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The Twice-Damned Prince (GM Reference)


Council of Thieves


Hopefully others can use this thread to clarify questions arising in this adventure. If you happen to see another thread, please link post a link in this one to try and keep things tied together.

Chapter 1: The Bastards of Erebus
Chapter 2: The Sixfold Trial
Chapter 3: What Lies in Dust
Chapter 4: The Infernal Syndrome
Chapter 5: Mother of Flies
Chapter 6: The Twice-Damned Prince

Scarab Sages

Soon to come! Hey, there a reason these threads aren't stickied like in the Legacy of Fire area? They're the best resource for DMs that want more info or to find errors quickly. :)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting Subscriber

Two things.

Thing 1: As far as I can tell, Ecarrdian can't wear leather armor and gain the full benefit of his Dexterity (modified by Intelligence, as per the duelist prestige class). Leather armor's max Dex bonus is +6. This can easily be fixed by replacing his +5 leather armor with bracers of armor +5; it reduces his AC by 2 in the process, but that's not too bad.

Thing 2: Iyis, the 20th-level cleric of Mammon, is wearing both a magical chain shirt and a robe of eyes. I thought wearing armor took up the body magical item slot?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

There are separate slots for Body and Armor in PFRPG.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Generic Villain wrote:
Thing 1: As far as I can tell, Ecarrdian can't wear leather armor and gain the full benefit of his Dexterity (modified by Intelligence, as per the duelist prestige class). Leather armor's max Dex bonus is +6. This can easily be fixed by replacing his +5 leather armor with bracers of armor +5; it reduces his AC by 2 in the process, but that's not too bad.

This is probably and technically correct... but personally I think that the restrictions on the duelist are a bit too harsh. I like the concept of letting the duelist's Int bonus to his AC be a stealthy way to bypass armor restrictions, and I don't feel that overpowers the class at all, to be honest. They're still limited to wearing light armor, after all. Up to you, but I'm hesitant to call this an error since I'm kinda stubborn on this ruling. ;-)

Generic Villain wrote:
Thing 2: Iyis, the 20th-level cleric of Mammon, is wearing both a magical chain shirt and a robe of eyes. I thought wearing armor took up the body magical item slot?

Yeah; as Gorbacz points out, body and armor are different slots. You can wear robes over armor.


The following was originally posted on another thread with spoiler tags/references which I have edited out:

James Jacobs wrote:
Tikon2000 wrote:

Take the evil path you mean? Well as I stated in my original post, it's not that they're encouraged to take the evil path, it's that the PC's will not get the stated advantages (information, magic items, or troops) unless they ally or make deals with minor villains. My main complaint wasn't that it was in there at all, but that it kept cropping up every AP. That and there weren't any provisions if the PC's didn't want to make that choice.

On another note, perusing "The Twice Damned Prince" I spy another "I'm not Evil I'm Neutral" character.

The doppelganger who has infiltrated a nobleman's house by killing his daughter and wife then taking their places. Who for fun sets out to drive the patriarch suicidally insane, makes his brother think that he slept with his niece, and foments chaos among the servants. And what do I see under alignment: Neutral. Missing an E for Evil are you? Although I'm hoping it's a typo and not an example of someone trying to pass off amoral as not evil.

Yeah... that's a typo. The doppleganger should indeed be neutral evil.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16 , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

p. 10 on the cutpurse stat block, I think they are missing a feat. As 2nd level humans, they should have 2 feats (1 for being human and 1 for HD), and they also have the finese rogue talent that gives them weapon finese, but their only other feat is improved initiative.

Also, not sure if this is something new or not, but why does Seltyiel have both a +1 bow and +1 arrows? The bonuses don't stack.


Karui Kage wrote:
Soon to come! Hey, there a reason these threads aren't stickied like in the Legacy of Fire area? They're the best resource for DMs that want more info or to find errors quickly. :)

I think the reason for this is that the request to Sticky was made around the time of LoF. Since the posts have to wait for all the names of the modules to be announced and the forums created, they probably just forget about it.

