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***** Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit 156 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 34 Organized Play characters. 1 alias.


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5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

For A1, the mod lists a permanent alarm spell 100 feet down the stairway. It lists it as a trap and gives a Perception DC to find it.

As far as I know, alarm is not a trap (though magical traps seem to include the spell as part of their nature) and cannot be detected in this way.

And if it was truly a trap, it should have a Disable Device DC listed.

5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

Is there a reason that Humush Mum lost a point of Dexterity in High Tier? She has 16 in Low and 15 in High. It looks like she just got some class levels, not a different build.

5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

Maybe I'm just reading the entry for A1 wrong, but the way it reads to me is that the PCs can just Stealth past the guards at the front gate.

First and foremost, looking at the map, there is no cover in front of the estate. There is also no information leading me to believe that concealment exists (the existence of fog, for example). So, barring unusual circumstances (which many parties excel at creating), there is no way to stealth.

I guess a PC could Bluff as a distraction, but that would still mean someone needs to pick the lock, as the gate is always locked. Can you simultaneously Stealth and Disable Device? I don't think so, since both take actions and Disable Device/Open Lock is a full round action or longer. I think with no Stealth, even if there's a distraction, the person opening the gate will be seen.

Am I missing something?

EDIT: Also, in the guards' tactics it says: "If necessary, the Blackjackets drop their halberds and attack with their rapiers."

Halberds aren't reach weapons, so why would it be necessary to drop them?

EDIT 2: It seems very unlikely, given the setup of the A1 encounter that the guards will actually be able to perform their Before Combat action of drinking a potion of bull's strength. The PCs would have to be far away and screaming their intent to make a full frontal assault. Otherwise, as soon as the guards reach for their potions, the PCs would be reacting.

5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

Gabrielle wrote:
Paizo made the bold decision to take that choice out of the narrative and put it back in the players' hands, essentially saying, "No, if they choose to do this, let them. They'll see what it gets them." On one hand, wow, that "boon" is harsh. On the other hand, it made me laugh out loud. I think it's daring and brilliant on Paizo's part. I've NEVER seen a chronicle sheet with such bold consequences before. And yeah, you're Pathfinders, you made an oath above your oaths to the PFS and to your own gods. Maybe next time, Paizo seems to say, don't do that.

They may have put it in the players' hands, but I don't think they provided enough information to let them know this is a bad decision. This is what the mod says if PCs ask the Tempest Monarch what's entailed in swearing fealty to it:

(this space intentionally left blank)

There is no answer provided to what I think is a perfectly reasonable question -- a question that would probably leave no doubt about what the best decision is for most PCs, given your answer above, where they're putting the Tempest above all else -- PFS, country, and even god(dess). Though I saw nothing in the mod that indicates swearing fealty to the Tempest overrules any other oaths a character has sworn, especially to one's deity.

Though it's not mentioned (that I'm aware of), I think it's reasonable that a loyal subject from Taldor (especially one who has earned a noble title boon) has sworn fealty to the crown of that nation and nowhere is it mentioned that this trumps an oath to the PFS or one's own deity. If fact, given that one of the boons for Taldan nobility is in the Pathfinder Society Field Guide, it should be more than acceptable. I don't see an oath fealty as being so restrictive, though maybe history buffs with real world examples could set me straight.

The mod goes on to say this about the Tempest Monarch:
While the Tempest Monarch treats the area around the anomaly as a lair and throne room, the truth is that the dragon was swept into the cave and trapped by the currents, just as the PCs were. They rely upon the sea creatures that the current washes into the cave for sustenance.

How is this trapped creature going to "take pains to ruin your reputation"? I assume that he wants/needs the scroll of teleport to get out of the cave. Is he going to sully the PCs' reputation to the next group of Pathfinders who enters the cave to study the planar anomaly but only if they, too, forswear their oaths to the PFS and their deities?

And a quibble: If you're going to include an out to a bad boon, make it reasonable. Based on Mike Bramnik's post about the availability of scrolls of teleport on chronicles, the alternative really isn't much of an alternative.

I don't have a problem with negative boons on chronicles, though I do not care for how it was implemented in this mod as it seems more like a trap and the negative consequences seem to come from a plot hole.

On the contrary, I wish there were more consequences for bad (especially "kill 'em all, let the gods sort 'em out") choices in PFS. (Like, say, if a paladin wants to keep an evil ioun stone for a free feat and just pay for an atonement. Yeah,

4-12: The Refuge of Time,
I'm looking at you.)

5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

Keith Boyer wrote:
I ran this on Tuesday and came across an interesting question. As I understood it, the combat with the crab swarms takes place in 1-2 feet of water. The crabs can swim and unless a reason I can't fathom is given, would mostly remain under the water. How does this effect alchemist bombs, alchemist fire, or acid flasks as they would either be ineffective or reduced in this condition?

If what's in Emerald Spire can considered accurate (from a rules perspective), room E3 in the Drowned Level (p. 58), says this:

Except for the refuse pile in the southwest corner, this room is flooded to a depth of 2 feet and counts as difficult terrain for anyone on foot.

and this about the combat with a crab swarm:

Because crabs can swim, any combat in this room other than on the refuse pile is underwater. The water protects the swarm from alchemist's fire in any flooded square, though alchemical attacks using acid, cold, or electricity can still harm it, as can magical attacks (though the water counts as cover, providing the swarm a +2 bonus on saving throws against area attacks originating from above the water).

5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

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What happens if PCs try to destroy the final blade?

