The Kintargo Contract (GM Reference)


Hell's Rebels


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The purpose of this thread is to clarify questions arising in this adventure.

This thread is a GM Reference thread for Part 5 of the Hell's Rebels Adventure Path. Links for the individual threads for each part are as follows:

Silver Crusade

Do you think it was a last act of spite by Tiarise Izoni that got Octavio Sabinus listed as Order of the Rack in the new Kintargo city stat block? Or did he have a change of heart while we weren't looking? ;-)

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8

What is the duration on the ferrugon's vainglorious whispers ability? My assumption is 1 minute, but I could see it being anywhere from one round to one hour or even more.

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Demiurge 1138 wrote:
What is the duration on the ferrugon's vainglorious whispers ability? My assumption is 1 minute, but I could see it being anywhere from one round to one hour or even more.

It's best to assume if we don't list a duration that the duration is just 1 round as a general rule. We SHOULD have included that in the monster's description, of course, but yes, it's just 1 round.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Is Citadel Enferac in Ravounel or Hellcoast?

On the map in 'The Kintargo Contract' the border drops south and then runs diagonally up towards a cove on the coast... seeming to include the area where Enferac would be. However, in 'Cheliax, The Infernal Empire' the Ravounel border seems to run pretty much due East-West from the same cove into the mountains... thus possibly passing just North of Citadel Enferac.

In either case, it's close. That said, if Enferac were in Ravounel it would logically be one of the areas that would have to agree to ally with Kintargo to fall under the 'no Thrune troops' provision. Since that didn't come up, I'm guessing the citadel is in Hellcoast... or just would never agree to the deal and thus automatically reverts to Chelish control.

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CBDunkerson wrote:

Is Citadel Enferac in Ravounel or Hellcoast?

On the map in 'The Kintargo Contract' the border drops south and then runs diagonally up towards a cove on the coast... seeming to include the area where Enferac would be. However, in 'Cheliax, The Infernal Empire' the Ravounel border seems to run pretty much due East-West from the same cove into the mountains... thus possibly passing just North of Citadel Enferac.

In either case, it's close. That said, if Enferac were in Ravounel it would logically be one of the areas that would have to agree to ally with Kintargo to fall under the 'no Thrune troops' provision. Since that didn't come up, I'm guessing the citadel is in Hellcoast... or just would never agree to the deal and thus automatically reverts to Chelish control.

It's in Hellcoast, but not too far from the border. Yet still SOUTH of the border and firmly in the Hellcoast archduchy. It is relatively close, yes, but there's not a lot of civilization in that part of Ravounel OR Hellcoast. I suspect the remoteness is part of why they chose that site for the citadel; it helps with defense. It's outside of Ravounel, though, and thus not really subject to the alliance between Cheliax and Ravounel. The PCs are certianly free to try to recruit the Hellknights of the Gate to their cause, but seeing as how their leader is lawful evil, I doubt such an alliance would work out.

That said, Hellknights are not "Thrune Troops." They are mercenary groups. Many hire themselves out to Thrune, but they are not officially government agents.

In any event, by design, the ONLY Hellknight order with a base of operations in Ravounel is the Order of the Torrent.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Great job Jim, love the adventure so far, especially Ithanothuar. :-)

Also the Grundlescorn Sisters, great stuff!


Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Perhaps I should ask this here: The Zephyr has a bit of a discrepancy in its breath weapon. The stat block says "sonic energy" while lower on the page it says "electricity". Which is it?

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

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captain yesterday wrote:

Great job Jim, love the adventure so far, especially Ithanothuar. :-)

Also the Grundlescorn Sisters, great stuff!

Thank you. You are very kind.

James Jacobs is actually responsible for Ithanothuar, and I think the addition is inspired.

I *DO* take credit for the Grundlescorn sisters.

This just goes to show that all products are the result of teamwork and collaboration. Behind every great writer is a great (and hard-working) developer.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I love the infernal contract rules, and the clever rationale for why the loophole in the Kintargo contract exists.

One potential worry, though: Wouldn't it be in a good-aligned party's interests to not tell Cheliax about the hidden clause in the contract? For if they can get the Cheliax to invade Ravounel, that would void the contract between the Hell and the House of Thrune, and free all of Cheliax from infernal control...

