Paladins and Clerics in Carrion Crown making it less fun?


Carrion Crown

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Rulebook Subscriber

Out of the box, Carrion Crown screams for players to play clerics and paladins. When it comes to undead slaying there really is no parallel.

My quandary is that if you have a party with a PC playing a cleric who runs about channeling positive energy to damage undead, and a paladin who smites the tar out of the BBEGs (while being immune to many of the nastier bits of undead, like fear, disease, etc.) Do you end up making the AP less fun for the other three players in your group (now known as the spectators.)

In most APs, there isn't a single class whose abilities are always shinning, (that being said, the end of Second Darkness was a little demon heavy and not a few bosses went down to the paladin's aura of justice.)

In CC, it really feels like those to characters risk "having all the fun."

Am I being crazy here?


Galnörag wrote:

Out of the box, Carrion Crown screams for players to play clerics and paladins. When it comes to undead slaying there really is no parallel.

My quandary is that if you have a party with a PC playing a cleric who runs about channeling positive energy to damage undead, and a paladin who smites the tar out of the BBEGs (while being immune to many of the nastier bits of undead, like fear, disease, etc.) Do you end up making the AP less fun for the other three players in your group (now known as the spectators.)

In most APs, there isn't a single class whose abilities are always shinning, (that being said, the end of Second Darkness was a little demon heavy and not a few bosses went down to the paladin's aura of justice.)

In CC, it really feels like those to characters risk "having all the fun."

Am I being crazy here?

I don't really get that sense here. Sure, the cleric and paladin might get a bit of a boost, but is it really all that much? Channel energy is always a great way to heal, far better than any other kind of battle healing pre-level 11. So it's not like that ability was ever going to waste. As far as paladins go...they're paladins. Massive unkillable wielders of divine power. Smite Evil is almost always guaranteed 100% uptime in any adventure path. Outside of running into animals at early levels, how many non-evil encounters do you have, really?

Class balance being one of those things that is very basic to adventure construction, I'm fairly sure that it's fairly balanced. Unless of course you're playing an enchanter/illusionist, as we've already been warned away from those in the Player's Guide.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

There are far more things than undead, first of all, in Carrion Crown. Even if you assume the creatures on the covers are an accurate spread of monster types (they're not), you have three undead and three not undead foes there.

If you're a player worried that a paladin or cleric will steal your thunder and that distresses you... play a cleric or a paladin.

The AP itself will have plenty to do for all classes, though. That's something we really try to do for all or Adventure Paths.

Contributor

Galnörag wrote:
Am I being crazy here?

Just a little, yeah, 'cause you'd be right if Carrion Crown presented undead exclusively as villains. Good news, though! It's got way more than that.

From the moment we decided to do a horror-themed campaign, we realized that there were going to be a lot of undead. Ghosts, vampires, liches, zombies, etc, are just too classic and to much staples of horror fantasy to not include them. I also wasn't willing to pull tricks with these, as in, "Oh, it's not a vampire, it's a vampyre - those aren't undead" or "Oh, this is SUPER EVIL TOWN, your channel energy doesn't work here." So how do you have a horror campaign without it being heavily weighed toward undead? Well it turns out, easy.

First, just looking at the focus monsters in each of these volumes, only half are undead (and one of those questionably so). The rest aren't going to be any more afraid of a holy symbol than a dragon would be. Second, is relying on the conventions and philosophies we've had for Pathfinder since its first volume: make sure the adventure is fun for every character. That means assuring that there's a variety of challenges in each adventure that assures that characters of each class will have the opportunity to shine. That's a basic convention of Pathfinder Adventure Path and hasn't changed with Carrion Crown. Third, from the outline, to the writing, to the development, the fact that we don't want clerics and paladins just owning encounter after encounter has been on my, the authors', and Rob's, the developer's, mind. In other words, this was considered very early on, identified as a challenge, and in every handover I've seen - which is actually all of them now - skillfully handled by some of the most creative authors in the biz.

So how do they do it?

Awesomely.

You'll just have to wait and see. But until you do, don't fret - we gotcha, baby. :P

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16

James Jacobs wrote:
The AP itself will have plenty to do for all classes, though. That's something we really try to do for all or Adventure Paths.

