Burnt Offerings Clarifications (GM Reference)


Rise of the Runelords

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Elvirais wrote:
I was even debating having her be pregnant with a quickly growing fiend, that might make the party explode with discussions... could be interesting, or it could be much more horrible than we are prepared for.

Alien style. Me like.

I'm with Peet here. But then again, it's your and your players' story. If they come up with a genuine way of redeeming her: let them. If they want to bring her to justice in Magnimar (sorry for the pun): let them and have her "escape" and join the fun later as a fully transformed demon; the stone giants led by Teraktinus (spelling) look like a good fit.

Ruyan.


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I had her spittingly, foam-at-the-mouth angry when caught and brought back to consciousness and thrown into jail in Sandpoint. What point is there for her to be cooperative at all? Shw knows what she has been doing, and on all accounts, her life is probably forfeit. My PCs charmed her to get her to cooperate at least a bit.

Well, Tsuto had been picked up by Judge Ironbriar a while ago, and so, he returned and picked up Nualia as well. My players were quite shocked when they learned what Ironbriar was truly up to. Tsuto and Nualia were quickly slain later, though, in an epic fight in the Sevens sawmill.


I apologize if this has been asked before, but I can't seem to find an answer in either the book itself (Anniversary edition) or anywhere on the forum: Area C2 of the Thistletop adventure is explicitly goblin-sized, halving the PCs movement and imposing penalties to their attack rolls and AC, but it's not made clear what areas are subject to these limitations. My own instincts say C2 - C9, but I'm very not sure about the island itself. Any suggestions?


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, LO Special Edition, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

I think, though I'm not entirely sure, that the building(s?) on Thistletop were not built by goblins, but rather by humans. If that's the case, they will be human sized. Certainly the below ground rooms are human sized, having been built by Thassilonians.

I think that the thicket is all goblin sized, although some of the larger clearings may not be (does the thicket make a roof, or is the space open to the sky?)

Liberty's Edge

Technically I think all the buildings on top of Thistletop were built by goblins. You wouldn't expect Lamashtan cultists to be capable of building wooden structures that last through centuries of wind and rain. Also, my old 3.5 version of the book says the buildings are made of thick wood with nameplates and masts from ships sometimes recognizable in the walls - it seems unlikely that humans would build with those materials.

However, I only made my PCs take squeezing penalties in the passageways in the thistle tunnels. I figure goblins, like humans, like having expansive ceilings . You might make the hallways goblin-sized, though.


The penalties apply only to the tunnels. See the first paragraph under C2 (p. 42 AE) - last sentence - "The larger chambers within all have higher ceilings, wherein these penalties do not apply to Medium creatures."

The pc's should not be hampered while fighting in the rooms proper but only while moving through the tunnels connecting them.


Question about the glassworks, I was trying to draw that thing the other day as prep for my game and it is so difficult because everything is on the angle. Would it hurt the encounters to take it off the angle? And if it would be bad any suggestions on drawing it?


I took it off the angle and it made things much easier for me. In my experience nobody likes having to do a whole bunch of diagonal movement when using squares. I didn't bother actually drawing out most of it, since there's no need for a battle map outside of the Loading room, glass working room, and basement areas.


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As an amusing aside, I've decided to introduce the joys of indoor plumbing to Sandpoint and other communities. I like to joke that one of the Gods (who insists he's not a God) from my other campaign has visited millions of worlds and provided schematics on how to do flush toilets, septic tanks, and indoor plumbing, because he hates outhouses.

When you think of it, civilization in Golarion is thousands of years old. Humanity has been around for quite some time. Flush toilets would have to have been invented at some point. ;) (And it would be amusing to visit an ancient dungeon and find an old stone toilet that still works.)


So my party (oread brawler, halfling druid with roc companion, sylph magus and aasimar cleric of Abadar) has cleared out the glassworks after entering through the roof, which I thought was interesting, killing Tsuto in the process. Tsuto was pretty useless (which seems to be a trend around here): aside from stunning the brawler, he spent most of combat pinned between two PCs in the narrow hallway. The druid and the cleric had just discovered Ameiko, who pleaded with them to spare her brother when she was brought to consciousness, but there wasn't enough time to pass that message on to the brawler, who was pummeling Tsuto with his brawler's flurry. A hit and a crit later and Tsuto went from 2 HP to -35 in a single turn.