I found this description of its destruction:
Although the final blades are minor artifacts, they can be destroyed by damage. The exact defenses of each vary, but all have hardness 20 and 200 hit points. When one is destroyed, the trapped souls explode in a wave of necromantic power- some of these souls manifest as incorporeal undead and immediately attack all living creatures in sight. The number and nature of these angry souls varies, but should usually consist of at least a CR 12 (or higher) encounter.

[Source: Final Blade]

I think you'd be well within your rights to call it outside the scope of the scenario, since its destruction immediately causes another (un-statted) encounter. You can't make up another encounter in PFS, which means the undead released will wreak havoc on Isarn as the PCs can't really fight them. Since the undead are incorporeal, containing them would be very difficult. Would it be an evil act if the PCs unleashed a horde of incorporeal undead on Isarn, whether that was their intention or not? I think you could argue intent doesn't matter. I mean look at Colson Maldris...

Based on the description -- unless there's another one -- I don't see a way around the final blade's destruction releasing the undead.


I am getting the following error trying to download digital content:
Not Found
The requested URL /download/135744/v5748aid7pjbv/v5748btpy9zk0/PathfinderSocietyScenario9-17O athOfTheOverwatchedPDF.zip was not found on this server.

Apache Server at remote1.paizo.com Port 80

It appears that this is happening for PFS Season 9 scenarios 9-09 through 9-17. A sampling of earlier season scenarios and even earlier Season 9 scenarios seems to be OK.

I am scheduled to run this tonight, so any expedient resolution would be greatly appreciated.

5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

The description of the hellfire rod (page 12) says this:
"This black rod inlaid with silver Abyssal script curves slightly, ..."

While the Conclusion (page 12) says:
"If any of the PCs are capable of reading or speaking Infernal, ..."

Given the name of the item, I'm assuming Abyssal is a typo and should be Infernal.

The art for the item seems off, too, given the description of the item as black with silver script and the picture shows neither. In this case, I'm assuming the description trumps the art, but if there's any clarification on this very minor quibble, I'd appreciate it.

5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

Steven Schopmeyer wrote:
That is absolutely a correct interpretation. The wrench is if they don't manage to recover that particular book and do not have access to that mortification ritual. It is also not viable for a low tier party that may not be able to stay conscious through the entire ritual.


5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

Question on the ritual: When we played this, very poor rolls combined with CN (x2) and LN (x2) penalties for our 4-person party led to to some not good results leading up to the ritual. When it came time to do the mortifications, someone suggested we all just bleed and if it's bad, have the cleric channel. We chose this so we wouldn't have to rely on our ice-cold dice. (I don't think we should have known there was no check -- just the damage -- at least for the first phase, but we did. And whether the cleric could actually have channeled during the ritual...)

Taking 6d4 damage each was easy enough for our level 4-5 PCs and we called it a wrap.

I assumed there would be controls the GM missed to prevent this "easy victory", but maybe that's how it was intended as reading the scenario I'm not seeing any stipulations that:
1. The PCs must each do a different mortification.
2. A PC can do a mortification only once during the ritual. (In fact, the opposite; the scenario specifically says a PC may change mortifications after/before each phase.)
3. Each phase lasts any longer than a single round. (Meaning the bleed damage was really negligible, at least for Tier 4-5.)

Did I miss something or is this a correct interpretation of the mechanics of the ritual?

5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

Kalervo Oikarinen wrote:
The PCs have a chance to take a rest and use their spells etc. to deal with any adverse effects shortly after those encounters, after leaving the heavy gravity area and after getting into the more temperate camp.

Hmm...when I ran this, I didn't allow the PCs to rest in the camp. My reasoning was based on the later encounter with Jathune, in which he openly greets the PCs. It seemed to me that if there are outsiders in his camp, Jathune would eventually seek them out. It doesn't make sense to me that Grave Treader's tent is in a spot that is outside of sight of both the guards and the main camp -- i.e., that she's completely isolated from the rest of the Sundered Stone -- but I suppose that could be the case. Since it's a day's travel to the Temple of Brigh, I'm not sure it matters too much, since that's when the group I ran rested (just before entering the temple).

In my reading of the scenario, it seemed like the PCs could tackle the Temple of Brigh and Jathune in any order they chose -- I didn't see a limitation or reason for one encounter to take place before the other.

The Acrobatics check to jump to the platform in C2 was not listed, but I assumed that the landing where the stairs turn was 10 ft. up, since it seems halfway to the platform. Therefore, the jump from the landing to the platform is 10 ft. up and 10 ft. over, which is really difficult, especially considering that it looks like a standing jump.

I think that Grave Treader should have been statted out since she's present during a combat and could be affected.

Jeffrey Stop wrote:
Kyrand wrote:
Not sure if it's run as part of the same process, but these scenarios appear to have not yet dropped to Venture-Officers either (or, at least, not to me).
I'm not seeing it, either. It's making the coordinator of a local con that's happening this weekend more than a little nervous, since it's on the schedule. Any updates or ETA?

Got it, now. Thanks!

Kyrand wrote:
Not sure if it's run as part of the same process, but these scenarios appear to have not yet dropped to Venture-Officers either (or, at least, not to me).

I'm not seeing it, either. It's making the coordinator of a local con that's happening this weekend more than a little nervous, since it's on the schedule. Any updates or ETA?

5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

Question about assigning teams to tasks

The PCs send a team looking for Three Rings?

