Gelatinous Cube

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Nevermind, it came today. All is well!

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Will this be the book that contains info on the Aldori Swordlords and their dueling schools?

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I went to the post office today and the guy there said that without a tracking number it's impossible to tell if something is lost in the mail or not. He also said that they don't hold packages there, so it must have never arrived, or went to the wrong address.

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Hello, Order #1465904 shipped on Monday August 16th and arrived in the mail today (August 20th), but Order #1475847 has still not shown up.

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Hello, this shipment supposedly went out on July 29th, but it has not yet arrived at my address. Usually my subscriptions arrive at my mailbox by now, and I'm a bit concerned that it isn't there yet.

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Excellent idea! Thank you very much. I was sitting here trying to figure out how make up the BPs in a believable manner.

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Eric Garvue wrote:

Using the image extractor from, I extracted the image of the map from the Stolen Lands book. Using PosterRazor from I created a multi-page PDF of that image to print (using a 2 inch overlap so I could make sure and have whole hexes).

I then printed out the hexes onto cardstock, cut 'em up and am gluing them to a piece of foamboard as my players explore. Beats a hand-drawn map any day.

For those interested in using Mighty Empires tiles, you can view the PDF that GW made freely available some time ago here:

I too would love to see this pdf.... Sean_Smiley75 (at) hotmail (dot) com

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I already have a way of making up for the power-curve, it involves adjusting the way PCs progress to give them inherent bonuses that would normally be provided for them by the Big Six. What am actually asking about is how to adjust all the magic items that are appearing in the Kingmaker AP. Normally I could just remove the magic items being carried by NPCs, but Kingmaker adds a new wrinkle with the magic item shops and the random items appearing every month in the kingdom.

I'm trying to figure out how to adjust these.

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Well there are modifications made to the way PCs level that make up for the loss of the Big Six. The linked threads and Trailblazer both talk about those mechanics. The game would not be any harder than with a party full decked out in the Big Six. I don't wan to argue that point here though since it's been covered in other threads sufficiently.

What I do want to discuss is how to modify Kingmaker with keeping magical items rare and magical while still sticking closely to the published material.

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Hello everyone. I have run into somewhat of a conundrum. I have been considering for awhile that I wish to reduce the number of the "Big 6" magical items that are appearing in my campaign. There have been a number of discussions on this matter on these forums:
Zen79's Thread
Another discussion thread

The Trailblazer book also discusses this concept.

However I also find myself really wanting to run Kingmaker for my players. Unfortunately, Kingmaker (especially the city building rules) seem to be balanced around the "magic item walmart" that I'm hoping to avoid. I was wondering if anyone else has thought about this and if they have any suggestions?

I'm writing this post kind of late at night, so pardon the brevity of it.

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Boromir is great when your travelling companions are three hungry hobbits, a comedy relief dwarf, an archer elf, and a wizard who never casts any spells. High level D&D has spellcasters that change the nature of the universe and summon creatures from beyond multiple times in a day. Boromir might as well just get shot full of arrows and die at that point.

Beleaguered spellcasters...yeah right. The spellcasters in every game I've played are the ones who need to wade in and save the martial classes.

Oh well, I'm just going to post the arguments and make my peace. There is nothing bad about a martial class getting abilities that are similar and scale with the powers a spellcaster gets. I'll never understand this deep rooted belief that fighters sucking is totally an intentional feature of the game.

Supposed noncaster advantages
Grapple: Let's take a 10th level fighter, who is able to grapple but isn't completely focused on it. He has 24 strength, and the improved grapple feat, for a grapple check of +21. Besides the obvious ways for a caster to avoid being grappled (Travel Domain, Dimension Door, Fly, Invisibility, any number of other spells).

10th level cleric or wizard: He casts Summon Monster V, summoning a fiendish giant crocodile. It has a grapple of +21. Wizards cast Evard’s Black Tentacles to get +18 grapple in a large area.
10th level druid: Have your allosaurus (grapple +22) or your giant crocodile (grapple +21) animal companion grapple. Cast Animal Growth for added fun, or summon a giant constrictor (+23).

