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Skeletons of Scarwall (GM Reference)


Curse of the Crimson Throne

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Is Bishop Zev Ravenka's Trap the Soul ability a "death effect".

Deathward says is prevents immediate death but TtS is death over 24 hours as the soul is devoured??

I guess you could rule either way but what doou guys think?


I would say it is not a death effect. It's similar to the Trap the Soul spell (apart from the devouring the soul part), and that spell doesn't have the (death) descriptor.


Are wrote:

I would say it is not a death effect. It's similar to the Trap the Soul spell (apart from the devouring the soul part), and that spell doesn't have the (death) descriptor.

What he said. What I'd recommend for the encounter is if the entire party has deathward up have the Bishop open with Wail of the Banshee (that way the party gets some satisfaction for having deathward up). Then next round start trapping souls. Bascially gives the party a free round of actions which makes a big difference for that encounter.

Shadow Lodge

Has anyone noticed on p. 61 that the sidebox: Lastwall's Shifting Borders doesn't make complete sense?
Apparently, Sunwall was constructed in 3828 AR and lasted over 400 years. It was followed by Harchrist's Blockade which fell in 4237, lasting only half as long (200 yrs) at the Sunwall.

Obviously, these dates are incorrect. I can only assume they meant Harchrist's Blockage was constructed in 4237 (as stated by the map on p. 60) and didn't fall until 44?? AR.

And is it Harchist or Harchrist? :)

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Neil Mansell wrote:


Obviously, these dates are incorrect. I can only assume they meant Harchrist's Blockage was constructed in 4237 (as stated by the map on p. 60) and didn't fall until 44?? AR.

I'm guessing Harchrist's Blockage was a result of too much cheese...

Sorry couldn't resist.

Graywulfe


I was doing my conversion to Pathfinder Rules and just got to Prelate Aruth. I thought I would ask my question here in case I was missing something, or if it was just an error.

He is supposed to be a Mummy Lord. The AP lists him as a CR11, but the 3.5 SRD lists a Mummy Lord as CR 15. Why is he so much lower in SoS? (No magic Items, Party not expected to fight him if the Ally/Enemy is with them, etc?)

Also should I re-make him as an 11th level cleric in PF Rules?

Thanks for any input.


My group is at the moment at the beginning of Seven Days to the Grave but I got neat idea for this part of AP. I have two characters with some ghost/spirit related background, barbarian with spirit totem rage powers (dead clansmen support him) and oracle with haunting curse. Would it be too harsh that Scarwall takes away their spirits and everything related to spirits (ie. losing rage powers and extra spells those spirits gran) like it takes Zellara away? They can get their spirits back as they can get Zellara back.

Comments?


Blue_Hill wrote:

My group is at the moment at the beginning of Seven Days to the Grave but I got neat idea for this part of AP. I have two characters with some ghost/spirit related background, barbarian with spirit totem rage powers (dead clansmen support him) and oracle with haunting curse. Would it be too harsh that Scarwall takes away their spirits and everything related to spirits (ie. losing rage powers and extra spells those spirits gran) like it takes Zellara away? They can get their spirits back as they can get Zellara back.

Comments?

I think that would be very harsh indeed, players getting penalized based on their character choice, especially if it lasts through a number of gaming sessions. My players would certainly not be happy with that.

Your concept has some merrit, I have to give you that, but can't you limit it to one powerful opponent or something? That would make one encounter a challenge as opposed to a number of gaming sessions a string of frustrations.

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2009 Top 4 , Star Voter 2013

Blue_Hill wrote:

My group is at the moment at the beginning of Seven Days to the Grave but I got neat idea for this part of AP. I have two characters with some ghost/spirit related background, barbarian with spirit totem rage powers (dead clansmen support him) and oracle with haunting curse. Would it be too harsh that Scarwall takes away their spirits and everything related to spirits (ie. losing rage powers and extra spells those spirits gran) like it takes Zellara away? They can get their spirits back as they can get Zellara back.

Comments?

Nah, don't take their powers away. Instead, let the enemies in Scarwall tap into those same spirits (or at least appear to). Make sure the barbarian and oracle know that the undead of Scarwall are leeching off their own ancestral spirits and trying to twist them for their own use. That makes the place much scarier, allows you to do some character development with your players, and allows your players to make tough decisions about how and when to use their abilities.


Hi I know this is off topic but...

I just read your post about "Armor - A complete Overhaul" and I think it is a great idea. You might want to suggest it for the Ultimate Combat Book. I think others would appreciate it as a variant rule to armor. I know I would and do.

