walter mcwilliams's page

RPG Superstar 6 Season Dedicated Voter. Organized Play Member. 737 posts. No reviews. 1 list. No wishlists. 2 Organized Play characters.


1 to 50 of 737 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | next > last >>

1 person marked this as a favorite.

We finished last Night! It took us a smidgen over 2 years to finish but we crossed the finish line last night when my players managed to outlast the bad guys. It was a lot of fun from start to finish, a 4 month break for quarantine and a few other messes. Yhe final party makeup.

Trixie blackblade magus 16
Therie bloodrager (black dragon bloodline) 16
Calvandar swashbuckler (inspired blade) 16
Thomas Jackson bard 16
Thirsty cleric oc Cayden Calian 16

Lost along the way an investigator whose name I can't remember.

Fun and memorable times were had by all. A great AP.

Planning ahead for my next few game sessions and I am curious what "Demands" other DM's had the Saffron Prince make on their players? Drawing a blank other than kill so and so or such and such? Which is fine but reasoning would he have real or imagined to order the PC's to take out some other denizen of the city?

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Second Darkness can often feel ambiguous. Those you are trying to help are actively trying to "discourage" you. It's uniques!

Java Man wrote:
Does either ability take more than a free action? Apart from action economy I know of no rule to prevemt this.

No, discussing it at our table, we've pretty much concluded that yes he can.

If a PC has both a Class ability and a weapon ability that grant him free combat maneuver on a crit, can he do both? Seems to me he can choose one.

Lanathar wrote:

Can this AP be run by someone without any experience with the genre? Are there a few key sources that would be recommended to get up to speed? Or is it not even worth it?

For context I have had some players indicate an interest in the AP but it is a genre I have no familiarity with

It may well be better that they don't. Every player sits down to game with expectations as the GM we have to manage them. This AP is great and has a lot of Genre theme to it, but it is still a Pathfinder AP. Those expecting something more akin to Call of Cuthulu or similar games will likely be disappointed.

That said don't let a lack-of nor lots of experience with the genre deter you. There is great writing here don't miss it!

Saraphia wrote:
walter mcwilliams wrote:
Did I miss where the MIA priestess is / met her doom? I don't recall reading it being mentioned anywhere.

Here's the official response from Adam Daigle, the developer.

Adam Daigle wrote:
I may have not made the explanation clear in the adventure (I don't have my book with me right now), but the intention was that she was abducted like many others in Thrushmoor. Sorry about that.
For the Strange Aeons game that I'm running, I'm having her be in the jail in Fort Hailcourse with Sholn. She's unconscious and dying when the PCs get there, but not so far down that the PCs can't stabilize her. I chose to not have her be dead for a few reasons, 1, to establish a sense of urgency during that fight, and 2, so if she survives, the party has access to a certain amount of healing that Winter can't provide.

Thanks !

Did I miss where the MIA priestess is / met her doom? I don't recall reading it being mentioned anywhere.

In the late stages of STAP, while facing a cavalry charge in some now forgotten layer of the abyss, my PC was all excited about readying a spear to brace for a charge (Doesn't happen regularly in our games). Imagine his surprise when he realized the cavalry had 5ft more reach than him. Which he should have known!!

He took a spirited lance charge and went from max to neg a zillion in one round!

Dumb! Dumb! Dumb!

This biggest problem in our game is that death, especially at low and mid levels can be beneficial. With wealth-by-level returning PC's can cherry-pick their hardware, where as the surviving PC's have live with what's found in treasure hoards/player created/purchased in the campaign world.

My group doesn't have any real solution to this but as a GM and Player I don't like it. Next time I'm in the DM chair I think I will have a house nerfing this

Zepplin Reference alone probably sold me! Good job marketing!

Benchak the Nightstalker wrote:

Presumably kidnapped by the cult and sacrificed to the star stelae. She does not show up later.

In my game, I ran it that the manananggal at Iris Hill used to be Trillis, who was turned into an undead by the penanggalen (she's one level off the 10 HD requirement, so I also bumped her pre-undead stats up a level).

Thanks I'll have to do something similar or bring her back to life. My PC's would scour the multiverse for her otherwise lol

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Ok, one quick question what happened to Trilliss Mavaine? Does she show up later?

