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#3–23: The Goblinblood Dead


Pathfinder Society GM Discussion

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Shadow Lodge **

Didn't see any thread for this one, so here we go ;)

Short, simple & straightforward. Can be run on a minimum of prep. Good scenario for new players, new GMs or folks who want a quick game. PFS vets may not dig the linear and limited scope of this adventure.

We ran 3 tables of sub-tier 1-2 of this tonight at the LGS.

One table of 5 finished in about 2 hours 45 minutes--the party ran 2 of goblin tunnel encounters together and nearly wiped. 3 of the 5 players died, with the other 2 escaping with their lives.

Another table of 5 was still going when I left, but they were on track to finish in 3 hours.

My table of 5 featured a pally, a fighter, a monk, an oracle and wizard. They blew through this, from first sentence to me done handing out chronicles, in 2 hours and 15 minutes.

Note: GM dice were cold, cold, cold tonight.

First combat against the skellies was no problem despite missing the perception check with the channeling oracle and 2 booming melee.

The party parlayed with the Worg and bypassed that combat.

The exploding skellies and the pit provided more mirth than danger and the hobgoblins were handily dispatched.

Telda provided the greatest amusement of the night. I admit I groaned when I saw it was another "final boss is a caster in a tiny room" but amazingly, Telda got off her obscuring mist. The obscuring mist concealment % actually negated 3 confirmed critical hits against her, and she managed to get a summon off before the party finally overwhelmed her.

One of the reasons my session ran so short was that this particular mix of PCs didn't have any meaningful RP missions. In addition, they really didn't chat with Gasper Desime, skipped talking to Guaril Karela and tried to talk Jandri (who doesn't want to talk). They did chat with the Worg, however.

Overall, I'll keep this one in my back pocket as a quickie scenario for short notice games.

2 errors noticed: 1) Jandri, the wagon driver, is referred to as both a woman and a man. 2) If there is only one wagon, why is it referred to as a caravan?

Cheliax **

Pathfinder Modules Subscriber

This scenario actually goes into my "never run again file" and I'm really surprised your part didn't have trouble with the Pit.

Here's my issue, the haunt in that pit is a total party kill waiting to happen and there really isn't anything the party can do about it. If I'm wrong someone PLEASE let me know where.

Pit:

When this haunt triggers, it drains the moisture from all
creatures in the area, causing them to dehydrate (Fortitude
DC 14 negates). Affected characters must make a successful
Constitution check each hour (DC 10, +1 for each previous
check)
or take 1d6 points of nonlethal damage and be
fatigued. No amount of drinking can counter this effect,
although the target still experiences the other normal effects
of any liquid imbibed (such as poisons or potions). This
condition can be removed with a break enchantment, limited
wish, miracle, remove curse, or wish spell, but effects suffered
as a result of dehydration must be healed by normal means.

I bolded the important parts to highlight the problem. Now unless I'm reading it wrong the party (at 1-2 is the worst) gets hit with a long term debuff (fatigue for at least 24 hour duration) with a SKYHIGH DC (DC 34 at tier 1-2) that it is impossible for them to remove/cure (break enchantment, limited wish, miracle, remove curse, or wish spell are ALL outside the PA/WBL limit available at this tier, 1-5) that also effectively lowers their max Hit Points and prevents them from healing while inflicting constant damage to the party on any failed save. This is deadly and at tier 1-2 you can fail exactly 3 saves and your character starts dying, 3 saves out of 24, with at least 7 of those being impossible for ANY PC to make.

Here are the rules for Dehydration which this haunt inflicts:

Characters who have taken nonlethal damage from lack of food or water are fatigued. Nonlethal damage from thirst or starvation cannot be recovered until the character gets food or water, as needed—not even magic that restores hit points heals this damage. Core Rules pg 445.

Now from the default rules for Dehydration and the specific nature of this Haunt every PC who gets hit by this haunt will need to succeed on 24 fort saves with at least 10 of those saves being physically impossible for ANY 1-2 level character to succeed on (DC's of 24-34 at tier 1-2) and EXTREMELY difficult at tiers 4-5.

Those are my concerns and I REALLY think of this module as completely unfair and for this level of play. This is a killer mod on a normal day and a TPK for a curious party without a positive channeling cleric/oracle.

I do not like this mod.

****

Quote:
Characters who have taken nonlethal damage from lack of food or water are fatigued. Nonlethal damage from thirst or starvation cannot be recovered until the character gets food or water, as needed—not even magic that restores hit points heals this damage. Core Rules pg 445.

Wow. I've run this myself and was not aware of this rule. Even then at the time the players were wondering why I was so relieved the PC made their save. I was initially going to say that since the effect is magical and not normal dehydration this wouldn't apply. The more I think about it though the more I would say that this rule does apply to the haunt's effect which really makes it a killer. Thinking about it though it's not unprecedented. I can think of two scenarios off the top of my head where a failed save against a haunt can very quickly cause a PC death.

Hopefully we can get a clarification. I'm scheduled to run a couple tables of this at Gen Con and would like to know that if I follow this rule I wouldn't be killing people due to a misunderstanding.

**** Venture-Captain, South Africa—Cape Town aka Jatori

This is what I intended:

The Pit:
Yes, it does apply a long-lasting debuff, if an affected PC fails one of the Constitution checks. Some classes, like barbarians, are more adversely affected by a failed check. The first check, after failing the initial saving throw, is at DC 10, so a character with 10 Constitution has a 55% chance to make it through the first hour without damage/fatigue. The final check does reach DC 34, which can be lethal, especially at lower levels. The party should be allowed to return to Logas, if things get really dire, and get the curative spells cast for 1 PP. Though no actual distance is given, I'd say 4-5 hours, should be all it takes (less if the horse is used) to get back to Logas. One of the friendly NPCs can even suggest this. Feren the worg, if made friendly, could even help out a small PC.

