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The Asylum Stone (GM Reference)


Shattered Star

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My group ate the 3 seugathi encounter for breakfast, one empowered fireball from the group's blaster turned two of them to crispy remains and the third was dispatched the next round from the rest of the party (those that could act) and a scorching ray.

Paizo Employee Managing Editor

leo1925 wrote:
My group ate the 3 seugathi encounter for breakfast, one empowered fireball from the group's blaster turned two of them to crispy remains and the third was dispatched the next round from the rest of the party (those that could act) and a scorching ray.

This right here is an example of why writing adventures balanced for all parties is so challenging. :) Glad things worked out!


Yes everything was ok, in fact it was better than ok since the player of the sorcerer is new to the campaign (previous player quitted because real life happened) and this was the first serious combat for book 3 (which is the book this player joined). So the rest of the party got a little fear in them because they had faced a single Seugathi a couple of levels back and now they had to face 3 and the new player oblivious to that; got to feel badass and impress the other characters IC and validate his addition to their group.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
James Sutter wrote:


If other folks in this thread are concerned about it, I recommend dropping the number of seugathi, or having some additional Duskwardens join the fight, etc. Sorry if folks were blindsided by it!

Adding more Duskwardens makes things worse. They cannot make their saves any more than the PCs can, and they hurt the PCs in two ways: by attacking them directly, and by deflecting "attack nearest" PC results into attacking them rather than seugathi. (Your best tactic in a confusion melee is to try to get the top fighter on the far side of the enemies from everyone else, so that "attack nearest" works for you: this is harder the more allies are present.)

If you want the Duskwardens to help, have them deploy a weakish golem or some zombies or ghouls. Still distracting to the PCs, but at least not actively hurting them, and they could hurt or distract the seugathi.

The Exchange

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James Sutter wrote:
leo1925 wrote:
My group ate the 3 seugathi encounter for breakfast, one empowered fireball from the group's blaster turned two of them to crispy remains and the third was dispatched the next round from the rest of the party (those that could act) and a scorching ray.
This right here is an example of why writing adventures balanced for all parties is so challenging. :) Glad things worked out!

Kind of sounds like the number of seugathi didn't really matter in this case so I'm not sure that it's the best example for what you mean.


A player in my group died in round 2 to the Lurker Above at the Hanging Manse. Not long after one character had gotten amnesia from the Seugathi's aura making him go insane. This part of the AP is brutal!


Yeah, I had a character death at the Hanging Manse as well. One Tendriculous and the two Terra-cotta soldiers right thereafter (not even together) had that effect.

Though: he was a half-orc barbarian, and thus didn't fall unconscious when brought below 0hp, so the soldier didn't stop attacking and brought him right down to -21hp with the off-hand attack.


I can understand the seugathi but how did the lurker above and the terra-cotta managed to kill PCs?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
leo1925 wrote:
I can understand the seugathi but how did the lurker above and the terra-cotta managed to kill PCs?

The Lurker above, once it gets out of the gazebo, it's not farfetched for it to Grapple and constrict something to death while staying flying/out of reach. Almost happened in my game, against the party's monk with improved grapple no less.

Gotta admit though, the Terra-cotta's scoring a kill would surprise me.


Carter Lockhart wrote:
leo1925 wrote:
I can understand the seugathi but how did the lurker above and the terra-cotta managed to kill PCs?

The Lurker above, once it gets out of the gazebo, it's not farfetched for it to Grapple and constrict something to death while staying flying/out of reach. Almost happened in my game, against the party's monk with improved grapple no less.

Gotta admit though, the Terra-cotta's scoring a kill would surprise me.

About the lurker above:

With flying at 20ft per round even the slower flyer among the rest of the party could catch up to him, but yes i understand how there might be a chance that the monster grapples the party member with low hit points and manages to kill him before it's slain.


Am I missing something obvious? I can't seem to find the description of the Dark Rider's "death's calling" ability...


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Check the statblock for the regular Dullahan.


The terra-cotta's had a bunch of good rolls, all attacks hitting the half-orc raging barb (I think there even was a crit in). He was still wounded (down half his hp) from the tendricolous (those fights happened without interruption).


DM Sothal wrote:
The terra-cotta's had a bunch of good rolls, all attacks hitting the half-orc raging barb (I think there even was a crit in). He was still wounded (down half his hp) from the tendricolous (those fights happened without interruption).

How did those two battles (the tendriculus and the terra cotta) happened back to back with no time in between?


They opened the doors to the terra-cotta's, but didn't step into the building instead buffing themselves. The terra-cotta's were instructed to attack anyone entering, thus did nothing.

Instead of having the lurker from the gazebo attack them, I brought out the tendricolous that I misplaced before. (They didn't much bother looking at the vegetation (had some crappy perception checks))

Once the tendricolous was dealt with, I thought they would quickly apply some healing, but the just pressed on into the dinning room, the barb charging in, and it didn't do him much good.


Ok, thank you for answering DM Sothal

So player stupidity or just not paying attention (to the fact that they were damaged)?


Well, the Barb didn't want to drop out of his rage, and having the golembane scarab, he probably thought it would be an easy fight against the terra-cotta's. Too bad the dice god was against him/them.
(I roll openly for things the players see, like my attack and damage rolls.)

