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RPG Superstar 6 Season Star Voter. Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber. Organized Play Member. 199 posts (1,445 including aliases). 11 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 3 Organized Play characters. 1 alias.


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Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

While I get the OPs sense of frustration, it is worth pointing out - as others have - that the preferred point of sale for Paizo is, of course, through this website, preferably as a subscriber.

But that is not for everybody and that's fine too. Turns out, there is a significant demand for buying hardcover gaming books off of Amazon. It fits the Amazon business model nicely.

And buying through your FLGS is okay as well. Lots of people buy the products differently, through a number of sales points. All are valid.

However, if it is speed and certainty that you crave, buying directly from Paizo as a subscriber is the most reliable method. Plus, you get your PDF as soon as your order is picked by the shipping department (and paid for). I look forward to that day most, as that is when PDFs are available to me to download. Physical product may be delivered some time well after that. It's the PDFs I'm jonesing for the most!

Liberty's Edge

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Gorbacz wrote:

Of course, the ICV2 charts doesn't include digital distribution, so it doesn't account for Paizo subscriptions and PDF sales and neither for WotC's DDI.

An itch on my back says that they're roughly equal.

An itch on my back says they are not equal and Paizo leads there, too.

My bet? Paizo's average net revenue per customer on its web store is at least between three and four times the size of WotC's net revenue per customer in terms of WotC's online sales revenue for D&D per month.

After all, Paizo sells THOUSANDS of products directly to the customer, with the large majority of those sales being revenue earned by its Pathfinder and GameMastery branded products. There are only a handful of products sold on the web store which are as cheap as a DDI monthly subscription. The more additional product lines are added into that subsciption, the more the revenue per customer adds up.

So the question is: Does WotC have at least between three and four times the number of subscribers than Paizo has online customers, including non-subscribers?

My bet is: No, they do not.

Liberty's Edge 3/5

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Many thanks to Doug Miles for services FAR above and beyond the Call of Duty. I was quite upset to learn of his resignation, tbh, and hope all is well.

P.S.: Evidently, I'm not quite a Venture-Lieutenant yet.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Dryder wrote:

I could sent you this 30MB file, as I downloaded it, but haven't had a chance yet to hear it...

I would like that very much. You can reach me at rtrifts@rogers.com. Drop me a note and I'll reply and fill you in.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Rexbo wrote:

On Thursday night, approximately 7 hours after the announcement concerning the end of Dragon and Dungeon magazines, Phil Lacefield Jr., the Sales Manager at Paizo, granted Pulp Gamer an exclusive interview.

Phil talked about the end of an era, the reaction of Paizo customers, and the introduction of Paizo's Pathfinder.

You can listen to the interview at the following link:


Where is this podcast? If it was once up - now its gone. Where do I find it?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
TheTravis wrote:
Forgive my ignorance, but why can't Paizo release the AOW hadcover without the D&D logo? If they're using OGL material, and I believe they are, why can't they release the book?

Because WotC owns the copyright. That's the nature of the beast.

And it's not OGL, btw. Mind Flayers, Beholders etc? That's pure 100% licensed D&D.

But the content in Dungeon and Dragon is copyright: Wizards of the Coast.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

It's not going to happen.

WotC does not want you buying a 700 page book that will ensure that you never buy a single one of their adventures in the next year or two.

It has never been more clear than today: WotC does not want to compete with licensed Paizo D&D products. Period. And they don't want you to buy them.

I have my AoW in print - and I have it in pdf. I would have bought it in hardcover too. Not to be.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Paizo has absolutely earned my loyalty. The quality is unmatched - and better than WotC's.

I'm in for Pathfinder.

I'd prefer it in cheaper form with advertising mind you - but I expect whenever the non-compete clause expires, we'll see it in that form.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Ilthane could have been a challenge - but the PCs really were prepared for her and had all the right spells memorized. And that's the difference.

Even still - I upped her hits and stats considerably. She was a CR 16 dragon (bordering on 18). The party of 6 was half 10th and half 11th level. It didn't matter. Ilthane was a s good as dead.

The Mass Acid Resist 30, the counter for the entangle spell - and above all - the Spell Compendium's Downdraft was the end of the dragon. Downdraft is a spell worth banning, I think. This single third level spell is a total equalizer against any dragon on the wing that is trying to move into strafing range.

Even if the dragon saves - it's being smashed into the earth 50 feet *straight down*. *VOOM* Kerrash!

Most times as a dragon moves in to strafing range - that's enough to bring it down and crashing into the ground.

And it was enough with Ilthane too.

Now. the Oculus Demon on the other hand...he was *MEAN*!! That was no cakewalk. I almost had them all with him...

Liberty's Edge

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Eremite wrote:
There are also some spellweaver ruins in 2E's Lands of Intrigue which I think is a free download at WotC.

Thanks - I'll check it out. Right now, I think I'm good with using some elements from Shackled City Adv Path which had Spell Weaver ruins in both Ch.4 - The Demonskar Legacy and in Ch. 6 - Secrets of the Soul Pillars.

Needs some work - but I've got most of the bridge adventure blocked out. It's looking pretty cool actually.

Should take a party of 6 from mid-11th level to 13th and it fits the Spire of Long Shadows more or less seamlessly.

Those who want a .pdf of the adventure can mail me at steelwind@dladventures.com and I'll send you one when it's finished (week or two - tops).

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I've decided to splice in a substantial adventure to tie in the Spellweavers into the Spire of Long Shadows. By the end of the Spellwaever adventure (drawing upon an exploration of a Spellweaver ruin modified from SCAP's Secret of the Soul Pillars), the party should be mid 13th level. Any excess XP I will deal with by reducing XP for experiencing the visions within the SoLS.

The justification is that the Spellweavers (as explained in Dragon #338) can extend their lifespans of 600 odd years 6 times. At the end of this, their last life - they go into a rebirth cycle where they split into six creatures that bears some of their memories and the cycle of life begins again. Reproduction is entirely asexual and comes at the end of a Spellweaver's entended life.

Seen in this light, the Lichdom taken by the Harbinger is a grave offence to the much diminished Spellweaver species. Not only did the Harbinger give the Secret of Communication to Kyuss (who used it to enslave the necrotic worms) but the Harbinger then attempted to escape rebirth and death by choosing lichdom.

This was absolutely unacceptable to the Spellweavers. The Harbinger is seen is a traitor to their entire race and was imprisoned in the Obsidian Ring by the Spellweavers.

