Trial of the Beast (GM Reference)


Carrion Crown

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Welsh Knight wrote:

Hi fellas.

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

Climb or Fly. My Group did it with a Rouge going up and then using the rope. Also the group may still have the Rope of Climbing from HoH.

Silver Crusade

Welsh Knight wrote:

Hi fellas.

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

Well, if they weren't greedy little grubbin's like my players, they still have the Rope of Climbing from Harrowstone. Or someone can fly up there and hammer in a piton if they have a climbing kit. Or conceivably they could bring in materials to fashion a laddder/scaffolding.

OR they could just do like my players and walk around, throw a rope over the bridge to the tower, and completely avoid it.

There is, after all, absolutely ZERO story reason to go in there.

Liberty's Edge

Looking at the map of Lepidstadt, does anyone know what the big blue scarab-looking thing in the northeast corner of the city is? Is it a fountain or a structure? Could it have some significance to the Palatine Eye?


The Rule of Fear details this. It is called the Spiral Cromlech, a Stonehenge-like set of standing stones, a remnant from old barbarian residents of Ustalav, as I recall. It doesn't tie into the story and I don't see any clear reason it would be linked to the Palatine Eye (who are more interested in ancient Osirion).

Scarab Sages

I figured the scarab looking thing in the city (not the standing stones, which are not blue), are fountains. I could easily see them as related to the Palatine Eye. Like the Masons, they probably put iconography everywhere.


My mistake. Yes, it makes sense the scarab thing might be a fountain built by the Palatine Eye, knowing how it would appear from above. Nice catch.


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

The only things I actually was modifying was parts of the buildings. Some monsters that don't fit can simply be replaced with monsters that do. Its not really as much work as it seems.


The storm caller is part of the Mindslaver thrall. Gallowspire in the last module of the adventure path has a undead maelstrom that surrounds the spire. Although in "The dungeons of Golarion" book it says the living can pass through the storm of undead around the spire, I made it so the storm consumed the spire until recently. Adivion Adrissant worked alongside Alphon Cormarc to find a way into the spire for many years as a research partner. When Cormarc created the mindslaver, Adivion replicated the device to open the storm at Gallowspire, allowing access to the spire itself. This way Adivion has set up his old buddy to take the fall in the adventure, meaning he is more involved with the modules orientation then simply stealing the seasage effigy.


Tetrix wrote:
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.

Well I added the Carnival of Tears into the module, with several Carnival freaks befriending the beast and willing to make statements in court to profess the beast innoncence. I simply added in the module that the crooked kin when 1st arriving in Lepidstadt were setting up a freak show north east of Lepidstadt in close proximity to Dipplemere swamp at a Carnival called the Carnival of Tears and that they would be happy to show the PCs around.

With rumours of Chaos in Shudderwood due to trouble amongst the werewolf tribes (see Broken Moon) and a dark presence casting a shadow over the woods, many of the seelie (good) and unseeli (evil) fey have been forced out of the woods due to the werewolves becomming more territorial.

Not only does this link well for Broken Moon but also means the Crooked Kin and Keleb Hesse is not so pointless in the module. Will also help if the PCs missed allot of the xp drops.


So, my PCs arrived at Schloss Caromac last night, an event I was long anticipating after all the discussions here about the dangers of the trolls and the air elemental. My party did something that seems obvious but no one else has precisely mentioned before -- the wizard cast fly on the barbarian, who carried everyone over to the second floor balcony in the Mansion described in the module. I recall one other GM who mentioned that his PCs did this after the gatehouse -- a druid changed into a tiger and ferried folks up to the balcony, thus avoiding the air elemental trap.

By the way, I omitted the flesh golem hound because, as has been pointed out, it is pretty absurd to think that the hound would have scared the trolls. Heck, they could have just killed it slowly over time by throwing rocks and shooting crossbow bolts.

Anyhow, it seems pretty significant that the gatehouse and air elemental trap can be so easily avoided, although it doesn't break that part of the module.

One question I have is whether the party would set off the air elemental trap by opening the door from the inside without throwing the latch to disable the trap. I assume so, but, in that event, could the air elemental fit and come into the mansion through the front door to attack the PCs and would it even do so?

