The Snorting Tip-sniffer's page

146 posts. Alias of Snorter.


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Scarab Sages

Hagen wrote:

After some consideration, I decided to lower the bonuses granted to ability scores by the Kyuss Knight template. I'm now assuming that Kyuss' four knights had the following scores before turning: Str 14, Dex 10, Con 16, Int 12, Wis 11, Cha 10 and that Maralee's pre-Kyuss abilities were: Str 22, Dex 12, Con 16, Int 12, Wis 14, Cha 14. The new bonuses make the template slightly less powerful, but still provides hefty bonuses to Strength and Charisma. Another modification was a bonus language.

Abilities: Increase from the base creature as follows: Str +14, Wis +4, Cha +10. As an undead creature, a Kyuss knight has no Constitution score.
Languages: Kyuss knights gain Abyssal as a bonus language.

Any thoughts?

I'm revisiting this page, since I'm at this stage in my campaign, and the work done so far is very inspiring.

I'm converting to PF rules, and want to comment on the stat mods.
The scenario mentions the four knights in the ziggurat were all 'blackguards', which in current terms would mean 'antipaladins'.
I plan to mix that up, with a variety of classes, as above, but am working on the assumption that the example Knight, Nezzarin, was such a class.

Some of the abilities (such as Dark Blessing) are very similar to those granted by the blackguard prestige class, so I'm not sure if so much of the printed statblock is intended to be template, and how much from the base creature.

I'm thinking the original blackguard, Nezzarin, would have had a much higher Cha than Con, hence would have needed much less of a boost to bring it to the printed value?
Since Con is disappearing, it isn't as important to assume the base creature had it cranked up, so we could maybe assume he had a 14? Or similar value which would have allowed his Cha to be starting from a higher level 1 score?

I'm wary of boosting a potential casting stat by that much, as the effects on a Kyuss Knight Bard, Antipaladin, Sorcerer or Oracle built (using 4d6 or point-buy) would be quite overwhelming.

Scarab Sages

Hama wrote:
Converting a 20 level AP is an enormous pain in the neck. I did it for age of worms. I have a notebook full of converted npc's. Just converting kyuss took me the better part of four hours. And dragotha too. Just to have my pf characters lvl 20 kill them, dragotha in 2 rounds and kyuss in 3.

Running a 20 level AP is an enormous pain in the neck, long before you convert anything.

I've found myself with a lot less free time than I expected, and I'd love to see your conversions.

Would it be possible to drop me a mail (address listed on my main, not-secret-GM profile), or are you on Facebook, etc?

We now return you to your regular-as-clockwork PF/4E ding-dong.

Scarab Sages

My bunch assumed the tree was a reference to an encounter in Shackled City, which they played before this, and I must admit, that's how I ran with it.
(They are at the level where they're getting the huge info dumps about the southern jungles, and what went down in Cauldron, so it's not metagaming. The eruption of Cauldron is one of the other prophecies.)

Scarab Sages

wraithstrike wrote:
According to the AP Celeste was busy on her own mission, and if the PC's went looking for her I would have made her unavailable. As for Eligos he is just there to investigate. At best he would have 4 low level guards.

I tied Celeste to investigating later events in Savage Tide, which we probably won't play. One of the teams (which I used to replace Pitch Blade) was a quartet of pygmy Summoners, from the Isle of Dread, looking for their black pearl, which I had Raknian steal to help power Kyuss' apotheosis.

And I meant to write Ekaym (duh!). Eligos I had killed off during Hall of Harsh Reflections, by some doppelgangers and a pair of mimics. He also got used for golem parts, being unmasked during the Final fight.

I had the Sodden Hold be a far larger organisation, and they broke cover when Zyrxog felt threatened, killing many VIPs and city guards. So Manzorian, Mordenkainen, Riggby, and the other bigwigs have their hands full trying to restore order while the games distract the citizens.
My PCs found the Apostle before the Final, and got word out in time; the necromantic wave still went off, but the wights were contained by Celeste's tornados. The PCs were fighting through Raknian's mansion when Mordenkainen nuked the Arena.

It drove home the idea of 'think twice before you ask an epic NPC for help; you may just get it'!

Scarab Sages

Dennis Harry wrote:

If they tried to turn it in the lower levels I would have it break out the top of the dome to flee, thus another crisis. Also, there is no reason you can't simply give it turn resistance.

Personally I made all Spawn of any kind unturnable as they are linked to the dark mind of Kyuss. Essentially the Spawn are a collective hive mind and with that much combined power no single priest can hope to turn them.

There's no reason the Ulgustasta can't have turn resistance.

It should be standard practice for all unholy temples to have an active desecrate effect, plus an unhallow field, tied to any of several buffing effects.

When considering 3.5 style turning, remember the ulgurstasta isn't the only undead on the field, even if the PCs don't know it. Any turn damage would be applied to the creatures in its gut first, and only the remainder would apply to the ulgurstasta. That alone could cause a PC to waste his 1/day Sun domain power without realising what happened.

As written, the under-arena is very vulnerable, especially considering the PCs have a potential ally in Celeste. I've had to go through many of the encounters, retconning reasons why the PCs have to do the work, and it can't be sorted by the various higher-level NPCs.

In this case, I had Bozal's lair, and some of the sewers, covered by a Forbiddance aura, which prevented any teleportation attempts by Celeste or spying via summoned creatures. This meant one had to get down there in person, to see what's what.
Having Eligos turn up in the city with no gladiators doesn't make sense, so I changed that to his team having already attempted to spy on the doings, and failed to return. These guys become the golems, that Raknian donates to Khellek.

Dennis Harry wrote:
One of my players rebukes the undead and when he tried to turn Marzena he heard whispers in his mind and felt a menace beyond his comprehension attempt to link with his psyche, needless to say to did not try to turn her a second time :-)

Are you sure you meant Marzena?

Unless Blackwall Keep went FUBAR, she shouldn't be undead.

Scarab Sages

Wow; that site's had a facelift, since I was there last.

I remember it having an all-black theme.
Great to see those old articles haven't been lost!

Scarab Sages

Kaisoku wrote:

Pit Fighting

The party is split between the combat in the ring (participating to be a distraction, or for the purse/fame/reward), and the social aspect of "working the crowd", meeting contacts, interrogating a suspect, building reputation, etc.

This is the exact situation in my current game (Age of Worms). I have three clanking tanks, who have exhausted all their abilities in the arena, and have no stealth whatsoever; and a super-stealthy, fast, shadow-tainted Scout/Ranger, who, after the savage mauling they got, is thinking of pulling a sickie for the next match.

Since the whole point of entering the games is to search the bowels of the arena, we have a sneaky B-Team, consisting of Mr Shadow, and several NPCs the party have picked up along the way, snuck into the arena in the guise of their medical and management staff.