Quick disagreement: I feel that Rogues haven't had much love lately. Paizo seems very trap-adverse compared to "the old days." Even the the "Indiana Jones AP" (SS) had disappointingly few traps (though that support article in the 4th one was treasured deeply - thank you for that).

Still: we wants more traps!

I know that haunts are kinda like traps. But there's a great joy in mechnical death-machines. And all party members can participate against them, just Rogues are extra-good

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Rulebook Subscriber
F. Wesley Schneider wrote:

The rest aren't going to be any more afraid of a holy symbol than a dragon would be.

...

You'll just have to wait and see. But until you do, don't fret - we gotcha, baby. :P

Awesome response, and thanks, I'm mostly worried about it as a GM then player, having seem players frustrated when they are consistently out done by their peers. (often an optimizer vs non, or DM issue more so then material.)

One minor correction, Dragons should rightly fear a paladin and his aura of justice, they are on the double damage list, and if grounded, become ground meat.


Erik Freund wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
The AP itself will have plenty to do for all classes, though. That's something we really try to do for all or Adventure Paths.

Quick disagreement: I feel that Rogues haven't had much love lately. Paizo seems very trap-adverse compared to "the old days." Even the the "Indiana Jones AP" (SS) had disappointingly few traps (though that support article in the 4th one was treasured deeply - thank you for that).

Still: we wants more traps!

I know that haunts are kinda like traps. But there's a great joy in mechnical death-machines. And all party members can participate against them, just Rogues are extra-good

I don't think traps matter that much, and they are not the primary reason for being a rogue. Most traps are not that deadly so even if I trigger one most of the time it won't really matter.

PS:I am talking about ordinary traps, not the ones where the walls start closing in on you.


Hahaha, this is like the 5th thread worrying about undead being the overwhelming majority of encounters. I think a big disclaimer sticky should be put up explaining how there will be other monsters before the Paizo staff pulls their hair out.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I wonder how a negative channeling/Commanding cleric would effect the adventure. My girlfriend loves her negative clerics and has created pure chaos with large numbers of skeletons. lol. Not to mention gaining control of powerful bad guys. Curious how this will pan out.

Liberty's Edge

Or you could play a ranger with favored enemy: undead. You'll get a fair amount of mileage out of that!


I was kinda worried about this, until I realized that I personally go undead heavy anyway, so it's a nonissue for me.
I think I neglect oozes myself....not enough oozes.

And dragons.....


Galnörag wrote:

Out of the box, Carrion Crown screams for players to play clerics and paladins. When it comes to undead slaying there really is no parallel.

My quandary is that if you have a party with a PC playing a cleric who runs about channeling positive energy to damage undead, and a paladin who smites the tar out of the BBEGs (while being immune to many of the nastier bits of undead, like fear, disease, etc.) Do you end up making the AP less fun for the other three players in your group (now known as the spectators.)

In most APs, there isn't a single class whose abilities are always shinning, (that being said, the end of Second Darkness was a little demon heavy and not a few bosses went down to the paladin's aura of justice.)

In CC, it really feels like those to characters risk "having all the fun."

Am I being crazy here?

I think you're confusing The Haunting of Harrowstone with the rest of the AP. THoH is undead heavy yes but the rest of the AP isn't it seems. They will shine periodically but it's situational.


dungeonmaster heathy wrote:

I was kinda worried about this, until I realized that I personally go undead heavy anyway, so it's a nonissue for me.

I think I neglect oozes myself....not enough oozes.

And dragons.....

Or undead oozes and undead dragons.


Galnörag wrote:


Am I being crazy here?

Galnörag I had the same feeling when I started this campaign with a group of 6 party members. Several were already eyeballing clerics and paladins when they heard it was a horror campaign and I realized quickly that it would be a numbers game once the bursting and save bonusing and instaheals started up, which is fun under many circumstances, but in my opinion, does not in any way inspire fear or nervousness.

So I did what you're not supposed to do, and it worked out very well. I made, for this campaign, Clerics and Paladins prestige classes. I have a full backstory (that I made up) relating to limitations on churches in Ustalav to explain this change, but essentially you need five levels in another class before you can take these classes.

I wanted a horror campaign where the party could be really nervous, where they had to be extra careful and where they needed to be sure they were prepared, and I've never gotten such a positive reaction to a campaign as I have with this one, even though the party is at a disadvantage. They've just entered Harrowstone twice and are still trying to deal with haunts, but they are nervous and they went out and bought holy water.

