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#4-9 The Blakros Matrimony (Mega Spoilers Inside)


Pathfinder Society GM Discussion

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Silver Crusade ****

Thurston Hillman wrote:

It's somewhat of a conceit, but I wanted to ensure there were some things for the PCs to do in the scenario beyond just the social role-playing. Heck, the follow-up kidnapping scene can still be resolved through RP if the PCs decide to let the switch happen.

It made sense for our group. As part of our shmoozing we'd mentioned to several people (the mother, the guard captain) that we were more than willing to provide help if it was required. So our being asked for help made perfect sense.

We solved the issue by a combinstion of roleplsying and combat

Spoiler:

After some inconclusive discussion, combat started.

While the others were engaged, my character very quickly went over and put her sword to the throat of the person who had instigated the kidnapping. Made her bluff check to convince everybody that she'd slit her throat if they didn't stand down (she'd never have carried out a cold blooded murder). They stood down
and more conversation ensued. We ended up letting the sisters decide.

I was worried that we'd managed to avoid the only combat. Good thing there was one more :-)

Sovereign Court * Contributor

pauljathome wrote:
Thurston Hillman wrote:

It's somewhat of a conceit, but I wanted to ensure there were some things for the PCs to do in the scenario beyond just the social role-playing. Heck, the follow-up kidnapping scene can still be resolved through RP if the PCs decide to let the switch happen.

It made sense for our group. As part of our shmoozing we'd mentioned to several people (the mother, the guard captain) that we were more than willing to provide help if it was required. So our being asked for help made perfect sense.

We solved the issue by a combinstion of roleplsying and combat

** spoiler omitted **

That is awesome! I'm very glad that people are coming up with creative solutions to the 'first combat' scene.

When it came to designing the encounter, I knew I wanted to include Olaf, as he was a fan favorite at the Grand Convocation. When I pitched this scene as part of my original plan , Mark came back with setting up the 'flip-flop' of the twins.

I had reservations about making the sister switch a faction mission, as some early feedback said it could lead to party infighting. Luckily, I haven't seen any real issues with that so far, so I'm glad I was able to work it in!

Dark Archive ***

I have a few questions concerning shadow evocation. As I understand it, I cast a fireball so the pcs get a dc x reflex as if it's the real spell equal to the will save as te true spell. Once that dam is resolcved, do they automatically get to roll a will save to see if what dam. they took is only 20% or do they have to state they disbelieve or something along those lines in order to get the will save?
Do they have to make a spellcraft check, monster lore, knowledge planes to see that it is a shadow demon so they know he can't relly cast fireball so they now qualify to do a will save to disbelieve?

Thanks in advance for any help.

*

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Note well...

Spoiler:
...the tactics for both levels indicate that Arastrax actually avoids using his offensive spells, like that shadow evocation you're thinking about.

That said, my understanding of the way it works is that characters effected by any shadow evocation get a Will save as soon as they "interact with" the evocation. I personally would count "seeing" as being an interaction. So, the shadow evoked fireball appears, those characters who see it get a Will save, and if they make it, they disbelieve. If they disbelieve they potentially take one-fifth of the damage rolled. Potentially, because they still get a Reflex save (albeit against the DC of the shadow evocation) to take half damage.

So the order of operations and saves, I believe, goes like this:

shadow evocation is cast
•Characters see/interact with it and make Will saves against a 5th level spell to disbelieve
•The shadow fireball explodes
•Characters in the area of effect make Reflex saves against a 5th level spell
•Those characters who made the Will and Reflex saves take one half of one fifth of the rolled damage
•Those characters who failed the Will save but made the Reflex save take half the rolled damage
•Those characters who failed both saves take full damage

At least I think that's right. That's what I put in my notes when I ran it, on the off chance I wound up using the evocation for some reason.

Paizo Employee ** Developer

Christopher Rowe's order of operations looks correct to me. Note that this is the case for evocations with an instantaneous duration and might be bit different for evocations that linger for a bit (like flaming sphere), as I'd rule that in that case interaction wouldn't just be seeing it. The rules themselves aren't really clear about what constitutes "interaction" with an illusion.

