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#2-14 The Chasm of Screams **SPOILERS**

Pathfinder Society GM Discussion

In #2-14 when the moorlocks attack with the nightmare vapor, I'm unsure of exactly how to handle the save DCs with multiple doses.

Do the PCs make six saves as the six vials crash to the ground, exposing them six times (in high tier)? Would those saves be at DCs 20, 22, 24, 26, 28, and 30? Or would they all be at 20, +2 for each FAILED save?

Or would they just make a single save at DC 30?

If they stay in the cloud of poison, they'd have to make DC 30 saves to not be effected, assuming they're not already affected from the initial attack, right?

Scenario One

If the vials aren't shattered exactly simultaneously, then it works as follows.

Step 1: Each Player rolls 1 DC 20 save. If he passes, repeat this step for the second and subsequent saves, returning to this step after each successful save. On the first FAILED save, deal onset damage and proceed to step 2. If all 6 saves are passed, this sequence terminates.

Step 2: Having taken the onset damage, the player turns to the remaining doses and begins making saves against them. The save is now DC 22, as he has one dose of poison in his system. If his saves pass, he continues making DC 22 saves against remaining doses until he has passed all remaining saves, returning to this step after each passed save. On the second (and subsequent) FAILED save, proceed to step 3.

Step 3: Deal onset damage. Then, for every failed save after the first, increase the DC of all remaining saves against the poison by +2 and increase the duration by 50%. Return to step 2 after increasing DC and duration.

Scenario Two

If the vials are shattered exactly simultaneously, then it's as follows:

Step 1: Each Player rolls 1 DC 30 save. If he fails, he takes the initial onset damage and is poisoned for (normal duration +50% x5). The saves during this duration are all DC 30. If he passes, he is not poisoned. End of sequence.

Poison Cloud

For the poison cloud afterwards, it's debatable if it counts as a concentrated dose of the poison. If you think it does, that's a DC 30 save each round to avoid either a) onset damage and being poisoned, or b) onset damage, +2 DC and +50% duration if already poisoned. If you think it doesn't count as a concentrated dose, it's as above, but only DC 20.

Poisoned Characters

Poisoned characters then have to save during each of their turns to avoid ongoing poison damage, at the DC set by how many doses they have in their system, and for a duration based on the number of doses.

Stray Thoughts
The initial save can be describes as 'Does this dose of poison enter my system?' If the answer is YES, then check 'Am I already suffering from one or more doses of this poison?' If the answer is NO, deal onset damage and the character is poisoned. If the answer is YES, deal onset damage, +2 DC to the existing poison, +50% duration to the existing poison.

Paizo Blog on poisons may also help.

Hullo. This scenario seems interesting and has plenty of variety so I'll be running it on Wednesday. However, the write up includes some rather confusing if not outright problematic parts, so I need some help.

Let me just list my questions/problem areas here:

1. In the initial encounter inside the Phitoness' hovel, the PC's face the possibility of being buried alive. Should this happen, how long does it take for the party to dig their allies out? The only reference to being buried that I could find was in the cave-in hazard:

In 1 minute, using only her hands, a character can clear rocks and debris equal to five times her heavy load limit. The amount of loose stone that fills a 5-foot-by-5-foot area weighs 1 ton (2,000 pounds). Armed with an appropriate tool, such as a pick, crowbar, or shovel, a digger can clear loose stone twice as quickly as by hand.

The PC's won't get buried by a tonnage of stone so how long should the digging take?

2. C1 tells us that Each minute of travel, the PCs must succeed on a DC 20 Acrobatics check to avoid slips and slides toward the bottom of the shaft. Those who fail end up prone in area C2 and suffer 2d6 points of damage from the rough landing (DC 20 Reflex for half).

However, there's no explanation on how long the descent could take. It's a 100 ft. slope downwards and not a combat encounter, so should I use the local movement (mountains, trackless, so 1/2 speed) rules? That way, assuming a walk speed of 20 feet, they could travel 200 feet/minute, which the trackless mountain terrain would halve. Anyone?

