Things you've changed, and things you should have. [Spoilers]


Rise of the Runelords

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Another quick and simple one for the Grauls:

Hucker Graul in the basement supposedly lurks in a dark room, alone aside from his pet rats, as an enemy who only has low-light vision. Not a great setup.

What I would suggest:

- Switch Hucker's Combat Reflexes feat for Blind Fight.
- Switch Chuckles and Drooler's Dodge feat for Blind Fight.
- Remove Hucker's +1 hide armor and potion of cure moderate wounds.
- Give Hucker mundane hide armor and 2 oils of deeper darkness (one to put on his weapon, one to serve as treasure, or backup in case he needs to use another).

Hucker's gear should now consist of a +1 ogre hook, hide armor, an amulet of natural armor (+1), 2 oils of deeper darkness, his nose collection, and 35gp.

Like Crowfood, Hucker has the rogue levels for strategy, and as supposedly the most mature Graul, he should definitely make use of a better strategy than just rage and power attacks (also, so few parties ever seem to be prepared for magical darkness that can't be broken by darkvision. Should be fun, no?).

For an added bonus, add a simple trap to the door at the top of the stairs to area A4 that closes and jams it as a nonmagical equivalent of a hold portal spell (or just as an actual hold portal spell if you'd prefer to go by the assumption that Mammy lent use of her spells to a trap or two) when the PCs open the door to area A12.

(Like Crowfood, Hucker is primarily a rogue multiclassed a bit with a melee class. He handles so much better if his rogue levels are actually taken into account in his strategy.)


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

In my party's fight with Mammy, Hucker came up from the basement, silently, and back-stabbed one of the PCs. He then slipped into an adjacent room (I think it was the dining room), and reset one of the traps that the PCs had previously disarmed, and hid in the shadows. After the fight with Mammy, one of the PCs returned to the dining room, and got hit with the trap-- and was then backstabbed by Hucker again.


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Haladir wrote:
In my party's fight with Mammy, Hucker came up from the basement, silently, and back-stabbed one of the PCs. He then slipped into an adjacent room (I think it was the dining room), and reset one of the traps that the PCs had previously disarmed, and hid in the shadows. After the fight with Mammy, one of the PCs returned to the dining room, and got hit with the trap-- and was then backstabbed by Hucker again.

Enemy rogues sneaking around and resetting sprung or disarmed traps! Why have I never thought of that before?

Well my groups are in for a treat next time they come across an enemy trapsmith... >:3

Grand Lodge

I will spend some time reading through all of this when I have time, but I admit that I love the idea of stating out a few of the NPCs and having the group play their parts as well.

Right now the only thing that I wished I had changed in book 1 and will be changing as needed is increasing the size of "dungeons."

My group is roughly 9 players strong, which means every 5 foot wide 20 foot long hallways are filled with 4 characters, it also makes all fights in rooms difficult if the bad guy is supposed to run at some point. If the room is full of PCs then how is the NPC supposed to tumble through 3 squares of PCs?

My plan is to increase the size of all dungeons by double their base size. I understand that in some cases the rooms may be large enough to accommodate both the NPCs and PCs but some are just way to small. Hell, Malfeshnakor (10 foot base) was in a room with a 5 foot ledge, and he wasn't fireproof. :/


As a former priest,I moved the consecration of the cathedral inside. It felt strange to have it done outside on the town square.
We ended last session with the players hearing screams from the town square, rushing out,watching the chaos unfold.
Come Sunday, blood will be spilled.

Scarab Sages

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In Burnt Offerings, I made the tomb that held Father Tobyn's bones be an above ground mausoleum. Outside the mausoleum, I had a small mass grave with a heavy capstone containing the bones of the poor acolytes (and Nuala's "bones") that died in the cathedral fire. After the perception and survival checks to figure out that there were tracks from the goblins and Tsuo, I let them know that the medium humanoid stopped at the capstone before continuing onto the mausoleum. It was Tsuo laughing at the dumb townsfolk who think that her body is in there. Unfortunately, that made one of my players, with high ranks in heal, want to check out the bones and possibly determine how many people died in there (and possibly discover that none of the bones were female) so I had Father Zantus refuse strongly and put Nasser to guard the area closely.

I also had Belor and a couple of miliamen do some checking out of who owned the wagon containing the pyro goblins (which one of my players figured out right away must have held the goblins for most of the day until the attack around sunset). Belor told the party that there was a general call for extra wagons to place around the town to hold the Swallowtail festival's party stuff and that one was overlooked. It turned out to be Lonjiku's wagon, and the mayor was going to go have a talk (noble to noble) about how it came to contain the goblins.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
Gluttony wrote:
I've done this same topic for Jade Regent, and figured it would be fitting to make a version of it for RotRL. I'm interested in knowing what people have changed in the AP (and why), and what things you ran as-written but now feel like you should have done differently.

I consider first-level characters entirely too vulnerable to bad die rolls. As such, I increased everyone's starting level to level 2. I then proceeded to increase the difficulty of each combat by at least one CR - the initial combat with the goblins had six goblins attacking them... and the goblin ranger and warchanter were both level 2. This has gone on up the line (I gave the Greater Barghest one level in Fighter; almost regretted it as a really good run of Blink rolls kept it from being hit most of the time by the Barbarian).

I also plan on a secondary encounter - the crew is going with Ameiko to the city in order to hire a new master glasssmith to train new workers. Sadly they're going to find out that the glasssmith is in hiding because this Skinsaw agent is after him. ;)

Sadly, I've only three players, so I'm roleplaying an NPC thief/air wizard (with that very useful skill that has thieves auto-roll to detect traps so I'm not using GM knowledge for trap detection). Still, the group is working out quite well and enjoying themselves greatly. I've not had this much fun in a campaign in a long time... which is truly interesting seeing half of my gaming group lives in other states and join in over Skype! It makes drawing maps (using a whiteboard) and using miniatures rather... interesting, to say the least.


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I was inspired by the OP's idea of involving NPCs in defending Sandpoint from the giants, and so in my RotRL campaign I've had the players have to find mentors in order to be able to advance in level, at least during the first chapter of RotRL.

My players are actually all eleven years old, and so I thought it would be fun to start with a homebrew introduction with them about to graduate from school. (I actually planned out a story arc in which they are underestimated by the town's adults because they are young, and part of their motivation of going on their first adventure (without any starting equipment!) is to prove themselves to the town. I even inserted a foolish "rival party" to get under their skin! You can see my RotRL session writeups on the blog I set up for the kids.)

So I thought setting up the mentor requirement would help underscore that they are young and still in need of tutelage. It also allows for more roleplaying possibilities.

And then, when the big raid on Sandpoint happens, they will be in the position of fighting side by side with their former mentors whom they have long surpassed. They will feel also feel more invested in the battle.

