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Into the Nightmare Rift (GM Reference)


Shattered Star

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Shards of Sin
Curse of the Lady's Light
The Asylum Stone
Beyond the Doomsday Door
Into the Nightmare Rift
The Dead Heart of Xin

Cheliax

so...Richard Pett is to write the epic closing chapter, eh? How appropriate.
I'd better tell the players to make up their characters' last will and testament. They will soon be dying spectacularly, in odd and unforseen ways. Already looking forward to it :)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Nope; Rich is writing "Into the Nightmare Rift" which is the penultimate chapter.

Brandon Hodge writes the last chapter.

Contributor

Well, technically, James is as always correct. Although no one will get to see Brandon's adventure, awesomely cool though it undoubtedly will be, especially with the twisted, disturbing world he lives in.

The layers of extreme horrible frightfullness will prevent it...


Death by tentacles is a Good Thing.

Contributor

Hmm, should be able to help with that:)


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Tentacles are to adventures as cowbell is to certain kinds of music ...


Richard Pett wrote:
Well, technically, James is as always correct. Although it won't be necesarry to run/play in Brandon's adventure, since the PCs will be horribly tentacled to death in Into the Nightmare Rift.

There, corrected for easy reference.

Ruyan.

Contributor

3 people marked this as a favorite.

I must say, this adventure does indeed have a plethora of tentacles...

Rich

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, 2011 Top 32, 2012 Top 4

Richard Pett wrote:
plethora

That word always makes me think of the Three Amigos.

"Would you say I have a plethora of pinatas?"


1 person marked this as a favorite.

So long as the pinatas are PC corpses getting ripped open by tentacles, I would answer "yes".

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Just did a quick read-through.

What is General Stom's motivation for helping the PC's? Usually there is a remark or two about why a "bad guy" would help, but I didn't see one. Did I over look it in my haste?

Bully job, Pett!

Qadira

HangarFlying wrote:

Just did a quick read-through.

What is General Stom's motivation for helping the PC's? Usually there is a remark or two about why a "bad guy" would help, but I didn't see one. Did I over look it in my haste?

Bully job, Pett!

You have the book already? how good is it?

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I downloaded the PDF yesterday. Although I only did a quick read-through, I really like what I read. It has some really juicy parts as well as a number of excellent role-playing opportunities. At one point, there are references to both RotRL and Second Darkness in the same encounter area, which I thought was pretty cool.


HangarFlying wrote:

Just did a quick read-through.

What is General Stom's motivation for helping the PC's? Usually there is a remark or two about why a "bad guy" would help, but I didn't see one. Did I over look it in my haste?

Bully job, Pett!

Stom wants rid of Chief Jubbek and his followers. She doesn't so much help the pc's as agree to take her followers and leave if they kill Jubbek & co.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Yup; Stom's kinda not into being "ruled" by a "lesser" giant, but neither does she want to risk open rebellion. If the PCs go down there to kill him... ONE of the two groups is gonna die, and that works to her advantage either way.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Awesome, thanks guys!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The statblock for the caryatid columns on page 33-34 lists "rapid attacks" for Special Attacks. But there's no explanation for what this means. Is this a misprint?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Michael Gentry wrote:
The statblock for the caryatid columns on page 33-34 lists "rapid attacks" for Special Attacks. But there's no explanation for what this means. Is this a misprint?

It's an error. Ignore it.


Turin the Mad wrote:
Tentacles are to adventures as cowbell is to certain kinds of music ...

And you gotta have more cowbell...


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Just read the PDF on my lunch hour... This looks amazing!

I've got a question about reconciling the article on Lissala and the Bestiary entry on Lissala's herald...

The deity article indicates that Lissala is still active in some way, but the Bestiary entry implies that Lissala is "missing" and that the herald hasn't seen her master for millennia. The Bestiary article paints the herald like a widower who's pining for his dead wife. But wouldn't a herald know whether or not its leige is alive?

I know that clerics of Lissala are able to receive spells and granted powers, so that would indicate that Lissala isn't dead, just... missing (unlike, say Aroden).

Any thoughts on how these articles mesh?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Haladir wrote:

Just read the PDF on my lunch hour... This looks amazing!

I've got a question about reconciling the article on Lissala and the Bestiary entry on Lissala's herald...

The deity article indicates that Lissala is still active in some way, but the Bestiary entry implies that Lissala is "missing" and that the herald hasn't seen her master for millennia. The Bestiary article paints the herald like a widower who's pining for his dead wife. But wouldn't a herald know whether or not its leige is alive?

