Sins of the Saviors (GM Reference)


Rise of the Runelords

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James Jacobs wrote:


The Scribbler and allies are indeed affected by the fog and other effects of the spell.

Except that he has blindsight 10' while the fog reduces everyone else's vision to 5'; that plus his familiarity with the layout, not to mention the ability to dimension door throughout the shrine at will, gives him a lot more information in the fog than the party will have.


Two things.

1. If you have players like mine, then as soon as they beat Ordikon and the greediest PC gets into the room with the Pool of Elemental Arcana and figures out what the pool can do, you will get the following question: "Okay, as soon as we plane shift and teleport back to Magnimar, how many 'used', mostly-empty wands can we buy?" They've figured out that any wand they can buy for retail price with fewer than 25 charges can be potentially recharged to full and sold at a profit...

How have other GMs handled this? They reasonably point out "about half of the partly-used wands we find, we sell. Someone must buy them. If we go and ask, presumably someone else has also sold a partially-used wand they don't want."

2. My PCs have killed the dragon and Ordikon and are starting to poke around Runeforge. They're fairly well-off now, and have noticed something about the whole RotRL sequence: there are very few rings provided as treasure. I looked ahead, and saw that the only rings in Sins of the Saviors were rings of protection (with one exception, a ring that mimics a cloak of resistance). I'm going to replace a couple of these with more interesting rings, I think.


eyelessgame wrote:

"Okay, as soon as we plane shift and teleport back to Magnimar, how many 'used', mostly-empty wands can we buy?"

How have other GMs handled this?

The pool as described already provides an increasing chance for a bad result each time it's used on an individual item; go a step further and increase the chance for a bad result if the pool is used too many times within a short period. When the used wands start being drained more often than charged, they'll back off.

eyelessgame wrote:


2. I looked ahead, and saw that the only rings in Sins of the Saviors were rings of protection (with one exception, a ring that mimics a cloak of resistance). I'm going to replace a couple of these with more interesting rings, I think.

Look ahead to Spires of Xin-Shalast; they'll want to have empty ring slots before the end game.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16

eyelessgame wrote:
2. My PCs have killed the dragon and Ordikon and are starting to poke around Runeforge. They're fairly well-off now, and have noticed something about the whole RotRL sequence: there are very few rings provided as treasure. I looked ahead, and saw that the only rings in Sins of the Saviors were rings of protection (with one exception, a ring that mimics a cloak of resistance). I'm going to replace a couple of these with more interesting rings, I think.

Also, there was a ring of force shield at the end of Burnt Offerings.


JoelF847 wrote:
I looked ahead, and saw that the only rings in Sins of the Saviors were rings of protection (with one exception, a ring that mimics a cloak of resistance).
Also, there was a ring of force shield at the end of Burnt Offerings.

And a ring of counterspelling near the end of Sins of the Saviors. (It's also a ring of protection; Highlady Athroxis wears it.)


Damon Griffin wrote:
JoelF847 wrote:

I looked ahead, and saw that the only rings in Sins of the Saviors were rings of protection (with one exception, a ring that mimics a cloak of resistance).

Also, there was a ring of force shield at the end of Burnt Offerings.

And a ring of counterspelling near the end of Sins of the Saviors. (It's also a ring of protection; Highlady Athroxis wears it.)

I don't see where it says that her RoP +2 also acts as a Ring of Counterspelling in my copy of SotS. Is this an erratum?


Rogue Eidolon wrote:


I don't see where it says that her RoP +2 also acts as a Ring of Counterspelling in my copy of SotS. Is this an erratum?

Arrgh! My bad. I ended up using Sylvanite's conversion for Athroxis because my party demanded something tougher than the straight conversion from 3.5; the ring of counterspells was one of his upgrades. Very handy it was, too.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

The problem with rings, alas, is that they skew VERY expensive. And NPCs generally don't have a lot of money to spend on rings after they "buy" their weapon and armor and something else. Further complicating things is the fact that those rings of protection (and amulets of natural armor) are really one of the only tools an adventure designer has at hand to make an NPC's armor class work.

That said... there'll be a lot more ring variety in the adventure when it's reprinted later this year as part of the Anniversary edition.