And as I said, he was in bad shape to begin with, I had a bit of luck hitting him often, and once he should have dropped to unconsciousness, he kept standing so the terra-cotta finished him.


In my game they faced the lurker above directly after the tendriculous. Someone decided to just walk into the gazebo and rolled a low perception to miss the creature (hiding). Got a surprise round and a higher initiative than the person. Grabbed them, constricted, smothered. They used freedom of movement to escape and got hit by an AoO that finally did them in.


The group returned to the hanging manse some ingame-days later.
I had Berkanin replace the burnt-down tendriculous with a moonflower and another tendriculous, but not much else, as he was busy with experimenting with the troll.

This time they steam-rolled most of the plants outside the actual building, but had bad rolls to notice the lurker above, so this one could surprise the rogue and nearly chewed it in half.

After that, they quickly healed up and buffed themself before entering the manse, fighting nearly everything in it without stopping for a breather.
(I think they took 27 rounds in all, so not even 3 minutes.)
They somewhat feared the terra-cottas though, and did not enter that room.


My group just went into the first room of the therrasic spire's underground with the purple blob. Four people were affected and two of them dropped unconscious. What a trap...


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Quick Question for GMs about the trap in room B13.

Did anybody change how this functions? Or how did it run with your group?

No matter how I look at it, it seems painfully obvious how to disarm it. Even if they don't automatically go to the Rune of Greed to do so, and just try the runes located around the sihedron, the Rune of Greed is at the top, and therefore likely to be tried first, and so I mean, what purpose did this even serve? Not allowing creatures without fingers to enter? The lock would've been even more obvious back in the day of Thassilon.

I mean, if I'm being mean, it goes off once when the party is just figuring out how to open it and touch it without the intention of drawing the rune. I gues, when you have a touchpad thing, i was hoping for something a bit more interesting than that.


Our rogue managed to find the trap easily, but after some discussion with the group, she tried the rune of pride first, frying the cleric (the others weren't so foolish as to be in the same room at the time).

She then had to try 3 times to disarm the trap (making her reflex saves all the time).

Only after that they tried the rune of greed and opened the door.

Silver Crusade

So I'm reading the future encounters my players have not yet conquered and I noticed Hasari's alignment has changed to Chaotic Evil. (Room B7) Does this mean she has lost all her monk abilities and Ki pool as Monks cannot be chaotic. (Lawful only). It makes little difference at this early stage as I can just say she is lawful evil, but I assume it's a mistake. :)


Mrs Camelot wrote:
So I'm reading the future encounters my players have not yet conquered and I noticed Hasari's alignment has changed to Chaotic Evil. (Room B7) Does this mean she has lost all her monk abilities and Ki pool as Monks cannot be chaotic. (Lawful only). It makes little difference at this early stage as I can just say she is lawful evil, but I assume it's a mistake. :)

Here is the answer to your question, although i should also say that by the time the PCs get there they are too high level and this encounter usually turns into a waste of time.

Scarab Sages

Joana wrote:
James Sutter wrote:
After chatting with Jacobs (the developer for the adventure), the basic idea behind making the seugathi fight a "high 9" challenge rating is that it's probably the only fight you've got that day, plus you've got Abra with you, and you likely fought a seugathi in the previous adventure and thus have an idea of what they can do.
Putting a melee NPC with Will as his lowest save with the group for an encounter where you have to repeatedly save vs. confusion just makes it more difficult (IMO), since he's as likely to attack a party member as a bad guy. :P

Especially since the Seugathi can choose his results on the confusion table without allowing him to roll. There's also three of them so they can practically have the party going at it like puppets if saves are failed all 'round.

Scarab Sages

Page 16. Petey the Clockwork Familiar
"Clockwork familiar (see page 86)"

Surely as a high level familiar Petey should have more than just the default stat block. He should have higher hp, his master's skill ranks etc and then all the other Familiar benefits too.

Since all this stuff basically ammounts to a custom stat block (which is not provided on page 16 nor on page 26) many gm's might make the mistake of simply using the 16hp default stat block - especially since page 26 says he has 16hp (instead of the 42 he should have).

This feels underpowered and disappointing (like Thruggulk's hit point total). Is this underpowered familiar intentional or simply an oversight? Are we supposed to factor in familiar bonuses (as if they were a template) mid play now?

Just thought I'd bring this up as nobody else seems to have noticed yet.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Balgin wrote:
Joana wrote:
James Sutter wrote:
After chatting with Jacobs (the developer for the adventure), the basic idea behind making the seugathi fight a "high 9" challenge rating is that it's probably the only fight you've got that day, plus you've got Abra with you, and you likely fought a seugathi in the previous adventure and thus have an idea of what they can do.
Putting a melee NPC with Will as his lowest save with the group for an encounter where you have to repeatedly save vs. confusion just makes it more difficult (IMO), since he's as likely to attack a party member as a bad guy. :P

Especially since the Seugathi can choose his results on the confusion table without allowing him to roll. There's also three of them so they can practically have the party going at it like puppets if saves are failed all 'round.

