Over before it begins


Curse of the Crimson Throne

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Mary Yamato wrote:
[I like vivid long-term NPCs and places that I can come back to. I like the PCs to make a positive impact overall, even if they fail at some things. I like the setting to stand up to scrutiny, because it's so much fun to be able to figure things out and come up with clever plans. I like some occult and mysterious aspects (plain SF doesn't do it for me) but I like everyday life to still seem fairly human (4e doesn't do it for me either).

I love this style of gaming. Unfortunately, I run a game for 5 powergamers and 2 guys who just like to make crazy race/class combos.

I miss your style of play.


I wanted to weigh in on this, though I haven't read much of Edge of Anarchy.

But what I do think is amazing, no, its bloody brilliant, is that not only do I get the best adventure writers alive writing these adventures. I also have access to them through these boards, where they give their time and are open, honest, insightful and helpful to individual GMs and players.

Logue, Pett, Baur, Jacobs et al, have a beer at the Welcome Wench on me. With Much Thanks.

Dan

Grand Lodge

Sorry to hear you are sick, Chief, get well soon.


Always nice to get James input on it. Also if your DM really isn't feeling like Korvosa is to your liking maybe recommend him to get the Guide to Korvosa. While you don't need it to run the adventures it gives the city so much more depth than you can get from just the adventures. Eel end for example as a location works so much better in the context of the Old Dock area. It fits in so much better. Much of the adventure while great just works so much better in the whole context of Korvosa.

As for the whole Korvosa as evil an evil city thing I didn't really get that feeling. The lack of resurrection of the king and the religions lack of interference in it doesn't strike me as evil. The king was a self indulgent old git, the queen is a self indulgent, vain young b**tch. Why get involved, potentially throwing the city into complete chaos to change one bad apple monarch for another. I thing in this case the good temples of Korvosa would probably realise that politics and religion just don't mix.

Also even though people don't like Ileosa they wouldn't see her as evil. To use a real life analogy Ileosa reminds me of people perception of Paris Hilton. She maybe seen as shallow, gold digger but you wouldn't expect her to criminally mastermind a complex political assassination. Just My thoughts. I'd say my two cents but I'd probably be over charging.


James Jacobs wrote:
... Trust me; there's a LOT more written about these Adventrue Paths than ever sees print as we start writing campaign outlines and all sorts of other things to get where we need to get to. And sometimes, by the time we get to the actual adventure, what seems common sense and well-known to us isn't to someone coming to the adventures for the first time. ...

Hmmm... this sounds like a job for Crimson Throne Overload!

It should only take about six months... ;)

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Jeremy Mac Donald wrote:
Hmm...thats true and it would seem to provide a weird little loop hole. If we cast cure disease on some one every day (hey its a low level spell - the kind should have no trouble getting daily castings) would the not live forever? Or at least for a really long time?

It wouldn't help with the heart attack or the stroke, but yeah, that'd keep cancer and the flu away.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Big Jake wrote:

Hmmm... this sounds like a job for Crimson Throne Overload!

It should only take about six months... ;)

That's the type of talk that puts me right back in the sick bed. And here I was thinking I'd make it in to work tomorrow!

Scarab Sages

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

I agree with the suggestion that one player may not be enough.

James Jacobs wrote:


Spoiler:

King's Death: You can't come back to life if you don't want to. The king doesn't want to come back. He's old, tired, and sick to death of his petty and bitter wife, and has spent the last several months and years in pain as his time drew near. He's an old man. If he WERE resurrected, he'd be dying of natural causes soon anyway. But in order to BE resurrected, preists capable of casting that spell must be able to do so. There really AREN'T many of them able to do so in Korvosa, and they've got a LOT of other things on their mind once the riots start. Furthermore, at this point, no one realizes just how evil the queen is. Her word is good enough for a lot of folk that there's no need to raise the king, and even then, the rare and potent poison (a poison, remember, designed to defeat attempts to cure it by a guild who spent the last several hundred years specializing in such things) continues to work after the king's death; his body deteriorates quickly so that it'll take a resurrection spell to fix him. I'm not sure anyone in Korvosa's that high level. They could buy a resurrection scroll, I suppose, but still... would they even bother in light of everything else in the city going to hell and the queen saying it's not necessary? That the priests should spend their time and resources on folk who are still alive?

My thoughts:
Spoiler:

Looking at who has the power to raise the dead, I see that a potential source of raise dead was overlooked, but first, why those named might not be able or willing to help. I first discuss the high priests, as no matter what alignment or faith, they are probably able to set church policy on whether they even offer resurrection to the king.

The Pharasmans are likely to write this ruler off as another victim of the Curse of the Crimson Throne. He wasn't a particularly popular or effective leader, and since the good Bishop d'Bear is true neutral, her first question is where is the upside for them to make waves, assuming they care about the local politics at all. Keppira has enough divination to determine how the king died, but she might not even care who rules as long as they don't immediatly intend to raise an undead army or conduct some Stalinist purges. A reasonable person might assume that births and deaths will be largely unaffected by whether the lech or the strumpet is in power. Even when she twigs to the few deaths in the riots, it might not rise to the level of concern to a goddess. You might balk and say blah blah divinationcakes, but I point out that even at divine rank 20, Pharasma would have only a 5 month lookahead on her portfolio, so just say the events of module 2 will happen in half a year (and finally give some love to the people who want to play characters that take vacations). Since prophecy is broken, even if someone has the word direct from the Pharasma hotline that QI is bad for Korvosa, they can't be sure that bad times wouldn't also happen under the KE's rule, too. Lastly, if their church subscribes to the Gyg^H^H^H Mordenkainen doctrine of TN, it's also possible that they are pro-chaos, maybe as a means to increase the birth and death rates.

Asmodeus and Abadar would probably have to defer the decision on whether to raise the dead monarch to the current head of state. Ohrner Reebs is probably wise enough to know who's a comer, and who's a goer; you can't get to be high priest of a LE religion without knowing things like when to fall in line with the new boss, and when to be willfully ignorant. As such, he's the least likely to try and divine why KE2 died. Finding out that the late king was murdered might force him to take actions he'd rather not. Besides, the Queen is from the old country, and a likely ideological ally. In addition to ideology, the Queen's expansionist foreign policy rhetoric would appeal to the local rep of the god of tyranny.

Archbanker Tuttle could figure out what's going on, and want to set things right, but he would need time, serious jawboning, and probably evidence to rally the guard, the nobility, the Sable Company, or the Hellknights, since he can't appear to be funding a coup, and the church isn't powerful enough go it alone. That's probably why he will shortly be looking to form an alliance with the PCs, in fact.

Toff Ornelos, head of the Acadamae, is petty, selfish, arrogant and mostly concerned with his own personal power, possibly to the point where he might begrudge a mere king the XP. He also has enough sense and inclination to do whatever the higher-ups in House Ornelos tell him to do, and his LN alignment puts him in much the same place as Tuttle.

That leaves Tepest Geezlebottle as the only other person with the levels to limited wish a raise dead. He's alignment-limited, smart enough to know that isn't good enough to beat death to poison or disease, and aware that Theumanexus is not all that secure in the local power scene. Intervention therefore looks like an "opportunity" with large downside and little upside. He would probably try to stay out of trouble, though I hope he says something inappropriate, funny and disturbing at the funeral.