I can create a post for the web guru's to look into stickies for these.

PS: Request submitted.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16 , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Varpnall the otyugh is mentioned as having treasure that he'll offer if he surrenders, but no treasure is listed for this encounter.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16 , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

The PCs can make public their affiliation with the Hellknights by spending fame points. The adventure mentions that if they don't, the Hellknight Siege is more deadly and dangerous (p. 23). However, the Hellkngiht Siege doesn't mention this at all (p. 26). What's supposed to happen in this case? An increase in the number of besiegers?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.

This adventure had an unfortunately rough time during design and development... and a few bits of confusion crept through as a result, unfortunately. BUT! Here's answers!

1) The cutpurses on page 10 should also probably have Ligntning Reflexes. They're jumpy.

2) Seltyiel's arrows don't stack with his bow. That's an error, but not one that's that major. Just a poor way for him to spend a couple hundred gp.

3) I've made the thread sticky. Eew.

4) Varpnall's treasure got cut at the last minute so the adventure will fit. There's already PLENTY of treasure in the adventure, in any case, so his missing treasure isn't going to hurt anyone. If you want him to have treasure, go ahead and give him a 2,500 gp ruby, a 500 gp silver ring, and a set of gloves of arrow snaring. Or something else that adds up to 7,000 gp.

5) If the PCs don't make public their affiliation with the Hellknight siege, increase the number of Council Captians involved by 2 and the thieves by 6.


Very minor quibble:

What's up with Seltyiel's memorized spell list in his stat block? It largely replicates Seoni's spell list and contains few Conjuration spells.


F33b wrote:
It largely replicates Seoni's spell list and contains few Conjuration spells.

Yeah, I thought that was curious myself.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

F33b wrote:

Very minor quibble:

What's up with Seltyiel's memorized spell list in his stat block? It largely replicates Seoni's spell list and contains few Conjuration spells.

To a certain extent, the spells we pick are limited by length; often, we'll pick a spell that's shorter than one that's longer simply because the shorter one will fit in the space we have for the PC. Spells with names like "summon monster IV" will always lose out in this fight against spells with names like "ice storm."

As for his spell selection... the PCs are often done at the very last minute of a Pathfinder's cycle before it ships to the printer, and thus it's easier for us to NOT get too creative with the spell selection stuff.

EDIT: OH! Just realized one more likely explanation... and this is probably the MOST likely one. When we originally statted Seltyiel up for Second Darkness, he was an evoker. And I bet a lot of his prepared spells ended up staying the same as his core selection of spells as a result.

I bet when he shows up the next time we'll change his wizard specialty again, just to be pills...

Shadow Lodge Star Voter 2013

Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Varpnall has a description of:

Male advanced plague bearer otyugh (Pathfinder RPG Bestiary 223,
Advanced Bestiary 194)

Is the Advanced Bestiary actually Bestiary II?


Balodek wrote:

Varpnall has a description of:

Male advanced plague bearer otyugh (Pathfinder RPG Bestiary 223,
Advanced Bestiary 194)

Is the Advanced Bestiary actually Bestiary II?

I think it's Green Ronin's Advanced Bestiary (a 3.5 book of templates).

http://www.greenronin.com/store/product/grr1601e.html

Paizo Employee Creative Director

hogarth wrote:
Balodek wrote:

Varpnall has a description of:

Male advanced plague bearer otyugh (Pathfinder RPG Bestiary 223,
Advanced Bestiary 194)

Is the Advanced Bestiary actually Bestiary II?

I think it's Green Ronin's Advanced Bestiary (a 3.5 book of templates).

http://www.greenronin.com/store/product/grr1601e.html

Correct. Advanced Bestiary is a big book of templates, and one of the most-commonly used d20 resources we draw from at Paizo for adventure paths.

