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In the last AP I ran I made the occasional use of "cut scenes" - giving the players the chance to play through some of the events that happen off screen from their regular characters by playing some of the background NPCs for part of a session.

Show rather than tell.
It was very effective in communicating the story to the players.

The thought I have is to begin the campaign with that idea.

Here's the outline:

1 - Before actual character generation, have each player build a 15 point npc classed character.

2 - Have the players experience the selection process through to the final step of the first wave selection, but will ultimately NOT be selected as a first wave colonist.

3 - Have the players generate their own PC characters for the second wave selection after having experienced the selection process once on another character.

4 - The NPC classed characters will be part of the second wave and join the PCs on their mission as second wave colonists.

5- The NPC classed characters will be used on a recurring basis to show the players things that their actual characters are not their for.


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JackieLane wrote:
With my group, the financial incentive in this expedition was always very openly present.

You make some nice points, "incentive to just abandon the colony" isn't really going to be much of a threat or option given my re-theme plans, but I don't want to make the players feel TOO trapped in the situation.

Regarding the Haunt - I like your alterations. In reading through the AP, every time I read through that part I keep thinking "How am I going to run this in a way that the players will be interested in rather than frustrated with?"

Thanks for sharing!

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My reading between the lines of history seems to indicate a huge financial incentive behind the Roanoke colony, and its continued existence - I want to play a bit more with that idea and try to let at least some of that bleed through into the campaign. The idea that the colonists are being used for financial gain - that there are bigger movers and shakers that may not have their best interests at heart.

I also want to build Buy In from the players and a bit of character development in the direction of why they WANT to be colonist, and to let that be a guiding idea during character creation and initial development.

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JackieLane wrote:

About interviews as a prologue (if that's still relevant for you), I did that, presenting it to the players as a way for us to make sure the characters made sense and for me to get to know their characters and skills so I could add a couple fun things related to that. I sprinkled in a couple skill checks based on the way the roleplaying went (diplomacy, bluff, sense motive, knowledge local) and didn't give specific rewards. The players mostly got a sense of what was expected of them from that.

Totally relevant - I'm still playing around with the re-theme, I've probably got 9+ months before I have to worry about starting the campaign.

And that's exactly the type of thing I have in mind.
I hadn't really thought about using it intentionally to push the players into deeper discovery of who their character is, but that's a great idea actually.

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My group would get into it.

Yeah any perk should be minor at best - probably a small amount of bonus gear as a welcome package.

I have the interview process prepared, It wouldn't be too difficult to work it up into an encounter with a handful of checks and a bit of RP.

I'm still collecting data and thinking things over for this as I'm doing quite a bit of adjusting.

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Was thinking of this myself while doing prep.


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James Jacobs wrote:

<with snippage>

Currently, the plan is to close out each Adventure Path with ... "Beyond the Campaign" articles. These articles would discuss ramifications of the adventure path on the world at large.

What sort of information would you like to see in the very last volume of an Adventure Path, in place of the "Continuing the Campaign"?

I use the APs as a framework to hang my campaign on, and run them in my long term homebrew world. The end of campaign ramifications is always great, as I've been running my campaign since the 80s - the successes and failures of previous campaigns often plays a role in the game.

I'd really like to see some ideas about other elements (adventures/plots) that could play into the campaign. Even ideas for replacing/reskinning whole chapters. Sometimes you don't want to run another haunted castle, or there isn't a badlands/giant mountain/tribe of barbarians near where I want to run the campaign.

To play off of that I'd also like to see ideas for slower progression, and additional elements to add, potential side treks. Some of the discussion forums have some really creative and interesting ideas for things that that they added and its super helpful, even outlines of events that were cut would be useful.

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My (long term home brew, which has its origins in the early 80's)campaign world has a long (ancient) history of conflict between dragon-kind and fey(and by extension elves). I've also used the moon as a inhabited location in the past.

Using areas of low-gravity and low-air is entirely my intent, in fact I intend for the "normal" areas to be the "pockets", simulating islands of normality. There will be water, so if I'm forced to, I can still use outright underwater areas.

I also have a long established 'Atlantean' civilization, almost all of the Runelords material fit very well within the world history with only moderate shoehorning, and I've no reason to make a differentiation between Azlant and Thasilon, as far as my campaign world the IS no precursor and successor empire.

I'm beginning to wonder if I shouldn't make the fey/elves the enemies in this campaign - I'll have to think about that...

