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A Song of Ice and...Well, Actually, Just Ice: DM-Phil's Reign of Winter (Inactive)

Game Master Phillip0614

The time for Irrisen's new monarch has come and gone with no sign of the infamous Baba Yaga...and now, winter is encroaching onto all of Golarion! Will our heroes be able to find the fabled Witch-Queen and restore balance to the world?


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OK Folks I'm going away to Games Expo UK tonight and won't be back until Monday Evening my time. Playing 4 PFS games over the three days (and some Paranoia) so I won't be without my Pathfinder fix

Liberty's Edge

Male Historian/Curator

Have fun!!!

The Exchange

Male Human Desk Monkey 2/ Logistics Guru 3/ Over-educated 2/Gamer 6

Having an anxious alchemist is proving to be a hard pill to swallow. :p

We need to get her some anti-anxiety meds!


yeah, she puts the 'fire' in friendly fire...

sooo thinking a tiefling for my next character as that would give me cold and FIRE resistance ; )


I think this game has shown one thing..Clerics are essential in some APs


Male Human

Ain't that the truth. I'd heard that the first installment of Reign of Winter was particularly lethal, but...dang!


DM Wellard wrote:
I think this game has shown one thing..Clerics are essential in some APs

yeah, more healing would have been really nice. We'll be fine after we get the scratch together for a wand of cure light wounds, but the tough monsters have been coming on fast and furious and 1st level has very limited resources.

Shadow Lodge

For the record, I swear I'm not trying to be difficult. I am finding Salvi to be a difficult character to play, though. With the GM's permission I wouldn't be opposed to changing her out to a more party-friendly character should the need arise.

Also, I attempted to run this at home, and had a TPK on this very encounter.

Also, also, I apologize for the scarcity of my posting lately. I haven't had internet for the past week.


Male Human

Hector, I'm not at all opposed to you rebuilding Salvi, but I ask that you please do so in this encounter or the next one or two after it; before we hit level 2.

A lot of the reason this encounter is going poorly is just poor dice rolls for you guys and great ones for me. It's nuts how disparate the results have been.

Liberty's Edge

Male Historian/Curator

The dicebot hates us...I know it!! LOL

The Exchange

Male Human Desk Monkey 2/ Logistics Guru 3/ Over-educated 2/Gamer 6

From a character perspective I think Salvi is hilarious and makes a lot of sense for someone "thrown" into adventuring. From a player perspective I just' don't like my character being on fire.

That all said though the rolling on this particular thread has been INSANE. I have had more natural ones in this thread than all my other PBP's combined! And I have been DMing a RotRL game for almost two years and rolling for hordes of goblins!


Last weekend I kept rolling natural 1's for crit confirms...it was like a curse in itself.


I think Drew shot and missed there. DICEBOT!! Salvi seems to be delaying. I say move on. If Wildir's toast, he's toast. I'm going to be traveling most of this month anyway so I can intro a replacement down the road if need be.

Liberty's Edge

Male Historian/Curator

Yeah I took a shot and missed...again!!! Hope we can save Wildir..I need someone to break snow for me..lol


To use Voodoo's vernacular... sorry for being Buttinski - but shouldn't the tatzyl have needed to initiate a grapple (via grab ability) before being able to attempt the rake attacks on both Wildr and Salvi?


pounce attacks include rake, Mr. Butt.


Male Human

Normally yes, but tatzylwyrms have the Pounce special ability, so since both those attacks were initiated by a charge action, the wyrm is allowed to make a full attack, including rakes.


Aye - but to use a rake, the target needs to be grappled no?
Rake (Ex) A creature with this special attack gains extra natural attacks under certain conditions, typically when it grapples its foe. In addition to the options available to all grapplers, a monster with the rake ability gains two free claw attacks that it can use only against a grappled foe. The bonus and damage caused by these attacks is included in the creature's description. A monster with the rake ability must begin its turn already grappling to use its rake—it can't begin a grapple and rake in the same turn.

So the attack chain should have been:
Bite;
If success then attempt grapple via Grab;
If success then two rake attacks?


Mark- look up pounce- it specifies that rake is included.

just wondering- does this species of tatzyl have free movement through snow? I'm looking it over and see nimble moves that allows an unhindered 5 ft step, but a charge for pounce requires 10 feet.


