Adivion Adrissant


Carrion Crown

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Part of me... really likes this idea. I know it steps on everything as written but it's kinda fun to think about. Though the obvious question still needs to be answered: why would the professor fake his own death?

Grand Lodge

Luther wrote:
Part of me... really likes this idea. I know it steps on everything as written but it's kinda fun to think about. Though the obvious question still needs to be answered: why would the professor fake his own death?

Order of the Palatine Eye starting to shake the bushes could be one...


Helaman wrote:
Luther wrote:
Part of me... really likes this idea. I know it steps on everything as written but it's kinda fun to think about. Though the obvious question still needs to be answered: why would the professor fake his own death?
Order of the Palatine Eye starting to shake the bushes could be one...

What's funny is that my group was already concerned that the professor might have faked his own death. (Although that devolved to "he's cross-dressing as Kendra so that he won't be found" quickly.)

Liberty's Edge

Just a quick question after reading this thread i would like to include mr adrissant in one of my player's back stories as a noble that he has been working for (kind of a double agent to keep eyes on the professor) but i am unsure of which book he first appears in (as i am a broke college student and unable to purchase all of the books at this moment) any help would be appreciated.


Terokai wrote:
Just a quick question after reading this thread i would like to include mr adrissant in one of my player's back stories as a noble that he has been working for (kind of a double agent to keep eyes on the professor) but i am unsure of which book he first appears in (as i am a broke college student and unable to purchase all of the books at this moment) any help would be appreciated.

I believe there are references to him from book three onwards but we only really "meet" him in ANY capacity in the 6th book. That's the only book that speaks at all about his personality, etc.


Oh my. I... ADORE the idea of the Professor being revealed as the big bad. Just a little bit of rewriting of the backstory to make the prof a troubled, but brilliant man... maybe faking his own death to keep his prize students occupied for a month while he collected his items, but the one thing he didn't account for was the weakening of the fabric of Harrowstone to cause the hauntings and then get the ball rolling and the players on his trail... hm... Might have to think on this.


Well ran the first session last night. This thread was quite useful in generating ideas as I wanted to have Adivion in the first adventure.

I've gone with the Adivion being Lorrimor's former protege. Additionally, he was engaged to Kendra. What the PCs found out was that after Adivion broke off the engagement (as he was invited to court at Caliphas) the two had a falling out. Of course, the real truth is Lorrimor began to suspect that his student was tempted by the power of the Whispering Way.

Adivion did not show up to the funeral but the day after he made an appearance at the Restlands to pay his respects. The PCs had a brief talk with him as they had heard references made to him a the funeral. While suspicious of him (and well everyone in the town) I don't think the party confirmed anything beyond the falling out b/w Adivion and Lorrimor.

Now the question is how to keep him in invovled in the party's life? I want the party to focus on Auren Vrood as the chief villian until they catch up to him in the 3rd adventure. At which point if they find out some link to Adivion that could work. Any ideas?


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I'm running the AP as-is with respects to the Whispering Way. Let me say, as-is the Whispering Way feels like a villain group out of Harry Potter. They're never there, they leave a trail of dead guys, no one would believe you if you went to the Daily Prophe... I mean, newspaper about evil doings. It lends the AP a slight disjointed feel.

I have a burning need to rewrite the final scene of Shadows of Gallowspire. Adivion needs a monologue badly. Having him just jump into combat without a word (as the AP is written, in other words) takes his villainy away from him and just leaves him mediocre. Even Scooby-Doo villains had their final monologue.

Adivion needs the monologue of a good Bond villain. Goldfinger didn't just walk off with Bond strapped to the table about to be zapped by laser, he had a dark, meaningful, foreshadowing line that has been and will be remembered as one of the greatest villainous exchanges. Adivion needs a powerful monologue, even just a line. Something to raise the Whispering Way out of the morass of "Harry Potter villain" to the level of "complex overarching villainous society that threatens the fabric of civilization". You know, to the level of world destroying plot the way it was meant to be.


If you do write up a speech, please share it with the rest of us. I asked Paizo why they stopped writing speeches and whether they'd put them back in, and in short, the answer was no. I'm no writer, and on top of that, english isn't my primary language, so I doubt I could do it myself.


Adivon will invite the PCs to a banquet in my game where he will do his Bond Villain plot reveal...
Well his Simulacrum will


ANebulousMistress wrote:

I'm running the AP as-is with respects to the Whispering Way. Let me say, as-is the Whispering Way feels like a villain group out of Harry Potter. They're never there, they leave a trail of dead guys, no one would believe you if you went to the Daily Prophe... I mean, newspaper about evil doings. It lends the AP a slight disjointed feel.

I have a burning need to rewrite the final scene of Shadows of Gallowspire. Adivion needs a monologue badly. Having him just jump into combat without a word (as the AP is written, in other words) takes his villainy away from him and just leaves him mediocre. Even Scooby-Doo villains had their final monologue.

Adivion needs the monologue of a good Bond villain. Goldfinger didn't just walk off with Bond strapped to the table about to be zapped by laser, he had a dark, meaningful, foreshadowing line that has been and will be remembered as one of the greatest villainous exchanges. Adivion needs a powerful monologue, even just a line. Something to raise the Whispering Way out of the morass of "Harry Potter villain" to the level of "complex overarching villainous society that threatens the fabric of civilization". You know, to the level of world destroying plot the way it was meant to be.

The problem with monologues is assuming the players are going to stand there and listen. Unless he is behind a wall of force he might get an arrow to the face by the end of the first sentence.


My players will.

Even if it doesn't make sense not to start slinging spells and arrows at the moment, it's the end of the campaign and the main villain. Our opinion is that we owe it to the genre to let villain have his speech, let the players have their cheesy oneliners and then the combat starts.

What do you really accomplish by attacking right away? Combat will go the same way it would after the speeches, except you rid yourself of some (perhaps) awesome quotes/retorts.


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It depends on your PCs.

Some PCs are all about the drama and will go into whole bouts of acting. They expect nothing less from their DM. A DM who doesn't monologue would be seen as lazy when running a game for a group of weekend-wannabe actors.

Some PCs grew up watching old Bond films and still believe that all villains worth an adventure need to monologue. Only minions refuse to monologue. What's it worth to them then if all the PCs ever fight is minions? If the BBEG is just another minion? Minions aren't memorable (exception for Odd Job).

