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PFS #3-20: The Rats of Round Mountain, Part I: The Sundered Path [SPOILERS]


Pathfinder Society GM Discussion

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Shadow Lodge ****

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

Kyle Baird - Reverse Scorpion from Mortal Combat 84.

"Get out of here!"

*****

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

"START HIM!"

Cheliax *

Im quite disappointed that my party left my sorcerer to die to the dragon.
They all broke the first rule, and instead of everyone coming into the nice rope trick I put up, decided to for the most part do their own thing.
Sadly if I had blinked my familiar, I'm pretty sure it could have solo'd that dragon after I spent rounds buffing it. I just forgot the blink 8(

Cheliax **

Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
CptTylorX wrote:

Im quite disappointed that my party left my sorcerer to die to the dragon.

They all broke the first rule, and instead of everyone coming into the nice rope trick I put up, decided to for the most part do their own thing.
Sadly if I had blinked my familiar, I'm pretty sure it could have solo'd that dragon after I spent rounds buffing it. I just forgot the blink 8(

Do I smell a TPK here?

It has all the earmarks of that delicious aroma. Please, tell us more on how exactly that wonderful girl Xiangnuer introduced your silly friends to their entrails?
Inquiring minds want to know.

*****

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Perhaps the rest of the party ran away scared. Panicked even.

Cheliax *

During the earthquake, I put up and went inside a rope trick, 2 others went with me, 3 went ahead. We all got feared except for my shadow familiar, which was hasted, which proceeded to strength damage the dragon. Should the cleric have had the intestinal fortitude to stand and channel negative to heal my familiar, it would have wrecked the dragon.
Sadly he fled like a coward, after making his save.

I died. The end.

*****

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Figured I'd expand upon CptTylorX's story a bit with the GM's perspective:

Kyle,

So I ran your mod on Wednesday. Here's a quick recap:

Here was the party:
* Alchemist 7 (Sczarni)
* Cleric 11 (Osirion)
* Fighter 8 (Andoran)
* Ranger 9 (Shadow Lodge)
* Rogue 11 (Taldor)
* Sorcerer 9 (Cheliax) CptTylorX

They opted to play Tier 10-11.

It was a slow start, as it usually is at Warriors 3, as people get there late and then chit-chatted. They made their purchases and headed into the tapestry.

Friend or Foe
After reaching the top of stairs, the sorcerer cast shadow projection on his familiar, then blink and vanish on himself. The ratfolk saw that and questioned the group through the arrow slits. (Shadow projection will play a big role later.) The cleric said that the sorcerer vanished because he was a coward and they bought it. While the group was chatting with the ratfolk, the sorcerer entered the fortress to take a look around. The cleric managed to talk his (and the rest of the group's) way into the fortress to talk to the captain. As they're talking with the captain, the sorcerer blinks through the wall with handfuls of cheese from the mess hall. (I mean, they're rats, right?) (As another aside, the sorcerer's player describes his PC as a "fat merchant" and listed his weight at 365 lbs. Going for the food -- especially after that long climb up -- seemed pretty appropriate.)

My first reaction was to have the ratfolk attack, but quite honestly everyone else wanted to negotiate and I didn't want the rest of the party to be screwed over because of the Chelaxian's actions. (As we'll see later, the Chelaxian sorcerer likes to stir the pot, sometimes to his own detriment.)

The rest of the party disowned the sorcerer, but since his Diplomacy is ridiculously good and he paid 100 gp for the cheese he'd eaten, I told him he could come back after his "former" companions were done. The party argued their case and did well on the Diplomacy check and were allowed through the door. The sorcerer was summoned and he pled his case, too. Interestingly, the Chelaxian wanted to make a trade agreement which, with a high Diplomacy check, he was able to do. Since his faction mission was to help another faction and the Szarni needed an agreement, I ruled that their missions were complete.

The sorcerer met up with the group after he was done with the ratfolk.

The Twilight Shrine
The worshiper hid very well (nat 20, for a 50), so no one saw him. As they moved across the cavern, just as they got next to the shrine, it went dark.

Cleric (dwarf): "Eh, whatever, I have darkvision."
Alchemist (also, a dwarf): "Yeah, me, too."
Ranger (an elf, but who somehow has darkvision): "I'm good."
DM (me, who is neither a dwarf or an elf): "So, yeah...your darkvision doesn't really help."
Alchemist, Cleric, Ranger: "Oh, s***."

