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Feedback for #29 Shipyard Rats


Pathfinder Society GM Discussion

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Cheliax

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I just got back from Dragon Con and loved the two games I could actually play in (those being #29, #30). Our group had only four players all first level. A paladin, thief, wizard and myself the cleric. Leaving the rest of this under a spoiler tag...

click here for problem with senario:
When we got to act #3, our half orc paladin bluffed the cleric Luscilia into thinking he was one of her orc workers. Unfortunately, we were not able to get a surprise round rushing the deck. On the deck, we found 3 fast zombies and a 3rd level cleric. On the first round the cleric cast blindness and the zombies attacked and killed the paladin to -24hp. I was able to keep the rest of the party alive by using my AC and healing myself while the thief and wizard fought at range from the door to concentrate on the cleric. The only problem I had with this encounter at our level was the channel negative energy. The cleric is 3rd level, but says it is a CR2 (2d6 Area effect 6 times a day, kind of like striking every first level character with a greatsword, every round) against 1st level characters could mean TPW in round one. I would like to suggest the cleric be made level 2 to even out the encounter to 1d6 damage. Also noticed the encounter was only to have 1 zombie, not sure why we had 3 unless the GM made a mistake and I realize that stuff happens sometimes. Other than that, I enjoyed the senario,the story was well written and the paladin won the table gift for his handling of roleplaying the death (it was good showmanship crying out to Iomedae, demanding justice for his untimely death and not getting pissed and walking away from the table.)

Taldor **

I agree with you on the over-power of that encounter.

Spoiler:
The GM may have screwed you even more than just the zombies. The Cleric's tactics said to use the channels to heal the undead, which is much less killer. Compared to the rest of the encounters in that module, the third encounter was much more troublesome. I've heard mutterings of multiple TPKs at Gen-Con. My group had to stop halfway when our tier 6-7 party was drained down to 1st and 2nd levels.

*

Everyone has the same problem with #29. There is actually a Gencon TPK thread somewhere and it was the culprit most times.

Regarding your scenario, when I played it there was only

Spoiler:
ONE zombie for my tier 1-2 game, not three.

Your DM messed up in a big way, that encounter was already too hard as it was. The paladin probably should have lived.

Osirion *

Jason S wrote:

Everyone has the same problem with #29. There is actually a Gencon TPK thread somewhere and it was the culprit most times.

Regarding your scenario, when I played it there was only ** spoiler omitted **

Your DM messed up in a big way, that encounter was already too hard as it was. The paladin probably should have lived.

spoiler:
This is a spoiler, such as revealing who really did frame Roger Rabbit.

There indeed was only supposed to be one zombie at that tier.

Grand Lodge ***

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Drego Morthain wrote:
Jason S wrote:

Everyone has the same problem with #29. There is actually a Gencon TPK thread somewhere and it was the culprit most times.

Regarding your scenario, when I played it there was only ** spoiler omitted **

Your DM messed up in a big way, that encounter was already too hard as it was. The paladin probably should have lived.

** spoiler omitted **

There indeed was only supposed to be one zombie at that tier.

I ran that one too. your right, One Zombie. They mixed in the 7-8 with the 1-2. Sorry to hear about the screw up.

**

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

Is it just me or did there seem to be a lot of combat in this module?

I hope this isn't the trend for Season 1.

I like modules with at least a faint hope of RP...other than chatting up the monsters before slaying them.

CJ

Qadira *****

thelesuit wrote:

Is it just me or did there seem to be a lot of combat in this module?

CJ

Try playing PFS#15 The Asmodeus Mirage

Christopher Self is one angry accountant.

Cheliax ***** Venture-Captain, Missouri—Columbia aka kikai13

AngrySpirit wrote:

I just got back from Dragon Con and loved the two games I could actually play in (those being #29, #30). Our group had only four players all first level. A paladin, thief, wizard and myself the cleric. Leaving the rest of this under a spoiler tag...

** spoiler omitted **

Just curious--are you still minus a hand? Inquiring minds want to know....

Cheliax

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
kikai13 wrote:
Just curious--are you still minus a hand? Inquiring minds want to know....

