I'm new to the Pathfinder Setting and I could use advice. Where is the equator located on the inner sea region? What about the arctic circle equivalents?
Is there any information about the general yearly weather patterns of the inner sea region? I was thinking of using the demographics of the northern Africa and European regions to create a rough yearly weather template.
Is there any information on the world's moon? Like a name? It seems that the calendar is based on Gregorian themes of Earth as opposed to Golarian uniqueness. Therefore I assume that the Golarian moon is roughly like Earth's moon. Any thoughts?
Please and thank you in advance.
I have a question as well.
When playing 3.5 I noticed that it is very hard to play any character for an extended time and have him or her survive without acquiring skill enhancing magic items. Some fantasy literature settings are magic "lite" and the protagonists survive and thrive in spite of this lack of "external crunch"; I want to play a PC that can stand on his or her own successfully without the "item-crutch". Can True20 PCs do this?
Thanks for your thots.
I see that the due dates for this and other related products has been pushed back a month. Why? I have been putting off my campaign until I get this one and the others. I know there is little I can do about this, but I would like an explanation. I know that my credit card will not be charged until it ships, but I had planned my expenses for February already to account for the books.
Thanks in advance.
I was thinking that someday I might run the SCAP. I have all the original Dungeon issues/material. Should I also purchase the hardcover? Is it worth it? I think having it all under one cover seems best, but the price is a bit steep for only a few nuggets of new info. What should I do?
Also, will I be able to buy the SCAP hardcover from Paizo after August of this year after WoTC resumes control of Dungeon?
Thanks for the insight in advance!
As I am coming closer to running the STAP, I have decided to play up the environmental themes and color. I am looking for information or suggestions, official or otheriwse, regarding the temperatures and weather of the region. How many hours of day light are there daily? As one gets closer to the equator the days and nights tend to be of equal length.
What time of year does the AP begin? Does it matter? How hot and humid is the Isle of Dread? Sasserine? According to an online map that shows the Greyhawk longitude/latitude lines, the Isle of Dread may be in the southern hemisphere very near the equator. Thots?
Lavinia: How tall is she? How old is she? How about her brother? Yes, I have players that will want to know these details. They love detail because it adds an extra layer to their game.
Lastly, how long is the adventure path suppose to take on avergae in game time to execute? 4 months? A year?
Please and thank you all in advance.
My current homebrew campaign is wrapping up, and my players want to begin one of the adventure paths. Which of the three has your recommendation for being the most fun and why? Which was the hardest to GM and why? Did you find any glaring pitfalls that were hard to resolve because of roleplaying plausibility or the CR was off significantly? Were the magic items offered by the AP sufficient to complete it or did you have to pad your AP?
Also, what did you do with your PCs after they finished the AP? Did you shelf them? Did your players have any problems designing PCs whose game-life would be limited to the AP? My campaigns tend to last years of real time.
Thanks for all the input in advance.
What about a dossier on Iggwilv herself? Come on James or Erik, someone has to brave it! Wayne Reynolds painting of her and Graz'zt beg for a companion piece. She's a cornerstone of the Greyhawk universe. Better that you guys do it with the love and style you are known for while you can. If you won't do, tell us why (and no using because we ran out of space and time). Is her past off limits, or just that intimidating?
Let me put this another way, "Please, create the difinitive Iggwilv for all of us Greyhawk fanboys before it is too late."
Great job! And most importantly, thanks for sharing.
Are you looking for any "corrective" input on information, or is this a homebrew device that doesn't require "official" exactness? I have been looking to do this with my own group, but you beat me to the punch. I'll give a more thorough response after I read it. You may want to submit this to Canonfire... Okay, you should submit this to Canonfire.
Wayne Reynolds did a very cool painting of an unnamed iconic for the cover of Dungeon 143. Is there any info that can be shared about her? I realize that she appears inside that issue on page 52, but I was wondering if she appears anywhere else? Are her appearances limited to the Savage Tide? I'm looking for all artwork surrounding this character. I'm gonna snatch her look for my own game. Can anybody list her other appearances. Thanks in adavence.
