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Yeah, the tengu tunnel makes sense to leave as is, since it doesn't go anywhere.
But I think there are 4 other ways to get to other parts of Kaer Maga's underground, though, and at least one (the giant pit that the necrophidius comes out of) can't be edited out. And the stairs where the goblin snake came in, which has to be left for that encounter to make sense.
Here's the intro I came up with. The opening portion with Sheila Heidmarch is my own, but the parts in Kaer Maga borrow heavily from the other threads linked above and the module itself.
“I’m sending you to Kaer Maga”, begins Venture-Captain Sheila Heidmarch to the Pathfinders assembled in her home, which also happens to be the Pathfinder Lodge for the city of Magnimar, in western Varisia.
“As you probably know, the city of Kaer Maga is located at the top of a cliff in eastern Varisia. The cliff side itself is the site of many enormous statues, remnants of the Thassilonian Empire. The mouth of one of those giant statues, revered as possibly some long forgotten god, is the entrance to the Godsmouth Ossuary. For those who live and die in Kaer Maga, this is the most prestigious, and expensive, place to be buried.”
“Obviously, the ancient nature of that site makes it an exciting prospect for exploration by any archaeologists, our Society included. We’ve long suspected that there might be exciting remnants of ancient Thassilon in those passages below the city, waiting to be discovered. But the site is controlled by the church of Pharasma, who restrict entrance to the ossuary quite strictly. Not even mourners are allowed to enter. Only the priests and those dead they bring to entomb are allowed entrance.”
“I’ve contacted the church of Pharasma in Kaer Maga several times, hoping to gain access, but I’ve always been rebuffed… until now. Just this morning, I received a message from one of their priests, asking for the Society’s help. If I send a team of Pathfinder agents to help them with a problem, they’ll allow that team to explore inside the Godsmouth.”
“So I’m sending you to Kaer Maga. You will meet with a priestess named Valanthe Nerissia in the Godsmouth Cathedral, and follow her instructions precisely. Whatever task they need our help with, you will do. And then you will explore whatever areas of the Godsmouth Ossuary that they allow. If the priests put restrictions on how deep you may explore, don’t disobey their instructions to venture outside those bounds. Maintaining a good relationship with the church is essential. I’m hoping to be invited back for more exploration later.”
“Are there any questions?”
Before going down to the Ossuary, the priestess gives you the opportunity to journey out into Kaer Maga to buy any additional equipment, and prepare yourselves properly. She once again urges you not to repeat any of what she’s told you.
When the PCs are ready to begin, Valanthe meets them and leads them down the narrow, twisting cliffside path to the Godsmouth Ossuary. Once they pass through the mouth of the Unnamed King, they are in the ossuary proper, where robed and hooded Pharasmin priests quietly tend to the deceased. Valanthe leads the PCs through luxuriously appointed catacombs packed with bodies and down several stairways before coming to an area that obviously sees little use—most of the burial niches are empty and dusty, the air is musty and close, and silence reigns supreme.
In this disused portion of the crypts, Valanthe stops before a locked door. She explains that this is the only known entrance to the sealed lower portions of the ossuary, and once you enter, the door will be locked behind you. Because of this restriction, you will be unable to leave the ossuary to rest and resupply between encounters. To help you accomplish your task, Valanthe gives each of you a potion of cure light wounds and a vial of holy water.
Valanthe then hands you a hollow mithral tube about 1 foot long—a chime of opening with 5 charges remaining. You may use the chime to get through the Pharasmin seals below, but you should make sure you save at least 1 charge to get through this door again on your way out— the priests will not open the door for you if you don’t have the chime, as they have no way of seeing through the locked door to recognize you or determine whether something has turned you into mindless undead. If you lose the chime or use up its magic, you must find their own way out of the ossuary. With this warning given, Valanthe draws a large iron key from beneath her robes and unlocks the door. The Godsmouth Ossuary awaits.
