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Vudrani

outshyn's page

FullStarFullStar Pathfinder Society GM. 291 posts. 14 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 18 Pathfinder Society characters.


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**

Three questions for the module author:

1. What was your intention if the players do have magic on them at the start, but they disclose it and cannot be rid of it? For example, if a player got a magical tattoo and couldn't turn it off, what do the judges do? You have described how they would detect it, but not how they would handle things if the PCs disclosed it and stated they had no wish to cheat but couldn't be rid of it. Would it be reasonable to cast Dispel Magic on them, or is that too harsh? Or should they just be stuck with the magic AND a half-day penalty?

2. Were you aware that ability damage can go into the negatives? That was not the case in D&D 3.5, so it's understandable that you might have put ability damage into the module thinking it couldn't stop the PCs much. However, in Pathfinder the blood caterpillars could drop a PCs strength to -10 or -20, needing weeks to come out of unconsciousness. With Lesser Restoration spells being very limited & restricted in this particular product, it's entirely possible that groups are stuck convalescing for days on end. I'd bet that if high-tier tables ran this fight as-is, by the book, then many games should end with "Sorry, you took too long to rest, so you've lost the race." Were you intending for that to be the case?

3. Did you intend for "crafting (any)" to mean anyone with any craft skill could make armor or weapons? In our game, if someone had craft (underwater basket weaving) then they qualified to use that to make armor. Was that intended by you, or was it intended that GMs should restrict crafting to the relevant crafting skill? That of course would make an already difficult module even harder, but if that's the right way to run it, then I intend to run it like that.

(A fun thought experiment regarding #2. Due to how poison stacks in Pathfinder (+2 DC and 50% more saves), let's look at what happens if someone is struck multiple times by the caterpillar bristles, and fails to save against 3 such bristle poisons. In that case, the DC increases to 19 (15 base, +2 for each extra failed save), and the PC must save 12 times before the poison has run it's course (6 base, +3 for each extra failed save). 12 saves at DC 19 is bad -- probably going to fail those. If all are failed, that's a possible -48 max to the PC's strength score! They're not coming out of unconsciousness for a LONG TIME. I hope it's allowed for other PCs to craft a stretcher/travois!)


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Stratagemini wrote:
Kingmaker isn't a Chris Avellone style story. It isn't about tough subjects to the same degree. it's about Killing the hell out of Jabberwocks and stealing gold mines from Kobolds.

I would trust Avellone to turn the kobold issue into a matter of genocide and consequences.

I think he'll do fine, writing for this video game.

**

Here is the relevant section from the PFS rules:

Quote:

Alignment infractions are a touchy subject. Killing an innocent, wanton destruction, and other acts that can be construed as evil might be considered alignment infractions. Ultimately, you are the final authority at the table, but you must warn any player whose character is deviating from his chosen alignment. This warning must be clear, and you must make sure that the player understands the warning and the actions that initiated the warning. The PC should be given the opportunity to correct the behavior, justify it, or face the consequences.

If infractions continue in the course of the scenario or sanctioned module or Adventure Path, an alignment change might be in order. If you deem these continued actions warrant an alignment change, you should note it on the character’s Chronicle sheet at the end of the session in the notes section. The character can remove this gained condition through an Atonement spell.

If Atonement is needed, players are supposed to resolve that before going home after the game. Being a "fallen paladin" isn't allowed to carry over into the next game. The player forks over cash immediately at the game conclusion, and goes back to being a normal paladin in good standing.

If you didn't warn the player outright, by flat-out stating exactly what would happen and what was at risk, then you cannot make the paladin fall, according to PFS rules.

**

Yes, absolutely they are available. There are 2 reasons for the yes. First, the major use of spellcasting services is to get raised from the dead. A large amount of the time this would be impossible to do if the fame limit was in place.

Second, in the Roleplaying Guild Guide, "Spellcasting Services" is under its own heading, and has its own rules, separate from the item purchases. That section begins:

Quote:
You may hire a spellcaster to cast a spell using the following rules.

The rules that are then listed do not include the rules from item purchases. It's a different set of rules, with no fame requirement.

**

shaventalz wrote:

*No mouldering libraries with ancient lore (in the scope of the adventure)

*No nobles or political intrigue, especially on the material plane

Season 7 at least had Bid for Alabastrine for the Exchange

You must not have played the season 8 Tyranny of Winds trilogy, then.

Spoiler:
The trilogy not only has a library, it has 2 in a single scenario, AND one of the books can be "interviewed," AND another part of the trilogy has an improved version of the Bid for Alabastrine social encounter.
**

MisterSlanky wrote:
I'm really struggling here to understand this. I didn't ad lib or dig around in the scenario, I just presented the information within. There's no reason to hold the story back on this one.

Now that you've outlined what you presented, I would suggest that the detail you found would be charitably called "underwhelming." Just my impression.

As Lau said, a one-page handout with more info than is currently available in the module would make me feel better about it.

And I understand that you're probably hovering over the reply button so that you can say you don't understand why the information isn't sufficient, but that's just a decision each person makes for himself or herself. They get to have whatever crazy, unreasonable, irrational, subjective standard they wish. Whatever the reason, I deem the info provided to be not enough.

MisterSlanky wrote:
I have a good memory

I have a terrible memory and buckle under pressure.

MisterSlanky wrote:
I try to be well prepared

I'm poor, overworked, and feel lucky to have 2 hours free to prepare. As a slow reader, this means I get to read through the scenario once. I would quit to make room for better GMs, but my area has recently been turning away players because of a lack of GMs, so I guess PFS has to endure my poor performance until others fill in the ranks.

If I could summarize my post, it would be: people are different and have different needs.

I would really appreciate it if PFS would write modules that don't require great GMs. The rank & file GMs need to deliver a good game, and a truly good module will turn out just fine even with average Joes running them.

**

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Lau Bannenberg wrote:
MisterSlanky wrote:
I disagree. There's exactly as much information as the GMs provide.
Eh, I dunno.

I dunno either. We asked my GM repeatedly for more info. He said he'd given us everything in the module, which wasn't much (or at least, wasn't enough for us to feel like we were fully informed).

I think MisterSlanky might just be a superior GM who can ad-lib amazingly, or who has the ability to find extra info lightning-fast. For the rest of us, this looks like a genuine weak spot of the module. My GM couldn't add extra, and I didn't find extra myself.

**

Lau Bannenberg wrote:
@outshyn: that's brilliant!

Thanks Lau!

Lau Bannenberg wrote:
My first impression when playing part III was that the author was aiming for a Mos Eisley cantina scene but for some reason held back with weird races and so we get elves and dwarves instead.

Oh no! My tavern just added a gnome to the list. :(

I don't honestly know what race would be good for:


  • The plane of air
  • A bartender/tavernkeeper, interested running a business
  • Non-flying but adapted with weird gear

I'm just not good enough with the newer Bestiary books.

There are multiple levels of my tavern, so I suppose there could be multiple bartenders. I could keep the gnome and add another. Or maybe all the servers could be some weird flying race.

Well, I'll run it again, so thanks for the feedback. I'm sure run #2 will be better.

**

Core Rulebook: "You can retry checks made to open locks." And since there is no penalty for failing to open a lock, you can take 20 on it.