Spoiler:

Blackjack: Locate person and locate object are, to a certain extent, bad for the game. They kill so many plots and stories that it, frankly, kind of sickens me. Find the path and discern location are similar problems. They're "developer traps." You have to keep an eye on them when plots that can be broken by these spells pop up. For Blackjack... remember, he's a fictional character. As Nick says, he doesn't even exist lately; locate creature won't find him except when he's active, and as a result he tries to stay inactive as much as possible. Further making it difficult to track these things down are Blackjack's amulet of proof against detection and location (something we forgot to add to his stash of gear when it's discovered in the third adventure... I'm at home sick right now, but this thread DID remind me of it and I sent Wes a panic email and he made the fix at the last second), so that when he's active the spells have a difficult time of finding him, and when he's not, the items that he uses are kept inside of a bag of holding or other dimensional object that removes the objects from range of a locate object spell pretty easily... I mean, if a thin sheet of lead can defeat the spell, certainly being in a pocket dimension works?

My remarks:
Spoiler:

Locate creature is blocked by moving water, and the city is divided by rivers into three parts, plus it has big sewers. How many 7th level characters would it take to simultaneously blanket Korvosa with their 680 foot radius circles? Keep in mind that all of those casters must have been within 30 feet of Blackjack for that plan to work, as well. Most divinations will be vague when asked who is Blackjack, and it gets more confusing since more than one person has been Blackjack, and there might be more than one now. Legend lore[/i/] might let tell you that always there is a master and an apprentice, but without something like the mask, good luck getting much more than a hint at who started the Blackjack meme long ago. I also do not find [i]locate object to be a credible option. If I was going to make a character with this secret identity, I'd buy or craft from scratch(or steal!) all new gear for every mission, with the sole exception of divination countering items, which I'd try to hide. To work, the caster needs a clear mental image of the item to be located, and it must have been observed first-hand, without divination, which is mighty difficult if the gear constantly changes. The weapons he's used so far are some throwaway daggers and a rapier! The rapier gets oil of greater magic weapon, possibly extended, or maybe I use magic device on a scroll of it, if I need to have level-apropriate magic gear on the mission. The armor is black and nondescript and benefits from oil of magic vestment. Last, the cape and mask are tailored from scratch by myself and burnt after every mission ASAP. Likewise, instead of stat boost items like gloves, belts and girdles, I'd carry potions of stat boost, extended stat boost, or extended extended stat boost, or maybe some scrolls. Maybe I'd also carry a ring of counterspells loaded with a dispel magic counter, and maybe a cape of the mountebank, but other than a widget of mind blank to foil discern location, they aren't essential, and your guerilla types aren't generally all that attached to their gear. Really, your biggest worry is guard dogs and critters with scent that might recognize you on a return visit without the disguise.

Dark Archive

James Jacobs wrote:
Big Jake wrote:

Hmmm... this sounds like a job for Crimson Throne Overload!

It should only take about six months... ;)

That's the type of talk that puts me right back in the sick bed. And here I was thinking I'd make it in to work tomorrow!

I'll second the motion for an Overload, maybe make one per two APs or something, to give DMs an idea on the creators thoughts and ideas so that we can see what you have going on in your head. Then again I want the NC-17 version of HMM.

Spoiler:
Then again I am the twisted type to introduce incestious-cannibalistic-necrophilia to my players.


I'm sorry, but the impression the OP gives me is this:

DM: You enter a 10 x 10 room and see an orc standing next to a pie. [Melee follows]

OP: Okay, we need to find out why this orc was posted as a guard on this pie.

DM: Maybe he liked pie and didn't want to share it.

OP: The point is, what evil baker is in league with the orcs and baking them pies? Just to be safe, I cast Detect Magic and Detect Poison. If I get results, I'll follow up with Identify. We'll have to get the pie up to the city while it's still fresh and cast Locate Creature to find the evil baker.

DM: maybe it's just a random encounter for a little comedic flavor.

OP: but that's not logical. Why wouldn't the orc just eat his pie? The pie's DR clearly can't withstand the orc's bite attack!

DM: [Looks at the encounter he'd planned as a comedic interlude] Sigh.


Having only given the adventure a once-through and given I don't know how these events dovetail into future installments, my thoughts on "fixes" are:

1) Drop the brooch and Part 3. Personally, I found this area to be flimsy and non-sensical. Even if the PCs tell the truth, the story of how the party came into possession of the brooch would sound off, making the police suspicious. And, if they follow-up on the PCs story, all the cops are going to find is an abandoned house and a legitimate business full of corpses. The party comes across not only as pack of liars, but the evidence points to the party having killed the employees and looted the fishery, and upon discovering that the brooch was "hot," is attempting to return the thing in order to derive some gain from their failed robbery. The PCs are charged with murder and theft, imprisoned and the Queen gets her brooch back. End of adventure.

2) While the individual episodes are fine in isolation, together the whole seems piecemeal and unfocused. There's just no story or thread at all. Honestly, I plan to rubbish everything except Part 1 and the conclusion and rebuild the adventure around hunting for the "assassin." The alternative is to repurpose Part 2 to bring the PCs to the attention of the Guard. Part 3 and Part 7 get rubbished. Parts 4, 5 and 6 are repurposed around tracking the painter and possibly learning to doubt that she could be the killer. Otherwise, I'd say use a different opening to the campaign and carve Edge up for sidetreks or filler.

Its sad to say, but whenever I see the name Logue on an adventure, I immediately expect my workload to double. We know you can do better, lad...

Contributor

Foxish wrote:


1) Drop the brooch and Part 3. Personally, I found this area to be flimsy and non-sensical. Even if the PCs tell the truth, the story of how the party came into possession of the brooch would sound off, making the police suspicious. And, if they follow-up on the PCs story, all the cops are going to find is an abandoned house and a legitimate business full of corpses. The party comes across not only as pack of liars, but the evidence points to the party having killed the employees and looted the fishery, and upon discovering that the brooch was "hot," is attempting to return the thing in order to derive some gain from their failed robbery. The PCs are charged with murder and theft, imprisoned and the Queen gets her brooch back. End of adventure.

Wow. I don't see that at all. There's no "employees" in the Fishery. There are abused orphans. Besides it's pretty well known that Gaedren Lamm is a loser and a criminal. Also, if the PCs are returning the brooch, why oh why would they be branded as theives and liars. I could see this if they get caught with it on them, but not if they are voluntarily returning it. Weird.

Contributor

Foxish wrote:


2) While the individual episodes are fine in isolation, together the whole seems piecemeal and unfocused. There's just no story or thread at all.

Here you have a fair point, the adventure is very episodic. It's meant to be. For two reasons:

1. This is the kick off of a whole path that is very urban based. We need to introduce people to the city in many ways. That was one design goal.

2. The through line of the story here is the chaos gripping the city. So its kind of the nature of the beast that it's episodic and a little all-over-the-place. It's supposed to be. It's not supposed to be a neat and tidy story, but rather encompass the bedlam of a city that is tearing itself apart.


