Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
In reading through the module, I felt the town's reactions were way under-sold for the amount of mayhem the party would likely create. They straight-up murdered the tanner and the old couple. Only the directive from the Archbarron about "still wanting a town to rule" prevented another mass murder at the Last Stand tavern. I re-worked the deputies encounter; 4-on-1 in the deputies' favor. Waited for the party to split up (WHY do they ALWAYS split up?) and caught one at a shop. The deputies put a hood over the PCs head (not before he saw them, though), bound him, took his stuff, told the PC he smelled like the tannery, and they knew what he did, then left him in the pillory with a sign that read "GUILTY" draped over his neck.
Any mobs of villagers will be in violation of the decrees, so the anger would have to be pretty high to justify it. Maybe I'll decide to have the townsfolk take up a secret collection to hire some do-gooders to run the party out of town.
I DM'd for my group this past weekend, and we started this AP.
Cleric who wants to control undead; magus; inquisitor; gunslinger; ninja.
Cimri gathered her team at the Ash House the morning of the caper. She told them to not make themselves conspicuous in town, and to meet about a mile west of town at midnight. Her local friend (Casey, the gunslinger) went straight to Jabral and asked for a day job, for which he was paid a whole gp. Jabral had employed the young lad in the past, and thought he'd make a good apprentice, if he stuck to it. Besides, Abbie loved the young man.
It was a cold slap in the face when Casey realized it was Jabral's place they were robbing. But he noticed Cimri held her sap and not her blades, so he hoped the job would go off with no deaths. Turns out he could not keep Abbie from barking and alerting Jabral. The other party members - having no ties to the dog - hacked at her viciously. With tears in his eyes, he moved in ended her barks and attacks on his fellow robbers. Jabral locked himself in his office, cursing the day he ever trusted Casey. The door was forced open and Casey was the first through. He caught sight of the rage, betrayal and fear in Jabral's eyes as the tanner shot Casey with a heavy crossbow. The gunslinger returned fire, but left the building while his fellows waded in for the kill. During the search of the office the "potters" showed up with their nightly haul. They were surprised to see Casey, but he convinced them everything was fine and they should finish their delivery. Once inside the compound the gate was closed behind them and the inquisitor shot the old man down. The old potter wife cradled her husband in her arms and pleaded to Casey "Please! Help us!" "It will be all right", Casey said, as he pointed his pistol at her.
I think this nearly broke the player of the gunslinger.
I will start this AP with my player group in the morning. We picked up this one after a TPK in the 4th book of Carrion Crown. It ought to be an interesting ride, to see where they go with evil PCs.
Casey - Gunslinger. Local to the starting area.
Most of the posts I've seen on Windy Escape come from 2012 to 2014, and state that since the spell is an immediate action it does not provoke an attack of opportunity. However, when I read on spell casting and AoO, it says spells that require only a free action do not provoke.
So, it would seem to me that casting this spell to avoid taking damage would in fact invite free hits from in-range attackers. I don't think that is the intention, but is that the way it works out?
I'm playing a bard that can use Improved Dirge of Doom, perform as a move action, and have several ways to demoralize (skill use, Dazzling Display, Blistering Invective). There is a high probability the demoralize will stick for more than a round.
I'd like to run off different scenarios, and ask for feedback on correct outcomes.
B) What if the actions are switched? Standard action demoralize, then move action IDoD? Does this create the frightened condition?
C) Full action dazzling display; next round start IDoD. Does this create the frightened condition?
What I'm hoping to achieve to help my party in combat is to create crowd control with a fear effect, with the skills and feats I've chosen. I've considered replacing demoralize with the fear spell. This would start with IDoD, then the fear spell; so opponents would either fail the save and be panicked for multiple rounds, or else receive a 2nd shaken, causing fear for one round. The problem with the fear spell is it's indiscriminant; affecting allies in its cone as well as enemies.
Hrm, interesting. So a druid at level 8 could rarely be seen in their natural form again. My druid player will be pleased; I told him only 8 hours total at 8th, with 3 changes. I think I'll still require he revert to his race form between changes - close the circuit, so to speak.
Thank you for taking the time to reply.
I've tried looking for an answer on this, and perhaps I'm over-thinking the wording of the ability. The Wildshape class feature says "The effect lasts for 1 hour per druid level, or until she changes back." "A druid can use this ability an additional time per day at 6th level and every two levels thereafter,..." until they reach unlimited uses at 20th.
