Dudemeister's Iron Gods Remixed [spoilers]


Iron Gods

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Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

This is a GM thread, and as such contains spoilers. So if I put spoiler tags on anything it'll be for length, expect to get spoiled.

I've just gotten through reading all of the Iron Gods books, and there's a lot that I love. The authors, editors, developers, artists and Paizo staff have done a fantastic job and I have no doubt that as written the Iron Gods AP is going to be a fantastic campaign.

There's a good chance that when I finish my Kingmaker campaign (perhaps sometime this year) that I'll be running Iron Gods.

But perhaps on Golarion I'd be a Brigh worshipper, because I always have such a powerful urge to tinker. So I'm posting this here as another of my GM notepads as I consider things I'd like to change or themes I'd like to explore more heavily or stuff I'd like to add.

Why is the final battle not in a launching rocket or spaceship?

This was the thing that I kept thinking as I read The Divinity Drive, you fight Unity in Silver Mount, and then inside The Godmind but all I could think was: Her plan is to launch herself into space and become a satellite deity. That's the cool thing. We never get to witness the cool thing. We stop the cool thing, but if the campaign ends with the final boss, we never see the cool thing. Rocket launches are cool! Fighting in a rocket ship as it hurtles into space and you mess around with gravity is even cooler.

The players would finish the battle and see Golarion from space. They'd have time if they want to upload Casandalee to become a more benevolent goddess of robits while they're up there and could then use escape pods to fall back to Golarion.

Why walk when you can drive?

So much of what occurs between books in Iron Gods seems to be traipsing through the blasted post-apocalyptic wasteland that conveniently ignores the high CR creatures that inhabit its encounter tables. This is a situation of not enough space in the books so the GM should handle it.

For some reason though when I think of the scrap-building nature of Numeria's inhabitants, I think a lot about Mad Max and Full Throttle.

I'd like for the players to be able to design, build and use their own battlewagons and crazy motorcycles to traverse the terrain of Numeria faster and help them fight (or escape) the random encounters they face. Since most of the locations they visit aren't really very hospitable to vehicles it's mostly a thing that happens between adventures. Still I think it'd be rad.

Unity and Casandalee need more face time

The problem with AP final villains is that the players rarely get to know and hate them. Unity is a fantastic villain, with a clear and awful goal that the players honestly just don't have enough opportunity to learn and interact with.

As written Unity has a problem, she can't extend her influence beyond the hull of Silver Mount, at least not until book 5 when we discover she can directly control the leader of the Technic League. Her whole goal is to extend her reach. So I'd like to make her a little more successful at that. Essentially converting some robots and NPCs into Unity remotes. In my version Unity has been spreading her influence outwards by a slow and laborious process of building scrap iron towers, these signal boosters allow her to send her signal further outwards, and control those who have been modified by her and her minions. This is an inefficient process and that's why she still wants to escape into space in order to beam her satellite signal across Golarion. The Smoking Tower will be one such signal booster. There will be others in between books. When the players encounter such locations Unity will assume direct control. This will give her minion or worshipper a mythic power boost, but because they can't handle the divine power being directly sent into them burns out the host body in a relatively brief span of time.

This will allow the players and Unity to interact multiple times throughout the campaign and make it clear that Unity is an active threat.

As for Casandalee, we see a hint of her in book 2 thanks to Hellion's ranting. We find her corpse in book 3 and we don't really rescue her until what we assume is the end of Book 4. When we do meet her, she has dozens and dozens of personalities that will pop in and out randomly. For such an important NPC she is very hard to connect with.

My proposal is thus. If there is a PC android, that character is Casandalee (feel free to change Casandalee's gender to suit the PC). Much of the campaign will focus on going back through that PCs previous life and figuring out who they were and where they come from. Hellion will recognize the PC as a brother or sister. "I thought your signal faded in Iandeveigh. I am so glad I can snuff you out for good myself!" In the Smoking tower instead of Casandalee's corpse there is perhaps a journal or a video diary telling the PC where their memory back-up is. When finally the PCs retrieve the AI core they realize that they might "rewrite" themselves with their older version in order to regain important knowledge.

If however there are no android PCs in the party, then I recommend the following:
Meyanda is Casandalee's next incarnation. Hellion took perverse pleasure into turning his "sister" into his high priestess. When the PCs defeat her perhaps when she reaches 0 hp Meyanda has a bizarre seizure. Her eyes glow a strange purple and lines of data scroll across them: "Please help me. My memories are trapped in here. You're in grave danger. My designation is not this designation."

The PCs will have to try and redeem Meyanda, and again the moral quandary of whether taking all of Casandalee's memories will "overwrite" the Meyanda they come to know.

Valley of the Brain Collectors. Why aren't you a Hex Map?
I really wish Paizo would stick to hex maps for overland sandboxes, that's something I need to tinker with.

Repercussions of Irovetti's Clockwork Kingdom
This is specific to people who are running Iron Gods after my Kingmaker conversions. I have some ideas.

