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ZEITGEIST Zeitvice: one GM's guide to the best AP


Great advice as always, Arkwright. Thanks for the write-up.

  • As-written the assasinations involve repeating a lot of fights. Might be best to drop.

I'm currently preparing these encounters for my players. Do you have more specific advice on this? Would you recommend fewer fights with more fearsome foes? If so, any suggestions for cool enemy powers?

  • Why is Stanfield doing his lighthouse plan? Book 9 says it's to place all of Risur under mental domination, but Book 10 makes clear that mental effects are mild and everyone is mostly free-willed. Best to say that Stanfield is doing an extra lighthouse-effect that will dominate Risur. Why? To make the Risuri accept Stanfield as King of Risur, empowered by the Rites of Rulership and able to take down the Fey Titans if they cause trouble.
This is more of an aside, but the plot that the Ob would make Stanfield king is strange to me. I know it is mentioned in both Book 8 and 9. But, in Bonds of Forced Faith, Stanfield could not be named as king "because the rites demand the monarch must be mortal, and Stanfield perpetually reincarnates" (as cited from King Lorcan Finn's Character Goal). Arguably for the same reasons, a ghostly Catherine Romana could not challenge the king for his throne.

I've rejigged this clause in my campaign, wherein the rites of rulership demand that the ruler cannot be immortal/have eternal life. This slight change in wording allows ghosts (but not Stanfield) to assume the throne.

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As-written, the assassination is a smorgasboard of fights, and the GM is meant to basically pick a few encounters for the PCs to fight and let NPC allies handle the rest. By 'repeating a lot of fights' I'm referring to the six lanterns, each protected by the exact same set of enemies. Obviously, try to avoid having the PCs repeat that fight six times. Maybe remove some guards outright so the PCs just need to defuse the lantern, maybe NPC allies take care of the mooks around the lantern while the PCs handle the headliners, etc. Check the 4e version for power ideas. Though if you do that, don't port the antimagic mortar people.

Good catch with the Rites. Stanfield being king definitely isn't mentioned in the AP, but it's what I went with. It fit my Stanfield, who was a person who chafes under the restrictions of lesser, shorter-lived folk under the facade of a humble old man.
If you still wanted to go with 'Stanfield wants to make himself King', you could go with either;
  • Stanfield can remove the Immortal prohibition once he has secured the mentally dominated support of the people and the nobles.
  • The Axis Ritual resetting magic/inserting Planes will remove the prohibition/allow for the Rites to be created anew.
  • Stanfield intends to magically resurrect and reincarnate into his original human body.


Thanks for the assassination advice. Professor Bugge has become a bit of a big bad in my campaign, and one of my players absolutely despises him. I've used the assassination to show off all his marvelous undead creations, which should give a lot more variety to the encounter whilst still maintaining a coherent theme.

Stanfield being king definitely isn't mentioned in the AP, but it's what I went with.

Sorry, I didn't mean to imply you were wrong about Stanfield being king. I think it's an inconsistency within the adventure path. As I mentioned above, Bonds of Forced Faith explicitly states Stanfield cannot be king. In Methia, Nicodemus says "That's why we have Stanfield. After all he's done for us, let him be king." In the introduction to Adventure Nine, Stanfield is expected to taunt the party, by claiming that "[A]ll that remains for him before he becomes ruler of a new, better Risur is to kill the party". I guess this inconsistency could be waved by claiming Stanfield and Nicodemus (at the time of the Methia flashback) were not privy to the full Rites of Rulership. However, as written, a ghostly Catherine Romana is privy to enough information on the Rites to challenge the king but somehow is unaware about the clause concerning mortality. I think the simplest explanation is the mortality clause was omitted from Adventure Nine. GMs with astute players should keep this in mind if they are running both Adventure Nine and Bonds of Forced Faith.

Then again, maybe this is just a me problem, because one of my players is a real-world lawyer who asks a lot of questions about the Rites of Rulership.


Hello! These questions are mostly for Ark and his Zeitvice, but I could use anyones help or insight if they have it.

