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873 posts. Alias of Wiggz.


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Harles wrote:

I realize I'm likely in the minority, but I'd prefer adventure content of a mega adventure along the lines of what is put out by other companies that focus on, well, the adventure. Approximately half the content of each AP is stuff I don't use, and I end up spending around $150 per campaign (when you can get similar material from other companies for less than half that).

Does anyone else agree? Like could we get adventures without all the setting "filler?" Just some good, "meat and potatoes" adventuring? (Especially now that Paizo seems to be the sole content creators for PF2).

The AP's are the primary reason that I stayed involved with Pathfinder, and I have them in pdf and softcover from #1 to #144 as well as hardcovers of RotRL, CotCT and Emerald Spire... but I agree that spending twice as much when half the content is pretty much unusable to me isn't ideal. With the advent of PF2 I stopped my subscription and started looking at the hardcover campaigns from that other company that give me a lot more of what I'm looking for, and for a lot less money.

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Matrix Sorcica wrote:

Wow, this is great! I'd love to hear more. Should I PM you with a mail address?

So, the "mystery" of RotR is revealed (at least, the return of the runelords) is revealed pretty early?

Also, no follow up regarding Korvosa and Ileosa's misgivings?

Oh, there's much, much more than that, trust me and yes, feel free to pm me any time (along with anyone else who's interested in this discussion).

So the mystery isn't 'revealed' per se, but rather it's hinted at with growing dread. Kind of like the One Ring, Sheila theorizes that the Shards may be starting to surface because they are reacting to their Master's stirring consciousness, but no one knows which ones are waking or how long it will take them... and her theory isn't even actually correct. I've got a whole thing about what's really going on with the Sihedron all laid out.

Heh - you should see what I've got going on with Fenster from Shattered Star, Vol. 1...

One of the things I feel you have to do to make a story truly epic is to not have everything that matters happen right in front of one group of people every time. That's one of the reasons for my 'B-team', but some of the major NPC's also have an important role to play. There is an entire redemption arc for Nualia that carries through the Lady's Light, her eventual sacrifice and rebirth (drawn to Sorshen's malfunctioning clone) and finally into Korvosa where she assumes the role and title of Blackjack after Vencarlo is assassinated. She and Oriana fight their own clandestine war against the Queen's imperialistic intentions, made easier by the devastation caused by the Bloodveil.

Not to give too much away, but probably my favorite moment in the campaign is this scenario that I call 'A Gathering of Eagles' - the giant attack on Sandpoint ends up being much, much bigger, but most of the major NPC's up to that point gather in the defense of the town and I have about a dozen asymmetrical combat encounters planned where the players get to take over various NPC's, from Vin Vender and Daverin Hosk escorting 'mi'lady Heidmarch through the streets to Shalelu and the druids who moved into Thistletop defending the bridges to Oriana and Nualia fighting back-to-back in the very town square that Nualia had once plotted to raze to the ground and so on. I expect some really powerful moments of both victory and sorrow to come from that one.

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Matrix Sorcica wrote:


For starters, how do you get a logical flow with all the parts without it being too railroady ("you're in MAgnimar, now you must go to Korvosa. Now you must go to Hook Mountain. Now you must go to KAer Maga etc.?). It seems somewhat.... crowded? I've been wanting to combine a lot of these adventures as well, but I always end up wanting to cram too much into the story.

Also, how do you keep the slowly unwinding mystery which is a big part of RotR, when chasing the Silhedron and all that that implies?

I started to type this a dozen different ways, but each time it got too long-winded - perhaps this is a better topic for mail? There is just so much detail to go into if I want to give you a proper anser. The short version is that some of it is done for you; remember that events in Rise directly influence events in several other AP's including Crimson Throne, so there is a natural progression that you can start to pick up there. Of course, any epic campaign is going to be somewhat rail-roady, the trick is to make sure you have a logical progression so that It doesn't ~feel~ that way. You will have to trim some elements throughout, naturally, to keep the narrative moving forward.

Alright, here is a tragically condensed outline of the first act, to give you an example of what I'm talking about:

Rise of the Runelords, Vol. 1: Burnt Offerings:

The PC's attend the annual Swallowtail Festival in Sandpoint which is interrupted by a goblin raid. A series of events then reveals that the raid was merely a diversion and someone from the town's past has a dark plan for its future.

PFS Special: Race for the Runecarved Key:

After defeating the threat to Sandpoint and discovering an odd artifact mixed in among the treasures collected, the group attends an auction in Magnimar to sell some of the antiquities that they recovered. While there, they meet several important figures in Magnimar, including Pathfinder Sheila Heidmarch and the dour Justice Ironbriar.

Rise of the Runelords, Vol. 1: The Skinsaw Murders:

A return to Sandpoint sees the group implicated in a series of grisly murders until the true culprit is revealed. Following him back to his haunted lair, the party eventually destroys him and discovers much, including the secret history of the Foxglove family and another odd-shaped piece of the mysterious artifact. Following up on clues discovered at the manse, they realize that dark forces were pulling Aldern's strings and those of a great many others throughout the city. Enlisting the aid of Sheila Heidmarch and her Pathfinder Society, the group ferrets out the murder cult plaguing Magnimar and eventually tracks down the mysterious Xaneasha - only to have her escape.

It is at this point that Sheila reveals to them what the strange shards are and inducts them into the PFS. She claims that the ancient Runelords have begun to stir and Xaneasha is likely but one of their agents. Sheila believes that the Sihedron will have to be reassembled and re-forged if they are to have a weapon capable of defeating the threat posed by these powerful wizards.

Shattered Star, Vol. 2: Curse of the Lady's Light:

Sheila gathers the group together, believing that she has found the resting place of a third Shard fragment - the monument long known as the Lady's Light. She sponsors an expedition there to find out and the PC's explore its depths, battling all manner of threats, both ancient and new, before finally recovering the piece.

While there, they encounter the remains of a second expeditionary force, this one sent out by Queen Ileosa of Korvosa with the same mission as their own. Unbeknownst to all, the Queen has begun to be influenced by the dreams and stirring consciousness of the Runelord Sorshen who slumbers in secret deep beneath Castle Korvosa (not some forgotten dragon named Kazavan as it was in the original story).

Curse of the Crimson Throne, Vol. 2: Seven Days to the Grave:

Upon emerging from the Light, the party is contacted by Sheila who has managed to decipher Ironbriar's journals and discovered where Xaneasha is headed next - she intends to use something she found deep beneath Foxglove Manor to wreck havoc on the city of Korvosa, possibly killing tens of thousands. The group let her escape once before and must do what they can to stop her this time.

At this point, the PC's don't even register with the Runelord factions that are starting to move in Varisia. Xaneasha's mission is to harvest as many greedy souls as she can for her master while at the same time disrupting whatever plans his rival Sorshen might be pursuing. Infecting her city with a terrible plague spread by cursed gold and silver would seem to check both of those boxes, only this time when the PC's interfere, they come to Xaneasha's full attention. The cure for the plague brings the group back full circle, as one of them discovers that they are an ancestor of Kasanda Foxglove and shares her immunity by Desna's divine grace.

