Darl Quethos

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber. 63 posts (332 including aliases). 1 review. No lists. No wishlists. 2 aliases.


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I've managed to convince my girlfriend that she should give Pathfinder a try. Her conditions being that we start out by running a solo adventure, and that said solo adventure be a horror adventure. She's an English literature postgraduate and loves Gothic themed horror, fantasy and sci-fi. It would be wonderful if someone has some ideas on what would make for a good pre-made short lvl 1 horror adventure, which potentially could tie in to a longer adventure. I've been GM'ing for 10 years, so adjusting the difficulty down to 1 PC should be easy, but I'm having difficulties finding an adventure with the right feel for just one PC and time constraints don't allow me to create an adventure from scratch at the moment.

Another slight challenge I'm having is that she is blind. She is able to see contrasts on screens, so she can read with a large font/zoomed in, inverse color scheme and such, but not anything on real life paper, and it would be difficult for her to find the correct sections of her sheet on a normal character sheet. Does anyone know of some good tools or digital character sheets which would be of help to a blind player? She uses an iPad or her phone for reading non-work related shorter texts and knows little about using technology in general beyond standard day to day use.

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1. Council of Thieves.
2. Reign of Winter.
3. Second Darkness.

I've wanted to play Reign of Winter for quite a while (and the all witching just makes it that more interesting!), but bards are my true love. Love the idea of an all bard party and I've wanted to play most of the bard archetypes I've seen.

Male Half-Elf Scholar/Bard

I'm currently leaning towards a Drow Cavern Sniper, with some alternate racial traits to get rid of light blindness and add bluff as a class skill. Get bluff and stealth that way, could get Disable Device as well through a background trait, and stuff like fairy fire would be wonderful I imagine. If someone gets some wisdom we could get disguise through a profession - a fighter with a past as a make-up artist, costume designer, actor or something along those lines :-D

I probably wouldn't go for a good aligned drow being as I find those to be quite unlikely to exist with their societal structure. Rather a neutral mercenary, driven more by her loyalty to the group than necessarily gold and glory, probably left her underground home decades ago as a result of her part in some failed plot.

Male Half-Elf Scholar/Bard

I'd love to play in such an AP - I'm taking over the GM role again in my offline group, so I'll have to see during the next two weeks or so if I would have time for another PbP, but it sounds quite brilliant. Love the concept, and submitting with a group does sound rather appealing

Generally I love being in the secretive role. Could go for some kind of Dex based build with a more rogue'ish skill set, which probably also would go quite well with a ranged build, I suppose, and light or medium armor meaning I won't call dibs on the armor the rest of the party will want as well :-D

But I'll take a closer look one of the next days. Am in the airport at the moment waiting to get home and didn't sleep all that well thanks to the fire alarm running out of batteries - it seemed to be waiting for me to fall asleep, believing it to finally be quiet before going for another loud BEEEEP!!! XD

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Google was quite helpful, but thanks :-)

The game looks very interesting. Not found a single negative review. My wife is currently working on her last exams and I'm about to have students up for exams in the courses I teach, so I don't know if I'll have the time. But I'll try and see if I can buy a PDF version of the core book and learn enough of the rules to make a submission before the submission deadline. If nothing else then the game looks interesting enough for me to try with my offline group sometime.

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I love Doctor Who! But haven't even heard of a Doctor Who roleplaying game before - which books would I need to acquire in order to be able to create a character and play the game?

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Aye - congratulations to the winners. Good entries.

Grace Saslen wrote:

Now...about that bard party...

I'm very tempted to GM something like that myself, although I won't have the time before mid-february at the earliest. If no one else starts a recrutiment thread for an all bard party and I don't post anything by late February, feel free to send a PM my way to remind me and I'll see if I have the time :-)

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I'll be submitting a cleric or druid either later today or tomorrow :-)

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Glad to be of help :-)


Winwaar wrote:

Keep in mind that depending on how long our characters have hated Gaedren, we might want to have our characters have some adventuring equipment. At least, that's the justification I'm going with for some of Aerel's more exotic purchases. xD

Good point as well and I quite agree. Marvel bought a few items directly related to that - his longbow was more of a hobby, but he bought the armour once he learned of Gaedren and he has an airbladder for exploring the waterways surrounding Korvosa, as well as if he should enter the sewers and such. Otherwise his journal and inkpen are probably the most useful tools in a city for chasing down leads on his daughter and remembering clues.

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Deaths Adorable Apprentice wrote:

While I cannot stand it in real life bigotry adds an interesting dynamic to a game. A foe that cannot be stopped with a blade or spell and I have found that I enjoy it.

