Asmodeus

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber. ** Pathfinder Society GM. Starfinder Society GM. 2,199 posts (8,794 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 16 Organized Play characters. 44 aliases.


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Hey there! Thanks for the invite, DM, and my apologies for dragging my feet. I've glanced over everything and there's a lot of cool stuff going on here. I'm leaning towards a psychic, since I haven't done much with that class, but even that is up for revision. I'll probably make some more concrete decisions in the next day or so.

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And so ends the Eight Year Labor! I had to see how long we've been playing this, and it looks like most of us started in March of 2012. Thank you, Bigrin, for putting up with us for all these years and helping push us through to the end of Second Darkness!

Re: Aebliss game. I'm down for it! I wouldn't mind continuing on with you all.

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I just learned today that electrons have mass. I wasn't even aware they were Catholic.

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Not gonna lie, I laughed for quite a bit at the brilliance behind the phrase "embri luchador." Well played!

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The adventure can definitely play out with Gaedren surviving. It's not likely, naturally, but if enough characters want to take him alive, then it's a non-zero chance. Case in point, one of the background traits involves clearing the name of someone wrongfully imprisoned for one of Lamm's crimes. Dead men can't acquit someone - not easily anyway - so it's possible that a PC with that background might convince the rest to stay their hands and keep him alive until he confesses to the Guard.

That said, once they take him out of the fishery, they're in for a rude shock - the city's gone to Hell, and the guard likely won't be able to immediately process him. What do they do with him? Where do they go? Does he try to escape? All sorts of fun stuff there!

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casts animate thread

We just played through this set of quests in our home group, and had the misfortune of having only 4 players. I concur with Poit - Q4 needs a 4 player adjustment badly. The shortcomings of the Pegasus are well-known by this point, and we couldn't punch through the enemy ship's shields. We ended up letting them escape once we were at half HP and almost no shields, and they were sitting pretty at full HP and basically full shields.

Part of the problem, I believe, is that they made the enemy ship a bit too good. Two enemy gunners is rough - it means that the captain action to debuff gunnery is half as effective, since the gunners would have to do push actions less often. Additionally, I loathe the fact that enemy ships replenish shields in combat - starship combat is already a death spiral, and low tier ships do so little damage that a single hit is often replenished in a single round. The ship that punches through shields and creates the first critical hit is likely to be the ship that wins, which is why you see the Drake get chosen nearly exclusively at SFS tables.

So, how to fix this in scaling for 4 players? The usual practice of giving the baddies a -2 doesn't seem appropriate here, since the problem is more with the fundamentals of the fight rather than scaling. I'd look at reducing the number of gunners to one, and maybe even suggest that the Cult of the Destroyer admires entropy so much that their engineer doesn't bother with replenishing shields. If the party is successful at convincing the skittermander to abandon the Cult, then maybe part of the solution is that the party is able to pick up the missing engineer before battle begins, freeing up someone to fulfill another ship role.

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Nifty Butterfinger wrote:

I'm a little confused about how the PC's are supposed to perceive the Quagmire/Treacherous Quagmire. Is is assumed that the hazards are hiding using their Stealth bonus and the PC's that are Seeking during Exploration Mode get a secret check to notice it?

This seems to be the best way to run it unless I am missing something.

Agreed - if there's someone in the party who is Seeking, and they beat the DC, then they've spotted the quagmire before anyone falls into it. If not, then the quagmire activates as its statblock states.

Quote:
If someone has spotted the Hazard, to what end would they go to the trouble to Disable it?

Rereading this, I'm pretty sure I ran this wrong - I just had the party go around it. In retrospect, what I think happens is that if someone spots it, they see tell-tale signs that they're about to walk into it, and can stop everyone from falling victim to it unawares. After that, someone can try to make a Survival test to show exactly where the border between the quagmire and safe treading is, and walk around it.

Quote:
If a group were making their way through the area where this Hazard was located and the person(s) who were Seeking missed it on their secret checks would everyone fall victim to the Hazard or would the first person in marching order fall in and everyone else immediately stop moving [assumes a single file]? ...or would you use the marching order and arrange it so that the first in a line/area fell in?

