Seven Days to the Grave (GM Reference)


Curse of the Crimson Throne

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Bristor Gwin wrote:
Preparing to enter the latter half of 7 Days, and looking at the Queen's Physicians, I've been considering making them Alchemists instead of Rogues. Looking for feedback on the idea, and also hoping someone already had the idea and has a conversion they would be willing to share/post here.

it was done, (at least by Davaulus) .

Queen’s Physicians (hu alchemist 3)
XP: 600
human alchemist 3
NE Medium humanoid (human)
Init +6; Senses Perception +6

DEFENSE
AC 14, touch 12, flat-footed 12 (+2 armor, +2 Dex)
HP 13 (3d8)
Fort +4, Ref +5, Will +3

OFFENSE
Speed 30 ft.
Melee mwk club +5 (1d6+2)
Ranged dagger +4 (1d4+1/19-20)
Space 5 ft., Reach 5 ft.
Special Attacks bombs (5/day) +4 to attack: 2d6+2 fire DD13 for half
Spells Known disguise selft, detect undead
Spells Prepared shield, expeditious retreat, cure light wound, true strike

STATISTICS
Str 14, Dex 15, Con 12, Int 15, Wis 10, Cha 8
Base Atk +2; CMB +4; CMD 16
Feats Brew Potion, Combat Reflexes, Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Throw Anything
Skills Heal +6, Sense Motive +3, Perception +6, Intimidate +2, Stealth +5, Diplomacy +2, Knowledge (arcana) +8, Bluff +2
Languages Common, varisan, infernal
SQ Fast alchemist, discovery (precise bomb), mutagen, poison use
Gear leather armor, masterwork club, healer’s kit, plaguebringer’s mask

SPECIAL ABILITIES
mutagen (Ex) dex +4 , wiz -2

Dark Archive

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BTW
the gray maiden look like more cavalier than fighter

Gray Maidens (cavalier 3)
XP: 800
Human cavalier 3
LE Medium humanoid
Init +1; Senses Perception -1

DEFENSE
AC 21, touch 11, flat-footed 20 (+8 armor, +1 Dex, +2 shield)
HP 25 (3d10+9)
Fort +5, Ref +2, Will +2; +2 vs. fear

OFFENSE
Speed 20 ft.
Melee mwk longsword +7 (1d8+2/19-20)
Ranged mwk composite longbow +5 (1d8+2/x3)
Space 5 ft., Reach 5 ft.
Special Attacks lion call (60feet, +2vs fear, +1 to attack), charge, challenge (1/day)

STATISTICS
Str 14, Dex 12, Con 15, Int 10, Wis 8, Cha 15
Base Atk +3; CMB +5; CMD 16
Feats Iron Will, Quick Draw, Weapon Focus (longsword)
Skills Knowledge (nobility) +6, Knowledge (local) +4, Acrobatics -3, Ride +6, Climb +1, Intimidate +8
Languages Common
Gear masterwork full plate, heavy steel shield, masterwork longsword, composite longbow masterwork (2 str) with 20 arrows

Grand Lodge

Thanks r-Kelleg!

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I'm just now running this campaign via PbP. Most of the PFRPG conversion is either easy or already done. But as far as Blood Veil, is it simply 1 save to overcome? Quick search produced no viable results.

Dark Archive

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Blood Veil
Level 7 disease, contact or injury; Save Fortitude DC 16
EFFECTS
Frequency 1 day; Effect 1d3 Constitution damage and 1d3
Charisma damage; Cure 2 consecutive saves


Thank you!


Thanks for the Alchemist Plague Doctors, just in time for my campaign!


I have a quick question, I didn't finish reading all of the CotCT books but I'm curious about Ramoska Arkminos and his leader-person. Do they appear at all in CotCT again?

Dark Archive

They do not. Ramoska makes an appearance in the fifth adventure of Carrion Crown and his master, Conte Ristomaur Tiriac, is detailed (though not stated beyond his level) in the Rule of Fear chronicles book.


As a lazy GM running CotCT, these threads have been lifesavers, as such, since I just finished running Seven Days to the Grave and I'd like to share what worked and what didn't work for our group in hopes it helps others run this part of the adventure.

The plague timeline: I had a hard time letting enough time pass for the disease to propagate after the Soldado encounter, mainly because I read the concerns about the timeline in this thread one session too late. I managed, but as a heads up for other GMs, make sure you have some filler beyond the Trinia encounter to have enough time pass. Ideally, you could have the PCs escort Trinia all the way to Harse, while having a short adventure or two in either Harse or Palin's Cove. You can find some information about Harse in book 3 I believe.

"Too busy" tagline: In many parts of this adventure, its assumed that the PCs will investigate the plague of their own volition, or have some of the encounters be assigned to them by Cressida or Ishtani. Also, it is assumed that any attempt to get help from any officials will be met with speeches about being too busy. This didn't sit well with my players, who were dumbfounded that Ishtani said he'd heard of someone selling a cure to Blood Veil in the Heights but was too busy attempting to cure Blood Veil by other means to go investigate. I tried to remedy that by having Ishtani not put much faith into this supposed cure, but that just got the PCs disinterested in the place.

Most importantly, when the PCs finished exploring the shipwreck, they felt that the evidence they got was so damning that it would have been unthinkable for the Field Marshal to say she was too busy or couldn't spare the men to investigate the Queen's Physicians. The PCs headed straight to the Citadel to present their evidence to Kroft. Thinking on my feet, I had the guards inform them that the Field Marshal had gone to a meeting with Dr Daviulus at the Hospice. She stomped out of the Citadel, brushing aside her guards and didn't seem to be in the best of moods. The PCs concluded that Cressida must have discovered something and went to confront the doctor, which may put her life in danger, so they dropped everything and rushed to the hospice looking for her. That made them want to clear the whole place with haste, which they eventually did. In truth, I'd decided that the Field Marshal did indeed demand to meet with the doctor at the hospice, since she just finished reading the end of week report on the disease and found that things are getting much worse, with the physicians seemingly ineffectual. The doctor dodged the meeting, pretending not be at the hospice, so Cressida went looking for him at the palace instead.

