We finished - comments and opinion on the campaign [spoilers]


Shattered Star

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Me thinks there should be an addendum with each AP book with these sorts of things as optional GM tools. All of the extras I've seen for Shattered Star, at least, have been golden. I suspect they were removed more for space reasons than anything else.


That sounds really cool Brandon, thanks for posting that. The control mechanic sounds interesting as well, I might thread that into my game when they reach that point. Anything more to share on that area?

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Carter Lockhart wrote:
That sounds really cool Brandon, thanks for posting that. The control mechanic sounds interesting as well, I might thread that into my game when they reach that point. Anything more to share on that area?

OK, but with the caveat that I am not really sure how well these mechanics gel with the published document--particularly as it pertains to the palace traps, so I can't promise you'll have seamless integration (particularly with Xin-triggered traps). To make it work, you should be able to just assume every portal in the palace is locked, and stairs as shown on the map don't exist until a passed control check makes them grow.

James and I chatted about these before publication. Mostly, this was judged to be a super-cool atmospheric addition, but ultimately just one more thing for GMs to have to keep track of in an already complicated high-level module. It was the right call.

Control Checks
Short of physical damage, palace doors can only be opened in one of two ways: by dominant mental effort, or by confusing the palace into allowing ingress. Particularly strong-willed characters can use a move action to force a palace doorway open or closed based on the result of a control check against DC 35, rolling 1d20 + character level + character Int modifier. If two or more creatures vie for control of a doorway, the rolls are opposed. If the check succeeds, the door’s crystal membrane parts to allow entry, and regrows shut in 1d6 rounds. The magical doors can also be tricked open by characters able to disarm magical traps, with characters substituting a Disable Device check in place of their Control Check, with a successful check allowing the character to coax the portal into opening. A PC equipped with the Sihedron gains a +4 bonus to all Control checks.

Using Control Checks to Oppose Traps:
Trap-like defenses are undetectable until triggered, at which point they manifest at initiative rank 20 in a surprise round. Characters in the trap's area can attempt to notice it at the start of this surprise round by making the trap's Perception DC. Successful detection prevents the PC from being caught flat-footed by the trap. On the surprise round before the trap manifests, a successful Control check (see above) equal to the Disable Device DC placates the palace's aggression and prevents the trap from triggering. PCs capable of disarming magical traps can also make a Disable Device check during this surprise round to disrupt the trap's formation.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Olwen wrote:
leo1925 wrote:

So now that you know more and actually played/run the battle once, what would you change (especially if the PCs are level 17 and rested before the crystal palace) in the last battle?

add a few more axiomites and/or crystallists? make some of the axiomites sorcerers or wizards or fighter instead of rogue? include the veiled master in the final battle?

To be entirely honest, I would give the clockwork reliquary a second life. He's brought to 0 hp and collapses on the ground, the walls shudder, the crystal the palace was built from pulses widely, the rhythm accelerates, stutters, goes wild, and the electricity that coursed the walls suddenly dives into the reliquary's carcass. Xin rises again.

I really wish I had done that… The PCs could have survived another fight with Xin without minions.

What I did in the last fight was give Xin and the Clockwork Reliquary two different initiative counts. The reliquary had all the attacks and starmetal powers, while Xin used the spell like abilities on his turn. I think it made for a pretty interesting fight, since action economy tends to make things difficult for final bosses.


Mechalibur wrote:
Olwen wrote:
leo1925 wrote:

So now that you know more and actually played/run the battle once, what would you change (especially if the PCs are level 17 and rested before the crystal palace) in the last battle?

add a few more axiomites and/or crystallists? make some of the axiomites sorcerers or wizards or fighter instead of rogue? include the veiled master in the final battle?

To be entirely honest, I would give the clockwork reliquary a second life. He's brought to 0 hp and collapses on the ground, the walls shudder, the crystal the palace was built from pulses widely, the rhythm accelerates, stutters, goes wild, and the electricity that coursed the walls suddenly dives into the reliquary's carcass. Xin rises again.

I really wish I had done that… The PCs could have survived another fight with Xin without minions.

What I did in the last fight was give Xin and the Clockwork Reliquary two different initiative counts. The reliquary had all the attacks and starmetal powers, while Xin used the spell like abilities on his turn. I think it made for a pretty interesting fight, since action economy tends to make things difficult for final bosses.

Oh, that's non-standard? Our GM did that too. Also, Xin had effectively total cover in there for the purposes of us disrupting those SLAs.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

Separating Xin's and the clockwork's initiative is a very neat idea. I wish I had thought of it…

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 16

I am thinking about using this AP for a new group I just started. The PC's started in Sandpoint (ala Rise of the Runelords) but the first adventure is a hombrew redo of the Catacbombs of Wrath mixed with a custom dungeon map under the Old Light. The opening plot: One of the PC's a half-elf is searching for his elven father after his human mother died. He off to tell dad off and give him the what for! I decided that he has tracked the dad to Sandpoint and the adventure Ameiko. Who was snatched by a sinspawn and dragged into the Old Light, and the PC's are now going in to rescue her. Once done I am thinking she will tell the PC that his dad was there asking her to join him on a quest to find the shattered star. She told him know, and he headed off to Magnimar. I figure I can hook them into the AP, with a letter of introduction from Ameiko to her friend Sheila Heidmarch to get the party involved with the AP.

All that to ask Olwen, or anyone else who has run the AP (I haven't read the whole of it yet just the overviews and summery's until i decide if I indeed want to commit to it) if there is a good place to insert the elven father NPC as part of the existing villains, or allies, or situations in the latter books.


