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Maiden, Mother, Crone (GM Reference)


Reign of Winter

351 to 389 of 389 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | next > last >>

Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

My players are still in Book 1, but reading ahead I'm a little concerned about the permanent aging effect from the Croning and/or the Eon Pit. The DC for Break Enchantment to remove the aging and other effects is the 11+ the caster level of the enchantment or curse, and I don't see any reference to the caster level for the aging effect of either. Am I missing something?


Tusk the Half-Orc wrote:
My players are still in Book 1, but reading ahead I'm a little concerned about the permanent aging effect from the Croning and/or the Eon Pit. The DC for Break Enchantment to remove the aging and other effects is the 11+ the caster level of the enchantment or curse, and I don't see any reference to the caster level for the aging effect of either. Am I missing something?

Yes you should be very concerned.

I feel like that pit is a big middle finger to 1 player that bravely goes in. However, as a GM I decided to give Jadrenka some scrolls for just the situation. The aging wasn't the worst part, it's the insanity.
Also Both aging effects and insanity are permanent, though a greater restoration or heal spell can restore the creatures sanity, while a limited wish, miracle or wish spell both cures the insanity and restores the creature ot is original age. There for the curse can not be lifted via a remove curse spell, also it's not an enchantment.

Also encourage only 1 player to go in. It's likely they won't want to split party to investigate what's down there.

Be kind to your players and throw in some precautions, extra scrolls, loot, so on so forth...

Also take note that the aging is only 50% each fail of their current age. So it will take 2 fails to age one step.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

I adapted this by adding an extra quest. They have to find the egg of the firebird and if they break it at the bottom of the eon pit, they can undo the aging and insanity effects.


I just went with a witch that did the Croning being immune to the Pit.

of course, that requires having a witch in the party...


lol of course there is always that.


Why not use a fishing rod?


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

They can also use the migrus if they still have it. Since it is a construct, it is immune to aging.


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It seemed to me it was pretty harsh, especially given all the ability damage the party suffered on the way through, so I instead had Jadrenka take the bullet for them. It became a storytelling moment rather than a mechanical one (although it involved Jadrenka finally embracing her inevitable hag transformation, which mechanically was intended to provide a backup final boss if the fight with Vsevolod went too quickly).


Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

Thanks, all. Sounds like it really is as bad as I thought it was, but there are several good suggestions here.


My players used the evil skinning dagger they got off the triplet alchemists - the one that allows you to create an undead creature - and skinned Vsevelod so his undead version went down into the pit for them. It made for a great storytelling moment when the neutral PCs came up with the solution and the good PCs reluctantly agreed but refused to take part and then forced the mage to give up the knife in case he was tempted to resort to necromancy in the future (he'd been telling all the PCs what a useful object it was when they wanted to get rid of it).


How does the frightful presence aura work with a 27 hd chicken hut against the 14 hd frost giants? In general is it panicked for 4hd, frightened for 8hd, and shaken for 12hd? Does it work in reverse? Things 23hd and up are shaken, 19hd to 22hd are frightened, and 15hd to 18hd are panicked?

Dark Archive

tom.zombie wrote:
How does the frightful presence aura work with a 27 hd chicken hut against the 14 hd frost giants? In general is it panicked for 4hd, frightened for 8hd, and shaken for 12hd? Does it work in reverse? Things 23hd and up are shaken, 19hd to 22hd are frightened, and 15hd to 18hd are panicked?

From the Universal monster rules: On a failed save, the opponent is shaken, or panicked if it has 4 Hit Dice or fewer.

The panic is only for creatures less then 5 HD. Any other creature under 26 HD is Shaken.

The Exchange

With how my players go through things, they will either jump steps, or explore every stage of this dungeon set. I am thinking of running things a bit fast, and using another level 8-10 module as a filler (here's another key the hut led you vaguely to, now go get it!), like the old modules "No Response From Deepmar" for level 8, or "Doom Comes to Dustpawn" for level 9 - as that one is an alien ship crash, and book 4 is in space, I thought it might be adapted easily enough. Another option is "Curse of the Riven Sky", for level 10, which could be adapted to the hole in the sky being another of the Ice-spreading ones Elvanna created.

