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PFS#3-13 Defenders of Nesting Swallow [SPOILERS]


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Qadira ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

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Does anyone remember the Dungeon magazine adventure "The Siege of Kratys Freehold"? This scenario reminds me a lot of it, and if Defenders of Nesting Swallow is as fun as The Siege of Kratys Freehold then this scenario should earn some high reviews.

I have only started to read through it, but already I am frustrated with the first encounter. The tengu have mounts and are designed for mounted combat, but the map they are squeezed onto does not tactically provide for ride-by attacks. The pogs on the map are medium sized but the horses should be size large. The PCs have a surprise round to move up and bottleneck the road. The Woodlands flipmat just does not work with the encounter as written. I think the result will be the tengu will fight in place and use their warhorses to make full attacks, inflicting more damage than the author intends, especially to 1st level PCs. Having a more open map would enable the tengu to survive longer--which potentially works in the favor of the PCs. I'll have a better feel for this scenario after running it twice at Winter War.

Qadira ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

Another issue that this scenario avoids is what to do if some of the PCs want to take the fight to the Thundering Eclipse. I can foresee there being players who say "I am going to wait until the tengu make their camp then snipe at them from concealment/use hit-and-run tactics." OR "I am going to try and stealth into their camp and steal their horses/assassinate their officers". I think it's important for GMs to think about how they will handle this, because without a doubt there will be players who will take this scenario in a completely different direction. At Tier 4-5 there will potentially be a wizard with fly and fireball. How many tengu bad guys can there possibly be? A hundred? Two hundred? How many are going to be clustered into fireball template?

I'm not saying this is an error in the scenario design. This can potentially be a lot of fun for bold players. But there will be other players at the table who are going to sit and watch as off-script combats are played out. Just something to think about...

Qadira ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

OK, OK, OK, last question (today). In the assault on the village, is it assumed to be twilight conditions AKA 20% miss chance for those without low-light vision? The way the boxed text reads, the tengu use the darkness to advance on the barricades. Nothing is mentioned outside of the boxed text, but I have to assume that the tengu waited until dusk to attack for that advantage. Should any concealment conditions be applied or is the use of 'twilight' and 'dusk' just for flavor?

Taldor *****

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Modules Subscriber
Doug Miles wrote:

Does anyone remember the Dungeon magazine adventure "The Siege of Kratys Freehold"? This scenario reminds me a lot of it, and if Defenders of Nesting Swallow is as fun as The Siege of Kratys Freehold then this scenario should earn some high reviews.

Hmm...never read that one, I'll have to try and look it up. When I read through the scenario, images from Kurosawa's "Seven Samurai" kept popping into my head. It was a great show, and this scenarios does have a lot of potential IMO.

Qadira ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

So I ran this once for each tier over the weekend, and it went very well. When I get some more time I will write up a proper review. I want to make an observation about the Faction missions. The specific success conditions regarding the use of Defensive Points does not match the vague instructions given on the mission slip. It seems like the missions were written in haste and are going to require some strong hints from the GM in order for the players to have a clue about what they are expected to do.

I also added something to the scenario after the final combat and I'm working to refine it a little more now. I introduced Je Tsun as being further along in her pregnancy, then she goes into early labor during the final fight. I give the players the impression that without assistance she (and her baby) will die and the PCs fail their mission. A Heal check is needed to turn the baby and stop the mother's hemorrhaging. A DC 15 saves the mother but the baby is lost. A DC 20 saves both mother & baby. Tien babies are not given names until they reach 12 months of age due to high mortality. If the baby is saved Je Tsun says she will name it after the PC who made the Heal check :)

Grand Lodge ****

I played this one last weekend so I can comment as a player, but not as a GM.

The party adapted very quickly and very strategically towards preparing the village for the oncoming onslaught. We all agreed on the smartest allocation of resources, and even managed to have 40 combat-trained villages and 10 archery-trained villagers. We really enjoyed the process! Every able-bodied villager was able to defend the village with full fortifications and all the harvest protected.

We ended up with approximately 25 defence points - what I understand was a great result.

