Paizo Top Nav Branding
  • Hello, Guest! |
  • Sign In |
  • My Account |
  • Shopping Cart |
  • Help/FAQ
About Paizo Messageboards News Paizo Blog Help/FAQ
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game
Pathfinder Society

Pathfinder Beginner Box

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game

Pathfinder Comics

Pathfinder Legends

PaizoCon 2014!

Dealing With Haunts


Pathfinder Society® General Discussion

1 to 50 of 52 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
*

So I play a sorceror in pathfinder society, with a pretty regular group of my friends. I've taken it as my job in the party to be the person who has answers to the random tricky situations we come up against. I have burning hands to deal with swarms, scrolls of gust of wind for obscuring mist, and scrolls of darkvision for dealing with darkness.

What I'm not sure how to deal with are haunts. Our group doesn't have a positive energy channeling cleric, so I'm not sure what a good answer to haunts would be.

Would disrupt undead work on haunts? Holy water? Are haunt siphons worth the cost?

Any help would be appriciated. Also, if anyone can think of tricky situations I haven't thought of, let me know.

Silver Crusade

JOHN DICKERSON wrote:

So I play a sorceror in pathfinder society, with a pretty regular group of my friends. I've taken it as my job in the party to be the person who has answers to the random tricky situations we come up against. I have burning hands to deal with swarms, scrolls of gust of wind for obscuring mist, and scrolls of darkvision for dealing with darkness.

What I'm not sure how to deal with are haunts. Our group doesn't have a positive energy channeling cleric, so I'm not sure what a good answer to haunts would be.

Would disrupt undead work on haunts? Holy water? Are haunt siphons worth the cost?

Any help would be appriciated. Also, if anyone can think of tricky situations I haven't thought of, let me know.

In my experience with haunts playing through Carrion Crown, the most effective tactic seems to be to simply leave the area. Most are confined to a certain area and have a long reset time. In order to defeat a haunt (without using its specific weakness) you have to first beat initiative 10, and then deal enough positive energy damage in one turn to kill it. Haunt siphons generally only work if multiple people use them, and channeling can do it, but both methods are pretty dependent on good rolls. If you beat it on initiative, just double move out, or teleport. A shame you can't just contingency a d.door to move the party out when the haunt activates.

*

I have this feeling that there is going to be a haunt in a PFS module where the "running away" tactic means that we won't be able to complete the adventure, though I don't fault you logic in the slightest. I'm mostly looking for a way to deal with a haunt after it has activated, because it can be pretty hard to know that it's a haunt right off the bat, before it's done anything.

I'm going to wait until my character levels up and takes ranks in knowledge religion before acquiring a haunt contingency plan, but I'm running low on ideas.

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Aside: You might want to re-think those scrolls of darkvision...

Shadow Lodge ****

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

There was a thread recently about dealing with Haunts Here in case that helps.

Haunt Siphons are a good start, as is channeling.

*

Jiggy wrote:
Aside: You might want to re-think those scrolls of darkvision...

Heh, my friends joke about the usefulness of a scroll of light in another game we play.

But scrolls of Darkvision last for 3 hours, and most darkness inducing spells have an area that I can walk out of, cast the scroll on our melee beast, and then smile as he marches in and slaughters the jerk hiding in the darkness. It's also a good combo for when our tiefling uses his own darkness ability.

Silver Crusade

JOHN DICKERSON wrote:

I have this feeling that there is going to be a haunt in a PFS module where the "running away" tactic means that we won't be able to complete the adventure, though I don't fault you logic in the slightest. I'm mostly looking for a way to deal with a haunt after it has activated, because it can be pretty hard to know that it's a haunt right off the bat, before it's done anything.

I'm going to wait until my character levels up and takes ranks in knowledge religion before acquiring a haunt contingency plan, but I'm running low on ideas.

When I say run away, what I mean is you leave the area, let the haunt do its thing, wait for it to be done, then move through the area. Almost all haunts have some downtime where they can't be triggered again.

By "I have this feeling" you may mean "I have heard", in which case you may be aware that running away isn't a viable tactic for this particular haunt. In that case, and lacking a positive channeler, all I can say is that you'll probably just have to eat it in the face. Most haunts aren't lethal, and are just a pain in the butt. There aren't many ways to defeat haunts, and the ways that do exist are unreliable to say the least.

