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RPG Superstar 2015

PFS #3-15 The Haunting of Hinojai [spoilers]


Pathfinder Society GM Discussion

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**** Venture-Lieutenant, Canada—Ontario aka Feegle

Since this thread isn't here yet, I'll start. I ran this last night, and I think it's an excellent scenario, if very different from most of the others that I've run or played - a refreshing change of pace, actually.

I put some suggestions in the discussion thread for the scenario, so I won't repeat them here, but if others need advice or have questions, have at it. :)

Dark Archive ****

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I had a lot of fun playing in this scenario, although the final encounter schooled us pretty heavily. I'm going to be looking for ways to be more manoeuvrable from now on.

My favourite part of the scenario was the exploration of an old house. I really got into imagining secret passageways and ancient treasures (all of which went into the haversack for safekeeping).

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

Watching! Been in the hospital for a few days. Home and well now.

Don't worry Mark, I got the next 4 weeks off at home to write.

Shadow Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Washington—Eastern Washington , Star Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015 aka WalterGM

@Jim: Glad to hear it! Now I can pick your brain for more writing tips :)

@Haunting of Hinojai: Excellent scenario! Ran it last night as well.

Thoughts spoiler'd below

first fight:

That invisible, major image casting evoker wrecked my players. Ice storm, some clever positioning of his decoy, and a couple of lightning bolts actually resulted in a TPK before the party could react to his real location. TBF: if ANYONE had moved out of the ice storm, they would have been fine. They all spent points to have their bodies recovered then rez'd (none were female, so I figured that the BBEG wouldn't consume them immediately), rested up a couple of weeks, then charged back in with full bravado. Round 2 went substantially better, and they dropped him in round 1.5

final fight:

Oh man, was this one rough for them. Tentacles round 1. They had 1 ranged character -- he had a bow. Minor damage each round with DR and fast healing 5 (lvl 5-6). Round 2 Misfortune and Cackle on the ranged character. Rounds 3-10. They flailed around, trying to deal damage but being unsuccessful in their attempts to attack something in the air without any means of flying. She continued to cackle, and the ranger started crying. The barbarian made a successful acro check to run, jump, followed by a grapple, which turned things in their favor. Although she began to smack the barbarian with her slam, almost dropping him with Cha drain. All in all, they felt like victors when she finally dropped -- and they are all scarred by the horrific nature of her entire...undead...thingy.

haunts:

These were rough for them too (even with a cleric). Only one person ever succeeded their perception check to notice, and he would run out of the effect as everyone else got smashed. The graphic descriptions of what was causing the haunt really drew my players in, and they got a lot of backstory info whenever they were mobbed by apparitions and ectoplasm. No one ever succeeded their religion check, too, so they never destroyed any of the haunts, or identified them as an environmental hazard. So that actually added to their level of dread.

overall:

My party was just woefully unprepared for a level 5-6 game (at levels 6,7,7,8) which was entirely their fault. I felt like this scenario was incredibly well balanced, except for the samurai zombies that couldn't stand up to the barbarian and the ranger. They were definitely in for a surprise at the end, and the entire game kept them on their toes, which is what you want to see in a horror-themed game.

Well done!

Dark Archive ****

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Yeah, I plan to use my viewing of all the unpreparedness of a bunch of 6-7 players to write about things that every character should have by then.

Spoiler:
The invisible flying wizard? We should have had a way to fly, each of us. We also should have seen a trap a mile away, and someone should probably have See Invisibility up if at all possible. The tentacles? This is the second time in two scenarios my character has been grappled to uselessness (although this time at least I wasn't swallowed whole). The haunts our group couldn't have destroyed because no channels, but we were quite good at spotting them and by the time the second one came through I was scarpering every time.

Scarab Sages ***** Venture-Captain, Illinois—Carbondale

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Haunting was recently ran at a local con and I have to say that is was by far my best gaming experience ever. Chris Mortika did a phenomenal job of keeping the party on the edge of our seats. Everyone at the table agreed that this was an awesome scenario. One thing Chris pointed out to us that made it so suspenceful, was the fact that he did not have the map drawn out for us to view. We had to rely on our own imagination. I am definitely looking forward to other scenarios from Jim.

