|GM Xavier Kahlvet|
First off, *Inhales!* For many of the NPCs There was no image given so I had to improvise using Google and my own lackluster editing skills. If there is a discrepancy between the image and what I write as a description then that is why. All credit to the original artists, etc. etc. etc.
NOW, for the important stuff:
I’m NOT giving you guys the option to half-track these scenarios because they were written with the intent that the players don’t (or rather couldn’t) do so, so it’s actually detrimental to the party to do so.
Additionally, FACTION MISSIONS MATTER!!!!! was I being too subtle? I will be sending the faction missions to you all in a PM at the start of each part; I will be updating the notes as much as possible to minimize on datedness (such as having it signed by the correct faction leaders as of Season 10) except for one thing: Zhu Li, Jordan, Zarta was still a servant of House Thrune and Cheliax at the release of these scenarios (hence the motivations that are contradictory to the Zarta of Season 10).
More than a few times the scenarios cheat. And they cheat BAD! Bonus and DC miscalculations, improper feat usage, or flat-out taking actions that are plain and simply impossible to take!
I understand that I as a GM am required to run the scenarios as written, but the line seriously grays when it comes to whether correcting a mistake or typo would be considered breaking that “as written” rule (and trust me, I’ve looked). There are honestly such egregious illegal actions that I honestly don’t feel comfortable running it that way—if a PC took such actions then it would never fly.
Thus, I am enforcing a few ground rules for my “correcting” of these scenarios. In order of priority:
One: Creatures may not ready an action outside of initiative.
Two: If a specific course of action is detailed verbatim in a creature’s tactics, then it’s fair game, even if it means taking an illegal action—such as readying a full-attack action (yes, that happens). The only exception being if such tactics state that the creature would ready an action outside of initiative, which is impossible as per the previous rule.
Three: Any other inaccuracy (miscalculated math, incorrect feat interactions, etc.) I am considering to be a typo and will change to reflect the actual bonus, DC, feat interaction, etc.
Yes, this is controversial, and if you feel that that is me stepping out of line as a GM then by all means go report me to a VA, but my wholehearted intention is to run a fair game where I don’t have to say “It works because the scenario cheats” every other round.
I am in fact stating all this in the first place so that we all are on the same page.
Now then, I expect you all to post at least once per day, because we have a lot of material to get through. (Jordan, I am aware of your personal matters and am going to accommodate appropriately.)
Player Name: Joshua Ingle
Character Name: Zhu Li (Tullian? Not sure if I'm required to take the name on.)
Character Number: 105205-6
Faction: Dark Archives
Day Job: Craft Alchemy: 1d20 + 32 ⇒ (18) + 32 = 50
(Also, my phone appears to stage a rebellion when I try to edit my profile, so I'll need to fix the thing we talked about and add my botting instructions in the morning when I get home. Short version of the latter is: ID enemies, buff self appropriately, alternate between curing debuffs on allies and stabbing weakened enemies really hard with Kirin Strike and Studied Strike.)
Edit: The controversy doesn't seem controversial to me. I'm perfectly ok with NPCs not blatantly cheating.
Player Name: ScorchedOne
Character Name: Sahess
Character Number: 41759-5
Faction: Sovereign Court
Day Job: Caravan: Diplomacy 1d20 + 17 ⇒ (3) + 17 = 20
Ouch. That's a low roll. Ah well, at this level 20g is the bar tab.
|Jordan Fenrir Wolfe|
Player Name: X Hums
Character Name: Jordan Fenrir Wolfe
Character Number: 295369-1
Day Job: Perform (String) 1d20 + 21 ⇒ (11) + 21 = 32
Please make the scenario fair. We've got enough going against us as is being 12th level Pathfinder agents. At these levels, death is just another status effect that can be cured via scrolls and money, right? At least, that's how some of these seeker tier scenarios seem to be written...
I'll be getting the scenarios I've played in my bio here in a few moments.
