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Echoes of the Overwatched Discussion (Numerous Spoilers!)


Pathfinder Society GM Discussion

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***** Venture-Lieutenant, Arizona—Tucson aka Sir_Wulf

I'm very excited to see Echoes of the Overwatched released and can't wait to hear how the adventure plays out for everyone!

Looking at the adventure, I thought I'd chip in my thoughts about running the various acts. A few details were cut in development, generally to improve the pacing of the adventure.

In the first act, the PCs investigate what's gone wrong in the Blakros Museum. When they poke around in the attics, I'd have the dangerous floor section creak ominously, but hold until violent movement collapses it (such as when someone rushes in or out of the chamber). The nature of the threat within the observatory may be unclear at first: If the party fears that they face an invisible opponent, they may try to retreat from the room or rush in. (In one of my rough drafts, the haunt had a fear effect to drive victims onto the trap, but that just wasn't nice!)

To give the party the sense that time may be of the essence, I'd mention that its about 2 PM when they wrap up in the museum. Dark clouds churn above the city, promising rain in the evening. Gusty winds carry the scent of the sea, as the forlorn cries of birds draft above. (Yes, I like a bit of purple prose when setting the mood...)

To keep the party from spending too much time on their investigation, that section of the adventure was abbreviated. I agree entirely with the developers' decision to get the PCs into the "meat" of the adventure, but gamemasters who wish to extend the PCs pursuit can include rumors of additional murders committed by the Devourer of Reason as it navigated the city. Additional encounters may make the scenario run quite long, so GMs should be wary of including them.

Some PCs may want to involve the local Watch: The Learned Guard protects the Wise District, headed by Mendhir the Colossus, a member of the Society and semi-retired venture-captain. Those seeking him out find him sympathetic: He assigns a squad to watch over the area near the museum, but lacks the resources to give further aid.

(I'll add more later, if people are interested...)

Grand Lodge *****

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Dot.

Thanks for the insight!

Cheliax *** Venture-Lieutenant, England—Sheffield aka Ninjaiguana.

So I just ran this scenario this afternoon, and there's one big problem with the final boss's tactics.

Spoiler:

He's supposed to use his bloodline arcana to silence someone when they fail a save against his evocations, ok. However, none of his evocations allow a save! He has absolutely no way to actually trigger this ability. This also makes his Spell Focus (evocation) feat utterly useless.

My suggestion: exchange magic missile or shocking grasp (I would vote for the latter) with burning hands on his spell list. He now has an evocation spell which allows a save. (You can't exchange any of his other 1st level spells because he either casts them in his tactics, uses them earlier in the adventure, or they're his bloodline bonus spell.) Could maybe exchange a second level spell for flaming sphere instead, if burning hands doesn't grab you.

***** Venture-Lieutenant, Arizona—Tucson aka Sir_Wulf

1 person marked this as a favorite.

OhNoes!

In the original, he had burning hands and a lesser elemental metamagic rod (electricity), which made his tactics work much more effectively. The Tier 4-5 version also had flaming sphere (and fireball!).

To make the Devourer appropriately unnerving, I suggest that shocking grasp be replaced with a new spell, frozen reach, a 20 ft. line of cold doing 1d4 damage per level (max 5d4 damage, Reflex for 1/2). It manifests as a blast of frigid mist, its acrid vapors filled with the half-glimpsed forms of screaming faces and clawing hands. That will let him blast his foes without torching his webs away.

Cheliax *** Venture-Lieutenant, England—Sheffield aka Ninjaiguana.

Sir_Wulf wrote:

OhNoes!

In the original, he had burning hands and a lesser elemental metamagic rod (electricity), which made his tactics work much more effectively. The Tier 4-5 version also had flaming sphere (and fireball!).

To make the Devourer appropriately unnerving, I suggest that shocking grasp be replaced with a new spell, frozen reach, a 20 ft. line of cold doing 1d4 damage per level (max 5d4 damage). It manifests as a blast of frigid mist, its acrid vapors filled with the half-glimpsed forms of screaming faces and clawing hands. That will let him blast his foes without torching his webs away.

Well, he does have a lesser elemental metamagic rod (cold) on him, so he can still convert 3 fire spells so they don't fry his webs. I basically swapped shocking grasp out for burning hands on the fly and had him chuck cold-damaging cones of dark, hungry energy.

***** Venture-Lieutenant, Arizona—Tucson aka Sir_Wulf

Giving him frozen reach would help the Tier 1-2 version, who lacks the rod.

