Haunting of HarrowStone (GM Reference)

Carrion Crown

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Silver Crusade

1. From what I can tell, yes, they do get xp from general knowledge.

2. I would assume so, but I don't use xp in my game, so I wouldn't know.

3. Yes, if they unlock all the knowledge regarding a topic, the PCs should be awarded the total amount of xp for each stage.

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My party is about to encounter the Smoldering Revenge event. Because I've drawn my maps on paper, I can't draw and erase fire that comes up during this event. So, I made this hot item: 1 inch by 2 inch figures of fire. I printed them in color on some cardstock and cut them out - this did take about an hour. After I was done, I just folded them down the middle so that the bottom edges of the fire could meet.

If anyone takes an interest in this, I'll try to keep the link up and secure for a year. If it doesn't work, for some reason, please message me.

Because I don't want any trouble, I did not create the original work, just the reverse copies. The original image can be found here.

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I also compiled this pdf of the big bads in the prison, including the secret weapons and pictures of each BBEG: The Villains of Harrowstone

By the way, I'm having a bit of trouble figuring out how the party can defeat the piper without his flute. Based on the phrasing of the Piper's haunt, he never actually manifests in such a way that he should be susceptible to positive energy - can't hit what you can't see, especially since it manifests as "a mournful dirge."

I've read through this as best as I could but found nothing of note. Perhaps I missed something, so does anyone have any advice?

Silver Crusade

I played through this recently, and yes, being intangible does add to its difficulty. I would assume that channeled positive energy would still affect it, however, as would holy water splashed into the haunt's area of effect. My party decided to use some of the haunt siphons on it; that, alongside the flute, made short work of him.

Daniel Yeatman wrote:
I played through this recently, and yes, being intangible does add to its difficulty. I would assume that channeled positive energy would still affect it, however, as would holy water splashed into the haunt's area of effect. My party decided to use some of the haunt siphons on it; that, alongside the flute, made short work of him.

Daniel has it - just unleashing positive energy in the Piper's zone will damage it.

If the Piper can hurt you, you can hurt it. See here for additional haunt rules.

Ok since this is the GM/DM section, I need some advice on how to make the campaign a "horror" campaign instead of a "high fantasy" campaign from my end. This is what I got ideas so far.
Music-so far been putting together some music for the first module which includes music from the first silent hill and the video game Alice the madness returns.
Materials-all 6 books, using carrion hill to shift the atmosphere to book 4, rule of fear, and waiting to get paid for murmuring fountain and preordered the borrow adventure book, also been reading up on a lot of lovecraft.

So far it looks like 4 players and we have planned on starting at the end of August so I can get my hands on the horror book but tbh I wanna start sooner while I still have all these ideas in my head. 2 are new players who have played dnd for years but their very first pathfinder game they are playing.

So far, these are the ideas I have so far to make this a "horror" campaign and (cc is hands down my fav campaign yal have done so far) with ideas from this thread and forums a better experience.
1. Having the BBEG be at the funeral and use the letters idea, but tbh I don't really know what to do with him during the campaign. Should he be off screen and use the letters as the only gateway to interact with him or should he be visible in the background in some areas?
2. Using an insanity mechanic. I've told the group and they are okay with it and I'm gonna justify it by saying that Ustalav is walled in from other countries. The land is seen as cursed and while stuff that happens in Ustalav happens in other areas, the frequency and amount is off the scale when compared to other places.
-but I'm at a loss which insanity mechanic I should go with. I don't want one that's easily lethal because I will be using it thru the entire campaign, but I want something that slowly starts to unhinge the players and eventually leading to full blown insanity. Kinda like COC games but instead of players who rush in and end up going insane and dying easily, I want something where if the players are not careful will start becoming crazy over time. If that makes any sense.
3. Hiding the journal until they start researching about the prison/prisoners/Whispering Way. Gonna have his journal coded and if no one has linguistics, the have Kendra spend some days decipher it, so to curt tail heading straight to the prison.
-only problem is, how do I handle when they ask where he was killed at? I do want to show or give players a chance to see the results of circle of death to give a heads up for future battles, but any ideas on where they found the professor so that again my players don't rush into the prison ahead of time. I am thinking about guards set up or locked, but I don't wanna have my players feel so "railroaded" even though this isn't a sandbox.
4. Gonna use murmuring fountain and some other ideas to use within that 30 days to foreshadow the prisoners.
-fountain letters, have the ghost foreshadow the splatter man.
-thinking of using the freak show to foreshadow the piper
-still trying to figure out how to use the card haunt in the inn for the MM
-priest....I don't know. This one is like something to foreshadow him since he has one of the coolest haunts.
-the lopper I don't know. I'm okay if I can't think of anything for him because he's gonna be scary enough as it is lol.
5. The beginning. To spruce up the beginning and get characters to know each other and also to give that immediate impression to give that "cursed" land feel, any suggestions? I saw something about a carriage ride in this thread but can't find the material source.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

1) It depends on how likely your players are to peg him as the villain, or to get violent against him. You'll need to figure out the answer based on your players.