Shadow Lodge Star Voter 2013

Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
hogarth wrote:
Balodek wrote:

Varpnall has a description of:

Male advanced plague bearer otyugh (Pathfinder RPG Bestiary 223,
Advanced Bestiary 194)

Is the Advanced Bestiary actually Bestiary II?

I think it's Green Ronin's Advanced Bestiary (a 3.5 book of templates).

http://www.greenronin.com/store/product/grr1601e.html

Correct. Advanced Bestiary is a big book of templates, and one of the most-commonly used d20 resources we draw from at Paizo for adventure paths.

Oooh...shiny...

Thank you very much. I'll remember to pick that one up, looks pretty useful.


Two areas of questions for now:
1) Who drew the awesome picture of Ara Verennie on page 38?

2) I'm curious as to the location of the brain or brains of the Vouivre in the bestiary on page 88, and in particular how the monster interacts with being walloped with a vorpal sword? The creature is described as 'Large monstrous humanoid (aquatic)' which along with the fact that a Vouivre does not get two sets of actions inclines me to think that there is just the one brain, in the attractive woman part of the creature, but I may be in error here. If there is only one brain, does an otherwise uninformed wielder of a vorpal sword have to nominate which 'head' he or she was going for upon scoring a head taking hit, or should it be randomly determined if the wielder lopped off the 'false head' (with no brain) or the 'real' one?
(Conceivably the brain might not even be in either head, but somewhere in the body, rendering the creature completely immune to vorpal hits.)


Further Query:
Encounter 'J' ('A Noble Lure') allows victorious PCs to spend 2 fame points to gain 1 additional popularity point above and beyond what they would otherwise gain from the encounter, with no other discernible benefit for the expenditure of fame. What is the point of this? The PCs are better off not spending the fame points, as unspent fame points count towards the final 'fate of Westcrown' check at the end of the adventure just the same as popularity points acquired, and having two unspent fame points is twice the advantage of having one additional popularity point that they could have been traded in for in this context.
My current thought is that it might make more sense if the PCs have to put in some work carousing and making a minor expenditure of gold to gain the extra popularity point from this encounter, instead of spending fame points.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Charles Evans 25 wrote:
1) Who drew the awesome picture of Ara Verennie on page 38?

It wasn't Eva or Tyler. Beyond that I can't say...

Charles Evans 25 wrote:

2) I'm curious as to the location of the brain or brains of the Vouivre in the bestiary on page 88, and in particular how the monster interacts with being walloped with a vorpal sword? The creature is described as 'Large monstrous humanoid (aquatic)' which along with the fact that a Vouivre does not get two sets of actions inclines me to think that there is just the one brain, in the attractive woman part of the creature, but I may be in error here. If there is only one brain, does an otherwise uninformed wielder of a vorpal sword have to nominate which 'head' he or she was going for upon scoring a head taking hit, or should it be randomly determined if the wielder lopped off the 'false head' (with no brain) or the 'real' one?

(Conceivably the brain might not even be in either head, but somewhere in the body, rendering the creature completely immune to vorpal hits.)

As it's a monstrous humanoid, the vouivre's brain is in its girl head, not its dragon-headed tail. A vorpal strike lops of her humanoid head.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Charles Evans 25 wrote:

Encounter 'J' ('A Noble Lure') allows victorious PCs to spend 2 fame points to gain 1 additional popularity point above and beyond what they would otherwise gain from the encounter, with no other discernible benefit for the expenditure of fame. What is the point of this? The PCs are better off not spending the fame points, as unspent fame points count towards the final 'fate of Westcrown' check at the end of the adventure just the same as popularity points acquired, and having two unspent fame points is twice the advantage of having one additional popularity point that they could have been traded in for in this context.

My current thought is that it might make more sense if the PCs have to put in some work carousing and making a minor expenditure of gold to gain the extra popularity point from this encounter, instead of spending fame points.