Quite agree. The most memorable opponents/villains I've encountered tend to be bigoted and prejudiced individuals we have to fight with words, our wit and creating something akin to political alliances. The thrill of defeating a longtime villain in combat is fantastic, but at least I tend to get an entirely different and more personal enmity towards the bigots who just refuse to accept that they're wrong and are afraid of the change and challenge to their authority the PCs represent.

Deaths Adorable Apprentice wrote:

Oh and since the campaign takes place in a single city, as I understand it and if I am wrong let me know, should I assume that we will be able to find places to eat and sleep in regularly?

I've assumed that since we live in Korvosa we have our respective homes and avoided buying typical adventuring gear (even though I usually love buying obscure useful things) being as I don't see why someone living in a city should own it. Looking at other peoples' submissions it seems as though most have gone the route of their PCs having a home. If things change as the campaign progressess I assume we'll have the needed funds to buy adventuring gear :-)

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Marcus Eld wrote:

An all Bard party would be awesome!

Grace Saslen wrote:

I would love an all-bard party.

It's agreed then. Once Dragon's Demand is over we go for an all bard party! Now for finding a GM who wouldn't TPK us due to the ensuing mayhem...

Marcus Eld wrote:

I was thinking only that Trapfinding might be something needed, depending on the adventure.

Trapfinding is quite awesome. I've often looked at rogue archetypes but always end up discarding them due to the loss of trapfinding.

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Marcus Eld wrote:
I wanted to add that I will gladly roll up a different class (perhaps rogue or wizard should we have too many bards). I also left traits off since I wasn't sure if there are campaign specific traits or whatnot.

Too many bards? Impossible! I've always wanted to play in an all bard party :-D

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I'm ok with most things. Obviously if it is something like prolonged graphic sexual assaults or torture just going on and on and on the game would quickly lose its allure, but stuff like romances, prejudice and bigotry and dark and gritty scenarios can be both fun, engagging and interesting.

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How long ago did Kade return to Belhaim and how old was he when he was sent to prison? Just wondering if Bill had moved to Belhaim back when the murder occured - probably would colour his opinion on Kade somewhat.

Also noticed a slight mistake in Bill Blake's entry - I mistyped his starting gold rolls, which should be 6, 1 and 3, and I've forgotten to add background traits. Will add the traits once we've finished preparing for new year's eve. Otherwise my wife might kill me.

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And I'm all up for the phantom idea :-)

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I'll be going for a human fighter (archery focused) with the missing child (daughter) background trait. Marvel Manyshot is a lawyer by profession, divorced and has seen most of his ideals and concepts of justice been trampled upon in Korvosa, clinging desperately to the hope of finding his daughter and hopefully in the process also finding something to believe in.

I'm interested in setting up some character connection to Aerel Thelon - possibly Marvel has had some clients involved in cases Khara worked on and has been by Khara's and Aerel's place once or twice for a work related dinner? Just a quick thought. Will send a PM later once Marvel is a bit more fleshed out :-)

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Awesome! I've been wanting to play Curse of the Crimson Throne ever since I encountered Pathfinder, but our group has never gotten round to it. I'll deffinitely apply - very tempted to go for either a halfling swashbuckler, bard or ranger of some sort or a gnome illusionist.

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electricjokecascade wrote:

[dice=4d6, drop one]4d6

So 14,12,10,9,16,9

Exactly 15 point buy then, not bad.

I'll probably be going for a female fighter. Got a descent enough idea for a background story which should be ready either this evening or tomorrow evening, depending on how cooperative the girls and wife are. Have a feeling my wife will enact her own dark and gritty story if I'm still writing on the 24th :-D

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Right, I’m just writing down the first things popping into my head as I read these ideas. I’m naught but a lowly political science ph.d. student so not much room for creativity of this kind there, and therefore I don’t know if I’ll come with any input you haven’t considered yourself. But if not that, then at least I can help in regards to the interest check :-)

Idea 1

Quite like the setting itself, but it might come across as being a bit “too” bleak. Doesn’t seem like there is much of any hope of changing anything, keeping the darkness at bay, bringing back hope, getting revenge or something. Just fighting to retire doesn’t seem that catchy, unless it’s spiced a bit up – a bit like a film about Spartacus or Gladiator would less exciting, if they just kept fighting till eventually retiring.

I suspect the overarching metaplot will address that, but with the information provided that’s the feeling I get.

