Sins of the Saviors (GM Reference)


Rise of the Runelords

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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

As far as I remember as soon as the pc's see the mirror of opposition and are thus reflected in it the duplicates spawn, which makes avoiding them by scouting harder. The advantage of scouting ahead is you only get to fight your scouts duplicates unlike my pc's who rushed in and triggerred duplicates of most of them.
Best way to deal with them IMO is if you know they are there Summon Monster 1 , and get the eagles duplicated until the mirrors run out.

I also agree it would be spellcraft to identify a magical item, certainly until the duplicates emerge after that I may allow knowledge arcana to get the name of the effect you have seen but by that point it is too late and you already know what the item does as the duplicates are trying to kill you

Silver Crusade

Yeah, the rules have a clear failing in that regard. Let me give a simple example.

What skill check would it be for a barbarian to know that wands exist?

The rules clearly state that a caster with Detect Magic and Spellcraft can try to identify the specific properties of one specific wand. I'm talking about someone with no magical aptitude at all just knowing that there are these sticks that casty types frequently use to do magic, and maybe a tiny detail, such as the fact that the magic is actually stored in the wand, and it's not just a spell component.

That seems like common enough information that even non-casters on Golarion should know it. But not necessarily everyone knows it.

Technically, as you pointed out, the rules don't cover that. But it seems like knowledge (arcana) should be the skill needed, and it's common knowledge enough to call it a DC 5 to have heard of magic wands, and maybe DC 10 to know that the magic comes from the wand itself, not the person using it. That makes it an easy check that anyone can make untrained, to reflect the common knowledge nature of the information.

As for knowing about specific types of magic in the world, 15+CL seems like a reasonable DC, and it's based on other related checks.

And with my group, hitting a 30 on knowledge (arcana) isn't a sure thing. They're not a knowledge focused group, ever since the guy playing the bard moved away just 3 or 4 sessions after we started the campaign. I doubt if any of them has more than +15, so it's a tough check. Besides, with all the mirrors in the hall, they're likely not going to be thinking in terms of "normal" magic items to compare the hallway to.

And as for scouting, this group doesn't really do that. They just put the front liners up front, figuring they can handle any traps the hard way. So we're going to have a cavalier and paladin duplicate coming at them right off the bat.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Mine got 2 Paladins, a Synthesist summoner and a Spellslinger wizard which hurt bad. Fortunatly their cleric was not duplicated and used lots of heal spells to keep them going


Fromper wrote:

Yeah, the rules have a clear failing in that regard. Let me give a simple example.

What skill check would it be for a barbarian to know that wands exist?

The rules clearly state that a caster with Detect Magic and Spellcraft can try to identify the specific properties of one specific wand. I'm talking about someone with no magical aptitude at all just knowing that there are these sticks that casty types frequently use to do magic, and maybe a tiny detail, such as the fact that the magic is actually stored in the wand, and it's not just a spell component.

That seems like common enough information that even non-casters on Golarion should know it. But not necessarily everyone knows it.

Technically, as you pointed out, the rules don't cover that. But it seems like knowledge (arcana) should be the skill needed, and it's common knowledge enough to call it a DC 5 to have heard of magic wands, and maybe DC 10 to know that the magic comes from the wand itself, not the person using it. That makes it an easy check that anyone can make untrained, to reflect the common knowledge nature of the information.

As for knowing about specific types of magic in the world, 15+CL seems like a reasonable DC, and it's based on other related checks.

And with my group, hitting a 30 on knowledge (arcana) isn't a sure thing. They're not a knowledge focused group, ever since the guy playing the bard moved away just 3 or 4 sessions after we started the campaign. I doubt if any of them has more than +15, so it's a tough check. Besides, with all the mirrors in the hall, they're likely not going to be thinking in terms of "normal" magic items to compare the hallway to.

And as for scouting, this group doesn't really do that. They just put the front liners up front, figuring they can handle any traps the hard way. So we're going to have a cavalier and paladin duplicate coming at them right off the bat.

Please note: Knowledge-Arcana cannot be used Untrained. No Knowledge skill can be used Untrained. In the Core Rulebook at least.

Silver Crusade

Core Rulebook wrote:
Untrained: You cannot make an untrained Knowledge check with a DC higher than 10.

Anyone can make a knowledge check if the DC is 10 or lower, even if it's untrained.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Had some fun insanity this time around.

First, I had the group decide to use the Fabrication Rooms in the Halls of Greed to turn the Mithral Mage's dead body into mithral ingots which they then stored in their bag of holding. I decided while the bag was extradimensional space, the body bits wouldn't turn back from ingots 'til they left the room (I did wonder what would happen if the bag left the room and if the entire corpse would pop in there, but decided it worked to essentially dissect his body).

