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#4-07 Severing Ties ***SPOILERS***


Pathfinder Society GM Discussion

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Grand Lodge ***

Iammars wrote:

Running this tomorrow and preparing for the worst:

So let's say that the Ebon Acolytus gets its coup de gras off. Everyone fails at their knowledge check, so they have no clue that there is special conditions on the raise dead. So they go and all chip in and buy their buddy a raise dead. They go to the friendly local temple and ask their clergy of choice to raise their buddy. What happens? Is the diamond dust expended?

This all happens. They go do research and I'm assuming that spending enough time on it and motivated enough, they could probably find info on this kind of statue somewhere in the Grand Lodge's extensive records/that one library from that one other scenario.

Now, seeing as Lissala is a religion that everyone thought was dead for hundreds of years, there's not many public Lissalan temples around, and that one temple might not be too helpful with a raise on your buddy once you find out that you filled their place with sewage. Would it be okay to say "You can't find a priestess of Lissala in Absalom?"

I'm pretty sure I know the answers to those 2 questions, but seeing as my answers lead to a permanently dead character, I figured I'd check them here first just in case.

I am pretty sure it says clearly that the altar DOES NOT work for it in this module

**

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Thomas Graham wrote:
I am pretty sure it says clearly that the altar DOES NOT work for it in this module

That's how I feel because the construct is not adjacent to the altar, but others feel differently.

Cheliax ***

Thomas Graham wrote:
Iammars wrote:

Running this tomorrow and preparing for the worst:

So let's say that the Ebon Acolytus gets its coup de gras off. Everyone fails at their knowledge check, so they have no clue that there is special conditions on the raise dead. So they go and all chip in and buy their buddy a raise dead. They go to the friendly local temple and ask their clergy of choice to raise their buddy. What happens? Is the diamond dust expended?

This all happens. They go do research and I'm assuming that spending enough time on it and motivated enough, they could probably find info on this kind of statue somewhere in the Grand Lodge's extensive records/that one library from that one other scenario.

Now, seeing as Lissala is a religion that everyone thought was dead for hundreds of years, there's not many public Lissalan temples around, and that one temple might not be too helpful with a raise on your buddy once you find out that you filled their place with sewage. Would it be okay to say "You can't find a priestess of Lissala in Absalom?"

I'm pretty sure I know the answers to those 2 questions, but seeing as my answers lead to a permanently dead character, I figured I'd check them here first just in case.

I am pretty sure it says clearly that the altar DOES NOT work for it in this module

The module explicitly mentions that

'The stone dais in this room does not count as an altar for the
purpose of the ebon acolytus’s prostration ability.'

(see the Ebon Acolytus's 'During Combat' section for that text.)

Unfortunately, Thomas, the only reference to altars under Prostration is:
'An ebon acolytus gains a +2 bonus on its combat maneuver check for the purposes of making this check if it is adjacent to an altar or similar site of ceremonial bloodletting.'

So the ebon acolytus doesn't get the +2, but the perma-death thing still works, as the text of that is under the Sacrifice ability, not the Prostration ability.

Grand Lodge ***

Seems a bit harsh to permanently kill off a character like that.. well to me.

I was just worried about the fact that it's hard to fight the thing.

Lantern Lodge ***

My 3rd level Brawler was sacrificed to Lissala during this module..... after being turned to stone. It wasn't a good day for poor Garrik Failbane (who didn't live up to his surname for that game).

Fortunately, the powers that be ruled that for the 5 PP body retrieval cost, I could get the Society to twist the arm of a Lissalan cleric powerful enough to cast the raise dead. So Garrik lives on, and will attempt not to die terribly at Dawn of the Scarlet Sun on Saturday, since he's level 4 now.

Taldor ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Pennsylvania—Philadelphia aka Iammars

Well, here's what happened tonight:

The party, all brand new level 1's:
2 barbarians
2 tiefling brothers (one rogue, one cleric; they're together because they have plans on leveling together and putting some synergies together. They're played by strong players who like fooling around.)
1 aasimar oracle
1 aasimar paladin
1 summoner

Yeah, that's a 7-person table. However, all 7 people could only play this mod out of all we were offering tonight, so I sucked it up and ran with it.

