Haunting of HarrowStone (GM Reference)


Carrion Crown

551 to 600 of 678 << first < prev | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | next > last >>

The party is working very well together, so much so that in the very first session, they started from scratch and got to clearing out the first level of Harrowstone, only skipping the fire because I felt it too complex for a first time player. That's some fast work, methinks. This deserves a reward....especially since the adventure is more than a little gold shy in the first place.

I reread the description of the flesh golem manual, and it said nothing about it being the property of Montagnie on the book itself. That's a really good idea though Ben, and if Ghoroven was a decent sort he would have mailed it to Montagnie on his own. I figure G stands to lose some moolah anyway for that, along with teaching him a lesson about stolen merchandise.

Therefore, I will have the NPC goblin Rogue swipe the book thinking it had fire spells in it. He's CN anyway, and a bit of a pyromaniac. They'll read the book and discover who it really belongs to, old Montagnie. Oh, and I had the goblin buy the ioun stone for 500gp as he needs the AC.

The party bought the +1 (made it heavy so the Cleric would buy it) steel shield, the half depleted wand of cure moderate wounds (everybody chipped in), and the full plate armor for the Fighter all at 20% off. Getting the max result on Trust isn't hard to get, given the last time I ran the fire at Town Hall.


How do I handle Father Charlatan's haunting? What I mean is, he appears to only be susceptible to haunt siphons and a series of saves that the victim throws. He has no Will save to halve the Cleric's turning undead damage; is that a typo?

Also, am I correct in saying that most haunts aren't going to take damage from a Cleric's positive energy bursts?


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Haunts take full damage from channel positive energy, iirc. That is one of the main ways to "defeat" them, Note that many haunts don't get permanently "destroyed" just from hitting 0 hp, as noted in their description, but the 5 Ghosts do because Vesorianna suppresses them.

The book lists a few spell under his "Weakness" section that can also damage the Father. I believe I let the PCs that weren't currently wrapped in chains use holy water to damage him as well. I didn't let the PCs hurt him until he was triggered, even after they saw he was following someone around with detect magic. The book says they can damage him before he activates, but then they miss out on a cool encounter (imo).


So, the author just plain forgot to include the haunt's will save to halve turning damage?

I dunno, if they are smart enough to catch the Father before he gets a chance to strangle someone, shouldn't they be rewarded somehow? Maybe trigger the encounter immediately instead of in an already existing fight.


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

isn't a defeated Haunt its own reward:) as someone that ran the encounter i found it way more suspenseful and scary during a fight, and really isn't that what Carrion Crown is all about, scaring the s#*! out of people:)


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Haunts don't get saving throws against channel energy (or anything else that may work on them). They just take the damage.


What do you guys suggest I do about the lack of a will save for haunts? Is there errata that would address this, or should I just continue onward without the haunt saving throw?


Piccolo wrote:
What do you guys suggest I do about the lack of a will save for haunts? Is there errata that would address this, or should I just continue onward without the haunt saving throw?

Um, 10 minutes before your post:

Zhangar wrote:
Haunts don't get saving throws against channel energy (or anything else that may work on them). They just take the damage.

:)


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Did any of you come up with a good reference picture of how Petros Lorrimor looked in life that you'd care to share?


Huh. I thought he was that guy with gray hair going white on the sides? No?

Hm. I'll have to look.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

That sounds lovely. I hope that you're right and I've simply missed a portrait somewhere.


There was no official portrait as far as I know. If you Google image search Petros Lorrimor, you'll find pictures that should suffice.


Ben is correct. I found nothing, officially, but the first image here was the thing I was thinking of (though I was a bit off on that, as well). I suspect he comes from somewhere else, and, in my old searches, I simply remembered the image. My apologies that it's not of more assistance.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Thanks so much, both of you! I can work with this.


Hey all. I'm starting HoH today. We're not following the AP, but using Hoh as a starting point for a home brewed campaign (The party may actually convert the cleansed Harrowstone into a headquarters.)
I'm stealing a lot of stuff from this thread and I thank you all. But I do have one additional question.
Do you think it would be too unbalancing if I turned the animated scythe into a ghost touch scythe after the party defeats it?
My group does not have a cleric, and I'm worried about how well they will do against the various haunts without being able to channel positive energy.


It won't help them with the haunts, unless you house rule it, so... no, I'd say it's not unbalancing (such as it is), it's just not quite as useful for dealing with haunts as you like. It does help deal with several of the other foes, however. Depending on who's wielding it, you may (or may not) wish to increase the hp a tad.