Thanks, Ck


I'm reading through the book for the first time, and I'm at room 13, where it speaks of a ladder going up to room 22... What ladder? and I can't seem to find room 22 on the map... Is it just me?

Ultradan


Just found this in a different thread and felt it needed to be posted here since I've seen it asked a couple times and not answered:

James Jacobs wrote:

Death ward can certainly block the demilich's wail of the banshee, and will also block the negative levels that one gains if you make your save against the trap the soul effect. But we should have indicated that the entire effect is a death effect, since this effect does not duplicate the spell of the same name. The spell doesn't kill a character; you break the soul trap, the character emerges alive. The fact that the demilich version DOES destroy the victim's body in a way that is pretty much identical to that caused by destruction says to me that this version of the attack IS a death effect, and that it SHOULD be blocked by death ward. It's a case where something felt so obvious that it got omitted, unfortunately. It's certainly a case where the individual GM should step in and apply common sense to the encounter, I think...

Consider this official clarification for the ability: A demilich's trap the soul attack is a death effect.

from here http://paizo.com/paizo/messageboards/paizoPublishing/pathfinder/adventurePa th/crimsonThrone/demilich


Question about spirit anchors' confinement -

It states Nihil is confined to the Lord's Tower by her anchor. The anchored dragon can apparently fly out of the castle over the water. Why the difference?

What happens if an evil character gets anchored? Can they move about the castle or are they anchored to a room?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
HalcyonAndOn wrote:

Question about spirit anchors' confinement -

It states Nihil is confined to the Lord's Tower by her anchor. The anchored dragon can apparently fly out of the castle over the water. Why the difference?

What happens if an evil character gets anchored? Can they move about the castle or are they anchored to a room?

I believe there is a section detailing that the chain spirit can loosen it's hold on its anchors to allow them to move about a little more freely. I know Mithrodar allows Bellasham (the dragon) more leeway so it can eat so it does not starve to death. Evil characters are bound where they are anchored (where their charisma score hits zero). I am sure the chained spirit would be able to allow them leeway of sorts if needed as well, so them being able to wander the castle would be your call as DM.


Thanks Sethious.

I figured it had to do with Mithrodar's will. I located the section within the chained spirits bestiary info, p79 - I'm not sure how I missed it originally.

Pathfinder Creative Director, Frog God Games

Ultradan wrote:

I'm reading through the book for the first time, and I'm at room 13, where it speaks of a ladder going up to room 22... What ladder? and I can't seem to find room 22 on the map... Is it just me?

Ultradan

The ladder in 13 is labeled T1. There is also a T1 on the 2nd Floor map where the ladder emerges, but unfortunately the room 22 map tag was omitted.

Dark Archive

I love how Mr. Vaughan still patrols the messageboards for questions we may have for products he has written years ago.


Gamer Girrl wrote:
Hsuperman wrote:
I noticed there weren't any stats for Prelate Aruth (in room 37). Are we suppose to be referring to another source? Thanks.
He's a Mummy Lord, 10th level Cleric, which is on pages 190-191 in the Monster Manual.

For those of us playing this using Pathfinder rules, is there an equivalent of this in the Pathfinder SRD? (I've only been able to find "mummy".


Banesfinger wrote:
Gamer Girrl wrote:
Hsuperman wrote:
I noticed there weren't any stats for Prelate Aruth (in room 37). Are we suppose to be referring to another source? Thanks.
He's a Mummy Lord, 10th level Cleric, which is on pages 190-191 in the Monster Manual.
For those of us playing this using Pathfinder rules, is there an equivalent of this in the Pathfinder SRD? (I've only been able to find "mummy".

The Monster Manual stats for Mummy Lord was simply the stats for a Mummy with 10 levels of cleric. So, take the stock Mummy from the Bestiary and add 10 cleric levels to it, and you've got a Mummy Lord :)

You may or may not need to adjust the number of levels to reach the appropriate challenge level.


I believe that 3.5 errata for the Monster Manual made the cleric levels for the mummy lord non-associated, which would make the mummy lord's CR 11 rather than 15. This was the case for many of the monsters with added class levels in 3.5 and simply running them in an encounter with a party of the supposedly appropriate level revealed how underpowered they really were (compare the supposedly CR 17 mind flayer sorcerer in the Monster Manual with its more appropriately-leveled versions in Lords of Madness for example).


DMFTodd wrote:

Just an observation:

If the PCs can move quickly, they'll bypass the last two encounters of Scarwall. Jumping into the blue-light shaft gets them past Idlevrok since he won't pursue. Kleestad has no good way to deal with flyers and he's too big to pursue down the tunnels.