The wails of dismay from the very Greedy wizard were most amusing after they left and looked in the bag... only to find the body had evaporated.

That said, there was a Natural 100 roll for using the pool to recharge the Staff of Heaven and Earth. (And then an 06 for the Ring of the Ram.) So... most interesting.

That said, I wasn't quite sure how much the Mithral Mage's body would weigh. I figured over 500 lbs. easily - while mithral is light-weight, even a solid aluminum human-sized statue of a person would probably be over 500 lbs.


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Re: Mirrors of Opposition:

I found it hard to swallow that a 90k gp magic item(s) could be destroyed by a rock, so I arbitrarily increased the hardness and hit points.

My rationale: I treated it like magic armor/weapons, wherein each +1 of enhancement bonus increases hardness by 2 and hit points by 10. The CL of the mirror is 15; magic armor made by a CL 15 caster can have up to a +5 enhancement (+1 per 3 levels), so my mirrors have hardness 11 and hp 51 (assuming 1" thickness). That's just my reasoning, your mileage may vary, of course.

Using the rules for energy attacks under Damaging Objects, I speculated glass would take half damage from acid, cold, electric, piercing, and slashing damage; and full damage from sonic or bludgeoning (although the rules for damaging objects further suggest double damage from a specific vulnerability, or bypassing hardness).

As an aside, I think it would be kind of cool to describe to players how a simulacrum generated after the mirror is damaged by acid or fire (for example) might appear to have pustules on its face, or charred bits of flesh.

As another aside, it just occurred to me that following up cold or fire damage with its opposite, or any similarly significant sudden temperature variance, should probably overcome the half-damage and/or hardness rule...

My challenge is that my group is 6 PCs and 2 cohorts with a total APL of 16.5-ish, having JUST entered Runeforge when the chapter advancement track suggests they should be APL 14. Sooo, I have a lot of "adjustment" to do in terms of encounter challenges :)

Silver Crusade

Yeah, I can see your point on making the mirrors more robust. Our party archer could still smash them relatively easily, but it might take him multiple arrows that way.

Of course, having them fight dups of their own front liners (a paladin and cavalier) could be fun. I'm actually looking forward to that one. Since none of them are evil, the dup paladin won't be able to smite. Also, those two have a teamwork feat that they can only use if they're next to each other, which the party should be able to prevent based on the starting positioning. And the archer ranger in the back has humans as a favored enemy, which they both are, so they're likely to take quite a few arrows.

I don't usually adjust encounters for my group. I've got 5 PCs and a companion animal that's 3 levels behind (ranger), and they're not uber-optimized. They're not incompetent, but these aren't a bunch of a min/maxed munchkins. And they have no controller and minimal debuffing. Just a bunch of damage dealers with some buffs. They do pretty well, but we're up to 4 PC deaths so far, though two of them were brought back within a round by Breathe of Life.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Sometimes you need to toss players a bone.

One of my players had a bad couple of weeks between games, and was looking forward to killing the lich they'd found at the end of the previous game. While I played the lich as recommended, I was also careful not to make it TOO frustrating. After all, the game is supposed to be fun, not frustrating.

So when one of the players (who has a cold theme) was about to use Cold Ice Snap (a quickened cold spell) I decided to ask if she was sure... because the Lich only had around 6 hit points left, and was going after her turn. I'd already negated two of her previous attacks with a non-quickened Scorching Ray (mirror images - seeing it's a touch attack, I figure it can be negated by mirror image... and two-thirds of the SRs vanished because of it).

She chose instead to use a Quickened Scorching Ray (sorceresses ^^) and the end-boss for the Halls of Gluttony died.

I know a lot of GMs would have just "let the dice fall where they may" but I also know that the cleric player, who'd had a really bad couple of weeks in RL, would have been quite frustrated if the lich had succeeded in casting Mislead and escaped. The fight had gone on for three hours already. So... a judgment call let them kill the lich by using the right spell for the situation. (Not to mention the cleric player rolled quite high for Knowledge Religion, so probably would have realized about liches and cold immunity.)

And when push came to shove, they had used almost all of their resources (having fought their way through several halls already and negotiated through the Halls of Lust). It was a tough fight for them, even if they didn't lose a huge amount of hit points (one Hero Point was needed to keep the Eldritch Knight alive after he had Finger of Death used on him - boosting his save by +4).

It's something to consider. Ultimately, this is a game. It's meant to be fun. And if you've players who are frustrated or upset... at times it might be better to toss them a bone even if it means the bad guy doesn't get away to fight another day.