I know that clerics of Lissala are able to receive spells and granted powers, so that would indicate that Lissala isn't dead, just... missing (unlike, say Aroden).

Any thoughts on how these articles mesh?

Lissala is still active, but not (currently) on Golarion, really. Whatever she's doing, she's not in contact with her herald, which is what makes her herald desperate and into a "widower." With this article and herald, we DO have a herald that doesn't know if its deity is alive or dead... and if she IS alive, the herald doesn't know why she's being ignored.

Spoiler:
The upcoming season of the Pathfinder Society organized play revolves around a plotline wherein the cult of Lissala is gaining power, and what they're planning on doing to try to get her to turn her attention back to Golarion, by the way...

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Cards, Modules Subscriber

Uuuh, man - what a teaser!

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, 2011 Top 32, 2012 Top 4

Richard Pett wrote:
I must say, this adventure does indeed have a plethora of tentacles...

You could say this adventure contains the mother of all tentacles.

Oh, my. I just finished reading through this nasty little Pett-venture. Easily one of my all-time favorites. Nicely done!

Grand Lodge Contributor

Nyarlathotep is the Faceless Sphinx? How does the demon lord Areshkagal (AKA The Faceless Sphinx) feel about that?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Shaun Hocking wrote:
Nyarlathotep is the Faceless Sphinx? How does the demon lord Areshkagal (AKA The Faceless Sphinx) feel about that?

That's pretty intriguing, isn't it!

Grand Lodge Contributor

James Jacobs wrote:
Shaun Hocking wrote:
Nyarlathotep is the Faceless Sphinx? How does the demon lord Areshkagal (AKA The Faceless Sphinx) feel about that?
That's pretty intriguing, isn't it!

It really is. I'm filled near to to bursting with the stuff. I have a short story featuring The Faceless Sphinx (set in the ruins of Tabsagal in Ninshabur) in the forthcoming Pathfinder Chronicler anthology from www.pathfinderchronicler.net (non-canon, non-Paizo for those who aren't familiar with it).

Or do I?

Yes. Yes, I do.

Aha! But do I really?

See, double-J? I can answer questions with questions too! :p

Grand Lodge Contributor

The statblock for Kurshu the Undying doesn't list a fly speed. She has all those wings, the Hover feat, and a heap of ranks in the Fly skill so I'm guessing she should be able to fly without needing to expend her daily uses of Limited Wish.

Andoran

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Tales Subscriber

It is of my opinion that Nyarlathotep, being the Crawling Chaos it is, has a hand in Lissala not being around anymore (given the results of the Demilich defacing her temple in Leng...). This adventure also build nicely on the Carrion Crown AP stuff as well!


Building upon Carrion Crown and Wake in the Watcher are both Good Things. *evilgrin*


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

So...since when is the Shard of Sloth a necromantic artifact? Why aren't the drow hunting for the Shard of Gluttony?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber
Revan wrote:
So...since when is the Shard of Sloth a necromantic artifact? Why aren't the drow hunting for the Shard of Gluttony?

Because Copy Editors don't always catch everything...


I'm surprised how much their version of the Nightgaunt matches my own. Only significant difference between their version and my homebrew version is that mine was Large size, since Ghouls are known to use them as mounts.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Revan wrote:
So...since when is the Shard of Sloth a necromantic artifact? Why aren't the drow hunting for the Shard of Gluttony?

Yeah, that was an error in text.

The Shard of Sloth is a conjuration artifact.

The part where I confused myself is that the ritual that the drow needs it for is a necromantic ritual, but in order to use it, she needs the Shard of Sloth as a conjuration artifact to focus the energies she needs to conjure that necromantic power from her demon god Zura.

This is absolutely NOT a copy editor error. A copy editor wouldn't know to catch that level of in-game continuity—this is a developer (me) error. One that I should have explained more clearly, but again... I confused myself a bit and that's that.


Richard Pett wrote:

I must say, this adventure does indeed have a plethora of tentacles...

Rich

TENTACLES. TEN=TICK=OWLES. Woody. Good word, tentacles. A good, woody word.

Grand Lodge Contributor

2 people marked this as a favorite.

So, Cadrilkasta is a blue dragon. There's also a female green dragon called Cadrilkasta mentioned in Crown of Fangs' article on the relics of Kazavon. She stole the horns of Kazavon and granted them "a place of prominence in her hoard hidden among the sea cliffs of Razmiran."

