Blood for Blood (GM Reference)


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Dark Archive

Just finished this book, I very purposely downplayed Pitaxs roll in it all. I did make mention of lots of trading back and forth and all the supplies for the Baroness' parties and such coming from Pitax but painted it far more as opportunistic merchants. The giants were too stupid to know who they really worked for, just some guy they were sort of scared of and in my campaign Irovetti worked through intermediaries when dealing with both Armag and Drelev and ensured there was no written record as far as he could. Given how suspicious my players are anything more would ensure they never accepted the invitation to the Rushlight tournament in part 5.

The only significant change I made otherwise was that the Black Sisters remained with Armag the entire time, I swapped out 4 of the skeletons for them and it made the final battle far more epic with chaos hammers going off, auras of madness and destruction everywhere and so on. Armag was dropped just before he got to full attack, likely killing two PCs and the sighs of relief and cheers around the table were rather loud :D

I think I missed something. How do the PCs know to go to the temple and fight Armag? Who tells them about it?

Nawtyit wrote:
I think I missed something. How do the PCs know to go to the temple and fight Armag? Who tells them about it?

Armag has taken a number of daughters from Fort Drelev, most significantly the daughter of Lord Numesti. Almost anyone in the town can tell them the women were taken and are in need of rescue. I thing it also gives some liberation points.

Granted, once the girls are rescued, is there a reason to go in the tomb? Not a strong one. My PCs questioned the barbarians there to find out what was going on.

Dark Archive

I had the barbarians very definitely defending the entrance to the tomb when the players turned up to get the hostages, the barbarians didn't even try to protect them, just the tomb, that got the parties interest up and encouraged them to investigate.

Silver Crusade

Also regarding Armag:

If they take out Baron Drelev or do some snooping, Imeckus has notes regarding Armag and the tomb. In short order, the players can piece together that Armag retrieving the original Armag's sword is a bad thing.

DMFTodd wrote:

How is "Ovinrbaane" supposed to be pronounced?

At game time, I said it as "Oh-vin-er-bane" which brought on hysterical laughing from my players. "Oh, is it a sword that is a bane to anyone with a weiner?"

In my head it's always been: -


Liberty's Edge

All right, I have a handful of questions and scenarios to pick your brains about. Impart your wisdom to me once more, O Wise Ones, and please forgive the huuuuuge blocks of text. I'm covering quite a few sessions here, but they all kinda piled up on me...

Okay, first scenario involves a couple random encounters turning into a major campaign event. The PCs rescued Ka-Kekt from the boggard village, and after returning him home and seeing how few of his people remained, they regretted sparing the boggards (some party members said they should go back and finish them off, while others insisted it was important to keep their word), and vowed to help protect Tok-Nikrat as best they could. As it so happened, I rolled a random encounter of six(!) chuuls in that hex, so I decided they saw the bog striders and their delicious eggs as an easy target. The battle was sort of a glimpse of mass combats to come, as the PCs had to not just defeat the chuuls, but defend the bog strider village as well. They were controlling the water to make it hard for the chuuls to swim, the uber-crafter alchemist was helping the bog strider weavers repair structural damage player enthusiastically described it as, "Seven Samurai, but with bug people!" and that really sums up the awesomeness of it. Anyway, they decided that some of their number would stay in the region for a while, exploring and keeping watch over the village, should more monsters return. The ranger, grateful to take a break from being the "sheriff" back home, remained with a sizable group of cohorts and followers.

It was just him, a few kobold scouts, and the sorcerer's fairy dragon cohort, however, that were out exploring, when they chanced upon a random encounter: Adult Black Dragon. THREE adult black dragons. I decided they were in the area looking for Ilthuliak's old lair. The dragons rolled amazingly well on their Perception check, and heard the heroes approaching from over 200 feet away. The dragons proceeded to toy with them, chat genially, offer to spar, and just generally make it clear that no one was going anywhere. They wanted to know what the ranger, Tev, could offer in exchange for his life. Tev offered the following: a magic crown crafted by the duchy's finest smith, the location of a lair unclaimed by anything bigger than a will-o-wisp (Candlemere), monthly tribute, and the location of the boggard village, where the dragons could dine as they pleased (he had wanted to wipe them off the map from the very beginning) . He even gave them one of his most treasured weapons, Davik Nettles' glaive, to hold onto until he could make good on his other promises.

