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PFS 3-09 The Quest for Perfection Part 1: The Edge of Heaven [SPOILERS]


Pathfinder Society GM Discussion

Grand Lodge ****

Ran this for the first time last night after more prep than I usually have time to spend (due to the holiday hiatus). Some of the reviews complained about railroad and lack of roleplaying. Also - some of the fights can be deadly at the low tier (running high tier on Monday, so I'll report back then).

*** NOTE: SPOILERS ABOUND ***

I think there are a couple of secrets to making this scenario great:

1. Don't use the box text intro, which essentially fast-forwards through to the PCs arriving at the base camp in the mountains. This will be many players' first time in Goka and Tien Xia at all, so don't' skip it. I started them in Absalom, where V-C Hestram explained that, though the Society normally frowns on teleportation since you miss out on the journey, in this case due to distance it was required. He then had a Society spellcaster (my V-L's PC) use a scroll to teleport them to Goka, where I could set the stage of the Lantern Lodge and the different culture. Then V-C Amara Li gives them their mission, and introduces the guides by name, and they (in character) convey most of the information that the characters learn through Knowledge checks. This gives an opportunity for some great role-playing (in accent, if so desired, since the guides speak broken Taldane), and can really give the game a flavour. Without this, it could be "just another mountain range" with a railroad of encounters, rather than a strange new world as it should be.

2. Be careful in the combats - the environment makes many fights very non-standard.

In the first encounter, the leopard can kill a level 1 character in one round, between pounce and rake, if it attacks with surprise. I dropped the sorcerer for the first of 5 times in this session, but then the fighter killed it in one round before anyone else could act (something she became famous for throughout the scenario). This is a common theme for the encounters: lots of damage potential, but low AC/HP makes them fall quickly.

In the second encounter, there was no way for this party to really fight the cave fisher, who is in darkness and has cover 50' above them, without letting it catch one of them and riding the rope up to its lair. 50' puts it out of range of most domain powers (and the vision range of the oracle!). This one can take a long time, as the PCs kept cutting the filament but then getting snared again. It takes 5 rounds to ride the filament elevator, so you might have to plant this idea to save some time. Dropped several characters in this fight, but they were saved by the healers.

In the third encounter - being squeezed on a mountain trail is lethal. Assuming an attack from the surprise, the combat goes like this: ghoul jumps out, paralyzing first person in line. No one can do anything except shoot through cover or channel burst. Toss paralyzed foe off mountain, 5' step forward, rinse and repeat. If you have a positive channeler (or three!) they can be OK, but this can be a meat grinder for low-level characters. You might want to suggest that they put the heaviest armor PC up front due to the narrow path where mobility is limited.

(The third encounter is a great place to use 3D terrain if you like that sort of thing... I had borrowed some and was ready to go, and then forget to use it! Doh.)

We skipped the bridge encounter as noted above. The group rested at the Two Brothers, as they were almost out of healing.

First fight at the monastery with the runt yeti - again people got that lovely red "Paralyzed" condition card, but with a low AC and low hit points this guy was a speed bump.

The big yeti - they stumbled upon him at close range, a few PCs were paralyzed, and then he started dropping characters. Even with a cleric of Sarenrae with the fire domain and a sorcerer with specialized burning hands, they barely lived through it on their healing. If there was a single cleric in a four-person party, this group would be dead, hands-down. With 2 attacks at +10 averaging 15 damage a hit, the yeti can one-shot almost anyone at first level, and many second-level characters as well.

However, and let me emphasize this - the danger level is a great strength of this scenario! Players are unused to being challenged as a six-player party, and there were so many epic moments that this will stick in people's minds for a long time. Loved it!

Cheliax ***** Venture-Captain, Nebraska—Omaha

The only issue I have with you using #1 is that it can cheapen the isolation and how far away you actually are from the Inner Sea. I like the trek up to the Crown of the World, the harrowing journey through the pass, and then a boat ride or something to Goka. Or even just a boat ride from Absalom to Goka that takes 2 months or something like that. Teleporting across the world starts down a slippery slope of "Why not just teleport us directly to where we need to go?" etc.

