Trial of the Beast (GM Reference)


Carrion Crown

251 to 300 of 513 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | next > last >>
Shadow Lodge

Has anyone tried to roll the Dawn of the Scarlet Sun module into the events of the Trial of the Beast?

Grand Lodge

Tetrix wrote:
Has anyone tried to roll the Dawn of the Scarlet Sun module into the events of the Trial of the Beast?

Where do you see the module rolling into the AP and how?

Shadow Lodge

Helaman wrote:
Tetrix wrote:
Has anyone tried to roll the Dawn of the Scarlet Sun module into the events of the Trial of the Beast?
Where do you see the module rolling into the AP and how?

Actually... scratch that, after reading more this would just be over kill. I was thinking however to add it as a day of the trial. But it really isnt needed at all.


So my players got into Schloss Caromarc and have hit the inevitable moral quandary of looting. They also, some how, survived the trolls/hound/elemental/apparatus combo, though one did have to take a swim.

Two players (LN druid and NG inquisitor of goddess of justice) say there's no proof the Baron is evil so looting equals stealing. Daramid said to come here and find out what happened, not to steal it all.

One player (N monk, because I turned 'must be lawful' into 'must not be chaotic') says that it is obvious that he's evil because he had trolls in the gate house and WW had come through this way so looting is ok.

One player (NG wizard) says either way, they get to loot because the traps and apparatus tried to kill them and that this is just how it goes.

Last player (CG bard) already drank the best wine and has probably pocketed a few choice goods before the question even came up. CG and all.

Wizard will side with druid and inquisitor but only if they act consistently and demands that they foreswear ever stealing from anyone ever again because you 'cannot be too sure' about their evilness.

As you can guess, this degenerated into a massive argument. And really, it isn't really an alignment issue. It is more of a 'what do you do when you find him'.

He's either dead, alive and in league with WW, alive and a good guy, alive and crazy, or missing. Each player has different opinions of his probable state and what would be done in each eventuality.

I have already decided my way around this quandary (alive and Daramid rewards players with cash equivalent of loot missed for successful completion of job), I just hope the players don't claim I changed the ending because of this argument.


Thanks for sharing your experience. It will be interesting to see what my PCs do. It does seem that in other campaigns PCs have used magic they have found (such as the figurines) to help them get through the rest of Schloss Caromac, which certainly seems like fair game. It seems a lot more dubious for anyone of a good alignment to steal other valuables from the Count without being pretty sure he's evil (I guess someone CG could justify it as contributions to the cause, maybe even someone NG in the right circumstances). In any event, the PCs can't really carry a lot of the loot, and it would seem the most logical thing to do would be to find it but leave it behind to pick up on the way out, depending what the PCs find of the Count.

I'm going to do the same as you in terms of the cash award. As has been pointed out before, it is pretty funny the author assumed the PCs would rob the Count.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

My characters are predominantly lawful, with good tendencies, and are not looting the place (or some past places), so I've asked them to let me know what their wealth by level shortfall is and to give me a wishlist of what they would like. I thought it could easily be a reward or rewards given to them.

Grand Lodge

Yep - was thinking the Order give them some choice items at the end of Chapter 2.

Silver Crusade

Helaman wrote:
Yep - was thinking the Order give them some choice items at the end of Chapter 2.

Yes, I also took this approach. Nothing kills atmosphere like turning the game into endless commercial exchanges.

I front-loaded the rewards by having Daramid arrange for the party to be inducted into the Order after being impressed by their handling of V&G. After the initiation, she called in a favor with a Wizard who owed her and arranged for some enchanting to be done upon their weapons, plus issued them some stock Order adventuring gear before sending them off to the schloss.

I don't intend to make it easy for them to loot the place. I had introduced an Inquisitor NPC who had been charged with the execution of the beast and is now following the party with a gang of henchmen, convinced that they are up to no good. If they head back to town with a bunch of Royal Candlesticks and Tapestries, they're either heading to jail or fighting an officer of the law and risking being branded as outlaws.

I have a simple question about how folks have handled characters who fall into the river. The construct dog bull-rushed the rogue into the water first turn last time, but the flying witch rescued the rogue before he had been in the water more than one round. Then the Barbarian bull-rushed the dog in the water. I made five or six swim rolls, then said they saw it drag itself up the bank to safety.

Now the thing is, I am all but positive they are going to trigger the guardian of air trap, and then I am pretty sure more folks are going back in the drink.

How many rolls have you asked people to make to reach shore? What about the current and going over the falls? What do you use for the swim DCs, and how many chances do you give before they go over the next fall?

