1 - Zombie Feast (GM Reference)


Blood Lords

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

This is a spoiler-filled resource thread for the first volume of the Blood Lords AP, Zombie Feast by Mike Kimmel.


Will there be an official foundry release for Zombie feast the 27th?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

I believe they’ve said it’s coming, but it’ll be coming a bit after the street date.

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32

willfromamerica wrote:
I believe they’ve said it’s coming, but it’ll be coming a bit after the street date.

Stupid off-topic question but are you same willfromamerica who wrote the catchy Ninja Warrior Podcast themesong?


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
Grumpus wrote:
willfromamerica wrote:
I believe they’ve said it’s coming, but it’ll be coming a bit after the street date.
Stupid off-topic question but are you same willfromamerica who wrote the catchy Ninja Warrior Podcast themesong?

I am shocked that anyone here recognizes my name, but yes I am the same Will from America. Glad you like the song!

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32

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willfromamerica wrote:
Grumpus wrote:
willfromamerica wrote:
I believe they’ve said it’s coming, but it’ll be coming a bit after the street date.
Stupid off-topic question but are you same willfromamerica who wrote the catchy Ninja Warrior Podcast themesong?
I am shocked that anyone here recognizes my name, but yes I am the same Will from America. Glad you like the song!

How many wills from America can there really be? haha. Anyway I don't listen to as much RHAP as i used to, but your songs were always cool.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I have a vampire and a "wraith" (reflavoured ghost with sunlight powerlessness) in our party that can't really travel during the day. I think I'll have Berline Haldoli give them a small covered cart, along with the manor, that could fit a wraith and has a small compartment that can fit a coffin for the vampire so they can travel during the day. I'm leaning towards it being towed by a zombie donkey but I'm not decided yet. Would the slowed condition actually affect the donkey's overland travel speed?


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I am getting very excited to run this AP after initially assuming that I would want nothing to do with it. I have been waiting for an intrigue heavy AP since the playtest of 2E, with the careful consideration given to Exploration mode and Downtime mode in the ruleset, and am very hopeful after reading this first book that this will be a campaign to really have fun with. I love how campy the horror elements can be in this setting and hope that continues through all 6 books.

Radiant Oath

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Dire Ursus wrote:
Would the slowed condition actually affect the donkey's overland travel speed?

I wouldn't bother having it slow overland speed. In general it's assumed characters aren't spending three actions moving anyway, plus a zombie donkey could just keep inexorably walking when a regular donkey gets tired, so it makes sense that they have approximately the same speed over long distances.


Interesting read so far and we start this next week, can't wait, wish the maps were better but I'm finding subs right now.

Did anyone see the actual distance from Graydirge to the PC's new digs at Quallaqh Manor?

Thanks

Tom

Anyone find a cool and hi res farm version map yet one might be able to work in as a replacement?


TRDG wrote:


Did anyone see the actual distance from Graydirge to the PC's new digs at Quallaqh Manor?

On page 20 Berline says it is about a mile south of Greydirge.

I’d love to find a high res map of the farm too.
Has anyone else found that the button to remove grid on the interactive maps is not working properly?


Thanks Traum13, I missed that!!

Ya, I've been looking around, first for our first Blood lords estate as that REALYY needs to in there to set the whole mood and not just theatre of the mind it in my opinion!! Ha Ha

Best I could find is I bought a farmland pack on Roll20 and will try to kit bash it in myself as best I can.

Next is the PC's home base as that needs a LOT of cool looking stuff and found more than a few cool maps in RPGNOW land.

Thats as far as I got so far as my game took a hit and the GM dumped us just before session 1 next week. Then a couple of players flake freaked out and did not want to wait so left as well. So looking like I'll have to GM another game, SIGH, instead of playing it, yet again :(

But I'll get my fun out of it either way I am sure, was hoping someone would have started up a homebrew map thread, but no such luck as of yet.

When is your game going to start?

Tom


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

It is unfortunate that the illustration for what I assume is supposed to be the PCs mansion on page 6 looks like it has large windows on the sides. I assume it can't be Berline's estate because it is not adjacent to a city wall.


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1st mistake spotted: the stealth bonus of the tylegmut's last meal haunt is clearly supposed to be +12, for a DC of 22, the high DC for lvl 4, rather than as stated, +22, for the high DC for lvl 10!


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Hmmm..still reading through it, but I'm not a big fan of the farm encounter because haven't there been similar "strange critter round-up" encounters in recent APs? Certainly the Menagerie in Edgewatch, and I seem to recall something similar in Strength of Thousands.

I might send the PCs to their manor first and let them explore Greydirge and get settled before doing the farm. I'd like two mix up the farm a little, but can't think how right now. It will come to me!