Idea 2

Seems very classical and get a feeling of both ancient myths (as you state yourself), the early part of Tolkien’s Silmarillion and The Time of Troubles with the following Bhaalspawn Saga. Being that classical could both be a weakness and a strength, allowing players to quickly get into character, feel at home in the setting and easily provide input to the GM, but might also be in danger of feeling too much like something done before unless the story has some unexpected twists and turns and catchy NPCs/villains.

Idea 3

Again very classical, though for different reasons and with similar strong points and potential pit falls. Personally I’d rather play in this one than idea 1 or 2 (although I’d apply to join all of them), but I love being the knight in shining armour fighting against evil.

Idea 4

This is the idea I find the most interesting – to the point that I’d both like to play in and read a campaign set in this setting. Rather reminds me of a combination of Grim Fandango, Dresden Files and a homebrewed detective campaign I ran some years ago. Really can’t think of any criticism I’m afraid being as I just find the idea too cool.

Idea 5

This one is a close second to idea 4. I would love to play something like this and again I don’t really have much criticism to offer.

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Haha! :-D

I hope you are recruited for the game. Even in the rather likely event that my submission won't be selected I'd love to read a darker game involving that PC.

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nate lange wrote:
So... you said it's going to be a darker game, right? I'm going to take my -13 point buy and build an aasimar oracle. His mother was a human prostitute. His father was an aasimar adventurer- a severe man who was fiercely proud of his celestial heritage; when he learned that my mother was pregnant he decided she didn't deserve a child of his line so he came back and beat her until she seemed to miscarry. Miraculously I survived but as a result of the traumatic and dangerously early birth I've always been clumsy and very dim witted. My best friend is a horse who looks after me as much as I look after him. More details to follow (unless you object to anything ive said so far).

Especially that bit about the horse literally had me laughing out loud. Love it.

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The dice gods hate me when I roll stats myself. Perhaps they'll be kinder if someone else rolls in my place - I'll have a go as well :-)

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I'd love to give it a shot :-)

Although we are travelling for Christmas, so I'll be offline for a few days between now and december 27th if you are planning to start right away.

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To be perfectly honest I regret handing my non-mythic players the suggested extra levels. Point buy 20 - 25ish and the suggested stat boosts are enough for a competent group.

I've had to add 2 advanced templates everywhere where it makes remotely sense, use the reworked opponents found elsewhere on this forum and rework a good few things myself to even give my PCs a challenge so far and we have reached module 5. Until now they've had 3 - 5 close calls, most of them being due to tactics/traps/hazards from my side as a GM, rather than brute force.

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As far as I remember my players managed to take the citadel in one day. The city itself they managed in 2- 3 days if my memory serves me right.

They probably would have split the first floor up into several incursions, but they attacked through Soltengrebe's lair, killing Staunton Vhane relatively early and triggering a massive combined battle. Then they utilized their monk's insane AC to sweep up the rest without spending too many resources, using him effectively as a tank and having their Holy Gun use named bullets the wizard had prepared on some bosses. They probably would have rested before going downstairs after that, but I let them find clues that the cultists were preparing some kind of ritual down below in order to destroy Drezen, so they had their NPCs heal them up and went back in again. Two of the four died, one almost twice, and the wizard went evil due to the trap, but they survived - barely and only thanks to activating the sword of valor.

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Name: Azzah
Race: Human
Classes/levels: Holy Gun, Evangelist, Gunslinger - lvl 12
Adventure: Demon's Heresy
Location: Ivory Sanctum x 2
Catalyst: Let down by her dice.

Movie plot spoiler:
The party decides not to accept Jerribeth's offer and attack her. She hits the melee Paladin for a scary amount of damage, resulting in the party's tanky monk pretty much running away, leaving the non-defense oriented PCs alone with Jerribeth. Jerribeth proceeds knocking half the party unconscious, Azzah almost kills Jerribeth with a critical hit, but Jerribeth uses a spell to regain most of her hit points and gets in a destruction on Azzah, with Azzah failing her saving throw. The rest of the party fights valiantly for a good few rounds, slowly getting rid of the mirror images and being revived by the cleric as they fall unconscious. Eventually Arueshalae, the melee paladin and the wizard manage to get rid of the mirror images, the monk decides to return (getting in about one hit on Jerribeth) and the melee paladin kills Jerribeth.

After a true resurrection and mopping up the rest of the sanctum, the party encounters Xanthir Vang. Xanthir Vang uses a simulacrum to engage the party and manages to drag out the start of the fight by a few rounds, getting up all of his round based defenses and finally tricks the party into using their most destructive attacks on the simulacrum, before finally hammering the party with damage dealing magic. Xanthir Vang is eventually located and killed (this time by the wizard JUST before teleporting away), but not before the cleric is hit by a Disintegrate, which Azzah uses her holy power to absorb and once again Azzah is naught but dust in the wind. The party teleports to a high level cleric, with the cleric using resurrection on Azzah.

