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Running City of Golden Death - questions / suggestions

Pathfinder Society GM Discussion

Qadira ***

I'm running the City of Golden Death starting this sunday, and I'm sure I'll have some questions... haven't even read it all yet and already I have a couple basic questions.

1) One of the players will need to run an Iconic (no PC in the level range) - so, does she get one of the ones in the Mod (the basic 4 at 5th level)? or can she pick from any the standard 4th level ones (such as the Gunslinger or the Ninja)?

2) Double checking on how the Chronicle will work for someone running an Iconic. She assigns it to a PC-# and when her PC gets to that level (4th) she would assign the Chronicle to her PC at that time. Is this correct?

Thanks all!

Oh! and any pointers/suggestions on running it would be most welcome! (be sure and spoiler as needed.)

Qadira ***** Venture-Captain, Indiana—Indianapolis aka Red-Assassin

For Modules playing a pregen you must apply credit to a brand new first level character.
Rules on sanctioned Module play are on page 23, of the organized play guide.

Qadira ***

Chris Bonnet wrote:

For Modules playing a pregen you must apply credit to a brand new first level character.

Rules on sanctioned Module play are on page 23, of the organized play guide.

Thanks Chris!

Qadira ***** Venture-Captain, Indiana—Indianapolis aka Red-Assassin

Not a problem, I plan on playing that mod in the near future. Finishing the Masks mod now. Thinking of introducing the Arc locally, let me know what you think of the it.

Qadira ***

Sure, I'll let you know what I think - I'm prepping it now. plan to run it Sunday (the 5th) and then finish the next sunday (the 12th).

I wasn't all that impressed with Masks - It was ok, but a bit railroady (though I only played it, and haven't run it yet).

Qadira ***

realizing that in PFS, encounters should be mostly identical from one running of the Mod until the next, is there a set way to run the Random encounters? The module give "random encounters" with a % chance basicly every 8 hours. and the CR of the possible encounters can be very different with some being as low as 4 but others being as high as 8 or 9.

This will result in one group of players encountering little or no "wondering monsters" and another group getting smacked with a CR 8 encounter every 8 hours of adventure time.

Is there a suggested methiod of dealing with the random encounters? something like a guideline that I have missed that says "Encounter XX random encounter here and here"?

Andoran ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Minnesota—Anoka

Run the module as written. If its written with random encounters, follow the chart.

This is one significant way that modules can deviate from play experience to play experience and from scenarios.

Cheliax ****

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps, Modules Subscriber

nosig: When I ran this for the PSOC, I made a spreadsheet with the random encounter rolls entered on it ahead of time so that I could slipstream the set-piece and random encounters together.

Warning inside:
Josh put a nearly-guaranteed PC killer in the encounters-on-the-boat segment. Expect to seriously derail if you hit the dire croc, as it WILL probably eat someone. I was merciful and didn't have it get scared off once it had two swallow wholed PCs and hit points left... so they could find the corpses.

Qadira ***

TetsujinOni wrote:

nosig: When I ran this for the PSOC, I made a spreadsheet with the random encounter rolls entered on it ahead of time so that I could slipstream the set-piece and random encounters together.

** spoiler omitted **

yeah, that's the one I was worried about, that...

added warning on encounter:

I'm a bit more worried about the Water Elemental just punching a hole (or three) in the bottom of the boat. Sink the boat out of sight of land and you have a TPK with all bodies lost... From a "Wondering Monster", before the adventure even starts.

The first set of Wondering moster rolls is "a little over a week" - so you can figure the odds are good for 2 encounters there. A set of "test rolls" gave me 4! (2 at night). And this is before the first real encounter. wow...

Qadira ***

Ran the first part of this last night....

1st part of First part of City of Golden Death:

PC's get on the boat and head out. Role random monster encounters...
20% chance three times per day... and a 7 day trip. As always, I roll the dice out where the players can see them... with a brief explanation of what I was rolling for. I used d20s, with a 1 to 4 bing the 20%. One of the players commented that he was glad these were not combat rolls (one of the days rolls was a 20,20,18), as in the 21 rolls I only got 2 below 5. 2 random encounters, one on the third night (Constrictor snakes - 3), and one on the last day (Large Water Elemental). I played the Elemental kind of stupid, and just climbed on the boat and slugged it out, rather than swam under the boat and ripped out the bottom. Did get to play up the role play a little with the ships crew calling the Elemental "Bad Water". "Bad water on the port side - closing fast!"