(The sorceress figured out the phylactery, and the EK used Disintegrate on it. Though I couldn't find anything on whether or not Disintegrate ignores Hardness or not...)

Silver Crusade

Silly question, but do the PC's really need to clear out Runeforge?

Using the information from the journal they find in the Pride area, they could realize that all they really need to make a dominant weapon is in the Pride and Lust areas. And it tells them that the Wrath area has an exit (if they don't have their own magic for that).

So is there really any reason for them to even go into the other 4 areas? I'm thinking the extra loot and experience might help them prepare for later chapters, but that's about it.


Fromper wrote:

Silly question, but do the PC's really need to clear out Runeforge?

Using the information from the journal they find in the Pride area, they could realize that all they really need to make a dominant weapon is in the Pride and Lust areas. And it tells them that the Wrath area has an exit (if they don't have their own magic for that).

So is there really any reason for them to even go into the other 4 areas? I'm thinking the extra loot and experience might help them prepare for later chapters, but that's about it.

In the AE edition, it specifically spells out that the PCs don't need to clear out the other wings, and they should realize this and only do the ones they need.

So not only are they not required to do all of them, they're encouraged NOT to do so...


My group figured out where they needed to go before they ever set foot in Runeforge, and so they only hit Lust, Pride, and Wrath (in that order). They never bothered with the other wings and thus never encountered Ordikon and his wing. They are in Xin Shalast now and having trouble figuring out what's going on and what they need to do.

(I also ditched XP for this AP and level them up at certain milestones, so they had no reason to go XP hunting in the other wings. They also didn't get a lot of the shiny toys to be found in the other wings either.)


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

Oh! Nerd question! Were the other wings in the original adventure. I'd thought they added some to Sins of the Savior. Just curious. :-)

Dark Archive

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Gluttony was larger, but had roughly the same amount of encounters, just spread over a maze. Mazes aren't fun, so they simplified that area. The only new area was Sloth, which is 100% new to the AE AP.

Silver Crusade

TwoWolves wrote:

My group figured out where they needed to go before they ever set foot in Runeforge, and so they only hit Lust, Pride, and Wrath (in that order). They never bothered with the other wings and thus never encountered Ordikon and his wing. They are in Xin Shalast now and having trouble figuring out what's going on and what they need to do.

(I also ditched XP for this AP and level them up at certain milestones, so they had no reason to go XP hunting in the other wings. They also didn't get a lot of the shiny toys to be found in the other wings either.)

My group is heading in that direction, which is why I asked the question. Like yours, they may just do those three areas and then leave with their newly forged dominant weapons. And like you, I'm just having them level up at certain points, as recommended by the anniversary edition.

We're just going so slow that I don't remember a lot of the details of what's upcoming in the AP, despite having read it already. We've been doing this AP for 2.5 years now, so it's probably been 6+ months since I last read some of those sections. I tend to re-read each section just before we get to it, to prep more thoroughly, but the big pauses after initial reading make it too easy for me to forget important details.

Next week, I think I'll have to go through and re-read the other 4 sections of Runeforge in their entirety just to see if there's anything there that I need to drop hints about, since I don't remember.


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I feel your pain Fromper, we've been playing this AP since Sept 2009! We started with the 3.5 versions and got through about half of the AP before the AE came out. I had already been converting everything to Pathfinder, but still, it was a lot.

We only play maybe 4-6 times per year, so a lot of things get fuzzy between sessions. I have the luxury of having plenty of time to bone up on a section, and often tweak NPCs via HeroLab, so I get a little more involved in the tactics than just rereading, but yeah, definitely reread the next book before you finish this one. My group has no idea HOW Big K survived Earthfall, so when they got to Xin Shalast they had no idea where to go or what to look for. They have 2 of the rings, but have no idea that they need them or why they need them. They are about to find out the hard way, I think...


My understanding was that pc's can learn about the existence of Runeforged weapons in the Library but the components and construction details can only be learned in Runeforge itself. And to get the component list, they need to go to Sloth.

Wrath has an exit gate and Lust and Pride are needed for the Dominant weapons. I would think most groups - who should know they are facing Karzoug by this point - should be motivated to explore Greed to see what they could learn. And while it's not necessary for future success, they can learn about how Karzoug was preserved - a pocket dimension between Golarion and Leng. The Vault of Greed has a foreshadow for Book 6.

Envy (which is short) and Gluttony are the two they could skip - though there are hidden scrolls of Plane Shift in Gluttony which might prove useful to certain parties.

