Warden Rogard Hammerfell

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Goblin Squad Member. RPG Superstar 9 Season Star Voter. 270 posts (811 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 2 aliases.

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Thank you Mark for your reply. I had a long reply in turn adressing the points you made but honestly, it's not worth my effort. Good luck with the company.

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I have a few comments about this latest round of price increases, which I'm sure will go over about as well as anything that isn't overly supportive of Paizo on these boards.

1. There's going to come a point where the glossy panels, copious artwork, wide margins, etc... are going to simply be too much of a burden on the consumer. And frankly, I think you're close already. To add my voice to the others, I already only get the bare minimum in books for PF2e and this is only going to cut that amount down. Moreover, when I do buy Paizo product its either (a) on sale or (b) secondhand. And Paizo products do seem to be on sale more and more often.

2. Using inflation as a crutch is a non-starter for me. You've set up shop outside of Seattle, Washington (The Seattle Times this year listed Seattle as one of the 10 most expensive places to live in the US). Its just basic math that you have to charge Seattle prices to make a living in Seattle. You have to pay your employees, your taxes, your utilities in Seattle dollars. Which is fine, except, surprise! not everyone lives in Seattle. There's people who play in the Midwest, in Appalachia, in small towns all over the country and your "passing the cost onto us" will continue to drive them away.

As a small company, I simply cannot see how this is a successful long term strategy for you. Yes, prices are going up - but they are going up for everyone - not just Paizo. And when it comes to the choice between people paying for rent, food, school, clothes or a bloated sourcebook that costs nearly $100- because every third page is glossy splash art, most people are not going to choose the latter. Moreover, I'm sure there are people like me who are looking at the remastered editions and thinking "maybe this is a good time to try another system" - not WotC and not Paizo. Because I can get more value for my shrinking dollar by looking for games with a little more fiscal discipline.

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the feat is waaay too situational for a 14th level feat. and honestly the damage is middling at best for a 14th level caster, considering the unlikelihood of it actually going off to any real effect. I expect 95+% of the players will bypass this one.

I don't understand this new design philosophy where so very little is impactful in any part of this game. It's all so underwhelming, and frankly for the amount of money we are expected to fork over for rules, modules and accessories, the game should be epic. But every step forward seems a step away from epic.

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the acronyms make my head hurt.
I'm fully expecting the hybrid amalgam License framework for using only part of the ORC license next.
Yes the HALF-ORC.

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I'm clearly in the minority here, but I find these edicts and anathemas to be very vague and superficial - almost to the point of racial stereotyping. Maybe we will get better ones in the Highhelm book, but reading through these give me very little sense about what makes a dwarf a dwarf.

Popular Edicts
create art with beauty and utility - how is this dwarven? If you put this down and asked me to pick an ancestry to go with that, I would have guessed elven or human.
hunt the enemies of your people - again, could be anyone. I would have guessed half-orc or lizardfolk.
keep your clan dagger close - obviously dwarven, but this still feels like something tacked on late in the process.

Popular Anathema
leave an activity or promise uncompleted - this is probably the most dwarven one out there, but it still seems like its poorly worded. Are dwarves obsessive about contracts? Would this make Asmodeous somehow appeal to them? Or is it that they toil diligently at a project? And maybe one of their shortcomings is the ability to pivot away from a process that isn't working?
forsake your family - Again, very superficial. At least, this should be clan? After all, its a clan dagger, not a family. Still, I would have worded this as "stick with your clan and kinsmen above all else" or something like that.

Also the phrase "popular anathema" sounds weird. Like its something they are jockeying for. You know, all the cool dwarves don't forsake their family. 'Common' may be a more apt description.

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At this price point, this is an amazingly hard NO.

I left Hero Lab for a reason. But I fear the writing I see on the wall. This is the beginning of the end of the "free ride" for Archives of Nethys and Pathbuilder. Its also the beginning of the "math creep" to go with the "feat creep" that is already in full swing. At least in PF1, you could make fun characters that did amazing things. Sure, it was a bunch of work, but the math wasn't so absurdly limiting that it sucked all the fun out of the game.

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Totally Not Gorbacz wrote:

Depends on what D&D fans you're talking about. Old grognards who cling to their OD&D copy will likely not care. But sensitive, centre-leftist anti-capitalist kids who got in the game through the Critical Role/cosplay/"I can be a trans nymph here, and nobody will judge me" pipeline? WotC might be severely underestimating how toasty and quick to self-ogranise against a corporate cash grab these rainbow folks are.

I'd love for that to be the case. I was thinking more that apathy and taking the path of least resistance seems to be the way things go these days and therefore most people wouldn't leave or be particularly perturbed by the move.

Lol. I'm jaded by life is all :P

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Totally Not Gorbacz wrote:

WotC has a VERY long shot here, but it has a shot. And in American law, where business-to-business litigation is brutal and frequently more about who has the money than who is right, a long shot might be all they need to win.

Moreover, they don't necessarily need to 'win' any court case. They simply need to ruin the business model of their competitors. How long can Paizo exist, for example, if they can't sell 90-100% of their product? How about Hero Lab? Owlcat? Pathbuilder? etc. etc.

