BruteSquad07's first CotCT Campaign [Spoilers]


Curse of the Crimson Throne

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Lancer clearly you have a very simulationist view of the game and to that I say to each there own. But this thread is a campaign playtest report, not a public forum for rules debate. What you are bringing here isnt constructive, as you are not playing our game and are not trying to enhance what we are doing but be overtly critical. We attempt to balance role play with roll play and keep things moving along. If thats not your cup of tea its all well and good, but I do not see the need to bring a litany of complaints and thinly veiled insults in here about a game your not playing. The playtest reports are designed to provide feedback about how certain rules are working out in our game and maybe to entertain with a few stories about how our party has handled things, not to be an open forum for people to complain that we arent doing thing the way they would. If you have some legitimate input or suggestions for things from PFRPG that will enhance our game or clarify something we are doing wrong, by all mean please expound on them to your hearts content. But comming in here to complain we dont play the game right because our DM doesnt wipe our party at regular intervals, that we buy our way past everything because we have access to winter coats and the occasional potion or imply the we arent purists because we didnt take into account the rate of the current in the river when calculating swim checks is just distracting us from what we are trying to accomplish.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

WarmasterSpike wrote:
many good things :)

Bravo sir!


WarmasterSpike wrote:
Lancer clearly you have a very simulationist view of the game and to that I say to each there own. But this thread is a campaign playtest report, not a public forum for rules debate. What you are bringing here isnt constructive, as you are not playing our game and are not trying to enhance what we are doing but be overtly critical. We attempt to balance role play with roll play and keep things moving along. If thats not your cup of tea its all well and good, but I do not see the need to bring a litany of complaints and thinly veiled insults in here about a game your not playing. The playtest reports are designed to provide feedback about how certain rules are working out in our game and maybe to entertain with a few stories about how our party has handled things, not to be an open forum for people to complain that we arent doing thing the way they would. If you have some legitimate input or suggestions for things from PFRPG that will enhance our game or clarify something we are doing wrong, by all mean please expound on them to your hearts content. But comming in here to complain we dont play the game right because our DM doesnt wipe our party at regular intervals, that we buy our way past everything because we have access to winter coats and the occasional potion or imply the we arent purists because we didnt take into account the rate of the current in the river when calculating swim checks is just distracting us from what we are trying to accomplish.

You have obviously taken things not as they were meant. I have just been trying to state differences in our game versus yours and why things may have been different. I would have to say that if you are glossing over some of the rules in a game that it would impact the "playtest." Would you not agree?

If your game is using alternative rules (your fate points, or glossing over rules in the interest of saving time) that will have an impact on the playtest. And while there was a quick overview of them provided by the DM early on I don't think it was as spelled out as it could have been so that people would know the full extent of their influence. My posts haven't been complaints (or at least weren't mean that way), they have been fishing for the rules in play and comparisons in the way we play and why things may have been different in our game as opposed to yours.

In the AP's that Paizo has produced there have been several "memorable" encounters (aka TPK's). Many of these encounters wipe parties with no extra effort on the DM's part. That your group had an easier time of this particular encounter caught my attention as it hasn't been the case with those I know. I was interested in finding out why that was and once I got that information I posted why we had a hard time of it and why/what rules we used as they were obviously different from yours. Yes our group may be more a "simulationist" or rules heavy game and that is in part because of the rules playtest. We want to make sure we try and cover everything we can to avoid loop holes and such, to find out where the rules need work, or where they have been made better. It had nothing to do with saying you were "playing the game wrong" or complaining about it, games are different. And believe me I have no problem saying "you are wrong" or "that is moronic" and I'm not the type to used "veiled insults", I will insult you to your face in person if warranted, I'm no different on the internet.

To sum up, I hope you can go back and read the posts in the spirit in which they were meant. As you are doing this in order to help with the playtest I think if you are glossing over rules for the sake of your game then that bears special mention and that "special" rules in use could use more details. There are many old players as well as new players joining the Paizo ranks lately, and saying things like "fate points = action points" can cause confusion (which is why I posted the links). Those things make large differences in the playtest and I guess what you would view as rule heavy games are not really the minority. I hope that this clears up any confusion. Information and comparison of how rules affect the game play when used (or not) is constructive so I would beg to differ on that point especially for a rules playtest.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I was unavailable over the weekend and a few posts have occured which I would like to address. Sadly I don't have the time to take every one of them on. Let me first say that we did play yesterday and today or tomorrow (hopefully) I will put the play test report up.

Skylancer4 does have a vilid point, I have hammered the S&B pretty hard, perhaps to hard. Here is what I would like to point out about that. Sword and Board has been a pet pieve of many of us here for a while. Also the amount of time and effort I have devoted to it in my playtests are a result of how well many other things are going. There have been a few reports I have made where I had little complaint about how things went. Sword and Board has been something that has troubled us repeatedly so it comes up again and again.

As for the question about the rules we are using I think it is a valid question and I can see how understanding them would be helpful. Let me sum them up. I will use the Spoiler tag to keep the size of this post reasonable.

A. Core rules.

Spoiler:

We are using the PF Beta as our primary rule book. When it fails to cover an issue we are using the 3.5 PHB/DMG as back up and to fill in the gaps as we all know there are vast parts of the rules that have been left unchanged from the 3.5 and there are places that the Beta needs to be grounded in 3.5. We are Using the 3.5 MM obviously as well as the CotCT AP.

B. Other Sources.

Spoiler:

Generally we are using no other sources. At my table you can never use anything not in the core rules (this has been true through every edition) without clearing each individual thing with me. For purposes of this playtest we are attempting to stay as solid PF 3.5 as we can. There are 2 feats from other books (that I recall off the top of my head) in play at the table and I have allowed all spells from the Spell compendium. Other than that we are PF only (we have only used 3 or 4 spells from the compendium to which if Dan Moyer would like to respond and tell us what they are thats fine but I currently don't recall which they are)

C. Fate Points.

Spoiler:

My Fate point doc is 3 pages long, so you can understand that I can only give you the short and sweet.

You get 3 or 4 FP's at character creation. At that point you can use all of them to grab a 0-level. You could instead use some of them (Or depending on the race all of them) for a non PHB race. Other choices that cost fewer are a bonus feat or the materials to start with a few scrolls (if you have scribe scroll) or a MW weapon. Some of the later choices will leave you with one or two FP's to start the game.

After Character generation it takes a lot of FP's to grab feats or stat bumps when you level. (this was a safety valve, it allows me to still give them out but eventually a player who hordes them will spend many to get a nice bonus but it will drain the number significantly)

Durring play you can use FP's to a) stabalize you or an ally (ie put you at -1 hp. This is THE most common use of Fatepoints), b) Force reroll's (ie if that ogre just crited the wizard and he is going to obviously get pasted to goo just toss in a FP and hope he doesn't crit again), c) essentially succeed at a skill check. Mostly this is where the FP's are used and what they do is allow me to put the decision for character death in the hand of the player.

Fate Points are given out as rewards for Roleplaying. You don't get them for beating down the goblin horde, you get xp and gold for that. But they are a way I can reward people who spend time RPing when XP and/or GP's don't make sense.

With these rules I have never seen a character die at my table with out the player deciding that it was time for the character to die. Several because they just weren't enjoying the character as much as they wanted and some because it just felt right that this was where that character made their last stand. The lethality of the game is still high. Technically I have TPK'd every party at my table many many times. This just lets us all agree that the characters are heroes worthy of movies and they get away with crazy stuff.

D. Power Level

Spoiler:

The first portion of Edge of Anarchy (the first mod in the AP), I failed to power up the encounters enough. I didn't take in account the benefits of both the PF adjustments added onto the Fate Point's multiplied by 7 players instead of the 4 the mod was written for. I am now quite a bit more comfortable with the power adjustments. I also took some time to get up to speed on how to convert the module to PF rules. Just adding HP's wasn't always enough, I found you have to give them all the advantages of the PF book as well. Increasing numbers of mobs was a no brainer but powering up the solo combats took some time.

An aside here about the power level and the FP's. There is a viscious cycle here that I am finally getting back undercontrol. The fights weren't as tough early so extra fp's were used to power up the characters which then made the next fights easier. I have used FP's for many many years now, this was the first time that that had happened. Have no fear (unless you are one of the players) the curve is comming back down and within my grasp again. (Fewer given, tougher fights)

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

There have been numerous posts about the interpretation of the underwater rules.

Let me start this explanation with a little background on my DMing. I am currently unemployed and staying home taking care of my son. This gives me much more time to prep for the game than I used to enjoy. I use a lot of my extra time developing and building fancy terrains or painting Mini's. But a chunk of the extra time I spend reading rules and prepping my game so that I can have as much info in my head and/or at my finger tips as possible.

The underwater encounter I was all prepared for except for one little detail...I had forgotten to thoroughly engross myself in the underwater combat rules (which is the only way you can run them they are that complicated and scattered about) I knew the gist and it just slipped my mind that I needed to examine those rules completely. So yes we "glossed" over much of the rules.

I have never been one to enjoy underwater anything in my D&D. I can tell you that most of the players I have ever played with pretty much feel the same way. Fighting underwater is always a pain, always messy, never rule friendly and rarely fun.

So 1 combat in 2 modules was "glossed" over because of poor prep on my part. I take the hit on that, thats fine. The fight was still hard. The Fighter still got her butt wooped and not because of the terrain either. The Full defensive fighter doesn't work when the creature you are fighting has a better attack number than you have AC. The only way to beat a fight like that is to do a heck of a lot more damage than it does which is why the 2-hander is the fighter type of choice for just about everyone. Because it is quite often that the attacks of your opponents are stupidly high, even to the point of 2 or better to hit.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

So, let me get back to that game report I promised…

The party was full strength numbers wise, had just leveled up but were mid dungeon. That meant everyone added their new HP’s to their old current as well as their full HP’s, they added BAB, Skills, Feats and Saves, as well as any special abilities they gained. They have to wait to rest to get their new spells so the cleric and sorcerers are a bit weaker than they will be when they get to rest. So they had most of their HP's and about half or less of their spells/channelings but they had wands, scrolls and potions so felt comfortable continuing on.

Quick Level up report…

Everyone but the Barbarian is level 6 now. The Barbarian is now level 5 but, it turns out he will hit 6th at the end of this session so has finally caught up with the rest of the party again. The Orc Barbarian and the 1/2ling sorcerer are the only 2 who do not have a 0-lvl npc class.

Cleric of Calistria. Realized he had been forgetting an extra d6 of channeling so in effect he got that as a level bump a level late. Obviously his spell list improved but he hasn’t rested yet…

Rogue. Took the Surprise Attacks talent, This should read the 1st round of combat not the surprise round. The other rogue in the party has this also and both have had a few frustrations with me when I have pointed out in a few combats that there isn’t a surprise round if both sides are aware of the other.