Can anybody think of any other implications of skipping the gatehouse and air elemental that I should keep in mind, other than lost treasure/xp and the hint about the presence of the WW?

Sovereign Court

Voomer wrote:
By the way, I omitted the flesh golem hound because, as has been pointed out, it is pretty absurd to think that the hound would have scared the trolls. Heck, they could have just killed it slowly over time by throwing rocks and shooting crossbow bolts.

Yeah I had the same thing. Especially after my PCs managed to get unlucky and activate all 3 trolls resulting in a near party wipe. What I did was change the trap to have a reset timer. After all Trolls wouldn't care much about being sent flying over a waterfall. They regen, spend a half a day getting back and then the trap reactivates. It slows the trolls down and creeps them out without harming them or the trap.


Good point. I'll have to add the reset in my game too.


In my game, the troll boss was standing on the guard house tower (well, corner section of the roof) and saw them, raised the alarm, and used his crossbow. While fly could have worked, the trolls should have been throwing rocks (and/or goblins) and firing crossbow bolts at the folks flying across, then charged them when they were by the door.


The trolls DID throw rocks and shoot bolts at the party as they flew across (although, because of how things played out, it took them a couple of rounds to get to the right guard tower), but the trolls missed. I rolled badly for them and they are really lousy at throwing those rocks.

I'm not following this part of your message -- "then charged them when they were by the door." The party flew to a second floor balcony in the mansion, so they got inside the mansion into a second floor guest room, avoiding the trolls and air elemental trap entirely. The trolls were left to seethe helplessly. I suppose the trolls could charge the mansion, but then they'd get hit by the air elemental trap.

Sczarni

If I were in your shoes, I'd have the trolls stage an assault inside the Schloss on the PCs some time later. After all, now that the trolls know the PCs are in there, they've got more incentive to try to break in themselves. And maybe the boss is smart enough to try to climb up to that balcony?

Maybe give the PCs a surprise if they decide to spend the night resting up in the guest bedrooms before the boss fight. ;)


Great idea, Trinite. Yeah, climbing up to the balcony seems like maybe one option. Any other ideas how the trolls might get around the air elemental? I'm having the trap reset -- otherwise the trolls would already be inside the mansion (as I said before, it isn't credible that the flesh golem hound would have stopped them). Maybe the trolls let one of their group trigger the trap and get tossed over into the river (which wouldn't kill it), and then the rest charge in before the air elemental returns and the trap resets? Or would that be too smart for trolls?


Ah, I misunderstood your story, Voomer. I thought your party used the druid-as-a-tiger trick to get them from the front door area to the 2nd floor. Smart work on your party's part and I wouldn't dock them the XP for skipping the trolls (though probably the front door trap unless they knew about it. The troll xp should be given for bypassing the Trolls unless you use Trinite's idea.

Sczarni

Voomer wrote:
Great idea, Trinite. Yeah, climbing up to the balcony seems like maybe one option. Any other ideas how the trolls might get around the air elemental? I'm having the trap reset -- otherwise the trolls would already be inside the mansion (as I said before, it isn't credible that the flesh golem hound would have stopped them). Maybe the trolls let one of their group trigger the trap and get tossed over into the river (which wouldn't kill it), and then the rest charge in before the air elemental returns and the trap resets? Or would that be too smart for trolls?

Yeah, I'd say that's too smart for trolls. I don't think the trolls would have even thought of the balcony idea by themselves. But now that they've seen somebody else go inside that way, they should be able to figure out that they can, too.

Voomer, if your PCs tend to presume that each room of the "dungeon" is completely separate, bringing back the trolls would be a good way to teach them a lesson.

Alternatively, if they're smart enough on their own to realize that the trolls are still after them, reward them for their smarts with some nice loot.

And if they work out a plan to trick the Erinyes trap and the trolls into killing each other off, then just declare them the winners of the campaign right then and there.


Are these threads no longer sticky?


This one appears to be sticky but the other five GM reference threads are not. Looks like there was some kind of message board upgrade and things are not the same afterwards.

Sczarni

MurphysParadox wrote:
This one appears to be sticky but the other five GM reference threads are not. Looks like there was some kind of message board upgrade and things are not the same afterwards.