Here are the mentors I set up for my various characters

Summoner = the wizard of the "rival party" who rolled his eyes at the braggodocio of their buffoonish "leader"
Ranger (who has goblins as a favored enemy) = This was obvious: Shalelu Andosana. She, of course, only figures into the plot later, and so this player was very anxious and hunted the town for a mentor! He was thrilled when Shalelu stopped into town for her surprise visit!
Ninja and Rogue = These players went into the notorious Fatman's Feedbag and had a challenging roleplay in which they had to gain the trust of the local underworld. They have not seen their leader's (Jubrayl Vhiski's) actual face because they were kidnapped with bags thrown over their heads for their actual conversation with him. I am actually not sure if Jubrayl will take part in the actual defense of Sandpoint and it will be interesting where this whole thing leads... I am thinking of a possible side trek in which they are sent on a truly conscience-churning mission, and they have a choice of turning in their own employer, thus gaining the trust of Sheriff Hemlock (who of course I will say has a backstory of being a rogue in Riddleport before becoming a champion of the law hehe, and so he has much to teach these youths about how to violate laws, including some of his own!). This would be a nice twist because the party has not particularly liked this character, but who has already conveyed a grudging respect toward the party.
Alchemist - Alliver Podiker, the town herbalist, who of course has a connection with the town underworld. (Hmm, writing in this forum is helping me plan out this side trek...)
Paladin - None needed. This player actually joined in during the second session as a visiting dignitary from Magnimar who was in town for the Sandpoint Festival. Since he was part of an established organization and from a town with many high-level PCs I didn't think it was believable for him to have to search for a mentor in this podunk town. :)

Scarab Sages

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Just for fun, I changed the names of the whores in The Pixie's Kitten. The owner is now Melina Tesarani (instead of Kaye Tesarani) and I've added a dwarf female whore named Thumbelina, and another female whore named Mari who is rumored to have three breasts. I wonder how long it will take the party to notice that the names are from the move Total Recall?


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Some of this is cross-posted from an explanation I made in a thread about one of the traps in Thistletop.

Basically, I had to make some changes to the later parts of Burnt Offerings, due to player skittishness around entering Thistletop:

Their first attempt to enter Thistletop ended in failure: they refused to enter the thistles once they realized how small the opening was, camped on the beach, fought some goblin refugees who attacked them in order to prove themselves to Ripnugget, and were attacked the next day by the goblin Druid while they were attempting to hike around the island so they could climb up to the bridge. After the druid nearly killed them by mind-controlling the wizard's Dire Bat mount, they fled for Sandpoint.

They made a second attempt, this time against a Druid who knew they would be coming. This time their plan was to simply defoliate their way through the thistles...they fought the Druid a second time, killing his animal companion, but also burning down the forest area that had been covered in accelerant by the goblins. The group narrowly survived the smoke inhalation, and was rescued by Shalelu.

They then cast Ant Haul on the Dire Bat and flew over to Thistletop (the bridge had burned down with the thistle forest) and assaulted from the front. The goblins had barred the door, and none of them were strong enough to break it down, so under a hail of goblin arrows they entered through one of the towers, went DIRECTLY to the throne room, yelped in fear upon seeing the sheer number of goblins guarding the king, and fled after casting Web and setting fire to the webs.

At this point, they noticed smoke in the sky coming from the direction of Sandpoint, as Nualia had decided to accelerate her plans following their initial assault. She sent Orik, Bruthazmus, and Lyrie to attack the town with a troop of goblins. The group again flew the Bat back to Sandpoint in record time and defended the town. They killed Bruthazmus, captured Orik, and were unable to stop Lyrie from escaping. As a result of the attack on Sandpoint (which was a result of them taking their sweet time in assaulting Thistletop), many nameless townspeople were killed, plus the Wizard who runs the magic shop, and the halfling maid who warned them of Ameiko's kidnapping.

Realizing that Thistletop was a more immediate threat to the town than they'd thought, they made another attempt, this time approaching by sea and entering through a cove. They were attacked by a Tentamort while swimming into the cove, discovered the temple of Lamashtu, and fought two Yeth Hounds (both of whom howled). They also encountered Lyrie again, and despite her best attempts, they managed to slay her as well (and discovered her creepy obsession with Tsuto).


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I am running Rise of the Runelords again with the anniversary edition. I like the added bits of story and assorted gristle that was added to help bridge some of the story gaps between the separate adventures. But I went a bit further in Skinsaw Murders.

I never really liked Justice Ironbriar as written. He's a super secret member of a murder cult, and his only real claim to fame (as written) is being dominated by a lamia matriarch. I decided to make some meta plot modifications to better support a bit of self respect for ol' Ironbriar.

My Changes: wrote:


Xanesha came to town and assumed the guise of a wealthy, single Magnimaran noblewoman so that she could have access to the greediest souls in the city. She easily infiltrated, murdered and assumed the identity of a prominent lady. Then, of all the men to court her, Ironbriar was the most interesting AND greedy. When she discovered that he was also the secret head of a murder cult she couldn't believe how well things were playing to her favor.

Justice Ironbriar and Lady Dumerek were wed in a lavish ceremony in front of all the finest people of the city of monuments. On their wedding night, Xanesha revealed her true form and flat out murdered Justice Ironbriar...consigning his rune-marked soul to fuel the release of her master. Then she replaced him with a doppelganger that she had requisitioned (I added some levels of ninja to punch the fellow up a bit). The doppelganger version of Ironbriar is what we see throughout the adventure as written since the real one was dead before events begin. Thus Xanesha gets to appear as the wife of Ironbriar to move through town in the finest circles of influence. And by night/secret she is in control of a murder cult that has begun preying upon the greedy souls of Magnimar.

She has also begun replacing a few other individuals with doppelgangers and faceless stalkers to suit her needs. I haven't gotten to the point of needing them yet, but I figure it gives me some "oh my gosh he's a doppelganger!" reveal if I decide I need one for an NPC.

SO when the players eventually make it to the sawmill, they will be facing my Doppelganger ninja and his duped cronies which should be a bit more exciting than the clerical version of Ironbriar (besides Norgorber is going to be loving all this secrecy and murder so it's not like he's going to want to intervene at any point...Xanesha is awesome in his book). If Doppelganger Ironbriar can get away to harass the players or discredit them later on...all the better...he'll probably eat it at the sawmill though.

Once the players defeat or drive off Ironbriar's doppelganger, Xanesha is going to be next on the list when they find out that Lady Ironbriar is not what she claims. Sure she could just hang at the clock tower and kill the PCs, but anyway you look at it her plans here could be well and truly humped. If Xanesha gets a chance to spread the tale of her "husband's" untimely death at the hands of the PCs whilst keeping his murder cult affiliations secret she'll gladly do it to help cover her escape from Magnimar (if she lives that is).