More HP: HP damages is the slowest and hardest way to win a fight. Casters have a number of "save or die" spells (power word kill, finger of death etc.) that immediately end the fight, in addition to a number of "save or lose" that effectively end the fight (sleep, stinking cloud, deep slumber, confusion).
Clerics/Druids: Can heal themselves.
Wizards: Buff spells such as stoneskin, blur, and mirror image prevent them from taking damage in the first place

Longevity: Supposedly, noncasters are better than casters because they can keep fighting after the caster runs out of spells. Ignoring the fact that wands and scrolls can keep a caster going for quite a while, and a druid in wildshape + his animal companion can also keep fighting all day, casters can ALWAYS rest whenever they want to thanks to spells like Rope Trick and Teleport. Even assuming they don't have these spells, continuing to fight when your casters are out of spells is stupid. Would you keep going on if the fighter's weapons were sundered? Continuing to fight when the casters have no spells means the majority of your strength, both in and out of combat, is gone is just bad tactics. The only case in which you would continue to fight would be if there was a time limit that was counting down for something, and in that case wizards are going to be able to go through a fight faster (thanks to save or die and save or lose spells) than a fighter, meaning they have more time! Also with the advent of reserve feats, spellcasters can now fight just as long as any noncaster.

Skills: Some people think noncasters can be better because some of them have more skill points. This ignores the fact that spells make a number of skills useless. What do you need jump or climb for if you have fly and teleport? Why do you need hide and move silently when you have invisibility and silence. What use is open lock when you can cast Knock?

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Heathansson wrote:

I like Bo9s too.

I'd venture to guess that it's a moot point, though, from Paizo's point of view. It's not their intellectual property. It's kinda in limbo, from a production standpoint.

You're right. I could go and post the long analysis that I've seen which basically convinced me that the fighter was a pointless class, but it is moot. I was just surprised to see James call it cheating when nothing in that book is more powerful than the core spells wizards and clerics have access to.

It doesn't really matter what anyone posts. Anything a fighter can do a caster can summon something that does it better. Book of Nine Swords is wonderful.

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Okay, list what a level 20 fighter can do in a fight. I'm curious. Here, I'll start:

- Attack
- Full Attack
- Cleave (maybe)
- Act as flanker for the rogue

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Oh god, what should I do this turn. I guess I could full attack...ooops nope that enemy moved away. I guess I'll just move after him and attack.
*does 45 damage*

*wizard kills/disables 5 enemies, wizard's conjured pet kills 1*

*cleric hits enemy for 97 damage and blinds him while surviving all fort/will saves, and tanks damage from reflex saves*

*fighter fails will save, is now asleep/dominated/stunned/charmed/blinded/etc.*

*fighter's player goes off to play video games until his party finishes the fight and brings his PC back*

Yeah, I guess it is kind of simple. Wouldn't want the complexities of actually participating in high level games.

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James Jacobs wrote:
NOTE: I consider, in my games (and in adventures I develop), the use of the Book of 9 Swords to be cheating. :P

What an odd way of thinking, especially since the warblade is exactly what a heroic fighter should be at higher levels.

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Robert, link the pic you used, so we can all use it on our PCs.

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Hey guys. Having just started reading all of the Kingmaker material, I was struck by how much Brevoy seems to be similar to the nation/continent of Westeros from GRRM's "A Song of Ice and Fire" fantasy series. Both kingdoms:

- Were multiple disparate nations before a single conquerer from outside the nations appeared and united them.

- Said conquerer used dragons to overwhelm the mundane armies of the other nations.

- The conquerer's descendants then ruled the nation for a time, but eventually are completely erased.

- The nation is made up of many competing noble houses who are constantly scheming and kept only in check by the ruling family.

- The noble houses all have catchphrases that represent their ambitions.

- A single noble house tries to step into the vacuum after the ruling family is gone, but is hated by half the other houses and constantly struggle against civil war.

