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Quest for Perfection (SPOILERific) - suggestions / help for GM?


Pathfinder Society GM Discussion

*

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

So I'm running the full Quest for Perfection trilogy this Saturday at Kublacon. Looking forward to running a full trilogy back to back in a single day at a con, where I anticipate that many of my players will play all three scenarios making for a nice unified play experience.

That said I have a bunch of questions/advice sought based on what I've gleamed from my initial reads as well as reading about other GM's experiences (and players).

1) Are these scenarios as deadly as they appear? (especially if the party balance isn't right?) Any areas in particular I should be watching out for? Obviously the closing battle of the third part could go many many different ways (with an effective party high defense points will make this battle a lot easier)

2) What flip mats/miniatures should I bring to the table? I think I've identified at least four different flip mats (any I can't get at my local store tonight I'll buy via Amazon prime tonight) But I don't think I have either the right minis (definitely not enough Tengu) and don't have any ship maps for the second part

3) How do people handle the ship to ship combat? Seems like it could get really ugly.

4) Is it my imagination or are there are bunch of things in this series which come from books not in the core assumptions? I don't have the Bestiary 3 for example - is there anything missing from the stat blocks in the scenarios I should watch out for and make sure I'm running correctly?

5) Am I right that there is a somewhat important typo in the 3rd scenario? i.e. that to train the villagers in archery you need to have a player who is a CROSSBOW expert???? That seems silly. I'm planning on ignoring that line entirely and going with the far more sensible assumption that to train in archery you have to be an archer (or have at least proficiency with bows)

6) Anything else I should be watching out for in my first run through these scenarios?

***** Venture-Captain, Massachusetts—Boston aka Harley Quinn X

Hello. My opinions in spoiler tags.

1: Are the scenarios deadly?:
From my experience, parts 1 and 3 have the potential to get deadly (getting knocked off a cliff or paralyzed right next to ghouls, getting a big statue chucked at you). And if not deadly, the party still has a good chance at having to fight the last part of Part 1 with reduced capabilities due to altitude.

2: Minis and mats?:
I wouldn't worry too much about minis. Even if the minis don't look exactly like what they're facing, maybe just show them a picture and let them visualize. If you're looking through D&D minis, the Kenku in their various forms are pretty much Tengu.

3: Ship-to-ship combat:
This plays a pretty big part mainly in Part 2. Sometimes, if you don't have room on the mat, just tell the players how close the raiders/enemy ship is and give them the opportunity to each take a turn. Once the ship either runs aground (for the first fight) or the enemy ship ties to them, finish drawing in the maps, and let them have at it.

4: Core assumption:
Most of the things not in the core assumption will be covered in scenario. It's best to look over abilities a few times before you run it to make sure you know what's coming. Nothing too obscure comes to mind, if I remember correctly.

5: Crossbow expert?:
If I remember the scenario, it describes that the villagers have 10 crossbows that they use for hunting animals and such. Someone proficient in crossbows, with a +1 BAB, has to show them how to use them to target someone who will probably be wearing armor.

6: Any other advice?:

Also, make sure you take another look at how mounted combat works. It gets confusing for me with all the Ride checks and whatnot. There will be a lot of mounted riders between parts 2 and 3, and the mechanics of having both a rider and mount attack play a big part in QFP part 3's final encounters.
Make sure you keep track of some creatures defensive abilities. For example, in QFP part 2's final fight almost all creatures have some sort of defensive ability that would mess up someone's plans. The monks catch arrows, and the magus has Blur (20% miss chance against her). Having these things up could be the difference between your party blowing through the fight and being incredibly challenged.

Grand Lodge *

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber

I haven't played part 3, but parts 1 and 2 were among the worst Organized Play modules that I have ever encountered and I have been playing since Living City days. (I have reviewed both if you want to look there for more information).