anytime they have a Seugathi encounter i switch it out:) my rule of thumb

in my opinion Seugathi are what i call an A&~$&## Monster(tm) in that you know your GM is an a!##@+$ if he sends more then one at the party lol, the Beholder was the King of A~$%*%% Monsters before Pathfinder, now i hate Seugathi almost as much:)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

i really meant to say anytime their is a seugathi encounter i switch it.
also i want to be super clear i wasn't calling any one at paizo a%%%&%*s or anything and I'm sorry that really came off as kind of negative, i had a former GM that had a GM vs PC mentality so i saw a lot of these types of monsters.
except for the one encounter -which is easily swapped- i'm a big fan of Asylum Stone:)

Silver Crusade

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Good morning all,

Considering Augustille was attached to the machine for just over a week, I decided to write some pages of predictions that the PCs might grab out of the stack. Most of them have a name (Vargun, Karzoug, etc) or pertinent piece of info of what the players already know (Beware the Doomsday Door was predicted by Vargun when they first met her), the rest is just babble and/or related to adventure paths happening elsewhere to other groups (Skull and Shackles, Rise of the Runelords, etc). Some of it has already happened, some yet to happen, some happening at the time. Analysis is below, divided by day.

Spoiler:

Day 1:
- Struggle all you want, the Device is quite secure.
- Argh! Filthy Ardoc! When the Augurs find out what you-
- They already know! I hear your sister witnessed the entire thing from a window. Though all she saw was me casting something and you obediently following when told to. It could be days or weeks before they know for sure what has happened, and by then I will have your knowledge for free! I will find a way to extract your gifts and replicate them, so the Ardoc’s no longer require this ridiculous alliance.
- Bah! The future is not yours to take Ardoc Welp!
- We shall see. A little Alchemical Cocktail of Hallucinogens should loosen your tongue, that, and the constant application of Pain.
- Get that away from me!
- I knew I’d find a use for this injection spear eventually... Power, on.
- *clicks, whirrs, screams, laughter*
 
Day 2:
- Who are you? Who am I? Eye? The Eye looks but does not see. Sea? The Kraken wakes and tosses. Losses? So much to gain, so many will die. Why? Why don’t they stay asleep? Keep? The Dark Keep, Home of the Slayer, The Dark Rider. Spider in her web. Pleb? Such fools these mortals be. B? D? R? ARR!! Rum and Booty! Snooty? Bah, Noble Ardoc scum. Glum. So long have I languished here. I cannot bear the strain. Pain. Pain. Pain. Pain. Pain. Pain. Pain. Pain. Pain. Pain. Pain. Pain. Pain. Pain. Pain. Pain. Pain. Pain. Pain. Pain. Pain. Pain. Pain. Pain. Pain. Pain. Pain. Pain. Pain. Pain. Pain. Pain. Pain. Pain. Pain. Pain. Pain. Pain. Pain. Pain. Pain. Pain. Pain. Pain. Pain. Pain. Pain. Pain.
 
Day 3:
- Stupid troll! I care not for your yammerings! Tell me something useful!
- Full? Empty? The Sky is Empty, the stars are going out. Shout? No need to shout, I am right here. Queer? I feel quite queer... *vomiting sounds*
- ARGH! Disgusting creature! *thump* That is the last time I feed you this week! *footsteps* Herifax! Get me my clean robes!
- Weak? Yes, I grow weak. Vargun would want me to stay strong. Long? It won’t be long before the pathfinders come. Save me, please pathfinders, I have seen it. Winders? The coils wind and spread, they cut and tear, pull and rip. Trip? A stumble, a fall, land on the floor. Door? Beware the Doomsday Door. It waits beyond. Beyond? The thing that watches me between asleep and awake. Ache? I ache from this infernal machine! Obscene? The hubris of man to try to comprehend the future. The Unknown. Own? I am on my own now. Just me and the scribbly scribble bibbily wargle ARGH!!!
 
Day 4:
- I curse, you curse, we curse, they curse, I suffer the curse. Rhyme in verse. Hearse. A Pharasmin procession just for me. Bury me. Put me in the ground. Found. Not dead. Head still thinking. Blood still flowing. Mourners slowly going. Wait Sister! Wait! I am not dead! Do not give me up for lost. Cost? The cost to my mind. Searching for a future to find. See the clock, it ticks and tocks. Rocks. Rocks fall and everyone dies. Flies. Flies buzz and hum, the demonic drone that causes the living to fear. The Paladins fight and die to keep the hoards at bay, but the worldwound ebbs and flows and soon the world will know. Knows? Bows? Arrows? Suffer not the slings and arrows of outrageous halflings. Flings? Rings? Kings? Ancient Kings, seven of them, serving one King. The king is dead, long live the king is dead, long live the king is dead, long live the king is dead, long live the king is dead, long live the king is dead yet the old king lives on and suffers and the new kings hope he does not rise. They sent their Rune Giant. He failed.
 
Day 5:
- Stars at night. Bright? The Sunlight I have not seen. Keen. The sword is keen, it slices, the enemy dies. Critical wounds for all! Call? The Call of the Wild, savage land of fey and bandits, who will be crowned king? Yes! Be savage, be angry, be simple. No. I will be civilised. My Kin will live on because we assimilated to the City of Strangers. Dangers. The dangers of the tunnels, the roads, the church. Beware the church. Beware the below places. Faces. Faces taken, borrowed, hollowed, worn. Born. Born to be wild. Child. Kept young, kept smart, kept learning the lessons only to excel above them all and yet mind is beneath everything. It runs in streams, bleeds through thoughts, turning good ideas into evil schemes. Teams. Work as one unit, a synergy of minds and wills, squashed like bugs beneath divine heel. Keel. Must keep my mind on an even keel, the ships pass in the night, under the moon that hangs low. The grinning full moon. Noon, will I ever see the sun? Vargun? Save me my sister, please.
 