Adventurers find an ancient 'Atlantean' portal to the moon, on the moon they discover rare metals and woods, they decide to try to exploit the resources, but realize it will take the founding of a colony to really exploit them. The real problem is that the portal only opens during a total lunar eclipse.

Rough outline to begin the campaign:

1 - Explorer adventurers set up company to exploit the moon.

2 - Company sets up and organizes a settlement on the island where the portal is located.

3 - True colonization recruitment begins, First Wave selected.

4 - First Wave of colonists sail to staging settlement and trained and sent through portal.

5 - Things happen.

6 - Second Wave selected.

7 - Second Wave of colonists sail to staging settlement (including PCs) and trained and sent through portal.

I'm considering some type of event before the actual travel through the portal such as pirates or something else on the portal island, letting the PCs sort of hit the ground running once on the moon and cut off from resources.

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john wood wrote:
I am preparing to run this AP. All of the feedback and insights have been tremendously helpful. I have decided that I really like the idea of this being an expedition that the PC's need to apply for. Using the information I had read about the Mars-One initiative (to establish a permanent human settlement on Mars) I altered it to reflect the Bountiful Venture Companies process.

This sounds really cool, I've already yoinked your text and begun adapting it to my own into - combining it with material from the RoA Player's Guide and adapting it to my campaign world. The fact that this is ideas you've borrowed from a Mars initiative is even more fitting as I plan on making this about settling the moon.

I know I'm setting myself up for a lot of work with this, but we're barely halfway through another AP being run by another DM, so I have quite a while to work on this.

Has anyone thought of trying to actually do a prologue based upon the interview process? Maybe with some skill checks and Charisma checks?
Allowing those who can pass the interview process to begin better equipped and perhaps with a bonus trait or some such as an award for making an appropriate character, and slotting in those who "fail" as a last minute alternate (who doesn't get that kind of perk).

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...I'm going likely going to make extensive changes.

I have no desire to use the primary baddies that this campaign uses.

I really like the whole Roanoke thing it has going for it, and while islands could work, I also have some things I want to run on my campaign world's moon.

So I'm thinking that there is a portal that only opens rarely to the moon and running the game as a colony being sent to the moon.

Most of the underwater problems/challenges go away.

The main baddies would be draconic.

Does anyone have any advice, or threads to point at here for cool stuff?

I know it the other AP forums there's always lots of neat stuff buried in there created by other DMs, so if someone would be so kind as to point me towards the cool stuff, please!

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This is a neat idea, did any work get done on it?

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Absolutely, and they knew that.

The irritated PC proceeded to do nothing with the land/house.

Maybe in a future campaign I'll incorporate it all over again - a deed of a distant relative falls into your hands, its for some place called "Foxglove Manor"...

The massive money pit called Fort Rannick became the first distraction, then Stones over Sandpoint made a second.

The social encounter was actually a hit, and all the PCs were entertained by the situation blowing up, even the wannabe lawyer.

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Well... I haven't started yet, in fact another DM is still mid-way through their campaign, but I'm thinking of running this while making extensive changes.

Some changes are pure setting based - I'm using my homebrew world, so some things are out. The main change (and its really just at the start of the planning stage) is that this will take place on the moon. Help and support will be even farther away.

Aberrations will largely be replaced with draconic creatures, and I intend on largely replacing the underwater aspects with land based ones.

I've just started re-reading the path and haven't even started with notes yet, but based on the campaign outline I can make this work with a whole new skin.

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I'm kinda with Dracovar here, especially about Ilsoari. He's a well known and liked character who many townsfolk probably remember as their favorite teacher, nobody likes the idea of their favorite teacher getting roughed up for no reason by thugs.

Is it the players or the characters who are the murderhobos?

Go with Jhaeman's plan, get them out into the wilderness and start rolling on the wandering monster charts, let them kill stuff and take loot, let them build a fort and retire. For some players this is the kind of game that they want to play.

I like John Wass's plan, let them do their stuff, and keep dropping links back into the campaign. Maybe get Shayliss AND the retired PC killed when Sandpoint gets invaded. Make sure there is puppy kicking involved.

Good luck!

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Latrecis wrote:

So let me get this straight - significant spoilers for RotRL follow

** spoiler omitted **...

Not quite.

I'm not sure why that idea is so offensive - for the PCs to engage in a non- "HPs and ACs" confrontation, but I'll elaborate.

Party doesn't know if anyone left living has a claim on the house, files a claim of ownership with the courts, hires a lawyer.

Lawyer goes about working on the claim, finds that there are living relatives who probably have a better claim on house, but is working for the PCs.

