Order of the Amber Die—Doomsday Dawn Playtest, Part 7

Saturday, December 8th, 2018

They've reached the end of Doomsday Dawn! The Order of the Amber Die is here to give a report of their experiences with the last chapter of the Playtest adventure after an exciting run through the whole thing. Did they survive or perish? Read below to find out. But! If you want to avoid spoilers, read this a bit later after you're done with the adventure.

Part six was past us, part seven of the playtest had arrived, and our record was split at 3-3. This was it: game seven of the series. The prize for winning was nothing less than the salvation of Golarion itself. We had been working with the playtest for almost six months, and the atmosphere at the session felt like the ending of some of our previous projects for the Paizo blog. Players paced, our GM was in his zone, and there was the familiar blend of anticipation, anxiety, and nostalgia.

On a windy autumn afternoon, we shared a feast for heroes with enough leftovers to keep us going until the sun came up. What we didn't know, was that our GM had purposely scheduled this scenario to be played throughout the night—the darkest part of night—the darkness between the stars. As we laid out our dice under the sheen of several black lights, the evidence we had acquired from the previous six scenarios started to become all too apparent: This chapter was almost certainly authored by James Jacobs. We were afraid to discuss it, but knew that we'd be probably be up against some kind of Lovecraftian finale that would not disappoint. To find our way through, we'd have to draw courage from our experiences in The Enigma Vaults of Thornkeep, level sixteen of The Emerald Spire, and The Strange Aeons Experiment.

The Party

This part of the playtest was designed to use the same characters as parts one and four. Initially, we had planned on using this party to discover if a lineup without major access to healing would be able thrive in the new edition. Now we would also get to see how well this non-traditional roster of iconics could hold up at very high levels. Thus far, these four had experienced both a nice win and a TPK. However, we felt good about the way they performed during the several fights involving hard-hitting enemies in part four. For playtest purposes, the same four OAD members played the exact same iconics as before. Also listed are the names of each player on the team and the year each became a member of the Order (when a player has reached 100 hours at our table).

Seoni human sorcerer 17

Bloodline: Imperial

Class Feats: Familiar, Dangerous Sorcery, Reach Spell, Steady Spellcasting, Vicious Concentration, Bloodline Heightening, Widen Spell, Effortless Concentration, Cantrip Expansion

Background: Family Friend

Played by Matt Hardin, Player Captain (2003)

Lem halfing bard 17

Muse: Lore

Class Feats: Bardic Lore, Loremaster's Recall, Cantrip Expansion, Multifarious Muse, Lingering Composition, Additional Heightening, Mental Prowess, Soothing Ballad

Background: Mind Quake Survivor

Played by Daniel Scholler (2007)

Fumbus goblin alchemist 17

Class Feats: Quick Bomber, Far Lobber, Calculated Splash, Precise Bombs, Powerful Alchemy, Expanded Splash, Uncanny Bombs, Glib Mutagen, Perfect Medicine

Key Formulas: Acid splash, alchemist's fire, elixir of life

Background: Goblin Renegade

Played by Erick Germer (2007)

Sajan human monk 17

Class Feats: Monastic Weaponry, Dragon Stance, Brawling Focus, Ki Strike, Wholeness of Body, Wall Run, Wind Step, Wind Jump, Ghost Strike, Quivering Palm

Build: strength, speed, more speed!

