My players are about to reach the top of Bayt al-Bazan, and I face the same problem.
Still, I very much fear that smart PCs would never let Ezer out at all. They simply have no incentive to do so.
The adventure begins with the party setting off for Katapesh city from Kelmarane.
I added the encounter with Pazhvann on the way to Katapesh, as designed by the author of the conversion thread :
As suggested in another thread, I did away almost entirely with Father Jackal and his dungeon. I kept the adventure pretty much as it was until the part where Rayhan is abducted. The Pactmasters made their ultimatum, but also confiscated the scroll for safekeeping in their secret vault until the sale is complete. Rescuing Rayhan at the warehouse was their only contact with the One Source : after that, I did all I could to steer them away from Father Jacakal, making him a mere pawn of the captain of the Sunset Ship and insisting (through Rayhan) on the fact that the captain only kidnapped Rayhan to goad the Pactmasters into confiscating the scroll.
spoiler:, like the Pactmasters, and turns out to be the sixth of them, who broke away from them to trade across the planes on his magical ship. He knows the way to the vault, so the confiscation makes it easy for him to steal it.
Then it became a heist mission to get to the vault before the captain of the Sunset Ship. I based the rest on the adventure on a module called "the Pact Stone Pyramid". I located it under the Red Pyramid of Katapesh, and made it the secret vault of the Pactmasters. It ended with a Mexican standoff between Davashuum, Pazhvann (temporarily allied with the PCs), and the sixth Pactmaster. During the battle, Davashuum opens the scroll, triggering the next adventure. Jhavhul grabs Davashuum on his way out of Kakishon, preventing him to be sucked in.
The "Mission:impossible"-like heist quest was a lot easier to keep on tracks than the original adventure, which needs painful railroading.
EDIT : The standoff was a perfect opportunity to have Davashuum and Pazhvann talk about their differences, allowing me to make the campaign plot a tad clearer to the PCs, and making Davashuum a longer-running villain. I also had him kill Pazhvann during the ensuing battle. That way, when the PCs meet him again in the final adventure, he will be a meaningful enemy!
Artifacts are one of the few things in Pathfinder that explicitly tell GMs to use and abuse arbitrary fiats.
Despite your best efforts, know that the Jackal's Price is extremely hard to keep "on the rails" as a GM, since it makes many wild assumptions about the PC's decisions.
Thanks a lot for sharing, Akumamajin !
I will DEFINITELY steal your idea to streamline the liberation of Kelmarane with the mass combat rules! Your idea to represent wish magic with mythic ranks is also very tempting, but I would have to learn the mythic rules, which I do not know. If I have the time, I will steal that idea too!
Ezra Cain wrote:
Ok, I don't math well, so the riddle about how to find the correct sequence of fire curtains to go through is boggling my mind. I have no idea how to explain or GM how characters are supposed to figure out the 4, 2, 1 sequence. Yes, I get half and three times, etc. but no idea how it works. Anyone simplify this? Feel free to post a link to a thread if this has already been covered. Thanks.
Hi there,I'm DMing this adventure and I decided to replace the 4-2-1 thing entirely. I replaced it with a puzzle of my own. My players played through it last week and they really enjoyed it!
In my version, the animal carvings on the ceiling and the ability to teleport between rooms is removed. If a player uses Dimension Door or otherwise enters one of the rooms in the Hazneh in another way than through the walls of fire, the Brass Men spawn as normal.
The walls of fire are colored, and each of them is a separate layer of a Prismatic Wall. The PCs need to go through them in order, from red to violet. If one enters a colored wall that follows the one he previously went through in sequence, he goes through unharmed (you may start over from violet to red). Otherwise, it suffers the effect of the layer, as per the spell. I devised the colors so that even if one screws up and goes through the wrong wall, there is always a "valid" exit to the room. The violet layer, instead of Plane Shifting the victim, sends it to a random room determined by a D6. From 1-5, it sends the PC to one of the five rooms with no red exit (which means they are forced to go through a dangerous wall). On a 6, it teleports the victim into the magma vortex, as described in the adventure for going through a number 3 door.
Final note : if you go through a "dead end", it loops back to the opposite side. For example, going through the cyan wall in A1f makes you exit through the orange wall in A1g. Going through the indigo wall in A1h makes you exit through the violet wall in the same room. Going through the red wall in A1d makes you exit through the orange wall in the same room.
I designed the layout so that there is a valid path from A2 to A5, and another valid path back. Going through the right sequence both ways allows you to visit every room.
Here's a picture of my map :
@the David : ideally a Ranger, but it doesn't really matter because it's only for an NPC.
PS : I know paladin 2 is great for a bard, but it doesn't fit my character for mechanical (swift action economy) and roleplay (strongly CG, azata-blooded) reasons.
I made half the plague doctors regular, bomb-lobbing alchemists, and the other half vivisectionists. Here are the stat blocks I used (includes feats, buffs, etc) :
Melee +7 or +5/+5 : 1d4+2/1d4+1 (sneak 2d6, +2 bleed)
Leather armor, 2 mwk daggers, wasp venom x2 (DC 18, 6 rounds, 1d2 Dex), Formulae book (300 gp), plague-bringer’s mask, surgeon’s tools, healer’s kit
Ranged touch +7 : 2d6+3 (splash 5) (precision : can spare 2 tiles). 5/day
Leather armor, mwk club, wasp venom x2 (DC 18, 6 rounds, 1d2 Dex), Formulae book (300 gp), plague-bringer’s mask, surgeon’s tools, healer’s kit
Under the likely assumption that the temple is under alert when the PCs enter it, there are 10 cultists defending the daemon's room... There's no way they can take them all out in one round. I agree with you that the daemon should be a fearsome opponent, and a battle the PCs should try to avoid. Therefore I'll give them a better chance to keep it contained. Let's say that the cultists only try to free the daemon when they're down to 3 defenders, and that it takes a full-round action instead of a standard one.
My players are about to reach the Hospice and the Temple of Urgathoa. I updated every NPC to fit the Pathfinder rules (which means that CR 2 mooks - doctors, maidens and priests - now have 3 class levels), substantially raising the difficulty level.