For beginners? Fighters tend to be my go-to suggestion, or, if you want to do magic, pick maybe a sorcerer or an oracle. You can pick blasting spells, or ones that alter/obviate the terrain. Or a witch, who can pinch-heal, summon, buff, and have a few fight-ender spells, in addition to hexes you can use round after round.
Or a standard bard. Stand back and make everyone better at everything. You can be the Pathfinder who takes care of all the documentation. If you don't want to sing or dance or play an instrument, make your Performance skill Oration, and just yell at everyone to do better!
I don't recommend classes who come with animals or anything, since that'll require having a second character sheet. Summons work okay if the GM is willing to take care of the monsters for you, or if you just open up the beastiary and know what the monster can do ahead of time.
Though really, ask your GM and the other players for help. If you've already got an idea for characterization, they should figure out how everyone can accomodate each other.
I'd be okay with orange/yellow/brown kobolds who claim metallic heritage. Or even ones who relate in some way to primal or imperial dragons. Black & red kobolds who claim their tribe was once chummy with a magma dragon, or similar.
Personally, I like yellow kobolds. I did once have a PC who kept claiming, "the gold ones are the good ones, so so am I!" while actually being sycophantic LE. Either way, you can't judge a kobold by their colour.
Wall of Ice is handy when you need some cover or line of sight broken right now, but don't want/need a higher-level spell slot dedicated to a sturdier wall.
Also, if your wall is going to be made of stone, I recommend also packing Stone Shape so you can easily make an archway, in case you've blocked off a way you were going to go.
Huh. I always presumed that Xanderghul's Flawless Hammer was made from a skymetal alloy, and considered its' Full Potential ability to mean it could get around any sort of DR.
Plus, since the Runelords are all wizards, none of the Mythical ones would need mythcial weapons, since they relied so much on their spells and the polearms were usually more badges of office.
This reminds me of the disappointment over the gravitational powers of Starfinder's solarions. When you use it to pull people toward you, it doesn't cause random unattended junk to slide toward you and stick to you.
As for collateral damage, I just figure it's reasonable for players & GMs to be careful around fragile/flammable objects. Lightning Bolt through some debris, so you can step aside from the now-open charge lane? Sure, sounds strategic. Throwing a Fireball in the library? Bad idea. I guess the GM would just have to eyeball Table 11-4 and take it from there. (It's the Material Hardness/HP/Broken Threshold table, by the way)
Also: at this point in the AP, Tongues is easily available for people who don't want to put a point in Linguistics. Considering how this AP is all about learning about stuff from Thassilon, it's reasonable for PCs to want to learn the language so that they can read things like how to get to Runeforge.
Of course, if they don't, you can always let the Scribbler cast Tongues on himself, or give him a sort of empathic communication where everyone around him gets the feeling he wants to know about/tell you something.
I'm slightly confused and disappointed with some of what goes on in here. The ghost iron sword was supposed to be Xin's attempt at his own Blade of Conviction, but Runeforge was built long after his death; his dismantling of the Sihedron was the time for the assassin to strike, yet he only breaks it after the assassin appears. Also, Xin being also condescending in the past and bent on conquest in the present makes it look like all his talk of virtue was mainly lip service, so I'm thinking of a different take on this:
The Way I'll Run It:
During his rule, Xin realized he was a better teacher than administrator, and knew that boredom with day-to-day policy and bureaucracy was a bad habit for an emperor. So he gave more authority and autonomy to his governors, and grew more reclusive as he rested on his laurals and went back to tinkering with his hobbies. The Ghost Iron Sword was the result of requests for a personal emissary, an idea which he later discarded because he thought the idea of trial by champion was a bad method of dispute resolution. Much later on, the concept was used as a basis for the Blades of Conviction, requiring Runeforge so as to be able to forge weapons of solid sin.
