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The Thousand Fangs Below (GM Reference)


Serpent's Skull

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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: Souls for Smuggler's Shiv
Chapter 2: Racing to Ruin
Chapter 3: The City of Seven Spears
Chapter 4: Vaults of Madness
Chapter 5: The Thousand Fangs Below
Chapter 6: Sanctum of the Serpent God


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The urdefhan strength damage is listed as a DC16. I am going to assume DC10+1/2 HD+Con modifier; This would change the saves (coincidentally, i'm using these guys in another adventure and was wondering how it worked). The odd thing is that it was raised by 2 to DC16 from DC14 in bestiary 2.

The guards (with a lower Con) have a DC17 which doesn't foot with the bestiary 2 either (e.g. if it was DC10+con modifier, the base creature would have a DC13 rather than 14);

Thanks in advance for any input.

~D


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

hmmm. Same issue with daemonic pact DC.

Paizo Employee Senior Developer, Starfinder Team

The urdefhan guards (as presented on page 25, at least) have DC 17 on saves for both their Strength damage and daemonic pact. This is correct, using the standard equation 10 + 1/2 HD + Con modifier (10 + 1 [1/2 of 3] + 6 [Con 22]).

They are different from the base urdefhan presented in Bestiary 2 because they are fighter 5, with the stat array given to creatures with PC class levels.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Rob McCreary wrote:

The urdefhan guards (as presented on page 25, at least) have DC 17 on saves for both their Strength damage and daemonic pact. This is correct, using the standard equation 10 + 1/2 HD + Con modifier (10 + 1 [1/2 of 3] + 6 [Con 22]).

They are different from the base urdefhan presented in Bestiary 2 because they are fighter 5, with the stat array given to creatures with PC class levels.

OK - Sorry, but I thought class levels added to a creatures hit dice. This is what caused the confusion. Thanks for the clarification.

~D


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

I have a couple of questions/concerns about N36, Chamber of Sleepers.

I suspect that my players will want to play a bit in this chamber.

The test states that while the cylinders can be damaged, the occupants cannot - slight conflict with the creation of the ghost.

In any case, what would happen if the PCs cast an anti-magic field on some of the cylinders?

It also states that the sleepers can be awakened with the use of an Ioun Stone, that they awaken in 1d6 rounds. Are they out of stasis for those 1d6 rounds or still protected by the magic?

What level would the sleepers be?

What kind of gear would they have?

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32

Question/Request

If you're going to use map tiles from the Map Pack line of products could you indicate which Map Pack they came from? Perhaps in a line underneath each tile image? If I'm interested in getting them it would be useful to know which pack they're from.

I realize this may not come up again soon, since there may not be large exploration section coming up in the APs in the near future, but it would still be useful it you do ever do it again.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

BobROE wrote:

Question/Request

If you're going to use map tiles from the Map Pack line of products could you indicate which Map Pack they came from? Perhaps in a line underneath each tile image? If I'm interested in getting them it would be useful to know which pack they're from.

I realize this may not come up again soon, since there may not be large exploration section coming up in the APs in the near future, but it would still be useful it you do ever do it again.

That's a very good idea. If/when we do this in the future, we'll make sure to do that.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16

Which serpent gate did Eando come through? B4 on p. 18 says that was the one, but F5 on p. 29 says the same thing. It's probably not too important of a detail, but it was a bit jarring reading through and having a bit of deja vu.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16

From the bestiary, does the increased effect of the Arcanotheign only work if both blasts are the same type, or if she uses 2 different types and the saves are failed on both, do both have the increased effect?

Also, both the Inkanyamba and the Lukwata are missing a space and reach listing. Inkanyamba also is missing the text in the parentheses for CMB which I'm assuming should be "+37 with grapple" instead of just "+37".


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Mistwalker wrote:


In any case, what would happen if the PCs cast an anti-magic field on some of the cylinders?

I believe nothing. By the same token, I don't think a creature transformed by spells such as baleful polymorph or flesh to stone are freed by an antimagic field. Could be wrong on this though.