Sisters get notified, file counterclaim, with the hope that the PCs will actually just opt to pay them off and take the deed and house off their hands in return for some cash - as the deed (prop) I provided them actually includes a fairly large land grant, it is of value.

One of the PCs actually has invested in Linguistics and ranks in Profession(Lawyer) and other related skills. Tries to step in a force the actual legal claim - botches skill checks. Then tries to Intimidate the sisters into giving up their claim, and goes on to insult them with nonsense like you just posted above - "Some of your family were bad, so you don't deserve land you should actually inherit."

Sister's lawyer smells blood, wealthy adventurer types trying to steal land and property and wealthy patrons family looking for recompensation. Hes looking at a ton of billable hours.

One of the PCs annoyed at the situation just decides to pay the sisters off, the full value of their claim just to make the irritation go away.
All the lawyers take their cut. The sisters get more than they had before. The PCs, well the wannabe lawyer anyway, goes away with egg on his face. The annoyed PC goes away with a significant land and property deed.

You're framing the situation that somehow the sisters should be held responsible for the actions of their ancestors, and should just go piss up a rope instead of try to make a legal claim on property that they should legitimately inherit? You're suggesting that the local authorities should ignore inheritance laws and back the claims of some rural bumpkins instead of members of local aristocracy?

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My players tried to put in a claim for the house itself even!

So I let things go for a while then had the sisters show up with a lawsuit and a claim for the building and stolen property.

Then I let things play out, the PCs mostly just rolled over on this one, but we got in a good session just dealing with it.

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I tried to see if that was noted somewhere too, not finding an answer in anything printed, I ran it as a pure plot tool to help them move forward when they were stuck.

Roll the dice behind the screen, consult the chart, nod sagely and provide whatever answer works for the game. I waived the stat loss issue too, but didn't tell the players that, it kept them from using it in places other than in town where they were safe in case something happened.

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I used a fair amount of extra goblins throughout the Glassworks, often wielding improvised weapons like tongs, hooks, pipes and assorted glass items, having glass shard "splash" damage hitting PC and goblin alike.

Really with the self destructive tactics of the goblins, you can add a bunch of level 1 warrior goblins without much impact on the danger level.

Difficult terrain, hurled bits of molten glass, and a pair of goblins charging with a plate glass window to dump on the front line guy.

Gotta play up the goblins love of senseless destruction, those glass bottles are a great addition. Add insult to injury, have one of them put something foul in the bottle before throwing it.

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Hmmpf - over 4 years ago I started planning for this campaign, and over 2 since I last updated this thread.

I've added lots of extra material and trimmed a little.
I really plan to do a section by section thoughts, I have a good part of that finished already. The campaign has not proceeded as well as I could have hoped especially over the last year, but that is as much due to real world interference.

Most importantly, last weekend we finally finished.

Big K met his match at the hands of the party - the final fight went well and had players sweating the outcome, players choosing to take a final stab at finishing off K instead of trying to save their fellows.

I don't feel it was the most exciting battle of the campaign but it went well.

Thanks to everyone who provided feedback thoughts and any material in this forum - you've made this more fun to run, and made me a better DM.

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Nope, didn't think of it, good idea. Wish I'd thought of it earlier myself. It would have made more sense, and would have made some of the stuff throughout the campaign a little more cohesive, especially how the first chapter links into the rest.

This type of change makes the first chapter a side effect of things happening and removes the link of Lamashtu and Karzoug, which is a little weird. Mammon is a pretty decent choice too if you'd like to add in some deviltry and maybe remove some of the Lovecraftian aspects.

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It's good that I planned so far in advance, I had thoughts, side treks and ideas planned well in advance - and it was important to do so, as I am running this in my own long time homebrew. Changing place and people names, deciding how to alter locations based upon a completely different geography, changing names when appropriate or when I just didn't like the mouth feel of the name, but I stopped at the Vekker Cabin.

I'd always just sort of assumed that by the time they reached the city of greed, that it would be pretty much just the remaining slide ride for the campaign, especially with my groups strategy of stealth past threats and move on to the important bad guys.

Which is what they've been doing.
Spending several sessions scouting and planning.
Avoiding engagements at all costs.

In the Runeforge, Vraxeris mentions in his journal the idea of sending an agent into Xin-Shalast. It struck me that this may make a better central "quest giver and information dispenser" than Morgiv and Gyukak are directly. So I've gone with the idea that Vraxeris DID manage to get a Simulacrum out of the Runeforge and that simulacrum (SimVrax for short)has made it to Xin Shalast and has been scouting and spying on the city for a while.

