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It's not the missing stat blocks that I have a problem with, it's the change in format of the maps.
I used to be able to click on the map in the older pdfs, copy, open MS paint, and paste it there.
It would show up without any of the map icons, room numbers, "S" for secret door symbols, and highlighted trap areas.
Ever since season 4, this layering effect was changed so that now, if I want to print out and use the nice map in the scenario, I have to spend all kinds of time editing it to remove those symbols becuase the cut and paste method doesnt work to strip out all the "GM Only" symbols. Most of the time I cant do a convincing job and wind up just drawing lines on graph paper.
Seems a shame to include a nice map that only I as the GM can see.
Allow GM credit for running the same scenario multiple times. If I can find a table of fresh players that haven't played it, for whom I can run it, why are you shorting my GM credits?
I realize that not buying new scenarios cuts into Paizo's pockets, but I think this situation is fringe enough that it wouldn't significantly bother them. Other than once or twice a year at conventions, how often do you RUN outside your local PFS circles?
And if you do have a large enough group that fresh players are cycling in, again, why are you cutting off the GM's knees by removing part of his incentive to run? If he has run that scenario, and had a great time running it, why shortchange the players in what will probably be an even better game the second time around because now he's familiar with it by making him pull out a fresh scenario so that he can get credit for it?
I know I know, "But it still counts towards your GM Stars". Whatever, I don't think it's too much to ask.
Potion of Air Bubble (for water)
Spring Loaded Wrist Sheath
You know what might work better is if instead of immediately counterspelling or dispelling each other, the light and darkness spells of greater level suppress those of a lower level, and equal level spells merely suppress each other, until one expires or the area of effect separates.
That way you don't lose your permanent spell that you paid for due to a short contact with a free darkness spell.
So to sum up:
Light and Dancing Lights are suppressed by all darkness spells.
Continual Flame (This makes a blanket assumption that the Continual Flame was cast by a wizard) is suppressed by Blacklight and Deeper Darkness, and both Darkness and Continual Flame suppress each other.
Daylight suppresses Darkness, and both Black Light and Deeper Darkness suppress Daylight and are suppressed in turn.
The only wrinkle is the wording of the effect when the spells area of effect overlaps, would you want to have only the area of the spell overlapping be suppressed, or once they touch, both entire areas are?
I think this type of rational is the only logical way of dealing with magical darkness and light (wait, did I just say that?). It gives a clear set of guidelines for everyone and throws the nonsense of the whole Heightened Spell argument out the window.
You want to make a fair set of rules, with reasonable workarounds and counters to the attacks that the players will be facing, and I think this achieves that without forcing the players into unreasonable levels of preparation.
If you think this makes sense, favorite this post or mark it for the FAQ.
Here's how things went down when I ran this scenario and I'm the evil fiend who killed Jiggy.
Our party build up consisted of Jiggy's Eldritch Knight, a kickass monk played by his brother, and the 7th level pregens Merrisel, Ezren, and Kyra.
The characters encounter the deva at the entrance and it gives its challenge. They counter by talking to it and telling it that they aren't the tomb robbers it's looking for. I put the GM screen aside for a second and tell them that they will have to make a very high Diplomacy check to bypass this guy. They need to decide who has the best score, roll the assists, and make a Diplomacy roll.
At this point I look back at the scenario and what it says about the angels binding argeement.
This is what I have to work with:
the Refuge of Time wrote:
So they've blown the Diplomacy roll, but I figure that with some real life roleplaying, I'll let them walk past. If they can just convince the angel that they aren't tomb robbers......
The characters start asking the angel questions, asking what it has agreed to, invite it to detect evil on them, and start to try to get a feel for what will trigger the angel letting them pass.
One of the characters hits on the idea of his faction mission and he tells the angel that he is searching for a merchant he is afraid has been kidnapped and he believes that merchant to be inside the shrine, may he enter and look for this person? The angel knows that there are people inside the shrine, so it makes him submit to the strip and detect lie, and then lets him pass.