In the following battles, we didn't really spend any defence points at all. It's not that the mechanic wasn't simple - it was very simple. But it was a new mechanic that we'd never used before, so it didn't occur to us to use them when our turns came around. I also think we didn't want to spend defence points on a roll we hadn't seen - we were taking actions that we were confident would have worked, so why waste def points? It was a reward we never used.

It wasn't that the combats weren't difficult - the boss battle killed me in the first round, due to 2 hits and then a critical hit from the Axebeak. I'm still not 100% sure if I could have been burning defense points to have boosted my AC to make sure I was safe.

I would have liked to have seen the different results for the defence of Nesting Swallow alter the actual enemies stats - for example:

Defence Points 5 : Remove one mounted bandit from wave 1.
10: Remove two mounted bandits from waves 1 and 2.
15: Place hidden pit traps at locations a, b and c. See stats.
20: Remove 5hp from all bandits during the wave attacks.
25: Remove 10hp from the bandit leader.
30: Bandit leader gains the shaken condition for 1d6 rounds as the attack is not going well.

This would allow the defence results to effect the combat without the players needing to wrap their heads around a new mechanic.

On the whole, I thought this was an excellent scenario to finish a very successful trilogy and I expect to give it a very high rating when I eventually GM it.

Grand Lodge ****

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Doug Miles wrote:
I also added something to the scenario after the final combat and I'm working to refine it a little more now.

Just reading this scenario tonight, but I'd be cautious about using something like this. You never know what life experiences people around your table may have had, and "dead baby" mechanics might be over the line for some people.

Cheliax ***

Ran this scenario for my weekly group last night and I must say that it was one of the most enjoyable PFS experiences we've ever had. I would highly recommend this scenario as a "must play"

Spoiler:
During the preparations for the siege, the pc's at the table lacked many of the specialty skills (ie craft bowyer and knowledge eng) that allowed for the bonus defense points, but manage to accomplish all the major goals and accrue 19 points with 2 days left before the siege. So, as a group, they pooled their resources and bought 20 bear traps and 20 trespasser's boots from the Adventurer's Armory and happily went about scattering them about the 100' square area outside the wall they would be guarding sparing 1/2 of their traps for the other two choke points. My players peeled with joy as the traps decimated the Tengu's mounts, and laughed hysterically as the advancing bandits had to decide to either take fire while making perception checks and only advancing 10' per round to avoid the plethora of traps or to charge ahead blindly to be chomped on my steel jaws and halted by spike lined boot pits. All this clever planning allowed them to save their resources for the oncoming huge owlbear (OMG) and the cavalier bbeg. Made things much easier for a total investment of 14gp per PC after selling them all back. Not too shabby for 2 days work. :D

***** Venture-Captain, North Carolina—Raleigh aka MillerHero

Am I missing something with the non-monk reward for the Braid of a Hundred Masters?
"If the character is not a monk, he gains the fast movement and unarmed damage of a 2nd-level monk."
unarmed damage is 1d6, that's easy. +0 ft. fast movement?

Cheliax ***

Steve Miller wrote:

Am I missing something with the non-monk reward for the Braid of a Hundred Masters?

"If the character is not a monk, he gains the fast movement and unarmed damage of a 2nd-level monk."
unarmed damage is 1d6, that's easy. +0 ft. fast movement?

I saw that too. I assume the braid is supposed to add the base amount of fast movement of a monk for non monks. So +10' of movement, that is not how things are technically worded, however.

Paizo Employee ** Developer

Aaron Hale wrote:
I saw that too. I assume the braid is supposed to add the base amount of fast movement of a monk for non monks. So +10' of movement, that is not how things are technically worded, however.

Since 2nd-level monks don't have fast movement, a non-monk gains only the increased unarmed damage bonus. The printed text is an artifact of an earlier version that granted a higher-level monk bonus. The magic item should be run exactly as published, and isn't really up for alternate interpretations.


Mark,

As a monk player (in these scenarios just this past weekend), I wish the braid were better for monks who do not have flurry.

I love the originality of this reward, and I understand how it has been balanced (by taking the neck slot, no stacking w/ monks robe)... just wish it applied 'more broadly' to the many monk archetypes.

Marcus

Qadira ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

I concur, Marcus. Given the rumors at the beginning of the scenario, my monk was excited about the adventure. He did get to visit an monastery and compare Tiean monastic traditions with his own. But he does not consider the braid to be a serious choice versus his amulet of mighty fists or the amulet of natural armor he keeps for emergencies.

