The Flooded Cathedral (GM Reference)


Ruins of Azlant


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The purpose of this thread is to clarify questions arising in this adventure. This is a SPOILER filled zone, do not venture further if you do not wish the adventure to be spoiled for you, and spoiler tags are not required when posting here.

This thread is a GM Reference thread for Part 3 of the Ruins of Azlant Adventure Path. Links for the individual threads for each part are as follows:

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

So as discussed in previous GM reference, I'm now gonna start keeping list of all colonist names mentioned in books so far. Probably will make own thread for the master colonist list once I'm sure fourth book doesn't provide even more newer names :D(and then it will turn out that final two books add one or two more names so I have to update it anyway)

Colonists that arrive with Peregrine's Bounty along with PCs:
*Alba Divenvaar,
*Anya Sandstrider,
*Carver Hastings,
*Eamon Caranth,
*Harcourt Carrolby,
*Kurvis Nurpico,
*Luetin Calewick,
*Lyra Heatherly,
*Perrell Beys and finally
*Ramona Avandth.

If I didn't forget anyone, outside of these 10 important npcs there are six colonial soldiers and 36 other colonists(composed of 8 farmers, 11 carpenters and 17 dudes with general skills). In opening words Adam Daigle provides names for 14 colonists if gm needs help giving rest of them names and personalities, so that leaves in total of 28 npcs without names. Now let's see how many colonists are mentioned off hand in events and such.

Lost Outpost:
*Antona Sedgewick (soldier)
*Faedwyr Trundlebrook(farmer)
*Daib Joiner(carpenter. Gets mentioned in next book)
*Geoff Tamor(?)
*Milo Cattenbury(?)

Bonus: +2 colonists from Liberty's Herald if domination is gotten rid of one and of them redeemed

Ok so at this point, at least 5 soldiers left, 7 farmers left and 10 carpenters left. Depends on bit whether I missed anyone or missed what Geoff's and Milo's jobs were. Either way, 23 without names left. Book 2 doesn't say anything about every supply ship bringing new colonists, just that if they bring them they can bring 50-80 new colonists at same time and that its basically up to gm decide when population increases happen if they happen. Well let's see if we actually need to increase population at all even if we use all 14 extra bonus names.

Into the Shattered Continent:
*Soran Vigaldo(fisher?)
*Sighra Harleau(soldier)
*Medrinnah Harleau(Sighra's teenage daughter)
*Irvin Lourdein(farmer)
*Andvara Jeclair(wealthy colonist who planned to start a logging company)
*Kereda Harper(?)
*Eskelda Teredein(weaver)

So at least 4 soldiers left, 6 farmers left and and total of 16 people without names left. So far looking unlikely that there will be more names than starting colonists, though I guess its possible we don't have as many carpenters as we were supposed to have :D

The Flooded Cathedral:
*Cedwig Tanner(?, note his family is now dead during the attack, so technically his entry counts as multiple people I guess)
*Colson Werton(?)
*Sandra Ganis(?)
*Jacques Hughon(trapper?)
*Saymor Landis(?)

Bonus: +4 andoren soldiers and +1 colonist(in total +47 if none of dominated people die or if they get caught in middle of fight) from Liberty's herald

So in total so far out of original 52(+ PCs) colonists, if all 14 bonus names are used, only 11 are left nameless. If anybody would like to help me with this project, well tell me if I missed any named or mentioned colonists or their jobs. As far as I can tell, there aren't too many colonists, but I guess there might be too few colonists for specific roles(carpenters being most numerous of the three) if colonists without stated jobs aren't enough to fill them. I'm bit tired after all listing to count them completely right now.

Order of the Amber Die

CorvusMask wrote:

So as discussed in previous GM reference, I'm now gonna start keeping list of all colonist names mentioned in books so far. Probably will make own thread for the master colonist list once I'm sure fourth book doesn't provide even more newer names :D(and then it will turn out that final two books add one or two more names so I have to update it anyway)

Colonists that arrive with Peregrine's Bounty along with PCs:
*Alba Divenvaar,
*Anya Sandstrider,
*Carver Hastings,
*Eamon Caranth,
*Harcourt Carrolby,
*Kurvis Nurpico,
*Luetin Calewick,
*Lyra Heatherly,
*Perrell Beys and finally
*Ramona Avandth

...

This compiled list is incredibly useful. Thanks for the hard work, Corvus!


I just started reading this morning and have made it through the investigation portion. It may also be helpful to note that this book left out some other clues from the previous two books that can help the PCs.

