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The Young Squire Pettypants wrote:
Did anyone have Urlgryber flee and rally with Eliza and Rayland? If so, did you abandon the ruse (that Eliza had planned) in favor of immediately assaulting the PCs, or did you come up with another tactic?

I was going to have him bolt as soon as it was clear he was out-gunned, but he never made it. If he had made it, I think its important for the story to try some form of ruse. Presumably, Ochymua is listening in through Arkley and will want to prolong the encounter in order to learn what it can by studying the PCs. If Urlg makes it up there, it will just make the ruse harder to sell. Perhaps Urlg could pretend to hold Eliza and Rayland at spear(glaive) point and try to get the PCs to back-off - or he might pretend to take the two as hostages and leave the tower. If Urlg gets up there and you just immediately have the trio attack the PCs, then you miss out on all of the oddness of this encounter and for the chance that the PCs can figure out that there is a sinister force behind the scenes.

Even if Urlg doesnt make it to the third floor, the players are going to see through the ruse because Eliza and Rayland have all of their equipment, something that wouldn't happen if they were truly prisoners. Also, if the players have done their homework on alpha-colony, that will know that Rayland should be the one calling the shots as governor, not Eliza. And, if they found the plum tree note, they should know that there was a schism in the colony with Eliza and Rayland on opposite sides. All of this, together with the slime, should cause more than enough suspicion to keep the ruse from succeeding for long.

I was really pleased how this encounter went down with my first group to get through it. The players had kept meticulous notes and accurately deduced what was going on - to the point of figuring out that Rayland was resisting some form of mind control and that Eliza was not (successful sense motives). Eliza perished in this encounter, but they captured Arkley and we even had a tense several moments as one of the players began roleplaying a one-way conversation/intimidation through Arkely and directed at whatever was controlling him. It took the rest of the players a minute, or so, to figure out what was going on and when they did there was silence around the table before one of them said, "Well, you've just guaranteed that whenever we meet the final boss, he's going to be really, really pissed at us."

Using downtime rules, I’ve not had any problems with either the adventure’s “economy” nor that of Talmandor’s Bounty. I’ve stressed with my players that the colony operates only partially on the gold-coin standard, in that minted coins, seashells, coconuts, help building a fence or hauling rocks, or a fresh baked loaf of banana bread all have value that is worked out and agreed upon outside the game, so there is no need to roleplay these transactions in game. Once the players had absorbed the concept of capital in terms of Goods, Labor, Magic and Influence, things have run smoothly.

That being said, the players also realize the availability of goods to purchase or barter for is extremely limited I Talmandor’s Bounty. We are just into book 2 and I haven’t presented them with a Supply ship, yet - nor do they expect one any time soon. They have not yet encountered the locathas yet, either. Instead, they have each taken up crafting and, using downtime rules, they have built workshops, alchemy labs, etc., as additions to their colony hut.

Jackie, you are right, there is plenty of loot in the adventure to keep them happy. They do have excess loot, which they keep locked up in the hut (extra potions, defoliant, spare weapons, etc) which they “check out” from the party-appointed quartermaster on a daily basis as they explore Ancorata. I have switched out the types of weapons found in the adventure so that they are most useful to the party. The long sword at the Levin farm is a rapier in one group and a scimitar in the other. Urgleblurglablerg’s (the named skum in Spindlelock) is a seaborn mace in one group, etc. I’ve also sprinkled in unworked gems, mother of pearl, ivory, coral, etc, into monster loot bags and lairs to give some flavor and to give the PCs some extra spending money.

Beefy - I was totally hoping one of my groups would try to unearth that statue in the Shellcracker caves, but, no luck for me. Have fun with that! It shouldn’t be easy and it should be fairly dangerous! High tide could submerge the cave, new beasties could try to inhabit it, there could be cave in accidents if they don’t think to shore up the walls, etc. My suggestion would be to play it up as they dig deeper about the perfect godlike arm and majestic raiments they uncover as they dig, then maybe when they reach the head it’s covered in plaster, when they break the plaster it reveals the visage of a hideous, long forgotten, Azlanti demon or devil...make aWill save...let the screams,and panic commence...etc. Loads of fun.

BTW, is anyone listening to the Glass Canon podcast of their Azlant game? I've found it entertaining and worth the $5/month. (They missed the fuath, too!)

JackieLane wrote:
As for the necklace, doesn't it just give air-breathing and a land speed to aquatic creatures? I doubt that would do any good for most parties (at least not mine, they are three humans, a dwarf and a halfling), [snip]

Ha! Yes...Necklace of Air Adaption, not Necklace of Water Breathing (silly me). Clearly my groups haven't reached Skurnagh or Nal-Shakar, yet! so, heck ya, give the gremlin the same talisman and if the PCs figure out what it does it can only increase they mystery! I like it!

Great ideas and info here.

As for the fuath, in both of the games I'm running the party missed it initially, eventually stumbling upon it before it attacked any colonists. Personally, I felt it was oddly placed and odd that there was only one - the bestiary lists a possible organization of 'solitary', but I have a hard time seeing this thing living as a hermit on a mostly deserted island content to sleep under a sunken canoe when it could be out with a pack of its mates, gleefully causing mischief and mayhem to sailors on the open sea.

That said, there were a couple of significant perks to this encounter. It was an easy water encounter so the PCs got to try out some more aquatic combat, discovering a few little nuggets of knowledge, such as submerged targets have total cover from surface attacks. That's a good one to know.

One party opted for no melee classes, thinking they would rely on their summoner's eidolon to act as their meat-shield, but in this battle the summoner failed his save against the fuath's simple sleep spell and suddenly, poof, no more eidolon, which uncovered a major weakness in their party composition. Good times.

That congealed water ability was important, too, because one group was feeling extreme panic after that got plopped on one of them, thinking the PC was going to immediately drown. That was the first encounter where they realized how long they could hold their breath.

Outside of game mechanics, in both games the parties are trying to connect the dots between the sabotaged canoe, the plum tree note where the canoe and Barnabus are mentioned, and the discovery of Baranabus's mutilated body at Spindlelock. At first they thought the fuath was part of the story, but now they are not so sure, so the gremlin has served as a red herring, of sorts. Too many red herrings, though, can be overly frustrating to the players. I see how a connection to the sea hag could be interesting. Perhaps the fuath serves as her scout or spy. If so, consider giving it a similar talisman to bypass the sound-burst trap at Nal-Shakar - a duplicate in appearance but not in function as a necklace of water breathing at the start of the game would be unbalancing, imho.

Sounds great, Beefy and Jackie. I guess I need to pick up the last two books in the AP. In the meantime, what specific names are listed in either the Ioun Imperative or the Spindle Solution? Are the Knights of the Ioun Star mentioned at all? (see Occult Mysteries).

Here are some more Monster Lore entries:

Part III. Menace Released Monster Lore

Skum (Nature):

DC 13: This hunchbacked, green-skinned humanoid has a wide, frog-like head but a mouth more akin to that of a toothy fish. You’ve heard of creatures like these, those who can move through and breathe water as well or better than traversing land and breathing air.
DC 16: Most fish-like humanoids see well in darkness and can withstand cold temperatures to a much greater degree than typical land-dwellers.
DC 19: Skum are plentiful within the dank waterways of the Darklands. Their ability to attack with blinding speed using their vicious claws, sharp teeth and a variety of weapons, combined with the toughness of their skin or hide make them dangerous opponents.
DC 22: The only skum known to live on or near the surface are those that inhabit the ruins of the city of Drowning Stones in the Mwangi Expanse, those that live near the ruined island of Nal-Kashel in Cheliax, and those that live on the coast of Avalon Bay in Lake Encarthan.
DC 25: Skum are the most prolific and successful of the countless races created by the aboleths long ago to serve as slaves. At the height of the aboleth empire, skum were legion and their armies waged many wars upon the land, yet now that the aboleths are in decline, skum have been set loose to manage on their own.
DC 28: Skum are ancient creatures, once known as ulat-kini. They were created from human stock to serve as a slave race by the aboleths. Ulat-Kini is also the name of an extensive, ancient temple complex found in the eastern-most reaches of the Dying Sea in the Darklands realm of Sekamina. Originally built by aboleths during the Age of Serpents (or possibly even the Age of Creation), it is now sacred to the skum, who believe the first of their kind were engineered here millennia ago.

The Celedon (Arcana):

DC 11: This metallic sculpture of an idealized humanoid figure sparkles with divine luster. You are aware this is a construct, of sorts.
DC 13: Constructs have no constitution, and are typically immune to mind-affecting effects, bleed, disease, death effects, necromancy effects, paralysis, poison, sleep effects, and stunning; also, ability damage, death by massive damage, ability drain, fatigue, exhaustion, energy drain, or nonlethal damage, or any effect requiring a Fortitude save.
DC 15: Celedons are entrusted caretakers of the gods; immortal automatons of perfect faith.
DC 17: Forged of the purest extraplanar metals, every celedon exists to serve a single deity. Each possesses a boundless willingness to praise their deity's name, whether through song, oration, mock battle, or whatever performance their creator favors. Most spend the entirety of their existences tending a single holy place, repeating rituals, perfecting services, and creating new works to laud their particular deities.
DC 22: In addition to being formidable warriors, wielding weapons of mythic star-forged metals, celedons can also strike mighty blows inspired by their faith in their patron gods, stunning or staggering their opponents and, in so doing, forcibly changing their targets point of view!
DC 25: Constructs do not eat or breathe or sleep.
DC 27: Constructs cannot be raised or resurrected and are destroyed instantly whenever they are brought low. They cannot heal damage on their own, but often can be repaired via exposure to a certain kind of effect or through the use of the Craft Construct feat. Constructs can also be healed through spells such as Make Whole. A construct with the fast healing special quality still benefits from that quality.
DC 30: Celedon’s can supernaturally send their audiences into a deep trance while they infuse all around them with the knowledge and wisdom of their patron gods.
DC 33: If a celedon can be shaken from its faith, a noteworthy task, the construct will suddenly and violently emit all of the energies suffused into it during its creation, causing massive damage to all in its immediate surrounding. Thereafter, the construct becomes mindless and is reduced to simply performing whatever maintenance duties assigned to it.

A Swarm of Warden Jacks (Arcana):

DC 14: This roiling carpet of black smoke undulates and billows across the landscape, flowing in, over and around obstacles like a thick, ebon flood. You realize, the cloud is actually comprised of countless tiny black caltrops. It’s a swarm!
DC 17: This swarm is a collection tiny creatures acting with a single mind, with a single pool health, initiative, speed, and a singular defense. In order to attack, it flows over an opponent, occupying the same space since it crawls all over its prey. A swarm can move through areas occupied by enemies and vice versa without impediment, it can move through cracks or holes large enough for its component creatures.
DC 20: Living creatures damaged by Warden Jack swarms often have a hard time standing and can fall into the swarm, causing even more damage! You recognize this swarm as also being a construct!
DC 21: Constructs have no constitution, and are typically immune to mind-affecting effects, bleed, disease, death effects, necromancy effects, paralysis, poison, sleep effects, and stunning; also, ability damage, death by massive damage, ability drain, fatigue, exhaustion, energy drain, or nonlethal damage, or any effect requiring a Fortitude save.
DC 22: This Warden Jack Swarm has no clear front or back and no discernable anatomy, so it is not subject to critical hits or flanking and is immune to all weapon damage and any other effect that targets a single creature. Swarms are never staggered or reduced to a dying state by damage. Also, it cannot be tripped, grappled, or bull rushed.
DC 25: Creatures damaged by Warden Jack swarms report anti-coagulating effects and sometimes succumb to massive bleeding. Constructs do not eat or breathe or sleep.
DC 27: A swarm often takes extra damage from spells or effects that affect an area, such as splash weapons and many spells from the School of Evocation. Constructs cannot be raised or resurrected and are destroyed instantly whenever they are brought low. They cannot heal damage on their own, but often can be repaired via exposure to a certain kind of effect or through the use of the Craft Construct feat. Constructs can also be healed through spells such as Make Whole. A construct with the fast healing special quality still benefits from that quality.
DC 30: Warden Jack swarms have the uncanny ability to open and close doors and portals.

Water Elementals (Planes):

DC 13: This translucent creature's shape shifts between a spinning column of water and a crashing wave. You recognize it as one of the many denizens of the Elemental Plane of Water. As such, you know it is an outsider with extraplanar, elemental and water traits.
DC 15: An outsider is at least partially composed of the essence of some plane other than the Material Plane. Some start out as some other type and become outsiders when they attain a higher (or lower) state of spiritual existence.
DC 17: Water elementals slam their opponents, either in the water or on dry land, with pounding volumes of dense water, knocking them silly and drowning them when they get the chance.
DC 19: Unlike most living creatures, an outsider does not have a dual nature—its soul and body form one unit. When an outsider is slain, no soul is set loose. Attempts to restore souls to their bodies, such as raise dead, reincarnate, and resurrection, don't work on an outsider. It takes a different magical effect, such as wishes or miracles to restore it to life. Some outsiders can be native to the Prime Material Plane and can be raised, reincarnated, or resurrected just as other living creatures can be.
DC 21: With a touch, these creatures can put out any normal fire, and with an extra effort, can also extinguish magical flames.
DC 23: Outsiders can see perfectly in the dark and elementals are Immune to bleed, paralysis, poison, sleep effects, and stunning, they are not subject to critical hits or flanking, do not take additional damage from precision-based attacks, such as sneak attack and do not breathe, eat, or sleep.
DC 25: Water elementals create whirlpools at will, which only form underwater and cannot leave the water.
DC 27: Water creatures move through water with ease.
DC 30: Water elementals fight with a bonus when they and their opponent are both in contact with a body of water. Conversely, they fight with a penalty when both they and their opponent are upon land.

Random Encounters for Ruins of Azlant (books 1-3)

Monstrous Centipede (Nature):

DC10: This is a bug, A really big bug. Actually, your vast nature skills warns you that a bug is a sub-type of insect and insects only have six legs, so this is definitely NOT a bug. Its more of an arthropod, but still, an alarmingly big one.
DC 11: Monstrous arthropods will voracious attempt to eat any living creature it runs across.
DC 12: Monstrous centipedes, like this one, can see perfectly fine in the dark.
DC 13: While this guy sure is big, you have heard legends of these creatures getting much, much bigger.
DC 15: Centipedes need to eat and sleep, just like other animals.
DC 17: Giant centipedes, and vermin like them, have no intelligence, and are therefore, immune to all mind-effects.
DC 20: A giant centipede's bit is augmented by mobility hampering poison, which slows it victims down. Apothecaries and thieves pay good coin for harvested poison of this type.