Male Human

Under normal circumstances, that's the way it would go, but:

Pounce: When a creature with this special attack makes a charge, it can make a full attack (including rake attacks if the creature also has the rake ability).

I've always taken this to mean that if a creature has Pounce, it gets the rake attacks even though it isn't grappling. Otherwise it would be pointless to have that rule for Raking, since the ability states that a monster with that ability must begin it's turn already grappling to use the rake. A Pouncing creature would never begin it's turn already grappling the foe.


Suppose it's po-tay-to vs po-tah-to depending on which but of the rules you think supercedes the other.


It does state that rake attacks can be made - but I'd thought that was only there to allow for it to avoid the starting turn while grappling bit. *shrugs*

It isn't pointless in my interpretation as it still bypasses the restriction of 'only one attack on a charge'.

The Exchange

Male Human Desk Monkey 2/ Logistics Guru 3/ Over-educated 2/Gamer 6

Yay the internet!

JAmes Jacobs notes:

James Jacobs wrote:

Yeah; you're overanalyzing the thing.

Pounce lets you make a full attack when you charge. This full attack includes rake attacks, if the creature has rake attacks.

Rake, on the other hand, is a type of natural attack that normally a creature can't use during a full attack or standard attack; something has to happen to allow a rake to take place. Normally, this means when the creature is grappling a foe, but when something has pounce AND rake, pounce lets you rake as well, even if you aren't grappling a foe.

Rake is indeed meant to represent the hind legs, generally. So in order to use a rake, a creature has to basically be all over its target... as in the case when it grapples, or when it pounces onto something.

that can be found in THIS THREAD

The Exchange

Male Human Desk Monkey 2/ Logistics Guru 3/ Over-educated 2/Gamer 6

Arguably if you read Nimble Moves at its most expansive it would allow a charge where one square had difficult terrain but not two (as would be the case of a charge through the snow.) Were we not already in the drifts I would claim that a tatzylwyrm could charge out of the drift (Assuming it started within five feet of the edge) due to that feat...

Retcon due to compassionate rules lawyering?


Well...I'm kind of embarrassed to admit this, as I should've done my own research on the issue before putting it into the game, but it turns out that I've been running the battle wrong from near the beginning. Here's the issue:

The tactics listed for the tatzlwyrm in the adventure say that on the first round, it pounces. A tatzlwyrm can only pounce on a charge. Deep snow is difficult terrain, thereby preventing a charge. I don't want to hamstring you guys against an opponent already this tough, so here is my take on what we should do:

1) We replay the fight from the beginning, at the surprise round.

2) We replay the fight from the beginning of round 2, after the tatzlwyrm has put Wildir down and dragged him away from the rest of the group. That would leave Trelck open to actually charge the wyrm, as was his original intention, I believe. There is no hampering snow and no difficult terrain. The tatzlwyrm wasn't hiding in deep snow, it was hiding in the trees and climbed down to attack Wildir as the group passed beneath the tree.

I'd like to know what everyone else thinks about what we should do to correct this error before making a ruling on it. Any other suggestions are welcome.


Not your fault if the AP was incorrect. Perhaps the tatzyl had cleared away a run beneath the snow and used that to attack Wildir. I say nix the rakes on Salvi and continue from there.

Shadow Lodge

You're the GM. However you want to do it is fine by me. It wouldn't be the first time I've done something similar.

Liberty's Edge

Male Historian/Curator

I agree, lets go back to the last round and maybe replay from there...I think we can all sympathise with such an error!!


We're gonna go with option 2 above, then. The tatzlwyrm attacked Wildir from within the tree in the surprise round, then bolted along the ground in round 1. There is only a small, unhindering layer of snow, there is no hindering terrain.

It's the beginning of round 2 and Trelck's turn. Wildir is still down, but everything that happened after Ykatarina's unsuccessful use of the Evil Eye was a bad dream. The tatzlwyrm is currently 20 feet away from the group, having just released the unconscious Wildir from it's coils.

If there are any questions, please ask. If not, Trelck's attack! Let's see if we can't shut this thing down with me playing it right.

The Exchange

Male Human Desk Monkey 2/ Logistics Guru 3/ Over-educated 2/Gamer 6

Ah silly silly "tactics" text...

Bane of my existence! Ignore it I say!

Part of the life of a GM, thanks for working through it with us!