In order to pass through the Ring, the party must recover a Chromatic Disk and attune to it. Normally, this would destroy the disk. But the
Elder Worm can do it in order to open gate and gain entrance to the Obsidian Ring.

I'm still working on the details, but if you send me an e-mail at steelwind@dladventures.com, I should be able to send you the full adventure in a week or so if you want it.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Awesome. Just read the Dragon Ecology - it's perfect.

Off to do some further research on the Spellweavers in SCAP. I can't **believe** I missed this. Thanks again.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
BlackFalconKY wrote:
Robert Trifts wrote:

Did Drecker whip these guys up for the AoW? Is there more info I can find on the Spellweavers somewhere?

The spell weavers come from Monster Manual II. There was also an "Ecology of the Spell Weaver" article on page 62 of Dragon Magazine issue 338 (written by Tito Leati).

Hope that helps!

The embarrassing thing is... I have both MMII *and*, far worse, that issue of Dragon and I never noticed. I was in such a rush to read the WormHunter PrC that I...*sigh*

My thanks.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Milak wrote:
My situation is just as bad as my players are in the exact same spot. I have 6 players with no npc's and they are 11th level after A Gathering of Winds. I plan to drop about 10 encounters on them from Diamond Lake to Longsaddle (Magepoint). I am going to use the Devils as one of the encounters and I'm going to throw in a non combat encounter with a group of Harpers (Forgotten Realms) where I'll bring Celene out to save them from getting arrested due to their failure in Waterdeep (Free City). But yes I see a major problem with the meat grinder they are about to walk into at their current level. I'm definetly going to use the Beholder and his trolls, plus I'm going to add a group higher level Yuan Ti. By the time I am done with them they will be so sick of combat I can get them role playing more ;)

I'm in the same boat. Same party size - same XP issue - though I built in some hooks early on to give myself some latitude when this problem cropped up.

For one - the PCs found a piece of the Rod of Seven Parts in the Whispering Cairn initially. It took them a long while to open the box it was in - they didn't manage that until Eligos managed to open it half way through the HoHr. But - point was - they have two Rod fragments now - which they assembled (I knew they could not resist) and they cannot now be unassembled and put back into their scry proof containers...

So the Devil encounter has its rationale...to a point. I'm pretty sure the party will be falling over themselves to sell Tenser the Rod to buy magic items with downtime though. They've been complaining about no downtime for magic item constructions for - oh - about a year or more now. I promised them they would have it before SoLS.

And they'll take it and want the money from selling the Rod to buy/craft stuff. In fact - that's a certainty. So I need a fallback plan after a spirited devil encounter.

I gave the party a vial containing an "Elder Worm" as part of the loot from the Faceless One during 3FoE. It took a long time for the right PC to do the right thing with the vial (PC had to be infected with a Kyuss worm for thr Elder Worm to awaken by taking over part of host's brain to drive out the worms) - but it eventually happened half way through the Champion's Belt.

Essentially, the back story is that this worm is one of the original "brain bugs" of the worms before Kyuss took the worms over and made them his. The Elder Worm is an ally of sorts - but his powers come at a cost. He is a psionic parasite and over time he uses part of the bearer's brain as his own. This brings gifts - and madness - of the worm to the bearer. It also protects the bearer from Kyuss Worms as if he were "Wormeaten" as the Wormhunter PrC.

The main reason I put the Elder Worm into the party was to justify the visions the party has in Kuluth-Mar. The visions are triggered by the Elder Worm and will be shared with the rest of the party via Rary's Telepathic Bond. (The spell is std op procedure for my players - they are predictable)

And of course, the Elder Worm sees the Harbinger as the traitor who facilitated the enslaving of his species by Kyuss. That should be fun...

I'm looking to prevent entry into the Obsidian Ring in Kuluth-Mar until the PCs *do something* in the city ruins first - probably linking it to the Elder Worm. This forces the party to combat some or all of the the Beholder, Demodand and the Yuan-Ti to gain the XP before heading in to the SoLS.

On that front, I was considering swapping out the Yuan-Ti or somehow grafting the Yuan-Ti in some way with the Spellweavers in order to play up that element of the backstory in the rise of Kyuss. It also plays up and foreshadows the Harbinger - who is too cool a villain to just be a throwaway. He has to *mean something*.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Jesse Drecker's Spire of Long Shadows is one long epic bit o nastiness.

I'm prepping for it now. Well - truth be told - I've been prepping for it for about a year and a half. I've been itching to run this one for a long, long time.

I intend to make the 4 encounter zones in Kuluth-Mar more prominent in the adventure - mainly as a means of upping the party XP before they head in.

I am considering swapping out the encounter with the Yuan-Ti with somethign more keyed to the Spellweavers.

And that's the central reason for my request for more backstory/info concerning the race known as the Spellweavers.

I'm no noob - been playing nigh on 30 years now - but I'm not sure if I have come across the Spellweavers before. Did Drecker whip these guys up for the AoW? Is there more info I can find on the Spellweavers somewhere?

Anyone know?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Looks great - paint it up!

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Started it in August 06.

I have run 23 sessions since. The party has now passed the Black Gate and is in Izosiel's complex in Ch. 6 A Gathering of Winds.

The AP is designed for a group running a weekly game session of 4-6 hours to finish it in about a year ~ 52 sessions.

If you are running less often than once a week - do the math :)

As for monotonous - depends on your group's style. Levelling is a definite reward and comes relatively often in the AP. I find the theme of the dungeons sufficiently different that it is not monotonous to run - and my players show up without fail.

It is endless surprise and ceaseless wonder compared to World's Largest Dungeon :)

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Thorne Tanaka wrote:

Here is my question. With the party losing their Wizard (necromancer), is it possible for them to continue the campaign, they are currently traveling to the free city and are going to begin HoHR. I think they'll be ok for HoHR and TCB, but after that? Is this a TPK waiting to happen?

It will be a little nasty - but it's doable.

The spells the party absolutely needs to survive are Death Ward or Anti-Magic Shell (negative energy barrier in a pinch I suppose). Without a lot of the former or at least one of the latter on an urgent basis, the Swords of Kyuss will TPK them in Spire of Long Shadows unless you are pulling punches. And every time Sword of Kyuss and Invocation of the Worm show up in subsequent modules - the same fate awaits the party.