This makes up what I consider the first Act (of three) and could conceivably be played as a stand alone campaign, ending here if the GM wished. It incorporates four AP volumes from three different AP's into a cohesive narrative flow. There are actually several other PFS scenarios seeded here and there, as well as a secondary group of PC's that allow my players an occasional break from their primary characters and gives me the opportunity to flesh out some aspects of the campaign that might otherwise have been missed. These scenarios include The Golemworks Incident and The Cultist's Kiss as well as a couple of my own home-brewed side quests, all of which continue to both refine and expand the scope of the adventure.

That was the shortest that I could make it - I hope it helps to explain some of what I'm doing and inspires many more questions. For what it's worth, the above material would normally be expected to take approximately 30 - 35 sessions, with the full campaign topping out at just below 100. For many groups, this would represent a three-year commitment, if not more.

Matrix Sorcica wrote:
Story Archer wrote:

How does it run as a semi-standalone, actually.

I have this truly phenomenal Runelords campaign that I've put together but I want to work in at least some of Return before running it again. It's centered around the shards of the Sihedron and uses Rise of the Runelords #1 - #6, Shattered Star #2, #3 & #6, Curse of the Crimson Throne #2 and a handful of Season 3 & 4 scenarios from PFS all cobbled together to tell one epic story. Lots of backstory has been re-written, NPC roles expanded to on-going subplots of their own and everything reordered to take place in the same timeline.

Please do tell us more!

Oh, geez, where to begin...?

I've been working on it for several years now and its really spectacular. My hope is to eventually have it written out in such a fashion that others might be able to run it, and then hopefully convert it to 2nd Ed.

I'll try to put something together and post it up on the appropriate forum soon, but even a brief overview would still be quite a read - in the meantime, what do you want to know?

The Shifty Mongoose wrote:
Seems like it would work. Does Xanderghul have it, or would they find it in the temple proper, then find out there's more to it than that?

I'm actually on the fence as to whether I'm actually going to have it be Xanderghul or merely his highest-ranking subordinate who made it to this sanctuary when his master did not. Throughout the campaign I've limited direct interaction with Runelords to keep the larger, looming threat of them intact, instead having a variety of what I would call 'Runelord-adjacent' encounters... but yes, the Shard of Pride would definitely be locked away there for safe-keeping.

This volume actually follows perfectly after the Therassic library is discovered and Mokkmurrian is defeated in volume 4 of Rise.

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How does it run as a semi-standalone, actually.

I have this truly phenomenal Runelords campaign that I've put together but I want to work in at least some of Return before running it again. It's centered around the shards of the Sihedron and uses Rise of the Runelords #1 - #6, Shattered Star #2, #3 & #6, Curse of the Crimson Throne #2 and a handful of Season 3 & 4 scenarios from PFS all cobbled together to tell one epic story. Lots of backstory has been re-written, NPC roles expanded to on-going subplots of their own and everything reordered to take place in the same timeline.

I have a spot where I need the group to find the Shard of Pride, around the levels 10th - 12th, and Temple seems to be like the perfect option from a level and thematic standpoint, but how does it play in your opinion? The other options right now are Rise #4 City Outside of Time and Shattered Star #5 Into the Nightmare Rift, but both would have to be much more heavily re-written, I think.

Good morning ladies and gents.

I have a particular fondness for custom magic items in my campaigns, and generally speaking I tend to prefer to have fewer items overall but to compensate by having them be more powerful and/or versatile. As a result, I rarely factor any sort of multipliers in for an item being 'slotless' or having multiple abilities in one - its unheard of that they would get so many items that they would have to pick and choose which thing should take up their head slot or boot slot, so why worry about that? Apart from consumables like potions, scrolls and wands, its rare for magic items to be available for purchase in my campaigns. Likewise, I ignore penalties for narrow or specific activation requirements since the items are still obviously intended for use by my PC's.

Having said all of that, one of the way I combat the banality of constantly buying and selling magical items in order to 'upgrade' is by creating progressive magic items (which I call 'Legacy Items'), items which increase in power as the character levels up. Now, with the understanding that Pathfinder incorporates the benefits of magic items into character strength when determining CR I'd like to keep the benefits of magical gear still relatively balanced as much as possible. For most things I just break them down (like if a set of robes grants both armor bonus to AC and resistance bonus to saving throws, I treat it as a similarly powerful set of armor and cloak separately in my calculations), but many of the items aren't that easy to delineate and I'm struggling to figure out how I might go about determining their value - again, not for sale purposes but with regards to character balance.

I'm going to include some of those custom items below to give you an idea of what I mean, not necessarily in the hopes of determining specific values for these items, but rather in an effort to get a sense of HOW I should go about valuing such items in general. It might require a new approach, like deciding an item is worth X% of a character's gp allotment rather than a specific number (for instance). Any thoughts or suggestions are welcome when it comes to this what feels like an inexact science.

Desna’s Grace:
A holy symbol fashioned of gold and silver that resembles a butterfly alighting on a starknife as if a flower. If the bearer is a worshipper of Desna in good standing, they gain a +1 sacred bonus to AC and to all saving throws. They may also cast Guidance as a spell-like ability 3/day; if they are already able to cast Guidance, then the competence bonus they gain from its casting increases to +2.

Legacy Item: Once ‘activated’ by an event that takes place in the campaign, Desna’s Grace becomes a legacy item - the sacred bonuses to AC and saving throws increase by +1 @ 4th level and every 4 character levels thereafter. Additionally, the bearer will be the beneficent of a Breath of Life spell automatically triggered as an immediate action should they take enough damage to be slain. This ability will work once and thereafter can only be recharged through the completion of a Quest or through the use of a Miracle spell cast by a worshipper of Desna.

A small-sized +1 mithril silver rapier.

Legacy Item: When wielded by a halfling who also a second son of the Silversliver bloodline, the weapon gains the following abilities:

The weapon's enhancement bonus increases by +1 @ 5th level and every five character levels thereafter to a maximum of +5 @ 20th level.

Starting at 5th level, the character may add the weapon's enhancement bonus to Acrobatics & Escape Artist checks as well as Intimidate checks made to Demoralize a foe.

At 10th level, attacks by the Silversliver deal an additional +2 damage to a target for every size level it is larger than the wielder.

At 15th level, the bearer is affected as if under the effect of a continual Freedom of Movement spell.

Boots of the Alacritous Step
These finely appointed boots normally perform as Boots of Striding and Springing.

Legacy Item: at 2nd level, these boots grant the wearer the Dodge feat. At 6th level they gain the Mobility feat. At 10th level they gain the Spring Attack feat. Starting at 14th level the wearer may spend a move action to teleport a distance of up to 30' and at 18th level they may use this ability as a Swift action.

Ring of the Inner Fire
This ring acts as a Ring of Fire Resistance, granting Fire Resistance X where X is the character's level.

