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Liberty's Edge

One of the issues I have pondered over while running some Adventure Paths concerns the names and backgrounds of the various NPCs, especially enemies, the PCs confront over the course of their adventure. Many of the adversaries in Pathfinder adventures are very fleshed out, with unique names and backstory elements that are, if not relevant, extremely interesting in terms of the story or at least depth of world.

I'd like some advice on what other DMs have done to actually translate these various backstories and names to the PCs, in character. I feel like it is a waste to take an entire cast of adversaries with weird twists, cool names and other factors and turn them into simple fodder - which is often exactly how the PCs will encounter and forget them. A good example are the Kreegs from Rise of the Runelords (actually, a LOT of the adversaries in Rise) and some of the more monstrous beings from Reign of Winter. I've found inventive ways of naming and giving a bit of background on otherwise meet-and-kill encounters, like having the Rangers of Rannick give a brief on some of the Kreeg veterans, their names and appearances, and let the assumption that these two groups have been warring for a long time and have a sort of adversarial familiarity between each other.

I could use some pointers though for the future. What have you guys done in your games to get this information across - if at all? Knowledge (local) can sometimes work, and sometimes just telling the players the knowledge directly can pass, but I'm curious to other interesting and witty ways DMs have brought their NPCs to life. If a developer/contributer is around whom has worked on any of the Modules or APs, what is your assumption on getting the sometimes secret back stories of your villains into PC hands when you wrote them?

Liberty's Edge

Now, I get that it might seem a bit counter-productive to change the mind of the Big Boss of the entire campaign, but I would like to grab some ideas in case some great role-playing possibilities come my way. Has anyone dealt with Karzoug in a non-slaughter or seal up kind of way?

Thinking along the lines of the 'using Karzoug as an ally if Mhar wakes up' line of thought, has anyone encountered a situation where your PCs have actually let him go, or even tried to redeem him in some way (or perhaps make some sort of truce)?

Brainstorming here.

Liberty's Edge

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Liberty's Edge

Possible Light Spoilers

I am currently running Rise of the Runelords, Anniversary Edition and am getting a feel for my players. This is going to be a good role playing-heavy, Golarion fluff filled game - awesome. I felt this could better be answered HERE than in the AP board, for various reasons.

Soon, my characters are going to come up against Thassilonians, Runelords and other beings whom have been hidden away from the world for 10,000 years. Some parts of the adventure prompt dialogue between them and the players (The Scribbler, the inhabitants of the Runewell, etc.) - so I'd ask these few questions to see what people have thought up to better get an idea.

How do the Runelords feel about Aroden? He was not a deity at the time of their empire, and the world was influenced greatly by the last Azlanti. Would you say his Death might be of interest to them, and possibly, could he have been alive during Thassilon i.e. could they have information on the mortal Aroden?

What would the Thassilonians have to say about the Empires of Taldor and Cheliax, especially (as big powers) and nations such as Nex and Geb?

Inquiring about the most powerful magic users in the realm, would Tar-Baphon be worth mentioning, and again, what might a Runelord do in regards to the sealed Lich - leave him be or try and find an alliance there?

Just looking for feedback on some thoughts before I get to that point.

Liberty's Edge

Ok, don't laugh. You must discuss.

So, what if my incredibly high level Wizard somehow makes it to the top of Heaven's peaks and into that little garden at the summit...let's assume all guardians and puzzles have either been defeated or otherwise disabled...

And I decide to take out my copy of the Pnakotic Manuscripts (or whatever warped tome), and the strange meta-magic'd staff of Planar Binding, or Gate, or similar gadget, and recite the crafted spell to SUMMON/BIND Azathoth (at the very least, let's say that spell existed outside of Call of Cthulhu d20) and I roll a natural 20.

What happens?

I must know. Bua ha ha. Do I win Pathfinder?

Liberty's Edge

Is there any art of Aroden anywhere around? I did find the picture of him creating Absalom, but that doesn't really give much details. Any of the other gods are always welcome as well, but they seem pretty well covered.

Liberty's Edge

Has any published material given a hint at this? I feel as though it did. Regardless, what are your thoughts?