Last session saw the other tank players temporarily take over one of the sneaky NPCs, which include;

the elf wizard assistant of their dead fence,
a recovering evil necromancer (who never got sent to jail, as they intended, but was recruited to research by above dead fence,
a talking raven companion (modified Order of the Raven, Ravenloft),
and a phanaton (gliding raccoon-person) burglar, brought from the southern jungles by their employer.

Having found something juicy, the raven has flown back to the tanks, to inform them that the rest are sat in a Rope Trick for the next 6 hours, on watch.

Scarab Sages

john wood wrote:
In case anyone is thinking, "Geez, is he trying to kill his players?" The answer is no. In the past I have thought that using an NPC to it's fullest potential would be somehow dangerous or result in TPK, they always seem to pull out of it. Or worse, they make it look way to easy.

Don't feel guilty, at all.

Don't forget, the writers can only assume every group is using Core Rules, and I'm sure most players out there are happy to milk the best build they can, from whatever books they can.

It never ceases to amaze me how quick some players are to cry foul, if the DM adjusts the opposition, to use options from the very same sources they expect to use.

I'm in Champion's Belt right now, and none of those teams are being run as written, since they wouldn't last a minute. Not because they're not 'optimised', but in most cases, they're sub-optimal. Korrush wastes a feat, to be able to use his scimitar as though it were a rapier; why not just use a rapier? A arcane archer, who prepares Jump as one of her spells, for a fight in a featureless sandpit. A barbarian/druid, who can rage, or cast spells, but not at the same time.

I also have the issue that one of my players was previously my DM (for SC), and admitted to skimming the AoW issues, several years ago, when deciding what to run.
So I have to change some stuff, to keep it fresh for him, and remove the temptation to metagame.

Scarab Sages

Werecorpse wrote:

I like some of the expansion of the use of the FO but as a warning from someone who went too far I suggest you dont have him hang around too long, the 'it wasn't him' or 'he got away again' can be a bit too much for players. I did that with a cool NPC in a campaign I ran once and after a few times the players just started calling him 'DMFNPC' (F standing for favourite) and they assumed he would just get away, turn out to be a simulacrum or come back somehow- so they felt a bit helpless to deal with him.

On the other hand I had a bad guy giant who escaped once, came back as an undead once and eventually his spirit possessed some plants who were destroyed. The players really enjoyed that particular 'continuing enemy'.

It's tempting to try to keep some NPCs alive, but it has to be planned, and run by the book (abilities and treasure in line with NPC level, only use in-character knowledge, have escape routes marked up on your map, usual tactics listed in the statblock), just in case a player calls you on it.

I find that the most innocuous nobodies can become the party's nemeses, almost by accident. The oh-so-vaunted Zyrxog went down like a sack of sh1t (admittedly 3 PCs have ridiculous Will saves), yet the kenku sorceror from 3FoE got away, to peck at their scabs for several chapters (and going strong!), being the one who warns Raknian, hires the Sodden Hold, and bags one of the PCs for impersonation by Ixiaxian (though that last one did have PC-collusion).
He greased up the stairs outside the Vrock trophy room, and was about to smash one of the cases, via mage hand, when a PC heard him and went skidding down the tunnel on her backside, almost into the gullet of the octopins, while the kenku screeched with laughter and tapdanced out the lair. Since then, just the mention of kenku has been enough to make them groan (EG; In 'Champion's Belt' - What's that team called? Chuko's Ravens? Oh nooo....).

And even a fleeting glimpse of Tirra is still enough to send one player purple with fury. much to the dismay of the PC who needs her help...

Scarab Sages

Jeremy Mac Donald wrote:
In fact as I read the intro to Three Faces of Evil it seems somewhat confusing that the fact that the players already have the info on the Dourstone Mine is not mentioned. I think the introduction for Three Faces of Evil was written without taking into account that the players have this key link. Probably Mike Mearls did not have that detail when he wrote this and it got missed in editing.

If you go through the whole 12 issues, you'll find that happens a lot.

In the early days of 'Shackled City', there were some grumps complaining that a third of the mag was 'useless' to them, so there was some effort made to convince readers that they could use the material, even if they didn't have time or inclination to commit to the whole AP.

All the scenarios, despite being part of an AP, include options for being run as stand-alone scenarios, so the intros will often include background info for getting the PCs involved if they haven't played the previous chapters.
If you have played the previous chapters, then you know what happened. What you reading the intro for?

Add in the fact that the chapters were being written simultaneously, and you do get certain info being added to a chapter that the writer of the next chapter didn't allow for.
I have a hunch 'Blackwall Keep' was originally intended for a lower-level party, and '3FoE' kept growing, since I had to seriously add to the danger of that scenario to challenge my PCs.

Scarab Sages

James Jacobs wrote:
For something like a flesh golem, it says ANY magical attack that deals cold, fire, or electricity damage affects the golem in a specific way that's different than the attack's normal (usually damage causing) effect. This applies to ANY magical attack, not just those that have to penetrate SR.

So do you run it that, in the case of a flaming weapon, a successful hit would deal normal weapon damage, then:-

a) the fire damage would breach the golems spell immunity, BUT be transformed into a slow effect, INSTEAD of the extra damage?

b) the fire damage would breach the golems spell immunity, AND be inflict a slow effect, AS WELL as the extra damage?

That's one of the parts that's not clear, given the use of the words

'in addition, certain spells and effects function differently',

rather than

'certain spells and effects have an additional effect',

which aren't quite the same thing.

Thanks to everyone for contributing, so far.
My aim is not to nerf or power up golems, but simply to settle on a rewritten ability, that explicitly sets out what people are already doing by their gut.
It wouldn't be an issue, if it hadn't derailed a 3.0 session several years ago, for these very reasons.

Scarab Sages

meabolex wrote:
Immunity (Ex or Su) A creature with immunities takes no damage from listed sources. Immunities can also apply to afflictions, conditions, spells (based on school, level, or save type), and other effects. A creature that is immune does not suffer from these effects, or any secondary effects that are triggered due to an immune effect.

Good catch on the immunity to secondary effects.

I'd have to rule that applies to beneficial secondary effects, too.

My initial plan was to explicitly state that fire/cold/electric spells ignored their spell immunity, then give a flesh golem energy immunities, but that would negate the slow/anti-slow/healing tactics.

Maybe they could have Fire/Cold/Electrical Resistance 50, or some other unlikely amount?
That way, the spells get through, damage is rolled, damage almost always ignored, but the rider effects still kick in (just checked PFSRD, no mention of ignoring secondary effects if damage reduced beyond 0).

