Fortress of the Stone Giants (GM Reference)


Rise of the Runelords

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My players decided to sally forth out of Sandpoint and actively hunt down any approaching raiding parties (not sure why the AP expects everyone to stay in Sandpoint and await the attack). They located Teraktinus and his band and ambushed them in the night. Fully prepped for combat and with surprise on their side they slaughtered the giants. Longtooth was absent during this fight and the giants all fell before the warhorn could be sounded to summon him.

Afterwards they recieved much information from a stone giant captive. Instead of a reluctant goon I made him into a more significant npc. He is the young son of Conna and a rebellious leader of sorts. Mokmurian sends him away on the raiding party in order to remove him from the valley so he can't stir up trouble (and if he accidently/on purpose gets killed during the attack - all the better).

So the group debates about what to do with the dragon for a long time. Finally they decide to stage a mock combat between their new stone giant ally, the rogue enlarged and disguised as a stone giant and the rest of the party. With much slain bodies lying around and a little theatrics they try and bluff the dragon into landing close by so they can rush him They calculate that they may be able to take out the dragon if they mass attack him (I upped him to a young adult dragon on account of the 6 PC's I have).

They sound the warhorn (which I turned into a horn of blasting cause the party is poor) and the dragon eventually arrives. He takes one look down at the group and promptly calls their bluff "Take me for a fool do you!" He then breathes fire on them and flies off into the distance (he's not dumb enough to engage the party while all their buffs are on).

Next they head out overland for Jorgenfist (looking skyward for the dragon at all times). They almost bypass the storval stair which is much more heavily fortified now. They surmise that Mokmurian must be aware of Teraktinus' failure and everything is on alert. They decide to do an end run on the stair and attack it from behind. Here they clear out all the hill giants and the Wyverns (which Mokmurian sent to reinforce the garrison). Got some great moments with the hill giant wyvern keeper (think Rancor keeper from Return of the Jedi).

Now they are deciding on how to apporach the valley. I think their plan will be to sneak through the highlands north of the fortress and penetrate the dragon lair (to force him to fight for his treasure). As the PC's accend the peaks in order to reach the dragons lair I'm going to have them spot far off in the distance an army of fire giants marching south tawards the valley. This will be the final component of Mokmurians army before he launches his invasion. This should encourage the party to deal with Mokmurian soon. After the dragon they might decend to the river below and go in through the spider caves.

I think I'll have roc's, harpies and the dragon all taking turns patrolling the skies above the valley and the surounding heights. I think I'll insert Lucrecia as the the mother of the Lamia in the foretress and have her appear once the PC's get inside. Are there any other precautions Mokmurian would take?

Silver Crusade

So as mentioned above, my players are underground, headed towards the basement of Jorgenfist. In re-reading the end of this chapter in preparation for upcoming sessions, I thought of a couple of questions.

1. When should I have them advance to 13th level? I've been using the anniversary edition's recommended advancement track for the most part. They just leveled up to 12 after arriving at Jorgenfist and fighting some stuff outside it (wyvern cave, deathweb cave). It says they should level up to 13th near the end of exploring the caves beneath Jorgenfist - does this mean they should hit level 13 after they finish the chapter, or should I have them level up during it? I usually try to aim for logical breaks in the adventure for level ups, rather than while they're in the middle of a dungeon, but it does seem like they might need the extra level when facing Mokmurian - that's going to be one tough fight.

2. The section at the end gives info that they can find out while research Karzoug and Xin-Shalast in the library, but what about Runeforge? The note in Mokmurian's study mentions it, so I can imagine them wanting to research what that note means.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Have them level up as they are entering the 2nd level of Jorgenfist's underground. But don't let them get new spells until they rest up. (Though I let clerics use the spell slot for their Cure spells.)


My group is at almost the exact same spot - they just dealt with the Chamber of Reduction. I have been using actual xp instead of milestone advancement (largely because I'm a dinosaur and don't handle change well!) and they were just short of 13th with not much left in the 1st level of caverns and now have enough so next rest, they'll jump. I expect them to proceed and confront Mokmurian at 12th level though they could surprise me. In the end it's likely dependent on how the encounters with the golem, headless lord and forgefiend go.

Information about Runeforge is in Book 5 and it does remind the GM on how using the Library can increase the knowledge checks to learn more about it.


So my players stealthily avoided all the patrols as they worked their way north around the valley. They infiltrated Longtooth's lair and engaged the dragon. Using haste, fly and smite the party simply charged the dragon and slaughtered it inside two rounds (I even buffed him up to a young adult).

They next decended to the river below and cleared out the Wyvern and Deathweb caves. After that they stumbled around in the caves for a bit while battling Red Caps. Eventually they emerged in the first level under Jorgenfist and proceeded to get involved in a large battle involving nearly everyone on the level. At this point they are in locked in a dire battle with multiple giants and the stone giant general. Most of their daily resources are expended.

If they survive this fight they will be forced to retire to the Red Cap caves to rest (and prob level up to lvl 12). My only concern is what will be Mokmurian's actions in light of this incursion?


GM Holden wrote:

So my players stealthily avoided all the patrols as they worked their way north around the valley. They infiltrated Longtooth's lair and engaged the dragon. Using haste, fly and smite the party simply charged the dragon and slaughtered it inside two rounds (I even buffed him up to a young adult).

They next decended to the river below and cleared out the Wyvern and Deathweb caves. After that they stumbled around in the caves for a bit while battling Red Caps. Eventually they emerged in the first level under Jorgenfist and proceeded to get involved in a large battle involving nearly everyone on the level. At this point they are in locked in a dire battle with multiple giants and the stone giant general. Most of their daily resources are expended.

If they survive this fight they will be forced to retire to the Red Cap caves to rest (and prob level up to lvl 12). My only concern is what will be Mokmurian's actions in light of this incursion?