The Exchange ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

4 people marked this as a favorite.

I got very lucky as a GM. They party had healing resources (a bard and a druid) but no cleric and no paladin. And the APL was 6 plus 1 for a 6-player table. And they decided to play up. So there was already a sense of danger n the party before the first die was rolled.

As Kristen says, I considered it my job to increase the tension for about 45 minutes out of every hour of game play. And yes, one of the tools at our disposal is to avoid the really nice map on page 8. If you lay out the map, so that everybody can see how the house is laid out, it's very comfortable for the players, and they approach the situation strategically. Don't let them. Describe each room with all the details you think you need -- underplay the creepiness; a little goes a long way -- and explain how many doors there are and where. Spend as much time on sound and smell as you do on sight.

Use miniatures and maps when you have to: for complex combats, or to cut the party a break. See below.

Bob Jonquet did me a great favor by reminded me that Scenario 10, "Blood at Dralkard Manor" has a lot of terrific mood-setting pieces: the sound of babies crying, floorboards creaking in rooms behind the party, or sudden gusts of wind. Even though that scenario isn't legal to play in Pathfinder Society, there's a treasure trove of spooky stuff there that we can use for window dressing.

One of the differences between "horror" and "action/adventure with a strange and powerful foe" is that horror depends on the protagonists' choices. "The engine on our bus konked out, and we're stuck in the woods" isn't horror. "The cute girl and I snuck out on our own to make out in private" is horror, because the danger is the protagonists' fault. So, give the players choices: will the PCs stay outside, hoping to avoid the witchfire and the hungry fog, or will they go into the house, weakened and fatigued? Are they going to separate the party, or are they going to all go down into the basement, leaving the wind to slam the trapdoor shut? Shirt re-rolls are your friend: every single time someone makes a Perception roll or a saving throw, you can ask "Is that good enough for you?" So going ahead with a roll of 14 is the player's choice.

All of this can be heavy-handed and overdone. That's no fun for anybody. Also, you need to get a sense of when there's a good time to ease up and give the party a clean victory. But really, there are some nice tools in Hinojai that you can use to scare the players.

Paizo Employee ** Developer

Great advice, Chris! Thanks.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

I agree, excellent advice Chris!

Thanks for all the feedback people! I look forward to serving up another PFS Scenario soon!

I'm especially happy that it came out as a challenging, but not unfair, adventure.

These posts are making my entire night!

Sovereign Court ***** Venture-Captain, Florida—Clearwater , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka Magical_Beast

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Running this tonight and planning to incorporate Chris' excellent suggestions. I really liked the read-through. It should be a really nice change of pace. Will post feedback when our session is done.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

Kristie Schweyer wrote:
Running this tonight and planning to incorporate Chris' excellent suggestions. I really liked the read-through. It should be a really nice change of pace. Will post feedback when our session is done.

Looking forward to it!

Sovereign Court ***** Venture-Captain, Florida—Clearwater , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka Magical_Beast

Ok, this was fun!

Even with the advance warning, I got a little caught up spending time in the village, but everyone enjoyed the activities there and I think I was able to build up the sense of foreboding.

Chris' suggestion for not drawing the map was a good one and it definitely kept everyone engaged, even through the rooms with not much in them. I did my best to play up the creepy without dragging it out too much.

The PCs spent a lot of time investigating outside first (I did include the optional encounter) and they went through rooms in an unusual order, but the story played out great. They were confused as hell about what was going on (but interested) and these veteran players were at least a little on edge for the whole thing and fairly well freaked out about the haunts.

The layout and nature of the story kept everyone guessing. The fight on the porch was brilliant and the final villain made a good start, but eventually got pummeled by the elementalist sorcerer who kept on making his concentration checks. I dealt a fair amount of damage, and had them concerned, but they were able to overcome. We finished in almost exactly 4 hours.

Good faction missions, even though the whole damned party was Andoran. I'd like to run it again to see how the other factions play out.

Overall, very enjoyable scenario with a very different feel. MOAR PLZ!