From The Lost Outpost, there is the hidden note and the fact that the first wave ship is missing. That should at least clue them in on the fact that the colonists are not likely on this island.

If either of the final NPCs (can't remember their names) survived, then they could also recall some useful clues. I was a little surprised that they weren't mentioned here (though I suppose it is assumed that the PCs kill them).

It would also be a little surprising if none of the strix knew anything useful. If the PCs went back and talked to them, I would allow for a good Diplomacy (perhaps aided with some nice artwork) check to reveal a strix who recalls seeing a ship sail towards the nearby island from a direction that was likely Ancorato.

I think it is also worth mentioning that no one in their right mind would try and row a small, open rowboat across that distance (especially knowing a storm is coming!) unless they were desperate, hah. At a minimum, any PCs with Profession(sailor), Knowledge(Engineering), or Craft(Shipmaking/Carpentry) should quickly realize that they could rig up a make-shift mast, sail, and rudder to help them.

I do like the story so far though!


So there is no mention of Aoinse coming to the realization that Amaznen no longer exists to guide her.

Since she was trained in the ways of the clergy and became a priest of Amaznen, I would think that she would be interested in what happened to her deity and what other deities exist now that she may continue to venerate. (Of course, none of this matters until after the flooded cathedral is cleared.)

We know that Amaznen's lover, Acavna also perished and so she wouldn't be an option for Aoinse.

Amaznen and Aesocar held each other in high regard and both share the Artifice domain and construct subdomain. It would seem that this is the first inclination for Aoinse after finding out that Amaznen and Acavna sacrificed themselves to lessen the impact of Earthfall. However, no mention is given to what happened to Aesocar. Does this deity still exist, even if forgotten? Perhaps Aoinse would seek to bring worship of Aesocar back to Golarion.

Other known active deities would be suitable too, except Aoinse doesn't know of them yet; perhaps Nethys takes notice of Aoinse. Though, Torag is the most closely aligned with Aoinse's beliefs from Amaznen and may be the most likely deity she is drawn to.

Also, Abadar has overlap with the Law domain, and Aoinse knows of Abadar at least as well as he was around in ancient Azlant.

Thoughts?

Grand Lodge Contributor

I haven't received my contributor copies yet, but once I do, I'll try to answer your questions and provide some additional information on the investigation portion and Aoinse. :)

Grand Lodge Contributor

justaworm wrote:

I just started reading this morning and have made it through the investigation portion. It may also be helpful to note that this book left out some other clues from the previous two books that can help the PCs.

From The Lost Outpost, there is the hidden note and the fact that the first wave ship is missing. That should at least clue them in on the fact that the colonists are not likely on this island.

If either of the final NPCs (can't remember their names) survived, then they could also recall some useful clues. I was a little surprised that they weren't mentioned here (though I suppose it is assumed that the PCs kill them).

It would also be a little surprising if none of the strix knew anything useful. If the PCs went back and talked to them, I would allow for a good Diplomacy (perhaps aided with some nice artwork) check to reveal a strix who recalls seeing a ship sail towards the nearby island from a direction that was likely Ancorato.

The GM should feel free to rule that if the PCs found some useful information about the missing colonists' whereabouts during the first two adventures, it counts as a clue in the investigation encounter.

Quote:

I think it is also worth mentioning that no one in their right mind would try and row a small, open rowboat across that distance (especially knowing a storm is coming!) unless they were desperate, hah. At a minimum, any PCs with Profession(sailor), Knowledge(Engineering), or Craft(Shipmaking/Carpentry) should quickly realize that they could rig up a make-shift mast, sail, and rudder to help them.

I do like the story so far though!

I guess that's pretty much the point of the encounter--do something crazy and gain an advantage or play safe but lose a lot of valuable time. Bearing in mind that the colony's leader gave the PCs 6 days to complete their mission, every hour counts. And doing dangerous stuff is what adventurers do. Risk and reward in other words!

Your idea of allowing the PCs to pimp their boat is brilliant, though! However, I'd say it takes at least an hour to build a modification that makes the boat either go a bit faster or give the PCs a +2 circumstance bonus on their checks, for example. That way, the PCs have an interesting choice to make: should they spend time on modding the boat or should they try to reach the island asap.

Glad to hear you like the story!


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Legends Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

How do you pronounce Aoinse?

Grand Lodge Contributor

Zaister wrote:
How do you pronounce Aoinse?

I pronounce it /EE-on-shuh/. There's some more info on the name here.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Legends Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Thank you, Mikko, that is more or less what I suspected.


