Shade of the Uskwood

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Very quick flip and small read of the classes and ancestry...
Starting to boggle the mind a bit, feat for this,feat for that add in abilites, proficiency,traits, the way abilities are generated. This will need a few read throughs to grasp I think. I also don't like the pictures for abilities and spell blocks etc makes me think there will be boxes out with feat cards at some point. Not my thing really.

Complicated is what I get so far. This is one game my group will not play. Some of them find 1st ed hard work so getting them to play this will be out of the question. It's not so much the game it's the character's..way too much info for my players to grasp and remember.
We are all over 40 long time players but need easy games now due to family life and time.

VERY crunchy much more than 1st ed I feel. Few more reads might change this though.

As I see it kicks off when the players go see the wizard in the swamp whilst at bards gate. I was thinking of using wizards amulet and crucible as a start. The amulet I was going to make some sort of coded clue to decipher some of the sword references they find. You just need to make sure a someone in the party has it to start with if you don't use the pre-gens. There are references in crucible and bards gate about gnolls so you could tie that in with the howling fortress as a side quest. I was thinking of once they get to bards gate they do some of the tomb like cleanse the shrines then once they are resting in bards gate kick start the wizard quests. You could lift the level with balcoths lair and use it as one of the fetch quests. I was also thinking of adding in slumbering tsar maybe as Muir and thyr shrines and focus crops up a lot through the adventures. Would create a truly epic campaign esp if you added in level 14 and 15 of Rappan Athuk as the finale. If it's possible I don't know. So sum up use stoneheart as a start then weave in sword of air in I think is the best way to go. I'm hanging fire as bards gate complete and the campaign setting are going to be kickstarters this year and next year and there are still a few grey areas not covered in the sword of air such as bards gate to freegate which may add more detail for the game.

Type rappan athuk map in search engine and look at the images. I found a pdf map with 5mile hexes on it. I can't link it as its not a web page I think. I printed it and am using that one works great.

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Broken earth is pretty good.

Tim: Derek? Babylon 5's a big pile of s$!+.

Derek: Get out!!

Bilbo and Tim: [Joyfully] Hooray!...

I liked it but its kind of lost its appeal over the years BSG reboot is my favorite SCI FI TV series, acting and storyline is really good

Thanks guys. I will be doing the kickstarter then :)

I have just seen the Northlands saga complete as a pre-order here due in October this year, Does this mean no kickstarter and its coming out to buy then?

VERY excited about this!!!

I have a player in my group with one, its perfect for the campaign, he also has the weather domain too. Its a really good fit.

storm druid

Its hard for the GM i'm thinking as any good post apocaplytic game involves scant rescources and a lot of scavenging to get what you need otherwise the setting would not really be post-apocloptic. There are some good d20 rescources for this setting though. Darwins world is excellent and for random scavenging loot get the cheap Scavs Swag PDF. It has tables for equipment and junk that can be used to trade or make stuff. The new Broken Earth PF setting book has rules for scavenging and I could be wrong but it does sound like your GM might be suing a similar system that is in this book. There is also a new none D20 book out called Mutant year zero in which you are counting every bullet so think yourself lucky you are not playing that one lol.

The very nature of these types of games though is a fight for survial where every resource counts and trade/bartering is the economy, you may not find what you want but you may be able to trade for it in larger communites, its not a game world where everything in the books is availible and you have to make do with what you have. I think maybe the GM sould have been a bit more forth coming with his ideas and helped you all out when building the PC's a you have corretley said some builds and classes willnot work and the setting has crewed with them.

Not much help but all I can say is pick everything from corpses, scavenge as much as you can then trade it. Maybe you could persuade the GM that each of you had 1 item that was a kind of family hierloom carried down through the generations, a migic item maybe form the past (afterall you are the heroes of the story), you might be able to get that hammer then to start you off. Maybe it levels up with you and gets more powerful kind of like the legendary items in the ultimate psionics guide if you have it.Its a tough one as I can see both sides to this dilemma

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Northlands...awesome been waiting for this one. Going to put my ideas of a Norse campaign on hold for a bit and wait it out.