Okay, I know that this may seem tacky to ask at this time, but I have to know: Will the supplements be completed thru #150? Could they please be completed? Will they be allowed to stay online after WoTc reclaims the two magazines?
I love Christopher West's current Maps of Mystery. They are just begging to be connected into one big map. The pdfs are the best source since they aren't cropped by the printer. Will West's map be finished by Issue #150? Please!
Thanks for all the labors of love. You guys rock!
I was considering starting the Savage Tide AP fairly soon, but I would like to know how useful Stormrack has been for those already involved in the STAP. Should I buy it? I looked at it in the store but was indecisive. I have Frostburn (which seems pretty-good), but not Stormrack or Sandstorm. I have heard that the other two were iffy. So what's your take on Stormrack (or even Sandstorm)?
Thank you in advance.
Those are some great ideas. Perhaps I shall combine #1 and #4. They could make for good overlap. Thanks.
Spiked marzipan hearts in taureen! That sounds interesting. Now let me get a dictionary... :) Actually the idea of having real treats at the game that reflect the holiday may be a good idea. Thanks.
I know that a lot of you are gonna groan about this. I am looking for an adventure idea that could have something to do with a "romance day" theme (in Greyhawk, it would equate to Myrhiss Day). One of my players asked me if we would be having a Valentine's Day gaming session next week. What else could I say to that challenge, but, "I'll try".
Now I have run Halloween, April Fools's, and even X-mas games, but I am stumped for an idea on this holiday. I want to try to find some outlet that takes into account aspects of the "romantic notions" of the god(dess) of love (plumb the concepts and doctrines of the church of love, so to say). How can I involve the players directly so that they are not outside agents just responding to a new threat that they have no investment in? Any serious thots would be greatly appreciated.
Please, and Thank You!
I agree with Sebastian. If I spend hours building my villain for a campaign arc, he's gonna live no matter what the players do. Dr. Doom has his robotic duplicates and mages have clones or simulacrums. It's not a cheat if it furthers the story and increases the overall gaming experience.
In the final battle, my players get to have full effect. They've explored the villain and now understand his motives and power, so they are ready for him.
My players also hate the unwanted prisoner aspect, but have learned that they may better explore the NPC more closely. Some have even tried kindness to open a dialogue. To often the villain is a "behind-the-scenes" impersonal mechanism. Often PCs never find out the villains motives. Books and movies usually show the villain in a more 3-D manner. My PCs like to talk to the villains.
Teleportation stinks. Once in a while it is OK, but when the players see a pattern... Let them "kill" him if they must. They'll feel better for it. Just don't tell them it was his assistant - clone - lieutenant - surgically altered duplicate, but do leave clues for them to find this out if they ask.
After a few side treks my group returned to part two in the Istivin trilogy. The PCs sought out the sage Algorthas for more advice and info. Frustrated by not finding him at home, they sought him in the temple of Pelor and discovered him there under the power of a Greater Fehyr (from MM2. I changed the monster in the temple because the Fehyr seemed more appropriate to the Malgoth's needs and could more easily be revisited since Sterich is so emotionally depressed. Once freed the sage pointed them to the mountain fortress.
The Baron and Mad Amos played out as predicted. The female giant was tricked into avoiding the party and revealed information that led to the backdoor of the keep. The group's clever illusionist is quite the lothario!
The PCs snuck into the keep undetected. The roper in the keep was the second greatest challenge. It nearly beat the entire group due to great rolls by it and poor rolls by them. The leader of the giants went down surprisingly fast thanks to a group plan that went flawlessly. The dark elf with a potion of speed nearly ended the game. He was tough and went for broke (suicide mission type). The dragon was tricked into vacating the keep. The illusionist enhanced the scent of the ranger's blue dragon-skin boots (which just happened to be that of a rival male - predetermined by good player storytelling) and tied them to a summoned mountain lion. The lion was turned invisible and sent running. The dragon soon followed it out. The dragon followed its scent into a nearby cave were the lion escaped into. Then the illusionist repeated the process on the other boot and left it hidden near the lair's entrance. When the dragon did return and smelled its rival, it fled instead. Cool!
