Starting Giant Slayer Today


Super excited to kick off this campaign tonight. I know their are a lot of negative thoughts out there about this campaign I hope I can make it enjoyable for my group.

You got this man! I know you've been doing research on here. I just made a post with my changes from the first session in the "what would you change" thread.

Good luck!

Marakash Arkenrae wrote:

You got this man! I know you've been doing research on here. I just made a post with my changes from the first session in the "what would you change" thread.

Good luck!

Thanks man. I’m playing with a table full of experienced players with multiple optimizers who have been helping the other players. So I will have to stay on my toes for combats.

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The game went great, they did a great job with the investigation, they are in basement of the plague house looking down the hall at Daktani.

Right on, good to hear. How long did you guys play? We had a 5 hour session, but really only get about 4 hours in after chatting and breaks etc. My group is just about to be attacked by the assassins, then Katrezzera shortly after that. I just finished my plague house terrain / map today. Your group certainly got there pretty quick heh.

We played for 6 hours, they hit every lead without my influence besides what was suggested in the very beginning of the investigation.

I'll be reading all your exploits! I've haunted these boards, and look to be starting a merged campaign of GiantSlayer and Ironfang Invasion. There's a thread on the general forum discussion about it. But GS so far is the base for the merged AP! Lots of good ideas here I plan to use as well for fluidness as well.

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

awesome. have fun!

Erpa wrote:
I'll be reading all your exploits! I've haunted these boards, and look to be starting a merged campaign of GiantSlayer and Ironfang Invasion. There's a thread on the general forum discussion about it. But GS so far is the base for the merged AP! Lots of good ideas here I plan to use as well for fluidness as well.

If you have any ideas of discussion topics let me know.

Session 3 starts today I’m hoping to finish book one tonight. They are at the gates about ready to face the waves of orcs

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Good luck! I'm always curious as to how other GMs get player backgrounds connected to any AP. If you have time and you think your players won't read it, post it here please. Love seeing fellow GM creativity even if I don't run this particular AP.

On a tangent to the Giantslayer gets a bad rap thing...
Ive read Anvil of Fire cover to cover and I find it excellent. It's a classic dungeon romp in a volcano with a full ecology to boot. It's not for everyone, but it hits the old " Against the Giants" theme. It's an entire AP devoted to that theme, which is where the repetitive complaints come in.

All my players are from the same clan of dwarves who came to Trunau about 40 years ago after there clanhold fell to a Duegar army.
Book five is ok the main problem I have with it is the same repetitive enemy and they just did the same thing vs frost giants before. But I have some plans to liven up the encounters.

I think Anvil of Fire even fits well into RotR replacing Sins of the Saviors. I'm leaning towards doing this if our campaign switches last minute before we begin Carrion Crown (we make a final choice soon between CC, RotR, and Kingmaker).

Basically, RotR would become a Rise of the Runelords/Giantslayer/GDQ classic as there would be the existing Hill Giants, the Stone Giants in book 4 and the Fire Giants in AoF. King Tytarian (renamed King Snurre Tytarian in homage to the old G series), is on the fence atm on joining his Giants to Karzoug's growing army but is only toohappy to craft weapons and armor, and supply an occasional dragon (like the one that participated in ty he Sandpoint raid in book 4), until he sees how the initial conquest goes, etc.

My point is people were so fired up about this particular chapter. Alot of Paizonians have become super critical these past few years (imho, with utmost respect to all).

Anvil of Fire is versatile enough to fit in different campaigns and easy enough to spice up if giant after giant gets repetitive which could happen in RotR as well. I'd just prune the maps to have less giant encounters and/or add a level of something else, like Runeforge into Ashpeak (for RotR of course).

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I would not get rid of sins of our savior tha lt book is amazing a very cool dungeon crawl.
I’m going to add a high level Slag Giant Wizard and I’m not sure either Fire elemental types or some Devils not sure which one. The devils could be cool because there is so few outsiders in the entire campaign.

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Well, I am getting ready to be able to run first session on April 27th. First campaign my group and I will try with roll20 (we have always been face to face the last 29 years!).
But kids and life make it difficult to always gather, so we'll try 3-4 hours here and there to play online when we can.
I've put my GS into the Forgotten Realms, and I'm doing a merge with the Ironfang Invasion AP as well.

Erpa wrote:

I've put my GS into the Forgotten Realms, and I'm doing a merge with the Ironfang Invasion AP as well.

That sounds extremely interesting, and I'd love to hear more on your plans and how you're merging the setting and APs.

Well, here goes!

Spoilers only for those interested in playing or being spoiled on both Giantslayer and IronFang Invasion.

