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#3-21 The Temple of Empyreal Enlightenment (spoilers)


Pathfinder Society GM Discussion

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*****

thrikreed wrote:
Rogue Eidolon wrote:
Why did the other characters just stand there? It's pretty inconsiderate of them.
I was in another room, around multiple corners, on the other side of a curtain (and possibly a door), from the party. What could they have done in a surprise round they were completely unaware of before the haunt dropped an effect with a 15 will save on a 1st level character? They might as well have been 600 miles away instead of in the next room. Once that on will save is failed... Sigh. Commence suicide attempts to infinity like the poor Halfling father of two children suffered. Knife disappears, that's fine apparently hanging works. What would you have had them do?

First of all, it's only one coup de grace. Secondly, if anyone interrupts you at any time, you replace the coup de grace with a single attack against them, which is not a coup de grace. I've posted the text multiple times now--your GM did not run it correctly.

As a final point, not to defend the haunt, as I'm not a huge fan of suicide haunts either, but PFS is full of ways you can easily die if you are "in another room, around multiple corners, on the other side of a curtain (and possibly a door), from the party".

Grand Lodge ****

nosig wrote:
sveden wrote:
I take it your character died in the kitchen?
mine did not

What? I was asking thrikreed.

The Exchange ****

thrikreed wrote:
Rogue Eidolon wrote:
Why did the other characters just stand there? It's pretty inconsiderate of them.
I was in another room, around multiple corners, on the other side of a curtain (and possibly a door), from the party. What could they have done in a surprise round they were completely unaware of before the haunt dropped an effect with a 15 will save on a 1st level character? They might as well have been 600 miles away instead of in the next room. Once that on will save is failed... Sigh. Commence suicide attempts to infinity like the poor Halfling father of two children suffered. Knife disappears, that's fine apparently hanging works. What would you have had them do?

with many groups I play in, the "scout" checks a room almost alone. Often (if she has darkvision) in the dark. Stealthly, in order to surprise the monsters. So, often the scout, who has perhaps the worst Will save of the group, will be well ahead of the party.

Even with only one shot this encounter is bad.

combined with the rest of the scenario, it looks designed to kill off the rogue before the encounter at the crypt. thus making the later encounter much harder.

who is most likely to encounter this "not-trap"? the rogue
who has the worse will save of the party? the rogue
who has the most chance of Coup-ing someone (himself)? the rogue (sneak dice count for Coups).

And no rogue (or a timid rogue) makes the crypt encounter MUCH harder.

Grand Lodge ***

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm with Rogue on this. The trap isn't persistant. If it was it would make you save each round to keep the coup de grace effect up. Otherwise like every other haunt in the game it's a one and done. A failed or interupted coup de grace means it's done. It takes an hour for it to even be an issue again.

I honestly don't see how you can interpret it another way. Your complaint is: The haunt has no duration. NO haunt has a duration. It's not part of their stat block.

Your GM ran it wrong. That's not to be unexpected. Haunts are still VERY new to the game. People are getting them wrong all the time.

Also of note, if you kill or remove Dakang before you hit the kitchen, the haunt is destroyed.

Grand Lodge ****

thrikreed wrote:
Long post

Thrikreed, do you own a copy of this particular scenario?

On the note of this not being suitable for children:

At our gamedays children under the age of 15 must have a parent or guardian present.

If dealing with adult situations with people you consider to be too immature to handle them bothers you I suggest you talk to your Store Coordinator and have them implement a minimum age for players without guardians.

As to if its even appropriate for this kind of thing to be in a Pathfinder Society Scenario... that's something you would have to ask the parent of the 14 year old girl, not the PFSociety board.

Dark Archive

nosig wrote:

so everything is fine, as long as your PC fails to kill himself.

hmmm....

I still think this wonderful adventure - a scenario that I (mostly) enjoyed more than many other PFS games, would be better off with out this encounter. Without the haunt. It detracts form the message of the halfling father taking his life - and the message a good judge can give with that scene.

thrikreeds' point #7 is beginning to sink into me.

Remove the haunt, and show the after effects of this act without the haunt, and you have a powerful RP moment.

edit: corrected point #.

#7 needs to better representation than I. I am getting hung up in the rules lawyering and my own feeling towards this. Someone out there, better than I, needs to be able to tell Paizo, the writers, and the GMS; all of them why this is the one of the worst forms of rejection possible and specifically for a large part of their target audience. I need to walk away from this and I have a job I need to get to anyways.

Grand Lodge ***

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

Thrikreed,

I can appreciate your concern about #7. It's a valid concern and shows that you have a lot of heart. But I don't want to play a santized game either. If we worry about every little thing that someone could take offense to or use as an exscuse to hurt themselves or others, we might as well be playing Candyland. This issue is, of course, a bigger one than many, but that's why we have people in charge instead of machines. It is the GMs responsibility to know their audience and be prepared for it. With a table of younger people, I'd probably just skip this encounter. You have the same issue with Murder on the Throaty Mermaid and it's strong sexual tones at times.

Shadow Lodge **

Thrikreed, your GM played the haunt incorrectly. I've given out a round-by-round breakdown of the encounter in my posts (it's on the same page as your first post).

The haunt only activates once someone gets within 5ft of the centre table. There is only a single suicide attempt. If someone even tries to stop the attempt (successfully or not), the attempt turns into a single attack. The haunt is done after that, until possibly an hour later.

The slow weakness lowers the difficulty of this haunt by a huge amount, to the point that, in the level 1-2 tier, as long as there are at least 2 people in the room and they aren't being jerks, the worst this haunt can do is 2d4+2xStr damage. In the 4-5 Tier without the slow weakness, it can potentially be much worse, depending on the perception modifier of the victim and his initiative.

Regarding the solo scout situation, the scout enters the room and finds a halfling corpse (immediately identifiable as a corpse) hanging in the centre, and absolutely nothing else of interest. He is in a non-hostile environment, with easy access to his party members, in a creepy situation, and his first instinct, instead of telling his party members, is to go examine the corpse more closely? That sounds like he's being careless, to me.

Incidentally, the haunt was not the problem when I ran this scenario, the skeletons in the crypt were. The solo scouting rogue failed the perception check to find the statue trap, but the trap missed him. He then immediately went to check out the crypt, but since the trap had sprung, the skeletons were waiting for him, quickly running him down when he tried to run away. A very tense battle followed as the rest of the party fought their way to him.

The Exchange ****

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I still ask,

did anyone enjoy the haunt encounter in this?

Was it fun?

I have read all the post saying "your judge ran it wrong" in reply to posters that say that had a BAD experience with it.

if 1/2 the people have bad experiences, and 1/2 the people say "the haunt was not the problem when I ran this scenario" - what does that tell us? Half the judges are running it wrong? Should we "Correct the judges" and hope we get them all. Maybe.

If I modify this encounter when I run it, I'm not running as written. So I come here and try to understand how it works. How can I run this for players so that they will enjoy themselves. And get told "...I suggest you talk to your Store Coordinator and have them implement a minimum age for players without guardians." wow. just... wow.

Shadow Lodge **

The haunt was fun for my party (tier 1-2). The personal nature of it further ingrained the creepiness of the entire scenario. They didn't know they weren't in actual danger of dying from the haunt, but they sure as hell thought they were, especially when the druid bent back down to pick up the knife that someone had disarmed him of.