For a 7-person table the roleplay was on tonight. During the collect the relics section, there was lots of interesting discussion. I was watching the paladin and he never technically lied. "We're here to collect debts for the Aspis Consortium" as opposed to "I'm from the Aspis Consortium." Kudos to him. The tieflings were really playing up their 5 CHA, especially once they got to the tiefling Calistrian. ("I'll offer you a couple hours with some of my finest women." "Anything for you sweetcheeks.") When they got to the lifting contest, the tiefling rogue figured out that someone should do stool+3drinks to make sure someone wins, but it turned out not to be needed as the dwarf barbarian rolled a 18 then a 19 (I think) to exactly get the DCs for sideboard+9drinks.

Once they got to the temple, things went a little differently.

They found the trap (mostly because I misread the Perception DC to find it and thought it was much lower than it was). When the rogue goes to disarm it, he accidently triggers it. Wall drops, gaze at basilisk, makes save. Paladin then walks up without averting his gaze or closing his eyes, fails his save by 1, and is a statue. At this point, some of the players are kind of pissed. After all, the DD DC is pretty high, and their argument is "why is there a save or die in a lvl 1 mod?" I personally think that this trap is amazing. People complain on the boards that traps are nothing and you're better off running a barbarian through them than trying to disarm them. This will get eyes open. Or closed, cause you know, gaze attacks.

The rest of the chapel is not too hard for them. Most of the party has an 16 or 18 STR, so fights end quickly, although when they trigger the statue fight, two characters almost drop from the slams. The subtier 1-2 statue is a pretty cool fight. They decided on braking the wall down for the gas, and one of them had the foresight of leaving an Aspis badge so they could be identified as Aspis. However, they were mainly ransacking the place to find the hidden stone to flesh scroll that _had_ to be hidden somewhere around the place. (There was no knowledge skills in the party, so they didn't know that they should kill the basilisk instead of just bypassing it.) They were a little disappointed when they didn't find any. Apparently Stone to Flesh scrolls are expensive and there's apparently a DC15 FORT or die attached to the spell. That paladin is permanently a statue.

I feel like the mod was relatively fair, and overall the other encounters (especially the temples) went over well. But I feel like I would be doing my players a disservice to not vocalize their frustration over the boards. They didn't like a random save or die that happened in the middle of the mod. I don't blame them.

Lantern Lodge ***

Iammars wrote:
Apparently Stone to Flesh scrolls are expensive and there's apparently a DC15 FORT or die attached to the spell. That paladin is permanently a statue.

Break enchantment also works for this effect. At subtier 4-5 you had to roll a 9 or better on the die for it to work, though. I got it in the first try, luckily, right before I charged a golem and got sacrificed.

Cheliax ****

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Josh Spies wrote:

My 3rd level Brawler was sacrificed to Lissala during this module..... after being turned to stone. It wasn't a good day for poor Garrik Failbane (who didn't live up to his surname for that game).

Fortunately, the powers that be ruled that for the 5 PP body retrieval cost, I could get the Society to twist the arm of a Lissalan cleric powerful enough to cast the raise dead. So Garrik lives on, and will attempt not to die terribly at Dawn of the Scarlet Sun on Saturday, since he's level 4 now.

Unless someone says that this doesn't work, I think I'll steal this for when I run it tonight.

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

Mergy wrote:
Josh Spies wrote:

My 3rd level Brawler was sacrificed to Lissala during this module..... after being turned to stone. It wasn't a good day for poor Garrik Failbane (who didn't live up to his surname for that game).

Fortunately, the powers that be ruled that for the 5 PP body retrieval cost, I could get the Society to twist the arm of a Lissalan cleric powerful enough to cast the raise dead. So Garrik lives on, and will attempt not to die terribly at Dawn of the Scarlet Sun on Saturday, since he's level 4 now.

Unless someone says that this doesn't work, I think I'll steal this for when I run it tonight.

I think this is actually AGAINST the intention of the Ebon Acolytus ability. But I can fully see this falling into GM fiat territory.