My group recently arrived in Runeforge - they went to Greed first, seeking what they could learn of Karzoug. They were going to Sloth next but the filthy conditions of the first room put them off and they chose Wrath since they were spell-prepped for energy resistance, etc. They're currently embroiled in a massive battle with the warriors of wrath and the HighLady Athroxis.

I'm not sure where they'll go next. They've decided they should tailor their spell memorization to the wing they plan to explore. And necromancy is pretty straightforward to plan against so they may go there - though necromancy is an opposition school for the wizard so their "loot" interest may be low.

Silver Crusade

They learned that Pride and Lust were the opposite of Greed, and thus the components for the dominant weapons, from the library. And the notebook in Pride says exactly what components they'll need from those two areas.

My group will probably want to hit the Greed area. They've talked about the possibility that Karzoug himself may actually be in there, but I don't think they really believe it.

And they already went to Wrath on a whim, thinking maybe followers of Alaznist would want to team up with them against Karzoug, which obviously didn't happen. They cleared the area, but don't know that the summoning circle in the final room can be used to teleport back to Varisia - they'll learn that from the notebook in Pride, too.

But I see no reason for them to hit Sloth, Envy, or Gluttony.


Fromper wrote:

They learned that Pride and Lust were the opposite of Greed, and thus the components for the dominant weapons, from the library. And the notebook in Pride says exactly what components they'll need from those two areas.

My group will probably want to hit the Greed area. They've talked about the possibility that Karzoug himself may actually be in there, but I don't think they really believe it.

And they already went to Wrath on a whim, thinking maybe followers of Alaznist would want to team up with them against Karzoug, which obviously didn't happen. They cleared the area, but don't know that the summoning circle in the final room can be used to teleport back to Varisia - they'll learn that from the notebook in Pride, too.

But I see no reason for them to hit Sloth, Envy, or Gluttony.

To do the minimum necessary, they do not. However, the pc's don't know that. And there are some reasons they should: they might learn more about Thassilon, gain access to more magic and wealth (beyond xp), and prevent other Runelords who might be rising from gaining benefit from allied wings. As the journal in Pride makes clear, the residents of Runeforge are once again turning their attention to Golarion. Karzoug isn't the only ancient evil that might make trouble for Varisia.

Silver Crusade

So I'm prepping for our game on Sunday, and I'm trying to decide how much they should learn from the journal they found in the Pride area. Obviously, the handouts tell them how to make dominant weapons, and hint at how to leave Runeforge from the wrath area.

But if they take the time to read the whole thing, I was thinking of giving them an overview of all 7 areas. Not all the details, but just some basics and history, so they'll have a better idea of what's going on in Runeforge in general.

Would that be too much info? If it is, how much should I tell them/hide from them? How much did the rest of you give your players for reading the entire pride journal cover to cover?


Fromper wrote:

So I'm prepping for our game on Sunday, and I'm trying to decide how much they should learn from the journal they found in the Pride area. Obviously, the handouts tell them how to make dominant weapons, and hint at how to leave Runeforge from the wrath area.

But if they take the time to read the whole thing, I was thinking of giving them an overview of all 7 areas. Not all the details, but just some basics and history, so they'll have a better idea of what's going on in Runeforge in general.

Would that be too much info? If it is, how much should I tell them/hide from them? How much did the rest of you give your players for reading the entire pride journal cover to cover?

I changed Veraxis' journal, but then again I changed the whole of Runeforge to have more politics. I had the info about the exit in Wrath there, but not how to make runeforged weapons. It did say that he suspected Sloth to have that information (and that he wanted the acquire it now that the runeforge had awakened). I also included more stuff about the other wings, like who was allied with who.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Happen to have the text of that journal?

I've been giving out pretty nice handouts for this, and I'd love to have something big to give out here.


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the Lorax wrote:

Happen to have the text of that journal?

I've been giving out pretty nice handouts for this, and I'd love to have something big to give out here.

Unfortunately it's in Swedish. I translate most handouts to our native tongue, not that my players aren't fluent in English, but it gets silly to play in one language and then get handouts in another. Breaks the immersion. And I need to change names of people and places sometimes if they won't work in our language - imagine your player's reaction if the big bad was named Steve ;) Further, this also gives me an opportunity to add my own stuff/change things.

But mostly the changes I did are the ones mentioned above. I also stress how high the losses were when they attacked Envy (to convey that the Runeforge the pc's meet is much weaker than before). And he mentions that he thought it was amusing that Izomandakus (Ordikon's murdered master) polymorphed the Envy leader Abtarah (name changed by me) into an ooze. The pc's later freed her and allied with her.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I understand.
I have to change a fair bit on the handouts myself - running this in my homebrew with lots of add-on material, and some things have to be completely reworked.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Well, my group is facing the Highlady in the Halls of Wrath. The first part of the fight has finished... with the group finding out the rather intense little fight they had gone through was just a prelude.

