Paizo Top Nav Branding
  • Hello, Guest! |
  • Sign In |
  • My Account |
  • Shopping Cart |
  • Help/FAQ
About Paizo Messageboards News Paizo Blog Help/FAQ
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game
Pathfinder Society

Pathfinder Beginner Box

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game

Pathfinder Comics

Pathfinder Legends

Ruined Temple of Saint Braxtus


Round 4 - Top 8: Create Golarion location with map

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8 aka Tolroy

Ruined Temple of Saint Braxtus
==========
Two thousand years ago, Braxtus the Resplendent, priest of Abadar, walked the lands of Taldor spreading the word of the master of the First Vault. Stories tell of how Braxtus entered the Verduran Forest and carved out of the uncivilized wooded hills a gilded shrine for his divine master. Tales say that this beacon of civilization stood for hundreds of years before succumbing to an ill-fated disaster.

While some truth lies within the stories of Braxtus the Resplendent and his gilded shrine, the true story holds a darker reality. Braxtus did found a shrine within the wilderness of Verduran Forest, but his purpose for doing so lay not in creating glory for Abadar. Deep within the wooded hills of Verduran Forest, Braxtus and his adventuring companions came upon an evil hidden deep in a natural cave. Unable to exorcise the evil from Golarion, the group instead sealed the entrance deep under the hill, and Braxtus built a temple to Abadar upon the location in order to guard the site for generations to come. The head priests of this temple were tasked with guarding the ward keys that kept the evil safely contained.

Over time, the wards weakened, allowing some evil miasma to escape and seep into the hearts and minds of those worshiping in the temple. Eventually, this evil drove the temple's inhabitants to insanity, and within one night, the halls of Saint Braxtus's temple filled not with the sounds of prayer but the sounds of murder.

In the present, not much remains of the once magnificent halls. Nature has reclaimed much of the open grounds of the temple, and bandits and treasure hunters have already stripped most valuables from the area. Currently, the dashing Acton Venarys, also known as the Gentleman Knave (R3), uses the location as one of his many bases of operation within the Verduran Forest. The underground sections of the temple are largely intact, and the Knave tends to use the underground worship hall when he requires meetings with his many lieutenants. The Knave found the last intact, but brittle, ward key upon his commandeering of the temple, and while he has not found a way to integrate the release of a great evil onto the very center of Taldor into his plans, he still keeps the ward key on his person during his short stays in the temple.

All that remains of the Temple of Saint Braxtus are three interior chambers and the ruins of two exterior rooms. The few remaining exterior walls count as 8 foot tall reinforced masonry walls with the broken condition (hardness 8, hp 89, break DC 45), while the smooth interior walls count as magically treated hewn stone walls (hardness 16, hp 1080, break DC 70). The interior ceilings are 10 feet tall unless otherwise noted. The temple was built into a rugged cliff face that stands 50 feet tall. Trees dot the top of the hill and along the base where the temple is located.

2. Worship Hall (CR 10 or 13)
==========
A large oaken round table surrounded by wooden chairs sits at the center of this repurposed prayer hall. Piles of maps, diagrams, and books litter the table and surrounding area. Light emanates from a multitude of torches lining the walls of the room, brightening the room and casting shadows on the 20 foot tall ceiling. The open doors on the east and south walls can be seen from the entrance. The room smells faintly of ammonia and sweat.
The walls of the worship hall are almost perfectly smooth, and as such, a PC may not attempt to climb them without assistance. The room contains six everburning torches which provide normal illumination within the entire area.
The table in the center of the room can be used by up to four Small or Medium creatures (or one Large creature) to gain high ground over their attackers, and the top of the table and the area immediately surrounding it count as difficult terrain (PF RPG pg 193) due to the large amounts of books and papers haphazardly strewn about.
A DC 15 Knowledge (engineering) check determines that the design of this worship hall dates back to Taldan architecture of the early to middle Age of Enthronement.
A DC 25 Knowledge (religion) check determines that the room is designed to channel prayers towards something to the south.
Creatures:
The Gentleman Knave often scours over a myriad of maps and plans that have been strewn over and around the great table in the center of the room. On several occasions, he has gathered several of his lieutenants here to discuss his grand strategic objectives. The Knave is always accompanied by at least four of his lackeys (variant guard officers PF GMG 261). Two of his lackeys guard the western entrance to the room while the other two keep close to the room's eastern wall so as to be near the Knave if he requires aid.
If the Knave is holding a meeting, six of his lieutenants (highwaymen PF GMG 259) will be present and sitting with the Knave around the table while six lackeys walk around the perimeter of the room.
Unless alerted by someone fleeing from area 1, the occupants of the room will be surprised as the players enter the room. If alerted, the lackeys will gather near the western door while the lieutenants, if present, move into safer positions behind them. The Gentleman Knave stays to the east side of the table where he can address and taunt the players from a relatively safe location before entering the fray.
Once in combat, the lackeys will use Dazzling Display to try and demoralize as many opponents as possible. Afterwards, they try to gang up on one player so that the Knave and any present lieutenants can use them for flanking purposes. The lackeys also try to draw one player towards the center of the room where the player can be isolated from the rest of the party. Lackeys will also throw their nets on prone characters.
Any present lieutenant attempts to take up a flanking position and trip an opponent with his +1 spiked chain. If any spellcasters are in the attacking party, two lieutenants will drink their potions of invisibility and attempt to move towards the offending players.
The Knave follows the tactics section of his entry during the fight except as follows. After using vanish to facilitate his escape, the Knave flees to location 3 where he makes use of the secret exit found in location 4. Before climbing the ladder in location 4, the Knave uses a standard action to break the final ward key in the hopes that unleashing any horror from beneath the temple will delay pursuers.

Tier 7-8 (CR 10):
Knave's Lackey (4) CR 3
XP 800 each
hp 34 (Pathfinder Gamemastery Guide 261)
Melee mwk greatsword +9 (2d6+5/19-20)
Morale The Knave's lackeys fight to the death as long as the Gentleman Knave is present. If the Knave is downed or flees, they attempt to surrender.

The Gentleman Knave CR 9
XP 6400
hp 78 (RPG Superstar 2011 Round 3)

Tier 10-11 (CR 13):
Knave's Lackey (6) CR 3
XP 800 each
hp 34 (Pathfinder Gamemastery Guide 261)
Melee mwk greatsword +9 (2d6+5/19-20)
Morale The Knave's lackeys fight to the death as long as the Gentleman Knave is present. If the Knave is downed or flees, they attempt to surrender.

