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


Rise of the Runelords

201 to 250 of 319 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | next > last >>

2 people marked this as a favorite.

What are the prerequisites for the Grognard prestige class again? I may have unwittingly taken levels...

Haladir is nicer than I am. I had the zombies out and about from the get-go. They didn't make much sense to me as color (not very interesting in my view trapped in pits.) My players made two assaults on the Catacombs and the zombies took the roles of the sinspawn in the second attack. Great fun.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
NobodysHome wrote:

Hey now, hey now! I think only you and I get to use the term "Grognards!" Razcar and Karolina admit they're younglings, I seem to recall we have at least a decade on Tangent each, and Captain Yesterday... well, it's Captain Yesterday! "Grognard?" Seriously? I think not! :-P

EDIT: Now if *Latrecis* were to actually read this, I think he's older than all of us combined! :-P

Actually I think if I have followed correctly, you're a year or two older than I am, NobodysHome but once you cross into Grognard territory, a couple years here and there aren't that important.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I just saw you posting on another thread and thought I'd tweak a bit.

Me? Derail! NEVER! That's Captain Yesterday's milieu!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Ironic that when you consider "Tangent" is my internet handle. ;)


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I don't go off on tangents:-)

its more of an Improvisational ramble:-p


I took over GM'ing in the middle of the campaign. At the start of Sins of the Saviors. The only thing I have changed so far is the fight at Rimeskull. As written I thought it was pretty bad since the boss just shows up pre-buffed WITH SPELLS THEY DON'T EVEN KNOW. I changed it so he actually confronted the party first. I mean he has been slumbering for the past 400 years or so. He gets waken up and the first thing he does is cast very specific spells and then immediately fly out and attack.

I had him fly down and confront the party first. He has 16 int and knows common. I pictured him as being somewhat curious about what was happening. It is not like he had anything to be afraid of. I was also trying to give the party some non-combat ways of resolving the fight if they wanted to go that route.

I have also added a nameless cult dedicated to Karzoug that is has been causing the party some grief and giving them bouts of paranoia. A gnome sapper alchemist was at Rimeskull boobytraping the Runelord heads. It was going pretty good for him until he got exploded by Arkryst.


With a small group, introduce Fate points and Mythic rules.

In Hook Mountain, swap Black Magga with another large beastie that isn't so WTF powerful and conceptually fits better (or downgrade her CR substantially).


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I know it's been said, but it bears repeating. If you want Mammy Graul to be a challenging encounter, give her a way to get around Silence. She hit the party with Black Tentacles in the surprise round, but then went dead last in Initiative. She provoked to move outside of the spells range, but got hit by a second Silence. So much for Dimension Door'ing outside to raise all the defeated Grauls as Zombies.... I even positioned the zombies to block the party from surrounding her. So much prep time to have all the stats ready, wasted.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Gluttony wrote:

I'm planning to massively expand the raid on Sandpoint by Mokmurian's giants. I've picked out and statted up 8 NPCs from the Sandpoint gazetteer, and will be randomly assigning 2 NPCs to each player. At various points during the battle, I plan to cut to the various NPCs for a short encounter.

--Belor Hemlock Belor getting a few rounds to fight Longtooh
--Veznutt Parooh aid some guards in fighting a stone giant
--Abstalar Zantus protecting the injured at the cathedral
--Gavin Derevin
--Niska Mvashti
--Jubrayl Vhiski
--Kaye Teserani
--Ameiko Kaijitsu protecting her father from an Ogre

I know that there was some more detail Gluttony gave for the Zantus encounter, I'm not seeing any write ups for the others encounters. While I may not use those exact NPCs, the concept is not only sound, but interesting.

Scarab Sages

I'm with you, Athos710, I don't know how many times that I've prepared a whole speech which will give extra clues about what's happening then just having to crumple it up because the one time they finally decide to coup de grace someone, it's him. Or, every door that they've come across in Thistletop, they've stopped and listened at it, but the door where they could have overheard people conspiring they decide to bust down.


The robe of bones said it came equipped with 2 human skeletons and 2 wolf skeletons, so I added those to stiffen that encounter a bit. I had all the skeletons wait until the party was up to the sepulcher and then hit from two sides. Worked fairly well until some crits brought down the skellies. I don't think the party weapon-based characters learned their lesson yet, as only one attempted to switch to bludgeoning. I'm also planning to add a few swarms in the catacombs of wrath to shift some of those encounters away from being boring slugfests.

I also changed T to be a rogue 4, as rogue 2 monk 2 loses 2 BAB, and gave him ki and the invisibility ninja tricks. He'll pop invisibility and run for 4 rounds if he gets walloped too quickly.


I'm giving my guys the option of killing Pa Munchmeat from WBG2. If they do that, the birdcrunchers won't have a reason to help the thistletop goblins and can go home. It should aid in creating some more desperation for N's crew.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I changed bits of Book 1, as I also mixed parts of Shattered Star and configured the encounter to my PC's backgrounds.

Spoiler:

One of the PC is a varisian witch that was in love with Tsuto years ago as a teenager, although Tsuto didn't love her.
Other PC is a tiefling oni-spawn samurai, which is a bodyguard of Ameiko.

So my changes:
I played the shallowtail festival, 3 whole days of festivals before the attack. PC engaged in several festival games, won a bunch of them, and earned a few potions (such as Enlarge person for the winner of the strength contest and such). It also helped them to meet and talk a whole bunch of NPCs, from Aldern Foxglove, his wife, and their Bodyguard Greyst Sevilla, to Madam Mvasthi, Broder Quink, and a lot others. They also met with Ironbriar and Sheyla Hadmarch, which were there to capture a rogue pathfinder, Natalya Vancarskerkin, which stole a Paradox Box from them. What was inside (a Shard of Envy) is still missing (sold to skinsaw murder, in fact, but unknown to players)

Then they did stop the goblins, and after they found the Nualia's father grave desecratd, they followed the tracks. Killed Bruthasmuz there, rescuing a near-death Shaelelu in the process. I cut most of the "heroes of..." stuff because my players seemed to want to push forward the research about Nualia and it might feel anticlimatic.

I also made LONJIKU to be the father of Nualia's aborted monster baby. HE learned that Tsuto and Nualia were in true love, and blackmailed Nualia and forced her in the tunnels below the glasswork. That's what made Nualia become in contact with my version of Elyrium (which was a modified zebub, as I wanted to use the zebub ability to introduce images in your brain when he looks at your eyes, to tell my players things about Thassilonia).

They captured Tsuto in the tunnels (I made him run -he was a ninja with vanishing trick-, after ordering the goblins to throw Lonjiku into the glass furnaces. Players "had" to stop the goblins even if they hate Lonjiku, because Ameiko was there and she still doesn't want her father to die. Then I made a chase through the smuggler's tunnels, which ended with Tsuto and the party in a pair of boats). Then entered the Catacombs of wrath, where I modified a few things too (Koruvus was made a Goblin Alchemist, and he was experimenting with 8 glasswork workers, he infected them with an (hibbernated since Thasilonian era) Akata salivary. He had a bunch of extra akatas ready, which the PC killed too.

They researched the Lighthouse, and found some tunnel that went up to Chopper's island, where they found a few more pieces of the story (including a shrine to Shax, which they also found in Catacomb of Wrath), and put Das Korvut son's spirit to rest, using the Wayfinder's adventure.

Then they went to Thisteltop, but they asked for armed forces to help, so we did it a bit different. The PC entered by sea, in a boat, entering the lower levels, while there was a battle against the goblins out there (the "army" of militia cut the bridge and sieged the goblins while they cleaned the lower part). Nualia had the Shard of Wrath, which she took from the catacombs of wrath.

