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Name: The whole party. Justin Verres, Xanthippe Euphram, Ray Banashim, Talnar, and Reynard Trellers.

Races: Justin was an Aasimar, everyone else was human.

Justin - Battle Oracle 16
Xan - Bladebound Magus 16
Ray - Witch 16
Talnar - Druid 16
Reynard - Ecclesitheurge Cleric 16

Adventure: The Witch Queen's Revenge

Catalyst: Queen Elvanna is brutal.

The Gory Details: This happened last Friday night, I'm just getting over it. The players are in a worse state and I'm worried that it might take a while for them to forgive me.

If I'm going to blame the victims here, I had to say that the party was poorly prepared. Their spell selection was questionable considering that they must have known that they were going up against a powerful caster. No Freedom of Movement. No Silence. Not much Dispel Magic. One PC had True Sight memorized, but not cast until after the fight started. There are a lot of useful tools for dealing with casters. The party inexplicably decided not to prepare them.

Looking at how Queen Elvanna prepares for the fight, I had a bad feeling even going into this. To put it mildly (and to avoid spoilers), she's probably the most powerful Witch alive (except of course her mother ...), she knows you're coming, she's been watching you, and she can bring it like nothing else in the game can.

The Party ran up the corridor as a group, so everyone got hit by (what's on the door). She actually rolled poorly on the initiative. Most of the party charged into her room and engaged her minions. She was able to get almost everyone within her Polar Midnight. Her Rime polar midnight. Infused with Numbing Chill. It took the party several rounds just to get out of there (and freeing some of their comrades who were frozen). Meanwhile, she spent the rest of the fight blasting the players with her most powerful spells while the Demodands just cast Greater Dispel Magic on whatever PC was irritating them.
It turns out her most powerful spells REALLY HURT. Polar Ray on Talnar when he came too close. Mass Suffocation. Wail of the Banshee. The party was resilient, but the continual spell battering eventually broke them down. Eventually, she ended the fight with a Split Major Hex Frost Tomb, putting down the last two standing party members.

The players were (understandably) upset. But despite their complaints, I don't think this fight is unwinnable. It's a tough fight, sure! Elvanna isn't the Witch Queen of Irrisen by accident. But it's definitely not a fight that you want to have while poorly prepared. PCs can overpower most fights, that's not really an option here.

At some point in the future, I might run Reign of Summer. These PCs are down but not all out - Talnar and Reynard are definitely dead, but the dead can become vengeful ghost NPCs. Ray is dead, but she used a contingency to meld her spirit into her familiar. Maybe she can keep that up indefinitely. Xan and Justin are trapped in a Frost Tomb, and it's entirely possible that they'll stay that way, possibly on display as statues in Whitethrone ... until some plucky adventurers free them in a daring raid.
We'll be playing something else, with a different DM, for a while. But this might have the makings of a fun game once tempers are cooled.

Name: Reynard Trellers
Race: Human
Classes/levels: Cleric 16 (Ecclesitheurge)
Adventure: The Witch Queen's Revenge
Location:The Guarded Ledge
Catalyst:Trapped with an Ice Devil
The Gory Details: Those Gelugons are nasty. They'd summoned their Bone Devil allies, who were waiting, invisible, hoping to ambush the party. Party got the drop on them (Oracle with Blindsight is on point, sensed some invisible opponents, invisibility purged. The Ice Devils sat back in their illusion for the first round, trapping Reynard (the Cleric) and Talnar (the Druid) in Wall of Ice hemispheres.
Talnar cast Burrow and escaped easily. Reynard had more trouble getting out. Especially when one of the (Advanced!) Ice Devils teleported inside the Wall of Ice. Fun fact! When he's standing in the center, he can reach any point in the hemisphere!
The rest of the party were occupied with the other Ice Devil and the remaining Bone Devils. By the time they thought to help out, Reynard was on the ground after several full attacks. Baba Yaga's Breath of Life boon brought him back, his friends got him to safety, but man those Advanced Ice Devils are tough.

Name: Reynard Trellers
Race: Human
Classes/levels: Ecclesitheurge Cleric 12
Adventure: Rasputin Must Die!
Location: Dancing Hut, Gingerbread Hut room
Catalyst: Grossly Negligent Recklessness
Gory details: Reynard is an Ecclesitheurge who thinks he's a wizard, taking the Fire and Water domains and slinging out fireballs when needed. Unfortunately, he's about as squishy as a Wizard without many of the wizard defensive spells, so he usually wisely keeps to the back.
This time, he and his companions, Ray (Witch 12) and Xanthippe (Bladebound Magus 12) entered the Gingerbread room.
Reynard and Xan passed their saves, Ray failed and immediately tried to gobble down some delicious candy furniture. Xan realized that was probably a bad thing and dragged her friend out (Ray has a hilariously bad CMD). Reynard, thinking quickly, slammed the door behind them to prevent Ray from getting back into the room. Presumably thinking about what a close call that was, Reynard wandered over to the candy window to look out. He had no chance at all to notice the invisible Bronislav and Mitya approaching ...
Three brutal sneak attacks later, Reynard was dead and the rest of the party ran into the room for the toughest fight yet of this module. Okay, it's the first fight, but still ...

Name: BreezeChaser again
Race: Wolf
Classes/levels: Druid Animal Companion 12
Adventure: Rasputin Must Die!
Location: Dancing Hut, Gingerbread Hut room
Catalyst: Being in the wrong place at the wrong time
Gory details: The Party stormed the Gingerbread room after the Bogeymen murdered Reynard. Some of them failed their saves and started munching on the furniture. Mitya ran up to one of them, sneak attacked, and then used his Quickened Phantasmal Killer on the biggest, scariest thing he saw - BreezeChaser. Who never even took an action that turn.

After the fight ended, Xan went exploring to find a safe room to camp in. Looked through the wardrobe, saw her own reflection in the window ... and then they were three.

They've recovered now but I had visions of a one-at-a-time wipe coming up.

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Name: BreezeChaser
Race: Wolf
Classes/levels: Druid Animal Companion 11
Adventure: The Frozen Stars
Location: Rimekeening Crevasse, Frost Worm Attack
Catalyst: "The better part of Valor", and Frost Worms hurt more than anyone thought was possible.
Gory details: BreezeChaser has been the loyal companion of Druid Talnar since they used to wander the Border Wood outside Heldren together well before the adventure started.
The party had been tearing through Rimekeening Crevasse, and despite almost losing their Magus to the Carnivorous Crystal in C2, continued on to C3.
The first Frost Worm popped out of the ground and blasted the Party with the most powerful breath weapon they've faced yet. A furious fight ensued, the first worm was down to about 25% when the second popped up.
Magus and elemental-themed Cleric blasted the second Worm with Fire and managed to take it down in a round before it could use its breath weapon, due to some clutch crits and generally decent dice. When they figured out the Death Throes explosion, just about everyone cleared out of the first Worm, leaving it with only BreezeChaser to attack. He happily "bit", dropping the wolf. Then the second worm exploded. Killing the first worm, who also exploded.
At the end of the encounter, BreezeChaser was at negative 101 hit points. Talnar is currently scraping chunks of meat, chitin, and bone off of the walls of the glacier, trying to separate wolf from worm.