Lieutenant (6) CR 6
XP 2400 each
hp 53 each (Pathfinder Gamemastery Guide 259)
Morale A lieutenant fights until reduced to 10 or fewer hit points. He will then drink his potion of invisibility, if available, and flee through the western exit.

The Gentleman Knave CR 9
XP 6400
hp 78 (RPG Superstar 2011 Round 3)

Development: If the Knave escapes, two rounds after the Knave leaves location 2, the altar in location 5 shatters in a fierce explosion. Anyone within location 5 at the time of the explosion takes 4d6 piercing damage (DC 14 Reflex save for half damage). The explosion of the altar can be clearly heard throughout locations 2, 3, and 5. Location 5 also comes under the effects of desecrate and darkness (both CL 15). Below the destroyed altar lies a gaping hole that leads down in the dungeon sealed away by Saint Braxtus.
If the Knave fails to escape, then the players find the ward key along with his other possessions. A player using detect magic may make a DC 35 Spellcraft check to determine not only that the ward key is tied to some great seal, but also that the ward key is near breaking. The ward key loses one of its remaining 14 hit points each midnight until it breaks. Lesser spells like make whole and mending have no effect on the ward key, but a DC 10 Knowledge religion check allows a player to recognize the symbol of Abadar on the ward key.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32 , Star Voter 2014

The image provided by Artus was in PDF format with a listed size of 7.42 x 5.46 inches at 72 dpi. I have converted it to a jpg image at 72 dpi.

Cartographer

Good looking map reference, pretty clean line work for the most part, and the use of some simple color helps break down what is really going on.

I actually do prefer hand drawn map references in most cases. This map would be fun for me to draw, I can imagine already all the details I would put into this one.

Great work overall.

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

Welcome to the Top 8, Artus! This is a round where you really get to stretch and show off the talents a designer needs to create an actual adventure. As such, I'm going to do my best to assess it in that light. As always, I have this tendency to give a lot of feedback. And, I want to make sure you understand that anything I point out here or raise in the form of constructive criticism is done in the spirit of wanting to help you improve. But I'm also going to balance that by praising you where you really shine so I can hopefully highlight that for the voters so they can recognize your strengths. So, to keep this post to manageable levels, I've spoilered the rest of my comments, below...

Spoiler:

First up, I want to give you some props on your creativity and innovation. I think that's stood out for you since the beginning of the competition. Your mirrored lantern of the pious seeker was one of my favorite wondrous items. I was ready to "golden ticket" it if necessary, but I didn't have to because it resonated with the other judges, too. Your charlatan rogue archetype was strong in another way. Rather than creating something entirely new and innovative, you took a common trope and presented it in a very polished, professional way. So, in a lot ways, you're demonstrating your readiness on multiple levels to take on a freelancer's responsibilities. Lastly, you gave us one of the strongest villains in Varstrius, the Connoiseur of Living Dolls, which really resonated with the judges and the voters. So, you're three for three in my book so far. And, although I've picked a few nits here or there, your body of work has come across as really impressive. Going into this I have high expectations of you and I'm interested in seeing how you meet them within the ever-tightening competition presented by your fellow contestants. By way of feedback, I'm going to breakdown my commentary according to each key element of your submission, including: your descriptive text, your location choice and villain pairing, your map, and the creativity of your encounter.

The Descriptive Text:
With the initial description of your encounter location, I'm buying into the backstory of Braxtus the Resplendent and the abandoned shrine's reason for being. And, I like that the Gentleman Knave repurposed the site for his own operations to undermine Taldor from within. However, I didn't like the generic references to some great "evil" that Braxtus sought to contain with the construction of this shrine. As a reader...and a potential GM...I wouldn't want you to hide things from me as a writer. Tell me what the evil is so I can better use it in the course of the encounter...either with a Knowledge check as the PCs research the site after tracking the Knave there...or when the ward key finally fails and releases something more definitive than an "evil miasma." I want specifics and you left me hanging here.

That said, I really like the professional polish in your presentation here. You devote that last paragraph to telling us the information we need to know about the features of the shrine, including the height of the exterior walls, the reinforced masonry, ceiling height, statistics for the walls, etc. I would have also liked to see you define the strength and stats of the interior doors, too, though. But you've got the structure for properly presenting a location down...i.e., a little backstory to set the stage, relating it to your villain and the current day, and then the features of the site that might come into play as a result of adventuring there. Well done.

The Location:
Admittedly, your choice of location caught me a little off-guard. A shrine to Abadar hidden somewhere in the Verduran Forest seems out of place. But then you give us the reason for its existence (i.e., a vault that's meant to contain a great evil) and I can buy off that. Seems like something Abadar would be interested in doing to ensure the safety of a growing kingdom and its cities. And, who better to lock things away that you don't want getting out? I think the Knave's discovery and use of this site could have benefited from a little tighter development though. For instance, if the shrine also held valuable treasure which the Knave had used to finance his growing insurrection, I think that would have made for a nice touch.

Regardless, giving the Gentleman Knave a place to hide in the Verduran Forest is a good idea if he's going to be causing trouble in Taldor. The druids of the Wildwood Lodge have already developed some autonomy there, so it would help him maintain a bit of a sanctuary like Robin Hood's Sherwood Forest. And I like that continued parallel with what most people would view as a hero, when he's actually a villain. So, I think it was a good overall choice of location for your encounter involving the Knave.

The Map:
I was a little out of step with your map initially. It took me a bit of time to recognize the difference between the green shading and the stone floor of the ruined temple. I like how the worship hall is basically a vault, though...which you enter by venturing into the hillside. I thought the shrine was kind of small and underwhelming, though. I would have thought followers of the Master of the First Vault would have something a little more expansive and awe-inspiring. And even moreso if it's meant to guard against some great evil below ground. I guess I was looking for something more inspiring on the map for this since it's such a core underpinning of the location's backstory. No biggie. I just thought it was a missed opportunity.

Everything else about the map is fine. It's clearly labeled, well-defined, good use of a key to help explain the interior symbols you're using for various features of the shrine. The call outs to the PFRPG Core Rulebook seemed a little odd to see on your map, as that's something I'd expect to find in your written text. But maybe you were running low on word-count...and, if so, I think it's a wise move to demonstrate your thinking in the terrain features you're striving to bring out in your location design.

The Encounter:
I like that you chose the worship hall (area 2) as the encounter to develop for the competition. It's pretty central to everything and allows you to make references to other areas of the shrine to help us get a greater degree of insight into what you had planned for the entire location. I also like the inclusion of the Knowledge check to get a better sense of the shrine's purpose and coming danger once the ward key fails.

