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Detect Magic wrote:

I think that if you started the characters off as level 1 commoners and had them advance from there it would be cool, and if the players are down for it, choosing their classes for them could be interesting - but, as a player, I wouldn't really be interested in that sort of thing.

Yeah I realize this now. Im thinking ill scrap that and go with giving them bonus skills/feats based off what they did as kids instead.

Herbo wrote:

However, I would caution against restricting the PC's to any narrow assortment of classes or adding in the tallying headache of tracking which weapons they used and what skills they favored. A street urchin becoming a Wizard's apprentice is just as easy to fit into a back-story as the street urchin becoming a scoundrel of a rogue.

I was thinking this could be a bit much too- but I have plans for the "first" level- or what Im thinking will be "free" .5 level type of deal. It will require a few custom rules but I think it will be worth it.

The kid game is going to last a few sessions (maybe 3) and cover quite a lot of ground to get them from this goblin / orc camp to Korvosa. The idea im running behind is after feeling like they have been on the run for so long, Korvosa will offer them up a few friendly people where we will go into a time lapse sort of thing and work out the classes for everyone.

The stuff ill be keeping track of (and not too closely either mind you) is going to end up as bonus abilities that they will be getting for free and a chance for them to make characters that will be slightly unusual.

Im wondering what is the best way to deal with a player that will want to be a wizard though. A sorcerer is maybe not so much an issue and possibly affords more interesting opertunities. Working a blood line story in from scratch would be all kinds of fun I think.

But a wizard could offer a few problems. Its doubtfull that a zero level characer would advance to wizard right away. It would most likely be something that would be a multiclass option I think.

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For my next campaign (though still awhile away) I plan on having the players start out at level zero. Im thinking they are going to be in a large goblin prison type thing and have to escape. Or possible slaves in a caravan.. really the possibilities are endless. It also depends on what adventure path I feel like using too (leaning towards Crimson Throne).

Im sure some people have run something like this before and wondering if anyone has some good insights or suggestions.

I think I would sort of organically figure out what class the PC's will end up with. There is a good chance they will all end up with 1 level of fighter and another level of another class. Or something along those lines. Maybe a bonus skill or feat that they would have actually have had to use.

My plan is to build a chart of sorts with a simple listing of classes, melee kills, what weapons were favoured, all those kinds of things.

Once the first few "child hood" sessions are done, ill assign the PC's a class based on their actions. Im even thinking assigning them 2 classes and letting them choose.

Im running a campaign right now with 1 player playing a Crusader. I think of the different classes the Crusader is the most balanced due to the randomization of the stances / maneuvers. He loaned me the book and I read over it a few times. Im still kind of playing it by ear wondering if anything needs to be nerfed.

My other players though are not using their abilities properly so im finding he is sort of a glue that keeps the party in pretty good shape.

I wouldn't say he is over powered at all- but I will say that they can hold their own against a number of enemies for awhile with a good party at their sides.

Also I hope you dont mind if I left your ending to Skin Saw. Its becoming pretty clear that PC's are not going to beat her when they get to the top of that tower. She is very optimized (even with the new stat block James posted)- and Ive been toying with some ideas and having them end up on the barge seems like the best bet.

So if you end up flipping the order (which seems like a pretty cool idea)- I imagine the library would be the hardest thing to get them back onto.

What I think would be fun and add a layer or desperation to the mix is if the PC's do end up making it back to Sandpoint, they show up almost at the end of the giant raid. Just in time to see Xanesha and Longtooth taking off and the stone giants retreating. Maybe a small group of them are being held at bay by the best possible efforts sandpoint could muster (shaleu, sherrif and maybe some other characters).

From there they could find the scribbler etc/ or you could have an interesting sequence of attempting to chase the much faster giants back to jorgenfist.

If this timeline works out, i will probably be finished my Rise campaign right when Shattered Star begins. I wonder if my PC's will be keen to "continue" the story.

I recently borrowed Crimson Throne and been thinking of that one next though.

I have a pretty good organization idea. Its a bit light hearted- but I feel like it could fit very well as something that isn't super serious and protecting the world from near destruction.

This is my first time hearing of RPG Superstar and im pretty excited.