Background: Budding Osirionologist

Played by Sean Linville (2016)

"When the Stars Go Dark" By The Numbers

Player Tracking Sheet

  • Average time spent in character creation: 152 minutes
  • Number of times a character reached 0 Resonance: 3; Lem (2), Fumbus (1)
  • Number of critical fails when overspending Resonance: 0
  • Number of times a character ran out of spell slots: 0
  • Number of times a character ran out of spell points: 2; Sajan (1), Seoni (1)
  • Number of Hero Points used: 32; Lem (11), Fumbus (8), Seoni (7), Sajan (6)

GM Tracking Sheet

  • Total time spent playing "When the Stars Go Dark": 14hrs, 20min
  • Total time spent preparing "When the Stars Go Dark": 8hrs, 10min
  • Number of sessions spent playing "When the Stars Go Dark": 4 (session increments are 4 hours)
  • Total number of Hero Points given out: 48
  • Number of characters reduced to 0 HP: 3; Lem (2), Fumbus (1)
  • Number of characters killed: 0 (2 temporary deaths during event 1)
  • Rounds elapsed in final encounter (after Ramlock appeared): 19
  • Attempts made to defeat malignant theorems: 1
  • Players who gained the frightened condition vs. the Ashen Man: 0
  • Uses of wish: 4; desynchronization (3), meteorswarm (1)
  • Number of party rests: 2

Additional Data

Seoni

  • Uses of Reach Spell: 5
  • Total range gained through Reach Spell: 105ft
  • Average range added through Reach Spell: 21ft
  • Uses of Dangerous Sorcery: 8
  • Total damage dealt with Dangerous Sorcery: 96
  • White Axiom boon: Cha, Dex

Lem

  • Total number of hit points healed with Soothing Ballad: 250
  • Total number of hit points healed with Soothe: 108
  • Total number of hit points healed with vampiric exsanguination: 99
  • Cantrip Damage: 31
  • White Axiom boon: Int, Str

Fumbus

  • Bombs thrown: 16
  • Bombs hit: 8
  • Total splash damage: 60
  • Total persistent damage: 401
  • White Axiom boon: Wis, Str

Sajan

  • Uses of Flurry of Blows: 21
  • Number of double-hits from Flurry of Blows: 13
  • White Axiom boon: Cha, Str

Highlights From "When the Stars Go Dark"

Not long after entering the actual pages of a tome known as The Last Theroem, we were surrounded by malignant theorems that weren't out to welcome us. This became one of those rare moments when something happens on the table that looks just as scary inside the game. Not long in, were left watching helplessly as our goblin and halfling companions stood base-to-base with four gargantuan rune giant miniatures. See our data for how it ended.

We expected to visit some strange places at this point in our journey, and we definitely got one: a demiplane which consisted of a desert in eternal twilight. It was empty, until a star-spawn of Cthulhu pulled itself from a pit of infinite depth we had approached. For the first time during the playtest, the alchemist hogged the highlight reel, pouring on the persistent damage with acid splash and timely dousings of alchemist's fire to shut down its regeneration.

Jacobs provided an epic feel in this scenario from start to finish, and the size of the monsters repeatedly matched the occasion. Sajan went fist-and-claw with a gargantuan dragon, in a fight that deserved nothing less than slow-motion for its entirety. The fact that the clash took place inside of a workshop created a heck of a mess—of the dragon.

Character Deaths

We're proud to report zero permanent deaths!

Current Situation

To win, we needed to sever the connection between Aucturn and Golarion, which meant desynchronizing an artifact known as the Veinstone Pendulum. Opposing us in the finale was the aberration that the wizard Ramlock had become, fully strapped with spells like time stop and power word kill, as well as adhesive tendrils that gave a 30-foot reach. We tried to trade points equally at first, but when our foe put down 186 damage on Seoni in a single round, we knew we were going to have to take some risks in order to win. Lem made the call, and tried to use one of the four wishes we were given against the pendulum itself. When it appeared to work, we capitalized on the opening, and two more of us followed suit.

Final record? A winning one.


From left to right: Dan, Matt, Erick, Adam, Sean

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Adam Daigle
Managing Developer

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Tags: Community Order of the Amber Die Pathfinder Playtest
Grand Lodge

6 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Huzzah!

Sovereign Court

5 people marked this as a favorite.

Anytime you have to face a Runegiant, things have gone very, very, VERY wrong!

--Between a Vrock and a hard place.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

When you wish upon a pendulum... great recap and love those photos on Facebook! Sweet group pic too! Congrats!

