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Tusk the Half-Orc's page

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber. * Pathfinder Society GM. 620 posts (8,073 including aliases). No reviews. 18 lists. 1 wishlist. 16 Organized Play characters. 38 aliases.


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Liberty's Edge

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I never subscribed to the Pawns line, but I bought all of the 1E box sets I could get and a number of the AP sets, and always thought they were terrific. I’m probably not the only person with a big enough 1E collection not to feel the need for the 2E Bestiary sets, but I’d still have wanted to buy the AP pawn sets.

I assume the PDFs of all previously published pawn sets will remain available?

Also, note for @Aaron Shanks: check the date at the top of the original post - today is July 8, not June.

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Thanks, @GM Jhaeman and @Bjørn Røyrvik.

Trying to figure out what happens if the wizard casts Maze on K, or hits him with the Plane Shift color from Prismatic Spray? Karzoug can’t leave the Eye voluntarily, but could he be made to leave?

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After 7.5 years, I'll be running our party's final battle with Karzoug the day after tomorrow - I'm taking the day off of work so that we can start around noon and go late if needed. They're going in with 4 PCs (all 18th level) and a GM PC Big Dumb Fighter, Viorian Dekanti (separated from Chellian, cured of her insanity, and desperate for revenge), Sarenrae's chief servitor Sunlord Thalachos, and the sole survivor of the original eight Sisters of Wrath who pledged their loyalty to the party rogue who killed the Highlady of Wrath in Runeforge (now a cohort, level 15). My 4 players are running the GMPC and the NPC allies along with their own characters for the final fight.

I am making several changes to K's prepared spells and tactics based on his knowledge of the party's usual tactics, including several castings of teleport trap to protect his throne area and the runewell/soul lens platform, sending anyone who tries to teleport out of or into that area back to the arrival platform. Any other last minute advice?

Liberty's Edge

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Terrific story! I’m very much looking forward to their Iconic Encounter.

FWIW, I’m playing a playtest Thaumaturge in Strength of Thousands campaign now, pending the release of the final class. It’s early yet (still level 1), but so far, I’m really enjoying the class.

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I am very happy with the hardcover Wizard Chronicle I received from the Kickstarter, and I'm looking forward to buying PDF versions of all the classes once they're available. Just to put another vote in for adding a chronicle for bards, by doing so you would have one core class chronicle for each of the four spell lists.

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From the thread ”What other Uplifted Animals do you wanna see?”, a couple of years ago:

Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:

For home game use, i remain a big fan of creating any uplifted animal i want with this product (written by Alex Augunas and published in conjunction with my company, Rogue Genius Games) - https://paizo.com/products/btq01xdb?Star-LogDeluxe-Uplifted-Animals

For official Paizo creatures, I'd love to see something *very* different, like uplifted tashtari!

This goes to the reason why I'm searching "tashtari" on the forums this evening, as I prepare to run an encounter with them: how intelligent are they?

According to the tashtari stat block in AA2, the standard tashtari has an Intelligence modifier of +0, making them as intelligent as the average human (in which case they wouldn’t need to be uplifted).

The narrative description, however, suggests that they are closer to animal intelligence, with references like "Sentient species of Castrovel refer to these beasts as tashtaris..." and "Attempts to domesticate tashtaris .... but trainers must closely monitor..." (emphasis mine).

How do you run these creatures? As human-level intelligent adversaries, or hungry pack hunters? And can we get a FAQ or errata to tell us what the official answer is?

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Lots to look forward to in the coming year, but I'm ridiculously excited about Goblin Fireworks Fight. I don't see a pre-order page yet, but I'll keep checking.

Liberty's Edge

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Posted most of this in another thread, but it probably belongs here, too. For what it’s worth, my players hated Artrosa. It is an unrelenting series of nasty combat encounters, the entire misogynistic theme made my female players uncomfortable, and is just generally brutal with very little opportunity for humor to lighten the mood at all. Finally, about 2/3 of the way through, we decided to fast-forward to the end. I just narrated the rest of Artrosa for them - including the epic final battle, in which my 17yo son’s ranger died (at his request - he wasn’t enjoying playing the character, and said he’d like to play the rest of the campaign with a character he didn’t build when he was 11) - got them leveled up to 10, and now we’re starting book 4.

One exception: my daughter's gnome sorcerer found the migrus locker at the beginning and loves the migrus ("Jonesy"). She carried Jonesy with her all through Artrosa, even though the other members of the party thought the construct cat with the gnome's face was creepy as heck. After I narrated the battle, when I asked for suggestions as to how the party might get the dragon scale key out of the Eon Pit, she had Jonesy do it, proving to everyone that the creepy cat-thing was a valuable member of the party.

I’m sure other people enjoyed this book, but if I had it to do over again, I’d cut Artrosa down significantly and insert a short adventure from another source in the middle (possibly something from Tales of the Old Margreve, reskinned to set it in the Hoofwood).

Liberty's Edge

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For what it’s worth, my players hated Artrosa, the mega-dungeon that is 90% of book 3. It is an unrelenting series of nasty combat encounters, the entire misogynistic theme made my female players uncomfortable, and it is just generally brutal with very little opportunity for humor to lighten the mood at all. Finally, about 2/3 of the way through, we were close to abandoning the AP altogether but decided to fast-forward to the end and try the next chapter. I just narrated the rest of Artrosa for them - including the epic final battle, in which my 17yo son’s ranger died (at his request - he wasn’t enjoying playing the character, and said he’d like to play the rest of the campaign with a character he didn’t build when he was 11) - got them leveled up to 10, introduced my son’s new character, and now we’re starting book 4.

I’m sure other people enjoyed it, but if I had it to do over again, I’d have cut Artrosa down significantly and inserted a short adventure from another source in the middle (possibly something from Tales of the Old Margreve, reskinned to set it in the Hoofwood).

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My group is just starting this book, and I’m looking forward to it as a light chaser after the unrelenting grimdarkawfulness of book 3.

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I’m playing an occult-focused Enigma bard in a 2E conversion of Hell’s Rebels. Pretty soon we’ll hit level 4, when I’m planning to take the Ritualist dedication, which will let him learn two uncommon rituals of no more than half his level. As a neutral good character, my bard is not interested in learning how to create undead, and he is an expert only in Occultism.

As far as I can see, there are no 1st level rituals he qualifies for, and the only 2nd level rituals are Inveigle and Create Undead. Without Create Undead, he’s going to be short one ritual until level 5 - assuming he puts his next skill proficiency increase into Arcana, Nature, or Religion - or level 6, when he can take Resourceful Ritualist. Am I missing anything? Has anyone heard if there will be new rituals available when Secrets of Magic comes out in late August?