I'm going with the idea that they find out about Alexayn's previous moniker, but don't link it to Suliji Peshar. I'm assuming that the only time she used Three Rings was with the Pathfinder Society, so people in Ostenso wouldn't know about her, but that's just an assumption.

By the time they report back, it'll be a moot point anyway, but I'm curious.

GreyYeti wrote:

I have the same problem, every time i load the dates or i add a new date it changes all old dates back one day.

And cancel does not cancel the entries but saves them.

I see the same issues.

James Jacobs wrote:
If the PCs want to break into the manor through the windows, there's not a lot stopping them other than perhaps the fact that the manor itself is intended to go on the auction, and that the PCs are supposed to do as little damage to the manor as they can.

Looking at the map, I don't see any windows. Nor do I remember seeing any mention of them in the text. There are several fireplaces, though. Am I missing something?

5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit


Donating items found in this mod:
Can the PCs donate the gear they found in this mod to the Pathfinders to get the bonus? I saw nothing that would prevent it, but it also seems like the intent was for the PCs to actually use their own resources -- i.e., make the PCs make an effort and have a bit of a pain point. If they give up the found stuff, I believe it's on the chronicle and they still get the gold for it.

Skills for briefings:
Is there any way for the PCs to know which skills they'd need to use to give the briefings to the Pathfinder groups? When I played it, I was told no, but someone else said that when he'd run it he gave the PCs the knowledge.

Final PC choice:
In regards to the Sun Orchid Elixir, one player indicated that he was taking the elixir for the Pathfinder Society -- not for personal use. That's not an option on the Chronicle, so should he be held to the decision even though the option he was hoping for was not on the chronicle? (I didn't want to give anything away about the options because every player was in the same room and some still hadn't decided.)

EDIT: Added spoiler tags just in case.

Vatras wrote:

It does not matter if the excluded targets would or would not be affected. The only condition is that the channeler excludes targets, which are actually in the area.

You gain by the feat up to CHA-bonus x2 plus 6 (half tier including the feat) to damage. With a CHA of 22 you look at 17 damage, if you are tier 10. Which is ... not much, seeing the damage from melees and nukes.

Dead creatures are objects. Unattended non-magical objects to boot :)

1) Excluding 3 is all that is required by the feat to work. So they would grant you a grand 6 damage.
2) Would be 4 for 8 damage.
And the target of all that effort can save for half, so it will end up as being 3 and 4 bonus damage.

I wouldn't spend a mythic feat on that ability tbh, it is like most channeling feats wasted.

Thanks for the reply, Vatras. I'm not sure how you got 4 and 8 from the second example, because 3 people are being excluded; of those 3, 2 are dead -- unattended non-magical objects. :-)

LazarX wrote:
Unless the cleric and the PC's are undead, they're not going to be harmed by the positive energy. So since they aren't valid targets of the channeling to begin with, there is no damage boost to gain.

So here are a couple healing situations for Selective Channeling (Mythic):

1. Cleric selectively channels, excluding 3 PCs who are not hurt. Do they count for adding points? (My take: Yes, they're valid targets.)

2. Cleric selectively channels, excluding 3 bad guys who have fallen. 2 of the 3 are actually dead and can't be healed, but the cleric doesn't know that. How many points does he add to the healing? (My take: Based on LazarX's response, 2 points -- for 1 creature who can be targeted. I don't believe dead creatures are valid targets, but I could very well be wrong on that.)

5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

{ snipped for brevity }

Serisan wrote:
Part 2 of the research becomes impossible as the God Fount's death triggers automatic hostility with the Council of Shadows.


5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

John Compton wrote:
Serisan wrote:
[[Research questions]]
** spoiler omitted **

Is there anything preventing PCs from skipping the research initially and coming back to it later? I didn't see anything that would indicate research done after getting to the professor would be any less effective. Did I miss something?

5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

This question is more out of curiosity than any in-game effect, but I can see what happened to all of the Riftwardens' arcane foci, but Jahani's. (Gerrard's staff is broken in C2, Imaga's parrot is partially dissected in C3, and Mikael's ring is a small lump of silver in C2.) Did I miss the weasel's location or is it not covered in the mod?

5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

Here are some things I found while prepping:

Information about the dig site:
On page 6 in Kasadei's boxed text she says, “Our diviner puts the site just over this rise, though he could see nothing else.”

But on page 5 in response to a question the PCs may ask she says, “I have scouts I trust watching the site, but not numerous or skilled enough for an assault. Once you secure the area, they can take it from there.” The scouts are mentioned again after the boxed text.

I'm not sure why the diviner is mentioned -- he doesn't have any information and Kasadei knows the dig location from her scouts, who have been watching it.

Also, the scouts should know something of the site, having been here for at least a little while.

Melnat's stat block:
In both subtiers, it lists "Custom Language" as one of her languages. This appears to be a typo as she appears to have the correct number of languages (9) without it.

The headband of vast intelligence does not list which skill it provides ranks in, in either subtier.

Melnat's tactics:
In both subtiers, Melnat's tactics list, "She uses her wall
of nausea to disable as many PCs as she can."

Maybe I'm misinterpreting how she's meant to use the spell, but wall of nausea can't be cast on people ("If its surface is broken by any object or creature when it is cast, the spell fails.") so talking about using it to disable PCs doesn't seem to fit.

Also, the DC (19 or 20, depending on subtier) for wall of nausea should be listed.

