I've been thinking about starting one of these for a while now, and just now finally got around to it. I've got a group of 5 PCs, and we play for about 6 hours twice a month. For the most part I've made very minimal adjustments to the book but I'll cover what I did in later posts where relevant.
We just wrapped up the first book after 6 sessions, and are looking forward to starting the second book next week.
Here are the characters along with their custom traits:
Artorus Orzhov - Dhampir Necromancer 4/Fighter 1
Eternal Slumber - Once per day you can still the spirit of a creature you've just slain. As a swift action you can place your vow of the restful dead on a creature you've slain in the last round, and in thanks its spirit lends you its strength. For 10 minutes per level you gain, 1d8 temporary HP, +2 sacred bonus to strength, +1 sacred bonus to AC. This is considered a good act, and also sends the spirit along more favorable paths to be judged.
John - Human Druid 5
Lost Childhood - The harshness of your childhood forced you to grow up quicker than most but have also granted you with a deeper insight to life than others. You receive a +2 bonus to all wisdom-based skill checks.
Raegar Thunderkeg - Dwarf Ranger 5
Improvised Combat - Your family's generations of toil against innumerable undead has given your lineage a rather impressive well of inspiration in battle. Three times per day as a free action you can gain the benefits of a combat feat which you do not posses for one minute, as long as you meet all of the feat's prerequisites.
Nobnog - Goblin Cleric 5
Firewielder - Ever since you were young you realized that you were different than other goblins. Clearly smarter, and though like others you were fascinated by fire, you also discovered you could control it. Once a day you can use control flames with a caster level equal to your own.
Rasmus - Halfling Sorcerer 5
Truth Expert - You've got more secrets than you can keep straight, not to mention you're constantly having to cover for your friends as well. Years of doing this have made you particularly glib, and as such you're particularly good at lying. Bluff is a class skill for you, and you gain 1 rank in Bluff every level. Furthermore you gain a +10 trait bonus when telling lies, er truths.
My 5 player group took it on at level 2, however they were effectively a 4 player group for this fight. One of the PC's stayed back on the Aceron because they rested before they finished exploring the Drift Rock, and they became more ill instead of better. Instead they ran one of the Space Goblins they'd befriended.
Anyways, they never figured out the creature's vulnerability, and it ended up being a very close fight. By the end of the fight 3 of the players had fallen unconscious (some more than once), and most resources spent.
The weird thing was that players kept stabilizing, regaining consciousness, attacking, and getting attacked back and going unconscious again. It felt kind of like whack-a-mole, not exactly great. Also having the RP to spend removed the pressure of needing healing, since 1 HP was as good as any healing spell could do for them.
It appears the player's get no XP if they don't kill Jabaxa and her crew, if they learn all of the details they can from her, should they receive XP as though they defeated them in combat?
Also the same thing happens with Clara-247 (no apparent XP if they don't kill her), should the PCs also get XP as though they defeated her if they convince her to ally with them?
I emailed about this yesterday, but no one has responded and it seems people on the forums are getting responses. I've been trying to purchase Dead Suns #1 but I can't make it past the purchase screen, let alone make it to the download section where it seems everyone else is having problems.
I've recently been sketching a ton of maps, as it is something I'm not particularly good at. To that end I've also picked up a bunch of the first books in the Adventure Path lines as those are typically around the level of games I enjoy running. (I have Wrath, Hell's Rebels, Hell's Vengeance, and Strange Aeons)
One thing I realized recently, is that I tend to draw rooms too small. I typically have 5 players, and love to draw 10' x 10' rooms. Obviously this doesn't work as you end up with a party that can't fit in the room before even adding an encounter to it. The same goes for hallways, which was mentioned in the Gamemastery Guide (Amazing book by the way!).
To get better at design in general, I would find it super useful to have a director's commentary printing of one of the modules or AP books, that goes into the why things were developed that way.
-Is that something you would be interested in doing?
-Of the books I don't have, which do you think would be a good addition to my above collection?
I was hoping to get your personal opinion on a question about a Wizard school power. There are a bunch of powers worded roughly something like the Core's Enchantment School's Aura of Despair. (Elemental Manipulation, Aura of Banishment, Foretell, Shape Emotions, and Bedeviling Aura are the others)
Aura of Despair (Su): At 8th level, you can emit a 30-foot aura of despair for a number of rounds per day equal to your wizard level. Enemies within this aura take a –2 penalty on ability checks, attack rolls, damage rolls, saving throws, and skill checks. These rounds do not need to be consecutive. This is a mind-affecting effect.