I've played a bunch of scenarios that weren't nearly as fun as they could have been if the judge had prepared properly. In fact, some of them (like Shipyard Rats) ended in a TPK because the judge didn't have enough time to properly understand how the encounters were supposed to work.

The Exchange ****

Serum wrote:

...stuff not about "scout situation"...

Regarding the solo scout situation, the scout enters the room and finds a halfling corpse (immediately identifiable as a corpse) hanging in the centre, and absolutely nothing else of interest. He is in a non-hostile environment, with easy access to his party members, in a creepy situation, and his first instinct, instead of telling his party members, is to go examine the corpse more closely? That sounds like he's being careless, to me.

...stuff not about "scout situation"...

Open door, examine room before intering.

Rogue - "Kitchen, looks unused. Appears to be a dead body - halfling - hanging in the room. Moving up slowly to check it out"
Melee Fighter - "here's a rope, tie it around your waist in case of pit traps. I'll brace myself at the door in case you fall."
Ranged Fighter - "Ready a shot in cast something attacks the Rogue"
Wizard - "Wait, I scan the room with Detect Magic before the rogue gets in there... anything?"
Judge - "no magic, no movement. The rogue moves up to the body," consults pre-rolled will saves, "stops - glances to the table near by, picks up a knive there and... the party enters inititive - what do you do? End of surprize round."
Init is rolled and goes in this order...
Ranged Fighter - "hold my Ready - shot anything that looks like it might attack the Rogue"
Melee Fighter - "Ready to yank my little buddy out of harms way, just give me a shout!"
Wizard - "Fireball coming on line - ah, sorry, what do I see? The Rogue with a knife? I'll delay"
Judge - "The rogue stabs himself, roll 2d4 +Strength +Sneak Dice. Oh, and then a Fort save."

The Rogue got careless?

The Exchange ****

Serum wrote:

The haunt was fun for my party (tier 1-2). The personal nature of it further ingrained the creepiness of the entire scenario. They didn't know they weren't in actual danger of dying from the haunt, but they sure as hell thought they were, especially when the druid bent back down to pick up the knife that someone had disarmed him of.

I've played a bunch of scenarios that weren't nearly as fun as they could have been if the judge had prepared properly. In fact, some of them (like Shipyard Rats) ended in a TPK because the judge didn't have enough time to properly understand how the encounters were supposed to work.

Please recount what you can remember of playing the encounter, as I have only seen this encounter go badly, with a lot of bad feelings, even on the part of the judge (depression at killing PC). Feel free to PM me if you wish.

as close to a action by action account of the 2 or 3 rounds for the haunt, and the set up before the encounter.

Shadow Lodge **

nosig wrote:


Open door, examine room before intering.
Rogue - "Kitchen, looks unused. Appears to be a dead body - halfling - hanging in the room. Moving up slowly to check it out"
Melee Fighter - "here's a rope, tie it around your waist in case of pit traps. I'll brace myself at the door in case you fall."
Ranged Fighter - "Ready a shot in cast something attacks the Rogue"
Wizard - "Wait, I scan the room with Detect Magic before the rogue gets in there... anything?"
Judge - "no magic, no movement. The rogue moves up to the body," consults pre-rolled will saves, "stops - glances to the table near buy, picks up a knive there and... the party enters inititive - what do you do? End of surprize round."
Init is rolled and goes in this order...
Ranged Fighter - "hold my Ready - shot anything that looks like it might attack the Rogue"
Melee Fighter - "Ready to yank my little buddy out of harms way, just give me a shout!"
Wizard - "Fireball coming on line - ah, sorry, what do I see? The Rogue with a knife? I'll delay"
Judge - "The rogue stabs himself, roll 2d4 +Strength +Sneak Dice. Oh, and then a Fort save."

The Rogue got careless?

This required the rogue to be in Tier 4-5 (otherwise the rogue couldn't pick the dagger up in the surprise round because the haunt effectively always goes last), roll a high perception to beat the spot DC (otherwise the rogue couldn't pick the dagger up in the surprise round), roll a low initiative (otherwise he would've acted before the haunt), and fail the Will Save DC (otherwise we wouldn't be having this conversation. In addition, everyone else must've failed the perception check to notice the knife move of it's own accord as well. That's four rolls that have to not go in the rogue's favor, and the party gets additional rolls to allow each party member to react to a knife moving on its own. As a comparison, a single Phantasmal Killer spell cast by a level 7 npc wizard (CR 6) kills you in the same or fewer rolls (at higher DCs), and the wizard has still has a bunch more spells to continue destroying the party witih.

In addition, sneak attack doesn't state that you get precision damage directly from coup de gracing someone, just when they're denied dex. Now, normally you can only coup de grace someone when they're helpless (and hence denied dex), but you can argue that this haunt brings up a special case where you can coup de grace even though you currently aren't helpless. You aren't denied your own dexterity bonus in this case, and therefore you don't take any sneak attack damage. (Doesn't stop the Fort save from being difficult to beat, but it does stop it from being impossible).

Nosig, you came to this thread to try and find a way to make the scenario fun for everyone. Since it's already out, complaining about how horrible this encounter is won't change anything, aside from helping you make the decision that you won't run the scenario. Since you find the rest of the scenario fun, why don't you give what we've been saying a try? I'm trying not to be confrontational, I am trying to help.

Shadow Lodge **

Nosig, sent you a PM.

Grand Lodge ****

nosig wrote:
So I come here and try to understand how it works. How can I run this for players so that they will enjoy themselves. And get told "...I suggest you talk to your Store Coordinator and have them implement a minimum age for players without guardians." wow. just... wow.

Are you Thrikreed?

If you are not, what are you on about?

Liberty's Edge ***** Venture-Lieutenant, California—Fresno aka Sarta

I have never played a character (or played in a group) where the paranoia levels are so high that tying a rope around the waist of a party member seems like a good idea when entering a kitchen -- dead halfling or no dead halfling.

Grand Lodge ***

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

sveden,

This is more than just the Thrikreed thread. Your response is far from helpful to anyone.

Grand Lodge ***

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Will Johnson wrote:
I have never played a character (or played in a group) where the paranoia levels are so high that tying a rope around the waist of a party member seems like a good idea when entering a kitchen -- dead halfling or no dead halfling.

It may be after you play this Scenario.

The Exchange ****

Will Johnson wrote:
I have never played a character (or played in a group) where the paranoia levels are so high that tying a rope around the waist of a party member seems like a good idea when entering a kitchen -- dead halfling or no dead halfling.

LOL! happens all the time. And in this case it actually seemed to have saved my PC, as on the third round the Melee fighter grappled her and took the (1d4-2)+(1d4-2) when he tried to disarm her.

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

Hells, my PCs make a habit of taking 20 to check for traps when entering the dining hall of the Grand Lodge.

All the novices think it's funny, until they sit on a chair Aram Zey's trapped with explosive runes.

The Exchange ****

Chris Mortika wrote:

Hells, my PCs make a habit of taking 20 to check for traps when entering the dining hall of the Grand Lodge.

All the novices think it's funny, until they sit on a chair Aram Zey's trapped with explosive runes.

and the guy beside them reads it... got to trigger those traps you know!

;)

Dark Archive

Clint Blome wrote:

I'm with Rogue on this. The trap isn't persistant. If it was it would make you save each round to keep the coup de grace effect up. Otherwise like every other haunt in the game it's a one and done. A failed or interupted coup de grace means it's done. It takes an hour for it to even be an issue again.