Nope nothing wrong our group we just imrove a lot, they dont tend to like to be railroaded and like to do thier own thing occationaly. If you GM in or group you need to know this and be perpared for the unexpected We are all the same in our group, fixed encounters work fine when they are there but sometimes we have mnore fun when the unexpected happens, thats all.

Not everyones play style is the same, Every group plays differently. BTW this s only happened since we started a sandbox, I have just found it to be immense fun to run, if it was not working I would have gone back to running as is. Sometmes you just need to try these things out.


If random encounters are more fun then the ones you actually plan, you arent good at making encounters.

LOL that would be Paizo then as Im runinng Skull and Shackles...

so that would suggest that as my players are trying to get me to do...make my own adventures which is where I struggle. Oh wellmaybe I should give it a go If I can find the time :)

Mythic Evil Lincoln, I share the same view, sometimes that 1 random roll just gets the juices flowing all round the table and EVERYONE just improvs, I have had nearly half a session sometimes play out on that one roll, then that roll can lead to even more plot hooks that would never have taken place before. It all depends how players and the GM reacts to events to be honest. As you say its not for everyone but its worth trying once to see if it works.

Im running skull and shackles which, although not overland does involve extensive days at sea travelling, I use a similar system for overland though if needed,

It all depends on how much work you put into it and how much its needed. As the sea travel is used a lot I have a lot of tables and roll on those (a large A4 ring binder as its a sandbox at the moment)

Start of the day i either roll for weather or have prerolled this in advance.

I have 2 rolls, one for day and 1 for night both 33 or lower on a % dice roll, if an encounter happens I roll a d8 for type, 1-2 shipboard, 3-4 ship, 5-6 monster and 7-8 hazard.

I then use the various charts I have for each of those encounters, I don't worry about how difficult or easy the encounter is as they are supposed to be random anyway. You don't take a walk in the country and stumble across a Bear everytime in real ilfe so why should these encounters be any different, that's what fixed encounters are for. Most random monster tables have a mix of challenge ratings from the easy to the oh crap run away Dragn type. Not everything needs to be a combat encounter either, if overland you could have a pilgrim or a merchant for instance.

I find that most random encounters are good role-playing tools to be honest. sometimes that random roll can generate into a more memorable encounter than anything written and planned out, it all depends on the group.

As for what problems you face with travel time, its all a matter of playing by ear. If the players are getting bored and restless then just move the travel along and forget the random rolls, if they are enjoying it just go with the flow. Its hard to say until you actually start trying it.

What does NOT make sense is that Paizo decided to add tech into Iron Gods and the ww1 part of the Winter AP but the one AP that screams tech is Skull and Shackles..Pirates, cannons, flintlock pistols and derring do and they made it optional. This to me was a big mistake, the non black powder world should have been the optional for this one.

Makes no sense to me but hey I added it in anyway.

Cheers guys, thought so just needed the clarifiction :)

Quick rules Quesition as im slightly confused

If a creature had multiple attacks (a giant octopus with 8 tentacles or a Hydra with 5 heads for instance)can it spread these attacks amoungst multiple targets in the same round if in range?

I note that the rules for natural attacks say "Attacks made with natural weapons, such as claws and bites, are melee attacks that can be made against any creature within your reach (usually 5 feet)" but it dosnt actually specify that you can use all attacks on different targets.

or Does this mean they can only hit one target with extra attacks?

Yep, everyone rolls initative. The pilot rolls for the ships intiative and the ship moves on his count.

This is kind of where things get messy with the rules as they are as no-one really knows when to do certain actions. I least thats what I found anyway. The general feel is that if you follow the rules as is it becomes only the piolt and the gunner doing anything and everybody else just sits around waiting for something to do, if any have magic that helps though.

Its a lot easier to change it around a little I think.
I mix the Razor Coast rules with the players guide rules as I find it works better (this is why the Razor Coast rules are so good, they give everyone jobs to do during each round, Players and NPC's can be assigned roles such as Surgeon, gunners mates, repair teams, fire teams, The Captain gets to be the Captian as well which is kind of missing from the players guide rules).