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

I ran this scenario a couple days ago at our weekly PFS session. Here were my thoughts for the 1-2 tier.

thoughts:

I agree with Scott and just about everyone else who's said something to the effect that the combats can be very lethal. The first one was a push over for my team, as they one shot the poor snow leopard, and the second one dragged on for a while, since they had no real ranged capabilities. However, the third, fourth and final all resulted in the party winning with at least 1 PC in the negatives.

Some retrospective number crunching: the final boss has to +10 attacks that hit for an average of 12 damage (d4+d6+6) a pop. Pretty strong for a group of level 1s.

A humorous aside. One of the PCs was an undead lord cleric archetype, so he controlled one of the ghouls in the third combat, and used it until the final combat. Then the barbarian yeti boss one shot him from full to -15, and the ghoul proceeded to rampage through the party. In the end, the paladin went to negatives 3 times and lived, the bard went down once, and the cleric went down once and never got up :(

If I was running a table for 4-6 brand new PCs, I'd feel bad for throwing them into a meat grinder. My table at the time was 5 experienced PCs and 1 newbie (the paladin), so I didn't feel so bad for stomping all over them. And honestly, against the final boss, I'm not sure they could have done much. He's pretty much a house that's guaranteed to drop at least 1 PC.

Non combat wise: I loved the setting of this game. I actually opened up the game by having everyone share their various IRL hiking stories, building up just how tall these mountains were. The statue RP moment was tons of fun, especially with a couple of PCs trying to convince the statue to leave his mountain solitude to reside in a museum somewhere. I think that some of the descriptions could have been a bit better done, just because words like "sheer face" "crevasse" etc get so reused in a mountainous setting. I had to draw almost every encounter on the mountain out twice, once from the side, to show the players what it looked like. Aside from that, though, the game was great fun.

Silver Crusade ***

The party I ran this for actually managed to put themselves in a situation where the only remotely reasonable thing to the end boss to do was to coup de grace their paralyzed rogue. Oh well, at least that was a first-level character of a player who already had a higher-level one...

Had their alchemist not fried the yeti with a crit from a fire bomb, there might have been more than rogue guts on the snow.

Grand Lodge ****

Todd Morgan wrote:
The only issue I have with you using #1 is that it can cheapen the isolation and how far away you actually are from the Inner Sea.

Yeah, I agree in a way... I have to balance that against "why would they wait months for this particular party to arrive from Absalom, rather than just send someone else?" Given that Venture-Captain Li just learned the location of the Braid, and it's in a monastery that no one has had contact with in several years, you'd think they would send someone right away to make sure it's still there. Besides, it lets me stress the fact that the Society frowns on teleportation in most other cases.

As for why not go right to the destination, well, the sorcerer reading the teleport scroll has never been there, it would be a shame to arrive just off the edge of the shear cliff face the monastery is on...

Though, I have it scheduled a few more times this month, I think I'll try it with the journey and see how it plays.


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

I'd very much like to hear the feedback on the higher-tier for this scenario. I was one of the play testers for Jerall, and in the several times we've tried the playthrough, the tier 1-2 game was a fun challenge, but the tier 4-5 end boss was terrifying!

Qadira ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

I can well imagine, LoreKeeper!

I've GMed this scenario at low sub-tier, after playing it at high. Our party of six included a barbarian and my flowing monk. I kept tripping the scary yeti, which kept making it flat-footed for a round, and the barbarian chewed him up.

Grand Lodge ****

LoreKeeper wrote:

I'd very much like to hear the feedback on the higher-tier for this scenario. I was one of the play testers for Jerall, and in the several times we've tried the playthrough, the tier 1-2 game was a fun challenge, but the tier 4-5 end boss was terrifying!

When I played it at 4-5, all of the party members were being extremely cautious with the enormous boss. Nobody was going within 30 foot of him. You essentially had 5 adventurers, all 30 foot away, either casting spells, firing bows, or yelping and running as he growled and approached. I used illusion spells to trick him into attacking dud targets while I stealthed around the monastery rooms. It took a long time but eventually he dropped.

