Stone Giant

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Haven't had a chance to read it yet but wanted to remark on the magnificent art throughout this Chapter. I've not been the biggest fan of AoA's previous chapters but the art in this one, beat-after-beat, is unparalleled. Tremendous drama captured in its bigger pieces!

I'm trying to understand what's out there (or will be) with materials specifically lining up for PF2E before I'm able to start a longer campaign next year. I'm not familiar with the breadth of 3pp options these days but someone mentioned Kobold Press maybe doing Midgard stuff for PF2E. Maybe that's inevitable? I don't really know. What sort of settings should I be investigating or keeping an eye on?

Kasoh wrote:
What is the CR value of ignorance anyway? How much challenge does it add to an encounter?

The answer is ... zero. Ignorance is already built into a CR value, and players may "attack" the creature by way understanding its strengths and weaknesses. Or not. Even dumb barbarians might be tough enough to survive their ignorance.

Kasoh wrote:
Any system that relies on ignorance for its difficulty isn't actually difficult. Its just obtuse.

Ignorance is a pointed threat. It isn't obtuse unless the value of research and knowledge is hand-waved as arbitrary.

mrspaghetti wrote:
I don't see it specifically in the CRB either, but the PFS 2e guide online stipulates 7 days for retraining a spell in your repertoire. @Kyrone's rule seems reasonable too.

Thanks, that's a helpful answer beyond just the spell retraining.

It's mentioned several times that spells can be retrained, such as when swapping a signature spell to another or swapping a spell in your repertoire more generally.

What I can't find is mention of how long retraining a spell takes or what's required. Feats, Skills and Class Features have at least a little blurb explaining the process, but spells are entirely absent unless I'm missing something. For example, does a cantrip take as long as a 3rd or 10th level spell to retrain?

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James Jacobs wrote:
That's the point. Ogres SHOULD be too ugly and horrible to look at. They're SUPPOSED to be that way.

The sort of face only a necromancer ogre mama could love. Amirite?

As to the main topic, I get the logic behind the new Hobber art but the result--to my eyes--is not that they're goblinoids but that they're aberrant and stretched out goblins. I don't see "hobgoblin" at all. This is honestly Paizo's fault (in part at least) for having already made distinguishing hobgoblin and bugbear art in Ironfang that conveys their respective racial traits/cultures better than the new stuff.

Captain Morgan wrote:
I just wanted to say the Hellknight Hill bugbear design is TERRIFYING. It feels like a boogeyman out of a nightmare, which seems pretty fitting for Pathfinder serial killer bugbears.

Couldn't disagree more. It's not even the slightest bit terrifying! If that's a bugbear, it must've been the litter's runt! It's basically a furry, skimpy goblin doing its best to look menacing and only manages to look mostly cute and silly instead. From the art, it's hard to tell that it's supposed to be medium-sized (or even an actual bugbear). Bregga Dreamstalker is a more terrifying example. Literally nightmarish! The imposing tear-your-limbs-off menace of Scarvinious is also far more alarming than the runty joke of Yoletcha.

Also, for so many reasons, this (also from Ironfang) says "Hobgoblin soldier" better than the new hob-soldier art, which as I've said elsewhere, looks more like a hobgoblin got his head stuffed inside his armor and had a goblin shoved down to fill the space instead. Again, I get the logic but the end result still manages to come across as bizarre and unfitting to the race.

Disclaimer: All IMHO, 2019.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
It's a bit early for PF2 to have a policy ...

I hope the eventual policy leans to providing the unmodified stats of a creature/character. That begs the question -- isn't this an example of it being their policy for 2E, rather than it being too early to say?

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Tender Tendrils wrote:
To be honest, I don't see why people are so bothered by the idea of playing as a heroic member of a culture that is traditionally considered "evil".

They're not. They're bothered that the tradition of goblins being evil maniacs is over. And further, because that's true, there is no tension involved with playing a "heroic" goblin and they are not more heroic because of it.

I'd prefer it used for something related to that AP's final chapter.

Looking around, it appears that most of the "Continuing" sections are about 5 pages, which is 2.5 more NPCs in the NPC Gallery, as one example.