Any thoughts on how to spin this or tweak things so as to not make this the smart play on the party's part?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Porridge wrote:

I love the infernal contract rules, and the clever rationale for why the loophole in the Kintargo contract exists.

One potential worry, though: Wouldn't it be in a good-aligned party's interests to not tell Cheliax about the hidden clause in the contract? For if they can get the Cheliax to invade Ravounel, that would void the contract between the Hell and the House of Thrune, and free all of Cheliax from infernal control...

Any thoughts on how to spin this or tweak things so as to not make this the smart play on the party's part?

Not telling Cheliax runs the very real risk of Cheliax storming Kintargo and destroying it. Sure... that'd break the contract and cause tumult throughout the nation... but Kintargo'd still be a smoking ruin. Hardly a victory for the Silver Ravens.

AKA: If the PCs don't tell Cheliax, they have no protection from Cheliax, and the last adventure changes from what's presented in print to you having to come up with rules for mass combat and likely leading to either a TPK as the full wrath of Cheliax descends on Ravounel or forcing the PCs to flee their home.

If you WANT to turn the last adventure into a full-on war, of course, go for it... but Pathfinder doesn't handle mass combat on that scale well at all.

Silver Crusade

Well, voiding the Chelaxian Covenant would pretty much throw a good portion of the Inner Sea region into absolute chaos. That would be a pretty big reason not to do it to at least some of the PC's allies.

Also, Ravounel would still be invaded by Cheliax in that event, which would have a pretty high death toll. So even some of the chaotic allies would probably have an interest in not-death.


Porridge wrote:

I love the infernal contract rules, and the clever rationale for why the loophole in the Kintargo contract exists.

One potential worry, though: Wouldn't it be in a good-aligned party's interests to not tell Cheliax about the hidden clause in the contract? For if they can get the Cheliax to invade Ravounel, that would void the contract between the Hell and the House of Thrune, and free all of Cheliax from infernal control...

Any thoughts on how to spin this or tweak things so as to not make this the smart play on the party's part?

I thought about that too.

Shadow Lodge

James Jacobs wrote:
Sure... that'd break the contract and cause tumult throughout the nation...

Timing is important here. If the Glorious Reclamation is still a significant force at the time the Silver Ravens are negotiating with Cheliax, then throwing the regime into chaos is at least a rational gamble. If the Iomedeans have been smashed by that point, however, then there is nothing to be gained. The regime's managed to strengthen itself to the point where it can both defend itself against its internal enemies and conquer Ravounel without Hell's support. The task becomes to defend a redoubt and rebuild for the next attempt.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Not telling Cheliax runs the very real risk of Cheliax storming Kintargo and destroying it. Sure... that'd break the contract and cause tumult throughout the nation... but Kintargo'd still be a smoking ruin. Hardly a victory for the Silver Ravens.

Ah, good. That sounds like a good way to deter players from taking this line. So maybe I'll plan on emphasizing Cheliax's overwhelming military power early on, and making it clear to the party that even without infernal help, Cheliax has a strong enough military to crush Kintargo.

zimmerwald1915 wrote:
Timing is important here. If the Glorious Reclamation is still a significant force at the time the Silver Ravens are negotiating with Cheliax, then throwing the regime into chaos is at least a rational gamble.

Yeah, that's what I was thinking too -- the players might take this to be a great way to make sure the Glorious Reclamation succeeds.

But, as you point out, timing is important. If the party knows (or is informed by an ally) that Cheliax is unlikely to turn their attention to Ravounel until after the Glorious Reclamation is taken care of, then breaking the power of the House of Thrune by tricking them into invading Ravounel would come too late to help the Glorious Reclamation... Yeah. Good.

Silver Crusade

The more I read this, the more I think I need to read about what happens after death in the setting. Does anyone know what the best source is for that?

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Eliandra Giltessan wrote:
The more I read this, the more I think I need to read about what happens after death in the setting. Does anyone know what the best source is for that?

There's a big article about the soul and its journey after death in the last volume of Mummy's Mask.

Silver Crusade

James Jacobs wrote:
Eliandra Giltessan wrote:
The more I read this, the more I think I need to read about what happens after death in the setting. Does anyone know what the best source is for that?
There's a big article about the soul and its journey after death in the last volume of Mummy's Mask.