A fortnight later, we had another table try the tier at 4-5.
The combination of a frontline fighter and two weapon fighting rogue had built themselves up into a state of extreme confidence. In the first round, they started their pincer attack, and to their horror, the giant white furry walking carpet didn't even blink after mammoth sneak attack damage.

The full attack payback was swift, brutal, and resulted in player death.

Throw rock at party
Demolish if within five
Furry Yeti fun

Grand Lodge *****

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Tales Subscriber

I GMed it last week - cold - at a convention. Doing it without proper preperation is never good. But I was the 'spare' GM and my wife and son wanted 'to play' - so I only volunteered ensuring both had a space which meant I couldn't run any of the 40 odd scenarios I had done in the past.

We played tier 4-5
Dwarven Ranger based on Harsk PreGen from Kingmaker (and since developed)
Halfling Rogue
Dwarf Paladin
Oracle of Life
Zen Archer

Encounter 1:
The ranger (my son) convinced the group not to fight and tried to calm the leopards. Used handle animal aided by food, talk to animal spell and good dice rolls. The encounter ended with the group feeding the leopards and being allowed to pass. They had to find a new, less comfortable place for the night half an hour further up the mountain.

Encounter 2:
This took me a while to envision. Once I got it I build up the basic idea using 2 drink cans and producing an overhang to envision the terrain. The following fight was epic.
The Zen Archer went up first and the Cace Fishers attacked when halfling rogue was 30 feet up. Both got hit. The Zen Archer (level 3, playing up) had no slashing weapon at all. The rogue was having a short sword (well - you can be lenient as GM ...).
After one round the halfling was dangling upside down 40 feet above the ground. The Zen Archer had 'disappeared'. The halfling tried to cut herself loose despit dangling upside down - without success. The Paladin was double moving up the rope - taking 10 to move up 10 feet per round. Blocking everyone behind him.

The halfling tried to cut herself loose despit dangling upside down - without success. The Crag Fishers disappeared out of view and there was the sense of despair in the group.

The Cave Fishers slowly reeled in their food. The halfling was hacking franticly at the strings but bad dice roll prevented any success. The Zen Archer tried to shoot while being reeled in but bad dice rolling and not a single arrow hit. When he was reeled into the lair he took a rope out and held on to it so the rest of the group at least was able to follow him.

Desperation was high - just before the Crag Fisher got the rogue he tried a shirt reroll to finally cut lose and rather jump 50 feet down as being eaten - to no avail.

The 'meal' started and it was the Oracle of Life with life link and healing that prevented any death. It was touch and go for the Zen Archer who went twice negative while the paladin and ranger finely hacked at the beasts.

The Ghould attack went without too many problems. Maybe I did it wrong and tried to bullrush first - paralyze second. I failed with the suprise and then the group managed to take them down. Yes - I had one member paralyzed but there was no time to 'toss him down'.

The Yeti Runts were speed bumps. The Zen Archer finally had some decent dice rolling and single shotted one of them with a critical.

It was getting late with my son closely to sleeping - so we didn't explore everything in detail but more or less quickly entered the final battle.

I did paralyze the two main fighters for a round. The rogue did throw some Alchemist fire which hurt A LOT. With the ranger out of paralyze he did a crit with the Dwarven Waraxe and managed 40 HP in a single blow.

I did deal decent damage but burning and being assaulted on all sites (he got a second alchemist fire thrown at him and touch AC is very low) the Yeti went down fast.

The group (as well as myself) did enjoy it a lot.

The best adventures are when you afterwards can tell - you lived to tell the tale. But you know that is was close and a single dice roll could have resulted in death of a member or even TPK.

Grand Lodge ****

Higher tier can be lethal in almost every encounter with this one. So can lower tier, come to think of it.

Spoiler:

Leopards: 5 of their 6 appendages are pointy. Surprise pounce/rend while they're making camp and someone is hurt bad. I wait until the party has gotten over the "he put a map out, me must be about to fight!" meta-gaming instinct, and have the leopards sneak up to whatever building the party isn't using and attack from the roof during dinner. It's much easier to get past the marching order when someone goes off to pee, or when they're all spread out and you can leap right onto the unarmored mage sitting by his tent.