For my campaign, they flew down the blue-shaft, flew out to the island to grab the sword, and left. Kleestad got in one breath weapon before the party disappeared down the tunnels.

If you don't want things that easy, Idlevrok could be the only one to open the blue-light shaft and not until he gets a curate. A portcullis the gugs can close would keep the flyers from fleeing (and give a thief something to do).

Last night, my party did exactly as DMFTodd described:

They were frightened by Ildervok (nightwing) and jumped down the foggy shaft (it was at the foot of the stairs, afterall...). They all had fly or Wind Walk spells running.

The 20-foot ceiling and ominous lake made it an easy choice to keep flying over the Gugs and grab the sword. As DMFTodd predicted, Kleestad couldn't keep up with the group, but did get to use his breath weapon twice before the party escaped.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

My group made the trip to Scarwall in our last session and took the guard tower from the orcs. The group consists of

Elf Ninja
Human Rogue/Shadowdancer
Elf Wizard
Halfing Extrordinare
Gnome Summoner
Human Cleric
Half Orc Barbarian
Human Druid

They aren't quite to level 11 yet but there are twice as many so I wasn't looking to boost them at all.

Has anyone had a similar experience? I have a minor concern that I'll have a TPK with one of the nastier things in the castle


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Pawns Subscriber

In my "party of 5+2", my group started with only 5 12th-level characters plus Laori and Sial, so they couldn't generate nearly the DPS your party could, and they haven't had any trouble at all.

My only concern with your party is the lack of a paladin; they're going to run into a couple of things that are going to cause them massive pain without one:

Painful bits:

- I'm not too worried about Belshellam or the Captain; looks like your party is well-built enough to take out anything that just takes going toe-to-toe without too much effort.
- Nihil's area-effect spells and ability to avoid your damage-dealing party members is Bad. You have ONE fighter class in the whole group, and the rest are going to try to take her with spells. This will be unpleasant, but they'll probably survive. I'm not sure, but the fight with Nihil will prelude the really nasty fights, and if they start losing, they can run away without any effort, because she's trapped in her tower.
- The infamous Bishop is really going to wipe the walls with this group. How are they going to bypass his DR? The whole party consists of spellcasters, backstabbers, and a barbarian. I personally would run the entire dungeon as-is, except the Danse Macabre and the Bishop. For those two, I'd make sure the party can Run Like Hell as they Die in Droves. Don't make the encounters easier -- they chose to build a party that's not going to do well against undead in the first place (don't forget that backstabs and criticals don't affect undead), and now they're heading into a castle with almost nothing but undead. So they're going to lose a fight or two. In my world, that's OK. I strenuously object to the tenet, "The party should always win." Let them lose, let them get away, and let them plan on how they're going to overcome their obstacles and resurrect their fallen comrades. It makes for a more interesting campaign. And you can justify it when the baddies animate the corpses of their fallen comrades, and they have to defeat the zombies/skeletons without causing too much damage in the hopes of one day getting a decent Resurrection spell.

So as I said, my preference as a GM is to set up the world the PCs are living in, let the PCs make their choices, and they have to live with the consequences, because you gave them plenty of warning.

Good luck!

Star Voter 2013

If by backstabs you mean sneak attacks, then sneak attacks and critical hits do actually affect undead, IIRC. It was one of the things changed from 3.5 to Pathfinder, so that shouldn't be a problem.

The key, I think, for Scarwall is going to be a plentiful supply of Restoration spells. Don't forget, in Pathfinder, Restoration can restore any lost level, even permanent ones from Raise Dead or Resurrection. If your Cleric decides to cast a Divination or something, make sure to drop a hint about Restorations.

I myself will be running Scarwall with a large party of around 11th level, though not as large as yours. The difference in my group, compared to yours, is going to be a large number of divine casters. The party in my campagin is composed of a Wizard/Cleric Mystic Theurge, an Oracle, a Cleric/Paladin and, though not a divine caster, a Bard. They'll have a lot of healing ability, and those healing spells can also be used against the undead. If anything allows my party to make it through Scarwall, it will be their plentiful supply of the divine that carries them to the end.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Pawns Subscriber

Interesting point on the undead -- I must have missed that thread. My ruling was that because sneak attacks require the creature to have a "discernible anatomy" in which the attacker can have a vital spot, and undead don't have vital spots (in my opinion), I wasn't allowing it, especially on low-level undead like skeletons and zombies. For criticals, I was allowing those hits to bypass DR, but not to do added damage. I'll have to troll the boards later today to find the thread on it (which I'm sure exists). I don't like allowing crits and sneaks on undead, but I'm about to start Kingmaker with a much more experienced group, and I don't want them griping at me for "cheaping out on the rules".

