Sins of the Saviors (GM Reference)


Rise of the Runelords

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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens Subscriber

You can read the entry either way, I´d think. It depends just how harsh you want it to be. My party will encounter the scribbler soon, and I will judge this from how the combat goes. If you feel really nasty, give him the critical focus feat also.


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

I agree

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Is there a specific way to railroad the runeforged or how do Dm's prep for 7 separate areas?


calvsie wrote:
Is there a specific way to railroad the runeforged or how do Dm's prep for 7 separate areas?

The best suggestion I've seen is to have the different sections "call" the player who most epitomizes that sin, and use that to suggest an order to the players.

Personally I would do my darndest to get them to finish a session in the main hall, and straight up ask "which hall do you guys want to go in first?"

The other option is to lose the flavor, have all the statues be worn out, and then only "pretend" that you're letting them choose which path they go down and really have them go through all of them in the order that you pick. It's not as clean, but saves you a lot of trouble.


axxroytovu wrote:
calvsie wrote:
Is there a specific way to railroad the runeforged or how do Dm's prep for 7 separate areas?

The best suggestion I've seen is to have the different sections "call" the player who most epitomizes that sin, and use that to suggest an order to the players.

Personally I would do my darndest to get them to finish a session in the main hall, and straight up ask "which hall do you guys want to go in first?"

The other option is to lose the flavor, have all the statues be worn out, and then only "pretend" that you're letting them choose which path they go down and really have them go through all of them in the order that you pick. It's not as clean, but saves you a lot of trouble.

A couple downsides to the "worn out statues" approach: 1) the Runeforge is timeless, nothing should be "worn out" nor is anything else presented as worn out and 2) it somewhat blunts the impact of the final encounter - an animated Karzoug statue (complete with artwork in the AP.) "One of the amorphous blobs animates, starts mocking you and then attacks" is not quite as interesting as "the status of Karzoug [look at picture] animates, starts mocking you and then attacks."

Which isn't to minimize the question Calvsie asked - it's certainly a DM stretcher - there are a lot of options for how the players could proceed and not so many options on how to predict/manage which one they are going to pick. The suggestion on "sin" calling to pc's susceptible to it is interesting but might not help the DM with this particular dilemma- what happens when there are different pc's drawn to different sins? Still sounds like a cool idea to evoke the sinful structure of the place.

The challenge will be to prevent any solution from making the adventure even more railroady (that is too a word!) The pc's already have their choices curtailed - unless they planned ahead, the pc's can't leave until they find an exit.


I planned out the 3 most-likely (Greed, Pride and Lust) and then flat-out asked my players where they were planning to go next. Perhaps a little immersion-breaking, but it made my life easier. They ended up skipping Sloth and Envy entirely (not that there's much to Envy.)


calvsie wrote:
Is there a specific way to railroad the runeforged or how do Dm's prep for 7 separate areas?

I ended up creating a separate 'world' entrance for each area. Some areas ended up having ways to enable entering other areas, so my players ended up having to find 4 different entrances. The main reason for doing this as to create RP interludes between the dungeon-crawl that runeforge can be.

It was a lot of additional GM-creation work but in this case it turned out being worth it. it doesn't always ofc.

Liberty's Edge

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While preparing to head out to the Runeforge, the party actually succeeded on their history checks about the region and the rumors and tales of Arkrhyst. In case he was still alive, they got themselves all kinds of fire spells prepared, improved their weapons to bypass the DR, made sure to have the protection spells available and headed out from Jorgenfist with wind walk. Arriving to the stones and after describing the circle, the stairs and the cave's entrance from afar, they decided to directly proceed to activate the stones and get the keys. They failed their perception checks vs Arkhryst's stealth and kept casting to get the rest of the stones. The Gnome Gunslinger FINALLY heard the wings approaching just as the dragon breathed on them *flying low*. His invisibility ends and he finish his turn some 20ft above the party. Note that when they arrived they had forgotten to cast Resist Energy communal so it HURT, it hurt a lot. The sorcerer was left with like 1 hp. I thought they would die next round for sure.

Their initiatives are rolled, the gunslinger goes first and dragon goes last. The gunslinger targets the wings, *CRITS*, Arkhryst fails his DC 20 fly check and hits the ground 20ft below... The Oracle channels energy in the back. The druid dispels his resist energy. The sorcerer throws an intensified fireball. The remaining characters wait on the party member with lowest initiative so the paladin can give them smite evil and all of them charge (rogue and ranger included) at the same time with the Cavalier on point... The Cavalier and the Paladin crit. Total damage for the round= 327

Arkhryst goes down in history as the fastest dragon kill my table has ever done.

Liberty's Edge

I need some advice. The party have just found Nelevetu and want to save him from Runeforge. They have cured his madness, healed him, equipped him with some of the loot (Arkhryst's +3 halfplate and a good old Impaler of Thorns) and they feel he deserves a second chance in life outside of these walls as the first non-evil Thassilonian they have encountered. OOC they have thought about killing him, stuff his body in a bag of holding while they finish up runeforge... so he doesn't die of old age as soon as he steps outside and he can be brought back with Resurrection. Talking him into agreeing to this is obviously going to take some extra convincing, but I want to know if anyone has found another way I might be missing.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I don't think that there's any way to avoid the "crumble to dust" effect when Nelevetu leaves Runeforge. Only constructs, undead, and immortal outsiders can avoid that. (And immortel fey, but there aren't any in Runeforge, IIRC.)

From the description, if it hadn't been for Runeforge, then he would have died some time after Thassilon's fall (about 80 years at the most after the fall). Therefore I consider that to be his true "time of death". Even True Resurrection has a built-in limit as to how long ago a valid target may have died - and 10,000 years is way beyond that.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I have some questions regarding the Revelation Quill, specifically its Contact Other Plane ability.

Supposedly, the Peacock Spirit is dead (ISGods). On the other hand, one could argue that an artefact like that would still work (using "leftover energy" or something similar).

But into what category of deity does/did the Peacock Spirit fall? Demi-deity, lesser deity, intermediate deity, or greater deity?

If one does decide what deity category the Peacock Spirit is/was, is the Quill automatically locked into seeking that level of planar contact?

Or should one follow the CRB entry for the Contact Other Plane spell, which says "When contacting the Outer Planes of the Pathfinder Chronicles setting, refer to the intermediate deity line of this table"?


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

Pathfinder doesn't use categories for deities.

Besides Demon Lords, Archdevils, and such.

Grand Lodge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Bellona wrote:

I don't think that there's any way to avoid the "crumble to dust" effect when Nelevetu leaves Runeforge. Only constructs, undead, and immortal outsiders can avoid that. (And immortel fey, but there aren't any in Runeforge, IIRC.)