SimVrax has learned quite a bit, using illusions and a great deal of caution. He has also set up a network of magic mouth spells set to trigger on specific conditions - conditions that notify him when potential allies find their way to Xin-Shalast.

Sim-Vrax will have as contacts both Morgiv and Gyukak, allowing him to direct my skittish part to Morgiv and Gyukak as needed, giving me a flow chart something like this:

1 - PCs get to X-S
2 - PCs stumble around/scout
3 - PCs trigger one of SimVrax's Magic Mouth
4 - SimVrax contacts them - extra cautiously
5 - SimVrax gives them basic city info, fills in knowledge gaps
6 - SimVrax brings them to Morgiv, Do Hidden Beast
7 - SimVrax brings them to Gyukak
Path branches depending upon player's choice after talking to Gyukak, good point to insert Kahlib and put an end to SimVrax.
8 - In no particular order engages last of encounters important in lower city, Ghlorofaex, Gamigin, maybe Yeti or Lamias (someone mentioned earlier in this thread the idea of Gyukak trying to convince the PCs to stir up trouble to help get some of the uncontrolled giants free)
9 - Up the Spire with their required rings.

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Going through all my old notes, it looks like all the others I thought might have been guards were actually militia.

tbug's list(and Deviant Designs expanded version) is really nice.

Its always great to have a name and at least SOMETHING to go on, it frames how they interact with the PCs, plus my PCs are all townies, so they should pretty much know who almost everyone is.

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I really feel like I'm missing a few of the guards I've used, but only Keeler, Jacoby and Belor himself received any development beyond their initial stat blocks.

Jacoby started as an expert 1 and a new recruit - as two of the PCs spent time at the Turandarok Academy, and were notable as pranksters and trouble makers, he was intended to be a bit of both a foil and ally, that plotline never developed.

Keeler was the guard that the PCs always wanted to talk to, so he ended up with a bit of a story and a few minutes in the spotlight - and thus his level of expert gained at level 3 along with the realization that he is NOT an adventurer and he may want anther way to make a living. Privately Ethram Valdemar has suggested he may be the next sheriff.

Belor gets plenty of action, and his depression takes a back seat to the clean-up duties he takes part in (first goblins, then ghouls, then the odd ogre issue). As the PCs move out of the area during Hook Mountain, tensions in town begin ramping up Titus begins trying to take over the glassworks, and opposes a new town run grain mills construction. The Sczarni and the other families work against them, and Belor struggles with the moral issue of allowing the Sczarni to be a thorn to the Scarnetti. But when he saves some townsfolk and guards during Stones over Sandpoint he makes a turning point and realizes that some things he is capable of and others are outside his control, he begins to come to terms with his relation with Stoot (and his brother) and moves more directly against the Sczarni. He moves from 4th to 8th across that time.

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It's really a terribly written spell, even beyond your confusion.

There are other threads that have discussed it, but this one has links to just about all the info available...which is really almost no info at all.

I've come up with some house rules to make it work because a player wanted to try it out - its a pretty cool SOUNDING spell, but the rules for it and actual implementation in a real game make this spell unusable as written.

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ooof, had a LONG post ready here, and then lost it, very painful.

Well, this most of it all over again, a bit abreviated.

Info I had used for the town guards and Belor.

Benk Griffon – Town Guard

Male Human – Warrior 2 Neutral Good
Bear of a man, bare knuckle boxer who was trained by Ven Vinder and sometimes works at Ven's store in his off hours as either a watchman or an extra pair of arms to help move items. He is an informant for the Sczarni, but basically a good guy. He tries to keep people from getting hurt.

Wallace Fard – Town Guard

Male Human – Warrior 2 Neutral
Handsome, but dark and sullen, Wallace is Das Korvat's nephew, and joined the guards during the Late Unpleasentness after the murder of his aunt by Chopper. His uncle gave him a masterwork sword.

Keeler Gaar – Town Guard

Male Human - Warrior 2/Expert 1 Neutral Good
Affable and easy going, Keeler is the friendly face of the town guards early on. Almost killed by ghoul fever during the ghoul plague, he has turned his focus to the study of law to move himself out of potentially dangerous duty.

