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Father Zantus

MillerHero's page

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 4. Goblin Squad Member. RPG Superstar 7 Season Star Voter, 9 Season Star Voter. Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber. FullStarFullStarFullStarFullStarFullStar Pathfinder Society GM. 617 posts (623 including aliases). 2 reviews. 1 list. 1 wishlist. 16 Pathfinder Society characters. 1 alias.

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***** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 4

Congratulations to Dresden for earning his 4th GM star!

***** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 4

3 people marked this as a favorite.

I am pleased to announce that Mike Welham is now a Venture-Lieutenant for the Winston-Salem, NC area! Visit beautiful North Carolina and he will likely GM Doom Comes to Dustpawn for you!

***** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 4

Congratulations to Swanson on earning his 4th GM star!

***** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 4

Congratulations to Spring Lake/Fayetteville's 4-star GM, Nick Baumeister!
100 GM reports in less than one year.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 4

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Initially I tried to create one diagram for all possible lighting locations, but it was less cluttered dividing them into four separate diagrams.
Outside direct sunlight
Under forest canopy
Outside moonlight or starlight
Underground or cloudy moonless night

Here is the information I used to create these diagrams.
Five lighting conditions:

  • Bright light (BL): outside in direct sunshine
  • Normal light (NL): underneath a forest canopy during the day
  • Dim light (DL): outside at night with a moon in the sky, bright starlight
  • Darkness (DN): unlit dungeon chamber, most caverns, and outside on a cloudy, moonless night
  • Supernatural darkness (Su): This functions like darkness, but even creatures with darkvision cannot see within the spell's confines.

Methods to increase and decrease illumination levels:

  • A torch sheds normal light in a 20-foot radius and increases the light level by one step for an additional 20 feet beyond that area (darkness becomes dim light and dim light becomes normal light). A torch does not increase the light level in normal light or bright light.
  • Light and continual flame are equivalent in brightness to a torch.
  • A daylight spell sheds bright light in a 60-foot radius and increases the light level for an additional 60 feet by one step. Daylight brought into an area of magical darkness (or vice versa) is temporarily negated, so that the otherwise prevailing light conditions exist in the overlapping areas of effect.
  • The darkness spell causes an object to radiate darkness out to a 20-foot radius. This darkness causes the illumination level in the area to drop one step, from bright light to normal light, from normal light to dim light, or from dim light to darkness. This spell has no effect in an area that is already dark. Nonmagical sources of light, such as torches and lanterns, do not increase the light level in an area of darkness. Magical light sources only increase the light level in an area if they are of a higher spell level than darkness (2nd). This spell does not stack with itself.
  • The spell, deeper darkness, functions as darkness, except that objects radiate darkness in a 60-foot radius and the light level is lowered by two steps. Bright light becomes dim light and normal light becomes darkness. Areas of dim light and darkness become supernaturally dark. This functions like darkness, but even creatures with darkvision cannot see within the spell's confines. This spell does not stack with itself.
  • Ignore low-light vision.
  • All spells are already in effect and brought to within overlapping areas of each other. No countering or dispelling is occurring.
  • Since deeper darkness states that it "functions as darkness," and since both deeper darkness and darkness state that "This spell does not stack with itself" I assume that deeper darkness does not stack with darkness.
  • Conversely, torches and light spells stack with themselves and other spells (up to stated limits). Though the darkness spells have the not-stacking-with-itself clause, the light spells do not have such a clause.
  • The magical darkness stated in the daylight spell description refers to any darkness created by magic, not just the supernaturally dark area created by deeper darkness within dim light or darkness. Therefore, daylight (3rd) brought into an area of darkness (2nd) negates both spells and the prevailing light conditions exist in the overlapping areas of effect.
  • The negating power of daylight only functions within the center 60-foot radius – not the additional 60 feet illumination increasing outer ring given that "Creatures that take penalties in bright light take them while within the 60-foot radius of this magical light."
  • Even though darkness has the clause "This spell has no effect in an area that is already dark." it can still be cast in an area that is already dark and brought into an illuminated area, thus dropping the illumination level one step.
  • Similarly though a torch (and therefore light and continual flame) does not increase the light level in normal light or bright light, it can be lit (or cast) in normal or bright light and brought into darkness or dimly lit areas and still increase the illumination level by one step within the additional 20-foot outer ring.
  • Under the same lighting and darkening conditions, the center of a light source is never at a lower illumination level than its own outer ring of increase-the-light-level.
    Underneath forest canopy, deeper darkness, 30 feet from the center of a heightened continual flame (4th), 70 feet from the center of a daylight spell. Normal light under the canopy drops two steps from deeper darkness and increases one step from 30-feet-away heightened continual flame (4th) and one step from 70-feet-away daylight for a total amount of illumination equal to normal light. Move to within 10 feet of the center of the heightened continual flame (4th) and keep everything else the same. Normal light under the canopy (and normal light from the heightened continual flame (4th) gets reduced two steps from deeper darkness and is increased one step from 70-feet-away daylight for a total of amount of illumination equal to dim light. It doesn't make sense that the center of a continual flame spell would be dimmer than 30 feet away under otherwise identical lighting conditions. This problem arises from the stated rule that a torch sheds normal light in a 20-foot radius, but doesn't specifically state how many steps it raises the light level within that first 20 feet.
  • Increases and decreases in illumination levels are applied in a way so as to not truncate up against the illumination limits (bright light and supernaturally dark).
    Underground, deeper darkness, 30 feet from the center of a heightened continual flame (4th), 110 feet from the center of a daylight spell. Deeper darkness drops illumination levels 2 steps, but when applied to the naturally dark underground it creates a supernaturally dark area. Then apply the one step increase of the 30-foot-away heightened continual flame (4th) and the one step increase from the 110-feet-away daylight spell. Does that bring it up to dim light? No, in this example the diagrams take the naturally dark area and apply the light spells first (+2) then apply the darkening (-2) for a result of regular darkness. The opposite case occurs in direct sunshine at the same location between the three spells. If the light spells are applied first to bright light, they have no effect. Apply deeper darkness and the illumination drops 2 levels to dim light. Apply deeper darkness first (-2) then the light spells (+2) and the light remains bright light.
Possible additions to the diagrams:
  • Low-light vision.
  • Show how darkvision penetrates darkness but not supernatural darkness.
  • Add a torch or lower than 3rd level light spell to the area where daylight overlaps darkness spells to raise the question "Does the 'negate nonmagical sources of light' power of darkness still function even when daylight is overlapping it?
  • Hatching or shading the different areas of illumination rather than just labeling
Additional questions to consider:
Do two daylight spells stack? If encountering magical darkness, are they both negated?