What's your party makeup? We might be able to better give more targeted advice.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Allow stuff like Disrupt Undead to work on haunts. I.e., if it involves positive energy, let it work. Disrupt Undead, lay on hands, cure potions, holy water, etc.

The ghost touch scythe will make the poltergeist, the Lopper and the Splatterman easier fights. Nothing else is actually incorporeal.

Okay, Lady V is, but your party shouldn't be taking a scythe to Lady V =P


I'm definitely doing the expanded vulnerabilities for haunts. I figured Disrupt Undead, Holy Water, Paladin's smite ability.

The party make up is--
Human Paladin
1/2 orc Sorcerer
Tiefling Alchemist
and a Rouge of a construct race my group made and is test playing (based off of the warforged from our love of Eberron)


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Ghost Touch scythes aren't all that big a deal. Only the Paladin can use it and it just means the weapon damage is full, not half... so like an extra 5-10 damage per hit.

If you're worried about the value of the treasure, since that's a +2 weapon at level 1, you could say the ghost-touch effect only works within the walls of the prison.


You might want to ask the guy playing the Sorcerer OR the Alchemist to switch classes to Cleric, as that class rocks in Harrowstone and in the future adventures in this series. Really, you don't need both the Sorcerer and the Alchemist since they essentially do the same function in the group.

Here's an idea about the Ghost Touch: Why not let the Paladin start out with a +1 Ghost Touch weapon, and bill him the 8k gp? That is, start him out with a negative gp balance that he has to pay off. This grants power, but isn't imbalancing since he has to pay it off. This is the option I took as GM.

Or, you COULD just say that the Lopper's handaxe is Ghost Touch against everything (not just against the Lopper) until the Lopper's extermination. All you have to do is ensure the players find the secret cache of the 5 Prisoners' gear.


Im about to start GMing CC and was wondering if i should start my 5 players at the recommended 15 point buy or bump them up to a 20 point buy?
From what I have read this adventure, at least early game, can be pretty difficult.

Im curious what you all started your players off with and how well they did.


MotherGoose wrote:

Im about to start GMing CC and was wondering if i should start my 5 players at the recommended 15 point buy or bump them up to a 20 point buy?

From what I have read this adventure, at least early game, can be pretty difficult.

Im curious what you all started your players off with and how well they did.

I had them roll 4d6 take the top 3 results, with a minimum of 11. They did fairly well, but with a few scares. I gave them each 900gp to start out with because the adventure is cash shy what with all the charged items.

Grand Lodge

I am running with a straight 15pt build and its going fine. Its challenging them without killing them.


15 pt. buy worked fine, but it heavily depends on your party makeup. They can easily be prone to death if you follow it, depending on how hard you are, as a GM. You have 5 players, though, so it shouldn't be too much of an issue.

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Worthy to note what your expectation of the cleansing of Harrowstone should be.

If you think it needs to be in a epic single dungeon delve session then 15pts wont cut it. If you are ok with them heading back to Kendra's to rest after a few encounters? (which I think is a positive because it gives other opportunities to engage with the village) then 15pts is a-ok.


^ Also, this :D


Agree with above posters, 15 or 20 work well, should be okay with 15 if you have 5 people and decent party comp. I'd note that I did 4d6 x7, drop the lowest, which I regret as the PCs are a bit too strong at times. I'd probably do 20 point-buy, if I ran it again with 4 people.


Thanks guys for all the input. It turns out I will be having a party of mostly 4 with an occasional 5th PC. Im going with a 20 point buy seeing as how my players are mostly still pretty new to RPGs and love to clear every room before moving on, in hopes of finding every bit of treasure.


That's exactly my group composition: 20 point buy with 5 players that reduced to 4 during book 3. We're 2/3 of the way through Book 5, and its worked out well so far.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Is there a collection of community created content? Coming from Rise of the Runelords they have a thread full of fantastic stuff.

Also as far as I can see it doesn't say where the Professor's body was found (my players immediately wanted to investigate), nor why they waited 16 days to bury him.

Edit; Seriously though there's like no collection of changes unless you search through the thousand posts in the GM reference adn even then


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I don't think everything is collected in one place.

The professor's body would presumably have been found where he died, up by Harrowstone. I don't know who found him, or how easy it was to identify him given that his head had been crushed.

They waited sixteen days to bury him because he specified in his will that he wasn't to be buried until all the principals in his will arrived. (I don't know why he specified that--it would have saved money avoiding castings of gentle repose if they'd buried him right away and just waited on the will reading.)