He will probably take the corpses of some of the fallen giants and turn them into more runeslaves to protect him in his lair and to stand guard on the library level. He will probably also get some of the giants above ground to come down into the main cave level as added security. I mean, it's really up to you what he does -- my PCs were in a similar situation, having cleared out much of that level then returning to the tunnels to rest for the night. I didn't have M do much more than add a few extra runeslave giants to his chamber.

If you go just a few pages back in this thread, there are more suggestions on how to handle this situation.

Silver Crusade

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Tangent101 wrote:
Have them level up as they are entering the 2nd level of Jorgenfist's underground. But don't let them get new spells until they rest up. (Though I let clerics use the spell slot for their Cure spells.)

I'm still debating how to handle this. They're three rooms into the library level now, having defeated the runeslave in the reduction room, the golem in the cauldron room, and the Headless Lord and zombies. They also got attacked by the forgefiend twice, but it didn't last long.

I've already told them to prepare their level up for next session, figuring I'll have them finish off the forgefiend in its room and then have them advance, so they'll be level 13 when they fight Mokmurian.

But since they're advancing during an adventuring day, which is odd, I haven't decided how best to deal with spell slots and new spells learned. The party's casters are a sorcerer and oracle, so they're spontaneous, not prepared. Technically, they've got a paladin and ranger who can cast, too, but their spells are utility and healing stuff usually, so they won't affect combat against Mokmurian. I'm thinking I'll just give them the extra slots right away. With the way they're blowing through spells in this place, they're going to need them.

I also get to plan out how Mokmurian will prepare and attack them based on what the Headless Lord saw and told them - some of which is useful, and some of which is actually slightly off.

When they first reached the Headless Lord's room, the undead stood around pretending to be empty suits of armor, figuring they'd attack when the whole group was in the room. But the paladin detected evil on the nearest one from the entrance and told the group they're evil. That's when the Headless Lord ordered the attack. So Mokmurian has good reason to assume that the guy in full plate with Detect Evil is a paladin.

The Headless Lord hit them with Fear, and the cavalier failed his save, despite being within range to get a +4 from the paladin's Aura of Courage, so Mokmurian knows who has the weakest Will save in the group. The sad part is that he blew is Iron Will reroll for the day on that one, and still failed.

The sorceress used Fireball and Chain Lightning to blast the undead, so Mokmurian knows she has those spells. He would know that Chain Lightning is more dangerous, so that's what he's likely to use his Resist Energy on, figuring she'll hit him with her best spells, but that's not actually the best use for Resist Energy against this group. The sorceress is draconic, specializing in acid, and having Elemental Metamagic, so she'll hit him with Fireballs converted to acid damage when they fight more often than the Chain Lightning. M also doesn't know that the oracle is a flame oracle who also has Fireball. Then again, he's likely to assume (correctly) that the sorceress can throw more Fireballs in a day than Chain Lightnings, so maybe he would go with fire resistance for that reason.

Based on the fight against the Headless Lord, Mokmurian knows that the oracle is a caster who doesn't focus on offense. He'd probably assume cleric, but doesn't know for sure. He doesn't know what spells the oracle was casting in that fight, but the Headless Lord didn't see him heal anyone or do anything with an obvious result (the Protection from Evil on the cavalier didn't help him overcome the Fear affect).

And the ranger tossed a whole lotta arrows at the undead, so Mokmurian knows he's a strong damage dealer in that way. His fog spells should serve him well in that regard. Actually, M would know that the arrows were doing cold damage on top of the regular damage (the ranger still has Baden's icy burst longbow), so I guess he could consider using his energy resistance to block cold damage instead. Probably not, though.

Silver Crusade

The library door below Jorgenfist says that it summons a protector when someone tries to force it open. In another sentence, it says that it does this whenever someone tries to open it without the key or password.

So how much can the PCs get away with before they get attacked? Obviously, trying to bash in the door summons the guardian. But what about just walking up to it and trying to push it open normally, hoping it isn't locked? Would that start a fight?


Yes, yes it would, I forget if passwall or some other spell is useful, but yes in this instance pushing it open is enough to trigger the trap.

Edit: it's been a long time since I cracked open the book so if I'm wrong feel free to let me know :-)


Fromper wrote:

The library door below Jorgenfist says that it summons a protector when someone tries to force it open. In another sentence, it says that it does this whenever someone tries to open it without the key or password.

So how much can the PCs get away with before they get attacked? Obviously, trying to bash in the door summons the guardian. But what about just walking up to it and trying to push it open normally, hoping it isn't locked? Would that start a fight?

I agree with Mr. "Ain't gonna quote ya. Not gonna happen."

Much is left up to the GM, but the idea is that this library was considered of such critical importance that a very deadly trap was put in place for those who did not know the passphrase.

I'd say any attempts to get past the door -- pushing it, bashing it, using Disable Device, an unsuccessful Dispel Magic, etc., would trigger the door.

I haven't looked at it in ages, so I have no idea whether a successful Dispel Magic would dispel or trigger the trap.

Silver Crusade

I was prepping this last night, and realized that the guardian of that door is all fire damage, so it's not going to hurt any of them. The oracle used a communal spell to give them all fire resistance when they first arrived on the library level (knowing Mokmurian's a wizard, and that this level would be more dangerous than what they'd seen so far).

So on the one hand, this will be a harmless fight for them. On the other hand, it might wear down the fire resistance enough to let Mokmurian damage them with his prepared Fireball and Scorching Ray spells.

Or they might just spend so much time trying to figure out how to open the door that they run out of duration on the fire resistance. I'm ok with that, too. *evil grin*


The text for that door is simply daft. I think I've posted on this, perhaps even in this very thread previously, but the AE edition (page 226) as written is very confusing.