This would make them immune to most naturally occurring fire/cold/electric sources, and the low amounts dealt by flametongues and suchlike, but it would still be a valuable weapon, due to the bonus slowing effect. Unfeasible amounts of fire and cold would still hurt them, and so would an ally attacking them recklessly with high caster-level electricity spells (effectively 'overloading' their batteries)?

Scarab Sages

Ender_rpm wrote:

I don't see the issue. Normally, LB wouldn't effect the golem (immunity). If the flesh golem is hit by a LB spell, he is instead HEALED, rather than damaged. You CANNOT damage a flesh golem with an electricity spell.

re: Fire and ice spells- no, they do not do damage AND have a separate effect, they just have the special effect in place of normal damage.

I'm totally OK with your ruling above, re electricity not causing damage. It would be pointless having a healing effect and a damage effect taking place simultaneously.

I'm also willing to go along with any DM who rules your way on fire & cold. And I'm happy to run it that way myself, in the absence of any official word on the issue. And I believe many DMs do run it that way.

My problem is that the writing is sloppy, and has been that way for years, being carried forward from 3.5, and that every DM is being forced to houserule. They may all(?) houserule the same way, but my objection is that they are being expected to houserule at all.

IE I am totally happy for the golem to be affected this way, but want the rules rewritten, so they explicitly say what they mean, and mean what they say, with no possibility of being interpreted differently.
My objection is not with the end results, but the means taken to reach that end.
There are easier, shorter, and clearer ways to write the ability, than the one the writers chose in 2000, and chose to carry forward, almost word-for-word, in 2009.

The problems I have with the text are as follows:
Spell immunity negates any energy spell, with a targetted or area effect.
It's as if the spell never happened, within the vicinity of the golem (for argument's sake, let's imagine an inch-thick bubble of anti-magic projecting around its body).
Therefore, when the golem is in the path of a targetted or AoE spell, it is a perfectly valid view that there is no spell getting through to affect the golem, that can be be altered/increased to a slow/counter-slow/healing effect.
As written, only hitting it with an energy weapon can breach the spell immunity, therefore only those attacks can cause slow/anti-slow/healing effects.
This is the crux of the question. As written, the text raises more questions than it answers. Namely:

Do energy spells susceptible to SR do anything at all? Or fizzle before reaching the golem?

Are all fire and cold damage spells assumed to be an exception to the rule, and bypass the golem's spell immunity? If so, they do actually reach the golem.

If fire and cold damage spells bypass spell immunity, and reach the golem, do they deal damage AND slow the golem, OR is all the energy dissipated and transformed into the slow effect?

Or are the rider effects only assumed to apply in the case of energy damage that ignores SR? (such as a flaming sword)

If a flaming sword bypasses SR, does it do normal damage, or normal + fire damage? It simply isn't clear if the rider effect is AND, or OR.

When you have a long-running group, you instinctively develop a style based on common consensus, but the nightmare situation is to be at a Con, or to bring in a new player, who challenges the group's comfortable assumptions with what are perfectly reasonable questions.

Player: "Why should my pet golem be slowed by a cone of cold? The ice never reaches him, so cannot sap his strength!"
DM: Err,... well, you'll have to take my word for it.

Player: "How can the necromancer be buffing his golem? The lightning fizzles out before reaching it, so how can it be recharging?"
DM: "Err,... it just does, OK?"

Player: "You're just making this up as you go along. I think you're cheating because we're beating your NPCs."

If it seems as though I'm being pedantic, it's simply because I had an idea for an encounter that would be brutally punishing, and would prefer to have concrete rules on my side, to avoid face-offs like the above, by having something to point to, other than my own gut feeling.

Scarab Sages

In another thread (relating more specifically to whether a golem can volunteer to drop its immunity) the following point was made:

Abraham spalding wrote:

The main issue is the fact that the golems don't have spell resistance, they have complete immunity to magic that allows spell resistance (except for a few specific cases for each golem which are detailed out in that golem's description).

(bolding mine)

This brings up something that has bothered me for some time.

I'll be using the flesh golem for the example, since this is the weakest of the core 4, probably encountered earlier and more often, and has been in the game since 1E onwards (not to mention being an iconic staple of horror fiction for centuries).

The fire/cold/electric spells have never really been listed as an exception to the spell immunity. Rather, a more vague phrasing suggests that certain effects are 'in addition', a phrasing which doesn't imply any sort of bypassing of the normal situation of immunity.

So, are all fire/cold/electric spells an exception to the blanket rule of 'if it allows SR, the golem is immune'?

The reason I ask, is that in 3.5, the SRD text was worded as follows:

SRD wrote:

A flesh golem is immune to any spell or spell-like ability that allows spell resistance. In addition, certain spells and effects function differently against the creature, as noted below.

A magical attack that deals cold or fire damage slows a flesh golem (as the slow spell) for 2d6 rounds, with no saving throw.

A magical attack that deals electricity damage breaks any slow effect on the golem and heals 1 point of damage for every 3 points of damage the attack would otherwise deal. If the amount of healing would cause the golem to exceed its full normal hit points, it gains any excess as temporary hit points. For example, a flesh golem hit by a lightning bolt heals 3 points of damage if the attack would have dealt 11 points of damage. A flesh golem golem gets no saving throw against attacks that deal electricity damage.

The problem for me comes with the specific phrase 'in addition'.

I have long suspected that what was really meant (and what should have been stated) was 'The exception to this rule are magical attacks that deal cold or fire damage, which, in addition to their normal effect, slow a flesh golem (as the slow spell) for 2d6 rounds, with no saving throw.'
(and a similar amendment is required to the text for electric spells)

Otherwise, the phrase 'in addition' simply means 'IF you can find some way round the immunity, to deal energy damage, THEN the following additional effects apply'.

The reason I suspect there was always a bad wording, is because otherwise, there's nothing that can deal magical fire/cold/elecricity damage, except weapon enhancements.
(I'm ignoring the orb spells in the 3.5 Spell Compendium, since they a) aren't core content, so wouldn't have been in the minds of the MM writers, and b) those spells drive so many players to anger by being a loophole which makes evocation pointless, which is a topic I'd rather not have clogging up this thread, thank you very much.)

It also doesn't follow how one can affect the golem with electricity, since virtually all such spells (including the specific example of lightning bolt) would be ignored, leaving an allied caster to run behind it and jab it with a shock blade, if he wanted to heal it.

The fact that the 3.5 SRD specifically mentioned Lightning Bolt gave weight to the proposal that there was a sentence missing in the spell immunity ability, otherwise, why use that specifically-SR-vulnerable spell as an example?

But, in the PF srd, the specific reference to lightning bolt has been removed, and replaced with a more general reference to 'spells that deal electricity damage'.