James Jacobs wrote:
The problem with rings, alas, is that they skew VERY expensive. And NPCs generally don't have a lot of money to spend on rings after they "buy" their weapon and armor and something else. Further complicating things is the fact that those rings of protection (and amulets of natural armor) are really one of the only tools an adventure designer has at hand to make an NPC's armor class work.

This is an unfortunate flaw in the system Pathfinder inherited and built upon. Players get frustrated by an adventure that rewards them with endless rings of protection +1 or +2, belts of giant str +2, cloaks of protection +2 and weapon-types-I-don't-use +1 -- but those items pretty much have to be there to make the NPCs work. At least Pathfinder makes it easier to craft yer own.

Somehow we need to break the cycle of escalation that demands the Big Six magic items in order to make a character viable in terms of AC, saving throws and damage potential. Darned if I know how to do it, though.

[tangent]
A related problem, going back even pre-3e D&D, was the acquisition of certain items of treasure by a "moral high ground" party. In my long experience with D&D, most "good" parties who gain an evil robe of the archmagi as treasure are going to feel cheated, because they can't (in good conscience, within character) use it or sell it. Some items of that sort may even be destroyed, depending on the individual party: 75,000gp up in smoke, in the case of the aforementioned robe. But it's not like the lich necromancer is going to be wearing a white version, is it?
[/tangent]


Damon Griffin wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
The problem with rings, alas, is that they skew VERY expensive. And NPCs generally don't have a lot of money to spend on rings after they "buy" their weapon and armor and something else. Further complicating things is the fact that those rings of protection (and amulets of natural armor) are really one of the only tools an adventure designer has at hand to make an NPC's armor class work.

[tangent]

A related problem, going back even pre-3e D&D, was the acquisition of certain items of treasure by a "moral high ground" party. In my long experience with D&D, most "good" parties who gain an evil robe of the archmagi as treasure are going to feel cheated, because they can't (in good conscience, within character) use it or sell it. Some items of that sort may even be destroyed, depending on the individual party: 75,000gp up in smoke, in the case of the aforementioned robe. But it's not like the lich necromancer is going to be wearing a white version, is it?
[/tangent]

At least in Runelords you can always make it into ethillion, I guess, if you allow the PCs to research the creation of uncharged ethillion and convert it to Pathfinder.


IMC, I allow anyone with an item creation feat to "deconstruct" the item, getting the equivalent of "ethillion" out of it: Golden, sparkly "majic juice" that can be used to power the creation of a different item. The end result is the same as selling an item (you get the same value of ethillion out as you would have gotten in gold if you sold it), but no more worries about oddly sized weapons and armor or evil items going to waste. You can tap all those rings of protection/cloaks of resistance/amulets of natural armor and pool the ethillion to create a nice tinker toy of your own design!


Damon Griffin wrote:


[tangent]
A related problem, going back even pre-3e D&D, was the acquisition of certain items of treasure by a "moral high ground" party. In my long experience with D&D, most "good" parties who gain an evil robe of the archmagi as treasure are going to feel cheated, because they can't (in good conscience, within character) use it or sell it. Some items of that sort may even be destroyed, depending on the individual party: 75,000gp up in smoke, in the case of the aforementioned robe. But it's not like the lich necromancer is going to be wearing a white version, is it?
[/tangent]

To help alleviate that when it has come up in my games, I give good aligned parties an experience point bonus for the destruction of powerful evil items like that. In 1e AD&D I give the XP value they would have gotten should they have kept the item (or created the item for 2e purposes), for 3.x and pathfinder I generally assign a CR value to the item (based on the item and the circumstances) and give that much XP.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16

I often have powerful good churches willing to pay to buy evil items so they can ensure that they're properly destroyed.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Damon Griffin wrote:

Somehow we need to break the cycle of escalation that demands the Big Six magic items in order to make a character viable in terms of AC, saving throws and damage potential. Darned if I know how to do it, though.

I can think of plenty of ways to fix that... but none of them are appropriate without them being part of a 2nd edition of the game.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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I would hope that giving evil magic items to good churches or friendly organizations you trust to destroy or vault the item in return for a bounty equal to the amount you would have otherwise received for selling the item would be a standard feature of any game that allows and expects you to be able to sell your items for gold.