"The doors can be opened safely with the key that Mokmurian carries (he took the key from the clockwork librarian inside area C7 after using knock to bypass the doors)."

So did he fight a shining child? Knock seems like an effort to force the door... And why does the Librarian give him a key? He obviously forced his way in. Okay let's say there was a key in the library that Mokmurian found. Or he coerced it from the Librarian.

"...it is summoned to attack anyone who attempts to open the doors without the key."

Okay, this sounds good.

"A password (“Viosanxi,” indicated on the final scroll of the Emerald Codex in area A14) uttered during any attempt to force open the door prevents the monster from being summoned."

What!? You build the security structure with a password that can be used by someone trying to break in so they can bypass the security structure? Nonsensical.

I suggest you need both the password and the key to get in. Without both, the Shining Child appears. Mokmurian fought a Shining Child when he first knocked his way in and then found a key and the password once inside, either through research or guile/coercion of the Librarian.

I'd also argue any effort to get in, including passwall triggers a Shining Child and that the magic protects the entire perimeter of the library, so no matter where you try to get in from, you face the guardian (unless you have a key - even if you don't need to use it - and know the password.)


Wow, I just realized after reading your post that I read that section in the AP entirely wrong, or perhaps didn't read it at all. I let them open the door by simply uttering the password. And apparently I missed the key in Mokmurian's other gear section, too. Oh well. My PC's got a free pass on that one. Whoops!

Silver Crusade

I think it's vaguely worded enough to be confusing. I was also thinking that they'd need either the key or the password, not both.


The password alone should be sufficient, I would say; I think the key is either a remnant of a previous idea or just there for people who somehow skipped the Black Monk entirely.

Silver Crusade

My group skipped the tower. They went in through the deathweb cave. I really thought they were going to go to the tower first, but they changed their approach at the last minute.

Last session, we left off with them opening the door to Mokmurian's room. They actually left the library door for last, exploring the less interesting looking doors first. So next session, they'll fight M, then if there are any survivors still in Jorgenfist (ie they haven't teleported back to Magnimar), they'll go visit the library itself.


Hi all,
I'm currently GMastering "Fortress of the Stone Giants, AE".
My party entered into Jorgenfist caves through the lesser caves and went deep into the Library after routing (by gaseous form potion) Galenmir, killing the giant smiths and freeing the prisoners (actually hiding in the lesser caves), bluffing the trolls guards by using Enlarge-disguise combination to bluff pretending Galenmir to escort prisoners to the "Boss".
Then they open their way until the Forgefiend lair fighting ad a rugby closed scrum pack (lowered head and go on..) all enemies on their way... to find themselves quite completly without resources to end the mission.
Their idea has been to teleport three of them (on a total of six) to Magnimar to quickly sell the accumulated loot, buy additional resources (potions, scrolls, weapons, etc) as well as new scroll of Teleport to return under Jorgenfist before their commando action was detected.
Ok, they did. Obviously they didin't know that Mokmurian is aware of them (by Headless lord head) as well as of the Galenmir action to retreive them.
Ok, what happens now in your idea?
According to many, a long repose under Jorgenfist is impossible: I totally agree. But my party waited only few hours.
I allowed them to run away to noises due to Mokmurian movements in the Library (where he is followed by Lucrecia, survived fleeing to the Hook Mountains events), supposing that M. will search them in the rooms of the Cauldron and in the home of the Headless lord before supposing they fled by teleport.
They are now in the Forgefiend lair (C5), reunited after four hours.
What should have done M. in the meaning?
I supposed he questioned the trolls, understood the party never returned to the caves and bring the corpses of the two dead smithes to the Runecauldron, to resurrect them as Giant runeslaves, he ordered to patrol again area C3 and bring Galenmir, as well as his group of eights stones giants, to the Library to patrol the area. I think to have four giants fixed into the area C2, to avoid infiltration from the above, and Galenmir and four more patrolling C6, while Lucrecia stay with the boss in area C9.
A deep and hard defense, but it seem good according to the tactics provided in the AE. Any comments?

Moreover:
According to the AE Morkmurian tactics "Mokmurian fights until reduced to 40 hit points or fewer, at which point he uses dimension doors to retreat to area B13, hoping to get healing from his lamia minions.
If they're dead, he flees up to the surface and gathers a group of a dozen stone giants and any of the named giants who still live to mount an attack on the library to finish off the PCs.
"

Should he flee on the surface ONLY if the lamias have been killed? Why? What should he do in other cases? Being healed should he return alone in the Library, just to escape again if reduced to 40 hp or less? It makes non sense to me, is has only ONE dimension door speel, so he can flee only once.
Also: which named giants on the surface? May be the five generals? It also doesn't make sense. I guessed the designers meant Conna, Galenmir as well as Lokansir (the named giant in the caves, NOT on the campment on the surface of the frost giants ambassadors). It makes sense also thinking that Conna is in he caves, but she is named in the same period of the tactics (not reported above).
I guess M. should flee to the lamias to be healed and, in each case, returning to attack the party in the Library with Galnmir, Conna as well as Lokansir and 12 stone giants to attack the party, maybe just to have fun observing the troop slaying the party without having part in the fight, unless attacked personally, AND that Conna should make her gambit also if che has NOT assured an alliance with the party before so nvolving M. in the general fight (in every other case the fight will simply be a assured TPK).

What do you think about he M. tactics reported in the AE? They seem strange to me...


Mutters indecipherable forlorn complaints about Disco killing Rock n Roll.

Silver Crusade

So I probably should have asked this a while ago, to give more time for responses, instead of waiting until 8 hours before our next session. But here it is, anyway.

Last time, my group killed Mokmurian. If they walk up to the other levels below Jorgenfist carrying M's head, will everyone up there just surrender to their authority? They've already got Conna as an ally, and killed Enga and General Galenmir on their way in. I know the rank and file giants won't be an issue.