Qadira ***

Haunt Siphons, Disrupt Undead, Holy Water, Channeling... but just check out some of the other threads, most have good tactics.

Qadira *** Venture-Captain, Texas—Dallas & Ft. Worth aka Thorkull

JOHN DICKERSON wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
Aside: You might want to re-think those scrolls of darkvision...

Heh, my friends joke about the usefulness of a scroll of light in another game we play.

But scrolls of Darkvision last for 3 hours, and most darkness inducing spells have an area that I can walk out of, cast the scroll on our melee beast, and then smile as he marches in and slaughters the jerk hiding in the darkness. It's also a good combo for when our tiefling uses his own darkness ability.

Dark vision doesn't work in areas where the light level has dropped to "magical darkness."

Silver Crusade

Jonathan Cary wrote:
JOHN DICKERSON wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
Aside: You might want to re-think those scrolls of darkvision...

Heh, my friends joke about the usefulness of a scroll of light in another game we play.

But scrolls of Darkvision last for 3 hours, and most darkness inducing spells have an area that I can walk out of, cast the scroll on our melee beast, and then smile as he marches in and slaughters the jerk hiding in the darkness. It's also a good combo for when our tiefling uses his own darkness ability.

Dark vision doesn't work in areas where the light level has dropped to "magical darkness."

Only deeper darkness does that, and normal light (like that from a torch) only drops to regular darkness. It's perfectly fine so long as your intent is to fight without 50% miss chance, not go scouting in deeper darkness.

*

Yeah, Deeper Darkness is still a problem. Been considering grabbing a scroll or two of Daylight to counter it. I need to check if that's on the sorceror/wizard spell list, and if not what the UMD DC would be to use it.

***** Venture-Lieutenant, Georgia—Atlanta aka CRobledo

Also, there needs to be sufficient light to READ the scroll :D

Silver Crusade

If you're that concerned about darkness, get a continual flame spell hightened to 4th level cast on something (like a torch or a burnt out ioun stone). Auto dispells any darkness spell of 3rd level and lower, which is just about any darkness spell that isn't hightened. Or just get highten spell and cast hightened light spells.

*

Per the rules of pathfinder society, I would need to be higher level, know continual flame, and have heighten spell to do that, since you can't hire NPC casters to cast spells or make scroll with meta magic effects applied to spells.

Also, the continual flame would only supress darkness effects within the radius that torchlight would shine on.

I can get a scroll with 2 castings of Daylight on it for 2PP. A much more immediate solution to the problem. And it would probably throw penalties on most creatures that would use the deeper darkness trick.

Qadira ***

Riuken wrote:
If you're that concerned about darkness, get a continual flame spell hightened to 4th level cast on something (like a torch or a burnt out ioun stone). Auto dispells any darkness spell of 3rd level and lower, which is just about any darkness spell that isn't hightened. Or just get highten spell and cast hightened light spells.

I do not think it "dispels" any darkness spells unless cast to dispel. There has been a lot of discussion on this, and different judges rule it different ways. YMMV. Discussion on Light vs. Darkness is best done on it's own thread on the rules board (IMHO).

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

JOHN DICKERSON wrote:
I can get a scroll with 2 castings of Daylight on it for 2PP. A much more immediate solution to the problem. And it would probably throw penalties on most creatures that would use the deeper darkness trick.

Not quite - in the areas where daylight and deeper darkness overlap, both are negated, so no bright light to throw those penalties around.

Silver Crusade

Jiggy wrote:
JOHN DICKERSON wrote:
I can get a scroll with 2 castings of Daylight on it for 2PP. A much more immediate solution to the problem. And it would probably throw penalties on most creatures that would use the deeper darkness trick.
Not quite - in the areas where daylight and deeper darkness overlap, both are negated, so no bright light to throw those penalties around.

Equal levels negate, a higher level dispells. You need a 4th level light descriptor spell to dispel deeper darkness. As per society rules, you won't be able to do this for awhile. You will have to deal with darkness spells in the same way low level characters have to deal with diseases, which is to suck it up and trudge on.