Figuring in the time it takes me and my group to arrange our lives (all 40,40+ married with kids), getting to and through the 6 APs I have waiting on the shelf, while still going through my current campaign (which needs another 4 years), I got the brilliant notion to combine these two APs together...while using storylines from Storm King's Thunder as well! (I'm a Forgotten Realms mainstay fan; everything gets converted over to my Realms). Brilliant, right? Brilliant!

Don't worry, I laugh at myself also.

My want in combining these 2 is that both are such battle heavy, army invading, destroy mass numbers of enemies rich that I don't want to spend 2 campaigns worth 'doing the same thing.' If I make one large gestalt, I can cut out the parts I don't want to do (finding resources to get refugees to live in IF 1), and cut out things I simply don't care for (hunting down the horses stolen from the boat in GS 2 by a wyvern or drake-don't remember, -or dealing with the irate lover from GS 2 on that same boat trip as well), or flat out cutting chafe (ie, the very repetitive 'go kill this next stronghold of other giant-types!' that makes GS drag and get boring).

So, I'm tossing out the ideas I wish to use and change, and also get some other tips or ideas from those that have solidly played these, instead of reading them only like I have, about things you would definitely change or toss away-or even how to make them merge better.

I know I'd like to run my current campaign still face to face with all my friends, but this IG FS campaign I'd take to roll20 so in the times we don't play for 3 months, we could always just hop online on a Friday or Saturday when convenient for 2-4 hours and rend some enemies!

I'm thinking to start, I'd like to keep most of GS 1 'Battle of Bloodmarch Hill' intact. There will be ominous signs or portents of enemies on the move, the murder mystery within town, trying to figure out what the dead sheriff had discovered, wondering what all the white crosses were. But I also would need to utilize the town of Phaendar as a place, base of the mountain for Trunau, as a supply town. Make a place where the PCs and NPCs also have relatives or connections. Make Trunau really the 'last line of defense' against the wilds of the hogoblin tribes and giant forces that are out in Lastwall. Truneau protects Phaendar as much as Phaendar keeps Truneau operating.

So, the attack of GS 1 on Trunea happens as it does. From there, it would be mounting up a counter force to respond to Phaendar's fire beacon for aid. There would still be plenty of captives that Scarvinious' troops would have taken, so there's plenty to do and go out and about to rescue them still in the encounters that are listed in 'Trail of the Hunted.'

However, there still has to be the encounter within the tomb under Trunau for the giant's gear. Also, within 'Trail' there is another tomb that has some giant sized gear within the troglodyte section (which is an angle I'm totally doing away with. This can just be another tomb that is being searched for ancient giant gear and magic-which feeds into the storylines from Forgotten Realms of when, in ancient times, Giants and Dragons fought for supremacy of all the lands).

So, Scarvinious, is not only out to destroy Phaendar and Trunau, but he also has to find purported giant artifacts within burial mounds. His forces will be spread pretty thin at one point, which should be hinted at or dropped enough in clues for the PCs to want to make a quick strike force attack on his Red Jaw encampment...

And that should take care of a goodly amount of both volumes 1s.

It didn't make sense to me that in GS 2, you can just roll down the river to the Red Lake Fort. That's why for me, combining both Book 2s into fighting and freeing outposts and forts seems like a logical idea; all were identically attacked due to the Onyx Towers.

I've written this answer in 2 parts; I think the only STorm King's Thunder angle I'm keeping is that the ordning is off, which is why Volstun is doing what he is doing.

As for the Realms, apropos enough, this will take place on the north side of the Giantspire Mountains. This region is largely void, of well, anything. I'm putting this region as an area that was once under Damaran rule, and probably under Narfell rule a loooong time ago, but now is mostly just filled with frontiersmen and settlers-Damaran descent peoples' seem the perfect analog to the people of Trunau, and even Nimrathas. Half Orcs are tolerated here as well, I intend to have a good dwarven influence, and hell, I'm even sticking in 'Forge of Fury' from 3rd edition because my friends and I never even ran it, so I figure this will be a place where there can be more artifact/relic items, as well as a good living source base for knowledge of dwarf legends of the past.

I think...some of this may have made sense. But I'm tired with a sick 1 year old in the house who doesn't sleep, so I'll be happy to revisit anything I've written to chat again. :D

Very informative, thanks.

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber


for the second book, it might make sense to use the best part of book 2 of Giantslayer - the Vault - in lieu of one of the forts in Ironfang.

It's a pretty easy swap, i should think, and you can either use the Vault's residents as recently forced out by the Ironfang, or go with its more ancient origins as shown in Giantslayer.