I've looked around and it seems quite clear that to activate a supernatural power is a standard action.
Supernatural Abilities (Su): Using a supernatural ability is usually a standard action (unless defined otherwise by the ability's description). Its use cannot be disrupted, does not require concentration, and does not provoke attacks of opportunity.
My question is how long do these powers last after activation? Do they last one round and require another standard action subsequent rounds to remain active? Or do you just need to use a free action to maintain them similar to the Bard?
And bonus question. What about Paladin Auras? If a Paladin is knocked out in combat, once they regain consciousness do they need to spend a standard action to use their Auras?
Chess Pwn wrote:
...So you don't have to make an acrobatics check to get out of the grease?
This pretty much, and I think everyone would agree that if you're in a grease square you'd need to do an acrobatics check before moving anywhere. At least, I don't think anyone previously disputed that.
Yeah, I have a google sheets doc that I use. Each spell links back to the PRD entry, and I can mark down how many times I memorize it, and one of my tabs is only spells that I have memorized. I also track stuff like page numbers, components, casting time, so I can quickly sort on it if I need.
I shared that with the group, so they can peak in at any time. The DM can verify things by checking out revision history if he really wants. It works out pretty well.
Apparently this was intentional, link
For those of you doing the gyms, I've only just found out the following.
-You have to tap the enemy to attack them (some pokemon like Scyther or Slowpoke attack really fast and do more than you'd expect them to even at lower CPs).
-You tap and hold to use your secondary power. Use that when your bars are charged up.
-You can swipe to dodge incoming attacks.
-Sometimes its better to take out the first pokemon at a gym and then retreat over and over. That way you only have to heal up a little between battles.
-Most importantly, if you attack a gym while someone else is attacking (not sure if they need to be on your team or not) they'll assist you in the battle. You'll see their pokemon in the background occasionally attacking, and you can rack up quite a bit of damage this way.
-I usually snipe the lower level gyms to collect the 10 poke coins, sometimes I try to be polite and leave a lower level pokemon so the next person can take it faster. If you're traveling in a group, you can take out a few gyms really quick and rack up more coins and stardust. In those cases its good to leave your more sturdy pokemon behind.
-Also keep an eye out on who is taking back your gyms, you can buy time by picking a counter pokemon to whatever they tend to leave at the gym. (Usually that's their best pokemon, so if you leave a counter it makes it that much harder to take back the gym).
James Jacobs wrote:
My group refused to play published anything up until a few years ago. I suppose at some point we must have played something and decided it was bad so everything else must be bad too, certainly I was both arrogant and ignorant.
I'm not sure what changed, but I ran a Ravenloft adventure in 2nd ed which was fun. Then we swapped to Pathfinder (about 5 years ago), about a year later I picked up Wrath of the Righteous which we're still having a blast with! In the meantime we've also had a Mummy's Mask game, only lasted a book, and an Iron Gods game start in its place, which is still going too.
Anyways, since then we've learned a lot from the adventures you guys have published and I think we certainly enjoy the game a lot more. Which brings me to my question. We've been playing Wrath of the Righteous and Iron Gods for years, and there is constantly new material that comes out. What does a group do when the scope of Adventure Paths for them is in years?
Also what's a good environment to refine adventure design, when the iteration loop is so long?
I actually saw your original post, but felt like the second post I made in this read was response enough to what you were saying. Let me know if there is something I missed! Quoting below:
Earlier Post wrote:
GM 1990 wrote:
Yeah, I agree. I do feel like something was lost when our group moved over to point buy. But the benefits far out weigh the downsides for us. I might poke around and see if anyone has looked into what you said.
It doesn't equate to more fun unless that's what you enjoy. For that matter, all PCS could be commoners, or deities, it's just personal preference.
Exactly, I just like to learn about other people's preferences, especially when they're different from my own.
For me personally, I don't like that point buy produces nearly similar stat arrays, but at the same time I don't like that rolled stats produce wildly different stat arrays.
I'm only just now surprised that there is no method for rolling stats that produced random stat arrays at a given point buy.
As taks says, it makes more character options possible, particularly if the player wants feats with ability score prereqs. For example, with a 15-point-buy it's hard for a fighter to get a 13 Int for Combat Expertise and the Improved line of combat maneuver feats and still have fighter-like melee damage (Str) and front-liner hit points (Con).
Right, so if you're trying to retain balance and characters in addition to having higher stats can also qualify for more feats, it becomes a more complicated than compensating with higher stats for the monsters. I feel like in that case the experience simply won't be the same as a 15-point build versus a 20-point, because those new options are possible.