As stated, how do you intend to read these scrolls in magical darkness? Learning highten spell (not a bad option for a sorcerer anyway) combined with the light cantrip is the most reliable way.

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Riuken, you need to re-read daylight and the darkness spells.

Andoran

Haunts need to have something done before they can rest in peace. If you can find out what this is, the haunt will pass on. Perhaps, for example, the haunt's physical body needs proper burial.

Qadira ***

Martin Kauffman 530 wrote:
Haunts need to have something done before they can rest in peace. If you can find out what this is, the haunt will pass on. Perhaps, for example, the haunt's physical body needs proper burial.

yeah, but this is hard in PFS - and not the way they are being presented.

Check this
link

Jiggy said it better than I can when he said "...it's not that haunts don't have solutions, it's that the solutions that haunts are supposed to have (forewarning, local legends, etc) are being left out of the encounters in PFS. As a result, players are either just sucking it up and accepting "random lightning strikes" or else scrambling for any kind of counter they can possibly come up with, no matter how much specialization it takes."

Silver Crusade **

Jiggy wrote:
Aside: You might want to re-think those scrolls of darkvision...

Agreed...

Silver Crusade

Jiggy wrote:
Riuken, you need to re-read daylight and the darkness spells.

"Daylight brought into an area of magical darkness (or vice versa) is temporarily negated, so that the otherwise prevailing light conditions exist in the overlapping areas of effect.

Daylight counters or dispels any darkness spell of equal or lower level, such as darkness."

These two things seem to contradict, so I've always interpreted the second part to mean that one can cast daylight as a couterspell against equal and lower level darkness spells. The light/darkness interaction seemed to be: lower level was cancelled, equal levels negated, and a higher level dispelled. If you have a link to anything official (or as close as possible) clarifying the interaction rules I'd appreciate it.

Sorry to derail the thread. I'm hoping Jiggy will have a link that ends this.

I still maintain that there is no reliable way to deal with haunts for which you don't know the specific weakness. Leave the area, wait for it to expire, and hope it doesn't reset quickly is all I can recommend.

Qadira ***

Riuken wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
Riuken, you need to re-read daylight and the darkness spells.

"Daylight brought into an area of magical darkness (or vice versa) is temporarily negated, so that the otherwise prevailing light conditions exist in the overlapping areas of effect.

Daylight counters or dispels any darkness spell of equal or lower level, such as darkness."

These two things seem to contradict, so I've always interpreted the second part to mean that one can cast daylight as a couterspell against equal and lower level darkness spells. The light/darkness interaction seemed to be: lower level was cancelled, equal levels negated, and a higher level dispelled. If you have a link to anything official (or as close as possible) clarifying the interaction rules I'd appreciate it.

Sorry to derail the thread. I'm hoping Jiggy will have a link that ends this.

I still maintain that there is no reliable way to deal with haunts for which you don't know the specific weakness. Leave the area, wait for it to expire, and hope it doesn't reset quickly is all I can recommend.

some things you might not have considered.

To counter a spell, you need to cast the counter as the first spell is being cast. So, if the darkness is already existing, you can't counter it with daylight.
To dispel, you have to have the range to do so. Both spells (daylight and darkness) are range Touch...
so I guess you could counter the Darkness with a daylight - as long as you can touch the same target, in the same round...
You could dispel the darkness, if you cast the daylight (range touch) on the same target that had darkness cast on it.

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Hopefully ending the derail:
Riuken wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
Riuken, you need to re-read daylight and the darkness spells.

"Daylight brought into an area of magical darkness (or vice versa) is temporarily negated, so that the otherwise prevailing light conditions exist in the overlapping areas of effect.

Daylight counters or dispels any darkness spell of equal or lower level, such as darkness."

These two things seem to contradict, so I've always interpreted the second part to mean that one can cast daylight as a couterspell against equal and lower level darkness spells. The light/darkness interaction seemed to be: lower level was cancelled, equal levels negated, and a higher level dispelled. If you have a link to anything official (or as close as possible) clarifying the interaction rules I'd appreciate it.

I think what you might be missing is the meanings of "counter" and "dispel". The rules you quoted don't contradict as you fear, because they're not talking about the same thing.