If used for direct adventure content expansion, it could have a notable impact. For example, Part 1: Siege of Citadel Rivad in Hell's Vengeance is 7 pages, so another 5 pages here is 70% extra content for that part! Even for something like "Entering the Vault" in Ironfang's last chapter, 5 pages would be more than 30% extra content to flesh out NPCs and background info, detail tactics/environments/hazards, or throw in another map and some art.

If not so directly, 5 pages as an extra side adventure or helpful additions to the main content would be fantastic, and serve sort of the same purpose that the "Continuing" section did in the first place. Something like the "Sellen River Encounters" and "Sellen River Vessels" additions did for Dreams of the Yellow King.

Emeric Tusan wrote:
An order of the leaf druid that specializes in tree law.

Later, a politician running on the Green Old Deal platform.

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Dying 4 is usually the worst, but you've made a good argument for Fatigued!

In PF1, it was the case that the party level might be considered higher or lower according to the party's total wealth. However, it seems that PF2 might prefer a different approach based on how it suggests adjusting encounters for disparate party member levels (pg 508).

For example, if a 1st level party begins with 300 gp total wealth (in addition to starting assets), should they be treated as 2nd level? As 3rd? Or should party size instead be considered as having some number of extra members and encounters continue to be designed for level 1 characters?

What's the right approach for this?

So to clarify:

* You can retrieve a 2-handed weapon with 1 interact action + 2 hands to immediately wield it.
* You cannot retrieve a longsword and a steel shield with 1 interact action + 2 hands; a character must use 2 interact actions to separately retrieve each item instead.


What if, for example, a squire simultaneously hands a sword and shield to you? Also 2 interact actions? (Seems correct to me but I'm curious if others view it that way.)

The ShadowShackleton wrote:
I wouldn’t find much fun in the “gotcha” moment of letting a player die because the party thought they had an extra round to get to him.

Barring a Wounded X or a critical hit that everyone would know about already, players in this new system have at least 1 round (barring persistent damage or a truly vicious enemy!) to act before someone's dead, even if the first recovery roll is a critical failure.

That said, it does feel like dying might be a little too fast of a process. I'm tempted to house rule that Dying 5 is the default "death value", especially if dying states aren't explicit. That should give a little more breathing time, literally.

Xenocrat wrote:
I'd make it a perception or medicine check rather than recall knowledge, unless you think your character is recalling a book of prophecy that discussed this future injury of the PC.

No, I imagine it would be a Medicine (Recall Knowledge) check to remember medical training or experience to estimate how severe a wound appears and so on. It can be done untrained so anyone can make a guess. No prophecy required!

As a very basic solution, to the dismembered character in question I think I'd add a permanent Wounded 1 along with an appropriate penalty such as -10 speed for a leg, -4 to Perception checks that rely on vision for an eye, and so on.

Using Recall Knowledge for this has important (and some would say interesting) tactical implications, though it's more gritty and dangerous all around if for no other reason than Recall Knowledge eating an action. (An action also made in secret that could give the wrong estimate!)

I'm curious if those of you who make it open regarding PCs also do the same thing for PC knowledge of NPC states?

Will it be open information in Society games? Do we know?

Should the dying condition for PCs or NPCs be secret until others make a Recall Knowledge check or use some form of magic that informs them? Or is it expected that a character's dying condition is obvious enough to others, even if not the exact numeric state? Should recovery rolls be made semi-secret (between the GM and PC in question)?

How about for the wounded condition? Can PCs look at another character and simply recognize that someone has the wounded condition, even if they don't know whether it's wounded 1 or 2 or whatever?

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Uncommon is what we use to indicate that a particular ancestry is not necessarily found (or appropriate as PCs) in all areas of the Inner Sea region.

Shame this approach wasn't used for goblins as they meet the same criteria for inclusion/exclusion to campaigns as hobgoblins or other typically hostile or deviant races. At least it would've put control back into GMs' hands which otherwise seems to be the rule Paizo aimed at in these new 2E scenarios. Fantastic idea though, uncommon ancestries, even if a missed opportunity to smooth dissent and table-issues about goblins.

Also, the football headed art makes these hobs seem creepily and less distinctly hobgoblin, almost as though a goblin is standing on an actual hobgoblin's head stuffed inside the armor. Weird. I wonder when we'll see more, and if it'll start to feel more convincing as a "Pathfinder Hobgoblin," which they'd already done a good job making distinct from other systems before now. Maybe a case of trying a bit too hard to be unique for 2E? Not sure what to think on that one.