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I'd be possessive of that wardstone as well, haha :-D

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Awesome wardstone! :-D

But I'm afraid you are unlikely to encounter more of them. Of course, your GM could take you in another direction than written or your group could just decide to do something outside the expected, but as written you are unlikely to encounter them again.

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Awesome, thanks folks - I shall pass on the advice regarding which class to chose to her :-)

I've been thinking along the lines of giving her some rather strong animal companion early on and then adding a cohort as the game progresses. If GM PCs enter the fray, I do indeed think it would be quite boring if there are more than the one, and that one should be something along the lines of a cleric or buffing bard, depending on which class she chooses to play.

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Hehe, aye, I'd either go for that one or someone who talks his way out of EVERYTHING if I were playing solo as well. Try out the things which are awesome but everyone would hate in a group :-)

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Greetings and salutations!

A week or so ago I mentioned to my wife that we should start a pathfinder campaign just the two of us, with me being the GM and her the player. Asking her what she wanted to play she promptly said "A pirate!" - so lo and behold, Skull & Shackles it is. She even bought herself some pirate dice.

Now, I've quite often GM'ed lengthy campaigns and from time to time also run solo games. From my experience solo game'ing can lead to exceptionally enjoyable roleplaying, character development and excitement, with the challenge being encounters and the limited skill set of one single PC (which can be offset somewhat with cohorts, GM PCs - or playing a bard or rogue).

I was wondering - has anyone played Skull & Shackles as a solo campaign and if so, what were the pitfalls and challenges? I've been trying to search the forum but can't quite seem to find any discussion on it :-)

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There are a couple of threads were this has been discussed earlier:

Advice from those who have run it before

Starting non-mythic

Tips for making this campaign harder

It is probably quite helpful to look there :-)

Personally I'm running non-mythic and used the suggestion provided in the book on how to run as such. I've only reached module 3, but so far that has resulted in too easy a game so I've applied at least an advanced template to all creatures in all encounters and more to boss battles.

Probably depends quite a bit on the party you are GM'ing but if you want to run without changing encounters I'd either skip the stat or level boost suggested for non-mythic. Personally though I rather like to incorporate the feel of mythic without actually using the mythic rules, so I prefer modifying the encounters to not making them feel special :-)

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You will meet Staunton Vhane's brother in module 2 - and it is also possible to redeem him. That this might make the encounter with Vhane's "real" brother seem more like a re-run is the only problem I see.

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I don't know how much time has passed in your campaign. In my campaign the PCs' fame is spreading and so they inspire "fanclubs" to form. Basically teenagers, young folks, former adventurers, city guards and such taking up arms, training and either setting out for Drezen or asking the PCs for funding/means of transport (of course, some con artists in amongst the monetary requests). Some of those fans could be from Mendev, if you count Mendev as being close enough by Drezen for inhabitants there to be "indigenous" (I'd say it is).

Other than that, lots of refugees from Kenabres. Drezen is the one safe place really with The Sword of Valor. The refugees know this.

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I found the first part of module 1 to be quite well balanced - it was only once my players got out from the underground that I realised I had to beef up the encounters. So I'd probably wait to max out the monster HP till they get out from underground - personally I prefer stuff like adding the advanced template to encounters, being as my group tends to lose focus if the battles last too long, unless it is a really intense and interesting battle.

Sometimes I fudge ever so slightly with the rolls, if I sense that the players don't enjoy the encounter (can both be in order to make the encounter more difficult, let the enemies fall quicker and if an epic save would make for a better story than an epic fail).

In general I value story over rules, though my players only very very rarely notice that I fudge a bit in order to keep things interesting.

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Uh! Bokrug is awesome! Very awesome, even :-D

And I shall do so - my wife went abroad this morning, leaving me and our daughter alone, so I've not done much else than run around with the little one, getting up to all kinds of mischief :-)

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What have I not added to module 3? XD

Pathfinder Society stuff (beefing up the encounters, of course):

Scars of the Third Crusade. I've moved it to Drezen (setting the pathfinders that disappear up as envoys out to set up a lodge in Drezen) and adding that the inquisitors finds the PCs to be demonic infiltrators, having stolen divine power and being in league with the demons.

The Traitor's Lodge. Also moved to Drezen.