Legacy Item: If the bearer is capable of casting arcane spells, they may make a 30' ranged touch attack as a standard action. The attack deals 1d6 fire damage per level of the highest level spell the character is currently capable of casting. If a character has exhausted all of his spells of that level, the attack deals damage equivalent to the next highest level spell they are capable of casting. If a character has an ability or a class feature that increases the damage of fire spells that they are capable of casting (such as the Bloodline Mutation 'Blood Havoc'), they may apply that increase to this attack as well.

Book of Infinite Spell Knowledge
Legacy Item: This book functions as a Page of Spell Knowledge, except that it grants one additional spell known of each level the character is capable of casting. Once per day with an hour of study, the reader may change one of the spells it grants to another spell of the same level or lower.

Those examples should serve as a fair sampling of what I'm talking about; some Legacy items are based on character level, some on other things. Again, any thoughts on pricing approaches in general or on these particular items in particular would be welcome. I'm just trying to make certain that I'm keeping characters balanced both in relation to the encounters presented as well as to each other. Thanks again!

(If Mods/anyone thinks that this post would be more appropriate in the Advice Forum, please feel free to relocate it!)

Re: the bit about Mythic feats, that's actually still up in the air, given the fact that there won't actually be any instances of 'Mythic Power' to use with them. For now, presume that part is stricken.

This is intended as a homebrew replacement for the Mythic rule set in general, but it came about as a result of my looking at Wrath of the Righteous as my next big project to re-write and hopefully run. I'd be interested on any thoughts and comments, both in the context of the WotR AP and as a replacement in general.

The first complaint I had about the way Mythic was structured was that it never gave the players time to really enjoy their capstone, something that's already achingly absent from usual gameplay and had a chance to be rectified with the opportunity for Epic-level play. The second (and biggest) complaint was how cumbersome, complicated, poorly designed and poorly play-tested the Mythic rules actually were. This is an effort to correct both of those issues.

1) Rather than gaining 'Mythic' levels separately, the characters simply advance at a faster rate, effectively leveling at what would be Mythic level 1, 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10. Alternately it could just as easily be at 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 and 10. Either way, the character ends up effectively at 26th level. Classes are still capped at 20th, meaning that multi-classing or prestige classes would eventually be required. Note that the leveling above is specific to the WotR AP, and that in the general 'Epic' rules presented below there would theoretically be no upper level limit.

2)Character attributes are determined using a 25 point buy. At 4th level and every 4 levels thereafter, they gain +1 to two different attributes rather than only one. At 24th level and every 4 levels thereafter, they gain +1 to every attribute.

3) Starting at 21st level, characters are eligible to select the Mythic versions of feats, provided they meet the pre-requisites. Additionally, the character may select one of the following three options as their Epic Power (with X being equivalent to the number of levels past 20 that they've attained, i.e. at 23rd level, X = 3):

Fated Champion: As an immediate action, the character may re-roll any d20 roll they just made with a bonus of +X. This ability may be used X times/day.

Archmagus / Divine Herald: As a free action, upgrade any one spell you cast to its Mythic version. This spell does not count against your daily spell allotment. This ability may be used X times/day.

Inspirational Leader: As an immediate action, grant an ally that can see or hear you a standard action. This ability may be used X times/day.

I believe that this is an effective way to handle Epic/Mythic level characters - it keeps them from becoming so OP'ed that any challenge imaginable is still a joke, keeps the rules simple enough that it doesn't require a high degree of system mastery to enjoy and still gives players the 'feel' of being something truly special, both from the beginning and especially once they reach the post-20 era. I'd be very interested on hearing any thoughts that other players and GM's whom have played with Mythic or experimented with Epic-level rules might have about these ideas in particular.

Gar0351 wrote:

This is spectacular information!! I totally forgot about the PFS stuff that involved Lissala and Krune.

And, you mentioned something I hadn't considered too: another interested person/group that hired the rival PCs to obtain the shards also.

Happy to help. Good luc1k

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Thread necro, but I ran Seven Days to the grave as an insert as part of my expanded Runelords campaign. There was a pretty simply fix - the cult of Urgothoa weaponized this disease with the aid of the Red Mantis. In my mind that makes the disease supernatural in its effects which placed it in the realm of Mummy Rot, so I took a cue from the description of that spell.

I made it so that you could save each day to resist the debilitating effects of the disease, but the ONLY way to cure it would be with the casting of a Remove Disease spell. If you fail the initial save, use of the Heal skill can help you fight it off, but without magical aid, you're eventually doomed.

Seemed like an elegant in-game solution to making the plague as terrifying as it deserves to be.

My version of the disease:

Bloodveil (contact or injury)
Save: Fort DC 16
Onset: 1 day
Frequency: 1/day
Effect: 1d3 CON & 1d3 CHA; victim is Fatigued after first failure, Exhausted after second
Cure: Can only be cured through the casting of a Remove Disease spell

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Gar0351 wrote:
What I'm looking for are suggestions or related experiences others might have had for including Lissala in the AP and suggestions on properly themed archetypes or bloodlines or classes or other ideas for the rival party.

A few thoughts, but first some background...

I'm currently running a grand campaign that primarily uses the Rise of the Runelords to tell the Shattered Star story. Its required a little re-work (which I love to do anyway) and it includes the six Runelords volumes as well as volumes 2, 3 & 6 of Shattered Star and volume 2 of Curse of the Crimson Throne, 'Seven Days to the Grave'. Its really come out spectacularly.

I've also created an entire subplot that might appeal to you - the background (in condensed form) is that a separate group which has infiltrated the Aspis Consortium is using their resources to gather the Shards themselves, with a specific intent on using their combined might to fully resurrect Lissala. To aid in that subplot, I'm including a half-dozen or so Pathfinder Society scenarios which mostly take place around Kaer Maga, dovetailing nicely with the Asylum Stone. If you want to flesh out your cult of Lissala side-plot, these are the scenarios you should consider - all are available for download and are relatively inexpensive. Among other things, they'll get another Runelord (and high priest of Lissala) to fight - I highly recommend that you give them a look.

PFS Scenario 3-26 "Portal of the Sacred Rune"

PFS Scenario 4-08 "The Cultist's Kiss"

PFS Scenario 4-10 "Feast of Sigils"

PFS Scenario 4-12 "The Refuge of Time"

PFS Scenario 4-20 "Word of the Ancients"

PFS Scenario 4-26 "The Waking Rune"

I do use a handful of other PFS scenarios to flesh out my story, but these were the ones that seemed specifically suited to your intended purpose.

In my particular campaign, the 'nemesis party' isn't competing with the group to find the Shards first so much as pursuing/tracking them and choosing opportune moments to try and steal, barter or take them by force along with any information they might have to find the others. Its led to some interesting situations including one very memorable three-way fight with a batch of Kreeg Ogres. Of course, my rival group was hired by Queen Illeosa of Korvosa (under the influence of the waking Sorshen rather than any old dusty set of dragon bones), but you can obviously introduce and purpose them however you see fit.