Mistwalker wrote:


It also states that the sleepers can be awakened with the use of an Ioun Stone, that they awaken in 1d6 rounds. Are they out of stasis for those 1d6 rounds or still protected by the magic?

Here's what I think happens: they are freed from temporal stasis (and thus not protected), but are still temporarily unconscious. On page 55 of "Sanctum of the Serpent God," it says that Vyr-Azul woke up some elder serpents from hibernation, then "slew them as they came out of hibernation disoriented." However, based on the Pathfinder fiction from the first 3 APs, they wake up immediately and are alert (as Eando Kline learned to his dismay). So... I have no idea.

Mistwalker wrote:


What level would the sleepers be?

What kind of gear would they have?

That's up to the GM. I have a feeling most of the sleepers are probably low-level, with a few around 12th or 13th level, but that's just my opinion. Considering that one of the sleepers, the ghost Tsskath, is an 11th-level sorcerer, it's possible that his fellows are equally powerful. When you consider that there are over 100 serpentfolk in hibernation here, the thought that they could all be as strong (or stronger) than Tsskath is terrifying indeed.

If nothing else, the Chamber of Sleepers helps clarify to the PCs just how dangerous the serpentfolk threat could become. Hope they don't screw up!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Generic Villain wrote:
Mistwalker wrote:


In any case, what would happen if the PCs cast an anti-magic field on some of the cylinders?
I believe nothing. By the same token, I don't think a creature transformed by spells such as baleful polymorph or flesh to stone are freed by an antimagic field. Could be wrong on this though.

What happens to the sleepers? They are not stone, so does the field suppress the statis, similar to them being awaken with an Ioun Stone? I am assuming that the protection that the statis provides is not in effect in the anti-magic field.

Generic Villain wrote:
Mistwalker wrote:
It also states that the sleepers can be awakened with the use of an Ioun Stone, that they awaken in 1d6 rounds. Are they out of stasis for those 1d6 rounds or still protected by the magic?
Here's what I think happens: they are freed from temporal stasis (and thus not protected), but are still temporarily unconscious. On page 55 of "Sanctum of the Serpent God," it says that Vyr-Azul woke up some elder serpents from hibernation, then "slew them as they came out of hibernation disoriented." However, based on the Pathfinder fiction from the first 3 APs, they wake up immediately and are alert (as Eando Kline learned to his dismay). So... I have no idea.

That's why I was seeking guidance on what the writer had in mind when they thought up/wrote the section on the statis chamber.

Generic Villain wrote:
Mistwalker wrote:


What level would the sleepers be?

What kind of gear would they have?

That's up to the GM. I have a feeling most of the sleepers are probably low-level, with a few around 12th or 13th level, but that's just my opinion. Considering that one of the sleepers, the ghost Tsskath, is an 11th-level sorcerer, it's possible that his fellows are equally powerful. When you consider that there are over 100 serpentfolk in hibernation here, the thought that they could all be as strong (or stronger) than Tsskath is terrifying indeed.

If nothing else, the Chamber of Sleepers helps clarify to the PCs just how dangerous the serpentfolk threat could become. Hope they don't screw up!

I am thinking that they will be higher level, as they would have wanted to protect their best. They must also have some good gear, if Vyr-Azul looted some for it's own troops.

So yes, it should put a fright into the players, especially if there are some traps that awaken several of them at once.

Liberty's Edge

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

It seems to me that the Urdefhan Guards have 1 too many feats.

Liberty's Edge

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

This one is a little more weird..

You gave the Drider Scouts the Abyssal Bonus spells for being up to a 9th level Sorcerer.. I know a Drider get spells as a +6th level caster, but I don't think that counts towards the classes other special abilities, like Bonus spells from a bloodline..

I am not sure..


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Dragnmoon wrote:

This one is a little more weird..

You gave the Drider Scouts the Abyssal Bonus spells for being up to a 9th level Sorcerer.. I know a Drider get spells as a +6th level caster, but I don't think that counts towards the classes other special abilities, like Bonus spells from a bloodline..

I am not sure..

You're right, this was a mistake. In the same way that a nymph casts druid spells at 7th level, but doesn't gain any other benefits of a 7th-level druid, the driders shouldn't get high-level bonus spells from their bloodline.