Which I actually have! Thanks!

Silver Crusade

Eliandra Giltessan wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Eliandra Giltessan wrote:
The more I read this, the more I think I need to read about what happens after death in the setting. Does anyone know what the best source is for that?
There's a big article about the soul and its journey after death in the last volume of Mummy's Mask.
Which I actually have! Thanks!

Have now read the mentioned article, and it was exactly what I wanted to know. Recommended reading for anyone running this AP.


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I've put in a small flavour tweak to the Genius Loci ritual, adding in the element that the eventual power of the Genius Loci is in part based on the importance and influence of the individual to the area in question while they were alive.

This helps give a further justification for Barzillai seeking power and authority in the region, rather than just focusing on his ritual plans, as he'll become a more powerful Loci because of it.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

Running the rebellion in chapter 5

How are most of you handling rebellion turns going into chapter 5? Is it still something that holds a spotlight?

There appears to be little within these late adventures aimed at improving the Silver Ravens beyond what's achieved in the first four chapters, and aside from a massive push by players to recruit new supporters (as officer recruiters using the recruit action), there seems no significant method for them to increase the Silver Raven's rank. Am I missing something? Is this intended

Arguably, the rebellion as the players have known it would recede as the city returns to normal and effects a friendly government once again. But the incentive to increase the rebellion's rank still exists for players given the boons they can extract from it.

Further, notes within the adventure speak about using team actions, so it presumes the rebellion persists in some fashion. I'm almost of a mind to consider it dissolved, given the shift in focus away from adventuring in Kintargo during the last two chapters, but I'm not sure my players would be satisfied with that approach. I doubt that they will be satisfied with a neutered and difficult to rank rebellion, either.

Shadow Lodge

Midnight Anarch wrote:
I'm almost of a mind to consider it dissolved, given the shift in focus away from adventuring in Kintargo during the last two chapters, but I'm not sure my players would be satisfied with that approach. I doubt that they will be satisfied with a neutered and difficult to rank rebellion, either.

The question that must be answered, before thinking about how to play the Silver Ravens as an organization at this point, is "what are they?" It's hard to consider them a rebellion when they've successfully carried through a coup d'etat, albeit in one region and indeed one city before the start of The Kintargo Contract. To my mind, what they are is a very powerful political party, with an extensive, deeply rooted organization and enormous prestige. Political parties with that much power don't simply wither away because they're not needed anymore. They determine the course of nations. So The Kintargo Contract might be a good time to transition to using Ultimate Campaign's kingdom rules, either alone or in tandem with the tail end of the rebellion rules (NB: the rebellion rules cycle on a weekly basis, while the kingdom rules cycle on a monthly basis).

Other options to consider are putting down organizational roots in the outlying towns and the countryside. The Ravens are assumed to have precisely two sympathizers in Vyre after Dance of the Damned. Build on that - an organizational base is surely necessary for dealing with subversives like the Church of Norgorber on any kind of permanent basis. Same idea for Cypress Point and Whiterock, visited for the first time in this adventure (though Whiterock has no content provided for it, and Cypress Point's is limited to one NPC). What does their strategy for revolutionizing the countryside, from big estates to smallholdings, look like? Their nationalities policy, especially as it relates to communities like Acisazi and Kitkasiticka?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber
zimmerwald1915 wrote:
The question that must be answered, before thinking about how to play the Silver Ravens as an organization at this point, is "what are they?"... To my mind, what they are is a very powerful political party, with an extensive, deeply rooted organization and enormous prestige.

I would not describe my players' version of the Silver Ravens as a political party. It's been much more of a partisan styled affair--clandestine operations punctuated with fierce ambushes--which is why it may suit to deprecate the rebellion phases as the AP becomes more "adventurer" style in play.

The issue is that there is zero support for continuing the Silver Ravens in the actual books. There's no talk about new teams or allies, or ways that the Silver Ravens would be able to scale the exceptional numbers required to gain further ranks. Basically, nothing of substance about running the Rebellion any further. They don't even talk, in any way, about running the rebellion in the introductions of #5 and #6. All that signals the rebellion as becoming inconsequential, mechanically.