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W E Ray wrote:
Now, if your DM started 'Reign of Winter' and didn't give any foreshadowing at the start that the latter parts of the campaign would include "alternative" setting material (his or her prerogative on how specific), well in my opinion it's an instance of poor DMing. It's usually not cool (depending on the group) to not give some kinds of heads-up prior to going off-the-wall.

I am totally looking forward to springing this on the PCs.

I hinted during character creation that they'd be traveling to strange new places, places that you wouldn't even have thought about in a "standard" campaign. In book 3 they thought I was talking about Iobaria. Now they think I was talking about Triaxus. They finished the Siege of Spurhorn, they're going to start heading toward Ivoryglass next session. They're so close I can almost taste it.

One of my favorite parts of DMing is the big reveal, when the players realize how screwed they really are, especially when what they thought were minor plot points in the past start to make sense. They think they know what they're up against. Then they find out there's more. Then they get a glimpse of how bad it really is.

They're going to step out of the hut, full of warnings about stuff they think they can handle. What do level 12-13 PCs have to fear? They'll step out of the hut. All quiet. A ruined village, not the first one they've seen. With a fire. Maybe they'll be clever and try to stealth, or illusion, or sneak forward.

Then one of them will step on a land mine. Click. They won't know what that is, of course. Big explosion. Then the riflemen will take their readied action. Then they'll see the motion as the Tsar Tank's turret turns in their direction. Boom goes the cannon. Then the machine guns start. I have the sound effects all ready. The look of "Oh crap. OH CRAP" on their faces is why I DM.

Oh ... then they'll meet a wild-eyed Monk named Rasputin. They might even be panicked enough to attack him.

I have literally been looking forward to this moment from the instant I opened Book 5.

Tyophelis wrote:
Can someone recommend a module to substitute rasputin must die with? I am really not to keen to bring my table to a WW1 scenario in russia. The ap already feels very disjointed between the books.

I wouldn't swap this book out for the world. Springing this on my overconfident PCs is 75% of why I'm running Reign of Winter.

But plot-wise, the only thing actually required is that the PCs rescue Baba Yaga's Matryushka doll at the end. Any level 13-14 module will do. Just add snow.

I didn't like the Player's Guide because it revealed a lot of things that some level 1 peasant living in Heldren couldn't possibly know. "You learned this growing up in Irrisen" ... no you didn't.
I wrote up a crunch summary and gave that to my players instead.

I borrowed a copy of Irrisen: Land of Eternal Winter and found it very helpful for book 2. There's nothing in there that you can't make up on the fly, if that isn't available. But it's a pretty fun resource.

I didn't have Cities of Golarion available, and have no idea how much it helps.

As to Winter Witch Archetype and Prestige Class, I'm a huge fan of letting the players play what they want. There are definitely role-playing situations where that will be hugely helpful. Some where your Witch will have to overcome a lot of (utterly justified) prejudice. Some fights will be trivial, some will be impossible. But that's more or less true for any class.

Sorry, been a busy week.

Your party sounds cool, although if they're 17th level they're probably just about finished. Or I'm misunderstanding exactly what you're looking for.

Llira will probably want to take (Greater) Spell Specialization to cast Cure spells spontaneously like a Cleric by dropping a memorized spell slot. The alternative is to memorize Cure*Wounds every morning, and that's just super boring. The Healing hexes are natural fits for her, but they're also not great - you can only use it once per target per day.

If your party is just starting out, I'd just let the characters develop naturally. Stuff which looks great when you're first level planning out what you'll take half a year down the road sometimes doesn't look so hot after playing. And characters really do change and develop their own personalities, if that makes sense.

The Fly hex will solve (and cause) a lot of problems. Poor Ohlmin will have to find a way to keep up.

That said, if there's an AP where Three Witches will fit right in, this is it. There's going to be some pretty impressive catfights over Witch Loot though ...

There's a Witch in my party who loves using Evil Eye to reduce saves. Now she's starting to blast stuff with Frost Tomb, which is going to lead to some totally boring fights in future sessions. Multiple Witches will get this done even faster. Evil Eye to reduce saves (cackle), then Frost Tomb ... or Slumber ...

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RIP the Whole Party :(

Name: Xanthippe "Zan" Euphram
Race: Human
Classes/levels: Bladebound Magus 6

Name: Justin Verres
Race: Aasimar
Classes/levels: Battle Oracle 6

Name: Rahel "Ray" Banashim
Race: Human
Classes/levels: Witch 6

Name: Rhys Hawkwind
Race: Elf
Classes/levels: Swashbuckler 6

Name: Talnar
Race: Human
Classes/levels: Druid 6

Adventure: Maiden, Mother, Crone
Catalyst: The Witchdaughter's Nightmare, an underratedly brutal encounter for CR8

The Gory Details: The party had just arrived in Iobaria, and hadn't had a chance to fully heal up before they started to explore. And of course the first room that they try is the Chamber of Dawn.
The Challenge of Endurance went just about exactly as written - players kept asking the Animate Dream about her background, she kept getting more and more agitated, before she started demanding that the party "free" her and attacked. Everyone was conveniently bunched up, so she started with Confusion.
Xan, Ray, and Justin all failed their saves (and started rolling terribly on their Confusion rolls). Rhys and Tanlar charged in and started nickling and diming the Dream down, but not much they can do vs Incorporeal. Ray, Justin, and Xan spend 3-4 rounds stabbing themselves and each other. Rhys dropped, but stabilized on a natural 20. Talnar dropped. Ray was put to sleep (Deep Slumber). Xan had a few moments of clarity, but whiffed the round before she dropped. Justin, wearing heavy armor, couldn't escape and was cut down to complete the wipe.

Zan was 19. The daughter of Heldren's blacksmith, she loved working in the forge and practicing with weapons, but also studying magic. She could deal some pretty insane damage sometimes (She'd two-shot Logrivich on two crits a few sessions ago), and while she'd faced some close calls, her luck held out. Until last night.
Her Black Blade, a Katana called The Ronin Prince, had been passed down in Justin's family for generations before Zan reforged him. Now he's stuck in the Dancing Hut until another Bladebound Magus walks by ...

