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Rejected #45: The Minotaur Medium


Scenario Submission Talk


Here is my rejected submission. I welcome your critique!

Introduction
When Nuar Spiritskin decides to take up the craft of spirit-talking for the first time in many years, he is unprepared for the inhabitants of the spirit world. Angry at one who ignored them for so long, the spirits entrap Nuar and escape into the Taurean Embassy. Sealed in a shadowy extra-dimensional prison, the Minotaur Prince's fate will be decided by a group of Pathfinders, who need something very personal from him.

Summary
Venture-captain Horskk has a simple but delicate task for the PCs. The Society needs the final component for an ancient and complex spell: a piece of skin from an albino minotaur. The PCs need to convince the Minotaur Prince to give them a bit of his flesh. Horskk gives the PCs an enchanted surgical blade and instructs that the flesh must be given willingly and no harm should come to Nuar.
The PCs find the Taurean Embassy in disarray and are immediately harassed by a bevy of trickster spirits. After exploring the foyer and surrounding rooms, the PCs emerge in a courtyard hedge maze. A small building in the center of the maze is Nuar's home and is visible over the hedges. The maze is infused with the spirit energy accidentally released by Nuar, and a number of topiary sculptures (now animated by malevolent spirits) attack the PCs after they enter. When the PCs make it through the maze and enter the house, they find no sign of Nuar, but encounter a druid named Iaude hiding in an armoire.
Iaude is a confidante of Nuar. She explains that the minotaur has been kidnapped by wicked spirits and a particular focal item called an Ongwat blade is needed to free him. Unfortunately the minotaur sold his blade several years ago to a broker representing Grandmaster Torch. The PCs go to Grandmaster Torch and, unable to meet his price, must go to the docks and steal the contents of a particular crate for him. Once they complete Torch's task and obtain the blade, the PCs may choose to enter the spirit realm with Iaude to help Nuar face a manifestation of his fears, or they can force the minotaur out, in which case he'll be weakened but possessed by a wrathful spirit, and must be peacefully subdued.

Encounters
#1: Trickster spirits have infested the Embassy foyer and surrounding rooms. The invisible spirits generally annoy and harass the PCs, and use telekinesis to throw plates, drop chandeliers, knock PCs off staircases, etc.

#2: The topiary animals in the hedge maze are animated by the loosed energies of the spirit world. Topiary guardians use the stat blocks of the animals they represent and are vulnerable to fire (reduce HD for large-sized guardians to make it less deadly for Tier 1-2).

#3: The PCs arrive at the docks in time to see their crate taken from a ship and lowered by the great arm of The Beast into the bowels of a warehouse. The PCs will need to get past stubborn warehouse guard Forkmistress Kolz and her clockwork dog Ibix. Kolz has a heart of stone but clearly cares for her mechanical pet with the love of a mother, a fact that clever PCs should use to their advantage. This encounter could be a tough combat but is more rewarding if the PCs avoid a fight.

#4: Inside the warehouse, a group of dockworkers (human warriors, plus a half-orc for tier 4-5) have set up an impromptu game of chance right atop the Grandmaster's crate. The PCs might join the gambling as a distraction while one stealthily extracts the contents of the crate. Or the PCs could lie, flirt, or simply smash and grab then run like hell.

The PCs may choose which way to handle the final encounter:

#5: Enter the spirit world with Iaude and help Nuar destroy a terrifying manifestation of his regrets and fears. Tier 1-2: Shadow (CR 3, but PCs get help from Iaude and Nuar). Tier 4-5: Wraith.

Or

#6: Pull Nuar forcefully out of the spirit world, in which case he will be weakened, but disoriented and violent. The PCs will have to subdue him without hurting him. Tier 1-2: medium-sized minotaur, unarmed. Tier 4-5: medium-sized minotaur, armed, plus a swarm of shadowy-looking ravens.

Conclusion
If the PCs rescue Nuar, the minotaur will gladly allow them to take a small piece of his skin in return. If they fail, Nuar will likely remain trapped for some time...

****

Zac Bond wrote:

Here is my rejected submission. I welcome your critique!