The worshiper moved and shivved the fighter. The cleric cast daylight. The meditator dispelled the daylight. The fighter got shivved again, but luckily got missed twice. The animal companion (with scent) made its way around to the other side of the worshiper. The cleric tried to cast another daylight. The worshiper shivved the cleric on an AoO for 41; no spell. The sorcerer tried to dispel the deeper darkness and failed once, succeeded the second time. The fighter had missed with all of his attacks so far, so even though he was gravely wounded, I opted to attack the animal companion, since it had scent, reasoning that I could get around to the other folks -- who couldn't find him -- later. Probably a mistake, but the animal companion was dropped and killed.

At this point, the deeper darkness got dispelled and the worshiper was hammered and knocked prone. Forgetting that spell-like abilities provoke AoOs, I had the worshiper try deeper darkness; it didn't work, so I had the meditator back off from his fight (thankfully, he survived the slay living), pull the scroll of deeper darkness, and cast it. The sorcerer threw out black tentacles, catching half his own party in it because it was the only semi-reliable way to possibly damage the worshiper. The deeper darkness was dispelled and the darkfolk weren't long for the world.

Collapsing Hope
Create pit near the collapse. The party passed without searching, so no Shadow Lodge PA, plus -2,000 gp on the Chronicle.

What Lies in Wait
Skipped for time. (The Twilight Shrine took a long time to resolve.)

The Center of the Sphere
Ah, now here's where things get really interesting.

So, they're in the tunnel when the rumbling starts. Sorcerer casts rope trick and sorcerer, ranger, and rogue jump inside. (Rogue's player leaves shortly thereafter as it's a school night, curfew, and all that.) Cleric, alchemist, and fighter go out onto the platform. Dragon arrives. Cleric talks to dragon, gets its name (Osirion PA - ding!). Alchemist gives up a 4,000 gp circlet. Fighter agrees to give up the 2 magic shortswords from the worshiper and tries to get next to the dragon. I tell him no, the dragon won't allow that. Though if you take another step closer, I'll be glad to end negotitations. :-) He stays put. They hem and haw about giving more treasure and I hint that they're about half way there.

Meanwhile, the sorcerer's been semi-fuming away that they're giving up treasure to the dragon. He sends his familiar (remember shadow projection?) through the ground to the dragon. Sorcerer comes out of the rope trick with obvious intent and negotiations cease.

Dragon wins initiative and his aura hits hard -- alchemist, fighter, and sorcerer all panic. Then the wall of stone goes up, separating the party neatly into two groups. :-)

The familiar flies into the dragon's space, provoking an AoO. Sadly, because the familiar is insubstantial (shadow projection again) and has DR cold iron or good (quasit), the damage is minimal. The quasit hits and does 2 Str. The alchemist, who's frightened and flying, bolts. The cleric, who's not frightened, moves to the fighter and dimension doors them away to its maximum distance. It's now just the familiar and the dragon. As lopsided as it appears, because of the insubstantiality and the DR of the quasit, plus the Str damage from the quasit's touch attacks, its pretty dicey. The dragon wins out, though, and after the quasit's gone, it burrows under the wall of stone.

Them: "Heh, well, we're in a rope trick."
Me: "So...where does it say I can't attack you in the rope trick?"
Them: "It's an extradimensional space!"
Me: "And...I can't get in why?"
Them: "Oh, s***!"

The sorcerer, blinking, and the ranger, not blinking, leave the rope trick. They eat a breath weapon, then the dragon closes on the sorcerer.

Sorcerer: (to Ranger) "OK, full attack him."
Dragon: <enervation on Ranger>
Ranger: "No way! I'm leaving!"
Sorcerer: "Fine, I'm going invisible and you can deal with it yourself." *poof*
Dragon: <blindsense> <fireball sorcerer> "I don't need to see you to kill you..."

Cue the ranger double moving back the way they came and the sorcerer blinking through the wall of stone -- opposite directions. 50-50 to which PC it follows -- sorcerer. Two fireballs later and no more sorcerer.

Now, the sorcerer had forgotten about his haste, which would have moved him along more expeditiously, maybe even out of the dragon's range because of his invisibility.