I hope that makes things a little clearer.

Grand Lodge ****

We should probably add a "Spoilers" tag to the title, since not all of them are hidden in the posts...

Cheliax **

Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
Jerall Toi wrote:

This is what I intended:

** spoiler omitted **

I hope that makes things a little clearer.

Logas:

I see the intention you were going after except there are a few mechanical problems with that. The fatigue, damage and lowered max HP's appear to be applied at the initial application (ie the first save at DC 14) or it has no mechanical effect for the whole dungeon. If it is going to apply the fatigue at initial save to make the the Barbarian fatigued then it's going to make everyone affected by it effectively lose 1D6 hp's from their maximum (for the rest of the scenario) when going into the fight with the big boss (and/or the the room full of archers).

Also the break enchant would not be 1 PP, Logas only has a population of about 4300 (Campaign Setting, pg 83) so the PP cost would be 6 per attempt and at a DC of 16 there's a good chance it's not going to work a few times.
Also since the only thing we know is that the caravan was met several hours south of Logas and took until nightfall to get where the camp was set up. So we are looking at about 20 hours travel time via cart so per the chart on page 172 of core rulebook it will take them just over a day's travel time to get back so 8-10 saves at best (except for the ones who fail any save and move at half speed and require 2 days travel time to get back. At which point the haunt effect has worn off and they are dead.
This changes it to requiring 8 to 12 successful fort saves in a row with an ascending DC that should hit DC 22 on average.
That's a kill move.

I do understand the attempt here but the mechanics as written don't support it and since we can't fudge anything here I don't see how anyone at tier 1-2 can survive this.


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

hmmm, I don't think a 20 hour travel time with cart from camp to Logas is realistic. Meeting the caravan some say 4 hours south of Logas (say at noon) then traveling until 6pm (time to set up camp) adds up to 10 hours travel back to Logas. And potentially faster options are available if a PC loans the horses of the cart (or just happen to have ride-able companions of some sort on hand).

Once in Logas a scroll of remove curse is only 375gp and is readily available there; or a 5th level cleric's casting services would be available at 150gp.

Edit: a nice addition to the haunt, though, would be that "no amount of drinking has any effect - with the exception of drinking holy water"

****

Jerall Toi wrote:

This is what I intended:

** spoiler omitted **

I hope that makes things a little clearer.

I'm left wondering: were you aware of the rule Mathwei ap Niall quoted above that makes it impossible to heal the damage from the dehydration?

Cheliax **

Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
LoreKeeper wrote:

hmmm, I don't think a 20 hour travel time with cart from camp to Logas is realistic. Meeting the caravan some say 4 hours south of Logas (say at noon) then traveling until 6pm (time to set up camp) adds up to 10 hours travel back to Logas. And potentially faster options are available if a PC loans the horses of the cart (or just happen to have ride-able companions of some sort on hand).

Once in Logas a scroll of remove curse is only 375gp and is readily available there; or a 5th level cleric's casting services would be available at 150gp.

Edit: a nice addition to the haunt, though, would be that "no amount of drinking has any effect - with the exception of drinking holy water"

It's not a matter of realistic it's a matter of rules. Since we have no idea what time the PC's arrive all we know is they came by boat so assume they came in on the morning tide. Then they travel a few hours south (3 or so hours equals 6-9 miles) then the caravan travels till dusk for 1 days travel. A cart and horse will cover 16 miles per day of travel (8 hours) or 2 miles per hour. So top end they are 25 miles from Lagos low end they are only 14 hours away. This is assuming no one is fatigued in which case DOUBLE those numbers since they are now moving at half speed for 28-50 hours away.

But even if you are completely right on your travel times, remember the party is fatigued so you are looking at 20 hours travel time, not 10. Ouch.

With that said if they can make it back to Lagos before anyone dies (an unsure prospect at this distance) then sure they can buy enough scrolls to try (each scroll has about a 45% chance of working, 55% for a break enchantment).
I wouldn't want to bet my life on those odds.


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

Regardless, the haunt passed the Paizo review panel. It is nice to actually have things to fear in PFS.

Qadira ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Moreover, I'm not sure how the characters would realize how dire their circumstances are, at least not for the first several hours.

If an affected character encounters the hobgoblins, I might have them react to the PC's status. The oracle might grin maliciously, while the soldiers might react in superstitious fear, avoiding that foeman, or else offer an afflicted warrior a clean death.

"This is your last night, elf. Will you take my gift, and perish at the quick edge of my scythe, or would you rather waste away in cottonmouthed torment?"

**** Venture-Lieutenant, Canada—Winnipeg

I ran this about 12 hours after it's public release and I actually liked a lot about it. I will admit it was a bit of a cold run and the opening text was somewhat hard to follow and present to the PC's with out proper notes but other than that I think its a good game to run for a group of level 1's-2's or for a apl 3.5 to 4 group. I like how dangerous the haunt is.

As for the final fight I think caster in a corner of a small room is a bit played out at this point but the tactics are fun twist for a GM.

The real strength of this game is that its a nice one to give to a new GM in my opinion or if you want a game that's around 3 hours which is good for our group in Winnipeg trying to get games done in tight window on Mondays

**** Venture-Captain, South Africa—Cape Town aka Jatori

First off, Mathwei, thank you for bringing this to our attention.