I get the Captain to roll for the ship's initative and he then decides what the ship is going to do movement wise, he can also make actions

The players, crew and Npc's then make initaive rolls. Players can do as they want or co-ordinate fire crews for siege engines. NPC's act on thier own but I let the players decide what they will be doing. Crew act all on one count.

The Piolt does not roll initative as all he can do is move the ship, he goes last in the round (I can never understand why a piolt would be able to do anything other than move the ship anyway). This role I think is better suited to an NPC really but let the players roll for the movement.

Sometimes the firing of siege engines may co-inside with the movement phase though as the ship may need to manouvour first before it can get in to range (broadsides for instance).

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Quick impression for you: Caw! Caw! Bang! F!$~, I'm dead!

If you want the ultimate, you've got to be willing to pay the ultimate price. It's not tragic to die doing what you love.

Thanks Richard :)

Iv'e seen this question come up a few times here for this part of the AP. Maybe Richard Pett could give us his thoughts? I would think maybe it was omitted form the text by accident?

I do find it unlikley that the writer set out to allow the use of taking 10 for the job rolls as it makes them too easy and that's not what he is going for in the whole of this part of the book. Its meant to be a real hard slog with constant threat of being flogged or worse and ready to drop at the end of the day. The players are meant to feel downtrodden and ready to give up. This is what makes them hate Plugg,Scoure and Harrigan and forces the mutiny in the first place.

Its not meant to be a pleasure cruise.

Yes as the others have said no taking 10 otherwise whats the point.
This part of the taking 10 rule might help "Distractions or threats (such as combat) make it impossible for a character to take 10".

As the players are going to be constantly on edge due to risk of lashes or worse I would count that as a threat. Also don't forget that the tasks are not easy, the ship would be be swaying about in the water, although the DC's are fairly low this does not mean that they would be as easy to do on dry land. The are also rolling for the WHOLE day so its not really just one check, its a simplified way of doing it otherwise you would be rolling a lot more each day which would be REALLY boring.

Oh and don't forget to add in those modifers for fatique (if lashed) and for failing the rum ration roll, the DC12 roll then becomes a whole lot more difficult.

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Yep thats what I would do if I ran again, its such a good starting point I think and nothing in s&s needs to change (maybe the pc levels but that should be easy to jig around with)

Good idea, was thinking of something similar myself as a prequel to Skull and Shackles as the main protagonist is Cheliax the Devil nation.

Just substitute Telingrade for Chelix and do away with the main island of the Inner Sea(its not needed anyway), eveything else stays as it is. Talingarde would be to the North of the Eye.

It would be a really interesting take on how Asmodeous came to power there.

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A ton of changes mainly due to the fact we are sandboxing it as well.

Book 1: Pretty much as is but shortend the days on the Wormwood to 12 which made it tighter, I found the players were getting a little bored of daily rolls and just wanted to move the story forward. (They found book 1 to be one of the toughest adventures they have ever played but liked it none the less.

Book 2: Huge changes here, rickety as is, sandbox once the have the ship re-fitted. Home port senghor, they own a pub there, they also had a beer made skull wompa ale which they are trying to distrupt through the shackles. They have visited the isle of Smugglers Shiv, angered a tribe of vegepygmies by stealing their god (a clockwork parrot) which turned out to be an avavtar of Besmara (it inducted the ships capatin in to a Cleric of Besmara, then vanished). Tidewater Rock was as is but no shaugin, instead it was attacked by Inkskin and Pirates who were ordered by Harrigan to attack. They captured Inkskin keeping her alive. Sandara stayed on Tidewater turning it in to a hospice/temple to Besmara. I then changed the ending to a treasure hunt on an island (Bonjo Tomo from Dead Man's Chest) and had Pilks ship chase them at the end as the enraged Dead captain of said treasure.

Part 3: Bonefist meeting as normal. Kept the Spy ring but simplified it and changed the encounters. Ship of fools I changed for the illustionary ship and I changed the Brine Banshee for The sunken Pyramid adventure the spyring part ended as normal. I then added in Razor Caost Night of the Shark questlines and had Bloodport cahnged to Port Shaw, this took out the race at the end of book 3.

