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GameMastery Module D3: The Demon Within (OGL)

***** (based on 4 ratings)
GameMastery Module D3: The Demon Within (OGL)
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A dungeon adventure for 11th-level characters.

For years, the knights of Mendev have held back the evil locked inside the Worldwound, a vast, demon-tainted landscape. Every few years, they anoint a new protector, a sacred guardian charged with pitting his will against the teeming hordes bent on devouring the very souls of the living. This year, something has gone horribly wrong, and now a bloodthirsty demonic army has overrun the ancient fortress, and threatens to pour into the surrounding countryside.

This adventure is set in Mendev, the site of the largest crusade in the Pathfinder Chronicles Campaign Setting, but it can be easily adapted for use in any setting. For more information on this enduring struggle, check out the Pathfinder Chronicles Gazetteer.

Written by Stephen S. Greer and Tim Hitchcock

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-076-6

GameMastery Modules are 32-page, high-quality, full-color, OGL-compatible adventures for use with the world's most popular fantasy RPG. All GameMastery Modules include four pre-made characters so players can jump right into the action, and full-color maps to enhance play.

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Modules Subscription.

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PDF: Fulfilled immediately. Will be added to your My Downloads Page immediately upon purchase of PDF.

Are there errors or omissions in this product information? Got corrections? Let us know at webmaster@paizo.com.

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Product Discussion (75)
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Contributor

So... Who's got it? Anyone have anything nice or not-so nice they want to post about it here? I've already seen one thread commenting on the succubus-on-girl action depicted in one illustration. Anything else?

As half of the writing team responsible for this diabolical look at virtue and vice, the weaknesses inherent in men, and the manipulative aspect of demons preying on weak minded mortals, I have to say that this one has had me more excited about anything I've written since Tides of Dread.

The final print (and .pdf) version is AWEsome! The editing was inspired. The artwork is top notch. Tim and I wanted to write some really gritty demonic stuff for this adventure (well, maybe Tim wanted to go a bit further than Steve with it) that hasn't really been done before. Who knows? Maybe somewhere it has been, but it felt very fresh and demonically sinister to me and I can't wait to get to run it for my own players.

Cheliax

Steve Greer wrote:

So... Who's got it? Anyone have anything nice or not-so nice they want to post about it here? I've already seen one thread commenting on the succubus-on-girl action depicted in one illustration. Anything else?

As half of the writing team responsible for this diabolical look at virtue and vice, the weaknesses inherent in men, and the manipulative aspect of demons preying on weak minded mortals, I have to say that this one has had me more excited about anything I've written since Tides of Dread.

The final print (and .pdf) version is AWEsome! The editing was inspired. The artwork is top notch. Tim and I wanted to write some really gritty demonic stuff for this adventure (well, maybe Tim wanted to go a bit further than Steve with it) that hasn't really been done before. Who knows? Maybe somewhere it has been, but it felt very fresh and demonically sinister to me and I can't wait to get to run it for my own players.

I've read the PDF, and I should have my print copy in the next couple of days. I must say I really love this adventure. The idea of an order of paladins drawing on an improsoned Balor to power an artifact that contains Demon activity is a really cool idea. I loved the art in this one too, especially the picture with the Balor towering over some PC's while gripping another fellow in a pincer.

Anyway, this is definately a one shot I want to run. Well written just as everything I have read that has your name on it has been.

Paizo Employee Developer

Steve Greer wrote:
So... Who's got it? Anyone have anything nice or not-so nice they want to post about it here? I've already seen one thread commenting on the succubus-on-girl action depicted in one illustration. Anything else?

I for one love it. Incredible adventure aside, it's great to see other parts of Golarion fleshed out. I've currentlt got a party of 11th level adventurers running through Guardians of Dragonfall, and when they're done, I can totally see them taking this on. I'll just need to amp up the CR slightly. Can you give a little more background on St. Clydwell or Iomedae? As far as I know she hasn't been covered much in what's been previously released. Is Clydwell a demigod, or just a highly revered historical figure?

