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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Wrath of the Righteous- What changes have you made to the adventure path? [Spoilers!]

    As some of you know, I'm running this adventure path currently, though slowly. However, I find quite a lot of things I'm dissatisfied yet. I read here and there about various "fixes/ solutions" and thought that it would be useful to devout a thread to dealing not with specific encounter, but rather more sweeping changes, that affect key points in a module, the entire module, or even the entire Adventure Path. I am currently at the start of the third module, but I have just now finished reading the 4th, 5th and 6th module, and I have some ideas, though they are not fully fleshed. I imagine quite a few people have their own ideas, so let us share!

    Needless to say, there re NUMEROUS spoilers about. We warned ya!

    Adventure Path issues and solutions:


    Spoiler
    Show
    1) Replacing PCs: Considering the stories behind the PCs' mythic origin (Power of the Wardstone) and the demonic source (The Nyhadrian crystals), it seems that replacing a PC is going to be really difficult to explain. Sure, you can say claim someone else did something heroic, but the proposed story doesn't work this way- there are clear origins for these once-in-an-era heroes, which the modules don't address. There is less a problem for characters who die (There is resurrection magic for that), but rather for instances where a player might get bored with a character, and wants to try out something new?
    Solution: You can sort of make up something once... maybe twice... but beyond that? I have no good solution.

    2) "Filler encounters": There are quite a lot of them (Examples include the underground of Kenabres, the demons in Drezen, and so on). They are usually boring, don't quite advance the plot, and if your group values her gaming time (Like mine does), they just eat it up.
    Solution: Wrap them up and throw them away. I used the "XP pool" to make fewer encounters, but more challenging. which brings me to:

    3) Encounters not challenging enough: Many encounters, especially "boss" encounters, just don't cut it. My party isn't much optimized, and yet they dealt with most challenges without feeling overwhelmed, even with me upgrading the encounters.
    Solution: Not much to say, upgrade the encounters. I was directed to Scorpion's files on the Paizo forums, who has made a very well though of upgrade for many monsters and encounters. You can check up This excellent resource for the campaign. Other than that- bring in time pressure, otherworldly affect, terrain, minions, and whatever to mke it challenging. Some key opponents will be mentioned for the specific modules.

    4) No pressure, in a stressful situation: From the need to defend Kenabres quickly, to taking Drezen before reinforcements arrive, stopping the Nyhadrian crystal process, saving the Herald, all of these are supposed to be highly time limited endeavors, yet due to the need to "rest after 4-5 encounters", the modules give the party a sort of a free pass to retreat, rest, regroup and come back. Surprisingly enough the last module changes that, giving a strict time limit (Which still feels quite sparse considering the party's abilities from first reading). Unless the DM drives it, the feeling of actual stress and pressure is gone.
    You can assume that upon gaining Recuperration at 3rd mythic tier the party would use it to rest less, but the party often seeks to use mythic points for... mythical spells, offense and the like.
    Solution: One wy would be to insert time pressure- 1 week till Kenabres falls, 5 days after the siege on Drezen starts, Staunton calls for reinforcements. 50 days after the party conquers Dreze, Xanthir Vang perfects the method for producing elixirs. Put in possible ramifications for not succeeding, and see the play.
    But if the amount of encounters stays the same, then can the party hold it? One idea is to provide some sort of mechanic that partly bypass it. (In my game for example the Terendeleve scales enabled recuperation, but were of a small number (Four I think)

    5) No buildup: For me this is quite vexing. You're supposed to have some major opponent at the end of a module, or halfway through, and there is almost no mention of them if at all till that point. The party just comes and fights them and "Who was that?". This includes both module specific antagonists, but also those who are the villains of the entire AP: Areelu Vorlesh gets bad treatment at the start, and instead of becoming fearful, she seems pathetic and she's never mentioned again. Even at the last module there is soooooo little mention of her, her past. As the min opponent, she deserves something better. Deskari, other than having swarms nd cultists to his name, is unknown. Baphomet feels a bit more personable as you explore his realm, yet still- not by much.
    Solution: The individual "module antagonists" are mentioned (As far as I've worked them out), in the specific modules. As to the rest? My idea is to put affects of them in the different modules, especially Areelu Vorlesh (Who one can feel more empathy, or at least partly understand than demon lord) For example, in the second module the whole of Drezen turns out to be a mythically powerful trap she planned, in the third they found a place where she studied nd originated the worldwound and so on.

    6) Campaign traits: At first I thought they were a cool idea, but as I play I find out they really pigeon hole characters into specific back stories, and they wove link between class and story, which is even more limiting. Instead of having the party come up with cool back stories of their own, they are forced into preconceived ideas. Plus, the campaign traits get a laughable mention in the third module, and then they are done with.
    Solution: Don't use the campaign traits at all (They add sooooo little to the story!) and have their affects woven as prizes for accomplishments. Say, the trait's affect at the end of the first module, and the bonus (Originally at the end of the first module), when they resolve things (as planned by you and the player), in the 3rd- 4th module or so.
    I've used the original campaign traits, but I've woven them into a bigger mystery, and to the bigger campaign story, that the party is trying to understand now. (We're in the 3rd module). I'm adding this under a spoiler, for those interested.