Some PCs are all about killing the evil guy before he gets a chance to cast spells on you all. Monologues are a platform for espousing evil ideals that the villain does not deserve.

And some PCs are just all about killing dudes to take their stuff. Then a monologue is in the way.

So it all depends on your PCs. My PC (singular) grew up with Bond villains and would be disappointed in Adivion if he doesn't monologue. And if there's one thing about this AP it's that Adivion Adrissant is no minion.


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Pathfinder Card Game, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

In local gaming circles, we had a problem for a long time with players basically acting like an NPC's dialogue/monologue 'took up his first action' and meant 'free shot'. A fellow GM and I spent some time talking up the dramatic potential of monologuing and such and introduced a couple of hand gestures (most of us have done a lot of WoD LARPing so we're used to that sort of thing) to indicate 'This is, for all intents and purposes, a cutscene. You will still get to stab/shoot the NPC when he's done. Please wait a moment and let me get to enjoy delivering an awesome speech so I don't start combat frustrated and actually wanting to kill you.' We managed to break them of that habit pretty quickly and now they know when it's cooler to listen than fight.


MythicFox wrote:
In local gaming circles, we had a problem for a long time with players basically acting like an NPC's dialogue/monologue 'took up his first action' and meant 'free shot'. A fellow GM and I spent some time talking up the dramatic potential of monologuing and such and introduced a couple of hand gestures (most of us have done a lot of WoD LARPing so we're used to that sort of thing) to indicate 'This is, for all intents and purposes, a cutscene. You will still get to stab/shoot the NPC when he's done. Please wait a moment and let me get to enjoy delivering an awesome speech so I don't start combat frustrated and actually wanting to kill you.' We managed to break them of that habit pretty quickly and now they know when it's cooler to listen than fight.

This sounds like a good idea. I know some of my players will want to shoot first, so this will give my villains a chance to establish the fight as The Boss Fight TM.


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Toadkiller Dog wrote:

As Wes kindly pointed out, we, the DMs, should be thinking of ways to include Adrissant in our campaigns in a greater way. I, also, believe that campaign's primary villain should be known to the party before the end, so I'll also be brainstorming the ways to include him. Until I think of something of my own, I'd be glad to hear suggestions. Has anyone had any ideas so far?

Here's how I'm running it;

Players are being watched by Adivion the whole way. He's a bored super-genius and he wants intellectual company. In-between the modules he sends them little puzzles, which, if they are able to decipher, lead them to obscure and dark parts of the cities. There, they are instructed to keep quiet and watch what happens.

It's a long story, but in essence they are being led down a path that ends in the creation of their very own phylactery. The trick is keeping the wool pulled over their eyes long enough for them to keep wanting the crazy good rewards they're getting.

It's an amulet in my game, and every run in with "A" is amping up the amulet. Started with a scroll handout that had a code in it (linguistics) an illusion on it, and then a formula that represented the melting point of gold (intelligence, alchemy, or goldsmithing).

I'm building him up as a sort of mentor/moriarty for the first few books.


nathan blackmer wrote:

Here's how I'm running it;

Players are being watched by Adivion the whole way. He's a bored super-genius and he wants intellectual company. In-between the modules he sends them little puzzles, which, if they are able to decipher, lead them to obscure and dark parts of the cities. There, they are instructed to keep quiet and watch what happens.

It's a long story, but in essence they are being led down a path that ends in the creation of their very own phylactery. The trick is keeping the wool pulled over their eyes long enough for them to keep wanting the crazy good rewards they're getting.

It's an amulet in my game, and every run in with "A" is amping up the amulet. Started with a scroll handout that had a code in it (linguistics) an illusion on it, and then a formula that represented the melting point of gold (intelligence, alchemy, or goldsmithing).

I'm building him up as a sort of mentor/moriarty for the first few books.

Oooh, very Riddler-eque, I like it!


Big thanks to everyone in this thread for their ideas, special thanks go to John Lynch, Ninjaiguana and Ice Titan. :)
If I ever run this AP, I may use some/all of these ideas to foreshadow Adivion and some of the other NPCs mentioned above. I copy/pasted this stuff to an RTF file for the future.

Thanks :)


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So I took a liberty with the timing of one event related to the final battle: when Adivion Adrissant drinks the carrion crown. I very strongly note that this a first draft of his evil villain speech. It's prose rather than speech and because of that I'll be editing it heavily. But I feel it's impressive as-is. Notes are in [brackets], description taken from the AP volume are in blue.

The PCs make it to the top of the tower when...:
Lightning cracks from the churning, corpse-gray sky above as the Bone Stair finally terminates at the vertiginous heights of Gallowspire’s roof beneath a massive crown of blades that cast dark shadows across the roof of Gallowspire. A wide, round portal of shining silver metal caps the roof, inscribed with arcane symbols and powerful magic wards.

Standing in the center of the pillar is a man, tall and handsome. He wears fine black robes embroidered in gold and silver. In his hands are a staff and a gold chalice. The souls of the dead and the damned rage around you all, their dance of destruction wrapped around the blades of stone that threaten to close in around you.

“They had it all wrong, you know,” the man says conversationally. “Everyone. Only I had the drive, the power to see what they could not. The Whispering Tyrant cannot be released. Those... pitiful mockeries that you call gods have warped all our minds. Not until they’re dead can he be free. But he can be remade."

“He was to be my greatest triumph. And you stole that from me.” Adivion smiles for opportunities past. “He was to be the vessel, a wondrous dark muse to make this world worth living in. He was to house the Tyrant.” He looks at the chalice in his hands and the blood red liquid inside that seems to be trying to climb out on its own. An expression of lust comes across his face as he realizes what he must do. He brings the chalice to his lips and swallows it all.

His eyes are closed and he looks almost orgasmic for a moment before he tenses and he drops chalice and staff. His hands grasp at his throat. He’s brought to his knees, choking. He gives one last pleading look at the PCs as if he expects them to have answers or even help him. He falls, dead.

[Here the PCs can do whatever. Assume they check to see if he’s dead. Give them enough actions that they feel complacent.]