Skin Crawlers (Dungeoneering):

DC 10: This is a parasite which lives off the vitality of other creatures.
DC 12: It attaches itself to its host by an appendage looking like a finger or toe with a long, broken nail.
DC 14: This is an ooze known as a Skin Crawler.
DC 15: After striking its hosts flesh with its 'nail', a skin crawler uses a special toxin that heals the damage done and befuddles its hosts' mind, making them instantly forget the experience of pain caused by the damage.
DC 17: Skincrawlers camouflage themselves to match the skin coloration and texture of its host, making them difficult to spot.
DC 18: Skincrawlers slowly feed off its hosts' vitality - just enough so that a healthy host will heal back the damage done by the feeding in about a day.
DC 19: it is when more than one skin crawler attaches to a host when the damage begins to pile up and can, potentially, kill the host.
DC 25: there are no known weaknesses, but a skincrawler is simply easy to kill once spotted by damaging it. Typically, the use of a dagger to first kill, then pry the creature from the host will do the trick.

The Barghest (Planes):

DC10: This snarling, canine beast pads forward on all fours, its slender front limbs looking more like hands than a wolf’s paws.
DC12: These creatures are thought to be goblinoid as they are often seen leading large packs of goblin-type creatures, and it is said the goblins worship barghests like gods.
DC15: Barghests come from somewhere in the Outer Planes of the Great Beyond. They have impeccable senses, as they can see perfectly well in the dark, they can sniff out their prey from over a mile away, they have terrific hearing and some say they possess a sixth sense, alerting them to danger just a moment before danger falls.
DC17: Their skin is tough, like elephant hide, and is covered with a mix of thick, luxuriant black fur, sometimes leaning toward auburn colors and a few have been spotted which are pure white. However, barghests usually have patches of puss-oozing mange in spots. Barghests seem to have the ability to change shape into either a goblin or hobgoblin or into that of a wolf.
DC20: Barghests come to the Prime Material Plane in order to eat people. With each good soul they devour, their strength increases.
DC23: Once a barghest has devoured four good souls, they shed their skin and become a Greater Barghest - also known as your worst nightmare.
DC25: Barghests speak, but only in Goblin and Infernal. Originally, barghests were the creation and pets of Asmodeus and they grew plentiful in Hell, mostly upon the layer of Dis. However, it is widely known that Lamashtu, goddess of monsters, grew fond of the barghests and wanted them for her own, stealing them and taking them to Kurnugia in the Abyss. Since then, many barghests have found their way back to DIs, but they can be found running freely in either realm.
DC27: In combat, barghests often begin to phase in and out of existence, seemingly jumping between the Prime Material Plane and the Ethereal. This makes them difficult to strike. Barghests can also lift heavy objects just by willing it so. In combat they enjoy using this ability to drop things, including their goblin allies, upon the heads of their opponents.
DC30: Barghests seem to radiate an aura of great despair, crushing the hopes and dreams of those near them. These foul creatures take great pleasure in sneaking around communities of mortals at night, gleefully trying to coax depressed victims into taking their own lives. Optionally, barghests are skilled at beguiling their intended victims into believing they are a close ally. While Lamashtu is the deity most commonly worshiped by goblins, they also recognize four ascended barghests, a pantheon of demigods known as the “goblin hero-gods” despite the fact that Hadregash, Venkelvore, Zarongel, and Zogmugot have little in the way of classically heroic qualities.

Bunyips (Arcana):

DC 14: A disturbing combination of shark and seal, this brown-furred creature has a wide mouth filled with razor-sharp teeth.
DC 17: This is a magical beast, shaped by arcane machinations of lore which twisted the countenance of mundane beasts and bestowed upon it an intelligence beyond that possessed by its bestial ancestors.
DC 20: Bunyips have superior senses, allowing them to see and smell prey from great distances. Their speed in the water is unmatched, but upon land they are clumsy and slow. While bunyips vary in appearance, all possess similar basic physical structures. The bunyip's head exhibits strong seal-like features, save for its shark-like jaws. Its upper torso is thick and muscular, with long, fin-like limbs. Some species even have a single, shark-like dorsal fin. The remaining portion of the body extends into a long tail. Those with fur usually only grow a short coat on the upper body in shades of pale gray, brown, or black.
DC 23: The bunyip is a fierce and avid hunter, possessing a primal ruthlessness that seems almost evil in its rapacity. A bunyip typically inhabits large freshwater inlets or sheltered coastal sea caves where food is plentiful—the bunyip is equally at home in fresh or saltwater, and it isn't averse to eating humanoids when presented the opportunity. When blood is in the water, bunyips fly into terrible rages and feed upon anything within reach, be it friend of foe. The ferocity of an enraged bunyip is nothing for the faint of heart to witness.
DC 28: If the sight of a bunyip blood-frenzy is not enough, its bellowing roar is known to penetrate the very soul of those with ears to hear, causing great fear and panic to all those within earshot. Bunyips are quite territorial, and readily attack when intruders threaten their hunting grounds. Bunyips mate annually, during the late spring. During this period, bunyips become even more aggressive. After mating, couples split, with the female wandering off to find a place to birth a small litter of four to six pups. Females watch their pups for a few days, until they become independent enough for the mothers to move on.
DC 31: Powerful anti-coagulants in the bunyips saliva make healing a wound from its bite very difficult, indeed.
DC 34: Reports of bunyip sightings come from every end of the map. Though the accuracy of all such reports remains doubtful, enough reliable accounts exist to confirm their widespread adaptability. The species thrives in numerous ecological climes, from frigid polar fjords to idyllic tropical lagoons. The bunyip is not a deep-sea creature, and even avoids larger freshwater lakes, as it prefers to lurk near shorelines where its favorite food is more common.

Coffin Anemone (Nature):

DC 11: This creature features a ridged, dark brown trunk topped with waving yellow tendrils surrounding a soft, pale blue center.
DC 13: Scholars at Almas U classify dangerous animals like this one as mindless pests. As such, things like this are usually immune to mind-affecting effects.
DC 15: You realize this is a type of giant sea anemone. They are carnivorous, and one this big would surely pose a danger to you and your companions.
DC 17: Coffin anemones, like this one, are fairly rare and are found in remote, temperate waters where larger prey, such as seal, porpoise and small sharks are plentiful.
DC 21: Sea anemones of all types can sense prey and predators in complete darkness. They do not have eyes, so are also immune to sight, gaze or light effects.
DC 23: Anemones utilize poisonous stingers are their many tentacles to stun, paralyze or, otherwise, weaken their prey so that they can be brought near their soft outer stomachs or, in the case of coffin anemones, their inner stomachs, where their meals are slowly dissolved and digested. Anemone’s have a curious immunity to poisons of all types.
DC 26: Anemone’s do not have stationary anatomy; their organs and vitals tend to move about with its amorphous body. Vital organs that are damaged can usually regenerate quickly. Therefore, anemones are not susceptible to vital strikes like sneak attacks or critical damage.
DC 30: An avid anatomist or culinary expert would be capable of identifying the poisonous sacs within an anemone’s body. Removing the poison makes anemone’s edible, but not necessarily palatable. Soups or fried anemone chips are considered delicacies in southern Garund, but these dishes are slow to catch on in the rest of Golarion.

Ettercaps (Dungeoneering):

DC 14: This hideous purple creature walks upright like a man, but its face is that of a spider, and its hands are sickle-shaped claws.
DC 17: Aided by their many eyes, these aberrant creatures see well in all levels of light, even darkness. While their claws and bit are both wicked and effective, the spider-men prefer to incapacitate their victims from distant ambush and rarely engage in a physical confrontation.
DC 20: Ettercaps have spinnerets, like spiders, and often squirt or throw netting at their prey from a distance. Their oversized fangs drip a terrible poison that immobilizes their victims, allowing the foul creatures to approach their prey safely and drain them of bodily fluids while still alive, warm and wriggling.
DC 23: Ettercaps are known to speak the common Taldan language, but also have an uncanny ability to speak to spiders and arachnids of all types, even though no such formal language is known to exist.
DC 26: Ettercaps are loathsome creatures and are known to set elaborate and effective traps and snares to trap their victims and/or dinner.
DC 29: Scholars report ettercaps make their homes overwhelmingly in the dark, forbidding forests of temperate Avistan. You have read accounts of them spotted in Varisia's Mierani Forest, Andoran's Arthfell, Taldor's Verduran, living in cairns north of the city of Korvosa, attacking elven scouts in the demon-haunted southern Tanglebriar in Kyonin, hiding in caves in the Nomen Heights and Kamelands of the Stolen Lands, and overrunning the Shudderwood in Ustalav. You are aware of one particularly grisly account in Garund, in the warm, dank forests of Sargava.
DC 32: Some ettercaps worship the insectoid demon lord Mazmezz.

Flotsam Terrors (Religion):

DC 15: This mass of detritus, sea foam, and seaweed undulates and quivers as it moves. The mass has a humanoid shape roughly the size of a child. You have heard of these foul undead creatures that form from the wreckage of scuttled ships and drowned sailors.
DC 18: As an unliving entity, you realize these creatures never tire, do not need light to see, are not affected by influences that target the mind, do not bleed; shrug off death effects, disease, paralysis, poison, sleep effects, and stunning. They ignore nonlethal damage, ability drain, and energy drain. Negative energy heals them while positive energy harms them, as well as water that has been blessed. They crumble to a sodden pile of harmless flotsam when brought low, and cannot be raised from the dead nor reincarnated. Resurrection and true resurrection can bring them back into the living creatures they were before dying, and they have no need to breathe, eat, or sleep.
DC 21: Flotsam Terrors, also known as jetsam swarms, sailor’s bane, and wreck wraiths, are particularly resilient to normal weapons, unless the weapon is a sharp blade. These terrible creatures can also put themselves back together quite quickly when in the presence of debris, detritus and/or quantities of seaweed or kelp.
DC 23: Flotsam Terrors shuffle along the open ground in a slow, plodding gait, but underwater they move at the speed and agility of a barracuda. They will attack any living creature that happens upon them by clubbing them into pulp. If they spy their prey from a distance, they are known to hurl sharp or heavy bits of their body at high velocity in hopes of incapacitating them before closing with them up front and personal.
DC 26: Legends speak of these creatures disincorporating during combat; becoming a swarm of ghastly seaweed and jetsam.
DC 29: Multiple terrors can spawn from one wreck. They then ride the currents, roaming the seas until they locate other ships. Flotsam terrors are malicious and bitter entities, detesting their fate and intentionally seeking out ships in hopes of causing additional wrecks. The creatures follow and attack any survivors, intent on creating more of their kind.
DC 32: Many flotsam terrors are born after a failed mutiny causes a ship to crash, when the remaining traitorous souls are reborn with vindictive fervor. Not all flotsam terrors share this origin, however. Some are born from the souls of casual travelers who believe themselves unfairly slain, usually due to the actions of the ship’s captain or crew. Rather than attacking ships in general, these flotsam terrors seek out surviving crew members in hopes of revenge.
DC 35: On rare occasions, a flotsam terror forms from the remains of previously slain flotsam terrors. Sometimes a single piece of a destroyed flotsam terror will slip away, holding a spark of its animating force. When enough of these lone pieces come together, they create a more powerful form of a flotsam terror. Known as flotsam fiends, these unholy monstrosities have greater evil intelligence, allowing it to speak and recall an original purpose; thus, a flotsam fiend often strives to fulfill the original intent of its most dominant soul. Flotsam fiends can hold dominion over large numbers of flotsam terrors, allowing them to draw small armadas to their cause.
DC 36: Flotsam terrors generally lack any kind of personality. When first created, a flotsam terror is filled with specific purpose, usually the destruction of an individual whom the terror believes wronged it in life. This purpose is quickly lost, however. When flotsam terrors disperse and intermingle, they mix not only their debris but also their intelligence and memories. This leads flotsam terrors traveling in groups to eventually share a similar, but diminished purpose. While not precisely a hive mind, these groups move and attack with complicated tactics, a byproduct of their shared semi consciousness.
DC 38: Flotsam terrors generally travel near coasts where they can attack ships early in their journey. This also allows the creatures to more easily destroy ships by leading them toward dangerous reefs or cliffs. Those formed far out at sea tend to remain in their dispersed form for weeks, allowing the currents to draw them closer to civilization. In the rare case that a flotsam terror encounters a ship while out at sea, it often attaches to the hull until the ship returns to dock, then attacks disembarking sailors, or it finds a suitable location to try to sink the ship.
DC 41: A float of flotsam terrors behaves differently if led by a flotsam fiend. Such floats still attack ships in large groups, but their attacks are more deliberate. A fiend with a particularly tactical soul, such as that of a captain or naval general, is a force to be reckoned with.
DC 43: A fiend that succeeds at its primary goal usually surrenders its position and its power by intentionally discorporating among its fellow terrors. When it reforms, the fiend has a new dominant soul, meaning a flotsam fiend never lacks a purpose. This allows a float to maintain a never-ending crusade, continually adding more flotsam terrors to its ranks. This process is of particular note to scholars, as undead creatures are rarely so prone to cooperating with one another. Whether this is an instinctive response or a sign of the various souls finding camaraderie in their misery has yet to be seen.

The Gliding Turtle (Nature):

DC 13: This is a rare, giant-sized turtle found along remote coastal shorelines with high cliffs abutting the sea. This giant turtle has a large, thin membrane of scaly skin extending from its shell to its legs.
DC 16: The gliding turtle spends the evening hours climbing to the top of seaside cliff faces. In the morning or early evening hours, when convective winds are at their peak, the turtles can be spied gliding above the shore or shallows, searching for prey. While gliding turtles may settle for coconuts, bananas or other tropical fruit, its favorite meals consist of large shallow water fish, mammals or large crab or shellfish.
DC 19: While these creatures are often thought to be both slow-moving and docile, many beachcombers have been dissuaded of both notions in a single encounter. Gliding turtles can gain high velocity in the air and use their hard shells to stun or kill their prey when slamming into them. Their bite is fairly viscous, too.
DC 23: Gliding turtles can achieve great mass, with the average specimen sporting a shell eight feet in diameter and weighing in at around one ton.
DC 28: Legends tell of ancient Azlants taming gargantuan turtles and using them as transport, carrying several dozen people quickly across the sea breezes and covering many miles in a single jaunt.
DC 31: Rumors speak of sea druids using gliding turtles in far off Tian Xia or Arcadia as companions. Likewise, stories exist of rangers using the creatures as mounts.

