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Need help making this situation make sense.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

I'm running my PCs through Thornkeep, then we'll move on to the Emerald Spire (with some adjustments/upgrades). The Modules subforum seems terribly inactive, and I'm running out of time, so I thought I'd post for help here.

I shall explain the situation here, but beware of spoilers if you're ever planning on playing either of those modules.

Sanctum of a Lost Age:
Before the fall of Azlant, a very powerful wizard named Nhur Athemon got on the wrong side of Azlanti law, and fled to the western River Kingdoms. He brought with him 3 of his best apprentices, and set up shop in several complexes within the Echo Wood. The apprentices had their own section of one such underground complex all to themselves.

When the Azlanti finally figured out where Nhur Athemon had fled, they sent a contingent of executioner soldiers after him. The apprentices found out before their master, and planned to use an array of ioun stones to fling their entire sanctum into the future to avoid their master's fate. When Nhur Athemon found out about this betrayal he sabotaged their plan, and they ended up trapping themselves in a moment of time, stretching on for all eternity.

Fast forward several thousand years to modern day, and an adventuring party finds themselves trapped on the wrong side of a temporal barrier in the time lock. The only one who can exit freely is a man named Rozimus, thanks to his ioun stone. Any fully functioning ioun stone allows passage out, but the apprentices' array is locked up in its own magic. The book describes the array as immune to all magic, with a ton of HP, and the effect of randomly aging or de-aging anyone who is responsible for damage to it.

Rozimus' companions are slaughtered by the inhabitants of the Sanctum, and he himself is subject to a Magic Jar before he can fully escape. One of the three apprentices rides his body out with his ioun stone, and heads up into Thornkeep. She meets the PCs, tells them a sob story from Rozimus' point of view, and saying that "he"'s lost the taste for adventuring after his companions' deaths, hands the PCs his ioun stone, and leaves town shortly after. The hope is that the PCs will eventually head to the Sanctum to offer her fellow apprentices a chance at freedom with the stone, the same way she had.

When the PCs venture to the ends of the Sanctum, they cross paths with a 'time-echo' (for lack of a better description) of Rozimus after his party has been slaughtered, but before he is caught and Magic Jar'd. They also come across the other 2 apprentices, who are at odds with one another. One wizard wants to keep the array going, as he wants to stay effectively immortal (and its end would mean his instant death). The necromancer Togarin, however, wants it to end so that the torturous demise will help him achieve undeath.

Here is where things break down:

Togarin attempts to parley with the PCS, and tells them that they can end the time lock by either destroying the array (a risky proposal), OR by creating a temporal paradox. He informs them that the best way to do this would be to find the past time-locked version of Rozimus and kill him before he has a chance to meet their past selves. (Destroying his past ioun stone would have the same effect, but he doesn't bring this up).

The problem with this scenario is that Togarin is more than capable of moving freely around the Sanctum and finding and killing Rozimus' past version himself. There is no reason why he shouldn't immediately go and do this as soon as he realizes the PCs have Rozimus' stone and that they came in as a result of his female peer riding the body upstairs.

This is a pretty glaring flaw, and my players are undoubtedly perceptive enough to point this out if I present the scenario as-is.
Any help with suggestions and alterations is welcome.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Man, I just read through Thornkeep. I think you make a good point. My immediate solution would be

to chalk it up to the time shenanigans of the location. For whatever reason, as a "native" of the plane, Togarin cannot interact with Rozimus until Rozimus is dragged to the right "time". Basically, Togarin can't hunt down Rozimus' past self, because he's at a different point of time, but if Rozimus is scooped up and dragged around by the PCs, then he can interact with him. Or even better, Rozimus can walk around just fine. Togarin and Rozamus are on different "time levels" and can't interact with each other, but the PCs can interact with both of them. Togarin could still be aware of the possibility of a Rozimus "time echo", but may not be able to interact with it.

This would also help play up the weirdness of the time shenanigans involved.

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

I guess that could play out.

So he'd view/interact with the "current" past version of Rozimus (near the Last Azlanti statue) as the PCs would view the entranceway echoes of Rozi's adventuring party when they had first arrived?

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I think the second idea makes more sense to me and allows for more fun roleplay actually, now that I think about it.

Togarin can't interact with Rozimus period. Togarin is aware through his studies that a Rozimus copy should exist somewhere in the sanctum and killing him would cause a paradox, but they are at different points of time. Togarin can't go find Rozimus, he isn't in the same part of the time stream. Imagine the fun roleplay opportunity of walking into Togarin's room with Rozimus. The PCs can interact with both (they "sit atop the time streams" as true outsiders or something") , but Rozimus and Togarin can't hear or interact with each other. The fun roleplaying opportunity is that if Togarin asks them to kill paradox Rozimus and a player says that, Rozimus could have a negative reaction. I don't know if this has enough "solidness" to fool perceptive players, but I know that when I'm exposed to time shenanigans, I chalk it up to time shenanigans.

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Thanks for the help, man!

LoudKid wrote:
Thanks for the help, man!

Hey no problem. Let me know how it goes, I feel like that was a very interesting side dungeon, but I always get a little leery when

time travel stuff gets involved

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