Adivion is thrown into a sitting position, blood flying from his mouth. His eyelids are open as his eyes burn out of their sockets. It appears as though his entire body is burning, searing from the inside-out by a terrible force. [This is his spirit rejecting his body and searing its way out of its prison.] He’s thrown into the air as the howling storm embraces him, ripping away at his clothing and his skin. The storm spits him back onto the Tower, rejected and Forsaken. But he doesn’t realize it. He lands prone in an ungraceful heap.

He hauls himself upright. His staff flies to him as if called. [Even if the PCs picked it up as loot.] His beautiful robes are reduced to rags, the handsome visage withered and hatefully dead. What remains of his soul swirls around him in a storm of barely controlled arcane energies. He looks at his hands and laughs to the sky, the laughter of the insane. He levels his undead gaze at the PCs.

“You did this to me,” Adivion says. “You showed me what I must do. Only I can defy the gods. Of course. I am the only worthy vessel. And now...

“Now I will reward you for your service with your DEATH!”

[Roll initiative.]

Questions? Comments? Pokes with a sharp stick?

Grand Lodge

Nice one Mistress... very VERY cool.

Dark Archive

I LOVE this thread.


Has anyone else noticed that Adivion appears to be missing a couple feats ?


Exitilus wrote:
Has anyone else noticed that Adivion appears to be missing a couple feats ?

Yes. I think that odd "staff magus" thing that he is was tacked on late in the writing process and some mechanical errors were made. When my group gets to him I'll rebuild him as a straight wizard/forsaken lich and drop the magus stuff.


I'm also not sure whether I'll remake him as a wizard... My group is a bit old fashioned about non-core classes and we're just trying them out (currently we have an Inquisitor and an Oracle in the group) and I'm not sure how would they react to Adivion being a Magus.

On one hand it's an intresting concept, since it steals away from the stereotypical Lich Wizard and he might come off as an intresting opponent, on the other hand, they might not like it...

One more arguement for changing him is that the bosses they fought so far were combat oriented (Demogorgon, Jhavhul), so a true spellcaster would be a nice change.

But then again, CC is riddled with spellcasting villains (Splatter Man, Estovion, Auren Vrood, Witches in Caliphas, Lich-Wolf, Alchemist Lich, Gray Friar... ), maybe one more would be one too many...

Thank god we're only halway through and I don't have to think about this seriously for now.

Contributor

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I really love this thread, you guys!

I've been meaning to have some more meaningful contributions, and maybe even give you guys a few goodies from my earlier draft; notes, thoughts, intentions, and suggestions for ol' Adivion, but I kind of had my own wedding get in the way. =-)

Cibet is correct that the staff magus was a last-minute shift by the developers. For those of you at PaizoCon and GenCon, you may have heard Wes, Rob or I snickering about how our hand was forced when the final art for Adivion (as shown on the cover) was turned in. We were...ummm...surprised at the artistic interpretation, to say the least. So much for the regal, well-dressed, rapier-wielding magus we originally envisioned -he's gonna have to fight with a staff/glaive thingy instead! (I always saw him as a bit like Tim Roth's haughty, deadly dandy from Rob Roy, only undead, but whaddareyagonnado?)

As for his speech at the end, I'll bet I can dig up some draft materials for you guys. The procession of the PCs up the Bone Stair is the PERFECT opportunity for him to shout out speech snippets and devious one-liners, and the combat entry (iirc) includes suggestions for some of his tactics and spells used while the PCs climb the stairs -what better time to spout out the predicted doom of the PCs than during a well-placed spell cast at unbalanced PCs navigating treacherous terrain on their way up the spire?

Good stuff, folks! Keep it up. Truly a great pleasure to watch the adventure come alive in your hands and at your game tables!


Quote:
but I kind of had my own wedding get in the way. =-)

Take my sincerest congratulations! :)

Quote:
We were...ummm...surprised at the artistic interpretation, to say the least.

So sorry to hear that. :/ Not only does rapier-wielding sounds better, the way he is depicted now make him look much more monstrous than he should have.

Quote:
As for his speech at the end, I'll bet I can dig up some draft materials for you guys.

That would be *amazing*, please do!

Grand Lodge

I too would love to see those notes... and congrats.


Congrats on the wedding, Brandon!

Not crazy about a Rapier wielding baddie at the end of the Whispering Way trail personally. I like him better as he is in the module. Ymmv.


Exitilus is right, he's missing 2 feats. What should be given to him?

I'm tempted to go with Tripping Staff and Tripping Twirl, but he doesn't have Combat Expertise. Could just go Combat Expertise and Tripping Staff, I suppose.

Intensify Spell would be a good option too, especially with Shocking Grasp, but that would mean fiddling with his spell list.

Other good options are Power Attack, Toughness, Arcane Strike, Lunge, and Extra Arcane Pool.


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I am having AA be the gentleman-villain. Partially stolen from many posters he will be elegant, and encouraging, and at the same time smug and condescending.

He will congratulate them for the ability to defeat Vrood, and thank them for doing so, but also warn them the to stop now at the risk of their own lives, for they have no chance at victory against him.

He also apologizes for the professor, and tells them the world needs more people like them, but also tell them their intentions are misplaced, and that he hates to see bad things happen to good people, but if they continue to harass them he won't be held accountable.


I will be:

Spoil:

Making the Esoteric Order of the Palatine Eye secret worshipers of Azathoth utilizing the information on the "Cults of the Dark Tapestry" (the cult is Chaotic Neutral after all) from Wake of the Watcher. The PCs will find out about this during Wake. Setting up another lesser of two evils situation for the PCs. They must work with the Order to stop the immediate danger of Adivon, knowing the Order poses a possible long term danger.

Silver Crusade

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Brandon Hodge wrote:

Cibet is correct that the staff magus was a last-minute shift by the developers. For those of you at PaizoCon and GenCon, you may have heard Wes, Rob or I snickering about how our hand was forced when the final art for Adivion (as shown on the cover) was turned in. We were...ummm...surprised at the artistic interpretation, to say the least. So much for the regal, well-dressed, rapier-wielding magus we originally envisioned -he's gonna have to fight with a staff/glaive thingy instead! (I always saw him as a bit like Tim Roth's haughty, deadly dandy from Rob Roy, only undead, but whaddareyagonnado?)