    Spoiler: Tying the campaign traits
    Show
    Pardon me, I know it may sound like a bit of a convulted story, but I hope it makes "some" sort of sense.
    • The Lexicon of Paradox (4th & 6th module) is a puzzling piece of work, dealing with transition and joining of aspects of the planes, in many ways. More than a century ago the Witch Areelu Vorlesh found this out. FOr as she sought a way to merge Golarion with the Rasping Rifts (6th module), she was also affected herself, a process which led her to be half demon.
    • A long time afterwards, the discovery of one manifestation of the lexicon was found (For it exists in several plces at once or something of the like. Haven't thought this up fully yet. ) An expedition to the place was undertaken, led by the parents of the "Child of the Crusade" character. As the mage of this expedition went the father of the "Riftwarden orphan".
    • t some point the expedition drew the attention of two native Sarkorian women. Yet there were notorious demons under disguise- Jerribeth the Glaberzu and Arulashee the succubus (Then still evil. Both from the 3rd module). These were sisters (For demon family is not restricted to species), and the two were curious as to this expedition, and so befriended the crusaders.
    • The site was found, and the Lexcion reached. Yet the object will not move, and it baffled them. They set camp. As they stayed, they experienced similar effects to those that Areelue so many years before them have felt- chaotic changing energies.
    • Jerribeth became highly intrigued. If this was the source of Areelu's power, maybe she could subvert it! (For Jerribeth aspired higher). She "befriended" the mage.
    • Feeling that the warping energies were chaotic and probably evil in nature, the head of the expedition (Father of Child of the Crusades) Sought to counter it. In a ritual they brought forth a powerful celestial of some sort.
    • Corrupting the crusaders was one thing, but possibly corrupting a celestial? Jerribeth seized the chance. Using her charms on the mage, they tried to capture it, and contain it, and simultaneously making a ritual that would further "evolve" the expedition's crusaders.
    • They were found out, and confronted, And Jerribeth was turned away. But too much was lost- most of the crusaders became ravenous part demons, and Jerribeth took two major prizes: The body of the mage (Later to be made to an unrepentant Worm that walks- Xanthir Vang), and the contained celestial. (I imagine all 3 in the Ivory Sanctum at the 3rd module, or maybe the celestial in the Fane? Having lost been forgotten)
    • Yet the celestial felt that he was ambushed, and Jerribeth' intent to transform him as well, so he uses the chaotic energies here and enables a splinter part ofitself to detach and sent it to an attacker and an attacked- Arulashee who stood to kill a pregnant woman. The pregnant woman died soon after, but not before giving birth to a child who also held the celestial's blessing. (Touched by Divinity). Arulashee, Confused by strange new emotions and feelings, and great remorse at killing the woman, hides the baby and runs away. (Later to save a child on her way for redemption, in Chance Encounter)
    • Jerribeth is thrilled by the transformations made by the Lexicon. She continues to make up experiments through the following years (The results are Stolen Fury, and Exposed to Awfulness- different stages in the research), with the help of Xanthir Vang. The results were not that impressive, but proved useful to none other than... Areelu Vorlesh. She has been trying to find a way to join the worlds more fully, and Jerribeth unknowingly did small experiments for her- joining the demon and mortal together, though with quite horrid and unsatisfying results. But Areelu found a catalyst- the Nyhadrian Crystals. Perhaps these could perfect the process more?
    • The event with the worldstone at the 1st module, though it had an end of it's own, it was also an experiment- can joining mind, body and souls of demonic and mortal essence be done on a grand scale? The experiment fails, but Areelu learns a great deal from it.
    • Which primes for the last module, where Areelu tries to join not just body, mind and soul, but worlds!(Perhaps the essence of the herald from the 5th module has anything to do with it? Haven't worked that in yet)

    Again, not perfect, and a bit convulted, but might tie things in.


    7) Lack of NPC development: I really liked the way the NPCs were handled in the first module, but after that, other than a few short appearances of Galfrey, and maybe development with Arulashee, the NPCs are kind of moot. The adventures utterly ignore them, which is a shame. A major problem is that the PCs develop mythical powers, which come to be a requirement to survive the adventures. (If encounters are upgraded and so on)
    Solution: This one t least is fairly simple, by letting an NPC join. (Arulashee and Irabeth are the most likely)

    8) Lack of twists and surprises: Except for the first module (And to a far lesser degree the 6th module), The party knows what it's supposed to do right at the outset, and just goes with a fairly linear route till the end. Conquer Drezen? March march march.... Conquered! Discover the Ivory Sanctum? Search search search... Discovered! And so on. While there are a few small twists (Nurah's betrayal, Nocticula's offer) On the whole there is a definite lack of "Oh SH*T! What the hell just happened!?" Moments of bewilderment and surprisingthe players with some thing new.
    Solution: Unless you radically modify the adventure (And I have done so at some points) I don't really see one.