After that, they went to Magnimar and helped Natalya to flee from jail, and she told them about some "brotherhood of 7", about the shard of envy missing, and how the "Brotherhood of 7" was planning to get another shard, which is hidden in The Lady of Light"

They are now in a ship that sails to Korvosa, but will leave them in Lady's Light, or as near as possible

So far: Nualia is dead. Lonjiku is alive, and the PC hate him with passion. Natalya has fled. Tsuto is captured, but as Ironbriar is his father, don't expect this last long. Orik has gone to join the Black Arrows. Ameiko and Shaelelu are strong PC allies (and might be romance interest). Aldern Foxglove has the Envy's shard, and is becoming secretly mad. Sheyla Heidmarch is helping them, as long as they allow her to study the shards, and make the whole Sihedron if possible (which is going to be the end of the story, once they get Karzaug's last shard, and raise Xin's final threat).
They have 1 shard.


How to add WBG2 to Burnt Offerings for a more active investigation of the goblin problem.

Spoiler:

Make Gresgurt a Birdcruncher and have him mention the three dead chiefs and Pa Munchmeat.

Have Shallelu lead the group to the Birdcruncher tribe immediately after the Trouble in Mosswood event.

Have Featherlips alive and giving the PCs a map.

Skip the chieftan moot, and start on the rest of the adventure as in We Be Goblins Too.

Have the goblin refugees in Thistletop be Birdcrunchers. So the boon is if they succeed in defeating Munchmeat, the Birdcrunchers won't be in Thistletop. This also provides opportunities for small characters to gain cold iron weapons (one of the goblin chiefs could have one).

Timewise, this shouldn't take more than an afternoon in game time.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Uh... hello! This is my first post in the community. I am Italian... please, don't eat me ^^"

I am the GM of my group, and currently we playing the first adventure of RotR (i have 5 PCs of 4° level, but in the last session the summoner and the bloodrager were killed by other PCs 'cause treachery during the battle againts Erylium and its sinspawns).

So, for the "things i've changed" list:

Things i've changed:

*I use the Critical Hit Deck (but the deck is optional every time someone confirms a critical hit), and Trust points from Haunting of Harrowstone, the current Trust in Sandpoint is "Trusted"

*The campaign began the day before Swallowtail Festival to introduce Sandpoint at PCs

* Belor Hemlock is a "Watch captain" (GameMastery Guide)

* Nualia is an antipaladin3/cleric3. I found the stats here. And i'm thinking to add the Unholy template (Advanced Bestiary), is it a good idea?

*I replaced Tstuto with Genthus (Towns of the Inner Sea). In this campaign Genthus is a Sczarni thug seduced by Nualia, and become a loyal follower (and also her lover). Tsuto is still present in RotR... but is an addict and homeless half-elven. It was kidnappened in Magnimar by Genthus and Orik, and he was forced to write letters to her sister. Now Tsuto is a prisoner in Thistletop (and PCs may choose to save it or leave it to its fate when they get to the goblin's lair)

* When I had 3 PCs and they where on the 2° level, i played "The Lore of Greed" (from Wayfinder #7). I replaced the goblins with outlaws from Riddleport (Happs, Kressler and other bandits from Stolen Land): the PCs have faced two battles against them , and in both cases were satisfied with the fight (only two thugs were caught alive; other bandits fled or slaughtered, included Happs and Kressler). Also, they found a broken runewell but they were not given much importance... then have explored the Catacombs of Wrath :3 Lastly, in the Mersolian's fight I replaced the skeletal champion with a giant snake skeleton. In this battle two soldiers from Sandpoint have accompanied the PCs up to this point, and their support was crucial from the battle! Then, Mersolian was freed from the curse, and help PCs and guards destroying the skeleton; afterwards, overcome by remorse for his madness, he has been arrested by the NPCs. Besides the treasures from the Lore of Greed, the PCs have the friendhisp of Brodert Quink (NPC Boons from Hedge Wizard, GameMastery Guide).

*When i had 5 PCs and the where on the 3° level, for the Glassworks battle, i replaced Tsuto with Genthus, and i add a mutant (template from Thornekeep) goblin alchemist2 and a vermlek (the demon used the body of Lonjiku!). The battle lasted three hours, but finally the PCs have come out victorious killing the goblins and the demon, caught the goblin alchemist and Genthus and save Ameiko!

*From the Catacombs of Wrath; i add the Abyssal Larva (Shards of Sin) in the B3. The fiend kill with a critical hit the gnome monk (now, that PC use the tengu), and as treasure the PCs found a +1 cold iron ransour held by Alaznist's statue. Later, in B3, two shadows (one normal, and one goblin!) have surprised the PCs, but they were able to destroy them, and the elf magus found a pearl of power 1° on the goblin's corpse.
Finally, in the last session, with Hemlock the PCs faced Erylium, two sinspawn created from the runewell and two shriezyx! Also, the bloodrager (an aasimar with abyssal bloodline.... yes, this is crazy xD) decided to betray other players allying with the demon, as well the summoner.
Moral of the story; the summoner and the bloodrager slaughetered by the CG warpriest of Gorum, the tengu druid kill the monstrous spiders with the fire, the elf magus was poisoned and all they fled from a VERY angry Erylium and the threatening runewell.

And now "... and things you should have!"

and things you should have!:

*Now, my PCs take a break; as said before, two PCs must rewrite new sheets, but they have no idea what to do. I would like to add Shalelu as support for the PCs when they arrive to Thistletop.

*Ripgunnet as oversized goblin Monster Codex, template Ravenous (Advanced Bestiary) and barbarian levels. Alternatively, oversized goblin with mutant goblin template, and warrior levels.

*I wish use the "goblin heroes" from We Be Goblins Free!.... they are a CR 8, right?

*Yes, this is so bas.... eeehm, cunning ^^" i wish replaced the barghest with a glabrezu.
That's right, a glabrezu Yeah, i know, he is a TPK-encounter for a 6/7-party level, but here's how it works. The telepathic link with Nualia and Lamashtu's follower it si not strong enough to allow the use of "wish". When the PCs will reach Thistletop, defeat Nualia and tons of goblins, find clues to the nature of the "Old One" and yet they will want to mett him.... when they unlock the door in E10 Malfeshnekor (under false guise) will ask the Heroes of Sandpoint to release him with "wish". Of course , the demon will do everything to convince them , and if any of the players were to make the mistake of entering the room could be captured by glabrezu. If they agree to free him, Malf use "anti-magic field" from escape to the room (and this could have an impact on the campaign).
The encounter with the fiend is OPTIONAL, so long as the PCs decide to get into trouble I should have no problems.

* The last thing: for the second adventure (The Skinsaw Murders), the obsession of Aldern/Skinsaw is "envy" (the CG shoanti warpriest of Gorum saved him from the goblins, and it is still alive). So, i thinking of add him the Envious template (from Pathways #13): is it a good idea?


Wow, Aurelio. Those 2 players do often things like that? Building chars which would turn against the party often? How does that work in your group?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
gustavo iglesias wrote:
Wow, Aurelio. Those 2 players do often things like that? Building chars which would turn against the party often? How does that work in your group?

Uh, well, this is the first time it happens a PvP situation. We don't play Dark Souls; the N bloodrager was a mercenary who followed others PCs for profit than for friendship or loyalty. And if we add the fact that his bloodline was abyssal... Erylium had warned him the nature of his blood , and has proposed an alliance with her. The bloodrager accepted, but the other players did not liked this betrayal just before of the fight againts Erylium and sinspawn, and the warpriest of Gorum kill him in two rounds (thanks to the glitterdust spell of the magus). Strangely , since we did the session the PG who was bloodrager has not done more to hear ...