Thanks!

Dark Archive

Same happen with my group. They thought at first that Caromarc was evil, but, as they cant prove it, they let the looting for the way back.

I will reward them as if they have looted everything :)


Nathonicus wrote:

Now the thing is, I am all but positive they are going to trigger the guardian of air trap, and then I am pretty sure more folks are going back in the drink.

How many rolls have you asked people to make to reach shore? What about the current and going over the falls? What do you use for the swim DCs, and how many chances do you give before they go over the next fall?

Thanks!

The first fall is 100' minus 20' for falling into water = 8d6 nonlethal falling damage. They are maybe 8-10 squares from the first waterfall and I had the water going about 10 squares a round, so a swim check (book says DC 20 by the way) to move at half speed. It is an impossible battle or a PC (maximum swim speed in half movement times 2, so most players will do 6 squares a round). It is 50' over the falls and so 3d6 more nonlethal damage.

The book isn't clear on distance to the second 50' waterfall, nor from the base of that waterfall to dry land, so that's up to you. Once the monk was over the first waterfall, there was no one that could help him at that distance so I just ran one waterfall a turn. He had wholeness of body to keep himself conscious and a high con score to hold his breath.

At the bottom of the waterfalls, the wizard's summoned water elemental helped him to dry land. Said it took an hour to come back up the hill.

I'd say a swim check of lesser DC should be required to drink a potion (no check to retrieve one though) and I'm not sure if you can cast while in the water.

Don't forget that the flesh golem hound the fighter kicked off the bridge will come back and attack; he's a construct and thus immune to drowning or the nonlethal damage from falling into water. It has a mission to guard the bridge and will continue with it until destroyed.

Silver Crusade

Thanks. I had spaced that there are 2 x 50' waterfalls.

DC20, you say? I was getting a lot of help from players to reference rules while running, and those scallywags came up with DC15. >:(

I'll jut be sure and map everything out carefully next time and explain that the first guy in just got really, really lucky!


Nathonicus wrote:

I front-loaded the rewards by having Daramid arrange for the party to be inducted into the Order after being impressed by their handling of V&G. After the initiation, she called in a favor with a Wizard who owed her and arranged for some enchanting to be done upon their weapons, plus issued them some stock Order adventuring gear before sending them off to the schloss.

I don't intend to make it easy for them to loot the place. I had introduced an Inquisitor NPC who had been charged with the execution of the beast and is now following the party with a gang of henchmen, convinced that they are up to no good. If they head back to town with a bunch of Royal Candlesticks and Tapestries, they're either heading to jail or fighting an officer of the law and risking being branded as outlaws.

What was included in the stock Order adventuring gear?

The Inquisitor NPC idea is an interesting one. Do you have any other plans for him, other than deterring theft?

By the way, how are folks handling the end of the adventure and the transition to the trip to Shudderwood? The module says that there is a trail to Shudderwood a mile from Schloss Caromac, but it also seems to contemplate that the PCs will return to Lepidstadt and talk to Judge Daramid. What kind of time pressure is on the PCs? Since the Shudderwood is a pretty uncivilized place, it seems like the PCs would appreciate an opportunity to stock up in Lepidstadt before heading to the Shudderwood, and I would rather not force them to do that before going to Schloss Caromac. But if they head back to Lepidstadt, it seems more logical to move the trail to Shudderwood closer to Lepidstadt, rather than having the PCs come all the way back to Schloss Caromac...


Well, DC 15 is what I thought too (indicating rough/choppy water per the table in the swim skill) while 20 is full on stormy waters, but 20 is what the AP says.

Silver Crusade

Voomer wrote:


What was included in the stock Order adventuring gear?

They all got weapons enchanted up to +2 equivalent and Handy Haversacks.

The point is moot due to the near TPK, though.


Ah yes, that was your campaign! Nice utility gear though.

I've encountered an interesting issue in the trial. The most charismatic PC is a barbarian/oracle with the "haunted" curse, which means "Malevolent spirits follow you wherever you go, causing minor mishaps and strange occurrences (such as unexpected breezes, small objects moving on their own, and faint noises)."

Accordingly, when he testified I had some strange things happen -- a glass of water flew out of the prosecutor's hand, the Chief Judge's gavel banged by itself, a door in the gallery opened and closed. I may have overdone it, but, in any event, it caused some chaos in the trial and negatively impacted his diplomacy rolls (but only by a bit), even though the events could not be pinned on him.

My question is whether there is any way The Holy Sister of Justice could spot that the PC is haunted, or that spirits are causing the strange occurrences. Detect magic wouldn't spot the spirits. But would see invisibility allow her to spot the spirits? But she does not have access to that arcane spell. What is the nature of the spirits that haunt the PC, in game terms?

