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Question, since you're checking the thread - I am thinking about sprucing up the Morale system in the following ways:

1) Forcing a morale check when a unit first reaches half health (regardless of how many hits they take to get there).

2) Having variable morale checks (i.e. not all DC 15). I am thinking a range of 10-20. Taking a charge from the rear is probably more demoralizing than suffering an attack from the flanks, which is probably more demoralizing than taking attacks from two enemies in the front (for example).

Does that seem reasonable, or is the Morale DC static for a reason?

Also, is there any situation where Mass Rating might be reduced in combat? I am thinking about getting rid of it in my Excel stat block and just adjusting the formulas in each cell that accounts for MR.

I'm currently running a Birthright VTT and we are going to give Warpath a try as a replacement for BR's War Cards system (which I find woefully inadequate).

Is there some place where this product is still being discussed actively? It is pretty rough straight out of the book but I think it has a very strong core so I will be modding it extensively if the players end up liking it.

Form fillable makes this an obvious buy for naturally disorganized DMs like me. Going to pick it up today or tomorrow.

I'm putting together a VTT game with some friends, and my wife is thinking about joining up. The only problem (and it's sort of a big one) is that she doesn't want to go in without a firm understanding of the core rules. She hates feeling like she's out of her depth and she hates asking questions even more.

I've tried to show her how to play before, and I am horrible at it because so many things are second nature to me and I never know where to start. Is there something resembling a 'tutorial module' for PRPG? Something that goes about introducing all the major game concepts in a methodical sort of way? If there isn't...well, first I'd humbly suggest that someone put one together, because I think it would sell. My kids are very young, but when they're older I'm going to try to turn them on to tabletop RPGs and something like this would be very useful. But it'd be good for anyone who is just learning to play.

Second, how would you start a process like this? Previously, we've started with character creation and worked our way out from that, but I think that's a bad way to go. I think it'd be better to start off with a pre-made character or something so we aren't bogged down in source books at the outset. It needs to start off fun and simple, and slowly court all the nuances in the ruleset in a way that isn't overwhelming.

I'm rambling now, but any advice is much appreciated! Specifically, what concepts must be tackled and which ones can wait, what order to do them in, that sort of thing would be very helpful.

Hello - I don't see any battle maps for Fort Rannick up yet, so I whipped one up in DJ today. It lacks objects at this point (I'm going to add them later in MapTool), and it's slightly larger than the map in the module.

Here it is. Hope it's useful. When I get all the furniture, gore and so forth loaded into it I'll link that version too.

This thread is full of win, by the way. Finding lots of good stuff in here for my RotR play-by-post.

Cintra Bristol wrote:

If I recall correctly, there's no actual connection between Xyrzog and the Ebon Triad - they're just local criminals hired to do a job. So an investigator is liable to run across the fact that someone was hiring assassins for that job. Does the investigator have contacts in the Free City already?

If the investigator doesn't have any contacts in the area, then have some low-life opportunist recognize the PCs as the ones the contract was for, and decide to try to collect it himself. His bungled attempt will hopefully result in interrogation, upon which they'll start trying to figure out more about this contract on their lives, and continue with the middleman in the paragraph below.

If teh investogator DOES have contacts, the easiest is for one of the contacts to tell the investigator about rumors of the hit job, and then any investigation he does leads them to a specific middleman (soemone known to arrange such contracts), who they can follow back to Sodden Hold, making a check along the way to keep tailing the right guy when that guy changes appearance along the way (the investigator might assume it was just a Disguise Self spell, although it's odd the fellow didn't bother to change his clothes along with his face and hair...)

I really like this idea (bungled assassination leads to an interrogation, which leads to a middle man, which leads to the Sodden Hold). It makes the PCs, especially Kellen, a lot more proactive in the adventure's opening part. Of course, during the investigation they will still be attacked by dopplegangers from Telkanin's gang, but they won't be sitting around waiting to be attacked.

The middle man should be a seedy information broker who doesn't directly involve himself in the assassination attempt. I might have him be a wererat.

My party is in the middle of Encounter at Blackwall Keep right now, so I'm trying to get all of my ducks in a row for the next adventure.

I'm running Age of Worms as a high-powered, gestalt game set in Greyhawk. My party lineup at the beginning of Hall of Harsh Reflections should look like this:

Khalavas - human bard/barbarian 5 // dragon disciple/dragonsong lyrist 2
Kellen - human ninja/cleric of Nola 5 // ninja/shadowbane stalker 2
Quince - human warmage/wizard 7
Darion - human fighter/knight 5 (cohort)

I basically want to run this adventure as written (it's really quite excellent) with one exception: I want to tailor the opening portion to Kellen a little bit more. He's a crime fighter by night, and I explained to his player at the beginning that there really weren't going to be too many opportunities for him to play this aspect of his character up in Age of Worms. But Hall of Harsh Reflections, especially the doppleganger section, seems like an ideal time to let him shine. The problem is that, as written, the events that lead the party to the doppleganger lair are driven by the dopplegangers. It would be far cooler if Kellen sniffed out the place using his investigative skills. So I need to add in a short section in between the doppleganger attacks on their inn and the moment they arrive at the Sodden Hold. Instead of having one of the dopplegangers they defeat drop a key, there needs to be some other, more subtle lead-in.