Ranger/Rogue (3/3) She Took Rogue this level and grabbed her 2nd d6 of Sneak attack.

Celestial Bloodline Sorcerer. 3rd level spells, no chance to rest yet though. He is Force Missile based.

Orc barbarian (5) Wow HPS are aweful here. Not in a bad way. He is beaming with pride over this character.

Sword and Board Fighter. I don’t have my notes to report what feat she chose. I will point out that after the current dungeon the party is in is over I’ll be offering the entire party (with a little emphasis on this character) a respec of feats and skills. Just a pause and a chance to fix things up and maybe gauging what things are working and which aren’t.

Halfling Sorcerer (Arcane bloodline) (Mover and Shaker). 3rd level spells but no chance to rest. He is Enchantment based.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

On to the encounters

The party was...sorry have to Spoiler tag it.

Spoiler:

The party was licking its wounds from the fight with Rolth and Dr Davaulus (as reported previously) They checked out the next room and found more Varisian prisoners who the bad guys had been “operating” on. They checked them out and moved on (vowing to come back and save them after they finished the rest of the place). They came to a room with blood vats and a bunch of priests of urgathoa. The room had and extensive catwalk system that some of the priests were on and the party had no other way to go but through them.

So there was a fight in a multi level room with many Evil Priests. The party grabbed the surprise round and ran with it, managing to kill most of the priests before they had an action. (Which was the plan as they figured 6+ priests channeling negative energy as a bad thing) Can you imagine being hit with 6 or more 1d6 negative energy bursts?

Spoiler:

The next room had 4 more of the priests, who were aware of the party having heard the fight in the next room. They were ready (or as ready as they could be) for the party including they had a readied action to release a Leukodaemon that the temple had had captive. The party was amazed by this creature.

This room was a tougher fight. Here we had an evil outsider and 4 evil clerics. The cleric’s didn’t prove to be much of a threat, as the outsider killed half of them, but the outsider took a while to kill. There is one thing to report here. The Fighter finally worked right. Well mostly right. She was able to withstand the attacks of the outsider, Some of which her AC finally helped with, and some of which her HPs (2nd best in the party) helped with. She also had started in a lucky spot, which prevented the Outsider from moving past her, the large size of the outsider prevented it from being able to move past her and get to those people who were doing more damage. When the Fighter finally did move to allow it to pass it was far more advantageous to the party than to it.
One little note on this fight. The Barbarian took a trophy from the outsider. A skull that he will be making a helm from.

This took us to the last fight of the day…

Spoiler:

with Lady Anaisin (spelling?) the head priestess of the temple of Urgathoa. “Wow, what a B@!*@” was a quote I heard about her after her opening remarks to the party. She was completely ready for the party having had cast status on Rolth, Dr Davaulus and several clerics within the temple. She was under the effects of numerous defensive spells, including air walk. This fight was tough, as the party is heavy melee. The Enchanter and the Celestial Sorcerers were tapped of all their best spells and the cleric hadn’t brought a Dispel Magic with him into the room so they had to rely on bows and other missile weapons. Also the rogues were unable to sneak attack, since they couldn’t get to her. A satisfying fight for all I think. It went long, being a priest she was able to heal herself back up. Finally the party grew so frustrated without being able to bring her down that the Halflings plan was entertained and then executed. He ran over to the Barbarian and said…”Throw me.” A round later the Halfling executed a grapple in mid air. It was an all or nothing kind of move. If he missed the grapple he would have collided with the wall of the room and taken a lot of damage between the wall and then the 30 foot fall to the floor. Of course after having grappled the cleric he had to shout at her…”Do you know who I am???? I am a Mover and Shaker!” that sort of thing. It was hilarious and quite impressive a plan. It did help, he was able to finally get his burning hands spells off on her and she was then grappled within reach of the chain rogue (who had climbed up on a statue to reach her) and the Barbarian (who would jump and swing jump and swing). The jump rules work fine btw. The game came to a close with her body stirring and the Daughter of Urgathoa coalescing from her. The party groaned, but they are all geeked to get back and put her down again.

The grapple rules need clarification. I would suggest that everything be spelled out to the last detail and that every i is dotted and every t is crossed. I have posted in the Combat forums what I think of the CMB system (favorable but advocate allowing dex to be involved somehow) all I am saying here is no matter what gets done with it, it must be clear and must be easy to use or it will not be an improvement.


Skylancer4 wrote:
There are many old players as well as new players joining the Paizo ranks lately, and saying things like "fate points = action points" can cause confusion

You are correct, I appologize for possibly providing an incorrect interpretation. I meant our use of Fate Points is a similar mechanic to Action Points, they are "NOT the same".


Brutesquad07 wrote:


B. Other Sources.
Generally we are using no other sources. At my table you can never use anything not in the core rules (this has been true through every edition) without clearing each individual thing with me. For purposes of this playtest we are attempting to stay as solid PF 3.5 as we can. There are 2 feats from other books (that I recall off the top of my head) in play at the table and I have allowed all spells from the Spell compendium. Other than that we are PF only (we have only used 3 or 4 spells from the compendium to which if Dan Moyer would like to respond and tell us what they are thats fine but I currently don't recall which they are)

The off book feats you've allowed our Rogue to take, I believe were VEXING FLANKER(PHB2) and DEFT OPPORTUNIST(CAd/MinHB).

The spells from the SPELL COMPENDIUM that I have had approved are as follows:
EBON EYES pg. 77(used once, an odd utility choice, wasn't sure what else to take)
BLAST OF FORCE pg. 31(used twice, both times the enemy saved and did not go prone)
CHAIN MISSILE pg. 44(learned, but not yet rested to be useable)
FORCE MISSILE pg. 98(not yet attained, require 2 more levels)

Also approved from the Spell Compendium, but likely not going to be used due to sorcerers limit of spells known:
ALL "ORB" SPELLS pg. 151
ALL "RAINBOW" SPELLS pg. 165


Yup...those are the feats I have. As to the grapple segment of the game, there was a little slow down there. I think partially due to the rule being new, and so nobody at the table had it down by heart and secondly that I asked a question outside the "base mechanic". I wanted to know if the grapple situation provided cover to the preistess which goes beyond simply knowing how to handle CMB which I think is pretty clear and concise. I am unsure how the BETA is organized, but I am certain if this stuff is all kept to the same section along with the other maneuvers and placed in a logical order these sort of hickups will disapear pretty quickly.


Thanks for the extra time taken! Anyways I have a question about your S&B fighter, is she using the newer feats from PF (and FYI the table on one of the shield slam feats is missing a prereq listed in the feat)? As they are written they turn the S&B fighter into a 2W fighter for most intents and I wasn't thrilled about that. Like I mentioned earlier the S&B iconic has always been a "defensive" thing to me (which is why I always see people saying its being "overshadowed" by more active abilities) and I'd have rather seen them get more goodies towards that purpose. If I had wanted to play a 2W fighter I would have chosen to build a 2W fighter, you know?

As for the fate points I was kinda expecting an answer like that honestly. As a rough generalization it sounds like you could basically be playing a 2nd level character in terms of "power" or "customization" at the start (having a EL of +1 or npc class, the extra feats etc.), which leads me to a question I was going to ask about how you have been modifying the encounters. This was probably a move to make lower levels more interesting or durable (and I agree first level was always kinda "Blah, I can't wait to get more options" every time) if I were to hazard a guess.

Anyways the question, how are you adjusting the encounters? You have practically twice the number of characters slated for the AP, which would almost make it easier (but not really realistic to have every baddie have a twin lol) to double the encounters as written, and while yes technically there would be a man short I'm almost positive that the fate points would make up for that. As I mentioned earlier our groups characters have been fairly "optimized" and when running I usually max out the hit points of the opponents, reason being that rules seem to expect the single creature of CR1 won't get 1-shot'ed normally, but it happens regularly with an optimized character. Heck it still happens to be honest. With the "main" bad guys it makes a little difference but not usually enough on its own. It sounds like you have tried and gotten the same results. As for increasing the "solo" mob encounters adding levels ends up being nasty sometimes (casters in particular) and I have personally found them to be more of a pain to get right, I can only imagine with 7 people its down right obnoxious.

About the underwater encounters, they are only truly a hassle at lower levels in our experience. Once a group has money or access to moderate levels of magic they are no different than fighting while flying (with a few more limitations on things, like fireball and etc) in a different background. Even the penalties at mid level are less of an issue (better BAB, more bonuses to hit and damage). However before that point they are rough if not deadly and we have always tried to prepare a great deal more when dealing with them. On a tangent, like I mentioned before one of members of our group has really wanted to run a pirate/swashbuckling campaign so using the rules here was kinda a trial run to get all the rules under everyone's belt. Still waiting on Mr. Logue to finish up that damn book of his so I can buy it for them and hopefully get everyone together to play!

Ok it sounds like you have basically gotten past where we ended up ending the AP.

Spoiler:

Our run, we did actually hit the main corridor first and missed the Necro in the room off the main hallway. Went through the room covered in moving bones, into the room with the priests and vats and on. The priest with the vats was a rough encounter, we didn't have the man power to get to them all and we did have to deal with chain channeling. It wasn't horrible nor was it going to turn into a party wipe but it was consistent damage to just about all of us and the geography of the room was definitely favorable to them and the undead. It was what is was supposed to be, a drain on the party resources.

After that we hit the leukadaemon (or whatever it was called) and to be honest that encounter was pretty lackluster in comparison to what it should have been. As it was based on ranged attacks yet couldn't really get away to use them (large creature, we ruled 20' low ceilings as it was underground and no special mention was made to the contrary - Our cleric had the strength domain and the barbarian had a potion of enlarge as well so it took AoO from the bow attacks leaving it pretty vulnerable). After reading the encounter after with everyone I was fairly convinced it hadn't earned the CR that it was labeled at, even had it been able to summon another it would have been a pain but I don't think we were ever in real peril of losing anyone (and if I remember correctly the CR rated that as a "probable" outcome). And by losing anyone I mean unconsciousness, not death.

The last fight was more interesting for sure, spell casters always are.

And this leads to a question about your handling of the grappling rules. One of the gripes on the board has been how hard it is to establish a grapple and that is with the feats and being built to do it. I think as it stands there is usually like a 50/50 chance of getting it when you have the feats so you don't provoke the AoO and can't perform the grapple anyways. Did your little guy get lucky or was it one of those things that the party was in such dire straights that something needed to be done so you "oops'ed" the rules? The grapple rules are definitely better than they were (as well as the combat actions in general for that matter) and I think I like them as they stand to be honest. It always rubbed me the wrong way knowing a small creature could have a really good and consistent chance of grappling a huge creature in the old rules. That and combat actions were so consistent that they tended to "break the game" (the tripping builds, the grappling builds, etc). I'd actually be interested to know exactly how this encounter went, we used the grappling rules in the RotRL AP in a "memorable" encounter (damn them familiars is all I'll say on that), and would like to compare notes so to speak.