More to come...

In any case these are my ideas for now. More to come at some point in the future. Happy to hear the thoughts of other GMs who are currently running or planning to run Iron Gods.

Silver Crusade

DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:


Why is the final battle not in a launching rocket or spaceship?

The silver mount is pretty much buried so it's stuck there. I planned out that if the PC's screw up enough to allow unity to load itself into the shuttle, then the final encounter would indeed be in space. That would be accomplished by Casandalee locating another space worthy vessel which is a good side-quest in itself. Unity needs time, even in space to complete its goals. Probably Ophelia and it were unprepared for the time-table acceleration.

DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:


Why walk when you can drive?

You actually can get a hover-mobile in book 3 through the 'adventures in Numeria' section. Most APs have you roll on an encounter table, and if the CR exceeds the APL by more than 2, typically you just re-roll. For the Numeria campaign setting, same applies; at least in my opinion.

DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:


Unity and Casandalee need more face time

I planned out that Casandalee would periodically glitch once she enters the silver mount a bit like jekyll and hyde. One side of her would side with Unity, the other trying to reassure herself that she's in control, and that unity is evil. This of coarse assumes that she stabilizes some time early in book 5, perhaps during the travel to Starfall.

DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:


Valley of the Brain Collectors. Why aren't you a Hex Map?

I don't mind, then again you're coming from Kingmaker so I guess it makes sense from your vantage. (as well as from MM since they also used hex)


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Why walk when you can drive?
I found the lack of vehicles in this AP quite disturbing, so decided to add four bikes (aesthetically similar to those of the film/manga Akyra) in Fires of Creation with an holovideo showing androffan technicians teaching Isuma how that vehicle works and is drive (also a good way to make Isuma do an early cameo).
I also introduce cars and bikes for the Lords of Rust, but far more primitive and very similar to those found in the film Mad Max 3 (using alchemical fuel instead of a solar electric battery like the bikes found on Fires of Creation). It also gave me the excuse of make the Lords of Rust far more aggressive as a gang as they need to raid crusader merchant caravans in their constant need for Numerian fluids or alchemical products for produce their fuel.

Valley of the Brain Collectors. Why aren't you a Hex Map?
Good question, why the third module of Wrath of the Righteous has an hexmap and this module, being also quite sandboxy, doesn't?
Tangentially, I had decided to introduce far more aliens than the module has, like a group of Elder Things, an Eoxian bonesage and his taskforce of skeletal champions equipped with power armors and necroguns, Vercite pirates and a member of the Great Race of Yith.

I made other modifications to the AP, like introduce a legendary figure named Captain Cheen'aro Warkher, an Androffan war hero who sacrificed himself for crash the Divinity before it could reach homeworld and bring the madness of the Dominion with it. I intend to make Cheen'aro's ghost appear in Lords of Rust or at least made the PCs find holovids about him fighting with his mono plaza fighter against the bioship that appears in Valley of the Brain Collectors (which also decided that crash landed by the damage done to it by Cheen'aro). Captain Walker (as he is known on Numeria) legend would be a hint that some of the Divinity crew survived and somehow mixed with the natives, as a big tribute to Mad Max 3, as the stories about his fight against the Dominion, his leadership during the riots of the crazed crew and his final sacrifice for not let Unity not the Dominion reach Androffa made him a somewhat messianic figure that would come back and guide those of Androffan ancestry back to home.

I also made Hellion cult be like a mix of televangelism and infomercial, as Hellion damage programming could only found these two references for create his church. The dogma of Hellion is going to be in my campaign quite a satire of wild consumerism and techno fetishism: "Hey true believers, Hellion here with a new thing which would make your life in Scrapwall more exciting! THE HOLY SYMBOL! Its shinny, its metal, its does funny noises and it can be all YOURS if you convert n-n-n-NOW!".

Another modification that I made is Unity not launching itself into space but instead developing a modified with divine and arcane magic extinction wave device which is going to annihilate all the deities linked to Golarion. This device is going to be fired into Axis trough a wormhole and it is basically a weaponized equation which is going to turn most of the deities worshiped on the planet into fictional beings, making Unity the only true deity.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm going to put some gosh darn Illithids in to the third module! I miss those squid headed jerks, and it fits so well. Illithids collect brains for food!

The idea that the Illithids will be one of the more relatable "aliens" is also hilarious to me.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
I'm going to put some gosh darn Illithids in to the third module! I miss those squid headed jerks, and it fits so well. Illithids collect brains for food!

I just looked them up and they would fit greatly. Are there any existing conversions already?


Espagnoll wrote:


I also made Hellion cult be like a mix of televangelism and infomercial, as Hellion damage programming could only found these two references for create his church. The dogma of Hellion is going to be in my campaign quite a satire of wild consumerism and techno fetishism: "Hey true believers, Hellion here with a new thing which would make your life in Scrapwall more exciting! THE HOLY SYMBOL! Its shinny, its metal, its does funny noises and it can be all YOURS if you convert n-n-n-NOW!".