From the description, if it hadn't been for Runeforge, then he would have died some time after Thassilon's fall (about 80 years at the most after the fall). Therefore I consider that to be his true "time of death". Even True Resurrection has a built-in limit as to how long ago a valid target may have died - and 10,000 years is way beyond that.

My players had a funny interaction with hime. They set him free, got him some equipment, and he seemed excited about accompanying them and maybe seeing the new world and exacting a tad bit of revenge for his imprisonment. Then he stepped out of his wing of Runeforge and crumbled to dust.

My players were entertained and saddened at the same time.

-Skeld


captain yesterday wrote:

Pathfinder doesn't use categories for deities.

Besides Demon Lords, Archdevils, and such.

Well, you learn something new every day. Don't think I'd caught on to that detail. Contributing: the d20pfsrd site write-up for Contact Other Plane does not have the * reference to Pathfinder Chronicles setting always being intermediate gods.

To Bellona: My view the quill always contacts the same entity - the Peacock Spirit so it should work that same each time. And to keep it simple use intermediate (per the CRB.) When I ran it I always used the greater god setting. I liked the higher chance for bad things to happen to the character using the quill.


Just kill Nelevetu and reincarnate him. Job done. (Assuming he wants to come back, anyway.)

Liberty's Edge

blahpers wrote:
Just kill Nelevetu and reincarnate him. Job done. (Assuming he wants to come back, anyway.)

They got a ridiculous high diplomacy to convince him to let them kill him just before leaving and the oracle resurrected him afterwards. They paid the res out of their own pockets and in thanks he's now helping Brother Quink on the Library helping him translate some documents for them. The Oracle now wants to marry him too, sooo... xD


All's well that ends well. : D


My group is starting this tomorrow. I'm excited. I finally get to use the glaberzu mini I bought months ago :D

with that in mind, I also want to tempt one of my players with the wish that he has except, I don't know how I should go about playing that.
From the Bestiary "With its ability to cloak its true form in pleasant illusions, the glabrezu uses its magic to grant wishes to mortal humanoids as a method of rewarding those who succumb to its guile and deceit"
Help?


I'm in a similiar place in the campaign, and have asked recently some related questions

Wishing unintentionally & cooperative wishing
Veil to look as an object

In conclusion, you need to decide how do you treat Glabrezu wish ability. If it can activate it just by hearing someone talking about wanting something, you can make the glabrezu veil as something they would rather talk with (or in front of) and use this conversation to provide the trigger for the ability.

On the other hand, if for the ability to work a creature musk knowingly ask the glabrezu for something (possibly not knowing that it was a glabrezu), this makes it more complicated. Glabrezu needs to veil as someone who'd they ask for help, or at least someone who can offer its help without arousing suspicion. It can veil as one of the guards, or some other good-natured creature and make up a story how it unded up there to make the PCs trust him enough to ask it for something.

Another thing that you can do is making him set up some fake test, and after the party completes it, "reward" them with his assistance (tricking them into making a wish). The test shouldn't be too hard (for glabrezu wants them to succeed), but not too easy either (or it could make the PCs suspicious).

In my game, I plan to making him veil as a statue of Lamashtu, and make the PCs think that they are talking to the goddess herself. She technically isn't their enemy (being a kind of third party in the AP), and some of my PCs were even more willing to ally with lamia clerics of Lamashtu in Jorgenfist than to fight them. Hopefully, this may stop them for attacking immediately, and will lead to them making a request that I could exploit. As a bonus, when the fight starts (which it will, Yerrin-Ku is a guardian after all and cannot let them move past him), the PCs may be mislead into thinking they are fighting a construct, not an outsider.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

My PCs have killed or driven off everyone and everything in and around Jorgenfist except for the Black Monk. They'll face him next time, and then head to Janderhoff to sell off some loot, so I think we'll officially start this book in the session after next. As I've been getting ready for it, I've been trying to figure out what our theme song will be.

Since the beginning of Book 3, we have started each session by playing the theme we picked for that book, followed by Apocalypse, by Bear McCreary, from the reboot Battlestar Galactica, which we are using as the theme for the entire campaign (a suggestion I got from someone on these forums). Everyone does a last minute review of their character sheets, figures out whether they need healing, etc. during the first song, and then one of the players does our "Last time, on Pathfinder" recap during "Apocalypse."

Our theme for Hook Mountain Massacre was Sgt Ogre's Inbred Banjo Brigade, linked in this Old ROTRL thread. For Fortress of the Stone Giants, we branched out to Time Waits for No One, by The Cog Is Dead, which fit in well for the book that really starts the clock running for the PCs.

For Sins of the Saviors, I hunted around for a bit before tentatively deciding on something obvious: It's a Sin, by the Pet Shop Boys. Anybody else using an opening theme tied to the books? If so, what did you like for Book 5?


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It's kind of amusing for me that this particular chapter changed the way I look at Golarion as a whole, considering I'm not a fan of this installment. It actually led to me tying up a few APs together in my version of Golarion.

I have a habit of creating complex outlines of any AP I plan/want to run. Prepping RotR nearly stopped me cold on Runelords after the Arkhryst part. I love dungeons, but these particular mini-dungeons weren't too inspiring (YMMV) and felt too video-gamey needing to go through a portal each time. As others have stated, some groups would have gotten what they needed for Dominant weapons and skipped the rest, etc. A bigger normal dungeon would have probably been better for my particular group if we had played this.
That said, I replaced everything after Arkhryst with chapter 5 of the Shattered Star AP "Into the Nightmare Rift" up until the Leng portal which I left sealed.

First some background info from my version of Golarion.
1) Most of the lore remains the same except the Azlanti people were more like the Atlantis folk from the Stargate tv shows with one minor difference. There was a secret upper caste of Azlant that experimented with unfathomable technologies (genetics, stellar, etc). They were secretly building ships capable of leaving Golarion.
2) Where Azlant was powerful with Science, Thassilon was as powerful with Sorcery and growing more powerful rapidly. There were spies in both civilizations.
3) The Azlanti wanted a superweapon for when the mighty Runelords began the inevitable march for conquest. This was the Starstone and ultimately resulted in Earthfall and the Age of Darkness.
4) Runelord Karzoug opened the portal to Leng in Guiltspur as per "Into the Nightmare Rift" and beings of the Dark Tapestry were fostering Karzoug's greed via their Leng agents. This led to breaking the Runelords cardinal rule concerning Runeforge. Through spies, treachery, assassinations, and subterfuge, Karzoug took Runeforge for himself and moved the Well to Guiltspur.
5) All the knowledge of the library at his disposal would have made him into a demi-god. Azlant feared this and started Earthfall, they aimed the meteor at Thassilon but the beings of the Dark Tapestry (for their own mysterious reasons) intervened and changed it's trajectory resulting in the lore that exists in the Inner Sea book as we know it with the exception that the upper caste of Azlant escaped destruction fleeing to the stars via immense skyships.
6) The first tinkering with massive ancient Azlanti tech in the Serpent Skull AP (activating the towers in City of the Seven Spears, or the portal to Ilmurea), results in the Azlanti starfaring people sending their first investigative ship in millenia to Golarion, the Iron Gods AP. This ship's voyage goes awry of course (possibly again manipulated by the Dark Tapestry beings) resulting in something akin to System Shock or Dead Space where the AI of the ship goes crazy and bioengineers the crew into the aliens we find aboard the ship, etc. Meyanda could be an agent of this AI or it given physical form. I haven't read past book 1 of Iron Gods yet.

