Verik Vancaskerkin

Zebbie's page

82 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.

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I 100% respect the OP, if you finished the AP, as a badge of commitment you well deserve the right to your opinion. But I disagree with a lot of your review. As I absolutely loved running the AE version of Runelords! Coming from old school modules to this was a total cake walk, DM prep wise! This forum alone was a DM's Mithral mine of information, as it was like Google Maps/Waze for my groups course through the AP. It was like having years and years of play testing at my fingers. Something I never dreamed of having in all my years of TTRPG's. I loved being able to have so much amazing feedback from others, that offered me total confidence to put my personal spin on a truly epic adventure. With the heavy lifting of the frame work of the adventure built, my job was to decorate and make the NPCS come to life so that my Characters could shine. I think having some of the things left semi incomplete is so important to allow a personal stamp in certain parts of the story. I further feel it is unfair to expect a high level adventure to do everything for you CR wise, tactics wise or even plot hole wise. I felt the rails on this adventure in specific were amazingly easy to keep on the tracks... while not making it so obvious that I was covering them up. Pre-written is not a excuse for DM's to regurgitate the story. I spent at-least 2 hours out of game prepping for each one hour in game, and I mostly ran the adventure as written!

I agree with many, on Chapter 5. As I found I did most of my hardest, (yet most rewarding) work in this area. But,it is the chapter all of my players look back on and rave about, so I will call that success! My Arkrhyst was flat out brutal, and still lives to this day. Stories of his terror continue in all my adventures...a memory of the failure to kill him. But as I said, I had to work hard to bring it to life. Simple things like custom soundscapes for each section of the forge, and Maptool's for easy exploration on all sections. I loved pushing the different politics between the sections, with it, they talked there way out of 3 sections. Plenty of amazing Role-play to be had in each Dungeon. I further loved challenging the group via the tactics and theme of each section of the Runeforge.

After running 4 AP's, I agree with many here. My biggest advise on any pre-written adventure is to flesh out the NPC's and Villains in your mind. If you cant envision them as written, then change them and the combat tactics. I treat them as My PC's. With that, I imagine how they fit into the story and foreshadow them, perhaps even in a characters background, dreams, flashbacks, create props, and rumors. Make them come to life! The amount of content that would take from the writers to write monologues, and to fit them into your players narratives is well beyond the scope of any Pre-Written Adventure. An AP is a multi year commitment from my players, this effort is well worth the reward.

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Paizo has been much better about making higher resolution map packs with the Adventure Paths over the years, so it has limited the need to make maps in order to run the game.

Some users still post some community maps, but typically it will be a few random maps that fell short of what the DM's felt was needed.

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I use a TV on the table as well. I use Maptool and token tool from to handle the running of all my games. It is my champion! Does the Fog of War, handles my tokens, and places a re-sizable grid on the map. It is 100% free.

Its semi easy to learn, and players can even login remotely. I have had some sick players video chat in, and access maptool, they could even move their own tokens. With the virtual tokens, it could even be played in a living room, via a HDMI cable.

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I would love to see the Age of Worms Hardcover. I wont hold my breath on it, due to... reasons.

I greatly prefer the hardcover format above all other formats.
While I would like to see all adventure paths eventually made into hardcovers. As a DM in this specific ongoing debate I would FAR prefer to have Second Darkness > Kingmaker!

My reason for wanting the Hard Cover is that the story was great! But the editing and the flow was horrible. They would have a chance re-review and fix the issues that have caused it to die with the bad reviews. So its like having it play tested by loving fans for years and giving feedback as what works and didn't work. To me this was the key points of me choosing ROTRL and COTCT hardcovers. The fan feed back, re-visioning and changing the shortfalls. That stuff is gold!!

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I am also planning on bringing Devargo back into the mix in book three. He will be coming to them for muscle. In exchange for revenge and information, and if that doesn't work..good ole blackmail. (Having them tailed within the city, and trips to Vencarlo's, Trina etc.. he is no fool.)

I simply do not like Pilts background as written for my group. I feel he is a boss without a history. So, I am having him be an old friend of Lamm's. He has changed his name to Pilts, as per his stage name to cover his creepy BDSM/sadistic past (used to run underground human cage matches). So the group will have some understanding of whom he is, and a strong desire to want to stop him. As opposed to insert unknown boss name here.

Devargos angle. Pilts has been asking taxes from all business within his turf "Offering protection". He further wants a piece of the illegal dealings going on at the Eels End. Devargo is "not going to pay this idiot a damn copper (spits)." So, obviously he wants this shut down. His business is already hurting big time due to quarantine, Pilts running the streets means no customers can make it. Turf war will come to the docks. Devargo is doing what Devargo just does, and is playing some of his hands.

