Shade of the Uskwood

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179 posts (606 including aliases). 1 review. No lists. No wishlists. 2 aliases.

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Broken earth is pretty good.

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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.

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Quick impression for you: Caw! Caw! Bang! F*#%, I'm dead!

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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..

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

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Because its Impossible to give advice rule wise on something that

DOES NOT EXIST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You continue to keep asking the same question over and over again, everybody is giving you as much advice as they posibibly can and you don't seem to be listening to anyone.

Again, There no rule for the sitaution you have found yourself in. We have all quoted the only 2 rules in the book that you can use. Delay and initative. There is nothing else rulewise that you can use or can back up your argument. The Gm is using a house rule and you want to use a RAW for delay that is conflicting with his house rule. There is NOTHING in the rulebook about delaying within a clumped group so no one can give you any concrete advice to backup any arguments. Its a sumposition.

We have all given you tips on how to approach the matter at the table.

My advice is take take the 2 rules, the advice everybody has given you on how to approach the sitaution,take a breath for 5 minutes and write down how you can combine it to help yourself. Its cleary something that we can not seem to do for you im afraid.

If it as simple as you seem to think it is a) you would have found the solution yourself or b) it would have been answered in the thread ages ago.

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There is no straight answer as you are asking for advice on a situation that requires knowlege of what your are attempting and how (what are you actulaly attempting to do when you delay?). There are no rules for explaining how to delay In between mooks as that is not by RAW how it happens so any adive is just an opinion nothing more, it cant be backed up.

You seem to be getting very frustrated and I think the reason for this is because you are asking for something that is impossible to offer advice on in the way you want it.

My advice and now im bugging out as I cant seem to help is just talk to the GM at the start of the game and dont get angry.

I really hope you sort this one out. Good luck.

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as chemlak and bignorse say, if they have the same stats I group them and they go on the same round (3 bog standard goblins for instance), each piece gets moved sperattley on the map so any interupts can be fairly dealt with. Anything else gets its own initative including the PC's. This done as we dont want to keep track of large amounts of iniative,we as a group find individual rolls for everyone gets boring, drags out combat and is clunky. If player wants to delay its easy to deal with as they just act when that mook acts and moves. To say you cant use delay though is just stupid and the GM is wong to do that. I can see the use of individual scores though but we have just never used them.

We have 4 in our group all of us veterens of 1st ed d&d onwards and all of us use this method (we round robin and everyone dm's whether its 1st ed, pf, 3.5 or another sysytem). It just works for us, its never been questioned at the table.

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A ton of stuff really,
part one pretty much left as is but consolodated the days on the wormwood to around 12. If I ran it again though I would use serpent skull book one as the start and have them picked up once they trash the cannibal camp by the wormwood then run as normal.

part 2 I have run as a sandbox so this has been freeform, no way of telling what happens here. I dropped the shaugin part and added Inkskin as being in with Harrian, gave me a reason to attack tidewater and keep her alive if needs be. The island on her back I used Bonjo Tomo from Deadmans chest. Senghor seemed to be their homeport so I ebelished this a bit.

Part 3 I stared to add elements of RazorCoast in and changed bloodcove to Port Shaw. Tessa I used as the mother of Zahlen in Razorcoast, her husband is Jacob Razor who was killed by Harrigan (under orders from Bonefist, she does not know this). The investigation I sorted out as it was too all over the place and made it a bit linear. I used Ship of Fools instead of the shipwreckers and added in the sunken pyramid adventure as well. The apothecary I left as is. I cut out the race and used Night of the Shark in razor Coast instead.

Part 4 will have them going on a resuce mission as Tessa has gone missing, they will need to find the ghost of captain razor and relise him as he knows where she is, his body is on the Brine Banshee. They find she is on the isle of empty eyes, run the as is but no feast. The attack by Harrigans fleet will happen as they leave the island in the small cove and then they will leave to kill harrigan as book 5. Tessa will assemble a fleet at Quent and meet the players back at Port peril.

The Harrigan part may change which may change some of the next parts as they have saved Giles and may use him to assassinate Harrigan or try at least.

Not too sure what to do from here but book 6 will be switched, they will confront bonfist then it will end with the chelsih fleet attacking.