The sorcerer wasn't too happy -- feeling that the party had abandoned him -- but seemed to relish in telling everyone how he and his familiar stood alone against the dragon. I think that everyone else had a good time, though the ending got rushed as we pushed up against time.

As always, I'll enjoy running this the second time more than the first -- now that I've had a chance to see how things play out. The darkfolk fight would have been tougher had I not blown a round trying unsuccessfully to cast deeper darkness with the worshiper. And I wish I'd spent more time at the end figuring out exactly what happened to the party.

*****

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

It's really too bad time ran out.. >:)

Cheliax *

Cowards. All of them. There is something wrong in this world when a cheliaxian is the only one with enough intestinal fortitude to face a dragon. 8)

*****

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
CptTylorX wrote:
Cowards. All of them. There is something wrong in this world when a cheliaxian is the only one with enough intestinal fortitude to face a dragon. 8)

Must be something in the devil blood we all drink. >:)

Sounds like you at least had fun. Good luck with Part 2!

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

Prepping to run this tonight, had a question about the BBEG at the ends statblock.

Because:

Spoiler:
Is the bite attack supposed to have more damage on it?
Quote:
Some creatures treat one or more of their attacks differently, such as Dragons, which always receive 1-1/2 times their Strength bonus on damage rolls with their bite attack. These exceptions are noted in the creature’s description.

The bite is listed as 2d8+10 in the 10-11 tier, shouldn't it be 2d8+15?

*****

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Odd. The CR 11 right from B3 shows 2d6+12 (its Str bonus is +8). The CR 16 in B3 is 2d8+12 (its Str bonus is +12). 2d8 is correct because of the size change. I'm guessing it should be 2d8+15 and that the CR 16 version in B3 is incorrect. The only other option is that there's a rule that it loses its 1-1/2 when it gets huge (which doesn't make much sense).

Yay for more damage! Have fun at 10-11. Let me know how 20-ft of lunging reach + combat reflexes + awesome blow works out for ya!

Shadow Lodge ****

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

It is safe to look in here yet?

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

2 people marked this as a favorite.

It was very, very painful for them. Four experienced players were in between tiers and played up. First mistake.

They were doing well, so they got to fight the optional encounter. Second mistake. Three out of four were killed. The fourth took their battered, broken bodies outside the tapestry and got them rez'd.

Then they had a paladin that really, really hates evil dragons. Third mistake. The dragon murdered said paladin without getting touched, and accepted the other PCs surrender as they decided as a group to raise the white flag. The dragon took the paladin's +1 mithral full plate of speed as tribute and called it good.

Legitimately, they all had a great time and after the last fight the paladin was like "Awesome, I am so freaking dead. That settles it then. I am going to level up, play this again for no credit just so I can get back to this room and be like 'Remember me, b%%**!?'"

I really liked it and can't wait to do part 2 ;)

*****

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

*cough*postareview*cough*

:D

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

Kyle Baird wrote:

*cough*postareview*cough*

:D

Kyle Baird -- +20 bluff to pass secret messages. ;)

I'll write one up later today.

Silver Crusade **

My group played both parts of Round Mountain this past weekend. Since the thread has "spoiler" in the title, I won't bother hiding anything in spoiler tags.

Some of our members had played part 1 at a convention a couple of weeks ago. When we played it at our local group, there were only 3 of us who hadn't played it already, one of whom had been the GM who ran it at the con. So we played it with Healbot 7000 (pregen Kyra at level 7) as the 4th party member, which gave us two level 9s and two level 7s, so we played lower tier. My barbarian was one of the level 9s.

For part 2, we had a full party of 6, all of whom had played part 1 and not used those characters or bought anything since, so we all qualified for the special boon. Most were level 9, with just one level 10 (I think) and one level 7, so we played up. I won't talk about that part in this thread, except to mention that the only death was a druid's companion animal - no PC deaths in either part, though that badger had been a major party member for our group since day one, so we actually felt bad losing him.

So my group playing part 1 was interesting. The fight in the dark was annoying, but we did ok and won. Grapple ftw!

When we got to the collapsed passage, my barbarian did some digging and found the Shadow Lodge secret, which is good, since I'm the Shadow Lodge member in the group. I became fatigued from all the digging, which meant I couldn't rage for the fight on the other side. I think that's the first time I've fought without raging with that character since level 3 or 4, back when I had to conserve rounds of rage per day. I actually went down to negative HP in that fight, but Kyra channeled, and I was back on my feet quickly enough, and we managed to beat the thing.