He is considering a level in Cavalier now, though.

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

I ran this yesterday at the tier 1-2 level. The players really enjoyed it and the final fight was pretty epic. At one point the oracle was at -9 bleeding out, the bard was at -4 bleeding out, and both fighters were under 3 hit points.

My only quibble -- and this is a very slight one -- but I wish the rules for constructing the barricade followed the same rules as gathering crops. My party kept wanting to assign a different number of people to the task each day, which created a real problem in determining completion time.

If it had simply required X number of man-days to complete, this would not have been an issue.


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Owlcon 2012. Sunday morning. My final session. 6 man table, 2nd, 3rd, 3rd, 3rd, 4th, 4th level PCs.
We played at 4-5... doing quite well until the final encounter.

[Side Note: the Andoran (?) faction mission to hit 20 defense points is not at all easy. We had all of the wacky skills and the rogue rolled very well on the disable device... and we maxxed out training on all but 1 unit of melee dudes.... and we hit 21... I would imagine many tables have issues with that Faction Mission]

The bandit leader dude reamed one of our level 4 characters in a single attack to start off the combat.

Don't get me wrong... I LOVE the concept. I think it's well executed. I just didn't realize how brutal a cavalier was, I guess. The GM (good ole Dragnmoon) rolled double 19s and critted our fighter/rogue, killing her instantly (well past negative con) in one brutal attack. Even though we had 10 defense points, there was nothing we could do.

[Side Note 2: we barely used defense points. Cool mechanic idea, but hard to remember what they did, and to use them. A reference card and some kind of tokens to track them would help...]

I hate PC death (when it's not due to stupidity or taking big risks), but the mod was waaaaay cool nonetheless. The whole 'seven samurai' vibe was going strong (though Dragnmoon has never seen Seven Samurai or The Magnificent Seven... can you believe it?), and the idea to build in the very orderly defense point subsystem really has the potential to streamline and speed up the session.

My only suggestion would be to have a printout that summarizes the rules for the village preparation. It should not have DCs, but should have # of peasants, time, tasks, etc. The players had a lot of questions (but were really intrigued by the 'mini game' in the module) and it just burned up more time than it needed to because we didn't have a PC-friendly reference to help us make our decisions.

Marcus

Shadow Lodge **** Venture-Lieutenant, California—Fresno (Card Game) aka ThreeEyedSloth

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I had a notecard for each task in the village, and each day, the players placed tokens that each represented 5 villages on the cards how they liked. I formatted them something like this:

TASK

MINIMUM VILLAGERS

PC INVOLVEMENT (yes/no)

DEFENSE POINTS EARNED

WAYS TO EARN BONUS DEFENSE

I didn't list DCs of checks at all, but I did write down which skills would be used. It made the whole process much clearer for my table, and we blew through the village preparation in about 20 minutes or so.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32, 2011 Top 4

Hi, everyone. I'm really glad that, so far, people seem to have mostly enjoyed the scenario. Just to answer a few questions:

Doug Miles wrote:
In the assault on the village, is it assumed to be twilight conditions AKA 20% miss chance for those without low-light vision?

No, you're right in guessing that was intended as flavor text. Sorry for the confusion. I suppose you could use twilight conditions there if you wanted to make the fight tougher, but I'm honestly not sure if that might throw the scales out of whack for the PCs. If it helps your sense of veracity, assume the barricades have a lot of torches set up; that would cover lighting conditions for melee, at least. And just hand wave it for missile combat?

KestlerGunner wrote:
In the following battles, we didn't really spend any defence points at all.
Goatlord wrote:
[Side Note 2: we barely used defense points. Cool mechanic idea, but hard to remember what they did, and to use them. A reference card and some kind of tokens to track them would help...

Huh, okay, interesting, I'm seeing a recurring issue. :-) I suppose I honestly hadn't thought it through and realized that I was giving the players yet another bit of data to keep track of along with 'how much longer is my spell up for?', 'Is the bard using inspire courage?', etc. Sorry; glad to hear groups are making it through more or less intact even without using the DPs they've earned, though.