I had a brainfart about a what could be in there, and I like the idea of a Shory floating city or something similar, perhaps keeping the Hurricane going or taking advantage of its presence. Probably something very big and important that a party might need to find a way to get to.

Looking for other ideas on this.

Liberty's Edge

Any word on a Pathfinder Campaign Setting soft-cover on Galt, like Land of the Linnorm Kings? I would pay lots of frickin money for that one.

Liberty's Edge

Now, I'm running a campaign that is currently moving crosscountry in southeastern Cheliax, across the plains and forests to the east and north of the Brackle River. How populated is this land, and how policed is it? I'm curious what random monsters could fit into this area, and I think that would depend heavily on how far the reach of the guards and the Hellknights went. They still have a good amount of overland travel to do, and I'm trying to find the right fit of hazards, encounters and enemies to throw at them without relying too heavily on "Bandit Ambush!", heh. Any ideas?

Liberty's Edge

My campaign is going to be featuring the Dreamlands in a pretty big way. Has anybody else used Lovecrafts Dreamlands in a Pathfinder game, in a large or small way? How did you go about it? How did travel work, what random encounters did you use, did the Players go bodily or did they go there in dream, etc.?

Just curious if I can pull some good ideas or input.

Liberty's Edge

Thoughts on how you could do a massive Epic, in the spirit of the LoTRs using Pathfinder...

Just considering how well the Whispering Tyrant fills a similar role to Sauron, but with his own awesome flavor. Anyone else ever feel inspired to take that a step further and run a Pathfinder take on the LoTRs theme? Considering how Golarion is filled with other World Shaking Evils and plots and dramas that don't have anything to do with the Whispering Tyrant and the flavor of the world in general, I think it would be a nice premise - certainly a larger scale then most of the adventure paths give.

Anyone have this thought or would like to give some ideas?

Liberty's Edge

Upon achieving 20th level, your rapport with the heavens grants you perfect harmony with the universe. You receive a bonus on all saving throws equal to your Charisma modifier. You automatically stabilize if you are below 0 hit points, are immune to fear effects, and automatically confirm all critical hits. Should you die, you are reborn 3 days later in the form of a star child, who matures over the course of 7 days (treat as the reincarnate spell).

What exactly is a star child? Is that a shining child monster, a normal child that grows into an adult in 7 days or some unique thing yet to be defined? A friend of mine was thinking about this subclass and I wanted to get some clarity.


Liberty's Edge

This is a custom campaign I'm running out of the Baltimore area. My first go into Pathfinder. First parts are prologue, and I'm writing it short-story style as we go along. So far, we have had three game sessions. The first part is based in the same area as Plague of Shadows (Pathfinder Tales novel), to take advantage of the first-hand novel descriptions the book offered. I don't mind comments of criticisms, but I have taken certain liberties on description based upon lack of information or having not found that information myself.

Prologue Part 1

11th of Sarenith, 4711 AR, Absalom

The Pathfinder Grand Lodge, Foreign Quarter

Shevala Iorae flexed her fingers around a tightly bound scroll of vellum, find an outlet of release for her anxiety in the least obvious way possible. As one of the newer Venture Captains working from the Grand Lodge of the Pathfinder Organization itself, Iorae had until recently felt a childlike excitement and awe when called to meet with the masked Decemvirate. Recently, however, Iorae had been indirectly scandalized by the behavior of former Pathfinder Eando Kline, and that excitement of participating in a grand and wonderful adventure had morphed into the uncomfortable sense of being scrutinized by her fellow Venture Captains and the unreadable Decemvirate council themselves.

Iorae was determined to force a reevaluation of her character from her peers, and she realized to prove her standing as a gifted archaeologist, she would need to bring something to the Lodges' attention that would make the action of Kline yesterdays news. The message in her hands might be that something, and she knew the Decemvirate would be paying attention to the subject of the scroll.

The parchment had arrived earlier that day by messenger-eagle from Yanmass in Taldor, and Iorae had called to meet with the Decemvirate as soon as she finished digesting the implications of the information. Needless to say, hearing about the possibility of a map located and possibly a connection to the lost Pathfinder who had rumored to have originally found that ancient relic had provoked the Decemvirate into calling her to the Lodge Hall that very same day, an unusual move for the traditionally bureaucratic and sluggish council.