I honestly don't see how you can interpret it another way. Your complaint is: The haunt has no duration. NO haunt has a duration. It's not part of their stat block.

Your GM ran it wrong. That's not to be unexpected. Haunts are still VERY new to the game. People are getting them wrong all the time.

Also of note, if you kill or remove Dakang before you hit the kitchen, the haunt is destroyed.

Clint, I can certainly see why you came to conclusion about how to run haunts...

And then I read the part about the haunt manifesting and driving Wei to hang himself. Apparently the haunted lasted long enough that Wei had time to construct a makeshift ladder, climb it, tie a rope around a beam, and then tie the rope around his neck. This is the example provided by the module writer for how long this haunt's effect should last.

You might argue this example is and the haunt below might be two different haunts... One moment. There is something worse than this haunt and that's 6 of them in the same room, and what's more they can be made persistent by adding in a couple of obscure modifiers. Yuck.

Speaking of Persistent, I think I see your confusion over how Haunts work now. See, my understanding is that a haunt is like a summoned creature that has a duration of one round to throw one spell effect. Regardless of the success or failure of the saving throw or the duration of the spell effect, the summons ends at initiative -1. Once that spell effect is in place, it follows the rules of the spell. This is much like a 3rd level wizard casting mage armor on everyone in the party then being killed off 5 minutes into the 3 hour duration. The effect is still there, following the rules of the spell effect. Take a look at another of the haunts, um Cause Fear. It's not persistent and the effect continues past the surprise round up to a possible 4 rounds. The summoned creature can't keep throwing fear on characters every round until it is neutralized or destroyed because it's not persistent, and goes away at the end of the round. That's what Persistent does... It makes it so the summoned creature lasts until the haunt is neutralized or destroyed. Does that help explain how haunts work as they are written?

Feel free to disagree with me and tell me I'm wrong and this isn't how haunts should be ran; but before you do so I want you to think about what I am asking. Would more clarity about how all haunts function really hurt? Are you really opposed to this?

As for the Suicide Compulsion, I do think at bare minimum it specifically needs a spell to base of off and a clear cut duration, but my preference would be to ban it from play.

As for your later post about sanitizing the game; find me 3 other spells besides Magic Jar capable of getting a player character to commit suicide and think about why that is. Why put safety precautions into the game like that for this one subject?

Dark Archive

sveden wrote:
thrikreed wrote:
Long post

Thrikreed, do you own a copy of this particular scenario?

On the note of this not being suitable for children:

At our gamedays children under the age of 15 must have a parent or guardian present.

If dealing with adult situations with people you consider to be too immature to handle them bothers you I suggest you talk to your Store Coordinator and have them implement a minimum age for players without guardians.

As to if its even appropriate for this kind of thing to be in a Pathfinder Society Scenario... that's something you would have to ask the parent of the 14 year old girl, not the PFSociety board.

No, I do not own a copy of this particular scenario. The judge that ran it printed off pages 8 and 9 for me to look at. I have been limiting myself to encounter A5 specifically because the judge that ran this for me said that Paizo, Pathfinder Society, and the writers are responsible for this... And that at least two of those groups have done this repeatedly. That's disturbing to me.

My solution is to take it up on a Paizo board where the people able to affect policy can read it and stop it at the source.

Anyone who thinks a Gamesday Policy of "Children under the age of 15 must have a parent or guardian present." is adequate, please go google "Suicide rate among teens by age". Please think about it. Look at the ages to see who is most prone. Quote me 2-3 of the pertinent details. When you've done that, then we can start discussing suggestions for Gamesday Policy's and implementing them everywhere they could be of use. Would you suggest implementing parents groups and mass media? I think this was actually done during the 80s... Why don't you go check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dungeons_%26_Dragons_controversies. Sigh, I have enjoyed playing the game all the way back to my oldest brothers boxed sets of the original Dungeons and Dragons red box in 1985 and I would hate to see something I have enjoyed doing since then go through that public mindset again. Ugh.

If you have a better plan, I know I would certainly be happy to read it.

Shadow Lodge **

There is no duration indicated; therefore, this haunt's effects last until one of two things happens:
1) The character attempts a coup de grace action, singular
2) The character attempts a single attack against another character because that character attempted to prevent said coup de grace action.

If the victim was prevented from taking either of these actions, the effect persists until he can attempt #2. I'd go so far to the point that means that if Hold Person was cast on him during the coup de gracce attempt, and then he was tied up, he would remain possessed until he was no longer tied up, picked up the knife and attacked someone. That's a corner case though, and I'd only do it because the danger of the haunt is gone after he is no longer trying to kill himself.

The fluff about the halfling hanging himself is just fluff and description. It has no root in this haunt's mechanics.

This haunt is different than other haunts that are tied to spell effects, because the effect isn't a spell.

Dark Archive

Serum wrote:

There is no duration indicated; therefore, this haunt's effects last until one of two things happens:

1) The character attempts a coup de grace action, singular
2) The character attempts a single attack against another character because that character attempted to prevent said coup de grace action.

If the victim was prevented from taking either of these actions, the effect persists until he can attempt #2. I'd go so far to the point that means that if Hold Person was cast on him during the coup de gracce attempt, and then he was tied up, he would remain possessed until he was no longer tied up, picked up the knife and attacked someone. That's a corner case though, and I'd only do it because the danger of the haunt is gone after he is no longer trying to kill himself.

The fluff about the halfling hanging himself is just fluff and description. It has no root in this haunt's mechanics.

This haunt is different than other haunts that are tied to spell effects, because the effect isn't a spell.

Please read "A haunt can have virtually any effect identical to an existing spell effect, but often with different—and distinctly more frightening or unnerving—sensory or physical features than that spell effect normally has. (A haunt that has an effect not identical to an existing spell is certainly possible, but this requires designing a new spell effect.)".

Not proof enough for you? Sigh.

Creating a Haunt
Step 1: I pick Meteor Swarm +1 for a base 10.
Step 2: I pick Persistent (+2), Notice DC 15 (-1), Reset Time (+2), Slow (-2), Weakness Cold (-1), Weakness Acid (-1), Weakness Electricity (-1), Weakness Sonic (-1), Tricked by hide from undead (-2), Trick by invisibility (-1), and Tricked by Stealth (-2); for a total of -8. 10 - 8 is 2. CR is 2.
Step 3: Caster level = CR for a CL 2.
Step 4: CR * 4.5 (because its persistent) is 9hp.
Step 5: Saving throw is equal to 10+9 (for Meteor Swarm) + 4 (for minimum ability modifier needed to cast it). DC 23.

According to the rules I can have a 1st level party take 24d6 fire damage, DC 23 for half every round until such time as they do 9 points of damage to the haunt. In 1 minute it begins again.

Despite this being in the rules, I feel it is against the spirit of the game. I hope everyone else can agree with that.

Yet, I am more okay with that than the Suicide Compulsion haunt you have stated can ignore ALL the rules and can have a serious impact on not just the character but the player too.

The fact anyone can think Haunts can ignore the rules just underscores to me how this is being used as a vehicle to ignore the rules.

That... That is a problem.

Shadow Lodge **

Step 1: I pick Phantasmal Killer +1 for a base 5.
Step 2: I pick Reset time 1 hour (+1). Persistent isn't in use, since the spell effect isn't repeating over and over.