Other than the issue in the final fight, how did things go?

Cheliax *** Venture-Lieutenant, England—Sheffield aka Ninjaiguana.

Sir_Wulf wrote:

Giving him frozen reach would help the Tier 1-2 version, who lacks the rod.

Other than the issue in the final fight, how did things go?

Things went very well, in general. The players enjoyed the module and had fun with it.

The only other thing was that at Tier 4-5, the statue in area 3d is the true boss of the adventure. Its numbers are absolutely nuts for the tier, and it has an awesome AC to boot. Its threat is somewhat mitigated by being a mindless guardian, but even so, it's incredibly nasty.

Still, we all had a lot of fun with it, so thank you for submitting it! :)

Silver Crusade **** Venture-Lieutenant, Nebraska—Omaha aka Belarias

GM'd this last night, the entire party had a great time.

I agree that the statue was the true boss, if the party didn't have 2 healers in it (Cleric and a Hedge Witch) I would have killed the barbarian and rogue...

Silver Crusade ****

Belarias wrote:

GM'd this last night, the entire party had a great time.

I agree that the statue was the true boss, if the party didn't have 2 healers in it (Cleric and a Hedge Witch) I would have killed the barbarian and rogue...

I played through this yesterday. Not that my GM had a lot of time to research this, but knowing your grapple and aquatic combat rules is a must.

Andoran **** Venture-Captain, Missouri—Cape Girardeau aka Arnim Thayer

Had fun with this one, even if two encounters ended up being nerfed by a Summoner.

Spoiler:
Ground floor of the tower, they summoned three celestial dolphins to attack the merrow, then sending it into the next room to scout... leading to them attacking the reefclaws. Though they only got in two attacks on the reefclaws, they did enough damage to make it easy to defeat them. The statue on the other hand...

Taldor *****

Belarias wrote:

GM'd this last night, the entire party had a great time.

I agree that the statue was the true boss, if the party didn't have 2 healers in it (Cleric and a Hedge Witch) I would have killed the barbarian and rogue...

I wish I would have had a 2nd statue. There were a couple of gunslingers with Adamantine bullets in the party so the fight was shorter than I would have liked.

Taldor ***

I haven't read the adventure; I merely played it.

I really liked how things started. Lots of investigation and mysterious things and all, clear clues, and ominous portents. Yet once you got the sunken tower it deteriorated into one dungeon crawl with one combat encounter after another. And I really really really hated the statue. Our team did not have a single high-strength character (well, the only high-strenght character was poisoned earlier and... yeah) and only because my dwarf chose to grapple the statue were we able to win eventually. Actually our GM just fast-forwarded because it would have taken forever.

Hardness is a b*%@%. Avoid using it. Rarely makes anything fun. The Eternal Obelisk used animated objects with high hardness and how's that scenario? Retired.

I gave it a 3/5 stars. Entertaining, yet a downer. Oh, and the osirion faction mission is idiotic (however, GM forgot to mention I need to use a move action to take a piece; I spotted the silver eye and tried to get that, thinking it was the thing needed)

Silver Crusade ****

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I had a blast running this scenario. My society as a whole hates anything that has to do with the Blackros Museum because they have all played the other adventures with great stories in and out of character.

Spoiler:
If you want to have a little fun, throw a surprise fireball on the party from the BBG.. I did that to wake up the party that was steamrolling (rudely) the adventure. So drop a 2d6 fireball? Surprise indeed. :) And shocking grasp is not that bad, especially if you the GM rolls low like I was.

One of the biggest downsides to this module is that the tower is a little weird to navigate through. Also, this a module in which it's very imperative that you have some other skills besides beating in the face all day and that you learn how and when to use them. Which is kinda useless when you have characters that only beat face. *sighs* I hate having a society of fighters.

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Illinois—Decatur aka TwilightKnight

I reviewed this scenario after GM'ing it four times this past weekend. I like that it switches from investigative to dungeon crawl. IMO, it should allow a wide range of classes to have their "moment."

IMO, it runs just fine at the 4-5 subtier. It is challenging depending on how well-versed the GM is on grappling and aquatic combat rules so the players need to use some strong tactical planning. However, the BBEG does not have a mix of abilities that take advantage of its special power. I expect a lot of GM's will make changes to the stat block in an attempt to make it "better." (note, I am not advocating this, just making an observation)

It is much more challenging at sub-tier 1-2. A party of level 2's or 3's playing down, will not have much of a problem, but an all level one party might want to avoid this one.

