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Sabriyya Kalmeralm

Voomer's page

Goblin Squad Member. Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber. 505 posts (1,846 including aliases). No reviews. 2 lists. 1 wishlist. 5 aliases.


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I was able to steer the PCs away from a murderous path by establishing the dhampir as an ally who was able to communicate to the PCs that Siervage is a critical element in keeping the vampires from declaring open season on Caliphas. The PCs understood pretty well that the "right" thing to do was to support Siervage in maintaining order. Also, I played up Siervage's role in betraying the Tyrant at the end of the Shining Crusade (I think that's when it was), so the players (rightfully) viewed Siervage as an ally against the Whispering Way.

That was sufficient to keep down the murderousness once they got to the heart of the vampire underground. Of course, they got to kill many rebellious vampires on the way. I also felt it was necessary to make clear to the PCs that the vampire druid in the greenhouse was allied with Siervage's enemies, which is not the case in the module as written. It didn't seem to make sense to me that Siervage would be open to dealing with the PCs after they slaughtered the vampire druid. With my modification, that act actually did Siervage a favor.

So, you can steer the PCs without going as far as you are proposing, but I do think the idea of vampires seeking redemption is an interesting approach, and it seems fully consistent with the idea that Siervage is trying to find some space for vampire-human cohabitation. So, go for it!

As to your details, where is this clinic? I could imagine it being sort of at the sewer level, like a few other locations in the module. Or it could be a secret storefront at street level with access to the underground through a hole through which the vampires pass while gaseous (which is basically impossible for the PCs to find -- you don't really want them going underground just yet). I gather when the PCs go there, the clinic is empty? Any bodies? Any signs of struggle? Are they there with the authorities, or has someone else summoned the PCs and the PCs alone? Note that some of the details about HOW vampires are killed from the "Morning Murders" encounter is important, so I would perhaps include that. Maybe a vampire was captured and tossed into an alley and exposed to the morning sun?

I think your hints about the nature of the clinic are great and sufficient.

Regarding the business ledger, I wouldn't worry about it being too obvious, because the vampire connection in general will be obvious and come up soon in the module. The point of this is just to show another side to the vampires in a clever and cool way. But think carefully about WHEN you do it in terms of the direction of the adventure. And maybe it does not need to replace morning murders. Maybe it can be an additional encounter. Whatever seems best.

One suggestion: CHANGE THE PATIENT NAMES! This isn't the U.S. The names should have an Eastern European flavor. Just use a Hungarian name list or generator from Google!

The Owner's Journal seems great and certainly makes it clear the vampires are not uniformly murderous.

I might skip altogether on the survivor. It seems unnecessary and a bit heavy handed. If your players still want to kill all vampires after finding the other stuff, they are a lost cause. Maybe make it clearer by the records that the vampires are offering medical care. If you leave the survivor, then she becomes an NPC you will need to continue to use and perhaps become the main contact with the Underground. Maybe you want to do that, but I liked using the dhampir, who was in the middle rather than actually OF the vampire underground. One other point: I can't imagine the vampires wouldn't have exits in every room they could pass through in gaseous form, so it doesn't really make sense to me a survivor would be stuck hiding there...

Nice job with this!

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Interesting. My PCs did ask about approaching from Ravengro, but I told them the malevolent weather was reputed to be especially intense from that direction because of the proximity to Gallowspire. They didn't press the point. I didn't really want them approaching from the North because I couldn't justify in my mind having a Knights of Ozem patrol up there. It seems to me the Lastwall patrols can't penetrate very far into Virlych. I don't see how they could survive all the weather, etc. At least that's how I'm ruling it.

It actually worked out great because the PCs decided to teleport to Vigil and had a great interaction with the authorities there, who are appreciative of the PCs taking the fight to the Way deep within Virlych.

It does seem Find the Path should work, but my PCs are at present onto the idea of trying to find Azra (a cleric of Desna) in Ruwido. Check her out. I haven't seen her mentioned in any of the threads, but it seems to me she is the one good-aligned person I have read about who could lead the PCs to Renchurch. I'm saying she has a shirt of wraith stalking, which is how she can wander Virlych without being under constant attack from the undead. As the players have changed eyes from the encounter with Desna in module 3, I don't think they will have trouble getting Azra to help.

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

It appears the cleric 6 spell "find the path" will work to find Renchurch right?

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

A wild party! Thanks for the link -- it was interesting to read the stuff you posted over there.