So yes I have embelshed and changed it a lot, its a great AP and ha given me a ton of ideas to make it my own. I hihhly recommend using part 2 as a sandbox, there are threads here that make it work really well (I cant remember them though sorry).

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as above, re-roll, no challenge and nothing to role-play, bland, boring

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so in order to actually run the data files it will cost a heck of a lot more than the listed $20 if you don't own all that are listed...

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Im doing something that is working really well. I found a really good way of dealing with this problem.

Basicaly you take the stat blocks of the sailors on both sides (use the wormwood pirate stat block for the players ship) and note the attack bonus of each side.

Each round of combat:

Roll oppossed attack rolls, highest wins the fight. let the players roll for their crew.

There is no damage score just morale points, each side has a morale score which can be boosetd by 1 the captain giving a diplomacy/intimidate check to gear his crew up with a rousing speech. (I also have a crew morale number that goes up or down depending on factors such as good food, rum rations, days out from port, won a ship battle etc). I normally start the NPC ship out at around 3 Morale as a starting point.

The winner of each round gains 1 morale, the loser loses 1 morale, once one side gets to zero they break and surrender.

Players can either aid another to give the crew attack roll a +2 or fight officers/captain or whatever else they do.

Once the fight is over roll 2d6 for the winner and 3d6 for the loser, this is the number of casulties. 10% of the winning side are dead the rest injured, all cassulties on the losing side are dead.

I find this helps immensly and adds real flavour to the ship combat as the players crew then fluctuates with each battle rather then stay as a a static number. My palyers love it as do I. It also means that the PC's will need to replenish crew every now and again.

Also my group likes to pick off the crew before boarding with spells and combat so without some kind of fixed way of doing it you never really know how many enemey or friendly crew are left after a combat.

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yeah, easy solution, as shaun says just forego XP in future and level the party up as and when the books say so. Its so much easier that way

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Hit him over the head with the Rulebook or if you have it the tome of horrors as its heavier and tell him to grow up a bit! Its a game, you are suppossed to have fun damn it!

Howevre, I do see probelms all over the place here, home-brewed over powered invulnabale races, A GM not helping to calm the sitauation and sitting back letting it all happen. You may(forgive me for this) have anatgonsied him by attacking his friend which could well be where everything stems from. Sounds to me like he is throwing his teddies out of the pram over that action as is being really imature and wants to strike back at you. If you kill his PC it will just get worse I feel (possibly even stemmign in to real life storm out or a lashing out).

That's the trouble with PVP some poeple can cope with it and others can't. This player is obvoulsly one of those taht can't handle it.

My advice, if there is another group near you walk away, nothing good will come of this situation and style of game.

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There is a thread in here somewhere that deatils a very good Sandbox system for just this. I forget now what thread it is though, not much help I know sorry. The OP of the that post is a genius as its helped me now end. Maybe someone can remember the post? I think its s&s sandbox style?

I have divded the map up in to 50 mile squares (roughly 1 full day of travel)and let the players go where they want. I have tables, tables and more tables. Wandering monsters (from isles of the shackles as its better), shipboard events (from dead mans chest), hazards and ships (taken from all 6 books at the back.

Essenatily each day they can chose to, tarvel up to daily move rate, hunt a ship, re-supply, raid a settlement or head to a port. I then roll up for navigation and daily weather (dead mans chest) and roll twice for a random event (once day and night 33% chance and roll to see if ship, shipboard, monster or hazrad), thats pretty much it, it leaves the players to decided then and the GM to improvise. Depending on how the group likes to role-play its either just a sereis of dice rolls or leave it up to the players to do what they want each day ansd improve.

It all depends how much work you want to put in, I have a lever arch a4 binder (about 500 pages of stuff) just for the sandbox. But boy has it been worth it. Book 2 has taken me about 30-40 weeks of 3 hour sessions to finish, its been very enjoyable and the players even have their own tavern now in Senghor.

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for me:

1: more Northlands Saga tales, it seems to be stuck on part 4, the blurb mentions 10 parts, I have a Conan type campaign in the pipeline and these adventures are perfect for that.