When talking about lighting conditions please remember to make a distinction between darkness and darkness.

***** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 4

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Michael Brock wrote:
The Atlanta region is an exception to the rule with as many times as EoT has been run from start to finish. Heck, we were one of the first two regions to complete all four parts and report them. I suspect, off the top of my head, Atlanta region has run it twice as many times as any other region minimum.

Mike's suspicion above prompted me to task our Venture-Ensign, Illeist to collect 12+ level play in the Raleigh region. Here is what Illeist has uncovered:

  • Eyes of the Ten (all four scenarios): 9 tables
  • The Ruby Phoenix Tournament (10-12): 2 tables
  • Reign of Winter - The Frozen Stars (11-13): 1 table
  • Race for the Runecarved Key (12+): 2 tables
  • Siege of the Diamond City (12-13)(14-15): 2 tables
  • Academy of Secrets (12-14): 2 tables
  • Tomb of the Iron Medusa (13-15): 3 tables
  • Rise of the Runelords - Sins of the Saviors (14-16): 1 table
  • Witchwar Legacy (16-18): 3 tables
Does your region have much 12+ level play?
Does the Atlanta region surpass the rest of us as much as Mike thinks? (I hope they do.)
Whenever I hear that Eyes of the Ten has been reported less than 100 times, it makes me wonder how that is true given that the Raleigh Region alone has 9 reported tables. Do we really make up ~10% of the reported tables?

***** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 4

ConTemporal is only a few weeks away (June 27, 28, 29) in Raleigh, NC!
Use the Warhorn site to sign up for games:
Use the ConTemporal site to buy your badge:
In addition to PFS there will be Pathfinder Adventure Card game, Kid's Track, Steve Jackson Games, Warmachine, Card Games, and Board Games such as Arkam Horror, Eldritch Horror, and Firefly. RPG Superstar panel is Friday at 4:30, GM 101 panel is Saturday at 3, and Writing for a Gaming Company is Sunday at noon.
Ever wonder what the author was thinking? Play with the author GMing!
Sam Polak - #5-18 The Stranger Within (5-9)
Mike Welham - Doom Comes to Dustpawn (8-10)
Alkenstar Beast Control will make its debut at ConTemporal as well.

***** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 4

2 people marked this as FAQ candidate.

I have read a few posts recently where Pathfinders are talking about what is considered PVP and what is not. I have started this separate thread to ask how you interpret the rules and to demonstrate the variety of GM rulings.

Here are what I believe to be the most relevant sections of the Guide to Pathfinder Society Organized play:

page 19 wrote:

No Player-versus-Player Combat

The goal of Pathfinder Society Organized Play is to provide an enjoyable experience for as many players as possible. Player-versus-player conflict only sours a session. While killing another character might seem like fun to you, it certainly won’t be for the other character’s player. Even if you feel that killing another PC is in character for your PC at this particular moment, just figure out some otherway for your character to express herself. In short, you can never voluntarily use your character to kill another character—ever. Note that this does not apply to situations where your character is mind-controlled by an NPC and is forced by that NPC to attack a fellow Pathfinder.
page 5 wrote:

The Core Assumption

The leadership of this organized play community assumes that you will use common sense in your interpretation of the rules. This includes being courteous and encouraging a mutual interest in playing, not engaging in endless rules discussions. While you are enjoying the game, be considerate of the others at the table and don’t let your actions keep them from having a good time too. In short, don’t be a jerk.

How does your GM interpret these rules?

***** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 4

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I am pleased to announce that Venture-Lieutenant, Joe Jungers, has achieved 5-star-status! Joe has been performing V-L duties since before there were official V-Ls.

***** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 4

I am pleased to announce that Vermont Venture-Captain, Myles Crocker, has achieved 5-star-status! Myles continues to be a great asset to the Raleigh, NC PFS gaming community.

***** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 4

Congratulations to Bobby Nichols on his fourth GM star!

***** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 4

As is tradition in this area, when you are already doing the job, eventually you are granted the title. Congratulations to Charlie Bell, the new V-L of Fayetteville, NC.

***** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 4

The Raleigh region is grateful to have Dan Wheeler as a four-star GM!

***** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 4

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Congratulations to Michael Eshleman for earning his 5th GM star! 146 GM credits were earned within the past year as seen in this chart. North Carolina is blessed to have such a dedicated volunteer.

***** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 4

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Congratulations to Mike Welham on earning a Pathfinder Society star! Thanks for GMing Doom Comes to Dustpawn for us.

***** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 4

Congratulations to Michael Eshleman for earning his 4th GM star! All but four of his GM credits were earned within the past 8 months as seen here. What's more impressive is that he participated in RPG Superstar 2013 and made it to top 8 during this time period.

***** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 4

Last month our newly-minted Venture-Lieutenant, Michael Eshleman, organized the Year of the Shadow Lodge special event at Atomic Empire. Seven Pathfinder parties ventured back to AR 4710 to witness one of the first acts of aggression by the soon-to-be plot-only Shadow Lodge.

***** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 4

Thank you to NC's new V-L, Michael Eshleman aka greysector, for all you've done for Pathfinder Society in our region already. I look forward to seeing how we will continue to grow.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 4 , Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 9 aka MillerHero

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Last night I hosted a party for area RPG Supertar past contestants and Paizo authors. We read through the encounters discussing the virtues and misteps of each.
pictures here
You might recognize Todd Stewart, Mike Welham, Sam Polak, and myself.

Now you go host a RPG Superstar party and playtest these encounters!

***** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 4

4 people marked this as a favorite.

On the 27th of Lamashan, 4712 six parties of Pathfinders answered Shelia Heidmarch's call to obtain the Runecarved Key by any means necessary.
Many attempted to secure the Key, but only one team emerged victorious - though they did have help from the veteran Pathfinders at one point.
The delay in this report to the Decemvirate is due to the ongoing investigation as to why the dragon suddenly appeared on scene.

***** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 4

Congratulations, Myles on earning your 4th star!
Begin dispensing wisdom.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 4

1 person marked this as a favorite.


RPG Superstar 2012 Top 4

Nice face, Baird.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 4

I see Ryan and Robyn!
Wish I were there.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 4 , Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 9 aka MillerHero

Rescue Under the Steaming Sea

Within the Arcadian Ocean lies a world as vast, varied, and complex as the land dwellers’ sunny home above. The undersea mountains, canyons, forests, and volcanoes may seem vaguely familiar, yet the oddly-shaped creatures crawling on the sea bed and the gargantuan beasts lazily swimming past accentuate the differences from the windy realm of the surface world.

Rescue Under the Steaming Sea is a Pathfinder Module designed for four 9th-level characters. By the end of this module, characters should reach 10th level using the medium XP advancement track.

Adventure Background
A mastermind of unspeakable horror- the elder kraken, Qwoshokk, dwells deep within the Arcadian Ocean’s Gartanica Trench. Primary among the kraken’s myriad plots to inflict evil upon the creatures of the land is his quest for godhood. Though Qwoshokk currently focuses on attaining this goal through restoration of an ancient device, he also fosters contingency plans to assure ascension. The first step in one such plan tests the theory that mass sacrifice could achieve deification.

Qwoshokk initially planned to send one of his minions, a sahuagin witch, to perform an act of mass sacrifice by sinking a small island and its inhabitants, but his paranoia prevented him from trusting anyone else with his invaluable implement of destruction, the sphere of annihilation. To ensure absolute loyalty, the elder kraken cast a simulacrum spell to create a duplicate of his arcane spellcasting minion, which could direct the sphere in his stead. He directed another of his minions, Trentar - an undine druid, to populate the sacrificial island with as many souls as he could capture. Qwoshokk put at Trentar’s disposal a small tribe of loyal sahuagin, including their champion, a four-armed monstrosity, to aid in the task. This band of minions quickly rampaged throughout the Steaming Sea, abducting intelligent creatures and confining them in air-filled caves deep within the ocean.

Adventure Summary
This adventure begins as the party seeks missing travelers held captive deep below the waves of the Steaming Sea. A few friendly creatures offer the PCs aid along their way. In a lair guarded by various minions, the party learns that the slavers have already taken the captives away for sacrifice. Tracking their quarry to a small island, the PCs confront the leader of the slavers and find the missing travelers. Just as the rescue seems complete, the entire island begins to sink and the PCs must choose to take their prize and flee or to stay and save hundreds of lives from sacrifice.

Friends or relatives of the PCs have gone missing, last seen traveling by ship or along coastal roads near the Steaming Sea. If titles and riches motivate the PCs or they lack appropriate NPC relationships, word reaches the party that some of the missing travelers belong to powerful noble and merchant families. Investigations into the land attack sites revealed webbed footprints, discarded teeth, broken tridents, and ruined nets. Searches of the sea floor discovered a few of the missing ships with two-foot diameter holes through their hulls providing the only clue to their demise. Successful divinations regarding the missing travelers reveal that they still live and that Lord Trentar holds them captive in a sea trench deep within the Steaming Sea.

Rarely do those on land know much about life below the waves of the Steaming Sea, yet sages humble enough to acknowledge their limits may speak of others with more knowledge. Residents of Hermea know about the waters surrounding their island; however, they do not give aid unless the PCs have previous relationships with the exclusive island nation. The party may have more luck gathering information from the Mordant Spire elves, who frequently treat with undersea creatures and explore the undersea realm. Moreover, they can assist parties that lack the means to venture underwater for long periods. If well-suited for underwater travel, parties possessing extraordinary knowledge of the Steaming Sea can proceed directly to the whale sage (below).

Part One: The Mordant Spire
The Mordant Spire elves prefer to greet their visitors out at sea, keeping their company a safe distance from their home. If the PCs approach by air or sea, a contingent of elves greets them and prohibits farther progression toward the spire. Though they prefer to speak only Azlanti, the elves understand the common tongue and deign to speak it if the PCs mention their rescue mission, for they too have lost loved ones to sahuagin raiders. With appropriate communication, the party can purchase a variety of magical gear for underwater exploration including a major or minor talisman of the sea (the former granting the power to polymorph into an aquatic race and the ability to speak and understand languages appropriate to that form). If a PC cannot purchase the magical gear and the elves know of the PC’s rescue mission, they offer to loan a minor talisman of the sea in exchange for two things. The first is a vow to find and return a number of elves whom the sahuagin captured, and the second is acceptance of a geas spell to ensure each borrower holds their vow.