** Contributor

Iammars wrote:
At this point, some of the players are kind of pissed. After all, the DD DC is pretty high, and their argument is "why is there a save or die in a lvl 1 mod?"

Glad you enjoyed it. Did your players use the basilisk blood to un-petrify their companion? Note that several of the "save or die" monsters (like the basilisk or the cockatrice) had their "die" effects mitigated in the Pathfinder upgrade to the 3.5 rules.

Taldor ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Pennsylvania—Philadelphia aka Iammars

They didn't know about the basilisk blood since none of them made their Knowledge checks and none of them knew out of character. Not much I can do when no one (PC or player) knows about basilisks.

I wouldn't know much about the 3.5 version, seeing as I started playing RPGs with Devil We May Know Part 1. I just know enough to explain to the new players we have who have only played 3.5 what the differences are.

** Contributor

Iammars wrote:

They didn't know about the basilisk blood since none of them made their Knowledge checks and none of them knew out of character. Not much I can do when no one (PC or player) knows about basilisks.

I wouldn't know much about the 3.5 version, seeing as I started playing RPGs with Devil We May Know Part 1. I just know enough to explain to the new players we have who have only played 3.5 what the differences are.

Different GM styles, then. I make this common knowledge for anyone encountering a basilisk without a Knowledge check. After all, if a low-level adventurer knows that mythically powerful spells like break enchantment and stone to flesh exist, and where to find them, it doesn't seem like much of a stretch to already know about the solution right there in the basilisk's veins.

Shadow Lodge *

Mergy wrote:
Josh Spies wrote:

My 3rd level Brawler was sacrificed to Lissala during this module..... after being turned to stone. It wasn't a good day for poor Garrik Failbane (who didn't live up to his surname for that game).

Fortunately, the powers that be ruled that for the 5 PP body retrieval cost, I could get the Society to twist the arm of a Lissalan cleric powerful enough to cast the raise dead. So Garrik lives on, and will attempt not to die terribly at Dawn of the Scarlet Sun on Saturday, since he's level 4 now.

Unless someone says that this doesn't work, I think I'll steal this for when I run it tonight.

I could see it being acceptable to use "Recover Body" in this way, as long as they're also paying for the Raise Dead. I don't believe it's a good idea to be giving out Raise Dead for 68% off by using Recover Body alone.

Cheliax ****

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Serum wrote:
I could see it being acceptable to use "Recover Body" in this way, as long as they're also paying for the Raise Dead. I don't believe it's a good idea to be giving out Raise Dead for 68% off by using Recover Body alone.

No, that plus the raise dead is what I would make them pay.

Anyway, I ran this tonight for a group of six at 4-5.

Long-winded Report:
I took the suggestion of having everyone come up with their own Aspis names, and was rewarded with some cool pseudonyms for my players which I interchanged with their names during combat. My personal favourite was a gunslinger named "Long-Gun John". I didn't have a lot to offer in playing the Aspis Consortium guy, but my players were eager to get moving anyway.

The pub and brothel are both great fun. We spent a lot of time in both of these locales: everyone participated in the lifting contest, with two winners, the last prize going to one of the NPCs. One of my players then purchased it from him, and it occurs to me that I should have registered it on his chronicle sheet as him owning a very expensive bottle of brandy. Long-Gun John took full advantage of Shorafa's offer of free wine, and was plastered by the end of it, almost blowing my players' cover (they were too cautious to reveal themselves as not Aspis agents). They nearly started a fight, and to save time I let it slip that she was a 10th level cleric. They decided not to fight her for the key to the non-magical dagger's box.

The bunyips were a joke. When two were blinded, I was annoyed to find out that their scent doesn't work out of water. I'm also annoyed that these creatures are not CR reduced due to being out of water, where they cannot fight nearly as effectively. I had them roar a few times, and managed to get a few people away, but by then they were basically toast. Four big slow bags of hit points that I don't believe could even climb stairs. This was the only disappointing fight of the night.

