Dr Davaulus

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Scarab Sages

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Great for One-shots and short campaigns, and while the post references FATE, it is more based around the Apocalypse Engine (Used in Apocalypse World and Dungeon World). The key is while the book has everything you need to run the game, it is advisable to pick up PDFs of the character folios. In the game you pick your characters from a stack of semi-pregens - I say semi-pregens because there are some choices you get to make as a player, but with each being unique you are assured as a player your character is special with unique talents that only have. It also makes death have less of a sting because as soon as you die you can get another player from the stack and come in as soon as possible. What I love most about tremulus though is the "choose-your-own-horror" questionaire that the group fills out and which gives the GM the seeds of the adventure.
Out of the three times I have run tremulus each story has been unique thanks to the characters and the choices the players have made.
Summary: Great for one shots. Get the Character PDFs. Tons of fun.

Book is 257 Pages of rules. 6x9 - this one says Hardbound - I own the softbound. (so same size as Fiasco or FATE Books).

Scarab Sages

Great for One-shots and short campaigns, and while the post references FATE, it is more based around the Apocalypse Engine (Used in Apocalypse World and Dungeon World). The key is while the book has everything you need to run the game, it is advisable to pick up PDFs of the character folios. In the game you pick your characters from a stack of semi-pregens - I say semi-pregens because there are some choices you get to make as a player, but with each being unique you are assured as a player your character is special with unique talents that only have. It also makes death have less of a sting because as soon as you die you can get another player from the stack and come in as soon as possible. What I love most about tremulus though is the "choose-your-own-horror" questionaire that the group fills out and which gives the GM the seeds of the adventure.
Out of the three times I have run tremulus each story has been unique thanks to the characters and the choices the players have made.
Summary: Great for one shots. Get the Character PDFs. Tons of fun.

Scarab Sages

The problem with Chekhov's Gun is when the GM is not familiar with the trope.

I had a GM who had spider-tanks converted to farm equipment in a post great war Germany. Our mission was to break into a facility, and on the way there he gave us the opportunity to steal a tank. So we did, and by doing so got a TPK in the process. He said it was our fault for taking the tank, the counter-point is don't offer up something that would end the story. I explained Chekhov's gun to him and he realized that if you offer something to the players as flavor odds are they will try to use it.

Scarab Sages

Thanks baradakas.

Scarab Sages

Scenario:
Two(2) winged opponents flying in mid-air fighting it out (lets go with X and Y)
X decides to stop flapping its wings and falls to the ground (## feet below).
Does Y get an Attack of Opportunity?

To Provoke an AoO
Provoking an Attack of Opportunity: Two kinds of actions can provoke attacks of opportunity: moving out of a threatened square and performing certain actions within a threatened square.

Moving: Moving out of a threatened square usually provokes attacks of opportunity from threatening opponents. There are two common methods of avoiding such an attack—the 5-foot step and the withdraw action.

Threatened Squares:
You threaten all squares into which you can make a melee attack, even when it is not your turn. Generally, that means everything in all squares adjacent to your space (including diagonally). An enemy that takes certain actions while in a threatened square provokes an attack of opportunity from you. If you're unarmed, you don't normally threaten any squares and thus can't make attacks of opportunity.

Fly Skill:
..snip...
Attacked While Flying: You are not considered flat-footed while flying. If you are flying using wings and you take damage while flying, you must make a DC 10 Fly check to avoid losing 10 feet of altitude. This descent does not provoke an attack of opportunity and does not count against a creature's movement.

Collision While Flying: If you are using wings to fly and you collide with an object equal to your size or larger, you must immediately make a DC 25 Fly check to avoid plummeting to the ground, taking the appropriate falling damage.
..snip..

Drop Prone:
Dropping to a prone position in your space is a free action. (And the table that lists what provokes, says this action does not)

Falling:
Is listed under Environmental Rules.