Obviously I can discuss other options with my GM, like researching something new, and it won’t be the end of the world if my bard needs to wait a level or two to get a second ritual. It just seems as though Ritualist is lacking in options at lower levels - it’s set up for each Ritualists expert in each of the four knowledge skills to have two available 2nd level rituals to take, but one of them only works for evil Ritualists, which makes it useless for many characters.

Liberty's Edge

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Thanks for posting this, Tangent101. My group is just about to start The Frozen Stars, and I think I'm going to replace one of the encounters before they leave the hut with your level 10 simulacrum.

Liberty's Edge 1/5

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Jesse Lehto wrote:
That is how Dinner at Lionlodge chronicle writes it, it doesn't mention reputation at all

Thanks, that’s helpful to know.

Liberty's Edge 1/5

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Jesse Lehto wrote:
Well neither pathfinder 2e one-shots give reputation so I would assume same applies here?

That wouldn’t surprise me. But at least as to Sundered Waves, the sanctioning document specifically states that it gives “0 Reputation that can be assigned to any faction.” The Band on the Run document doesn’t refer to Reputation at all.

Liberty's Edge 1/5

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I ran the Band on the Run one-shot for my wife and kids tonight (we had lots of fun - with the exception of one encounter), and I’ll try to post my thoughts on it soon. I reported the game tonight, and was confused by the way my GM credit showed up on the character I applied it to.

The sanctioning document doesn’t say anything about earning Reputation for this scenario. The character the chronicle sheet is applied to earns 1 XP and the credits appropriate to the PC’s level, but there is no reference to Reputation anywhere in the sanctioning rules for the adventure (the chronicle has the usual spaces for Reputation awards). When I reported the adventure, applying my credit to my 701 character, he gained +2 Reputation in the faction I selected when reporting. Does that seem correct?

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Torradin341 wrote:
Sounds like it will be available at 6PM PST, when the stream goes live.

Me: {stares at computer screen like the kid looking into the ketchup bottle in the old Heinz commercial}

Liberty's Edge

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Band on the Run Product Page wrote:
Will be available today.

Me: {refreshing page over and over, waiting for the adventure to become available for purchase}

Liberty's Edge

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I'm very happy to see this - I've bought multiple copies of the pocket editions CRB to give away, and when my daughter went to college in fall, 2019, she went with pocket editions of the CRB, Bestiary 1, Gamemastery Guide, and Ultimate Equipment. When my son goes to college in just a little over a year, he'll want his own set. Good to know we'll still be able to get him his own copies and won't have to take them out of our home library.

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Thanks! I can tell you that putting The Grand Illusion into the mix completely freaked out my son. "It's an illusion? What's the illusion? Are we still on the ship? AAARRRRGG!"

Making your 17yo kid lose his s&^% with a 44-year-old rock song is {chef's kiss}.

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I'm interested in any suggestions you fine folks might have for intro music for book 2. I usually have a short (3-5) song playlist that I play to get my players to the table and while they look over their character sheets and notes from the previous session.

For book 1, I used the following:

- The original Scooby Doo Where Are You theme song
- Building a Mystery, Sarah McLachlan
- Murder 101, The Wallflowers
- And of course, David Duchovny, Bree Sharp

These are my current ideas for book 2, but I'm not in love with this list:

- Who Can It Be Now?, Men At Work
- Where Are We Running?, Lenny Kravitz
- The Grand Illusion, Styx
- The X-Files Theme

Any suggestions?

Liberty's Edge

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We're starting book 2 this week (maybe tonight). At the end of book 1, I had the escape pods put the PCs to sleep "as is standard, to conserve life support resources" just as the metal bands wrap around the pods to pull them into the bays where they start book 2. We'll start the book 8+ hours later, with everyone having gotten a full night's rest.

Liberty's Edge

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We finished book 1 tonight in our 9th session and the looks on my players’ faces - priceless! I’ll get it all written up soon, but I have to say that using the Pathfinder Plot Twist Cards in place of a hero point system has worked out well and provided some funny moments.

I tweaked the ending so that after they see everything they need to see through the escape pod windows, the pods automatically inject them each with drugs to put them to sleep “to reduce the strain on life support.” They’ll wake up 8+ hours later at the start of book 2 in the crashed pods - with everything as written, but having gotten a full night’s sleep.

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I think we’re going to finish Book 1 this evening, so I’m going to try to get caught up on this journal before we start book 2.

December 5, 2020: Session 3.

Birgar (the dwarf vanguard) leads off the fight by charging at the out-of-control incapacitator robot and somehow manages to miss, but does immediately invalidate its tactics as written, which were to start by launching a stickybomb grenade and then use its anchor pistol to bog down two of the investigators before moving into melee. Instead, it is able to grapple Birgar right away. Sophie (strix technomancer) hits it with a minor ray of electricity, Twitch (ratfolk operative) moves into position to try a trick attack next round, and Beorn (uplifted bear envoy) manages to rake it with his claws. After Birgar fails to escape the grapple and takes enough slam damage from the robot to bring him to the brink of unconsciousness, the other PCs manage to do some minor damage to the robot. In a desperate, last-ditch effort, Birgar spends a point from his entropy pool to increase the damage from his entropic strike and scores a critical hit on the robot; Sophie hits it with one more energy ray and the robot falls to pieces.

Thus begins a pattern that has continued throughout this first book: Birgar takes a ridiculous amount of damage in almost every combat and does not hit consistently when he attacks, but at least once in each fight he manages to inflict a ridiculous amount of damage himself.

Twitch looks over the robot and realizes that someone has tampered with it to make it more aggressive. Birgar drinks a serum of healing; after a spirited discussion of Starfinder’s healing rules, the party decides to split up while Trostinek is still unconscious. Twitch checks the vesk’s pockets and finds his keycard, so he and Birgar go back to the passenger section to search Trostinek’s room. Sophie and Beorn stay in the cargo hold to keep an eye on Trostinek in case he wakes up.

Twitch searches the vesk’s cabin while Birgar keeps watch, pacing anxiously in the corridor. The operative finds the note and gift from Trostinek’s wife and the ion tape in the suitcase. He and Birgar read the note, but return it, the gift (unopened), and the ion tape to the suitcase where they found it. Twitch succeeds on a slight of hand check to put it back the way they found it, and when they get back to the cargo hold makes another to slip the keycard back into the Trostinek’s pocket before he regains consciousness.

While Twitch and Birgar are gone, Sophie looks around the cargo hold and notices a bulkhead panel emblazoned with the wrong ship name: Stardream II instead of Chimera. Neither she nor Beorn recognize the name; neither do Twitch or Birgar when they get back, so the party decides to ask Professor Benjam the next time they see him.