He did, with help from the original seven governors, build the First Sihedron, as well as the clockwork reliquary, should he ever die before completing everything he wanted to do, then dismantled the Sihedron. Since its power would flourish when shared, he hit upon the idea of presenting each governor with their respective piece, so that they could put it together as a symbol of Thassilonian virtue and use it jointly. He also wanted to modify the reliquary to be able to use it, should his mythical immortality fail him somehow. Naturally, his reliquary would be able to interface with his clockwork army, immune to allgolthu mind-control, should they ever try to attack his empire.
Unfortunately, his isolation had blinded him to the growing corruption in his empire. The Runelords sent their giant to scry & fry him, and, in a panic, Xin flung the most destructive mythical spells at his assassin, wasn't standing at a safe distance after the giant's initial attack, and flubbed his saving throw. His Contingency went off, teleporting his remains into the reliquary, but instead of smoothly possessing it, his heartbreak at this act of betrayal (of course Xanderghul would want the only one to claim authority over him to know who was behind his murder) caused his psyche to splinter, haunting his entire palace in a state of distraught paranoia.
Now, the ghost of Xin is certain the usurpers must be stopped, and they even let that horrible, slithering evil into his basement. The PCs' approach rouses him from his mournful fugue, but his plan is to use his army to scour the land for any trace of those hateful usurpers and dismantle them (without any thought to current living conditions). He doesn't want to re-conquer the world, he's just trapped in the past with an uncompromising single-mindedness.
Also, if he sees Sorshen approach him, Return of the Runelords has material for his interruption:
Location: The Pinnacle of Avarice (they hadn't found the Leng Device)
The party, all invisible with only one person able to See Invisible, scattered in an open area. They were fighting three Advanced cloud giants and one rune giant. With nobody else to attack, multiple giants surrounded Atropos and killed him faster than Koji could heal him. Akiko was under attack from an elemental summoned by the currently-hiding Khalib.
I also crit like three times in as many rounds >_<
Chellan was on its way (I wasn't going to announce Chellan's arrival until a round after the rune giant fell, but he didn't fall), the party had gotten itself surrounded, they'd forgotten some of their preparation, and were too spread out to attempt to D-Door to safety.
So they surrendered.
Khalib, Chellan, Ceoptera, and the rune giant marched them all up to the Eye of Avarice, where they reverently awaited the rise of the Claimer.
A denizen of Leng burst in, arms flailing and head shaking, but nobody would be dissuaded.
Karzoug stepped upon the Soul Lens.
The Eye of Avarice activated.
With a piggy-back from it, the Leng Device activated.
The Leng Device broke.
Then Mhar arose in a furious conflagration, instantly destroying the Pinnacle of Avarice, with a resulting pyroclasic flow that destroyed most of Xin-Shalast. The Ancient One then pulled itself up on legs of living ruby, and stumbled its way down the mountainside.
At least Karzoug is dead, but the rest of Varisia has to contend with the Rise of Mhar.
Two first-time players wanted to be kobolds, and wanted to be sneaky & magical. Instead of offering something else, I immediately helped them do that, by means of archetypes & prestige classes that were really complicated, and turned out to not be what they wanted in the long run. Also, having come into Pathfinder from hack&slash video games, they were unsure of just how much they could do in the setting. Since I forgot to extoll the boundlessness of TRPGs, they tended to take everything at face value, giving Karzoug time to prepare for them. I felt like I was being too "hand-holdy" at the beginning, but "turning the hints off" as I described it, went from too much direction to too little.
I'm still honoured that all the players want to go through Shattered Star, and they're already planning characters they'll enjoy more. I'm certain they'll do a lot less dying there.
Shifty Mongoose's RotRL Death Count:
Atropos: 2. Crushed by Barl/Mhar.
Dreg: 3. Disintegrated by Mokmurian/barrage of Magic Missiles by Khalib/Mhar.
Koji: 4. Azaven gave him the Finger/Killed by yetis & Khalib-as-yeti/Petrified by Khalib/Mhar.