Justin was 26 and thought he was human. His family's Oracle "Curse" was a result of Celestial blood, but he knew it only as some kind of family shame. The Ronin Prince had been allied with one of his ancestors, and was trying to convince him that there was nothing to be ashamed of.
Justin had a massive but hidden crush on Zan. Nothing's going to happen there now ...

Ray was an orphan, brought up by a shady Witch living ouside of Heldren. Her parents were part of a coven of high-class socialite Witches in Oppara, but "something went terribly wrong" and her guardian barely escaped to obscurity in Heldren with two-year-old Ray in tow.
I was looking forward to dropping subltle hints and eventually building up that she is descended from the Jadwiga Tashanna. Now she'll never know. (Unless you're reading this, in which case I hope the adventure is over! And that you guys didn't TPK again).

Rhys wasn't in top shape going into this encounter; he was suffering from Bloodfire Fever from a Troll Hound bite in the Clock Tower, and was suffering from ST and Dex damage (awful for a Swashbuckler) and Fatigue (certainly doesn't help). He'd failed every saving throw he rolled vs disease and I'd gotten sadistic pleasure in describing just how painful this disease is.
At least that pain is over.

Talnar was a stereotypical filthy hippy, living in a ramshackle hut well outside of Heldren, in the woods. He refused to learn any healing spells besides Goodberry, but he had an evangelical calling to distribute those berries and try to convince anyone who would listen (nobody) that they would cure any disease, curse, magic, impotence, anything.

If there's a silver lining, it's that this group has consistently shown that they can bang out interesting and entertaining characters, who are fun to play and for whom I like DMing. I'll miss this party. But soon we'll see the next one.

(Turns out, way before this all started, the White Rider called in some favors with a bunch of 7th level adventurers, then hid them in the Hut when everything went south).

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These aren't true deaths, but they're in negative hit points which is still pretty scary at level six.

Plus one PC managed to do it three times in one evening. Achievement Unlocked!

Name: Rhys Hawkwind
Race: Elf
Classes/levels: Swashbuckler 6
Adventure: The Shackled Hut
Location: Market Square, Font of Water
Catalyst: Auraenos, Overconfidence

The Gory Details: Rhys had already had some close calls in the previous session last week; getting trapped in a summoned spiked pit, getting charmed by the Baccae, getting sneak attacked by Silverthorn ... he was at about half hit points when he ran into Auraenos' pool to start last night's session. He took damage from an Aqueous Orb (which he easily escaped), and a Dissonance dropped him down to single digits. The rest of the party was focused on freeing the Oracle from the Aqueous Orb ... Auraenos remembered that he had a rapier. Critted poor Rhys right in the chest. He was two rounds away from bleeding out when the rest of the party managed to stablize him ...

Name: Rhys again
Race: Elf
Classes/levels: Swashbuckler 6
Adventure: The Shackled Hut
Location: Market Square, The Dancing Hut
Catalyst: Nazhena Vasiliovna, Refusal to retreat.

The Gory Details: Did I mention that Rhys was the one to finish off Radosek at the end of book 1? Plugged him with a lucky crossbow bolt. (Then Radosek's Fly spell failed and he crashed in the courtyard). I didn't think Nazhena knew about this but she must have found out somehow.
She's supposed to start off with a Wall of Ice, but I like playing smart enemies smart. The party was nice and compact and she led off with Ice Storm. Druid dragged his Wolf to safety, Witch, Magus, and Oracle took to the air, leaving Rhys in single digit hit points to deal with the Ice Golem. A few rounds later, Golem drops him.

Name: Rhys!
Race: Elf
Classes/levels: Swashbuckler 6
Adventure: The Shackled Hut
Location: Dancing Hut, Cauldron Room
Catalyst: Glyph of Warding

The Gory Details: Rhys thinks he's a Rogue sometimes. "I check the door for traps", rolls a 14. "All set, there are no traps!"
Then he opens the door and boom. Fails his save. His party mates had healed him just barely exactly enough after the Nazhena Vasiliovna fight that he survived, although not before collapsing for the third time that night and into accidental legend.

I'm looking forward to posting more in this thread when the Party makes it to Artrosa. And I have no idea how they're ever going to survive Book 5 ... well, if you're reading this thread, you know what they'll face sooner or later.

If this happens in my game, I intend to work with the player as they make their new character, with a flashback scene of the Red and White rider granting them their mantle before getting killed.

If more than two players die ... I'll worry about that if it happens.

Players ended last week with the Soulbound Guardian. With any luck, they'll enter Somir Valley tonight and encounter the Black Rider.

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I told my PCs that she was disliked and unpopular, but I wanted to kind of hide how evil she really is for as long as possible.

So in the pre-campaign introductions, I made sure to talk about how she got blamed for everything King Eodred did. Just a poor misunderstood foreign girl who keeps getting scapegoated by all those manipulative, conniving nobles. Kind of a Marie Antoinette situation.

And I hate to brag but my players just lapped it up. When they visited the throne room, I played the sympathy card pretty hard. She'd just lost her beloved husband, she's all alone with no allies, just trying to maintain some law and order while the city riots around her. I thought I was overacting but the players loved her at the beginning.

They even just flat-out refused to believe that the Queen was behind the Blood Veil, even though she was the one who brought in Dr. Davaulus and his Physicians, and even after Lady Andaisin explicitly told them what was up. They kept whatever doubts they had to themselves until her "encounter" with Commandant Endrin.

I've been running Crimson Throne for a year and a half now. And for that whole time, I've been itching to post into this thread.

It's not that the players have always been particularly careful. They've come pretty close to being mentioned here. Just off the top of my head, Yvicca, Lady Andaisin, Bahor, Cindermaw, Bishop Ravenka, and Kleestad have all come within a save or a stablization or something like that of letting me post here. I haven't pulled my DM punches. But they're a five player party, which really helps. There's no main healer, but three of the party (Wizard, Monk, Hospitaler Paladin, Bard, Inquisitor) have pretty decent healing. And more than anything else, their ability to roll clutch saves at exactly the right times kept them alive through the first five books, and well into the sixth.

Until the last fight.


The party went crazy with the Harrow Deck of Many Things. There was some good (Giles the Paladin got himself a wish), some bad (Timmy the Bard increased a size category, leaving most of his equipment useless) and ugly (Drethor the Inquisitor got dragged out of reality by a big, mean, hungry daemon).