*

1 person marked this as a favorite.

*blush*

Mark Moreland said I was right about a rules question!

*squee!*

Dark Archive ***

just thought that something would have to give them a reason to want to disbelieve. not just a mere seeing it or once it "hits" you.
so a 10d6 fb,save for half (reflex). does around 30 or 15. then will save for 20% of that.
in tier 3-4 he uses shadow conjuration 3x for dretches. in tier 6-7 there is no mention. he is supposed to come back in true form but just hide in shadows while the babaus fight. then use "pounce" ea round ( I believe they refer to fly by attack but that has limited use. he uses his offensive spell like abilities while in the possessed body (ie. shadow evocation).

perhaps Thurston could give us a hand with this.

*

joe kirner wrote:
Spoiler:
...he uses his offensive spell like abilities while in the possessed body (ie. shadow evocation).

Good point. I ran it on 3-4 and hadn't read the upper tactics that closely.

As for there having to be some reason for them to disbelieve, isn't that just the nature of shadow magic? Only "20% real" and all that, so there's always something about it that could legitimately give you the notion that it's not real?

Liberty's Edge *****

6 people marked this as a favorite.

For anyone who wants to know more about illusions, I highly recommend an old series of articles written during D&D 3.5 They explain a lot about all of the different types of illusions and what constitutes "interaction."

Rules of the Game: All About Illusions Part 1
Rules of the Game: All About Illusions Part 2
Rules of the Game: All About Illusions Part 3
Rules of the Game: All About Illusions Part 4

*

Loved this scenario, but I had some real RP pros so that makes it easier. I made some 4X6 cards with portrait pictures on them so my players could keep all the NPCs straight.

At the end I was worried about a big let down when the monster murdering them just decides to leave, so instead I had the High Priest of Abadar enter glowing in holy fury and say, "Stand aside Pathfinders! Job well done on protecting these people, now leave it to me!" Then I had the devil run off. Everything went perfect.

Silver Crusade ***

Just played this last night with Sammy T as our GM, and I just want to say this is a truly great scenario, and Sammy did a great job with it.

Our party definitely had the right characters for a social function. 5 out of 6 were charisma based builds (3 bards, an oracle, and my sorcerer). And we all played up the social aspects and had fun with the RP.

This was great timing for my PC in particular, as he had just hit 20 fame on his previous adventure, and picked up an official noble title from Taldor, and a herald to introduce him. Being a half-crazed gnome with ADHD, he just wanted the title for kicks, not because he actually cares about politics or any of that. So when he tried to talk to the elder Madame Blackros, and she made a snide remark about Taldor giving away worthless titles "again", which is entirely true, he wasn't the least bit offended.

Our group ended up going along with the sister switch (after killing Olaf's henchmen and knocking him unconscious, then waking him to interrogate him). One point that came up at the end is that we had to decide if we should tell the Pathfinder Society about the switch, and we actually decided not to. Now that it's over, I find it amusing to see in this thread that there's a faction mission to encourage the switch, since we didn't have anyone in that faction with us when we did it.

Question about the Taldor faction mission: Who was Delsemere's brother? The name sounds familiar, and I'm trying to remember it. If it was who I think it was, I'll kick myself for not remembering it during the adventure, because my Taldor faction PC that I played in this one may actually have been involved in killing the brother in a previous adventure. Bringing that up at the wedding party could have been entertaining... though probably not as subtle as our faction leader wanted us to be in insulting him.

Shadow Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Michigan—Alma

Desimere's brother is

Spoiler:
Aglorn Desimere, the BBEG in Storming the Diamond Gate.

Dark Archive ***

his brothers name was aglorn. He was a member of the aspis consortium.