Day 6:
- They come. The immense things without mercy. Without feeling. Without thought. It calls yet hears no answer. I scream. It hears but does not. Knot. Bound here, I cannot move, cannot escape. Cape. Cape of the Mountebank, get away from here. Fear. Such fear in the face of sleep. Reap. The Reaper comes for another. The Naming Pool has issued another name. Tonight the Guildsman dies. Heads will roll. Toll, this machine takes its’ toll, the mind cannot stand the pain. Again and again, and again, the visions haunt. Taunt. Monster! Creature! UGLY! TOOTHY STINKY THING! Unfeeling THING! Sting. The giant red creature with legs of iron and stinger of red. Dead. Yet it moves, thinks, feels, love? It loves him? Undead, yet there is love? A pity he cares not. Clot. The blood flows and clots and stays. Days. I am here more long days yet. Net. Heroes always have a fishing net. Wishing? Wishes to release the child, the fiery child in the cave. Dead but not forgotten.
 
Day 7:
- They scream though no-one hears. Their eyes cast heaven-ward, yet the coils of metal that spring from them see nothing but pain and death. Their wings, held aloft by the power of Zutha, taken by Karzoug. But it is not they that are held by the power. They are the power. Hour. Hours, days, weeks, years. How long have I lingered here? Rip and scratch and tit-for-tat. Fear the Beast of Leibstadt! Rick’em, Wreck’em, Rack’em Rake! Stick that sword into that snake! Quake? Fear the coming earth-shaking, when it occurs, flee the room! Doom! Broom? Broom handles? Fork handles. Candles. A single light against the darkness. The Eye-less. The Eyes, the vast, vast eyes. It waits there for me. The body needs sleep but the mind cannot go to the land of dreams. It knows. It sees me. It Sees ME! Must not see the dreams. The River of Memory may help. Lose all memory, sleep peaceful sleep. I need the waters.
 
 
Analysis:
 
Day 1: In which Augustille awakes to find himself on the machine. Ardoc gloats then turns it on, after administering the hallucinogens.
 
Day 2: In which Augustille sees visions from around Golarion: from a hag’s eye in Ustalav missing an adventurer hidden by “Hide from Undead”, to the deep trenches where the Kraken sleep, unknowingly broadcasting their dreams to the Evil Beyond, the many that will die over time, the Runelords, slowly waking up from their eons of rest, the dark keep from later in the book, the spider Oni (Jade regent) in her stronghold beneath the house in the forest of spirits, a random vision of celebrating pirates from the shackles, then back to Berkanin, until Augustille sees himself in anguish and struggles to overcome the pain the machine inflicts.
 
Day 3: In which Berkanin becomes angered by Augustille’s apparently random ramblings, and demands useful information. Augustille tells Ardoc the stars are going out, then vomits on him. Ardoc hits Augustille with a punch, tells him he will starve him for that, then demands clean robes from his majordomo. Augustille goes on to predict his own rescue by pathfinders and their journey to the doomsday door where Yamasoth waits in Sekatar Seraktis for the door to open, before again succumbing to the pain of the machine.
 
Day 4: In which Augustille overcomes the physical pain of the machine and begins to see things beyond the mortal world. His visions have clarified a little, but are by no means less random. Having seen his own funeral, though from his own perspective and outside of it simultaneously, he feels his own body begin to rejuvenate due to the presence of his own soul, yet the paralysis of death prevents him from alerting anyone that he still lives. Buried alive, he faces oblivion in a still husk. Inside oblivion he sees the faces of the outer being that cursed him and in doing so, he sees clearer visions. He sees the clocks on Berkanin’s walls, the inevitable nailed to the wall, through that he sees a cave-in killing a band of adventurers, then the lord of flies, the Demon lord Deskari and his droning hoards of demons poised to emerge from the worldwound (Wrath of the Righteous), Augustille sees the Worldwound overrunning the face of Golarion in a possible future. Slings and arrows is a mis-quote from Hamlet: (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/To_be,_or_not_to_be) which I felt was appropriate to Augustille’s story, although to my knowledge there were no halflings in the original. The last part is all Xin and the 7 Runelords.
 
Day 5: In which Augustille sees the Stars, where he introduces his god-patron to the concept of sunlight, where Augustille sees the keen sword that may one day behead him, critical wounds for everyone! (Yay!) Fey and bandit-land is Kingmaker, where some trolls turn up at one point (I know, they killed my cleric), and Augustille is reminded how civilised his kin have become, in comparison to their degenerate cousins. Having returned to vissions of his kin in Kaer Maga, the fortune of the PC’s draws him back to Windsong Abbey, and the below places that hold the Doomsday Door. Faces Taken refers to the Skinsaw men from Rise of the Runelords, and then Augustille returns to his own childhood and how something Other touched his mind and even now runs through his thoughts like poison through water. Teams of Adventurers saving lives, unearthing knowledge, being killed by gods and demi-gods for good and ill. Ships passing on the oceans, his mind a turbulent place he must navigate successfully. Groetus grinning down above the boneyard. Augustille’s patron wanting to see the sun. Augustille’s wish that his sister successfully convince the pathfinders to save him.
 