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Edge93 wrote:
By the rules you quoted, Hardness isn't Resistance to all damage. It's Hardness. Which reduces the damage an object takes any time it takes damage. No reference to the Resistance rules. (similarly, effects that ignore or reduce resistance don't apply, it seems)

Sure, but does it reduce damage in the same way that resistance to all damage does (i.e., to each type separately)? It seems an awful lot like Hardness is just a type of "resistance to all" and might reasonably be treated the same for determining how damage is reduced.

It should be noted that shield block's trigger requires a "physical attack" but that would seem satisfied by a wolf doing slash and acid damage with its bite. Would you argue that hardness should only apply to the slash damage, in that case?

This brings up a question raised (but not answered) elsewhere: is an object's hardness "resistance to all damage"? If so, the example given in the CRB means that energy damage can be reduced by shield block, based on the shield's hardness value.

Resistence page 453 wrote:
"It's possible to have resistance to all damage. When an effect deals damage of multiple types and you have resistance to all damage, apply the resistance to each type of damage separately. If an attack would deal 7 slashing damage and 4 fire damage, resistance 5 to all damage would reduce the slashing damage to 2 and negate the fire damage entirely."
Item Damage page 272 wrote:
An item can be broken or destroyed if it takes enough damage. Every item has a Hardness value. Each time an item takes damage, reduce any damage the item takes by its hardness."

Captain Morgan wrote:
But if it behaves like Resistance to all damage does, that's a serious boon to shields and construct armor.

That makes this an important question to have answered, as it could have dramatic effects on combat for shield users or other critter types, as you mention.

Note also that Shield Block's trigger states "damage from a physical attack" which doesn't presumably correspond to an attack that just does "physical damage" as described on page 452. It begs questions like:

"Does positive/negative/force energy damage count as a physical attack?"
"Does alignment damage count as physical?"
"Can Shield Block reduce poison damage?"
"Is mental damage the only type that is non-physical for purposes of hardness/resistance and not triggering Shield Block as a reaction?"

Captain Morgan wrote:
This is like asking if centaurs can climb just the same as a player character. The rules are meant for humanoids. Commonsense applies.

Well duh, centaurs have hands. :-P

Wheldrake wrote:
So don't take it literally. The "free hand" language is intended for humanoid combattants with 2 hands. Non-humanoid combattants should still be able to attempt those actions with a free paw, muzzle or pseudopod.

I have a mind not to, but I'm wondering if it was intentional for some sort of balance reason and how it will work out in official contexts like Society play.

For example, Dire Wolves can grab but standard wolves only knockdown. It's not clear if the "free hand" wording is intentional to limit those athletic actions by critters like the standard wolf, or if it's an oversight that will be ignored.

If taken literally, a standard wolf or dog can't grapple, a Nightmare can't use its hooves to shove, and an animated broom can't trip a target.


David knott 242 wrote:

The 2:1 bulk ratio probably occurs for similar reasons, as it seems unlikely that a halfling is actually half the weight of a human.

Based on what logic? The CRB states that halflings "rarely grow to be more than 3 feet in height" which is half that of a typical human. Why wouldn't they weigh/bulk half as much, too?

(Real world data shows they would weigh even less than half, though that doesn't account for second breakfasts.)

Steve Geddes wrote:
Those being observed/hidden/undetected/unnoticed and you seem to be reading in that hidden can’t also apply to a creature that is concealed.

That's not accurate. Page 465 reads:

Detecting Creatures wrote:

There are three conditions that measure the degree to which you can sense a creature: observed, hidden, and undetected. However, the concealed and invisible conditions can partially mask a creature, and the unnoticed condition indicates you have no idea a creature is around.

The real question in your situation is whether the target is observed or not observed. The same creature cannot both observe and not observe another creature or object.

You calculate it based on the XP budget you start with, ignoring adjustments you make based on party size. The starting budget listed in 10-1: Encounter Budget is the value for 4 PCs.

So, if you adjust the budget because of fewer or more PCs, you still award the starting value instead. For example, a party of 6 facing a moderate encounter will begin with an 80XP budget that is increased to 120XP (+20 * 2 additional PCs). Despite the adjustment to the starting budget, you still only award 80XP after the dust settles.