It's basically an error, since spending fame points to increase popularity isn't a good idea... at least, it wasn't once we let unspent fame points count toward popularity. That wasn't the case when I was developing area J, since at that point the end of the adventure hadn't been written yet.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Charles Evans 25 wrote:
Encounter 'J' ('A Noble Lure') allows victorious PCs to spend 2 fame points to gain 1 additional popularity point above and beyond what they would otherwise gain from the encounter, with no other discernible benefit for the expenditure of fame. What is the point of this?
It's basically an error, since spending fame points to increase popularity isn't a good idea... at least, it wasn't once we let unspent fame points count toward popularity. That wasn't the case when I was developing area J, since at that point the end of the adventure hadn't been written yet.

James, can you comment more on this. I noticed that this didn't make sense as well. So if unspent Fame Points just become Popularity Points, is there any real difference between Fame and Popularity?

It might be helpful/interesting to hear a little bit about the original concept, even if it didn't make it to the final version. Throughout the adventure path, players accumulate Fame and by the last adventure, they can start "spending" Fame resolve certain situations. But it's a double edged sword because the final encounter requires a Fame check, and if they've spent too much, they'll probably end up with a lower result.

Dark Archive

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

Im not James but I found an easy solution is to say they get to keep the inital fame total for the final check but they can only use fame points up to the amount they had at the start of the adventure. That way fame points are a limited resource (how limited depends on how well your group did in gaining them to begin with) but using them is not going to completly do your players over at the end.

Liberty's Edge

Kevin Mack wrote:
Im not James but I found an easy solution is to say they get to keep the inital fame total for the final check but they can only use fame points up to the amount they had at the start of the adventure. That way fame points are a limited resource (how limited depends on how well your group did in gaining them to begin with) but using them is not going to completly do your players over at the end.

Check p. 9; fame checks are always made using the party's initial fame score.

U

Dark Archive

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

I believe you have miss understood what I have said. I meant they have a limited number of points to spend on re-rolls and the like but that they keep the inital fame bonus for the popularity check at the end.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Mosaic wrote:

James, can you comment more on this. I noticed that this didn't make sense as well. So if unspent Fame Points just become Popularity Points, is there any real difference between Fame and Popularity?

It might be helpful/interesting to hear a little bit about the original concept, even if it didn't make it to the final version. Throughout the adventure path, players accumulate Fame and by the last adventure, they can start "spending" Fame resolve certain situations. But it's a double edged sword because the final encounter requires a Fame check, and if they've spent too much, they'll probably end up with a lower result.

What's in the adventure IS the original concept. It's a bit rough around the edges, alas.

Liberty's Edge

Kevin Mack wrote:
I believe you have miss understood what I have said. I meant they have a limited number of points to spend on re-rolls and the like but that they keep the inital fame bonus for the popularity check at the end.

You're right; I don't understand. How is that different from what's written in the adventure?

U

Dark Archive

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

Okay ill try and use an example at what Im getting at lets say the group has 20 fame points at the start of the adventure

Pathfinder as written

You get an inital fame score of 20 which you get to use for all fame checks

You get a pool of 20 fame points which can be spent on rerolls or specific tasks and whatever is left over is added to the final Popularity point score at the end

My suggestion

You get an inital fame score of 20 which you get to use for all fame checks plus the 20 points are automaticly added to the total popularity score at the end

You get a pool of 20 fame points ehich can be spent on rerolls or specific tasks only since the 30 points are already added to the popularity score any remainders are not added at the end.

My suggestion means players are not sabotaging themselves by using fame points but they stilll dont get an unlimited supply.

Grand Lodge

I am preparing to run CoT with a group or two and, in order to see how much leeway there really is with collecting Fame Points (FP), did a bit of number crunching...

Click me for lots of numbers:
Maximum FP available per adventure:
The Bastards of Erebus 7
The Sixfold Trial 5
what lies in Dust 4
The Infernal Syndrome 6
Mother of Flies 4

Making for a total of 26 FP. You can earn a total of 22 Popularity Points (PP) in The Twice-Damned Prince.