However, there's a lot that I didn't like here. I guess first and foremost, I just didn't find the encounter all that cinematic or inspiring. It's a pretty run-of-the-mill, stumble-across-the-bad-guy and hack-and-slash encounter. A lot of the information that you describe under the Creatures section should really appear in a Tactics addition to the stat-blocks that follow. And the tactics themselves mostly seem to boil down to Dazzling Display, flanking, maybe a trip with a spiked chain, and then an attempt to flee with the broken ward key hopefully giving the PCs something greater to worry about than trying to apprehend the Gentleman Knave. And, in all honesty, I was actually more curious (and therefore interested) in what would develop after this encounter and the ward key failed.

In addition, you mix up your language a lot here by making references to a "PC" in the early going (which is fine), but then use the term "player" or "players" in almost every instance after that when you really mean the PCs. That really jarred me out of your writing, because I was trying discern whether you meant "PC" or "player"...both of which have specific meanings in terms of the game. Generally, you should always say "PCs" or "characters" or "heroes" or "adventurers" or something along those lines.

I also got thrown by the all the anonymity involved in this encounter. There are hardly any names for anyone except Braxtus the Resplendent (who is long dead). And you only call out the Gentleman Knave's real name once in the entire write-up (and even then, it's buried way down in the 4th paragraph)? We also never know the names of any of his lackeys or lieutenants. And it all just left me less interested. Having only generic villains and mooks (in terms of naming) just isn't that exciting. I don't expect them all to have a name. But just something a little less generic in this area would have spiced it up and drawn me in more as a reader. Also, from a writing perspective, it would have allowed you to develop more character in the adversaries the PCs face in this encounter. Faceless minions and adversaries don't do much in this regard. But, give someone a name and some character and you empower the GM to make the encounter that much more meaningful for the players and their PCs.

Overall Assessment:
This one kind of let me down in comparison to your earlier work. I wanted to really like an encounter involving the Gentleman Knave, but this one just didn't have enough going for it in terms of specifics and character to draw me in. I like much of the structure you put around it. And, I felt like I could perceive the idea you were going for...but the execution just kind of fell flat.

So, unfortunately, I have to say I DO NOT recommend this encounter for advancing to the next round. But, there's no denying you're a strong competitor given your work in the earlier rounds. Maybe that'll help carry you through in the voting. And I wish you the best of luck.

Cartographer

This map was actually a little difficult to read for me at first glance. I was unsure of where the forest was and if the temple was out over a ledge or if it was in a cave. od course after reading the text i was quickly able to ascertain what was the case, and it was easily read. This is a pretty simple straightforward map, and again, it would really shine depending on what the artist was going to put into it. I like the fallen statue which would be fun to paint:)

Contributor

I'm looking at this submission from a developer's perspective.

LOCATION
There are places where you can tighten up the language here. In rules text, you often see "this counts as blahblahblah," that's so we can use the rules for blahblahblah for this new thing and you know how it works. For describing features of a location, it doesn't have to "count as" anything, it can just *be* that thing. Thus, instead of "the smooth interior walls count as magically treated hewn stone walls," just say "the smooth interior walls are magically treated hewn stone walls," because saying they only "count as" that implies that they are something other than stone walls (perhaps superdense marshmallows or concentrated evil).

I wanted to know more about this "great evil"... by concealing its nature, it felt like you were trying to "GM the GM" in that you were keeping that a secret from the GM until the point where the monster appears. I think if this were a full module, you wouldn't do that, but I'm mentioning it now just so you don't get in the habit of doing it.

ENCOUNTER
You have some passive voice here that you should clean up:
"The table in the center of the room can be used by up to four" vs. "The table in the center of the room can serve as cover for...."
"If alerted, the lackeys will gather near the western door" vs. "If alerted, the lackeys gather near the western door...."
"Once in combat, the lackeys will use Dazzling Display to try and demoralize as many opponents as possible" vs. "Once in combat, the lackeys use Dazzling Display to demoralize as many opponents as possible."

And so on. Avoid wishy-washy words like "will" and "try." Do, or do not, there is no try!

Good use of referring to existing stat blocks.

Good use of boldface on the area numbers, you've paid attention to Paizo style.

Given that the PCs have to open the door between areas 1 and 2, I'd think the guys in room 2 should get a Perception check to notice the PCs trying to come in, rather than being "automatically surprised." Or hear some sort of battle outside and prepare for that.

MAP
This appears a little small; you should practice with your scanner to make sure you can get your turnover to be the proper size and readable. This is readable, it just looks a little tiny and crowded because of the resolution issues. It's better to err on the larger side of things (100 dpi rather than 72) just so you don't lose detail in transmission (that doesn't mean aim for 300 dpi, of course). That's mostly a nitpick, just something to watch out for in the future.

I'm not sure what the black line bordering the left side of the green area is. Is that the edge of a forest? The start of a cliff?

Your lines are clear and easy to see, which is good.

You've used color to bring out details like the forest, which is good (you could also have shaded in around the underground parts in gray or black to make it clear that was solid rock).

Your handwriting is legible.

You've noted things on your key, which is good, though you don't have to note what doors and double doors look like. :)

What makes this map a little too busy is the game references on it, like the massive tree, heavy undergrowth, and dense rubble--those are all things that would be described in the Location writeups for those areas, and not noted on the maps. That's something I'd edit out of the map and make sure it's referenced in the text.

This is a solid map turnover that's a little ambiguous in some places (like the curved black line on the left). Just remember that the cartographer usually isn't given a copy of the adventure text with the map (for the most part, they don't need it), so the map turnover should present everything the cartographer needs right there on the map. For complex maps where every little detail matters, the developer may send a description of the area, but for a simple temple/dungeon like this you should be able to put everything on the map turnover. That sounds like I'm ending on a bad note, so instead I'll repeat that I think this is a solid map turnover and better than what I get from some experienced freelancers.

Paizo Employee Developer

Congrats on making it into the top 8, Artus! At this point, I'm judging all the submissions from the viewpoint of the person who will be assigning and developing Pathfinder Society Scenarios to the three runners-up in the next round. Thus my recommendations are based almost entirely on how well I feel you'd do—based on this submission—writing an adventure as a reward for reaching the next round.

This is a fairly tight map turnover, though, as Sean mentions, the game rules elements don't need to be here. Whatever cartographer this goes to doesn't need to know what rules apply to movement in the undergrowth or how hard it is to cut down a massive tree. The line along the left of the page is also unclear, though I assume it indicates the edge of the forest, as that's the rules text cited within it.