Also, why does more options equate to more fun? I feel like Chipotle is a good example of this, where there aren't many options on the menu but you can mix and match and end up with a number of very satisfying options. Probably more than any one person could ever try. In the same way, you can already do a lot with a 15-point buy, more than probably anyone will ever exhaust. So how does expanding an already impossibly large set of characters to an even more impossibly large set of characters objectively help?
I feel like I could easily make an opposite point that 15-point buy is more fun because those fighters with Combat Expertise are more rare, therefore playing one is more satisfying.
I think my attitude on this comes from experience with, admittedly, my one group. I feel like the more options they have, the more likely it is they become paralyzed by those decisions. Anyways, this is clearly a topic that'll vary from person to person, but I appreciate everyone's input! I'll certainly continue reading this thread!
I don't understand this. What is the purpose of granting the PCs extra points if you're going to compensate?
At least in my mind, you're not really granting the players anything and it seems a bit dishonest, unless you're upfront about it. On top of that it just creates more work when there isn't a need for it, assuming the balance you're striving for is the balance achieved with a 15-point buy.
I get that we're talking about very marginal differences here, which just makes it a bit more baffling to me that there is such a strong discussion about the topic.
Anyways, the point of my reply is that I feel like I'm missing some perspective, and I was hoping you could enlighten. Thanks!
It depends on who/what is left. If the Blackfire Adepts are around, the book suggests having them by Vang's side for ~24 hours.
If there is nothing left at all, why would Vang stick around? The odds are stacked against him, and I think he'd realize that. I'd imagine he'd take what he could from the IS and leave, as detailed in his tactics.
However, if the party was just camping for an hour or so, nearby, where Vang could find them, then I'd have him hit them while they rest.
So we've had a few sessions since I last updated. They've completed the redoubt, and rescued Arushale, killed the Woundwyrm, and are nearing their confrontation with Vang.
The redoubt took a long time to run. They scouted it and were able to discover the location of the two Drake Riders. And decided that they were going to Dimension Door right next to one.
Initially this worked well. They were able to quickly kill the Rider before anyone else could act, but soon the entire redoubt was on high alert. The surprising thing was even with Invisibility Purge up those Will o' Wisps were absolute nightmares. Zack left himself exposed during their ambush to a direct charge from the other Drake Rider, who was more than happy to take advantage of the opportunity. That knocked him down to 8 HP. That caused every Will o' Wisp to dart over his direction and start zapping him, which quickly killed him. Galvak doesn't quite see the threat yet and Breath of Lifes him, but doesn't get him enought HP to go above that 10 HP threshold, so the Will o' Wisps quickly kill him again.
Other than that Marcus decided to tangle directly with the Hag. He flew up to her, got grappled provoking an AoO, and eventually was tossed back down to the ground. I'm not sure why he didn't remount his Griffon, but that took him out of the combat as he was busy with left over grimslakes.
Eventually through attrition they had the Hag nearly dead, and I went for the heal scroll. But Eb actually managed to Sunder the thing, only hitting because he had the higher ground bonus. And honestly at this point had he not, I'm pretty sure they would've been done for. After that they quickly finish the Hag, and most of what's left decides to head its own way.
The Woundwyrm encounter was okay. As usual any all on one fight that they have some prior information for ends up being one sided. They did manage to prebuff Resist Energy acid, so the Woundwyrm's Acid Fog didn't eat through their gear. I got lucky and managed to roll only 1s on the recharge for her breath. I ended up having her fight from inside her fog. That certainly kept damage to her down to a minimum, but eventually Zack summoned something that had Gust of Wind, and they slowly ate away at her fog.
I'll update with the rest later.
I was just running the Drake Riders last session (need to update my journal soon), and the numbers I was using for Mounted Spirited Charge are 3d8+66+1d6.
Spirited Charge should be a total of times three, not times five. Alter Self should add an additional +1 to hit, but a +2 damage (due to two-handing). Add in Power Attack -3 to hit, but +9 to Damage and you're at 1d8+22+1d6(electrical).
Not to mention the Rift Drake also gets his pounce on the charge which is (adding in charge and higher ground): bite +21 (2d8+10/19–20 plus bleed), tail slap +15 (1d10+3 plus trip) -or- bite +18 (2d8+16/19–20 plus bleed), tail slap +12 (1d10+6 plus trip) if you're power attacking.
If all connect, you have a PC that just took over 100 damage and may be bleeding and prone.