Did anyone have their party try to approach Renchurch from the North, from the direction of Ravengro? I could see my party teleporting there and approaching from the North. That would mess up a bunch of the encounters on the way (such as with the Knights of Ozem). Any ideas how to handle that? Is there an impenetrable wall of weather from the North? That seems kind of heavy handed.

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Interesting. You have a cleric of Urgathoa in your group? How does that work?

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I agree it makes sense! Unless my PCs are clever enough to figure out that something that makes teleportation wonky would also affect plane shift (I give them a 30% chance), or unless they rest in the demiplane on the way to Renchurch (seems reasonably likely), they will be in for a nasty surprise. In that instance, I guess best case scenario for them would be to make the will save and have the plane shift spell fail.

The witchgates are indeed a pretty devious mechanic to keep high level PCs under stress.

Thanks everyone for your input. I'm pretty comfortable with this approach -- giving them some information that teleportation may be problematic without spelling out any of the particulars.

And thanks, Kalindlara, for the suggestion about the gare linnorm. Did you make the PCs save against its poison when they arrived to account for the polluted conditions? I guess fighting a water-based linnorm would pose a significantly greater challenge...

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Kalindlara wrote:
Given that the create demiplane spells were freshly released when this book was printed, it doesn't directly mention them. That said, there's a very good case for the witchgates affecting those as well. The witchgates are based on teleport trap, which can catch plane shift, and while create demiplane does not literally have the teleportation descriptor, I'd say that the effect is close enough to count as the correct sort of "long-range teleportation".

Great observation, Kalindlara! The only way to get into the demiplane once created is through plane shift, which is a teleportation spell that I agree is susceptible to the trap. The create demiplane spell, which is not technically a teleportation spell, does allow a single shift at the moment of its creation. But, as you suggest, that shift is a teleportation effect, even if the creation of the demiplane is not. In any event, given the 2 hour casting time, it is certain the cleric PC will create it at an earlier time and try to plane shift the party into it to rest from Virlych. That will be a nasty surprise!

That raises another question: Will they necessarily be directed to Witchgate A or the closest Witchgate? I guess if they try to go to the demiplane during the journey to Renchurch, I will send them to a Gate with the hangman trees. But if they try to enter the plane for the first time in Renchurch... do I send them to the cage with the banshee outside? That would be cruel!

And thanks for the link to the thread -- looks like there are lots of great ideas there!

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

And here's another question. The cleric in our group can now cast lesser create demiplane. It seems to me that means the PCs can rest completely securely in that demiplane right in the middle of Renchurch. Right? I imagine there are other securing rest strategies as well. If so, I guess the only way to prevent them from resting all the time is to keep some time pressure on related to the ritual to prepare the vessel for the elixir...

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I missed your note about Kendra in your game, which kind of forecloses one of my suggestions! I guess I also missed that the PCs acquired other Carrion Crown components -- does that mean they actually were ahead of the Way? That does complicate matters.

Given all that, if I were in your position I would probably imagine the WW attack and describe the various combatants, but really focus on figuring out how the Way could get inside (Adivion's and the Grey Friar's magic should do the trick -- for example, Planar Ally spells create lots of possibilities). And then I would focus on the actual encounters comprised of the effort for the Way's sneaky force to try to take the components from the PCs. I would, if I wanted to run the rest of the AP, be tempted to basically set it up so the Way would succeed, but if you're happy to end the AP already then you could just let the chips fall where they may.

Like I said, I can't imagine the Way being able to mount a meaningful direct attack on the type of fortress you describe.

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Good point. The GM can just make it clear it is TOO DANGEROUS up there! For some reason, the malevolent supernatural forces are especially prevalent within the weather systems and will follow PCs up and above, or something like that.

So, Kalindlara, did your PCs try teleporting and get to Renchurch by jumping from one Witchgate to another (ending up in the trap at Renchurch)? Or did they just walk it?

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Brandon Hodge wrote:
Unless you consider that everyone that's teleported in the past has never returned to report the danger... *twiddles fingers*

Fair enough! I confess I can be a little too obsessive over this kind of detail. But I don't think it at all breaks the narrative to say that the PCs would be able to find out something about teleportation being wonky in Virlych.

Yes, the module clearly suggests placing the Witchgate encounters elsewhere, and I will do that (unless the PCs decide to risk teleporting anyways).