Shipwreck: My PCs were also surprised that no one had gone to the shipwreck in all the time it sat there till they got around to it. They found it hard to imagine that none of the churches could spare a cleric to take a quick dip and look around for the cause of the disease, since the ship was toted as the cause of the disease by many factions. They were also questioning about why such incriminating documents were left here this whole time without someone in this big operation sparing the time to remove them. I suggest making a small tie between the Sea Hag and the Red Mantis by having her go to the ship as per their request to clear whatever is there, but instead liking the place and taking up residence. The attraction of the wreck to the hag is that many people did indeed attempt to investigate, including clerics. More fodder for her.

PC death at the temple of Urgathoa: The encounters here are nasty, and wore my PCs down enough that eventually, we lost one PC at the Lady Andaisin encounter. Although there are many ways to bring in new characters into the story, I felt it noteworthy to mention that even if resurrection is very rare, going to the church of Abadar with the notes to a cure for blood veil as barter for a resurrection seems like a fair exchange.

Shadow Lodge

So I started Seven Days to the Grave, and the party cured Brienna of the disease, had the crowd encounter at the Bank of Abadar and then met Dr. Davaulus and the Royal Physicians at the Citadel. They decided to start investigating on their own three days after the outbreak of the plague (so not enough time for people to start dying), so they didn't have very many leads. Brienna was cured but was not given any restoration spells to cure her ability damage so when they went to question her Tayce said she was sleeping, and maybe if they came back in a few days she would be strong enough to answer their questions (her Con and Cha had gone down to 4 and 5, respectively by that point).

Instead of waiting, they decided to start asking around about what they could do. At this point nobody had started dying yet so the hook for the lazy body carters hadn't developed yet, so all the Korvosan Guard could do was say they were planning with the Royal Physicians on how to combat the plague and if they wanted to help they could start moving bodies when the time came (an assignment Dr. Davaulus came up with for Kroft to give the party should they continue to stick their noses in his business). This didn't sit well with the party at all so instead of waiting for Brienna to recover or try and investigate another avenue, the party went straight for the wreck of the Direption at 4th level.

Let me preface this by saying that this party currently stands at 10 members. Tonight, only 8 of them showed up. This means they can usually take on whatever I throw at them with ease unless I tweak things a bit as combat progresses.

For whatever reason, the party thought it would be a good idea to have Ishani only cast Water Breathing on THREE party members and the Summoner's Eidolon, and have only those THREE go down and search for the wreck (who were the Barbarian who decided to NOT wear her armor since she would be swimming, the Magus, and the Oracle of Life). The other five (Two wizards, a fighter, the summoner and a Sorcerer) remained on the ship they rented above them on the water's surface.

So the four underwater have water breathing for 2 hours each by the time their ship arrives at the site. They spent 1 hour 20 minutes looking fruitlessly for the wreck before they find it. They decide to investigate the wreck, going right for the stern of the ship where Yvica and her shark companion are and encounter the shark. Because of the party dynamics I made this little guy a Helicoprion Shark instead of the jigsaw. Two rounds into the fight the shark has the unarmored Barbarian pinned with its whorled jaw and is swimming for the hole in the ship it can eat its prey (they still managed to get it to 1/3 of its hit points in 5-6 rounds). Five rounds into the fight Yvica shows up and starts attacking the Magus. The Eidolon chases the shark as its the only one with a swim speed and gets it to about 25 HP before it kills the Barbarian and switches to the Eidolon (the barbarian spends 2 hero points to cheat death, but still sinks to the bottom of the ocean floor with 40 min of water breathing left). The Hag gets the Magus down to a 1/3 of his HP before the Oracle gets her with a Murderous Command, causing her to swim out of the hull after the shark for a round, and gives the Magus and the Oracle a chance to escape (due to the muddiness of the water and the poor visibility, I figured the hag would rather return to the ship and finish looking around. If they were no longer in the territory she claimed, she wouldn't bother looking around in the muddy water for them). The shark attacks the Eidolon after it let go of the Barbarian and kills it, then follows Yvica back into the hull to continue guarding her should those other two return. At no point did the Summoner, who can communicate telepathically with his Eidolon, think to have his pet inform him and the rest of the people topside that this was going on. Even then, none of them would have gone down to help (maybe one would have tried) because they didn't have water breathing on them and it's 80 feet below them.

While this was going on I didn't want the topside people to be bored, so while the wreck crew was searching I was rolling percentile dice to see if their search disturbed or attracted anything to the ship. I rolled in the single digits for one of the checks, so I had an aquatic version of a monster that I found in the Oathbound Bestiary called a Scavan find its way to the ship. This Scavan was small for a scavan but large in size, and is basically a snake with three buzzsaws in its mouth where the fangs would normally be. It loves to rend wood and flesh, so a ship out on the water filled with people was a lovely choice. It surfaces and the first thing it does it lunge up out of the water and snatch the ship's Captain and tear him to pieces. Before combat even begins one of the wizards dives off the far end of the boat and starts swimming to the nearest shore. As the Scavan starts tearing holes in the ship's hull with it's buzzsaw teeth, the other casters start doing the same. The only person who even tries to fight the thing is the Summoner who starts casting Summon Monster spells in the water to try and fight it and the Fighter, who tethers himself to the mast (of a soon to be sinking ship) and hops overboard to fight this thing 15 feet under water. First round of combat with the creature and he misses while it crits him. I use the Crit deck and pull the Throat Slash card, which deals 2d6 bleed damage and the target cannot speak or breathe while bleeding. He didn't have water breathing on him so guess who falls to -1 and starts drowning? At this point the ship has floundered and the summoner grabs the fallen fighter with a water elemental he summoned to drag him back to shore while everyone else swims for it. Luckily for them, the crew of the boat was 8 people and those who didn't start swimming for shore with the casters are now being torn to pieces in the water by the Scavan. The water elemental saves the fighter from drowning but he bleeds to death before anyone can reach or heal him (he spends 2 hero points to cheat death).

