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Smuggler's Shiv: NPC Survival (Spoilers)


Serpent's Skull


Pathfinder Cards Subscriber

I'm about half-way through GMing this adventure (they are about to hit the Cannibals, they have been exploring almost all of the island before going to the camp), and I was wondering how did your NPCs fare during the later part of the adventure?

Did Gelik, Jask, Aerys, Ishirou, and Sasha go with the PC's during the "dungeon crawl" combat portions of the adventure? Did they stay at camp and not travel with the group? How many of them survived to the end?

Follow up: My group is a Order of the Dragon Human Cavalier, Elven Rogue, Dwarven Ninja, Half-Elf Wizard, and Half-Elf Druid and it seems like they have had issues with a lack of Hit Points and healing so far. Do you think Jask would almost be necessary for them to survive?

Thanks in advance!


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I was nice to the NPCs in my game. Both Ishirou and Aerys stormed off early in the adventure and honestly should have been dead, but I had them conveniently captured and alive so that the PCs could swoop in and rescue them while at the same time learning all the information they had gathered during their captivity.

I did have Ishirou, Sasha, and Pezzock participate in the assault the party launched against the cannibals, and that led to some great role play moments as Pezzock had a hand cut off via a GameMastery critical hit card, Sasha critted and dropped the witch in the first round of combat, and Ishirou bravely fought through the hordes to rescue Aerys from the cook pot. Other than that the NPCs watched camp, went scouting, did research, or hunted for the party. While the party was doing the final dungeon, the NPCs were repairing the light house. Jask and Gelik helped with the translation of some stuff.

Healing was an issue with my group as well:
Human sword-n-board fighter
Elven rogue
Gnome starsoul sorcerer
Elven druid with weather domain

There were enough potions to keep the group up most of the time, though, and toward the end of the adventure the druid was prepping mostly cure spells. If you don't want Jask to go with the party, have him cite concerns about another NPCs health, as he's needed at camp to tend disease. If you're worried about group healing, have them discover a Wand of Cure Light Wounds with 10-15 charges on it in a shipwreck they explore, preferably one with undead or other monsters living in it.

For the most part my party only explored around the camp, and came back most nights so that Jask could heal them up for the next day of exploring. They'd pack up and move camp once the area around them was secure and they had found a better location for the camp.


I'm aiming to keep the NPCs alive since I want them involved during part 2 and 3 of the adventure path to give the PCs a sense of continuity. The NPCs have mainly been staying at the base camp and were attacked (and weakened) a couple of times while the PCs were exploring. I got the NPCs involved directly only a few times in order to start setting up the factions later.

I think healing is always an issue, my group consists of (1) a half-orc oracle (bones), (2) a human summoner, (3) a human barbarian and (4) a human monk. They've used Jask to supplement healing after some difficult exploration. They also friended Aycenia and camped near her a few times.

I had 3 NPCs (Sasha, Ishirou and Jask) captured by the cannibals to force an encounter. My group and the remaining NPCs (Pezock, Aerys and Gelik) all got involved in the Cannibal Camp assault. The next day, I didn't really want them to bring any NPCs down in the Caverns. They were low on food so 2 NPCs hunted, Pezock said he only wanted to fix the lighthouse and needed help. I play Pezock insane and paranoid, he insisted on having some NPCs guard the camp. They came out of the caverns low on potions and hit points. They survived mainly because some have darvision. Without darkvision, I can see (pun intended) where you may want to have an NPC help out.

Next session, they are going to explore the Red Mountain area. I plan to have most NPCs busy with the Lighthouse, hunting, guarding, etc. I'll leave the impression that they can take 1 NPC with them. I think they'll choose to go by themselves.


Pathfinder Cards Subscriber
martryn wrote:

I was nice to the NPCs in my game. Both Ishirou and Aerys stormed off early in the adventure and honestly should have been dead, but I had them conveniently captured and alive so that the PCs could swoop in and rescue them while at the same time learning all the information they had gathered during their captivity.

I did have Ishirou, Sasha, and Pezzock participate in the assault the party launched against the cannibals, and that led to some great role play moments as Pezzock had a hand cut off via a GameMastery critical hit card, Sasha critted and dropped the witch in the first round of combat, and Ishirou bravely fought through the hordes to rescue Aerys from the cook pot. Other than that the NPCs watched camp, went scouting, did research, or hunted for the party. While the party was doing the final dungeon, the NPCs were repairing the light house. Jask and Gelik helped with the translation of some stuff.

Sadly, they lost Ishirou to the Lacedons in the Treasure Pit, (Being Paralyzed is so nasty!), They lost Sasha to a Dimorphodon (sp?), and they ran away from the Giant Crab after it began to move its legs!

So right now we only have Aerys, Jask, and Gelik, and I Like the idea about throwing in a cure light wounds wand from one of the ships they investigate.

They have gotten really attached to these characters, so I assume they'll be asking one of them to come.

Maplewood wrote:
They survived mainly because some have darvision. Without darkvision, I can see (pun intended) where you may want to have an NPC help out.

Yeah, I agree, that encounter with the mother looks like its gonna be trouble. We do have a dwarven ninja which should be helpful, but everyone doesnt have Darkvision.

Their characters aren't particularly optimized for combat either (the cavalier put his feats in the mounted combat tree and the Druid has been more healer then summoning an army of animals.)

I think that continuity is important and they have lost some of their friends, so unless they make a significant Diplomacy check with an NPC (and have the highest level of relationship with the NPC) I don't think they are going to go. Shouldn't be too hard, as the Rogue and Cavalier are charisma based and have very good Diplomacy checks for their level.

Bonus: One thing that I'm depressed they haven't done yet is met the Fey Druid, I think she could be a helpful NPC in this campaign, but I'm not sure their path will them through her.


Garm Sumner wrote:
Bonus: One thing that I'm depressed they haven't done yet is met the Fey Druid, I think she could be a helpful NPC in this campaign, but I'm not sure their path will them through her.

You can always force a meeting with the Dryad. Move her tree closer to the PCs. Or even have her travel far from her tree because she is desperate to find help with the Silent Island. Or force a friendly encounter with Pezock away from the crab. Maybe he is fighting off a couple of cannibals. He might direct the PCs to the Fey's tree.

Garm Sumner wrote:
and I Like the idea about throwing in a cure light wounds wand from one of the ships they investigate.

Or add a wand at the Cannibal Camp in the witch's hut. They can use the wand after the encounter or bring it into the cavern.


Pathfinder Cards Subscriber
Maplewood wrote:
You can always force a meeting with the Dryad. Move her tree closer to the PCs. Or even have her travel far from her tree because she is desperate to find help with the Silent Island. Or force a friendly encounter with Pezock away from the crab. Maybe he is fighting off a couple of cannibals. He might direct the PCs to the Fey's tree.

Im hoping that they want to explore the rest of the island after they finish the main quest. They have explored so much of it already, I highly doubt that they will leave a small section of the map unexplored. They are just like that!

I was toying with the idea of making her mini "sidequest" more significant and doing a mini-adventure out of it. But its less likely the later on in the adventure it gets.

Maybe I will have Pezock make an appearance somewhere...its these times where all numbers on the random encounter table are the same item!

I like the idea of it being in the witch's hut better, then it wont tempt them to investigate fully every derelict ship on the outside of the island.

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