Which leaves me wondering . . . how would/does Ameiko react to the death of her brother? The campaign mentions how she reacts to finding out her father was killed, but no mention of anyone else. They did have a close relationship at one point, but they've had a falling-out since then, so I imagine she'd react much the same to her brother's death as her father's. I may have her ask to keep some of his belongings (his flute, maybe), or claim some of his treasure to pay to have him buried in the cemetary.


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DoctorSix wrote:

So my party (oread brawler, halfling druid with roc companion, sylph magus and aasimar cleric of Abadar) has cleared out the glassworks after entering through the roof, which I thought was interesting, killing Tsuto in the process. Tsuto was pretty useless (which seems to be a trend around here): aside from stunning the brawler, he spent most of combat pinned between two PCs in the narrow hallway. The druid and the cleric had just discovered Ameiko, who pleaded with them to spare her brother when she was brought to consciousness, but there wasn't enough time to pass that message on to the brawler, who was pummeling Tsuto with his brawler's flurry. A hit and a crit later and Tsuto went from 2 HP to -35 in a single turn.

Which leaves me wondering . . . how would/does Ameiko react to the death of her brother? The campaign mentions how she reacts to finding out her father was killed, but no mention of anyone else. They did have a close relationship at one point, but they've had a falling-out since then, so I imagine she'd react much the same to her brother's death as her father's. I may have her ask to keep some of his belongings (his flute, maybe), or claim some of his treasure to pay to have him buried in the cemetary.

Her brother kidnapped her and confessed he was allied with an insane cleric of Lamashtu that plans on destroying Sandpoint with the aid of demons and goblins. When she was not properly grateful at being spared, he had his goblin minions pummel her to near death. He and his goblin allies have also brutally slaughtered her father and all the workers at the Glassworks. She may feel some familial loyalty to see to some type of proper burial but otherwise I don't see how she can have much positive feeling for him. I would think that while she and her father were often at odds, she probably still holds him in higher esteem than her patricidal sibling.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Ameiko's reaction to her brother's death is probably 15% grief, 85% good riddance by the time he's done with the betrayal and treachery and all that.


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In my game, Ameiko insisted on giving her father and brother a proper burial (though while Lonjinku's funeral was attended by a large number of people, including all the major players in Sandpoint and few nobles from Magnimar who Lonjinku had business dealings with) Tsuto's funeral was only attended by handful of people, due to the aforementioned murder and betrayal. I played Ameiko as having some grief at the loss of her family (most people feel something when they lose a family member, even if they weren't on the best terms with them) but she didn't blame the PCs in the slightest for their actions and was grateful for them coming to her aid.


I have a question regarding the haunts in Foxglove Manor.

The rules state that if you have fewer than six players (I have three) you should make the remaining haunts 'universal'. That means that they affect everybody in the room.

How do you play that with the haunts that specifically affect one person, such as the Dance of Ruin or the Phantom Phage?

If you chose to randomly have them affect a PC, isn't that the same as just assigning everybody two haunts, something that the rules say you should not do?


Greetings, fellow traveller.

I don't see a problem with you randomly assigning the other haunts.
Otherwise I'd not leave combat/initiative order: let the PCs place their minis and the one (going first and) getting nearest is affected.

It somehow depends what you want to achieve with the Misgivings.
I used the haunts mainly to give the PCs insights into the Foxglove family's (tragic) background (besides having fun with the rogue swinging from the weather vane screaming at the top of his lungs and the fighter getting strangled by a girly-girl scarf - good times!).

Ruyan.

Scarab Sages

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Lesson learned. Improvised weapons will crit. Hard.

RIP poor goblin. You hardly saw that water melon coming.


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vanAdamme wrote:


How do you play that with the haunts that specifically affect one person, such as the Dance of Ruin or the Phantom Phage?

I used notes that I passed to the people affected by a haunt. They read the note while I described what they did to the rest of the party, and they could break in when they wanted to adjust my description. When a universal affected everyone, everyone got a note. This way they didn't know if the others were experiencing the same haunt or a different version of the same haunt.

The Dance of Ruin, for example:

I printed the notes up beforehand, and passed them out as they were affected. Below is what each person affected would get each round that they failed their save to break free of the haunt.