Looking at that reality, I've been wondering how others have actually run the rebellion turns in practice after completing Chapter 4.

(Whatever I end up doing, the Silver Council will continue to be a thing for my PCs, though perhaps not as an every session ordeal.)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

My players were researching a the Heart's Harvest contract. As you're familiar, the rules say that a research check represents an uninterrupted 8-hour period of research for which characters cannot take 10 or 20.

When they failed, one of the players wanted to use Gallant Inspiration to potentially reverse the result. RAW, I was unaware of any reason to refuse, but it felt like an erroneous use given the conditions. I allowed it but am forced to wonder: is it a viable application of the spell?

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I would think so, provided the person casting the spell is present for the entire research time of 8 hours. the knowledge check happens at some point during the 8 hours (presumably at the end), but represents the culmination of 8 hours of work (much like the spellcraft check every day when crafting a magic item).

Similarly, what about the Bard/Skald ability of Lore Master to always take 10 on knowledge checks (or take 20 once per day)? It seems like this is one of the few times that ability (especially the take 10 part) would be especially useful.

I think the Take 10 proviso on the contract research is to prevent people from gaming the math too easily. A standard INT caster would have +22 easily to the appropriate knowledge. Factor in a +4 from the Scholar feat, +2 from multiple extended heroisms and +2 from an item and two assists, and you easily get to auto-succeed a take10.

At least the Complexity 50 of the Kintargo contract is out of reach of all but the most skewed characters (investigators).


i GOT to say ... I LOVE that sexy contract devil . My party gave him/her A pet name. and eny moment they speak about him/her the say Oxddy the sexy devil .

Silver Crusade

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They are very sexy.


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I ran Odexidie's office + noble wrangling + slavers last week. O was as much enjoyed by the players as by me - he's wonderfully written and his responses really resonated with the characters. The players had obtained the password because Occultists are ridiculous (I say this with great affection for the class - they're a great vehicle for transmitting behind-the-screen info to the PCs). There was a LOT of discussion about signing the infernal contract to go home, but it was pretty easy to convince them once they realized the possible end locations for a Plane Shift with Kintargo as the target, up to and including Egorian or a random spot in the ocean.

The nobles went fine and quick. The party enlisted Octavio's assistance for locating the "dead" noble to clear Carliss' name, had set up a meeting with the Queen of Delights for Tanessen and Delronge, and blew the diplomacy DC out of the water for Solstines. Obviously, a friendly and engaged Laria was more than happy to join.

So those Greenbriars...my party had been absolutely crushing combats heretofore, so I decided to rebuild Delexia. I had a couple objectives in mind: make her hit more frequently, deal better with the archer inquisitor, and provide loot that fits with the Automatic Bonus Progression removing virtually all loot from her original form. I exceeded my expectations and really had them on the ropes with this rebuild. The rest of the encounter was completely stock and, quite frankly, not very exciting, but rebuilt Delexia really made the players think outside their normal comfort zone, pulling out all the unused magic items they had in the occultist's backpack (horn of blasting, for example). Flying kick -> Trip -> Disarm -> punch punch punch is a really fun full round. It took a while for the kineticist to catch on to the fact that her AC and Touch AC were the same (with Combat Expertise and Furious Defense, it was a respectable 25) and with Improved Evasion, shooting a line of electricity was not particularly effective, either.

Next session for us is this upcoming Sunday. I'm writing out the underwater stuff (it feels like a time-waste for a party with multiple means of addressing the underwater combat and enemies lacking any oomph with spell DCs and such), but I'm very much interested in seeing how they interact with Ithanothuar. I would expect both the Terapasillion and Ravounel Forest missions to be completed, along with some lead-up to Mangvhune.


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Well, as should be no surprise to any of you, my players decided that "we start with home turf." The level 13 party decided to track down Mangvhune, having only previously seen the first 2 murders. This was all we did in a 5 hour session and it felt pretty darn good.

Investigation:
After recovering from the fight against rebuilt Delexia overnight, the party tiefling was roused by a silver raven figurine message from Hetamon. I generally describe the figurines as having a monotone rendition of speech, so what he heard was:

"There's been another hook murder. Please bring your friends to the Cloven Hoof Society."