Spoiler:

Back to our game. Once we finished off the cleric and her "reincarnation" we were pretty tapped. On our way out we ran into the necro and whatever/whoever was left that we missed with him... In the room with all the parts. This turned into our wipe. It is less a rules issue than just a crappy confluence of things. At first it was just a matter of getting through all the little guys to get to the casters, they were jam packed and it took a couple of rounds to clear to them (lots of little undead in the way). That room was basically heaven for a necro, as it was written there were parts from everything there so we all agreed it fulfilled the requirements for the animate dead spell (strike one), there was also something about it being a desecrated area if I remember correctly (strike two), mix in a wizard necro who could cast Animate as a SU ability (no AoO and not need material components) and we ended up with some mid teens HD giant skeleton that pretty much destroyed us (strike three, you're out!). The fight had been in our favor up until that point, and we definitely brought it upon ourselves (we helped the DM pick out an appropriate monster as it had been awhile since she had run a game and the encounter was not going well for the npc's). I am seriously of the mind that the magic schools abilities should not be SU as the norm (we noticed this isn't the case with the clerical schools, after the encounter when we were going over everything). Like I said before it was one of those things that was kinda a fluke, but it was a damn nasty one.

Ok, done whining and I need to get some sleep, have fun next session ;)


WarmasterSpike wrote:
Yup...those are the feats I have. As to the grapple segment of the game, there was a little slow down there. I think partially due to the rule being new, and so nobody at the table had it down by heart and secondly that I asked a question outside the "base mechanic". I wanted to know if the grapple situation provided cover to the preistess which goes beyond simply knowing how to handle CMB which I think is pretty clear and concise. I am unsure how the BETA is organized, but I am certain if this stuff is all kept to the same section along with the other maneuvers and placed in a logical order these sort of hickups will disapear pretty quickly.

If you haven't used the CMB's it is definitely something that is new but once you have them down it really is simpler than the old ones. Same thing happened when we cracked the book open so to speak for them in our RotRL game. One of the things that is kinda wonky now is the "no sharing a square" thing. In the old rules you grapple, you share, the halfling is clinging to the cleric. Now in your situation, where is the halfling placed? Is he adjacent to the the cleric or is he hanging below? Then again I'm not sure the rules could really cover that any better. I mean technically I guess as the rules state for when you accidentally end up in the same square, you'd find the square that the halfling was in prior to the grapple via trajectory and place him there. As for the cover, I'd imagine it depends on where you are in comparison to the priest and halfling really (if any corner of your square goes through the square of the halfling is the target gets cover). Another wonky thing is can a non flying creature actually move a flying creature in a grapple by making a check (you made the check so you can drag the both of you, but you don't have a flying movement so what happens)? Or when the halfling casts a spell does he provoke an AoO from falling as he is no longer grappling and ends up falling? There isn't anything in the rules for a lot of things like that.


The Halfling made beyond stellar rolls, First the orc had to hit the square with the halfling, not too tough I think it was like an ac 15. Then the cleric missed the A.O.O. Then the Halfling rolled for miss chance ( there was a cloud effect spell of some kind ) and finally landed his CMB with a very high roll, 18+ if I recall on the die. It was very improbable but he did pull it off. Which was good for him because I think the fall would have placed him in negatives. As to the dragging the priest close, it was less of a drag and more to the effect of losing about 5 feet of elevation. Since I was on the statue that brought her in my reach. Sort of like adding a 35 pound squirming backpack. The tangible results were me and the orc, who was jumping to swing having a shot to reach, and the Halfling being able to target with a spell ( the fog or whatever it was prevented it previously).


Also

Spoiler:
the demon critter was pretty nasty for us, The breath weapon nerfed a huge portion of the party, and the Damage resistance of 10/ good really prolonged things even longer. It was a huge resource sump for us going into the next fight. I think it had spell resistance to if I recall. It may not of done a lot of damage per hit, but its defenses made it a nasty peice of work for us.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

In the past somewhere on this board I explained the changes we made to CMB, but I will sum them up again here.

CMB = BAB + Size Modifier + Str + Dex

Maneuvers are resolved with this mechanic

d20+CMB vs 10+ CMB

Otherwise it is the same as the beta, and thus also as the 3.5 for some of the other effects such as attacking a grappled character.

As for the specifics she had cast obscuring mist to give her some time to heal up before her descent (air walk) down to begin meleeing. She had just cast her last Cure Mod, bringing her back to nearly full health (the party was weakened she was nearly full again) when the halfling sorcerer finally had had it with having nothing to do. His spells remaining were only 1st level which pretty much left him with only burning hands and since she was 20+feet up he couldn't use it and his single shot Magic Missile wand was now useless since he couldn't see her to target her. That was when he hatched the plan and convinced the Orc to throw him.

Warmaster is correct, the Throw was easy, the AOO should have been, but I rolled a 2 on the die and missed by around 2 or 3 points. At that point he beat the CMB by 3 or 4 but mostly on a very good roll as her CMB was pretty high. 1 note here, it would have failed if we had been using the beta printed rules as 15+CMB with no dex would have been 6 points higher a DC and the halfling would have had no chance to succeed as he would have had to roll a 24 or 25 on the d20 to succeed. Her Dex was a -1 modifier, and without dex he would have been 4 points lower on his CMB.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

As to how am I adjusting encounters, I am taking the beta's advice and adding Hps with this formula

base HP + 6hp + 1hp/level for Bard, Rogue, Ranger classes + 1hp/level for humans, 1/2 elves and any race/class combination that is favored class.

Hp haven't been the big issue. I don't mind mooks being 1 shoted here and there it makes it fun for the players and that's my ultimate goal. The big badies tend to have extra levels and it adds up quick.

For mook encounters or encounters with mook's in them I do what I have always done when handling a double party. I increase the numbers. Usually by around half (4=6, 6=9 etc) It has worked fairly well in the past. I find for big hitters I rarely have to do much, for caster's I find ways of increasing HP's, through spells, potions/scrolls etc.

The extra feats on the higher level characters are adjusted in this order.

1) replecate any lost ability or feat due to changes in class
2) improve the creature to make its threat appropriate to the spirit of the story and encounter
3) increase its effectiveness at the job it is trying to do in the overall story
or if none of those things are needed
4) increase the survivability and thus the toughness of the encounter. The last option is usually the toughness feat though I have only had a couple of creatures where I have added that.

Skill consolidation has left me with extra skill points to add to a character and I try to follow a similar path as the feats, though if I get all the way down to #4 then I just don't bother adding more skills. Rogues with a short life span really don't need to worry about what craft skill they take or clerics with Swim skill underground near no water are pretty pointless...

An example of what I mean. The cleric we are talking about in the last encounter. She had, in 3.5 umm...spoiler alert

Spoiler:

She had recieved Weapon Prof Scythe and Weap Focus Scythe for free. Well, the weapon focus is not an option in the Beta but all clerics recieve Weapon Prof in their god's weapon. So I used the extra feat she recieved to give her back Weapon Focus. She had a large collection of skills, many of which consolidated. After taking care of the consolidation then adding the extra skill point for favored class (We use 1hp AND 1 skill point per level for favored classes) she had 3 or 4 skill points per level (9 so a total of 36). She had already had Spellcraft jacked up and she had Spot and Listen IIRC. So I added a knowledge or two just in case something bizzare came up and just dumped the last set of skill points. Skill points are so cheap now that I could easily see giving up the extra one for favored class and even the fighter types would say they weren't sure what to do with the extra skills now.


@Warmaster

Spoiler:

Our group was really melee heavy, even the cleric was melee so the SR didn't even come up for us I don't think. Between his enlarges and the barbarians potion of enlarge and my monk/psiwar with expand, there was hardly a place for it to go with out provoking an attack if it wanted to use the bow. I want to say it used its breath weapon right away and one person out of the two that were in the area (we were spread out from approaching the clerics) didn't make the save so we knew it had the potential to be nasty and it lingered around so we had to disperse around the room somewhat (which was actually a good thing, as we ended up with cover). I believe at that point the cleric blew his last or second last turning attempt as we had been still beaten up from the fight before. I know I was barely breaking the DR (normal sized and average rolls) but the barbarian was taking chunks out at a time when he hit (power attack and rage points even with the sickened condition). I want to also say that combat lasted long enough for the beastie to get another breath weapon off but honestly at that point it was just a matter of time as it was basically cornered and provoking attacks from the barbarian was a bad idea. It was left with claws and such which wasn't really a strong point, it could hit but the damage wasn't great, the other person who was sickened just stayed behind the barbarian and used a wand of cure light wounds on him. I also want to say that it had some sort of aura which we read and were like "that is really cool" but it didn't seem to affect the combat much. As for the the encounter, the daemon was not bad for the CR - we used alot of resources to get through it (maybe even an unconscious or two), my complaint was more that it couldn't live up to its potential and that it probably should have had a lower CR by one or two because of it. Even in the Paizo AP's there have been encounters that have been given a higher CR because of terrain, but you hardly see ones where the opposite is true. Granted I'm sure our party composition made a big difference there is no doubt. It is that fine line of balance in the CR that is so dependent on so many factors and so hard to quantify in the numbers game.

My apologies on the CMB, that's what I get for being up all night for work and posting while tired. With the current rules PFRPG does seem to be pushing the STR as the stat of choice for combat actions, I think it is an attempt at making those combat actions more of a "fighter" thing (with other posibilities - the monk, the agile feat) that wasn't completely thought out. And while I like the current rules I will be the first to admit that they have made the combat actions harder to pull of for all involved (monsters are feeling it heavily as well) and fully expect them to be retooled in the final version.

As for mooks, don't get me wrong I don't mind them being killed off easily, my issue is more at the beginning levels where they only have 1 or 2 HD and should be a significant threat and aren't. Also for the record our group tends to have higher base stats, we have used the 4d6 & drop the lowest for years in our campaign as well. A more recent trend has been 4d6 reroll 1's and drop the lowest. This was started as the main DM had not been having time to work on the campaign and we ended up doing a round robin type game with published adventures, many of which were of the lower/mid levels, and they were having a high body count. It has just kinda stuck ever since. At lower levels stats have much more of an impact and it seemed to help with the survival of the characters without seriously changing the balance at the time. Now with the PFRPG power ups it probably isn't needed/is making more of a difference, but it is less a hassle to tweak the npc's than to take something away from the PC's (Sorry guys you can now get stuck with 1's on your stats - moaning, groaning, complaining commences) that they are accustomed to or feel entitled to lol.