It's funny that you should mention Tim Roth's dandy swordsman from Rob Roy (one of my favorite Liam Neeson flicks, btw), because that's pretty much how I envisioned him as well when I introduced him to my players. He arrived several days after the funeral and the PCs were put off by his foppish bearing. That is until they were attacked by zombies and he was forced to defend himself. He did not use his rapier, relying solely on his magic. For now they think he's some kind of bard, and that's what I want them to think.

I like the idea of Adivion being a magus, but I made him a kensai instead of a staff magus. That fit more with his being like Archibald Cunningham, but it also enables me to channel a little Febre, the man in black from The Musketeer as well (also played by Tim Roth) when they encounter him at Gallowspire.

For now, this is my version of Adivion Adrissant. Due to the number of players in this campaign, I'm going to have to increase his CR by 2 (I'm dealing with 8 to 10 players). Tell me what you think and if you have any ideas as far as improving him is concerned, I would appreciate hearing them.

Adivion Adrissant:

Adivion Adrissant
Male human forsaken lich magus (kensai) 16 (Pathfinder RPG Ultimate Magic 9; Pathfinder RPG Ultimate Combat 55; Pathfinder Adventure Path #48 pg 82)
NE Medium undead (augmented humanoid)
Init +13; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +16
Aura delusory aura (100 ft., DC 23)

AC 30, touch 23, flat-footed 21 (+4 armor, +4 deflection, +9 Dex, +3 natural)
hp 187 (16d8+112); Gallowspire fast healing 20
Fort +18, Ref +13, Will +16
Defensive Abilities channel resistance +4, canny defense, soul shield, spell storm; DR 10/adamantine, 15/bludgeoning and magic; Immune cold, electricity, undead traits; SR 25

Speed 30 ft.
Melee +2 icy burst shocking burst grudge blade +21/+16/+11 (1d6+8/15-20 plus 1d6 cold and 1d6 electricity) or
spell combat +2 icy burst shocking burst grudge blade +19/+14/+9 (1d6+8/15-20 plus 1d6 cold and electricity) or
disembodied strike +18 (1d8+8)
Space 5 ft.; Reach 5ft. (10 ft. with disembodied strike)
Special Attacks critical perfection, disembodied strike (1d8+8), greater spell combat, improved spell combat, perfect strike, soul lash (8d6, DC 23), spell combat (-2 attack, +2 concentration, double bonus), spellstrike
Magus Spells Prepared (CL 16th; concentration +22)
6th – true seeing
5th – cloudkill, corrosive consumption, telekinesis
4th – arcana theft, dimension door, fire shield, stoneskin
3rd – dispel magic, fly, force punch (DC 19), lightning bolt (DC 19), vampiric touch
2nd – acid arrow, elemental touch (DC 18), frigid touch, invisibility, mirror image, scorching ray
1st – corrosive touch, grease (DC 17), hydraulic push, magic missile (2), shocking grasp
0 (at will) – acid splash, detect magic, flare (DC 16), read magic