Good to know it wasn't the intention that Renchurch's location would be a great secret. My impression is the Lastwall patrols don't go that far, so it isn't a very familiar location at this point, but it seems like the PCs should just eventually be able to find their way.

One more question about travel -- in a lot of campaigns the GMs have allowed the PCs to travel by wind walk. But it seems to me the frequent baleful weather would make that pretty much impossible? I saw one GM mention his PCs traveled "above the clouds" -- which I guess raises the question of how high up the bad weather goes! I guess I just need to decide if I want to force my PCs to go over land...

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But it just doesn't seem plausible to me that there aren't a ton of people in Caliphas the PCs are in contact with that know about the Witchgates generally, including the Pharasmins, the Iomedaens, the Order of the Palatine Eye, the Vampires, etc. These things have been there for a long time and it must be well known among learned people interested in Vyrlich that teleportation just isn't a great option in that region. I think it is a bit of a flaw in the module that we GMs are supposed to be able to surprise PCs with this.

Under RAW, high level PCs can find out most of what is known to scholars on a topic such as Vyrlich simply by making a knowledge roll. Also, "By spending 1 day of downtime, you can thoroughly converse with several knowledgeable individuals or study several reliable sources over the course of the day. You can attempt up to three Knowledge checks to discover information." Caliphas has a major archives of knowledge.

I agree the exact location of Renchurch may not be known (because the records have been destroyed by agents of the Way), but I don't see how I avoid telling my PCs that teleporation is problematic.

I guess I will just tell them the general location of Renchurch and they will probably figure out some clever way to find it.

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

This isn't really your question, but if I were in your shoes I would have the Whispering Way find a different Way.

I frankly don't think the WW has enough resources to mount the kind of attack you are describing. But why does Count Galdana have to be the only descendant of the Tyrant available? I would have the PC's intervention slow the Way's plans, but, after a little time, I would give hints to the PCs that the Whispering Way appears to have found another way. Maybe Adivion discovers Kendra is also a descendant, as many other GMs have done. A nice unintended consequence to the PCs grabbing Galdana and storing him away is the WW grabs someone the PCs actually care about. Or maybe Adivion decides to pursue consuming the elixir himself as a Plan A, instead of as a last ditch effort as the AP contemplates. Unless you actually really want to do the siege route, I would not let the PCs finding out more than they should have derail the whole AP.

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

A thought about the Witchgates: Wouldn't a party doing any significant research at all learn about the Witchgates and the impossibility of teleporting to Renchurch? In that event, they would just skip the Witchgates altogether. Also, how hard is it to find Renchurch? I guess it makes sense to surmise that the Whispering Way stole or destroyed any maps showing its location, but one would think it would not be too hard to find. Do the Knights from Lastwall venture as far as Renchurch? Any magical mechanisms to obscure its location? Any other tips for running the trip to Renchurch?

Sorry for such a scattered set of questions. We start module 6 tonight and I am still a little unclear on how all this will play out.

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Tybid wrote:
Luvick knows that Renchurch exists but he has no idea where it is. He just knows that you use the Witchgates to find it. Finding it otherwise would take months of flying around through REALLY bad weather. The Whispering Way has spent hundreds of years finding references to it and burning them.

How do the Witchgates help find Renchurch? Don't they make it harder? I like the idea it is hard to find. What are some mechanics to obscure its location?

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Yeah, I hear you. There is plenty of that in my campaign, but I think it is a useful exercise to think through the mechanics. It helps give me a sense of how far out I am going, and even more importantly it forces some hard thinking about logical connections (such as the connection between daemons and Urgathoa) and opens neat story possibilities I had not even thought of (such as the Tien Goddess Shizuru, who I did not even know about but turns out to be perfect for this situation). By forcing myself to think harder, it creates opportunities for learning and discovery.

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Thanks, folks! More excellent ideas.

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Thanks, everyone! These are some great ideas. I think I will invent and plant a single use magic item with a dismissal effect. Otherwise, I think we are looking at a possible Derghodaemon TPK. The idea of making it some sort of holy symbol is a good one. Any idea of a deity who would be in opposition to daemons or Urgathoa? Having it a deity from somewhere obscure like Mwangi or Vudra or Tien (or any other obscure place) would fit well in terms of the particularities of the encounter (which is happening in a room that has trinkets gathered from an evil magus' world travels).