Nicolas Logue wrote:
Also, if the PCs are returning the brooch, why oh why would they be branded as theives and liars. I could see this if they get caught with it on them, but not if they are voluntarily returning it. Weird.

It's weird that nobody in the palace would think to ask where the PCs found the brooch or how they got it? Or that if you boil the events of Part One down, they do come across as a bit odd? Also consider what the authorities would find if they wanted to verify the PCs story. The fortune-teller that hired them? All they find is a house that's been abandoned. A small-time crook and his goons enslaving children in an old fishery? According to the text of the adventure, the orphans scatter to the winds as soon as chance allows; all the paperwork in the office is meant to produce a veneer of legitimacy, just in case the authorities investigate; and the fishermen have no reason to suspect that the business is anything other than it appears to be. If the evidence doesn't support the PCs story, the authorities are going to come to the natural conclusion that something underhanded is going on. Killing Lamm and his henchmen only makes matters worse because without the testimony of the orphans, the authorities are going to assume that the PCs entered a business, murdered the employees and robbed the place. If you follow the natural chain of logic and human-behavior, the adventure completely falls apart. That's why once I have the whole campaign in front of me, I plan to produce an entirely different opening...

Congrats by the way on the new coordination position...

Contributor

Foxish wrote:
Nicolas Logue wrote:
Also, if the PCs are returning the brooch, why oh why would they be branded as theives and liars. I could see this if they get caught with it on them, but not if they are voluntarily returning it. Weird.

It's weird that nobody in the palace would think to ask where the PCs found the brooch or how they got it? Or that if you boil the events of Part One down, they do come across as a bit odd? Also consider what the authorities would find if they wanted to verify the PCs story. The fortune-teller that hired them? All they find is a house that's been abandoned. A small-time crook and his goons enslaving children in an old fishery? According to the text of the adventure, the orphans scatter to the winds as soon as chance allows; all the paperwork in the office is meant to produce a veneer of legitimacy, just in case the authorities investigate; and the fishermen have no reason to suspect that the business is anything other than it appears to be. If the evidence doesn't support the PCs story, the authorities are going to come to the natural conclusion that something underhanded is going on. Killing Lamm and his henchmen only makes matters worse because without the testimony of the orphans, the authorities are going to assume that the PCs entered a business, murdered the employees and robbed the place. If you follow the natural chain of logic and human-behavior, the adventure completely falls apart. That's why once I have the whole campaign in front of me, I plan to produce an entirely different opening...

Congrats by the way on the new coordination position...

Thanks for the congrats Foxish!

As to "checking the PCs story" though, no body has any time to do that anyway. The city is falling apart. They aren't going to dispatch guards to go check out the Fishery when there's blood running in the streets.

Again. Lamm's place isn't an official business. It's a slave pit. He's not licensed or on the books. He hides out there with his CRIMINAL GANG and the orphans they abuse. You're totally misreading Lamm's Fishery. The PCs liberated those kids, not murdered their "bosses." Anyhoo, nobody would have time to check it out.

The reason the Queen hires the PCs is because she NEEDS people. Needs em by the dozens. The city is going up in smoke. She sends the PCs out to quell some of the madness. You're thinking above suggests that everything is hunkey dorey and Guards can be sent out on errands like "making sure the PCs aren't lying."

Honstly too Foxish, if you lost something, and someone returned it to you of their own accord, would you assume they stole it, or commited murder to get it back. I wouldn't. I've lost my wallet, my wedding ring, and all manner of accoutrements throughout my life and when they were returned to me by good samaritans who found them, I didn't grill them, I rewarded and or thanked them.


Foxish wrote:
And, if they follow-up on the PCs story, all the cops are going to find is an abandoned house and a legitimate business full of corpses. The party comes across not only as pack of liars, but the evidence points to the party having killed the employees and looted the fishery, and upon discovering that the brooch was "hot," is attempting to return the thing in order to derive some gain from their failed robbery.

The fishery that Lamm uses is actually government property. He chose it because the previous owner had died and the state would take over in a few years. His business could hardly be called legitimate with regard to who it employs and where it is located. Any investigation would soon show that


Foxish, if you really want you can easily make up creative ways to work around this yourself; as it is, you sound like you're just asking Nic to be creative for you.

Here's some solutions I just thought of. Feel free to use them in any combination:

Lamm's hired help are all wanted criminals. The authorities are only to happy to be rid of them. IIRC, Lamm is also on the lamb...

Also, people are likely to notice a whole bunch of Orphans running around. The watch picks some of them up and hears sob stories about all the terrible things Lamm's been up to. If you really need to, they even corroborate the PCs stories.

The lady who hires the PCs later (sorry I don't have the book in front of me) would likely be involved in such an ongoing investigation into the PCs background (which, as Nic points out, would be EXTREMELY low on the watch's to-do list). You could even turn this into an interesting role-playing encounter, with zone of truth involved.


"I didn't say logic wasn't important in modules. I said it didn't apply to monsters so much, as being monsters and not human beings, they have an entire different outlook on the world. I referred you to Grendel by John Gardener for example."

the only Monster (a scary being with an incomprehensible motivation) in Grendel was Beowulf. the dragon, grendel's mother, and Grendel himself were all far more human than their original namesakes from the epic poem. John Gardner gave the dragon the capacity to see time differently than humans, but while the dragon's abilities were superhuman, his personality was familiar and comprehensible.

i believe that you managed to get things backwards. in gilgamesh and beowulf and tolkien's works, the Monsters were classical beasties; manifestations of fear and darkness hungering for power, blood, destruction, etc. their motivations were largely incomprehensible because, like Grendel, they were the savage unknown lurking just beyond the safety of the hall door.

the Monsters with incomprehensible motivation have always worked best when they are faceless. why does the boogie man hide in the closet or under the bed? does it matter? sauron and Grendel are successful as monsters because they are left unformed save for in the imaginations of the reader.

*shrug*

"My Advice to you, my violent friend, is to seek out gold ad sit on it."

yeah, taken out of context, such a motivation is incomprehensible. however, unlike the traditional dragon that hoards gold for no fathomable reason save for instinct or whim, we actually get an explanation from Gardner's dragon.

Monsters need not be more than the "brute existent by which they define themselves." however, if you give the brute a face and a personality, then the simple and incomprehensible motivations will fail to satisfy your audience. partial humanization will inevitably lead to a complete failure of the character.

so far i am not too worried about CotCT and its villains and monsters. i am not expecting to forget richard iii or fyodor kharamazov after playing through 7-12, but i doubt that is a goal for paizo. even so, i do believe that it is a mistake for writers of fantasy to assume that a villain need not be plausible or comprehensible. such a belief is tied to a specific variety of faceless Monster, and is, in any event, a bit of an anachronism given the trends in literature in the past century.

Gardner's Grendel is a far different beastie from the one we see in Beowulf. Gardner's Grendel is... human.

Dark Archive

Foxish wrote:
Nicolas Logue wrote:
Also, if the PCs are returning the brooch, why oh why would they be branded as theives and liars. I could see this if they get caught with it on them, but not if they are voluntarily returning it. Weird.