Since the boon is still in play then i am still minus a hand. At Dragon Con, the GMs were not cool with the boon sheet and told me "anything you gained from season 0 was not carried over to season 1" so i lowered my stat and they gave me my hand back. Now since Josh has clarified it for me that boons are accepted and items were reset...I am still missing a hand. We will just have to call it a "sleight of hand" trick for Dragon con. I have the cash to get the regen spell cast. I just need to find another game to get into.

Paizo Employee ** Developer

AngrySpirit wrote:
kikai13 wrote:
Just curious--are you still minus a hand? Inquiring minds want to know....
Since the boon is still in play then i am still minus a hand. At Dragon Con, the GMs were not cool with the boon sheet and told me "anything you gained from season 0 was not carried over to season 1" so i lowered my stat and they gave me my hand back. Now since Josh has clarified it for me that boons are accepted and items were reset...I am still missing a hand. We will just have to call it a "sleight of hand" trick for Dragon con. I have the cash to get the regen spell cast. I just need to find another game to get into.

He clarified that boons from season 0 scenarios are still in effect, but that PaizoCon boons are not. I too am sad to see them go, as I have had a blast roleplaying my conversion of others to my faith from the Vision Quest encounter in order to get the benefit.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
yoda8myhead wrote:
He clarified that boons from season 0 scenarios are still in effect, but that PaizoCon boons are not. I too am sad to see them go, as I have had a blast roleplaying my conversion of others to my faith from the Vision Quest encounter in order to get the benefit.

Thanks for the clarification Yoda, that would explain why they reacted the way they did at Dragon Con. I had a blast at Paizocon this year even if the boons dont stick. The convocation was well done and i hope they do something similar next year.

Andoran

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

On the "level 3 but CR2" issue: That is correct for Pathfinder RPG. Level-1=CR per page 398. Creatures with only NPC class levels are level-2=CR.

Osirion ****

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

Thanks for the update on "Shipyard Rats". They cleric in Act III still is using half-plate without the heavy armor proficiency feat, however :)

**

She possesses an invisible feat that allows her to do it.

Spoiler:
>facepalm<

Cheliax *

Joshua J. Frost wrote:
She possesses an invisible feat that allows her to do it.

That's what I said at GenCon.

Huzzah for invisible feats.

Osirion **** Owner - D20 Hobbies

Joshua J. Frost wrote:
She possesses an invisible feat that allows her to do it.

Since we all know Clerics should get Heavy Armour Proficiency for free anyway. ;-)

Cheliax

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Joshua J. Frost wrote:

She possesses an invisible feat that allows her to do it.

invisible feats or just *clerical errors*? ... sorry, couldnt help myself.

Being a cleric in PFS, I am cool with the AC change. Maybe clergy should wear "favored armor" of their god like they do weapons... food for thought

Taldor ***

Joshua J. Frost wrote:
She possesses an invisible feat that allows her to do it.

These things happens. There's also one thing I noticed while reviewing Our Lady of Silver to the author himself.

Spoiler:
The rogue/warriors at the Hall of Purifying Fire have medium armors, which render the rogues' Evasion ability useless.

***** Venture-Captain, North Carolina—Raleigh aka MillerHero

The intelligence 10 Fighters in Act 4 still have Combat Expertise.

Grand Lodge ***

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game Subscriber

A couple of other "Clerical Errors":

Spoiler:
Luscilia should have Blind-Fight (Darkness Domain). Final cleric should not have Aura of Madness - it was clarified as an 8th level power in the errata.

That middle fight was nasty. Finally got a chance to run it a coupla nights ago. Got a couple of PC's, but Kortes escaped me.

*

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game Subscriber

The rules for jumping through the trap door in Act 5 are a little different from the standard falling rules.

The scenario says DC 10 Acrobatics check or 1d6 falling damage.

The falling rules says DC 15 Acrobatics check or 1d6 nonlethal damage if the fall was deliberate.

*

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game Subscriber

As mentioned in the reviews for the scenario, the hp for the low level NPC's with class levels are calculated incorrectly. By the rules, "A creature gains maximum hit points if its first Hit Die roll is for a character class level. Creatures whose first Hit Die comes from an NPC class or from his race roll their first Hit Die normally."