A few things to keep in mind - you want these characters to be recurring characters, so you need to build in encounters including gear or abilities that will allow one or more of them to be able to reliably make their escape. You'll also want to give them some 'reusable' assets. My initial group was made up of an Inquisitor of Lissala, a Hellknight commander with three Hellknight subordinates (natural allies) and a Red Mantis Assassin. The next time the group met, the three Hellknights (whom had been slain) had been resurrected as undead Ragewights (though with full armor), and the time after that, the dead Cavalier and undead Hellknights were replaced with a Summoner and his potential horde of minions. The Mantis Assassin would eventually return as a Revenant, and so on. Just something to keep in mind.

If you have any questions about my campaign or want to bounce ideas for yours off of me, feel free to message me any time.

Anyone? Anything?

One way that we limit summoners in our group is to have customized summoning lists for them. These usually represent fewer options that have been tied to a particular theme (I've put together 22 themed summoning lists as generic options), and tend to have much fewer creatures with their own SLA's.

For Skull n' Shackles, one of our players will be running a Master Summoner who wants to specialize in the elementals with a strong lean towards air and water, as well as the kinds of creatures one might encounter undersea, in the air or along the coasts. This is what we've come up with:

Summoning Lists:
(* summoned with the Counter-Poised template, per the Summon Neutral Monster feat)

Dire Rat*
Sea Shrike (Eagle)*

Elemental, Small
Manta Ray*
Sea Snake*

Crab, Giant*
Electric Eel*
Mephit (any)

Eagle, Giant*
Elemental, Medium
Shark, Great White*

Belker (A)
Elemental, Large
Moray Eel, Giant*
Sea Drake*

Elemental, Huge
Invisible Stalker
Sea Snake, Giant*
Shark-Eating Crab*

Elemental, Greater
Invisible Stalker (Advanced)
Squid, Giant*
Dire Shark*

Elemental, Elder
Roc* (Giant)
Sea Serpent*
Sapphire Jellyfish*

Shipwrecker Crab*
Great White Whale*

All of the 'normal' Elementals will be available, though not the odd ones like Time or Gravity. Same with Mephits.

I was curious as to what you guys might think of its balance (or potential lack thereof). I'd also really like to add a third creature to the SM IX list, particularly something aerial, but I'm struggling to come up with something appropriate.

I really like the Alchemist ideas suggested, but if that doesn't appeal to you for whatever reason, there are some really great 'drunken' options for Barbarians. A Dwarf would make a superb Drunken Brute or Drunken Rager and there are a variety of Rage Powers specifically designed for the power drinker in all of us...

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Great question, no matter how many times its asked - I always love to read the responses, and I'm always pleasantly surprised at some of the answers.

Big Sorcerer fan here as well. I just can't STAND to play prepared casters and with the Human Favored Class Bonus you can really build on a concept without feeling limited at all.

Since I GM almost exclusively I get to build tons and tons of different characters and play each one a little bit. In the rare instances that I get to play, I'd say my favorite options, just barely beating out many others, would be either:

Human Sorcerer (Wildblooded Sylvan) with the FCB that grants additional spells known and the full Eldritch Heritage feat tree (Arcane Bloodline) to eventually gain an Improved Familiar (Faerie Dragon) and an Animal Companion as well as the additional bonus spells known.


Half-Elven Summoner (Master Summoner).

Since both options are pet/summons heavy, I have to pick and choose the rare chances I get to play them, considering whether they would be table-appropriate. Failing that, the runner-ups who round out my personal top 10 would be (in no particular order):

Human Bard (Dawnflower Dervish)
Tiefling Paladin (Oath of Vengeance, Oath Against Fiends)
Elven Magus (Hexcrafter)
Half-Elven Oracle (Desna, Ancient Lorekeeper w/Heavens Mystery)
Halfing Swashbuckler (Inspired Blade)
with a dip into Halfling Opportunist
Human Barbarian (Invulnerable Rager, Urban Barbarian)
with a dip into Unbreakable Fighter
Human Ranger (Guide, Divine Tracker)
Dwarven Cleric (Azathoth, Evangelist with Madness domain)

Naturally each have their own quirks, their own lush and detailed backgrounds which I'm certain is of interest only to me, but... the truth is, I often end up 'loaning' these builds out to fellow players, so the characters themselves actually see much more time at the table than I do, mores the pity.

Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
Isonaroc wrote:
Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:

Sorcerers, they can be powerful casters of every shade, blast, enchant, summon, SoS and control but their bloodline and spells known means they tend to build towards a theme, so they feel like they can do anything but not like every one does everything, rather different ones do different things amazingly.

I like a theme or a focus.

Agreed, when I play spellcasters I always try and focus on one general aspect (shadow, cold, nature, etc.). Sorcerer bloodlines and witch patrons are great for that.
Yep I love Witches too but probably not as much as Oracles which run a close second to Sorcs for me xD

Just finished designing a major NPC for our campaign - a homebrew hybrid, essentially an Oracle that switches out Mysteries for Hexes... it was a lot of fun designing, I can only imagine how much fun he'll be to play.

Mark Seifter wrote:
Consider ** spoiler omitted **

Thank you! There doesn't seem to be much out there on her so I'll have to do some research, but she might be just what I'm looking for.

dharkus wrote:
you doing slow path for xp or taking out lots of enemies or what? RotRL 1-6 goes to lvl 18 by itself, then you've got 4 more AP books and 7 PFS scenarios (maybe 1 lvl each?)

They will be leveling at pre-determined milestones, and they know that there will be a bit of 'accordianing', particularly through the first four books (RotRL #1 & #2, SS #2 & CotCT #2), but that things will smooth out a bit in the later half. Its all good, they are just enjoying the ride.

Obviously, there will be more than a little tweaking when it comes to the difficulty of their encounters, which is fine... a few books are being run more or less as-is, but some are being almost completely re-written.

GinoA wrote:

Yes that Nigel. No, not really connected to Varisia. I just like sharing my personal favorite conspiracy theory.

For PFS players, it takes the character from a bumbling idiot to an epic mastermind.

Although, he does have plenty of reason to travel anywhere due to his cover as curator of one of the largest, most-prestigious museums in Golarion.

Ah, gotcha...

Anything's possible, I suppose.

GinoA wrote:
I'm quite convinced that Nigel Aldain is the Gold agent in charge of Absalom.

This Nigel Aldain?

Does that have something to do with the potential Gold Agents in Varisia, or am I missing something..?

cartmanbeck wrote:

I would suggest you look at the pregenerated Aspis characters from Serpents Rise and Serpents Ire. There are some excellent candidates there.

That being said.... I WANNA PLAY! This sounds awesome!


I'm actually really excited about it - the campaign is already underway, but I'm trying to codify it all into a cohesive whole so that I can put it out for general consumption.