It seems a good fit to have an Urgathoan Cultist in the background having performed the summoning. This is actually more of a trap than guards just hanging around, so the evil baddie could have timed the calling and had an Urgathoan Cultist to do it. I just need to figure out what level such a cultist would need to be. I guess 11th level to cast Planar Ally with either the caller's feather or an augment calling feat.

I guess with an good explanation for the calling, I don't need any sort of portal. Although I was musing about some kind of modified portal that did harm to non-daemons who tried to pass through. But that is a pretty major item to introduce to the game, and unnecessary it seems.

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

For the weird fun of it, I've inflicted a few daemons on the PCs in my campaign (a few Vulnadaemons and, more problematically, a Derghodaemon). How do I justify in my own mind having these daemons on the material plane (helping a powerful evil magus and an evil alchemist). The planar ally and binding spells seem a little limited to explain daemons acting as, essentially, guards. Is there another mechanism? What rules are there about portals between planes?

Also, are you aware of any magic items that produce a dismissal-type effect? Ideally single use. If not, any suggestions for the form of such an item?

Also, are there any magic items that are essentially portals between planes?

Finally, is there any association between Urgathoa and Abaddon? Apollyon (the Horseman of Pestilence) certainly seems to have thematic overlap. Urgathoa is an element in my campaign, so some connection could be useful...


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Thanks all. Yes, the spell does leave a lot to be determined by the GM, and I haven't found much discussion of it. I am the GM, so I guess I get to decide. It seems as if the simulacrum must retain at least some of the memories, etc. of the original -- otherwise, how could it have (even half) the class abilities, skills, etc. that are one of the products of those collected experiences. (But I guess it loses spellcasting, because lesser simulacrum states "it has no magical abilities"?)

Perhaps an interesting, if not easy to roleplay, resolution is to say that the simulacrum shares the same alignment as the original and SOME of the memories -- but they come across in a jumbled way during the process (this is why the simulacrum loses half the levels). This would leave the simulacrum in a somewhat confused state and dependent on its creator, but also able to form its own identity over time and act independently. Or something like that.

Alternately, the simulacrum could be a younger version of the original, given that it has half the levels. But why would it make sense that only the most recent memories don't copied?

Any thoughts?

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One big difference between simulacrum and lesser simulacrum is "The creature is not under your control, though it recognizes you are its creator." Does this mean the lesser simulacrum acts with the motivations and goals of the original? If a villain made a lesser simulacrum of a hero, the simulacrum would recognize what it is (that it is a simulacrum and not the real thing) and try to act against the villain? Any thoughts?!

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I ruled that an Erase From Time attack cannot be retried, but it only uses a single melee attack so that a high level oracle can attempt a second use of the ability in the same round in a full attack. The PC accepted the decision and the second attempt ALMOST worked.

An interesting analogy is the Inquisitor level 20 "final judgment" ability. There the inquisitor needs to hit and then the target gets a save. It seems clear that regardless of whether the inquisitor hits or not, one of the inquisitor's daily judgments is consumed in the attempt. By analogy, one of the oracle's daily Erase From Time uses is consumed in an attempt, even if the touch attack misses. I imagine that the inquistors and oracles are summoning their magic or juju or whatever as they strike out, and the magic or juju or whatever is consumed in the effort.

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Paulicus wrote:

You misunderstand, I'm talking about delivering a spell with iterative attacks.

Scroll down to "Holding the charge." Should be much clearer after that.

I'm sorry that I'm being a bit thick-headed -- I don't understand why the iterative attacks would be against normal AC instead of touch AC (assuming there could be subsequent attempts). If the first try is an unarmed melee touch attack, wouldn't the subsequent ones be as well?

Which part of this clarifies the issue?

Holding the Charge: If you don't discharge the spell in the round when you cast the spell, you can hold the charge indefinitely. You can continue to make touch attacks round after round. If you touch anything or anyone while holding a charge, even unintentionally, the spell discharges. If you cast another spell, the touch spell dissipates. You can touch one friend as a standard action or up to six friends as a full-round action. Alternatively, you may make a normal unarmed attack (or an attack with a natural weapon) while holding a charge. In this case, you aren't considered armed and you provoke attacks of opportunity as normal for the attack. If your unarmed attack or natural weapon attack normally doesn't provoke attacks of opportunity, neither does this attack. If the attack hits, you deal normal damage for your unarmed attack or natural weapon and the spell discharges. If the attack misses, you are still holding the charge.

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bigrig107 wrote:
I have no problem allowing the charge to be held, mainly because the cool factor of choosing such niche options like this one make me feel obliged to at least give it a chance.