Round 1:
The piano explodes into music; a catchy, but discordant Varisian tune in a minor key. You feel a desire to dance so strong you know you cannot stop yourself. No sooner do you know that you will begin dancing than a darkly beautiful, raven-haired young woman is in your arms. Together, you are caught up in a dance of pirouettes, that has you leaping across the room. Make a Will save DC 15

Round 2:
Your dance partner begins to age; her raven hair dulls and fades, and her olive skin pales. A thin dark line stretches across her once flawless neck. The dances continues as energetically as before, though, with her laughter filling the air. You begin sweating and your legs burn from fatigue. Make a Will save DC 15

Round 3:
Still laughing and dancing, the woman’s neck darkens further into an angry black-and-blue bruise circling it. You aren’t sure how much longer you can continue to dance at this frenetic pace, but the music thrums in time with your feet, and you find you cannot miss a step. Make a Will save DC 15

Round 4:
Her eyes water and bulge, and her laughter is subdued as she struggles gaily to get it out. Her movements become stiff and forceful in order to keep up in the dance. Tired as you are, the music continues, and you now lead the dance. Make a Will save DC 15

Round 5:
Your dance partner’s tongue protrudes and no more air escapes her lips, making her wild smile macabre. You are certain that she no longer moves through the steps as you guide her through another pirouette, though it could be the exhaustion that makes it feel so. Her eyes glass over and her hair begins to fall out. You are so very tired. Make a Will save DC 15

Round 6:
You now dance with a corpse- mouth twisted from joy to pain, hair clinging to her scalp in patches, skin desiccated and pulled tight over bones. You dance until the song ends, when the corpse crumbles from your arms into a pile. You can barely move- you might crumble as well if you have to take another step, but you are released from the dance. Make a Will save DC 15

Of course, those who make their saves get to see my description of what's really going on, and can try to help their friends out of danger.

If you're REALLY ambitious with this, you could record each haunt (complete with ambient atmospheric noise to cover you talking)and have your players come to the game with earbuds to plug in to an mp3 player in place of notes. That way the person in the haunt doesn't get to hear what their character is actually doing- they act based only on the information of the haunt as told to them by the recording. If I get to run this campaign again, I'm dedicating time and resources to try that.


Awesome, I will be stealing those notes :)

I think I will use my laptop to send the players messages on their phones describing what they see.


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My PCs did the Chopper's Island sidequest, finding the remains of Das Korvut's son and the dismembered bits of the victims of the Chopper. They returned the eyeballs ad tongues of the Chopper's victims to Father Zantus for burial and Father Zantus decided to hold a public ceremony/burial for the victims. Any suggestions on what sort of words a Cleric of Desna would say at a public ceremony of burial?

(Chopper's Island sidequest is here, for reference: http://www.dorkistan.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Choppers-Isle.pdf)


Hm.

His speech should fit the portfolio of Desna.
It should evolve around life as traveling a long road; souls travelling to the stars/Boneyard and the Great Beyond when life comes to an end; some words on luck.
Maybe release some swallowtail butterflies at the end of the ceremony?

Ruyan.


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This is my first time GMing, but I've played with my group a few times. I think "Local Heroes" is going to be problematic for everyone involved - I think they are going to find most of it filler-y and pointless, even if I tell them that the NPCs are going to be important later. Since it's so early in the campaign, I'm worried they'll end up turned off to the whole thing. Does anyone have ideas for how I can string together the events a little more cohesively?

A bunch of events look like they're going to start with "You're chilling at the Rusty Dragon when ___ comes up to you and asks you to do ___", and I'd like to avoid doing that more than once per session. Any ideas for more organically getting the PCs into the Vinder basement, on the Boar Hunt, to the Baretts' house, to meet with Shalelu, and/or to talk to Ameiko's maid?

I'm thinking of somehow having the PCs end up in the Boneyard immediately after the goblin attack, instead of having Zantus and Hemlock fetch them later. This shouldn't make the skeleton fight too hard, should it? It looks pretty easy but I'm pretty inexperienced.

There's a decent chance they kill Ven Vinder. Is sending the PC to Magnimar for trial meant to just remove them from the game for the forseeable future? What's the punishment for murder over there? Is there a plausible way I could get them out of a murder charge without a series of really high diplomacy/bluff checks?

The scene with Lonjiku and Ameiko is going to really confuse them, when they neither fight anything, nor are given an obvious quest hook. Hmmm... I'm not sure I have a question here.

Are there maps for the combats in this section? Should I make some up or just use a plain grid?

PCs get most of the way to level 2 in this section. Shouldn't they get more more stuff? All I see is the horses and 50gp Aldern gives them.


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valawala wrote:

This is my first time GMing, but I've played with my group a few times. I think "Local Heroes" is going to be problematic for everyone involved - I think they are going to find most of it filler-y and pointless, even if I tell them that the NPCs are going to be important later. Since it's so early in the campaign, I'm worried they'll end up turned off to the whole thing. Does anyone have ideas for how I can string together the events a little more cohesively?