Is this reasonable, or would it not work? Should it happen before or after the "MAiden, Mother, Crone" module?


Personally I found the dungeon varied enough and upped the RP elements enough to hold my players' attention. They found Sweaty-Nips (the unfortunate nickname they gave the BBEG) pretty early but actually still cleared the dungeon of bad things (almost). They enjoyed the level and I'm pleased they did.


Guys, I have a question about the Animate Dream at the start of this book.

The encounter calls for the PCs to beat the Dream's Sense Motive with Bluff checks to reveal her identity/desires. The problem is, the Dream has a SM of +17, making it - in my party's case anyway - extremely unlikely that they can beat it.

Did anyone else have issues with this encounter?


I had that problem too. I adjusted it on the spot to have the Dream rant about its motives mid-fight.


GM-JZ wrote:

Guys, I have a question about the Animate Dream at the start of this book.

The encounter calls for the PCs to beat the Dream's Sense Motive with Bluff checks to reveal her identity/desires. The problem is, the Dream has a SM of +17, making it - in my party's case anyway - extremely unlikely that they can beat it.

Did anyone else have issues with this encounter?

I reworked the encounter--and that whole segment of the module--entirely: http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2sa9q?Alternate-Raven-Challenge

One of the major reasons I did so was exactly what you're worried about: the keystone encounter of the scenario relies pretty much exclusively on one skill (which the players may not even think to attempt while under assault).

The Exchange

Okay, they might be a touch overpowered. My player's looked out the windows of the Hut, saw the first Giant, and started buffing. Like, a lot. Then, ran out, and killed it in 1 round. Then the second in the round it appeared. Missed a couple swings on the third, so it survived a round, but... by the time the fight was done, they had killed 8 of the giants, and scared one off, without using the Hut.

I had switched them to using the middle XP-gain, to slow them down a bit, but even with that, 9x 6400 XP puts them ahead a little, even dividing it 5 ways. And, none of them is really a power-gamer.

Yes, the fighter can do a lot of damage, but that's about all he can do, that and tank damage.

The Summoner is kind of weak, apart from one slowly diminishing wand and a medium strength Eidolon.

The Bard/Rogue is good, and really buffs the party with his Bardic Performance, but doesn't swing things that much.

The Cleric was the swing in that battle, with Blessing of Fervor giving them the Tactical advantage they needed to win. But, one or two castings a day isn't that impossible.

And the Monk with a splash of Sorceror, so he can Enlarge Self, is decent, but not that great. Is he?

Just, wow. They really beat that encounter.


Yeah, if the giants come 1 at a time then a decent party should tear right through them. It's only when the giants start piling up that they can get in trouble.

My party was crazy strong, so I think I started the fight with four giants present and had the rest arrive the next round (after which the Hut rose up and expressed its displeasure).


I gave them nearly all the giants at once and basically told them they were using the hut to defeat them... They had a fantastic time because the hut is crazy!


I gave my players control of the hut for the encounter. They definitely had fun with it, but one in particular was enforcing a line of play that was distinctly suboptimal for the hut. He would make sure the hut swallowed all of the giants so they didn't pose a threat to the party, but this was terrible for Ratibor and the hut's security, since the giants would be inside it. So, I would intervene occasionally to have the hut spit them up so the damage the giants could do inside was limited.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

My group managed to kill 4 Giants before the hut killed the rest. But yes, it was a fun encounter!

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Iobaria and letting the party explore:

So my question lies in how much would you allow the Geas they are under to be bent so that they can explore Iobaria? There are so many ruined cities, towns, and dungeons in this realm. And, the items here could really aid the party.

I know that they need to enter the three statues (for Mother, Maiden and Crone). But, I want to allow some flexibility without:
1. Making think that they can go off the reservation whenever for however long before they are affected.
2. Losing the true focus, which is rescuing Baba Yaga.