Druid gets Death Ward at 5th level. Prepare it early; prepare it VERY often! The party should be able to progress - but it will be a little nasty.

Other option: turn the departing Wizard into a PC/NPC. Permit the group to decide what the Wizard will prepare as required. Let the non-spell casting drow control the Wizard during combat, DM controls him otherwise.

Not ideal, but this should permit the party to have access to Wizard resources deemed to be critical for the party's overall success.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Just a note to Erik:

On the strength of your recommendation and the treatement in #352, I bought Perdid Street Station on Friday.

There is not a chance I would have bought thie book without your glowing recommendation and the article in Dragon #352. Nil. Zip. Nada. Zero point zero percent.

While I may not be every reader - I am sure I am like many of them. The author got some solid exposure and return from Dragon #352. Do not doubt for a moment that he did.

Whether I am going to thank you or blame you for the purchse remains to be seen - only 70 pages in or so and I don't think it's quite "going" yet.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
dungeonblaster wrote:
Are you sure they won't just decide to windwalk/shadowwalk/travel ethereally? In fact, I got rid of the whole shipwreck encounter because I couldn't see why Darl would waste his time with a sea voyage.

If you have your heart set on a sea based expedition to get there, it's easy: Rule that the mist prevents teleportation or dimensional travel and the storms make flight all but impossible. The *only *way to get there is to sail - and it's insanely dangerous to try to do so: "Where NPCs fear to tread", etc.

As for way cool ideas on how to get there, I suggest WorldWorks Games Maiden of the High Seas:


Now - come on. Is that freaking cool or what? Almost makes you want to play STAP.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

My players use far more direct methods to combat worms. A single worm is squished - but once there are multiple worms transferred, the party uses fireburst (or fireball on occasion) on themselves.

Yes, the PC Mystic Theurge deliberately flames the party.

Fireburst is not so bad (2nd level, Spell Compendium) It is centred on the PC caster and radiates outwards in a 10 foot radius, doing 5d8 at my player's level (Reflex for half).

5d8 x.5 - or a mere 11 points on average is a far better result than being wormfood. With Energy Resistance (Fire) up - the damage is even less. The party takes the hit - regularly, usually doing some damage to nearby Spawn at the same time. The blast is sufficient to crisp every worm on the surface of a player character.

It is a very direct and effective means of protection. Actual worm contamination happened only the first time the party encountered the Spawn, After that - the party was quite insistent they would rather be cooked than eaten.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Hierophantasm wrote:

I like the additional Wormbound spells. Wall of Worms strikes me as a clever take on blade barrier.

Breath of the Apostle looks great, but I think you could get away with an even lower level.

I agree. Ninth is too high a level for this spell. 7th or 8th.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Chris Shadowens wrote:

I'm working on an adventure and was thinking I'd whip up a map I could include in the PDF of the adventure. I'd goofed around a bit with AutoREALM but hadn't yet tried to make a map with it. In short, I couldn't get what I was looking for. Moreover, it was considerably slow compared to just grabbing a pencil and some graph paper. I've used Campaign Cartographer 2 in the past with similar results, slow and not what I was hoping for. Now, I've seen some good maps made with both programs but were they long in the making? Am I just not giving either enough trial-time or is it just the lengthy process that I'm seeing it to be? I also spent a little time with the demo of Dunjinni and was also less than impressed despite the glorious ads in Dragon. Also, would I be better served using a drawing pad versus the mouse?

- Chris Shadowens

Depends what you want to do as NWN does not do large scale maps well - but for battle maps or town/fortress maps - the NWN1 toolset is extremely fast and very flexible. Plus - it allows for arbitrary camera angle shots. 80-85 dgrees as opposed to direct overhead gives your map a neat pro feel to it.

A bonus: it may well be something you already own.

Build your map in the toolset (it's damned fast) - hit prinscreen - edit as necessary if you need to cut and paste some buildings so thay aren't all on a grid.

Works extremely well and very fast. Hordes of tilesets on nwvault.com free for the downloading.

.Robert (Steel_Wind)

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Rik Osborne wrote:

After a long wait, I finally have some players to DM for (yay!) and I'm at long last able to get started running the Age of Worms.

Since many of you are probably quite far along (or even finished) with the adventure path, I'd like to pick your brains if I may. Would some of you be so kind as to suggest some prestige classes that have worked well in AoW? I want to suggest some possibilities to my players so that they can be thinking about entry requirements right from the beginning.

While it is not available as a PrC until after The Champion's Belt, but far and away the best PrC class for AoW is the Wormhunter. It appears in the Worm Food section of Dragon #338.

Their big schtick is, when properly constructed, the Wormhunter will be able to inflict criticals and sneak attack damage on the undead.

Given the unrelenting nature of the undead in the series from Spire of Long Shadows onward, many pure combat classes like the Fighter or Rogue may feel quite frustrated by an inability to deal a critical hit. The Wormhunter PrC potentially restores the combat balance somewhat for those players.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
There should be enough XP in Gathering of Winds for the PCs to reach 13th level. If there isn't, they should go on a side quest. The next adventrue's really tough... possibly the toughest in the entire campaign.

The intro to Spire of Long Shadows gives DMs an excellent distraction / sub-campaign to deliver more XP on the hoof to the PCs.

1) they have to get to Magepoint; and,
2) they should be bearing at least one piece of the Rod of Seven Parts with them.

IMC, I had the PCs find the 12" piece to the Rod in the first adventure. It was locked in a complex container that Alustan ultimately opened for them and asked them to bring it to Eligos for identifying and command words. They have used it twice. One free Hold Monster a day is not that big a deal... (the power of the 12" segment).

My players start AGoW next session. By the time A Gathering of Winds concludes, my PCs will find the 15" segment as well. Two pieces of the Rod of Seven Parts being found is a Sign of the Apocalypse and will attract heavy extra-planar attention. (plus grant a heal and a resonating fly at will power).

What this means in terms of gameplay is that with one (or two) pieces of the Rod of Seven Parts, a DM can justify a number of attacks by devils upon the party to try and seize the Rod - and expand on this as necessary over time to provide a neat recurring diversion together with some foes that the party can actually score a critical against :).

Get out your Fiendish Codex II and have some fun.

This should provide an opportunity for more varied encounters to deliver added XP to the party to get them up to 13th. This, in turn, should provide the PCs with the power to cast the anti-magic shells and the multiple death wards necessary to survive the Swords of Kyuss and the Invocation of the Worm.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Tonight's session was the final installment of the Champion's Belt.