So the rest of the party was relieved that their friends were alive, but furious or dismayed that such a bargain had been struck. The dragons flew to M'botuu, terrorized the populace, drastically weakened them, and forced the cowardly Sepoko to worship them, thereby losing his divine powers. Then, they saw Fort Drelev across the water. I decided the Tiger Lords were still in the area, wrapping up their "negotiations," and actually ended up helping drive away the creatures. The dragons could have easily decimated the place, but they had been promised a much easier life elsewhere, no risk of bodily harm involved. I decided to use the dragon attack as "proof" that Fort Drelev needed help from Pitax, and that is the reason Irovetti would cite for sending in giants to supplement his mercenaries.

Meanwhile, the dragons set up shop on the spooky Candlemere island, made friends with the wisps, much to the party's displeasure, and have been forcing Stability checks and bleeding the kingdom of BP (in the form of repairs made to property, aid given to families who have lost a provider or their farms, etc.) for a couple months now. 1 the first month (in addition to their magic crown and some cows), 4 the second, and it will ramp up to 8 in the third month as they grow more bold in their attacks. The party has been pulling money out of the treasury, trying to equip themselves to fight these monsters, and is hoping that the gift of only one crown will exacerbate already existing dissension in the "ranks" of the dragons.

So now I get to the actual questions. The party is level 10, 20-point buy, and each party member has a combat-capable cohort, built with 15 or 20 points. What is this fight going to look like? The players are experienced and intelligent, and have spent the past couple in-game months specifically gearing up for this fight. However, any one of those dragons would be a match for them, CR-wise. The PCs used Sending to contact a silver dragon they befriended in VV, but he was out of the area on dragon-y business of his own (trying to hunt down the dragon that killed his onetime paramour, the silver dragon slain by Ilthuliak). I figure if things are looking crazy-bad for the party, he can come swooping in and take one of the dragons off their hands, at least for a little while. One of the dragons has been listening to the whisperings of dark Things beneath Candlemere, which means that he can manifest a new, creepy power or two if things are going too smoothly, or dive off into the dark waters below at the urging of his new patrons. So in general I feel like I can modify this combat to be challenging, but not a TPK. Does it seem like this is the case?

Some of the PCs are planning a Sending to one of the dragons, hoping to lure it away from the rest of the trio. They're spending a long time to try to word it just right, so I don't want to crush their hopes and dreams, but I don't know that a dragon would be so stupid as to fall into an obvious trap like that. Thoughts?

Good grief, that took far longer than I anticipated. Again, sorry for rambling on forever. I will post more information and questions again soon. Please let me know if you have any questions of your own, and thanks in advance for looking this over for me.

Dark Archive

If you're still concerned it might be too tough you could also have one of the dragons injured, presume the players plot worked somewhat & it tried to claim the crown as its own, one of the others slapped it down good. If you describe it as wounded with numerous talon and bite injuries but give no actual idea of its HP you can essentially set its HP wherever you like and have it die early or if the party seem to be doing fine let it have almost full HP.

Sounds like wicked fun! :)

No idea of balance re your particular group, but did you describe all 3
dragons as the same age? You could make it 2 parents & a younger one
potentially...? Or one older & 2 younger...?

You could also get the players to specify which of the 3 they were going
to 'Send' to. They can identify 1 with a crown & 2 others...if they (with
your 'random...not' roll) choose the dragon who has been listening to
voices...that would be a good reason for it to not be around...

...or, you could just have the PCs turn up & only find x (insert desired
number here) dragon/s... No reason needed. Perhaps they're out finding
food/terrorising the neighbourhood/hiding treasure from the others etc...

Hi guys (and girls?),

Has anyone played 'Blood for Blood', Kingmaker #34 either a PC or DM?

My first foray into DM'ing was with #33 and Vordakai's tomb, and whilst the PCs enjoyed themselves, I found some encounters too easy for the PCs, particularly melee combat and as a DM newbee I didn't find trawling through the Bestiaries all that precise!

Any tips on augmentations or alternations?