Nordramel: 4. Best Death Ever vs. Xanesha/Strangled to death by a mummy/Assassinated by Gamigin/Mhar.
Akiko: 3. Vraxeris' simulacra/giants in the Pinnacle/Mhar.
Hero of the Hour sounds like a fun & useful way to refresh Hero Points. I was thinking of ways to get the players involved with them, since it'd keep them engaged when it isn't their turn, and it'd encourage cameraderie.
I ran into the same issue, and came up with a few other ideas:
In the Pinnacle, there's a banquet table that's a fixed magic item that can do a 1/day Bountiful Banquet or Heroes' Feast. You can also swap out one of Ceoptera's spells, and those of the other lamia, for them.
As for the lesser minions, give them a transmutation that makes garbage edible, as long as it's successfully eaten before the spell wears off.
Have you ever tasted Entropic water? Stuff's probably frozen at room temperature but melts when it gets loud enough.
Also, it might not fit the setup for Pathfinder, but I always liked the idea of a Good-aligned, peaceful religion whose favoured weapon was the unarmed strike or the net. Though I admit those would work better in times of lasting peace, than Golarion's current uncertain instability.
Why do Unicorns need darkvision? What is Darkvision? and other philosophical questions about the senses in PF2
Hm, my reaction to the first paragraph was, "Malfeshnekor was supposed to stay trapped even with the doors open. It sounds like you let him out - and you let a PC be an anipaladin? Uh-oh..."
But at the end, this might be a surprising plot twist. As for how Malfy gets the rings to the PCs, keep in mind that any ruse is doomed to fail the second the conned minion goes to ask one of the Karzoug Holograms what's really going on.
Though this could work to your advantage: Malfy doesn't know about those, so the door opens, and Karzoug Hologram says, "That's a barghest, most likely allied with Alaznist. Fling that worthless thing down a crevasse."
So the giants chase down Malfy, underestimate all the class levels/advanced templates you've given him, and steals rings while invisibile or tries to lure them into the Leng spiders.
As for how to give the rings to the group, he could turn into a goblin, turn invisible, then track the PCs, get in front of them, then make an offer. He can truthfully say he was sent to attack Karzoug's minions, but now found the opportunity to attack Karzoug himself. He has these magic rings and knows what they do, and will fight alongside everyone. Sense Motive could reveal that he's being truthful, yet sounds overly excited at the thought of all the incoming violence. Also, if the last remaining original PC is there, due to being one of the ones who freed him, Malfy could always aim for that one last.
My guess is, the thinking went that PCs who get sick will try to get their diseases cured ASAP, so contagiousness was never really thought of as an issue.
On the plus side, RAW means you won't need to get quarantined and for plague doctors to get all done up and poke you with sticks; they can just touch you with their unwashed hands to cast curative spells, or smear alchemy disinfectants all over you!
Also, Dubious Knowledge is a thing I really like, even though I accept a lot of people won't like it. As the GM, I like adding one lie into multiple truths and watching the PCs figure out which one it is. As a player, I'm totally fine with my character jumping to conclusions about that creature that's currently trying to eat them. But yeah, you need a GM who won't trick you into getting killed because of a crit-fail at the beginning of the fight.
Oh, is this thread still relevant?
While I would like to see some of Iblydos and Sarusan, and definitely more of Arcadia, I know those aren't in the Inner Sea.
Hmm, maybe one in Tian Xia? Refugees fleeing from Bachuan, and ending up in Hwanngot? Uh...
Okay, I've got one! Galt AP! Getting back that one Final Blade from the giant who stole it, then using it on the Tarrasque!
I think some of it should be tailored to the PC who just crit-failed. Bookish wizard? "This monster was the result of a fleshwarp done by a drow transmuter, whilst drunk."
Cleric who'd rather learn by debate than endlessly re-reading the ancient texts? "This monster is favoured by that religion, so we should fight it respectfully, lest we become targets for that faith's ire."