Trip:
...snip...
Some creatures—such as oozes, creatures without legs, and flying creatures—cannot be tripped.
...snip...

All of the above were invoked in the discussion that happened at the table.

X's argument was while there are two [u]common[/u] methods of avoiding an AoO there could be others. Since falling is neither movement, nor performing certain actions within a threatened square (as noted by the definition of Threatened Squares saying only certain actions provoke). In fact the closest action X made was to Drop Prone, but with no floor to stop the fall, and Dropping Prone does not provoke.

Y's argument was around how "Attacked While Flying" specifically called out that the movement taken after being hit did not provoke (as it was forced movement, not voluntary), where as "Collision While Flying" did not(even if you were the one who was collided into (so not on your turn) and failed the save). Plus, as you cannot be tripped while flying, you cannot fall prone while flying, so Dropping Prone is not a legal action while flying.

The discussion ended when it was made clear that the potential damage from the fall could equal what could be dealt out by the attacker.

X's move felt "cheesy" but Y's contradictory rules around "Collision While Flying" felt off.

So now we are curious.

I saw there were a few threads on the subject of Falling and Attack of Opportunity, but they focused on the accidental fall, or being dropped by a grappling monster and they still tend to lean toward both answers being right.

Scarab Sages

Darus Shalecarver wrote:

Hi guys,

I have what may be a pretty newb question regarding the arcane locks placed on the doors in Q8. Why are they specified as CL8? Also, what are some reasonable ways in which this lock can be bypassed? I'm pretty unfamiliar with arcane lock in general. Thanks for any help!

First the spell was cast by the big bad at the end, and he is CL8.

Arcane locks placed on door without their own lock can be opened several ways.
1. Disable Device DC20
2. Dispel Magic(d20 + your caster level vs 11+CL - so in this case 19)
3. Knock (suspend lock for 10 minutes)

If you will note earlier in the adventure path there is a chance for the players to get a scroll of knock from the Sanctum of the Erudite Eye.

Now for a twist, the door from Q9 to Q13 is a bit different.
The thing is the door had a lock on it already with a DC30, then Arcane Lock raises that 10 more.

"The massive double doors to the south are locked and <big bad> has placed another arcane lock on them."

So right there that explains the DC40 disable device check for that door.

Good luck and good delving.

Scarab Sages

How do the nameless Assassins get to do Death Attack at ranged?

Assassin Death Attack only works "with a melee weapon" according to the GRD on Assassins

Scarab Sages

What is the dimensions of the battlefield in the fight with Ajin Ra Baqa and his "dogs" in Event 4?

Knowing that Ajin's favorite tactic is to fight from the Wing, the dimensions of this battle should be supportive of his tactics.

I was thinking 50 x 50 x 30 high, as a congregation space within the Grand Mausoleum. But I wanted to see if I was missing something in the module.

Scarab Sages

Okay, I am having trouble pronouncing Ptemenib's name.

Is it like this: P'tem-eh-nib
Or is the P silent (like Ptolemy)? And thus Teh-men-ib

Or is it something else?

Also, should the random encounters in the Necropolis help reduce the panic level of the city?

Or, is the intent that what goes on in the Necropolis, stays in the Necropolis, and as such the Panic level rises each night while they are in there?

And if it truly unknown to the outside what is going on inside the necropolis, would the panic go up 1d4 or just 1?

In reality the players are trying to solve the problem as Sebti keeps the calm by claiming "we have our best assets working on the problem."

It might force the players to come out of the Necropolis if it creeps up high enough to be a worry and remind them to not be lay-abouts inside the Necropolis. But should it be a slow creep (1) or fast-ish (1d4)?

Scarab Sages

So, got it and my favorite part is finding the commonly encountered Whiptail Centipede in a set...finally. My only disappointment is we need another Ankheg as we are encountering them in many adventures in pairs (Skulls and Shackles 1 and MM 3). Still it was most welcomed set and will serve me well as I run the campaign.