As they arrived, they quickly realized that the "hook" was really a vomiting Hetamon, who was still dry-heaving in the bushes. I really played up the horror elements of the murder. They wanted to take care of home turf, after all, and they needed a bit more motivation. After a non-productive Speak With Dead and a very successful Kn: History, they began walking towards the Academy, but noticed a small crowd outside of Kelimber's. They broke in, found signs of struggle and nothing else of note as I enforced that they probably bought things from him in the past (we've been light on the in-town RP for the sake of one of the players).

A few moments of discussion with the headmaster and off they went to the office.

Shax's House of Pain:
Knowing that the party Occultist/Investigator had Trap Spotter, I made sure to queue up a relevant soundbite to break some of the tension. The initial concern about the teleportation circle was broken when they had someone go through with status and that person didn't immediately die or disappear from the plane. The party consists of 3 humans and 1 tiefling, but they didn't all put light sources on themselves. Not only that, but the tiefling was the one in possession of the daylight source. Trap Spotter goes off, they disable the trap. The perception and disable device modifiers are higher than the trap DCs all round, so I don't even have to roll anything.

The party moved into A2 and, while the cambions lost initiative horribly, they still had a full round before being engaged because everybody moved before the party light source. This gave them sufficient time to have their buffs up and start moving, but they were more or less cornered into the lower level. It was a slaughter. Unbeknownst to the party, they were doing their telepathy thing, telling Mangvhune some tactical things.

They then moved to A3, before looting any bodies. I wanted to ensure that the plot piece of the haunt was not lost, so I had decided to make some aspects of it automatic - no save on the trap the soul and it would target the first person to interact with it. The cleric channeled to harm the haunt (DC 30 perception vs a +53 perception modifier, naturally), so the cleric poofed while the other 3 dealt with the dybbuk. It got a total of 3 actions, one of which was an AoO, as the Occultist used Legacy Weapon to give Ghost Touch to the archer's bow. I tell the cleric (once he returns) that we'll discuss the ramifications later, but fully described the scene for him. Then they searched A4 and found all the things.

Mangvhune:
"Let's clear out this upper level before we go downstairs." Off they went to the surgical theater. Kelimber is dead on the table, covered in wax. Mangvhune is happily greeting them. Obviously, they don't like him and initiate combat, with M landing last in the initiative order. He eats over 100 damage and teleports to the shrine room to cure and get ready, sending the cambions there towards the theater. The party starts exploring the doors. They hilariously leave the kineticist inside the meat locker and, as a result, the cambions tell M, who teleports in there and stealths. I forgot light levels (all light sources were >60' away and mostly around corners) and the cleric, who came to open the door for the kineticist, notices M due to See Invis and a decent perception check. Kineticist runs out of the room. M takes a few frustration swings at the cleric. Once the meat locker door closes again, he teleports out to A2 balcony, about 3 squares from the stairs to the surgical theater, and tells the alchemist to join him. The cambions had already been on their way. At this point, we've done a full rotation and the demons are now assaulting the surgical theater.

Kineticist charges (via flight) to the stairs to attack someone and I enjoy the fact that I'll FINALLY get a death attack off, albeit against the character with the highest Fort save in the party. I tell him what he saved against (he, of course, made it) and the look on everybody's faces was priceless. The alchemist makes it up and crit bombs the kineticist to low health and the kineticist is so wounded that he gets put into a resilient sphere so he can kinetic healer himself back up in safety. The cambions cure M's horrific wounds from the onslaught of the inquisitor archer as he walks back around the corner. The inquisitor had been hit with a Legacy Weapon for phase locking, so no more teleport shenanigans are likely. The occultist, knowing that his party is mostly safe from the enemies, tries to lob a fireball past the sphere and hits a nat 1 on the attack roll to go through the narrow space.

The occultist's player, a PFS Venture-Captain, curses my recollection of obscure rules as he blasts the entire party, less the resilient sphere'd kineticist.