So my question is how long can they stay in Wildshape? At 6th, do they get 2 wildshape sessions for up to 12 hours; 24 hours with 3 sessions at 8th? Or at 6th do they get to use up to 6 hours of wildshape, with 2 shape changes; 8 hours with 3 changes at 8th, etc?
I know the first book is rather open ended and sand-boxy, but as players we approached it from the mindset of "We want off this island, and get on with why we were travelling to Eledar in the first place." As such, we did not do a full explore. Through heal checks and heal spells we saved all NPCs and had only one PC death.
Just a thought to add, but what if the backgrounds are not so different? Rather, to play on the idea that it is HER that is the opposite, Ailaun has the same background, but it is her Choices that make her who she is. These choices could eventually lead to different outcomes
The father of her child stays; the baby is not born a monstrocity; she is the champion/protector of Sandpoint, not its destroyer.
Personally I see the decision to destroy the tomes as a player decision, and not a Paladin fiat. While some characters (and not just Pallies) could have reason to destroy the tomes, it's also very reasonable to see the books as tools to learn about evil, so that evil can be confronted and defeated. If he has concerns about how the books will be used I could see a stalwart champion of good interviewing the recipients, or investigating them, to learn of their past, and theorize about their intentions. Nothing gets the point across like a heavily armored and armed man with a decent Charisma handing over a book and saying "Ensure that I never have cause to regret handing this to you."
So, Gibs has been jailed for his role in defacing the Harrowstone memorial, and the murder of one person. Now that he can no longer do the will of The Splatter Man, the ghost must choose another to carry out his work. Has anyone played in a game (player, or DM) where a party member was selected as a pawn? If so, how did it work out?
The pinned condition and the helpless condition both use the word "bound" in their description. While helpless says they have an effective Dex of "0" and pinned only denies a Dex bonus (if any). Pinned lowers AC by 4, while helpless applies a +4 to melee attacks. There are similarities, but the biggest difference is how the Dex is handled.
It goes back and forth; even within APs. My understanding of the two terms is that a railroad requires events to happen almost in sequence (go here, do this; go there do that...), where a sandbox offers an area that has events, encounters, challenges, to be met in any order the adventurers choose.
Though the shipwreck is a railroad plot point, the premise of the story should have a reason for each of the characters to be headed for Eleder. Ieana's actions should prompt a vengeful or justified response (get her, for what she did, or capture her to take her to face justice when we get off this island). You are correct that each of the NPCs has an single affiliation, and each of these affiliations could have a stake in going on to Saventh Yhi. The reasons to go could be anything from "yes, I want to go." to "Yes, I'm willing to be hired to go."
All that said, the gentleman's agreement all participants in APs have with the AP is that the players are willing to accept the APs big plot points in order to advance the story.
The gory details:
Long before one player declared she wanted to switch characters (Really?? You just made 2nd level!!) The town fight with Gibs was set up. As Gibs was a devout woman hater, he would likely have targeted her in the first place. With the choice made I really saw no need to hold Gibs back. Fortune smiles on the prepared, and when the party confronted Gibs, the lady gunslinger was the first to run up. Gibs grappled and pinned her to the ground. The rest of the party moved in but Gibs threatened to kill her if they did not back off. Though they all stepped back at least 5 feet, they would not leave as demanded, and one fighter (why did I agree to chaotic neutral??) took a step up. That was all Gibs needed as an excuse, and he performed a coup de grace. 2 days later the next "mysterious stranger" showed up at Kendra's home.
What I have found in running APs and playing in APs is that if all things remain the same, and the party number increases, then:
All said, the risk increases to the party as the story progresses, I've found. More people that are lower than expected in level and item strength means less hits, fewer saves, more damage taken, less ability to heal, less access to higher level spells, etc. etc.
My solution includes increasing encounter numbers and adding in or beefing up "elite" enemies with gear the party can make use of. This has the benefits of providing that XP the party needs to advance, balances the action economy, and the gear keeps individuals on par with enemy strength. Mind you, this makes the whole AP a lot more work for the DM, for adding to encounters and keeping things challenging without TPKing the players. If you are a first time DM, I feel for you, but it's a great challenge to bend an existing work to your will, and make a fun game for all!
You gain Natural Armor +1, but movement reduced by 5'.
I would second the intimidate skill. Dumping CHA can be useful, but man! does it hurt the fighter's intimidation. This can be offset with skill focus and/or intimidating prowess, magic items, and such; each has its own costs.
