1. - Top - End - #227
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Feb 2008

    Default Re: DM's campaign log- Wrath Of The Righteous (PF & spoliers!)

    Ok, the last issues left for this log- The future planned, the future in reality.

    Rough sketches for the rest of the campaign.

    If any of my players is reading this, I highly advise NOT to read the following. You know... As to the rest of you, well, the following are rough plans. Major themes/ changes Intended to implement.

    End of the 4th module- The Nyhandrian Mines
    Battling In the mine:
    I quite disliked the mines as written, and it seemed like the battle there would easily develop into all of the mine coming to defend it. Now, If you remember the battle of the Ivory Sanctum, and how hard it was to handle that battle, I don't wish to repeat that. I wished to lower the types of opponents. Also, Delving into the center of the essence of a slayed demon lord... Hmmm... This will be the closest the party will ever get to the raw essence of the Nyhadrian power, so I wanted to play on that. So, to sum it up, a few major changes:
    - The mine as a trap: As mentioned, the demons pretty much anticipate the party to come. So while they hurry up to "close shop", they also prepare it as a trap. This includes preparing places for it to collapse, booby trap "Nyhadrian bombs", and so on...
    - Fewer enemies, simpler battle: Basically I was thinking about Hephazimerah, the minotaurs (Using the stats by Scorpion. The minotaurs can freely teleport within the mine, making them quite challenging. Also, Maybe I'll get to use their Oubliette power for once. The Minotaurs pack quite a punch with their mythic feats and so (Mythic improved vital strike for example). And maybe some acolytes, for magical and summon support. All the rest (the other more minor demons) I'm gonna leave out.
    - The very soul of Evil: I wish to make the essence of the demon lord a force in the mine, like some sort of a semi intelligent awareness. The party might be bale to interact with it (perhaps use it, since the demons have been excavating it), but definitely feel the ancient power, the menace. Not sure how I'd do it, but the very evil presence will have a serious effect, even Sena might be affected, though less than the others.
    - Daugher of Baphomet: Hephazimerah isn't working on a shard as in the module. she starts quickly buffing when an alarm is set, and comes buffed up. I hate it when they intentionally handicap the main antagonists, especially in very... stupid way.

    About the end of the module, Baphomet and Nocticula
    The ending I quite disliked when reading it. Felt like a cut scene, and an annoying one. And the party is just handed a mythic trial for it, while doing nothing... My idea was as follows:
    Baphomet does come, and the party has to fight it! Though at the end of the first round, their hear a telepathic message: "Three...". This is Nocticula counting, the assassin's 3 round of "studying the target". The party has to survive 3 rounds against the demon lord. (Not an easy task considering they re probably fairly depleted after the mine battle!) After which Nocticula does come and assassinate Baphomet, which returns to it's plane. She then explains that she sort of used the party as bait to draw it here. The party will meet her shortly again, at the fifth module.

    5th module- Herald of The Ivory Labyrinth
    I will detail my problems and the my proposed changes in points:
    1. The Herald: When I first read about this, I felt quite disappointed- there is practically zero emotional investment in this quest, unless a character is very much attached to Iomedae's causes. So I made a switch I hinted at in previous posts- The herald is not some outsider being, It is the Queen itself... While attacking Raliscard, and once Vorlesh learsn the party is t Nocticula's realm (And gains some idea from seeing Julian's transformation), they contact Baphomet to attack and take the Queen into his realm. The Crusade suffers a heavy blow, but more than that- The demons use the connection between the queen to Iomedae, to sort of poison the goddess through the process of corrupting the queen. This connection cripples Iomedae, and some of her ability to bestow power on her followers also falters... The attack on Raliscard turns into a mess, and the army suffers heavy losses, and is forced into retreat.