The Pit:
Originally, I tried to model the haunt around the cup of dust spell, including a clause that prevents a near auto-kill should a PC fail the initial save. Somewhere during the process, that clause got lost. I've bounced things off Mark and it looks like he may be able to fix this sometime in the future and a safety clause will find its way into the haunt text.

In the interim, I would suggest using an IC warning, as Chris Mortika suggested (love the idea), or even use Kazrin by playing him up as very superstitious, to give PCs an early warning. Further, given the current wording, it's better to have the caravan travel less than the normal daily distance. The lack of hard times and distances would allow a GM to adjust things as necessary.

Silver Crusade ****

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Question since I'm prepping:

Spoiler:
Can we just take out the section that says: No amount of drinking can counter this effect, although the target still experiences the other normal effects of any liquid imbibed (such as poisons or potions). This condition can be removed with a break enchantment, limited
wish, miracle, remove curse, or wish spell?
And just work with traditional dehydration rules? Dehydration rules are already bad enough without adding a "we're totally effed" section in lower tiers. In higher tiers they just have to get over it. ;D

I know a post-errata is kinda late, but regardless this module does look incredibly interesting for a dungeon crawl. Too bad I have to prep it in 1-2.

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, California—San Francisco aka Azmyth

Mike Lindner wrote:
I'm left wondering: were you aware of the rule Mathwei ap Niall quoted above that makes it impossible to heal the damage from the dehydration?

Mathwei's interpretation is wrong.

Mathwei ap Niall wrote:
Characters who have taken nonlethal damage from lack of food or water are fatigued. Nonlethal damage from thirst or starvation cannot be recovered until the character gets food or water, as needed—not even magic that restores hit points heals this damage. Core Rules pg 445.

The effect of the Haunt is dehydration that causes fatigue. The rule about lack of food and water have NOTHING to do with it. The only thing is common is that both effects result in fatigue.

I ran this scenario last night. The solution I deployed:

#3-23 wrote:
This condition persists as long as the affected creature remains within the haunt’s area and for 1 day thereafter or until the haunt is destroyed, whichever comes first.

Ignore the bold portion (that should have never made it past editing). Viola! Encounter fixed.

The Haunt has an Area of Effect that is 10' radius around the pit. I only required my players to roll the Fort save if they were in the effected area. Once fatigued, they had to deal with it.

Before you go and quote doctrine about not making changes to scenarios, I'll remind you that this was as Optional Encounter. If you don't like my idea, remove the encounter from your running of the game.

Great Game Masters make great games. Be great.

Cheliax **

Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
Michael Azzolino wrote:
Mike Lindner wrote:
I'm left wondering: were you aware of the rule Mathwei ap Niall quoted above that makes it impossible to heal the damage from the dehydration?

Mathwei's interpretation is wrong.

Mathwei ap Niall wrote:
Characters who have taken nonlethal damage from lack of food or water are fatigued. Nonlethal damage from thirst or starvation cannot be recovered until the character gets food or water, as needed—not even magic that restores hit points heals this damage. Core Rules pg 445.

The effect of the Haunt is dehydration that causes fatigue. The rule about lack of food and water have NOTHING to do with it. The only thing is common is that both effects result in fatigue.

I ran this scenario last night. The solution I deployed:

#3-23 wrote:
This condition persists as long as the affected creature remains within the haunt’s area and for 1 day thereafter or until the haunt is destroyed, whichever comes first.

Ignore the bold portion (that should have never made it past editing). Viola! Encounter fixed.

The Haunt has an Area of Effect that is 10' radius around the pit. I only required my players to roll the Fort save if they were in the effected area. Once fatigued, they had to deal with it.

Before you go and quote doctrine about not making changes to scenarios, I'll remind you that this was as Optional Encounter. If you don't like my idea, remove the encounter from your running of the game.

Great Game Masters make great games. Be great.

Well first, my interpretation is correct per Jerral Toi (author) and Mark Moreland, as has been reported 2 posts above your own.

Second Dehydration is what happens when you are denied water, which is what this haunt does so these rules are involved.

Finally this is NOT an optional encounter, the optional encounter is in the room before it. This room is non-optional and if they go in there it must be ran.
As for changing the scenario as you have... we can't do that and you should know better.

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, California—San Francisco aka Azmyth

Mathwei ap Niall wrote:

Well first, my interpretation is correct per Jerral Toi (author) and Mark Moreland, as has been reported 2 posts above your own.

Second Dehydration is what happens when you are denied water, which is what this haunt does so these rules are involved.

Finally this is NOT an optional encounter, the optional encounter is in the room before it. This room is non-optional and if they go in there it must be ran.
As for changing the scenario as you have... we can't do that and you should know better.

Once again, I disagree with your conclusion that Jerral supports your interpretation and Mark hasn't even posted on this thread.

You are correct about the Optional, I'll give you that. I misread the C1 as C4, but really having the Option Encounter Sidebar three pages after the encounter is unfortunate lay-out at best.

We can't do that?!
I should know better?!

What I did was make a rules call. As Game Masters, we are completely within our RIGHTS to do so! Being a great GM means exercising that right.

Paizo Employee ** Developer

1 person marked this as a favorite.

The text of this haunt is obviously unclear enough to cause such confusion and is on my list of issues to revisit as soon as the crunch to get all Gen Con material out the door on time is done. In the meantime, GMs are advised to use their best judgment when adjudicating this haunt (which is not intended to be as deadly as the text currently indicates). Please remain civil when discussing possible solutions and refrain from making it personal.

**

Mathwei ap Niall wrote:
Michael Azzolino wrote:
Mike Lindner wrote:
I'm left wondering: were you aware of the rule Mathwei ap Niall quoted above that makes it impossible to heal the damage from the dehydration?