The basilisks, on the other hand, were a treat. I gave everybody partial or full cover from the bars depending on where they were attacking from: I justified that attacking straight on through bars was easier (-2) compared with attacking through the bars on an angle (-4). Half the party was petrified by the end, although they were saved by two of the statues being of small size. Long-Gun John made great use of his smoked goggles, which made him fail his save only on a 1.

The Kyton did some damage, although it was low; she was brought down by action economy, although they wasted a lot of time trying to figure out DR. Eventually she dropped, and the party noticed her wounds starting to close. A silver bullet coup de grace ended things rather messily. The statue did no damage, although it had one of the fighters prostrate by the end of the fight. I can't say I'm disappointed in that outcome.

As for the party going on, I described it as a bloody rave, and made it very clear to the party that the Lashmistress was far out of their league. Grelph accepted a box with a dagger in it, threw it in a corner and told them they should probably leave without the Lashmistress seeing them. They left after telling him that the Aspis Consortium would not be ignored, and then filled the place up with sewage. Then they bluffed a bunch of Korvosan commoners into going down and enjoying a wild party, courtesy of the Aspis Consortium.

Sheila Heidmarch related a story of an angry spellcaster chasing a mob of commoners through the streets, everyone covered with raw sewage. Mission success! :)

Things I liked: The premise, and the open-endedness of the mission. I also enjoyed the rather mean basilisk fight and the time limit statue fight.

Things I think were less than perfect: The bunyips were not very dangerous, and while the kyton is thematic, its damage was too low to make it scary.

Taldor **** RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Getting ready to run this on Wednesday, so I thought I would share a little something that I wrote up for my PCs:

Taldor Faction Mission:

The Taldor faction mission requires leading the tavern in song, but we're not given any lyrics! So, I wrote up some terribly cheesy ones:

Gilded Oppara (to the tune of Blessed Assurance):

Gilded Oppara, great is thy name!
Glittering domes and spires ye claim!
Subjects rejoice, foes fall in shame!
None shall tarnish Taldor's great fame!

Forests and Fields of Noble Taldor:

Forests and Fields of Noble Taldor,
Strong trees, fresh air and woods!
Storied halls of pine a-splendor,
None shall match your opulent good!

I'm not going to *require* them to sing it, but I hope they try!

Osirion *****

Well done Netopalis:

I too am running this scenario this weekend and although I will give the player/s a moment or two to come up with their own song I like what you done here and have taken the creative liberty to modify it a bit.

Thanks

Gilded Oppara:

Gilded Oppara (to the tune of Blessed Assurance):

Gilded Oppara, great is thy name!
Glittering domes and spires ye claim!
Subjects rejoice, foes fall in shame!
None shall tarnish Taldor's great fame!

Chorus:
Forests and Fields of Noble Taldor,
This is my country, this is my song!
These are my praises, this is my song.
Praising my country all the day long!

Forests and Fields of Noble Taldor,
Home of the valiant and the brave!
Storied halls of pine a-splendor,
None shall match your great grandeur!

Chorus:
Forests and Fields of Noble Taldor,
This is my country, this is my song!
These are my praises, this is my song.
Praising my country all the day long!

From the Fog Peaks and the Whistling Plains,
To the sea and the Sellen, we will defend,
With happy hearts and the blood in our veins!
Gilded Oppara, great is thy name!

Gilded Oppara, great is thy name!
Gilded Oppara, great is thy name!

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

Josh Spies wrote:
Iammars wrote:
Apparently Stone to Flesh scrolls are expensive and there's apparently a DC15 FORT or die attached to the spell. That paladin is permanently a statue.
Break enchantment also works for this effect. At subtier 4-5 you had to roll a 9 or better on the die for it to work, though. I got it in the first try, luckily, right before I charged a golem and got sacrificed.

If break enchantment is needed, remember that it is a multi-target spell. If more than one person needs it they have the potential to get rid of it with one casting.

Taldor **** RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32

Just played this with my group, who found it surprisingly easy. The basilisk managed to turn one character to stone, but luckily, they had a character who had smoked goggles, and another who had some AoE spells which they could cast without drawing the gaze. The final fight was actually really easy, in part due to the room in which they aggroed him. The most failed part of it was actually the tavern - for whatever reason, both the entire party and the NPCs failed their checks for two rounds.

