|Katie Sommer Venture-Lieutenant, California—San Diego|
|James McTeague Venture-Lieutenant, Pennsylvania—Philadelphia aka Iammars|
|Myron Pauls Venture-Lieutenant, Canada—Winnipeg aka NoStrings|
Paizo / Messageboards / Paizo Publishing / Pathfinder® / Pathfinder Society® / Pathfinder Society GM Discussion
I cheated and used HeroLab for the templates. I couldn't figure out whether you can add whole templates but I just manually add them using the adjustments tab. It was very useful for the second combat with all the advanced monsters and to add the giant template to the third combat. I pretty much use it for all my stuff these days that isn't a core monster in the bestiary... and it's getting a lot of use with the new season!
I've been prepping this scenario, and I've been applying the templates by hand since I reformat all the stat blocks anyway if I have time. (I can't stand stat blocks split up between two different columns, and I like linking in the stat block to rules I don't know - like what all the ghost's abilities are.) If you like, I can send you my prep work.
When I glanced through this yesterday for the first time I spotted an error in the first fight.
Problem with tactics:
In both sub-tiers the sorcerer Narris has a lesser selective metamagic rod, but he doesn't know any spells that he can use it with! The tactics say entangle, but Selective Spell can only be used on area of effect spells with a duration of instantaneous. His AOE spells at 5-6 are glitterdust, entangle, and grease, none of which meet the duration requirement. The same goes for deep slumber and create pit at 8-9. His only spell at 8-9 that could work with the feat, detonate, is 4th level and therefore too high to work with a lesser metamagic rod!
Sigh There go the reviews I suppose.
Okay! No time to worry about that, let's talk about this and get a fix in place ASAP.
Addressing tactics problem brought up by Daniel Simons:
Coming clean, the lesser selective metamagic rod was a mistake on my part because I didn't read the fine print. Make of that confession what you will, I don't see the point in trying to pretend otherwise. I'd rather fix the problem than worry about that.
I don't have the authority to tell the community to change the scenario, only Mike and Mark have that. That being said, I can propose a change and strongly suggest that it be implemented in place of the existing equipment and tactics.
The sorcerer has a lot of AOE spell effects specifically to capitalize upon the (now inappropriate) lesser selective metamagic rod. The LEAST intrusive and complicated fix might to swap the rod out for a lesser focused metamagic rod.
My reasoning for this swap are:
I do recommend that a change be made, simply because that rod represents too much value in gear to just not use it at all and therefore nerf the encounter.
I apologize to the community for this error, and I hope this proposed solution is acceptable.
@ Jeff Mahood:
My two cents as author-
No, he can't dismiss them. The fire elementals are actually allies in this case (like planar allies), and not summoned creatures. They back off when Greenheart tells them to back off.
There is a backstory reason for this, but I'd like to forego an in-depth explanation if possible. My original turnover was fairly complicated and some development changes were made to streamline it, and I want to support those changes. That being said, he's an oracle of fire who belonged to the Shoanti sun clan. The fire elementals are appropriate planar allies.
For what it's worth, the situation at the Green Market was always intended to be rather special and unique. In brainstorming we came up with a couple different ideas for why this situation existed. Yet, any time you have an atypical situation, you also want it to conform to continuity and your cosmology as much as possible. If it helps, just remember the Green Market is not your typical haunting.
You know what I've gotten from this thread? Two things:
1) Jim Groves is cool
1) Jim Groves is cool
Thanks Jigyy! I try.
Slight change of subject: It's not your imagination. I think (we the authors) are using more templates that are not printed out in full stat-block format. That is adding to prep time I'm sure.
We're also desperately trying to increase the variety of creatures we use. We're working hard to avoid single enemy encounters where you overwhelm the encounter through economy of action. We're juggling to fit creatures in new CR values around the new six player assumption. Finally, we're trying to bring the whole thing in at 12,000 words—or risk frustrating poor Mark. I'm sure I'm on the naughty list this month in terms of that last one!
I know one of the appeals of PFS is that much of the work is done for the GM. I just ask that you bear with us. We're trying to improve the quality of the scenarios and have them come across less homogeneous and formulaic—these templates have been something of a concession towards achieving that goal.
That particular metamagic rod seems like it's totally appropriate, just need a green light from Mike or Mark... No worries about the minor error, there are so many feats that it's easy to get them confused. If I only had a nickel for every mistake I made while GMing, I could GM full time and probably make a living at it!