(It doesn't get damaged if you fail by 5 or more, nor anything like that. Disabling devices has that limitation, but not opening locks.)

Therefore, you don't even need to play out the rolls on the forum. He can just state "I take 20, get 29," and that's it.

So, set the DC at 25, he'll immediately open it, and give him the loot.

**

I just ran this at KublaCon, and had a complication.

From page 8: "Nix points at a squat building half a hemisphere away, indicating it as a good a starting point for their investigation."

My players didn't know what the building was, didn't ask Nix, and they already spoke Auran, so they felt no need to take her advice. Instead, they wanted to go immediately into the city and start investigating. I knew I could intersperse some of the NPCs & rumors at my discretion, so that seemed OK. But then they said this: "Hey, we know we're stuck here for a week, so maybe let's get rooms at an inn first."

OH! I can get them back on track! I say, "Sure, the first attempt to gather information leads you to a place called the Aching Anchor. It's supposedly well-suited for newcomers, and is rumored to have translators available."

They hated that. "We want to talk to the locals, not translators. Is there a place that the locals go to?" And so I give you:

The place the locals go to

Port Eclipse's inn & tavern "for locals" is called Whirling Winds, but lots of locals will simply say, "Let's get drinks at the birdcage." Why? Because it looks like a birdcage. It's a tall building projecting toward the center of the sphere-like city, with a curved dome. And that's how you get in. That is, there are no doors at ground level. It's for locals. You're expected to fly through the curved top, which is open during business hours (99% of always).

I'm thinking of birdcages like this and buildings that look similar, like this. The trick is that the walls must be solid & closed, while the roof, aside from the curved reinforcement bars, is open.

My players were hell-bent on getting into that, but they had no flight. I reminded them that they could will themselves up with a wisdom check. "What happens if we overshoot?" I told them that they could ready to grab on as they went by, but if they missed they would continue sailing away until they hit the other side or could reverse course -- either way they'd probably take falling damage. They did not like that option, and I have to agree. Even if I made the dome bars AC 5 (like the ground) so they were easily targeted & grabbed, a natural 1 would still probably mean 20d6 falling damage. So they decided to have an animal companion fly up, tie a rope, and then drop it for everyone else to come in.

The complication I threw at them: the rope now dangles, coiled, in mid-air. Inanimate objects in this realm just float as if they were in outer space. So with a little more work they pulled the rope down to the others and people started rappelling in, which I found to be a hilarious image. These PCs were so determined to get in with the locals that they made a spectacle of going to a location that everyone else casually flies into. Yes, they were awarded awareness points for this.

But wait! The spectacle doesn't end!

Once inside, I stole an idea from part 2. Remember the library with the floating clouds that held desks & bookshelves on them? I used those clouds for different levels inside the Whirling Winds. No idea how many levels there are, but what I do know is that one level has a stage, about 10' off the cloud floor. The stage is also cloud. One of my players was a halfling bard who was set on performing on that stage. So he stood under the stage and started willing himself to believe that the stage was his gravity point. He tried, and failed, and re-tried. After 5 rounds, he suddenly falls upward, landing on the underside of the stage. He makes an acrobatics check to avoid taking the first 10' of falling damage and is fine. He then calmly walks around the edge of the cloud stage, coming over to the top part. Now standing upright, he make a knowledge planes check to see if he knows some appropriate music, gets a good result with a 21, and begins to play. He gets applause, tries to turn it into his day job, and it doesn't quite get him the cash he wants. Not enough drinks were sold to merit cash payments.

However, the bartender is this gnome with a self-built clockwork seat that keeps him airborne, like a floating disk. He speaks only Gnome & Auran, so he says to the PC that speaks Auran, "Here's a performance you could repeat for us. When do you think you'll be back, trying to re-enter our building without flight?" They say they'll be back in 24 hours. The bartender announces, "All right patrons, be back by 8 tomorrow to see if they can make it back in!"

This was so important to all the players that they cut short an interaction elsewhere the next day. "We have a performance we must keep!" And then they were off to the Whirling Winds, wall-walking their way into a flight-only location. Although we had to wrap up too soon, I'd like to think that if we had time, we would have indeed found a way for them to earn their day-jobs at the birdcage.

Anyway, I release all that silliness to Paizo if they wish to incorporate it, and I release it to all of you if you wish to have a 2nd tavern/inn that the PCs can visit.

If someone could name the gnome bartender, that might be nice too.


Dylan,

I think you're not getting responses because you've posted in completely the wrong place.

This forum is for Pathfinder Society -- not home games, not custom games where you start PCs at level 2 and run them through an old D&D 3.5 module (which is what Crown of the Kobold King is). Pathfinder Society is for GMs who are running the season 0 through 8 scenarios. Granted, there are a few approved Adventure Paths and other modules that can be run in Pathfinder Society as well, but I don't believe that CotKK is one of them.

Pathfinder Society is also heavily regimented, sort of like "official play" in game stores and so on, with players getting membership numbers and their game results getting recorded. It doesn't sound like you're doing any of that.

A potentially better place for your question would be the "modules forum" because that is dedicated to Paizo's stand-alone modules that can be run in a home game. For example, there I found 3 topics that might interest you:

Good luck!


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Stop. Playing. With. This. Person.

If that means your entire group falls apart and you don't game at all, then celebrate. Why? Because no gaming is better than bad gaming.

Get another hobby. Get more friends. Play with fewer people. Stop playing. Do anything but keep this person around.

That's the solution. There isn't another one. The person isn't going to be reformed. They've made it clear that they are willing to stop gaming, so they have the power. All you can do is call the bluff and move on.


KublaCon is held @ the Hyatt Regency in Burlingame, near San Francisco, CA.

Here is the main Warhorn game signup page for PFS at KublaCon. The "Event Schedule" is a link on the left side of that page, and it'll show you all 4 days worth of PFS events.

The Warhorn site is only open for 2 more days. There are still a lot of openings. Usually all games are at a full 6 players by now, but there are many games with only 2 or 3 people signed up. You could get a nice, full schedule out of this, even though the convention is almost upon us.

Also, here is a link to the official KublaCon site for more info about the convention itself.

See you there!


Just to add to what you both said, the modules themselves level up the NPCs. Later modules, such as Hungry for the Dead, have the NPCs at higher levels than they were at in Hollow's Last Hope.

So... new GMs should expect that the NPCs are going to level up at module speed. The few NPCs who are important seem to gain 2 levels, while most other NPCs gain 1 or none.

**

jmclaus wrote:
Are the PCs able to communicate using Common with citizens other than Briel? Sylphs normally have Common as a racial language and nothing is mentioned to contradict that, but that would defeat the purpose of having a translator in the first place

From the module:

page 9 wrote:
Unless the party has someone who speaks Auran, they’ll need a translator to communicate with most inhabitants of Port Eclipse.

That seems to imply that most people speak only Auran. However, let's look at another quote:

page 9 wrote:
Thunder Skyforge is too old to leave his inn and serve as a translator, but he happens to know every semi-permanent resident of Port Eclipse that might serve as a translator. Three such people spring to the dwarf ’s mind.

Thunder knows every person even possibly qualified for a job of speaking Common, and it amounts to a whopping 3 people.