Giles had already been intending to try to use his Wish to "Skip to the end" (they hadn't taken it well when they found out about the Queen's Simulacrum) when Drethor got dragged off. He saw an opportunity to get two effects in one, transporting "the entire party" to the Queen's location, and in doing so rescuing Drethor (and Serithtial!) from a daemon's digestive system.

I let it happen. So I gave Drethor some damage and gave the players a 5 minute break while I set up the Sunken Queen map.

Name of PC: Timmy "Thunder" Thondril, extravagant actor
Class/Level: Bard 15
Adventure: Crown of Fangs
Catalyst: An Everdawn Wraith

Poor Timmy had lost a lot of AC to the Deck of Many Things. That's what happens when you draw SEVEN cards. (he drew the full four that he was allowed; his fourth card was The Cricket, which grants up to three more draws. Which he took).
The Wraiths had been brutalizing the party for several rounds. Timmy, nearly dead already, tried to use Acrobatics to escape from a wraith. One failed Acrobatics roll and one successful Attack of Opportunity later, Timmy hit the ground. And was instantly restored to full hit points by The Survivor card, although "full" hit points wasn't all that great after the amount of CON drain he'd suffered.

Name of PC: Timmy again
Class/Level: Bard 15
Adventure: Crown of Fangs
Catalyst: Ileosa's Furies (I believe Suishani or Eveanie)

Timmy was back! And the Wraiths were down. But the party had been having a lot of trouble even hitting the Queen, with her insane AC, and she'd just put out a bunch of Mirror Images. Timmy tried to counter this by UMD'ing a Scroll of Anti-Magic Shell on himself and charging the Queen.
She got away, and ordered her Erinyes to deal with him. Suishani and Eveanie charged. They hit hard, he'd already taken a lot of CON drain. He hit the ground and bled out one round later.

Name of PC: Giles Laney
Class/Level: Paladin (Archer) 15 (Hospitaler)
Adventure: Crown of Fangs
Catalyst: Eveanie

Giles, Paladin Archer and usually relibale damage machine, was still standing in the Brain Fog. He'd had his own troubles with Wraiths earlier, and had an effective CON of 5. Once Timmy went down, the Queen cast Confusion on him and Eveanie charged, knocking him down to something like 10 hit points.
Had he been able to act normally on his turn, he could have taken a 5 foot step away, Lay on Hands as a swift action, and shot her with his bow. Instead, he had to attack the nearest target. Declared a Bow attack, triggered an Attack of Opportunity, took something like 30 damage, hit the ground.

The party would eventually triumph ... helped somewhat by a pretty insane Crit by Drethor with Serithtial. But 3 total deaths to 2 players made this by far the toughest encounter in the book. As intended!

Is the map the same as in the old edition?

I guess the issue you're having is that same that I had - just about every marked location on the map is where "something" happens. A PC will glance at the map and think, ok, something is going to happen at Eel's End, something is going to happen at the Hospice, and so on.

The map itself wasn't a problem for me, we play on roll20 and I could just copy the spoiler-free map out of the pdf. As for stuff like Eel's End, which is a pretty well-known place that any resident of Korvosa ought to know about, so it should be included in your gazetteer.

And to avoid the "here's a list of places where you'll have encounters" effect, I went on to describe, just, dozens and dozens of other places. Enough that it was obvious to even the most metagamey of my players that some of those places were just background information. I left some locations off the list entirely (At the start of the game, the place which becomes the Hospice of the Blessed Maiden is a run-down, nondescript Arkona warehouse, just like dozens of other warehouses in that neighborhood). My rule of thumb was, "would a long-time resident of Korvosa know about this place?"
The Guide to Korvosa is perfect for this, but you can just make it all up if you don't have that.

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This is coming out right about when my group will be either wrapping up, or at least getting through book six.

I'm still probably going to buy the hardcover though. Just to have it. It's been a great year and a half running this campaign, so this is going to be like a souvenir for me.

I love the Queen Ileosa cover art. Can probably forget about players believing in her for the first couple books though, if they see that ;)

Right, you wouldn't be able to make a wall of ice or anything. Maybe a bunch of snow or larger ice crystals.

Here's a video of some dude in Yakutsk dumping a pot of boiling water off of a balcony. It turns into snow before it hits the ground:

You could probably make a decent ice patch on the ground. But that would probably take at least a few rounds (and is something you can do with normal water anyway).

That thing is huge. And looks great!

What model is the Kroft figure?

Huh. I went ahead and posted without knowing that this thread exists:

Tomorrow will be the one year anniversary of the first session of my Crimson Throne game. The players haven't fired me yet, so I'll take that as a compliment, or at least as confirmation that they hate DMing themselves more than they hate my game.

The party (well, four of them, see below) are just about done with History of Ashes. They're snoozing in their Yurt, resting up after the exhausting Trial of the Totem and waiting for nothing-at-all to happen before the Sun Shaman returns to tell them what they'll be up to in book five.
Some of them think they'll be returning to Korvosa soon. They're so cute sometimes.

Also, guys, if you're reading this, just stop reading right here. Remember when I told you to avoid spoilers? (Admittedly that's always a problem for an AP as established and popular as Crimson Throne). Anyway, this thread is a spoiler. And that goes for players in other Crimson Throne games as well! Was the title not enough for you? The Crimson Throne story is awesome, don't ruin it for yourself.

Anyway, in no particular order, here are the Party members:

Timmy "Thunder" Thondril, Bard
Timmy is the second son of a minor noble merchant family in Korvosa. He disappointed his strict and conservative father by showing no talent for business, then continued to disappoint as a teenager by playing as an actor in the theaters. When his illegitimate son by an actress was kidnapped, he took to the streets ...
Timmy doesn't do much damage in combat, preferring to use his bardic performance and wide range of buff spells to help the rest of the party.
Finest Moment: Used the Cacophonous Call spell, combined with a Harrow Point, a great caster level check, and a failed Will Save to afflict Bahor with the Nauseated condition. All he could do was run around trying to get away until the Party (with a generous assist from "innocent victim Meliya Arkona") took him down.
Low Point: Nearly died in the wreck of the Direption of giving Yvicca too many attacks of opportunity.
Haha and also, Meliya inherited House Arkona and is currently firmly in charge of Old Korvosa.

Thiorek Stal'Ufur, Dwarf Monk of the Iron Mountain
The only non-human in the group. Thiorek is the quiet and stoic type. Although he's originally from Janderhoff, he's lived in Korvosa for longer than any other party member and knows more of the history. Kind of lost his s$%% for a while when his childhood sweetheart (A human girl who had grown into an adult by then) was murdered.
Thiorek often ends up taking on a main-tank kind of role, springing traps as needed and generally taking more punishment than the rest of the party combined.
Finest Moment: Breaking the Grappled condition in Cindermaw's mouth and crawling down his throat.
Low Point: More of a recurring condition than a single event, Thiorek consistently wins initiative in surprise rounds, and ends up somehow standing exactly in the perfect blast radius for a fireball. To the eternal irritation of ...