Tony Lindman wrote:
That's just for storytelling consistency. It doesn't change the fact that there aren't stated Primary and Secondary Success Conditions. As long as you completed the module or AP section, you earn the rewards of the chronicle. If you didn't complete it, then you get a factional portion based on how much you got through.
What fractional portion? That's my point.
The Guild Guide talks about getting partial credit for being dead through part of the scenario, or partial credit for missing one or more sessions when a module or AP gets split across multiple days/sessions, but it doesn't talk about this.
If they complete 95% of the adventure, but have to flee the boss fight after getting their butts kicked, what fractional portion would you give them? Do they still get full credit, even though they didn't finish?
So scenarios have clear goals, and clear rewards for completing those goals. You get a prestige point for completing the main mission, and a second prestige point for succeeding at a secondary goal.
Modules and adventure paths don't have that. They just give 3 xp and 4 prestige for playing them, with the assumption that the party will succeed. But what happens when they don't succeed at the mission? Or if there's a secondary goal that they don't complete?
So I checked the Guide to Organized Play (or Guild Guide or whatever it's called these days).
Season 7 Guide, Page 31 wrote:
So it doesn't talk about succeeding at specific goals within the adventure. It just talks about being there the whole time to receive full rewards. And it talks about dead characters getting full reward if they participated in more than 2/3 of the adventure.
So I think that's my answer on the secondary mission for this module. They need to explore more than 2/3 of the place to get full credit.
As for what happens when you fail the main mission in a module, that might be a good new thread to start, removed from the discussion of this particular adventure.
So now for my new questions and comments.
1. The main mission is to find out why bodies are missing from the ossuary, and stop the culprit, which means killing or capturing the necro-alchemist. In the module, there's a secondary mission of clearing out the entire level of monsters. This leads to one very obvious question:
For PFS, just how much do they have to do to "succeed" and get full credit?
If they take one of the short cuts to get to the final boss early, beat him, and realize they've finished the main mission, do they get full credit while still skipping more than half the module?
In other words, do they just have to do the primary mission to get full credit, or is exploring/clearing the entire level also a required mission? And if clearing the level is required, just how much can they get away with missing? For instance, if they do most of it, but miss one or two rooms behind secret doors, is that enough?
2. How did you deal with all the exits from the ossuary that lead to other parts of Kaer Maga's underground passages, and are outside the scope of the adventure? I'm hard pressed to come up with an "in character" reason for PC's not to want to follow up those leads. Should I just tell them it's outside the scope of this module, or is there a better way to say that without it sounding too metagamey?
That's it for now. As I said, I'll share my own custom intro (based partially on those linked above) when I'm done with it.
So in preparing to run this at an upcoming convention, I found a few threads on various specific aspects of this sanctioned module, but no general GM discussion thread. So I'm starting this one, mostly to talk about the specifics of running this in PFS.
First, a few comments and links to previous threads:
1. GM's should note that there's a pricing error on the chronicle sheet. Let your players know to use the Core Rulebook price if they want to buy that item.
2. There is an error in the map, caused by the different elevations. That thread has suggestions for how to handle it, which I'm going with.
3. The map is huge, and rough to draw. You'll definitely want to draw it in advance, unless you're playing without a time limit and your players don't mind all the breaks.
Just to give my own comment on how to handle this, I decided to buy a pack of 100 sheets of 1 inch grid paper, with 8x10 squares per page. I'm drawing and cutting up sections of the dungeon, putting room numbers on the back (with an arrow indicating north, so I know how to lay them down), and plan to throw them down one at a time as the PC's reach each area. The exception is the central cathedral, which I drew on a standard blank flip mat, which will be in the center. This will be slightly annoying (having paper overlapping with the flip mat), but I think it'll work out.
4. The necrophidius is too powerful an enemy for a level 1 adventure. Be careful not to play it too smart, or you'll have a TPK on your hands. Yes, a level 1 module should have CR 3 final challenges, but this creature's special abilities should push it up to CR 4, or maybe even 5. I really hope I don't kill the whole party this way when I run this.