Court cases tend to drag on. If WotC can get make their new OGL enforceable while that goes on.. it's going to be game over. Because frankly, while the outrage among the rest of the RPG will be immense and overwhelming, the outrage among DnD fans is likely to be muted at best.

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I'd be curious to see what's actually new and different with their take on dwarves here. Giving each clan a "theme" is nice and makes for good storytelling, but I feel that it hardly expands what it means to be a dwarf. If anything, this feels more like dwarven society is bounded like a caste system. How will that play in Paizo's usually diverse and opportune-rich world?

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Andostre wrote:
They've created a new discussion sub-forum for Kingmaker2E.

Perhaps some mod can shift this thread over to there?

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Snake0202 wrote:

Yeah, I agree. There seems to be a ton of info and I’m not even sure where to start. What are you doing for maps at the table?

For maps I bought a chessex battlemat and some dry erase markers. I'm going to use the hell out of that. I've got some artistic skill, so I'm not worried about that. Minis (pre-painted and unpainted) I've been collecting for the past decade, so I'm good there.

The kingdom map I'm using is this one that I made back before this project was announced. I have an 11x17 print out of it as a GM aid and I went to my local office copy place (Office Depot in my case) and made a 24x36ish map which they also laminated. That cost me like $40- back in 2018. But the hexes are 1" / square. I plan on hiding the unexplored hexes with round stick on labels.

Other maps I will draw as needed. There is a rumor that Kingmaker will be out for Foundry VTT and I can't recommend that VTT enough.

Lastly, I plan on making the PC stronghold out of foamboard once the party decides on a floorplan. Or maybe LEGOs. hehe. As GM I try to keep my party's interest with a fair amount of 'wow' (and also good GM Skills).

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Andostre wrote:

Anyway, I also haven't read all of it, so I may be missing some context of what's in the 2E version that's driving some of your comments. But they are saying that they've added content to the AP that wasn't in the CRPG, so there's that.

I did skim through the new version of the kingdom building rules, and that looks more compact, which could be a plus. Still, I can't ever really get a good feel about rules systems without playing them; just reading them isn't enough.

I agree that the pages look great, and I can't wait to get my physical copy.

Yeah, I'm a little wary of the new kingdom building rules. I've already decided to ditch the army rules for a homebrew of the old AD&D Battlesystem rules. I'm kinda shocked how easily those could be ported over.

I'm not sure what they did add that wasn't in the CRPG (which I haven't finished tbh - on the equivalent of Book 5). What I am seeing is this weird mix of stuff nearly verbatim lifted from the original AP, maps, images and all and stuff that seems to be lifted straight from the CRPG. I find it a little janky at times, but that may be me.

I am looking forward to the books, and I am looking forward to GMming this. We're doing an in-person campaign and kick off in ten days. I've been through KM as a player so I'm fine just with the updated stat blocks. But whereas the 1e KM was almost not enough info and the GM filled in the cracks, this one seems a pile of too much material and the GM will need to weed out bunches of stuff.

We'll see how it plays. That's the thing.

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Bellona wrote:

(Warning: I haven't really dived into the PDFs yet, but I did skim a few of them.)

Regarding the advice on awarding treasure for a PF1 game, it appears to be a matter of "look it up in the original PF1 PDFs". But how well will that scale with the added content and potentially higher-levelled characters? Apparently the PCs can end up at character level 20+ if all the encounters are used.

And, as stated above, I haven't had a chance to see how well the Kingdom Management system converts from PF2 to PF1.

Yeah, you're on your own for PF1 treasure. The skill system is a lot more compact in PF2 - there's fewer skills and the numbers don't go as high. There may be a conversion somewhere put out when PF2 came out, but I'd look at skill #s from the PF1 book as a guide and adjust by +/-5. Or, you can do what I do - listen to how the PCs decide to solve a problem and if it's good, a decent roll indicates success and a bad roll indicates failure.

One thing that stood out for me was the traps. I just glanced through the bestiary and I don't think I saw traps in them. So you may be on your own for those.

And yeah, a lot more encounters.

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I haven't read through it all (the AP alone is 600+ pages) but from what I've seen I think I can come to some tentative conclusions.

1. The book is overall well done. It seems to follow the computer game fairly closely, which could be a plus or minus. There's a lot of content in there, so I feel confident any GM can mix and match material and still have plenty.

2. The map is problematic. The map is simply a reprint of the original AP map, hidden away in the back of the AP. The map is still not oriented with north and I don't think that they ever resolved the Stolen Lands / Brevoy / Iobaria map conflicts. On the plus side, I like how the Stolen Lands are divided into 20 sections - one for each level - with level appropriate wandering encounters for each.

3. Mivon appears to be completely ignored again (likely because it was more or less ignored in the CRPG). Again, this is a huge wasted opportunity IMHO.

4. There appears to be no Gazetteer at all in the product. I understand that we could use the 10+ year old materials from PF1, (I mean, we could have used the 1e AP in its entirety), but one major point was to flesh out those parts of the original that 10+ years of feedback had laid the groundwork for.

