The first Pathfinder adventure path was nicely put together, but it pales in comparison with the sheer beauty of this second adventure path. I got the Player's Guide and Edge of Anarchy in the mail today, and was really amazed by the production value and art. Also, one thing I did not like about the Rise of the Runelords was that the type was so small it made it hard for me to comfortably read it. That has changed with the much more reasonbly sized font size for the second path.
I read over the overview for the 12 adventures in Dungeon 138 today, and I have to say that as much as I like the first two adventure paths, I think this one is going to top them. I looks great. I hope the sample art reflects the style of art they'll use in the actual adventures. I really love that style, especially the art of tropical shores of the Isle of Dread. It is very evocative. I expect to find dinosaurs or even King Kong when debarking from a pirate ship onto such an island.
Recently I had the misfortune to witness at a friend's house what happens when someone leaves a bag of garbage for a couple of weeks while they are gone on vacation: maggots, and swarming flies that filled the air so thick that one could breathe them in if not careful. Of course, with Age of Worms fresh on my mind this got me to thinking of a way to use this as inspiration for a cool encounter in the Age of Worms adventure path.
There are flies in the real world that lay their eggs in human beings, which then hatch and eat their way through the host's living flesh. I have little doubt that such real world nastiness had some role in inspiring the Son of Kyuss, and therefore inspiring this whole adventure path. But I don't think among the various new monsters for the path, any of them made use of this source of inspiration directly.
I think I'm going to try to stat up a new monster: Wings of Kyuss - a swarm of flies that lays Kyuss worm eggs on sentient creatures in the area it covers as part of its swarm attack - with anesthetic effect so that it takes some kind of high skill check to even notice anything other than flies buzzing about and occasionally landing briefly on the victims.
Any suggestions for any swarms already statted up that I can use as the basis for this monster?
I was thinking it would be very cool if we got more information about the two heads of Demogorgon and more depth for each so that they are distinguishable personalities. I assume each head has its own secret name known to Demogorgon's worshipers/cultists? Maybe some servants worship one head, while an opposing cult worships the other head, for example ixitxachitl worshipping one head while kopru worshipping the other.
A recent discussion on the new Adventure Path 3, Savage Tide, promted me to think of what possible overplots could work for an adventure path that spans character levels 1 through 20. So far we've seen two paths and the bare sketch for the third. All three involve saving the world from an evil god/demon/outsider threat, though each may have their own twists as well. For example, to me Shackled City is also the story of Cauldron, its corruption, destruction (possibly) and rebirth.
The big challenge to such an overplot is that it must have an epic feel that culminates in an epic climax, yet must also allow a lot of diversity over its course to keep players and DMs from getting bored over the long course of the path, and must be archetypal enough to engage most of Dungeon's readership. What other possible overplots for adventure paths are there?
Here are the ones I can think of:
Any other overplots?
I'm looking for ideas for what the players encounter as they try to shut down Vervil Ashmantle's slavery operation.
After finding Ashmantle's letter to Kazmojen in the Malachite Fortress, they tried to track down who wrote the letter, but ran into dead ends. Later, I let them find an additional clue in the midst of Zenith Trajectory about the "surface merchant" who from Kingfisher Hollow who sells slaves to the underdark. They have more or less figured out the author of that letter in Life's Bazaar is the guy that runs the messenger service in Kingfisher Hollow.
What should the players encounter when they visit that town to end the slavery operation? I figure they might encounter Ashmantle himself, but he'll just try to get away with teleport so they can encounter him later in Lords of Oblivion at Thifirane Rhiavadi's gathering. I was thinking of maybe having mainly some low to mid-level experts who run the business part of the slavery operation, a few slaves being held for sale in a secret underground prison beneath the messenger service office, a secret room with hidden books on the accounting for the slave operation, some mid-level rogues who handle the "acquisitions" end of the business kidnapping travelers and the like, and maybe some orc guards in the underground prison. Any ideas on interesting encounters or interesting information they players should find?