It's weird that nobody in the palace would think to ask where the PCs found the brooch or how they got it? Or that if you boil the events of Part One down, they do come across as a bit odd? Also consider what the authorities would find if they wanted to verify the PCs story. The fortune-teller that hired them? All they find is a house that's been abandoned. A small-time crook and his goons enslaving children in an old fishery? According to the text of the adventure, the orphans scatter to the winds as soon as chance allows; all the paperwork in the office is meant to produce a veneer of legitimacy, just in case the authorities investigate; and the fishermen have no reason to suspect that the business is anything other than it appears to be. If the evidence doesn't support the PCs story, the authorities are going to come to the natural conclusion that something underhanded is going on. Killing Lamm and his henchmen only makes matters worse because without the testimony of the orphans, the authorities are going to assume that the PCs entered a business, murdered the employees and robbed the place. If you follow the natural chain of logic and human-behavior, the adventure completely falls apart. That's why once I have the whole campaign in front of me, I plan to produce an entirely different opening...

Congrats by the way on the new coordination position...

Ok I know I am rehashing a few other posts but I'll try to place it together. Please forgive me if the post seems flamish. I am trying to not offend just simply stating my observations so far.

1) Lamm is a known crimianl. The Gaurd doesn't pick him up because they have bigger fish to fry. This is stated in the background of how the party get "hired" by the harrow deck.

2) The Fishery is government property that Lamm is squating in because he too cheap to pay rent. It also helps him hide what he is doing as the Government is too tied up in political B.S. to actually take notice of property it owns due to a citizen's passing.

3) the brooch is a little tricky but it does cover the genral ideas of an average party. With both a Knowledge check and information they get if they try and pawn it. In the end it relies on the morals of one's players if they return and fess up to what they did. Yes Vigilantism is not liked but the Guard does not totally frown upon it, look at the Rogue Gaurds and Eel's End aftermaths if the party had no choice but kill or be killed.

4) Yes the timing of the first adventure is a little disjointed but if you take the time and work a timetable of foreshadowing of the King's "illness" you can actually have things run a little smoother. This is also an issue I am having but I also understand that Paizo has only so much room they can place information in their books. This is why I lurk on the boards here so I can see what others have done or what Paizo recommends.

I am also in the middle of reading the AP right now so this is as far as I have gotten. I am taking the entire read withe a grain of salt as it is entirely encounter/site/timing based. I know I am going to have a big old cheat sheet for this one when I run it.

Thanks for reading, and Congrats Nick!


My problem is the six week gap between two of the major plot points. My PC's would go APE over that. They'd be all over that six weeks. They'd go out, do one or two adventures, and come home. They'd be massively overpowered for the next adventure, and be able to crush everything in it, assuming you don't use training rules, which I usually do.

Even if you do, at low levels, there's still about four weeks to run out to the countryside, beat up monsters, and come back. :)

The main flaw is rescaling every adventure after this one, not this adventure.

And the other flaw, is of course, the 800 pound Paladin in the room. If one of the PC's decides to be a paladin...you're done.

If the PC's decide to flee the city with Trinia, (A completely logical response), there's NO way to cover any of the events. The adventure completely derails, and your characters are running through the wilderness with a fugitive. How far will Ileosa go to catch them? What are her resources that she can use to do so? How powerful are these NPCs and what can she bring to bear?

THIS is the real flaw in the AP, IMHO. That the resources of the villain are not clearly listed in the initial section of the AP so that the DM can use them as he or she sees fit. I'm pretty sure that's Mary's real problem, and it's mine too. When I saw what Karzoug could actually do, and why he relied on minions, I was very pleased, because everything made sense, BUT...it was five modules too late for that info. Imagine starting before having the final installment and having the DM say "Trust me, this will make sense before the end."

I like my villain designed up front so I know exactly what resources, powers, and abilities the NPC can bring to bear, plus, the PC's can kill Ileosa right there. Level 3 party, properly prepared, vs. Expert 2/Bard 4? She dies in ONE round. And if they won't ressurrect the king, they won't ressurrect her either. AP over. The PC's may or may not be over, but they won't be friends with the local law. If they fail in that first round, they're screwed, but Blackjack's on their side.

The problem is that the path is too easy to derail. I love the STORY, but the path is too easy to derail.

Dark Archive

Balabanto wrote:
I like my villain designed up front so I know exactly what resources, powers, and abilities the NPC can bring to bear, plus, the PC's can kill Ileosa right there. Level 3 party, properly prepared, vs. Expert 2/Bard 4? She dies in ONE round. And if they won't ressurrect the king, they won't ressurrect her either. AP over. The PC's may or may not be over, but they won't be friends with the local law. If they fail in that...

I don't see this an issue. She has her Sabin, a lvl 10 fighter, and she is the queen there would be so many Guard that it would be a TPK if the they should decide to try and kill the Queen.

Dark Archive

I've read through the majority of this thread and the disconnect I see is that in Mary's DM's world there are no murders of high-level characters. Magic has a way of working around deceit (raise dead, commune, etc). Magic is...well...not really a magic bullet:)

sidebar: This has always been an issue. Just read the latest Erevis Cale novel to see how they get around this issue.

Edge, to me, has a real Game of Thrones feel to it and the politics of a large city, regardless of magic, are going to play a large part in how I run it.

For me - if I was the a high-level priest of any of the churches mentioned would have welcomed the death of the king because he was an awful king - even being lawful good would not have stopped me from wanting that - the gods will judge him now and who am I to question the gods will?

Later,

Greg Volz
Natural Twenty Gaming

Dark Archive

Greg Volz wrote:

I've read through the majority of this thread and the disconnect I see is that in Mary's DM's world there are no murders of high-level characters. Magic has a way of working around deceit (raise dead, commune, etc). Magic is...well...not really a magic bullet:)

sidebar: This has always been an issue. Just read the latest Erevis Cale novel to see how they get around this issue.

Edge, to me, has a real Game of Thrones feel to it and the politics of a large city, regardless of magic, are going to play a large part in how I run it.

For me - if I was the a high-level priest of any of the churches mentioned would have welcomed the death of the king because he was an awful king - even being lawful good would not have stopped me from wanting that - the gods will judge him now and who am I to question the gods will?

Later,

Greg Volz
Natural Twenty Gaming

I think you nailed it there. I tend to agree that CotCT is going to seem more behind the scene type thing. With characters being told you need to do this, but if you have to do x,y and z we wouldn't be upset by it at all. The city is LN but has a strong NG under current to get things done.


the Shifter wrote:
Foxish, if you really want you can easily make up creative ways to work around this yourself; as it is, you sound like you're just asking Nic to be creative for you.

No, I stated in an earlier post I planned on writing my own adventure centering on the riots and finding the King's murderer. If I'm asking anything of Nic, its to keep in mind the reasons why I found this offering to be a wash the next time he writes an adventure. That at least with my group, a solid, logical story is better than a series of shambolic "sick."

I think what people are missing in my posts is that I'm simply pointing out that there's a considerable amount of illogic in the sequence of events and in how the NPCs are behaving. The hunt for the regicide is at the end of the adventure, not the beginning or even the focus. The Guard places their priority on the slaughterhouse and Eels End, not quieting the city or finding the killer. No one at the palace exhibits normal curiosity and asks the party when they return the brooch, "Where did you find it?" The Queen takes several weeks to realize that the King's death isn't going to blow-over and a culprit is needed to quiet things (I'll buy this if she's an idiot, but wouldn't that make for a poor villain?). On and on and on.