Fortunately this isn't really unbalancing at such high levels.

Paizo Employee Senior Developer, Starfinder Team

Mistwalker wrote:

I have a couple of questions/concerns about N36, Chamber of Sleepers.

I suspect that my players will want to play a bit in this chamber.

The test states that while the cylinders can be damaged, the occupants cannot - slight conflict with the creation of the ghost.

The text states that something went wrong with his hibernation - he wasn't damaged while in stasis, he woke up prematurely (i.e., the stasis ended), trapped in his sarcophagus, and then aged and died in minutes as the stasis field malfunctioned. This is an effect that the PCs should not be able to duplicate - this is something that happened by chance, to one serpentfolk, for story reasons.

Mistwalker wrote:
In any case, what would happen if the PCs cast an anti-magic field on some of the cylinders?

I would consider the cylinders to be artifacts, and thus not affected by antimagic field. The serpentfolk had access to magic not seen on Golarion since, and may not be affected as easily by "modern" magic. Also, note that the hibernation is similar to temporal stasis, in terms of how it works and its effects, but is not necessarily the same as the temporal stasis spell.

Mistwalker wrote:
It also states that the sleepers can be awakened with the use of an Ioun Stone, that they awaken in 1d6 rounds. Are they out of stasis for those 1d6 rounds or still protected by the magic?

I would say that they they still in stasis, and thus still protected, during that time. After 1d6 rounds, the stasis ends, and they are fully awake.

Mistwalker wrote:

What level would the sleepers be?

What kind of gear would they have?

This is left to the GM to determine. It all depends on how difficult you want this area to be for your players. They shouldn't be pushovers though - that's why they're here, to hint at the danger should all of the serpentfolk hibernating across Golarion suddenly wake up...

Paizo Employee Senior Developer, Starfinder Team

Dragnmoon wrote:
It seems to me that the Urdefhan Guards have 1 too many feats.

7 feats total (4 feats for 8 HD, 3 fighter feats)

Paizo Employee Senior Developer, Starfinder Team

Dragnmoon wrote:

This one is a little more weird..

You gave the Drider Scouts the Abyssal Bonus spells for being up to a 9th level Sorcerer.. I know a Drider get spells as a +6th level caster, but I don't think that counts towards the classes other special abilities, like Bonus spells from a bloodline..

I am not sure..

Yep, that's a mistake. I think our stat block generator automatically added the bonus spells because the driders have a caster level of 9 and I didn't catch it. But as Generic Villain said, not really unbalancing at this level.

Liberty's Edge

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber
Rob McCreary wrote:
Dragnmoon wrote:
It seems to me that the Urdefhan Guards have 1 too many feats.
7 feats total (4 feats for 8 HD, 3 fighter feats)

you are correct, now I caught a bug in HeroLabs and posted it there.


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

Thanks for the updates Rob.

I will upgrade the statis chambers to artifacts.

Now, to figure out a way to destroy them and how to use them if the PCs decide that they want to be able to tuck away an army or prisoners.

Any suggestions?

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

a little mistake in Udarra's statblock (pg. 24): Her +1 club from the melee section suddenly becomes a masterwork club in the combat gear section.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16

WormysQueue wrote:
a little mistake in Udarra's statblock (pg. 24): Her +1 club from the melee section suddenly becomes a masterwork club in the combat gear section.

That's not an error - she casts magic weapon before combat, so it's upgrade to +1 is included in her stat block.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Oha, thanks for the correction, you just saved me from inserting my own mistake into the german translation of TFB. :)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Re-posted form another thread, just to check with all resources (that's you guys) as best as possible:

Tacticslion wrote:

Okay, so, probably barking up the wrong tree (as in not likely to get answers) buuuuuuuuuuuuuut:

Eando's "mysterious ioun stone". What is it, what does it do, and what makes it so mysterious?

Is it really supposed to be GM fiat, or does this have some link to Second Darkness?

Also, would this cause problems in another AP if I altered the stats here?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm turning over some ideas to keep an element from Book one as part of the story up till near the end and thought I might crowdsource over here to see if anyone can build on it, point out pitfalls, or grab it for their own game.

