Tbh I've only done them roughly to make sure it works, when we get close in the campaign i'll fully detail them.
Partly it's by increasing the CR of the enemies inside Belzeragna. In particular giving Chyvom some devil minions to up the CR of that encounter. The fun part is adding a few magical traps and challenges before the PCs enter the demiplane.
My favourite one so far is just a 30ft wide gap. A deep pit the PCs have to cross. The challenge being: an antimagic field exists over the pit. So any magical attempt to cross it will fail. Another one is something that attempts to counterspell anything cast on it.
House on Hook street I personally think is an excellent module. It is quite complex and takes plenty of preparation time from the GM, but it pays that back.
This is a bit out there, but a Night Hag-themed PC would fit with the campaign if you add the module The House on Hook Street to the AP. It takes a bit of work to add it, but if you're interested in doing that let me know and I can explain how I fit it and made it make sense in the overall plot.
Quick summary: Night Hags come from the dimension of dreams, which is central to the module. The module is set in Korvosa. The background can fit well with the awakening of Kazavon and his possession of Ileosa.
There's no direct spoilers but there's a chance for the streams to cross, since the Queen is supposed to attend the ceremony. And you are of course taking some risks when things happen in one game and have a knock-on effect on the other. But you should be ok. It depends how much control you seek to have over your version of Korvosa, and how relaxed you'll be about having another GM change that. Which they will.
However you'll have a major meta issues: since you already know the secrets within the Academy of Secrets! You'll have to work hard for your character to not know what you know. That's going to remove a lot of the fun for you.
Having said that, Academy of Secrets makes a good addition to the overall CoTC campaign. I'm including it within mine as follows, in case that's something you've considered:
- I have Ornelos and the Acadamae as generally supportive of the Queen, which is not written into the AP.
- I have boosted the module to level 15. It comes after the completion of Scarwall, before the attack on Castle Korvosa. This gave me the opportunity to add challenges to the module, which to me makes the whole 'no one has succeeded at it' a bit more believable.
- The PCs are (probably, emergent plot-dependent) invited to enter the ceremony by the Queen! All entering the ceremony get the 'freedom of the city' up until the event. This means that the PCs can return to the city without fear of direct problems with the Queen. However the Queen is hoping that the PCs 'disappear' within the Hall of Wards, as Ornelos has promised her will happen. So she's content to sit back and let the ceremony do her work for her.
- Friendly NPCs (the Senechal etc) will suggest that if the PCs can complete the ceremony, it will gain them the support of many citizens. As a result, their move against the Queen will go better.
- Ornelos, at the end of the adventure, can advise the PCs about Sermignatto and what they are up against. Assuming that the PCs are not very hostile to the unfortunate wizard.
- I also have taking on Lorthact as a possible levels 19-20 extension if my players are up for it. They probably are, we ran Rise of the Runelords to 20 and that went well.
One of my PCs backstories involves 'issues' with the Acadamae (he's from the Theumanexus College), which also can get resolved via the adventure and dealing with Lorthact.
If you are looking for an adventure set in Korvosa that doesn't involve dealing with any NPCs from CotCT I recommend The House on Hook Street. It's awesome imho.
Symmetry just isn't important when it comes to checks. So this whole thread, interesting as it is, is moot.
Symmetry is nice if you have mathematical OCD. Which admittedly is probably true of plenty of Pathfinder players! But it does nothing for gameplay.
What matters is quick and easy maths at the table and happy fun times. Not abstract mathematical proportionality.
As for FAQ... the rulebook is perfectly clear on the maths and mechanic. Claiming that it needs further explanation from Paizo is just being persnickety imho. There's much more important things for the them to be working on.
I'm not understanding what the fuss is about. Everything is working just fine. An example.
For a +5 bonus. DC = 15 (since base DC calculation is 10+bonus)
Roll a 1 = fail (total = 6). But move one step down from a natural 1, so it becomes a critical fail.
Roll a 2-9 = fail. (total = 7 to 14)
Roll a 10-19= succeed. (total 15 to 24)
Roll a 20 = critical success. (total = 25)
These look like happy numbers to me.