It even kind of fits the Ironfang setting of the deep dark forest.

I would cut out most of the rest of Giantslayer 2, but if you want, the fort in the last 3rd can be plopped in as yet another villainous fortification.

Book 3 of Ironfang is great. You might want to run it as is, and then for the conclusion, have the party confront their attackers in the Cathedral from Book 3 of Giantslayer.

Book 4 of the combined might be using the subterranean travel segment of Ironfang to bring the party to the frost giant village, and then run Giantslayer 4.

I really like Ironfang 5, but Giantslayer 5 has some pretty major problems. I've suggested swapping out Ironfang 5 for those running Giantslayer.

The start of Giantslayer 6 is one of the coolest set piece battles in any AP. Plus... you know... it's got a classic and epic BBEG and setting. I dunno how you could put Ironfang 6's exotic locale in there, but you have time to figure it out!

@ Yakman

Definitely including the Vault in my run of things. The idea I’m giving strength to through these APs is the artifact/legacy weapons and gear from the giant and dwarf tombs that are all throughout. I intend to create a few more of those items as well.

Most of GS 2 does go; agreed. The angry lover taking over the boat, the ogrillion escaping, the drake making off with the horse, the insane dwarf angle and the hag? Not really interesting to me. Might be some modified parts of those, but I think more IF 2 is stronger here. It just seemed off to me after the invading force to Trunau, in a region where a giant army is being assembled, that you can just take a boat ride to the enemies’ fort.

I like IF 3 as a solid whole. Longsaddle is a big part of where I want my campaign to go. The part I’m not thinking about real hard on right now is where to put the dwarven heroes tomb, Longsaddle, and the GS Cathedral even in relation to each other timewise. But that’s more than a good ways away, so I’ve got time to hammer that down.

Mostly, I just want to ditch the aspects of both APs that involve new rules. I don’t want to find supplies for refugees, I don’t want to work on getting points for army build up. That’s nothing my group would really play well to.

There’s a sly part of me that almost may have my group create a second group of PCs and split the APs back apart to finish IF in its entirety (such a good strong finish), and have one group do a very modified 4 & 5, and really nail that book 6. But there is PLENTY of time to figure that stuff out; we need to find the murderer of Rodrik first!

Well, we started last week on the 27th.

My group was assembled because 3 were already in the area of the wilds, and acting as agents that Rodrik would pull in as needed.Everyone, however, was gathered in Trunau for the Hopeknife ceremony. I changed it up to match the Midsummer festival, which also happens to be Ruby's birthday, so all the more reason for a HUGE festival. All the various loggers and trappers and whomever made it to Trunau for a big event, swelling the city even further.

I made up waaaay more games for my PCs to take part in. Stone tossing, log chopping, tree climbing, the log roll in the hope spring, trick archery contest, hammer toss, Atlas stones, strong man cart drag! So, most of my PCs did end up winning their respective competitions, so that helped Ruby pick them for the Tug of War. Rodrik and Kurst, along with other town NPCs took part in the games, so that was a way to meet most of the players of the town.

Then, Rodrik was killed, and Kurst came to them, since they are outsiders/drinking friends from the night before. Here's where my adventure stalled a bit; it's the first time my face to face group of 28 years played online with roll20; so it was a bit awkward for us to get used to this kind of interaction. So, the 'investigation' went rather poorly at the start; no one talked to Cham, who found the body! No one asked if the murder weapon was even found (I had to subvert that into a missing clue; Frum ended up taking that, because he was going to go see Katreza on his own to see if the oracle could divine who held the knife-I had to drum up some more avenues for my party to search for clues!).

They did rather well in wanting to find the apprentice that took the unfinished hope knife; rallied Kurst to that, and had all gates get locked down to have searches of all parties to find her. Eventually, there was the second trip back to Clamor, where in Katreza made himself known and the Plaguehouse was then cemented in as 'GO HERE' on the map. That's where we stopped.

It's very...awkward, now that I'm playing it, to set up Skreed as the villain. He hides, doesn't make himself known at all, but is around? I know he gets mentioned as a clue in the Plaguehouse, but early on, it's the apprentice smith who's suspect #1, not Skreed. The main thing I've done is that one of the more perceptive PCs, who said he's continually scanning the crowd at each scene they've gone to-looking for the 'murderer to return to the scene of the crime' has rolled high both times, and I'm allowing an improved Wisdom roll each time to put together he's seen the same blonde man really pique his interest.

Think we'll play the Plaguehouse in the next 2 weeks, and then get the set up for the war! I've cut out the random encounter of the sick wolves (how does Skreed wrangle the wolves in the first place? Dropping it), and dependent on my suped up Plaguehouse (a larger retinue of orcs there with the flood troll; I've got 6 PCs), I may not run the assassins either.