I'm working to establish that the Zura cultists, originally exiled from Saventh-Yhi, had used their time on Smuggler's Shiv to build their power and set out to conquer their home city in the days before Earthfall. They used the pillars of Light at Tazion to map their way home, but they had also left behind sleeper agents to facilitate their invasion. One of those agents was Urschlar (from book 4) who had been cultivating the midnight spores to completely disable the city's ability to organize and defend itself during the invasion.

During their exile, the vast majority of the Zura cultists had undergone conversion to flesh and blood eating undead leaving them immune to the spores. They were in the midst of their conquest when Earthfall happened, but being undead they survived and moved under the city with some of the Azlanti populace they elected to "save" by cultivating as a food source.

The still "living" Zura cultists will take the place of the urdefhan in my game if I go this route. I might keep them as is and simply change the fluff surrounding them as creatures to minimize work. Alternatively I might replace them with vampires, ghouls, etc with class levels or just add some of those in as the conversion was not the same for every cultist.

Any thoughts on that? Pitfalls I might run into in having creatures on the scene who have been cognizant since well before Earthfall? I really like the idea of the connection back to book one and the realization when they find all of the Zura related religious iconography well below the city. I could also insert signs of the conflict into discoveries in the city above during book 3.

I'm currently running book 2 and it has been a long time since I read through books three, four and five so I would appreciate input from others who have them fresh on their minds.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
ithuriel wrote:
Zura

That's not a bad thing to do, I think, though I've not actually run books five and six yet, so I can't comment for sure. Some things to think about: by putting undead instead of urdhefans, you're going to have to do a lot of balancing. While undead aren't nearly the limitlessly immune monstrosities of 3.X, they are still decidedly different from Urdhefans.

Another link you could add is the undead in the Silent Vault (one of the vaults in book 4). That would dovetail nicely, as well, and also give hints that there may be more somewhere. You could even say that it was their undead that spread to Sothozola (the undead serpentfolk) somehow and the shock of that conversion is what caused his somnolence.

I don't know if you've been thinking about this, but Zura and Angazhian - both being demon lords - generally hate each other, and the latter sponsors the Gorilla King. It might be interesting if the PCs aren't interested in dealing with him normally, then you could try to get them to attempt to ally with Zurites in the city against him. That would indicate that it would be possible (if dangerous) to do so again, later, and make it more likely. Similarly, the vrikolakus (book 3) could be far more ancient than indicated in the book and linked to the Zurites - perhaps he's only recently awoken, or perhaps, like Illaghri, he's an ancient evil that's only whispered about, due to his predations. That would make the loss of the only shaman able to get rid of him (the boggard oracle) that much more dangerous for the boggards. The vrik' could be the first introduction of Zuran activity in the city. The trow (skinless vampire) later could be more reasonable (as he's got an intelligence higher than, you know, 7, and is less animalistic in general). He could attempt to negotiate with the obviously powerful adventurers.

One thing that could be tricky (re: having ancient undead Azlanti down below): the undead would hate the Serpentfolk far more than the Urdhefans do, and, because of their propensity to make undead servitors, the war would probably be going against the serpentfolk, especially as the snakes don't really channel positive energy (their god's not exactly the healing-type, you know). You might want to think of some way they've overcome this.

Also, the undead wouldn't simply die out... they'd actually grow over time with their consumption (and careful regulation of) the lowly morlocks.

Finally, as a thought, there's nothing preventing you from putting the half-fiend template on whatever undead leader you use to replace the Urdhefans one, to make it similar! Or completely replacing him altogether!

Personally, I'm still waiting on input about the ioun stone... :)


any problem with making the molochs CN instead of CE? I want to give the poor paladin someone he doesn't utterly hate.

As written, they (the non mind controlled ones) don't even seem that evil.


urdefhans seem kind of hilarious.

"OK, when I die, I can consume my immortal soul to maybe do 2D6 damage to you if you fail your reflex save."

