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PFS 2-11 The Penumbral Accords *SPOILERS*


Pathfinder Society GM Discussion

51 to 94 of 94 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>

Dream Daemon wrote:

Furmonger - Your point is valid with the Blakros Museum map.

** spoiler omitted **.

This has not happened to me yet, but I planned to tell the PCs that they hear screaming from one of the other rooms if I think they are going directly to the Ritual Chamber. Hopefully that would be enough to persuade them to try one of the exhibit halls first.

Regarding the skeletal guardian, as you will see above, I almost killed the entire party. Did your GM give the guardian its full four attacks on the barbarian? Also, what was the barbarian using for a weapon? The skeleton was resistant to all but bludgeoning weapons.

Our experiences were very diiferent for the first encounter.

Ok, a bit more information....

The "Barbarian" was actually my character.

He is a Dualcursed oracle of battle 1/Armored Hulk Barbarian 1

He uses a Silver Bec de Corbin (Masterwork)

the skeleton got all its attacks, the bite that would have hit was misfortuned to be a miss (oracle thing)

I took a bec de corbin as it is B or P. as it was skeletal I went with B.

honestly it may be that it just went real well for us, but it seemed just stupid easy. then again maybe I just happened to have the best build for it.

Taldor ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Pennsylvania—Philadelphia aka Iammars

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Note that some people's faction missions will disappear if they don't do them before dealing with the last room.

Also, the last time I ran this, I ran it for a bunch of people who had also played previous Blakros mods, and the attitude around the table was "Heh. It's a Blakros Museum mod, we can probably just skip to the end. Let's find out what's in the side rooms anyway."

Of course, I TPKed them with the monk, so YMMV.

Shadow Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Michigan—Alma

I ran that a few months ago, and was an hour and a half. Of course, my party did all the encounters not just two. Had I been running it, you'd not have gotten your xp, and lost most of the gold and prestige points too. (You only had two encounters, and I'm sure someone will come along and correct me, but I'm pretty sure its 3 encounters min. to get xp). Sometimes its better to metagame things like that and search around before rushing into the obvious ending.


Eric Clingenpeel wrote:
I ran that a few months ago, and was an hour and a half. Of course, my party did all the encounters not just two. Had I been running it, you'd not have gotten your xp, and lost most of the gold and prestige points too. (You only had two encounters, and I'm sure someone will come along and correct me, but I'm pretty sure its 3 encounters min. to get xp). Sometimes its better to metagame things like that and search around before rushing into the obvious ending.

So wait...

If you were running it and we had the 2 encounters only, as can easily happen you would have packed up and said what?

Tough noogies? you guys were to good at your job to pay?

not only did you not get your faction mission but also no XP for you?

Also your saying that metagaming the mission is a good thing?

Can you please clarify what exactly we did wrong that you would have given nothing?

Shadow Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Michigan—Alma

From Filling Out a Chronicle Sheet in Chapter 7 of the Guide to PFS Organized Play

GTPFSOP wrote:

Step 3 : Award the character XP based on his advancement

track. A PC may only receive XP if he survives the scenario
or is raised from the dead by the scenario’s conclusion and
completed at least three encounters over the course of the
adventure.
A character using the standard advancement
track earns 1 XP; a character on the slow advancement
track earns 1/2 XP. Mark this value in the shaded XP
Gained field and initial the adjacent box (H ).

Now, as for gold, you only get gold for the encounters you encountered, so for tier 1-2 you should have only gotten 220 gold because that's the only gold in the final encounter, while Cheliax and Andoran should have only gotten 1 pp each, while other factions got none.


While I appreciate the copy/paste.

I cant beleive that any GM if he ran the adventure by the book and the PCs went in a straight line (you hit the end guy by not turning, with NO indication that you should turn) would simply tell his players tough luck.

So you as a GM would have done so?

I am honestly curious.

Screwing the PC's for a (IMO) poorly laid out adventure is bad form if you ask me.

Shadow Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Michigan—Alma

Well, 1) you know you have other things your superiors want done before you leave 2) you know that most of those things involve the convergence of the material plane and shadow plane 3) you were told about the machine that makes that convergence possible.