Scarab Sages

Thank you all for the replies and link to the older post.

Scarab Sages

Ok, I have thought myself into a corner.

Quote:


Spell-like Abilities: After listing the caster level of the creature's spell-like abilities, this section lists all of the creature's spell-like abilities, organized by how many times per day it can use the abilities. Constant spell-like abilities function at all times but can be dispelled. A creature can reactivate a constant spell-like ability as a swift action.

So if a monster has an entry with multiple spell-like abilities:

Example: 3/day deathknell(DC15), enervation, silence

Does that mean
a) they can use all three spells three times per day (so 9 "castings"), or
b) does it mean three times per day they can cast one of those spells (so 3 "castings").

I am reading it as b - sort of like a sorcerer, but I have my doubts after reading a module where they have creature with a line that reads:
1/day Antilife Shell, Greater Teleport, Harm(DC19), Slay living(DC18)
and the creature does both in the encounter.

EDIT:
For those who don't want to read further - I had it wrong. It is option A - Every spell-like ability behind a 3/day can be cast 3 times per day. Thanks to those who replied.

Scarab Sages

Downtime Windows.
In Module 1 - there could be a couple of days between exploring the 3 sites.
Between 1 and 2 there are a few days (though it is easily stretched out if need be).
Module 2 is non-stop, no rest.
Between 2 and 3 there is no clock so it is a great time to allow PCs to do some construction.
Module 3 Part 1 is semi-clocked.
Between M3 Part 1 and Part 2 you could reasonably some time.
M3 Part 2 is world exploration so the clock is more driven by your ability to find and create food and water.
M4 Part 1 is world exploration there is again the same clock as M3 Part 2.
M4 wraps up nicely and this is the last chance of the GM introducing some breathing space, because in M5-M6 you are crisis mode.

Scarab Sages

Lots of undead and constructs.

Scarab Sages

After doing some digging, I am realizing that any drug has a huge markup compared to the raw material cost. As each layer of the process tacks on a larger and larger processing and handling fee.
Coca plants are cheap, getting it after the first layer of processing is more expensive, getting it to the distributor adds more costs, getting it to the supplier adds yet more cost, and finally the supplier wants their cut.

With using that mental model I am thinking a single mummy could make 5 or so doses of Mumia, the challenge is getting it to the Alchemist is probably the first hurdle to manufacturing, so I still think the Fading would originally start paying 10-50GP/mummy with age, size, and condition being the key factors.

So for example the mummy slaves in the water trap, they would be full sized and properly aged, but if they get soaked by the trap they might not be so easily processed and stored. So 15GP/mummy.

So I am going with a mummy makes 5 doses (as only the body part of the mummy can be used, all the wrapping is useless). So its the all the other parts of the process that can add to the cost (100GP/dose ), plus the knowledge to make the stuff is apparently rare and thus really drives up the cost at this point.

Still if you master the art, you can get it up to probably 250GP a dose, at this point, before putting into the stream of distribution where everyone else jacks the price up even more to reach the market value of 500GP.

Does that sound about right?

Scarab Sages

So, I have a group of few scruples. They have heard of Mumia and want to get in on it.
So I am thinking of letting them get in with the Fading, but I was curious how many doses of Mumia can one get from an average adult Mummy.

I was thinking 4 or 6. Knowing the drug is 500gp/dose and most item creation rules are 50%, means the making of Mumia costs 250gp. But that is a mix of chemical reagents along with mummy dust.

So I could a typical mummy could make quite a few doses. And most of the cost of making mumia is in the acquisition of the mummy and knowing the formula.

So at this point I am thinking of offering the PCs 50GP for each properly aged mummy they smuggle out (or deliver to the lab in Module 2). But I am suspecting they are looking to get a portion of the drug and with each trade in eventually learn the secret themselves.

So thoughts or opinions would be welcomed.