Part Three: The underground path to Mirith Glarnon was unremarkable. They only had one encounter, a beholder. No violence here. I played the beholder "Xax" as a non-typical sort. They heard him whistling (what's a beholder afraid of anyway?) a snappy gnomish tune as he came down the tunnel. When he arrived, the illusionist disguised as a drow whistled a reply finishing the tune. Xax proved very talkative, informative, and surprising friendly. After they showed him some kindness, the vegetarian beholder went on his way. Before he left Xax showed everyone the lovely tattoo a kind gnome had given him which changed his life and view of the world: a big, bright red "Target" logo on the center of his back. The party fell out laughing as we ended the game for the night. Corny, true, but a nice change from the predictable. I wanted to see if they would shoot first as a matter of course or ask for directions.
You are right about my tone. I do believe that the shows flaws are far to numerous "for the best show on TV" - Rolling Stones. (I wish they'd stop using this because it's hard to love up to.) The show has tremendous potential. And it has hindsight from the original.
I see your point. I too like the fact that the show is science light, but it is a sci-fi genre after all and not strictly a disguised soap opera for men. They avoided major costs by making the cylons humans and that explains the lack of ears, foreheads, and noses (can you say “over budget”?). Babylon 5 managed to avoid this and still be sci-fi. The technology was rarely explained and didn’t impede the show. Yes, the human experience in times of war (facing genocide) seems to be the defining theme of the show.
Yes, I agree with you on the fact that the heroes need to have flaws. A Ming vase with a flaw is priceless, but a shattered one is garbage. Can they make Starbuck anymore of a loser? I really enjoyed last weeks “Boxing” episode, but they made Starbuck a weak-spined, wishy-washy female-type when she failed to keep her new romantic commitment to Apollo. They furthered this female stereotype by having her pursue him again regardless of who it hurt (respective spouses). As I stated earlier this show resembles car-wreck; you cannot help but stare in disbelief.
Regarding the “Hilo” disobeys Adama’s suggestion (orders) episode: I was expecting Apollo to be the one to push the “human’s, even in war, are better than that, and we don’t commit Genocide!” speech. The writer’s can’t seem to stay focused. The show isn’t about war; it’s about surviving genocide.
Speaking English is necessary for the show. Allowing the cast to have reasonable haircuts for when they are not on the set is sound. German made cars and 9mm and Teddy Bears and coats with ties are just too close to home for a setting in a galaxy far, far away. But, I know why they do it: A) budget, and B) perhaps to provide familiarity and empathy. I can see that for you, the show is really about the story’s core and that everything else is window dressing, and with that view the show rocks (and that is not a negative criticism of you). I want more on my plate than just a drumstick (give me the potatoes, gravy, stuffing, and cranberry sauce too or its not a real meal). The extras are not trivial; they just take the cook more time and real effort.
Sadly, you didn’t make even one argument or cite one example for supporting the show, but I do see your take on it now. We both are passionate about it; we just look for different attributes. When I GM, its all about the details and the granularity of the available game options; my players REALLY keep me on my toes so I am looking for holes to avoid or patch! I’ve learned that they expect more from me, and after many years of GMing, I feel the same about my entertainment.
Keep watching and enjoying.
I have read a great deal of your numerous and various posts here and generally I agree with almost everyone of them. But it does seem to be your increasing habit to attack the people and not the message itself. I don't want a flame war with you. You have your opinion, and I have mine. We can disagree without getting personal. Right?
As you can tell I am very passionate about this series. I want it to be better than it is, but it needs to live up to its potential. The original series was too campy at times and the new one is too dark while attempting to be "realistic". Come on. It hasn't succeeded. I expect more of a sci-fi series when it is called "the best show on TV." I expect the core "heroes" of the series to be more than the dregs of humanity easily led astray at nearly every turn. I want my heroes to be heroic, to lead by example, to strive and overcome. No, not all, but at least 2-3 per TV series.