For the summoner; his only crime was to be too scary from the monsters of the dungeon and by the back-stabber bloodrager. And after his reachery, he was killed by the warpriest and the tengu druid :S

For a week we will not play, so I can arrange for the next sessions. A my friend wants to join to the group (perhaps it will be a ranger or a paladin), so the party will consist of 4 PCs. And in this last part of the adventure, I intend to assist them with Shalelu (so 4 PCs and 1 NPC). For the future encounters;

thistletop:
Two encounters, outside the goblin's lair before the bridge; the first is a CR 4, two or three goblin with man-eater pig... yeah, EVIL pig :)
The second is a CR 5: Pa Munchmeat and his animal companion, from We Be Goblins Too! Module. In this adventure, Pa Munchmeat is an ally of Nualia, but the Birdcruncher goblins hate it because sometimes the ogre had invaded their territory and had terrorized them with his fire-breathing boar. So, the ogre dwelling in the woods, and a terrified Gogmurt is hiding from him. And perhaps the PCs could use the dictum "The enemy of my enemy is my friend"....

For Nualia (antipaladin3/cleric3, replacing Weapon Focus with Lamashtu's Mark); is it too strong if I apply the unholy template from Advanced Bestiary? Or I having to settle with the Fiendish template?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm running ROTRL after a 27-year break from GMing (or gaming at all), and my players have come up with a tactic I didn't remember from back in the day. After 7 months of intermittent play, my PCs finally finished Thistletop a few weeks ago. All four players are new to RPGs (my wife, our two kids - 14 and 11, and their best friend). When they finally found Nualia - in the observation deck, with one yeth hound - they launched right into combat. Nualia and the yeth hound got in the first couple of attacks, but then my wife (playing the pre-rolled Kyra from the Beginner Box, now level 3) cast Hold Person on Nualia, and N. bobbled her saving throw despite her +8 will save modifier.

She bobbled it 3 times, which is how long it took the PCs to kill her while fighting off the other yeth hound. So I threw two more yeth hounds at them just to make it a fight. Almost had a TPK - should just have added 1 - but they managed to survive by a combination of luck and decent tactics.

Last weekend, I put them through a short one-off before starting Skinsaw, and when we got to the BBEG, she tried it again. BBEG, an Eldritch Knight, rolled a 1 for his will save. He was only paralyzed for one round, but the PCs didn't have anyone else to fight, so they did a lot of damage and the rogue stole all of his weapons (including his arcane bond item). He made his DC in round 2 and got off one attack the following round, but didn't make it to round 4.

My players now think the Hold Person is like Harry Potter's expelliamus - the relatively low-level spell that takes the enemy by surprise. I may need to start buffing the bad guys' wisdom stats in the upcoming chapters just to keep them from relying on it too much.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

"Save or suck" spells are like that -- either you save and the caster just wasted a round and a spell, or you fail your save, and life sucks.

The key is to remember the limitations of the spell. For example, Hold Person only works on humanoids, which is a specific creature type. It won't work on outsiders (Erylium), undead, and, if you're going by rules-as-written, Nualia should have been immune.

As a GM, I just roll with it. As creatures get more powerful, such spells become more and more ineffective, and eventually the players stop prepping them.

If you want to see a ludicrously-overpowered 1st-level spell that's effective at all levels, check out Color Spray.
And yet my players have taken it in two campaigns, and though it's shortened a couple of combats, it hasn't "broken" anything.

Sometimes, the PCs just "win". And if they're having fun, it's not an issue that you need to address.

EDIT: I had to delete the part about the "few GMs will play native outsiders being immune" because I found an entire Rules forum thread pointing out that it also prevents buffs like Enlarge Person from working, so people feel it's a reasonable trade-off.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

I gave the Scribbler one extra level of Cleric, and then the Feat that let's you act after using Dimension Door. Seeing he can DD at will, he DDs in, attacks, and DDs out. One party member decided to wait for his next arrival to hit him with a Dimensional Anchor, but the Scribbler realized what is up and will probably do something unkind to the Eldritch Knight who held his action. ;) Hey, the player chose to go with ranged weapons as a specialty. He's going to get some Scribblers up close and personal. ;)


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Poor guy's gonna have "Xaliasa wuz here" carved into his forehead and backside before he realizes what hit him :-)

Edit: or maybe "Property of Lamashtu"


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Yeah, Nualia is immune to hold person. Mistakes like that happen, though, especially after a 27 year break!


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Tusk the Half-Orc wrote:

I'm running ROTRL after a 27-year break from GMing (or gaming at all), and my players have come up with a tactic I didn't remember from back in the day. After 7 months of intermittent play, my PCs finally finished Thistletop a few weeks ago. All four players are new to RPGs (my wife, our two kids - 14 and 11, and their best friend). When they finally found Nualia - in the observation deck, with one yeth hound - they launched right into combat. Nualia and the yeth hound got in the first couple of attacks, but then my wife (playing the pre-rolled Kyra from the Beginner Box, now level 3) cast Hold Person on Nualia, and N. bobbled her saving throw despite her +8 will save modifier.

She bobbled it 3 times, which is how long it took the PCs to kill her while fighting off the other yeth hound. So I threw two more yeth hounds at them just to make it a fight. Almost had a TPK - should just have added 1 - but they managed to survive by a combination of luck and decent tactics.

Last weekend, I put them through a short one-off before starting Skinsaw, and when we got to the BBEG, she tried it again. BBEG, an Eldritch Knight, rolled a 1 for his will save. He was only paralyzed for one round, but the PCs didn't have anyone else to fight, so they did a lot of damage and the rogue stole all of his weapons (including his arcane bond item). He made his DC in round 2 and got off one attack the following round, but didn't make it to round 4.

My players now think the Hold Person is like Harry Potter's expelliamus - the relatively low-level spell that takes the enemy by surprise. I may need to start buffing the bad guys' wisdom stats in the upcoming chapters just to keep them from relying on it too much.

Hold Person has always been popular. Back in the day, it was even more powerful because you didn't get recurring saves every round. My group of nearly-as-old-as-I-am dinosaurs doesn't use it since they view it as "nerfed." Though in a game balance sense it's probably been improved. The old version could be used on multiple targets too - it was a go-to 2nd level cleric spell.

As NobodysHome said, it's probably not a big deal. A couple enemies save and it'll drop in popularity pretty quickly. It's not only a save-or-suck spell, but it's also a save-and-waste action in that if the target saves, nothing happens.

As I said, I'm something of a dinosaur but... <warning! blasphemy ahead!> you are not obligated to honor die rolls that produce a lame story or experience. You should use any die fudging judiciously but if a saving throw is going to turn a memorable BBEG fight into a tedious coup de grace exercise, it's within your purview for the BBEG "to save" regardless of roll. I like to follow the dice pretty closely - the unpredictability keeps everyone engaged but every once in a while, if an important NPC is going to wheeze out in the first round, I think very hard about letting it happen.

Oh and on the Nualia should have been immune, I would have missed that too!


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Latrecis wrote:
Oh and on the Nualia should have been immune, I would have missed that too!

The *only* reason I knew about it was because in a different AP the party was passing through an antilife field and I noticed that outsiders were explicitly -not- barred, so the NPC lyrakien azata and the summoner's eidolon could tromp merrily through.

Then I thought, "Wait a minute! What about native outsiders?"

And it turns out they can walk through antilife fields, they're immune to Hold Person, and all kinds of other nonsense.