Thanks all for the excellent feedback! With our 2nd session coming up this weekend, I am finalizing events that will require attention before they attempt the prison. I've decided to use the professor as a haunt at Kendra's home, and a more active apparition at the prison. If they play their cards right they can ease him into the next world, and be rewarded for their efforts.
I have just started DM-ing this AP for a 5-man group: my son, two of his friends, a friend of the family and his God-son. Group consists of:
Some people changed their races to Human after being forewarned about the initial suspicions in Ravengro. It was not my intent to force the change, but they decided to change, rather than deal with the extra burden. The two others? Well, after one session I haven't really focused on their race as a factor, but with the town on edge from weird happenings the whole party will get blamed as either culprits or causes, and the half-orc will be cast in the worst light, along with any that associate with him. He better put his big-boy pants on, and learn to deal with it. Class-wise, the summoner has not summoned his eidolon in town yet, though he has made creepy comments like the Whispering Way cult sounding like "His kind of people".
There is only one adult who I'd consider an experienced gamer. My son and his friends seem to approach role-play from a Battlefield / Gears of War / Call of Duty style, and are more "YOLO Hashtag SWAG!". Times past when I'd introduced them to tabletop role-play we've had to rewind a scenario or two, as when they approach the gates of a fort they thought it funny to say "HAIL the Enemy!"...right up until they captured and thrown into holding cells. In this game so far there is a lot of "I do what I want" silliness and if it keeps up the good people of Ravengro will start sharpening their pitchforks and re-soaking their torches.
Next session is in 10 days, and though only 3 days have passed in town, the cleric is already wanting to go to the prison. My DM style is often as a player advocate, so I don't want to either kill the party with encounters they aren't ready for, or make those areas like CandyLand. Perhaps events in town will require more of their attention, or some other side quest will pull them back from the prison until they level once.
I actually hate when BBEG aren't played as smart and cunning as they should be.
This.In a recent battle with BBEG of book four from a certain AP, party goes against BBEG who is a caster. Party stumbles head-first into his lair, that is laid out to his advantage, with mooks, terrain, etc. 3 rounds into combat, our cleric casts silence on a crossbow bolt, and a ranged attacker fires it into the caster. The caster spent the few remaining seconds of his life moving away from us, and relying on a couple of supernatural abilities and non-verbal, weaksauce spells. Even as his enemy I kept thinking "Why doesn't he just pull out the bolt, toss it away (like, at our caster!), and rain death upon us?"
Hate is too strong a term to use for a friend, but man! was I disappointed in that battle. And not because of the BBEG abilities, but his actions; which came from the DM. The DM "mea culpa" d next session, but by that point it was of no consequence to the previous sessions unfulfilling ending.
I think I read at one point that Petros stipulated that he receive no resurrection should he die, but I can't locate the source. It makes sense for the plot arc of the module, and lends a couple of extrapolations. First, that Petros worshiped (or at least held the beliefs of ) Pharasma. If I go down this path, knowing that The Lady of Graves may allow a spirit to visit family briefly before moving on, we have a good lead into the party investigating his murder. Or, if I emphasize that he was the last person killed on an already haunted site (and by a spell that literally scares the victim to death), then his soul's fate could take an ironic twist as a restless spirit that now haunts the area. His ghost could either return to his home and haunt Kendra, or it could remain at the site of his murder, to be encountered by those who approach the prison. This could be a decent side-quest, to put his spirit to rest.
I find the missing data on space/reach for the Dire Boar to be funky silly. The standing rule is if not specified, then the creature is considered space 5' /Reach 5'. Imagine all the Dire Boars across Golarion trying to fit their 10-foot frames into a 5-foot space. Maybe they should be granted Spring Attack or Lunge as a free feat.
Loot: It's a razor-sharp, 2-edged sword, that has existed in games of this nature pretty much from their inception. Some game systems will try to mitigate the issue by focusing enhancements on the characters; others will simply not have items that scale up the user's power, but instead are 1-shot items, or situational in nature ("only with the Magic MacGuffin will you be able to pass The Portal of No Passing to meet your nemesis, and your destiny!"). But the idea of obtaining more and better gear has been drilled into buyers of games and players of games for years. Think back to the comic book adverts for D&D. The warrior loses his sword to some dungeon horror (slime, I think?), and in the last panel the heroes recover the treasure and look! There's a magic sword to replace the one he lost! Remember the Ral Partha 3-step character figures? They showed a progression of items as the character went from novice, to master.