Any other thoughts on this situation? This PC will want to present evidence again, especially because his Natural Divination revelation lets him take a +10 bonus on a skill check once per day, which helps a lot with one of those DC 20 diplomacy checks ("by observing and interpreting the flights of birds, you may apply a +10 competence bonus on any one skill check. ... These bonuses must be used during the next 24 hours and you must declare you are using the bonus before the check or save is made"). It seems to me that revelation, based on studying birds pre-trial, wasn't magic detectable by The Holy Sister of Justice...

Sczarni

Voomer wrote:
By the way, how are folks handling the end of the adventure and the transition to the trip to Shudderwood? The module says that there is a trail to Shudderwood a mile from Schloss Caromac, but it also seems to contemplate that the PCs will return to Lepidstadt and talk to Judge Daramid. What kind of time pressure is on the PCs? Since the Shudderwood is a pretty uncivilized place, it seems like the PCs would appreciate an opportunity to stock up in Lepidstadt before heading to the Shudderwood, and I would rather not force them to do that before going to Schloss Caromac. But if they head back to Lepidstadt, it seems more logical to move the trail to Shudderwood closer to Lepidstadt, rather than having the PCs come all the way back to Schloss Caromac...

I've mostly removed the time element from the campaign so that my players can do crafting. Also, two of my three players decided they wanted to start new characters after the Schloss, so we had some downtime as the new guys came on board in Lepidstadt.

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Interesting story. The neighbors across the street decided that it was time for Car Dance Party Moscow at 3 AM this morning. It wasn't all bad, though, cuz after the cops came inspiration struck!

I've been fretting about what to do at the Schloss re: roleplay, logical reason for Vrood to have used the beast, and why the Beast is just on hand in the nick of time, and I think I've finally got it.

Drawing on inspiration from several posters in this thread, I think it goes like this:

In the Schloss, there are signs that guests (beyond the engineers) were expected, maybe even some letters left behind, books left out in the library as if they had been consulted. Vrood had arrived as a guest on a whim, stopping by to check on the count who was an old Comrade/nemesis. (Perhaps he hated the count for refusing to join the Whispering Way when it was obviously the superior path to understanding life and death.) He learned of the counts wife's condition and convinced the count that his own researches into death could help her. (Sheer malice on his part.) Traveling to the tower, he witnessed the sad state of affairs there with the count's deceased wife, and realized the best revenge was to seal him away facing his wife's body, then vandalize his life's work after defeating him.

Having helped build the device that controls the Beast, Vrood quickly figured out it's use once more and utilized the beast to release all the critters in the menagerie, kill the guards, and generally wreck shop, then remembered his original purpose in visiting Lepidstadt and sent the beast there to get the Effigy. (This should creep the players out when they enter the musuem, as there will be signs that the beast went amok in there, and they will be nervous about running into him.)

Vrood abandoned the Beast after stealing the idol, trusting that the authorities would chase the Beast back to the Schloss, revealing the perverse experiments of the Count and finalizing his ultimate humiliation. He left the Erinyes trap to ensure that the counts reputation would be further besmirched as a Dibolist, and also to cause general havoc.

When the players exit the museum and get their first view of the tower, they will see the beast scaling the walls and prying open the doorway from above - at which point something HUGE lunges forward, dwarfing the mighty beast with it's size, before overpowering him tumbling out of sight behind the tower.

When they reach the tower, the two assailants are nowhere to be seen, presumably at the bottom of the river.

This gives the party a chance to fight the guardian, then rescue the count and get his story. As they wrap up, attentive PCs may have a chance to hear the Promethean haul itself out of the water and scale the tower, followed by a Bezerking Beast. They will have the opportunity to try and activate the controlling device and use the Beast to attack, or flee, or fight without the machine, trusting on the Beast's Bezerk state to keep it attacking the Promethean.

It may not be a stroke of brilliance, but I think I've finally adapted the end in a way I like. Thanks to everyone here whose ideas I borrowed!

For the transition to Broken Moon, I have a handy aid in the addition of a fifth player who is playing a Ranger specializing in hunting down the creatures of the night. Altering the story a bit, he was hired by Estovion to serve as a tracker for Vrood to find the Packlord. Once he had done so, the Way moved in to make the kill, and the ranger was alarmed by the Necormancy he witnessed, knowing that general chaos would break out in the Werewolf tribes. He decided to make for Lepidstadt to contact his ranger buddy for help (the poor dead ranger from the starting group.) From there he'll be directed to join the party at the Schloss, and after getting over the sad news can alert them to the activities of the Way in the Shudderwood.