Speaking of scrolls: I get to requisition 3 scrolls up to 1200gp TOTAL before we start the game. No scrolls with multiple spells, otherwise everything is fair game. Any specific requests?
Player Name: Hawthwile
Character Name: Arnaut Daniél
Character Number: 264524-2
Faction: Liberty's Edge (Goodness, I don't even know who the faction leader is anymore. Or what season's card I'm using.)
Day Job: Perform (sing): 1d20 + 40 ⇒ (12) + 40 = 52
Things to know about me: Buffer, debilitator, drop-dead gorgeous party face
- Who wants Inspire Courage +4 and good hope? Trick question - you all get both!
- Amazing liar and lie-detector (+40), Excellent diplomat (+27) and tough guy (+25)
- If it has a mind, he'll mess with it - confusion, unadulterated loathing, serenity, and cacophonous call (to name a few)
As far as Zhu's scrolls, breath of life ($1125) wouldn't be a bad choice for it things take a sudden turn south. However, that would leave us only 2x 1st lvl scrolls. Dispel magic ($375) is also incredibly versatile. Or perhaps spells with expensive components, like restoration ($800). We're rather lacking on restorative magics, so anything in that vein is probably a good idea.
And I've spoken with the GM about the changes, but I do not see a problem with bringing things back into line with RAW whenever possible.
Already got 2 Dispel Magics, 4 Restorations (rated for negative levels), and infused extracts I can deliver via Touch Injection for curses and diseases.
Maybe another Dispel Magic, a Restoration with the cheaper component, and an oil of Hidden Blades in case we need 10 minutes of hiding our MacGuffin?
Wait, no, math was wrong. That's 25gp over the limit... Though I might spend a little money on those oils, since casting the spell aloud would rather give the game away.
Any first level scrolls to fill in the gap?
Alright, then it's set! One scroll of Dispel Magic, one scroll of Restoration that isn't negative level rated, and one scroll of Bless Weapon, to be returned at the end of the scenario if unused. Master Librarian is the best faction card ability, hands down. :)
|GM Xavier Kahlvet|
I have some gold I could spend on consumables, if that's needed. I do also have a talisman of life's breath (lesser) and first aid gloves.
|Jordan Fenrir Wolfe|
I'll make a few purchases when I've got some time. Running up close to a deadline for school.
EDIT: What you should know about Jordan: Jordan prefers to buff himself. Most of his buffs just also happen to affect everybody. Where Arnaut will be singing for buffs, anybody affected by my (lesser) song will not provide cover for me. I like shooting arrows, and the average turn sees 5 arrows. I've got both Allegro and Haste, so let me know if you want full party buffs, or if I'm fine to burn a lower level spell. I've also get a few evocation goodies, and would always love a bit of time to pre-buff if we think we can get it. And, one last thing. I'm not that kind of bard. Luckily, Arnaut is.
|GM Xavier Kahlvet|
|GM Xavier Kahlvet|
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I very much expected this to be an escort mission. That's just mean. XD
You know, every time Ospery is mentioned the text goes out of the way to say how scary he is but I just can't grok it from looking at his pictures. All I see is guyliner.
Really, if there's anyone in the Society to fear, it's Drendle Dreng. Nobody is that much of a morning person. It's unnatural, that's what it is.
Wait, you mean I'm not the only person with a character who's got a serious problem with Heidmarch? My Swashbuckler can't stand the lady after an intelligence gathering mission that almost got a team of six Pathfinders killed where she actually already had the information and was just "testing" us. Chip on his shoulder doesn't begin to cover it.
I dislike Sheila and love her husband, I can see why he's always on adventures trying to be not near her. She just... is a really bad venture captain! She's like Hamaria Blakros. STOP MAKING TROUBLE FOR THE SOCIETY!
I love Dreng though. He gets stuff done. He's not playing politics. He's still trying to be out in the field! Hot take: Dreng for PF2 Master of Everything. Go away Valsin with your mutton chops!