Book 4: Rescue Mission, Tessa gone missing on island of empty Eyes, mixed in some elemnets of Razor Coast(her son is in Port Shaw and his father is a dead ghost that knows where she is, his spirit is on the Brine Banshee lies on the sea floor near the Eye guarded by the Dragon turtle). Book 4 unchanged up to end of Ruin. Escaping the Island they are blockaded by Wormwood and 2 more ships. Fight to get out.

Book 5: Ganet Island unchanged (no mention of fleet though). Ends with Players killing Harrigan.

Books 4 - 5 changed in this way as the players have no desires to be Hurricane King, go up against Bonefist or be part of a council. There home port is senghor and they seem taken with the idea of just getting revenge on Harrigan, setting up a brewery and living the life of a pirate. Who am I to change this. They have stopped the spyring so as far as Im concerned the invasion has been stopped anyway. The only loose end that might get tied up is the Dominator...they really want her so that may be a fitting end to a really good AP..

As much as i would love to back it my money is tight at the mo. I'm saving it for the Northlands Saga. Is there any news on this Bill? I thought I heard it mentioned that it might be a fall kickstarter? or has this now gone on to next years schedule now?

Dead mans chest pathfinder is in the paizo store as a PDF it has the sand cover not the green cover, glades of death of being converted I think by frog god games, it was scehduled for early in the year but I think its been moved not sure when it will be though, they have also done dunes of desolation for deserts.

IF played correctly and as written book 1 is DEADLY 2 players will not survive. Be warned! The time on the ship should be brutal. DO NOT leave out the rum ration, its there for a reason, the players should not feel at home, they should be beaten, whipped etc all through the first part. The rum ration is there to make life tougher! By the end of part 1 before the island the players should be ready to mutiny and should hate the 2 lead NPC's.

I have a storm druid, a wizard and a rogue, 20 point buy and use hero points. It was pretty deadly and almost lost 1 pc and they were down to minus HP a lot.

Shauns idea is good 2 players each. I would also use the NPC's a lot too, my group uses Rosie, Owlbear and Kroop pretty much as cohourts through the books, they are very useful.

Its good though, I like it.

You can trial it for free, you get the base rules and can fiddle around with it and see what you think

Some interesting things there thanks, I missed those. :)

However, I still think that actual world settings (not plug ins for established settings or small 1 book guides less than 100 pages) are still very thin.

Admittadly wizards did the majority during 3rd era but off the top my head we had Forgotten Realms, Ravenloft, Dragonlance, Eberron, Rokugan, Scarred Lands and Midnight, amounst others. All these had multi-book setting materail that fleshed these worlds out mush like Golarion. The only other setting I have seen produced in this way for a bog standard fantasy game for Pathfinder has been Midgard (There may be a few others but they are very niche I think Like Neo Nexodus). But not to say any of the 3rd party settings are not good, im sure they are but they just lack the supplements and fleshing out the 3rd era books had. Im sure most of it has to do with cost though. Most 3rd party companies are small and im sure if they had the money we would see more.

Paizo I dont think will ever have another world or setting as they are focusing on Golarian. So if you are looking for a big new setting much like this you have Midgard and the up and coming Lost Lands (which im excited about BTW).

Haladir wrote:

I really once had a player show up to an open game with the following character (AD&D 1e):

The character was named Bill. He was a fighter. His name was "Bill the Fighter."

His back story was: "Bill is a fighter who likes to fight stuff."

This is BRILLIANT, I love it, (perfect background if you have a very low intelligence I think)

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To be honest compared to 3rd ed era there aint a lot of settings availible. I have tried looking myself but its slim pickings. Whole world settings or continents are almost non-existant.

Midgard is the biggest, there is a fair amount for that and its pretty good too. I fact I really like it.

The rest are either just plug ins to any camapign setting (eg Lonely Coast by Raging Swan) or very specific one book or so settings such as Pure steam etc.

Frog God games a setting book comimg out soon but I doubt wether it will be out until next year (The books/adventures so far realsed are just single settings like Razor Coast with some background material for the rest of the world but its very thin on the ground at the moment.

1 Al-Quadim
2 Darksun
3 Ravenloft
4 Planescape

Evil PC's should give you no problem, just be careful to avoid any PVP, you need to keep the party together for the sake of the ship and crew (interparty fighting is a sure fire way to provoke a mutiny).