When Trostinek finally wakes up, he is wary but willing to talk with the investigators, at least for a bit. He explains that he unpacked his incapacitator robot to restrain any suspect in Algiada’s disappearance, but it went berserk when he turned it on. He says he thinks someone must have tampered with it. When they ask him about the argument they saw him having with the security chief the night before, he claims it was nothing, “Just a disagreement among friends! She insisted that I needed to install some upgrades on the robot, but I don’t. I don’t even use the robot that much; I only use it when the client doesn’t want the target too badly damaged.” After a moment of thought, the vesk frowns. “I wonder if maybe Algiada did something to make this thing go crazy, though. To prove me wrong.”

All of the investigators are suspicious, but none of them are able to spot a hole in Trostinek’s story; even Beorn, with envoy’s expertise, and Twitch, with operative’s edge fail every Sense Motive check.

After they finish talking with Trostinek, the investigators decide that they can’t put off looking at the scene of the crime (if there was a crime) any longer, and sneak onto the upper deck to break into Algiada’s quarters. Twitch and Sophie trade off Engineering and Computers checks until they get the door open, but Twitch notices the motion sensors just inside the doorway and stops anyone from entering the security chief’s room until he can disable the ice carbine trap.

Twitch is a ridiculously effective searching machine: he has the Diligent Searcher feat, which cuts the time to search an area by taking 20 on Perception down by three-quarters (so only five times the usual time required instead of 20). He finds a notebook that appears to be some kind of accounting ledger, a photograph of a young ryphorian man at an archeological dig with a young Brodynt Benjam, and a loose ventilation grate under the bed, surrounded by some kind of slimy residue that Sophie identifies as something like a snail’s mucus. They take the ledger, datapad, and photograph back to Beorn’s cabin (which has large furniture, so the bear will be comfortable) for examination.

Pouring over the ledger first, the investigators realize that the missing security chief had been making regular deposits into accounts in several banks scattered throughout the Pact Worlds and Near Space, and had more money saved up than one might expect from a relatively young officer on an independent transport ship. Yet in just one recent transaction, Algiada apparently withdrew 10,000 credits to a credstick, with the only explanation being a note reading “For LP, ship repairs.” The party quickly realizes that LP must refer to the first mate, Luzo Pahel.

Next, Sophie hacks into the datapad and finds a hidden folder, containing messages between Algiada and an unnamed contact in the city of Maro on Akiton, about the ryphorian’s “Uncle R.” These messages, about “Uncle R”’s “memories,” seem suspicious; Algiada’s unnamed correspondent would like to see these “memories,” and Algiada tells them that she can provide the “memories” if her contact can ensure Uncle R a new home, permanently. After some discussion, the investigators decide that “Uncle R” must refer to Captain Rameem and that Algiada must be plotting something, but they can’t understand what that might be. They take another look at the bloody statue of the Idari for hidden compartments, but don’t find any. Feeling more than a little lost, the party heads off to dinner, where they find Luzo Pahir and Professor Benjam in the dining hall, Song in the galley.

Liberty's Edge

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Got it, thank you for the quick resolution!

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I received my subscription delivery recently, including the sidecart delivery of a hardcover Starfinder Core Rulebook. I bought this copy of the SF CRB because we wanted a hardcover with all of the errata corrections - we already have the first printing hardcover we bought when the game was introduced, as well as the paperback pocket edition, but the print in the paperback is too small for my wife and me to read for long.

I started another thread in November, asking if people who had ordered the hardcover CRB were receiving the 2020 third printing, and Eric Mona responded to say that he was confident that any current Paizo orders would be fulfilled with the latest hardcover printing incorporating the errata.

Unfortunately, I did not receive the 2020 third printing hardcover; I received the September 2017 second printing, which does not include the errata. I expect it was just an older copy inadvertently left in the warehouse, but it defeats my purpose in ordering the book. I’d like to exchange it for the current printing of the hardcover, please.

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Tusk the Half-Orc wrote:
Erik Mona wrote:
The latest hardcover should match the text of the Pocket Edition. There are likely still first printings out "in the wild" at stores and distributors, but I am confident that CRBs ordered from paizo.com as of now will have the errata incorporated.
That’s great to hear - thanks!

I received my new hardcover Core Rulebook yesterday, but unfortunately it is the second printing, from September 2017, not the third printing in 2020 that incorporates the errata and matches the Pocket Edition. I'm disappointed, but will reach out to customer service and try to get it resolved.

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Wishing you all the best, caps.

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Makes sense to me. And now you've reminded me of the bomb counting down in the old Starship Titanic game.

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It was harder for my group than I expected, that’s for sure. But then there’s always some kind of a surprise when you unwrap a brand-new level 1 party and take it out of the box for the first time.

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Here is the first draft of Fortunato Pineapple-Umbria Phantasmagorius Ravennablitz, aka "Chance," wellspring gnome (fell gnome) bard (enigma). Some of his recent biography comes out in his Reason for Protest and Campaign Trait, but I'm still working out what he's been up to in Kintargo for the previous 75-odd years (exact length depends on whether we're starting in 4716, based on when the AP was released, or 4720/21, based on when we're starting it). He is still very much a work in progress, but I appreciate any comments or suggestions.

Physical description:As a fell gnome born during the ascendancy of House Thrune during the final years of the Chelish Civil war, the infernal influence that swept across the nation affected Chance's appearance. His shaggy hair (including his eyebrows) is a deep crimson; his skin is a lighter red, but of far too strong a hue to be merely pink. His eyes are so black that they look more like the eyes of an elf than those of a gnome. Chance realized young that he would never be inconspicuous so he dresses to emphasize his natural coloring, in dark reds and blacks. Behind his back, his landlady says her diminutive tenant "looks like a Chelish flag."