Basically, I'm using the Rise of the Runelords to tell the Shattered Star story. The Sihedron fragments are surfacing in the hands of those to whom their particular sin would gravitate (Wrath for Nualia, Envy for Aldern Foxglove, etc.) as they sense their original masters stirring. The campaign will theoretically cover the following Paizo products (obviously with a fair amount of material either re-written or re-purposed):

Rise of the Runelords, Book One "Burnt Offerings"
Rise of the Runelords, Book Two "The Skinsaw Murders"
Rise of the Runelords, Book Three "Hook Mountain Massacre"
Rise of the Runelords, Book Four "Fortress of the Stone Giants"
Rise of the Runelords, Book Five "Sins of the Saviors"
Rise of the Runelords, Book Six "Spires of Xin-Shalast"

Curse of the Crimson Throne, Book Two "Seven Days to the Grave"

Shattered Star, Book Two "Curse of the Lady's Light"
Shattered Star, Book Three "The Asylum Stone"
Shattered Star, Book Six "The Dead Heart of Xin"

PFS Scenario (Special) Race for the Runecarved Key
PFS Scenario 3-26 Portal of the Sacred Rune
PFS Scenario 4-08 The Cultists Kiss
PFS Scenario 4-10 Feast of Sigils
PFS Scenario 4-12 The Refuge of Time
PFS Scenario 4-20 Word of the Ancients
PFS Scenario 4-26 The Waking Rune

Of course there's some homebrew scenarios in there as well, primarily interludes to bridge narrative gaps or introduce an important NPC. A lot of the NPC's have been re-written or greatly expanded upon, particularly Nualia, Sheila Heidmarch, Xaneasha, Oriana and Queen Illeosa early on.

Because it's such a long campaign and I think its important to keep things fresh, I've actually carved out portions of it for a 'B' team, or secondary group of PC's that I can use to expand plot or background for the players if not necessarily for the original PC's. It lets them switch things up from time to time and it lets me wow them with some behind-the-scenes-reveals or foreshadowing of events.

Like I said, I'm pretty excited. Thanks again for the advice.

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At least, I think that I do.

I'm working on solidifying an epic campaign that combines the events of Shattered Star, Curse of the Crimson Throne and Rise of the Runelords as well as several PFS scenarios and some homebrew stuff. Without getting too much into detail here, there are several factions involved that the PC's will get caught up in and two of them are associated with a major subplot surrounding the return of Lissala.

Short version - Lissala's essence was shattered into hundreds of pieces and given physical form with a vestige of sentience; those fragments form what we know today as the Black Blades, though even the majority of their wielders are unaware of the weapon's true nature. Originally the Cultists of Lissala had infiltrated the Aspis Consortium under the auspices of two major up-and-comers, Sheila Heidmarch and (insert name here). Their plan was to discover the resting place of Krune, her last known high priest, and revive him, but the more Sheila learned of the Runelords and her research into the Sihedron, the more she believed that the Runelords time was done and that when the Goddess returned she would be better served by an administrator from the modern era - ideally, herself. She broke with the Cult and struck out on her own, joining the Pathfinder Society and using her personal knowledge to strike numerous blows against the Aspis Consortium, simultaneously setting back her rivals and gaining prestige and influence in the Society. Now, in Varisia, she is in a race to gather the pieces of the Sihedron and see it re-forged, believing that it will give her the power to resurrect the Goddess before the Aspis Consortium, under the direction of her rival is able to find and revive Krune. Its important to remember that both of them are devotees of the fallen Goddess and are only using the resources of their respective organizations to secretly advance their own goals.

Obviously, I've had to re-write and rebuild Sheila significantly (Arcanist, Blade Adept archetype), and I'll have to do the same thing with her rival, preferably a Gold Agent. I could invent someone from scratch but I thought it would be fun to take an existing name and character that's relatively well-established and give him a similar treatment. I'm not very well versed on the Aspis Consortium or the major players on the PFS stage, so I figured I'd ask and see if anyone could offer up some names of what would be likely candidates for this role... I've already introduced Maiveer Sloane as Sheila's opposite number in Magnimar, but I'd prefer to leave him an Aspis loyalist who opposes the Pathfinder Society on principle, unaware of the secret struggle going on.

Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Kileanna wrote:
Story Archer wrote:
Avoron wrote:
Story Archer wrote:
Does she lose her +8 natural armor bonus to AC?
Debatable. Depends whether you think it's an "ability that depends upon her original form." Also debatable is whether she can keep her spell resistance, her immunity to mind-affecting, and her Wisdom drain.

I would say that she loses the natural armor bonus, but retains the other abilities since they would not normally be defined by anything physical (like scales or a tail).

I know GM's discretion always rules... perhaps I should simply reduce it, by half, maybe?

Wisdom drain is Su. The rules for polymorph spells state that she'd lose all Su.

SR and Mind-affecting immunities are untyped so she'd retain them.

She'd also retain all her Spell-like abilities.

That helps too. Thanks.

Avoron wrote:
Story Archer wrote:
Does she lose her +8 natural armor bonus to AC?
Debatable. Depends whether you think it's an "ability that depends upon her original form." Also debatable is whether she can keep her spell resistance, her immunity to mind-affecting, and her Wisdom drain.

I would say that she loses the natural armor bonus, but retains the other abilities since they would not normally be defined by anything physical (like scales or a tail).

I know GM's discretion always rules... perhaps I should simply reduce it, by half, maybe?

Thank you both for your responses - its between these two sets of rules that I'm getting confused.

I was leaning towards the Monster Rules, but the addition of the 'Alter Self' spell in the entry after Shapechange threw me off. So the Lamia Matriarch's ability functions as the Alter Self polymorph spell, except for the attribute changes listed therein and she does not change any attributes despite reducing size as shown on the Polymorph rules?

I'm building a Lamia Matriarch as a recurring villain (monstrous humanoid, shapechanger subtype) who is capable of changing into a fixed medium-sized humanoid form, and its entry (shown here) suggests that the effect is akin to Alter Self spell.

So, what happens when she changes to that humanoid form, assuming the form is that of a normal human? Obviously the size modifiers come into play and she loses her special modes of movement, but what else? Does she lose her Darkvision? Does she lose her +8 natural armor bonus to AC? How are her attributes affected - does she simply gain +2 to Dexterity the way a medium creature shifting to small does with an Alter Self spell, or is it determined by some table somewhere defining modifiers when a creature changes size (like Reduce Person does)?

The character will be spending the majority of her time in her human form and the first two times the PC's encounter her/battle her she will be in that form only so any help would be appreciated.

Ciaran Barnes wrote:


I believe that you use your highest caster level of your actual spells - not your spell-like abilities.

That's kind of where my confusion is coming in. I figured it wouldn't be at CL 12, but the Lamia Matriarch officially casts spells as a 6th level sorcerer, right down to how many she knows and the number per day that she can cast. So would Arcane Strike be considered at CL 2 (Bard), CL 6 (Sorcerer) or CL 8 (Bard + Sorcerer)?

And any idea on the other question, whether the additional HD from the Bard class levels would impact her SLA's?

Thanks again!

Good morning :)

I'm putting together a really fantastic recurring foe for my party and I've got a mechanic that I'm struggling with. The villain is a customized Lamia Matriarch.

Now, the Lamia Matriarch comes with a selection of inherent racial SLA's which are officially at caster level 12 (her base Hit Die). Then she has a selection of 'Matriarch Spells' which essentially has her casting as a 6th level Sorcerer, except that she can learn spells from the Wizard or Cleric spell list (which are all considered arcane). Finally, I've added two levels of the Bard archetype Dawnflower Dervish (for mechanical purposes only, the Battle Dance ability has been re-flavored to represent something ancient and at least theoretically serpentine or supernaturally graceful).