But I have only one rogue, and it's an NPC at that, so I haven't had an issue; I'll have to revisit it for my next campaign.

Thanks for the excellent pointer on Restoration, Tels! My party spent 35,000 gold on a wand of Lesser Restoration, a wand of "standard" Restoration, and components for several "expensive" restorations to restore permanent negative levels. They've already almost completely expended the wand of Lesser Restoration. The wand of Restoration is almost completely intact because of my stoopid 20-sided die's desire to roll 2-6 for every energy-draining creature in the game. The ONLY guy who got hit a lot was the warlord, and he was carrying the Scarab of Protection.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Pawns Subscriber

OK. I found it:
http://paizo.com/forums/dmtz1nz6?Sneak-and-critical-damage-on-undead-constu cts#0

Apparently my rogue is going to be VERY happy!

Star Voter 2013

Well the thing is with Restoration, that a normal wand will *not* remove the lost levels. Restoration has a material component cost of either 100 gp in diamond dust, or 1,000 gp in diamond dust. So unless the wand was made with the 1,000 gp cost, it won't restore lost levels. Also, you can only restore 1 level in a 1 week period with Restoration, Greater Restoration restores... well everything in one shot. I think the only thing Greater Restoration doesn't heal, is hit points.

I only found this out because I was looking for ways of restoring a lost level for my wizard in a Kingmaker campaign. Turns out my GM likes to screw me over when it comes to rulings and said I can't gain my level back because I already gained a level since I died.

As for the Undead and crits, I learned that when I ran the Crpyt of the Everflame module, it had a sidebar that mentioned the change from 3.5 which is cool. I've always been of the opinion they should work because a sneak attack is basically attacking a weal point. Sure, they don't need that liver, but they can't fight with a sword if I destroy the joint holding the arm on. Same concept applies to a critical hit.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Pawns Subscriber

We're going a bit off-topic, but careful on Restorations:
- The 100 g.p. restorations WILL restore temporary lost levels, and that's what most critters in Scarwall do.
- It takes the 1000 g.p. restorations to restore permanent lost levels, and then at the wonderful rate of 1/week. Fortunately, those are far rarer.

And yeah, I can swallow the critical hits -- my PCs were getting really tired of "A critical halves DR, while a double critical (two rolls in the critical range and then a confirm) bypasses it, but after that you're out of luck", and you can get a lucky hit and nail a joint or a weak spot.

But sneak attacks? As I was IM'ing to my gaming friend, watching a 3' gnome rogue sneak attack a 10' minotaur skeleton and do 1d4...
+ 6d6 sneak + 2d6 Holy...
gets a little silly.

But that's my issue; I'm a GM with a degree in physics. My brain does battle between "what should happen", and "what is written will happen".

Time for more liquor to teach that degree a lesson!


Tels wrote:

I only found this out because I was looking for ways of restoring a lost level for my wizard in a Kingmaker campaign. Turns out my GM likes to screw me over when it comes to rulings and said I can't gain my level back because I already gained a level since I died.

Well, that's just silly.

A negative level is not a lost level. Not even close. Its just a negative buff. Once you gain a level, you still have the negative level and can still remove it. Just like you'd be able to remove a curse or a disease.
You're GM needs a smack to the head. =)

Star Voter 2013

Off-Topic Reply to EvilMinion:
EvilMinion wrote:
Tels wrote:

I only found this out because I was looking for ways of restoring a lost level for my wizard in a Kingmaker campaign. Turns out my GM likes to screw me over when it comes to rulings and said I can't gain my level back because I already gained a level since I died.

Well, that's just silly.

A negative level is not a lost level. Not even close. Its just a negative buff. Once you gain a level, you still have the negative level and can still remove it. Just like you'd be able to remove a curse or a disease.
You're GM needs a smack to the head. =)

My Kingmaker GM plays the Mystic Theurge in my Crimson Throne campaign. I can usually teach him that his rulings are unfair or impractical but upholding his own rulings in my game until he sees the point. He spends a lot of time ruling against me because I know the books better than he does and wants to limit me at every turn. But that Half-Orc Babarian over there that just did over 130 points of damage in one round? No limits. All I wanted to to was mage hand a piece of paper that I had previously cast Explosive Runes through the arrows slits of the enemy castle.

"Nope, Sorry, doesn't work that way, your Mage Hand failed and the paper was blown away in the wind." He likes to punish me for being clever.