Contributor

Cool! Happy to hear a couple of you digging it. Yoda8myhead, St. Clydwell is a revered hero/champion only. Of Iomadae, I don't have any info for you. Tim and I were operating quite blindly in regards to religions other than that the people of Mendev were supposed to be survivors from the nation swallowed up by the Worldwound and they worshipped Aroden at the time. So any references we made to deities were usually with a bracketed [insert name of appropriate deity] after it, which the editors inserted Iomadae in. I know about as much as you do about that deity at this point.

Paizo Employee CEO

The Pathfinder Chronicles Gazetteer, which should show up in our warehouse before the end of the month, will answer all of your questions! There is a nice write-up on Mendev and the Worldwound, as well as a write-up on all of the gods.

-Lisa

Andoran Contributor

Steve Greer wrote:
Cool! Happy to hear a couple of you digging it. Yoda8myhead, St. Clydwell is a revered hero/champion only. Of Iomadae, I don't have any info for you. Tim and I were operating quite blindly in regards to religions other than that the people of Mendev were supposed to be survivors from the nation swallowed up by the Worldwound and they worshipped Aroden at the time. So any references we made to deities were usually with a bracketed [insert name of appropriate deity] after it, which the editors inserted Iomadae in. I know about as much as you do about that deity at this point.

Steve always operates blindly, I'm just glad he's not my surgeon

Contributor

Tim Hitchcock wrote:
Steve always operates blindly, I'm just glad he's not my surgeon

Speaking of surgery, I'm surprised the editors kept your babau surgeons "operating" on captured paladins in this adventure. It was a bit gruesome, even by Nic Logue standards of "gruesome".

Andoran Contributor

Steve Greer wrote:
Tim Hitchcock wrote:
Steve always operates blindly, I'm just glad he's not my surgeon
Speaking of surgery, I'm surprised the editors kept your babau surgeons "operating" on captured paladins in this adventure. It was a bit gruesome, even by Nic Logue standards of "gruesome".

I know but I like my critters to get their hands dirty. It give the PCs suomething to fight, unlike like hiding their opponents from them like you did with the vrocks. You could have settled for some dive bombing instead of having them use telekinesis to toss rocks off the Castle Bailey.

Sczarni

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
yoda8myhead wrote:

Can you give a little more background on St. Clydwell or Iomedae? As far as I know she hasn't been covered much in what's been previously released.

yoda8myhead, if you use the search feature for Iomedae you will get a hit to a rather lengthy message board post that the developers posted a general "pre production" description of many of the gods. as of last week it wasn't in the archive yet, dont remember what it was called though

Contributor

Tim Hitchcock wrote:
Steve Greer wrote:
Tim Hitchcock wrote:
Steve always operates blindly, I'm just glad he's not my surgeon
Speaking of surgery, I'm surprised the editors kept your babau surgeons "operating" on captured paladins in this adventure. It was a bit gruesome, even by Nic Logue standards of "gruesome".
I know but I like my critters to get their hands dirty. It give the PCs suomething to fight, unlike like hiding their opponents from them like you did with the vrocks. You could have settled for some dive bombing instead of having them use telekinesis to toss rocks off the Castle Bailey.

He he. There's an idea. ;) Hey! What a second. You trying to rat my bad guys out or something? Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

Paizo Employee Developer

Cpt_kirstov wrote:
yoda8myhead, if you use the search feature for Iomedae you will get a hit to a rather lengthy message board post that the developers posted a general "pre production" description of many of the gods. as of last week it wasn't in the archive yet, dont remember what it was called though

Hmm. Not finding it. Watcher made references to some info on her and Aroden back in September, but I can't find what he was referring to. It just takes me back to the homepage. Oh well. I can wait a few weeks to get my Gazetteer. I will say a prayer to Iomedae that it comes soon.