OH, and Scarecrow will be assembled from parts of the REAL Justice Ironbriar and some of the other recent greedy murders under Xanesha's belt. You see, Scarecrow and Aldern are simply research projects being used by one of the most effed up critters in the region...Xanesha.

I wanted to trump up Ironbriar's meta plot involvement beyond simple Domination, and I think the above changes are easy to work in without requiring a major re-write of any of the in-game action. It just shifts some of the motivation and background a bit.

As always YMMV

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I have nothing to add to this discussion, but I have to say this is a GOLDMINE for ideas. A must-read for anyone running this AP.


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Well I'll add an update to my Jubrayl intrigue. As expected the party went to the Fatmans Feedbag in a show of overwhelming force with the Sheriff. Jubrayl admitted to nothing (very poor diplomacy rolls on the parties part) and was jailed and then later cleared (much to the sheriffs dismay).

After Foxglove manor Ameiko had asked the party to help guard a wagon she had hired since they were going to Magnimar anyways. Ameiko had stripped the Kajitsu manor of objects of art in an effort to sell them and get capital to get the Glassworks running again. When the party was halfway to Magnimar, coming the other way was a wagon with mounted caravan guards. Who tried to ambush the party. The party captured two of them alive. Through intimidate rolls the party was able to get one of them to sing. Turns out they were Sczarni from Magnimar and that Jubrayl had used the info of the valuable shipment to pay off a favor and also make a statement to the party about how he felt about them coming into HIS BAR to arrest him.

Turns out when they got to Magnimar the party turned the surviving miscreants over to the guards and were given a date to testify in court in front of a certain Justice. Who of course took these men under his wing and were at the Sawmill fight.

The party also turned in the dead miscreants at the Golemworks for cash...

Needless to say the party was pissed and I heard many a "Oh when we get back to Sandpoint Jubrayl!" with much shaking of fists in the air. Turns out though they got diverted to Turtleback Ferry.

I think I'm gonna steal Gluttony's idea for the Battle of Sandpoint which should lend itself to some good RP with Jubrayl.


Guys and girls, this thread has some fantastic ideas!! I am hopefully going to use most of them!! I am actually really interested about how you changed some of the encounters and made them more difficult (adding monsters, changing morales etc). I am currently at part 3 , just before the Graul farm and I have a really strong party of 4 (which is going to be even stronger by winter as 2 more are joining in), and all I usually do is adding the advanced template and boost monsters with some hp. So thank you a lot for all this sharing and if you have more just keep helping us, as novice DMs, to run a great game!:)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

I actually added the Scarlet Son module into the game - when the PCs entered Magnimar to investigate murders, they were met by a guard who explained a judge, Ironbriar, heard about their work in Sandpoint and wanted them to investigate a lead on the cultist murders. The guard then explains she thinks Ironbriar is overworked and obviously grasping at straws because she knows the two sets of murders are not related (different modus operandi) but she'd still appreciate the help.

So they know about Ironbriar and just think of him as an overworked and possibly inept judge at wits end about these murders. :)

Ah, the truth of it will be amusing. Especially as I doubt they'll do research and realize Ironbriar is in the sawmill... so they'll find out when either they turn in his body or decipher the coded book. ;)


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TwoWolves wrote:
(did I mention the fact that I had Ironbriar be Tsuto's real father?).

Dude, YOINK. Very cool.


So far I've had to modify EVERYTHING in this AP, due strictly to the size of my gamIng group(9 PCs!). So far they've made it through Burnt Offerings and the Erylium encounter has been the most difficult, and memorable. I switched her class from witch to summoner, as I felt it fit the original 3.5 version better, and raised her level by one. Had to fudge that one at the end when the party started waving her unholy book and taunting her cause otherwise I'd have had a TPK since summoning monsters doesn't break invisibility.


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I had a player who has played through the first part of Burnt Offerings already metagame pretty hard, first about the Goblin Attacks on Sandpoint being linked to some kind of cult, and then aggressively going after Tsuto being the cause of Ameiko's disappearance after receiving the note from Bethana Corwin, even though her character had never met him, and didn't know anything about him.

I changed the Glassworks to show Tsuto in a positive light, i.e. he was captured and being bled into the runewell to create sinspawn, and confessed to loving Nualia, and changing his mind the more evil she became, and sending the players off to Thistletop where he said that Ameiko had been taken presumably to be sacrificed to Lamashtu.

That's where I am so far.


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When Amieko was captured by Tsuto and left the letter behind as evidence, I thought it was pretty lame to have an npc bring a translated copy over to the party.

So I typed up the letter from Tsuto in MS Word, changed the font to look like handwriting, printed it out...

Then I tore it up into tiny pieces and scrunched them up for good measure. From there I had the an npc bring them the pieces of the letter instead and they had to reassemble the letter before they could read it.

Very good real world puzzle.


The statue of Karzzoug in the Runeforge has far too few HP to be a serious threat. 209 HP against 15th-level adventurers, at least one of whom has a weapon that bypasses DR? He *would* have been a serious threat to the players, if he'd lasted more than two rounds.

Even without buffs, the barbarian had an adamantine earthbreaker (doesn't every fighting class have an adamantine weapon at this level?) and the paladin had her runeforged weapon, so he was rubble after he got in a grand total of three swings. Did massive damage to the paladin, but not too scary when you're rubble that fast.

I'd boost him to 400 HP, or at least max if you want to actually play by the rules (but who does that?). The four-round limit keeps it from being a TPK, and he should be much scarier than he was.

Scarab Sages

In Burnt Offerings, I had the party meet Warchief Ripnugget with a small guard and one ogre (my players are really strong) on the road to Thistletop. I felt that the throne room where they are supposed to find him is too small for him to take advantage of charging on Licktoad. I left Bruthazimus at Thistletop to hinder them from entering it and kept only a small goblin guard there too.


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NobodysHome wrote:
The statue of Karzzoug in the Runeforge has far too few HP to be a serious threat. 209 HP against 15th-level adventurers, at least one of whom has a weapon that bypasses DR? He *would* have been a serious threat to the players, if he'd lasted more than two rounds.

Another idea is to replace it with a pair of beefed up stone golems of about CR 14 each (its still a CR 16 encounter). Using the Advanced Template twice and the Giant Template once would do it, but its hit points would still be fat below your suggested 400.