James Jacobs wrote:
I can think of plenty of ways to fix that... but none of them are appropriate without them being part of a 2nd edition of the game.

Well, don't rush to PF2e on my account. Maybe by the time WotC starts gearing up for D&D6e, I'll be ready for Pathfinder 2e. For now, to paraphrase Sir Winston Churchill, Pathfinder is the worst RPG system on the market, except for all the others.


<tangent> What James said. I realized this same thing after I spent some time considering a module (by a different publisher) that included a trove of good-aligned magic weapons, buried with paladins, and a bunch of evil clerics pursuing nefarious schemes... and I realized that the obvious thing to do with a good-aligned sword, if you're an evil cleric, is use it as the material component of a planar ally spell - as an altar sacrifice.

Presumably the same thing works for any alignment - Abadar accepts chaotic weapons for sacrifice, etc. Churches make money hand over fist if they craft items and sell them for 2x cost, so some of that profit goes toward buying up "objectionable" items and safely/appropriately destroying them. </tangent>

Thanks for the info about rings - it makes unfortunate sense.


James Jacobs wrote:
Damon Griffin wrote:

Somehow we need to break the cycle of escalation that demands the Big Six magic items in order to make a character viable in terms of AC, saving throws and damage potential. Darned if I know how to do it, though.

I can think of plenty of ways to fix that... but none of them are appropriate without them being part of a 2nd edition of the game.

Strongly agree. And this is one of the reasons there will need to be a 2nd edition of the game at some point. High-level maths breakdown being on of the other conspicuous issues.

But that's a discussion for another forum...


TwoWolves wrote:


IMC, I allow anyone with an item creation feat to "deconstruct" the item, getting the equivalent of "ethillion" out of it: Golden, sparkly "majic juice" that can be used to power the creation of a different item. The end result is the same as selling an item (you get the same value of ethillion out as you would have gotten in gold if you sold it), but no more worries about oddly sized weapons and armor or evil items going to waste. You can tap all those rings of protection/cloaks of resistance/amulets of natural armor and pool the ethillion to create a nice tinker toy of your own design!

I do this too. But I call it Residuun, and I only refund the magic for the enchantment. For example: A +1 golden hilted katana with a giant diamond pommel would return 100 gold (we use the silver standard), and will destroy the sword.

Requires Dispel magic and 1 day per 1000 gold of the creation cost.

... is this off topic?

ANYWHO

what happened to all the runelords? Sins of the Saviors says the runeforge contains "Vital clues preserved in the notes and workings of the complex hint at not only how each of the runelords planned on surviving the fall of Thassilon, but also reveal how to undo the magic that has preserved them for the past 10,000 years."

But from skimming through the anniversary edition I can only find information on Runelord Zutha's phylactery. Did I just miss it?


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Bump since stickies aren't working.


You know I just noticed the ethillion from the abjurant halls does a good job of disenchanting rules.

My group is going into runeforge this week for the first time. Any advice on which enemies should attack on site and which should simply look up and say "who are you and what are you doing here?"


Can the party use Shadow Walk to escape the Runeforge?

Shadow Walk can take you to planes "adjacent to" the Shadow Plane, but the Runeforge is a demiplane hanging off the Material Plane.

I have no idea on how to rule whether or not it's "adjacent".


Bumping this thread with a second question: The Runeforge is said to have roughly half a dozen 'charges' left, and I have only 4 PCs.

So after enchanting their four weapons they (very logically) decided they were going to use the remaining charges to enchant some arrows.

How would you manage this?
(1) Since by the book, enchanting is enough for 50 arrows, let them enchant 100 arrows(!!)

(2) Let them enchant 2 arrows.

(3) Say that the enchantment was overwhelmed by the amount of material they put in the forge and didn't manage to enchant any of them.

Thanks!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
NobodysHome wrote:

Bumping this thread with a second question: The Runeforge is said to have roughly half a dozen 'charges' left, and I have only 4 PCs.

So after enchanting their four weapons they (very logically) decided they were going to use the remaining charges to enchant some arrows.

How would you manage this?
(1) Since by the book, enchanting is enough for 50 arrows, let them enchant 100 arrows(!!)

(2) Let them enchant 2 arrows.