Of course, the highlight was the final encounter. One person missed a prestige point because we couldn't get the dragon's name, but that faction mission warned us that there was a dragon, so we prepared well. My barbarian was looking forward to it - slaying a dragon has been one of his life's ambitions from day one.

My barbarian chugged a potion of fly before the fight (and before starting to rage, since he's superstitious), and that ended up being key. It stole my weapon, and then flew to avoid us, so my barbarian flew after it, using the magic flail we'd found on the corpse earlier as my new weapon temporarily.

Everyone contributed a little, but some of the party members had trouble attacking it once it was in the air. But with ranged attacks from below, along with my barbarian getting up in its face in the air, we were able to do 75 HP damage in one round. I think that knocked her unconscious, and the fall of hundreds of feet, since she was flying off the edge of the cliff at the time, is what actually killed her. I immediately flew down to recover my weapon and chop off her head as a souvenir, then regrouped with the others.

So no player deaths, and a fun game overall.

***

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I'm one of the GMs who ran this for Fromper's group. All I have to say is that "I <3 Gugs"... one of my favorite old CoC monsters making an appearance is awesome (and I hope to see more! Mr. Baird, may I suggest a big juicy Dhole for the next one?).

I had thought about having the dragon flee with the valuable magic weapon she had snagged, but at the time she wasn't below the 40 hit point threshold to retreat, so being a greedy little monster, she was hoping to score one more item prior to absconding. Turned out to be her undoing, as Fromper pointed out, as the team did a massive amount of damage in that single round and she plummeted.

I really want to convey that even though both scenarios in this series are mechanically challenging, it's the story-line and introduction of the rat-folk (and their history) that I really liked (both as a player and GM). It really makes me want to know more about Hao Jin.

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

You have your review, Kyle, and now I'm gonna be late for work.

Punk.

*****

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Walter Sheppard wrote:

You have your review, Kyle, and now I'm gonna be late for work.

Punk.

Awesome review! Thanks! One point of clarification, Mr Option Encounter has a natural 15-ft reach and lunges to 20-ft. :D

Shadow Lodge ****

Played this last night, so now I can stop making saves against this thread.

I left a review, here's an overview of how my table went so you can blame my GM for all my complaints that don't make any sense. :-)

I played as Farak, the Most Powerful Mage in All Absalom, who's superb at CHA skills and reasonable with knowledges. I used a scroll of tongues to communicate with the rat folk and got the letter after a bunch of fun RP and promises of future cheese as well as some more immediate bribery. We got the impression it was a fairly short trek to the Pagoda where we'd do more negotiating.

We got the requisite ambushed by monsters along the way and while we weren't in danger deeper darkness doesn't make for very fun combats and despite some daylight being used the caster escaped.

The rocks made for a neat trap, although one we were able to avoid. When the swarm attacked we backed out of the hole and used small AoE to take them out in a few rounds. We skipped the optional encounter due to time. (I like optionals since they allow for some flex based on logistics, and I should probably add this as a note to my review)

As we got near the Pagoda the Dragon ambushed us with breath weapon and fear for no discernible reason. The monk pinned her after a couple rounds so she turned into an Air Elemental to escape. This lowered her AC enough that I could pepper her full of smite evil'd arrows. The monk drank a fly potion and took to the air. Both of us we're under 5hp when we dropped the dragon so it was actually pretty close.

The rest of our party spent most of the combat fleeing but came back in the end and helped out a bit.

I thought the wand on the chronicle sheet was super cool and I'm hopeful that my anti-aspis boon will be useful in p2 and that the boon from p2 isn't the classic super narrow useless bit that seems to be the norm.

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Pirate Rob wrote:
As we got near the Pagoda the Dragon ambushed us with breath weapon and fear for no discernible reason.

Wait, what? I haven't read the scenario, but when I played it the dragon arrived with her fear ability suppressed and demanded tribute in return for safe passage. It wasn't until we failed to offer enough goodies (I recall getting the impression that the scenario specified a GP value) that combat ensued.

Then, when we got her below a certain number of hit points, she left - with all our stuff that we'd offered up to that point.

