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Yakman wrote:

bear makes sense - street & circus performers in olden days (also not so olden days) frequently had trained bears for their shows.

having a dancing bear makes sense in a lot of ways, given the fact that the impetus for the whole AP is a shuttered opera house and an attack on the artist community ;-)

i guess a dancing dinosaur might make sense. dunno what a druid would be doing with a dancing dinosaur though...

Sure, dancing bear or dinosaur is really cool idea! :-) However, we’re talking about animal kind-of freely roaming the streets, and not confined to the circus grounds. To put it into perspective: though some animals perform in contemporary circuses as well – and you wouldn’t be surprised to find one there – you would surely be taken if some guy walked into your office… followed by his freely-roaming pet bear ;) Kintargo may be used to some druid by the virtue of being part of fantasy setting… but eh, I think Chelish dottari may be prejudiced enough that it won’t make much of a difference.

Yakman wrote:
i dunno. i'm a big fan of sticking to the 'conventional' stuff.

I am fan of sticking to the ‘normal’ as well :-) However, this particular player is not – and I know that it is part of fun for him as well. Therefore, I focused on discussing the choices that would not be detrimental to rebel’s cause – like e.g. ‘no Strix’, as that would… well… not be suitable choice for Rebellion’s face.

Dinosaur is outlandish, yes, but the character itself has pretty forgettable physique. His animal companion may be well absent from some social interactions, be hidden below party’s hideout to chill together with the albino alligator guardian. (I am like 100% sure this particular party will befriend poor, starved alligator…) I plan on making it possible for the animal to be smuggled along for the dungeon crawly parts – most probably requiring some team action to e.g. deliever one barrel’s worth of dinosaur (officially: some sort of wine) to some nearby place.

Now, this is all workable - and I am just... not sure... how well Kintargo reacts to such novelties when they aren't hidden away. AP sends me sort of mixed signals with weirdness in places.

Lanathar wrote:
Out of interest why is a Goliath druid living in and keen to liberate Kintargo? May seem flippant but you don’t really want someone saying two and a half books in - “I could just leave town you know “

There is not a problem with motivation – Goliath being just an archetype, he’s just a good druid that found this particular lord disagreeable. I don’t think he will go ‘I abandon this city’. That player is really fine – and going along with the campaign just fine. It is more of a case of an experienced player that enjoys having weird builds than ‘give me my toy or I WILL REBEL’.

Now, I am really OK with this. However, I wonder how I should handle this – as on one hand AP is supposed to be about being low profile, and OTOH everyone (Haace, Sargaeta, etc.) is able to just waltz in Silver Raven’s den anyway. Cheliax is supposed to be prejudiced and hateful of many races and outsiders, yet I would be hard pressed to find many NPC for whom race has been an obstacle. And well... Kintargo has half a Bestiary hidden in it and noone bats an eyelid.

So… I wonder what perfect balance is, so the player would have his fun, yet Kintargo would be oppressive enough. Sure, I may increase Notoriety – thanks for the suggestion! - and warn that it’s either brining animal companion or increase of Notoriety. (I think he would leave his companion in hideout.) However, I wonder what problems should be aside from duh, you may have trouble being sneaky. Guards asking them to put a muzzle on? ‘You cannot pass!’ at bridges at gates? Player-tailored Proclamation forced removal of any reptile from the street?

Yakman wrote:
also... bardish superstar also having a pet dinosaur? what sort of party did you allow? did you not send them the player's guide?

I was talking about Shensen and not second PC’s animal companion, you know. I’d rather not deal with ‘Oh, and you told me that dinosaurs are a big no-no for Kintargo’s socialites?’ sulking down the line. :-)

Thanks for the remark about size! I think it may be mistake made in haste – and if so, it would take away much of the issue.

I also don’t really think that bear – which is included in animal companion list in Player’s Guide and stated to bring next to no troubles – is any more or less obnoxious than dinosaur. (I think that begs the question of whether strolling around Kintargo’s streets with bear is considered normal.)


Lanathar wrote:
Is your bardish superstar comment a joke? Apologies if it is but it doesn’t come across online!

I think he was just quoting me - and I didn't really joke. It wasn't about PCs, tho, but Shensen ;-)

I started new campaign of Hell's Rebellion just a week ago. One player made a character of Goliath Druid with dinosaur animal companion. I allowed this, as... well, I would feel pretty bad denying the player his own pet dinosaur in the city where bardish superstar has one.

However, I feel that Barzillai's reign of terror would be ridiculous if it would not take measures against such things roaming city streets. I mean... this is g%%%+~n large dinosaur - and if it would be allowed to roam free, entire opressiveness of Barzillai's reign may be questioned. I think of requiring players to pay bribes to e.g. get this dinosaur across city gates and this one bridge. (Thankfully, they have some connections that may ease this one.)

What are your thoughts?

It depends on what you are saying. Hell’s Rebels AP kind of presumes your PCs are good – and therefore there aren’t really any repercussions of being evil included in written AP. Same with rebellion system: it kinda presumes that your PCs maintain good personas, and so there aren’t really mechanics for defections caused by disillusionment, or anything like this.

Now, I would say that – if they repeatedly do such things – you may want to look at the NPCs that make up player’s rebellion and ask yourself a question ‘Does this NPC really wants to align him / herself with those guys?’. Then you are free to e.g. make some high-profile supporter (preferably named one that they have somehow wronged) take a bus outta Kintargo out of extreme disillusionment… dropping Barzilai a nice letter beforehand (‘Organized rebels meet in this and this basement. There’s X, Y, Z etc. among them, entrance is at A...’) and setting them for nice surprise. [This would derail AP, though.]

so… you’re free to make some repercussions, but I don’t think there are some in 'AP as designed'.