If I can't make rational sense out of the adventure, my players aren't going to either. In a nutshell, the adventure derails and unravels the moment someone asks a simple, intelligent question. As I said earlier, in order for me to have an adventure I enjoy running, and one my players enjoy playing, I find it necessary to ignore "Edge of Anarchy" and write an offering of my own. Maybe my comments help Nic improve down the road, maybe not. But I would hope that in the future, he puts more energy into making sure the progression of his adventures is more sensical and natural...


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Foxish wrote:
the Shifter wrote:
Foxish, if you really want you can easily make up creative ways to work around this yourself; as it is, you sound like you're just asking Nic to be creative for you.

No, I stated in an earlier post I planned on writing my own adventure centering on the riots and finding the King's murderer. If I'm asking anything of Nic, its to keep in mind the reasons why I found this offering to be a wash the next time he writes an adventure. That at least with my group, a solid, logical story is better than a series of shambolic "sick."

I think what people are missing in my posts is that I'm simply pointing out that there's a considerable amount of illogic in the sequence of events and in how the NPCs are behaving. The hunt for the regicide is at the end of the adventure, not the beginning or even the focus. The Guard places their priority on the slaughterhouse and Eels End, not quieting the city or finding the killer. No one at the palace exhibits normal curiosity and asks the party when they return the brooch, "Where did you find it?" The Queen takes several weeks to realize that the King's death isn't going to blow-over and a culprit is needed to quiet things (I'll buy this if she's an idiot, but wouldn't that make for a poor villain?). On and on and on.

If I can't make rational sense out of the adventure, my players aren't going to either. In a nutshell, the adventure derails and unravels the moment someone asks a simple, intelligent question. As I said earlier, in order for me to have an adventure I enjoy running, and one my players enjoy playing, I find it necessary to ignore "Edge of Anarchy" and write an offering of my own. Maybe my comments help Nic improve down the road, maybe not. But I would hope that in the future, he puts more energy into making sure the progression of his adventures is more sensical and natural...

What?

At the beginning of the adventure, no one has any reason to believe the King was murdered. He was a sick old man. The people who are calling 'assassination' are the ones who are rioting, and they're saying that not because of any evidence but because they simply don't like the Queen. The Guard hardly want to encourage the rioters when they have no evidence of foul play, do they? Ileosa's plan A is for there to be no apparent assassination, so her succession will seem more legitimate.

The Guard are working to keep order. But they've already got plenty of official people working on quelling rioting directly. They need the PCs for jobs that need a more individual and in some cases deniable hand. They need the slaughterhouse taken care of because Vancaskerkin's rhetoric is encouraging instability, and threatens to divide and weaken the Guard. You go to Eel's End to get information that can be used to stop an Ambassador from taking advantage of the chaos to undermine Korvosa further. You go into the tomb to prevent a Shoanti invasion at a time when Korvosa weakened.Perfectly sensible to my eyes.


I've to say I agree with those finding the adventure illogical. On a quick once-over, it's giving me the same feeling I got from reading Hook Mountain Massacre. Each cool episodic event is fine on its own, but the connection between them is tenuous at best, making the whole rest on a very flimsy premise that'll crumble under my players' scrutiny.

HMM was what made me drop my RotR campaign, and this one is making me reconsider CotCT although I've been looking forward to it based on the synopses.

I get that you've to introduce players to a new city, but Burnt Offerings did that without a lot of logic holes. Yes, I can change and adapt the parts that don't make sense to me, but if I've to do what Foxish plans to do to salvage the adventure, it rather defeats buying the adventure in the first place.

Scarab Sages

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It's funny. The things some people are complaining about are some of the things that I find most attractive about this adventure.

It doesn't feel like the players are being thrown into an adventure.

The very beginning, when they are going after Lamm, feels the most like a traditional adventure - it's close enough to 'You meet in a tavern and decide to go into a dungeon' for me (OK, it's quite a bit better than that - still, it feels like a traditional set up.)

But after that, it feels like they're living in a city.

Players will probably suspect the king was murdered (I run my first session of this on Saturday, I'm guessing what my players will do) but should have no reason to suspect the queen. The fact that she gives them some attention, and sets them up with the guard, is likely to appeal to the players.

Then the guard missions don't seem connected. Again, I like this - it's a big city, with lots going on, and it shows up. The players get handed a bunch of mini-missions - they have the queen's attention, so they get some primo missions, but the players really aren't THAT important yet, so they aren't on the big stuff.

Then at the end, things start coming together, hinting at bigger stuff to come.

So, from reading it, I really like the feel of this adventure. I'll see how it plays out, but I'm not expecting my players to try ripping it to shreds, honestly. I think they'll enjoy it.

Drew Garrett


Balabanto wrote:

And the other flaw, is of course, the 800 pound Paladin in the room. If one of the PC's decides to be a paladin...you're done.

Ok, now I'm confused. One of the pre-gen characters is a Paladin?!? I haven't had a chance to read much of the first module, but I did read the Player's Guide. Why does a Paladin break this... and if it does, why was one included in the pre-gen set? Is this because the Paladin will immediately know something is wrong with the Queen? I'd argue that knowing it and doing something about it are ENTIRELY different things, and being a Paladin or L/G doesn't preclude a player from "playing along" until he finds out what's really going on.

I'm not running for a group that uses the pre-gens, but they are all L/G or L/N and all of them are tied to churches in the city (and one IS a Paladin), but with one of them only loosely so. Given the slightly evil leaning of the city, I had hoped to set up a group of "goody-goodies" to serve as saviors of the city in multiple ways, perhaps reaching beyond the scope of the AP.

Scarab Sages

Darkbridger wrote:
Balabanto wrote:

And the other flaw, is of course, the 800 pound Paladin in the room. If one of the PC's decides to be a paladin...you're done.

Ok, now I'm confused. One of the pre-gen characters is a Paladin?!? I haven't had a chance to read much of the first module, but I did read the Player's Guide. Why does a Paladin break this... and if it does, why was one included in the pre-gen set? Is this because the Paladin will immediately know something is wrong with the Queen? I'd argue that knowing it and doing something about it are ENTIRELY different things, and being a Paladin or L/G doesn't preclude a player from "playing along" until he finds out what's really going on.

Presumably, the worry is that the paladin will Detect Evil on the queen, and then know the whole plot. This is not a worry to me.

First off, there's no reason for the paladin to try to Detect Evil on the queen, and doing so would unquestionably be a breach of etiquette. But what if he does? So? We have a known gold-digging petty queen of a city with markedly evil tendencies. It shouldn't surprise anyone, or seem horribly out of place, for her to be evil.

It may make the paladin question working for her, but then the Korvosa Guard clearly is working for good, so that should ameliorate some concerns. He may question the queen more, but could also get it in his head to try to 'bring her to the light.'