Andoran ****

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The most powerful mage in Absalom? But can you summon fire into your hands like this...

Kyle - Awesome scenario. I thought it was well thought out and the ending was great. Fun stuff so please write some more!

Shadow Lodge ****

Jiggy wrote:


Wait, what? I haven't read the scenario, but when I played it the dragon arrived with her fear ability suppressed and demanded tribute in return for safe passage. It wasn't until we failed to offer enough goodies (I recall getting the impression that the scenario specified a GP value) that combat ensued.

When I played it there was no dialog, she just opened up with her breath weapon and unsuppressed her fear aura in the surprise round.

Shadow Lodge ****

Dave the Barbarian wrote:
The most powerful mage in Absalom? But can you summon fire into your hands like this...

Don't be fooled by that pretender Thorne, he has nothing on me. I am Farak, the Most Powerful Mage in All Absalom.

Andoran ****

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Pirate Rob - There should have been dialog. That was the fun part. A solid demand, a debate between the pathfinders, then a greedy one gives up and attacks. If run correctly, that encounter can be a TPK, which makes it awesome.

Farak - My mistake, ALL Absalom was the difference. My Paladin retired with Thorne at NeonCon and now we both serve as door greeters at the Grand Lodge.

Shadow Lodge ****

Thanks Kyle, I appreciate the note. I assume what happened is related to us running low on time, but I don't like to second guess the GM etc.

It's one of the interesting things about reviewing scenarios that I've only played. I never know what parts are from the writing, what parts are from GM style/choices etc. Since I got on the reviewing train last week I'm sure there are scenarios that I've unfairly both liked and disliked due to issues outside the author's control.

*****

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Pirate Rob wrote:

Thanks Kyle, I appreciate the note. I assume what happened is related to us running low on time, but I don't like to second guess the GM etc.

It's one of the interesting things about reviewing scenarios that I've only played. I never know what parts are from the writing, what parts are from GM style/choices etc. Since I got on the reviewing train last week I'm sure there are scenarios that I've unfairly both liked and disliked due to issues outside the author's control.

Maybe after you get a chance to read and/or run it, you can revisit your review. ;-)

Shadow Lodge ****

Yup. Although after running Eyes of the Ten at KublaCon I'm resting on my laurels and just playing for a bit. This does look like it will be a fun one to run eventually though :)

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

Kyle Baird wrote:
Walter Sheppard wrote:

You have your review, Kyle, and now I'm gonna be late for work.

Punk.

Awesome review! Thanks! One point of clarification, Mr Option Encounter has a natural 15-ft reach and lunges to 20-ft. :D

Good to know. I'll be running 2 slots of this at Paizocon, so if you want to msg/email me any tips or tricks before then, I'm all ears. I think I more or less ran it the way I did last week. Especially the dragon and the stopwatch effect, it seems like a clean, agreeable way to eliminate the "well, I probably have N rounds left."

*****

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'll be at PaizoCon ;-)

Qadira *** Venture-Lieutenant, Washington D.C. aka Grolick

Kyle,

I ran both parts of this mod on Sat. I got my first kill with the dragon, thanks! It was amusing because at first they were going to fight the dragon, then they offered all the +1 cloaks plus the dark studded leather to the dragon (which would have been enough, but the paladin chose to fight it anyway, even though the rest of the players didn't want to. I found it in my heart NOT to do a TPK which would have been possible.

If there were PvP in PFS, there would have been some on Sat! :)

*****

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Thanks for the feedback Grolick! Write a review yet? ;-)

Cheliax **

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Modules Subscriber

Finally got a chance to run this for some of my usual group and 2 new players doing pregens (ezren & merisel) at tier 7-8 (no matter how I tried to get them to play up).

As expected everyone had a blast (2 instant converts to Pathfinder & PFS where made this day) and they are all clamoring to run part 2 asap. A table full of Qadirans, Sczarni and Andorans made quick work of the faction missions and easily opened diplomatic relations with the ratfolk.
When the party asked if there was anything they could do to help cement a trade deal with the ratfolk the crafty captain asked them to present a trophy to the empress taken from a great danger they overcame on their travels to the Pagoda.