This made me chuckle. Sort of reminded me of the humor and character from the video game series, Borderlands.

Silver Crusade

Not an Illithid but there is a Pathfinder creature that somewhat serves a similar purpose. I dont have any my 3e books or id whip up a conversion quick. I too want the stats, just dont have them memoriezed. This week my party took care of birdfood, the smilers, and the wreck, all set to blow up the three places for redtooth next week. So im roughly 3-4 weeks away from being on book 3 and needing to have to tracked down the books. Once i find it i will go ahead and post not an Illithid, cuz thats copywritten but a Void Twister as thats all me :P and open source.

PS if you want hexes there is a map that serves mighty well one of the other gents came up with in the additional resources thread.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Intellect Devourers already show up in that adventure, I tend towards a quick and dirty conversion of the 3.5 Illithid wherein I just calculate the CMB/CMD and call it a day. Since the old Mind Flayer isn't open content I won't be able to post that conversion online.


Espagnoll wrote:

Why walk when you can drive?

I found the lack of vehicles in this AP quite disturbing, so decided to add four bikes (aesthetically similar to those of the film/manga Akyra) in Fires of Creation with an holovideo showing androffan technicians teaching Isuma how that vehicle works and is drive (also a good way to make Isuma do an early cameo).
I also introduce cars and bikes for the Lords of Rust, but far more primitive and very similar to those found in the film Mad Max 3 (using alchemical fuel instead of a solar electric battery like the bikes found on Fires of Creation). It also gave me the excuse of make the Lords of Rust far more aggressive as a gang as they need to raid crusader merchant caravans in their constant need for Numerian fluids or alchemical products for produce their fuel.

Valley of the Brain Collectors. Why aren't you a Hex Map?
Good question, why the third module of Wrath of the Righteous has an hexmap and this module, being also quite sandboxy, doesn't?
Tangentially, I had decided to introduce far more aliens than the module has, like a group of Elder Things, an Eoxian bonesage and his taskforce of skeletal champions equipped with power armors and necroguns, Vercite pirates and a member of the Great Race of Yith.

I made other modifications to the AP, like introduce a legendary figure named Captain Cheen'aro Warkher, an Androffan war hero who sacrificed himself for crash the Divinity before it could reach homeworld and bring the madness of the Dominion with it. I intend to make Cheen'aro's ghost appear in Lords of Rust or at least made the PCs find holovids about him fighting with his mono plaza fighter against the bioship that appears in Valley of the Brain Collectors (which also decided that crash landed by the damage done to it by Cheen'aro). Captain Walker (as he is known on Numeria) legend would be a hint that some of the Divinity crew survived and somehow mixed with the natives, as a big tribute to Mad Max 3, as the stories about his fight against the Dominion, his...

How did you incorporate these other aliens into the story? I'd love to do the same with my campaign.


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Acolyte of Mushu wrote:
Espagnoll wrote:

Why walk when you can drive?

I found the lack of vehicles in this AP quite disturbing, so decided to add four bikes (aesthetically similar to those of the film/manga Akyra) in Fires of Creation with an holovideo showing androffan technicians teaching Isuma how that vehicle works and is drive (also a good way to make Isuma do an early cameo).
I also introduce cars and bikes for the Lords of Rust, but far more primitive and very similar to those found in the film Mad Max 3 (using alchemical fuel instead of a solar electric battery like the bikes found on Fires of Creation). It also gave me the excuse of make the Lords of Rust far more aggressive as a gang as they need to raid crusader merchant caravans in their constant need for Numerian fluids or alchemical products for produce their fuel.

Valley of the Brain Collectors. Why aren't you a Hex Map?
Good question, why the third module of Wrath of the Righteous has an hexmap and this module, being also quite sandboxy, doesn't?
Tangentially, I had decided to introduce far more aliens than the module has, like a group of Elder Things, an Eoxian bonesage and his taskforce of skeletal champions equipped with power armors and necroguns, Vercite pirates and a member of the Great Race of Yith.

I made other modifications to the AP, like introduce a legendary figure named Captain Cheen'aro Warkher, an Androffan war hero who sacrificed himself for crash the Divinity before it could reach homeworld and bring the madness of the Dominion with it. I intend to make Cheen'aro's ghost appear in Lords of Rust or at least made the PCs find holovids about him fighting with his mono plaza fighter against the bioship that appears in Valley of the Brain Collectors (which also decided that crash landed by the damage done to it by Cheen'aro). Captain Walker (as he is known on Numeria) legend would be a hint that some of the Divinity crew survived and somehow mixed with the natives, as a big tribute to Mad Max 3, as the stories about his fight

...