Mathwei's interpretation is wrong.

Mathwei ap Niall wrote:
Characters who have taken nonlethal damage from lack of food or water are fatigued. Nonlethal damage from thirst or starvation cannot be recovered until the character gets food or water, as needed—not even magic that restores hit points heals this damage. Core Rules pg 445.

The effect of the Haunt is dehydration that causes fatigue. The rule about lack of food and water have NOTHING to do with it. The only thing is common is that both effects result in fatigue.

I ran this scenario last night. The solution I deployed:

#3-23 wrote:
This condition persists as long as the affected creature remains within the haunt’s area and for 1 day thereafter or until the haunt is destroyed, whichever comes first.

Ignore the bold portion (that should have never made it past editing). Viola! Encounter fixed.

The Haunt has an Area of Effect that is 10' radius around the pit. I only required my players to roll the Fort save if they were in the effected area. Once fatigued, they had to deal with it.

Before you go and quote doctrine about not making changes to scenarios, I'll remind you that this was as Optional Encounter. If you don't like my idea, remove the encounter from your running of the game.

Great Game Masters make great games. Be great.

Well first, my interpretation is correct per Jerral Toi (author) and Mark Moreland, as has been reported 2 posts above your own.

Second Dehydration is what happens when you are denied water, which is what this haunt does so these rules are involved.

Finally this is NOT an optional encounter, the optional encounter is in the room before it. This room is non-optional and if they go in there it must be ran.
As for changing the scenario as you have... we...

The haunt seemed to specify that the effects last until the haunt is destroyed.

When I ran it, one person failed. The party poured some holy water down the pit and voila, haunt taken care of.

This situation only seems problematic if the party decides to run from the haunt, perhaps because they have no way to do positive energy. A solution would simply be to give the big badie some holy water or something, so they can finish off the haunt when they're done fighting.

Qadira ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Michael Azzolino wrote:
What I did was make a rules call. As Game Masters, we are completely within our RIGHTS to do so! Being a great GM means exercising that right.

With respect, Michael, you're recommending more tha just a ruling. You're recommending we ignore the text itself.

Great GMs might do that. Really bad GMs (Hobgoblins? I'm making them bugbears!) do that as well. In any case, we have been asked, repeatedly for the last three years, not to do that with PFS scenarios.

Mathwei did exactly what we're supposed to do: run the scenario and report problems. If we were to just revise the encounter as we see fit, Mark wouldn't get the data he needs to make corrections to the manuscript.

As Furious Kender points out, the haunt is easy to overcome, as written, because it's easy to destroy. I've run haunts a bunch of times, and it seems that players deal with them the same way they deal with traps: they endure the effects, heal what they can, and move on. This haunt, as written, doesn't let the players off the hook.

Here's a question, though: different haunts are destroyed in different ways. (Look at "Haunting of Hinojai" for examples.) How should the PCs know to pour holy water down the well? Would a Knowledge (religion) check tell them what to do? DC 20 or so?

Cheliax **

Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
Chris Mortika wrote:
Michael Azzolino wrote:
What I did was make a rules call. As Game Masters, we are completely within our RIGHTS to do so! Being a great GM means exercising that right.

With respect, Michael, you're recommending more tha just a ruling. You're recommending we ignore the text itself.

Great GMs might do that. Really bad GMs (Hobgoblins? I'm making them bugbears!) do that as well. In any case, we have been asked, repeatedly for the last three years, not to do that with PFS scenarios.

Mathwei did exactly what we're supposed to do: run the scenario and report problems. If we were to just revise the encounter as we see fit, Mark wouldn't get the data he needs to make corrections to the manuscript.

As Furious Kender points out, the haunt is easy to overcome, as written, because it's easy to destroy. I've run haunts a bunch of times, and it seems that players deal with them the same way they deal with traps: they endure the effects, heal what they can, and move on. This haunt, as written, doesn't let the players off the hook.

Here's a question, though: different haunts are destroyed in different ways. (Look at "Haunting of Hinojai" for examples.) How should the PCs know to pour holy water down the well? Would a Knowledge (religion) check tell them what to do? DC 20 or so?

Thank you very much Chris for the support, it is appreciated.

One thing though, pouring the holy water down the well will not destroy the haunt, it simply disrupts it for a day while it reforms.
Spoiler:
this haunt has a specific requirement of removing the skull from the well and THEN immersing it in a gallon of water. Anything else just neutralizes it until it resets, in this case 1 day.

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Chris Mortika wrote:
Michael Azzolino wrote:
What I did was make a rules call. As Game Masters, we are completely within our RIGHTS to do so! Being a great GM means exercising that right.

With respect, Michael, you're recommending more tha just a ruling. You're recommending we ignore the text itself.

...we have been asked, repeatedly for the last three years, not to do that with PFS scenarios.

I think I might start compiling a list:

Todd Morgan is "above reproach", sozin believes altering scenarios is a right for the "top 10% of GMs", and Michael Azzolino believes you have to do so in order to "be great".

Apparently, the consensus among many multi-star GMs and/or VOs is that the key to great GMing is to ignore the pleas of the campaign coordinator. Guess I'm still a reproachable, less-than-great, bottom-90% GM for now. Think I can get that on a T-shirt? ;)

All poking-in-the-ribs aside, let's show a little respect to the wishes of the guy trying to give us a shared campaign, shall we?

Quote:
How should the PCs know to pour holy water down the well? Would a Knowledge (religion) check tell them what to do? DC 20 or so?