The inquisitor squeezes past the sphere while spider climbing (via slippers) to get a clear shot on M so that the phase locking stays active. M points out the invisible inquisitor to the alchemist and hits with some magic missiles. The alchemist moves, lobs a bomb, and misses entirely. The rest of the party starts pushing out as the inquisitor takes a full round and obliterates M, putting him at about -35 with an arrow to spare. The alchemist, however, full round bombs the occultist to death before he gets taken down. The cleric, who keeps the set of ring gates from the Temple of Asmodeus active on his chest and the occultist's chest, hears that he's gone down and BoL's him. There are 2 cambions left and I call the fight. That combat was approximately 2 full hours.

Final thoughts on this area:
This was one of the most evocative areas in the AP so far. The players were as shocked as their characters (though the 14 year old was a little less engaged on some parts of it). The party is going to be 14 going into the end of the book, though I gave the option to the cleric of level + boon or mythic tier and he took the mythic tier. This was my compromise for making the haunt a bit more automatic. I really liked the ability I had to scale the encounters via telepathy. Any single fight in the area, less potentially the dybbuk, was not particularly challenging to my players, but I can see how they would be a reasonable challenge to a less-optimized party. The overall size of the place really let demons be demons and do demon things, which was pleasant from the GM side of the screen. The players greatly enjoyed the added flexibility I was able to show with the encounters and how I was really able to make them work for their success. These were highly satisfying encounters. That said, while I had spent a fair bit of time preparing, I think that I didn't pay quite enough attention to some details, including my preparation of the alchemist.

I somewhat suspect that the players will consider coming back down here at some point, particularly to Speak with Dead on Mangvhune about the Soul Anchor. At the very least, it seems like it could be a very useful space for some things after they clean up some of the nastiness.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

Not a ton to be said about today's session, which wrapped up book 5 for my table. Terapasillion + Ravounel Forest only.

Forest:
The party went here first, continuing the trend of reversing the order of the book. They arrived via Wind Walk and found the strix well before they could be contacted by the hags. After the kineticist nearly offended them into combat ("Why did the chicken cross the road?" "Is that some sort of racial slur?" "...to kill the hags..."), they managed to recover and enlist aid in hunting the hags. Inquisitor archer arrowed them to death, and away they went.

Terapasillion:
The nightwing was frightening and hilarious - two failed attempts to aggressively Heal due to SR, a lot of AoOs, and a dispelled Darkvision, but no lasting damage.

The trap was hilarious. It took the party entirely too long to figure that out, but it was eventually disabled. The giants basically fell over, as giants do against a ranged-heavy party.

Ithanothuar impressed, as expected. The party's average diplomacy mod is over 30, so it went well.


My party threw the forest into a brick wall with a simple spell: Rope Trick.


So, one of the early plot hooks in this module is the Board of Governors. While I already ran into what I am about to ask about... I feel I should ask anyway.

DC 50 is not infeasible to meet with bonuses from the Special Collections in the Church of Asmodeus for characters at this level. A trained character could reasonably have +7 Int, +9 Ranks, +3 Class Bonus, +4 Aid Another, and +10 to +14 from the various books that were added throughout. A Bard can make this even easier, conceivably. This came up in my game, where the group was able to work through the Kintargo Contract initially without the help of Odexidie to remove the +10 DC penalty and as such they were able to determine the existence of the Board of Governors.

The book does not mention the Jackdaw (who was alive while the Board of Governors was active) nor does it consider the use of Speak with Dead on the corpses of the Silver Ravens... or really anybody in Kintargo from 100 years ago. It feels like enterprising players could easily just bypass Odexidie as written - or at least there would be no mystery of the Board of Governors given the lifespan of races in Golarion. Did Thrune Redactors go around eliminating any long-lived people with knowledge of this subject? I could certainly see Queen Abrogail make the point of that.

As a somewhat related question, I am utterly boggled by the timeline on the Kintargo Contract. The Kintargo Contract covers House Thrune's ability to use military force in Ravounel... but House Thrune needed the Cheliax Covenant to end the Chelish Civil War and crush Kintargo. Since these contracts are intertwined, I am unsure how this works.

It feels like if it was pre-end of Civil War, Abrogail would not have had the authority to negotiate a contract on behalf of Ravounel and if it was post-Civil War, Abrogail would have already had to have the Cheliax Covenant active. Any thoughts on this?


Asurie wrote:

So, one of the early plot hooks in this module is the Board of Governors. While I already ran into what I am about to ask about... I feel I should ask anyway.