-Elder Things: Those were actually Golarion natives, the few still able to fly members of an Elder Thing colony from the Crown of the World. They got contacted by the aboleth, who detected the arrival of the Dominion ship. Aboleths REALLY hate the Dominion as they know them from previous visits (Osirion), but being the aboleths unable to leave some other "affairs" they are involved for attend this invasion, they contact the Elder Things in exchange for an ancient favor. They are hostile to both Mi-Go and Dominion as well as the PCs (The aboleths asked them to kill any possible humanoid witness of the Dominion and the Mi-Go).

-Gernakho de Thrul and Sentinel Terror Trops: Gernakho de Thrul is a fallen from grace Bonesage who has been tasked with surveillance on the Sentinel for control any possible threat coming from beyond the solar system. When the alarms started to wail and detection system signaled that The Cage (Golarion) got a visit from the Dominion, he called a trio of skeletal champions (elite shock troops from before Eox becoming a wasteland) and used a scroll of planetary teleportation for find the Dominion ship and its crew with the intention to annihilate them. Gernakho is hostile towards the Mi-Go, the Elder Things and the Dominion. His shock troops and himself would also be hostile towards the PC in first contact, thinking they are Mi-Go or Brain Devourers in disguise. If somehow the PCs manage to make Gernakho no hostile, he provides a side quest which consist of capturing alive a neh-thalggu so he can bring it to the Sentinel for interrogation. Gernakho will grant a magical property to a tech weapon as a reward.

-Vercite Pirates: A vercite voidship and its pirate crew crash landed after being attacked by the Dominion bioship. Only the captain, her first mate and three members of the crew survived the impact, some of them are gravely injured. Their disposition towards the other aliens is hostile, indifferent towards the PCs. If they are made friendly (mainly by healing the injured crew members) they will offer the PCs the chance to use their campsite as a shelter as well as provide chances of commerce as their cargo is intact. They can offer a sidequest, which would consist to convince the reclamation robot to repair their voidship, being the reward a technological item.

-Great Race of Yith: This one is a prisoner of the Dominion who can be found inside the colony and about to be tortured by a kython with the intention of know the secrets about this ancient race chronomancy. If rescued, can provide the PCs with some support for the final encounter.


Espagnoll wrote:
Acolyte of Mushu wrote:
Espagnoll wrote:

Why walk when you can drive?

I found the lack of vehicles in this AP quite disturbing, so decided to add four bikes (aesthetically similar to those of the film/manga Akyra) in Fires of Creation with an holovideo showing androffan technicians teaching Isuma how that vehicle works and is drive (also a good way to make Isuma do an early cameo).
I also introduce cars and bikes for the Lords of Rust, but far more primitive and very similar to those found in the film Mad Max 3 (using alchemical fuel instead of a solar electric battery like the bikes found on Fires of Creation). It also gave me the excuse of make the Lords of Rust far more aggressive as a gang as they need to raid crusader merchant caravans in their constant need for Numerian fluids or alchemical products for produce their fuel.

Valley of the Brain Collectors. Why aren't you a Hex Map?
Good question, why the third module of Wrath of the Righteous has an hexmap and this module, being also quite sandboxy, doesn't?
Tangentially, I had decided to introduce far more aliens than the module has, like a group of Elder Things, an Eoxian bonesage and his taskforce of skeletal champions equipped with power armors and necroguns, Vercite pirates and a member of the Great Race of Yith.

I made other modifications to the AP, like introduce a legendary figure named Captain Cheen'aro Warkher, an Androffan war hero who sacrificed himself for crash the Divinity before it could reach homeworld and bring the madness of the Dominion with it. I intend to make Cheen'aro's ghost appear in Lords of Rust or at least made the PCs find holovids about him fighting with his mono plaza fighter against the bioship that appears in Valley of the Brain Collectors (which also decided that crash landed by the damage done to it by Cheen'aro). Captain Walker (as he is known on Numeria) legend would be a hint that some of the Divinity crew survived and somehow mixed with the natives, as a big tribute to Mad Max 3,

...

I love the idea of a member of the Great Race of Yith being there, it meshes quite well, but doesn't it go that Yithians aren't physically there, just their minds projected into native bodies? How did you incorporate the Yithian actually being there? Or am I just totally off?


I also thought grioths might be cool to introduce, maybe teaming with the Mi-Go as they also worship an Outer God and hate the Dominion, but then again due to the nature of their gods, they could just as likely be enemies. :P


Acolyte of Mushu wrote:
Espagnoll wrote:
Acolyte of Mushu wrote:
Espagnoll wrote:

Why walk when you can drive?

I found the lack of vehicles in this AP quite disturbing, so decided to add four bikes (aesthetically similar to those of the film/manga Akyra) in Fires of Creation with an holovideo showing androffan technicians teaching Isuma how that vehicle works and is drive (also a good way to make Isuma do an early cameo).
I also introduce cars and bikes for the Lords of Rust, but far more primitive and very similar to those found in the film Mad Max 3 (using alchemical fuel instead of a solar electric battery like the bikes found on Fires of Creation). It also gave me the excuse of make the Lords of Rust far more aggressive as a gang as they need to raid crusader merchant caravans in their constant need for Numerian fluids or alchemical products for produce their fuel.