You see, I took a look at her spell list and did some significant modifications. It helps that the group has two Mythic Tiers... so to balance this, I added a couple Wizard levels to the High Lady. I then proceeded to modify her spell list so she has a LOT more Still Spells to compensate for her armor... and she successfully cast Project Image while I allowed the Treachery Demon summon a second of its kind, which was sent to fight the PCs.

Project Image worked like a charm. That said, when it shrugged off a Feeblemind without me bothering with a saving throw, the Sorceress got real suspicious and decided to see if it were an illusion. One successful Disbelieve save later... and the jig was up. And just in time as the group laid waste to the Summoned Treachery Demon. They dispelled the Wall of Illusionary Smoke and saw a second Demon waiting... and the Highlady behind it.

The last action of the game was the Highlady hitting them with a Maximized Still Fireball. And the Sorceress failed her save, and after all her buffs and such was reduced to around 60 hit points.

In short, it was a superb fight. There were just two moments when things almost fell apart. First was a near failure to cast Project Image. But second was Icy Prison. She made her Save, but seeing it's Area of Effect, I figure if the Prison had fully engulfed the Image, the Image would have vanished.

In all likelihood the next fight will go far more lethally for the Highlady, though the Cleric may be distracted by healing up the Sorceress. I might throw one last curve though, seeing Treachery Demons can cast Wish. So if the Highlady gets a chance? I think a Wish for her and the Demon to be fully healed would be quite destructive in its own way. ;)


Earthglide and the halls of gluttony advice:
I have a druid who is a little overfond of earth elemental form and earth gliding. While I doubt earthgliding will release wraiths (as it isn't a spell that damages the walls), it still seems to me that earth gliding in the halls is a Bad Idea (tm). But what is a reasonable way to reflect that?
2-6 attacks each round within the walls? 1 Auto hit?
If I do something like that advance warning seems fair, right? Know:rligion check? Visible effect just before entering the walls (ghostly arm reaching out) with a perception check?

Or just make it really creepy and cold but no mechanical effect?


In my view the wraiths are bound within the walls but otherwise unhampered. They're incorporeal so to me they are fully functional against anyone foolish enough to enter the walls. I'd say 1-6 wraiths attack for each 5' of movement through or within the walls. If the druid is lucky, he only faces a few attacks the first 5' and maybe they miss and he can jump back out. If not, well...

I don't have a lot of sympathy for high level characters that have plenty of ability to look before they leap. If they aren't smart enough to plan ahead when entering the wing devoted to necromancy, they get what they deserve.

I would also hold the "Unnatural Aura" feature of the wraiths applies so any animal companions should definitely react to the walls. Not sure I see the wisdom in bringing an animal companion into Runeforge, but I'm not a druid so what the heck do I know? :)


My players cast Detect Magic everywhere, and when they found the walls in Gluttony were infused with Necromancy, not Abjuration like everywhere else, they basically did everything they could to avoid even touching them.


Holy Monty Haul, Batman! My group just finished Sins and have liquidated their accumulated loot. From the white dragon hoard through the end, the value of treasure and sold items was over 392,000gp. And that does not include the value of the many spellbooks recovered or several items they retained for their own use (though replaced items were sold - find a +4 stat boosting item, put your +2 item in the to-be-liquidated pile.)

My players are... completionists. Nothing lives in Runeforge and the only survivor was Delvahine herself. After the pc's finished with the Halls of Wrath, she could easily reach the circle in Wrath and made her way to Golarion (she has no interest in encountering the pc's ever again. She's seen first hand what they can do.)

Silver Crusade

My group's being that thorough, too, though they killed Delvahine early. I thought they may give up once they got what they came for (dominant weapons), but they've decided that there may be something of value in one of the other areas. I'm not looking forward to drawing the map for the Festering Maze.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

My group went to the Sihedron Circle fairly unprepared and had to flee after a couple rounds of Arkrhyst. They strategizing on how to deal with him and are talking about Find Quarry.

PRD wrote:
You sense whether a well-known creature you can clearly visualize is within a 20-mile radius of your current location, as well as the distance and direction to the creature in relation to you. You also discern whether the creature is moving, and its direction, speed, and mode of movement. The radius you can sense increases by 5 miles for every two caster levels you have above 10th (to a maximum of a 45-mile radius at 20th level). Anything that would prevent locate creature from finding a creature also prevents find quarry from doing so.