A bunch of events look like they're going to start with "You're chilling at the Rusty Dragon when ___ comes up to you and asks you to do ___", and I'd like to avoid doing that more than once per session. Any ideas for more organically getting the PCs into the Vinder basement, on the Boar Hunt, to the Baretts' house, to meet with Shalelu, and/or to talk to Ameiko's maid?

I'm thinking of somehow having the PCs end up in the Boneyard immediately after the goblin attack, instead of having Zantus and Hemlock fetch them later. This shouldn't make the skeleton fight too hard, should it? It looks pretty easy but I'm pretty inexperienced.

There's a decent chance they kill Ven Vinder. Is sending the PC to Magnimar for trial meant to just remove them from the game for the forseeable future? What's the punishment for murder over there? Is there a plausible way I could get them out of a murder charge without a series of really high diplomacy/bluff checks?

The scene with Lonjiku and Ameiko is going to really confuse them, when they neither fight anything, nor are given an obvious quest hook. Hmmm... I'm not sure I have a question here.

Are there maps for the combats in this section? Should I make some up or just use a plain grid?

PCs get most of the way to level 2 in this section. Shouldn't they get more more stuff? All I see is the horses and 50gp Aldern gives them.

you know your group better than I do, so all the advice I can give you comes from the perspective how I handled Local Heroes with my group, if your group is not into role play or interacting with the Sandpoint citizens ignore everything I write.

but I made sure very early on that the group met all the NPCs in that section before or during the Goblin raid. I had th Vinder girl flirting with some of the male PCs during the festival games and made clear that her father was not amused and worried about his daughters. The group rescued the Barrett boy from a goblin attack and brought him to his scared mother and Foxglove of course was all over the Calistria cleric of my group as soon as possible.

when the attack was over and my PCs wanted to know where the Goblins came from, they began to search the town for clues, so I decided to let them stumble over footprints at the boneyard the same day but I decided that Zantus and Hemlock found the footprints almost immediatly the same time (to underline that the authority of Sandpoint is not completely incompetent and to tighten the bonds between those two NPCs and the group)

Ameiko should be the closest they have to a friend in Sandpoint early on and should be played that way. she's the only person in town who knows what it means to be an adventurer and supports the group whenever she can. Let her imply having problems with her overly conservative father during a conversation and that scene with Lonjiku should in theory be no problem. (one of my PCs, while born in Magnimar, comes from a Minkaian family herself. so she knew exactly why Ameikos life style would not sit well with a father with that cultural background and tried to bring them closer together days before the scene in the Rusty Dragon happend)

Shalelu's introduction as written is problematic. The group are the Heroes of Sandpoint and suddenly this Elf-woman arrives and steals most of the thunder, so I foreshadowed a lot. Random Sandpointians were overheard saying they wish Shalelu would come back earlier with all the Goblins and stuff, how everybody would feel saver if they knew that Elf Ranger would be around. And then I let my group rescue her after being ambushed by group of Goblins and made the the heroes again, not only did they save the town, but they also saved Shalelu.

All in all, Local Heroes is designed to let your group discover the beauty that is Sandpoint. Give them lots of downtime between the encounters, let them interact, not only with the Barretts and the Vinders and the Kaijitsus, but with Quink, Vishki, Madame Mwashti etc. etc. Make damn sure they are the ones the town looks up to and that the citizens of Sandpoint are grateful (mostly. Scarnettis et al. are better played antagonistic, the Scarnis will be a pain in the ass too) to have your group around. but also make very clear, that as soon as Hemlock leaves town to get help from Magnimar, it is their duty to look after Sandpoint.

If your group is invested in Sandpoints all those encounters are just the tip of the iceberg

As for maps: you might find something like that in the Community Created Stuff thread but you probably won't need it. The Barrett house encounter lasts 3 rounds maximum and both the boar hunt as whatever happens in Vinders cellar work best if storytelled*

If you want to have your group have more than 50 GP and a couple of horses, well, give them more. Foxgloves gratefulness should have no limits. Especially if he has the chance to... relase a little steam. but the group won't need it, really. Ameiko probably lets the group stay for free, drinks and food on the house. The merchants might give them discount or even small presents for saving the town or helping out here and there. Life is not expensive if you are the Hero of Sandpoint

*except you want use the boar hunt to introduce Grayst Sevilla


Well, Shayliss Vinder isn't taking the entire party into the basement of Ven Vinder's store... she's hitting on only one of them. So if they're expecting to do everything together at all times, that's not going to work.