If we are going to have a human survival/war epic then provide for those human choices like Hilo made and have a realistic response to his action. The story outcome was implausable, IMO. My family has been military for a long time, so I know what to look for in most cases in most such dramas.
Teddy Bears were only pointed out to show that the show doesn't really reach like it should. It's sloppy and lazy, and not very original. They could still pull a lot from the original series (daggets). I could point out more flaws, but what's the point. They can all be easily swept away with a single "that's so trivial" response by anyone at anytime. It doesn't take any effort to do that. I was offering a healthy counter point of view. BTW: It does seem that you focused just as much as I did on it or you would have overlooked it to begin with.
Now, here's my friendly challenge to you Sebastian (or anyone else): point out the show's strengths with examples. Prove its good in a fair discussion. I am keeping an open mind, and I am willing to be swayed. Yes, really.
Battlestar Galactica is a car-wreck! I find myself watching the show and generally enjoying finding flaws and mistakes. They are so abundant.
Starbuck is captured by Cylons and instantly believes her capture (the blond, randy cylon dude/ the enemy) that she has a baby girl created from her stolen ovary. Boomer’s mystery cylon child is still around one year old at this time (and it was conceived much earlier), and Starbuck knows this. She also knows that the flesh-cylons don’t willingly endanger one of their own. So why put the child in a room with a killer like Starbuck? Starbuck has already killed the blond, randy cylon dude 4 or 5 times by that point. Since when do cylons develop children bodies? Since when do they grow so fast? It was so obvious that the cylon took the easy route and scooped up a civilian captive’s child. Is she that simple-minded that she couldn’t make that minor leap? Why does she suddenly buy into it so deeply? Did she miscarry previously and needs to feel maternal? Starbuck maternal? Starbuck weak? Where’s the hero that overcomes the odds? Did she forget that they are her mortal enemy?
Adama wants to commit forces to rescuing the prisoners of New Caprica with the initial count of 5 basestars to one battlestar (this, of course, changes in the next episode to two, then three and so on). Poor odds, but he commits. So instead of taking the better and newer battlestar (Pegasus) to improve his chances, he reduces his resolve and odds of success by taking the old Galactica. Was he really thinking? Was he really committed to winning or just dying? He’s not Kirk, and it wasn’t the Enterprise.
Boomer and Mr. Boomer thwart a plan by Adama and the President to commit genocide on the cylons via a plague, and Adama blows off punishing them? Hello, it is war, and they broke the law and their orders. This isn’t Picard and the Hugh, the Borg. Star Trek has the loftier, and sometimes sillier ideas. Battlestar is more about the human experience in a real, nasty war for survival. Survival! Why can’t the other characters figure out who killed the plan? Isn’t it painfully obvious to the rest of the crew? It isn’t like Adama figured it out by himself and a leak by his investigators should have turned into a flood with an appropriate reaction. Boomer and Mr. Boomer (another that bought into the cylon propaganda) need to be spaced. Make the show have a rotating cast if this is to continue. Add new characters for lengthy stays! Doesn’t anyone follow command decisions or understand the need for them?
Get the crybaby Baltar some tissue. Does his greasy face have to have a runny nose every episode? Yes, he’s a cylon. Why doesn’t he even ask, “So Six, how did I survive the nuke that went off outside of my bedroom window back on Caprica?” Answer, “You didn’t, but your consciousness was uploaded to a new model, you git.”
The show has other flaws: Teddy bears? On Caprica they showed teddy bears! I had no idea that Teddy Roosevelt had visited them before. Earth forces sure are advanced to have secretly been watching the colonies over the years. I know this is minor but c’mon. Where’s the dagget, Boxie?
How come they can travel faster than light with jump drive (even on their tiny raptors) but they don’t have any cool sci-fi weapons? Where are the sonic pistols? They can be fired inside a ship without shooting a hole in it? Where are the Cylon counter measure weapons? These must have been built when they created the Cylons, just in case. Apparently not.