It's mostly the lamias and Lokansir that I'm worried about.

I think the lamias are smart enough to play along with accepting the PCs and/or Conna as their new leader (however the players decide to handle that), but then return to Xin Shalast at the first opportunity.

I'm not sure if Lokansir is that bright, or if he'd cause trouble and actually fight the PCs just because he's stupid and mad at them for killing Mokmurian.

I'm also not sure if Conna would warn the PCs about these enemies, and what she would tell them. Since she didn't go down to the lower level with them, they'll probably run into the lamias before Conna when they come back up.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Your instincts are spot on with the Lamia, I might have Conna foreshadow Lokansir, by saying "Oh, Lokansir isn't going to like this" or something else.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens Subscriber

I´m just preparing the Raid on Sandpoint. On p. 187(AE), it is stated that the giant split "along tribal lines". Starting on p. 200, the various tribes are named, with leaders and numbers of giants.

Now, did anyone think about which tribes the giants attacking Sandpoint belong to? I´d guess that Teraktinus and hin bodyguards belong to the Kavarvatti tribe, and I´d think that no Maidens of Minderhal are on that raid. I think of having some tribal symbol for each tribe, so the PCs might be able to tell that there are several tribes in this army.

Furthermore, no numbers are given for the Kavarvatti tribe. I think they should be the most numerous giants in there, so may be 25 to 30 giants. What do you think?


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens Subscriber

One other thing I cam to think about: At what height does Longtooth fly when he attacks Sandpoint? It is said that most buildings are single-story, probably with gabled roofs. Furthermore, most downtown streets are probably too narrow for a large, flying creature to navigate comfortably. So I´d say he flies over the roofs for the most part, which should put him at 20 ft. up in the air at least, probably closer to 30 ft., and considerably higher when attacking the garrison, the cathedral and the theater, as these are higher buildings. On the other hand, flying so high that the breath weapon won´t reach the ground (and expose him to missile fire from all over the place, although that is a minor concern) does not make much sense. So, the highest flight altitude should be no more than 40 ft. or perhaps 50 ft. when attacking a higher building. This could be important if the PCs want to fight him with missiles or spells.

Silver Crusade

His tactics say that he lands regularly, so he isn't going to fly too high. I'd agree that he'll probably strafe the buildings from pretty close, maybe 20-40 feet up. My party engaged him the first time he landed, and didn't let him take off again.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens Subscriber

Fromper, thanks for your thoughts on that.

One other thing I try to get straight while preparing for the battle: distances in Sandpoint. My PCs started at the gate and needed only two rounds to shoot down one of the three giants attacking there (having Jakardros with them as a PC sure helped a lot, with his +4 against giants). Now, we stopped after round 2, so next round, the giants at Tanners Bridge will appear.
Judging from the gridded Sandpoint maps I found here:
http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2qb0b&page=2?How-did-your-Giants-attack-on- Sandpoint-go#61
A heavy-armored PC needs at least 7 rounds from the gate via the cemetery to the bridge, if you are generous about diagonals, and if the PC is running at full speed.
How do you keep the whole fight from degenerating into a olympic contest of fantasy hurdles? It seems to me that this fight, probably lasting 20+ rounds, will contain 15 rounds of running to and fro. My PC party is light on arcane magic, so no flying about for all of them.


Horses come to mind. Maybe an NPC could suggest it to them if they don't think of it themselves.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens Subscriber

Yeah, that would be an idea - I guess my players won´t think of that. Thanks for noting.


Yeah, I think most players (and DMs) think of horses as how you get from town-to-town, not how you get around inside a town and wouldn't make that connection.


The players aren't supposed to cover every area in town. The attack on the gates is meant to divert them away from the main attack. The encounter is supposed to force tough decisions on the party, and/or force them to split up.

When I ran it, many giants escaped with important NPCs and got them all the way back to Jorgunfist. The rest of the adventure went from "seek and destroy" to "hostage extraction". It totally changed the nature of the narrative, and put a real feeling of pressure on the group to act quickly and decicively.


TwoWolves wrote:


The players aren't supposed to cover every area in town. The attack on the gates is meant to divert them away from the main attack. The encounter is supposed to force tough decisions on the party, and/or force them to split up.

When I ran it, many giants escaped with important NPCs and got them all the way back to Jorgunfist. The rest of the adventure went from "seek and destroy" to "hostage extraction". It totally changed the nature of the narrative, and put a real feeling of pressure on the group to act quickly and decicively.

Hmmm... Maybe.

It's likely to vary greatly by group. My pc's who had wands of fly and haste managed to handle each group without too much trouble - I even had the initial group of giants at the wall also actually enter the town. Only the group at the brewery and the giants that attacked the noble estates "escaped." And the pc's caught up with them in a few hours. Only one giant survived. The dragon died too.

Some groups may have serious logistical challenges and will need to need to rescue captives from fleeing/retreating giants. Others may not.

Just because the pc's lack certain spells, etc. doesn't mean they have to do without. Even the relatively low-level casters in town could cast mount or expeditious retreat...


As Latrecis says, it's going to vary from party to party.

My very magic-heavy party of six had no problem keeping up with the attack, though they did have to split up briefly to handle both the giants on the bridge and the dragon. And that was with me increasing the number of giants and dire bears significantly.


My group decided to split up, one person per entrance to town, despite having plentiful access to dimension door, etc. The results were a total mess.


Ian Bell wrote:
My group decided to split up, one person per entrance to town, despite having plentiful access to dimension door, etc. The results were a total mess.

Well it's more fun at least, when you have troubles. I'm GM'ing only for 3 players playing this AP, they kinda underleveled sometimes but still cool and know their strong sides.

I was very offended during this encounter.

The main melee damage dealer went out of the town to kill the few giants on the northen part of the town. that was one.