The only thing in your favor is that you will have likely have full tables since you are running at a con. Part 2 falls apart when you have a small table because someone is dedicated to steering the ship (or you all die). And if that happens to be the only ranged combatant at the table, it's likely to be a TPK. We managed to survive that combat with my sorcerer steering, but were almost TPK'd in a later fight (color spray in tight quarters versus small parties is deadly). The only reason we lived is that my tiger companion (Sylvan Sorcerer) was still shredding the foes while all the PCs were unconscious or bleeding out.

Cheliax ***

sieylianna wrote:

I haven't played part 3, but parts 1 and 2 were among the worst Organized Play modules that I have ever encountered and I have been playing since Living City days. (I have reviewed both if you want to look there for more information).

The only thing in your favor is that you will have likely have full tables since you are running at a con. Part 2 falls apart when you have a small table because someone is dedicated to steering the ship (or you all die). And if that happens to be the only ranged combatant at the table, it's likely to be a TPK. We managed to survive that combat with my sorcerer steering, but were almost TPK'd in a later fight (color spray in tight quarters versus small parties is deadly). The only reason we lived is that my tiger companion (Sylvan Sorcerer) was still shredding the foes while all the PCs were unconscious or bleeding out.

I, too, have only played parts 1 and 2. I cannot agree with Sieylianna's view on these being the worst scenarios. A few things to consider:

Are the scenarios deadly:
All scenarios can be deadly; however, our party of Samurai 5, Rogue 3, Cavalier 2 and Witch 1 for part one breezed right through it. The cavalier was never even hit. My only complaint was the auther/editor's decision to place an impassable cliff in the scenario to preclude characters with animal companions from utilizing their major class feature. Of course, the argument can be made for the potion of spider climbing being added just for that reason, but some parties will not find it, and many parties would elect to keep it thinking it would be necessary (or highly beneficial) to use later in the scenario. Our party elected to use it on one of the mounts who was then used to help bring up the other mount. That might be something to keep in mind should you run into a similar sort of situation.

Ship-to-ship combat:
In part two, we had a fighter 5, rogue 4, cavalier 3 and the pregen cleric 4. Unfortunately, no one had Profession (sailor) and the cleric was far and away the best wisdom, so she was on the tiller. Again, we got lucky with little damage during most of the encounters. The cleric was really useful for her hold person spell. Add that the scenario lasts over many days (nearly unheard of in Pathfinder Society) and she was instrumental to our victory. In the final encounter, we were given four rounds before the other ship could overtake us. We fired flaming arrows at their sails the entire time. The three people able to shoot made 10 out of 12 shots at AC 5 (accounting for distance). Any shot that did more than 2 points of damage were considered to have set fire to a 5' square of sail and every burning square set another 5' square aflame on the next round. We further adjusted the speed of the ship down by 10 for every 10' square of sail burned through. Doing the math, the other ship still was able to catch us by the fourth round, so I would suggest not going through the bother of all the math. Advise the party to prep themselves. Again hold person saved the day by immobilizing the magus and allowing the cavalier and rogue to coup de grace while the fighter was cleaving the sailors (monks).

I have really enjoyed the series thus far and hope you have fun running it at KublaCon. Good luck!

****

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules Subscriber

I ran all 3 around a month ago as a single day event & there are a couple things to keep in mind

1) You are looking at 12 hours +breaks depending on the players. Keep that in mind & not only ask your players if they need breaks but ask yourself the same. A quick 10 min away can help when its a long day

2) You may have walk ups that want to join if its an open table when i did it 2 players went the whole game and the rest of the table was filled with people that wanted to play through out the day. Keep in mind that you may need to have multiple Pregens of the level 1 & level 4. I had the good fortune to know that our VL was going to be with me the whole day & I could get these from him...GM's should have a stockpile

3) Keep in mind that players tend to forget that they have the altitude sickness penalties you might want to make a card you can put out as a mental reminder during part 1.

4) The "boss" of the final encounter requires some reading. It is a class you don't see very often you need to read up on how his ability's work & again making a couple of cards for players for the effects can help with the challenge of unfamiliar effects.