Any update on this? I have mine pre-ordered through my local brick and mortar, and they're saying October!

Curse of the Crimson Throne
Savage Tide
Carrion Crown
Rise of the Rune Lords
Serpent Skull
Jade Regent
Shackled City

I hate beginning anywhere else for an actual campaign. Those low-levels are the funnest. Especially, with new players. For one offs with experienced players its sometimes fun to just play an mid or high level PC

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I cool question. It's so hard since demon lords are both my favorite protagonists as a player and DM, they're all my favorites lol, and why STAP was my favorite AP of the first three.

1. Demogorgon - He was a protagonist in my first ADD campaign from my childhood then again in STAP.

2. Graz'zt - Of all the great Grayhawk legends; the Graz'zt & Iggwilv legend is my favorite. Having Iggwilv actually appear and interact with the PC's in STAP was the highlight of the campaign for me.

3. Lamashtu - Of the new PF demon lords Lamashtu really stands out to me.

There are a lot of things I miss from the Paizo Grayhawk and Dragon Magazine days. Grayhawk and Dragon Magazine were never better! If I could see one series return to print it would be James Jacobs' Demonomicon of Iggwilv.

1 person marked this as a favorite.
justaworm wrote:

I think that however much you want her to be able to fill in for the PCs as appropriate. She seems to be there to help shift the focus of the campaign from exploration of the lost city to more hazardous exploration of the darklands below.

Your PCs may need more or less motivation to make the transition. If they are eager to explore and like to figure things out on their own, then you can have her provide little known details other than "the serpent folk are up to something". If you don't think your PCs are going to jump at the chance to go down into the darklands, then you can arm her with much more knowledge.

I recall from the GM forum that more than a few people pulled Eando out of this altogether and just gave Juliver the level of info the PCs needed.

I agree with justaworm. When I gm'd I came up with a pretty detailed escape since my party had lots of questions, though I allowed her fugue state keep all the plot spoilers enticingly close but still so far away.

Juliver became a more important NPC for the party than I initially thought when I was scripting the adventure helping drive the plot with sudden memories of her time in Ilmurea, though by 1000 fangs she was a behind-the-scenes player.

I guess if you're players are any faction other than PFS then removing/replacing E Kane seems appropriate.


Funny, I was thinking about this just yesterday. I prefer individual initiative both when I GM and as a player; though I must admit to often using group initiative when GMing just for the convenience factor.

Reference Initiative in general one thing I've noticed with a couple of groups I game with is the habit of staying in Initiative rounds for convince and order. I soooo hate this and discourage it whenever possible, as I feel is penalizes rogues and other classes in which surprise rounds are important.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

In Serpent Skull I used the AP provided Succubus/Rogue/SpyMaster to great effect. PC's never suspected her or her network were constantly aware of most of there moves. She had charmed minions all over the place.

This is a great thread topic.

How have these spells been used in your games?
In GM'ing CotCT my group found these spells extremely useful. Scry and Fry was the order of the day for a series of hit and run raids on Castle Korvosa and teleport was used effectively to move back and forth to Kaer Maga and Magnimar to spend treasure once Korvosa's economy collapsed. I didn't find either use disruptive to the overall narrative of the story. In fact, the bad guys set several traps for the PC's once the tactic became predictable.

What personal limits have you put on them as a GM?

I just finished Gm'ing SS and a I severely nerfed all magical transportation because it is severely disruptive to the narrative I wanted to tell. I did not however outlaw it all together simply limited its range making it more of a tactical spell than a strategic one.

Mind reading is always a difficult subject, and GM's with players who have and intend to use the ability should speak with them about each of the specific spells, actually this is a good thing to do with all divination's since they are so subjective and rarely meet player expectations. It can be tricky but if the players make a good choice they should be rewarded.

What interesting combinations have you come up with as a player?

In CotCT the bard player used "mind reading" divination's on several occasions to gain some useful information but nothing plot destroying. It was particularly useful in ferreting out the plot behind the Yzahnum character. The surface thoughts of the thugs betraying them while they "faught" Yzahnum and the party watched.

How would you determine if someone was or wasn’t thinking about something so your player could read their surface thoughts?

In the example above it was easy the thugs were thinking about the deception they were actively perpetrating at the time. However, had the player waited until later, when the thugs were have an ale at a nearby tavern, that deception isn't necessarily on the surface.