Wizzard've killed Longtooth with one damn fireball conjured to cold with a few metamagics. that was two.

Bard charmed and/or domintated EVERY SINGLE giants that went in town, and after quick question-answer game killed EVERY SINGLE ONE except for Teraktinus... Now he's a forester, that keeps Sandpoint in safe.

P.S. sorry for bad english.


Guys if you're stil reading this tred can you give me some advice?

I'm wondering how's better show my PC's chamber of reduction. They should be very disoriented, yet i'm still now sure how i should make it happens. they're not so big fans of huge introductions and might even brutally skip this room. i'd want to hold them there for a while.

may be you have some quck tips?


Hello!

I've got a curious request.
It seems that map of Black Valley is hugely off scale, so can please help me understand how far Watch Tower is from actual Fortress?

Thank you in advance.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens Subscriber
Mrakvampire wrote:

Hello!

I've got a curious request.
It seems that map of Black Valley is hugely off scale, so can please help me understand how far Watch Tower is from actual Fortress?

Thank you in advance.

I´d say that there is quite some distance between the watchtower and the fortress. It is probably too far for shouting, as the giants at the watch tower use a fire to send a signal. Quote: "If smoke is seen but neither Cinderma nor friendly visitors arrive by nightfall,". This seems to indicate that it might even be a few hours between the tower and the fortress. I´d say at least one hour of walking, perhaps two. Perhaps something like 5 miles?


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens Subscriber
Jifd wrote:

Guys if you're stil reading this tred can you give me some advice?

I'm wondering how's better show my PC's chamber of reduction. They should be very disoriented, yet i'm still now sure how i should make it happens. they're not so big fans of huge introductions and might even brutally skip this room. i'd want to hold them there for a while.

may be you have some quck tips?

I´m not quite sure what you are aiming at. As soon as they enter the chamber, they will need to make saving throws to avoid nausea (which doubles as disorientation here, it allows them to take only a single move action on their turn, nothing else) and being reduced. And then they face the prospect to be beaten by a full-size giant. If the giant stands in front of the door leading to the Cauldron room, they will have a hard time getting past him if reduced.


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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Stebehil wrote:

I´m just preparing the Raid on Sandpoint. On p. 187(AE), it is stated that the giant split "along tribal lines". Starting on p. 200, the various tribes are named, with leaders and numbers of giants.

Now, did anyone think about which tribes the giants attacking Sandpoint belong to?

It's probably too late to be of any use to you, but I'd had the same thoughts, I was more thinking about it for all of the camps in the Valley of the Black Tower, and then worked back towards the battle at Sandpoint.

So I started with a brief description/idea, and used that to make minor changes to the stat blocks (spoiler tagged)

Black Fist Hill Giant Clan – The fists of these giants are stained with dark bitter roots. After the supplies came from Hook Mountain, these giants now wield crude spiked gauntlets, and are now eager to test out their new Kreeg-forged equipment.

Black Fist Hill Giant:

Black Fist Hill Giant XP 3,200 CR 7
CE Large humanoid (giant)
Init –1; Senses low-light vision; Perception +6

DEFENSE
AC 21, T 8, FF 21 (+4 armor, –1 Dex, +9 natural, –1 size)
hp 85 (10d8+40)
Fort +11, Ref +2, Will +3
Defensive Abilities rock catching

OFFENSE
Speed 40 ft. (30 ft. in armor)
Melee spiked gauntlet 2 slams +14 (2d6+7)
Ranged rock +6 (1d8+10) (+Brewed Reek)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks rock throwing (120 ft.)

STATISTICS
Str 25, Dex 8, Con 19, Int 6, Wis 10, Cha 7
Base Atk +7; CMB +15; CMD 24
Feats Cleave, Intimidating Prowess, Martial Weapon Proficiency (spiked gauntlet), Power Attack, Weapon Focus (spiked gauntlet)
Skills Climb +10, Intimidate +12, Perception +6
Languages Giant

Brewed Reek
Most of the Black Fists will be equiped with one rock wrapped in rags soaked in Brewed Reek, while less effective than a splash, the stench is still pungent - the Hill Giants of the Black Fist are accustomed to the stench and are unaffected. A creature hit with one of these wrapped rocks must succeed at a DC 15 Fortitude save or be sickened for 1d6 rounds.

Red Shield Ogre Clan – Using large morningstars and brown stained hide covered wooden shields that they drip the blood of their enemies upon. They now wear Kreeg-forged breastplates.

Red Shield Ogre:

Red Shield Ogre XP 1,200 CR 4
CE Large humanoid (giant)
Init +1; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +5

DEFENSE
AC 24, T 10 FF 21 (+5 arm., +2 shield, +1 Dex, +7 nat., –1 size)
hp 38 (4d8+16)
Fort +8, Ref +2, Will +5

OFFENSE
Speed 30 ft. (40 ft. base)
Melee morningstar +9 (2d6+7)
Ranged javelin +3 (1d8+7)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.

STATISTICS
Str 25, Dex 12, Con 19, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 11
Base Atk +3; CMB +11; CMD 22
Feats Iron Will, Toughness
Skills Climb +11, Perception +9
Languages Giant

Nightshade – these stealthy Ogres like to use poisoned weapons and attack from hiding

Nightshade Ogre:

Nightshade Ogre Clan – These ogres were dark hoods, wear leather armor and use longspears. They prefer to attack from hiding.