A +5 bonus versus DC 16 continues to give a 5% critical fail chance, and a 5% critical success chance. No problem there.
A +5 bonus versus a DC 14 gives a 5% critical fail chance, and 10% critical success chance.
Still look like happy numbers to me.
Since it's 'Uncommon' it's going to possible only if your GM says 'ok'. This is generally supposed to be part of the overall story. So if the GM is going to ok it, they'll have to be comfortable with their Hellknight lore to do so.
It does seem that since Paizo hasn't detailed all the orders and their favoured weapons in that book it could cause confusion. However I just typed 'Hellknight orders' into Google and got that information right away. So it's not a major issue.
What is a (minor) issue however is ... 'Access You are from Old Cheliax'
Why? Because there's Citadel Vraid sitting nearby Korvosa in Varisia. It houses members of the Order of the Nail. I'd have thought it would be ok to become a member of that order without having been born in Old Cheliax. Surely they take the occasional recruit from Korvosa, someone who has Chelish ancestors but was born and bred in Varisia?
Perhaps it's all in the interpretation of the word 'from'?
I would keep the pain up on the naughty PC. Korvosa is a very lawful city, and the church of Abadar is extremely powerful. They control the courts, the banking, and have authority towards important things such as the authority between the crown and the korvosan guard. Typically theft is a 1-2 years prison term in Korvosa! Plus paying back restitution.
Your party may be better off leaving the bard at home when going back to the Bank.
As for clerics of Abadar in the city. I have Ishani as a trainee Arbiter, so there's plenty of more powerful clerics than him. He's also the brother of one of my PCs via his backstory. However Darb Tuttle is level 13, Zenobia is level 10 (or 9/1 to be precise), those are the two named ones. But I have a dozen others between the level of 10 and 5.
One of my PCs has managed to insult the head of the church of Sarenrae in our campaign. He's now a persona non grata around there - which is going to be an issue if he needs any healing!
Ok, that makes sense, but that's not how his post reads at all. He seems to be making a much stronger statement than that, at least that's how it reads to me.
Sure. But let's be honest: almost every GM has at least a couple of house rules, or leans towards certain interpretations of RAW.
It's just a rather absurd thing to say imho that a GM is 'transparent' and should leave no imprint on the game. TTRPGs are hugely flexible, subjective and complex beasts that have the GM's fingerprints all over every session. In a literal sense the point of the game is for it to reflect and extend the personalities of the GM and players. Otherwise you may as well play a video game.
N N 959 wrote:
Wow, I must say I find that an incomprehensibly bizzare answer! I expect every GM to strongly flavour the game - that's what role playing is all about - self expression. Expecting the GM to be some kind of unflavoured neutral non-entity is... both impossible and not what rpg's are about for me.
For example: Matt Mercer is considered the best GM by popular opinion (yes 5e). Would you say he is not imprinting his style on the game? No of course not, his style is strongly shaping the game.
So odd! :)
Completely agree on the proficiency issue. I tried to build a few clerics and immediately ran into it - the deity's preferred weapon is often not the right one to match with the character idea. Should all Cayden clerics use rapiers for example? No, ofc.
Taking marshal weapons to at least Expert for warpriests at a higher level seems like the simplest solution. This problem seems to be beyond a specific class however, so a more holistic solution is needed. OFC Master / Legendary shouldn't be general feats, but Expert seems reasonable to me with the right prerequisites.
To be clear: my group contains web designers and developers, so they react strongly to web design. Highly opinionated you could say.
But 'Horrified' is a very accurate description of their reaction: although they ofc could vocalise what and why they felt that way better than most, because that's also their day jobs.
As for the site 'functioning like every other shopping part of a website', - yes, if you compare it to 10 year old websites. But not modern up to date ones: they are easier to use, faster, have less clicks, and are better looking.
I'm speaking from direct experience, it's an accurate description of what happened.
Meanwhile look at the site: the interaction design does look like something pre-2010.
So, yes strong words but not hyperbole.