So with that, I'd probably say that everyone else -- everyone else -- has lost speaking fluent Common as a language. I believe the module has 1 other NPC that speaks "a few broken words of Common" or something like that, but it really doesn't amount to much.

Those PCs are gonna need to speak Auran or get a translator, somehow.

**

aboyd wrote:
they have a +18 to CMB rolls in tier 3-4 (6 normal CMB, +2 charge, +10 Spark Leap

Am I correct that the elementals can get their CMB up to a +21? That's 6 normal CMB, +2 charge, +10 Spark Leap, and +3 Metal Mastery (IF the target is wearing metal armor or metal weapon in hand). That's the low tier. So get a roll of 5 on the die, plus the 21 bonus = 26 vs. CMD of a level 3 or 4 character.

Add to that, elementals can take any form they want, from blobs to person-like shapes. So these elementals could just have wisps for holding stuff.

Seems like a lot of disarms will be happening, and then the weapons caught by the elementals and held. True?

**

Thanks Lau. I'm going to apply this here to the module in question, but also to all the PFS modules I run. Muh appreciated.

**

So... my question. The "Before Combat" text in the tactics section of an enemy monster stat block... I used to assume it was all setup for the fight, done before initiative was rolled. The "Before Combat" text is stuff that happens before the PCs can interact or stop it, so it's almost always fait accompli.

However... for the final fight, the bad guy supposedly does all his "Before Combat" stuff when he sees the PCs, but he has no ranks in Perception and no Wisdom bonus. Even if you grant that he could take 20 just standing there scouring the landscape for enemies, his total result is just 20, and that will be curb stomped by the PCs. At level 11, the PCs will get results of 30 or 40 or 50 for Perception, even with a meh roll.

In other words, while I want him to get all his "Before Combat" stuff done before combat, I see no practical way to achieve this other than to cheat. The PCs will see him a good 100+ feet before he sees them. They will have cast a ton of buffs and surprise him.

In the case of the game I just played, we Dimension Door'd right behind him and a barbarian killed him on round 1.

So what do you guys do about problems like that? Do you just say, "The module insists that the enemy has summoned babau and put up buffs, so GM fiat -- it's done," or do you say, "Perception of 40 beats the enemy so handily that the PCs have invalidated his tactics block and now I have to improvise."

Or something else...? How sacred is the "Before Combat" section?

**

Lawrence Smith wrote:

How does one determine the Fortitude saving throw's DC for the tornado (CR 10)?

A review of the boards indicates some folks think the rules' reference to a Fortitude save is merely a typo, and the saving throw is actually a Strength check.

Yep. The rules say it's a Fortitude save "as per table 13-10." However, table 13-10 says, "Make a strength check or fly check." Since there is never a number given for the Fortitude save, it's impossible to apply, so even if the Fortitude save is the correct action, you can't use it. So you'd have to fall back to using strength checks or fly checks, as per 13-10.

Of note is that there are actually TWO sections that talk about tornadoes. There is the "Powerful Storms" section starting on page 438, which talks about light sources being put out, and then refers to table 13-10. It alludes to bad things happening if you fail your check, but it doesn't say what those bad things are.

So then you have to look to the very bottom of page 439-440 for an extra paragraph that explains what bad things happen in a tornado.

For purposes of this module, it's DC 10 strength or DC 20 fly to be able to move. And if you are size large or smaller, your same check is also required to hit a DC 15 strength or DC 25 fly, or else you are "blown away." However, the tornado text says to replace the "blown away" result with a "sucked into the tornado" result. This does 6d6 damage for 1d10 rounds.

**

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OK! Thanks to Steven & Northern & Wallbanger. I have a better grasp on this now. Here are the things I'm doing to make sure that the modules tie together:

Part 1


  • The Concordance of Elements is mentioned in part 1, but I never heard it during the game I was in. So play up the Concordance mention at the end.
  • Downplay the stolen items in part 1, as they are completely missing from parts 2 & 3, and part 2 has a confusingly similar item.
  • Northern Dreamer notes: "the biggest thing that connects them is that there were actually 8 of the elemental lords, and not just 4." So for area A5, I have created little "Secret Uncovered" cards to hand to any player who investigates the statues, making clear what the GM text suggests: that the 4 statues of elemental lords are all the world of Golarion knows, and the other 4 are a HUGE surprise to the world. ALSO, careful reading reveals that the elementals & Qiarah are not mad or hostile about the PCs looking at the statues. It's only if they snatch a piece of the statue(s). So I should not need to steer PCs away from investigating the statues.

Part 2


  • For C2 (the showdown), make it clear that Fairuza is acting on valid concerns but will listen to their points. Then play up how agast she is to be lumped in as a traitor when Chalissier shows up. When the fight is over, she should be shell-shocked, like her whole "this is how the world works" idea is coming apart. This should make it more plain that the Concordance might be won over as an ally.
  • Suggest that lengthy negotiations between the Concordance & Pathfinder Society are taking place between modules 2 & 3.
  • Get the names of the new (or should I say, rediscovered) elemental lords to the players. There is a knowledge check and/or questions for some of this. At the very least, make sure the players know that Ranginori and "Duke of Thunder" are the same thing (one is his name, one is his title).
  • Play up all mentions of elemental lord Hshura, as she (or her people) becomes the new enemy for part 3.
  • Give Chalissier some personality or memorable quirk/attitude, as he re-appears in part 3.

Part 3


  • Play up the mentions of Jamila (finally tying up that loose end).
  • Make it easy to recognize that Chalissier is back, now in elemental form, and is a servant of Hshura.

I think if I do these things, the modules at least have some cohesion and appear to have threads running through all of them. None of this would be a big deal, except that when I ran through the modules I picked up on none of this. Everything was disjointed. So hopefully this helps.

**

This:

jmclaus wrote:
The book they are looking for is 40 feet off the ground, making it nearly impossible for a set of 1-2 players to read it without Fairuza's help.

Plus this:

andreww wrote:
We used the flying carpets they provided us with to get around the city.

Equals this:

page 6 wrote:
Jairo provides the PCs with flying carpets (specifically, one 10-foot-by-10-foot carpet of flying per two PCs or Small or Medium companion creatures, and one carpet each for Large companions). He informs them that they may use these transports to travel at their leisure after the party for the duration of their stay in Armun Kelisk.

So if the PCs are not able to fly up to the book, a simple wisdom or intelligence check should remind them to just call a carpet over and mount up.

**

Terminalmancer wrote:
accidentally replaced "diameter" with "radius" the morning I ran the scenario

Hmm. That might work. That might even have been the typo.

So I used Google's surface area calculator to figure this out. Due to the curve providing more surface than I originally guessed, it looks like you could squeeze about 12 city blocks into a sphere with a diameter slightly less than 1/4 mile. If you instead use radius for the stated size of the sphere, you can fit in 50 city blocks. That goes from "small neighborhood" to "actual town."

At that size, you could have a couple of residential districts, a merchant district, a port with warehouses, etc.

With a 12 block hamlet (pop. 400), everyone knows everyone. With a 50 block town (pop. 2000), you could actually keep cover and not be noticed there, especially if some of the population is transient (pirates, sailors, travelling merchants). It seems like the latter is what is intended.