Any ideas?

Kharadad is your best work yet! Love it! -thumbs up-

That is all.

I have to agree with the whole 'ending at 15th level' thing; room to grow is never a bad idea. A buddy of mine finished running 'Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil' last winter - a two year undertaking that put us through numerous side quests on the way and set things up for a massive war between Furyundoy & allies and Iuz. When we finished the module we were 16th level. We took a break to play some Spycraft, but are coming back to the campaign in three weeks to begin our final story arc (and from all our DM has said, it looks like it will be a blast). If we had been 19th or 20th level at the end of the module, I think he would have been too intimidated by the Epic rules to even try running the last story arc.

I'm not bashing the previous APs which run until 20th level. I'm currently hosting an Age of Worms game that, barring external circumstances, will successfully reach its conclusion some day, and I'm playing in Savage Tide, which has been a blast so far. But stopping at 15th level instead of 20th is not a bad idea, especially if it stops naturally.

Vic Wertz wrote:
treehouse916 wrote:
Oh, and as long as I have an active query, I may as well add my other question to avoid opening up another thread - the tag by my name says "Pathfinder Subscriber" rather than "Pathfinder Charter Subscriber"; did I fudge up somewhere in the process to become a charter subscriber?

Don't worry—it takes intervention from customer service to actually cancel a subscription.

We know that now is a great opportunity to get your eyes on our product, so our transition plan is deliberately generous. While it's not a simple formula, I can tell you that the "trade-in value" of your issues is very high with respect to Pathfinder, and we're also rounding up a lot in there.

Wow, that incentive is very generous, then. I was sure there was some sort of mistake! You guys rock.

Oh, and as long as I have an active query, I may as well add my other question to avoid opening up another thread - the tag by my name says "Pathfinder Subscriber" rather than "Pathfinder Charter Subscriber"; did I fudge up somewhere in the process to become a charter subscriber?

I went ahead and used the remaining credit from my Dungeon subscription to begin a subscription to Pathfinder...but I think I messed up somewhere along the line. It says that I have three issues of Pathfinder coming my way before I have to start paying, but elementary math tells me that 14x3=$42, which is more than what I paid for my entire Dungeon subscription, let alone the last six or seven issues.

Sooo...what exactly did I do? I must have the last issues of Dungeon one way or another. And I can't make any sort of payment on anything for the next two months (taxes and IRL transitions have bled me dry, but this won't be a problem by the time Pathfinder starts).

I might be panicking over nothing, but three issues of Pathfinder for the last half of my Dungeon subscription seems awfully generous, even for Paizo!

While I won't boycott WotC (my appetite for Eberron will never be sated), I try to limit the amount of money that I spend on gaming products. Since Paizo is where the most talent is, that's where most of my gaming dollars will go. The adventure paths have by far been my favorite aspect of Dungeon since I started subscribing two years ago, and for that reason I'm pretty excited about Pathfinder. I'm very sad to see Dungeon go, but I think this will be a positive step for Paizo in the long run. It's hard to see it now, but in ten years we'll all be nostalgic about the beginning of Pathfinder and Gamemastery.

Paizo staffers: you all have earned my loyalty with your consitently high-quality products and dedication to excellent customer service. I'm actually hesitant to call it 'customer service', because you make us feel like friends instead of patrons. Thank you.

I'm running Age of Worms as a gestalt campaign in Greyhawk. I used Whispering Cairn almost straight out of the box, but The Three Faces of Evil is modified heavily - I like all of my changes, which focused on eliminating 'mobs' of weak enemies and replacing them with fewer, more powerful enemies. In the case of the Vecna temple, I eliminated all of the original labrynth denizens and replaced them with a 10 HD half-fiend gauth beholder. It was a challenging (and frustrating) fight, since the beholder was able to use Flyby Attack to dart from one hidden passageway to another, blasting the party with eye rays midflight before disappearing from view.

But the beholder encounter was just a taste of what was waiting for them in the Inner Sanctum. For reference, here's my party lineup:

Kellen - ninja/cleric of Nola 5 // ninja/shadowbane stalker 1
Khalavas - barbarian/bard 5 // dragon disciple/war chanter 1
Quince - wizard/warmage 6
Darion - fighter/knight 4 (party cohort)

I made the Faceless One a necromancer/cleric of Vecna 8; I kept the allip the same, but raised the acolytes to 3rd level and made them sorcerer/wizards.