I was glad to see someone pick the Gentleman Knave, as he seemed a very popular villain last round. Let's see how you did with him. I appreciate that this is a ruin in the Verduran Forest, which makes an acceptable lair for someone like him, though Abadar seems an odd choice. First, he's not really one for sending people out to create new isolated bastions of civilization, nor is he particularly bent on holding back unspeakable evil. Erastil would probably have been a better choice here, as he fits better in the wilderness and is LG instead of LN. That said, the flavor and backstory of the location don't really play into the encounter itself, nor in the Knave's use of them as his base. The ruin seems to have just been a convenient location he capitalized on. And that's sort of disappointing, as I'd rather have seen a location that was tailored to the villain instead of some random thing he stumbled upon.

The whole "terrible, unspeakable evil that must not be released OR ELSE" plot also seems out of character for the Gentleman Knave as presented in his R3 writeup. His M.O. is to pretend to be the common-man's hero to seed discord between the lower and upper classes and spread chaos to weaken Taldor from within. But here, he's just a mustache-twirler with an evil plan to harness a powerful evil weapon. The cool bad Robin Hood vibe that makes the villain unique is wasted here, as just about any villain with plans to topple a nation could be put in his place.

You have done a very good job of using existing statblocks and calling them out when needed in both the running text and short statblocks, and the lower tier encounter seems well balanced. The high tier, however, is a bit of a mess. A CR 3 foe (or even 6 of them) are wasted on a level 10 or 11 party, and putting 13 combatants on the GM's plate is just cruel, not to mention really crowded when you consider the size of the room and the fact that the PCs need to be in there too.

All things considered, I really liked the map, but I feel the encounter and flavor to the location just don't gel with the villain you chose and represent a really big missed opportunity. That said, I DO NOT RECOMMEND this location for advancement. Best of luck in the vote, Artus.

CEO, Goblinworks

Not recommended for advancement

Artus I'll try not to screw up my review this round. :)

Unlike some of the other judges I don't think it's a negative that the "great evil" remains undefined. In this unique case of an isolated contest submission I think it's fine that you leave it a mystery. Obviously if this were some other kind of published work we'd expect to know eventually what was going on but in this case it's really just "a plot hook for the next adventure".

My criticism of your submission has two main points:

1: The Knave isn't supposed to be an opponent of the PCs. As I noted in my review of the character in R3, the interesting thing about him is that while he's evil, he's not necessarily a problem for the PCs. Until and unless they either cause him so much difficulty that he needs to get rid of them, or they get charged somehow with stopping his terrorism, there's no good reason they'll oppose him.

This encounter presupposes that the PCs are going to have a combat encounter. Why? Why wouldn't the Knave just welcome them to his hideout and seek to parlay?

You've created an event that seems like the middle of a plot. Why are the PCs poking around in the forest? Why do they want to fight the Knave? Why does the Knave want to fight the PCs?

You might have had a better submission if instead of assuming a combat encounter (followed by a plot hook) you'd built towards the idea that the encounter was diplomatic instead - the Knave in his element pretending to be Robin Hood while hiding his true nature. The location could aid him in this - some alignment misdirection magic perhaps - instead of just being set up as the scene of a fight.

2: The lair is insufficiently challenging. At this CR level you have to deal with lots of magical effects. The problem with using mooks to hit a CR target is that mooks die in round one when the fireballs go off. The cloudkill doesn't make them happy either.

Why does the Knave ever get surprised? Why doesn't he have people watching the ways into the area and reporting any movement? Why would he put himself into a room with only one exit?

You spent some time (and showed some great command of the rules) setting up the terrain and combat advantages of the room for the fight. But I don't see much of that work ever mattering. At APL 10 or 13, the characters are way past the point where they're going to care much about such things.

This is really a CR 3 fight - a time when the PCs are "swashbucklers" not "superheros". Before they have lots of summoned allies, invisibility, flight, teleportation, remote viewing, and combat space control.

Final Note

Unlike the comments I made about the Red Snow Ravine, I'm not a fan of the ward weakening and opening the way to the dungeon in this submission. I think that it takes too long after the fact - the PCs might be halfway across the world by the time it goes boom. The disconnect between the end of the encounter and the effect ruins that "MMO" style feeling that the world is reacting to your actions.

At APL 10 or 13, I also think the PCs would be at risk of becoming ratholed trying to keep the ward from shattering. They're high enough level that they'll have resources and contacts who might be able to help and they could get badly sidetracked trying to do what they think is the right thing and keep an ancient evil from returning (when in fact the right thing appears to be breaking the seal and then having an underground adventure with a challenging evil opponent to face at the conclusion).

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014 aka surfbored

Artus:

Your map is a little crowded but still readable, which is good. And I like the background of St. Braxtus and the locked-away evil. It got me very interested in what might be coming. Unfortunately it fell a little flat after that.

The descriptive text had a few bumps:

  • Repeated adjectives lack creativity, e.g. "deep" used three times in two sentences. Also "..several occasions, he has gathered several..."
  • Passive voice use.
  • Could be more succinct in places, e.g. "In the present, not much remains of the once magnificent halls." "In the present" doesn't add anything.
  • Some minor punctuation/grammar issues, e.g. "a myriad".

    The map contains rules references. Why include the page numbers for trees and rubble? This detracts from the overall look.

    The biggest problem though is the actual encounter itself. Honestly, it's a little boring. A rectangle with a table, filled with bad guys. We've all been in this room a hundred times. Why not come up with something unique or at least intriguing?

    We all know you have the talent, but it didn't shine here like your other entries. On the up side, your grasp of the rules seems strong and there wasn't anything really "wrong" here, just nothing very inspiring.

  • Sczarni

    I really like the back story of this location, despite quibbles about deity choice and such, and can see some major mid-level mojo going on down in the dungeon with unspecified big baddie. The mention of the holy men succumbing to insanity could bring in some really freaky Cthulu-esque mind games, but that's not a part of this encounter at all, and that disappoints me a bit. Really, it seems like the PCs should be on their way to keep the evil from escaping, and just happen to come across Mr. Knave squatting on their dungeon. Perhaps Venarys has been drawn here by the evil power below, and is using it (or it's using him) to foment chaos in the world above, though that doesn't quite seem his bag. I'd just like to see a solid connection with the villain and the history of the place to give me a reason why him, why here, why now. The elements are there, but you've missed the connect.

    Secondly, I'm with Mr. Dancey on your magical effects blind spot. It's already been pointed out that the Gentleman Knave is a bit lacking in magical defenses, so it seems like you'd have had a heads-up to watch for those kinds of attacks against him, and maybe include a spellcaster lieutenant of some kind to mitigate some of those effects. Given, a custom spellcaster opponent could eat a lot of word space, but there may be something in the GMG that would serve well enough (don't own that tome yet, so I don't really know)

    Sean Reynolds's points on grammar and wording are well taken, and following them will take the final product a long way toward sounding like professional, polished work.

