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

Andrew Moreton

Adventurer
You did not interpret Nic on book 7 in the same way I did. Throughout the adventure I get the impression he is playing at being an impartial mediator, first among equals yet all the way though it the steel behind the Velvet glove is always there. He knows that there are a bunch of people here who do not share his ideal's and will cause him problems later so in order to make the Omellette he has spent 500 years preparing his is going to break a bunch of eggs. From the very start of the convocation he knows that the final vote will indeed be Final for those are on the wrong side of history. Hitler and Stalin could be charming and freindly just before having you and your entire family killed, that is our freind Nic. At heart he is a ruthless bastard willing to sacriice as many lives as necessarry to make a better world.
As he has reverses and betrayals in later books he gets worse and more obvious but right from the start lives mean nothing to hin , in book 2 he uses a courier to deliver a message to Macbennin and has him killed once the message is delivered over a minor security risk. Four Yerasols wars and all their blood is necessary for progress. He is never the disinterested kindly uncle always the scheming and ruthless immortal driven and dedicated man who is willing to get his hands dirty for the 'greater good' and once he really meant that , now the greater good is whatever he thinks it is and anyone who disagrees with him is a reactionary plotter who must be purged
 

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hirou

Explorer
arkwright, with an immense respect to you and your work on Zeitvice and general contributions to these forums (and even more regarding upcoming ZG setting book)... I find it extremely ironic that this is not the first time I see you debating that your point of view on the campaign (and Nicodemus in particular) is objectively right, even arguing with RangerWickett (cue "death of the author"). Nicodemus would definitely do the same. I wonder if there's a way to get him into a direct conversation with Triegenis somehow...
 

arkwright

Explorer
Andrew, I'm happy to agree with you; Nic was planning to kill the Colossal Congress voters/greedy voters from the beginning, and it was a significant part of why the convocation was called. My dissent is more over what comes next- what it is that drives Nic to institute MAP, and how that is or isn't conveyed to the players.

Well hirou, you're right, that is the ironic magic of death of the author. I cannot argue over Nicodemus-as-envisioned-or-planned by Ranger, but I can argue over Nicodemus-as-laid-out-in-the-text-of-the-work by Ranger. I can argue what for what I consider to be a strong interpretation of the text, and likely player reactions. I definitely can't argue for 'objectively right', though, that's too high a standard to reach. (I know you meant all that in jest, forgive me the serious answer).

I'd hope that Ranger finds me flattering rather than frustrating; I definitely can't remember everything about work I did 8+ years back, he is doing much better than me.
 


Lylandra

Adventurer
I do believe it is far more flattering to him than the dude on reddit who thought Zeitgeist was inspired by Jordan Peterson's philosophies. ;)

Again, small thoughts, but I do think that the very nature of the interconnectedness of the ZG plot (in contrast to the WotBS one, which I found to be so robust that it was almost impossible to destroy) is far more delicate and in times more rail-roady in the assumed outcome. Which makes it harder for not-super-relaxed/experienced/experimental DMs to diverge from the original plot while still managing to stay on a parallel track. (Man, I do want to DM this campaign with crazy players some time. It would be just the right challenge :) )

Also, we actually did avert MAP as our communal vote in adventure 7 and employed our very own plan, even if the end results was the same as the MAP outcome because... they screwed up the ritual (Our DM had to do something about it as our plan would have kept the planar barrier intact). But yes, a re-recording would benefit from offering a variety of planar outcomes depending on the player's choices.
 

Andrew Moreton

Adventurer
I ended with a modified MAP including Apet as the winner of the vote but because the vote had been sabotaged by oppressive reactionary agents of the conservative forces of the world Nic returned to the purity of his vision (He had a dragon and 5 constables voting on things which meant they had ulterior motives to weaken the brilliance of MAP)
 

arkwright

Explorer
The interconnectedness/subtle mechanics behind the plot can be pretty daunting. There are a few moments, small and large, where you can feel the requirements of the plot as a leash around a character's neck; like when Kasvarina is dangling off the side of the Lance of Triegenes and rather than help her or flee down the stairs, Nicodemus jumps into a portal for little reason other than because he needs to in order to explain his ghost transformation.

Despite all of my Zeitvice, I honestly don't know if I as a GM would be capable of running a Zeitgeist that was more ambitious in reworking the plot. It's more my style to try and run a version that conveys the work 'authentically', for better or worse, with a few patches here and there.
 