This loot behavior also exists in many video games. For those who grew up with video games, the games reinforce the concept. Most Marvel superheroes are not upgrade hungry tech junkies (Ironman being one notable exception), but in the Marvel Superhero video games everyone has access to (and also requires for future relevance) gear that fits in certain slots and that boosts relevant stats and powers.
But who was at first responsible for this idea? Was it the producers of the content, who need to produce the content in order to remain in business? Was it the consumer base, who felt somehow they were not getting their value if their character could not improve themselves with better gear? At this point, the genie has long been out of the bottle. The AD&D Dungeon Masters Guide actually cautions against being too generous in loot distribution. 16sp and a garnet worth 10gp was considered a fine reward for a first level encounter. Characters were expected to account for monthly cost of living expenses, and PAY FOR TRAINING for the next level - which could often take weeks to finish! And magic? DM could have stood for Dungeon Miser, as the first level of a dungeon could contain 2 potions, a scroll, and perhaps as many as SIX +1 arrows. This style of play would be countered by rebels who ran in the other direction, and created "Monty Haul" games where treasure both mundane and magical were heaped upon characters. Who among us did not at one time have a fighter who had gauntlets of Ogre Power, a Girdle of Storm Giant Strength, and the Hammer of Thunderbolts? A wizard with Robes of the Magi and a Staff of the Magi?
Pathfinder exists in a mathematical and politically correct time. Encounters are rated by CR. Everyone uses the same XP advancement, if XP is even used at all (Everyone gets a trophy and a snow cone! You're ALL winners, yay!) And there is a Wealth by Level guideline that epitomizes the loot 2-edged sword. On one hand it is a useful tool that gives players and DMs a rough idea of how groups will stack up against challenges (mostly combat) in an adventure. On the other hand it is a crutch that players lean against, demanding that their character have at least their WBL, if not more. Then there is the loot itself. Do you take it all, sell off what you won't use (90% of it) and buy the things you really want? You're not a roleplayer because heroes don't go to Magic-Mart and buy their upgrades. Do you make use of the items you fought for, and won? You're not optimized, and hurt the party's DPR, and the healer won't heal you because the extra rounds of combat are your fault. Or the DM can tweak the loot drops to ensure that things the players will like and will use are included in the treasures. This also gets criticized as not being "realistic" because the group of greataxe-wielding gnolls would not have a Elven Curved Blade in their treasures (sorry dude; it's sell and Magic-Mart for you!).
To sum up, I'm afraid I haven't been much help here. Like you, as a player I struggle with the desire to see and obtain new shiny stuff every game session. I finished one AP where my sorcerer had in his final magic kit a +1 ring, a thunderstone, a potion of neutralize poison (I don't think we ever got poisoned), and gloves of +2 dex (old AP). The robes of Arcane Heritage and +4CHA headband he wore were crafted by the team's crafter. As a DM, I tried creating combats that would reward players with better items that would help them in the final encounter. The feedback I got was that it was "rail-roady" and that for a home made module they did not expect to upgrade, and did not want their WBL choices invalidated by loot drops.
I know it has been established that SLAs can be considered for fulfilling the requirement of 2nd level arcane casting. What of SLAs that "may" be considered arcane?
1) A gargantuan ape demands sacrifice to leave natives alone. A fond NPC is kidnapped to fulfill the sacrifice.
2) Ivory poachers are closing in on the elephant graveyard.
3) Angry natives capture the party and make them run trials and tests, or get eaten!
4) Stories abound of a "Great White Ape" that acts as King of the Jungle...
5) "Land of the Lost" or "Savage Land" area, full of dinosaurs.
6) Stories of an avenging spirit know as " The Phantom" or "The Ghost who walks"
I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:
I don't want to jack the thread, or get full-on into a political debate here, but I do want to say I disagree with including George W. Bush and Sheriff Joe Arpaio in an alignment list with Hitler and Amadinejad.
Re: the OP's subject, I've liked to look at TVtropes.org for examples of how different characters can be, while still falling into a particular alignment category.
From a previous campaign that spanned over three years: There be spoilers ahead...
Legacy of Fire:
Our group freed the Marid Princess from the estate in the City of Brass. She offered us a wish. After a lengthy debate - and knowing that J'avuhl was amassing an army that was camped in Kelmarane - we wished for dissention in the ranks of his army. The DM never told us exactly what transpired, but the victory over the army was virtually flawless!
Oh! And congrats on the Thread Ress. Someone must have used a Wish!