(3) Say that the enchantment was overwhelmed by the amount of material they put in the forge and didn't manage to enchant any of them.

Thanks!

I don't remember exactly where it appears, but the anniversary edition only allows to enchant up to four weapons, one per PC. I think it's in the final part of this particular module, just before the golem attacks.

The text says weapons, so I wouldn't allow the pool to enchant ammunition. If you enchant a bow for example, it should transfer the bane property to all the arrows.


I'm getting a group together to run Rise of the Runelords and I was re-reading it when I noticed Ordikon the Mithral Mage in Runeforge. It says that in preparation for combat, one of the spells he casts is Mirror Image. Ordikon is a Thassilonian Transmuter, and thus shouldn't he be unable to cast Illusion or Enchantment spells, or am I interpreting this incorrectly. I searched the forum for the word Ordikon and nothign came up, so I thought to put it here.

Shadow Lodge

Under Arkryst's tactics it indicates that he

"makes either a flyby tail slap or a bite so that he can snatch an opponent, carry it aloft, breathe on it, and drop it from at least 200 feet up onto the rocks below"

If he doesn't have the feat snatch, how was he intended to accomplish this?

EDIT: It appears that this text was a remnant of moving to the anniversary edition as the original stat block indicates he has the feat snatch.

Could a dev verify if he is indeed still intended to have Snatch?


My party is full of fighter-types, and I was thinking in the Halls of Wrath, that Highlady Athroxis might see in one of them a worthy opponent (she is LE after all). Considering there are seven of them (an unholy number?) she might offer them a one-on-one duel in lieu of attacking the party on sight. If they win, she agrees to their terms and keeps the demon "from devouring their souls"; and if she wins, one of them agrees to stay with her and help repopulate the ranks of Wrath (assuming the party kills all 15 Warriors of Wrath).

I'm not certain that one of the party would be able to defeat Athroxis 1-on-1, but it seems more rational than her trying to take on seven adventurers since she has been monitoring their activities in the Halls. 5 of the 7 are 12th or 13th level (a ranger, paladin, fighter, barbarian and rogue/duelist).

Has anyone used such an alternate tactic before, or does everyone go full-on assault?


Has anyone else experienced a sort of diconnect (if that is right word for this?) for players in Runeforge? One of my players brought it up as he was getting bit bored of grinding the wings (done with Gluttony, Wrath and Pride. Currently in Lust) as he felt there was no room for RP happening even if they did joke about hiring the cloned Delvahines. He did recognise the issue partially on players side, as they have sort of fallen in to tunnel vision after clearing Wrath with ease and facing no real resistance since. They kick in doors and press forward, sort of waiting for getting the "Runeforge complete -achievement" to happen.

I know Delvahine for example will try give them a sort of RP encounter (changing a bit after they sneaked in to her tent and cut the giants in half in one round, she will try to talk them to leave and let her be), but after seeing their reaction on the clones, I doubt they let her bargain for too long before going for the kill. I'm not quite certain what I could do on my part to help them get off the mindset, but has anyone else experienced this and how did you handle it?


Well, I'm going to go ahead and lay this at your player's feet.

At this point they should already know that the -only- items they need are artifacts of Lust and Pride. Why are they bothering with the other wings at all?

The book pretty much hits them on the head with, "All you need are Lust and Pride and you can get out of there."

My group did Lust and Pride, felt they needed to do Greed to learn more about Karzoug, and finally decided to do Wrath on learning that there might be an escape route through there, but they left Sloth and Gluttony completely alone. Why bother?

Honestly, if they're in a "killed that, what's next?" mood, I'd set up Delvahine with both Shining Children in her room, any remaining alu demons, and just nuke the party. It was nearly a TPK in my group, and they had to flee and re-think tactics. Those Shining Children are lethal.

I know answering, "My party is bored with all the combat," with, "Give them more combat," sounds pretty stupid, but I'm afraid their complaint that there's too much combat is falling on deaf ears when they're wandering around in wings they don't have to go to...

...and since Delvahine is explicitly written to be willing to negotiate, I'd be perfectly happy making her the one to say, "Oh, not willing to talk, eh? Have a couple of Shining Children to the face!"