Will Johnson wrote:
My only quibble -- and this is a very slight one -- but I wish the rules for constructing the barricade followed the same rules as gathering crops. My party kept wanting to assign a different number of people to the task each day, which created a real problem in determining completion time.

Argh, sorry. I knew all the number crunching the village prep involved might slow things down, and I hoped I'd fudged it enough to avoid that fate, but apparently not so much. If I recall, I made the barricade numbers a little weird because I wanted to establish that the barricade would be 'completed' by the time of the attack regardless of the PCs involvement in it. (Because, of course, the barricade would be on the village map regardless, and the attack was written with chokepoints in mind). So, I think my way of doing so complicated things more than I'd wanted; sorry if that caused a snag at the table.

Loving hearing everyone's game stories; Aaron, your players' deviousness is epic. Doug, I LOVE Je Tsun going into labor during the fight.
I'm definitely making a note of all other 'This would have been better if...' comments, so keep at 'em. It all helps make any future writing gigs that much tighter.

Lantern Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Australia—Melbourne aka DarkWhite

WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS!

Hi Sean, thanks for a most enjoyable scenario!

Defenders of Nesting Swallow released bang in the middle of our four-day Arcanacon 2012 Melbourne, Australia. We already had two tables of players each game through Quest for Perfection Parts I and II on day two, so my only chance was to download and read Nesting Swallow overnight (arriving home 1am after the con), ready to run two back-to-back sessions beginning 9am the following day. The final day was already booked solid with the Blood Under Absalom special, so it was now or never. It was desperate preparation, but I'm so glad I did!

Coincidentally, both tables had a Tengu character playing (boons from a previous con), so I roleplayed the villagers terrified of feathered characters, which played well into various scenes. If you have any players with Tengu boons from cons in your region, STRONGLY ENCOURAGE them to play this series!

Spoiler:
- the intial scene, a family fleeing their village being terrorised by Tengu bandits, were terrified more seeing PC Tengu;
- one PC Tengu used the festival mask boon to transform into human for an hour while the other players tried to prepare the villagers for a Tengu within their village
- much roleplay convincing the villagers not all Tengu are bandits, some out-of-town Tengu live more civilised lives working among human allies;
- I allowed PC Tengu a +2 circumstance bonus on Intimidate checks to push the villagers during combat training due to their fear of Tengu;
- final encounter boss-Tengu caw caws at the PC Tengu calling him Traitor and attacks him ignoring all others - he won initiative and struck twice, then his Axebeak critted, killing Kuro Po before he could act - the PCs then took down boss-Tengu and axebeak, and pooled resources for Kuro's Raise Dead - I don't think I could have showed my face again at our local Blackburn store had Kuro not been raised. It was a very fitting end to a great scenario.
- KestlerGunner, our local character artist, tagged every blackboard/whiteboard in the classrooms in which we were playing with sketches of his Tengu, Kuro Po.

KestlerGunner wrote:
I'm still not 100% sure if I could have been burning defense points to have boosted my AC to make sure I was safe.

Defence points can be used as a dodge bonus to your AC, which may have helped avoid the first two hits - unfortunately, not much can be done to avoid the GM rolling two 20's in a row (20's always hit).

I loved the Seven Samurai feel of this scenario (even though I've never seen the referenced movie - I'll have to track it down now). The scenario featured very engaging village defence routine, was rich in roleplay opportunities, and it's definitely scenarios like Nesting Swallow that I enjoy a broader range of races within the campaign.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

I really enjoyed this one, although the waves of enemies got a little redundant after a while. One of my personal highlights was a critical shot on one of the bard tengu with all of his mirror images up. My favorite parts were the training period mini-game and the fight against the death-dealing tengu cavalier. (We had to skip the owlbear, but I'm sure that would have rocked hard.)

Cheliax ***

Mark Moreland wrote:
Since 2nd-level monks don't have fast movement, a non-monk gains only the increased unarmed damage bonus. The printed text is an artifact of an earlier version that granted a higher-level monk bonus. The magic item should be run exactly as published, and isn't really up for alternate interpretations.

Mark, was the intent to remove the movement bonus completely, or was this more of an oops? I understand that it has been released to the world, so it is what it is, and I'm not trying to change anything. But I'm curious as to what the intent was.

