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PFS#23 Tide of Morning [SPOILERS]


Pathfinder Society GM Discussion

The Exchange *****

1 person marked this as a favorite.

This one was a lot of fun. I enjoyed the fey-gone-wild theme, it reminded me a lot of Hitchcock & Logue's "Carnival of Tears". Cyflymder the quickling could easily have been a spin-off out of that adventure.

I have a couple of comments/questions. One question is what does the Lorestone look like? It's description and dimensions appear to have been have been left to the GM's imagination. I ran this scenario 3 times at Origins. I decided it was the size of a human fist. Another GM (Wicht) decided it was larger. What is the location of the Lorestone in the last act? I decided the quickling was carrying it. Wicht placed it atop the central stone in the druid's circle since the quickling probably couldn't carry it without being encumbered. Is there a correct set-up for this encounter?

If a PC wanted to try and use the Lorestone, what would they discover? This is where having a cool favor/disfavor on the Chronicle would have come in handy. I don't care if it is near-impossible. There really should be a whisker of a chance to reap some benefit from experimenting with the stone. Of course, there should be a cost as well. I sincerely hope that when Season One begins we will see some added favors on the Chronicles. Many players have come to expect more than just equipment access and obscure, location-specific benefits. Keep in mind that PCs are going to retire as soon as 18 months after creation. It's not like a PaizoCon-esque favor on the Chronicle sheet for the players who couldn't travel there would be disruptive to the campaign.

I did get a kick out of this scenario and I look forward to running it some more locally. I love the classic monster updates out of the Tome of Horrors. I am disappointed that the spriggan do not have DR/Cold Iron though. I remember facing one in a Living Greyhawk intro adventure and he had DR 10/Cold Iron. I know they appear without DR in Tome of Horrors but I would also think a Tier 4-5 party should be equipped for that contingency.

Anyway, Steven Robert did a real fine job on this scenario. It's not a complex story, nor does it contain a lot of campaign setting flavor, but it plays well and everyone had a good time.


Thanks for the kind words, and the feedback! It is definitely helpful to hear how it reads and plays to others, and you point out a couple of things that were clear in my head but not in the manuscript. Here's how I meant them to go...

As for the artifact itself, here's my vision: The lorestone is a sphere of unadorned granite, polished to near perfect smoothness. It can be inserted into subtle depressions in druidic circles, where intricate astronomical rituals—now lost to history—could unlock a trove of druidic knowledge. To be honest, I never considered how the PCs could attempt to use it, although in a home campaign that would definitely be a good direction.

For the final encounter, I basically pictured it as a challenging game of "keep away," with Cyflymder darting around the circle with the stone. In Tier 4-5, the second quickling can spring to action if the PCs wrest it away from Cyflymder, and the spriggans act as blockers. In Tier 1-2, the atomie (using entangle) can play a similar role as blocker. But, of course, every DM should interpret it as they'd like!

As for spriggans, I'd always assumed they were fey themselves, until I looked at their description closely while preparing my proposal. So DR/cold iron would fit in great there - I am looking forward to seeing how they evolve into their Pathfinder RPG stats, where they play a much larger role than ever in the world.

Thanks again for the feedback!

**

This is a very well written scenario and I thoroughly enjoyed DM:ing it for my group. I especially liked the fact, that in my opinion this is the first Pathfinder Society module in which it is possible to avoid combat with diplomacy AND get rewarded for it. A few minor quibbles, however:

The Gnome encounter awards diplomatic PC with a wand of cure light wounds. If combat ensues, this wand does not exist. IMO this kind of writing hurts the simulationist aspects of the game world and should be avoided. In this case it could've been avoided with, say, one of the gnomes retrieving the wand from a stash nearby.

We played at Tier 1-2. Our group consisted of these characters: Ranger 2, Fighter 1/Sorcerer 1, Druid 1/Wizard 1, Cleric 1, Sorcerer 1, and Paladin 1. For this group at this tier at least, the end fight with Cyflynder was quite easy and mostly annoying, since none of the NPC's actually managed to do much of anything to the PC's. 1-2 dmg/rd isn't much to write home about.

**

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The version of this module I ran at PaizoCon and it seemed to contain a slight error -- not sure if later publications corrected this:

The Qadiran Faction hand-out states, "Only Qadira can fully exploit these fantastic resources, but we must convince the forest’s natives, who know its secrets, to ally with us. Should you encounter any of them, pass them this note, and, in the name of Qadira impress them with your courtesy and knowledge. But use the most subtle measures, for such an alliance must remain secret."