EDIT: I mean, if they don't have Protection from Evil up to start the "negotiations", just dominate the sellsword, blind the magus, and hope your mirror images can hold up against the ranger until the Shining Children take down the cleric and then him...


You are correct, one of them (the magus, who also brought up the complaint) has come to the conclusion that they only need something from Lust to be done in Runeforge. Rest of them didn't seem to pay too much attention to his thoughts thou, ignoring the clues.

They spent their only prepared Protection From Evil at the end of Pride against the succubus clones, just before sneaking in to Lust. I let them see the daughters of Delvahine playing up in the roof and Cleric acknowledged that he wouldn't have more Protections to cast, so they came up with a plan to sneak past the girls in to the chambers. As noted, they then cut the giants in half in a flash, but not fast enough to prevent alarm and that is where we will continue tomorrow. Delvahine is ready with her buffs and will try to reason with "The beasts that crash in to her chambers, slay her man servants and most of all interrupt her in middle of important matters.. Who is the fool that sent you? What do you want?" ..she tries to get rid of them as described in the chapter. If that won't work then she will certainly bring it all down on them with the daughters and the shining children and blame them for it.

I guess it might just be their frustration of getting no real clues out of Gluttony (1st) and Wrath (2nd) and now that they got one from Pride, for some reason most of them fail to recognize it.


Well, you know my story. The party missed the clues and ended up benefiting from it, so who am I to throw stones? But the Runeforge is a great big, "I whack you on the head for murderhobodom," dungeon, and Delvahine's where to do it.

I just hope they do little enough damage to her that she finds it amusing to let them run away...


Well, checking the obits looks like you finally gave 'em a good fight!

Did it turn out OK, or do I have to wait for Tomi to post?


Well I'd rather not fill this topic up with it, but as you mentioned, the Shining Children sure do work for their buck. I let Tomi write it up as Alpharius was the only one not suffering blindness or death by the end of it and he had Harsk laying at his feet :)

So no, they didn't completely perish. They finished the session at the cliffhanger where Alice has just created their first Dominant weapon.. But as they were finishing, they were still discussing which wing they have to clear next.. :(


I ended up with more roleplaying happening in Runeforge than I expected, honestly. My group tried talking with Delvahine (briefly), hung out with Mr. Mutt for a while and found out a fair amount of interesting Thassilonian information (they were pretty well taken aback when he disintegrated on the way out the door) and actually cut a deal with Sloth-dude.


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Got a question about Runeforged Weapons. There's that part about "A wielder who is considered sinful or virtuous with the same type of sin/virtue as a runeforged weapon he wields[..]".

How should I connect the 7 runforged enchantments with 7 sins? There are two sin components to each weapons - so every weapon is actually two types of sin, or does the weapon gives a bonus to character that is sinful with a quality the weapon actually oppose (which would be silly...)?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Quick question on the Runeforge and the rooms in it.

What is the lighting in this place like? Is every room well lit, seeing the place was populated by wizards and Continual Flame is something easy enough to cast, and they had resources to burn?

The only room that specifically mentions lighting is the Pride section, thus my question.


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I played it as well-lit for exactly the reasons you list: Wizards want good visibility so they can see their work, and a top-of-the-line research facility might as well have permanent Daylight spells on the walls every 30' or so.

To avoid loot-itis, I'd make it some kind of non-lootable permanent effect like the Thassilonian preservation magic: All the walls glow slightly, enough to provide pleasant ambient lighting throughout.

In areas where darkness is "cooler" (Sloth, Gluttony), maybe these settings have been "disabled" to provide true darkness in those wings...


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Heh. I'm almost tempted to give it fluorescent lighting. The old style straight fluorescent bulbs. That flicker. Just to really drive in the weirdness of Thassilon. "Wait... they have glow rods made of glass? I break one open..." "The magic essence escapes and it goes out." "How did they do this?!?" :D


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

If the players get to SEE the lights turning on - so much the better.
Something like the lights pop on when a creature is within 60' or so...


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I made fluorescent lighting but had a different color in each section going through the rainbow. Excellent red herring and very easy to do.