What happens with wood/roots? Are they impeding your movement in any way?

It is quite possible that woods/roots or other materials could/should impede movement just like on the surface creating difficult terrain situations.

Franz Lunzer wrote:
Darkbridger wrote:
... bags of holding and handy haversacks enter the scene, at least for their aquatic group. Of course, there's the question of what happens when you open such containers under water... is that covered by the new book?...
I have to say, if it is, I don't remember reading it.

It isn't covered. On my first read through I found the "rules" chapter enlightening. I was particularly tickled to see that how our group handled most of our underwater situations were pretty much in line with the clarifications and insight in the printed text.

Not certain why it was felt a detailed buoyancy rule set was required, but whatever.

The chapters on spells and items gave the usual-suspect list of thematic splat crap met to allow PC's to completely overcome all the negative-effects of operating in a strange environment.

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Gark the Goblin wrote:

That's a good idea with the suffocation effect. Everyone in the group was underwhelmed by the gallows tree, even though I made it tougher than the book.

Grugonoth update looks good! I'll probably use that - regular Huge Grugonoth just won't have the same impression as something that's basically a kaiju.

Those were my thoughts when I made the changes.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I wanted to maintain the sense of isolation and privation I imagined an expedition of this type would feel throughout the AP so I invented this mini game for my players. It melds together rules and ideas from the Shiv mini, and other Paizo products. It worked very well for us. I put it all in a spoiler tag so players don't ruin your fun and peek. Please feel free to comment.

Base Camp Mini


Once the PC’s arrive at Saventh’Yhi they need to locate and establish a base camp from which their expedition can explore the city.
A DC 25 survival or knowledge (geography) check reveals the following information.

1. The valley in which the city lies has only one logical entrance though which an expedition can enter, and that is along the north side of the unknown river, and even this will be difficult.
2. Along the northern border there are 5 best locations for an expedition base camp. This takes a day of exploration.
3. The three most important factors to consider when establishing a base camp are:

a. Defense – At a minimum each the base camp must be clear of any hostiles with in one hex (600ft) of its base hex.
b. Exploration – Base camp must be convenient to the ruins to allow faction archeologists to explore and return conveniently
c. Supply – The base camp must allow access to the valley entrance for re-supply to enter as well as access to water (within 600ft).

Once PC’s have chosen a site they can prepare the site for the arrival of their expedition. This requires an additional survival check and a full day (16 hours) of work. Once the 16 hours is completed PC’s are fatigued, and must make a DC 25 survival check. For every 5 points by which the PC’s fail the survival check they require an additional 4 hours of labor and gains +2 on the subsequent roll. (Note: If the PC’s choose a water hex (any hex which is > 1/3 water) the DC is 30.

Daily Sequence of Play
A. Determine Morale Level. Max Morale level is 10. Starting morale level is 5.
a. Out of supply reduces the morale level by 2 per week out of supply.
b. Camp HP < 15; -1 morale level
c. Camp HP < 10; -1 morale level (cumulative with b)
d. Camp HP < 5; -1 morale level (cumulative with b)
e. Camp Destroyed; -5 morale level
f. Faction leader dead or incapacitated -10 morale level
g. Named NPC dead or incapacitated -2 morale level
h. PC dead or incapacitated -4 morale level

i. Morale < 7: -2 all defense and discovery rolls.
ii. Morale < 5: -4 all defense and discovery rolls, trading post reduced 1 level, unnamed NPC begin abandoning encampment.
iii. Morale < 0: No trading post, discovery or defense impossible, named NPC begin defecting to other factions.

B. Determine Supply bonuses
a. Make weekly Supply roll d20+bounses; DC 20
b. If the total is less than 10 the expedition is Out of Supply.
c. If the total is greater than 10 it is In Supply.
d. For every 1 over 10 reduce the delivery time of special items by one day to a minimum of 7 days.

C. Determine Defense bonuses for the day
a. If a random encounter occurs and PC’s are absent from the base camp make defensive check d20+bonuses vs encounter DC (15 + CR).
b. Defensive check equal to the DC stalemate camp takes ½ CR in damage points, creature driven off.
c. Defensive check less than DC camp takes damage equal to CR.
d. Defensive check greater than DC camp take no damage.
e. If the party is present they deal with the encounter.
f. Every camp has 20HP

D. Determine daily Discovery bonuses
a. Roll discovery check d20+bonus, DC 20.
b. Check less than 20 no discovery point earned.
c. Greater than 20 earn one discovery point.