Pol – Town Guard

Female Human – Warrior 2 Neutral Good
Has a long standing antagonistic relationship with one of the PCs - she was an early crush of his, and discovered one of his secrets that disgusted her. She initially joined the guard to keep safe from the "sick" PC. She is a graduate of the Turandarok Academy. She has been in a long term and secret relationship with Savah Bevaniky. Has a tatoo of a bird and "PB" which she declines to comment on unless someone guesses what it is for, which she always says agrees to wild theories of what it means.

"Chert" (actually Devon Chertom) – Town Guard

Male Human - Warrior 2 Neutral
From Borsky's Landing, got job with help from Titus Scarnetti. Keen-eyed, sullen, quiet...unless there is information of interest to Master Titus.

Barto Markovi - Town Guard

Male human Rogue 2 N
Barto is a one of the town guard in the pay of Jubrayl Vhiski, he's in it for the money. Unlike Benk, he is a Sczarni first and a town guard...when people are watching. Smart enough to not take bribes, but will pass on criminal actions info on to Jubrayl first.

Jacoby Trume - Town Guard

male human Warrior 1/Expert 1 LN
Jacoby grew up in the Turandarok Academy, and has a taste for intellectual pursuits, Belor likes to keep him close at the Garrison recognizing a him as a talented young man. Jacoby is the guard most likely to be met at the garrison if people go there looking for Belor.

Belor Hemlock – Sheriff

Male Human - Fighter 8 (by time of Stones over Sandpoint) Neutral Good
As campaign progresses, increasingly in over his head.
Rival of both the Sczarni and Scarnetti, as well as his own brother.
Would love to retire and hand job off and retire with Kaye.
Is trying to let the Sczarni/Scarnetti conflict do part of his job for him
Is a warrior first and a leader second, is much more in his element when fighting.
Great uncle was Jervis Stoot, this is the source of conflict with brother.

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Love this idea - though I think the concept would work better if it was structured by power groups rather than individuals.

I've got plenty of stuff for the town guards, but only a little on Belor himself.

During Stones over Sandpoint, I allowed the players to participate in mini scenes across town (I ran it a bit differently, than presented, giving the players no real forewarning of the attack)with each player getting to run some of the NPCs of the town, each player getting to run the closest think to the mentor type of their actual character, and answer a couple of questions about the character and their motives.

For me, Belor is in a bit over his head - he got his job with the support of the Scarnetti family, who want to use the town guards as their own personal anti-Sczarni task force. The Scarnetti also wanted someone who owes them something in charge of the guards in the wake of the Avertin/Deverin alliance of the previous years. Belor is a decent guard and a man of his word and is out of his depths in dealing with the political aims of the Scarnetti. The secret that truly haunts him however is that Chopper is actually his great uncle, and he maintains his tight control over himself because he is secretly afraid that he may have the same evil inside.

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Aaron Gillespie wrote:

After further investigation, they figure out the killer came from The Feathered Serpent (not sure how i'll lead them to this conclusion...still working on this part.)

Perhaps a discarded wand with a price tag from the Feathered Serpent? This sets up having the odd Gremlin with assorted wands shooting off sub-optimal spells.

May I suggest grappling Gremlin swarms jumping on the big weapon wielder, forcing him to drop his weapon in the grapple, then other Gremlins running off with his weapon? Dirty Tricks and Improvised weapons. A battle in a barn with panicked horses and a fire.

Heck, rewatch Gremlins and Gremlins II.

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Male Human Paladin(Hospitlar&Tempered Champion)/Oracle 2/1
Lawful Good
Str 13 +1
Dex 15 +2
Con 15 +2
Int 8 -1
Wis 10 +0
Chr 16 +3

Point Blank Shot
Precise Shot
Finding your Kin - Extra Favored Class, get HP and Skill point with that class.
Scarred by War - +1 HP when healing others, +1 Diplomacy
Reactionary - +2 Initiative

Seems slightly better.
Still concerned about scaling

At 9th level, (lets say 6/3)
Barring any items beyond normal ones:

6 Lay on Hands per day for 3d6
6 Hospitlar Paladin Channels per day for 2d6
4 Oracle of Life Channels per day for 2d6
4 1st level spells per day
(all add +1 for others, +2 per die for self)

BAB +8
Bow Attack +13/+8 (within 30') 1d8+1 (normal non-composite bow)
(+Plus Divine Bond 1/day for 6 minutes, +1 enchantment and 1 Smite Evil per day +3to hit, +12 damage)

Fort +12
Ref +9
Will +11

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meyerwilliam wrote:
Looking at your build in the first post, you probably will not be happy with this character.