I'd look at it from the other end: what DC is it to think "Ack! Creepy s!*!'s killing us! Throw holy water at it!"

;)

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, California—San Francisco aka Azmyth

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Jiggy wrote:
Apparently, the consensus among many multi-star GMs and/or VOs is that the key to great GMing is to ignore the pleas of the campaign coordinator.

Don't try to spin what I said.

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Michael Azzolino wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
Apparently, the consensus among many multi-star GMs and/or VOs is that the key to great GMing is to ignore the pleas of the campaign coordinator.

Don't try to spin what I said.

Certainly sounded like you were saying that making adjustments to scenarios was a part of being a great GM. My apologies if I misinterpreted you.

Grand Lodge ****

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I won't speak for Mike A. but what I think he is trying to convey is that sometimes you need to make a judgement call instead of playing as written in order to create a fun experience for your players. Creating an enjoyable experience is a hallmark of a great GM.

You need to know your players well. Some thrive on adversity while others will never return to your table if you are too harsh. If this haunt is going to frustrate your players to the point where they lose interest in the scenario then modify it to the best of your abilities as Mike and others suggested.

Besides...We all know the Painlord is the imminent authority on how to be a great GM...he has as many rules for it as the Ferengi has for acquisition!

Silver Crusade *

I liked this scenario Mike A ran It at our lodge last night. I only had one minor issue with the scenario.

:
The Worg encounter. Our party bargined with the Worgs gave them food and water as they were hungery.{I was playing a ranger.}there was no mechanic to gain the male Worg as a companion he was a former Animal Companion. It would be nice in future scenarios for the posibility to gain an Animal compaion in the couse of a scenario.

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Cody Landis wrote:

...sometimes you need to make a judgement call instead of playing as written

.....

If this haunt is going to frustrate your players to the point where they lose interest in the scenario then modify it...

The campaign coordinator has asked us not to modify things. He has even called it "cheating" and started a thread titled "Please Do Not Encourage Cheating" in the PFS General Discussion forum to curb it.

Just because you choose to re-label it as "making a judgment call" doesn't change the fact that you're blatantly disregarding the repeated imperatives of your superior. Whether you want to call it "cheating", "judgment calls", or anything else; it's still incredibly disrespectful to agree to act within the bounds of organized play and then simply ignore anything about it that you happen not to like.

Qadira ***

Jiggy wrote:
Cody Landis wrote:

...sometimes you need to make a judgement call instead of playing as written

.....

If this haunt is going to frustrate your players to the point where they lose interest in the scenario then modify it...

The campaign coordinator has asked us not to modify things. He has even called it "cheating" and started a thread titled "Please Do Not Encourage Cheating" in the PFS General Discussion forum to curb it.

Just because you choose to re-label it as "making a judgment call" doesn't change the fact that you're blatantly disregarding the repeated imperatives of your superior. Whether you want to call it "cheating", "judgment calls", or anything else; it's still incredibly disrespectful to agree to act within the bounds of organized play and then simply ignore anything about it that you happen not to like.

what we have here is a conversation between a Cheliaxian and an Andoran.

"Obey the Law"

"Badges? we don't need no stinking badges!"

or

"that's the rules"

"We're just having fun"

.....
yeah, I'm in the Lawful camp on this one.

Braking rules is only fun until someone looses a PC...

Just my 2cp.

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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I think it has more to do with people assuming that the skillset that makes you a great GM at home and the skillset that makes you a great organized play GM are going to be identical. They're not. Certain mindsets/proficiencies/etc are going to be helpful for one and harmful for the other. People moving from one to the other need to learn which skills apply best where, and accept that the guy running the entire OP campaign *might* have some worthwhile insight on the matter.

**

Jiggy wrote:
Cody Landis wrote:

...sometimes you need to make a judgement call instead of playing as written

.....

If this haunt is going to frustrate your players to the point where they lose interest in the scenario then modify it...

The campaign coordinator has asked us not to modify things. He has even called it "cheating" and started a thread titled "Please Do Not Encourage Cheating" in the PFS General Discussion forum to curb it.

Just because you choose to re-label it as "making a judgment call" doesn't change the fact that you're blatantly disregarding the repeated imperatives of your superior. Whether you want to call it "cheating", "judgment calls", or anything else; it's still incredibly disrespectful to agree to act within the bounds of organized play and then simply ignore anything about it that you happen not to like.

Jiggy wrote:
accept that the guy running the entire OP campaign *might* have some worthwhile insight on the matter.

In PFS, DM judgement is cheating. If a haunt is incurable, we need to use it. If specific mod rules make an encounter impossible to do, we need to use it. Even if it's a clear typo, and a monster has for example a 200 AC instead of 20 AC (a true story from another campaign), we need to use it.

I know I've seen whole parties in PFS die from errors in the a mod. I made a 40 year old man nearly cry this weekend because of an error in a mod.

If characters die and Dms and/or players aren't enjoying themselves, then that is the price of a campaign with high quality control. We need to respect that choice and move on.

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Let's also not forget one of the greatest things about this campaign: that Mike and Mark listen to us. No one here is advocating looking at an obvious error and just throwing up our hands and saying "Welp, sucks to be my players!" and leaving it at that.

You find a problem, you let them know. They'll take care of us. Let's at least show them enough respect to give them the chance to do so instead of taking matters into our own hands and sending the message that we think we're more qualified to run things than they are.

**

3 people marked this as a favorite.

I had to restart an encounter this weekend because I killed a player using raw I had seen first hand could kill an entire party. Then I had another player find a comment by mark changing the raw on a thread I didn't check, despite me reading the comments thread in this forum.