Day 6: In which Augustille reaches his lowest ebb. He knows it will be another day at least before his liberators come, his visions full of suffering, the bullying he suffered from, non-troll children and how just beyond his perceptions, just beyond dreams and death, something Other is watching him. He has a sense of the vast unknowing evil of the things that live in the Beyond and he begins to fear the coming of the end times. (He’s been watching way too much Groetus TV). He then sees the Naming Pool issue a name to the Dunhallan, knows who will die in a few hour’s time, he knows the machine is taxing his mind to it’s limits. He remembers the childhood taunts he suffered, then sees an Annhilator from Numeria. Suddenly his childhood trauma is shown to be insignificant to the world at large, and seeking the memories of his own family who loved him, he keys into the love of the Nuklevae for the Dark Rider. The fishing net thing is an inside joke from my gaming group, after one player made a habit of making sure every character had a net, after a botched diplomacy roll on our first game together as a group. Wishing to release the child is a spoiler from the end of Legacy of Fire.
 
Day 7: In which Augustille’s visions have actually become something he can almost control. He sees the engine that keeps the Dark Forest from collapsing in on itself, powered by three angels, (see image from page 49 of this adventure path) and the fact that Karzoug stole the shard from Zutha. He laments his fate, knowing rescue must be near, but his ability to tell time has been lost, now that he is swept under by visions of possible futures. The Beast of Leibstadt is from Carrion Crown Adventure path. I stole this from Aladdin, the Disney movie. The earthquake happens when they get the shard and get cursed if still in the room. If any single PC is the only one that speaks Aklo and so is the only one that gets the prophecies (as in my game), I’ll give that character a bonus to escape the curse of living death from getting the shard, if they all read the prophecies, I’ll lower the DC. Fork Handles is stolen from the 2 Ronnies Sketch from 1976 found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Vg39jaVM3w In a flash of inspiration, as he sees the face of his Outsider patron he understands that the memories of his dreams are what link him to it. With the waters of the river of memory, he may be able to free himself of his curse. Therefore he comes to realise he needs the PCs to bring him a sample of the waters of the River they will encounter under the spire. (Sidequest detailed in Augustille's description).

I printed out the predictions on paper in groups of 4, wrote the day on the back and gave them to a player. He has read them and says they 'bode'. So job done then. ;)


That's good.


I just ran the laboratory portion and thought the centafuge was going to be an interesting fight. It wasn't. . .

Luniom the Vast surprised the party with the centrifuge, then rolled a low initiative.

The party was bull rushed back to the wall, but the room is small enough that one move round is all that is needed to get to the center area even after I house ruled it as difficult movement. (1/2 speed no charging or running)

There were also no issues for the ranged characters who used full round attack actions and almost killed him before the barbarian walked up and cut him in half.

The lack of rules that could have made the centrifuge an interesting fight made it nothing more than a 1 vs 5 slaughter.

Silver Crusade

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My players had fun in the centrifuge, as the bloodrager could only spend his action turning off the centrifuge after Luonim turned it on with mage hand. Also my players were trying hard to keep the adventurers alive and get the extra XP.

Spoiler:

I am rather annoyed that they fought the Nucklavee, she fled into the banquet hall , the Dark Rider made his check to arrive (I had him melt the door of solid black iron with his Will , as the Master of the Black Keep - made an impression), the players killed him, pressed on, swiped the shard and ran out... Didn't even go near Maligast who had very little time to see who was cheesing-it out the place. :(

They hoofed it back to the Menhir and killed the Caulborn in a couple of rounds. They found the scrolls of plane shift, rather stranding Maligast in the Dark Forest.

I wrote an in-character letter to them (stained it with coffee and rolled up the sheet) from Gav (local guide), with terrible spelling, grammar and punctuation, that talked about something smart emerging from the forest and causing the Therassic Spire to shut up shop again. I figure the simulacrum would not permit the Caulborn to take his memories and there would be a fight.

Might have to get my revenge on them... Not that I read everything I could get my hands on re: Eox... :(


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

If your party didn't have trouble triggering both the shadow mastiffs and the dark rider together, I don't know if malighast would have been much different for them.

I played the black keep as a bit of a Genius Loci, which I think seems slightly written into the intent. It serves the dark Rider and does things like closing and opening doors at inopportune moments. And just doing general, creepy things to keep players on toes. They technically started a massive fire in the library, but next time they entered it looked completely unchanged, though books quickly became bloodstained and filled with curses against the party. The suits of armour in the entryway were replaced with statues of party members in agony. That kinda stuff. I got them quite paranoid about the whole pocket dimension.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Is Berkanin Ardoc a Universal caster?


Mary Yamato wrote:

We just finished this module, and I have to recount what happened.

Session 1. The PCs go up the cliff, skipping the Halflight Path entirely. They meet their guide, hear about the bizarre behavior of the Therassic Guild, and decide that's their clue. They use clairvoyance and similar means to find where the dungeon entrance is, passwall in, subdue some elderly librarians, tell the Therassics in no uncertain terms not to intervene, and go down.