So, if you were at my table and you went ahead and destroyed the thing that is obviously keeping the convergence going without exploring the rest of the museum prior to doing so, I wouldn't be screwing you out of anything, you'd be screwing yourselves. I would have cautioned you to think it through, maybe. It'd depend on how you were doing things.

Is it the GM's responsibility to be a voice from the heavens to stop you from screwing yourselves? If I'd been running a pregen to fill the table they'd have suggested exploring before doing anything destructive, but without that voice, there's really no practical way besides telling you OOC to not do it.

But if by your own actions you break the connection before you can complete faction missions/explore more thoroughly, why are you so surprised when you get nothing for your quick actions? The three most important duties of the Pathfinders are what? EXPLORE, report, cooperate. Sorry Chris, but from your description you guys seemed to forget that.


I have no issue with not getting faction missions done.

While I think its a crappy way to write a mod, thats neither here nor there.

My issue is that your "job" in this one is to rescue the 2 daughters, break the thing and get proof of what happened and was hapening (The title item the "Penumbra accords")

in the end room that you can easily just stumble onto there is.....

The 2 daughters, Check.

The device that does all this crap, Check.

Some crazy guy that when you loot has the Penumbra Accords on him. Check.

So you have done everything you were told to do, you saved the day, rescued the girls and killed the bad guy.

My issue is that you would give zero XP for this just becuase the pathfinders did it too fast?

We happened to simply open his door first, thats my issue.

And as a side note, useing my Name on a messageboard where I have not is rather bad form.


And at this point we are just talking in circles.

I'll end with this.

I did not care for this adventure.

If I were to run it the end room would at least be locked while the others were not and have a key in one of the side rooms.

If however the PC's did simply end up at the end after only one other encounter I would cut down the gold they got, not give faction stuff but I would still give the XP.

That just me, YMMV. I'm Out.

Shadow Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Michigan—Alma

And you wouldn't be doing it legally for pfs.

Sorry about the name.

If you were to play in three similar adventures where you only encountered two things in each of the three, the same cr as in this scenario, in a normal game your party would have received 4200 xp total say four of you in the group that'd be 1050 each. After that, would you feel you deserved a level? After only six encounters? PFS use experience abstractly, but they want to make sure you have a minimum of 9 encounters per level. As a GM I'm required to run a scenario as written, I can't change things like locking the door and adding a key elsewhere. If the players want to rush into things I can only use what's in the scenario to stop them, nothing more.

I know you haven't played PFS long, and yeah its not a perfect system, but it is what it is. You didn't get a chance to fully experience the scenario, which is too bad. Its quite good. Yeah it has the fault of having the BBEG within easy reach, but that's just a small part of the scenario. If you read this, I'd suggest next time if the scenario seems too short and you have more to explore (Mists of Mwangi for instance) do the exploring. Don't rush to the end. If you do, you'll probably be much more satisfied with the result.


In order to prevent players rushing to the end-game, I'm thinking about these changes:
No signs on the doors.
Also i'll make the map out of separate pieces so i can change the room they are entering.

Shadow Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Michigan—Alma

And then you get into the "no-no zone" of changing a scenario. Its really not that hard to get around. If they rush right in and kill the BBEG, remind them that there are still rooms to explore, and there were also other slaves sent in, in addition to the twins. I'd think most would consider these, and if they continue to end the scenario without exploring, then they made the decision and should reap what they sow. Personally, I'd prod them to explore more, but if they're not interested, they made their bed.


Oh, I didn't knew that would be a "no-no zone". I'll guide them with my DM'ly wisdom then. :)

Shadow Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Michigan—Alma

Well, they've said many times not to change scenarios. They usually mean don't add/subtract enemies, don't change their feats/stats. I'm sure the authors had reasons for posting the signage, and I think its a cool part of the fluff. I'm not saying that M&M will hunt you down and use the DM-swatter on you, but rather than exclude things the authors wrote in, its easy to guide/manipulate the players if you think about/plan for it beforehand.

No one wants to be the guy who tells his players "Sorry, but you don't get any XP/PP because you defeated the BBEG too soon." but if you don't nudge them into exploring, and they ignore your advice, be prepared. To my knowledge, Mists of Mwangi and Penumbra accords are the only ones where this might happen.