The pro's
-diverse opponents/challenges
-diverse environments
-diverse style (investigative/dungeon crawl)

The con's
-overpowered enemies for 1st level
-unoptimized enemies at 4-5 tier
-a faction mission that cannot be completed if the characters are lucky or succeed at avoiding a challenge

All-in-all, not a bad scenario. I think the theme/plot is done well, and who doesn't like to go back to the Blackros from time to time? If we could get a vanity that would allow you to marry one of the daughters...now that would be cool. Hey Mike, a boon perhaps. hmmmmm
btw, I have dibs on the blackros twins so hands off. Why marry only marry one when two is better :-)

Grand Lodge ****

Bob Jonquet wrote:
btw, I have dibs on the blackros twins so hands off. Why marry only marry one when two is better :-)

You can go ahead and marry them. I will do what pirate's do best and pirate them away for an extended no husbands allowed cruise across the inner sea, they'll fall madly in love with their pirate captor, and thus no longer want you. HAR HAR HAR

***** Venture-Lieutenant, Arizona—Tucson aka Sir_Wulf

Lady Ophelia wrote:
One of the biggest downsides to this module is that the tower is a little weird to navigate through. Also, this a module in which it's very imperative that you have some other skills besides beating in the face all day and that you learn how and when to use them. Which is kinda useless when you have characters that only beat face. *sighs* I hate having a society of fighters.

If you think its weird now, you should have seen the draft where the tower was sideways at an 75 degree angle with the bottom third of each level flooded with water. The "Poseidon" draft didn't have as many fights in the area, but had a chamber filled with toxic corals. In that version the statues were made of weaker materials, so they only had 4 points of hardness.

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Illinois—Decatur aka TwilightKnight

Cadwyn Greaves wrote:
I will do what pirate's do

"ARG! I shall recover them from you, sink your ship, and more shall fear the name Captain Bartolomae Aguillosa. muahahaha

***** Venture-Lieutenant, Arizona—Tucson aka Sir_Wulf

Bob Jonquet wrote:
"ARG! I shall recover them from you, sink your ship, and more shall fear the name Captain Bartolomae Aguillosa. muahahaha!

Fear it? I can't even pronounce it!

Grand Lodge ****

Sir_Wulf wrote:
Bob Jonquet wrote:
"ARG! I shall recover them from you, sink your ship, and more shall fear the name Captain Bartolomae Aguillosa. muahahaha!
Fear it? I can't even pronounce it!

Bart-oh-lo-may Ah-gwee-lee-oh-sah?

Must need to be a pirate

Taldor ***** Venture-Captain, England—London aka Angel Gabriel

HELP! Please help me out here someone. I may be being a bit stoooopid but I can't work out the bad guy's route through the Tower of the Horn.

As I understand it, the evil brain eater slips by the hostile Merrow and Reefclaws and goes up the stairs. The stairs then collapse in his wake but he gets up them first. Somehow he gets into the "Vault" of treasures.

Our heroes can't go up the stairs because they are now rubble. Instead, they climb up the convenient rope. They may notice a mysterious recessed "button". They don't know it but they then need to find a three-part item to operate the button so as to open the door to gain access to the "Vault".

I can't see any obvious reason for our heroes to try for the button other than that they haven't yet found what they need. They are unaware of the existence of the Vault at that point and it's not logical to be using an undiscovered device to pursue someone who has gained entry without the need for that device.

My question is, how did the bad brain eater get inside the "Vault" without using the button?

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Illinois—Decatur aka TwilightKnight

The small room just outside of the the vault is the upper floor link from the stairs that collapse. It is expected that he triggered a trap or some such that cause them to collapse behind him and block entry/escape.

The strange part is that you have to assume that the "brain eater" first installed the rope and climbed up, failed to locate the vault, climbed back down, and then went up the stairs. That's kind of awkward, but I guess I can go with it.

The key to the tower search is that the PC's locate the amulet with the broken glyph before encountering the mosaic that has the recessed area. They should be able to put it together and start to search for the missing pieces.

It help a bit if you describe the mosaic on the lower level first and then when they reach the only concealing the secret door, it appears identical except for the absence of the holy symbol around Nethys' neck.

Cheliax *** Venture-Lieutenant, England—Sheffield aka Ninjaiguana.

Here's my understanding of his route after running the scenario, though it took me a few attempts to puzzle it out!

- 3f are the stairs up to the vault. The opening on the 2nd floor is directly into the vault and is open. There should not be an entry into 3c from 3f on the map - that entrance is the secret door that the vault key opens.