Str 22, Dex 16, Con –, Int 22, Wis 12, Cha 20
Base Atk. +12; CMB +18; CMD 39
Feats Combat Casting, Critical Focus, Improved Critical (rapier), Improved Initiative, Improved Vital Strike, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes, Toughness, Vital Strike, Weapon Focus (rapier)
Skills Craft (alchemy) +25, Fly +13, Intimidate +20, Knowledge (arcana) +25, Knowledge (history) +16, Knowledge (religion) +25, Perception +16, Sense Motive +16, Spellcraft +25, Stealth +16, Use Magic Device +20
Languages Abyssal, Ancient Osiriani, Common, Draconic, Infernal, Necril, Varisian
SQ arcane pool (14 points, +4), counterstrike, diminished spellcasting, iaijutsu, iaijutsu focus, magus arcana (arcane accuracy, hasted assault, lingering pain, quickened magic), superior reflexes
Combat Gear scroll of mind blank; Other Gear bracers of armor +4, grudge blade, belt of physical might +2 (Strength and Dexterity), bone beads, cloak of resistance +3, headband of alluring charisma +4, scarlet and blue sphere ioun stone, ring of protection +4, diamond dust worth 500 gp, spell component pouch, spellbook (contains all prepared spells plus disintegrate and additional spells of your choice)
Gallowspire Fast Healing (Su): As long as Adivion is within 500 feet of Gallowspire, the tower continually infuses him with negative energy, granting him fast healing 20. Adivion loses this ability if death ward or protection from evil is cast on him, blocking the effect. Although a forsaken lich is normally destroyed automatically in 1d10 days, Adivion's Gallowspire fast healing renews and replenishes the arcane energies that power him, allowing him to survive indefinitely as long as this ability is in effect. If Adivion is reduced to 0 hit points, the effects of fast healing end immediately.
Delusory Aura (Su): Like his soul, Adivion’s mind is discorporated and scattered across the area around its corpse. This fills the area within 100 feet of the forsaken lich with an ever-shifting panoply of its darkest dreams, dashed ambitions, and enraged insanity. This area is considered to be under the effects of mirage arcana, but of a particularly disturbing variety. All living creatures within the area take a –4 penalty on any saves against fear effects. If the effect is dispelled, it reconstitutes 1 round later.
Soul Shield (Su): The shadowy double superimposed over Adivion’s corporeal form flits around his body, granting him concealment (20% miss chance). The miss chance increases to 50% in dim light. This ability never grants total concealment; it only increases miss chances.
Spell Storm (Su): Adivion is the epicenter of a squall of unchecked magical energies. If a spell targets the forsaken lich and fails to overcome its spell resistance, this uncontrolled magic redirects the spell as per spell turning.
Adivion is always considered to have 10 spell levels of turning left for the purposes of this effect, even if it is affected by multiple spells in the same round.
Disembodied Strike (Su): Adivion has a special touch attack that it can make as a standard action, using its highest base attack bonus. This attack originates when its disembodied soul reaches out independently and uses negative energy to deal 1d8 points of damage to living creatures + 1 point of damage per every 2 Hit Dice possessed by the forsaken lich. This attack has a reach 5 feet greater than the forsaken lich’s normal reach, and may be directed at nearby undead creatures to heal them, or used on the forsaken lich itself to heal damage inflicted on its corporeal form.
Soul Lash (Su): Unbridled magic endlessly funnels into Adivion's undead form, scouring his body and soul with mighty energies. As a swift action, each round the forsaken lich can unleash this dark energy in a blast of pure magical destructiveness. This blast takes the form of a 240-foot line of destructive energy that deals an amount of damage equal to 1d6 per 2 Hit Dice the forsaken lich possesses (to a maximum of 20d6) and paralyzes those affected for 1d10 rounds. Creatures that make a Reflex save partially avoid the arcane lash, taking only half damage and avoiding the paralysis.
This energy is not completely under his control. If Adivion does not spend a swift action to discharge the energy every round, it takes an amount of damage equal to 1d6 × 1/4 of its total Hit Dice.
Diminished Spellcasting: Adivion may cast one fewer spell of each level than normal. If this reduces the number to 0, he may cast spells of that level only if his Intelligence allows bonus spells of that level.
Arcane Pool (Su): Adivion has a reservoir of mystical arcane energy that he can draw upon to fuel his powers and enhance his weapon. He can expend 1 point from his arcane pool as a swift action to grant any weapon he is holding a +1 enhancement bonus for 1 minute. For every four levels beyond 1st, the weapon gains another +1 enhancement bonus, to a maximum of +5 at 17th level. These bonuses can be added to the weapon, stacking with existing weapon enhancement to a maximum of +5. Multiple uses of this ability do not stack with themselves.
These bonuses can be used to add any of the following weapon properties: dancing, flaming, flaming burst, frost, icy burst, keen, shock, shocking burst, speed, or vorpal.
Adding these properties consumes an amount of bonus equal to the property’s base price modifier. These properties are added to any the weapon already has, but duplicates do not stack. If the weapon is not magical, at least a +1 enhancement bonus must be added before any other properties can be added. These bonuses and properties are decided when the arcane pool point is spent and cannot be changed until the next time Adivion uses this ability. These bonuses do not function if the weapon is wielded by anyone other than Adivion.
Adivion can only enhance one weapon in this way at one time. If he uses this ability again, the first use immediately ends.
Spell Combat (Ex): Adivion has learned to cast spells and wield his weapons at the same time. This functions much like two-weapon fighting, but the off-hand weapon is a spell that is being cast. To use this ability, the magus must have one hand free (even if the spell being cast does not have somatic components), while wielding a light or one-handed melee weapon in the other hand. As a full-round action, he can make all of his attacks with his melee weapon at a –2 penalty and can also cast any spell from the magus spell list with a casting time of 1 standard action (any attack roll made as part of this spell also takes this penalty). If he casts this spell defensively, he can decide to take an additional penalty on his attack rolls, up to his Intelligence bonus, and add the same amount as a circumstance bonus on his concentration check. If the check fails, the spell is wasted, but the attacks still take the penalty. A magus can choose to cast the spell first or make the weapon attacks first, but if he has more than one attack, he cannot cast the spell between weapon attacks.
Spellstrike (Su): Whenever Adivion casts a spell with a range of “touch” from the magus spell list, he can deliver the spell through any weapon he is wielding as part of a melee attack. Instead of the free melee touch attack normally allowed to deliver the spell, a magus can make one free melee attack with his weapon (at his highest base attack bonus) as part of casting this spell. If successful, this melee attack deals its normal damage as well as the effects of the spell. If the magus makes this attack in concert with spell combat, this melee attack takes all the penalties accrued by spell combat melee attacks. This attack uses the weapon’s critical range (20, 19–20, or 18–20 and modified by the keen weapon property or similar effects), but the spell effect only deals ×2 damage on a successful critical hit, while the weapon damage uses its own critical modifier.
Canny Defense (Ex): When Adivion is wielding a rapier, he adds 1 point of Intelligence bonus (if any) per magus class level to his Dexterity bonus to modify Armor Class.
Perfect Strike (Ex): When Adivion hits with his rapier, he can spend 1 point from his arcane pool in order to maximize his weapon damage. Don’t roll for damage—the weapon deals maximum damage. This affects only the weapon’s base damage dice, not additional damage from sneak attack, magical weapon properties, spellstrike, or critical hits. If Adivion confirms a critical hit, he can instead spend 2 points from his arcane pool to increase his weapon’s critical multiplier by 1.
This ability replaces spell recall.
Fighter Training (Ex): Adivion counts his magus level –3 as his fighter level for the purpose of qualifying for feats (if he has levels in fighter, these levels stack), but forfeits the benefit of such feats with weapons other than his favored weapon.
This ability replaces knowledge pool.
Iaijutsu (Ex): Adivion applies his Intelligence modifier as well as his Dexterity modifier on initiative rolls (minimum 0). Adivion may make attacks of opportunity when flat-footed, and may draw his favored weapon as a free action as part of taking an attack of opportunity.
This ability replaces the medium armor ability.
Improved Spell Combat (Ex): Adivion’s ability to cast spells and make melee attacks has improved. When using the spell combat ability, Adivion receives a +2 circumstance bonus on concentration checks, in addition to any bonus granted by taking an additional penalty on the attack roll.
Critical Perfection (Ex): Adivion adds his Intelligence bonus (minimum 0) on critical hit confirmation rolls with his favored weapon. In addition, he may use his magus levels in place of his base attack bonuses to qualify for Critical Focus and any feat for which it is a prerequisite; these feats apply only with a Adivion’s favored weapon.
This ability replaces the magus arcana normally gained at 9th level.
Superior Reflexes (Ex): Adivion can make a number of attacks of opportunity in a round equal to his Intelligence modifier (minimum 1). This effect stacks with the Combat Reflexes feat.
This ability replaces improved spell recall.
Iaijutsu Focus (Ex): Adivion may always act and may draw his weapon as a swift action during a surprise round, though he is considered flat-footed until he acts. During a surprise round or when attacking a flat-footed opponent, he adds his Intelligence modifier on damage with his chosen weapon (minimum 0).
This ability replaces heavy armor.
Greater Spell Combat (Ex): Adivion has learned to seamlessly cast spells and make melee attacks. Whenever he uses the spell combat ability, his concentration check bonus equals double the amount of the attack penalty taken.
Counterstrike (Ex): Whenever an enemy within reach of Adivion successfully casts a spell defensively, that enemy provokes an attack of opportunity from Adivion after the spell is complete. This attack of opportunity cannot disrupt the spell.