Session 2. The PCs go into super-stealth mode and open doors a crack, peer in, swear, and close the door again. (They named this the "Hall of Horrors" about five doors in.) They fight the three Therassic agents (all three go down in a round or less), the hellwasps, and the caged fish. They skip *everything* else. When they reach the caulborn, they come to the natural conclusion that the caulborn are what made the NPCs insane (they never understood about the trap) so they subdue the caulborn and mind-read their Brain to find out how to work the menhir.

They retreat and free the coatl, then enlist its help in reverse-engineering the caulborn ritual, with aid from a planar ally summoning.

Session 3. The PCs pop out of the menhir and retrograde away from the rot grubs. (In retrospect I gave them a round more warning than the module intended.) They scout the Black Keep and enter the tower windows to take out the three wyverns. (By the way, the art, the map and the room descriptions totally disagree on where or how many windows there are in this keep.) Having finished those (and alerted other denizens--it was noisier than their usual attack) they cast Fly, move to the uppermost part of the keep, and passwall into it. They grab the Shard. The Horseman flings open the door and attacks, doing a little damage. They kill him and fly away.

I ruled that Olanna and the hounds realized where they were going and raced to the menhir to stop them. The PCs flew down, taking one round of attacks from Olanna and the hounds (they had cast Remove Fear so weren't...

Two years too late, but your party should have had a slew of encounters going up to the Storval Plateau instead of taking the Halflight Path. That's kind of the point of taking the Path - it's supposed to be safer.


Heading towards book three and I have an itch to include Seven swords of sin into it. I have not read it yet so I figured to ask first if it would be a reasonable addition to this part of the AP. One of the PC's has a black blade so I'm thinking it could get jealous towards the artifact blades and hijinks would ensue.

Any thoughts?


I did include the module, but it went awefull (mostly due to the way the PC's acted when leading into and away from the module again).

It is rather easy to fit in, and should not mess up the progression (leveling) of the PC's in the AP too much.

Seven swords of Sin:
They only find one sword during the module.


Progression is not an issua since I gave up with counting exp.

Do you happen to have any converted stats at hand? I'm not familiar with 3.5 and some of the stats seems to need work.


I didn't really convert any of the things ahead of playing. If anything needed conversion, I did it on the fly, or ran it as is.


The Therassic Order in the Spire in Kaer Maga is willing to give total ownership of the Shard to the PCs if they can clean the undercity just in case something would get out and kill folks because they don't want to be blamed by the Duskwardens.

This part bothers me and I'm looking for alternatives.

In the book it says "The whole operation is highly taboo, as unauthorized expeditions into the city's depths put the whole populace at risk of increased monster activity, and the library wants to avoid responsibility for any death or damage their hubris may cause.)
At this point, Koifa really just wants the whole problem to go away. She fears a possible scandal, and is desperate for someone competent to fix whatever's gone wrong."

I think that it is doing a disservice to the followers of the Peacock Spirit to portray them as weak enough to give up the shard so easily to complete strangers (the PCs) in exchange for not much.

Did anyone give them ulterior motives to propose this deal? Are they lying that they would let the PCs keep it? Considering the influence of Xanderghul (Holder of the Peacock Throne) and Karzoug (Being in Shalast and their historic relationship with him), could runelords shenanigans be in play?

With my group, they already bargained with Koifa to acquire information about the Dark Forest and its exit by exchanging valuable information about Sorshen discovered in the Lady's Light and the location of another black menhir underneath the Godmouth Ossuary. They did not want to divulge information about the shard, sihedron or Council of thruth because they still believe that another team is racing to get the shard before them. Koifa has not ask them to do anything either because the mission with the first group is still very secret.

Dark Archive

I just ran the last encounters for my group and have stumbled upon a question I can't figure out the answer to. 3 of my players failed their saves against the Curse of Living Death and they're desperately looking for a way to cure it. They haven't figured out yet that it's a curse, but would the Remove Curse spell work for it? Since there isn't a cure/remove section listed I didn't know if it was simply a "Remove Curse" would work or if that meant there was no cure.


In part four of The Asylum Stone, the players potentially encounter a

Spoiler:
Pale Stranger
in area C4 of the Black Keep.

I don't particularly care for the use of

Spoiler:
gunfighting
in my games, and this AP is no different.

I'd love to hear some suggestions for suitable alternate encounters in this area.


I just finished running The Asylum Stone for my mythic campaign. I'll post my adjustments to the module soon.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

My group is rapidly approaching the end of adventure 2, so I'm coming up on this one. I'm thinking about changing how the seugathi work to make their confusion more like poison - instead of rolling three saves they roll 1 but with the difficulty upped by +2 for each overlapping aura. That should make it tough but less crazy impossible.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Here are the changes I made to the Pale Stranger, since I also don't allow guns in my campaign.