E. Start/Continue/Complete improvement

Once the PC’s expedition arrives, they have 5 base camp points with which to establish their base camp. As long as the base camp stays In Supply they receive 1 base camp point a week to improve their camp.

Points are spent to purchase base camp improvements from the following list. An improvement takes 1 week/point to build and represents the expedition working, along with their other duties, on improving their living conditions. PC’s must make a DC 20 diplomacy check to convince the Expedition leader to start/continue work on an improvement.

Base Camp Improvements

1. Aid Station (cost 2): Once established an aide station reduces the possibility of disease by 10%.
2. Alchemical lab (cost 1): Provides the necessary materials and instruments for the crafting of alchemical items by PC’s without the improvised tool penalties. Unlocks alchemical items at the Trading Post.
3. Arcane Workshop (cost 2): unlocks the ability to craft magic items other than potions and scrolls.
4. Armory (cost 2): Allows the Retrain down-time activity, adds +1 to the camps defense.
5. Canteen (cost 2): Add +3 to the camps morale.
6. Garrison (cost 2): Improves the organization and deployment of camp defenses. Adds +1 to defense and lowers random encounters by 5%.
7. Granary (cost 3): Stores food and water supply; reduces the possibility of disease by 5%, increases supply by +2
8. Headquarters (cost 2): Commands, controls and coordinates expedition activities. Without a headquarters and the expedition leader, who is always located at the HQ, the cost of all new improvements is doubled, and the Defense, Discovery, Supply and Morale of the base camp suffer a -4 penalty.
9. Library (cost 2): Actually an organized research center more than a library, this improvement focuses the expeditions research activities. Adds +2 to discovery rolls.
10. Palisade (cost 2): This wooden palisade aids in the defense of your base camp. Adds +2 to defense rolls.
11. Redoubt (cost 5): Prerequisite (palisade). The stoutest defenses available to the expedition incorporates the natural terrain. Adds +5 to defense
12. Shrine (cost 1): Increases expedition morale by +1
13. Smithy (cost 3): Allows the crafting of metal items and magical arms and armor made primarily of metal.
14. Stable (cost 3): Unlocks the train animal/companion downtime activity, Adds +1 to supply.
15. Trading Post (cost 2): Allows PC’s to submit requests for specialty items from civilization, PC’s can sell treasure here. The trading post has a base value of 2500gp for buying and selling of items as long as the base camp is “In Supply’. For anything more expensive you must order items. There is a 30-day delay between placing an order and receiving the item(s). This is reduced by a number of days equal to the result of the Supply check over 15 to a minimum of 1 week.
16. Watch Tower (cost 1): A watch tower increases defense by +1.
17. Wood Shop (cost 2): Allows the crafting of wooden items and magical items made primarily of wood.

In addition to base improvements, PC’s may, with a successful diplomacy check and use TPA/CPA to aassign/hire experts to aid the expedition as they see fit. TPA/CPA costs are monthly. Using diplomacy is a DC 20 Diplomacy check to convince the Expedition Leader to task/hire the NPC in this manner.

Each NPC and his/her specialty is listed in the chart below. PC’s may also request 1 NPC accompany them on expeditions into the ruins. This requires the expenditure of TPA/CPA. DM Approval since there are now six players.

NPC Name Specialty Cost Benefit
Athya Defense Adds +1 to defense
Patrol Reduces random encounter by 5%
Join Partu 3 CPA

Gelick Discovery Adds +1 to discovery
Morale Adds +1 to morale
Join Party 3 CPA

Pezock Defense Adds +1 to defense
Spy Adds +1 to discovery or +1 defense PC’s choice
Join PC 3 CPA

Cheiton Supply Adds +2 to supply or +1 to repair roll
Morale Adds +1 to morale

Nkechi Morale Adds +1 morale
Health Reduces chance of disease by 5% or +2 to repair roll
Join PC 3 CPA

Abbot Morale 10TPA and 4CPA or 40gp/mth Adds +1 to morale
Repair Adds +1 to repair
Wrangler Supply 10TPA and 3 CPA or 30gp/mth Adds +1 to supply can train animals

Guard Captain Defense 10TPA and 5CPA or 50gp/mth Adds +1 to defense, reduces random encounter by 5%

Doctor Repair 10TPA and 5CPA or 50gp/mth Adds +1 to morale and repair, reduces chance of disease by 5%

Sage Discovery 10TPA and 3CPA or 30gp/mth Adds +1 to discovery

Steward Supply 10TPA and 3CPA or 30gp/month Adds +2 to supply roll and +1 to repair roll.