3. How about the rest of the dungeon then? The map isn't too helpful and I need to know or at least get a rough guesstimation on how long does it take to travel from C2 to C6. Reason being the environment: the main event of the scenario is an ice cavern in high altitude terrain. If the trek takes long enough, I'll be asking for Fortitude saves vs. hypotermia and altitude sickness.

4. I don't understand the combat area or the morlock warden tactics in C3. Are they trying to block the PCs escape or entry? Upon finishing a strike, they scurry back up the walls, trying to get enemies to chase them, but how? There's no ceiling height listed. Very confused. I'd appreciate examples from people who have run this.

5. Frosty lurker? Moar like equipment muncher! Am I supposed to ask for saves even if the equipped items have no listed hp's or hardness? What happens if they get damaged?

6. Cailleach's tactics state that she turns ethereal, uses her sleet storm ability, and if possible, grabs Eya and drags her about the caverns, taunting the PCs and trying to get them to split up in order to attack them individually, . Two questions: Sleet storm while ethereal, yay or nay? Grapping Eya, but going where? I assume anywhere that's tactically sound, but it could just mean a safer spot inside area C6.

Thanks in advance. Help me make the coming session cool. Severe cold cool.

I guess I could just wing it.

Gave me an excuse to vent, so no loss.

 2 people marked this as a favorite.

So, that was that: A decent session all-in-all.

I decided that it would be a big waste to not give an update on how I solved at least some of these issues. I remember searching for earlier threads concerning them and finding quite a few people had had similar problems. That might include you, the one reading this message. So let's not waste your time, like I wasted mine looking for the answers.

I hope. I mean there aren't clear cut solutions here afterall!

1. The burial problem

Dying is not fun, most of the time, and while the hermitage is made of granite slabs, high level adventurers should stay larger than life. What I did then, was first ask for Str checks(they got a crit success), then have them dig each other out. Every minute, a PC could move enough slabs to save one ally. Escalation of manpower had them in the clear pretty soon and the trap only cost them a couple of channels.

2. The slope

Nothing to it, really. The mountain environment lists that a trackless exploration area halves the movement speed. Then it's only a matter of asking who's the slowest in the group and going by that. Mine was 20, so descending the slope took 2 minutes.

3. Dungeoneering

Winged it, had them roll Fortitude vs. severe cold contact just before the boss and altitude saves on the way to the chasm. The distance between the hut and the dungeon was missing, but the Campsite section mentions half-day rations etc, so winging the time wasn't difficult.

4. Morlockathon

Picked a 15 feet high ceiling to preserve sanity. To hell with the tactics(and you, Crom), the area was so full of morlock(mor-locked?) that the tactics didn't survive any kind of contact anyway.

5. Overgrown coolant bubble

After an hour of grueling morlock mayhem my players decided to forego the optional encounter for, well, more morlocks, but I did decide beforehand to just ignore any damage the oozenaught might cause to such gear that didn't have any rules on durability. Just imagine what would happen when a blinged out monk grapples it...

6. Boss

I decided to run as written and, on grabbing Eya, treated the situation as a tactical retreat: Once the players saw their prize gone, they started looking for the hag(and the loot). After a minute had passed(10 rds worth of ethereal movement for Cailleach), they heard a shrill laugh from the stalagmite cave. There the battle resumed, with the hag invisible and in cover. Much better.

Righty then, next up: The Golemworks Incident. Plenty of threads on the boards about that, luckily

 Venture-Agent aka Jayson MF Kip

For what it's worth, as I prepare to run this Saturday (assuming the table fires), I appreciate the post-run review.

The polar pudding is such a hassle- -I may just skip the optional already.

I'll echo a request for a bit of suggestions here.

No problemo. Posting some antics from a year ago:

1. The pc's decided to rope their way up the shaft after their initial descent. It took so long that they lost their rope midway thanks to the icy bonewind. It was a great interlude and really made the characters loathe the place. "Even the wind hates us!"

2. I ran the morlocks as two groups, one moving in to lay mayhem upon the PC's and the other cutting off their escape near the ledge. Both groups flung their payloads and settled on the ceiling to watch what would happen. I managed to confuse the group's zen archer so they got to act pretty much unhindered thanks to their climb speed and massive Acrobatics boni. Morlocks can be a massive bother to run thanks to their m.o of leap attacking, but I "ate"(old Living Greyhawk term for test running sans players) the combat beforehand and had the first 5 rounds worth of moves in my head. Made it run smoothly, but boy did it run long.