Mockingfey (Nature):

DC11: This tiny creature has the head of a human and the body of a brilliantly colored parrot.
DC14: You have heard tales of such creatures as being harmless nuisances on tropical islands.
DC16: These pint-sized fey often congregate in large colonies called japes or “mockingdells,” inhabiting the trees near a commonly traversed path or meadow.
DC19: Mocking fey are curious creatures and love nothing more than to mimic and mock creatures they encounter. While they understand the sylvan language, they typically only speak gibberish.
DC 21: Mockingfey are sometimes used as familiars to sea-going wizards.
DC22: Their innate curiosity can sometimes be of great use. Native to the lands of the fey, mockingfey are often the first to spot and then venture through rifts between fey realties and the Prime Material.
DC 26: When a jape of mockingfey travel to the Prime, or any other plane other than their own, they often seek out the nearest powerful fey in the area and congregate around it for protection.
DC29: Mockingfey have little offensive or defensive tools at their disposal, but some reports that they can exude a weak fey magic that can cloud the mind of their adversaries.

The River Drake (Arcana):

DC 14: With graceful wings and wide fins, this sleek dragon looks equally well equipped to glide through sea and sky. A closer look reveals this is a drake, a degenerate, cruel, and evil cousin of true dragons. A friend of yours claims flame drakes favor the crest of Droskar's Crag as a nesting perch and often terrorize the Darkmoon Vale.
DC 17: Drakes share many traits with true dragons—they have sturdy leathery wings, reptilian forms, dangerous breath, and the ability to speak—but have two legs instead of a true dragon's four and lack their greater intelligence. They like to travel in fearsome packs known as a rampage. A visiting lecturer once told the Almas U that the draconic monument known as the Sleeper, located deep in the Mindspin Mountains, draws drakes who lair in its chambers and the mountain beneath.
DC 20: River drakes, like this one, are typically about 8 feet in length and weigh around 700 lbs. They see perfectly well in all levels of light, including darkness, and can move easily in the air, land and sea - breathing both air and water. Occasionally, river drakes are known to achieve speeds of movement beyond the tracking ability of the mortal eye.
DC 23: Drakes do not increase in power by age to the degree that true dragons do and are typically less intelligent than true dragons. They lack the patience, diplomacy, and long-term planning of their greater relatives, making them more prone to violence. You read somewhere that giants across the Inner Sea region are known to breed and keep frost drakes and pets, minions, and even mounts for their allies.
DC 26: River drakes are not affected by magical sleep or paralysis from any source. They are also naturally resistant to acids. In combat, they use their wicked bite and powerfully muscular tails to devastating effect. River drakes are much more likely to hunt in groups than most other drakes, threatening river traffic or assaulting lakefront or riverside towns if their numbers are large enough. However, these disorganized raids are quick to retreat from any hint of significant resistance.
DC 29: Drakes are often viewed as very dangerous pests with some Golarion governments issuing bounties to reduce their populations. Others make contact and cut deals with individual drakes to defend property in exchange for treasure or ally with them to bolster a city's defenses. You remember hearing rumors a growing number of drakes may be corrupted by demonic forces of the Worldwound and are becoming half-fiends near the Winged Wood.
DC 32: River drakes are known to hock up massive loogies of caustic mucus and can spit the glob of nastiness across great distances and with unerring accuracy. Those hit by the yellowish, stinking crud are often incapable of freeing themselves from the substance and dissolve in an agonizing death only to be slurped up later by the attacking drake.
DC 35: Preying upon fish and fishermen with equal ease, river drakes are scourges of freshwater expanses. They are thought to be related to black dragons, as evidenced by their acidic spit, water affinity, viciousness, and preference for rotten meat. Like other drakes, river drakes are cruel hunters, using a play-and-prey hunting style. When not hungry, they amuse themselves by stalking and harassing other creatures and travelers.
DC 38: An offering of treasure thrown into the water can distract a river drake, but such a bribe is unlikely to stave off a particularly hungry individual. River drakes often slay more than they can immediately eat because they favor aged meat, keeping underwater larders stuffed with kills in various stages of decay.
DC 41: A river drake is a crafty, careful hunter that uses its watery home to provide concealment from creatures on the shore. If caught unawares while on land, it retreats to the water, or takes to flight if its enemies are prepared for aquatic combat, making constant use of its caustic mucus and great speed.

The Sahuagin (Nature):

DC 13: This scaly humanoid has a long, fish-like tail. Its arms and legs end in webbed claws, and its piscine head features a toothy maw. They stand 7 feet tall and weigh about 250 pounds.
DC 16: You know a little of these creatures. They are cruel and plentiful in underwater environs. They breathe only water, but some possesses powerful magic that allow them to draw oxygen from the air. They see well in all forms of light, even complete darkness, but shun bright light. They are fast swimmers and can even move upon the land as long as they are able to breathe or hold their breath.
DC 19: Sahuagin appear as some sort of cross between humanoids and fish, while their frame has much in common with humans—they are larger with most sahuagin being at least seven foot tall—having two arms and two legs they also boast a tail that ends in a fish-like fin to help propel them through the water. A sahuagin's head is clearly piscine, with a mouth that gapes like a fish but it is filled with sharp, flesh-rending teeth.
DC 22: Sahuagin are fierce combatants, most attack from afar using powerful, underwater crossbows before closing with razor-sharp tined tridents. They are adept with fighting with their claws and teeth in conjunction with melee weapons.
DC 25: These creatures lose themselves when in the presence of blooded water; their base instincts overcoming rational thought and they attack with a near-mindless purpose of gobbling down as much flesh as their bellies can hold when blood is nearby. Its difficult to speak with sahuagin, but they often understand Taldan common speak and the Aquan language. They also appear to have some sort of silent communication they share with sharks, even though no known formal language such as this exists.
DC 28: Sahuagin can be found in most of Golarion's temperate seas from the Obari Ocean and the Inner Sea to the nearly endless expanse of the Arcadian Ocean. They build vast cities in the depths of the ocean that rival the air breathers' great metropolises, while near the shoreline they create impregnable fortresses from which to launch raid after raid against land dwellers. It is not just those above the waves whom the sahuagin hate, they are in constant conflict with other aquatic creatures such as the merfolk, gutaki and even the mighty aboleths. Their warlike tendencies have made the sahuagin one of Golarion's most hated races.
DC 31: Sahuagin’s preternaturally fast breeding cycle and short lives make them susceptible to wild mutations. When a mutant is born it almost always rises to the society's nobility or rulership. The most common sahuagin mutation is an extra pair of arms, but rumors among scholars speak of the rare malenti—sahuagin who look not like sharkmen but aquatic elves. Malenti are thought to serve as spies and assassins for sahuagin rulers, but rumors of all-malenti tribes in isolated reaches of the sea persist.
DC 34: While they are a threat to any creature they are near, the sahuagin are a particular threat in the western isles of the Shackles, especially around the port city of Ollo. You once read they are also one of the dominant races of the amphibious River Kingdom of Outsea, where they are strangely able to live in relative peace with the native population of merfolk. A visiting scholar from Tian Xia once lectured they are most commonly found in the undersea kingdom of Xidao, although they exist in smaller numbers than the dominant locathahs. They dwell in the many caverns and crevices which honeycomb the underwater trench known as the Aya-Maru, where they live in nearly constant conflict with local merrow tribes.

Sea Cats (Arcana):

DC 15: This fierce creature merges the front half of a great cat with the tail and other characteristics of a giant fish.
DC 17: This is a magical beast, shaped by arcane machinations of lore which twisted the countenance of mundane beasts and bestowed upon it an intelligence beyond that possessed by its bestial ancestors.
DC 20: Sea cats are rare creatures. They are agile swimmers but clumsy on land. They see well in darkness and in light. These creatures breathe air, not water, but can hold their breath for 10 minutes between gulps of air. When not hunting they can be found on coastal rocks, coral islands, or even isolated beaches sunning themselves and digesting their most recent meals. Whether hunting or protecting its territory, a sea cat generally attacks immediately upon discovering a target, even when faced with a much larger or more dangerous foe.
DC 23: Sea cats are fearsome hunters and use their fore-claws and terrible teeth to shred their prey. They have tough hides and a hearty constitution. Among individual sea cats, their scales vary greatly in color and pattern, often influenced by the primary habitat of a given specimen; the most common sea cats, have bright coloration in striped or spotted patterns. A typical sea cat is 12 feet long and weighs upward of 800 pounds.
DC 26: Sea cats can survive in both fresh and saltwater, though most live in the ocean, where they can hunt a varied and consistent supply of food. A sea cat's diet typically consists of fish, crustaceans, and aquatic mammals (including seals and otters), but the creature's overpowering predatory and territorial instincts often lead it to attack ocean birds, humanoids, and even other aquatic predators like sharks and crocodiles. Coastal fishermen of the Inner Sea and Garund, where sea cats are known to dwell, watch vigilantly for these predators, because the beasts have learned that netted or hooked prey is easier to kill and steal from the line.
DC 28: The sea cat's low intelligence and high level of ferocity make it incredibly difficult to train or domesticate, though pirates and aquatic races have been known to try, with limited success.

Also, the recording gem in the library at P9 could use some scripting rather than a general description of what it contains, and I thought I’d add some tantalizing details to the surviving books on the bookshelf, making these texts extra valuable to PCs with Craft Wondrous Item.

Recording gem:
“Hello. This is Doctor Tziang. Thank you for attending this conference. We look forward to exploring solutions with you. Before we begin, I am required to remind you this recording gem and the information it contains is for the organization’s internal use only and not for dissemination to the public, under penalty of law.”

"[soft and staticky...voices are inaudible]...erative the public be told of this primary function. Not only would it most likely cause widespread panic, but it would jeopardize our ability to gather necessary information and impede further investigation into this matter. For now, the Spindle Solution must continue to conduct research and development of its mundane iounic enhancements to support the highest level of humanity’s quality of life. Revelation now would lead to [hisssssssssss] . . ."

"[crackle] . . .Spindlelock Station's humanitarian research endeavors are tantamount to the success of the Imperative...[snap. hissss....] at its heart, Access Level D required into Spindlelock Tower where the continuation of classified milit[crackle]."

"[barely audible] . . . believed to be Celwynvian, it became clear under greater scrutiny the spy was neither human nor elf. Only through our latest iounic forcewall technology were we able to contain . . .[crackle]"

[shuuunt] . . . transport from the Compass to Spindlelock Tower for further research and testing. The temporal stasis tank has proven sufficient, but the subject has shown remarkable resilience to our psychic-electric probing. Very little [spak!]"

"[hissssss]....latest intel to Jazradan has uncovered new evidence to support the Veiled Master Theorem, lending some credence to old wives tales and ancient superstition. The Ioun Imperative has approved modifications to Spindlelock for extended stasis field and containment in preparation for the eventual release and interrogation of the subject. This information is to remain Access Level D. Staff outside the tower will not be informed . . . [shuuunt]."


1. A book made of blue metal plates: “Iounic Enhancement of the Mind”, Written in the Azlant tongue, this tome details the construction and use of a wide variety of stones used to enhance the mind. Specific chapters include enhancements to reception and comprehension of omens and portents, increased resistance to mental trauma, increased intellect, enhanced knowledge, enhanced senses, detection of poison, detection of direction, comprehension of depth and altitude, augmented insight, the gift of tongues, augmented debate and reasoning, heightened skillfulness and greater understanding of the motivations of others.

2. A book made of yellow metal plates: “Iounic Enhancements of the Physical Body”, Written in the Azlant tongue, this tome details the construction and use of a wide variety of stones used to enhance the physical characteristics of a person. Various chapters cover enhancements to poison and disease resistance, suppression of fatigue, heightened agility, staving off hunger and thirst, faster reaction times, increased health, breathing underwater, heightened strength, suspension of aging, regeneration, enhanced speed and enhanced swimming.

3. Leaves of doeskin bound in catgut (trapped): “Spindle Warden Primer”, More notebook than manuscript, this collection of treated doeskin holds a respectable number of arcane spells and one divine spell, "useful for maintaining order in the Spindle Solution Archives", or so the introduction on the first page suggests. The introduction explains these spells are available to Spindlelock librarians to aid in their duties, which ranged from answering questions from library patrons to active defense of the libraries priceless tomes. The primer includes the following: 1st Level Arcane Spells: Adhesive Spittle, Invisibility Alarm, See Alignment. 2nd Level Arcane Spells: Fox's Cunning, Investigative Mind, Owl's Wisdom, Protection from Arrows, See Invisibility. 3rd Level Arcane Spells: Countless Eyes, Disable Construct, Fly, Haste, Heroism, Water Breathing. 3rd Level Divine Spell: Cure Serious Wounds (a possible scroll or emergency bandage).

4. A leather-bound book with gold leaf title: “The Spindle Solution Ars Magika”, This leather and gold-leaf bound book is filled with brittle, yellowed parchment and fading black ink. The scrawling Azlanti script is punctuated with schematics and drawings. This book includes many chapters regarding various enhancements to arcane spellcasting, as well as protections from spellcarft.

5. A tall leather-bound book with gold leaf title: “The Spindle Solution Domestic Upgrades”: This crumbling tome includes chapters on how to use iounic augmentation to cool or heat a home, purify air quality and sustain running water, create everfull larders and pantries, eradicate household vermin, produce music and rest zones within an abode and other strange enhancements to living spaces, including advice on empowering one's domicile with arcane energies.

6. A ancient leather-bound book with gold leaf title: “The Spindle Solution Lexicon of War”, This book is old and very fragile. The leather is badly cracked and much of the gold leaf has peeled off. The book details various methods for enhancing the physical and mental aspects of martial combat.

Ha! Well, I'm glad someone else might find some of these extras helpful, Beefy. :)

For the Ioun Imperative, it looks like Eric Mona may have some info in Book 5, but, I confess, I have not yet purchased that book. Maybe someone else in the know can chime in here. I'm using the DHARMA Initiative from Lost as a model for the Ioun Imperative. Its been ten thousand years and a cataclysm since the Imperative was in operation, so letting the PCs uncover the occasional fractured bit of really weird info has been working really well.

For example, I gave the two clockwork mechs at P6 in Spindlelock some personality and dialogue here:

Mech Talk:
[When the PCs first encounter the clockwork mechanics and before reprogramming]:

"You are not allowed here. Please surrender."

[If reprogrammed, only one, a female model that refers to itself as P65-B4 actually speaks. The other, P32-Z8, makes unintelligible beeping, whirring and buzzing sounds whenever it is addressed.]

"Welcome to the Spindle Solution, where our innovations enhance your reality."

