Into the Nightmare Rift (GM Reference)


Shattered Star

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Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Mechalibur wrote:

You know, I just realized something odd about a section in this part. You know that room with the mind-swapped Nalfeshnee and Deva? It says that players can figure out that they are swapped by the fact that they both radiate chaos, which is uncommon for angels.

Well, first off, can't angels be any good alignment, not just neutral good? That's apparently their most common alignment, but hardly grounds for definitively saying they're mind swapped.

But second, and most importantly, isn't the damning and most obvious evidence that they both detect as evil? I mean, if the Deva was telling the truth, then he would only detect as good.

Doesn't really matter much, but I thought it was a weird stretch of logic to say that the chaotic alignment (which most people won't even bother detecting) was the best proof available (without high sense motive/lie detection), when finding out that they both detect as evil is much more obvious and definitive.

The majority of angels are neutral good. In fact, I'd say the majority are neutral good, probably 90%, with 5% being lawful and 5% being chaotic. The concept of angels being ANY good alignment is more of a 3rd Edition D&D thing, and that's something we're sort of trying to shy away from for angels... although it's not something we've done all that well at driving home the point of.

But yes, it's unusual but not a dead giveaway for an angel to exude a chaotic aura.

The evil aura should indeed be more of a giveaway.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

Follow-up question about the mind-switched angel and demon in area E7 ("Binding Chamber").

Each of the beings radiates equal amounts of good, evil, and chaos (because they are each "a strongly-algined mind in a strongly-aligned body"). The text says that both radiating chaos is the clue to see past the demon's lies, but I'm not totally clear on what lie he'll tell that would lead to that conclusion.

Nalfeshnees have a high enough Spellcraft skill to know about spells like misdirection. If asked about why he radiates both chaos and evil, the obvious thing for the "angel" to tell the PCs is, "obviously, the wizard who imprisoned me here cast a misdirection effect on me, such that I am showing that foul creature's aura instead of my own!" (He'll need to make a Bluff check, obviously, but at +22, will likely beat my PCs' Sense Motive.)

By that story, the fact that both have a good aura would be the clue!

Thoughts?

[By the way, I'm not actually running SS at the moment... I've just lifted this encounter into a major sidequest in my Rise of the Runelords game.]


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I have a question about "C6 The Dreaming Tower." In one paragraph is says that worshipers of Desna get several healing effects for sleeping overnight. Then it says worshipers of Desna are able to prep additional spells. All well and good, except it follows with "The healing and restorative effects of resting atop the Dreaming Tower can occur once per day, whereas the additional effects for worshipers of Desna can occur up to once per month." This implies that the healing effects are for everyone, not just worshipers of Desna as explicitly said just 3 sentences above. Should I take this to mean that the healing is indeed for everyone and the Desna reference is in error, or that this sentence is in error and all the boons of the tower are for Desna-ites only?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

What's with allied evil NPC's inevitably getting a final case of the stupids at some point when cooperating with player characters? I get that Xaivanshee is setting her eyes on new goals when she finally gets to be a vampire, but if she gets to accompany the player characters throughout the second part of the adventure, she should know that they will smush her like a bug if she turns on them, vampire or no vampire.

It's one of those annoying conventions AP's very often seem to run with, where The Order of the Stick's "Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!" seems to always apply, although it seems more like a parody of what evil characters would do, more than logical behaviour.

And, yes, I get that Togbad and Morcruft do not inevitably betray you, but they both are conveyed as being a bit stupid, while the very wise (and even quite intelligent after being transformed into a vampire) Xaivanshee is the one who goes the suicidal "attack the very powerful party" route.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

It very much depends on how you play Xavanshee. If she waits until after the encounter with Cadrilkasta for the PCs to be healed up and re-buffed before making her move, yes, that could be stupid (although it also depends on how she makes her move). Since she's not stupid, she'd likely make her move straight after that fight, or maybe towards the end of it. Nothing says she should be nice to the PCs (or you to your players) and betray them when they are in a stronger position.


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

i think what he is getting at is why throw away her newly aquired powers and unlife before she is able to further her own and zura's goals. She now has thousands of years to reaquire the shard or many other even more powerful artifacts for the glory of zura. I agree with magnüskn on this one.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Also, if evil NPC allies *always* betray the PCs at the climax, it gets very predictable and takes away the "will she or won't she" question.