Dark Archive

I really like the idea of the professor and Adivion Adrissant sharing a 'friendship' akin to Professor X and Magneto.

If that were the case then Adivion Adrissant would probably one of the poll bearers at the beginning of the adventure and I'm sure the professor would have left him something rather personal in his will for Adivion. Perhaps something to remind Adivion that not to tread the darker paths.

Any suggetions or thoughts of what he would have left for Adivion Adrissant in his will?

I know there were mussings of what ever happened to the professor's spell book, and perhaps that could be a possible item but I was looking for ideas of a suitable fit to reflect thier 'friendship/rivalry.'

I love this thread.


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baron arem heshvaun wrote:

I really like the idea of the professor and Adivion Adrissant sharing a 'friendship' akin to Professor X and Magneto.

If that were the case then Adivion Adrissant would probably one of the poll bearers at the beginning of the adventure and I'm sure the professor would have left him something rather personal in his will for Adivion. Perhaps something to remind Adivion that not to tread the darker paths.

Any suggetions or thoughts of what he would have left for Adivion Adrissant in his will?

I know there were mussings of what ever happened to the professor's spell book, and perhaps that could be a possible item but I was looking for ideas of a suitable fit to reflect thier 'friendship/rivalry.'

I love this thread.

I have had one of the PC's travel to Caliphas to visit Adivion in his town house "If anyone knows anything about the problems in Ravengro it will be Advioion..." unfortunately he is away in Leipistaht (sic) and cue the modified God's Mouth Heresy as the intro.

Pharasmin church have gathered all the PCs to inform them of the Professor's death (via Sending) no time to ride to Ravengro...do this little deed for us for a Teleport...
Lorrimor's spellbook is in two sections..."normal" spells and his "dangerous" spells. Adivion gets the dangerous one, Kendra the normal

Scarab Sages

Spoiler:

I am totally making it so Selmy (the defense laywer from Lepidstadt) is AA. He will pop back up when the group meets more of the Palatine Eye without his stutter, and reveal that he's been a Palatine Agent. Then, when the group meets Adivion again, guess who...


Brandon Hodge wrote:

As for his speech at the end, I'll bet I can dig up some draft materials for you guys. The procession of the PCs up the Bone Stair is the PERFECT opportunity for him to shout out speech snippets and devious one-liners, and the combat entry (iirc) includes suggestions for some of his tactics and spells used while the PCs climb the stairs -what better time to spout out the predicted doom of the PCs than during a well-placed spell cast at unbalanced PCs navigating treacherous terrain on their way up the spire?

Any luck with finding that draft? :)

Contributor

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Thank you for the reminder, TKD!

I've got a few minutes this morning, and a hot pot of coffee on the stove, so I'm going to dig through and give you guys a little material to work with to spice up an already spicy encounter! Some pointers, some clarifications, some early attempts, some thoughts behind what I was going for, etc. If you'll pardon the expression, it'll be a bit of a 'hodgepodge' of info. Ha! See what I did...oh, nevermind! =-)

Encounter CR Adjustments
Some GMs have speculated that ol' Adivion just isn't enough of a matchup for their party, either because he's flying solo against a crack team of adventurers, they've got 6 party members instead of the scripted 4, etc. Other than some of the tactical choices below, keep in mind that area H6 has TWO spare nightwings off hunting at your disposal!!! Or give him a gallowdead guard or help from some of the other minions from the undead storm swarming around Gallowspire. If he needs some help, he's got plenty right there! Just don't overdo it, because he's still a handful.

Adivion the Chatterbox
Love that you guys want to insert some classic villainous dialogue! My suggestion would not be to just have Adivion perched atop Gallowspire waiting for PCs to come over the edge of the stair so he can gloat in silence, so give it some flair (37 pieces, at least).

Rather, give clues to what's going on as PCs approach up the stairs, and even during their battle with the nightwing. Remember that Adivion doesn't know he's failed until he sees the PCs coming, and it isn't until then that he's forced to drink the Carrion Crown formula itself.

So, while the PCs battle the nightwing(s) on the level below, have Adivion -still HUMAN and handsome at this point, pontificating from above. Maybe he lets out a haughty warning of "Blasphemers! Begone trespassers from the unholy ground of the great lord, the Whispering TYRANT!" You might let your PCs get a good glimpse of him peering over the edge, in normal good-looking human form. BUT, if they are flying or can get to him too quickly (they'd be ignoring the nightwing), then DON'T do that! You've got to give time for his transformation and to cast the prep spells, which can come first.

Personally, I'd let them see him peer over the edge, yell and snarl then disappear. If they try to give chase while the nightwing is still alive, then send another nightwing or some wraiths or animate dreams out of the undead storm to fight them on their ascent to keep them busy before they spoil the time he needs to transform. Be careful about that!

The other option is to just have PCs overhear his supplications from below as they ascend, echoing through Gallowspire or rumbling like thunder through the undead storm. "Oh mighty and terrible Tar-Baphon, your servants have failed, but one servant LIVES so that you may RISE!" Or try "I extract your unliving soul from this prison of iron and stone, so that it might live again in a new prison of dead walking flesh! <evil laugh>"

I mean, I could go on all morning with these. Just have some prepared evil snippets like those! Every round of the nightwing fight, PCs should be hearing stuff like this. When the nightwing gets to about half hit points, the dialogue should shift. There should be a round of "Oh mighty Tar-Baphon, take this body as YOUR body, and walk again in unholy, unliving terror across the breadth of the world which will suffer for your imprisonment!" Follow that with some gurgles and gasps.

If you have the luxury, follow that with a round or two of gasping and inhuman shrieks. Have the rain fall. Have a cloud of swirling incorporeal undead sweeping around in a little vortex or something. Maybe his human face appears in the clouds of the storm and starts shriveling, if you want to really be explicit. If your kids have one of those toy voice-changing microphones left over from Halloween, EVEN BETTER! Because at this point, Adivion is a forsaken lich, and he's going to look a LOT different than the handsome guy the PCs just caught peering over the ledge a few round before. If you have the time, new ugly-Adivion should harrass PCs coming up the stairs with spells like telekinesis or cloudkill. This leads me to:

Forsaken Liches
We were all pretty taken aback for the art of Adivion. Of course the weapon was all wrong and all that. But for me, it was worse than that, though let me say strongly that THAT ART IS AWESOME!!! It just doesn't properly convey the MAIN quality of a forsaken lich, which is the disembodied soul. The bestiary art in the back of the book doesn't really get it, either. So, here's some descriptive pointers and explanations for the visions going through my head that you are free to use. Enjoy!