Master Metal or Wood Smith Repair 10TPA and 5CPA or 50gp/month Adds +1 to defense, +1 to repair, Craft 1 masterwork item per week.

Master Engineer Defense 10TPA and 6CPA or 60gp/month Adds +1 to defense, +1 to repair, reduces cost of palisade and watchtower by 1, must be present to purchase redoubt. Together with master smith can craft siege engine. Must be present for siege engine use or -4 on siege engine Attack rolls.

Downtime Activities

Anytime PC’s are in the base camp players must choose one of the downtime activities. Each activity takes 8hrs or longer to complete. A minimum of 8hrs must be expended to gain any benefit from the activity unless otherwise noted in the activities entry.

Available Activities
Add Spell to Spellbook – copy from another source up to 8 spells (1/hr) into your spell book. (wizard, alchemist or witch)

Craft Magic item – providing the PC meets all the requirements he may spend 8hrs working on crafting a magic item. Requires appropriate base camp improvement (exc potions/scrolls)

Craft Mundane Item – providing the PC meets all the requirements he may spend 8 hrs working on crafting a mundane item. Requires appropriate base camp improvement

Heal Others – Per the heal skill. Additionally, spending 8hrs a day and making a DC 15 heal check at the end of the week adds +1 to the repair or morale roll.

Replace Companion/Familiar – Requires 24hrs of uninterrupted time and the correct environment.

Research Spell/Lore – Cost for spell research is 100gp x lvl of spell; time is spell level x 7 days, Spell Craft DC is 10 x (2xspell level); Spend 8hrs assisting in research of Saventh at the end of each period make a DC 20 intelligence or knowledge(history) check. If successful add +1 to the daily discovery check.

Full Days Rest – Rest for 24 hours. See heal skill.

Retrain – Ask GM - Requires appropriate base camp improvement

Train Animal – See handle animal skill - Requires appropriate base camp improvement

Base Camp Economics

One of the first offices established in any exploration base camp is the trading post. Here you can buy and sell items just as if you were in any other town or city throughout Golarion. The gold piece value of your faction trading post is directly related to your prestige level. The higher your total prestige award (TPA), the more funds your faction is willing to budget into your expedition.

Any magic item which has a market value less than the Base Value is available 70% of the time. This is 5% less than normal and reflects the austere conditions. Additionally, the item will not be available until your faction’s next weekly supply run arrives.

The purchase limit is the weekly market value of goods your Trading Post can accept. Once this limit is reached no additional goods will be accepted for purchase. This value resets Oathday each week.

The incidental limit is for expendable magic items potions, scrolls, wands, alchemical items, etc. This is once per week personal limit (no combining) for each PC.

The spell casting limit identifies the level of divine/arcane spell casting available for purchase from NPC’s in the base camp. Requires appropriate base camp improvement.

Additionally, certain minor/medium/major items will come available from merchants the DM will provide a list these items.

TPA Base Purchase Incidental Spell Casting
Value Limit Limit Limit
10 8000gp 32000gp 1500gp* 5th
20 15000gp 60000gp 3000gp**
30 25000gp 100000gp 6000gp*** 6th
45 50000gp 200000gp 8000gp****
50+ 75000gp 300000gp 10000gp***** 7th

* Limited to alchemical, special materials, potions, wands of <3rd lvl, scrolls of <4th lvl, magic items <1001gp
** Limited to alchemical, special materials, potions, wands of <4th lvl, scrolls of <5th lvl, magic items <2001gp
*** Limited to alchemical, special materials, potions, wands of <4th lvl, scrolls of <5th lvl, magic items <4001gp
**** Limited to alchemical, special materials, potions, wands of <4th lvl, scrolls of <6th lvl, magic items <8001gp
***** Limited to alchemical, special materials, potions, wands of <4th lvl, scrolls of <7th lvl, magic items <10001gp

Expedition Mini Goal
What is the goal of all this? Simply stated it is to increase the epic feel of this campaign. The story is one of epic journey and discovery fraught with all manner of hazards, disease, hardship and deadly creatures. This also puts more at stake than your PC’s life. The lives, reputation and success of your expedition are in your hands as well.