*****

I Gm'd this over the weekend. While I had the whole map drawn out and colored in, I used pages from the next slots scenario to create the "fog of war" this helped to avoid metagaming with the rooms and also helped to create the wonder of the scenario

The Exchange *

Ran this for our club a few weeks ago. The players had to rest after every fight except the samurai. I think they used up an entire CLW wand. First fight, first round, the ranger cast Entangle on the old crone: no effect on incorporeal, massively screwed the party. I was in tears.

Second fight, the Mage: half the party ran through a wall of lightning to attack the illusary double, the other half went through the building to come out the other door. All but one were in a straight line when the caster appeared from the side and cast Lightning bolt. To quote one player: "God, I hate this hobby". Still cracks me up.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

Kristie Schweyer wrote:
Ok, this was fun!

Awesome report!

Kristie Schweyer wrote:
Even with the advance warning, I got a little caught up spending time in the village, but everyone enjoyed the activities there and I think I was able to build up the sense of foreboding.

Yeah, those time sinks are something of an unintended traps for me when I write. Its a product (I think) of trying to find stuff for the ten factions to do. Like you guys, I look forward to what Season Four might do to the missions.

Kristie Schweyer wrote:
Chris' suggestion for not drawing the map was a good one and it definitely kept everyone engaged, even through the rooms with not much in them. I did my best to play up the creepy without dragging it out too much.

That's a great technique, I'm so glad that Chris offered it. The number of empty rooms stems from wanting it to feel like a mansion. It does have a lot of empty space however. There were some room descriptions that got redacted for space word count reasons (i.e. rooms that were not haunted but had tell-tale signs of wicked deeds and past violence).

Kristie Schweyer wrote:
The PCs spent a lot of time investigating outside first (I did include the optional encounter) and they went through rooms in an unusual order, but the story played out great.

Yeah, the Fog and Witchfire were there specifically for those groups that tried to think outside the box. Not that such groups need to be punished or taught lesson(not at all)- but I could foresee a lot of walking around the house, burning down the house, climbing through windows, flying around the house, walking on the roof.... I wanted some logical response to those behaviors. Something that prevented an instant short-circuit to the conclusion. Those creatures together were intended to 'chase' the players back inside in an Evil Dead 1 sort of way.

Though it doesn't surprise me that once a fight starts, the players wouldn't back down. And if they overcome the Fog and the Witchfire, they've really earned the right to zip around the house and do as they please.

Kristie Schweyer wrote:
They were confused as hell about what was going on (but interested) and these veteran players were at least a little on edge for the whole thing and fairly well freaked out about the haunts.

I am delighted!

Kristie Schweyer wrote:

The layout and nature of the story kept everyone guessing. The fight on the porch was brilliant and the final villain made a good start, but eventually got pummeled by the elementalist sorcerer who kept on making his concentration checks. I dealt a fair amount of damage, and had them concerned, but they were able to overcome. We finished in almost exactly 4 hours.

Good faction missions, even though the whole damned party was Andoran. I'd like to run it again to see how the other factions play out.

Overall, very enjoyable scenario with a very different feel. MOAR PLZ!

Yay!

Doing my best. Working on another one right now.....

Scarab Sages *** Star Voter 2014

Jim Groves wrote:

Doing my best. Working on another one right now.....

I certainly can't wait! If it's even half as good as Hinojai, it'll be a scenario definately worth playing. =)

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

Mourne wrote:


I certainly can't wait! If it's even half as good as Hinojai, it'll be a scenario definately worth playing. =)

And it's off!

Can't say the title, but its been turned over to Mr. Moreland!

*****

This is definitely one of my favourite scenarios of the season. I've run it a couple of times, and it's been well received by both groups. I made some nice maps (if I do say so myself) in dundjinni. Each room is separate, so it can be placed appropriately when the players enter the door. If anyone is interested in these, PM me and I'll be happy to share.

For extra fun, try playing this scenario with the soundtrack to Diablo II playing in the background. Great creepy music really helps create a mood!

Thanks for a great scenario, Jim!