But you DO get to do massive damage with Unholy Blight! Woo hoo!


I've always played unholy blight (and similar spells) to mean outsiders with the Good type rather than any good-aligned outsider, but yeah by RAW native outsiders can get hammered by that stuff.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Thanks, all - I've fudged more than a few dice rolls since we started ROTRL, but I figured there was no point penalizing a good idea (completely missing the outsider issue). Most of my fudged rolls went toward keeping the wizard and monk alive through 1st level when played by 11 and 12-year-old boys, respectively, who kept insisting they wanted to be at the front of the marching order.

At the very beginning, the monk got mauled by the Tickwood boar during the hunt with Aldern and was down to -7 hp before the cleric could get to him. It only took being knocked into negative hit points in the first round of combat a few more times each before they agreed to let the fighter go first.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I was going to give some advice, but NobodysHome and Latrecis made every point I was going to.


Haladir wrote:
I was going to give some advice, but NobodysHome and Latrecis made every point I was going to.

We enjoy getting in your way. We sneak into your room at night and steal your ideas...


One thing I changed at the conclusion to Fortress of the Stone Giants was the final battle with M.

The original raid on Sandpoint resulted in Teraktinus getting away (no way was he sticking around 1v5 against the PCs, over-confident as he may be). Jorgenfist was prepared for the PCs but was expecting an assault, and my PCs sneaked in through the bug cave.

The adventure through Jorgenfist was fairly uneventful though by the time they were done the Monk and all the stuff in the Jorgenfist lower caves (before heading down to the Library level), they were pretty beat up and running low on resources. I let them sleep in the cave passages and prepare for the final descent into the Library level.

First, I completely forgot about Lokansir when the PCs were running through the Jorgenfist caves level, so I may have to level him up and bring him back once my PCs get to Xin-Shalast.

I didn't think M being in the throne/pillar room by himself made for a very exciting encounter, and I thought the original map of the room didn't allow for enough maneuverability so I doubled the length of the chamber. Teraktinus was also present (having survived the raid on Sandpoint), as were two additional Runeslave Hill Giants. I also had the Forgefiend show up for some hit and run tactics during the fight (his Searing Spew attack is awesome for this), after having harassed the PCs earlier in the Library level.

Once M was defeated, I did as others who have posted here have done and had Conna lead several other giants into M's chamber and address the PCs, thanking them for their contribution and for saving the giants from a terrible fate. Conna let the PCs know the giants were forsaking the fortress, and the giants granted the PCs safe passage to and from the fortress across the Storval Plateau for their deeds.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

Rise of the RuneLords – Chapters 1-3, what I’ve changed.
I required all my players to have characters from Sandpoint or the immediate area, and they were all at the age of maturity.
Part 1: Crypt of the Everflame
I started the campaign off with the premise of Crypt of the Everflame. This took some rework. I used the same general story, replacing Kassen with Sandpoint and adding Ekat Kassen as a person of note in Sandpoint’s origin. I put the crypt in the Hinterlands just a tiny bit into the Whisperwood Moor. I replaced other personas with people from Sandpoint – Mayor Deverin doing the ceremony, etc.
Ilsoaria Gandethus did the initial illusion encounter; one of my characters was from the orphanage and recognized his pipe smoke.
When they crossed cougar creek they found goblin tracks and a goblin dagger. Shale (I never called her Shalelu) met them on the path to give some history of Wisher’s well. They told her of the goblins and she worriedly went off to investigate.
Point out the creepy sign to the sanatorium on the way.
They meet Horran and Lettie Guffmin headed to Sandpoint with a wagonload of apples. The party chats with them and buys some apples. Portrayed as some nice kids. (Night of the Ghouls)
The last stop is to have lunch at the Grump Farm; they meet Maester Grump and his family. A storm is kicking up, but they must press on to the crypt.
The survivor that they find in the crypt is Alergast Barett (Monster in the Closet). He’s a local carpenter and helps setup the crypt for the “trial”. Play up his rescue and return with the group and reuniting with his wife Amele and their kids. Makes it more personal later.
The Crypt / reawaking I reworked because Nuallia and Co. broke in to steal a relic, and inadvertently they caused the restless dead. There are tracks that can be identified as a bugbear if someone gets a good Survival check.
Part 2: The party, now ‘adults’ has some history and a reason to be hanging out. I really played up the festival and let them play a variety of festival games and earn prizes. They particularly enjoyed the dragon races. Important detail – introduce other NPC’s at the fair. I had them notice Banny and Katrine making out in an alley; the gossip is the two are an item but her dad doesn’t know.
I changed the Raid up quite a bit. I doubled the number of goblins seen, but had half a dozen major NPC’s partake in the fight (some of whom were character mentors).
Importantly, when Aldern Foxglove is in danger, Rogor’s Croesby is with him. Aldern is ever so thankful, but poor Rogor’s gets largely ignored.
The following investigation has a number of clues. The wagon can be identified as being from Lonjiku’s estate. Also the ladder outside the wall has the local Sandpoint carpenter guild symbol. That leads them logically to Alergast again – and he recalls making the ladder and selling it to the general store. Ven Vinder is not so helpful. With a diplomacy check he’ll recall selling a tall ladder last week to a worker from the Kaijitsu estate. They should go to the Kaijitsu estate. Lonjiku is busy, have them meet some staff and the butler and armed guards, and with some diplomacy they can meet him. He’s irritable and will not admit to either the wagon or the ladder. Our fighter carried the damn ladder around all day – it was amusing.

Sherif Hemlock announces that he’s headed to Magnimar to get aid.

The Boar Hunt
Aldern invites the party to go hunting. I made it a half day event. I also had Rogor’s Croesby go along. He doesn’t say much; Aldern is the chatterbox. Rogor’s helps haul the boar back. They bring the boar back to Ameiko, who makes the preparations for the evening feast.
Play up the party and ingratiate the characters with Ameiko. Have fun with the dramatic entrance of Lonjiku.
Desecrated Vault
I gave Father Zantus a few extra levels. Let them explore the graveyard. I made Tobyn’s grave a large above ground mausoleum. I also added a nearby grave for Nuallia (that was an idea that I got from this forum). Add tracks around that grave, as if someone knelt down by it. (Tsuto appreciating the irony).
Monster in the Closet. Definitely use this now that you’ve had multiple interactions with Alergast. My players were pretty bummed.
Aldern hangs out at the Rusty Dragon for most of this, pestering the characters here and there. I do make a point of them watching him give Rogor’s instructions at a wagon before Rogor’s heads off to the manor to do some ‘renovations’.
Glassworks
I doubled the number of goblins. I also kept Lonjiku alive but unconcious. In the chair as presented, with melted glass across his face (which will be a permanent scar).
I did my best to get Tsuto out of there. He had a horse tethered in the sea cave and he got away. It’s more interesting IMO if he escapes, but you get what you get.
Post Glassworks cleanup
Hemlock shows up with Justic Ironbriar and a dozen guards. They help secure the town; My party turned Tsuto over to Ironbriar. This was great irony, as I played that Ironbriar is Tsuto’s actual father (a well kept secret). Tsuto knows of course. That’s how he was directed to Nualia. Ironbriar plays up congratulating the party on their heroics, and tells the party to come see him the next time they are in Magnimar. When they left, Tsuto was in chains. Once they get back to Magnimar, Ironbriar gives Tsuto instructions – to make up for his failure in Sandpoint he is to go to assist Lucretia under the pretense of being sent to the Black Arrows. I ended up replacing Kaven with Tsuto. If Tsuto is dead for you, keep Kaven as is, but Ironbriar wants revenge for the death of his son.
Catacombs
I played this pretty straight. I used the description of the waters of Lamashtu from the Inner Sea guide; there’s a conflict between the books on what it looks like.