The part about the spells temporarily negating each other requires (since it talks about overlapping areas) that both spells are already active. So both spells have already been cast, have resolved, and then their areas overlap. That's Situation 1.

As you suspected, daylight can be used as a counterspell against darkness spells (just like haste can be used as a counterspell against slow, or how any spell can counterspell someone's casting of that same spell, etc). So if neither spell is active yet, you can ready one to counter the other. That's Situation 2.

Dispelling is something else still. To dispel something, first the thing to be dispelled must already be active. Then you cast the other spell on the same target(s), which instead of producing the second spell's normal effects, simply ends ("dispels") the first spell's effects. So if there's already a darkness spell active, someone could touch the same target with daylight and dispel the darkness effect, but you wouldn't also get the daylight effect. That's Situation 3.

So to sum up:
If both spells are already active, their overlapping areas are mutually negated.
If one is active, the other can be used to dispel it, but without producing its own effect.
If neither has been cast, one can be readied to counterspell the other, resulting in neither taking effect.

All clear now?

*

Honestly, clerics don't really help with haunts. First of all, clerics aren't known for their abilities in perception and initiative. Even if they are able to channel first, the damage is too small compared to the haunts hp. By the time you can do significant damage, the haunt has already done it's damage, and the most deadly haunt effects are instant. If you had 2-3 PCs (with positive energy) perceive and beat the haunt in initiative, maybe you could destroy it first? I've seen maybe 8 haunts and it hasn't happened yet. It's probably more likely at low level compared to high level (because you can use wands of CLW and be effective).

Also, haunts are unique, so the counter to the haunt effect is also unique. I've seen effects by haunts countered by wizards 3 times (arcane bond ftw). Other haunt effects you just soak up and (hopefully) get cured.

Not sure sorcerers are the best for dealing with haunts, but you can save the party in general if you have a good batch of scrolls available.

Andoran *****

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

I find it odd the people keep saying How hard it is to figure out how to permanently get rid of a Haunt.

As a GM it is easy to work within the rules of the Haunt to bring out the story of the haunt to give enough clues for players to figure it out. Most of the games I have GMed the players figured it out.

That said, most of the games I have played the group did not figure it out, and I could not help at all since I almost always GMed it first.

Edit: Some are easier to bring out the story then others.

Silver Crusade

Jiggy wrote:
** spoiler omitted **...

keeping it contained:
Does that mean that if the normal conditions were dim light, then deeper darkness hightened to 9th were cast, someone with a light spell could walk into the deeper darkness and create a bubble of dim light? It seems counter-intuitive to have a cantrip able to negate a 9th level spell.
Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Riuken wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
** spoiler omitted **...
** spoiler omitted **

Nothing to see here (see what I did there?):

The light spell doesn't say anything about "negated in the overlapping areas". That's unique to daylight - though you are correct that the level of the darkness effect doesn't matter for that interaction. If your cleric casts daylight on her left earring and a 9th-level heightened deeper darkness on her right earring, she will fail to alter the light level in the room in either direction.

Now, this effect is not to be confused with this other line from darkness:

Darkness wrote:
Magical light sources only increase the light level in an area if they are of a higher spell level than darkness.

So if I have, say, a 5th-level heightened light spell active, and I walk into a room that's affected by 2nd-level darkness, my light will successfully increase the light level like it normally would (though darkness is simultaneously dropping it by one step - so in this case, light is shedding normal light in 20ft, but darkness is dropping it to dim light). But an unmodified light spell would fail to increase the light level at all within the darkness.

If a darkness effect is heightened to 9th level, then nothing will satisfy that clause of increasing the light level if the light effect is higher level. However, any 9th-level light effect could successfully dispel that heightened darkness effect (or counter it if you see it coming), and an active daylight spell of any level at all (even an aasimar's SLA at 1st level) brought within the area of the 9th-level darkness effect will "neutralize" within the overlap.