    First module- The Worldwound Incursion


    Spoiler
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    1) Starting scene: The most mythic adventure path ever, and it starts with the party losing consciousness, and then fighting... maggots? Cockroaches? Giant flies?! Really? Unless this was a sort of nod towards Deskari, this feels like a lousy way to start this campaign!
    Solution: Scrap all of the meaningless encounters, and have the party have a fight in the plaza! While the Storm King fights Terendelev, the party fights teleported demons- Dretches, Quasits, maybe even some hidden cultists or such. This is a fight of survival. If they manage to live, the ground opens up as Terendelev dies... A much stronger start. I've tried it, the players loved it!

    2) Time sensitive undertakings: There are two points in the journey that are very time sensitive roleplay wise: The underground journey, and the Gray Garrison. Having fallen underground, most likely the party won't stop till they reach the surface, and see that Kenabres has fallen. But this spans 2 levels!
    As to the Gray Fort: It holds the key component of the entire invasion of the demon host, and they are just going to let people attack it, retreat, attack it again while waiting in position? Yes, I know there are the escalation waves, but simple logic would decreed that after even ONE failed attack the demonic forces would pull everything, including a few of the major demons into protecting the place.
    Possible solution: Either make the travel through these two places considerably shorter and more doable in one attempt (Fewer but tougher encounters ) Or give the party some sort of tool/ magic, that enables them to "rest/ recharge" faster. I used the Terendelev's scales to impart group recuperation (As the 3rd tier mythic ability).

    3) The Jaclyn battle and Areelu's revenge: Jaclyn is in a small room, all by herself, and the party just needs to walk and touch the wardstone and they've won. Less than 1 round. Also, there is no mention of her before this in the module. No build up whatsoever.
    Possible solution:You have to make this much more of a challenge, with the main challenge will be getting to the wardstone. So lots of rough terrains, perhaps traps, enemies that can grab, and so on. As to the build up, just pepper all kind of frightened cultists around, or a few "special" undead creations or the like, and of course the resistance should hear and talk of her.

    4) Areelu's Revenge: This make her looks small, pathetic, and takes out any credibility as a villain she might have had. So how to have her affect the game, but without looking ridiculous?
    Possible solution: We played out a mind game encounter (No dice): Where she tried to trick the party into believing that this was the demons' plan all along, that they themselves could not destroy the wardstone, and needed heroes for that, and so on. (The party NEARLY feel for it). Not great, leaves a lot to be desired.

    5) Radiance:
    Considering that this sword is extra special and important, finding it in a box underground sounds quite... unimpressive. Radiance should be given some credit.
    Possible Solution: Find it later, in more suitable circumstances, and have some build up leading to it. I gave my paladin a few visions, and memorable encounter fighting a few tougher demons, in special circumstances.

    Second module- The Sword of Valor


    Spoiler
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    1) Mass combat:
    As a main theme of this module, the mechanics are quite... boring. The 2 major components of the Paizo Mass combat rules are building the army, and maneuvering on a hex map, both of which are nonexistent in this module. So this ends up just a "I hit it again" bash fest between units. Quite boring. Also- 100 paladins to take down a fort? This doesn't sound like an army, this sound like a company, at most...
    Possible solutions:
    - At the very least give each character their own unit to command. This also enables you to hae interactions between different units, which can make things more interesting.
    - You can have the mass combat at the background, and have the party just target "key targets", such s enemy commanders, special forces, siege weapons...
    - You can take a much more compelx soultion: I have made a "Tactical-Mass-Combat-rules-Not-the-Paizo-strategic-battle" thread which is a (fairly successful) attempt at downgrading strategic battle to tactical level, with a grid, like a normal battle.

    2) Main antagonist, Staunton Vhane:I feel that the creators of the module wanted to make Staunton the main villain, (He got a lot of build up, compared to the shadow demon). Staunton Vhane is "The betrayer of Drezen! A fallen Paladin! Pet of Aponavicius! Saboteur of the Wardstone!" While the shadow demon is... "Who's this guy?". However, he ends up being just a fairly simple and disappointing fight.

    Possible Solutions:
    - Reverse places with him and the Shadow demon. Staunton Vhane is met at the finale, at the climax of the adventure, not the shadow demon.
    - Improve the battle scene- better equipment, better stats (See the link in the Adventure Path spoiler), minions, tactics, make use of the Drezen defenses!
    - Have him appear more! Have him command mass combat once or twice, maybe have something that enables him to escape, or fight the party more.
    - Make him more special than "just" a mythic dwarf antipaladin. In my game I made him a ghost, that haunts Drezen, and harasses and talks with the party through out their exploration.