I ran this a couple days ago and the PCs captured Marla. There really isn't any indication on how Melnat would react to that situation, though it seems like a fairly strong possibility that Marla could be captured. The PCs should have a relatively easy time of scouting the entrance without being spotted and will probably note that she's not just a regular old bird. Knowing that, they would certainly try to stop her from entering the dig site proper.

Planning the Raid:
On page 14, The Sneaky Route and Official Raid both say, "Unless the PCs take pains to conceal their approach to the Bronze House, rooftop sentries notice them early enough to sound the alarm 1 minute before the PCs arrive." I interpret conceal to mean stealth.

On the surface, this seems ridiculous. Do the guards sound the alarm when any armed people approach within 300 feet of the bronze house? At 300 feet, how do they even know that the people are headed to the Bronze House and not somewhere else? At this point, the folks at the Bronze House have no idea what's coming, so they shouldn't be on high alert. Why would the guards be sounding the alarm?

C9: Says, "Another secret door lies past the double doors to the south." This appears the be a typo as there are no double doors to the south.

C7 does not mention a lock on the secret door to C9, C9 mentions the south exit being locked, and C10 mentions a locked door leading to C9. I assume if a door's locked, it's locked in both directions, so my interpretation is that the large doors between C9 and C10 are locked and the door between C7 and C9 is not locked.

C13: Says, "The fire does not spread past the thick, reinforced wall to area C9, ..." This should be C17.

C15: Says, "A polished darkwood desk rests in the center of the chamber." That should be a table, not a desk.

Confronting Maiveer Sloan:
Under the Sloan's Involvement section it says, "... or a DC 19 Linguistics check (DC 23 in Subtier 8–9) to present a forgery as evidence without Sloan recognizing it’s a fake."

I didn't see anything in the mod hinting about manufacturing evidence, especially about the convocation's events, so this seems like an extreme long shot. PCs would really need to think outside the box on this and it would need to be prepped ahead of time -- they can't just take any old piece of paper and make a Linguistics check at the last minute.

Also, unlike a Bluff, where the PC can intimate that they know something more than they do without revealing what they know, a forgery needs to lay things out. To my knowledge, the PCs have no information with which to base a believable document. At the very least, I think the DC is too low.

Under the The Conspiracy section, there is a Knowledge (arcana) check to determine that certain elements of the attack were beyond Sloan's capabilities. How does that work? Sloan's not going to be talking about the attack, nor does he have any reason to talk about magic in general. There is no check earlier that reveals any of Sloan's capabilities.

Secondary Success Conditions:
This seems rough; not a complaint, just an observation. In addition to finding 5 pieces of evidence, the PCs will have to do 2 of the following:
Masked Leader: any PC making a DC 27/30 Sense Motive. While everyone can try this, the DCs rule practically rule out success for anyone not trained.

The Spymistress: Any single PC must succeed at:
Disguise 18/21 or Perception 25/28
Craft (alchemy) 25 or Knowledge (nobility) 25
Bluff 20

Pawns: Any single PC must succeed at:
Perform (any) 20 or Spellcraft 25
Perform (sing) 10
Bluff 15

There don't appear to be options to aid another, given that the text specifically mentions who can make further checks. Am I interpeting all this correctly?

SmiloDan wrote:

Does Fighting Defensively improve your CMD? What about Total Defense?

RAW, it doesn't appear to, but RAI, I would think so.

** spoiler omitted **

Old thread and may have been clarified elsewhere, but I think the confusion comes from using d20pfsrd as the source of truth. d20pfsrd does not list a type for the bonus granted for fighting defensively as a standard action, while Paizo's PRD and the Core Rulebook both list it as a Dodge bonus.

Fighting Defensively as a Standard Action from d20pfsrd:
Fighting Defensively as a Standard Action
You can choose to fight defensively when attacking. If you do so, you take a –4 penalty on all attacks in a round to gain a +2 to AC until the start of your next turn.

Fighting Defensively as a Standard Action from Paizo's PRD:
Fighting Defensively as a Standard Action
You can choose to fight defensively when attacking. If you do so, you take a –4 penalty on all attacks in a round to gain a +2 dodge bonus to AC until the start of your next turn.

And as noted elsewhere, a Dodge bonus to AC will apply to CMD as well. Fighting Defensively -- as a Standard action or a Full-round action -- appears to provide the exact same benefits.

5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

Ninjaiguana wrote:
- Firstly, her attitude at the high tier is worse (unfriendly), while Badru remains indifferent regardless of tier. Furthermore, her Charisma is higher than Badru's, making Diplomacy harder on her.

This is true, but keep in mind that Badru's only Indifferent as long as he believes that the PCs are jewelled sages. The mod says:

The soulbound construct has a starting attitude of indifferent, though he initially assumes that the PCs are Jeweled Sages—who else could have unsealed the archive?


If he discovers the deception, his attitude becomes Unfriendly.

I don't really like how this makes the assumption that the PCs are trying to fool him into believing that they're actual Jewelled Sages. What if the PCs are honest from the get-go? I would imagine he'd be better disposed to them than a group of liars (i.e., those that tried to Bluff him and failed). Even if they're honest, though, I'd put Badru's attitude to Unfriendly because they're not Jewelled Sages.

However, this helps the PCs influence Badru, too:

He is fiercely loyal to the Jeweled Sages, and so long as he believes they are working for the Jeweled Sages, the PCs gain a +4 bonus on Diplomacy checks to influence him.

I think he'd be a lot less likely to believe that the PCs are working for the Jewelled Sages if they've already been caught lying about being Jewelled Sages. I'd probably nix the +4 bonus to Diplomacy in that case.