I think I did this right:

Golem, Stone
Advanced x2 Giant Stone Golem CR 14
XP 38,400
N Huge construct
Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +4
Defense
AC 35, touch 10, flat-footed 33 (+2 Dex, +25 natural, –2 size)
hp 117 (14d10+40)
Fort +4, Ref +6, Will +8
DR 10/adamantine; Immune construct traits, magic
Offense
Speed 20 ft.
Melee 2 slams +27 (4d8+15)
Melee, Power Attack 2 slams +23 (4d8+23)
Space 15 ft.; Reach 15 ft.
Special Attacks slow
Statistics
Str 40 (+15), Dex 15 (+2), Con —, Int —, Wis 19 (+4), Cha 9 (-1)
Base Atk +14; CMB +31; CMD 43
Feats Power Attack
Ecology
Environment any
Organization solitary or gang (2–4)
Treasure none
Special Abilities
Immunity to Magic (Ex) A stone golem is immune to any spell or spell-like ability that allows spell resistance. In addition, certain spells and effects function differently against the creature, as noted below.
• A transmute rock to mud spell slows a stone golem (as the slow spell) for 2d6 rounds, with no saving throw, while transmute mud to rock heals all of its lost hit points.
• A stone to flesh spell does not actually change the golem’s structure but negates its damage reduction and immunity to magic for 1 full round.
Slow (Su) A stone golem can use a slow effect, as the spell, as a free action once every 2 rounds. The effect has a range of 10 feet in a burst centered on the golem and a duration of 7 rounds, requiring a DC 17 Will save to negate. The save DC is Constitution-based.

The whole action economy issue would be handled by having two of them, they can flank with each other, and threaten more than person. Another idea if for their builders to outfit them as an NPC of their CR would have, with weapons and armor (a statue with armor built right on them would look kinda cool) instead of relying on their slams and natural armor. The golem is already a "variant", so adding armor and weapon proficiency should be too far out there.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Give the Statue some Mythic Tiers. I know that GMs worry that Mythic can make players overpowered... but let me tell you, using Mythic AGAINST the players can make for a damn potent encounter! :)


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I have 6 players and I leveled them up to 2nd before they entered the Glassworks (they would have leveled up after the fight with the goblins inside the Glassworks, and I didn't want them to stop during the session to have them level up, nor did I want them to potentially wander down into the Catacombs while still level 1) so I boosted Tsuto to a Monk 3/Rogue 2, made him a Zen Archer (which at level 3 grants Point Blank Master) and Deadly Aim as his 5th level feat. I also used his new wealth to up his bow to masterwork and gave him a potion of Cat's Grace (I thought about giving him a potion of Mage Armor, too, but realized that would be overkill, as the party fighter would need a 17 or better to hit him.)

I also added two goblin commandos to the fight in the furnace room, with the tactics of hanging back and firing their short bows (the rest of the goblins, meanwhile engaged in their typical glass-throwing, table jumping, glass tong-waving antics) and beating a hasty retreat downstairs once things started going south. The party made pretty short work of the goblin warriors (though the dwarven cleric's obsession with wanting to knock one of the goblins into the furnace led to sub-par tactics on his part) and the commandos' placement on the south side of the room allowed them to easily retreat from "those killer longshanks" without reprisal. They woke up Tsuto, who promptly had them use barrels to barricade both corridors, the goblins laid in wait behind the barrels immediately facing the stairs, opening fire on the party as they descended, then Tsuto opened fire from the other corridor when they came into view.

The goblin commandos went down pretty quick, but the Tsuto fight was an epic back and forth with him plugging arrows into the party, using Acrobatics to tumble through PCs to avoid getting hedged in and Evasion to avoid attacks from the fire wizard and alchemist (Tsuto's high touch AC was giving the alchemist fits, and evading the splash damage of his misses added insult to injury.) At one point the fire wizard burned a Hero Point to make a "double-fisted" Fire Jet attack and Tsuto made both saves which I described as him running part way up the wall, kicking off and flipping between the blasts.

They finally managed to whittle him down and his Acrobatics rolls failed when he tried to tumble his way past two PCs to flee. The resulting AoO from the Strength-mutagened longspear-wielding alchemist was a critical hit, dropping him from "run away" to "below Con" in one blow.

Still, a pretty satisfying fight, IMO. It took way longer than I expected, though, so the PCs will be facing the Catacombs next session.

One thing I'm thinking about changing in the Catacombs of Wrath is putting the vargouille in the room with Korovus and the zombies. As it stands, I don't see the PCs being dumb enough to walk over the obviously rickety wooden covers on the pits, so the zombies are mostly a non-factor in that battle. However, if the vargouille can Shriek and paralyze a PC or two, Koruvus could easily knock them into the pits while they're helpless.

Scarab Sages

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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

NobodysHome:
NobodysHome wrote:

The statue of Karzzoug in the Runeforge has far too few HP to be a serious threat. 209 HP against 15th-level adventurers, at least one of whom has a weapon that bypasses DR? He *would* have been a serious threat to the players, if he'd lasted more than two rounds.

Even without buffs, the barbarian had an adamantine earthbreaker (doesn't every fighting class have an adamantine weapon at this level?) and the paladin had her runeforged weapon, so he was rubble after he got in a grand total of three swings. Did massive damage to the paladin, but not too scary when you're rubble that fast.

I'd boost him to 400 HP, or at least max if you want to actually play by the rules (but who does that?). The four-round limit keeps it from being a TPK, and he should be much scarier than he was.

If my party's Archer is around when they fight this, this is definitely happening. She has Clustered Shots and will be able to crank out somewhere around 200 points of damage per round while Hasted. Assuming good Initiative rolls, she can kill it before it acts.
Now if she doesn't show, 205 will be sufficient.

Another thought I had was giving it hardness instead of DR. Most of my melee PCs have weapons (or access to weapons) with a high enough enhancement bonus to overcome DR/Adam, but not Adamantine weapons themselves. That'd be cruel.

Side tangent, I really hate that feat {Clustered Shots}. I feel it utterly breaks most of the DR mechanics when dealing with full BAB characters.


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Did anyone seriously rework Aldern's mansion in the Skinsaw Murders? It seems....beyond severely harsh with the constant saves or lose stats. I could see my players going into two rooms...looking at me...giving me the finger and razing the place to the ground while just walking away from the A.P.

I was thinking about changing the Universal haunts to not be save/drains and instead just impart information combined with some short term effect...a set number of rounds of being nauseous etc. After all they're still too low at that point to be walking around with numerous ways to get rid of stat loss.


Kayland wrote:

Did anyone seriously rework Aldern's mansion in the Skinsaw Murders? It seems....beyond severely harsh with the constant saves or lose stats. I could see my players going into two rooms...looking at me...giving me the finger and razing the place to the ground while just walking away from the A.P.

I was thinking about changing the Universal haunts to not be save/drains and instead just impart information combined with some short term effect...a set number of rounds of being nauseous etc. After all they're still too low at that point to be walking around with numerous ways to get rid of stat loss.

Is there a paladin in your party? I think you've been through my thread on the subject, but essentially Haunts are a fear-based effect, hence paladins are immune, and as soon as my party figured that out they put her in front to trigger all the universal haunts, and those are typically the ones that drain stats. (She was also the object of Aldern's obsession, so most of the nastier haunts were targeted at her.)

So I played it out that she saw the events, but wasn't affected by them, and my players got the story without being drained into oblivion. Otherwise, I have to agree with you; I'd have a tendency to get rid of the drains or make them much more temporary just to prevent the players from revolting.