The assassins were a ton of fun jumping out the windows and wild stuff like that.

Session 2

Last time was finished pointing the group towards the Plaguehouse. Led a bit by the nose, they go to explore.

I remove the haunts, but that's mostly due to a time constraint of only 3 hours this night on roll20, and it's been 4 weeks since we played. They go to explore the area, and decide to go in the fallen wall side (at night), and explore.

I had a journal entry of Rodrik's describe how he came to explore the Plaguehouse after seeing some orcs, or maybe a troll. He came in the front door, and when in the infirmary, heard what sounded like 'the walls were crawling' and 'thumping sounds' from under the floor. He bolted from there, a bit ashamed at his fear-but he also never went back in due to that fear (hence, he lost the hopeknife, the crawling walls were the spiders come down to get him, but found the hopeknife and took it back, and wrapped it up in the corner by the bookshelf. He obviously heard Daktini and flood troll below).

I also made it that at this point, due to his investigations, no further graffiti blades were put up. So, Skreed was getting highly nervous, he was getting more orders from the giantess to work faster, and when push came to shove, he decided to use the hopeknife ceremony day as cover because the city would be so busy that finding a murderer would be silly, and he killed Rodrik.

Back to my group, they started doing well, got suprised twice by spiders from on high, lost some strength, had good times. Heading downstairs, Daktini had time to prepare so he wasn't purely cornered, portocullis was done, and he snared the area leading through the encampment, and of course, knew about his bear trap.

Fortunately for the PCs, the unchained rogue had taken the power that let him passively be aware of traps-DM rolls. Guess who found the traps! Fight ensued, but with one potion of vanish left, Daktini took off when the getting was good, leaving the troll to her death. Exploring the gelatinous cube room, the half-orc druid raised a 3 foot wall, which I ruled slowed the cube's movement one round for climbing, and with plenty of ranged weapons, my group made short work of it.

Being that Daktini got away (for now), the prisoner Othdan instead became the mouth piece that knew all kinds of info that would lead the adventure forward.

I rather poured back through the adventure, and became confused about 'how' it was 'really proven' that Rodrik didn't commit suicide at this point. I don't feel it was really for sure proven, but there's enough 'ok' leaps of logic to say that what Kurst and his father believe is true enough to make them feel better.

What I intend next is the group coming to the Council with their learned info, Daktini was stupid enough to try and sneak back to his apartment and get his stashed gold and leave Trunau (he gets caught), spills his info, and then allow the adventure to go forward to the funeral, and then the attack at night!

My group did much better the second adventure, and I really look forward to a longer, protracted night of several fights to see how much more the group can do-a stone oracle acting as the buffer for the group, ranged dwarven thief taking his sneak attacks with working the flanking, a self buffing muscular druid attacking alongside a shield champion brawler who's been able to cut loose a few times on enemies. The arcanist white mage looks to be support in both battle and healing, so I can't wait to see them go on!

Sessions 3 & 4

Pretty straightforward with these two sessions. Return Othdan, (again emphasizing the terrible overcast weather), and wake the next morning to all the changes in news. A little info spreads fast, right? So, half-orcs have been attacked, or at least had more fights occurring in streets and bars. The populace had swelled with the hopeknife ceremony/midsummer celebration party, and no one was being let out of the city while hunting for conspirators. This led to the pot boiling over and the fighting and antagonism coming out against the half-orcs.

In any case, moving the adventure along to the funeral at night. Weather worsens, soldiers come to pay respects throughout the day (explaining why the whole of the town wasn’t at the actual ceremony in the evening; I mean, why wouldn’t Sara and Agrit be there; they are town leaders! Instead, they are in their home to get bombed by a boulder. This is where I digress, because after the fact, hindsight 20/20, backseat driver; yeah, all of us can find issues with this printed work. Now, I think there are a lot of cool things to happen, a lot of cool events, fight scenarios to carry the adventure along, but the nitty gritty planning? It’s just not sharp.).

Ceremony goes off, and my hitch to the adventure is that the graffiti markings is that they glow faintly to darkvision/lowlight vision, so the catapult can sight and aim for them. I had graffiti on major towers/buildings, and also that the graffiti is one half of an alchemical explosive agent. The other half would be on the catapult boulders. Once the 2 struck-KABOOM! Towers explode, chaos ensues.