Sovereign Court

Changes I made to Haunting of Harrowstone:
1. I had Adivion attend the Professor's funeral. Players learn that he and the Prof were colleagues at the University of Lepidstadt in the past, and that Adivion is sweet on Kendra. This introduces Adivion right at the beginning of the AP.
2. I had the Professor's body located away from Harrowstone. This way, the PC's don't charge in there immediately, and have to spend some time in Ravengro figuring out what is going on.
3. I tossed out the Trust mechanic entirely, and had the player's relationship with the various townfolk grow out of RP.
4. I added an encounter in Ravengro where the Professor arises from the dead as a ghoul and returns to his home to find Kendra. This was a really good OMG moment from the players.

That's all I can think of right now.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
tbug wrote:

I don't think everything is collected in one place.

The professor's body would presumably have been found where he died, up by Harrowstone. I don't know who found him, or how easy it was to identify him given that his head had been crushed.

They waited sixteen days to bury him because he specified in his will that he wasn't to be buried until all the principals in his will arrived. (I don't know why he specified that--it would have saved money avoiding castings of gentle repose if they'd buried him right away and just waited on the will reading.)

I thought they didn't open the will until after the players arrived.

Also does anyone have a good map for the outside of Harrowstone, the Harrowstone grounds. I've got the ones for inside but couldn't find any ones for outside.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Good catch. Professor Lorrimor must have instructed Councillor Hearthmount to make sure the funeral was delayed until the PCs arrived. Father Grimburrow or one of his acolytes would have cast gentle repose two or three times in the interim.


Did anyone do anything special for the prison? My players will be crawling through tonight. Anything i should add/change/take away?


MotherGoose wrote:
Did anyone do anything special for the prison? My players will be crawling through tonight. Anything i should add/change/take away?

If your PCs have reached level 2, they should be okay. Encourage them to go upstairs first as the basement is much more dangerous. Embermaw can be deadly to low HP PCs, so maybe make it scary enough to get them to run before eating its attacks.


I'm not a fan of the random rat swarm, and replaced it with a swarm of undead spiders, basically a max HP spider swarm that could be hurt by channeling and holy water.


What I have loved to see is a pic of Harrowstone exteriors, to show what the prison look like.
I'm thinking gothic, ancient, partially ruined and burned...

For those who have known the old Ravenloft boxed set, there were maps of some of the most infamous places, and they were great


1 person marked this as a favorite.

First off, general thanks to all for the great ideas I have appropriated!

We had our first session Sunday and it went really well. Our group is pretty optimized, and there are 7 of them. And a 25 point buy. I know, I know, you're thinking I'm crazy. Maybe a little. We also have some custom races along with some higher-powered ones. Here is the party:

Human Gunslinger who will go into Warpriest after 4 levels
Anthropomorphic custom raccoon race modeled after Rocket, also Gunslinger
Aasimar cleric of Pharasma, more battle cleric with channel smite,etc.
Fetchling Rogue
Drow Ranger (wannabe Drizzt)
Half-construct Bloodrager who uses TWF and a cestus on each hand

And to further wreck the action economy... a Samsaran Necromancer!

Of course at level one the Necromancer isn't a big issue yet- he's a wizard and can only have one HD of undead under his control.

Needless to say, I'm ramping up the encounters. I started with the carriage ride as suggested in this forum. I told them the only carriage into Ravengro goes once a day and they all filtered in by initiative. There are a couple of newer players, so it was good to have a lot of role play in the opening.

Once on the carriage they were attacked by stirges (9 I think), but some of those were added on to teach the Gunslingers that making LOTS of noise in the middle of a forest isn't always a great idea. Of course the attack happened just as they were coming out of a narrow pass and onto a precarious curve with a cliff face on one side.

The raccoon jumped out the window and on top of the coach, saw the stirges nomming on the driver and the horses and ran back inside! The rogue decided to go out and have a look just as a low branch came by. He made his reflex save and ended up prone on top of the roof. Meanwhile, the PC's inside the coach were all wearing armor and/or not Dex-based so decided to cut their way through the roof. The rogue again made his save and avoided joining the Vienna Boys' Choir, but it made for a hilarious movie moment when the dagger poked through the canvas! They didn't really have much trouble with the stirges with both Gunslingers one-shotting them most of the time and the half-construct swatting them. Of course no one that could use the Ride or Handle Animal skills were in a position to reach the reins, so it was close. The cleric decided to climb out and help, failed his reflex save miserably, and ended up in the middle of the road. Luckily, they got the carriage stopped in the next round.

I had planned to do a modified Spectral Carriage haunt that would basically hit them with a bull rush into the trees, nothing too dangerous.

The funeral procession was about to be Diplomacized by the cleric when the Necromancer took offense and slapped Gibs across the face. They decided to take the full round to set the casket down and in the process two of them were knocked out- the first attack was a crit with a 2x4, I told the player that villager was named Jim.