OR, if the typo was that instead of the diameter being a "quarter mile" it should have been "a mile" then the surface area allows 200 blocks and a population of 10,000 adults. That a real medieval-sized city.

Wish I knew what the author of the module (or the author of Planes of Power) was intending.

**

So, what are we doing about this line from the read-aloud text on page 8:

Quote:
The cavern housing the settlement is nearly a quarter of a mile in diameter.

...I mean, I don't know if that's supposed to sound huge or something, but slightly less than a quarter of a mile is just 2 city blocks, and the buildings here in particular cannot be tall because they'd reach into the center of the sphere and hit each other. Granted, because the sphere has more surface area than a city block, you'd likely cram the equivalent of 4 or 5 (?) city blocks total (each quadrant of the sphere should house roughly the same surface area as 1 city block).

So essentially, this awe-inspiring secret smuggler port city is maybe 50 homes and 10 to 20 larger business buildings. Also:

Quote:
Airships just out at all angles

...maybe rowboats do. Just 2 or 3 large cargo ships would fill the entire cavern.

Was this really the author's intention?

**

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Tallow wrote:
That in my mind more strongly implies you can only caste into it during a scenario. Not during downtime.

OK, but it doesn't matter. The scenario doesn't literally end the second the module goal is hit. We know this because the game mandates that you take care of ongoing diseases or other effects before resolving the game, and players are allowed to cast spells to aid in that, and they often need a day to rest in order to gain those spells. All of which is to say that we don't -- and shouldn't -- run a punitive jerk game where we rigidly declare "game's over YOU CAN'T CAST ANYTHING HA HA HA." So, end of session, player says, "While they're curing Albert of Mummy Rot, I'm filling my ring/flask/whatever."

Who cares that you can't cast during downtime? You can cast at the end of the module after a night's rest, and then go into downtime.

And if someone is going to block that, I'd refer them back to the "don't be a jerk" rule in the guide book. And if that's not enough, I'd note that players can easily delay the end of the module by simply not reporting in for the final briefing until they've had a day's rest, and thus, getting all the spells needed to cast before ending the adventure and going into downtime.

In other words, for every way a GM could imagine to block this, there is a rules-legal way to get around that blockade, and the more someone tries to block it, the more it will appear as a player-hostile "don't be a jerk" violation.

And because of all that, and the FAQ, I'm fairly confident that the PFS management doesn't want to run a gotcha-style game where we try to rules-lawyer the players out of using their purchased items.

These items are in the game. The leaders of PFS must intend them to be usable, then. GMs trying to render them un-usable are not playing in the spirit of the rules, far as I can tell. I know if I were in leadership and I updated the Additional Resources page to allow a Preserving Flask and then saw GMs trying to impose downtime and no spellcasting immediately upon hitting the scenario goal so as to block players from using the item I just allowed in, I'd be upset. But maybe that's just me.

**

Looks like they allow a spell-storing ring to carry spells over from session to session (IF you cast it yourself or paid for it), and there is even some fuzzy implication that it can be done between scenarios.

If a spell-storing ring works, I think a Preserving Flask works.

**

Northern Dreamer wrote:
I think that the biggest thing that connects them is that there were actually 8 of the elemental lords, and not just 4. Though, this is only scene in the first if you investigate the statues, and then only if you connect it back later...
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
I'm reasonably confident that average Pathfinder teams can make the connection.

I was in a group of 5 with lots of skills and we didn't make the connection. In fact, we learned nothing of the statues, in part because our GM hinted that it would upset the person working in that location.

As a GM, I've read the modules and still didn't make the connection -- I skimmed that section because it just looked like a puzzle of sorts, not a foreshadowing. I'm very happy to learn of this, so that I can go back and re-read it and have a thread tying the modules together. I don't have the modules in front of me right now, but I am going to hope that I can make it easier for players to want to explore that. I'll be bummed if the module mandates scaring them away from the statues, as my GM did.

Regarding the 2 stolen items that the players are maybe supposed to recover in module 1 (I say "maybe" because you aren't even told about the items unless you take it upon yourself to ask for more details), I've decided to say, "we're still looking into what was stolen, so for now just focus on finding the thief" if the players ask about the items. The reason for that is that the items were dropped from modules 2 & 3, and there appears to be another item with a similar name in the 2nd module, so I'd like to avoid confusing/frustrating the players.

One of the issues I'm working on is the flip-flop in module 3, where the enemy in module 2 becomes an ally. When I played through it, there was almost no explanation aside from a sentence or two in the boxed text. It was just "play it like they're allies now." I found that to be annoying and dumb. So my thought is that at the end of module 2, I'll just simply state that there is a lot of negotiating going on. I'll suggest that a different team of Pathfinders is being given an adventure to go out and smooth over the differences. I just want to make starting module 3 not be as jarring as I experienced.

**

Ricky Minorance wrote:
It means if I agree,the Alchemist or someone else,whatever,they may have 7 days to cast extracts or spells——and if they buy enough Preserving Flasks or something else,they may get 7 times than normal daily spell,and take the storing spells to the next module!!!

As Starglim said, a Preserving Flask is just like a Pearl of Power, at least in terms of power and how it unbalances the game (or, doesn't unbalance the game at all).

A Preserving Flask is just as expensive as a Pearl of Power, too.

Would you be upset if a wizard spent 7000 GP to get 7 Pearls of Power? I mean, those will only store 1st level spells. By the time you can afford 7 of them, 1st level spells aren't very powerful anyway.

I don't see the issue. If a Pearl of Power is OK, then a Preserving Flask is OK.

**

I'm scheduled to run this trilogy over 1 long day. I'm excited, but there is a problem: they were written by different authors and show it; they feel like unrelated modules that don't even follow their own plot.

As mentioned in a review, there is a job given to the Pathfinders in module 1 that is never resolved in any of the 3 parts. From my impression (maybe wrong), it looks like the authors were completely disconnected and had no idea what was happening in the other parts.

So I have a request or challenge. While I know that we cannot change anything about a module's stat blocks, I have seen leadership post here that immaterial changes -- fluff text, for example -- might be OK to change. It's also possible that there are threads running through the 3 modules to tie them together or foreshadow things which I've missed. So the request is: what are the opportunities to foreshadow, to tie the modules together, to make them feel like they naturally follow one after the other, etc? What common threads have you found between them? Could I have a VC say something, even just a line that makes something make more sense? How can I make the transition from 1 to 2, and from 2 to 3, feel less clumsy and more natural?

**

I see. Thanks.

**

I'm confused. I wrote that there is a rule to allow a +2, and you replied that there is a rule to allow a +2.

I feel like you're trying to be helpful, but I'm not grasping it.

My point about the wayang module (as you mentioned) was not "Do any rules exist?" Instead, my point was "These rules exist, GMs could have more open-ended & responsive games, but they don't."

I am certain there must be more to your post and my reading comprehension is just failing me.

**

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One thing I know, as a player, is how bad it feels when the module gives you plenty of time to do a thing, and you come up with 5 ways to do it, and the GM is like, "None of those work." Why? Because the module didn't list them.

#8-14 Spoilers:
There was a recent PFS module that requires the PCs to investigate something, but gives them 24 hours of down time. This might be the wayang module... is that 8-14? Oh, yes, the one with the masks. Anyway, at our table the players all wanted in-depth info on the masks and what gods or creatures they portrayed. We needed that info (or so we thought) because we were being "graded" on our performance and how accurate it was.