2: Similar to Tzzarg, a PROPER lost city/expedition type adventure ie similar to Serpents Skull but done correctly set in a jungle setting but no huge underealm area, stick to the city and ruins just below ground with a very Indiana Jones feel, huge like the excellent Slumbering Tsar though. If anyone can pull it off it would be you guys.

3: An Arabian feel campaign, I miss Al-quadim.

4: More conversions of old Necromancer products are always welcome, I love the Stoneheart Valley and Rappan books.

5: Keep up the work with the Lost Lands campaign setting. It would be nice to have another setting for Pathfinder

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I think the aim here is not really to punish Owlbear and possibly kill him but more to pacify him and turn him to the Pc's side though. He's kind of a mascot in my game, the players have adopted him and kitted him out with a massive earth maul, they love him.

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Yep, that's AP's for you. It's a lot of work. You may be better running a couple of modules first though as the core game can be quite complicated, the beginner game is a quick and dirty version.

One thing you do have to do is read the entire thing through first. Don't read book 1 then play etc otherwise you will miss out on crucial plot threads and NPC motivations.

You will need to make notes as well when starting to run it, I personally would find it really difficult to run if I just picked it up and ran it on the night after just reading it through.

You have a month as you say so just start by reading all parts making notes of the plot and recurring NPC's. Then I read part 1 and make notes, don't worry about the rest so long as you have an idea as to what happens in each part and the overall plot that will be enough. Some bits you may unfamilar with so make notes to check rule questions that come up, read the players guide to so you are familar with player traits and can help with the pc generation (Remember that AP's are built around 4 pc's with 15 point buy stats, more players or less players you will need to adjust the CR of the encounters to fit otherwise it will be too lethal or too easy).

There are plenty of GM tips on the forum but my favorite is to use index cards for combat, write/print the stats on them for the monsters/npc's add in a card for each PC then add the initative number on the top left of the card and add in order highest to lowest, its fairly easy to keep track of a combat round this way.

If you are just starting out I would personally just use the corebook, some of the classes (summoner) are hard to adjudicate.

so above all read the whole of AP at least once and note the plot and recurring NPC's, read part 1 make notes, read the players guide, remember 15 point buy 4 players and above all read the core rulebook and make notes of the rules if you are unsure. If new and unsure about things stick with the corebook to start with.

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Im happy with pathfinder rules and what changes they have made or added its just the setting

Campaign worlds...3rd ed had lots to choose from.

slight rant now sorry...

Pathfinder is sevrerly lacking in good worlds. The Inner Sea is getting a tad boring and repetitive for a 5 year run so far and it seems as if there is no end to what they will churn out next to milk it. Pazio really need to start thinking about the other conitents at least. I mean robots next year uhhh not what I want at all (although it seems im in a minoroity here). 3.5 had lots of good worlds to pull ideas from, Forgotten Realms, Greyhawk, Dragonlance, Ebberon, Scarred Lands etc etc.
I know you can take ideas from these and add/use but I kind of like having the original books to read rather than PDF's.

I like the dieties of the Inner sea though.

Im hoping that Frog Gods Lost Lands will suffice when it arrives in the future.

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I think i'm in a very small minority here...

androids, robots, mecha and Numeria..really not interested at all, its one of the parts of the Inner Sea that for me just does nothing for me.

But the rest of you enjoy it anyway

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Nope, I have you all beat,

our group consists of 3 40 somethings and 1 70 year old! he's been playing since first edition.

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Here's my 2penth without reading all the posts.

My group has 3 players, I have a storm druid, a wizard and a swashie rogue. They are all 6th level.

The rogue is starting to notice just how limited he is and is starting to get a tad dispondent, so much so that he wants to multi-class next level to Cleric.

The reasons for this as far as we can see are that the wizard and the druid far outwieigh the rogue in versatilty and damage output. Without spells the rogue is feeling like a spare part.

He uses his abilites as best he can, sneak, bluff, high acrobatics etc but is nearly always trumped by the other 2 players. The Druid is a bit of a powergamer and is using a sythe so the damage is really high. The rogue uses his +1 cutlass but his str is not his fortay and has a higher dex score instead.