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One possible new deity for Aoinse is Brigh, the goddess of clockwork, invention, and time.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The time constraint seems arbitrary. Why 6 days to rescue them? The PCs would know or suspect that the missing colonists have already been prisoners for days or weeks (and the original colonists, if still alive have been prisoners for months) - so a few more days shouldn't matter.

The only consequence seems to be an XP penalty at the end of book3.

I would think the PCs would not want to rush foolishly into the rescue, especially given that they have not had any downtime in quite a while (the final events of Book2 happen immediately after they come back from dealing with the Hag - so no time to get new gear from the Locathah traders or to craft items - possibly two levels of adventuring).

Seems unnecessarily punitive to the players to deny them any time to do some crafting (even something simple like potions or scrolls) or trade with the Locathah. I'm generally down on this in the APs, especially since this AP mentioned that PCs would benefit from crafting feats.

The only obvious downside is the morale of the colonists - but the PCs have on numerous occasions had opportunities to build a lot of influence with them (this seems like another opportunity to make a hard Diplomacy check with modifiers based on previous encounters to increase the Time window beyond 6 days).

Just my thoughts.

Grand Lodge Contributor

Bellona wrote:
One possible new deity for Aoinse is Brigh, the goddess of clockwork, invention, and time.

Absolutely. Aoinse and Brigh, as depicted in Inner Sea Faiths, look a lot alike, and there are many similarities between Amaznen and Brigh. Similar domains and interests, similar favored animal, the same favored weapon. I wouldn't be surprised if Brigh had once been a construct created by the followers of Amaznen, or maybe even by Amaznen himself.

Grand Lodge Contributor

grandpoobah wrote:

The time constraint seems arbitrary. Why 6 days to rescue them? The PCs would know or suspect that the missing colonists have already been prisoners for days or weeks (and the original colonists, if still alive have been prisoners for months) - so a few more days shouldn't matter.

The only consequence seems to be an XP penalty at the end of book3.

I would think the PCs would not want to rush foolishly into the rescue, especially given that they have not had any downtime in quite a while (the final events of Book2 happen immediately after they come back from dealing with the Hag - so no time to get new gear from the Locathah traders or to craft items - possibly two levels of adventuring).

Seems unnecessarily punitive to the players to deny them any time to do some crafting (even something simple like potions or scrolls) or trade with the Locathah. I'm generally down on this in the APs, especially since this AP mentioned that PCs would benefit from crafting feats.

The only obvious downside is the morale of the colonists - but the PCs have on numerous occasions had opportunities to build a lot of influence with them (this seems like another opportunity to make a hard Diplomacy check with modifiers based on previous encounters to increase the Time window beyond 6 days).

Just my thoughts.

Looking at the time limit from a purely mechanical standpoint, I very much agree that the PCs need downtime for crafting in this campaign because they can't just go to a magic item shop whenever they want. If you think your players aren't ready to face the challenges in the adventure, give them more time to prepare. Or allow them to craft potions, etc. while they're exploring the island. PCs generally use 8 hours for traveling per day and another 8 hours for resting, so they should have 8 hours every day for crafting. Granted, they still only get only 6 days worth of crafting if they want to complete the mission within the time limit, but it's better than no crafting at all.

Anyway, from a story perspective I think a time limit makes a lot of sense in this particular adventure. The colonists and PCs aren't omniscient--they have no idea where the kidnapped colonists were taken and what's happening to them, or even when exactly they were taken (because the bad guys are shapeshifters and there's no way to be sure when the abductions took place). In real-life kidnapping scenarios, it's very important to act immediately before the trail grows cold. While it's true the last victims were taken "only a few days before the confrontation", there's still a lot of physical evidence around that won't be there a week or two later. Also, if a family member or friend of yours got kidnapped, you probably wouldn't spend days before you started looking for them.

Furthermore, the XP penalty is the only mechanical penalty for using more time. The main reason the PCs may lost some of the story XP is that the prisoners had to suffer longer (no Diplomacy check can alleviate that). As described on page 55 in a rather graphic manner, living in Onthooth's prison is not much better than Auschwitz, and the prisoners are emotionally deeply scarred. It may be hard to picture that level of suffering, but I'm quite sure each day matters. Not to mention, the aboleth subjects the prisoners to deadly mutations, so I don't think the colonists are going to be happy if the PCs say "don't worry, it's only XP" when they finally rescue the prisoners and several of them have weird mutations because the PCs needed to do some crafting. :-)

Heh, well that's how I see it, anyway. You're the GM, though, so feel free to change the adventure to fit the needs of your group.

Despite the time limit, I hope you and your group enjoy the adventure!