The main thing with forsaken liches is that their soul refuses to enter the phylactery, and GETS STUCK between it and the now-undead body it is trying to leave. It can't leave, and it can't go back! This disembodied soul is the MAIN FEATURE of the forsaken lich, and despite my efforts the artists just didn't get it, and when they don't, the words (which are much cheaper!) had to change to suit it. This thing is so active, so independent, to almost be another creature entirely. Here's a description of how it works:

So, a forsaken lich should appear as the shriveled form of the failed mortal who just tried to achieve lichdom (pretty much like a normal lich, right?), But totally enveloped by an aggressive, roiling black, wraith-like form that is the trapped soul, trying desperately to tear itself from this dead body and enter the phylactery, but can't because something went wrong (like a formula not made for the person who drank it, for instance). It sort of floats over and behind the lich, ripping at the corporeal form, snarling, and trying in vain to tear itself away, like a trapped animal.

In early drafts, this soul was a very aggressive, hostile force, even to Adivion, because it is sort of his soul mixed with the extracted (and now trapped) soul of Tar-Baphon, right? It even had its own independent actions beyond what Adivion was doing each round (part of the finale's challenge was that the BBEG, though one creature, had more actions than normal -the very capable magus Adivion, and the attached soul which could lash out with lich-touch attacks or even cast a spells while Adivion fought). You might encourage that perception, and the rules for forsaken liches still somewhat reflect that.

The Highs & Lows of Forsaken Lichdom

At this point, I'm entering territory that 1) is wildly divergent from the adventure and 2) seriously effects the CR of the encounter. Maybe I shouldn't do this, but here's a suggestion for your game based on my initial intentions. But you've been warned.

The soul of Tar-Baphon can't be contained in mortal flesh, right? It is just too much! So, an early idea was that Adivion was going to suffer a steeply-rising bell-curve of power, followed by an even steeper decline. This was going to shift every couple of rounds over the course of, say, 10 rounds, and was going to more properly demonstrate the true terror of the transformation into a lich. In other words, I originally wanted PCs to see the steps of the transformation, and the rejection of the soul and its autonomous behavior, for example, but also witness the sheer, raw POWER of having a shard of Tar-Baphon's soul in your body. For the first two rounds, for example, Adivion would have all his spells empowered, then maximized for a couple of rounds after that, and then a freebie haste for a couple of rounds. This is really more of something that would work in my home game as I gauge the push and pull of combat. In other words, there is this TREMENDOUS SURGE of power, and you get to display the finer points of the transformative process and really wipe the floor with the PCs butt for a few rounds, making them feel really hopeless that this guy is going to win, and win big.

But then, things go wrong. Since the formula wasn't made for him, Adivion suffers a huge backlash/burnout. He starts freaking out (he doesn't stop fighting, but he is obviously distressed as the soul realizes it is trapped and tries to tear away from him). Those boons from the previous rounds start going away a couple of rounds at a time (just work backward), and his body starts breaking down somewhat as the disembodied soul grows more into a spectral likeness of Tar-Baphon. Cool, right? Feel free to play with this idea, but know that it really messes with the CR of the encounter if you start maximizing all Adivion's spells and hasting him for free. To offset this, I had written a "friendly-haunt" mechanic of the souls of Tar-Baphon's original prison wardens who show up to grant the PCs little boons of their own (a regular haunt, but one that heals PCs, aids, boosts, etc), but in the end you just can't have that many elements in a climatic battle and expect any sane GM to be able to follow everything at once and run it smoothly, so you've got to reduce it down to its core components, which is what we did.

But you can use some of those ideas if you want, and I hope my clarifications on the forsaken lich makes the encounter more cinematic and memorable for your players.

Feel free to ask any questions! Happy gaming!


Quote:
Some GMs have speculated that ol' Adivion just isn't enough of a matchup for their party, either because he's flying solo against a crack team of adventurers, they've got 6 party members instead of the scripted 4, etc.

My group is pretty experienced and knowledgable rules-wise, so they're more than a match for solo Adivion. Because I don't like the idea of just nameless fleshbags used by him to absorb damage, I went and cranked it up a notch and decided to give him Marrowgarth. IMC, my PCs already saw Adivion through visions of Auren Vrood, and as Ice Titan suggested, I had him come personally to Feldgrau, riding Marrowgarth. That's what they saw, and I let them research about famous Ustalavic Raveners and they learned about her being a mount to Tar-Baphon, which makes her oh-so-much cooler than just a few Nightwings. I agree, it might be a handful, but by that time she'll likely be depleted by previous fights or I'll give them some aid in form of friendly haunts etc, but I felt that Lich riding a Dracolich is a suitable final encounter.

Quote:
We were all pretty taken aback for the art of Adivion. Of course the weapon was all wrong and all that.

Heh, how does one confuse a RAPIER with a GLAIVE? :D I mean, I'd get if it was a longsword but this makes no sense at all. :D For me it turned out ok, because it allowed me to give him an unusual weapon, and not give him a crit-focus build, which I see too often these days.

All in all, thanks for this post, it will be of tremendous use once the time comes. :)


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Some conclusions I've made about Adivion...

First, he's noted several times as the leader of the Whispering Way, but this isn't the case. For example, there's a branch of the WW all the way down in Geb that probably doesn't even know Adivion exists. More to the point, the WW seems to be divided into two camps: an active group of cultists, and a much more powerful group of undead beings that are trapped or nascent. Adivion only commands the former. This fact would make great fodder for Adivion's bad guy speech - the old "Even if you destroy me, others will carry on my work!" thing. And hey, maybe the PCs find a missive on Adivion's body from [insert even greater baddy here]. Perhaps Grier the demilich was instructing Adivion the whole time.