    3) Nurah the incompetent spy: The module assumes she is found out fairly early, before the siege of Drezen. This is a shame, since she provides an interesting twist, a feeling of betrayal and mayham, and succeeding to turn Aron Kir (Or anyone else), makes the shadow demon encoutner so much more interesting, no? Plus, it makes you questions if she has been so easily discovered by the party of 6-7th level characters, how did she survive in the Queen's court?
    Possible solutions: Make her damn competent! I'm not talking about skills (Although these can use a bit of work), but in her methods. Be subtle, and allow the party to roll only if they suspect or she is under pressure. Otherwise she works stealthily enough, subtly enough as to go unnoticed, except for the ramifications of her actions. Have her stir more trouble- increase suspicious between units, discredit the PCs for something, and more...

    4) Sword of Valor: It feels the role of a McGuffin here. So much, that the party might even forget it exists. You can go with that, but I feel that this is somewhat disappointing for such an item.
    Possible solutions: First of all increase it's build up- legends from Nurah or other NPCs. Then, when exploring Drezen, make an encoutner for it- some sort of a puzzle, or a mystery or such (Something special, not just another battle encounter. (In my game the Sword of Valor was transformed to another shape through the corruption forge, which couldn't corrupt it. The party needed to work out clues to find out what it was.). Then have the banner help in some way, some powers that might help them along.


    Third module- Demon's Heresy


    Spoiler
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    1) Downtime in Drezen:Without any time pressure, without the days meaning anything, the downtime mechanic has no meaning, and is better just roleplayed out, without tallying the numbers. Also, while the module seems to encourage the PCs making Drezen their home, this also comes to mean nearly nothing in the AP- Drezen is attacked once in the last module (And even then it's just a location, and whatever projects the PCs did in it don't matter), and other than that... nothing. Gaining followers, building buildings, organizations- it comes to nothing.
    Possible solution: I think this is up to the DM and players. Special projects will need some imagination and creativity to later affect the campaign. An idea is that altering the attack on Drezen in the 5th module to include it's actual layout, population, organization and buildings somehow might have affect, but I don't know how to do so.

    2)Tying up the campaign traits: The suggested "endings" are quite disappointing. (Especially the "offspring of a deity" which just begets "Whhaaaaaa....?!") It is up to the DM to find more plausible explanations. I tried to tie all of the campaign traits together to one story (See in the Adventure Path spoiler), but it's something each DM works with their group.

    3) Hex crawling: Considering this is the Worldwound, and some abyssal essence leaks into it, there is no mention of paranormal effects. Perhaps this was saved for later module, but there is a distinct lack of the "exploring a hostile dangerous wasteland!" feel.
    Possible solution: Thanks to the Playground, we have established a table of more interesting things, for inspiration. Random-events-in-a-demonic-land! Hex-crwl-exploration-Flavor-mostly. Perhaps that can be useful. Check also below the table there are some other great suggestions.

    4) Main antagonist- Jerribeth: Similarly to the Sword of Valor, again the "second in command" (Jerribeth), gets much more build up than the "big boss" Xanthir Vang. And also similarly, she is mostly a battle encounter, maybe with a little twist of "kill Xanthir for me!". I feel she could be made into so much more, something much more involving, rewarding.
    Possible solutions:
    - First of all, as I said- much build up. Jerribeth has origins allready in the 2nd module, so you can start from there. If the party gets involved in Staunton's story, you got a hook right there.
    - Have her take a more active part in the retaliation. She can infiltrate Drezen, cause havoc, maybe capture/ corrupt/ kill a loved NPC! Maybe even form attachment under guise with the PCs. This can be tricky, since if the PCs confront her, she cannot teleport due to the Sword of Valor, so another plan is needed.
    - She might spring the offer to kill Xanthir, or some other deal much earlier. debate with them as it were.
    - In the Ivory Sanctum itself- Not a straight up battle. She can teleport after all, and use telepathy. This can easily be a complex several stages battle.
    - Have her retreat to the Midnight isles, and face the party there.


    (The next modules I know far less well. Pardon me if I miss something, feel free to comment!)

    Fourth module- The Midnight Isles


    Spoiler
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    1) Arulashee's role: For some reason I don't understand, the module assumes that she doesn't join the party on this expedition. Why did they save her then? And how will the party explore the relationship with her, not to mention that this is an awesome opportunity to explore her! In the Abyss, in the realm of the succubi goddess? Yet the module is balanced to not include her in, which is a shame.
    Possible solution: Just add her in if the party wants her. I think she could be especially interesting to explore in the Porphyry city. Maybe an old home, or meeting some people, I think there is a lot to explore here. Not sure of the specific circumstances, but possibly knowing the other succubi?

    2) The Lexicon of Paradox: The most important artifact in the entire campaign, and yet the party had nothing to do with finding it. True, it appears at the novel The Chaos King (Or similar, pardon me), but It might be more fitting if the party were the ones to find it.
    Possible solution: Have the party find it earlier. The 3rd module could be ideal for this, as you can insert a small adventure's location, or even have it as part of Xanthir Vang's odd collection. If you design a small adventure around it, there need to be a good reason why the demons didn't have it more secure, especially when it is known that Areelu Vorlesh herself had used it before. I don't have a solution for that yet.