I was curious about nerking on Xenesha too. And also wondering if the last act of the AP was going to get any treatment (possibly for more epicness- though im not sure it needs it).

I wish this was coming out now. I just spent close to $180 tracking down a copy of each of the APs to run my group through. It was a mission and half to find the first issue too- but I wanted the real deal and not some PDF.

Awesome, thanks for that link. Didnt find it through the search.

Ill read that over.

Im still a little new to Pathfinder (last time I GM'd lots was when AD&D2 came out) and Im running a ROTL campaign right now.

One of players has rolled up a Crusader- and now that we are 4 sessions in, I am realizing he is pretty powerful- though i suspect after reading through his copy of the Tome of Battle that he starts out strong, and but evens out later.

Any suggestions on the a Pathfinder conversion for this class?

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My own 2 cents on this..

would be to keep the art like what you guys are doing already. Don't mimic wow. Don't make the females super sexed up with plate armour bikinis (unless you do that option for guys too).

Stick with what made Pathfinder awesome already.... which probably isn't the sexy costume potential behind everything.

I kind of felt the same way.

Just the other day on reddit I was discussing a Pathfinder CRPG. They general idea is that the IP was too small to warrent huge sales and that it probably wouldn't happen. Then we fantasized about a perfect MMO...

So strange to see that (looking at the dates) 5 days later Pathfinder Online gets announced.

I don't know how i feel to be honest. I played WoW for 4 months before I realized how much money I was pumping into the game and how much time it was soaking up from me.

A pathfinder mmo could be fun. I might check it out F2P or not. But given how much time these games can absorb, im not sure id want to do it. The only way I could see it working (again this is for me, and i know you cant please everyone) is if it was like Guild Wars or the upcomming Guild Wars 2.

No monthly fees, but it avoids the pit falls of F2P.

In a perfect world, a Pathfinder game would basically be like those old Goldbox D&D games but much sexier and maybe running some of those amazing adventure paths along with the full PF rule set.

I can understand the MMO approach somewhat- just the fit seems... off. The MMO market place is pretty packed to the t%*%.

I trust you guys though and will follow closely and offer my own 2 coppers when I can.

Decided to keep a log here along with everyone else of our campaign so far. I have absolutely loved reading everyones campaign notes and feel rather inspired to do the same.

A bit of BG on me: I used to play AD&D (1st and 2nd editions) back when I was a teenager. I was always the DM and ran 3 very long successful campaigns where everything went wrong. I ended up winging almost everything and used a massive collection of source books from a gazillion different systems to keep things at that perfect level of insane.

A few months ago a few friends drunkely expressed interest in playing, and then before I knew it I was reading the PF core book and researching the APs.

I originally intended to do Second Darkness- but the more I read- i decided that it maybe wasn't the best fare to start of a fairly new group. Rotl peaked my interest as it seemed to be one of the most "classic" settings.

I have made a large # of changes though. Nothing too huge- but I changed a number of names (Sandpoint = Black Sand Port and is a bit of cross between riddleport and sandpoint).

After reading about the Thasillion empire I got a few ideas on some extra adventure stuff that I will get into later.


Tingting - Human Druid (new player) She is a young almost nude ugly teenager from the woods who has a rather vicious penchant for hand to hand combat.

Skrar - Human Ranger (new player. he was the most interested in playing but has 100% vanished from the group which sucks as he was one of the only tanks as you will see. He is around and in fact lives up the street from me, but refuses to contact us which is.. odd. I didnt know him before the game. he is friends of one of the other players. Its always disapointing when this happens. He had a massive amount of player BG made up and I was really looking forward to working him into the game).

Karl - Dwarf Cleric - luck domain (new player)

Shtone Brow - Dwarf Crusader (old school player. I used to play with this guy back in the high school days and he has since become a GM of his own. He created a rather unique character and I ok'd his class as I figured the party could need some help. His character BG is interesting too. In my own take of the pathfinder world, i have the dwarves running deep underground a long time ago to escape the human and elven empires that were always undoing them selves. Shtone brow was taken into a secret order to protect an ancient ruin. What the ruin was, was kept a secret though and he was trained to be a subserviant covert-ops type warrior for special missions. when a powerful demon appeared in his temple and destroyed everything he escaped barely with his life and in search of other dwarves he found him self in the north where the dwarves have re-emerged in the last 1,000 years)

and joining us soon will be a Bard played by another old pro.