So even though, my group had a falling out with Devargo in the first rounds of negotiations. They were able to secure the information for Cressida Kroft. However, In the dealings, the Wizard was not able to secure the release of Menjenko due to Devargos asking price. But later on, she managed to secure enough coin to place it on retainer, and a task in exchange for the release.

In doing so he was very impressed by her bravery, as that she came to him alone and was brave enough to trust the mission he had tasked her with (he knew she would get the groups help to complete it). So, he knows the group is better then most of his current team. They are also more expendable.

The Akonas, in my story do not care about Old Korvosa. Arkona is old money, thus it is secured throughout the city, and it's roots run deep throughout. They could squash, Pilts or Devargo, but its pointless.. and keeps eyes off them.

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Gauldin also created a Harrow Deck Spreadsheet awhile back.
Just press a button and it makes it pretty simple.

Thread here Excel Spreadsheet Harrow Deck

Thanks again for making this, if you are out there.

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I have not seen a good podcast for Rotrl yet (none that I have found yet). However, if you are new to the game, the Glass Cannon Podcast is a great podcast overall, they are running Giant Slayer, but is an amazing inspiration of how a game can be.

If you are looking for Runelords specifically I found a few youtube playthroughs that helped me on setting the stage. Tabletop Talk Rise of the Runelords was pretty good.

Most of the good ones I have watched however stopped a few sessions in, sadly.

But I agree with the above post. It is always wise to personalize the content to the group. Really makes it feel special. It is a really long story, but don't let that scare you. Just take it session by session, and remember the players don't typically know when you have made a story mistake...

Lastly, if you are in this forum.. there is so much help available from the previous and current DM'S and players it is really insane, inspiring and overwhelming. If you need help, or suggestions on how to handle or fix something... Just search or post. You really can't go wrong

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This should be Epic! Now I just gotta wait a whole year!

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Good stuff Skeld. Thanks for sharing.

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I think this sounds like it could be a lot of fun. Always love to see role play over take brawn. I also love the goblins antics, superstitions, and chaotic nature. My fear from the perspective of a DM running the Adventure Path, would be to ensure it doesnt freight train into a gimmick taking over, or side tracking a campaign to much. As if left unchecked it could break the dynamics of the Adventure path a bit. So I would try to limit this, or kill it, in a way fitting to your group. Perhaps run it as a side campaign, my group used to run a session of We Be Goblins, between each Chapter of Rotrl. Or simply have them come back to visit them ever time they have to return to Sand point.

If they tried to have them tag a long however. I would find ways to have the group become slowly annoyed by having the goblins to close, after all, A Goblins life, is of chaos and curiosity.

- Perhaps a Goblin tries to poison the God, to test if he is truly immortal.
- Tries to cut off a body part and ingest it, to see if they become a god or immortal.
- Set their tent/room on fire while they sleep as it is what a fire god must want.

etc etc..Really anything Goblins might want to test theories on about gods, after they revert back from being awed by a god, to reverting back to their curious mischievous ways.

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Great idea. I haven't had a chance to double check yet. But is this from newer Handcover version or older Paper modules? Appears there was lots of changes along the way.

Either way, thanks for posting.

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As with the whole swamp area, I turned it all into a flavor piece. The ship discovery was a very simple eerie ghost chase, with no real answers. I had some blurs of ghosts here and there.. and then gone. Mostly to show that the swap was one odd place. Coupled with the other events showing souls of the swap had been upset. I felt it doesn't add a lot to the story overall, other then setting up the meeting. However, as less is sometimes more.. it was great session showing that some mysteries are simply never meant to be solved.

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My group is currently using a 32' LED Tv for mapping, I take the base off and I lay it flat on the dining room table at game time. I use maptool as I find it has the best VTT options for in person gaming, especially for its ability to zoom in and out, and scale the map on the fly. Oh, and it's free.

When choosing the TV, I chose the cheapest and thinnest one with the least outer bevel, and then placed a piece of plexi-glass over the screen. Then we use good ole miniatures on the plexi-glass, works like a charm!

On the biggest maps (Fort Rannick & Sandpoint)we tend to use digital tokens, so we can shrink the grid to get a closer look at the larger area. Was much easier to run this way.

Cost me around $200 bucks total. Easily!!!.. the best investment I have made for gaming ever. As I can run the dungeon and not fiddle with printers, ways to cover maps, or drawing a huge dungeon out room by room. Then when not in use as a gaming screen, my daughter uses it as a normal tv. Added bonus.