Drew Garrett

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

A paladin shouldn't cause any problems when trying to detect evil near the Queen she uses misdirection and Sabine isn't evil and she is supposed to always be the closest to the queen.


agarrett wrote:

First off, there's no reason for the paladin to try to Detect Evil on the queen, and doing so would unquestionably be a breach of etiquette. But what if he does? So? We have a known gold-digging petty queen of a city with markedly evil tendencies. It shouldn't surprise anyone, or seem horribly out of place, for her to be evil.

Hmmm, don't know if I agree on the breach of etiquette thing, but either way, how would she know? I'm tempted to let my Paladin player do this just so I can play on his paranoia for a while. :) He obviously won't be able to do anything direct about it. But reporting it to his church is reasonable, and why wouldn't they advise the same thing?... play along... see what's afoot and report back. Even if they surmise she's evil and obtained the throne nefariously, I don't think it gives away the whole story right away. <shrug> It's an awfully big hint probably... but as DM, I can imagine several ways of playing this out in a manner that won't break the story and would probably be entertaining.

Dark Archive

Now we're tangential but I'll go with it. A paladin's Detect Evil ability is considered a Spell-Like ability and therefore has at least the concentration factor. I interpret that it requires the components of said spell. The spell description requires V, S, & DF. So the paladin must gesture - sweeps hand broadly in front of him, proclaiming - "May the evil reveal itself", while presenting his sword point down with his holy symbol etched upon the blade. Since this is a spell-like ability and it causes the provocation of an AoO I'd rule that it is definitley a breach of ettiquette while in the presence of royalty to be searching out evil doers.

Before he get's this ability off he's surrounded by guards (which will make a concentration check necessary) and he'll be summarily banished from the court (if the monarch is in a good mood) or it'll be the prison and gallows (if the monarch is not having a good day).

Of course rules are open to interpretation but this is how I would rule.

Later,

Greg Volz
Natural Twenty Gaming
www.naturaltwenty.com

Darkbridger wrote:

Hmmm, don't know if I agree on the breach of etiquette thing, but either way, how would she know? I'm tempted to let my Paladin player do this just so I can play on his paranoia for a while. :) He obviously won't be able to do anything direct about it. But reporting it to his church is reasonable, and why wouldn't they advise the same thing?... play along... see what's afoot and report back. Even if they surmise she's evil and obtained the throne nefariously, I don't think it gives away the whole story right away. <shrug> It's an awfully big hint probably... but as DM, I can imagine several ways of playing this out in a manner that won't break the story and would probably be entertaining.


Problem is, this is the sort of ability the player in question would activate before the meeting, not during. He tends to be overly cautious. Now, I haven't read the section where this meeting occurs yet, so it may not last long enough if cast in advance. I'm also not certain he'll be paranoid enough to do it at that point. I also need to check the "Paladin" class... he wants to use an alternate write up he found on a forum somewhere, which at first glance seemed really good... and I may be confused about how his Detect Evil worked.

Greg Volz wrote:

Now we're tangential but I'll go with it. A paladin's Detect Evil ability is considered a Spell-Like ability and therefore has at least the concentration factor. I interpret that it requires the components of said spell. The spell description requires V, S, & DF. So the paladin must gesture - sweeps hand broadly in front of him, proclaiming - "May the evil reveal itself", while presenting his sword point down with his holy symbol etched upon the blade. Since this is a spell-like ability and it causes the provocation of an AoO I'd rule that it is definitley a breach of ettiquette while in the presence of royalty to be searching out evil doers.

Before he get's this ability off he's surrounded by guards (which will make a concentration check necessary) and he'll be summarily banished from the court (if the monarch is in a good mood) or it'll be the prison and gallows (if the monarch is not having a good day).

Of course rules are open to interpretation but this is how I would rule.

Later,

Greg Volz
Natural Twenty Gaming
www.naturaltwenty.com

Darkbridger wrote:

Hmmm, don't know if I agree on the breach of etiquette thing, but either way, how would she know? I'm tempted to let my Paladin player do this just so I can play on his paranoia for a while. :) He obviously won't be able to do anything direct about it. But reporting it to his church is reasonable, and why wouldn't they advise the same thing?... play along... see what's afoot and report back. Even if they surmise she's evil and obtained the throne nefariously, I don't think it gives away the whole story right away. <shrug> It's an awfully big hint probably... but as DM, I can imagine several ways of playing this out in a manner that won't break the story and would probably be entertaining.

The Exchange

Mary Yamato wrote:

City adventures are really, really hard.

But I think you stack the deck against yourself when you emphasize, as big central plot events, things as difficult to justify as these. It's not that I want explanations, so much as I want more plot elements that *don't need extensive explanations in order to make sense.*

Mary

Most of the problems that were mentioned had to do with spells.

Everyone thinks because you can cast raise dead or commune... that

A the gods will grant it or answer it directly (opposed to cryptic) or B the dead character wants to come back!

Speak w. Dead - the character's tongue was removed. Oh well so much for that.

It's not hard to avoid problematic spells that can wreck plots.

I havent read every page of this topic, but it sounds like your DM reads the adventure doesnt understand something or doesn't like something then rewrites major portions of it (instead of just adding little details to explain areas that might not be as obvious) only to have it fall apart as the next adventure comes out. I could be wrong but that is what it sounds like.


agarrett, you stole my thunder. This is city life. I guess it's a style thing; some people like it and some don't. What some are seeing as disjointed or illogical, I see as hectic and chaotic. In other words, exactly what I expect Korvosa to be.

And a lowly (as in low level/no status or reputation) paladin casting detect evil on the Queen (the friggin' QUEEN!)is ABSOLUTELY a breach of ettiquette. In lawful-to-a-fault-Korvosa, such an act would surely result in some unwanted attention from the authorities.

I think that the "problems" a lot of people are having are a result of metagame thinking. The DM is given a lot of behind-the-scenes information, but the PCs have no reason to suspect foul play is afoot. The Earthbound human running the game knows the nitty gritty, but the Golarionbound characters do not. It would have been acceptable for Nic (is it Nic or Nick? I need a ruling on this one, uh... Mr. Logue) to have left out some of these juicy tidbits and for the next author to reveal the devious deeds doled out by the dastardly damsel.

Uh, yeah. I've been up for over 32 hours, so I'm going to quit now. This was my take on the hubbub, and I honestly hope nobody took offense.

Goodnight.

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Page 27 sidebar I assume this is in effect anytime the Queen is around anyone but Sabina.

The Truth Behind the Throne
Even now, Queen Ileosa is playing the PCs. The only truly
honest emotion she shows is her delight at getting back her
brooch. Yet the PCs should, at this point, have no reason to
suspect the queen of deception. Although she is herself a
neutral evil aristocrat 2/bard 4, she’s also under the effects
of a misdirection spell. Any attempt to read her aura instead
reads Sabina’s aura, indicating that Ileosa is a lawful neutral
human. This is the primary reason Ileosa never lets
Sabina wander far

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Darkbridger wrote:
Problem is, this is the sort of ability the player in question would activate before the meeting, not during. He tends to be overly cautious. Now, I haven't read the section where this meeting occurs yet, so it may not last long enough if cast in advance...

Misdirection is in effect in that meeting to ensure that detect evil won't undo everything all at once. Detect evil shouldn't be able to undo the adventure at this early stage at all. Queen Ileosa isn't an idiot; she knows how to take care of herself. As for the queen...