When it comes to tactics and improvisation to a given situation the spell users have much more flexability and are able to adapt to situations a lot better than the rogue (create pit, animate rope for insatance).

No matter what way you look at it Pathfinder is a very magic centered game especally if like me you are running one of the AP's. if you don't have some kind of magic abilites you will suffer a bit.

Yes martial focused classes with the right weapon can cause lots of damage in combat but when it comes to tactics and non-combat sitauations the spell casters win all the time and unless you are going toe to toe with the enemy martial pc's tend to be left on the sidelines. Not every situation involves face to face fighting.

For me as a GM and the rogue player we both never relised until now just how much magic dominates the game.

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We still play 1st ed, one of our players is 70 and it's the system he knows and likes the most. I like it, it's fun not too complicated, has no feats or skills to speak of but that darn THACO and rolling a d8 for initative, then minus the + score for dex, lowest first still confuses me lol

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Well done, but personnaly I will be using the dominator later on as a re-occurring foe. I think now as a GM you may have made things a tad more difficult for yourself allowing them such a powerful ship so eary on. But im sure you're more than up to the challenge :)

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Normal map with inch grids on table and stacks of coins under the minis, each coin is 5ft. Take out or add as they move up and down.

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At last thank you.

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Seems to me like a really bad peice of journalism to me. No school can ban people from this outside of shool. I think maybe what the school is saying is that they will not be advocating Mothers and Fathers day at the school ie no lessons or activites will mention it or evolve around it. They will instead be observing an international day.

The journalist I think is just posting it as sensationalism to get peoples reactions Hama's.

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I agree with brvheart, it a REALLY great AP if it's handled correctly. It does need a GM who is pretty experienced as you need to know when to either rack up the pain or slow it down a bit. My players found book 1 to be REALLY punishing but enjoyable at the same time. One thing to try to do is not to have the days on the Wormwood turn into a series of dice rolls. Use the rolls the players make and adapt them, let them Role-play as much as possible, use the crew and NPC's, give them character and flavour, by the end the players should have latched on to some of the crew and they will be like henchmen to them or even full blown PC's to a certain extent. Make Plugg and Scourge menacing and his lackies like school bullies but also give the players some breathing space too, mix some laughs into it if you can. The aim is for the players to gain hatred for Plugg et al and a certain amount of awe, fear and respect for Harrigan when the players see him which can then make things a little easier later on. The best and only way you can tell if the days need condensing is to look at the players. If they are enjoying it let them carry on, if they look bored move it forward. My group were not bored and were enjoying it but it was more a case of them wanting to mutiny as they hated Plugg so much, I knew it would be suicide so I condensed the days had the storm happen on day 10 and the Man's Promise fight happen straight after. Then as soon as the PC's left with Plugg on the Man's Promise I just left them to their own devices. The mutiny happened on night 2 in my eyes at the right time. Be very careful on the island and Grindy caves too, they can be a TPK if you have a bunch of trigger happy run and kill without thinking types. I had one death but we use hero points so he came back (at a price though).

Book 2 is fantastic if you sandbox it after Ricketys. My group were just going up and down the coast raiding ships, villages and spending plunder in ports for nigh on 20 3 hour sessions. they have only just finished Tidewater after roughly 35 sessions of play overall.

My advice is to let the players have the riegns on this one. Stick with the plot and sets when needed but for the most part react to what they do and only railroad them if you need too to further the plot.
Be mean yes but also be careful that you don't overdo it. Remember the aim of any game is to have fun, if you are too relentless it will kill the game.

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Yep I agree pretty much with the last 2 posters. I'll just add to read this forum. There are some really good tips to make the AP really good. It's not too difficult to do either. There is a wonderful post on making a Sandbox out of the AP and getting the most out of it I think its exporing the shackles if i recall. Definatley do as Dazz said and read it all through first as some of the plot hooks and NPC motivations don't show up until later volumes. The first part is ruthless so be careful and the 21 days on the wormwood can become a bit tedious if not careful (I cut them down to 12 in the end). Book 2 suffers from the same type of end dungeon as 1, I just used a mini island treasure hunt instead. Book 3 is kind of all over the place and back and forth, Im not there yet so im still figuring out whether I want to change it or not. Book 4 as the other 2 said but im not bothered as its a change of pace and my players won't mind dry feet for a bit. Part 5 is OK but as the others say the BBEG dies here. Easy fix just bring him back at the end of 6, speaking of which 6 is good but I would suggest switching it round. Have the cave first then finish with the fleet battle.