Is this deliberate? IE, did someone spot that LB was an ineffectual spell, and had been a typo for the last 10 years?
That the only way to affect a flesh golem with an energy rider effect, one has to strike it with an energy weapon?
(Yes, I'm still ignoring the orb spells....)

Or is the intention, that all fire/cold/electrical spells actually bypass the golem's spell immunity, then, in addition,deal additional or alternate effects?
Has that been the case for the last 35 years?
And if so, please can that be erattaed?

Scarab Sages

Scratch several semicircular 'drag marks', next to a featureless wall.
Everyone will stand there for ever, searching for the secret door they 'know' is there.
After a few checks, the inevitable call goes out 'We take 20, until we find them!'.
Patrol comes every five minutes, four, three, two, one...

Best bit is that the players will have already argued that they can so all stand in the same space, to Aid Other. You just smile, agree, then set off the patrol's grenades/area spells.

Scarab Sages

Werecorpse wrote:
The Snorting Tip-sniffer wrote:

.......I've been using extra material from Expedition to the Ruins of Castle Greyhawk, and I expanded the number and influence of Zyrxog's agents. I've also been strengthening the links between chapters, so they flow better, and anticipate the PC's likely decisions.

can you expand on this- or have you posted it elsewhere (especially the Zyrxog's agent & link strengthening comment)

I'm just getting my stuff together for tonight's game, lol.

But I'll be back.

Scarab Sages

Dennis Harry wrote:
I think there are absolutely other people running AoW, Armnaxis is in the Library of Last Resort and I think at least one other DM on the boards is as well. I am glad I waited until now as these boards were great with showing some potential adventure pitfalls!

I just cleared up HoHR last week, and set the scene for TCB.

It's been a long chapter, but I've been using extra material from Expedition to the Ruins of Castle Greyhawk, and I expanded the number and influence of Zyrxog's agents. I've also been strengthening the links between chapters, so they flow better, and anticipate the PC's likely decisions.

Scarab Sages

Dennis Harry wrote:
They found out about the Temple location by aligning with Smenk, they are working for him (and getting paid though it is a low fee they think). Should be a great game in two weeks!

Don't forget; Smenk gets all the credit, if the cults get wiped out!

And escapes any investigation of his doings, which are retroactively trumpeted as being his noble, self-sacrificing, courageous detective work.

Scarab Sages

Glad I re-found this post. Consider it bookmarked.
It's that time of the campaign, when the PCs are high enough level to be considered household names, and the question of cohorts comes up.

I'm on record as really hating the official Leadership rules (especially the bizarre situation of giving the party MORE xp for bringing twice as many bodies to an encounter, but I digress), believing such things are better handled in-character, in-game.
As such, I'll be adding friendly NPCs as mentors, contacts, cohorts and henchmen when I deem it appropriate, at no feat tax to the PCs.

Dram seems to me to be a great fit for my party, who already include two members of the Garrison, one of whom is another scout, so they may already be on nodding terms.

The mysterious scandal that sent his father from the capital to the squalid Diamond Lake is ripe for expansion.
Spoiler Alert:

I think I'll have Zyrxog's crew be responsible for his dishonour, having stolen valuable maps of the Cairn Hills area, on behalf of the Ebon Triad, and their search for the birthing pool of the Ebon Aspect.

The PCs managed to salvage some of Zyrxog's paperwork (shooting a guy trying to feed the blood-stained evidence to the octopus), but had to watch impotently from inside a Rope Trick, while the drow ran through the planning room, bagging the rest.
Some of their haul can include maps in Cicaeda's hand, or stamped as belonging to him. They already know the whole government of the city is riddled with agents of every apocalyptic cult around, so have an incentive to return to Diamond Lake, to return these maps to the Cartographer personally, which could help him clear his name.

To tweak this further to events in my own campaign, the portion of the intro where he becomes aware of the Whispering Cairn, can be altered to...

Last month, you ran into a mysterious, alluring human woman you once drank with over two years ago. You didn’t remember her name, but she seemed to remember everything about you, including the fact that your father was the village’s chief cartographer.
She once again introduced herself as Marzena, and her story provided you with the perfect opportunity to make your life more interesting—and possibly fill your pockets as well.
Your fellow soldiers had told you of having had several run-ins with a trio of adventurers from Greyhawk. They’d been spending a lot of time in the village’s watering holes, making an absolute pain of themselves, with their superior attitude, and instigating wrestling matches which many suspect to be magically fixed.
Marzena told you their true reason for being in town was to explore an ancient tomb, whose location they had yet to discover. As a representative of The Green Lady, she would rather this tomb remain undisturbed. "The treasures of Diamond Lake belong to the dead of Diamond Lake. Not to robbers from that city of thieves.".
She suggested she would be very grateful if their plans failed; if maybe someone with local knowledge were to direct them to enter the Stirgenest Cairn? You laughed at the prospect of the smug, nancified city-folk being drilled for their blood by those ravenous pests, and agreed to lead them astray, for the sheer fun of it, knowing you would be back out in the wilds before they realised they had been conned.
Marzena assured you that this would earn you her gratitude, and respect from several important folk of the town.

After doing the deed, you quickly left town for a tour of the Cairn Hills, returning to find the town in uproar. Dourstone Mine was in new hands, its former owner dragged to the Free City, and said to have been sentenced to swing from a rope.
In the Quartermaster's store at the Garrison, an unexpected parcel was waiting for you, containing a shirt of the finest mail, and a cryptic note of thanks.

A mule in a belt, came out in great welts.
A chicken in red, was pecked on the head.
A rat from the Guild, with blood was un-filled.

So, here is a shirt of renown,
To go under your tabard and gown,
From the Smartest man in your town.

Scarab Sages

Summon a swarm of your own, and have the worms leap out the doors over them?

Yeah, I know. It's gonna be messy...LOL

Scarab Sages

OK, so I've held off posting this, but if I don't, I'll burst.

I changed the class levels of Telakin's gang, because they're supposed to be spies, so I gave them a mix of classes, to cover different skills and spell lists. (The fact that this makes them a more viable NPC group is a bonus!) I took out half the dopplers, since I think it's overdoing it, sent half the gang to whack the PCs allies, and recruited some red-shirt sailors for muscle.

One of the dopplers, I made a Bard, and had him impersonate the father of the captured PC. The doppel-PC went AWOL during the fight in the long corridor (slipped through the illusory wall to the mirror-maze).

The PCs come through the maze, to find the doppel-PC wearing the mind-clone helmet, and sitting comfortably, reading. His 'father' introduces himself, apologises for the awful mistake, and tells them they had been attacked by doubles of the PCs the day before, so were extra-paranoid.