Cave Fisher: time-consuming, until they realize that "riding the elevator" is the quickest way to end the encounter. Tough at Tier 1-2 but usually an easier fight for 4-5.

Ghouls/ghasts: my first run at Tier 1-2 was scary. Paralyze, bull rush, rinse and repeat. Half the party was paralyzed and dying at the bottom of the ravine before the first ghoul dropped. Ghasts are worse in some cases - it seems it's never a good-Fort-save character in the front, and between squeezing and being tied together (something all my parties have done) maneuvering is a nightmare. "Welcome to the paralyzed condition!" became my watchword as I handed out condition cards.

Yeti runts: agree, they are speed bumps, *except*: when someone fails that first Will save and hears, "Welcome to the paralyzed condition!" again, the party *freaks*. I usually have the last runt run away to alert Shang Zu, and then run interference during the last fight.

Shang Zu - there's no reason to allow the party to stand off - if you have a good ranged party, have him stay in his nest and wait for them. Rock throwing is cool but not very effective compared to melee, so put him in the small room. Another factor, if the party fights the yeti first then they may not have enough time to really enjoy the encounter with the statue monk... I like to have that happen first before the final battle if I can manage it.

This is becoming one of the most popular scenarios I;ve run - in every encounter someone is dropped or in serious trouble (paralyzed or hanging from a filament), and the last fight flirts with a TPK very time. That's adventure!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Scott Young wrote:
Rock throwing is cool but not very effective compared to melee

Hah! I disagree, my PC (level 5) got knocked from full HP to 0 in a single oversized pot toss. Something around 40 damage. Not a crit.

Sure... in melee he's scary too - but he can completely rend a party with massive thrown objects one person a round.

**** Venture-Captain, South Africa—Cape Town aka Jatori

KestlerGunner wrote:

Throw rock at party

Demolish if within five
Furry Yeti fun

Haiku? :)

Thank you for the feedback, everybody. All of it goes back into improving the next one.

Grand Lodge ****

LoreKeeper wrote:
Hah! I disagree, my PC (level 5) got knocked from full HP to 0 in a single oversized pot toss. Something around 40 damage. Not a crit.

Not sure how... he can only hurl a medium-sized object, which does 3d6 damage plus his strength (+8), and you get a reflex save for half. Average 18, 26 at absolute maximum. Compared to 2 claws at 1d6+8 plus 1d6 cold each, that's an average of 15 each and 40 max. Guess it's useful against high-AC folks, since rock-throwing is a ranged touch attack.

Taldor *****

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Modules Subscriber
Scott Young wrote:
LoreKeeper wrote:
Hah! I disagree, my PC (level 5) got knocked from full HP to 0 in a single oversized pot toss. Something around 40 damage. Not a crit.

Not sure how... he can only hurl a medium-sized object, which does 3d6 damage plus his strength (+8), and you get a reflex save for half. Average 18, 26 at absolute maximum. Compared to 2 claws at 1d6+8 plus 1d6 cold each, that's an average of 15 each and 40 max. Guess it's useful against high-AC folks, since rock-throwing is a ranged touch attack.

Well, +17 damage with power attack, so max out at 35 w/out crit. It's a hefty DC to the reflex save, so I can see most 5th level tanks getting smacked for full damage.

He was a brute when I ran this, and with time running out they finally managed to grease him and cause him to go prone before they tore him apart. He came REALLY close to 1 shotting the monk as he tried to tumble by with acrobatics, and failed miserably...

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

Sniggevert wrote:

Well, +17 damage with power attack, so max out at 35 w/out crit. It's a hefty DC to the reflex save, so I can see most 5th level tanks getting smacked for full damage.

He was a brute when I ran this, and with time running out they finally managed to grease him and cause him to go prone before they tore him apart. He came REALLY close to 1 shotting the monk as he tried to tumble by with acrobatics, and failed miserably...