The Oracle and Magus escape to the surface and also swim to shore. The Barbarian is left behind at the sea floor, but I have her spend her final hero point to go into a blackout rage and claw for the surface and for shore, fading back into unconsciousness 3/4 of the way and ending up washed onto shore where her companions find her. Everyone gets to shore but is exhausted at this point from such a long swim and taken nonlethal damage from the cold water. They make camp right on the shore and rest.

So nobody technically died but they got their rears handed to them. During the fight, the Magus scored a crit on the sea hag where he knocked her straight backwards 1d6 squares and I told him he knocked a metal box loose from her grasp, which he took. It was the Death's Head Coffer containing a dead rat and some of the infected coins. However at this point the group doesn't care. They were on the fence about leaving Korvosa after the King died during the riots, they were on the fence again after they learned about the plague outbreak, but now they just want to leave this city before they get infected and can't afford to get healed any more. So they venture into Korvosa one last time to get their things and their companions who hadn't gone with them on the voyage, deliver the coffer to the Korvosan Guard and say "Here's the source of your plague", and leave the city.

So they discovered that the money was infected but hey never found Rois or the darkwood coffer in the infirmary. They have given up on Korvosa and plan on making a trip for Magnimar until the plague runs its course. I have no problems with them doing this as I can come up with a few good ideas as to what they could do in Magnimar, but I plan on things continuing to evolve in Korvosa without the party. I wonder that without the party's interference at all, would the death toll stay at 5,000? Even with the evidence that the money that washed ashore was infected, they would have no idea about the infected deposit that's already been circulating, and there's no way to stop the circulation of every silver piece in the city. I'm sure Davaulus would come up with something to deflect and minimize this discovery once the party leaves Korvosa.

Anyone with ideas as to how bad I should make things in Korvosa? I mean, the Queen's plans will pretty much go along to her schedule as she pleases while the party is gone. I'm hoping that after a few adventures and levels they'll feel more confident about returning to Korvosa once it's become apparent that the city has a dire need for heroes to rescue it, but there's also a part of me that wonders if they even want to go back at some point. If things get worse (which they will), I think they would want to stay away from it.

Shadow Lodge

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I hate to say it, but your party was kind of sunk from the get-go. If they're, as early in the story as Eodred's death, already contemplating ditching Korvosa, it's rather a lost cause.

With my own group (who will be running this some time in the future - finishing Kingmaker then playing Savage Tide come first) I made it very clear "This campaign will revolve around this city. If your character does not have a vested interest in the well-being of the city, a willingness to stick it out through its troubles, and do whatever it takes for the betterment of the city (be it for your own gain for the neutral/evil types, that of your friends, family, and/or allies, or everyone if you're benevolent like that), you're going to find a lot of points in this story where your character will want to leave and abandon the plot. If you want to do so, that's fine, but I'll ask you to roll another character, as the plot will be sticking pretty closely to helping the city and characters that wander too far away from that will go further beyond the scope of the campaign than I'm willing to devote time to homebrewing." And if that elicited a too-universal response of dislike, I'd have offered to run something else.

Sorry I can't offer further help.


The best thing I can advise you to do, DoomCrow, depends on what you yourself want to do. If you really want the players to go through a Plague, then it wouldn't be hard to get them to do so.

Keep in mind, the Plague was released through tainted money. Merchants handle a LOT of money. They also tend to travel a lot. With access to magical travel, many Merchants could have traveled great distances in a short amount of time.

The reality is, that the Plague could already be in all the neighboring cities, and the people just don't know it yet. Those that are infected will just think it's a bug, or a minor illness, and spread it around. Suddenly the Plague is hitting more than just Korvosa, it's also in Sandpoint and Magnimar. It's in Absolamr and Ketapesh. Cheliax, Brevoy, Andoran, Taldor... Really, the Plague could be anywhere you want it to be.

But the only potential source for a cure, is in Korvosa.

What you could do, is the PCs think they've gotten away from the Plague, only to witness things a few days later happening in Magnimar.

Maybe Magnimar will take extreme methods to neutralize the Plague once they've realized it's spread to their city. A city in Italy (can't remember which one, but I think it started with an M... Milan maybe?) during the Black Plague would board up the homes of an entire family if one person got sick and just waited for them all to die.

So maybe a week goes by, and people start dieing in Korvosa. By the score. The churches and officials in Magnimar are seen to be very stressed lately, and rumors start circulating of the city guard burning the homes of families. With the families still inside.

The PCs come across a gathering of angry citizens gathering in a square. They hear them complaining about the actions of a particular church, or the local guards, or the government. Suddenly, the PCs all realize, some of the people have red faces.

They begin to recognize the Plague has already spread here. When they attempt to leave, the Guards refuse to let them out of the city, and they offer up some pish-posh excuse. If they seek magcal travel, the temples have erected a ban on all magical travel to and from Magnimar on pain of death. Other cities around the Inner Sea have suddenly started treating travelers with open hostilities and suspicion. Anyone being found to be traveling from Varisia is immediately quarantined until proven to be uninfected.

If they seek help from sages or oracles who use Divination magic to seek advice, they all come up pointing to a possible cure in Korvosa.

At this point, the PCs would either need to try and ride the Plague out in Magnimar, or escape and try someplace else. Many of the other cities have closed their doors, trying to prevent infection and travelers aren't welcome.

They can either rough it in the wilderness for awhile, or they can try to return to Korvosa and fix the problem themselves.

The goal, at this point, is to get them to realize they can't just run away from problems, they have to face them head on. If you just ignore a cancer, it will grow, and spread, and reach a point where it can no longer safely be removed. At that point, it will take nothing more than a miracle to fix the cancer without destroying the host in the first place.

If the PCs try and rough it, maybe they come across a helpful old Druid who laments about the problems he had as a youth. Maybe he could tell a story about how when he was younger, his devoted friend and companion became ill, and all his healing magics could not restore him. When he began to examine his friend closer, he realized something was wrong with him, but theorized that it could be cut out with a little surgery, and he may be fine. But he was scared of hurting his long time companion, and best friend. He hoped things would get better with time, but as the seasons passed, things only got worth. One day, he realized he had no other choice, and tried to cut away the 'wrongness' only to realize he had let it grow to far and to wide. He was forced to bury his best friend that day, but he learned a very harsh lesson by paying a terrible price. If you ignore your problems, they will grow, they will mutate, and only hurt you far worse than if you had just faced the problem in the beginning.

