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Arcane SIght - Tides of Dread


Savage Tide Adventure Path

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

When the party reaches the weapon cache temple, a character with Arcane Sight will instantly insure that the party bypasses the trap. He's doing that a lot recently ;-)

Any suggestions? Let him have his shallow victory? Change it all?


My gut says don't change a thing. However, for your amusement, here are two other options:

Something a little more RBDM:
Put a non-magical trap halfway down the shaft, perhaps a scything blade.

Less evil alternative:
Make the shaft lead nowhere, and have a secret door lead down to the lower level instead.


Is it limited use? For example, a Spellthief? If so ... just ensure that there are other opportunities to use it so it becomes part of their resource management.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

Nope - it's Permanencied.
I don't want to keep having it be dispelled - that's like no cell phone reception every time the film gets tense.

I like the idea of more traps. Their rogue has spent all his skill points in other things for a while :-)

I'm also thinking of moving the mummies from the Pass in HTBM here (they skipped that bit) and pumping them for a 9th and 10th level party. That's one for a new thread though.

Thanks for the trap idea - what sort of stats would you give that slicer?

Dedicated Voter 2013

carborundum wrote:

Nope - it's Permanencied.

I don't want to keep having it be dispelled - that's like no cell phone reception every time the film gets tense.

I like the idea of more traps. Their rogue has spent all his skill points in other things for a while :-)

I'm also thinking of moving the mummies from the Pass in HTBM here (they skipped that bit) and pumping them for a 9th and 10th level party. That's one for a new thread though.

Thanks for the trap idea - what sort of stats would you give that slicer?

If you have access to the Book of Templates from Goodman Games, there's a particularly nasty True Mummy template in that bad boy.

Anything in particular you're looking for? CR range? (I'll PRPG the stat blocks.) Numbers? Particular inclinations?

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

Hey, Turin matey!
If you were changing the weapon store but wanted to keep the couatl, how would you justify the undead? The mummies could always be worshipful of the couatl yet less discerning towards outsiders - or is that too simplistic?

As for stats- the group are level 9 with houserules and splatbook goodness. Call them 10. They'll be fully rested except for the snake encounter. Two have ACs in the 30s and the other three between 18 and 23.
What's a nice encounter? Three CR8 Mummies? Four? And I'll also throw in that spear trap for giggles. Can't wait to see your ideas!

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

For pete's sake - I started the edit at 55 minutes and hit enter ... to discover my post was an hour and 2 minutes ago, and all I typed was gone. Grrr...

I'll continue in the other thread.

Dedicated Voter 2013

carborundum wrote:

For pete's sake - I started the edit at 55 minutes and hit enter ... to discover my post was an hour and 2 minutes ago, and all I typed was gone. Grrr...

I'll continue in the other thread.

I'll follow up on the Other Thread for the baddies.

^_^


carborundum wrote:
Thanks for the trap idea - what sort of stats would you give that slicer?

You pick...

CR 5; mechanical; location trigger; automatic reset; Atk +16 melee for d12+8/x3 (as greataxe); multiple targets (attacks everyone in 10x10x5 area); Search DC 25; Disable Device DC 18.

CR 7; mechanical; location trigger; automatic reset; 11d6 slashing to all in 10x10x5 area, Reflex DC 19 for half (as blade barrier CL11); Search DC 31; Disable Device DC 31.

CR 9; mechanical; location trigger; automatic reset; d4 blades (as scimitar) attack each PC in 10x10x5 area (Atk +10 melee for 1d6+5 plus purple worm poison, DC 24 Fortitude save resists, 1d6 Str/2d6 Str); Search DC 20; Disable Device DC 20.

Don't forget that any ropes would most likely be cut instantly by the blade(s), so depending on how the PCs are descending the pit, they may end up taking falling damage the rest of the way down. (I didn't include this damage in the CRs above.)

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

Lovely! Cheers!

You know - I've just realised I've never designed a trap in 3rd edition - time to rectify that! Mwahahaha!!!


carborundum wrote:

When the party reaches the weapon cache temple, a character with Arcane Sight will instantly insure that the party bypasses the trap. He's doing that a lot recently ;-)

Any suggestions? Let him have his shallow victory? Change it all?

Just to be clear - are you referring to

Spoiler:
the Part Five: Temple of the Jaguar - 2. The Jade Jaguar, the permanent illusion?
The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

Yes - that's the one. On the one hand, I'm happy to throw him some bones and let them bypass this kind of thing. He's almost tenth level, paid the xp and got the spell permanencied. Guys like that should be powerful.

It's just that the last few fights with invisible chaps have been a bit annoying...

"The room is empty, quiet and a bit stinky, blah, blah, blah... and you notice illusion magic in this corner. Sigh."