The elves proceed to tell the party of a vast trench miles below the surface where dark creatures reside. They claim Gartanica Trench likely holds the travelers that the PCs seek. The elves have little else to offer the PCs, save some travelling advice: Don’t swim too low - reefclaws, shipwrecker crabs, and lacedon packs roam the Hermean Plain; don’t swim too high - lest the roc’s talons or the fisherfolk's nets find a surprise.

Whale Sage
While the PCs travel to the trench, they hear whalesong and soon a great baleen whale approaches. If the PCs don’t attack the massive creature, the whale greets the party, speaking aquan in a deep, musical tone. Through conversation with the whale, she confirms that many of her friends have recently seen large numbers of land dwellers flailing in terror as their captors take them deeper and deeper underwater. An undine druid they call Lord Trentar leads the most powerful group of sahuagin raiders. The whale can also provide the party with the exact location of a lair within the trench known to hold a number of air-filled caves. She advises the party to follow her specific directions if they wish to avoid the location's more lethal horrors, such as the sea elf banshee, jotund scrags, and colossal sea anemones.

Part Two: Gartanica Trench
As the PC's approach their destination, they observe sahuagin perimeter guards and their dire shark patrolling a stretch of sea cliff. Jellyfish swarms float lazily in front of an ornately carved opening in the cliff face marking the lair’s entrance. Extremely perceptive PCs also notice a wing of kapoacinths poised motionlessly among the statues and decorations that grace the lair’s entrance. These aquatic gargoyles wait until intruders engage the jellyfish swarms before swimming out from their perches, attempting to overwhelm their prey.

Once inside the lair, perceptive PCs notice that unusual methods carved these chambers for it appears that something simply swiped the rock from the walls like a fin through water. Caverns sized for gargantuan creatures provide the battleground for the next encounter where a party of cacaelia barbarian/rogues strives to defend their home and prove their worth to Lord Trentar.

In a vast chamber the party finds a diagram of a complex device etched into the walls. Here Qwoshokk obsessed over an ancient machine called the Cholcorite Mechanism, which he believes can grant immortality and power over all denizens of the sea. From the vague map of Varisia depicted next to the diagram, it appears the final piece to completing the mechanism lies somewhere near the Fenwall Mountains. Though the elder kraken is not currently in residence, Qwoshokk’s fiendish giant squid pets keep the PCs company in this chamber.

A graveknight cavalier atop a nightmare hippocampus obediently follows the elder kraken’s orders to guard one of the complex’s many alternate exits. Seemingly out of place, a pearlescent shawl wraps around the knight’s gruesome shell and chitin armor. The PCs would do well to defeat this guardian and obtain the shawl before encountering its original owner elsewhere in the lair. If they defeat the graveknight but do not destroy its armor, the undead knight rejuvenates and continually harasses the party.

Separated from her most prized possession, a shawl-less nereid begrudgingly holds sentry over the air-filled chambers. Unless the PCs return her shawl, she mercilessly assaults any who attempt to pass; whereas, PCs who return her prized cloth find a surprising ally. If reunited with the shawl containing a portion of her life force, the nereid recounts the tale of a vile cavalier who stole her garment as he stole a glance at her bathing. She repaid him with a watery kiss of death and discarded his body in the sea. She grew furious when the cavalier returned to claim her shawl once more, this time in a form immune to her charms. The nereid also knows that Lord Trentar and his sahuagin minions have taken all but the most useful slaves to the Ironbound Archipelago for sacrifice.

From the final area of the lair, the PCs can hear slaves working and conversing; however, before reaching them, the party must first overcome a bound piscodaemon and its hydrodaemon servitors. The slaves in the multiple chambers beyond all have specialized skills. Some huddle around a lava vent, forging armlets of tremendous size while others create intricate nets. Another group prepares to clean and enchant these items. If the PCs offer salvation, none eagerly leave the only home they’ve known since birth, claiming that Lord Trentar loves them and that the master treats them well. They also can tell the PCs the fate of the other captives. One of the slaves, a triton smith tells the party that he overheard Lord Trentar claiming that “a mass sacrifice will hasten the master’s ascension to godhood.” If the PCs manage to convince or force any of the slaves to leave, powerful wards conjure elder ice elementals to detain any would-be escapees as they pass through an exit.

Part Three: Seeking Brike
Though the party has learned the general whereabouts of their quarry, they possibly still don't know the exact location of the sacrifice and need additional information. Parties without supernatural methods of obtaining such knowledge may have to simply explore the countless kelp forests, shipwrecks, and heat vents dotting the archipelago's sea bed. Parties spending too much time searching run afoul of the Arcadian Interceptors. The aquatic humanoids and outsiders of this extremely prejudiced and suspicious organization assault magic-using parties who cannot adequately explain their presence below the waves. The Interceptors only back down in the face of extremely knowledgeable, honest, and diplomatic characters. They do not accompany the PCs to Brike Isle.