Sara Marie wrote:
What kills companies often is the inability for them to 'shift from their current model'.
The edge cases you describe are all very solvable. You can always use the complexity argument to push back fixing this but...
Sara Marie wrote:
They all do, and a new ecommerce platform is not a simple thing. But the gap between 'good enough' by 2019 standards and where you are at is... embarrassingly large.
We all get used to stuff, us existing PF players have gotten used to this. But i've seen some new players unfamiliar with Paizo try to buy off your site recently and they have been horrified, all of them. Enough to stop the process if I hadn't been there telling them to do it.
In other words: this is losing you money and will continue to lose you more and more money.
This is only going to get worse and worse as more time passes and the gap between 'acceptable quality' and your site gets wider and wider. Or put another way: the sooner you fix it the less sales you'll lose.
I love Pathfinder and you guys! And your customer service is great too. But really, the time has come to stop accepting the reasons for putting this off. It should have been done 5 years ago, now it's just embarrassing and doing lots of damage to your brand and perception of quality of your products. Right at the time when you have the chance to gain lots of customers this thing is shooting you in the foot.
What this comes across as, to be honest, is that your business doesn't prioritise tech. It's an institutional bias, and an understandable one. But this is 2019, and if you don't prioritise the tech you need then it'll really hurt your business. It already is. Lisa Stephens and Eric Mona need to care much more about this. Don't let your old school rpg publisher DNA block you from seeing the urgency and importance of a good online experience for a healthy business.
Vic Wertz wrote:
It makes sense, although those cases could be accommodated via the right design and business rules. For example: customers only get to download the 'free pdf or discount' if they subscribe for a minimum of 6 months. Etc. Smart people in other similar situations have already solved this stuff. Copy their solutions.
The issue you have is that your site is painfully slow, frequently bugs out, and the user experience design of the purchase and checkout process is very poor by today's standards. Pathfinder and Starfinder's quality is being let down badly by this part of your customer experience: the part when they are getting out their credit cards. Right before you get paid, or likely in too many cases don't get paid :(
This is a very serious issue because your site is being compared to regular 2019 consumer sites and also dndbeyond, and it comes off looking very substandard by comparison. The Paizo site experience right now just confirms to 5e players who are sitting on the fence that 5e is better. People commonly equate site experience with product quality. Irrational sure, but normal human psychology. "The site sucks, so the game probably sucks"..
The effect of this is it destroys confidence in your product: right at the wrong moment. Bad check out experiences frequently result in abandoned shopping carts - I'm curious how many times you see people fill their basket on your site but not check out?
2e is a great opportunity to dramatically grow market share and Paizo. But it's not going to do this as well as it can if the first experience for potential players seeking out PF 2e information is a slow, inconsistent, and confusing user experience on your website, and a checkout experience so retro you worry for the safety of your credit card details.
I understand there's a decade of custom code in the WebObjects system you use to run your subscriptions and other paizo-specific things. But that software is truly antique, and it's not going to get any better. As painful as it is, you really need an all-new website backend based on the best of modern software - which will in turn let you create a new customer experience that lives up to the quality of the rest of Pathfinder and Starfinder.
A random suggestion: have you considered contacting Fandom and asking them to build Pathfinder Beyond for you? They're independent of Wizards, and it'll be quick for them to create it given they have so much of the system in place for 5e.
You can strike any unattended object you like, but you cannot strike an attended one.
It's as simple as that.
You probably won't have to roll to hit the object, unless the GM says it has an AC for whatever reason.
The damage it takes is whatever damage you do, minus the object's hardness.
As per the rules (p272).
"Item Damage: Normally an item takes damage only when a creature is directly attacking it—commonly targeted items include doors and traps. A creature that attacks you doesn’t normally damage your armor or other gear, even if it hits you. However, the Shield Block reaction can cause your shield to take damage".
The 'sabotage' Rogue feat changes this a bit: you can attempt to damage an attended object as long as it has movable parts (eg: bow = yes, sword = no).