    The 3 main changes here are:
    - A stronger emotional investment with the queen, the party knows the priosner of the labyrinth. As an option, some of the prisoners found through the module mightbe parts of her retinue and so.
    - Explains why the goddess Iomedae can't just use her godly powers to kick Baphomet's ass.
    - Makes the antagonsits more competent looking, and inserts another sense of urgency and distress into the crusade and campaign.

    2. Coming back from the Midnight Isles: In the module it seems like the party comes back, maybe finish some projects, buy/ sell stuff, and then meet Iomedae. There is little to no real interaction with Goalrion again, which is a shame. The change I propose is as follows:
    The party comes back to chaos! After the revelation in the Nyhadrian mines, the party rushes back and gets to the retreating remains of the Queen's army from Raliscard. They come to help them retreat, when their queen is gone, and Iomedae's power falters...

    I'm not fully sure how to implement this, but a few thoughts:
    - I'd like to play another Mass Combat, against vastly superior forces, with very low moral. The party's high level is crucial to be bale to escape. I think of having the demons general be either the merilith general or the storm king itself mentioned in the 6th module. Perhaps insert the corrupted phoenix from there as well. Bit battle, with the party's high level and powers tilting the balance back.
    - I'd love to somehow enable the changes the party worked for come into effect in this dire situation, whether the first new recruits of Julian's order, perhaps units of tieflings under the banner of Sena's new vision, maybe some of the allies they saved (The archons, the Valkyrie, the souls of paladins from the pits of Nocticula), perhaps some info gained by the Sleepless Eye. In short, I'd like to bring in the effects of Drezen (Who was so far spared from the main conflict) to help "save the day".
    - The party sort of become the crusade de-facto leaders! Yet they themselves need to leave it soon... So, They need to appoint new leadership. With many of the crusades leaders gone/ dead when the queen was killed, I'd love for them to find a way to deal with this, most likely by appointing some of the NPCs they worked with so far, as temporary leaders/ rulers, till the crisis ends. Could lead for quite interesting roleplay I think, and a feeling of empowerment, and development...

    3. Interview with Iomedae: Now, this is huge. I feel the module doesn't deal with it very well. Some of my ideas:
    - Not just Iomedae: The module assumes heavily that the party will follow Iomedae, but in my case, none do... Sena worshiped Sarenrae, and moved to Calistria (More on that soon), Andera semi worships Desna, and Julian has a problem with all of the gods, Iomedae especially. Also, I felt the rest was under presented. So, instead of just meeting her, they meet all of the five gods of the crusade, as they did briefly in The Hall of Heroes...

    As mentioned, Iomedae is sickened/ cursed/ affected by the corruption of the queen, and is struggling to lend her support, and to her troops, but her power is diminished. The other 4 came to her aid, but as will be explained soon, both Sarenre and Desna will have their hands full, and most of so the power of them 5 to help the crusade is diminished, which is why they need the PCs. Yet i imagine the party will have enough chances to interact with all of the gods (With some interactions planned).

    - "Your mission, if you choose to accept it..." The Big Reveal, Part 1: The party hears that the queen was not just kidnapped for the lulz, but that it looks like the demons have a serious purpose in this- the process of corruption includes sapping her divine essence, and through it some of Iomedae's own essence (Which is why she is sick/ affected), for some other purpose. Some quick theories might come to the conclusion that Vorlesh tries to make the impossible possible again, and needs the god's own essence, with the demon lords essence (Nyhadrian essence) to make her goal possible- open the Worldwound fully! This puts an extra burden on stopping the corruption. However, the gods have different ideas on this- to try and save the queen, even if this means Iomedae suffers, and this may fuel the Worldwound ritual? Or to seek to kill her swiftly? Ad this is the major moral quandary of this module, I'd like to emphasize it, and have a debate of the gods, and PCs. The soul of the leader, vs. the fate of the world...

    I also intent to put the module on a time frame, with two main effects: First, It affects the chances of reversing the queen's corruption, and secondly, it may affect how far Vorlesh has completed her ritual in the 6th module or how strong her defenses will be.