Valley of the Brain Collectors. Why aren't you a Hex Map?
Good question, why the third module of Wrath of the Righteous has an hexmap and this module, being also quite sandboxy, doesn't?
Tangentially, I had decided to introduce far more aliens than the module has, like a group of Elder Things, an Eoxian bonesage and his taskforce of skeletal champions equipped with power armors and necroguns, Vercite pirates and a member of the Great Race of Yith.

I made other modifications to the AP, like introduce a legendary figure named Captain Cheen'aro Warkher, an Androffan war hero who sacrificed himself for crash the Divinity before it could reach homeworld and bring the madness of the Dominion with it. I intend to make Cheen'aro's ghost appear in Lords of Rust or at least made the PCs find holovids about him fighting with his mono plaza fighter against the bioship that appears in Valley of the Brain Collectors (which also decided that crash landed by the damage done to it by Cheen'aro). Captain Walker (as he is known on Numeria) legend would be a hint that some of the Divinity crew survived and somehow mixed with the natives, as

...

You are right about the Yithians being a psychic race. This individual though was found trapped in the ice of a comet as it was a scientist performing a wormhole tech experiment when Pnakotus was suddenly attacked by Flying Polyps. The real funny thing? Is not really a "Yithian" but a scientist from Earth's future.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Dudemeister, you are an asset to the community! I'm already mining your ideas for my online Kingmaker game and now I'm looking forward to doing the same for my upcoming face-to-face Iron Gods campaign. Weirdly, I will almost certainly finish Iron Gods long before I finish Kingmaker (which I started in 2013). I look forward to the Irovetti/IG crossover.

I love the idea of Unity taking off during the final battle. Shades of every Flash Gordon story ever. Who cares if it's not canon?

I'm not so sure about vehicles (I'm thinking less Mad Max and more Expedition to Barrier Peaks and Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow), but I do love the idea of Casandalee being one of the PC's. That's not something I would have thought of. It presents problems if the PC dies, but not insurmountable ones (she can still show up as planned in the AP)

I'm looking forward to more from you on this, so don't disappoint! :-)


I'm recruiting for an Iron Gods game set in Hermea. I look forward to incorporating some of your suggestions in this heavily-modified game.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Do PCs dream of electric sheep?

Virtual reality, dreams, nightmares and visions. In the endgame the PCs enter a virtual world of Unity's creation. I think maybe there might be some space for more VR dungeons in Iron Gods, perhaps as a way of learning more about Unity in her infancy and the tragedy that befell the Divinity and how it fell.

Virtual Reality as a way of experiencing the past? Where PCs inhabit the bodies of Androffan crew of the Divinity and maybe uncover Unity's complicity in the ship's crash on Golarion.

These sections wouldn't be deadly (though they might cause Non-Lethal damage, or mental ability damage if the PCs fail to unplug before their untimely demise).

Something to think on.


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Excellent dudemeister. Just excellent.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Prestige, or a kind of Mythic Thing that isn't mythic?

So I'm thinking about having some mythic paths that let players pick some nifty stuff without having to dedicate character resources to them. Something that I can overlay on the characters like Mythic Tiers.
Based on the traits the PCs get.

Right now I have only proto ideas:

Engineer Gains technological item creation feats as bonus feats.
Artificer Gains magical item creation feats as bonus feats.
Trader Gains some bonus resources from the towns they visit.
Hero Gains bonuses to non-magical, non-technological equipment.

Silver Crusade

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Dotting the hell out of this thread for catch-up reading. Want.

DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
robits

<3


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DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
The players would finish the battle and see Golarion from space. They'd have time if they want to upload Casandalee to become a more benevolent goddess of robits while they're up there and could then use escape pods to fall back to Golarion.

Or don't. One of the PCs is a demi-god. The others are mythic (ish). What a great opportunity to say, "that world can keep on turning because of us. Where do we go, from here?" and turn towards the wider solar system. That's the last scene of a sci-fi adventure movie, even more than the heroes watching from Earth as their demigod NPC achieves apotheosis in a flash of light high above them. This is even more true if party members are aliens, themselves. "Let's go home... rockets fire away from Golarion"

One of the problems with APs is the lack of a cinematic ending: they tend to stop at a final battle, then the PCs get experience and sell their loot. (Chapter 6 is hard to write for every group, of course, because things have usually diverged from the plan so much, by then. Not every group or DM wants to fly into space at the end.)

I think that the characters and Unity should interact more, but not for the first four chapters. They have to figure out who and what Unity is on their own before Unity starts messing with them.

I love the Mad Max-style driving idea. Would that mess with the hexploration?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
harlequinn wrote:
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
The players would finish the battle and see Golarion from space. They'd have time if they want to upload Casandalee to become a more benevolent goddess of robits while they're up there and could then use escape pods to fall back to Golarion.