Maybe it's just the sleep-dep, but I feel like I finally have a handle on how to wrap up this "Beast" of a module! :D

Sczarni

Nathonicus, that sounds like a great solution! Well done!


Is there a list about map errors for the final dungeon?
I'm looking specifically for encounters/monsters that I need to adjust for.

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Nathonicus wrote:
Interesting stuff.

I like the tie together - thats one of the things I feel is lacking in TotB - a more solid plot tie in on the hows and the whys of the WW for doing what they did instead of try other methods.

My one is that the University has trapped the exhibits with a lightning equiviilent of burning hands spells on their cabinents etc.

The Way, knowing the exhibits are trapped but not the extent or strength of the traps wont risk themselves, nor, given that failure may result in their prize being moved or hidden, can they use lackeys or hired thieves... their minds turn to Golems and thus Caromac.

The other stuff you put in is good and I may work with that...

Silver Crusade

Helaman wrote:
Nathonicus wrote:
Interesting stuff.

I like the tie together - thats one of the things I feel is lacking in TotB - a more solid plot tie in on the hows and the whys of the WW for doing what they did instead of try other methods.

My one is that the University has trapped the exhibits with a lightning equiviilent of burning hands spells on their cabinents etc.

The Way, knowing the exhibits are trapped but not the extent or strength of the traps wont risk themselves, nor, given that failure may result in their prize being moved or hidden, can they use lackeys or hired thieves... their minds turn to Golems and thus Caromac.

The other stuff you put in is good and I may work with that...

Awesome! I took a lot of inspiration from this thread, glad my permutations keep the creativity rolling.

I like the idea of traps, and probably would have used them except I was running with very little prep that week. They went to investigate the College, and then started asking questions...to which I had no good answers. :/

Inkwell wrote:

Is there a list about map errors for the final dungeon?

I'm looking specifically for encounters/monsters that I need to adjust for.

Inkwell, the ones that come to mind are the Gatehouse which is tiny for 3 trolls to be running around in and the musuem where the guardian is moving around in a very small place.


Nathonicus wrote:
Inkwell wrote:

Is there a list about map errors for the final dungeon?

I'm looking specifically for encounters/monsters that I need to adjust for.
Inkwell, the ones that come to mind are the Gatehouse which is tiny for 3 trolls to be running around in and the musuem where the guardian is moving around in a very small place.

I made the gatehouse a bit bigger, but not too much. Trolls still had to squeeze to get up and down stairs or from one tower top to another, though two could stand abreast on each tower.

Sczarni

That lightning trap thing at the university is quite clever, actually.

I thought the scene at the university could have used a little enhancement when I ran it. The PCs didn't really learn anything there that ended up mattering much to them.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
MurphysParadox wrote:
Nathonicus wrote:
Inkwell, the ones that come to mind are the Gatehouse which is tiny for 3 trolls to be running around in and the musuem where the guardian is moving around in a very small place.
I made the gatehouse a bit bigger, but not too much. Trolls still had to squeeze to get up and down stairs or from one tower top to another, though two could stand abreast on each tower.

I see. Well, I thought it was just that area but there are a few areas of concern, so I made my own list. There may be more I am missing.

The PCs are level 6 when entering the dungeon, so they could (and most likely will) have the spell Fly. If the PCs are tempted, they could bypass many of the dungeon simply by flying around the buildings and such. For this fact, I've decided to add wind effects to the castle grounds. This may be "Strong" or "Severe"; I haven't decided.

Without changing much, size related I'm planning to alter the following:

Spoiler:
F2. (CR 7) Goblins are fine, but the Trolls are large sized and would not normally fit in the area. Needs medium.
F3. (CR 6) Trollhound is fine but the Troll is large in a small area. Needs medium.
F5. (CR 6) Grork is too big for this area. Needs medium creature.
G2. (CR 7) Instead of Huge elemental, use two large or there medium for the same effect.
G3. (CR 5) This animated object is too big to fit under the stairs. Needs to be smaller or replaced.
G4 and G5. Combine this into one room, because G5 is too small.
G6. Make G6 and the hall way outside of it, leading to G8 to one large room.
I. (CR 7) Trouble with the rope bridge trap would be if that I prevent PCs from flying across the map, the Erinyes would have problems flying as well.
J7. (CR 7) Blind Flesh Golem. Again, another small area, while it could fit, the creature leaves no room for the PCs to fight in. Simply making this room 4 by 8 should solve this problem for the area, but not the rest of the temple.
K9 and K11. This bridge and the catwalks outside the tower should be 10 wide for the beast in L1.