Also I would suggest using Fire as She Bears for the ship combat, Dead Man's Chest has some great ideas (ship travel, wind, weather tables for every season, better navigation rules, random shipboard event tables and a great island treasure hunt mini adventure to boot).

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Only that i added more to the wasp attack. I had a fiendish queen wasp move in to the watchtower. The wasps were bringing the villagers there and cocooning them on the back wall like a scene from aliens. Made the search for the lookout a bit more interesting. Sorting the nagas problem is a good idea too

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Dead easy. You run smuggelers Shiv up to the cannibal camp and have them recused by a ship...the Wormwood...part 1 of skull and shackels then starts with no problems. It means chopping certain parts out of the shiv adventure though

Or you could just carry on with the island and then have them rescued as above but chance the sub plot of the temple. Of course if you did this the players would be 3 levels higher than they should be when they start wormwood.

I have run serpents skull and hated it form book 2 onwards. Im running skull and shackels and both me and the players love it.

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I looked at the rules and thought...gulp!

My group has enough trouble grasping the skull and shackles naval combat rules let alone this lol.

I however like this book and will one day try and use it.

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One point here to make and one only. Why do you feel the need to point out on a forum board about the pathfinder rpg that you are christian or for that matter ANY religous/political/sexual orientation at all?

In all the post I have read on this forum not one do I see any need at all to bring it up. It's just asking for trouble if you do. Not everybody is of the same religous bent as you im afraid (me being one of them though I respect ANY religion).

So my point here is carry on going on as many forums as you like but just bear in mind the moment you say something like I'm a Christian you will instantly get some kind of backlash whether you like it or not, you may be proud of it but not everyone shares the same views I'm afraid.

My advice. Just don't mention it at all, there really is no need to and just enjoy this forum as it is


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Or you could have a look at dead mans chest, its a good book and very useful. It has a rather more detailed view of ship travel using wind direction and some detailed weather tables to go with it but in order to use you need to know the season and you may need to keep track of time using a calender.

But to be honest factering in wind speed, currents and weather can just bog everything down with so much work for the GM that is it really worth it? After all its only a game its not meant to be a realistic sailing sim.

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I can see you're point about stealth and the need for some kind of cover and totally agree with you but as far as I can see that's not what hide in plain sight actually means or how it works.

From how I understand it, it means you are standing directly in the creatures line of sight without any kind of cover, the ability means you are blending in to the background whether that is using a crowd, light, dark, clothing or camouflage is up to the GM and player to decide.

Remember it's a Supernatural ability it's not meant to be realistic however daft it may sound to you, it does state that the Shadowdancer can hide in the open without anything to hide behind so long as it is within 10ft of dim light, its not an automatic success however and the creature still gets a perception check to notice it.

Blindsense: yes it can sense something is there but as the shadowdancer is under concealment with its hide in plain sight it cant quiet figure out where it is. The blindsense ability does state that if a creature is concealed then it still has a miss chance top hit it if it fails a perception check to find it. I would say the hide in plain sight would be classed as concleament as its a supernatural ability (gm call I guess)

To say that the Shadowdancer automatically succeeds at hide in plain sight is a bad GM call in my opinon (not to say the OP has done this though, its just a for instance)

To say the Hide in plain sight will not work on the Sahaugin due to its darkvsion and blindsense again is a bad GM call in my opinion as it's completly negating the players special ability and the player has a right to be annoyed by that.

Give it a chance and let him roll his stealth and give the Sahaugin a bonus to spot him. If the creature succeeds then the hide in plain sight does not work and its free to hit him as normal. If the creature fails then it can't quiet make him out but senses its there somewhere so it can swing to hit but lower the miss chance due to its darkvsion.

But we have gone off tangent a bit to the OP's original it too lol

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Trinite wrote:

I've only played Book 1 so far. We're switching back to Carrion Crown until I can work out how to effectively run the rest as a sandbox.