Pale Stranger:

NE Medium undead
Senses: darkvision 60’
Aura: fear 10’ (DC 21)
AC: 25, T: 19, FF: 19 +5 DEX, +2 ARMOR, +1 DODGE, +3 LUCK, +4 NAT
HP: 127 15D8+60
Fort: +9, Ref: +10, Will: +13
Defense: channel resist +4
DR: 10/bludgeoning + magic
Immune: undead traits; SR: 21
Spd: 30’
R: hand crossbows +15/+15/+10/+10/+5/+5 (1d8+1/18-20/x4)
DA: hand crossbows +12/+12/+7/+7/+2/+2 (1d8+7/18-20/x4)
Special: hand crossbows, stranger’s shot
S: 17, D: 21, C: 10, I: 11, W: 18, Ch: 18; BAB: +11
Init: +9; CMB: +14; CMD: 30
Feats: deadly aim, dodge, improved critical (hand crossbow), improved initiative, improved two-weapon fighting, point-blank shot, precise shot, quick draw, two-weapon fighting, exotic weapon proficiency (hand crossbow)
Skills: ACP -0; acrobatics +13, climb +11, intimidate +22, perception +22, ride +15, stealth +13, swim +8
Lang: common
SQ: stranger’s luck
Gear: masterwork hand crossbow (2), leather armor

What do you think? Any additional changes I should make (my players should encounter him in next session).

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Oh, and a change to his SU ability.

Hand Crossbows:

Hand Crossbows (Su): A pale stranger fights with two hand crossbows. These hand crossbows have a range increment of 20’ and resolve as touch attacks within the first range increment. While hand crossbows normally consume bolts when fired, a pale stranger's hand crossbows supernaturally reload the instant it fires them, allowing the undead to make multiple attacks in a round with the weapons. In addition, any hand crossbow a pale stranger wields functions as a hand crossbow +1. A pale stranger does not provoke attacks of opportunity when it fires a hand crossbow in melee, and treats hand crossbows as light weapons for the purposes of determining penalties from two-weapon fighting.


I’m going to try to breakdown my run of The Asylum Stone for my ongoing mythic home campaign. My players going into this consisted of a fairly well optimized group of mythic characters. They began the module a little high at level 9 with three mythic tiers and rolled stats (or God Stats as well call it).

They also use companions and scaling weapons, so the party is highly optimized for combat to say the least. This meant that I had to modify the entire module by APL+3 to get it to the appropriate CR. The Asylum Stone begins at level 8. The characters began at level 9 +1 APL for God Stats and +1 APL for the three mythic tiers for a total of APL 11, hence the APL+3 at the start of the module. Keep in mind the optimized nature of my PCs, as several of the encounters will seem ridiculously difficult on paper for regular 15 to 25 point builds.

As part of the build up to this module and the final confrontation with the Dark Rider, my players had already completed The Godsmouth Heresy and Seven Swords of Sin. This set up the setting of Kaer Maga in a way better than playing through the actual Shattered Star adventure path.

I added several resources to the adventure path in order to adjust for my mythic player characters including but not limited to Horror Adventures (Paizo), The Gothic Campaign Compendium (Legendary Games), The Advanced Bestiary (Green Ronin Games), Mythic Monster Manual (Legendary Games) and The Path of Villainy (Legendary Games).

Journey Upriver:

Spoiler:
Clash with the Sorebacks:

I added a Froghemoth (Pathfinder Bestiary p.136) to the encounter. I set it up by giving the players a random encounter two days earlier on their journey up the Yondabakari River. They ran across the detritus of some large water creature along with the mangled half eaten bodies of some unfortunate fishermen floating downriver but nothing else.

Two days later, on the night that I ran the clash with the sorebacks, I had the Halfling crewmen of the Lucky Jenny fishing from the riverbank. The boggards attack, but he refuses to let go of his fishing line claiming that he had “a big one” on the line. On the second round as the players made quick work of the boggards, the froghemoth emerges from the water and attacks the PCs.

The party mopped up the boggards, but the half-orc barbarian was swallowed by the froghemoth. Luckily they killed it before he could be digested properly.


The Halflight Path:

Spoiler:

I made sure to have Abra Lopati share the story of losing his wife to the Dark Rider. This, along with the visions of the headless horseman, was enough incentive to have my mythic players chomping at the bit to deal with the deadly huntsman.

For the journey up the path, I replaced the seugathi with mythic versions.

(3) Mythic Seugathi (Mythic Monster Manual p. 242)

I also added a young neotholid, but kept it separate from the encounter until the Seugathi had been dealt with. I added the neotholid for long term campaign plot purposes to make the seugathi attack more of an attempt by the neotholid to capture young mythic demi-gods rather than a random encounter.

Young Neotholid (Darklands Revisited p. 45)

The party was put in a world of hurt pretty quickly by the mythic acid spray of the seugathi. The ranger lost an animal companion in the first barrage and the party magus almost died from massive damage. He spent an hero point to avoid the massive damage rule and avoided death.

They managed to blast the seugathi but did not run from the neotholid as I hoped they would. Feeling that Bolgar and his sons would be too slow to escape the neotholid on foot, the party's barbarian charged the beast in a moment of self-sacrifice. Rather than leave their resident tank, the party rallied around him just in time to help him avoid death and they took turns nova blasting the creature until it was paste.


Part Two: City of Strangers

Spoiler:

As I mentioned in the opening post, the party had already completed two modules by the time they returned to Kaer Maga, so they were pretty familiar with the various factions throughout the city. They were on pretty good terms with the Church of Pharasma at the Godsmouth Ossuary, the troll augurs, the Duskwardens, and the Arcanist’s Circle (who extended an invitation to the party’s arcanist).