We didn't play the high tier, and I haven't read it, but unless he has a feat that lets him power attack with a thrown that won't work, since PA is melee only.

crb wrote:

Benefit: You can choose to take a –1 penalty on all

melee attack rolls and combat maneuver checks to gain
a +2 bonus on all melee damage rolls.

**** Venture-Captain, South Africa—Cape Town aka Jatori

Yip, he as an ability that lets him apply Power Attack:

APG wrote:
Hurling, Lesser (Ex): As a full-round action while raging, the barbarian can lift and hurl an object up to one size category smaller than herself with both hands or two size categories smaller with one hand as an improvised weapon with a range increment of 10 feet. This inflicts damage as a falling object (Core Rulebook 443) plus the barbarian's Strength bonus. This damage is halved if the object is not made of stone, metal, or similar material. This is a ranged touch attack, and the target may attempt a Reflex save (DC 10 + 1/2 the barbarian's level + the barbarian's Strength modifier) for half damage. The barbarian may apply Power Attack to this attack as a one- or two-handed weapon, as appropriate.

**

I GMed this at tier 4-5 last weekend. Overall I’d say the players enjoyed it and it was a good adventure.

Snow leopards: 2 characters made their Perception rolls, so no surprise. They won initiative = 1 dead cat in surprise round; poor rolls by 2nd cat = dead in round 1, no damage to PCs.

Crag fishers: This was a challenging and fun encounter. After unsuccessfully trying to pull up the big armored fighter, the halfling rogue obliged by stepping into range and got pulled up. Some tense moments as she realized she was the only one in the cave with the two beasties. Meanwhile the monk was having trouble climbing the wall, but eventually made it up to help out. 2 summoned eagles and the fishers were down in short order.

I definitely recommend having a side-view drawing of this encounter map ready to help the players visualize the set-up.

The ghasts were much easier than I thought they might be, but that was partially my own fault. The first one tried twice to bull-rush the halfling rogue, but rolled terribly. I should have tried to paralyze first, then bull-rush. It was a bit of a standoff given the tight quarters. I eventually had the other 3 ghasts begin to scramble up the side of the ravine to get at the other PCs. With some good ranged attacks by the characters, by the time the ghasts made it up they were well wounded and only got a couple of hits in. Good saves from the PCs and no one was ever paralyzed.

We had no time for the optional encounter.

The yeti runts managed to paralyze a couple of PCs, but they were still dispatched quickly.

Shang Xu was an okay fight, but he fell victim to several create pit spells. Though he could easily climb out of them, he was taking damage from spells, ranged attacks, and attacks of opportunity each time. He did manage to bring the monk into negatives when he fell into one of the pits with the yeti, but otherwise he only ever managed a few other hits as he was too busy climbing out of those damn pits.

Fortunately we had enough time at the end for the PCs to explore the rest of the monastery, so I didn’t need to skimp on the conversation with Jiang Dan. Between him and some great Knowledge rolls I was able to give the players most of the information in the introduction, which I think they appreciated.


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

Yes, the +9 from using Power Attack while hurling (a given, since the target is but touch AC) makes the damage go well up.

Osirion ****

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

You can add another TPK to the board for this scenario. This time it was the runt Yeti, believe it or not, against four 1st level PCs. They simply didn't have the hp to withstand his +5 d4+d6 attacks. I don't even want to think about what would have happened against Shang Xu.

Andoran *

Having played in it last night at 4-5 then read the reviews here, it seems a fair amount of the encounters can come down to perception and save or suck.

Against the Leopard the primary target (3rd level zen archer) made his Perception check and spotted the leopards. Winning initiative he was able to get a shot off in the surprise round and not be flat footed so didn't get hit with all the attacks from the 1st Cat. The combat went fairly quickly from there.

The group kept cutting down the caught member in the Fisher Fight. After firing a light arrow up into the hole, the Zen Archer was able to kill the first Fisher with some good rolls despite the cover, including a critical. The rogue made it up the climb then tossed some alchemist fire up into the hole before engaging the second fisher. The Sylvan Sorcerer used an Air Elemental to carry himself up to flank with the second fisher with his staff.