I'm curious, how did your party prevent the charges on those 3 rounds both drakes were up, and the additional rounds the second one was up? My party tried summoning creatures in front of him, but couldn't block him entirely. They're a pretty scary encounter, at least for my party, every time they've encountered one at least one PC has died.
Just to be clear by upgrading, I'm usually just altering tactics or changing memorized spells. I try to keep things the same as much as possible.
I ended up running the Fallen Fane this session. And I did make some alterations.
I changed the spells the antipaladins memorized from Command and Death Knell to Magic Weapon and Litany of Weakness. While it wasn't a change I spotted that the Unhallow's Magic Circle against Good wasn't included in the stat blocks so I tossed that in to my cheat sheet. The last change was rather than have the Antipaladins use their profane weapon for a +1, I used Magic Weapon to allow them to use Keen on their glaives.
With Zanedra, I added two rounds on to her before combat tactics; casting both Shield and Barkskin on her Eidolon. I also added in the Unhallow's Magic Circle against Evil.
For the Mihstu I made sure to adjust for the tentacle's weapon finesse on the grab rolls because of the FAQ that lets you use weapon finesse in applicable situations.
That's the extent of the changes I made.
Also, Galvak was absent this session and the party decided to leave him back in Drezen (their loss).
Anyways, the group while investigating the cave decided to buff up and scout as much as they could. However the sounds of casting and fully armored characters quickly alerted the occupants of the party's arrival. Sadly, the group took about 10 rounds to enter giving everyone ample time to prepare, and by the time they entered Zanedra had already hasted all 6 Templars.
Demitrius was the first to go in as he won initiative, and in a fit of Bravado strayed right into the thick of things. If you look at the map there really isn't a lot of room in there and with 8 pawns, no matter where he went he was surrounded. The player of Demitrius hesitated for a moment, but the player of Marcus assured him it'd be okay.
So he finishes moving in, provoking 4 AoOs (since both sides were buffing and acting before this, it was really the 2nd or 3rd round when Demitrius entered so no one was FF), and taking some minor damage. At this point they weren't smiting and I'd decided Power Attack was a dead feat so I wasn't using it. I think he got two hits, each was between 10 and 15, so his ablative barrier and DR soaked up most of it. That reassured him.
At this point 5 of the 6 templars go. They've all got haste and smite. One of them gets lucky and manages to Crit Demitrius for just over 60. And a bunch of others connect all doing d10+13, and quickly knock him out, before a templar manages to coup de grace him and he dies.
I had the wonderful plan of mixing Litany of Weakness and Touch of Corruption (Fatigue) to exhaust some players, but from here on out no one gets close enough for them to connect.
Every is worried at this point, and cautiously enters. Marcus closing with Zanedra, and Eb tosses a fireball in. Zanedra manages to summon 3 babaus though, and soon Eb and Wiki are bordering unconciousness/death. And the babaus start counterspelling the fireballs, but in a total screw up on my part Zack manages to end the encounter with Black Tentacles and Eidolon Surge(Breath Weapon).
I goofed because the Unhallow has a Freedom of Movement tied to it but in the heat of the moment I forgot that. Zack also rolled a 19 on his combat manuever check so everything was grappled, and quickly dead.
I actually didn't use Zanedra as effectively as I'd hoped. She got two Hold Monsters off, both were saved against. She also managed one summon, and then she teleported away.
Had I been thinking better, I would've used her Eidolon to block the path to her, but it wasn't until a player pointed out that Svennarobeth had wings on his pawn that I remembered he could fly.
All in all I think those adjustments worked out really well. I was quite bummed that antipaladins don't have a Divine Favor esque spell, but thought the use of Magic Weapon for Keen was handy. I really wanted to exhaust a player, but never had the chance. Though I did get to use Litany of Weakness to block a charge on Zanedra. The look on Marcus' face when I reminded him it was 3 rounds to cast Lesser Restoration was classic.
I'm not sure if they'll go for the Woundwyrm next or what. But we've got a cabin trip planned and 4 days to play, so I expect next time I update we'll have wrapped up Book 3.
Whew, a few sessions have happened since I last reported. But things have certainly swung back in favor of the player's, but I suspect that's about to change.
I'm only going to cover what's stuck out in my mind, as a lot has happened.
I wanted to take a step back as Andrew's post got me thinking a bit, I was curious how things would run if I ran them exactly as presented. So starting with the Mythic Vrock encounter I ran(ish) the tactics as stated.