The rest of the characters follow suite except for the monk, who at one point says to the angel that he just wants to go inside and take out the tokens. I did my best not to facepalm as the Deva raised his sword and said, "You are a thief and may not pass." The player quickly backpeddled, stripped, submitted to the spell, and promised that he would not take anything out of the shrine (unspoken was the fact that he didn't need too if his friends did) and the angel let him pass. Jiggy was the last one in and finally came up with the correct wording to satisfy the Deva and that was the end of the encounter. They blew the Diplomacy but after I managed to get some roleplay out of them, they were allowed entry.
It took quite a while and Jiggy is right, even if they Dip check their way past the guy, he doesn't leave, he's still out their protecting the place from tomb robbers.
One GM I talked to said that he allowed his group to use Dispel Magic to break the Planar Binding. I know this doesn't work since Planar Binding is an Instantaneous Duration Spell and:
Dispel Magis wrote:
The effect of a spell with an instantaneous duration can't be dispelled, because the magical effect is already over before the dispel magic can take effect.
You could potentially use Dismissal on him, but how many players walk around with that prepared?
So the group walks in and starts talking to the prisoners, getting information and doing faction stuff. Then they walk around to the statue, look at it, fail their spellcraft rolls, and decide not to touch it. In hindsight I should have docked them the GP value of not securing the items, but by the time we were done playing, I simply forgot.
They cant budge the old main entrance, but after chipping a chunk of the door out with an adamantine sword and seeing that it's caved in mostly, they leave it be.
So the next thing that happens is that the monk walks into the room with the shadow and they start dancing. You have never seen a more frustrated undead as the monks touch AC was so high that it didn't score a single hit has he beat it to "death" with his magical fists.
The next room up was the chapel and in goes the monk again. Initiative time. The graveknight wins and charges the monk for a ton of damage. The cleric opens up her spell selection with bless, while the monk barely 5 feet from her is bleeding out of two new holes and pleading to be healed. Sorry monk, this was what I planned to cast she says. LOL The fight takes a good deal of time but they manage to finally bring the GK down with no casualties, even though at one point Ezren pulled out his crossbow. I never knew how much following step could be.
The final room awaits, the party heals up while the wizard starts buffing, and it's go time.
The battle that follows is one of the longest I have ever GMed and was utterly brutal. The stinking clouds, the nausea, the party retreating, the wizard Dimensonal stepping after them, the rogue sneaking around invisibly, the fiendish bison charging and stomping people into the ground, the sinspawn who didn't want to move, and the acid, OMG the acid!
Something that I am going to note here that during this battle, not one, but TWO party members retreated out to the angel and started begging him to help them. I'm sitting there behind the screen thinking, "OK what now smart guy? They've just brought the angel back into the game." The angel stares at them, shrugs, and heals them up. When they keep pestering him, he gives them both the Aid spell, and tells them that is all he can do.
As the fight rages on, the Monk got KOed, Ezren died, the cleric got KOed, Merrisel died, and Jiggy is on his own. For the next 10 rounds or more, he solos against the wizard and his chums. He and the wizard seperate due to another dimensional step, Jiggy buffs back up, infernal healing, haste, fly, and goes wizard hunting again. Wizard is down to a few spells and his acid darts. The wizard then dimensional steps away from the flying superspeed sword of death and back out to the entryway.
The final moments are upon us as Jiggy comes barreling back out and the wizard casts around for some last ditch way to save his skin and spots...
With a blood flecked scream he commands the angel to protect him from this tomb robber. The angel sighs, shrugs, and flys up to meet Jiggy. At this point I'm going to have the angel use a slam or some other minor ability to fend him off but thats when the angel sees he's radiating evil. The angel doesn't have detect magic and is now assuming he's been duped somehow. Out comes the flaming greatsword. At this point Jiggy is desperately trying to maneuver around the angel and finish the wizard off. He and the angel are flying around eachother and the wizard, tired of this ariel dance, floats back and commands the angel to strip him of his enchantments. One Antimagic field later Jiggy is laying prone looking up at the flying wizard and angels flapping wings.
The wizard, bloody, near death, and entirely sick of this nonesense, offers to let Jiggy leave in peace if he will surrender.