I guess I am asking for some practical suggestions and how flexible I should be overall with this one.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I think I would take the tone of the party (and also how much I as a GM wanted to create from scratch) - my worry about this book and the following is both how to keep the party going towards the final end and how to give them enough time to gain their levels etc while not going too far off the rails entirely (and how to get to the craziness of Book 5 which is one big reason I wanted to run this AP in the first place... my campaign has been on hold for a while - if we resume I'm looking at whether we resume from book 3 or whether we restart from Book 1 (but I'll likely work on streamlining the books somewhat).

In terms of the Geas and mantle - while they were mentioned in the initial book the subsequent books seem to have largely ignored them. As a GM I'm not sure how I feel about that - on the one hand the Geas is a good excuse to curb too much randomness/going off the rails - but it is also a pretty heavy handed method. The carrot of the mantle is a bit better but I wish that the books did more with this aspect of the adventure.

(One modification I did was to transfer the mantle to new characters when players left or when characters died - otherwise we might not have had anyone with the mantle)


If you want to give them the chance to explore but still keep them on the path, you could consider moving one of the keys to the ruins somewhere. Perhaps the warden lost it in the ruins on one of her rare jaunts? She could provide the PCs with the clues to seek it out after the clear Artrosa. Or you could have the centaurs provide clues to it so they can look for it before entering Artrosa (maybe they don't actually know where the three statues are, but know they've seen a strange woman in the wilderness on occasion who might...).


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

I added an extra location and put an item there to mediate the effects of the eon pit. I linked the extra location to the story of one of the characters.

The Exchange

Whenever I feel the characters are starting to veer too far off course, or take too long with item creation, I start having the geas kick in. And the first sign is the loss of the +2 from it, then if that doesn't get them in motion, they'll start losing more stats.

Hasn't failed yet.


So, my PCs have arrived at this book. They did my version of the hut layout and are about to enter Iobaria. There have been a few things people have commented about this module I want to adapt.

Firstly, the Iobaria part is too short. So, I fleshed out the centaurs to be suffering from an incurable plague (including the chieften). The southern tribe have reported a strange glowing eye appearing amongst the northern face of Zvartien. One of the chieftain's daughters, a witch centaur went to investigate, despite her father's urgings not to.

Furthermore, to the north an army of Kostichticie centaurs and frost giants are blocking the route to Artrosa. If the PCs can find the chieftain's daughter he will permit his other daughter (the centaur NPC from the book) to show them a hidden route around them in the crevasse. And will rally the other centaur tribes in the meantime to attack the army. Alternatively the PCs can ignore this side quest and try to sneak through the army camp using invisibility or flight etc.

For Zvartian I intend to use a watered down version of the tomb from Varnhold Vanishing. Only reskinning it as a temple to the four horsemen of Abaddon. The top level being to the horseman of pestilence where a daughter of Urgothea (who is one of the PCs ex-wives) and a cult of white furred werewolves have put an artifact called the Jaundiced Orb into a pillar of power to spread disease in this part of Iobaria. Killing them and removing the orb will end the disease and cure the centaurs. The witch daughter will also be imprisoned their and there will be some items that will help them in Artrosa. Namely an ebony fly, sword of the plane and a ghost touch weapon or two.

I also thought on the way back the witch centaur could tell them the back story of Kostichticie round the campfire. Cue attack by demons!


So the second thing I haven't given much thought to yet is Artrosa and making Jadrenka make sense, giving it more of a sense of invasion and explaining Vsezolod's goals better.

I really like the idea of Jadrenka being imprisoned by the hag Coven, who have aligned themselves with Vsezolod. They haven't killed her because they want to transform her into a hag too. Maybe Baba Yaga's cookbook gave them
access to some sort of binding spell, which the PCs must undo. Until then she can only image project herself to key points in the dungeons (where the PCs encounter her). She can't ask for help but she can drop cryptic clues like, 'There is power within the mother's womb' which is where she is imprisoned.