Or don't. One of the PCs is a demi-god. The others are mythic (ish). What a great opportunity to say, "that world can keep on turning because of us. Where do we go, from here?" and turn towards the wider solar system. That's the last scene of a sci-fi adventure movie, even more than the heroes watching from Earth as their demigod NPC achieves apotheosis in a flash of light high above them. This is even more true if party members are aliens, themselves. "Let's go home... rockets fire away from Golarion"

One of the problems with APs is the lack of a cinematic ending: they tend to stop at a final battle, then the PCs get experience and sell their loot. (Chapter 6 is hard to write for every group, of course, because things have usually diverged from the plan so much, by then. Not every group or DM wants to fly into space at the end.)

I think that the characters and Unity should interact more, but not for the first four chapters. They have to figure out who and what Unity is on their own before Unity starts messing with them.

I love the Mad Max-style driving idea. Would that mess with the hexploration?

That's a great ending.

As to the vehicles messing with book 4. Nah, either the size of The Scar of the Spider increases to compensate, or I'll give the PCs a reason to stash their bikes.


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DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
Why is the final battle not in a launching rocket or spaceship?

and...

DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:

Do PCs dream of electric sheep?

Virtual reality, dreams, nightmares and visions. In the endgame the PCs enter a virtual world of Unity's creation.

this is gold :D I think I'll use real-earth Mont Saint Michel as a mold for the virtual world Unity created, with several access points in silver mount giving access to different sectors of the virtual "town", and the final battle taking place of course in the cathedral on top of the mount...this last location being accessible only from the interface hub located inside the shuttle. Plugging into said hub activates the launch sequence automatically...:D


What a great thread. A man after my own heart. I love tinkering with these adventures. I rewrote Divinitys backstory to make the aliens more like warhammer 40k humans which also meant I need to redo a lot of the tech giving them a gothic facelift.

I also love the idea of throwing in a vehicle. I think I might insert a hummer style apc / warhammer rhino that Hellion dug up.

Regarding the Dominion I hazard to guess the only reason these are not mind flayers is because of the fact they are not open content. No such restriction on a home campaign and the Valley of the Brain Collectors screams MIND FLAYER. I am planning on replacing the neo-thug mobs with flayers. And one of my characters background is linked to being an escaped slave from there.

I was tempted to also replace the mi-go with githyanki since these fit nicely with mind flayers. Though the gith extermination team is perplexed with how to deal with the tech version of mind flayers in the valley. Something new for them.

How do you plan on getting the players to the shuttle? Just move the Godmind there? I like the shuttle battle idea.


Espagnoll wrote:


-Gernakho de Thrul and Sentinel Terror Trops: Gernakho de Thrul is a fallen from grace Bonesage who has been tasked with surveillance on the Sentinel for control any possible threat coming from beyond the solar system. When the alarms started to wail and detection system signaled that The Cage (Golarion) got a visit from the Dominion, he called a trio of skeletal champions (elite shock troops from before Eox becoming a wasteland) and used a scroll of planetary teleportation for find the Dominion ship and its crew with the intention to annihilate them. Gernakho is hostile towards the Mi-Go, the Elder Things and the Dominion. His shock troops and himself would also be hostile towards the PC in first contact, thinking they are Mi-Go or Brain Devourers in disguise. If somehow the PCs manage to make Gernakho no hostile, he provides a side quest which consist of capturing alive a neh-thalggu so he can bring it to the Sentinel for interrogation. Gernakho will grant a magical property to a tech weapon as a reward

STOLEN!

Do you other DMs think its too early for Unity to make an appearance after the players defeat Hellion? I am playing Unity like SHODAN so her appearing and hiding a thank you inside a snide and condescending comment would work.


Better yet, why not make the Dominion ship one that has not just any old Mind Flayers, but MIND FLAYERS OF THOON?! More twisted biomechanical goodness! :D


I was thinking Thoon as well, they fit Dominion of the Black almost perfectly.

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

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If I run Iron Gods as an active campaign, I've planned on expanding Unity to portray it more along the lines of Ultron (from Marvel lore) with shades of Agent Smith (from the Matrix trilogy). That way, I can spread out encounters with Mark-1, Mark-2, etc. versions of Unity throughout the campaign...i.e., they have to defeat the AI multiple times in different bodies. By the end, there'll be the viral Agent Smith-style crossover into biological lifeforms, as well...though, like you, I'd have those bodies burn out very quickly as they just can't accommodate Unity's growing god-like intellect.

Ultimately, I too would take the action into the low-orbit skies of Golarion, having the PCs face off with the final incarnation of Unity aboard some sizeable craft meant to serve as a space station equivalent satellite from which the AI intends to rule. The PCs would then have to end the threat once and for all, potentially sacrificing themselves in the process, jettisoning back to Golarion in escape pods, or using powerful teleportation magic to reach the surface again. The latter solution would make for a nice magic vs. technology bit of storytelling denouement.