When they arrived in the Inner Sanctum, the Faceless One had fly, greater invisibility, mirror image and a host of other buffs active. He hit Kellen with a bestow curse (Kellen failed his Will save) and picked the '50% chance to act' option. One acolyte cast web and the other cast glitterdust - Kellen failed his save vs. the web and became rooted to the ground. Everyone else succeeded their save vs. the web and the glitterdust, and were merely entangled. This still put them in a rough position, which the Faceless One capitalized on by blanketing the area of the web in a stinking cloud (Quince failed his save and became nauseated). The allip showed up at the same time and entered the area of both spells without any difficulty. All of the PCs made their saves against its babble, but it still managed to drain some Wisdom from Khalavas before Kellen was able to destroy it with a greater turning.

Things got pretty bad after this; all of the PCs started failing saves or Strength checks to get out of the web and stinking cloud, but they had total cover and total concealment from the Vecna mages on the other side. The Faceless One put the hurt on Darion and Khalavas with an empowered lightning bolt, but quickly ran out of damaging area effect spells. The acolyte who cast web dismissed it so they could finish the PCs off, but the PCs started running at this point, egged on by a potent casting of fear from the Faceless One. Khalavas failed his save vs. fear, and since he was the only one in the group who hadn't been nauseated by this point, he was able to outrun them by a good distance, darting through the labrynth and out into the Dark Cathedral.

Being the wicked DM that I am, I decided that the Faceless One would take his acolytes with him via dimension door to the Dark Cathedral to cut the PCs off. When Khalavas arrived a few rounds ahead of his party in the Cathedral, he found the Vecna mages waiting for him. They all cast charm person simultaneously - he was able to shake off all but the Faceless One's casting. They had a battle of opposed Charisma checks at this point as the FO tried to convince him that his friends had betrayed him and left him for dead. In the end, the FO only managed to get him to agree to stand aside and watch the battle.

Luckily, when the rest of the PCs arrived in the Cathedral, Kellen opened up with an area dispel magic, which knocked out some of the Vecna mages' buffs, but more importantly dismissed the charm person on Khalavas. Battle was resumed - the acolytes managed to take out both Quince and Khalavas with hideous laughter and Darion was brought into the negatives by various direct damage necromancies delivered via ghost touch (inflict serious wounds, vampiric touch, chill touch, etc.)

This left Kellen (who was using ghost step to remain unseen) to manage the battle as best he could while the hideous laughters wore off. It was a pretty close thing, but the acolytes were down to their cantrips. The Faceless One tried to murder Khalavas with a phantasmal killer, but he made his save. Once Quince and Khalavas were back up the battle ended fairly quickly in the PCs' favor.

The best part of this was that the PCs got to witness the Ebon Aspect's 'birth'. They are extremely tapped on spells and resources (Darion is still down) and the Aspect is seriously bolstered (I made it a 14 HD Ebon Aspect and gave it light flails for its three functional claws to wield), so I gave them a short reprieve. The Aspect left the Dark Cathedral, compelled by the nature of its birth to an act of vengeance beyond simply killing the temple intruders. The PCs will no doubt rest before they track him back to Diamond Lake, where he has begun destroying the temples of Heironeous and Saint Cuthbert. If they don't intervene, he'll raze the town in a day or so. Allustan is currently on a delve in the recently cleared Whispering Cairn, so he isn't around to aid them. Besides, the PCs (as a group) are much more powerful than him at this point.

A side effect of all of this is that Filge (who is currently being held prisoner at the church of Heironeous) will be able to escape during the pandemonium. I love recurring villains...

That's hilarious! My PCs are just like that in my Eberron game (going for the one shot kills), so I feel like a kindred spirit. Luckily, my AoW PCs are a bit more viscerally oriented.

Anyway, to your problem - Ilthane should know quite a bit about Dragotha, her master, but not necessarily too much about Kyuss. She definitely shouldn't know about Lashonna; you can justify this as a byproduct of Ilthane not having her lair in the Wormcrawl Fissure compounded by Lashonna's desire for secrecy.

One of the first things she should verbalize about Dragotha is that he is a dracolich red wyrm. If this doesn't scare your 11th level PCs into holding off on a direct assault of the Wormcrawl Fissure, I suppose they deserve what comes next. After all, they still face the problem of Dragotha's phylactery ('where is it?'), and they won't have the necessary lead to pursue it until the beginning of Library of Last Resort.

I think it's okay to give them some information now, since they managed to take such a knowledgeable prisoner, mainly because there is little they can do with the information if they really think about it.

Alternatively, you could cheese them out by having a Dragotha-hired assassin snipe Ilthane-the-friendly-lizard before she can be restored to her original form.

I read about this in the news the other day (I live in Tulsa). If it is any consolation at all, they seem to have a lot to go on in searching for the perpetrators. I have a feeling we'll be hearing about their arrest sooner rather than later.

I am so sorry for your loss. Words are worth so little in the face of such grief, but for what it's worth, I am praying for you and your family.

If you need anything at all, please email me -

#145 and #146 have both arrived at my new address. Thanks again for clearing that up so quickly!

I really like Diamond Lake. It's got the feel of a Wild West frontier town gone to seed, and lots of interesting NPC interactions. I'm sad the Age of Worms AP moves away from the town so quickly.