Other ideas I have are for there to be a frost giant being tortured by the redcaps in the dungeon. And to have the night hag battling misogyny demons. Replace one group of demons with centaur barbarians. And for Vsezolod himself to be accompanied by two centaur priests who are leaching the power of the crone pit to open a portal to bring Kostichticie through, where he intends to destroy Artrosa completely. In the epic end battle they must stop this ritual (hopefully with Jadrenka) which is in its end stages.

Finally I feel like the maiden and mother stones need more purpose. What if when Baba Yaga gets pregnant with the next Queen of Irrisen she comes here. The mother stones have the power to speed pregnancy through to completion. The maiden stones have the power to change a male body into a female one (should Baba Yaga have a son instead ) and this explains how Jadrenka's lover changed.

Thoughts?


Hey there. So has anyone run this having Jadrenka as a captive? How did it go and what did you do exactly? I really have to do something similar because my PCs have a way to show they are Baba Yaga's riders (or on the way to being) through powers they have, and it wont make sense that jadrenka doesn't just help them if she is free.


The main problem I am running into is having Jadrenka still be a prescense in the dungeon as well as being trapped. I still want to run the three set encounters with her. I thought about her being a projected image, but then she'd need line of sight, which she wouldnt have being locked up. Programned images might work but then the PCs cant interact with her meanigfully.

Am I complicating matters unnecessarily by having her captive? Is it simply better to have her vows make her unable to help even the riders till they prove themselves by killing Vsezolod? Maybe Vsezolod simply drove her off when she attacked (in my versión he has a necklace which protects him from Witch hexes).


I ran her more as a captive to her promise to protect the place. Until they proved they weren't there to attack I ran her as being unable to help them, rather than unwilling. Once they showed that they were supporters of Baba Yaga and not there to "invade" I suggested she was holding back some of the monsters, as well as answering their questions. It was only after Vsezolod was killed that she was released from her promise a little, as the threat had reduced down, so she could help them a bit more with what was left over for them to find out.

They never trusted her, but some of the PCs ended up talking more to her and built an interesting relationship. The paladin left her be, but did say he'd be back to deal with her...

The Exchange

I added the Tomb of the Necrophage from the Tombs of Golarion book. The Centaurs needed the players to go in, because they couldn't fit in the entrance, so the PCs could get rid of the cannibals inside that were raiding the Centaurs. It added some interesting twists to the story, and a few more interesting items. Then, they lost one of the minor artifacts (the club) because it bonded to a centaur child as they passed by. Some nice RPing there, as they had to decide what to do. They decided to wait to the Mother entrance, and went in there, but when it was mostly done, they came out.

They passed the tree the first time, by having the Summoner summon a demon from his list, to give to it. The tree refused it a second time, wise to that trick, so they attacked it. Trickier battle than they expected - the movement from the tree caught them all by surprise!

The Exchange

In addition, a successful DC 15 Perception check turns up a potion of remove blindness/deafness—the triplets have partaken of this one potion many times over (with the help of alchemical allocation extracts) after visits with their mother.

The nymph's blinding beauty specifically states it affects humanoids only - how would folarren, which are medium fey, be affected?


Writer goofed.

That potion is gloriously gross though, so roll with it. I think my PCs threw it in a fire.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Planned Encounter Treasure:

Do the written, planned encounters require you to add treasure using the "treasure" type section listed for the creature in the Bestiaries?
Or are the pre-written encounters already including whether or not there is additional treasure?

For example:
D9.) Nostafa (Night Hag, Treasure: Standard): Encounter specifically states she is wearing a Heartstone as all Night Hags do, but also has a Necklace of Fireballs, and carries a Bottle of Messages.
D7.) Upasundra, Asura (Treasure standard; weapons listed above plus other treasure).
There is NO treasure listed in this block, but the creature description says she carries a Masterwork Longsword, Spear and Kukri. Is that all this encounter has, or should I determine additional random treasure?

Thanks,
John


I usually go on with the treasure as written unless it is a non statted monster from a bestiary.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

Use the treasure as written. If you add treasure, your PCs will end up too powerful.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Thats what I assumed.
Planned written encounters vs Unplanned/Random encounters.
Thanks!

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