There's no reason any of these incidents have to start in the Rusty Dragon, other than the dispute between Lonjiku and Ameiko. The PCs can choose to just watch that play out, but they can get involved if they wish.

Hemlock has asked the PCs to be visible around town to reassure the citizens, so the other incidents can begin any time while the PCs are walking around town. Even if Bethana Corwin approaches them at the Rusty Dragon, it can be while they are in their rooms, perhaps she gets them out of bed early in the morning after a long night of drinking?

The challenge for you is to find ways to present these incidents that will motivate your players to do more than just hack and kill. The NPCs in Sandpoint are fleshed out so that you have some tools to do that.. and they include "boons" for the PCs who get to know them (such as discounts at stores).

If your group is mostly focused on the next monster to kill, and not interested in role-playing the character's interactions with the townsfolk, I would recommend Wayfinder #7, a free fan magazine here. Issue #7 has fan-created content to add to the early Varisia-based APs, especially Rise of the Runelords. You can find some useful material in there, such as the Vault of Greed mini-adventure, which can substitute for one or more of the "Local Heroes" chapter events.


RE: loot
Many have noticed a lack of loot early in the AP. It works itself out later on. However, I'm guessing that if your party is always looking for the next monster to kill, it follows that they're also looking for the loot to go with the monster.

In that case, I'd suggest that you toss in some loot on your own or make some artifacts that seem like loot, but end up being worthless.

Real loot: works fine if you don't mind your party being a little overpowered. Thistletop isn't a cake walk, so it might not hurt, especially if your players are inexperienced and/or subpar tacticians.

Fake loot: could me mounds and mounds of copper; something that radiates magic, but isn't magical; a piece of art that looks like a plot hook and/or valuable, but isn't; a map(what if a child drew a map of a fictional place but did well enough to pass as real?)

COMBO: sprinkle in a mix of real and fake loot


hythlodeus wrote:


if your group is not into role play or interacting with the Sandpoint citizens ignore everything I write

That's them, but some of your suggestions sound helpful nonetheless. Thanks for your very thorough reply!

Urath DM wrote:


If your group is mostly focused on the next monster to kill, and not interested in role-playing the character's interactions with the townsfolk, I would recommend Wayfinder #7, a free fan magazine here. Issue #7 has fan-created content to add to the early Varisia-based APs, especially Rise of the Runelords. You can find some useful material in there, such as the Vault of Greed mini-adventure, which can substitute for one or more of the "Local Heroes" chapter events.

Thanks, I'll definitely check it out when I'm not on my phone. I think my group would be better described as "always looking for the next objective". They'll grumble if they have to talk to some guy just to get to know him, but not if I tell them they're trying to get some specific main-plot-related info out of him. We're used to having important NPCs be introduced in the same session in which they're important, and then forgotten about immediately.

I've only ever played with this group so I didn't know if people play any other way. So, this chapter confused me a little with how things happen while the PCS are walking around town - I never gave them a mission that involves wandering around town! I guess the sheriff instructing them to do so could work for that, though they'll probably think they're actually secretly looking for clues of some kind hidden all over the city.

mousmous wrote:


Many have noticed a lack of loot early in the AP. It works itself out later on. However, I'm guessing that if your party is always looking for the next monster to kill, it follows that they're also looking for the loot to go with the monster.

In that case, I'd suggest that you toss in some loot on your own or make some artifacts that seem like loot, but end up being worthless.

Real loot: works fine if you don't mind your party being a little overpowered. Thistletop isn't a cake walk, so it might not hurt, especially if your players are inexperienced and/or subpar tacticians.

Fake loot: could me mounds and mounds of copper; something that radiates magic, but isn't magical; a piece of art that looks like a plot hook and/or valuable, but isn't; a map(what if a child drew a map of a fictional place but did well enough to pass as real?)

COMBO: sprinkle in a mix of real and fake loot

Thanks! I'm totally new to GMing and pretty new to tabletop rpgs in general (all my players are far more experienced than me...), so I might be overly cautious about deviating from what's written, for fear of making things unbalanced. I wasn't sure if "add loot as you see fit, using wealth by level as a guideline" was implied, or if what the PCs are explicitly given is the right amount for it to be balanced.


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valawala wrote:


I'm thinking of somehow having the PCs end up in the Boneyard immediately after the goblin attack, instead of having Zantus and Hemlock fetch them later. This shouldn't make the skeleton fight too hard, should it? It looks pretty easy but I'm pretty inexperienced.

No, the skeletons shouldn't be too tough, especially since they've got Sheriff Hemlock with them.