Our Sylvan Sorcerer used his Small Cat for some stealthy recon on the mountain trail. The cat managed his stealth roll and perception roll, so the group was not surprized by the ghouls and actually managed to keep the fight away from the edge. Channel Bursts from Kyra, and focusing primarily on one Ghast at a time, resulted in a fairly straight forward fight. The Rogue was our primary 'tank' and made all her saves but the last one, but a final channel burst and the cat finished off that Ghast.

No optional encounter. Despite being minimal threat, the encounters had run long timewise..

In the final two battles, the group failed a single save gaze roll. The Speed Bumps weren't even that, with successful perception checks from nearly everyone. the entire fight lasting 2 rounds. Good tactical planning meant the Rogue was able to take full advantage of sneak attack.

In the final fight, the Boss Yeti took over 1/4 of his hitpoints before he went, thanks to a high damage sneak attack bowshot from the Rogue and a follow up shot for max damage from the Archer. The Rogue and the Small Cat were able to get into flanking, and at that point it was a matter of keeping the two alive with heals while they and the archer pushed the damage home. The Yeti made hits against the Rogue, but his damage ended up being very low on the roll.

As I said at the beginning, this adventure seems to come down to the perception and saves. Our group were well set for Perception, and we managed to roll well on saves. There were definate oportunity for PCs to drop, but with good heals we never had anyone into the negatives.

Grand Lodge

Hi all,

It was great reading through all of your experiences with this particular scenario. I must say I enjoyed running it myself. I thought my mixed group of levels 1-3 handled it fairly well, only 3 ko's for the encounter 2 against the big bad yeti.

I have a question concerning something else however. For the Silver Crusade faction, they are given the task of deciphering the inscription on the Two Brothers and then meditating on the words to gain the credit for their extra faction point. My two players that were part of the Silver Crusade could not succeed on the linguistics check to decipher the passage, so instead they took a rubbing and returned it to Goka/Absalom with them.

I interpreted the success conditions for the faction point to mean that they must have done the meditation at the site of the Two Brothers, so I didn't end up giving them the prestige point. I was just wondering if anyone disagreed with this ruling, or if you thought I handled it correctly. Thanks for the input!

*

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

If those faction missions were still in effect, yes, they need to meditate within the chamber; however, none of the pre-Season 5 faction missions matter any more. In the Pathfinder Society Scenarios section on this website, there's a Secondary Success Conditions Document which you need to reference for any pre-Season 5 scenario. For #3-09, the secondary success condition is:

#3–09: Quest for Perfection, Part 1: The Edge of Heaven
Primary: The PCs recover the Braid of a Hundred Masters and return it to Amara Li at the Lantern Lodge in Goka.
Secondary: The PC must both slay Shang Xu, whose death improves the local perception of the Pathfinder Society, and learn from Jiang Dan how to restore power to the Braid of a Hundred Masters.

As long as the players killed Shang Xu, and spoke with Jiang Dan enough to discover how to activate the braid, all of them get the second prestige point. If they did not kill Shang Xu, or they did not confirm how to activate the braid, none of them get the second prestige point.

Grand Lodge

Glad to know I would have made the right decision if those were still active. I didn't know about that document though, so thanks for the heads up. I'll be sure to inform my players and go back and make the appropriate changes. Thanks!

** Venture-Lieutenant, Tennessee—Nashville aka Wolfspirit

I ran this scenario last night and I'm not sure how well the new Secondary condition of "learn from Jiang Dan how to restore power to the Braid of a Hundred Masters" works with the way the scenario is written.

From the Briefing the VC gives, the group knows that they're seeking out the Braid of the Masters, but from my reading there's no clues that it's currently dormant.

I personally gave the group a DC 20 Knowledge: Arcana roll when they were looking at it to realize that that it was dormant, which prompted the party them to ask the statue the correct line of inquiry. I could also see a knowledge: Religion being a potential alternative... maybe coupled with the knowledge religion check in F2? Either way, there should be some mechanical means of determining it is dormant if it's tied to a Secondary Condition.