=================================

However, if you don't want to tell the Plague Story, or the Players are completely devoted to washing their hands of the Plague and refuse to go back under any circumstances, it may be best for you to run something else instead. At least for the time being.

There are a great many wonderful modules you could put in place of the one they skipped. Maybe even run them through a lower-level module so they can get their confidence back. Slumming, if you will.

For instance, take them through the Price of Immortality series (Crypt of the Everflame, Masks of the Living God, The City of Golden Death). You could skip Crypt, and run Masks then City to make up for the missing XP from Seven Days, and you could make sure to tie it all back to Ileosa as the perpetrator instead of Razmir (she used him as a front, but everyone was actually working for her and they all knew it). Or play the full series and let the players feel good for and strong in the 1st - 4th level dungeon, then take on the intrigue and roleplaying in Masks, then culminate in a minor dungeon dive in City.

=================================

If the players are set and washing themselves of Korvosa entirely, however, it may just be best to end the Crimson Throne campaign entirely and start something new.

Dark Archive

I'm currently running 7 Days to the Grave, and one of the PCs has done a lot of digging into the background of the plague - the hiring of ships, purchasing of warehouses and the like.

He has come across a reference to the Brothers of the Seven, but there doesn't seem to be anything in the adventure to say who the heck they are. Are any more details given about them anywhere?


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The entire background is in the Rise of the Runelords AP. In extreme brevity:
- A man named Vorel Foxglove tried to transform himself into a lich but his wife interfered, transforming his body into a hideous plague-infested fungus
- A lamia named Xanesha gained control of a murderous group known as the "Brothers of the Seven" (a Norgorber-worshipping cult in Magnimar) and convinced one of their lesser players (Aldern Foxglove) to go to his grandfather's (?) house and retrieve rats infected with the plague
- Xanesha then sold the plague to the Red Mantis

All of this took place in and around Magnimar and Sandpoint.

So the Brothers of the Seven are only involved with the plague in Korvosa insofar as the originator of the plague (Vorel) and the retriever (Aldern) were both members.

If Rise of the Runelords has already been played, the Brothers have had a significant membership loss, and Aldern, Xanesha, and many others are dead.

Dark Archive

NobodysHome wrote:

The entire background is in the Rise of the Runelords AP. In extreme brevity:

- A man named Vorel Foxglove tried to transform himself into a lich but his wife interfered, transforming his body into a hideous plague-infested fungus
- A lamia named Xanesha gained control of a murderous group known as the "Brothers of the Seven" (a Norgorber-worshipping cult in Magnimar) and convinced one of their lesser players (Aldern Foxglove) to go to his grandfather's (?) house and retrieve rats infected with the plague
- Xanesha then sold the plague to the Red Mantis

All of this took place in and around Magnimar and Sandpoint.

So the Brothers of the Seven are only involved with the plague in Korvosa insofar as the originator of the plague (Vorel) and the retriever (Aldern) were both members.

If Rise of the Runelords has already been played, the Brothers have had a significant membership loss, and Aldern, Xanesha, and many others are dead.

Thanks a lot.

I'd lopve to run Rise of the Runelords some day - hopefully I'll remember that I told my players something completely different about the Brothers of 7 in CotCT ....


I'm preparing for tomorrow's second session of this chapter and I'm reading through the fake cure-all encounter and then at the end I run into this:

Quote:
Body Count: Putting an end to the creation and sale of Vendra Loaggri’s false cure saves the lives of 700 Korvosan citizens.

...what? SEVEN HUNDRED PEOPLE? HOW?


Toadkiller Dog wrote:

I'm preparing for tomorrow's second session of this chapter and I'm reading through the fake cure-all encounter and then at the end I run into this:

Quote:
Body Count: Putting an end to the creation and sale of Vendra Loaggri’s false cure saves the lives of 700 Korvosan citizens.
...what? SEVEN HUNDRED PEOPLE? HOW?

700 people save the money for actual cures instead of spending it on a fraud? Something along those lines.


Fake medicine costs 2 gp. Remove Curse (which even may not be available, since a lot of clerics are also sick) costs 150 gp. According to the sidebar, there are total of 12 people in Korvosa capable of casting Remove Curse, so I don't believe that is the case.


Its more that whomever buys the 'cure' will think themselves safe and not take measures to guard against exposure. They will also not take preventive measures against infecting others because they believe themselves immune.


Toadkiller Dog wrote:
Fake medicine costs 2 gp. Remove Curse (which even may not be available, since a lot of clerics are also sick) costs 150 gp. According to the sidebar, there are total of 12 people in Korvosa capable of casting Remove Curse, so I don't believe that is the case.

There are cheaper, non-magical methods or hired healers and herbalists that may be capable of giving some form of aid (if not a cure a bonus to saves) as opposed to the nothing that the fake medicine gives. Also buying repeated doses and such.


Two things--
First: why doesn't the plague cause undead to spawn? The original did. I debated making it do so in my game. But that just might be the straw that broke the cities back. Swarms of plagued rats and crows would be bad, add ghouls and things get super bad.

Second: My PCs are going to do doing the boat soon. They want to enlist the help of the crazy druids protesting the The Turtle & Pesh (in the guide to Korvosa). They seem adamant there should be at least one druid who could shape change and scout for them. I am leaning towards a group of low level druids with nothing better to do.

I mean I -could- make one a shape shifter who goes and scouts... and never returns. The hag would tear them to shreds.

Any thoughts?


If I recall correctly, the plague is a downgraded less deadly version of the original. You might have skipped over it, but the Urgathoans are actually working on modifying the plague to give it the ability to re-animate those killed by it.

Little warning about this, I believe their goal is to have the plague kill and re-animate the dead into zombies. However, in Pathfinder, there is a already disease that does this (Zombie Rot) turns those killed into a Plague Zombie). The way I ran this, was that they were attempting to engineer (and succeeded but hadn't distributed it by the time the PCs stormed the temple) the plague to raise the zombies as Plague Zombies with the Zombie Lord template loyal to Urgathoa.