However, the Qadira Faction award states: PCs from the Qadira faction who pass a letter to the gnome leader earn 1 Prestige Award.

1. It is quite possible to engage Gire, the atomie, in conversation and even befriend her. She is a fey and she lives in the forest.

2. I know that gnomes are fey in the Pathfinder RPG...they aren't in the 3.5 SRD. They are fey in the Campaign Guide.

3. Hemzel and his gnomes aren't working for the betterment of the fey in the Veduran...some of the fey see him as an obstacle...which is why he starts the adventure in a pool of his own blood. It doesn't seem reasonable that his gnome servants would be working with the forest's fey natives.

CJ

**

That was corrected in the final version. It's the gnome leader in both instances.


Navdi wrote:


We played at Tier 1-2. Our group consisted of these characters: Ranger 2, Fighter 1/Sorcerer 1, Druid 1/Wizard 1, Cleric 1, Sorcerer 1, and Paladin 1. For this group at this tier at least, the end fight with Cyflynder was quite easy and mostly annoying, since none of the NPC's actually managed to do much of anything to the PC's. 1-2 dmg/rd isn't much to write home about.

Well, the Entangle from the Atomie makes the battle much more difficult.

* Star Voter 2013

I played this scenario at Gen Con and it wasn't bad (4/5), lots of skills came into play, lots of roleplaying, and some interesting places to fight. It seemed kind of short though, I don't know if it was intended but it seemed like there were only 2 acts.

Having said that, my Gen Con DM didn't handle Act 1 properly (although he was otherwise good) and I'm putting this out there so other DMs don't make the same mistakes.

Spoiler:

Rat swarms:
1) Cover a 10'x10' area (not necessarily contiguous). My DM had them in a 5'x5' square.

2) Swarms do not make AoO. My DM had them do that.

3) Swarms take HALF damage from slashing and piercing weapons, full damage from bludgeon. My DM had physical attacks do 0 damage and only fire did damage.

4) Swarms must move into a square occupied by an opponent and if they finish the round in that square they automatically do D6 damage to the opponent. When they move into an opponents square they provoke AoO. My DM had them attacking normally.

5) When they swarm an opponent they must save vs Distraction or be nauseated. My DM didn't do this.

We should try to play by the rules where possible. That fight took 45 minutes longer due to not being able to affect that mob. I think each party member entered and left the cottage at least 3 times, it was very silly. :)

*****

Spoiler:

Jason S wrote:

Rat swarms:

1) Cover a 10'x10' area (not necessarily contiguous). My DM had them in a 5'x5' square.
2) Swarms do not make AoO. My DM had them do that.

3) Swarms take HALF damage from slashing and piercing weapons, full damage from bludgeon. My DM had physical attacks do 0 damage and only fire did damage.

4) Swarms must move into a square occupied by an opponent and if they finish the round in that square they automatically do D6 damage to the opponent. When they move into an opponents square they provoke AoO. My DM had them attacking normally.

5) When they swarm an opponent they must save vs Distraction or be nauseated. My DM didn't do this.

3.5 swarms are notoriously and needlessly complex. to be fair to your dm, swarms of smaller critters are immune to weapon damage, which is likely what he was thinking of. also, the opponent doesn't make his distraction save when he gets swarmed, but at the beginning of his turn, if he is within the area of the swarm.

* Star Voter 2013

Mat Black wrote:
** spoiler omitted **

Spoiler:
Not all swarms are immune to weapons. Rat and bat swarms for example are NOT immune to weapons. Centipede, Hellwasp, and locust swarms are.

You're right, swarms are slightly confusing and it's for this reason I didn't bother arguing with the DM since I was unsure myself.

*****

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Is the spider swarm subject to the entangle spell? It already treats the vine covered squares as rough terrain (instead of impassable), if entangle has been cast (which makes normal squares rough terrain), what happens to the vine covered squares for the swarm?

Oh, and is it legal to update this to PFRPG rules?

Sovereign Court ****

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Anyone updated the encounters to Pathfinder rules?

I'm working on it to run later this week, but my standard way of doing so (cut and paste monster entries out of the Bestiary, Adjust the stats of NPCs adding CMB/CMD) doesn't work for the Gnome encounter. Gnome warriors are not in the Bestiary. And most the creatures/monsters aren't either.

I'm not sure how the Atomie's Entangle works and don't have the ToHR to look them up.

I really enjoyed it when I ran it the first time. Morning slot at a con so missed some of the problems from lack of sleep and used the MM at the time.

Scarab Sages **

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Tim Statler wrote:
Anyone updated the encounters to Pathfinder rules?