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Hythlodeus wrote:
Zebbie wrote:
Hythlodeus wrote:
while we're at it: I plan to make a few maps for my homebrew AP this week anyway, so if anyone needs something specific, there is a high chance I can add that to the list
I am trying to go off the script a bit myself, and would love a map of the non sunken Paradise if your so inclined.
working on it. it might make some time, seems I have to build the barge from scratch and have to look for casino related mapping elements. but so far the progress is good

Thank you! I would greatly appreciate it. I have been working for awhile now writing a section that would include sneaking onto the non- sunken Paradise, in order to confront Lucrecia. She would then set the ship on fire as part of her escape. Forcing the group to hunt her down in Fort Rannick. From what I understand ROTRL was originally intended to have a scenario like this occur, but left it on the cutting room floor do to size constraints.

So your work will obviously help me out a lot, as it would allow me to plan the encounters properly. Typically I can find a generic map of some sort, but was not able to find anything close to the unique Paradise. Not much was mention of its appearances, but in-vision a old paddle wheel boat, where anything of the sin greed can be found.

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the Lorax wrote:

I've just started working on redoing Eel's End from Edge of Anarchy as the Paradise pre-sinking.

I want my players to go to Turtleback Ferry before it sinks and have a chance to see the Paradise.

Does anyone have any experience or advise for doing this?

I would love to see what you come up with for this section,so please share if you do.

I really wish this part of the story had not been cut out, as the first half of the chapter feels so flat. After finding out it was left on the cutting room floor it made sense as to why it felt this way.

I think if this section was re-added, the letter in the clock tower could end up as better a clue, leading to the Paradise the adventure hook is much stronger and it becomes as a natural progression. Find and infiltrate the Paradise, confront Lucrecia, she sinks the ship as part of her escape. Save some drowning gamblers, perhaps a fight in the water on the way back to shore. Welcome to Turtle Back ferry! In attempt to get to Lucrecia, take back fort Rannick. Stop the Dam from being broken.

Maybe the group could even end up saving Kaven, without knowing he is a Black Arrow. A great early connection. Only to find him trapped at the Graul's later on and find out he was a Black Arrow.

Lucrecia becomes a much more logical chapter villain, with some real history. I might even say leaving the Black Magga out after saving the Dam just works better.

One of my suggestions would be to maybe have the party boat travel from Turtle Back Ferry to a few of the neighboring towns, such as Illsurian. Perhaps maybe an occasional trip to other parts of the lower lakes as well, so Lucrecia could maximize her mark on the populous via the destruction of the dam (loss of the Dam would flood the whole area). Turtle Back Ferry could then becomes an accidental destination as its where the ships heading. When seeking a way back to Magnimar they would learn about the Black Arrows perhaps, and need to mingle with towns folk.

Role play in these towns would be easier with the gambling is effecting everything. Perhaps wives getting upset, some showing up missing, people loosing there homes etc, and even drug use.

I did find another poster in the past did start some work on this.
it can be found here earlier in this forum

I attempted to find some maps to work with that I could use some of the content with. Was not able to find anything.

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wimby wrote:
Kittfox wrote:
I'm getting a group together to run Rise of the Runelords and I was re-reading it when I noticed Ordikon the Mithral Mage in Runeforge. It says that in preparation for combat, one of the spells he casts is Mirror Image. Ordikon is a Thassilonian Transmuter, and thus shouldn't he be unable to cast Illusion or Enchantment spells, or am I interpreting this incorrectly. I searched the forum for the word Ordikon and nothign came up, so I thought to put it here.

I noticed this as well. Am I missing a reply (haven't found anything!)? Simple resolution is to swap the spell, though it does specifically outline him using it in the battle plan... scroll maybe?

This seems like a bit of an oversight, considering the themes of thassilonian specialization in Runefore... is there something about the character that would allow him to prepare his opposed schools, or just a typo?

This was noted in ROTRL AE Erata: It states the following about Ordikon. Hopefully it helps clarify this a bit.

Ordikon: CR should be 17 (xp 102,400); add “DR 10/adamantine” due to stoneskin ; fortification should read “moderate fortification (50%)” OR “heavy fortification (75%); cannot cast a quickened mirror image because it is from a prohibited school.

The link to ROTRL Errata Google Doc !!!

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I would love to see a updated hard cover of this CotCT, as I feel this AP is very much deserving of it. The fact that it is sold out and still very highly rated, and not yet converted to PF (as many have pointed out) makes it a clear winner here.

The chance to fix/clean up the issue's whatever they may be, and a chance to take the many years of players/DM feedback into account could make this one of there best sellers. I can honestly see some purchasing it to revisit or to see what might have been updated. I for one would certainly buy it!