Aubrey the Malformed wrote:
As a more general point, I think the poster who suggested the face-stomping was rather missing the point - he selected a fairly miniscule aspect of the original post, and didn't really address anything other than the hostile tone (unlike Steve's measured reply). Bur replying in kind with a similarly hostile tone merely compounds the problem - you can't say a person is rude and then suggest that they need their face stomping on. Personally, I think that is rude. Ruder actually - the OP suggested that the editors lacked life experience, but not that they needed to be offered violence. I know it is only hot air, I know no one is really being offered violence, and that this is a storm in a teacup. But once the "face-stomping" stuff comes out then you could end up with a individuals feeling they cannot post what they...

Yeah, you're probably right. The face-stomping comment (while not meant literally) was out of line. It's just that I'm getting off of a customer service job, so I feel for the Dungeon staffers in these sorts of scenarios. It sucks when a patron is verbally abusing you and you can't say anything back because, well, they're a paying customer.

I still think the OP's method of relaying criticism (legitimate or not) was immature and offensive, but my reaction was no better, so I apologize for that.

Aubrey the Malformed wrote:
Also, the OP wasn't THAT rude - Sebastian can be similarly trenchant, as can I and others on occasion. The guy has some pretty good observations - "face-stomping" is not an appropriate response at all.

I disagree. There is nothing wrong with raising criticisms about a module (or any number of other things). But the method that you use to raise criticism determines how others will react to it.

If I went to a restaurant and ordered a slice of apple pie, and didn't like it when it arrived, I could react in one of two ways:

1) I could ask the waiter for a different slice of pie


2) I could call the waiter a worthless whoreson and throw the pie in his face

Which of these two reactions is more likely to get me tossed out of the restaurant? No, I stand by my initial reaction to the OP's offensively worded rant.

You'll never find sanctuary, Logue! My killbots will find you wherever you hide!

Sorry, I just found the original post too irritating to not at least comment on. I'm easily roused, what can I say? That's what you get when you mix high Intelligence with low Wisdom and Charisma.

Or maybe that's the recipe for autism, I'm not sure.

(I kid! I kid!)

There was quite a bit less face-stomping in that response than I am comfortable with, Mr. Greer. Let me try.

Rez, don't you think it's sort of hypocritical to talk about how the Dungeon staffers have no lives in the same rant where you get your panties in a twist about niggling details in an adventure? Maybe if you had some point of reference on how real people in the real world acted, you'd see how much you overreacted.

Do you think that level of vitriol is strictly necessary?

You are moving off the island? Hmmm, need to redirect the death squads...

You rock, Cosmo. Thanks!

I have a question about the address that my copy of Dungeon #146 was shipped to. Here's the facts, as I know them:

1) I just moved to a new place. I updated my address here the moment I moved.

2) My original copy of #145 never arrived at my new place. I recently ordered a replacement. The replacement hasn't arrived yet, but I think it just got shipped. Keep in mind that at this point, #146 has also shipped.

3) When I got my confirmation email about the replacement issue of #145, my old address was listed instead of my new address. I replied with my new address, and I'm pretty sure you all got the new address punched in before the issue shipped.

4) ...but, I was thinking...if you all still had my old address listed when you tried to ship my replacement issue #145, then you almost certainly had my old address listed when you sent me my copy of #146. Right?

It's probably too early to worry about it, but if I end up asking for a replacement issue of #146, that will be the third time in a row, which seems a little bit excessive. At the same time, I -did- change my shipping address the moment we moved, so it's not really my fault if #146 ends up going to the old address, right?

Hmmm, now that I'm done typing this, I'm not really sure what I'm asking for. Could you all just check and make sure that the address you are sending my magazines to matches the one I have listed in 'My Subscriptions'? Thanks!

Russ Taylor wrote:

What on earth is your party doing without a hero's feast up? I dismissed the eyes rays when I saw they were a fear effect, I can't remember the last time I saw a 11th+ cleric _not_ casting hero's feast.

I'm adding quicken spell like (dispel magic) to his feats, in hopes of burning off a few buffs.

We ended up nerfing Heroes' Feast at our table - instead of outright immunity to fear and poison it now provides a +4 circumstance bonus on such saves.

Jeff Alvarez wrote:

Hojas, Occam, and Treehouse916,

You all have replacement 145's heading to you.



I still haven't received #145, and I see in my subscriptions that #146 shipped today. I am sort of hesitant to ask for a replacement, as I did that last month and ended up getting two copies. But it's been a month since #145 shipped. Wouldn't it be here by now if it was coming? I know media mail is a little bit wonky.

Thanks. They still have the temple of Vecna to go through before they face my upgraded Ebon Aspect (I'll post stats later).

I also changed the Vecna temple quite a bit - I removed all of the stock labrynth denizens, replacing them with a pair of gauth beholders. I added an upper level to the labrynth, accessible only to creatures who can fly (and its various vertical entrances are concealed by permanent images). This second level is primarily for the beholders, of course. I am also adding a series of specialized wall of force traps that trigger when any non-evil creature passes over them, or when they are targeted by a beholder's eye ray. These walls of force last for one round, but have an automatic reset. I will use these to cut the party in half (or quarters) as necessary, and hopefully infuriate them.