I'm with Jiggy on both counts! Need more pits to turn the tables... Jim, I'm a big fan of your scenarios, even if we did have a civilized discussion over some minor disagreements on haunt mechanics in the past. Your stories are interesting and compelling, which is what keeps the players coming back! As a GM I enjoy running scenarios in which the characters can actually uncover the cool backstory over the course of the scenario, something that so many other scenarios lack.
Oh, and thanks for being so accessible and open on the boards! Giving a peek behind the curtain helps us GMs immensely.
Hey Jim, Thanks! My initial reason for asking is to make sure we use the same stats (instead of people running it cold having to convert on the fly and people who do the extra prep using the full template). I've seen a bunch of times where its come up either for someone running cold, or that they thought they would be running the low tier, and end up running the high tier, so need to use the simple conversions... most of the time they have at least internet connection on their phones, so are able to check the boards for stats.
Here are the templated creatures in PDF format! The statblocks were prepared by me using the in house statblock generator, and formatted in traditional Paizo style. So I am posting them in good faith that they're accurate, but if you find a goof, blame me and not Mark.
Please enjoy, I hope it lessens your workload!
NOTE: Since the tactics never appeared in the scenario, don't feel bound by them in the slightest
Thanks Jim. It highlighted that the online tool I used didn't do the templates quite right, so I now have the right ones.
I am also liking the trend towards more intelligent (PC like?) builds of things. I have for example seen a few control build casters recently, which as I also play one, gives me a warm fuzzy feeling as a GM ;-)
Has anyone run the lower subtier yet? How do the two
Spoiler:attacks per round work out in the crowded market? It looks messy.
I had some reservations while reading this... but I ran this tonight and have to admit: Jim Groves scores again!
Jussi Leinonen wrote:
That's some good stuff Jussi!
Yeah, I deliberately stopped thwarting players from helping each other do their faction missions. It seems to add to the fun.
I'm prepping this for tomorrow night, and that's a really good question. I'm tempted to just have it described - I can't imagine that
Spoiler:commoners would do anything other than provide flavour. Maybe cover from ranged attacks, I guess.
I ran this on Monday, and am scheduled to run it again tomorrow. I have to say that I love this scenario!
One thing I did for a bit of flavour is
I described the magical fruit (I know, lots of jokes there) as somewhat appropriate to what effect they had.
Okay! Let's talk about the Ethereal Plane and what's going on here:
The Ethereal Plane, and any other plane for that matter, is a tricky thing because despite The Great Beyond and The GameMastery Guide the mechanics of operating on other planes have not been fully fleshed out. That's my opinion, by the way, but I think its fair one. You'll understand why in a moment, after I answer the question.
As a side note: as a fan I used to call for planar adventures and situations like this give me a better appreciation of why we stick to the Material Plane as much as we do.
The question is a fair one. My answer is to advise you to:
A.) have creatures move at their base speed, and if they don't have a fly speed, then they're confined to the representation of the "ground" as described in the adventure.
B.) creatures "fly" at their primary base speed.
Beyond that, I would not over think it. Originally this encounter was to take place in a pocket dream dimension where physics would have corresponded to the Material Plane. Greenheart transported the PCs to an analog of the site where he was murdered centuries ago-and that description is still right there in the GM's text! The intent for that scene is still in the adventure! Yet, we made the decision to remove some extraneous parts of the adventure that might have needlessly complicated it, and reference to the Dimension of Dreams was part of that streamlining. And I don't question my developers, I support them.
Here's the problem with overthinking the Ethereal Plane- if you take the GameMastery Guide as the definitve absolute be all and end all of how it works then monsters that are exclusively ethereal in nature just don't function. Their ecologies make no sense. Like the Xill, who have no fly speed. Like the Phase Spiders who have no fly speed (and you could argue crawl on ethereal webs, but how did they ever spread against across the multiverse?). Night hags (who have no fly speed) sometimes have nightmares to ride, but sometimes they don't. How did they ever catch them in order to ride them, and how do they get around on the ethereal plane when they're not on horseback? Denizens of Leng who travel on plane shifting ships- how do they stand on the decks without floating away?
Don't get me wrong, the GameMastery Guide is a great place to start, but someday we're going to have a comprehensive treastisie on the planes to grapple with these questions. In the meantime, I think we can run the risk, as GMs, of making our lives needlessly complicated. I'm not trying to give anybody a pat answer, but I do recommend working with the intent of the encounter.
I sincerely hope this helps!
The astral plane has Subjective Directional Gravity, so if you cannot fly, you just move by orienting your gravity in the correct direction and falling whichever direction you want to go.
The ethereal plane has no gravity, so logically I would use the zero-g movement rules, even though they were printed in the context of outer space and not the planes.