Grand Lodge Contributor

I checked the crafting rules, and it should be possible for the PCs to do some crafting between traveling and resting, such as when they're exploring the island (or cathedral):

"The creator also needs a fairly quiet, comfortable, and well-lit place in which to work. Any place suitable for preparing spells is suitable for making items. Creating an item requires 8 hours of work per 1,000 gp in the item’s base price (or fraction thereof), with a minimum of at least 8 hours. Potions and scrolls are an exception to this rule; they can take as little as 2 hours to create (if their base price is 250 gp or less). Scrolls and potions whose base price is more than 250 gp, but less than 1,000 gp, take 8 hours to create, just like any other magic item."


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

A quick note on converting Aoinse to Brigh: Amaznen and Brigh have diametrically opposed views on information sharing. Amaznen keeps it secret; keeps it safe! Brigh publishes everything. Further discussion here.

Not saying it won't work -- but the conflict between the priorities of Brigh and Amaznen could lead to some good role play as Aoinse struggles to work out her place in this changed world.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Mikko Kallio wrote:

I checked the crafting rules, and it should be possible for the PCs to do some crafting between traveling and resting, such as when they're exploring the island (or cathedral):

"The creator also needs a fairly quiet, comfortable, and well-lit place in which to work. Any place suitable for preparing spells is suitable for making items. Creating an item requires 8 hours of work per 1,000 gp in the item’s base price (or fraction thereof), with a minimum of at least 8 hours. Potions and scrolls are an exception to this rule; they can take as little as 2 hours to create (if their base price is 250 gp or less). Scrolls and potions whose base price is more than 250 gp, but less than 1,000 gp, take 8 hours to create, just like any other magic item."

Thanks Mikko.

I think in this case, I'd be more likely to be flexible with the crafting rules as you suggested - and maintain the dramatic tension of the kidnapped colonists.

My group has traditionally ruled that you either adventure or craft on a given day (no partial of both). Realistically, we've had sessions where the party "adventures" for 1-3 hours and then needs to rest due to spells/hp/powers exhausted, so your idea of spending 2-8 more hours crafting could work. Especially for potions and scrolls (possibly even slowly working on a belt or headband...)

The party can easily sell all their stuff to the Locathah for crafting supplies and then hop on their boat for the Island on the first day.

I appreciate the feedback!

Order of the Amber Die

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Ruins of Azlant fans:

Having just finished up an exciting marathon of this adventure, I wanted to contribute something here for GMs as they prepare to run The Flooded Cathedral. Thanks to everyone who has offered tips, feedback, and suggestions on this thread, and a special thanks to author Mikko Kallio for the gem he has given us. I hope the following may be of some use as well:

Part 1: Even though it may be unlikely to occur, GMs may want to remain closely aware of their players’ resources and be prepared for them to ignore the use of the ship’s boat for the ocean voyage to Zanas-Tahn. Our players lost the Peregrine’s boat in part two of the AP during a failed excursion to the sahuagin reef, and so far they hadn’t focused on replacing it. When they found themselves faced with the six-day time limit, they had to decide between expediting the process of building another one, or opting for an alternate method of reaching Zanas-Tahn. A few players began questioning the strix and locathah in our party, as well as Lyra Heatherly, about the distances between the islands; they also asked about some of the conditions they needed to be aware of while attempting to cross the water with the aid of magic. A plan was hatched, and then a close vote had them choosing to forego building the boat. While waiting out the storm, they created a marching order and some contingency plans for anything that might go awry during their attempt to walk to Zanas-Tahn. A few castings of water walk, combined with the “hustle” rule from the CRB, enabled the PCs to cross the ocean without need of a boat. Leaving from the northwestern tip of Ancorato, they skirted past Sheshkadrann--used the beach when they needed to—and eventually made landfall on Zanas-Tahn. It was very easy for them to avoid the globsters, and they made selected use of fly and other spells/items that granted swim speeds. GMs will want to decide how to handle random encounters in this situation; I considered this travel the same as any overland journey, but had to think carefully about how some encounters from the table on p. 83 would play out—or even occur at all. In the end, it made for an exciting end to the first part of the adventure, and after having to reroll encounters a couple of times, I decided that a pack of sea drakes would probably find this swimming/water walking/flying party quite intriguing as prey, and a fierce encounter took place as the party reached landfall.