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TRDG wrote:

Thanks Traum13, I missed that!!

Ya, I've been looking around, first for our first Blood lords estate as that REALYY needs to in there to set the whole mood and not just theatre of the mind it in my opinion!! Ha Ha

Best I could find is I bought a farmland pack on Roll20 and will try to kit bash it in myself as best I can.

Next is the PC's home base as that needs a LOT of cool looking stuff and found more than a few cool maps in RPGNOW land.

Thats as far as I got so far as my game took a hit and the GM dumped us just before session 1 next week. Then a couple of players flake freaked out and did not want to wait so left as well. So looking like I'll have to GM another game, SIGH, instead of playing it, yet again :(

But I'll get my fun out of it either way I am sure, was hoping someone would have started up a homebrew map thread, but no such luck as of yet.

When is your game going to start?

Tom

Just finished our first session tonight, and really having fun with it so far. This is my first attempt at running a weekly campaign in literally decades, with friends mostly new to Pathfinder, so we’re taking it slow to start.

Tonight was primarily a session zero, then met with Berline and ended with their arrival at the farm where they quickly dispatched the two zombies at the gate, but not before a skeleton PC took a nasty hit. Healing is going to be tricky in this campaign; I realized I need to read up on how medicine works on the undead. No one has harm, but I’m letting them adjust their characters in between sessions, and recommended the bard to take Soothe.

The group is a human necromancer, dhampir bard, skeleton champion of Urgathoa, and mummy (elf) investigator. They had the idea that they know each other because they all worked for a necromancer in Yled who was killed (and killers removed his head so he can’t be reanimated). I worked with that to say he was a Blood Lord allied to Berline. When she heard what happened, she sent for them to come work for her, telling them she can set them up with a new place to live, as the military in Yled assumed control of the manor there.

I’ve been watching Deadwood, and taking that as inspiration for Greydirge. Basing Berline on Al Swearingen, and plan to give Geb a bit of a western vibe.

Sorry for the long post, I am very excited for this.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Traum13 wrote:

Healing is going to be tricky in this campaign; I realized I need to read up on how medicine works on the undead. No one has harm, but I’m letting them adjust their characters in between sessions, and recommended the bard to take Soothe.

There was a new skill feat added to the book of the dead called "Stitch Flesh" that allows treat wounds on undead. I actually gave that to my group for free since they are all playing as undead.


Thanks traum13, sounds like a blast and things are well in hand, Yep the healing will be an aspect the party will have to deal with, one way or another, fun little thing to add the extra spice to the game to make different than other AP's COOL!!

Tom

Stitch Fresh is nice Dire!! :)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

When I run it, I am debating disallowing undead options at start, but running the game with highly restricted Free archetypes at first, but allow them to unlock different options as they advance. Like have a pool of 7 or 8 generic common ones at first, but have that quickly expand to include undead options eventual (starting with husk zombies and then later ghouls). Characters will be able to freely retrain Free Archetype feats (the campaign rightly gives lots of free time and has the undead advance their plots slowly)…except for one’s that fundamentally change the story arc of your character. Those will require significant story quests to retrain.

Thus if you want to become a lich or mummy or a ghost, you have to survive long enough to unlock those options.


Any suggestions for how to play Arghun? I think it will be fun to run it like Thing from Addams Family, but the description seems to imply it talks? That seems strange to me, and I think takes away from some of the mime-like charm of that character.

My idea so far is that it will introduce itself by using a finger to write its name in the dust on the table, and then maybe keep the description of it making whistling noises from its stump to communicate a little, but stop short of letting it produce actual words.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Traum13 wrote:

Any suggestions for how to play Arghun? I think it will be fun to run it like Thing from Addams Family, but the description seems to imply it talks? That seems strange to me, and I think takes away from some of the mime-like charm of that character.

My idea so far is that it will introduce itself by using a finger to write its name in the dust on the table, and then maybe keep the description of it making whistling noises from its stump to communicate a little, but stop short of letting it produce actual words.

The description in the book suggests that it talks via squelching flesh against bone. It fits with the corpulent crassness of the setting, but I too am leaning toward the hand communicating through miming and writing.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

It's possible it's just me... But I totally get a vibe from Berline - she reminds me of Jo Bennett from The Office, as played by Kathy Bates. Anyone else see it?


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Traum13 wrote:

Any suggestions for how to play Arghun? I think it will be fun to run it like Thing from Addams Family, but the description seems to imply it talks? That seems strange to me, and I think takes away from some of the mime-like charm of that character.

My idea so far is that it will introduce itself by using a finger to write its name in the dust on the table, and then maybe keep the description of it making whistling noises from its stump to communicate a little, but stop short of letting it produce actual words.