One of my proposed solutions is to replace Grock with a Whispering Way Cultist, a lackey, since it was noted that there wasn't much WW connection to this module. Probably one who, having encountered many of the traps inside the castle was left for dead, and took refuge to the top of the tower. My end result will be having him take the Death-gag effigy from BM or possibly have him leap to his death to the sea below when reduced to a number of hit points.


So my players just finished Schloss Caromarc and it was a trivial game for them. Party - Monk (who was absent this session), Wizard (summoning focused), Bard (gnome; no combat capability), Druid (wild shape focused), and an Inquisitor (fire) all level 7.

The previous session saw them killing the trolls, the hound, and the hook-hand apparatus while avoiding death from the air elemental. The monk almost got eaten by the trolls, was knocked off the bridge, and almost smashed to death by the air elemental... but he never died.

Tonight's session started without the Monk. The rust monster were only useful against the inquisitor and did not do any actual damage. The bridge went well until the Erinyes was summoned. She took shots at a few folks, but the players summoned the flying goat (from the figurines). They used it to move players across the bridge and then to smash open the door into the Halls of Animals. I've trained them to be wary of doors, heh. Then they barricaded the door until the Erinyes disappeared; it did a fair bit of damage but didn't kill anyone or kick anyone of the bridges.

They cleared out the building with almost no damage; The mummy and mimic each got a single hit before being killed. The faceless golem was no trouble. They used an unseen servant to open the black jars and have now decided to build a special hooded lantern to put the sea hag head into so they can use it against creatures. Sigh. They spent that night in the attic.

They moved up to the flooded menagerie. The leech swarm screwed up the inquisitor and bard (who was riding the inquisitor to stay out of the water, heh) but then there was a flame strike and a fireball. They took down the flying heads without any issue, then climbed up. They skipped the fungus and basilisk rooms. Then the inquisitor was given fly to check out the other hallway and then the scratching wall... missing the black pudding. Which didn't hit him, nor did the wights, and it was all destroyed at range. It was well done but pretty easy on their part.

Then the final Tower. They went in, slowed the four-armed golem with a flame arrow from the inquisitor. The bard hasted everyone, the golem got two whole attacks before he was destroyed by the dire tiger shaped druid and three summoned lantern archons. Due to the limited rounds of haste and the summoned archons, they ran upstairs immediately and then up from there to the next level. So they missed everything about the Bondslave Thrall.

When they got to the Aberrant Promethean, it was a pretty easy fight. The druid set the web on fire, the inquisitor slowed the Promethean (though he still had quickness for movement, he couldn't take full attacks). The wizard summoned a second trio of lantern archons. The Promethean hit the druid but didn't grab him the first time. The slow wore off and managed to pound the druid into the dirt and grabbed him, knocking him to -13 (2 HP short of death). Then all 12 archon hit and did a total of 73 damage.

Ok, seriously, these things are powerful! Each has two 1d6 ray attack against touch AC that bypasses all damage reduction. With an 8 touch AC and 'only' 117 HP (which is low for CR11 because the DR is a counter balance) meant almost certain death. The archons alone did something like 100 damage in three turns (most was overkill). The druid kept the Promethean busy while the wizard's summoned archons killed the hell out of the

Then they learned about the thrall, heh. It was a bit late but it didn't matter because they never needed the beast.

Second book with zero deaths. Sigh. Why can't I kill any of my players?

Grand Lodge

Those Archon Summonings are likely why... hot damn, never thought of using them as disposable missile systems.


Inkwell wrote:


Without changing much, size related I'm planning to alter the following:

** spoiler omitted **...

Why not just make all of those areas bigger, instead of modifying the creatures, which seems like a lot more work?


I enlarged the areas for the gate house, the museum (and moved the faceless golem upstairs to the attic... he appeared to be a stuffed statue until the players saw the eyes and vice versa), and the final tower. I also made the hook-hand apparatus construct (just inside his house) a medium sized creature.


How did your PCs enter Volkstag & Grine's factory? It seems pretty difficult to do so stealthily. You've got the flesh golem in the courtyard, who presumably will bark up a storm if anyone enters the courtyard. You've got the tower guarded by a homunculus with a telepathic link with Grine. And you've got factory windows that presumably don't open and if broken would likely raise the alarm. I guess investigation could be accomplished by invisibility, etc., but that doesn't really get the whole party inside ready to take on the foes.