Divide the map of the shackles up into 50 mile squares (roughly how far a ship can travel in a day) use the info from the sandbox thread in this ap forum, use lots of random tables and that's pretty much it, most of it comes together when the players figure out what they want to do. Pretty much every week I have come up with something, so far its been nearly 10 weeks (30 hours) of sandbox play and we are going to be doing tidewater within the next 2 weeks I think. Its all new to me as Iv'e never tried a sandbox before but I can honestly say it has been worth the hard work.

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Bottom line: a good GM will know if its a challenge that his party is equipped to handle, and if they aren't, he won't include it in his game. The point of playing is to have fun and repeated TPK's for no other reason than 'that's how its written' is fun for no one.

I feel the same, what's the point in paying out for a whole AP with the maps and the campaign material which is not cheap, getting the players to make up PC's which they have spent a lot of time and effort doing then to turn around and kill them all off because the encounter is too tough as written? Its not fun for anybody and a waste of money and time.

Change it to fit the group, if you don't think they can handle it. I have had 1 death (the player was stupid) and plenty of - Hp near deaths.

The island as written is a nightmare if players are not savvy enough (luckley mine are). They use their heads not their swords. Corn field on an island with no visable sign of humanoid life = odd = trap = death, they skirted it and were not daft enough to go through it. The swarm they encounterd was random and at the edge of the swamp before the crab beach so I had them encounter it in the bog whislt coming out of it and in to the clearing. They suffered 2 crewman deaths and they were smart enough to scatter when it was occupied. it took one down to - hp leaving the other 2 party members to take it out. In the end they decided enough was enough and ran for the cliffs to jump off in to the sea carrying the uncouncoius pc. Yes I may have been a tad leniant but as I said whats the point of killing them off when they have not even finished book 1 pointless I think.

I also read the books and decided early on that I really liked the AP and wanted to keep playing it, due to its lethality and we only have 3 players we use a modifed hero point system. Instead of only having 3 overall they have 3 per session. If they die they have the option of spending a permant point to come back from the dead (ie 3 strikes and you are out). But there will always be a heavy penalty, I have 1 pc who is under a major geas (tied in to the ap). So far it has worked fanatstically and my players love it, it gives them a slightly swashbuckle edge, if they didn't have them I think the fun and edge would have gone.

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All sounds good to me. Player ingenuity is always good , reward it unless they are stupid. The bit with the tiller was very well done I think.

As for random encounters that's exactly what I'm doing apart from the fact I'm rolling once in day and once at night 30% chance . Same as you I have random ship and monster charts (I'm using the monster ones from The Isles of Shackles campaign book not form the ap's though, they are better I think). I have also consolidated all the ship info form the ap's in the bestiary bit and made up a random ship chart too. I'm also using the shipboard encounter tables in the Dead Man's Chest an old 3.5 book and I have made up a small table of hazards such as Sargasso seaweed and reefs. I just roll a d4 with the % chance to see what happens.

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Movin wrote:

The Ad hoc solution was letting them escape in the jolly boats and row to the nearest land (Bonewrack)

if the party has destroyed the wormwood this would assume the Man's promise event has not happened yet. If this is the case then the party are no-where near Bonewrack isle.

It would be a heck of a jolly boat ride to get there as they come across the isle on the 5th day of being on the mans promise and blown off course, Bonewrack is somewhere south of the slthering coast i would think they are somewhere still in the shackles islands possiby around the stretch of islands near tidewater maybe. Yet another part that makes no sense what so ever..

Are they playing the same AP as everyone else or has Movin changed things?

i think Movin you may get some help but as you have changed things so much, missed bits out, chopped things around, made bad judement calls I think you will struggle to sort out the mess you have here. You will need to either change a heck of a lot to get it back on track or...
My advice if you don't mind me saying so. Close the book, get the players to make new pc's and try another AP but don't make the same mistakes again. and cover....

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I don't have a problem with dumping stats, but if you do you must know the weakness and not get huffy when things go wrong...

One player I know has a dex of 8 and a str of 18, low level druid. Trouble is he was playing it like a fighter, running in on his own and attacking stuff. When he hits he does a ton of damage (Scythe) but the trouble is with just hide armour his ac is terrible and gets wacked back all the time (negative HP on numerous occations, dead one occation hero points and a bit of DI brought him back), said player was getting VERY huffy when things went wrong.