Last session, the party defeated Bozal. The problem was, they defeated him so quickly with two successive Orbs of Force that Bozal did not have an opportunity to release the Ulgurstasta...

This session - the party did not resume trying to break the stasis field around the Apostolic Scroll. While there seemed to be a general acceptance that the "Great Worm within the bubble" would probably burst out during the final combat, the party did not appreciate how dire that event might prove to be.

So instead the party turned its efforts towards beating Pitch Blade, the Froghemoth and Auric's Warband. The Froghemoth proved to be very nasty - but was ultimately pasted by the party .

So when the fight against Auric's Warband unfolded, I had Loris Raknian's henchman (who I will not name here as my players may read this passage and his identity must remain a secret) release the Ulgurstasta with a Rod of Cancellation during the fight.

The worm burst out in to the arena on Round Three (after the Arena began to shake and rumble in Round 2) and Raknian then gave his speech, pointing the Apostle to Auric as "The Champion".

I shall not give the blow by blows. Suffice to say that Auric was soon thereafter grappled - but a PC rolled on behalf of Auric to resist the grapple check and rolled a 20.

Disaster averted... for the moment.

The next round for the Ulgurstasta, it bit Auric twice and easily grappled.

As fate would have it though - this proved to be the Apostle's undoing. The damage from the bites and the whipping tendrils actually dropped Auric into the negs and he was dying.

So there Auric was, unconscious and dying in the maw of the beast with his legs sticking out betwixt its foul teeth: Auric - and the City of Greyhawk - were teetering on the very edge of disaster. The PCs had but one round to act to prevent it...

As it turned out - it was the key fact that Auric was unconscious and dying that saved the City of Greyhawk and prevented the Apostle of Kyuss from completing the prophecy.

To save Auric, the party's Psychic Warrior (enlarged to Huge form) stepped towards the worm and touched Auric and Dimension doored away - taking Auric from the mouth of the beast as he was just about to be swallowed.

Because Auric was in the negs and unconscious - he was a willing target. He was, therefore, successfully dimension doored to the other side of the Arena without having to make a Will save. The Ulgurstasta was about to swallow him on initiative 19. The PC who saved him was at initiative 22. It was a *very* close thing.

The party did enough damage to the Ulgurstasta over the next round to drop it. Auric, who was quickly healed back to consciousness, thanked the Psychic Warrior who saved him from death and surrendered the Champion's Belt to him with a flourish.

The Crowd roared its approval and the "Captain" of "Shockwave" (the Team's name) is enjoying his brief moment of fame in the City of Greyhawk as a hero of the common people.

I actually spent a fair bit of time last night working out what would happen if the Ulgurstasta succeeded in swallowing Auric - the chances of which I placed at about 50/50.

I went through my issue "0", Volume 1 copy of The Living Greyhawk Journal and decided that Jallazri from the Circle of Eight would be in attendance in a VIP box at the Arena.

Given the speed with which the Ulgurstasta attacked - it would not be immediately clear that what was happening was not part of the show, as it were. By the time Jallazri would realize that something was horribly wrong - it would be too late.

She would immediately go to fetch Otis (also from the Circle of Eight) and they would decide to act against the Ulgurstasta and the Wights (and save any surviving PCs) after a minute has passed when the Wights would begin to overrun the City of Greyhawk.

Jallazri and Otis would then coordinate the defence of the City - such as it could be against the Wights. A considerable amount of blame was to be heaped upon the PCs for this disaster and they would be expected to help clear important neighbourhoods within the City of the wight infestation. (This scenario was a variant of the earlier discussions here on what might happen if a potion of Cure Minor Wounds with a Kyuss worm in it was unwittingly permitted to fall into unsuspecting hands of commoners within the City.)

I even had a plan to have Iggwilv intervene/interfere during the wave of horror that would descend over the City, forcing the Circle of Eight to turn away from the threat posed by the Age of Worms to deal with the new War which appeared to be imminent (and thereby preserve some reason for the PCs to still be the focal point of the campaign against Kyuss.)

Celeste, on behalf of Tenser, would prevail upon the PCs to continue the fight against Kyuss while the Circle prepared to deal with Iggwilv and Iuz. Tenser would disagree with Mordenkainen over which was the real threat facing everyone. I planned to play up that distraction as being the reason Tenser could not act to assist the PCs more concretely as the campaign unfolds).

As it so happened - all of that "what if" disaster which threatened to derail my Age of Worms campaign was about one second away.

A near thing. A very near thing indeed...

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Chairborne Ranger wrote:
Forgive my ignorance regarding the game-publishing industry, but what prevents Paizo from simply excising the AoW adventures and Wormfood articles as-is from the back issues and lumping them together as a downloadable PDF?

The deal with WotC prevents Paizo from selling back issues in pdf form unless they are "sold out".

Because physical copies of all of those issues still exist, they cannot be sold in pdf form. Never mind the excising and electronic repackaging.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Cintra Bristol wrote:
I don't have the magazine handy, but the impression I had was that the dome top is opaque, maybe bricked over. At least, that's how I did it - they didn't see anything until they were in the lower level and then only if they opened the doors.

Yup. This is how I handled it too.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Terraneaux wrote:


arcane casters are not the kings of damage-dealing, in any case. They benefit much greater through use of battlefield control, or in the case of the battle everyone is talking about, dispel magic.

A much more powerful way to deal with enemies is freezing fog (and dimensional anchor/lock if they can teleport) combined with any sort of aoe, such as lightning bolt or fireball, repeatedly.

Look - the above is just nonsense. Of COURSE Arcane casters are the Kings of damage dealing. This is D&D. That's what mid to high level Wizards do best.

Bozal has one dispel magic - and to use it - he'd have to hold action and wait for the spell to counter. The simple choice to hold action totally eliminates his effectiveness and reduces his threat level to zero. The choice to dispel is a complete check on his power as he is horribly outnumbered.

Counterspelling, generally, is rarely effective, except for those with the feats to instantaneously react to do so. It is even less effective when outnumbered.

As for freezing fog - a simple resist energy gets rid of the damage effect - SR and Spell Immunity would have countered your damage dealing spells and Bozal would have summoned enough critters down on their heads to crush them in the meanwhile. He's happy to sit in Freezing Fog. Bozal is not moving in the first place. He's a static target whose only real vulnerability is to missile fire. Being in the middle of Freezing Fog with total concealment would have aided Bozal - not harmed him.