It's a wonderful, spooky house, and I LOVED GM'ing it, but you have to be very careful not to make your players despise it...


The Rot Grub wrote:

I was inspired by the OP's idea of involving NPCs in defending Sandpoint from the giants, and so in my RotRL campaign I've had the players have to find mentors in order to be able to advance in level, at least during the first chapter of RotRL.

My players are actually all eleven years old, and so I thought it would be fun to start with a homebrew introduction with them about to graduate from school. (I actually planned out a story arc in which they are underestimated by the town's adults because they are young, and part of their motivation of going on their first adventure (without any starting equipment!) is to prove themselves to the town. I even inserted a foolish "rival party" to get under their skin! You can see my RotRL session writeups on the blog I set up for the kids.)

So I thought setting up the mentor requirement would help underscore that they are young and still in need of tutelage. It also allows for more roleplaying possibilities.

And then, when the big raid on Sandpoint happens, they will be in the position of fighting side by side with their former mentors whom they have long surpassed. They will feel also feel more invested in the battle.

Here are the mentors I set up for my various characters

Summoner = the wizard of the "rival party" who rolled his eyes at the braggodocio of their buffoonish "leader"
Ranger (who has goblins as a favored enemy) = This was obvious: Shalelu Andosana. She, of course, only figures into the plot later, and so this player was very anxious and hunted the town for a mentor! He was thrilled when Shalelu stopped into town for her surprise visit!
Ninja and Rogue = These players went into the notorious Fatman's Feedbag and had a challenging roleplay in which they had to gain the trust of the local underworld. They have not seen their leader's (Jubrayl Vhiski's) actual face because they were kidnapped with bags...

I actually did something very similar. Each pc has a mentor, and they must follow the mentor's guidance to make the next level. Basically I give them a task that plays into their advancement, and when they complete it they get their current level x1000 xp. I use the highest xp chart, and it really just makes it about the same as the medium.

An example would be the Ranger who's father was the ranger that owns the Goblin Stomp had his father as mentor, for 1st level he had to bring back 6 goblin ears. For 2nd he had to bring proof of killing a goblin leader. Now at higher levels it's more about accomplishing skill checks that would lead to the feats or stat improvements they have coming for the next level.

My players seem to love the structure, and at the early levels it was very much action oriented, and added color. Now it's more about planning their character build so that they're choosing their next option at the first of the level instead of the end.


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What didn’t I change…

I made changes both large and small to this AP. I started with a different premise – my party are members of the Magnimar Watch Special Division. They are responsible for handling situations that are beyond the expertise or scope of local officials and law enforcement and are also the investigative arm of the Magnimar Watch. So pretty much Magnimar’s FBI.

At the start of Burnt Offerings the party was sent to Sandpoint to assist Sheriff Hemlock while he and his men investigated the local goblin problems. When the Sheriff and his men went missing the party (or C Squad as they are known) had to track him down and rescue him (from the dungeons under Thistletop). As I generally have a six player table I utilized a number of the changes presented by Joey Virtue (which I updated for Pathfinder) – Joey’s work was my starting point. I added additional goblin heroes into the Sandpoint Hinterlands (including the goblin-wereboar Big Gutmug) to keep the party on their toes when out wandering about. I restated Nualia and Malfeshnekor – Nualia as a Cleric 4/Fighter 4 and Mal-baby as a Fiendish Spellwarped Ettin. The Nualia changes were right on the mark – she was a very challenging fight and she and Lyrie managed to escape (though without most of their goodies). I might have beefed up Malfeshnekor a bit too much – but once the party realized he couldn’t leave his chamber they decided to leave him alone. On reflection, I wish had made the Glassworks a bit more challenging – the beefy members of C Squad made short work of the goblins and readily captured Tsuto.

After Burnt Offerings the party had great fun playing through Feast of Ravenmoor – even five months later it is still talked about. This too required a bit of “beefing up” to challenge the party. I rebuilt the cultists as 5th level Experts and the advanced the Squealing Cythnigot for the Greased Pig challenge. I also threw more than a handful of encounters along the way to and from Ravenmoor – including an additional ritual Sihedron murder (to hint of some of the things to come in Chapter Two) and a full-blown murder mystery in Galduria (which was totally unrelated to the core plot).

I turned Skinsaw Murders into a true murder mystery – adding quite a bit of content on the Magnimar side of things. I also turned the Brotherhood of the Seven from generic rogues into actual serial killers (with the 7 leaders being very nasty unique NPCs). The killings at the Sawmill drew the party back to Sandpoint, and they had a lot of fun trying to figure out how the Skinsaw Man tied in with the odd ritual murders in Magnimar carried out by the Seven. Aldern and the Misgivings were fun – but the bulk of my plot centered on the 7 Senior Brothers of the Brotherhood. I threw Dawn of the Scarlet Son into the mix as a brief four-hour challenge. For part of this Chapter the party actually received their orders from Justice Ironbriar (redone as Cleric 7/Rogue 3/Assassin 1 – more in keeping with his role as Elder Brother of the Seven) – which was fun. He sent them on a couple of wild goose chases – one of which led them into an ambush by another of the Senior Brothers – a particularly nasty alchemist. I also modified Seven’s Sawmill to include a full-on cult lair (which for the most part the party left alone). I also modified Xanesha such that she was truly a challenge for the party (Lamia Matriarch Rogue 2 Sorcerer 4 – fully CR 13!). It was an epic boss fight and the party was in trouble a couple of times due to her domination and charm monster – the party pretty much made their saves against most everything else. By the end of Chapter Two the party had unearthed the larger Lamia plot – though Ironbriar managed to escape their “justice”.

The party is still not fully into Chapter Three. The action in Turtleback Ferry against Lucrecia will play out in as yet “unsunken” Paradise (which I’m going to steal from the Barge End portion of Crimson Throne). Right now the party is about half-way to Turtleback. Just for kicks I inserted the old AD&D 1e module Expedition to the Barrier Peaks as a side-trek. It was amusing but probably not worth the trouble (I only ever got to run this module once since I purchased it in the 80’s and I thought it would be a good bit of nostalgia. In retrospect it is a largely pointless dungeon crawl – not really something I enjoy GM’ing much these days). I’ve added a number of encounters along the way to Turtleback Ferry – they have varied in scope and their ability to derail the party from their quest. I like presenting them with plenty of options and making them feel like they have a choice in what they do. For better or worse this AP is a railroad – but I don’t want it to feel like a railroad to the party. The various sidetreks really help with this. I’m really looking forward to Hookhill and the Graul’s. I’ll probably need to buff them a bit to compensate for 6 beefy PC’s. Of note I am also going to bring back Tsuto (from Burnt Offerings). Rather than send him to the Hells, Justice Ironbriar (his real father) sent him to serve at Fort Rannick in the Black Arrows. He will be among the survivors – it should be fun! Another contributor to this forum, TBUG, did an excellent job of expanding Skull Crossing – and I plan on stealing his ideas. I’m also going to heavily mine the various threads for ideas about the Graul’s and the Kreeg’s.