Jiggy answers him by casting Dimension Door and teleporting into the small caved in entryway that they had chipped a crack into while investigating the shrine earlier. That is the last straw for the wizard, he kills the KOed Kyra with an acid dart, screams for the slothspawn in the other room to kill the KOed monk (which he does) and tells the angel to find jiggy and finish him.
The angel has a 50/50 chance now to go one way or the other, if he floats toward the statue and the entrance, he'll see the crack and find Jiggy. If he floats the other way into the chapel, Jiggy may have a few rounds to pull himself together. Unfortunately the dice were not with him as the angel flys over to the crack, peers inside with his darkvison, sees Jiggy, and with an "I'm sorry", kills him with a holy smite.
I find myself agreeing with Jiggy though, it's best just to kill the angel right away and get it over with. Any time you are playing on a small map like this where the encounters could run together, it's best to have a SWAT team mentality. Sweep and clear everything, secure everyone you find so that they can't sneak up on you later, and move to the next area. When in doubt, take it out.
This was my first ever TPK in PFS, I think it was a very challenging scenario and I'd be happy to run it again anytime.
One thing to point out is that if you "follow the money" so to speak then the chief suspect is Asmodeus as he has gained the most from Aroden's death and has previously killed a god. Another (albeit unlikely) suspect is Tar Baphon, the Whispering Tyrant as he hates Aroden more than anyone.
Gained the most? What about Iomadae?
Wouldn't that be a twist if she cut a deal with Asmodeus to kill Aroden and assume his powers?
With none the wiser........
To me, it has always seemed that feats were meant to provide extra benefits for your characters, and that using them was a choice, such as adding metamagic feats to spells.
But some feats can adversly affect a character as well, and it is in this situation that I wanted to know whether or not the player has a choice whether or not to use it.
One feat in particular is the Acadamae Graduate feat.
The working seems to imply that is it "always on", but does it feel right to require you to use it every time you cast a conjuration summoning spell? Or can you opt not to and instead cast the summons as normal?
Thanks, I'd argue that they'd have bleed instead but, I don't think any of them will last long enough to worry about zero level spells.
Any idea on what to do with the rebuke undead feature? I have a feeling I'm going to have a negative channeling cleric with command undead in my game on Saturday and am not sure how the two different mechanics should work.
I know the guide says we should make as little modification as possible, but I feel I should change the clerics to being able to channel negative energy with Command Undead and swap their domain powers for the pathfinder equivalents. But then that would mess up their feats and combat abilities, so I guess I won't. I don't know.
I also saw the comment on the Mega-raptor zombie and it's multitude of attacks, I think I'll just consider it to be a unique monster rather than trying to adapt it into a fast zombie or something else.
The map has me a bit confused. There is a stage, which I assume is elevated at least 5-10 ft up to give the room the chance to see it, but there are no stairs from the orchestra pit (which I assume is sunken at least 5 ft down) nor are there any backstage? I'll just draw in some stairs, south and west of the spiral stairwells backstage respectively, and assume the orchestra pit floor slopes up on either side.
Over all I am going to try to have the scenario play out thus:
Act 1 in room 1A, during the fight the doors to room 6 will be closed by patrons fleeing and barricading themselves in that room (the gabby survivors described at the end of the scenario).
Act 2 in room 5, the victims will be crowded along the North wall, trying to get into the barricaded room, and the bad guys will have just entered from room 4 after having killed everyone in the bar.
Skip to Act 4 in room 4, the destroyed bar will make a great scene of carnage where bar patrons and theater staff alike rise from the grave.
Now comes Act 3 in room 3, if the PC's enter from room 4, the bad guys can enter from room 1A, having come out of either room 7 or 9 while the PCs were busy in the bar. This will give the party rogue (if there is one) the opening requested by the author to get into flanking position by backtracking through the now cleared out bar and into the main room behind them.
Act 5 takes place downstairs, going to try to have the bad guys block the PC's from entering the room, thus forcing them to fight on the slippery corridor floor.