The problem with Orb of Force is that it is a xD6 range touch. My players who play Wizards hit with them FAR more often than they miss. The combination of no SR and no save elevates these spells to a special class of their own: *Boss Killers*. Because the spell has no SR - even spell immunity cannot counter it.

Wizard players stock up on orb spells for this very reason. They are simply overpowered.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Bit of an odd player solution tonight to an interesting challenge posed by Bozal in The Champion’s Belt. For innovative thinking, I permitted the player to use the spell to work for the purpose the PC intended and circumvented the protection afforded by the 6th level cleric spell “Anti-life Shell”.

To refresh those DMs concerning the encounter with Bozal, he is an extremely nasty 11th level of cleric of Kyuss whose spell selection and buffs makes him a formidable opponent if he has time to prepare. This evening, the PCs unwittingly gave Bozal all the time he needed to *fully* buff up and prepare for the party.

The nastiest feature of the encounter with Bozal is his casting of Anti-Life Shell as one of his pre-cast protection spells. Anti-life Shell does the following:

Antilife Shell
Level: Animal 6, Clr 6, Drd 6
Components: V, S, DF
Casting Time: 1 round
Range: 10 ft.
Area: 10-ft.-radius emanation, centered on
Duration: 10 min./level (D)
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: Yes

You bring into being a mobile, hemispherical
energy field that prevents the
entrance of most types of living creatures.
The effect hedges out animals, aberrations,
dragons, fey, giants, humanoids, magical
beasts, monstrous humanoids, oozes,
plants, and vermin, but not constructs,
elementals, outsiders, or undead. See the
Monster Manual for more about creature
This spell may be used only defensively,
not aggressively. Forcing an abjuration
barrier against creatures that the spell
keeps at bay collapses the barrier (see
Abjuration, page 172).

So there the PCs were, in considerable trouble. Bozal was buffed, with Spell Resistance and even a few choice Spell Immunities up too for good measure. With one Spawn of Kyuss left as a minion, and the green beam from the Apostolic Scroll ominously lancing across part of the room, apparently the only safe path to reach Bozal was exceedingly narrow.

As the PCs advanced – they could not penetrate the anti-life shell. A Scorching Ray fizzled as it failed to get through Bozal's Spell Resistance and Spell Immunity. Bozal calmly began to summon crocodiles and concentrated their attacks all on the party’s Mystic Theurge. Surrounded, the Theurge took heavy damage from the crocs. An inflict serious wounds the round later had the Theurge one attack form death. Bozal was still unharmed.

The Theurge player had by then determined that there was probably an anti-life shell surrounding the enemy. As the party desperately fired off spells and tried to attack to little avail, the Theurge player whipped out a spell he had been saving from the Spell Compendium: Living Undeath.

Living Undeath does not truly render the recipient an undead… but all vital signs stop. For all intents and purposes, the target of a living undeath spell is no longer alive:

Living Undeath
Level: Cleric 2
Components: V, S, DF
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Touch
Target: Creature touched
Duration: 1 minute/level
Saving Throw: Fortitude negates
Spell Resistance: Yes (harmless)

You invoke the will of your gods and your
skin sags and becomes sallow, your eyes
hollow, and your flesh foul and rotted.

This spell imparts a physical transformation
upon the subject, not unlike
the process that produces a zombie.
While the subject does not actually
become undead, its vital processes are
temporarily bypassed with no seeming
ill effect. The subject is not subject
to sneak attacks and critical hits for
the duration of the spell, as if it were
While the spell is in effect, the subject
takes a –4 penalty to its Charisma
score (to a minimum of 1).

The player argued persuasively that Living Undeath could circumvent the Anti-Life shell and permit the target to pass the barrier.

The inspired use of a fairly unusual spell the player had prepared seemed appropriate enough - particularly as the party was in extremis. I allowed it and permitted the target recipient to bypass the anti-life shell...though getting within touch range of Bozal was a mixed blessing.

Long story short – the advancing Psychic Warrior who now had his vital signs stopped slipped through the anti-life shell and closed to engage Bozal. It was heroic, but foolhardy.

Critically, the advancing Psychic Warrior did give the PC spellcasters the moments they needed to extricate themselves from the summoned crocodiles, heal and find a spell that would could cut through the SR of the cleric of Kyuss. By that time, however, the party's not quite dead Psychic Warrior was moving quickly towards death's front door.

The psychic warrior failed his save vs Harm. 91 points of damage in the blink of an eye - the party's tank had one hit point left and the player looked shocked.

"6th level? He has 6th level spells?" What friggin CR is this thing??"

Luckily, one very nasty Orb of Force (no SR, no save - I’m really beginning to hate these damn Orb spells) blasted Bozal as he was about to kill the psychic warrior and took him down.

Overall, a very challenging fight with some rabbits being pulled out of the hat at the last moment with some inspired spellcasting. Not too sure it was an appropriate spell to bypass anti-life shell - but sometimes you got to go with the flow and reward the players for quick thinking.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Takasi wrote:

10 Swords of Kyuss win initiative. 10 invocations of the worm, 14d6 (50 average) negative energy damage. Of 9 charactes in the party, 6 are dropped far below -10, even the ones who made all their saves (for a measly 250 damage). Only the characters with evasion survived to see the Boneyard which finished the job.

Fast forward and everyone is OK. My players want to know if anyone actually survived this encounter, and if so how did they do it? I did not bump up the encounter, despite allowing every legal feat/spell/magic item/prestige class in all WotC D&D books (excluding Forgotten Realms), 32 point buy, action points and 7 players (two of which have cohorts). Can you defeat this encounter? Is there ANY POSSIBLE WAY to defeat this "core" adventure using only the core rulebooks and a balanced party of four 16th level characters?

Death Ward and Antimagic Field are both absolute protection against this attack.

This is an EL20 encounter. The party should know by now that Death Ward or Antimagic Field is an essential spell. Antimagic Field is a much better defence as it is more ecnonomical than Death Ward (though it comes with its own detractions) but either way - they ought to know by now that the power level they are facing requires this sort of preparation.

As for how you retcon it? Zosiel's Silver Diadem pulses with power and a huge antimagic field of uncertain duration and radius is channeled by the Ancient Guardians of Law to rescue the PCs in an attempt tp prevent the return of Kyuss and the onset of the Age of Worms.