I knew nothing about Occultists either. I found a handy online guide, then went line by line through the build to make sure I understood how the class worked. It was a lot of effort but it's necessary to run the encounter properly. He has a few very powerful abilities via his Implements that the GM needs to be aware of to get the most out of him.
Vic Wertz wrote:
Ok. Well they control their profit to keep it low enough so that they pay no tax in the USA. . Their 'official' profit margin is 4%, which is greatly suppressed, by design.
You mean customisability, not agency.
Customisability appears to have gone up, as well as been made a lot simpler, via archetypes, which can achieve everything you've described. This system has made 'multiclassing' a lot more viable for most combinations, and a lot less risky in terms of breaking your build.
Once we have 60 pages more of general archetypes in the new APG this will increase a whole lot more.
I have switched the AP to medium XP advancement and have put about a levels worth of material in Kaer Maga, to fit where needed within levels 10-14.
I leant hard on the "City of Strangers" guide, mostly using:
- Getting drawn into the inner workings of the cult of the Child Goddess. They may even bust up the cult, depending on how upset they are about what they find the cult is up to.
- Helping out the Arcanist's Circle, in order to get on their good side and be able to order high-end magic items.
- Finding out about some of Togomor's history: even more reasons to want to unseat the queen and her Bloatmage senechal.
- Some Red Mantis shenanigans, as some of the assassins make it to the city and try to track down the PCs.
The hinterlands map and the map of varisia do overlay accurately. However the large scale map has no detail at all, so it's not that useful for 'outside of sandpoint' once you get beyond the hinterlands map.
I made my own (non canon) map of the area to help in my Runelords campaign. It does accurately match the Hinterlands map and the overall Varisia one, but with extra detail (and some villages) introduced.
Amazon undercuts everyone as its business model. Even with massive economies of scale and horrible warehouse worker conditions it still doesn't make a profit. Rather it 'earns' by pumping up its stock price. No way a local game store can compete with that.
Amazon's discount is quite possibly algorithm-driven. The computer brain behind the store must have seen high sales volume and decided that it really didn't want any competitors getting any share of that.
Vote with your wallet: if you want your local game store to stick around buy from them. If you don't care about that then buy from the same people that sell garden furniture, luggage and toilet paper.
Highly entertaining! They're great role players, it was good to see how the system plays happily with a 'high role play' group. I'm hoping to see how their strong character ideas come out through the system hopefully showcasing some of Pathfinders unique character customisation possibilities. We got a bit of that already with the ranger abilities.
It was interesting to see the game not played with a battle map. There was that moment with Omlet the other side of the town square where a map would have been a bit easier for everyone. Pathfinder really does lean towards having a map imho.
There was quite a lot of attacking with the 3rd action going on: I'm assuming it's the players getting used to an entirely new system - once they have we might see a few other actions in there during combat, from class feats and so on.
And also it's great marketing to get the game in front of the Geek & Sundry audience!
I love your products, but your online store experience feels like it was made in 2005 and is full of poor user experience design issues. The only word to describe it is 'atrocious'.
Yesterday I had issues with my credit card being accepted on your site. So I asked a friend to buy it for me. He is a professional digital user experience designer. He said that the purchase and checkout experience is the worst he's seen in 10 years. He said this with no prior contact or bias one way or the other. And it's his area of professional expertise.
My worry is that this will lose you customers and sales. I'm certain it is in fact.
It's understandable that you have issues given your customisation to enable subscription purchases, there's no easy 'out of the box' solution you can plug in. But I urge you to escalate the need for an all-new UX (and middleware, WebObjects is antique) to drag your ecommerce experience into this decade before we reach the next decade. It will improve your online sales figures, and not leave a nasty unprofessional aftertaste when buying online.
Love PF2 by the way :)
I kept it very obscure with its answers.
My PCs ended up giving it to the Monks of the Therassic Spire in Kaer Maga: as Peacock Spirit worshippers they were incredibly grateful and assisted the PCs in various ways for the rest of the campaign as a result. That included helping them 'decode' the writings of the quill, which I kept very riddle-like.