My PCs asked about a possible sewer entrance. Since there is a secret passage to the sewers from the factory, I permitted my PCs to enter the factory that way after some searching, but it really doesn't feel like what the author intended.

I'm curious how this played out in your groups. I'm probably missing something obvious.


My party killed the hound in about 3 rounds. Also, it is muzzled (they came in during broad daylight) and Grine didn't hear the fight while in his room. My players took it down, climbed up to the cargo loading door (the second floor), opened the door quietly, used the cargo crane to lift the druid (in dire tiger shape), and the rope of climbing for everyone else. Then they quietly snuck around the balcony.

Unfortunately for them, the gnome (Grine?) heard them and started the fight with some Darkness and pain. Then they knocked him into the acid. Sigh.


Quickly, while gm-ing this: why would no-one in Lepidstadt try go get to the maker of the golem and hold him responsible for the golems actions? Or am I missing something?


1 person marked this as a favorite.

The idea is that the people don't know who the golem's creator is. Or, more specifically, as I recall in general terms, the book Rule of Fear explains that people assume the golem's creator was the leader of the revolt that led to Caromac's withdrawal from office, because the golem was seen leaving the burning house of the leader of the revolt. In fact, Caromac created the golem to take revenge on the leader of the revolt.

Anyhow, I agree it seems funny that no one suspects Caromac, or apparently has any idea he is a super powerful alchemist. But I think the module requires us to suspend our disbelief and accept that no one knows Caromac created The Beast.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Chymic Works - My party took out the front gate, the hound golem, and went into the main room of the Works while under a silence spell. My party pretty much stomped the place, though they had one bad moment - I had Vorkstag's chemical-based juju zombies join the battle, and they almost killed the alchemist who failed his save vs. stunning fist.

The Count and the Beast - Only a handful of trusted people, like the Count's engineers that the Whispering Way murdered, know what the Count does in his spare time. Since the party had ties to Lepidstadt University, I told the party that the Count was a skilled alchemist who had retired. The Beast wasn't willing to say who made him. The party simply never made the logical jump that the Count made the Beast.


Silence spell was a good idea. I have a question about stunning fist. Because stunning fist only stuns the victim until the start of the zombie monk's next turn, I think that means the victim loses his/her turn but is no longer stunned when the zombie monk next attacks. Of course, if the zombies are teaming up, the first zombie can stun the victim and the second can do a coup de grace during its turn. Does that sound right?


No, you need the feat Dastardly Finish from the APG to coup-de grace a stunned foe. Our group fought the golem, which took about four rounds, then the Mongrelfolk in the sideroom. By the time they came into the factory proper, the Mongrelfolk were ready, and Vorstag and Grine prepped up and grabbed the two zombies. They entered the fight in waves, with Grine appearing in round 3, the Zombies in round 4, and Vorstag in round 5 (he had the most buffs in his stat-block). This let me scale the encounter without having everyone fight them at once, provided they acted quickly. It still ended up in a PC death, but this was mostly due to the player's tactics, not the encounter being overwhelming. The coolest point for the badguys was having one of the monks leap and grapple the Dhampir Magus in midair, effectively pinning and nearly killing him (he separated himself pretty far from the rest of the group). The strangest thing was the Mongrelfolk balancing on the planks while fighting; they have no ranks in acrobatics and can't take 10 if they're being threatened, whereas my PCs couldn't fail the check, even on a 1. Still the environment itself made for one cool fight.


Thanks for the clarification about the coup-de-grace. It seems like I do properly understand the duration of the stunning.

It sounds like your PCs used no stealth? That is, the golem hound was barking up a storm and alerted everyone inside the factory?

So far my PCs are being pretty stealthy, since they came in through the sewers. They are about to fight the monks, but I can't imagine any noise from that fight could be heard in the factory. Then I will have Vorstag and Grine come out while the PCs are fighting the mongrelmen.

I plan on giving the mongrelmen +6 to acrobatics, since they have been working in the factory it only seems reasonable they would have developed balance.


How did you all handle the time it takes Vorgstag and Grine to poison their weapons? Presumably they don't sit around with poisoned weapons because there would be the risk of the poison wearing or rubbing off before use. But if Grine casts a spell, drinks a potion, and poisons his 4 axes (3 throwing) that is 6 rounds. If Vorgstag does all his buffs and poisons his mace that is 6 rounds of prep time. I don't think the mongrelmen are going to keep the PCs busy for 6 rounds...


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Also, did any of you consider why there would be 37 gently reposed bodies in the cellar? That is a huge number and the spell only lasts one day per level and presumably V&G couldn't afford a high level caster wand. So the bodies are going to rot in a day or two unless someone comes to pick them up.