Ramlock is a tough crazy son of a dark star. Well done!

Order of the Amber Die

2 people marked this as a favorite.
King of Vrock wrote:

Anytime you have to face a Runegiant, things have gone very, very, VERY wrong!

--Between a Vrock and a hard place.

True!

Time for Sajan to get out of that hard place.

Stride, stride, stride. More than 200' in a single round.

Bye-bye hard place!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
OAD Sean wrote:
Stride, stride, stride. More than 200' in a single round.

Context:

9.84 seconds, 100m dash
14.77 seconds, 150m dash

Usain Bolt in 2009:

9.58 seconds, 100m dash
14.35 seconds, 150m dash


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Congratulations OAD for completing the playtest and doing so with a winning record! It sounds like you finished on an epic note. I loved the pictures, particularly the dragon one. It seems as if all of your PCs really has a chance to shine in this. Well done!

Order of the Amber Die

SilentInfinity wrote:

When you wish upon a pendulum... great recap and love those photos on Facebook! Sweet group pic too! Congrats!

Ramlock is a tough crazy son of a dark star. Well done!

Thanks Rob! Much of the way the photos turn out depends on the atmosphere conveyed by the author on my first read through, so I've got to hand a lot of the credit there to James Jacobs. I would definitely recommend trying out some black lights in your Strange Aeons campaign. We used a few of them here and there, but after playing this scenario with four bulbs running (not fluorescent black lights, just standard), I wish I had experimented with them more often during our Strange Aeons run.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Hurray! Golarion is saved! (For now.)

It sounds like you all had a lot of fun, and the pictures look fabulous - as always.

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.
PFW1-K1 wrote:
OAD Sean wrote:
Stride, stride, stride. More than 200' in a single round.

Context:

9.84 seconds, 100m dash
14.77 seconds, 150m dash

Usain Bolt in 2009:

9.58 seconds, 100m dash
14.35 seconds, 150m dash

Bonus context:

Based on the 100m dash time for Usain Bolt, his speed over 6 seconds (aka a round) is roughly 205 feet. Pretty dang fast! You'd need a speed of 70' per action over 3 actions, or 55' per action over 4 actions (via haste or a similar effect) to outmatch Usain Bolt.


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Pathfinder Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

PF1 let you run as a full round action to move at four times your speed in a straight line. If the PF1 Run action is converted to PF2, the corresponding activity could translate to using all of your actions in a round to move twice as far as you could have with separate Stride actions as long as you can move in a straight line.

You would then only need to have a base speed of 35 feet to run that fast, and that speed can be achieved at a relatively low level in PF2.

Order of the Amber Die

1 person marked this as a favorite.
LuniasM wrote:
PFW1-K1 wrote:
OAD Sean wrote:
Stride, stride, stride. More than 200' in a single round.

Context:

9.84 seconds, 100m dash
14.77 seconds, 150m dash

Usain Bolt in 2009:

9.58 seconds, 100m dash
14.35 seconds, 150m dash

Bonus context:

Based on the 100m dash time for Usain Bolt, his speed over 6 seconds (aka a round) is roughly 205 feet. Pretty dang fast! You'd need a speed of 70' per action over 3 actions, or 55' per action over 4 actions (via haste or a similar effect) to outmatch Usain Bolt.

Sean will probably chime back in here, but I think he had either boots of bounding or anklets of alacrity (perhaps both). I am almost certain there was a round in there where he moved 270 total! The map we used was parchment to match the pages of The Last Theorem, and though it was 36x36", it was still way too small!

Paizo Employee Designer

3 people marked this as a favorite.

A 20th level monk multiclassed into barbarian for Furious Sprint can pull tricks similar to the one David knott describes, probably winning the Playtest 100m dash event!