I was also unenthused with the "communicate via air squelched from gory stump" angle, and was veering towards replacing the hand with the a ghost of the dead fellow. I was also going to add ghosts of Qhallaqh (despondent artist) and the Zon-Kuthonite cleric in the dungeon, as live-in neighbours for the PCs to interact with.

I do wonder how much time the PCs will spend in the mansion/developing a home-base, as the rest of the AP seems to have them meandering all over Geb.

Radiant Oath

My plan is to treat the undead language of Necril as including the non-verbal sounds various undead can make.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Evilgm wrote:
My plan is to treat the undead language of Necril as including the non-verbal sounds various undead can make.

I really like the idea that Necril is a language built on redundancies of auditory, visual, tactile, and even olfactory expressions. Like there are 5 different ways of expressing “brains” that speakers can understand through different senses. As a speaker, you try to express them all when you “speak.”


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2nd session tonight, and healing remains a challenge… Bard has Soothe, but that spell states it only works on a living creature. She does have Stitch Flesh, but then rolled a critical fail, causing 7 damage to the mummy instead of healing…. We said she’s used to zombies, not mummies. But then at the end of the session when she tried Treat Wounds on the mummy again, rolled another critical failure, although fortunately had a hero point to re-roll.

I think starting next time, I’m going to say critical fail just means can’t treat wounds again until the next day, I don’t like that she could end up hurting party members who have no option for magic healing. Anyone have suggestions about that?

Radiant Oath

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Just let Soothe work on Undead. The Undead ancestry and archetypes were seemingly written with the assumption it does (based on the boxout in that section), even if its own text says otherwise.

Grand Lodge

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Loving these ideas. Ghosts in the manor, fun variations on Arghun, more things to do on the farm... this is all great stuff! Hope everyone is having a good time with the adventure.


Evilgm wrote:
Just let Soothe work on Undead. The Undead ancestry and archetypes were seemingly written with the assumption it does (based on the boxout in that section), even if its own text says otherwise.

Ah, excellent, thanks. I thought I remembered reading that somewhere, but was thrown off when I read the spell description during the game. I’ll go with that, then. But I think I’ll still do away with critical fail on Treat Wounds causing damage.

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Craftzero wrote:
It's possible it's just me... But I totally get a vibe from Berline - she reminds me of Jo Bennett from The Office, as played by Kathy Bates. Anyone else see it?

I'm trying to find the right voice for Berline... the way her boxed text is scripted, I keep hearing the voice of Pinkie Pie from MLP... not quite the gravitas I think she should have :) I'll have to reacquaint myself with Jo Bennett...


rokeca wrote:
Craftzero wrote:
It's possible it's just me... But I totally get a vibe from Berline - she reminds me of Jo Bennett from The Office, as played by Kathy Bates. Anyone else see it?
I'm trying to find the right voice for Berline... the way her boxed text is scripted, I keep hearing the voice of Pinkie Pie from MLP... not quite the gravitas I think she should have :) I'll have to reacquaint myself with Jo Bennett...

I know the book says Berline is not to be messed with, but from her dialogue I do get a very lighthearted sense hiding the ruthlessness beneath


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
MalazanEnjoyer wrote:
rokeca wrote:
Craftzero wrote:
It's possible it's just me... But I totally get a vibe from Berline - she reminds me of Jo Bennett from The Office, as played by Kathy Bates. Anyone else see it?
I'm trying to find the right voice for Berline... the way her boxed text is scripted, I keep hearing the voice of Pinkie Pie from MLP... not quite the gravitas I think she should have :) I'll have to reacquaint myself with Jo Bennett...
I know the book says Berline is not to be messed with, but from her dialogue I do get a very lighthearted sense hiding the ruthlessness beneath

To be living in Geb, I think you kinda have to be both ruthless, but also create a mental barrier between yourself and all the death around you, making it all feel unreal. That is why I really appreciate the design choice to go campier with this AP instead of dramatic gothic. Outside of Geb, Geb should look completely horrific and terrifying. But inside, there has to be a way to envision living people existing in enough comfort not to feel like the nation itself is at war with its living. There is just no way a stable nation of thousands of years could exist that long without tearing itself apart otherwise.

Scarab Sages

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I like how Berline is a sterotypical halfing - gourmand, outgoing, hospitable, loves the simple pleasures of life - but is just as much a necromancer and tyrant.

I read her as being somewhat socially awkward, what with the bad quips and rambling.

Dark Archive

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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
MalazanEnjoyer wrote:


I know the book says Berline is not to be messed with, but from her dialogue I do get a very lighthearted sense hiding the ruthlessness beneath

Yes! She's like Winnie the Pooh with a knife


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It's frustrating that the maps for Qhallaqh manor have huge S's on the secret doors that can't be toggled off. Hope future maps don't have this as well.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

That’s been an issue with the interactive maps for years, unfortunately.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

How are you handling priests of Urgathoa? Her anathema is listed as destroying undead. Being an evil deity, she should understand the necessity of self-defense and advancement by assassination. I wouldn't think that your enemy being undead should be a problem.