I had people create a marching order and explicitly went over the Exploration mode activities. That portion of the game is new to most old hands, so making it clear what options players have is a good refresher, and also makes it clear what everyone's doing while things are happening. Assuming that all PCs that are Seeking miss the quagmire, then whoever is in the lead sinks into the quagmire - possibly more, if they are going two abreast!

I'm pretty sure the intention is not to spring the quagmire on the entire party - narrative quicksand is all about the people on the outside trying to save the people on the inside.

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My party just encountered Cinnabar, and did in fact manage to get through to her. They know most of her story now, and Ishani is taking it upon himself to help rehabilitate her after his own conversion to Sarenrae's faith. I'm currently debating a romance between the two of them off-screen to add extra weight to his eventual terrible fate.

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I believe I had the same issue when it came to this as well. My solution was to have them interact with the Pathfinder Society lodge in Magnimar, and agree to chaperone some agents into Thistletop for research. After all, there's not many known Thassilonian ruins that are more or less safe to explore that haven't been explored already. Also, it helps set up that the Society is a thing in the world, and that they aren't necessarily adversarial to the party. Indeed, in my campaign, the Society treated the party respectfully - they were exponentially growing in power, and the Society rightfully reasoned that it was better to stay on their good side. Besides, they seemed to keep stumbling across Thassilonian ruins, so being in the party's good graces would probably end up paying dividends later on down the road - and by Shattered Star, that's definitely the case!

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As per the prequel webfiction, one of the Feather-Fall Five is named Odvi Kanbali. Probably should be the last one on your list, as she's only 12, and is likely the youngest performer.

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I'm planning on having a Chapter 0 where the PCs meet all the NPCs the night before the performance en route to Abberton, and they get to know all of them before things get rolling. It also helps give weight to the murder - now the ringmaster isn't just a dead man, it's the guy that gave them a shot in his circus.

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Thanks! I swear I read through that portion, but I just couldn't find it to save my life.

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Delirious2019 wrote:
GM Wayfinder wrote:
Quote:
For the Caustic Wolf's jaw Strike, if it is successful do I have to expend another action to do Knockdown or is it all done in one action?

A bit late, sorry (I came here since I am running this in PbP and killed one PC and have another who might die now... out of a 4 PC party, all this vs. the Bloodlash Bushes. But it seems no one else had problems there).

Seems it is one action to use Knockdown, which automatically puts the target prone.
Knockdown
You have to have a successful Jaws strike just before (it does not specify that this is in the same round, could carry over to next round?).
Awesome! Thank you!

Yep, Knockdown requires an action. Improved Knockdown does not.

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Quick non-mechanical question - roughly how many wagons are in Bort's caravans? There's at least two, since the PCs ride along in the "last wagon," implying there's a first. I'm thinking three, since Bort is a moderately successful legitimate businessman (and whether he's a successful illegitimate businessman is left to your discretion), so I can't imagine it much larger than three.

Any thoughts?

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This brings up something I hadn't really pondered until now - primal casters are more welcome in Rhahadoum than divine casters, meaning druids get a pass that clerics don't. I don't anticipate that being a distinction every Pure Legionnaire to make, but it's a distinction that didn't exist before 2E.

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Name of PC: Raza
Class/Level: Rogue 10 (Carnivalist)
Adventure: A History of Ashes (Mantis and Maiden)
Rules Set: PF1
Catalyst: Catoblepas
Story: After returning to Korvosa, the Harrowed Heroes made contact with the nascent rebellion, and learned of their ploy - Guildmaster Boule, head of the Cerulean Society, has arranged for a heavily ciphered document to fall into the hands of Kordaitra Destaid. That document was a ruse, but it was strongly ciphered enough to ensure that the second-in-command of the Gray Maidens would be in the Longacre House, so that a strike team could enter from the sewers, fight through their defenses, and strike a blow against the Despot Queen.

The Harrowed Heroes didn't even get that far before they ran into trouble. They ran into the catoblepas staked outside the secret entrance into the building, and half of them fell prey to its toxic breath. Riescu and Aurus were able to weather the effects of the poison, though both of them were in no shape to continue forwards that day. However, Raza, their halfling rogue, could not - while she struggled for health, the catoblepas' breath was too great, and she fell in the aftermath of that fight.