I'm still not sure what I'm going to do with the Faceless One. I am thinking either wizard 7 or wizard/cleric 6, with no templates. He needs a physically powerful bodyguard or two, either way. I've heard too many stories on these boards about how he gets cornered in melee in the first round and creamed. His acolytes will probably use their scrolls of web to slow down the party, followed by stinking cloud from the Faceless One if possible. I was thinking about how fun this combination would be - anyone who fails both saves will basically be screwed, since nauseated characters can only take a move action, and the action required to escape a web is full-round. And since the allip is incorporeal and undead, it can glide through both effects effortlessly, sapping Wisdom left and right.


I've heavily modified Three Faces of Evil to suit the high-powered needs of my gestalt party, and they really seemed to enjoy the results. So I thought I'd share...

For future reference, here's my party:

Khalavas - human barbarian/bard 5
Kellen - human ninja/cleric of Nola 5
Quince - human wizard/warmage 5
Darion - human knight/fighter 3 (party cohort)

First of all, I scrapped all of the plain vanilla, classless grimlocks, replacing them with two varieties of gestalt grimlock (grimlock elites, as I called them): there were the archers (ranger/fighter 1) and the mashers (barbarian/rogue 1). I added a fiendish five-headed hydra to guard the entrance, along with three mashers in the next room. The party handled them all fairly easily, though the hydra gave them a fun scare.

I restatted the grimlock beastmaster as a druid/ranger 4. The beastmaster had a fleshraker dinosaur for his druid animal companion and a swindlespitter dinosaur for his ranger animal companion (both from the MM3). The beastmaster used fog cloud and his blindsight to split up the party and perform guerilla tactics on them, but he rolled terribly on his attacks and didn't last very long once they cornered him.

The grimlock barbarian became a gestalt barbarian/fighter 3, but she pretty much maintained her original set of tactics in the horseshoe tunnel. I gave her Tunnel Runner and Tunnel Fighting (Underdark feats), and made the horseshoe tunnel even narrower so the PCs would be squeezed. That fight was a little bit tougher, largely because the party was split up (Quince and Kellen failed their Climb checks and fell to the bottom of the cavern, where they tangled with a pair of shadow chokers while Darion and Khalavas fought the barbarian in the tunnel).

At the rope bridge, I used a masher and a pair of archers to stall the party and make them use up some buffs - they were able to force these grimlocks into a retreat fairly quickly, only to run into them again in the cliff chamber.

I restatted the grimlock chieftain as a barbarian/fighter 3 and then added the gravetouched ghoul template. He was accompanied by a pair of ghasts as he came at the party while they were in the middle of their battle with the surviving grimlock elites. That encounter was particularly tough, and they rested shortly afterwards.

Which is good, because I pulled off the kid gloves for their fight with Grallak Kur. I opted not to make him gestalt so I could give him more levels of cleric without raising his CR. I also gave him the voidmind template (his personal history in my campaign has him as a former mind flayer thrall who broke free of his psionic bonds and slaughtered his masters, freeing his clan in the process and proving that he was a chosen prophet of Erythnul). Grallak Kur's final build was voidmind grimlock cleric of Erythnul 7. I gave him the Madness and Trickery domains. I also ruled that his beholder eyes effectively gave him regular eyesight in place of his blindsight, because Kellen hadn't been able to get in any sudden strike in a while and I knew his player was getting antsy. Finally, Grallak had Extra Turning, Quicken Spell, Divine Metamagic (Quicken) and a nightstick in his inventory, which allowed him to quicken a few of his high level spells.

When the party arrived in the Temple of Erythnul, Grallak won initiative and opened up with confusion - Quince and Darion both failed their saves, and were effectively out of commission for the entire fight. This left Khalavas and Kellen to face Grallak Kur alone. Khalavas approached the grimlock's perch first, and had to endure a hold person and a quickened wrack (he made both saves) before Grallak put up divine power and waded into melee. Kellen was able to hit Grallak with a throwing star, prompting Grallak to use his cone of slime on the pair of them. They both made their saves, but still took a crapload of acid damage in the process. At this point Grallak executed a full attack on Khalavas with his morningstar and tentacle; when all was said and done, Khalavas had two hit points left and was being grappled by the sentient tentacle. Kellen then healed him, so Grallak smacked Khalavas with a touch of madness, dazing him for the rest of the battle. This left Grallak Kur and Kellen alone, and Kellen was continuing to use ghost step to remain unseen. Grallak decided to mop up Quince and Darion at this point, since they were wailing on each other at the edge of the battlefield, but Kellen managed to toss a tanglefoot bag at the grimlock priest, who promptly failed his Reflex save, becoming glued to the floor. Kellen followed this up with a round or two of extremely lucky Rapid Shot shuriken-tossing, killing Grallak just as his last use of ki power was exhausted.

Overall, I was quite happy with how everything turned out.