    3) Minhago: Again, for some reason she gets a lot of background, while Hepzmirah isn't really mentioned in the module until when the party nearly meets her. But worse- Minhago is seen as pathetic, cowardly, and desperate.
    Possible solutions:
    - Though she refrain from battle for much of the adventure, do it out of strategy, planning, and not out of pure simple fear. Also, I think she might be able to do 1-2 more assassination attempts, but perhaps in clever ways, such as framing the party for something (And thus they will have to answer to Shamira! No where is you diplomacy?) and such shenanigans.
    - I also think it's best if the party needs to find her as a mystery/ puzzle to solve. Who's the hunter and who is the hunted? I believe that could be a fun challenge.

    4) Porphyry: Similar to to the wounded lands in the 3rd module, there is a definite lack of things that mke this demonic city of trade special. I'm not talking about the specific encoutners, but rather the "Random Encounters" table, or just various sights, smells, sounds, and other sensations the party might feel and meet.
    Possible solutions:
    - Make another table for such flavor themed "encounters".
    - Burrow heavily from Sigil in Planescape, for the odd, bizarre and curious things found in Porphyry's streets

    5) Meeting Nocticula: Nocticula is central to the entire second half of the Adventure Path, and is a most intriguing and elusive patron. I do feel however that meeting her here feels somewhat... Underwhelming. The way it is portrayed feels almost mundane. The first meeting with an entity of such power and influence should be memorable I feel. Another thing that kind of irks is that there is no real negotiation: Nocticula is quite willing to help the party, won't ally with Deskari and Baphomet, and will tell the party of the location of the mine easily enough. For such an important meeting, there is no real risk. No challenge. No tension, no real drama.
    Possible solutions:
    - Create a more interesting encounter. Some ideas can be that she appears to all as a person they yearn for. Or perhaps a conversation in utter darkness (Maybe turn off all lights in the room?), or... I dunno, a bit stumped here at the moment.
    - Even if Nocticula is allready with the party, she will try to squeeze any possible benefit from this negotiation. How do you negotiate with a demon lord after all? This could be a very interesting bartering, where Nocticula might seek to see how far would these "champions" go. On the stakes could be many of the things the PCs hold dear.

    6) Dues Ex Machina at the end: In the first module this was sort of ok, but at this power level, needing to be saved by Nocticula from Baphomet is quite annoying. Unfortunately it is a major part of the fifth module, so I don't know how to resolve it.


    Fifth module- Herald of the Ivory Labyrinth


    Spoiler
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    1) The identity of the Herald: I had no idea who or what this was till I read through the Golarionwiki, and even then not that much. Unless the players and GM are very savvy with Golarion, this guy will get a response of "Wait, who?". The entire thing feels disconnected from the entire story, as if thrown there just to make an adventure. A sort of a side quest really. While in itself this is no problem, I think this module can be made so much better with a more personal involvement.
    Idea for improvement: Instead of the Herald, have it be Queen Galfrey. If you build her up nicely before this (Have her appear, even if just for talks a few more times, have her become actual friends with the party, not just a quest giver) than her being taken away suddenly gets much more important, and her corruption and possible salvation is again, so much more important. It involves the PCs much more!
    Also I think this could be fun if some of the major NPCs are taken with her. One way to portray this is her taking the major NPCs from Drezen for an attack on Raliscard. As the PCs finish with the Midnight Isles, they hear of her taken, but with her also Irbeth, Aravashnial, Arulashee or so. 1-3 NPCs, people the party relies on. Could make for an interesting play later on!

    2) Finding the ineluctable prison: For a prison that is supposed to be so hush hush and secret, it's location is practically given to the party in Blackburgh. Again, I think this should be solved as some sort of a mystery/ puzzle (Especially considering the plane). Though I do not have an idea of how to do so.

    3) Ineluctable? If the party can simply walk out, use plane shift or whatever to get out, this sort of defeats the purpose. Also, the prison seems quite at ease, with very minimal response about the party releasing prisoners and so on. I'd imagine some soft of high powered response team, or maybe the prison itself somehow reacting to the party' actions. I dunno- anything to make it feel more like a prison, not just another fancy (Though a bit strange) Dungeon crawl...

    4) Baphomet's response: Having him retaliate only after nearly all of the prisoners have escaped, and the herald he so sought to use is destroyed/ saved, feels... silly and foolish. This entire plane changes as he sees fit, surely he could have done something?
    Possible solution: One could say that part of him dying, was weakening his power, so you could give hi ma limited pool of power, which he can use to do certain things in the maze: Block paths, change paths, various spell like and supernatural effects, summoning/ teleporting creatures in, creating terrain, or even manifesting in some weaker but not his true form (Like a powerful minotaur, or some beast or such). Anything really to make the party feel that they are in HIS domain, and they are defying it.