With one of their number dead and two severely weakened, they retreated to the Dead Warrens, preparing to use some of their wealth to restore Raza to life.

Catoblepas poison is ROUGH. 3 consecutive saves is basically saying you're going to take this 1d6 Con damage and like it.

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With regards for the other First Seeker candidates - will they be showing back up as Venture Captains or some such in future stories?

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I suspect the possibility of addiction to Vilree's drugs was skipped over for a few reasons, not the least of which is that the addiction rules didn't exist when Jason wrote the adventure. It's a good idea, though.

I'd probably ask a PC who drinks one of the laced potions to make a Fort save against her class DC. They only become addicted on a crit fail, and something bad happens on a failure - maybe Stupefied 1 for 10 minutes or something.

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Meadow lark wrote:

the locate spell states

If there’s lead or running water between you and the target, this spell can’t locate the object.

The Unrelenting Observation spell states
The tracking creatures can see the tracked creature or
object through all barriers other than lead or running water,
which block their vision.

but it does not seem to be just mentioned elsewhere in the game - so based on that info, running water and any amount of lead blocks Scrying and Divination magic - which is interesting to note.

so a magic sword, sitting on the floor behind a waterfall - is undetectable lol

I'm not sure I agree with that inference. Sure, that's how those particular spells work, but I don't think you can extrapolate how all detection spells work based on those individual spells. It'd be like saying "these three spells with the Fire trait set targets on fire if they crit fail, so all Fire trait spells do that."

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Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
I think a bag of holding should not be an "I win" option to solve issues within a scenario, though at the same time I would not want to suggest that the final encounter should burst said bag with all the consequences usually attached to that.

Yeah, I had the final encounter pull the Scale out of the bag of holding the party obtained in a previous encounter, box and all. I figure that it's an artifact, so it can cheat if it wants.

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Meadow lark wrote:

and yet the scale was inside a box that was lined with lead that from what the text says stoped or limited the effects - to overrule this they have stated that the lead has shaken loose.

So mundane metal can block it but an extradimensional space can't? it smells to me like this is a massive oversight that has no in game answer - thankyou for your advice I am defiantly going to take it onboard.

Personally, I read that bit as "enough lead has shaken loose for detect magic to pick it up," not "enough lead has shaken loose for the Scale to work its misfortune effects." I agree, mundane metal probably shouldn't be able to prevent an artifact from doing its job.

Fun fact - I can find no reference in detect magic that lead stops an aura. That may be an artifact (no pun intended) of edition change, as from what I can tell, the only thing that stops detect magic is the range and line of effect. It's entirely possible by RAW that an artifact cannot be detected with detect magic if it's in a box. I won't swear to that, as my system mastery is spotty at the moment, but it's probably another weird corner case that has occurred since we're currently keeping two editions in mind.

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I just ran this adventure on Saturday at Tier 3-4, and the players did in fact put everything that could reasonably fit inside the bag of holding. That's basically everything but the statues and some other items, but notably not the ebony box in question.

Since we're talking about the item, let me put the relevant bits here:

Archives of Nethys wrote:


Though it appears to be a cloth sack decorated with panels of richly colored silk or stylish embroidery, a bag of holding opens into an extradimensional space larger than its outside dimensions. The Bulk held inside the bag doesn’t change the Bulk of the bag of holding itself. The amount of Bulk the bag’s extradimensional space can hold depends on its type.

You can Interact with the bag of holding to put items in or remove them just like a mundane sack. Though the bag can hold a great amount of material, an object still needs to be able to fit through the opening of the sack to be stored inside.

If the bag is overloaded or broken, it ruptures and is ruined, causing the items inside to be lost forever. If it’s turned inside out, the items inside spill out unharmed, but the bag must be put right before it can be used again. A living creature placed inside the bag has enough air for 10 minutes before it begins to suffocate, and it can attempt to Escape against a DC of 13. An item inside the bag provides no benefits unless it’s retrieved first. An item in the bag can’t be detected by magic that detects only things on the same plane.