Great scenario, though! Highly enjoyable.

Grand Lodge ****

Josh Spies wrote:
Fortunately, the powers that be ruled that for the 5 PP body retrieval cost, I could get the Society to twist the arm of a Lissalan cleric powerful enough to cast the raise dead.

How does a recover body team help with getting a cleric of a religion long believed to be extinct to perform a free raise dead on your PC? Did they recovery team also arrange for this cleric remove your PCs negative levels for free?

To those of you that believe this falls under table variation, my question: where does it stop? When is it OK for a GM completely ignore the rules set forth in a scenario?

Paizo Employee ** Developer

3 people marked this as FAQ candidate. Answered in the errata. 7 people marked this as a favorite.

I think it's reasonable that 5 PP could get someone in the Society in contact with a priest of Lissala who would be willing to cast raise dead, but such a cleric wouldn't do so for free. This would effectively allow a PC to be recoverable from dead but cost an extra 5 PP on top of the prestige or gold cost of the actual raising and removal of negative levels.

Taldor **** RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32

sveden wrote:
Josh Spies wrote:
Fortunately, the powers that be ruled that for the 5 PP body retrieval cost, I could get the Society to twist the arm of a Lissalan cleric powerful enough to cast the raise dead.

How does a recover body team help with getting a cleric of a religion long believed to be extinct to perform a free raise dead on your PC? Did they recovery team also arrange for this cleric remove your PCs negative levels for free?

To those of you that believe this falls under table variation, my question: where does it stop? When is it OK for a GM completely ignore the rules set forth in a scenario?

I could see it, personally. The recovery team could know about the basilisk's blood cure, and have used it? Personally, I tend to construe the rules liberally against player character death, so I feel like this is a perfectly appropriate call, especially if the players asked about it. The Guide to Organized Play DOES say to allow creative approaches to work.

Grand Lodge ****

Netopalis wrote:
I could see it, personally. The recovery team could know about the basilisk's blood cure, and have used it? Personally, I tend to construe the rules liberally against player character death, so I feel like this is a perfectly appropriate call, especially if the players asked about it. The Guide to Organized Play DOES say to allow creative approaches to work.

We are talking about different things.

*****

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Netopalis wrote:
The Guide to Organized Play DOES say to allow creative approaches to work.

I believe the basilisk blood needs to be applied within a short time frame. Hand-waving this and/or "construing the rules liberally against player death" only sets other GMs up for problems at a future table when the GM won't fudge the rules to save their precious snowflake.

Taldor **** RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32

Kyle Baird wrote:
Netopalis wrote:
The Guide to Organized Play DOES say to allow creative approaches to work.
I believe the basilisk blood needs to be applied within a short time frame. Hand-waving this and/or "construing the rules liberally against player death" only sets other GMs up for problems at a future table when the GM won't fudge the rules to save their precious snowflake.

Well, we'll simply have to agree to disagree, I'm afraid. I am personally of the opinion that excessive character death is a bad idea for the society as a whole, and I am uninterested in it. I will not say that I will never kill a PC, or that I'll *always* do whatever I can to save them...but if somebody puts forth something plausible, I am likely to consider it.

Cheliax ****

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Fresh basilisk blood lasts one hour, but it doesn't matter how long the PCs have been petrified. There's conceivably some wiggle room if the remaining PCs beat a retreat and come back with smoked goggles.

Cheliax ***** Owner - Enchanted Grounds

Mergy wrote:
Fresh basilisk blood lasts one hour, but it doesn't matter how long the PCs have been petrified. There's conceivably some wiggle room if the remaining PCs beat a retreat and come back with smoked goggles.

That's what we did. None of us knew how to reverse the situation (in character), and didn't want to continue without the two players who were stoned. We retreated (hiding the statues in an alleyway), got some expert help on knowledge rolls, came back and finished the job properly after putting the basilisks down and giving the statues a bloodbath.

The ebon acolytus was not an issue. It got a grapple off twice, both of which were broken by a liberating command. It never even got close to sacrificing someone.