Beyond Chapter Three I have little planned. I’m looking to include the PFS scenario King of the Storval Stair as a side-trek and also inject the three original 1e AD&D modules from Against the Giants. The Steading of the Hill Giant Chief is a pretty easy port. I’m thinking of turning the inhabitants of the Glacial Rift of the Frost Giant Jarl into undead and burying it in a glacier – I think that many frost giants would disrupt Mokmurian’s plans. I’m still trying to figure out what to do with the Hall of the Fire Giant King. As my schemes mature I will endeavor to post them here.

CJ

Grand Lodge

Kayland wrote:

Did anyone seriously rework Aldern's mansion in the Skinsaw Murders? It seems....beyond severely harsh with the constant saves or lose stats. I could see my players going into two rooms...looking at me...giving me the finger and razing the place to the ground while just walking away from the A.P.

I was thinking about changing the Universal haunts to not be save/drains and instead just impart information combined with some short term effect...a set number of rounds of being nauseous etc. After all they're still too low at that point to be walking around with numerous ways to get rid of stat loss.

Fortunately the mansion is fireproof and cannot be burned down. The mansion is harsh... harsh enough we had a total party kill in it! On several of the haunts I even added in extra saves to give them chances. Still killed everyone.


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Krome wrote:
Kayland wrote:

Did anyone seriously rework Aldern's mansion in the Skinsaw Murders? It seems....beyond severely harsh with the constant saves or lose stats. I could see my players going into two rooms...looking at me...giving me the finger and razing the place to the ground while just walking away from the A.P.

I was thinking about changing the Universal haunts to not be save/drains and instead just impart information combined with some short term effect...a set number of rounds of being nauseous etc. After all they're still too low at that point to be walking around with numerous ways to get rid of stat loss.

Fortunately the mansion is fireproof and cannot be burned down. The mansion is harsh... harsh enough we had a total party kill in it! On several of the haunts I even added in extra saves to give them chances. Still killed everyone.

The mansion really is hit and miss, I think. My group went through it without a single issue. No deaths, barely a scratched fingernail until they got down into the caverns, and even then they barely suffered an incident.

Spoiler:
The sorceress with undead bloodline essentially charmed Aldern before any attacks were made. They took him above ground where the revenant of his wife fought and tore him apart.


I added in a new faction to the destruction of Sandpoint plot. Always been a huge fan of Monte Cook's Chaositech, though I've never really had an opportunity to use it. So when my group got so big we decided to split into two, I realized this was it! A group of chaos cultists, an alliance between two or three cults actually, are active in the Sandpoint Hinterlands, one of which has a sizable number of mutated goblins. When Nualia had Ripnugget reach out to all the goblin tribes in the area, some how an invitation got sent to the cultists. There was a little bit of back and forth, and then Nualia decides to send Tsuto out to the Shankwood to meet with a representative. This takes place a couple days after the Swollowtail raid. One of my two groups is tracking the goblins from the Sandpoint Boneyard, and comes upon the scene about three rounds after negotiations have gone to hell and Tsuto has killed the representative.

So far we're all very much in things I'm glad I changed, but we're coming up on something I wish I had changed differently...

My very first time running Burnt Offerings Tsuto was made to look like an absolute chump by the party's tengu monk...So I restatted him as a monk ninja, and figured in the above situation he would kick a little ass and then fade into the forest to report back to Nualia. The problem is I completely forgot about him up until the party's cavalier bolted up to him and started whacking him for nonlethal damage and his wolf mount kept tripping him. Tsuto got some whacks in of his own, and put the fear of all things punchy into the cavalier, but he eventually went down (they both did actually, though that bloody wolf stayed up). I even had a lone goblin try and drag Tsuto clear...but by then the party's less mobile melee specialists had fought their way clear and the half orc barbarian managed to leap on Tsuto's unconscious form, hold his axe to the half elf's throat, and convince the remaining goblins to scram.

So now the party has a captive Tsuto, before he ever had a chance to kidnap his sister...Luckily the hollidays shut down the game for a couple weeks, so I've had time to plan.

The ritual Nualia does with her "father's" bones needs to be done in the catacombs at the runewell. So next session we'll resolve what they do with Tsuto, whith him making veiled threats about them "wasting time with him" and how the "city's going to burn in abysal fire"...then that night Nualia will do her thing, which is going to cause a second, weaker, flaring of the runewell. So lots of bad dreams for everyone, and the next day the party will see an increase in the level of anger/tension in the town. I need to come up with a few clues to direct them to the glassworks, but I still have a bit of time to come up with something good. I'd really like to avoid obvious neonsign type clues.


The whole "thin spots in the Pinnacle of Avarice" (Book 6) has become a running joke/catastrophe for me because of the way I set up the original mechanics, so GM beware!

My take from the reading was that they would come within visible range of a spot (for example, by opening a door), make the appropriate DC 35 Perception check (if they were carrying Dominant weapons), and Karzoug plus those who made it would get to act in the surprise round, while those who failed didn't.

Sounds perfectly fair, right?

Cue the bard with maxed-out Perception and a 22 Dex. For every single image of Karzoug (4 of the 6 now), he's made the required Perception roll, beat Karzoug on the initiative roll, and dropped Silence on the 'thin spot'.

Since Karzoug doesn't have the Silent metamagic feat, they all get to laugh and make faces at him as someone walks up and disperses the thin spot. Karzoug's at one permanent negative level and one temporary one, and hasn't managed to cast a single spell.

I'd either give Karzoug a Silent metamagic feat or re-work the mechanics so he gets off at least one spell. Otherwise these spots make him look ridiculous. Seriously ridiculous.

EDIT: On the bright side, I know who Karzoug's killing first!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Actually, NH, why not give him a Greater Silent Metamagic Rod? He's been able to bring allies into the Runewell as is evident with the dragon and the giants. So bringing a wand would work as well. And it would prove to be an unpleasant surprise to the party next time they try this. :D


'Cause they're camped out in the Pinnacle. There's nowhere from which to get said rod. The last group of Rune Giants I tried to bring up from Xin-Shalast perished horribly, and the minute I bring a challenging group of 20-30 giants, the party will just retreat into the Occluding Field and say, "Really? They ALL have rings? Seriously? After all the trouble we had getting just 5?"

My group understands that attrition flows both ways and has cut him off from "nifty new stuff".

Though it would be funny, I have to admit... I just don't like making major changes I can't logically explain to my group. 'Cause they'll ask. You know they will.

The post is mainly a warning for future GMs: Either give him a rod of Silence, or re-do the effects so he gets off an action before he gets Silenced.