With the skill consolidation I agree, there seems to be too many points at times (We had someone take craft basket weaving because they had taken pretty much everything they wanted over 3 levels of rogue with a decent INT score). Though our party has really taken to the favored class +1 hit point or +1 skill point rule. With the bump to the lower HD's with just the +1 hp it was kinda like "Wow, great.../sarcasm" as it wasn't as useful to everyone.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Your point on stats reminded me that this party also has had the best set of stats across the board that I have seen in at least 5-10 years. Only one player is playing with lesser stats than they are used to, a few had such good stats that they could have played a different character class with just their dump stats. I use the 4d6 drop the lowest. I don't mind characters that have above or below pc avg. If you play 3 or more campaigns it usually works out in the end. Some of my favorite characters over the years had some of the worst stats.

The extra high stats didn't help the power boost. Over all though, the story is far more important than the difficulty or ease of the combats. Someone mentioned that they hadn't gone below 50% of their hp's but it felt like they always were in danger anyway. That's the key. Get that addrenaline up! :)


You know...looking around the table, the stats are wicked high in this group. Strange that it happened all at once like that. Especially considering our rolling method while liberal is far from the most lax I have seen. Usually there is one " MVP " in the party and everybody else are standard players. I dont have my character sheet Handy, but I am pretty sure I have nothing lower than a 12, and that is not uncommon this time around.


Oh, I agree that the story is most important. And that is what kinda got me hooked on the Pathfinder AP's. With the announcement of 4E from Wizards we were all kinda put out I guess, I know I wasn't looking forward to switching over from what I saw about 4E, so I started looking around. I bought the first 2 of the RotRL books and I absolutely loved how much there was to it. As a DM I [/i]enjoyed[/i] reading through the adventure and there were things going on in the backstory that the characters might not even run into necessarily. After were called it quits on that AP (we got about half way there too) I passed them around for the players to read just so they could see everything. I started my subscription after that, at worst they were worth reading even if we never ran them lol.

As for the stats it probably makes a difference with the number of players too. With a smaller group there might be more of a need for 1 person to do multiple things or take on multiple roles and the higher stats help in that respect. That and a melee damage dealer with an 18 str and 2Her will be doing a minimum of damage every swing that pretty much takes out most of the average CR 1-2 creatures (seeing as most humanoids sit around 4-8 hp by the book), so our combats at low levels tend to be over pretty quick if they are the vanilla "walk into the area and encounter begins" that a lot of adventures have. With our stat creation, that is pretty much a given every game, as it seems most of us favor either a physical combat types or at least combat capable casters (cleric, druid or bard) for when spells run out.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

So, this past sunday we returned to our COTCT campaign with a few changes. Due to a RL situation the Sword and Board Fighter and the 1/2ling mover and shaker Sorcerer will no longer be able to join us. We redistributed equipment and magic within the party before proceeding on with the adventure from where we left off. Spoiler here

Spoiler:
The party had defeated Lady Andaisin the previous session and she had just begun to transform when we broke for the day. So the party regrouped, I gave them all a round to do what they wanted before she coalesced into the Daughter of Urgathoa.

The Large undead was hefty in HP's but the party wore it down. It was another flying creature causing more frustration with flyers, however with some patience the party worked out a few ways to do damage. Also the Cleric's Channel Energy was successful (I rolled a 2. It only needed a 3+ and I rolled a 2 what are you going to do? Sometimes luck happens) Over all the fight was easier than the party thought it was going to be judging from their reactions leading up to the fight and their discussions afterwards. The ease was partly in the fact that the party while tapped of most spells and having only 1 channeling left, still had most of their HP's.

They are now a Barbarian, Ranger/Rogue, and Straight Rogue combo for front linning and a Straight Cleric and Sorcerer for backlinning. The front line work hard as a group to flank, the barbarian spends as much energy trying to flank as the Rogue's do. The Sneak Attack Damage on Undead also helped here. The damage output is quite astonnishing with this party. The Barbarian routinely drops 25+ on a hit, The Ranger/Rogue can drop that and gets several attacks (albeit more situationally) and the straight rogue is in that ball park and the one of those three with the most upside in damage growth. In the Back, the Cleric's Healing ability is quite impressive. We realized he had hardly touched his wand of Cure Mod. The party has more Potions of Cure Mod than I have ever seen. The Sorcerer will be dropping in tons of damage with his bow and spells soon. Of that I have no doubt.

After the Undead Fight the party rested. They then moved to the last room of the place, where they found... you didn't think i would forget to spoiler this did you?

Spoiler:

Ramoska the Nosferatu. What a cool build this is. I like the Nosferatu even better than Vampire from MM and I like Vampire. The party oppened the door to peak in and, of course, the room is completely dark so Ramoska notices the light comming in. Rogue and Nosferatu stare at each other for a moment.

Ramoska says, "Yes? Can I help you?" (as in can I help you to the grave?)
The rogue says, "Probably, all your friends are dead so you can come tell the guard what you and your people have been doing down here"
Ramoska replied, "I have no friends here..."
"Well then you can just tell them what was going on here"
"That is the one thing that I can assure you is not an option."
The Rogue then shrugs and says, "Ok then...let's roll initiative"

Quite a nice civilized way to start a fight don't you think?

A note here about Ramoska. When I updated his stats to PF I gave him the universalist specialization.

So we have an intelligent undead with levels of Wizard.
he was able to quick cast Invis and Shield right out of the gate. He then spent a few rounds buffing and moving invisibly while the party tried to find him. He then went on to attack (and become uninvis) using a variety of his spells. Stinking cloud in the room that just happened to be the same size as the area of the spell was evil (note his alignment is actually evil so it was fitting) Since he was immune to the spell's effects the party was not. It just seemed to be the right spell for the time. Hold person on the cleric was a nice touch even if it only lasted 1 round. The Lightning bolt near the end frustrated a few pc's. However. the Fight lasted to short a time to employ all of the other cool effects he had up his sleeves.

At this point the party went and told Cressida Kroft about what was going on there. She dispatched some guards to "Look into it". At this point we had a couple of hours left in the day but we had some book keeping to do. With the loss of a couple of characters and a lot of loot found it was time to clean up the treasure. I keep a list of all MW and better items in the party. That list before selling was 3 pages of stuff. After selling and such the list is less than a page. As you can imagine it took some time to go through all that. The party will be much better equipped and probably more streamlined when we pick up again in a couple of weeks.

The end of the adventure also brought with it enough ad hoc exp to level all but the Barbarian (who is a bit behind having missed a couple of sessions) So now the party are all 7th level except for the barbarian who is 6th. The next Module is for 8th level PC's, however with an extra and some extra loot that they have accumulated (Not to mention these Characters are Power level wise a level to a level and a half higher than 3.5 versions) I am not concerned about the level difference. I will update the party next time, as the leveling and purchasing of equipment has not happened yet.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Brutesquad07,

I enjoy giving my players chances to earn little perks for good roleplaying and have experimented several times with something similar to your Fate Points. If you don't mind, could you share what you have written down?

My email is shinwonmoon@hotmail.com

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

No prob. Sent it off, let me know if you don't get it.


Yeah...round two with the priestess was a good deal less bumpy for the party than round one. I strongly suspect if we had a party of 4 as designed, this encounter could have resulted in a couple of PC deaths when considered as a whole. Rarely does a party at 6th level have the ability to handle Invisibility and or flight, and if we did not have the extra pc's on the first go around to even out the damage via providing multiple targets we would have been in far worse shape for the second.

I really liked the Nosferatu, he had the creepy silent film era look, and was a fun encounter. I would have liked it to last a touch longer to have gotten a look at a few more of his abilities, but the numbers we had to bring to bear in a small room like that made life tough for him. If we had let him out of the room he probably could have pushed us a good bit harder as it took us several rounds to find him with invisibility up in just the small room and he got several buffs up in that time. Sure he was going to pop visible when he attacked, but we probably made him " go to guns " a good bit earlier than he would have prefered.

On a whole what I am seeing is that this party cranks out an amazing amount of damage. But we have very few solutions to alot of strategic problems that spell caster in particular frequently present. Usually we have somebody who plays a problem solver, often an arcane caster and frequently a bard who employs alot of utility spells. Since he went cleric this time we are seeing some struggles that many parties might breeze through. It is fun to come up with interesting solutions that many wouldnt have too, in order to get bye, but I can help but wonder how long we are going to make it before we are presented with something simply being clever wont over come.


WarmasterSpike wrote:
But we have very few solutions to alot of strategic problems that spell caster in particular frequently present. Usually we have somebody who plays a problem solver, often an arcane caster and frequently a bard who employs alot of utility spells. Since he went cleric this time we are seeing some struggles that many parties might breeze through.

Not my job, or the job description that I was given when I signed up for the arcane caster position. "We need an arcane caster who can Identify." This is what I built. I played the "utility guy" 'last' campaign via a Druid/Wizard. (Enlarge, Grease, Gust of Wind, Entangle, Animate Rope, Arcane Lock, Bull's*, Bear's*, Cat's*, etc.) I have decided to purchase a few "utility" wands, prior to reading this, but don't expect 'Mystic Theurge' quality responses.


CELESTIAL SORCERER(ARISTOCRAT) "LEVEL 7(+1)" SPELL LIST
Zero Level:
Dancing Lights
Detect Magic
Ghost Sound
Mage Hand
Message
Ray of Frost
Read Magic

First Level:
Color Spray
Ebon Eyes (SPC pg. 77)
Magic Missile
Shield
True Strike
Bless (Bloodline Bonus)

Second Level:
Blast of Force (SPC pg. 31)
Rainbow Beam (SPC pg. 165)
Whirling Blade (SPC pg. 238)
Resist Energy (Bloodline Bonus)

Third Level:
Chain Missile (SPC pg. 44)
Rainbow Blast (SPC pg. 165)
Magic Circle vs. Evil (Bloodline Bonus)

We have a magical Harrow Deck which can cast 'Identify' x3/Day, so I have no need to have it on my list. The deck is used as backup when my Appraise via 'Detect Magic' with a +14 Appraise check(8 ranks, +3 Int, +3 class-skill). isn't enough or I have bad rolls.


I found this PICTURE which I believe is from the Ninja Gaiden series, but it reminded me of Altair, our Rogue Chain-Fighter. At the very least the miniature he has chosen to represent his character, since he isn't necessarily a ninja by class.


Definitley wish there was a service that created custom minis from pictures...that is pretty much exactly what I wanted my mini to look like. It isnt the first time I have seen a picture, or drawn one for that matter that better represents the idea behind my character than the mini I eventually settle for. I am cursed with a lack of ability in three dimension...want me to draw your character sure, sculpt it awww helllss naaaw.

I wasnt intending to imply you or anyone should change their character to compensate, just an observation that there may be some rough times ahead. I too think I am going to dredge the depths for some utility items when I spend our new found loot, as opposed to the usual stat boosters and weapon upgrades that are commonly picked up by rogues. The corsair eye patch and some boots of levitation are sounding pretty like solid investments.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Without giving anything away, here is a list of things that I like to accumulate when I play for my character/party. Of course which of the potion/scroll/wands choices you get depends on your taste, cash and abilities. You need a good UMD for some of it or just be a caster of course. As a caster I like to keep my head full of general use stuff and my pockets full of situational stuff. *’s are stuff that aren’t a high priority or I rarely get more than 1 of (and still don’t always use) And obviously some things makes other stuff not necessary.