While the humans of New Caprica are being mistreated and supplies rationed, Apollo is getting fat. He must have really enjoyed all the excess supplies he no longer thot he’d have to stretch with the others. Some hero.
Colonel Tye. The best scene was between his wife and himself. That was great! Really! He lived by his word. She’s dead, and he’s a hero. He proved he could do what had to be done. He’s the reality check for the show. He’s finally gotten his defining moment.
“Lee, don’t make me cry on my own flight deck.” Did those words really come out of the man in charge? Adama? Who wants to follow that guy? No, he didn’t really guard his words appropriately. He was right there where anyone passing by could have heard him. Thanks for the leadership and confidence, pal. Worf would have snapped Picard’s neck for saying that much less the public display of affection with the hug. Han Solo would have left the rebels in a heartbeat if Luke had said that to him.
Doesn’t anyone else see these obvious flaws? Rolling Stone calls it the best show on television? Do they watch it? Okay, R.S. didn’t say the smartest show on TV.
The list for why this show sucks is longer than a Tolkien fan’s reasons for hating Peter Jackson. I am passionate about this show because I want it to succeed where Space Above and Beyond, and Firefly did not. And yet, I watch.
The Silverwood in the Duchy of Ulek is perhaps the most sylvan friendly and pristine forest in the Flanaess. It happens to be fairly centralized as well. There is not a lot of canon information on it outside of the Living Greyhawk Gazetteer (2000, pp. 119, 141). Be sure to check this sourcebook first when considering other sources. Below is the combined results of a web search for details; I apologize to any author offended by my scavenging.
"The Silverwood is a smallish forestland that lies entirely in the confines of the southern reaches of the Duchy of Ulek between the Sheldomar and Kewl rivers. This wood is predominately inhabited by some 3000 (or 8000, depending on your source) sylvan elves, although the ancestral home of the High Elves is also in this area. A wonder to behold, the elven tree-cities are home to the clan chiefs. Some demi-humans, mostly gnomes and a few halflings, also live within the confines of these trees. Rather than rely on outside forces, the elves and gnomes patrol the Silverwood themselves.
"Certain trees, like the ipt and roanwood variety, which are greatly loved by elvenkind grow in abundance in this forest. The elves are said to nurture trees in unique ways, so that they take exquisite forms and are wholly disease-free. Its inhabitants prize these trees more highly than silver for they produce a delicious sap which is the source of a much-sought after elven mead.
"The Silverwood forest holds one of the main centers of the faith and is one of the main training grounds for priests and priestesses of Ehlonna, as well as the rangers associated with the faith. A similar center exists in the Axewood."
I am sure that additional details are available from the Duchy of Ulek Living Greyhawk Yahoo site (if it is still up). I hope that this helps.
I was looking at my gaming library when I realized how much of my Green Ronin Freeport material just might be worked into the Savage Tide. I really haven't used much of the Freeport setting before, but I was wondering if any of this untapped material could enhance my pirating urges in the current adventure path. I welcome your insights (both pro and con) on this subject. Please feel free to present your experiences with both of these settings.
Please, and thank you,
If the Mage is doing bad deeds in the game where your Paladin has knowledge of the infractions then you (by good roleplaying and by the definition of a Paladin) must responde appropriately. Do not be afraid to call him to task in front of he other PCs where it will have better impact.
I understand that the other player will say that you are making it difficult for him to stay in the game, but you must ignore this. He made his choices true to his character concept and your response must be in kind. To let it go diminishes your character and the power behind his divine mission in life. Not responding could get your abilities reduced or removed if your god sees your lack of action as failure to duty.
On the other hand, a Paladin is not necessarily a police officer and is not required to handle all disputes personally. Let the other characters know what is going on (if your paladin has actual knowledge of the events) and have them take a vote on what justice to bring to the man. The particular faith of your Paladin may dictate the quality of your response as will the location (country or city) in which you confront him.