Honestly not super thrilled with it as is - scaling as levels go up is a valid concern.

meyerwilliam wrote:
Most Oradins go melee, to reduce the number of stats to STR/CON/Char and dump some of the remaining stats -- as a ranged character, you are going DEX/STR/CON/Char, and not dumping any.

Keeping 10s in Int/Wis really amounts to getting 1 more point of Charisma instead of 8s, a hapless dullard is not the type I'm envisioning with this character, that said I can totally see trying to arrange these the stats in a different way, I was trying to keep Str up for load and damage purposes, 12 might be tolerable, but would be another drag on the damage.

meyerwilliam wrote:
With your feats going to two dissimilar feat chains (healing and archery), you will be behind the curve in both.

Feat starvation is a potential concern

meyerwilliam wrote:
What is the goal of being a ranged Oradin? Meaning, do you need those two clases?

As basically the party's HP battery, it seemed sensible to mitigate my exposure to extra damage when necessary, and maximize the efficiency of the damage I deal - thus bow seemed to be a good plan, not being a "real" archer being made up for by the odd smite.

I KNOW that in this campaign, access to Magic Item Mart is going to be limited at best so being able to trust that I will regularly be able to re-supply wands (of any variety) will be limited at best, and potentially approaching non-existent, so I'd prefer to have never ending heals available innately. This also makes starknife shenanigans probably a bad call too, as the only magic ones would the ones that get made by a PC.

Yeah, the early channeling isn't going to be awesome, I'd like to think that things ramp up after 6th, and by 8th things should be working well enough. Life Link and Lay on Hands is what I'm hoping makes this work, but that is where the decision for the second paladin archetype comes in, Tempered Champion adds some of the Warpriest's damage potential.

As one of 3 options I'm building for this game, its also the most mechanically interesting - and borderline.
It pretty much requires that spell casting is almost entirely handled by other characters, and I have no idea what they're bringing, but I believe that there will be a fair number of new players at this table, so worrying about being uber optimized to be able to "keep up" with the rest of the part is not a high priority.

IF that turns out to that I see a Wizard, a Druid and a Barbarian, then I may just try this.

Oh and thanks for digging in!

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Not werecreature-y, but I used a side trek called Night of the Straw Men, and adapted it to fit my needs while the party was going back and forth across the countryside.

It has a Holloween feel.

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78. You become blue. (Smurfy, Muddy Waters or both)

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4th level does give one more Life Link and be able to cast 2nd level spells without resorting to an item - like Shield Other.

Its the last level of oracle you can add to the build without another BAB drop, and if, for some (campaign/character/party) reason, post 12th level I find that moving back to a more caster oriented build is what is called for, I can.

This could be a dumb plan. But I want some options to put on the table and this seems a bit more on the edge - workable if there are other full casters at the table.

I've worked up a melee oriented buffing cleric and (much more focused and dull) Oracle Healer as alternates as I have no idea what the rest of the table is bringing at this point.

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Summer is about over and almost time to be back to DMing again.

I've been thinking about the link between leaving the Runeforge and finding the Vekker's cabin - I expect my party to go to do research on who they were and what happened to their expedition.

Did anyone expand upon that element?

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If I'm topping out at Oracle 4, I'm not seeing a big advantage to Spirit Guide, and it drops Survival as a class skill which (due to deity based reasons) I'd like to put a point or two in.

If I was going to 7/8th level (or higher) as an Oracle I could see the advantage.

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Ended up going with something pretty close to this - I optimized a little bit more and abandoned the Angelic feat chain for a faster approach to a blaster arcanist with moderate amount of trick/gimmick spells.

We've reached almost 10th at this point, and while the rest of the party are mythic tier 1s, I've more than held my own without being mythic.

Thanks for the help and feedback everyone.

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I'd been interpreting this as assessing each "Link" sequentially.

So three links on the same person?
That works fine - if a person has 3 links to the Oracle and 14 hp of damage, they end up healing 5, then healing 5 then staying at down 4hp.

I'd just assumed that that was the intended use for scaling.

I could be wrong - the wording isn't as clear as it could be and I can see the other interpretation.

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Thanks everyone for some input.

Channel Feats are for later build - likely after 8th, and Hospitlar + Life Oracle will have 2 channel pools.

With likely a max of 4 levels of oracle, healing via spells will be at a minimum, Life Link, Channel and Lay on Hands will pretty much be the healing.

Life Link + quick channels at most uses a move action, and I dont necessarily need to focus purely on in combat healing, but I also know I wont be able to be able to rely getting magic items from the store, so having my own battery of heals will be useful out of combat - obviously a Phylactery of Positive Channeling will be very useful.