I'd love to see a series of 2-5 wilderness battlemaps for random encounters.

I am a big fan of your style of map-making. Keep it up!

airwalkrr wrote:

When they encountered Krathanos at our last session they almost wet their pants and spent the rest of the session kissing up to him to try to get him to give them the belt. Rather than slug it out, they eventually managed to take him to the Outlands where he gave them the belt. I figured after being a prisoner for hundreds of years, despite being CE, he would at least have had the decency not to look a gift-horse in the mouth. Besides, why waste time killing the PCs when there is the entire Outlands to conquer! He trotted off to go build an empire, happy as could be.

I was bit disappointed that they shied away from conflict though. It would have been fun, especially since he can deal massive damage quite easily.

I can see how that would be disappointing. Titans are a pretty fatal encounter for a 16th-17th level party, though. A buddy of mine who is now running Savage Tide just finished up a high-level homebrew that featured a titan as one of the final encounters, and he said it was one of the few solo monster encounters that he's ever been able to give the PCs a run for their money with. They are bad mamajammas.

If you really want them to fight a titan though, just slap the Favored Spawn of Kyuss template on one and insert it into the first part of 'Dawn of a New Age'. Seeing one of those rampaging through Alhaster would be pretty frightening, and they wouldn't have any choice but to fight it. If you do this, make sure to trade one or two of its new abilities from the template for unholy toughness. A hallmark of titans is their massive hit point count.

Nicolas Logue wrote:
Loved your blog my man! Great stuff!

Thanks. I'll be doing a massive update within the next two or three weeks. We took a hiatus from Eberron so I could run the first few Age of Worms modules, but we are going back to it pretty soon. Looking forward to seeing the Saint-Demain sequels, even though he got himself massively dead in my campaign.

Once Logue sweeps this poll, he will achieve ULTIMATE COSMIC POWER.

Of course, ULTIMATE COSMIC POWER usually only manifests as a massive ego trip, so I doubt we'll notice any difference ;)

But seriously, had to vote for Logue for Chimes At Midnight, Chains of Blackmaw and Library of Last Resort. Those are among my favorite modules since I started getting the mag.

Thanks for the feedback! I actually thought Bozal Zahol was a more dangerous name to feed them, since it is more obscure. Loris is an old celebrity, so chances are a lot of babies were named after him back in the day, right? These babies are all grown up now, so I have plenty of red herrings should the need arise. I do see where the issue would crop up, of course. But my players are fresh off of an Eberron campaign, so they will suspect that the first name I give them is the red herring. They are so jaded :-)

Bozal Zahol, however, is a very weird name. When I first saw it, I thought it was a typo. If they pursue this lead via divinations (word of mouth won't work, since Bozal isn't exactly in the public eye) before Champion's Belt, I'll definitely have to improvise.

Weirdly enough, I just did this in my campaign. I'm running 3FOE and happened to be reading Champion's Belt, and I was thinking 'why aren't these two more connected?' So I added another entry to Theldrick's journal. Here's the text:

"The Laws of the Warlord are Held Most Holy,

I received a message this morning from Loris; it is the first time I have heard from him in some time. He has taken Bozal Zahol’s advice to heart, and I believe he will be more useful to the Triad now that he has been indoctrinated. His part in all of this is unclear to me still, but Zahol never wastes time on foolhardy schemes. I only hope he is not disappointed with his latest pawn.

Kendra informed me this morning that the Faceless One is courting another one of those foolish mine managers. This one is called Smenk, and he is supposedly going to begin bringing us supplies on a weekly basis. Of course, the Faceless One wants to keep the drop-off point in the Dark Cathedral, but the route our suppliers will use is under Varthinax’s watchful eye. If we find ourselves at war with the cursed Vecna priest as I now believe is inevitable, it will not be difficult to waylay the couriers and take what we need.

The honor-blinded fool Valkus Dun has been asking questions in the town again. He knows in his heart that servants of the greater Brother are near, yet he has no proof. Still, a few precautions may be in order. The petitioners will have to begin staying here; it would be unfortunate if one of them was followed to our temple by crusaders."

Not nearly as elegant as your solution, but I think it should work out alright. I made no mention of Greyhawk, so they think Bozal Zahol and Loris are denizens of the Diamond Lake area. I am gambling that when their initial investigations prove fruitless, they will forget about the reference until right around the end of Hall of Harsh Reflections.

Name: Darion Pendlebrooke (gestalt knight/fighter 2; party cohort)
Adventure: Three Faces of Evil
Location: Battle Temple of Hextor
Catalyst: Mummy paralysis + coup de grace

The second time our heroes faced Theldrick and his fiendish entourage, they were much better prepared. After wading through a swarm of gestalt tieflings (including paladin of tyranny/rogues, knight/fighters and ranger/fighters) and legion devils, they finally managed to route the Hextorian priest. His last act before fleeing the scene was to release the ancient guardian of the temple, a mummy (replaced 'Beast').