It might also be a good idea to clarify what information from Jiang Dan actually satisfies the requirement. Technically, the party *doesn't* learn from Jiang Dan how to restore the braid (though I would assume that realizing there is a Master to seek out is what was expected.) I personally didn't want to spoon-feed Prestige when the party asked "What do you know about the Braid?"

I understand that achieving the secondary conditions should be expected, but as written, this one seems like it's very dependent on the GM.

****

Wolfspirit wrote:

I ran this scenario last night and I'm not sure how well the new Secondary condition of "learn from Jiang Dan how to restore power to the Braid of a Hundred Masters" works with the way the scenario is written.

From the Briefing the VC gives, the group knows that they're seeking out the Braid of the Masters, but from my reading there's no clues that it's currently dormant.

I personally gave the group a DC 20 Knowledge: Arcana roll when they were looking at it to realize that that it was dormant, which prompted the party them to ask the statue the correct line of inquiry. I could also see a knowledge: Religion being a potential alternative... maybe coupled with the knowledge religion check in F2? Either way, there should be some mechanical means of determining it is dormant if it's tied to a Secondary Condition.

It might also be a good idea to clarify what information from Jiang Dan actually satisfies the requirement. Technically, the party *doesn't* learn from Jiang Dan how to restore the braid (though I would assume that realizing there is a Master to seek out is what was expected.) I personally didn't want to spoon-feed Prestige when the party asked "What do you know about the Braid?"

I understand that achieving the secondary conditions should be expected, but as written, this one seems like it's very dependent on the GM.

I GMed this when there were still faction missions, but when I played it just recently the revelation of dormancy was pretty straightforward--someone put it on, and the GM said, "Okay, nothing happens." I think this is in keeping with the ideas of the secondary success missions--if the Pathfinders just grab it and go home, they don't get the second PP; they need to take initiative.

The issue with our game was Jiang Dan--I couldn't say anything since I'd run it, but we very nearly didn't investigate the rest of the complex. Finally we just kind of looked around for information, and then once we found the statue there was no reason to actually touch it, which is what allows it to talk. Only the fact that our resident lunatic necromancer randomly licks things (I'm not kidding) resulted in us discovering that it was sentient.

** Venture-Lieutenant, Tennessee—Nashville aka Wolfspirit

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In my case, the group found Jiang Dan because they were doing a thorough search; they didn't think they'd found their second PP yet ;)

I'm ok semi-hidden Secondary Conditions, but for less paranoid Pathfinders, it might be a good idea to have some sort of standardized check to determine that it is Dormant. As it happens, the *activated* Braid of a Hundred Masters doesn't do much other than make Monks cry.

Andoran

we did find the yeti

My GM was running it cold and often had to stop and read, so he may have missed the secondary success condition. We just found the statue and asked it how it came into being - so we did know about the master, but we didn't know he was necessary for activating the braid, or that the braid was even unactivated.

Highlights from this game were the first-level paladin walking down the shaft past the second entrance to the fisher lair and saying "Nothing's getting past me!" (having failed his check to notice the hole), the eidolon succeeding on its Climb check to grab the lip of the external fisher hole (after jumping from the top of the cliff), and Shang Xu running out of actions just as he was about to kill the druid's animal companion (and the first-level paladin dropping the yeti barbarian with his only successful attack in the entire session).

Andoran **

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The group I ran through tried to loot the statue and put it on a mule to take back with them. Then it talked and they tried sundering it when they panicked...

Shadow Lodge *

I really wish the mountains were higher. It's rediculous to have to do the fatigue rolls when the characters are in mountains that aren't even as high as our game store.

** Venture-Lieutenant, Tennessee—Nashville aka Wolfspirit

Conman the Bardbarian wrote:
I really wish the mountains were higher. It's rediculous to have to do the fatigue rolls when the characters are in mountains that aren't even as high as our game store.

When I ran it, one of my players complained about that as well, as his house was at a higher elevation than how high they were supposed to be.

Shadow Lodge *

We all got a pretty good laugh from it since we're sitting on the planes at 5400+ feet just east of the foothills. I just told everyone I was making it 15,000 feet instead.

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