The party in my game entered the upper entrance to the Vekker cabin, encountered the Hungry Dead haunt, and the immediate reaction is to reduce the cabin to cinders via massively metamagiced fireballs (as the sorceress, as good a pastiche of Lina Inverse as the player could manage, was the one to fall victim to it) and teleport out. They haven't even explored the ore shaft or lower levels of the cabin yet. The snowstorm is driving outside, but her stated plan is to blow up the cabin, take the party, and teleport out to try to locate Xin-Shalast through research at Jorgenfist and divination, which we as GMs know will not work. Fortunately I planned to end the session on that haunt anyway as we were running out of time, so this isn't irrevocable, but if they go ahead and do it, what do I do? Without what Silas' ghost tells them, they can't find Xin-Shalast, and that's the end of the AP.
Historically they haven't used any of the secure camping spells; I don't think the sorceress knows any of them. Arkrhyst was at 15 HP when he fled, and will take all the time he needs to find every single one of his potions; I'm going to roll out how much healing he gets out of them shortly. His tactics shows him to be smart enough to pre-buff, so there's no reason he wouldn't do it again; played as he should act, he'll walk right up the tunnel while invisible and open with his breath weapon before going to full attacks.
With the various buffs he has on him as written when he initially attacks, most of the party was completely unable to hit him short of fishing for 20s. Encountering him again is going to be disastrous. Even if the (highly optimized) fighter manages to get in and kill him, or the sorceress hits him with one of her ridiculous metamagic fireballs that she refrained from using during the first fight (to let the people who can't build characters for crap and therefore couldn't hit the dragon have a chance to do something for once, I suppose), most of the rest of the party will die horribly.
So my party, after nearly wiping against Arkrhyst, got to his morale threshold and made him retreat, which he did by flying his maximum fly speed back towards Rimeskull and casting dimension door into the cave, so they didn't see precisely where he went. They then climbed the stairs (fighting the elementals) and... decided to rest in the mouth of the dragon's lair.
Obviously the dragon attacks that night; there's no way he doesn't notice. I'm halfway inclined to say that not realizing that there's literally nowhere else the dragon could have DDed to that they couldn't see AND that such a cave is the obvious choice for a dragon's lair is a big enough screwup that they deserve the impending TPK, but what would you do in this situation?
... Because the adventure goes way out of its way to point them there. Why else? I've run Burnt Offerings twice now for two entirely different groups of players, one of them extremely green, and neither had any trouble identifying that they needed to go to Thistletop.
Of course, both groups let Tsuto escape from the Glassworks (his Acrobatics skill and high move speed from monk levels make that a near-certainty if they don't do enough damage to blow through his morale threshold), so I had to make sure his journal was on the desk instead of on his person, but that's an easy adjustment to make.
I mean, yes, I have also made clear to them that this is uncharacteristic for stone giants, but the one I had stabilize to interrogate after the raid on Sandpoint was summarily coup de graced by the warpriest, so clearly it didn't take. :P Teraktinus got lucky that he wasn't directly confronted before the rout and Barl got lucky in that they didn't blow right through his morale threshold like they usually do and he got to beg for his life (and they were feeling like calling out his boss). I'll be lucky if they don't nuke Conna on sight.
My second Runelords party has taken to letting the named stone giants live. The sorceress is a bit of a braggart, and when Barl Breakbones begged for his life, she actually let him have it and told him to go to Mokmurian and tell him to bring three of his mightiest champions to face the party in one to one combat. (Mokmurian, of course, will do no such thing.) Then they triggered the giants routing in Sandpoint by killing the requisite number of giants/bears and the dragon without confronting Teraktinus, so he also fled in the rout. Should I stick them in Jorgenfist somewhere? The dungeon is already hard as hell without extra class leveled giants in the mix.
Just curious, how many PCs and what point build did you use when they created them?
Five and twenty, respectively. Ogres can't do crap against a flying sorceress. She hit the watchtower with an intensified fireball that did enough damage to collapse it, which explicitly brings them all running; she then did what high-damage AoE will do to 30 HP dudes with bad Reflex gathered together in the open.
The ones inside put up more of a fight. Two PCs along with Vale and Kaven (who hasn't been discovered yet) nearly died; the party's ninja only failed to bleed out while invisible due to an EXTREMELY lucky stabilization check.