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Persistent damage worsens the dying state and can effectively counteract a successful recovery check. Persistent damage is *very* dangerous to a dying character!

Concealed and hidden are mutually exclusive.

You observe a concealed creature, you do not observe a hidden one. A concealed creature is difficult to observe, and therefore receives a DC 5 flat check against being targeted. A hidden creature is not observed but its space is known, and the targeting check has a flat DC 11.

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"Functions as one monster" is with respect to how the swarm itself functions, not how others function on it. That is to say, its actions in the game are treated as if a single monster, not as 100s of separate entities.

If you attempt a grapple against a swarm, you'll grab one of the constituent creatures and not the swarm itself.

Spirit Link has a range of 30 feet, but there doesn't appear to be any limit to the link's range after established.

Am I missing something and the caster and target have to remain within 30 feet for the link to have an effect during any round? For example, can the caster or target travel to another plane or teleport some vast distance away and still maintain the link?

The attack roll is part of the casting.

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Things like the Magic Fang spell make it seem as though that may be intentional, rather than an oversight or poor wording.

James Jacobs wrote:
Iomedae never really had much of a tie to the sun. She mostly had that domain 'cause it has a lot of spells that are very good against undead, and that fit very well into the lore of her association with the Shining Crusade

I could be mistaken, but I don't think there's a single Iomedean in the entire Hell's Vengeance AP that has the sun domain. Easy to understand why it might get dropped for 2E. That said, it's useful to sprinkle some around if one of that AP's villain PCs is a necromancer!

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Actually, I expect the person with Count Lowl's portrait to enumerate the divergent fluctuations expressed by each tradition as demonstrated by the ephemeral metaphysics of dynamic magical essences to the rest of us.

But seriously, the central thematic difference is that arcane magic relies on intense research and intellectual effort to create its formulaic magical effects, while occult magic uses unusual methods to tap into poorly understood spiritual and soul/psychic phenomena, thereby mucking with topics that divine casters otherwise tend to stake a claim.

The result is that arcane magic manipulates matter and energy in ways that occult magic never can, such as through a Grease or Wall of Fire spell. Occult magic manipulates spirits and souls the way arcane casters never can, such as by the Bind Soul, Possession or Wail of the Banshee spells. Crossover appears where powerful mental and illusory magic is involved, such as various prismatic spells and things like Crushing Despair, Dominate and Nightmare.

blahpers wrote:

This is good stuff.

For those using corruptions: Did the characters acquire the corruption prior to the campaign start or at some point during the campaign?

For each chapter, I assign one or two appropriate corruptions along with criteria describing how it might be inflicted. Then I turn the players loose and let things play out until someone ends up corrupted by something along the way. A few examples:

With In Search of Sanity ...

Characters taking damage from ghouls and especially suffering ghoul fever have a risk of the ghoul corruption. In my earlier example, none of the other PCs ended up being infected but the character in question had been captured and held by ghouls in the "group therapy" room (E8). As the ghouls gnawed on him extensively, and he'd contracted ghoul fever on top of it, he was corrupted by the time he was rescued and brought to Thrushmoor. If one of the other characters had been corrupted before then, the captured character would've been spared that fate.

With the Thrushmoor Terror ...

Characters can get the Accursed corruption from dealings with Neimira, the wall painting of Xhamen-Dor in Daridela's cave, or if they tried tapping into the Star Stela too much without properly bearing a symbol of Hastur. Alternatively, and more likely, characters might suffer the Deep One corruption from Deep Ones at the fort and nearby waters. (Yes, I replaced the skum with Deep Ones.) Interactions with Lysie Brilt, particularly those getting on her bad side, may also result in this corruption by way of her taking active steps to corrupt a person.

PFRPGrognard wrote:
In book one, after my players developed their characters, I secretly gave each of them a corruption.

You ARE evil! I've found that even a single corrupted PC occupies a lot of attention and resources. I can't imagine inflicting them all! Not at once, in any case. All other things considered, I think that might dilute the horror and tragedy of it some, too, but I could totally imagine doing it the way you did for this AP.