If I'm gonna consume my immortal soul, I want at least a 75% chance to do 4D6 damage!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Sorry for the long time from your previous question, but no, I agree: the morlocks really aren't that evil, as-written... like, at all. My only guess as to how they're "evil" is:

a) cowardice (but then again, who could blame them - they're the weakest, most abused race in the city)

b) possibly having no prohibition about eating sentient creatures... but again, given their neighbors and options, who can blame them? It's gross, yes, but they don't have any fluff that indicates evil whatsoever.

Urdefhans are some of the most hilariously written things ever. I agree entirely. It does make them creepy that they'd be totally okay with that, though. Very fanatical.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
JoelF847 wrote:
Which serpent gate did Eando come through? B4 on p. 18 says that was the one, but F5 on p. 29 says the same thing. It's probably not too important of a detail, but it was a bit jarring reading through and having a bit of deja vu.

Was this answered somewhere else, or is it still a mystery?

Paizo Employee Senior Developer, Starfinder Team

tbug wrote:
JoelF847 wrote:
Which serpent gate did Eando come through? B4 on p. 18 says that was the one, but F5 on p. 29 says the same thing. It's probably not too important of a detail, but it was a bit jarring reading through and having a bit of deja vu.
Was this answered somewhere else, or is it still a mystery?

Ultimately, it doesn't matter (as it's just back story), but since the gate at B4 has collapsed and now contains cloakers, the gate at F5 is the one he came through.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Thank-you.


Just started this book with my group Saturday.... the first encounter with the spiders....

What a way to start the book I loved it! They weren't to tough but with the size and damage output they sure scared my PCs!!!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I need a sense of how many morlocks live in Ilmurea. 30? 300? 3000? They're a self-sustaining population and have been for millennia, right?


They're self-sustaining, but the fact that they've degenerated into morlocks from Azlanti suggests that there is a fair amount of interbreeding - you could put the number toward the lower end. 300 would not be unreasonably low (30 might be, however). Google "minimum viable population" for some scholarly work on the issue.

You can see that the field is so speculative that you could find support for any number you want to justify to your group.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Thanks, Loreg. The largest group in Saventh-Yhi is the Children of the Spear, and there are only 310 of them, so that makes sense. I'll go with about 300 morlocks and a similar number of urdefhans.

This is a big enough number that there are actually some community things happening, like a pub and a general store (even if they aren't called by those names). I always like to know a bit about group dynamics in situations like this, and I was surprised to find so few hints about how many people lived in Ilmurea. I can work with "300ish" and go from there.


how did the assault on the fortress go for most people? My players aren't always good at being subtle.

I'm looking at throwing some L5 serpentfolk rogues, clerics and monks in there to give some variety. There could be a lot of combats with the same guards in this.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting Subscriber

I'm curious how the fortress went for others as well. I'm preparing to run this in a couple weeks and can see this going bad in a hurry.
The serpentfolk telepathy means that after 3 fights (and 3 telepathic warnings) that the whole place is probably going to be on alert.
(I just don't see any of the early fights being done in one round. Yes they're mooks, but serpentfolk mooks are still pretty tough...)
That means waves of attackers and a fairly coordinated defense that's going to be a serious resource drain. Just wondering if any others had thoughts or advise on this.


Jenner,

I'm curious to hear how the assault went. We're a long way off from that part of the AP but the difficulties you describe sound serious and if it went badly because of the telepathy I'll try to insert something to help my group.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting Subscriber

Hey Geo, we got a little delayed starting book 5. We ended up finishing book 4 of KM first... we're running the 2 campaigns together to give each GM a break now and then.
We'll start this weekend so I expect the Fortress in about 2 weekends. I'll give a report back when we get there!


Thanks Jenner.

Looking forward to it.


Pathfinder Modules Subscriber

Loving this adventure path. However, I have run into the sticky situation where my players essentially found Thekola, went direct to Udarra and then direct to the gate with Izola doing only one Urdefahn guard patrol and the Driders on the way. The group is very anti exploration and want to find Eando Kline and deal with the serpent folk. That means that next adventure they will pretty much come across the Vrock encounter and then be knocking on the door to a thousand fangs. The party will still be 30 to 40000 XP off 14th Level. This happen to anyone else? What have you done to get them up a bit?