Thanks, Trex

Silver Crusade

Don't be surprised if your players waltz through some overland encounters. Sometimes it's nice to smack down a monster. You should type in a search as numerous gamers have provided their own additions, such as Dudemeister's work. For example, the Baron and his allies can be a more intriguing challenge if done diplomatically. Hints are made on how access to the keep can be had besides the "secret way," so I'd expand on that (e.g. the Baroness's birthday party).

The baron's having an affair with a spy mistress who is sending secret communicades; so much goodness here that you should work on giving hints about getting in that don't all lead to combat. I fleshed out a cell of resistance in the town, then others who recalled the Baron's glory days when he wasn't all bad.

As to Armag:

Don't be surprised if your party uses scrying and totally makes this easy. Just don't let Armag leave the tomb; he's a much more effective and scary foe when there's limited quarters to maneuver. With that said, Armag while tough on his own may not be the challenge everyone is expecting him to be. But don't forget, that's a really bad sword he's carrying, and if other barbarians get wind that the party has this sword, it could cause an invasion. That may be the real challenge. There is no given means how to destroy it; I have posted some thoughts involving the Boneyard in another post or two.

Shadow Lodge

Touc wrote:
As to Armag: ** spoiler omitted **

I believe James Jacobs posted a destruction method for Oviinrbaane somewhere earlier in this thread. Something about smashing it on a gravestone in the Boneyard.

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The method is actually given in B4B in the sidebar on page 52):

To destroy Ovinrbaane, its wielder must bring it to the
Boneyard and strike three blows against his own gravestone,
causing the sword to shatter.


Silver Crusade

Rather, the method is intentionally vague and creates a conundrum of being able to strike one's own gravestone much less sneaking in a sword containing a spirit that spurned the goddess of fate.

Anyways, recommend putting some thought into a side trek.

B4B names the 4 other girls who are taken hostage by the Tiger Lords, but does anyone know their family names? Who are the other 4 Senior Officer's in Drelev's army? No where in the Fort Drelev description is their a mention of them, not even in the town where one would at least hope to find a few houses where the 4 senior officers lived. They should be semi important NPC's, as they are potential allies.

Maybe because Pharasma is also a goddess of fate she already has your gravestone made before you die. Then that would make it easier to strike one's own gravestone -- you would just have to get to the Boneyard.

Trex wrote:
I found some encounters too easy for the PCs, particularly melee combat and as a DM newbee I didn't find trawling through the Bestiaries all that precise!

This is my impression, too. The party is moving through the standard encounters fairly easily. We (or rather, I, the GM) had a lot of fun with the

Pixies on Worgs,

and generally I think the random encounters are a bigger threat. In the Cloudberry Fields, the random encounter was 3 dracolisks, and they nearly tpk'ed the party.

Shadow Lodge

So last week my players defeated Armag and claimed Ovnirbaane... and now they want to offer Zorek a job, since he stepped aside after they passed his final test and didn't interfere in their fight with Armag, is clearly a favored servant of the god of war, and because they tend to do this with anyone who doesn't try to stab them in the face and sometimes a few that do.

Obviously Zorek can't leave the tomb, and his time on the mortal world is limited now that the sword has been claimed; about how long would you imagine he has?

First answer is 'no idea'...on the 'how long is a piece of string' scale.

Pretty much comes down to what you want/if you want...

However, now that his purpose is fulfilled - does he actually have to die?
I mean really? Couldn't some sage advise that he's found faint pointers to
Zorek in ancient's that point to a way to either resurrect...
or my favourite, reincarnate, him - to allow him 'the rest of his natural' in
a new form as a boon reward after millenia without ever being able to get a
suntan whilst on holiday at the beach...?

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

My original thought was that Zorek would pass away almost immediately after his purpose was fulfilled. And he'd accept it willingly, because he never really wanted to live forever. It's just not something he himself personally sought. Also, remember the whole backstory of Pharasma targeting the original Armag for death and Gorum basically spiting her by transitioning Armag's soul into Ovinrbaane? Imagine how she'd feel if Zorek also gained additional time on Golarion. In the struggle between the two gods, I could easily see Pharasma calling Zorek's soul to the Boneyard as yet another blow against Gorum. In addition, agents of Pharasma may very well start targeting whoever carries Ovinrbaane in an attempt to destroy the sword and release Armag's soul. So, that could be an interesting outcome as well.