For my own game, I had Naffer Vosk (the gravedigger) approach the Sheriff about the break-in while the Sheriff was busy thanking the PCs for their help with the goblins immediately after the attack. The PCs volunteered to help him investigate the break-in.

As for Shalelu, after investigating the boneyard, the PCs were all fired up about trying to track the group that fled with Father Tobyn's remains until Hemlock pointed out that racing out in the dark after a horde of creatures with darkvision was suicide. They decided to wait until morning. It "conveniently" rained overnight, making a mess of the tracks to the point where the PCs couldn't be sure which trail belong to the graverobbers. Following their best guess they tracked down a group of goblins who had ambushed a merchant and set fire to his wagon. During the battle, they were attacked by Bruthazmus the bugbear who in turn was driven off by the arrival of Shalelu. Shalelu advised them to return with her to town, as there was heavy goblin activity in the area. She then gave them her info dump on the walk back to Sandpoint.

Once they got back in town, Shalelu reported to Hemlock, he decided he needed to go to Magnimar for aid and asked the PCs to keep an eye on things while he was gone. Cue rest of Local Heroes.


valawala wrote:


Urath DM wrote:


If your group is mostly focused on the next monster to kill, and not interested in role-playing the character's interactions with the townsfolk, I would recommend Wayfinder #7, a free fan magazine here. Issue #7 has fan-created content to add to the early Varisia-based APs, especially Rise of the Runelords. You can find some useful material in there, such as the Vault of Greed mini-adventure, which can substitute for one or more of the "Local Heroes" chapter events.

Thanks, I'll definitely check it out when I'm not on my phone. I think my group would be better described as "always looking for the next objective". They'll grumble if they have to talk to some guy just to get to know him, but not if I tell them they're trying to get some specific main-plot-related info out of him. We're used to having important NPCs be introduced in the same session in which they're important, and then forgotten about immediately.

I've only ever played with this group so I didn't know if people play any other way. So, this chapter confused me a little with how things happen while the PCS are walking around town - I never gave them a mission that involves wandering around town! I guess the sheriff instructing them to do so could work for that, though they'll probably think they're actually secretly looking for clues of some kind hidden all over the city.

Paizo APs often have elements of foreshadowing in early books that become far more important later. While some GMs do run each part as they come out, I think the best advice for any GM is to read the whole thing before you start and make notes for yourself on the parts that hint early and become important later.. especially for how you plan to convey to your particular group of players which ones are important.

Aldern Foxglove and Ven Vinder are minor characters in part 1, but they can be more important in part 2... Titus Scarnetti is just a name dropped in part 1, but he can be more important in part 4. Several NPCs can become important "red herrings" in part 2. The main point of the extensive write-up of Sandpoint is for your players to get to know the people and to regard them as "friends and neighbors", not just "the NPC at the blacksmith"... in part so that they can motivated by something other than "how much do we get paid".

Some people love to play out bargaining with the shopkeeper for every purchase... and that same thing can be torture for someone else in the group. In the same way, some players will want to prepare a list of things beforehand and reduce their visit to town to "we sell all the loot, buy these things, and go back out"... which can also be torture for others.

You know your group better than anyone here (unless they're also in your group), so you need to think about how to work with what they like and don't like. Rise of the Runelords, especially the first couple of parts, really is tailored a bit more for people who play out interactions, though.

As for loot.. sometimes you just can't win. My players felt poor, but they also failed to appraise some things they found, and decided that because goblin-made goods were worthless in previous games, any goblin-made masterwork weapon was still worthless... so they gave them away, or just left them behind, instead of selling them.


What should Aldern tell the PCs about his marital status, particularly if he's flirting with one of them? The PCs could feasibly roll a knowledge (local or nobility) and find out that he is married. Should he tell them she died (of course lying about the circumstances)?


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valawala wrote:
What should Aldern tell the PCs about his marital status...?

Spoiler:
There is absolutely no way he would reveal that she is dead.

Given that he's flirting, he would of course be evasive about being married.
If pressed, he might admit to being married but concoct some excuse. Trivialise his behaviour most likely. Nobles flirting (or worse) when married is hardly unusual.

If found out, he would come up with another excuse, and another. It wouldn't take long before he simply removed himself from the party's presence to end the interrogation.

Calling the guard is absolutely on the cards if things got physical. That early in the story, Aldern is likely to have the Sheriff's ear far more than the PCs.