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

You're most welcome! I love Dundjinni myself. I wish the actual software was better supported (though the fan support and art is magnificent). I bet your maps are sweet!

If you have the time, would you consider a review?

I hate to ask, because it feels so lame, but sincere positive reviews helps us improve and encourages sales, which gets authors more work. I don't just say that for myself, but for all my freelancer colleagues.

Thanks again!

Sovereign Court ***** Venture-Captain, Florida—Clearwater , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka Magical_Beast

An excellent point - review added.

To give you an idea of my esteem for this scenario, I've only run it once but I have thought about it a LOT since then. Ways to make it even better next time I run it.

Suggestion:

I recommend adding more atmospheric effects on the approach to the house. The area likely has patchy fog throughout the day and night, so consider adding some mundane fog of varying densities as the PCs approach.

Have them make a will save when they pass through the first dense patch. Consider the results carefully and let the one(s) who rolled low know that the mist seems to cling to their skin and a sense of dread begins to grow in their mind. This will also serve to mask the approach of the hungry fog if you use that encounter and make it seem like more of an 'event' and less of a creature with hit points that can be fought. It can also serve to drive them inside without the need for combat.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

Kristie Schweyer wrote:

An excellent point - review added.

To give you an idea of my esteem for this scenario, I've only run it once but I have thought about it a LOT since then. Ways to make it even better next time I run it.

** spoiler omitted **

Brilliant ideas!

I don't think those sorts of touches constitute changing the scenario at all, and GMs should always feel welcome to add stuff like that. (though neither should the scenario rely on them doing so- I need to choose my words carefully)

In my next unnamed scenario I went out of my way, with Mark's blessing, to point out there should be places for the GM to supplement the adventure (or rather tailor the experience) and to grant permission for that. I can't wait to see how that goes down.

Thanks for the review!

Sovereign Court ***** Venture-Captain, Florida—Clearwater , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka Magical_Beast

Jim Groves wrote:
Kristie Schweyer wrote:

An excellent point - review added.

To give you an idea of my esteem for this scenario, I've only run it once but I have thought about it a LOT since then. Ways to make it even better next time I run it.

** spoiler omitted **

Brilliant ideas!

I don't think those sorts of touches constitute changing the scenario at all, and GMs should always feel welcome to add stuff like that. (though neither should the scenario rely on them doing so- I need to choose my words carefully)

In my next unnamed scenario I went out of my way, with Mark's blessing, to point out there should be places for the GM to supplement the adventure (or rather tailor the experience) and to grant permission for that. I can't wait to see how that goes down.

Thanks for the review!

Luckily, adding atmospheric effects with no game impact is totally within the GMs purview. Freaking out the players is a free action for GMs that does not provoke an attack of opportunity. :)

When I run this again (which may be a little while) I will post additional comments. The good review was well deserved. I said it before - MOAR PLZ!

Silver Crusade ****

I ran this scenario yesterday and had a blast.

I rarely see PFS adventures like this where nearly everything, including minor details, seems to be there for a reason. Even the empty rooms didn't bother me, as their descriptions added to the big picture of what had been going on in the house.

My six-player party on Subtier 5-6 (lvl 5,5,5,6,6,7) had a decent challenge, which was more than I/they expected. They considered playing up and by the Dagagal encounter were very glad they didn't. I'm glad I had time to prepare for the scenario, as it run long as it was. There's plenty of stuff to remember, especially if you don't remember lvl 3-4 spell descriptions by heart.

Some comments on the individual encounters:

The Hungry Fog had low hp even on Tier 5-6 and this encounter wasn't much trouble. It scored one touch hit on an attack of opportunity and that was it. The wight managed to zap a negative level on a PC before getting whacked. An interesting and atmospheric encounter, but it didn't feel like the warnings were needed.

Dagagal was much more dangerous and blocked the PCs very effectively with the Ice Storm. Made the remaining PCs without ranged weapons think about getting one. He only managed to do serious damage to the Summoner's eidolon in the end.

Based on passing his Perception check in the torture chamber haunt, the Ranger decided there was something dangerous in the barrel. He threw in a Fuse Grenade, just before getting crammed head first into the barrel. Oops. Moments later, the same Ranger fell off a balcony and snapped his neck. Ouch.