Follow all that? ;)

Silver Crusade

Jiggy wrote:
Riuken wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
** spoiler omitted **...
** spoiler omitted **
** spoiler omitted **

move along:
It makes alot more sense now (rules wise), thank you. I still think it's silly that a 1st level aasimar can negate a 9th level darkness spell, so I will probably continue to houserule as I first interpreted it. It also seems a bit more intuitive to just say "Higher level dispels lower level when their areas overlap, and temporarily negate when the same level." Obviously we're in the PFS boards so knowing the official rules is very important. Thank you again.
Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Riuken wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
Riuken wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
** spoiler omitted **...
** spoiler omitted **
** spoiler omitted **
** spoiler omitted **

Spoiler:
When you say you're going to houserule, I sure hope you mean in your non-PFS-sanctioned home game. :/
Silver Crusade

Jiggy wrote:
Riuken wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
Riuken wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
** spoiler omitted **...
** spoiler omitted **
** spoiler omitted **
** spoiler omitted **
** spoiler omitted **

Spoiler:
Of course. The rules used for PFS are immutable (or so I'd like to think). That whole "same experience at any table with any GM" would be ruined otherwise.
*

Okay, so Daylight radius meets Deeper Darkness raduis == both effects in the radius temporarily negated. That serves my purpose just fine. I think common sense

For those of you continuing to rag on the fact that I can't read a scroll in the dark, notice my earlier answer to this gag. It turns out that it's not difficult to move out of the area of effect of spells like darkness and deeper darkness, read a scroll targeting your buddy with a giant sword, and then enjoy the slaughter that follows.

Haunt wise - I've never encountered a haunt in PFS, but I've seen haunts in other Pathfinder products. One that comes to mind keeps shooting out a Scorching Ray every round as long as it has targets to shoot, once it's active. It's that kind of haunt that I want to have some answer to, since I'm pretty sure that our rogue can't pick the lock to the door next to the haunt at the same time he's being burned to death.

It seems to be the consensis here that there really aren't any good answers to haunts that I didn't list off in my first post. Or am I missing something.

Can anyone think of any other contingencies that I should have a plan for. I'm grabbing Glitter Dust next level to deal with Invisibility. Magic Missile will deal with incorpeality, and I'm not sure there are great options to deal with Golems (Acid Arrow?).

Silver Crusade ***

JOHN DICKERSON wrote:

Per the rules of pathfinder society, I would need to be higher level, know continual flame, and have heighten spell to do that, since you can't hire NPC casters to cast spells or make scroll with meta magic effects applied to spells.

Also, the continual flame would only supress darkness effects within the radius that torchlight would shine on.

I can get a scroll with 2 castings of Daylight on it for 2PP. A much more immediate solution to the problem. And it would probably throw penalties on most creatures that would use the deeper darkness trick.

Where do the rules state that you can't pay for NPCs to cast metamagicked spells? The only reference to NPC's spell casting in the campaign guide says to go by the rules in the Core book, which in turn simply gives a formula of (spell level X caster level) X 10 GP plus expensive material component costs and/or 1/10th of any expensive focus.

Andoran ***

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Modules Subscriber

John, one of the options to deal with Golems is Grease, since they have such low Dexterities and Reflex saves. Doesn't bump the damage directlyr, but it does give them a penalty to hit, and your allies a bonus to hit.

Adamantine weapons are about the only way to deal with hardness, other than just massive damage output. Clustered Shots for archers. Hammer the Gap to increase damage output during a round.

Maybe a combo, with someone with a wide range critical weapon (18-20, 15-20 after Keen or Improved Critical), with the Butterfly's Sting feat (from Faiths of Purity, I think); and an ally with a high multipler crit melee weapon (x3/x4) (possibly a Magus with the Arcana that lets them bump up the multipler even more), just to do overwhelming damage; but that wouldn't be the domain of the Sorcerer in the party.

Shadow Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Washington—Eastern Washington aka WalterGM

kinevon wrote:


Maybe a combo, with someone with a wide range critical weapon (18-20, 15-20 after Keen or Improved Critical), with the Butterfly's Sting feat (from Faiths of Purity, I think); and an ally with a high multipler crit melee weapon (x3/x4) (possibly a Magus with the Arcana that lets them bump up the multipler even more), just to do overwhelming damage; but that wouldn't be the domain of the Sorcerer in the party.

I am the crit-passer of such a combo team -- it has pretty devastating results.