Nearing Brike Isle, the PCs experience an odd presence attempting to seize control of their bodies. A recently-attacked sentient coral reef lashes out with its spell-like abilities, attempting to possess, dominate, and subsequently destroy any non-animal creature it senses. When Lord Trentar, his minions, and the throng of prisoners passed this way, this immobile normally peaceful hive mind reached out with its consciousness to communicate. The troop reacted violently and now the enraged reef’s exoskeleton is riddled with several perfectly-circular two-foot diameter holes. In order to placate the creature and resolve the situation peacefully, PCs need to fully heal the reef’s wounds. If they do so, the reef telepathically thanks the PCs and apologizes for its actions. It continues by recounting the recent events which caused its rage and reports where the attackers went. From the depths of its rock-like aggregate, the reef offers up a gift to those who restored it: a sword with a blade of sharp jagged coral. The pommel and hilt depict a mermaid with her arms outstretched and her hair intertwined with the base of the coral blade. This magical sword does not suffer the normal penalties for attacking with a slashing weapon underwater. In addition, it grants ability to communicate with and power to control animals of the sea. The PCs can find this item among the carnage if they choose to destroy the reef instead.

Brike Isle
When the foundation of Brike Isle becomes visible, the party notices several sahuagin destroying boats up on the surface, but oddly not killing any of the screaming islanders. Lord Trentar directs the sahuagin to herd any hapless swimmers toward shore. When aware of the PCs, Trentar summons numerous aquatic beasts before wildshaping into a huge squid to harass the party. When the PCs’ success nears, he retreats below to join the simulacrum witch, if afforded the opportunity.

Should the PCs choose to visit the small village on the island, they discover that the islanders have suffered numerous losses to their fishing fleet, but fortunately no one has died. They know nothing of the dozens of captives held below their island. The islanders begin repairing boats and an acolyte begins casting a make whole spell to hasten the process.

The party easily finds the series of sea caves within the foundation of Brike Isle holding the sacrificial prisoners. A charmed sea serpent keeps the captives from leaving via the main entrance, whereas powerful abjurations prevent magical egress. After defeating this last guardian, the PCs finally reunite with the missing travelers. A host of other captives taken throughout the Steaming Sea accompany them and the wisest warns that the water breathing spells that Lord Trentar cast soon expire. The prisoners also tell the party that the sahuagin witch has hollowed out a massive cavern, leaving only a few pillars remaining and they invite the PCs to see firsthand through viewports in the back of the cells. However, by this point, the witch has already destroyed a few supports and continues to hold forth her talisman directing the sphere to pass through remaining pillars. The magical wards of the holding cells prevent suicidal PCs from engaging the witch from this direction. Seeing their imminent doom, the aquatic elves, gillmen, locathah, merfolk, and tritons can easily swim to safety, but the Mordant Spire elves, dwarves, Chelaxians, Nidalese, Ulfens, and Varisians anxiously seek the surface as the water breathing transmutation fades.

Soon after the PCs and their rescued friends reach the beaches of Brike, the island begins to shudder and sink. As the waters rise, the villagers panic and retreat uphill, yet the PCs know their only hope lies in the boats down at the docks. Unfortunately the land dwellers far outnumber the available spaces in the boats. If the PCs wish to save their recently rescued friends and prevent the sacrifice of Brike, they need to scour the swiftly sinking island for life rafts and organize the panicked inhabitants. Moreover, a large four-armed sahuagin baron surfaces and seeks to ensure that no one leaves the island alive.

Once the witch sets the collapse in motion, the elder kraken who controls her fabricated body summons the sphere to his side, continuing his excavations in the Fenwall Mountains, hundreds of miles away. Qwoshokk directs the simulacrum to flee and stay clear of the sinking island until the turbulence subsides. After a few minutes the witch investigates the sunken island so that Qwoshokk can marvel in the power of the mass sacrifice, but quickly notices less casualties than anticipated. Swimming to the surface, she summons a fiendish elasmosaurus and attacks the PCs. If Trentar survived his encounter with the PCs, he rejoins the fray when the witch surfaces. If defeated, the simulacrum sahuagin witch reverts to snow, instantly melting; however, her talisman of the sphere remains for the PCs to contemplate the possibilities thereof.

Concluding the Adventure
Transporting the eternally grateful survivors to nearby islands doesn’t take long. Soon word of the PCs’ heroics earns them even greater renown in the region, including a personal thank you and reward from White Estrid of Halgrim who seeks to expand her influence among the Ironbound Archipelago.

Having thwarted the kraken’s plot, the party has earned something else for their heroics - Qwoshokk’s malevolent ire. Rather than give the mastermind time to plot revenge, the PCs could wisely take the fight to Qwoshokk, especially if they have learned that he needs only one more item to complete the Cholcorite Mechanism. Also, if the party destroyed the undead cavalier, but not its armor, the graveknight reforms and continually seeks vengeance. If the PCs wish to end the creature's unholy existence, they may seek the sphere of annihilation to completely destroy its armor.

Conversely, if the PCs fail to save half of the creatures intended for sacrifice, the ritual completes. The souls of the slain fuel the elder kraken's growing strength. Though not attaining godhood, the ritual raises him to a new plateau of terrible power.

Pregenerated Characters
The suggested pregenerated characters for this module include:

  • aquatic elf paladin and hippocampus bonded mount
  • merfolk wizard and octopus familiar
  • malenti rogue
  • triton druid and dolphin companion

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 4 , Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 9 aka MillerHero

EDIT FROM THE JUDGES: Please read this information about playtesting these encounters. We've also added hyperlinks from the encounter's short stat blocks to the full stat blocks in the PRD so you have the information you need to run the encounter.

Brike Isle
Nestled among much larger islands of the Ironbound Archipelago, Brike Isle is a tiny islet and home to a village of Dwarves, Ulfen, and Varisians. The land gently slopes toward the center, steepening near the summit, which is only about 40 feet from sea level.