5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

Thanks for the great recommendations, Doug!

I do have a comment on something:

Doug Miles wrote:
The important thing about setting up this fight is you want the players to see the opposing sides at the same time. If they look down the corridor from A1 (after figuring out the illusion) and see one side bottle-necked at the intersection, they'll just initiate their attack algorithms without further thought.

The scenario says:

Illusory stone walls conceal every door (Will DC 20 to disbelieve in Subtier 7–8 and DC 22 in Subtier 10–11), and arcane locks seal them (Disable Device DC 20 to open).

Emphasis mine. Based on this and the map, the PCs should have clear line of sight to A2 (which is shrouded in fog, so no line of sight to the combatants) because there is no door there. (They should also have a clear line of sight down the hallway to the south.)

Hallway A2 says that there are illusions over the open doors to the north and east (A5 and A3, respectively), but not to the west where A1 is. (This is really just a re-iteration of what's in the general description of the area, from what I can tell.)

There is no boxed text description of A2, just the map. Looking at the map, there are 2 alcoves, each 10 feet from the corridor to A1. Depending on the placement of the bad guys and considering the fog effect of guards and wards that makes it impossible to see more than 5 feet away, it's possible that the PCs are not even able to see the alcoves to know that there are precious treasures getting consumed by the elementals' heat. I think it's crappy for players to lose out on Preservation Points without a chance to know that's going on, so I'd at least give a Perception check to hear the crackling of papers lit on fire.

Now, if I missed something I'd appreciate it if someone corrects me before I run this and look foolish...

5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

Congratulations, Alex! You're truly one of a kind. Thanks for all your hard work and dedication at Mainstreet and throughout the Detroit metro area. Great job!

5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

How tall are the ceilings in the rooms of level 2? I ran this over the weekend and there was a large + flying mount. I assumed enough ceiling for it to fly everywhere, but the maze section. With 5 ft. wide corridors, I assumed the maze section had a 5 ft. tall ceiling.

How far apart are the sections? It matters for spells that are up. For example, if shield other is cast on player A by player B in room 2 and then either player steps through a portal to room 3 or 4, will the spell still be in effect? (shield other, a Close spell, ends if the 2 people are separated by more than the spell's range.)

5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

Congratulations, Xath! You've been a veritable juggernaut in the Detroit area since you came on the scene -- GMing and organizing and just generally leading the Detroit area PFS group to expand and expand some more. It's always a pleasure to game with you, no matter which side of the GM screen either of us is on.

5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

wakedown wrote:

She shouldn't. She has Undetectable Alignment up.

I missed this on my read through, then went back after looking at this post. Shirin has undetectable alignment on her spell list, but no where that I saw does it say she has it up. It would be stupid for her to have it on her spell list and not cast it, since it's a 24 hour spell, but the mod doesn't mention it. She'll certainly have it up when I run this tonight. :-)

5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Meh, I have a hard time throwing out insincere compliments to a murderous, character-killing GM. (Play up, he says. You'll be fine, he says. Pfeh.)

Seriously, though, the most memorable session I've had in PFS play is thanks to Doug and is one in which my PC died -- twice! The second time was deemed unrecoverable and poor Aldarric is no more. (Actually, I believe his undead body still serves his new master far underneath Cassomir...) A funny and ironic twist for a character whose backstory was that he was a veteran of the crusades at the Worldwound -- years before the PFS had an interest in it -- and had started out as a level 1 ex-paladin because he'd died so many times and lost his faith in Iomedae along the way. (I must have been channeling a previous edition to think he'd lost actual levels from dying and being raised... :-) )

There's little I can add to the thread about Doug's GMing that hasn't already been said and in a manner better than I can. Congratulations, Doug -- it's always been quantity AND quality in your judging and not in that order!

From day one Doug has been an amazing and tireless champion of PFS in the Detroit metro area. Before anyone can get behind the GM screen, someone has to step up and organize the games. Doug's efforts have seeded many regular game days and have brought a metric ton people in this area to the gaming table. It's because of his efforts, and those of his disciples (LOL), that PFS is so strong around here. His positive impact on our local gaming area can't be overstated. Thanks Doug!

5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

A minor point, but is Naleth female or male? In the beginning of C3. Hundredfingers Hideout, this is said about Naleth:
When Naleth (N female halfling commoner 1/rogue 1), the oldest cutpurse of the Hundredfingers gang heard the story, she knew it sounded suspicious.

Later, in the Development section for the same encounter, it says this:
Once Naleth Hundredfingers believes the coast is clear, he emerges from his hiding spot, greets the PCs, and asks if they’re friends of the scarred man. He requests that the PCs either escort him to Grandmaster Torch to deliver a message or deliver the message for him.

In each section, Naleth's gender is consistent, but the two sections contradict each other.

5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

Tony Lindman wrote:
I also prerolled all of the knowledge checks, and made little cards to pass out with the various things they figured out, giving each to the character who passed with the highest roll.

So, did the players need to do anything ("I inspect <thing_to_inspect>") to make the knowledge checks or did they just get the information when they hit the encounter? (Or, as soon as something triggered it, like for the name check.)

I like the idea of the information cards and will use that idea.

5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

I have a couple questions about the mod:

Osirion Faction Mission:
Am I understanding it correctly that if the party finds and disables the trap, Osirion PCs cannot get their faction mission? (I understand that there is a Perception check to notice the smell of fruit, giving an indication that what the Osirions seek is in the area.)