As for the druid shape shifters, something you should be hesitant about is that the sea hag is only really a fight if the party doesn't know a fight is coming. My party thought there was going to be a small fight, but thought that simply getting to the ship and some traps would be the challenge. They weren't expecting the sea hag and her shark companion to be there. They also had a random encounter with some reefclaws when the fight with the shark started disturbing the waters.

The point is, if you have the druids shapeshift and scout, if the come back, the party will know about the sea hag, and if they are killed, then the party will know something is down there and go in loaded for bear.


It looks to me like the Trebuchet sinking the ship in the prologue should be changed to a tower-mounted Cannon (PF stats in ISWG pg 292), hence the 'thunderous' sounds and the weapon's effectiveness.

Re exploring the wreck, I was thinking that there could be rumours of the "River Mother" at the bottom of the Jeggare River who drags divers to their doom, hence no one willing to explore down there (also risk of plague).

There seem to be several places in this part of the AP where the GM again has to work on a good timeline (as in pt 1) and also come up with reasons why senior NPCs are so ineffective. I think the latter is doable if you have them rushing around but being misdirected by the villains, and also have them dealing with stuff off-stage such as more peddlers of false cures, and possibly more undead drawn to or spawned in plague-ridden Korvosa? Ghouls would love it, I'd think. CoTCT in general to be at its best needs the city to seem a dynamic place, with lots going on.


S'mon wrote:

It looks to me like the Trebuchet sinking the ship in the prologue should be changed to a tower-mounted Cannon (PF stats in ISWG pg 292), hence the 'thunderous' sounds and the weapon's effectiveness.

Re exploring the wreck, I was thinking that there could be rumours of the "River Mother" at the bottom of the Jeggare River who drags divers to their doom, hence no one willing to explore down there (also risk of plague).

There seem to be several places in this part of the AP where the GM again has to work on a good timeline (as in pt 1) and also come up with reasons why senior NPCs are so ineffective. I think the latter is doable if you have them rushing around but being misdirected by the
villains, and also have them dealing with stuff off-stage such as more peddlers of false cures, and possibly more undead drawn to or spawned in plague-ridden Korvosa? Ghouls would love it, I'd think. CoTCT in general to be at its best needs the city to seem a dynamic place, with lots going on.

Keep in mind the city is also in the aftermath of riots in the streets and civil unrest. Old Korvosa still has riots forming and other such things. So the guard is going to be stretched to the breaking point. If anything, I see Korvosa, at this point, as what's left after a quick brush fire. The fire may be out, but things may just be smoldering below the surface.

So you've got a smoldering flame just itching to bloom into a full on wildfire again, and then you institute some gasoline (the plague). The Queen responds with a backfire (doctors and the Grey Maidens) but this ultimately fails leading to a further inferno.

In all of this, the PCs are the elite fire fighters being sent to the toughest and most difficult blazes. To their eyes, it seems like they are the only people fighting, but if they were to back off, they'd see everyone is trying to help, it's just beyond them to do so.

The city really is in a very dynamic stage, it's just the PCs don't see all the little things being done that are hampering the efforts of the city.

The guard is stretched beyond the breaking point in trying to quell any potential uprisings, they still have to maintain their regular patrols because a city in turmoil is a city ripe for thieves, and they have to cordon off and contain the plague to the best of their ability.

Meanwhile the doctors and Grey Maiden aren't really helping things with their heavy handed methods, and are only fueling the potential uprisings in the city. They have no time to actually search for a cure, and are relying on mercenaries and adventurers to help as much as possible. Especially since the Hellknights have all but abandoned the city entirely.


I'm a little confused as to the lift in the hospice. The lift from the ground floor to the second is a 5x5 square, which means it would take a couple of trips for the party to use it to get upstairs. Similarly when you take it down to the temple level it mysteriously becomes a 10x10 elevator.

Contributor

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The first and second floors of the hospice are at a 10 ft. per square scale, while the Temple of Urgathoa is at a 5 ft. scale. It matches up.

I've managed to miss the scale for the maps so many times that I've trained myself to triple check it.


donato wrote:

The first and second floors of the hospice are at a 10 ft. per square scale, while the Temple of Urgathoa is at a 5 ft. scale. It matches up.

I've managed to miss the scale for the maps so many times that I've trained myself to triple check it.

This shows up in pretty much every AP: A couple of the floors are shown at 10' per square, and the rest are shown at 5' per square.

That little scale indicator is a GM's best friend.


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Doh! How'd I miss that?


GM Wulfson wrote:
Doh! How'd I miss that?

I missed it too, when I ran it last session! Wish I'd kept up with this thread! :D


Looking for some quick help.

First time GM running CoCT and really enjoying it so far. I've been using updated NPC stats from the PFSRD website (example: http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/fan-conversions/paizo-adventure-paths/pf-0 8-seven-days-to-the-grave) so I don't have to worry about doing the conversions myself (and the increased difficulty of the encounters using these NPC stats has been much needed).

Unfortunately, the PFSRD doesn't include conversions for Arkminos and the Luekodaemon. While I can certainly try to do the conversions myself, I figured I'd check to see if anyone else has done it, and would be willing to share.

Thanks so much!

Dark Archive

Try here:
Whiterose's Curse of the Crimson Throne conversion (3.5 > Pathfinder)


Hey all,
Where did the Direption sail from exactly? Veldrain seems most obvious. I'm trying to come up with a time line of events for my own reference, and it seems 'a few weeks after the kings death, Ileosa seeks out the Red Mantis to help with the native problem' puts that just a few days after Trinia's execution. But then the Direption (by my reckoning, as in 7Days, Trinia says it was a few weeks ago) set sail almost immediately after the Queen contacted the Red Mantis (giving just a few days for the ship to reach Korvosa).

Thanks,


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The adventure assumes that something like two or three months transpire between the adventures. If you want to keep a tight timeline, like I did in my campaign, you might have to find a different solution to explain how the Direption can get to Korvosa in such a short period of time. In that case Veldraine is a good option.