Dark Archive

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting Subscriber

I've done a few things through the start of Book 5:

1. I had the ranger/guide make a survival roll to point out that if they could clear out the morlock/old Azlanti garrison portion of Ilmurea, it would make a suitable base camp. This would free up spell slots so they didn't have to teleport back and forth to the surface. This led them to clearing out the cloaker gate and the elementals.

2. While talking to Udarra, I made sure to mention that the urdefhan were very violent and most likely only willing to talk to someone in a position of strength. This led to the PCs assaulting the aerie and probably several other strongholds before walking in and saying "We're the ones who are kicking your butt. Take us to your leader."

3. My players have been big on Prestige Awards and moving up in their factions. The PA suggestions from the adventure didn't really reflect the goals of all the factions, so I modified them some to push for more exploration through Ilmurea.
EXAMPLE: After reporting on the broken stairs in the cloaker gate, the Pathfinders wanted to find an intact gate down to Orv. This will be worth extra PA and will (hopefully) divert them a bit between the urdefhan and Thousand Fangs.

Those are just a few things I've been doing to try and push more encounters and keep things from being a bee-line for Thousand Fangs.

But, just for the record, my characters have been running about a level behind from somewhere in Book 4 (not sure where I lost the xp...). The difference hasn't even been noticable. As others have pointed out on the boards, at higher than 10th level, a + or - one level isn't that big of a deal. Especially if you have a) a large party or b) experienced players.


Pathfinder Modules Subscriber

Thanks for the ideas. I might do something similar, although I sort of warned them off being too gun-ho about killing the Urdefahn due to wanting to ally with them too. The prestige one is excellent and I might entice them into areas with that carrot.

Thanks again!

Dark Archive

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting Subscriber

OK so after several sessions of diversions around Ilmurea (which were very fun and got some much needed xp), my PCs delved into Thousand Fangs. As promised I'll give a quick breakdown on how the attack has gone so far.
The PCs had scouted out the serpentfolk district of Ilmurea flying/invisible so hadn't encountered any of the serpentfolk there. This was good in that the snake-men were unaware of intruders in Ilmurea, but it was bad in that my PCs were a bit unprepared for how tough the serpentfolk "mooks" were. That said they headed into Thousand Fangs instead of investigating some of the locations in the serpentfolk district.

- Using Wind Walk flew in through the tail gate (N33). Solidified and the rogue scouted and found the postern guardpost (N34).
- Launched their attack and didn't take out the initial guards in one round (as highly expected)
- First telepathic alarm goes out. Off duty snake-men in the adjacent N5 begin grabbing weapons and the officers from N20 move to assist the postern guardpost.
- Faced with a sudden rush of reinforcing officers, the PCs begin falling back into the main tail hallway. New officers press the assault.
- Serpentfolk from N5 finish gearing up just as first wave of snake-men goes down. They rush out into hall and send out a second telepathic alarm.
- The guardpost at N9 (next to N14c) is now in the 100 range of the snake-men's telepathy. They can't see the combat though due to their 60 foot darkvision and proceed cautiously forward through the fungus of 14c.
- PCs finish up the combat just in time to hear the other guardpost approaching. Combat it joined again.
- Serpentfolk try to send out the third telepathic alarm, but there are no serpentfolk within 100 feet. (only Belkor in N19)
- PCs finish up the combat and are beaten up and tapped on resources. They wind walk back out the tail gate.

Results: The postern guardpost (and surrounding positions) is clear and two alarms are raised. The serpentfolk know that a major assault was launched there, but it still may be a diversion from another attack somewhere else. They are not on full alert. They'll move reinforcements back to the tail gate to keep watch (and replace the dead guards) but the rest of the fortress is on normal alert.

Conclussion: Though I thought the full alert would be reached in Thousand Fangs almost immediately, remember that the fortress is BIG. 100 foot telepathy doesn't go nearly as far as you think. But remember to check a level up and down (if appropriate). From the tail gate, this doesn't help much. No serpentfolk normally in N15 and only the succubus in N18.
We'll see if next week they want to come back and try the tail section again or try one of the other entrances...