In the City of Seven Spears I updated Grugonoth

½ Fiend Megaprimatus
CE, Gargantuan Outsider, Native
Init +4; Senses darkvision 60ft, low-light vision, scent; Perception +15
AC 25, touch 11, flat-footed 21; (+4 Dex, +14 natural, -4 size, +1 deflection)
HP 125 (10d8+80)
Fort +15, Ref +11, Will +7; Immune Poison, Acid, Cold, Electricity; Resistance Fire 10;
DR 5/magic; SR 19
Speed 30 ft., climb 30 ft., Fly 60ft (good)
Melee 2 slams +15 (1d8+11), bite +14 (2d6+11)
Power Attack - 2 slams +13 (1d8+15), bite +12 (2d6+15)
Special Attacks: Rend (2 claws, 1d4+6), 2/day Smite Good (+3 atk, +10 Damage)
Space 20 ft.; Reach 20 ft.
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 10, DC 12+ Spell level)
3/day – Darkness, Poison (DC 15)
1/day – Desecrate, Unholy Blight (DC 16), Contagion (DC 16)
Str 33, Dex 19, Con 26, Int 4, Wis 14, Cha 17
Base Atk +7; CMB +22; CMD 36
Feats – awesome blow, combat reflexes, improved bull rush, power attack
Skills Acrobatics +17, Climb +23, Perception +15, Intimidate +16, Fly +17, Survival +15
Gear – Vembrances of Defense

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I converted the Racing to Ruin encounter which occurs just prior to arriving in Kalabuto to a haunt.

Gallows’ Tree (CR 6)

XP 2,400; NE haunt (30ft radius of leafless boab tree); Caster Level 5th; Notice Perception DC 16 (to notice frayed ropes begin to sway in the breeze); hp 10; Trigger proximity; Reset 1 hour

The Gallows’ Tree manifests as a spectral noose that unerringly drops from the tree, entangling the neck of a random living being under the branches of the tree and then slowly pulling the victim up. The victim feels strangled by the rope, convulsing like a hanging victim. This experience inflicts no actual damage but begins to suffocate the victim as per the Suffocate spell (DC 17).

Burying the victims of the hanging in consecrated ground and burning all the dangling ropes from the tree.

My group finished the AP last night

Xnion - Elven cleric of Sarenrae 16th
Korgan - Dwarven Ranger/Barbarian 15/1
Voltan - Human ftr 16
Ilamain - Assimar Sorcerer 6 / Dragon Disciple 15
Obasi - Shaman 16
Kells - Hunter 16

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Name: Kells
Race: Half-Elven
Classes/levels: Hunter
Adventure: Sanctum of the Serpent God
Location: The Inner Sanctum
The Gory Details: (not-optional)

Using his fast strike ability Ydersius charged and crit on both bite attacks for upwards of 100pts. The hunter attempted to acrobatics out of the threatened area but failed and is awesome blowed with a tail into a nearby brazier taking some fire damage and knocked prone. On Ydersius next turn the hunter fails a save vs the ongoing poison and gets hit with fast strike again, one a crit and dies. Ydersius swallows him whole! An epic death at the epic conclusion of this awesome AP

1 person marked this as a favorite.

My players succeeded in completing the this AP last night in an epic conclusion which ended with only a single PC death and a confirmed critical god slaying blow from Eroeme. The final confrontations created a feeling of impending doom and death for my PC's and great fun was had by all. This is an outstanding entry in the AP series and I highly recommend it. Here are some stats from our Serpent's Skull odyssey.

9ea party deaths (2 permanent)
10ea party members swallowed Whole
3ea poisonings to 0 of the effected ability score
280ea total in-game days of the AP
561ea total real days (60 sessions)

1 person marked this as a favorite.