They decided to go after the cache of ghostbusting equipment pretty quickly and met several zombies and skeletons (some with class levels) on the way. The Necromancer managed to control one and the fight was pretty quick. I threw in a fun bonus for him- a crawling hand! He liked it so much that I decided to let him reskin it as a familiar. I'm still debating the stat bonus he will get from it. Also, his character's name is Fette, so he named it Manos: The Hand of Fette!

They have researched two of the prisoners, and during this time I've been throwing creepy happenings in. The letters started the second night and I had the entire group do will saves a few times to make them nervous. The Gunslinger/Warpriest is married to the cleric and I decided to give her the nightmares and have her wake up with her name written in blood. Then when everyone came in to look it was gone, but she had blood on her hand. The player was actually getting a little creeped out, so I had TSM appear to her in a dream as he looked in life. He was very calm and did a decent Lecter, analyzing her name and said they would see each other soon.

We also use a Facebook group, so I changed the front page picture to her character name written in blood on a wall.

I haven't leveled them up, but plan to before they get into Harrowstone. The cleric has been itching to go since the second day but the wizard has kept him calm and convinced him to research first.

They also tracked Gibs back to his house after the third letter and brought the sheriff back with them. Next session he will freak out in the jail cell and someone else will be possessed soon.

I thought of another idea to mess with the channelers, both positive energy and to control. I'm going to have the Way plant a Yellow Musk Creeper near the town... and I was thinking of having some children find it first to give them their first moral dilemma- slaughter the "kids" when the parents are looking for them, or try to capture them and see if they can be saved.

I plan to introduce some Mi-Go as well, doing it like the 90's movie Mimic. They have all kinds of disguise bonuses, so I will have them use their wings like cloaks and look pretty human until you get up close. I probably won't have them fight one, but I want to get them thinking about the full scope of what's going on.

Anyway, sorry for the long post. It was a long session and easily the most fun I've had running anything!


You're fine on power: I'm actually using mythic and loving it so far. :)

(Introduced an artifact the PCs used after the first adventure to grant mythic to them. Also having fun messing with the barbarian - who gets literally demon-possessed when he rages (and has requested that I claim his character as a temporary NPC while it happens, just to up the creep factor of him no longer being in control) - and the alchemist - who goes from CG to CN when mutated (and loves RPing that TO THE HILT).

Normally, she worships Pharasma and Desna.
In mutated form, it's Calistria (and all that implies) as the primary deity with Desna and Pharasma as secondary.
A perfect lead-in to Master Chymist...

Anyway, point is, with careful handling, you can certainly alter the game to make it more powerful! Nothing to worry about, I think. :)


My group just finished book one on Friday and they are loving the story so far.
Is it just me or do each of the books/parts seem to be short and go by fairly quickly? My group is enjoying how much RP there is but still seemed to fly thru each of them. Ive even added in some encounters, both combat and RP.

Anyone add something into TotB that worked well?

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.

my group took 5 sessions to get through the Haunting and about twice as much to get through TotB. Although I our session length decreased a bit, I think that TotB is longer than the Haunting.

I added a segment during their travels to Lepidstadt where they are attacked by Orcish bandits because their route takes their fairly close to Belkzen. It created the classical "You are ambushed at night! You are still in your sleeping bags! Think quickly!" missing from the AP. Though it only worked as well as it did because our ranger is a bit stupid sometimes. ("You hear metallic sounds and a whispered discussion in an language unknown to you, though it sounds quite rough and harsh." - (after the rest of the group shouts "WAKE US UP!) "Erm...I ask 'Hello? Is someone out there?'").
But that discussion should really take place in the TotB-GM-Thread.


Book one and three are as fast as you want them to be; lots of ways to extend or contract the roleplaying pieces and the dungeon crawl aspect are pretty straight forward (though you can fiddle with the Feldgrau in book 3 quite a lot).

Book two is in three parts; first is the trip to town (fairly short), second is the trial which is time bound to three days (and fun for the players to have to handle the short time frame), and third is the Castle, which is fun but very straight forward.

Book four allows a great amount of fiddling throughout (my players assume every NPC with a name must be a bad guy, especially after book three's lodge, so they just about killed a mean-but-not-evil mayor of the first larger town). Book five is very player-directed and can take quite awhile or be very short depending on how they approach the ruling group.

Book six is a massive dungeon crawl. It has a lot of room for player-created content, but as written it is a very extensive and fantastically clever dungeon.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Blackbot wrote:

("You hear metallic sounds and a whispered discussion in an language unknown to you, though it sounds quite rough and harsh." - (after the rest of the group shouts "WAKE US UP!) "Erm...I ask 'Hello? Is someone out there?'").