I'm inclined to not let them use this. The battle with Arkrhyst was a breath weapon flyby, then another flyby tail swipe. How do others interpret "well-known" here? Is just seeing the dragon for less than 30 seconds before teleporting away enough?


Do they know the story/legend of Freezemaw? If a powerful white dragon is known to live the region and they are attacked by a huge powerful white dragon, it doesn't seem a big leap to make the connection.

A lot hangs on what "well-known" means.


Why do you want it to not work? It seems a great opportunity to break out an extremely niche/little used spell. As long as they have done their homework and found out about the legend of Arkhryst I'd let them use it.


I'm not very far through this book (though I've skimmed the whole AP) but I have some questions about Xaliasa and the shrine.

1. How long has he been resurrected? From page 238 of the anniversary edition, it sounds like Lamashtu resurrects him right after the PCs defeat Mokmurian. For my players in particular, I believe they will spend a day or less at the library, then teleport back to Sandpoint, and go poking around the sinkhole within 2 days of Xaliasa's resurrection. I'm not sure that's enough time for him to fill up all the paper and all the walls in the shrine with his crazy writings.

2. Page 239 suggests the PCs may try to find him to ally with him. As far as I can tell, the PCs should think he is long dead, and know nothing of his resurrection? My players don't need this bit of motivation, but I'm wondering if I missed a plot point somewhere.

3. Is the constant Guards and Wards on the entire shrine cast by Xaliasa, or is this just putting a name to the "ancient protective magics" on all the Thassilonian ruins? I see Xaliasa has it once per day at CL 14. This gives him 112 squares, lasting 28 hours. The shrine is about twice that size. Maybe it's just on the doors, corridors, and the small areas that are called out?

4. These are just generic rules questions about how Guards and Wards works. Does Detect Magic see auras for all the effects (eg. faint illusion on all the doors), or do they all count as part of the Strong Abjuration aura? Also, this might be a dumb question, but where does the DC22 for the Lost Doors come from, if it's Xaliasa casting it? It should be 10 + CHA + Spell level, so 10+2+6=18 if the DC comes from Guards and Wards, or 10+2+1=13 if the DC comes from Silent Image. If the DC is based on WIS, then I get either 19 or 24. This is my first time GMing, so I'm worried I'm missing something really obvious.

Thanks!

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

1. As per the AP, Mokmurian's death fuels Xaliasa's resurrection, but there's no reason why it has to be immediate. I wanted to run some side stories that dealt with actions my players took, so I just postponed the sinkhole until after that happened. That also helps the illusion that Xaliasa had all this time to write stuff and such - the longer the PCs are out of Sandpoint, the more believable this is.

2. They probably will try to use Xaliasa to gain information about their enemy - after all, he worked for both Karzoug and Alaznist, but ended up loyal only to Lamashtu. Canny PCs will reason that "the enemy of my enemy is my friend," and they're right to a point, but he's still an antagonist, and will try to kill them.

3. I just let the guards and wards work on the whole area. He's a divine guardian, and he's in a temple to his goddess. I don't see why it shouldn't cover the whole place. Evil cheats!

4. I'd say the whole effect is covered by the strong abjuration aura. I don't have my book with me, so I can't figure out the DC for the Lost Doors effect for ya.

Silver Crusade

Going from memory here, and it's been a while since I read it, so I could be wrong. But I thought his resurrection was triggered by the activation of the Runewell 5 years ago. That's why he had plenty of time to scribble on the walls and cover them. The earthquake that opened a way to get to his area gets triggered by the PCs' actions.

I didn't worry about the Guards and Wards, either. I just assumed that it covered the whole thing, because the adventure says so, without even checking to see what the normal area on it should be.


Misroi wrote:

2. They probably will try to use Xaliasa to gain information about their enemy - after all, he worked for both Karzoug and Alaznist, but ended up loyal only to Lamashtu. Canny PCs will reason that "the enemy of my enemy is my friend," and they're right to a point, but he's still an antagonist, and will try to kill them.

4. I'd say the whole effect is covered by the strong abjuration aura. I don't have my book with me, so I can't figure out the DC for the Lost Doors effect for ya.

For 2, I meant to ask how the PCs know he's alive, before they go into the hole. The chapter intro suggests the PCs may want to find him to ally with him, as a potential motivation to hurry back to Sandpoint. But as far as I can tell, at this point the PCs know only that he was a traitor to Karzoug, and that he may have lived where Sandpoint is now. With this information, the PCs should rightly assume he died thousands of years ago, and they have no way to know he's been resurrected. Is there something I'm missing?

For 4, I guess a more general question would be, do I treat the individual effects as their own spells (silent image,suggestion, etc) for auras and DCS, or are they all the same as part of the guards and wards spell?