    Final module- City of locusts

    Spoiler
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    1) Defense of Drezen: This really dissapointed me. Not only there is no final great Mass battle, but there isn't ANY relevance to whatever the PCs have been doing here since. I also don't understand why Aponavicius would open the only portal directly to her realm where she could be killed. Seems blatantly silly to me.
    Possible solutions:
    - Try and make something of what the PCs have been doing in their downtime (If at all) matter: Troops, rumors, anything. Up to the DM.
    - do a mass battle, either on a hex map or smaller scale, grid map (See the second module). Remember the effects of the Sword of Valor. It should matter now!
    - The end game could (Should?) Be between the party and aponavicius, but at a crux point. Her troops (Including the coloxus demons, the golems and the corrupted phoenix), can easily be brought to bear in a big battle as well.
    - If Drezen holds nothing of great import, consider relocating the battle to a more major point, such as maabe Narosyn, Raliscrad or such.

    2) Areelu Vorlesh: As mentioned before, little build up. I suggest to have more build up, be it in previous modules, visions, portents and more. Currently she is "Just a powerful witch".

    3) The ritual: The ritual and the particulars to it feels... odd... and don't quite make sense. Why the suture? Why the Chisel? Some players won't mind, but some will, and I think it'd be nice to have some sort of a thematic explanation of the Worldwound, the ritual, and the way to stop it. I haven't yet come up with an answer, though in my attempt to tie up the campaign traits I have come to a bit of a story.

    4) The Threshold dungeon: When the party finally comes to a dungeon that is on a time limit, there is a feel that the dungeon is just packed with cool unique monsters, that have little to nothing with the ritual. Buuuuut... if the party rushes to the end (As is the fashion of time limits action scenes), they get severely penalized by having nearly every creature they haven't yet killed appear there as well (Not to mention it looks like a PAIN of a battle to run!) No real solutions except maybe... Less monsters? Or that they don't teleport all in the end, or maybe after some delay (Like the battle with the herald)

    5) Battle with Vorlesh: The place to fight is TINY compared to the creatures involved, and it is also quite.... boring, for an end fight! I have no current idea how to make it more interesting though.

    6) Battle with Deskari: This is an odd battle to put. Most likely the party would have invested anything they could in the Worldwound closure and the opponents there. Also, as usual- nearly no build up what so ever, and the battle scene seems utterly random and without importance. This is almost like a random encounter. Not sure what to think of this, but it feels odd. A bit like "but the players MUST fight Deskari as well, no?"


    So, those are my thoughts, I'm sure some of you who read, played, or still do have your own ideas. Please discuss.
    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2017-02-06 at 01:54 PM.

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  2. - Top - End - #2
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Wrath of the Righteous- What changes have you made to the adventure path? [Spoile

    Had many of the same problems that you did with the campaign as it is laid out. The lack of any real payoff to the traits and the lack of any real build up for the enemies.

    I was planning on having the group enter from the basement of Dresen Castle. Better to fit the description of it being a commando attack. Probably will have the shadow demon and Stauton attack together. Need to make maybe an encounter between Stauton and the party before hand so that Irabeth can fill them in on his betrayal of the Crusader cause. Haven't worked out the specifics but it might be a parlay before the Chimera attack. Needs some work but I kind of like it.

    Another thing that I was thinking about was that the entire thing is a plot by Iomedea to be a masterstroke for her. To payback those who killed / exiled her previous diety, seal the worldwound and if it fits into the Pathfinder Mythology regain some of the power of her previous god. I know the broad outline of it

    1. She is responsible for the party traits. It was her hand that guided the reformed Succubus her path that led to her saving the PC, it was her hand that made the guard take a second look at the ritual saving the PC. A small sensation here a vision there and her plan comes together one small part at a time her participation invisible to all. Also even if any one part doesn't help the overall plot she has still done good by saving a child or whatever.

    2. The bad guys get their hands on some small amount of her power through the Sword of Valor. I'm thinking the field that protects it in Drezen is part of her power and that when the PCs lay hands on it the holy protection breaks allowing the forces of evil to get their hands on a piece of her godhood.

    3. The point of the Ivory Labyrinth isn't to save her herald it's to prevent the forces of evil from perverting her into a goddess of evil.

    4. The final fight to close the worldwound is to prevent a ritual that would let Deskari gain the power of Imomedea's dead god.

    There are a few rough patches throughout but since most of the climaxes have her linked pretty directly I figured I could work her more throughly into the bones of the campaign

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Wrath of the Righteous- What changes have you made to the adventure path? [Spoile

    Quote Originally Posted by Name_Here View Post
    I was planning on having the group enter from the basement of Dresen Castle. Better to fit the description of it being a commando attack. Probably will have the shadow demon and Stauton attack together. Need to make maybe an encounter between Stauton and the party before hand so that Irabeth can fill them in on his betrayal of the Crusader cause. Haven't worked out the specifics but it might be a parlay before the Chimera attack. Needs some work but I kind of like it.
    Do you mean the party enters Drezen through the basement? Intriguing... How exactly?