My honest appraisal at this point is that while the AP is well presented and organized, it falls short of the original intent of these hardback second endeavors, which is to not only present the material in a compilation, but also to expand and fill in those portions which were lacking in the original work. Instead, the new material seems to be taken almost exclusively from the CRPG. Where the CRPG filled in the missing parts well, these additions are welcome. But considering the promises throughout the dev cycle, the repeated missed dates for completion and the simple fact that this edition was less about new content and more about converting existing content (namely stat blocks, etc), the end result has to be disappointing to some degree.

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I finished up TG with mythic PCs a couple of months ago. I should probably get around to writing a "lessons learned" thread for the benefit of anyone else who wants to try it (and run TG in general).

In short, I found the premise of the AP to be very exciting, but the execution thereof to be very flawed. These problems were only compounded by the addition of mythic tiers.

For the record, the party of 6 wound up with 5 players at MT 4 at the end and one at MT 9 (for plot reasons). I homebrewed the WT to my own specifications, making him *very* difficult to kill. In the end, there was a Thanos-like moment where the MT9 PC had to slice off the hand of the WT which held the remaining shard. Then he could activate the shard himself and double-detonate it. He learned how to do this because, as a side quest, the PCs learned how to consolidate their individual obols into one PC (the MT 9 PC). Reasonable calculations beforehand suggested to me, as GM, that that was the PCs best chance to survive and win.

Behind the scenes, Absalom and the Starstone were destroyed, the WT's ultimate fate was decided by the Starstone (which encompassed the remnant spirit of Amaznen - Azlanti god of magic). I also used the event to say goodbye to PF1 as a ruleset for our group - we have since switched over to savage worlds. PF was great, but 1.5 hours to go through a round of combat was boring.

Leading up to the final battle, there was very little that the PCs could not handle with 3-4 mythic tiers each, even though they played the whole AP at 2-3 levels below what was recommended. (the PCs were 16th level during the final battle). And yes, most encounters were bumped up 1-2 CR. There were simply too many options available. (Although I flatter myself that I have a particularly good and inventive bunch of players).

In the end, the biggest complaints was not the quality of combat or magic items, but the overall tone of the AP and the nature of the WT's plan. The tone was problematic in that, after about book 3 the horror motif became numbing and tedious (the group almost gave up after book 3). Book 4, in particular, I tossed and replaced with custom content because it was obvious that the PCs would have bypassed most of the book, anyways (really? walk to gallowspire?). I took that opportunity to allow the PCs to learn more about the WT's plan and collect more allies. Which brings me to the second point - the isolation of the PCs. Most of the AP makes it seem like the PCs are working alone against the WT, which is completely nonsensical if the WT is actually as threatening as the AP makes him out to be. Moreover, there was considerable question by both myself and the table as to why the WT would want to take on the entire world at once. In any event, I'll detail my improvement to his plan in another post. Suffice to say that the rudimentary nature of his original plan was *the* major disappointment for the party, and one that needed correction on the fly. Like many movie trilogies, the scattered clues and hints that Paizo put forward in numerous publications beforehand made the railroaded nature of TGs disappointing in the end. Of course, the alternative would have been a much more nuanced campaign that involved considerably more geopolitics and world-spanning. I don't know whether something like that was ever on the table and got pulled due to 2e being developed simultaneously, but it's unfortunate we got what we got.

In the end, you can make it mythic if you want. Your end result will be longer combats, with more OP bad guys and meaningless dungeons. The final battle will be the same regardless whether you keep it canonically in the wasteland or bring it to the starstone cathedral like I did. And, likely, at the end, you and your party will be burned out on the ruleset like we were.

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Rysky wrote:
Not really? Paizo isn’t making you use all those options.

Yup. And Paizo is not making me buy their books. Which is why I stopped. But see, they'd like me to buy their books. It helps them to stay in business.

So yeah, your dismissive comment is true... to a point. As is the presumed comment of "If you don't want to buy them, why are you making a fuss and commenting here?" The answer to that is equally simple and obvious (to some). And it is this: By having forums, they are implicitly seeking out reactions to their products and services. If all they get is reactions from people who knee-jerk like everything they produce, that's not really helpful or constructive. And since it's statistically unlikely that they will appeal to everyone with every product, listening only to those who agree with everything they do will only result in a smaller and smaller market base. Which, as I've already pointed out, is detrimental to their continued existence as a company.

Paizo used to innovate, not replicate. I miss those days. *shrug* but i guess I'm just the dismissible minority now.

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We live in a world where a statement like this is not only a serious statement, but an all-too commonplace one.

"Plus by connecting your Paizo account with Pathfinder Nexus, you get a significant discount on purchasing books you already own!"

ooh, I get to BUY what I already HAVE? Well, lets see.. I have physical books, I have pdfs of physical books, I have them on Hero Lab, I have them on AoN and now I can have them on Nexus?

You see where people are starting to get a little peeved? Oh, you don't see? Well, see ya.

