Pathfinder Encounter: Phinelli’s Miracle Elixir

Friday, February 26, 2021

Few things are more challenging for a Game Master than creating an encounter on the fly, but one of those more-difficult tasks is making an impromptu encounter set in a crowded city street packed with all manner of details you have to draw on the map before the players start to lose interest. Luckily, Pathfinder Flip-Mat Classics: Red Light District is available now, so you’ll never again need to sketch out winding alleys, interior locations of ill repute, or a canal of questionable cleanliness. While this map is by no means necessary to run the following encounter (designed by Vanessa Hoskins), they certainly go well together!

Phinelli’s Miracle Elixir — Severe 3

Edolpho Phinelli, the notorious con artist, has developed a new scheme. He’s selling an elixir that he claims can heal wounds, erase scars, and regrow hair. The citizens that live in the red light district are buying it by the case-full. Edolpho is looking to get rich quick! Fast enough to hop on a ship out of the city with enough earnings to set himself up in a new town.

The elixir is, of course, a watered-down minor elixir of life mixed with several inexpensive alchemical reagents. The effects are an intense euphoria followed by a heavy hangover unless more of the elixir is ingested. He’s selling each dose for 1 gp. While the brew does restore 1d2–1 Hit Points, the fumes the imbiber belches carry tuberculosis (Pathfinder Gamemastery Guide 118), exposing themselves and anyone around them for 1 hour after they’ve consumed the elixir.

An outbreak of tuberculosis has started to spread throughout the district and the city guard are getting desperate. They suspect that this new “miracle cure” might have something to do with it, but their forces are spread thin due to the disease and a long-standing labor dispute. They’ve hired the adventurers to investigate and point them toward Edolpho’s last known location—a shipping crate dais overlooking the canal.

Creatures: Edolpho stands above a crowd of roughly a dozen onlookers, waving his arms and barking his well-rehearsed pitch. Two burly assistants flank the charlatan, holding up vials of his wares and waving them enticingly in the audience’s faces. If the adventurers approach him looking to incite violence, then Edolpho’s two “assistants” step in to carry out their true role as bodyguards, putting themselves between the PCs and their employer, and trying to push any attackers into the adjacent canal. Given his control of the rapt crowd and the carefully staged environment, Edolpho uses Performance instead of Perception when rolling initiative.

He also attempts to turn the fervent (and quite addicted) crowd against the adventurers. If the adventurers succeed at a DC 18 Diplomacy or Deception check to persuade the crowd that the elixir is toxic, then the commoners disperse as soon as violence commences. Otherwise, they fervently attempt to defend their elixir supplier.

Any commoner who is damaged immediately flees. If the bodyguards reach 5 Hit Points or fewer, they surrender. Edolpho attempts to flee if he reaches 10 Hit Points or fewer but refuses to surrender. If cornered, he attempts to bribe the adventurers.

A grizzled merchant holding their coat open to show off their potions and wares to sell

Art by Alberto Dal Lago

Edolpho Phinelli — Creature 3

Unique NE Medium Elf Half-Elf Human Humanoid
Male half-elf charlatan

Perception +6, low-light vision
Languages Common, Elven
Skills Acrobatics +8, Deception +11, Diplomacy +9, Occultism +7, Performance +11, Society +7, Stealth +8, Thievery +8, Underworld Lore +9
Str +0, Dex +3, Con +0, Int +2, Wis +1, Cha +4
Items disguise kit, lute, sap, shortsword, thieves’ tools
Versatile Performance Edolpho can use Performance instead of Diplomacy to Make an Impression and instead of Intimidation to Demoralize. He can also use an acting Performance instead of Deception to Impersonate.

AC 18; Fort +5, Ref +8, Will +10
HP 40
Speed 30 feet

Melee [one-action] shortsword +10 (agile, versatile S), Damage 1d6+2 piercing

Melee [one-action] sap +7 (agile, nonlethal), Damage 1d6+2 bludgeoning

Occult Spontaneous Spells DC 20, attack +10; 2nd (2 slots) charm, illusory disguise, invisibility; 1st (3 slots) illusory disguise, magic aura, unseen servant, ventriloquism; Cantrips (2nd) daze, ghost sound, mage hand, message, prestidigitation

Bard Composition Spells 1 Focus Point, DC 19; 1st counter performance (Core Rulebook 386); Cantrips (1st) inspire courage (Core Rulebook 386)

Sneak Attack Edolpho deals an extra 1d6 precision damage to flat-footed creatures.

Bodyguards (2) — Creature 3

Pathfinder Gamemastery Guide 226
Initiative Perception +8

Commoners (4) — Creature –1

Pathfinder Gamemastery Guide 214
Initiative Perception +3

XP Award: If the adventurers convince the commoners not to fight, award them 40 XP, as if they had defeated them in combat.