Silver Crusade ***

Eric Clingenpeel wrote:
Desimere's brother is ** spoiler omitted **

Yeah, that's what I thought it might be. My PC that I ran in Blackros Matrimony last night was involved in killing Aglorn previously. I really wish I remember that when I played last night. I could have started a brawl at the reception. LOL

Silver Crusade ***** Venture-Captain, Indiana—Bloomington aka CanisDirus

Absolutely *loved* this scenario! I've always been a "role play > roll play" kind of gamer, so getting to have my Iomedaen/Mendevian Paladin walk around with an interestingly motley group of fellow Pathfinders was a real treat for me!

I'll be running this for my locals tomorrow, and will try to run it a few more times too, to make sure that more people in my area get a chance to enjoy it like I did.

We almost courted disaster when we played it though, when...

We were on the coast...:

When we shouted from across the beach to Olaf and his men to stop and explain what they were doing with the bride (we made the assumption that the twin sister was a doppleganger or something based on the way our GM described her trying to get her hair "just like it had been the last time we saw her"), Olaf chugged a potion and his men started to spread out.

Expecting a fight, our 7th level wizard tossed a fireball at them - only barely missing the twin, but hitting all but one of the squares of the boat. First words out of my mouth (I was next in the initiative order) were "I sure hope the real bride wasn't in that little viking funeral you created..."

Thankfully our GM was kind and let us salvage the situation, and we had a blast with the whole thing!

*Very* well done Thurston!

Dark Archive *

I had a blast when I GM'ed this scenario 2 weeks ago, it is really well designed, with a good amount of time to play, this scenario can give you loads of chance to shine in roleplay.

I've felt really great when I've given the feeling that the players were on a wedding.

The only thing I regret was,

Spoiler:

the combat with Arastrax;
I did use the morale of the Posessed Guard, and the Shadow demon. When Arastrax showed up, the players were already wounded and the players were thinking about "running away". So, when Arastrax finally cast Deeper Darkness, all went black, they planned on to retreat to the docks, and regroup their scattered party, maybe giving them sometime. The thing is, Shadow Demon was not interested in chasing them, thus thought he failed in his mission of "exterminating everyone in pavillion" and teleported away, dismissing the Greater Darkness. When my players, came back to the pavillion, I told them there was a great battle with demons and nobles&mercaneries, that there was a lot of wounded and dead in both sides, and all of the tents were ripped apart, and some nobles were looking to them as they have done something disgraceful, abandoning their post in a combat, and thus, I announced that they have lost some Influence Points with some nobles (as it was written)

The players were shocked, and they refused to be denied their Prestige Points, just to save their lives.

So I suggested that they go and speak with Hamaria Blakros, and make her acknowledge that there was a reason they run away,then they said they had a plan to lure out the shadow demon outside the tent, and defeat the demon, they were successful in persuading the nobles that they didn't run away, so I didn't deny them their Mission PP.

First I thought I screwed up, but there was another GM running this scenario, and she had also the same troubles,

Spoiler:

"the players run away, and they claimed that they didn't"

We had different players BTW, I don't know if they were too stubborn to accept on their retreat, or I was doing it wrong.

Did you happen to encounter this situation, if so, how did you solve it?

I would be glad to know, because I will definately run this scenario again, and I don't want to run into this trouble again.

Silver Crusade ***

So I have to ask...

Spoiler:
Is my group that only one that actually won that final fight by killing the shadow demon? Apparently, the goal is just to survive for a number of rounds, but we had enough munchkins to actually kill him before he got away, even in the dark. Which is ironic, since I intentionally played a face character who isn't that great in combat, but the rest of my group had it covered, and my support helped.

Silver Crusade ***** Venture-Captain, Indiana—Bloomington aka CanisDirus

Fromper wrote:

So I have to ask...

** spoiler omitted **

When I played, we did...but that was largely because we had a group with:

Spoiler:

a) the potions of Fly from Olaf and his people
b) most of the party carried weapons/items that could get past the DR 10 part (but still doing half damage due to incorporeal)
c) continual light items which helped mitigate some of the deeper darkness
d) a Mendevian Paladin whose whole build is centered around demon hunting (me)

We also only got it on the last round before it was going to teleport away, too.