When the mummy first entered the Battle Temple, several of our intrepid adventurers were paralyzed with fear at the very sight of it, including Darion, our heroes' pledged sword. Unfortunately, the place where Darion chose to be paralyzed with fear was one 5' step away from the mummy, who then stomped his face in like a rotten melon.

Later on, Darion was revived by his Heironean brother-in-arms, Valkus Dun.

One of my players is running Savage Tide, and he told me recently that there is a festival in the first adventure called 'Wormfall'. I'm sort of wondering much does it give away about the Age of Worms plot? Is he now aware of the endgame events?

I'm not sure why Dungeon writers put spoilers for past APs in current APs; I will probably never play Shackled City because of a major spoiler for it that is casually inserted into a couple of Age of Worms adventures.

May I humbly request that authors for AP #4 not spoil the end of Savage Tide in the same manner?

Is there any way to order a back issue of a magazine and have it shipped with my regular subscription? I am running Age of Worms and I need Dragon #336 solely for the favored spawn of Kyuss template, but the shipping expense is over $5 - that's almost as much as the magazine itself, which means I am unlikely to get it at all. There's no way I'm shelling out twelve smackaroos for a template.

As a side note, I am sort of irritated that the favored spawn of Kyuss template was never listed in Dungeon. Considering how often the template pops up in the adventure path, it -should- be available to Age of Worms DMs who aren't also subscribed to Dragon.

Okay, the Rain Barrel Man foreshadowing is awesome. I'm snagging that.

Most of my foreshadowing so far is more mundane, but I am only in Three Faces of Evil so far. I added an entry in Theldrick's journal that mentions Loris (but not his last name) and Bozal Zahol. By the time they have the divinations necessary to pursue this lead further they'll be in the Free City anyway, dodging dopplegangers and so forth. I do want to make Three Faces of Evil feel a little bit better connected to the rest of the path, so I'll probably have a few more things like this in the Faceless One's quarters.

Michelle Barrett wrote:
treehouse916 wrote:
Hi - sorry to be a bother, but I see in my subscriptions that #144 shipped on the 23rd of January, and it still hasn't arrived thirteen days later. I know media mail takes a while, but is it safe at this point to declare it lost en route?
A replacement copy will be sent this week. We apologize for the inconvenience.

No problem. Thanks for the speedy response!

Hi - sorry to be a bother, but I see in my subscriptions that #144 shipped on the 23rd of January, and it still hasn't arrived thirteen days later. I know media mail takes a while, but is it safe at this point to declare it lost en route?

Harm -can- kill you if you fail your save. Here's the spell description:

"Harm charges a subject with negative energy that deals 10 points of damage per caster level (to a maximum of 150 points at 15th level). If the creature successfully saves, harm deals half this amount, but it cannot reduce the target’s hit points to less than 1."

See how the 'less than 1' clause is only attached to the sentence that describes what happens when you make the save?

As to the other thing, Harm does hit point damage. It's not a death effect. Mechanics-wise, -100 is identical to -10. I wouldn't mess with it unless you are in the mood to piss your player off. This adventure path incurs enough raise/resurrection costs without artificially inflating them for 'flavor' purposes. Just my two cents, though.

I can't believe it's been a month since my last session. We had another tonight (many delays as we all struggle through finals and holiday madness).

I thought Whispering Cairn was good fun before, but tonight it totally rocked.

If you want to skip my wordy recap, I do have an actual question at the very end (last paragraph).

They started the session back in Diamond Lake, taking a week off after their first successful trip to the Cairn. They had loads of loot to unload, and they achieved second level. Since I had skimmed over Diamond Lake to get them into the dungeon as quickly as possible on the first session, I took some time to acquaint them with the town's vibe tonight. They met with Allustan, who is already mentoring the party (one of the PCs is Allustan's apprentice, and exploring the Whispering Cairn and discerning its full history is his journeyman project).

Allustan warned them that their exploits were now well known, and that Khellek, a member of the rival adventurers' group in town, had taken special interest in them. Allustan is aware of Khellek's affiliation with the Seekers, and figures that the mage has seen the PCs selling Seeker rings on the market. They used this opportunity to recap what they have learned so far, and Allustan told them a little bit about the history of the Wind Dukes of Aaqa and the Queen of Chaos.

When they returned to the Cairn, they met up with the rival adventurers, including an enraged Khellek who wanted to fireball the lot of them and be done with it. Tirra prevented this; she has a crush on Kellen, the PC cleric/shadow (non-Oriental ninja), who she knows from the nightly dart contests in the Feral Dog. Tirra and Khalavas (the party's bard/barbarian) worked together to smooth the situation over, and eventually the rival adventurers left.

They already had all of the lamps due to their first expedition, so it only took them a few minutes to figure out the puzzle in the False Tomb. Because of this, they never even had to deal with the Face in Darkness trap, which I'm enormously glad of.