- doug

Paizo Employee ** Developer

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The intent was to lower the damage bonus and the unintended result was that the movement bonus was reduced to a level before which it comes into effect.

Lantern Lodge ****

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

We played through a couple weekends ago. Epic adventure. We didn't have the problem with forgotten defense points. They burned them all in the first assault on the barricades. Andoran mission was very hard. They made good use of resources, but were low-level and simply didn't have the skills. Fight with the BBEG was spectacular and we had a couple players down too. I highly recommend making a paper mini out of the art. They were all over it when I put that down on the mat. Thanks for a very memorable arc!

Andoran ***** Venture-Captain aka AZhobbit

Seven Samuri.....Magnificent Seven. Same thing, Players had a really good time, even had a samuri and musketeer at the table.

Andoran ****

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

I generated a spreadsheet / resource cheat sheet to help me with the resource management portion. I also made a map with the basic options and outside the box options on it like a big spoked wheel. We used poker chips for 5 or 10 people and let them move them around per day and set their mini on the area they wanted to help that day. It seemed to flow very well. I handed out glass beads to each player for their points and they handed them back as they used them. I also cluttered the map with all 50 villagers in their trained squads and dropped tons of Tengu outside to add to the feeling of dread. It was a very challenging scenario, even at sub-tier 1-2 but we had a great time and the players enjoyed the conclusion to this awesome series. I really enjoyed running it. Great work Sean!

Andoran ****

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

I should mention that the faction missions are not very clear and only 1 of 5 players at my table accomplished their faction mission. Some are easier to understand than others. You may have to explain it a little clearer for a couple of the factions when you introduce them which may help them get an idea of what they need to do. I don't mind a difficult mission as long as they have an idea of what to do.

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

Mark Moreland wrote:
The intent was to lower the damage bonus and the unintended result was that the movement bonus was reduced to a level before which it comes into effect.

Similar line of questioning. Would the braid be combinable with something like a Monk's Robe? My gut says no, but my mind says ask.

Taldor *****

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Modules Subscriber
WalterGM wrote:
Mark Moreland wrote:
The intent was to lower the damage bonus and the unintended result was that the movement bonus was reduced to a level before which it comes into effect.
Similar line of questioning. Would the braid be combinable with something like a Monk's Robe? My gut says no, but my mind says ask.

No. The braid specifically calls out that it does not stack with other items or effects.


[The braid does not stack]
Unfortunately.

It's a great idea for an item, very flavorful... a fitting reward for a 3 scenario arc (where at least 2 encounters were very deadly).
It's technically applicable to all classes, but unfortunately really only truly good for monks with the flurry of blows class feature.

I wish it stacked, but understand why it shouldn't.
It just pains me that I got lucky and played these with a monk... but I won't actually buy this monk item because it is simply not cost-benefit effective for me (due to being a Master of Many Styles).

Guess I need to get over it, wait for some more prestige and then buy an amulet of mighty fists.

MSG

Paizo Employee ** Developer

Bonuses to the same class feature (like unarmed damage output) do not stack between the braid and other magic items, but bonuses to two different class features do. Thus a monk wearing both the braid of a hundred masters and a monk's robe would get the unarmed damage and AC of a monk 5 levels higher and the speed of a monk 2 levels higher.


Mark,

Thanks for the clarification.

Guess I was too focused on the possibility of 5 + 2 levels of unarmed damage/AC...

MSG

Cheliax ***** Owner - Enchanted Grounds

Dave the Barbarian wrote:
I should mention that the faction missions are not very clear and only 1 of 5 players at my table accomplished their faction mission. Some are easier to understand than others. You may have to explain it a little clearer for a couple of the factions when you introduce them which may help them get an idea of what they need to do. I don't mind a difficult mission as long as they have an idea of what to do.

I was the one player in the group who accomplished it and I will freely admit that it was through no fault of mine. I was Silver Crusade, and only ended up getting the point purely by mistake. I thought my mission was anything *but* what it turned out to be. In fact, there was one specific encounter that I was sure was the mission, and was completely reckless during it due to that surety. I was wrong (happily not dead, though).

We compared notes after the adventure, and pretty much unanimously shrugged our shoulders over figuring out the language in such a way that we could accomplish the missions.