[If P65 is not asked direct questions immediately, it may interrupt a conversation with the following]:

"Are you tired of that old, sagging skin? Our age reduction treatments have proven to make you look like your younger self! Are you tired of being the weakest member of the team? Let our strength modifications give you the lift you've been after. Are you tired of being tired? Experience a renewed vim and vigor with our stamina inducers. These modifications, and many more, are brought to you by the Spindle Solution.

[If asked who they are, P65 will reply with]:

"I am P65-B4, Mechanics Bay supervisor of Spindlelock Tower. My assistant is P32-Z8."

"For purposes of security, please do not divulge my name to any outside parties. I am not programmed for using an alias and any attempt to do so may result in serious malfunctions.

[Other responses to direct questions may include]:

"The chief purpose of this station is to house and service the Ioun Imperative's prime think tank."

"Currently, there are eight members of the Spindle Soloution’s Spindlelock collective. Dr. Hothe Tziang, Chief Arcanist. Leftenant Horace Wellspeed, our trajectories expert. Dr. Albrust Havenvine, the famed electromagnetic philosopher. Meeshell Baakunin, communications officer. Mr. Loud, Head of the Intelligence and Securities division. Doktaire Eva Hali, Compass laison. Betany Jung-Kim, head Chirugeon (Ki-ur-jun). And Jorey Comstock, biologistics engineer."

[I have made up the names and titles of everyone in the ‘think tank’ except for Havenvine.]

[P65 will occasionally glitch and blurt out seemingly random bits of information, often sandwiched between unintelligible squeaks, pops and hisses. I have borrowed much of this text from the Dharma Initiative’s Hydra Orientation film from the season 6 epilogue of “Lost”]

"[sqweeerl...pop] behalf of the group members, we welcome your valued expertise in these proceedings. Please note, all of your needs will be provided for during your brief stay with us. Should you need any assistance, please notify one of the clockwork staff and [schhhhhtkkkk]."

"Here are some of the subjects you may be asked to ruminate during your stay at Spindlelock Tower. Genetic alteration. These fascinating stones, or "capsules" as we call them, will be released and monitored to see how they adapt to the unique properties of the region [crackle]... successful advanced studies in larger mammals. "

"These creatures possess a keen sense of memory and adaptability. These traits make them ideal candidates for electromagnetic studies that will be conducted at a secondary site where their comfort in cold temp [crackle].. "

"It's important when dealing with them that you do not show affection or become attached in any way. Also, do not underestimate their intelligence and cunning. These rules must always be followed. I repeat, the bears are not your friends."

"Affix this tracking device around the subject's neck. At which point it will be transported to the Geminus station for the next phase of research. Remember, be sure to confirm that the females have not been impregnated before transport, as the electromagnetic levels at the Geminus have an extremely harmful effect on early term gestation. "

justaworm wrote:
One of the motivations would be exploring the rest of the island to map it and identify / deal with threats to the colony.

Here's a trick that worked to get my group to these locales. I had Ramona subtly mention that Captain Ancorato had scouted a third possible landing site on the northern stretch of the island. The player's immediately jumped on the possibility that the missing alpha colonists could be there and off they went.

Elsbeth Maison d'Argent wrote:

Here’s my predicament. In a few weeks I am going to be running this for a very experienced...

I'm looking forward to reading how your party fared and how you handled the challenges you outlined. I've run two groups through RoA Book 1 now - one group of inexperienced players and another very experienced. I was worried about much of what you bring up, but so far, as we move into Book 2, its all playing out nicely.

Fear and mystery of the unexplored island interior are your friends, here. Once the PCs are dropped off at Talmandor's Bounty, they are on their own and the world outside the palisade walls needs to be a really scary place. I'm using an occasional distant bellow and faraway snapping of trees to dissuade my group from wandering too far too fast (see the smoke monster from Lost).

In both groups, leaving the colony to find the Peregrine at the beta site was terrifying for them. Later, when they followed the clockwork spy up to the harbinger's dais, they wanted to take half the colony with them for safety. They practically did, too.

The PCs will be 1st-3rd level for most of this and there are plenty of random encounters in Book 1 alone to keep them close to home. The second night after the beta colonists had settled in, I had a flock of enchanter herons land, mesmerize of few colonists, swallow a few goats, and then fly off into the night. The presence of chokers, monkey goblins and adult(or advanced) boars can keep them from wandering too far. The river drake encounter and any or all of the encounters with the named mobs (Grelvix, Vegelror and Arghelnar) will also help to curtail too much exploration. I even described a near-shore battle between a bunyip and seacat which kept the PCs from from swimming around much.

A couple of other things. I added a 1-mile hex overlay to the Ancorato map and reduced the amount of ground they can explore to a 1 mile hex per day as long as they are using machetes because the vegetation is so thick. Remember, too, that Ramona is in charge and she can also be a factor in controlling how far and when the PCs explore the island.

Between the dangers of the island interior and the difficult terrain, I don't think any of my PCs will question Durvin Gest's proclivity for limiting his exploration to the beach areas and not discovering Spindlelock. In addition, I made sure that Ramona told the PCs at some point that Captain Ancorato made only a few cursory stops ashore and did most of his scouting from the safety of his ship.

Maybe one other thing that might help is to emphasize there are a lot of Azlanti ruins in these islands, Spindlelock is just one of them and Auberon, perhaps, had no reason to care about it. Ochymua was in stasis and would not have necessarily drawn attention to itself from scrying or other arcane means of discovery.

At any rate, have fun with this AP! Watch Lost, if you haven't already, and steal/borrow mightily from that source. I've currently got Anya Sandstrider playing the role of John Locke - she ranges out into the jungle alone, sometimes for days and seems to know something about the island that the PCs don't. They don't really trust her, but often feel like they need to. :)

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When conversation is expected, I find it helpful to script out some dialogue ahead of time. Here are my notes for Area N. Celebrants of the Dead. Maybe someone will find it useful. I have more for dialogue for the Clockwork Mechanics and expanded dialogue on the library recording gem in Spindlelock, if anyone is interested.


Ariel and Urlana will peacefully approach the PCs, speaking in Azlanti. They will only become 'forceful' if the PCs leave without their full education - which could take several months or years. If some of the PCs speak Azlanti, Ariel will immediately begin tutoring them regarding the ways Acavna. Those who do not speak Azlanti are addressed by Urlana in a heavily accented Common tongue and are taught the basics of the Azlanti language. The celedons are as unaware of the destruction of the Azlanti civilization that once surrounded them as they are of their Moon Mother, Acavna.

Urlana: "Look, sister, more have finally come to learn of the Moon Mother."
Ariel: "Come, mortals, sit and rest your limited bodies so that Urlana and I may test your knowledge."
Urlana: "Yes, please sit and let Ariel and I tell all we know of The Shield Maiden and her heavenly works."
Ariel: "Those among you who do not speak, must go with Urlana now and learn of words and sentences and how to combine them to communicate your thoughts in intelligent ways."
Urlana: "This shrine was built by the Moon Mother, Acavna, as were we, and, perhaps, you, as well."
Ariel: "Those who can speak, you must stay with me until you have become aware of all there is to know."
Ariel: "Shaval-Kehn is a magnificent city built by the mortals. It lies just north of the River Kelveth. I have been told the music created by its inhabitants reaches the ears of our mistress far above and the aroma of its restaurants can be sensed from the heavens."
Ariel: "Some of our brethren have temples dedicated in their name in the western region of Shaval-Kehn. Zanas-Tahn spreads across gorgeous, garden-laden hills and is the home of dozens of cathedrals, monuments, shrines, and temples."
Ariel: "The city of Kalas-Ti lies nearby. Perhaps over that hill yonder. It is the military and industrial center of the Azlanti region of Kynos. These two cities are known as the Twin Jewels or the City of Bridges. I am astounded you are not aware of these facts, mortal."

At some point, the PCs may ask about the significance of the pillars, or they may figure it out on their own:

* Aballon, the Horse
* Castrovel, the Green Planet
* Golarion, the Child
* Akiton, the Red Planet
* Verces, the Line
* Eox, the Dead Planet
* Triaxus, the Wanderer
* Liavara, the Dreamer
* Bretheda, the Cradle
* Apostae, the Messenger
* Aucturn, the Stranger
The planets whose destruction created the Diaspora were:
* Damiar
* Iovo

If the PCs spend some time learning lessons, they may wish to know what it is they are being taught. The two celedons treat the PCs as if they were small children learning their lessons. The lessons come by the way of morality stories centered around the goddess Acavna, and in-depth instruction into the rites and ceremonies given in honor of her.

Some examples of morality stories are:
Tales of "The Ancient Cemetery", Tables in the Hollows", "Magnificent is the Rose", "The Madrigal and the Black Room", "Bridge Over Darkness", "Whispers in the Forest", "The Parable of the Happy Warrior", "Crimes of Winter", "Ethics and Morality", "Tales of the Last Artist", "Recipes for a Crooked Lobster", "Curiosity Killed the Sun", "Aegon and the Pschadellic Pudding", "The Gecko and the Tiniest Onion", "Songs for the Legendary Harpsichord", "Lessons of the Angry Locket"

Acavna Rites and Ceremonies:
Rites of breakfast, dinner, the kill, death, birth, marriage, moon worship, Acavana's Birth, Growth, Fullness, Aging and Death. Math, astronomy, astrology, Rites of the Tides. Sleep, Winter, Summer, Autumn, Vernal. Moth, owl, cricket, loon.

Here are my Monster Lore knowledge checks for: Part II: Settlement Amid the Strange. I've got more for Part III and all of the Random Encounters, if anyone is interested.



Knowledge Dungeoneering
DC 12: What appears to be a common nautilus, in truth, is something much more sinister. It moves about by dragging itself forward on oversized tentacles, its crimson-streaked flesh textured like the surface of a brain.
DC 15: These aquatic creatures protect their soft, spineless bodies with a hard shell, they breathe water and prefer the oceanic coastline, but can breather air, as well.
DC 17: Incutilus can see perfectly well without light and, while they can live as bottom feeders, they prefer not to scavenge, preferring larger sea creatures—sharks, whales, and sentient ocean dwellers—and they make no distinction between the living and the dead.
DC 20: An incutilis can drive its lesser tendrils into a creature and pump the victim full of poison and chemicals. The victim is killed instantly, and becomes a zombie-like creature under the incutilis's control.
DC 22: When an incutilus controls a zombie, it becomes very difficult to make physical attacks against the creature, but damage to the zombie does cause very small amounts of damage to the incutilus.
DC 25: Incutili possess a foul intelligence and can use a form of telepathy to converse in either the Aklo or Aquan languages.
DC 27: As horrible it is to encounter a solitary incultilus, entire colonies of these creatures have been observed, apparently living, and feeding, together.


Knowledge Arcana
DC 12: This is a fish.
DC 13: This is a magical fish.
DC 17: Echeneis feed off kinetic energy, typically in the form of the velocity of sea creatures or vessels.
DC 19: These creatures prefer warm waters and can be found singly or in small schools.
DC 22: Like a rhemora, echeneises attach themselves to their victims and feed off potential kinetic energy, drastically slowing their victim's speed and drastically increasing their own.
DC 24: Echeneis are hungry, not evil, and a strong show of force can cause them to flee.


Knowledge Planes
DC 14: An animated cluster of translucent crystals shaped disturbingly like a gemstone scorpion. These creatures are known to attack people without cause or provocation.
DC 17: It is thought these creatures are not native to Golarion, but are believed to originate on the inner Plane of Earth.
DC 18: A crysmal's mineral body composition and alien origins give them a wide range of defenses, making them very difficult to defeat in combat. Blades and spears are virtually ineffective against them and they are unaffected by extreme cold or heat. Electrical attacks have very little effect on a crysmal.
DC 20: Crysmals employ several offensive abilities including an array of magical abilities that stupify or cloud the mind, allowing a crysmal to either escape danger or to steal gems or crystals from their victims.
DC 22: While small in size, a crysmal's tail stinger can cause great pain and damage to its opponents.
DC 23: It can fire its tail when in danger, the resulting explosion and shrapnel dealing devastating damage to all within range.
DC 25: Crysmals converse in the Terran language.
DC 27: A crysmal's apparent aggression is often completely misunderstood by those who encounter them. Crysmals are driven only by the need to reproduce, which they do by gathering gems and crystals in their bodies, eventually giving birth to one or more crysmals by sacrificing a portion of their own life energies infused into the collection. Thus, crysmals regard crystals as infants and will protect them at all cost.
DC 30: These creatures have no understanding that others may use gems and crystals as a form of wealth or currency.
DC 35: Legends speak of crysmals inhabiting the gas giant Bretheda's moon of Dykon.

The Dark Mantle

Knowledge Arcana
DC 11: These magical creatures are often found clinging to the roofs of dark caverns or tunnels, waiting to drop upon their prey.
DC 12: They have multiple, hooked tentacles which they use to grab hold of, then strangle their meals.
DC 15: Darkmantles can flap their leathery bodies in such a way as to gain awkward flight.
DC 17: Darkmantles have excellent eyesight in all light levels, including complete darkness.
DC 18: These creatures can also project areas of magical darkness.
DC 20: Darkmantles have a sharp-fanged mouth at the epicenter of their tentacles which they use to swallow smaller prey whole or tear chunks from larger victims.
DC 25: A darkmantle's lifespan is short, growing to old age within 3 years. These creatures reproduce prodigiously and evolve in unique ecosystems at preternatural rates, often resulting in wildly adaptive breeds.
DC 27: Legends tell of deep caverns beneath Golarion which are home to gargantuan darkmantles capable of smothering and devouring several human-sized beings at once.

Assassin Vine

Knowledge Nature
DC 13: This large, carnivorous plant is immune to to all mind-affecting effects, paralysis, poison, polymorph, sleep effects, and stunning.
DC 15: If that weren't bad enough, electricity has no effect on it and heat and cold have very little impact on its ability to grab opponents and quickly squeeze the life out of them.
DC 16: Possessing no intelligence or agenda, they lash out at whatever living things pass nearby, regardless of the target's size, sentience, or potential deadliness.
DC 17: Assassin vines don't need light to find their meals and are also very good at camouflaging themselves in surrounding foliage, their victims usually never realizing the danger they are in until it is too late.
DC 19: These remarkable plants can sense minute movements in the earth and air and detect changes in light and heat through their broad leaves, giving them exceptional awareness of the area around them.
DC 20: Assassin vines appear to have some sort of control over the flora within their vicinity, causing surrounding plants to aid the monstrous vine in its grisly tasks.
DC 22: A mature plant consists of a main vine, about 20 feet long; smaller vines up to 5 feet long branch off from the main vine about every 6 inches. These small vines bear clusters of leaves, and in late summer they produce bunches of small fruits that resemble wild blackberries. The fruit is tough and has a hearty and typically bitter flavor, although some say the berries change in taste depending on what victims composted a given plant's roots. The most murderous assassin vines supposedly produce the sweetest berries.
DC 24: An assassin vine can move about, but usually stays put unless it needs to seek prey in a new vicinity.
DC 25: The plants use simple tactics, lying still until prey comes within reach and then attacking. Once an assassin vine is engaged, it pursues prey (albeit slowly) in order to catch and compost the creature.
DC 26: The plants prove tenacious, as long as their quarry remains within sight. Once a creature moves beyond the plant's ability to perceive it, the unthinking vine falls still and lies in wait for the next passerby.
DC 27: Assassin vines lurk within Golarion's dense forests and swamps, but some might encroach upon poorly tended fields and vineyards.
DC 28: The vine's seeds might be spread far by birds swift enough to pluck them and escape.
DC 29: Tales often tell of assassin vines appearing in flower beds or infiltrating greenhouses, tactics often employed by Isgerian human assassins - murderous surprises planted by rivals and enemies or arbitrary doom dropped by unsuspecting wing.
DC 30: Assassin vines are known to grow in Westcrown's Ramble Gardens, as are giant flytraps.