I fully expected the PCs to go at him, but they actually sat there, and engaged him in conversation! I had a rough outline of what I could say, but never expected I'd get to use it. I had the stopwatch out, and (after allowing for ooc chat) they spent 40 minutes, being told a steaming heap of BS, about how the Ebon Triad were totally unimportant, and it's all a plot by the Seekers, via the Great Seer of Urnst, to destabilise Greyhawk, ready for invasion.

His organisation worked for the Circle of Eight, and had intercepted Seeker agents, carrying battle-plans, in the form of encoded gems.
These could only be read by a person who possessed one of the 'Enigma Devices' (point at Mind-Clone apparatus). LOL

While this was going on, I made the Dwarf F/C (who had been hit with a Touch of Idiocy) roll some dice, and told her elements of his story fit what she knew of local history. When one of the rolls was a 3, I took her out, and told her those rolls were saves, and she was now Fascinated by the story, and with the device.

We went back in, and he told them that Greysmere (the dwarf city) was also marked for civil war, and that Dourstone's allies were still active. He offered her the chance to learn the identity of these traitors, and she went for it. She climbed on the bench, put the helmet on, and lay back (bonus xp for her, I think!).

At this point, the other PCs, who had been busy berating the doppel-PC for 'getting lost', noticed this, and went 'Whuh?!'.
The Paladin asked her if she was OK with this, she said yes, and he gave her a Prot from Evil anyway.

At this point, the captured PC bursts out of the back room, in his pants and vest, shouting 'KILL HIM!' (He didn't have a hope of slipping his bonds, really, but he rolled a 20, so I let him out at a dramatically appropriate moment to cut them some slack).
The Touch of Idiocy wore off, the Bard realised his control was broken, and all hell breaks loose.
His animated rope snakes round the dwarf, tying her to the bench, the doppel-PC flicks the switch, and drinks his readied potion of Invisibility, and Telakin gets ready to come out blasting.

Aaaannnnd CUT! (till next week)

Scarab Sages


Are these all your own creation, or are they existing open content spells and creatures from the Scarred Lands setting?

Scarab Sages

I don't want to play the pbp; I just popped by since I'm running AoW in 3.5, with an eye to possibly converting over to PF, and wondered how far along you were (hoping to beg some conversions for chapter 5!).

To GM Peebo: have you got all the handouts and player info you need?
Not just the official Overload, but there's loads of other fan-made stuff, expanding on the official material, flagging problem areas, and improving the links between the chapters. I'd be happy to share, if you mail me (address on my default profile, rather than this sneaky DM alias).

And if we do switch systems, it'd be good to have a second head to brainstorm conversions.

Scarab Sages

I say 'Wierd Science', so no magic aura.

I liken it to the brain canisters of the Mi-Go, from Lovecaft's 'Whisperer in the Darkness'.

Scarab Sages

Dennis Harry wrote:

What Allustan knows:

I would say too much. Those secret caves where the Ebon Triad are located should be secret. I see Allustan as more of a link to Manzorian later on than a major player. I will have him there as a resource but not playing that prominent of a role. He will not be accompanying them to Blackwall Keep in the next adventure either though I will use him as a link to get them there (I have other plots to make them take that trip).


Though that part, about Allustan directing the PCs to the mine, is only there if the DM is running the adventure as a stand-alone.

Why anyone would run chapter 2 without chapter 1 beats me, but they have to allow for the possibility in the magazine.

I had Allustan be the party's agent, taking unwanted items off their hands, and commisioning items they wanted, so the game wouldn't be stalled by shopping trips. This also introduced the name of Eligos as Allustan's contact in the Free City. The pair also got Filge out of town, to avoid any unpleasantness (like being bumped off by Smenk, to hide the evidence).

I did include Allustan in the journey to Blackwall, but ensured he didn't hog the adventure, by having him spot Ilthane on the horizon, and fly off to lead her away (he uses the teleport scroll to flee to Diamond Lake, when finally cornered). This added a bigger payoff when they do finally meet, and time pressure to the Twisted Branch lair, since the PCs didn't want to be around if/when Ilthane came back.
The whole lizard lair took at most, a quarter hour of PC-time, including the egg chamber and the signing of a truce, before everyone legged it (lizards and PCs!).

Scarab Sages

Adam500 wrote:
I can't help but feel that due to the experience of some of my players they are walking through this module a bit, but I'm inclined to let them after 3 player deaths on the Ebon Aspect.

This is a chapter that can vary wildly in difficulty, depending on what languages the PCs speak, and whether they are inclined to parley.

There really aren't that many lizardfolk at the siege, not enough to make it a sure thing, even before the PCs show up. One PC snuck in, invisible, and talked to the soldiers, went back, and the PCs charged across the lizard camp. Killed 10, wounded several more, including a KO on the war-leader. Quite obviously, the remainder were in no mood to continue, but had hidden their true numbers via fake trenches and pavises. So there was a truce, in which they revealed why they were attacking ('Ape-wizards from big town kill our eggs!'), but not who had given them that information.

They agreed to take a message to their chief, and slunk off. The PCs searched the keep, and found evidence that Marzena had been lured to a fake truce. After being attacked, she had teleported back to the keep, but been snatched from the battlements by Ilthane's harpies, before being able to write more than a brief warning.

I foreshadowed Ilthane, by having the dragon appear on the horizon, and making Allustan fly off to act as a decoy and harass her, taking both big guns out of the picture. I don't like the written event of him teleporting for for help, given it's so few lizardfolk.

A small dragon did attack the PCs on the roof top (I added this to explain why none of their bird-messengers were getting through). This dragon was beaten, but escaped.

The spawn in the cellar I changed, as it made no sense that the soldiers would lock one into a tunnel, and then NOT TELL ANYONE ABOUT IT FOR YEARS. I had it be one of the soldiers who had accompanied Marzena, been attacked, teleported back with her, but already infected by slow-worms. This gave him time to recognise the symptoms, and wall himself up, scratching a message in the wall with his dagger ('The kobolds have poisoned me'), which made no sense to the PCs. They found him after taking a head-count, and someone asking 'Where's Ulfgar? I thought he came back from the swamp...'.

Once they made it to the Twisted Branch, using directions in Marzena's earlier notes (always provide more than one clue!), the lizardfolk were already expecting them, so they demanded an audience with the chief. I was happy for this, because I really didn't want to play out several pointless fights with CR1 goons.

Instead, they met all the tribal leaders, and tried to ask for Marzena and the prisoners to be released. All the evil lizards had been detected as such. Hishak, the druid, can speak Sylvan, which the others can't, so she told the PCs 'The chief has already decided to kill you. If you kill them, I'll deal with you.'
Cue one massive brawl (chief, sub-chief, evil druid, half-dragon guards, elite lizardfolk, and even the otyugh), with most of the normal members of the tribe kept out by webs, which made it easier to form a truce afterwards. Hishak took control of the tribe, looked at some random papers of the PCs, and bluffed her people that she'd seen proof of Ilthane's treachery. Time to bag up the eggs, and evacuate the lair...