They easily overcame the Dark Stalker due to the first of my MANY horrible die rolls (how could I roll a 3 or less every time I tried to use the wand of dispel), but spent 15 rounds chasing the dark slayer around the alter getting blasted by every spell he had. (He really needs some aoe spells for situations like this Kyle)

The centipedes did there job perfectly and buried half the party in rock with the cleric unable to heal anyone until she was dug out. Unfortunately it was only the cleric who took damage so it wound up being just a speed bump during play.

Then we come to the non-optional encounter (I will ALWAYS find a way to use this fight), the party choose to dig a small tunnel through the rock and go through single file with mr heavy fighter the first to encounter the Gug. One awesome blow and a full round attack later the fighter is at 6 HP and has a new name... Mr brown shorts. This is where my dice really start betraying me and the party comes together. Glitterdust + Bestow Curse + viper Poison + Super channel cleric + Tangle Foot Bags + a DM who can't roll over a 7 on any save + a rogue who rolls and confirms 3 sneak attack Crits in one round allows the party to overcome the Gug (though everyone was down to single digit HP's multiple times during this fight.

Kyle, you'll be happy to know this is the first time in my PFS career that the party has said we need to rest and camp for the night. They literally had to burn every resource they had to defeat your baby here.
(At this point the conversation turned to how bad it would be at 10-11. I showed them, they cringed and turned white, swearing to NEVER play this at 10-11)

Finally they meet Xiangnuer, the argument over what loot to give her was hilarious. Half the party wanted to give her EVERYTHING they'd found on the way down (dark folk stuff, aspis weapon/spellbook) but they greedy rogues weren't having any of it. Eventually they attack and my dice betray me again. Fails every save and Boneshatter is an obscene spell to have cast on your creature. When they drop her under 40 HP's (1 HP left) she flees and a desperate dimension door to throw the rogue onto the dragons back to take 1 last shot manages to pierce her DR (no sneak bonus) for 2 hp of damage and watching her (and the rogue) fall 3000 feet to the ground before the Pagoda.
Only a readied teleport from the flying caster managed to keep the rogue alive.

Everyone had a blast and are trying to re-arrange their schedules to play part 2 this week. This scenario gets rave reviews from my table of 6.

Edit: They all recieved the dragon killer check but are freaking out on how the rats will respond to them killing their dragon ruler since nothing on the sheets actually says killing her was a good thing. :P

*****

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Oh how the mayhem warms my cold empty chest cavity! MOAR STORIES!

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

Getting teleported onto a dragon's back, is there anything it can't solve? That's why I play this game, haha.

Sczarni ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Washington—Pullman aka Coraith

Walter Sheppard wrote:
so if you want to msg/email me any tips or tricks before then, I'm all ears. I think I more or less ran it the way I did last week. Especially the dragon and the stopwatch effect, it seems like a clean, agreeable way to eliminate the "well, I probably have N rounds left."

I hope your dice hate them less then your dice hate us.

**

I have a few flavour-related questions concerning the demi-plane, just to add a bit to the description when the PCs first arrive, and one more serious question about the extraplanar eddies that follow the adventurers.

I assume since there is vegetation further up the mountain, that there is normal daylight and the sky is blue. But is there a sun? Is there a night and day cycle? Climbing 10,000 feet is not a short jaunt, and should take the adventurers an entire day (at least). While it's likely they'll continue straight on into the mountain, it would be interesting if they chose to rest outside first. It's still a short enough time that I'll assume there's no significant weather to bother with. But is there wind? Or clouds?

All minor stuff I know, and easy enough to make up on the fly. But I'm curious, and I'd like to be prepared in case anyone in the party asks.

Now for the more serious question: In the box-out description for the demi-plane it says: "Behind each arriving creature floats a 2-foot-diameter sphere of pulsing blue light, each visible only by the creature whose journey to the tapestry created it. A creature stepping into its own extraplanar eddy is shifted back to the Material Plane, to the same place it traveled from."

But on page 18 under "Conclusion" it says: "Because of the specifics of how the Hao Jin Tapestry works, the PCs are now far from their exit eddies..."

Where along the way do their eddies stop following them? I assumed from the initial description that the eddies remained with the PCs the entire time, and at least one account above describes someone using theirs to get back after being injured. If the eddies only follow the PCs so far, is that a fact that can be known or discovered beforehand?

The feedback here all seems quite positive, and I'm looking forward to running this in a few weeks at Paizocon UK.