I have! Though it's way to late to help ya.

Tim Statler wrote:
I'm not sure how the Atomie's Entangle works and don't have the ToHR to look them up.
It's just a spell-like ability; it works just like the spell.

Here's Tide of Morning Encounter Conversions:

spider swarm:
Bestiary p. 258

Gire:
Female atomie (Tome of Horrors Revised 23)
hp 3 (½d6+1)
CMB -5; CMD 8
Skills Craft (woodworking) +5, Escape Artist +7, Fly +7, Handle Animal +6, Perception +5, Stealth +7, Perform (dance) +6, Perform (sing) +6; Modifiers +5 racial bonuses to Stealth in forests.

rat swarm:
Bestiary p. 232

Thaven & Roven:
AC 18, touch 12, flat-footed 16 (+6 armor, +2 Dex)
hp 15 (2d10+4)
CMB +4; CMD 16

gnome warriors:
Gnome Warrior 1
Small humanoid (gnome)
Init +1; Senses low-light vision; Perception +2
DEFENSE
AC 16, touch 12, flat-footed 15 (+4 armor, +1 Dex, +1 size)
hp 7 (1d10+2)
Fort +3, Ref +1, Will +0
Defensive Abilities defensive training, illusion resistance
OFFENSE
Spd 20 ft.
Melee longsword +1 (1d6-1; 19-20 x2)
Ranged shortbow +2 (1d4; x3)
Special hatred
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 4th)
1/day—dancing lights, ghost sound (DC 11), prestidigitation, speak with animals
STATISTICS
Str 8, Dex 13, Con 14, Int 8, Wis 11, Cha 11
Base Atk +1; CMB -1; CMD 15
Feats Weapon Focus (longsword)
Skills Craft (woodworking) +2, Perception +2, Stealth +4 Survival +4
Languages Common, Gnome
Gear longsword, shorbow, quiver with 20 arrows, chainshirt

wolverine:
Bestiary p. 279

small viper snake:
small viper snake CR 1/2
N small animal
Init +5; Senses low-light vision, scent; Perception +9
DEFENSE
AC 17, touch 14, flat-footed 14 (+3 Dex, +3 natural, +1 size)
hp 13 (2d8+4)
Fort +5, Ref +4, Will +1
OFFENSE
Speed 20 ft., climb 20 ft., swim 20 ft.
Melee bite +2 (1d2–2 plus poison)
STATISTICS
Str 6, Dex 17, Con 11, Int 1, Wis 12, Cha 2
Base Atk +1; CMB +0; CMD 11 (can't be tripped)
Feats Improved Initiative, Weapon FinesseB
Skills Acrobatics +11, Climb +11, Perception +9, Stealth +13, Swim +11; Racial Modifiers +4 Perception, +4 Stealth, +8 Acrobatics; modifies Climb and Swim with Dexterity
ECOLOGY
Environment any temperate or warm
Organization solitary, pair, or nest (3–8)
Treasure none
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Poison (Ex) Bite—injury; save Fort DC 11; frequency 1/round for 6 rounds; effect 1d2 Con; cure 1 save.

medium viper snake:
Bestiary p. 255

Cyflymder:
Cyflymder CR 3
Male quickling (Tome of Horrors Revised 301)
CE Small fey
Init +7; Senses low-light vision; Perception +9
DEFENSE
AC 19, touch 18, flat-footed 12 (+7 Dex, +1 natural, +1 size)
hp 7 (2d6)
Fort +1, Ref +11, Will +6
Defensive Abilities blur, brooch of shielding (101 points), evasion, natural invisibility, uncanny dodge; DR 5/cold iron
OFFENSE
Spd 120 ft.
Melee rapier +9 (1d4-1)
Ranged dagger +9 (1d3-1 plus poison)
Special Attacks kava leaf poison
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 6th)
1/day - dancing lights, flare (DC 12), levitate, shatter (DC 14), ventriloquism (DC 13)
TACTICS
Before Combat Cyflymder uses his natural invisibility and ventriloquism powers to remain hidden.
During Combat When he sees the dome of light, Cyflymder panics and flees to the circle’s perimeter. He attempts to stay as far from the PCs as possible, leaping along the stones. He does not use levitate because he fears it leaves him too exposed to ranged attacks. Cyflymder uses Spring Attack to harass the PCs only if he can avoid attacks of opportunity and end his turn safely away from the PCs.
STATISTICS
Str 8, Dex 24, Con 11, Int 15, Wis 15, Cha 15
Base Atk +1; CMB -4; CMD 13
Feats Dodge, Mobility, Spring Attack, Weapon Finesse
Skills Acrobatics +12, Bluff +7, Craft (alchemy) +7, Escape Artist +12, Knowledge (nature) +7, Perception +9, Spellcraft +7, Stealth +12 (+20), Survival +7; Modifiers +8 Stealth racial bonus in natural terrain; +2 Perception racial bonus
Languages Common, Sylvan
Combat Gear brooch of shielding (101 hp), cloak of resistance +1, daggers (2), rapier
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Kava Leaf Poison (Ex) dagger—injury; save Fort DC 15; frequency 1/minute for 1 hour; effect unconscious; cure 1 save. Only the first successful attack with the dagger carries a dose of poison.
Blur (Ex) A quickling that takes any action (other than a free action) in a round appears as a blur. This grants the quickling concealment (20% miss chance).
Natural Invisibility (Ex) A quickling is effectively invisible (as the spell) when standing motionless. It loses this invisibility and remains visible (though blurred, see above) in any round in which it takes any action other than a free action.