Tobar "Tobey" Kaslov, Admixture Evoker
As a talented scholar, Tobey was one of the few ethnic Varisians to do well at the Acadamae. Unfortunately, financial and legal ugliness following the murder of his parents led to him being kicked out of the Acadamae (I included a scene in which a pompous and sanctimonious Toff Ornelos has him literally thrown out).
Tobey is an old-school, boom-boom, flash-bang kind of wizard. He's also not the most courageous in combat, preferring to use spells such as Overland Flight to keep himself safe first, then unleashing the fireworks. Admixture has been situational, but quite effective when it's needed.
Finest Moment: In the showdown with Gaedren Lamm, used Animate Rope to save Timmy's son from being fed to a crocodile. Just the perfect spell at the perfect time.
Low Point: After Jolistina sneak attacked him with her crossbow, she drank a potion and turned invisible. The rest of the party started chasing zombies and Ghost Sounds on the ground floor, while Tobey stayed on the balcony looking down. Until she sneak attacked him again a few rounds later.

Drethor Cailean, Inquisitor of Cayden Cailean
Of course an Inquisitor of Cayden Cailean runs a bar. Which has sort of morphed into the Party's headquarters, storage area, interrogation basement, really whatever's needed.
Drethor is big on taking prisoners - he was gimping himself slightly at low level, attacking with the flat of his Greatsword to deal nonlethal damage. But it was quite effective - turns out taking prisoners is a great way to learn what's going on, and the rest of the Party's getting in on the act - they're actually acting like heroes instead of the usual murder hobos.
Drethor now uses a Merciful Greatsword, which has been surprisingly effective so far. Poor guy is going to be in for a bit of a surprise once they hit Castle Scarwall though.
Finest Moment: Goaded Lady Andaisin into walking into melee range by desecrating the Altar of Urgathoa, then made a very important save against her Slay Living spell. Turns out pissing off villains is effective but dangerous ...
Low Point: While the rest of the party was trying to make Perception rolls to find Jolistina, who they thought was on the ground floor of Carowyn Manor, He cast Invisibility to Undead and started running around, randomly opening doors and releasing zombies. For, ah, reasons.

Giles Laney, Hospitaler Paladin of Abadar
Giles was brought up with a strong sense of responsibility and moral compass by his father, a Cleric of Abadar. But when his parents were murdered, he took to weapons instead of spells in his quest for justice.
Giles prefers to fight as an archer, standing at the back and shooting off many, many arrows - a very effective tactic when combined with Timmy's Bard buffs.
Finest Moment: Basically one-shot Doctor Davaulus after climbing the roof of the Hospice and crashing through to where he detected evil.
Low Point: Absolutely one-shot Verik Vancaskerkin, the one NPC who gets the party a not inconsiderable bonus for being taken alive. One sick Longbow crit later, there's an arrow sticking out of Verik's eye and a lot of unanswered questions.

Giles remained behind in Korvosa for book four, because his player's wife became pregnant and he now has an infant to take care of. (We always speak of this in the passive voice, as if it were something which simply happened without any input from the player, just to inconvenience our gaming schedule). He has been a consistent thorn in the side of the Gray Maidens, disguised as Blackjack and posting subversive broadsheets, assisting Grau Soldado and a few other Guardsmen in setting up a hidden base, and training Amin Jalento to take over as Blackjack.
He's going to have to flee the city soon (meaning his kid is starting to sleep through the night and gaming is going to become an option again soon). Amazingly, he ought to make it back just in time to start book five. Which is good, because taking on Castle Scarwall without a paladin would be ... well, that's just mean even for me.

We kind of liked Aldern when he was taking us out boar hunting. My ranger even offered to teach him some basic swordcraft, because really, getting threatened by a goblin is just embarrassing. Figuring out what had happened to him was a long process rather than a single "oh crap" moment.

But my favorite villain to *run* was probably Lady Andaisin. Her villain speech is just so calm and, well, evil. And she is a true villain, no emo mixed messages or protestations or apologies or anything - she's there to kill the PCs and their city, and either she kills them or dies trying. (And then ... when they think it's over ... BAM).
Plus it helped that her temple is one of the creepiest settings I've experienced in decades of gaming.

Right, the role requirements are intentionally broad so that any party with any makeup can fill the roles as needed.

Treasurer is more of a character background/personality role than class, in my opinion. Maybe not the best role for the Rogue ;)

So whoever is most trustworthy. Jhod is our treasurer. My character (Cleric of Abadar, in fact!) could have done just as well, but I'm High Priest. Although I'm calling myself "Bishop".

Our wizard is a Necromancer and he's blatantly shady. He has the intelligence to be a decent Treasurer, but none of us trusted him with our money. He's our spymaster now ;)

I hadn't run a game since the 1990s, but last year I picked up Curse of the Crimson Throne and we're still playing it. I can recommend it highly, for both newbies and experienced players, although you'll want to wait until they release the updated version.

Kingmaker is great, we played the first couple of books. But of course it stands or falls based on how much your players would enjoy running sim kingdom.

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You don't even need to summon, you can combine encounters. If Ramoska shows up when the players are fighting Rolth's group or Lady Andaisin, suddenly that's a challenging fight even for seven PCs.
"What is all this racket, mortals?? I am trying to WORK here!"

Then if you're really evil, have him Dominate whoever has the worst Will save in the party ;)

Or recruit a friend and run two groups of four :)

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They still believed that Queen Ileosa was the victim of some bad advice and scheming nobles throughout book 2. And I tried to always have some kind of excuse or explanation ready. Queen's Physicians? Why, Doctor Davaulus must be taking advantage of a naive and inexperienced queen! Merciless Way Massacre? Why, the Gray Maidens are just zealous about protecting the city from the horrible Blood Veil threat!

But the opening of Book 3 was pretty hard to ignore. And on a personal level, that was probably the best and most satisfying scene I've run as a DM. Just the look on my players' faces made it worth it. It went from "meh, more bad news" to "uh-oh" to "Oh Crap it can't get worse" to "nope, it's worse!"

I have five players in my game, some of the encounters are still challenging but there's a lot more room for error on the part of the players.