Movement in Zero-g:
A lack of gravity is not the same as flight. Movement is difficult, and creatures without something to push off from often find themselves f loating helplessly. When a creature does manage to find something to propel itself off of, it can move in any direction, but at half speed. Double-moves and charges are still possible, but running is not. If provided with sufficient handholds, a creature with a climb speed can move along a wall at full speed, as can any PC who makes a DC 20 Climb check (adding in her Dexterity bonus). Note as well that a creature that moves in a given direction continues to move in that direction at the same speed each round (without the cost of a move action) unless it is able to change its motion by latching on to an object or creature, pushing off in a new direction, or creating thrust of some kind (all of which are considered move actions). Creatures that fly using physical means, such as wings or jet propulsion, are affected by these same rules while in vacuum—in atmosphere, they may recover and get their bearings within 2d6 rounds, after which they can fly normally. Magical flight is not affected. A character in a weightless environment can lift and carry 10 times her normal amount. Projectile weapons have their range categories multiplied by 10. In addition, ranged weapons no longer have a maximum number of range increments—their wielders simply continue to accrue penalties the farther away the target is.
EDIT: Although now I see that the author intended for the ethereal plane to use normal physics in this encounter.
An ethereal creature is invisible, insubstantial, and capable of moving in any direction, even up or down, albeit at half normal speed. An ethereal creature can move through solid objects, including living creatures. An ethereal creature can see and hear on the Material Plane, but everything looks gray and ephemeral. Sight and hearing onto the Material Plane are limited to 60 feet.
The ethereal condition describes how movement works in the ethereal plane. The "Ethereal Jaunt" spell confirms this. Everyone can basically move at half speed in any direction.
Tristan Windseeker wrote:
THANK YOU TRISTAN!
Edit: I feel like a goof for rushing to answer, but it was only because I cared, and wanted to get this fixed so it doesn't interfere with people's ability to run their games.
Tristan Windseeker wrote:
Thank you :)
I ran this yesterday and it went very well! The final battle was very climactic!
Final battle query:
In the final battle against the spirit of Galdron, he shot off a Dismissal on the party witch. She failed her save and as she was not native to the ethereal plane, she was effectively booted from the ethereal plane.
Here's the kicker though, we rolled a 13 on the 20% d100 percentile chance that she did not return to the material plane. She has been transported off to be lost in the planes!
What happens now? Is there a Pathfinder prestige service that can get her back? Where we meant to roll a percent chance to see where she ends up? She doesn't have any spells capable of extraplanar travel.
Also, does Galdron's Inflict spells only have a 50% chance of working when he targets himself?
I played this over the weekend and we managed to break the scenario in the first encounter but the GM did a good job of eventually circling us back.
When the thugs showed up our cleric cast calm emotions on them, they all failed their save and we talked to them for a few rounds before convincing them to go away, thus not triggering the haunt etc.
Pirate Rob wrote:
Bwahahaha! That's awesome!
Jim Groves is the man.
The subject of haunts has been a point of hot discussion on the boards lately. I keep saying that the problem with them is that they're treated as disposable hazards (like traps), making it unfeasible to interact with them like true haunts.
Then I played Green Market on Sunday. :D
The haunt was a plot point that we had to actually investigate and interact with just like characters in a story actually would! HE GOT IT RIGHT!
Thank you, Jim Groves, for getting haunts right. :)
Honestly, I would forgo that percentile roll and send her back to the Material Plane. Getting kicked out of the fight and unable to help the party should be punishment enough. Otherwise its like a less expensive character death, which is not the intent at all. In the original manuscript, defeated characters were not even killed but exiled back to the Material Plane.
Anyway, this simple approach is probably for the best. If we're having to invent new services and rules for PFS, we're going too far. On the other hand, I think this Core spell should remain in the basic assumptions. Thus the default should just be to kick the player to the Material Plane, and out of the fight. Simple, elegant, and punitive enough on the player and the rest of the party.
Also, does Galdron's Inflict spells only have a 50% chance of working when he targets himself?
I wasn't sure where you were coming with this (why that would be the case), but after rooting around I think you mean because he's incorporeal? The UMR discussing the incorporeal state address situations where the spell and magic effects are coming from a corporeal source. In a sense, Galdron has ghost touch on himself. Forgive me if that sounds naughty.
Thank you for your kind review BTW! :D
Moreland helped with this one. He aint talking to me at the moment (because he's no doubt busy as hell), but I can't abide him reading this while I soak up all the credit.
I had a lot of great ideas, but a great developer makes sure they're actually executed properly. And that's what you're seeing here.