It was the conquerer with dragons that first did it for me, but when I saw that the noble houses all have phrases that are so similar to the houses from Game of Thrones I basically decided that I had to point it out.

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Matthew McGee — False Tomb of the Crawling Pharaoh
Alexander MacLeod — Cloister of Saint Bethaene

These are the only two that deserve to move forward.

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Zen79, I like your chart, but I don't quite understand what everything you said means. What are the 1/4, 1/2, and 3/4 wealth levels for? Are they just for DMs who want different amounts of stuff available for their PCs? How is the chart different from the 'invisible' items being mentioned earlier?

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Also ask him about the "Wormfood" articles in Dragon magazine, as those specifically mentions boons for PCs in the AoW campaign.

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Charon's GPS wrote:
Sounds interesting...where can I find this module?

Dungeon Issue #89. Can be bought right from Paizo

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I used the Dungeon Adventure "Headless" and had it take place in Jarl Khurok's Keep. The giants had been displaced by the main antagonist of that module, and the work she was carrying out on the "Deathgate" was later stolen by the Cagewrights to build the Tree of Shackled Souls.

It's a level 11 adventure and is really fun. It also fits perfectly into the region since the main location is a snowy frost giant keep high in the mountains. The main antagonist is a woman who is attempting to bring Orcus into the world. To do this she is basically trying to build a massive artifact using the souls of people she is beheading. However, she is also completely insane and basically killed all her followers to use their heads and is now dependent on similicra to do the dirty work for her.

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If I remember correctly, it was a tiny piece of the 2nd layer. But that might be added details made-up by people on this site.

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I honestly completely changed his name from Vhalantru to Lord Orwin Dervess. Nobody in a fantasy setting walks around with a name like Lord Vhalantru and is not evil.

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TriOmegaZero wrote:
I've come to the conclusion that my job as a DM is to do everything I can to avoid telling my players 'no'. Throw anything my way, and I'll see if I can make it work. In my next SCAP game my friend is considering a ghaele eladrin. Anyone familiar with the adventure can already see the idea I lit upon immediately. ^_^

I agree with this fellow. Many years ago I used to argue with my PCs and tell them "No" anytime I detected the faint scent of power-gaming. The players spent a lot of time arguing with me and they still managed to find broken tactics using ONLY core books! Seriously, take a look at planar binding or planar ally for two examples of core spells that can rape a game.

Now I basically say "Yes" to everything and I've been upgrading my NPCs using the same books and spells as my PCs. Everyone is really powerful and having a lot of fun, and my villains are still wiping the floor with them when they need to. It's all good.

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Everything has been moved to here:


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Basically, yes, the predator cloak is basically the description I gave to my PCs when they first saw one of these guys in Ghelve's Locks. Mechanically I had them act as hidden until someone made the spot check to see them. Once that spot check was made they were "visible" enough to be hit normally, but only for that round because they could move and hide again during their next turn (at a significant minus since they were already seen).

When running these guys during the first adventure, remember that the party is essentially in a completely dark dungeon and that when the skulks are standing still they are essentially undetectable. If the party is using light sources then the skulks can sit out of range of 60-ft. darkvision and just plink away the illunimated heroes. Any time they ARE spotted, they can just take off around a corner and stop moving the hide again. They are incrediablly annoying monsters that can really drive your party batty as the PCs can walk right over them without seeing them.

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Morgen wrote:
So is this anything a restoration/heal spell could help with?

The pillars act as Contact Other Plane and here is what the SRD says about the penalty of that spell:

Avoid Int/Cha Decrease: You must succeed on an Intelligence check against this DC to avoid a decrease in Intelligence and Charisma. If the check fails, your Intelligence and Charisma scores each fall to 8 for the stated duration, and you become unable to cast arcane spells. If you lose Intelligence and Charisma, the effect strikes as soon as the first question is asked, and no answer is received. (The entries in parentheses are for questions that pertain to the appropriate Elemental Plane.)

I'm pretty sure that doesn't allow for a heal or restoration to remove the effect.