spriggan:
Enlarged Spriggan (2) CR 3
CE Large humanoid (gnome) (Tome of Horrors Revised 326)
Init +3; Senses low-light vision; Perception +9
DEFENSE
AC 16, touch 12, flat-footed 13 (+4 armor, +3 Dex, -1 size)
hp 34 (4d8+16)
Fort +5, Ref +7, Will +1
OFFENSE
Spd 20 ft.
Melee short sword +9 (1d8+6) or halberd +8 (2d8+7)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
TACTICS
Before Combat The spriggans hide behind two of the stones.
During Combat The spriggans do their best to block PCs from reaching Cyflymder. They remain Large unless they flank a PC, in which case one transforms to Small and sneak attacks.
STATISTICS
Str 20, Dex 16, Con 19, Int 11, Wis 11, Cha 9
Base Atk +3; CMB +9; CMD 22
Feats Combat Reflexes, Weapon Focus (short sword)
Skills Climb +5, Disable Device +5, Perception +9, Sleight of Hand +10, Stealth +6
Languages Common, Gnome
SQ size alteration
Gear short sword +1, halberd, chain shirt
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Size Alteration (Su) At will, as a standard action, a spriggan can grow from Small to Large size. Weapons, armor, and other inanimate objects on its person grow proportionately with it when it changes size. The spriggan can changes sizes at will, each time requiring a standard action to do so.

Spriggan (2) CR 3
Small humanoid (gnome)
Init +4; Senses low-light vision; Perception +9
DEFENSE
AC 19, touch 15, flat-footed 15 (+4 armor, +4 Dex, +1 size)
hp 26 (4d8+4)
Fort +2, Ref +8, Will +1
OFFENSE
Spd 20 ft.
Space 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft.
Melee short sword +5 (1d4) or halberd +4 (1d8-1)
Special sneak attack +2d6
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 4th)
at will—flare (DC 10), scare (DC 12), shatter (DC 12)
STATISTICS
Str 8, Dex 18, Con 13, Int 11, Wis 11, Cha 9
Base Atk +3; CMB +1; CMD 15
Feats Combat Reflexes, Weapon Focus (short sword)
Skills Climb +5, Disable Device +5, Perception +9, Sleight of Hand +10, Stealth +14
Languages Common, Gnome
SQ size alteration
Gear short sword +1, halberd, chain shirt

* Star Voter 2013

Quick question about the kava leaf poison that Cyflymder uses.

If a PC fails his saving throw and falls asleep, how can the other party members get him back into action?

Imo, trying to wake the subject up (via shaking etc) shouldn't work.

Would smelling salts work? It says only against spells/sle, but imo it perhaps should still work.

Slow poison and neutralize poison would work of course.

In any case, I find this to be a very powerful ability. Cyfly could take out the casters by spring attacking, moving behind stone, hiding, reapplying poison, and never being threatened himself.

* Star Voter 2013

Found my answer, it's right in Cyflymdr's entry. It works like the Sleep spell, so you can wake the target up with shaking or damage.

Although we can't use it, the quickling that's found in the Bestiary 2 has been upgraded significantly, with both hp and abilities (Blue Winnis is better and the target is unconscious for 1d3 hours).

Sovereign Court ****

I found an intriguing error in the scenario.

Thaven (and Roven) both have breastplates, yet their speed is 30 ft. I initially noticed this because their dexterity modifier is +3, and breastplate caps it at +2.

So either I switch the armor to a chain shirt to maintain the same AC or reduce the speed by 10' and increase AC by 1.