3. Miss BBEG has a lot of tpk potential in high tier. Her shadows consumned the group's alchemist before xe go to act. I had the shadows pincer maneuver the party, but the characters' positioning saw the alchemist as the only viable target for two of the undeadsies. I'd be very careful with those things. The night hag is a pushover, but her minions can really tear characters apart. The players' faces were something to see when their friend rose a few turns later as an undead shade!

 Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

My Life Oracle had to go into overdrive on that one. Good times!

Just imagine that combat in Core...

 Venture-Agent aka Jayson MF Kip

Any opinion on the suggested teleport and possible consequences if it's declined?

I'm honestly not sure. My players took it. I'd probably have the Phitoness be already dead but saveable with raise dead and such once the hag is gone. Seems a tad harsh, but it's not a lot of money if the players pass the hat.

Steven Schopmeyer wrote:
My Life Oracle had to go into overdrive on that one. Good times!

My Tiger animal companion lost over 20 points of strength when I played. I had to quicken a sanctuary on him to keep him alive.

 Venture-Agent aka Jayson MF Kip

Well, to help the future GMs:

The Six:
Cleric of Desna (travel, luck) 11
Fighter (Viking) 10, High AC, intimidate specialist
Summoner (Chained) 10
Monk 9
Witch 8/Oracle 1, fortune/misfortune/evil eye
Bard (Sound Striker) 9

Firstly, there was a travel domain cleric. Teleport, no sweat, things are normal enough.

A few people get buried, a few wand chagres, no sweat.

The Play-by-Play:
Barbarians land one hit in the three, maybe four rounds it takes to clean them up. Summoner's eidolon is charge-pounce one-rounding for 85% of their HP. Most get burning disarmed. All are shaken.

Morlocks are a speedbump, but again offer little resistance. Oracle Misfortune is a good substitute for high fortitude saves. Deeper Darknesses get dispelled, etc.

And then the hag fight. She starts invisible, summons her shadows into a wall, gets a surprise round on all but one PC, but rolls really low on initiative.

She bites, misses. Three shadows partial charge out, make two hits, each do 8 STR damage- -one to the 12 STR Cleric, the other to the 7 STR summonner. Awkward. Dream Journal, re-attacks, re-rolls damage (which I'm not sure if it actually does re-roll the damage, but whatever), hits 7 STR damage, still dead, still awkward. (Rolls 4 turns on the respawn.)

The cleric channels, quick channels for a total of 53 (of the shadows' 58 hp (one failed both saves)). The rest of the party piles on the hag- -because 'the cleric has this.' She cold blasts, staggering only the cleric. The shadows do 2 STR damage total that round, and move away into/through the walls.

Round two, the hag gets hit for a bunch and fails to defensively go ethereal. The shadows flyby attack and kill the cleric, Dream Journal, drop the Cleric to 1 STR away. He can only channel to hit one at a time (in case the first one kills him). One dies. Another touches the Viking (1 STR damage) and gets killed on an AoOpp. The third rolls a nat 1 and misses the barely standing cleric.

Round three, the hag eats an 81 damage crit and dies. The cleric readies to channel, and the last one dies before the summoner's shadow raises. It's easy pickings by then.

End result: 1 dead via Greater Shadows in a surprise round, 1 VERY close. It was a pretty big spike in difficulty (because it hit the place in the party where they were weak), since they had very little difficulty prior to it.

What is dream journal?

Also I don't believe the shadows can partial charge out of the wall. You need to be able to see your target to charge and while hiding in the walls they can only sense creatures adjacent to the surface.

 Venture-Agent aka Jayson MF Kip

dream journal of the pallid seer? (archives of nethys is down, so I can't link it). Maybe it's not as ubiquitous in your area as it is here.

It appears they cannot partial charge without line of sight. That makes the tactics not work at all.