Assuming that Cadrilkasta is not a common name among dragons and assuming that the legend of the horns has not been mistold, I have a theory... a theory that kind of falls apart at the end, but anyway, here it is:

According to the Dragons of Golarion article in Fortress of the Stone Giants, chromatic dragons of one colour can breed with other colours in order of power, with the attributes of the offspring determined by the father. So a red dragon could mate with any other kind of chromatic but a white dragon can only mate with their own kind.

With that in mind, my theory is that our blue Cadrilkasta had a blue father and a green mother. Her mother was also named Cadrilkasta and had a hoard in the sea-cliffs of Razmiran. Mother Cadrilkasta laid her egg in this lair but was soon forced out of the sea-cliffs by adventurers or the priesthood of Razmir (or whatever) and relocated to the forest in the Kodar Mountains near Wyvernsting in the Hold of Belkzen. Green dragons are very concerned with genealogy and bloodlines so mother Cadrilkasta preferred to save her egg instead of her hoard or the Horns of Kazavon.

Now, in her new lair in the Kodar Mountains forest, Cadrilkasta sets about building a new hoard and in doing so falls foul of adventurers and fails to return to see her blue daughter hatch. With no parents to name her, she was still investigating her surroundings when local orcs came to the lair to give tribute to the green dragon Cadrilkasta, who they did not yet know was dead. They called out to her by name and when she did not respond or appear, they thanked their bloody gods, left their tribute and hurried away. So, the young blue assumed that Cadrilkasta was her name and adopted it for her own. Later, once she had become a force to be reckoned with in her own right, she came to learn that Cadrilkasta had been her mother's name and sought to learn more of her. By the time she was an adult, she relocated her lair to the Hungry Mountains in Ustalav, not only to broaden her education (as per Into the Nightmare Rift), but also to be much closer to the old territories that her mother held, hoping to find the hoard she left behind. Maybe she found it, maybe she didn't, but she eventually returned to her lair in the Kodar Mountains.

TA DA!

Now, where it all falls apart is the dates. As a wyrm, Cadrilkasta is between 1,001-1,200 years old. Kazavon was killed in 4058, less than 700 years before Into the Nightmare Rift is assumed to take place. Damn.

My theory to explain this is that blue Cadrilkasta, in her pursuit of Thassilonian knowledge and secrets found some way (artifact/ritual/bargain) to advance her own power. So, while having the power of a wyrm, she is technically only very old (601-800 years old). I don't think that would be beyond the skills of the Runelords or their otherwordly allies and servants.

Phew!

But where it REALLY falls apart is that the green Cadrilkasta mentioned in the article in Crown of Fangs is still alive and has been "doting" on the Horns of Kazavon for seven centuries.

Drat.

Ah well, at least I had fun looking through all this stuff!

I hope that's cleared that up. I'm just saying what you've all been thinking. :p

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber

Thanks for that rundown Shaun! This is going to be really helpful if I do go with building up Cadri as a scion of Kazavon for our game. :)

Grand Lodge Contributor

You're welcome! I love doing stuff like this, even if it doesn't quite work out the way I hoped when I started it.

If you did want to make (blue) Cadrilkasta a scion of Kazavon, you could tighten things up a bit and say that her mother saved her when she fled her hoard in Razmiran because of the significance of her father's bloodline (something very important to green dragons).

It explains why her mother seemed to deliberately steal the Horns of Kazavon, and if you want to explain why she has the powers of a wyrm you could say that her egg was laid next to the Horn of Kazavon in her mother's hoard and the power of that artifact recognized her lineage and empowered her while she was still developing in the egg.

Maybe :-)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting Subscriber

The nightgaunt entry in the bestiary notes that elder nightgaunts often have levels of magus or oracle, but how is this? A nightgaunt can't speak and so can't cast spells with verbal components.

A workaround would be to take the deaf oracle curse, which would bypass the whole speaking problem. As for a magus... a combination of the Silent Spell feat, metamagic rods, and the silent magic magus arcana?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting Subscriber

As for the two Faceless Spinxes, I noticed that too. Here's a comparison:

Areshkagal
Status: Demon Lord
Holy Symbol: A faceless woman’s head
Areas of Concern: Greed, portals, riddles
Domains: Air, Chaos, Evil, Trickery
Favored Weapon: Sickle

The Faceless Sphinx
Status: Aspect of Nyarlathotep
Holy Symbol: Image of a featureless face
Areas of Concern: Conspiracies, dangerous secrets, forbidden magic
Domains: Air, Chaos, Evil, Knowledge, Magic
Favored Weapon: Punching dagger

It's interesting to note that all aspects of Nyarlathotep grant the Chaos, Evil, Knowledge, and Magic domains. Individual aspects grant a fifth unique domain, which in the Faceless Sphinx's case is Air. Air doesn't exactly seem like the kind of domain Nyarlathotep would hand out, but when you consider that Areshkagal grants it...