Thistletop
I did some major rework here. I moved the goblin fort into the thistles. There were thistle paths all around my fort and one of the ‘tunnels’ led to the rickety bridge. The top of my statue head was worn and covered in lichen and dirt and sea gull nests, with nothing else but a small shack. The shack had some goblin guards, and inside the shack were the stairs leading down. No other goblins were inside the ‘head’, just the main bad guys.
I also littered the forest next the fort with the remains of the statue, huge chunks of worn but clearly carved stone that had settled into the ground and was largely covered with mounds of dirt, but it could be identified as a statue and was hundreds of feet long.
I didn’t change the goblin encounters much at all. They weren’t that challenging for my party.

Thistletop Dungeon
I added half a dozen hobgoblin’s as extra floor guards, one of which was the jailer still present plus two more.
I got rid of the tentamort. It just didn’t make sense to me that the group would leave that thing alive in their base.
I broke the fight into groups; Orik, Lyrie and Tsuto. In the darndest luck, all three survived the fight and were captured. If you have Orik surrender at the right time, Lyrie will join him. Tsuto fought to unconsciousness but they let him live yet again. Which I had fun with this. My party actually let Lyrie and Orik free ( I don’t really know why – other than they convinced the group that they were unwitting pawns in Nualia’s scheme.)
Bruthazmus and two more hobgoblins provided the next line of defense.
Then came Nuallia and her Yeth hound. I Reduced the encounter to one hound; the fear effect was devastating at the low levels.
I got rid of the shadows, and made the place look far more like an archeological dig, with journals and books and equipment. I made it clear that the bad guys were stuck opening up the magic door. I had the key to the door well hidden behind the throne with the illusion.
I made room E10 larger so there’s 10’ all around the flame trough. My party opted to not open up the vault (and still hasn’t). I removed the binding of the barghest to the room so it could become a frantic running fight if need be. Perhaps later they will come back to kill it.

Chapter 2
I did some major reworking. Mostly because I found Aldern’s tortured character interesting and wanted to keep dragging him out. So, he’s not my Skinsaw man. Rogor’s goes to the manor and tries to catch a rat and gets bitten. Aldern finally leaves town and swings by the manor to see if the rats are ready, finds Rogor’s sick so he takes him to Magnimar. Ironbriar is upset that it took so long and that Foxglove is such an incompetent twit. Xanesha gets involved, sees what’s happening, and personally takes Rogor’s back to the manor so he can turn. Aldern gets locked up in his town home in the top room, with the faceless stalkers acting as his jailers and him as bait for the characters.
Most of the chapter plays out the same; I tweaked the notes so that it eventually looks like Aldern, but Rogor’s was really the bitter/jealous one watching Aldern get the attention, etc.
In the Manor I had a raging storm come on (lots of lead up to it). I did away with assigning haunts to people. I just had whomever went into each room first get affected. Remember to keep Aldern’s portrait clean and alive. I also made the haunts less deadly and more creepy and informative.
They find Iesha, and free her. It helped that she shrieked and sent most of the party cowering. This was a fun encounter – because Aldern wasn’t at the manor she heads out the front door in the storm. My group argued between chasing her down or pursuing the skinsaw man. It was very nice; they let her go, made their way to the caves and the final fight was rough. I moved the Skaveling to the main chamber so when they came in, Skinsaw plus all the ghouls plus the Skaveling doing flyby attacks was pure carnage.
Once Rogor’s was defeated, they found the same clues to lead them to the townhome. They reported in to the mayor and sheriff, and then raced off to Magnimar. I had Iesha be more discreet than a book revenant would be able to. She stayed off the roads and traveled by night.
The party got to the townhome before her (they went on horseback). When the fake Aldern and Iesha answered, the jig was up and the party basically busted in after a short dialogue. They found Aldern alive but covered in filth upstairs; they got him cleaned up, he confessed to everything and spilled all that he knew. I made sure he DID NOT know any actual identities of the Seven. The party waited for Iesha to show up and smash in, and then they killed her while Aldern cowered and wept. Then, to my delight, they arrested Aldern and turned him over to Justice Ironbriar!
Ironbriar proceeded to do his best to thwart the characters. I used Dawn of the Scarlet Son as a side quest; Ironbriar sends them to meet with the captain in charge of that investigation suggesting that it was related the serial killers. This eats of some time and gives them another rough fight.
I kept the saw mill mostly as is; instead of it being their main base, it was more of a meeting place and occasional sacrifice area. I removed Ironbriar’s office (it became a small share space with actual ledgers related to the operation of the mill). My party snuck in at night and got ambushed by three cultists. I reworked the cultists, changed from 13 to 7. Stats below. I left the rookery as the link to the Shadow Clock. In the ledger I included clues to another side quest, totally unnecessary mind you. I planted notes alluding to an underground slave ring operating in the city sewers and hinting at the mistress running it. I made it either Sense Motive or Linguistics DC20 to see these were all recently written and meant to be a red herring. My party saw through the ruse, BUT I did prepare the Broken Chains adventure changing out the Qanat waterway with Magnimar Sewers. I thought it would be a significant interesting side question especially since it has the Lamashtu tie in. My group didn’t go after it though.
They traced the pigeon to the Shadow Clock.
I scrapped the Shadow Clock map entirely. It’s TERRIBLE. The worst map and picture in the book IMO. I made my own, using images of an actual clock tower.
http://imgur.com/SBRbCAc
http://imgur.com/SBRbCAc
http://imgur.com/SBRbCAc
http://imgur.com/IUCaqrt

I kept Scarecrow as the main guard. The front doors were locked and had an official city sign condemning the clock, signed by none other than Ironbriar. He had essential acquired the clock as his own after numerous climbing deaths (some of which he helped stage).
I put his personal lair at the top. He had three cultists guarding the way up; I kept the bell trap. On the roof he greets them doing a slow clap, congratulating them on ruining his cult. The group SHOULD let him monologue, feeling the betrayal. If not, there will be notes. In addition to all of the book notes and loot, include a personal journal with entries about Tsuto. If Tsuto is alive, it should discuss his plans for sending Tsuto to the Black Feathers and his concerns about it. To add some pathos, he genuinely loves his son and is worried for him. He reveals that he is powerless and enslaved by Xanesha, who at this very moment is about to murder Lord Mayor Groboras and numerous other wealthy city officials. He has to fight them, but he resists enough to spill what he knows in angry resentment. Once the fight starts, a Yeth hound joins the fray (given to him by Xanesha). I re-statted him completely.
He either gives them the location or they find the missive directing the 7th cultist to Lady Baythorn’s private manor to assist her. (I stole that name from another post on this forum, along with other ideas regarding Xanesha. She’s been more of a public figure, a beautiful enchanting and wealthy woman. She’s been courting Groboras (to her distaste) and building up to this moment. A dozen of the city’s who’s who all to be sacrificed at once. The party has to race to find her estate in the wealthy district. It’s a small walled manor house with a line of fancy carriages out front. For me I had the singular joy of bringing back Lyrie and Orik. Both of them gave the “Not you again!” to the party. Lyrie followed after Tsuto, still having a crush on them. They got found out and recruited to be Xanesha’s estate guards. If you don’t have them, use some other tougher than usual mooks. Inside the ritual is getting started. Xanesha poisoned all her guests with sleeping poison, and is in the process of preparing Groboras with the rune. She has two serving staff and a butler who are faceless stalkers (but don’t reveal that right away) plus the 7th cultist who will hide and try to get the assassination shot in before joining the fun. Xanesha is beautiful, and may try to monologue, but once the party attacks she snakes out. I kept her upper torso the same gorgeous woman. She’ll slip on her mask and grab her spear. She might also use the sleeping victims as soft cover to complicate the fight.
Once the fight is wrapped, all of her notes and loot will be in her private study. The party can wake up all the people, Groboras will be shocked and then exceedingly grateful. Rewards should follow.
The party has two direct leads now to head north.

