Carrion Crown AP an GMPC advice



I recently made a thread asking advice about an appropriate AP for a group of newer players and myself.

As the title suggests I've settled on Carrion Crown. I don't have any solid reasons for doing such, I like the overall feel and undead are pretty classic.

I'm trying to think up my character. As a GMPC I want to not over shine the PCs, mostly provide healing support and the occasion combat buff if things go south.

I was think cleric of Pharasma but that might be over doing

Any ideas on a good character to fit the above criteria or just general advice for running the AP?

How many players are in the adventuring party? If its four or more, then ditch the GMNPC idea altogether.

I had a Carrion Crown GMPC. I think anything can be suitable if you keep them in the background. Same advice goes for nearly any adventure with nearly any build. You can give it some story some times, but the idea is that the players are always... Well... The players.

I guess I'd say maybe a good way to keep them in the background mechanically is to make sure they generalize rather than specialize, or yeah, just support. Don't let them out damage other players, or don't let the other players know if you do. Youre just another NPC, and all the dice rolls can be behind the GM screen. Only let yourself be as relevant as is necessary.

It's not, right now it's two buddies from work and me, looking for a fourth. That's kinda way I'm defaulting to GMPC.

What classes are the two players choosing?

I would suggest a cleric with luck domain, and perhaps summoning feats. Avoid high charisma, as you don't want the DMPC to be the face of the party. In computer games, I have created "Stumpy Heal N' Shield" a dwarf cleric with good defenses, and lots of healing.

Just a quick note: There are parts in the AP where an anti-undead cleric might be a problem in terms of story, and could overshadow the PCs.

Clerics are a really powerful addition to the party, especially in the first adventure due to the plethora of ghosts. If u need to add a healer I would consider a healing focused bard or alchemist.

@Fergie Thanks for the heads up, I've just browsed the first book so I'm not knowledgeable just yet in terms of overall story.

Yeah I'm trying to just be a support, healer most likely sense that'll take me out of most combat and nobody ever volunteers to do it, so that we can play and it'll be fun for the other guys.

Carrion Crown AP:

Book 1 is explore the haunted house (or prison)
Book 2 is a courtroom drama around a Frankenstein's monster, crime scene investigation, then exploration of doctors mansion
Book 3 is a werewolf civil war then battle with necromancer cult.
Book 4 is a HP Lovecraft tentacle monster theme
Book 5 is a help some vampires kill other vampires

While all feature a fair amount of undead, the first and fifth books are much more undead heavy then the others. I recommend having the players be at least one level ahead of where the books indicate.

There are also some issues with some parts of the AP. For example, the Haunts in the first book can feel like cruel traps beyond the players ability to affect for some groups. Read up on haunts (Gamemasters Guide?) and make an effort to allow your players to affect the haunts.

In the second book, there are lots of golems with DR that a small group would have trouble with. Give the players a scarab of golembane or two so they have a chance. I also changed out the final monster for one that isn't a brutal grapple machine. One more thing- when exploring the "Mansion" nothing stops the players from just flying up to the final encounter, and most of the other encounters are mindless things that smart players could bypass. I would give the players a reason to fully explore the place, but not be too rushed, as their are some nasty encounters. Oh yeah, I almost forgot - the reason the "monster" is on trial doesn't really make sense unless you add something more to it.

Finally, there are some great suggestions about introducing some of the main NPC villians, as they tend to come out of nowhere later in the AP. check out the carrion crown section of the forums for some AMAZING ideas people have come up with for shifting stuff around, and even get feedback from the guys who wrote the adventures.

Hmm...maybe Carrion Crown isn't a good one to run.

So many options to choose from.

Grand Lodge

Make them a reach using Oradin. He will help in combat against the super evil smitable things and offer hell of a lot of healing for the group. This would also keep the amount and level of spells down to a smaller number then preparing a larger full caster spell list.

The oradin can also keep them on the right path like a moral compass but will utterly fail any kind of Knowledge checks to give away information. It also isn't a trap finder so those still need to be dealt with by the group instead of the DM leading them through the dungeons. Those are 2 big issues with DMPCs.

(1) Carrion Crown features a lot of undead. If you as GM run a cleric in the party, which is the usual advice, you may actually outshine the players as the one who can deal with stuff. You want to avoid "playing with yourself".

(2) I dislike GMPC as a term because it's silly. You are the GM, you are not a PC. You can play an NPC that is helping the party... but that's part of your job, you play all the NPCs. If the party is small, then that's going to be rough - but you should still play the NPC like an NPC. You shouldn't have "the initiative" - you're helping the heroes, but you aren't a hero.

(3)To be honest, I'd prefer to have two players run two characters ... than run a *constant* party member. Having different NPCs for different parts is fine, though. Consider adding different characters the PCs can recruit for different sections, and then quickly retiring them to avoid "GMPC" problems.

(4) Consider doing something like adding an NPC for each player that they run with you and your approval (i.e., the NPCs are taking orders from the players, but you control whether they do what they are told, talk back, fail moral checks, etc.).

+1 to bard or alchemist
Bard is pretty all-around with decent buffs, some low healing and being able to cover many roles without shining too much in any of them. Plus you can always drop a clue through his knowledge dressed up as stories and riddles instead of just "hey i know that" which a normal player would probably do
An alchemist with the right discoveries can let others use his extracts, poke his nose everywhere and do some interesting things in combat, but has a more technical approach

Don't think many other options would fit well as a gmpc, especially with your responsible approach (which is a good thing)

Though this can be said for any Adventure Path, each book offers a number of potential NPC allies. If you're having trouble deciding, you could just skim the book, pick an NPC that's a likely ally candidate, and use that. Sometimes they even come with stat blocks.

But in general I agree with other posters who say nay for GMPCs. I ran Carrion Crown before*, and I had so much on my plate that I let my PCs control some of the NPCs in battle.

* This is not to say that Carrion Crown specifically has a lot of work for the GM. I just like delegating responsibility to others because I want to do less work as GM.

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