Scarab Sages

Talos the Talon! wrote:
I am not quite getting the red herring bit. How do I implement this? Is it simply the party explores the buildings where thing the maggufin is, and so you break out a red herring site as filler? As far as I know none of the people in the necropolis will specifically suggest a red herring or will they? Who will suggest what? I think the dark folk will have the best knowledge of the area, so they could possibly name a few red herrings right?

So the red-herrings come from several sources (see page 29 and 30 for details).

The Magic Compass it points along a line- along that line are many sites (as noted in the red herring side bar on page 30), so if they follow the compass line they will pass through a whole host of trouble - definitely look at the writeups of some of these locations in the Wati guide in the previous module.

Many Denizens - if asked if they have seen someone with a mask they will say they saw people with masks in all sorts of locations, so the list of those places they will suggest is again in the red-herring side bar section for "Mysterious Stranger." The good news is none of the locations listed in that heading lack a map entry.

Lastly if they work with the Dark Folk or rescue the one captured by Dark Cadaver the clue about the torn section of the Star Chart means if they ponder where such a thing could come from then that list of places is the Star chart subheading in the sidebar. I would say the Dark Folk would be the ones to list off all the places here where it could come from (and thus the greatest source of red-herrings)

So now you have a whole bunch of different locations, some with Letters (indicating a place with a write up) and a bunch without a Letter. Those without Letters (ex. Mahhept's Marvelous Maps) you now get to do the following
1) Cost the PCs 1d6 hours as they explore the site.
2) Roll up a Random Encounter that just "happens" to be at their site of choice.
3) Have a map of a ruin for them to deal with the Random Encounter in.
4) Assuming they defeat the Random Encounter -1 from the Panic Level.

The total of Red-Herrings where you have to do something is pretty small (6) of which some have been written about in the Wati write up (2 of them) - so really you have 4 that you will have to make whole from cloth.

Scarab Sages

@Grumpus. Ahh, I did not connect the writer of that post to the author of the book. Mea Culpa and thank you for establishing the mental link, I am going with the assumption that at a minimum each Random Encounter dealt with is a -1.

Scarab Sages

Next question (as I continue to prep I will find more I am sure). Does the defeat of a Random Encounter reduce Panic in the city? Some of those are quite tough and I can see that being helpful. But nothing is noted on pages 13 or 83 saying one way or another. I am planning on a Yes Answer, but I wanted to see if I missed something.

Scarab Sages

So my next question is what would some of the auction attendees do in the ensuing chaos of the pulse.
Mainly I am looking at the un-statted Four Lanterns and the two priests of Abadar?
I was thinking the Clerics could help usher out Basif, Khammayid, Manaat, and Baketra (so basically anyone who is not put in specific danger).
The Four Lanterns could stay and help in the fight, freeing the PCs to save some of the others imperiled.

But I wasn't sure if there was a better approach to dealing with these potential allies.

Scarab Sages

Question about the NPCs found on page 8

Djat Masakhet (N male human cleric of Nethys 2)
and Intef Karam (LN female human cleric of Nethys 3):
Representatives of Wati’s temple of Nethys, the Sanctum of
Silver and Gold, looking for unique magic items and lost
temple records.

When I look at the Wati tourist guide I see the Sanctum of Silver and Gold was Abadar and not Nethys.

Sanctum of Silver and Gold: This small, comfortable temple of Abadar has held sway over Wati’s economy for thousands of years, and has been rebuilt and remodeled dozens of times to accommodate the waning and waxing of Abadar’s appeal in the region.

So is it correct to assume a change in god in that write up or is there a temple to Nethys (aside from the Eurdite Eye) that was missed in the tourist guide?

Scarab Sages

Chase/Race Card questions:
After reading the chase and race rules, due to the nature of the challenges if you do make the cards, do you play them "face up" so the players can see what they face before they get there, or "Face Down" revealing what is there when someone gets there? If the later do you reveal what they bypassed or leave it for discovery by the group who comes later.