The PCs didn't dig up the bodies of the cultists - Kind of funny, all six plays rejected the idea, each for different RP reasons. "Ewww!", "We're here now 'cause someone was disturbing the dead", "dig up things? seems like a lot of work...". There was a question raised as to where the cultists got fuel for thier fire...

Terror wolves were spotted when before the attack, and a Rogue Snapshot (with a Crit) dropped one. The other three charged in and the three stacked Fear Aura saves causes one PC to panic and run. Something is really wrong with this template - it gives Darkvision, immunity to fear effects, negitive energy resistance/healing, AND a AOE that causes Shaken if you MAKE the safe (Panic if you miss it)... and is CR +0? Really?

Cheliax ****

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps, Modules Subscriber

Commentary on the adventure author:
Mmmmmm josh frost. Definitely not my favorite PFRPG author. I'd be hating that template a lot as a home game PC. Fortunately, it only seems to template ON the island...

Qadira ***

I actually ran all the encounters up to the Map Room, and called it a night at that point.

I'm prepping the rest of the Mod this week - and frankly I having concerns about how to run the rest of it. The PC team in my run is the following....

5th level Mutt barbarian (Part Inquisitor)
5th level Rogue trapspotter (Elf with a bow)
5th level Fighter (Melee, THW)
4th level Sorcerer (Draconic bloodline I think)
4th level Cleric mutt (3 cleric/ 1 Sorcerer)
4th level Iconic Kyra

so they are APL 5.5.

Looking at the encounters in the last half, I think they are very overmatched.

Role Playing with Dusan is fun - one of the PCs has a rep. as Insane, but Dusan is even more so. And the PC has decided Dusan must know something with the Stinky - so he is copying it too.

His insistance that he doesn't need "new equipment" has several of the players wondering if he might be carrying "artifact level stuff" - as "artifacts don't detect as magic"... and "How many levels can you get in ten years on this island?"... da-da-DA!

It's not real clear how much (if any) he knows about the inside of the city.

Or if he is willing to go with the PCs into the City of Golden Death... do I have him wait outside (or in the Map Room)?

Encounter timeing:

The party is moving fast - trying to catch the Cultists. Is there any provision for catching up to the BBE that I am not finding? or is it "boxed text" that the encounters have to take place in the order they appear?
Or do I hint that they should ease up and rest between the hard encounters?

If this were a home game I have more freedom in rewarding creative play, playing to the parties style - but in a PFS game I give up most of that (being a Judge and not the GM). and I'm normally very happy with that. The adventages of OP far outweight the control I give up. I'm normally a real stickler for "Play as written" - and other Mods I have run or played in have been mostly great... but this one seems to be just a "monster crunch" - "get on the railroad and fight monsters until you die". It doesn't feel like much thought went into this Mod, it reminds me a lot of the old Gary Gygax style of 'crawl.

Cheliax ****

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps, Modules Subscriber

style of writing:
Yep, that's a frequent complaint I've heard about JJF. Just throw Kyra off a bridge and see what they do...

Of course, in my experience PSOC players tend to be high system mastery, high genre-savvy, so my table MIGHT have been effectively ECL+1.

The adventure is pretty cool conceptually, with some nice showcase monsters.

random encounter funny:
One of my players' character had commented, in the set-piece fight before the time they were getting the bulette encounter per my pre-rolled encounter setup, that they had never seen a land shark before... Cue the land sharks!

It couldn't have been a more perfectly fated comment, given the lack of allowance for playing fickle finger of fate in OP.

Qadira *

not to resurrect an old post, but I ran this adventure over a multi week event.
6 players - ninja, magus, sorc, druid, inquisitor, fighter in full plate, and a druid.
each player was either 5th or 6th level

one of the first random encounters on the water, not even in the city yet, was a Dire Crocodile - CR 9 - which basically TPK'd the party.

first round, heaved himself up on the boat.
round two, bit the gnome sorc in half - 3d6+13, and tail slapped the boat 4d8+6 - which capsized it
the rest of the rounds had the party either sinking or getting deathrolled.

I'm a little confused and concerned that this creature would be listed as a random encounter, it makes me think that the environment was either over looked or was not fully taken into account.

Qadira ***

I agree.
the random nature of Random Monsters can really mess up PFSOP...
Sorry to hear about the TPK.

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