Dark Archive *

By the way, we were playing in Sub-tier 3-4

Sovereign Court ***

Fromper wrote:

So I have to ask...

** spoiler omitted **

Yes:
Mine did; 2-rounded the thing, too. Tier 6-7, and we had (at my request) the local PC Gunslinger/Hellknight of the Scourge. Smite Chaos does wonders in this fight, even despite Incorporeal stopping that crit from happening.
The Exchange ****

It was fun to role play - but I had my PC "take 10" on everything in the wedding reception... so this let me just relax and play. (rather than try to explain why my guy rolled a "1" after that great speech...).

The final fight was fun - two Alignment channelers ("take that vile demon! even if I can't see you!") , and a Tengu that flew up and cut holes in the Pavilian to let the sunlight in (so the Deeper Darkness goes to dim light), and glitterdust to cancel the Shadow blend.

I did end up burning 3 or 4 one use Boons (from PF Tales, etc.), and had a great time doing it too!

Sovereign Court * Contributor

Glad to see the feedback on the final fight! This was a VERY tricky battle to design, as I was dead-set on the concept of including the particular type of demon.

The playtest prior to development resulted in a flat-out TPK.

The original submission had the PCs forced to fight the demon (in all tiers), but depending on which guests they influenced, the party would receive various boons for the final fight. It was a bit confusing, and more for the GM to track, so it was adjusted.

I'm happy to see it is working out! :D

Grand Lodge *

I do have a question. Is the Shadow Lodge faction mission secret? The wording on it can be read either way. (I don't have a copy of it with me).

Sovereign Court * Contributor

The intention was that the Shadow Lodge PC keep their faction mission a secret from the guests (mainly mentioning the sister's appearance at the wedding). This is to prevent numerous awkward questions, and promote more subtle role-playing.

Having the other PCs find out about this should not be a problem. Well, not a problem if the characters are OK with letting the swap take place. Certain good-bent PCs may not like the idea of letting a barbarian kidnap a woman ;)

Silver Crusade ****

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

My combat experience and tips:

:
For both of the tables that I have run this for so far, I have had big meaty fighters. They got super excited for the fight..

But then I cast Fear in the first round.. And everyone went down with it. Those that survived, then endured Deeper Darkness and at that point retreat was the best option. Not once did I even have to cast all the fun shadow beings, because of the party mechanics.

Good thing for them, was that they had spent so much time winning favors that even with the influence point penalty they still completed the missions quite satisfactory. Which is why I am glad that it's not end-game status if they run.

I did this and it worked quite efficiently for both tiers. Both tables were not quite happy to run, but were happy when I told them that they didn't fail the mission cause they had done the "unfun" part and mingled and chat up with guests.

Shadow Lodge **

For the low tier, per the tactics, you don't cast fear until after you've been expelled from your Alistair. As Alistair, you try to summon three times and then melee (which is inevitable given the tight confines). Once Alistair is down, you go to or create an area of darkness to shadowblend in and then use fear if physically threatened.

****

Just a note since I haven't seen anyone else mention it, but the babaus tactics do not fully work. It says that they ready to counterspell, but they only have dispel magic as a spell-like ability so they cannot do so.

Core Rulebook, pg 554 wrote:
Spell-like abilities can be dispelled, but they cannot be counterspelled or used to counterspell.

Even then it wouldn't work since you have to correctly identify the spell being cast and they don't have spellcraft (which is a trained only skill).

Sovereign Court ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Pennsylvania—Philadelphia , Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015 aka Iammars

Mike Lindner wrote:
Even then it wouldn't work since you have to correctly identify the spell being cast and they don't have spellcraft (which is a trained only skill).

Agreed on the "can't use spell-like abilities" part, but dispel magic can be used even if you don't identify the spell. You only need to identify the spell if you're going to use the same spell/use a spell of the same same school w/ Improved Counterspell.