Any suggestions for how to handle my PCs not quite getting that they can spill their own blood to make Sinspawn in the Catacombs of Wrath, eventually depleting the Runewell? The PCs want to bring Father Zantus down to consecrate the unholy fountain of Lamasthu's and if they bring him to the Runewell, I may have Zantus suggest that they talk to Brodert Quinck, although I'm loathe to bring Brodert in so early. Thoughts?


MrSnacks wrote:

...Thoughts?

Bring in Brodert. That's essentially why he's in Sandpoint - as a tool (one of many) for the GM to impart information the party may have missed or otherwise need.

He'd be busting to explore and research the catacombs in any case.

If you play him as a bit absent-minded, you have an "out" if the party tries to rely on him too much - he just starts getting vague and confused.


MrSnacks wrote:

Any suggestions for how to handle my PCs not quite getting that they can spill their own blood to make Sinspawn in the Catacombs of Wrath, eventually depleting the Runewell? The PCs want to bring Father Zantus down to consecrate the unholy fountain of Lamasthu's and if they bring him to the Runewell, I may have Zantus suggest that they talk to Brodert Quinck, although I'm loathe to bring Brodert in so early. Thoughts?

Absolutely bring in Quink


Definitely bring in Quink. My players found him to be a useful, if annoying, resource (the latter making them reluctant to consult him unless they were stuck.) Just play up the fact that he's a brilliant but lonely academic with poor social skills who is regarded as a crackpot by his peers. When I played Quink he was nice enough but way too excitable about things related to Thassilon and a bit absent-minded when it came to social graces.


Great, thanks all! I just know they're gonna latch on to anything Thassilonian, but I can play it up as Brodert being excited about this remarkable historical find and have him say something to the effect of "these finds turn up sometimes!" and get all excited about writing an article about it.


Poor Brodert...
I brought him in after they returned with the glaive from their first forray into the catacombs. They brought him along and I described how he got all excited and started tracing the inscriptions on the walls etc.
My group still laughs about him and will not associate with him at all.

Ruyan.


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So I'm gearing up to run this again and I think I'm going to change The Chopper's MO a bit. I never understood why he cut off the victims' hands and feet, but left them at the scene (while taking their eyes and tongue.) So I've decided he takes all the parts he removes and then fashions them into grotesque bird idol things in his lair. When Stoot snapped he went from "freeing trapped birds" in wood to freeing them in people.


How did y'all handle your PCs making an incursion on Thistletop but not finishing everything off in one session?

My PCs killed the refugees, made successful diplomacy checks to talk down Gogmurt but not before he raised the alarm. They crossed the bridge, fought a lot of goblins, and then retreated. I've got my own plans for Gogmurt long-term but I'm not sure how to handle Ripnugget and Nualia. I'm assuming Nualia won't care much about what's happening above and will keep her contingent below, except for maybe Bruzthumus, who might come up to help?

I was thinking Ripnugget will probably keep a lookout for the PCs for a day or so and then lose interest. Not sure yet if he'd try to ambush the PCs or just wait.


MrSnacks wrote:
but I'm not sure how to handle Ripnugget and Nualia.

Why not have the goblins drop the bridge and throw a party for "defeating the longshank attack"? Ripnugget always struck me as boastful and looking to make himself more important. Plus, you'll get to see the players' faces as you describe a joyful goblin celebration at their expense! GM's gotta have some fun, too, right?

I concur about Nualia not coming up to defend: that's what the goblins are for, after all. Plus they might not even tell her the whole truth about what happened up top.


Oh man, I love the idea of Ripnugget throwing a rager and proclaiming his awesomeness. That's great.


Has anyone actually used Malfeshnekor's Change Shape ability to look like a harmless little goblin in the room to lure the PCs in? Seems a little cruel but also an awesome plot moment. If they survive.


My group never figured out how the columns worked/what they were for.

Also: looking at the map I always thought the room was too small for M.

With the two fire pits and all the PCs inside there's no room for manouvering so it will be a very static battle and the possibility of PC deaths is quite high.

Ruyan.


Hey! Im running this campaign tomorrow as in the first chapter "Burnt Offerings". Being sincere im really exited but nervous. If it isnt much to ask, for those veterans to this campaign can you give me advice about how to run Sandpoint, NPCS, encounters, etc in this first chapter. Ill be playing this one on one campaign.


Can anyone help me with the height of Lamashtus Chapel on Thistletop...

Thistletop cliffs are 80 feet high according to Thistletop introdcution (room C1), and there are in between two levels located.

If every level is distributed equally then they are found at every 40 feet (assumption), and as conclusion a max height of a bit less than 40 feet for every room is possible. Only for rough estimation later given...