Ghoul Corrupted Storytime:

I do play corruptions as increasingly dangerous and traumatic. A ghoul corrupted player, in one example, occasionally lost control (as ghoul corrupted individuals are prone to do) and unconsciously roamed the night feasting on innocent villagers in Thrushmoor. I took the corrupted player aside and revealed his character's suspicion of being involved in a couple murders before having joined the party, given the clues he had upon waking on some awkward, blood-covered mornings.

As the corrupted player was now in on it, and understood the value of the murderous mystery, he had tons of fun playing things out and getting his character into situations where he might succumb to the corruption undetected. (He was a rough but charming bard who used the excuse of local love interests to not stay with the party during the night. Sometimes this was true, sometimes not.)

It was a SHOCK when the party realized that the flesh devouring murderer around town was their friendly party member, and then their research revealed that he was corrupted with only a vanishing chance of being cured. And oh yeah, is everyone ready to get on a cramped river boat for a long voyage together?

Good times.

First, I use the corruption and horror rules. I'd recommend others use them for this AP as well. They dramatically increase tension and sense of theme, and I would not run Strange Aeons without them. Definite thumbs up from me on that part.

I would also suggest that only a single character be corrupted during the campaign, that they face extreme difficulty in removing it, and that the abasement should more likely corrupt the hapless character than they be saved from it. I use a deepening corruption to tempt a player with its increasing power (while less notably pointing out their decreasing likelihood of surviving it).

Remember that corruptions don't act fast, so a corrupted PC presents an ongoing threat to the others; they become a wholly evil NPC should it reach the final stage. This adds a layer of delicious paranoia and strain to the party, even as they face the myriad other lethal problems in the AP.

Second, I disagree with Dasrak's estimation of PCs being fantasy heroes "in the wake" of horror. Instead, they are deeply central to its horror from the very first second of the adventure. I insist on starting PCs without knowing their backstories or relationships to the key players, and let them explore and investigate bits through the first two chapters to uncover it. The resulting intrigue and mystery is like none other.

Strange Aeons spoiler:

PCs wake in a mysterious cosmic horror and continue to be on the razor's edge of wondering when the next tragic reality will bubble up again. This includes corruptions and other horrific elements, if you include them, and this habit repeats until they confront the Mad Poet's "situation" in Chapter 3, Dreams of the Yellow King. At that point, they've moved beyond being just victims of Lowl's plots, having proved that they're determined to struggle through literal doom to turn the tables.

Chapter 4 continues this transition, and by Chapter 5, they are going full at the throat of the mind-scrambling evils instead of being unwitting victims to it as with the first 2 chapters. They still face serious risks after C3, of course, but the showdown at the Mad Poet is--in my opinion--the transformative high point in the story.

In all, the AP's arc sees PCs transform *from* direct casualties of their role in its cosmic horror into Dasrak's fantastical heroes who reside above it -- at least enough to stop ultimate doom happening for now.

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It's my understanding that this might be the first in a series of connected "intro" modules akin to PF1E's "Price of Immortality" trilogy. If so, this is the "Crypt" module and characters finishing it may have a future still.

That or I'm completely wrong/mis-remembering something I heard or read about Plaguestone.

There seems to be scant info about this upcoming adventure. Too scant! Has there been any preview or teaser, maybe something coming out of one of the 'cons? Has a monster preview slipped out or a hint about cool feats or mechanics that players might encounter?

Other than it being the firstest and bestest stand-alone adventure for 2E, what's its draw for GMs and players alike?

James Jacobs wrote:
There are none because we don't have additional resources at the time of this Adventure Path's publication, just the Core Rulebook and the Bestiary. And we don't list pawns and map packs and the like as "Additional Resources" anyway.

That's not strictly true. For example, Hell's Vengeance's The Hellfire Compact (pg 91) states:

"Additional Resources To enhance the Adventure Path, GMs can pick up the following resources: Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Cheliax, The Infernal Empire, Pathfinder Player Companion: Agents of Evil, Pathfinder Pawns: Hell’s Vengeance Pawn Collection , Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Hell’s Vengeance Map Folio , and Pathfinder Map Pack: Urban Sites. The Hell’s Vengeance Player’s Guide is also available as a free PDF download at"

Having seen that, and "Want More?" style recommendations in other AP guides, is what prompted me to ask. I'd have to look at other APs to see but maybe that one is just an outlier.