Andoran ***

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Modules Subscriber
Walter Sheppard wrote:
kinevon wrote:


Maybe a combo, with someone with a wide range critical weapon (18-20, 15-20 after Keen or Improved Critical), with the Butterfly's Sting feat (from Faiths of Purity, I think); and an ally with a high multipler crit melee weapon (x3/x4) (possibly a Magus with the Arcana that lets them bump up the multipler even more), just to do overwhelming damage; but that wouldn't be the domain of the Sorcerer in the party.
I am the crit-passer of such a combo team -- it has pretty devastating results.

Haven't seen it in play, yet, but I know how devastating even the rare crit from a longbow or musket can be. Just thinking of how ugly an x4 crit from a two-handed weapon wielded with Power Attack on is just scary.

30% crit threat range, x4 damage. Ouch, just ... ouch.

You know, if the passed on crit activates crit effects, it makes those +2 bonus cost enhancements worth a serious look. Mmmmmm. Bursty goodness, although that might be moving into overkill range...

*

Sober Caydenite wrote:
JOHN DICKERSON wrote:

Per the rules of pathfinder society, I would need to be higher level, know continual flame, and have heighten spell to do that, since you can't hire NPC casters to cast spells or make scroll with meta magic effects applied to spells.

Also, the continual flame would only supress darkness effects within the radius that torchlight would shine on.

I can get a scroll with 2 castings of Daylight on it for 2PP. A much more immediate solution to the problem. And it would probably throw penalties on most creatures that would use the deeper darkness trick.

Where do the rules state that you can't pay for NPCs to cast metamagicked spells? The only reference to NPC's spell casting in the campaign guide says to go by the rules in the Core book, which in turn simply gives a formula of (spell level X caster level) X 10 GP plus expensive material component costs and/or 1/10th of any expensive focus.

Check the FAQ. It explicitly says you can't buy meta magic spellcasting services.

Silver Crusade

JOHN DICKERSON wrote:
Haunt wise - I've never encountered a haunt in PFS, but I've seen haunts in other Pathfinder products. One that comes to mind keeps shooting out a Scorching Ray every round as long as it has targets to shoot, once it's active. It's that kind of haunt that I want to have some answer to, since I'm pretty sure that our rogue can't pick the lock to the door next to the haunt at the same time he's being burned to death.

I assume you're referring to

Haunting of Harrowstone spoiler:
As you can see in its description, it stops attacking once you leave the room, and doesn't reset for a day. The party leaves the room, it shuts down, and you move on through. This is actually the exact haunt I was thinking of with the "leave the room, wait, then go back" strategy.
Grand Lodge *****

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Tales Subscriber

Here is one way how to deal with haunts

A) The moment you spot some signs - retreat
B) Go back and investigate anything that could be related to the effects you have seen to figure out how it can be laid to rest

Jiggy was correct that you seldom can do anything ahead of time in PFS as you lack the additional information. But the GM knows the background of the haunt. So once you triggered it it is much easier for him play ball with you and enable you to figure it out.

But this initiative has to come from the players. Too often I notice haunts being triggered, the damage sucked up, not a single question asked.

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Thod wrote:
But this initiative has to come from the players. Too often I notice haunts being triggered, the damage sucked up, not a single question asked.

In my (admittedly limited) experience, there's not a single question TO ask in-character. Last haunt I ran into, we're literally walking to our destination when suddenly we all make perception checks, then initiative rolls, then will saves. Then some of us are suddenly at 1 HP.

So in-character, we're walking along, then "OH IT HURTS" and then... nothing.

What would you have asked, as a player, that would be in-character?

Silver Crusade

Jiggy wrote:
Thod wrote:
But this initiative has to come from the players. Too often I notice haunts being triggered, the damage sucked up, not a single question asked.

In my (admittedly limited) experience, there's not a single question TO ask in-character. Last haunt I ran into, we're literally walking to our destination when suddenly we all make perception checks, then initiative rolls, then will saves. Then some of us are suddenly at 1 HP.

So in-character, we're walking along, then "OH IT HURTS" and then... nothing.

What would you have asked, as a player, that would be in-character?