Sczarni

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

It was Erik - I'll repost it:
Iomedae
TITLE
Goddess of valor, rulership, justice, and honor
Alignment: LG
Domains: Glory, Good, Law, Sun, War
Favored Weapon: Longsword
Centers of Worship: Andoran, Cheliax, Crusade Land, Galt
Nationality: Chelaxian
Iomedae is a deified patron saint of Aroden and has absorbed many of his followers. The strongest of her zealots flock to Crusade Land to join the crusades against the fiends inhabiting the Demon Wastes. Her holy text is the eleven “Acts of Iomedae” (or simply, “The Acts”), miracles performed in ancient times by Iomedae throughout Avistan and Garund as demonstrations of the power of Aroden, her patron.
Number three through the Test of the Starstone. Successor to a demigoddess called Escalin, who formerly served Aroden in a similar capacity before being tortured, broken, and presumably killed by the Whispering Tyrant.
Published Sources: PFPG, Pathfinder #1 (Journal)


Well am still waiting for the pdf, as usual. Would it be possible to sign up for an "alert" for the pdfs, since I seem to end up checking back every day to find that the module is released but not the pdf.

Am not a big fan of demons in D&D, but for the sake of completeness will buy this one. Could I also ask Paizo to write a module that is not about death, destruction, murder or just downright nastiness?


Ben Parkinson wrote:
Could I also ask Paizo to write a module that is not about death, destruction, murder or just downright nastiness?

I agree. I wouldn't mind seeing an 'exploration of previously uncharted lands' styled adventure, one that any DM can insert into his world as a Jurassic Park styled romp. It'd give us an opportunity to use all those weird creatures we can never find a reason to use. ;-D

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Ben Parkinson wrote:
Well am still waiting for the pdf, as usual. Would it be possible to sign up for an "alert" for the pdfs, since I seem to end up checking back every day to find that the module is released but not the pdf.

We don't have such alerts, but the PDF should be available on Wednesday.

Contributor

Steve Greer wrote:
Tim Hitchcock wrote:
Steve always operates blindly, I'm just glad he's not my surgeon
Speaking of surgery, I'm surprised the editors kept your babau surgeons "operating" on captured paladins in this adventure. It was a bit gruesome, even by Nic Logue standards of "gruesome".

Truth be told, MOST of the reprehensible and awesomely nasty stuff in Carnival came from Tim's demented mind not mine. I love his evil brain!

Can't wait to get my copy of Demon Within!!!

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

I was reading the new magic items section and I couldn't stop laughing.

Nothing bad, it's just that the 'Faith Orb' is pretty clearly the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch. (As well as being a good way to blow stuff up, even for faithless characters.) Awesome.

Contributor

Ross Byers wrote:

I was reading the new magic items section and I couldn't stop laughing.

Nothing bad, it's just that the 'Faith Orb' is pretty clearly the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch. (As well as being a good way to blow stuff up, even for faithless characters.) Awesome.

That, Sir, is exactly what it is! I mean, what crusader type adventure would be complete without it?! Glad you noticed! :)

Contributor

Dammit! Just saw that the handsome and charming Greg Vaughan is beating Tim and I's adventure with that awesomely cool adventure of his River Into Darkness. What do we have to do to start beating him in sales again? Another pact with the devil?! I mean, I only have one soul here, people! What do you want? BLOOD?!!!!

So, a trip down a dirty river on a paddle boat... OR fighting demons to retake an overrun keep in the name of all that is good and holy? Decisions, decisions...

Pathfinder Creative Director, Frog God Games

HA! You can't stop my momentum Greercock! Now if I can only knock off that Schneider fellow I will RULE THE WORLD!


Look. If you both shut up now I'll order both of them.


I've both of these on my nightstand currently. I have to finish Edge of Anarchy first, then 7 Days to the Grave, then you guys are next.

I will weigh in with the 'winner' as soon as possible.

;)

Andoran Contributor

Greg A. Vaughan wrote:
HA! You can't stop my momentum Greercock! Now if I can only knock off that Schneider fellow I will RULE THE WORLD!