If this is how pfs runs, then a better job needs to be done collecting these comments and alerting people to these changes. The prep time to run mods is already too high for dms to be forced to used their searchfu before each mod.

Qadira *

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Furious Kender wrote:

In PFS, DM judgement is cheating. If a haunt is incurable, we need to use it. If specific mod rules make an encounter impossible to do, we need to use it. Even if it's a clear typo, and a monster has for example a 200 AC instead of 20 AC (a true story from another campaign), we need to use it.

I know I've seen whole parties in PFS die from errors in the a mod. I made a 40 year old man nearly cry this weekend because of an error in a mod.

If characters die and Dms and/or players aren't enjoying themselves, then that is the price of a campaign with high quality control. We need to respect that choice and move on.

'Cheating'? I really do not agree.

PFS Guide p15 wrote:

... the Game Master has the freedom to adjudicate the rules as needed to ensure a fun and fair gaming experience is had by all.

Now, that applies to rules combinations and questions, so doesn't directly apply to uncaught errata like this. However, the key part there is fun. I don't see anyone, player or GM, having fun out of killing off a whole party when the GM knows that the mod has a 'clear typo' or other obvious error.

At the very least, in this case the GM should apologise, thank everyone for their time, and halt the session.

Qadira *

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Jiggy wrote:
The campaign coordinator has asked us not to modify things. He has even called it "cheating" and started a thread titled "Please Do Not Encourage Cheating" in the PFS General Discussion forum to curb it.

Jiggy, can you linkify this please? The messageboard search facility does not find that thread, with or without quotes.

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

1 person marked this as a favorite.

A clear typo is very different from just not liking how an encounter is built.

When Mike Brock felt the need to create a thread for the express purpose of telling GMs to stop cheating, it was NOT because too many people were correcting typos.

EDIT: Ninja'd.

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

brock wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
The campaign coordinator has asked us not to modify things. He has even called it "cheating" and started a thread titled "Please Do Not Encourage Cheating" in the PFS General Discussion forum to curb it.
Jiggy, can you linkify this please? The messageboard search facility does not find that thread, with or without quotes.

Sure thing! You're probably not finding it because it's in General Discussion rather than GM Discussion.

Do not encourage cheating.

Paizo Employee ** Developer

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Furious Kender wrote:
Then I had another player find a comment by mark changing the raw on a thread I didn't check, despite me reading the comments thread in this forum.

If I made such a clarification on the boards that wasn't reflected in the scenario, then that's something I'd like to be made aware of so the PDF can be changed. I have a list of small alterations to released material that need to be made to bring issues brought to light on the boards in line with the printed products (right now it's the addition of Diplomacy circumstance modifiers that got lost in development in ToEE, a discrepancy between encounter CRs in an H1 and a nested H2 within, a clarification on a haunt in GD, and a correction of a typo in a Chronicle sheet from earlier in the season). If you can clarify this particular issue, I'll add it to the list. I generally don't change content on the boards, rather clarify intent, preferring to do so in the PDFs directly, so if this is something that I've done I want to make sure it's taken care of.

Feedback from the community is appreciated, especially when it helps us make the best possible content for the entire community. Yes, a GM changing something on the fly has the potential to improve the experience of the 6 players at her table, but we owe it to the entire campaign of tens of thousands of players and GMs to give them all the best possible experience. If we're never made aware of areas where we can improve, and individual GMs take it upon themselves to do this, then we don't have the opportunity to use that feedback to make things more enjoyable and easier for everyone.

Qadira *

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Mark Moreland wrote:
Feedback from the community is appreciated, especially when it helps us make the best possible content for the entire community. Yes, a GM changing something on the fly has the potential to improve the experience of the 6 players at her table, but we owe it to the entire campaign of tens of thousands of players and GMs to give them all the best possible experience. If we're never made aware of areas where we can improve, and individual GMs take it upon themselves to do this, then we don't have the opportunity to use that feedback to make things more enjoyable and easier for everyone.

The take-away message I get from the quote above is: should a GM spot a situation where the module is nonsensical or broken (such as the one here), he may make a modification on the fly to improve the play experience for the table, if and only if he reports the problem and his solution so that it can be evaluated and disseminated if necessary.

I'm interested in the level of leeway that I'm allowed to apply as I'm shortly to GM my first PFS session, but I'm not going to murder characters just to stick to the letter of an editing snafu.

If they are going to die because of a mistake, it will be one of theirs :)

Paizo Employee ** Developer

I never said GMs weren't to run scenarios as written. Neither Mike nor I has the time nor the inclination to define every possible adaptation a GM can and cannot make in the course of a session. What the quoted text above says is "while a change at one table *could* improve things for that one table, we owe it to the community to improve things at *all* tables." Run scenarios as written and give feedback when there are issues of logic or major mechanical errors. It they're deemed to be significant enough issues, we'll adjust the scenario as we're able and to the degree we feel is appropriate. Feedback is more valuable than people "fixing" things on the fly.

Qadira *

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Mark Moreland wrote:
I never said GMs weren't to run scenarios as written. Neither Mike nor I has the time nor the inclination to define every possible adaptation a GM can and cannot make in the course of a session. What the quoted text above says is "while a change at one table *could* improve things for that one table, we owe it to the community to improve things at *all* tables." Run scenarios as written and give feedback when there are issues of logic or major mechanical errors. It they're deemed to be significant enough issues, we'll adjust the scenario as we're able and to the degree we feel is appropriate. Feedback is more valuable than people "fixing" things on the fly.