Sounds like the GM cheated you on a description, IMO. If you made your perception, you should have gotten a description. If you didn't make your perception, you wouldn't be allowed to roll initiative as you wouldn't be allowed to act in the surprise round. Even if you fail your perception at the beginning of the haunt, you should have some description of HOW it hurts (minimally). Is it cold? Do you feel weak? Have cuts suddenly appeared all over your body?

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Riuken wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
Thod wrote:
But this initiative has to come from the players. Too often I notice haunts being triggered, the damage sucked up, not a single question asked.

In my (admittedly limited) experience, there's not a single question TO ask in-character. Last haunt I ran into, we're literally walking to our destination when suddenly we all make perception checks, then initiative rolls, then will saves. Then some of us are suddenly at 1 HP.

So in-character, we're walking along, then "OH IT HURTS" and then... nothing.

What would you have asked, as a player, that would be in-character?

Sounds like the GM cheated you on a description, IMO. If you made your perception, you should have gotten a description. If you didn't make your perception, you wouldn't be allowed to roll initiative as you wouldn't be allowed to act in the surprise round. Even if you fail your perception at the beginning of the haunt, you should have some description of HOW it hurts (minimally). Is it cold? Do you feel weak? Have cuts suddenly appeared all over your body?

I can't remember whether anyone made their perception checks or not (though there would have to be initiative because my PC always gets to act in the surprise round regardless).

In any case, the description doesn't make a lot of difference when it comes about two seconds before getting harm'd and then everything's dandy afterwards. Beforehand, you just get that something creepy's going on, and then WHAM! You get nailed without any chance to investigate - which means that unless the description made it totally clear that there's a haunt, your PC (if you're acting in character) just continues on their merry way with no more than a mental "huh, that's kinda weird", or maybe even suspecting an ambush from an enemy spellcaster.

Then afterwards, even if you figure out it's a haunt, would you really continue to interact with it? Or would you say "alright, let's patch up, finish the mission, and GTFO of this creepy place"? Keeping in mind, of course, that you're on the clock before the next slot starts or the game store closes, you're going to just leave.

What this all adds up to is that before you trigger a haunt, you don't "experience" it due to not getting any hint it exists until it's too late, and afterwards you still don't "experience" the haunt because you don't have time to go dig up local lore on a threat that's already passed.

So unless you either (a) have the time and inclination to do some extra interaction that's not really relevant to the scenario, or (b) the GM gives you extra advance warning that technically they're not supposed to, you end up with haunts being a random trap effect that may or may not get a spooky description when they blow.

Grand Lodge ****

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
JOHN DICKERSON wrote:
Yeah, Deeper Darkness is still a problem. Been considering grabbing a scroll or two of Daylight to counter it. I need to check if that's on the sorceror/wizard spell list, and if not what the UMD DC would be to use it.

A Daylight spell would be great in scroll form. One thing to consider as one of my groups found out last week. It is an expensive spell on a scroll. They had 3 on one scroll and used them all. Deeper Darkness was an at will power. It did let the party get through the encounter for the most part Darkness free though. But each round the Deeper darkness can go off once again.

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Fun fact: Haunts always manifest in a surprise round at initiative 10. My Eldritch Knight gets to act in every surprise round and has +12 initiative. He will therefore ALWAYS get to act before a haunt manifests. No questions asked.

I'll be sure to let everyone know if that ever makes a difference with any haunt at all. Ever. :/

Grand Lodge *****

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Tales Subscriber

As GM I take great care to describe in detail the effects of a haunt and the description always includes a few hints.

You might miss you perception before being hit. You might get insufficient information even if you make the perception check. But being hit gives you the same information as in the Suprise round - albeit too late to avoid/counter plus additional information that I find suitable.

You aren't just hit by cold - it comes sweeping from the floor and engulfes you - starting at your toes until it reaches all way up.

If you then fail to investigate the floor or more hints - well - not much else I can do. I don't give it away for free how to destroy them - but you always should get at my table at least enough information to ask a/some questions to get it started.

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Thod, that sounds fantastic, as long as there's time to interact with the haunt and it feels worthwhile afterwards.