5. A few people have generated their own PFS intros for this adventure, and even some faction missions for those groups that have extra time when playing. I've got my own ideas about this, and started writing my own intro with Sheila Heidmarch sending the Pathfinders to help the church of Pharasma. I'll post what I've written later in this thread.
That's all the old stuff. I'll add my own new questions/comments in additional posts, since this is already a wall of text.
But which is it? Touch or short range? Most hexes are either touch or 30 foot range, so it would make sense for this to be one or the other to put on someone, even if it continues to affect them once they move away. But the book doesn't clarify which. For something like PFS, where RAW rules, this is an important distinction.
Wow, I must have been half asleep. I guess I skimmed over a few posts without paying attention, and somehow I missed that.
Stupid question, but I have to get it clarified. Everyone keeps talking about the "Big Six", as if we all know what that means. I think I can guess them, but can someone list them, so I know for sure?
Here's what I've got:
How'd I do?
I believe the correct answer to all of those questions is "I'll never tell you anything, you dastardly fiends!"
Just because you have to tell the truth, it doesn't mean you have to answer every question that anyone ever asks. Telling them that you won't answer is true.
They learned that Pride and Lust were the opposite of Greed, and thus the components for the dominant weapons, from the library. And the notebook in Pride says exactly what components they'll need from those two areas.
My group will probably want to hit the Greed area. They've talked about the possibility that Karzoug himself may actually be in there, but I don't think they really believe it.
And they already went to Wrath on a whim, thinking maybe followers of Alaznist would want to team up with them against Karzoug, which obviously didn't happen. They cleared the area, but don't know that the summoning circle in the final room can be used to teleport back to Varisia - they'll learn that from the notebook in Pride, too.
But I see no reason for them to hit Sloth, Envy, or Gluttony.
My group is heading in that direction, which is why I asked the question. Like yours, they may just do those three areas and then leave with their newly forged dominant weapons. And like you, I'm just having them level up at certain points, as recommended by the anniversary edition.
We're just going so slow that I don't remember a lot of the details of what's upcoming in the AP, despite having read it already. We've been doing this AP for 2.5 years now, so it's probably been 6+ months since I last read some of those sections. I tend to re-read each section just before we get to it, to prep more thoroughly, but the big pauses after initial reading make it too easy for me to forget important details.
Next week, I think I'll have to go through and re-read the other 4 sections of Runeforge in their entirety just to see if there's anything there that I need to drop hints about, since I don't remember.
Silly question, but do the PC's really need to clear out Runeforge?
Using the information from the journal they find in the Pride area, they could realize that all they really need to make a dominant weapon is in the Pride and Lust areas. And it tells them that the Wrath area has an exit (if they don't have their own magic for that).
So is there really any reason for them to even go into the other 4 areas? I'm thinking the extra loot and experience might help them prepare for later chapters, but that's about it.
GM Fuzzfoot's S01-41 The Devil We Know, Part III - Crypt of Fools (Standard PFS) Tier 1-7 / Subtier 3-4 Discussion
Moved your marked spots a little. You included the Hall of Wonders, which wasn't one built by the Ismacco's, but left out the Harbor Watch.
I know we're on the right track, but I really don't remember how this is supposed to go. Been about 4 years since I GMed this adventure, and haven't looked at it since.
You know, I've been wanting to do a gnome barbarian forever. I was just looking at bloodrager options, and found a hilarious combo. How about a gnome bloodrager with the Abyssal bloodline? He'd be enlarged whenever he bloodrages, starting at level 4. That would make him medium sized!
Speaking of barbarians and bloodragers, the other variation I've wanted to do forever, which I think I may actually do as my next Pathfinder Society PC, is a "civilized" barbarian. ie Someone urban and refined (possibly to the point of snobby), but warns people "Don't make me angry. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry." This may end up being the bloodrager I'm currently looking at making.