Thanks for the clarification Mark. I had indeed interpreted what you said incorrectly. I had thought that you were saying that a GM could fix things as needed as long as they shared i.e. fixing an obvious error so that your table has fun is good, but letting us know as well is better.

Given:

'PFS Guide p27 wrote:
While we do not advocate fudging die rolls, consider the experience of the player when deciding whether to use especially lethal tactics or if a character is in extreme danger of death, especially when such a player is new to the game. Most players whose first experience in a campaign results in a character death do not return to the campaign.

I think the appropriate thing to do then, if the error above were discovered during play, would be to apologise to the players, scrap the session and let Mike know.

**

Mark Moreland wrote:
Furious Kender wrote:
Then I had another player find a comment by mark changing the raw on a thread I didn't check, despite me reading the comments thread in this forum.

If I made such a clarification on the boards that wasn't reflected in the scenario, then that's something I'd like to be made aware of so the PDF can be changed. I have a list of small alterations to released material that need to be made to bring issues brought to light on the boards in line with the printed products (right now it's the addition of Diplomacy circumstance modifiers that got lost in development in ToEE, a discrepancy between encounter CRs in an H1 and a nested H2 within, a clarification on a haunt in GD, and a correction of a typo in a Chronicle sheet from earlier in the season). If you can clarify this particular issue, I'll add it to the list. I generally don't change content on the boards, rather clarify intent, preferring to do so in the PDFs directly, so if this is something that I've done I want to make sure it's taken care of.

Feedback from the community is appreciated, especially when it helps us make the best possible content for the entire community. Yes, a GM changing something on the fly has the potential to improve the experience of the 6 players at her table, but we owe it to the entire campaign of tens of thousands of players and GMs to give them all the best possible experience. If we're never made aware of areas where we can improve, and individual GMs take it upon themselves to do this, then we don't have the opportunity to use that feedback to make things more enjoyable and easier for everyone.

Heresy points in TOEE. The RAW states that for every point you reroll every roll that many times. No way to lose points is ever mentioned. This is a killer mechanic, as I've seen multiple players with 2-3 heresy points who literally couldn't do anything in the final battle. I killed a paladin with single heresy point with a hold person+coup de grace via this mechanic.

On the scenario page you state the points are lost the first time they are used. So if the player makes a knowledge check, they can remove a point. This make heresy close to a non-issue. They can just make knowledge checks to remove them, or their first attack will do it for most players.

Paizo Employee ** Developer

Furious Kender wrote:

Heresy points in TOEE. The RAW states that for every point you reroll every roll that many times. No way to lose points is ever mentioned. This is a killer mechanic, as I've seen multiple players with 2-3 heresy points who literally couldn't do anything in the final battle. I killed a paladin with single heresy point with a hold person+coup de grace via this mechanic.

On the scenario page you state the points are lost the first time they are used. So if the player makes a knowledge check, they can remove a point. This make heresy close to a non-issue. They can just make knowledge checks to remove them, or their first attack will do it for most players.

Spoiled because this isn't the ToEE thread:
You never lose Heresy Points, but each Heresy Point only affects you once. If you have 3 Heresy Points at the start of the encounter, you take the lower of two rolls on the first 3 attacks, saves, skill checks, or ability checks during the encounter. Heresy Points don't come into play before you encounter Dakang (except to earn them).

It's possible the text in the scenario isn't clear enough on this point, and I'll take a look, but I think claiming that I'm changing the rules on messageboard posts isn't exactly accurate in this situation. Now that I'm aware that there was confusion on this issue and that it was complicated because of a messageboard post I made, I'll go back and look at both my post on the issue and the text in the scenario and make sure it's clear so others don't have the same problem. Thanks for the details.

Silver Crusade **

1 person marked this as a favorite.

As a GM, I take responsibility to ensure a good time is had by my players. If a scenario has an obvious rules glitch (players must make DC 4000 will save or die), then I'll do my best to adjudicate things on the fly and report the issue. It would seem that the haunt here is one of those issues.

Further, I had problems with the pit trap at tier 1-2. Evidently it has a save of 20. That is truly insane. Even a well prepared rogue will fail the majority of the time. A character with a +2 to the save will fail 85% of the time. That is pretty brutal for a tier 1-2, especially when you'll be taking 2d6 damage if you short it.

Also, the Silver Crusade faction hand out says to find out what is in the caravan. The scenario wants it done secretly. That might need to be clarified (although if a sneaky caravan hires a Paladin to guard it, they get a Paladin to guard it. LG-ness and all)

I rather enjoyed the rest of the scenario. We cleared it in 4.5 hours with a party of 4. The scenario felt fairly balanced, difficulty wise. Just hard enough to be fun, not so hard it drives you mad. Barring the issues with the haunt, and that truly punishing pit trap, it is an excellent scenario.

Silver Crusade ****

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Greetings all!

So Alexander Damocles above was one of the many participants of my adventure! So here is the actual GM's review of the adventure

Story:A

Story::
Now I'm already a fan of Jerall Toi's from Quests of Perfection Part One. His first outing was fun, but a little much. This time around, I can tell he had perfected the balance between RP, combat and flavor moments. The faction missions are open enough to where players will have a lot of opportunities, to get the mission done. GM's who like to add RP flavor like me, can utilize scenes to add what they like so long as they do not take too many liberties.

For example, when my players went to see Karela, he gave them a scarf, and although there is nothing special about the scarf, because the entire party was paranoid (Detecting Evil, Magic etc.) I RPed in, that the scarf was actually a "Pocketed Scarf" and although they didn't get to keep it or have it on the chronicle sheet, a player shortly after the adventure bought one because they thought it a great idea to have, and it was a PFS legal item!