Now, if we assume the best case, we have a character with a starting Charisma of 20, raised three times on the way to level 13.

His Fame Check will be:
Fame Points 26
Cha 23 +6
Leadership Feat +4

For a total of 1d20+36

Add to that:
PP 22
Unspent FP 26
Aid another +6

(Note that I assumed they wouldn't spend even 5 FP on the nobles as that would have cost them 1 point in the end. -5 FPs, +4 on Fame Checks)
(Note that I also assumed a party of four players, for a +6 Aid another. I won't penalize a smaller party just for having mastered the AP with one less friend to help out)

Thus, you get a total of 1d20+90 making the highest, possible end result under perfect conditions a 110.

Four endings:
Horrible ending: 0-50
Bad ending: 51-89
Good ending: 90-110
Great ending: 111+

Now, that the best ending is unattainable under perfect conditions strikes me as odd. :)

Ideas:

    - making used FPs still count at the end would enable the group to get a +4 to that total.
    - Eagle's Splendor for another +4

Any other ideas how to increase that score?

Even with that, assuming they get every single FP and PP, have a maxed-out CHA-character with Leadership, and remember to put on that 2nd-level Spell just before the big negotiations (and aren't dispelled or something by wary high-level negotiators from Egorian) they now have 1d20+98, for a 40% chance on a d20 to get the best ending.

And that's probably the worst thing for me: A die roll decides the ending. All these heroics to build up a big modifier for the one big toss o' the die? It's not the heroes' actions, but really that one roll of the die that decides the Fate of Westcrown? Hm.

Time to look at the positive side of things: Possible solutions!

First off: Don't let them know just how exactly the mechanics work, at least not for that last one. Make it seem important. The last, Big Thing to do. Another chance for the group's 'face' to shine after all that bloody sword-wielding an' all. But don't let them get to the conclusion I reached a few lines up: "Meh, it all hinged on a stupid CHA check made by the bard. And the bugger botched it!"

But here starts the questions:

    1) How do I do that without just arbitrarily setting the ending I like to whatever result the party gets?
    2) Should I change the scale, make it more forgiving, but then stick to it so that their actions matter?
    3) Should I, in addition to 2), make FPs spendable again, so that not spending any FPs at all will guarantee the best ending, no matter the die roll, but make it really hard to survive the adventure, whereas a slightly sub-optimal approach will still make sure the bad ending won't happen?
    4) What would be a good scale? 0-45/46-70/71-95/96+?

Also some others:

    1)Any other ideas how to increase the score at the end? I didn't, for example, check the magic items in the AP to see if there was any that gave a CHA bonus...
    2) Ideas on how to treat the entire affair so as to not get into mechanics too much, not distract from the game too much, but still make them able to make informed decisions?

I mean, I certainly don't want the bad ending to be the standard one, that seems a bit off to me. But perhaps I miscounted or am missing some important bonusses?


TerrorTigr, if it helps, someone did this same calculation in this thread:
Fame Point Summary

Grand Lodge

Wow, thanks a lot, that helped!
Missed 6 Points now, did I? Interesting...


TerrorTigr, I agree that rolling for the level of success in the end is... a bad design choice.

I would simply remove the last check and just look at the Fame and Popularity points they got (ignoring spending completely). If they got all, didn't get any minuses, behaved well towards the people of the city, and so on, give them the best ending. And only then.
If they have some minuses (say because they didn't return loot or had to publicly retreat - or even because they were insulting towards the people of Westcrown) they would need to go beyond the limits of the adventure to get the best end. Like paying for a great imitative to clean up the city. Or building public schools. Or rebuilding other recently neglected infrastructure. Other opportunities may include exposing corruption and righting similar wrongs. And I'd say it isn't up to the DM to suggest these things, but for the players to bring it up - if not the best ending should be just out of their grasp.
In short this ending is reserved for perfect performance and should probably require going beyond it anyway. This should be very hard to get - almost impossible in fact. Otherwise it isn't really a reward, is it?
Don't forget that this ending gives the players a city with about 100,000 people living in it as their personal domain.