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Whenever people rush to the boards to try and pressure Paizo into action over something, I cannot help be reminded of the lesson Paizo devs told me again and again during PF2s playtest. I'll paraphrase that here:

The message board community represents only a small percentage of Paizo's overall demographic. Moreover, the message board community almost invariably does not represent the feelings of the larger pathfinder/starfinder base.

This was said repeatedly when people on these boards were nearly unanimous in disagreeing with the devs over rules mechanics and direction. Essentially their response was "you aren't important".

I've seen nothing in the months and years since then to dissuade me from that as Paizo's official stance, regardless of my likes and/or personal interactions with individual Paizo staff.

Basically, temper your expectations. In the long run the likeliest outcome is that nothing will happen.

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So, running through book 5 and I've noticed along with others that the level names are switched in the Blue Gardens of Tlil. Also, on the map pack, the top 2-4 rows of the map have been cropped out.

The module is more than two years old. I presume Paizo has no interest in fixing either of these errors?

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I see that Paizo is moving towards 3 book APs which cover only half the level range. I think this is a great direction to head in, but I also think that this needs to be further subdivided. Let me explain why.

The one long standing criticism about APs (which many of you are already intuitively aware of) is that there is a very difficult transition around the end of book 3 and into book 4. For whatever reason keeping the same plot with the same characters and the same BBEG is really hard to do consistently (basically twice a year). Paizo does it better than most, but even their efforts are problematic at best.
So I like to look back to the old Mystara campaign setting for guidance (really, basic D&D did SO much correctly). The "official campaign" had four distinct stages (pre-Immortals)
1. Karameikos dungeon crawls and later city crawls.
2. The Master of the Desert Nomads invasion and the Known World
3. Norworld, and understand the relationship between the empires of Thaytis and Alphatia.
4. Fighting the immortal Alphaks' plans.

Each one of those things was a campaign in itself, and you could play each one individually. They didn't really wrap into one another, either, which makes sense. It doesn't always have to be one world-ending threat (in part, because you eventually run out of threats). If anything, a single campaign like Tyrant's Grasp or Jade Regent or Strange Aeons taking place over several weeks or months feels unnaturally forced, narratively. Its great marketing, but its terrible storytelling. Think of how much better Tyrant's Grasp would have been if the party started at Level 10 with the destruction of Vigil.

The only exception really is Kingmaker, because there are appropriate natural pauses built into that campaign. Ruins of Azlant has similar, but fewer and shorter pauses.

What is forgotten by people who didn't grow up with 1e AD&D, etc.. is that you're not supposed to be able to jump from level 1-20 over the course of a year (real time or game time). Back in the day, if you gained three levels a year playing at typical frequency, it was considered a fast campaign. And things slowed down even more at higher levels (9th level and higher). I power-leveled my ranger-illusionist in my last AD&D campaign (10th level ranger / 10th level illusionist at the start) and he gained a total of 2 levels, 1 in each class, both of which he was partway to at the start. Plus an additional level from a magic item. That was over 2 years of regular playing and 7 modules. Clearly, we weren't playing the modules to level- we played them because we enjoyed the story.

I think APs need to move to 3 volume sets which cover approximately 6 levels of experience. At the beginning and end of each AP, there should be suggestions to which modules these APs can connect to thematically. Then the players can mix and match themes based on their tastes as well as swap out GMs to avoid GM burnout. When a group gets close to the end of AP 1, the GM for AP 2 can already be prepping their turn. In the end, by making the modules more focused and taking up a lesser percentage of the PCs' career, I think Paizo will win out financially as the sale of older modules and APs will be able to better keep up with newer ones. Having those older works continue to bring in $$$ (especially digitally) helps everyone including the developers who aren't feeling the pressure as much for the current fare to be a "hit".

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We are about done with book 3.. The party is set to tackle Yosiduin in the next session and Vigil is going to blow up at the same time. This will bequeath the party with their second mythic tier.

Yosiduin will have two mythic tiers and be 15th level. I figure that ought to put him about par with 6 L9 Tier 1 mythic characters.

I've found that I have to up the CR between 3-4 for the party at this point. I'm pretty much rewriting every meaningful encounter now. It's not terrible, hero lab makes it easier. It'll probably jump to a 4-5 CR change after the party reaches Tier 2.

I should also add that my goal is for the party to start Book 6 at Level 20, so I'm deliberately compressing books 1-5 as well as adding additional content.

I will also add that with the party of 6 as L8 Tier 1 mythic characters, I altered the Erstwhile Kilibrant ambush encounter, turning EK into a mesmerist and the two slayers into stalkers. Properly prepared and outfitted with potions, etc.. the three nearly TPKed the party. The paladin and cleric went down in the first round before they could attack.
(The point was to put a little bit of the fear of god into the party again).