Actually, I think Restoration is still fairly on-topic in that a GM could inform his party about the usage of the spell and that it can help if someone fails their fortitude save and that temporary negative level becomes a permanent one.

@ddarsey

If you're really worried about a TPK from all the undead, consider putting another Scarab of Protection, or two, in Scarwall, but with less functionality. Perhaps an agent of one of the PCs or NPCs gods delivers a boon to aid them. If they encounter the Nightwing early, maybe he can give some advice about what spells or defensive items one should have available.

Laori and Sial can be used as a font of knowledge about Scarwall. Perhaps, the part witnesses them prepping Death Ward and advises the healer to do the same. The Ally could offer to prep extra Death Wards, while the enemy could charge the part for them if necessary.

You have a lot of options to give the Party extra knowledge about what they're facing inside Scarwall, and if the party simply refuses all methods of gaining knowledge, then the first encounter for them will be a wake up call. If they don't do anything after that, well, Gods help them, because Scarwall will have no mercy.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Good advice guys. I'm going to convert everything straight up. I like the idea of giving the group a couple of extra hints. These guys started with 4 and have seen all but 1 wiped out against the Sea Hag, so they are used to a good fight. The game is in 2 days and I'll come back with some results.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules Subscriber

I will be running Scarwall soon. Any thoughts on the effect of Scarwall's spirit trapping on a paladin's weapon bond. It states it is a celectial spirit, seems that if Zellara can be rent and absorbed that some minor spirit would also be vulnerable.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Pawns Subscriber

My personal take on it is, "Go for it!" It gives the party more incentive to solve the mystery of Scarwall's soul-trapping.

Admittedly, I didn't do it. But the paladin is so over-the-top powerful in Scarwall already (massive saves, immune to fear, multiple Smite Evils (and quite possibly the way-too-over-the-top Aura of Justice), and channel positive energy) that taking away such a (relatively) minor effect will have little impact on gameplay, but major impact on the paladin's involvement.

My paladin was an engine of destruction in Scarwall, and he only used the bonded weapon twice that I remember (once against Nihil and once against Belshallam).

But it is pretty minor, so if you think the player will get all upset and ornery with you, you could conveniently "forget" the effect.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

So my group took the unorthodox approach of killing Sial and Laori when the crossbow bolts started flying during the approach. The Eidolon bullrushed Sial off the bridge and then Laori banished the Eidolon.

Needless to say they only just made it to Mandraivus lost the barbarian and the Eidolon again.

They fell back to the tower and will decide what to do next. So 3 encounters on the first trip. We'll see what happens next time. The player with the barbarian will rejoin the group somehow I expect. Updates to follow.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Pawns Subscriber

ddarsey -

This is a bad, bad, horrible sign.

Mandraivus is nothing but a dread wraith; they show up on the standard encounter table accompanied by 1d8 standard wraiths, and I hit my party with exactly that encounter and it barely bothered them.

So we're looking at a party that:

(a) Killed the 2 clerics who can pump out a ton of Death Wards when needed (I let my party tell the clerics which spells to prepare, because their "standard" sets were useless in Scarwall).

(b) Lost one of the 8 remaining party members to a fairly low-level Scarwall encounter.

Do you mind providing more details as to how the barbarian managed to die? I can't imagine him standing there getting CON drained to death. I'm missing something about the makeup of your party if a ninja, rogue, and barbarian couldn't beat the living daylights out of Mandraivus while getting spell support from no fewer than FOUR casters. Are they not cooperating? Not helping each other? Out for each other's gear? Do they have enough Restorations and Lesser Restorations?

If I had been the PC directing the party, the cleric and druid would have been standing behind the barbarian pumping him full of lesser restorations, while he backed up so the ninja and rogue could flank Mandraivus.

I'm just not seeing how 8 almost-healthy 10th-level characters had so much trouble, and it worries me because they're going to hit stuff that's an order of magnitude worse than Mandraivus, and if they aren't planning tactics, fully cooperating, and watching each other's backs, it's just going to be a massacre. On the one hand, it's good lesson for the PCs to learn that the classic, "I'm going to do what's best for me and to hell with everybody else," approach will get them all killed. On the other hand, I'm making gross assumptions that I shouldn't be making here, solely because I can't think why else (other than horrific die-rolling) they'd be so hammered.

My only suggestion is to start upping levels: Figure out a way to bring in an 11-level Shoanti barbarian to replace the 10th-level barbarian that got killed. Keep replacing dead characters with characters 1 level higher. It's kludgy, and it encourages PCs to get themselves killed, but it's obvious something's not quite right with the way this group is approaching Scarwall, and that's going to be VERY bad when they hit Nihil or Belshallam.