Ok.. now that just sounds filthy.


You paizo freelancers... blisters on the ass of damnation.

I love it.

Contributor

Tim Hitchcock wrote:
Greg A. Vaughan wrote:
HA! You can't stop my momentum Greercock! Now if I can only knock off that Schneider fellow I will RULE THE WORLD!

Ok.. now that just sounds filthy.

Oh, my! That's just downright indecent. Greg, stop talking about the Greercock™ on public forums!!! Have you no decency, man?!


I have them both and they are both great. I just love the visual quality coupled with the story-line quality! Please keep up the good work. Though you are a serious drain on my wallet!

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

I just want to know who's idea it was to have Kyra making out with a succubus while Seoni watches... freaks! :)

Pathfinder Creative Director, Frog God Games

Somebody let me know if Kruelaid has placed his order yet so I can post again. ;-)


Sorry, guys. Cool backstory stuff, but WAY too much straight fighting with demons for us (TOTALLY burned out on that theme after the last 4 or so chapters of "Savage Tide"). This one will have to bide its time for years, or until I find a particularly hack-happy group.

Paizo Employee Developer

Kirth Gersen wrote:
Sorry, guys. Cool backstory stuff, but WAY too much straight fighting with demons for us (TOTALLY burned out on that theme after the last 4 or so chapters of "Savage Tide"). This one will have to bide its time for years, or until I find a particularly hack-happy group.

Well it is a D (dungeon) adventure. Those tend to always be hack n' slash. As for myself, I can't wait to run it.


Greg A. Vaughan wrote:
Somebody let me know if Kruelaid has placed his order yet so I can post again. ;-)

Yes I have. River, too. And some crap that a guy named Logue wrote.


ordered this and the gazetteer as well as 2 other modules today. Looking forward to it.

Qadira RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

I'm glad to see the paladin as one of the four pre-generated chaacters on the back page, but I'm surprised the cleric wasn't also recommended. It seemed like a natural adventure for religious characters to shine.

(Who decides on thich iconics to use? The authors?)

In fact, I think this would be a terrific adventure for clerics or paladins of both the Mendevian church and other good-aligned demon-fighting organizations who'd like to take over the maintenance and guardianship of the gateholds.

I respectfully disagree with Kirth. There's a lot of stuff to fight, but that all seems secondary to figuring out what's going on, fixing things, and redeeming the guardians.

Hey. By the way:

Spoiler:

In the initial scene at the ordination, would the "paladin" detect as evil?


Chris Mortika wrote:
I respectfully disagree with Kirth. There's a lot of stuff to fight, but that all seems secondary to figuring out what's going on, fixing things, and redeeming the guardians.

Well said, and I should have been more clear in my earlier post. I love the investigation/repair/redemption aspects. Also allow me to add that it's an absolute pleasure to see NPC paladins used as something other than melodrama or comic relief. But the last 4 chapters of "Savage Tide" has induced temporary demon sickness -- hear the word "demon," and get sick (much like the unfortunate dragon condition that occurred just after "Kings of the Rift," but that luckily went away very quickly). Hopefully spontaneous recovery will occur soon.

Taldor

<NOTE: this might have spoilers>

Hey! I love this thing, downloaded it last night. Got some questions, hoping others or authors can help me out!

I'd like to integrate this into my campaign, would like some thoughts.

First off, the party consists of 4 15th level characters. A cleric(radiant), paladin (knight of the chalice), Cavalier, and arcane trickster. So as you can see, they're ripe for this sort of gig.

Now, they've been investigating a group of arch-villians who have been opening portals allowing more demon activity. D'oh! Guess you had a good idea there.

So I'll locate the keep somewhere nearby their home station and some good excuse for them to visit it and go from there.

