablark agreed. Ebin was stupid but not def. He lunged between two people, leaped over Krya's leg as she tries to trip him, and scampered down the stairs. Sir Cole chased him down and used detect evil to locate him in the west courtroom. Before laying waste to the little gnome he noticed that Malgrim's corpse was missing. Cole brought Ebbin's body back up to the lounge and tossed it on top of Patricia's.
Kyra went off to investigate the barristers' offices. While rumaging around an office she was suprised by a giant leech that droped from the cieling and attacked her. She screamed and ran out of the room. Valeros, Sir Cole, and Tablark rushed in. The leech bit Valeros and attached to his hand. Sir Cole then severed the leech in two. Krya came back into the offices and searched around some more finding evidence of a barrister named Alister Wade who was running a loan shark business on the side. One of his clients was a jury member with them tonight named Halgrak Five-toes. There were also several red scarves of fine Varsian silk in his desk.
While they were all searching around in the barristers' offices Halgrak and Killian were still in the lounge. Halgrak opened up the old ice box and finds a disguisting old jar filled with his pickled toes. He screamed "My toes; I've found them!" Just then a grotesque appirition emerged from the floor. It was Jarbin Mord who is now the croaker! He grabs ahold of Halgraks head and broke the half-orcs mind then flew off through the cieling. Halgrak ran off back down stairs with the jar; screaming and babbeling incoherently.
This is where we left our adventurers. Will they survive the night? We'll find out at our next game night!
We made it half way through the module in about 5 hours of gaming. It's going really well and people love the plot!
I ended up converting Tablark Hammergrind, Sir Cole Rekkart, and Sveth (aka Killian) into player characters. 5 players showed up so we also used the pregenerated Valeros and Kyra (to include the motives posted above which wove them into the plot). The person playing Sveth is 'in on it' and I talked to him before the game while also explaining who he is, his motives, background, etc. It's a lot of fun seeing him role play Sveth who is role playing Killian =) however Sveth really doesn't know much more than the other characters so he too is striving for the same goal but for a different reason. None of the other players are aware; they all think he's Killian! =^.^=
The first hour and a half (real time!) all took place right in the courtroom they woke up in. It was great; lots of role playing and people trying to figure out the plot. I really enjoyed hamming it up with Malgrim the hobgoblin and using Patricia. Another fun twist is that the players aren't necessarily some cohesive party. So often the players are some happy go-lucky group with strong bonds; this time the characters haven't seen eachother in 10 years and really aren't bonded. So unusual alliances form and there are lots of social dynamics between everyone.
Great adventure and we are all looking forward to see how it ends.
I'm actually planning on two players playing two of the NPC jurors. One will play Sveth (who is posing as Killian) and the other will be Sir Rekkart Cole (the paladin). Mostly because these two aren't specifically designed to die in the module. I thought another good canidate would be Hammergrind the dwarf; while the croaker is supposed to mess him up badly I thought that could be over looked and he would be another good canidate as a PC. The rest of them are woven pretty well into the plot of the module and not good canidates for this without heavily editing the module.
Using actual jurors from the module for PCs works well for my group because we do one-shot adventures with non-persistent characters. Since Sveth and Rekkart aren't supposed to die then not much of the module has had to be tweaked. I'll only need to edit the module for Hammergrind if a third player shows up. If more than 3 players show up then I'll start using additional PCs that I've prepared based on the provided PCs with the module.
I'll be running some friends through Hangman's Noose in a month or two. We only play monthly, one shot adventures, pre-generated characters for each adventure, no persistant campaign or characters. This is because with our busy lives it's way to infrequent to get everyone together so now it doesn't matter if you miss 1 or 10 sessions; nobody falls behind, nobody feels left out, we all get to game more often, and we get to try lots of fun new things like Pathfinder :) As a result I have a little more control on PC design since I pregenerate them for each adventure.
With this module I would like to tie in the PCs to the story as them being actual jurors. They won't be taking the place of the NPCs but rather their character backgrounds will be intertwined with the story itself. I think this will lend to the sense of being a part of the plot and also the urgancy of figuring out how to satisfy ole' Mord before it's their turn to die! Below are the characters and the motives I've written up which ties them to the plot. Please read them and provide any thoughts you may have. Keep in mind the Motive is seperate from the characters Description and Persona (which I haven't written yet).