There is this text regarding a way for the PCs to determine that the plates in this area are false:
Finally, the plates are easily bent with a DC 17 Strength check, indicating that they are not adamantine.

While I see several references in the mod about the true plates being adamantine, I don't see any way for the PCs to know that. Sheila's remark about them ("durable, well-crafted, and roughly parchment-sized tablets") gives no indication that the PCs are looking for adamantine.

I'm guessing that instead of "adamantine", "durable" was meant. In my mind, the fact that the plates are made of iron means they're durable -- I certainly didn't think to test that piece when I played this mod. Also, this seems to be a strange test: The PCs are sent to recover something, then as a test try to damage it?

5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

Tony Lindman wrote:
Jeffrey, on your first question, the linguistics check is for people who cannot read Thassilonian. If a character has the language, he can read it without a check. If it were somehow both in Thassilonian and exceptionally cryptic or encoded, the scenario would call out something like "... can be translated with a DC 25 Linguistics check (give a +5 bonus to characters that can read Thassilonian)..."

Thanks for the confirmation.

5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

zylphryx wrote:
** spoiler omitted **

Right. Here's why I asked:

I've ran quite a few groups who are quick to bash their way through obstacles. That's not how it's intended, but I'd like to know the stats if that's what the party chooses. I don't see anything in the mod gainsaying the bashing tactic, so I'm assuming it's valid.

I've also been a part of (an admittedly very fringe case) of a couple 3 barbarian, 1 rogue parties. The Str values were 14, 19, 20, 20, so opening the door at Tier 4-5 wouldn't have been possible without UMD on the wand or some other trick that I can't think of.

5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

I assume that this statement, which references the inscription in B2:
The Thassilonian inscription, which a PC can translate with a DC 20 Linguistics check

A PC who can read Thassilonian OR who makes a DC 20 Linguistics check

A PC who can read Thassilonian AND who makes a DC 20 Linguistics check

It was run the latter way for me, but on reading it, I interpreted it as the former.

Also in B2:

Are the iron doors standard iron doors if the PCs decide to bash them open?

Jiggy wrote:
Good thing that's not even remotely close to what I said, then.

Ah, well, then again I apologize. It's not the first time I've been wrong and, sadly, it won't be the last.

Jiggy wrote:
So apparently it's okay for someone to openly criticize people who play the "prepared field agent" concept, but to defend oneself or others with "We're not having badwrongfun" constitutes calling other people idiots or poor players.

That wasn't my intent, but given that I misconstrued your post it's a fair criticism of my post.

5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

Pirate Rob wrote:
You pay the 5 PP to have your body rescued.

Without an official ruling otherwise, that's the way I'd go. It just flies in the face of everything the mod tells you about the Sacred Vault to say, "Oh, you died. Well then, we have another way in." :-)

I've read this post a few times and I apologize if I'm taking it the wrong way, but it's comes across to me as: "If you're playing a 3rd or 4th level character and aren't prepared for this hazard, you're an idiot." (Or at least, you're a poor player.) I think that's a bad stance and here's why.

Jiggy wrote:
One-third of playable races in PFS are completely uninhibited by darkness.

If your point is that one-third of any given party is playing a race with darkvision, I think you're making a false correlation between the numbers and reality. I've played and judged 160+ PFS scenarios and the number of PCs with darkvision has been far less than 33%. And if it weren't for the power creep of the aasimar, I'd have seen even fewer. (Aasimar seem to be everywhere these days.)

If your point is that people should be playing more races with darkvision...well, people are going to play what they like to play. If that's a race without darkvision, it's their choice and shouldn't be penalized for it. (Though they need to understand their limitations and prepare for it.)

Your mileage may vary, but that's what I've seen.

Jiggy wrote:
Darkvision is a 2nd-level spell, thus not beyond reason to have access to at 3rd-4th level. It's also a mere 300gp as a potion, and anyone with at least 5 Fame (at 3rd level and up, that's everyone) can purchase it as such.

It's not beyond reason to have the spell, but how many 3rd or 4th characters are going to tie up a 2nd level slot -- their highest spell slot -- for something that might come up?

PCs can buy a potion of darkvision, but that's roughly 10% of a 3rd level PC's gold. And you're talking about an item that is a contingency item; most of the time, an ioun torch is just fine for dark conditions.

By 3rd or 4th level, most PCs are going to be looking at purchasing a wand of cure light wounds, masterwork weapon(s), masterwork armor, potions of cure light wounds. Magic armor, magic weapons, and a cloak of resistance are in the realm of possibility, too. All that stuff can be used all the time -- not just some of the time -- and at 3rd or 4th level will quickly beggar a character.

What about other contingency items? Have a run in with harpies (Silken Caravan)? Well, you might think you need a potion of fly and/or some form of protection from evil. How about an allip (Black Waters)? Getting a magic weapon (or the ability to make your weapon magic) is high on your list, unless you want to be useless against incorporeal creatures.

My point is this: There are only so many PPs and so much gold to spend at low levels and a lot of things that happen occasionally, that it's hard to be prepared for all of them.

Jiggy wrote:
An oil of daylight costs 750gp or 2PP, so anyone could have that as well.

See above.

Responding to the hazard:
Jiggy wrote:
If anyone has access to darkvision (whether as a spell or as a potion), then they merely need to spend a turn responding to darkness and then they're fine.

In general, you're right. If a PC has access to a potion of darkvision, they'll be a round behind, but overall, OK.