So the Druid 1's should have 14 hp, the Monk 1's should have 13 hp, and the Fighter 1's should have 16 hp. I notice they do all have their favored class bonuses listed (or you could switch Con and Int so they qualify for Combat Expertise and give them 14 hp instead).

Dalirio should have 15 hp, although he's still a wimp compared to his girlfriend.

*

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game Subscriber

The last sentence of the boxed text in Act 6 appears to be unnecessary and/or wrong.

"Thick wooden doors in the east wall lead to a set of steep stairs beyond."

According to the map, the only doors and stair are to the north and the party arrives from that direction. The following paragraph says the cells are to the north, so it is possible that the key was changed after the text was written.

Andoran **

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Derek Poppink wrote:

The last sentence of the boxed text in Act 6 appears to be unnecessary and/or wrong.

"Thick wooden doors in the east wall lead to a set of steep stairs beyond."

According to the map, the only doors and stair are to the north and the party arrives from that direction. The following paragraph says the cells are to the north, so it is possible that the key was changed after the text was written.

Yeah, the text is fine if you assume the compass rose has been rotated 90 degrees for some reason.

*** Venture-Lieutenant, California—Los Angeles (Venice Beach)

Uran Dekan wrote in the spoiler that the GM was making the scenario particularly deadly because he had misread the tactics that the monster was written up in, but

Shipyard Rat's Encounter:
it specifically says in the scenario that "Luscilia lets her zombies do the brunt of the fighting and uses her Channel Energy ability frequently, choosing to eitherharm the PCs or heal her zombie depending on where it will do the most good."

Which is exactly what the GM was doing

*

Yes, this scenario is deadly, it shouldn't be attempted with 4 players or you're easily asking for a TPK. Especially if those characters are level 1.


This was my first scenario, and it was...very difficult. Especially since we had a table of all first game characters, so none of us had additional potions/scrolls/gear, and all the combats gave 0 chance for rest in between, so healing/spell resources got extremely taxed.

Not to mention the multiple disease saving throws.....fortunately the DM didn't invoke the "You can pay 150GP after the scenario and have the NPC cleric fail his remove disease roll. Spend another 150GP" rule that I saw Josh mention.

What kind of disturbs me in another recent thread was someone talking about starting up PFS for his home group...and people suggested #29 as their very first scenario. Having done this (With the problem of no potions/scrolls/extra resources), I think this is a great way to turn people OFF PFS.

Taldor ****

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I just wanted to say to Josh that this is one of my favorite senarios they've put out. I know I've complained about several of the others but even with the "oopses" this is a very good mod.

Of course now I have a quandary. My character who has run thru this mod and part II just hit 7th level, and since the entire 4 parts are supposed to be tiers 1-7, do I only play him once more before we get 3&4 to play and play them on the same character, or do I put them on another character?

**

Thanks, Tim! As for your level quandary, you'll have to decide for yourself. The 3rd part comes out Wednesday of next week and the final part comes out in April, so you'd be putting your 7th level character on hold for a few months to finish the series.

Beginning with Season 2 (August 2010), all non-Tier 12 series scenarios will be in back-to-back months rather than spread across a season.

*****

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

I must point out there are discrepancies between #29's faction mission section and the player handouts for the Chelliax and Quadira factions.

Faction Missions:
The issue is the level of secrecy required.
Chellianx: handout says secretly deliver message to Kafar - faction mission section says deliver message to Kafar (nothing obout secrecy is mentioned)
Quadira: handout says destroy the log (nothing about secrecy is mentioned) - faction mission section says secretly destroy the log.

In our 0 slot yesterday the Chelliax player was discovered in his attempt to deliver the letter and the Quadira players never tried to hide their action in the first place since the handout did not state anything about secrecy.

Which conditions ACTUALLY merit the PA for these missions?
In the example above I would be inclined to award the PA to both factions (if I had to be tough I would rule the Quadirans and not the Chellaxian get the PA).

Grand Lodge ***

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
The Grandfather wrote:

I must point out there are discrepancies between #29's faction mission section and the player handouts for the Chelliax and Quadira factions.