DC 50 is not infeasible to meet with bonuses from the Special Collections in the Church of Asmodeus for characters at this level. A trained character could reasonably have +7 Int, +9 Ranks, +3 Class Bonus, +4 Aid Another, and +10 to +14 from the various books that were added throughout. A Bard can make this even easier, conceivably. This came up in my game, where the group was able to work through the Kintargo Contract initially without the help of Odexidie to remove the +10 DC penalty and as such they were able to determine the existence of the Board of Governors.

The book does not mention the Jackdaw (who was alive while the Board of Governors was active) nor does it consider the use of Speak with Dead on the corpses of the Silver Ravens... or really anybody in Kintargo from 100 years ago. It feels like enterprising players could easily just bypass Odexidie as written - or at least there would be no mystery of the Board of Governors given the lifespan of races in Golarion. Did Thrune Redactors go around eliminating any long-lived people with knowledge of this subject? I could certainly see Queen Abrogail make the point of that.

As a somewhat related question, I am utterly boggled by the timeline on the Kintargo Contract. The Kintargo Contract covers House Thrune's ability to use military force in Ravounel... but House Thrune needed the Cheliax Covenant to end the Chelish Civil War and crush Kintargo. Since these contracts are intertwined, I am unsure how this works.

It feels like if it was pre-end of Civil War, Abrogail would not have had the authority to negotiate a contract on behalf of Ravounel and if it was post-Civil War, Abrogail would have already had to have the Cheliax Covenant active. Any thoughts on this?

If your players are able to avoid the visit to Odexidie then let them avoid it. Nothing wrong with that... well.... kind of.... The way to close Odexidie's portal to hell is to make the Kintargo Contract publicly known... Making it known is what prevents Cheliax from being able to come in to attack (which the players would probably want to do) but clever players may want Cheliax to actually break the contract... To do so they could get the board together, ratify a lord-mayor, have the lord-mayor deny House Thrune permission to attack Ravounel, and then when Cheliax comes anyways they break the contract and lose the support of hell...

So if they don't visit Odexidie you should probably change what happens if the contract is broken.

The Kintargo Contact & Cheliax Conenant were signed before the end of the war (signing it is what allowed House Thrune to take control). There's nothing to indicate that the Board of Governors was created because of the Contract so I would assume that they were they were a political group in Kintargo well before the war and Abrogail I asked permission from the lord-mayor to come in and help Kintargo during the civil war.


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The previous two posts appear to have jumbled up a couple items, at least as I understand them.

The Kintargo Contract is part of the Cheliax Covenant - they have the same date/time stamp. The Kintargo Contract is (as implied by the AP) just one of multiple portions of the Covenant, one for each region/duchy of the Empire. This was done to bind all of them to House Thrune and justify the Church of Asmodeus' ascendancy across the Empire.

Except the Kintargo Contract has a hidden clause that exploits a legal nicety - Ravounel was never properly annexed by Cheliax. To the humans of Cheliax and Ravounel, this subtle point was irrelevant. The rulers of Cheliax had military and political power (both pre- and post-civil war) and its legal justification wasn't all that important - might makes right, possession is nine-tenths of the law, etc. But such things matter to devils/Asmodeus, this enabled Odexidie to give a properly ensconced Lord Mayor of Kintargo the right to refuse Thrune domination and threaten the Covenant.

Odexidie has no interest in Ravounel or Cheliax other than for his high quality work in creating the hidden clause to become well known and increase his reputation. Ergo he is just as willing to tell both the rogue Asmodean, Barzillai and the CG pc's all about it. There is no gate from Kintargo to Hell other than the talisman and if the pc's never invoke it, it is harmless.

There might be ways for the pc's to learn about the Hidden clause and the Board of Governors without a trip to Hell. And the only purpose of that part of the AP is for the pc's to get that information. If they learn of it from other sources, they can skip the trip. The GM may need to provide additional xp awards - or make a story award based on discovering said information. There should be no need to change the consequences to the Covenant based on how the pc's learn about the Hidden clause.