Rough draft, level 1 statblock:
“Chance” Ravennablitz
Gnome bard 1 Core Rulebook 386, 386, Lost Omens Character Guide
Background Fortune-teller; Ancestry (heritage) Wellspring gnome (fell gnome); Diety Nivi Rhombodazzle
N, Small, Fey, Gnome, Humanoid
Perception +5; low-light vision
Languages Common, Gnomish, Sylvan, Varisian
Skills Arcana +4, Bardic Lore +4, Crafting +4, Deception +7, Fortune-telling Lore +4, Intimidation +7, Occultism +4 (+6 to Identify Magic with the mental, possession, prediction, or scrying trait), Performance +7, Religion +3, Society +4
Str 8 (-1), Dex 16 (+3), Con 14 (+2), Int 12 (+1), Wis 10 (+0), Cha 18 (+4)
Other Items studded leather, dagger, rapier, sling (20 sling bullets), backpack, bandolier, basic crafter's book, bedroll, belt pouch, belt pouch, chalks (10), flint and steel, handheld musical instrument, minor elixir of life, rations (1 week)s (2), repair kit, rope (foot)s (50), sheath, soap, torches (5), waterskin, purse (3 gp; 1 sp)
--------------------
AC 18; Fort +5; Ref +6; Will +5
HP 18 Focus Points 1 Hero Points 1
--------------------
Speed 25 feet
Melee [1] dagger +6 (versatile Slsh, thrown 10 ft., agile, finesse), Damage 1d4-1 Pier
Melee [1] rapier +6 (disarm, deadly (1d8), finesse), Damage 1d6-1 Pier
Ranged [1] dagger +6 (versatile Slsh, thrown 10 ft., agile, finesse), Damage 1d4-1 Pier
Ranged [1] sling +6 (propulsive, range increment 50 feet, reload 1), Damage 1d6-1 Blud
Occult Bard Spells DC 17, attack +7; 1st (2 slots) color spray, grim tendrils, true strike Cantrips (1st) daze, detect magic, ghost sound, read aura, telekinetic projectile
Occult Wellspring Gnome DC 17, attack +7; Cantrips (1st) sigil
Focus Spells 1 Focus Point, DC 17; 1st Counter Performance, Inspire Courage (At Will)
Feats Bardic Lore, Oddity Identification, Unexpected Shift[LOCG]
Other Abilities component substitution, composition spells, enigma, muses, occult spellcasting, ravounel, spell repertoire

Rough projection to Level 6:
“Chance” Ravennablitz
At level 4, Chance will take the ritualist dedication (APG), and will probably have shifted in alignment towards Neutral Good.
Male gnome bard 6 Advanced Player's Guide, Core Rulebook 386, 386, Lost Omens Character Guide
Background Fortune-teller; Ancestry (heritage) Wellspring gnome (fell gnome); Diety Nivi Rhombodazzle
NG, Small, Fey, Gnome, Humanoid
Perception +12; low-light vision
Languages Common, Draconic, Elven, Gnomish, Sylvan, Varisian
Skills Arcana +11 (+13 to all primary checks to perform a ritual), Bardic Lore +11, Crafting +13, Deception +12, Fortune-telling Lore +11, Intimidation +12, Medicine +10, Nature +10 (+12 to all primary checks to perform a ritual), Occultism +13 (+15 to all primary checks to perform a ritual, +15 to Identify Magic with the mental, possession, prediction, or scrying trait), Performance +12, Religion +10 (+12 to all primary checks to perform a ritual), Society +11, Stealth +9
Str 8 (-1), Dex 14 (+2), Con 14 (+2), Int 16 (+3), Wis 14 (+2), Cha 19 (+4)
Other Items studded leather, dagger, rapier, sling (20 sling bullets), backpack, bandolier, basic crafter's book, bedroll, belt pouch, belt pouch, chalks (10), flint and steel, formula book, handheld musical instrument, rations (1 week)s (2), rope (foot)s (50), sheath, soap, torchs (5), waterskin, purse (440 gp; 1 sp)
--------------------
AC 22; Fort +10; Ref +12; Will +12
HP 68 Focus Points 2 Hero Points 1
--------------------
Speed 25 feet
Melee [1] dagger +10 (versatile Slsh, thrown 10 ft., agile, finesse), Damage 1d4-1 Pier
Melee [1] rapier +10 (disarm, deadly (1d8), finesse), Damage 1d6-1 Pier
Ranged [1] dagger +10 (versatile Slsh, thrown 10 ft., agile, finesse), Damage 1d4-1 Pier
Ranged [1] sling +10 (propulsive, range increment 50 feet, reload 1), Damage 1d6-1 Blud
Occult Bard Spells DC 22, attack +12; 3rd (3 slots) blindness, hypnotic pattern, invisibility sphere 2nd (3 slots) calm emotions, illusory creature, invisibility 1st (3 slots) color spray, grim tendrils, soothe, true strike Cantrips (3rd) daze, detect magic, ghost sound, sigil, telekinetic projectile
Occult Wellspring Gnome DC 22, attack +12; Cantrips (3rd) read aura
Focus Spells 2 Focus Points, DC 22; 3rd Counter Performance, Inspire Courage (At Will), Loremaster’s Etude
Rituals DC 14; reincarnate (at will), unseen custodians (at will)
Feats Bardic Lore, Energized Font, Flexible Ritualist, Loremaster's Etude, Magical Crafting, Oddity Identification, Resourceful Ritualist, Ritualist Dedication, Schooled In Secrets, Skill Training, Unexpected Shift[LOCG]
Other Abilities component substitution, composition spells, enigma, muses, occult spellcasting, ravounel, signature spells, signature spells, spell repertoire

Reason to Protest (Meeting a Contact) & Campaign Trait (Pattern Seeker): Chance doesn't have a lot of friends. His unusual appearance and forceful but unsettling personality would put people off even in a less oppressive environment; in Cheliax under the devil-backed House Thrune, his acquaintances view him as both off-putting and potentially politically dangerous.

One of the few people in Kintargo willing to socialize with Chance is a halfling swashbuckler named Zamir Montajay (unless there is an NPC in the AP who would fit the part). They would spend long hours in in Chance's rooms or the lounge of Zamir's boardinghouse, or any of a handful of nearby taverns, drinking and arguing about the belfry at the top of the Asmodean Temple. The swashbuckler was convinced there was a pattern to the ringing of the Devil's Bells, even if nobody knew what it was; the bard was not terribly interested in anything having to do with the devil-worshippers, but always argued that the ringing was random just to be contrary.

On several occasions when the diminutive pair were in their cups, Zamir had dropped broad hints about being part of a secret organization opposed to House Thrune, often taking the opportunity to mispronounce Chance's surname as "Raven-ablitz" (the correct pronunciation is "Ravenna-blitz").

Zamir has been missing since the new Lord-Mayor put Kintargo under marital law. Chance checked all of the halfling's usual haunts but found no clues to the whereabouts of his friend. His investigation had reached a dead-end until an unsigned message was slipped under the door of his shabby rented rooms (over an apothecary's shop), inviting him to a meeting at the Aria Park protest with an unnamed man wearing one glove to learn more of the fate of the Silver Ravens. Now Chance is more worried than ever about his absent friend. If Zamir really was a member of the Silver Ravens, could the halfling also have been right about there being a pattern to ringing of the Devil's Bells? If so, then Zamir's disappearance could be the result of either his membership in the rebel group or pursuing his investigation into the Asmodean belfry further than was safe.