Second, I don't think Adivion cares a whole lot about the Whispering Way. For example, he only began the lich transformation as an absolute last resort. His interest seems to lie entirely with Tar-Baphon, and to that end, he's more-or-less using the Ustalav branch of the WW in his effort to free Tar-Baphon. "True" cultists like Auren Vrood and Lucimar may realize this, but they don't particularly care why or how Tar-Baphon is freed. Only that he is. Perhaps the PCs can pick up clues to this effect throughout the Carrion Crown AP. Lucimar in particular seems quite unhappy that his position has been usurped by (in my opinion) a pretender.

Contributor

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Generic Villain wrote:
Some fantastic points

You are absolutely correct, GV! Especially your 2nd evaluation there, because Adivion IS all about Tar-Baphon. He's current usurped control of the Ustalav WW branch, so he is the leader of that sect, and while not everyone likes it, they're willing to play along in the event he's onto something. Lucimar, in particular, would love to pick up the scraps if he survives!

I don't have much else to say other than my endorsement of those viewpoints. Carry on. =-)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Honestly, I am very, very concerned that my group will just ROFLstomp Adivion in one round. High level combat in Pathfinder is a pretty brutal and fast affair and from his statblock alone, Adivion does not have all that good defenses ( unlike some previous final opponents like Ileosa or Nyrissa ).

I got a quite powerful group of characters coming up to kick his tuchas in one year or so ( one Gunslinger, one Undead Scourge Paladin, a Cleric of Pharasma, a Wizard and a Sorcerer ), so I guess he'll need a ton of minions to keep them off him, so that he can shine for a few seconds.

Even so, the economy of actions is vastly stacked against him here. He either gets shielded very efficiently or he will be done after one or two rounds. Which would be... anticlimatic.


magnuskn wrote:

Honestly, I am very, very concerned that my group will just ROFLstomp Adivion in one round. High level combat in Pathfinder is a pretty brutal and fast affair and from his statblock alone, Adivion does not have all that good defenses ( unlike some previous final opponents like Ileosa or Nyrissa ).

I got a quite powerful group of characters coming up to kick his tuchas in one year or so ( one Gunslinger, one Undead Scourge Paladin, a Cleric of Pharasma, a Wizard and a Sorcerer ), so I guess he'll need a ton of minions to keep them off him, so that he can shine for a few seconds.

Even so, the economy of actions is vastly stacked against him here. He either gets shielded very efficiently or he will be done after one or two rounds. Which would be... anticlimatic.

You could give him some defensive item with a little SR to it, as you have a pretty magic heavy group. That's what I would do if I had your group and felt the same way. You also have 5 in your group as opposed to the module designed for four characters. If you also had a high point buy as well in character creation, it would unbalance things further.

It's the swan song of the campaign anyway, my group would likely retire the characters after this, so I wouldnt mind if one of them wound up with a neat spell resistance trinket.
:)


Quote:
You could give him some defensive item with a little SR to it

He already has SR 25 and Spell Turning.

I posted my version of AA in Shadows of Gallowspire thread, and gave him Marrogarth as his mount during the final combat and some other changes which should make him a lot tougher, as my group is also pretty strong.


Toadkiller Dog wrote:
Quote:
You could give him some defensive item with a little SR to it

He already has SR 25 and Spell Turning.

Ah, ty. I almost never read stat blocks on my first read throughs.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Toadkiller Dog wrote:
Quote:
You could give him some defensive item with a little SR to it

He already has SR 25 and Spell Turning.

I posted my version of AA in Shadows of Gallowspire thread, and gave him Marrogarth as his mount during the final combat and some other changes which should make him a lot tougher, as my group is also pretty strong.

I'll look that up, thank you.

Dark Archive

Brandon, thank you for making this great thread even greater-er.

;)

Dark Archive

Generic Villain wrote:
First, he's noted several times as the leader of the Whispering Way, but this isn't the case. For example, there's a branch of the WW all the way down in Geb that probably doesn't even know Adivion exists. More to the point, the WW seems to be divided into two camps: an active group of cultists, and a much more powerful group of undead beings that are trapped or nascent. Adivion only commands the former. This fact would make great fodder for Adivion's bad guy speech - the old "Even if you destroy me, others will carry on my work!" thing. And hey, maybe the PCs find a missive on Adivion's body from [insert even greater baddy here].

I've alway seen the Whispering Way as a large multi continent spanning network/cabal of necromancers and death cultists with a shared agenda but with no real love for one another. Just like the Roman Senate, or late medieval courts of peerage or even political parties of today, there is a Lot of power broking, internal shifting allegiances, infighting both covert and blatant, and currying of favours. It is an Evil organization after all.

Brandon I love Adivion, (the always velvet gloved and rapier carrying Viscount Adrissant in my game), I wish there was more of him in the AP; that's why I love this thread! In 2nd Ed rules he would have the Etiquette proficiency in spades.

You have said you pictured him as Tim Roth (Archibald Cunningham!), I keep picturing him as a very young Peter Cushing or John Hurt. Except is I used either of those actors in my description my players would initiate combat at the start of the AP while they were still 1st level !


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I added this letter for the PC's to find in Schloss Caromarc to help tie things together:

My Dear Count,
I have enjoyed our most recent discourse on the nature of the spontaneous creation of certain types of undead. In my many years of study on the subject, I have also attempted to discern the secrets from my own study of Osirian remains, those hulking mummies so prevalent in that desert environ. Perhaps when I travel back to the north country I will regale you with stories of my exploits in that dusty land. It has been a long time since I have enjoyed your company in person. Although I have grown greatly from the student I once was, the time I shared with you and Petros in study and event disagreement is one I shall always cherish.
However, I digress from the purpose of this current missive. Some retainers of mine have business in Lepidstadt in the coming weeks, and I was hoping to impose upon your intellect and unique point of view. They will be carrying a rather curious Tome, and I would love to have your learned opinion of it. If it is not too much of an imposition, please expect visitors toward the end of the month.
Regards,
Adivion Adrissant

Grand Lodge

Nice


You know, I really like the idea of positive haunts showing up to help.

A big thing I'm doing with every mod is having an important NPC die - Adivion is then going to raise them and I'm going to add them into the last module undead mooks - after the players destroy their undead shells it will free their souls - who can then help them at the top of the tower. Really badass idea.

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