Edit: Please review though, so as a team we can see what works and what doesn't!
More story time, after driving the thugs off without triggering the haunt we decided to go to the Aspis mansion and put the muscle on them and try and buy them out cheaply figuring there was some sort of power to be gained by controlling both locations that we were unaware of. After talking for a bit we got the Impression that they were talking to us to stall us and decided that they might be attacking the market while we were distracted there. We went back to the market where the haunt had been triggered but the aspis trouble makers had just run away.
If the Pathfinders manage to peacefully resolve the situation with Narris and his goons, that's fine, but will Aspis management be similarly convinced? I'd go with Pirate Rob's idea: run it so that the night after the showdown with Narris, another Aspis goon breaks into the market and draws a knife on Zeva. The party hears her screams and rushes to her rescue, just in time for the Haunt to manifest due to the drawn dagger. The goon, frightened by the Haunt, then drops his dagger and flees the scene, where the party has to deal with the mess and protect Zeeva.
I can't tell any GMs to run the final battle any differently, but maybe if the Pathfinders diplomatically talk to Galdron they can bring the fight to an end without bloodshed.
One suggestion would be that in the first round the Party needs to make a diplomacy 25 (low tier) 30 (high tier) check to convince Galdron that he is remembered as a great figure of peace in the present day. If successful, Galdron will only fight for three rounds. At the end of the third round, Galdron's rage ends and he mournfully submits to exorcism to await Pharasma's judgement.
I'll make sure the dismissed player knows that their character made it back to Golarion unscathed :) It's a very memorable way to make an exit!
We played this today. Had fun.
The first market encounter was a beast; they managed to drop the two characters with decent healing in the first round with the assault. My character was one of the ones initially attacked.
A) I've never been so glad to have Uncanny Dodge.
A lot of resources got expended. The talk-the-NPC into helping you encounter was straightforward, but we have two reasonably adept Diplomancers on the team.
My Paladin is a worshipper of Pharasma, and, after uncovering the bones at the core of the haunt, cast Sanctify Corpse on Galdrun's mortal remains. This kind of left the GM flummoxed for what this would do.
In the final encounter, I burned the boon that gives 1d4 rounds of Ghost Touch to boost our Oracle of Battle's battle axe, then went in the next round after doing some healing after the elementals lit people up.
My character has a +1 ghost-touch pickaxe, It was kind of neat to contemplate putting it to good use...until the Zen Archer monk burned a ki point and put a bazillion +1 arrows into Goldrun just as I got into range.
Just ran The Green Market:
This scenario ended up being fairly easy for what I considered an underpowered group (3 @ 9th, 1 @ 6th, and 1 @ 5th, and a level 7 Merisiel) playing up to 8-9 (APL was 7.5 so they technically had the choice to play down). The reason it was easy for them, is they had 3 clerics.
A wellplaced confusion and wall of stone stymied the Aspis Consortium fight, and because of confusion the badguys ended up taking eachother out. The clerics noticed the haunt and made their knowledge religion check to identify it, and 2 rounds in, they suppressed the haunt, therefore the quickwood and shambling mounds ended up not being a real threat. The crysmals were actually rather tough, but they largely ignored them and kept placing the broken klar blades, and as such, avoided having to fight them for more than 2 rounds. I was actually quite worried about the fire elementals and the ghost, but the 9th level cleric and 9th level monk both had cast invisibility (vanish as the 9th level monk had 2 levels of ninja) and the 9th level Eldritch Knight cast communal protection from fire. So while the fire elementals still hit fairly hard (2d6+4 twice with +15 to hit) they were largely neutered (I laughed when basically the black tentacles did nothing to the huge fire elementals). The ghost had trouble hitting the main damage dealer, the Monk, even with a touch attack, so largely used spells, which had some good effect. So he tried to dismiss the Monk, but the Monk made a 30+ will save. Didn’t take long to eventually take him down, and then the fire elementals went away.
Without the Clerics and the ridiculous AC’s, this could have been very nasty for the wrong party make-up.
Andrew Christian: My Paladin pre-dates the ISWG closure of "Pharasma doesn't have Paladins". Paladins as a class can actually be atheists; they lack the "Must worship a deity within one step of their alignment."
Technically, she is a Paladin of the abstract ideals of Good and Law and gets her powers from there - she is also a lay worshipper (rather than empowered communicant) of Pharasma.
OK, didn't we have this whole thread already about the difference between fluff and rules-wise worship alreay.
The conclusion was that it was ok, a paladin with no deity written on their sheet is legal even if some people are anal and are going to cry badwrong about other people's fluff.