    Niel's point on a lack of cinematic excitement was a really big one, too. As a player, this looks like a couple of cleaves and a fireball to clear the lackeys, then trading punches with the lieutenants and the Knave, then a big disappointment when the one with the good loot slips off at the last minute. Some dramatic dialogue ("They've found us out boys!", or something) followed by the Knave jumping up onto the table for the high ground advantage, coupled with some flashy magic from a caster lackey could do a lot for the excitement level here.

    I have yet to read the rest of the entries, so I'll reserve final judgment, but I'm not ecstatic about this one.

    Andoran RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16 , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka JoelF847

    Artus, I think you have a mix of successes and failures in this entry. I thought the map was servicable, but not particularly exciting (which, to be fair, is about the best I was hoping for myself), but that's all you really need - a map that's clear enough for the professionals to make it look good. I was a bit confused by some of the details on the map for the exterior of the temple. Since the encounter description makes it seem like there's no combat in area 1 (since the gentleman knave and friends are surprised) I wasn't really sure why it mattered that there was dense rubble or a massive tree out there. Tying in the terrain rules details was great, but only if it's in an area that it would come up (i.e. a fight or difficult skill check.)

    I wasn't quite buying that it was a temple of Abadar in the middle of the woods. He's a city god, and while some of his priests certainly tavel and adventure, building a full temple in the woods just doesn't resonate for me. I don't at all mind the burried evil though. Sure it's a cliche, but almost every adventure has cliches - what's important is what is new in addition to the cliche. In this case, the new part to this is the Gentleman Knave himself. He is a very unique villain, in that he's not someone that the PCs will initially want to fight, but your encounter with him doesn't show that off very well. Sure, towards the end of an adventure featuring him, the PCs should be ready to track him down and confront him to stop his villainous ways, but that's not really the part of the Gentleman Knave adventure that's going to stand out. Because of this, I actually didn't think that the GK was a good choice for R4.

    I really liked that you used the GMG for stat blocks of non-monstrous foes, but feel that you ran into the hardest part of R4: that using the array of villain CRs from round three, and using them unaltered in two different tiers was tough. It might have been easier if you had shifted down a tier, and then the GK could be alone or with allies for the higher tier. Also, fewer allies would have allowed them to be higher CR and more relevant to the fight.

    Qadira RPG Superstar 2008 Top 6, Contributor , Dedicated Voter 2013

    It's an interesting little side-trek, and with a bit less drama and bit more backstory could be a great addition to a campaign. Reading it, my first thought when I hit "stories tell" was "where's my Knowledge table for my PCs?", I thought it was a shame I didn't get one.

    I approve of the idea of the Knave unleashing something best left caged against Taldor, I think it's a great plan B for him, and a nice ending act of spite if nothing else. But involving Abadar in it seems a crucial misstep. Also, the Knave doesn't strike me as being quit so foolhardy as to nap on top of his secret weapon. That would just lead Taldor to it. Why not keep the key and go somewhere else to cause trouble?

    There's nothing wrong with A, B, and C as elements in this encounter, but combined, they don't synergize into a great encounter location.


    I'd have to agree, this makes a good encounter, but I don't feel it is "Super Star" level.

    Also, the whole "seals are crumbing and an evil will be released" theme is a bit cliche.

    I think this location could work if the story was a little different. Since the previous residents of the temple were affected by the seeping evil, the new tenants should be as well. A villain that is going insane would be a much better fit here. The Gentleman Knave is too controlled and intelligent for this location.

    Overall, I think a few revision changes, including a new villain and more use of the seeping evil, could make this an OK encounter, but I probably won't be voting for it. Best of luck with the voting.

    Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

    Why wouldn't The Knave just break the ward key and then either let the new big bad deal with the pc's (if they know his true nature), or swoop in to help them fight the new big bad (if his ruse is still intact)?

    Osirion Marathon Voter 2014

    Paizo Superscriber
    Artus Nemati wrote:

    Tier 10-11 (CR 13):

    Knave's Lackey (6) CR 3
    Lieutenant (6) CR 6

    I really don't enjoy playing or running these type of encounters. They will never challenge the party, and there is just too many ineffective monsters. The only useful way to run these and challenge a group is to have a number of them aid another in hopes one can penetrate the AC of the average PC.

    It is always better to have a small number of higher CR foes, unless you intend the combat to be trivial. But I recommend if you want a trivial combat, just box text the combat so no dice need to be rolled.


    Your encounter doesn't grab me. It's difficult to find anything to get excited about.

    I would prefer to have you state what the evil is rather than keep it mysterious as a "great evil".


    Artus Nemati wrote:

    Ruined Temple of Saint Braxtus

    ==========
    Two thousand years ago, Braxtus the Resplendent, priest of Abadar, walked the lands of Taldor spreading the word of the master of the First Vault. Stories tell of how Braxtus entered the Verduran Forest and carved out of the uncivilized wooded hills a gilded shrine for his divine master. Tales say that this beacon of civilization stood for hundreds of years before succumbing to an ill-fated disaster.

    While some truth lies within the stories of Braxtus the Resplendent and his gilded shrine, the true story holds a darker reality. Braxtus did found a shrine within the wilderness of Verduran Forest, but his purpose for doing so lay not in creating glory for Abadar. Deep within the wooded hills of Verduran Forest, Braxtus and his adventuring companions came upon an evil hidden deep in a natural cave. Unable to exorcise the evil from Golarion, the group instead sealed the entrance deep under the hill, and Braxtus built a temple to Abadar upon the location in order to guard the site for generations to come. The head priests of this temple were tasked with guarding the ward keys that kept the evil safely contained.

    Over time, the wards weakened, allowing some evil miasma to escape and seep into the hearts and minds of those worshiping in the temple. Eventually, this evil drove the temple's inhabitants to insanity, and within one night, the halls of Saint Braxtus's temple filled not with the sounds of prayer but the sounds of murder.

    In the present, not much remains of the once magnificent halls. Nature has reclaimed much of the open grounds of the temple, and bandits and treasure hunters have already stripped most valuables from the area. Currently, the dashing Acton Venarys, also known as the Gentleman Knave (R3), uses the location as one of his many bases of operation within the Verduran Forest. The underground sections of the temple are largely intact, and the Knave tends to use the underground worship hall when he requires meetings with his many lieutenants. The Knave found the last intact, but brittle, ward key upon his commandeering of the temple, and while he has not found a way to integrate the release of a great evil onto the very center of Taldor into his plans, he still keeps the ward key on his person during his short stays in the temple.