    If you need to build up for Staunton, you can start with it from The end of the First module- there is the note found with Radiance, and the party sees him in the visions in the end, sabotaging the Wardstone before Irabeth drives him away. The party could start asking questions then. You can easily have many talks between Irabeth, Nurah, Aravashnial and such with the PCs and let them guess.

    The Parlay could be good, just remember what happened in the extended LotR when the party tried to talk with Saruman?
    I highly suggest to have him command the last mass combat of the siege, before retreating into the citadel.

    Another thing that I was thinking about was that the entire thing is a plot by Iomedea to be a masterstroke for her. To payback those who killed / exiled her previous deity, seal the worldwound and if it fits into the Pathfinder Mythology regain some of the power of her previous god. I know the broad outline of it
    Hmmmm... this sounds intriguing but I think it would make many players quite resentful to just be pawns in the goddess greater scheme, a goddess who is supposed to be more... caring and benevolent... (It sounds a bit like she is tricking them into this, players HATE to be manipulated such). I'd be careful in this. I know many players who will take this entirely in another direction, seeing Iomedשe as a sort of a scheming manipulative master min and will quickly "go off the rails" just to spite her and prove independence, or even seek a way to get their revenge on HER. If you're up to it, more the power to you, but it's risky...

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    Default Re: Wrath of the Righteous- What changes have you made to the adventure path? [Spoile

    Quote Originally Posted by Kol Korran View Post
    Do you mean the party enters Drezen through the basement? Intriguing... How exactly?

    If you need to build up for Staunton, you can start with it from The end of the First module- there is the note found with Radiance, and the party sees him in the visions in the end, sabotaging the Wardstone before Irabeth drives him away. The party could start asking questions then. You can easily have many talks between Irabeth, Nurah, Aravashnial and such with the PCs and let them guess.

    The Parlay could be good, just remember what happened in the extended LotR when the party tried to talk with Saruman?
    I highly suggest to have him command the last mass combat of the siege, before retreating into the citadel.
    Well I can think of a few ways for Stauton to escape. Illusions by Nurah if she hasn't been found out, the Shadow Demon has a teleport other ability, the Chimera drops down into the ranks of Paladins forcing the PCs to rush to their aid lest they lose their entire army to the creature.

    Hmmmm... this sounds intriguing but I think it would make many players quite resentful to just be pawns in the goddess greater scheme, a goddess who is supposed to be more... caring and benevolent... (It sounds a bit like she is tricking them into this, players HATE to be manipulated such). I'd be careful in this. I know many players who will take this entirely in another direction, seeing Iomedשe as a sort of a scheming manipulative master min and will quickly "go off the rails" just to spite her and prove independence, or even seek a way to get their revenge on HER. If you're up to it, more the power to you, but it's risky...
    Like I said it's rough.

    And I guess that is the risk that I would run but I wasn't thinking as her being a Manipulative Chess Master. But that she saw that the world needed heroes such as the PCs and she set out to make them. She knew that Kenabras would fall and the Wardstone would be placed in Jeopardy so she made her temple the ideal place for the forces of evil to keep it allowing the PCs to reach the wardstone before it was corrupted and allowing her her to influence events and drive the power into the PCs. Stuff like that.

    Course weaving it into the storyline so the players find it is something entirely different.

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    Default Re: Wrath of the Righteous- What changes have you made to the adventure path? [Spoile

    Quote Originally Posted by Name_Here View Post
    Well I can think of a few ways for Stauton to escape. Illusions by Nurah if she hasn't been found out, the Shadow Demon has a teleport other ability, the Chimera drops down into the ranks of Paladins forcing the PCs to rush to their aid lest they lose their entire army to the creature.
    Those could certainly work, good luck with that!

    Like I said it's rough.

    And I guess that is the risk that I would run but I wasn't thinking as her being a Manipulative Chess Master. But that she saw that the world needed heroes such as the PCs and she set out to make them. She knew that Kenabras would fall and the Wardstone would be placed in Jeopardy so she made her temple the ideal place for the forces of evil to keep it allowing the PCs to reach the wardstone before it was corrupted and allowing her her to influence events and drive the power into the PCs. Stuff like that.

    Course weaving it into the storyline so the players find it is something entirely different.
    Hmmm... I would be interested in seeing how it goes. This could certainly be a new take on things. Could you update us on how it goes? Quite intriguing indeed...

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    Default Re: Wrath of the Righteous- What changes have you made to the adventure path? [Spoile

    Even if I didn't read the later modules yet (so please forgive me if I missed things) I made my own suggestions about the Final of the 4. and motivation of the 5. module:

    Before letting the PCs go to this Realm, Galfrey gave them an Emblem of Mendev: "Break it in greatest need!" - For Her, the PCs are the only hope to win this war.

    Baphomet knows that attacking the PCs will cause imidiate intervene by Nocticula and because it's her realm she is in favour.
    So make it bigger: Let Deskari join in with the hope that if the PCs are dead, the negotiations can begin again.
    So Baphomet going for the PCs and Deskari hold off Nocticula who intervene.