Thank you for all of your input!

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I think the intent is "Mokmurian was looking for this guy's resting place for some reason, and he thought it was underneath Sandpoint, so maybe we should check into that." It shouldn't matter if they think Xaliasa is alive or dead, and you're right, after 10,000 years it makes sense to assume you're looking for his tomb. Of course, things tend to have a way to not stay dead...

And for 4, I'd say they're all part of the guards and wards, and they enjoy the higher save DCs that go along with that. Sure, your true seeing will uncover the illusions, but if you're trying to find them the old fashioned way, then you need to beat the higher DC. It's a powerful spell, so it shouldn't have a low DC.


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(spoilers)

Similar to what some GM's have mentioned here, I had concerns about my PCs missing out wings. I wanted them to do them all. There’s a quick fix, and also a much bigger change below.

Quick 'fix' for Sloth and Wrath
Once my PCs completed Lust there was no really compelling incentive to enter the last two sections (unless they needed to get to K6 to escape). I wanted to change this so did the following:

A - You can't just ‘Runeforge a weapon’, you need to know how to do it. The players don't. Just throwing in D's toys and V's mirror and dipping the weapon in isn't enough. If they try it themselves lots of energy gets released but the weapon is not runeforged, and the components are wasted. It doesn't reduce the number of charges in the pool.

B - There is just one 'person' currently in Runeforge who knows how to forge a runeforged weapon. He's an Angel I named 'Poyel' (heavily level-drained Astral-Deva) who is being held in The Halls of Wrath (K6) by Athroxis. His level drain is such that he can't currently Plane-shift out. He’s also tied up! He is ancient and using his plane shift has been sneaking into Runeforge over the aeons to figure out how the forging process works, and has worked it out.

C - Sobloch (Jorimandus' mephit) is sneaking about Runeforge, the players can get suspicious and follow the mephit into the Festering Maze. Jorimandus knows about Poyel. Since Sobloch has been invisibly sneaking around, they’ve learned most of the Runeforge gossip.

D - To barter for his life (when he surrenders) to the PCs, Jorimandus explains what he knows about Poyel, his captor, and that the angel allegedly knows how to forge runed weapons. In an extreme interrogation, he can offer Sobloch as help to get there. If the PCs kill Jorimandus, Sobloch can reveal himself and offer the information. You could create a note for this in case everyone gets killed, I didn't need to because my party has an Inquisitor. Questioning dead things is no problem!

E - When the PCs enter K6 in the Halls of Wrath, they see Athroxis torturing Poyel. I have this very gruesome with Athroxis using her ranseur to cut and then cauterise over and over, with the angel stoically resisting incredible pain and saying nothing. As he's being tortured the angel looks at Athroxis with a look of almost pity, which just makes her even more sadistic.

F - After killing Athroxis the PCs release Poyel. In exchange for having his level drain healed, he'll Runeforge the weapons for the PCs. He also can give some cryptic advice on their power and how to use them etc. Poyel then plane-shifts out.

Big change to the mechanics of entering Runeforge wings.

A huge dungeon crawl wouldn't have fitted my players or how we're doing the campaign, so I wanted to break Runeforge into parts with other things happening 'outside' in-between. I also wanted the PCs to go through the wings in their CR order, they're not min-max experienced players and I didn't want them to die! The changes I made were:

A - Each wing of runeforge has a separate portal entrance / exit back to Varisia. Each of these is hidden in the original territory of each Runelord. Each joins up with the entry corridor to each wing. This means Runeforge has 7 hidden entrances. The PCs can use these, but the inhabitants cannot, having become too acclimatised to Runeforge to leave.

B - There is no entrance to the main chamber as per the Standard adventure. I switched Arkryst and that entrance to be the way into the Veils of Pride (geographically correct since that area was Cyrusian under Xanderghul).

C - Once someone has been inside a wing, they can enter it again from the main chamber in runeforge. This includes having a body part on you of someone who'd entered before, or entering whilst touching the person who has been in before. You can also go from a wing to the main chamber with no prerequisites.

D - The Scribbler points the PCs to the entrance to the Halls of Envy (I re-wrote the riddle to make this work, as well as to reflect my changed portal-opening mechanic).

After this i had the players get through each of the wings using one of two mechanisms:

1. Detective work with various NPCs outside of Runeforge in order to locate the next entrance.

2. Finding that one of the creatures in a wing had been in the next wing, so they could use that creature to get in (as per C above). For example: my PCs used Ordikon's severed hand to enter the Cages of Lust.

This approach enabled me to:

- Make sure my PCs finished the whole of Runeforge (including Sloth and Wrath using the Angel addition above).