Sovereign Court * Contributor

Apologies for this issue.

The original draft had the babau use their dispels on beneficial effects only. So, when running this I would ignore the line on counter-spelling entirely. Pretty minor issue though, as they should be flanking their opponents most of the time :)

Scarab Sages ***

Wittkyrd wrote:
and teleported away, dismissing the Greater Darkness

Does teleporting away actually dismiss spells cast like greater darkness? The other baddies in there would have liked that boon.

****

Darkness remains until dismissed (a standard action), dispelled, or the duration runs out. Teleporting away doesn't remove it.

Sovereign Court ****

I'm a little puzzled about the influences and when it is possible to make an influence check. Let's see, there are actually SIX times an influence check is called. Note that on page 12 in the Welcome part it says "Influence (2 checks)", but in that paragraph the last sentence says they can make an additional check.

Nigel Aldain is always available.

Alexander Bedard is available for 4 influence checks, and depending on the PCs actions he may be there for another 2. (Boat Ride and Welcome, possibly Reception)

Hamaria Blakros is available for 3 checks, no more (Welcome).

Tancred Desimire is available for only 2 checks, no more. (Welcome last, first Reception). Undoubtly the hardest to please, as he also requires 3 successes. Taldor faction PCs get to roll against a DC of 12, in essence (+4 for knowing the weakness, and the DC is lowered by 2).

Jeon Raeng-Woo is available for all checks and can be helped back to his cottage for another influence point. By far the easiest to influence; DC is low, successes needed is only 2 and one influence comes practically free.

Rubaani Shafaar is always available.

Intriguingly this scenario is a lot easier with 6 PCs rather than 4. Oddly there are no scaling methods used here (such as 'decrease successes needed from 3 to 2').

Can someone give me hints what other NPCs I could include in there as other guests?

Sovereign Court ***** Venture-Captain, West Virginia—Charleston , Marathon Voter 2014 aka Netopalis

When I ran this, I allowed for the faction heads to be consulted as a free actio, in order to discover new NPCs. It helped fit everything together, so that the PCs weren't just dumped into a social situation, not knowing who these people were. I also allowed the faction heads to be consulted later on to clarify a few things, like the significance of the manor in the hills.

Sovereign Court ****

Netopalis wrote:
When I ran this, I allowed for the faction heads to be consulted as a free actio, in order to discover new NPCs. It helped fit everything together, so that the PCs weren't just dumped into a social situation, not knowing who these people were. I also allowed the faction heads to be consulted later on to clarify a few things, like the significance of the manor in the hills.

Ah yes, so the faction heads work wonderfully as a sort of "status monitor". That'd work nicely.

****

Iammars wrote:
Mike Lindner wrote:
Even then it wouldn't work since you have to correctly identify the spell being cast and they don't have spellcraft (which is a trained only skill).
Agreed on the "can't use spell-like abilities" part, but dispel magic can be used even if you don't identify the spell. You only need to identify the spell if you're going to use the same spell/use a spell of the same same school w/ Improved Counterspell.

Thanks. I missed this bit:

Dispel Magic as a Counterspell: You can usually use dispel magic to counterspell another spell being cast without needing to identify the spell being cast. Dispel magic doesn't always work as a counterspell (see the spell description).

**

Posted a short review/comment on the module. Not quite as gushingly fulsome as some, I would have given it a solid 3.5 if I could.

Review

Sovereign Court ***** Venture-Captain, West Virginia—Charleston , Marathon Voter 2014 aka Netopalis

Respectfully, I disagree. You are correct that it is difficult for a party with CHA 7 to defeat this scenario. However, that is not a flaw, that is merely balance. It is difficult for primarily social characters to defeat the more combat-heavy scenarios. The takeaway is that, in PFS, all characters should be built with both combat and social skills kept in mind.

While I would have appreciated a couple of the suggestions, like the knowledge(Arcana) and the Profession(Politician) idea, I still think that the character would need at least a modicum of social skills in order to convey those messages.