EDIT: Found the (less reliable) srd link: Dream Journal is a Verb, now

Jayson MF Kip wrote:

dream journal of the pallid seer? (archives of nethys is down, so I can't link it). Maybe it's not as ubiquitous in your area as it is here.

It appears they cannot partial charge without line of sight. That makes the tactics not work at all.

EDIT: Found the (less reliable) srd link: Dream Journal is a Verb, now

Wow, that is excellent, I have never seen it before and mostly run online. Dirt cheap too. The 24 hour requirement might make it impractical in a lot of scenario's but fatigued is dead easy to remove.

Hmm, one issue is that it is single use and presumably wont persist across scenarios so you are spending 600gp every session. Not much in 7-11 but reins it in a bit at lower tiers.

Remember that becoming undead is not cleared with raise dead but requires freaking true resurrection.

Which reminds me, I forgot to mention that to MY players.

Cool story, in any case.

 Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

Unless the body is destroyed in the creation of the undead, resurrection can be used after the created undead is destroyed.

For Golarion, Undead Revisited specifically states that the creatures shadow tears from its body and rises as a shadow. The body is not destroyed.

 Venture-Agent aka Jayson MF Kip

Yeah, the party chipped in for a resurrection.

Woah, holy subtle wording Batman.

I'll be running this tomorrow, and I'm confused which penalties count where. There's the howling sound, and the wind that's making ranged attacks hard. In some areas it's more difficult than in others. Does anyone have a spreadsheet or something to remind yourself which penalties occur where? I could whip one up myself, but it'd be nice to know if I was correct.

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Muser wrote:
Remember that becoming undead is not cleared with raise dead but requires freaking true resurrection.

Which my table learned dramatically and painfully as the channel + quick channel left the room at positive hit points and the player, who spent the rest of the scenario bragging about his AC quickly realized that his touch AC was not nearly as impressive.

As explained some time ago, just resurrection is enough, but yes. Darned nasty.

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

My error for forgetting to remove the critical word in that one.

Still...

Play report of this session:
Consensus: too easy, mostly because of poor action economy. The party consisted of a level 11 Fighter/Barbarian, level 10 Rogue/Brawler/Fighter, level 8 (?) Alchemist, level 7 Lem. Two big frontliners, one backup artillery, and a good support. We were playing low tier. Which, to be fair, was a poor choice with the level 11 Fighter.

Trap: Piece of cake. Rogue saw the trap, disabled it, done.

Barbarian fight: I moved it to the campsite as there was a map and a good location for it, rather than a mapless and featureless hole atop a mountain. Barbarians had crap to-hit and damage output and only one guy got a sneak attack off before being put down. Me and the players were amazed at how poorly these things were statted. Light armour, crap DEX, no Power Attack meant that they had no AC (one party member rolled a 2 and said he missed. I urged him to calculate it anyway and he was amazed to hear he hit anyway) and terrible damage output. The only thing they've got going for them was their HP pool, which is quickly depeleted anyway.

Morlocks: Fell due to poor action economy. I couldn't place my guys well enough so they'd stay out of reach, so they were clogged up in melee. The poison did help though, the Rogue and Lem were confused, but Lem was ineffective and the Rogue snapped out of it quick enough.

Ooze: That got my party scared, as the Rogue's main damage output was his sneak attack, but a quickbombing Alchemist with fire bombs cleared the encounter with no damage done to the party.

Morlocks revisited: Again, terrible action economy. Nothing to add.

Boss: Was sort of interesting, as the Sleet Storm obscured a lot and the DR meant it could take a lot more hits, but the action economy still meant it could only inconvenience the party, rather than pose a threat.

In the end, my players felt that it had potential, but it simply didn't pose a threat. That's partly to blame due to party composition, but I feel like a normal low-tier party wouldn't have found it that more difficult. Party also wasn't that keen on the random weather effects that didn't do much. The deafening effect didn't come into play, even had the fight taken place there, and the blinding/damaging effect was in a place without combat anyway, and easily cured afterwards. This scenario had potential if there'd been about twice as many enemies. Now it was simply a speed bump. I couldn't really challenge my players with anything, they left with easy gold/XP.

It's season 2 ffs. What did you expect, Sealed Gate?