@James (or anyone else with the knowledge) Is it possible to relay the "Additional Resources" recommendations for this AP as typically appears in a first book's outline section? I suppose that may describe some products not yet available (or alternatively some 1E books too?), but it would be helpful to at least know which pawns/battle minis/map packs/etc a DM might want to prepare for running the AP right away.

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Doktor Weasel wrote:
So it starts in Isger, goblin emissaries come asking for help. Some of their people who had been staying at the abandoned Hellknight Keep have stopped responding.

Uggggggh. They start with a ham-fisted "goblin emissaries" hook? I didn't have much of an opinion on this AP so far but this doesn't improve it. Why the heck would a party of do-good heroes care about a group of missing goblins at an abandoned Hellknight Keep? Ugggggh, why Paizo, why?! Please tell me I'm missing something with this.

James Jacobs wrote:
ALL of our adventures going forward will make use of downtime and exploration modes (encounter mode is the baseline tactical combat mode). Note that these modes were utilized in every prior adventure in 1st edition as well, even though we didn't have specific names for them.

What is Age of Ashes main schtick, anyhow? Will each 2E AP feature additional themed mechanics the way 1E AP's did, such Hell's Rebel's rebellion or Crown's social combat? Is this what you're referring to when you say "downtime and exploration modes" for future adventures?

Maybe I haven't been looking hard enough but it feels like the info on this upcoming AP is slim given that the release is not so many weeks away!

The Gold Sovereign wrote:
APs have been confirmed to go from 1-20 at PaizoCon.

Did they indicate that the same number of chapters will be used? With 20 levels to span, I might not be surprised if they went with 5 chapters instead of the more typical 6.

Has it been mentioned (perhaps even earlier in this discussion) what the maximum PC level for the AP will be, and what sort of level range each chapter will tend to cover? A long time in the past, James mentioned a goal of having APs go 1 to 20 as a norm. Is that going to be realized?

Tasfarel wrote:
First: In my game the Material plane bodys of the pc where helpless while their minds where located in the dreamlands. Winter kept watch over them while they where "away"

Part of the issue is that the ritual states that casters' bodies sleep but there is an unstated presumption that their minds/monadic souls are still alert and awake. This would reasonably prevent a spell such as Dream or Nightmare from triggering while the ritualized-PCs remain in that state.

Consider it another way -- if the PCs remain in the ritual form for 8 hours of material world time, should we consider them as having restfully slept and do things like HP and spells recover for them? I'd argue no, which also signals that a cognizant travel to the Dreamlands/Dimension of Dreams via the ritual (or similar means) is not the same as actual sleep.

Tasfarel wrote:
Second: Sure. The dreamland exkursion ritual is not the only way how someone can enter the dreamland. You are able to travel in person to this realm. The tricky question is: How does a Nightmare spell affects a dream-version of a character.

That is a very tricky question. In Horror Adventures, I located the following interesting bit:

"Certain spells, such as nightmare or night terrors, can cause their targets to experience nightmares. A caster of the nightmare spell can choose to ensnare her target in a nightmare dreamscape instead of allowing her target a Will save to resist the spell. If so, the caster doesn’t have much control over the nightmare dreamscape but can ensure the presence of one nightmare feature (see below) per 5 caster levels. The caster doesn’t select which nightmare features the target experiences. If the target fails to accomplish the goal of the nightmare, it suffers the spell’s effects."

This suggests one of two things

1) That a ritual-traveling PC can be shunted off to a nightmare dreamscape due to a Nightmare spell and even trapped there longer via the Night Terrors ability from which they must forcefully try to wake themselves from, or;

2) They do not count as asleep while in a ritual-sleep state and therefore aren't vulnerable to the spell until they enter a normal, non-ritual sleep at a later time.

If the former is true, the Nightmare spell and the Night Terrors ability become exceptionally powerful in this campaign. The prospect of it being applied that way during or before the finale is potentially devastating, especially since there aren't many direct protections against these spells and abilities outside of having great Will saves and ways to boost it.

Even if I'm wrong, and #1 does in fact apply, I'm inclined to still rule that only extremely powerful dreamers/casters (such as Bokrug) could manage this on a lucid dreamer traversing the Dreamlands or the Dimension itself. It just seems too disruptive and powerful otherwise, but I'd love to hear arguments to the contrary.