Weapon in the Rift. Moved the tower closer to Drezen, giving the PCs the opportunity to arrange some mining and later (once the area has been cleansed of the demonic taint) set up some farming.

I've added several random events - one of the more official events being the succubus Zalmisdria and her pet dragon raiding supply boats. I'm hoping my players will decide to invade her forest and kill her - I'd love to see them forced to flee for once :-D

I've modified all of the PC's origin stories (from the traits) heavily. I've removed mythic, but I am adding some mythic elements slowly to the game. One of the characters is slowly turning into a divine being without realising it, being the one Touched by Divinity. She has started receiving prayers, believing them so far to be dreams sent by her deity instructing her to help these people.

I've also added a crazy druid which is the embodiment of an immortal intelligent inter-dimensional spaceship created by the remnants of a dying world several thousand years ago, intent on having said crazy druid accompanying them to the Worldwound, trying to cleanse the demonic taint, seemingly killing himself in the process and resurrecting all of the PC's equipment to its natural state (leather armour turning into a cow, for instance), with the equipment turning back into equipment once the PCs chase it down and slay it :-D

(said spaceship always features in one form or another in my campaigns, when my PCs discover it... they love hating it :-D )

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Haha, that would have been somewhat simpler. If only I hadn't already told them it was downhill to the West Sellen River :-D

But yes, I quite like the thought of them having to investigate something Lovecraftian in the lake. Something freaky, something scary - something they REALLY don't expect. That or Kalindra's idea is probably what I'll settle on, or even combine the two somehow.

A portal to the elemental plane of water would be fun as well, but there is no saying what would come out of it O_O

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I also thought for a while that that was where Aroden drove Deskari's avatar and looked it up - it was into "The Lake of Mists and Veils". With all these lake names, I'm starting to wonder whether there is any place on Golarion people just can go for a normal swim without fearing for their lives :-D

Wrath of the Righteous:
And I quite like that idea of yours with the glyphs and temple. I'll PM you a bit later (just on the way out) to get more details:-)

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We've slowly started module 3. Well, technically we won't switch to me as a GM for a few weeks, but the players are so excited that they write to me constantly, telling me what their PCs do and are asking tons of questions :-)

One player is particularly invested, using pretty much all of his wealth to rebuild Drezen, investing in stuff such as the Lyre of Building and setting up production facilities to ensure that all of the refugees are able to make a living - he effectively wants to eradicate poverty before it becomes a problem.

The first task he wishes to complete is returning water to the dried up rivers surrounding Drezen. By studying the maps I've provided them, he reasons that the closest source of water which can be persuade to come by Drezen (and which was the likely source of water to begin with) is The Lake Lost to the Sun.

I've been trying to research, but can't find any other source of water close by, unless they buy a few Endless Decanters of Water or something.

Now, my problem is that I can't really find any information on The Lake Lost to the Sun, other than this bit from the Pathfinder Campaign Setting book on The World Wound:

"The Lake Lost to the Sun: The Lake Lost to the Sun was a grim place even before the demons came-a large narrow body of water with unusually still , dark waters of an unknown depth , said to be the lair of particularly aggressive and unusually intelligent water orms. The lake's dark waters look nearly black even under the noonday sun and have a curious habit of reflecting the image of an overcast sky even on sunny days. The druids of the Green Faith avoided the lake , believing that intruding upon the ancient , primordial nature spirits found there would cause them to rise up and defend those dark waters . The lake's dark reputation persists to this day, and even demons do not frequent this area . What strange and ageless source lies at the lake's bottom still remains a mystery."

Soe - does anyone know of any other source of information on the place, know or dare to speculate on the "strange and ageless source" at the lake's bottom, or should I perhaps just let them find some underground river they could divert? I'm not sure I'd dare to lead water from that place past Drezen, even if I could cleanse the abyssal taint somehow :-)

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Getting one level for every second time they get a mythic tier is more than enough. I'd even be tempted to not give them any level boost at all, but that might make some of the boss fights too difficult unless you nerf them somewhat, depending on how the party performs.

If I were to do things over again I'd go with Tangent's suggestion, providing them a gradual ability boost rather than getting all of the suggested boost at the end of module 1, going for a normal point buy 15'ish and granting them an extra level at every second mythic trial or so :)

Some of the things I've done so far which I quite like is to grant my players leadership, but as part of the story. They gradually receive reinforcements, some tied to backstories, some in the form of fanmail. People from other countries, as time goes by further and further away, hear of their exploits, write to them, train, some ask for weapons, some for a way to travel to Drezen, and after some time they arrive. Some will be decent enough fighters, others totally green, requiring the PCs to train them some more.