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I'm going to stick my neck out a little here and voice a concern. The last printed thing I think which has been posted to the internet was a brief update at the start of July by Legendary Press which stated the first draft of the AP had been turned over to Paizo at some point previous. The update before that, at the start of April, lent the impression that from Legendary Press' perspective they were almost complete. April link

As of April, from an outsider's perspective, things seemed ok. Skimming back through the PaizoCon Q&A there's a reply by Lisa Stephens which, in retrospect, sounds very cautious about release dates (about 1:07 in) . But I think the impression I got from her response is that it sounds like this is an undertaking that James is doing almost single-handedly? Moreover, it sounds like there's a lot of rewriting going on, and that the subsystems are only being put together now?

So, I think from a backer, and an end-user's perspective, you can understand the confusion and concern going on. We have almost zero insight into the day to day activities at Paizo and I think, for the most part, we assume that things are fine unless we hear otherwise. I don't think any of us mind the increased delay if we have some understanding of where the project stands. These are difficult days, after all. Its just from our end, things looked on track for a Nov-Dec 2020 release date and now that timeline has doubled, at least. Its concerning. And as much as we appreciate the new art, to be honest, I have to concur - we love paizo for it's content, not its pretty pictures.

So if you could speak to these concerns I know I (and probably others) would appreciate the effort, even if the information conveyed is disappointing.

Thanks, and stay safe.

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Wow. that's quite the delay!

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When it raised it up, the two may have been connected. In the intervening time, erosion may have separated them. Happens in the real world with new islands.

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Ooof I just saw some photos of how the actual paint jobs look and this is now a hard pass.

Paizo really needs to convince wizkids to make as much of these sets available as primed, unpainted minis. Some great sculpts in here, but the paint jobs ruin them. I want to give paizo my money, but I gotta have standards too.

One thing i would love to see is unpainted (or well pre-painted) sculpts of the inner sea pantheon. they could be released as a boxed set, like the iconics.

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You can find the map here . Comments welcome, particularly on whether I got the old hordelines, etc... correct.

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If anyone's interested, I redid the map of Lastwall to add in a lot of the small things that weren't in the AP map. You can find the link here .

A couple notes:

-The border forts on the western edge of Lastwall are alluded to, but never explicitly mentioned.
- The ferry to the NE just seems logical.
- the roads are also logical inferences and are the main roads within the kingdom.
- the purple dashed lines are former Hordelines. Lastwall lost a lot of land.


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When I read the description of the two necromancers in room L7, I was immediately struck by how atypical it was.

Eulogy for Roslar's Coffer wrote wrote:
these half-elven sisters orchestrate the activities of other lesser cultists in the area. Oradi and Savenna joined the Whispering Way when they turned 18, looking for a drastic way to reject their tradition-bound family. The sisters look nearly identical; each is tall with red hair and freckles. They even prefer to dress similarly, wearing matching robes of bones. One of the pair wears small, round spectacles, which is the only way some of the cultists can tell them apart

To me, this sounded like a couple of rich kids in their early-mid 20s rebelling against mommy and daddy, and I played them up as such - a combination of the stereotypical 'valley girl' and 'greenpeace activist' with more than a touch of emo-goth thrown in. In other words, they were in it because of the excitement and because it was so distasteful. Life in their manor home (I put their homeland on the border of Kyonin) as upper aristocrats was stifling.

They were also a more than a little cruel and crazy. But even though they came off as alternately cunning and ditzy, they weren't stupid. In my campaign, the PCs rested between levels 1 and 2 of the Bastion and overnight VQ discovered that someone ransacked the lower level and set a trap for the PCs upstairs. The PCs cleared the whole floor before they reached the two girls. As such, the girls realized they were completely outclassed and surrendered immediately.

Want to confuse a party? Have the bad guys immediately surrender. The PCs spent an HOUR trying to figure out what to do next. They even used the candle of truth on them. I thought for awhile that the party was going to come to blows over the decision.

The cleric of Iomedae and the paladin have been talking non-stop about killing the prisoners (which I'm keeping track of, as GM - we'll see what happens there) while the Neutral mage is willing to let them go. And the bard is a local so she lost her family in the town and wants to slit their throats. Meanwhile the inquisitor of pharasma is stoic about the whole thing.
As for the two girls? They're pretty certain mom and dad can come and "pick them up at the station" and everything will be ok. Ah, to be young and privileged. lol. Meanwhile, the one with the glasses has taken to swooning at the paladin (who is a tiefling).

As GM I look forward to seeing how this resolves itself.

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grandpoobah wrote:
Serisan wrote:


At this point, my players were all very tired and we agreed to skip the last two encounters. I had been planning on skipping the Rotgrub Swarm (they have no means to kill it) and I didn't mind skipping the Living Walls.

Agree the Rot Grub Swarm is an egregious monster to put in this book. There are no area damage treasure in the mod (we've found one scroll of fireball), and no opportunity to get them.

Any time an AP puts you on low resources, it needs to avoid obstacles for which there is a single solution (as you're not likely to have it). Only hope a party has is an AOE arcane caster, and that might not be enough for an 85hp swarm at this level.

I am also skipping this encounter.

I am skipping the Living Walls as that encounter just strikes me as dumb. I am adding an encounter, however. One of the PCs has a family relation who was buried in the cemetery.