Introduction
When Nuar Spiritskin decides to take up the craft of spirit-talking for the first time in many years, he is unprepared for the inhabitants of the spirit world. Angry at one who ignored them for so long, the spirits entrap Nuar and escape into the Taurean Embassy. Sealed in a shadowy extra-dimensional prison, the Minotaur Prince's fate will be decided by a group of Pathfinders, who need something very personal from him.

Summary
Venture-captain Horskk has a simple but delicate task for the PCs. The Society needs the final component for an ancient and complex spell: a piece of skin from an albino minotaur. The PCs need to convince the Minotaur Prince to give them a bit of his flesh. Horskk gives the PCs an enchanted surgical blade and instructs that the flesh must be given willingly and no harm should come to Nuar.
The PCs find the Taurean Embassy in disarray and are immediately harassed by a bevy of trickster spirits. After exploring the foyer and surrounding rooms, the PCs emerge in a courtyard hedge maze. A small building in the center of the maze is Nuar's home and is visible over the hedges. The maze is infused with the spirit energy accidentally released by Nuar, and a number of topiary sculptures (now animated by malevolent spirits) attack the PCs after they enter. When the PCs make it through the maze and enter the house, they find no sign of Nuar, but encounter a druid named Iaude hiding in an armoire.
Iaude is a confidante of Nuar. She explains that the minotaur has been kidnapped by wicked spirits and a particular focal item called an Ongwat blade is needed to free him. Unfortunately the minotaur sold his blade several years ago to a broker representing Grandmaster Torch. The PCs go to Grandmaster Torch and, unable to meet his price, must go to the docks and steal the contents of a particular crate for him. Once they complete Torch's task and obtain the blade, the PCs may choose to enter the...

My first thought in response to the title was minotaurs are large.

Then I read that you had medium sized minotaurs as the final encounter. Now I don't feel like such a smartypants for pointing that out. It seemed to be an underwhelming final encounter to take a CR4 creature and possibly put the young template on it to make it smaller and have an even lower CR. That might have had something to do with being passed over.


uncleden wrote:

My first thought in response to the title was minotaurs are large.

Then I read that you had medium sized minotaurs as the final encounter. Now I don't feel like such a smartypants for pointing that out. It seemed to be an underwhelming final encounter to take a CR4 creature and possibly put the young template on it to make it smaller and have an even lower CR. That might have had something to do with being passed over.

Well, as stated on p. 35 of the Guide to Absalom, Nuar is a medium-sized minotaur... The title is a pun on his size and the fact that he was/is a spiritual intermediary.

****

Zac Bond wrote:
uncleden wrote:

My first thought in response to the title was minotaurs are large.

Then I read that you had medium sized minotaurs as the final encounter. Now I don't feel like such a smartypants for pointing that out. It seemed to be an underwhelming final encounter to take a CR4 creature and possibly put the young template on it to make it smaller and have an even lower CR. That might have had something to do with being passed over.
Well, as stated on p. 35 of the Guide to Absalom, Nuar is a medium-sized minotaur... The title is a pun on his size and the fact that he was/is a spiritual intermediary.

Well that makes sense then,

I do recall that wordplay was frowned upon in submissions due to the number of players that do not speak native English. I'm not sure if you got dinged for that but it is possible.

Scarab Sages ***

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I see a few major issues.

1. Getting a piece of flesh, willing or otherwise, as the main mission seems very gruesome. This might be something for a faction mission, especially for Cheliax, but as a main Society quest, doesn't strike me as koshur.

2. Some of your monsters are unusable in PFS play. Topiary Guardians and Clockwork Dogs are both from 3.5 (MM3 & Eberron, I believe). I could have sworn I read somewhere that PFS wants to avoid new monsters or ones published in other adventures. Plus, I doubt they have the rights to use either of your proposed creatures.

3. I like the use of Torch, but forcing the party to steal from him seems dicey. Besides, they may have the cash. Players can be miserly.

The adventure is a neat concept, but I believe the monsters need to be reworked/replaced, and the initial reasons for seeking out the Minotaur Prince should be redone.

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