So, since the scenario says the PC's will be sitting in back by room 6, this seems to be the simplest way to lead them by the nose around the theater until they get to the backstage area. I'm afraid that is where they are going to want to head right away if they have any sense of where the main bad guy is hiding (pay no attention to the man behind the curtain).
When I played this, my group wanted to head backstage immediately, since we assumed that's where the basement entrance would be. The GM wound up having to throw every encounter at us one after another as we ground our way towards it, I'm hoping I don't have to do the same so I get to describe the destroyed theater and play out the scene a little more.
Yes, I'm looking forward to the ghoul/color spray mess when it happens.
I've decided to split up the Faction missions for the 10 different groups and extrapolated some new text for them.
Qadira Faction Handout
Servant of the Satrap,
Lantern Lodge Faction Handout
Friend to the East,
Andoran Faction Handout
Most Liberated Soul of Justice,
Silver Crusade Faction Handout
Taldor Faction Handout
Servant of the Empire,
Scarnzi Faction Handout
My Good Friend,
Cheliax Faction Handout
Shadow Lodge Faction Handout
One of my Sharpest Tacks,
For the love of the Gods don’t drink any of it,
Osirion Faction Handout
Grand Lodge Faction Handout
Let me know what you think.
Running this on Saturday, going to be snagging that menu from Ryan.
Any suggestions for PFRPG conversions? I need an appropriate bloodline for Deris, and I'm not sure the CR 5 Giant Advanced Aquatic Ant (waterbug) is going to be a fair fight at tier 1-2. The thing is a potential TPK for a group of 1st level characters with it's AC 20, stinger, and grabbing bite.
I want to update the other monsters too but I want to stay as close to the original HP's listed in the scenario, especially that bugbear zombie, don't know how I'm gonna get him up to 42 HP.
The Ghasts should be at least 4 HD, shouldn't they? That's the cap it takes to turn a person into one from ghoul fever. I plan on taking the Ghast Kings bite away (he's wearing his golden funeral mask) so that he doesn't completely destroy the party if they are particularly weak at that point.
About the maps, the outdoor map is very small and has no scale, I realize it was just taken as a clip from the map in the back of the "Hangman's Noose" module but really, it's of almost no use at all. I suppose I'll just get by by drawing out the edge of a pool for the battle in the water. What did other people do for this?
Also, if the players dispel the haunts in the school house and start a fight there. Any suggestions? Maybe the magical academy map pack?
The Necropolis map has a flaw in it, the southeast room with the two lights has a 5ft stair leading down from the north, and a 15 ft stair leading down from the west. Both stairwells start at the same level?
I think I'm going to have to include a 10 ft stair between that north junction and the room with the ghouls, just so the horizontal layout makes sense. I'm also going to make that 5 ft step crumbled and hazardous and fill the room with 3ft of water. The Gebbite General is also going to be placed in that room along the East wall in the alcove there. My basic idea is to prevent the players from wanting to go down the crumbled steps into the water, once they make it through the room with the ghouls, they will be able to take the southern passage and the find the longer stairwell, which going down will give them a straight on view of the armored form. At that point, they know they'll have to enter the water to get to him, and hopefully I can creep them out for no good reason. Adding the 10ft of stair between the long hall and the ghoul room will also give me the benefit of not letting the players see into the room before they enter it.
Also, the main hallway stair from Area 1 to Area 2 should be going down, not up. The final chamber has 50ft ceilings for crying out loud. Unless that entry shaft was a good 80 ft deep, the characters need to go down. Down is always creepier anyway.....
The South-most chamber will be where the carved relief the Taldor player is looking for is located. It serves no other purpose and I hate telling players, "You enter the room, it's dark and empty".
The North-most chamber will be the lair of the 3 ghouls, I was thinking that they are former teachers that ate the bodies stored here to stay alive when they were trapped here by the quake, only able to claw their way out once they transformed, so when they attack they'll be wearing teachers uniforms. Would someone like to try writing up some flavor text for this chamber? I plan on putting three broken open coffins in here, one in each alcove, but other than that, anything that makes this room seem like a place of desperate depravity and creepy garbage would be great.