The worst ending should only happen if the players really mess up or go out of their way to annoy people. I would go so far and say that points shouldn't matter here, only what impression they gave during the path.

Martial Law versus Self-Governance is a bit more tricky. I would say they need around 80% to get Self-Governance and react adequately to most threats. No several day delays before tackling a problem, or things like that. They should also show that they actually care about Westcrown and keeping the law.
I would also disconnect the future of Westcrown from the PC's status a bit. They could be heroes if martial law is instituted (they did popular things but didn't spend any effort to maintain public order, support the law, ...) or be seen as fairly mediocre while the city retains Self-governance (if they were champions of law and order but snubbed people, acted arrogantly, took advantage of common people, ...). Only use the points as aid to evaluate how the party did, but decide the specifics based on their actions alone.

Liberty's Edge

Being mayor of Westcrown or Commander of the guard is not quite like being Lord of your own, personal manor. Westcrown is a city that will kill you if it doesn't like you, even if you're the mayor. Especially if you're the mayor.

While I agree that the 'heroic' ending should be reserved for parties who do everything right and have a tremendous following, it should be given to those parties.


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

Vira Ciucci is a big old manor house, and the northern half is routinely rented out to other nobles. This is top-of-the-line accommodation. What would this cost? Even a vague price would help?

500 gp / month? Twice that?


Paralictor Gonville Chard on page 22 appears to have some incorrect feats, namely Two-Weapon Defense and Two-Weapon Fighting. I'm assuming at some point he was originally designed as wielding dual longswords but he's only listed as having one and the text states he wields it two-handed so the feats should be replaced.

Any suggestions?


For completeness, the Corna Barracks map on page 41 is missing the P5 (Armory) location.


Im curious, does anyone else feel the battle with the 4 Erinyes is a TPK waiting to happen? I see no reason the Erinyes would not just all teleport 150feet above the Barge and then in unison blast the people below with Unholy Blight (repeatedly).

Even if everyone saves the average damage is 45pts per round. Not even a level 13 group can keep up with that.

Note: If the group is geared for such a battle (flight, summon monster, etc) it would not be that big a problem, but a group that is not geared for ranged combat is probably dead.

- Gauss


I have a clarification question about the Ebon presented in the back of the book. How many rounds and rolls are required for it to use the Sacrifice ability? This is how I think it goes:

Round 1
-CMB check to enter grapple

Round 2
-CMB check to maintain grapple (with +5 bonus for being the main grappler)
-CMB check to reposition victim

Round 3
-CMB check to maintain grapple (with +5 bonus for being the main grappler)
-use Sacrifice ability

Does this seem correct?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

That seems correct to my reading of it... sort of.

It seems from a look at the grappling rules (and handy flowchart) that, technically, the Ebon Acolytus can't actually use its ability Prostration.

The conflict seems to come from:

Grapple wrote:
If you do not release the grapple, you must continue to make a check each round, as a standard action, to maintain the hold.

and

Prostration wrote:

As a standard action, an ebon acolytus can

attempt to force any creature it is currently grappling into a
sacrificial position. The construct must make an additional
combat maneuver check against its target to reposition
it into an advantageous position. If it succeeds, and the
victim remains grappled at the beginning of the construct’s
next round
, the ebon acolytus may make use of its sacrifice
ability.

Otherwise, it's a nifty trick gaining two standard actions in a single turn.

Sacrifice kind of works based on the wording,

Sacrifice wrote:

As a full-round action, an ebon acolytus may make

a coup de grace attack with its dagger against any target
currently grappled into place using its prostration ability.

... as it could be read to mean "a creature that has been grappled into place and is still there (though not necessarily still grappled)." (which could be done by tying them up or by restraining them or something similar).