    Let the PC begin this fight and realize that they have no chance.
    When they break the Emblem, a beacon sends for help. With this beacon, the forces of good can send the cavalry: The Queen, some Angels (maybe the Herald ;)).
    They attack Baphomet with all they have and Galfrey says to the PCs: "We can not afford to lose you." before she let the PCs been teleported back to Drezen.
    Galfrey and maybe the Herald got captured in this Battle before they retreated to their own realms.

    Then the PC have much more tension for the 5. module because the NPC was inprisoned during the saving on the PCs.
    Last edited by Gustl; 2015-03-05 at 09:58 AM.

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    Default Re: Wrath of the Righteous- What changes have you made to the adventure path? [Spoile

    Quote Originally Posted by Gustl View Post
    Even if I didn't read the later modules yet (so please forgive me if I missed things) I made my own suggestions about the Final of the 4. and motivation of the 5. module:

    Before letting the PCs go to this Realm, Galfrey gave them an Emblem of Mendev: "Break it in greatest need!" - For Her, the PCs are the only hope to win this war.

    Baphomet knows that attacking the PCs will cause imidiate intervene by Nocticula and because it's her realm she is in favour.
    So make it bigger: Let Deskari join in with the hope that if the PCs are dead, the negotiations can begin again.
    So Baphomet going for the PCs and Deskari hold off Nocticula who intervene.

    Let the PC begin this fight and realize that they have no chance.
    When they break the Emblem, a beacon sends for help. With this beacon, the forces of good can send the cavalry: The Queen, some Angels (maybe the Herald ;)).
    They attack Baphomet with all they have and Galfrey says to the PCs: "We can not afford to lose you." before she let the PCs been teleported back to Drezen.
    Galfrey and maybe the Herald got captured in this Battle before they retreated to their own realms.

    Then the PC have much more tension for the 5. module because the NPC was inprisoned during the saving on the PCs.
    An interesting idea Gustl. Basically make the PCs more involved in the rescue at the 5th module by having the prisoner/s rescue them first...

    That is good, but the problem at the end of the 4th module stems I think from two sources:
    1) The cut scene: In any way you cut it, having Nocticula/ The Queen+ angels/ The herald come to face Baphomet while the PCs do nothing feels like an immensely anti climactic cut scene: The PCs have just finally dealt with the source of Nyhadrian crystals, for which they have worked for 2-3 modules (!!!) by now. They even kills Baphomet's daughter! This should be an epic moment, but instead they need to have their asses saved from Baphomet? Soudns lame.

    One way would be to not include Baphomet materializing. But Baphomet needs to be killed to explain why he fears the PCs, enable them to explore his realm, the Ivory Labyrinth in thee 5th module and not just fall upon them crushing them. (At least not till they got more levels andmythic tiers... )

    But.... do you really think the players will not do anything? Will nto take this chance to try and battle Baphomet? The entire AP teaches them that they can do the impossible, perform mythic feats and challenge powers far greater than them. Why wouldn't they try? And trying won't leave much room for mistakes- Baphomet can kill the characters fairly quickly. If they got the queen, angels and herald on their side, even better! It's not like PCs are well known for taking orders or hints...

    So the problem remains- Baphomet needs to be neutralized in some manner (Or made oblivious to the PCs) in the 5th module. Not quite sure how. One possible idea is that Nocticula, instead of saving the party, gives them some sort of a gift that makes Baphomet not see them. But if memory serves me, he DOES notices them when they are in the secure prison, and uses some "at a distance" powers to mess with them. So again, a problem.

    Also, by Golarion lore- Demon lords can fully die only if killed for the second time on their own plane. So for the party to be able to kill Baphomet for good in the 5th module, he needs to die before that. (Even though that too can be explained by Nocticula or Iomedae providing some special gift that can ensure the demon lord's death). Problem...

    2) Villainous plot continuity break: At the end of the fourth module the continued making of Nyhadrian crystals is broken for good. The 5th and 6th modules each present an entirely new threat, utterly unrelated to the plot in the first 4 modules- Taking the Herald, and trying to reopen the Worldwound fully (The module's explanation is ludicrous- because now they realize the full power of the forces against them or some such.... REALLY?)

    I am trying to come up with a better sounding plot. My current idea is as follows: The Lexicon of Paradox was used long ago by Areelu to partly open the tear, but not fully. She has been searching of a way to open it further since. The PCs traits (As I've reworked them), the destruction of the Wardstone by the chisel, and the research of mythic demons were all tests, trying to make one suitable major paradox... Which the Herald came to be. Hepzamirah was not in the mine to work on purifying crystals for the minor demons, but one major pure enough crystals to not kill a good imbiber, but convert him entirely. (The Herald)

    The Herald is bled, for the blood, blood both angelic and demonic alike, is the last ingredient to breach the worldwound, and once that is gained, the ritual begins at the 6th module.

    Or so I think.

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