Supplemental change in my Golarion....
7) Drow House Rasivrein is all but destroyed by rival houses, survivors flee in two directions. Matron Vulissakra has long been looking for Azlanti ruins for their fabled technology, and is now desperate to find anything for her house's survival. She takes most of whats left of her house to the Mwangi Expanse looking for Ilmurea and the City of Seven Spears (Serpent Skull AP again). She takes the place of Izon and the drow replace the Urdefhan. The traitor Belkor is renamed Belqora and is a traitor drow female anti-paladin.
Xaivanshee Rasivrein takes the rest toward Thassilon looking for arcane artifacts, particularly the shards from the Shattered Star AP. She will be willing to aid the PCs in Guiltspur in exchange for clearing the way to the portal to Leng, which she eventually will make functional as she attempts to get the Shard of Wrath. The PCs should be done runeforging long before she completes her foolhardy plan.

My Sins of the Saviors/Nightmare Rift mashup...:

Campaign changes.....
1) Lamashtu’s Shrine- The catacombs and/or Scribbler will point to the statues/map room at Rimeskull as the place where the PCs can discover the location of Runeforge. Rimeskull is basically the map room from Raiders of the Lost Ark.
2) Rimeskull- Arkrhyst as a Dragon, makes for a perfect servant of Greed. He serves as the guardian of Rimeskull. The statues there (when pointed in the proper directions) reveal the location of Runeforge, instead of the separate dungeons of sin. At the GMs discretion, Arkrhyst can flee to Xin-Shalast if things go poorly for him.
3) Guiltspur- This is the new location of Runeforge. The two items (of Enchantment and Illusion from Karzoug’s opposition schools) needed to forge Dominant weapons will be located here. The gate to Leng will be non-functional, and the Whisperstone could be replaced by the Runeforge.
4) Runeforge is now just a huge library chamber (see area D just seal off the tunnels leading to the separate wings). The room is guarded by Mesmalatu, the awakened demilich cleric of Nyarlathotep (E9). The walls are filled with books and tomes of various nature but most deal with magic. Mesmalatu is one of the only surviving disciples in Runeforge, the other servants of the Runelords are long dead, either to Karzoug's plan or having destroyed themselves over thousands of years after their masters left to go into their hibernation. Being that the portals to each dungeon are gone, all the information the party needs pertaining to Karzoug, his method of returning, the process of making Runeforged weapons, etc can be researched here, or by somehow getting Mesmalatu to talk.
5) Delvahine the Succubus (H7) is a surviving disciple somewhere in Guiltspur (she was another spy for Karzoug), her locks of hair can be the lust components needed for Runeforging. Add a corridor to The Silent Halls (Level C) leading to Delvahine’s lair (use the map from Sins of the Saviors, area H). If not, hair from Xaivanshee Rasivrein could work just as well.
6) Dust from Mesmalatu can be used for the Pride components in Runeforging. Mesmalatu considers herself Lord of Guiltspur and does not want Karzoug to return.

Anyway, those are my plans if we ever get there... :)


Whereas my lot got ambushed by the dragon at the stones, surrendered after one round where only a scorching ray hit her (Yes, her, I always prefer evil female dragons). She made them hand over a couple of magic items as payment and is now acting as a guide accompanying them in human form into Runeforge. For some reason she always stands at the back out of trouble while they explore... I can hardly wait....


Hi. I'm kind of leaving this to last hours before game time, sorry, but.. my group is heading into Pride wing tonight and... I1 Reflected Enmity and the Mirrors of Opposition...

any one have suggestions on how I describe this to the group so that it's not obvious that their opposites are coming out of the mirrors? I'd like to have at least one round of them fighting themselves :P (is that wrong of me?)

thanks.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Sunderstone wrote:

Prepping RotR nearly stopped me cold on Runelords after the Arkhryst part. I love dungeons, but these particular mini-dungeons weren't too inspiring (YMMV) and felt too video-gamey needing to go through a portal each time.

There is only one portal to Runeforge (in Arkhryst's lair). Once a party is inside Runeforge, they only have to walk from one section to another. There's even the possibility of encountering NPCs from one section in another one.

... Unless you're running the 3.5 version and things were different in that one?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
SometimesCrumb wrote:

Hi. I'm kind of leaving this to last hours before game time, sorry, but.. my group is heading into Pride wing tonight and... I1 Reflected Enmity and the Mirrors of Opposition...

any one have suggestions on how I describe this to the group so that it's not obvious that their opposites are coming out of the mirrors? I'd like to have at least one round of them fighting themselves :P (is that wrong of me?)

thanks.

I wish that I'd been able to do something like that, but my players are a bunch of experienced (meta-)gamers who have a great suspicion of mirrors found in dungeons. :(

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Last week, the party obtained the keys to Runeforge, and promptly had their butts handed to them by Arkrhyst. The ancient white dragon, buffed to the gills, swooped down on them invisibly and blasted them where they stood, nicely bunched together for his freezing breath. Two rounds later, four out of five PCs were down 50% or more of their hit points, only one of the wizard's spells had gotten through his spell resistance (fireball, for a whopping 14 points of damage after Arkrhyst's energy resistance), and the party decided it was time to scram. The wizard shouted for them to regroup and triggered getaway (cast that morning before they left their headquarters at the former Sandpoint Glassworks).

Last night, two days later in game, they went back for round two. This time, the PCs were buffed - protection from cold layered on top of resist cold 30; fly; invisibility; stoneskin for the fighter, rogue, and monk; etc., etc. They made it into the frozen cathedral, and engaged the dragon before he had time to cast anything. The cleric summoned a celestial roc and a lillend azata in the first couple of rounds, the wizard gave the rogue greater invisibility and cast haste for the whole party (even the roc). The invisible rogue got in a hit with sneak attack and bleed damage, then shot him with a flaming dragon-bane arrow. The roc kept rolling high and managed to break through the dragon's ridiculous AC on 3 out of 4 attacks. So as of the end of round 4 when we called it a night, Arkrhyst is down by more than 100 points, and none of the PCs have taken any damage.