We have done 3-ish sessions so far so ill break em down here:


Consisted of making characters which took a very long time. I was a bit rusty on the process myself so it was good for everyone. We all got an idea on what everyone needed. Everyone knew which class they wanted to be, read up lots on the abilities, but failed in very humorous ways. Our druid took feats that he wouldn't be able to get for many levels yet.

I awarded Hero Points for character BG, +1 for being level 1. I also gave everyone 1 master work weapon of their choice. The cleric got VERY lucky with his ability score roles (3 18s and nothing below 13).

We ended the game with a simple battle encounter to get everyone together as a party.

The party found themselves all traveling along a road towards Black Sand (which is at the end of a long narrow wedge of land- ill post a pic of my world map sometime sooon) in worsening weather conditions. Finding an old abandon farm house along side the road they took up shelter together. The role play was a bit awkward except by Shtone Brow who did a good job inspiring everyone to get into it.

After getting a fire started- the party failed a few listen / perception checks (due to the storm outside) and got surprised by a small goblin raiding party. I have been following Greycloak of Bownes's ROTL/KM mashup campaign and lifted a few ideas re: the goblin clans and had these guys be Bird Cruncher clan as evident when their bodies were searched later.

The goblins got a few good pot shots in on the party and managed to set fire to the roof of the small cabin. The druid climbed up onto the roof and put out the fire while the party prepared to do hand to hand with the goblins. Things went down pretty simply from there on in.

The next morning they continued travelling north to Black Sand running into Shale (Shaleu, I prefer the name Shale) who was in persuit of the goblin war party. She expressed some concern that it was pretty clear that this goblin party was prepared for war rather than their usual chaotic roaming selves. She thanked the party and handed off 2 minor healing potions that she figured she would no longer need and invited them to Black Sand for the Black Crow festival (everything is black in black sand).

And that was the end of that. Right away after this session I got a number of emails from everyone eagerly awaiting the next session.


-everyone in attendance-

As the party arrived in Black Sand they saw a gritty frontier town getting ready for the Black Crow festival. A few notes here: my version of Sandpoint has a few elements mixed in from Second Darkness that I got attached too when I was initially preparing to run that campaign. For starters there is a 1/2 burried cypher gate / arch way at the mouth of the port. Also the blot is in existance in this world. I haven't 100% worked out what is causing it- but I have a few ideas. One massive side adventure Im planning on injecting is a story involving an ancient Thassilion magic/rune school of sorts... but thats for session 1.5 so more on that later.

The PC's immediatly went about doing different things so it took me awhile to wrangle them back to start of the Black Crow festival. Things started off pretty good. When the goblin raid started- things got scattered. The main bulk of combat went down towards the street ( I had the festival taking place mainly on the north side of town in the shadow of the old light). I painted a picture of everything being in chaos. The PC's were pretty quick to take out first wave of goblins, so I amped up a second wave with 6 goblins and a warchanter. The fight took place mostly in a cafe patio and proved to be lots of fun with goblins being especially silly and one critcal failing and killing its self (we are using the crit fail crit hit deck... which is massive amounts of fun). Eventually they went to rescue Aldern. Shtone Brow made an espcially heroic charge to his rescue smashing his way through a wooden flaming fence to save him. This set up his story line very well right away. He was very thankful, and promised to reward the PCs but was eager to get off the streets.

I ran another combat encounter after that as it was clear my players were enjoying the combat having worked out a few character problems by this point. I painted a picture of there being a few obvious factions defending the town. There was the guard- who was doing the main grunt of work, but then I also have Clegg Zincher and his gang working on a mob of goblins down by the docks, the Cypher mages watching out over the edge of Old Light and a group of Northern Dwarves protecting their work shop. There were more groups involved, but the PC's didnt get to see everything.

The sheriff expressed his thanks for the PC's dispatching so many of the greenskins and invited them to a dinner with the mayor tomorrow night in thanks.