Be aware that there are a ton of NPC's to run and that will be with the PC's through out the adventure. The hardest part is the ships crew. I would make sure that the majority of the named crew and NPC's from book one that stick with them after the mutiny become officers (anything that has a seperate stat block). Any crew you get after that just make them faceless and nameless red jerseys and give them one stat block otherwise you may have to remember up to around 40 or more NPC's once they start getting crew from ports. I started giving each one a name and brief description (smiliar to the Wormwood crew in book 1)but gave up very quickly as it becmae impossible to remember who was who as new crew were recruited and old ones died off during ship battles or away teams.

Its also useful to level up the NPC's that are officers as the AP progresses, I tend to keep them 2 levels below the PC's. level the crew stat block up every now and again too maybe after 4 or 5 ship battles.

If you are not happy with the ship battles form the players guide then I suggest Fire as She Bears form Frog God Games. the combat system is a lot better but does need slight conversion work to fit (you wont need to look at this until book 2 though).

Nope not broken, plenty of options now, some good 3rd party stuff too. The basic core game is fine, if you don't like certain parts of it there is a plethora of options open now to change it to what you want so I realy don't see the need for it.

I do think they are reaching the limit for new rules material which in the long run could cause trouble for people like me. I'm not excited about any of the new hardbacks after the class guide and its making me wonder what they could be doing after the physic book that will make me want to buy anything again. If there are more people like me out there then sales may drop which could prompt them to bring out another edition to peak the interest again. However, I do find this highly unlikley as the boards seem to show there are a lot of folks that are still excited about anything that Paizo brings out.

I wouldnt buy a new edition though, for me the present edition works, I have years worth of material I can use and would not want to fork out £100's of pounds again to get to the same point im in now.

Actauly dead mans chest has been re-vamped now for PF, the new pathfinder edition has a sandy type background. Not very good at adding a proper link but...below is the new pf version

oh and if you have it the files have been added to Hero lab too.

All ths might push it for you Shaun(bonjo tomo isle is a great add in isle for the sandbox)

as the others have said but I also recommend trying out a module or 2 first to get the feel of the game. Skull and Shackels is great but it does require a GM with a little experince under his belt, its not noob frindly, there are a lot of NPC's to keep track of and as Shaun says subsystems that you may get lost in. I thnk you would get very lost in book 1 if you ran it with no previous Pathinder experience.

Maybe go with the corebook and bestiary then try out the module Crypt of the Everflame. Its a nice beginning adventure that is built for starting players and GM's. If you like the game then...give it a go. Be warned though running an AP is a BIG commitment. Its very time consumming and will take you at least a year if not more finish from book 1 to 6.(my group meet once a week for 3 hours and have just finished book 3 after about 40 weeks, im currently on gm leave due to burnout lol).

As well as what the others have said you will need the isles of the shackles as well as this gives info on the area and is very useful but that is pretty much all you need to be honset.


RagingSwan press wilderness dressing sea voyages they have some good ship board events (d100) that you can use. Dead Mans Chest by Frog God games also has some shipboard tables and some monster encounters.

Raging Swan press also do urban dressing pdfs, there is a pirate town in there and no doubt others too, I havnt got it but i would think if sea voyages is anything to go by its charts and useful ones at that.

1 person marked this as a favorite. have the chainsaw and the shotgun now...I see an Evil Dead game coming on...

If the players are dead set against it then you won't change their mind. Im the same thats why im staying away from it. I hate the thought of sci-fi and fantasy mix, it just dosnt gell with me or any in our group for that matter. its like marmite, some love it and some hate it you will not change their minds (im sure its good if like that kind of thing though)

Also as some others have said, wait until all 6 parts are out before playing. Plot points that run through all 6 parts or crucial info is sometimes revealed in later books and you have to alter events if they dont fit. I also tend to find that some of the modules differ in how well they are written, book 3's are normmaly the downfall i find, I was so exicted with serpents skull and ran from book 1 when it came out, book 3 came out and oh was so bad and needed so much work the game fizzed out as my lack of enthusiasm left me. if you wait until they are all out you have more chance of changing things around if you need to to make the ap gell better for your group.