The Sacrifice of Brike (CR 3 or 6)
The party suspected that the witch’s plan was to perform a mass sacrifice to her dark patron, yet they did not know where or how she would implement it until they entered a sea cave below Brike. She had used a legendary artifact of destruction, the sphere of annihilation, to carve out a massive cavern within the foundation of the island, leaving only a few pillars to support the tremendous weight of the remaining rock above. When she held forth her talisman, directing the black void to pass through the few supports left, the PCs knew the islanders above had little time before their island would be destroyed in one quick catastrophic collapse.

Returning to the surface, the air is filled with the smell of fish and the sound of gulls’ cries. A small island lies ahead, hosting scores of villagers going about their business, mending nets, repairing huts, or carrying baskets. A few of them are speaking well-know Taldane, but others are conversing in a more lyrical or guttural tone. Adjacent to a shattered hull, a spellcaster is immersed in an incantation. Unfortunately for the villagers, the height of their islet looks significantly shorter than the massive cavern below. Though the impending catastrophe is unavoidable, keeping the islanders alive will thwart the witch’s plan; however, there are only a few longboats at the simple dock. How many islanders can be saved from sacrifice?

Two rounds after the PCs arrive, Brike sinks 5 feet and continues sinking 5 feet per round for the remainder of the encounter. Lines on the map indicate the new waterline for each round. 100 inhabitants are currently on the island. Use the Dwarf Fighter and any of the human miniatures for them; however, every islander need not be represented. For individual statistics, use the Village Idiot (GameMastery Guide 308) substituting Climb +5 for Profession (fisherman) +3.

Five boats are docked and each has a maximum capacity of 10. One boat on land has been destroyed, but is currently the target of a make whole spell. Another boat on land has been mostly repaired, requiring only a little more attention. Finally, three of the longhouse roofs can serve as boats as well.

For any PCs that are not of a race that grants a swim speed, assume the Mordant Spire Elves have loaned them a minor talisman of the sea (see below). Animal companions, special mounts, eidolons, etc. can use these as well. Familiarize yourself with the swim skill special rules for creatures with swim speeds. PCs can pull a boat at their swim speed.

Talisman of the Sea, Minor
Aura faint transmutation; CL 3rd
Slot none; Price 14,000 gp; Weight
This charm decorated with a fin and gill motif allows its possessor to utilize alter self at will, but only to polymorph into a humanoid with the aquatic subtype such as an aquatic elf, gillman, locathah, or merfolk. This does not grant the size bonus to ability scores.
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, alter self; Cost 7,000 gp

The first round that a square is covered in water it is considered calm water (Swim DC 10). In successive rounds a tremendous undertow makes swimming difficult for those without swim speeds; Stormy water (Swim DC 20). Any debris and NPCs in this zone are pulled underwater.

Reward creative thinking if the players propose a task not listed below, but consider assigning a DC comparable to the examples.

What else can the characters can do?:

  • DC 17 Spellcraft to identify the spell being cast from a scroll is make whole (completes round 4).
  • DC 10 Bluff, Diplomacy, or Intimidate convinces 10 villagers to obey. For every 10 by which the result exceeds the DC, 10 more villagers comply.
  • DC 15 Craft (ships) to repair the damaged boat near the treeline with two full-round actions.
  • DC 15 Knowledge (engineering), Profession (engineer, sailor, or shipwright), or Craft (ships) to determine that the three rectangular longhouse roofs are essentially inverted longboats lashed atop the walls and that they are seaworthy. Failing this check by 10 or more, incorrectly determines that all the roofs are seaworthy.
  • DC 15 Disable device check to remove a roof in one round and invert it. This can also be accomplished with no skill check, but requires two standard actions.
  • DC 15 Knowledge (arcana) to identify the fountain’s spout as a decanter of endless water.

Designer Notes:

  • With many moving parts in this encounter, the round breakdown helps organize the action.
  • Draw the new waterline at the beginning of each round.
  • Erase anything more than five feet deep.
  • Draw boats separate from the map so that they can be moved easily.
  • Though possible, the PCs are not expected to save every NPC. The challenge is to save as many as possible.
  • Given the significant penalties for underwater combat, much of the action in this encounter takes place on the surface of the water rather than underneath it.

Round Breakdown

  • Rounds 1 & 2: PCs are not hindered by monsters. Islanders are suspicious of the aquatic-looking PCs; add 10 to the DC of any skill checks attempting to influence villagers for these rounds only.

  • Round 3: Brike begins to shudder and sink. Water covers the land up to the dashed line marked ‘3’. Villagers not being directed are in shock and spend the round balancing. Monsters emerge on their initiative (see below). A DC 20 Intelligence check will successfully predict that the island will be completely covered by round 10. Failing this check by 10 or more yields a false prediction that island will be covered by round 6.

  • Round 4: Water is now at the dashed line marked ‘4’. The dock is covered; moored boats are buoyed up, their bows dipping down, but still afloat. Adelain’s spellcasting is interrupted unless she was ushered elsewhere. If she has moved above the round 4 line, the make whole spell completes and the destroyed boat is returned to functioning condition. Villagers not being directed retreat uphill.

  • Round 5: Water reaches line ‘5’. All boats still attached to the dock founder and are pulled underwater. It takes a DC 25 Swim check to successfully pull a sunken boat back to the surface. If the PCs haven’t determined which longhouse roofs are seaworthy, Adelain informs them. Villagers retreat.

  • Round 6: Water advances. The two longhouses below this elevation are flooded but still intact; roofs are still salvageable. Villagers retreat.