The PCs have shown their hand on their strengths. Big Mok would devise counters for these (protection from missile weapons, counterspells, etc) then have his Stone Giant army take advantage of their native terrain and drive the PCs from the mountains. That, or threaten to bring the mountains down on top of the PCs - rock falls, avalanches, cave-ins, etc. Other allies is certainly an option as well.
If you don't mind my asking, how do you reconcile a character that is a cleric, and also hates all higher beings? Does 'higher beings' mean outsiders? gods? And if it includes gods, then where does the character get his divine power from?
When it comes to reading and playing fantasy fiction stories, two types come to mind recently that offer differing approaches. The Middle Earth stories of JRR Tolkien offer a "high fantasy" approach, where many things are black-and-white, and major characters do not get involved in minute details. Herein, orcs are evil by nature. Rulers are not shown involving themselves with tax collection, refugee camps, etc. There is little in the way of political intrigue - but its rarity makes the few events more poignant (Consider the events surrounding Turin, in the court of Doriath).
To the OP, I agree with much of what Mysterious Stranger said earlier. Only mindless evil acts "evilly" without thought or reason. The businessman slave seller would not kill his fleshy goods in order to drive a sale from someone who would rather pay for a slave than see someone die, because that kind of person is not in his demographic. That trips dangerously close to a plot trap, in my opinion; most NPCs in a black market are not the type to care about slaves in that manner, so the biggest audience for that line of reasoning would be the PCs. Spend money on slaves you do not want, or watch slaves die. As for the evil buyer, there would be so many more options than killing the goods he just paid for. Human shields. Barter for his own escape. Speed bumps to slow pursuit.
Human followers of Torag are rare enough, but a paladin to boot? Wow. I don't suppose the pally is a blacksmith? Ranks in craft, of some sort?
**The Sargavan Party, versus "Shamus" part 2: Where we learn Raksasha can cast illusions...
I'll pull a couple of snips from the story journal that our DM keeps; one per post, as we ran into the Raksasha twice. In our story, he takes on the guise of an elf.
Asked about his identity, he says he is from a faction, but doesn’t say which one. He says he can be called “Shamus“
Right you are, Jellyfish. The lack of entry indicates the standard 5'/5' on space and reach. My point is the space/reach line is omitted on the Dire Boar. I checked my 3rd print Bestiary, and the d20pfsrd.
I don't intend to hijack the thread, but with regard to the Bard casting in mithral BP, They would still require the Medium Armor proficiency feat yes? From feat purchase, or class dip? Mithral would make the BP light armor, but it still requires the Med armor feat, iirc.
Can I ask about your choices for power attack, and skill focus? Will you be playing in a campaign where your survival skill will come into play early and often? I know it does in Serpent's Skull, but I don't recall much of it in the few other APs I've played. If the DM has given guidance I totally get it. Power attack is always iffy with me and non-full-BAB adventurers, because you already start at a BAB penalty with relation to the full BAB classes. From a flavor aspect it makes sense, because dragons are supposed to be Smaug-like destroyers.
With tongue planted firmly in cheek, let me say that I find the missing data on space/reach for the Dire Boar very silly. Given the standing rule that if not specified, then the creature is considered space 5' /Reach 5', I see the Dire Boars all across Golarion as trying to fit their 10-foot frames into a 5-foot space. Maybe they should be granted Spring Attack or Lunge as a free feat.
I love a good Zombie Apocalypse story for 1-night adventures. Especially if the zombies are tweaked to make them more Hollywood style. Like damage only affecting them on called head shots; non-called shots only impair movement on a confirmed crit; Fire resist 10, Cold resist 10, electricity only stuns; etc...
But if the adventure itself is supposed to have a Halloween theme, you could "adventurize" a Halloween movie...like, Halloween! A murderous lunatic escapes his asylum captors and returns home to kill his family. For a horror hook, he kills until the adventures catch up to him and kill him; likely having a few "He can't be stopped!" moments like the movie. For a less horrible hook, the villain spends the adventure capturing his family instead, and will kill them en masse, unless the PCs stop him. For bonus points, one of the PCs is related, and the villain lures this person (and their friends) to the final gathering site, so he can wipe them all out, unless thwarted!
Great job! I love hearing tabletop players getting the next generation of players involved. I hope you all have fun!
As a player, we did not approach the island as a place to explore, so much as we explored to place to find a way off! That can change to amount of exploring done, unless the plot hooks are modified.