Cultists
Cleric 1, Rogue 4/Knifemaster, Assassin 1 with 15pt build
St 14 (started 13, 4th lvl +1), Dex 16, Con 12 Int 13 Wis 10 Cha 13
Human CE Norgorber Death/Trickery
Equipment +1 Daggers, Masterwork Lamellar, Drow Poison, Skinsaw Mask
Each of them also has one magical item:
Potion of Murderer's Silence, Thoqqua Snake, Boots of the Cat, Hat of Disguise, Belt of Tumbling, Deathwatch Eyes and Daredevil boots.
3 of them (at the Clock tower) have Masterwork Comp Strength bows +2. 3 are encountered at the Sawmill. One is with Xanesha.
Feats: Gang Up, Selective Channeling, Weapon Focus: Dagger
Key Skills: Acrobatics 10, Climb 9, Stealth 10, Sense Motive 6, Perception 9, Intimidate 8, and Knowledge Local 8.
Active Spells: Shield of Faith

Justic Ironbriar Elf CE
Rogue 3 (Roof Runner), Inquisitor 6 (Preacher)
Str 12 (14 with belt) Dex 18 Con 12 Int 16 Wis 14 Cha 13
Clever Wordplay / Warrior of Old
Weapon Focus Short Sword, Two-weapon fighting, Weapon Finesse, toughness, Dodge, Combat Reflexes

+1 Shortsword Keen & +1 Shortsword Bane/Human. Elven Chain. Ring of the Ram. Gelt of Giant Strength +2
72 HP AC24 /18touch /19flat / +8 Init / +7 Fort / +9 Ref / +8 Will / CMB 8 / CMD26
Shortswords +10 / +10 /+5 1d6+6, +2d6 sneak damage. Keen crit 17-20. Bane +2d6 vs humans. Yeth Hound will work to give him flank.
Inquisitor / Determination / Determination
Defense against magic Enchantment / Illusion
Domain Death (Murder)
Rogue Talents / Combat Trick (combat reflexes)

Buffs – Judgement (Destruction) to gain +3 Sacred bonus on damage
He’s watched the party advance. He’ll cast Resist Energy against whatever magic energy he sees them use, if none he might pick lightning.
Also has Shield of Faith going.
I gave him Alarm, Expedition Retreat, Command, Resist Energy, Weapon of Awe, Invisibility, Knock, Honeyed Tongue, See Invisibility and Shield of Faith.

Tactics: The Yeth Hound should bay the first round. I didn’t have it affect Ironbriar. If you need a reason, perhaps he has the hound bay at him every morning so he’s immune for 24 hours. Not completely unreasonable. The tower is in complete shadow, so the hound is find on the roof. I had the top of my tower be low parapets. If he can get a shot lined up, have him use the Ring of the Ram to knock a character off. 250’ fall. (My house rule is falling damage doesn’t cap until 25d6. No one fell, but it would have been squishy.) Other than that he wants to get flank and full round actions. He should be able to hit for a lot of damage.

Chapter 3
We are just starting Chapter 3. The party will need to find passage up the river, and I’m going to offer up a riverboat using material from River Into Darkness. I’m also considering some other distractions, such as Feast of Ravenmoor on the way. There are some excellent encounters in the forums that I’ve stolen as potentials. Once they get to Turtleback Ferry, I’m doing things differently.

The first main change is I’m going to have the Paradise NOT be sunk. There should be ample opportunities for roleplaying in Turtleback Ferry. Mission one will be getting onto the Paradise, which will be a large gambling boat. I’m planning on a dramatic confrontation with Lucrectia there (she’ll have at least half a dozen well-armed body guards) plus fifty or so townsfolk caught in the crossfire. I’m planning on having the boat be primed to burn (guards pouring oil outside) so when the fight breaks out, so does the fire. Imagine the chaos of screaming gamblers trying to get out (possibly with the doors barred if the setup works) and a dramatic showdown as the boat burns. If she escapes, she will flee back to Hook Mountain, if not no worries. The party still has plenty to do.

I’ll be re-statting the Graul boys and Mammy. She’ll be a higher level necromancer and she’ll have the The Kardosian Codex. Once their home is invaded, she’ll head outside. Since I still have Aldern, he’ll be a prisoner there with some of the other Black Feather’s and somebody to babysit which should be fun. I’m not using Shale as the hook at all, so she won’t be part of this.

I’ll be dialing back the battle at the Fort substantially in terms of scale. I’ll probably only have a dozen Ogres (including Pappy) and the main characters, but all the rest will be tougher fighters. So fewer, more intense encounters. As a side quest, the eagles didn’t join in the first fight so they are there if the party wants to climb up to seek some allies.

That’s what I have for sure so far. More to come.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Nice stuff there Fenrick, thanks for sharing.

I'm looking forward to doing Graulfulness soon myself - its great to be able to borrow from other peoples ideas.

I find myself making lots of name changes too - If it's not comfortable for me to speak an NPCs name - the NPC gets a new name


Fenrick Talon wrote:
The first main change is I’m going to have the Paradise NOT be sunk. There should be ample opportunities for roleplaying in Turtleback Ferry. Mission one will be getting onto the Paradise, which will be a large gambling boat. I’m planning on a dramatic confrontation with Lucrectia there (she’ll have at least half a dozen well-armed body guards) plus fifty or so townsfolk caught in the crossfire. I’m planning on having the boat be primed to burn (guards pouring oil outside) so when the fight breaks out, so does the fire. Imagine the chaos of screaming gamblers trying to get out (possibly with the doors barred if the setup works) and a dramatic showdown as the boat burns. If she escapes, she will flee back to Hook Mountain, if not no worries. The party still has plenty to do.

I am working on a version of almost this myself. If you could, please let me know how it goes? what worked well, what you would change and any highlights. All in All... any in-sight would simply be helpful.


Latrecis wrote:

What are the prerequisites for the Grognard prestige class again? I may have unwittingly taken levels...

Haladir is nicer than I am. I had the zombies out and about from the get-go. They didn't make much sense to me as color (not very interesting in my view trapped in pits.) My players made two assaults on the Catacombs and the zombies took the roles of the sinspawn in the second attack. Great fun.

I ended up rebuilding that room so that the cells were actually more akin to prison cages rather than pits... I put a half-dozen zombies or so in some of them and had a pair of Sinspawn tormenting them with their glaives when the PC's arrived. It made for a dynamic encounter area because I ruled that anyone ending their turn adjacent to a cage (PC or Sinspawn) would be subjected to an attack by whatever zombie or zombies were inside of it. The room was redesigned to force the issue a little, especially against foes with reach weapons.


Zebbie wrote:
Fenrick Talon wrote:
The first main change is I’m going to have the Paradise NOT be sunk. There should be ample opportunities for roleplaying in Turtleback Ferry. Mission one will be getting onto the Paradise, which will be a large gambling boat. I’m planning on a dramatic confrontation with Lucrectia there (she’ll have at least half a dozen well-armed body guards) plus fifty or so townsfolk caught in the crossfire. I’m planning on having the boat be primed to burn (guards pouring oil outside) so when the fight breaks out, so does the fire. Imagine the chaos of screaming gamblers trying to get out (possibly with the doors barred if the setup works) and a dramatic showdown as the boat burns. If she escapes, she will flee back to Hook Mountain, if not no worries. The party still has plenty to do.
I am working on a version of almost this myself. If you could, please let me know how it goes? what worked well, what you would change and any highlights. All in All... any in-sight would simply be helpful.