They have a witch doing the healing for the group, and it's a challenge. The rest of the group is two fighters, one rogue, one Magus (I opened up the new classes to make up for closing a couple of core classes) and a sorceror.

It's much more Van Helsing than most campaigns and my players are eating it up. I have tinkered with quite a few of the ideas behind the Carrion Crown to add some dread, which I may post once my party is past it. I also added a few interesting town encounters to set the tone and make up for the reduced trust points.


Incidentally, I do allow holy water and any other creative mechanism to injure haunts in the absense of holy handgrenades (positive energy channels).


Erick Jenkins wrote:
Galnörag wrote:


Am I being crazy here?

Galnörag I had the same feeling when I started this campaign with a group of 6 party members. Several were already eyeballing clerics and paladins when they heard it was a horror campaign and I realized quickly that it would be a numbers game once the bursting and save bonusing and instaheals started up, which is fun under many circumstances, but in my opinion, does not in any way inspire fear or nervousness.

So I did what you're not supposed to do, and it worked out very well. I made, for this campaign, Clerics and Paladins prestige classes. I have a full backstory (that I made up) relating to limitations on churches in Ustalav to explain this change, but essentially you need five levels in another class before you can take these classes.

I wanted a horror campaign where the party could be really nervous, where they had to be extra careful and where they needed to be sure they were prepared, and I've never gotten such a positive reaction to a campaign as I have with this one, even though the party is at a disadvantage. They've just entered Harrowstone twice and are still trying to deal with haunts, but they are nervous and they went out and bought holy water.

They have a witch doing the healing for the group, and it's a challenge. The rest of the group is two fighters, one rogue, one Magus (I opened up the new classes to make up for closing a couple of core classes) and a sorceror.

It's much more Van Helsing than most campaigns and my players are eating it up. I have tinkered with quite a few of the ideas behind the Carrion Crown to add some dread, which I may post once my party is past it. I also added a few interesting town encounters to set the tone and make up for the reduced trust points.

When blood leaks from the floor and ceiling, and doors automatically shut with nigh impossible strength checks needed to open them I don't think being a paladin or cleric will help.

Are you allowing knowledge checks to deal with the haunts? I have been considering that, but that makes it too easy. At the same time I don't want the players to feel like DM Fiat is the only way to success.

PS:That is something I just made up so you players reading this who probably shouldn't can rest assured that it is not a spoiler, but if you see it in your games I guess your DM is reading this.


wraithstrike wrote:

When blood leaks from the floor and ceiling, and doors automatically shut with nigh impossible strength checks needed to open them I don't think being a paladin or cleric will help.

Are you allowing knowledge checks to deal with the haunts? I have been considering that, but that makes it too easy. At the same time I don't want the players to feel like DM Fiat is the only way to success.

I disagree that a cleric or paladin won't help. Cleric channels harm the haunts if their within 30 feet of the source (as do paladin channels at higher levels). Paladin evil detection ruins a number of surprises for my players (many that are different from the paizo plot twists in case they get a copy). Paladin save boosts vs. fear, easy protection from evil spells, massive and quick healing. None of these things are condusive to a suspensful and nerverwracking experience.

I understand that PF writers would take flack for eliminating core classes, but in these circumstances I think it adds to the challenge and to the atmosphere to have to buy or beg for charms, heals and strange tools to fight their otherworldly enemies.

I'm not allowing knowledge checks for the haunts (although obviously they can figure out numerous things about the haunt locations from knowledge checks), but they have many tools, including the spirit board, holy water and other arcane tools to fight and it is really exciting to watch them cautiously approach one room after another carefully, strategically and with some real trepidation. They aren't afraid, per se, but they're afraid for their character and it's a lot of fun for everyone.

One of my favorite moments was when they entered a storage room and it contained a haunt I made up. Pitch black starting at the doorway, no light functions once inside. When you're in it you hear whispers and feel soft touches on your arm, but otherwise it's just blackness. It is a standard haunt otherwise and after everyone held their breath, one player put his arm in. He was fine. Eventually they tied a rope to him and he went in (reminded me of poltergeist)and searched the room by hand, bringing items out to share with the group and stumbling through the room, hoping he didn't grab something that grabbed him back.