Aside from all the exiting tidbits revealed about the third adventure path, which I won't spell out here in case any one here is planning to be a player in an Adventure Path 3 campaign, Eric Mona's editorial in Dungeon 135 mentions an adventure in that path set in Sasserine, which will come with a poster map of that city!
I got Dungeon 133 in my mailbox yesterday, and just wanted to say, congratulations, Paizo. This is possibly one of the most exciting adventure modules I've read to date.
It looks a bit of a challenge to run (but I imagine most adventures for 18th level characters are), but it really captured my imagination. It is truly epic in scope. And I also really enjoyed the way the Adventure Path continues to draw upon the classic history of the D&D game (and the World of Greyhawk) with an iconic villain like Brazzemal.
I haven't even started to run Age of Worms yet, as I'm still running the Shackled City path from the hard cover to the great enjoyment of our group, but I'm really looking forward to running this adventure eventually.
My group of six players are mostly 5th level (except for a 4th level bard), and they are currently playing through Flood Season (they just entered the Kopru ruins at the end of today's session).
Before they found the Kopru ruins they were doing some detective work to find the wands of water control, and in the process they've decided they suspect Lord Vhalantru of possibly being involved in some sort of conspiracy (I think mainly just because they are paranoid, and they learned Vhalantru is relatively new to the nobility and very close to the Lord Mayor).
The 5th level rogue in the party is a young impulsive gnome girl, eager to throw herself into danger with little thought to caution. The player wanted to try to sneak into Vhalantru's mansion. The other players tried to dissuade that player from this, but had apparently failed to convince the rogue's player. I stepped in to drop a couple of hints about how many guards surrounded Vhalantru's house and how surely the rogue realized that the typical wealthy noble is prepared for the typical low-level rogue. Usually I wouldn't do this, but I had done so much prep for that game and had five other players anxious to get on with the search for the wands, so I didn't want to take up a long time with this side adventure just with the rogue's player in the middle of the game session which would probably result in the character's death anyway.
Still, I don't want to railroad the character away from trying this if the rogue remains determined to do this (after they finish the Kopru ruins assuming they survive). Any suggestions for how to run this?
What kind of guards, traps and defenses is the rogue likely to encounter during Flood Season at Vhalantru's house? Would the guards already be half-orc, or would they be humans? What will the guards do if they spot the rogue? What is likely to happen to the rogue if caught? How would Vhalantru react? Finally, if by a miracle the rogue succeeds in breaking in unnoticed, what kind of information would the rogue be likely to gain there?
My players just defeated Tongueeater at the Lucky Monkey (a close call!) and are now trying to figure out what to do about the missing wands. I expect they'll end up at the Kopru Ruins at this Saturday's game one way or another. I've read through the encounters there again, and I wanted to ask others who have run it or are preparing to run it how you would handle this area to make it challenging, logical, and yet still give the players a chance to succeed.
I can see Skaven and Triel telling guards to set up the preplanned ambushes in the gauntled area and one or two other spots, then taking spare thugs with them to search out the intruders. Then, if their initial encounter with the PCs goes poorly, I can see Skaven would either seek to escape altogether or (if that is not possible or seems too risky) seek refuge with his friends the spiders. I can see Triel taking leaving the first wave of thugs to slug it out while she retreats to an ambush site to cure herself and prepare to meet the enemy again now that she has gained some knowledge of their abilities.
Do you think if I run these foes in this manner (with some measure of intelligence and tactics) that the players have any chance to survive? They are six characters created with 28 point buy, four are fifth level and two are fourth level, a figher, fighter/barbarian, evoker, cleric, rogue, and bard (who has a measely 11 hp despite being 4th level).
I am now DMing half way through Drakthar's way, and I sense my players feel a real desire to find the rest of the missing abductees if possible, or at least bring justice to those beyond Kazmojen. Pyllrat Shyraat escaped into the underdark and cooler heads prevailed against plunging in behind him after the characters' gather information checks showed Pyllraat has many duergar mercenaries and works for mind flayers.