Yep, I posted it on the Website Feedback board.


I have a few questions relevant to the Schloss Caromac portion of the adventure (and I'm sure I'll have more later):

(1) Does the Erinyes really have 3 shots from her bow per round? I assume that's only if she does full attack? Brutal. And 2 attacks with her sword if doing full attack in melee? To what extent will she pursue PCs, either into the Living Museum or the mansion? Can she be dismissed? A PC (a rogue) in my campaign triggered the trap at the end of the last session, so I'm trying to make sure I really understand how this encounter should play out.

(2) Will the faceless flesh golem leave the museum to pursue PCs? I suspect the rogue will enter the museum to avoid the Erinyes, but then she'll have to run from the golem. If I were her I would jump out one of the upstairs back (stained glass) windows, so I want to be clear in my mind whether the golem would follow (assuming it fits). I'm inclined to say no -- that it just guards the museum. And how many rounds for the golem to reach the lobby? It looks like, even if I reduce its speed to 20ft (which seems appropriate considering its condition), it will probably reach the lobby in only 3 rounds...

(3) How are you all dealing with "fine art" treasure -- sell for full value (like gems or jewelry) or half value (like magic items)? For example, the following pre-Schloss Caromac items: Gold Buckle (slightly melted) - worth 15 gp; Silver Chalice with Obsidian - 400 gp; Collection of books on Alchemy and Surgery - 500 gp; Alchemist’s Lab - 500 gp; Ebony Tribal Mask from Mwangi Expanse - 175 gp; Silver Torc from Land of the Linnorm Kings - 200 gp; Lightning Rod (raven eating a wolf) - 100 gp. Lots more of this stuff in the Schloss, if the party actually takes it.

Sorry if these seem like silly questions. I obviously can make the judgment calls as needed, but I think it is interesting to get the takes of other GMs.


1) Yes she has 3 shots on a full attack because she's a beast. She is a summoned monster per the summon monster whatever spell, so if the players can dismiss that spell then they can dismiss her.

She's following whatever orders she was given, so it is up to you on what she's doing during the 11 or so rounds she is around. Most likely, it was to kill anyone who shows up... but it could also be to stop anyone crossing the bridge or kill anyone who has crossed it. If the later, she may go after the rogue but not bother anyone else unless they try to cross the bridge or attack her (or aid the rogue maybe).

My players triggered her while most were on the Lab side, so they dealt with her attacking them as they crossed (using the goat statue's Nightmare form as a ferry) and then they all hid in the museum holding the door shut as she disappeared (they were mighty scared of opening the door until they really made sure there were no traps, heh).

2) Again up to you. It is likely to consider this a museum guardian and a dumb golem, so I can see it sticking inside the museum and not following anyone out. My golem was waiting in the top floor area for the players to investigate.

3) The rule is that items which the players would buy sell for half value while items that they wouldn't buy sell for full. So gear, potions, magic items, etc are sold at half while jewelery, gems, art, etc are sold a full.


Voomer wrote:

I have a few questions relevant to the Schloss Caromac portion of the adventure (and I'm sure I'll have more later):

(1) Does the Erinyes really have 3 shots from her bow per round? I assume that's only if she does full attack?

Yes, only if she takes a full attack. Her BAB is +9 and she has fast BAB progression, so at 9 HD she essentially gets the same number of attacks as a 9th level fighter (i.e. two, +9/+4). With rapid shot she can take an extra attack at her full BAB but all her attacks suffer -2 penalty, so you have +9/+9/+4, then add +6 to all of those for her Dex, +1 for the composite bows magical enhancement, and -2 for the extra shot which gets you to +14/+14/+9.

Voomer wrote:
And 2 attacks with her sword if doing full attack in melee?

Yes again.

Voomer wrote:
To what extent will she pursue PCs, either into the Living Museum or the mansion?

She is summoned by the trap which is essentially a summon monster IV spell:

"This spell summons an extraplanar creature (typically an outsider, elemental, or magical beast native to another plane). It appears where you designate and acts immediately, on your turn. It attacks your opponents to the best of its ability."
In other words she's going to go after any foes by any means necessary until they are dead or the 11 rounds on the summon monster IV spell expire and she goes poof.