The force of the Antimagic Field is so strong it *burns out* the Diadem (say adios to the +4 Circlet of Wisdom. PC Cleric's fault anyway for not having enough Death Wards up). The Invocation of the Worm is suppressed en masse... along with potentially other spells the party may wish to use in their defence.

Carry on...

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

In my gaming group:

B.A., LLB., LSUC(lawyer)
BSc. (chem)
BSc. MSc. (chem)
BSc., BScCSci., (math)
BSc. MSc, PhD. (biology)
nada (high school)
nada (high school)

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Hastur wrote:

I think the problem is that your players are focusing too much on the mechanics, i.e. the meta-game aspects, and missing the point of playing the role-play game.

Tell that their complaints during the game are not necessary, and to get on with playing it as a character not as a set of combats that are tailored to hit their sweet-spot.


To clarify - all but one of my players have been for 25 years+ and one of them has been playing for 31 years now, (Original D&D in 1975). This is not a case where taking players aside and telling them "how" they should play D&D is at all relevant.

These complaints are not offered during play but at the end of the session.

Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Hello all,

Let me walk you through my thought processes on some of these decisions, so that you can better see where I am coming from

Thanks for taking the time to respond Jason.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Jason (and everyone else here),

My players, rules lawyers that they are, are feeling a little put out. I’ve managed to kill all the PCs (but one) at least once and they are feeling aggrieved at the nastiness of the Age of Worms...

One thing that has them irked is the sheer nastiness of the Greater Doppelganger fighters in Hall of Harsh Reflections. The 1-8+6, +13/+8 attacks and the AC 22 had them irked. The criticals were flying fast and furious and the party felt truly overpowered.

What’s got the up in arms now is the CR level of Telakin. They are of the view that Telakin’s Wizard levels should have added to his CR as a Doppelganger 1 for 1. Even if it is a ½ addition, the apparently 8th level Wizard Telakin and the CR9 Greater Doppelganger indicates a CR of 13, not 9 or 10.

When I withdrew the three Greater Doppelganger fighters from the maze to aid Telakin in his Throne room, the proper EL level skyrockets - depending on how you assess the CR of Matal and Regim (on whose entries I based the Gr Doppelgagner fighters).

Given that I just about TPK’d them in Hall of Harsh Reflections a few times, they are feeling that the CRs for the real creature threats are not being accurately reflected in the module. I have to admit - I'm inclined to agree with them.

Any feedback on how you determined the CR level of these foes Jason? I expect the whining will escalate when they get to Zyrxog’s CR!

To anybody else? Your view on the appropriate CR to assign to Martal and Regim and the fighters based on their entries (CR6) and Telakin (CR9? 10? 13?).

Martal and Regim look to be CR9 at least, possibly higher, while Telakin appears to be a CR13 – by the book.


Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Slamy Mcbiteo wrote:
My party has pretty much breezed through this.....the only really tough encounter was the octopus. The end encounter was a joke!!!!! telekin (if that was ihis name) got one spell..then he was webbed (which sucks becasue he had no ranks in concentraction..so he failed casting a few spells, plus the party blinded him. So he was pretty much target!!! So far I have been disappointed with the all mods up to this point....

Web? It's a 30 foot ceiling room. Even assuming a mid air burst web can anchor top and bottom, it's not that big a web "footprint".

Telakin also has blind-fight. If he's webbed - they can't reach him either and webs provide some concealment bonus. Telakin has a huge Ref bonus and just retreats to the other side of the web - casts confusion and then woe betide the party if they fail their Will saves. The web quickly will becomes a fly paper for confused fighters and a defence for Telakin - not a hindrance.


I ran the latter half of Sodden Hold this eve. It claimed 2 more PCs and it was down to the wire against Telakin. The Druid pretty much saved the party's bacon and we've all come to develop a rudging respect for summoned crocodiles (a critter not to be underestimated)

Put simply, the AC 22, 1d8+6, +13/+8 doppelganger fighters are kick ass mean to a party of this power level. With so many attack rolls - wielding longswords - the critical chances go up - way up. And I was rolling pretty well too.

I followed the module more or less. After the first group of doppelgangers were attacked and the PC freed, the party advanced on Telakin. The Wiz saw the PCs coming at him using his clairvoyance. He withdrew his personal guard from the maze to his chamber, buffed with Mage Armor and Resist Energy (fire) and positioned his guards inside the room.

The 'Gangers won inititative and the fireball scroll was used as their opening salvo. The fireball flew into the maze as the gangers then moved to the door, blocking the entrace and attacking. The party's tank took 54 points, two others 31 each.

And so it started.

Before all was said and done, Telakin had used up nearly all his spells, the party almost all of their (remianing) spells. The fighter and the rogue died and I would have picked off two others with the remaining fireball (I had Talakin hold it back almost until the very end) if they had failed their reflex saves.

It was nasty -- bloody nasty.

As the party returned with the treasure and their comrades' bodies, they looked down to see Zyrxog at the secret entrance.

I made the "fingers waving under chin" sign and held up the front cover of the issue.

Even Dave, a veteran player of 30 years look startled as the new foe was confirmed as a mind flayer.

"Kill them!" it hissed. Then the lights went out as darkness descended over the remaining - and spell exhausted - party members.

I ended the (very long) session at 1:00 a.m. right there.

The general opinion of the players is that the AP is extremely tough - but there is a drudging enjoyment of the diffculty I think. With TPK's lurking around the corner every session - nobody is much surprised anymore at the lethality level of the encounters.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Do not underestimate the lethality of Sodden Hold. It's a bit of a meat grinder and a wolf in sheep's clothing.

The number of TPK's in this location are substantial; near TPKs are even greater.

The invisible stalkers, in particular, ought not to be underestimated.

A stern metagame warning to players before they enter of the lethality may be enough. Whatever the case, don't shrug this off. Your AoW campaign is much better if your players' characters are alive to play it :)

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Just when you think you understand this campaign and the power of the party you are running, things happen that dramatically alter the party dynamic with disastrous results.

Last night, I had two character killed in the party I run for. The players have decided that these characters will not be raised, so this is certainly a disruption to my AoW campaign.

The strange thing is - they died in a relatively innocuous encounter that did not appear to me to be all *that* deadly. I Threw a CR11 at this party - nearly CR 12 when they were 4th/5th level at the end of 3 Faces of Evil and they beat it. With difficulty - but they beat it.