Knowledge Nature
DC10: Ham
DC12: Pulled pork
DC15: Bacon!
DC17: Sausage
DC20: Gammon
DC23: Chorizo
DC25: Fuet
DC 27: Salami
DC30: Lardon
DC33: Pancetta
DC35: Flitch
DC37: Collops
DC40: Spam

MariRainbowGirl wrote:

If you are still willing I would love if you could share the snippets you used for the weather and tide charts, one of my players expressed interest in all manner of cartography type information and wants to be the official cartographer for the Bountiful Venture Company. He even took the Employee campaign background trait.

Also, as a new GM I would love to see what you did with the tools and potentially use that too. Again, only if you don't mind sharing.

Ted wrote:


I am using FantasyGrounds software to run the game and because of this my players like to have the contents of any given room represented as objects, so I filled A3 Provisions Building and A4 Tool House with specific tools and provisional stores. I gave them a quartermaster's log, too, and the last entries matched exactly what was found in the Provisions building, but the Tool House ended up showing a fair number of tools checked out to various laborors, which the PC's found when investigating the unfinished homes in Main Street. Well, all of the tools were accounted for except for a single chisel, which I included in a stash of loot in Vegelror's lair (my PCs have yet to encounter Vegelror, so the missing chisel is still a mystery) - I think some of my players think its the key to the missing colonists. Ya gotta love a good red herring.

I can provide any of these


Certainly. Hope this is helpful or inspirational:

Talmandor's Bounty Quartermaster Log
Talmandor's Bounty Farmer's Almanac

PonyFlare wrote:

The Witch Hunt event has 15 participating colonists "of varying age and occupation", all commoner 1/warrior 1. This seems extremely odd given most other colonist encounters have them use farmer stats (commoner 1/expert 1)

I think it stands to reason there would be a good mix of the commoner 1/warrior 1 NPC class variant (see the Villagers section of the GMG) as there is a substantial number of commoners who have served as volunteers for the Andoran military after the People's Revolt and establishment of the Common Rule (see Andoran: Spirit of Liberty page 7).

In Witch Hunt, I guess, the distinction would only really matter if the PCs actions resulted in combat against the villagers - which should be unlikely, unless the PCs fubar the encounter. What might be more important is your other point about the likelihood that, in addition to Irvin, more of the 15 farmers are actually faceless stalkers. Good point, PonyFlare.

Here's a possible map for the skum soldiers (area m)

A strange map

If you are doing virtual tabletop gaming, you may need maps of the celedon buildings (Area N). These may help:

Ariel's temple
Urlana's temple

Had to make a map for the player's house in Talmandor. Again, not the greatest, but serviceable and if it saves someone some time, I'm happy to share. Players are currently adding an alchemist's lab and workstation for crafting using downtime rules from UC. A brewery is next up.

Ground Floor

Lintecarka wrote:
Thanks for the work with the knowledge checks. I strongly disagree with some DCs (mostly the arbitrarily high ones to know basic swarm traits), but the lore parts are incredibly useful.

Thanks, Lintecarka. I understand your point on the DCs. I've set the DCs differently for each group Ive played with and suggest doing the same for any GM using these. I agree, relatively speaking, that's way too high for knowing swarm traits. The group I used these knowledge rolls with last has been with me for two decades, now, and they have the 'mandatory' 1st level swarm encounter each time we start a new campaign - and each time they totally forget to take some form of AOE damage at 1st!! Some of them even act surprised when their weapons don't seem to do much...so, maybe I was planning to punish them by not giving them easy knowledge that they should already have known - i dunno *shrugs* ;P

Well, if you at least find the lore helpful, I'll post parts II and III (and random encounters) then.

2 people marked this as a favorite.

My campaigns often emphasize knowledge checks. Monster lore checks are something everyone gets into, not just the inquisitors. At the start of an encounter, players who show proper RP etiquette and ask something like, “What do I know about yonder beasty?” are awarded with a knowledge roll. Dim-witted players who ask if they can make a knowledge roll (or who commit the ultimate sin and simply roll a d20 and ask what they know about a creature) are rewarded with no information at all. Untrained knowledge skills only get DC 10 (or less) information. Taking 10 or 20 on these checks are never allowed and “try again’s” can only happen after a new rank has been added to the appropriate knowledge skill or whenever an Int base stat is increased. Players who make successful monster lore checks are sent (via text, whisper (virtual tabletop software), email or folded note) all of the info granted them by their roll. If the roll happens during combat, I allow the recipient of the monster lore 15 words or less as a free action on their turn to communicate with the rest of the party. If the roll happens outside of combat, players are free to pontificate and educate their fellow party members to their heart’s content (sometimes to the dismay, but often the amusement, of their fellow players).

Here’s the Monster Lore I cobbled together from various sources for Part I. I can add Part II and Part III (and the random encounters) if you all want, otherwise it just takes up forum space.

For the most part, this info is culled from the Paizo Beastiary entry for each beastie. Other times the info comes from other Paizo sourcebooks and I’ve tried to reference them whenever appropriate.

Part I. The Vanished



Knowledge Dungeoneering
DC 10: The top half of this creature appears to be a bluish colored goblin (or a shark in the right light), while the bottom appears to be an octopus.
DC 11: Some believe these beasts to be related to the vile race of goblins
DC 12: Grandma-mas all across Golarion tell bogeyman stories to small children about grindylows, saying they will grab them and drown them and eat them if they get too close to the water's edge.
DC 13: Beware their vicious spears made from coral, the wounds of which are hard to heal and will forever leave a scar.
DC 15: They often use their tentacles to trip up the unwary and drag them under the waves.
DC 17: grindylows are known to use octopi as pets, sometimes training the greater of these beasts to aid in their vicious attacks.
DC 20: While the predators of the deep, like sharks and orca, cause great fear to a grindylow, nothing terrifies them more than a squid, no matter what the size.

Profession Sailor
DC 12: Legends say great schools of these beasts have been known to attack schooners at sea, swarming the vessel and sending it, along with its crew to a watery grave.
DC 17: There is a story sailors tell of a village of merfolk outside Stormshoal, deep under the Eye of Abendego which was overrun by a rabid pack of grindylow. For years after, fisherfolk would find the gnawed remains of mermen and maids in their fishing nets.

* Excerpts taken from The Inner Sea World Guide


Knowledge Nature
DC10: This creature is a gremlin of some sort, one of the fey.
DC11: Gremlins are vicious pranksters who take great pleasure in destroying things. The more complex the thing, the more pleasure they take in its destruction.
DC12: Some communities plagued by gremlins have discovered the secret of using gremlin-bells. Hung over doorways or attached with delicate chain to valuable objects, the bells mysteriously deter gremlins.
DC13: Other communities use a more direct approach and train weasels to hunt and kill the creatures.
DC 15: This is an aquatic variant of gremlin known as a Fuath (FOO-ah). They are feared as the drowner of sailors and the sinker of ships. They sneak aboard vessels at night and do great damage, causing death and mayhem to all aboard.
DC15: Fuath use dirty fey tricks to attack humans. They especially like to attack when their prey is asleep.
DC16: A favorite trick of the fuath is to cover their victim's nose and mouth with a mask of magical water and cackle gleeful as they watch their victims drown.
DC19: As fey, they are fairly immune to non-magical weapons, but they fear cold-iron, as do all fey.
DC25: This little gremlin can be slain easily by fire and will quickly dry-up to a husk in the full light of the sun.
DC 27: This gremlin is not harmed by water or cold.

Profession (sailing)
DC 10: This is an aquatic variant of the Sidhe known as a Fuath (FOO-ah). They are also named drowner of sailors and sinker of ships. They sneak aboard at night and do great damage and cause death and mayhem.

Knowledge Planes
DC10: Fey, like these, tend to reside near or within soft-spots of reality, where the veil between this world and theirs is the thinnest.
DC15: Gremlins are strange in that the smaller they are in stature, the more nasty, dirty tricks they retain from their fey ancestry. Ofttimes larger ones pose a more physical danger, but lack strong fairy magic.

Cockroach Swarm


Knowledge Nature
DC 10: Cockroaches are nasty, filthy, hearty bugs.
DC 12: These insects love devouring piles of garbage and rotting vegetation and meat. When hungry, they may go after living prey.
DC 13: Cockroaches live under leaves and debris until food is near.
DC 15: Swarms of insects are known to attack living creatures with horrible efficiency, sometimes rendering a body to bones in a matter of minutes.
DC 15: Its best to run from a swarm of hungry insects.
DC 17: Weapons do no good against a swarm and most magic is ineffective.
DC 20: Swarms are handled by spreading damage across a wide area.
DC 23: Fire is ofttimes deadly to a swarm.
DC 25: Sages who study insect swarms sometimes wear specialized clothing to mitigate the bites and stings of the more ferocious specimens.

Monkey Goblin


Knowlege Nature
DC 10: This is a goblin, but a strange one, indeed!
DC 11: Goblins are considered nothing more than murderous pests by most civilized peoples across Golarion.
DC 13: Goblins dwell on the fringes of other societies, scavenging amongst their waste and building their tribes in squalor.
DC 15: Though weak on their own, goblins often gather in huge numbers to overwhelm their enemies.
DC 16: Fairly rare, the fierce monkey-goblin is known to live in the tropical forests of Mediogalti Island (pronounced med-ee-oh-GALL-tee) located off the western coast of Garund.
DC18: Monkey goblins pride themselves on their ferocity and never back down in a fight.
DC 19: Monkey goblins excel at climbing, poison use and net-combat, always striking from above.
DC 20: Monkey goblins are fast, but foolishly impulsive and disagreeable.
DC 22: Goblins are defined by their fears, but not all goblins fear the same thing. Discover their fear and you can permanently rid yourself of any goblin infestation.

Knowlege Geography
DC 15: The monkey goblins of Mediogalti Island (pronounced med-ee-oh-GALL-tee) live in an arboreal village known as Ganda-Uj.
DC 17: Ganda-Uj consists of precariously balanced bark huts, linked by swaying vines and bridges.
DC 20: Scholars believe that the current site of Ganda-Uj is the fifth lair to bear the name; the other four were accidentally burned down by the fire-loving goblins.

Knowlege History
DC 15: Though they usually remain beneath other races' notice, legions of goblins under the command of hobgoblin leaders wreaked havoc in Isger and neighboring realms in the Goblinblood Wars, a conflict that lasted four years starting in 4697 AR. Though the goblinoids were defeated, there were huge losses of life on both sides.
DC 20: According to the First Songs, the goblin creation myths, goblins were created from human blood spilled by the four Goblin Hero-Gods. From the most powerful barghest-god, Hadregash, goblins gained the gift of the tribe, giving them strength in numbers. From his mate Venkelvore, they gained the gift of raiding and learned to steal from other races. From Zarongel, they gained the gift of riding, learning to master wolves and other animals. Finally, from Zogmugot, they gained the gift of scavenging, harvesting the bounty of the sea's flotsam and jetsam. The goblins have since spread across the Inner Sea region, especially in Varisia, where they say Zogmugot first walked into the sea, and Isger, where they were taken by Venkelvore's wolves.

Knowledge Religion
DC12: Goblins conduct their worship in simple, bloody rituals filled with howls, animal sacrifice, and ecstatic dancing.
DC 15: They craft fetishes from the bones of their enemies, particularly dogs and humanoids.
DC 17: The four Goblin Hero-Gods (Hadregash, Venkelvore, Zarongel, and Zogmugot) are common objects of worship among goblins,
DC 20 … but they revere Lamashtu above all else, because she freed the hero-gods from Asmodeus.
DC 21 Goblin tribes that worship one hero-god to the exclusion of others are considered heretics.

* Excerpts taken from The Inner Sea World Guide and Goblins of Golarion



Knowledge Religion
DC 10: When a departed soul is not allowed rest due to some great injustice, either real or perceived, it sometimes comes back as a ghost.
DC 12: Such beings are in eternal anguish, lacking in substance and unable to set things right.
DC 15: Ghosts often cling to the living world out of a powerful sense of rage and hatred—even the ghost of a good creature can become hateful and cruel in its afterlife.
DC 17: This particular ghost seems to be a poltergeist. A poltergeist is an angry spirit that forms from the soul of a creature that, for whatever reason, becomes unable to leave the site of its death.
DC 17: A poltergeist is difficult to harm. Some magic seems to affect them.
DC 19: A poltergeist cannot rest as some unfinished task keeps him from the grave.
DC 20: Desecrating a grave site by building a structure over the body below is the most common method of accidentally creating a poltergeist.
DC 21: Holy water is effective against a poltergeist.
DC 22: The poltergeist experiences great trauma over its condition; this trauma twists its psyche to evil and fosters an overall hatred of the living expressed in outbursts of rage.
DC 25: A poltergeist is bound to a specific place, usually a building, room, or recognizable area (a section of a cemetery, a stretch of lonely road, and so on). This place typically corresponds to its place of death or the resting place of its mortal remains.
DC 27. Even disrupting a poltergeist is not enough to send its soul to restful slumber, only by resolving whatever unfinished business it had in life will allow its soul to pass beyond the veil.

Clockwork Spy


Knowledge Engineering

Hmmmm…can’t find my clockwork write-up. Will add later.