*****

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Stupid smoked goggles. I was the only one in the party who had them and I still got turned to stone. Was adverting my eyes, failed the 50% chance, rolled the save, needed a 5 on the die. Rolled a 4. Used my reroll. Rolled a 1. Stupid goggles and their remaining 2% chance of being turned to stone. :D


Drogon wrote:


The ebon acolytus was not an issue. It got a grapple off twice, both of which were broken by a liberating command. It never even got close to sacrificing someone.

im trying not to jump to conclusions, but 2 liberating commands? i have to assume that meta-gaming was involved. i dont think i've seen a character use that... ever, let alone 2 times.

*****

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

My oracle/ninja would have had 3 to cast (three spells remaining, it being on my known list), except we didn't get to experience that encounter. :(

My cleric usually had one and sometimes two when growing up. It's a great spells, especially when you hit the levels that black tentacles starts getting thrown around.

Cheliax ****

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

My oracle makes amazing use of liberating command. It's not metagaming: if an ally gets grabbed, I cast it every time.

Taldor ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Pennsylvania—Philadelphia aka Iammars

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Mergy wrote:
My oracle makes amazing use of liberating command. It's not metagaming: if an ally gets grabbed, I cast it every time.

Yeah, my sorc has picked it up since black tentacles is getting thrown around more often. Grappled is one of the worst conditions, and at this point I'm letting people get a free attempt to get out at +20.

At this point, I think it's one of those spells that anyone should consider taking. Not saying that you should take it, but at least consider it when you get a new spell known on a spontaneous.

Cheliax ***** Owner - Enchanted Grounds

Jupp wrote:
Drogon wrote:


The ebon acolytus was not an issue. It got a grapple off twice, both of which were broken by a liberating command. It never even got close to sacrificing someone.

im trying not to jump to conclusions, but 2 liberating commands? i have to assume that meta-gaming was involved. i dont think i've seen a character use that... ever, let alone 2 times.

I only had one memorized. I used a pearl of power to recall the spell after I cast it the first time.

Qadira ****

Jupp wrote:
Drogon wrote:


The ebon acolytus was not an issue. It got a grapple off twice, both of which were broken by a liberating command. It never even got close to sacrificing someone.

im trying not to jump to conclusions, but 2 liberating commands? i have to assume that meta-gaming was involved. i dont think i've seen a character use that... ever, let alone 2 times.

My high level Cleric often has two, unless I prepare a third Murderous Command.

.
My Bard has it as a 1st level spell, so I guess that gives her 7? wait, she could cast it with her higher level slots, so that would be... 18 I think.
.
My low level Cleric has only one... but intends to add a second when he levels again.

I would guess anyone who says "i have to assume..." might be jumping to conclusions - just like I just did. ;D

Shadow Lodge **

2 people marked this as a favorite.

How many new players would you expect to have liberating command ready for this? You're also assuming a well constructed party, which doesn't always happen when, say, people show up for a public event and sit down with random people their level to play (this has probably been discussed else where, and I don't want to distract from the topic). There's no question that there are ways to deal with the golem, but it's probably not good to assume that a table of relatively new players will be prepared to deal with this situation.

But that aside, I got killed by the ebon acolytus, and it was an entertaining combat. To be honest, our party was not equipped to deal with this creature, and I absolutely deserved the death. But the part where my "soul was sent to hell" was actually pretty.... well, gratuitously retarded.

What really is the goal of a permanent death anyway? If the PC can't afford to rez themselves and perma dies that's one thing, but otherwise why is that reasonable? It was totally fine, and quite interesting in how this creature killed me, but permanent death is crappy. Especially at 4-5. I think it is disrespectful to the player, and disregards the time they've invested in playing pathfinder society. That and you basically throw out all the scenarios that they player played and they have no chance to redeem their death no matter how prepared they were. Why would they come back to play?

It's quite interesting how the developers are clearly concerned about attracting players to PFS, and yet they write these behaviors into their scenarios!

Also considering all the high and pretty situational skill checks you would need to succeed at faction missions, it doesn't exactly make this an attractive scenario to play. Which is disappointing because it has a great story.