Remember, you are only responding to what your PC knows. The other guy is counting on that. But someday he will have to pay the piper, and you can promote this by not helping him at a crucial time.
Lastly, talk to the player. 1) ask him to knock it off as it will bring your PCs and his into serious conflict which may derail your GM's game and efforts or 2) tell him that your character will responde unkindly when he is revealed unless he makes immediate restitution to the party and confesses. This player is asking for it, but hopes to have it slide cause others will be afraid to disrupt the game over the incidents.
Go get him! He asked for it, but keep it to PC knowledge so that you are not coming across as a poor player. Stay in character! Confront him and make it his problem.
Hope it helps. Let us know.
I recommend that you look into this...
This pdf is called "The Manor" and was created by "The Forge Studios" (the same folks that worked on Ptolus for Monte Cook). It's very DM friendly product (not a lot of hard and overly "realistic" computations based on old world Europe). It provides lotsa art and maps (exterior, interior, isometric) of a generic manor and township. If you have a PC who becomes a land owner then this can solve a lot of problems. It discusses running a manor with all of the burdens and rewards including costs. I highly recommend this for every DM's library.
The only potential drawback is that the township isn't populated, but that is intentional.
Oh, yeah! It's written by folks actually living in Europe with access to the real places from which they drew their inspiration.
Here' the spell point system I've used in the past for all three editions. It is universal, simple, and not class dependent.
Let's assume for a spellcaster who has 4 first level spells per day, 2 second level spells per day, and 1 third level spell per day. The points are determined by taking the number of spells available for the day and multiplying them by that "spell level". My example may be a better explanantion.
Example derived from above: 4 first level spells are worth 4 spell points; 2 second level spells are worth 4 spell points; and 1 third level spell is worth 3 spell points. The spellcaster has 11 spell points for the day that he or she can appoint as needed and when needed. He could cast 11 first level spells, or 3 third level and 1 second level spell, or any combination that the point-pool will allow. As for zero-levels spells, they are worth 1/4 a spell point each, but do not add to the point-pool total (there value is zero). Yes, the above spellcaster could cast 44 zero-level spells in a day. Bonuses for high stats are added in to the number of spells by level per day as usual before determining the number of spell-points derived.
Rary's Mneumonic Enhancer restores three spell points instead of just one spell.
I've never had complaints using this system and players can determine the points themselves without needing a book for each class'es unique skills.
It would be funny to see a fighter equally restricted: he could swing his dagger four times per day, uses his longbow two times per day, and uses his bastard sword once per day. :-)
Chris Wissel - WerePlatypus wrote "The Curse of Lannisport" back on Mon, Jan 16, 2006.
Chris, I lifted your idea almost exactly. I found some maps from WoTC, and tweaked your adventure to taste. I ran it over the last 4 weeks. It went great!
I set the adventure in south central Sterich along the Davish river. My PCs, feeling charitable, immediately jumped on board to help the villagers. The funny thing about a town of deaf and near deaf folks was that one of my PCs has a similar quirk. She's hard of hearing and tends to be loud anyway. It took the heroes a while to get the fact that the townsfolk weren't responding to her impairment but there own. The humor here stopped the game with laughter for about 45 minutes. This eneded night one.
The PCs travelled to the music library to be assaulted by the occupants (a hermit and his musical "band of bugbears"). This got more laughs for two reasons: a real "band" (instruments and all) of bugbears is just too funny, and that our groups bards were just paralyzed with astonishment that the hermit was a old and nasty band teacher from their pasts in Keoland (also his magical earhorn gave him such a bonus to save versus their musical abilities that they had little effect on him). The prisoner that they freed turned out to be Fedorik Eddri, former ruler of Idee (Naerie), fight 15, Bard 1. He was simply wandering the western Flanaess on a pilgrimage when he was caught. He's a mystery for my group; he mostly watches the PCs and plays inept. The PCs gained the music manuscript. This ended night two.