Cheliax **

Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
Findas wrote:

I have a few flavour-related questions concerning the demi-plane, just to add a bit to the description when the PCs first arrive, and one more serious question about the extraplanar eddies that follow the adventurers.

I assume since there is vegetation further up the mountain, that there is normal daylight and the sky is blue. But is there a sun? Is there a night and day cycle? Climbing 10,000 feet is not a short jaunt, and should take the adventurers an entire day (at least). While it's likely they'll continue straight on into the mountain, it would be interesting if they chose to rest outside first. It's still a short enough time that I'll assume there's no significant weather to bother with. But is there wind? Or clouds?

All minor stuff I know, and easy enough to make up on the fly. But I'm curious, and I'd like to be prepared in case anyone in the party asks.

Now for the more serious question: In the box-out description for the demi-plane it says: "Behind each arriving creature floats a 2-foot-diameter sphere of pulsing blue light, each visible only by the creature whose journey to the tapestry created it. A creature stepping into its own extraplanar eddy is shifted back to the Material Plane, to the same place it traveled from."

But on page 18 under "Conclusion" it says: "Because of the specifics of how the Hao Jin Tapestry works, the PCs are now far from their exit eddies..."

Where along the way do their eddies stop following them? I assumed from the initial description that the eddies remained with the PCs the entire time, and at least one account above describes someone using theirs to get back after being injured. If the eddies only follow the PCs so far, is that a fact that can be known or discovered beforehand?

The feedback here all seems quite positive, and I'm looking forward to running this in a few weeks at Paizocon UK.

The portals actually don't move. They stay right at the spot where you enter the demi-plane and if you want to go back through them you need to travel all the way back to where you first appeared in the plane.

*****

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I didn't create the environment of the demi-plane, so hopefully whomever did shows up and answers the question. If I had, however, I would have had an omnipresent glow of soft daylight everywhere throughout the demiplane. There would be no day/night cycle or weather to speak of. The air would remain a constant temperature and humidity based on my own likings. The environment within the "mountain," however, is very much that of the Darklands. I strongly encourage anyone running this scenario to read Into the Darklands first.

Mathwei ap Niall is correct about the portals.

**

Mathwei ap Niall wrote:
The portals actually don't move. They stay right at the spot where you enter the demi-plane and if you want to go back through them you need to travel all the way back to where you first appeared in the plane.

Thanks for clarifying that for me. I obviously misinterpreted the initial description. When it says "behind each arriving creature floats a 2-foot-diameter sphere of pulsing blue light" I assumed it continued to float along behind them the entire time. Having it be stationary makes things much simpler.

**

Kyle Baird wrote:
I didn't create the environment of the demi-plane, so hopefully whomever did shows up and answers the question. If I had, however, I would have had an omnipresent glow of soft daylight everywhere throughout the demiplane. There would be no day/night cycle or weather to speak of. The air would remain a constant temperature and humidity based on my own likings.

I just found a few answers concerning the environment in another adventure, Storming the Diamond Gate.

Minor spoilers (Storming the Diamond Gate):
"The PCs arrive in Hao Jin’s realm as the last rays of the demiplane’s arcane sun crest the desert dunes (treat as dim light)... Treat the...surrounding area as a very hot environment (above 90° F; see page 444 of the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook)."

*****

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Thanks Findas! Can you put the scenario title in your spoiler title please?

**

Kyle Baird wrote:
Thanks Findas! Can you put the scenario title in your spoiler title please?

I'm no longer able to edit my post, sorry!

*****

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

It's all good. Either I failed at reading your post or it was edited already to include the name of the scenario in your post.

I hope you have a great time running the scenario! Can't wait to hear the details!

Paizo Employee ** Developer

Findas wrote:
Kyle Baird wrote:
Thanks Findas! Can you put the scenario title in your spoiler title please?
I'm no longer able to edit my post, sorry!

I've made the adjustment to your post Findas.

As for the original question, Mathwei ap Niall is correct. The eddies don't follow the PCs around, as the person who created the demiplane hadn't ever really intended to visit it and travel around—she just teleported where she wanted to be and then left when she was done. And the environment is whatever you need it to be to tell a compelling story, though if not listed as being particularly dangerous or extreme it's generally fairly mild. Days and nights are roughly equivalent to what they are on Golarion, which is how they are on Earth.