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hogarth wrote:
You could have them find a plane where time moves faster and travel there to recover. But maybe the inhabitants don't take kindly to strangers...

Wow fast replies guys, thanks. I've considered the idea of a plane with faster time before, but decided against it simply because it would allow my PCs too much time to create magical items. Since they've searched and failed to find that plane before, I can't have it suddenly appear now.

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Hey guys. I’m in a bit of a pickle and so I’ve come to ask the trusted DM’s in this forum for some ideas. Before the summer hiatus began, my PC had just completed the “Secrets of the Soul Pillars” chapter of the AP. They were happily asking the pillars questions and getting some good info when something terrible happened. The factotum/chameleon, whose intelligence is through the roof, rolled a natural 2 and failed the DC of the pillars. Thus all of his mental stats dropped and his skill based character was neutered for several weeks game time.

No big deal, right? I could just let the PCs have some time to recover before I throw the next adventure at them, right? Unfortunately my PCs did the chapters in a weird order, and completed the Soul Pillars only days before “Foundation of Flames” is set to occur. The PCs know they have a time limit as all the divinations indicate that the XIII are about begin the ritual. Therefore my PCs need to find a way to cure him fast and easy. What I’m looking for from you guys is a neat little adventure to set them on in order to remove the curse the pillars have placed upon him.

My PCs are pretty mighty, and have the ability to cruise the planes with ease if they wish to. They also have strong ties to powerful magical organizations and churches. So feel free to throw anything out there for them.

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DelvesDeep, your articles and ideas basically served as the foundation for my own Shackled City campaign and I can never thank you enough for the ideas you inspired in myself and the other posters on this board. Shackled City was already a very cool AP, but it became something much more due to your hard work and ideas.

My own campaign is on hiatus for the summer, but will be starting up at Foundation of Flame very soon.

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jreyst wrote:

As for blocking the spells you mentioned? Forbiddance covers all of those except for passwall. I didn't really think about how I would cover passwall but I suppose I don't have to now that the inner sanctum will be in a pocket dimension.

Okay, I'm going to try and say this another way, and then I'm done. DMing a mid to high level dungeon do you really expect a locked door to be something that blocks the PCs? I know that you have created this clever series of McGuffins for them to find in order to get past the door, but it all reeks of railroading to me. Here is how I would react as a PC to this door.

I would attempt to dimension door past it. When you block me from doing that, I would try to passwall or just disintegrate the wall next to it. When you find some reason that doesn't work (or I don't have those spells), then I would go to more mundane means. I'd have the fighter with an adamantine warhammer just knock the door down, or better yet I'd just have the party rogue pick all the locks! Polymorphing into an earth elemental and just gliding through the walls isn't even something I'd think of immediately and I give kudos to your PCs for coming up with it.

As to those of you saying that "smart" high-level villians would coat their rooms with lead, I call bulls**t. Smart high-level villains build rooms that can only be reached by teleport that have NO connecting doors. They build entire trapped, fake dungeons that lead nowhere while they do their dirty-work right under the sheriff's nose back in town.

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I once had an NPC caster put silence on his rat familar and have it run into a crowded tavern right before he attacked my PCs. The party had no clue where the center of the spell was (because they couldn't spot the hiding rat), and the rat moved from underneath different tablees as my PCs moved keeping them in the silence. My party still killed the caster pretty quickly because the melee fighters just beat the crap out of him.

The answer is really simple, always have tough guys standing around with your casters. If the party catches him with his pants down, just shrug and write off that NPC, it's more fun for the players if their plans actually work.

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It still sounds like you guys are grasping at straws to ruin the players' fun.

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I don't know...this entire thing sounds like a way for your to salvage YOUR story and YOUR dungeon at the expense of the PLAYER'S fun. They came up with a cool idea that wil allow them to bypass the intricate and Mcguffinish set-up of your dungeon. More power to them! This is really no different then if they decided to teleport/dimension door past the door, or disintegrated the wall next to the door, or cast stone to mud on the door, you see my point. They found a door and left with the option of searching for a bunch of keys or JUST GOING PAST THE DOOR, they took the easier option and it's very poor form to try and screw them over.