Andrew Moreton

Adventurer
I agree that trying to run a very divergent campaign and keeping the feel would be very hard. Also a lot of work, the reason I tend to run purchased campaigns now days is that I find it hard to get the time to write a campaign. I think judging by what I have read of your campaign Arkwright I make an effort to stick closer to the campaign as written. The only time I have felt I am railroading the pc's(except when actual railroads were involved) was preventing them from making a deal with the Ob after the Great Eclipse which is why I advocate giving Nic more evidence of the pc'sinvolvment so his unreasonableness seems more reasonable to the players
 


CapnZapp

Legend
Is there a Pathfinder 2 Zeitgeist? (Or plans for one?)

Even if not, is there a PF2-specific set of "Zeitvice" to be had?
 

Andrew Moreton

Adventurer
I have not heard of anyone running a PF2 Zeitgeist campaign and I am afraid I stopped buying pathfinder stuff with the release of 2 so I don't know enough about the rules change for game mechanic specific advice. All the general advice on plots and characters should be good but I can't help with rebuilding encounters for the new system
 

There is no plan for a PF2 conversion. We're moving forward with new material, and we don't have the staff proficiency with that ruleset.
 

Arcaneshield

Explorer
Looking for some help with cauldron-born. What is supposed to happen if the party goes to the bleak gate before the diplomatic talks? Do they never take place? Do the Danorans cancel their plans?
 

arkwright

Explorer
Best guess... nothing changes.

What happens at the party?
  1. Asrabey asks for permission to go to the Bleak Gate
  2. Brakken finds out that the Jierres are in with the Ob
  3. The Jierres and Stanfield realize the RHC are onto the Bleak Gate facility
1. Doesn't lead to anything
2. Doesn't directly lead to anything
3. I don't think this leads to anything; there are a few points in the facility mission where it is clear the PCs retain the element of surprise, and Leone won't be lying in wait if the PCs have successfully stealthed their way into Borne's area.

I'd say you can probably skip the party, but you just as easily might as well accelerate the timetable so it happens just before the PCs head off. Give them a chance to meet Han and the other high-ranking Danorans.

The peace talks are (probably) cancelled as a result of Borne breaking out, not as a result of the PCs entering the facility.

One possibility is that without Brakken reading the Danorans' minds, the party won't realize that Han is in on the conspiracy as well, but I would expect most players to have guessed at that already.
 

Arcaneshield

Explorer
Alright well Kell managed to get back to the bleak gate so they should be waiting for some kind of force. I would imagine word would get to Han that the party may be breathing down their necks especially if they have norm's wand and the lawyer. I think they'll request to accelerate the peace talks and begin immediately and let the party make the case to the king whether to wait till after or not.
 

arkwright

Explorer
Well; remember that while Han would like peace with Risur, if it's a choice between peace and the Ob, he'll pick the Ob every time. Perhaps he'll accelerate the peace talks so they won't be disrupted by word that the constables have vanished (been killed in the facility), perhaps he'll start discreetly edging towards his flagship and leave the city.
 

Arcaneshield

Explorer
Grappa and Asrabey are said to go with the group if possible. Does grappa have a statblock somewhere and does asrabey just help the party in his glorious high level self?
 

Andrew Moreton

Adventurer
Grappa is in a low quality automata body and is a none combatant , Asraby tends o do whatver her wants which is to rescue Kasavarina , he storms around the place largely ignoring the pc's plans and objectives and probably triggers the disaster with the Collossus waking up.
Unlike Arkwright I think if they have somehow managed to get to the Bleak Gate without Han being able to warn the Ob they are coming they get to avoid several changes to the defenses. Its a long time since I ran this but there are Ob troops deployed to reinforce the guards and set ambushes if they have warning but you can avoid them with several unnusual entrance points. I also had the Steelshaper and some elite troops waiting to deal with the pc;s in the Collossus chamber of course several things messed up their plans and everything goes wrong for everybody. All you really need is
1) Grappa and Steelshaper lost with Grappa apparently dead (for their later reapperences)
2) Kasavarina and Asraby seperatly missing so they can appear later
3) Collossus up and stomping through the city so it can be banished by the dreaming

I had stats for Asraby but really did not use them he just crushed assorted minions until I needed him for the disaster scene
 

grankless

First Post
Is there a Pathfinder 2 Zeitgeist? (Or plans for one?)

Even if not, is there a PF2-specific set of "Zeitvice" to be had?
There's some... Pretty abandoned work on a fan conversion over in the Dice-Based Events discord. They finished book 1 and chunks of 2. Wish it had more work on it, but it + lack of real gun rules convinced me to use the conversion of Hell's Rebels before I jump in to eventually doing Zeitgeist. Truly, ti's my white whale.
 

Lylandra

Adventurer
Uhm, at the risk of getting some flak from the "guns have to be special" lovers out there... Why don't you simply reskin crossbows for the gun rules? I know, PF2 puts a lot of effort into different weapon groups and their effects, but if it is specific gun rules that keep you from converting it, then just skip over them and apply a random, fitting weapon tag.
 

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