Minasako blocked most of the party quite effectively with the Tentacles, but the Barbarian rolled well on initiative and managed to close in. It was effectively a one on one from there, which the Barbarian (lvl 6) won by a small margin (Minasako's special abilities go against Fort save and CMD, the best defenses of a Barbarian, and the party had Lesser Restoration to counter the anti-Barbarian trap at the front door). Minasako was still fairly dangerous in melee, but it felt like she was gimped by a spell selection that was focused on rays, unusable while cornered. The rays would probably have been more usable if the whole party was in or behind the tentacles.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

Interesting comments Jussi!

I'm trying to reconcile whether it's situational or across the board. I'll look at Minasako's spell selection again.

I was mostly afraid of the hungry fog healing some of the other undead encounters, should some GM have it pursue throughout the house. That was something I cautioned about but did not strictly forbid.

Thanks for yor kind remarks and for playing it!

*** Dedicated Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

Ran this scenario for my home PFS group over the weekend... originally we had planned on fitting in two scenarios, but the GM for the second one cancelled- so we took our time playing and really enjoyed it.

I had assembled a two-part soundtrack mainly based on classic, traditional Chinese instruments (not Japanese, even though it was set in Minkai). The first part was more "up-beat, day in the life of a village" type music and the second part was for the house. I focused more on moody traditional music (ok, here I did use a Japanese flute piece that worked well) and splicing in the more disturbing tracks from Silent Hill 2. Some of the coincidental timing of the tracks and the encounters really added to the tension felt by the players and we laughed about it at a couple of points.

We had a group of four adventurers, three level 8 and one level 9. Luckily, we had a Paladin who could raise dead (in the name of Aroden) along as there were two PC deaths.

Spoiler:
The first death was in the fight against Dagagal. I didn't hold back on his spells and I have to say I have new-found respect for the Quickened Spell meta-magic feat. After the first death (Dagagal was their first major encounter), the group retreated to the village to raise their comrade and heal. This interlude gave them more time to talk with villagers- especially the Kitsune bard who had been acting as their interpreter.

Death number two...

Spoiler:
was unfortunately the same guy who died previously. This time he fell to the "finger of death" haunt and broke his neck. This led to another trip back to town, but after that the group had very little problem with the other encounters.

Overall, I like to think that everyone had a pretty good time. We clocked in at six hours, but it was a luxury to give so much more attention to detail of the village, the NPCs and not feel like the house had to be cleared by a CQB team. I especially liked it myself for the storyline and atmosphere.

Thanks, Jim, and keep up the good work!
WJ

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

Whiskey Jack wrote:
Thanks, Jim, and keep up the good work!...

Glad you liked it Jack.

Spoiler:
I really hadn't considered economy of action as much until very recently. Its interesting that Dagagal consistently seems to pose a strong challenge. Often much more so than his Boss Lady.

I don't always play with metamagic, but he seemed to do well with them. The reason I didn't use any shadow spells is that I just think shadow conjuration and shadow evocation makes for fractious math and muddled calculations when you're GMing on the fly.

I appreciate the feedback!

*** Dedicated Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

re: Boss Lady

Spoiler:
Actually one of the players was quite frustrated with Misfortune, Cackle, Retribution Hex combo, Spite'd Vamp Touch, and Unwilling Shield... lol I have been reconsidering how I would have run the encounter since that first time, so maybe the second time it will be a bit more challenging. If you have any tips, PM me... I'd love to know how you would run it.

re: her little buddy

Spoiler:
Nothing creepier than having the cat crawl up from under the bed and rub up against someone's calf to deliver a touch attack... HEADLESS! priceless

Dark Archive **

I sadly killed a pc three times this past weekend in this module.
I somehow feel as if some great weight has been taken off my shoulders since I feasted on this poor person.

Om nom Lightning. Om Nom Save or die, om nom, No CMD and Tentacles.

Dice were not with my friend this weekend.

*** Dedicated Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

CptTylorX wrote:
I sadly killed a pc three times this past weekend in this module.