The Exchange Order of the Amber Die

1 person marked this as a favorite.
K Vogrin wrote:
Congratulations OAD for completing the playtest and doing so with a winning record! It sounds like you finished on an epic note. I loved the pictures, particularly the dragon one. It seems as if all of your PCs really has a chance to shine in this. Well done!

Thanks, K, there's a huge sense of relief not only having completed the playtest, but also doing it successfully! The dragon fight was definitely an epic one, it's breath weapon was something to be feared. We managed to make it through that fairly unscathed, relatively speaking of course, with a few meteor swarm spells.

I had a blast going through this last part of the playtest, pushing our classes to the limits to accomplish our goals. So glad that you could come along for the ride, it makes the work that much more worth it. WE DID IT!!!

Order of the Amber Die

1 person marked this as a favorite.
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Huzzah!

Yeah!

Fumbus got some nice changes in v1.6. I melted that mini-Cthulhu DOWN.

Order of the Amber Die

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Bellona wrote:

Hurray! Golarion is saved! (For now.)

It sounds like you all had a lot of fun, and the pictures look fabulous - as always.

Thanks Bellona. As a player, I couldn’t ask for more—in a Playtest no less—than a chance to save the world in the final scenario! The pics are some of my favorite from the entire Playtest actually. Adam and Erick really hit a home run on the photography.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Daniel Scholler wrote:
K Vogrin wrote:
Congratulations OAD for completing the playtest and doing so with a winning record! It sounds like you finished on an epic note. I loved the pictures, particularly the dragon one. It seems as if all of your PCs really has a chance to shine in this. Well done!

Thanks, K, there's a huge sense of relief not only having completed the playtest, but also doing it successfully! The dragon fight was definitely an epic one, it's breath weapon was something to be feared. We managed to make it through that fairly unscathed, relatively speaking of course, with a few meteor swarm spells.

I had a blast going through this last part of the playtest, pushing our classes to the limits to accomplish our goals. So glad that you could come along for the ride, it makes the work that much more worth it. WE DID IT!!!

It’s been a great ride! I know you all put in a ton of work on this and it shows. I love the fact that you were successful with non traditional classes. You have proven any class can work in the new system. Thanks again for taking us with you!

Order of the Amber Die

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Mark Seifter wrote:
A 20th level monk multiclassed into barbarian for Furious Sprint can pull tricks similar to the one David knott describes, probably winning the Playtest 100m dash event!

Awesome!

You're making it very tempting to put together a few 20th level encounters and record some data...

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

Just for fun I did the following.

Nimble Elf + Fleet : 40
Level 20 Monk : +35
Barbarian Fast Movement: +10 (Luckily we only need to last 1 round)
Boots of Bounding : +10

Total move speed per stride = 95

With Ki rush, we can take two strides as one action, and we can ki rush 3 times in a round.

Total move speed in a round = 570'

This equates to

3.45 seconds, 100m dash
5.18 seconds, 150m dash

This is assuming no buff time. If I can buff, I would rather multiclass wizard to cast fleet step to be accelerated 30 and haste to have the extra action, making my total move speed in a round 805' (I assume you can't ki rush with the haste action).

2.44 seconds, 100m dash
3.67 seconds, 150m dash

For another reference, that is about 89mph (144kph) for a round.


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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Awesome! Thank you for sharing!!!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Partizanski wrote:

Just for fun I did the following.

Nimble Elf + Fleet : 40
Level 20 Monk : +35
Barbarian Fast Movement: +10 (Luckily we only need to last 1 round)
Boots of Bounding : +10

Total move speed per stride = 95

With Ki rush, we can take two strides as one action, and we can ki rush 3 times in a round.

Total move speed in a round = 570'

This equates to

3.45 seconds, 100m dash
5.18 seconds, 150m dash

This is assuming no buff time. If I can buff, I would rather multiclass wizard to cast fleet step to be accelerated 30 and haste to have the extra action, making my total move speed in a round 805' (I assume you can't ki rush with the haste action).