Spoiler:
As for folk worried about PCs attempting to kill the Queen when they first meet... a few things of note.

1) That ends the campaign quick, because once the PCs attack the queen they'll be slaughtered by Sabina and the Sable Company and all the city's guards.

2) The PCs shouldn't HAVE a reason to attack Ileosa yet, unless they're cheating and metagaming. If a player can't keep straight the difference between himself knowing that the queen's the campaign's main villain and wants to attack her at once... he shouldn't be playing Curse of the Crimson Throne.

3) Queen Ileosa is MUCH tougher than her short little stat block indicates. As soon as she finds the fangs of Kazavon at the start of the campaign, the artifact starts flooding her with power. Effectively, she's got an infusion of XP that's leveling her up FAST, giving her a lot of power all at once. By the time the PCs confront her at the end of the campaign, she'll be somewere along the lines of CR 17 or 18. And armed with an artifact that protects her from death.

4) The whole reason the scene where the PCs meet the queen is even IN the adventure is merely to introduce her early on. That's an error we learned in Shackled City; you have to introduce your villains early, and it's not something we've always been able to do. This encounter, along with a few other scenes involving the Queen along the way, are meant to give the PCs a chance to see her in action without really giving them a chance to get in over their heads too early.

Honestly, if you've got a group who you KNOW enjoys getting into the meat of an adventure and tries their hardest to "break" the adventure, you'll probably want to wait until you have all six Curse of the Crimson Throne volumes in hand as well as the Guide to Korvosa and a few more months of messageboard advice. Curse of the Crimson Throne is, as I've said elsewhere, a pretty complicated adventure path, and there's a lot of chances for PCs to get in over their head and try to handle things the Wrong Way and thus get themselves killed. Attempting to directly confront Queen Ileosa before

Spoiler:
the party has the magic sword Serethial, the weapon capable of severing Kazavon's influence over the queen
is probably a death sentence for the PCs anyway.

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

It's good to be da Queen!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.
damnitall22 wrote:

Page 27 sidebar I assume this is in effect anytime the Queen is around anyone but Sabina.

The Truth Behind the Throne
Even now, Queen Ileosa is playing the PCs. The only truly
honest emotion she shows is her delight at getting back her
brooch. Yet the PCs should, at this point, have no reason to
suspect the queen of deception. Although she is herself a
neutral evil aristocrat 2/bard 4, she’s also under the effects
of a misdirection spell. Any attempt to read her aura instead
reads Sabina’s aura, indicating that Ileosa is a lawful neutral
human. This is the primary reason Ileosa never lets
Sabina wander far

Yeah, that's correct. I wish I'd not nailed down her levels, though... saying she's an aristocrat 2/bard 4 is kind of underselling her.

Spoiler:
As I mention in my post above, she's on XP supercharge; the evil artifact she found is filling her with power. By the time this first adventure's over, she's probably already an aristocrat 2/bard 12. She'll top out soon, probably at aristocrat 2/bard 17, but even that's not the entire story. The fangs of Kazavon, which she transforms into the Crown of Fangs at the start of Adventure 3, gives her a lot more powers as well, not the least of which is the ability to survive mortal wounds. We don't have the mechanics of how that works figured out yet, alas, which is why it's not in the first adventure. You're not supposed to attack her there, anyway, so I decided to spend as little time as possible detailing what happens if the PCs make the wrong choice and focus more on the most likely choice.

And even then, an aristocrat 2/bard 4 is a pretty good match for a bunch of 2nd level characters... even before you factor in the 10th level fighter standing at her side...

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Balabanto wrote:
If the PC's decide to flee the city with Trinia, (A completely logical response), there's NO way to cover any of the events. The adventure completely derails, and your characters are running through the wilderness with a fugitive. How far will Ileosa go to catch them? What are her resources that she can use to do so? How powerful are these NPCs and what can she bring to bear?

That's not really fair. That's a problem with ALL premade adventures. If the PCs want to flee the city with Trinia, you either have to get a little roughshod with the deus ex machina and have her caught anyway, or you let the PCs go for it. At that point, they're as off script as they would be off script of the Tomb of Horrors having decided to leave the tomb to go seek out Acerark's original laboratory to search for clues there about how to invade his tomb. You either roll with it or you gently (or not so gently) have to steer the PCs back on course.

Balabanto wrote:
THIS is the real flaw in the AP, IMHO. That the resources of the villain are not clearly listed in the initial section of the AP so that the DM can use them as he or she sees fit. I'm pretty sure that's Mary's real problem, and it's mine too. When I saw what Karzoug could actually do, and why he relied on minions, I was very pleased, because everything made sense, BUT...it was five modules too late for that info. Imagine starting before having the final installment and having the DM say "Trust me, this will make sense before the end."

Then the best advice, I'm afraid, is to wait until you have all six adventures.

Alternately, we could include full details of Queen Ileosa's powers and the powers of the Fangs of Kazavon right there at the start. That'd take up several pages of Pathfinder. Is it worth sacrificing the other content just for this? I don't feel that it is, but I could be convinced otherwise, I suppose.

Balabanto wrote:
I like my villain designed up front so I know exactly what resources, powers, and abilities the NPC can bring to bear, plus, the PC's can kill Ileosa right there. Level 3 party, properly prepared, vs. Expert 2/Bard 4? She dies in ONE round. And if they won't ressurrect the king, they won't ressurrect her either. AP over.

Good thing we're doing 2 APs a month.

By the time the PCs are all level 3, as I've insinuated in my previous posts, she won't be a CR 5 target. She'll be closer to a CR 8 or 9 target armed with a VERY powerful artifact.


Wow. You sound like a very intelligent person. I enjoyed reading what you said. I also want to apologize up front if this response seems simplistic.
I get the impression that 'railroad' is a theme in your message. We all know what it means in a gaming context, but may I tempt you to extend the metaphor. That is to say, get off at the next stop. Railroading is rather linear we all know this, but DMs and player can change that.
You want more connection to a place. Create it. People die that you care about, bide your time, build power and avenge them. You make it clear that the evil people are not going away and if you gain power slowly in your games, let them be for awhile! If they are in places of power, it is unlikely they will remove themselves just because they did a little evil.
This is where we 'get off the railroad' if you will. If you want to stay in Cauldron or Sandpoint 'go underground' so to speak. The DM should be able to fill in the niche with local evil and random monsters to help build your power, or evil people that are not so thuroughly corrupted that they can change.
If this breaks expectations, then good! Expectations lead to nothing but trouble anyway.
You say you are a player that likes to figure things out. Great. Why not take that knowledge then, and, instead of feeling disappointed, find ways for your character to change things without getting killed (see suggestion above).
A good DM should be able to accomodate, help you establish your stamp on the campaign, then devilishly use it to hook you back into the main adventures.
I hear some people thinking 'railroad' again. Not really. If this option was taken, the player got to deviate, develop a vested interest, attempt to make the setting 'better' and gain needed power to boot. Even though this is a mixed metaphor, the journey (RPG) is the key, even if all roads (the AP) do lead to Rome.
Or Cauldron...Sandpoint...whatever.