Note 1: As you can tell, I've modified the alarm condition so that it's only an alarm if other SERPENTFOLK are alerted. The text states "comrades", but I can't see them putting a whole lot of faith in Belkor or Selaxasp saying "Hey, got a telepathic warning from the other guards. You should go help!" and having guards leave their posts to run off. Just how I'm doing it.

Note 2: This session has movivated me to make a quick "cheat sheet" for the fortress with room numbers, occupants present (normal), and occupants present (alerted). It took a long time to flip through the book checking each of the nearby rooms to see who was where when the snake-men sent out a telepathic alarm. I think a table will be much easier. Just my finding.

Dark Archive

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting Subscriber

To continue with my own experiences with the Thousand Fangs assault, the worst of what I feared happened. In certain areas where barracks and guard posts are in close proximity, the serpentfolks' telepathy allowed them to just overwhelm the PCs.

- After testing the defenses at the postern guardpost at the tail last week, the party decided to try the gaping hole in the side of the main coil in the southwest portion of the fortress.
- Party enters and goes straight across into rooms.
- Rolling for first barracks encountered, it's empty.
- Party continues into training area where I roll maximum number of serpentfolk. They grab weapons and attack.
- Sending out the third alert, I roll randomly for the TWO adjacent barracks. One is occupied with 6 more serpentfolk and they begin grabbing their weapons.
- As the party is making headway against the first group of serpentfolk, those from the barracks start streaming out. They stop to send a telepathic alarm to the guardpost to the northwest and to the adjacent officer's quarters.
- Party just finishes the first group of snake-men from the training room as the barracks group hits them.
- The party is still holding their own but then a round later the guardpost and officers sweep around through the empty barracks and hit them from a second direction.
- With three rooms of serpentfolk hitting them nearly at once, the party quickly agrees a tactical retreat is in order.

Results: Third alarm sounded. Thousand Fangs is on alert.

Conclussion: This one was partially due to bad rolls. The maximum number of serpentfolk in the training room and one of the barracks being occupied certainly played against the PCs. On the other hand, with a 30% chance of 2d4 serpentfolk, BOTH barracks COULD have been occupied.
This was really one of those areas where the telepathic and organized nature of the serpentfolk allowed them to just swarm the party with their heavy hitting guards. The party is now rethinking their tactics for their next assault, beaten but not yet out.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Does the fortress have a finite number of guards? At what point do they stop having 2d4 serpentfolk running to meet them because the guards have all been pulled back to watch critical areas?

Dark Archive

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting Subscriber

As written, the fortress does have an infinite number of guards. Whether on alert or not -by the book- there's a 30% chance of any barracks containing 2d4 serpentfolk. (NOTE: this actually makes sense. Even on high alert, they will still need to rotate guards from their posts to rest)

Now what *I've* done is, now that the fortress is on alert, reduce the barracks serpentfolk to 1d4 and added a couple other guardposts through the main coil/corridor. Replacement guards at the tail watching the gate, guards manning the murderholes above the main gate and guards watching the broken section. I've also put the other guardposts on "alert." They keep the doors open and have pairs of sentries watching the closest main approaches.

But due to the "infinite" number of potential guards, I've also decided that when (if?) the PCs kill Sskhavo, the fortress commander, the remaining serpentfolk will essentially abandon Thousand Fangs and fall back to the Sanctum of Ydersius (area R in Ilmurea). This is where they make their stand in Book 6.


what's a reasonable number of guards if we abandon the infinite number? My players aren't smart enough to not just keep killing guards.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting Subscriber

Well the only "best guess" number is provided on page 40.
"It is a nearly impregnable citadel, staffed by over a hundred degenerate serpentfolk warriors."

Despite the "over a hundred" part, I'd think that if your PCs killed 100 of them, the rest would certainly fall back/retreat. That's the general number I'm using and it's not unreasonable.

In 3 assaults, my PCs have killed (officers and troops)
Assault #1: 22
Assault #2: 8
Assault #3: 24
With a fourth (and final) attack planned.

So 100 guards should leave you plenty to throw at your party.
Just my 2cp.

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