And Thaven should nowadays have 15 hit points (2d10+4), back then 13 hit points. PC class levels give full hit points at first level, and everything else goes with the average hit points. So confusing.

The Exchange ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

Good catch Deussu, I've run that scenario 9 times and have never noticed that.

*****

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Good catch on the speed, but breastplate dex max is +3.

Sovereign Court ****

Kyle Baird wrote:
Good catch on the speed, but breastplate dex max is +3.

It is? I was so sure about it I never even checked. :<

So then the AC should be 19 instead of 17! The scenario gives Thaven +5 from armor, +2 from dex. Either the author thought Thaven had dex mod +2 or a breastplate has +2 max dex.

I really wish I'd get my hands to refurbish 0 season scenarios to PFRPG.

*

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game Subscriber

I am about to run this and had a question.
Do I use the Pathfinder statblocks for atomie?

And just add entangle as part of the atomie spell list?

Thanks!

The Exchange ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

Due to the significant difference between the 3.5 version atomie and the PRPG version, the safest route is to just use the 3.5 version in the scenario per conversion instructions in the Guide to PFS Organized Play. I wouldn't have heartburn with your suggestion either, I think the result will be the same. That's what I did, after all.

*

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game Subscriber
Doug Miles wrote:
Due to the significant difference between the 3.5 version atomie and the PRPG version, the safest route is to just use the 3.5 version in the scenario per conversion instructions in the Guide to PFS Organized Play. I wouldn't have heartburn with your suggestion either, I think the result will be the same. That's what I did, after all.

The conversion rules on page 28 don't seem to specify re-adding a 3.5 ability (the missing spells in this case.) But I guess just adding the spells back so the encounters can be run as written won't violate the PFS guidelines...hopefully.

Silver Crusade

I'm interested in running this sometime soon, small question: if the players were okay with it, would you advise to play up in this case (even if players don't fall in that tier - again, with their permission)? Season 0 tends to be rather easy, and I see from reviews that tier 1-2 is kinda boring and kinda on the short side. I hope that by upping the challenge a bit we'll all get more enjoyment out of it. Besides, the adventure doesn't seem that deadly at first glance (although I am bad ad judging this, I must admit).

The Exchange ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

So you are asking if it is OK to allow the party to play up to the 4-5 subtier despite the fact that their average level would not already allow them to do this? Or are they in between tiers and have the choice to play up or down?

Two issues here. Can they play up legally, and should they play up. Let's actually start with should they play up. You are correct that this adventure is pretty tame. The spot where I would feel leery is when the spriggans get large sized. They hit harder, have 10' reach and combat reflexes. It could go south quickly with a non-optimized party who get mixed up in melee. You know your players better than anyone, but personally I have a horrible track record when it comes to assessing the risk of playing up. "You guys should be fine" are the famous last words for many adventures where I encouraged the players to go for it.

I'm going to quote the Guide to PFS Organized Play just to make sure you understand the rules. "Determining Subtiers In order to determine which subtier a mixed-level group of PCs must play in, calculate the group’s average party level (APL). Divide the total number of character levels by the number of characters in the party. You should always round to the nearest whole number. If you are exactly at 0.5, let the group decide which subtier they wish to play.

"For scenarios written in Seasons 0 to 3, when the APL is in between subtiers, a party of six or seven characters must play the higher subtier. Parties with four or five characters must play the lower subtier. In the fringe case where there are no players that are high enough to have reached the subtier level (such as a party of six 3rd level characters), the group may decide to play down to the lower subtier."

Now can they play up despite the rules for Determining Subtiers explaining they cannot? I would say there's one exception. I would allow the party to play up under these conditions:
1) You get the appropriate gold & equipment access from the lower subtier. In other words, there is no greater reward for taking the risk at the higher tier. Whatever expendables they burn to defeat the high tier, that's the cost of taking on the challenge. This is like the Hard Mode in more recent scenarios.
2) Unanimous players decision. Everyone has to agree. If anyone feels this is a bad idea, it doesn't happen. They play the low tier.
3) No take-backs. If someone's PC dies as a result of the higher difficulty, they probably won't have the wealth at 2nd level to get Raised. Them's the breaks. You messed with the bull first, don't complain he has horns after you get gored.

I hope that helps you make a decision.

Silver Crusade

Thanks for the reply. I'll probably play down, then. I'm fairly confident they can handle most stuff, but the Spriggans are nasty.
Also, I agree on the unanimous decision. If not everyone feels comfortable, I won't do it.

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