I also added a bit more Peakcock Spirit flavour in Runeforge - it became a bit of a sub-theme of the campaign.
Our battle lasted about 4 rounds. The Barbarian got energy drained to within an inch of his life, one more round would have done it. But then the monk archer rolled a nat 20 to hit - at this point the narrative took over and I said that the arrow hit Magga in the eye. Then she flailed around and backed off into the lake.
I recommend playing it with a lot of flex rules-wise. Just smack the party around brutally for a few rounds, then let the most impressive roll or spell or whatever cause her to retreat into the lake. You can always have her snap at a few villagers or flatten the church instead of attacking the PCs if things go too far.
FYI I intend to have the same players (new campaign) try to finally kill Black Magga in our Curse of the Crimson Throne campaign. What goes around comes around...
The whole thing plays as a a mystery to be figured out during play. Most of the NPCs have clues that, when put together, become the complete story of the place. It has a sort of Alice in Wonderland feel to it, that's not supposed to make complete sense all the time.
My PCs had a great time, one of the best modules ever in our opinion. As for 'figuring out the mystery', they'd achieved that just about at the end of the module.
KSB Snow Owl wrote:
I wondered exactly the same thing when making the map.
I originally I assumed it was the 'small' bay between Veldrane and Korvosa. But then looking at the maps it's very clear that it extends out much further.
James Jacobs wrote:
Thanks for the information James. And for all the awesome content :)
Are you referring to the local area map of Bloodsworn Vale? The one that shows up first when you search 'bloodsworn vale' on google images? I have seen that. However the issue i have is rather: where does that sit on the larger scale maps or the area?
I have seen several larger scale maps, all with different locations indicated. This map is the one I chose to follow. It implies that Bloodsworn Vale is 'off the bottom of the map to the south east'.
The main map it contradicts is the even larger scale Inner Sea Poster Map, but on that map the detail of the mountains is quite lacking. Which is why I went with the choice I did.... namely 'just off the map' to keep things simple.The intention of my map is to have Bloodsworn Vale 'down there somewhere' rather than be a precise map of the Vale itself.
Having said all that, if anyone knows of an accurate map showing the precise location of Bloodsworn Vale that would be awesome. I looked and looked and came up dry on that.
1. Tregan has been transplanted from the Galt/Taldor border for what I presume are reasons that only apply in the OP's Golarion;
- Yes it's to do with a specific thing within my campaign. I can rename the place, to avoid condfusion.
2. Hanspur's Blessing, The Dancing Bugbear, Irina's Place, The Halfway Inn, The Smiling Giant, Conqueror's Lookout, and Trot's Inn appear to have been made up to fill space - nothing wrong with that, but something to keep in mind if your players ever want to go there; So yes, it's new content, and intentionally so.
Trot's Inn is from the AP: it's where you have deliver Trinia to at the beginning of chapter 2.
The rest are indeed added: that's what I mean by 'adding detail'. Otherwise the maps are very empty, which was the issue I wanted to improve on. The Inns are there since it's said that there's a travellers inn about every day's travel along most of the roads. And the names are there for GM convenience and to hopefully trigger ideas for giving each Inn some character.
3. Bloodsworn Vale is too far south. The pass into the Vale ought to be around the headwaters of the Jeggare River.
I'm confused about this. Paizo have put out a few maps of the area and they don't align on where Bloodsworn Vale is exactly. So I just stuck a label down there and hoped for the best. But to the best of my research so far it seems that Bloodsworn Vale is to the South East, and is not a continuation of the source of the Jeggare River. But like I said, Paizo seems to have moved it around a bit from map to map.
Thanks for the feedback! My intention is to be 100% canon and then with added details in the gaps left by Paizo.
Just out of curiousity - does that map have space to include markers for where the PCs need to go for the rest of Book 4? 'Cause if so, then you just solved a minor problem I've been wrestling with for the last few weeks.
I've just started working on that right now, as it happens. However the Paizo maps of the area are very blank, so I have some work to do to create additional interest and detail in the area whilst staying true to the source material. I promise to post it here as soon as its done.