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Just running chapter 5 now. If I was starting it again today, I would make some small tweaks along the way including:

I would have placed some foreshadowing in the group's backstory, for those starting in Magnimar. I simply felt there was a missed opportunity for an early connection to Ironbriar & the random murders when meeting them in the Sawmill. Simply having a family member placed into jail after Justice Ironbriar framed them to cover for a murder committed by the "Alleged" Cultest. Perhaps they suggested Iron Briar was the killer . Either way the law and community starts harassing and making life generally tough for the remaining family members as side result. It’s start an adventure group and make it rich quick to help pay for the legal fee’s, and a new life or bust. To make matters worse the loved-one is later shipped off to the Black Arrows to repay his debts to society. After Ironbriar, they can take order personally to Fort Rannick to free their family member. Any story line to help bridge this could help.

Young Aeren would be introduced during the goblin raid on Sandpoint! He would have been hiding beneath a wagon, a goblin attempting to kill him, his little dog barking like crazy and driving the Goblin into a frenzy. Afterwards it would allow the group to meet his parents Amele and Alergast for thanks. Aeren would have asked for the groups autograph or something. This allows Amele's choice to visit the PCs a lot easier when it comes to “Monster in the Closet”.

In regards to Aldern Foxglove, my group found it way too easy to point the finger at in chapter 2. Partially my fault, I role played him annoyingly creepy from the start. But I would have him be a much more enjoyable guy. Having Aldern mentioning early on that he is in town to get the windows from the Sandpoint Glassworks. Replacing a specialized stained glass window pane is tough to find, but the house is getting soaked with the house open to the elements. So…he is waiting for them to re-open, and they have been closed longer than anticipated and thus holding back his renovation plans. As time goes on, he has been trying to sweeten up Ameiko, in attempt to have her talk her father & brother into "Getting some work done". Even as far as trying to smooth talk the group into talking to Lonjiku as his attempts failed. Thus his boredom, his attempts to hang out with the group and motivation for offering the hunt… to have some fun. Plus it adds to Lonjiku for being grouchy at players in Trouble at the Rusty Dragon.

I would have had Ameiko gift the adventures her father’s mansion in Sandpoint after the Thistletop. Ameiko’s reasoning is payback for rescuing her, further she feels guilty for her brother’s role and lastly she hated her father anyways. Her father’s inheritance is more than she will ever need. I would try to get the characters to establish vital relationships, further encourage them to bring families to Sandpoint. Some story hooks such as members of Scarnetti Gang try to break into their house while away, and Stones over Sandpoint could offer more anguish. All designed to give the group good reason to come back to Sandpoint in chapter’s 4, and 5.

When heading back to Magnimar at the end of Chapter 2. I had issues with trying to provide reason for full on invasion of the Seven Sawmill. To provide some lead-up to the event, I attempted to introduce the cult a bit earlier on. My solution was to ramp up the Foxglove townhouse a bit. I had the house fully business as usual. I felt faceless stalkers hanging out in a boarded house limited some rp and potential for more story line. The opening scene of townhouse, a friendly courier delivering to the residence, and a house keeper opening the door. After getting up the nerve to knock on the door, and greet the elderly housekeeper, she offered them come inside for a spot of tea. Once inside they were introduced to Mrs. Foxglove. This caused obvious confusion, did Aldern have another wife or maybe a Sister? I found it offered a chance for the group to recant there tail, and when trying to relay the news that Aldern was dead to the (Faceless Stalker’s) Mrs. Foxglove seemed amused and said “Whatever do you mean? He is up stairs having a nap”. Aldern Foxglove was thus called down to meet his guests. The courier, (actually a Skinsaw Cultist,) who had been actually gone to the door to warn them of the potential visit. Came in through the back entrance towards the end of the battle. In his back pack, he had a cultist outfit and more than normal dusting of saw dust.

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Rasmus Koch wrote:

Hi, i dont play with a digital platform for the maps. My group, play strictly live and oldschool :)

how to i implement these beautiful maps and other stuff to my campaign.

How do i convert them into prinable formats with squares on it ?

I used to feel the same way, I was amazed!! with all the excellent work done by the cartographers in this group...I had to have it for my group! But the cost of printing it, time spent cutting and pasting just started to add up, and after awhile I could simply no longer justify it.

I have always felt the time spent setting up and using tiles or drawing out maps was has always felt to drag down my game sessions. With often, less then desirable results.

So my solution was buying a very low cost led flat screen (32" cost me less then $200), and placed it on the table. Covered it with a solid clear sheet of plexi-glass. With about 1 hour of watching youtube tutorials on Maptool and a little prep, I save about $50 - $300 a month on print outs. I can still place a grid map up on the screen and draw directly on the plexi-glass just like a dry erase mat, and use figures. But, have found it much easier to use maptool with the built in Fog of War feature. I can place a grid on the maps via the tool and adjust the size with ease. Works great!!... I have saved a ton, and added so much upside to my dungeon maps. I can not recommend it enough.

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