- The bad guy managed to slip through a broken wall from 3b into 3f, then climbed the stairs to the vault, whereupon the stairs collapsed behind him and stranded him. This also blocked the broken wall he used to get around the magically locked entrance.

- The rope...is weird. I don't think the bad guy left the rope - I think it's supposed to be left over from the Pathfinder team that previously tried and failed to raid the tower. No idea why it's in such good condition if that's the case, though.

As I understand it, when the players insert the vault key into the mosaic, the entrance into 3c opens, displacing rubble from 3f into 3c and alerting the bad guy. The players must them climb from 3f to the vault up the mound of rubble and enter the vault.

This is all my guesswork, of course. It's just the way that seemed to make the most sense, considering the information we're given.

***** Venture-Lieutenant, Arizona—Tucson aka Sir_Wulf

3 people marked this as a favorite.

The Tale of Daling's Demise:

Spoiler:
Over a year ago, Daling's Delvers explored the tower. They located part of the amulet and figured out its role in accessing the vault (Although they were bitterly divided about Daling's theory).

Climbing up to area 3d, the adventurers left a sturdy rope behind (the rope the PCs encountered). That is where things went awry: The animated statuary pounded the snot out of their party.

Forced to fall back (with one casualty), the survivors retreated to 3a, where they stopped to argue and blame each other for the debacle above. The rising tide had already filled chamber 3a to a depth of several feet, and their bloody wounds and noisy argument drew unwanted attention: Reefclaws attacked the already battered party, who lost more of their number before driving off the voracious predators.

Only Daling remained conscious. Unwilling to watch her allies' bodies devoured by the reefclaws, she dragged them into 3c, hoping to hold off the predators. Exhausted and despairing, Daling jotted down some notes about the team's encounters and sealed them in her ivory map case.

When another reefclaw appeared, she lacked the strength to fight it off.

The Devourer's Passage:

Spoiler:
The Devourer of Reason entered the tower via 3a (not waiting for low tide). He clambered up toward 3d, but immediately recognized the animated statues. Preferring to avoid a battle, the ghoul returned to 3a. Glancing into 3c, the snackish undead was disappointed to find only bones, which failed to interest him. He recognized the secret vault entrance, but before he could investigate further, he heard movement elsewhere in the tower. He decided to investigate the rest of the level, then return to 3c.

Entering 3a, the Devourer encountered the merrow entering the tower. The massive creature attacked, causing the Devourer to retreat into 3b. There he spotted a narrow crack in the wall to 3f. (Repulsed by the ghoul's unearthly presence, the reefclaws avoided both him and the merrow.)

Squeezing into 3f, the ghoul sought to barricade the crack lest the merrow widen it enough to follow. The area's heavily-damaged staircase tottered dangerously, so the Devourer heaved against it with all his considerable might. With a thunderous crash, the stairs collapsed in a heap of shattered stonework. The Devourer surveyed the results with a critical eye: He could dig his way back out, but not anytime soon. He turned his attention to the vault: Perhaps something useful could be found within.

Grand Lodge ****

Sir_Wulf wrote:

The Tale of Daling's Demise:** spoiler omitted **

The Devourer's Passage:** spoiler omitted **...

Nice! Most of this is described in the scenario, but it's nice to have the succinct version here all in one place.

I ran this two nights ago, and had a good time. Will be running it again next week. Great mix of combat and investigation, something for everyone.

Spoiler:
Had a mixed-level party of 6, who chose to play up despite my warnings. Haunt was popular, moreso since no one had encountered one before and so didn't meta-game their way through the encounter. Also had 1 death: 1st level character plus Tier 4-5 giant crawling hand = a bad day for the barbarian...

Taldor ***** Venture-Captain, England—London aka Angel Gabriel

Thank you Sir Wulf for the explanation on the Devourer's route and how he got into the Vault. All is now clear. We are running this at Dragonmeet in London on Saturday so it was nice to get the official version. It's a great scenario and I'm really looking forward to running it.

Maybe Paizo could mark the secret door on the map instead of the misleading open gap from room 3C to the stairwell 3F.

Taldor ***** Venture-Captain, England—London aka Angel Gabriel

I ran Echoes of the Overwatched yesterday at Dragonmeet, London. It was a great adventures and everyone enjoyed themselves. The Haunt at the beginning was very threatening and had everyone wondering exactly what they were up against. With the brain-eating, tongue-licking, green jellid acid exploding, temperature dropping, ethereal appearance and the picture, the reaction was, "What the hell was that!?!?!"