Laughs..you know I actualy play with the Writer of this Chapter..I'll need to question Mr Spicer in the OOC for that thread and see if he might drop in here with some clarification.Mind you I think this is probably a development fault than his.

The Exchange

Male Human Desk Monkey 2/ Logistics Guru 3/ Over-educated 2/Gamer 6

Oh ho! Wellard and his fancy PbP connections!

Tell him we are nice. Don't want to scare him off too soon! :p


Male Human

I think we've resolved the problems to my satisfaction with what I said in my last post. If everyone else is alright with that, we can keep going from there.


Here is what Neil had to say in the GM reference thread for this chapter.

Neil Spicer wrote:


For an arctic tatzlwyrm variant, I think it makes more sense to drop the poison breath and focus more on it being a snow-burrowing predator which can pounce on its prey even in what amounts to difficult terrain for everyone else.

Which is why I was suggesting that you not only add the feat, but also the burrow movement rate, but tweak it so it only applies to snow, not actual dirt. Together, they're more indicative of what the value of the poison breath represents, because it's what empowers its unique pounce ability in difficult terrain. Bottom line, that kind of tweak keeps the equivalent CR balance in such a variant tatzlwyrm...whereas, retaining the poison breath in addition to the ability to pounce/ambush out of snowy terrain would increase the CR of the base creature rather than bring it in line with the original.

Also, as an aside, feats are not always "in balance with one another." Ask Sean someday about his thoughts on a point-based feat assessment. In essence, something like the Run feat isn't on equal footing (if you'll...


Male Human

I just read that myself. Based on that, we could just...continue the fight from where we were, with no changes and without having to back anything up.

Shadow Lodge

Like I said Phil, you're the GM. I'm satisfied with however you call it.


Male Human

Y'know, I'm gonna stick to my guns on the previous decision. I made that call before Neil made his statement in the GM Reference thread and I want to stick with that ruling. So here's where we stand:

It's round 2 of the fight. Trelck has just gone and successfully charged the tatzlwyrm. It is now Drew's turn. Let's get this show back on the road!

Liberty's Edge

Male Historian/Curator

Thanks Phil!! will post Drew's turn now


Female Human(Iresseni/Taldan) Witch(Winter Witch Archetype) 1

sighs..if it's going to be a TPK on the second encounter we'll have to seriously rethink the party composition.


Male Halfling Ninja/1

I might be willing to lose the halfling and come in with another fighter type, if necessary


that's gonna be one well fed wormie anyway...


Male Human

I don't think it's the fault of the party composition that's giving the group so much trouble...I think it's more that the dice gods don't seem to care for your group very much. Lord knows why!


Female Human(Iresseni/Taldan) Witch(Winter Witch Archetype) 1

Well even with the dice gods against us..having a cleric would have been a more useful choice than my witch..


Male Human

Regardless, I don't think this encounter is going to end in a TPK. If, once it's over, anyone wishes to swap out characters or make changes to an existing character, we can talk about it.

Shadow Lodge

I know when I ran this one at home, it was a TPK on this encounter... of course we only had a three-man group.

Shadow Lodge

Just letting all my PbP's know. I'll be moving here shortly, so my posting might get a little scarce for a week or two.


If we all die here I'm coming back with a battle cleric of Iomedae or possibly Moradin


Male Human

Before we go any further in the campaign, since this combat is over, I want to ask: Does anyone wish to make any changes to their character? We're still early enough in the campaign that I'm willing to accommodate any changes y'all wanna make to your build.


M Ulfen Bear Shaman

yeah, a druid wasn't cutting the healing needs. It would have been kind to toss a potion of healing or three in the trapped cache we found. I've got a new character concept, but I'm honestly concerned about the slow rate of progress with this group.

You are doing a fine job Phil, but I'm more a post-a-day player and based on my experience here and with S&S, that isn't how this group works.


Male Human

I understand the concern about the healing potions, but I truthfully didn't think it was going to end up being such a big deal for the group. I'm a player in a PbP of this and the fight was over in round one. The tatzlwyrm got it's opening attack, missed, and the group made mincemeat of it. I'll be sure to better accommodate the party makeup should it be necessary.

I chalk a lot of the difficulties here up to just plain ol' bad luck. Over 50% of y'alls dice rolls were 4 or below, which is insane. It's the worst percentage I've ever heard of.

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