Guess who is coming for dinner!!

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Hear me out...

There's a strong argument that casters have been nerfed too much. Having played a bunch of 2e, I tend to agree. But at the same level I don't want the linear-quadratic problem.

When we first got 2e, I get the impression that cantrips were going to be the workhorses of the caster's arsenal. That would have made a ton of sense. Cantrips were the utility spells that casters knew so well they could do them at will. The spell slots were the "game changing" things that a caster would pull out during those dramatic moments. And so it makes sense to limit those and turn some into rituals, etc..

But cantrips are watered down compared to what martials can do at the equivalent level. Moreover, a caster can only have 5 cantrips up at any time. (Granted you could choose spell substitution - but any option that becomes mandatory is a terrible design choice).

But I think that a lot of the above problems can be solved with a couple small rule tweaks.

First - make all cantrips 1 action. I know they have multiple tags - usually verbal and somatic. But.. seriously? You can't talk and wave your arms at the same time? I know why they did it, but I maintain its a terrible design choice. Cantrips are supposed to be those really short bits of magic that are literally at your fingertips.

Reducing a cantrip to one action would also make them subject to the -5, -10 multiple attack tax. Thats fine. I don't expect the third attack to hit anyways (unless you're hitting a stationary object or something). But it allows you a reasonable chance to double your damage and that puts you on par with the martials.

Second, I'd add a couple more cantrip slots. Or, failing that, to relearn a cantrip with a minute of review in your spellbook. This makes cantrips a little more versatile.

That would be a good first pass at restoring the balance. It gives casters something to do. Ideally, you'd also rebalance your Level 1-9 spells and spell slots so that they would packa little more punch and be available a little less frequently. And we'd also have a few more cantrips to cover the everyday things you could do with magic.

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An update -

Beyond the much appreciated thanks I received was the repeated request to have a 'blank canvas' (i.e. just the terrain) version of the map. So I spent some time tonight and put together just that kind of map. Note: this map is also slightly larger, with a little more land to the north and the east than the original map. Enjoy :)

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Iruxi sound great! Eagerly anticipating rolling up one as soon as I get my hands on the material.

Small quibble.. you mention geologic timescales here of millions and then billions of years. I'm with you on the millions *thumbs up*. But the billions? Macroscopic life on this planet has been around for a tad over a half billion years. Are we officially saying that geologically speaking Golarion is much older than the Earth? That is certainly possible and could have interesting ramifications moving forward *cough* Absalom station *cough*. Or is that just a moment of exaggeration that got out of hand?

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Yqatuba wrote:
does she turn good before she dies or is she still evil and just happens to hate the Tyrant like the PCs do?

I believe that is also intentionally left ambiguous. Though I suspect actual "good" may strain credulity past the breaking point. Less evil? I can see that. Neutral? That'd be a hard sell. My roadmap for her is to still be a bitter, old lich who is moderately surprised that doing the good thing worked out for her. Because remember, it was in 'doing the good thing' that she got into this mess in the first place. There are serious trust issues.

I'd say, from what we know, that she's not going to suddenly be altruistic and benevolent. It's too much at once. Maybe there's an AP somewhere in the future which will address that, once she makes her presence known to the world again.

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Not actually an encounter - but the overall map. It would be great if you could (a) resolve it with respect to the rest of the world (b) orient it so that north is "up" and (c) include a little more of the borderlands so that players have a much better idea as to where they are with respect to Brevoy, Mivon and Pitax. This last in particular as the stolen lands map actually overlaps Mivon when you orient it onto a regional map.

Many people worked on this problem in the past decade. My solution is here and you are free to use it, whole or in part. That would be sufficient for adventures in the Stolen Lands

A larger, regional map might look something like this. In our campaign, I added an extra book (Book 5.5?) in the area to the east as the PCs explored a lost Taldan colony with a sinister secret. It also gave the PCs an interestting alternative to trading west - trading east to Casmaron! And you can see how a larger map works and helps out the GM by quantifying the landscape. It would also be useful for narrating a Brevic civil war or trips to Iobaria.

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So in the weird moment of the evening, the paladin in our party took pity on Berthold (I really played up the craven aspect of the ratling) and adopted him as a minion. He promised Berthold he would get him out of the Boneyard without him having to resort to the contract, but that in exchange, Berthold has to do what he says and be 'good' (as good as he can be - its a work in progress). I was having so much fun playing this craven, yorkie-sized, absolutely hideous looking cretin. And now he gets to ride on the paladin's shoulders and be the tallest. Berthold is having a blast.

Lets see how long the party can keep him alive. lol. If they can level up with him, I'll add a level of rogue to Berthold to keep pace. Who knows, there might be a ratling facing off against the Whispering Tyrant by the end.

It's these completely left field occurrences that make me love this game so much.

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Yeah, we have a similar decision to make. Our campaign has been running for 7 years in PF. Moreover, I had a 1e campaign (which actually started as a basic D&D campaign) that I converted to 3e. With that older campaign I eventually gave up on hard conversions and did it more by "feel". Yeah, an 18 strength might equal a 23, but the feats, etc... made the character feel completely different.