I had a clan of 3 tengu players on my tables and I had a Harrow reading set up for the Varisian fortune teller starting with "The Crow" then the "Castle" etc to reflect the story to come.

The animated statue was a mistake and made for a long and grindingly slow combat because of the Hardness 8. I had to put a "Stopper" on that or we would have all died of boredom and in our alloted three and a half hour slot that is not acceptable.

Thank you very much for the explanation of the route the brain eater took. The group certainly thought it was illogical but I was able to explain it away with your description.

I would recommend this adventure to anyone. Atmospheric, threatening, original and builds nicely on the legend of the Blakros. Excellent work, James.

***** Venture-Lieutenant, Illinois—Carbondale aka Disturbed1

Bob Jonquet wrote:


All-in-all, not a bad scenario. I think the theme/plot is done well, and who doesn't like to go back to the Blackros from time to time?

In the case of this scenario, I dont like to go back there. As enjoyable as the adventure is, it has very little to do with the Blakros family or the museum itself, and could easily have any other random npc or location. Considering that, I think it would have worked better being someone and someplace else.

Again, I think the story is good, and I did enjoy playing through it and look forward to running it, but I was disapointed that we didnt need to stop some threat IN the museum itself again.

Bob Jonquet wrote:


If we could get a vanity that would allow you to marry one of the daughters...now that would be cool. Hey Mike, a boon perhaps. hmmmmm
btw, I have dibs on the blackros twins so hands off. Why marry only marry one when two is better :-)

What about for straight female players/characters?

***** Venture-Lieutenant, Arizona—Tucson aka Sir_Wulf

Rob Silk wrote:
I had a clan of 3 tengu players on my tables and I had a Harrow reading set up for the Varisian fortune teller starting with "The Crow" then the "Castle" etc to reflect the story to come.

That sounds cool! Thanks for sharing that information!

Rob Silk wrote:
The animated statue was a mistake and made for a long and grindingly slow combat because of the Hardness 8. I had to put a "Stopper" on that or we would have all died of boredom and in our alloted three and a half hour slot that is not acceptable.

Those encounters assume that most parties will have some way to overcome or bypass the statue's hardness such as a power-attacking bruiser or adamantine weapon. If a group lacks such abilities, it may be better for the GM to just lower the statue's hardness.

I do slightly object to the idea that the statue was a mistake. Some groups shouldn't try to duke it out with every monster they encounter. They could try creative approaches such as grappling it and hogtying it once it's pinned, bull rushing it down the shaft and dropping heavy debris on it, having a high-AC 'cork' keep it entertained while they search the area (which would lead to other problems in this case), hitting it with an acid that bypassed its hardness (the Alchemist's job), tricking it or sneaking past it (Wis 1 and Perception -5), et cetera. Not every foe is best confronted head-on.

Shadow Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Washington—Eastern Washington aka WalterGM

Had a great deal of fun with this in the 4-5 tier, although the players might not have... Spoild.

Spoiler:

The party:
Level 5: Gunslinger, Sorcerer
Level 4: Cleric
Level 3: Wizard, Ranger

1. The Merrow beat the gunslinger unconscious and drowned him under water. The cleric was a gnome so it was basically impossible for him to move in the partially underwater first floor and the fight was incredibly difficult for them. Also, only one person had a rank in swim.
2. The construct that was a minion of Nethys would have killed them (as they were out of spells at this point) had the gnome cleric not been a worshiper of Nethys (read the stat block for it). The entire table erupted in laughter as the gnome proceeded to whittle away at the construct as it was unable to attack him.
3. I got to eat someone's brain. The Devourer of Intellect (end boss) is a ghoul caster (mentioned before) that has the feat BRAIN EATER. If the target is helpless (ghoul paralyze) they can extract the targets brain as a Coup de grâce. I have never had a more satisfying PK. It was even better because it was the cleric and, as a follower of Osiron, was able to get Raise Dead quite cheap.

Overall, the game was very rough for the players but it reminded them that they're not immortal (some scenarios are really easy/breezy). Also the gunslinger got a Raise as well, so no one actually died. So in the end, it was a great night.

Taldor ***** Venture-Captain, England—London aka Angel Gabriel

Sir Wulf wrote wrote:
I do slightly object to the idea that the statue was a mistake. Some groups shouldn't try to duke it out with every monster they encounter. They could try creative approaches such as grappling it and hogtying it once it's pinned, bull rushing it down the shaft and dropping heavy debris on it, having a high-AC 'cork' keep it entertained while they search the area (which would lead to other problems in this case), hitting it with an acid that bypassed its hardness (the Alchemist's job), tricking it or sneaking past it (Wis 1 and Perception -5), et cetera. Not every foe is best confronted head-on.

