The Hook Mountain Massacre (GM Reference)


Rise of the Runelords

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Caught up with all this thread from the begginning and a couple others.

This has indeed been discussed a lot.

It doesn't look like anyone has seriously considered telling the tale of the failure of Skull's crossing. And since fort Rannick is already old, I guess no threat organized enough to think about demolishing the dam has arisen in the region.

After carefull consideration, it seems strange from the ogres to think they can take the dam down. It's the thickest thassilonian building around, with enchanted stone and all.

I guess the small flood caused by blak magga is good enough, with the threat of the dam failing someday. May be Mokmurian could think about it.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

My PCs have just finished rescuing the three surviving Black Arrows and destroying the Grauls (our last session ended with the spellcasters fireballing the farmhouse and barn into oblivion). I made a few adjustments to the Grauls' tactics to make things a little tougher, but apparently it wasn't enough - the party (4 PCs, 1 GMPC, all 8th level) mowed through the ogrekin and hardly broke a sweat doing it.

Now I'm preparing for the assault on Fort Rannick, and I'm looking at ways to make this part more of a challenge. My current plan is to give a significant number (half, if not all) of the ordinary ogres at the Fort one level of fighter. This would take them each from CR 3 to CR 4, increase 4 out of 6 ability scores, add feats (improved initiative is probably the most important), and increase their hit points from 30 to 49. It also gives me a reason to upgrade their gear a bit, which increases AC and attack modifiers.

Have any of you done anything like this to pump up the challenge of retaking Fort Rannick? Would this be overdoing it?


Tusk the Half-Orc wrote:
Have any of you done anything like this to pump up the challenge of retaking Fort Rannick? Would this be overdoing it?

See Joey Virtue's AWESOME thread on using The GM’s Guide to Creating Challenging Encounters

My players romped through the Grauls too, until I used that guide to beef up the Mammy encounter. They all survived but they certainly worried at a couple of points.


While I'm here.

I need to remove the Black Magga encounter - as others have said it will be like waving a red rag in front of an angry bull.
However, I also find the Myriana section too much like a side-track.

What I'm thinking of is replacing the flood and Black Magga with Myriana, and having her accompanied by a Nuckalevee and Wil-o-wisps.

My thinking is that she's looking for Lamatar and in her enraged state has simply latched on to turtleback Ferry as the nearest settlement to haunt until someone releases or returns Lamatar to her. As a corrupted marsh spirit she's attracted the attention and support (unintentionally) of the Nuckalevee, and the Wil-o-wisps have just tagged along for the chance to antagonize the villagers.
I'll use Yap to get the party back to town, and the other encounters from Myriana's chapter in the forest or on the road back into town.

Anyone foresee any potential gotchas with this plan?

Black Magga might work as a background encounter at the damn but even there could prove to be an irresistible distraction. So I haven't decided what to do there. Magga might just have to miss out altogether.


Tusk the Half-Orc wrote:
Have any of you done anything like this to pump up the challenge of retaking Fort Rannick? Would this be overdoing it?

I'll do the exact same thing.

IMC I have 4 PCs (all at ~30pb--we rolled stats and all got lucky) PLUS they will be accompanied by Vale and Jakardos (maybe Kaven as I could not let him slip away as of yet--one of my players got suspicious) PLUS Shalelu and two new recruits which I used to get the PCs started towards TBF after book 2.

I added 1 lvl of fighter to each ogre. I'll also have them encounter patrols in the area and will vary the ogres' activities depending on whether it is night or day--as someone posted here in this thread.

I'm a little worried about the New Barracks encounter (12 ogres as written) but will hopefully be able to handwaive the actual numbers depending on how that fight turns out.

Ruyan.


Belegdel wrote:

What I'm thinking of is replacing the flood and Black Magga with Myriana, and having her accompanied by a Nuckalevee and Wil-o-wisps.

My thinking is that she's looking for Lamatar and in her enraged state has simply latched on to turtleback Ferry as the nearest settlement to haunt until someone releases or returns Lamatar to her. As a corrupted marsh spirit she's attracted the attention and support (unintentionally) of the Nuckalevee, and the Wil-o-wisps have just tagged along for the chance to antagonize the villagers.
I'll use Yap to get the party back to town, and the other encounters from Myriana's chapter in the forest or on the road back into town.