It seems like an opportunity to tie into the WW. Either V or G has a recent letter from a WW agent indicating that he will take delivery of the bodies in a day or two. Basically, Vrood left the agent behind in Lepidstadt and the agent decided to try to start to build his own undead army. Or something like that.

Any thoughts?


Sorry for posting so much, but I'm finding the prep for V&G's factory to be a real challenge, and I'm running it tomorrow night. Maybe I'm missing something, but I think the map is a disaster.

(1) It needs to be twice as big. No way 8 mongrelmen are working in the factory if each square is 5 feet. I drew it out and it looked like it would be way too crowded to be much fun as a combat map once you put the figures down. Also, V&G's rooms are WAY too small for all stuff that is supposed to be in them. But I am keeping the boardwalk itself 5 feet wide, which seems plausible.

(2) The ladder locations are off -- only two should go to the cellar floor, but all three are marked as going all the way down. I'm assuming the one nearest the boardwalk (midway near the south wall) is the one that goes up to the boardwalk and not to the cellar. Why anyone would make such a hard to access boardwalk is another matter.

(3) Finally, and perhaps most seriously, there is no way the room can be navigated on the planks alone. One must be able to walk along the edges of the vats as well, to move from plank to plank. So I'm assuming the vats can be entirely circumnavigated. That will give plenty of room for the worker mongrelmen to get out of the way...

Did others have similar concerns? What did you do? Are there problems with my resolutions?


The axes could be pre-poisoned and sheathed in a sheath decided to hold poisoned weapons. It is a bit of hand-waving, but it will let him start the fight in less than 6 rounds.

In my run, the players didn't get a good enough stealth check when sneaking past the bedrooms upstairs, so V&G knew they were there and prepped before starting the fight. If the players get the jump, you'll have to reverse engineer the unbuffed stats.

The bodies never really came up. My players are rather jaded, I think, heh. Swimming pool full of floating bodies? Meh; what do you expect from evil? Between the magic and the cold room, they probably won't rot too fast. Though without refreshing the spell relatively often, it would become an issue. The bodies were (presumably) cleaned up by the town guard after my players reported what they found.

You can have a WW agent in town, but that may distract the players from going to the castle. Perhaps a note saying that plans have changed and the bodies should not be delivered to Caromarc's place, that a new delivery location will be provided soon and to use the enclosed wand to keep them fresh until then, signed Vrood.

The goal here is to get the players to go to Caromarc's castle and not try to bypass it for Shudderwood directly.

As for the map -

1) It is meant to be very tight and force the players either to snipe from the balcony, run along the walkways, or get caught up between the tanks.

2) Yeah, the ladders are a bit unclear. The entrance landing should have a ladder going down to the vat floor and another ladder going up to the walk way area. That makes the most sense.

3) I'd say that V&G would be more interested in maximizing work space than providing clear walkways to their mongrelmen workers. If one falls in the acid every week or two, well, too bad. It does make sense to allow walking around the rims, though at a penalty (half movement or acrobatics to do full speed, or such, like the planks).


Thanks so much for your thoughts. I like the idea of having the note say something about Caromac's place, or perhaps with a more obscure reference to "Schloss C." I'll have to give it some thought. My idea had been to have an agent come retrieve the bodies, but that would have been one more fight, but I think it is better to avoid additional delay.

I think, even with doubling (most of) the dimensions of the map, it is still tight and requires the players to move along the planks (or around the vats). As for the location of the ladder, although having the ladder to the balcony be at the entrance makes the most practical sense, the module says the ladder to the balcony is accessed by the planks. Also, if the ladder is next to the entrance and accessible from a ladder that goes to the cellar, the PCs can bypass the factory floor and take the fight to V&G very directly.

I think the author's concept is that V&G are pretty paranoid and wanted to make their rooms extremely hard to access. They both have high acrobatics, so I guess they figured having to cross the planks to get to their rooms was not a problem.

Sczarni

Voomer wrote:

Thanks so much for your thoughts. I like the idea of having the note say something about Caromac's place, or perhaps with a more obscure reference to "Schloss C." I'll have to give it some thought. My idea had been to have an agent come retrieve the bodies, but that would have been one more fight, but I think it is better to avoid additional delay.

I think, even with doubling (most of) the dimensions of the map, it is still tight and requires the players to move along the planks (or around the vats). As for the location of the ladder, although having the ladder to the balcony be at the entrance makes the most practical sense, the module says the ladder to the balcony is accessed by the planks. Also, if the ladder is next to the entrance and accessible from a ladder that goes to the cellar, the PCs can bypass the factory floor and take the fight to V&G very directly.