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Kaurophon also still has the scrolls, even if he doesn't offer them to the PCs. When they loot him they can easily find it. Being stuck on Occipitus is not a bad thing, and can easily lead to some fun adventures while there.

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I've run into this spell combo in my Shackled City campaign. Strangely enough it hasn't become a huge game-breaking issue. The two ways I've been dealing with it is dispel magic and having multiple encounters that occur far apart.

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I have only a few minutes right now, so this post will be short. I actually made the hallway up to the Jester's room a hall of strange magical mirrors. The mirrors all had a variation of minor image that made it look like the Jester was reflected in all of them. This made all the mirrors appear magical, which hid the fact that one of the mirrors was a mirror of confusion. One of the mirrors was also one-way and the Jester used it to observe the party and prepare his death attack. Needless to say, the party was so busy calming their confused companion, that he was able to get the drop on them and almost smushed the party wizard.

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Okay so here is how the party is set-up. Everyone just became level 14 and are on the verge of level 15 (killing Nulin is worth a lot of experience).

Gades: Factotum8/Chameleon6
Mugen: Wizard14 (has the upgraded Alakast from RPGenius)
Grulka: Warblade14
Fenris: Warlock14
Lazaar:Wizard/Crusader/Phoneix Mage 14 (I don’t remember the exact levels)
Deckard: Cleric14 (is retiring from the party)

Of the people I’ve mentioned only the Factotum and Warlock can actually get down into the tunnels with ease. The warlock is very mobile and can swim and breathe underwater (as well as dimension door at will). The factotum on the other hand can also cast water breathing for 2 hours and has a swim speed of 70ft., 60ft. darkvision, and hide and move silently checks that routinely end up in the 50’s. He also has a feat that allows him to hide from blindsight/sense. He is doing all the exploring by himself. His short encounter with the Crater Lake Monster was basically my warning that bad stuff lives down in the tunnels, so don't feel like you need to hold back. My players are VERY creative when it comes to creative use of their abilities, and if he gets eaten, well...that's his fate.

As for the skill checks, here was my line of reasoning. The factotum is using the Autohypnosis skill to memorize portions of Orbious’s map. He is then swimming to the unexplored portions of the tunnels and exploring them, and then returning home and using Autohypnosis to draw in the portions he explored. The search check is basically rolling effciency in carrying out this task. The sanctum itself is actually pretty easy to see once you find it’s location, it’s just finding it that is the problem. The search check basically is a measure of his ability to explore the tunnels quickly without having to backtrack or get lost while doing so. Unfortunately it’s kind of silly without dangers or other interesting things that he also might encounter underneath the city.

I’m not just looking for underwater encounters, but also anything that might live underneath Cauldron. I know I’m kind of breaking new ground here, as not many people have talked about end-game stuff for Shackled City, but I decided to see what I could come up with.

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Having run the Starry Mirror puzzle past two different gaming groups that both solved it within 15 minutes I'm always confused when I hear that it gave people lots of trouble. I wish the Shackled City had a few more neat puzzles like it.

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Unfortunately I was hoping to give my PCs something of a downtime break. They seriously disrupted the Cagewrights' plans during the last session by killing Nulin, one of the 7 'masters', forcing the remaining 6 masters to delay their plans while they train one of the remaining apprentices to carry out Nulin's role during the ritual. This was actually on purpose on my part since the players had complained that things were moving too fast and they weren't getting the chance to be pro-active. I decided to throw them a bone by allowing them to kill an important Cagewright, which in turn would realistically push the timetables back a few weeks if not months.

I should also point out that my PCs are doing the chapters completely out of order (they have not visited the Soul Pillars yet!) so they are not ready for Foundation of Flame. I've had to be somewhat fluid with the events occuring in the AP since my PCs have been able to come up with some creative solutions that negate future planned events.