I am thinking of doing face down, to keep the attempts on their lives by the cultists a surprise. But I would hate to perturb our group's rules aficionado.

Scarab Sages

@Caderyn and Samy - thanks for the input. I like the Glitterdust suggestion, and you do make a valid point about a whole dungeon between them and the PCs.

The reason I want a top notch challenge is the group I have is 6 players strong, and as far as player types go I have a tactician and a rules expert on the players side, who often times make short work of the encounters so far (They are technically +1 APL, but also I am more of a storyteller GM than a tactical GM - hence my quest for advice). So I want to give them a real challenge without having to level up the Scorched Hand.

Scarab Sages

2 people marked this as FAQ candidate.

Question 1: Can Liberty's Blessing be used to cure diseases before the onset even takes place? Example: Filth Fever. And if they get to make swift actions to make saves and the cure is consecutive saves, then, in that one minute do they have to get 2 saves in a row or just two saves in that minute while the Blessing is in effect?

Question 2: Can the effect of Liberty's Blessing allow a person to "save" from Mummy's Rot within the first minute before the onset of the disease? What about after? Since it is now a combined Curse and Disease?

Items in Question:
Liberty's Blessing:
Liberty’s Blessing (Sp): You touch a willing creature as a standard action, granting it a boon. A creature with this boon can, as a swift action, make a saving throw against a single spell or effect it is suffering from that grants a save. The DC of the saving throw is equal to the original DC of the spell or effect. If the saving throw is successful, the effect ends. This boon lasts for 1 minute or until successfully used to remove a spell or effect, whichever duration is shorter. You can use this ability for a number of times equal to 3 + your Wisdom modifier.

Filth Fever:
Type disease, injury; Save Fortitude DC 12
Onset 1d3 days; Frequency 1/day
Effect 1d3 Dex damage and 1d3 Con damage; Cure 2 consecutive saves

Mummy Rot:
curse and disease—slam; save Fort DC 16; onset 1 minute; frequency 1/day; effect 1d6 Con and 1d6 Cha; cure —.
Mummy rot is both a curse and disease and can only be cured if the curse is first removed, at which point the disease can be magically removed. Even after the curse element of mummy rot is lifted, a creature suffering from it cannot recover naturally over time. Anyone casting a conjuration (healing) spell on the afflicted creature must succeed on a DC 20 caster level check, or the spell is wasted and the healing has no effect. Anyone who dies from mummy rot turns to dust and cannot be raised without a resurrection or greater magic. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Scenario: Running Mummy's Mask, and diseases are pretty common, particularly Mummy Rot at later levels.

I have ruled that if its effect is permanent (like a Bestow curse or Blindness Spell) Liberty's Blessing doesn't work as it no longer has an ongoing effect that you can save from (So one and done).

Diseases, because they have ongoing saves, Liberty's Blessing would seem to work, but for something where you need consecutive saves like Filth Fever or something tricky like Mummy Rot is where I have questions of the interaction of the power and these diseases.

Scarab Sages

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So I am trying to come up with a good set of strategy for the Scorched Hands.
So I first added to Valeria's spell list Alarm, something she carries as a scroll they use when they are setting up a camp. Casting it to the north.
They also carry a chain and padlock, mainly to secure a site, but since this one lacked doors to lock they used it on the western gate.
Aside from these two significant changes to buy more time I believe the following strategy would be viable, but I would love suggestions from anyone else to make this a challenging encounter.

some of what I was thinking to do:

No Matter the approach the Scorched Hand will be aware of PCs. Either by the gate or by the Alarm spell placed in the northern hall by Velriana. Or the extra time by the padlock and chain on the door to the west.
Before combat
If the Players come from the north they will have just 3 rounds to prepare. Due to the alarm spell, Velriana had cast (from scroll) on the northern approach.