**

Thanks for that Mark, and thanks also for the additional clarifications. None of it may come up, but then again I may get a curious player asking these things, so it's good to have the information ready if needed.

*****

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

It was surreal to GM, play and watch this scenario played all weekend long at PaizoCon. Thank you to everyone who gave me feedback and if you got a chance to play or run it do me a huge favor and write a review or throw some feedback in here. :)

***

Kyle Baird wrote:
It was surreal to GM, play and watch this scenario played all weekend long at PaizoCon.

I am sure it is surreal to see something you developed consumed by others- especially at PaizoCon where it is "all around you". Any thoughts you'd care to share about how you felt about it? What observations did you make about how other people ran the scenario?

Shadow Lodge ****

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

So, funny (and long) story when I read Part I this last Sunday at my FLGS.

I had a table of six playing subtier 7-8. I was initially a little nervous, as our local group plays a bit conservatively compared to a lot of other regions and I wasn't sure how they'd handle the challenges of Rat Mountain. They totally surprised me though, especially during the Dark Stalker/Slayer fight with an awesome 1-2 combo of Daylight and then Pilfering Hand to steal the Dispel Magic wand.

The swarm and cave-in definitely hurt them, but no one was too seriously wounded. The gug fight was a different story though. One of the clerics was dropped to -13 after rend, with his 14 CON. One party member selflessly ran through an AoO to get to the unconscious ally and hit him with a wand of CLW before expiring.

However, the most entertaining and memorable part of the scenario came at the very end.

When Xiangnuer approached the party, they had a difficult time coming to any sort of agreement in terms of proper tribute. The Halfling Alchemist offered "sexual services" and the Halfling Bard offered up a song instead of items of monetary value. This, of course, angered Xiangnuer, but gave the party one last chance to pay proper tribute. As the party went back to deciding what to give up, the Alchemist has a brilliant thought.

Alchemist: "Guys, this dragon isn't real. It's totally an illusion."

Party: "NO. It's real."

GM (Me): "Well, you'll have to interact with it in order to tell if it's an illusion or not."

Alchemist: "I've seen this before. Trust me guys, I know what I'm doing."

A little context...

Spoilers for Sewer Dragons of Absalom:
This same Alchemist had played Sewer Dragons that I ran for them a while back. When the final encounter occurred, the player was absolutely certain the dragon was real. He insisted on the party fleeing and running away, claiming that there was no way they could take on such a creature. He was genuinely nervous, and almost convinced the whole party to leave before someone else decided to take a pot shot at the dragon, succeeding on his Will save and overcoming the illusion for himself. The Alchemist player was a little embarrassed and didn't say much else the rest of the game.

Flash-forward to the present. This player was determined to not be fooled yet again. The rest of the party was either yelling at him to stop, or throwing themselves at Xiangnuer's feet to appease her. And then, the Alchemist did what I feared he'd do.

He walked up and touched the dragon, telling her she wasn't real.

You have no idea how difficult it was for me to contain my laughter at this point. But, based on the fact that they had previously insulted her, especially the same player with his sexual offers, I felt that she wouldn't take such an insult so lightly as being told she doesn't really exist, especially based on the backstory provided.

So, I had them roll initiative, stating that the dragon looked pissed and incredibly unhappy that he did that to her. The Alchemist wins at initiative and proceeds to draw his weapon and Power Attack her. And missed. If he would've thrown himself down and apologized, I would've let him walk away, but I felt that he cemented himself in this combat by striking first. And thus, Grumblebelly the Halfling Alchemist was slain that day after a breath weapon, followed by a critical hit on a bite the following round.

The rest of the party stayed out of the fight, either falling prone and praising the great Xiangnuer, or going invisible and hiding. It was absolutely hilarious, and everybody was laughing hysterically, even the Alchemist player. I didn't necessarily intend to kill him, as dropping him unconscious would've been adequate in my mind. Unfortunately, he chose not to heal after the Breath Attack and the successful crit did him in. He wasn't upset though, thankfully, and the Cleric had Raise Dead along with the appropriate components on hand.

It was definitely one of the most hilarious and memorable moments I've ever had GM'ing for Pathfinder Society. I'm looking forward to the damage (and stories) to come from Part II.

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