(NOTE: The player doesn't know this but Kyra can't recall much of the trial for the same reason the paladin can't. They were both charmed by the sorcerer during the trial. This all may be discovered through RP)
Skeld read my mind!
(are you following me?)
Kevin Mack wrote:
I have read through the entire adventure the problem is some of the deaths pretty much involve the pc's just standing there (The halfling one being an example.) or the NPC getting separated from the group which with certain groups (mine being one of them) wont really work that well.
It's not a text book :) So maybe your players do save some that were intended to die in the module. The female halfing is a good example; the PCs could verywell take control of the situation quickly enough to save her.
The party may kill some themselves; like the hobgoblin :D Maybe after some RP'n they come to the realization that some don't deserve to be saved! They may be less inclined to save that cute little halfing if they learn before hand that she played a key role in hanging Mord based on her neive, ignorant, fued.
The paladin doesn't necessarily have to die if the players figure out the mystery and hang the true villian. Old man Trabe doesn't necessarily have to die; the PCs could 'save' him from the villian if they figure it out. Sveth doesn't have to die but he really doesn't need to be saved either since he's in on it.
Read through the adventure; it clearly outlines who should die, when, and who doesn't necessarily have to die.
which module are you running for them? it might help us give more specific advice on where you can drop some world hints in
Please direct module specific guidance to that thread; thanks!
This thread is meant to be more specific to the Pathfinder ruleset.
First off I have to point out the high quality of Paizo's modules. I don't know how many dozens of adventures, modules, campaign settings, etc I've read. These are simply top notch and easily stand out as some of the best I've ever read. This one in particular was vastly more dark, grotesque, and mature than most any other as well. Not all of them are like this but man when they go dark and gritty it gets ugly! Anyway...
Any advice or tips for running this adventure? I have a lot of my own ideas about these questions but would love to hear yours as well!
Managing all of the NPCs and the complicated, interwoven, plot between all of the NPCs and PCs?
Conveying the complicated plot in a way so that the players can figure it out? Was confusing enough for me reading it and I had all the answers in plain sight!
Tips for getting it done in 4-6 hours of game time? We play one-shot adventures once a month for about 6 hours. If it's not possible then where's a good 'break point' to stop and start again next month?
Better way of keeping them in the building so either can't leave it or always end up back in it? Only lame thing about the module was that they suggested you 'warp' them back into the building if they leave; I didn't care for that.
Ways to keep the mystery, suspense, and horror at full throttle? My players enjoy some music in the background so I've got some good creepy (yet not annoying) music to play. Anything else?
Anything else you want to advise?
I'll be running my first Pathfinder adventure in January. Not new to DM'n or playing RPGs but new to PF. We'll be starting simple; level 1 characters, Paizo module, using Rules As Written. Players have NOT read the books and will be relying on me. They do know we'll be playing Pathfinder and what it is; they are just not informed on the details.
Any tips or tricks unique to Pathfinder that you would suggest?
I like this idea. It gives the ranger's animal companion a flavor that is different from the druid's animal companion.
Totally agree. I was just looking at 3.5 core and wondering "ok so a Ranger's animal companion is just a Druid's animal companion but acquires the same features more slowly.... neat"
I wonder if the Fighter was made so simple because some people love having a simple character. It's also a great character to start new players off with. Even some veteran players just don't have the patience for more complicated characters. I've gamed with several people who played fighters for the sole purpose of how simple they were. They didn't want to keep track of how many spells they have per day, what spells they can cast, what the spells can do, how they work, what weird special class feature gets triggered in which circumstance, blah blah blah... they just wanna hack and slash some stuff!
Some people love the standard issue Human Fighter and consider it's simplicity a good trade for playing at a disadvantage. I really don't think many players believe the fighter is something it's not. They know it isn't as awesome as other classes but they despise flipping through books between every turn and the only counter they want to keep track of is their HP. I really don't see any reason to ban it from someone's game table. However I do see why people want to improve it and I like what Paizo has done so far with it.