I guess in my mind, the whole point of the haunt is for characters to interact with it, learn about it, and then put it to rest. In some tropes this happens before the haunt does anything bad - the lights flicker, weird noises start, and the protagonist(s) (who, by the way, already know/suspect the area is haunted before they get there) frantically try to reason with the restless spirit before getting killed. In other tropes, the heroes learn about it firsthand (they "get hit" by it), then do some research/investigation on how to go back later and put it to rest.

In either case, you have two key points: time is spent investigating how to "solve" the haunt, and doing so accomplishes something.

PFS fails at both of those: there is rarely any time to figure things out (apparently not the case at Thod's tables, somehow), and there's no sense of accomplishment for having resolved a haunt (the day is not saved, the peasants do not rejoice, etc).

TLDR:
Haunts are supposed to be key plot points, but instead they're being used as mundane hazards with extra descriptive details.

Grand Lodge *****

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Tales Subscriber

Jiggy

Indeed - time is an issue. I have many games a my own place. Running late means less sleep - but we have no cut-off. And running PBP also allows to carry on when I would just have stopped at the table at a CON.
But even at a CON - there has to be half a minute time for a flavourful description that goes beyond rolling dice - 5d6 cold damage, DC 16 fortitude to half.

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Thod wrote:

Jiggy

Indeed - time is an issue. I have many games a my own place. Running late means less sleep - but we have no cut-off. And running PBP also allows to carry on when I would just have stopped at the table at a CON.

Yeah, but that's a whole different ball of wax, you lucky skunk! ;)

Quote:
But even at a CON - there has to be half a minute time for a flavourful description that goes beyond rolling dice - 5d6 cold damage, DC 16 fortitude to half.

Hence my summary saying:

I wrote:
...they're being used as mundane hazards with extra descriptive details.

The extra flavor is nice and all, but a creepier-than-normal trap is still just a creepier-than-normal trap, and that's what PFS games (that aren't at home/PbP) have reduced haunts to.

Andoran ***

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Modules Subscriber

Jiggy, I think I know which Haunt you mean, and it is very uninformative.

YODT, 10-11:
You Only Die Twice, sub-tier 10-11
Description: A twisted, forking path of dry land winds through the swamp here. A low, solitary hill rises from the horizon to the south, an ominous stone cairn marring its smooth crest with a ghastly crown. The area is covered in an unnatural pall, and even natural sounds seem dulled.

Notice Perception DC 26 to notice the sound of religious chanting and frantic, sloshing footsteps running through the swamp


Not much, is it?
Really?:
Destruction The haunt must be cleansed by 2 vials of holy water and blessed by a cleric able to channel positive energy; the cleric must also apologize for Joktan’s ignoble death.

How do you get there from here?

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Yes, that one. I honestly can't remember whether we all failed our perception checks or if we just didn't realize that the chanting meant something. It's like authors think there should be one more encounter, don't have room/time for a combat, and would have used a trap but used a haunt because it's the "new shiny" and then threw together a token description just because it's a requirement for a haunt.

Not saying that's how it actually goes down, but it's sure how it feels as a player. I would love it if authors would avoid using haunts at all unless they are in themselves a major plot point.

1 to 50 of 52 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
Paizo / Messageboards / Paizo Publishing / Pathfinder® / Pathfinder Society® / General Discussion / Dealing With Haunts All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.

©2002–2014 Paizo Inc.®. Need help? Email customer.service@paizo.com or call 425-250-0800 during our business hours: Monday–Friday, 10 AM–5 PM Pacific Time. View our privacy policy. Paizo Inc., Paizo, the Paizo golem logo, Pathfinder, the Pathfinder logo, Pathfinder Society, GameMastery, and Planet Stories are registered trademarks of Paizo Inc., and Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, Pathfinder Player Companion, Pathfinder Modules, Pathfinder Tales, Pathfinder Battles, Pathfinder Online, PaizoCon, RPG Superstar, The Golem's Got It, Titanic Games, the Titanic logo, and the Planet Stories planet logo are trademarks of Paizo Inc. Dungeons & Dragons, Dragon, Dungeon, and Polyhedron are registered trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., and have been used by Paizo Inc. under license. Most product names are trademarks owned or used under license by the companies that publish those products; use of such names without mention of trademark status should not be construed as a challenge to such status.