It's the first time they've ever run from a fight, and so far it seems to be working out for them.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Runeforge. I’ve been dreading this section of the AP for more than 3 years.

Oh, it looks awesome, don’t get me wrong. The PCs decided to start with the Shimmering Veils of Pride, and were immediately gobsmacked by the battle against their doubles (and their doubles’ doubles), then freaked out by the identical sextuplets lobbing fireballs at them in unison. They have found Vraxeris’s body, read his journal, found his storerooms filled with old clones.

We ended the last session with them opening the door to Vraxeris’s bedroom and finding the six simulacra of Delvahine.

Did I mention that my players are my wife, our two teenage children, and their friend (one 17yo girl, and 16 and 14yo boys)?

So I have until our next session to decide how to have six identical succubi attacking them without it turning into the most uncomfortable family moment we’ve had since ... well, ever. And this will just be the prelude - they’ve already told me they’re going into the Iron Cages of Lust next. Because they need to get one of Delvahine’s magic sex toys* to use in the Runeforge pool.

Sigh. I probably should have dragged this AP out longer, like until they were in their 30s.

*I have already decided there will be no magic sex toys, BTW. No chance I will ever be ready for that conversation. Vraxeris’s journal referred to Delvahine’s “equipment,” so the necessary ingredients will be sheets or pillows from her bed, and that will be uncomfortable enough, thank you very much.


Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Ha! My PCs are close to opening Runeforge, so that should be interesting.

As for Arkrhyst, they did their usual "see the bad guy, teleport away, come back fully buffed some days later and massacre it" trick.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Jhaeman wrote:

Ha! My PCs are close to opening Runeforge, so that should be interesting.

As for Arkrhyst, they did their usual "see the bad guy, teleport away, come back fully buffed some days later and massacre it" trick.

That’s how my party did it. Still took about 8 rounds. And when they were done, the cleric with true seeing still on spotted Karzoug’s scrying sensor nearby...


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Tusk the Half-Orc wrote:
So I have until our next session to decide how to have six identical succubi attacking them without it turning into the most uncomfortable family moment we’ve had since ... well, ever. And this will just be the prelude - they’ve already told me they’re going into the Iron Cages of Lust next. Because they need to get one of Delvahine’s magic sex toys* to use in the Runeforge pool.

Use comedy. Pillow fight.

Take note that the fake Delvahines ae 'relatively vacant in personality'. You can push it further an make them unable to perform any sensible assault. When the PCs get into the room, make them shriek and start throwing at them anything they have in hand, never dealing any serious damages. In melee they would use nails and kicks. Depending on your PCs, the chances are they won't be determined to slaughter them, and will try to calm them down somehow.

Shadow Lodge

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My PCs have finally arrived, but I've re-jiggered how Runeforge works for the PCs (since I'm using Unchained Automatic Bonus Progression).

Fortunately, each PC/cohort/previous PC each has a different sin-or-virtue so they'll all be affected evenly.

In "Their Wing", they'll get +2 on Initiative and all skill/ability checks, +2 to concentration checks, and, only once (though they'll get another use of this if they leave, then re-enter the next day but they won't know that), they can decide that a single happenstance will not affect them. No attack roll or saving throw necessary.
In "Opposition Wings", they get -1 on those checks, and even if they make a successful "Save Negates", they'll still be affected for one round, or take minimum damage.

Also, since I've been keeping a RotRL Sin Log since the beginning, they'll get to enjoy a sort of clip show of their relevant acts of sin and virtue as they traverse each hallway leading into each wing.


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The Shifty Mongoose wrote:
...they'll get to enjoy a sort of clip show of their relevant acts of sin and virtue...

Oooooooooooooo- I love a good montage! This would start arguments in my group, but I really like this idea.


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My PCs are about to go into the Illusion wing. I'm down for the Mirrors of Opposition, that seems like good illusion-based defense.

But the Vraxeris simulacra rely almost entirely on evocation and enchantment spells, which seems odd for illusionists. Then I went and read every illusion spell on the sorcerer/wizard list up to 5th level, which reveals the problem: there are precious few illusion spells that they *could* use offensively. I mean, there's Phantasmal Killer, but that's about it.

I'm toying with the notion of using a custom effect that blacks out the room, shakes everyone up to change their positions, and then when the lights come back on everyone looks like Vraxeris and there are six new Vraxerises in the mix. Ideally, the PCs would wind up fighting one another under false pretenses.

But it'd be difficult to pull off. I could replace everyone's minis (I have a ton of Vraxeris minis, I bought a case of the Runelords minis way back when). But each player has to know which mini is theirs, and as soon as they move the mini, that reveals (in a metagame way) that that one is a PC, not an enemy. It'd be hard to avoid metagame knowledge influencing player actions.

I don't know, this encounter bugs me, I guess. Maybe I should ditch it and put in something else entirely.


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Tinalles wrote:

My PCs are about to go into the Illusion wing. I'm down for the Mirrors of Opposition, that seems like good illusion-based defense.

But the Vraxeris simulacra rely almost entirely on evocation and enchantment spells, which seems odd for illusionists. Then I went and read every illusion spell on the sorcerer/wizard list up to 5th level, which reveals the problem: there are precious few illusion spells that they *could* use offensively. I mean, there's Phantasmal Killer, but that's about it.

I'm toying with the notion of using a custom effect that blacks out the room, shakes everyone up to change their positions, and then when the lights come back on everyone looks like Vraxeris and there are six new Vraxerises in the mix. Ideally, the PCs would wind up fighting one another under false pretenses.

But it'd be difficult to pull off. I could replace everyone's minis (I have a ton of Vraxeris minis, I bought a case of the Runelords minis way back when). But each player has to know which mini is theirs, and as soon as they move the mini, that reveals (in a metagame way) that that one is a PC, not an enemy. It'd be hard to avoid metagame knowledge influencing player actions.

I don't know, this encounter bugs me, I guess. Maybe I should ditch it and put in something else entirely.

You've got a cool kernel of an idea there. I think it could work if you took it just a step further. Instead of one blackout-shuffle, make it like a strobe light. Essentially, the board is getting reshuffled after every turn. That way players may gain some very short-term useful meta-knowledge, but it doesn't remain useful for long enough to spoil the effect you're going for.

It would be a lot of work to keep track of for the GM, but it sure sounds fun enough to try. If I ever run Runelords again I might steal this :D


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Tinalles wrote:

My PCs are about to go into the Illusion wing. I'm down for the Mirrors of Opposition, that seems like good illusion-based defense.