Seconding this request. Turtleback Ferry is definitely going to be the most significant part of my re-write for that volume. I'm planning on having the PC's reunite with a down-on-his-lick Orik among other things. Any discussion on ideas would be good.

Might be worthy of its own thread.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I'm making my party go to TBF twice, the first time they got to see the Paradise in operation. There is more on what I did using the Paradise/TBF differently in the Hook Mountain thread, and I know that someone worked up a map for it as well (I found a map of a real riverboat to use, as I didn't really expect people to do much tactical movement around it).
I found even the minimal work I did on finding a boat map and cleaning it up to match what I needed was wasted - despite the PCs early claims to desire to open a casino, they had little interest in actually looking at one.


Haladir wrote:

I posted this in another thread, but I'll repeat it here...

Given that the number seven is so prevalent throughout this AP, I decided to add another chapter of Rise of the Runelords, to give it a Seven Book format.

Book 1: Burnt Offerings
Book 2: The Skinsaw Murders
Book 3: Hook Mountain Massacre
Book 4: The Seven Swords of Sin
Book 5: Fortress of the Stone Giants
Book 6: Sins of the Saviors
Book 7: Spires of Xin-Shalast

Here's my outline for Book 4...

Chapter 1: The Golemworks Incident
** spoiler omitted **.

Chapter 2: The Road to Kaer Maga
** spoiler omitted **...

How did this all work out? Do you have your notes and changes?


We're playing 5E (converted right at the start of Book 5), so some of this may not apply in PF, but we just finished the Ravenous Crypts. My PCs were tearing through the place, so I had an invisible Azraven ambush them in the Tomb of the Patriarchs with the idea of using some Telekinesis fun to toss them into the 150' pits. Unfortunately he only got a Chain Lightning off from surprise before they dropped him to about 4 hp before he could go again, so he had to Dimension Door out.

Later when they confronted him in his lab, I added a couple of Flesh Golems that he had constructed from the scavanged parts (I realize constructs are more Transmutation than Necromancy, but it fit thematically) as well as a couple of Wraiths. The golems unfortunately were little more than HP sponges as the party kept hitting them with fire spells, but they at least slowed the party down enough that Azraven could get off a couple of spells before they swarmed him. I never did get the chance to catch both the golems and some of the PCs with a lightning bolt, though.

Over in the Halls of Wrath, I'm changing the glabrezu that High Lady Athraxis summons to a pair of Erinyes. The party already had a long battle with a glabrezu alongside a "boss" in the Scribbler's lair, and Erinyes seem more the LE Athraxis' style.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I changed the raid on Sandpoint in Chapter 4 a bit. After the party found the note at Hook Mountain, I had them decide what method they were going to use to return to Sandpoint, the plan being depending on how fast they arrived would determine when they arrive during the raid. (kind of fudging time for the story. For example, teleport might bring them in at round 3, while force march overland by horse may have them arrive at round 20)
I then assigned each player two NPCs with some vague stats to create to play during the raid (I also created a handful of spares, just in case). Each player had an NPC with 7 class levels and one with 5 class levels.
I assigned the following to players:

level 7:

Sherrif Hemlock, fighter/barbarian
Amekio Kajitsu, Bard/Rogue
Brodert Quint, Arcanist
Ven Vinder, Monk
Madame Mvashi, Druid/Sorceress/Theurge (technicaly level 8, but also Venerable)
Spares:
Father Zantus, cleric
Jurayl Vhiska, Rogue
Cyrdak, bard

Level 5:

Savah, Figher/Rogue
Daviern Hosk, Ranger
Hannah, Cleric
Sabyl Sorn, Monk
Naffer Vosk, Cleric/Rogue

After one session we are only on round 10, which is when the original PCs arrive in town. The party had 20 minutes to position themselves and prepare for the fight. Hemlock, Brodert, and Ven managed to hold off the giants at the north gate along with some militia, while Savah, Vosk, and Ameiko tried to hold the Tanners bridge. Unfortunatley they were not able, and after lighting the bridge aflame Ameiko and Vosk fled into the city after killing one bear while Savah was disembowled by another. Hosk, who was positioned at the south bridge with Hannah, rode hard to the Tannery when he saw the flames, but arrived to see his allies dispersed. Meanwhile, Hemlock and Ven left the north gate with Brodert to assist the tannery, picking up Sabyl Sorn on the way.

Also, there is a dragon flying around, but due to their advanced planning most of the townspeople are hidden in various undergrand passages, and the dragon is, for the time, being ignored.

It was definetly a lot of fun, and the group is enjoying it so far. I also had planned little mini encounters to bring the spares in to the fight, but didn't have a chance to use them yet.

Also, to help track all of these troop movements, I used a cork board with a printout of the map of Sandpoint, gridded, and used different colored pins with lables on them to help visualize where everyone was.


So as an update to my last post, this change was very well recieved. The players felt that it made the battle feel more chaotic like a raid should probably be, though it did drag out the fight for quite a while, especially when the PCs came in and most players had 3 characters to run.

I'd also like to note that, as I have 7 PCs, + their underlings, I bumped all the giants to Advanced, Longtooth from Juvenile to Young Adult, and add a Mythic Tier to Teraktinus, as well as a band of ogres at the North Gate. We ended up with 3 NPC deaths (2 due to friendly fire) and 1 PC KO.

I may run a similar thing at the start of book 5, to shed some foreshadowing out of game.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

OK, I'm part through the interlude I'm running between Skinsaw and Hook Mountain.

The party has traveled to TBF with some of the Black Arrows to deliver a new batch of "recruits" (which includes Orik).

They got the chance to look at (and experience) the Paradise in operation.

They encountered a settlement that had been overrun by a few Ogres (including a werewolf ogre).

The plan at that point was to let them return home and deal with town issues then spring the real Hook Mountain on them.

But...I've added in TOO MANY in town events, some of which won't be quickly or easily resolved.

a partial Laundry List of things going on in town...:
  • The Sczarni have started a disease outbreak at the Pixie's Kitten
  • Scarnetti have hired a group of mercenaries to clean up Ghoul/Goblins
  • Scarnetti have started a motion to have the town refurbish the old watch garrison
  • Sczarni have made an attempt on Ameiko
  • Sczarni have burned the PCs house down and made the PCs think Scarnetti's are responsible
  • PCs tried to claim Foxglove estate (in Magnimar), the remaing Foxglove sisters have filed a suit to regain the house
  • The town is building a town owned grain mill

Just a partial list really, as there are other more minor things going on - Now I'm concerned about getting them out of town to help the Black Arrows again. Point being, I wanted to give some time between their two trips to TBF, and now I think I've given them too much reason to STAY in town.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I made several changes to Book 2: The Skinsaw Murders.

I replaced the Sawmill Encounter with the PFS module: "Cultist's Kiss." In my campaign, the Brothers of the Seven were a death cult dedicated to Lissala, the Goddess of Runes (as opposed to Nogorber). The seven pointed star motif throughout Cultist's Kiss, and the Sihedron ritual flowed better in my opinion.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

I changed my mind as for having the players go into WotR's Midnight Isles, had the first part (the introduction and the fight against the alchemist and incubi) turn out to be a nightmare (I chatted with the players and they said "if you're not happy with it, then feel free to eliminate it" - my attempt to insert it fell flat, in my opinion, even if the players enjoyed themselves with the silliness of suddenly meeting an ascended succubus and the like), and just had the players go into researching where the Runeforge was located like it says to in the book.