In comparison, I thought Sodden Hold would be a cakewalk.

Well it sure as hell wasn't.

The fight with the mimics went reasonably well, though it did consume some of the party's resources.

Shortly after, when the party located the chest with the captured PCs gear in it, the doppelganger in the party was exposed and attacked. That fight consumed more resources - and perhaps more importantly - reduced the party's combat strength to 4 characters.

The fight with the next two doppelgangers was nasty and caused a lot of damage. Again - consuming a lot of the healing resources of the party. The meat grinder was on...

The encounter with the Invisible Stalkers proved to be a disaster.

The party entered the room and looked uneasily at the water, spying dark shapes of weapons and spikes beneath the scum in the foul murk. On a bit of a whim - and largely because the party's search rolls have been terrible, the cleric cast detect magic and the wand of spiritual weapon lit up in the centre of the room, a few feet under the dark water.

The warmage and cleric - having the best balance in the party - move across the beams towards the wand. When they were well away from the party's fighter, druid and animal companion - the Stalkers struck against the two from surprise, knocking the warmage in the water for about 16 points. The cleric was far more unfortunate - taking 28 points between the slam and the weapons in the water.

What unfolded over the next 10 rounds was just horrible luck.
The fighter - who is quite competent with a bow - managed a to hit roll of 17 only twice - even then - concealment foiled the attack once.

Nearly two dozen arrows with a +8 to hit, and only once did an arrow score a single point of damage.

The warmage, normally quite efficient, spent off fireballs - or tried to. 5 of them. Two of them failed with horrendous concentration rolls - and the stalkers made their Reflex saves all three times the others went off.

In fact, that's a good summary of the combat. The players rolled 1,2,3 and 4 on a LOT of their rolls; meanwhile, I rolled 17, 18, 19 and 20 on most of the rolls I made for the Invisible Stalkers of Sodden Hold.

Thusly did the law of averages wreak havoc on my Age of Worms Campaign.

A few more hits here, one or two less criticals being dealt out by the Stalkers there, and this post would be very different.

But the dice were filled with malice and I resolved to play the Stalkers with half a clue. They concentrated their efforts on the Warmage and the Cleric and through invisibility, the treacherous beams and the traps under the water, the main melee combatant in the party was cut off from the battle. Despite desperate attempts at healing - by that time the healing resources had become so reduced the cleric was down to a wand of cure lights.

A hit and a critical by the stalker on the warmage for 32 points and he was reduced to -11. The cleric fell two rounds later.

The fighter finally managed to kill the remaining stalker (one ultimately died to the third fireball) but now down to 40% strength and without a cleric or wizard (or rogue) the fighter and druid withdrew - leaving the Psychic Warrior PC somewhere below in the clutches of the doppelgangers.

They have resolved to try again next session and the fighter levelled to 7th as a survivor of the Invisible Stalkers. Still, all-in-all, not the sort of encounter that you might think would kill half the party.

But it did just the same.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

We know that reasonable portability of the AP between settings is important to its success.

We know that the evil cult theme isn't in this one.

I'm for the high seas. Location based on the water - over the water, under the water - pirate's coves and little inlets. Jungleish things - are all very transposable and generic.


Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Dryder wrote:

Like the Cover of #124 (first installment), the cover of the last installment of AoW is again - EPIC!!!

Great, great cover, can't wait to hold in in my hands...


Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

While it is true the power of the Kenku mooks is reduced, the power of the Kenku commanders who can wield the Necklace of Missiles and the Quall's tokens is increased; indeed, the power of the Necklace is difficult to overstate under these circumstances.

As well, you need to look at the map again; the protection afforded to the Faceless One, his apprentices and Gallak Kur by being up on the catwalk above the pool is far greater than the maze. The Faceless One can deal with normal missles easily and render them ineffective. They have a clear range of fire and there is only one way up to get at them - and they see you coming the whole way. One web spell and you aren't getting up there anytime soon with any ease.

Sorry - you need to run this one before you suggest a whittling series of encounters in the maze was more of a threat than a stand up fight vs everyone all at once in the Dark Cathedral. It was a horrendously nasty fight which was one was roll away from a TPK on three occasions during the battle. The EL of the encounter was about 12.

Aginst a party of 3 5th levels and 2 4th levels - the advice on that encounter CR is simple to read: "Deadly - Run Away!"

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I've allowed all WotC books- except Unearthed Arcana (which I really don't like).

In terms of what's actually being used, the 5 Complete Series, Exp Psi HB, Spell Compendium + core (of course).

I have added in the Dragon Compendium for my use - theoretically now using Goods Hits and Bad Misses (no confrimed miss or crit has triggered it yet).

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

The problem with the Talisman of the Sphere is that if you give the PCs a functioning Talisman in the Whispering Cairn - and the wrong PC picks it up (which is likely) - it will very probably kill them.

A Talisman of the Sphere is a Minor Artifact. It does 5d6 (no save) to a non-arcane spell user who merely picks it up. It is for this reason that the Talisman is non-functioning when found in Whispering Cairn.

The question of how to make it functioning and who can do this is simply wrapped up by Icosiol in the adventure text. It could just as easily be Tenser/Menzorian (or even Allustan if he warns the party of its power to harm non-arcane users first). That's up to you.

The point is not who fixes it - but who might pick it up initially and kill themselves with it which is the real issue.

I think you can safely make the fixing of the Talisman a matter within the power of Menzorian without feeling you have messed with the plot. It wasn't disabled for any over-riding plot reason - it was disabled so your players wouldn't kill themselves with it. That's all.

I don't think this is a matter of "consequences". It wasn't disabled for that sort of plot reason. As the PCs will need the Talisman in the final showdown against Kyuss, they should have it - and have it working.

Let Tenser/Menzorian be able to fix it, I say.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Achilles wrote:
The more I think about this section of the campaign, the more I get annoyed and want to completely drop it. As others have mentioned, it's fairly well written, but still seems like nothing but filler, with very little at all to attach itself to the overall theme...anyone got any good ideas about a whole adventure I can throw in here to replace HoHR? I'm also somewhat amiss to learn a doppleganger is neutral, when teh creatures clearly act evil 99% of the time...just neutral to 'throw off' a Paladin's detect ability? Maybe I really WILL bring The Hand and The Eye out from Vecna Lives! as a main adventure alternate?