But the Vraxeris simulacra rely almost entirely on evocation and enchantment spells, which seems odd for illusionists. Then I went and read every illusion spell on the sorcerer/wizard list up to 5th level, which reveals the problem: there are precious few illusion spells that they *could* use offensively. I mean, there's Phantasmal Killer, but that's about it.

I'm toying with the notion of using a custom effect that blacks out the room, shakes everyone up to change their positions, and then when the lights come back on everyone looks like Vraxeris and there are six new Vraxerises in the mix. Ideally, the PCs would wind up fighting one another under false pretenses.

But it'd be difficult to pull off. I could replace everyone's minis (I have a ton of Vraxeris minis, I bought a case of the Runelords minis way back when). But each player has to know which mini is theirs, and as soon as they move the mini, that reveals (in a metagame way) that that one is a PC, not an enemy. It'd be hard to avoid metagame knowledge influencing player actions.

I don't know, this encounter bugs me, I guess. Maybe I should ditch it and put in something else entirely.

They also have shadow evocation. Althogh mimickinking evocation spells, it is actually an illusion. But for the illusion to be effective, the targets shouldn't knwo it is an illusion. Having few actual evocation spells mixed in is IMO a smart move, for it ups he effectiveness of the illusions.

Vraxeris was on good terms with Delvahine, and their schools of magic are close, so it makes sense to me that his simulacra would use some enchantment as well.

Remember about the Invisibility Field (Sp) ability they get from the arcane school, and multiple major images, minor image and silent image spells they can cast. With that, they can make the room look however they want, while staying hidden. (See Invisiblity doesn't help, if there are additional illusions blocking line of sight, and the PCs need to interact with them in some way before they can disbelieve them.)

Imagine that: when the PCs enter the room, the simulacra are already invisible (Invisibility spell, having noticed their fight with Mirrors). Then as they speak as scripted in the AP, they turn the room into a jungle, or some other landscape with a lot of place to hide before they start a battle. Thanks to their wizard school, even if they stop concentrating, the illusions stay around for another 7 rounds.


Interesting ideas. I've been thinking about this some more, and I think maybe I could do something like this:

1) I get a bunch of little one inch wooden disks at the local craft store. I would need 24 of them.

2) I make two sets of twelve, numbered 1-12.

The wooden circles are going to be used for two things.

One set of them will be minis, placed on the map to show where creatures are.

The other set will go in a bag. At the beginning of a round, each player draws one token from the bag, and that's who they are that round. Once they've drawn them, they pass me the bag and I use the rest as Vraxerises.

I am contemplating replacing the ordinary initiative mechanic for this encounter, and instead having the number you draw from the bag serve as your character's initiative. I'd start from 12 and count down, with the result that creatures would go in a different order each round.

Randomizing the Vraxerises would make it really hard to track their hit points. So I might do a health pool -- give them a total of 600 hp, and every time the party reaches 100 damage, one of the Vraxerises goes "pop!"

For added mayhem, I'm also considering randomizing every creature's position each round. As written, the map is just a big rectangle: 24x18 squares, which I will label 1-24 along the long axis and A-P on the short axis. Then -- before game time -- I would roll out a series of positions, thus:

Round 1: 1 to A3, 2 to E12 ... etc

And then move all the tokens. I'd probably roll out 5 or 6 sets of positions and if the fight goes longer than that start looping or roll a d6 to pick a set of positions.

Now, the problem with all of this is that the Vraxerises also would have no way to tell friend from foe. So I'm thinking of giving them all True Seeing scrolls that they would pop right before the fight, while the party is dealing with the Mirror of Opposition.

At least one of the PCs also has True Seeing, and has already announced that they intend to use it, so that would give that PC a major advantage. And that's 100% okay.

Our next session isn't till Nov 11th, 16 days from now, so I've got time for prep. Any thoughts or suggestions? I'm excited by this idea, even though it's going to be super complicated to run.


My primary thought, after also thinking this is very complicated, is that with these custom magical effects, you need to consider how spells will interact with them- specifically spells designed to counteract such effects.

First, you shouldn't shut these spells down. This is a tough fight even without the added stuff you're doing. It's easy to fall into the trap of wanting one's hard work to be seen so badly that one railroad's the PCs into fighting the way one wants, rather than allowing them to beat the system. That's just a general reminder.

Second, how will a Dispel Magic work against the randomizing spell effect? What aura(s) do they each give off if Detect Magic or the like is used? Faerie Fire, or Glitterdust- what will they do? What if they disbelieve the illusion that makes everyone Vraxeris? It's not so much that you have to know how every spell the party has access to works so much as knowing exactly what the spell effects you're creating are and do to a painstaking degree.

A low-tech alternative to the True Seeing scrolls, are a specific hand signal(or something similar) the Vraxeris' use to recognize each other. Having this gives the PCs an added way to be clever and rewards anyone who took ranks in Sense Motive, assuming that's what you'd use for PCs to pick up on the secret hand signal.


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Good points all round. And yes, it is going to be complicated.

1. I'm going to give everyone a Will save to resist the Seeming effect. If they pass, they don't look like Vraxeris, and get to put their regular mini on the board instead of the wood token.

2. I think I'm going to replace the big pillar in the middle of the room with an enormous statue of a peacock, and have that be the source of the randomization/seeming effect. They'll be able to see it "powering up" right before the effect goes off each time. If the ready an action to cast Dispel Magic on the statue, they can interrupt the effect. I probably won't make them roll for it, even -- hit it with Dispel and the effect fizzles for that round.

3. Detect Magic would show strong illusion for the Seeming effect, and a lingering aura of illusion for the teleportation effect -- it's based of Shadow Walk, because Thassilonian pride specialists don't have access to conjuration spells (and thus cannot use more normal teleportation effects).

4. Faerie Fire and Glitterdust would persist across randomizations. The targets would still look like Vraxeris, but they'd be shiny. It'd be a good way of marking people. I'm inclined to think that non-magical means -- like paint or flour -- would get covered over the next time the randomization effect occurs.

I'll consider hand signals.

I'm planning on reducing their offensive spell loadouts. The goal of hte false Vraxerises is to trick the party into fighting one another, so there will probably be a bunch of Bluff checks as standard actions to try and get them to do so. That should help reduce the lethality.

Thanks for the feedback!


Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I ran this encounter a couple of nights ago, and the premise I used was that the simulacrums of Vraxeris would also act in unison, casting the exact same spell on the same target (if possible) at the same time. (e.g., six barrages of magic missile on a randomly chosen target in one round, six barrages of fireball on a randomly chosen target in round two, etc.). For the greater invisibility, I also labelled the rows and columns of the room like a Battleship grid so I knew where they were (and could pass a note to the player whose PC had see invisibility), but the others didn't. It worked really well and made for a memorable, tactically-intensive encounter.