Liberty's Edge

Merry Christmas!

Peachbottom, I like your character concept and origin.

GM Xavier Kahlet wrote:
{snip} As a side note, if Peachbottom did go with Vitalis, I will say that my life will be much easier if Tusk the Half-Orc went with the bard-going-into-ritualist build. Not saying that you have to, I'm just saying that it'll make my life immensely easier should Vitalis want to attempt the Hellknight Test.

Happy to make your life easier, GM - if bard building to ritualist is a better fit in combination with an aspiring Hellknight than a bard/rogue combination, I'm fine going that route. I'll post concepts and backstory ideas later today or tomorrow.

Liberty's Edge

GM Xavier Kahlvet wrote:

My only objection to you making a carbon-copy of Wolfgang is the fact that this particular AP actually runs narratively parallel to Hell's Vengeance, so unless it would be a character by another name, Wolfgang would quite literally be in two places at once.

EDIT: Another thing to note is that Hell's Rebels has an almost hilariously large amount of downtime, so it'll be beneficial to have SOMETHING that you're able to do during downtime, even if it's just Earning Income.

No worries - this wouldn’t be the same character, just the flip-side of the concept. Instead of a sweaty, 8 Charisma tiefling sneak thief/wizard wannabe who starts off as a nasty backstabbing coward and makes deliberate choices to go down darker and darker paths, this would be a charming, Charisma-focused half-elf (or maybe an asimar, if that’s an option) aging con artist who finds himself doing good and liking it almost in spite of himself.

I’ll have to remember about downtime activities. Robbing from the rich is always an option, of course, but it might be time to review the magic item crafting rules.

Liberty's Edge

GM Xavier Kahlvet wrote:

I….just realized that there is another sensitive topic that I have to discuss.

Hell’s Rebels as a whole is heavily centered around the abuse of power by government officials, which is a VERY touchy subject given the recent…events occurring in the United States. That said, this AP is also centered around giving said corrupt government officials their eventual just desserts and sticking up for the little guy.

I’m assuming that by still being here you guys are aware of this and are willing to go along with the narrative therein, but if I am wrong then PLEASE speak up!

For me, at least, that theme is a significant selling point for the AP.

Liberty's Edge

Checking in - thanks for the invitation, GM XK!

My current character concepts are all bards or bard-adjacent, but I could switch to another spellcasting class or archetype if that would be better.

Idea #1:

The first idea I have is for a Deception-focused character, a middle-aged con artist or rake who is finding that he isn't having quite as much success charming his way into the homes (and jewelry boxes and vaults) of the local nobility as he once did and is possibly - just possibly - starting to think that maybe he should do something more with his second act. Probably a half-elf, so middle aged would put him at 75-80. He would probably start as chaotic neutral and evolve to chaotic good, follower of Callistria.

This character would be the mirror image of the character I'm playing in a 1E Hell’s Vengeance campaign (with our GM); in that game, I play a grimspawn tiefling eldritch scoundrel rogue (with an 8 Charisma). For this campaign, I have been noodling around since last night with different combinations of bard/rogue. Options include: eldritch trickster rogue (bard dedication at level 1); scoundrel rogue (bard dedication at level 2); maestro bard (rogue dedication at level 2).

Idea #2

Another Deception-focused character, this would be another maestro bard, built to take the swashbuckler dedication at level 2 (or vice versa). This character would be less morally ambiguous - he would be younger, maybe only right out of bard/swashbuckling academy, more concerned about doing the right thing from the outset. Probably a chaotic good follower of Cayden Cailean or Noticula or (if a halfling) Chaldira.

Idea #3

Full occultist-themed bard. I haven't spent much time on this concept yet but I think he would follow the Enigma muse for bardic knowledge and related features, and would focus on spellcasting over weapon combat or performance. He would level up with an eye towards taking the Ritualist dedication starting at level 4. Probably a little creepy, follows either the Black Butterfly (CG or CN) or Nivi Rhombodazzle (if a gnome; NG or CN). This character could be a wizard, sorcerer, or oracle if that would fill a better niche for us, but I've played a lot of wizards and oracles in 1E and I really like the upgrade bards got in the new edition.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

That’s fair - and I hadn’t really made up my mind about what to tell them on a success. But I was surprised enough by the idea of asking Prof. Benjam that my players could tell it wasn't information the AP had specifically given him, so if I didn't roll dice they'd have been suspicious.

Liberty's Edge

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How did the rest period work with the clock running against them? Or did it happen before they connected over the radio with the “Stewards” and learned about the reactors going critical?

Liberty's Edge

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Xenocrat wrote:
Tusk the Half-Orc wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
SpiderOrc wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
How did GMs handle the existence of an NPC (the Scully android) who has Glimpse of Truth as an ability but is mysteriously unable to find or believe in the existence of shapeshifters her partner has told her about and that she could easily see if she just used this ability?

There are a couple ways to do this...

1. Reptoid shapeshifting isn't considered detectable by Glimpse the Truth.

2. Glimpse the Truth costs a Resolve Point. Even an NPC like Ephecta only has a few Resolve Points, typcially, and would only use it if prompted to. It also only lasts 1 round...

You only need one round to scan an entire briefing room, and her partner is prompting the hell out of her.
I'm a ways off from running this book, but unless SpiderOrc's first thought is correct and reptoid shapeshifting isn't something true seeing (and therefore Glimpse the Truth) can see through - and I think true seeing lets you see through transmutation effects - I’d swap it out for a different exploit. The PCs will never know.
Please don't interrupt my complaint that Paizo's staff doesn't understand the implications of their ruleset on their setting with practical solutions for actually playing the game.

My bad - carry on!

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

My Starfinder experience before this campaign was limited to GMing a few Starfinder Society scenarios and playing a few more. As a result, I have never used SF’s monster/NPC building rules before. At our last game session, the PCs wanted to ask Professor Benjam if he had ever heard of the Stardream II, as they had found the odd bulkhead panel (I placed it in the cargo bay for them to find after the incapacitator robot fight) but failed the Culture check to identify it.

In the middle of the session, I wasn’t going to try to learn the rules and stat up the Professor on the fly, so I just made up a Culture skill modifier for him, rolled, and got a natural 2 - which meant I didn’t have to make up my mind as to whether the grays would have given him any useful memories about that incident at all. But it got me curious about how the system works and what the stats would look like for the members of the Chimera’s crew who don’t already have statblocks.

I took the easy way out and built them on Hero Lab. I think they make sense, although with Grath’s Engineering skill, he should probably be helpful Kiiv get the engines running instead of spending his idle shift day drinking.