And what do you think about the multiple attempts in one round? I could see letting one or the other slide in the PC's direction, but both seems a little much (holding plus multiple attempts in one round). I hear you about the cool factor, but it is a very powerful mystery in several ways, and this is a battle-changing effect, so I'm not sure I see the logic in bending the rules too much in its favor when there is nothing suggesting it can be held. To say it can be held essentially removes one of the two contingencies on the powerful effect, since an eventual hit is guaranteed (and touch attacks aren't too hard usually).

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Paulicus wrote:

the only way to deliver the charge in subsequent rounds with an attack is with unarmed or natural attacks against regular AC.

Why against regular AC?

Based on how holding a touch spell works. You could still use a standard action to make a single touch attack, though.

By the way, where in the rules does it say subsequent attacks with a touch spell are against regular AC?


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Thanks, folks. I may invite my PC to weigh in since the consensus seems to be running against him. I do like to avoid or brush over these kinds of tricky rules decisions when they come up, because they can grind things to a halt. But the battle-changing effect of this ability made it kind of impossible to make a ruling on the fly and move on...

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Paulicus wrote:

For a once/day ability, I'd allow the charge to be held like a touch spell. What a fort save and attack roll, holding the charge hardly seems unbalancing.

Though if that's the case, the only way to deliver the charge in subsequent rounds with an attack is with unarmed or natural attacks against regular AC.

Why against regular AC?

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KingOfAnything wrote:
I'd agree to allow it as a part of a full attack, but since you can't hold the charge it's not overly powerful.

So, if I'm understanding correctly, you agree that a 12th level oracle could expend both uses of the ability in one round during a full attack, with each use counting as one melee attack. But you don't think the charge can be held -- you think a missed touch attack expends the use of the ability for the day. Could you explain your thinking on that latter point? I tend to agree, but my PC disagrees strongly.

How would other GMs rule on this at their table, and why?


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Thanks for your thoughts. As to the multiple attempts in one round, the PC's argument is that SU description says the SU ability is a standard action "unless defined otherwise by the ability's description" -- he argues the description "as a melee touch attack" means the ability description says it is NOT a standard action, but instead an attack action which can be multiplied on a full attack.

As to whether the charge can be held, I'd love more thoughts. Can anyone think of other comparable SU special abilities, and whether in those situations there can be a re-try on a miss?

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The Oracle's "Erase From Time" special ability provides:

Erase from Time (Su): As a melee touch attack, you can temporarily remove a creature from time altogether. The target creature must make a Fortitude save or vanish completely for a number of rounds equal to 1/2 your oracle level (minimum 1 round). No magic or divinations can detect the creature during this time, as it exists outside of time and space—in effect, the creature ceases to exist for the duration of this ability. At the end of the duration, the creature reappears unharmed in the space it last occupied (or the nearest possible space, if the original space is now occupied). You can use this ability once per day, plus one additional time per day at 11th level.

Also relevant:

Supernatural Abilities (Su): Using a supernatural ability is usually a standard action (unless defined otherwise by the ability's description). Its use cannot be disrupted, does not require concentration, and does not provoke attacks of opportunity.

Two questions that came up at the gaming table:

(1) If the oracle attempts a melee touch attack but misses, can she try again? That is, can she hold the charge as if it is a touch spell? Or is the ability's one use per day (or 2 after 11th level) discharged when the oracle makes a touch attack, successful or not?

(2) Second, assuming the Erase From Time attack can be re-attempted, and because it is described as a "melee touch attack," does that mean that a high level (or hasted) oracle with multiple attacks and using the full attack action can attempt multiple times in a single round?

Thanks very much for your help! I need to make a final ruling on this before we return to the gaming table tonight!

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Thanks folks. I'll give it thought. I don't want to force the rules to make the vampire escape, but it is cunning and I don't want to err on the side of disadvantaging it either.

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Well, I'm convinced now about soil, but if the spell allows you to move through "mere cracks", it seems it must allow you to move through spaces that insects can pass though. Gas could move through such a space, just like gas can escape a super thin fracture in a pipe. I'm unconvinced about the volume issue -- if you can go through a crack, then you can spread your form out however thin it needs to be to fit the available space it seems. The vampire might move more slowly passing though a thin crack, but I don't see how it is prohibited under the RAW.

