We survived! That was probably the most brutal PFS game I've ever played, and I've been in two TPKs. Thanks GM, that was fun!
Thanks so much for running this Supervillian. That last combat was incredibly cool. It seems like the type of combat that is either amazing and fun, or unnecessarily deadly, tedious, and unfun. I believe it is the DM that makes the difference, and you did a superb job running it.
I am glad you enjoyed it!
I also enjoyed running this scenario, but boy is there a lot going on! As GM Hmm put it after my playthrough, it's worth a level-up for the GM :-)
As I think you all realised quite quickly, freeing the sages is definitely the way to go in the final fight. Each Jewel that she controls gives Tahari significant powers, that she only loses once you either close the mindscape or break the jewel.
Diamond: Tahari gains 50 temporary hit points (100 in Subtier 10–11) at the beginning of each round. These last for 1 round and stack with other sources of temporary hit points, such as vampiric touch.
Emerald: The saving throw DCs of Tahari’s spells with the curse or disease descriptor increase by 5.
Onyx: Tahari can cast spells with a casting time of 1 standard action as though their casting time were 1 move action.
Sapphire: When attempting any saving throw, Tahari can roll twice and take the better result. If she also draws power from the spinel sage jewel, she instead automatically succeeds at all saving throws.
Spinel: When attempting any saving throw, Tahari can roll twice and take the better result. If she also draws power from the sapphire sage jewel, she instead automatically succeeds at all saving throws.
Topaz: Tahari’s spells and abilities affect her targets as though her alignment were neutral or neutral evil, whichever is more advantageous to her.
The Diamond and Onyx are especially potent.
I thought you did really well as a group. You had a great mix of skills and played intelligently. And you had pretty decent saves for your level, which proved vital (as it often does in higher tier games).
You may have heard or read some players' complaints about this scenario. I think those complaints are largely unwarranted, but it is really easy for a GM mistake to screw the party. In particular, failing the skill challenges in the ritual by a margin results in untyped damage with no saving throw, that occurs immediately before Tahari manifests and combat begins. That's why I was careful to have Amenopheus tell you that you should only directly assist in the ritual if confident in your expertise.
The perma-death possibilities are very unlikely. The first one only occurs in high-tier; one of the ghast troops is replaced with a CR13 creature that has a "consume corpse" ability - if that happens only wish magic can save you. The second perma-death possibility occurs if a party member gets afflicted with the "incurable magic-resistant" version of Fading Light AND the party fails to manufacture the specific cure available in the scenario (which still works). Fading Light causes 1-2 negative levels each time it is activated, and it activates whenever the infected person casts a spell, uses an SLA, or consumes a potion or extract. You get a save each time, but you can never be free of the incurable version so if you don't have the specific cure from the scenario you get marked as dead due to the affliction (and you couldn't really continue an adventuring career when you can't use magic). This did happen to a friend of mine though. (Incurable and Magic Resistant disease variants are in Horror Adventures).
I should have chronicle sheets up by tomorrow night. If any of you have any more feedback for me, feel free to post here or pm me.
Where was the incurable variant of Fading Light?
Also, I though that the acid hazard was pretty mean. I was about to have Kramac hop in the pool to grab the little rock.
Thanks so much for these details!
I have played Enora so often now as I do not have a character in such high tiers that I really feel as if she managed to support the group to free the sages from their dark affliction. ;-)
You guys as a group were awesome and I have to admit that it is truly scary what kind of powers she was wielding while she had access to the Sage Jewels!!
I was wondering how she cast so many spells! :-) And the temp HP!! Wow! :-(
Yea I kept thinking "There's no way she has quickened versions of all these spells!" Nasty stuff. Also, did the game expect us to use the things we made? It didn't really seem like there was a need.
Amazingjob gm. Thank you for a great game!
You can be infected with Fading Light in several ways. The disease transmits via inhalation, touch, or injury.
When you first enter the dungeon complex you are exposed to Fading Light via inhalation. But Life Bubble protected you from this. Mishandling sample 14 exposes you to Fading Light via contact. The blue dragon's sarcophagus + remains exposes you to Incurable Fading Light. Ermias Dalla's sarcophagus + remains exposes you to Incurable Magic-Resistant Fading Light.