Anyone foresee any potential gotchas with this plan?

I don't see Myriana exclusively as a fight-her encounter but hope to tell some of the background story to my group. It worked very well during Misgivings.

But as my players do not seem interested in Rannick and the rangers at all (no interaction with the three surviving rangers except suspiciously eying Kaven)...
I still hope to have the PC get to raise Lamatar and restore Myrianas mental health/emotional balance and draw them back in but we'll see, I guess.

There was mentioned a possible connection to another fey the PCs encounter later (book 6?) which might play out for better or worse depending on what happened to Myriana...

Otherwise I see no big impact on the story as a whole if you turn it into a fighting encounter.

Ruyan.


RuyanVe wrote:
Belegdel wrote:

What I'm thinking of is replacing the flood and Black Magga with Myriana, and having her accompanied by a Nuckalevee and Wil-o-wisps.

My thinking is that she's looking for Lamatar and in her enraged state has simply latched on to turtleback Ferry as the nearest settlement to haunt until someone releases or returns Lamatar to her. As a corrupted marsh spirit she's attracted the attention and support (unintentionally) of the Nuckalevee, and the Wil-o-wisps have just tagged along for the chance to antagonize the villagers.
I'll use Yap to get the party back to town, and the other encounters from Myriana's chapter in the forest or on the road back into town.

Anyone foresee any potential gotchas with this plan?

I don't see Myriana exclusively as a fight-her encounter but hope to tell some of the background story to my group. It worked very well during Misgivings.

But as my players do not seem interested in Rannick and the rangers at all (no interaction with the three surviving rangers except suspiciously eying Kaven)...
I still hope to have the PC get to raise Lamatar and restore Myrianas mental health/emotional balance and draw them back in but we'll see, I guess.

There was mentioned a possible connection to another fey the PCs encounter later (book 6?) which might play out for better or worse depending on what happened to Myriana...

Otherwise I see no big impact on the story as a whole if you turn it into a fighting encounter.

Ruyan.

Yes, redeeming/putting Myriana to rest has multiple benefits for the pc's - one of them gains her inspiration (my party has a bard so it worked out particularly well.) And if the pc's who redeem her are the same ones who travel to Xin Shalast in Book 6, they encounter a "cousin" of Myriana's who readily allies with them in gratitude. Given that is one of the few allies available in Book 6, it may be helpful. Absent such a connection the nymph is not hostile so the pc's can still potentially ally with her or otherwise have minimal interaction with her. The nymph/Lamatar story line is not critical to the AP - the pc's can accomplish the main goals of Book 3 (stop Lucretia and recover Fort Rannick) without doing anything for Myriana. The elements (for both Book 3 and 6) are to reward groups that "do the right thing" - recovering Lamatar and ending Myriana's undead state ends a blight upon the Shimmerglens and counters a great evil performed there.


Soooo. My group finally tackled Fort Rannick.
They descended via the giant eagles' nest and spent 15 minutes clearing away the rubble and entered the fort's yard next to B4.
The rogue stealthed to its entrance to listen. Good (on my side) and bad (on PC's side) rolls were involved, the ogres bursted out of the door and things got hectic.
With the three ogres advancing on the party (six player characters, Jakardos, Vale, Shalelu and the two recruits in added) the map become quite crowded but I was certain that the two standard ogres and the advanced one would be easily defeated.
Next round the mage opened combat with a fireball. BOOOOOOOOM! As a result B4 collapsed and the debris damaged everybody.

The explosion was noticed by the ogre at the gate, the cook and the occupants of B10 (I decided to sent them in in two waves).

One of the ogres was sent to get pappy by the cook.

The group defeated the the first three ogres, the cook and the first wave of the ogres from B10 minus the one sent for reinforcements.

Next session things will become interesting...

[spoiler]The ogre sent for Jaagrath is still struggling with the main gate, but the PCs don't know that[\spoiler]

Now I'm a little worried. While the ogres are glass cannons they have managed to down he fighter (x3 crit from hook) and rogue already (both were healed to full hp in between again).

Still I think that the fire ball managed to alert all of the fort's occupants and want to stay on the road of a somewhat realistic reaction but do not want to tpk the group.