5) If you have the time look into a bit of terrain pieces for part 3. You will be using the same basic set pieces for up to 3 combats. Making it worth while to try & build something that makes it more memorable for players

6) You will run into alot of names that you might want to write out phonically. I kinda wish that I had done that last time around.

7) The combats can be very very challenging if players play up!

I really enjoyed running this & would do so again if not for the fact that at this point all of our regular players have all played the whole series.

Have fun & roll lots o 20's

Grand Lodge *

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber
Marcus Mayes wrote:


I, too, have only played parts 1 and 2. I cannot agree with Sieylianna's view on these being the worst scenarios. A few things to consider:

Your group:
Was your group with a level 5 playing down or up? We might have had five total levels in part 2.
Silver Crusade **

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Bruno played series at a con. Bruno grappled thoughts on series. Thoughts were pinned then tied up. Haha, stupid thoughts!

Series was fun overall!

Scenarios in rank of fun: pt 3, pt 2, pt 1. Bruno hated part 1. Bruno enjoyed part 2. Bruno would make part 3 tag team partner for Inner World Sea Tag Team Championship match.

Series deadliness in order: part 1, part 3, part 2.

Stupid part 1 has stupid cats, stupid cave fisher, stupid cliff ghouls, stupid exhaustion and stupid yetis. Towards end, tiny delicate beautiful rogue scouted ahead of party and was charged by two yetis at once. Bruno grappled own face to hide stupid tears.

Then this happened.

Lucky, lucky, stupid, lucky rogue!

Part 3 can be deadly if party very stupid (like monsters who try to grapple Bruno) or party roll bad (like when Bruno really, really needs to pin stupid birdmen) or play up (because stupid cavalier is higher level). Also, if GM no explain Defense Points clearly, then PCs missing out on valabul--vulabyul--valub--good stuff to use.

Part 1 can be nasty on PCs. Part 2 fun because it's boat and Bruno never been on boat. Part 3 was blast--but if stupid PCs no play tactically in final battle, they can get smushed like...uh...something I smushed real good.

*

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

Thanks everyone!

I'm running this series at a major convention this weekend (Kublacon) so I'm not worried about having pregens or too many random dropins.

The suggestions and feedback have been really helpful. I'm going to prepare some handouts for each session to remind players about key elements (altitude, how to steer the boats, defense points etc). I think I'll also bring some poker chips for each players defense pool so they are I hope a bit more likely to use them.

I'm a bit worried about the maps and minis as I don't have done of the flip mats or a good solution for the ships. (or the waves of enemies in part 3)
Thanks!

****

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I used poker chips for defense points in part 3 and it seemed to work well. The chips also worked as a means of tracking the progress of setting up defenses for the town with each chip being 5 villagers. I made up note cards for each action and the PCs just shifted their minis and the chips around the cards for each day of preparation.

****

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
shadowmage75 wrote:

I've hashed together a player and gm excel sheet i think will help move this part along, based on a suggestion here. If you could peruse and give thoughts, I'd appreciate it. First page will go in front of players, while second is GM only.

Nesting Swallow.xlsx
hope that works.

This might also help with the organization for Part 3 (thanks to shadowmage75)

Andoran ***** Venture-Captain, Washington D.C. aka Thamius

Rycaut wrote:

The suggestions and feedback have been really helpful. I'm going to prepare some handouts for each session to remind players about key elements (altitude, how to steer the boats, defense points etc). I think I'll also bring some poker chips for each players defense pool so they are I hope a bit more likely to use them.

I'm a bit worried about the maps and minis as I don't have done of the flip mats or a good solution for the ships. (or the waves of enemies in part 3)

You're in luck! I'm flying in for KublaCon on Friday night and I'm GMing through this series on Sunday. For part 2 I already have both of the ships printed out and pasted onto thick paper, thus you can "sail" them across the various flip maps for the battles, and I have the village for part 3 enlarged, printed out, and taped together. You're welcome to borrow my stuff on Saturday, so long as I can get them back in usable condition for Sunday!