Comments, criticisms, corrections are welcome. Edited to correct my faulty memory of the NPCs’ alignments - I managed to get all of them wrong.

Grath Metek:

Grath Metek CR 1
XP 400
Male ysoki
NE Medium humanoid (ysoki)
Init +4; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +5
--------------------
Defense HP 17
--------------------
EAC 11; KAC 12
Fort +1; Ref +3; Will +4
--------------------
Offense
--------------------
Speed 30 ft.
Melee tactical baton +6 (1d4+1 Blud; analog, operative) or
. . survival knife +6 (1d4+1 Slsh; analog, operative) or
. . light sap +6 (1d4+1 Blud nonlethal; nonlethal, analog, operative)
--------------------
Statistics
--------------------
Str +0; Dex +4; Con +0; Int +2; Wis +0; Cha +1
Skills Bluff +10, Computers +10, Engineering +10, Life Science +5, Mysticism +5, Piloting +10 (+14 to navigate or astrogate), Stealth +10, Survival +5 (+9 for orienteering)
Other Abilities cheek pouches, moxie
Gear flight suit stationwear, light sap[AR], survival knife, tactical baton, astrogator’s kit[AR], burst fusion seal (level 3), datapad[AR], moonshine still (worth 100 cr, 2 bulk), navigator's tools

Kiiv:

Kiiv CR 1
XP 400
Nonbinary maraquoi
N Medium humanoid (maraquoi)
Init +2; Senses blindsense (sound) 30 ft., low-light vision; Perception +5
--------------------
Defense HP 17
--------------------
EAC 11; KAC 12
Fort +1; Ref +3; Will +4
--------------------
Offense
--------------------
Speed 30 ft., climb 20 ft.
Melee survival knife +6 (1d4+2 Slsh; analog, operative)
--------------------
Statistics
--------------------
Str +1; Dex +2; Con +0; Int +4; Wis +0; Cha +0
Skills Computers +10, Engineering +10, Physical Science +10, Piloting +5, Sense Motive +5, Survival +10
Other Abilities prehensile tail
Gear flight suit stationwear, survival knife, datapad[AR], engineering tool kit, starship repair kit[PW]

Professor Brodynt Benjam:

Prof. Brodynt Benjam CR 1
XP 400
Male human
NG Medium humanoid (human)
Init +1; Perception +5
--------------------
Defense HP 17
--------------------
EAC 11; KAC 12
Fort +2; Ref +1; Will +6
--------------------
Offense
--------------------
Speed 30 ft.
Melee survival knife +6 (1d4+1 Slsh; analog, operative)
--------------------
Statistics
--------------------
Str +0; Dex +1; Con +0; Int +4; Wis +2; Cha +0
Skills Bluff +5, Culture +13, Life Science +5, Physical Science +10, Profession (archaeologist) +14, Survival +5
Feats Skill Focus (culture)
Gear casual stationwear, survival knife, datapad[AR], mk 1 ring of resistance, mk I serums of healing (4), professional's tools (archeologist)

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Xenocrat wrote:
SpiderOrc wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
How did GMs handle the existence of an NPC (the Scully android) who has Glimpse of Truth as an ability but is mysteriously unable to find or believe in the existence of shapeshifters her partner has told her about and that she could easily see if she just used this ability?

There are a couple ways to do this...

1. Reptoid shapeshifting isn't considered detectable by Glimpse the Truth.

2. Glimpse the Truth costs a Resolve Point. Even an NPC like Ephecta only has a few Resolve Points, typcially, and would only use it if prompted to. It also only lasts 1 round...

You only need one round to scan an entire briefing room, and her partner is prompting the hell out of her.

I'm a ways off from running this book, but unless SpiderOrc's first thought is correct and reptoid shapeshifting isn't something true seeing (and therefore Glimpse the Truth) can see through - and I think true seeing lets you see through transmutation effects - I’d swap it out for a different exploit. The PCs will never know.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

This is a great write up - sounds like your group had a lot of fun with book 1. I really like the “gray intervention” idea, in case one of the PCs goes down. The grays would never allow permanent harm to come to a clone near the end of its training, not after putting so much effort and time into them.

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I’ve been curious about the lack of dedicated GM reference threads for each book of this AP - which are at the top of the subforum for every other PF and SF adventure path - and finally decided to just go ahead and set them up:

1 - The Chimera Mystery
2 - Flight of the Sleepers
3 - Deceivers' Moon
4 - The Hollow Cabal
5 - The Cradle Infestation
6 - Puppets Without Strings

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

This is intended to be a spoiler-filled resource thread (as in other AP subforums) for GMs running book 6 of The Threefold Conspiracy Adventure Path, "Puppets Without Strings."

All GM threads in this series:

1 - The Chimera Mystery
2 - Flight of the Sleepers
3 - Deceivers' Moon
4 - The Hollow Cabal
5 - The Cradle Infestation
6 - Puppets Without Strings

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

This is intended to be a spoiler-filled resource thread (as in other AP subforums) for GMs running book 5 of The Threefold Conspiracy Adventure Path, "The Cradle Infestation."

All GM threads in this series:

1 - The Chimera Mystery
2 - Flight of the Sleepers
3 - Deceivers' Moon
4 - The Hollow Cabal
5 - The Cradle Infestation
6 - Puppets Without Strings

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

This is intended to be a spoiler-filled resource thread (as in other AP subforums) for GMs running book 4 of The Threefold Conspiracy Adventure Path, "The Hollow Cabal."

All GM threads in this series:

1 - The Chimera Mystery
2 - Flight of the Sleepers
3 - Deceivers' Moon
4 - The Hollow Cabal
5 - The Cradle Infestation
6 - Puppets Without Strings

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

This is intended to be a spoiler-filled resource thread (as in other AP subforums) for GMs running book 3 of The Threefold Conspiracy Adventure Path, "Deceivers' Moon."

All GM threads in this series:

1 - The Chimera Mystery
2 - Flight of the Sleepers
3 - Deceivers' Moon
4 - The Hollow Cabal
5 - The Cradle Infestation
6 - Puppets Without Strings

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

This is intended to be a spoiler-filled resource thread (as in other AP subforums) for GMs running book 2 of The Threefold Conspiracy Adventure Path, "Flight of the Sleepers."

All GM threads in this series:

1 - The Chimera Mystery
2 - Flight of the Sleepers
3 - Deceivers' Moon
4 - The Hollow Cabal
5 - The Cradle Infestation
6 - Puppets Without Strings

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

This is intended to be a spoiler-filled resource thread (as in other AP subforums) for GMs running book 1 of The Threefold Conspiracy Adventure Path, "The Chimera Mystery."