I had the players find an accounting ledger in Kazmojen's auction hall with info on who the slaves were sold to. Some were sold to the Silent Wolf goblins (to feed to their master Drakthar). Some were sold to "Father," who is a powerful drow wizard that created Kazmojen as an experiment after his troll minions kidnapped Zenith Splintershield's wife. (In my campaign, the kidnapping of his wife by raiders from the Underdark is what helped drive Zenith mad and drove him to his crazy crusade against the Underdark.) Some were sold to Pyllrak Shyraat. And some were sold to Kingfisher (that is how Kazmojen marked down purchases by Vervil Ashmantle).
The party found the note from Vervil (with the kingfisher seal, but no signature) in Kazmojen's vault.
I'm expecting at some point they are going to check out Vervil's messenger business or explore Kingfisher Hollow. While I want Vervil alive for Chapter 8, I'm looking for suggestions on how to handle the party's anticipated investigation into Lord Ashmantle's operations. Ideally, I'd like them to learn something, even if its just a little, to make the later encounter with the slaving trade mastermind more meaningful, yet without getting Vervil or the party killed off one by the other until Chapter 8.
I have a player who wants to multiclass into monk, and has been asking around trying to find out about any monasteries in the area.
I told him he's found out there is rumored to be a monastery in the area with a secret location which was founded by elven mystics hundreds of years ago. So I've decided is that this is none other than the Order of the Silver Dream,which is trying to hunt down the vampire allied with the Cagewrights.
I'm thinking this was an order that was founded after an elf experienced a mysterious dream about a terrible undead threat growing in the jungle (at the time when Kyuss's dread empire was rising about the Spire of Long Shadows). I'm thinking perhaps the dream was inspired by none other than Nidrama. The elf founded an order of mystic warriors (monks, psychic warriors, fighter/monks, bladedancers, arcane archers, paladins/hunters of the dead) to combat the undead which were increasingly infesting the jungles in the region.
During the fabled battle that resulted in the Obsidian circle around the Spire of Long Shadows (see Age of Worms adventure path), the elven Order of the Silver Dream fought alongside celestials to defeat the undead horde, but most of its members were slain. The Order has never quite recovered to its full glory of old, but the few survivers carried on, fighting any great undead menace they discovered in the area.
Later on, when the necromantic catastrophy occurred in the battle against Nabthatoron's demon horde, creating the Haunted Village, the Order eventually moved in to try to wipe out the undead. They failed. While some in the order survived and fled, they've been hunted ever since by the vampires they encountered there (including the one that is now allied to the Cagewrights).
In turn, the Order has tried to kill the vampires, looking for their hidden coffins and destroying them. This has been a kind of secret guerrilla warfare that few know about. Unfortunately, it is much easier to make new vampires and vampire spawn than to train new mystic warriors, so perhaps the balance has favored the undead.
Now the Necrocants have moved into the Haunted Village and allied with the undead, and have forged an alliance with Thifirane as well. This does not bode well for the Order of the Silver Dream.
I have not yet presented any details on the Order besides their name, that they were founded by elves and that they opposed undead. So I still have time to alter the details of their background. Does anyone have suggestions for fleshing out this Order, their customs, dress, beliefs, history, etc.? Have any of you used the Order as allies or a source of information, etc. in your campaigns? Also, any suggestions for revealing this backstory to the player character without derailing the main story line of the campaign?
One of the players in my campaign is a druid who learned basic druidic skills on his own after being forced from his home town into the wilderness. He has started to inquire about druids and druidic orders or organizations in the area and I wanted to have him learn about some kind of druidic order or organization he can join or work with.
One thought is to have the druids be part of the Striders of Fharlangh, but though I can see druids allying with the Striders, I think maybe they'd have their own more purely druidic order. I'm thinking the druids in the region would be an ancient order that's been around for hundreds or thousands of years, founded by the elves in the area.