So, while the text is clear that an item inside the bag provides no benefits, it is somewhat looser in determining whether it causes drawbacks, such as what the Scale does in this adventure. As Gary mentions, dealing with the effects of this item is the crux of the adventure, and probably should not be so easily avoided by a L4 item. In fact, the mod calls out the Scale as an evil artifact. While we'll get full rules for artifacts in the Gamemastery Guide, I think it's safe to assume that such minor magic as the bag of holding isn't enough to avoid the detrimental effects of such a powerful item.

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That's what I ended up getting for the answer as well, Pastiche. As it happens, I don't believe the answer to this particular piece of the puzzle matters as much, once you consider the metapuzzle can be correctly answered regardless how this piece is answered.

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Well, that's amusing. I clearly got one of the answers wrong, then, though not enough that it threw off the rest of the answer.

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Rejected Subtitles for Season 2 include:

Knights of Everflame 2: Electric Benevolence
KoE2: 2 Night, 2 Flamious
KoE2: Get Lucky
KoE2: It Came From Snek Lek
KoE2: Divine Judgement Day
KoE2: Ever Flamier
KoE2: The Vampire Strikes Back

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I've got nothing additional to add to the topic, as several others have discussed how the "they/them" pronoun should conjugate for a non-binary individual. I just wanted to thank you for attempting to be as inclusive as possible for your students. I'm sure they will appreciate it.

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Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
If you want a brawler we have that option both as Soldier and Solarion.

To say nothing of the Vanguard.

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That was fun! :D

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I believe both come from Plot & Poison.

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This isn't the right forum for this, but I'm sure a helpful mod could move this to the right place.

IIRC, that's the adventure where you're climbing the siege tower outside of Absalom. I'd suggest that he's actually set up this entire scenario to see which of them is worthy to learn the secrets of his art, and has constructed the tower and its illusory inhabitants to test them. That includes the friend of the father - that guy has always been an illusion, and their adoptive father has been setting up this test for years.

They go through whatever you want them to go through, fight a "boss" that's guarding the father's friend, and rescue him. At that point, the friend fades from view, and the father reveals himself. He informs the two siblings that this has all been a test to see how much they understood of his magic, and that he has seen almost all that he needs. However, a wizard does not take more than one apprentice, and they have both arrived at the end of his challenge alive.

"One of you must kill the other to take their place at my side."

Since it's a one-shot, they could either fight each other, or team up and take down the adoptive father, or something else.

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logsig wrote:
Charles Grybosky wrote:
I remember reading in the CRB that anyone traveling for four hours or more in rainy conditions becomes fatigued. I don't remember mention as to how long the trip takes, but it seems a bit of a jerk move to throw the fatigued condition on top of all the other miserable conditions the PC's have to deal with.
Yeah. Realistically the trip must take more than 4 hours (some of the encounters state the time elapsed since the last encounter - "half an hour", "an hour", "a few hours"), but it struck me as a jerk move too.

I suspect that rule is describing something like a forced march, where you don't stop when you're getting fatigued or hungry or whatever. I suspect that what we're not seeing between encounters are the parts where the party stops for a bit to rest the horses and their feet, take a breather, and get going again.

In short, I don't see a reason to inflict a condition on lowbie characters in this mod. There's enough conditions to go around as it is.

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Given the nature of the bad guys in Book 2, another alternative title might be Sins of the Flesh.

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Book 2: Sins of the Father

Book 3: Ill Met in Turtleback Ferry

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SCIENCE RULES!

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I'm running some Star Trek Adventures, and playing in some Scion, as well as Legend of the Five Rings (4th Edition). Eventually, I want to run a Torg Eternity game, but one step at a time.

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Yay! The Knights' story continues! Long live the Flame Unquenched!

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Honestly, in my experience, all of the combats in this are a bit too tough for what would be many players' first experience in PF2.

Spoiler:

I've played/run this three times, and as it happens, I've seen all three possible combat encounters. Our first run was the centipede swarm. I appreciate that swarms are not immune to weapon damage, as that was one of my least favorite rules in the game, but the fact that the swarms could move and do swarm damage twice was rough. Nobody died, but several characters dropped and the party fighter managed a crit on their final attack, killing the vermin. It's probably far less a dangerous encounter if you have people with splash damage - alchemists, anyone with acid splash, etc. - but if not, it's a bit of a knife edge encounter.