Cheliax ***

sieylianna wrote:


** spoiler omitted **

Spoiler:
Our group played 4-5 both scenarios
**** Venture-Captain, Pennsylvania—Philadelphia

I just got finished running the first mod of this series and wow it's a killer. The big bad nearly TPK'd the whole group of level 3 Magus, 2 Ranger,2 Samurai,1 Cleric,1 Wizard characters. Tough fight luckily the Magus had saved enough Prestige to afford his Raise Dead he needed. And they found the Faction missions a bit hard, but the mod was fun despite that.

****

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
Jeffrey Fox wrote:
I just got finished running the first mod of this series and wow it's a killer.

It depends on tactics, lead with your face might not always be the best plan.

The last time I ran this the group did a double withdraw through 2 rooms vs the big bad & by the time we had a sustained engagement under tier 1-2 I only had 2 rounds of rage left. Coming out of rage in the second round of combat really took the wind out of this fight.

**** Venture-Captain, Pennsylvania—Philadelphia

Yeah they had horrible tactics [they split up], plus since most where first level they got one shotted by the big bad. Still was a fun scenario, though all most all of them missed their faction missions.

*

Rycaut wrote:
1) Are these scenarios as deadly as they appear? (especially if the party balance isn't right?) Any areas in particular I should be watching out for? Obviously the closing battle of the third part could go many many different ways (with an effective party high defense points will make this battle a lot easier)

Yes. Part 1 is very deadly with the wrong class mix or 4 players. Being paralyzed in a 5' corridor (equivalent) or away from everyone else could also lead to a coupe (or at least getting your face munched), depending on the GM.

How deadly the series will be will depend on the GM, how much he pities you, how well he prepares, and how well he knows his NPCs. For example, the end boss in Part 1 was no problem for us. Why? Because the GM didn't even bother to use his Stealth (to get surprise) or Power Attack (for insane damage) to his advantage. Anyone doing two attacks at +8 1d4+6+4+1d6 damage (average=14 damage per strike) and another strike at +8 1d6+6+4 damage (average=14 damage), should be kicking a lot of butt at subtier 1-2. That doesn't even include his other (significant) abilities. So yeah, if your GM knows his NPCs well, it can be extremely deadly.

I didn't find Part 3 very deadly (most of the time was spent in the metagame), but we all used our defensive points to good effect.

I plan to play Part 2 at a later time.

I'll be GMing these soon, and I'm not a softie, so we'll see.

Rycaut wrote:


2) What flip mats/miniatures should I bring to the table?

I'm going to use the following.

For Part 1, plain map with some shacks from the slums map pack. Then a custom hand drawn map for the cave fishers. Then another hand drawn map for the idols. Then the Monastery flip map for end.

For Part 2 I'd use the new pirate ship flip map.

For Part 3, you could use the Woodlands flipmap, a small diagram to explain the village during prep, and then a nice large map for the siege. At least that's what I plan to do.

With the various paper minis, I'll have the correct mini for all combats except for the end boss in #1, and the enemy in #3 (I will probably just use Charau-kai since I have lots of them.

Rycaut wrote:


3) How do people handle the ship to ship combat? Seems like it could get really ugly.

I'm not sure... doh, wish I didn't read that.

Rycaut wrote:


4) Is it my imagination or are there are bunch of things in this series which come from books not in the core assumptions?

I've only read part 1 and 3, but everything is well explained in the stat blocks.

Rycaut wrote:


5) Am I right that there is a somewhat important typo in the 3rd scenario?

What David said.

Rycaut wrote:


6) Anything else I should be watching out for in my first run through these scenarios?

I'd rather answer questions like that on a scenario by scenario basis, but you can read my review of Part 3 for things to watch out for. Good preparation means you don't have to fiddle around too much.

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