Knowlege Arcana:
DC10: Ankhegs are often mistaken for monstrous spiders, scorpions or earwigs. In fact, they are the product of an ancient magical experiment gone wrong.
DC12: Ankhegs love to burrow in the soft soil of farmland and, as an added bonus, they get to feed on livestock or the occasional farmer.
DC 14: Ankhegs often live in large groups and breed at a fast rate.
DC 15: Ankhegs can detect prey walking on the ground above their tunnels, like a spider detects victims in their web.
DC 16: Legends tell of enormous ankhegs living in the remote desert regions of Golarion, feeding on camels or even elephants.
DC 17: Ankhegs secrete two types of venom. This first is an acid used to slay their prey. The second is an adhesive used to shore up the walls of their tunnels.
DC 19: Ankhegs often grab badly wounded creatrues and haul them underground where they are immediately devoured in a grisly fashion.
DC 20: These creatures can spit a stream of deadly acid.
DC 23: Ankhegs can only spit their acid once every several hours.
DC 25: Ankhegs have no known weaknesses, except, perhaps, they have no intelligence to speak of.

Blood Maize


Knowledge Nature:
DC10: This is a plant.
DC12: There are many plants that are dangerous to consume, being poisonous in nature. Other plants release toxins or spores which can be deadly to breathe. Rarely, however, plants may be encountered that feed off the blood of living creatures.
DC 15: Plants are immune to: all mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, morale effects, patterns, and phantasms).
DC17: Plants are not affected by: paralysis, poison, polymorph, sleep effects, and stunning.
DC 20: It’s said that blood maize plants arose spontaneously in ancient times at the sites of great battles, where blood pooled like rainwater and the plains were covered in broken bodies.
DC 22: Legends say blood maizes were created long ago when crops left to wither and rot due to raging wars adapted to their harsh new environs via a mixture of natural hardiness and the latent energies of suffering that permeated the land. The results were the first blood maize.
DC 25: The blood maize is a patient and stealthy hunter. It has the ability to change how others perceive it, often mimicking the appearance of other nearby flora, blending in until an unwitting creature wanders near.
DC 27: A blood maize plant will sometimes produce a blinding cloud of pollen to obscure its hasty retreat from any danger.
DC 30: Blood maize plants secrete an effective anti-coagulant which promotes the constant flow of blood from wounds it creates in living creatures.
DC 33: A blood maize possesses a sturdy taproot which in can anchor deep underground in the blink of an eye, giving the plant extra stability when it takes down its prey.

* Sourced from Ruins of Azlant The Lost Colony



Knowledge Dungeoneering
DC 12: This small, aberrant creature is a hunched-over wretch with long, pliable arm-like tentacles capped with five wide, spiny claws.
DC 14: Underground predators that dwell on the outskirts of subterranean ruins, lurking in the darkness and lashing out with their long, rubbery arms to grasp prey as it passes by.
DC 15: Chokers have an unerring talent for seizing their victims by the neck.
DC 16: Those grappled by a choker cannot speak or cast spells with verbal components.
DC 17: They seldom attack multiple enemies at once, stalking their quarry until they can isolate a weaker victim from its pack.
DC 18: A choker is supernaturally quick.
DC 19: Chokers have no problem skittering across walls and ceilings, often lodging themselves into shadowy corners, tunnel intersections, walls, or staircases.
DC 21: Chokers appear to have little culture of their own, gathering only briefly to mate before their wanderlust and hunger spurs them again to a solitary existence.
DC 22: Their just-better-than-animalistic intelligence grants them a fascination with the trappings of society even if they do not truly understand it.
DC 23: Accordingly, the grubby lair of a choker (often situated in a difficult-to-reach nook or cranny) usually contains valuable objects such as rings, brooches, cloak clasps, and loose coins gathered from devoured victims.
DC 24: Chokers prefer to keep hidden during the light of day, emerging from their hidey-holes under cover of darkness to hunt for food and cruel pleasure.
DC 25: Favorite tactics include using their long arms to scoop prey off the street from the safety of a nearby rooftop, attacking sleeping families by squeezing through an open chimney, or tapping on a window to bring their curious food within grasping distance.
DC 27: Chokers speak Undercommon,

Knowledge Geography
DC 12: Chokers are found throughout the Inner Sea region, both in Avistan and Garund, and have also been reported in the far southern parts of Garund.
DC 15: They generally live underground, from the periphery of surface ruins to the secluded depths of Sekamina.
DC 17: From time to time, though, a choker will become curious about the world above, and make its way to the dark alleys and abandoned buildings of surface cities.
DC 20: Korvosa's Shingles areas are particularly notable for their high choker populations.

Knowledge Religion
DC 17: The foul patron of the choker is usually the demon lord Shivaska,
DC 20 Some chokers also worship the demon lord Shax.

* Excerpts from Inner Sea World Guide and the Guide to Korvosa

I've been meaning to post this for awhile and just now remembered to do so. You may find having three echeneises attached to the ship in The Peregrine's Plight a better idea than just two. From the Beastiary 5 entry: "A vehicle with an attached echeneis has its speed reduced by half until the end of the echeneis's next turn. A creature or vehicle slowed by a second echeneis is reduced to one-quarter speed. A creature or vehicle slowed by three or more echeneises is reduced to a speed of 0 feet."

Having the Peregrine unable to move solves a few issues. In "Land, Ho!" at the start of the adventure, Ramona asks the PCs to row out to the colony and check it out while she and Markosi take the Peregrine nine miles up the coast to the secondary landing spot. She instructs the PCs (which we see at the intro to Ch. 2) to head up the coast when they are done and meet them there. That just wasn't going to fly with my players as they would have wanted Ramona to send the Peregrine back for them once they scoped out the secondary site rather than risk their necks hiking through dangerous, unexplored areas to meet up with them. So, I had Ramona tell the PCs that regardless of what they found at the secondary site, they would sail back the following day to pick the PCs up.

Both of my groups took a very long time to explore Talmandor's Bounty - more like a week instead of a day or two. When the Peregrine did not return on the following day, the PCs got really worried and by the time they had finished exploring the colony, they thought it was a real possibility that something dreadful had happened to the Peregrine and that they were now on their own. Still, they needed to head up the coast to check out the secondary site, and when they got there they were relieved to see the Peregrine, but I had included an extra echeneis, so the ship was completely stopped - with only 2 fish attached, it would have limped back at quarter speed and returned to Talmandor's Bounty long before the week was up.

Also, the third fish made the battle more difficult. My players had not done a lot of underwater combat before, so this was truly (as the sidebar suggests) a great opportunity for them to get to know the rules. The third fish extended the battle and they had to defeat 2 of them before the third fled, joining a pair of grindylows and foreshadowing the upcoming battle in the Shellcracker Caves.

This series of encounters (including Shipboard Strain) has been a favorite of my players, so my advice for GMs is to really play this one up. Don't rush through it! Also, I opted to introduce Carver Hastings here as a farmer that was suddenly advising Ramona. They still do not know he is pathfinder society, and are very suspicious of him. The mistrust of Carer has made for some good gameplay, thus far.

Lallatwittle wrote:
Hi everyone,question. The info on roughing it states that the ship will return with supplies every 6 weeks but the initial arrival box text talks about it being a 6 week trip from almas to the island. Which is correct? Is it a 12 week turn around or a 6 week turn around (and I should adjust box text accordingly)? thanks!

It would be a 12-week voyage round-trip for a single vessel. Depending on where, exactly, the island of Ancorata is within the Azlant Isles, it seems to be between 3,000 and 4,000 miles from Almas. According to the overland travel rules, a galley under sail with oars can make 96 miles per day, which is about 6 weeks (one-way) under ideal conditions.

Its safe to assume the Bountiful Venture Co. is not using a single ship to make the supply runs. The ship bringing the first colonists was the Liberty's Herald and the second was the Peregrine. So, it could be that there are a number of ships in the supply rotation, leaving port every six weeks. I see what you have noticed under "Roughing It", it does says that the Peregrine and Captain Markosi returns in 6 weeks - this would not be possible. Even if the distance between ports was only 2,000 miles (half of what it appears) a ship needs time for repairs, crew furlough, etc., and could not/would not keep up such a grueling schedule. So, if you like the 6-week supply train, I would just make sure you have several different ships in the rotation.

I think this might have been a typo and should have been that the Peregrine returns in 6 months. Maybe Adam could weigh-in on it. In the background section we see that it is a 6 month period between Liberty's Herald dropping off alpha colony and when beta colony arrives on the Peregrine. Actual travel logs by medieval ocean explorers show far less progress than 96 miles per day and delays, bad weather, accidents, layovers, etc. all contribute to a much slower pace. Here's Cook's sea journals, if you are interested . . . https://www.gutenberg.org/files/8106/8106-h/8106-h.htm#ch1

Personally, I like the 6-month supply schedule. I think its more realistic - the infamous Jamestown Colony in America waited nearly 2 years for supplies (more here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jamestown,_Virginia) I've told my players it will be 6 months before the supply ship returns and they are resigned to the fact that they are truly cut-off from help - if the colony is going to succeed,they are going to have to truly apply heroics and cannot rely on outside help. They are currently exploring the island and are desperate to locate better natural resources to help the colony survive. But, that works for my group(s), yours may be different.

Let us know how it all works out! :)

Adam Smith wrote:
We did a pretty extensive playthrough of the series of encounters that Groves described if your party was duped by Eliza and Rayland. This photo album shows how it played out. Hope it helps a bit in your planning, and good luck killing your friends! :)

I've been impressed by OotAD before, but, truly, Adam, the Order has outdone themselves. Bravo! A truly impressive portrayal of Shattered Continent!

Captain collateral damage wrote:
So my party was deceived by Eliza and Rayland and I'm now plotting the ensuing betrayal and skum attack. Anyone have any suggestions for how to run it and/or how many skum would be able to muster?

And, Captain, while I typically shy away from such sadistic gameplay as you propose with your cause/effect scenario, I've got to find out how it went...so, how'd that all work out??? If you haven't run Eliza&Rayland Part II, yet, I think the scenario that played out with the Amber Die looks great! An early morning, coordinated ambush/assassination attempt by Eliza and/or Rayland, timed with about a dozen skum. Personally, I'd work hard as the GM to see that Eliza escapes into the jungle - there's so much you can do with that (plus, the recurring villain in the jungle thing is perfectly reminiscent of "Lost")

JadziaKD wrote:
This is my first as a GM and I am enjoying the challenge.

Well, congrats to you, JadziaKD for GMing your first game. It sounds like you are off to a great start!

JadziaKD wrote:
2) They've also had troubles with Silas. His first appearance was on my first night and it was quite rocky. I've got some ideas for round 2, but would love to hear how people created puzzles to help the PCs figure out what he wants.

I've had two separate groups take on Silas. One group spent several hours at it and spanned two game sessions. It's not an easy encounter - incorporeal, invisible, immune to physical attacks and 50% effectiveness on magical damage (sans force effects). Similar to Hedwick's, both of my groups thought that dealing with the body of Silas would solve the poltergeist problem, so there was a lot of running around with a badly decomposed corpse (picking up dropped pieces, and such) as they wrestled with what a proper Andoran-Erastil burial ritual would entail, followed by disappointment when the rain of telekinetically launched objects did not cease. Both groups hit upon the idea of luring the thing away from a ready supply of heavier objects and/or securing the more dangerous objects so that at the end Silas could only had small stones available for ammo.

Each group eventually defeated the poltergeist, but they were a sorry bunch at the end of the encounter - wiped out of resources and just a few hp among them. They were pretty sure once the poltergeist was defeated that it was the end of it, but at midnight that night, the knocking in the chapel started up. I'd say both groups were more curious than freaked out at that point and they roused their groups to investigate. After awhile they realized the knocking was not coming from a physical source and there was a pattern to it. A PC in one group had comprehend languages available and a PC in the other group had a rank in linguistics (gave him a DC15 shot at realizing the pattern was an old Andoran shepherds code for communicating at night over long distances (like Morse code)). They deciphered the knocking as a single word repeated over and over ..."Why?" Now the players were more freaked out than curious.

I didn't give them any more hints than this I had it so that two-way communication (returning the knocks) was minimally effective. They used the clues they found around Talmandor's Bounty to piece together an idea of what may have happened, but neither group is completely sure. They guessed Silas was a farmer from his clothes and they were able to tell he died a slow and painful death from a blade wound to the gut. One group is sure Silas drug himself into the altar and bled to death there while the other group thinks his killer stuffed him into the altar. From the note under the plum tree, they both suspect Rayland had something to do with it, and they suspect the body might be one of the names listed on the note - like Dulin or Barnabus.

They are going to wrestle with this mystery at least until they encounter Rayland at the end. Until then, Eamon Caranth either is or will be staying in the chapel and trying his best to sooth the rapping spirit, like someone tending a rabid dog. At any rate, this is a great encounter and an excellent mystery. My players are all really into it.

Adam Smith wrote:
Adam Smith wrote:
Ted wrote:

BTW, with nine players total, I am surprised not one of them has made a Lost reference.

Smoke sentinel, that was the name: p. 88 of Into the Shattered Continent.

Adam (and Adam), I'm thinking of adding a polar bear pelt to a future loot stash if I don't get a Lost callout soon. A while back, one of my groups interrogated one of the chokers, asking what dangers were on the island. The frightened choker responded in broken undercommon, "Beware the black smoke..." and....still no reaction from the players.....sigh.

Adam Daigle wrote:
That was the motivation I was actually expecting. I saw the first two adventures as more or less running into each other, acting as the first third of this Adventure Path. This is where exploration of the island is first and foremost, and since the island isn't that big, I was expecting that the PCs would want to survey the entire place before they were certain that the colony was safe.

Yes, and that seems to be working well as motivation for my group. I'm not sure if this reinforced the idea, but I added 1-mile hexes to the Ancorata map, added a fog-of-war layer so that only what they have explored is revealed and then used the UC exploration rules to give exp and other rewards for exploration - scaling everything down to 1/12, of course.

There is a great sense of mystery among the players as to how big the island is and what they will find around each corner - they are also very afraid of going too far or too quickly. Mixing this in with the UC downtime rules and the written events/encounters are providing an awesome playing experience.

So, building on the mystery, handing out the appropriate rewards and imposing a sense of extreme danger all seems to be producing what was intended. If you ever do an online supplement, Adam, the scaled down hex map and mention of scaled Ultimate Campaign exploration rules might help here. And - thanks for a great adventure and unique story. BTW, with nine players total, I am surprised not one of them has made a Lost reference.

HedwickTheWorldly wrote:
I'm bumping this only because my party is about to hit Sheskadrann next week, and will likely be heading toward part 2 the same night. They've already handled Joskadalr, the sunken lab, and the Chuuls at the waterfall cave, so they're closing in on the Ancient Observatory.

yep. It looks to me as if the Ancient Observatory Carver talks about on page 7 should be Area L. Nal-Shakar, not Area K. Is that was you concluded, Hedwick? How'd the game session go after the players visited Sheshkadrann? What other areas did they explore?