    - A surprise guest/ not whom you thought/ The Big Reveal part 2: Another divine entity comes in- Nocticula! She uses her favor from the gods for an audience with the gods, and for their favor. Sarenrae and Desna support her, and the three reveal quite a few things of the past, and some surprises for Sena:
    In short, Nocticula has been trying to develop into something else than she is, Her emissaries have contacted both Desna and Sarenrae, who decided to explore this... potential... They mostly talked philosophy, yet also bargained. Remember The burning succubi who rules Porphyry? (Forgot her name, damnit!), well, She is at least partly Sarenrae's representative, and part of the deal she made with Nocticula. It enables Sarenrae to contact her, and in return the angel in demon's disguise started putting forth some of Sarenrae's beliefs and philosophy (Subtly, secretly) into the major demon city of the Abyss.

    Yet a demon lord is hard to change, and so before she will undergo a change, Nocticula wished to test. So with the 3 came up with a certain plot, which in which Nocticula revealed the location of an artifact (Lexicon of Paradox), for the chance to test a creature similar to her own self- A succubus. This led to the first expedition, who summoned one an angle to help unlock the secrets of Paradox, yet ended up with part of it's essence transferred to Arulashee... Yet the Expedition itself failed, and Arulashee took a long time to redeem, without the real help of morals.

    Yet years later, a new opportunity presented itself- A band of heroes, who seemed to manage the impossible, and one of them even shared a spark of the angel, a sortof siblign to Arulashee... The goddesses and demon lord watched closely.

    And when that priest called forth to Sarenrae, they 3 decided to play a little trick- Sarenrae will turn him down, yet another will intervene. It was never Calistria whom Sena worshiped, But Nocticula herself! She played as her, but they affected each other. She felt his struggles, and as the follower is affected by the divine, so is the divine affected by the follower, and as Sena changed, so did Nocticula, in subtle ways, as he was her first follower of her changing form. They kept it from Sena, and sought to see the paths he will choose, and in amny ways, his changes (Becomign beyond morality, his new vision of Drezen, him helping arulashee and redeeming her, and his desire to return to worship Sarenrae) changed Nocticula herself.

    I imagine Sena' player would LOVE this twist, even if he has been played for awhile. But what now? Well, Nocticula has finally decided to make the change, and by killing Baphomet has aligned herself squarely on the crusade's side. Yet, she is not yet fully ready. So she will undergo... metamorphosis, and go into a cocoon, (of a sort), and will emerge a new. She seeks the help of the gods while she is vulnerable.

    So Iomedae is trying to hold her power, supply support to the queen, and help the crusade. Sarenrae tries to heal and help her, and Desna goes to guard Nocticula's transformation. Torag and Shellyn, the two lesser active gods stay to guard Iomeadea, and help as much as they can with the crusade, still, the divine support for it is quite weakened...

    - Emerging Divinity: And so here come both Julian and Sena. Julian is asked to help, and spread her belief wider, with her new followers starting to support the crusade as well. There may well be a bargain to help her become on of the gods, possibly replace Iomedae if she falls... And Sena? As might be understood, Sena had the supprort of both Sarenrae and Nocticula all the way, but in his way he has shown them both a new way- his vision. He becomes a sort of a god of his own new vision, with powers and core beliefs coming from both gods, yet he now is his own power source, though he my well share philosophies from both. I think both players would love the change of status...

    I Imagine Iomedae might have an interesting conversation with Julian, about the roles of godhood, where they can intervene, and when not, and the responsibility of mortals as well, some talk about leadership, and more... Julian's player wished to play Julian as first defiant, but once a goddess she would see things from the other end as well, and will understand (The player himself quite like Iomede's teachings I believe, Andrew after all was Iomeade's paladin)

    4. The Ivory Labyrinth- finding the prison: Now, after reading the module's intro, about the love of mazes, labyrinths, and mysteries, I was looking forward a complex maze, puzzle and a really difficult exploration of finding the prison! But... instead of that, the location is practically handed to the players in one of the two encounters in the main city of the Labyrinth. This was SUCH a disappointment! I don't exactly know how I would change this, but actually learning of the prison's location should be a very difficult and complex challenge, requiring a lot of planning and creativity. Not sure what exactly, but it is a majot part of the module.