Tasfarel wrote:
Fifth: I guess she would be able to mark a character, allowing her to track this char in the waking world.

I'm leaning toward "no" on these peculiar circumstances as well, though nothing would stop the hag from targeting a character later when they undergo actual sleep, of course. If it is possible, the Ambassador (and other hags in the dimension) become formidable against groups that can't interact on the ethereal.

A lot of interesting things to consider here.

Creatures with the Nightmare Template gain the Night Terrors ability.

Night Terrors requires the victim to first be affected by the templated creature's Dream or Nightmare spell, both of which have the mind-affecting and phantasm descriptors. (Nightmare also has "evil.")

However, Night Terrors provides no descriptors. Is this correct? Does it inherit the descriptors from the related spell used to activate it? Is it actually somehow not mind-affecting or phantasmal? What's the right way to rule on this?

Dreamlands visitors

How do these spells or abilities affect a target already in the Dreamlands? (i.e., is lucidly "dreaming" via an occult ritual or directly traveling to the dimension.) What does the target experience in these cases? Can a Dreamlands creature cast Nightmare on another creature in the Dreamlands? What happens?

I have questions related to running Nightmare creatures (and the spell) in this adventure due to the Dreamlands itself.

First, with perhaps the pivotal question: are PCs considered to be dreaming while in the Dreamlands via the Dreamlands excursion occult ritual? The ritual states "doing so puts the Material Plane bodies of the casters to sleep and thrusts their psyches into the Dreamlands." How is this different from actual sleep, if it is, other than they remain alert and active as dreamers?

Second, can a creature, even one inside the Dreamlands itself, cast the Nightmare spell on a PC who is also in the Dreamlands? Can a Nightmare creature use its Night Terrors ability on a PC in a similar fashion?

Third, regarding the DC of Night Terrors, it does not list that it is mind-affecting, fear, illusion, phantasmal, evil or anything else. Do Nightmare Lords receive their Nightmare Magic bonus on this ability? I presume not, and further that players don't get any bonuses to saves for those same criteria, such as a gnome receiving a bonus due to illusion resistance. Is this correct?

Fourth, assume a Nightmare monster casts Nightmare and uses Night Terrors on a PC, all successfully. Can the other PCs use the occult ritual to enter the Dreamlands, find the tormented PC and "kill" the monster to free the victim from being trapped? Does the Nightmare spell or the Night Terrors ability end if the casting creature is killed in either the Dreamlands or in the material world? Does the person remain trapped and taking CHA damage even if the casting monster is slain anywhere?

Fifth, can a Night Hag (such as Quavendra) use her Dream Haunting ability on PCs who have already entered the Dreamlands? Would she become ethereal before their eyes and then start (ethereally or otherwise) riding one of the PC's back until dawn? How would this work? It's not really clear how this would function under these circumstances.

A lot to unpack but these have important consequences for players, so I want to understand it all better!

Adjoint wrote:
I would compare this region to medieval Central Europe, in particular the Holy Roman Empire.

Given its proximity to Ustalav, I was considering countries just a little further east as a core influence but the HRE could make a lot of sense too.

Adjoint wrote:
For the style of Razmiran music, I'd expect the prevalance of wind instruments, notably pipe organs and horns. Main musical forms would be hymns and chorals.

Interesting take on it, though I think the more majestic organs leave too "established" a sense of music for what is still a new cult. Chants complemented by flutes or simpler hand-held instruments seem more on target. I'm worried that might give too far eastern a sensation (i.e., Tibetan, Indian, etc.) though, and I'm not sure that gives the right impression outside of it being somehow exotic.

Something more forceful might be in order, given the aggressive nature of the cult and their intimidation schemes. Maybe chanting and drums/bells/chimes? Could sound too wild and shamanistic though.

(I'm thinking of something like this.)

Adjoint wrote:
I think that mask of Razmir could become an architectual element.

Oooh, I really like this idea. It has a "cult of personality" vibe that conveys an immediate sense of things.

Adjoint wrote:
I would also take note about religious significance of stairs in Razmiran. This could lead to stairways being built in many places they are not really needed.

For PCs enduring Chapter 3 of Strange Aeons (which some of my players are), this has an eerie if only symbolic significance.

Thanks for your input, Adjoint! Very helpful!

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