Done. I have a CR 6 haunt with Phantasmal Killer in a 30ft area forcing you to Will Save & Fort Save DC 16 or die instantly in the surprise round. (add Notice DC 15 (-1) and slow (-2) to get it to CR 3 for Tier 1-2).

Oh wait, that's worse than the haunt in the kitchen. The kitchen's haunt 's spell effect's final act is delayed, allowing the whole party to react to it and easily deal with it just by attempting to stop the haunt victim from harming himself, AND is limited in the 5ft radius area in the centre of the kitchen. The kitchen Haunt isn't persistent, as it doesn't pick a new person to force a will save every round. It's just a single instantaneous effect. In addition, as I've said several times earlier, the slow weakness kills the deadliness of this haunt entirely as long as there's at least two people in the room.

Really? You're arguing that an author who doesn't follow the [creating a haunt] section to make a haunt similar to the example in the haunt section is breaking the rules? Fine, the author might have created a new spell called Suicide Compulsion, used that and put it into the above example.

Suicide Compulsion wrote:

School enchantment [mind-affecting, compulsion]; Level sorcerer/wizard 4

Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S
Range close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Target one living creature
Duration instantaneous
Saving Throw Will negates, see text; Spell Resistance Yes

If the target must fails his Will save, he must spend his actions to pick up or draw a light weapon and attempt a single coup de grace action on himself with it.

He must make a Fortitude save (DC 10 + the damage dealt) to avoid being slain by this suicide attempt. If anyone tries to prevent the attempt, the target makes a single attack against that person with the weapon. If he hits, the supernaturally guided strike automatically scores a critical hit. The compulsion ends when a coup de grace attempt or attack is made.

In fact, that's a full-blown spell. The author doesn't need to go that far, he just needs to think of a new spell effect and decide on an appropriate spell level.

Dark Archive

Serum wrote:

Step 1: I pick Phantasmal Killer +1 for a base 5.

Step 2: I pick Reset time 1 hour (+1). Persistent isn't in use, since the spell effect isn't repeating over and over.

Done. I have a CR 6 haunt with Phantasmal Killer in a 30ft area forcing you to Will Save & Fort Save DC 16 or die instantly in the surprise round. (add Notice DC 15 (-1) and slow (-2) to get it to CR 3 for Tier 1-2).

Oh wait, that's worse than the haunt in the kitchen. The kitchen's haunt 's spell effect's final act is delayed, allowing the whole party to react to it and easily deal with it just by attempting to stop the haunt victim from harming himself, AND is limited in the 5ft radius area in the centre of the kitchen. The kitchen Haunt isn't persistent, as it doesn't pick a new person to force a will save every round. It's just a single instantaneous effect. In addition, as I've said several times earlier, the slow weakness kills the deadliness of this haunt entirely as long as there's at least two people in the room.

Really? You're arguing that an author who doesn't follow the [creating a haunt] section to make a haunt similar to the example in the haunt section is breaking the rules? Fine, the author might have created a new spell called Suicide Compulsion, used that and put it into the above example.

Suicide Compulsion wrote:

School enchantment [mind-affecting, compulsion]; Level sorcerer/wizard 4

Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S
Range close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Target one living creature
Duration instantaneous
Saving Throw Will negates, see text; Spell Resistance Yes

If the target must fails his Will save, he must spend his actions to pick up or draw a light weapon and attempt a single coup de grace action on himself with it.

He must make a Fortitude save (DC 10 + the damage dealt) to avoid being slain by this suicide attempt. If anyone tries to prevent the attempt,

...

It might be thought your suggestion of Phantasmal Killer is worse, but take another look... Why? Because the effect is based off a spell like this, all of a sudden racial abilities (like Elven Immunities, dwarves' Hardy, etc.), class features (like a monk's Still Mind, rogue's Slippery Mind, etc.), feats, talents, spells, and magic items can interact with it. In addition it is very, very easy to tell the duration of that spell effect. The fortitude DC doesn't vary from DC 11 (2 pips -4 for 7 Str) to DC 28 (8 pips +10 for 20 Str).

As to your attempt to craft a spell, I think anyone with the authority to approve that spell would look at similar spells of your suggested level... At 4th - Charm Monster (An affected creature never obeys suicidal or obviously harmful orders, but it might be convinced that something very dangerous is worth doing.), Confusion (has a chance to deal 1d8 + Str modifier, no coup de grace), and Lesser Geas (While a geas cannot compel a creature to kill itself or perform acts that would result in certain death, it can cause almost any other course of activity.) At 5th - Dominate Person (Obviously self-destructive orders are not carried out.) All the way to... At 9th - Dominate Monster (Same limitation as Dominate Person). ... And reject the submission.

And even if it was appoved AND INCLUDED with Haunt, for the reasons stated previously it's still better than how the Suicide Compulsion is written now.

Thank you for your wonderful example, it helped explain why I think the Suicide Complusion haunt is being used to break the rules.

Now, out of curiosity... Why do you think the people that wrote and published all those spells put those suicide clauses into their spells and into the Charm subtype? Are they just random sentences inserted by a writer and republished over and over again for no reason? Do you think they should be removed?

Dark Archive

Did you know that the book that the Suicide Compulsion Haunt originates from, named 'Riyal's Research: Haunts', is not listed in the resources that are legal for Pathfinder Society play? Nor is http://www.d20pfsrd.com. Check it out at http://paizo.com/pathfinderSociety/about/additionalResources.

If it's not legal for Pathfinder Society play, why is it appearing in Pathfinder modules?

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Several things that are not legal for play are still indeed encountered in PFS. The Additional Resources page is limiting and balancing what players can choose from, where as the writers have each and every resource available to them. If they were limited to just what is on the Additional Resources page then they would not be able to use anything from Bestiary 1, 2 or 3. To me this stifles the creativity of the authors and would make for only a few scenarios before you've encountered everything that you are able to encounter.

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I have run this multiple times and every time the party is thrown for a loop by the high RP and decides that it is safe to split the party... which has always wound-up being when an encounter is triggered somewhere in this scenario.

As for the haunt:
there is a perception to notice it (the rustling of the knives in the kitchen), followed by an initiative check (the haunt is at 0 Initiative) - this is the moment for the triggerer to take one of many courses of action:
1) run away (the haunt cannot affect you outside its radius);
2) recognize this as a haunt with know (religion) and then Channel Positive or use a Cure Spell (the haunt has 6hp or 12hp depending on tier);
3) stay in the room and figure out what is up

If the triggerer takes the 3rd option and they fail their will save, then the haunt is fully activated. On their next turn they move action to the dagger, and move action pick the dagger up... next round they perform a Coup-de-grace on themselves (a full round action that provokes AOs from their allies)... when their 3rd round begins the coup-de-grace is finished. This gives any party members present 3 rounds and an AO to stop the person. Actions to stop them include but are not limited to: grappling them, disarming them, casting Protection from Evil on them.

The trap only activates once. And if you failed your save, went through all the above, and made your Fort save versus the coup-de-grace action then you return to your senses. Just as with a Suggestion spell, once you have full filled the compulsion, you are freed from it. The haunt does not tell you to kill yourself, it tells you to attempt suicide via a coup-de-grace action... AKA: once. Haunts work much like traps, and the reset here is 1 hour - so the haunt cannot be sprung again for 1 hour.