Shadow Lodge

Yep, the bard got infuriated at getting hit by six Feebleminds at once, and almost saved against all of them. Fortunately, he got a Heal right before his turn began. "What a horrible four seconds!"

They were invisible basically the whole time, and half of them made illusions of themselves as if they came out of invisibility, causing PCs to waste spells and attacks on them. When the PC with See Invisibility remembered he had it, everything got a lot easier.

Also, when one of the simulacra was low on HP and surrounded by everyone, he announced that everyone was within the blast radius of a Fireball, and dropped it at his feet, instantly exploding into a spray of greyish sludge.

Everyone had pretty good Will saves, so I wasn't worried about anyone getting phantasmally killed, except for a Leadership cohort. She got revified shortly after.

Two other things: I'm relieved that my PCs have only done a single act of lust this entire time

The Single Act of Lust:
The Oracle: "Ask the Revelation Quill if [The Bard] is the cutest kobold ever!"
He used the ancient relic of the forgotten faith to play Hot or Not; that counts.

Also, I'm debating on whether to re-stat Athroxis as a magus, or keep her with 10 levels in her prestige class and just make her sickened under the table. See, the PCs may want to enter an alliance with the Wrathlings, so Athroxis would challenge the kindest of them to a duel, while the others would have to fight the demon. I'd want this to be able to happen without getting all lopsided.

Then, this mostly good-aligned, virtuous group will have to deal with their new CE wrathling militia, boasting about, "Garvok shall lead us to the Great Outdoors, where glorious victory await!"

Spoiler:
"And then Freezemaw comes out of invisibility and hits you all with his frost breath."


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I just ran this encounter, and wanted to report back on how it went with my modifications.

The setup I settled on went as follows:

1) I put 12 numbered tokens out on the map to represent the PCs and the Vraxerises (5 PCs, one cohort, and six Vraxerises). Their positions were basically random -- I did not roll for positions or anything, I just sort of spread them around in the available space.

2) Players drew a token from a bag at the beginning of each round, which defined their position on the board and their order in the initiative. The one with the cohort drew two tokens. All the ones remaining in the bag after that were Vraxeris.

I did not re-randomize the positions of the tokens between rounds. After conducting a short experiment on my own, it was immediately clear that that would have been far too complex and slowed things down a ton. Besides, since the PCs were drawing randomly from the bag, that effectively randomized their positions anyway without actually moving any tokens.

3) I did NOT add initiative modifiers to anything; we just counted down from 12 to 1 each round.

4) The source of the effect was the giant peacock statue. I described it as having six gem-encrusted feathers. Each round on Initiatives 8, 4, and 0 two of the feathers lit up, one on each side of the peacock. When all six were lit, we would re-randomize tokens. Each of the six feathers had AC 5 and 15 hit points; once they were all destroyed the effect ended.

5) I used the stock dialog from the book for Vraxeris, but tacked on "Let's dance!" at the end, and described the entire place as flashing bright colors the whole time. I also played "Stayin' Alive" on loop for the whole encounter.

6) I did use a shared pool of hit points for the Vraxerises (600, 100 each) and killed one off each time they crossed a 100 point threshold. The Vraxerises did some damage with scorching rays, and got in a few Phantasmal Killer spells, with no effect (four passed will saves, and the one failed will save was the Barbarian, who got a 40 on the fort save to avoid death). The shared hit point mechanic was odd mechanically, because it effectively prevented the party from focusing fire on one enemy; but the players rolled with it and it worked okay.

It was a fairly complicated combat just because it forced the players to figure out who was who each round. But they quickly adapted. The one complaining about how terrible these robes look was obviously the incredibly vain ranger, while the barbarian had been enlarged earlier and was therefore obvious because he was the only large-sized Vraxeris. I described all of them as holding wands; but when the archer proceeded to fire some shots using her bow, and appeared to be firing small wands from another wand that implausibly bent like a bow, it became pretty obvious that she was the archer.

The PC who had the hardest time with this encounter was the bard, many of whose abilities (Inspire Courage, for example) rely on being able to distinguish between friend and foe. It was the first battle in a very long time when they didn't have Inspire Courage giving them ridiculous attack and damage bonuses.

The PCs very quickly figured out that the peacock was what was shuffling them around, and they destroyed the last feather towards the end of round 3, at which point I had the peacock open it's beak and say "Organic lifeforms have no sense of fun". After that things went pretty quickly.

All in all, I am very pleased with how it went, and the players seemed to enjoy it. So I'm going to account the session a success.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

So, one of my Runelords groups went into the Lust wing last session. They had finished the Pride wing the session before that one, so they knew that they needed an item from the Lust wing (and had an "in the ballpark" idea of what sort of object that would be).

Mini-wall of text:
I had honestly expected them to negotiate with D. and her minions, as this group has both a bard and more charisma. (In contrast to my other Runelords group, which has at best average charisma and no real "face" - although they did succeed in negotiating with D.)

However, I'd forgotten that they had both a giant-hating dwarf plus Shalelu (who chose giants as her second favoured enemy after her experiences in Book 3), and the wizard's Clairvoyance spell revealed the presence of giants in the tent.

Also, after some unfortunate experiences in the Pride wing with charmed/dominated PCs, the entire party was paranoid about being mentally dominated in the Lust wing. Therefore - before entering the Lust wing - they had used a boat-load of defensive spells (Protection from Evil to ward against mental control, Resist Fire [for some reason they were associating fire with Lust magic], Haste, and many other spells). So on a meta-level, the players didn't want their spells to go to waste.

This lead to a charge into the tent's entrance, and a combat with both the giants and the daughters in the first tent room. As per the script, D. was notified telepathically (and could hear the combat), so she spent the first few rounds buffing. She then waited a few rounds, expecting her daughters to flee combat eventually and bring the fight to her.

What actually happened was that the party managed to drop all the giants and daughters (some did manage to stabilise themselves). So D. started moving towards the first tent room with her remaining minions carrying that special brazier. The party was about to start with looting/coup-de-grace, so I described that some smoke was creeping into the first tent room and that a bright, shining light was approaching. Unnerved, their immediate reaction was to bug out to a safer area in Runeforge via Dimension Door.

So D. is left with some dead and some stabilised giants and daughters, and knows that a party of adventurers (with some good magical protection) is in the vicinity, and probably will return the next day.

What would D. do?

I'm thinking that she might make a deal with A. over in Gluttony. Trade him some of the bodies in return for some necromantic protection/attack magic. After all, who expects to need Death Ward in the Lust wing? Or maybe he could make her some sort of zombies.