Shadow Lodge *

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

I lucked out, my players saved the last room for last, assuming it would be the toughest and they didn't want reinforcements coming at them from behind.

As it turns out, the room that caused them the most trouble was 3. The actual end fight was brutally quick in their favor.

Shadow Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Michigan—Alma

Yeah, when I've run this, the players tend to metagame slightly, since they're pretty sure the end of the hallway is the BBEG.


I think they should, at least a bit.
They are Pathfinders for gods sake, they should explore :)

Silver Crusade **

smerten wrote:

I think they should, at least a bit.

They are Pathfinders for gods sake, they should explore :)

And report and cooperate. :)

****

Some thoughts. I ran this a few weeks ago at the higher tier and it was pretty easy except for the chick from room 3, who nearly killed a PC. I'm glad she didn't, though, because I was running her all wrong so I would have felt really stupid. :P Must remember to research classes with which I'm only vaguely familiar.

I agree that running the while thing in dim lighting would have made a huge difference and I will do that next time.

My players actually broke the thing before getting the slaves out, and then turned around and made me very happy by voluntarily finding a wizard to plane shift in and out to retrieve them. And paying for it! It was a very nice RP moment.

The end boss was a joke. It's actually comforting to know I wasn't the only one with that problem.

Shadow Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Michigan—Alma

That's pretty cool Patrick, however just for future reference...

Plane Shift wrote:

Precise accuracy as to a particular arrival

location on the intended plane is nigh impossible. From the
Material Plane, you can reach any other plane, though you appear
5 to 500 miles (5d%) from your intended destination.

****

Eric Clingenpeel wrote:

That's pretty cool Patrick, however just for future reference...

Plane Shift wrote:

Precise accuracy as to a particular arrival

location on the intended plane is nigh impossible. From the
Material Plane, you can reach any other plane, though you appear
5 to 500 miles (5d%) from your intended destination.

Oh sure, I know. But for one of the players who had already gotten his PP to spend that gold just because he didn't like the idea of leaving them behind, it seemed the right moment to just declare the wizar very lucky, very skilled, or both.

*

I'm planning to run this scenario and have some questions about the runes on some slaves' foreheads. These questions may be stupid but I am new to GMing.

If PCs use detect magic, do they detect as magical? If PCs escort branded slaves out of the museum to normal Absalom, do the runes disappear from the slaves' foreheads? I'm guessing that a successful knowledge (planes) check might grant them some information about the runes.

Taldor **

I just want to point the hilarity of the Lantern Lodge mission in this scenario. I finally got to run Mists for a Lantern Lodge character with no Qadirans, but he's already played this one (to my dismay.)

Cheliax ****

I second the motion on the ridiculousness of the Qadira mission. I just player it with a Lantern Lodge character who refused to complete the mission, as it would force his benefactor to pay additional taxes.

*

Anyone know how high the ceilings are supposed to be in the Museum?

Taldor **

It's covered in the Mists of Mwangi, actually. Lemme look it up.

Edit: It's 50' in the Eastern and Northern Exhibit Halls, but I don't see a height listed in the other areas. and there's enough room for a creature to exist in the rafters. I'd guess around Eric's guesstimate of 20'.

Shadow Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Michigan—Alma

Well, in one of the other Blakros scenarios:

Spoiler:
there is a chance of falling through one of the ceilings, if you do, you fall an extra 20'. So I'd say most likely 20 feet.

Silver Crusade **

Ziria wrote:

I'm planning to run this scenario and have some questions about the runes on some slaves' foreheads. These questions may be stupid but I am new to GMing.

If PCs use detect magic, do they detect as magical? If PCs escort branded slaves out of the museum to normal Absalom, do the runes disappear from the slaves' foreheads? I'm guessing that a successful knowledge (planes) check might grant them some information about the runes.

I'm prepping this one to GM in a couple of weeks, and I was wondering the same thing. I'd think the runes are magical, but I was hoping for confirmation. Anyone?

As for not getting xp if they skip to the end, I like the idea of reminding the players that there are still other slaves to rescue, and possibly other bad guys and loot. Or using screaming from a side room to attract them away from going to the end of the hall. The guy getting vivisectioned could scream once really loud before passing out. Or the slaves in the bathroom could shout for help.