I have compensated by increasing the numbers of minions sometimes, and where bosses are fought alone, increasing their hit points a bit. I find the latter fights are often "easier" than I think they should be, but I've run a lot of encounters "by the book" (or by the PF bestiary or fan conversion or whatever) and it tends to work out fine. No PC has died yet (we're in book 4) but I think everyone's been dropped to negative hit points at some time or other.

Seven is a lot of players though, just in general.

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Well, I started running Crimson Throne last June, so in a month an a half we'll have been at it for a year. I expect to have finished book 4 by then. Although I expect books 5 and 6 to be slightly faster, that's still well over a year and approaching a year and a half for a single, six-book AP.
(We try to play every week, but everyone has a life outside of gaming and in reality we end up playing, on average, about once every 1.5 to 2 weeks).

At that pace, it would take nearly three decades to get through all of the modules above. And Paizo keeps publishing more!

So who's up for a wild and exciting PRG at our retirement home in like 2050? Presumably starting at noon and running until 4:30, when we go out for the early bird special at the local Chinese buffet? :-D

DM Alistair wrote:
Huh, how epic would it be to run the AP's in the order that they appear in roloz listing rather than by release date, allowing the adventures to affect the ones played later in varyibg degrees?

This would be hilarious if the PCs "lose" one of those games, and the BBEG has taken over and (done whatever they plan to do, none of which are pleasant for the world).

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PF Characters are superheroes, sure, but they shouldn't always feel like it if there's going to be a proper horror atmosphere. I grew up reading Lovecraft, and the main theme is that the protagonists are weak and powerless - they are scarcely even capable of comprehending the horrors which they are encountering, never mind actually doing anything about it.

Which makes for a great story but might suck in a game.

But I'm loving the premise of book 1, nothing is going to make players seem vulnerable like not even knowing who they are. Will the players not even make their characters' own background? That would be so much fun to figure out. "Hey, maybe I used to be a blacksmith? Wait, there's a bruise on my cheek the exact same size as your fist, were we fighting? Why"?

Excited to see where this goes :)

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Barbarians are pretty vulnerable. Their armor class is never going to be great, and while they tend to have a lot of hit points compared to other characters, their main defense is to take their opponents down quickly.

I think their biggest vulnerability is when their rage ends. They lose their extra hit points (which can just flat-out kill a vanilla barbarian, Unchained fixes that glitch by making the extras "temporary hit points" but it can still be brutal), and leaving them fatigued.

A smart opponent will exploit this by sending in the mooks first. The barbarian rages, splatters some unsuspecting underling with a greataxe crit, flexes for his friends, then pauses to catch his breath. That's when you send in the real threat.

Don't do that too often, but it's totally fair to have smart villains fight smart.

muklowd wrote:
So, no mention of Crimson Throne at all... does that just fall in the middle of the pack? Or is it at the low lethality end of things?

Crimson Throne's difficulty depends a lot on how you convert the 3.5 stuff to Pathfinder. I've been using pfsrd when it's available and some fan conversions when not. I'm also running with a five player party, which makes things easier for the PCs.

Now that it's being re-released and updated to PF, I expect it's going to get a lot harder.

So far I think my party's toughest fight was

Lady Andaisin. She has the defensive spells and the toughness to stick around for a few rounds, and she can dish out damage with the best of them if she's lucky. But the Inquisitor made his save against Slay Living, two of the party (Paladin and Monk) were immune to her diseases, she rolled poorly on her healing ... so no deaths.

The Party is now in book 4 and I don't see anything that they should be too worried about.

Cindermaw might digest someone if they're stupid
, and I intend to play
The final Red Mantis attack
absolutely mercilessly, but I don't see anything that they really need to lose sleep worrying about until Book 5, when, holy crap! Welcome to Scarwall ;)

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Just added up the votes.

During my summation, I ended up having different results than SheepishEidolon and Porridge did when I got to their posts. We're probably counting differently, so this is how I did it:

- I counted first place votes only.
- If someone was tied between two AP's, I gave each a half vote.
- Otherwise, I did not count where a poster had no clear preference (some of you just listed a couple APs and wrote out pros and cons). That's interesting information, but it means no clear favorite.
- I only counted votes for PF AP's.
- I am sometimes an idiot; just ask any of my PCs. It's possible that I miscounted at some point.

And the results so far:

24 Votes: Curse of the Crimson Throne
21.5 Votes: Kingmaker

These two are clearly the two favorite APs by a long shot.

9.5 Votes: Carrion Crown
7.5 Votes: Rise of the Runelords (Regular or Anniversary)
7.5 Votes: Skull & Shackles
7 Votes: Iron Gods
6.5 Votes: Reign of Winter
5 Votes: Wrath of the Righteous

These seem to be a "middle tier" of popular AP's.

3.5 Votes: Jade Regent
3 Votes: Serpent's Skull
3 Votes: Hell's Rebels
2 Votes: Legacy of Fire
1 Vote: Second Darkness
1 Vote: Shattered Star
1 Vote: Mummy's Mask
1 Vote: Giantslayer
1 Vote: Hell's Vengeance

Some people loved these but apparently they're not everybody's cup of tea.

I counted no votes for Council of Thieves or Strange Aeons (which obvs isn't out yet). I was hoping to glance at the list and get some insights into "what makes an AP good" or "what kind of APs does everyone like", but the only thing which is obvious to me is that there are a wide range of tastes and preferences, and that there are good AP's for everyone!

Curse of the Crimson Throne, although I am biased because I'm running it and enjoying it so much.

I am guessing (hoping) that there's some Call-of-Cthulhu-like Sanity loss system. Even though that contributed to the "everyone is going to go insane and die" trope of that game, which I think was exaggerated. It was more of a meta-game in which reading forbidden books of hideous eldritch lore told you what you needed to know - but too much time spent reading that fries your brain.

The description sounds kind of like "The Color out of Space", which is kind of interesting. That short story is excellent reading but I can't imagine it being that great of a game. So I'm really looking forward to seeing what the writers do with this :)

Yeah, I suspect that the CG Inquisitor is going to end up being the bearer of Serithtial, just by default because he's the only real sword-wielding melee character. She (Serithtial) isn't going to be happy about it, and she and the player will probably have to come to some kind of understanding. Serithtial can only communicate by empathy, but I might just wave my DM wand and have her show up in his dreams.

She'll want irritating-but-not-deal-breaker stuff ... like, "No lying, no sleeping around, fight with honor and valor, and especially, definitely, no torture*". That kind of thing. "What would Iomedae do?"

Basically my goal is to prevent the plot from getting derailed while still letting my players and I have some fun with this.

* So far he's been pretty good about not actually torturing anyone, but he has a high intimidate score and is pretty free about threatening to.