On the bright side, he's going to be at full spell capacity when they finally reach him. I didn't like the idea of him burning those wonderful 40d6 Disintegrates when the party has a chance to heal, so he can happily Disintegrate said bard post-Meteor Swarm and have a chance of rewarding him for his sass.

Of course, that's going to take first hitting him with 3 "useless" transformation spells to discharge the dominant weapon's ability, but Karzoug knows all about dominant weapons, and knows the party will be carrying them, so it's all about getting him enough rounds to be able to get his nastier spells past them.

Honestly, with the amount of damage the paladin and barbarian put out, I don't have a lot of hope for Karzoug, but I have some tricks up my sleeve to try to at least kill off the casters...
...but watching the paladin and barbarian competing to break 200 in a round WITHOUT Smite Evil going, Karzoug's got to make sure they never get anywhere near him, nor a clean shot with a bow.

Should be fun...


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Are they camped out in the chamber that has the Portal itself?

Also, I believe Karzoug has access to the Wish spell. So have him Wish for a Rod of Silence Metamagic.


Now THAT I hadn't thought of!

Tee hee hee!

Thanks! Gotta check whether that works -- the Wish would be MUCH cheaper than the rod, and I'm not sure you can wish for more money. (Otherwise infinite wishes become a reality.)

But at least a Lesser Rod would let him surprise the bard with something low-level but nasty... Scorching Ray comes to mind...


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

He could also do other nasty things like "I Wish the Bard lost the ability to use the Silence spell." Curse Effect targeting one spell, probably doable even with a Limited Wish.


Now THAT'S an awesome idea! Thanks!


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Heh. No doubt a number of people on these forums think I'm a wuss because of my views against just killing characters off. They don't realize that I'm a firm practitioner of the Feline Evil Methodology: There's no real fun to be had with a dead target. No, you want them alive and screaming as you start to twist the various blades in. And yes, my group loves throwing curves at me. But they've also grown quite paranoid at even innocent little moments that could possibly lead to extra evil down the line. Heh heh heh.


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If you don't put Dimension Lock on the entire Eye of Avarice, the fight ends very quickly, and very badly for Karzoug.

While Karzoug used Time Stops to put up all his buffs and protected himself with a Wall of Force in front and a Prismatic Wall next to him (so he could 5' step through to safety while he fast healed), the bard just watched for a couple of rounds, and then used Bard's Escape.

You can move any allies within range to any other space of your choosing within range. Those spaces need not be in line of sight or line of effect from your original position, but must be open locations on surfaces able to support the creatures teleported. Except as noted above, this spell otherwise functions as dimension door.

So a Hasted paladin and barbarian got dropped right next to Karzoug, with both of them having actions before he did.

610 hit points later, the fight was over on round 3.

I'd love to know what other people did to stop such "port-n-pound" behavior.


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Deadalready wrote:

When Amieko was captured by Tsuto and left the letter behind as evidence, I thought it was pretty lame to have an npc bring a translated copy over to the party.

So I typed up the letter from Tsuto in MS Word, changed the font to look like handwriting, printed it out...

Then I tore it up into tiny pieces and scrunched them up for good measure. From there I had the an npc bring them the pieces of the letter instead and they had to reassemble the letter before they could read it.

Love this.


NobodysHome wrote:

If you don't put Dimension Lock on the entire Eye of Avarice, the fight ends very quickly, and very badly for Karzoug.

While Karzoug used Time Stops to put up all his buffs and protected himself with a Wall of Force in front and a Prismatic Wall next to him (so he could 5' step through to safety while he fast healed), the bard just watched for a couple of rounds, and then used Bard's Escape.

You can move any allies within range to any other space of your choosing within range. Those spaces need not be in line of sight or line of effect from your original position, but must be open locations on surfaces able to support the creatures teleported. Except as noted above, this spell otherwise functions as dimension door.

So a Hasted paladin and barbarian got dropped right next to Karzoug, with both of them having actions before he did.

610 hit points later, the fight was over on round 3.

I'd love to know what other people did to stop such "port-n-pound" behavior.

Question though....

Why didn't Karzoug just use this...

Spoiler:
8th-quickened dimension door (2),
?

Perhaps this is one of those cases where a change to the AV edition was for the worse...

The original tactics are

Spoiler:
During Combat Karzoug starts combat at a height of 40 feet above the soul
lens—he strives to remain out of melee as long as possible. On round
one of combat, he casts meteor swarm on the party, then uses his rod to
cast time stop as a quickened spell. During the 1d4+1 rounds he gains,
he casts spells like prismatic wall, wall of force, and cloudkill among the
PCs to disrupt their tactics, and casts defensive spells on himself like spell
turning, true seeing, and globe of invulnerability. He’ll also use his wand of
stoneskin on himself at this time. When time stop ends, Karzoug hits the
PCs with area affecting spells like wail of the banshee and horrid wilting,
saving spells like temporal stasis and maze to use against anyone who
seems to be particularly dangerous. Karzoug’s glaive takes actions on its
own as well, unleashing fireballs on non-spellcasters and curing Karzoug
of wounds whenever he drops below 220 hit points. If it comes down to
melee, Karzoug releases his glaive to dance as soon as possible, fighting
with his talons and using quickened spells like lightning bolt and magic
missile to support his attacks
which puts him outside of that kind of trickery.


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Ckorik wrote:
NobodysHome wrote:

If you don't put Dimension Lock on the entire Eye of Avarice, the fight ends very quickly, and very badly for Karzoug.

While Karzoug used Time Stops to put up all his buffs and protected himself with a Wall of Force in front and a Prismatic Wall next to him (so he could 5' step through to safety while he fast healed), the bard just watched for a couple of rounds, and then used Bard's Escape.

You can move any allies within range to any other space of your choosing within range. Those spaces need not be in line of sight or line of effect from your original position, but must be open locations on surfaces able to support the creatures teleported. Except as noted above, this spell otherwise functions as dimension door.

So a Hasted paladin and barbarian got dropped right next to Karzoug, with both of them having actions before he did.

610 hit points later, the fight was over on round 3.

I'd love to know what other people did to stop such "port-n-pound" behavior.

Question though....

Why didn't Karzoug just use this... ** spoiler omitted **?

Perhaps this is one of those cases where a change to the AV edition was for the worse...

The original tactics are ** spoiler omitted **...

The only change from his original tactics is that he was on his throne.

"Karoug starts combat seated upon his immense throne..."

Aaaaah! I see what you're saying! I wrote up a whole explanation as to why it wouldn't have mattered but it's a HUGE difference because Bard's Escape dictates a solid surface. Had he been flying, it would have been a VERY different fight!
(Well, I'm lying a bit. We'd already allowed Dimension Dooring and Jester's Jaunting melee characters into the air in our Carrion Crown campaign (which just happens to be the one the bard in question is GM'ing), so disallowing it would have resulted in howls of, "Cheese!" from the whole group. So now you know a darned good reason to force such spells to arrive on solid ground; at least the bard ones that specifically mention it in the spell description.)