*

I'm going to be running this in a few weeks too, I can already tell it's going to be a cake walk and am not looking forward to a challenge-less scenario.

The shadowy illumination conditions (What is Shadowy Illumination anyway? Does it differ somehow from Dim Light?) being negated by a torch, lantern, or sunrod is just wrong. The text on the shadow plane;

Gamemastery Guide wrote:
• Impeded Magic: Spells with the light descriptor or that use or generate light or fire are impeded on the Shadow Plane. Spells that produce light are less effective in general, because all light sources have their ranges halved on the Shadow Plane.

I think this should be the case for any mundane lighting in the museum. A torch would give you a 10' radius of normal light, a sunrod 15', and everything past that is dim. I realize that this is a conjuncture of the planes, but without the darkness to help them, these fetchlings are going to be just speedbumps.

The tactics for some of these bad guys are just silly. The guards with alchemists fire, liquid ice, and slings don't even use them from the darkness before rushing into battle? The alchemist attacks in melee and only retreats up the wall to throw bombs after they've been beat up? The monk doesn't climb onto the pyramid using acrobatics to avoid being flanked?

It's like you're throwing away the only tactics that would make this an actual challenge.

I like the ideas of having the invisible alchemist questioning the PCs from the ceiling in a creepy voice and trying to convince them to leave peacefully (even though we all know that's not going to happen), then bombing them and going melee as a last resort.

I like the idea of the fetchling guards sniping from the darkness and only going to melee when cornered. I mean seriously, tier 1-2 is two guys with AC 14 and 8 hp. Seriously. Against a party of 6. They charge. Seriously?

I like the idea of Uthil Mak using the oil of Shield of Faith as the PC's stand outside the door if he heard the shadow hound baying earlier. Then stashing one daughter behind the pyramid, and using disguise self to make himself look like one of the Blackros daughters on top of the pyramid ready to be sacrificed, and using a readied action to trip or stunning fist any PC that comes to help him. Then using his Ki and height advantage to give him an AC 23 and +1 bonus to hit while he balances atop the pyramid. He might actually last more than 3 rounds that way......

P.S. Has anyone else thought that pyramid is too tiny to be 10' high? I mean, at 2x2 squares, it's more like an obelisk. Shouldn't it be 4x4 squares so you can step over 5' and up 5'? With the 4 squares in the middle being 10 ft off the ground to give you the "central dais"? I wonder if the mapmaker made an error?

Silver Crusade **

This scenario is not a cake walk. I just ran it yesterday, with a party of 7 players, all of whom were level 1, except for a level 2. Even with 7 of them, the starting skeleton fight, the iron cobra, and the alchemist were all challenging. We skipped the optional encounter, but that one looks tough, too. The fetchling guards were a joke, but it's ok to have one easy fight. The final fight wasn't overly challenging, but it did take them a few rounds to beat him.

I think I really scared them up front with the skeleton getting 4 attacks per round, and knocking one guy to negative HP right in the first fight. At low levels, that's pretty scary.

I'll actually be running it again tonight (I like running the same scenarios multiple times, as it requires less prep work than running a few different ones), so I'll see how it goes for a different group.


Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Fromper,

Did you run in IL, with the late arriving Wizard and the Gunslinger being the one that dropped? (Trying to be vague here if you don't want location given out).

If it was you, I was the Alchemist. :)

Silver Crusade **

Hobbun wrote:

Fromper,

Did you run in IL, with the late arriving Wizard and the Gunslinger being the one that dropped? (Trying to be vague here if you don't want location given out).

If it was you, I was the Alchemist. :)

Yup, that's the table.

Like I said, not really a cake walk. I know that first fight had you guys scared, especially when the skeleton dropped somebody to -3 HP. Not hugely difficult - there are definitely much tougher PFS scenarios. But I think this one is a pretty good difficulty for a group of level 1s. Maybe a group of level 2s would have an easier time.


Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

It was a relatively short scenario (I think my shortest one yet), but I had a lot of fun.

That first fight was tough, but I think what really saved us was the Wizard showing up with the CLW wand. lol

Thanks for GMing!

Silver Crusade **

I didn't get to run it again, after all. Too many people didn't show up last night, probably due to the storm and the Blackhawks game, so we had less tables than originally planned. So I got to play Halls of Dwarven Lore instead.