If anyone gets the chance to revisit these at a later date, please clean up the language. As Dave said, hard faction missions are fine. Even not getting a point is fine. But getting a hard faction mission and no point due to having absolutely no clue how to interpret the intent...that's no good.

Andoran *****

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

Since the thread already warns about spoilers, I will not use the tags... So no complaining about that! ;)

Faction missions

Andoran - seems fairly straight forward the mission you are given matches what you need to do, there is one problem though that I just noticed.

Pg 12 it says you need to get 20 defense points to meet the mission, which is hard as hell! Pg 20 says only 15, which is it?

Cheliax - seems fairly straight forward the mission you are given matches what you need to do.

Grand Lodge - seems fairly straight forward the mission you are given matches what you need to do.

Lantern Lodge - I can see this one being a little unclear, "Should you encounter any of these renegades, I would ask you demonstrate to your fellow Pathfinders that the Lantern Lodge is not lax in correcting the illicit actions of those peoples native to our lands." umm your goal is to kill them, but that is not fully clear... Correcting the illicit action could mean give them a good scolding! It is like a normal guy telling a mafia guy, go take care of that guy, while the regular guy meant literally go take care of him, but the mafia guy sees it as kill him.. ;) I can see how that could be made clear, but that said, you fight so many damn Tengu you practically fall into this one.

Osirion - seems fairly straight forward the mission you are given matches what you need to do.

Qadira - seems fairly straight forward the mission you are given matches what you need to do.

Sczarni - seems fairly straight forward the mission you are given matches what you need to do.

Shadow Lodge - this is fairly straight forward as well, but if you don't have a grasp of the defense points I can see this one being an issue.

Silver Crusade - this one could be a pain to figure out...

Taldor - once the defense points are explained and what needs to be done to get them, this would become clear.

Many of them require a good understanding of the defense points and if the player does not have them, these missions may be difficult.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32, 2011 Top 4

On Faction Missions and the handouts thereof: I'll take a big mea culpa here. Some of the more straightforward ones are probably OK, it's the abstract ones (basically, the ones on earning and spending defense points) that come off as way too cryptic. I was concerned about being too specific in the handouts and making the various leaders sound either psychic or metagamey; unfortunately I erred a bit far to the side of obscure to compensate for that. My regrets to any frustrated players; especially those in the Silver Crusade and Shadow Lodge, who probably get hit the worst by this.

That said, hopefully I can proactively clear up one question, at least:

Dragnmoon wrote:

Andoran - seems fairly straight forward the mission you are given matches what you need to do, there is one problem though that I just noticed.

Pg 12 it says you need to get 20 defense points to meet the mission, which is hard as hell! Pg 20 says only 15, which is it?

I think the intent is that it's 15- my turnover had it at 20 in both places. I would assume that someone said 'Wait, 20? That's NUTS.' and wisely toned it down. Since the final faction mission summary has the changed number, I'd say that's the 'official' count. My apologies to all concerned for ever thinking that 20 was a reasonable number of points to earn (because, seriously, yeah, that was NUTS) and causing any confusion in the first place.

Cheliax ***** Owner - Enchanted Grounds

Dragnmoon wrote:
Lies. All lies...

I kid, of course.

It just so happens that we had a table of 2 x Silver Crusade, 1 Andoran, 1 Lantern Lodge and 1 Osirioni. The first three, as Dragnmoon noted, are harder to accomplish/figure out without good hints or knowledge of how the DPs work. The Osirion member I just knew didn't get his point. I assumed it was a similar issue. Turns out he just had zero access to disable device.

Reading everything over now, I concur with Dragnmoon. They're not *all* bad...

Next time I promise that I'll read everything before assuming and making broad statements.

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

Sniggevert wrote:
WalterGM wrote:
Mark Moreland wrote:
The intent was to lower the damage bonus and the unintended result was that the movement bonus was reduced to a level before which it comes into effect.
Similar line of questioning. Would the braid be combinable with something like a Monk's Robe? My gut says no, but my mind says ask.
No. The braid specifically calls out that it does not stack with other items or effects.

Good. I haven't played this one yet, but I've seen the loot from it on a PC. Glad to hear its being kept in check.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

When I played it with Dragnmoon, I did so as Andoran. We did a really good job with solid rolls, and initially only came up with around 18 points. I applaud him for rereading the rules and finding the extra potential points we had overlooked from scouting, which brought us over 20.