As for Casandalee, I think a similar overlay of her personality with one of the PCs would make for a nice touch, as well. Whether or not that PC is an android would simply be icing on the cake, but I think it could be any intelligent, wise, benevolent character. Part of opposing Unity on the space station-sized satellite over Golarion may involve substituting Casandalee for Unity so she can ascend to godhood in Unity's place. Thus, that's the PC who'd likely have to sacrifice themselves to eradicate Unity and hold the station together long enough for their friends to escape.

But that's just my two cents,
--Neil


Holy crap! Great idea Mr. Spicer!

Now I want statblocks!

Also, yep I'll be adding Illithid into this campaign.


Neil Spicer wrote:

If I run Iron Gods as an active campaign, I've planned on expanding Unity to portray it more along the lines of Ultron (from Marvel lore) with shades of Agent Smith (from the Matrix trilogy). That way, I can spread out encounters with Mark-1, Mark-2, etc. versions of Unity throughout the campaign...i.e., they have to defeat the AI multiple times in different bodies. By the end, there'll be the viral Agent Smith-style crossover into biological lifeforms, as well...though, like you, I'd have those bodies burn out very quickly as they just can't accommodate Unity's growing god-like intellect.

Ultimately, I too would take the action into the low-orbit skies of Golarion, having the PCs face off with the final incarnation of Unity aboard some sizeable craft meant to serve as a space station equivalent satellite from which the AI intends to rule. The PCs would then have to end the threat once and for all, potentially sacrificing themselves in the process, jettisoning back to Golarion in escape pods, or using powerful teleportation magic to reach the surface again. The latter solution would make for a nice magic vs. technology bit of storytelling denouement.

As for Casandalee, I think a similar overlay of her personality with one of the PCs would make for a nice touch, as well. Whether or not that PC is an android would simply be icing on the cake, but I think it could be any intelligent, wise, benevolent character. Part of opposing Unity on the space station-sized satellite over Golarion may involve substituting Casandalee for Unity so she can ascend to godhood in Unity's place. Thus, that's the PC who'd likely have to sacrifice themselves to eradicate Unity and hold the station together long enough for their friends to escape.

But that's just my two cents,
--Neil

I love your ideas, Mr. Spicer, and I'd love if you could expand on them, like Niles said, but I understand that might be a bit much. Thanks anyhow!

In reference to Solomani's comment, I'd also like the know how people are thinking of getting the PCs to the shuttle.

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

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Maybe Jason and the team from Legendary Games can do an Adventure Path plug-in along these lines. Right now, it's nothing more than a few, simple musings in my brain.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Thanks to everyone for contributing to this thread. Right now I'm using it as a GM notepad, but once I get through my Kingmaker expansions I'll be dropping some rules modules in here like vehicle building rules, mythic burnout for NPCs, and stuff like that.

Neil, those are some incredibly rad ideas adding more Ultron to Unity would be icing on the GLaDOS cake.

Where Kingmaker is my most epic campaign I've ever run, Iron Gods promises to be my most Gonzo.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I believe you mean Gonzo Epic:-)


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I have my own half-baked idea of Iron Gods being done in Eberron. Terminator meets Bastion meets The Matrix meets Bioshock meets Fringe.

Unity is an AI built by House Cannith during the last war to handle Cyre's top secret defensive grid: Project BASTION.

Something happened and Bastion was initiated causing the Day of Mourning. It basically ripped Cyre outside space and time and into an alternate reality: To Cyre, the rest of the world is Mournland. Unity runs Cyre now from this alternate dimension. It ultimately brainwashed Cyre into believing it saved them from the end of the world and must preemptive strike the rest of the world before they do it to them! The entire nation has a sort of Big Brother "all for Unity" (Thanks Barcas for this idea) idea.

Unity has found, for a lack of a better term, rifts into this world and strange phenomena has been occurring to former House Cannith members. House Cannith knows what's going on and is desperately trying to get leg up on technological progress causing crazy world spanning no-holds-barred science experiments. This is where the PCs come in.

The PCs are a multinational task force covering bizarre phenomenon that's being caused by a shadow war between House Cannith prepping and capitalizing on this impending robotic super army.


DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:


Why walk when you can drive?

So much of what occurs between books in Iron Gods seems to be traipsing through the blasted post-apocalyptic wasteland that conveniently ignores the high CR creatures that inhabit its encounter tables. This is a situation of not enough space in the books so the GM should handle it.

For some reason though when I think of the scrap-building...

Here is my take on the idea. Please note that I am running the adventure path in my own campaign world and using 5e rules. But would be easy to convert back to 3.5.

https://itsmygamemyrules.wordpress.com/2015/02/28/armoury-sister-of-battle- rhino-transport/


Rhino Transport linkified (you accidentally put a space in the address, by the way).

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Solomani, that is rad! I love the idea of a vehicle with personality. A pregenerated vehicle is certainly a great way to go.