Finally, it does not say the haunt caused Wei to coup-de-grace himself by hanging himself. It says the haunt "drove Wei to hang himself" which can mean any number of things. IMO: I envision Wei crossing through the room and making his Will save! But the haunt still planted the thought in his brain, and since the others state how depressed Wei had been, I take it he has been contemplating suicide for a while - with the means and bit of a nudge in that direction, Wei decides to go through with it even though he had just resisted the haunt.

EDIT: fixed a rules confusion

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Last, but certainly not least, my thoughts on point #7

Yes, suicide is terrible. Depression is terrible. But it is through RPGs that we experience different lives, different ways of thought, and different states of being.

I find it more enlightening to have had the experience of having a character go through the stages of depression and then die at their own hand - the emotions I feel for my lost character become the same emotions I would have had if it was a close friend that had done the same thing: betrayal, anger, lashing out, remorse. But eventually I move on beyond these emotions and learn to get to know new characters with fresh adventures. I learn of the pain that my own death might cause by seeing through my character's eyes as they go through their own demise, and as his/her companions react to this death - macabre, I know, but this moment becomes a learning experience for everyone at the table. Someone who might never have had someone close die, now has a surge of emotions from a train of thought that had never been there before.

It is important to have these moments in a consequence-free environment, such as an RPG, so that we are not caught off-guard if they should arise in the real-world. Fantasizing death, experiencing its effects, and most importantly: moving on and resolving these emotions, becomes a needed social perspective.

Now you can talk my ear off about teen suicide rate and maturity levels and age-appropriate topics, but as a person who has lived through those dark thoughts (and a gay male; for whom the suicide rate is much, much higher than the average population), I feel it is more important to have open discussion about suicide and depression. To not address a subject only stigmatizes the problem. To avoid talking about depression only hampers talking about depression! I hate to get tautological, but we as a people would be much happier if we talked about our emotions more. We cannot and should not censor the subject matter, especially not if the population experiencing it is "at risk" - we are not here to shelter them from the world, all we can do is arm them for what awaits them outside their front door.

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Clint Blome wrote:

sveden,

This is more than just the Thrikreed thread. Your response is far from helpful to anyone.

Nosig has a habit of being very very difficult to understand. Sometimes you have to ask a direct question to figure out exactly what he means. This is one of those times.

When someone else takes on the voice of another board member its time to ask what is going on.

Still waiting for an answer.

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Writers can independently invent similar content. It happens. Heck, the writer might be the author of that content from Riyal's Research. If Development was aware of the second case and approved the use... It's legal.

Authors ARE NOT RESTRICTED to the additional resources. Never have been. That argument carries no weight.

It is not the job of Paizo nor the PFS administrators, nor the judge at the table to prevent players who cannot grasp the difference between their character being tricked or controlled into doing something and a suggestion that their player should take a suicidal action from being exposed to such actions. (Though if anyone, local judges and VOs should encourage people that they feel might be a risk to seek competent help... but that's more than the campaign should be involved in talking about! It's a matter of humanity, not a matter for the campaign. "People with bad separation between fantasy and reality don't belong in RPGs" is not a new concept.)

If it were the job of these varied interests to keep people 'safe' from things, then we would have to ban all players without a psychiatric evaluation from any combat... Because I'll certainly scimitar crit a 12 year old girl's level 1 paladin with a raging, Power Attack-ing orc barbarian for well over her HP+con (maxed at 34 if I recall correctly) if that's what the dice say (previous OP campaign, obviously, since PFS doesn't field orc barbarians for tier 1 content). The game is about risks and situations that your character is exposed to because they're exciting and maybe unsettling, not loot-pinata. (Other people play a different, gentler version of the same game. I don't think you're going to find sympathy for your 'think of the suicidal children' position among the gentler crowd either from reactions above).

I think that haunts are, by and large, an attempt to do the "encounter trap" content from 3.5 in a new and better way. I think this effort missed its mark as implemented in current scenarios, much as I think the chase rules are a flawed way to attempt to approach the even more flawed Skill Challenge mechanic from 4. (Both can be fun. Both can be bad. Both seem to need more "how to run these better" guidance in an official source, or at least a blog.)

I believe that you are projecting a concern related to issues you're bringing to the conversation, stacked with an unfortunate experience with this particular haunt being run as though it were persistent. Your GM might want to talk with their VO (well, your VOs may want to talk to the GM, really) about whether they understood what was SUPPOSED to happen with the haunt, because they changed the content of the adventure (made the haunt persistent when it was not, CR bump as discussed above), and if they realized they were doing so rather than simply making an error, may have been intentionally bullying their players.

inappropriate humor:

Also, suicide compulsion should be on the Bard 2 list, but require a bardic performance (sing and string instruments) to be in use at the time...

Cue the theme from M*A*S*H.

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thrikreed wrote:
No, I do not own a copy of this particular scenario. The judge that ran it printed off pages 8 and 9 for me to look at. I have been limiting myself to encounter A5 specifically because the judge that ran this for me said that Paizo, Pathfinder Society, and the writers are responsible for this... And that at least two of those groups have done this repeatedly. That's disturbing to me.

Emphasis mine, QFP.

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Justin Riddler wrote:
Several things that are not legal for play are still indeed encountered in PFS. The Additional Resources page is limiting and balancing what players can choose from, where as the writers have each and every resource available to them. If they were limited to just what is on the Additional Resources page then they would not be able to use anything from Bestiary 1, 2 or 3. To me this stifles the creativity of the authors and would make for only a few scenarios before you've encountered everything that you are able to encounter.

I will concede this point provided that we can agree that anything used from 3rd parties needs to be of the same quality as the content that's already in the game.

Regardless of whether haunts are or not, I do not think this Suicide Compulsion haunt is not of the same quality. As shown with Serum's last post and my response, this haunt is not well founded in the rules of the game.

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thrikreed wrote:


Regardless of whether haunts are or not, I do not think this Suicide Compulsion haunt is not of the same quality. As shown with Serum's last post and my response, this haunt is not well founded in the rules of the game.

Sometimes we need to know what the author was thinking. To me, this looks like a simple Suggestion spell used for the haunt. Now you may say that "obviously suicidal actions are ignored" fits in there, but there is another scenario (

Spoiler:
The Drowning Stones
) where in the BBEG uses Mass Suggestion for the same effect: every party member tries to coup-de-grace themselves if they fail their Will save. Is this really the same effect and the author is breaking the rules? Maybe.

Personally, there aren't many times where I'm double checking all of the author's math on every encounter. 1) It's too much hassle; 2) the author has almost always made at least one stat block mistake; and 3) It's a very negative energy to always be second-guessing the piece of paper in your or the GMs hands

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thrikreed wrote:
And then I read the part about the haunt manifesting and driving Wei to hang himself. Apparently the haunted lasted long enough that Wei had time to construct a makeshift ladder, climb it, tie a rope around a beam, and then tie the rope around his neck. This is the example provided by the module writer for how long this haunt's effect should last.

Yes, because noone was there to stop him from his 1 attempt to kill himself, and he was successful. A PC only has to either fail his coup de grace, or be stopped, and the haunt's effects are over.

thrikreed wrote:
You might argue this example is and the haunt below might be two different haunts... One moment. There is something worse than this haunt and that's 6 of them in the same room, and what's more they can be made persistent by adding in a couple of obscure modifiers. Yuck.