Right now my group is about a third of the way through History of Ashes; at our current pace we should finish up right about the time you publish.

I've played several APs, but this is the only one I've DM'ed. I'm loving it and my only regret is that I can't play it :-D

And I still might buy the new version when it comes out, just for sentiment and to see the new art!

One thing your party will want - something I just now realized that the party I DM for is missing - is a Lawful Good Sword wielder.

(Very mild spoiler):

At some point, the party gets a special, intelligent (LG) sword which they need to advance the plot.

My party has a Paladin (who prefers to fight as an archer), a LG Monk (who prefers to fight unarmed), a NG Wizard who prefers to fight as far away from any threat as possible, a NG Bard who is built more for spellcasting and buffs, and a CG Inquisitor of Cayden Cailean, who does like fighting on the front lines with a greatsword, but is personality-wise the worst possible fit for the Sword in the party.

It's going to be interesting, I'll let you guys know how my party ends up dealing with it ;)

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Queen Ileosa's music is the Tannhäuser Overture:

(It was playing in the Throne Room when my party arrived with the brooch).

It's not music, but during the rioting part of Edge of Anarchy, I played shouting and rioting sounds. I think it set the mood well. Or maybe just irritated the crap out of my players.

I played the Jaws theme when the party entered the Direption.

When Lady Andaisin transformed, there was only one choice: O Fortuna!

And of course I'm saving this for Scarwall:

In general, tell your players to play what they want. Any party can work, there's a very diverse set of encounters so everyone will have their chance to shine.

A lot of the adventure path takes place in the city, and I think the entire AP rewards character backgrounds tied to Korvosa. Save "A druid who prefers secluded woodland groves" or "A barbarian who can't read and just walked into the city last week" for another adventure. It's not that those characters can't work, they can ... but players of those characters are going to miss out on a lot of fun role playing opportunities.
The best advice I can give (as a current Crimson Throne DM) is to encourage your players to build roots in Korvosa. The more they feel like Korvosa is their home, the smoother your adventure will be. And there are many encounters which can be resolved through role-playing instead of violence. If that's the kind of game your players like, they'll love this.

And yes, there are plenty of situations which are not exactly black and white. Korvosa is a Lawful city, and some of the people who make it work and keep it safe are Lawful Evil. There is a Paladin in my party, but he's smart about it. The stereotypical "Detect Evil; Smite Evil; repeat" kind of meathead will absolutely be a liability.

Personality-wise, I played her over-the-top, always eager to help, offering helpful suggestions on how to torture prisoners. Casting buffs before combat (and getting just a little bit feely on the touch spells, especially on the Dwarf Monk, a character very conscious of his personal space).

The hilarious part is that nobody is even sure that she's evil. All clerics of Zon-Kuthon have auras of Law and Evil, and I gave the party a gimme Knowledge: Religion roll to know this (and that LN is at least an option). The Paladin in our group has a very pragmatic view on working with Evil NPC's anyway (you kind of have to, in Korvosa). Nobody even said anything when she claimed the Scream paintings as her share of the loot.

Tactics-wise, he was very vanilla in combat. She'd defer to the PCs and do whatever they asked. I was going to have her get bored if they didn't tell her to do anything, and go in and use Aura of Destruction or channel negative energy or something. But the party is pretty powerful and fights don't tend to last long.

I stole an idea from somebody on Obsidianportal (sorry, don't remember whose). My party witnessed the whole thing as part of a vision from Zellara during her harrowing. Any other way would have most likely ended with at least a few dead PCs.

It's not mentioned. Make something up for your game.

The curse also says that no monarch has sired an heir while on the throne. Technically that's true for Domina as well, because her son (spoiler alert! Sons!) were born before she took the throne.

Do Rakshasas take their "true" form when they die? Keep the shape they were in when killed? Disappear in a puff of smoke?

Depending on how that works, Bahor's plan might be lose/lose (either his sister defeats the PCs, or they find out his secret). And he seems smarter than that.

If by "Urban" you mean "actually having social skills, instead of the typical murder hobo PC", then yes, I highly recommend it. Without wanting to spoil too much, there are many encounters which can be resolved without violence.

I encouraged players in my group to make characters with some "roots" in Korvosa, the city itself is a great setting and feeling like it's part of your character's heritage is pretty rewarding. It also makes things a bit more real when (spoiler alert!) some bad things happen.

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Well, looks like Endrin's failed assassination finally turned my party on the Queen. They had a bad feeling when Endrin was even there (he had debriefed the party about the Temple of Urgathoa), a worse feeling when I showed them the Crown of Fangs, and, judging by their reactions, what happened next was even worse than their worst-case expectation.

Comments ranged from "So, I hear Magnimar is quite nice this time of year!" to "Wait, WHY does she need a bodyguard again??". Fortunately, they took the time to consult with Cressida before going off the rails, and heard that Vencarlo was asking after them, so they nipped off to Old Korvosa for what they assumed would be a quick search-and-rescue.

The Shaman, I was in fact thinking of kitbashing her out of Dark Eldar (partly because I have a few lying around from building a Dark Elf Blood Bowl team).

Kabalite armor is too heavy, Laori is in razor chain mail. I think that could work with the Wyches armor, just paint the skin bits as a tight chainmail color and add spikes. If anything, the Wyches are too heavily armored (they basically have half plate on one side and cloth on the other). I can also warn you that the life support backpacks (and some grenades and stuff) are attached to the torso segment - it's a lot of work and a non trivial amount of putty to get rid of that. Worse, the Kabalites (and some of the Wyches) have a detachable "butt" section between the torso and legs, with more grenades and a hand weapon attached. It doesn't really look "fantasy" at all.

Just in case anyone doesn't know what I'm talking about, Wyches look like this:

The Razorflail could work as a spiked chain, with some work. It looks like this: -Hagashin-Waffe-G-Klingenpeitsche_b2.jpg

there are two in the box, and you'd want to use both to turn it into a two handed weapon.

"Someone should start a "let Lauri Vaus solve all your problems here" thread."

I am somewhat dreading this, my party is about to start Escape from Old Korvosa soon, and I have no idea how they will react to her. Probably not kill her, but they might try to arrest her and/or refuse to work with her. Or make her solve all problems. Who knows?

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When did your party figure out that Queen Ileosa was rotten to the core and turn on her?

As I mentioned in another thread, I might have laid it on a bit thick at the beginning with the "I am a young and innocent queen, who needs brave heroes to save my city!" bit. It's such a trope that I expected the party to be suspicious. But I kept a straight face with the "I love Korvosa, like my beloved husband before me ..." speech, and the party just lapped it up.