As I had thought the Dance of Ruin was entirely wasteful. It did manage to damage Jesker and Sosiel (Sosiel was their captured NPC, and Jesker was just along for the ride as they'd just rescued him) and brought them near unconsciousness, but the PCs shrugged it off. It wasted three creatures turns for paltry damage, I don't advise this.
I did have a bit of tension when Marcus and Grimwing (his Griffon mount from monstrous mount) nearly were entangled into the lava, but a few mythic surges righted that and the encounter proceeded from there. The Vrock managed to escape, so I'll be able to retry a few things later.
And so it was for Delamere's Tomb, Wintersun, and the other encounters I ran. They were much less of a slog than it could have been. The players for the most part enjoyed it, but are getting a sense that things might be a bit too easy.
At least for now, I can answer that I do indeed suspect that the vase majority of difficulty arises from tactics employed.
We ended last session after Wintersun Hall. The player's used stone shape to break in undetected. They killed most of the Barbarians there before they started to realize something was wrong. I'm not sure how they're going to handle that, but we'll be picking up there.
We should be getting to the Zanedra and the Woundwyrm next session (which is Saturday) and I'm looking forward to seeing how some of the things I switched up will run.
I was wondering your opinion on this. Unless I've misunderstood, monsters such as Demon's Heresy's Fallen (Or the Bestiary's Wraith which is similar) can use their negative energy attack to heal themselves. But just because something can do something doesn't mean it will, and I was wondering if such creatures ever would?
Specifically with the Fallen, in general would they enjoy their few days of rest until they're rejuvenated, or would they prefer to stay unslain to better seek out someone who can perform their funeral rights?
Especially in the case of incorporeal undead, considering that they can hide inside of objects to heal, this could be a particularly vexing tactic that I'd hesitate to deploy on my players.
My group is actually in the middle of a rather large discussion about this. The issue with allowing for max HP is you change the ratio of HP because the classes.
3.5/6.5 == 0.538 vs. 6/12 == 0.500
That means higher HDs end up benefiting more from this method, than the default.
(Same with adding +2 to the d6s, but more amplified 3.5/9.5 == 0.368)
We're currently between allocating average HP (starting at 2nd level with the low part of the average first), and rerolling all of your HD every level and taking the new result if it's higher than your previous result.
e.g. 6th Level Fighter -
So at 6th level you only keep your total if it's higher than whatever you used at 5th.
In term of HP, my group generally leaves up Ablative Barrier and Shield Other. That takes the brunt of any HP damage. On top of that we've got two guardians one with Absorb Blow and the other with Sudden Block, so they're really sturdy.
Their ACs (at levels 10/4) are all between 26-31, so they get hit a lot, but they can take quite the beating (and do regularly).
Hah! That's a bit of an extreme! As I mentioned, I'm running Wrath of the Rigteous, and seeing how we're in the third book my players are already very familiar with demon basics. They know about how their DR works, that they can summon in friends, they can teleport, their resistances, and that they don't need to sleep.
They've also learned quite a bit about recurring monsters and usually get pretty detailed in taking notes, not too dissimilar to Van Richten's Guides if anyone remembers those.
If a crunchy number spills out during the game I certainly don't penalize someone for meta gaming with that knowledge. Though I have pointed out that acting on certain knowledge would be meta gaming in the past, but I leave the decision of whether or not to do that up to the players. I don't mind when they act on it as each player has their own tastes.
Also I do share stat blocks with players after the fact, especially if they're curious. I rather enjoy the discussion that brings, and sometimes they'll notice things I don't so I learn from them!
Kirth Gersen wrote:
It's funny because this is exactly the opposite of what I'd expect. Anyways, you've both got me curious. =p
Hm, I should've been a bit more clear. There is still information that I give the players, like number of attacks that creature just made. Chances to determine what spells are cast, they know when their spells fail, how much damage they take from a given attack, and so on. So they are getting meaningful information which they can certainly use to make decisions, not just shots in the dark.
I try not to give out actual modifiers, but have thought quite a bit of thought about that in the case of saving throw modifiers. The reason is that anything a players roll to hit, the DC (or AC) can be inferred based on what does and doesn't hit. It isn't exactly fair to the casters, where the enemy rolls to hit the player's DC, leaving that information in the dark for the players.
Seeing how we haven't run a session that way I can't exactly answer you questions. I can run it past my players next session and see if they'd be up for it, and if not our current game it is certainly something we can try down the line. There's a good chance I'm over thinking it and these may be imagined issues after all!
Anyways, thanks for your replies, they've been helpful.
Ah, that is really interesting!