Voomer wrote:
Can she be dismissed?

Via dismissal? I don't see why not.

Voomer wrote:
(2) Will the faceless flesh golem leave the museum to pursue PCs?

The adventure text says it searches for intruders in the museum, I plan on having it pursue any intruders it locates in the museum whereever they go, including outside the museum, intill it kills them or untill it is destroyed.

Voomer wrote:
And how many rounds for the golem to reach the lobby?

The adventure says the golem and it's "eyes" begin moving "slowly and quietly" through the museum looking for intruders. The golem is reliant on it's "eyes" to see where it's going, and if they are moving slowly and quietly they are probably creeping along by foot rather than flapping their bat wings; factor in half speed for Stealth and you take the homunculus speed from 20 ft. down to 10 ft. per round. I would say given the distance, plus navigating stairs and opening and doors that it would realistically take about 5 rounds to reach the lobby.

Voomer wrote:
(3) How are you all dealing with "fine art" treasure -- sell for full value (like gems or jewelry) or half value (like magic items)?

If my PCs sell it to a collector that does not plan on trying to resell the item they should be able to get up to full value (depending on their Diplomacy and Appraise results to correctly value the object and negotiate the sale price). If they sell it to a store that plans on reselling the item they can get up to half price (again depending on their Diplomacy and Appraise results).


Thanks so much you two! It is super helpful to see how each of you thought through these issues. Much appreciated.

Sczarni

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When I ran the Erinyes trap, I wanted to make it a little more unusual than a basic Summon Monster spell. Plus, I knew that if I ran it as-written, she would just massacre all of my PCs.

So I decided that the trap had been created via a diabolic contract Auren Vrood had made, in which he basically "hired" the Erinyes to appear at the bridge when it was triggered.

However, Vrood's command had been, "Kill anyone who is trying to cross the bridge," and in classic devil-fashion, the Erinyes took it absolutely literally. Once all the PCs had successfully crossed the bridge and fled inside the museum, she announced in a loud voice, "Auren Vrood, I have fulfilled the terms of our contract!" and disappeared in a flash of hellfire.

I scared the crap out of my players, who started wondering who this Vrood guy was, and how powerful he had to be to set up this trap. It was awesome.


Thanks, Trinite. I'm really going to have to give this some thought to avoid a TPK or near TPK. The rogue triggered the trap while the other 3 members of the party are still engaged with the rust monsters. I think the rogue will just barely manage to get into the museum, and I don't think the Erinyes will follow her in there. I'm not sure what the rest of the party will do. The smart thing would be to retreat back to the mansion. They would take a few arrows on the way, but probably they'd make it safely and I don't think the Erinyes would follow them into the mansion. If they try to engage her directly or to cross the bridge, they are in trouble.

Speaking of the bridge, it requires a very high acrobatics check to pass safely. The rogue can do it, but I don't think the other 3 can do it simply by taking 10 (and they can't take 20 on this kind of check). It seems rough to toss them overboard simply for having a low acrobatics, but I guess the module contemplates that characters with low acrobatics will get across another way or take precautions. I suppose I should give them perception and engineering checks to recognize how risky it is to cross without precautions.


A low DC wisdom check should be good enough for a character to say "no way am I going to make it across that thing with my lack of necessary ability". It is a rickety rope bridge and is probably a bit damaged since Vrood came through... because, honestly, it was a bridge that Caromarc would have used to get from his house and tower, so at some point it must have been perfectly safe.

I'd say Vrood cut a few ropes and left it barely able to be crossed and then trapped it because he is sadistic. He also should have trapped the far landing, not the middle of the bridge lest people use fly to get past the bridge and never hit the trapped section.

Sczarni

MurphysParadox wrote:


I'd say Vrood cut a few ropes and left it barely able to be crossed and then trapped it because he is sadistic. He also should have trapped the far landing, not the middle of the bridge lest people use fly to get past the bridge and never hit the trapped section.

The witch in my group actually *had* the ability to fly.

She flew up above the bridge, noticed the trapped planks (I said they had a slight reddish tint), and decided to fly down and touch them to see what would happen.


In my case, the cleric went "hey, it's a summoned monster" and popped it with a dispel magic.