I have some questions about Book 8. Specifically seaching for Kasvarinas memories. My players are just about to aquire the Arc of Reida, They are in the Temple of Ingatan right now.

Zeitvice and your notes on the memories are extremely helpful Ark. But I am curious about a few things.

When did your players realize Nic was Miller? One of my players mad an offhand joke about it so I doubt i will get a grand reveal that Nicodemus is the famous philosopher.

Also you suggest ways to make Nic seem less evil. Like easing up on the murders. I am very much in favor of this. I would rather him be a multidimensional villain and dont want him to be so stabby with the prisoners in the Triage memory for example. Do you have any suggestions on how I can play this out?

Andrew Moreton

I really cannpt remember when my players linked Millar to Nicodemus.
You should be somewhat careful how you present Millar's past I think they key feature which makes Nic a tragic villain is that he damns himself. His core objectives are good , he wants a better world, peace and light, fluffy bunnies etc his goals are hard to argue against , what damns him is his methods. Because he knows what is needed to save the world, because everyone else is weak and distractible he has to make the hard choices and get rid of distractions and liabilities. Like the wounded and troublesome Eladrin, like those members of the Ob who have lost their way , like all those people who die when he breaks the world, etc and this ruthlessness sets up his progress to the clockwork world of HIS will , which will make everyone be happy and stop them ruining his perfect vision. If he did not have this flaw perphaps he could have succeeded. Also the murdering of the Eladrin is really helpful for revealing his darkness to Kasavarina and winning her over to the pc's is both useful and interesting so if you make him nicer, make sure there is some other way to reveal his treachery to her.


Reviewing my logs, the party IC-discovered that Miller was Nicodemus upon viewing the Alais Primos gates memory, with Richelmont. I'm not sure what about that vision sparked the connection, or if the players were jumping the gun based on OOC deductions. Either way, that and Triage are a pretty good spot to have that reveal.

Andrew, yes I do like playing Nic as someone with high ideals, continually undercut by his base emotions- namely, pride. But the Triage scene isn't great, in my view. It means that Nic was already a monster long before everything that happened with the Malice and as ghost-Nic. It was barely even expedient, and comes off more as trying to lock him in as an absolute bastard and cut off all possibility of redemption. It makes book 12 ghost-nic look quite silly for saying that because he split off at the moment of the Malice, he is the 'good' Nic.

Just switch it out for Miller shipping the other patients off to PoW camps or even concentration camps, and lying to Kasvarina that he had no input in the transfer- he could have saved all of them, maybe, but chose to guarantee Kasvarina's face. Sacrifice for the greater good, not 'pick one apple then burn the tree.'

Andrew Moreton

A good point about the Triage scene and the book 12 Nic, but again I thought part of his arc was not that he was innocent of William Millars Sins but that he had spent the time since the malice in self reflection and contemplation and had repented his mistakes and dark deeds recognising that despite all his self justifications he had been doing wrong. Something that his alter ego Nic active in the world had never thought and so still believes himself right depite his actions


I'm most of the way through the 9th adventure and have been reading the entirety of Act 3. One thing that confuses me is the plane AV.

The OB ritual takes AV from the Life domain (Our Moon) to the Death Domain (Furthest from the "sun") but it also was pushed to the very front of the gyre to be crushed in adventure 12, then there's a shell of it way back and the other side of the planes falling into the gyre.

I've been looking for a passage in the books to explain why AV is simultaneously a planet in the system, Destroyed in the Gyre, and just sitting at the far end of the Gyre Graveyard.

Edit: Okay so I looked again and I understand AV wasn't at the mouth of the Gyre, that's Reida. And It was destroyed because Urim crashed into it. But my question is still why did AV go to the Gyre when it's in the system right now? I can understand Urim was because it was discarded.
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The Ob ritual sends all the planets that are no longer being used (Mavisha, Avilona, Urim, Apet, Reida, and Nem) to the Gyre directly, but then because the Voice of Rot kept the system from having a sun, the whole system starts to get drawn toward the Gyre too.

And then Av - whose orbit is farthest out - gets affected first by the proximity of the grinding gears of heaven.

In time, if nothing was done, every planet in the system would get pulled in too.

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