**

Netopalis wrote:

Respectfully, I disagree. You are correct that it is difficult for a party with CHA 7 to defeat this scenario. However, that is not a flaw, that is merely balance. It is difficult for primarily social characters to defeat the more combat-heavy scenarios. The takeaway is that, in PFS, all characters should be built with both combat and social skills kept in mind.

This might be true if the assumption was you have a roughly equal number of "fighty" and "talky" characters but you dont. This issue is further flagged by limiting success to only 3 applicable skills out of many possibilities. I personally would have liked to see many other ways to obtain influence over the different npc's.

Taking a random example. Tancreed Dessimire, arrives on his own personal yacht. You can spend time trying to schmooze him or a PC could go off and employ their swim/acrobatics/climb/stealth/disable device skills to undertake a bit of breaking and entering. Grabbing some blackmail material allows the PC's to apply influence against him. Fits with the overall theme of the session, lets people who bought other skills put them into play, doesnt potentially leave large numbers of the group out in the cold.

Quote:
The takeaway is that, in PFS, all characters should be built with both combat and social skills kept in mind.

This would be nice if the mechanics of the system supported you in doing that. The 2 or 4 SP classes who dont have Int as a useful stat have real and diffciult issues putting much, if any skill points into these things. Look at what you might expect from a level 6 fighter who hasnt dumped Cha. He buys a starting stat of 12 as he wants to be likeable, he leaves his Int at 10 as he does need to buy some physical stats and invests 1 (of his 3) skill points into Diplomacy every other level. Thats a mighty Diplomacy skill of 4 at level 6. He might pump it to 8 if he invests a trait to make it a class skill.

Facing DC's mostly of 16-20 I would not want our "charismatic" fighter making the rounds any more than Thog the Cha 7, Int 7 power attacking greatsword wielding thug. God help him if he is playing in the lower tier and is only level 3 or 4 and looking at a Diplomacy skill of 2-4.

Sovereign Court ***** Venture-Captain, West Virginia—Charleston , Marathon Voter 2014 aka Netopalis

(Very quick) Level 3 Fighter build with +11 Diplomacy:
STR: 16 (+2 Racial Boost)
DEX: 14
CON: 14
INT: 10
WIS: 10
CHA: 14

Trait: Illuminator (+2, Class Skill)
Ranks: 3
Ioun Stone: +1

You don't have to throw THAT much away to make a social character in Pathfinder. People ignore those skills because they think that those skills rarely become useful. Now, you are going to complain about a scenario in which those skills are useful?

Sovereign Court ****

1 person marked this as a favorite.

This scenario is a wakeup call. This scenario garners a lot of attention and praise, and thus scenarios like this are bound to be released again. :)

This scenario is for those characters that lack in the combat department. I actually have one such character, albeit too high a level.

Oh and andreww, have you read the scenario or base your review on your play experience? I have to admit I agree with your 2nd and 3rd issues. But regarding #6 I would have come here, to this thread, to discuss the possibility of a Charm Person. I'd imagine the guests including a well-trained wizard who would notice and recognize the spell, and probably scold the PC for using it in such an occasion. For example Tancred is a conjurer, and I assume to be of high level.

Sovereign Court ***** Venture-Captain, West Virginia—Charleston , Marathon Voter 2014 aka Netopalis

Right. If he's powerful enough to summon all of those demons, his spellcraft must be through the roof. Nigel is likely fairly well versed. Rubani would likely have no idea what you are doing and put an end to it, just in case. I suppose it might work on Bedard, Hamari Blakros or Jeon Rang-Woo, but you would still have to cast it quietly and discreetly enough to avoid causing a scene.

Sovereign Court * Contributor

Thanks for the review Andreww.

One thing I do want to say, is that adjusting the checks/DCs depending on player count is a good idea, and not something I had considered during writing or play-testing.

Here's a few thoughts of mine in no particular order.