Granted, I was introduce to the Heidmarches in Season 10. The authors seemed to be making an extra effort to make her likeable, perhaps in response to feedback from earlier scenarios. It worked on me at least.
|GM Xavier Kahlvet|
Ex-cuse me! I’m the one dying over here! If anyone gets to be mopey and sad, it’s me! ;-P
So, can anyone fly? Those golems sure can’t. Drop a pit, slap up another wall, even a spot of grease will make them unable to 5ft step and hit twice. You got this, and I’ve got at least 3 more rounds to stabilize before I have to dip into my PP reserve.
Oh, and Jordan? Did you Spellcraft that wall? It’s got a lovely little AoE effect when something hits it - such as an arrow or three. Just in case you’re bored.
This is mildly insane for a group of 4. I'll be healing for a while. Even at my current damage output, this is dangerous.
I'm really upset with Eliza right now, because Vigilantes are absolutely b*$*&~+@ insane and if the Raven is somehow one or something similar to one (I'm pretty sure UI wasn't out but he may well be the proto-Vigilante for all I know, it wouldn't be the first time a scenario made up rules to give the antagonists advantages, including a couple times the Aspis have straight pulled a Tomb Raider and hidden inside sealed crypts), there's a non zero chance he's done all of this with only his own innate magic and disposable alchemical items, and a less convuluted one that he has a wand of magic aura to mask all his gear, and Hellcat Stealth. The Wall of Sound was a good locked room for us to take one more turn to sweep the place, use Universal Extract for see invisibility (Arcane Sight was partly because I have other questions and it works 90% of the time on humanoid enemies, since, yknow, magic items), but now he's in the wind.
Meh, it makes more narrative sense for him to be introduced now as a boss villain and then have the final fight later. Gives us someone to search for at the very least.
And it's much more likely he used a teleportation-style spell to exit the room - though I'm not sure why he would willingly jump through the wall he knows damages folks solely for a dramatic exit. I mean, a proper dramatic exit is important (almost as important as a good monologue), but not that important.
If he's a Rogue or similar, despite his potential vast proficiency with using magic items, he's far less likely to grok magic enough to cast it. Which means he might not have realized the wall of sound was that painful until he was moving. Alternatively, maybe his Cloak of Dramatic Escape +20 doesn't work unless he's in free fall, or his spirit ally was waiting to catch him and DDoor out and we put up the wall with it inside and him outside.
Ooo, I love those possibilities!
I do try.
Of course, there's also the possibility that he just wants us to think he's more clever than he is and he's currently chilling under the remains of one of the golems, but ultimately, there's only two ways I'm aware of to stop someone from being resurrected without some type of overt magic, and the Raven didn't stop and cast spells after he stabbed Hestram.
Given that he wasn't using a guillotine as an assassination weapon (a feat which would impress me greatly), the chances of it being a Final Blade are approximately 2% (there's always a 2% chance of Paizo Brand Shenanigans), and since he's not a Red Mantis Assassin (which requires you to be an open follower of that one evil God who I just can't spell) that rules out the other one.
This is an inconvenience at best when we're talking about the Ten, until and unless the body is stolen. I mean, Ollysta Zadrian probably gets killed every couple months given her hobby of leading a Mendevian Crusade from the front line, and faction leads are small potatoes compared to the Ten. Makes me wonder what's up. This is an attempted cover for something. The sword probably isn't it: +3 is nice, yes, but it's a burnt out Luck Blade. Nothing else unique about it except its original owner.
I smell a rat somewhere. We just need to find it.
I love a good conspiracy!
So, my current thought: Adril did absolutely nothing in that combat, even after having folks yelling at him to move. What if he's the Raven? Pop up an illusion of himself to give the speech as he gives the signal for the worms/archers and changes into his avian disguise, then "kill" himself to throw off the lead and give himself freedom to do... something?
The Red Raven is the iconic vigilante, though he existed long before UI.