My group helps after Kurst enlists them, they direct people, make sure that this is beacon is going well, start to head out to see the encounter with Brinya. Stop that, get the dagger , make their way to Inner Quarter. Only after Kurts had rode through did the half-orc saboteurs make themselves known. Rescued Agrit and Sara, fought a lot of people (and even with Orc Ferocity, my group was waxing through numbers. I had a group of 5 PCs, and they just were handling them no problems.)

So, I decided to up the ante at the gate. Kagak of the Rolling Thunder was here. Just made sense in my head. Him, along with his orcs, and half-orc saboteurs from inside the gate, gained control of the gate and tower (with Kagak to use his Charm scrolls and spells to incapacite the guards). Omast Frum, and guards of his own, rallied to fight back against the enemy here, but lost the tower control (with the gates still down). As orcs/half-orcs worked to get mechanisms working, Omast and his limited men worked to set up the barriers (taking from someone’s else’s advice, the barriers and logs are always on this side of the wall to be set up, should a raid like this ever occur).

Kagak starts playing to signal the raid should progress into the inner quarter, and the PCs arrive to help with the waves. Their are 6 GM PCs soldiers with pikes and glaives to help with the waves, but they are squishy! I also altered this even to have Urnsul and Vorom attack during the second wave, attacking from behind the combat with sneak attacks and having Vorom be a destablizer of the soldiers’ line. So yes, I merged 3 encounters in the battle of the wall.

The group did great (initially). Set their polearms for charges against the first wave, a small number, waxed them. Kagak was giving the waves bonuses as well. Even had his orcs come out from the tower to attack too (they had the portocullis up on side for the waves to enter). However, at round 6, once I had Urnsul arrive, things started going down hill. The unerring grenade did a helluva hurt to a group and the barricade (because the orcs were attacking that as well). A critical against my Oracle and Shield Champion slowed stuff down. Kagak doing spells to the only 3 closest PCs; things looked dire! So, I slowed down the 4th wave appearance. It was my intent after the second wave, and Urnsul/Vorom going down that they would suddenly LEVEL UP. It’s an easy enough narrative explanation to me “All your practice, in spell study or weapon, come easier to bear when your life is on the line. Studied techniques become practiced and understood opposite the blade of the enemy. Your confidence rises, and your belief in your ability to conjure the magics you have been pouring over in tomes and scrolls becomes easier; for failure doesn’t mean restarting a lesson; it means dying.”

It’s all narrative anyways. Any hp they would gain as their new max hp are also just added to their current total. So, no one is healed to max, and if any spells were gained, you get those, but not the full complement of a rested caster.

Then it was on to the final wave. And the next session….

Session 5

Oh, but now times would turn! Just having LEVELED UP at the gates, fighting alongside Omast Frum, group went to sally forth to the Lower Quarter as gate control returned to the Trunau defenders.

Going forth and through, the Heroes found tons of smoke, carnage, death, and fires. Nearby, an incredibly wizened elf was attempting to shield some citizens from an orc attack, while the source of the bellows was finally seen; a cave giant, stunted as it was, bound and restrained by manacles and chains by his 2 orc handlers. The giant, 'CRUSHER ...CRUSH!' threw a white painted bolder at part of the low stoned hillside, also marked with the white paint, and KABOOM!, the stone blew apart, to reveal a tunnel within. A blonde haired orc (or so it appeared) dashed through the low waters of the Hopespring, with 2 dire wolves and other orcs in tow.

Standing there gibbering, Crusher awaited orders.

Our Heroes lept forth, attacking from a distance and closing melee to the orc pillagers. Others with spell and range, attacked the giant. Pretty good combats. I ignored that stupid trap of the exploding beacon, because it just seemed petty.

Chasing into the caverns, they following a trail to a series of dead orcs-all at the feet of several giants' cairns. One of them was restless, and had risen to defend the area. A skeletal giant! But again, he didn't proved to be too much of a threat. Weakened, tired, spent, exhausted in body and skills, the Heroes continued forth.

It seemed silly that those living creatures were in the caves, so I ignored the birds, ignored the spiders, and had only 1 dire wolf involved with the fight with Skreed. These PCs were spent.

To the final cavern, a large carven deep under the large hill that Trunau rests on, is a burial site for a grand giant, a huge warrior in life, now a large pile of bones and waiting treasures. Yet, the blonde..half-orc, he is, was not looking there, but elsewheres in the spoils.

It was a good fight, of doing the splash damage of thrown bombs in a precise manner with the dire wolf hitting hard, but getting hit back just as hard. Skreed joined the physical fight after his wolf went down (and he was starting to get chased, even as he kept starting people on fire). He drank up his mutagen and waded into combat. Sadly for him, no crits fell with the use of his falchion.

And book 1 came to an end! Now onto my bastardized merge with Irongfang Invasion book 1!!

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