Potion/Scroll/Wand’s Cost of Potion/Scroll(wands are more complicated)

Hide from Animals * 50/25
Hide from Undead * 50/25
Invisibility 300/150
Lesser Restoration 300/150
Remove Paralysis 300/150
See Invis 300/150
Spider Climb 300/150
Fly 750/375
Remove Blindness/Deafness * 750/325

Also
Silversheen * 250
(magic AND silver solution)
Rope of Climbing 3000
Helm of Comprehend Lang 5200

There are several others also, but this is the short list.


Brutesquad07 wrote:

Sword and Board Fighter. I don’t have my notes to report what feat she chose. I will point out that after the current dungeon the party is in is over I’ll be offering the entire party (with a little emphasis on this character) a respec of feats and skills. Just a pause and a chance to fix things up and...

Thanks for the insights into your game experiences. It mirrors our own experiences somewhat w.r.t. sword and board.

I'm playing a sword and board paladin through AoW and thought I'd try a defender archetype as we had a barbarian/fighter on damage duty. So of course I didn't expect to match damage outputbut I was hoping to do better in the defence stats that what I have been. Our DM's WotC dice always seem to roll high anyway (and we joked that they're built that way 8-) but when we leveled up I started looking at some of the math.

At CR 12 I recall 3 out of the 5 critters in the MM would hit on 2+ at AC 28 as their attack bonus was high enough, only the roper and another critter were lower at about +13-15 or thereabouts. I also checked out CR 10, 11 and 13 and there seemed to be a lot of high bonues to attack also. So, I checked out the designing monsters part of the MM to find that the recommended total attack bonus should be aimed at CR x 1.5 +2, so CR 12 = +20 (note this is total attack and not just BAB). I have copies of Dungeon with the adventures we're playing and an awful lof those critters also seem to hit far about their CR. Some even have ACs that far exceed the MM's advice of CR +13. So are the designers ignoring their own guidelines? If so, why? As others have pointed out AC is hard to buff high enough, my paladin can get AC up to about 35ish with Divine Shield (CW) in exchange for not attacking for a round but the critters still hit me on 8+ or thereabouts. No use to me when our DM seems to roll 15+ a lot!

Perhaps the feats and items are okay for sword and board, just designers appear to ignore the guidelines for monster total attack bonuses? I'd be really interested to hear about problems with the guidelines and unhittable PCs because I'm having some trouble finding them.

Cheers
Mark


Mucus von Spidtle wrote:

Thanks for the insights into your game experiences. It mirrors our own experiences somewhat w.r.t. sword and board.

I'm playing a sword and board paladin through AoW and thought I'd try a defender archetype as we had a barbarian/fighter on damage duty. So of course I didn't expect to match damage outputbut I was hoping to do better in the defence stats that what I have been. Our DM's WotC dice always seem to roll high anyway (and we joked that they're built that way 8-) but when we leveled up I started looking at some of the math.
At CR 12 I recall 3 out of the 5 critters in the MM would hit on 2+ at AC 28 as their attack bonus was high enough, only the roper and another critter were lower at about +13-15 or thereabouts. I also checked out CR 10, 11 and 13 and there seemed to be a lot of high bonues to attack also. So, I checked out the designing monsters part of the MM to find that the recommended total attack bonus should be aimed at CR x 1.5 +2, so CR 12 = +20 (note this is total attack and not just BAB). I have copies of Dungeon with the adventures we're playing and an awful lof those critters also seem to hit far about their CR. Some even have ACs that far exceed the MM's advice of CR +13. So are the designers ignoring their own guidelines? If so, why? As others have pointed out AC is hard to buff high enough, my paladin can get AC up to about 35ish with Divine Shield (CW) in exchange for not attacking for a round but the critters still hit me on 8+ or thereabouts. No use to me when our DM seems to roll 15+ a lot!
Perhaps the feats and items are okay for sword and board, just designers appear to ignore the guidelines for monster total attack bonuses? I'd be really interested to hear about problems with the guidelines and unhittable PCs because I'm having some trouble finding them.

Right off the bat, your DM's good rolls have nothing to do with the game balance unfortunately (it is just good luck on the DM's side or bad luck on your side depending on how you look at it lol). The dice are a means to give a variance on things, to make sure that there is a chance to always succeed, or not, depending on the roll(attacks, saves, things of that sort) no matter how low or high your bonus. If the DM is consistently hitting 15's or higher, ask him to use another set lol (or steal them!). If it still happens with another set, I would just accept that it is going to be a rough ride and make the best of it ;)

A few things when it comes to the "guidelines" and creating monsters. Probably the most significant one is that a lot of monsters have been converted and ported over from previous editions (when you are talking MM's), that means there are expectations to be met (this monster encountered at this level range, this monster performs this way - and as such will have appropriate stats, etc). Characters changed over to 3.xE tended to lose quite a bit in the "power" aspect as well. Now assuming things are even, those same monsters got weaker, they now have become less challenging and don't perform like they are expected to. They have to be buffed and tweaked to get them back to where they should be in the previous edition.
The second thing is that the monsters were tried and tested (or at least the expectation/understanding is they should have been) and because of this they can be more finely tuned while still being at the appropriate CR but being further from the guidelines. When you build a monster from scratch with X, Y, and Z abilities you may have a rough understanding but until you actually use it in a wide variety of encounters you can't really know how it stacks up in reality (vs. your view of the way things should be) and where to place it in the CR range. Also everyone's views are different, what you say is a CR7 might be someone elses CR9+ or CR6- (Heck look at Paizo and some of the forums on the AP's they have put out, there are at least a handful of encounters that are considered too tough for the CR/EL they are listed as).
That is just using base stats or abilities, now factor in environments, how abilities interact with each other, gear, party composition, basically things that are pretty much impossible to predict but can have a huge impact on the CR and aren't "built in" to the monster. A flying creature who is stuck in a low ceiling cave should lose an appropriate amount of CR but it doesn't because generally the potential to fly is there. Also there there are monsters that will be at the high end and low end of a CR score, some monsters are just tougher than others at the same level. If everything was dictated by the "guidelines" you would just end up with variations on the same monster at a specific CR for all intents and purposes and that would be pretty boring in the long run.
Another thing to keep in mind is monsters are generally "one off" type encounters, you run into them once not the same one repeatedly and usually it is the 1 creature versus the entire party. To be a challenge it needs a great deal more than a PC would need to compensate.

As for AC being hard to buff, I completely disagree (and covered it earlier in the post to a certain extent). We have only had one player in all of our gaming group community who complained about that and our DM and I sat down and ran through the math with him (we both had different reasons for disagreeing lol). It isn't that it is hard to do, it is that you have to make the choice and sacrifice other options to do it. For the amount of gold you spend on a +10 weapon you can get +20 to armor and shield bonuses, not all of that will go to AC but you can get the majority to it by choosing the abilities that increase your max DEX modifier and things that promote it in a round about way. Then there are things like fortification (which is actually generally a waste if you are doing a really high AC character, better for a lower AC) or something that gives you concealment (which is better than a straight AC buff, two chances to miss instead of just one). Number wise it is very easy to get a 32 AC (Full plate +5, Tower shield +5 ends up 10+13+9) before getting into deflection and other bonuses from feats or class or going defensive fighting/total defense. I know our normal DM had a build for high AC that he has been updating throughout the 3.X edition and I want to say the ones I have seen posted online are usually some combination of swashbuckler (who doesn't really rely on armor, INT and DEX I think) and cleric/monk (who uses the WIS synergy along with DEX again), I'm sure if you are really interested a quick search of the web will get you a few things so you can take a look at them. The other thing to keep in mind is that you can never get your AC high enough to not be hit (which is actually a good thing). A roll of 20 always hits no matter what.
End result was that player sat back and agreed he really couldn't complain about it anymore with the exception of "I don't like to play characters like that." Which ends up being a personal choice, not that it can't be done, it just can't be done the way you want to do it.

I'm pretty sure from previous posts that we all agree S&B needs something, the problem is what. Just because a character picks up and sword and shield doesn't entitle them to having uber-AC in my mind, they should have to work at getting to a point where even the BBEG of equivalent level has to roll a 20 most of the time. I am against just plain +'s to AC and would favor more tactical solutions so the S&B'er can perform its job more effectively, not the 95% un hittable defender. Which probably leads to the biggest issue in a 20th level fighters career (in my opinion anyways), lack of enough useful feats. Having a lot of feats is great, it is just everyone else is getting more too now, which to me detracts from the fighter in a way. Couple that with the lack of any sort of real "high level" fighter feats and you end up with more slots than useful feats to choose out of core.

@Brutesquad's group, I'm sorry to hear about the loss of two players, it always sucks when that happens. Hopefully it wasn't anything too serious and they will be back soon! I also look forward to hearing what happens in the rest of the adventure as you are definitely further than we got at this point ;( Hopefully this post doesn't get eaten too, over the last week 3 posts have been lost and it is starting to annoy me lol.


NICE BOOK!!

Skylancer4 wrote:


If the DM is consistently hitting 15's or higher, ask him to use another set lol (or steal them!)

Brutesquad07 and I have been in a game with this sort of situation, except the DM was consistantly confirming crits on a level 2 party. The DM's wife asked him to switch dice, he did not. I'm personally not a big fan of "Party Wipe", which is what resulted, but apparently I'm just stupid and that was suppose to be fun.

Skylancer4 wrote:


now factor in environments, how abilities interact with each other, gear, party composition, basically things that are pretty much impossible to predict but can have a huge impact on the CR and aren't "built in" to the monster

Impossible for a module writer/designer to predict maybe, but an experienced DM should adjust the encounters accordingly. This is a very common problem in modules, the CR's almost never reflect the environmental effects or potential traps lurking about(ex: pit trap).

Skylancer4 wrote:


For the amount of gold you spend on a +10 weapon you can get +20 to armor and shield bonuses...

That's assuming you spend all your money on AC only, which IMO makes for a pretty damn dull character. Gawd forbid your arcane caster creates a golem or gets Wall spells, Iron Body, Body of War, etc. You just got replaced!

Skylancer4 wrote:
I'm sorry to hear about the loss of two players, it always sucks when that happens. Hopefully it wasn't anything too serious and they will be back soon!

The situation with our 2 players leaving is permanent and the circumstances involved are unrelated to the actual game itself. 'Nuff said.

Skylancer4 wrote:
(Hopefully this post doesn't get eaten too, over the last week 3 posts have been lost and it is starting to annoy me lol.)

Write what you want to say in notepad or msword first, then paste it into the wonderful Paizo message board system. Or do what I do and copy (control+C) your text before hitting the sumbit button, that way all you have to do is paste(control+v) it when you get back to the now empty window.