Kittfox wrote:
I'm getting a group together to run Rise of the Runelords and I was re-reading it when I noticed Ordikon the Mithral Mage in Runeforge. It says that in preparation for combat, one of the spells he casts is Mirror Image. Ordikon is a Thassilonian Transmuter, and thus shouldn't he be unable to cast Illusion or Enchantment spells, or am I interpreting this incorrectly. I searched the forum for the word Ordikon and nothign came up, so I thought to put it here.

I noticed this as well. Am I missing a reply (haven't found anything!)? Simple resolution is to swap the spell, though it does specifically outline him using it in the battle plan... scroll maybe?

This seems like a bit of an oversight, considering the themes of thassilonian specialization in Runefore... is there something about the character that would allow him to prepare his opposed schools, or just a typo?


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

Gotta be a typo, swap it out, don't put to much stock in written battle plans as they don't take individual party composition into account (nor could they).


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wimby wrote:
Kittfox wrote:
I'm getting a group together to run Rise of the Runelords and I was re-reading it when I noticed Ordikon the Mithral Mage in Runeforge. It says that in preparation for combat, one of the spells he casts is Mirror Image. Ordikon is a Thassilonian Transmuter, and thus shouldn't he be unable to cast Illusion or Enchantment spells, or am I interpreting this incorrectly. I searched the forum for the word Ordikon and nothign came up, so I thought to put it here.

I noticed this as well. Am I missing a reply (haven't found anything!)? Simple resolution is to swap the spell, though it does specifically outline him using it in the battle plan... scroll maybe?

This seems like a bit of an oversight, considering the themes of thassilonian specialization in Runefore... is there something about the character that would allow him to prepare his opposed schools, or just a typo?

This was noted in ROTRL AE Erata: It states the following about Ordikon. Hopefully it helps clarify this a bit.

Ordikon: CR should be 17 (xp 102,400); add “DR 10/adamantine” due to stoneskin ; fortification should read “moderate fortification (50%)” OR “heavy fortification (75%); cannot cast a quickened mirror image because it is from a prohibited school.

The link to ROTRL Errata Google Doc !!!


It's also not a super big deal if you just let him cast the spell. I find it's really only worth my time to get OCD about making badguys conform to precise character construction rules if it involves an aspect of them that players can find out about and take advantage of.

With someone like Karzoug where they know they're going to face him ahead of time, they could figure out, hey he's going to be missing these schools, how can we take advantage of it? But Ordikon is just a guy in a dungeon with no foreshadowing, so there's no reason to bend over backwards trying to 'fix' him; your players aren't likely to even notice anything wrong with him.


Ian Bell wrote:

It's also not a super big deal if you just let him cast the spell. I find it's really only worth my time to get OCD about making badguys conform to precise character construction rules if it involves an aspect of them that players can find out about and take advantage of.

With someone like Karzoug where they know they're going to face him ahead of time, they could figure out, hey he's going to be missing these schools, how can we take advantage of it? But Ordikon is just a guy in a dungeon with no foreshadowing, so there's no reason to bend over backwards trying to 'fix' him; your players aren't likely to even notice anything wrong with him.

At this point in the adventure, the PCs should definitely be aware that Illusion is an opposed school for Transmutation. Perceptive players might note that Ordikon is found in the Transmutation wing and is likely a servant of Karzoug, making him a Transmutation specialist. That is, after all, what each wing was designed for -- to study the relevant schools of magic in the name of the relevant Runelord. This is even more likely to occur if you're playing with a wizard who happens to have Thassilonian specialization who is going to be more aware of the restrictions. I don't think it's OCD so much as it is making sure the story and the lore are consistent throughout.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Just read the stat block for Karzoug Statue. The DCs for its two abilities (Petrification and Shattering Blow) are Constitution-based but stone golems don't have a Constitution score (listed as "-"). Is this correct or should those be based on its Strength?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Here's a question concerning Arkrhyst.

Oh, and Steve? Shoo. Let the encounter be a surprise. (Putting it under a spoiler tab anyway just in case he popped on...)

Spoiler:
My group didn't take out Arkrhyst, and decided to head back to town to heal up and prepare to fight the dragon. The thing is, I don't want to just repeat myself with a second fight. And let's face it. The dragon will likely be curious as to what the PCs were up to, and this time allow them to get the keys and follow them... into the Runeforge.