1) With regards to using other skills and thinking 'out of the box', this really needs to be in the realm of the GM to control. The problem with adding in extra skills and descriptions on 'if the PCs use X/Y/Z' spell is that they eat up word count like you wouldn't believe.

GMs will need to be proactive with this scenario, and reward creative thinking (as they always should). Something like using an alternative skill or casting a spell is up to the purview of the GM to adjudicate.

2) This scenario was already over the normal allotted count, so adding in even more support material was not a real possibility. It is certainly a learning experience, and there are things I would change in future scenarios like this, but I am curious if there are any pieces of information that people think should be dropped to make room for extra nuances on additional spells/skill suggestions. If so, please let me know.

3) As with above, adding in a second support document (after the invitation) would have been hard to put in. Also, it has been my experience that most PFS GMs will create tailored handouts during their preparation of the scenario. I may be mistaken, but from most of the PFS games I've seen, this is the case (that or we're just spoiled up here in Winnipeg).

4) This is really not a good convention module, especially for 6 players. To really enjoy this, you want to have time and let each of the players shine a little bit. Trying to rush through to 'beat the clock' is a difficult proposition with the Matrimony.

6) The faction mission with Olaf is intentionally designed to cause some party conflict/discussion. The idea of switching out the sister's is something that SHOULD be very difficult to achieve, as doing so will have lasting repercussions on the campaign as a whole... thus it should be hard for players to accomplish it. Even if some of the difficulty is from other players at the table!

That about sums up my random thoughts. Thanks again for the feedback, I'll be sure to consider it for future scenarios. :)

Sovereign Court ****

Thurston Hillman wrote:

1) With regards to using other skills and thinking 'out of the box', this really needs to be in the realm of the GM to control. The problem with adding in extra skills and descriptions on 'if the PCs use X/Y/Z' spell is that they eat up word count like you wouldn't believe.

GMs will need to be proactive with this scenario, and reward creative thinking (as they always should). Something like using an alternative skill or casting a spell is up to the purview of the GM to adjudicate.

I instantly came up with an idea of having a wizard boast with his or her knowledge of the arcane arts to Nigel, thus using Knowledge (arcana) to impress him.

It's true there are numerous ways to gain extra credit, but it needs a lot of creativity and out-of-the-box thinking. Some players lack that.

**

Thurston Hillman wrote:
Thanks for the review Andreww.

Hi there, thanks for the constructive response. I should probably emphasize that I did enjoy reading the module and would definately look at using it although probably not in a PFS game without a lot of pre warning for the players.

I certainly understand the issue around word count and the limitations it applies but the "reward creativity" rule is very ambiguous and especially so in a situation where there is a new mechanic which says only A, B and C apply.

Lantern Lodge *** Star Voter 2013

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I had a few very creative ideas come from my group when I ran it for them and I rewarded them thusly.

The party's evoker used a mix of Prestidigitation and Knowledge (Arcana)to impress not only a group of scholars, but quite a crowd that gathered to watch as well. I included a few of the key NPCs in this crowd when he made his Influence checks as well as one or two of the present faction heads.

In addition, the party's fighter wasn't exactly skill heavy walking into the Matrimony, so I allowed him to make the necessary Influence checks with Rubaani as well as some of the Blakros guards utilizing his Profession (Soldier) skill.

These are just a few of the ideas that came up in the course of play and I rewarded them thusly for their creative thinking. The game still ran nearly five hours, but that's to be expected. I wouldn't recommend the game for convention play as Thurston has suggested as well, but it is a good one to offer at a game day where you have a bit of leeway when it comes to time.

Sovereign Court * Contributor

Robert Beasley wrote:

I had a few very creative ideas come from my group when I ran it for them and I rewarded them thusly.

The party's evoker used a mix of Prestidigitation and Knowledge (Arcana)to impress not only a group of scholars, but quite a crowd that gathered to watch as well. I included a few of the key NPCs in this crowd when he made his Influence checks as well as one or two of the present faction heads.