  • Round 7: Water advances. The damaged boat near the treeline begins to float (and take on water if not repaired). The two submerged longhouses (and the lodge) break apart under the increased buoyancy and the roofs become useless as rafts, if not previously removed. Villagers retreat.

  • Round 8: Water advances. The westernmost longhouse is flooded but still intact. Villagers retreat.

  • Round 9: Water advances. The westernmost longhouse roof is destroyed if not previously removed. The leaking damaged boat sinks if not yet repaired. Villagers retreat.

  • Round 10: Water completely covers the island. Villagers climb trees.

  • Round 11: Trees are covered. NPCs not in a boat or raft are swept under.

Creatures: Dangerous creatures lair in sea caves lying just east of Brike Isle’s dock. When the island shudders, powerful currents sweep these creatures to the surface. In the low tier, a constrictor sea snake emerges on the dock, attacking any nearby creature, which it presumes has disturbed its lair. In the high tier the witch’s minion, a dominated scrag, is ordered to surface and prevent anyone from escaping.
If unengaged, assume the snake kills one villager and that the scrag kills three villagers each round.

Low Tier (CR 3):
Snake, Constrictor Sea CR 2 LINK
Venomous Snake
XP 600 each
hp 19 each (Bestiary 255)
Environment temperate aquatic

Adelain the Able CR 1/2 LINK
Human Druid
Acolyte (GameMastery Guide 304)

High Tier (CR 6):
Scrag CR 5 LINK
XP 1,600 each
hp 63 each (Bestiary 268)

Adelain the Able CR 4 LINK
Human Druid
Hedge Wizard (GameMastery Guide 296)

Development: Any villagers still in the water on round 11 are swept under and assumed dead. Rowing the boats to Three Hag’s Rock takes a little over a half an hour, where the surviving villagers disembark and recover from their ordeal. Eventually they seek refuge on other islands in the region, and begin spreading word of the PCs’ heroics.

Word of your valiant efforts to save the inhabitants of Brike Isle spreads throughout northwestern Avistan. When in the Land of the Linnorm Kings and Varisia, you gain a +2 circumstance bonus on all charisma-based checks when you mention the Brike Isle refugees and how you assisted them.
This boon can be used once for every 10 islanders saved.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 4 , Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 9 aka MillerHero

5 people marked this as a favorite.

Reeking of death and decay, this monstrosity lumbers forward flailing its skeletal appendages. Thousands of tiny tentacles protract from the plant-like mass, groping for prey.

Necrotic Reef CR 7
XP 3,200
NE Huge undead (water)
Init -2; Senses blindsight 60 ft., detect magic; Perception +14

----- Defense -----
AC 20, touch 6, flat-footed 20 (-2 Dex, +14 natural, -2 size)
hp 85 (9d8+45)
Fort +7, Ref +1, Will +10
Defensive Abilities channel resistance +4; DR 5/bludgeoning or slashing; Immune undead traits; Resist fire 10
Weaknesses susceptible to shatter, vulnerable to sonic

----- Offense -----
Speed 20 ft., climb 20 ft., swim 20 ft.
Melee 2 slams +12 (1d8+8 plus grab)
Space 15 ft.; Reach 15 ft.
Special Attacks channel negative energy (4d6, DC 17, 7/day)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 9th; concentration +13)
Constant—detect magic

----- Statistics -----
Str 27, Dex 6, Con —, Int 2, Wis 14, Cha 19
Base Atk +6; CMB +16 (+20 grapple); CMD 27 (can't be tripped)
Feats Channel Smite, Defensive Combat Training, Iron Will, Toughness, Vital Strike
Skills Climb +16, Perception +14, Swim +16
SQ antimagic grapple, piercing coral, sightless

----- Ecology -----
Environment any aquatic or coastal
Organization solitary, cluster (1 plus draugr crew), tangle (1 plus wight gang), or colony (1 plus lacedon pack)
Treasure double

----- Special Abilities -----
Antimagic Grapple (Ex) When a necrotic reef grapples a creature, polyps extend from the skeletal mass and continually feed upon the creature’s magic auras, negating them. The victim is effectively in an antimagic field (CL 9th). The necrotic reef itself can be affected by spells and supernatural abilities as normal.

Piercing Coral A necrotic reef’s slam attack is treated as piercing in addition to bludgeoning for the purposes of overcoming damage reduction.

Sightless (Ex) A necrotic reef is blind and is not affected by any effect that relies on sight.

Susceptible to Shatter (Ex) A shatter spell damages a necrotic reef as if it were a crystalline creature.

Violent storms, passing ships, and careless spells can severely damage coral reefs upon which so much marine life depends; however, a more dire ruination is inflicted upon coastal regions when a necrotic reef rises to unlife. A mass of undead flesh within a skeletal shell, this undead abomination animates when latent necromantic effects permeate clumps of recently dead coral. Hundreds of polyps that once fed on minuscule plants and animals now feed on dweomers and possess an insatiable hunger for these magical auras. Ceaselessly searching, this creature grabs and crushes any creature it finds radiating magic. Though magical items cease to function while in the creature's grasp, no permanent damage is done. Treasures from its previous victims can be found within the hulking mass and quickly return to full strength once the creature is destroyed.
When attacked, a necrotic reef lashes out with a wave of negative energy attempting to damage living creatures. It also can use this ability to heal undead creatures, which attracts all manner of marine undead. Particularly intelligent ones intentionally attack a necrotic reef, prompting it to eventually heal itself and the undead assailant.
An average necrotic reef is 18 feet long and weighs 4,000 pounds.