    5. Baphomet's involvement: This is his realm, yet for nearly the entire adventure it sits on it's arse, and just comes for the final confrontation. I intend to play it differently, that due to him dying so recently, he is less powerful, but still exerts influence on it's realm. It will have a certain pool of points, which the DM can use to make the party's life difficult, themed on his domains and powers: blocking their paths, confusing them, summoning creatures, and more... The idea is to have the party feel that they are in HIS domain, and that he can affect it, and also increase the build up with him, up to the final confrontation.

    6. The prison itself: I'm not quite sure how to handle it, but by the module it feels VERY similar to the rest of the Ivory Labyrinth, only instead of mostly open spaces, it is more limited. Yet again it feels like wandering about, till they bump into things. I haven't fully though of this, but I'd like to make it feel like The Tightest Security in The Abyss, and not just a walk in the park, with some weird demon guards at times...

    7. Major officers and the end battle: The module seems to urge the party to do 2 things before the end battle: Dispose of major players in the prison (or else they teleport to the Herald's room when they get there), and recruit some help (Various prisoners or shady characters). I'd really like to make this a point of balancing the need to prepare, vs. the time limit (mentioned earlier), and the prison's increasing security. Things should feel quite stressful, not a leisure walk...

    6th module- City of Locusts
    A few major changes:
    1. The Doomsday clock, and Threshold defenses: 5 days sound like a hell of a lot of time. This is the end game, there shall be very little time here. Thinking more like 3 days or so... The party will need to see what sort of Plot Items they decide to risk for till the final confrontation, and what they'll pass, according to time.

    2. Fate of The Queen: not sure exactly how, but either saving the queen or killing her will have good and bad effects. if saved, she may not yet be fully redeemed, and her continued corruption may enable the demons to still draw from Iomedae some essence ,making the challenge tougher. Yet, she may know some crucial information, raise moral quite a lot, and may help the party in the final ritual. Pros and Cons.

    3. Demons' assault: Not sure what to do about the first battle. I think the merilith (If she survived the mass battle of the previous module), will not go for Drezen, but for the Capital, perhaps to try and silence the queen if she's been saved. Otherwise, Not sure.

    4. Gaining the Chisel: Not sure how to go about it, but the entire scene with the strange brothel in Iz seems... very unlikely to me... In these high levels, treating this as infiltration or a dungeon seems very odd. I imagine the party to use some powers to circumvent nearly all, or this very quickly devolving into a big battle.

    5. Killing the Storm King: Him Appearing just after gaining the Suture feels like one of the lousiest entrances of major campaign villain ever... and him being protected from being found? He is the general for god's sakes! He needs to lead armies and such! He isn't exactly hiding in a bunker! And the party has 9th level mythic spells! They can't find him? really?! And why does the general come to to battle them alone, with most of his army occupying the entire city? I'm not saying to bring in every Babau and dretch, but at least some major officers and such?

    6. the suture: The module inserts wonderful challenge and complication (keeping the mythical dretch alive), but then completely undoes it when suggesting to put it into extra dimensional storage space. No... just no. I intend that making keeping the miserable bugger's life a challenge, with many of the opponents strategy focused on killing it. not fully sure how, but I want to keep this very unique and cool challenge potent.

    7. Attacking Threshold: This somewhat goes back to the Grey Garrison's problem- a place the party is expected to take in several forays, attacking and regrouping. But.. .this close to the end? A static dungeon? And again they are expected to go and kill all of the other special monsters before trying to close the portal, even if that is THE major issue here, the point of the ENTIRE campaign, and The Doom of Us All...