They had much more difficulty in Alastor's Haunt. After defeating the grick (Quince the wizard/warmage greatly simplified this with a couple of magic missiles), Alastor showed up and possessed the warmage after weakening almost everyone with his horrific appearance. I know it recommends in the module that he only blast one or two PCs with this, but they told him to show himself, so he obliged ;)

Anyway, Alastor told his sad tale and they agreed to bury him with his family, so we dotted-red-line traveled to the Land farmstead. That whole scene played out exactly as the module says it should. I'm really glad one of the PCs has Track. The knight/fighter Darion got a critical at the opening of the owlbear fight, knocking out 21 of its 22 hit points, and Quince finished it off with a signature magic missile before it ever got to act.

The baby owlbear immediately became attached to Khalavas, and the player was quite happy with this development. They discovered Skutch's arm and made some Knowledge checks to get an idea of what had happened. They at first believed that Balabar Smenk was digging up graves so he could have tireless zombie laborers to work his mines, which is actually a really good idea for an adventure. They checked a few other isolated graves in the area, and when they saw that none of these had been disturbed, they briefly entertained a conspiracy theory that Smenk didn't want them to get into the final chamber of the Whispering Cairn.

Allustan popped their little bubble of paranoia when they next sought his counsel, and they decided that seeking out Kullen was their best route to locating the remains of Alastor's family. They smartly decided to not just barge into the Feral Dog. Instead, they would corner Kullen when he was at his home alone, preferably asleep. Kellen (the PC, not the albino half-orc) told the party that he was in fact the Baneshadow, a mysterious dark avenger who had recently been prowling Diamond Lake's streets at night, scaring the Nine Hells out of criminals and thugs. He offered to go to Kullen alone under his alias (masked, of course!), so that they could question him forcefully without fear of later reprisal. They decided this was a good idea.

Quince first went to the Feral Dog alone, supposedly to get a drink. He sat near Merovinn and Kullen (who were at a different table), and managed to overhear Kullen trying to convince his mage friend that they could kill Filge without Balabar ever knowing. Merovinn nixed this (carefully tredding around Kullen's temper). Quince reported this new info (including the name 'Filge', which not even the locals in the party recognized) to the others, and they decided to deal with Kullen that very night. Kellen trailed the drunken half-orc from the Feral Dog to his shack on the outskirts of town, and snuck in while Kullen was fast asleep.

When the session ended, Kellen was hanging on the rafter over Kullen's bed after plastering the half-orc with a tanglefoot bag, pinning him in place. He is about to interrogate Kullen, who is feeling rather vulnerable without his greataxe. Especially since he has heard of the Baneshadow's exploits.

So yeah, everyone had a really, really good time. We play at a pretty breakneck speed with very little dilly-dallying, because we only get together (at MOST) every other week for three hours. So it was good to have an excuse to have them actually hang around Diamond Lake with a purpose, as we probably wouldn't have done it in session otherwise. I'd like to play through Age of Worms before 2010, you see...

Also, we are all Eberron fans at heart, as you can probably tell from the comic book inspiration behind Kellen "Baneshadow" Kor. We just tend to run rather than stroll through adventures, always eager to experience the next scene before we have lingered in the current one for very long. It's great to have a group like that when our time is so limited.

Next session I anticipate they will quickly wring out of Kullen everything they need to be at Filge's doorstep within fifteen minutes. At the rate they've been going, I wouldn't be at all surprised if they bulldoze through the observatory in the first half of the session, and spend the second half fighting the Wind Warriors and wrapping up the adventure. I'm pretty happy with the possibility of completing the adventure in 4 sessions, or 12 game hours.

Actual question: if the PCs are 3rd level (and keep in mind they are gestalt), will 2 CR 4 Wind Warriors be too much for them to handle? It'll most likely be their first and only fight that day, so they'll have lots of resources to blow. I guess the Wind Warriors are technically CR 3s under the gestalt rules, but I usually don't start lowering the CRs until the PCs hit level 4. At levels 1-3, gestalt characters are almost as fragile as standard characters of the same level. They are just more versatile.

Players read these boards?! Eeshka! I would stop running the adventure path if I thought my players read here.

I think the only lesson I really learned from this is that I need to refresh my knowledge of complicated rules subsets before they come into play :) Thanks again for your help.

Weird, my copy of the PHB is showing the following text:

"You can hold your breath for a number of rounds equal to your Constitution score, but only if you do nothing other than take move actions or free actions."

I dunno. Your book says something different than my book, the SRDs don't agree with each other and one of the SRDs can't seem to make up its mind. I just checked the 3.5 PHB errata and it mentions Swim not once. I'll probably just make a DM fiat ruling in favor of Constitution x2, which seems more likely to not get all of my PCs killed anticlimatically the next time they go for a dip.

Good points on the paralysis, but one of my players has a clarification on the first question. I'll quote the pertinent part:

"But if you look under the swim skill (PHB and SRD) it says 1 round per point of constitution. This is repeated in Stormwrack as well. The PHB is considered the primary source according to Wizards. It also makes sense logically. An average constitution of 10 would allow you to hold your breath for a minute. The average person cannot hold their breath for two minutes."

Going by the SRD, he seems to be correct. So either the PHB or the DMG is wrong about this.

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