As part of her rebuild, I had her take the feat Arcane Strike, but I'm trying to figure out which caster level to base its damage bonus off of - the CL 12 SLA's, the CL 6 Matriarch casting or the CL 2 that she gets from her Bard levels... or would one or more of those HD stack with each other?

While I'm at it, would the two additional Bard levels/HD increase the caster level of her racial SLA's by two as well?

Thanks in advance!

Too much?

Good morning :)

I prefer to almost always give my characters unique, custom magic items that exhibit an ability to grow with them... for a variety of reasons this skews the traditional values of magic items (is a slotless item really that valuable when there's no way the PC is going to fill up all of his slots anyway?). Even so, I like to have a general idea of how valuable the items I create are when I can, and I thought this might be an interesting challenge for some of you mathematicians who are more experienced with the rules of crafting than I.

Force Orb
This crystal sphere must be held in the hand to be used, and can serve as a Bonded Item for those who have the Arcane Bond class feature (treat it as a wand for crafting purposes, but only spells with the 'force' descriptor may be invested). It also has the following additional abilities:

Cast Emergency Force Sphere 1/day (caster level = character's caster level)

As a swift action, the bearer can modify a spell cast that same round with either the Extend Metamagic feat or the Toppling Metamagic feat. This does not increase the casting time of the spell or the level of the spell slot necessary to cast the spell, but may only be applied to spells with the 'force' descriptor. This ability may be used a number of times per day equal to 1/2 the caster's class level (minimum 1).

I'm very interested to hear what you guys come up with, and how you arrived at that conclusion. I'm not expecting anything definitive, btw, just an educated guess from people more educated on the subject than I.

This link should work. Really a dip is all anyone would need but it always seemed to me to be the perfect compliment to the Archaeologist. pportunist/

Trapspotter for free is pretty sweet and Excellent Aid makes more effective at assisting party members do their thing... but it's the Exploitative Maneuver that makes it fun.

FWIW, one of the first house-rules we initiated was to remove Weapon Finesse as a feat and reintroduce it as a weapon quality, like Reach. Basically if a weapon is finessible, it gains the quality and anyone welding it can choose to use their DEX mod for determine their attack bonus. After all, no one proficient in the whip or Rapier would attempt to use it to overpower their foes rather than Finesse them. It's really just an unnecessary feat tax holdover from an earlier iteration of the game.

GRiggs77 wrote:

Not completely sure about the bard yet. The only feat she's taken so far is Lingering Performance to get the most out of the archaeologist luck bonus. We talked a bit about her combat style choice but she has a few levels before she has to make anymore big choices that lock her in to one over the other.

If she tries to go archer then she will need to take at least point blank shot and precise shot or take those nasty shooting into melee penalties regularly.

On the other hand, as a halfling she'll need weapon finesse to help out her melee to hit. ( Though eventually I think she can get that with a rogue talent )

Either route we have to try to figure out how to get any kind of decent damage output from her with a lack of strength and the small size weaponry. We aren't expecting too much in damage from the bard but she does want to feel like she's contributing.

How married to the Archeologist is she? Nothing wrong with it by any means, it's certainly a fun class to play - but I do find that a Bard who doesn't give up Inspired Courage is generally a much bigger help to her party in combat. Not only does she get credit for all the damage the Barbarian deals when he would have otherwise missed, but it also opens up useful spells like Saving Finale or feats like Discordant Voice down the road.

Either way, probably her best option is to focus on buffs and debuffs rather than straight damage dealing. Battle Cry and Blistering Invective are nice and down the road the Wizard may be grateful to have someone ELSE pulling 'Haste' duty in the opening rounds.

Definitely recommend looking at the prestige class Halfling Opportunist, especially for someone who might enjoy the more creative RP aspects of combat.

Also if, after a few levels, you feel a little too squishy, an Oradin (Oracle/Paladin) is a very popular and effective multi-class. Even a couple of Pally levels would go a long way.

Is the Bard leaning archer or melee?

GRiggs77 wrote:
Any thoughts ?

I think that's a perfectly well-rounded party - their biggest challenges will be getting comfortable with their roles and those of their fellow PC's... fortunately the campaign gives them a nice learning curve in the beginning.

As an aside, RotRL has become something of a specialty of mine at this point; I've developed a lot of useful tools and additional materials to both expand and streamline the campaign. If there's anything I can do to help you guys out or make your experience a little richer, please don't hesitate to contact me.

From Raging Song:

"If an ally has her own rage class ability (such as barbarian's rage, bloodrager's bloodrage, or skald's inspired rage), she may use the Strength, Constitution, and Will saving throw bonuses, as well as AC penalties, based on her own ability and level instead of those from the skald (still suffering no fatigue afterward). However, inspired rage does not allow the ally to activate abilities dependent on other rage class abilities, such as rage powers, blood casting, or bloodrager bloodlines; the ally must activate her own rage class ability in order to use these features."

From Uncontrolled Rage:

"A wild rager's rage functions as normal, except that when she reduces a creature to 0 or fewer hit points, she must attempt a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 the barbarian's level + the barbarian's Constitution modifier) or become confused. For the remainder of her current turn, she attacks the nearest creature other than herself. On the following round, refer to the confusion spell to determine her actions. At the end of this round, and each round thereafter, she can attempt a new saving throw to end the confusion effect. The rounds during which she is confused do not count against the rounds she has spent raging that day, but she cannot end her rage voluntarily, nor can she use rage powers while confused."

Would the use of Raging Song serve as an effective way of mitigating the dangerous downside of Uncontrolled Rage?

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Looks like the PC is creating a harem. ;)

In our campaign Shayliss ends up being a victim of Aldern and is taken back to the Misgivings where the PC's eventually rescue her. She is so traumatized by these events that she stops being such a flipskirt and finds solace in the church, ultimately becoming a priestess of Desna under Father Zantus' tutelage. Don't be in a rush to have the NPC's all join up...let them evolve a bit and then join for their own reasons - it'll make the game world feel more real, more 'lived-in'.

The best example of the kind of PC Shayliss might be is the character of Tika from Dragonlance - she was even a redhead.

Also in our campaign Nualia actually becomes a part-time member of the party after a series of events which lead to her eventual death, redemption and resurrection (kind of).

CorvusMask wrote:
Story Archer wrote:

I couldn't get rid of the warhorse fast enough... it was a cute bit of background, but realistically it was unimaginable that they got it across that bridge - unconscious and dead weight no less - and ultimately it was meaningless in the grander scheme of things.

I added more than enough to make up for its omission, however. ;)

Thats just underestimating sturdiness of well made rope bridges xP

And apparently the strength of goblins when it comes to dragging a 1,500 - 1,800 pound horse head weight across one... after getting it through a maze of thorn tunnels that are all about 3-4' wide.

Lot of really great things about Burnt Offerings and Thistletop, but the horse wasn't one of them imo.