HOW the haunt manifested the suicidal urge is basically irrelevant, though I will admit it adds to the confusion here. It's basically a haunt that says 'kill yourself' and then is creative in how it attempts to force ou o do so.

thrikreed wrote:
Speaking of Persistent, I think I see your confusion over how Haunts work now. See, my understanding is that a haunt is like a summoned creature that has a duration of one round to throw one spell effect. Regardless of the success or failure of the saving throw or the duration of the spell effect, the summons ends at initiative -1. Once that spell effect is in place, it follows the rules of the spell. This is much like a 3rd level wizard casting mage armor on everyone in the party then being killed off 5 minutes into the 3 hour duration. The effect is still there,...

And here I see what I think is your disconnect. I'm going to bold this for emphasis, no insult is meant to anyone: DO NOT TREAT HAUNTS LIKE CREATURES. Yes, there is the remaining essence behind the haunt, but the haunt is meant to be run like a trap and not a creature. It's made very apparent that this is the intention in the haunt rules though some people still seem to fight it.

Now, if the haunt replicated Summon Creature I, the creature would stay behind, but the haunt itself is no longer active to give it commands. The haunt has dispersed after doing its thing. There is nothing left there that can force you to keep attempting to kill yourself after the first save. It's done. If you failed, you do as the haunt told you to do before it dispersed. You try to kill yourself. The haunt didn't tell you to CONTINUALLY try to kill yourself, nor does it even have the power to. You either succeed, fail, or get interrupted.

Allowing a haunt to work the way you describe IS unfair. It IS a bad use of rules. But it ISN'T how Haunts are designed.

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Its fitting Clint's post is #187 because he just killed it.

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I think, in the end, thrikreed, this scenario had to be accepted by the PFS team. They accepted it, which means they didn't find anything wrong with it, or if they did, they made changes. If they thought it broke the rules for haunts, they would've changed it or removed it.

I've laid out a step-by-step method for what I believe is an acceptable manner for judges to run this haunt, and I hope judges will look at this thread when they decide to run this scenario, just like I hope judges look at any thread relevant to the scenario they intend on running.

We understand that you had a horrible experience with it because your judge ran it incorrectly. Maybe it will help the PFS team to decide that authors need to spend more space writing how their particular haunt should be run, as Clint Blome suggested in the other thread.

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I think more than a valid concern has been made about Haunts causing problems (for whatever reason) that hopefully M&M take notice. I still want to see them in the occasional Scenario, but perhaps more care should be taken on them.

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Justin Riddler wrote:
I have run this multiple times and every time the party is thrown for a loop by the high RP and decides that it is safe to split the party... which has always wound-up being when an encounter is triggered somewhere in this scenario.

Having looked over the haunts multiple times now, I certainly agree they have potential for high RP too. They are a diamond in the rough though, in need of more definition, detailing, and polishing. A good well prepped GM will likely do well with them... but then I think a good well prepped GM would do well with anything else they are handed too. From my experience though; good and well prepped GMs are not the norm, especially at conventions when they are often expected to run several modules. The GM that ran this for me is a good GM that prides himself on being well prepped; and, regardless of the reasons why, he did not run this correctly. I feel that there just isn't enough rules with this haunt as it currently exists for there to be any consistency.

Justin Riddler wrote:

As for the haunt:

there is a perception to notice it (the rustling of the knives in the kitchen), followed by an initiative check (the haunt is at 0 Initiative) - this is the moment for the triggerer to take one of many courses of action:
1) run away (the haunt cannot affect you outside its radius);
2) recognize this as a haunt with know (religion) and then Channel Positive or use a Cure Spell (the haunt has 6hp or 12hp depending on tier);
3) stay in the room and figure out what is up

I think this thread has done a good job of exploring this. Let me try again using 1st level characters...

A. Scouting is usually left to the rogues, usually with a 10ft margin. Nosig had an example of one being secured with a safety line that i thought impressive.
B. Rogues fail the DC 15 perception 50% of the time. They do not get to act in the surprise round.
C. Everyone else in the party gets a DC 17 perception, effective 2 higher because of distance penalties. Let's say everyone else made the DC 17 perception...
D. Before the cleric can channel he needs to know it's the only viable option. There is nothing in the module about this. Let's hope the GM adds in Knowledge: Religion because the cleric might have 1 rank there and add +5 total. Let's assume the DC of the check is the DC of the perception check or the DC of the saving throw 15. He fails that more than 50% of the time.
E. The only person about to act effectively to stop this is the cleric who can channel positve energy for a maximum of 6 damage. The haunt has 6 hp in the modules (16% chance of neutralizing it), 8 in the source material (0% chance of neutralizing it). Everyone else that can act in the surprise round is spending their time moving or drawing.
F. Suprise round Init 0. The haunt effect hits the rogue.
G. Initiative is rolled by the Rogue, he has a good chance of having a high initiative but we're going to say he rolled a natural 1, and everyone else in the party goes first.
H. What effect does the party have to react to? The rogue is looking at a dagger on the table? He hasn't called for help? Did the cleric make the DC 15 Knowledge religion? What is there to react to? If the cleric did make the the check, a second channel or other party resources might neutralize the haunt... Er, um... "On the surprise round in which a haunt manifests, positive energy applied to the haunt can damage the haunt’s hit points." seems to make it sound like the haunt can't be damaged after the surprise round. "Some haunts are persistent, and their immediate effects continue beyond the surprise round into actual full rounds." This haunt does not have persistent. This seems pretty contrary to the Coup De Grace's full round action requirement. Looking at other Haunts, haunts appear to be a summoned monster that lasts the one round necessary to throw a single spell, which once in place runs off the spell. While this might not be the correct interpretation of the rules it is the only interpretation that seems to make sense to me. The haunt is gone.
I. Much like a 3 level wizard casting mage armor on the party, then being killed off, the spell effect continues. The fact this effect is not tied to a spell effect is the exact point I made earlier. Serum's suggestion of Phantasmal Killer was a great example of how to make it better because the effect is based off a spell, all of a sudden racial abilities (like Elven Immunities, dwarves' Hardy, etc.), class features (like a monk's Still Mind, rogue's Slippery Mind, etc.), feats, talents, spells, and magic items can interact with it. In addition it is very, very easy to tell the duration of that spell effect. The fortitude DC doesn't vary from DC 11 (2 pips -4 for 7 Str) to DC 28 (8 pips +10 for 20 Str). Because this does not use a spell it is open to GM interpretation. Review the previous posts and then tell me everyone is saying exactly the same thing about to run this Haunt. That's now while we have the time to look things up and discuss how it should run; but during a live session does the GM have the time to do so? Whoops, digressing... The rogue picks up the dagger and seems to be looking at it.
J. The other characters can react to this. How do they know to react? He doesn't seem to be reacting to them. Is that because of a silence spell or something else? Do they make sense motive checks to know he's controlled? Since it's not tied to a spell it's up the gm discretion and I'm going to hope they use the haunt title to say yes, it's still a DC 25 (I refuse to acknowledge the 15 for Dominate Person since that spell has a suicide clause.). These are 1st level characters, what's the chances of anyone in the party making that check?
K. The rogue begins the Coup De Grace.
L. How do characters even recognize someone Coup De Gracing themselves in a system it can't otherwise happen in? All of a sudden we have a meta gaming situation where the entire table of players heard the magic phrase 'coup de grace' and started reacting to those word. Take those words out of it and actually turn it into the role playing situation... what do you get then? Are you absolutely positively sure of how it would play out at a table? How about 5 tables? 20 tables? 200 tables?