Other feedback:

Spoiler:

I thought that it could have been more obvious that you need to destroy the pipe to successfully sabotage the base. Perhaps a better hint would be in order?

Also, it may be more reasonable to have a lower DC to find the glyph that dispells the illusionary wall around the basilisks. 28 seems kind of high given that it doesn't scale to lower tiers.

Feedback from other players is that this scenario had way too many save or dies. Two from the basilisks, and then another from that ebon acolytus.

Elemental body 1 is also not an "impressive feat of magic" as stated to be the intention of the scenario for the 10th level caster. If this is truly the plan, it may be better to use elemental body 2 or 3.

The general consensus at our table was that the rewards in general do not match the difficulty of this scenario.

That said, I appreciate that Mr. Mooreland addressed this issue by allowing PCs to be revived if they die from this method. This should be documented explicitly in the scenario, though, if it's not a general rule somewhere already.

I really like playing PFS, I like the challenge, and I anticipate that I will die on the occasion and I am always prepared for it, but I do not find these kind of permanently-die gimmicks enjoyable, and I suspect a lot of other people don't either.

Grand Lodge ***

I ran this twice this past week, once for each subtier. Seems to me subtier 1-2 is rather harsh. Petrifying a level 1 character is easily as good as being dead. And that golem at the end... wow. Killed 2 PCs (well 1, as the party pooled their resources and looted the dead PCs gear to buy a casting of stone to flesh).

The subtier 4-5 went amazingly different. Granted, I had seven PCs, so all the fights went a bit easier, but in the final fight, they just bowled over the ebon acolytus like it was any other minor combat. The funniest part was they made use of the emerald frog and had it charge, and the acolytus immediately grabbed it. One round later, the PCs had killed it. The stupid frog didn't even get killed. I can't help but thinking the fight would have been a bit more exciting if the tactics didn't limit me to grapple/pin/CdG.

Taldor **** RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32

Hyren wrote:
Post

Reply:
Well, I think that part of this depends on your GM. The party that I ran this for used Detect Magic on the seal on the floor, and obviously it is magical, so I let them do that. They then used Spellcraft to determine what spell was there. I let them do that. Then, read magic to determine what spell would be cast by the glyph. After determining that it was dispel magic, the Oracle foolishly thought it was just going to dispel buffs. *shakes head*

I agree with you that the permadeath is not ideal. I'm very frustrated that it was included. That being said, I also think that it is rare to go off, depending on how your GM plays the encounter. The Acolytus is supposed to head towards the players immediately after they sabotage. Do the players hear it coming? Does it wait for them to leave the room to encounter it? These sorts of questions somewhat determine whether this is a lethal encounter or a fairly easy one.

In the end, as I have posted in the other threads, I am against excessive character death when the players aren't being stupid, so I generally think that this scenario can be played a bit harsh. That being said, the table I GMmed this for had no trouble with it. It's probably a function of how organized and cagey your team was.

****

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules Subscriber

The Ebon Acolytus bathed in the blood of a poor Halfling Rogue in a game tonight. I felt a bit sorry for him and he tried as hard as he could to escape with other PC's frantically bashing away as I tried to ramp up the tension of a glowing statue prostrating him with a looming dagger coming closer. Sadly the best efforts of the group could not save the poor guy who had almost no hope of braking the grapple. The PC's wanted to take revenge on the large group of cultists but time stopped that encounter from playing out fully and some reminders that they were suppose to leave the cultists alive to be mad at the Aspis.

I like the idea of having the players make of an Aspis alias, when I run it again on Thursday I think this is a great suggestion.

Run this twice so far and really enjoyed the way this game plays. I can't recommend this game for new players but the higher tier can offer a very good challenge for those wanting to play up.

Grand Lodge ****

All these horror stories about the Ebon Acolytus/Black Tentacles have reinforced my desperate, passionate love of the Escape Artist skill.

Cheliax ****

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Most of my characters carry oil of grease by now.