Has anybody of you experienced a similar all-out-attack?
What would happen if the PCs retreat and attack anew the next day or so?

Thanks in advance!

Ruyan.


RuyanVe wrote:


Has anybody of you experienced a similar all-out-attack?
What would happen if the PCs retreat and attack anew the next day or so?

My group entered via the tunnels behind the waterfall, and their first act was to collapse the old guard tower upon hearing some ogres inside. They succeeded, and all the ogres the AP says come to investigate; did. It was a near TPK, because my players didn't think I'd throw anything at them they couldn't handle. So they didn't really think about retreating until I told them to, and even then they lost 2 party members and Vale... and eventually Shalelu.

They shacked up in the tunnels, and when they came back the ogres were more alert and knew to watch that secret door. There were fewer ogres, though, so it ended up being a protracted split-party battle on the parapets of the keep. Lucky for them, that favored the party.

I had a couple "hard-of-hearing" ogres remain inside, but otherwise the rest of the place (until Lucrecia) turned into a search-and-loot mission.


Ah, it's right there... See, I thought I read about the reaction of the other ogres but couldn't trace it while gaming.

Thanks, mousmous!

Let's see what the party decides... a discussion what to do next has already been started.

Ruyan.


My party had their Oracle sneak in and set the new barracks on fire and then use Murderous Command to get some the ogres fighting each other while they had the rangers go in through the secret tunnels and smoke the shocker lizards into the fortress. While the chaos from that was going on, they did a Featherfall-aided HALO jump from the cliffs above into the fortress.

There were 6 of them (plus Shalelu, Jakardos and Vale) so I gave the ogre fighters max HPs. The PCs themselves were never in any real danger, despite the massive numbers of ogres, but the NPCs weren't doing so hot (Vale got dropped by an ogrehook crit and would have died if he hadn't rolled a natural 20 on his Stabilization check and Shalelu got seriously injured) so having to keep them alive added a lot of tension to the fight.

Honestly, I'd play the ogres according to the tactics in the AP and (if necessary) drop hints that the PCs may need to retreat if they find themselves overwhelmed. They're taking on a fortress full of ogres that recently destroyed an army of ogre-slaying rangers. They should know they're in for a really difficult fight if they don't play smart.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

How long ago did Shalelu's mother die and Jakardros left Crying Leaf? Was Shalelu living with the two of them at the time, or had she left the nest earlier, so she did not actually live with Jakardros at any time?

Edit: Okay, I found some additional information in Shalelu's Jade Regent NPC writeup. She left Crying Leaf after her mother's death, and did live together with Seanthia and Jakardros for the three years they were together.

We know that Shalelu is 130 years old, that her father was killed "not long after she was born" and it took Seanthia "nearly a hundred years" to hook up with Jakardros. I guess that could mean just about anything. Her father could have died with Shalelu was 10 years old and Seanthia took 99 years to find Jakardros and three years with him, which would put the Crying Leaf disaster at Shalelu's age 112, or 18 years ago. Alternately, Shalelu's father could have died when she was 0 and the "nearly hundred" could be 60 years, meaning Crying Leaf disaster happens when Shalelu is 63, therefore 67 years ago, but that is prevented by us knowing that Jakardros is in the middle-age category, which is 35-52 years.

I guess the upper limit of time to how long Shalelu and Jakardros have been apart is limited by the middle age category. Jak is max 52 years at time of HMM, and he was "younger" when he was with Seanthia, but I can't find any way to tell how much younger. It could have been five years ago, or 30 years ago? Maybe the lower limit could be set by my calculation above that puts the Crying Leaf disaster at Shalelu's age 112 -- it's tough to imagine that "not long after she was born" and "nearly a hundred years" could combine to allow for her being any older than 112 when Seanthia died and Jakardros left.

So I would guess Seanthia's death and Jakardros' departure was 18-30 years ago? That's how long it's been since Shalelu last saw Jakardros?

I suppose you could also take into account the fact that Jade Regent was published four years after Runelords, and since she's given as 130 in the former, you could backtrack that she's 126 during the latter... Which would widen the possible result to 14-30 years.