I have glanced over the pdf a bit at this point and wonder if anyone has ideas for bumping it to 15th level. I'm trying to figure out if just increasing the number of enemies in each encounter and a few levels on the NPC's should be sufficient. Or should I substitute some different ones in? How many babau's make a herzou? :-)

Also, I don't own the tome of horrors books. Can someone just give a general description of what those creatures look like? The one sounds pretty large with his pounding you into the ground "feature".

Thanks!
Pete

Contributor

Chris Mortika wrote:

I'm glad to see the paladin as one of the four pre-generated chaacters on the back page, but I'm surprised the cleric wasn't also recommended. It seemed like a natural adventure for religious characters to shine.

(Who decides on which iconics to use? The authors?)

Nope. That's soley in the hands of the editors.

Chris Mortika wrote:
In fact, I think this would be a terrific adventure for clerics or paladins of both the Mendevian church and other good-aligned demon-fighting organizations who'd like to take over the maintenance and guardianship of the gateholds.

I agree with you. The cleric would have been perfect for this adventure. And, hey, she is depicted in the artwork. Tim and I fully intended for clerics and paladins to have an abyss-of-a time with this adventure. You may have noted that some of the doors are geared toward their abilities.

Spoiler:
The "how'd the demon get past any detect evil's?" question is a good one. We did consider it. We thought about tying a detect evil spell to the hallow present in the temple, but there are other so much more useful. And with paladins being able to detect evil at will, it's a no brainer to use something else. A potion of nondetection is good enough to keep the demon's aura masked long enough to strike. The glabrezu posing as Holton would also keep himself away from as much exposure as possible prior to the ceremony. Think, solitary meditation in one of the cloisters. You also may notice that in the read aloud text, Holton steps out of the shadows only when he is called up to the pulpit. So just assume he's been keeping a low profile leading up to that point.

Contributor

Pete Apple wrote:

<NOTE: this might have spoilers>

Hey! I love this thing, downloaded it last night. Got some questions, hoping others or authors can help me out!

I'd like to integrate this into my campaign, would like some thoughts.

First off, the party consists of 4 15th level characters. A cleric(radiant), paladin (knight of the chalice), Cavalier, and arcane trickster. So as you can see, they're ripe for this sort of gig.

Now, they've been investigating a group of arch-villians who have been opening portals allowing more demon activity. D'oh! Guess you had a good idea there.

So I'll locate the keep somewhere nearby their home station and some good excuse for them to visit it and go from there.

I have glanced over the pdf a bit at this point and wonder if anyone has ideas for bumping it to 15th level. I'm trying to figure out if just increasing the number of enemies in each encounter and a few levels on the NPC's should be sufficient. Or should I substitute some different ones in? How many babau's make a herzou? :-)

Also, I don't own the tome of horrors books. Can someone just give a general description of what those creatures look like? The one sounds pretty large with his pounding you into the ground "feature".

Thanks!
Pete

Happy to hear you like it!

To answer some of your questions, it shouldn't be hard to advance things up to make them a challenge for 15th level characters. Add some more of the Sons of Perdition to the adventure to give your cleric and paladin PCs some new things to do a la exorcisms instead of just one encounter with them. If you have the time to do it, add some character levels to some of the demons. Also, you should also consider tweaking the encounter at the Demonscope to make it more challenging, like removing some of the restrictions. I'd also make that room a bit bigger. It's a tad on the small side for the fight that'll be taking place there.

Increase the number of minor demons encountered by about 3-5. You may also want to look into Book of Vile Darkness for some ideas with regards to weapons, armor, and items to arm the demons with.

Oh, and to answer you're last question:

Spoiler:
From The Tome of Horrors...
Demon Knight: This creature appears as a 6-foot tall humanoid dressed in black iron half-plate armor. Its head is completely hidden beneath a helmet. A black iron longsword is slung at its hip.

Nabbassu: This creature is tall and thin with large, leathery, scaled, bat-like wings. Its skin is stretched tightly over its bones to the point that its underlying muscles can be seen clearly. Its skin is pale gray. Its hands end in long fingers tipped with razor-sharp talons. Its mouth is filled with tusk-like teeth, dominated by two overgrown tusks that jut upward from its bottom jaw. Its eyes glow with an eerie yellow light.