Scarab Sages

Urgathoa will be one of many deities whose worshippers can take the cleric archetype for Free Archetype. I'm keeping the anathema as-is for a roleplaying challenge for those who want it.


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My group will be going to Qhallaqh Manor next session. I’ve decided I’m going to change Arghun from a hand to a talking head (BotD page 40), to avoid redundancy with the necromancer PC’s crawling hand familiar, and I think it will be more fun for me to RP, as I wasn’t feeling the idea of the hand talking through its wrist. I think he will be fun, playing him as this blustery old general who enjoys telling old war stories.

Scarab Sages

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Roleplaying a hand would be more fun for in-person games. I might change it to a head as well.


I am looking for suggestions for little jobs the PCs can do for Berline to let them explore Greydirge a little and add extra meat and connectivity to the plot. I'm looking for encounters or mini-events for each part of Greydirge.  Just a little filler to add flavor and maybe let the PCs hear about people, factions, and events.

Scarab Sages

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Berline could send them retrieve corpses for reanimation to replace the ones lost at the Old Farm. Sort of like the Monty Python sketch with the plague cart.

They could also kill a level-approoruate monster to replace the Zombie Bull.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

Nothing sends things off the rails faster than a character failing to resist petrification and then CRIT-failing resisting petrification twice in 1 rounds in that freaking bank.

Quote:

I am looking for suggestions for little jobs the PCs can do for Berline to let them explore Greydirge a little and add extra meat and connectivity to the plot. I'm looking for encounters or mini-events for each part of Greydirge. Just a little filler to add flavor and maybe let the PCs hear about people, factions, and events.

I'm the exact opposite. I feel like there's too MUCH filler in between the main story beats. So many dinners!

Scarab Sages

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It does read like Mike Kimmel took inspiration from George R.R. Martin


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

For my group I had an undead summoner be the "leader" who already owned the manor-house in part 1, but was basically in debt to Haldoli, as a scion of a Gebbite house that had fallen on hard times. So she had to put up with massive passive-aggressive snark from the halfling the whole time about how ugly her manorhouse was and how terrible her father was with money and oh by the way it's now overrun with -- well, she didn't know what, but it was nasty.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I love the dinners. Geb really needed an AP that drew attention to its role as a breadbasket of the innersea, and the fact that it overlaps with all the body horror is storytelling brilliance.

For Odd Jobs and such, this whole AP looks like it is going to have a lot of opportunity for downtime, crafting, and social influence. I would recommend seeding those ideas early in the campaign and make sure the Players are making connections that will make these activities worthwhile and enjoyable.


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For the dinner with Ortagar, I really want to channel some Sean Evans (Hot Ones)and inflict the PCs with increasingly spicy hot sauces throughout the meal. My Ortagar actually is a bit of an evil mastermind who knows about the contract and is sending the PCs in to see if it is still there or if the three fingers gang has stumbled across it. Of course, the PCs won't know this and will surprised when goons show up after the bank run to relieve them of the contract.

The point of the hot sauce challenge is distract the PCs (and players) from any strangeness from from Ortagar, who will be trying to subtly feed the PCs the answer to the Builders' Vault riddle("Death and secrets"), which I don't think shows up anywhere else in the adventure.


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Smoagendash II wrote:

For the dinner with Ortagar, I really want to channel some Sean Evans (Hot Ones)and inflict the PCs with increasingly spicy hot sauces throughout the meal. My Ortagar actually is a bit of an evil mastermind who knows about the contract and is sending the PCs in to see if it is still there or if the three fingers gang has stumbled across it. Of course, the PCs won't know this and will surprised when goons show up after the bank run to relieve them of the contract.

The point of the hot sauce challenge is distract the PCs (and players) from any strangeness from from Ortagar, who will be trying to subtly feed the PCs the answer to the Builders' Vault riddle("Death and secrets"), which I don't think shows up anywhere else in the adventure.

The exact phrase "Death and Secrets" is tattooed on the skin that the key to the Builders Vault is wrapped in.


The exact phrase "Death and Secrets" is tattooed on the skin that the key to the Builders Vault is wrapped in.

Ah, thanks!

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

I'm very curious - has anyone fleshed out their thinking around Graydirge further? Would there be restaurants/taverns that serve both living and dead? Or would establishments for the living be underground (figuratively and literally? How about shops and vendors? Presumably there are shops the the Court of Ghouls. Has anyone breathed additional unlife into the city?

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