I couldn't get rid of the warhorse fast enough... it was a cute bit of background, but realistically it was unimaginable that they got it across that bridge - unconscious and dead weight no less - and ultimately it was meaningless in the grander scheme of things.

I added more than enough to make up for its omission, however. ;)

James Jacobs wrote:

The point of the Malfeshnekor encounter was many...

1) I wanted to include an encounter that was intentionally tough, to experiment with blurring the lines between the artificial start and end of separate books in the path. (I"d actually count this experiment as something of a failure, since it turns out, most gamers aren't comfortable with bleeding back and forth between books in an AP it seems—there's a perception that you can't start things in the next volume until the first volume is done, and/or that once you move to a second volume you can't go back and do things in a previous one... hopefully I'm wrong about this perception because being able to drift back and forth between adventures like that helps verisimilitude and combats the idea that the whole thing is an immutable railroad)...

2) I wanted to include a tough fight that is easy if you do it "right"; that is, ranged attacks are very much the intention.

3) I wanted an "optional" part of the dungeon. Technically, you don't need to explore any of the dungeon after the room with Nualia; the rest is "bonus" and in there as additional content. This is something lots of video games do (particularly the Dark Souls games); optional, kinda hard to find content that's extra tough.

4) I wanted there to be a reason for Nualia to be doing what she was doing, and Malfeshnekor was a great choice.

5) I wanted to contextualize the relationship between barghests and goblins in Pathfinder a bit; this was the first AP after all, and there was a lot of world-building going on there.

This actually worked superbly for us.

During the 'initial' Thistletop foray, the PC's avoided unnecessary encounters (such as with the Giant Hermit Crab which they didn't find and the Tentamort which wasn't in their way) and they missed Malfeshnekor entirely which was partially by design. At a later point in the campaign, they were approached by a pair of druids from Mosswood who had designs on inhabiting the ruin and making it a place for a new Circle in the area... but first they needed the PC's aid to cleanse the place of a greater evil they sensed that still resided within. The PC's went back and referenced Tsuto's journal remembering a passage about Nualia trying to awaken a greater evil from the bowels of Thistletop...

When the group returned they were a little more seasoned, so I added a cool harpy encounter on the upper level and gave them a second run at Thistletop that they enjoyed, as well as new allies who would play a recurring role in adventures in the region.

Just throwing this out...

In our campaign Lyrie was Nualia's lover and fanatically devoted to her while Tsuto was terrified of Nualia and what she was becoming, and instead had developed a most unhealthy infatuation with his half-sister Ameiko.

During the assault on Thistletop, Orik revealed that there was a price on Lyrie's head by the local Pathfinder's Society, 500 gp dead or 1,000 gp alive. If the group allowed him to take her in for the bounty, he'd switch sides, which he did (he needed to, because my fight with Nualia was designed to be particularly brutal).

Now I had much more extensive plans for Nualia in my campaign than is written in the AP, she's a major ongoing NPC, and as such I had the 'killing blow' against her instead sever her demonic arm and cause her to fall into a coma. She was brought back to Sandpoint and kept under watch for weeks until she finally came out of it, at which time Magnimar wanted to put her on trial for the crimes she had committed up to and including the attack on Sandpoint... as for Nualia herself, she was disaffected, nihilistic and 'done with the Gods and their games', but I had given the PC's a few compelling reasons to want to keep her alive (due to my plans for her eventual redemption). They decided to try to free her en route to Magnimar for her trial and to make it look like more members of her coterie at Thistletop so that they themselves didn't become wanted by the authorities...

...ironically, Lyrie, whom had escaped the lunkhead Orik before they made it to Magnimar had been planning exactly the same thing for some time, and her raid on the guard caravan will happen in the same place and same time as the PC's planned ambush. Should make things exciting!

Making changes to various things as I re-work the campaign and one I thought I'd share is my reimagining of the Righteous Medals. We're running a non-Mythic version of the AP, but I would think this would work for any group if they found it interesting. The idea behind the changes is to make the awarding of them a touch more realistic, the activation of them more of a meta-scavenger hunt for the players and the benefits they offer easier to track given the gonzo nature of things already.

What I'm planning on doing is having all six of the medals awarded to the PC's at once by Queen Galfrey and her entourage after the destruction of the Wardstone. I've renamed them, each for one of the six major good-aligned deities invested in the World Wound. There will be six priests on hand, one of each deity, to pin them to the PC's chest (along with Irabeth and a select few others), one of the presenters being Sosiel which should make for a nice precursor to introducing him to the campaign.

When pinned, the medals will 'activate', providing their benefit to wearer whenever they have met the requirements, even retroactively (the requirements remained unchanged). The ones that don't activate will do so whenever the requirements are fulfilled, though I don't plan on telling the PC's what those requirements actually are.

The medals and their benefits:

The Unending Grace of Sarenrae (+1 Sacred bonus to Dexterity)
The Scales of Abadar's Justice (+1 Sacred bonus to Intelligence)
Shelyn’s Divine Favor (+1 Sacred bonus to Charisma)
The Blessed Peace of Erastil (+1 Sacred bonus to Wisdom)
Iomedae's Valor at Arms (+1 Sacred bonus to Strength)
Torag’s Fortitude of Heart (+1 Sacred bonus to Constitution)

When all six medals are activated, the wearer will also gain a +1 sacred bonus to saving throws.

I'm revisiting WotR after a little break and planning my next run at it. Obviously we won't be using Mythic rules - instead I've taken the advice that a Mythic level is more or less two regular class levels and run with it. Characters in our game will be advancing to 25th level, though they will still be limited to 20 levels in any particular class. I'm encouraging characters to use this opportunity to dip where they think appropriate in their builds. This is where I'm planning on having the characters automatically level throughout the campaign, with them starting at 2nd level:

2nd - Vol. 1, Part 1: The Fall of Kenebres
3rd - Vol. 1, Part 3: Amid the Ruins
4th - Vol. 1, Part 4: The Wardstone Legacy
5th - Vol. 1, Part 4 (After destroying the Wardstone)
6th - Vol. 2, Part 1: Crusader’s March
7th - Vol. 2, Part 2: Siege of Drezen
8th - Vol. 2, Part 2 (After defeating Soltengrebbe)
9th - Vol. 2, Part 3: Into the Citadel
10th - Vol. 3, Part 1: Rebuilding Drezen
11th - Vol. 3, Part 2: Into the Wounded Lands
12th - Vol. 3, Part 4: The Ivory Sanctum
13th - Vol. 3, Part 4 (Just before final battle)
14th - Vol. 4, Part 1: The Midnight Fane
15th - Vol. 4, Part 2: A Demon Lord’s Favor
16th - Vol. 4, Part 3: Landfall on Colyphyr
17th - Vol. 4, Part 4: The Nahyndrian Mine
18th - Vol. 5, Part 1: Audience with the Inheritor
19th - Vol. 5, Part 3: The Ineluctable Prison
20th - Vol. 5, Part 3: (About midway through the prison)
21st - Vol. 6, Part 1: The Defense of Drezen
22nd - Vol. 6, Part 2: Storm King’s Shadow
23rd - Vol. 6, Part 3: Threshold of the End
24th - Vol. 6, Part 4: Closing the Worldwound
25th - Vol. 6, Part 4: (Just before fight with Deskari)

I will be adding in some homebrew material throughout, to ease some of the 'accordioning' of the level progression, including some encounters during the initial attack on Kenebres, some side quests before heading out on the Crusader's March and a fair bit between books 3 and 4... but does that look about right? Any concerns over timing vs. power levels?