Cheerfully experimental alchemist? "I heard this thing tastes great when boiled with some nutmeg! It might also make you stronger for just eating it!"
Fighter who's read up on bunches of monsters so as to avoid things like curses and diseases? "I'm fairly certain this thing's eggs will all hatch upon its' death, and its newborn young will swarm over us. So make with the acid splashes or get ready to run."
Yeah, I thought that part looked more like an optional side quest as well.
How I handled it, I included the seven swords of sin, that started out dozey and not at their best, but they increased in power over time. When the swords saw the word Runeforge, they all got nostalgic and wanted to check that out.
It involved a rework of how Runeforge and the weapons worked, but basically, each PC got to reforge their sword as virtuous or sinful, so they could be at their best when it came time to challenge Chellan.
I'd say, each day, pick a PC to be the target of Special K. Make a Will save in secret for the PC in question as if he'd cast Greater Scrying (but he can do this whenever he wants via the Runewell). If the PC fails, Special K can either get the standard view of the PC and the immediate surroundings, or can get a secondhand sensory feed of what the PC is perceiving.
If the PC makes the save, just tell the player, "Ever get the feeling that you're being watched?" Also, I think the sihedron medallion counts as if Special K's got a piece of the target (since he's technically scrying on the medallion, which he built himself), and can ignore the cross-planar nature of the Eye and the occluding field. You can still reduce the DC when they're in Runeforge if you want.
That's how I did it, at least.
Is it intentional that the Bottomless Pit hazard (level 9) suggests a method of escape that actually kills the player? (paizo input appreciated)
The way I imagine a bottomless pit, it's more of an extradimensional pit that keeps teleporting people in it partway back up, so that it feels like you're falling forever. At least that way, climbing back up if you manage to Feather Fall to one side or something won't be boring or roll-a-1-and-it's-this-again.
PC: Koji Yamaoka
The Gory Details: (Petrified, but apparently this counts!)
This was the opportunity Khalib wanted. He gave Koji Flesh to Stone, he failed his save, and the two giants went to close in on him. His allies were able to pick him up and immediately run away with him, leading to-
PC: Dreg Embermaw
The Gory Details: Dreg decided to cover his friends' escape: he told a summoned lillend to get Koji's statue self to safety (provoking AoOs which booted her back to Elysium), then attempted a Song of Discord on Khalib and the two giants. The only giant who failed the save was closer to Dreg than they other giant.
The players are disheartened, but want to see this out to the end, and even want to follow into Shattered Star.
Wow, now I want to see a former Qlippoth turned Good. That'd just about be the ultimate redemption! Also, I wonder what one would look like...
Plus, it was mentioned that the Knights of Ozem had attempted to infiltrate Geb (the nation) with the hopes of freeing the people who get eaten/destroying the nation ruled by the undead. Problem is, paladins tend not to make good infiltrators, so when Geb (the ghost) found out who they were, what they were doing, and why, he immediately went to the worst retaliation he could do.
Actually, that's slightly what I had in mind for a PC if I ever played in this. Though it'd be more like, two former Whispering Wayers who ended up becoming spiritualist & phantom, discovering the truth, and deciding, "We have to stop this right now." Pharasma's lenience could be because of their realization that they were taking solace in evil this whole time.
...Though things might get tricky if, at the end of Book 1, they willingly agree with and submit to the primary antagonist, and the other PCs just stand back and watch.
I have the assumption that a small percentage of elementals willingly allow themselves to be summoned, or sign up for it or something. Either they don't really "get" the Material Plane and figure, "It's all fun, nobody really dies. See, I just get sent back home no matter what happens!"
I do admit, I did like the idea of a CG Gorumite, and imagined one of them doing a wedding:
Then I realized that someone who encouraged self-improvement through constant struggle, even in a non-physical sense, would probably do better in the clergy of Kurgess.