    All that remains of the Temple of Saint Braxtus are three interior chambers and the ruins of two exterior rooms. The few remaining exterior walls count as 8 foot tall reinforced masonry walls with the broken condition (hardness 8, hp 89, break DC 45), while the smooth interior walls count as magically treated hewn stone walls (hardness 16, hp 1080, break DC 70). The interior ceilings are 10 feet tall unless otherwise noted. The temple was built into a rugged cliff face that stands 50 feet tall. Trees dot the top of the hill and along the base where the temple is located...

    Disclaimer:

    In case you’ve only just woken up to the contest or otherwise (somehow) missed these Round-by-Round reviews before, Ask A RPGSupersuccubus is posting from the point of view of a (very advanced) CE aligned succubus:
    Spoiler:
    Fairness means Prizes For All Succubi, balance is the process of fine-tuning your harp of the Abyss so that the acoustic resonances are particularly obnoxious to any clerics of Asmodeus who happen to be captive audiences in the vicinity, and logic is a bit like cornflour paste – cast-iron hard work when anyone else touches it, but conveniently gooey and runny to a succubus’ subtle touch. Oh: And Ask A RPGSupersuccubus (still) firmly maintains that it’s a succubus’ privilege to change her mind with neither any warning nor any obligation to bother to explain herself…
    ;)

    How convenient does the estate/property seem to be for the regular delivery of groceries?
    As a ruin in the middle of a forest which currently serves as a secret bandit lair, regular deliveries of groceries seem highly unlikely to occur in the immediate future.

    What preparations should a succubus planning to make a social call consider?
    Bandits get somewhat jumpy when unexpected visitors come calling. A succubus wishing to visit this location should at the very least try to arrange or schedule her call beforehand - preferably with the leader of the group. The 'Gentleman Knave' might well be open to an approach for a 'discreet romantic rendezvous', so I should emphasise that efforts to pre-arrange such a visit are by no means likely to be unproductive.
    The 'evil in the basement' (if not just the Gentleman Knave) will likely be the biggest attraction that the site has for a succubus, and this ought to be diligently researched beforehand to determine if it is something which needs to stay where it is (in the case of some immortal servant of Asmodeus for example) or let out (in the case of a long-imprisoned sister succubus for example).

    Assuming a succubus comes into possession of the estate or property in question, how much landscaping/redecoration work needs to be done?
    Whilst it's a ruined temple with a tasteful history, obviously it's not currently in very good repair having been variously abandoned and/or occupied by a variety of cut-throats, brigands, robbers, revolutionaries, looters or other bandits. The site is going to need a major overhaul, and out in the wilderness it may prove hard to get craftsmen in to assist with the process or to get deliveries of materials made.
    However if the imprisoned evil turns out to be something unpopular with almost everyone (such as an undead tax auditor or a daemon) then by disclosing the location and imprisoned denizen it may at least be possible to get some sort of official support/assistance for renovations.
    A succubus needs to be very discreet with regard to the Church of Abadar, however. If they get wind of the site and its current state of repair (or lack thereof) they're likely to want to monopolise it in an utterly shameless fashion themselves - which is going to prove a problem unless a succubus' only interest is in making a rapid sale for whatever she can get from an organisation such as them.

    Other comments?
    My doubts as to whether he'd make a good father figure (honorary or otherwise) aside, in the previous round, I was fairly benevolently inclined towards the Gentleman Knave as portrayed. Information posted here doesn't dispose me to revise my opinion of him one way or another.

    Property Value:
    Needs work, but a prospective rural retreat with a nice history.

    Further Disclaimer:
    Ask A RPGSupersuccubus (still with half an eye on Lord Orcus) would (again) like to clarify that mortal voters should probably rely on more than just her own (impeccable) assessments in making up their minds on how to vote. Thank You.

    Osirion RPG Superstar 2013 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014 aka Steven T. Helt

    I think this encounter is not really challenging or compelling. I do like your layout and yourmap is jsut kammed with details, which I like. I dig the idea of always having another detail to make the PCs' surroundings more real.

    You have some interesting language in your writing. The Knave often has lieutenants in to look over maps but the next sentence says he is always here with lackeys. It isn't til the next paragraph that we learn lackey and lieutenants aren't the same people.

    I think you are just a couple of lackeys shy of your desired CR. Does an 11, 8, 9 make a EL 13? Two more CR 3 lackeys would be 11, 9, 9, right? Also, at some level I think this system lets you down a little. 16 CR 1 dudes doesn't really make for an EL 9 encounter. What Mr. Dancey says about mooks can prove true: an empowered fireball from a 13th level caster will end all of the merry men and the nogitation of the Knave's surrender can begin. It would be funny for the Knave's lieutenants to all spend their first round drinking potions and fleeing invisibly though. Good help is hard to find.

    RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8 , Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka Demiurge 1138

    The map is good. In general, the maps have been good this year. And the backstory of the hidden vault for a secret evil is intriguing.

    But there's not enough there there. The Gentleman Knave is charming and clever, but this is just, "oh hey! Let's kill him!" The combat encounter is crowded and busy (13 combatants!) and not terribly challenging for the CR. The Knave isn't as interesting here as the Ancient Evil, which remains undefined! That's boring and frustrating. Let us in on it!

    As written, I'd steal the map but gut it for new encounters within. I will not be voting for this entry, I'm afraid.

    Dedicated Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

    Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

    I must say I like your backstory but I don't like how you translated the backstory into an encounter (which seems a common problem this round).

    The villain you used is simply not that well suited for an encounter of this sort. Apart from the fact that this villain lends itself more for a diplomatic/skill encounter he is also not one to make a final stand here, e.g. realistically he will desert any fight asap.

    Also you fall into the trap of adding a few low level mooks to up the CR of the encounter which is really a bad way to do it unless you provide special (environmental) rules that make the mooks viable.

    But as given the PCs may either beeline for the boss and take him out in 1 round or not have a fight at all.

    Star Voter 2013

    james knowles wrote:
    Why wouldn't The Knave just break the ward key and then either let the new big bad deal with the pc's (if they know his true nature), or swoop in to help them fight the new big bad (if his ruse is still intact)?

    Honestly, if this adventure was built to take advantage of this rather than feeling like the PCs just stumbled across a bandit camp in the forest it would have been *way* more interesting.

    But as it stands, I agree with everyone so far. The minions are too weak to actually be much use against PCs of this level. four to seven levels below is fodder, they stand in the way for one attack, do no damage on their own, and then the PCs move on. Like the minion monsters from 4e, they have one hit point so they always die if you hit them.