The system I plan probably owes a bit more to the Banjo Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts vehicle editor, Wacky Racers and Mad Max. My goal for anything is always to make it as interactive as possible and give my players ownership of the things that are in the world. Building a vehicle from the ground up before they head off to Scrapwall will be a mini-quest in and of itself.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

My take on the "why is the final battle not in space" thing: I had the same reaction. Except my reaction was "why is the final BOOK not in space?!"

So here is what I figure. Unity has a worshiper capable of casting Miracle once a day. And an army of robots, including several working excavators. And thousands of years.

When my PCs make it to book six, Unity will be making final preparations to relaunch the Divinity. And it will happen while they are exploring it. :)


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SPICER FOR SPACE PRESIDENT


Ivan Rûski wrote:
Rhino Transport linkified (you accidentally put a space in the address, by the way).

Thanks Ivan! My bad :(

Dudemiester, great idea but my players won't do that. If I told them they could build their own vehicle they would say "why would we do that!?" Just the way they are. If I give them something like the Rhino and integrate it into the story they will go for it.

I was actually thinking of replacing the reactor with a promethium furnace. Basically they would need to chuck stuff into it to make it go - like tech items, batteries, gold pieces (!). Anything that could conceivably be combusted by a reactor and make that the running cost for it.


Olondir wrote:

I have my own half-baked idea of Iron Gods being done in Eberron. Terminator meets Bastion meets The Matrix meets Bioshock meets Fringe.

Unity is an AI built by House Cannith during the last war to handle Cyre's top secret defensive grid: Project BASTION

That's actually a great way to integrate with Ebberon setting without breaking the fantasy/science barrier. I love science fantasy but I know some people don't like crossing streams.


I was watching my kids play Super Mario Bros 3d last night on the optional levels which - although they are colourful and have soothing music are basically giant deathtraps. Which gave me a seed of an idea.

It occurred to me that any one of those levels would make good dungeon for the Hollow Gardens (the place with the AI controls basically a holodeck and lures adventurers in to torment them to death with "games").


Awesome thread, dotting for further reading!

I also had a question for anyone who has the entire AP, or who has run it before. How much work would it take to have some or all of the PCs be aliens, so that the "let's go home..." ending is possible? I've considered that idea, or the idea of running it using near-future real earth characters who end up in Golarion because Science! or because Magic!


idilippy wrote:

Awesome thread, dotting for further reading!

I also had a question for anyone who has the entire AP, or who has run it before. How much work would it take to have some or all of the PCs be aliens, so that the "let's go home..." ending is possible? I've considered that idea, or the idea of running it using near-future real earth characters who end up in Golarion because Science! or because Magic!

By my estimate it would pretty easy, you would probably have to make tweaks here and there, especially how NPCs react. In the last book it actually talks about using the shuttle Unity was gonna use to blast into orbit to take an alien NPC ally to her home planet, at GM descretion.


I was planing on turning Hellion into a boss fight with 3 stages, but I wasn't happy with the final stage. I was tinkering with the idea of having UNITY appear to thank the players for their help, reward them with a gift, hint at her future plans and then chastise them for being arrogant enough to touch one of her children (she is a bit crazy ala SHODAN).

Chastisement will be a simple fight with some custom built robots. I like the idea but I wonder if that would be tipping my hat too much and too early? I figured the golems, her agents, would start appearing more and more as time went on.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Who (or what) is SHODAN?


Its from System Shock (an excellent FPS/RPG from the early 2000's)...it was an insane AI that murdered the crew of its ship.


I AM SHODAN

Grand Lodge

I am totally looking forward to read more from you (and waiting for Legendary Games to write some awesome plug-ins).


My group took out Hellion last night with one death. The boss fight mechanics worked well but I learned a lot as well. I also had UNITY appear at the end so now they have a clear "this is the enemy, though we don't know what she is planing, she is the BIG BAD" moment of clarity.

More to come when I can find the time to write it up properly.

Some advice - one of the characters died and the group want to resurrect her. According to 5e they have a 10 day time limit on the lowest level resurrect spell. Neither Joram or DInvaya is high enough level to cast the spell. I was thinking of suggesting they go to Starfall to get a taste of the place before they assault it in the 5th and 6th adventure. Figured it would be a good way to impress on them the evil of the place and perhaps setup the Blue Wizard as their Technic League contact.

Open to suggestions on how to do this so a party of 6th level characters don't get killed outright. And I am not even sure what gods would be represented there who would be willing to resurrect the character. Maybe an evil power but with a Faustian catch linked to the resurrect.


Thinking about this a bit more and reading over the Gazetter there is a level 17 cleric in Chesed. But I may have DInvaya suggest she meet one of her old contacts in Starfall, The Doctor (yes a hologram) who has access to a clone pod and brain tapping technology.

I think that would be more interesting than just going to Chesed and getting a rez spell. Will also allow them to use their brand new Rhino APC.

:)

Forgot to link the boss fight recap/mechanics where UNITY appears.

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