Really, I think this could be resolved if the abilities were reworded as below (and this is how I'm going to run them):

Prostration (Ex) wrote:
An ebon acolytus can attempt to force any creature it has grappled for at least one round into a sacrificial position. In any round after the first in a particular grapple, after the ebon acolytus successfully maintains the grapple on its turn, the construct must make an additional combat maneuver check as a move action against a target it has grappled or pinned this round to re-position it into an advantageous position. If the check succeeds, and the victim remains grappled at the beginning of the construct’s next round, the ebon acolytus may make use of its Sacrifice ability. An ebon acolytus gains a +2 bonus on its CMB for the purposes of making this check if it is adjacent to an altar or similar site of ceremonial bloodletting. Using this ability allows the ebon acolyte to continue grappling.
Sacrifice (Ex) wrote:
An ebon acolytus may make a coup de grace attack with its dagger against any affected by its prostration ability the previous round. As a full-round action, the ebon acolytus first maintains the grapple on this round (making the CMB roll as normal), after which the target is affected by the coup de grace attack by the construct's weapon and must make a Fortitude saving throw (DC 10 + damage dealt) or die as normal. If the target is killed by this attack, his soul is sent straight to the plane of the being to which the altar is dedicated, regardless of alignment, and cannot be raised from the dead except by a cleric sworn to the same deity or by a miracle or wish spell. A creature under the effects of a protection from evil spell—or similar spell that opposes the alignment of the god the ebon acolytus is crafted to serve—may be resurrected as normal.

Anyway, I think that clears up any confusion from action-types.

In this case, it does become:
Round 1: Grapple (CMB check)
Round 2: Grapple and Prostration (two CMB checks)
Round 3: Sacrifice (CMB check and force fortitude save)

While it's still a nearly-insta-kill move, it's nice because it technically allows PCs three rounds (and up to three dice rolls) before forcing the save-or-die effect.

Technically, in my original draft of Prostration, I realized that it could be done in the first round of grappling... which isn't bad for some playstyles, but others it might not go too well. Anyway, for those that would prefer that version...

Prostration (Ex) wrote:
An ebon acolytus can attempt to force any creature it has grappled into a sacrificial position. After the ebon acolytus successfully maintains the grapple on its turn, the construct must make an additional combat maneuver check as a move action against a target it has grappled or pinned this round to re-position it into an advantageous position. If the check succeeds, and the victim remains grappled at the beginning of the construct’s next round, the ebon acolytus may make use of its Sacrifice ability. An ebon acolytus gains a +2 bonus on its CMB for the purposes of making this check if it is adjacent to an altar or similar site of ceremonial bloodletting. Using this ability allows the ebon acolyte to continue grappling.

Anyway, this might need to be faq'd, because, as written, it doesn't quite work.


Gauss wrote:

Im curious, does anyone else feel the battle with the 4 Erinyes is a TPK waiting to happen?

- Gauss

No. A party of that level should be able to handle it. At the very least, the party can spread out. That will reduce the damage a lot.

And it's a city. You should be able to kick down a door and take cover, even if you never get to buy shoes there again.

And, I don't know how you get to be a party of that level without ranged weapons. With the appropriate spells for level, PCs should be able to fly up there also.

Of course, look at your group. Maybe they can't fight flying opponents well. In that case, reduce the number or replace the encounter with something else. Those Chortov devils would be a nice switch for a melee heavy party.


Tacticslion wrote:

That seems correct to my reading of it... sort of.

The conflict seems to come from:

Grapple wrote:
If you do not release the grapple, you must continue to make a check each round, as a standard action, to maintain the hold.

and

Prostration wrote:

As a standard action, an ebon acolytus can

attempt to force any creature it is currently grappling into a sacrificial position. The construct must make an additional combat maneuver check against its target to reposition it into an advantageous position. If it succeeds, and the victim remains grappled at the beginning of the construct’s next round, the ebon acolytus may make use of its sacrifice ability.
Otherwise, it's a nifty trick gaining two standard actions in a single turn.