I recall the trap being triggered by the party's stealthy, acrobatic fighter (who had no ranks in perception) simply going first, stepping on the trap, and then passing the checks to run back across the bridge to party. The party took positions in the ruined lab, but since the erinyes could use unholy blight at will she was just going to carpet bomb them until someone came out to engage.

And that's when the cleric dispelled it.

The party had already found the figurines of wondrous power, so I imagine the party's tough guy ranger would've come out riding whichever goat counted as a nightmare if the dispel had failed.


Yeah, if the wizard in the party has dispel magic prepared and he makes the DC roll, it may get resolved that way in my game too.


So, the party survived the Erinyes by running back to the mansion. They almost lost their wizard, who got hit by flaming arrows crossing back from the alchemy lab to the mansion, but he managed to get inside. I had the Erinyes harass the PCs by shooting arrows in the windows, but I didn't have her enter the house because it would have been a TPK. I'm wondering if anyone has ideas to explain (at least in my own mind) why she wouldn't have gone in the mansion. Someone has suggested she was only instructed to defend the bridge, but I went beyond that (because it was so fun scaring the PCs). I'm not sure why Vrood would have specifically instructed her not to enter the mansion, but I'd love to hear your ideas. Or, is it credible Caromac would have had some kind of ward on the mansion? Maybe a ward against summoned creatures to make sure the air elemental didn't wander INSIDE and mess the place up? I have no idea what the game mechanics of such a ward would be, but I'm ok with some hand waving...

Also, subsequently and hilariously, part of the alchemy lab collapsed and sent the party's barbarian into the waters below. He was probably the one party member who could survive, both in terms of HP and swim skill (especially because the rust monsters had eaten his chain shirt). I really didn't think I'd roll that 10% chance of collapse!

Sczarni

Voomer wrote:

So, the party survived the Erinyes by running back to the mansion. They almost lost their wizard, who got hit by flaming arrows crossing back from the alchemy lab to the mansion, but he managed to get inside. I had the Erinyes harass the PCs by shooting arrows in the windows, but I didn't have her enter the house because it would have been a TPK. I'm wondering if anyone has ideas to explain (at least in my own mind) why she wouldn't have gone in the mansion. Someone has suggested she was only instructed to defend the bridge, but I went beyond that (because it was so fun scaring the PCs). I'm not sure why Vrood would have specifically instructed her not to enter the mansion, but I'd love to hear your ideas. Or, is it credible Caromac would have had some kind of ward on the mansion? Maybe a ward against summoned creatures to make sure the air elemental didn't wander INSIDE and mess the place up? I have no idea what the game mechanics of such a ward would be, but I'm ok with some hand waving...

Also, subsequently and hilariously, part of the alchemy lab collapsed and sent the party's barbarian into the waters below. He was probably the one party member who could survive, both in terms of HP and swim skill (especially because the rust monsters had eaten his chain shirt). I really didn't think I'd roll that 10% chance of collapse!

Yes, I think the anti-summoned-creatures ward would be a good explanation. Gosh, that Erinyes is brutal.

Sovereign Court

My party just cannot make a will save to save their lives.

I just had my party 'take on' the Erinyes. Thanks Trinite for the idea to have her just take off when the bridge was cleared. The Erinyes feared the cleric and the fighter that had fly on sending them out of the fight. The alchemist went down in one round of focus fire leaving only the gunslinger and the second fighter who were shooting from the rusted lab and cowering behind his tower shield at the opposite ledge respectively. I had her then announce fulfillment of her contract and disappear. The party was freaked by that fight.

My party feels like this dungeon was just made to slaughter people.

Sczarni

alair223 wrote:

My party just cannot make a will save to save their lives.

I just had my party 'take on' the Erinyes. Thanks Trinite for the idea to have her just take off when the bridge was cleared. The Erinyes feared the cleric and the fighter that had fly on sending them out of the fight. The alchemist went down in one round of focus fire leaving only the gunslinger and the second fighter who were shooting from the rusted lab and cowering behind his tower shield at the opposite ledge respectively. I had her then announce fulfillment of her contract and disappear. The party was freaked by that fight.

My party feels like this dungeon was just made to slaughter people.