We had a full day. Some players were like, "I'm going to a library to research this." Others did gather information (diplomacy) checks around town -- spent hours doing it, took multiple checks, because we had time. Other players were trying other things. And the answer? Nothing. The module gives you a task, expects you to be in stasis until the time comes, and then jump into action with only a 5 line player handout. No extras exist.

I think what bothered me about that whole thing was that circumstance bonuses have never been outlawed by Pathfinder Society leadership. They're still in PFS. A GM can give out a +2 (or even -2!) for your character's behavior and/or approach to a problem. But if the module expressly has nothing about what the players are doing, it's not just going off the rails, it's possibly getting an advantage that other tables don't get, and GMs are scared about that. They do not want to have to say, "Oops, the players found a perfect solution that nobody thought of before, and they aced their way through the module in 2 hours while everyone else slogged through and eventually TPK'd."

I mean, that situation is always cool for the victors, but it engenders animosity from the other teams who are like, "That feels unfair that they got to do that."

The more I play and get upset by things like this, the more I want to be a more lenient and encouraging GM. Unfortunately, I don't feel like the PFS books back me up very much. They were burned by GMs beefing up monsters, so now they're like, "Knock that off." Yeah, there may be some openings to improvise, but mostly, knock it off.

**

Quentin Coldwater wrote:
I don't think my GM cheated and ignored rules.

...and...

Quentin Coldwater wrote:
What he did do was ignore certain parts of the rules

...this just makes me twitch uncontrollably.

**

OK, this post is mostly for myself, though others are welcome to use it. I'll come back to this forum at some point to look up how to run this module and I'll need this.

This is mostly written because a group of friends just ran through this module with me, and it was an utter cakewalk at high tier. Like, the BBEG was dead after it got off just one attack. The morlock elevator fight was hand-waved because we couldn't be challenged by CR 2 monsters. It's an epic scene, and it was hand-waved! I want to try to get back to making this awesome. So here we go.

The Retriever, tier 10-11

What I think many GMs miss is that they cannot use the generic retriever stat block printed in the module. That's the stat block for a normal retriever (or maybe a weird, broken/early version of a normal+advanced creature). Since the top of that listing says to make it an advanced retriever, it has to be hand-modified to use these rules.

Not only that, but according to this thread the advanced template can be stronger or weaker depending on whether you use the quick or rebuild rules. (Usually they work out the same, but when you have a creature with a dash for an ability score, the quick rules will give a bigger boost.)

So, I built the advanced retriever stat block using the "quick" rules for the advanced template (with changes in red). This starts to bring the BBEG back in line with a level 10 or 11 party. AC to 29, attacks at +21. That might even hit the AC 35 that some fighters seem to have at level 11.

In addition, here is something I wrote about this monster in another thread:

outshyn wrote:
The final fight is much more likely to end quickly and badly for the enemy, because it appears to be nothing more than a melee combat monster that can't last long. However, if I were in your shoes, I would hunt for any advantage, and find it: the monster has only normal movement options listed (walking -- no climbing or flying) until you look in the notes at the bottom, where it mentions it has permanent Spider's Climb and Water Walk. They could have mentioned that up where movement was! OK, let's put the giant spider out on the water and enjoy that tank PC drowning in his heavy armor. If the PC gains a water speed, get the spider climbing up walls. The idea is to stay at range and shoot the monster's eye rays. AND, don't bother with the petrification ray, which has a fortitude save -- your fighter has amazing fort saves and will laugh that off. However, his reflex might be a little worse, so blasting him with a few 12d6 lightning bolts might whittle him down, even if he makes the save. And use that monster's 15' reach to get your AOO when the fight finally does come to blows!

Lastly, a sad note that I've never seen a GM use, but they should by the rules: the entire bridge to the monster's location is only 10' wide; too narrow for the monster to walk on easily, even with Spider Climb. This means that if you have the monster rush out to fight, it may suffer from the squeezing rules! Keep that retriever on the wider platforms, or drop it on top of the water, and have it blast apart the bridge or platforms. That gives it free movement, and forces the PCs to not ignore it.

EDIT: Whoa. Just found in the module that the raised platforms are merely as strong as doors: "treat the planks and platform as a strong wooden door for the purposes of determining hardness and hit points." That's just hardness 5, HP 20! If the retriever drops to walk on water and blasts the platform, big huge chunks should be falling away from every hit. With just 2 or 3 hits, it should be able to collapse at least part of the walkway. If it can topple all the tied up victims into the water, this becomes a whole new ballgame.

The Morlocks, tier 10-11

General rules for all morlocks:


  • All morlocks get a Leap Attack which blocks AOO. They have such high bonuses that they cannot fail even on a natural 1, assuming they get a running start. The barbarian morlocks have a raging leap that means they don't even need the running start, and can jump much farther (20' on a natural 1, 25' on a 4+). This means that they should always leap to engage -- 10' leaps for the crappy morlocks, and 20' leaps for the barbarian morlocks. This gets them past anyone with a reach weapon.
  • Their swarming ability gives them a flank if they share squares. They can leap into shared squares, and have their attacks trigger on landing. This means they can safely leap into formation around a character, with at least some getting the +2 flank/sneak bonuses.
  • Like any other low-level critter/mob, they can use Aid Another to give each other boosts. If you have 8 arrayed around a PC (with 2 per square), you can have the initial leapers simply leap into position and perform Aid Another (hit AC 10 = give a +2 to attack to one ally). Then the follow-up leapers can leap into shared squares, getting +2 for flank and +2 for Aid Another.

Don't forget that Aid Another can stack. So if you are fighting a PC with an AC of 35, even a single Aid Another might not help enough. In that case, you might have 6 of the 8 leapers do Aid Another. The 2 remaining leapers are now at +2 from flank, and +6 from Aid Another, for a total of +8. This is on top of the normal bonuses (+11 for barbarians, +5 for normal morlocks). At +19, a barbarian morlock hits AC 35 on a roll of 16 or more. That's not great, but it's a start. It might help to focus on a character that doesn't have crazy AC.

The goal with morlocks should be to overwhelm at least 1 PC and try to turn the action economy in their favor. Morlocks know what spellcasters are (there are some morlock spellcasters in the module) so it's reasonable for them to identify the spellcaster as a target that is super dangerous and also super easy to hit.

The elevator/lift in particular

For the elevator encounter, there are so many things happening that it's important to add events into the initiative as if they were actual creatures. My thoughts:


  • Top of the initiative order (because it says so): put the Elevator itself. Each time, if even a single morlock is attached, roll on the action chart on page 11, and see what happens. Yes, this means that on round 1 there is no action, as no morlock is yet attached. Also, on a roll of 5+ the chart requires that all spellcasters make a concentration check to successfully cast their spells (DC 15 + spell level)!
  • Bottom of the initiative order (module doesn't dictate this, but you don't want to put this on the initiative of the person controlling the brake, as that person may let another PC take a turn, so the effect will jump around if you attach it to a PC): the damage roll that comes from not braking, as per page 12.
  • The denouement (for this sequence): whether the elevator brakes and stops (column 1, page 12) or the cable snaps and the elevator falls (column 2, page 12) there is almost always damage to the PCs. The end of the ride is the biggest danger. There are 4 conditions with 4 different resolutions: 1) they kill/repel all morlocks and safely brake, no damage; 2) they don't kill/repel all morlocks but safely brake, take 1d6 damage for every 4 morlocks still weighing down the lift, alive or dead; 3) they kill/repel all morlocks but the cable snaps, take 3d6 or 6d6 falling damage; 4) they don't kill/repel all morlocks AND the cable snaps, take 3d6 or 6d6 falling damage plus the 1d6 damage penalty for every 4 morlocks still on the lift.