Picking a lock is a full round action and with a DC20 shouldn't be too hard. But it will give the Scorched hand 2 rounds.
To slow down any intruders, a simple lock (DC20) and good quality chain has also been applied to the western gate. Hard 10, HP 5, Break DC26.

Round 0
Aziz - Already has Mage Armor on. Will grease the area in front of the doors the pcs approach (1 casting, just enough to cover the whole front of the door) - they are hard corners so can't be diagonally avoided. Then Vanish his familiar (if coming from West - then MM from scroll if time permits). Then ready Flaming Sphere for breach.
His scorpion will move closer, along the wall ready to move in and attack a back field cleric.
Khelru will cast Bulls' Strength and Shield of Faith on Idorii. IF TIME permits he will even cast Bless. (+1 to Hit and Save vs. Fear) Then Effortless Armor (move increase to 30) Then Magic Weapon on his Quarterstaff (+1 to dmg as it is already MWK)
Velriana cast mirror image and uses a charge from wand of shield. If time permits and coming from West - will cast MM as that avoids the cover penalty of the Bronze Gate. Otherwise, Velriana will ready Ray of Enfeeblement on Frontline fighter

Round 1

Velriana's(Init 20) Ray of Enfeeblement will fire. ( +2 vs touch- Drain 1d6+2 STR, Fort DC15 for 1/2)
Idorii (INIT 21 - readied for Velriana’s spell to fire first) moves to engage any who crossed grease zone, if all fail she will toss weapons on those staying on other side. Or engage prone foe, because it is easier to kick them while they are down (+4 to attack).
Aziz (Init 12) Flaming Sphere goes off.(3d6 REFX 15 for half 3 rounds). His scorpion will move up on the group's cleric, hoping to force failed castings.
Scorpion(Init 12) will move to attack climbing the wall to get around the corner.
Khelru (Init 8) will Cast Spiritual weapon will focus it on a caster (note: if he loses line of sight, the weapon will return to him) +5 to hit, 1d8+1 dmg, lasts 3 rounds.

Round 2
Idorii attacks primary foe who threatens Velirana, scorpion is too small to provide a flank. Will stick with one foe until they are down.
Velriana will cast Scorching Ray on any obvious spell casters or anyone standing (no need to give herself the -4 to hit prone targets, or -2 on those in battle with Idorri) (4d6 vs. Touch AC)
Aziz will use move action to direct sphere and use standard action to cast force missile 1d4+1 auto hit on whomever is engaged with Idorii.
Khelru will heal by Readying for a wounded ally and staying mobile. Using CLW over channeling initially. If no one is injured will use hold person (DC 15 will negates). (Spiritual Weapon)

Round 3
So at this point it really depends on what is going on
Idorii will focus on a single foe until unconscious (they or her)
Velriana - if cornered will 5 foot back and cast from scroll warding weapon and then resume casting (warding weapons for 4 rounds means she doesn't have to cast defensively)
Otherwise Scorching Ray, then Acid Arrow, then Burning Hands, and lastly Magic Missle.
Has Glitterdust to deal with Invisible foes once aware of them.
Aziz - Force Missile and Flaming Sphere
Khelru - Heal (Spiritual Weapon)

Round 4:
Aziz Flaming Sphere is gone so he will stick to force missiles, again focusing fire on Idorri's target.
Khelru's Spiritual Weapon is gone, but he will be busy healing. If he gets a breather he will use Sun Metal on his staff. Afterwards he will use Hand of the Acolyte to hit ranged targets.

Things to be aware of, at this point the PCs will have create Pit. So need to be spread out. So have them all take cover behind different pillars (the four farthest from the entrance the PCs are entering from.) Expect Idorri to be primary target.

Trick to know: Grease give +10 to escape from grapple. Something Aziz is well aware of and will use to aid anyone hugged by the Monk.

Scarab Sages

A Post Apocalypse game that mixes RPG with Skirmish - its like taking peanut butter and chocolate, or, in my case Necromunda and Dark Heresy, and mushing them together. Consider this backed!