Encounter based off of the pathfinder flip-mat classics: red light district map

Untagged map
pathfinder flip-mat classics: red light district map

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Tags: Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Pathfinder Encounter Pathfinder NPCs Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Pathfinder Second Edition

7 people marked this as a favorite.

This really Sweenies my Todd, Paizo Pals.

Paizo Employee Webstore Coordinator

15 people marked this as a favorite.

Keep it off your boots, sir. Eats right through!


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Doesn't look much like a king of barbers or a barber of kings to me.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

It's a floor wax and a dessert topping!

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Where's all the priests?

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Also I will hold it against the writer for not using "canal of carnality" when talking about the Red Light District XD

Liberty's Edge

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber
Rysky wrote:
Where's all the priests?

The Church of Abadar has their hands full in these trying times. However, with an adequate donation, the church is sure to steer resources to the district in need.


Can't view enlarged versions of the images: The image of Edolpho Phinelli gives the error message "The image {redacted} cannot be displayed because it contains errors"; the image of the map gives the error message "This XML file does not appear to have any style information associated with it. The document tree is shown below." (and then gives some lines of XML code).


@UnArcaneElection right click and download image worked for me (or rather: longpress and save image on chrome in Android).

When I tap the images normally I get the same errors you deacribed.


It works. Now that's a really weird pair of bugs . . . .

Paizo Employee Marketing & Media Manager

1 person marked this as a favorite.
UnArcaneElection wrote:

Can't view enlarged versions of the images: The image of Edolpho Phinelli gives the error message "The image {redacted} cannot be displayed because it contains errors"; the image of the map gives the error message "This XML file does not appear to have any style information associated with it. The document tree is shown below." (and then gives some lines of XML code).

I'll have the tech team look at it on Monday. Thanks.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Ooh, think that's supposed to be a Deception check alongside Diplomacy to turn the crowd away?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Hey, what's this new form of damage?

"Edolpho deals an extra 1d6 percision damamge to flat-footed creatures."

We need that damage type!

(Seriously, great stuff. We're eager to see more city content.)


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Ma'am, what is that awful stench.


Edolpho looks like that brown nosing weasel of an assistant to the Governor of Laketown from the Hobbit movies.

Paizo Employee Director of Brand Strategy

Wheldrake wrote:

Hey, what's this new form of damage?

"Edolpho deals an extra 1d6 percision damamge to flat-footed creatures."

We need that damage type!

(Seriously, great stuff. We're eager to see more city content.)

I don't know what you're talking about. Looks fine to me.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

If he quoted accurately, I think he is saying that "precision" was misspelled as "percision".

Grand Archive

Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
David knott 242 wrote:


If he quoted accurately, I think he is saying that "precision" was misspelled as "percision".

It was not clear, but he was actually jokingly saying that to point out that they had just fixed it.

Paizo Employee Director of Brand Strategy

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Elfteiroh wrote:
David knott 242 wrote:


If he quoted accurately, I think he is saying that "precision" was misspelled as "percision".

It was not clear, but he was actually jokingly saying that to point out that they had just fixed it.

Thank you. I find my generally wry sense of humor fares poorly online without a generous translator like yourself.

Yes, we fixed that and a few other errors. :-)


3 people marked this as a favorite.

With all these addicted commoners, seems like the party would be at risk of tuberculosis as well if they start a melee with them.

Grand Lodge Contributor

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Monkey Bars wrote:
With all these addicted commoners, seems like the party would be at risk of tuberculosis as well if they start a melee with them.

Working as intended.

;-)


Aaron Shanks wrote:
UnArcaneElection wrote:

Can't view enlarged versions of the images: The image of Edolpho Phinelli gives the error message "The image {redacted} cannot be displayed because it contains errors"; the image of the map gives the error message "This XML file does not appear to have any style information associated with it. The document tree is shown below." (and then gives some lines of XML code).

I'll have the tech team look at it on Monday. Thanks.

Can you ask them on the progress? Thanks.


Byron Zibeck wrote:
Ma'am, what is that awful stench.

Edolpho is actually given the "zombie" trait over at Nethys:

https://2e.aonprd.com/NPCs.aspx?ID=1161

Joke or error - you decide!

Grand Archive

Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Zapp wrote:
Byron Zibeck wrote:
Ma'am, what is that awful stench.

Edolpho is actually given the "zombie" trait over at Nethys:

Edolpho page on AoN Linkified!

Joke or error - you decide!

Linkified. :P

I reported the mistake to AoN and it will probably be fixed with the next database update.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Seems a bit surprising that Edolpho and his thugs wouldn't have TB at this point. Con isn't exactly his high stat.

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