Also, from page 12: "The morlocks automatically make their Acrobatics checks." Presumably only for the elevator sequence, but holy cow! They cannot fail to engage, cannot fail to balance, and cannot fail to leap in, avoiding AOO. They would be unstoppable if they had any AC, HP or attacks that could hit.

**

Talon Stormwarden wrote:
Merrickk wrote:
3) Does applying the young template to the retriever modify to damage of his eye rays?
I'm running this at Origins next week and was wondering the same thing about the eye rays on low tier.

The "quick" version of the young template says "+2 to all Dex-based rolls, –2 on all other rolls, –2 hp/HD." I'd say that rolling for damage absolutely qualifies as "other rolls," and therefore must have the -2, if you're using the "quick" rules for the young template. So 12d6-2. Not great, but any nerf is welcome for the young template.

**

James Anderson wrote:
Any advice on what bonuses to give someone who's an actual hellknight prestige class?

The only bonus that wouldn't really be contested by anyone would be the normal +2/-2 circumstance bonus/penalty that is allowed by the rules. Anything else probably needs to be in the module. I'd certainly allow skill checks to gain info on the hellknight factions, though. That should help.

James Anderson wrote:
The map found indicates a Jistka city along the west side of the Napsune mountains, but the map in inner sea world guide shows those mountains as the western border of Jistka's height.

I'd almost certainly stick with the module, even if it's wrong. The reason for this is that we're supposed to all provide essentially the same game to everyone, so they all the same experience. I'd not correct the module unless the author or someone official posted here. (Having said that, would it change anything, really? You can probably move it and have no material effect.)

**

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

I've decided to play an old module again just because all my friends will attend. However, I'm using the GM replay boon to "recharge" my GM stars, and the boon is from last season. I've heard this boon is seasonal, so does that mean I've lost the replays I earned (because I didn't spend my replays during last season)?

I have a dozen games listed on the boon, so I should have earned a couple of replays. If I earn them and don't spend them right away, are they lost?

**

Jack Brown wrote:
I was thinking just using post-its to handle the elevation and direction, but how did others do it?

Back when these were offered for sale, I bought multiple units of the Combat Tiers -- enough to give each player their own Combat Tier with a landing every 10 feet. So we just actually moved in 3D space. My friend said it looked a lot like that 3D chess game that they play on Big Bang Theory.

Low-tech is to also draw out a side view on the battle map, and allow players to show which elevation their mini is at.

There are also the Elevation Indicators and the good news is that they are still being manufactured.


Pregenerated spellbooks -- just find one at the appropriate level and go with it.

OR, figure out this Excel spreadsheet.

**

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I just ran this on Sunday. Kinda bummed with the outcome. When I first played it myself weeks ago, I had a bad time, but I liked reading the module. So I had high hopes that it would be better if I tried to run it myself, and run it well. Unfortunately, after running it on Sunday, all my players said "I'd give it 2 stars out of 5." Ugh. It's possible the module is awesome and I suck. However, I've seen multiple bad play-throughs now, and one is with me putting in effort to make it better. Other modules sure seem easier to run well, I guess.

Part of the problem is in fact what some reviewers have said: people don't enjoy a game that involves their characters being yelled at and sabotaged, especially if they cannot figure out why.

For my part, I tried to take advantage of the GM discussion here. To help the players, when they asked if Reyshal could help them, I allowed them to find him. When they got stuck, I had Reyshal grant them 1 wish (temporary tiny bonus -- they got a Message spell cast on them that lasted the entire adventure and was good for anywhere in the Opaline Vault -- so no repercussions outside of the scenario, but I definitely hoped it would help with sneaking around and communicating in the casino).

They had no demerits, they had 4+ successes, they handled the General really well. Again to help the players, I had the General be nice in the casino, and just tell them to gather info and really shore up their evidence. I wanted to hint to them that they probably needed to get into that office.

We were short on time so I hand-waved the battle with the elementals because I wanted to have time for the presentation to the General. Since I hand-waved the battle, I just gave them the best outcome for the battle -- assumed they found the evidence, etc.

OK, so even with all of that, they still failed. They were a very martial group. One PC had a +4 to Diplomacy, everyone else had a -1. The first 2 attempts to speak in the hearing resulted in failure, which meant they didn't have the +2s adding up in their favor. They really needed to get those right at the start. They used the best evidence with the highest bonuses for those first 2 skill checks, so when they failed, we realized that there were no big bonuses left and it was just down to lucky dice rolls. Of 8 rolls, only 2 made it.

I even gave them an extra check at +4 because they came up with evidence not listed. That is, Dell's friend (the one that got beaten in order to convince Dell to poison the PCs) was convinced to testify. While he was healed up and couldn't show bruises, I thought it was compelling that a recruit was so badly beaten that he couldn't perform his duties. (He's the one that sits out the arena battle in the 4 player adjustment.)

They still couldn't do it, and the module ended with them missing that prestige point. Because of their successes and no demerits, they did at least get Captain Othis removed/reassigned.

In the end it appears that the reason they all gave the module 2 stars is because "So much of our final success depended on diplomacy, which is stupid." That's what one of the players wrote to me afterwards. I think he means stupid in context, that is that it's stupid for heavy diplomacy in a military module. It probably would have been well-received in Bid for Alabastrine or other talky modules.

Anyway, I might give this module another run. I still think it's promising. But the bloom is off the rose, I guess.

**

Thanks Lau. New question, for anyone. Section C, Quartz Path. Earth elemental ambush. Does this:

Quote:
After 4 hours of stop-and-go travel through a forest of stalactites and stalagmites, the caravan reaches a narrow bridge made of magically-shaped quartz spanning the vast geode walls surrounding the Opaline Vault.

...count as earth for the earth mastery ability? Relevant text:

Quote:
An earth elemental gains a +1 bonus on attack and damage rolls if both it and its foe are touching the ground.

What is "ground" in this environment? With the elemental on the plane of earth, I assume this is its natural environment yet I can't be sure.

Perhaps more importantly than rules or versimilitude -- what does the author want? Just from a game balance standpoint, did the author expect that +1 or dislike that +1? I'd prefer to do what the author intended, if that's a thing I can find out.

**

Hey gang, I have a question. Page 6 of the scenario/module. There is an image of a large castle or structure, with blue/red/grey buildings in the background. The whole thing appears to be set on a chunk of floating land.

What is that? I can't find mention of red buildings or blue buildings. I don't recall a floating landmass. Are these part of the module and (I suspect) really obvious? Like, maybe in text right next to the photo it says "THIS IS CALLED _____ AND IS MENTIONED ON PAGE 8" or something?