Iorae was escorted through the massive relief-carved wooden doors to the Decemvirates' Chamber, and though Iorae had come to them on countless previous occasions, the gold-and-silver laced pillars that formed a star-like shape amid the checkerboard floor of the chamber still awed her with their renditions of terrible and awesome history, heroes and deities. Iorae sucked in her breath, and relaxed.

Iorae stepped before the great and curved silverwood table and felt relieved to find only two of the 10 governing Decemvirate council-members waiting for her respectful address of "Your Most Honored Captains, Shevala Iorae wishes to address the Council of the Decemvirate."

A magically-clouded but obviously female voice erupted from behind one of the stylized silver masks that adorned both of the hooded and robed council-heads; it sounded as if the woman (if a woman it indeed was) was gargling sandpaper.

"Captain Iorae, we have been given copies of your message by Valsin as forwarded by you and we appreciate your haste in bringing this to the councils attention. The Decemvirate agrees that the information is worthy of further investigation, and we have granted you the right to proceed accordingly. Send Pathfinder Eilson in Andrast a mission briefing and a stipend of Taldan crowns for her use."

Iorae blanched. She hadn't expected this to go over so smoothly, without her arguing the validity of the admittedly vague lead about the location of an artifact long thought lost along with the Pathfinder whom had been searching for it. This was...refreshing. Perhaps the Decemvirate were finally considering her worthy of respect again. She smiled ever so slightly, a sense of good-feeling returning to her heart. As if on cue, to remind her of that unsettling rumor that the council could pick the thoughts from someones skull on a whim, the other masked figure stood up from its chair and continued where the former had left off.

"We of the Council have not forgotten your prodigal nature, Captain Iorae, and we realize that you punish yourself over the complications surrounding the former Pathfinder Klines resignation from the Lodge. While it is verily true that your judgement and choices of action begat that Mission, we do not rest blame upon you for the actions of Eando Kline, whose experience in the depths of the Darklands undoubtedly produced his own irrationality and paranoia. This being said, we of the council wish to give you the opportunity to redeem yourself for yourself and to your peers. This information is of particular interest to our organization, a fact that is clear you understand.", the deep voice trailed off into the darkness of the chamber.

Iorae reclaimed her businesslike manner and bowed her head, "Yes, Most Revered Council, allow my appreciation for this opportunity to undertake further good works for the Lodge be demonstrated in pursuing this information to all possible ends, and to take proper course in continuing the legacy of Pathfinder Orem, if this rumored map proves to be one and the same as the reported Azlanti manuscript Orem spoke about several years ago before his disappearance in Galt."

The raspy female voice finished the conversation with a final bit of instruction, "Good. You have permission to recruit a team of skilled men and women for use in exploring these leads locally, meet with Eilson and if necessary, continue where Pathfinder Orem left off. We recommend to this group an individual of particular skill native to region your team will be working within. She has newly interned with us here in Absalom, a Kyonin Elf by the name of Tesla Zolarion. We have sent word to her and she will meet with you in the Statue Garden at the hour of midday. From there, seek out a team of recruits in the Grand Bazaar. You have your assignment, and the Decemvirate trusts in your adept capabilities to return to us a full report at first opportunity. You are dismissed, Captain."

Iorae bowed her head a final time, slipped the unused scroll into one of the many pockets of her coat, and walked from the Decemvirates chamber with a head slightly higher.

She would not fail, and she would make sure that her name was spoken of in reverence on the lips of scholars and explorers for centuries to come - that is, if this information even proved true, and if it did, the implications raised by long lost Orem also proved true. A map, said to lead to a treasure far greater then mere gold or information, something merely hinted at in old stories about the Shori, and vast hidden storehouses of Azlanti artifacts nestled beneath unwholesome temples in the darkest depths of untamed Garund. To find the beginning of this mystery, she would need a team of adventurers cut above the average, and Iorae knew that only in Absalom could that sort of character be found.