Tahari has a unique ability called "Magnum Opus" that allows her to use a Contagion spell to infect a victim with Incurable Magic-Resistant Fading Light. She tries to use this against arcane casters (and did hit Enora with it, but Enora made the save).
Life Bubble protects against inhaled infection, but not contact or injury.
You don't actually need to use Blood of Nethys. It has some advantages over the ordinary cure. Imbibing Blood of Nethys gives full immunity to Fading Light for 24 hours as well as curing it if you are infected. The "cure" cures you (naturally) and gives a +10 alchemical bonus against further infection for 24 hours, rather than flat out immunity.
You absolutely do need either the cure or Blood of Nethys if you get infected with the incurable and/or magic-resistant variation of Fading Light, otherwise you end up dead (retired) because the disease condition cannot be removed. None of you managed to get infected though :)
The PCs achieve their primary objective if they defeat Aryana Tahari with at least one sage jewel intact by the end of the adventure. Doing so earns each PC 1 Prestige Point.
The PCs fulfill their secondary objectives if they destroyed no more than one sage jewel and also concocted a cure for the Fading Light disease. Doing so earns each PC 1 additional Prestige Point.
(So you need to manufacture a cure to get the second PP).
Also, bringing Torch along and freeing him from Tahari's mindscape in the final encounter earns you a boon. And Scarab Sage characters earn a boon for cleansing all of the Sage Jewels, which you did (you're going to like that boon I think).
So full success!
Awesome! I forgot about the Life Bubble, it sounds like that really saved our behinds. This was definitely the coolest scenario I've played in a while, gonna recommend it to the other PFS players I know (if they can find a GM willing to subject themselves to it!)
Now for the long two week wait until GenCon before I get to play more. On the bright side, I hit level 8!
Mmmm GenCon. Never enough time but i am looking forward to it once again
You recovered two spellbooks with preparation rituals in them. Both are on the chronicle sheet, however the spells within are also available for copying into spellbooks at the normal cost before the adventure's end. (This is only relevant for Vordrek).
The spells are as follows:
3rd—blood biography, ray of exhaustion, vampiric touch
2nd—command undead, create treasure map, ghoul touch, spectral hand, stone call, web
1st—burning hands, chill touch, disguise self, mage armor, protection from good, ray of enfeeblement, sculpt corpse , shield, true strike, ventriloquism
7th—greater arcane sight, greater scrying, prismatic spray
6th—chain lightning, contingency, eyebite, legend lore, true seeing
5th—dominate person, fire snake, prying eyes, teleport, telepathic bond
4th—arcane eye, confusion, detect scrying, fear, ice storm, wall of fire
3rd—clairaudience/clairvoyance, dispel magic, displacement, greater magic weapon, hydraulic torrent, lightning bolt, seek thoughts, tongues
2nd—arcane lock, false life, fox's cunning, locate object, resist energy, scorching ray, see invisibility, touch of idiocy
1st—alarm, charm person, comprehend languages, color spray, detect secret doors, expeditious excavation , floating disk, protection from evil, shield, true strike, ventriloquism
That is some sexy spellbooks
Chronicles are up! Please let me know if there are any problems with them.
I have also reported the game.
I will leave the campaign open till I get back from PaizoCon UK next Monday, in case Nithrandyl should check in. I'm also pm'ing him the chronicle link.
It was a pleasure running for you. Vordrek, it's always good to see a Mystic Theurge in action. I like the prestige class; some people think it's underpowered without early entry shenanigans, but I played one in a 3.5 campaign up to level 13 and loved it. Also, Enora is really solid! Makes me want to try out an arcanist :)
Thank you! I fell in love with mystic theurges in 3.5 as well, by seeing one at the table. I think it worked especially well in this group, since my spell progression was not woefully behind some other dedicated caster. And I completely agree, Enora's a strong pregen!
GM - I have one goal left to check off on my Season 8 grand lodge rewards sheet - it is 'Resolve an encounter with an organization led by genies, elemental forces, or those who revere them'. Divs are genies banished to Abbadon - do you think that this module satisfies that requirement?