Scarab Sages

Did the 'Egg Incident' at the Twisted Branch, which I totally had to make up for myself, what with there being no official ruling in the adventure.

Short story; party killed the evil lizardfolk, friends with the good druid, told about the dragon, agreed to kill Ilthane's newcomers (half-dragons, acid-resistant kobolds and a young dragon).

Go in, kill several defenders, the dragon and three kobolds have loud discussion about saving the precious egg, drag it to the centre of the pool, and flee. Short fight with baby dragon, who escapes, again (recurring thorn in their side). Paladin recognises dragon egg, and lops the top off. (Show player the picture, and laugh)

I assume there's enough worms to infect every egg in the place, so start with a base value of 200. Roll to see what percentage splatter on the paladin. Assume a base 1 in 20 of these (modified by a random die roll up or down +/-50%) landed in a weak spot in his armour, and start burrowing immediately. Scout throws last missile from the kenku's necklace at the roof, and fireballs him (this was discussed earlier...). Assume roughly half the worms are below the waterline, these and the embedded ones are safe from the flames, the rest burn to a crisp.
Net result is that he had 6 worms in him at the start of the battle, and potentially more could swim up through his legs on subsequent rounds. The rest of the worms attack the eggs (another issue altogether, with a separate minigame mechanic).

Assume the worms have a cure resistance as strong as the creature that sired them (hatchling black dragon HD), and the paladin's aura of purity washes his system with a strength equal to his own class level every round. This gave a roughly equal chance of killing each worm each round, rolled individually.

Net result was that even with some poor rolls, most of the worms didn't survive long enough to start dealing Int damage, though it got very close, with some new arrivals gnawing their way up the inside of his leg. Total Int damage of 3 points, from starting total of 6(!), before they were all eradicated.

I played up the horror of the situation, even on successful rolls, by having the dying worms thrash and squirm in their death throes, fighting to get away via any orifice possible. Shitting them out, vomiting, and being flushed out his urethra, nose and tear-ducts.
Just because a PC has resistance, doesn't mean the DM can't still have fun!

Scarab Sages

If any of the other players later cry foul, just remind them that octopi are famous for being able to unscrew jars, and squeeze inside.
Or outside.....

Scarab Sages

Spacelard wrote:
My other choice for the Faceless One is a Mi-Go. In Lovecraft's stories they can masquerade as humans using wax masks, bulky clothing etc. I am kind of drawn to brain cylinders... The Mi-Go use science instead of magic could the Ebon Aspect be a geneticly created beast?


The Mi-Go are great! I've had a player be a brain-canister, in a CoC game, after a little 'accident'. He had a trolley, and some sensory attachments, so I wasn't totally mean.

Have a Mi-Go picture, on me.

Scarab Sages

Smarnil le couard wrote:
Kudos, nice backstory!

I'm afraid I can't take credit for that. I got the majority of it from Rodney Thompson. Steal from the professionals!

Rodney Thompson, in some long-lost thread wrote:

Last night the party spent most of the session interacting with soldiers and people at Blackwall Keep. During the dinner following the battle, the current commander revealed some fun little tidbits about Theldrick to the party. Twentysomething years ago, Commander Theldrick was in charge of the Keep's garrison. He was a devoted cleric (in my campaign, to the god of battle Terak from GR's Book of the Righteous) who had convinced many of the members of the garrison about his god's glory. Hordes of orcs flooded into Blackwall Keep, slaughtering innocents and kidnapping Commander Theldrick's wife, dragging her off to parts unknown (more on this in a moment). The orcs managed to seize control of the keep and hold it for three days. At that point, Theldrick rallied the remaining troops and re-took the Keep, slaughtering every last orc mercilessly. Believing that his god had abandoned him in his time of need, allowing orcs to kidnap his wife, Theldrick deserted his post and turned to Hextor (in my campaign, Naran).

This backstory has really intrigued my players for a number of reasons:
1) The party cleric worships Terak, and now believes Theldrick to be worse than a cultist -- he's a traitor to the faith!
2) The party's ranger is a half-orc, born about 22 years ago and native to the Diamond Lake region. I've not come out and said it, and probably won't for the rest of the campaign, but his mommy was, in fact, Theldrick's wife who was kidnapped by orcs. I'm going to drop clues over the course of the campaign, but I think the ranger already suspects.
3) In the night, the current commander in the Keep attempted to murder the party. Secretly a member of the Ebon Triad (converted by his old mentor and former commander of the Keep, Theldrick) he knows that the party could impede the Triad's efforts to bring on the Age of Worms. I've definitely instilled some paranoia in the party, who realizes that cultists of the Ebon Triad could be anyone, anywhere. Mwa ha ha.

I was toying with having Kullen be Theldrick Jr, and having Mrs Theldrick turn up as a non-combatant NPC in some rat-hole like Alhaster. The PCs have Theldrick's locket with her portrait, and may recognise her, or she may recognise the dragonclaw that the PC paladin now wears.

Kullen and his gang, after an initial, non-lethal beating in chapter 1, grudgingly helped the PCs vs the (souped-up) Aspect, having guarded their exit (the PCs having been persuaded by their own paladin to help Smenk!). Now he 'runs' Dourstone Mine, as a front for Smenk (a loophole exploited by Smenk, when the paladin asked him to swear he would make no bid on the empty mine).

Reuniting her with Kullen, and having him become a reformed character, would be a nice closure, no?

Scarab Sages

The Snorting Tip-sniffer wrote:

He already had the basic abilities of a cleric, but swapped deity some time ago, undergoing the usual loss of abilities.

Maybe the Ebon Triad is the first and only church of Hextor he has ever known, fake though it is? He's never lost Hextor's favour, because he never (officially) had it?
Smarnil le couard wrote:
Well, technically it would be hard to pull off. Sure, he lost his Heironeous-given powers, but to gain new ones from Hextor he would have to join a cult which he (Hextor) condones. The problem is the same than if Theldrick had been an mainstream Hextorian from the start. To give him Hextorian powers while adhering to the Ebon Triad, you have to accept that Hextor approves of this fringe cult despite its goals (and the fact that it's bogus, which is harder to hide from a god, especially Vecna).

I was meaning he was never a cleric of the official church of Hextor to begin with. He is found, raving in the wilderness, having abandoned his post at Blackwall, to charge off with his closest troops, on a doomed suicide mission to rescue his wife and other prisoners.

(The Blackwall link is there, as a back-up way to inform the PCs who he is, in case no-one recognises him during 3FoE. Players get more out of the game if they can join some dots, and see links between scenarios. Often a good idea to have multiple clues.)