After getting the music they set out to acquire the organ. This was fun and simple. I made one of the three harpies the archer subtype. They won and reassembled the organ (yes, a PC had the craft skill necessary, go figure). Soon they managed thru skill (and amazing rolls) to teach the deaf to sing. The curse lifted and the Maestro awoke. His zombies (former students and faculty) attacked the village, but were quickly defeated. This ended night three.
They travelled to destroy the Maestro at his ruined academy. For him, I used the lich template but removed all spell ability. He was basically hand to hand combatant with immunity to sonic (bard) abilities. After defeating his Groaning Spirit wife (banshee), they battled him. Eventually they re-entombed him since they could not destroy him, and sacked the school of lost instruments and music manuscripts.
It was fun and funny, and a nice change of pace for the group, if not the bards. If you want any specific details just ask me.
Cheers, and thanks!
For more of the latest info on the EEE see Monster Manual IV or go to the WoTC website. You'll find previews of MM4 that deal with the EEE.
My Sterich campaign is going great! I started the group with Dungeon #117. All went as per the published scenario until my players did the unthinkable. They took Querchard alive (curse those dice - yes, I could have fudged it, but they deserved their triumph thru excellent planning)! Then they forgot to check his diary (I hinted strongly for this). They didn't turn him over to the Marchioness, but instead fled with him (rendered unconscious by poison, and spell, and bound him thrice) to the Baron in Mittleberg (a former ally). There they dumped the mad Marquis and headed for Istivin to find Algorthas to seek a cure. A cure!? Hmm? What now, Greg V? <lol> I didn't see a contingency for that in the margins. ;)
I'll tell you more about my CAP soon if you have an interest.
Savage Screen Monkey,
I am curious about how you intend to tie all these arcs into one cohesive one. What will be the background thread? For the Lord of the Rings, it was the eventual destruction of the "One Ring". What element will the PCs be aware of as a driving force? How soon will they "get it"? How will you introduce it? Is the central villain stagnant and simply standing around waiting to "throw the switch" for 20 levels, or is he adjusting his plans and reacting to each feat of daring committed against him by the PCs? If he is "alive" and reactive, could this make your last adventure drastically change?
These questions are what brings a campaign adventure path (CAP) together and separates it from just a series of adventures. Perhaps it's best to make your last adventure as original as the PCs themselves... no doubt they'll have earned that. Certainly "loot" chunks from other material, but also create chunks based on what they have achieved. Give the mega-villain a vendetta agenda as well. Heck, let them even encounter him early so that they have a face for evil. Maybe he gets called away at the last second to prevent the thrashing he starts on them. Wet their appetite.
Another question for your main villain: Is he the most powerful villain in the CAP? Darth Vader was not; the emperor was. Is the villain redeemable, like Darth Vader? Does he have human qualities that allow for a dialogue? Can he be reached or reasoned with? Or is he like Sauron, an end unto himself for the story sake... just an obstacle? Which is more entertaining to you and your group?
Sometimes published material isn't ready for PC magic items that are not neatly deciated at specific times thru-out the CAP. In otherwords, if the module you use for game C provides a cool item how could that item disrupt game D and so on? How will you handle this when you are working from various authored adventures? Are you going to comb thru them all and sort this out in advance? Are you making up any cool items yourself? What about "legacy" weapons (I've had no experience with these, but am look forward to it)?
Boy, I sure threw down a lot of stuff, but I only mean to provide inspiration, not cage ratling. : )
Keep it up.
IMC the Azure Prince is actually Raxivort, demi-god of the Xvarts. Xvarts are known to exist in the Yeomanry, so they could migrate north to Sterich thru the Jotens easily. Demi-powers are allowed to walk the Oerth without permission from the more powerful deities. Raxivort was a minor servant of Grazz't. When Grazz't vanished (captured by Iggwilv), Raxi broke into his arsenal and stole items of power and somehow got elevated to demigod-hood. I like Headless too. IMC Raxivort is off camera; he simply misdirects the derro-woman into believing that he is a follower of Orcus (betraying his rival Grazz't) in order to steal the big artifact of that adventure. Besides xvarts, you can tie in wererats which are an aspect of Raxivort as well. What's a city like Istivin without a rat (spy) problem anyway?