From The Tome of Horrors III...
Balban:This creature stands at least 12 feet tall with a squat, pot-bellied body, massive arms, and thick, rounded legs. Its head resembles that of a trunkless and tuskless elephant. Four great backward curving horns sprout from its head behind its eyes. Its skin is slate gray with darker areas on its underbelly and back.

Andoran

just picked it up at the flgs today. The art is beautiful.
I grok to the magic items and (see spoiler 1)

Spoiler:
the fallen angel type monster...rocks mightily. It's like those angels that came down and knew the daughters of men or whatever--craaaaazy! Always wanted to do something with that; kinda like the Midianites in that Clive Barker flick.

My only lament is I don't have a squad of 11th level scum to punish with this module right now. ;)

spoiler--if I'm your dungeonmaster, sod off! ;)

Spoiler:
I really want to downpower the monster in question somehow though, and sick it on some folks. Perfect subterfuge beast...

I really wanna see more about that place the module goes down in, that land....


Heathansson wrote:

My only lament is I don't have a squad of 11th level scum to punish with this module right now. ;)

spoiler--if I'm your dungeonmaster, sod off! ;)
** spoiler omitted **

I really wanna see more about that place the module goes down in, that land....

Watch yourself.

Andoran

Uh, thorry, thir....


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules Subscriber

Liked the premise, but thought the name 'Demonscope' was weak, sounded too cartoony to me. Need to ponder a cooler name when I run it.

Taldor

Steve Greer wrote:


Happy to hear you like it!

To answer some of your questions, it shouldn't be hard to advance things up to make them a challenge for 15th level characters. Add some more of the Sons of Perdition to the adventure to give your cleric and paladin PCs some new things to do a la exorcisms instead of just one encounter with them. If you have the time to do it, add some character levels to some of the demons. Also, you should also consider tweaking the encounter at the Demonscope to make it more challenging, like removing some of the restrictions. I'd also make that room a bit bigger. It's a tad on the small side for the fight that'll be taking place there.

Increase the number of minor demons encountered by about 3-5. You may also...

Thanks for all the tips! It's really appreciated. We're actually planning to end this campaign and this has given me a perfect way. I plan to work it so that most of the current management of the keep ends up Demon dinner so my fellows can step in as the new Holy Sentinels. Seems perfect for their backgrounds. And I'm looking forward to dragging out the Balor figure I have, finally :-)

BTW, for anyone planning to run this I just noticed Flip-mat Cathedral is out and could work well as the initial encounter.

Contributor

Krell wrote:
Liked the premise, but thought the name 'Demonscope' was weak, sounded too cartoony to me. Need to ponder a cooler name when I run it.

Krell, when I coined the name I had been reading Brian Lumley's Necroscope series. Great books! He has a cool website HERE. Here's a bit from the Wikipedia entry I linked above.

The term "necroscope" originally (in Greek) meant someone that can "see" (scope) into the dead (necro). It was used as a formal legal and scientific term for "Coroner" up to the middle of the 20th century. After the 1950s it ceased to be used, but can still be found in early 20th century books and encyclopedias (see Helios' Encyclopedia, 1954 Athens). Necroscope, as a term for Coroner, came to be considered distateful as it was associated with the coroner's "tools" of the day, knives, saws and drills, and today is not in use (has been replased by the neutrally sounding term for the coroner, "doctor-judge" - iatrodikastis). Notably, in the series the "necroscope" communicates with the dead without any tools, or bodily mutilation, an ability normally attributed to a "necromancer" (in Greek), whereas the "necromancers" in the series use tools like those used by the real "necroscopes", the coroners.
The abilities of a necroscope are defined as a type of ESP.

Subbing in the word "Demon" for Necro makes a little more sense with that in mind since this artifact uses

Spoiler:
a imprisoned Balor to aid the Holy Sentinels in spotting nearby demons.