In the next couple of days the party will participate in choosing a new leader...but that will not be a lead-in to Foundation of Flame since after I start that event there is no turning back. Right now I want my party to feel like they can chill, go over their notes and perhaps tie up some loose ends. They also have a ton of magic items being crafted which I want to give them time to complete. They might also want to go visit the Soul Pillars, etc. since they are still only level 14.

What I'm picturing for the explorer is a number of different random events that he will run into everyday that he searches (perhaps finding tunnels warded by other creature, not the Cagewrights) which actually make his searching more difficult or force him to delay searching certain areas. His first search check was a +46 last night, so I expect him to be able to find the Sanctum really fast if he is able to go uninterupted.

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So my PCs just finished Lords of Oblivion and are entering the ending stretch of my Shackled City campaign. Right now the party has the scribblings found in the beholder’s fortress that essentially shows where he was searching for The Fiery Sanctum. My party has decided to be pro-active and use these maps to find the Sanctum themselves. Here is how I’m running it.

The PCs spent about a day laying the scribblings out and studying them and easily made a 30+ Knowledge [dungeoneering] and [geography] check working together. So I told them that there were basically four places that Vhlantru had narrowed down as the location of the Fiery Sanctum. One of these locations (location 1) was entirely underwater, while the other three only had portions underwater. I rolled randomly on a d4 for which location the Sanctum was actually at. One of my PCs is a Factotum/Chameleon and adapted himself for diving and searching caves. He decided to search location 1 (the underwater caves) first. As he does this I essentially have him roll a search check (once per day of exploration) and add the results up until they reach a certain threshold. After that threshold is reached then that area has been fully explored and if it’s the correct location they will have found the Sanctum.

What I’ve come to ask you guys, is for some encounters to throw at my PC. He has already had a close brush with the Crater Lake Monster. I’m looking for other denizens that he might run into in both the underwater sections as well as the other dark tunnels deep under Cauldron. I’m looking for him to hit lots of stuff as his search check is HUGE and he thinks this will be easy exploration.

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Oh well. If anyone has any last minute suggestions for running this let me know. I'll do a write-up after the session Friday evening so that other people can draw ideas from the thread.

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hogarth wrote:
Well, he does still need an ally to betray, but I suppose he can rustle up a new one if need be.

Yeah, but he doesn't know that at the time. He could reach the test and find that he has to go get a PC to come up there with him.

In my own game, Kaurophon stayed with the party only because he could not get a hold of the Lantern of Guidance and he booked as soon as the location of the last test became obvious.

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It's often joked that the longer I spend adapting encounters to suit my PCs the more likely it is that my PCs will find a way to skip the encounter or to somehow one-shot the villians. In this case my party actually planned a good entry strategy and didn't just rush in and start rolling attacks, so I didn't feel that bad about it.

Most of the changes I made were very fast, and the only person I spent a lot of time on was Velior, and he managed to survive.

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Or Kaurophon could just use his amulet (or teleports) to leave at this point. He TOO knows where the final test is now and probably would be all too happy to see the party die. It would also make for an intresting vendetta as the party has to flee or barely survive a fight as Kaurophon waves goodbye.

Another idea is that the party decides to leave as a group and Kaurophon makes the will save to resist the teleport, letting the rest of the group flee while he goes on to try and pass the test.

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So this is partially a continuation of events that I mentioned in this thread.

Right after the party at Lady Rhiavadi’s, Harlequin Velior Thazo was quite angry at the party for disrupting his life. The same night (when most of the party’s resources were spent) he decided to enact his revenge. This is the story of that epic night.

Knowing that the PCs protected themselves in powerful wards and thick armor, Velior decided to attack the PCs where they were weakest, their friends and family. The party had long ago moved into the Kopru Ruins and had hired TONS of NPCs to work there. I ruled long ago that at least a few of these people were Last Laugh plants and that very evening Velior used them to his fullest. He quickly sent Jil into the ruins to kidnap the warlock’s cohort (an artificer named Plutarch). I had a PC play as Plutarch, but the poor man was no match for Jil’s death attack. With Plutarch captured, the Last Laugh agents started to sow chaos within the PC’s stronghold while other agents began to cause chaos in the city above. As the PCs chased their tales a number of things happened. The head of the Shrine of Pelor was beat up (but saved by a party member). The warlock’s mother (a Taskerhill) was kidnapped. Many houses across town were set ablaze, etc. When the dust settled a little after midnight, the party was pissed, but also tired. They had to save the warlock’s mother/cohort immediately, but they were somewhat afraid of their chances.