Nightshade Ogre XP 1,200 CR 4
CE Large humanoid (giant)
Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +5

DEFENSE
AC 20, T 11, FF 18 (+2 armor, +2 Dex, +7 nat., –1 size)
hp 34 (4d8+12)
Fort +8, Ref +3, Will +3

OFFENSE
Speed 40 ft.
Melee longspear +9 (2d6+10) + Greenblood Oil
Ranged javelin +4 (1d8+7)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft. (15' with longspear)

STATISTICS
Str 25, Dex 14, Con 19, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 8
Base Atk +3; CMB +11; CMD 22
Feats Stealthy, Nightstalker
Skills Stealth +3 (+9 in dim light or darkness), Perception +9
Languages Giant

Greenblood Oil
If they have time, they will coat their spears with Greenblood Oil
Type poison (injury); Save Fortitude DC 13
Frequency 1/round for 4 rounds
Effect 1 Con damage; Cure 1 save

Note they do not have Poison Use, and have a 5% chance to expose themselves to the poison.

The Maidens of Minderhal – This tribe of all female stone giants has a fearsome reputation. The Maidens use a point down triangle with an anvilans their clan symbol, burned into their left shoulder.

Maiden of Minderhal:

Maidens of Minderhal XP 4,800 CR 8
NE Large humanoid (giant)
Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +12

DEFENSE
AC 22, touch 11, flat-footed 20 (+2 Dex, +11 natural, –1 size)
hp 102 (12d8+48)
Fort +12, Ref +6, Will +5
Defensive Abilities improved rock catching

OFFENSE
Speed 40 ft.
Melee greatclub +16/+11 (2d8+12) or 2 slams +16 (1d8+8)
Ranged rock +11/+6 (1d8+12)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks rock throwing (180 ft.)

STATISTICS
Str 27, Dex 15, Con 19, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 10
Base Atk +9; CMB +18; CMD 30
Feats Intimidating Prowess, Martial Weapon Proficiency (greatclub), Point Blank Shot, Power Attack, Precise Shot, Quick Draw
Skills Climb +12, Intimidate +20, Perception +12, Stealth +4 (+12 in rocky terrain); Racial Modifiers +8 Stealth in rocky terrain
Languages Common, Giant

Improved Rock Catching (Ex)
A stone giant gains a +4 racial bonus on its Reflex save when attempting to catch a thrown rock with rock catching. This ability otherwise works like the rock catching ability.

Jormunsir Clan –This tribe of stone giants wear a cord around their right bicep, bone disks dangle from this cord each engraved with a run representing a giantish virtue that inspires the individual and one with an oval crescent with a seven pointed star – this symbol of their clan

Jormunsir Giant:

Jormunsir Stone Giants XP 4,800 CR 8
N Large humanoid (giant)
Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +12

DEFENSE
AC 22, touch 11, flat-footed 20 (+2 Dex, +11 natural, –1 size)
hp 102 (12d8+48)
Fort +12, Ref +6, Will +7
Defensive Abilities improved rock catching

OFFENSE
Speed 40 ft.
Melee greatclub +16/+11 (2d8+12) or 2 slams +16 (1d8+8)
Ranged rock +11/+6 (1d8+12)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks rock throwing (180 ft.)

STATISTICS
Str 27, Dex 15, Con 19, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 10
Base Atk +9; CMB +18; CMD 30
Feats Iron Will, Martial Weapon Proficiency (greatclub), Point Blank Shot, Power Attack, Precise Shot, Quick Draw
Skills Climb +12, Intimidate +12, Perception +12, Stealth +4 (+12 in rocky terrain); Racial Modifiers +8 Stealth in rocky terrain
Languages Common, Giant

Improved Rock Catching (Ex)
A stone giant gains a +4 racial bonus on its Reflex save when attempting to catch a thrown rock with rock catching. This ability otherwise works like the rock catching ability.

Valissgander Clan – This tribe of stone giants wear leather bracers tooled with the symbol of their clan - a triangle divided by several lines capped with a seven pointed star.

Valissgander Giant:

Valissgander Giants XP 4,800 CR 8
NE Large humanoid (giant)
Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +12

DEFENSE
AC 22, touch 11, flat-footed 20 (+2 Dex, +11 natural, –1 size)
hp 102 (12d8+48)
Fort +12, Ref +6, Will +7
Defensive Abilities improved rock catching

OFFENSE
Speed 40 ft.
Melee greatclub +16/+11 (2d8+12) or 2 slams +16 (1d8+8)
Ranged rock +11 (1d8+12)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks rock throwing (180 ft.)

STATISTICS
Str 27, Dex 15, Con 19, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 10
Base Atk +9; CMB +18; CMD 30
Feats Iron Will, Martial Weapon Proficiency (greatclub), Point Blank Shot, Power Attack, Precise Shot, Vital Strike
Skills Climb +12, Intimidate +12, Perception +12, Stealth +4 (+12 in rocky terrain); Racial Modifiers +8 Stealth in rocky terrain
Languages Common, Giant

Improved Rock Catching (Ex)
A stone giant gains a +4 racial bonus on its Reflex save when attempting to catch a thrown rock with rock catching. This ability otherwise works like the rock catching ability.

Crannoch Clan – Wearing fur cloaks and having Facial tattoos and dies to make their eyes sunken and display snarling fanged visage upon their face and mouth are the only identifiers of this clan.

Crannoch Giant:

Crannoch Stone Giants XP 4,800 CR 8
CN Large humanoid (giant)
Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +12

DEFENSE
AC 23, touch 12, flat-footed 20 (+3 Dex, +11 natural, –1 size)
hp 102 (12d8+48)
Fort +12, Ref +6, Will +7
Defensive Abilities improved rock catching

OFFENSE
Speed 40 ft.
Melee greatclub +16/+11 (2d8+12) or 2 slams +16 (1d8+8)
Ranged rock +12/+7 (1d8+12)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks rock throwing (180 ft.)