That's cool, though. It's just a name. Change it to whatever sounds good to you. :)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules Subscriber

Steve,
Thanks for the insight into the background. As I wrote my first thought was Demonscope was not a high fantasy name and hence weak. With the background I can spin it as you outlined-a device that can see, and then thwart, demonic activity. In that context the name is more appropriate. I'd also say my quibble was minor, the name of an artifact, in what is a cool premise.

Otto


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules Subscriber

Regarding the Chatterdemons

Spoiler:
They seem terribly difficult to slay for CR8 monsters. I was trying to imagine how a battle against them would go and came to the conclusion that it one likely be short and one sided-especially since both times they appear there are 3 of them. It seems that the combat would go something like:
1-Chatterdemons attack by surprise (hide +29) inflicting 3d6=avg 10
2-Chatterdemons win init (+9) or affected PCs fail fort save (DC 19) and are nauseous and can take only a move action
3-Chatterdemons attack again, following PCs if needed with their 40 speed, inflicting another 3d6=10 for a total of 20. At 15 the target is infested. The infestation can only be removed by a handful of spells.

The Chatterdemons also have good hits, 66, and 10 resistance vs acid, cold and fire. Even with taking +50% from area effects for being a swarm it seems very difficult to kill them before they nest in the party, eg 11th cone of cold avg 36 less 10 for resist +50%=39 (assuming the save is failed) or 19 on a successful save.

Anyone have any insight into this possible TPK?

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

Yes, I read this last night - a mightily cool adventure. A righteous slaughterfest where the PCs don't have to worry about the ethics of the situation, and some nice (if gruesome, though in keeping with the theme) images and encounters.

EDIT: Just read Heathy's post. I'm now scared.

Contributor

Regarding the Chatterer Swarms...

Spoiler:

Krell, it has been my experience that any swarm of the appropriate encounter level for most group of adventurers usually beats the holy crap out of one or 2 unlucky ones, but gets handled before it results in PC deaths. The Chatterer Swarms are no different. I think you may be underestimating the resourcefulness and resources available to an 11th level group of characters.

However, to answer each of your concerns.
1-Their superior Hide modifier... is a moot point in the adventure since they burst out of Thunderhoof (B7) and race towards the PCs most likely giving them a round to act before the little suckers are on them. To ensure that the PCs do get a chance to act on that initial round, you can initiate the encounter up to 80 feet away from them when the burst out.
The PCs get the same forewarning in the dungeon (D3a), so again the Hide modifier shouldn't cause any advantages other than being inside a host at the start of the encounter.
2-At 11th level, it's about half and half as far as characters that can tie or beat that initiative modifier and Fort save DC. Take a look at the pregens at the back of the module. Harsk has a an equal chance of beating them on Initiative and both he and Seelah can easily whoop up on that Fort save DC. Ezren and Lem, on the other hand, will have problems, but that should be the case with most bards and wizards at this level. And keep in mind that these are not your most optimally built characters.
3-The Chatterer Swarms can be extremely tough to get out of an infested PC if your group has tackled this adventure with characters not suited for dealing with the kind of adversaries they'll be coming up against in a demon infested keep. However, assuming a semi-suited group like the pregens provided. Let's say Ezren gets off a cone of cold on these buggers before they close with the group. After resistance and the Reflex save they most likely make, he deals 14 points of damage. And then they're on poor Harsk since he was closest to them when they moved up. On the next round, while Harsk and possibly Seelah, swing at these Fine sized demons futilely (immune to weapon damage), Ezren backs off and fires off another spell. This time he casts fireball so as to hit an edge of the swarm (10 ft. space) and not his companions. He succeeds and easily beats their SR just like before and after Resistance and Reflex saves are accounted for, he deals another 14 points of damage.
All of them have taken 28 points of damage so far (assuming only average damage rolls). The next round, they've done enough chewing on Harsk to Flesh Burrow and now they're in and Harsk is going nuts.
On her turn the next round, Seelah does the only thing she can think of, she casts remove disease (which some Knowledge (the planes) checks would help out with) and deals 14 more points of damage to the Chatterer swarms infesting Harsk. By this time Harsk still has well over half his hit points.
On the next round, Seelah having seen or heard a reaction from the demons inside Harsk, uses her 2nd and last use of remove disease for the week and deals another 14 points of damage to the swarms. They've now taken 56 points of damage (on average).