Dark Archive

Nah - at the speed I play through these (I'm just starting the 1st Pathfinder AP for an online group) you'll be done with this one and the third one will be just coming out:)

Later,

Greg Volz
Natural Twenty Gaming
www.naturaltwenty.com

James Jacobs wrote:


Alternately, we could include full details of Queen Ileosa's powers and the powers of the Fangs of Kazavon right there at the start. That'd take up several pages of Pathfinder. Is it worth sacrificing the other content just for this? I don't feel that it is, but I could be convinced otherwise, I suppose.


James Jacobs wrote:
Darkbridger wrote:
Problem is, this is the sort of ability the player in question would activate before the meeting, not during. He tends to be overly cautious. Now, I haven't read the section where this meeting occurs yet, so it may not last long enough if cast in advance...

Misdirection is in effect in that meeting to ensure that detect evil won't undo everything all at once. Detect evil shouldn't be able to undo the adventure at this early stage at all. Queen Ileosa isn't an idiot; she knows how to take care of herself. As for the queen...

You could very easily just give her a device that masks her alignment or shows her alignment to be something other than it truly is if knowing she is evil is a big deal.

I like Keith Baker's take on Detect Evil... just cause someone detects as evil doesnt mean you go out and kill them. It just means dont trust, them be wary of them... and it also doesn't mean that they are going to out right kill you either.


Darkbridger wrote:


Hmmm, don't know if I agree on the breach of etiquette thing, but either way, how would she know? I'm tempted to let my Paladin player do this just so I can play on his paranoia for a while. :) He obviously won't be able to do anything direct about it. But reporting it to his church is reasonable, and why wouldn't they advise the same thing?... play along... see what's afoot and report back. Even if they surmise she's evil and obtained the throne nefariously, I don't think it gives away the whole story right away. <shrug> It's an awfully big hint probably... but as DM, I can imagine several ways of playing this out in a manner that won't break the story and would probably be entertaining.

I'd think major organizations like the churches would have a pretty good idea of their rulers alignments. Presumably finding this sort of thing out would be something of a priority. That said it appears she has a defense against this so the Churchs presumably assume she is LN.


Yes, the important thing to note about trying to detect evil on the queen is that she read LN.

As it is, this is one of the main reasons I tend to eschew alignment. Alignment isn't needed to understand the evil of undead and evil outsiders, and humans tend to be so much murkier than that.

In general, even when I do use alignment, I have to constantly reinforce the idea to my players that the vast majority of Prime Material Plane natives will read their alignment under detection spells, but they barely read as blips above the general background noise of the world. Simply being evil isn't a crime. It just says something about you as a person, and how you respond to situations.

My rules are generally the only way for a humanoid or other PMP resident to show up as more than a tiny blip on a detect spell is to take an explicitly evil (or whatever) PrC.

It sounds like from some of the Alpha rules (for clerics in particular) are already considering mechanics like this.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Greg Volz wrote:
Now we're tangential but I'll go with it. A paladin's Detect Evil ability is considered a Spell-Like ability and therefore has at least the concentration factor. I interpret that it requires the components of said spell. The spell description requires V, S, & DF. So the paladin must gesture - sweeps hand broadly in front of him, proclaiming - "May the evil reveal itself", while presenting his sword point down with his holy symbol etched upon the blade. Since this is a spell-like ability and it causes the provocation of an AoO I'd rule that it is definitley a breach of ettiquette while in the presence of royalty to be searching out evil doers.

Sure, but that's definitely a house rule. According to the SRD the paladin only needs to concentrate. "A spell-like ability has no verbal, somatic, or material component, nor does it require a focus or have an XP cost. The user activates it mentally."

Dark Archive

Indeed. I'll have to add that to the list:) It requires concentration which can be noticed or else it wouldn't cause an AoO - so in my example ignore the acting paladin spouting the words...and the guards still surround him:).

(I like my version better:))

Later,

Greg Volz
Natural Twenty Gaming
www.naturaltwenty.com

tbug wrote:
Sure, but that's definitely a house rule. According to the SRD the paladin only needs to concentrate. "A spell-like ability has no verbal, somatic, or material component, nor does it require a focus or have an XP cost. The user activates it mentally."


Nicolas Logue wrote:

Honstly too Foxish, if you lost something, and someone returned it to you of their own accord, would you assume they stole it, or commited murder to get it back. I wouldn't. I've lost my wallet, my wedding ring, and all manner of accoutrements throughout my life and when they were returned to me by good samaritans who found them, I didn't grill them, I rewarded and or thanked them.

You're thinking in terms of yourself, and not in terms of being the Monarch of Korvosa. Think about it this way: assume you live in the United States, you find George Bush's wallet and want to return it. Isn't it a reasonable expectation that White House Security or the Secret Service would want to interview you to make sure you aren't a nutter or an assassin? Or that these security people would want to verify your statements to make sure those statements are truthful? Let's add that D.C. has just gone through a crisis. Isn't it another reasonable expectation that security in and around the White House would be extra tight? They aren't going to throw the gates wide open and let you stroll into the Oval Office. I could labor this to death, but do you see now where I'm going here? The events of Part 3 are completely unbelievable and incredible. I'm not attacking you; I think you're very talented. It's just that this adventure defies reason and common sense, in a negative way...


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Note the part too where they are under orders from the Queen to send up adventurers, because she knows she's going to need some extra help quelling the riots. Under any other circumstances, they would probably just take the brooch from the PCs. They aresuspicious of the PCs initially, they do force them to disarm, and they do escort the PCs up there. And Ileosa has one of the highest-level characters in the city as her bodyguard. Lots and lots of precautions are taken, and the only reason the PCs aren't turned away with a 'thanks for the brooch' is because Ileosa wants to meet adventurers. Gaedren Lamm and his associates are known criminals, and the guard recognize the operation the PCs describe as in his modus operandi. Any investigation, while it won't turn up the Lambs who have scattered to the winds, will find the bodies of petty thugs, all wanted but too small time to devote manpower to, who had clearly been illegally squatting on government property. If all that doesn't satisfy you, then the guards can question the PCs in a Zone of Truth. I really feel like you're making mountains out of microscopic molehills here.

Contributor

Revan wrote:
Note the part too where they are under orders from the Queen to send up adventurers, because she knows she's going to need some extra help quelling the riots. Under any other circumstances, they would probably just take the brooch from the PCs. They aresuspicious of the PCs initially, they do force them to disarm, and they do escort the PCs up there. And Ileosa has one of the highest-level characters in the city as her bodyguard. Lots and lots of precautions are taken, and the only reason the PCs aren't turned away with a 'thanks for the brooch' is because Ileosa wants to meet adventurers. Gaedren Lamm and his associates are known criminals, and the guard recognize the operation the PCs describe as in his modus operandi. Any investigation, while it won't turn up the Lambs who have scattered to the winds, will find the bodies of petty thugs, all wanted but too small time to devote manpower to, who had clearly been illegally squatting on government property. If all that doesn't satisfy you, then the guards can question the PCs in a Zone of Truth. I really feel like you're making mountains out of microscopic molehills here.

Yep, thanks Revan. You beat me to it!

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