I'm also incorporating VERY select mythic abilities very slowly. For instance one of the players (with the touched by divinity trait) has started to receive a "dream" of a small thiefling girl, stuck at the home of a "bad man" in the Worldwound praying for help. That's pretty much the Divine Source ability gradually being introduced, with other abilities being introduced to other players ever so slowly and through a story rather than just appearing mechanically.

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I'd say it depends on how experienced your players are and how optimized the group is. With my group we have been playing for between 8 and 2 years (those playing for more than 2 years have spent up to 6 years on 4th edition) and I'm sort of starting to regret that I both allowed them to start with around point buy 25 stats and gave them the stat boosts suggested for non-mythic play. I've had to boost the difficulty of most encounters a good deal, changing tactics from what is written, applying lots of advanced templates, combining encounters and replacing some opponents here and there. And that's without hero points or anything along those lines.

Don't get me wrong! I quite like modifying, but if you have decent players you might have to modify a bit too much if you boost them, especially if you have limited time to prepare.

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Goody good, thanks. I've been thinking along those lines myself as well, and also though perhaps locating the weapon from this pathfinder society adventure: http://pathfinderwiki.com/wiki/Weapon_in_the_Rift closer to Drezen might be an idea, being as that would give them a slightly larger area in which to perhaps have some mining operations and later some possible farming.

I'm going to let them partially cleanse the area surrounding Drezen, with the help of a crazy druid who in the process kills himself, thus resulting in quite some research being needed before the process can be repeated in other areas of the Worldwound, perhaps a few years after the conclusion of the campaign.

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I'm curious being as I'm currently adding stuff to the hexploration section myself - how did you manage to let your player claim some of the territory, being as the territory is quite without defences and the demons can teleport in whenever? :-)

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Camrad's player actually offered to buy the d20, haha :D

I've used the same dice ever since I started playing 7 years ago. Although I did have one PC once in 4th edition which we jokingly said had "crits every other hit" as a class feature, that dice has never done THAT before :D

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Ehm, not trying to hijack the thread or anything, but we just had the strangest session which pretty much was exactly the opposite of what I planned.

Camrad - Human monk of Iomedae with a vow of silence, rigid bloke, very LAWFUL good, sort of makes the paladins seem relaxed and chaotic.
Azzah - Holy Gun, Gunslinger, Evangelist of Sarenrae. Tries to redeem everything and everyone, very high charisma, loved by everyone.
Plank Tsinatra (yeah, I know XD) - Wizard who has been redeemed from CE to CG, converted to Desna in Arueshala's cell, very much a prankster, the party's walking library.
Sir Fumble - Aasimar Paladin of the ideal of paladinhood. Naive, young and charges anything.
Jestak the Barbarian NPC

We start by entering the corruption forge under Citadel Drezen. They were fully buffed expecting a boss fight with the Ravener I previously mentioned and the shadow demon.

To their disappointed they only saw four advanced salamanders. Not much else to do than attack. Azzah starts shooting and Plank sends of one of his two remaining fireballs, turning it into a coldball. The Salamanders almost but not quite die.

Camrad being the acrobatic monk buffed up to 33 AC jumps off the balcony and charges the salamanders. He doesn't hit them. Now the salamanders on the other hand - I have never in my life rolled this well. Crit, crit, crit and crit with x 3 to the crit damage. Confirming again and again and again and again against his 33 AC. My mouth dropped to the floor as Camrad went down. Until then he had been hit a total of 6 times during the entire run of the citadel.

The party kills the Salamanders, checks the left and right room, finds nothing. Now they go for the double doors.

Kiranda the succubus has previously managed to escape, so she is in the room with Chorussina. I expect a tough fight because I have given everyone advanced templates, added a few spell slots to Chorussina and allowed her to buff herself fully before they enter.

Azzah crits against Kiranda. She dies.
Sir Fumble and Jestak kill the schir demons and the Ankylosaurus I had Chorussina summon. This they manage 3 rounds. They took a good deal of damage from lightning bolts and the dinosaur, but nothing major.

Azzah enters the room and tries to get through Chorussina's 5 mirror images and displacement. She doesn't. Chorussina throws the surprise, hammers up a wall of force between Azzah and the party. Azzah is running out of grits, she is doomed, I believe. That is until the wizard uses a magic item to summon an earth elemental, which earth glides in and manages to grab Chorussina. 5 mirror images and many misses later she is dead.