Up until the bit about mummy rot listed above, I would have said that my second run with the mummies would have been the easier encounter. Setting aside that I never rolled anything approaching double digits for the mummies in that encounter, I like that there's a boss mummy and a few lesser mummies in the encounter, and while the lackeys aren't much of a threat, the big one certainly is, and can do a hefty amount of damage in a single hit. This one's definitely a lot easier if the party has fire or holy damage - they ran with Kyra and Fumbus, so the mummies really didn't stand a chance.

And then there's the statue. Hardness 6 is incredibly difficult to overcome at 1st level, and if you're playing with the pregens, Amiri is the only one who could consistently get past that when she rages. On top of that, the statue is likely not going to miss when it attacks, and it does a lot of damage when it hits. Sure, it gets easier if you break its construct armor, but that involves weathering its storm to get it down to halfway, or managing to roll a 20 to hit for most PCs. We ended up having to retreat from that encounter, since none of us could really hurt it, and our Merisiel was at wounded 3 when we ran.

Since this is the first quest to be released under the new guidelines, I'm good with calling this a learning opportunity, but I'd suggest giving the PCs a challenge, but not an overwhelming challenge like these encounters seem to be.

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I suspect this is due to early terminology discrepancy, and Shadrick has the right of it. I suspect it might be slightly easier to track unclaimed bundles for a GM, since I suspect most tables will acquire 10 bundles in most adventures, but time will tell.

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Quote:
So, how did he possibly anchor Zev Ravenka?

As with most things involving demiliches, very very carefully.

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Amaranthine Witch wrote:
Joana wrote:
Having just skimmed through the adventure, I am in love with NPC Alak Stagram and want to make sure he plays a prominent role. As such, I think I'll tamper with the beginning so that Alak is the one looking to hire adventurers to help find his ancestors' ring. Calmont, having eavesdropped information about Alseta's Ring without knowing what it is, thinks they're one and the same but was rebuffed by Alak and the council as not being a qualified adventuring party, giving him a grudge against everyone involved that leads to him setting the fire.

Alak really rubbed me the wrong way. He is a "cool bro" who thinks Asmodeus totally rocks, even though he doesn't do that religion thing. He's also an armiger of the Nail, the order responsible of bringing "civilization" to the "savages" by force. Despite this, your idea is good for groups that might like him.

I had, surprisingly, no problem with Warbal and Helba.

Your concern is absolutely valid, though I would temper this only by mentioning that this is book 1 of 6, and we don't know what role (if any) he serves in the remainder of the story. Regardless of whether Arak is meant to be a recurring character by the rest of the AP, it is possible that he could examine those beliefs of his and decide that Asmodeus isn't all that great a guy and the Hellknights really aren't for him, should the players show interest in reforming him and the GM respond in kind based upon their actions.

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What's your take on d30s?

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I personally wouldn't, but you can if you wish, though if you went that route, I'd recommend the Sihedron rings and amulets allow the PCs to ignore the repulsion effect as well.

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Even if Stoker wasn't equating vampires to homosexuality, Le Fanu was. And since Stoker cribbed much of Dracula from Carmilla...

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Here's a weird corner case that might help - what if you aren't doing sneak attack damage, or even lethal damage, with that punch?

Imagine your LN cleric (Irori) 13/monk 1 who casts harm, and then follows that up with a nonlethal punch.

Let's imagine that the monk knows that they're attacking a target with less than 100 hit points remaining, so if they fail that save, they'll be reduced to 1 hit point.

Let's also imagine that the target does indeed fail that save, and takes 130 HP of damage - reducing them to 1 - but they also take nonlethal damage from the punch.

Since nonlethal is tracked separately from hit points, does the target fall unconscious? What happens to the nonlethal damage?

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Thanks, Yossarian - this is exactly what I've been looking for to present my players for History of Ashes! I'll let you know the response once I pass it out to them!

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Yeah, there's no real reason to keep it a secret. If the players figured it out, then let the players feel smart for figuring it out.

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Just out of curiousity - does that map have space to include markers for where the PCs need to go for the rest of Book 4? 'Cause if so, then you just solved a minor problem I've been wrestling with for the last few weeks.

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At long last, we face the Mansquito. I knew this day would come.

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I blame Cosmo.

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Can confirm, Pungeon Crawl is awesome and filled with awesome people.

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