But what about his treasure? He's had a day to prepare and does know the PCs have teleportation magic. So would he try to hide his treasure? How could he go about and do this?

I had him drink all the healing potions (though it didn't quite get him to full hit points). Do you think he'd try to squirrel away select portions of his horde (like the magic items) and leave the coins to see what the PCs do? Would he cover his horde with layers of ice (using his various abilities) to make getting to it near impossible? After all, he IS a dragon... and they don't like losing their treasure hordes.

So given that Arkrhyst will be following the PCs into the Runeforge and see what ancient treasures he could acquire, what would you have him do? And which areas would you have him investigate and loot?

Any suggestions on what Arkrhyst does and how he tries to preserve his treasure horde would be appreciated. :)


Spoiler:

It's not clear to me that the dragon knows where the portal goes (or that it exists at all) or what the statues do; I imagine he would have visited long ago if he did. So, I don't think his planning should take into account what happens after the PCs open a portal.

I also think that the module's suggestion about him following the party into Runeforge doesn't actually work very well. He's going to be squeezing in far too much of the area for him to work well as a threat once he gets inside.

I would focus on him simply preparing his lair as best he can for a possible return, focusing in particular on countermeasures to abilities he actually saw them use in the first fight.


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We need spoiler tags in the GM reference thread?

Spoiler:

I think this boils down to what the dragon knows.

I'm with Ian Bell - the dragon doesn't know about the keys and he doesn't know the structure in his lair is a portal. However it's reasonable for him to surmise the entire structure - lair, cave entrance, stairwell, and statues are tied together in some way and likely Thassilonian. But no one has messed with those statues for a very long time and no one has ever set off the alarm-like structure the pc's do when they get their first key. Did he see them get keys? He may know there are keyholes in the structure in his lair and put two and two together.

If he retreated before the pc's did (they left for town after he retreated to his lair) he initially assumes they will be following him shortly and he has only a few moments/minutes to heal and prepare. When a couple hours elapse and they do not appear, he goes out to check. Finding them gone, he could assume they got what they wanted and left. But you don't get to Ancient by taking foolish risks so he assumes they'll be back and prepares his lair for invasion.

If they retreated before he did - he clearly interrupted their goals - he absolutely assumes they'll be back and prepares his lair again but prefers to ambush them at the statues. So he starts with watching them, perhaps hiding higher up the mountainside to attack them at the statues or attacking them from behind if they enter the cave (or while they're fighting the elementals.) He tries to push or force them onto the slide to plummet into his lair, perhaps delaying an attack until they are trying to navigate the slippery ledge, etc.

I'm also with Ian on the dragon's willingness to enter Runeforge and even less keen on a dragon letting the pc's loot his hoard while still alive. The AP tactics seem semi-plausible if the dragon is grievously injured and obviously no match for the pc's. But if he's had a day or more to rest, this seems like a "from my cold, dead hands" moment.

One could ask the question - why isn't the hoard already encased in ice? This seems like something a white dragon would do because it can. I would think that a white dragon views ice as one of the most awesome things ever and treasure that can't walk away as also really cool. Of course I'm an old school <rhymes with trick> DM, so I have no trouble making my pc's life difficult. "It's not my problem you killed a white dragon. If you want the treasure, you figure out how to get it out of the ice. You're 15th level, I think you can handle it. Crybabies."


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

I'm using Spoilers because I have a player who has used the Internet to learn about some of the foes he's fought. Now, admittedly I beef up the encounters anyway because of their high stats (I'll not allow rolled stats again...) and because I added Mythic (only 2 tiers currently). But I figure it's best to avoid the possibility of said player coming onto the forums and finding my posts. No doubt he looked anyway, but that's him spoiling his fun. Not me.

As for my reasoning... the fight with Freezemaw took two games. The first game ended after one round. The second game was fighting him 'til he fled and then leveling up people. I honestly wanted to go with something other than Round 3 of a dragon fight. Now, it makes sense for Freezemaw to attack them here. And it actually makes a dragon fight into something... memorable.

Perhaps the change of venue (ie, not fighting a dragon which is flying, kiting them using invisibility and the like to its advantage, and outdoors) will make it a more interesting fight. Or at least different. We'll see.

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