I nominate the Erinyes trap as the deadliest thing in this entire AP. But judging from these boards, it's given a lot of groups some great story moments!

I like the idea of having an evil monster that doesn't kill the party, even though it easily could, for reasons that the players can barely understand. It's awesome for the horror mood.

Liberty's Edge

So, looking up what it takes to construct a flesh golem, I found that, in addition to the Craft Construct feat, it requires the animate dead spell (which Count Caromarc could use if he has the Alchemical Zombie discovery) as well as bull's strength (a 2nd level alchemist extract), geas/quest and limited wish (neither of which alchemists have access to). So how is it that Caromarc can create the Beast without access to two of the crafting requirements?

Liberty's Edge

Nevermind my last post. Just figured out that that's what Golem Manuals are for.


That and taking a minus five penalty for each missing prerequisite, since golem creation is functionally a magic item creation feat. A 13th level character that is Int focused can easily ignore a few requirements.

+1 for running the Erinyes as a contracted guardian. Even then, still killed the bow ranger, put the magus in the negatives twice, peppered the dual weapon ranger, and put the rogue in the negatives once. Sweet Shelyn, that arrow flinging harpy is brutal.

The mimic/mummy room was almost better though. I had the mummy blow his own sarcophagus lid off just as the magus was narrowing down the aura of his ring with detect magic. Kind of a kool-aid man entrance: *BOOM* OH YEAH!!! Party made their knowledge religion checks well, got really concerned. When the other sarcophagus started quietly sliding forward from the far wall, the looks on their faces was absolutely priceless. Magus spent a lot of personal energy demolishing the mummy, and the dual weapon ranger got into a fist-fight with the mimic and won thanks to lucky reflex saves and improved unarmed strike.

Great times. Lets not even talk about how after running into the leeches, the surviving ranger went back to the labratory to craft some alchemical salt packets to kill them with. Well, the magus and rogue got bored, so they used the ring of the ram to blast open the two doors to the first two containment rooms, prompting a free for all between the leeches, basilisk, draugr, and vargouilles. The players ran the monsters, and the second leech swarm came out on top, well fed on basilisk blood, while the draugr were torn apart by the basilisk, and there were three stone vargouilles and about five hundred stone leeches scattered around the flooded hallway.

So what do they do after that? Seeing that the well fed leeches were now docile, they open the next two doors. The pudding chases the leeches into the fungus/plant room, and then proceeds to get demolished by its inhabitants (It went for the biggest target, the basilirond, but the violet fungus are basically living CL 10 magic missles against it, and just tore through it).

Great dungeon, great adventure, great AP so far!

Sczarni

The Black Bard wrote:

That and taking a minus five penalty for each missing prerequisite, since golem creation is functionally a magic item creation feat. A 13th level character that is Int focused can easily ignore a few requirements.

+1 for running the Erinyes as a contracted guardian. Even then, still killed the bow ranger, put the magus in the negatives twice, peppered the dual weapon ranger, and put the rogue in the negatives once. Sweet Shelyn, that arrow flinging harpy is brutal.

The mimic/mummy room was almost better though. I had the mummy blow his own sarcophagus lid off just as the magus was narrowing down the aura of his ring with detect magic. Kind of a kool-aid man entrance: *BOOM* OH YEAH!!! Party made their knowledge religion checks well, got really concerned. When the other sarcophagus started quietly sliding forward from the far wall, the looks on their faces was absolutely priceless. Magus spent a lot of personal energy demolishing the mummy, and the dual weapon ranger got into a fist-fight with the mimic and won thanks to lucky reflex saves and improved unarmed strike.

Great times. Lets not even talk about how after running into the leeches, the surviving ranger went back to the labratory to craft some alchemical salt packets to kill them with. Well, the magus and rogue got bored, so they used the ring of the ram to blast open the two doors to the first two containment rooms, prompting a free for all between the leeches, basilisk, draugr, and vargouilles. The players ran the monsters, and the second leech swarm came out on top, well fed on basilisk blood, while the draugr were torn apart by the basilisk, and there were three stone vargouilles and about five hundred stone leeches scattered around the flooded hallway.