They retreated via the front gate after killing everything on the first floor of the keep. Jaagrath explicitly ignores any sounds of combat outside the chapel, and the combat happened a floor away through multiple stone walls in any event; he wouldn't wander down and discover the carnage until later. There was no one the PCs actually encountered left alive to follow them.
My party includes a highly optimized blaster sorceress who does enough damage with fireballs to easily fry a baseline ogre on a successful save. Mobs of ogres in the courtyard would just die in flames from above like the first batch. :P And the ogres on the first floor didn't ignore fighting in the next room, because some of the PCs who were not said sorceress got bored and fanned out into the complex, triggering several rooms at once.
As for survivors, Xanesha got away. No one else so far.
They're giving him less than 24 hours. They managed to trigger the entire first floor of the keep at once and had two knocked unconscious; it spooked them. But Lucrecia could do the messenger running right quick with her magic.
Also I need to puzzle out what to do with Kaven. He's still with them and isn't suspected yet. I'm halfway inclined to have him make a run for it in the middle of the night while they're at the inn.
Like the title says. They cleared out the courtyard and first floor of the keep, then hightailed it back to Turtleback Ferry. I imagine Jaagrath will notice before they're back and probably send for reinforcements and otherwise prepare. I suppose I could just reset the number of ogres, but that seems a little cheap; what do you guys suggest?
I have the Magnimar supplement and am heavily using it. My PCs do not need anyone to bail them out; if the entire cult comes down on them, they will kill them all. It's just a matter of how much other stuff the sorceress blows up while doing it. x_x My problem here is that they're trying to involve the Pathfinders specifically to keep themselves safe. You're right that the Pathfinders would be willing to trade Thassilonian secrets for decoding services, and I won't deny that to them if they offer that trade, but they'll have to think of it.
Sorry for the bump, but I'm running Runelords a second time with a new group. The second group has done the exact same thing as the first, except upon realizing that the stuff they stole is vulnerable to being traced, and knowing that unlike the first group they don't have anyone who can break the ledger's cypher, they plan to go to the Pathfinders at Heidmarch Manor and ask them to decode the ledger and see if they can hole up there. I have the map of the manor from Shattered Star, so I can work with this, but I don't know that the Skinsaw Cult would be brazen enough to directly attack the Pathfinders, and if they did, they'd likely be cut down without the PCs' intervention, the Society being what it is. So the operative question is whether or not Lady Heidmarch would be interested in some random adventurers showing up at her door with a coded book and a story about skinned faces in a sawmill.
Tentacular Butler wrote:
3.) The wording of "Fighting Defensively" was mistaken with the "Total Defense" action and the ability is intended to allow you to take the total defense action and still attack.
The reason this gets bandied about as a theory is because in the playtest the deed did exactly that. It got changed to the current wording between the second playtest document and the final release.
As for getting a ruling, people have been trying for the last three years without success. Search "dizzying" on this forum; you'll come up with numerous threads. I hope it works this time, but history says it won't.
For the first, I notice you didn't question zook1shoe when he did it the first time, and I did it because Additional Resources still has the apparently contradictory wording that sparked this whole thing in the first place.
For the second, the difference absolutely is existent. I explained why extensively already, but I'll explain again. Compare the wording of Rogue's Edge to that of Finesse Training. Notice that the latter says, "At 1st level, a rogue gains Weapon Finesse as a bonus feat," while the former does not say that "At 5th level, a rogue gains Signature Skill as a bonus feat," nor does it say that the rogue gains Signature Skill as a bonus feat at 10th, 15th, or 20th when it gets additional skill unlocks.
This is important to the system, because it means that the rogue does not have Signature Skill for the purpose of things that reference Signature Skill, such as feat or prestige class requirements, without taking the feat in the normal way. Additional Resources saying that Signature Skill is only available through Rogue's Edge and furthermore explicitly calling out Rogue's Edge's skill unlocks as separate from Signature Skill, therefore, can only mean one thing, though I don't believe that one thing is intended since permitting Signature Skill with the additional prerequisite of the rogue's edge class ability could be so much more clearly worded. It also awkwardly leaves the Cutting Edge advanced talent out in the cold, since it is not on the list of things that allow skill unlocks, yet it isn't explicitly banned either. Cleaning this up would take about five minutes, in something like this manner: "Skill Unlocks: the skill unlocks are only available through the rogue's edge class ability and Cutting Edge advanced rogue talent. The Signature Skill feat is not legal for play."