Food for thought,

Shadow Lodge

Yeah prior to my players mentioning this, I was just going to have him crumble to dust as soon as Ovnirbaane left the tomb, regardless of who was carrying it at the time. So he'll stick around long enough for the players to talk to him, politely reject their offer, or perhaps point toward one of the treasure rooms scattered around the tomb where I can toss some ancient texts on his religion - he's been there for centuries, he had to do something to pass the time, writing down his beliefs for the next Armag to have on-hand would certainly apply.

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

You could certainly keep him around for a bit, kind of like the last templar knight in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. But, maybe make it so that if he crosses the threshold of the tomb, that's when he'll crumble to dust. And he probably knows that...or senses it. And he probably would welcome that death now that his task is done. However, he could certainly stick around a bit and entertain talking with the PCs about himself and Armag before doing so. In this manner, you can keep him as a somewhat sympathetic NPC who stoically accepts his fate and recognizes that it was wrong for Armag to avoid passage to Pharasma's Boneyard. And, in that fashion, you can serve up some inner narrative commentary for your players on the philosophy of life and death in Golarion.

Hah - I just had an image of him agreeing to go with the party...& crumbling to dust in front of their eyes as they cross the threshold... :)

Shadow Lodge

He ended up just telling the group that his task was done and that he'd be departing for the afterlife as soon as Ovnirbaane left the tomb. He asked the Countess to take some stone tablets containing his god's revelations and some of his own musings with her and see to their distribution*. The Spymistress also made a bargain with him - if he'd give the party his gear (as he's not going to need it soon, and left behind in this tomb it would likely never see battle again unless it was stolen by raiders) they'd build a temple to his patron in Fort Drelev now that they own the place. He found the proposal acceptable.

Yes, this did prompt History of the World Part 1 quotes immediately.

Courtney! wrote:

All right, I have a handful of questions and scenarios to pick your brains about. Impart your wisdom to me once more, O Wise Ones, and please forgive the huuuuuge blocks of text. I'm covering quite a few sessions here, but they all kinda piled up on me...

** spoiler omitted **...

@ Courtney!

What did you end up doing in the end?

I want to throw in something similar & was interested. :)

Quick question, how many barbarians/creatures did Armag gather for the invasion and how many now reside waiting for his return in camps to the east and north of the tomb?

I can envisage my players trying to gather their forces and either attacking Fort Drelev en-mass (even though I will express that a lot of innocents may lose their lives in this attempt), or more likely they will have their armies ready to attack once the PCs have liberated the city and will march on where the barbarian forces are camped to end any future threat they might pose.

The PCs' kingdom has had a sizeable army since the second adventure, as I pitted them against Hargulka's kingdom and his troll incursions and then they had to fend off attacks from fey armies from The Fellnight Realm (which took place in between adventure 2 and 3). They currently have a large army of humans (Fighter2), a Kobold Draconic Squad (the sootscale kobolds using a forest drake as a land mount) and a medium army of Halfling scouts (Rogue2) from Tatzleford.

RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut, Contributor

llaletin wrote:
Quick question, how many barbarians/creatures did Armag gather for the invasion and how many now reside waiting for his return in camps to the east and north of the tomb?

As many as you deem necessary to tell the story you want to tell...and, obviously, to challenge your PCs and their own army.

Thanks for the prompt reply Neil =)

RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut, Contributor

Maybe to elaborate a little...

...the basic premise behind Armag and the Tiger Lord barbarians is that they've had multiple battles long before encountering the PCs and their fledgling kingdom. In essence, they already overran the chartered expedition of the far northern kingdom (i.e., the closest to Irovetti in Pitax). Then, they turned their attention to Drelev (which admittedly, didn't require much of a drawn out battle since the colonists capitulated rather quickly). Then, they assaulted Tatzleford (in combination with some of Drelev's men) and that's when the PCs first meet them. When that happens, Armag is already visiting the tomb of his predecessor, so he has part of his forces there...some of them participating in the attack on Tatzleford...some of them keeping an eye on Drelev...even more occupying the northernmost kingdom near Pitax...and so on. Thus, collectively, Armag commanded quite a force when he first started rampaging across the Stolen Lands, but it's become fractured due to the current circumstances. To amass greater numbers and gain control over an even larger barbarian horde, he needs to claim Ovinrbaane and truly become Armag again. So, given all that, it's really up to you how many and what size force you want the PCs' army to encounter as they drive out the Tiger Lords. That should obviously culminate with Armag himself at the tomb, but my original turnover even included one last assault from the barbarian army, wherein the survivors of Fort Drelev would need to join forces with the PCs' army to survive...thereby cementing a longer lasting alliance and eventual merger between their two kingdoms, which would continue to grow the territory under the PCs' control.