2) You'll want to check out the sanity mechanic from Horror Adventures, then. I think it might be just what you need. ^_^

3) Let them rush to the prison! Then let them rush back out when it turns out to be more than they can handle. That'll learn 'em.

4) I haven't read any of the third-party stuff, so I can't really address this question. Anyone else?

5) I don't know that there was a "source", per se... just the info in this thread. You might need to flesh it out yourself.

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1. I had the BBEG be the one who sends the carriage to get the players to start off the game, have him at the funeral leaving in that same carriage, and also have him be in Lepidstadt during the trial and talk to the players about how impressed he was with their efforts (after day 1). He then gave each of them a fine horse to use. Of course the saddles have a rune in them so that he can scry them easily. After that, I had him fade into the background and just interact with the letters. However, I only signed the letters with one A. The players were sure that A was Vroon until they found a letter on his body. :)

2. Didn't use insanity, but I may look into it as they just completed Carrion Hill and are off to book 4. I may foreshadow the start of using insanity based on horrid dreams after defeating the BBEG from Carrion Hill.

3. I agree with Kalindlara.

As an aside, I made Kendra blind. This made her much more sympathetic to the players and I used it as the reason why Lorrimar put the players in his will. She is actually an Oracle but only came into her power after the prison became unguarded. The spirits of the dead guards come to her after Lorrimar's death and granted her some ability to speak with spirits. Clouded Vision curse and Lore mystery. She sees through the eyes of spirits around her and they tell her things.

This enabled me to play up the weirdness. At one point I had her talking to the players and mid-sentence shout QUELL THE FIVE! and then complete her sentence without any memory of the incident. When the party was looking over some looted potions (early loot), I had her enter the room, stop, and ask if there were potions on the table. When they said yes guardedly, she asked if one was a Cure Light Wounds? (She identified it for them). It really played up the creep factor.

Also, her knowing things that she shouldn't is the reason why the BBEG decided that she needed to be under "protection" and brought her to Caliphas under the auspices of learning more about her condition. She is going to be the sacrifice for the end game. I may use the reason as given or I might link it to her spirit talking ability.

4. I did the fountain and it was okay. I linked the villain to the 4th book, but the party was confused with the diversion. I also used Fiddler's Lament. I changed the Piper to a Fiddler. This worked very well because of the Piper encounter in the prison. When they heard the ghostly fiddle start the first time, they panicked and ran. :)

5. I think that it was mentioned in a thread somewhere. I had the carriage meet the players at a village and during the ride I explained the countryside to them. Once they go the feel of the setting, I had them attacked by stirges. When they found them in the prison, they got concerned.

Ok so hiding the journal and having it encoded has prevented my party from going straight into the prison and veered them more towards interacting with the town.
We have 4 people, a dhampir bard, dhampir draconic sorcerer, a half orc paladin, and a catfolk rogue. So they understood that they do stand out like a sore thumb so I'm half assing the respect chart, meaning just who they are they wouldn't be trusted so going off that and letting them roleplay to better or worse situations.
So far after 2 sessions and each one being 6+ hours long (great role players so happy with this new group ) we are getting Rdy to start day 4. This day they are being escorted by the sheriff up to the ruins that the professor lost his life and gonna use the slamming haunt at the very beginning or the scythe as a deterent of going in. Basically gonna ask if they know what they are to expecting inside this haunted prison, and with the info the priest gave on how to dispel the haunt of the murmuring fountain, maybe it will press them to research about the place.

So far they still have yet to capture the madman on the loose, had the town meeting yet, or researched any subjects yet. I'm thinking of having the mad man encounter on their next night if they don't go inside and then either have the town meeting the next night or have the players see the fires when they are at the prison at night time.
So far after the second day they have started having nightmares and each time someone has failed the save so while most of the party are having in and out nightmares but still getting rest while someone is either tired that day or exhausted.
Also I have been doing checks and having them either roll d4s or d6s to determine how many hours they are doing something, that way to keep the flow going and also having them being able to interact with the group instead of twiddling thumbs that whole day.

Has anyone gone ahead and tried to implement the Sanity rules from Wake of the Watcher into Haunting of Harrowstone?

Couldn't find this in here, so I would like to ask about Splatter Man and his Blood-Writ Haunt.

My party has a Paladin, who is now immune to fear effects, and grants his allies a bonus against that. So here's my question: would you consider the Blood-Writ name Haunt to be a fear effect?

See, I would because it's convincing them that their name is being written, in blood, on the wall, and name-writing is the modus operandi of the Splatter Man. I'd be scared out of my pants!