This goes back to what you're saying about a player's decisions impacting the game, but with a slightly different flavor. For me, being given the chance of a desirable outcome for a variety of actions why wouldn't I always choose the action that's most likely to give me a desirable outcome?
I like that your groups finds that an enhancement (I think a couple of players in my group would actually enjoy this as well). But, for me personally that would turn each round into a math problem; robbing me of decisions as I solved for the best outcomes. Statistics is making the decision not me (as I would see it).
Does that make sense?
Seeing how I haven't actually done this I could be overlooking an aspect entirely. But I do find it interesting that in your experience I'm hiding opportunity, but in my experience I'm granting it. Either way, I'm certain to think about this more. =p
Thanks, but that's largely a credit to everyone here on the forums. Growing up in a smaller town we all largely had our tastes converge, so the anecdotal evidence I did have suggested groups did indeed play like ours. College exposed me briefly to other groups and I didn't enjoy it, and I regret not trying to take the plunge on change then.
So we were stuck in our own echo chamber eventually stagnating before deciding to try an AP. I think that's what eventually led me here, and really opened up my understanding that other groups are different.
Our experiment as you put it, has certainly taught us that there were other ways to play the game. And running an adventure that none of the rotating group of GM's had written was sort of like getting someone else to stand in to run a game for our group. The player's couldn't see our fingerprints so the game has that magic again. Plus as GMs we could focus our energy on other things, like reading the rules for once.
Even still a question like "Is Pathfinder becoming unbalanced?" escapes me. We've yet to really play anything else like we've played Pathfinder, so it is my only valid point of reference. Thankfully in the meantime I can read about all the varying opinions here, so that should I need to deal with such a situation, I'll be all the more prepared. And maybe someone find something useful out of my experiences. =)
Also, I was wondering, since you roll your dice along with modifiers in front of players do you ever have any issues with someone acting on that knowledge?
I ask because as a player I know I wouldn't be able to help but do that. Not maliciously mind you, but I'd worry that those things would start impacting my decisions and I couldn't help but feel guilty about that.
I've certainly wondered from time to time whether or not my GM has fudged a number here or there, so having them rolled out in the open would alleviate that.
Also, what caused you to start doing this?
Took me a few days, but I finally caught up (sort of) on this thread. It's an interesting read, as I've had a different experience.
My groups been playing about 15ish (+/- some) years 2nd through Pathfinder with a brief stint in 4th, plus a smattering of other table tops. In that time, up until maybe 2 years ago, we never played by the rules at all. I'm not sure any of us even took the time to understand the rules. Now we've been running Wrath of the Righteous (In Book 3 now), Iron Gods (Just finished Book 2), and Mummy's Mask (Ended this campaign in Book 2), and we decided to try and stick the rules as best we can.
Coming off of 3 sets of 4d6 for stats to a 15-point buy was absolutely massive for us. Not to mention going 2 traits, plus other special traits (we really just winged it), to only the campaign trait, rolled gold vs. max, and countless other house "rules".
On top of that, our rotating group of DMs (myself included), really stuck to goblins, hobgoblins, kobolds, giants, trolls, ogres, seeing a trend here?
So for us we're in the midst of gigantic rebalance, and I'll get back to you (the collective you) on whether or not we feel things are nutty or not. For the moment things are working, and working well.
Anyways, we may have thought ourselves veterans, but it seems like we're only just getting introduced to the game. Since we've been a fairly closed static group for those 15ish years, I can only wonder what other groups may be like and if any of them were/are like us.
Clebsch GM wrote:
Sorry Clebsch GM, didn't see your question earlier. I know James Jacobs has answered this before. You can see what he's said there.
As for you last set of questions, check out the Abyssal Rift in Book 2, things can certainly spill over from the Abyss in that way. Also if you check out The Worldwound source book, there is a lot of information in there about how else it can happen. Lastly, I believe Book 4 also covers this a bit.
I appreciate your response!
I think there are a number of things that are keeping the challenge up for them, a lot of which you identified. Outside of that though, there have been a few tough decisions on the party's part, which isn't entirely their fault. For example, when they faced the Dweirgeth Demitrius (the party's barbarian and main source of damage) got sucked up into the tornado because he failed a Will save. That kept him out of the fight entirely, though that would've all changed had Zack (the summoner and main spellcaster) cast Dispel Magic on the tornado, but hindsight is 20-20.
Anyways, I've certainly been using the enemies effectively, and I think that as long as I continue to do that things will continue to be challenging. I try to be inventive where I can, my group still talks about the time the gargoyles tried to throw them off the cliff at the Lost Chapel. Or resourceful, having Janeamine summon a Babau so she could use Vampiric Touch on it. In fact I've had most luck with the encounters that seem the easiest, as there is often something I've missed which I can use.