I would like to Pathfinder Adventure Path subscription. If possible, I would also like to cancel my Order 7791983. My reason for both action is that I have been expecting combined shipment options & sidecard to be more economical way of procuring content to my location – and it turned out not to be as economical (which I could only preview afterwards), hence I would like to cancel both things :)

Thanks for taking your time to reply!

I will scrap Trust mechanics as well, since it is rather pointless. I mean, idea is cool, but actual implementation… nah, not worth rewriting entire system – especially since Ravengro stays behind afterwards.

(I kind of wish writers would have stucked with it for remainder of AP. I mean, it would be cool if it represented PCs fame racing ahead of them – and allowing them to capitalize on the trust they built between themselves and people of Ustalav in general.)

as for the research stuff… I think I will just use professor’s diary to convey info about e.g. haunts instead. I am not biggest fan of this construct – and I am concerned that players won’t know their s%%% around them. so… Otherwise, I plan on doing a diary a little more justice so it wouldn’t feel like ‘I was being murdered by Whispering Way; oh, and by the way: do a little bit of gardening for Kendra on the next month, will you?’ I don’t really know about telling them about Harrowstone through them.

Hi, folks.

I am to start to run some games again after a long break from RPG and I decided to start with Carrion Crown. Now… I have problems with first chapter, so I decided to rewrite some stuff. (Spoilers abound ahead.) I would appreciate some feedback.

First, all those informations about riot proceeding felt really superfluous for me, given that PCs most probably won’t have means to investigate much. Then, I also feel that town is really superflous as well. Players may do some research and find stash, but otherwise there’s nothing worth coming back for.

I plan on making town two gruff eldery ‘gentlemen’ (Gibs and Father Grimburrow) involved. Father Grimburrow would have served as a junior cleric-in-training in Harrowstone’s chapel and Gibs would have been serving as a prison guard before searching glory in the battlefield following the closure of Harrowstone.

Father Grimburrow would survive due to serving aboveground and fleeing burning building with rest of guardsmen. Gibs would become injured on lower levels – and be released on the orders of Splatter Men to convey demands convicts made during tense standoff. (Then he would be sent to Ravengro’s immediately due to his wounds.)

This alone doesn’t effect plot much aside from possibility to find their names in prison records and question them about happenings in Harrowstone. Then, they could probably e.g. inquire about prison layouts etc., albeit pretty strong trauma would prevent both men from speaking until much later. (Still, I think that would be nice touch – and exploits of Splatter Man would explain nicely both Gibs distrust of mages in general and give a more personal reason for his possession.)

Now, on to the real rewrite of the plot... Vesorianna and her husband never really struck me as ‘good’ types, seeing as they were in charge of cruel torture facility full of brutal guardsmen. I plan to give Vesorianna LE alignment – and making her driving force behind her husband’s brutal regime of burning jailed people in furnaces and lifelong imprisonments with daily tortures. I don’t mean to make her truly ‘abominable’ type of evil, but more of ‘deeds must be punished thousandfold!’ type. (Splatter Man’s hatred of women will then stem primarily from her perceived influence during final days of his life.)

Her motivation in unlife will mainly be the same as in basic AP. She still would love her late husband dearly and yearn to be reunited with him. One ‘minor’ point is that after Whispering Way’s intervention she will be totally uninterested in dispelling haunts of Harrowstone, aiming for revenge (i.e. torturing ghosts of Harrowstone for all eternity, using ghostly warden’s authority for this goal) instead.

This… would quite be problematic for Ravengro. While it would certainly forestall doom of town, it would also foment ghosts’ ire. Finally, it would reach tipping point. Vesorianna would lose control of all the empowered ghosts once again. This would spell Ravengro’s end. (Not that player characters would be affected, mind you!)

It… won’t really show up. I mean, torture is already all over the wall in this prison and official records won’t have any mention of Vesorianna’s role. Her facial expressions will be sometimes – for a fraction of seconds – like a grisly mask (Sense Motive Check to spot?), but isn’t this true about all the ghosts? She will also register as ‘evil’ for ‘detect evil’ purposes, but that could be just her anger and anguish, couldn’t it? I think it would require players first become suspicious, and then do some confirmations (whether through Spirit Planchette or asking living survivors).

Provided that players investigate – and I trust my players to investigate any matter to its death – I plan to suggest alternate way of dealing through resident specialist on arcane matters (e.g. Kendra).

Here, two gruff gentlemans tie in again. They are both the last living members of Harrowstone’s staff. Father Grimburrow is consumed by fear and guilt about his abandoment of duties said prison – that being reason he didn’t just waltz in as level seven cleric could – but he can be given push to make amends. He >is< strongest cleric of Pharasma in neighbourhood – and due to this and his connections with this place he may be sufficent to cleanse this place.

On the other hand, Gibs (provided he will survive) doesn’t have much left. He’s old and jaded. He’s piece of work, sure, but he also can be persuaded to get his ass to Harrowstone as a way to make him feel he made some difference after all. He may yet become next ghost guard of Harrowstone – and be strong enough to contain it, owing to one final act of courage. If only way to contain Harrowstone’s ghost would be through a ghostly guardian – then why not make another one?

In both cases – if PCs decide they should take one of other solutions (as it can be moral problem...) – I imagine pretty heroic showdown. Harrowstone becoming one big haunt as soon as someone of its former staff steps inside. PCs striving to keep up – and finally, after big sacrifice, Harrowstone’s walls going down.

What do you think? Would such ‘rewrite’ of Harrowstone work? Would it require too much ‘on the nose’ guesing? Wouldn’t it drag it too much?, etc. Should I deal with this in some other way?