All GM threads in this series:

1 - The Chimera Mystery
2 - Flight of the Sleepers
3 - Deceivers' Moon
4 - The Hollow Cabal
5 - The Cradle Infestation
6 - Puppets Without Strings

Liberty's Edge

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Alangriffith wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:

Didn't volume 2 of Against the Aeon Throne establish that species detecting biometrics exist? I seem to recall the doors there could tell if you were Azlanti (or maybe just any human) and required hacking/bypass if you weren't, regardless of any disguise.

Only Reptoids/Grays and others with a magical polymorph effect should be dodging serious technical security looking to find species hiding themselves as others.

The reptoid in alien archive has a change shape ability which says it can 'assume the appearance' of another creature, 'gains a +10 racial bonus to disguise checks' and 'otherwise functions as disguise self' (disguise self being an illusion not a polymorph, though it does say in disguise self description it 'counts as altering your form', whatever that means). Alien Archive doesn't label Change Shape with a type (Ex, Su or Sp).

Sorry for the thread necromancy, but I just started running Threefold Conspiracy and while we don't have a biohacker in the party yet, this issue could come up, and I noticed that nobody has corrected this comment about the reptoid's change shape ability. Alangriffith's description of change shape from the reptoid entry in Alien Archive appears to be taken from the version in the playable race sidebar. Reptoids run as monsters or adversaries in an adventure use the change shape universal monster ability, which is tagged (Su) as a supernatural ability and does not have the reference to disguise self or any suggestion that the ability is an illusion. Instead, the fact that a creature with the change shape ability can gain some of the physical abilities of the creature it is imitating suggests that this is a polymorph ability, although the universal monster rule does not include that word (probably because SF didn't get polymorph rules until AA2).

Here is the complete rule:

Alien Archive, pp. 152-53 wrote:

CHANGE SHAPE (SU)

The creature has the ability to assume the appearance of a specific creature or type of creature, but it retains most of its own physical qualities. If the form assumed has any of the following abilities, the creature gains them while in that form: blindsight (scent), darkvision, low-light vision, and swim 30 feet. The creature can retain its own breathing ability, or it can assume the ability to breathe in any environment the assumed shape can breathe in (including the no breath ability, which enables it to survive in the vacuum of space). If the ability does not specify what the creature can change shape into, it can assume the form of any creature of the humanoid type, but it can’t mimic a specific humanoid. Change shape grants a +10 bonus to Disguise checks to appear as a creature of the type and subtype of the new form, and the DC of the creature’s Disguise check is not modified as a result of altering major features or disguising itself as a different race or creature type.

A creature can assume a form that is one size category smaller or larger than its original form; it becomes that size. Unless otherwise stated, it can remain in an alternate form indefinitely. Some creatures can transform into unique forms with special modifiers and abilities. These creatures adjust their ability scores, as noted in their description.

Format: Other Abilities change shape (humanoid); creatures with a unique form also have an entry in Special Abilities.

Because change shape is a supernatural ability that does physically change the form of the creature, I agree with Big Norse Wolf, at least as to reptoids and other shapechangers: I don't see any reason under the rules for a biohacker's custom microlab to give the biohacker a better chance than a character of any other class to identify a disguised shapechanger as such. If the PC has a reason to be suspicious that the creature is not what it seems to be, they can make a Perception check opposed by the shapechanger's Disguise check to confirm that suspicion.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Thanks, SpiderOrc and Garretmander - when two out of two more experienced SFRPG GM's suggest that a pair of house rules would hurt the balance of the game, I take that seriously. I'm sticking with the extra skill rank for Profession, but I'll drop the other two ideas and stick with the old GM standby of handing out loot in the form of serums of healing and UPBs. I had Luzo give them each a serum of healing to help them heal from the explosion in engineering (Event 5) - I would think it would be bad for a ship's reputation to have passengers disembark at Absalom Station with untreated injuries from a shipboard accident - and as a reward for finding his tail ring, Grath added them the half-brick of UPBs remaining from when he crafted the burst weapon fusion seal in addition to giving them the fusion seal itself.

As it is, the PCs have been leaving all kinds of loot on the table - the captain's credstick with 1,000 credits and Trostinek's ion tape and zipstick come to mind, but there is probably more (which is weird - when we play Pathfinder, our group has always taken the attitude of “if it’s not nailed down, grab it, and if it is nailed down, that’s why the fighter carries a crowbar”). The credstick probably doesn't matter because they don't have anywhere to spend it (and won't for a loooong time, although they don't know that), but I did suggest that if they've got cash, Grath would probably be happy to sell them as many UPBs from the ship's stores as he thinks he can get away with. Part of the problem is that crafting in Pathfinder 1E is so time-consuming and feat-intensive that even saving 50% off the cost of items (more for non-magical items) is not enough of an incentive for a lot of characters to put in the effort. I'm pushing them to think about it now because a lot of the loot in books 2 and 3 comes in the form of UPBs, so they need to be ready to use their crafting opportunities when they come up.

Liberty's Edge

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We played our fourth session last night, but it takes me several hours to write up my notes and I’ve been jammed with work the last few weeks, so I’m just posting our second session (Nov. 28) now. We probably won’t play again until mid-February or maybe late January at the earliest, because once my daughter’s fall semester finals are finished this week, we’ll go back to playing Reign of Winter and (when our other player is available) Rise of the Runelords until they go back to their respective colleges for spring term (fingers crossed, knock wood, etc.). Hopefully that will give me time to catch up on journal entries instead of falling further behind.

The party began its investigation in earnest after breakfast. Because they were already in the dining hall, they decided to start by popping into the galley to see if Song would answer a few questions. His response was predictable:

“Get lost, I’m busy! I have to clean up from breakfast and get lunch ready!”

They decided to check back with the android cook later. Moving on to passenger country, they tried talking to Jincheroga, and managed to get all of the information she had to offer. The hobgoblin told them that when she and the Newbloods boarded,

“…that woman looked me straight in the eyes and said, ‘I know what you’re up to you, and I won’t let you ruin this for us.’ I have no idea what she was on about. Perhaps she mistook me for someone else, or she was paranoid or something. Perhaps I just frightened her. But if you’re really interested in finding out what happened to her, maybe you should talk to the vesk. My boys and I saw the two of them getting pretty frisky in a bar on Legacy Station the night before we left.”