Hope that helps a bit more,

It seems to me that the party should at least hear about the Tiger Lords long before their attack on Tatzlford in order to properly foreshadow these events better. At a minimum, the party ought to be aware of the other chartered expeditions by the time they found their kingdom, and developing relations with their neighbors would be an excellent way to bring the kingdom-building side of the campaign to life. Heck, you could even precede the events of BfB by having events where patrols in the west go missing, or villagers flee east from Drelev, fearing for their lives as Tiger Lords raiding parties pillage the lands.

Hi all,

Thank you to everyone for a lot of great hints and information. This is my first time posting so if I make a mistake on things here my apologies.

The party that I am DMing recently had an epic fail when assaulting Armag's tomb (the lesson of splitting the party with that many barbarians around is likely a bad idea was hard learnt). The result was that the party was decimated (out of 7 only 2 surviving). A rescue mission was made (only 1 player wanted to keep his original character - so there were a lot of cremated bodies with heads on spikes) was able to quickly grab the body as well as the prisoners.

The end result was to head home with the King's head and prisoners. This took 3 weeks riding. Adding the mourning period for the king and the coronation of the new Queen this is about 4-5 weeks interlude.

So my question (assuming they decide to go back to the tomb and not head off to Fort Drelev to liberate the citizens), based on the fact that a month has passed with Armag already in the tomb, would he realistically still be in the tomb? If so, what reasoning would cause him to take 4-5 weeks to "master" (be mastered by) Ovinrbaane?

If he does move on before they get back to the tomb, what are his actions? I can see some possible (going to unite the barbarian tribes, tracking down the remainder of the PC's for daring to oppose him, or following the original Armag's invasion plans etc).

Thanks for any suggestions :)

It's really a GM call.

I'd say that a month would be enough time for Armag and Ovinrbaane to complete the transformation, if you want that to happen. Otherwise he could still be in the tomb, but maybe with some reinforcements (more witnesses, a couple extra spellcasters from his tribe, a few planar allies the guardian cleric brought in, whatever you want). You could give Armag another level, too, especially if the PCs have levelled up in the meantime.

The plans, also, are up to you. I would say, go for whatever makes the most trouble for the PCs. If they go to Drelev, then Armag rallies the Tiger Lords to attack their kingdom behind him. If they go after him, then Armag is up in the north rallying lots of tribesmen to build a huge army they have to deal with, and Baron Drelev does something annoying to the PCs' kingdom while they are away.

Having a high-level party (Armag, 3-4 barbarian henchmen, a bard or shaman from his tribe, and maybe a couple of others) going after the PCs directly might be fun, too, but has the potential for TPK very rapidly. (He may just ignore the PCs, after all 5/7 of the ones who went after him are dead with their heads on spikes, and maybe he won't regard the others as important until they do something to attract his attention.)

Grand Lodge

Pg. 67 - Staff of stoneweaving

The price of this item seems to be incorrect. It looks like the person that wrote it used the pricing formula for other items (ie: the formula gets you the price, then you divide it in half to get the cost), but staves are unique in that they're the opposite: the pricing formula gets you the cost, then you multiply it by 2 to get the price. As such, the staff of stoneweaving is severely underpriced.

Unfortunately, its unique ability to generate its own ammo means it doesn't follow a cookie-cutter staff pricing formula, but we can honestly ignore that as a factor in price since it still takes a move action to "load" it.

Anyway, the price of this staff would come to 126,620 gp, and the cost would be 63,310 gp.

Grand Lodge

Pg. 69 - Quiema's branch

Like the staff of stoneweaving above, this staff was priced incorrectly, where the author took the formula to get the price, and divided by 2 to get the cost. Unlike the staff of stoneweaving, this staff is simple in its pricing since it doesn't have any bonus abilities and easy to calculate.

Change price to "145,500 gp" and change cost to "72,750 gp".

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