STATISTICS
Str 27, Dex 16, Con 19, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 9
Base Atk +9; CMB +18; CMD 30
Feats Iron Will, Martial Weapon Proficiency (greatclub), Point Blank Shot, Deadly Aim, Precise Shot, Quick Draw
Skills Climb +14, Survival +12, Perception +12, Stealth +4 (+12 in rocky terrain); Racial Modifiers +8 Stealth in rocky terrain
Languages Common, Giant

Improved Rock Catching (Ex)
A stone giant gains a +4 racial bonus on its Reflex save when attempting to catch a thrown rock with rock catching. This ability otherwise works like the rock catching ability.

Kavarvatti Clan - These giants wear a beaten copper medallion with their clan symbol tooled into the surface – a black circle surrounded by 7 small evenly spaced triangles.

Kavarvatti Giant:

Kavarvatti Stone Giants XP 4,800 CR 8
N Large humanoid (giant)
Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +12

DEFENSE
AC 22, touch 11, flat-footed 20 (+2 Dex, +11 natural, –1 size)
hp 102 (12d8+48)
Fort +12, Ref +6, Will +7
Defensive Abilities improved rock catching

OFFENSE
Speed 40 ft.
Melee greatclub +16/+11 (2d8+12) or 2 slams +16 (1d8+8)
Ranged rock +11/+6 (1d8+12)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks rock throwing (180 ft.)

STATISTICS
Str 27, Dex 15, Con 19, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 10
Base Atk +9; CMB +18; CMD 30
Feats Iron Will, Martial Weapon Proficiency (greatclub), Point Blank Shot, Power Attack, Precise Shot, Quick Draw
Skills Climb +12, Intimidate +12, Perception +12, Stealth +4 (+12 in rocky terrain); Racial Modifiers +8 Stealth in rocky terrain
Languages Common, Giant

Improved Rock Catching (Ex)
A stone giant gains a +4 racial bonus on its Reflex save when attempting to catch a thrown rock with rock catching. This ability otherwise works like the rock catching ability.

As for which group was where during Stones over Sandpoint?
I'm thinking it should look something like this. If you want to add the Maidens - put them in at Looting Scarnetti Manor.

The Northgate Siege - Valissgander
Chaos at Tanner’s Bridge - Crannoch
Mill Pond - Kavarvatti
Beer or Death - Jormunsir
Looting Scarnetti Manor - Kavarvatti


Fellow gamers!

I need your help with ideas. Party attacked dungeons of Jorgenfist via Redcap tunnels and then retreated, without facing Mokmurian.
Mokmurian in turn ressurected 5 killed giants and should be now more prepared for next assault. Giants can't follow PCs in redcap tunnels, but they definitely would want to organize reinforced defenses in former kobold (Enga) lair.

Any ideas what can be used to prepare strong defensive position for giants? What traps they can realistically create in 8-12 hours?

Liberty's Edge

I think I found the shining children's theme song. (Technically, they don't have eyes, just beams of fire.)


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I'm planning on picking up my campaign again after Labor Day, and I ended things after HMM.

Does anyone have some interesting things that they did between Hook Mountain and Fortress?


the Lorax wrote:

I'm planning on picking up my campaign again after Labor Day, and I ended things after HMM.

Does anyone have some interesting things that they did between Hook Mountain and Fortress?

Not really in between, but at the start of Fortress, I had players stat up some level-boosted major NPCs from the town (memory is a bit fuzzy, but I believe each player had a level 7 and a level 5), and for the first few rounds of the encounter, until the "Heroes" arrived, they played those characters. The player who had Hemlock gave a rousing speech, and they actually managed to hold the giants off for the most part, until the heroes arrived. It took a couple sessions (mine tend to be only 3-4 hours), but everyone enjoyed it.


the Lorax wrote:

I'm planning on picking up my campaign again after Labor Day, and I ended things after HMM.

Does anyone have some interesting things that they did between Hook Mountain and Fortress?

Does it help to say No? That's the one part of the AP where there is an implied urgency. The pc's should want to get back to Sandpoint as quickly as possible given they find the note from Mokmurian to Barl. The AP doesn't provide a penalty for delay - basically, the giant attack starts the day after the pc's get there regardless of how long it takes, but the pc's should feel urgency nonetheless (ie, they shouldn't know that.) At least that's how I ran it.

Silver Crusade

Latrecis wrote:
the Lorax wrote:

I'm planning on picking up my campaign again after Labor Day, and I ended things after HMM.

Does anyone have some interesting things that they did between Hook Mountain and Fortress?

Does it help to say No? That's the one part of the AP where there is an implied urgency. The pc's should want to get back to Sandpoint as quickly as possible given they find the note from Mokmurian to Barl. The AP doesn't provide a penalty for delay - basically, the giant attack starts the day after the pc's get there regardless of how long it takes, but the pc's should feel urgency nonetheless (ie, they shouldn't know that.) At least that's how I ran it.

Completely agree.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

The letter from Mokmurian to Barl must be one of those changes in the AE, as I don't see it in my version.

Text from original edition that describes how the PCs are drawn home.:
in the section on Concluding the Adventure
...For now, the PCs have earned a rest. Feel free to give them days, weeks, or even months. Maintaining Fort Rannick can certainly keep them diverted for some time if they wish to stay on as the keep’s commanders, or they may wish to return home to Sandpoint to winter there. Shalelu does the latter, and if the PCs decide to stay at Fort Rannick, they’ll eventually receive a disturbing message from their elven ranger ally—stone giants have been sighted west of Ember Lake, and fears are that a platoon of them might be headed for Sandpoint. Can the PCs return to their home in time to aid in its defense against the vanguard of an army of giants?

Which is the path I went along with, it helped that I wanted a break from running for the summer and allowing there to be a sort of natural IN Game campaign break felt pretty natural, when things start back up I intend to use some of the ideas in the section on Ruling Rannick, let the players get back into their characters.

In the original edition, there is the exact opposite of "implied urgency", there is explicit lack of urgency, and a direction to give the PCs some "time off".