Regarding the weather of Sterich, I agree that it is like California's Sacremento Valley area - wet winters and hot, dry summers. Compare the geography and substitute the Pacific Ocean's moisture for that brought in from the glacial ice of the Crystalmists. Those mountains suffer the hot and dry, eastbound winds of the Sea of Dust before cooling west of Sterich. I'm no meteorologist, but I did want a reasonable solution (I think). I got my numbers by looking into the demographics of weather in northern CA. I recognize what Greg V is saying about my precip calculations, but I just lifted it directly from the CA site. Sterich gets about 50 inches per year of rain IMC.
Screen-Monkey: What's your new AP sequence looking like?
Transformers, the Movie:
Robin Hood Prince of Thieves: (approximate)
I just got my copy and thought I'd give a brief review. This review is based on a familiarity with the original Ravenloft and the revised version "House of Strahd". This is also a first impression without extensive reading. There are NO SPOILERS within this glimpse, but the websites below might.
It is slick, and it is polished. The cover illo is very nice, but makes Strahd look weathered and older than in the previous editions. The inside illo of Strahd looks like a young elf; he's got huge ears. See here for a look at Strahd...
I'm a graphics sort of guy, so I went straight for the main map. I really enjoyed the original map as well as the newer one found in Dragon Magazine a few years back. Guess what, no such map exists. The castle has numerous maps placed thru-out the book. The maps are done by two cartographers, not just one. If you want to show your player a map, you'll constantly be flipping thru the book and walking up close to give them a glimpse. Aside from the revised, and slightly altered, map of Barovia no map fills up the entire page. At first I thot my book was missing the big fold out map, but it didn't come with one. A minor map quibble is that some of the stairs have changed direction going from clock-wise to counter clock-wise. One room has been shifted and the neighboring staircase relocated. Some of the stairwell drawings are nowhere as well drawn as the original. Cartographers that redraw by hand should learn some drafting or at least tracing.
Here's a link to some maps. The city of Barovia map is skewed at this site. The compass points north but is really oriented to the east.
The book has numerouis added encounters outside and inside the castle... More than you'll need. However, this does allow for replaying many times before they are all exhausted. Some of the encounters within the castle are really just expansions of the area developing them with enhanced detail and combat options.
There's more to write about, but WoTC covers the further uses and prestige classes at their website.
Ravenloft looks great, and I can't wait to run it... Again! Only real downer NO BIG MAP of the CASTLE! If you have the original or the Dragon Article you're ok.
Cheers and Boo!
To the best of my knowledge here is a run-down on all Living Greyhawk Sterich adventures.
“Gloom and Disunion Cycle” Series (set in Sterich)
COR2-04 “Birthday Bash” (Part 1, Retired)
# COR02-04 - Birthday Bash
Carnival time arrives in Istivin as the people celebrate a local landowner’s birthday, and everyone is invited! What fun and games await those who show up for the festivities? An adventure for characters level 3-12. The first adventure in the Gloom and Disunion Cycle.
# COR02-05 Beneath The Veil
In the crumbling ruin of Istivan’s west end lives a young boy who, if the star’s don’t lie, will either grow to become the greatest prophet of the god Celestian that Oerth has ever know, or become the next foul tyrant of the age. Quested to retrieve the boy and bring him to the Plinth of the Conjunction in the Barrier Peaks, your adventure takes a dangerous turn at the very start. The boy has been kidnapped by a dangerous demon-worshipping cult. An adventure for characters level 3-12. The second adventure in the Gloom and Disunion Cycle.
# CORS3-01 Assault on the Vault
RPGA database entry - Nyrond website review
# COR5-10 Bridge Over Svartjet
APLs 4-12, Official listing - RPGA database entry - Nyrond website review
Hope this helps. Ain't google a grand thing?!