Two of the goblins who had been playing out various imaginary death scenes for Algiada on the floor behind the mercenary leader throughout the interview started to pretend to make out instead. Birgar and Sophie’s player immediately asked for name of the bar. I gave her a blank look - I was a little tired that evening and couldn’t think of anything right off the bat, which left an opening for Twitch and Beorn’s player to pipe up with The Musty Flagon.” Knowing when I’ve been beaten, I declared The Musty Flagon to be canon.

* I have been running Rise of the Runelords for these two players and two others - our daughter and one of the kids’ friends on the block - for about six years; we’re thisclose to being finished, but the two older kids starting college has slowed us down. The Rusty Dragon is the name of a tavern where our Runelords party spent a lot of time in the first couple of books of the AP.

After their interrogation of Jincheroga, Twitch suggested breaking into Algiada’s room (he learned which room was hers when he followed her the previous evening). After some discussion, the group headed down to the lower deck to talk to Kiiv. Sophie and Twitch volunteered to help with the repairs, and everyone failed the checks to notice the hazard. When the pipe exploded, it caught the entire party in the blast and all four failed their reflex saves.

Kiiv was very apologetic and - once the group had recovered a bit - was happy to answer most of their questions. She told them about Algiada’s arguments with Song (including the most recent fight, when the android physically threatened the security chief) and with Grath (who had one of the few people on the crew who was actually friendly with Algiada), and seeing Algiada and Trostinek together at a bar back on Legacy Station (“Was that The Musty Flagon?” Twitch asked, as if the station bar were a well-known spot for Ryphorians to pick up one-night stands; “Why yes, yes it was,” Kiiv responded.) If the engineer has any other information that might be relevant to the investigation, the amateur sleuths were too burned and bedraggled to uncover it.

On their way back to their quarters to clean up, the group stopped at the incinerator room, and noticed that the hatch to the garbage chute was stuck open half an inch or so, preventing the incinerator from activating. When they opened it and looked inside, they found a small but heavy statuette of the Kasathas’ generation ship Idari, with dried blood crusting over the prow. Sophie tried to determine how long the blood has been drying on the statue but could not reach any conclusions just by looking at it (later, she used a medkit to figure out it was less than a day old and identifies it as kasatha blood). They went back into the Drift engine room and showed the statue to Kiiv, who told them she thought the captain had one just like it in his quarters.

Bom bom BOMMMMM!

After the investigators went back to their own quarters to clean up and make ineffective attempts to bandage their wounds, Twitch tried again to convince the group to break into Algiada’s room, but was outvoted in favor of questioning Grath.

They climbed the ladder to the upper deck and find the crew quarters area; Twitch figured out which room belongs to the pilot by noticing smudges and dings on the paint at ysoki’s eye-level, a little below the keycard reader, suggesting that someone small and inebriated had a habit of trying to use a keycard to enter the room and missing the reader. At their knock, they heard someone staggering to the door before it slid open and Grath invited them in to “try my latest batch” - they saw the mechanic’s still on his desk through the door.

Talking through the open doorway, the party declined Grath’s offer of drinks and said they wanted to ask him a few questions about Algiada’s disappearance. The pilot said he didn’t want to talk about her - “good riddance to bad ryphorians” - and tried to close the door. Beorn stuck his big bear paw in the doorway to keep it open for a few moments while the players tried to decide what to do.

Sophie asked Grath if he wasn’t worried about being drunk, as he’s the only pilot on the crew.

“Normalement, you would be correct, ma cheri, but the engines, they are not working, so there is not much for a pilot to do. And there was an explosion just a little while ago, which means they are not going to be working again anytime soon. So no, I do not think the captain or anybody else is going to care if I have a little drink while we wait around for Kiiv to get us moving again.”

(All NPC ysoki speak with an Inspector Clouseau fake French accent in this campaign. It is known.)

The group was briefly suspicious - how would he know about the explosion? - until they realized that communications is much easier in the Starfinder universe than in the Pathfinder setting they’re used to, and that Kiiv probably notified the entire crew about the explosion immediately after the party finished questioning her.

After some discussion, the group decided they didn’t want to smell of Grath’s home-brewed moonshine if they ended up talking to the first mate or captain next, so they told Grath it was too early for them and promised to come back later.

The group settled into Beorn’s cabin and use the ship’s intercom system to call the first mate on the pretext of looking for medical assistance. Luzo Pahir arrived a few minutes later and apologized on behalf of the captain and the entire crew for the injuries they suffered in the explosion, and was sad to say that the Chimera did not have a medical bay or anyone with real medical training on board. When the party mentioned Kiiv’s suspicion that the explosion was the result of sabotage, the first mate appeared surprised.

The investigators used the possibility that there might be a saboteur on board to ask about the security chief’s disappearance and whether anyone on board might have wanted to hurt her. Luzo said she didn’t think so.

“Algiada could be rough. I think the whole crew basically liked her, though.” After a pause, she continued, “I can’t imagine any reason why someone might want to hurt her.”

The party didn’t get much more out of her, so when she left, Twitch snuck out behind her and followed her down to engineering. Listening at the door to the Drift engine room where Luzo and Kiiv were talking, Twitch couldn’t make out much of what the engineer said, but Luzo’s voice was raised and upset, and the ysoki heard her talking about “sabotage” and “you should have…”

As Twitch made his way back to the passenger quarters, he ran into Prof. Benjam standing motionless in a corner of the hallway near the dining hall, eyes fixed on the bare wall. Twitch asked him if everything was OK, after a moment of confusion Brodynt came back to himself.

“Yes, yes, of course, thank you. I must have just spaced out on my way to lunch, that’s all. Are you making any progress with the investigation?” Without waiting for an answer, Prof. Benjam checked his watch. “Oh, it’s later than I thought, I’d better hurry if I want to get something to eat,” and hustled into the dining hall.

After Twitch got back to Beorn’s room and told the others what he had seen and heard, the consensus was that Luzo was just understandably upset at the thought of her ship being sabotaged and unhappy that the engineer hadn’t told her, and that Brodynt was probably fine, just a stereotype of an absent-minded professor.* The group decided to go to lunch themselves. They left the bloody statue hidden in Beorn’s luggage, with Twitch’s phone set up as a remote security camera running a feed to his wrist computer.

While at lunch, Brodynt mentioned seeing Trostinek in the port cargo hold. The investigators decide to make the vesk their next interview and make their way to the front of the ship to the port cargo hold after lunch. They enter it only to find Trostinek on the floor, unconscious, with a large, padded humanoid robot standing over him. It turns its head - and its mounted gun - towards the group.

End of session.

* In another callback to our Runelords campaign, my players noted that the Professor’s first name - Brodynt - is very similar to the name of Brodert Quink, the Sandpoint-based scholar of ancient Thassalon befriended by our party in that game.

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