So if I give my players an approximate figure of "about two decades", that should be in the ballpark I think?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Tusk the Half-Orc wrote:

My PCs have just finished rescuing the three surviving Black Arrows and destroying the Grauls (our last session ended with the spellcasters fireballing the farmhouse and barn into oblivion). I made a few adjustments to the Grauls' tactics to make things a little tougher, but apparently it wasn't enough - the party (4 PCs, 1 GMPC, all 8th level) mowed through the ogrekin and hardly broke a sweat doing it.

Now I'm preparing for the assault on Fort Rannick, and I'm looking at ways to make this part more of a challenge. My current plan is to give a significant number (half, if not all) of the ordinary ogres at the Fort one level of fighter. This would take them each from CR 3 to CR 4, increase 4 out of 6 ability scores, add feats (improved initiative is probably the most important), and increase their hit points from 30 to 49. It also gives me a reason to upgrade their gear a bit, which increases AC and attack modifiers.

Have any of you done anything like this to pump up the challenge of retaking Fort Rannick? Would this be overdoing it?

Over the last two sessions, my party snuck in through the tunnels, looked out through the secret door on the north side of the courtyard, then split up to have the bulk of the group take down the guard tower while the wizard and the rogue torched the new barracks (after scattering caltrops and casting Grease in front of the exit). They took out about 1/3 of the standard-issue ogres in the yard (each upgraded to ogre fighter 1) and two of the Kreeg fighters, but they burned a bunch of spells and Vale - weakened by the spectre in the crypt - was taken out in a single hit by one of the Kreeg fighters that did something like 65 hit points of damage. They scattered more caltrops and dual-fireballed the survivors, then retreated into the tunnels hidden by an Obscuring Mist, and managed to sneak out past the burning barracks and into the Fort unseen. There are still around 13 ogres in the yard, but most are injured and half of them are only moving at 15' per round due to the caltrops.

I am tempted to downgrade the ogres in the Fort back to the original stats as written, but I will see how they do tonight. We only have time to play a couple of encounters, and none of the potential encounters will be more than 2-3 ogres at a time, so I'm hoping the players can get some of their confidence back before the first wave of unimpeded yard ogres heads into the Fort to heal up and take shelter.


Is the Halfling skeleton at the bottom of the brigde in the forts tunnels, a easter egg to Bilbo from the Hobbit? I mean dead Halfling/Rouge Mithral +1 shortsword (Sting) still in his belt. Yeah, a stupid random question. :P


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Pawns Subscriber
Raythron wrote:
Is the Halfling skeleton at the bottom of the brigde in the forts tunnels, a easter egg to Bilbo from the Hobbit? I mean dead Halfling/Rouge Mithral +1 shortsword (Sting) still in his belt. Yeah, a stupid random question. :P

I thought the same thing. I suspect it is. :-P


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Is it too late to add a depressed overweight Halfling gardener to the Fort, muttering about how he "just wanted to go home, you made me do this, I just wanted to go home..."


Does anyone have any suggestions for what to do with Black Magga AFTER she runs away?

One of my players is a gunslinger with massive damage, so I'm not worried about him hitting her and driving her off. I suspect, as many others have, that they will want to follow/hunt her down later in the lake.

I like the encounter and don't really want to remove it if I can avoid it.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Both my groups encountered her on top of the dam. They had started combat with the ogres, then BM turned up and attacked everyone. It was an easy way to demonstrate that she was way out of their current league, as she went after the ogres first (the biggest chunks of meat) until the party actually managed to damage her a bit. After being on the receiving end of BM's full attention, they were very grateful when she slithered back down into the Storval Deep. (Her five-round combat participation timer had run out.)

At least one group has BM on someone's "to do" list (along with other delightful goals such as "drive diabolism/tyranny out of Cheliax").


Bellona wrote:
...(along with other delightful goals such as "drive diabolism/tyranny out of Cheliax").

Haha!

I like the idea of moving her up to the Dam so she has a safer place to retreat to. Thanks.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Actually, it was another poster here who gave me the idea. As far as I recall, the attack on TBF can be considered problematic/difficult, so a previous poster decided to move the BM encounter to the dam.