Yep, that ONE little change pretty much ended the fight. Wow. Good catch. MAKE KARZOUG FLYING, NOT ON HIS THRONE!!!

More details from my former response:
====
The bard waited for Karzoug to hit them with Meteor Swarm, then Bard's Escaped the two melee characters next to him. They got full rounds before he ever got an action.

I was well aware of the quickened spell in question, but quickened isn't immediate -- they were next to him and the fight was over before he got an action. Of course 4 crits in 10 attacks will do that to most people...

EDIT: I mean, the problem is, it's *really* obvious when you're about to face him, so any half-decent party is going to go in gunning for bear. My party had resist fire, cold, and electricity on everyone, Protection from Evil and Death Ward on everyone, and Haste on everyone. Plus everyone was flying. So they'd burned over half their spell slots before they were even in the room.

It made the difference. And then some.

I'll admit, they roleplayed it beautifully. A 50+ Spellcraft roll AND a 50+ Knowledge: Arcana to analyze the anima focus, plus a Divination spell and a bard spell (forget which one) to make absolutely sure they knew what they were doing, then just let the bard rip open the portal (oh, no! The bard lost a melee action! Horrors!) as the rest of the troops poured in.
Well-prepared, well-thought out, and made everything feel extremely legit.

Except the 4 crits in 10 attacks. That just hurt.

HONESTLY AND TRULY THE FINAL EDIT AND THEN I'LL JUST LET IT GO...
I'm not 100% positive Karzoug would have survived even if flying -- the bard would have put the party right under him in any case, and the barbarian's lethal critical was on the second swing -- legal while hasted and well within the barbarian's flight range (he has reach, of course), and the paladin would have hit with all 5 smiting evil arrows, so we're looking at around 290 + 5d8 + 14d6, and that's before the Smiting-Evil Ayruzi would have flown up and finished him off. Ah, well, we'll never know.

I still like Dimension Locking the room, or at least Dimensional Anchoring the casters... Force and Prismatic walls don't protect you much when Smiting Evil archers are popping around the room to get clear shots.


NobodysHome wrote:

Aaaaah! I see what you're saying! I wrote up a whole explanation as to why it wouldn't have mattered but it's a HUGE difference because Bard's Escape dictates a solid surface. Had he been flying, it would have been a VERY different fight!
(Well, I'm lying a bit. We'd already allowed Dimension Dooring and Jester's Jaunting melee characters into the air in our Carrion Crown campaign (which just happens to be the one the bard in question is GM'ing), so disallowing it would have resulted in howls of, "Cheese!" from the whole group. So now you know a...

Hrmmm - so perhaps a better strategy would be:

Spoiler:

Start him in the air flying.

1st round: meteor swarm - quickened time stop, prismatic *sphere* (spell list change), then - blink.

Rest as written.

Walls are gotten around - you *can* dimension lock the room - that's not a bad idea anyway - it does pretty much cut off *any* escape however if things go really bad for the PC's.

Prismatic Sphere is not prohibited for him - and it doesn't require an anchor to work - it is centered on the caster and makes a 10' sphere. Note that one of the colors 'stops all spells' - unlike the wall there isn't really any way to argue you can 'see or fly around the effect'.

he can still pop in and out of it to cast his spells.

I'd then perhaps as a final thing add wind wall to stop any arrows at all.

If nothing else have him hide in his sphere a round or two and wish his allies back to life - make the PC's work for it.

I'm a very long way off (my group is just starting book 2 now) - but I'm curious if you think these changes would work. Heck - I have to be honest given your players I wonder if they have any suggestions that they think could have made the fight more epic.


All you need is some surefire way to prevent the melee characters from ending up next to him; one full-round attack from a melee character is unlikely to kill him (depending on how optimized your PCs are), but two and he's going down.

The problem with all of his protective spells is that he has to step out of them to cast. As soon as he's not behind a wall, BOOM! The party pounces.

I like starting him flying -- I tried having one of his allies blocking one side of him, and a wall behind him, but the three open squares were enough to drop melee fighters next to him. The problem is, Dimension Door doesn't have the limitations of Bard's Escape, so you've still got the "flying fighters pop next to Karzoug and terminate him before he gets an action" problem.

I just don't see a clear way to prevent the whole "economy of action" issue without locking down the teleportation. As long as the party is in basically a 4-on-1 fight (his mooks are pretty harmless for a prepared party), they're just going to drop the hammer on him the moment he's in a vulnerable square; i.e., within range of a Dimension Door; i.e., anywhere in the whole Eye of Avarice.

If the room had been dimension locked, it would have been a good, honest fight, but my party had enough energy resistances up I think they would have emerged triumphant. Trouble is, if you dimension lock the room and Karzoug gets cornered, he's even worse off.

Six of one, half a dozen of the other. See how your party deals with other flying casters. Karzoug will know their tactics, and will plan accordingly.

Of course, if you utterly loathe your players and want to be pelted with solid objects, swap out a 9th-level spell for Mage's Disjunction and drop THAT on the players the moment they enter. I would call that an utterly vicious, "I love TPKs" move, but wow, it might well have killed my group outright. Would've at least made them hate me and never ask me to GM again, I'm sure...

EDIT: Careful of "Blink" -- nothing like rolling under 20% a few times with your really nasty spells to make you hate yourself for ever considering casting it.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

What are you going to run next, NH? :)


NobodysHome wrote:


I like starting him flying -- I tried having one of his allies blocking one side of him, and a wall behind him, but the three open squares were enough to drop melee fighters next to him. The problem is, Dimension Door doesn't have the limitations of Bard's Escape, so you've still got the "flying fighters pop next to Karzoug and terminate him before he gets an action" problem.

Yeah I was thinking - the sphere blocks all spells so that stops any DD next to him - then perhaps because his allies are dominated the dragon would fly up and bull rush anyone trying to 'ready an action' - into the sphere.

One contact with the sphere should stop that..... dunno I'm going to have to think about it. - it'll be a *long* time in the future (we play like snails) so it's all just a mental exercise at this point.


Was the bard using quicken silence? It is a one round cast time


Tangent101 wrote:
What are you going to run next, NH? :)

We were all set to run Wrath of the Righteous, but our favorite player from the Carrion Crown campaign is trying to re-work his schedule to join us, so the players are thinking of going through Jade Regent as a "courtesy" to let him get his schedule in order. (Some 'courtesy' -- a 2-year switch-up in AP's. :-P)

CWheezy -- I have learned something today. Thanks! It wasn't a game-changer in the Pinnacle because with his spell list Karzoug wasn't going to take anyone out of the picture in a single spell (everyone had Dominant weapons), but it'll definitely change things up for the next AP.
...and it would have been nice to at least harass the PCs a bit! Sheesh!

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