Let's not forget that the rogue just might have gone off to the kitchen in the next room by themselves during a meal, maybe because they were thinking about doing some roguish looting or maybe someone is thinking about doing one of those faction missions that can only be accomplished without the rest of the party knowing. what could happen with the rest of the party being around the corner, on the other side of the drape, in the next room?

Justin Riddler wrote:
If the triggerer takes the 3rd option and they fail their will save, then the haunt is fully activated. On their next turn they move action to the dagger, and move action pick the dagger up... next round they perform a Coup-de-grace on themselves (a full round action that provokes AOs from their allies)... when their 3rd round begins the coup-de-grace is finished. This gives any party members present 3 rounds and an AO to stop the person. Actions to stop them include but are not limited to: grappling them, disarming them, casting Protection from Evil on them.

Those are great delay tactics. Not a single one stops the character. Since this effect is not tied to a spell... Well Serum gave a fair interpretation of the results of this...

Serum wrote:

There is no duration indicated; therefore, this haunt's effects last until one of two things happens:

1) The character attempts a coup de grace action, singular
2) The character attempts a single attack against another character because that character attempted to prevent said coup de grace action.

If the victim was prevented from taking either of these actions, the effect persists until he can attempt #2. I'd go so far to the point that means that if Hold Person was cast on him during the coup de gracce attempt, and then he was tied up, he would remain possessed until he was no longer tied up, picked up the knife and attacked someone...

Justin Riddler wrote:
The trap only activates once. And if you failed your save, went through all the above, and made your Fort save versus the coup-de-grace action then you return to your senses. Just as with a Suggestion spell, once you have full filled the compulsion, you are freed from it. The haunt does not tell you to kill yourself, it tells you to attempt suicide via a coup-de-grace action... AKA: once. Haunts work much like traps, and the reset here is 1 hour - so the haunt cannot be sprung again for 1 hour.

This isn't suggestion, as suggestion has a suicide clause this effect completely bypasses.

By the time my module was completed, this trap had time to reset and take another character's life. This module is rampant with time consuming tasks giving the haunt plenty of time to reset.

Justin Riddler wrote:
Finally, it does not say the haunt caused Wei to coup-de-grace himself by hanging himself. It says the haunt "drove Wei to hang himself" which can mean any number of things. IMO: I envision Wei crossing through the room and...

(The haunt only has one mechanism for killing, a coup de grace. Wei killed himself.) or (The haunt has multiple ways to kill, coup de grace as explained and hanging as shown in the example). Pick one. Would every single gm that had to pick one, pick the same one? Again, up to GM interpretation which is my point exactly.

Can we make this easier on the GMs? If your answer to that question is yes, your agreeing that Haunts need to taken back to the shope detailing, definition, and polishing.

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Clint Blome wrote:


thrikreed wrote:
Speaking of Persistent, I think I see your confusion over how Haunts work now. See, my understanding is that a haunt is like a summoned creature that has a duration of one round to throw one spell effect. Regardless of the success or failure of the saving throw or the duration of the spell effect, the summons ends at initiative -1. Once that spell effect is in place, it follows the rules of the spell. This is much like a 3rd level wizard casting mage armor on everyone in the party then being killed off 5 minutes into the 3 hour duration. The effect is still there,...
And here I see what I think is your disconnect. I'm going to bold this for emphasis, no insult is meant to anyone: DO NOT TREAT HAUNTS LIKE CREATURES. Yes, there is the remaining essence behind the haunt, but the haunt is meant to be run like a trap and not a creature. It's made very apparent that...

You are correct, Haunts are not creatures. However I am trying to get across the point that the Haunt and the Haunt's lingering spell effect are two separate entities. If you don't believe me, go look at all the rules and more importantly the examples of haunts at http://www.d20pfsrd.com/gamemastering/haunts.

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Thrikreed, while I don't want to turn players off to PFS play...

I'm also not going to lose a bit of sleep over level 1 PCs that die in an adventure that's not the first steps. they're there for a reason.

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thrikreed wrote:

Did you know that the book that the Suicide Compulsion Haunt originates from, named 'Riyal's Research: Haunts', is not listed in the resources that are legal for Pathfinder Society play? Nor is http://www.d20pfsrd.com. Check it out at http://paizo.com/pathfinderSociety/about/additionalResources.

If it's not legal for Pathfinder Society play, why is it appearing in Pathfinder modules?

The book that this originally appeared in was actually Pathfinder Adventure Path #2. The haunt from Skinsaw Murders was adapted for this adventure because it fit the flavor of Sifkesh, demon lord of suicide and heresy, so well. In general, however, authors aren't restricted to Additional Resources, as that would mean they couldn't put trolls or dragons or demons in their adventures. Only PCs need to follow PC creation guidelines.

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thrikreed wrote:


B. Rogues fail the DC 15 perception 50% of the time. They do not get to act in the surprise round.

- Really? all your rogues have a Perception of +4 only? No half-elves? No Skill Focus? No Wisdom higher than 10? At all?

thrikreed wrote:


D. Before the cleric can channel he needs to know it's the only viable option. There is nothing in the module about this. Let's hope the GM adds in Knowledge: Religion because the cleric might have 1 rank there and add +5 total. Let's assume the DC of the check is the DC of the perception check or the DC of the saving throw 15. He fails that more than 50% of the time.

- The DC is 10+CR to identify the haunt. If you're just looking to go 'Is that a haunt?' it's either 10+CR or flat DC 10, depending on how nice your GM is.

thrikreed wrote:


H. What effect does the party have to react to? The rogue is looking at a dagger on the table? He hasn't called for help? Did the cleric make the DC 15 Knowledge religion? What is there to react to? If the cleric did make the the check, a second channel or other party resources might neutralize the haunt... Er, um... "On the surprise round in which a haunt manifests, positive energy applied to the haunt can damage the haunt’s hit points." seems to make it sound like the haunt can't be damaged after the surprise round. "Some haunts are persistent, and their immediate effects continue beyond the surprise round into actual full rounds." This haunt does not have persistent. This seems pretty contrary to the Coup De Grace's full round action requirement. Looking at other Haunts, haunts appear to be a summoned monster that lasts the one round necessary to throw a single spell, which once in place runs off the spell. While this might not be the correct interpretation of the rules it is the only interpretation that seems to make sense to me. The haunt is gone.

- Nowhere does it say that a haunt's effects are particularly subtle. The rogue is getting ready to kill himself; I'd at least have him bring the dagger up to his throat in the universal 'I'm about to slash left-to-right here, guys.' Remember,he's picking up the dagger with an expess purpose in mind, he's not idly examining it out of random curiosity. In fact, better still - have the knife shift across the table so it's right under his hand. The haunt's making sure that he's able to perform an immediate coup de grace, after all.