Silver Crusade

With my group, Black Magga's attack on Turtleback Ferry was insane, and scared the hell out of the party. Which was kinda the point. They were just clinging to survival, and trying to distract BM from killing the townsfolk, which they did successfully. And after three rounds, she left, making them mighty heroes to the people of TF. So I think it worked out exactly like the AP intended.


Fromper wrote:
With my group, Black Magga's attack on Turtleback Ferry was insane, and scared the hell out of the party. Which was kinda the point. They were just clinging to survival, and trying to distract BM from killing the townsfolk, which they did successfully. And after three rounds, she left, making them mighty heroes to the people of TF. So I think it worked out exactly like the AP intended.

That is what I would LIKE to happen, but I know my players. They would gear up and go looking to finish the fight. They would feel they are endangering Turtleback Ferry if they just left Magga there to one day come back and finish the job on the town.


Starfinder Charter Superscriber

What did you guys use as a map for the trip at the beginning of Chapter 3 from Magnimar to Turtleback Ferry? All I can find is a very high-level map of Varisia, which is kinda disappointing since I've had excellent maps to this point of Sandpoint, the Sandpoint Hinterlands, Magnimar, etc. I know I could handwave it, but I'm the annoying type of GM who likes to track overland speed by day over different terrain types :) Is the map from the Shattered Star map folio any good for this purpose?

Silver Crusade

I just estimated how long the trip was, rolled for random encounters each day, and pulled generic flip mats for the right terrain type when they had an encounter.


Jhaeman wrote:
What did you guys use as a map for the trip at the beginning of Chapter 3 from Magnimar to Turtleback Ferry? All I can find is a very high-level map of Varisia, which is kinda disappointing since I've had excellent maps to this point of Sandpoint, the Sandpoint Hinterlands, Magnimar, etc. I know I could handwave it, but I'm the annoying type of GM who likes to track overland speed by day over different terrain types :) Is the map from the Shattered Star map folio any good for this purpose?

The Varisia map in the Shattered Star map folio has routes/paths/roads with distances on it. For example, Sandpoint to Magnimar is 54 miles. Magnimar to Wartle along the Yondabakari river is 182 miles.

What it does not give you is detailed breakdown of the terrain.. just routes and distances. You can infer a lot of the terrain from the map, but not in deep detail.

There's a smaller version of the same map in the Varisia player companion.


I'm trying to figure out how the southern gate to Fort Ranick is supposed to be defended. Is the portcullis supposed to be down, as the description suggest? But ogres aren't strong enough to lift it from the ground (3 of them would need to cooperate using Aid Another, and even then they would need to roll 19 on a Strength check), and I believe are too ungainly to climb the ladder to the defense platform (see the description of area B17), so with the portcullis down, even if they spot someoneone outside, it will take them some time before they are able to react - is that how it is supposed to work?


I don't have a book in front of me, but I'm prepping this part now and I believe the Anniversary Edition mentions there's a winch that can be used to open the portcullis in a certain number of rounds. The Strength check is for someone trying to open it in a single round by lifting it manually.


Kalshane wrote:
I don't have a book in front of me, but I'm prepping this part now and I believe the Anniversary Edition mentions there's a winch that can be used to open the portcullis in a certain number of rounds. The Strength check is for someone trying to open it in a single round by lifting it manually.

There is, atop the defense platform, where ogres don't have an easy access to, they can't climb the ladder. Probably they can get there another way, but it's going to take time.


From the anniversary edition, p. 150: "The mechanism to lift the portcullis is located atop the defense platform directly west of the gate—it takes 5 rounds to raise the portcullis, but a DC 28 Strength check allows someone to lift it from the ground in 1 round."

Given the description describes opening it but not closing, I assumed it was down. I also assumed that while the ogres may not be able to use the ladder inside the defense platform (if we further assume it is similar the ladders in B17) they have provided ladders/props to enable them to climb up to the defense platform on the outside.

Indeed since the AP goes on to say, "Minktuck keeps his ogres focused and relatively alert; these ogres do not take distraction penalties on their Perception checks as a result," I assumed that at least some of the ogres at B8 were on the defense platforms, which a) gives them a better view of the surrounding area and b) puts them in place to raise the portcullis if needed.


Latrecis wrote:

Given the description describes opening it but not closing, I assumed it was down. I also assumed that while the ogres may not be able to use the ladder inside the defense platform (if we further assume it is similar the ladders in B17) they have provided ladders/props to enable them to climb up to the defense platform on the outside.