I suddenly feel so much better. Anyone get to four?

Liberty's Edge ***

CptTylorX wrote:

I sadly killed a pc three times this past weekend in this module.

I somehow feel as if some great weight has been taken off my shoulders since I feasted on this poor person.

Om nom Lightning. Om Nom Save or die, om nom, No CMD and Tentacles.

Dice were not with my friend this weekend.

The same character 3 times? I'm curious how that played out at the table. Did party stop to get character raised 2 or 3 times? The expense alone seems like too much to handle 3 times for one character.

Dark Archive **

Same character 3 times.
They camped in town and went back in after several days each time.

Persistence paid off, along with lots of gold and pa points being spent.

And it was good.

Grand Lodge ****

We have a monk who has been raised *six* times. Usually with contributions from other characters. Never died twice in one scenario, though.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

CptTylorX wrote:

Same character 3 times.

They camped in town and went back in after several days each time.

Persistence paid off, along with lots of gold and pa points being spent.

And it was good.

I'm glad that wasn't a downer. They sound like good sports, :)

Dark Archive **

I am a reaver of souls, and cute bunny like characters. Plus Tengu's. I love me some fried chicken. >.>

** Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

How do you think a party with no healer will fare in this scenario?

** Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Sorry, I meant, how do you think a party with no channeler will fare in this scenario?

I'm running this soon and I think all we're going to end up with, in the positive energy arena, is a druid.

Any tips? Are any tips needed?

Dark Archive ****

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Lakesidefantasy wrote:

Sorry, I meant, how do you think a party with no channeler will fare in this scenario?

I'm running this soon and I think all we're going to end up with, in the positive energy arena, is a druid.

Any tips? Are any tips needed?

When I played it our party had no channeler. After the first haunt my character was booking it out of the room if anything spooky happened; by the time we got to the last haunt everyone was following suit. The most important thing is to have a high Perception score.

Sovereign Court *** Venture-Captain, Canada—Ottawa aka The ShadowShackleton

My party had no channeling but 2 bards with cure moderate worked just fine. We also had rerolls on saves due to saving finale among others. It wasn't that bad.

*

The haunt in the basement has a very specific trigger, picking up the hammer. The party I ran for explored the room, but never touched the hammer and thus did not trigger it. Has anyone else run into this? It just seems like half of the time parties will walk right past it as there is no reason to grab a mundane hammer.

Silver Crusade ****

Some notes from re-running this scenario in a convention last weekend.

My party, this time with five players, ran the encounters in the same order as last time (Fog, Dagagal, Skeletons, Minasako). This seems to be more by accident as they could have just as well gone upstairs first. How would the rest of the scenario unfold if they went to Minasako as the first thing of all?

The Hungry Fog was even more creepy this time, passing under doors followed by a sound of an opening door.

Dagagal gave the party a good beating, but the party had good ranged capacity and brought him down quite fast. If the PCs get to interrogate Dagagal, it might spoil the atmosphere and the idea of figuring the story from the visions.

The skeletons don't add much to the adventure. While I don't advocate changing adventures, they do seem like the more natural choice for the optional encounter than the excellent creepy fog.

This time, the PCs decided to retreat to Nagura after going through the first floor, as they were out of healing. Minasako's tactics specify that if she's aware of the PCs, she casts Mage Armor beforehand. This is a good way to balance the encounter for the additional power of the rested PCs. Like last time, this played out with one melee PC facing off with Minasako with the rest of the party taking some time getting out of the tentacles before being able to help (except for Kyra, who was channeling just fine while grappled for the entire encounter). They made it at the end, with the poor tank ending up in the second-to-worst shape I've ever seen: 11 Con damage, 7 Dex damage, 5 Cha damage, one negative level and filth fever.

The Exchange ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Jussi -- The skeletons are not much more than a road bump at the low sub-tier, making enough noise to warn Minasako. At the high sub-tier, it's been my experience that they've killed twice as many characters as the rest of the scenario all put together.

The Exchange *

ThorGN, about half the time I ran this mod the hammer was ignored. Even though I would bring their attention that is was there. It was not a problem for they may think why mess with something if they don't need to.