It was a kick, and they didn't have a cleric walk up to the doorway and burst three times to lighten the room. Would have completely ruined the experience in my book.


Grummik wrote:
I think you're confusing The Haunting of Harrowstone with the rest of the AP. THoH is undead heavy yes but the rest of the AP isn't it seems. They will shine periodically but it's situational.

I agree. Sometimes a player class should be allowed to shine. There are days it pays to be the bard, and sometimes it pays to be the druid. There are always times that a class is well suited to a situation, and I think that is okay. It might feel like undercutting to the GM, but the players delight in being cool.

And many undead can resist channeling to a greater degree, so unless the cleric loads up on channeling feats.. a cleric shouldn't wreck encounters. And even if a cleric does load up on channeling feats, they're paying a real mechanical price for that ability to be a strong channeler.


Erick Jenkins wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:

When blood leaks from the floor and ceiling, and doors automatically shut with nigh impossible strength checks needed to open them I don't think being a paladin or cleric will help.

Are you allowing knowledge checks to deal with the haunts? I have been considering that, but that makes it too easy. At the same time I don't want the players to feel like DM Fiat is the only way to success.

I disagree that a cleric or paladin won't help. Cleric channels harm the haunts if their within 30 feet of the source (as do paladin channels at higher levels). Paladin evil detection ruins a number of surprises for my players (many that are different from the paizo plot twists in case they get a copy). Paladin save boosts vs. fear, easy protection from evil spells, massive and quick healing. None of these things are condusive to a suspensful and nerverwracking experience.

I was saying it won't stop them(the party) from being afraid in that situation. Haunts don't have to be evil. It does not even have to be a haunt. It could just be a supernatural affect, ability, or side affect of the creature that you have to meet up with later.


wraithstrike wrote:
Erick Jenkins wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:

When blood leaks from the floor and ceiling, and doors automatically shut with nigh impossible strength checks needed to open them I don't think being a paladin or cleric will help.

Are you allowing knowledge checks to deal with the haunts? I have been considering that, but that makes it too easy. At the same time I don't want the players to feel like DM Fiat is the only way to success.

I disagree that a cleric or paladin won't help. Cleric channels harm the haunts if their within 30 feet of the source (as do paladin channels at higher levels). Paladin evil detection ruins a number of surprises for my players (many that are different from the paizo plot twists in case they get a copy). Paladin save boosts vs. fear, easy protection from evil spells, massive and quick healing. None of these things are condusive to a suspensful and nerverwracking experience.

I was saying it won't stop them(the party) from being afraid in that situation. Haunts don't have to be evil. It does not even have to be a haunt. It could just be a supernatural affect, ability, or side affect of the creature that you have to meet up with later.

In fact, a paladin could feasibly have quite a moral dilemma on his hands in later parts of the AP. It by no means makes one unplayable but will certainly present some roleplay challenges. That being said, my group went Fighter, Cleric, Rogue, Wizard so that's one dilemma I won't get to adjudicate. :P


Jon Kines wrote:


In fact, a paladin could feasibly have quite a moral dilemma on his hands in later parts of the AP. /QUOTE]
Why else would one play a paladin? :)


wraithstrike wrote:

In fact, a paladin could feasibly have quite a moral dilemma on his hands in later parts of the AP.
Why else would one play a paladin? :)

In terms of optimization, the damage potential of smite evil with theoretically 100% uptime. :P


Jon Kines wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:

In fact, a paladin could feasibly have quite a moral dilemma on his hands in later parts of the AP.
Why else would one play a paladin? :)

In terms of optimization, the damage potential of smite evil with theoretically 100% uptime. :P

I know, but I think this is a great paladin AP due to the core storyline of a at least one book.


wraithstrike wrote:
Jon Kines wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:

In fact, a paladin could feasibly have quite a moral dilemma on his hands in later parts of the AP.
Why else would one play a paladin? :)

In terms of optimization, the damage potential of smite evil with theoretically 100% uptime. :P
I know, but I think this is a great paladin AP due to the core storyline of a at least one book.

I agree I was just pointing out that Paladins will have potential vulnerabilties in this AP to balance out some of their strengths for this AP. I would expect any properly roleplayed Paladin to have at least a modicum of a moral dilemma in parts of this AP. :D

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