Any good suggestions from my fellow RotR GMs? :)


Bellona wrote:
Sunderstone wrote:

Prepping RotR nearly stopped me cold on Runelords after the Arkhryst part. I love dungeons, but these particular mini-dungeons weren't too inspiring (YMMV) and felt too video-gamey needing to go through a portal each time.

There is only one portal to Runeforge (in Arkhryst's lair). Once a party is inside Runeforge, they only have to walk from one section to another. There's even the possibility of encountering NPCs from one section in another one.

... Unless you're running the 3.5 version and things were different in that one?

My mistake. Portal should have read as "tunnel". It's basically, clear a wing, head back to the hub, clear another wing, back to the hub, etc.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Bellona - three of my PCs were buffed with Death Ward going into the Lust wing, unfortunately. They had gone through Pride first, and had a pretty good idea that there would be a succubus there.

I really like your idea. As you said, Delvahine has the one thing Azaven wants desperately: corpses. So she gives him a couple of dead giants in exchange for his animating the others. Now she has zombie stone giants (or even zombie alu-demons) when the PCs come back, and so does Azaven when the PCs tackle the Ravenous Crypts. Everybody wins (except the party).


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Zombies would work fine for the dead giants; but zombie alu-demons? Don't waste those high charisma modifiers on basic zombies. Azaven is plenty high enough level to do things like Zombie Lords and Skeletal Champions, which would let them keep a lot more of their abilities.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Last night, Azaven killed my son's character. Twice. In two consecutive rounds. Happy New Year!

The party:
- my wife, human Cleric of Sarenrae 14;
- our daughter, elf Rogue 10/Rose Warden 4;
- neighbor kid, dwarf Monk (ki mystic) of Torag 14;
- GMPC, half-orc Fighter 11/Sorcerer 3; and
- our son, elf Wizard 11/Fighter 1/Eldritch Knight 2

We've had some scheduling challenges over the past month or so, meaning our games have been a little spread out. The group ran through the Pride, Lust, and Greed wings, spending a "night" to rest in the Shimmering Veils after each. They went through the Abjurant Halls over Thanksgiving weekend and despite using some of their daily resources dealing with the ooze, etc., they decided to head straight into the Ravenous Crypts.

The Thassalonian mummies and the clay golem gave them a little trouble at first, but they managed them. They ROFLstomped Xyoddin Xerriock, and while the nightwing that appeared when the monk and fighter destroyed the negative energy power plant gave them heart palpitations, it did less lasting damage than the negative level the monk received from punching one of the crystal pilons.

All of this was spread out over several short sessions, so when they found the secret doors into the secret crypt and Azaven's Assembly Room at the very end of our session on December 28, the party opened the doors right away without renewing any of their expired buffs.

Meanwhile, Azaven had been watching them since their fight against the first group of mummies. He spent their entire fight with the second mummy team buffing himself, and when they opened the door, he and the devourer were ready for them. That's where we opened on New Year's Eve. A full report/massive wall of text follows in the spoiler.

Happy New Year!:

I have modified the spell lists for some of the Runeforge wizards to add spells from some of the newer books, particularly Horror Adventures (adds a nice touch because my players haven't read through it at all yet).

Round 1. With the rogue in the lead and the casters in the back of the hallway, Azaven had to modify his tactics as written since he couldn't quite see them to cast finger of death. Instead, after casting quickened displacement, he cast rigor mortis on the rogue - she made her save, as she did for every effect she was threatened with throughout the combat. The devourer immediately moved in to block the group in the doorway, and did a little damage to the rogue while taking big hits from the rogue and fighter. The monk used his abundant step to teleport right next to Azaven and would have punched the heck out of him but he blew the percentage roll forced by displacement - which he did on every single attack for the rest of the combat, despite the second chance he received from blind-fight once he realized what the problem was and started fighting with his eyes closed.

The cleric and wizard began summoning.

Round 2. With the spellcasters still blocked in the hall by the devourer, Azaven threw up his wall of force and tried a quickened vampiric touch (between his +8 Intelligence modifier and combat casting, even on his highest level spells he succeeds at casting defensively on any roll of 3 or better). He couldn't hit the monk's ludicrous touch AC, so it was a stalemate. The devourer took another couple of swipes at the rogue, then stepped back once he knew that Azaven was safely behind the wall of force (the advantage of being able to discuss tactics ahead of time), drawing the rest of the party into the room. The rogue and fighter pressed their attacks on the devourer.

The casters' summoned creatures arrived: three lillend azatas and an invisible stalker. I made a mistake here, allowing them to place the invisible stalker and one of the lillends behind the wall of force with Azaven and the monk. Reading the rules after the fact, I think I should have made them all appear in the main part of the room, given that wall of force breaks line of effect and based on the text of the spell only teleportation spells seem to be able to cross it, but it didn't end up making a difference either way. Two of the lillends started bardic performances (one on either side of the force wall), while the third cast cure serious wounds on the rogue. The invisible stalker got off two slam attacks on Azaven, hitting on both despite displacement but not getting through his DR. The wizard found out about the wall of force the hard way when he tried to cast chain lightning on Azaven and then the devourer and the spell fizzled against the invisible barrier. The cleric successfully dismissed the devourer.

Round 3. Azaven flew up to the ceiling, ignoring attacks of opportunity from the monk, the invisible stalker, and the lillend. Once there, he cast quickened magic missile at the monk, and mirror image on himself. The monk drank a potion of fly. The rogue and fighter hurled themselves against the wall to no great effect; the rogue, at least, noticed the trap door to area F11. The wizard took down the wall with disintegrate, and the cleric tried and failed to dispel some of Azaven's buffs. Two of the azatas cast invisibility, one on the cleric and the other on the monk, while the third lillend and the invisible stalker tried unsuccessfully to pop some of Azaven's mirror images.

Round 4. Azaven cast wave of fatigue, catching everybody except the rogue. The monk flew after Azaven, but couldn't lay a finger on him. The rogue drank a fly potion. The wizard managed to dispel Azaven's displacement, giving the lillends and invisible stalker (and later, the rogue) at least a chance to knock out a couple of the mirror images. The cleric cast cleanse on herself to remove the fatigued condition.