The two easternmost chambers in Area 3 will each hold a ghast if playing at the higher tier, again I hate empty rooms and, the undead coming from every direction will be an interesting change in the combat dynamic.
The text describes the entire necropolis as dark, but the map shows several glowing yellow spots. I plan on changing these to be continual light globes that are flickering and dim, barely giving off shadowy illumination as the negative energy churning through the complex drains their magic slowly away.....
Anyone think of anything else that needs doing?
IMHO chronicle sheets should never have:
Items that are useful in such a limited capacity as to never be useful (i.e. Murder on the Silken Caravan gives you a map of the Zho mountains).
Chronicle sheets should have:
Boons (one shot)
Conditions (I can tell you I've forgotten to mark a disease on a few players that needed to have it recorded, if there's a mummy in your scenario, give us a check box for mummy rot)
Unique magic items, such as some of the equipment listed on a few of the novel chronicles.
Up level wands.
Up level potions.
Up level scrolls.
Partially charged items of all sorts, or consumable magic items that are partially used.
Items that are normally not allowed in PFS play (such as the mantis mask offered in scenario 2-26).
Broken items (allowing them to be purchased at less than full value but repaired with an investment).
Spells from the sources indicated in the additional resources section, including descriptions, so that they may be used without the original source material once you play that particular scenario.
Items that can be made from creatures encountered (dragonhide armor and shields).
Let's get this post back on track.
We can ignore the whole boon companion thing if you realize that by taking the Beastmaster Archtype from APG, you lose one feat (which you were gonna blow on boon companion anyway) and gain access to all the druid animal companions (including vermin - giant wasp!) and that as you level up, your ranger level boosts up to full comparative druid level (at 11th level).
My elven ranger feat selection has been this so far
1st Weapon Focus
.............that's as far as I've gotten
Just remember to wear a spiked mithril breastplate so that you gain the benefits of threating in melee as well as always having a weapon at hand that you don't have to switch to. Then upgrade to celestial armor when your dex bonus climbs past +5
Avoid Point Blank Shot, it's a trap!
Your short range is 110 ft with a composite longbow, no reason to get within 30ft so the monsters can walk up and hammer on you.
A mix of all three depending on the situation. It's PFS so you never know what sort of group you'll be placed with.
Mobility tree? As in Dodge, Mobility, Spring Attack?
If that's what you were talking about, please read Ride-By Attack and get back to me.
Kyle Baird (Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber), Tue, Sep 15, 2009, 01:19 PM Flag | List |
If you have a +1 Composite longbow with a strenght bonus of +1, can you upgrade the strength bonus by paying the difference (100 gp per increase)?
Josh, can we get an official answer on this? Seems like not being able to simply upgrade the strength bonus would be a huge penalty for ranged characters who manage to increase their character's strength.
ex. Having a +2 Flaming Composite Longbow Mighty +2, and wanting a +2 Flaming Composite Longbow Mighty +3 would cost the character 8,350 gp!
Joshua J. Frost, Tue, Sep 15, 2009, 02:39 PM Flag | List |
Upgrade by paying the difference.
James Risner (Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber), Tue, Sep 15, 2009, 04:25 PM Flag | List |
Joshua J. Frost wrote:
Just to be sure, you are referring to both the Magical (+1 weapon to +2 weapon for 6000 gp) and the non-Magical (Masterwork Composite Longbow of +1 STR to +2 STR for 100 gp) are both available by paying the respective differences, 6000 gp and 100 gp?
Joshua J. Frost, Tue, Sep 15, 2009, 05:11 PM Flag | List |
In the specific case of bows, yes.
Ok, so I found this in the FAQ and it doesn't seem to have been contradicted anywhere but I wanted to ask a follow up question.
Once you've paid the extra gold to have the Bow adjusted upwards in strength bonus, can it ever be downgraded again to have a lesser bonus? Would that cost an additional 100 gp?
This situation could become necessary if you gain a Belt of Strength, have the bow adjusted for your new bonus, and then lose the belt during an adventure or need to sell it for whatever reason. Or if you wind up taking permanent ability damage that you can't afford to have repaired.