I can't remember reading about any druid order or organization in the SCAP. Any thoughts about what goals, size, level of involvement, etc. that such a druidic order might have? Would they be aware of the Cagewrights? Would they care? Would they only care if and when they learn of the planned Ritual of Planar Junction which would wreak havoc with the natural order?
Maybe these druids were around during the time of Surabar Spellmason and the first planar junction, and helped close the planar junction to stop more demons and demodands from entering the world. Maybe they know that in the past the demodands seemed intent on infecting people with their fiendish seed, but don't know of any purpose for that.
Any suggestions for what the druid goals and knowledge are, and how much or on what condition they'd share it with the player character?. And what, if anything, would they ask the character to do on behalf of the druid order?
I saw that the next Dungeon adventure introduces some information about some druids that previously defeated Kyuss. I'm currently running the Shackled City hard copy adventure path and I'm planning to later run the same players (with different characters) through Age of Worms.
One of the players is running a druid from the Cauldron region and was asking for information about the history and tradition of the druids in the area. I'm wondering if the druids mentioned for the next Age of Worms Dungeon adventure are responsible for the obsidian circle and the big battle that demolished Kyuss' city in the Spire of Long Shadows. Or was that a different force, and Kyuss' defeat by the druids happened later when Kyuss was doing his thing around the Wormcrawl Fissure or elsewhere?
It seems that if druids were responsible for the defeat of Kyuss' mighty undead-worshipping city in the jungles of the Cauldron region, the modern day druids might have some knowledge about that epic struggle in ages past.
I'm running Life's Bazaar for my group right now, and they've mostly cleared out Jzadirune and were looking for the way down to the Malachite Fortress. In the last session, they captured Yuathyb, leader of the dark stalkers, and intimidated him into revealing the secret door to the elevator room and the knocks needed to get the hobgoblins to deactivate the slime pit trap and open the door. The hobgoblins just opened the elevator room door to find the party, with a tied-up Yuathyb in towe. That is where we ended the session, and the party is pretty much worn down and in need of rest. I think they will be able to defeat the hobgoblins but will need to retreat to recuperate before going down into the Malachite Keep and in order to turn Yuathyb over to the authorities.
I'm really excited about the upcoming article about Boccobb, and I just wanted to express my strong desire to see more articles along these lines for other Greyhaw gods, expecially the "core rules" ones. In particular, I'd like to see such an article for Pelor, St. Cuthbert, Kord, Wee Jaas and Olidamara, since these seem to be pretty commonly chosen as deities by player characters. What I most want to see in any of these articles are things like important holidays, rituals, creed, interpretations by different types of followers, sects or holy orders, etc. that adds flavor to the religion of each deity.
I'm considering axing the Test of the Smoking Eye adventure from the campaign and replacing it with an adventure more specific to my players in order to thread their backgrounds more into the story. The side adventure will probably be a jungle ruin with gnolls and demons (including Nabthatoron if he teleported away after killing Tercival).
One player's character is from a noble family whose fortunes have been harmed by repeated raids by unknown forces (the gnolls) and another is a ranger whose backstory involves gnolls as favored enemies. The players can find clues to lead them to that side adventure after Tercival's death, instead of immediately returning to Cauldron, where Vhalantru will push to have them assassinated by Ike Iverson's agents upon their return.
Any thoughts on what I may need to change with respect to the rest of the story line in order to do this? Do you think the story would suffer if the events in Test of the Smoking Eye are cut out of the story? Clearly I would need to change the requirements for freeing/defeating Adimarchus in the final adventure, but that doesn't seem too hard.
I have found this message forum extremely helpful in preparing to run the first Adventure Path (my players started the Adventure Path last night). I also look forward one day to running the second Adventure Path if it turns out to be as good as the first one. I hope there will be many people who also want to share ideas and experiences on the second Path. However, I would love to see a separate forum for each Adventure Path, so people can easily find and post various ideas in the relevant forum without having to go through a bunch of posts about the other Adventure Path when doing so. There is still time to do so as the first Adventure Path is not out yet. Administrators, any chance this will happen?