As far as this group goes, they've probably done all they can assuming no other resources not included on their pregen sheets. Yeah, Harsk is probably a goner and the others have to retreat or end up the same way.

However, assuming your PCs have better resources than this group or the rolls above were better than average, the swarms are most likely dead at this point.

Here are some recommendations for ensuring your party's survival:
1-Make sure they have a spellcaster in the group that can cast, either as prepared spells or has them on scrolls, banishment, dispel chaos/evil, holy word, and remove disease. If they don't have the foresight to prepare this way, you can throw in some scrolls before they leave Kanebres as gifts from Kutholiam to aid their efforts.
2-Research. Before going to fight demons, a lot of groups will try to get info from the GM to help them. Things demons are immune to, things they are especially vulnerable to. If they ask, reward them by dropping some helpful clues so they don't waste valuable spell slots or gold purchasing equipment that won't hurt their enemies. Sonic damage usually hurts anything. Flamestrike is another good one. Stuff like that.
3-In the case of the Chatterer Swarms, if your group make up is suboptimal and a fight with these demons might go like my example above, consider lowering the swarms' hit points down to like 50-55. Given the example above, those average damage rolls would probably kill them.

Anyway, hope that helps. And remember, you can always playtest the Chatterer Swarms to see if they're too tough and what corrections need to be made. Maybe dress them up and have them behave differently for your group so they won't recognize the Chatterers the next time they see them.


K, had a chance to take a deeper look into this one today as well. Great Stuff as usual. I think in general Mendev in a sense reminds me of the Bloodstone Lands in FR (a good thing for me).

Its a bit more gritty and sinister as opposed to the usual Paladin inspired adventures. Its great to see an adventure like this not sugar coated, and we get to see the true evils that come from messing with things better left alone.

I like this one.

Contributor

I'm stoked to hear some good feedback. I'm sure Tim is, too, but he might be too busy working on some other projects to watch for posts here (loser me... I'm not at the moment). Please take a moment to give us a short review and a product rating, even if it's just to say, "This is the greatest adventure I've ever read and I plan on running it over and over and over again!" In fact, just go ahead and write that. You can just cut & paste it. ;) Seriously though, folks, those ratings help us writers keep writing. When a product is getting good reviews by a lot of people, the Paizo editors are more inclined to go back to that writer for a follow up or just something new. Just look at Revenge of the Kobold King. And soon you'll be seeing a sequel to Entombed with the Pharoahs. So, seriously, help Hitchcock and I out by taking a moment to rate it and write a few words. Thanks!

Andoran

Aubrey the Malformed wrote:

Yes, I read this last night - a mightily cool adventure. A righteous slaughterfest where the PCs don't have to worry about the ethics of the situation, and some nice (if gruesome, though in keeping with the theme) images and encounters.

EDIT: Just read Heathy's post. I'm now scared.

Mwahahahaha!

I haven't read it completely. I tend to flit from this to that, and my victims aren't 11th level yet,...;)
I really like the feel of the backstory though. I've been looking for something that would make a cleric feel like more than an overworked combat medic that shoots a crossbow at stuff here and there.
It's got that weird religion-based fantasy eerie horror vibe along the lines of The Exorcist or the Omen. Or when Dracula showed up in his striated red plate armor to find his dead wife, only to have the priest tell him, "she committed suicide...she won't go to heaven..."
I'd be interested in seeing more of that particular area of the globe get some more support.

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