I think the author's concept is that V&G are pretty paranoid and wanted to make their rooms extremely hard to access. They both have high acrobatics, so I guess they figured having to cross the planks to get to their rooms was not a problem.

Doubling the dimensions seems to be a pretty good choice. You'll have to do a lot of that at the Schloss, too, so be prepared. :)

My PCs avoided fighting the mongrelmen altogether, through a combination of scouting and diplomacy.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Hey Voomer! Sorry, I live in New Orleans and just got Internet (post-Issac). I ran with the eight mongrelfolk, even with the limited map space. I still managed to have most of the group retreat while the other 3 combatants balanced on the ledges of the vats. My group did not use any sort of stealth. They waited until nightfall, then brazenly assaulted the Chymic Works... which lead to a PC death (see obituaries). Despite that, I wouldn't have changed anything about how I ran it. As far as a "round-by round" break down of what Vortag and Grine are doing...
Round 1: Buffs, mongrelfolk delay PCs with environment and Alchemical equipment (because there's only like.. 50 alchemical items that are just sitting there, waiting to be used by anyone.) Vorstag's already been alreted by Golem Hound, so at this point is finished with "Minute-a-level buffs", preparing short term effects, like Fire Breath
Round 2: Mongrelfold keep fighting it out.. Vorstag applies poison or prepares last "buff"
Round 3: Vorstag enters with two Juju Zombies as backup (because why would you pay money for guardians that just sit in a basement...)
Round 4: See what happens.
Round 5: If PCs are doing exceptionally well or are being arrogant about their prowess, throw Grine in the mix. Otherwise, wait 2-4 rounds.


Also, as for Grine's poison, since he's a Dark Creeper, I figure he's just usually packing a bunch of poisoned weapons. The normal, non-classed ones all have it in their stat-blocks. I could be wrong, but I don't think poison "expires" once you apply it to a weapon, RAW. In any case, based on what my PCs said at the trial, Vorstag and Grine had every indication that they would be "investigated" that night. Vorstag only had the Black Adder venom on his Heacy Mace. He didn't really have other weapons to poison, and I knew he would be using his bombs and extracts in that fight. I DID NOT use his dose of Deathblade, that felt like overkill.


Thanks, Rakshaka. Your timing is great, because our game last week got rescheduled. Hope that internet access was the only impact of the hurricane on you. I appreciate your helpful insights. My PCs will have killed the zombies before reaching the factory floor, so I'll probably throw both V & G at them.


So random question. I've been getting out of this that Adrissant is connected to Lorrimmar somehow. Is that in the later books (I haven't read them yet), something I missed in these ones, or is it just something that general community discussion has created?

Sovereign Court

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Lorok wrote:
So random question. I've been getting out of this that Adrissant is connected to Lorrimmar somehow. Is that in the later books (I haven't read them yet), something I missed in these ones, or is it just something that general community discussion has created?

The connection between the two is never established in the AP as written, but it was strongly suggested by the community that AA be spotlighted much earlier in the campaign. One such way is to have the Professor and AA have a past relationship.

Spoiler:
One suggestion is to have Adivion as a co-worker of the professor at some time in the past, likely at the University of Lepidstadt. I had the Lorrimor and Adrissant discover the Carrion Crown poem together several years ago, which led to a schism in their friendship: Petros believed the poem should have been destroyed, Adivion thought it should be preserved and researched.
Another idea is to make Petros (and Kendra by birth) blood descendants of Tar-Baphon. Adivion then kidnaps Kendra to serve as the vessel for the new Whispering Tyrant instead of some noble the party has no vested interest in.


Question about Vorkstag's precise bombs: If the PCs are engaged in combat with the mongrelmen, does Vorkstag suffer a -4 for attacking with a ranged weapon into melee? Also, if Vorkstag misses, based on a thrown splash weapon rules can the bomb land in a square occupied by a Mongrelman, even if he excluded that square from the splash damage using the precise bomb feature?


He still suffers the normal penalties for throwing into melee, but unless you've got a party of monks, even the -4 isn't that big of deal (drops him to +5, which on a touch attack is still pretty good). Unless I'm wrong (this is how I ran it), he can target a square the mongrelfolk are in with the grenade and choose to include that square as one of the ones ignored by Precise Bombs. Seems cheesy, but I believe that's how it works.


Hi fellas.
In Caromacs flooded menagerie how do the players get to the top level?
Thanks

251 to 300 of 513 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder Adventure Path / Carrion Crown / Trial of the Beast (GM Reference) All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.