Contributing to the party outside of just healing is important, thus the quandary over Warrior of the Holy Light vs. Tempered Champion to combine with Hospitaler.

Divine Hunter isn't a bad call, but I think that Hospitaler+(another)gives a bit more, even if those other choices lose spell casting. Tempered Champion adds a fair number of feats and damage.
Warrior of the Holy Light adds a fair number of extra channels

I can revisit Spirit Guide, and consider how it improves the combination.

Reactionary (or something like it) is probably better than Blessed Touch unless I can get away with combining it Life Link (obviously not RAW, but *shrug* I can ask the DM), But +1 to will saves is pretty questionable when you already have +8 to will without items at 3rd level.

Finding your Kin lets me treat both classes as favored, and one class gets both the Skill Point and HP, leaving room to go 8 Int, 12 wis.

Heal bot isn't exciting, no, but this should give some flexibility and at least something passable to do when healing isn't needed.

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I've been asked to bring a healer to a game starting at 3rd level.

I'd been half thinking of trying to do an oradin of some type for a while and this seems like as good a chance as any, and I think that doing a bow using version sounds good (plus slightly inspired by a mini in my collection).

I can get a +2 Chr and either +2 to Dex or Con from a number of different race choices, I'm not overly concerned with that, but if someone has an interesting option I'm all ears.

Str 10 + 4 = 14 (5 pts)
Dex 10 + 4 = 15 (7 pts)
Con 10 + 3 = 13 (3 pts) + 2 (Race) 15, will go to 16 at 4th
Int 10
Wis 10
Chr 10 + 4 = 14 (5 pts) + 2 (Race) 16

I'd rather not play an Int/Wis dumped character if I can make this work without doing so. Making Str a 12 wouldn't be the end of the world, and I could buy into the idea of that to bump dex/con/chr

Oracle 1 Life (no archetype, I'd rather not fiddle with Spirit Guide)
Paladin 2 (Hospitaler and ... Tempered Champion or Warrior of the Holy Light) Any opinions on this?

Point Blank Shot

Finding your Kin(Haleen) - its a bit of shenanigans, but I can use all the HP and skill points I can get.
Blessed Touch

Am I overlooking something?
I think leveling build pretty much builds itself - a few bow feats, Selective Channel, Quicken Channel, Dex to 16 at 8th, all point to Cha after

Try to stay middle rear of party, shoot in support, focusing on dropping targets to reducing incoming damage

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I'd be reluctant to keep playing keep away with Karzoug/Karzoug's Soul.

I can easily see players getting annoyed at repeatedly yanking the rug out from under them - "HA HA, Karzoug's soul is free, you gotta go track it down, uh oh, not this time, you gotta go trade for it with a demon, whoops a powerful Daemon got it now..."

Monkey in the Middle isn't fun.

If its just a number goal to reach, I'd be inclined to add more to all of Spires, then just do the first part of what you have planned (I'm not familiar with the Witchwar Legacy), capping off with a Tuerny the Merciless style Karzoug (Glabrezu with lots of wizard levels...)

If its the 20(+) level experience that the players want, well I'd keep Karzoug's soul out of reach until the finale.

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I've prepared the Haunts as I described above, trying to give two different points of view and some "generic" haunts to fill things out so that everyone experiences something.
I also added an encounter at the landslide that trapped the dwarven expedition (and extra haunts for that as well).

The intent is not to make the cabin (much) more dangerous, just to provide a bit more information on the background of what happened, to fill out some of the story and the generic filler haunts hint at the influence of the creature behind the tragedy at the cabin.

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Might I recommend taking a look at The Lyrie Scenario.

You could easily turn it around into a set up by Lyrie to learn their secrets then lead them into the ambush.

I had a lot of fun with it myself and could easily see having gone WAY different with Lyrie having a different set of goals.

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Skeld wrote:

I didn't track sins and virtues, so when i got to SotS, I had to figure out what to do.

I had 7 players and, when they retrieved the keys, they decided to each hold a different key. I had the idea that when they entered Runeforge, the key they carried transformed into a smaller version of itself on a chain around their necks that they couldn't remove (and didn't take up an item slot).

I liked your idea, and went with a modified version.

It seemed like an interesting story mechanic that new people could only be admitted to the Runeforge in a a group of 7 - one for each wing.