The PCs then settled down at the Rusty Dragon with free room and board for the week as a thanks in the defense. The ranger decided he felt uncomfortable in the inn and wanted to sleep in the woods (perhaps a prelude to his eventual departure from the campaign). He camped out in the woods while the dwarves got heavily drunk with Sthone Brow being especially excited to meet some kinsmen from the north. He made good friends with them and woke up hung over in their workshop where he saw the markings of his secret brotherhood on an old rusty axe. He asked and found that the axe was recovered from a curious dwarven ruin uncovered on a mountain about a decade ago.

Back at the rusty dragon the party gathered and went to find their ranger friend in the woods. Upon finding him, they found the sheriff and his men investigating the outer wall of the town. They learned about the missing guards and the missing remains.

They did some searching around and decided to follow the tracks left by the goblins into the wild. The ended up finding a injured goblin who was left behind. They almost ended his life right away but fell to his pleas of forgiveness and learned that there was a long shanks leader. They decided to let him go and even healed him up some (i played him as a poor pathetic type). He told them he was with the Toad Lick clan and that if they sought him out in secret, he would help them if needed and ran off into the woods.

The party didn't seem sure what to do next as they talked in length about what they thought was going on. The ventured back to town where they had dinner with the mayor, sherrif and shale and a hand full of people who helped save the town. Aldern was there and gave the party a sack of gold and asked them to join in a hunt. The sherrif also asked the party to remain in town for a bit as he would be headed to magnimar soon. The dwarves took this as meaning they were in charge of the town but decided to down play it in the mean time to avoid any assassins or goblin blades.

There they also met Jasper a cypher mage who expressed interest in the PC's servicess at some point in the future. At one point during the dinner all metals became magnatized, then stopped a minute later. This was a side effect of the blot acting up.

Headed back to the inn they discovered the job board (which I had crafted up on ruined paper for them). On the board was - Wanted Orin Vancaskerin, Wanted Highway men, Tuskgutter - all with rewards from the mayor or the sherrif. There was also a note for fresh troll blood procured in a proper fashion by jasper. I have possibly given them a little too much to do at this point as there was a lot of discussion as to what to do next. I liked it though, i want them to feel they have endless possibilities as this point and im hoping the vets can help guide the newbies a bit.

The party stayed in for the night again and we ended the session there.

In a bit of meta game plot- Tingting found Ven Viddler and he became infactuated with the young nearly naked druid almost right away. He explained that he has a wife and they must keep their relationship on the DL.


I attendance:

Tingting - (Missing due to work)
Karl - (present, but left early due to wife hanging around)
Skrar (basically is MIA from this point onwards. I explained this in game by having him simply vanish into the woods one the next day).
Shtone Brow (arrived late when karl took off..)

So we ran a solo session!

This was good as Shtone Brow is the only one who has really built a back story, plus me and him used to run these solo sessions lots back in the day so we got our supplies together [8], some scotch on the rocks and snaks and settled in for a long mini session.

Here is a quick breakdown of what is going on story wise here:

I had to more or less wing it. I had a vauge idea about this magic school, but I didnt want it to be around Black Sand.

Instead, this is the BG on what went down. Shtone brows secret society is a common in the 4 dwarf clans (seperated by the compass points). The dwarves had run away from the destructive nature of the surface dwellers long long ago and took with them their own take on rune magic. They used a rare form of metal found deep in the earth to build enhanced pure forms of their runes that helped protect their underground cities. These ruins were kept secret, and the orders protecting that secret even more secret.

Shtone Brows people are from the far far south who are still in hiding as a powerfull southern empire is slowly expanding. In the north, the dwarves watched with a secret eye the growing empires of man and elf from high atop their mountains. They build out posts and watch towers and secret highways thus avoiding the chaos that the surface would bring. Eventually the Runelords found some of the dwarves and attacked converting a number of their secret bases into schools of magic and secret training grounds.

The dwarves in the north have re-emerged about 2,000 years ago and reclaimed and restored one of their ancient surface cities. Due to the changing nature of the world, the odd commet hitting the earth dwarf ruins are slowly being uncovered from that era...

the idea is eventually the PC's will find an old school of rune magic that one of the rune lords used to use (not sure which yet). Probably after fort rannick maybe. The idea is it will be leaking some of its evil and poisoning the lands around it. Should afford me some fun opportunities to build a place like that. Lots of puzzles and traps. In the mean time, this out post has been uncovered by loggers. After cutting down a massive tree- a tunnel was discovered under the roots. Beneath it is a portion of an ancient dwarf highway tunnel system and a satellite research facility.