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Here's a DungeonPainter battle map for the Talmandor's Bounty barracks (A11) for the itty-bug fight in case anyone needs one. A11. Barracks (I forgot to include this in my previous post).

Also, I provided some text for some of the log books in the Government Building for my player's to pore over. They got a kick out Governor Arkley's Sea Journal, so I'll pass it along to the community. This is actually Captain James Cook's journal from 1768 (England to Rio) during his first world circumnavigation with names and dates changed (and a few odd events thrown in) Oddly enough, Cook makes a point of writing about how he saves two kegs of beer - which ended up making a nice (coincidental) detail.

Arkley's Sea Journal

I gave them some snippets of Ben Franklin's Poor Richard's Almanac for a taste of what the daily weather and tide charts looked like. I also gave them a few entries that I just made up for Arkley's diary once the Liberty's Herald colonist made land.

I am using FantasyGrounds software to run the game and because of this my players like to have the contents of any given room represented as objects, so I filled A3 Provisions Building and A4 Tool House with specific tools and provisional stores. I gave them a quartermaster's log, too, and the last entries matched exactly what was found in the Provisions building, but the Tool House ended up showing a fair number of tools checked out to various laborors, which the PC's found when investigating the unfinished homes in Main Street. Well, all of the tools were accounted for except for a single chisel, which I included in a stash of loot in Vegelror's lair (my PCs have yet to encounter Vegelror, so the missing chisel is still a mystery) - I think some of my players think its the key to the missing colonists. Ya gotta love a good red herring.

I can provide any of these things too, if anyone wants them.

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Adam Smith wrote:


I'm coming off of GMing 51 session hours of this adventure in 4 days, so I'll do my best to keep things organized, but bear with me:

Wow! Terrific recap of that epic book 1 final encounter. And...51 hours in 4 days? Egads, I need a nap just thinking about it.

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Kate Baker wrote:

Welp, now it has a name. Karl the ankheg.

I have the best players.

Dang. I thought about Kate's players while running two separate groups through the ankheg encounters this weekend, and....no such luck. None of my players are bug-friendly and slaughtered nymphs and mama on sight. One group did take a monkey-goblin as prisoner (both groups have taken to calling them 'gunkies'). The 'pet' gunky is tied up and lashed to the saddle of their riding dog. None of them speak goblin, but since they left him un-gagged the thing shouts unintelligible insults at any opportunity and makes a general ruckus whenever they want to be stealthy.

I may not have the best players, but I find them entertaining, at least.

HedwickTheWorldly wrote:
<snip> Does she know Ochymua's name? Does she know what he is? I'm reluctant to spill too much, because I don't want to mess with the 2nd book and all of the secret stuff happening, but I also want to reward them somehow for their line of questioning. Thoughts?

Yeah. Great situation to be in because (as DM) you can really build up the sinister and mysterious nature of Ochymua through the questioning of Eliza.

First, i guess just keep in mind Zone of Truth doesn't compel the target to speak, it just prevents intentional lies. So, Eliza can refuse to speak, or she can be evasive in her responses, if you want to run it that way. Also, if she does speak, she would only tell the truth as she knows it, which doesn't have to match up with reality. As an option, you could chose to portray her fanatical devotion to Ochymua where she responds to the PCs questioning in grand praise for her malevolent master.

Next, Ochymua's domination doesn't give Eliza any insights into Ochymua's thoughts (and vice versa), so Eliza would only know what Ochymua chose to tell her (or show her) whenever it initially dominated her (and during its refresh sessions). It probably wouldn't have given her its name, and it certainly wouldn't have revealed what it is or any of its plans to her (or Arkley). But, clearly, it gave her some kind of information because she saw something (power, charismatic attraction, etc.) in Ochymua which caused her to give herself willingly to it. Perhaps it presented itself to her as the object of her deepest desires, perhaps it simply posed as "the island" (see Jacob/Smoke Monster from Lost or The Island from the Dresden series), or maybe it falsely promised her fantastic rewards in return for her service.

Lastly, don't forget that according to her motivations and the alt ending on page 54 that whether under domination or not, Eliza will try to identify the most powerful colonists and get that information to the skum raiders at the first opportunity. So, if the PCs were to somehow compel her to talk about her plans, this might be revealed under the ZoT spell.

Very interesting possibilities!

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I'm using FantasyGrounds to run this AP, so we needed a few extra battle maps. I drew these up in DungeonPainter; not the prettiest maps in the world but are serviceable in a pinch:

Hopefully I made those links public. Let me know if you can't access.

Uqbarian wrote:
Just checking whether I've misunderstood something: the scenario mentions the possibility of Rayland throwing off the domination effect. But he can only do this if he rolls a 20, right? (Because a natural 20 is still a success, I believe? His Will save is +3, so even with an additional +2 on his save, he can't beat a DC of 26.)

If Rayland is making the attempt without assistant, that seems to be correct, which does makes sense as he hasn't managed to save against Ochymua, yet on his own. But, if someone successfully drops Protection from Evil, especially in combination with the above noted +2 circumstance bonus and, say, Owl's Wisdom, it could really give the guy a fighting chance. Of course, taking him prisoner and holding him for 11 days away from Ochymua could also work.

Neither of my groups have reached this encounter, yet. I predict at least one group will sniff out the Dominate effect and make the Sense Motive check, but I'd bet money Rayland will meet an unfortunate and grisly end. I may not be giving my players enough credit here, but I suspect neither group will try too hard to save him, which will be unfortunate, IMHO.

Let us know how it all works out, Uqbarian. What about the rest of the folks in this thread? I see a lot of speculation, but how many Rayland's actually survived? :) What about Eliza? Did she escape? Has any group tried to save her soul? If so, how'd that work out?

Also, if anyone is interested in providing the text for the colony's charter, I have one available here.

This is (for the most part) the actual charter granted to Sir Walter Raleigh for the original lost colony of Roanoke in America (1585). I've replaced bits and pieces here and there to reflect the Bountiful Venture Company.

I told one of my groups that it is written in Old Taldane, the preferred legalese vernacular of the elite in Almas. The list of 100 colonists include any names of the original 100 I have found in the AP books so far and the rest are random names. I'll replace the random names with actual names from the official material as they surface.


HedwickTheWorldly wrote:

...I think the NPCs are the highlight of this book. I've had a ton of fun making all of the characters interesting, and finding ways to make the PCs care about them.


Agreed! (And, thanks for the enjoyable recap, Hedwick!)

And, in reply to CorvusMask's post in the Shattered Continent thread I think we should start our own "The 100 Project", listing out the names and references of any of the original colonists as they appear in the AP books.

So far I have:

Rayland Arkley (A9) also probably owner of flask at (G4), (P12)
Father Adran Felton (A7 and A6)
Livvy Felton (A7)
Silas Weatherbee (A6)
Una Hendrake - clue from spellbook in Arkley’s house (A9), and U.H. on wand in barracks (A11) and the note (A17)
Dulin (from the note - A17)
Barnabas (from the note - A17)
Eliza Haniver - (Area N, P12)
Edwin Fox - ankheg’s dinner and former owner of the ring of protection (A13)
Farmer Levin (A18) - I think we might assume Levin had a spouse and at least one (maybe 2?) children.
Raila Lyonhart (Area C)

That's 11 (or 14) accounted for.

John Lynch 106 wrote:

I'm bothered by Silas for the same reason I don't like haunts. The "put to rest" condition seems unnecessarily complex. There is a poltergeist in this colony's church and they're meant to just continue on with business as usual? I get that it's intended to provide a stick to get the PCs investigating the circumstances of the priest's death, but does it even get resolved in book 1? Or is this a book 2 resolution?


What do people think? Am I way off base?

Interesting angle to take, John. Did you go with the cursed gift from Silas, or something else?

Only one of my groups has tussled with Silas, so far. The PCs fought their little hearts out, but in the end they fled the encounter and now keep their distance from the church. From the PCs perspective, they are trying to figure out what happened to the first wave of colonists. At first they thought maybe the grindylows carried them off, but now they are focused on Silas. The party seems to think the first-wave colonists most likely fled from him and are at the second landing site. So, as far as advancing the storyline, I like running the Silas encounter as written. Silas is the second of what will be a long line of theories regarding the fate of alpha-colony.

Most likely, these PCs will make one more attempt at dealing with Silas after they have investigated the rest of Talmandor's Bounty. As you have already noted, if they defeat him or not they will still have to deal with putting him to rest before the colony can re-establish itself by confronting him with the truth behind Arkley - which (as you noted) is going to be a Book 2 event.

If they defeat polter-Silas, I think I will take the Rapping-Spirit-Silas option because I think it will be a more sinister element in the story (a malevolent, yet harmless, force which cannot communicate with them in a traditional sense being much more sinister than, say, Casper the Friendly Ghost who just tells the PCs what's bugging him). Depending on how the party interacts with Eamon and Kurvis (the two beta-colony priests and the people best equipped to deal with Silas) will dictate how beta-colony settles in at Talmandor's. The colonists may have to abandon the palisade compound and stick to the farmhouses until Silas can be adequately dealt with. I think that will actually be a lot of fun and will give the players a real sense of accomplishment if they can resolve this issue.

Senko wrote:

1) Involving the PC's. Unless they're hovering over the captain/crew when the ship docks you need a reason to involve them. The party may or may not know each other well (ingame) and are a bunch of 1st level characters. Yet the colony leader apparently drags them away from the other colonists and sends them to explore the colony rather than the higher level expedition members of the actual soldiers to avoid "unrest" amongst the colonists. I know if it were me I'd be saying wanting to know why I out of all the colonists am being sent off as a sacrificial canary.

I'm running two separate groups through this AP and handled the intro differently for each group. With the first group, Ramona addressed just one of the characters (Investigator) and told him to gather three others that he could trust. The 'sacrificial canary' question did come up, Senko (good call!), and I just had Ramona pause, take stock of the colonists and then turn back to the PC saying that she thinks he's the best qualified to figure out what's really going on. I suppose, because of his class, this worked. Of course, we also ran the risk of him picking characters other than the remaining PCs to go along with him, but, luckily, the player was a good sport and picked the PCs.

I ran the second group through this just last night and changed things up a bit. I started with everyone, in medias res, already in the rowboat headed to shore. I didn't give this group access to the RoA Player's Guide, so they were all totally confused as to where they were and what they were doing in a boat. I told them they could ask me any question they wanted and they could each earn one Hero Point if, within the hour, they could devise a credible and interesting background story for their party to explain just why they were in this situation. It was actually a lot of fun and they came up with a great backstory. The dialogue with Ramona was then filled in retrospectively to match their story. Incidentally, they did not question why they were selected because they ended up providing the rationale in their own story and all of them received a hero point. This group did, however, have unbelievable difficulty with the grindylows just moments later. They were nearly wiped out and a couple of them ended up using their freshly minted hero point.

Is RPGenius still up and running? I just tried to access it and came up with a WorldPress page instead.

The best moment so far was with the first group I ran through this AP. During Life's Bazaar, the party had just pulled off a disastrous diplomacy-turned-intimidate encounter with Ghelve (who ended up fleeing his own shop in a panic), but they decided to investigate beyond the curtain anyway.
The rogue said she would go first and scope the place out, leaving the rest of the party in the storefront. She rolled high-teens on both her MS and Hide checks as she entered the darkened lock display and storage room, but she made average to low rolls on any Spot and Listen checks in order to detect the skulk lying in wait on the balcony above her. At the same time, the skulk made good rolls on its initial MS and Hide checks and rolled abysmally low on its Spot and Listen checks to detect our fearless rogue. We continued this amazing trend of high MS and hide checks and low Spot and Listen checks as she made her way up the stairs. So, she had no idea the skulk was lurking on the banister and the skulk was similarly unaware as the two got closer and closer to each other. Of course, as the DM I was the only one aware of the sneak-off that was taking place and it was all I could do just to keep a poker-face going.
When she reached Ghelve's bedroom at the top of the stairs and began to inspect the door our priest down below in the store front began to get a bit antsy. Going against the plan, he decided to take a peek into the back room to see what was taking the rogue so long. He actually tried to move silently (with no ranks in MS, or course) and he and his obnoxious scale mail clanked into the store room - immediately drawing the attention of the skulk above him. The situation brought to mind scenes from The Predator as the cloaked alien was stalking Arnold through the jungle! As the skulk moved into position in order to leap down upon the unsuspecting priest (and rolling a pitiful 2 on his MS check and a 3 on his Hide check) our rogue chose that moment to pull-off an excellent set of Listen and Spot checks. So, when she turns around to look, I decide to borrow a bit from that movie and I describe to her a vaguely humanoid shape that she can nearly see through which is bending the gloomy light around it creating a marvelous camouflage effect. The nearly invisible creature was crawling head-first over the banister using its hands and feet to grip the rails. An odd and barely perceptible clicking noise was issuing from its throat as it slowly lowered itself to a position directly above the priest. At this point, the look on the player’s face that was playing the priest was absolutely priceless. What was so cool, however, was that suddenly the tables were turned and the hunter became the hunted. We roll initiative, the rogue goes first and skewers the poor skulk for max sneak-attack-induced damage and the dead skulk drops upon the head of our unsuspecting priest.
That was a year ago and the players still talk about that scene today. =)

Here's an idea:

We started our AoW campaign off by first running The Final Resting Place (in the Dungeon issue just before Whispering Cairn) and my group really loved it. In fact, its been about two years since we ran that and I heard them reliving it just last weekend.

You could have your group's new 1st level dudes starting in Diamond Lake and either have Hrodel (the adventure's hook setter) also be from Diamond Lake or substitute her for some other NPC that the TPK characters might have known.

Then, as the new group is headed out to start their adventure, you could have them see their old characters entering the Dourstone Mine on the same day as their fateful encounter with the grimloks. It'll be sad, funny and quirky all rolled into one. And because the old characters never had an encounter in the past with the new characters, just make sure they see the old party just before they enter the mine and from a distance or else one of your players may try to have their new characters interact with their old ones and cause a cataclysmic mess-up with the space-time continuum which will make the return of Kyuss look like a cake-walk.

At the end of The Final Resting Place you end up returning the body of a well-known adventurer to his family - along with all of the gear he had on him. As part of his gear you could have a preserved green worm in a box and some notes he may have collected describing possible evil cult activity in the Dourstone Mine. Whatever you would need to hook the players into taking their new characters where the old ones failed.

And then dig out that old DM screen of yours and start using it again so you can stave of that lucky Vegas streak next time it hits.

Excellent ideas in this thread!