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Ok. So I agree moving through ground might be hard, but it seems like the basement of an old stone monastery would have a ton of cracks that would allow passage to the outside -- that's why old basements have bugs and rodents. And then, even if the vampire could not move through the ground, it seems it could remain along the seam of the stone foundation and the surrounding soil/rock and wait for nightfall. It seems like if the vampire followed along the seam, it could find some kind of air pocket and hang out as long as it wants.

Do folks agree or disagree with any of that?

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Well, we're pretty much past the point of any foreshadowing. My thinking is that the "even mere cracks" language seems incredibly permissive to me. I just can't imagine old stone buildings not having thin cracks everywhere -- that's how insects and rodents move around and in and out. And if soil is porous enough for water and worms to move through, then why not a gaseous form. Of course, it's all my call, but I don't want to be too unreasonable. Frankly, the PCs may not even have any way in game of finding out what happened to the vampire.

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The PCs in my game have a vampire in a monastery on the run. Can he go gaseous, seep through the presumably sufficiently porous stone walls of the monastery basement, and then hide out in the soil until nightfall? Or just move underground through the soil?

On that same note, it seems to me the vampire can move through the walls and floors/ceilings of the monastery virtually at will, as an ancient monastery will have cracks everywhere.

Basically, this gives the PCs pretty much no chance of catching the vampire (whose location they don't presently know) -- right? Is any of the above incorrect?

I'd love some input before my game tonight!!

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Cevah wrote:

If you are just inside the edge, your spells can be cast since you do not cast thru the fog. On the other hand, you are inside the fog as far as others outside are concerned, so you gain concealment.

It all comes down to the use of squares to represent space, and how they interact with casting and other effects.


Thanks all. Does this note from Cevah make sense to you all? Effectively the caster would be peeking outside the fog, targeting her spell and then ducking back. Conceivably a PC could notice her peeking out, but not enough to target her since she would be back in the fog right away...

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Hi all. Can a spellcaster hidden inside a solid fog cast spells at targets outside the solid fog where the spells require line of sight? It seems like not, but if not I'm a bit confused why a Paizo AP would indicate in combat strategy that a spellcaster would put herself inside a solid fog...

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Thanks! A follow up: Does this mean that if an NPC consumes potions as part of prep we should assume the corresponding potions in the NPC's gear have been used up, or should we assume the gear is what is left AFTER the pre-combat preparations?

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Straightforward question that I can't find the answer to: if a vampire changes into a dire bat, is it still vulnerable to light?

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Thanks, Neil. It is a good thought that, just because the PCs are coming in from downstairs, it doesn't mean the big battle NEEDS to take place there, if somewhere else is more advantageous for Aisa or more interesting. The witches have already been alerted to the PCs presence, because one of the Oothi spider swarms is in the cave, and the witches are telepathically connected to her/it.

But it may be that Aisa sees some advantage to moving upstairs before the PCs come, perhaps to fully alert and organize the upstairs troops. Perhaps she thinks the bloodknight and ex-paladin will soften up the PCs (assuming the PCs don't ally with the ex-paladin). I suppose I could also imagine her wanting to have Hetna take on the PCs first. (I still can't imagine why she would think it would be advantageous to feed on Hetna rather than having Hetna as an ally in the final fight -- unless I guess she just views it as an easy opportunity to get rid of her sister).

Anyhow, it is interesting to consider that it can be a re-arranged sequence rather than a battle royal, although a battle royal is probably the bad guys' smartest move.

Any thoughts, building on Neil's idea, of how Aisa might want to throw foes at the PCs, or where would be most interesting to stage the battles?

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Thanks. I guess the swarm in the cave will warn the witches of the party's approach. Any thoughts on how the witches would prepare? I guess they would start drawing down the forces from upstairs to the downstairs. I guess the party will need to face both witches at the same time, since in this scenario Aisa might not feed on Hetna? For what it is worth, the PCs are showing a pretty overwhelming amount of force on the nagas -- a summoned and hasted dire tiger chewing one to bits, a hasted barbarian with pounce and massively destructive blows.

Thanks for your thoughts! It is very helpful for me to toss this stuff back and forth -- most of you are more experienced as GMs than I!

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We didn't get very far last night (my PCs are VERY cautious in approaching lairs). But, predictably, they found the sea cave and they are now poised to make very easy work of the Nagas (protection from evil is OVERPOWERED! -- a first level spell easily put on a cheap wand that confers immunity from charm person?!?).