I'm also interested in hearing from other GMs that didn't have a paladin as to whether this is "normal" or "uh oh" -- paladins make a ton of difference in Scarwall, so my opinion is probably jaded because I had a bard boosting the entire party, dumping out Mass Ghostbane Dirge as needed, and a paladin smiting evil on the really nasty guys.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Pawns Subscriber

Aaaargh! I do get frustrated when I'm editing my previous post, and I'm so slow that I break the 1-hour limit and Paizo.com just dumps everything I've typed.

Anyway, I take giving advice to other GMs very seriously, and you asked, "Do you think these eight 10th-level characters can survive Scarwall?", and I answered, "Yes, I believe they can," but I didn't expect a few things:

My Tirady Horse:

First and foremost, I didn't expect them to out-and-out murder Laori and Sial, knowing full well they were already underpowered. Do they not know the meaning of "Lawful" in "Lawful Evil"? They could have asked Laori and Sial to swear to a whole laundry list of requirements covering all of their paranoias, and either they would have agreed, or they would have said, "No," and the party could have killed them then and there. Instead, the party murdered them in cold blood. Is the cleric Lawful Good? I'd take a hard look at that -- I don't know of any Lawful Good deities who approve of the murder of those worshipping opposing gods. If my paladin of Iomedae had pulled that stunt, he'd be de-paladinized instantly.

Second, I am sorely concerned about their tactics. Did the cleric and druid dedicate all their 2nd-level slots to Lesser Restoration? Were they standing behind the barbarian, restoring him as he got hit? Or was it every man (or woman) for himself? As mentioned, there are encounters much, much, MUCH worse than Mandraivus. A single character buffing himself instead of helping the party can easily cause TPWO.

Even worse, some encounters absolutely require that the characters embrace the "We are the weaker party, so we need to hit and run a few times," tactic. Nihil is a prime example: If you kick down her front door, she's got two barbed devils, two bone devils, a chain devil, and half a dozen imps. Your party is dead. You need to create some noise on the roof to attract (and kill) at least one of the barbed devils, but you're going to be dealing with the gargoyles, and eventually, Belshallam, so you have to be willing to run. Then you need to try for one of the bone devils on the roof. In short, if the party doesn't embrace hit-and-run tactics to take advantage of the finite number of creatures in Scarwall, they're in trouble.

Finally, I'm worried about their endgame. What are they going to do about the Forbiddance on the temple? They just killed the two people who can walk through it and disarm it. I guess they're just going to take damage. How are they going to get into the Star Tower with the phase door shut down? Pickaxes? I suppose so. (My party has a bard with +28 Perception and still didn't find the ultra-secret door).

In short, the party absolutely MUST take on a "WE are the weaker party. WE must plan our tactics carefully, support each other fully, and take advantage of everything that's thrown our way" approach, or they're going to die.


NobodysHome wrote:
I'm also interested in hearing from other GMs that didn't have a paladin as to whether this is "normal" or "uh oh" -- paladins make a ton of difference in Scarwall, so my opinion is probably jaded because I had a bard boosting the entire party, dumping out Mass Ghostbane Dirge as needed, and a paladin smiting evil on the really nasty guys.

Well, I was a player going through Scarwall, but I've got experience both with and without paladin.

Initially we went into Scarwall with a witch (me), a sword and board fighter, a bard and a monk. NPCs were Laori, Sial, Trinia (she was a cohort from the leadership feat) and an NPC cleric of Pharasma that we recruited from Korvosa.

With this party make up, we had to scratch bite and claw our way through pretty much every encounter in the place. Any fight that wasn't one of the minotaur random encounters felt like we were being taken to the limit.
Eventually we made our way to the demilich and goodbye fighter and monk (I also died, but the GM was nice enough to retcon it since we all forgot about the scarab that I was wearing..). The fighter and monk ended up being replaced by a paladin and an inquisitor. I wouldn't say that the module went into easy mode, but the bite was seriously taken out of it. Sort of a shame too. IMHO, it was much more fun when we had to constantly figure out ways to survive any given encounter.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Pawns Subscriber

Jam412 -- Thanks for that! It really summarizes my concern: You had to "scratch bite and claw" your way through "pretty much every encounter", but you didn't lose any party members until the (in)famous demilich, and you found it fun trying to figure out how to survive.

ddarsey reports that he (or she) lost a party member in the 3rd overall fight, to a fairly low-level (for Scarwall) encounter. The characters might find this a fun challenge to push them to their limits and beyond, in which case it's going to be a lot of fun (and their levels are going to skyrocket quickly enough). I've been in campaigns with 90-95% party kill and still had fun. The danger is if the players DON'T like a challenge -- I won't name names, but there are other GMs who are having issues with players complaining about tough monsters using sensible tactics, so it's mainly a question of letting ddarsey know just how tough this is going to be for his/her players (sorry, d -- I know your icon is Zon Kuthon, but my work forces me to be careful about gender), and knowing whether his/her players will find it an enjoyable challenge, or a horrific ordeal.