Builds will be pretty standard (20 point buy) with a few house rules (like the feats Power Attack, Deadly Aim, Weapon Finesse, Combat Expertise and Eschew Materials being free to anyone who meets the pre-req's), and when the characters hit 21st and beyond I plan to add in a few little extras to reflect that they've reached an 'epic' tier of play and to keep the power curve steady. One of the things that I like about this approach is that the characters will not only have the chance to actually get to their capstone abilities, but will actually get to use them for a while, theoretically all the way through Book 6.

Haladir wrote:

Put townsfolk on the map with the PCs. Have a some additional goblins attack townsfolk, where the PCs can see them.

(more stuff)

All great stuff.

A few bonus encounters during the festival (our group had an enchantment-focused Sorcerer with Sleep, so it required a bit more challenge to stay interesting and to seem a legitimate threat).

I added a pair of goblins on a rooftop with shortbows (partial cover, but they had lit the building on fire so after 1d4+1 rounds the ceiling collapsed, and they along with it).

Two groups of four goblins each - one with a Warchanter - trying to burn down the Goblinsquash stables. Hosk is there trying to get the horses out but is menaced by one group while the others fan the flames.

A pair of goblins menacing Shayliss in an alleyway while the PC's are on their way to the north gate. This allows her to be rescued and develop her bit of hero worship naturally, but then I had a much bigger subplot with Aldern and Shayliss so thrusting them together at the time was expedient.

I've made some extensive changes to the first two chapters of RotRL. One of the more minor ones was that the Sheriff wanted everyone to stay in town (including visitors from the festival) until they could make sure the area was clear of goblin marauders... bought a couple of extra days for the 'slow down' and gave the PC's a reason to stay in town (if needed, the Sheriff could ask them to stay as a reassuring presence to the townsfolk while his men checked out the surrounding region).

I did something similar as well, with prose written for them to read to the party describing what they see and then a folded over bit instruction with what to do next, to be unfolded only if they fail their save...

Think I still have them in a word format, if you're interested.

There is no reason to think that Cloak of Dreams would cause Invisibility to end, is there?

Cloak of Dreams
You are surrounded by a soporific aroma that causes living creatures that begin their turn or end their movement within 5 feet of you to fall asleep for 1 minute. Creatures must save each time they begin their turn or end their movement within the cloak of dreams, even if they have previously saved against the effect. Sleeping creatures are helpless but can be awakened with a standard action or after being wounded. Creatures with the scent special quality have a –4 penalty on their saves.

I'm looking at the Improved Familiar feat and it says that:

Improved familiars otherwise use the rules for regular familiars, with two exceptions: if the creature's type is something other than animal, its type does not change; and improved familiars do not gain the ability to speak with other creatures of their kind (although many of them already have the ability to communicate).

That seems to say that you would follow the normal rules for familiar advancement, i.e. they effectively have your number of HD, they grant bonus feats like Alertness, their natural armor bonus increases, etc. Looking at it, however, I'm not sure that makes sense. Let's say that I select a Faerie Dragon - if his effective Hit Dice go up, does that mean his ability to cast spells as a Sorcerer progresses as well? Does he gain additional skill ranks and/or feats? What about the DC for his breath weapon? A Faerie Dragon has an Intelligence score of 16, but the 'rules for regular familiars' dictates that at 7th level he would have an Intelligence score of 9 - did he suddenly get much dumber through association with me? If so, does he lose skill ranks, and if not, then does he gain the increase in natural armor that's universally shown on the exact same table? If they don't gain those abilities of 'regular familiars', then can they still somehow qualify for familiar archetypes that alter or replace those abilities?

I've got two PC's in my group who just took improved familiars and I could really use some help in clarifying the rules so that any potential arguments could be settled beforehand.

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Just because they work so well for us, figured I'd throw them out for dissection/adoption.

While it wasn't the driving impetus behind most choices, a lot of the rules end up balancing (somewhat) the perceived martial-caster disparity. Just something to keep in mind.

Actions can be downgraded - i.e. a standard action can be used to perform a move action, move action can be used to perform a swift action. As part of this change, the Quicken Spell feat makes a spell cast-able as a move action rather than as a swift. Additionally, characters get one immediate action every turn regardless of whether they have used a swift action or not.

All characters (and creatures) add their BAB to their Initiative.

Feats that are weapon-specific (Weapon Focus, Weapon Specialization, Improved Critical, etc.) apply to weapon groups rather than individual weapons as per the listings under the Fighter's Weapon Training class feature.

Power Attack, Deadly Aim and Combat Expertise are free to every character (and creature) who meet their pre-requisites. Weapon Finesse is no longer a feat and instead is a weapon quality - weapons with this quality use Dexterity to determine their attack bonus rather than Strength.

Combat Maneuvers are broken into two categories - one based on Strength which continue to use the STR modifier to determine CMD, and one based on Dexterity which uses that modifier instead. They are broken down below - additionally, Improved (Combat Maneuver) and Greater (Combat Maneuver) feats are combined.

Strength-based Combat Maneuvers:

Dexterity-based Combat Maneuvers:
Dirty Trick

Point Blank Shot does not exist and therefor is not needed as a pre-requisite. Improved Rapid Shot and Greater Rapid Shot replace Multishot and function as Improved TWF and Greater TWF.

Every class that gets 2 skill ranks/level gains 4 skill ranks/level instead.

Specific class changes:

Reflex saves considered 'Good'.

Full BAB.
Gain Improved Evasion at 11th level.

Beginning a Rage and ending a Rage each require a swift action.

Clerics may choose their Domain class feature or their Channel class feature but not both - if they choose Channel then they get one free Channelling feat at 1st level.

All class features and spell DC's are Wisdom-based rather than Intelligence-based.
The Slumber Hex is removed.

Druids gain Wild Shape or Nature Bond but not both - if they choose Wild Shape they get Natural Spell as a bonus feat at 4th level for free.

Full BAB.

Gain Bloodline spells at earliest opportunity (1st level at 1st, 2nd level at 4th, 3rd level at 6th, etc.)

Summoners gain the Eidolon class feature or the Summon Monster class feature but not both. If they choose the Summon Monster class feature then it functions as the Master Summoner's Summoning Mastery ability. Gate will also be replaced by 'Maximized Summoning' (summoned creatures have maximum hit points and Summoners always summon the maximum possible number of creatures).

Our group only uses Core and Base classes as, for the moment, 20+ classes and over two hundred archetypes plus any number of prestige classes offer more than enough variety for us. As such, adjustments haven't been made for Hybrid classes, Occult classes, Unchained classes, Alternate classes or Psionic classes at this point.

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