More importantly, they were very familiar with the city’s number one guide, Gav Nahli! The party first met Gav when they came to the Godsmouth Ossuary and then again when they returned to confront Tiranna over the Seven Swords of Sin. Gav was a definite favorite of the party as much for his resourcefulness as for his glib answers. I referenced City of Strangers for the scene stealing Gav quotes listed throughout to give their meetings strong flavor.

I tried to keep most of the Hanging Manse as written, except for a few keys surprises as you will soon see.

A4. Twilight Garden

(3) Tendriculoses

A6. Scrap Heap

Alchemical Golem/Alchemist 7 (Pathfinder Bestiary 2 p. 135)

I removed the limitations to the Alchemical Golem and gave it levels in alchemist to make it more formidable. I also added one living crematorium.

Living Crematorium (Gothic Campaign Compendium p. 107)

A7. Entry Hall

(6) Clockwork Soldiers (Pathfinder Bestiary 3 p.57)

A16. Dining Room

(3) Advanced Terra Cotta Soldier/Ranger 3 (Pathfinder Bestiary 3 p.262 )
(3) Advanced Terra Cotta Soldier/Fighter 3

A10. Parlor

I bumped the tupilaq up to make it last a round and added a trap to the room. I went with the electrified floor trap from a third party publisher trap resource, the name of which escapes me at the moment.

Tupilaq Advanced Tupilaq/Rogue 2
Electrified Floor Trap

The encounter with the Tupilaq was funny, because it remained hidden on the shelf until one of the PCs came close enough. Then it reached out and bit the arcanist on the posterior, making for great hilarity at the table.

A20. Catwalk

I added soldiers on the catwalk as well as inside the control room to help Herifax.

(3) Clockwork Soldiers
(2) Adamantine-clad Advanced Clockwork Soldiers
Herifax the Aerial Advanced Harpy/Ranger 6 (Pathfinder Bestiary p. 172) Note: I know Aerial is a Monster Summoner template, but I don’t care. GM fiat and all that.

A21. Master Bedroom

Kanya Ismahe became a catfolk/rogue (scout) 12.

A23. Berkanin’s Workshop

Here’s where I decided to deviate from James Sutter’s script a bit by changing the circumstances around Barkanin’s recent bouts with madness. Rather than have Berkanin just suddenly become infatuated with the troll augurs, I changed his motivation a bit.

Using the information in City of Strangers about the lower levels of Kaer Maga, I decided to draw upon the legends of the Vault of the Sleepers. I tweaked it so that Berkanin had been following his kinsman’s diary through the maze of traps and treasures inside the Vault of the Sleepers when he encountered a rare creature from the furthest depths of Kaer Maga, a qomok.

The qomok is a mythic alien monstrosity that assimilates the forms of whatever lifeforms with which it comes into contact. The Qomok assimilated Barkanin and returned to the Hanging Manse. As the Qomok familiarized itself with modern Kaer Maga, it formulated the plan of using the troll augurs to help it find a way to return to its alien homeworld.

(6) Clockwork Soldiers
Qomok (Mythic Monster Manual p. 221)

The party made their way through the Hanging Manse in fairly straight forward fashion. They fought it out one room at a time until they made their way up to the second level. I changed the architecture a little as well to keep them from accessing the stairs to the upper level without entering the house. This was a bit of a cheat, but I did not want my party to skip the interior of the house and go straight to the end.

The waves of clockwork soldiers gave the guys a pretty tough fight as they made their way to the research tower. The arcanist and the magus made their way to the rooftop to confront Herifax. At this point, I had Berkanin climb out the window to the roof. Note: I changed the rooftop to an enclosed roof rather than an open roof as written in the module, but I wanted the party to have more barriers that could possibly come between them and Berkanin. Mythic characters will nuke anyone they think is a BBEG as soon as they can, so putting few barriers between them and my players is always a good idea. I have a couple natural flyers in the group as well, so the idea of having Berkanin fly is not as good a strategy as it might be with other more earthbound groups.

Berkanin flies up and attacks the magus and the arcanist while they are preoccupied with Herifax. The magus backhands the flying Ardoc and sends him into a death spiral and crashing into the junk heap below. They make their way down to Berkanin and he appears stone cold dead. This is, of course, a ruse by the Qomok to get the PCs to lower their guard and they do just that as they are then taken by surprise when Berkanin’s body explodes in a shower of viscera and tendrils.

The Qomok burrows into the ground and back out to crawl up the wall and grab the arcanist from behind. Now it’s running along the outer wall of the research tower with the party hanging out the window trying to save their spellcaster.

It made for quite a memorable encounter. It gave the battle with Berkanin a level boss type of feel. I hate to use video game terminology to describe RPGs, but in this case, it seems to fit.

The Ardoc family was disappointed to hear that Berkanin had been dead for a while, but they appreciated that the heroes had taken care of the problem in a very quiet and discreet fashion.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

Ran the seugathi encounter last Sunday with my modification and it turned out well. The party's goblin alchemist made his save with a 20 the first round, backed more than 30 feet away and just kept throwing bombs. Only casualty was that the poor merchant got eaten by the hunter's dinosaur, who kept rolling attack nearest creature. Arba spent most of the fight stabbing himself in the foot. The party wizard managed one round of lucidity but nailed all three with AoE damage.

All in all it ended up scary but manageable.

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