My $0.02. I'll (try to) be quiet and let other people speak...


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Well the barbarian died due to the negative level drain. I rolled a 14 on 3d6 for the first hit which completely sucked him dry. The only other death was the eidelon which is kind of suppose to go that way. The ninja and Magus magic mirrored themselves to engage Mandravius. Also no one has enter the room after the haunt went off. They were urging the barbarian back, the wizard was watching the armor and did have magic missle prepped.

No one in the group was lawful, and like must families run a little to the disfunctional. They weren't all focused on the new room. The player that had the barbarian created an Undead Scourge Paladin with a cleric cohort, so I feel better about their chances. I hope to see a little more team work but did warn them that a TPK is not out of the question here. They enjoy the challenge and are looking forward to hitting Scarwall on Saturday again.

Much of this group was involved in the Runelords AP wich saw everyone in our group make new characters along the way except the primary fighter.

Oh and I am a he.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Pawns Subscriber

Ouch! Which conversion are you using that has 3d6 of drain? I was using Steve's conversions, so Mandraivus just did 2d6 of negative energy and 1d8 of CON. My interpretation of "negative energy" is that it's just damage like fire or acid, not a drain. Otherwise I'd argue that CR 5 for a standard wraith that does 1d6 negative energy and 1d6 CON drain would be a wee bit low.

I can see a 3d6 drain taking out someone. Nasty! But an Undead Scourge paladin? Unfortunately, now I pity the denizens of Scarwall...

Star Voter 2013

Actually, Negative Energy is just like fire or acid otherwise evil cleric's that channel Negative Energy would be ungodly powerful as a BBEG.

ddarsey, I think you might have confused the 3d6 negative energy and the 1d8 con drain presented in the Dread Wraith's states in the bestiary. if that's true, you might consider rerunning that scenario unless the barbarian player is cool with running his undead scourge paladin (a little metagame going on their, but that's fine).

Liberty's Edge

Forgive me if I've missed it, but I have a question regarding page 49/Room 36. The creatures in there have nothing but a straight MM page entry and are vastly stronger than any stock spectres based on the printed CR and HP.

Has there been a clarifying post? Are they really 5 spectres at a base stat block or were they enhanced out the gills to get the immense HP total?


Hmm. That looks like a typo. Stock spectres from the 3.5 MM are CR 7 with 45 hp each, rather than CR 11 with 228 hp each.

Since the room description states an EL of 12, which matches fairly well with 5 CR 7 creatures, I'd say the spectres are supposed to be typical versions of their kind.


I have big problems with my group cause they are doing too much damage.

The setup is Fighter8/cleric3 Rogue11 Wizard11 Cleric11
They have worked togheter to give the fighter the best armor class possibile and currently is at 34 with ghost touch armor (getting it from History of ashes bonus)
Rogue and cleric keep always shield other active.
Rogue use a double weapon and worked on talents for it. One blade undead bane (getting it from History of ashes bonus) and other blade made by the wizard during their stay at flameford is ghost touch.

They can do quite easily over 120 damage per round and monster dies so quickly i have to struggle to find ways to give pressure on them and keep the game enjoiable.

There is any solution ?

Star Voter 2013

The key to Scarwall, isn't going to be straight damage in this case, it's going to be debilitation.

Send the Ghosts after the people that don't have Ghost Touch armor. Ghost's are Incorporeal. That means they can hide inside a wall, stick an arm out and attack, then pull their arm back in the wall. They can do this too the ground or ceiling as well. At least I believe so, I don't have my books handy so I don't remember if Scarwall disallows travel through the walls or not.

Fighters are susceptible to Will saves, target him with that, while the Ghosts bug the Cleric/Rogue/Wizard.

You don't want to try and send one guy up against the party, when the party is specifically specced out to kill that one guy. Send several of them, that way, one of them poses a threat. If you use level draining creatures or something, have more than one such creature, and hit the support characters. That Wizard isn't going to making any Fortitude saves to protect against level loss.