It was a great scenario, though. I wish we'd had the time to fight the owlbear.

*

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Hmmm. I don't know if it was because our group had so many ranged characters, that we found it to be so easy. We played the higher tier and had 6 players - 4 of them being ranged combatants. The GM told us that he thought the scenario would be easy for our (optimized) group, and asked us before the game if we were ok with him giving ALL of the enemies the Advanced Simple Template. We all agreed - and it was still almost ridicuolusly easy.

In the final battle almost all enemies were shot down long before they even reached the barricades. The final encounter with the owl bear were a little harder, but it also got downed in 2 rounds, and with only one player being in moderate danger. Maybe we just hit a very lucky sweet spot with our optimized ranged characters?

I liked the scenarioe (and the 7 Samurai feel!), and as my character is a monk, the whole arc had some nice flavor for me :) - but scenario #2, On Hostile Waters (which I GM'ed) and this one (which I played), simply seemed too easy. But then again I can read here in the thread, that others did not find that to be the case.

Silver Crusade ***

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I ran this today, tier 4-5. Lots of fun and the players liked the setting and the mechanic.

Unfortunately, it was too easy for the party of six. The PCs can get more defense points with a big party, which means that they will face smaller groups of enemies AND have a bigger party against them. This "double dip" mechanic probably played a big part in determining the difficulty. I'm looking forward to running this to a party of four.

Also, they rolled over the owlbear by dropping it before it got off its first full attack. What a shame.

Even with the problems mentioned above, it's a worthy conclusion to the Quest for Perfection series. More scenarios with interesting mechanics and a "special" feel like this, please!

Shadow Lodge **

We had a dedicated archery death machine for this scenario, which meant that most of the opposition was shredded, if they did not fall to traps or the peasants' arrows, before they could reach the walls. It otherwise might have rated pretty high on the difficulty scale. Not bad, but just right. The cavalier+diatryma combo rocked house and even though it had to go against Vasco, the party tank, there were much sweating and gnashing of teeth until both the beast and the dastardly knight went down.

Really a fine scenario. If I have the time, I might run this at our local con come summer.

Grand Lodge

A surprising amount of the enemies in this one were one-hit-killed by a character who was supposed to be a non-lethal grapple monster. I had to keep roaring and then apologizing, and then wiping blood off my claws. I did get to grapple an owlbear to death though, which isn't something a level one character should be able to do.

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

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After running this my favorite aspect to it was all of the well done Seven Samurai inclusions, which may have been because I love the Seven Samurai.

Spoiler:

- The basic premise (defend this town against bandits)
- The defense options you can take (flooding the fields)
- The rice and millet the peasants are eating
- The lack of payment they can offer to the PCs
- The seasonal attacking of the bandits
- Those that die are buried on a hill overlooking said village

I'm sure there were more, but I'm at work and without the PDF at hand.

The really cool thing is when I ran this we had a party of 6, one of whom was playing a samurai and took the "leader" role to heart. Then there was a very goofy summoner who's eidolon is a clone of the Stay Puft Marshmellow man from Ghostbusters. So, together, they were 7...

** Venture-Lieutenant, California—Los Angeles (Santa Clarita) aka Lava Child

Ran it at orccon over the weekend, and then played. Really enjoyed both times.

As for the Horsemen in the first adventure, I allowed them to use their ride-by attacks, considering that the forested areas were simply underbrush.

As a roleplaying note, I had all the peasants rescued by the ambush be fearful and grateful, except for one little boy who was defiant and ready to fight to protect his family. He became a sort of tag-along for the party, refusing to accept any charity.

I played up the hunger of the villagers: the thin faces of long term starvation, the simple meal of millet and grubs offered to the party (like temple of doom).

If you have not seen seven samurai, check it out before running if possible. It's a great adventure and awesome homage.

Players had fun with the points system. We used it well as players to do extra damage to the bandit lord.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32, 2011 Top 4

WalterGM wrote:
Then there was a very goofy summoner who's eidolon is a clone of the Stay Puft Marshmellow man from Ghostbusters. So, together, they were 7...