Another example, I had a seriously paranoid Magus, who refused to progress the story to the graveyard scene, without knowing that there was some sanctified ground where they were safe. So I RPed in, that they were in the safety of a "Hallow" spell. Now because in the adventure there was no actual casting of Hallow that took place. They did not get any bonuses or penalties, but it put the players' mind at ease enough to allow the story to progress.

Adventures that allow GM's and players the flexibility to mold as needed, are totally welcome to Society play, and encouraged. And conversations with Worg's? Win.

Location: B+

Location::
It's finally nice to go to Isger when it's not snowing and freezing outside! The flavor text was nice to add more interesting visuals for the adventure. Also them laughing at me while trying to pronounce "trebuchet" is pretty funny.

Concerning the underground lair, I am glad that they kept it simple this time. Although Alexander Damocles complains about that CR 1 trap in the beginning, that would have been easily solved with a Rogue and by rolling higher reflex saves. It's not my fault that the two full-plate fighters decided to have full-plate and no acrobatics. My team completely passed on the insane haunt, but if they would have done it, I would have done it the same way my VC Azmyth did, which is as long as they were in the pit, they would be fatigued, and as soon as they got out, they were no long fatigued. The climb up is 20 feet which makes fatigued conditions incredibly dangerous when wearing full-plate.

Combat: C+

Combat::
Now combat for me was a little bit more of a frustration. The first thing the big baddie casts Obscuring Mist. So what do my players do? Close the door and wait. So what do I do in response? Summon and create undead beings they have to fight through. Made the combat a little long, but there's nothing wrong with that. But an Oracle has so many better spells and things to do besides that. But hey, to each their own.

I will say, explosive runes? We should be more concerned about explosive skeletons. (YEAH!!!^_^) Best part of the adventure to me was watching the poor Paladin (Alexander D) beat the bad boy to death, and then take damage cause it explodes bone shards into his face. And then watch him do it again, and make the entire party mad as hell at him for involving them in the 10ft spread? Talk about seriously entertaining.

Just Overall: B+
Overall, the adventure is definitely one to remember. With the right players, your chances of having an even more memorable adventure are even higher. I had a cleric of Zon-Kuthon and a Paladin of Abdar in an adventure where no PvP is allowed? Hilarity ensues.

Personally: B+
This is one of those adventures that I am going to print out (Once edited) and put this in my "Run Cold" adventures. Because it's not too hard for players to get angry about, and yet not too soft that your PC's run all over it either. It can go long if you have a colorful group, but if you don't you will definitely find enough game for you to remember as well. Well done Jerall! I am looking forward to what else you have up your sleeve!

Silver Crusade **

Even a rogue with a +6 to the save still needs to roll a 14 or higher. 35% success on a fairly optimal character is madness. A +8 is as high as it goes, and gives you a 45% chance to succeed *optimally*. Kinda harsh. I will say I loved the flavor of the scenario, and it can be quite flexible. Also note: the paladin is Int 5. Played painfully straight ;)

**

2 people marked this as FAQ candidate.
Mark Moreland wrote:
The text of this haunt is obviously unclear enough to cause such confusion and is on my list of issues to revisit as soon as the crunch to get all Gen Con material out the door on time is done. In the meantime, GMs are advised to use their best judgment when adjudicating this haunt (which is not intended to be as deadly as the text currently indicates). Please remain civil when discussing possible solutions and refrain from making it personal.

Has there been any resolution of the haunt? I just downloaded the scenario to prep for this weekend and the text is identical to what Mathwei ap Niall posted. As far as I can tell, this will still murder PCs with Con checks working their way up to DC 34 even if the haunt is destroyed, unless they get a Remove curse (150 GP or 1PP a pop at CL 5) against DC 14?

Or should I treat is as the Cup of Dust spell Jerall Toi mentioned, including the sentence "The effects of this spell cannot inflict more nonlethal damage than the target has hit points?"

Also, for identifying or destroying the haunt, should I treat it as a monster? For anyone who succeeds at the (DC20 in tier 1-2) perception check, or once the haunt triggers:

DC 10+CR to identify that it's a haunt (and give players an overview of how haunts work), +5 to identify the effect it causes (in this case, the fact that you will need a remove curse if you fail the save), +10 to tell players how to destroy it (or give some leading hints.) Or should it be considered an uncommon monster with a base DC of 15?

I'm also thinking of a knowledge religion, arcana or heal check to identify that the affliction will be ongoing until they get a remove curse. Maybe DC 15? I like the idea that the hobgoblins will hint at the problems players will face, too.

Lantern Lodge ** Venture-Lieutenant, New York—Syracuse aka SirGeshko

Just something I haven't seen mentioned... In the text on p.6, , Jandri is a middle aged woman, the stat block, he is male.
Stat block error?

Silver Crusade

The picture of Telda on page 17 shows a hobgoblin with red hair. According to the hobgoblin section in the Advanced Race Guide:

Quote:
Hobgoblins lack facial hair, and even hobgoblin women are bald.

I assume she's wearing a wig. I have a hobgoblin PC in a non-PFS game and the best character art I could find for him has hair, so this makes me feel better about that incongruity.


Hey all,

I just downloaded this and beginning to prep it for game day at my local gameshop and wanted to ask about something within the last part of this:

question:
Does the pitfall trap in C1 of the cave drop down into the dungeon part of the map?

If not, how far down does the pit goes since it does not say within the PDF.

Shadow Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Michigan—Alma

Reread the traps for each subtier. Each of them says how deep it is in the first part of the Effect line of the trap. For 1-2 its 20' deep, 4-5 its 30' deep.

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