Thanks for the advice. It seems like the general idea of how it should work is spelled out, but the actual mechanics don't add up. I was thinking of using it similarly to how you laid it out. Although, I am going to tweak the mechanics and some other aspects a bit further for this particular scenario...

Spoiler:

Long story short... this is just a little side mission to add some flavor, history, and danger to the campaign. The PCs just finished off the Bastards (who are called the Orphans of Mammon in my game) and got roped into helping a hobgoblin do some dungeon delving/crypt robbing.

This Ebon has the head of a medusa, and if the victim fails its save against the coup de grace, it is petrified with the soul trapped inside and unable to be reached or revived by any means except by a worshiper of the deity (Lamashtu, in this instance). If the statue is destroyed, the soul is sent to and trapped in the Abyss. Also, since the sacrifice is described as a full-round action for the coup de grace, I am going to have it play out via 2 standard actions across 2 rounds (ala starting and finishing a full-round action when you can only do one action per round), so that'll give any victims an additional round to escape.

This encounter also contains 8 statues (tiefling, half-orc who failed to steal from the crypt and was sacrificed, 2 dottari, 4 children) that are treated as animated objects (4 Medium, 4 Small) that assist in the sacrifice and are powered by the tormented soul/haunting of Ehlanni (see below), and thus, susceptible to magic that harms undead as well.

The party is not expected to defeat these creatures, but if they act wisely, they should be able to run around and/or fend them off long enough to snatch the treasure available and escape. If they try to defeat them, they'll probably be added to the statue collection.

The crypt belongs to a family that was associated with the original Council of Thieves:

Old History: The graveyard is home to a mausoleum for the Ark'eep family - half-elven smiths who rose above their station in Rego Plea, thanks in part to their connection (beginning in 4290 AR) with the Council of Thieves. The mausoleum was built in 4340 AR for the passing of the family matriarch (Uleena - you-lee-nuh) who established the Council relationship. In 4469 AR, high-ranking family members were killed during the staged hunt to find low-ranking Council members, and the family patriarch (Daguun - day-goon) was hanged as part of the staged execution of the Council. Most of the surviving family members fled in shame.

Newer History: Ehlaani (eh-lah-nee) Ark'eep was the youngest daughter of Daguun and a Pathfinder field agent on assignment in the Mwangi Expanse from 4465-4470 AR. Her expedition delved into territory controlled by a Lamashtu-worshiping medusa tribe. The long and deadly ordeal saw half the team lost and left them with hardened hearts and darkened souls. When Ehlaani learned of the treachery against her family, her sight was set on vengeance. It was easy to convince her surviving team members to join her cause and use the Mwangi relics to punish the Council. They tried to find out which authorities killed her kin and which noble families belonged to the Council. Their findings were not always conclusive, but they kidnapped the accused dottari and youngest children of suspected nobles. Each was to be sacrificed to Lamashtu. First by Ebon petrification and then all the petrified forms would be smashed. However, they had only petrified 6 people when a Council assassin put an end to their work in 4476 AR. A tiefling named Ramgara Haro tracked down the cultists and burned most of them in their sleep. Ehleena proved more difficult to dispatch. A poisoned blade would end her life but not before she lured him into the sacrificial chamber and left him too weak to fend off the Ebon.

Current: The tormented spirits of the cult haunt the tomb. Burning those who enter and driving them into the sacrifial chamber where the petrified forms of Ramgara and the other victims drag intruders to the Ebon.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Glad I could help, and it sounds neat!

Make sure to drop plenty of hints about the history in places that Players can look into, if they want.

Also, make sure that somehow the players know they can run away (that they won't be chased forever) and that it's a good idea.


Whew! It has been a two-year odyssey, but we have just finished the Twice-Damned Prince and the Council of Thieves campaign. There were highs. There were lows. We had a great time.

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