...so you had your very own Kikuchiyo?


Just played this on monday, I enjoyed it and found it to be quite fun and a nice change from the usual. We had a party of 4, 1st lv barbarian, 4rd lv sorcerer, 4th lv samurai, and 5th lv rogue/ranger. Some of the faction missions are rather vague so only 2 of us managed to complete them. The highlight of the game was while we were fighting the owlbear, it picked up the samurai and threw him at the rogue/ranger but missing, then on the owlbear's next turn it picked up the samurai's horse and threw it at the barbarian hitting him. So funny.

Grand Lodge ****

I'm having trouble wrapping my head around the Axe Beak boon.

Are Axe Beaks unavailable to PFS characters otherwise? If so where can I find the info on what animal companions are legal for PFS play?

*****

Some Random Dood wrote:
Some of the faction missions are rather vague so only 2 of us managed to complete them.

I had a Silver Crusade PC in my group when I ran it. To help him figure out his mission, I gave a flavorful description of what happened when a player used a Defense Point, generally involving villagers rushing out to aid the PCs and getting killed or KOed. For instance, the barbarian wanted to avoid an attack, so the one little boy from the village who had previously thought that barbarian was cool (most people didn't like him due to general lack of Cha skills) rushed out at the enemy with a stick shouting "Take that evildoers! I'm just like <Barbarian>!" and got stabbed for his trouble but provided the crucial distraction to help avoid the attack.

The party's evoker basically had the whole thing in the bag anyway, due to the Fly spell (bane of ~all outdoor 1-5 and 1-7 scenarios everywhere!), which negated 95% of the enemies' capacity to be relevant, so the fact that the guilty-feeling PCs spent a lot of actions healing the injured villagers was probably good for tension. Plus, the Silver Crusade character picked up on this immediately.

sveden wrote:

I'm having trouble wrapping my head around the Axe Beak boon.

Are Axe Beaks unavailable to PFS characters otherwise? If so where can I find the info on what animal companions are legal for PFS play?

Druids can always get any companion. Rangers, Paladins, and Cavaliers normally have a very limited list, which should be under their initial class description (yes, it does say that your GM may allow more than that list, but in PFS they normally do not). This boon extends that list to include axebeak. Which is awesome if you have one of those classes.

Cheliax ****

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps, Modules Subscriber
Rogue Eidolon wrote:


sveden wrote:

I'm having trouble wrapping my head around the Axe Beak boon.

Are Axe Beaks unavailable to PFS characters otherwise? If so where can I find the info on what animal companions are legal for PFS play?

Druids can always get any companion. Rangers, Paladins, and Cavaliers normally have a very limited list, which should be under their initial class description (yes, it does say that your GM may allow more than that list, but in PFS they normally do not). This boon extends that list to include axebeak. Which is awesome if you have one of those classes.

Or, stated another way, the boon is the PFS GM allowing the Beak.

Cheliax **

I ran this scenario about a month ago, I had 6 players at the table. In the end they all failed the mission, 4 of the PC's died and one was brought to negative HP but due to being strapped to his riding dog he survived, and the last player was a gnome who hid in a pile of dead tengu. Needless to say, it was the first time I had to describe the village being slaughtered by the tengu, including the unborn child. All in all, a fun encounter indeed.

Grand Lodge ****

Sweet merciful heavens, Mr Wright, GM of Intrigue!
How on earth did your adventurers get it so wrong?!?

Shadow Lodge *****

I ran this last night .. and in my reading of it spotted an inconsistancy with the Andoran Faction conditions ... in one place (Mid mod) it states that Andoran Need 20 defense points to succeed ... at the end of the Scenario it says 15 ... which is correct ?

edit: just saw that it was covered

also the math on some of the defenses was REALLY Wonky ...

spoiler:
as in what happens if the PC's dont put anyone on the barricades (choosing instead to put all 50 in the fields ) and various other things similar to that

another BIG issue ..

spoiler:
was when the defenses take their Toll Lantern Lodge is TRULY Roflsmacked on his mission especially at 16+ Defense points you get a Grand total of 7 Tengu MAX through the whole siege....its really Difficult to Final hit 5/7 when your your melee Beat stics are Packing Great axe's / Lances/ and other Nasty weapons

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