It is true the pc's might have an incentive to trick or manipulate Abrogail II into breaking the Covenant. But this is true regardless of how they learn about the Kintargo Contract. They could reform the Board of Governors, properly elect a Lord-Mayor, declare independence and wait for the Empire to invade to re-establish their rule and unwittingly break the Covenant. In other words - don't tell Abrogail about the clause, and don't have a Lord-Mayor formally reject Thrune occupation prior to it happening. But that would be an extremely risky course - Civil War would very likely engulf Cheliax and that would probably be just as bad for Ravounel as a Cheliax invasion to crush their rebellion/independence (dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria!) Unless... the pc's knew who would win that civil war. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the Glorious Reformation. I don't have (and don't want) Hell's Vengeance, but it seems likely that even late in that AP, the Reformation has a chance to win. If at the wrong moment, the Covenant were broken - that would turn the tide to the Reformation, probably decisively. Breaking the Covenant is probably #1 on the Reformation's to-do list but they just don't have a way to do it. This is one of the key reasons the Hell's Rebels AP goes out of its way to keep the Silver Ravens and the Glorious Reformation from linking up.

The Board of Governors pre-dated the civil war. It's unclear whether the Lord-Mayor at the time of House Thrune's victory was appointed by the Board or by House Thrune in disregard of the Board. But it's also not relevant. The Lord-Mayor would need to both be elected by the Board AND know about the Hidden clause. I can't accuse you of breaking the law if I don't know the law exists. I think the Lord-Mayor in question was from House Sarini and wouldn't have invoked the Kintargo Contract even if he knew it existed since House Sarini is/was a Thrune ally.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Latrecis wrote:
I think the Lord-Mayor in question was from House Sarini and wouldn't have invoked the Kintargo Contract even if he knew it existed since House Sarini is/was a Thrune ally.

You're right on track.

From Turn of the Torrent, p. 5, Adventure Background:

In the years after the end of the Chelish Civil War in 4640 AR, the city of Kintargo was aimless and lost. [...] At the same time, House Thrune placed a particularly odious sycophant named Nemnen Sarini in the role of lord-mayor.


I think my point on the matter is that it is unclear under what authority Abrogail I was able to negotiate the Kintargo Contract prior to signing the Cheliax Covenant. Bribery and manipulation seems the likely route, though, as has been stated above.

It's just a little awkward that the Cheliax Covenant is what gave House Thrune power to end the civil war, but it is also what holds the nation together under House Thrune rule as well. I guess the nutshell is that she didn't have the legal authority to make any of the deals until she had the power to enforce them. Perhaps that is part of the Cheliax Covenant which is not mentioned.


Perhaps there is a bit of chicken and the egg. But I view it like this:

Cheliax is a nation built on arch-duchies and other vassal state holdings

These duchies are bound to the throne of Cheliax through a variety of legal and treaty and vassal agreements

House Thrune is a legitimate claimant to the throne of Cheliax (though maybe not necessarily the most legitimate dating to the time of the civil war - just the one left now.)

House Thrune signed the Cheliax Covenant which binds Thrune and Hell. The Forces of Hell and the Church of Asmodeus will serve House Throne in establishing and maintaining rule over Cheliax and House Throne will serve Hell and the Church, promoting the worship of Asmodeus, etc.

The Cheliax Covenant therefore has explicit definitions of the regions that make up Cheliax and will be in scope for Thrune control/Asmodeus worship, etc. These definitions rely on the historical bindings for each region or duchy to Cheliax itself. This in turn allowed Odexedie to insert a hidden clause in the Kintargo portion of the Covenant that exploited the loophole around Ravounel's original annexation or binding to Cheliax. Absent any other valid rulership, the chosen method for political power was the Lord-Mayor as appointed by a Board of Governors (which we can assume has been a long standing practice in Kintargo long before the death of Aroden, civil war and the ascendency of House Thrune.)

Abrogail I is free to sign the Cheliax agreement since she led House Thrune and the Covenant defined both how Thrune and Hell would relate during the civil war and how they would relate after Thrune ascended to the throne. Technically, one might suppose that a Lord Mayor of Kintargo could have rejected the presence of Thune/Hell forces even before Abrogail sat on the throne but would have relied on said Lord Mayor knowing the clause even existed. The implication in the AP is that the permission to enter must be formally rejected - the default position is permit - which would be very important for Abrogail to conquer the city in the first place.

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