I'm assuming I'm totally missing some obvious text that ties the image to the module.

**

I may have worded it poorly. By "one time boost" I meant one attack. It applies to the incoming swing of a weapon, no more. Right? It's not "one combat encounter" of however many rounds, and it's not "one enemy" until defeated.

Right?

**

This is great, thanks. Hey you had an import script running at one point. It was a JavaScript/Greasemonkey thing. Right? What happened to that?

**

The boon has no text about a time limitation. It reads:

Quote:
As an immediate action, you gain a +2 insight bonus to AC against one creature.

Having text about using it as an immediate action sorta implies to me that you use it as a one-time boost when an attack is incoming. However, that's me reading into it. There is no actual text to suggest that. There is no time limit. So is it correct to allow it to work like Dodge? You declare it against an enemy and just have it until the enemy is defeated?

**

Jairo's story hasn't been addressed since 6-11, and in this module (8-10) it is never mentioned.

The module does say that he remembers any PC who played through 6-11, and even offers to give them a free noble's outfit (with gems) if they do not own one. This is necessary to avoid penalties when doing some of the social skill checks. (Other PCs who have not played 6-11 can buy a noble's outfit.)

So... wing it?

**

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Frankly, I think this is a good move by Paizo. I will deliberately buy product to help my PFS group win in a scenario... especially if the scenario is notoriously difficult. I would instantly buy $50 of product at the start of every Bonekeep game, on purpose, just to shore up our chances of survival.

Some problems to fix:


  • The text makes it seem like you need to purchase a single item valued at $10 or more for the first benefit. However, based upon the text about the $50 option, it seems more likely that combined receipts will qualify at both levels. That's an important difference. Lots of game stores make their money from food & drinks that gamers buy during play. These individual purchases may be small, but add up by the end of the night. They should qualify, and I suspect they do. It's just the wording is a little fuzzy.
  • The listed benefits are organized poorly so that the enhanced benefit is mixed in with the initial benefit. I'd simply reformat the text to make it more obvious what your options are at level 1 & 2.

Nonetheless, thanks tons for this. Those who have money to spend now have a new reason to spend it!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I don't know how useful this will be, but I'm going to cast Raise Dead on this topic so that I can share the top 10 traits I've created for this game. You'll see that they build upon what has already been posted. Also, note that I'm only giving one big trait to each PC, so my traits do more than a normal trait would do. I hope these traits tell the background about Falcon's Hollow. If I do it correctly, just reading through these should give the players a very good feel for what the town is like.

Also, before I list the traits, a word about Huck (an NPC mentioned below). Huck is originally called Thelgrin in the module Revenge of the Kobold King. I changed Thelgrin's name because it sounds too close to Thuldrin, the big bad boss. My players would quickly confuse the names, so a good & drastic change was necessary.

Also, all bonuses are competence bonuses unless noted otherwise. So they shouldn't stack with spells such as Guidance.

Company Lumberjack
Prerequisites: non-druid, non-ranger
Though you came to Falcon's Hollow as an adventurer, the adventures never materialized. Soon you found yourself employed as a lumberjack by Thuldrin Kreed, a leader of the Lumber Consortium. You have been logging in the Darkmoon Wood for a while now, though you are restocking in town at the start of the campaign. Gain a +1 bonus to damage when using any sort of axe, and a +2 to diplomacy checks vs. lumberjacks. Unlocks: a map of lumber camps, and dossiers on Thuldrin, Payden, Milon, Jarlben, and Huck.

Company Merc
Prerequisites: non-good, non-druid, non-ranger
Though you came to Falcon's Hollow as an adventurer, the adventures never materialized. Soon you found yourself employed as a mercenary by Thuldrin Kreed, a leader of the Lumber Consortium. Thankfully, you have finally saved up enough to strike out on your own again. Gain a +1 bonus to all social skill checks (bluff, diplomacy, intimidate) with all employees of the Lumber Consortium (lumberjacks, mercenaries, and leadership). Unlocks: a map of lumber camps, and dossiers on Thuldrin, Payden, Milon, Jarlben, Mutters, Vamros, and Deldrin.

Hardy Healer
Prerequisites (D&D 3.5): does not worship Heironeous, CON 13+ or INT 13+
Prerequisites (Pathfinder): does not worship Iomedae, CON 13+ or INT 13+
Life in the Darkmoon Vale is often brutal and desperate. Though the town of Falcon's Hollow has a healer named Lady Cirthana, her religious proselytizing and open hostility toward Thuldrin has made everyone wary, and most are too poor to afford her spells anyway. You have learned to manage your wounds without holy aid, though this has left you with at least 1 visible scar. When you take a full night's rest, you recover an additional number of hit points equal to your Constitution bonus, or your Intelligence bonus, whichever you prefer. This reflects either your hardiness, or your skill at cleaning and stitching wounds. The bonus doubles with a full day's rest (24 hours), or if someone provides you with long term care (as per the heal skill), or if you expend a use of a Healer's Kit and make a DC 5 heal check before your night's rest. This bonus may never increase beyond a doubling.

Health Nut
Prerequisites (D&D 3.5): CON 13+ or worship Kord, Pelor, or Istus
Prerequisites (Pathfinder): CON 13+ or worship Kurgess, Marishi, or Pharasma
You have always been very hardy, but a loved one recently fell ill. You have seen and heard a number of other people around town with similar symptoms—hacking coughs that eventually produce blood if not treated. Your focus on health and fitness may save you; gain a +1 bonus to all Fortitude saving throws and an additional +1 circumstance bonus vs. poison or disease (you must declare the choice when you take this, and the option cannot be revised). If you meet the prerequisite by worshipping Istus (or Pharasma in Pathfinder), you may not have always been a health nut, but received a vision inciting you to become one.

Friend of Laurel
Prerequisites: ranks in alchemy or healing skills, or a class that offers alchemical or healing features at 1st level
You've befriended Laurel, the local apothecary. Recently, a mysterious coughing sickness has spread through the populace. The two of you have experimented with various solutions for the townsfolk, but no luck thus far. However, Laurel has a failsafe: an extremely expensive concoction that delivers a powerful health boost in all areas. Unfortunately, no one in town would be able to afford it, and likely they would do terrible things to obtain it. Laurel herself sold a family heirloom to cover the crafting costs. With your help, she has secretly brewed a dose for the both of you. If you vow to keep this secret, you may begin the game with one dose of Laurel's hardy brew. Unlocks: dossier on Laurel.

(Note: my intention here is that the dose grants immunity to disease for a week and a +1 to all other fort saves during that same time, but I do not wish the players to know beforehand if it is disease or poison or a curse that is affecting the town, so I cannot state clearly in the text that it is an anti-disease boost. They get to know this only once the game starts and they drink the potion.)

Rich Thief
Prerequisites: non-lawful, any class that confers stealth as a class skill, and a rank in bluff, sleight of hand, profession (con artist), or profession (gambling)
You have spent some time preying upon the citizens of Falcon's Hollow, not always successfully. If you are evil, you have scammed the common citizens, earning a -1 to social interactions (bluff, diplomacy, intimidate) with them. If you are neutral or good, you have stolen from the wealthy & corrupt residents of The Perch, earning a -1 to social interactions with them. The payoff for all this lying and thievery is that you begin the game with 5x the average starting gold for your class (minimum 200). Unlocks: dossier on Kabran.