**

What bothered me was the poor thought on the adventure. Ok we are woken up at night to save the blackros against a danger they knew was coming years in advance?

I played my wizard so annoyed by this that he refused to get out of his wizard pajamas and did everything in his slippers.

Andoran *****

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

It's the Blakros family. You expect foresight?

Silver Crusade **

Finlanderboy wrote:

What bothered me was the poor thought on the adventure. Ok we are woken up at night to save the blackros against a danger they knew was coming years in advance?

I played my wizard so annoyed by this that he refused to get out of his wizard pajamas and did everything in his slippers.

You should play The Night March of Kalkamedes.

Shadow Lodge *****

That's cold Fromper.

Silver Crusade **

You should have seen the argument my character had with Sheila Heidmarch at the start of Night March. I was playing my very polite, diplomatic halfling, and even he got annoyed.

Night March of Kalkamedes:

Qassir: So let me get this straight. He's been sleep walking for weeks, and now you drag us here after he's already asleep to come and help him, without telling us in advance so we can spend the day preparing for the mission before we get here? So as long as you've got him chained to the bed, can we just leave him there for tonight, spend tomorrow preparing, and go on this mission tomorrow night? And why did he go to bed in normal night clothes if he knows he's going out walking? He should have left his boots on, at least, so he doesn't hurt his feet!

I really do love that adventure otherwise - highly creative premise, fun to play, and surprising conclusion. But the start, where you're called in the middle of the night, and not told in advance about the mission that the Venture Captain knew was coming from a mile away, was even more annoying and harder to explain away than in the Penumbral Accords. At least in Penumbral Accords, perhaps Hamiria Blackros intended to go through with sacrificing her daughters, but couldn't bear to see them go when the time came, which is why she backed down from the deal at the last minute and asked for the Society's help. There's no such reasonable explanation in Night March, unless our GM forgot to tell us something.

Silver Crusade **

Fromper wrote:
I didn't get to run it again, after all. Too many people didn't show up last night, probably due to the storm and the Blackhawks game, so we had less tables than originally planned. So I got to play Halls of Dwarven Lore instead.

Hello Fromper. So what happened in the Halls of Dwarven Lore after I left. Did the party die or did it limp to safety? That scenerio was one major spanking for the party.

Silver Crusade **

Bryan Y wrote:
Fromper wrote:
I didn't get to run it again, after all. Too many people didn't show up last night, probably due to the storm and the Blackhawks game, so we had less tables than originally planned. So I got to play Halls of Dwarven Lore instead.
Hello Fromper. So what happened in the Halls of Dwarven Lore after I left. Did the party die or did it limp to safety? That scenerio was one major spanking for the party.

Taking the side conversation to spoilers to avoid hijacking the thread.

Spoiler:
Believe it or not, we won without anyone dying. My rogue and the ranger's wolf were both at around -8 to -10 HP when it ended, but no actual deaths.

The GM let us pretend your oracle was still there, and had one or two cure spells left, since we didn't know what else you'd be doing if you didn't have to leave early. So that helped.

After the halfling ghoul went down, the witch managed to get lined up for a lightning bolt on the other ghoul and vampire. That finished the ghoul, and the vampire was really close to done at that point.

Apparently, after the fight, there was supposed to be a big room with a puzzle, but we were running so late that we just skipped it. I think we all got our faction missions done just by searching the bodies of that last set of enemies. At least, that's how mine worked out. I'm not sure what yours was.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber

Alright I want to make sure I'm GMing this right because it seems waaay to powerful.

Adventure at 4-5 Tier.

Spoiler:

PC's walk into museum. One enters the hall activating the skeletal dragon. Player casts Command Undead. Since it is an unintellegent undead (says so right in the description) it gets no save. Now the PC's have a pet skeletal dragon to help them with rest of adventure. That doesn't seems right but there is appears little I can do about it within the confines of PFS. This will end up a very short and to me unappealing scenario I fear.

Have I missed something, I'm fairly new to PFS GMing so advice welcome.

****

Sometimes players have exactly the right solution to a problem. They should be rewarded for that. If they want a challenge they can always choose to not take the easy way.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber

Good point. Thanks for the advice Mike.

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