Fair enough. I retract "It was a mistake". You are right, they should have tried harder.

Paizo Employee ** Developer

WalterGM wrote:

Had a great deal of fun with this in the 4-5 tier, although the players might not have... Spoild.

** spoiler omitted **

Just for future reference, raise dead won't work on someone without a brain, since it doesn't regrow missing body parts:

PRD wrote:
While the spell closes mortal wounds and repairs lethal damage of most kinds, the body of the creature to be raised must be whole. Otherwise, missing parts are still missing when the creature is brought back to life.

Getting your brain eaten is a bigger deal than 8 PP can help you recover from, is what I'm saying; I don't recommend it.

Taldor ****

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Card Game Subscriber
WalterGM wrote:

Had a great deal of fun with this in the 4-5 tier, although the players might not have... Spoild.

** spoiler omitted **

Also, faith bound only prevents the creature from attacking members of the faith as long as the members of the faith do not attack it...after that, it's fair game.

I ran this scenario this last weekend, and it was kind of rough even with a great axe wielding barbarian. Thankfully he had 2 near max damage hits to finish the statue off after I beat the monk so bad he had to retreat. The monk and barbarian were both level 3 in the tier 1-2 version of the scenario.

***** Venture-Lieutenant, Arizona—Tucson aka Sir_Wulf

Sir Wulf wrote wrote:
I do slightly object to the idea that the statue was a mistake.
Rob Silk wrote:
Fair enough. I retract "It was a mistake". You are right, they should have tried harder.

I only SLIGHTLY objected: That statue can be nasty! When the BEST GM IN EUROPE says the fight was too grueling, only a fool argues!

***** Venture-Lieutenant, Arizona—Tucson aka Sir_Wulf

Mark Moreland wrote:
Getting your brain eaten is a bigger deal than 8 PP can help you recover from, is what I'm saying; I don't recommend it.

Why do I have this image of Pathfinders gathering body parts in the middle of the night, culminating with a brain in a jar...

"Whose brain was it?"

"Abby Normal"

PCs might want to collect any pieces they can find and cast "Make Whole" on the body before casting raise dead.

Osirion **

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

I'm curious about the investigation portion of the adventure.

module spoiler:

When talking to Maren Fuln, he mentions THREE towers. One (tower of the Candelabra) is completely submerged and obviously inaccessible to low level PCs. However, the Tower of the Broken Shield (Beldrin's Tower) is mentioned - in addition to the Tower of the Horn (partially submerged, where the actual adventure takes place).

It's not clear to me WHY the PCs should think the Tower of the Horn is the "right choice" other than Maren's opinion ("Beldrin kept his keys there"). Are there any details on the Broken Shield tower, or obvious reasons to ignore it?

When I played it, the Faction missions (Osirion, Shadow, Lantern, Cheliax) explicitly mention Beldrin's tower. So we immediately decided to go check out Beldrin's tower (skipping the museum, since there's no reason to suspect Anumet is there, and thus never learning about the Devourer). We also didn't investigate in town at all, except to go to the tower and see if anyone else had gone there (thinking that Anumet was possessed/mad, and we were chasing him before he hurt himself).

***** Venture-Lieutenant, Arizona—Tucson aka Sir_Wulf

grandpoobah wrote:
I'm curious about the investigation portion of the adventure.

Drendle Dreng's directions in the mission briefing do state to go to the museum and get to the bottom of the situation, find Anumet, and find the key.

I do recommend that members of the Andoran, Chelaxian, Lantern Lodge, Osirian, and Shadow Lodge not receive their faction mission at the beginning of the adventure. Instead, they can be instructed to report back to their faction contacts after completing their initial investigations: They will receive their faction mission once the faction knows where they are headed.

If you want them to get a note with the other faction members, they could receive something like:

Our cause has need of your services this day. We have heard a rumor that some arrogant pedant from the Arcanamirum may be mixed up with Anumet's troubles. Find out exactly what happened in the museum and report back afterward. You will be given further instructions at that time.

Once they know where they're going, the faction gives them their true mission.