You're right in that the haunt's effects now terminate, and the haunt is dormant for 1 hour. The haunt's compulsion means the rogue is going to try and coup to grace himself, unless prevented from doing so.

thrikreed wrote:


I. Much like a 3 level wizard casting mage armor on the party, then being killed off, the spell effect continues. The fact this effect is not tied to a spell effect is the exact point I made earlier. Serum's suggestion of Phantasmal Killer was a great example of how to make it better because the effect is based off a spell, all of a sudden racial abilities (like Elven Immunities, dwarves' Hardy, etc.), class features (like a monk's Still Mind, rogue's Slippery Mind, etc.), feats, talents, spells, and magic items can interact with it. In addition it is very, very easy to tell the duration of that spell effect. The fortitude DC doesn't vary from DC 11 (2 pips -4 for 7 Str) to DC 28 (8 pips +10 for 20 Str). Because this does not use a spell it is open to GM interpretation. Review the previous posts and then tell me everyone is saying exactly the same thing about to run this Haunt. That's now while we have the time to look things up and discuss how it should run; but during a live session does the GM have the time to do so? Whoops, digressing... The rogue picks up the dagger and seems to be looking at it.

- Firstly, all haunts are mind-affecting fear effects. This is a fact, and it's in the haunts section of the prd. This is also why 3rd level paladins and up are totally immune to all direct haunt attacks.

- No. The rogue picks up the dagger and seems to be about to do himself physical harm with it.

thrikreed wrote:


J. The other characters can react to this. How do they know to react? He doesn't seem to be reacting to them. Is that because of a silence spell or something else? Do they make sense motive checks to know he's controlled? Since it's not tied to a spell it's up the gm discretion and I'm going to hope they use the haunt title to say yes, it's still a DC 25 (I refuse to acknowledge the 15 for Dominate Person since that spell has a suicide clause.). These are 1st level characters, what's the chances of anyone in the party making that check?

- As before, no.

thrikreed wrote:


K. The rogue begins the Coup De Grace.

L. How do characters even recognize someone Coup De Gracing themselves in a system it can't otherwise happen in? All of a sudden we have a meta gaming situation where the entire table of players heard the magic phrase 'coup de grace' and started reacting to those word. Take those words out of it and actually turn it into the role playing situation... what do you get then? Are you absolutely positively sure of how it would play out at a table? How about 5 tables? 20 tables? 200 tables?

- The rogue is about to a) slit his own throat or b) stab himself IN THE EYE. I would say those are pretty telegraphed actions.

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thrikreed wrote:
L. How do characters even recognize someone Coup De Gracing themselves in a system it can't otherwise happen in? All of a sudden we have a meta gaming situation where the entire table of players heard the magic phrase 'coup de grace' and started reacting to those word.

I imagine, the judge would say something like "he brings the knife up and gets ready to slash his own throat out" or if they're not as imaginative "it looks like he is getting ready to kill himself with the knife" or even just "it looks like he's starting a coup de grace attempt on himself".

thrikreed wrote:
Those are great delay tactics. Not a single one stops the character. Since this effect is not tied to a spell... Well Serum gave a fair interpretation of the results of this...

The only requirement for the coup de grace attempt to turn into an attack against someone else is that someone try to prevent the attempt.

Scenario #3-21 wrote:
If anyone tries to prevent the attempt, the haunted character instead makes a single attack against that person with the knife

Emphasis mine. That character could grapple with the intent of stopping the action, sunder with the intent of breaking the weapon so that the action isn't carried out, disarm to stop the action, etc. Hell, you could even make a case for doing nonlethal damage to him with the intent of knocking him out so he can't carry it out. All of these actions are attempts at preventing the coup de grace action, and therefore the victim instead decides to attack someone else instead.

Quote:
(The haunt only has one mechanism for killing, a coup de grace. Wei killed himself.) or (The haunt has multiple ways to kill, coup de grace as explained and hanging as shown in the example). Pick one. Would every single gm that had to pick one, pick the same one? Again, up to GM interpretation which is my point exactly.

You're still confusing description of a room and story background with game mechanics. The judge doesn't get to pick to have a haunt with hanging or a haunt with the knife. There's no mechanics for a haunt that includes a hanging, and the judge doesn't get to make changes to encounters that are that drastic. However, the mechanics of the haunt don't stop the author from writing that the malevolent spirit behind it decided to have the halfling hang himself, and then decide to force the PCs to try and kill themselves with the knife.

The Exchange ****

TetsujinOni wrote:

Thrikreed, while I don't want to turn players off to PFS play...

I'm also not going to lose a bit of sleep over level 1 PCs that die in an adventure that's not the first steps. they're there for a reason.

This "Trap" is actually more likely to kill higher level PCs. Characters levels 1 to 5, so the average would be level 3. 0 to 14 other adventures, average say 7. (if you assume starting characters did First Steps, then average would be 8.5). So.. maybe 14PP? if they haven't spent any... or 12 if they only got a wand of CLW.

The Exchange ****

Ninjaiguana wrote:
thrikreed wrote:


B. Rogues fail the DC 15 perception 50% of the time. They do not get to act in the surprise round.

- Really? all your rogues have a Perception of +4 only? No half-elves? No Skill Focus? No Wisdom higher than 10? At all?

thrikreed wrote:


D. Before the cleric can channel he needs to know it's the only viable option. There is nothing in the module about this. Let's hope the GM adds in Knowledge: Religion because the cleric might have 1 rank there and add +5 total. Let's assume the DC of the check is the DC of the perception check or the DC of the saving throw 15. He fails that more than 50% of the time.

- The DC is 10+CR to identify the haunt. If you're just looking to go 'Is that a haunt?' it's either 10+CR or flat DC 10, depending on how nice your GM is.

thrikreed wrote:


H. What effect does the party have to react to? The rogue is looking at a dagger on the table? He hasn't called for help? Did the cleric make the DC 15 Knowledge religion? What is there to react to? If the cleric did make the the check, a second channel or other party resources might neutralize the haunt... Er, um... "On the surprise round in which a haunt manifests, positive energy applied to the haunt can damage the haunt’s hit points." seems to make it sound like the haunt can't be damaged after the surprise round. "Some haunts are persistent, and their immediate effects continue beyond the surprise round into actual full rounds." This haunt does not have persistent. This seems pretty contrary to the Coup De Grace's full round action requirement. Looking at other Haunts, haunts appear to be a summoned monster that lasts the one round necessary to throw a single spell, which once in place runs off the spell. While this might not be the correct interpretation of the rules it is the only interpretation that seems to make sense to me. The haunt is gone.
- Nowhere does it say that a haunt's effects are particularly subtle. The rogue is getting ready to kill himself; I'd at least...

actually, the group I played in thought my PC was going to cut the body down - one player even thought (briefly) the halfling was still alive. They said they had a flash back to another mod where the hostages are hung as the PCs open the door.

.
But we did have a really good, story telling judge.

Dark Archive **** Dedicated Voter 2013

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

In preping yourself and your party for haunts (just like one might prep contingencies for swarms) note that all forms of positive energy damage the haunt.

Thus a cleric could channel, the ranger could use their cure light wand, the paladin could lay on hands, and the sorcerer could disrupt undead - very few classes are left unable to defend themselves from a haunt other than their saves. Keep these tactics in mind and when something spooky starts to happen, use the resource ^_^

This scenario in-particular you should feel fine using resources on everything. As you pointed out, there is a lot of down time allowing you to recharge and rest for a day.

Grand Lodge ****

After this conversation I'm buying my Cleric and Sorcerer wands of Dectect Undead.

Quote:

Sveden's PC stands before an open doorway.

"Zap! Minus one charge of Detect Undead. Do I get a perception check? No? OK, thanks GM."

Sveden makes a pencil mark on his character sheet.

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