Taldor **** RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32

Can we just get one sentence errata'd out of this adventure? Please? I think this thread is indicative of the fact that this is probably a step too far. :P

Grand Lodge ***

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber
Netopalis wrote:
Spoiler:
The party that I ran this for used Detect Magic on the seal on the floor

Spoiler:
Did that not also detect the illusory wall?
Taldor **** RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32

Paz wrote:
Netopalis wrote:
** spoiler omitted **

** spoiler omitted **

Paz:

...

I am ten idiots.

:P

Ah well, I will know for next time.

Cheliax ****

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm not sure if this is correct, but I gave my party a will save to detect the illusory wall with detect magic. There doesn't seem like a lot of point to illusions if a quick spell can easily find them.

Grand Lodge ****

Ran this on Saturday, two tables at my store.

Amazing, excellent, and so on!

Will be formulating a proper review today. This was one of the most fun scenarios I've run in a while.

Ron's string of great scenarios continues!

** Contributor

sveden wrote:

Ran this on Saturday, two tables at my store.

Amazing, excellent, and so on!

Will be formulating a proper review today. This was one of the most fun scenarios I've run in a while.

Ron's string of great scenarios continues!

Very glad to hear it! Thanks!

Qadira **** Venture-Captain, Ireland—Belfast aka heretic

Ran on Saturday. 5 players. 3 first , 2 second level. Some excellent role playing fun with the undercover bard slipping up & giving his real name when he met Jenks and later on the barbarian opting to go for the whiskey as his prize in the publican house and going again for the mug. The basilisk could have caused trouble but the scouting rogue made his save and some tactical use of magic saved the day. They even decided not to attack the cultist service though it was seriously considered. Additionally it ended with what I suspect will be among the most convoluted frame jobs for the Aspis consortium.

The construct nearly ended them though. They made good use of their resources, did nothing stupid but had I not rolled very low it would have been a blood bath. I was pleased I did not have a TPK though when I run it again I will aim to seat a full table with at least half above first.

W

Cheliax **** Venture-Captain, Minnesota—Minneapolis aka Leg o' Lamb

sveden wrote:

Ran this on Saturday, two tables at my store.

Amazing, excellent, and so on!

Will be formulating a proper review today. This was one of the most fun scenarios I've run in a while.

Ron's string of great scenarios continues!

And here I was out in the amazing prairie of SW Minnesota, instead of running this. I did get two nights with an absolutely beautiful and amazing view of the Milky Way, though.

With luck, I can convince four players to sit for this. Hm, maybe I can get this added to a convention I plan to attend (You here me Todd Morgan! How about a slot of this?)

Ron Lundeen has a beer, or his beverage of choice, coming if he ever gets to Minneapolis/St. Paul or if he attends PaizoCon.

** Contributor

"Jon Dehning” wrote:

Ron Lundeen has a beer, or his beverage of choice, coming if he ever gets to Minneapolis/St. Paul or if he attends PaizoCon.

Shucks, I'd be honored to accept it! Thanks for the kudos, all!

Cheliax **** Venture-Captain, Minnesota—Minneapolis aka Leg o' Lamb

Ron Lundeen wrote:
"Jon Dehning” wrote:

Ron Lundeen has a beer, or his beverage of choice, coming if he ever gets to Minneapolis/St. Paul or if he attends PaizoCon.

Shucks, I'd be honored to accept it! Thanks for the kudos, all!

I have run Temple of Empyreal Enlightenment several times and whenever anyone asks me to "run something you like" this is the one scenario I will always suggest. Thus maybe I could maybe get a table to finish the scenario. No one has.

I am dead serious about that beer/copious amounts of whiskey.

Sczarni * RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

After playing in this over the weekend, I regret that most of our group has already done it as well! I want to have all the fun allowing a group of players to be terrible people "pretending" to be from the Aspis Consortium while I get to GM all these great events!

Our general comment during part 1 was "Pay up, and remember that the Aspis are a bunch of jerks who show up and take your stuff. You probably shouldn't do business with us ever again. If I had the Aspis knocking down my door, I might even lead a revolt!"

This was definitely one of our favorite scenarios to date! I enjoyed the constant terror of possible death in the safe house, mixed with a ton of fun quests and memorable RP opportunities. This is the perfect balance!

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