Interrogating captured Last Laugh members, the party was lead to The Brass Trumpet (actually a trap) where several powerful people awaited them. I ran this MOSTLY like the hardcover describes it except for a few changes. In the “curtain maze” I placed curtains in every 5-foot square, essentially making the room impossible to navigate or see more than 5-feet ahead of you. Instead of Jil waiting in the secret room, I had my upgraded Velior from this thread. Waiting for my PCs in the curtain maze…and best of all I had the Jester himself (Nulin Wiejeron) waiting on a rooftop across the street from the inn. I had changed Nulin Wiejeron from a rapier assassin to a sniper assassin. He has several new spells from Complete Scoundrel and Spell Compendium that allow him to sneak attack and death attack from long distances. He also is level 20 with full assassin levels, a little more intelligence and more sneak attack dice (+9d6). He was lined up with the windows of the Brass Trumpet so that he could fire at PCs in the curtain maze if they sat in front of the windows.

The PCs easily dispatched the thugs and traps, but had a bit of trouble with Velior. Eventually the warlock acid coned the curtain maze, melting all the curtains, and Velior leapt out a window. After taking considerable damage, Velior surrendered on the streets below the window. As the party “gish” started questioning him, he asked “Where is your master?”.

Velior winked and said, “Closer than you think” as an arrow slammed through the wizard/crusader’s neck. One fortitude save later, the PC was badly wounded and the party started trying to find an invisible assassin with a +43 to his hide skill (that’s still a +23 when hiding after attacking). With limited spells left, the party could not just fire bomb the roofs and hope to hit the Jester and it took many rounds of him nearly killing party members in one-hit before they narrowed down where he MIGHT be and the cleric dropped a spell which obstructed his line of sight. Next he went mobile and cast assassin’s darkness which would allow him to sneak attack while just walking around the party. But the cleric is a Radiant Servant of Pelor and was able to dispel the globe of darkness with his last daylight spell. Thwarted, and somewhat winded himself, the Jester fled and Velior was finally killed.

So now the party has used scrying to teleport to the warlock’s mother. I am using the Dungeon map mentioned in this thread, but am at a bit of a loss for what encounters to put in there. The party is basically at empty, but the night is not over. I plan for this to be the end of the Last Laugh (and perhaps the Jester himself) and I want it to be suitably memorable.

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So as promised, here is how the Rhiavadi party went in my campaign. It definitely did not go as expected and much of my pre-game planning actually was unnecessary. The villains in attendance (I used delvesdeep’s infamous alternate Cagewright’s):

Thifirane Rhiavadi - Leveled up to a 15 transmuter (all apprentice Cagewrights are at least level 15). She was given spells from the Spell Compendium including things like Chain Dispel, Greater Anticipate Teleport, Brilliant Blade, and Greater Mirror Image.

Adrick Garthun – His role in the campaign was mostly the same, a lower level servant of the Last Laugh, profiteer, general scumbag. I changed his fighter levels to warblade levels (Book of Nine Swords). A lot of his maneuvers were White Raven maneuvers that would give his bodyguards more chances to flank or attack nearby opponents, as well as the infamous “White Raven Tactics” which would allow others in the room to go directly after him in the initiative.

Khyron Bonesworn – An apprentice Cagewright who was previously shamed by the PCs when he failed to kill them and the Striders in an ambush. Brought him up to cleric level 12. Gave him divine metamagic [reach] and the ability to use harm and other insta-kill spells at a distance, the idea being that he could heal the undead in the room and kill PCs from afar.

Vervil Ashmantle – Unchanged from how he was described in the book.