    If, perhaps, he had one liutenant with him in the low tier, two in the high teir, and breaks the key in the first round because he is clearly outmatched and wants the help, that would become an interesting encounter with some nameless evil force lashing around the room.

    as a side note, I'd like to mention that if the key has exactly two weeks left before it breaks it'd be a super tiny window for the players to hit, and feels way to boxed in. Like at the end of Fable II where you stop a ritual after it's done but before the magic superpower it was meant to grant could be taken. A window of seconds. Unless the PCs know about it and are aiming to be there for that exact reason it's way too obvious plot-hook. Which again fails as the knave might even escape with the key.

    Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

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

    I think there's some difficult balance things at stake here. I *like* having a bigger encounter with lower-level enemies. It is generally more manageable in the balance scales than having something really dangerous. (I'll draw on exhibit A: Xanesha, if necessary.)

    That said, as encounters go, I would probably bolster this encounter slightly by adding a minstrel (level 6 bard, GMG, p273), or celebrity bard (level 11, GMG, p273) - depending on the tier - and giving the lesser minions some tactical advantage (such as high ground). This should be just small enough to stay within the CR margins, but their sheer numbers should then be enough to form an effective barrier and the bard can significantly bolster their threat level (especially with haste from the celebrity bard).

    RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16 , Star Voter 2013

    I find your map clear, concise and easy to read, that little bit of color breaks everything up nicely , your legend is clear and everything is nicely labeled.

    I always find that when I write an encounter for my own group one of two things happen, A: there's not enough room for the players and their opponents to move around, or B: the room ends up being incongruously huge if you think about how big it actually is. I think your map suffers from problem A. A 30x40 room is quite large when you think about it, but it's only 48 squares, and with 13 opponents in there, plus an average of 4 PCs more than one third of the room gets filled up. By the time the PCs are hitting a CR13 encounter, the arcane casters have 10d6 area spells and they are probably not afraid to use them on a room full of guys. A fireball is wall to wall here, and does enough average damage to incinerate all 6 lackeys and clip the lieutenants down to 20ish hp. This is a single attack from a single PC. It probably would have been better for you to scale up the lackeys and have fewer opponents or a bigger room here, because as it is this seems like a cake walk for any party.

    That said, I really like your use of available resources, referencing the GMG and Corebook to keep you word count down, and the idea of a repurposed temple seems really cool. Which unfortunately also seems to be the biggest failing here. You have given us no indication of what manner of "evil" the temple is imprisoning. Making the spellcraft check DC35 is kind of dickery, since it's a high roll even for 13th level PC's, which means that the party really only needs to deal with this problem if they are "lucky" enough to make the check in the first place. I like that you're giving a GM the option for a nice side quest here, but the apparent inevitability of the release of this evil screams for more detail on your part. If this thing is getting out in two weeks and there's nothing the PC's can do about it, it sort of railroads them into dealing with it, while simultaneously hamstringing the GM by giving him zero direction on how to handle the situation.

    "You find a key. Make a spellcraft check."
    "OK, I rolled an 18 (sweet), so that makes it a 38."
    "Alright, you realize that a horrible, monstrous, soul-crushing evil will be released when the key breaks in about two weeks time and it will probably destroy the country side."
    "What kind of evil?"
    "Uhh, I dunno, like a Balor or something."
    "What the crap! Can we fix the key or stop it somehow?"
    "Nope."
    "Okaaayyy... I guess it's time to leave the country guys. The Balor will probably kill that Gentleman Knave for us anyways."

    This it the kind of thing that seems like a cool idea to add depth and potential to your idea, but really has the effect of making it seem incomplete.


    OK, I`m really wanting to like this encounter because it DOES have alot of evocative stuff, but it just doesn`t really impress AS AN ENCOUNTER. ALl the already mentioend elemetns of terrain, `mundane` NPCs not providing `interesting` resistance appropriate to CR, combine to make it a steam-roll `find villains in their lair and destroy them`, and I don`t really see any scenario where that CAN`T happen. You`re havig the `Villain` use VANISH as his prime escape strategy MANY MANY levels past where that is available... He should have Gaseous Form and a `rubble filled` tunnel he can pass thru at this level.

    I really think you needed to bring in the `ancient corrupting evil` INTO this encounter, either having corrupted just SOME LIeuitenants and Mooks at lower tier, or having corrupted the Knave himself at higher tier... This could your preferred flavor of possesion rules, applying templates, etc. Possessed NPCs could have access to Cleric or Demonic Cultist levels, for example.

    And I think working on how the evil is being loosed/how it will be fully loosed / etc, can result in a more nuanced ranged of encounter outcomes... If as a last resort the Knave evades the PCs and activates/releases the Evil, what could happen? Perhaps if the Evil would still be contained to the Temple itself (vs. a full release), the PCs may be forced with collapsing the Temple, possible trapping some of their members in as a suicidal last stand. That is the sort of flavorful story-twists I can see bringing in to this encounter, but that you passed up.

    You also should have given more background to why this encounter is going straight to combat, if that was your choice (which is fine), given as a Villain one could easily imagine COLLABORATING with him... So I want to know more specifically how the PCs got into conflict with him. Amping up the ancient evil (as in it`s already seeping out and corrupting him and his gang) as a SURPRISE element could really work well, but you didn`t really leverage it. Mechanically, perhaps the keys only work to contain the evil when in a special altar, so even when they haven`t been destroyed they allow the ancient evil to posssess anybody inside the altar (but no further until the keys are destroyed).

    Your writign is otherwise good, and I feel from all of your work that you COULD write a good and interesting adventure... IF you attend to actual encounter mechanics like I and other mentioned. SO, you ARE getting my vote on the superb quality of past work, and I `m really hoping you can take this criticism into the next round to let lose a home run!

    Cheliax RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32, 2011 Top 16 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014 aka Boxhead

    Does the villain match the location/encounter/minions

    We have the Gentleman Knave using ruins in the woods. Seems good to me, just the sort of thing he might use. It's not a great choice, but it works well enough for me.

    Is the location cool?

    Ruins, in D&D? What else have you got? Ok, there's an ancient evil with undertones of the imprisonment of Rovagug, that's cool. The evil isn't described, which is less cool.

    Is the encounter fun/interesting?

    You fight the Knave, his goons. Period. He tries to flee, probably through a back rank character still standing at the door. Nothing terribly interesting, Dazzling Display is unlikely to save the goons, especially once the area damage starts. A 6x8 room will fill up incredibly quickly with 6 lackeys, 6 lieutenants and the Knave, never mind once 4 or 5 PCs are thrown in. With a table in the middle. It looks like it would play out with a tank blocking the door while the wizard artilleries the room to ready it for mopping up. It's not bad, it's just not that exciting as an adventure finale.