** spoiler omitted **

Which conditions ACTUALLY merit the PA for these missions?
In the example above I would be inclined to award the PA to both factions (if I had to be tough I would rule the Quadirans and not the Chellaxian get the PA).

I see your point, see below.

Spoiler:
I took the meaning that the PC out of sight of authorities, rather than the party. This is because of the marshal law curfew imposed on the docks. So if the party sees the log being sestroyed, I don't think that should really work against them.

On the other hand, Kafar is a member of the Aspis Consortium and as such it is explained that by the Venture Captain just how much that they are hated by the Pathfinder Society. That would imply that some it is a delicate matter to the faction player. So maybe they shouldn't get the reward.

I've run this senario several times and never had this come up. I wonder why your players weren't more resorceful?

Qadira *****

What I do when a player is about to fail a vaguely worded Faction Mission is ask the player to clarify if that is going to be his action or not. It's a read-between-the-lines chance to reconsider and handle the mission more carefully. Most players understand that their Factions Missions are supposed to be secret. If they advertise their goal or don't take precautions to conceal their actions they get a "So just to be clear..." from me, and if they don't take the hint they fail. It usually only takes one time before they wise up.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Just noticed as I was prepping for this scenario.

Spoiler:
The fighters in Act 4 have the Combat Expertise feat but only have an Int of 10. Int 13 is the prerequisite for Combat Expertise.


Yes this feat issue has been raised several times. I don't think anyone's responded with a solution yet. Is there a general rule of thumb here that I don't know, or is there a different feat we should give them?

**

Sometime in the near future, the Intern will be going over these threads for Season 1 and making corrections. Stay tuned.

Lantern Lodge ** Venture-Lieutenant, New York—Syracuse aka SirGeshko

Quick fixes I suggest:
HP is recalculated, bumping it a little higher in all Classed NPCs
Replace Luscilia's Toughness feat with Heavy Armor Proficiency. With the aforementioned bump, her HP is still higher after the minor reduction.
Lower the Str and Dex of the Fighters in Act 4 to 14, and bump Int up to 13. Put the extra skill points in Climb or Swim.

Looking forward to running it Saturday! ^_^

*****

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

I have run the scenario twice and both times the encounter in the ships hold was extremely deadly.

I never imagined it would be the case and granted on one occassion I was rolling extremely well for the monsters.

Nonetheless I had a TPK and an almost-TPK on it. I guess the set up, two flanking foes meeting the party in a narrow approach makes these bad guys a greater menace than normal.

Have any of you had similar experiences or am I running this encounter too harshly?

Spoiler:
(I start with one ½orc charging with stun and the other 5' stepping in from hiding with a FOB).

**

So when the PCs drop down into that hold

Spoiler:
the half-orc monks are waiting at the bottom of the stairs. The PCs can move down the stairs and once they clear the first step, I'd let them drop down off the stairs into the hold itself.

The group I ran this for last Saturday just wrecked those guys in the hold (except for the first one down, he cried out, "Shelyn protect me!" and just ran full tilt into it and got smashed into the negatives pretty quick) and that's even with me rolling really well and the PCs not so well. I think if you're a little more flexible on how the PCs can approach the encounter, it stops being so deadly.

*****

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
Joshua J. Frost wrote:
I think if you're a little more flexible on how the PCs can approach the encounter, it stops being so deadly.

Spoiler:

One problem of course is that neither party was very stealthy and walked right into the trap.
Both times I basically had one ½orc charge the front character head on and the other step up from behind as soon as the front character in party order reaches the last step.
Both times the PC 5' steps into the hold (if standin; otherwise the next character in line does). This results in the front monk 5stepping to flank (taking out that character).
The only place where I think I might be a bit strict is that characters on the top steps of the stair fight with cover due to the bad angle (relative to the upper level floor; but the cover goes both ways). I do not allow characters on the top step to step right into the hold; they have to take one step down the stair first. This tends to create a bottle neck favoring the ½orcs, even if the PCs have the advantage of higher standing (+1 to attack rolls).
I alsoexpected the PCs to make short work of them, but when the PCs are lucky the ½orcs still have that orc ferocity that lets them go at the party one more round before dropping... thoroughly nasty guys if you ask me. Me like :D