I had been tracking sins, so I decided that any character could use any key...except for their two opposition keys - when they tried to the keys became so heavy that they were unable to use them, if anyone had tried to use the key for their sin, then they would have felt a charge as they used it, (and gotten some extra minor buffs, like Fox's cunning for the duration of the Runeforge, but they didn't find that solution). They fumbled through solving the puzzle, gathering enough NPC allies to fill out the 7. I didn't give them a necklace, but gave out the buff in the appropriate wing.

I also described to each player the urges that they were experiencing - urges appropriate for their key.

While I didnt give them any mechanical incentive to explore or resist the urges, most of the players went along with letting their sin key slightly affect their actions, I suppose if one of them really just asks to Give In/Exploit their connection to a sin I may have to think something up - maybe give them a bonus trait/trait-like feature.

<shrug> Any ideas?

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Set wrote:

And now I have an urge to watch The Last Dragon again...


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Bandit, Racoon of WRATH!

Love it.

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I think people have covered the "why" pretty well - its a flavor feat to show "Skald's know runes - spells are made of mystic Skald's have Scribe Scroll."

However, read Egil's Saga.

Come back and try to explain why Egil is NOT 900AD's version of a gangster rapper.

Use the PFS variant for Scribe Scroll.

Laugh maniacally as you turn everyone in the party into a barbarian.

Really scribe scroll is a pretty awful feat for a skald - a flat +1 to UMD would be better.

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Tabernero has it exactly.

Feat Tax.

Pay the tax, get better stuff. If you stop at the entry feat, get something not that exciting. It doesn't matter what feat chain you do that with.

If I were to look at my martials, I'm sure I'd find a LOT MORE "Weapon Focus" than Cleave. I don't like it. That doesn't mean I haven't seen it be useful, in someways, Cleave is like a Teamwork feat - if the rest of the party cooperates and maneuvers tactically, it can be made to be more useful.

I'm just expressing that WF and Dodge are, like Tabernero says, overrated, by themselves. I'd rather have Vital Strike than Cleave, and Vital Strike, by itself isn't exciting either.

Right now I'm running 2 campaigns - one of which is going to end around 7th - 8th level, it is featuring lots of size medium opponents, often in good sized numbers. In that campaign, Cleave wouldn't be a terrible choice in that game.

The other is a RotRL game, Cleave would be a much less exciting choice.

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I'd suggest running some smaller in scope things before doing something big. As Dave suggests using published stuff at first can be a big help just for getting the feel of running, perhaps chop things off so that things end around 12th.

Also if you use an AP, the forums here are great for getting help with running them.

Once you do start using your own material, save everything you create, all your encounters, every map, every adventure, dont be afraid to re-skin and recycle.

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Because they have a very measurable but minor modification on the character's effectiveness. Also they're held up as feats that "always work" even when 95% of the time they do not change the outcome of the die roll.

Cleave is situational.
You can use tactics to improve how often you can use it.
The DM can use solo monsters or tactics to reduce how often you can use it.
The nature of the campaign and DMs style will dictate how often it comes up - that's a factor for the player to judge and what options are available - CORE only, Cleave would be much less appealing.

Creatures that are used to teamwork will naturally tend to avoid Cleave situations, but reasonably intelligent foes will also avoid allowing a melee brute from getting a full attack off too.

Cleave is, like Dodge and Weapon Focus, a Feat Tax for getting cooler stuff later if you follow the feat chains or you can retrain out of it when your BAB approaches +10

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Orfamay Quest wrote:

Dodge will nearly always be a useful feat. +1 to AC is useful in every combat encounter, and useful against many traps as well. Weapon focus is almost always useful if you're going to be using a single type of weapon repeatedly. Cleave is not quite to the screen-door-on-a-submarine level of uselessness, but it's comparable to go-faster-stripes-on-a-tank.

Dodge is a feat tax. It is almost never useful. It only has an effect on the 1 out of 20 attacks that it would prevent from hitting you, otherwise it does nothing.

The same goes for Weapon Focus - it only does something 5% of the time that you use the specific weapon, converting what would have been a miss into a hit. Otherwise it does nothing.

Cleave isn't awesome, but it has its uses and particularly early on can be decent - if you use your abilities to help you, by forcing the situation on the NPCs. Use movement to make it easiest to create cleave situations.

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Haladir wrote:
Another possibility could be that the entire library is one giant intelligent magical artifact that can create the illusion of a human librarian at will within the walls of the library...

I like that too.

Robed humanoid figure with a gold mask fades into view - an odd metallic sounding voice comes from the figure.
"This is the emergency bibliographic assistant. Please state the nature of your bibliographic emergency."


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