My solution to this problem was to try to pare down each character to it's 'concept' - i.e. what was he/she really known for. Then try and replicate that in the new system and see what was left over. It didn't always work, but it usually came pretty close. It was a bunch of work, but about the same as trying to convert it using a formula.

The question is, as always, is it worth the effort? Like many people I have a ton invested in 1e and it's now "complete". I can rest, knowing that there won't be anything official added to it going forward. It's still a bloated, unintuitive system. Is it worth changing?

My feeling is that we'll migrate as a group if 2e is fun. And since we are only in book 1 of Tyrant's Grasp, we have a while to defer that decision. We're thinking of running a few short sessions of 2e in between books to see how it plays. As said before - fingers crossed it's good.

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As I read the guide the overwhelming message I get is that 2e is a completely new game from 1e, sharing only some superficial nomenclature with the older edition. And for me, that's fine. 1e was increasingly becoming an unwieldy beast.

It reminds me of trying to covert from 1e (or 2e) to 3e in DnD. You could hand-wave it, but a mathematical conversion was nigh impossible.

Here's hoping to the success of this new game :)

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So.. serious, science-y question:

Will Near Space have information on the size and luminosity of stars as well as their distance and direction from Golari- I mean Absalom Station?

I want to know what the night sky looks like.

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The number of repetitive complaints about the ending is bordering on trolling at this point. We get it. Some people don't like the ending. You know what? It's an RPG you can change it. No one is going to come to your house in the middle of the night and change it back.

I imagine these people knocking on Tolkien's door in the 1960s demanding that Isildur destroy the ring because otherwise the whole story is stupid.

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So in my game where the PCs are mythic as well, the cost to saving their souls is to trap some of their essence in the kumaru tree. That costs them at least one mythic tier to do so - permanently reducing their tier as well as their potential maximum tier.

With the WT, I'm going to have it work the same way.. if he survives, he will lose at least one and probably several mythic tiers. As such, he will have to lay low for quite some time before threatening the world so directly. That is, once he reforms, which itself could take a considerable amount of time due to the nature of the damage.

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Tyrant's Grasp is the Rogue One AP for pathfinder. Jyn and Cassian are on death missions, and neither of them knows it until the end. Moreover, the PCs death isn't meaningless, nor a time-out that only gives the world a brief respite. The feedback loop at the end destroys the Radiant Fire as a usable weapon by Tar Baphon

Paizo wrote:
'Unlike the Whispering Tyrant, whose death marks his failure and loss of the greatest weapon he’s ever known..."

Want the PCs to survive? that's perfectly acceptable. Your party comes up with an imaginative way to escape. Adventure Paths are frameworks around which to construct a campaign. While you can run them *exactly* as intended, likely your experience would be much improved by modifying, adding to and increasing the depth of the story.

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Hi all,

So I thought it might be useful for people to see how I'm running my non-vanilla iteration of TG. Who should read this? GMs interested in running this AP. Who should absolutely not read this? Anyone thinking of playing in this AP. You have been warned. Also, let me know if this thread is inappropriate to this forum.

As a reminder, I'm running a 25 pt, mythic version of it where most of the players are not from Lastwall. If it's ok with everyone, I'll post a wrap-up of where we are after each session. If there are questions, I'll try to answer them as best as I can. To give a sense of how fast we proceed, we play weekly for 3-4 hour sessions. We are a pretty heavy RP group.

The party: We have a party of 5, with a 6th joining in the fall. They are:
Rina - a paladin of Aroden's teachings.
Nico - a cleric of Iomedae from Vigil.
Cole - a wizard with arcanist leanings.
Rava - a Garundi ranger.
Deci - a bard from Roslar's Coffer.

We started our campaign in the kingdom of Veridia (this kingdom was created at the close of the Kingmaker campaign we ran from 2012-2018). I ran a short adventure beforehand, heavily adapting the Night March of Kalkamedes and ending with the party coming into possession of the amulet called the "Grace of the Last Azlanti". The reasons for that and the GM plan for the AP can be found in this thread. The short adventure took 3 sessions and was very light hearted. But it solved the initial problem of getting the party working cohesively and gave them a reason and macguffin to travel to Lastwall. They also had a meeting with a withered old crone (Arazni). At the end, I let them level up to Level 2, which means they started the AP at level 2. Having seen what was coming up, I thought that a 25 pt buy and level 2 were appropriate.

Session 4 was spent travelling from the River Kingdoms to Lastwall and getting some immersion into its culture. The party had a chance to spend their reward from the little adventure and get some nice new shiny objects. They spent a lot of time on this. We ended in Roslar's Coffer where the party met up with Deci's extended family (who owned the inn). Everyone else in the party made friends in town. Then the town got nuked.

Session 5 everyone woke up in the Boneyard. They had none of their equipment. I honestly felt it was more appropriate to the feeling of detachment for that to happen - also it explains a certain encounter in book 2 better. They only cleared the initial room and the next room. They were very resourceful in using whatever they had as improvised weapons.