Silver Crusade *

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Joshua J. Frost wrote:

So when the PCs drop down into that hold

** spoiler omitted **

The group I ran this for last Saturday just wrecked those guys in the hold (except for the first one down, he cried out, "Shelyn protect me!" and just ran full tilt into it and got smashed into the negatives pretty quick) and that's even with me rolling really well and the PCs not so well. I think if you're a little more flexible on how the PCs can approach the encounter, it stops being so deadly.

hey now, I am sure that guy had a really good reason to jump down.... whoever he was :)

**

Yeah, I'm sure it was a really good reason. ;-)

Lantern Lodge ** Venture-Lieutenant, New York—Syracuse aka SirGeshko

Once the players reached the boat, I realized the module didn't specify how to get on and off the top deck.

I improvised and told them there was a gangplank going from the dock to the deck, and the ship was tied to posts on the dock.

When they saw the 'hooded figure' and the zombie approaching the boat, the sorceror (Red dragon bloodline, little pyro...) decided he was going to hide and use Burning Hands as the pair reached the gangplank.

Oy, was that encounter... interesting. They rolled well on their saves against her channelling, so they were able to keep up with the damage.

Osirion **

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

Just prepping and was looking through this thread, was changing the hit points of the NPCs and realized the Huecuva in act 6 also has the wrong hitpoints (3d8+3) should be either 15 or 18 not 16. Is a d8 4 or 5 hitpoints for creatures??

Grand Lodge **

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
sanwah68 wrote:
Just prepping and was looking through this thread, was changing the hit points of the NPCs and realized the Huecuva in act 6 also has the wrong hitpoints (3d8+3) should be either 15 or 18 not 16. Is a d8 4 or 5 hitpoints for creatures??

I thought it was 4.5, which means that 4.5+4.5+4+3=16 (3 4.5s, with the unmatched .5 rounded down plus 3).

**

d8 is a 4.5 average rounded down. So 16 is correct.

Osirion **

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

Ahhh...that explains it. Thanks all.

Silver Crusade **

Just ran this for 3 brand new PCs (experienced players) and the pre-gen cleric. The cleric in act 3 almost wiped them all out by herself (the zombie went down in the first round). I think having that cleric be level 3 in subtier 1-2 is just too dangerous. If I'd had her channel more, rather than using her prepared healing spells on herself, it probably would have been a TPK.

As is, there was one point where all 3 PCs were down to negative HPs, and the pregen was running away from the Cause Fear spell. I decided to have her heal herself and check on her half-orcs and slaves rather than coup de grace the PCs (she figured she could sell them as slaves, too), which gave the pregen cleric time to return and channel heal the group once, at which point the combat resumed.

I think there are some adventures that just don't work that well at all subtiers, and this is one of them. I'd highly recommend avoiding level 1 characters in this adventure, even though there's a 1-2 subtier.

Also, besides the other "clerical errors" listed earlier in this thread, the clerics don't have holy symbols. This should prevent them from channeling or using some spells.

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Doesn't look like anyone has mentioned this, unless I missed it.

In the very first fight (in the tavern), Tier 6-7 has no listing for the 4th-level druid's animal companion (the other two tiers have stats for it, for the level 1 druid used in both of those tiers). It should have its own stat block listed. Suggestions?

Qadira ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

For what it's worth... I ran this scenario this past week with my PFS-legal home campaign. The PCs were 6th level, 6th level, 6th level, 4th level, and 4th level. They decided to play down.

As much as this scenario has a reputation for being dangerous, a bunch of 6th-level PCs played by folks who really know the party's capabilities well, have a comically easy time at subtier 3-4.

First battle: one alchemist fire bomb and a couple magic missiles later ...

They all went like that. The four monks, and the five first-level fighters fought bravely...

But that's okay. This week, for part two, the 4th-level characters will have risen in level (one to 6th level), so they won't get a choice. Cassomir has suddenly gotten deadly.

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Great! So... how about that missing animal companion?

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