Hit the party with a bunch of skeletons and zombies first, then have the Ghost come through the floor, ceiling and walls. If I recall, the Macabre Dance has a tough Will save and the Fighter isn't going to be so hot against it, but the Cleric will have a chance to shine. If all he does is buff the Fighter, and do little fighting himself, your party will have issues.

My mind is a little scattered right now, been up late, so this might not be coming out as clear as I'd like. I'll try to remember and post more tomorrow, but I'm sure the other CoCT Posters will give more advice.


Tels thank you for your advice i will think about making encounters a lot more crowded.

We are old players, i started playing in 1987 and we play together from 1992 but we are new to pathfinder.
We play a lot rpg but we love tactics in combat so we try to mix the two.

the first encounter with sergeant lashton was managed too easily from the party and so i camed here to understand if there are working arounds on path conversion and so on.
I'm using an herolab converted files and Sergent lashton seemed to me really strong (all mounted talents and improved overrun) making 1d8+24 X 3 on a charge but it goes like that:

- skeletons go out of skarwall
- priest cast wall of fire on the first row of them (cr 1/3 skeletons had no way to pass the wall)
- sergeant flyed over the wall and charged the rogue making overrun putting prone rogue and cleric. Rogue got 87 hp damage
- sergeant went over 100 feet and turn to charge again
- rogue used a smokestick
- cleric casted stone wall in the smoke to block the bridge
- fighter make a move in front of the group and prepared to get the charge with a lance
- wizard cast haste on the group
- sergeant Lashton charged again making 91 hp damage to the fighter and being blocked on the ride by attack by the wall
- before turn go to sergeant again the nightmare skeleton steed was dead (and it has 33 armor !!!)
- another round and sergeant died

i think that using some gargoyles from the columns of the bridge could be usefull but i did not thinked about it during the session.
But i'm concerned cause the spirit anchors, do not looking to the demilich, will be overwhelmed too easily.

The thing really incredible to me is that the group is not too powered by magical objects.
They got only the ones in the path and craft only 3 or 4 enanchement (like making a cloak of resistance from +1 to +3 ...)


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Have you updated the book stats to Pathfinder? Keep in mind all their original stats were 3.5 based, which makes them about 1 level lower than they should be. First suggestion I would give is to look in the crimson throne threads for the pathfinder conversions. They did a good job updating everyone just a bit and it can make a difference.

The quick way to do it yourself: Any monster/creature with class levels, add 1 class level. Any creature without, add the advanced template (essentially +2 to everything). I would also recommend maxing everything's hit points. Could give you another round or two to take a whack at the party.

That may help level the playing field a little bit. Just be glad you don't have a paladin!


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

So we ran into a truly interesting situation in the last session with Scarwall. The teams summoner sent his Eidolon ahead to see what was waiting for the team. The Eidolon ran into the demi lich. The interesting part is that when the demi lich came to life it sucked the soul out of the Eidolon. Since the Eidolon shares a soul link with the summoner I had 2 saving throws. the first one for the Eidolon which failed and then a second for the summoner, which succeeded. I has said that if the demi lich is defeated and the soul release that the summoner can summon the Eidolon the next day since it's soul has been ripped out. I feel good about this ruling but wanted to test it against the masses here on the boards. If an Eidolon loses their soul how would you handle it?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Pawns Subscriber

I think your party was being intelligent, sending an "expendable" party member forward to check out the lich. IF they can rescue the eidolon's soul, I see no issue with being able to summon it the next day.

Unfortunately, I think that Summoner is going to be very VERY unhappy with subsequent events:

(1) Don't forget that any souls eaten by the demilich are utterly destroyed in 24 hours. So if they don't kill the demilich within 24 hours, the eidolon is gone-gone-gone. One of the 'features' that makes the demilich so horrifying.

(2) Don't forget the soul-trapping feature of the castle. Even if they defeat the demilich and smash the soul gem, the eidolon has to make yet another saving throw or be trapped in the castle walls.

So it's pretty likely that the summoner is going to be a very unhappy camper for a while, at least until all four anchors are defeated...


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Ok so I have a question I don't think I've seen asked.

How much do the NPCs Laori and Sial know about Scarwall? From what I'm reading in the chapter, they know Serithtial is a sword and that she's within the castle somewhere as well as they cannot wield her which is why they need the PCs. Do they know anything about the castle itself or the dangers they face (other than its exact location)?

I ask because my PCs spent time grilling old Akram about his knowledge of the Cindermaw, and I have a feeling they're going to grill the 'Ally' when it comes to heading that direction.

What did others give out?

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