On the never ending S&B drama..... I think most of us dont have a huge problem with the numbers in terms of attaining a decent AC, though there could be some more perks to heavy armor and shield considering good dex wipes the floor with heavy armor everytime. I think the real issue for our party is that there needs to be a solid feat tree, in the core rules that allows you to bring that A.C. to bear in a meaningful way. The best suggestions seem to be a way to take the hit by interposing physically or some sort of taunt mechanic that draws attention at you. There are smatterings of these ideas in splat books but they need to be made core and they need to be on equal power level to the other builds,with a full and robust feat tree like 2 hander, dual weapon, missle weapon etc...


Daniel Moyer wrote:
NICE BOOK!!

I hope that wasn't sarcasm >.>; But yeah, I know when writing I tend to "cover my bases." I blame it on growing up with an English teacher and being stuck at work on days with nothing going on... Here is Book II!

Daniel Moyer wrote:


Brutesquad07 and I have been in a game with this sort of situation, except the DM was consistantly confirming crits on a level 2 party. The DM's wife asked him to switch dice, he did not. I'm personally not a big fan of "Party Wipe", which is what resulted, but apparently I'm just stupid and that was suppose to be fun.

I'm of varying opinions on things like this (depends on circumstances), if you were rolling well would you want to stop using your dice? I know I wouldn't. And getting good rolls isn't the DM saying "I want to party wipe" it is good luck. Death and dismemberment are part of being an adventurer, it is just more fun when you are on the giving end rather than the receiving end. If the DM is getting good rolls the streak will end at some point, they should be able to enjoy it just as much as a player will. Our normal GM typically rolls in the open as do I when I GM, however if one of the players has something that would have made a significant difference ("Oh yeah, I had this thingy from when we played 3 weeks ago!") after a really bad round we have gone and done a "redo" of the round before. If we did our best and got beat down, we reroll and start the adventure from roughly the same point (depends on the game how to get everyones characters back in). I for one am never going to complain about good rolls regardless of the outcome, everyone deserves them. As my cousin has said "Quit your b!tch!ng and if you don't want to ever lose go play WoW." Crude, but it got the point across on several levels.

Daniel Moyer wrote:

Impossible for a module writer/designer to predict maybe, but an experienced DM should adjust the encounters accordingly. This is a very common problem in modules, the CR's almost never reflect the environmental effects or potential traps lurking about(ex: pit trap).

The guidelines are generally there for people who don't have the experience and who might not know and whose judgement might be in question. And then there are even times when those that should know get it wrong (my comment about certain Paizo AP encounters, and I think only 1 was what should be classified as "impossible" the others were "rough"). It is going to be human/gamer nature when making something up from scratch to probably overcompensate or give it too much and to that point I'm sure the guidelines are probably on the "low" end of things. I would think they were written with the expectation of someone with wide eyes going "ohh shiney!" when making that monster lol. I think the CR system implementation was a good thing, the only problem being you can't quantify so many of the things that influence the score in a simple system. It also placed CR's on traps, but those sometimes bug me. I get how much XP because I made a 5' jump after the Rogue said there was a trap there? It is a fine line, but I don't think full XP should be rewarded sometimes depending on how you "dealth with" a trap.

Daniel Moyer wrote:


That's assuming you spend all your money on AC only, which IMO makes for a pretty damn dull character. Gawd forbid your arcane caster creates a golem or gets Wall spells, Iron Body, Body of War, etc. You just got replaced!

Well, chances are if your caster isn't playing like a moron, at high levels you're close to being replaceable as a fighter anyways... A golem or even a simple summon X spell could take your place, just might not be as effective as the PC build, but sometimes it might be more effective. For all of the reasons I posted before and then some, building and being a defensive character is a "dull character." Being a character built on not being hit via armor and shield is not a glamorous life. It is also why our one person who objected said "I don't like to play characters like that." Just because you (in a general sense) don't like it or think it should be different than it is doesn't make it any less viable, it is just our opinion on things. As WarmasterSpike posted after you, a decent feat tree is all that needs to be implemented. Things like Stand Still that give a defensive character an active role gives a new perspective on the dull character. Just giving more AC doesn't solve the problem, any non intelligent creature would give up after a couple of rounds (or less) and move on to less difficult prey. A Taunt mechanism would be too difficult/complicated to make not broken in all likelihood. Npc's generally have little "free will" so to speak and any GM who uses an appropriate amount of intelligence or cunning when running them would probably be labeled a "Killer GM" and have lots of party wipes. Any ability that forces an opponent to attack a specific PC is a bad idea and needs to be be seriously seriously considered and because of its potential will probably end up being not worth it by the time enough precautions and exceptions are put in. This kinda leaves tactical fighting as the best route (at least in my opinion) as the fighters class strength is basically measured in feats. Things like a feat that makes fighters tactical area count as 1 size larger (so people can't tumble past/through) or one that allows for AoO against creatures who are tumbling regardless are feats I would take with little hesitation. They aren't broken and they aren't so circumstantial that I'd worry about getting some mileage out of them as I level up. They are also basically "counters" to a lot of the "action denial methods" fighters see constantly used against them which were basically buffed in the PFRPG incarnation.

Daniel Moyer wrote:
Write what you want to say in notepad or msword first, then paste it into the wonderful Paizo message board system. Or do what I do and copy (control+C) your text before hitting the sumbit button, that way all you have to do is paste(control+v) it when you get back to the now empty window.

I normally post from work and that is what I do there as the "work around" for all the blocks on the network ends up being kinda intermittent (times out every once in awhile). But until this last 2 weeks I never had a problem from home (where I lost the posts recently) which is where the annoyance/irritation came in lol.

EDIT: /sigh as I sit here now pasting my post in from notepad...


Skylancer4 wrote:
Daniel Moyer wrote:
NICE BOOK!!
I hope that wasn't sarcasm >.>; But yeah, I know when writing I tend to "cover my bases." I blame it on growing up with an English teacher and being stuck at work on days with nothing going on... Here is Book II!

Sarcasm? What sarcasm? :D Yay! Book II, it's like shopping for WotC products!

Skylancer4 wrote:


If we did our best and got beat down, we reroll and start the adventure from roughly the same point.

I'm sorry, but I'm sticking to my guns on this one. I play to have fun, not re-roll new level 2 characters every other Saturday or make "Bob the Fighter II-XI". A DM is not there to win at all costs, A DM is suppose to provide a challenge. Rolling dice that excessively crit, despite being asked to switch is not a challenge, it's unfriendly. I guarantee that if everyone brought their own dice to a game of Sorry(Monopoly, etc.) & someone brought dice that consistantly rolled double 6s, he/she would be forced to use different dice by the entire table due to suspcion of cheating(loaded dice).

Skylancer4 wrote:


For all of the reasons I posted before and then some, building and being a defensive character is a "dull character." Being a character built on not being hit via armor and shield is not a glamorous life.

I tend to like a character with a higher chance of survivability personally. It is fun being the "heavy hitter", but I have had that get old as well, most clerics grow bored of being your personal physician. (Note: Attack is consistantly increasing, while AC only increases when you throw gold/magic at it.)

Skylancer4 wrote:


EDIT: /sigh as I sit here now pasting my post in from notepad...

*laughing*


Daniel Moyer wrote:
I'm sorry, but I'm sticking to my guns on this one. I play to have fun, not re-roll new level 2 characters every other Saturday or make "Bob the Fighter II-XI". A DM is not there to win at all costs, A DM is suppose to provide a challenge. Rolling dice that excessively crit, despite being asked to switch is not a challenge, it's unfriendly. I guarantee that if everyone brought their own dice to a game of Sorry(Monopoly, etc.) & someone brought dice that consistantly rolled double 6s, he/she would be forced to use different dice by the entire table due to suspcion of cheating(loaded dice).

No need to stick to your guns lol. There are shades of things, especially something like this, the monopoly thing is completely on. But when I see my DM roll the same dice session to session and know for a fact that they aren't loaded from the crappy streak he had two weeks ago... There can't be a complaint, the dice are "with you" or they aren't. It isn't a case of the DM winning "at all costs" it just so happens things didn't go "your" way. If it happens one session, "shucks." If it happens two sessions, "damn that sucks." Third session I'm going to be suspicious obviously, if it happens more than that I'd be wary and concerned obviously but I'd deal with that if it ever happened as it hasn't. If you are truly worried about loaded dice chances are there are some serious trust issues in the gaming group that should probably be worked on too lol.

But yes we play to have fun, sometimes that fun is getting your a$$ kicked. If the game is mostly "safe" no matter how challenging, it isn't fun for me. If things go south, they should follow their course, they shouldn't get some backstage help from the DM, some possible fudged rolls, or most of the suggestions given to keep a party going when things aren't going the PC's way. Rerolling characters every adventure is significantly different from losing characters due to a streak on the DM's side. Where do you think all the X level retired adventurer inn keepers come from, almost TPK's lol?! If you die one week from bad rolls, the next week from a stupid player doing something well... stupid, and the week after that just happens to be a really tough encounter **cough**clocktower**cough** it completely sucks but they are totally unrelated in the end and could have just as easily happened every 7 adventures/sessions. As a player it is hard to swallow if it happens, but it isn't cause for concern and if you understand that, it isn't any less fun.

Daniel Moyer wrote:
I tend to like a character with a higher chance of survivability personally. It is fun being the "heavy hitter", but I have had that get old as well, most clerics grow bored of being your personal physician. (Note: Attack is consistantly increasing, while AC only increases when you throw gold/magic at it.)

Survivability can be from many different things in game. I mean even being a "heavy hitter" who kills someone fast before they can do significant damage to you is a "survivable" character. My two most "survivable" characters had nothing to do with AC, I mean they had comparable AC to the others, but it was definitely not one of the things that was focused on. As for your note, if you could "buy" attack in a comparable amount to AC the game would have to be very different, if it weren't casters would be without a doubt broken in horrible way lol. Because it is available to everyone (AC) is what balances it all out, only the "main combat" characters got the good attack progression. Also in the new PFRPG rules a fighter leveling up does increase their AC now as well as negating some max DEX and armor check penalty (4 to all of them by 15th) which ends up with an additional +8 AC bump. With the additional to hit and damage, that frees up quite a bit of money to be used other places for a fighter (on an aside it is 50k to max out your armor & shield via enhancement, with the fighter bonuses you wouldn't even need the enhancements to negate DEX penalty, far from all your money - 49k at 10th & 66k at 11th level by the wealth limits in the DMG). All that doesn't make up for the power difference between fighters and core casters as far as I'm concerned but it isn't insignificant by any means (I was quite happy with that change, if still a little underwhelmed with the lack of other options/additions when I saw it to be honest).

Daniel Moyer wrote:
*laughing*

T.T At least someone is getting a laugh out of it.