Bird on a Perch
Prerequisites: none
You are a wealthy resident of The Perch -- a hill upon which the best homes have been built. Though it's good to come from money, you may or may not be aware that the whistles and bird calls you hear in town are a subtle jab at your fortunate upbringing. You have a -1 to social interactions (bluff, diplomacy, intimidate) with the commoners and low-born of Falcon's Hollow. However, your family has insisted that you strike out on your own, giving you 5x the average starting gold for your class (minimum 200) to become a "self-made man." Unlocks: dossier on Thuldrin.

Big Sister, Big Brother
Prerequisites: non-evil, starting age 24 or lower
As a race that isn't long-lived, your youth is quite recent in memory. In fact, many of the younger kids in town are known to you, and either look up to you or enjoy joking around with you. Gain a +3 bonus to diplomacy checks vs. kids, and +1 to gather information checks made using the help of kids in town. Note: these two bonuses do not stack; the former relies upon your good interactions with the kids, while the latter relies upon the kids' good interactions with others. Unlocks: dossiers on Kimi, Hollin, Mikra, Jurin, and Savram, as well as some information on each child's parent/caretaker.

Family Man
Prerequisites: none
Family members (which you may name) are alive & well in Falcon's Hollow. Disadvantage: if things go wrong in town, your family may be part of it. Advantage: free room & board while in town, unlike those stuck paying for rooms at Jak’a’Napes (or worse, paying for a room + prostitute at the Rouge Lady). Your family is not offering to house/feed your allies. Though this may seem a minor boon, do not forget that there are many months of down time between modules, and I will be tracking cost of living. Unlocks: any one town NPC dossier of your choosing, as a family friend or enemy, selected at any time, including long after the start of the campaign.

Elara's Orphan
Prerequisites: none
Your parents died while you were young. Because of this, you have spent time at Elara's orphanage outside of town. If you are a member of a short-lived race, then you likely were there as an orphan who needed shelter. If you are a member of a long-lived race, then you may have lost family before the orphanage existed, but you nonetheless spent time there, perhaps due to empathy and a wish to aid those of a similar background. In addition, your family's grave site holds deeply personal, almost religious meaning. Take a -1 to all skill checks any time a month passes without you visiting the graves, but gain a +2 circumstance bonus to all rolls should anyone ever threaten the memory of your family. Unlocks: dossiers on Elara, Sharvaros, Jak.

(Note: there is a bit of managing expectations that needs to happen with this last one. People will take it expecting to role play every social interaction into an argument about his/her family, so as to get the +2. Unfortunately, the more clear the text becomes, the more it will give away. So when they try to take advantage, let them know that it will be very obvious if it triggers. And then, when they must battle their own zombie parents in Hungry are the Dead and they are screaming "OH MY GOD" you get to say, "That +2 you took way back at the start? Yeah, now." My intention is to let them have the +2 for the entire module once their dead family is put into the mix, though you may wish to be more parsimonious. Also, I do not provide a dossier on Jeva, as she is a recent addition to the orphanage. The PC should have long moved on for training/apprenticeship in his/her selected class.)

I wish I had an 11th trait that tied into the fey somehow, but my creative energies dried up....

**

BretI wrote:
Rather than make the tribe antagonistic

Just to be clear, when I wrote this:

outshyn wrote:
I've made sure to have the NPCs be antagonizing gits.

...I was referring to the NPCs at the final fight -- in other words, the evil woman that you fight. The enemy. Not the tribe.


Skeld wrote:
I've always treated blindsight as non-visual sight, so you couldn't use blindsight to "see" through walls or other obstacles.

Agreed. Kobolds putting a few rooms between themselves and the gelatinous cube should cut off that blindsight. However, if we wish to be super-nerdy, we can actually see what the rules intend here. This is because Pathfinder actually changed this rule when they copied it from D&D 3.5, which reveals some decision-making on behalf of Paizo staff. In D&D 3.5, blindsight contains this phrase: "must have line of effect to a creature or object to discern that creature or object." That phrase was removed for the Pathfinder text about blindsight. That means that for Pathfinder, they deliberately want blindsight to not need line of effect, and thus it can work through walls.

So the question becomes, are you running this module using the original D&D 3.5 rules it was written for, or are you updating everything to use Pathfinder rules? Depending upon the answer, your gelatinous cube should be either more or less deadly.

Personally, I'd always run it the way D&D 3.5 intended, because the module author clearly expected that kobolds could maneuver around this thing by closing doors and waiting for it to pass, or similar ideas.

Luna eladrin wrote:
You could just give the gelatinous cube a larger area to roam. The kobolds could then just hide somewhere and wait until the 'ghost' has passed.

Yep. In fact, my post-it note stuck in the module suggests exactly that idea. In room 3, there are supposed to be shocker lizards. However, just like the title of this topic, I found the dungeon ecology to be a little... weird. Like, too many different monsters all living right next to each other and somehow not eating each other. So my note for room three says: "No shocker lizards. Add kobold corpse with hand-drawn map of dungeon and small markings around area 4. These markings depict the kobold trying to map out the gelatinous cube's movements, though the PCs may not realize that."

**

GM Hmm wrote:
I need some advice for how to makes this story better. What can I add with roleplay to make this a more fun experience?

The first 4 encounters aren't very great (A through D) but it can be interesting if they try to talk with the natives. They don't speak common, so you can have an interesting time with players trying to pantomime. That might be fun, depending upon how into it your players are willing to be.

The "Tale of the Snowmask Clan" challenge should be played up exactly as that -- a skill challenge, and I'd accept the module's advice to award circumstance bonuses based upon player participation.

That gives you 1 to 3 potentially goofy/fun player acting moments. That's good, because the fights aren't difficult, so roleplay fun is about all you've got so far.

For the final fight, it flat-out killed my character the first time I played through (I suffered a crit from that flaming burst greataxe, insta-dead). However, as a GM almost all my run-thoughs have been underwhelming. Without a crit, that final fight is boring, especially if the PCs got help from the tribe. They can then just overwhelm the enemy, fast. Players will be left asking, "But I thought we might get a dragon fight...?"

So I've made sure to have the NPCs be antagonizing gits. This doesn't change any part of the fight, but it helps the players to feel that extra booyah! when they win. Also, I take full advantage of the tactics listed -- she should have True Strike and use Hand of the Acolyte to hurl that axe through the air at someone casting, or if the True Strike is expiring, hurl it at the nearest weak target -- and she can afford to attack defensively for a +2 to AC (-4 to attack roll but who cares with that big bonus from True Strike). That opening attack seems to frame the fight -- even without a critical hit, you're probably going to hit even a high AC character, and her AC will be a little higher too, and that combo seems to make players go "Whoa. She's tough. Be careful!" She's a glass cannon and probably dies fast after that, but if you can spam some negative energy maybe that helps the fight to seem more scary?

However, that's not really role play. That's just mechanics of a fight. At the end of the fight, you can play up the interactions with the tribe over Jedrek's Shard. Text about that is in the conclusion. If you have time to role play it, it's a tension-filled debate. Maybe.

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