Session 6 saw the party cutting through the lower part of Roslar's Tomb rather quickly. The paladin with power attack was very effective even with less than ideal weapons. They got all the way up to the mites in the room with the animated hair. I should point out that I amended the treasure here to have loot that the party could use as weapons and armor- for example, craftsman's hammers that could double as light hammers. Daggers. A few first level scrolls that could be used for cleaning and moving things. Things that a clever party could use to their advantage. And they also had the advantage of being 2nd level. All in all, they did very well getting to this point.

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So I made my first character using these sheets. Specifically, I used the "printer-friendly" b/w ones. Two thumbs up on the layout. Two thumbs down on the stark contrast. What I write (in pencil) gets lost in the sea of black ink on the form. Writing it in blue ink doesn't help much. Green ink shows up a little better. I'm considering red or orange.. but honestly, I shouldn't have to.

I would recommend releasing a greyscale pdf with the black at 50% darkness to make it easier to pick out handwriting.

looking at the color one printed in greyscale, it looks better but could still use a whole bunch of improvement with respect to color.

Added: I toned down the black significantly via photoshop. Obviously, this is a matter of taste. Regardless, here's the alternative. . PM me if this breaks some sort of rule and I'll take it down.

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Profyrion wrote:

What was your primer for gaining mythic power? I've been contemplating using mythic for my campaign as well

The first 'nuke' in RC. Prior to the AP, the PCs find an artifact called the Grace of the Last Azlanti, which I think has some cool synergy with the obols.

Anyway, I write about it (ad nauseam) in this thread.

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Well, as my Core Rulebook arrived yesterday, this is quite timely. Thank you!

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As mentioned elsewhere, I'm running my campaign with a twist, so YMMV.

I wasn't happy with a lot of the hand-waving that occurs throughout the AP. In this respect, it is a lot like Kingmaker. But that's also a good thing because it allows the GM to customize the AP to their party's liking.

My campaign quirks:

The biggest problem I had was with the PCs getting a positive benefit out of the obols while everyone else is TPK'ed at the start of book 1. I found that to be heavily contrived. So I incorporated the use of an artifact found on p 68 of Last Watch - the Grace of the Last Azlanti. This item was on Gen'l Arnisant's person when he slew the WT and absorbed some of the shattered shield. I ran a short module before the start of the AP where the PCs find this and are charged with bringing it back to Vigil. The PCs have it in their possession when they stop for the night in Roslar's Coffer. The interaction with the artifact and the Radiant Fire is what separates the PCs from everyone else, and also gives them something to research to better understand what happened to them. In my campaign, I'm also going to give them a mythic level every time they are exposed to the RF... basically all that energy is building up inside them. It makes - imho - a better explanation for the final battle and makes the PCs less squishy overall.

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KingTreyIII wrote:
Zi Mishkal wrote:
You know, it seems there may be a logical flaw in all this. If the radiant fire sends Tar Baphon back to his phylactery and he reforms there and his phylactery isn't in Gallowspire, then why couldn't he have killed himself at any time in the past and escaped his prison then?
That...is a very good question...

Isn't it though? The main problem being that if his phylactery was in Gallowspire, then it had to be very deep in Gallowspire to avoid the Radiant Fire blast above it. And even then, it would be problematic.. would you, as a lich, risk your phylactery?

Regardless, you now know *exactly* where the phylactery is - moreover, the WT is relatively defenseless. The goal at that point is to not capture or subdue the WT, it's to destroy the rest of Gallowspire before the WT can reform.

The alternative is that the phylactery can be moved away from Gallowspire, in which case, the original question is relevant. Why didn't he physically move it beforehand and avoid all the trouble?

Honestly, I see an ending where the PCs tweak the obols in their bodies so that one PC could be at Gallowspire and have that place go up a second time. The average party is going to realize that if the phylactery is still intact, then this is all for naught. A really good party will likely deduce where said phylactery ought to be.

(Edited to add below)

I took a long walk and thought about how to resolve this. the simplest solution is that the seal acted to prevent physical, magical and planar movement outside of its influence. At least that's my impression from the "Dungeons of Golarion" book.

The phylactery would likely be stored deep in that area. And with the detonation of the Radiant Fire, the phylactery could at last be moved. It would need to as even though the radiant fire didn't destroy the phylactery, it would have likely weakened the structural integrity of all the dungeons, making collapse and burial a distinct possibility. So the WT would have wanted to move his phylactery ASAP afterwards.

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You know, it seems there may be a logical flaw in all this. If the radiant fire sends Tar Baphon back to his phylactery and he reforms there and his phylactery isn't in Gallowspire, then why couldn't he have killed himself at any time in the past and escaped his prison then?

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Mark Moreland wrote:
Weird. This was supposed to go up after the Impossible Lands overview. Happy Fourth of July, everyone!

Clearly you need to give us TWO updates in a day.

also pdfs of the core rulebook, please ;)

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Cori Marie wrote:


I pitched this AP to my group as PF's version of Infinity War / Endgame. And guess what? You ALL get to be TONY! *squeee* lol.

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