The place is huge, with tons of rooms. You WILL get lost. And it will frequently take 10+ minutes to get where you're going, even if you do know where that is, just because of the size of the convention center and density of the crowds.
Luckily, the Pathfinder room is pretty much the easiest thing to find. There's not much going on upstairs, and it's the biggest room on the 2nd floor by far, with signs here and there pointing you to the Sagamore Ballroom, which is the PFS room.
Based on Tonya's post at
I tried to email the address she specified, but my email came back with this error:
Delivery to the following recipient failed permanently:
Technical details of permanent failure:
The error that the other server returned was:
I'll disagree on the restaurants. I've never gone farther than Scotty's, and while every place is busy, they're usually not THAT bad.
There are plenty of pretty good restaurants 1-3 blocks from the convention center. Just take a look in and see if there's a line to get seated. If they can get you to a table right away, you'll usually be fine. They all know how busy GenCon weekend is, so they have extra staff to get everyone served right away.
Definitely agree about not relying on getting into the Paizo booth quickly to go buy stuff - for Thursday or Friday. By Saturday, the vendor area is twice as crowded, as the Indy locals who are off from work on the weekend come by the convention, but the Paizo booth is actually less crowded, so there's not a line to get in any more. Buying stuff will always have a line, but hopefully not more than 10 minutes. But by then, whatever you wanted to buy might no longer be available.
Moral of the story: Don't count on being able to buy stuff at the Paizo booth to use for your PFS sessions.
Just rebuilt mine last night. Like I said, I haven't played him in nearly 2 years, so he still qualified for the free rebuild.
I kinda got bored with that PC, partially because his personality was a little boring, and partially because he wasn't as effective as I'd hoped. Qassir was my attempt at the Halfling Opportunist prestige class, and I discovered once he got there that the signature ability sounds cool, but just doesn't work very often. But he actually wasn't a terrible rogue otherwise. His trapfinding really made a difference in Bonekeep, part 1, and I'll be playing Bonekeep 2 this weekend, which is why I'm thinking of pulling him out of semi-retirement. I figure we'll probably want a trap finder, and almost nobody plays rogues at our local store.
In this case, going unchained is just a straight upgrade, despite not needing the dex to damage from the unchained Finesse. He already had one level of Dawnflower Dervish bard to get dex to damage on his scimitar, along with the 4 levels of rogue, and two levels of Halfling Opportunist.
One of his rogue talents is unchanged, and the other is slightly better in the unchained version. Sneak Attack is also slightly better. Danger Sense is slightly better than Trap Sense, because it helps in perception checks to avoid being surprised. But the big upgrade is Debilitating Injury at level 4 unchained rogue, which should help quite a bit, especially for a PC that's a level behind the 3/4 BAB progression due to multi-classing.
My old group used to give out the chronicle sheets at the beginning, but flipped over, and they had to stay face down. That way, you could take notes on the back during the adventure, but weren't allowed to look at what was printed on the front.
Jack Brown wrote:
I was already planning to pre-fill the chronicle sheets with my initials, event number, signature, etc. That way, I just need to fill in the date and the numbers specific to that table and PC each time (xp, prestige, gold earned, days jobs, etc).
Dire Elf wrote:
I had a similar idea, but not quite exactly the same. Mine is also a wizard specializing in necromancy who doesn't create undead. But he's also not your typical necromancer.
He's good aligned, wears bright colors, and is very friendly and nice to the point of being almost too cheerful. And he's not faking - he really is like that. He just happens to specialize in the same school of magic that deals with undead, but he doesn't use those spells, and sticks to the necromancy spells that have nothing to do with undead.
I have a conjuration focused sorcerer in Pathfinder Society who is up to level 8, and has done direct damage to enemies exactly 3 times - twice with alchemist's fire (once against a swarm, and once against a BBEG in desperation at the end of a VERY long fight), and once with a cleric spell that he normally can't cast, just to cheese off the party paladin by casting a "holy" spell (my guy is chaotic neutral). He just took Black Tentacles as a known spell at level 8, so he'll be doing damage more often in the future. But if I really wanted to avoid ALL damage under all circumstances, I probably could have.