    Anything else?

    The map is decent, not terribly interesting, but functional. I want to like this, and still may vote for you, but I'll have to mull it over. It's a very serviceable encounter and location, but I suspect it falls a bit short of Superstar


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

    I thought this was pretty cool. It's interesting to me that a "bad guy" has the ward key but is NOT some evil cultist or planning to release it or whatever. I am confused about why the altar would explode immediately after he retreats and also think there should have been more "what if they parley" development, it seems to presuppose the PCs have been sent out to this place to murder the guy (of course, they are PCs, and "a guy is hanging out in the ruins" is usually license to kill). And the fight's not that thrilling.


    Do like:
    * The use of the backstory is well done in that stories of the past are often fraught with errors and rumors. Some players think that if they have characters with the requisite knowledge skills this is an automatic pass for gathering accurate intelligence about a location.

    * I like the lead in to the villain who isn't an "evil" villain, but who could end up doing something particularly bad, such as free some true evil entity.

    * I liked the hand drawn map. It was clear and well labeled.

    Don't like:
    * As written the encounter does not seem to be much of a challenge. This is particularly true of the higher tier.

    * I was expecting the "miasma" of evil to have begun affecting the latest denizens of this ruined temple, but was disappointed to not see thie materialze. Something along the lines of a corrupting influence altering Acton Venarys and his minions I think would be pretty cool.

    * I don't understand why the altar explodes if Venarys leaves. What happens if he dies? Does it explode then too?

    Star Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

    First I liked the temple to gaurd some ancient evil, a little cliche, but your story fleshed it enough for me. Not sure what happened to the original gaurdians that would leave the key remaining, or why the villain would have moved in, or why he knows what the key does, but it makes sense that he uses it to escape. If I ever isolated one of my players, he would probably beat me up, poor Dr. Pepper on my lap, or at the least storm out and never return. Isolating one of the characters on the other hand... well that is just good tactics. Some rr with auto-surpise also hurt this entry, but I appreciate the gentelman having plans with how his people behave in certain situations. Nice job.

    RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 aka Hydro

    Of the ones I didn't vote for this is actually growing on me the most. I love the way you portrayed Acton with respect with this; that he has no vested interest in unleashing any ancient evils, but doing so certainly wouldn't be beneath him, and he's just sort of been scratching his chin thinking about how this might benefit him. That's perfect.

    In my imagination he carries the key around because he pretends to be guarding it, and after making his escape he bemoans his tragic failure to stop the PCs, who obviously stormed the temple intent on unleashing the beast.

    RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8 aka Tolroy

    Well the results have been posted so I find myself coming back to see how things panned out this round.

    I looked over the encounter again, and I see how it was not well designed in terms of game balance. The scaling nature of the game left my thoughts during the design phase. I should probably make myself a guide referencing the game changing elements added at certain levels.

    Several people disliked the ambiguous nature of the evil beneath the temple. My intention in leaving this ambiguous was to allow a GM to use this encounter as a transition from a lower level story arc to a higher level story arc. As such, I left the evil open to the GM. Defining the evil would have allowed me to use it during the encounter, but I feared the possibility of something outshining the Knave.

    In the end, I didn't end up making the cut for round 4. This contest has been a joy to compete in, and I thank the entire Paizo community for the chance to be a part of this. Maybe I'll try other avenues available to enter the design business, and I'm sure that I can take the lessons I have learned here to improve myself as a designer.


    Disclaimer:
    Ask A RPGSupsersuccubus is posting from the point of view of a CE aligned (very advanced) succubus. She's right out of sympathies at present, and in any case ginormous siege towers tend to leave rather unpleasant wheel marks on the lawn which it takes ages for the grass to grow back in (even Abyssal snoozlegrass, which is really saying something). (Please see the thread of someone who went out in Round 2 or 3 if you don't get the siege tower comment.)
    Plus please take as read all the usual disclaimer stuff about gossiping salaciously over a cup of tea and plate of yummy buttered crumpets away from the boards and generally other Chaotic and Evil stuff, kept (barely) in check for now because of Good Manners.

    Dear Artus Nemati,
    Congratulations on making the top 8 of RPGSuperstar 2011. Despite presenting the general public with a rural retreat with a charming history of violence and sudden death (and with an indeterminate evil of tremendous power locked away in the basement), your run in the contest has however now come to an end. Possibly the voting public picked up on my observation that the location you presented wasn't terribly handy for the regular delivery of groceries. Perhaps they had other concerns - I note that a number of other locations which were at least as inconvenienced for grocery deliveries did get their presenters into the top 4.
    The good news for now (from your point of view) is that the stress and worrying is over - or at least until the arrival at your abode of a squad of hellknights to whom a charlatan (caught selling lanterns which had 'fallen off the back of a delivery cart') gave information in exchange for a reduced punishment. The hellknights (members of a particularly brutal squad belonging to the order of the Scourge) seem to believe that you know something about the disappearance of a large number of 'smaller folk' across Avistan, which activities seem to be focused in a particular Taldan city. It doesn't matter if you do know anything about it. Those charlatans are darned convincing to those not blessed with the ability to read thoughts...
    I'd like to suggest it could be an idea to pack and get going before they kick down the door in five... four... three...
    Hoping that you have found my posts Helpful.

    Yours,

    Ask A RPGSupersuccubus.

    Paizo / Messageboards / Paizo Publishing / RPG Superstar™ / Previous Contests / RPG Superstar™ 2011 / Round 4 - Top 8: Create Golarion location with map / Ruined Temple of Saint Braxtus All Messageboards

    Want to post a reply? Sign in.
    Recent threads in Round 4 - Top 8: Create Golarion location with map

    ©2002–2014 Paizo Inc.®. Need help? Email customer.service@paizo.com or call 425-250-0800 during our business hours: Monday–Friday, 10 AM–5 PM Pacific Time. View our privacy policy. Paizo Inc., Paizo, the Paizo golem logo, Pathfinder, the Pathfinder logo, Pathfinder Society, GameMastery, and Planet Stories are registered trademarks of Paizo Inc., and Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, Pathfinder Player Companion, Pathfinder Modules, Pathfinder Tales, Pathfinder Battles, Pathfinder Online, PaizoCon, RPG Superstar, The Golem's Got It, Titanic Games, the Titanic logo, and the Planet Stories planet logo are trademarks of Paizo Inc. Dungeons & Dragons, Dragon, Dungeon, and Polyhedron are registered trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., and have been used by Paizo Inc. under license. Most product names are trademarks owned or used under license by the companies that publish those products; use of such names without mention of trademark status should not be construed as a challenge to such status.