In the case Dan is refering to that particular DM had a bit of a weakness for trying to beat his players. He ran a mod with a me -vs- the party mentality. I think the dice rolling may have just highlighted that fact all the more.


WarmasterSpike wrote:
In the case Dan is refering to that particular DM had a bit of a weakness for trying to beat his players. He ran a mod with a me -vs- the party mentality. I think the dice rolling may have just highlighted that fact all the more.

Yup, Warmaster Spike is spot on. Don't get me wrong, I was having fun, until it seemed the DM could care less that he was obliterating the party with his "good" dice.

The example I used wasn't to say that he was cheating via loaded dice, but more so that after awhile no one would want to continually play with someone who brought exceptionally "good" dice to a game, least of all a game where the exceptional good dice end said game rapidly and repeatedly.

We had to wait for him to receive the next module(in the series) and I told him I would be there and we never played again OR I got "ninja-uninvited", but whatever works... I was willing to continue. Life goes on.


Skylancer4 wrote:
Survivability can be from many different things in game. I mean even being a "heavy hitter" who kills someone fast before they can do significant damage to you is a "survivable" character. My two most "survivable" characters had nothing to do with AC, I mean they had comparable AC to the others, but it was definitely not one of the things that was focused on.

I agree, my best survivor was a CG Cleric of Hermes in 2E. Despite his need for speed and danger, he always managed to save himself and/or teammates. Sadly I cannot say the same for his followers. (Ex: Savage land, T-Rex, Lots of rope, Fast run speeds... think "Empire Strikes Back"... failed reflex save, SQUISH! LOL! I never knew they were followers,(until I got told to stop getting them killed) they were usually just insane, unliked hobo-esq(CN rogues) people who would glom onto our party. God of Theieves? No... Speed, Messengers and Athleticism I SAY! Yea, he use to catch dirty looks due his holy symbol, not unlike a halfling who says he's not a rogue, lol.)

Skylancer4 wrote:


Also in the new PFRPG rules a fighter leveling up does increase their AC now as well as negating some max DEX and armor check penalty (4 to all of them by 15th) which ends up with an additional +8 AC bump. With the additional to hit and damage, that frees up quite a bit of money to be used other places for a fighter...

Well with the departing of our S&B Fighter we have no way of gauging these changes anymore, but I can see and thoroughly appreciate what PFRPG has made available for Fighters.

Skylancer4 wrote:


(I was quite happy with that change, if still a little underwhelmed with the lack of other options/additions when I saw it to be honest).

I'm relatively excited to see the finished product come August. Jason has mentioned that he "incorporated a few ideas" from the "shield feats" thread. Probably not a verbatum quote, but close enough for me.

----------------------
I Laugh because I have had to pretty much copy&paste everytime or I would never get a post on these damn boards, and I'm a relatively fast typer being as I do it for a living.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

So we returned to Korvosa this past weekend. Here is what happened. The party is now 7th level (except for the Orc who is still slightly behind but catching up quickly). The first hour or so was taken up with the purchasing of new equipment and updating records. The party had gone a long time without really cleaning out the stuff they had been finding so had earned and sold enough to be able to afford to outfit a small army. All the Primary Weapons are now +2 (the Ranger/Rogue has 2 +2 weapons) The AC’s of the party all improved quite a bit. The rest of the money was spent on fixes. Several wands were purchased, quite a few items to help with seeing invisibility, increasing mobility, increasing flexibility and all around preparing for odd situations were prepared for. The party was given 5 days, which they used to rest up, train up (I don’t use training but I ask the players to use down time to “train”) buy, sell, contact contacts and generally just prepare for future adventures. To the Story and the Spoiler Tag!

Spoiler:

They were a bit miffed when they were purposefully not invited to the queen’s party in celebration of the end of the plague, when they began to hear rumors of the happenings at the party. The story of the Sable Commander’s ending was a bit disturbing, more so when they used Diplomacy (Gather Info) to confirm that, while it was a rumor, it seemed to be true. Then there was a knock on their door. They all rushed to prevent the cleric from answering the door without his pants on as is his custom. (Some people should not be told that the god their cleric worships is a Sex fiend) Cressida Kroft is at the door and wishes to speak with the party. She tells her tale, including the death of her friend the Sable Company Commander. She mentions that Vencarlo has asked for them to come see him.
The party looks at each other and says, “Is that the guy that we didn’t like?”
“Yep that’s him”
“Do we really want to go see him?”
Cressida responds, “He has found out something about the queen, we need to know what it is…”
She drops some more goodies off for them in a bag of holding, the Orc grabs the bag, looks in and sees it’s empty and puts the bag on his head like a hat…Orcs…sheesh

The party devises several plans to get into Old Korvosa and settle on the least expensive and the least complicated (both good reasons). They use water walk at night to cross. There is a patrol boat as they are getting ready, but they succeed in hiding till the boat passes then hustle across into Old Korvosa.

The party is in Old Korvosa deciding on what to do when a patrol of some sort of Gang comes along. The Sorcerer had magiced up everyone’s sight (other than the orc) so they could see in the dark. The rogue sized up the situation and said. Let’s just move. We move faster than they do and they can’t see. So the party hustled away. Some time later, after having dodged several more of the patrols they get to Vencarlo’s Academy to find it burned to the ground. They know his house is next door and note that it is still standing so they go inside. They are checking out the house room by room.

Spoiler:

A fire in the Fire place is lit but otherwise there is no sign of life. No one answers when they call. The party begins to look around, the Orc shrugs and lays on a couch and kicks his feet up enjoying the fire. The Cleric does so as well; the rest of the party begins to move upstairs to check out the second floor. The Cleric decides that he should help out upstairs so starts to go up when the surprise happens. 3 Red Mantis Assassins drop from the ceiling and begin to attack the party.
One on the first floor with the Orc and two on the second with everyone else. I placed them that way assuming that the party would all go upstairs and the 3rd one on the first floor would be able to strike the back of the party. The Orc all by himself was a lucky draw. The mod only had 2 assassins, I added another to help balance and increase the xp as the party is a bit low for the adventure.

So we have the party split, the Orc alone with a sole attacker and the rest of the party with 2 assailants. Let me say at this point, this fight got a lot easier in this first round with 2 rolls, a great roll by the Orc on a will save to keep from being mesmerized by one of these guys powers (it would have resulted in a Coup de Grace from someone you really don’t want to give that kind of attack to) and a botched roll by one of these guys on a will save when the sorcerer dropped a Hold Person off a wand on one of them. So the bad guys move and the Orc saves then the Sorcerer moves and the bad guy doesn’t. This completely changed the fight in a 3rd of a round. The bad guys won’t last 2 rounds after this. The Human hating Ranger/Rogue smacks the moving one around, the straight rogue pulls a scythe and Coup de Graces (8d4+4d6+16=ouch) the held guy, ignoring the Aoo from the other guy. So Round 1 ends with 1 dead assailant, and round 2 will see the other two join the pile. At first glance this fight should have been a lot worse for the party, but then you would expect the Orc to fail his save and 3 rounds later probably be severely injured if not dead, and the rest of the party struggling. But once you remove the flank buddy upstairs and the orc uses his paste maker downstairs the fight is completely different. I was still quite satisfied with the fight.

Spoiler:

So the party says, “Cool another house” they seem to be collecting them. The next day they met a nobleman they had saved in Edge of Anarchy, who tells them a long story involving Vencarlo and an artist Salvator Scream. They go to find this artist and run into another one of the gangs running Old Korvosa. This time they decide to go straight at them rather than back and around. Wow, what a bloody mess they left. They squished the gang quickly and harshly, then dumped their sorry bodies in an abandoned building, figuring it would be a while before anyone found them (probably rightly so). They didn’t just charge in and attack, they traded words with them first, but the gang was obviously more interested in the party going to see the “Emperor of Old Korvosa” than the party was and they were less interested in the party going on their way than the party was.

They found Salvator’s house and inside was a certain Cleric of Zon-Kuthon a Laori who persuaded them to let her join them in search of the Painter. She had a piece of the Seneschal’s Uniform to share, but that just confused the situation more.

That is where we had to leave it for the day, though the Orc caught up to 7th level. Till Next time.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

Just wanted to throw in a quick thank you for this thread :) I've very much enjoyed reading each installment, and seeing how your group handled things in Edge of Anarchy and Seven Days (the next one my group is facing). Lots of fun to watch!


I too really enjoy that Brute takes the time to do this, I know I am in the game but its kinda fun to come on here and share our game with others through rules discusions and such, and without Brute making the effort that wouldnt be possible. Plus I think our group is kind of entertaining so hopefully that comes through in the quips and tangents that Dan and I chime in with.

As to last session, The combat with the assasins was bloody and fast, I could tell it was going to be by the way they opened the first round with gobs of damage. We could not afford to let that fight be a protracted one or we would have been hurting I am sure.

The lack of clues to find Vancarlo were a bit troubling. I prefer when module gives you a few bread crumbs to follow when they confront you with a mystery..but Im sure something will come along and set us on the right path soon enough.

I am starting to embrace my characters role as "point man", I am trying to be proactive in guiding the party through dungeons and in combat etc. Not the leader per say but our group has a tendancy to get a little indecisive so since I am up front any way as the Rogue it seemed natural to just make the discision on whether to sneak, or to kick the door in etc. It sort of fits in with the battle field controller tact I took in the character build with the vexing flanker tree, spiked chain and combat reflexes.

I cant stress enough how much improvement I see in the Rogue. I know some of the changes are going to be rolled back a bit, but I really hope that they keep the current builds for them pretty intact. They are the high water mark for the changes made to the base classes in my opinion and I would really rather see the other classes brought up to their level as opposed to going the route of reverting things closer to 3.5. I understand that balance is important, but I think it can be achieved by making the classes that are lagging behind equally as balanced and versatile.


Brutesquad07 wrote:
The Orc all by himself was a lucky draw.

Ya know, I feel REAL BAD for the NPC/Monster that actually thinks this!

Brutesquad07 wrote:
...a botched roll by one of these guys on a will save when the sorcerer dropped a Hold Person off a wand on one of them.

Well at least I got my moneys worth out of the accidentally overpriced-wand already. All that research I did on wands and making them higher level for difficulty checks... FAIL! LOL! Hold Person(10th) = 10 rounds of saving throws, not DC 20 like Dispel Magic(10th).

Gamer Girrl wrote:
Just wanted to throw in a quick thank you for this thread :) I've very much enjoyed reading each installment, and seeing how your group handled things in Edge of Anarchy and Seven Days (the next one my group is facing). Lots of fun to watch!