Pretty easy with conjuration - just get Grease, Web, Glitterdust, Haste, etc and you'll be plenty useful to the party without doing damage.
Grey Lensman wrote:
A scrollmaster wizard I planned on naming Shroedinger
With a cat familiar?
As for my own oddball ideas, I've actually done these as Pathfinder Society characters:
1. Misaki Hamamoto and Whistles - Tien-Min Aasimar Chosen One Paladin of Shizuru with a song thrush familiar. Basically, the character is a sentient songbird, and his "animal companion" is a naive anime girl with a katana.
2. Seamus Luckleaf - Leprechaun Wannabe - He's a halfling cleric of "Lady Luck" (Desna) who wears green, talks with an Irish accent, and "spreads the luck around" (Luck domain and other buffs). I usually manage to work in "They're after me lucky charms!" every session.
3. Varg Shelynson - Walking contradiction. He's the ugliest human on Golarion, but he's a priest to the goddess of beauty (Shelyn). He's also a pacifist warpriest.
As a former street thug who found religion in prison, he's a big believer in redemption, so he specializes in combat maneuvers to trip and disarm enemies, then ask them to surrender. It helps that his goddess's favored weapon has reach. He'll do lethal damage to non-sentient enemies, but hasn't done lethal damage to anything sentient yet (but he's only level 2 so far).
4. Julian Lightfoot - Inquisitor of
He pretends to be a Pharasman who joined the Pathfinder Society to hunt down undead, and he's VERY good at lying about that (+16 bluff at level 4). He's actually obsessed with finding out secrets, which is why he joined the Society, both to help them uncover secrets, and to find out their secrets. He's a mostly loyal Pathfinder field agent, but he's greatest goal in life is to find out the identities of the Decemvirate (the 10 secret leaders of the Society).
Don't just live in the Pathfinder room. There's plenty of PFS to be had there, but there's so much other stuff you won't want to miss, too. Maybe do 4-6 of the 10 PFS sessions, and spend the other half of the convention on other things.
Definitely put aside either Thursday or Friday afternoon to go walk the vendor room. It'll take the entire afternoon, and you still won't see it all. Don't do this on the weekend, because on Saturday, it'll be twice as crowded, and by Sunday, the vendors are closing up shop. But don't try to get into the Paizo booth Thursday. That's when there's a line, and you could be waiting an hour or more just to get in. Save it for a quick trip later in the weekend, when there's no line and you can walk right in.
If you can get into a True Dungeon session, it's worth the experience, at least once. They're very expensive (around $50), so you'll probably only want to do one the first time. But if you can get in, go for it - it's totally worth it.
Take a look at the event schedule and pick at least one little "oddball" thing to try out, just for something different. Or instead of a scheduled event, this could be taking an hour or two to sit down for a full game you've never played before in the vendor room - lots of the vendors have playing space to demo their games.
I don't have a group for that. I just wanted to play the adventure, and missed it with my local group. We can coordinate to meet up and play if you want. I actually have a thread for that sort of thing.
I'd probably prefer low tier, though I could do either.
Event tickets have only been on sale for 2 days. The die hards have signed up, but I'd expect lots of casual players, or those trying to keep a flexible schedule, to buy tickets at the last minute, or just show up on game day with generic tickets.
To my knowledge, they won't re-assign your scenarios, other than maybe pulling you to do an evergreen if necessary.
Huh. I didn't realize this was an option. What's the timing on this? And where can I find the exact rules for what's allowed in doing this rebuild?
I have a rogue I haven't played since August 2014. I didn't play much PFS for about a year in 2014 and 2015, and this guy was never my favorite PC, so I just haven't played him in a while.
My group hasn't been wearing the sihedron medallions. I think they kept them, thinking they might be important later, but they other than preserving the body of the first PC to die until they could get him raised, they haven't used them. They have other magic items they preferred to get for their neck slots.