Me being the generous GM add in a raise dead to the loot and the players get Staunton Vhane's brother to cast it on Camrad. After almost all of the party wands and cure potions are gone they go back down again, this time entering the Hall of Deception, the one with the altered phantasmal killer trap.

The party is wary, not quite convinced it isn't a trap, but move slowly up towards the illusory Sword of Valor. They trigger the trap. Azzah manages her will save, Jestak, Sir Fumble and Camrad as wel. Plank the wizard and walking library fails it. He proceeds to also failing the fortitude saving throw, goes unconscious, gains psychosis and CE.

I take the player outside, inform him of this and that Plank now plots the other PCs downfall. He mumbles "oh no" and laughs.

We go inside again, the other players heal him up and then ask him what happened. He is the resident walking library, remember, they don't have the skills. He lies to them and says that it just was a weak version of phantasmal killer.

The party moves on to the Gauntlet of Ruin, the pit with green slime and the illusory floor 10 feet down, hiding the other 30 feet of the fall.

Camrad's player laughs, proclaiming "10 feet, hah! I jump down with my awesome acrobatics, of course!".

My mouth drops to the floor again, I look at him and say "Sorry, man..."

And inform the party that Camrad seems to fall through the floor.

This time I ask Camrad's player to come outside. I tell him what he sees, tell him that the green slime seems to be eating through his equipment and is starting to burn through his skin. I inform him that Camrad doesn't see a way to get out of the pit on his own, and that he can shout for help explaining what happens without thereby breaking his vow.

The other PCs shortly thereafter for the first time ever hear a high pitched womanish voice coming from the big strong male monk, shouting for help and informing them that some green slime is disintegrating his (non-magic) gear and burning his skin.

Plank, who has gotten psychosis, manages his check. He knows exactly what is happening. He knows exactly what green slime is. He knows exactly how to save Camrad. His player informs me via Skype to tell the others that Plank is unable to figure out what is happening. No one else has the necessary knowledge skills to identify green slime.

I watch in horror as they first try getting him up with a rope - well, he is covered in green slime, the rope is burnt up as he touches it. By the time Camrad remembers that he has gaseous form and can fly up he has lost has taken 6 constitution damage. And the others just don't figure out how to get the green slime of him. I had ruled that while in gaseous form Camrad did not take damage, being as the green slime much like the clothes and equipment changed state with him. He decides to enter gaseous form again. He knows the once he leaves it, he takes damage and dies. He debates with himself where to go, almost deciding on the desecrated temple to Iomedae upstairs so he can die "in her presence" before I remind him that it is, indeed, desecrated. He then decides just to leave the citadel, go outside, see the sky and sun a last time, and goes. We do the math, he manages to get outsided before running out of ki points for gaseous form - and I take his player outside again.

I inform him that Camrad survived. As soon as he left gaseous form, the green slime seemed to wither and die. The green slime dies in sunlight. He survived with 1 constitution.

Now back to the rest of the party, as far as they know Camrad is quite dead. They decide to move on, I ask them for perception checks and not a single one spots the traps. Sir Fumble fails the DC and is knocked into the pit with the green slime.

Azzah and Jestak watch in horror, while a sly smile enters Plank's lips. He does his best, he really does his best, trying to convince Azzah that he should put cloud walk on her so she can go down and get Sir Fumble up. She doesn't want to, doesn't see the point when she can't carry him (charisma and dex based) - which is exceptionally good for her, being as Plank's player had informed me that he was planning on deactivating cloud walk once she was over the pit.

Plank then flies down (informing them that unfortunately he can only move 10 feet a round - it is 20) and watches as Sir Fumbles dies.

At this point Azzah and Plank decide to flee with Jestak, and they are greeted by a Camrad looking pretty much like death himself, but still alive.

For the rest of that evening, the cleric NPCs need to prepare restoration, so they decide to sleep, they all fail their sense motive checks. I grow desperate and allow some of the major NPCs to make some as well - and Plank's player informs me that Plank, who carries the Pauper's Tighbone, hardly can move due to they weight it places on him.

Sosiel notices that something strange is going on, informs Azzah that Plank is behaving oddly. Camrad succeeds his perception check and notices that Plank is hardly moving and looks as though he is carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders. I inform both PCs of what they see outside, but they quickly put two and two together, I roll to see if Arvashniel had prepared dimensonal anchor and they use it to pin Plank down, use restoration to help him manage a new will save and Plank no more wishes to kill the party, but is quite depressed by Sir Fumble's death.

Either way - the party sleeps, prepares spells, buffs and goes down once more.

Finally, finally! I think to myself, they are going to fight this awesome ravener of mine. Oh yeah, battle of the ages, buh yeah!