In the chapel of Lamashtu (level one) a statue of 10 feet height is found. A clue that this room has to be taller than 8 feet average of rooms in this level, and assuming the ceiling is at 10 feet - or more?

The yeth hounds can reach the ceiling of the chapel. And I'll place them there in round 1, with the idea of a surprise attack.

My question is: what's the height of the room?

If detected successfully, are the character able to hit the yeth hounds at the ceiling with their melee attacks, or not?

Thanks in advance.

Klaus.


Next question to Burnt Offerings (anniversary edition):

Is it a bug or a feature that all "standard" goblins in the RotRL AE are listed with 5 hp, but in the Bestiary given with 6 hp?

Thanks in advance.

Best regards,
Klaus.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, LO Special Edition, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

Bug, I think. There's an errata list around here somewhere.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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KlausGer wrote:

Next question to Burnt Offerings (anniversary edition):

Is it a bug or a feature that all "standard" goblins in the RotRL AE are listed with 5 hp, but in the Bestiary given with 6 hp?

Thanks in advance.

Best regards,
Klaus.

It's fine. The difference between 5 and 6 hp isn't going to likely make a huge difference in play. In fact, feel free to roll each goblin's hit points if you want. That's clutter when building stat blocks, but it can make for some fun variety when a dart takes a goblin out with one shot but another takes a full hit from an axe and keeps on coming.


Hello there. New GM here w/ a group of brand new 4 PC who never played roleplaying games be4.
I have a question about handling Quasit Elyrium fight in Catacombs of wrath. Books says when Elyrium reduced to 5 hp or less, she becomes invisible and flees to heal herself before returning to attack the PCs. Does she plan to return in like few days after healing and for PCs to comeback ? Or the plan is to go invisible for a couple of rounds and attack again during same fight ?

Thanks in advance.


I had her hiding up on a ledge. She can cast her two summon monster spells and still remain invisible. With Fast Heal 2, she does not need days to heal.


sp1948 wrote:

Hello there. New GM here w/ a group of brand new 4 PC who never played roleplaying games be4.

I have a question about handling Quasit Elyrium fight in Catacombs of wrath. Books says when Elyrium reduced to 5 hp or less, she becomes invisible and flees to heal herself before returning to attack the PCs. Does she plan to return in like few days after healing and for PCs to comeback ? Or the plan is to go invisible for a couple of rounds and attack again during same fight ?

Thanks in advance.

No right or wrong answer. Do what works for the moment so if the pc's are up for more fighting (example: they continue to explore the dungeon) have her come back after her fast healing gets her to full. If the pc's are at the end or their resources or want to retreat to plan a way to tackle her damage reduction, etc., then she doesn't return or prevent them from leaving. The Elyrium encounter can be frustrating even for experienced players so if the players want to retreat (and you can give them advice via npc's) that might be a good way to go.

Liberty's Edge

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

Can anyone help me with the height of Lamashtus Chapel on Thistletop...

Thistletop cliffs are 80 feet high according to Thistletop introdcution (room C1), and there are in between two levels located.

If every level is distributed equally then they are found at every 40 feet (assumption), and as conclusion a max height of a bit less than 40 feet for every room is possible. Only for rough estimation later given...

In the chapel of Lamashtu (level one) a statue of 10 feet height is found. A clue that this room has to be taller than 8 feet average of rooms in this level, and assuming the ceiling is at 10 feet - or more?

The yeth hounds can reach the ceiling of the chapel. And I'll place them there in round 1, with the idea of a surprise attack.

My question is: what's the height of the room?

If detected successfully, are the character able to hit the yeth hounds at the ceiling with their melee attacks, or not?

Thanks in advance.

Klaus.

Rise of the Runelords wrote:

"Ceiling height averages 8 feet in most rooms, and doors are generally rickety wooden affairs rigged by the goblins." - p.52

"...At the western end, shallow stairs rise to a platform about two feet off the ground. The walls surrounding this platform are lit by hanging braziers that emit glowing red smoke, giving the place an unnerving crimson lighting that throws the bas-relief carvings of countless monsters feasting on eeing humans into lurid display. A black marble altar stone, its surface heaped with ashes and bone fragments, squats before a ten-foot-tall statue." - p. 56

Looks to me like a minimum of 12 feet - to accommodate a 10-foot tall statue on a 2-foot high platform - and probably not too much taller than that, given that the rest of the level has ceilings that are 8-feet high. Unless your players are giants (or enlarged), they should not be able to reach the yeth hounds at the ceiling in melee, even with reach weapons.

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