Updating to include sessions that I bought tickets for since my last post:
Slot 1, Thursday AM: GM - 7-21 The Sun Orchid Scheme
Slot 4, Friday AM: GM - 7-21 The Sun Orchid Scheme
Slot 7, Saturday AM: GM - 7-21 The Sun Orchid Scheme
Slot 10, Sunday AM: GM - 7-21 The Sun Orchid Scheme
Gary Bush wrote:
Slot 0 Pathfinder is usually at Scotty's Brewhouse, about half mile walk from the convention center. One of these years, I'd actually like to show up to that. Maybe this year.
And now Greta suffered a more permanent death. No Breathe of Life this time.
Name of PC: Greta
The party entered the pride area of Runeforge, and did something different and unexpected. Instead of having the normal tanks up front (paladin, cavalier), they sent Selkerk the ranger to the front to scout for traps, since he has the highest perception. The mirrors made two clones of him, and the archery focused clones started using his favored enemy: human on the real Selkerk, and both tanks, who are human. The cavalier stepped forward and also got cloned, and the real Selkerk went down to -1 HP early, so it turned into a brutal fight early. I believe one of the clone cavaliers also managed to hurt the real Greta, who was up front tanking at that point.
The party sorceress decided to cast Fear at the enemy clones, knowing it would also hit the group's paladin and Greta. The pally is immune, but Greta missed her save (even with the +4 from the pally's aura). The tactic worked to scare away two enemy clones and make the fight easier, but Greta ran forward to get away from the sorceress. This created two Greta clones, one of which attacked the party, while the other chased the real Greta into the next room.
The party finished off the clones still attacking them, and went around breaking mirrors in the hopes avoiding any more, which destroyed the remaining clones that had run away from the Fear spell, and the clone Greta that chased the real Greta. But the Vraxeris clones waiting in the next room didn't appreciate Greta's intrusion, so they Magic Missiled her while she was still running away in a panic. She went down to -10 while the party was still cautiously busting up mirrors and moving forward, and the party couldn't get to her before she bled out.
Want to do 8-01 Friday afternoon? It's a low level, so you can bring your own PC instead of playing a pregen. Or we could do 8-02, which is a 3-7. I'm not sure what level PC's you have, but I'd probably prefer the low tier on the 5-9 adventures, since I'm now up to 3 PC's at level 6, and I want to get them to 7 so I can start using them in 7-11 scenarios.
Ok, so I definitely want to play Saturday afternoon, and probably either Thursday or Friday afternoon (I want to spend one of those two afternoons in the vendor room).
For the adventures I'd like to play, I'm thinking Twisted Circle, Captive in Crystal, or Thralls of the Shattered God as my top priorities, since I missed playing them with my local group, and I don't know when they'll be offered again locally. But the newer stuff that isn't out yet is an option, too, especially the new season 8 scenarios.
Who wants to join me for one of those at those times?
And as I said, I'm hoping to get in on tier 3-4 or 5-6 for the Friday evening special, though I could do 7-8 or 1-2, too. I don't have a 10-11 PC. Right now, just waiting for Bob to re-arrange the available tickets, and then buy one as soon as they become available at higher tiers than 1-2. Or does anyone know if I buy a 1-2 ticket, can I return it for credit and get something different later?
Gary, unfortunately, that won't work for me. I don't have a 10-11 PC to bring to the special, and I'm GMing Sunday morning.
Keith, in the volunteer thread, Bob said they'd be adjusting the ticket availability by tier for the Friday special. I probably want to get in on tier 3-4 or 5-6, since that's where my most interesting PC's are these days. I'll have to keep an eye on the web site today.
Here's my GM schedule:
Slot 1, Thursday AM: 7-21 The Sun Orchid Scheme
I want to play the Friday evening special, and I'll probably play a few other sessions, but haven't determined what yet. I may just buy generic tickets and jump into whatever's available in a couple of sessions.