MrVergee wrote:
The adventure assumes that something like two or three months transpire between the adventures. If you want to keep a tight timeline, like I did in my campaign, you might have to find a different solution to explain how the Direption can get to Korvosa in such a short period of time. In that case Veldraine is a good option.

Hey MrVergee. I didn't see where it said a few months transpire. I was taking my cues from dialogue in the adventure intros, summaries, and directly from what the characters say. In this case, in 7days, Trinia says 'Sorry for all the trouble I caused you a few weeks ago.' That indicates it was maybe a month. In the Adventure Background in 7days, it says 'not long after the king's death, the queen contacted them again-'

So going by this, it couldn't be more than a month (less in fact).

I guess Veldrain is my best option.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

In my camapign the time between the first and the second adventure was even shorter, just one week, during which the PCs escorted Trinia to Vencarlo’s friend in Harse.

You can read in my journal how I solved the sinking boat question, but I’ll give you a short summary here:

The ship (rebaptized the Delivery in my campaign) was used by the Urgathaon cultists to sail from their hidden base to Korvosa and spread the plague there. They set up shop in Lost End, an abandoned villa on the southern shores of the Bay of Korvosa (called Verloren Eind in my native language, as you can see on this map). The villa used to belong to the Porphyria's, the family that tried to take the throne from the Arabasti’s in the past and was banished for it (this was a good reason to have the villa be deserted and it gave the PCs another possible suspect on whoever was behind all the trouble in Korvosa, the Chelish Porphyria branch - a red herring).

The Urgathaons used the old villa to do experiments and develop the plague. When they were done and had infected a great number of rats with the disease, they set sail for Korvosa. All but one of the people aboard left the ship before it reached the city, one ‘chosen’ fool sailed the vessel into the harbor and sank it after releasing the rats, who swam to shore and spread out over the city through the sewers to infect the population.

When the PCs confronted the wererats in the sewers, they found out about the rats and investigated the sunken boat, where they found the map. They traveled to Lost End over land, through the barren lands south of the bay (where only Hellknights come nowadays, going to or coming from Citadel Vraid). When the PCs split off from the road to the Citadel, they took the old, abandoned and overgrown path to Lost End. Along the way they passed the Porphyria’s old hunting lodge (based on the Graul homestead from Rise of the Runelord’s adventure # 3, The Hook Mountain Massacre). There they had to deal with the hillbillies from the Graul family. Then they reached the Porphyria villa Lost End, which I based upon Foxglove manor (a.k.a. Misgivings), also from Rise of the Runelord. The villa was abandoned, but the PCs found traces of the cultists, including plague masks and important notes from Doctor Davaulus (renamed Dave Saulus, because, Davaulus is too much of a give-away for Devils) and their nemesis Rolth the necromancer, who was aiding the cultists in exchange for their help in creating a flesh golem (which the PCs encountered in the villa’s underground sea cave).

Armed with the knowledge that the queen’s doctors were actually the creators of the plague, the PCs returned to the city to stop the Urgathaons.


One way to handle it would be the Red Mantis and Urgathoans simply teleported aboard and killed the original crew. Essentially, high jacking so legitimate ship that was expected to arrive to suit their needs.


Tels wrote:
One way to handle it would be the Red Mantis and Urgathoans simply teleported aboard and killed the original crew. Essentially, high jacking so legitimate ship that was expected to arrive to suit their needs.

I like that idea Tels! But it says specifically that Davaulus owns the ship. That's one of the clues (heavy handed, sure) that Davaulus and the Queen are behind the plague.


Diafanus wrote:
Tels wrote:
One way to handle it would be the Red Mantis and Urgathoans simply teleported aboard and killed the original crew. Essentially, high jacking so legitimate ship that was expected to arrive to suit their needs.
I like that idea Tels! But it says specifically that Davaulus owns the ship. That's one of the clues (heavy handed, sure) that Davaulus and the Queen are behind the plague.

You might change it so it belongs to Davaulus' family. The ship belongs to Davaulus' merchant family and he hijacked the ship because he knew it was already on its way.


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Running this a second time with the Hardcover edition, I ran into a few things that changed and have caused us to stumble a little bit...

1) The Direption Deception
In the original version, the Direption was part of a two-pronged delivery of tainted coins to the city, whereby it was sank a day or so after tainted coins were placed in the bank of Abadar, and just before the major onset of infection across the city. It was also a dead give-away as it not only had a priest of Urgothoa, but one wearing a plaguebringer’s mask. It could still work well if played last, as it provides unquestionable evidence of the Physician’s wrongdoing, and sends the PCs straight at the end dungeon.

The first change in the hardcover version is to remove the plaguebringer’s mask, and to make speak with dead nearly useless due to marine fauna activity (which I find both unnecessary and a little contrived. It is easy enough to simply have kept the sacrificial neb in the dark about their true plans.). So the ship doesn’t give the game away, but there also isn’t any hard evidence to point the finger at the hospice…

The second change is to change the timing. The ship is sunk 3-4 days after the onset of the plague – and the PCs will know this because Tayce Soldado (one of the first plague encounters) can simply tell them when her daughter got sick, and when the ship was sunk. The removal of the mask makes it a better red herring, but this makes it a worse one, as there is little drive to investigate it, and makes it a questionable use of 10,000gp of vessel.

The third change, and one I object to, is the addition of a penalty for investigating the Direption; Each day after the first the PCs spend investigating it, 10 additional people die. If there was a timeline of events and tracking infection, and stating when missions become available, then such a penalty might be warranted, but suggesting that the PCs could sit in a tavern for the 3-5 days necessary for the plague to progress to the point suggested by the missions without penalty, but spending an extra day being active and investigating a potential cause of the plague should cost lives is… inappropriate, in my opinion.

A sidebar with a commentary on the sequencing of events and spread of the disease (and what the priests of Pharasma were doing before there were piles of dead to dispose of, for example) would have worked wonders for helping GMs organize the adventure. More so, than a sidebar of what happened to Zennobia Zenderholm, at least in my opinion.