For Day of the Demon, the quarters are tight and drinking a potion provokes an attack of opportunity, as does retrieving it unless you have a handy haversack. In this case, it's from a creature that threatens at 5 and 10 ft., has combat reflexes, and has sneak attack. It's not unreasonable for a PC to get smacked twice trying to pull and drink a potion. That's a lot of hurt. (Average 36 points, including sneak, with two hits from the spear.) (And heaven forbid, you're trying to do this at high tier, with multiple babaus threatening you.)

Jiggy wrote:
These are trained field agents of an organization whose daily operations include exploring and dungeon-delving. Expecting that after having completed six missions (the minimum before being eligible for this one), such an agent would be carrying a few solutions to common hazards... well, I wouldn't really call that "power-gaming". I'd call that "roleplaying a campaign-appropriate concept".

Trained field agents:
It's all well and good in theory to say folks are trained field agents, but the reality is a bit different. These are players who are coming out to play a game, many of whom are only casual players and only play PF RPG rules in PFS settings. And it's the player who decides on what to buy for their character.

I cannot stress enough that until you run into the bad side of darkness, you don't know how bad -- and deadly -- it can be. By then, it may be too late for your character. In Day of the Demon, given the terrain and the fact that the babau can cast darkness at will, you have a recipe for disaster for an inexperienced or unprepared group.

One last thing about PFS play:
You can't count on your party members. Well, to be more clear: You can't count on showing up to a PFS event and having X at your table, whether X is a cleric, a fighter, a rogue, a wizard -- whatever. (Unless, of course, you game with a regular group.) Because of that, you need to have a bit of a lone wolf approach to preparing for contingencies. No one else may have daylight, darkvision, the ability to fly -- whatever -- so you need to be able to take care of yourself. This is both costly (PP or gold) and takes some intiative on the player's part to understand and plan for these contingencies.

You are going to see widely varying degrees of preparedness of the players. (Do you know what it's like to face two encounters in a mod against incorporeal creatures at Tier 7-8 with a 4-person party and with a fighter without a magic weapon? I do. It ain't pretty.) When PCs can't contribute, the fight becomes that much harder for those that can.

As for the mod, I do not necessarily think that either the creature or the hazard in question is inappropriate or overpowering. I don't have a problem with the mod, though I think at low tier you're going to see a lot of PC deaths. I do think that trivializing the danger because there are half a dozen ways around is a stretch.

5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

Sapphire Onion wrote:

This is one case where you really need to reference the PRD, or the latest core PDF, as there has been stealth errata. It is 4HD or less.

PRD detect evil

Ah, thanks, I apparently referenced the wrong reference. :-/ I do find it odd that even in the update an aligned creature and aligned magic item or spell (caster level) are not symmetrical. (One's 1-4 and the other 1-5.)

I, too, am learning something new every day. :-)

5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

Kristen Gipson wrote:
Jeffrey Stop wrote:
Kristen Gipson wrote:
After detecting evil, Seelah went to town before the rouge (he knew undercommon) could question her.
Please note that the creature would not detect as evil, since it has too few hit dice, is not a cleric or paladin, and is not undead or an outsider.

Please explain how that works. I was under the impression that as long as it is evil it could be detected.

Unfortunately, I am not a knowledgable of clerics or paladins and their auras as I should be.

There is a table in the Core Rulebook near the detect alignment spells that lists the aura power of a creature. The levels of power vary from None to Overwhelming and are based both on hit dice and creature characteristics. A creature with aura power None will not detect as any alignment.

This rule is rarely called out explicitly in a mod, though Feast of Ravenmoor did just that:

Feast of Ravenmoor:
Remember that creatures with 4 or fewer HD do not radiate evil when examined with detect evil, and so using this spell to root out cultists is not really an option.

NOTE: I believe that should be "5 or fewer HD", based on the CRB.

detect evil

It's an easy rule to forget, since once you get to 3rd or 4th level most creatures you encounter are going to have enough hit dice to have an aura, but at low levels it's not very reliable.

5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

Sesharan wrote:
Jeffrey, there's no explicit reason they can't, but Sascha is, after all, being hunted by the Hellknights. You should warn the party that she needs to leave as soon as possible. Also, the things in the sewers get to rest as much as the PCs do. If they left Togg alive, she might make things difficult for them. Also, since the human rangers are gone by that point, the jinkin who would have harassed them probably goes to join her friends, in either the optional or the final encounter.

I did mention Sascha's predicament and the players acknowledged it, but they didn't seem too concerned. I don't know if it was because they were so low on resources, they felt they had no other choice; they just didn't care about Sascha's fate; or they metagamed that there had been no time constraints placed on them.

Had other encounters gone poorly and they needed to rest again, it would have been sort of like the boy who cried wolf:
Me: "Well, you can rest, but Sascha's still wanted by the Hellknights..."
Them: "Uh, yeah, you keep saying that, but she's still here, so I think we're good."

Now, I've never had a problem in PFS with players trying to abuse the ability to take rests. But I'd rather have an idea of how to address before it comes up. I'm reading on the boards that the mantra of PFS is "Run As Written", but unless a mod explicitly gives a time constraint, it doesn't directly address the effects PC resting. It puts the effects of leaving and returning as a gray area.

So, as far as I can tell, the rest of the mod plays out exactly the same if PCs run right through it or if they rest after each encounter. Or maybe a more precise statement is, since it isn't written in the mod, I cannot change encounters based on these rests. I don't want to be an automaton, but it seems to go against the RAW to make those kinds of changes. Or am I misinterpreting things?