Anyhow, I'd love any further thoughts on the advantages or disadvantages of leaving in the cave entrance to the Abbey, since I have time to decide whether to leave it in or not...

One advantage to leaving the entrance there is the opportunity to interact with that charmed paladin. Plus, as usual, the PCs are unloading some heavy spells right away -- if they have to approach from above it is almost guaranteed they will seek to return to Caliphas to rest up. So what do you all think? A Battle Royal in the basement of the Abbey for my PCs? (Technically a Battle Royal is factionless, but you know what I mean!)

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Thanks. I'm also thinking of not putting too much pressure on them to finish things off in one go. They have a tendency to approach things like Keep on the Borderlands -- pop in, kill a few monsters, go home and rest. When they were in Illmarsh I made it pretty clear they needed to finish the underground caves in one go, and I felt like that was the right thing, even though (or perhaps because) a couple of them got killed in the end (those were the first deaths in the AP). But another (and almost two) got killed in the tailor shop. It doesn't seem like there's as much urgency to take down the Abbey all in one sweep -- the witches are going to be on alert anyways and aren't going anywhere without Oothi's skull. And I don't want my PCs to feel like they are going to get killed in every chapter, and we can't afford the wait for class levels to recover from raisings...

Plus, Radvir escaped the tailor shop, so if he decided to join the witches things will be even tougher -- but I'm open to other ideas about where Radvir went...

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm a bit late posting this now because I'm running my game tonight, but any reason why I shouldn't omit the cave entrance to the Abbey? My party went directly to the basement in Radvir's shop and had a heck of a hard time. I think they might do the same thing here -- go into the basement through the cave -- and get slaughtered in a massive battle royale, as the foes from elsewhere in the abbey all gather to aid in the fight in the basement. Plus, the PCs would potentially miss out on some interesting roleplaying up above, such as with the witchfires...

Any thoughts?

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

How would you all handle time travel from a mechanical perspective? I suppose it would be too much to even devise a very high level spell that would allow time travel.

I have no interest in sending my PCs back in time, but I have a player who is interested in bringing a character from the past into the campaign. It is a great idea in the context of the campaign, and my idea is to send a high level NPC back in time to get her (that is, the PC).

Here's one idea I found online: "The Fulcrum of Ages"

The NPC (a virtuosic teleporter) could have a modified version of this device hidden away somewhere.

Any other thoughts?

Ion -- I'm realizing you didn't take an action for the Bralani Azata upstairs for Round 25.

Arthen -- feel free to post actions now for Round 26 for yourself and the water elemental. There's one more area for the elemental to douse; would need to take a five foot step West to get there. I need to post an action for the ghouls, but that won't affect you.

I will also try to revise the map. I've had a kind of chaotic weekend; we'll just pick up tomorrow night from wherever we can get.

Round 26!

Aldo staggers from the tremendous blow delivered by Munafiq and the cloud of smoke descends on the group, covering the area in total darkness. Aldo hacks and coughs, and swings at Munafiq. Although it is a well placed blow, the attack misses due to concealment. Aldo then moves away from Munafiq, although none of the allies can see where he goes. (No attack of oppo. due to concealment.) You do hear him say "Come. Follow me."

Behind GM screen:

Fortitude: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (7) + 9 = 16

Bladed scarf: 1d20 + 19 - 2 ⇒ (19) + 19 - 2 = 36

Concealment miss chance: 1d100 ⇒ 29

Acrobatics: 1d20 + 22 ⇒ (4) + 22 = 26

He moves out and up the wall.

Thanks, Ion. I'll work to get up a bunch of the next round. I think we all forgot about the effect of the pyrotechnics, which "spreads 20 feet in all directions and lasts for 1 round per caster level. All sight, even darkvision, is ineffective in or through the cloud. All within the cloud take –4 penalties to Strength and Dexterity (Fortitude negates). These effects last for 1d4+1 rounds after the cloud dissipates or after the creature leaves the area of the cloud." What is the DC? We'll need FORT saves from the demons, the guard below them, Munafiq, the second Azata, Aldo, the upstairs vampire, and the water elemental. For anyone who fails, the effect with last for Pyrotechnics effect: 1d4 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 1 = 5 rounds.

What I'm going to say is that, instead of spreading instantly, the cloud of choking smoke spread on Ion's action this round, enveloping all those who had been within 20 feet of the edge of the fire (or who moved into that area this round).

One hour. Nice!

Good reminder! How long does the silversheen coating last?

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