While many necrotic reefs originate along the Gebbite or Nidalese coast, they can also be created with create greater undead. The caster must be at least 15th level and the creator or an assistant must be able to cast antimagic field (or provide this magic from a scroll or other source).

***** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 4

I believe that Pathfinder Society players/GMs should be especially interested in the outcome of the competition. Not only will the ultimate winner write a Pathfinder Module (which will be sanctioned for PFS play), but the three runner-ups will write a scenario for Pathfinder Society.

Also, about half of this round's contestants are Pathfinder Society players, including a few starred GMs, a V-L, and a V-C.

Reminder: Voting for this round of RPG Superstar ends today at 2:00 pm PST. So go vote for your favorite 8 organizations.
[shameless plug]If one of those happens to be my organization, thank you for your support.[/shameless plug]

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 4 , Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 9 aka MillerHero

Chris Shaeffer is in Lansdale, PA

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 4 , Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 9 aka MillerHero

Arcadian Interceptors
Alignment: LN
Headquarters: Avashtana, Arcadian Ocean; mobile zaratan base
Leader: Commander Tieradel
Structure: Military hierarchy
Scope: Regional
Resources: Numerous sea caves and submerged fortresses in the Arcadian Ocean, hippocampus schools, dolphin pods, and other cetaceans

Sailors consider it a sign of good luck to see dolphins swimming with their ship, yet the wisest among them are wary when humanoid forms are seen amid the pod. If the Arcadian Interceptors board your ship, you must have something to hide.

The Interceptors patrol the Arcadian Ocean searching for anyone disguising their true identity. Typically comprised of merfolk, aquatic elves, and gillmen, these squads quickly resort to violence when they detect any deception, whether magical or mundane. It is easier to ascertain the truth once a deceiver is glued to the deck, entangled in nets, or magically incapacitated.

Structure and Leadership
The Interceptors operate dozens of squads throughout the Arcadian Ocean. The lieutenant of each squad answers only to Commander Tieradel, an aquatic elf inquisitor of Gozreh. Tieradel's rise to power is intentionally unclear, for it is decreed that whoever discovers Tieradel's secret shall be the successor.

Though their official headquarters is in the undersea city of Avashtana, the Interceptors rarely travel there fearing that enemies might follow. Instead they frequent a sleeping zaratan adrift in the ocean. This enormous sea turtle, the size of a small island, serves as a mobile base where the Interceptors can rest, regroup, and resupply.

According to the official Avashtana decree, this organization’s sole purpose is to intercept sahuagin malenti before they reach the undersea cities they are sent to infiltrate under their guises as aquatic elves. Unfortunately for all ocean travelers, this goal manifests as hindering any outsider attempting to hide their identity. Moreover, the Interceptors are particularly apt to stop and question anyone with the slightest elven features.

Of all the detection methods deployed by a squad of Interceptors, their favorite tactic is to cast speak with animals to corroborate a story with the crews’ own pets, cargo animals, or even ship rats.

Public Perception
Though respected in aquatic communities, the Interceptors are viewed as a nuisance to most ocean travelers, being notably disliked by surface vessel crews who lack experience negotiating with the interlopers.

How many know Tieradel's secret (that the commander is, in fact, a malenti) and choose to ignore it is unknown.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 4

I opened my case on January 11th and got a complete set.
However, I have some extras that I would trade...
#5 Orc brute x2
#6 Orc warrior x2
#8 watch guard
#13 wolf x2
#16 human rogue
#18 elf wizard
#20 dwarf fighter x2
#21 human Druid
#22 gnome fighter x2
#23 dire rat
#25 half-Orc barbarian
#26 spectre x2
#27 Seelah human paladin
#28 werewolf
#30 Minotaur x2
#39 lich

#10 lizard folk champion x3
#12 giant spider x3
#17 human ranger x2
#36 giant cave weave spider x2
#37 frost giant

Note: not being able to edit my original post after a time, the above may be out of date - see below for an update.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 4 , Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 9 aka MillerHero

Night Monarch Vardo
Aura strong conjuration and transmutation; CL 13th
Slot none; Price 22,750 gp; Weight 400 lbs.
Varisians prize these brightly colored wagons for their usefulness in transport and consider them a sign of Desna’s favor. 10 feet wide by 20 feet long, a Night Monarch Vardo functions as a magically treated Heavy Wagon (hardness 10 and 240 hit points). However, the inside is larger than its outside dimensions. Two additional rooms equivalent in size to the first are accessible from the interior of the wagon and are treated as extradimensional spaces. The atmosphere in these adjoining rooms is clean, fresh, and warm regardless of outside conditions. Each has a capacity of 5,000 pounds and 1,000 cubic feet.

A greater boon is revealed when an animal animated from a figurine of wondrous power is harnessed to the wagon. A Night Monarch Vardo does not encumber these creatures, provided they are at least large size. Moreover, if the animated animal takes flight, the wagon can accompany the creature without hindrance. A Night Monarch Vardo can even follow an obsidian steed during its plane shift and ethereal jaunt powers.

When a Night Monarch Vardo is part of a caravan, use the following caravan rules statistics:
Traveler Capacity 6; Cargo Capacity 14
Limit 1; Consumption 1
Special Benefit +4 bonus to caravan’s Resolve

Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, mage's magnificent mansion, overland flight, creator must have 6 ranks in the Craft (carpentry) or Profession (wainwright) skill; Cost 11,375 gp

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 4

Hey Bruce, thanks for letting me tag along with you to the airport Monday. Did you have to cover my share of the ride? Let me know, so I can reimburse you.
thanks again

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