In a home campaign, I'd see if something else moved into the power vacuum left by the fallen otyughs and assign a daily, cumulative chance that Sascha is found out. That doesn't fly in PFS.

FYI, Argurg was left alive, but one night's rest for a monster isn't nearly enough to compete with the PCs: 6 hit points vs. fully healed and all spells.

5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

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Kristen Gipson wrote:
After detecting evil, Seelah went to town before the rouge (he knew undercommon) could question her.

Please note that the creature would not detect as evil, since it has too few hit dice, is not a cleric or paladin, and is not undead or an outsider.

5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

I ran this last night and the party got tore up in the first encounter. They were almost tapped out on resources and wanted to rest. I allowed it, since they really couldn't continue as is and the mod didn't state that there was a time constraint. So they came in for the second encounter full up.

This leads me to a couple questions. First, they didn't try to take another rest, but since there was no time constraint, they theoretically could have rested after each encounter. Is there anything to say you can't do that? As far as I can tell, whether you take 1 day or 20, the encounters and outcome of this mod are exactly the same. I guess the same goes for a lot of other mods. I assume word count generally prohibits what-ifs, but is there a general rule on resting between encounters?

Second Encounter:
The group I ran rested after the first encounter. The mod, as written (or at least as I understand it), has the two urban rangers leaving the pipe as the party comes down the tunnel because it's assumed that the otyugh(s) have just been dealt with.

In that situation, is there any change to the encounter? Are they no longer there? Or do I need to rationalize that something else has kept there and that they're shaken (4 players) for some other reason?

5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

Michael Brock wrote:
Hmmm...I wonder if things are afoot, if choices could matter, or if, if, if......? HMMM...... Lets watch and see how this one plays out. It WILL be interesting? It is my understanding an atonement is cheap....... ;-)

Hmm...well, I guess we'll have to see, but I'm not too much liking this if you can't count on the organization you joined to be what it purported itself to be. I think I could swallow this better when I thought it was a one-off anomaly than part of a bigger scheme.

The prestige mechanic is directly tied to your success and failure on your faction missions and determines what you can buy and what boons you can get. Which means if you signed up thinking that your PC's goals and your faction's more-or-less aligned and you're wrong, you're going to either be acting against character (and possibly atone-ing) or losing out on prestige.

Switching factions costs you and if your first faction changed, there's no reason to think that the next won't do the same.

Now, don't get me wrong: I have purposely left prestige on the table (barbarian refusing help on a Heal check because "he's killed plenty, so he knows how to harvest organs from a body" or my paladin "losing" sweet Zarta's missives sometime between getting them and meeting with the Venture-Captain), so I'm not saying that gaining prestige is the be-all, end-all. But I at least understood going in that through my roleplaying choices I was self-limiting.

And in a less mechanical sense, your prestige is an indication of how others in your faction view you. While that, technically, has no bearing in the game, if your leader goes rogue or off the deep end or is replaced by a doppelganger, you're going to lose prestige if the missions that leader assigns you are at cross-purposes with the organization's original goals. When the situation is hopefully rectified and things are back to normal, there's no way to determine if you refused your missions because they were "wrong", or if you actually tried to do the missions and failed, so in a sense your choices (if you refused to do the mission) aren't going to matter.

Ah, well, there's my 32 cents on a subject I'm probably reading far too much into.

5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

TetsujinOni wrote:
Mergy: I am unaware of Xun being an indiscriminately killing organization.

The Xun are not an organization in and of themselves, but rather a part of the Golden League. "Indiscriminate", no. "Killing", definitely. From the Dragon Empires Gazeteer, page 55, under the Golden League entry:

Each of these families keeps a fighting arm of tattooed assassins and soldiers known as the "Xun," remorseless and relentless specialists in murder and intrigue.

5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

Lab_Rat wrote:
I would go with a Gate spell. That guarantees you the right spot and if the team is fast enough (minimum 19 rounds) they can get in, collect bodies/loot, and be out with only 1 casting.

Per the Guide to Pathfinder Society Organized Play, page 25:

Spells that are 7th level or higher are not available from spellcasting services.

So, no gate. (Unless there's something else of which I am not aware.)

That does leave me curious as to what happens with a TPK, since my impression from reading the adventure is that the only way the Pathfinder Society knows how to get into the vault is with the Abysium Codex in hand.

Extrapolating from the mod:
The letter from the Aspis Consortium to Shadow Orchid is dated 2 months ago. The Aspis group is listed as having been in the vault for 1 week. Presumably, the time between was used by the Aspis to develop and cast the ritual to enter the vault. They're certainly not going to hand it over to the Pathfinders, so the Society is going to have to develop their own ritual. Assuming a like amount of time, raise dead won't be an option.

So what does happen if the group's TPK'ed in the vault? My first impression is perma-death because of the circumstances, but the mod does not address it.

5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

Congratulations, Dennis! You're a great GM and it's a very well-earned achievement.

Mark Moreland wrote:
** spoiler omitted **

I have a question on the stat block then.

Primordial Demon:
You say that it has the Incorporeal Subtype which includes this:
In addition, creatures with the incorporeal subtype gain the incorporeal special quality.

The Incorporeal special quality says this:
An incorporeal creature has no natural armor bonus...

Yet, the stat block block contains an not insubstantial +12 natural armor bonus. It appears that is incorrect. Or am I missing something?

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