2) The Physicians and the Hospice
As more of something that didn’t change, but could have: In Pathfinder detect evil only registers on creatures that have an aura, subtype or 5 or more HD. The physicians don’t actually need to wear the mask in meetings, and if you’re not trying to trigger pop-culture presumptions (which are correct in this instance) immediately, it might be an idea to leave them off for the first encounter.

What did change in the hardcover edition is that the only hook to draw the PCs to investigate the Hospice is being suspicious of the physicians. The problem is that this can occur at any point during Seven Days, even immediately, depending on the PCs and the GM’s ability to sell them as “concerned doctors” with Davaulus. The suggestion is that the fact that the doctors aren’t stopping the disease should make the PCs suspicious, however anyone who has cast diagnose disease (like Ishani on the first day of infection) will know that Blood Veil has no cure in its statline, and thus cannot be recovered from by virtue of saving throws – only magical means can remove it. So the doctors using the Heal skill to treat illness being ineffective shouldn’t be any surprise at all. Indeed, all the Heal skill can do is keep a patient (or 6) from failing their saves and thus delay their death long enough to be cured by magic.

Which leads to the point about the Queen’s Physicians that, courtesy of diagnose disease, Ishani (and anyone else who has cast it) knows full well that the doctors are a delaying tactic alone, and by default only magical means can cure the disease. Which makes things a little… weird without some work, such as suggesting that Davaulus is aware of that, and will be working to contain the disease and trying to alchemically develop a vaccine in the hospice, but even then for the ruse of the Queen’s Physicians to really be sold to the PCs, they need to have greater involvement with the churches than just Ishani, who is a mere acolyte. Unfortunately, this takes a great deal of suspicious off the Queen's Physicians and thus there is less cause to investigate them later.

3) Jumping the Gun
If the PCs investigate the Physicians early – noting that this can occur very quickly for some groups – They are not rewarded for tackling the problem early, despite being lower level than the encounters are built for.

They are instead punished; Stopping the development, refinement and deliberate propogation of the plague and developing a cure sooner rather than later kills more people.

I do not envy any GM trying to explain this to their group.

The best approach is to avoid causing the PCs to jump the gun and go to the hospice, but for that you need to A) Reduce the overall ominous level of the doctors and make them seem more legit and B) control when they go there through the use of hard evidence to trigger the PCs attention. E,g, Glorio Arkona revealing the fact that he was blackmailed into selling his warehouse (now hospice) with its secret underground lair to the Red Mantis Assassins.

4) Blood Veil
Unless I misread the original adventure, Blood Veil originally worked as a standard disease; If you saved the disease stopped, though you could still be reinfected later. In this scenario the doctors should be more effective than magical healing; Each can treat 6 patients with the Heal skill and replace their saving throw with a take-10 Heal check, which can easily beat the DC16. So the doctors being ineffective would be suspicious... and probably quite quickly.

In the Hardcover Edition, no cure is listed... this might be a typo, but by default it suggests that there is no cure (as I've commented above), and thus renders the Physicians to be a stalling mechanism at best, even assuming they were actually trying.

Dark Archive

Have we still havent gotten news if Blood veil can be cured normally or if you absolutely need magical healing or get the cure at the end of the book?


Hyamda wrote:
Have we still havent gotten news if Blood veil can be cured normally or if you absolutely need magical healing or get the cure at the end of the book?

Honestly... it's hard to say, even for the GM.

The issue is that the published stat block for Blood Veil is the same stat block from 3.5 (which didn't list a "cure" condition, because all diseases had cure: 1 save), and it's hard to to know whether the exclusion of a listed cure in the hardcover is an editing error as they forgot to update the description to the Pathfinder template or a deliberate change to the disease.

If it was a simple omission, then the disease can be recovered from naturally, and the adventure kinda plays out like the original.

If it was a deliberate change, the disease requires magical healing, and as mentioned previously this changes the adventure significantly.

It's also virtually impossible for it to be unknown in-game, since diagnose disease is not only a thing, but Ishani Dhatri - the first healer you meet - has both prepared and cast it on a Blood Veil victim.


I haven't looked at that section of the hardcover, but in the original Seven Days there was a nice discussion of disease outbreaks on p.58-62 (Plague and Pestilence).

I'm pretty sure James Jacobs posted an analysis of contagion rates vs. the number of people who would make the save vs. the number of clerics capable of casting Remove Disease who might be available to a city the size of Korvosa, and it was very clear that even with magic healing, a highly-contagious disease could still wipe out a decent percentage of a city's population. My Google-Fu is failing right now, but the game plays out extremely well even if you let PCs be cured of the disease on a single save.

Highly-contagious diseases are like that: Get lucky, it doesn't feel so bad. Miss 2-3 saves in a row, and you're likely to die...


NobodysHome wrote:

I haven't looked at that section of the hardcover, but in the original Seven Days there was a nice discussion of disease outbreaks on p.58-62 (Plague and Pestilence).

I'm pretty sure James Jacobs posted an analysis of contagion rates vs. the number of people who would make the save vs. the number of clerics capable of casting Remove Disease who might be available to a city the size of Korvosa, and it was very clear that even with magic healing, a highly-contagious disease could still wipe out a decent percentage of a city's population. My Google-Fu is failing right now, but the game plays out extremely well even if you let PCs be cured of the disease on a single save.

Highly-contagious diseases are like that: Get lucky, it doesn't feel so bad. Miss 2-3 saves in a row, and you're likely to die...

Well, yes. Especially if it's spread by touch; how many people do you come into contact with a day? Answer: A lot. And Golarion doesn't have hand disinfectant :P

That wasn't really the point though.

In 3.5 all diseases stopped on a successful save, unless they specifically stipulated otherwise (e.g. mummy rot). One save and you beat the disease. Blood Veil was no exception. They didn't list a "cure" in the stat block.