    I intend to make it shorter, fiercer, and a hell of a challenge. Main thoughts:
    - Every resource coems into play, hopefulyl a lot of effects from the campaign- be it NPCs advice/ help, The Queen, Arulashee and others possibly joining, help from the gods, help from Drezen, and more. Wil ldepend heavily on how things revolve till then, but I am keeping notes!
    - Less encounters, but more difficult ones: As explained through out my log.
    - Battle at the Worldwound's room: I hope to make it more engaging then described. Also, Intend for it to be fought on BOTH sides of the portal, In Golarion, and the Rasping Rifts themselves. (Intend to have 2 maps, with the opponents able to cross it by expanding movement or some resource
    - I want the Worldwound tear itself to play a major part here, a chaotic tear in reality. Not sure exactly how, but the biggest magical effect the entire campaign revolves around should be felt like more than just a static portal...
    - I want some... interaction with the idea of the Paradox again. One of the campaign's main themes is "To make the impossible possible", and many of the vents here were linked to the Lexicon, but more than that- to what it represents. I want this to be addressed to somehow...

    8. Deskari! I've heard in nearly every group that faced it, that beating it is a cake walk... I intend to have him attack WHILE the party tries to close the portal, quite possibly joining the battle with other major demons, and possibly Vorlesh herself. I intend to make him... different though... As Nocticula mentioned- his form, as the demon lord of the locust swarm, is that of a swarm made of thousands of major demons. That's the idea, though I;m not sure how to implement it. But I want the party to fight the mother lord of Hive Mind Swarms ever!

    Where do we go from here? Or... Anyone up for Shadowrun?

    So, we come to the end of the log (At least until we return to the campaign, and of course you can still comment and ask questions). So what have we decided to do?

    Well, we're doing a big change. We decided to shuffle things up- We're leaving Pathfinder for now, and start playing a new system for most of us- Shadowrun, 4th edition. Julian's player realy wishes to DM it, but he has very little experience in the system (Read: No actual play, just read the rules book), and so Andera's player (Who has quite extensive experience in it, as well as DMing it), will DM for awhile, probably a short campaign, after which he might continue, or Julian's player will take charge.

    I will be a player! This is a big relief for me, as I seriously need a break, and I don't have the time to prepare adequately no more. I wil be playing a sort of a trickster mage. Yay!

    Most have us have little to no experience with the system, so it's a new experience for us. Andera's player (I should really call him the GM from now), already ran an intro adventure for the rest of them (I was busy), Which went quite splendid, with great roleplay and a lot of enthusiasm. I joined for one session so far, which was a hoot, though very different.

    We also have a new player, an old friend of the DM who knows SR well, and whom I've played with on occasion- A really cool player, very inventive and creative!

    A log you ask? Well, I hope to get to it. I've written notes for most of the first session, but I will need to find time to write it (it took me long enough to finish here after all!). It will be somewhat different, fro ma player's perspective, getting to know a new system better, and a different play style (SR is quite different from PF). I will most likely post the log on the general roleplay forum.

    So far, the change seems to have done good for the party, and the first session experience (And into adventure for the rest), seems to have gone great! So, here hoping for the best!

    That's it for now. No more to write... I loved the game we had, despite difficulties, and I'm a bit saddened to let it go, but it's for the group's sake, and my sake as well... I hope you've enjoyed the read so far, and would love to have you read the next log. I have written one player's POV log in the past ("It began with a crash"), which seemed to have garnered good interest.

    As always, if you have any comments, questions, remarks or such, feel free to post away! I am still keeping this log subscribed (Duh!) so I will see when new posts come up.

    Thanks to all who helped,advised, and encouraged, it is always nice! And last but not least- Thanks to my wonderful group, who makes DMing worthwhile!

    Happy gaming to you all!
    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2016-02-29 at 03:33 PM.

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