I can see how such a letter would keep things moving along, but that's not the direction I went leading into my break for the summer.


Among the treasure players can find in this book is a druid's staff with a spellstaff spell still in effect on it (the spell rusting grasp is in the staff).

Now, from what I've understood about the rules (which I could be wrong):
1.) Only the druid who cast it can use the spell.
2.) If the druid loses his spellstaff-ed staff, he can't cast spellstaff again.
3.) You can't identify spells once they've been cast.

If all the above understandings are true, then this item is quite boring and useless? I might fudge the rules and allow the players to both identify the spell and maybe use it.

Unless, is there another fun reason that this spellstaff-ed staff exists? Does anyone have any neat ideas that they used this with? Who is this mysterious druid?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

My understanding is quite different:

The spellstaff is a magic item, more specifically a staff.
Thus you're per se able to identify it as such and than use Use magic device to activate/use it.

You're right about 2.). Your 3.) is irrelevant in this situation.

Ruyan.


My party has taken the feats to craft items and plan to do so. I want to give them a chance after this adventure as well as establish more ties to Sand Point, Magnimar, and Fort Rannick. I was thinking about having a couple letters from Mokmurian talking about status updates with Barl and the search for the Scribbler. After a month of doing what ever they want have either them or the Black Arrows encounter a small stone giant group with the letter at the end of The Hook Mountain adventure. Does anyone have any ideas what else the earlier letters could be saying to give them some information but now have the characters charge off half cocked to the jorgenfist.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Joey Virtue wrote:


My party has taken the feats to craft items and plan to do so. I want to give them a chance after this adventure as well as establish more ties to Sand Point, Magnimar, and Fort Rannick. I was thinking about having a couple letters from Mokmurian talking about status updates with Barl and the search for the Scribbler. After a month of doing what ever they want have either them or the Black Arrows encounter a small stone giant group with the letter at the end of The Hook Mountain adventure. Does anyone have any ideas what else the earlier letters could be saying to give them some information but now have the characters charge off half cocked to the jorgenfist.

First off, any early communication between Mokmurian and Barl doesn't need to reference Jorgenfist by name. Both of them know all about it so they don't need to reference it by name or location. So the pc's really won't have any clue about where to go until they capture a giant later. Documents Barl might have include:

- His initial orders from Mokmurian directing him to take command of the Kreeg ogres, begin manufacturing weapons for the "the War," recruit other ogre clans and cooperate with Karzoug's agents.
- Congratulatory notes on the success against the Black Arrows and subverting the Kreeg Ogres
- Acknowledgement of preliminary weapon shipments with encouragement/demands to increase production.

I would not expect Mokmurian to mention the search for the Scribbler to Barl - Karzoug does not want anyone to know anything about the Scribbler or Runeforge, etc.

Were there any surviving Black Arrows? Did Shalelu stay behind at Rannick? One option would be for one of them to arrive in town (breathless perhaps) having been traveling for a week or 10 days (or whatever the distance implies) - they were watching the surviving Kreeg Ogres and intercepted a message being delivered by a Roc! It sounds like Sandpoint is going to be attacked! This way the attack can start the next morning (as in the AP) or just after the pc's race back (if perhaps the pc's are in Magnimar.)

Order of the Amber Die

7 people marked this as a favorite.

Our group recently played a large session of the battle for Sandpoint, so large that we had to play it outside to accommodate for all the various maps and players involved. To properly defend Sandpoint from Teraktinus, Longtooth, and more giants than we were hoping to see, we employed many of our members to play the roles of Sandpoint's iconic NPCs. Members from four different states made the journey to help give our friends Belor Hemlock, Brodert Quink, Ameiko Kaijitsu, and Kendra Deverin the best chance at survival.

Our Dropbox also includes a copy of the rousing speech delivered by Mayor Kendra Deverin (written by one of our members), and our Facebook includes many photos of how we laid out the battle as it evolved over an 8-hour session. You'll be able to see everything from how we used a mini-map of Sandpoint to track the positions of various allied and enemy forces, to which flip-mats we employed, and even a hand-drawn version of Tanner's Bridge that you can use as a guide if you like.

Very soon we'll post our photos of the Storval Stairs in all their glory, as well as the entirety of Jorgenfist's caverns and library drawn on three Chessex Mondomats.

Hope this helps some of you in your run of Fortress of the Stone Giants!

Adam
GM
Order of the Amber Die

Order of the Amber Die

6 people marked this as a favorite.

Alright Runelords fans and GMs, it's time to show off one of the most iconic locations in all of Varisia, if not Golarion: the Storval Stairs. I drew them for a 10-hour session that comprised part 2 of Fortress of the Stone Giants, specifically the entire journey from Sandpoint to Jorgenfist. It was daunting knowing that I was following a long line of GMs who had done their best over the years to represent this location for their players. I did a lot of research to see what was out there as far as previous maps of the stairs other GMs had produced, or even any official maps made by Paizo. I eventually settled on trying to recreate the most accurate depiction I could find, which was the map from the PFS scenario, King of the Storval Stairs. The main issue I ran into was the size of the map. You will likely need a Chessex Mondomat, since gaming paper is not wide enough at 30" to fit it (unless you want to try and tape gaming paper sheets side-by-side, but I cannot recommend the Mondomat enough). Our Facebook has photos of how our party of iconics fared against the giants guarding the stairs; it should be noted with such a large party the encounter had to be advanced, so you'll see seven of Pathfinder's iconics facing off against a dozen giants in an epic battle for the stairs.

We also have photos of how we played out the other major encounters in part 2: ogre cattle rustlers, Iron Peaks patrol, and even a random encounter with a few Runeslave hill giants on the Storval Plateau.

Hope this helps some of you in your run of Fortress of the Stone Giants!

Adam
GM
Order of the Amber Die

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