Dark Archive **** Star Voter 2013

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps, Modules Subscriber

Of course, that leaves you short a haunt for full credit, doesn't it?

*

In the flavor text of the final encounter it implies that Minasako separates from her body before combat. But the action to do that is a Full-Round Action. So is it supposed to be all she does in round 1? That means the PCs have a whole round to beat on her before she can get anything going, which seems a little lame. I decided to run it as she starts the separation in the surprise round finishing it up in the first round, thus she gets one standard or move action in the first round. She was aware of the PC’s approach.

Some clarification on how that combat is intended to start would be nice.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

Sorry! Been working on another project, and just noticed the discussion and questions.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

The hammer: is a really good point.

I might have been tempted to use a proximity trigger (again) but there is an argument against that. If you use a proximity trigger on a smaller room, you're not really giving the party a fair chance to make some (or any) intelligent decisions and choices on what happens. There's no way to avoid them then. It really does amount to—you open and the door and you're screwed. Aren't you glad you explored and were curious, like you were supposed to be?

The problem with the hammer is there's no good reason to touch it. I'm not defending it as good design. I should have picked something the party had a reason to touch.

In short, it's a learning experience glitch. Designers have them. We learn and hopefully get better as we go.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

Jussi Leinonen wrote:
The skeletons don't add much to the adventure. While I don't advocate changing adventures, they do seem like the more natural choice for the optional encounter than the excellent creepy fog.

I'm inclined to agree, but I thought the Fog would be a TPK machine. That hasn't been proven to be true (and honestly I'm not sure why it isn't—it looks brutal on paper!)

I don't apologize for my skellies, but they were a tangible fight in a scenario that had few of those.

Symbolically they were Minasako's goons "after" she ascended.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

TetsujinOni wrote:
Of course, that leaves you short a haunt for full credit, doesn't it?

True, but encountering all the haunts is only the emergency back-up if you don't recover her journal. You don't have to encounter them all for the main objective.

Of course, Minasako spitefully tries to destroy her journal.. but she may not have the chance because of economy of action. There's a lot of time compression that happens after they enter the room.

Trust me, I got that economy of action thing figured out now! ;D And with the new Season, and the new six player assumption, I promise you tougher fights in the very near future. From all your writers, I wager.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

ThorGN wrote:

I decided to run it as she starts the separation in the surprise round finishing it up in the first round, thus she gets one standard or move action in the first round. She was aware of the PC’s approach.

Some clarification on how that combat is intended to start would be nice.

Good catch.

Honestly I see it unlikely that she isn't already completely detached and ready for action by the time they enter. So I would go even one step further. I was going for the visual Hollywood fright factor to set the scene.

I just re-read my flavor text and I see your point. It's a bad habit from having an indie narrative RPG background. Pathfinder is more crunchy and simulationist. And that's not a snotty elitist dig! I love me my Pathfinder! Rather I'm slapping myself on the forehead for being sloppy with the text.

No, she was intended to expect the party. Dagagal should be expecting the party. That early alarm spell or even the chance encounter in town should take care of that. I was hesitant about being more specific because there is a chance they could avoid the alarm spell right at the beginning and avoid the nightingale floors. I wanted GMs to keep their options.

But I never intended her to throw away a full round just to gross the players out. Lol! I know players shoot on sight!!!

Good discussions. I learn a lot from these conversations.

Really, I think the final boss of any scenario, module, or AP is entitled to one or two sentences of opening monologue (which I concede is different from the explicit full round action that is her separation, so I am speaking in generalities and not specific to this situation). If the party argues the GM is not entitled to set the scene, then I say "skip the prose and roll for initiative but no player gets any free actions because of their impatience with storytelling."

Strictly my opinion, not telling you how to run your table.

Grand Lodge **** Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2015

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TIME KOMPRESSION...?

It's a matter of being polite and having the players speak when they're spoken to!

The GM letting the BBEG monologue is a sacred tradition and one that must never be altered, no matter how astronomically high the Pathfinder ninja's initiative has reached. ;)

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