I would have really liked to have used the idea of having Tolliver be the link to Marzena instead of Allustan, unfortunately we're past that point.

The trouble I have with the Allustan link is that the hook of needing to visit one of Allustan's friends is used at least three times in the AP(Marzena, Eligos and Manzorian) and my players will start to raise some eyebrows - mumbling something about "going to visit another one of Allustan's friends, again."

Instead, I'll probably switch it up and have Marzena ask the players to visit Eligos in the Free City to get more info on the worms and undead. The players already have a great bond with Allustan and trust him implicitly now (they sure didn't when they first met him.)

Also, I really like the idea of having Hishka meet the PCs outside the lair in order to make a bid to save the tribe (otherwise, as pointed out, the Twisted Branch will probably end up just being a tribe of one.) For those who have not read the corresponding Dragon issue with the AoW article on the ecology of lizardfolk, its a good place to get info on Semuanya at what would motivate Hishka to seek peace among the many tribes in the swamp and with the softskins in the Free City.

If this works, I'll end up doubling the harpies, assassin vines(s), kobolds and maybe even put in another pet otyugh in one of the area 6 lizard rooms to help balance xp., as presumably, the party will be battling 21 less lizardfolk. I might try to work it out so that the infected lizardfolk in 6c succumbs to the slow worm and dies while negotiations are underway between the PCs and Hishka. That way they will have another encounter with the spawn of kyuss. If done right, the surviving lizardfolk should link the emergent spawn with the past egg infestation and their suspicion should fall more on Shukak and Illthane rather than the party (the infected lizardfolk was quite sick long before the PCs arrived, afterall.) This should help Hishka to convince his tribe that the PCs are friends and not dinner.

I think I'll leave the Illthane broodlings out though. It's a good idea , but I think I can create more suspense with just the egg and an unseen threat of a dragon out there.

Doh! I misread the Track feat - they can use simple Survival checks if the DC is under 10. Thanks all.

You're right, Peruhain. I'll make it two days regardless of what they come up with. But, I'll make them sweat enough to at least reconsider dumping gear in order to travel light. And maybe I'll just make one or more of the surviving soldiers have Track. Hmmm....this group should probably not just dump their excess gear but SELL it and then buy some durn horses..err..ponies or warpoodles or something like that. Thanks for keepin' me on track. =)

We're in the middle of EaBK and my group is about to head into the Mistmarsh in search of Marzena - but they don't have a tracker. Since the terrain is shallow bog with a track DC of 5 modified further to a DC 2 for, what appears to be, 10 individuals being tracked (4 prisoners and a team of 6 lizardfolk)I was just going to wing it and let them make Survival checks to follow the obvious trail without much difficulty.

But then I noticed in the adventure it reads, "..and the PCs are trailing a group of lizardfolk with prisoners, so even a party without a tracker can find it under these circumstances, though it takes longer." This sounds like there are rules for tracking without someone having the Track feat. Can someone direct me to these rules - if there are any? I have a couple of rules-lawyers in my group and I want to make sure I've done my homework before getting into an argument.

Also....geesh, my guys are gonna get hosed on this trek to the lair. They are all a bunch of shorties and half of them are at medium encumbrance so they're moving at 15 and only traveling through the swamp at 6 miles per day (not counting any successful Survival rolls). If they had a tracker, they'd be at half speed, dropping them down to 3 miles per day and then the adventure says following the trail without a tracker will take even longer! It'll take them over a week to cover the 23 miles to get to the lair at that rate!

Sean Mahoney wrote:

I think the key to winging it in this (or really any) campaign is having some idea where things are headed. The intro chapters to this campaign are really what give that to you. You also want to have read ahead of time the adventure you are running through (<snip>

Right on , Sean!

Ank, if you are 11 fun-filled hours into your first major campaign then you don't need to call yerself a 'noob DM' anymore. =)

I had to think about this for a sec, I've been DMing for 27 years now (geesh) and I remember struggling with the same things, Ank, like wanting to be perfectly prepared for every eventuality and keeping the players on track all of the time.

But, here's my advice (and I kinda said it in my previous post so pardon if I sound like I'm reapeatin' myself). First thing, as Sean also says above, don't get into that railroading mentality where you are over handedly manipulating where your players go. It really helped me when I finally got the players to quit calling it "my game" whenever we played. You know, when the players say, "Hey, let's all meet on Saturday and play Ted's campaign." Rather, I got them to say lets play "our campaign" or just call it by its name, like the SCAP or AoW, etc. Because the reality is that its their game just as much as it is yours. Keeping this in mind helped take the pressure off me.

Then, when you're in the game, think of yourself more as a referee than the omnipotent Dungeon Master. Don't think of yourself as the one thats controlling the strings, but more as the person who is interpreting the world for your players. If I get flustered, sometimes I just remember that all I really need to do is paint the scene for them and then sit back and let them decide what to do. If the game turns out to be a bust - the players are equally accountable for its failure - its not on your shoulders anymore than on theirs!

If the players go off course, most of the time its ok. When my players get together to talk about their most memorable adventures, generally its the ones where they departed from the written script most severely. I had one player buy the adventure "Merchant House of Am'Ketch" after we finished it because it was the most incredible D&D game he had ever played (in his mind) and he wanted to run it with some other folks. He called me up after he read it and said, "What!!?? This isn't the same adventure we ran! Where did you get all the material you ran us through?" I had to smile and tell him that he and the other players had provided all of that great content by not sticking to the script!

The second bit of advice I have is when the players DO go so badly off-track (like storming off into the Underdark) that the campaign will basically fizzle if you don't do something to save it. At that point you need to make the decision: 1) let 'em go and suffer the consequences (i.e. captured/killed by the first drow patrol they run across) or 2) give them something to change their mind. I would just let them travel a ways down the tunnel (you could let them travel for days or weeks without a single roll - boredom, starvation and thirst are all great motivators to change course.) Or, you could describe an impassible obstacle (Sean's cave in by the Stormbringers or a natural one) or a 200 foot dropoff that they can TRY to get past if they want to risk the fatal consequences. But, one of the best deterrents I've ever used when the players are actually moving in the wrong direction is to simply make up an horrific encounter that scares them good!

In your case it could be something like: "Ok, you've been walking down this mysterious subterranean passage for hours now. The tunnel had narrowed for awhile, but for the past few minutes it has been widening and the ceiling stretching further and further above your head. Up ahead, at the edge of your torchlight, you see another even larger tunnel intersecting the one you are hiking on." Have the players make spot checks - it doesn't matter what they roll because the checks are going to succeed, regardless. "You see something dark and low to the ground moving in the middle of the intersection before you." After they take a closer look you tell them, "It looks to be a person in dark clothes and its bent close to the ground craddling another person in its arms. Just then it jerks its head up to look at you and its snarling. From the dark skin and elven features it appears to be a drow! Only its eyes glow a deep red in the faint torchlight and you can clearly see long gleaming white fangs protruding from its mouth. Blood drips down its chin. In its arms you see it hold another dark elf! This one appears to have been a warrior of some type judging by its armor - but that was when it was alive - it now appears to be partially devoured!" Hopefully at this point your first level players will gulp and say something like, "Crap. We're dead." But, if they are as hack-n-slash oriented as you say they are they may draw weapons and charge (if this happens I'd consider playing out the encounter with the vampire-drow that you just made up - it doesn't matter if you don't have any stats prepared for this monstrosity, the party will be toast in as many rounds as you have players anyway.) However, if you're like me, you'll give them one more "out" and describe the scene something like this: "The fiendish, undead drow elf can't believe its good fortune for it will be feasting well today! It leaps up with its long, sharpened, black fingernails extended toward you and begins to slowly walk your direction. As you look upon this creature of never-life, you feel nearly paralyzed with fear." Make them roll Will save - again it doesnt matter what they roll because they all will fail miserably, then proceed, "You discover you cannot move! You trapped within the dreadfull gaze as Death itself approaches. YOu wonder how long it will take to die once those fangs rip into your throat. The vampire takes one more step in your direction and suddenly there is a blinding-fast movement from the intersecting tunnel to your left! Something huge, dark and scaly lets out a deafening roar. You can't tell what it is because its moving so fast and its scales are as black as night but it nearly fills the entire tunnel with its bulk! There is a flash of white as teeth nearly as long as you are tall seem to emerge out of the beast and it bites down hard on the vampire-drow that was approaching you. Even from 20 feet away you feel the wind across your face as the force of its jaws clamp shut on its prey. The life of any mortal would have instantly winked out in the moment those jaws clamped down around it, but not the drow. You can hear its gurgling screams as the huge beast devours its prey. What do you do?"

If your party doesn't turn around and run as fast as they can back to the surface at this point, then you know your players are completely hopeless. This is a good way to deal with re-routing your party because in all the excitement of nearly getting eaten, most or all of them won't realize you were just helping to steer them in the right direction. You have, afterall, given them the choice of what to do.

Good luck!

Wow, Ank - that's quite the story! Gratz on surviving your first session.

Only half of my Age of Worms group could meet this weekend so the four of us decided to start SCAP. The problem was that none of us owned the hardback or any of the mags. I ran down to the local hobby store and bought it. I spent about four hours reading the introduction just before the players arrived with brand new characters in hand.

We spent four hours in Life's Bazaar and had a blast.

Sometimes its nice to have a ton of extra material at hand before you start running an adventure, but things often work just fine without it - and it sounds like your group had a great time even though you felt unprepared for every possibility. Besides, doesn't it suck when you do all that prep time and then your players head left instead of right and miss it all?

To make up for a lack of prepared extra material (and the great advice you can always count on from these boards!) I just kept a notebook behind my screens and took note of what the players did - I let them paint the world and didn't worry if they went off-track.

If one of your players wanted to crash at St. Cuthbert's, why not let him? Have one of the acolyte's wrap him up in warm blankets and put him up for the night on one of the pews - bring him hot tea and biscuits, but let him know he'll have to wash dishes all morning in the cathedral kitchens!

One of my 3 players was playing a priest of Moradin and he wanted to try to convert the young Cuthbertian acolytes. I let him proselytize to his little dwarven heart's content. I even asked him to make some Diplomacy rolls. The priests patted him on his head and told him they enjoyed his very nice stories - but as DM the last thing I wanted to do was to try to dissuade him from his course of actions because it wasn't covered in the storyline. Just for the record, he eventually gave up on them and the party got back on track following up the divination concerning the lost orphans.

If they want to join the Last Laugh, why not let them try (not that they would succeed)? Instead of pulling those crits, let the dice fall, man! =) Have the slavers nab them and put 'em up for sale! Have them try to escape or roll of new characters to go back in and rescue them. Don't get straight-jacketed by the story.

As for Jzadarine, that's a great dungeon - its not boring! Without a rogue it should become incredibly dangerous but not impossible. They only need find the mimic guarding Ghelve's familiar and the elevator shaft down to proceed with the adventure. They don't need to explore every room and should be able to use the automaton tunnels to reach those goals.

If things get boring like that in the future, try concentrating on the sounds and the smells of the dungeon, bring it and its many dangers to life. As a DM you can do a lot of things to make a bare and empty room really really really creepy! When you give the description of the room, lower your voice or even whisper it. Add to the given text and describe a foul odor in the air or a low moaning coming from...somewhere. Add some cobwebs - that always gets players tense, especially if you tell them the cobwebs look especially thick-stranded or especially fresh. Pause a lot and then describe that odd pile of .....something...in the corner (even though its not listed in the room description - wince when the first player says they will enter the room - make a fake roll and then make her roll a spot check and then wince again after she tells you the result. It may be an empty room but you just made it one hell of a scary empty room.

Good luck with the rest. I'll be curious to see how your crew progresses! =)

I would include some kind of crude alarm system inside the front door of your shack - a stack of empty bottles, hanging bones or chimes, etc. to alert the sleeping gang of intruders. Some kind of simple (DC 15) disable device type obstacle. Kullen's gang are cocky and overconfident as the ruling 'toughs' in town and, as such, they probably wouldn't even think to set up watches while they sleep, but its still a really rough place and they wouldn't just crash without some minor form of protection - no matter how sloshed they are.

My party approached them in the Feral Dog. The priest attempted a straightforward reasoning with them (failed), next the rogue attempted a very creative bluff (failed), our female warrior attempted seduction (failed), and then our little gnome illusionist just got impatient and started one heck of a bar brawl. The party pummeled them soundly. Later, Kullen decided the party's 'gang' was tougher than his, and, being fed up with his last assignments from Schmenk, he asked to join up. This led to some excellent showdown's between Schmenk and the party over the next few game sessions. Kullen is 6th level now and enjoys his new employment tremendously.

We finished the grimlock caves a few weeks ago, and I would have to agree with one of the previous posts in that just having the grimlocks make the attempt at attacking the light sources had the desirable effect of putting fear into the party. I had the first set of grimlocks and the kennel master just before the horseshoe cavern make the attempt on the first couple of attacks and then they gave up and went for the party itself. After that, the party realized what the grims were doing and they also realized how hosed they would be if the grims had succeeded and they would have to fight in the dark. Only one char had darkvision and no one had blind fighting. Needless to say, they devised ways to protect their light sources

As a DM you can really play this up and make the experience a bit more creepy to the players.

IMHO, the battle at the horseshoe caverns, the battle with the grimlock cheiftain and then the final battle with Grallak all have the potential to be extremely tough and challenging to the party. Wrong moves on the part of the party, being too hasty or even just plain bad luck could result in a tpk - just look at the AoW Obits thread!

So, I'm not sure its important to gameplay that the grimlocks actually succeed in dousing the light sources - you don't want to make these battles impossible to complete, afterall.

This all being said, if you still want to find a way to douse those sunrods, you could stage a few ambushes by pairs of grimlocks. Give one of them a great club (even have one of them drink an Enlarge Person potion if you're desparate) and then use either Improved Sunder or a standard disarm. Have the second grimlock pick up the sunrod and run away with it or chuck it into the horseshoe cavern, etc.

You could also use the tanglefoot bags from the grimlock archers to target the sunrod and rule that the goo covers the sunrod and blocks its light.

My group manages to get together once or twice a month and then we end up getting busy and skip a month or two. We started AoW in August of '05 and have had 10 sessions since then. We are right at the end of TFoE. At this rate we'll finish the campaign in the Fall of 2012. (*shades of pseudo-serious sarcasm intended*)

While my group is completely psyched about finishing AoW, they have seen some of the artwork for Savage Tide and now want to meet a lot more frequently in order to finish AoW just so they can get to Savage Tide. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

A while back someone shared their site where they had posted original watercolors of items in WC, I've lost the link and can't find the post. Does anyone still have that address?

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