Indeed since the AP goes on to say, "Minktuck keeps his ogres focused and relatively alert; these ogres do not take distraction penalties on their Perception checks as a result," I assumed that at least some of the ogres at B8 were on the defense platforms, which a) gives them a better view of the surrounding area and b) puts them in place to raise the portcullis if needed.

You are right, ogres had enough time to create some other way to enter the defense platform, and they can be stationed on the platform as well. That makes sense.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I would assume that they can also Take 20 on the Strength check to open the portcullis, since there are no ill effects from failing. So the way I imagine it, every time they want to open the gate, they struggle at it for a couple of minutes before getting it open.


HangarFlying wrote:

Quick question about the Skull Ripper and the order of operation with grapples and the behead ability.

So:

Round 1) Hit with claw, do claw damage, make grapple check, success, do constrict damage.

Round 2) Maintain grapple as a standard action, success, apply pinned condition, do constrict damage and claw damage.

Round 3) Maintain grapple as a standard action, success, continue pin, do constrict and claw damage, do behead special ability.

Does this sound right?

You do not apply the claw damage on rounds where you apply the pinned condition. You have to choose between applying the pin or doing damage (or moving, but the Skull Ripper would be going for a pin).


After fighting Rukus Graul, my PCs were able to talk with Kibb (speak with animals), so they got some precise information. Approaching Graul farm they scouted ahead (bird familiar), and they correctly guessed that Black Arrows, if still alive, are probably held in the barn. They snuck around and approached the barn without anyone noticing. They used adamantine weapon to cut through the wooden wall of the barn, and through Biggin's webs. At the moment they are fighting Biggin. Hoggarth, Jeppo and Sugar are definitely going to hear them and join the fight, Crowfood is a possibility.

I wonder what to do if they decide to escape with the rescued Black Arrows without ever approaching the farmhouse. They would miss a lot of exp and some treasure, not to mention the hillbilly horror. Anyone else was in a similar situation?

I also wonder what will Mammy do if after taking a beating she decides to dimesnsion door to barn only to find that the Grauls there are already dead.


Remember the Black Arrows are all unconscious and at 0 hp, they are not going to be easy to move if the pc's are in combat.

If Hograth, etc. hear the pc's fighting Biggin' they should call for their brother Crowfood, who in turn calls for Mammy (and Hucker). Mammy could dimension door to the barn to join the fight, not after the pc's leave.

Also remember even if the pc's extract the Black Arrows without fighting all the Grauls, none of them have any gear - it's all in the house.


Starfinder Charter Superscriber

But hey, if the PCs are smart and hit on a sound plan, good for them! The AP does *not* assume that every encounter is taken on in a straightforward way, and there are plenty of places where XP and treasure can be made up later.


Grauls are described as prefering to stay inside and depend on their traps, but I guess in this situation it makes sense to bring them out.

Thanks for the suggestions.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'll be running this book for my players soon and appreciate all the ideas in this thread. To start them off I'll have their river journey interrupted by an ambush from some boggards and a giant frog, led by a marsh giant. The ranger in my party took giants as a favored enemy so he's been itching to get into it with some since we started. Soon enough though he'll have plenty to deal with. I'm having the ambush happen at night while the boat is anchored (the captain doesn't want to brave the river at night since the waters have been treacherous due to all the additional rainfall in the past few weeks). The marsh giant's fog cloud ability to cover their approach in the dark should make for a great start to the fight. The ranger focuses on using his bow so this will make him get up close for a change. If the frog can get into position to use swallow whole on the halfling rogue things should get quite sticky for the players. Should be lots of fun!


Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Pyrogoth wrote:

following my doubts on the dam section....

I did some research.
And I couldn't be more wrong. The dam is... well, let's say Karzoug was really someone..

First, just some numbers:
Skull crossing is described as 250 feet high (75 m). The worst dam failure ever witnessed in history is the Banquiao Dam failure in 1975. This dam was 60 feet high (25 m). wikipedia.org/wiki/Banqiao_Dam
I realize heigth is far from the only factor (though Storval deep is much, MUCH bigger than Banqiao former reservoir), and that talking physics in Pathfinder has little sense since gravity is just the will of the gods of nature.