Azzah wins initiative. She crits. She confirms. She one shots my beautiful ravener.

Eustoryiax leaves the ravener and manages to possess Plank. Plank blasts the party and himself with a fireball. Plank is grabbed by Camrad. Eustoyriax leaves Plank and manages to use shadow evocation to cast detonate, knocking Plank unconscious. The party rolls badly, does some minor damage to Eustoyriax, who again manages to use detonate, killing Plank and knocking Azzah down to one HP.

I decide it is a good moment to vividly describe (again) how beautiful the Sword of Valor is hanging behind the shadow demon, and oh how they understand why such a thing of beauty could protect the entire city. Camrad manages to catch my sledge hammer hint, gets up to it, activates it and they summon the Herald of Iomedae. The herald heals Azzah and helps them turn the tide, hanging around long enough to raise their friends.

But man. I have /never/ before been this wrong about how a session would go... my beautiful ravener...

*Edit, now that I think of it, perhaps I have once been more wrong. When one of my players managed to wipe out an entire race of potential allies and destroyed a large chunk of a city I had spent 52 hours drawing...

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

In some cases it has been very painful. Enervation from the Nabasu in the broken chapel - it almost killed them. Especially because I decided to ignore the tactics as written for the Nabasu. They survived due to lucky dice. Overall lucky dice have played a huge role so far and the Magus in the party had a bright idea, creating Named Bullets for the Holy Gun paladin before entering Citadel Drezen, basically allowing them to destroy the more dangerous enemies before they had the chance to act more than once.

In general our party has a tendency to play without clerics yet we seem to survive. In RotRL one of the players is a druid and I play a bard (and I have ignored every cure spell there is), the others are a gunslinger and barbarian. We have played two campaigns with a cleric during the 7 years I have played, yet only one TPK. The players were idiots and I was the GM, I had no way to save them from themselves.

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Auch, I hadn't considered that. Two of the players are paladins in my campaign (or, well, one of them is a bit of a mixture of all kinds of stuff, but basically functions like a paladin) so they have some healing, but probably not enough. Neither using mythic, so I should keep my eyes open on how to solve that potential problem.

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I expect they will run into problems sometimes thanks to not having a cleric, but mostly they manage thanks to the large amounts of loot in this campaign. They just buy all the wands they lay their eyes on and plenty of scrolls and potions. Though I can see some entire modules where they might be in problems, depending on how they play - module 4 and 5, for instance.

An abyssal wyrm (or woundwyrm, whatever Paizo calls them) would indeed be a nice one :D I've also been wondering over when might be a good idea to use the succubus Zelmisdria and the green dragon Azrivauxus, their section in the Worldwound campaign setting intrigued me.

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I did a few things in the citadel to spice things up. My PCs decided to enter from Soltengrebbe's den, the tower, and so pretty much started by figuring out that Chorussina was trying to destroy the entire city. I made a minor change, resulting in them getting the impression that it could be any moment Chorussina managed to complete her ritual. As a result, they opted to clear out the entire citadel in one run, no sleep, they don't have a cleric, and during the run they spent their last healing wands and potions.

Add in an advanced template for every creature, that I combined some encounters and they actually were challenged from time to time, but only one of them went unconscious. In the end they opted to buff their monk's AC up to 33, and then just threw him into rooms with low CR creatures, figuring that lower level creatures would need a crit 20 to hit him. This saved them some HP. I also decided to roleplay some encounters being as I sensed the party would lose interest if I didn't change pace, but they didn't save much HP that way.

Unfortunately we stopped right before the Corruption Forge, so I won't know before next session how the rest of my changes will go down. Chorussina will, as you suggest, already have her buffs up.

As for Eustoyriax - I made one major change. Very major. My PCs were very intrigued once they learned that Aponavicious had a red dragon. And disappointed when their PCs read that she had died. When I saw how disappointed they were I made an on the spot addition. Their disappointed changed to horror, when I "read" them the change I had made. The red dragon died, but it rose again. It seemed to have lost all intelligence and was quite unable to cast spells, and was more clumsy than one would expect, but it rose. And Eustoyriax likes to possess the remains of the dragon.

Basically I took an Adult Red Dragon, gave it the Ravener template and removed its ability to cast spells and fly. Eustoyriax will be possessing it once my party arrives, and my party is low on resources <insert evil laughter here>

(if the party is getting smashed I'll (after some time) drop some hints letting them figure out that they can summon a planetar with the Sword of Valor, and the creature answering their call will be the Herald of Iomedae)

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