Changing things can be enjoyable. But it depends on the quality of the material you're inserting.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I wish I would've changed Habe's Asylum. Honestly I would've boiled it down to just the interview with Grayst Sevilla, I think it goes a long way to heighten the creepiness of the Skinsaw Man, but once all the fighting breaks out I think it deflates that somewhat.

Caizarlu as a red herring resolves itself almost immediately, the whole encounter just becomes sort of a non sequitur. His notes do foreshadow the Hambley Farm, but the hook for that section runs screaming into town the next morning so I don't think that's needed either.

My players were understandably reluctant to take action against Habe without the sanction of the law, so after knocking out the tiefling orderlies they left. Upon returning with the Sheriff and some guards all they found were four zombies and two half eaten tiefling orderlies, Habe and Caizarlu having made good their escape.

Maybe this section worked out for others, but personally I would mostly remove it if I ran the adventure path again.


We've just finished Burnt Offerings with a group that went from 6 to 3 (mayhaps 4) players 'cause of real life catching up with most of them. I've been running the adventure pretty much by the book for now, but the Skinsaw Murders seems like it needs a bit of help.

One of the characters is planning on settling down in Sandpoint. He is going to purchase the Glassworks in order to more readily study the ruins below. By the time Ameiko is recovered from her kidnapping and ready to put her family's business in order, a group of Sczarni smugglers will already be back to using the caverns below the Glassworks. They will have a connection to Jubrayl, and will serve mostly to establish him as a lawless jackass when the party either goes to the Sheriff or tries to arrest him themselves. He will also have a certain tattoo on his neck that he received in a certain casino.

I'm planning to push the Scarnetti red herring a bit further with the first murder, and have them go to interrogate Jubrayl after any attempt to get information out of the nobles fails, only to find him dead. I will be spreading some clues between the two murder scenes so that they don't arrive at the conclusion that it was an undead creature all that fast.

Furthermore, I have a slightly different thing in mind for Aldern. Right now, none of the characters still in the game really qualify to be his obsession. He initially was obsessed with the aasimar Paladin, but the Paladin was slain by Tsuto. After thinking a while, I'm going to stick with his obsession, mixing some of the Lust and Envy notes, but it will come from a slightly different place - the need Vorel has for an actual host for his vile spirit. The dead Paladin's player is still in the game, so this will also strike some personal notes along the way.

I'm also going to use some of the ideas in this thread about Xanesha infiltrating the nobles of Magnimar. Sounds really fun, and I'll post something about it as soon as it's developed a bit.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Also I wish I'd have removed the well entrance to the caverns beneath the Misgivings. I appreciate the consistency of the ecology but in the eventuality that the players enter the Misgivings that way it's somewhat disastrous. The dungeon really falls apart from both a storytelling and engagement perspective if played in reverse this way.

It's a good nod to player choice, but all this choice really does is let players make a worse story for themselves.


Meangarr wrote:

Also I wish I'd have removed the well entrance to the caverns beneath the Misgivings. I appreciate the consistency of the ecology but in the eventuality that the players enter the Misgivings that way it's somewhat disastrous. The dungeon really falls apart from both a storytelling and engagement perspective if played in reverse this way.

It's a good nod to player choice, but all this choice really does is let players make a worse story for themselves.

This is a pretty good observation/warning for other DM's. You could also simply not let them find it. Don't ask for a perception check unless they specifically explore the well, etc. Relatively easy Knowledge Engineering checks (or simply provided when examined) reveal the well is on the verge of collapse, any effort to enter or otherwise interact could lead to a complete cave-in. (This is of course would have to be used judiciously - for some groups this would draw their attention instead of discourage it.)


Latrecis wrote:
Meangarr wrote:

Also I wish I'd have removed the well entrance to the caverns beneath the Misgivings. I appreciate the consistency of the ecology but in the eventuality that the players enter the Misgivings that way it's somewhat disastrous. The dungeon really falls apart from both a storytelling and engagement perspective if played in reverse this way.

It's a good nod to player choice, but all this choice really does is let players make a worse story for themselves.

This is a pretty good observation/warning for other DM's. You could also simply not let them find it. Don't ask for a perception check unless they specifically explore the well, etc. Relatively easy Knowledge Engineering checks (or simply provided when examined) reveal the well is on the verge of collapse, any effort to enter or otherwise interact could lead to a complete cave-in. (This is of course would have to be used judiciously - for some groups this would draw their attention instead of discourage it.)

I had the same problem when I allowed my players to go downstairs into the catacombs without first exploring the upper floors of the house. They explored the upstairs afterwards, but it was all anticlimactic as the BBEG was already dealt with. In hindsight I would have put something upstairs that allows the players to access the catacombs.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Peet wrote:


I had the same problem when I allowed my players to go downstairs into the catacombs without first exploring the upper floors of the house. They explored the upstairs afterwards, but it was all anticlimactic as the BBEG was already dealt with. In hindsight I would have put something upstairs that allows the players to access the catacombs.

Being a creepy haunted house, I just let them hear things - rats in the walls and such coming from upstairs - that was enough to get my players moving in the right direction. I believe I also let them see something fluttering in one of the upstairs windows.

Count out some squares and make 'em do some perceptions checks and tell the person with the best result that type of information. Make the PCs think that they've noticed something hidden. PCs are suckers for thinking that they overcame one of your challenges.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

With the new Tabletop version of the game, one thing I'm doing is I'm starting with actual festival games and coming up with rules for various contests and games that could be found in any festival. One reason is that I've a young player who, while he's played Pathfinder a couple times before, is still fairly new. So being exposed to things like Assist Other (in a tug-of-war) or Fortitude Saves (for a pie-eating contest) will help expose him to some rules without it being a life-or-death situation.

I also plan on incorporating a form of Mythic, seeing the group is only three players, but rather than use the actual Mythic rules, I'm going to use regenerating Hero Points. After a close look at Hero Points, I've realized that they are in fact the basis from which Mythic Adventures was crafted... and that the real problem with Mythic is they went too far. (Also, Hero Points are not too complex, so newer players won't need to learn additional rules and keep track of everything.)

A third thing I'm doing is creating notecards for each NPC in Sandpoint, along with personality characteristics to help differentiate each NPC. I'm hoping to bring Sandpoint to life. While I did create some personalities in the Skype game, I honestly don't think most of the NPCs stand out - instead, the players are into Sandpoint because they built it up with their own bank and orphanage and stuff. I want my new group to think of this as home... especially as all three chose to have characters who grew up in Sandpoint (or in one case moved there several years ago).


the Lorax wrote:
Being a creepy haunted house, I just let them hear things - rats in the walls and such coming from upstairs - that was enough to get my players moving in the right direction. I believe I also let them see something fluttering in one of the upstairs windows.

I've been playing around a little bit with ambience playing in the background during sessions, and feel like Foxglove Manor should have, well, just what you said. The sound of rats running around in the walls, and the wind brushing across the side of the building. Creaking, and so on and so forth.

Anyone used ambience like that successfully in Foxglove Manor? So far, I've not found anything fitting. There are some dungeon sounds in Baldur's Gate that would work well, I think, but I'm bad at looping and don't have the files anyway.

201 to 250 of 319 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder Adventure Path / Rise of the Runelords / Things you've changed, and things you should have. [Spoilers] All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.