They may kind of in a small way round about way have done it maybe? The strategy guide is I think aimed at newbies coming from the begginner box and helping to fill the bridge between the 2 vesions amounst other things. Unchaned is coming out which is amopunst other things addressing things that needed re-working.

You want an easier to understand version get the strategy guide and use core rules only, you want a 2nd edtion use unchained?

I think its as close as you are going to get to a simplifed version or a new edition anyway as far as I can see. A new edition is not going to happen for a long time if unchained is coming out I reckon.

RPG would be nice but my moneys on the card game, it woudnt cost too much or take too long to design, it could be played as multi-player online, you could have loads of expansions as each set is released, much like the magic game and maybe unlock rare cards when you beat opponenst online? With the success of the boxed game and card sets it seems like a logical step.

Victoriana or Cthulhu by GasLight maybe? Not played them though so cant say much on them

As it is a DC10 stealth check to get noticed...

a big fat NO, otherwise whats the point of it in the first place

Deliberately tipping away rum on board a crowded ship without being seen
requires a DC 10 Stealth check.

As KaiserDM says that's the way i will be doing it, Stoneheart, Bards Gate and Tsar

Barakus I think is better for Rappan and you could use Endhome as the hub.

Limited funds do Stoneheart and maybe buy Bards Gate pdf if you want it (not essential you could run without it to be honest, its a city guide and OP so difficult to get the deadtree, although drivetrough rpg do a print on demand copy).

Cant give you any advice on the Barbarian side of things but it should work really well. It goes without saying though to make it as much a seaworthy character as you can as the entire AP as you are doubt aware is sea based.

Make sure you have ranks in intimidate, swim, climb and Acrobatics (they are pretty much essentail for the first part of the game you WILL suffer if you don't have them).

The players guide which you can download for free on the paizo store gives you some useful info to start off.

Its an awesome AP if played well.

Howie23 wrote:
Human Fighter wrote:
What's so hard to understand the simplicity of what this thread is trying to accomplish? I just want suggestions on how in the moment to grab someone's attention and make it sound convincing that you can use delay in that fashion by the rules, and in the quickest and time saving way.I understand lost causes can't be convinced, so I want to make quick and efficient attempt, then move on for everyone's sake. Understand now?
With all respect, this is exactly what all the conversation about clumping initiative is doing. Clumping initiative is not a rule supported practice. Therefore if playing by the rules, initiative isn't clumped, thus you can delay. If the procedure is being used to clump at the start, the rules state creatures go through initiative one at a time, regardless of what their initiative count is; thus, the rules allow exiting delay in between any two creatures. If clumping itiative is being implemented as a houserules, ask the guy who made up the houserules, since we don't know his rules.

I think Howie has raised a good point here. I think the reason why most of us are struggling to give you the answer you require is because we have not come across this situation before. Those of us that do clump mooks together allow for delay actions it seems, so we have difficulty seeing why the GM in question will not allow it. I see your frustration but unless me know what the GM's ruling is its kind of difficult to give you a proper answer.

Myself I really don't see what the GM's problem is as delay would work regardless if you clump mooksm so you would have no problem in my games.

Ok what about this then. Approach the gm before the session and ask how he/she will handle initiative and whether there will be clumped groups. Have the record cards ready on delay and initiative. Explain that sometimes you may wish to delay to go in the middle of the clump of mooks. Explain here why you may need to do it. I see the round something like this.
20 pc 1 goes
18 npc 2 goes
16 mook mob goblins (3)
16 a goblin 1
16 b goblin 2
16 c me
16 d goblin 3
10 npc 1
6 pc 2
Using record cards is the easiest way. It does not need another card all you do is write on it mook 1, mook 2, pc 3, mook 3
This will require no extra work on the gm's part.

Do you think this is ok?
If the gm says no then accept it and don't argue.
Don't waste time bringing it up in game otherwise you will anatogonise others and slow the game up others may resent you for this.
This way you know what to expect before the game begins and whether you need to adjust tactics.
above all be polite and respect what the gm says.

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