As the last survivor, staggering around, slapping the corpses of his soldiers, cursing Heironeous, shrieking about courage and discipline, he is taken in by the Ebon Triad, who teach him to regain his spells, and access his new domains, as a godless cleric (or via an intermediary, the way clerics of demon lords do. Does Kyuss grant spells yet?).
He believes himself to be a cleric in the 'true, reformed' church of Hextor. He also got told that there are lots of 'orthodox, out of date' clerics of Hextor around, but 'we don't consort with fools like them'.

Scarab Sages

Maybe the stranglers ARE the discarded faces of previous victims?


[Edit: went back and adopted my 'DM-only, players keep out'-alias...]

Scarab Sages

Smarnil le couard wrote:

But the difficult part here isn’t to find basic cultists, but to make clerics of the said gods join your cult and keep their divine powers....if a cleric strays too far from the part in the eyes of his god (not in the eyes of the main, official church), WHAM, he loses his powers (see PHB p33).

...In my opinion, adhering to a fringe cult seeking such a fusion against the will of the gods themselves most certainly qualify as “grossly violating the code of conduct required by the god”, by acting against the god’s wishes.

In my game, Theldrick was a fallen cleric of Heironeous, to twist the knife in my paladin player, and ensure an almighty grudge fight.

One 'natural 20' Religion check, after his appearance, and I told him 'Despite the different trappings, you recognise the man, from one of the portraits in your chapel. This is Father Theldrick, who you've lit a candle, and said a prayer for, every day of your stay in Diamond Lake. He was believed dead, fallen in battle with orcs in the Cairn Hills...'.

He renounced Heironeous, for failing him, and seeks a way to pay the Garrison back for their 'cowardice'.
He already had the basic abilities of a cleric, but swapped deity some time ago, undergoing the usual loss of abilities.
Maybe the Ebon Triad is the first and only church of Hextor he has ever known, fake though it is? He's never lost Hextor's favour, because he never (officially) had it?

Grallak Kur, on the other hand, is a bloodthirsty cannibal, who could simply follow the overall concepts of Death, War and Chaos. If the grimlocks, and the Faceless One, want to give that a name of 'Erythnul', then it's no trouble to him.

Scarab Sages

Smarnil le couard wrote:
Could you give us more details about the way in which you used the Faceless One in the Whispering Cairn adventure to foreshadow TFoE, and about the way you plan to use him later (you can post here or in a new thread, as you please; you're my guest).

I can't speak for anyone else, but I saw the text that the Lurking Strangler had been sent by the FO, but got trapped underground.

As it stands, this is rather a waste, since there's no way the PC's would ever find this out. The thing doesn't even have a mouth, so they can't slap it around to make it talk!

So, I added two more stranglers to the Vecna temple, as well as several failed prototypes, in jars (a possible red herring, for anyone who hadn't seen the Kyuss worm at Filge's). One of the stranglers was curled round the FO's neck, like a pet, and helped defend him with its eye-rays, during the fight and his flight throught the labyrinth. I was going to have him stroking it, like Blofeld, but events got too chaotic for a villainous monologue.

Scarab Sages

Would it break the mood to suggest 'Yakety Sax' (aka 'The Benny Hill theme') for the Labyrinth of Vecna?

Or whatever the music is in Scooby Doo, when they have a montage of running left to right across the viewers' field of vision?

I had a PC (and the player) get hopelessly lost in there; between them all they covered every single inch, except the secret parts.
The paladin got jumped by 8 kenku and their leader, beat them all and staggered out on 1hp, no spells, no LoH, no cure potions, to find the others fighting an allip, in a web.

Scarab Sages

Smarnil le couard wrote:
Problem: as Tenser/Manzorian says much later, the (re)unification of these three gods doesn’t make much sense in Greyhawk. Hextor and Erythnul belong to the oeridian pantheon; Vecna is an ascended lich, previously a flan archmage, who wasn’t a god, or even born, at the time of the last Kyuss resurgence.

What if the Ebon Triad followers had been convinced, that the Vecna that achieved divine ascension was but the most recent in a line of wizards/liches, stretching back through the Oeridians, to the days of Kyuss, constantly reincarnated, living, dying, being reborn, until reaching true enlightenment and godhood?

Maybe that part could actually be true? And thus not set off any divinatory alarm bells? What normally happens to souls with enough willpower to not accept the authority of the rulers of the outer planes? Do they get thrown back to the Prime for another go round?

For a twist, Kyuss could (falsely or not) be mentioned as a servant of the primal Vecnan ancestor, and needs to be awoken in order to herald the Overgod's coming. Then, any accidental references to Kyuss could be accepted, and not raise suspicions?

The fact that Kyuss has no intention of sharing his new power with anyone is the small detail that is left out.

Scarab Sages

Well, I'm back from holiday.
I'll give the above a good read, especially the diary entries. I'm a sucker for extra creepy material like that.

I will say that, though you have a point about the composition of the Triad (Vecna's divinity being too recent to be included in an ancient plot by K), our group have already played Shackled City, where the members of the Triad were revealed, so I'll be keeping that part the same and working round it.
If you haven't yet played SC, then that part can be altered, of course.

Scarab Sages

Wow; that was some thread.
I recently finished TFoE, and agree with many of your comments above.
It does take a tweak or two, and running it smoothly is highly dependent on the makeup of the PC party and their previous actions.

I was lucky that my group were mostly good, divine, local PCs who had been caught smashing up The Feral Dog, so Smenk had the moral high ground.

Fuller post later.

Scarab Sages

I didn't give a specific blessing, but I did have a player interested in playing a shadow-tainted creature (the 2-level version, from Dragon 322). I agreed, but didn't want a PC with LA at the start, so we agreed he'd have the bloodline, and the effects would kick in after some future trauma, allowing him to buy racial levels after that point. Getting dunked in the Ebon Aspect's freezing amniotic pool seemed a good opportunity.

I thought the EA was a bit soft, as written (PCs would be mostly out of spells, but on full hp), so gave it a couple more HD, proper rage, instead of the one-round uber-rage, and put long chains on its three stumps, to give it more attacks, some range, negate some incoming attacks, and drag people to its pool.

I'm not completely evil, in my defence, I give the PCs some allies (Kullen's gang, who'd been watching the elevator for Smenk, a miner, who'd been forced to write Grallak Kur's dreams, and a blinded Melinde, who gave some healing, and blessed a PC's axe), and they did kill it, with no deaths.

Scarab Sages

My group have some super-hard PCs (3 divine PCs, sheesh!), who have some good (rolled) stats (one would have been 45 points in 3.5 point-buy!). They work together well, and haven't lost anyone yet, so went into chapter 3 at level 6.