FWIW, I have tentiatively rewritten HoHR to play up the involvement of Ragnar Dourstone.

Ragnar was the "villain" in the eyes of the PCs from Diamond Lake and his involvement in the Ebon Triad.

Balabar Smenk ended up being a cutthroat businessman. Ragnar, otoh, was *evil* and escaped the PCs clutches and the justice of Captain Trask.

Ragnar's bid for revenge will make the adventure more tied into the plot.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

That's a scene in Dead Gentlemen Production's "The Gamers" which really applies.

In the film, the PC Wizard is accidentally killed by a party member. The player rolls up a new version of the Wizard (same essential character, different name). The new Wizard is encountered near the lair of "The Shadow" where he is to join the group.

*DM to players*: "Now I really want you to roleplay this guys. You've never met this man before..."

The players give the DM the "yeah, yeah" nod and this is how their "roleplaying" goes:


*Barbarian to Wizard*: "You look like a trustworthy sort. Would you like to join our party?"
*Wizard to Barbarian*: "Yes. Yes I would."


Lame? Yes. True to life? Damn Straight.

Results in the best overall game that advances the plot, insofar as it allows the party to DO the adventure?

Yup. Don't underestimate the power of matagaming when it comes to party formation.

"So, you are all in a bar..." may be cliche - but at least it works better than the OP's mess.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I've done this before but I would not recommend it.

Putting Fizban in the party to save everyone's bacon gets a little old - pretty fast. This is especially so as your own players now suspect (if not outright *know*) that this will be the case.

My advice? *Don't do it*. Foist the burden of survival squarely where it belongs: solely upon the shoulders of your players. (Who, it appears, have made some sub-optimal choices in character generation.)

In the alternative, reduce the CR of their foes. That's the best way to equal something that is uneven - not by fudging or by giving extraordinary resources to the PCs but by simply reducing the resources of the foes a tad till things are more in balance.

By doing so, they will live or die by their own decisions. In the medium to long term, your campaign will be *much* the better for it.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Every session.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Ian Ford 65 wrote:
I hate the rarity of figures thing... not being able to know what I'm buying makes me not buy, it doesn't get me into a lather to buy more, contrarty to marketing beliefs. I'd love to buy some figures if I knew what I was getting and I didn't have to sit on ebay for hours trying to decipher people's crappy photos. How about a simple on-line interface from the makers of the figures where I could choose what I want and order it? Until then, I'll use my money on other things.

While encouraging more purchases is part of it - it isn't only about that - or even mainly about it, really.

The big deal from WotC's pov is a huge savings in terms of shipping control and inventory management at wholesale and retail by just having one booster #sku instead of 96 packages and labels x9 sets+. From a retailing perspective, that's the real magic of it all.

If you do buy 2 cases of Wardrums as I did recently, you get 192 minis for about 1.45 CDN each. That's not so bad, really.

(And yes, I got two Aspects of Hextors - and I had just finished running 3FoE. Oh well - they do pop up again in the Adv Path.)

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Herremann the Wise wrote:

Hi Everyone,

I was just wondering what caused the split between Allustan and Tenser (Manzorian)? There are hints here and there but nothing substantial.

It's wrapped up in the politics of the Circle of Eight, but the short strokes is that Tenser left Mordenkainen's "neutral" philosophy orgnaization and actively supported the "Good" forces on Greyhawk.

Those members of the Circle of Eight and their cohorts subscribing to the belief in the balance - and Allustan is one of them - treated Tenser as a pariah for that rift with Mordenkainen.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Ran it as above. 48 Lizardman mooks, 2 lieutenants, 4th level Druid (gave her entangle) and the Leader I had boosted to 6th level.

I had Alustan give the party an CL8 Fireball scroll before teleporting out.

Party arrived to find the keep encircled and the Lizardfolk trying to storm it.

The party attacked with the Fireball and the Warmage started up with Hail of Stones left right and centre at range. Rest of party advanced and used missile fire.


Party destroyed aboput 20 lizardfolk before a detachment of 8 mooks, 1 lieutenant, the Captain, and the druid (who was well concealed) broke from the attack on the Keep to charge the party.

Party vanguard was entangled but got out.
28 Lizards destroyed, Captain slain, druid and attackers fled. Total damage sustained by party members:

Three hit points taken by Cleric of St. Cuthbert (AC20)

Total tactical victory.

Were I to do this again, I would reduce the Lizards to 30 and increase their hit dice by 2 for the mooks and made the fireball scroll a CL5. This probably would not have altered the outcome much at all, but would have been a more satisfying fight.

11 hit points for the mooks after the 3FoE was a cake-walk. 19-22 hits for these guys with a Bab of +4 or 5 would have at least made it interesting.

As it stood, the above forces of 48 plus higher level officers was a supposed EL12.

As if. Not even close. It was a paper tiger. The +2 bab, AC 15, HP 11 lizardfolk are far too fragile against a 5th level party.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Antoine7 wrote:
I seriously don't know how your group could have made it throught that encounter. The FO and Acolytes all cast Web, so 5 saves...they are bound to at least miss one. Then a 5d6 Fireball plus the 2d6 from the web burning...not to mention the five Webs.

They did cast webs - but not right off when their own troops were down there as well.

The webs did immobolize 2 of the five party members. But it was not enough. The fireballs from the necklace were expended before the webs went off to keep the party back from gaining access to the ramp.

(How do they survive? Enlarged Warmage with Fists of Stone, Enlarged Psychic Warrior with DR and a fighter who at AC23 just does not get hit very easily who deals out damage like no tomorrow).

Not saying it was not touch and go. Two got dropped into the negs and a TPK was a real possibility. But they survived (my players are very good at the tactical part of the game).

I should add that Galluk Kur was never defeated and barely scratched. As part of the plot - he leapt into the pool with TFO's body to commit suicide and summon the Ebon Aspect.

The sight of Galluk Kur leaping as he screamed to some dark god into the pool and the last acolyte immediately falling to his knees and crying out in divine ecstasy was enough to cause the party to STOP right there and flee the Dark Cathedral. (Except the rogue who stayed behind to kill the last acolyte, loot and "see what happened". He died when the Aspect caught him as he fled up the mine shaft.

The Aspect itself was slain as it emerged at the top of the shaft between the other 4 party members.

I posted a thread on this a month back called "Galluk Kur...Lives!!"

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