- Break up the dungeon crawl with various detective work role-play sessions in locations such as Jorgenfist library, the Therassic Spire in Kaer Maga, and similar.

If anyone thinks this could be useful for them message me, I have a lot of detailed material on where the various Runeforge entrances are, plus details around how they can help uncover those locations and how to unlock the portals (aka ‘learn your Thiasillonian magic schools and prohibited schools’).

My PCs have had to detective outside Runeforge to find 3 entrances, and used NPCs inside to get into the other 4. But this is flexible based on mixing up mechanisms 1 and 2 above as desired.

This second change requires a pretty big re-write to parts of the adventure, so I'd only recommend it if you like that kind of thing. I do because it lets me shape the story more around my PCs actions and backstories.


I dont have the plot and poison book and im putting everything on hero labs what are good substitutes for the Dominant and Submissive Prestige Classes in the Iron Cages of Lust?


Joey Virtue wrote:
I dont have the plot and poison book and im putting everything on hero labs what are good substitutes for the Dominant and Submissive Prestige Classes in the Iron Cages of Lust?

Don't have a suggestion for alternative prestige classes but I did buy the RotRL add-on for Hero Lab and the creatures from the Iron Cages and their 3rd party prestige classes were accurately depicted...


Yeah im not going to spend the money on the add ons


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Getting ready to do Scribbler - anyone have a list of questions that they've used? I'd really like some odd stuff to add to my list.

Also I hear that they added another wing to the Runeforge in the AE, whats in it?


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Yes, in the original, the Festering Maze was not mapped or otherwise detailed. In the AE version, it's fleshed out with maps, encounters and its own BBEG just like most of the other wings. The BBEG has notes about how to create all the various runeforged weapon types including the dominant type most interesting to the pc's. His notes also provide some brief information about all the other wings and their residents.

Also of note, the Ravenous Crypt map has been pruned, most of the same encounters are present and the BBEG has been renamed: Kazaven to Azaven.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

OK, I've been able to find enough different descriptions of this across the internet - in some ways the BBEG seems like a redo of my Mammy Graul fight.

Sounds like a good add on with the extra information included, It helps to have overlapping sources of information for the players.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

During the research in the Library under Jorgenfist, I reminded my players of the seven virtues of rule and their corruptions and asked my players to answer these questions:

Which sin does your character most sympathize with as a concept?

Which sin does your character find most abhorrent?

Which sin does your character find most difficult to resist on a personal level?

What sin based decision is your character most ashamed of?

What association between an NPC and a sin most stands out to you?

With the intent of using these to help me with how to assign effects inside the Runeforge. The last two are not intended to cause any effect, I just wanted to get the players thinking about the history of the campaign and the themes of sin that run throughout (and those I've added).

I still have my sin tracking notes as well, but intend to use this to help me frame their actions.


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My pc's were not particularly sinful. Or virtuous for that matter. The bard had a relationship with Shayliss but it wasn't a fling - it lasted for a while - until her sister was killed and events carried the party away from town. They did give the money from the Hambley farm to the Mayor and paid for Vale Temros to be raised after Jaagrath killed him in one round (human bane weapons, very dangerous.) But otherwise not a lot of stand out behavior of one sin/virtue or another.

I didn't feel I could make strong connections to any particular wing for events that had occurred weeks or in some cases months in the past. But I like the mechanic so I decided that within Runeforge the magic of a school IS the sin. I inventoried their magic items, assigned "sin points" based on strong or moderate aura's of one school or another (and some magic items counted twice!) and whichever school was the strongest became that pc's "sin."

This let me use the varying penalties by wing, make clear the power of sin magic in Runeforge (and by extension explain why Runeforged weapons could be made there) and give the players a way to figure it out and even modify it if they wanted to - I don't recall anyone taking off magic items but they could have if they'd wanted.

The penalties did not turn out to be very impactful. There were a few deaths in Runeforge - almost all in the Halls of Wrath and the victims were not the pc's who had Wrath as an opposition sin.


Just an idea for GMs running the wizards in the Soulforge. As a way to make their magic unfamiliar and scary, and to offer cool new rewards to PCS, you might select some 3rd party spells for them and use them on the PCs. I recommend Deep Magic (which is what I am using) - because it's on herolab and has a lot of spells to choose from.


I have a question regarding the fanged falchion:

"...this horrific chewing deails 2 point of Constitution damage and stuns the victim for 1 round (Fort DC 15 negates)"

A successful save negates also the Con damage or only the stun?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

My assumption is that the save negates only the Stunned effect. Let's see what the others say ...

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