The differing favored weapons stand out, but a punching dagger and sickle are mighty similar. Also, another aspect of Nyarlathotep (the Haunter in the Dark) grants the Trickery domain. Ultimately these two are very thematically alike, but just dissimilar enough that no definite conclusions can be drawn.

Grand Lodge Contributor

Shaun Hocking wrote:


Mother Cadrilkasta laid her egg in this lair but was soon forced out of the sea-cliffs by adventurers or the priesthood of Razmir (or whatever) and relocated to the forest in the Kodar Mountains near Wyvernsting in the Hold of Belkzen.

Just pointing out that mummy Cadrilkasta couldn't have been driven out by the priesthood of Razmir since he didn't take power until approximately 50 years prior to when Into The Nightmare Rift is assumed to take place, approximately 600 years after Kazavon's destruction.

Oops! Just tidying up as I go along.

Andoran

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Tales Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Shaun Hocking wrote:
Nyarlathotep is the Faceless Sphinx? How does the demon lord Areshkagal (AKA The Faceless Sphinx) feel about that?
That's pretty intriguing, isn't it!

So Areshkagal is just one of the many Complete Masks of Nyarlathotep?? ;)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.

The fact that there are two faceless sphinxes is perhaps a coincidence...

...or perhaps not...


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

I've been a DM for too long to believe in coincidences anymore...the gods know I can't get my players to believe in them.

Grand Lodge Contributor

Well, Nyarlathotep as a faceless sphinx originates in a story by Robert Bloch from 1936 ('The Faceless God'). But I'm guessing that Paizo came up with Areshkigal's form since I can't find any mention of her real-world analog sharing the appearance, although she is often depicted with wings and talons (the Mesopotamian goddess of the dead, Ereshkigal).

So, er, yeah!

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

I'm looking at a stat block error? for the Blue Dragon.

It says in her tactics that she saves one Level 7 Spell slot for Summon Monster VII. However, her two seventh level spells are Prismatic Spray and Greater Scrying.

Where is she getting this Summon Monster VII from?

the other slots saved and spells mentioned are on her list...

==Aelryinth


Aelryinth wrote:

I'm looking at a stat block error? for the Blue Dragon.

It says in her tactics that she saves one Level 7 Spell slot for Summon Monster VII. However, her two seventh level spells are Prismatic Spray and Greater Scrying.

Where is she getting this Summon Monster VII from?

the other slots saved and spells mentioned are on her list...

==Aelryinth

Chalk it up to "something special" - it's not like what she summons is going to be much more than a speed bump.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

Well, the main reason she has it is for recovery...the incoming lillends have a bucketload of healing they can dump into her. Without them, she'll basically have to UMD a scroll of Heal or something.

==Aelryinth


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I assume the shard point to each other in a circle. You don't have to start at the first one in order to be led to them all.
If Cadrilkasta hadn't been snared by the curse of Sloth, the visions from it would have led her to the Shard of Pride and the PCs, right? Or into Magnimar, if the PCs hadn't gotten involved.

This could be used to add a little urgency to the quest, if the GM wants that. Let the party find out in part I, possibly through a different version of the mission Koriah just came back from, that a dragon has found one shard and may be looking for the next.
Then, through the rest of the game they'll be wondering if this next one will be the one the dragon has or if the dragon has found the shard before theirs and is hunting them.

Sheila can also give them the hint that, if the dragon doesn't know about the ioun stones, the curse may slow it down and give them more time.

Seems to add a nice little twist without having to change the AP noticeably.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

You know, I just realized something odd about a section in this part. You know that room with the mind-swapped Nalfeshnee and Deva? It says that players can figure out that they are swapped by the fact that they both radiate chaos, which is uncommon for angels.

Well, first off, can't angels be any good alignment, not just neutral good? That's apparently their most common alignment, but hardly grounds for definitively saying they're mind swapped.

But second, and most importantly, isn't the damning and most obvious evidence that they both detect as evil? I mean, if the Deva was telling the truth, then he would only detect as good.

Doesn't really matter much, but I thought it was a weird stretch of logic to say that the chaotic alignment (which most people won't even bother detecting) was the best proof available (without high sense motive/lie detection), when finding out that they both detect as evil is much more obvious and definitive.

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