I think with a group of 4 and 25 point-buy you can still present a challenging AP. And I look forward to seeing how it goes, especially if you start your own campaign journal!
Let me know if you have any other questions, as I'd be happy to answer!
I struggled a long time what to do with her. I fully intended to keep it up as a ruse for as long as I could, but I thought about it some more and even asked James Jacobs for his input, and eventually settled on letting it play out during the downtime between books. Sure it was anti-climatic, but it sowed even more distrust in the party, and I think that could play well with things that'll transpire during the third book, and more importantly the fourth. I think playing up their distrust could lead to some questionable decisions on their part, and I think I'll catch a hint of that next session when they encounter that cleric of Erastil (whose name escapes me for the moment).
I was actually curious about your character creation rules, and what you think of the difficulty of the AP so far?
I'm running for a group of 5 players, 15-point buy, 1 Campaign trait, using the AP unmodified and we're in the 3rd book now and they're having a really hard time.
Beyond the mechanical, I'd be really interested to read the backgrounds of the other characters in your group! That is if they have them and would be willing to share. I really enjoyed yours!
You'll also have to read through book three to decide on how you'll want to handle the starting traits, as they're deeply tied into the game up to that point.
Instead of doubling all encounters you might want to smush a few together and then tack on enough extra mooks to hit the right CR. The goal being to reduce the overall number of encounters, since with 7-8 players the time to complete a single round will be really really high.
Be careful when increasing room size, as that can create a huge advantage for ranged characters/monsters.
I think there are a few campaign journals with 6 players, and you'll certainly want to read over those. My worry would be that the player power curve with mythic doesn't go up linearly as you add players. I find that it is easier to give things to players than it is to take away. Thankfully you have until the end of Book 1 to make that call with mythic.
I think you're going to get a lot of varying answers, and I think it depends on the group.
I've got a mythic party, 15-point buy, 5 PCs and they're struggling to get through book 3 with me running things as presented. Just in book 3 we've already had 1 death and are only 3 sessions in. There have also been an additional 2 almost deaths (still just in book 3), one the players voted to undo, and the other was a goof on the rules. If I were to drop Mythic I don't see how they'd last.
Either way you probably know best, but you're in a good spot considering. If things start to get difficult you can always ramp up their legendary-powers.
We're 3 sessions into Book 3 and there is still definitely a challenge. As one player put it, he feels like every encounter is risking death. I'm running everything as presented, and haven't made any efforts to buff up the encounters or make things more difficult. I feel like everything is balanced in favor of the enemies, at least for the moment. We'll see as they level up and get more tiers how things go, but running things exactly as presented is a challenge for this group of 5 players.
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Just wrapped up session 3 over the weekend. We spent the beginning in the Lost Chapel, the party content to heal up and share some spirits with the NPCs. After a bit of discussion, the party debated whether or not to chase down the missing cleric of Erastil or find out more about Marcus' past.
Considering the restless Fallen, and the proximity of Sesker's Gully they opted to go there first, as that would only put them a day behind if they were to have gone straight after the cleric of Erastil.
The party settled down for their first night in the Worldwound when they were ambushed by a Dwiergeth. This encounter was extremely brutal. The were camped alongside a dried up riverbed with strong winds and rain when it attacked. Everyone except for Eb was surprised, but due to the Dwiergeth's taste for outsiders it leapt into camp, devoured Eb, and dashed off into the storm before anyone else even had a chance to draw their weapon.
The party horrified, only became more so as the storm tore down from the skies enveloping them in at tornado an instant later. Then to make matters worse, Demitrius, the ever sturdy Barbarian gets sucked into the funnel somehow disappearing faster than Eb. Leaving only Zack, Galvak, and Marcus, to trudge off and find the Dwiergeth.
From here everyone except for Demitrius gets eaten, some numerous times. And it isn't long before the thing manages to kill and eat Eb. Sensing the danger they're in the party starts to dig deep and use just about everything at their disposal. Zack tries to Dimension Door out of the Dwiergeth and actually manages to succeed. Though the game bogged down as the player chose a location that was still within the Tornado. After he failed his save, and was sucked up (and currently at 9 HP, so this was a death sentence) we took a group vote and allowed him to change his location to the max distance of Dimension Door. Which was saftely outside the tornado.
Zack gets some summons out, casts a few buffs, and Dimension Doors back to the Dweirgeth, finally managing to finish the thing. After a quick rest, they Raise Eb who is now down 1 negative level for the week.