Then there was the illusion from the Naga, invisible Olangru and his harem, and a few other illusionary trap/ terrain things.

... and though it's nice to have such a power it shouldn't turn out to be a win button quite so often IMHO. Nor should it constantly spoil my fun :-). Dispelling it is cheap - hence this thread for an extra level of threat.

If I had a time machine I could just houserule Arcane Sight - caster level check to notice auras.


I had a wizard in my high level game with multiple permanent spells and for me, Detect Magic was the pain in the butt.

My trick to making it less useful was information overload. Not in terms of "you get blinded or a headache" though I did alude to such a case, but instead I literally listed a page a spell effects. It was when I introduced Warduke (yes, THE Warduke) and I didn't want a party of 16th level adventurers taking him on, just using him for intimidation. So I rattled off a dozen "official" spell effects, and then started making things up.

Of course that was a miscalculation because once the wizard realized he'd never heard of some of the spells he wanted to start researching them, but it didn't matter cause the game died a month or two later and they never met Warduke again.


carborundum wrote:

Yes - that's the one. On the one hand, I'm happy to throw him some bones and let them bypass this kind of thing. He's almost tenth level, paid the xp and got the spell permanencied. Guys like that should be powerful.

It's just that the last few fights with invisible chaps have been a bit annoying...

"The room is empty, quiet and a bit stinky, blah, blah, blah... and you notice illusion magic in this corner. Sigh."

Then there was the illusion from the Naga, invisible Olangru and his harem, and a few other illusionary trap/ terrain things.

... and though it's nice to have such a power it shouldn't turn out to be a win button quite so often IMHO. Nor should it constantly spoil my fun :-). Dispelling it is cheap - hence this thread for an extra level of threat.

If I had a time machine I could just houserule Arcane Sight - caster level check to notice auras.

That's a reasonable solution. Perhaps one you can introduce after some discussion and a significant stopping point within STAP. If you know it's already a problem, don't let it fester. I used to think the same thing with 8th graders - whom I taught. A more experienced teacher told me that it was okay to change the rules of the game (or the classroom) midstream, just discuss it, establish a date, and don't look back.

But for some other potential solutions, as I've been thinking on this over the weekend. What about some variation on these items:

1. Use Nystul's Magic Aura to turn magic items non-magical or to change their aura entirely (per the spell description in PHB)? The only challenge is that it can't be made permanent. Of course, it probably won't help with an illusion per se.

2. Use the old wood, metal, lead coverings to prevent items from showing through.

Now, as I write this, I am thinking of a third approach:

3. Arcane Sight doesn't reveal the true nature of an illusion, just one that is present. So it makes the PCs more suspicious. So use that. Perhaps the illusion is of something bad (rather than good) so rather than avoid it, they move forward. It just happens to be of something bad over empty space rather than something good over empty space.

Then for this particular trap, you can try a more mechanical approach:
4. Perhaps there is no illusion. Rather, it is a weakened floor section (secret door or passage way is elsewhere) or it is an actual pit trap where some combination of pillars (mechanical) needs to be pressed for it to open without someone standing on it and falling in.

In general for STAP - or any campaign - I can see how persistent Arcane Sight would present an issue. Some of the critical factors might include the fact this person does not have Quick Reconnoiter, so to really look around (one 60' sector at a time - per Dispel Magic) would take a move action.

In addition, Dispel Magic works wonders. Later in STAP (e.g. Scuttlecove, and especially in the Abyss), opponents have Greater Dispel Magic.

I agree that you should let players leverage what they have earned, such as this. But that means they might face different challenges.

I will be curious to know what you actually end up doing - please do tell. And if you're interested, our journal (by the players) is for the 30 year veterans for STAP. We're on session 63 or so and in the middle of Divided's Ire.

Good luck,


Well, I had a campaign where one psionic PC had the ability to sense any living creature in 100', a ninja who ended up able to be invisible and ethereal to phase his way around, and a scout who got blindsense. Which given it was Castle Greyhawk, the 3.5 version, i.e. dungeon-crawl, had great potential to make a lot of challenges quite easy. But really, there was only ever one time I remember when their abilities made anything especially easy, which was when the ninja scouted ethereally to a lone mindflayer and killed it on the first strike. I just shrugged and let them enjoy the moment - after all, if he hadn't one-shotted it, he could have been in a lot of trouble. Other than that, I found that while in general they were not so easily surprised by things, it was still pretty easy to challenge them, and I didn't need to pull any tricks (i.e. counter their powers) in order to do so. The main thing I found was to allow them to enjoy all their powers of snooping, but still have combats where they faced multiple foes, coming from different directions, and remember that even of some PC's can sense / see something that's invisible or hidden, there's still going to be one or two who can't, so you can quite easily use that to the monsters' advantage.

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