I told him I saw a problem when he made the pc but was adament he wanted to stick with it so went with it.

After his death and return we all spoke to him and suggesed he works with what he has, we gave him a feat swop out (Improved initative to get the first wack in) and said maybe use cats grace and barkskin (all he used was offence spells). He is now very cautious, attacking first for lots of damage and moving out of harms way if possible, the rogue flanks him (the rogue before this tried to help but had problems getting into flanking postions or gettig there too late).

I think it comes down to knowing the role and being able to play to strengths and weaknesses.

A low Strengh, dex or con can cause major problems for melee players who dont know what they are doing, if the player does know what they are doing they can be a lot of fun though.

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A lot of the information is spread over the 6 books in different places and it takes a few read throughs of the whole AP to understand all the plot points. For instance the whole Bonefist and Cheliax plot is not really revealled until the intro of book 6, NPC motivations and backgrounds not appraent until they appear so backstory for Thrune not known until part 6, navigation, weather, getting new crew are spread in small bars in books or in articals at the back, Treasure seeds and random ship encounters need stating up but the framework is there. You will definatley need Isles of the Shackles and probably the map folio too to run it, the random encounters in the Shackles guide is great for the sandbox. There are definatly some ideas that dont work or flow well but I and many others have just changed them or added new ones (Inkskin in book 2 using her as an NPC and switching part 6 around so the invasion is last for instance)

If you trawl through the message boards there are a plethora of good ideas esp the Sandbox idea to work with. Most of the travel from A-B in every book makes sense then and you can then integrate the ship in the channel whilst looking for fresh water with ease (the crew need fresh supplies to keep them going).

Its not a pick up and play AP, it takes some tweaking to make it work and for some of the adventure areas to work but personaly it really worth it. If you can make a sandbox out of it and let the players dictate what they do from book 2 onwards AND keep the plot moving its a damn fine adventure and very differnt too.

Playing it so far has been a blast, my group is loving it, it is deadly in its early stages but it just made my players more inventive on how they survived. They are loveing the ship and crew idea, the NPC's on the ship have formed bonds with some of them and have designed the look of the ship (black and will be decorated in bones and skulls, the captains name is Jack Bones and one of the players has drawn the flag too). All from a bunch of players who are all staple fantasy dungeons and wizard types normally.

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wizard in our group is the ships cook, wears chefs whites when cooking and normal adventure gear when not. Does not carry a staff, does not have white hair or a beard and no pointy hat. His weapon of chioce is a heavy crossbow and a masterwork meat cleaver (same stats as a hand axe)he is also has a pistol if needed and doubles as the master at arms (his feat tree is a range specailist)

So apart from the fact he has no armour and may need to refer to his spell book every now and then no he's not obvoius at all and not a cliche wizard. Yes it can be done...

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Got bored of reading the argument as the OP is not listening to logic.
I go with the Bow and this.

A fighter is someone who excells over all forms of combat and would use tactics to help him/her win a fight. So surley said fighter would know how to adapt to a situation involoving a flying creature of some sort, ie a ranged weapon, lasso, bolas around the wing etc to try and bring the beast down to fight it on a level ground. Maybe I'm missing something here but as people have pointed out potion of fly etc and not all classes builds are built for flying. if not then you are not playing a fighter right even a melee build would ahve a contingency plan.

Think of it another way, modren soldiers are trained to adapt to any situation, they don't just go in firing in gun at the nearset enemy, they think and use TACTICS and work as a group not on their own.

Who cares if a wizard can fly or not in one round, if said wizard goes head to head with a beastie on his own he will more than likely end up serously hurt.Hence the wizard would be buffing himself first for the combat ahead before casting fly and heading in so he would have wasted a round too.

Yes fighters cant fly and they cant hit what they cant hit but they can adapt and use tactics to make sure they do, to say fighters are useless against flying creatures is not logical at all.

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OOOO, I like Dudemiesters idea of switching the 2 plots round.

Possibly have it happen just before the fleet reaches Port Peril.