My players should finish the AP tomorrow. Once they're done I will post a lot of the custom stuff I did. It's been a labor of love for me and I really enjoy sharing my stuff and hearing the stories of other's adventures, so stay tuned.

The Shackled City
The Savage Tide
Second Darkness
Curse of the Crimson Throne
Carrion Crown
Jade Regent
and as of tomorrow Serpent Skull

So that's 7.

Age of Worms (2x) (deployments and TPK)
Rise of the Rune Lord (deployments)
King Maker (travel)

Top three

- Seven Days to the Grave - Best in show for the CoCT AP which is full of outstanding installments. Could easily be worked into any urban campaign.

- Souls for Smugglers Shiv - My single favorite opening chapter. The fact that as a DM you have your party completely isolated from civilization is great. My party spent 80+ days on the shiv and it was tense.

- The Haunting of Harrowstone - Best bring the party together of all time. I like the fact that as a PC I had a large dungeon crawl with an actual goal and my support was not necessarily a friendly force. The mix of dungeon crawling and roleplaying with in the village make this one great.

- Wake of the Watcher - How good was Carrion Crown? It has two of my all time favorite installments and several others are close. No single chapter resonated more with me and my fellow adventurers than this chapter. I played an inquisitor of Iomede and we had a paladin as well and our alignments were sorely tested.

- Here There Be Monsters - STAP was a great great AP but this installment was the pearl. I mean come on folks its the Isle of Freaking Dread! Nothing else to say.

-Three Faces of Evil - The Whispering Carin gets an honorable mention from me, but I've run this AP twice (though never finished) and both times the second installment was the highlight.

- Test of the Smoking Eye - This installment of SS and much of the AP was wrongly criticized for its planar travels but my players loved it and so did I. An abyssal plane that's actually a piece of skin! I mean come on folks cool and icky at the same time.

- Hook Mountain Massacre - As good as all the chapters of this classic AP are this Deliverance meets the Giant Series was just to much fun.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Investment in Korvosa is paramount. Within what ever background the PC's come up with THEY must be able to find the motivation to want help the city and its citizens, if they cannot then they should a) role play their change of heart by participating in the events as they unfold or b) leave the city altogether and create a new PC with the proper motivation.

This was a very memorable campaign for me as the GM, and my players (all 7 of them) had a blast. Extra players always require special care. In combat the action economy is so much in their favor that you almost always have to make adjustments to keep things challenging. Two things I've learned over the three AP's of GM'd (all with 5 to 7 players) are

a) Economics can help a lot in balancing the situation. I did a post on the board way back demonstrating how the events of CoCT impacted the economics in Korvosa making the parties ability to procure magic items, services, etc more difficult and expensive. Also change the rewards from monetary to services or boons.

b) I often re-built the bad guys by giving them max hp, building them on a 20 or 25 point build, extra level etc. But I never increased their treasure, xp award, etc.

As far as build points go - I've always done 20 point. However, I would really love to make all my future games 15 points (I usually have 6 players and they are all very experienced). The only reason I don't is I truthfully feel it would restrict from play those classes which require half-way decent scores in more than one ability.

Curse of the Crimson Throne and Shackled City both Rock hard ran both to completion and my players loved them!!

Korgan (Dwarven Ranger/Barbarian) - Charged up and climbed the cliff to reach the escarpment on the approach to the the Hunter's Maze, Pointe du Hoc style, all the while taking mass volleys of arrows and ray attacks from the Daemons from at both ramps. Succeeded in cresting the top and took down one of the Urdefharen Skirmishers before a final volley fell him. His heroic charge allowed the balance of the party to finish off the skirmishers in the ruins, reach the barricade and clear the escarpment.

I nerfed all the transportation magic for this entire AP. In my opinion it ruins the entire feel. When we started Marching Song didn't exist. I agree with Samish. PC's are supposed to be trailblazing and I assume trying to mess with their competitors efforts. The trip is more than a forced march with planned and random encounters along the way.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Back to Varisia for some more Rune Lord fun!

My PC's subdued the fortress and completed the two goals and are on to Sanctum. Overall this was a fun chapter for everyone with almost every battle creating a heart-stopping moment for the heroes. Excellent job Mr. Davis.