In Pathfinder, disease stat blocks have a "Cure" listed, typically being 2 consecutive saves, though some area easier or harder to shake off. Some supernatural diseases (typically also curses), like Bog Rot do not have a 'cure' and can only be removed by magic (noting Bog Rot is a version of Mummy Rot). Is Blood Veil such a disease? Dunno. Here's what the stat block looks like:

Curse of the Crimson Throne, p430 wrote:

BLOOD VEIL

Type disease, contact or injury; Save Fortitude DC 16
(the first time ethnically Varisian humanoids, including human, half-elves, and half-orcs with Varisian parentage, are exposed to blood veil, each such character has a flat 5% chance that she is immune to the disease)
Onset 1 day; Frequency 1/day
Effect 1d4 Con damage and 1d4 Cha damage

Compare with:

PRD wrote:

FILTH FEVER

Type disease, injury; Save Fortitude DC 12
Onset 1d3 days; Frequency 1/day
Effect 1d3 Dex damage and 1d3 Con damage; Cure 2 consecutive saves
PRD wrote:

MUMMY ROT

Type curse, disease, injury; Save Fortitude DC 16
Onset 1 minute; Frequency 1/day
Effect 1d6 Con damage and 1d6 Cha damage; Cure mummy rot can only be cured by successfully casting both remove curse and remove disease within 1 minute of each other.

The Blood Veil stat block is clearly missing some next, notably "Cure <insert what was intended here>"

Hence some confusion about how this was intended to be translated from 3.5 to Pathfinder, especially as if it was still "Cure = 1 save", it would be one of the easiest diseases to recover from.


Well, I played it through in the PF system with Cure = 1 save and it was still quite nasty -- a 50% chance of exposure every day, then a Fort save, the onset damage, and the cure save made it quite nasty even on a single save.


NobodysHome wrote:
Well, I played it through in the PF system with Cure = 1 save and it was still quite nasty -- a 50% chance of exposure every day, then a Fort save, the onset damage, and the cure save made it quite nasty even on a single save.

Oh, I agree it is nasty even with 1 save. It's just that if you look at the diseases in the CRB, the overwhelming majority have "Cure 2 consecutive saves", and some even require three consecutive saves.

I mean... look at Cackle Fever. Same Fort save DC as Blood Veil, but the damn thing is airborne so it can spread like crazy, deals 1d6 Wisdom damage a day and Cure 2 consecutive saves. And one doesn't talk about Slimy Doom in polite company.

Pathfinder made diseases much nastier, due to the combination of multiple saves to end the disease and nerf to remove disease.


My players are about to reach the Hospice and the Temple of Urgathoa. I updated every NPC to fit the Pathfinder rules (which means that CR 2 mooks - doctors, maidens and priests - now have 3 class levels), substantially raising the difficulty level.
However I couldn't bring myself to update the Leukodaemon to its Bestiary 2 stat block. It would just be too damn powerful : it gets a hefty damage boost, its breath of flies gets even nastier, and it gets powerful spell-likes (dispel magic at will, 1/day harm - a.k.a insta-kill on a 7th level PC).
What is your opinion ? I was thinking about making it harder for the cultists to free it (giving the party a chance to keep it contained), and/or making it kill the cultists first to punish them for capturing it.
I also noticed that the daemon doesn't seem to have a bow at hand. Maybe it could steal one the PCs would have looted from the Grey Maidens (assuming the PC would carry a longbow on their back) ? How would this translate in terms of combat rules ? [Edit : found about the Steal combat maneuver]
Thanks for the advice !


Sekket wrote:

My players are about to reach the Hospice and the Temple of Urgathoa. I updated every NPC to fit the Pathfinder rules (which means that CR 2 mooks - doctors, maidens and priests - now have 3 class levels), substantially raising the difficulty level.

However I couldn't bring myself to update the Leukodaemon to its Bestiary 2 stat block. It would just be too damn powerful : it gets a hefty damage boost, its breath of flies gets even nastier, and it gets powerful spell-likes (dispel magic at will, 1/day harm - a.k.a insta-kill on a 7th level PC).
What is your opinion ? I was thinking about making it harder for the cultists to free it (giving the party a chance to keep it contained), and/or making it kill the cultists first to punish them for capturing it.
I also noticed that the daemon doesn't seem to have a bow at hand. Maybe it could steal one the PCs would have looted from the Grey Maidens (assuming the PC would carry a longbow on their back) ? How would this translate in terms of combat rules ? [Edit : found about the Steal combat maneuver]
Thanks for the advice !

I've run CotCT twice now, once using updated PF stats posted way-back-when (2011 or so), and once using the Hero Labs updates.

In both campaigns, the party was EXTREMELY careful to make sure the cultists never got a chance to free the leukodaemon. It's definitely a, "Pay attention to this or you die" moment.

So you know your players -- are they likely to recognize the threat and stop the cultists (as both of my groups did), or are they going to just say, "Well, what's one more daemon in the mix?"

Personally, I'd use the as-written stat blocks, but let the party run like heck if they mess up...

And keep in mind that in PF, Harm can't reduce you below 1 hit point, so the person has an excellent chance of getting healed before dying.


Under the likely assumption that the temple is under alert when the PCs enter it, there are 10 cultists defending the daemon's room... There's no way they can take them all out in one round. I agree with you that the daemon should be a fearsome opponent, and a battle the PCs should try to avoid. Therefore I'll give them a better chance to keep it contained. Let's say that the cultists only try to free the daemon when they're down to 3 defenders, and that it takes a full-round action instead of a standard one.

Dark Archive

Sekket wrote:
Under the likely assumption that the temple is under alert when the PCs enter it, there are 10 cultists defending the daemon's room... There's no way they can take them all out in one round. I agree with you that the daemon should be a fearsome opponent, and a battle the PCs should try to avoid. Therefore I'll give them a better chance to keep it contained. Let's say that the cultists only try to free the daemon when they're down to 3 defenders, and that it takes a full-round action instead of a standard one.

Actually if your party triggers the alarm and you do end up with 10 cultist gatheribg up there. I'd recommend them breaking the tube at the start of the fight and have the Leukodaemon start slaughtering the cultists in an outrage. Have it waste several of its resources killing off the party's enemies before it turns its attention to them. Or maybe have it be part of the tactics if it lashes at the nearest target then maybe they'll try to maneuver cultists in his path and favor hit and run tactics.

If its still too dangerous for your party then maybe simply have it as a set piece and replace the encounter with something your party can handle

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