Gives a nice ending I think as the players face off against the fleet against the backdrop of the invaion on land with the Filthy Lycra blasting broadsides at Thrunes ship.

Much more satisfying this way round I think with a lot more at stake too as they are now defending their rightful throne.

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My players are loving it so far, the muntineed before getting to bonewrack in book 1 and the last time we left it they had been shipwrecked (on hold for a month due to holidays),
I'm also finding this book fairly easy to change around and keep the good bits. Rickety Squibs I kept, the piracy sandbox im keeping, tiderock is being kept (I'm having Pegsworthy and Kroop explain the background of it so it makes more sense for them to want it). The whole Shaughin subplot is going and I'm replacing the reason for the attack at Tiderock by Inkskin as a reprisal by Harrigan. I figure he is a bit miffed by having his new ship stolen which has thrown him into a rage (the start of his decline in to madness in book 5). He is lashing out at anyone and just wants the lady of the Rock dead and the rock finally his. Inkskin is his weapon as he is elsewhere (gives me a chance of having Harrigans presence in the book which I think is lacking, it seems a shame to not have him somewhere in it as his is a major villan).
This will also mean that I could have Inkskin change sides and become an NPC fairy easily. The map on her back Im using to get them to the Bonjo Tomo Isle adventure in Dead Mans Chest which is a really good jungle island with cannibals, apes a Giant Ape god and a really good cave/dungeon with good traps and puzzles to get to the treasure. I plan to finsh it with the Death Knell chasing the party being the dead crew claiming their treasure back and wanting them dead.

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why oh why do people feel the need to bend the rules or cheat. What's the point, I don't care if it's legal or not it's still cheating and darn right annoying and rude for everybody else at the table.
It ruins the game for everyboddy else, if you don't like the game do something else.
It should be all about having fun with a group of friends not anatagonising other players and GM's!
Get a grip.
Rant over

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I'm thinking of using the Shiv island from Serpent Skull I don't want to use all the island though just the North bit with the vegepygmies and Pezrok. Using the Toucan treasure from book 1 I was thinking of giving the players a goal for the first part of book 2. Rather than just wander amelessley around the Shackles finding ships and settlements i thought it would be easier to give them a place to get too. Then I can add the encounters along the way there and back with settlements and ports along the way as needed It gives them a reason to travel rather than just say off you go. I think my players may struggle with the sandbox element and it makes my life a bit easier. My idea is that Pezroc makes a great NPC (I will replace him for Sandara as I have a druid in the party and no-one seems that taken with her yet, Rosie and Conch are grabbing the limelight in our game) and the Toucan would be good mascots for the ship. I plan to use the plant element of the vegepygmies and Mould and add in the ship from Grave Undertakings maybe have it grounded or something. The Toucan will probably be the prize hidden on the ship.

Then once Tiderock is in their hands I plan to use the island adventure from Dead Man’s Chest for a nice bit of treasure hunting. It seems like a really good fit for a trip to the Cannibal Islands and the Kuru, I may throw in a tribe of charau-ka as well as this also seems a good fit. Again adding the encounters along the way. This also gives me a great plan for the Death Knell. Im thinking this will be the Dead pirates chasing them for stealing their treasure.

It might make the adventure longer but I don’t think my players would mind. We don’t use the XP system anyway, they just level up as and when the AP suggests.

What does everyone think?

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this is NOT aimed at Ciretose...just the question in general...see below

Why do this anyway, its petty, annoying and stupid to de-rail a game that the GM has spent his own time creating, why not try Gm'ing yourself, you might relise how much time and effort it takes. Not to mention the other players in the party who may want to play the game and the fact you would be ruining their fun too!

If you are going to sabotage someones game, grow-up and don't bother playing.


Rant over!

In take it Ciretose is trying to say the same thing in a rather more subtle way though ;) Thanks :))

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Not got the ap yet as its not a pdf until weds but having read the posts and blurb I am thinking of running Fury in Feeport as a prologue so the pc's get to know each other before the ap starts. Freeport will be Port Peril with a few name changes here and there. It seems it would work OK and I should be able to finish it with the PC's relaxing in the Formidably Maid then I can kick start the AP. Just an idea at the moment though.

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