The next day they arrive in Sesker's Gully, they speak with Arlys learning a bit about what awaits them. After some scouting and planning they manage to take out the Bodak, but not before Eb gets hit for 6 more negative levels, and Marcus gets hit for 1.
We ended here, as they know it is a Nabasu ahead Eb has already said that he's going to sit this one out.
I'm not so sure about allowing Zack to select a different location to Dimension Door to. The player of Zack and Marcus argued for it. The player of Galvak was mixed, and the player of Eb and Demitrius were in thought when we opted to change it. Had we not, Zack and Galvak would've likely died and its possible that Marcus wouldn't have found an unconscious Demitrius until morning if at all.
There were a few goofs on the party's end that led to this. Zack forgot to use In Harm's Way with his Eidolon to block the Swallow Whole attack. Demitrius forgot he could surge on his saving throw (though I'm not so sure he did as he was planning to Fleet Charge after his save which cost his swift action). Eb decided to full-attack rather than to be a bit more defensive, which means he caught three bite damages on his turn (two hits, and the act of swallowing). Also, they've prepared themselves to fight demons, not abberitions. They also stopped trying to figure out how to overcome this things' DR.
Well not exactly, read of this blog, #6 covers daylight. Anyways, the light levels would go back to whatever they were when no spells were cast which I think is Dark. Because of that he'd pretty much always have the option to go invisible, even if Daylight was up. In fact you could probably stick with the Deeper Darkness at will and use the Shadow Evocation for something else.
I don't have his stats in front of me at the moment so I don't really remember what else he can do, I'm just going off the base Shadow Demon.
You also don't need to run this fight as a possession fight. I totally missed this when I ran it, but River of Wind would be an excellent spell to pick, from Shadow Evocation, as it could push plenty of creatures into that green slime. Resilient Sphere is great for control. And you've always got Dragon's Breath if you want to crank out some classic evocation spells.
Aqueous Orb, Spiked Pit, and Stinking Cloud are also great uses of Shadow Conjuration.
All of those should get you 6 rounds of fun casting, with some of those effects lasting well beyond that. That coupled with renewable Invisibility + Incorporeal should keep the fight going that long.
Well there wouldn't be much point to that as the Change Shape ability doesn't adjust ability scores (I literally just found this out).
This ability functions as a polymorph spell, the type of which is listed in the creature's description, but the creature does not adjust its ability scores (although it gains any other abilities of the creature it mimics).
EDIT: Nevermind, I guess it would gain the size changes. -1 Hit, -1 AC, Increased Damage Die, 10' reach.
But still, this seems a bit weird.
Incorporeal is rather nasty if you're worried about your players getting through the boss rather quickly. Remember all attacks are subject to 50% reduction in damage. That said, Eustoryiax can also summon another Shadow Demon, and infinite Shadows making getting to him rather difficult.
On top of that he can take cover in walls from your Archer Paladin, only peaking out to cast spells. Which means players have to take readied actions to hit him.
He has Pounce and all of his attacks are considered touch attacks because he is Incorporeal. If he manages to Telekinesis anyone down to the slimes he can use Sprint and close the distance easily.
He can also Shadow Evocation a Deeper Darkness meaning only Daylight will overcome it. Since the prevailing light conditions aren't Bright Light he'll always be able to go invisible as a move action.
Anyways, just some thoughts if you're still open to considering Eustoryiax.
Quick question about the Shachath. I see it is listed as having Change Shape, but the keyed spell is Alter Self. The weird thing is it lists "medium or large humanoid", but as far as I know you can't use Alter Self to turn into a Large humanoid.
Anyone know what they mean by this?
Did they mean to give it Giant Form I? Because if so that changes its prowess rather substantially...
Just drop the encounter entirely, have the remaining armies abandon Staunton to his fate. That leaves the focus on the players and the style of play they prefer. You could always say they were called to the Southern border to help in the Demon's campaign against Mendev there.
Outside of that you could have Soltengrebbe swoop in and kill/scare (where applicable) off the remaining troops. If you haven't run that encounter yet it might intimidate the PCs a bit, as it well should!
Or have an NPC take charge of the army and determine the outcome of the battles before your next session. Then you could lead with a narrative on how that went down, and it would give you time to highlight Irabeth or other NPCs.
Other than those suggestions I've heard other groups have had some success with the troop rules? But I'm not familiar with those, and it sounds like the ship has sailed for learning a new rule set for the last time it'll ever matter in the AP.