So what do they do after that? Seeing that the well fed leeches were now docile, they open the next two doors. The pudding chases the leeches into the fungus/plant room, and then proceeds to get demolished by its inhabitants (It went for the biggest target, the basilirond,...

Wow, that's incredible. Well done.


F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
Drakir2010 wrote:
Were the monsters listed under Pharasma's customized summon list (page 69) cut for space, or am I just blind?
Elsewhere F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
That's a mistake. Those referenced in the Pharasma article are in #47, with two more in #48.

and wheres kavapesta map and entire settlement? an pdf as errata for rule of fear plz!!!!!!!


I ran the Erinyes the same way as a few others - that she was contracted to "keep people from crossing". My PCs basically bee-lined for the other side since they wanted flat ground to work on, so it worked in their favor - and gave a name drop to Vrood. For them, the beast that nearly did them in was the basilisk. We have 3 people in the party and right away I turned two of them to stone. The witch managed to say 'blood' before she was turned to stone as the paladin had no idea how to help them. He did manage to kill it and by accident managed to turn them back by virtue of the tiny hallway and sticking one of their bodies ontop of the basilisk corpse.


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First time writing about a specific AP. I guess there's no need for spoiler tags in the GM Reference, but better safe than sorry. Here's something concerning motivations in TotB, and the connection between book 1 and 2. Is this viable?

Spoiler:
Other people have pointed out problems with the Wispering way's motivation in the second book. Why would they use the beast to steal the Effigy? It's an elaborate plan. There should be an easier way. Also: the link between book 1 and 2 seems a bit weak for the PCs.

I have not filled in all the blanks here. Maybe it is too complicated to work. Hoping for some feedback from the experts at the forum. Here goes:

I'm planning to cast Vrood as the BBEG throughout the campaign, as has been suggested elsewhere here in the forums. Vrood will be introduced in book 1, as an old friend of the professor. Like the Xavier/Magneto relationship that also has been suggested. He doesn't fear the PCs. Of course not. Maybe they can be unknowing assets later on? Maybe Kendra or one of the PCs is a descendant to the Lich King? Maybe he actually thinks he is doing something right, in a deluded kind of way? I will think more on this.

The PCs impress him with their prison-clearing skills. He keeps tabs on them, watches from afar. After the events in Harrowstone, he invites them to come to Lepidstadt. Why? Because ...

The Seasage Effigy is not in a museum. It is in the house of Count Caromarc. The Wispering way has caught the count, but cannot get to the Effigy. Since it is guarded by the Abberant Promethean. They need the Beast.

The Beast has been arrested without WW interference. For instance after the events in Hergstag. Maybe he "shuts down" after the death of Ellsa, not putting up any resistance. So that the villagers chain him down and deliver him to the authorities. (Too scared or unable to kill him themselves.) Vrood asks the PCs to do the groundwork. He wants to keep the wispering way in the shadows, and so doesn’t break the beast out of jail himself. If it is too strange that the professor's old friend is interested in the trial, maybe he introduces them to the judge, since they need more work. Out of the kindness of his heart.

The trial plays out as written. When the beast leaves the jail, he runs home to the castle, where the Wispering way is waiting with the control device. They kill the Promethean, and leave with the Effigy.

It's a different take on the situation. Unfortunately, it takes away the situation where the PCs get to control the beast (this might be a disappointment). And it doesn’t answer the question why the PCs go to the castle after the trial. But it ties the two books together I think, and helps with the WW motivation.


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So I have a massive concern here, my current party all level 4 (paladin, cleric, archivist bard, sorcerer, and alchemist) just completed Vorkstag and Grine's. I fudged a few rolls because once they were inside the fights weren't too hard. They captured both alchemists. But, the real difficulty came from the Flesh Golem Hound.

This thing has DR 5/Adamintine. I had forgotten how hard this would be to overcome, especially with 60some HP? I had forgotten how the rules work and so reduced all damage to one if it wasn't greater than 5. If I hadn't done this, someone would have died. This beasty does 8 damage minimum (up to 23), and between DR 5 and AC 20, I don't see how they were intended to kill it without losing at least one or two people, or killing it at all. They'll be level 5 for the one at the scloss, so that'll be helpful. But how are they intended to hurt it, the hook apparatus, or the faceless golem? These things all have AC that only the paladin can break even 1/2 the time, two of them are immune to magi so the sorcerer is nearly useless, the alchemists damage is either bombs that can do 3-6 if he's lucky, or natural attacks that if he's lucky enough to hit, only do damage on max damage, a bard who ccan't do... well... anything to them save on extremely lucky crossbox bolts. What am I missing that is supposed to make these encounters doable to the party at this point? They won't survive two more encounters of that nature.