Round 5. Azaven cast quickened blindness at the monk, taking him out of the fight, but the lich failed his hover check - instead, he shrugged off attacks of opportunity to fly over the lillends to the other side of the room, and finally cast finger of death at my son's wizard. The wizard used a hero point to get +8 on his fortitude save, but rolled a natural 3; the monk heard the wizard's scream and told him to "think on it" and try again - granting the elf a reroll with his mystic insight ability - but it wasn't enough. The wizard took 140 points of damage, which took him 5 below negative constitution even though he had been at full HP with a bunch of temporary hit points from greater false life. The rogue flew up and popped another mirror image, but the fighter - using his bow - missed. The monk carefully landed on the floor. The cleric walked over to the wizard and cast breath of life, easily bringing him back, and one of the lillends cast cure serious wounds on him, and another turned him invisible in case Azaven had finger of death memorized a second time. The third lillend cast invisibility on the rogue, but the lich paralyzed her with an attack of opportunity. At the end of the round, the wizard cast see invisibility so he could see the entire party; this way, he would know when it would be safe to trigger getaway to return the party to the Shimmering Veils without accidentally leaving an invisible PC behind.

Dear Reader: He didn't get the chance.

Round 6. Azaven cast prismatic spray. I had the players roll to determine the effects themselves.

- the monk rolled fire damage, and passed his reflex save.
- the rogue was out of the area of effect.
- I can't even remember what the fighter rolled, but he passed his save.
- the wizard rolled and 8, meaning he got caught by two rays, then rolled up flesh to stone and insanity, with flesh to stone striking first (based on a percentile roll). He used his last hero point for +8 to the fortitude save, but with a natural 2 he failed, turning into a very pissed-off statue. I ruled that he didn't need make a will save to avoid insanity, because as a statue he wouldn't be subject to mind-affecting spells.
- the cleric was struck with the poison ray, another save or die effect. I should note that she had the Runeforge penalty in this wing.

Interruption for three items of necessary context:

1. We started this campaign on December 31, 2014, and we are hoping to finish before my daughter goes away to college this fall. The PCs are the characters the players started with at level 1.
2. This session was on Monday night. We spent several hours on Saturday night/early Sunday morning in the emergency room, after my son had an allergic reaction to something he ate at a restaurant Saturday evening (he's severely allergic to peanuts and most tree nuts). He needed to stick himself with two Epi-pens in just the few minutes it took for our frantic drive to the ER, then had an IV bag of additional medicine and four hours of observation.
3. Sunday was his *&$%! birthday.

Back to our cleric. If she failed this fortitude save, the poison would kill her, leaving the rogue, the monk, and the GMPC fighter/sorcerer trapped in Runeforge with her corpse and the wizard's statue (although they would not be trapped for long, if they could not escape from Azaven). Even if they managed to get away, they would probably TPK trying to get home through the Catacombs of Wrath. On the other hand, if the cleric did make the save, she might still take some constitution damage in later rounds, but she could cast break enchantment (prepared twice) to undo the petrification, and remove blindness (from a scroll) to cure the monk, and they would live to fight another day.

Given the weekend we had had, I was not in the mood to perma-kill my son's character, let alone cause a TPK. Also, speaking purely hypothetically, it would have been particularly bad story-telling for the cleric to fail her save by 1 point (meaning that she would have succeeded but for the Runeforge penalty) in the one location before the final battle where the martial characters could not simply haul the bodies to a temple and buy a raise dead.

Luckily, the cleric just barely made her fortitude save. The fighter, assisted by the blind monk, grabbed the petrified wizard and the party high-tailed it out the door while the lillends and the invisible stalker swarmed Azaven to block his view of the doorway. The group did not stop moving until they were back in the Shimmering Veils, where the cleric made the caster level check for break enchantment on her second attempt, and the wizard finally succeeded on a fortitude save. She also removed the monk's blindness (always carry a scroll of remove blindness, kids!). We finished just after midnight, with the party resting for the Runeforge "night" and working out a plan to finish Azaven off, giving me a week or two to figure out what Azaven is going to do to prepare for the heroes' inevitable return.

Shadow Lodge

One, ouch. Two, since you're recounting how a PC bit it, this should probably get moved to the Character Obituary thread. Third, Breath of Life actually doesn't work if you've been slain by a death effect, which Finger of Death is. Still, either way, it didn't matter much.

Oh, and fourth, people might make fun of you for carrying a Remove Blindness scroll, until you remind them it's for someone else who's been blinded.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

In Runeforge: if both Athroxis and the glabrezu demon are already dead, could a surviving Wrath warrior use the Sihedron Rune circle in K-6 (the Halls of Testing) to summon a new demon?

I'm asking because it's not clear to me precisely how much of the Planar Binding spell's "work" is done by the circle's magic. RotR AE says: "Once per day, the master circle can be commanded to call a single creature, functioning as a Planar Binding spell (CL 15th) — only one called outsider may be active at a time via this effect."

Does that mean that the series of offers and Charisma checks are skipped by the circle, and the demon just arrives and obeys - possibly for just 15 days at a time?

It should be noted that two extra spells normally used in conjunction with Planar Binding (Magic Circle Against Evil and Dimensional Anchor) are not mentioned in the description of how the Sihedron Rune circle is used, yet Athroxis has apparently used the circle to obtain the glabrezu despite both those "extra" spells being inaccessible to her (Abjuration magic is prohibited to Thassilonian Wrath/Evocation spellcasters).


It's not explicitly stated but I assumed the only person that could activate the Planar Binding function was whoever had the Mark of Wrath.

I also assumed the Rune handled all the affiliated/supporting magic for the planar binding to work.

In my playthrough the dwarven fighter pc ended up with the Mark. He could perhaps have activated the Rune but since Wrath was the last Hall my pc's did, it didn't come up. If it had, I would have ruled that certainly the holder of the Mark of Wrath could bind a new servant - assuming the previous servant was dead - but that whatever was summoned could not leave Runeforge. So if the pc's do Wrath before 1 or more other Halls, they might be able to call for additional help.

I don't know that any of that is RAW - just how I interpreted it.

Speaking of RAW, it's a little odd that Vraxerises claims to have built the circle (which he does in the handout 5-3 on p. 283 AE) given that not only does the Travel portion of the Rune rely on Conjuration magic but so does the Planar Binding. And Conjuration is an opposition school for him (as well as Athroxis.)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Yeah, I caught the school discrepancy too. My decision on that issue was that it actually had been Jordimandus who did it (back in the day, before the Sloth wing went to pieces), not Vraxeris, and that the hand-outs simply were mixed that up on that point.

Re the original question, in my version there currently is no sign-bearer in one group's campaign (I'm running two different groups through the AP). I had already decided that the duel had to be properly started (in the circle, one-on-one, formal declaration, etc.), and that if the current office holder died "without issue", then the sign simply disappeared until two candidates had a proper duel in the circle.

So right now, on their third incursion into Wrath, the party has killed Athroxis, the demon, and most of the Wrath warriors and sinspawn in the barracks area, but one Wrath warrior has escaped through the teleport circles to K-6, and _might_ have the time needed to activate the calling function before the party catches up with him/her.

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