So I would thank you to not characterize me as shouting "WRONG" at you, since I have repeatedly laid out precisely why I believe this is poor wording and have done so calmly every time.
The third clause is the entire sticking point, because the feat is not granted by the unchained rogue class in any way, shape, or form.
This really does need to be either answered or changed in Additional Resources.
Oh, man! I was paging through a friend's copy of this the other day, and I am filled with a manic urge to stick the Regal Court in a River Kingdom somewhere, have the Cruel Musketeers in their logical position relative to it, the Corrupt Guards as the city watch, either the Merry Outlaws or the Ruthless Brigands (or both, competing!) in the woods around, the obligatory thieves' guild, and set up a scenario where some major player therein makes a move that disrupts the delicate balance between them and just let the PCs do what they will about the results.
Of course, that would probably end badly; I find players rarely do well with a true open scenario that doesn't have a side that they're predetermined to come down on. :P My local store says the book is out of stock; when is that expected to change?
Secret Wizard wrote:
I think you use a swift to fight defensively, getting -2 and +4 to you know what, and then you can full attack or do a targeted strike or whatever. No free stab.
Yeah, but swift actions can be taken at any point in your turn; what happens if you activate it after you've made your attacks, if your reading is correct? Also, how does Dizzying Defense interact with having 3 or more ranks in Acrobatics?
I hate to bump, but these questions still have not been answered to the best of my searching. I have a swashbuckler approaching 15th level, and as written the Dizzying Defense deed simply doesn't work. The ability as written:
"Dizzying Defense (Ex): At 15th level, while wielding a light or one-handed piercing melee weapon in one hand, the swashbuckler can spend 1 panache point to take the fighting defensively action as a swift action instead of a standard action. When fighting defensively in this manner, the dodge bonus to AC gained from that action increases to +4, and the penalty to attack rolls is reduced to –2."
And fighting defensively:
"You can choose to fight defensively when attacking. If you do so, you take a –4 penalty on all attacks in a round to gain a +2 to AC until the start of your next turn."
"You can choose to fight defensively when taking a full-attack action. If you do so, you take a –4 penalty on all attacks in a round to gain a +2 dodge bonus to AC until the start of your next turn."
In neither case (standard action or full-round action) is fighting defensively an action in itself; it's an option you take when taking the attack action or full attack action. The only reading of the deed that tracks with the rest of the rules it references at all is that the swashbuckler can take an attack action as a swift action as long as he fights defensively with it. So if he charges, takes a full attack action, or some other combination of things, he could do it without penalty and then take another attack action as a swift action as long as he fights defensively with it and get the AC bonus until his next turn? I don't see another way to read it (because fighting defensively is not an independent action whose action type can be changed without changing the attack action), yet it just feels wrong. Can the design team please clarify what this ability is supposed to do?
pH unbalanced wrote:
This is a great scenario...as long as the GM has full prep time. Running it cold would be abysmal.
Tell me about it. I had to do just that on Saturday when I got railroaded into GMing something, anything, because it turned out that we had multiple players who had played every scenario that was planned to be on offer. DO NOT, under any circumstances, run this cold. It wound up devolving into a free-for-all of skill checks because I only had a tenuous grasp on how it was supposed to work (having only read through the Influence rules once when Ultimate Intrigue first came out) and my players had absolutely no idea because they'd never even looked at them. I as the GM didn't even know they would be used until we'd already started playing.
Renegade Paladin wrote:
Coming back to this since I was just looking at the schedule; next year Pennsic ends the week before Gen Con, if you do want to go. If you do and want to meet Pathfinder players or even get a game in after the war points some evening, please feel free to drop by the camp of the Barony of Rivenstar on Battle Road and ask for Gilchrist. :)
I just bought this the other day, and there are a lot of editing mistakes. I haven't read most of it yet, but in what I have gone through I've seen several relatively innocuous typos (not such a big deal) and the cleric pregen in Vale of the Sepulcher's stat block is all wrong even at a casual skim (which is). (His weapon damage is listed as 1d8+2 on a +2 morningstar and 14 STR and he prepares cure spells in non-domain slots, and that's just from first glance.)