My PCs knew that there was something tough about this hound guarding the house (otherwise, why were the trolls holed up and plotting to get through?). So they utilized a grease spell and the paladin did a bull rush move to push the hound off the bridge. Creativity in this and many other encounters to come (like locking creatures in rooms or luring them places) help make some of the encounters a lot easier.


In my game, we had a party of four. The cleric (who was the party face) was at the court house making diplomacy rolls. The sorcerer/knowledge specialist had just finished investigating the tools and discovering Grimes & Vorstag's after 2 and a half days of running around with no sleep. He was sleeping and regenerating his spells. That left the two melee specialists (who had napped while the casters were investigating and being diplomatic) alone in the middle of the day. They decided to go investigate the newest lead.

The pair spent a half hour (real time) dancing around with that dang construct. It was full of exchanges like "I do massive damage! HAH!" "Hm, you knicked it." Finally, the hound got a good hit in, and came close to one shotting one of the characters. They turned and ran. The funny part was when one of them made a reflex save trying to climb up the wall and the hound ran head first into a wall... doing more damage to itself (because it's immune to its own DR) than the two of them had done the entire time.

We came back a few hours later as an entire party. We couldn't afford adamantine weapons, but we were buffed all to hell and loaded down with alchemical weapons. It lasted two and a half rounds.


I hear your concern, Lorok, but it looks worse on paper. Other than the Erinyes (which the party CANNOT take head on), none of the encounters in the Schloss were overly difficult, and our party did not have a problem with the hound either. And our party is not maximized for dealing melee damage, either. I think you'll find it will be ok.

Sovereign Court

Regarding flesh golems, remember that magical fire has the effect of a Slow spell on them. My group used this knowlege to great effect in our campaign. While still dangerous, their effectiveness is reduced when they can only take one action a round.

Dark Archive

The party paladin instakilled the flesh golem hound with a crit from the keen longsword.
It's the aberrant promethean I'm worried about, none of the characters would survive a full attack with grab+constrict (remember that you can drop a grappled opponent as a free action, so the promethean could deal the constrict damage twice in one round). Even the beast shouldn't last long. I'd also doubt that the characters would use the bondslave thral on the beast, so I'll have arrive on its own and aid the characters (rather fitting since it considers them its friends).


The Promethean was nasty. All the notes and the homunculus gave my PCs the idea to go to the Bondslave Thrall. We had our sorcerer run up to activate it while the Paladin and Witch kept the Promethean busy. It was very tough and the Paladin (who got caught in the tentacles) used a lot of his healing and the witch flew to help try and keep him alive. When the thrall activated, I had the Promethean drop the paladin and head up where it encountered the beast. The party mainly acted as back up as the Beast pretty much dealt the heaviest blows that eventually killed the Promethean. (I had the sorcerer run the Beast since he couldn't do a lot in the way of melee against the monster).


My party's encounter with the Promethean:

Spoiler:
They walked up to the tower, peaked inside (avoided detection) and saw the four armed flesh golem, so the summoned a pack of lantern archons and cast haste. They burst in, charged the creature, blasted with their mobile laser batteries (seriously, look at the archons; low damage but two beams a round and it ignores DR). They killed it with minimal trouble. Then, not wanting haste to wear out, decided to charge to the top!

When they go there, they jumped in and started throwing fire at it. They also summoned a second pack of archons. The Promethean came down and grappled with the large dire tiger (wildshaped druid) and got him down to 1 HP short of death (-15 or so). However, the fight was over before the Promethean got its 4th turn.

They missed every single clue about the machine on the roof. They were five level 7 characters that simply destroyed the fight. Stupid archons.

It isn't an impossible fight, but by this point in the game the fights are over very quickly one way or another.

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