Allustan left, to divert the looming silhouette of Ilthane from the attack, and the pair haven't been seen since.

I beefed up EaBWK with a small black wyrmling, who I assumed had been eating all the animal messengers from the keep.
This has fought two PCs and a cohort on the keep roof, and was later defending the large egg. Both times it fled, after a serious beating (40-50 hp damage).

It tricked them into smashing The Egg, so I forsee there being a huge grudge match when they meet again.

Scarab Sages

Tiger Lily wrote:
Basically, there was a desperate scramble at the low level games for the PCs to find things to make them immune, which was lovely to watch. Not all of them found items, so the remainder continually make sure they're stocked up on things that do the same thing. It's rewarding players for taking the threat seriously and making sure they spend resources one way or another to deal with it.

Bolded part by me.

I think this whole issue, and whether it's seen as a problem or not, is heavily affected by whether you are using the default assumption of the 'Magic Shop', where PCs can just pick up exactly what they want, at no notice.

If so, then it can be anticlimactic to introduce the threat of the worms, only to have the whole party turn up with anti-worm necklaces next session. As a DM, you play up the horror of the situation, only to have the players negate it. You can be forgiven for wondering 'Whyohwhy do I bother?'.

What should happen, even in a 'Magic Shop' economy, is that certain items will be in higher demand, once the news of the threat gets out.
Filge, Smenk, Kullen's gang, the survivors from Blackwall Keep, can all flap their mouths, and the PCs find there are strangely, no anti-disease items to be had, at least not for less than ten times book price, so must make their own.

Scarab Sages

EATERoftheDEAD wrote:
Do you, perhaps, mean Unleashed/Danny the Dog? If so that could work quite well though I was thinking of something more in the vein of Fight Club.

Duh; yes, that's what I meant. Some small event that could fit in an abandoned warehouse.

Thinking on it, it could be a good film to watch for another reason.
Bob Hoskins performance is nasty; he'd make a good Balabar Smenk.
Toned down, it could maybe be a good match for the relationship between Smenk and Kullen? The PCs may think Kullen redeemable, if they could break his puppy-like dependency on Smenk, and his tendency to view him as a father-figure?

Scarab Sages

I'm bumping this one, since it's just become relevant.

Given the proposed changes hinted at in the PF previews, it looks as if Remove Disease and other cures are to be reworded to require a caster level check vs the DC of the affliction, rather than being automatic.

I'm fine with this, as I don't like there being so many automatic effects or immunities, since you come up against situations in which the irresistable force comes up against the immovable object.

It brings back some uncertainty, and tension. It allows for the creation of afflictions with varying DC to have varying levels of spread. It allows for 'plague' storylines to be possible. It makes PCs buy and use more charges from scrolls and wands.

I think I'll check out the PF rule, and then declare that Paladins have a Remove Disease effect flowing through themselves, allowing a new chance, each round, to wipe out any diseases in their system (including each worm).

This makes very little difference to normal, slow-acting diseases, for which you can assume they rolled a natural 20 at some point during the day, but keeps the tension high for the faster, burrowing worms.

Scarab Sages

EATERoftheDEAD wrote:
When it comes to the whole Champion's Belt section I'm thinking of an underground bare knuckle fighting type thing. Kind of Fight Club-ish. Not sure how I'm going to do the specific encounters but I will probably change the arena to an abandoned mill complex that the party can explore when they're not engaged in fisticuffs elsewhere.

You're right. That whole chapter needs to be a lot more low-key.

The fantasy genre supports giant ampitheatres with gladiatorial games, but you'd never get away with it in modern setting.

Check out Jet Li's 'Undefeated' for some scenes of an underground fight circuit. Small gatherings of trainers, and people 'in the know'.

Just don't drop the f********h on them, that really would be taking the piss!

Scarab Sages

Can someone confirm that the writers stated the worms still bypass Paladins' Divine Health?

And that the damage they do is temporary, curable via Lesser Restoration?

Only, my PCs just fought the first spawn at Blackwall Keep, and the one who took the brunt was the paladin with Int 6, who took 3 Int damage...I want to make sure if I have a drooling moron on my hands, or if he can be brought back to 'normal'.

Scarab Sages

Given the spoilers in the cleric preview, Remove Disease and other automatic cures are going to be downgraded in the final PF rules, to require something similar to a caster level check vs the affliction's severity DC.

If your game does port over to PF (which I've hinted I may do, if it resolves some of the high-level headaches), this should put some uncertainty back into the game, and make it less of a plot-spoiler for the PCs to wear an amulet, assuming the effects translate into the new item rules.

I'd allow the amulet to provide the effects of a new Remove Disease spell every round, making it effectively automatic vs regular slow-acting infections, but making it more of a nail-biter vs the fast-burrowing worms.

Scarab Sages

Hey, come on, Ernesto!

Rules aren't that important!

All my players know I pull half the game out of my ass, during the session.

Scarab Sages

The Eldritch Mr. Shiny wrote:
I even used "Seizure of Power" for the fight with the Ebon Aspect. Sweet!

I hope that's a long track; it took my lot 4 hours to beat it.

Mind you, I did bump it a bit; grappling hooks on its stumps, and rage.
They had almost no spells, but had full hp, were levels 5/6, and had Kullen's gang rappell in to help (they were guarding the exit, as the paladin had persuaded the PCs to clear out the mine for Smenk!).

Scarab Sages

The PCs have had another surprise last session.

There was an extra masked 'wizard' in the Vecna temple, dressed in the best robes, waving a wand, and mumbling, with no visible effect, although a Fiendish Ape did appear soon after...'Get the bastard!').

After getting caught in the melee, and taking a massive hit from our Dwarf Fighter/Cleric, she spotted that the 'wand' was a stick/bolt, strapped into his fist, and ignored him, much to the puzzlement of the others.

After more of his aimless running around, and getting in the way, the other Dwarf Cleric (enlarged) clotheslined him, pinned him, and pulled off his mask, to reveal his own mentor, Father Jieran of Cuthbert, gagged and vacant-eyed. NOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The cultists had dressed him in the best robes, as a decoy, after having the allip drain his Wis to 1 (the allip by this time having fled to lick its wounds). The Faceless One had mingled with the acolytes, leading to several cries of '****ing Hell, these minions are tough!'). ROFL

The acolytes and Kenku sorcerer legged it back through the maze after blowing every spell they had. The PCs retreated to cure themselves after a particularly vicious lightning bolt (DC, HOW MUCH?).
The Faceless One ran back to his lab...


"Can you smell...smoke?"

Scarab Sages

Robert Brambley wrote:

In my campaign so far:

** spoiler omitted **

That is very devious and gruesome!

Plenty for the PCs (and players) to hate them for!

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