But that discussion should really take place in the TotB-GM-Thread.

did you have the Orcs say back, in guttural common "uh, No, go back to sleep, just looking for a lost chum-i mean sheep"

Grand Lodge

Each book gets progressively longer as the game goes on given the number crunchy difficulty and the rules to keep up with at high level.

As for things that have been added that I particularly enjoyed... I think that Rakshaka's changes to Hergstag made it more interesting.

I added a few extra encounters with the denizens of the Shudderwood

spoiler:
the Jezeldans
in the 3rd book. I felt like they needed a bit more introduction due to their importance once the group reached Feldgrau.

I made the main society of the 5th book a much more manageable LE group of Asmodeus worshipers. However, maybe I should have made it tougher on the party paladin by keeping them as is... Hmmm.

In the sixth book I would just say pay attention to what you learn about Haunts from the 1st book and reread that section in the Gamemastery Guide a few times. :)

Silver Crusade

captain yesterday wrote:
Blackbot wrote:

("You hear metallic sounds and a whispered discussion in an language unknown to you, though it sounds quite rough and harsh." - (after the rest of the group shouts "WAKE US UP!) "Erm...I ask 'Hello? Is someone out there?'").

But that discussion should really take place in the TotB-GM-Thread.
did you have the Orcs say back, in guttural common "uh, No, go back to sleep, just looking for a lost chum-i mean sheep"

Nah. They threw javelins. Stapled some of the group to their sleeping bags as well. I ruled that it took at least a move action to get out of the sleeping bag leading to some hilarious improvisation - the sorcerer war forced to shoot his color spray straight upwards because an orc was about to split his face with an axe. Worked like a charm, the orc was out for the rest of the fight :)


MotherGoose wrote:
Anyone add something into TotB that worked well?

The best thing I added to TotB was having the party encounter Vorkstag in several of its guises. Once the skinchanger knew they were trying to prove the Beast innocent, I had it stop by and pretend to be helpful as professor, merchant and madame, in actuality trying to spy on and derail their efforts.

It made the reveal of the Cabinet of Skins so much better. Big bonus points if your Vorkstag can seduce one of your PCs.

Also, my players were fond enough of the Beast that I made the second half a kidnap scenario. Basically, the Whispering Way left an agent behind to keep the Count imprisoned, and this agent, a totenmaske, activated the control device after the trial to get the Beast to drive off the trolls besieging the schloss. He had the Beast rip them apart, then basically parked the deactivated Beast on top of the lightning tower.

The totenmaske was impersonating the count, even going so far as starting to sew his own flesh golem out of the remains of the servants and out of nearby villagers he’d had the trolls to kidnap for him. The trolls were mercenaries Vrood used to help take the schloss, but they were never acually paid, which explains the seige. The trolls are freshly reassembled and in a very bad mood when the PCs arrive.

I felt this gave the story more cohesion, and made the need to activate the control device--to reactivate the Beast--easier to grasp.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I made the Beast intelligent but morose and fatalistic. He was smart enough to converse on numerous topics and would wax philosophic, but he was convinced that there was no point in arguing his position because he knew they already thought him guilty. This was a lot more interesting for me than the child-like idiot version in the actual book.

But that's book 2 stuff, so you should check out the book 2 thread for more details on changes done by us GMs who have run it.


Suggestion: I'm starting to GM a C.Crown campaign with only 2 players.
They're going to play a vanilla Samsarang Inquisitor and Tiefling Investigator, both not specially optimized.

To compensate for having only 2 players, I gave them a very generous point buy (35) and I was considering using the fast XP progression: the XP concentration plus the fast track should keep them 1/2 levels ahead of a standard party.

Asking to people with more experience GMing this path and/or with smaller groups, do you think this is going to be enough? Or should I take some other steps?
I considered both adding NPC or allowing gestalt chars, but they do not like the idea.

Thematically they're a quite fine group, very well suited to the less combat-intensive part of the AP, and with a carefull, stealthy approach to exploration, but sooner or later it will come to frontal fight, and I'm worried about the lack of full-casting, both arcane and divine, and real tanking.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I'd stick to medium advancement. It will be brutal at low levels, even out, then become extremely fast at higher levels. Remember that Ravengro has about a dozen low-level clerics kicking around. There's no reason one or two of them couldn't be involved in the Harrowstone bits. You could even hint that that's a reason to gain Trust points, or something.

551 to 600 of 678 << first < prev | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder Adventure Path / Carrion Crown / Haunting of HarrowStone (GM Reference) All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.