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For some reason, certain players have a hard time taking apes seriously. My group is still early in exploring Savinth-Yhi, in fact only tackling their second district which just happens to be the military district. They captured a couple of said apes from a patrol encounter and outright laughed at them when the apes have the location of their chief and his base with little questioning saying that the chief will eat their brains out of their skills.

The group then did a frontal assault on the fortress figuring it will save them the trouble of a bunch of annoying encounters with patrols. Long story short: we have two replacement characters coming in next session.

If you don't want your group getting destroyed by an entire army, I suggest arranging some minor encounters with patrols or something to get the hint across that these apes aren't pushover and their are a LOT of them.

My players certainly take them seriously now.


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CaelibDarkstone wrote:

It sounds like you have some great ideas already. Just wanted to make one additional suggestion:

Thanks to some lucky natural 20 Diplomacy rolls at just the right moment and some ad-libbing that was a little more effusive than I intended, I ended up introducing the threat from Cheliax (at least as a vague danger) earlier in the campaign.

You could do this intentionally and spin Skulls & Shackles as an Adventure Path about freedom fighters trying to keep the freedoms of the Shackles alive despite leaders too involved in their own petty disputes to see the big picture. No need to give away Cheliax's plans exactly, but their attempt to clamp down on piracy shows up as early as book 2. You could even weave in mentions of a Cheliaxian attempt to regain the old colony of Sargava.

That sounds like a really good idea and a lot of fun. It leaves the pirate leadership still in need of a good boot to the head while giving the players a more benevolent reason for doing so other than wanting to be in charge themselves. I will definitely use this if I run the AP.


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Lamontius, that's exactly why I'm asking questions. I don't want to force players into a setting there not excited about. BIt since specific concerns were raised by my wife, I wanted to see if they were relevant or not before I ditched the idea entirely. Conversely, there's something to be said for playing in a setting that the GM is excited about.

It sounds like it's pretty easy to spin into something my wife could get behind. They're free to be whatever type of pirates you want to be, and with an emphasis for needing fame and fortune to bring about positive change in the Shackles the whole "greater good" angle is easily adopted. I especially like the Besmersa cult angle someone mentioned in another thread about how the religion was twisted to let pirates do whatever they want and needs to be corrected.

Thanks, everyone. This has been a huge help.


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See, it sounds like a ton of fun to me, but my wife is wary of having to be mean. She'd want to be a Robin Hood type pirate making the world a better place.

I'm thinking I'll have to give up my dream of a pirate adventure.

Thanks for the help.


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I'll be looking to start a new AP in a couple months, and I've been dying to run or play in Skull & Shackles because, well, pirates! The problem I have is that my wife can't get behind greed as a motive. That is, she has no interest in playing a game that is just about gaining fame and loot.

I understand the first book is about getting conscripted by pirates and mutinying for freedom. Thanks not a problem. But what's after that? Is there an overarching goal to the AP that's deeper than just becoming infamous pirates? If not, how hard would it be to add one?

As a related side note, it IS possible to succeed in the AP without being EVIL pirates, right?


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Yes, I'm late on the bandwagon too. My players just reached Saventh-Yhi and I would love to see your maps if you're still willing to send them.

silthe (at) yahoo (dot) com


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I'm the GM in question, and I think that full BAB with a two-handed firearm is overpowered for the game I'm running. Hence, I banned the Musket Master archetype. Justinthyme insist Lightning Reload gives full BAB with two-handers to all gunslingers, so I need to ban the whole class.

I see the Lightning Reload wording as pretty clearly indicating that you get one reload as a free action each round, but Justin insists it's unlimited reloads. So I've just banned him from playing one.


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Is there an actual answer to this somewhere? I can't find errata, FAQ, or dev comment about this, necroed thread or not.


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My DM ruled on the spot that the evil Druid could dispel the elemental I had hijacked. Basically I got a round and a half of use out of it before the Druid spent a standard action to dismiss it.

It was useful, since the alternative was to fight the elemental and druid together, and it make the druid think twice about summoning anything else. It just feels like a waste of a spell since the description implies so much more fun to be had. Tactically speaking though, it helped the party out a lot.

I'd still like to see some sort of concrete rule though since both interpretations seem legitimate to me.


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I asked this elsewhere, but thought it might get more discussion in it's own thread.

The spell Control Summoned Creature gives the caster control over someone else's summoned creature. Basically, the creature now acts as if it were summoned by the person who cast this spell.

However, the question came up fairly quickly as to who has control of the summon spell in order to dismiss the creature.

In the game I was playing, I cast this spell on an elemnetal. I then got a couple rounds of use out of the elemental before the original summoner spent the time to dismiss the elemental. I couldn't figure out if that were by the rules or not, so didn't argue the point. The GM agreed to revise the interpretation going forward if we could find clearer rules on it.

Well, so far we can't. Control Summoned Creature says this:

You seize control of a summoned creature by disrupting the bond between it and the caster who summoned it. If the creature fails its save, you may command it as if you had summoned it. The original caster can attempt to regain control of the creature as a standard action by making an opposed Spellcraft check against you. When your spell ends, control reverts to the original summoner. If the summoning spell ends before this spell ends, the remaining duration of this spell is lost.

The question arises by whether the creature is the spell and control gives you full dismissal authority over it, or whether the creature is different than the spell that summoned it and therefore the original caster can still dismiss it. Either way, it greatly affects the power level of the spell. Either it's weaker than expected in that rather than contest control, the original summoner can just dismiss the creature as a standard action and be done with it, or the spell is much more powerful in that on the last round of the Control spell, the Control's caster can dismiss the creature and not worry about left over duration.

Any thoughts or official rulings on this?


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This just came up in a game I'm playing, but more formally by using Control Summoned Creature. If you take control of a summoned creature, can the NPC caster who summoned it then dismiss it? It's a little unclear since you're controlling the summoned creature, but not the summoning spell.

But then, it says you sever the bond between the creature and the one who summoned it. Does that mean the spell can't be dismissed then?

Has there been anything close to an official ruling on this?


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It also depends on party make-up. I'm running a group of five PC's through Harrowstone right now and while there haven't been any deaths yet, it's only because the players are playing very smart and extremely cautious. They have no divine caster so no Channel Energy which means all undead fights are done the old-fashioned way. Healing is done by the bard and the alchemist, which isn't bad but isn't great either.

I've found that either using several optional encounters more than once helps increase the tension and up the party's XP, or just dividing the xp by 4 instead of 5 will keep the leveling at the correct pace.

But yes, I agree that this AP seems harsher than most. I'm not going to say deadlier, just that they seem to expect players to be a lot more cautious than normal since a few bad dice rolls can turn things ugly very quickly.