I'll do my best to post tomorrow, but I've got to spend 2 hours driving to a job site that's downright Orwellian in their attempts to catch me on my phone, work for 12 hours, and drive 2 more back. So, yknow, no promises. Next buff on Zhu Li's list if it looks like a fight in the armory is Displacement.
EDIT: The whole post.
Yeah. Like, if those beads get us, that's (pretty much) the scenario. I drop, Arnaut drops, Zhu Li drops, and we're left with the bloodrager/DD. With some lucky rolls we can MAYBE get everybody up again, but, like, we are definitely lacking in the quick healing department.
@Josh, I'm assuming it was a Splash weapon, so he only needed to target somebody in the front. Which, sadly, he totally could.
|GM Xavier Kahlvet|
The webs don't block line of effect, they just provide cover. They miss, then Sahess just didn't need to make a reflex save; doesn't stop the damage from going off, except that they didn't miss.
EDIT: I also forgot Sahess's fatigue, so she's stuck in the middle of a resilient sphere because of course she is.
Hmm, could if the beads hit the web since they need a sharp impact to go off. Since the entire hallway is covered in web, it would make sense to me that the beads of force just got stuck in the webbing.
So, entertaining thought. Arnaut’s dead (again), but we’re all stuck inside the sphere with Sahess. If she can get him awake with the First Aid Gloves, , he can slap on more temp hp with Inspire Greatness and wake the other two up. And then we have time to heal before Jordan dimension doors us out of the sphere of force.
Worth a shot?
|GM Xavier Kahlvet|
That's if there's 20' of web between two people, not 20' and web.
And who said you all died? You're all stuck inside a sphere of force for the next ten minutes?
If I may pull back the curtain for a moment, this isn't a TPK. This explicitly is not supposed to be a TPK. All this encounter is supposed to be is to shock the PCs into realizing "Damn. We're in the big leagues now." Cale (the elf) is specifically not interested in you guys. "Cale the Calistrian does not view the player characters as significant threats, treating them little different than the servants he hopes to dispatch quickly and efficiently." You all are stuck in a bubble for the next ten minutes and he's literally killing these servants for the point of getting to kill something; once his murder boner is sated then he doesn't really care what happens to you guys. And you guys are in the middle of a city in the middle of a lodge. You will have time to go out and get yourselves raised with just some prestige expenditure.
I know I'm seeming to be a giant jerk about this, but this is supposed to be a fight that you're not necessarily expected to win.
Now, I need to sleep, desperately, but I will continue with the narrative tomorrow; y'all figure out what you want to do amongst yourselves, you've got the time.
That's true. 10 minutes in a sphere. That's definitely enough to heal on up and be ready. Just gotta get awake.
Fights where we aren't supposed to win should really be better telegraphed than what this author did. Goodness.
I'm okay with the plan of waking up Arnaut, putting up the temp HP, slapping some people awake, and getting ready to bust some heads. The sphere is literally the only reason we can do that.
|GM Xavier Kahlvet|
(One last thing before I'm actually going to bed)
If it makes you guys feel any better, I honestly HATE this fight; I hate running it and I hated it when I played it myself, and I had a party of 6 at the time.
This fight (which is actually two fights; the one in the Great Room and here are written as two separate fights, but I treated them basically as a single fight because of how it's telegraphed AS WRITTEN!) is some f#%*ing bull. But, I can also say that this is the most bullsh*t that Eyes of the Ten gets. All other fights from here on are cheesy and challenging, yes, but not as bullsh*t as this one was, with maybe one exception.
Please, please, PLEASE don't think that the rest of the series is going to be this bad, because it's not going to be. I'm sorry that I did this to you guys, but you gotta understand that creating high-level combats are a very careful process--and I have some good experience in doing so--but this was PFS's first attempt at high-level combat, so you have to realize that it's bullsh*t because the author accidentally crossed the line from "challenging yet fun" to "an absolute nightmare."
I'm sorry guys, I really am.