2.44 seconds, 100m dash
3.67 seconds, 150m dash

For another reference, that is about 89mph (144kph) for a round.

Now calculate the lowest constant acceleration for a monk who starts that round standing still and figure out how many Gs he is pulling.

Edit: I did some literal back of the envelope math and it seems like you would need a constant acceleration of 35 ft/s^2. That is roughly 1 G so he would be running slightly faster than he could fall.


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Wait. It is more like 31/32 ft/s^2. I caught a mistake in my own math. So that is just a tad bit slower than acceleration due to gravity on earth.


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

Great job OAD team! I love the photos.

Order of the Amber Die

Elorebaen wrote:
Awesome! Thank you for sharing!!!

Thanks Elorebaen! It was great having support from everyone throughout the seven parts, it really helped keep us motivated to learn new rules updates and constantly make new characters, especially near the end. I'm interested to see what final changes come with 2.0.

Order of the Amber Die

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Fumarole wrote:
Great job OAD team! I love the photos.

Thanks Fumarole, I'm glad you could come along on another ride with us. I must admit, I'm incredibly happy that so many people like the photos. We have a lot of members, and our roster changes a bit with each project, so the photo team tends to vary a bit. This time it was Erick on editing and myself on the primary camera. We tried to look around at how people were documenting their games in the community, and then approach the shots from a fresh perspective. The shoggoth was actually my favorite one, and a lot went into it: I picked up a desk sculpture of a shoggoth from Ebay, another member (Jody) chiseled it out of the plaster, we put it on a 3x3 base, used several black lights to give it some of the black sheen that Jacobs described in the module, added a small reading light to let some colors appear, and then shot top-down with a 60mm macro lens to throw off the perspective of how big it was.

We've had such a good response about the photos on our own social media as well, that I'm going to add another seminar to our usual two that we run at GenCon every year. The subject of the seminar will be something down the line of what it takes to document your game. We'll use the photos from this project, some of the recent Azlant photos, and even ones from older projects to explain what goes into documenting your own game, as well as how to make some simple improvements that took us a couple of years to learn. It seems like more groups than ever are documenting their games out there, so hopefully it gets some interest and we can help others with what we've picked up over the years.

Stay tuned for an 8th blog: a wrapup complete with behind-the-scenes photos, cumulative data, and reactions. :)


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Adam Smith wrote:
Fumarole wrote:
Great job OAD team! I love the photos.

Thanks Fumarole, I'm glad you could come along on another ride with us. I must admit, I'm incredibly happy that so many people like the photos. We have a lot of members, and our roster changes a bit with each project, so the photo team tends to vary a bit. This time it was Erick on editing and myself on the primary camera. We tried to look around at how people were documenting their games in the community, and then approach the shots from a fresh perspective. The shoggoth was actually my favorite one, and a lot went into it: I picked up a desk sculpture of a shoggoth from Ebay, another member (Jody) chiseled it out of the plaster, we put it on a 3x3 base, used several black lights to give it some of the black sheen that Jacobs described in the module, added a small reading light to let some colors appear, and then shot top-down with a 60mm macro lens to throw off the perspective of how big it was.

We've had such a good response about the photos on our own social media as well, that I'm going to add another seminar to our usual two that we run at GenCon every year. The subject of the seminar will be something down the line of what it takes to document your game. We'll use the photos from this project, some of the recent Azlant photos, and even ones from older projects to explain what goes into documenting your own game, as well as how to make some simple improvements that took us a couple of years to learn. It seems like more groups than ever are documenting their games out there, so hopefully it gets some interest and we can help others with what we've picked up over the years.

Stay tuned for an 8th blog: a wrapup complete with behind-the-scenes photos, cumulative data, and reactions. :)

It's fascinating to hear what all has gone into making such incredible photos. We appreciate the work and the glimpse behind the scenes. The new seminar also sounds like a winner. Sharing hard earned knowledge can only benefit the game and its participants. Looking forward to reading the final wrapup.

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