In addition, the party's fighter wasn't exactly skill heavy walking into the Matrimony, so I allowed him to make the necessary Influence checks with Rubaani as well as some of the Blakros guards utilizing his Profession (Soldier) skill.

Again, I want to stress how ideas like the above are INTEGRAL to making this scenario successful. There's not way a scenario can encapsulate every possible action by the PCs or every potential skill set. The RAW in the scenario point to the core skill options available, but there are a myriad of ways that players may go beyond what is written and come up with creative solutions. These kind of cases need to be rewarded.

During the play test, the group took me by complete surprise by saying "Oh, the groom is Hellknight. So there must be Hellknights here. Hellknights are cool, let's go hang out with them." Suddenly, poor Scott Young (the group's GM) was forced to adapt, and did an excellent job of doing so!

So basically... Robert Beasly, you're doing it right.

Lantern Lodge *** Star Voter 2013

Thurston Hillman wrote:
So basically... Robert Beasley, you're doing it right.

Thanks Thurston. Not to put others off on writing their scenarios (nay, I say challenge them!), but this is by far one of my more favorite scenarios to run just because of the possibilities.

In addition, folks, if you feel upset with the Shadow Demon teleporting away after his time is up despite winning or not winning, I suggest making it look like he has no other choice. Whether the PCs are trouncing him or not, have the faction heads come over and say, "You've done your job, Pathfinders. Now go see these people to safety," or something like that.

If the players initiate combat with Olaf (which is a strong possibility after 2 - 3 hours of roleplay with combat-deprived Pathfinders), do what you can to not have the combat feel forced.

Just a couple ideas that I plan on using the next time that I run this scenario. Unfortunately, you learn as you go. It was my first time running the scenario and even with a few days of prep, I was still not fully prepared. It's a great scenario from Thurston that requires a little more dedication and preparation on the GMs part to make it absolutely unforgettable.

If anyone cares for what I hope is a good read, I pray this will give you ideas of what made ours unforgettable:

Our session:

The Grand Lodge supporter in our party was playing with his wife (both in real life and in game) and he wasn't too keen on the compliments Nigel was throwing towards his wife. After insulting Nigel, he threw a glass of wine in the elf's face and was escorted out of the reception for causing a scene.

The Taldans offended Tancred, causing him to denounce Zarta (not to mention when the High Priest of Abadar takes a few jabs at Cheliax) initiated the party's Chelaxian monk to forcefully demand an apology for soiling the good name of the Paracountess. When Tancred refused and tried to remove the monk's hand from his attire, he received a good lick to the face. I had the monk moved to guest quarters and put under the watch of a contingent of Blakros guards along with the Grand Lodge Magus.

Both of these of course prevented them from making any further checks with that particular NPC.

All in all, it was a pretty normal wedding when you get right down to thinking about it.

Sovereign Court ***

Robert Beasley wrote:
** spoiler omitted **

Wow, and here I thought our scenario had a horrible moment. Ours actually had the consequences listed in the scenario, though!

Our incident:
Ours went smoothly, with the Diplo-mancer Aasimar cleric just mopping up all the needed talking and everyone else either finishing his Faction Mission for him or gathering infop. His luckiest roll was with Bedard, however, netting him 4 or 5 successes.

Too bad it all went away when the Hellknight of the Scourge PC shot down Bedard's objection to the marriage. They all watched as I erased those lines under Jander's column next to Bedard. The best quote to come from it was "I apologize, but only out of character." They all (barring the Hellknight) spent the rest of the time getting him to come out from his room and came back to the Hellknight smiting the Abyss out of the demon.

*****

OK ... so maybe I missed it, but does Michilla actually want the swap towards the end?

Shadow Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Michigan—Alma

Its in the Shadow Lodge mission.

Once she awakens, Michellia can be convinced to let Eleanir
take her stead—she had been having second thoughts about
the harsh and rigid man she chose to marry, but didn’t want
to shame her family by calling off the betrothal. Convincing
Michellia to let Eleanir take her place requires a successful
DC 20 Diplomacy check.

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