(To my Party: if you guys are reading this after the campaign ends, I'm not saying you were being dumb or should have seen it coming. If anything, you guys are the most legitimately good-hearted party I've seen in a long time. You take enemies alive. You make personal sacrifices of loot and time to save NPCs. You've shown a genuine concern for some of the terrible things which are happening in your city. And you gave your evil tyrant of a Queen the benefit of the doubt for far longer than I thought you would!
I'd love to tell you guys it gets better. But if you're reading this after our campaign ends, you'll know it gets worse. Oh so much worse).

At every turn, every time the Queen does something evil, I've made sure that there's some plausible explanation. The Queen is a manipulative sociopath and she wants to be adored, so there'll always be a fall guy, or an excuse, or some other explanation.

When the Party captured Trinia Sabor, I made sure that there were a bunch of scheming and feuding nobles calling for her head. "She's just a weak and inexperienced ruler!". And Blackjack bailed her out, with considerable help from the PCs. When the Gray Maidens showed up during Seven Days, with their police state tactics and were about to butcher rioting plague victims in Merciless Way, the Party stepped in and defused the situation with illusions and diplomacy. When they found a Plague Doctor at the bottom of the river in the Direption, they realized that something was wrong (remembering that the Queen's Physicians weren't formed until AFTER the ship sank and the plague broke out). They uncovered Doctor Davaulus at the Hospice, the cultist physicians, the foul temple of Urgathoa. Lady Andaisin flat-out told them that the Queen was the one behind the Blood Veil. The response was, "I'm not sure I believe her!".
To be fair, they soon had bigger things to worry about. Lady Andaisin is no pushover. But I'll let you know when they figure it out.

Escape from Old Korvosa starts in a few weeks (holidays are really messing with our gaming schedule). I'm trying to play up what a stalwart champion of Truth and Justice Commandant Endrin is, for maximum effect at the start of Escape. I think once Cressida Kroft turns on the Queen after that, the party will side with her ... but if they stay loyal to the Queen even after that ... ... who knows. I might need to improvise some ... or stage yet another spectacle which is too awful to ignore. Maybe publicly execute some of the Sable Company. Should be fun!

Party is about to go down the elevator, probably next Friday. We'll see how they react. They were already kind of irritated with Rolth over the Dead Warrens, and they've spent most of Seven Days assuming that he's the end boss, asking around and researching him, and coming up blank looking for him (because he's in the Temple busy cooking up the next gen of Blood Veil).

I've given them hints that they're probably dealing with more than just one rogue Necromancer, but so far they haven't put two and two together. Lady Andaisin is going to tear them up.

Anyway, my party's been mostly lawful and merciful about capturing villains. But somehow I don't think that Rolth will be taken alive. Either he escapes or (more likely) gets killed badly.

My PCs are doing the same. You never realize how hard it is to actually kill someone until PCs start running around stabilizing defeated bosses.

Ironically, one of the few bosses they actually killed was Verik Vancaskerkin - the one guy who had a price on his head for being captured alive. He got one-shot by an utterly nasty longbow crit. Ironic indeed for an archer.

It's becoming part of the Party identity. The Wizard took the Merciful Spell feat, the monk is awesome at dealing non-lethal damage to just about anyone. The rest of the party often just takes the penalty for making nonlethal attacks. I made this the reason why Eries Yelloweyes approached them - she'd heard of their reputation for solving problems without people getting killed. Two wererats got themselves killed in that encounter, although the party captured Girrigz. (Who was later executed by Commandant Endrin, which allowed me to demonstrate how deadly he is with a crossbow. Bwa ha hah aha ha ha hahahaha heh heheh).

Next session the party goes diving and is going to run into Yvicca. Somehow I can't picture her being captured, but the PCs are quite resourceful and have surprised me in the past.

Anyway, I haven't been bringing any of these guys back as recurring villains. Balko and Giggles are still in jail, as is Devargo. Vendra Loaggri escaped, and I haven't figured out if she still has a role to play. Right now my default is that she left Korvosa with all of her loot (which was her plan anyway).
But I don't want to discourage the party from actually acting like good guys. If the jails just become a revolving door of escaped criminals, the party is going to stop bringing people to jail.

Well let me add my name to the list of DM's thanking you for converting this awesome AP and saving me hours of time and effort!

If we're ever in a bar together, just tell me what your drink is ;)

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The Party has finished book one so I can actually add an appropriate response to this thread.

I sprung the Execution on them quickly, because I wanted to finish the book. It's definitely too short as a standalone session, and there's no way I was going to tack that on to the start of book two. So the party emerges from the Dead Warrens, battered and bruised and almost completely out of spells. They expect to drop off Gaekhen and collect their reward and go home - instead, Kroft asks them to attend the execution, at sunset that very night.

And they came up with a plan. Not a bad plan either, as far as PC plans go. It had a pretty decent chance of succeeding on its own even without any outside efforts. If you guys are reading this, (hopefully way after the fact, otherwise STOP there be spoilers), I'm kinda proud of you guys.

Anyway, the party looks through their lists to figure out what spells they still have. Not much. Cantrips, some scrolls, a few odd situational spells which are unlikely to be helpful.

The party decides to attend the execution and wait until Trinia is on the block. The wizard casts Invisibility from a scroll and delivers it through his familiar, turning Trinia invisible. At the same time, they ask Zellara to cast a major image of Trinia right where she was. Invisible Trinia runs (The bard knew Message and would warn her), Illusion Trinia gets executed, problem solved.

Of course, as soon as the headsman raises his axe, Blackjack shows up. The exact opposite of subtlety. He plays it by the book, calling out the Queen, freeing Trinia.

Then Trinia disappears. Familiar had his instructions. Zellara is as shocked as anybody else, but she gets her illusion up pretty quickly. Blackjack looks surprised, but he makes his saving throw and figures it out. He makes his escape with Illusion Trinia, and hilariously, the PCs have no idea whether Invisible Trinia went with him or not. But she hasn't been seen since (although they'll run into her again soon) and neither has Blackjack.

Blackjack's the talk of the town now, of course, and gets all the credit for Trinia's escape. The party were reasonably subtle about what they were doing and kept a low profile. Queen Ileosa is a laughingstock, she's retreated to the castle to (we all know what she's up to).

I'm not sure how they feel about the Queen now. They've been rationalizing away some of the subtle hints, but "Off with her Head" was kind of hard to ignore.

Well, I presume he DID meet with Neolandus before the adventure starts, who else would be in on the peace talks? It doesn't really say.

But once (things start happening right before the adventure), he goes into hiding quickly. I think the most that Thousand Bones would know about that would be maybe a hastily cancelled meeting.

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