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2-17 Shades of Ice Part 2

Pathfinder Society GM Discussion

The Exchange ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Amsterdam aka Seraphimpunk

question i'm asking on behalf of a GM for this scenario:

[ spoiler ]

the character in question was taldan. we had avoided the guards. and this pretty much denied him access to a badge. So the character waited till the rest of the party was out of the city, then killed a guard and tried to get out of the city. he was spotted and the alarm raised, and had to fight 3 guards, solo, they subdued him.


I suggested a 5 prestige fee to free him ( it was closest to "recovering his body" , but the GM was mulling over whether they'd interrogate him, or just sentence him to death for killing a guard in Whitecrown for completing part of his faction mission.

advice on how to handle the situation? auto-death for a faction mission fail seems a bit steep. 5 prestige is costly, just to get 1 prestige, but its better than death at 3rd level.

Grand Lodge ****

Snap judgement, I'd say death.

He should have know better than trying to solo an entire City.

The Exchange *****

1 person marked this as a favorite.

If the unforgiving nature of the city is presented in the beginning, then I would agree with sveden. It takes an iron will to condemn a PC, but I don't think they have prisons in Whitethrone. I don't blame any GM for taking the easy way out, but there might be some players that are disappointed their character wasn't put to death in this situation.

I'm going to repost something I wrote in the original GM Discussion thread that maybe you can share with your GM in the future. It gives a Taldan player the chance to accomplish the mission without bloodshed:

This is just some advice for getting the PCs into the city without too much bloodshed:
First of all, I heartily agree with Sir Wulf. If you are going to run this scenario, read Cities of Golarion. It’s just an overview but still a wealth of information. The PCs should get an earful of this information from the merchants and diplomats they travel to Irrisen with. The merchants who have made the trip before will explain to the PCs that all foreigners have to get a visa in order to be in the city. Without a visa a person may be killed on a whim by any random inhabitant of Whitethrone. Subsequently the caravan is attacked and scattered by elements of the Iron Guard. Days later, the stalwart PCs find themselves outside the walls of Whitethrone and face the daunting task of entering a city where the only social caste they outrank is the slaves.

I like to describe the different creatures that can be observed coming and going from Whitethrone. Obviously humans, but also many snow goblins, ice trolls and even a frost giant band. I describe a queue of creatures waiting outside of the two gates to enter the city. The line ebbs and flows, but it gives the players the impression that gaining legitimate entry is a possibility. All of my tables (7 thus far) have elected to pose as merchants of some type or another. Some of them pose as slavers and get their friends to play the part of prisoners. I like the sandbox approach of the scenario.

Here’s where I take some liberties with the scenario. The Iron Guard of Irrisen are responsible for allowing non-citizens to enter the city. At each gate a contingent of Iron Guards question any humanoids who don’t appear to belong in the city. They ask their questions in Skald and become immediately suspicious toward anyone who can’t speak their tongue. I describe the gate commander as an ugly, stout, orange-haired woman who switches to accented Common with a sneer. “What name?”, “Where from?”, “What reason come to Whitethrone?” I enjoy role-playing this encounter because the players are at the mercy of the GM in this situation. They have to put their necks on the chopping block and if anything goes wrong it’s all over. The Pathfinder Society is not going to be able to recover bodies in Irrisen. When a player begins to answer the questions, I will interrupt “IS STUPID NAME!” & “IS STUPID PLACE! FULL OF BOYS WHO WILT LIKE LEAVES AT FIRST SNOW!!” and so on. The woman is not very worldly but she is free with her opinions. She lords her power over the lowly foreigners and swiftly punishes any sass the PCs give her. If she catches a PC lying with a Sense Motive check she will deny them entry. If a PC is not showing the proper amount of deference she will deny them entry. If a PC says they are a merchant but can’t produce any merchandise to sell in the city, she will deny them entry. The good news is there are TWO gates into Irrisen.

There is a scribe present who is taking notes on all the answers the PCs give. This can be used to catch players who try and change their story later on. Here is an idea: PCs who are allowed to enter Whitethrone have to obtain a visa at the Iron Barracks. The gate commander determines how long the visa for each PC will be. I base this on how good their role-play was. PCs who role-play well or have a good Diplomacy check are authorized to stay in the city for 2-3 days or more. Less fortunate PCs are either denied entry or are only give a one day visa. This impacts how much time the PCs will have to find Skagne and get out of the city before they become fair game.

The gate commander tells the PCs how long they can stay in the city after questioning each of them. She tells them to proceed down the main boulevard to the Iron Barracks and relay how long their stay will be to the officials there. As long as they go right to the Iron Barracks and get a visa they’ll be safe. Stray from the roadway and all bets are off. Lie to the Iron Guards and all bets are off. Not only do the officials at the Iron Barracks give the PCs each a visa, but the PCs are assigned a place to stay for the evening. They are instructed to check into the inn or hostel by dusk and remain there until dawn. Their compliance will be confirmed by the Iron Guard that evening.

The visa is made from human skin. It must be displayed at all times while on the streets of Irrisen. It has the bearer’s name and the expiration date, as well as a declaration that the bearer is under the protection of Queen Elvana for the duration.

Here’s a juvenile twist I like to use. If there is a male PC present with a decent Charisma score, the gate commander gets ‘interested’ in getting to know him better. She tells him to tell the officials at the Iron Barracks that he’s to stay at her favorite inn “The Witch’s Hearth”. He should tell the innkeeper that “Helga sends him”. In thickly-accented Common she promises “I check on you later, make sure you are…comfortable…in Whitethrone”. Think about a throaty Russian accent for this one. Taldor PCs should be paying attention, because upon Helga’s cloak is a badge they are very interested in. At the Witch’s Hearth the bemused innkeeper shows the PC to the room reserved by “Helga Troll-Thighs” for her special projects. Nailed to the walls all around the room are mattresses for sound-suppression. The rest I leave to your imagination. I did say this was a juvenile twist. Anyway, with some consecutive Fortitude saves a lucky PC might outlast Helga, be able to recover the badge, slip out of the room and do the Walk of Shame back to his companions.

After that the scenario runs as written, with the PCs rooting the Shadow Lodge out of Whitethrone and all. However, if at any point the PCs do not spend the night at their assigned location the Iron Guard starts to hunt them. If the PCs created a lot of commotion at the brewery, they might get confronted by a patrol when they go to leave the building. If a PC stole Helga’s badge she might be the one leading the patrol, which can make for some fun role-playing.

Scarab Sages *****

Wow, is it a big convention weekend or did I just give this thread the kiss of death?
Maybe posting under an alias will suppress my aura of repulsion...

Silver Crusade **

Ironically, Doug, I am running this Tuesday or next. I think it is awesome, I, died laughing the first time I read it. Totally going to use it.

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