The Waters of Stone Ring Pond

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

In this week’s exciting installment of The Shroud of Four Silences, the adventurers head to Stone Ring Pond, home to Otari’s local druid enclave, in hopes of getting some answers to lingering questions. This location doesn’t play a prominent role in the Pathfinder Beginner Box, Pathfinder Adventure: Troubles in Otari, or the Abomination Vaults Adventure Path, but that doesn’t mean that Game Masters and players can’t make it a key part of their campaigns!

: Four scholarly humanoids (an elf, a gnome, a halfling, and a human) are reflected in the surface of a rippling pool of water

Adventurers look to the water for a glimpse of their fate. Illustration by Flrat Solhan.

Stone Ring Pond

Stone Ring Pond sits high on a rise overlooking Otari. One of the town’s most unusual and understated landmarks, the pond’s preternaturally still waters are mirror-bright. Twenty-four standing stones, each 12 feet high, surround the pond, their weathered surfaces bearing silent testament to their age. Some Otari residents visit Stone Ring Pond to glimpse the future in the pool’s still waters, but more come for the advice and guidance of the druids and itinerant naturalists that camp around the pond. These people rarely invite visitors, as they are folk far more at home in the wild than in a bustling town, but neither do they turn away people asking for their advice.

A gnome druid named Worliwynn has lived longer around Stone Ring Pond than the other denizens, who tend to come and go with the seasons. Having lived near Stone Ring Pond for 25 years, Worliwynn has taken it upon herself to educate and guide the fishers and lumberjacks of Otari. She teaches them to improve their yields by protecting the wilderness and not taking too much from nature. Worliwynn is one of Otari’s most esteemed advisors, even though she hasn’t set foot within the town limits for years.

Many of those who live near Stone Ring Pond are followers of Gozreh, the god of wind and waves, and the water of the pond is sacred to these Gozrens. Some make use of the following ritual to peer into the future.

Waters of Prediction — Ritual 5

Rare, Divination

Cast 4 hours; Cost rare incense and herbs worth a total value of 300 gp; Secondary Casters 3

Primary Check Nature or Religion (master, the check has the secret trait); Secondary Checks Nature, Occultism, Religion, or Survival

Range 20 feet; Targets 1 pool of water

You and the secondary casters peer into the still waters of a natural pool or lake to divine your collective future. Over the course of the minute following the ritual’s end, the waters display a scene of one possible future involving the primary caster and as many secondary casters as feasible. This scene is usually, but not necessarily, set within the next few days. The future is unwritten, so the casters would be wise to not read guarantees into the cryptic nature of the visions shown in the water.

Critical Success The scene gives hints as to at least one danger the casters are likely to face, as well as at least one method of effectively addressing the danger (showing the group examining an area of a wall containing a secret hatch to bypass a trap, for example).

Success The scene gives a hint as to at least one danger the casters are likely to face, or some cryptic method to effectively address or bypass a danger (such as a scene of lurking trolls, or a scene of the casters lighting several torches and passing them out, but not both).

Failure The scene consists of so many contradictory details that it’s impossible to identify a single danger or effective course of action from them.

Critical Failure The scene is wrong; it shows the casters facing a danger they’re unlikely to come across, or encourages actions that hinder a likely upcoming encounter (such as encouraging chopping down several trees before meeting an arboreal or a dryad).

Ron Lundeen
Developer

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Tags: Otari Pathfinder Pathfinder Playtest Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Pathfinder Second Edition
Grand Archive

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Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Huzzah!
I really like these posts. That ritual is particularly neat. Pretty high level to introduce it in the BB or other adventures around Otari, but really nice still.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I have been enjoying these posts quite a bit too. A good mix of interesting lore and a bit of game mechanics!


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Is this supposed to have been sent out already? I haven't received my email yet.

Paizo Employee Marketing & Media Manager

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Virellius wrote:
Is this supposed to have been sent out already? I haven't received my email yet.

A new chapter The Shroud of Four Silences is sent every Thursday. Check your email inbox and spam folder. That said, there are tech issues we are still chasing. We will get them worked out. Happy Holidays!


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Elfteiroh wrote:

Huzzah!

I really like these posts. That ritual is particularly neat. Pretty high level to introduce it in the BB or other adventures around Otari, but really nice still.

Yeah.

If the ritual is level 5, it means Worliwynn needs to be level 9.

But there's no place for a level 9 NPC in the Adventure Path. She would be able to handle far too many threats herself, and steal the heroes' thunder.

Plus, the ritual makes no sense at a fixed level. Its effects does not seem to be limited to dangers and challenges appropriate for a cost of 300 gp.

At low level, the ritual is unavailable. At mid level, the ritual is balanced. At high level, the ritual is just free advice.

I would have preferred an implementation where the stones and the pool *by themselves* provide the vision. And that the DC is set by how much you offer up. But that the divination can only affect challenges and hazards of a level appropriate for that offering. This way, the effect would be balanced for all levels.

Offer only a few gp you get a low DC but only learn about low level threats or solutions. Offer thousands of gp you get a high DC but learn about epic threats and solutions.

This allows Worliwynn to be the level the GM needs her to be. She's more of a caretaker than the primary source of the divination.

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