Shadow Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Washington—Eastern Washington aka WalterGM

Mark Moreland wrote:


Just for future reference, raise dead won't work on someone without a brain, since it doesn't regrow missing body parts:

PRD wrote:
While the spell closes mortal wounds and repairs lethal damage of most kinds, the body of the creature to be raised must be whole. Otherwise, missing parts are still missing when the creature is brought back to life.
Getting your brain eaten is a bigger deal than 8 PP can help you recover from, is what I'm saying; I don't recommend it.

I wouldn't recommend it either. However, I too would have prevented Raise Dead from working, however they spent an awful lot of time painstakingly removing the brain from the gullet of the ghoul, which I had stated was swallowed whole.

I had ruled that after the PCs recovered the "gently used" brain from the ghoul that they needed to make a relatively high (dc 25) heal check in order to gingerly place it back correctly into the opened skull (which they succeeded). After that, I figured the magic of raise dead would re-attach all severed connections thus repairing the lethal wounds caused by the brain removal.

Sniggevert wrote:
Also, faith bound only prevents the creature from attacking members of the faith as long as the members of the faith do not attack it...after that, it's fair game.

Missed that part of it, thanks for the info. Ultimately, they had to maneuver the statue over the hole in order to bypass the encounter, as they had no means of destroying it. The few rounds of the gnome flailing against the statue were more or less only for hilarity.

Shadow Lodge **

This would seem the best place to ask this, i am scheduled to run this at a con this weekend and have been reading through it today, I have to admit my map drawing skills are not the best has anyone had any luck pulling the tower map out of the PDF and converting it to a printable map?? and if so how did you do it??? I am happy to draw it it just looks a little time consuming; many thanks in advance

***** Venture-Lieutenant, Arizona—Tucson aka Sir_Wulf

Hondo Heru wrote:
...has anyone had any luck pulling the tower map out of the PDF and converting it to a printable map?? and if so how did you do it???

I generally select the section of map I want to copy, then open it into MS Word. I can then expand it until each square is one inch across.

Andoran ***** Venture-Lieutenant, California—Fresno aka Sarta

Hondo Heru wrote:
This would seem the best place to ask this, i am scheduled to run this at a con this weekend and have been reading through it today, I have to admit my map drawing skills are not the best has anyone had any luck pulling the tower map out of the PDF and converting it to a printable map?? and if so how did you do it??? I am happy to draw it it just looks a little time consuming; many thanks in advance

So, here's what I did: I drew the outside of the tower ahead of time on a flip map. I further cheated and did not draw it on an angle, but with those flat areas taking up 3 hexes on the cardinal compass points.

I then filled in the interior as the party explored. When they went up or down a floor, I erased the interior and began drawing the next floor, re-using the tower I'd drawn ahead of time.

This worked really well.

Sczarni ***

Is it inteneded that the ghoul coup de gras paralysed/helpless players
will he take attacks of oppertunity to do so?

***** Venture-Lieutenant, Arizona—Tucson aka Sir_Wulf

tlotig wrote:
Is it intended that the ghoul coup de gras paralysed/helpless players? Will he take attacks of opportunity to do so?

The Devourer of Reason is extremely cunning. While it may be eager to feast upon its foes' minds, it would hesitate to open itself to attack to accomplish this. I only see it courting an attack of opportunity when the reward is worth the risk. Reasons for such might include:

1.) The party's healer repeatedly brings downed foes back into the fray.

2.) The Devourer needs the Will save bonus the Brain Eater ability gives it.

3.) The fight is likely to take a while, giving foes the chance to recover from paralysis.

4.) The party's behavior makes the Devourer think it needs to know more about their abilities to defeat them.

5.) The Attack of Opportunity isn't very threatening (e.g.: A weak-looking or small PC with a light weapon while the Devourer is unwounded).

Andoran ***** Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka AZhobbit

Ok how about the Map issues it has 3B as a location, but there is no 3B it should be 3G, this is somewhat confusing.

Shadow Lodge **

Sir_Wulf and Mr Johnson, many thanks on your advice took Mister Johnsons and turned the map around and drew it, worked perfectly and I think all the guys on my table enjoyed themselves, many thanks

Andoran ***** Venture-Lieutenant, California—Fresno aka Sarta

Hondo Heru wrote:
Sir_Wulf and Mr Johnson, many thanks on your advice took Mister Johnsons and turned the map around and drew it, worked perfectly and I think all the guys on my table enjoyed themselves, many thanks

Glad that worked for you. Usually I realize the short-cut I could have taken when I'm in the car, driving home from the game. This was one of the few times my gut instict actually worked.

Taldor ****

I had fun while playing this scenario except at the end.