Looking forward to this. My group is playing Serpent Skull now and factions play such a big part in that series. Totally disappointed however that the 9th Battalion didn't make the cut !

Some rules are also covered in the specific creatures Bestiary entry "Elk" is one that comes to mind. But yeah, a Player's companion book that actually codifies some rules on mounts and mounted combat holistically would be nice.

I've run Age of Worms twice (3.5 and PF) and using the medium XP track worked fine. I've been running Serpent Skull for a year now and I started and continue to use the slow track and it has worked great.

I was a player in this wonderful AP and my group had a lot of fun so from a players perspective here are my suggestions.

I think most of the changes people refer to involve injection of the options presented in the recent wave of Occult releases from Paizo. One of the great thinks about the Paizo business model is the release of new options months/years after a particular AP releases can breath fresh air into an older AP. I always customize the older AP's when I DM them it's fun and it keeps the players on their toes as many have read or played the older stuff before.

mightyjules wrote:


* Play the AP without EP so players dont have to worry about grinding and focus more on Roleplaying - As a player I always prefer XP vs any other advancement system. But, you need to use which ever system fits best with your groups style of play. XP's are to me the reward for the grind as you called it. The reward for role-playing is the fun of the role-play however, I prefer giving boon's or story insight as the reward for the roleplay. After all, there is a lot of wonderful background information about NPC's, Golorion events, physical locations etc that never comes to light in the AP's that I feel make great rewards

My Plans for Book 1:

* Changing the broken "trust system" and give players more opportunities to raise trust among villagers The system worked fine for our group so I am uncertain what may or may not be broken. Referencing my comments on your question about XP or no XP, perhaps this is a great way to enhance the Trust System

* 90% replace low level encounters into haunts to give playes more a feeling of being in a wicked places As a GM I love haunts and the haunt mechanic. In fact, I've adapted it for traps as well, but don't over due it or they'll become cliche and your party will loose intrest in them. The Haunting of Harrowstone is one of the best AP introductory chapters ever; by all means customize it to your party but I wouldn't mess to much with the overall layout.

Between Book 1-2

* To connect both book: I maybe send a group of Assassins from Whispering Way (WW) to attack the PC´s and leave encryted notes what the WW is up to in Book 2. Though only insinuations there which will conlude decrypt during the AP and my maybe a treasure map for a little relic to be found in Book 2. The realization that WW is behind these events I believe was written as a slow reveal and I don't think a positive connection to the WW at this stage is necessary, and may be counter productive to final reveal(s).

Book 2-6

No ideas yet. Open of any good advice :) Please feel free to copy and paste your ideas to Book 1-6

As a player I was not disappointed by a single installment of this AP and had a blast throughout. Trial of the Beast and Wake of the Watcher stood out for our group but all were great fun.

My PC's are nearing the completion of 1000 fangs now and are PF faction members, they didn't hate Gelik but he certainly was the least liked of the PC's I played him pompus and soft complaining about even the slightest inconvenience on the Shiv.

He gain some respect when the party overplayed their hand against the cannibals and he showed up with some timely Inspired Courage to get them over the hump.

Once they arrived in Saventh Yhi he was captured by M'Dgog and returned to the group, ostensibly having lost his eye in a fight. The PC's never caught on until they finished that particular vault, which the PC's have sealed with several walls of stone and abjuration until they can figure out how to reverse the process.

While the party was negotiating with Izon, the hunter PC flew off to take care of some personal business (in-game and out). He was forced to ground by a patrol of Udefharn and captured by the driders.

In an effort to force the PC's to do her bidding Vedavrex contacted the PC's and informed them she return their companion unharmed if they rescued her brother from Izon.

The PC's of course attempted to kill her O.K. Corral style. They failed leaving their companion to his fate!!!

TriOmegaZero wrote:
All of them, honestly. Optimized, unoptimized, seen all the builds for the most part. Now I just look to see characters.

Exactly, tired of the words build and optimize all together. I would rather read 500 words about your PC's background, first adventure, last adventure or what ever!

or his blade is serenthial and it powers must be unlocked.

I have created a good intelligence network for Selaxasp to use to gather information on the PC's as they maneuver through the city. I also have established that Belkor was subverted by Selaxasp. Did anyone else use the Master Spy to her full effect?

1 to 50 of 737 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | next > last >>