MythrilDragon wrote:

I am thinking about using this AP for a new group I just started. The PC's started in Sandpoint (ala Rise of the Runelords) but the first adventure is a hombrew redo of the Catacbombs of Wrath mixed with a custom dungeon map under the Old Light. The opening plot: One of the PC's a half-elf is searching for his elven father after his human mother died. He off to tell dad off and give him the what for! I decided that he has tracked the dad to Sandpoint and the adventure Ameiko. Who was snatched by a sinspawn and dragged into the Old Light, and the PC's are now going in to rescue her. Once done I am thinking she will tell the PC that his dad was there asking her to join him on a quest to find the shattered star. She told him know, and he headed off to Magnimar. I figure I can hook them into the AP, with a letter of introduction from Ameiko to her friend Sheila Heidmarch to get the party involved with the AP.

All that to ask Olwen, or anyone else who has run the AP (I haven't read the whole of it yet just the overviews and summery's until i decide if I indeed want to commit to it) if there is a good place to insert the elven father NPC as part of the existing villains, or allies, or situations in the latter books.

Yes. Made him Ardathanatus, an important NPC in the region who people would have heard of (a respected cleric of Pharasma who went crazy after Aroden died and is responsible for issues at Windsong Abbey). It's very very reasonable that Ardy's son lives in Sandpoint, which is the closest settlement to Windsong Abbey.

Also, Ardy is pretty important in the AP...it will be very fun.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

I don't know about Ardathanatus, because he's supposed to have spent the last months (years?) gathering an army of giants and feys to take over the Windsong Abbey.

I think I'd change the cleric of Desna who hides in the Windsong Abbey into your NPC. That way it's directly the PCs who try to save him because they already know him, as opposed to Koria (who fails and gets transformed into stone). Mind you I think it's difficult to have him know about the shards, though.

Another option is to have this NPC be part of the group of Gray Maidens who enter the Lady's Light. The NPC would be an antagonist in this case, but likely a charmed antagonist, which would increase the tension even further!


Olwen wrote:

I don't know about Ardathanatus, because he's supposed to have spent the last months (years?) gathering an army of giants and feys to take over the Windsong Abbey.

I think I'd change the cleric of Desna who hides in the Windsong Abbey into your NPC. That way it's directly the PCs who try to save him because they already know him, as opposed to Koria (who fails and gets transformed into stone). Mind you I think it's difficult to have him know about the shards, though.

Another option is to have this NPC be part of the group of Gray Maidens who enter the Lady's Light. The NPC would be an antagonist in this case, but likely a charmed antagonist, which would increase the tension even further!

Oh, if he picks Ardy, he's going to have to nix the part about the father coming and asking the PC to go on the quest, true, but the investigation that leads towards Sandpoint is still legit, and then there's a powerful payoff in Part 4.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 16

Thanks for the quick responses. I did go look at Ardathanatus and while that would be a neat reveal to the PC, it might be hard to "explain" how this NPC had the time or desire to go and get a human woman pregnant with the current story.

I'd like to keep the reveal to a later book, I am hoping the quest to find dad will help keep the PC's interested in the AP, but I will be ready to look for a new source of adventures if the interest in Shattered Star wanes. I'll look at the Cleric of Desna's role and see if it will be a good replacement.

I'm not worried about the father being an antagonist, the background already suggests that PC son is none to happy with absent elven father....which might make Ardathanatus a good choice if I can explain how the relationship that begat a child occurred.

One Idea is to have the elf father leading a rival group looking for the shards, but I'd like to find a tighter tie to the NPC's of the story.

Any other suggestions or ideas from the gallery?

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 16

Rogue Eidolon wrote:

Oh, if he picks Ardy, he's going to have to nix the part about the father coming and asking the PC to go on the quest, true, but the investigation that leads towards Sandpoint is still legit, and then there's a powerful payoff in Part 4.

The issue I have is I have already run one session of my Hombrew start and am thinking about leading it into the AP...so I have in game established the elf father was going to Sandpoint looking for Ameiko. The PC half-elf has that knowledge, it was the in character hook we came up with to bring his character to Sandpoint for the first adventure.

In the first session Amekio is grabbed by sinspawn that came out of a hole blown out of the Old Light. The PC's witnessed it and have followed in after defeating a few of the spawn themselves. The goal to rescuer Amekio, in part because the half-elf wants to know what she knows about the location of his father.

If I were to make it "Ardy" I'd just say he was looking for Ameiko to help him find shards of the star. All she would know is he is looking for them, that he was headed to Magnimar, and that she knows a Pathfinder there who might be able to help. The PC''s are not Pathfinders (yet) so the hook into the plot I think with some adjustment works.

However I am not sure that I can adjust Ardy enough to "logically" explain the existence of a PC son. Of if the time line of the 4th book allows for this encounter with Ardy and Ameiko to be plausible.

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Just chiming in to suggest a way to work around the Sihedron being a source of infinite healing - it does take time for it to work. If the PCs stay too long in one place, using it, Xin senses that and springs his "haunts" at them. So the PCs are penalized specifically for standing in place and using the Sihedron, which solves the problem.


Lord Snow wrote:
Just chiming in to suggest a way to work around the Sihedron being a source of infinite healing - it does take time for it to work. If the PCs stay too long in one place, using it, Xin senses that and springs his "haunts" at them. So the PCs are penalized specifically for standing in place and using the Sihedron, which solves the problem.

What problem? blowing a couple of thousands of gold pieces (for the whole party) on wands of clw?

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