My character, a 5th level 1/2 orc barbarian, due to piss poor rolling on my part. Got paralyzed and brain eaten in the final encounter. (I couldn't buy a roll above a 10.)

Now if what the GM told me is correct, and it looks so from what I read, if you die from that fight, your character is permanently dead unless they are Osirion faction. Was this the intent?

The reason I say this, is that there is no way a 1st thru 5th level character can afford a resurrection or true resurrection either by gold or Prestige.

Here is the math.
A character one away from 6th has 14 chronicles. So if they have gotten EVERY single PP available, they have 28PP. Resurrection costs 32 and true res 77 (from Pathfinder Society Feild Guide)
Gold wise a res cost 10,910gp and true res 26,530gp. I had 5 GM credit on the character and wasn't even close to the gold for either. And if the whole party of six had sacrified thier take for the mod, We still would not have had enough.

I would have minded this less if it had occured in a 7-11 teir mod, as then there is a possibility to get the character ressed. But this is a "Punish the unlucky player" mod.

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Canada—Winnipeg aka NoStrings

I ran this scenario for a group on New Year's Eve. It was fantastic!

The party consisted of two clerics (one channeling negative energy), a witch, a bard, and an alchemist. No real melee or tank-type character. The APL was above 3.5, and they decided to play up.

Both as a GM and a player, I think that a session is the most fun and memorable when it's close, and the last half of this one in particular had 4 out of 5 characters unconscious multiple times. No deaths, but very close calls!

Act 1:

The Grand Lodge witch fell through the trap, and managed to spot the book she required for her faction mission while she was climbing back up.

The haunt was great. They didn't know what to do as they took several rounds of acid damage. FInally the bard enters the room and makes a knowledge: religion check. They manage to channel enough energy to put it down. I like that players aren't really familiar with haunts yet - keeps them on thier toes.

Act 2:

The investigation went fairly smoothly. They went to the library first, as there was a Sczarni faction character that had a faction mission there. They got the information they required, and skipped the Arcanamirium, as they figured they had all the info they needed.

Act 3:

The fights in this were epic!

The merrow knocked the halfling cleric unconscious twice, dropping him in the water. As he was dragged out and healed back to consciousness, the merrow grappled the negative energy cleric and dragged him into the deeper water and held him there. Fortunately, the alchemist had lots of alchemist's fire and dropped her the next round.

The reefclaws weren't too tough, especially once the party lured them onto land where the reefclaws could only move 5'. One good negative energy channel, and they went down.

The statue was great. It was different from most familiar constructs, and gave the party a good fight.

The giant hand was fun too. The party used some fireworks to blast the corpse on the throne before approaching. The bard went to investigate, and the hand dropped and started grappling. Since the bard was now it's quarry, and he had almost no chance of escaping the grapple, most of the fight went like this:

The Hand maintains the grapple, damages the bard, bard goes unconscious.
Heal the bard
Heal the bard
Heal the bard
Alchemist throws a bomb, excluding party members from the blast.
Lather, rinse, repeat.

The Devourer of Reason put up a good fight, paralyzing one character, and putting a few others onto the negatives.

This scenario could have turned out a lot differently if every member of the party wasn't able to use a wand of cure light wounds. In total, they used 78 charges from their various wands! That's not counting channel bursts and regular healing spells.

All in all, a lot of fun to run, and lots of positive feedback from the players.

***** Venture-Lieutenant, Arizona—Tucson aka Sir_Wulf

Tim Statler wrote:
Now if what the GM told me is correct, and it looks so from what I read, if you die from that fight, your character is permanently dead unless they are Osirion faction. Was this the intent?

It wasn't my desire to "permakill" those unfortunates who find themselves in the Devourer's clutches! I would hope that GMs will encourage survivors to come up with ways to fix up "brain-deprived" PCs: I'm fond of make whole, but someone skilled at Healing might be able to put everything back in the correct place once the brain is recovered from the Devourer's stomach. (Fortunately, the Devourer bolts its food.)

I actually gave it that feat because I thought it was really creepy that the villain could eat your brain, then pry into your innermost secrets. I didn't expect that he'd often get the chance to actually use the ability.

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Illinois—Decatur aka TwilightKnight

I thought about the Make Whole spell, but I'm not sure it would work. The text says "object touched." Does a body could as an object? I'm inclined to want to allow it, but not sure.

***** Venture-Lieutenant, Arizona—Tucson aka Sir_Wulf

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Once dead, a body is technically an object.

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