Glad to hear it! I hope your group is having as much fun as we are. We have been playing together as a group now for about 3 years I think, that being said we have our fair share of comic relief, usually very unintentional. I'm learning that Orcs in general are pretty funny! And I'm starting to think like the Calistria Cleric(not my character), probably a bad thing being the train of thought involved with that. If you come knocking at our door, look straight ahead(not down) and try not to say anything self-incriminating like..."I've come here to get you." :D

WarMasterSpike wrote:


The lack of clues to find Vancarlo were a bit troubling. I prefer when module gives you a few bread crumbs to follow when they confront you with a mystery..but Im sure something will come along and set us on the right path soon enough.

A portion of this part of the story left me a bit underwhelmed. It felt(feels) like one of those "talkity-talk messenger quests" in an MMO. Go here, go there, go back, put you left leg in and shake... uh yeeeeaaaa.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

Daniel Moyer wrote:
Gamer Girrl wrote:
Just wanted to throw in a quick thank you for this thread :) I've very much enjoyed reading each installment, and seeing how your group handled things in Edge of Anarchy and Seven Days (the next one my group is facing). Lots of fun to watch!
Glad to hear it! I hope your group is having as much fun as we are. We have been playing together as a group now for about 3 years I think, that being said we have our fair share of comic relief, usually very unintentional. I'm learning that Orcs in general are pretty funny! And I'm starting to think like the Calistria Cleric(not my character), probably a bad thing being the train of thought involved with that. If you come knocking at our door, look straight ahead(not down) and try not to say anything self-incriminating like..."I've come here to get you." :D

ROFL!! Must remember that one to share :)

Right now we're playing Second Darkness, then we'll be back to Runelords before I get to torment my group from behind the screen again, but one of my players has been teasing another about how the minor-lordling needs to start courting the queen ... poor ranger is looking decidedly pale lately at the mere thought <eg>


Gamer Girrl wrote:
... one of my players has been teasing another about how the minor-lordling needs to start courting the queen ... poor ranger is looking decidedly pale lately at the mere thought <eg>

I hadn't even considered that being as my character is from minor-nobility himself, a merchant noble(aristocrat). However, I'm pretty sure MY character would rather not, unless of course... there was something to be gained? *ponders a hero of Korvosa becoming king* :D


I dont know...it would be tough for you to act all smooth with the Cleric trying to bugger her leg and all...


WarmasterSpike wrote:
I dont know...it would be tough for you to act all smooth with the Cleric trying to bugger her leg and all...

Nahhhh! It is part of the plan, a distraction, I'm sure there is some sort of circumstance bonus for the character someplace in there ;)


I guess it could be the equivalent of bringing your fat friend to the club so that you look attractive in comparison.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Ok so, on to this past Sunday’s Playtest report.

The party started in the house of

Spoiler:
Salvator Scream.
They rested there the evening and that is where I pounced on them with
Spoiler:
Zellara and the deck of vague threats, hints and distractions.
Now the party looked over the situation of Old Korvosa and the plight that it was in. They had brought an enormous amount of supplies for the quarantined district and still hadn’t found anyone to hand them over to. They requested some info and several very good Knowledge Locals and Gather Info (Diplomacy) checks later they found a makeshift temple of Sarenrae with a couple of priests (low-level) doing what they could for the poor retches of the city. The party spotted some
Spoiler:
Emporer of Old Korvosa Thugs hanging around.
They carefully made contact with the “head” priest (7th level cleric) they dropped 3 bag of holding I’s worth of food on the poor man, as well as some doses of the cure they had developed for the plague, some info on how to help people with the plague and some general good will. I was so proud of them...:)

From their they decided to head to the

Spoiler:
House Arkona.
The info they had on Old Korvosa along with what the priests of Sarenrae told them, pretty much left them with three power centers in the city.
Spoiler:
The House Arkona, Emperor of Old Korvosa (who they dismissed as a petty thug with no class), and Devargo Bervassi (who they had heard was doing some nice business but wasn’t able to take on the emperor directly.

They reached their destination with only one minor smack down having to be made on some more of the Thugs they had run into before. Note to self, no more sacrificing poor little CR 2 or 3’s to this party. They are neither a challenge nor is the party very merciful when you cross them. The Overhand Chop tree is amazing, it now takes the 2-hander to such a level that I am not sure any other feat tree can truly compete with it, though, admittedly, a Barbarian with an uber strength just shows it off to the nth degree.

I will spoiler the next section as it is very integral to the whole adventure. No peeking unless you have played this mod already or are not going to be playing it ever…

Spoiler:

They met with Glorio Arkona, a very large bombastic man who was very congenial and seemed genuinely happy to make their acquaintance. One of the PC’s is a minor lord within the house Arkona, albeit very far down the food chain of Arkona. Glorio treated him as an equal as he did the others, often flattering and mocking folks with ease and equal treatment. With little work, he convinced the party that they really could dispose of the Emporer for him, one way or another, and they would be granted a chance to meet with their friend Vencarlo Orsini and they would all be welcome to leave, afterwards. Much chit-chating was carried out, with Glorio conveying a veiled message here and there, suggesting that if the party were to dispose of the queen at some point in the future, Glorio would be prepared to reward them in ways they couldn’t dream of. He even indicated that he would have them to feast if they were successful…

On to the Emperor of Old Korvosa then…

The party moved across town to the other antagonists place, using some thugs as an escort, intimidating them into not taking the parties weapons. Having drawn quite the crowd when they met with the Emperor. (I happened to have a Burger King crown for my son and used it for a nice prop for the emperor here. Many giggles and snickers were heard from my PC’s for that they were severely punished I assure you ;) The silly voice I used had nothing to do with the snickers!) So after much babbling by the mad man, a compromise and a bet were come to. The party would play his Blood pig game if they won then the Emporer would leave Old Korvosa and they would take Salvator. If they lost then the party would be put to death on the Tall Knife.

I have to say this about Blood Pig…GENIUS!!! Insanity, but Genius! The party loved it, I had a great time introducing them to it. Now, another note; Orc Barbarians, should not be allowed on the field! Or all players should be Orc Barbarians. Krim, the Barbarian almost made a mockery of the game by the end he started just waiting for the opponents to grab the pig, then would “disarm” them and take the pig from them, and have the movement to quickly get it in the hole, or his rogue friend would disarm and they would bucket brigaide it into the hole. The sorcerer went crazy (his dice just rolling insanely high) with Bullrushes, knocking 3 people off the edge of the building or into a wolverine pit. The captains couldn’t do enough damage to truly stop anyone. They couldn’t sneak attack the Barbarian (Improved uncanny dodge), and the rest of the people were just not in position to be flanked, the ranger/rogue pinned one of them and held him down and beat on him till he finally collapsed at the end.

As I have pointed out I use the CMB but I add Dex to everyone and use 10 + CMB. The Sorcerer needed high (though not as high as he was rolling) rolls to accomplish bull rushes, and the poor dock captains couldn’t roll anything when they needed to. It was like watching the J/V football team at the High school down the street taking on the Steelers…not pretty.

Well Pilts (Emperor of Old Korvosa) demanded 2 out of 3. The party shrugged and said no…He said yes, they said no…Initiative was rolled. Now the Emperor had an ally, the parties old friend Rolth the Sorcerer who had escaped their grasp once before. He called his undead servants up, 5 Otyugh Zombies, and they burst through the floor, destroying the Blood Pig Field, but creating quite a barrier between the party and the Emporer and Rolth, not to mention the 8 captains that blocked the stairs up to the emperors throne area. The party took a couple of rounds to clear the field they were on, wiping out the few still conscious and not already knocked off the building dock captains, the 4 skeletons that rolth moved to block the other avenues of escape, the Otyugh zombies (taken care of with 2 bursts from the Cleric of Calistria’s channel energy which also happened to heal the party back up from their bumps and bruises from Blood Pig)

The fight was dynamic and quite demanding, as it now consisted of a CR 10 Bard (Emperor), a CR 8 Necromancer (Rolth), a CR 8 Barbarian (Jabyr) a horde of CR 4’s (Dock Captains and Otyugh Zombies). The Parties Sorcerer dropped a Dimensional Anchor on Rolth early, as that was how Rolth had escaped before, the Sorcerer had purchased a wand of Dimensional Anchor with but 1 charge on it. He jockingly talked of scribbling Rolth’s Name on the side of the wand when he purchased it. This single act would end up insuring that Rolth would not escape their clutches again, though it took many rounds to be sure of that.

The Bard spent many rounds aiming the Rod of Wonder and shouting in glee with whatever random thing came up, including causing the Cleric of Calistria to sprout leaves everywhere (Turning over a new leaf cleric?) as well as calling forth a lightning bolt, that would wind up being 5’ short of hitting any of the party but would blast a Zombie and several of his own men quite well (Shocking! He called out). Rolth, was a bit less zany and quite a bit more targeted and devastating. His lightning bolt was quite viscious.

A spell was used by Rolth that I think is no longer worthy of its level. The Ice Storm was minimal damage to the party, but wound up providing them with Concealment so hurt the party less than it wound up hurting the other guys. The Storm descimated the few remaining mooks in the area, stung the party for little damage, and provided a round of no targeting on the party. The party used the round to lick wounds, buff up and prepare for the spell to end.

The fight lasted a long time, in fact we went over our end time by an hour and a half (Sorry guys). It was just to chaotic a fight to easily say, lets end here and pick back up in the middle next time. Even with cameras for placement and careful notes, it wasn’t a good fight to pick up later. It was quite entertaining though…The party is now eyeing the next level closely. Next time they get to go get their reward from the Arkonas, assuming they don’t decide to go give Devargo another palm to the face before hand…

So, what I learned playing…Orc Barbarians make better football players than they do adventurers which is scary since they are so good at adventuring. Ice storm is not as cool as I remember it being (though I haven’t used it much since 2nd ed so it may have been a bummer of a spell in 3.5 and I wouldn’t know). Rod of Wonder in the hand of a lunatic is a frighteningly funny thing. High level Clerics vs Mid level Zombies is a no contest kind of thing.

What I still want to know. Is Orc Growth Hormone on the Banned list of Substances for Sports? What happens when a Sorcerer takes the Improved Bull rush Feat and starts shoving his opponents off of roof tops, When will the Rogue get boring to watch. When will the Cleric of Calistria follow through with his threat to have Grieves made with no umm Posterior plate, and how long before his party kills him after that happens…

We’ll all have to stay tuned I guess…

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I missed an important development in my previous playtest post, so this is the Addendum...

Spoiler:

The Orc barbarian failed a will save by 1 on a Confusion spell by the Emperor. The barbarian then turned on his next turn and pasted (And I do mean Pasted) the Sorcerer. He left the poor sorcerer at 1 hp after his first attack and his follow up attack left him somewhere in the neighborhood of -35. We used a fp to reset the Sorcerer at -1 hp, stabilized. The Confusion was later dispelled by same said sorcerer after he was healed enough to wake and grabbed his wand of Dispel magic (purchased for just such emergencies) The next round, the emperor dropped the spell on them again and this time the barbarian made it but the Sorcerer didn't. I think that player may lynch me soon, so if anything happens to me you know why! ;)

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