Part 2: The hollows encounter is not to be overlooked as a simple overland encounter; instead, with its significant loot cache, this encounter offers GMs an excellent opportunity to bolster their players’ chances of success in this adventure. In comparison to many other encounters in the adventure, the hollows actually possess one of the more noteworthy treasure hauls; this is especially true when considering the necklace of adaptation, as it can be universally employed by any character and will make part three of this adventure (and part four of the AP) much easier to cope with. While there have been plenty of other chances to acquire items for underwater adventuring, items can often be skipped, lost, left behind while fleeing, or even bartered off for a particular must-have item (and the list goes on). The problem lies with getting the PCs to make a Perception check (i.e., searching the area) after they defeat the hollows. The signals for this encounter can make it seem like a simple random encounter or even one where two incorporeal creatures are unlikely to possess treasure. Moreover, if the PCs encounter the hollows during the daytime as we did, the wraiths follow the party for a time, and the coincidence of a nice shadowy area to strike from--which just happens to be the spot where they keep their treasure--is unlikely to jump out at players. One overt option is simply make the wraiths appear to pull toward the tree containing the valuables, appearing to take a "you can walk through our woods but not past this tree" stance. After the battle, PCs are much more likely to examine the tree this way. If you prefer to more gently manipulate your players instead, a less obvious option is to make the area the wraiths strike from appear to seem more like a important part of the forest that might once have belonged to them, without highlighting any specific part of it. As you can see in the blog photo of this encounter, I added some general ruins to this encounter. The wraiths had followed the party for quite some time, and coming across ruins was both normal and yet not; after all, in Azlant, ruins are plentiful and can be merely part of the landscape sometimes. Other parts of the first three volumes of the AP have seen ruins developed as important encounter areas, so you can keep your players on their toes here while at the same time building ambiance.

Our encounter ended like this:

Me: "Alright, so you guys are down some charisma, but regrouped, and you head out?"
Party: "Yup, keep heading in the same direction across the island."
Merisiel: "Wait, I take a look around really quick. Just kind of the general area, and where the wraiths were at..."

Part 3: Let’s focus on the battle for the outer temple grounds (area B), which can easily become one of the most tactical battles of the AP thus far. Some of the awesome tools you're given as GM consist of a map that begs to be immortalized in your campaigns, waves of defenders armed with different weaponry, and highly detailed stats for the various terrain features. The author gives us the general direction that the waves come from, but leaves the specifics to you. For example, the first wave comes from the west and east, but you have lots of options here since the west and east sides of the map are the longest. One group could easily be behind the party (throwing them into disarray), while another one could attack from the front. You could also roll randomly as to where they appear, or if you're feeling devious, decide on that after your PCs have picked their approach through the ruins. Heck, all waves could come from the same direction. With the second and third waves, you get even more leeway as to where they appear, and you can craft this battle however you like so as to challenge your players in whatever manner you see fit. An important skill that this battle tests is situational awareness, in that your players need to be acutely responsive to changes in the battle conditions. If a character becomes isolated and the party doesn't respond, a 10 foot reach providing easy flanking and sneak attacks could spell doom quickly, so players will certainly build their skill at communicating as a party. Local superiority can help you overwhelm players if that is your goal; don't be afraid to have all the stalkers break off of one area to team up and overload another, or even feign retreat if only to regroup. Lastly, the players don't know that there are only three waves, so as GM your body language and verbal cues can greatly alter the way the PCs perceive the battle. Saying to the players, "Ok, at the beginning of round 5..." or "On round 9..." just before presenting another wave can cause them to telegraph a wave that will never arrive. Pretend to track rounds as carefully as you did during the appearance of the first waves, even saying just loud enough to yourself "11...12..." and your players could likely fear another wave is coming. Keep them guessing by having a stalker or two look behind them into the ruins, possibly searching for what looks like more allies. After all, nothing is to say that the stalkers know exactly how many of them are available to reinforce the temple grounds.

As for terrain, the statue will likely remain the most important terrain feature, as it blocks line of sight from one side of the map to the other, even from large creatures. As noted on p. 26, the statue is 10 feet high on average, so it could be 15 feet in places if you wanted to guarantee that PCs have little idea of what is taking place on the opposite side of the statue. This can disrupt communication and decision-making between a split party. Even if the party doesn't split initially, having them catch a glimpse of stalkers headed around the other side of the statue behind them (while some approach from the front or side) could cause them to divert characters to protect their flank.

All being said, with balanced waves of stalkers and diverse terrain to suit, a GM has a lot of freedom in how hard they want to make this fight; it's a perfect chance to challenge PCs in the grid, and to improve your own skills as well.

Hope this helps some of you in your run of The Flooded Cathedral, and good luck!

Adam
GM
Order of the Amber Die

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