That being said, the Banquiao Dam failure generated a wave 15 km wide and up to 7 meters tall, that devastated all land for more than 200 km, resulting in the drowning of thousands, and the destruction of countless cities.

According to these data, the failure of Skull's crossing has the potential to ERASE Ilsurian from the map, as well as Ashwood, half of the Sanos forest, and being felt even at Magnimmar (likely as a significant rise of the Yondabakari).

OH MY GOD ! and they just defeated the only castle near the dam !

for more, you should read this : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outburst_flood

Realizing that I am tempted to rewrite the back arrows as the necessary guardians of an apocalyptic threat.

Was this discussed elsewhere ? I'm fairly new on this forum and I know this AP has been discussed for a long time. Don't hesitate to send me to a more relevant topic if needed.

Did anybody else have the dam fail in their game or have thoughts on the post above? Dam failure just happened in my game last session and I'm trying to figure out how devastating to have it be. Turtleback Ferry being erased is a given, but beyond that I have no idea.


Jhaeman wrote:

Did anybody else have the dam fail in their game or have thoughts on the post above? Dam failure just happened in my game last session and I'm trying to figure out how devastating to have it be. Turtleback Ferry being erased is a given, but beyond that I have no idea.

I raised the water level around the lower lake by a couple feet, which would flood a decent area around it. I didn't have a complete dam failure, though, and my group only had the swamp remaining before heading off to the Hook, so it only meant they boated into the swamp with poles instead of walking.

Bitter Hollow was hit hard by the raised water, but Pendaka was not. I know that's vague, but the devastation of the dam failing is more likely to be felt in the long-term, outside the immediacy of the campaign. I wasn't sure how (or if it was necessary) to show that to my group.


So my party wasn’t really enjoying the themes of my previous story (too many robots in their fantasy), so I’m switching over to RotRL. They’re going to be sent over to Turtleback Ferry to check on the fort as per usual, but I don’t know what they should be aware of at this point in the story with regards to the overarching plot. Should they already have a decent understanding of thassilonian magic? How can I introduce the threat of Kharzoug and Mokmurian? Does anyone have any tips for helping this transition run smoothly? I also need to change the whole beginning of book 4 since they’ve never been to Sandpoint, but that’s for another thread.


I've got a group inside the Kreeg clanhold, we left the session just after the arcanist tossed a couple fireballs at the incoming ogres from D6, basically frying everything. anything left standing was quickly put down by ranged fire.
they've got D7-9 left to do

in my game, the pc's became immediately suspicious of Kaven Windstrike when he was rescued because of the Sihedron tattoo they noticed, but didn't put a watch over him, so during the night he slipped out and made it to the fort, warned Lucrecia, and they booked it out of there and went to the clanhold/Barls encounter (as per the mod)

Sounds of battle and fireballs exploding should give ample warning to the remaining rooms. With the available spells, as written, should I have Kaven on lookout, everyone prebuffed and waiting in ambush with haste, invisibility, and a fireball exploding upon their arrival??

my question is, How challenging should Barl Breakbones (D9) encounter be? (it being the final encounter of the mod when normally my group runs over most encounters)

I have 6 players. 25 point buy (my mistake, but too late now)
1 sword and board dual wielding fighter
1 archery focused fighter
1 oracle typically spends his turns healing or waiting to heal.
1 bard, casting haste and inspiring courage with the occasional taunt thrown in
1 Arcanist with a love for fireball and potent magic
1 Arcane Tricker/illusionist

I already max out the baddies hit points and add extra mobs to try and challenge them but usually to no great success.


Starfinder Charter Superscriber
axxroytovu wrote:
So my party wasn’t really enjoying the themes of my previous story (too many robots in their fantasy), so I’m switching over to RotRL. They’re going to be sent over to Turtleback Ferry to check on the fort as per usual, but I don’t know what they should be aware of at this point in the story with regards to the overarching plot. Should they already have a decent understanding of thassilonian magic? How can I introduce the threat of Kharzoug and Mokmurian? Does anyone have any tips for helping this transition run smoothly? I also need to change the whole beginning of book 4 since they’ve never been to Sandpoint, but that’s for another thread.