This isn't a deal-breaker for me, since I have the system mastery to spot such things and easily correct for them, but it's still not desirable. I'd be willing to compile an errata list if the publisher is still interested in updating this product; if not I can do it anyway and just leave it in the thread for GMs to find.
Milo v3 wrote:
Sure you can! Just call it something else. Note that Tyrant is in the same book and I haven't had a peep of complaint about that; in fact I'm rather excited. Had they cribbed Unearthed Arcana and called it "paladin of tyranny," though, I'd have blown a gasket. :P Antipaladin is a ham-handed design (there should be more to a champion of Evil than just inverting the paladin, if nothing else because offensive abilities and inflicting status effects are inherently more powerful than cures and removing status effects), but that's a separate problem.
The problem is that words have meanings, and titles especially do. You don't call any schlub who took a first aid course Doctor, you don't call a county councilman Senator, and you don't call some random guy with a sword out for himself a paladin or a knight (and if the setting you're playing in is a chivalric and aristocratic society, heaven help you if you called him Sir). If you want a CG-aligned champion of freedom class, Liberator or something would be appropriate, and I would totally play one, especially if it had abilities that appropriately reflect championing freedom rather than a direct port of the paladin's skill set. But if you start calling any champion class of every alignment "paladin of X," the word ceases to have meaning, or at least meaning beyond "can smite people he disagrees with."
Milo v3 wrote:
You may notice that the Green Knight did not call knights who did such things perfect paladins, and is heavily implied in the story to have a long history of chopping the heads off of ones who had failed his tests. That things were done does not mean that those things were commonly considered virtuous.
Milo v3 wrote:
I'm using the definition of the Pearl Poet as recorded in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and translated by Brian Stone in 1974. Gawain's behavior that caused the Green Knight to say that he "truly seem[ed] to be the most perfect paladin ever to pace the earth" was the epitome of knightly and chivalric virtue; honesty, forthrightness, courage, fidelity, and faithfulness to his word. Slackers who don't want to live up to that don't get to claim the title.
No, because a character that is not lawful good cannot be a paladin, by definition. Unless of course they decide to chuck in something like the old Forgotten Realms exception where Sune would sponsor (still LG) paladins because she fancied them. :P
Alexander Augunas wrote:
I argued hard against the swashbuckler's TWF restriction in the ACG playtest, right down to my very own example, to no avail. I doubt they're going to do anything but continue to tighten the noose.
That's the random bard that turns up trying to destabilize the kingdom, yes? Our party has three bards, so one of them just engaged him in a bard-off and he left town in shame. Then my ranger tracked him. :P Seems the GM really didn't want us to know where he came from, though, since I wasn't permitted to chase him very far outside the borders before being not-so-randomly waylaid and forced to break off...
Thomas Seitz wrote:
You're damn right it didn't. Just anti-paladin and some posers pretending to be paladins. :P
Ross Byers wrote:
Nothing says they can't do both. ;) In any case, I've played a paladin in 3.5 Forgotten Realms who hewed to the code while running an effective counterinsurgency campaign and shadow war against the Night Masks, and my first Pathfinder Society character is a paladin actively scheming to bring down Hamaria Blakros for her evil ways and handed the means to do it through her violation of Absalom's slave trading laws in The Penumbral Accords (hence Profession [barrister]). The overarching point is that relaxing the definition of "paladin" to include not-good and not-lawful is both a perversion of the concept and not at all necessary to make them fit in a campaign heavy in political intrigue.
I defy anyone to tell me with a straight face that a paladin needs to stray from law and/or good to competently deal with or even in intrigue. I've done it before and will do it again, no "gray paladin" required; they have all the tools as-is. Diplomacy, Sense Motive, Knowledge (nobility), Profession (barrister), and best of all a commitment to Law. Nothing drives intrigue quite like knowing all the ins and outs of the rules. ;) Something like the 3.5 Grey Guard or the gray paladin archetype talked about here only serves as a crutch for those who want the glory without the guts. :P