Harlequin Velior Thazo – This guy was my masterpiece. In my campaign there is only one Jester of the Last Laugh (Nulin Wiejeron) , and he has three Harlequin’s that work directly under him and which give orders to the rest of the group. Velior is one such Harlequin and Nulin’s apprentice Cagewright. I made a lot of changes to this guy. He is now a cleric 8 / crusader 1/ (ruby)Knight Vindicator 6. The Ruby Knight Vindicator is a PrC from Book of Nine Swords that allows a progression of divine spellcasting along with martial maneuvers. Velior has a lot of self buffs which he can quicken cast that make him faster, give him better AC (magic vestment), and make him hit harder. He also has access to Shadowhand maunvers which allows him to make ranged touch attacks to make people flat-footed or stun them. This makes him a beast when he has rogues supporting him. He is a CR 20 enemy.

Zarik Dhor – In my campaign Zarik is the son of Gau, and my party already had killed Zarn Kyass at this point. Since the Blue Duke could not attend, Gau sent her son to talk about the mercenaries working for the Cagewrights. I used the upgraded Zarik posted at the RPGenius website.

Mhad – Unchanged.

Minor players:
Shield Guardian – Kept the same

Adrick’s Bodyguards – Made into pure warblades (Emerald razor, Mountain Hammer, Bonecrusher, Stone vise, etc. )

Melagorn Thureq – Unchanged

Malruin- Ghostly lover of Khyron (from devlesdeep’s document). Unchanged from that document.

Vervil’s Bodyguards – unchanged.

Hate - Unchanged

So the battle went like this...The party had faked their own death’s after the battle with the beholder. Using the simulacrum suit, the party warlock dressed up as the Lord Mayor and managed to bluff a Cagewright when she came to visit him into believing that the party had been defeated in Oblivion. Believing this, the defenses at the party were not at their most optimal. The same warlock went to the party wearing the suit and listened to the evil plans. A few moments into the party, the rest of the PCs kicked in the door and….the wizard cast prismatic spray…a core spell and the fight was over in that action. Casualty list:

Thifirane Rhiavadi was turned to stone, her Shield Guardian was turned to glass by the next round by a well placed glass strike spell.

Adrick and his bodyguards were blinded and driven insane

Lord Ashmantle was injured by elemental damage and was finished off soon after, his bodyguards dodged most of the damage but had to retreat after he was killed.

Khyron was sent to another plane (perhaps to be seen again?), and really hates the PCs at this point.

Malruin was turned by the party cleric and will need a few days to reconstitute, while Melagorn was turned to stone AND sent to another plane.

Mhad was tuned to gas and Hate covered her escape back to her coffin.

Zarik Dhor – rolled saves like a champ and started to dismantle the party warblade, but was quickly taken down by other party members.

The only true survivor was Velior Thazo, was had moved out of the way of the AoE before the wizard cast it. He word of recalled away, but not before promising a cruel fate to the friends and families of my PCs. I’ll talk a little bit more about what happened after that in this thread.

Overall, it was a real blast for my PCs and everyone had fun, so it was a good success and I did learn a lot about the Book of Nine Swords in the meantime.

Dark Archive

Take a look at first and foremost. It has a huge number of files containing supplementary material on each of the adventures as well as general files for fleshing out Cauldron and it's environs. After that, there are really hundreds of threads which you should take a look at on the Shackled City board on these forums. I would just go through the thread titles and see what they say. There are also a number of threads in the archives, so doing a search on the different chapter titles or on certain NPCs names will help you find some of those.

I really suggest you take a look at DelvesDeep's "alternate" campaign set-up. It does a lot to fix the anti-climatic last few adventures while helping you foreshadow the villains across the entire game. This probably sounds like a lot of work, but since Cauldron is where the PCs stay most of the time then all this work will make a very vibrant setting.

Dark Archive

Hey DD. I'm currently running my PCs through a Last Laugh purge side-trek, and am using the same Dungeon map you said you did. What kinds of traps and encounters did you place in there besides the one-way secret doors (great idea by the way!)?

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