Oddly enough, there's not a *lot* of exposure of the main plot to the PCs yet. They won't have been exposed to sin magic or (probably) even heard of Karzoug or Mokmurian yet (they first start to learn a lot about Mokmurian at the end of Chapter 3 if they capture and interrogate Barl Breakbones).

Frankly, I consider the lack of integration of the metaplot one of the story weaknesses of RotRL, as much as I love it. I'm just starting Chapter 4 and my players have no real idea what's going on apart from "why are there so many sihedron runes all over the place?" :)


At this point they certainly know how Karzoug looks like, what he sounds like, they know about Thassilon, maybe who the Runelords were, and if they are at least a tiny bit smart and ASK around for stuff they've seen and found or if any of the characters took the Thassilonian Expert trait, they know a whole lot more.
The integration of the metaplot s just fine. It's just not spoon fed to the players, they have to do resaerch themselves.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

One could argue that to some groups, that's not "just fine". It's all subjective. There aren't any established rules for how metaplot exposure should be handled, there are just individual group preferences.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

My players just think the sihedron runes are part of a cult (they don't think the Skinsaw Cult was fully destroyed), and they took Kaven prisoner once they found the tattoo. They think each person with a medallion they've killed is associated with one of the seven deadly sins, even though I don't think I've given any indication that this is the case. They don't make much use of NPC knowledge, so that's why I think they're kinda lost. They wrote off Brodert Quink as a crazy person, so they really have little idea of the larger picture and don't know much about Thassilon. We also barely manage to play every two weeks, so the time gaps between sessions don't help much. But they're having fun killing things, so I don't think it's a big deal. They're currently in Fort Rannick, but I think after the Barl fight they will have a better idea of what's going on.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

My guys also didn't take to Brodert Quink. Any suggestions for other avenues to plant Thassilon information? We're in Fort Rannick at the moment.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Unless they meet another inspired expert like Quink, their next brush with Thassilonian lore will be the library in Book 4.


Samy wrote:
My guys also didn't take to Brodert Quink. Any suggestions for other avenues to plant Thassilon information? We're in Fort Rannick at the moment.

If the group is already at Rannick they probably don't need any more Thassilon information planted. At this point the path is pretty straightforward - Clear Rannick > Save Turtleback Ferry > Clear Clanhold > Find Mokurian's Letter > Save Sandpoint > Find Jorgenfist > Defeat Mokmurian > Take over Ancient Library. Between the Library (and the Librarian!) the pc's can learn everything they'd ever want to know about Thassilon. Except the answer to two questions: where is Runeforge? and Where is Xin Shalast? The first they learn from the Scribbler in the Lamashtu temple under Sandpoint and the second they can get started on with some info from Quink. Whether they like him or not, he could still be who they have to talk to (and if they tell him about the Library, he would probably do just about anything they would ask to get access to it) or you could substitute another sage in Magnimar who has info on the failed dwarven expedition or you could let magic like commune or legend lore work (contrary to the AP as written) or let the Revelation Quill tell them or let the Librarian find some obscure reference that Mokmurian missed in his purge of the info from the Library.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Thanks Lat, that gives me some ideas!!


Fumarole wrote:
My players just think the sihedron runes are part of a cult (they don't think the Skinsaw Cult was fully destroyed), and they took Kaven prisoner once they found the tattoo. They think each person with a medallion they've killed is associated with one of the seven deadly sins, even though I don't think I've given any indication that this is the case. They don't make much use of NPC knowledge, so that's why I think they're kinda lost. They wrote off Brodert Quink as a crazy person, so they really have little idea of the larger picture and don't know much about Thassilon. We also barely manage to play every two weeks, so the time gaps between sessions don't help much. But they're having fun killing things, so I don't think it's a big deal. They're currently in Fort Rannick, but I think after the Barl fight they will have a better idea of what's going on.

My second group is very similar to yours. They're convinced that all the bad guys they're fighting are members of a cult dedicated to worshiping the ancient Runelords and each medallion bearer is the cult's representative of each sin. No clue how they got on this track (since my first group pretty much followed the clues correctly and I haven't really done anything different this time around. The biggest difference is they're just not that interested in doing research or asking obvious sources of knowledge like Quink.)

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