What do other GMs think about this?

Furthermore, if you agree that it should be a fear effect, chances are that the party is going to be quite resistant to the Haunt. If the whole party doesn't fail their saves for an entire round, then I'd say that Splatter Man bursts out of his hiding place and attacks, infuriated as he is that his haunt has done hardly anything to the party.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

All haunts are mind-affecting fear effects. So... yes. ^_^

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Kalindlara wrote:
All haunts are mind-affecting fear effects. So... yes. ^_^

Man... Splatter Man is not gonna be happy on Saturday. :|

Thanks, Kalinlara!

Hence why I removed immunity from my game and gave a +4 to that save.

Hopefully today my group heads into Harrowstone. Was thinking about having a mass dreams that foreshadows what's to await them inside without giving to much away and then have them awake and find a lot of the towns people gathered and worried about the place. Would that be to heavy handed?

Silver Crusade

I'd consider that an appropriate response. Also, the amplified fear rules in Horror Adventures make it so that fear immune characters are simply more resistant, rather than directly immune.

Grand Lodge

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I've posted this elsewhere but I believe you need to keep the group INITIALLY away from the Prison. It should be a place of fear.

This is what I did:

1) I made visiting the prison illegal - the reason was it was unsafe... look at Lorrimor who was killed by falling gargoyles on the wall. Going there would result in loss of trust and villager accusations of necromancy if they stirred something up
2) In addition to the diary, Lorrimor left the party a letter encouraging them to do their research before attempting the prison
3) When the Paladin attempted Detect Evil close to the prison I had her nearly throw up, so palpable was the feeling of strong evil. It scared them silly.
4) They attempted the spirit board/planchette a few times near the prison, in addition to the ONE question they get a day, I had them tap into random spirits and the results/messages were not nice.
5) I've written up dreams from the five (actually the six, I added another because there are 6-8 players in most sessions) that I prepped SMS'ed to the players. The dreams were written to be deeply disturbing.

I've went to a LOT of trouble to set up relationships between NPCs and PCs to anchor them in the town and then spent time TRASHING those relationships gradually as the trust mechanic slowly erodes the players footing. The players know that the town is becoming seeped in evil.

Gibbs (no spoilers here) was made a dichotomy - I gave him positive points in some parts of his personality and made him a hateful spiteful prick in others. It makes him human. I started the Sheriff as neutral but the relationship has deteriorated as they players step on his toes more and more.

The return of a certain person to the Lorrimor home I made a lot tougher - and he nearly beat one person to death before he was taken down. I actually set the players up for this... Every time I had the irate sheriff knock on the house door I knocked on the table. This happened 4-5 times... when the person returned I knocked slowly, rhythmically on the table... Bang... Bang... Bang.

The players didn't think twice about opening the door unarmed and unarmored, assuming it was the Sherriff again.

Ravengro needs to be more than just a place to rest and sell loot - played on it can be a mirror of madness and don't be afraid to kill of or drive insane their ally NPCs. When I killed old river (whose blood was used on the monument) the whole party was "I can't believe you did that! You killed the towns dog!" I've plans for Zolkar, his son and some of the Children of Ravengro that will scare the crap out of them or at least make them feel loss... and they will be further victimised by the superstitious of Ravengro.

To answer your other questions, I have the fiddlers lament but decided not to use it - I am roleplaying the hell out of the inhabitants of the town.

They are yet to enter Harrowstone and we are three 6 hour sessions in... they are praying they will be level 3 when they enter... and thats not gonna happen so they'll feel out of their depth and all the while the party are losing trust (tracking it individually) and the end is coming nigh as more letters appear on the monument.

Helaman wrote:
I've posted this elsewhere but I believe you need to keep the group INITIALLY away from the Prison. It should be a place of fear.

Oh wow...

I really wish I had thought of this when we started the campaign. If I ever GM this again in the future, THIS is what I'll do.

King of Vrock wrote:

Just a question about Survival checks in the adventure. At one point the PC's get to follow a suspect's tracks. My question is how did the DC get so high? It should be 5 lower than the text says by the Survival table. One of my PC's is a 1/2 orc Inquisitor with Scent so tracking this individual is ridiculously easy (and not really a problem for the group), but how do they show Shariff Caeller if they can't find the track visually?

--Vrocky Terrain

Question about this. Can PCs take 20 on the check to follow these tracks? I'm unclear on this, but it can have some pretty drastic impacts on how long it takes this particular event to resolve.

I'm also unclear on how the scent the ability can factor in if there is an animal companion involved.

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Were there supposed to be fire marked for Ravengro Town Hall? It indicates specific squares are marked for where the fire starts but there's nothing on my map in the book or the interactive maps.

Dark Archive

This reminds me of Daji on the cover.

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