Shtonebrow was contacted early in the morning by his new dwarf friends. Their learder Magnus, told him to grab his weapons, were goin' troll huntin' fer my friend ere pointing at Jasper.

They ventured off across the river and into the mountain where they met the loggers who took them to the tree. They worked their way in finding them selves in a service tunnel. There was clearly once a gate here that led out to the coast line. Inside though were weak trolls who had awoken from their suspended animation deep inside this mini research lab. One of the younger ones attacked right away and was taken out by the three of them. Jasper is a level 4 magus and Magnus (confusing i know) is a level 3 fighter / level 6 engineer. They worked their way into ruin where they found them selves in combat again with 3 more trolls, one of them being very large. They got quite seperated in the combat with Shtonebrow coming close to biting the dust once.

One of the trolls made a run for it with Jasper giving persuit. The two other dwarves met up and found them selves persuing the big one deeper into the tunnels. They found them selves in a ruined gears room. Magnus was looking around when the troll jumped down from the upper shaft in the gear room and a vicious melee broke out with both characters coming close to death. The dwarves deduced that the shaft was a counter weight to something, possibly an elevator that must have come off the main room.

They ventured further and found a room adorned with cloudy glass (that in good repair would be lit from light reflecting from the top of the mountain). Shtonebrow made his perception check and discovered a small inconspicuous sign of his secret guild. He decided that now was a good time to make the secret hand signal to Magnus, but Magnus was clearly oblivious to the matter.

The toiled around some more and found nothing but dead ends so they headed back to the original tunnel where there were 2 more ways to go. Below the found what appeared to be a nasty irrigation system with very very foul water (a prelude to the main schools corruption later on). It was clear the trolls were travelling through this pipe and this was a service stop. The tunnel was also clearly not of dwarven make while everything else was. The two decided to spend some time sealing up the pipe to prevent any more attacks. The other route leead to where the trolls were keeping their kills.

Jasper came back in and told them they needed to burn the bodies of the trolls right away as he discovered their regenerative abilities were way more powerfull than normal even though these trolls were weaker than they should be.
Upon returning to where the other trolls were killed they found only 1 body. The big one had gotten away.

Jasper caught Shtonebrow off guard by making the secret hand symbol at him, and told him they would talk later as he needed to use this troll blood fresh and every minute it got weaker.

The two dwarves explored further then headed home, only to be ambushed by the big troll waiting in the branches of the fallen tree. The fight was intense with the troll giving it everything it had but the 2 dwarves managed to succeed.

Upon getting home, there was note at the rusty dragon waiting for Shtonebrow from Jasper saying he would be returning in a fortnight but he imagined they would have a lot to talk about. There was 50 gold in the bag too for the troll blood.

We ended the session with teh blot raining down metal that evaporated into a puff of smoke quickly.

In some meta game with Tingting- Ven and her did the sexy deed, and he said he needed help getting back his wifes wedding ring that went missing when a goblin stole it during the raid. I plan on there being a pretty crazy love triangle here as Im changing Vens daughter to a son who is going to try and get with Tingting to get back at his dad for being a jerk basically. But this will all end up sour when Aldern start his murder spree.

We had 1 more session that I will fill in later at got us 1/2 through teh glassworks / catacombs buisness.

Id love to see something war like and a bit surreal & experimental. Have the characters play a larger story starting at lvl 0 even and having their classes evolve from there in very grey 2 sided war. There should be no clear right side.

I just wanted to thank your for making this thread. I am just getting back into running games after a 15 year hiatus from teen years.

I figured out that I wanted to run a combo of ROTR and KM awhile back and bought a few of the books and was working things out. Then I found this thread the day before the first game and it really helped me remember how the flow of GMing a game works. I made a big flow chart with my own personal changes to the game (im even trying to squeeze in a bit of Second Darkness in here in the form of the second adventure)and managed to work their own personal back stories into it a bit.

We just had our first game and it went amazingly. Im finding my PC's are more or less mirroring yours to a certain degree which is kind of interesting.

So thanks again for your work in chronicling the adventures you are running. Im enjoying the read :)