It's like the time FASA put out a run of five modules in which the PCs' employer betrays them at the end of the job. Once was a surprise. After five the PCs were so jaded, they just stopped taking jobs at all (they hung around preying on idjits who took jobs, instead....)


Aelryinth wrote:

I'm looking at a stat block error? for the Blue Dragon.

It says in her tactics that she saves one Level 7 Spell slot for Summon Monster VII. However, her two seventh level spells are Prismatic Spray and Greater Scrying.

Where is she getting this Summon Monster VII from?

the other slots saved and spells mentioned are on her list...

==Aelryinth

I know that the post that i am quoting is over a year old but the issue wasn't answered, what should i do? change one her two 7th level spells for summon monster 7? change one of her feats for expanded arcana? something else?


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leo1925 wrote:
Aelryinth wrote:

I'm looking at a stat block error? for the Blue Dragon.

It says in her tactics that she saves one Level 7 Spell slot for Summon Monster VII. However, her two seventh level spells are Prismatic Spray and Greater Scrying.

Where is she getting this Summon Monster VII from?

the other slots saved and spells mentioned are on her list...

==Aelryinth

I know that the post that i am quoting is over a year old but the issue wasn't answered, what should i do? change one her two 7th level spells for summon monster 7? change one of her feats for expanded arcana? something else?

I would remove Greater Scrying.


Hi guys,

Does everybody feels like Stom encounters just gives too much away?
In terms of XP is just 130K of XP for a deal that almost every PC group that doesn't contain a Paladin would say yes. It feels like giving 130K away with no motives. I understand if the XP from Stom is given, but the whole Giants that respond to her as well???

Besides this, I feel the giants are not really prepared for High Level combat that would be expected at level 12-13. None of them Fly, and if the group attacks while flying with Ranged attacks, their stone throwing is going to fail misserably. A hill giant attacks +8... likely to hit a granny with AC 10 maybe.
Feels like they should be more prepared to face flying monsters or PCs, who on earth would attack a group of giants and mastodons walking?


Those giants are a joke (and i think that it's part of the whole "let's make the players feel awesome"), my party wiped the floor with them using inflitration (powered by mid level magic of course).


Yeah, I liked those little negotiations with 'General' Stom. We got quite a few concessions out of her when we got to the table.


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Well, that stunk !!

My guys made a deal with the Drow Cleric. Agreed to give her the Shard for 24 hours, but she had to stay where the dragon died, then give it back to them. She said ok, and off they want, dragon hunting.

Got to the lair, and they were loosing, so she cast Destruction on the dragon. Rolled a &*%&*^*(&^* 1 for it's save. Dead Dragon...

She took the shard, moved over to the side and was about to complete the ritual, when the Dwarven Bard pulled out the Luck Blade they got from freeing the Fire Giant Smith in the last chapter and wished the PCs and all the Shards only back to Sheila's house.

Oh, was I going to so screw them over with a vampire drow cleric....

Now I have to figure out how she is going to get even and how long it will take for her to catch up. One of her hunt mistress heard the wish, so they know where they are.

-- david

ps. The player of the bard, told me that it was my sons fault for getting him interested in all the Drizzt books and the deviousness of Drow, so he was not taking any chances.


This is why I love this AP. Shattered Star allows for so much screwery to go on.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I have a question about Aeventhial the mind-swapped angel/demon.

My players freed him and he's been acting just like an angel should - heroically and with self-sacrifice. But now the team is approaching the showdown with Cadrilkast and it's a six-PC team, plus Aeventhial.

I've already decided not to have the Shard's curse active (she's hidden it away) because of the 6 PCs. I'm thinking I'd like to lose Aeventhial before this fight. But how? He's unlikely to get his ticket to heaven in the next few rooms.

Perhaps I'll have Cadrilkasta protected by a summoned demon so that Aeventhial can spend the fight struggling with that demon. But if I do so and the PCs beat Cadrilkasta, do you have any suggestions on how to restore the demon/angel to heaven during the course of the next chapter of the AP?


One-use quickened dismissal item for Cadriikasta should do the trick, just fudge the failed saving throw/successful SR check appropriately. This also lets the players recognize that the dragon is No Joke.

Scarab Sages

So according to page 9...

Guiltspur is located about 530 miles northwest of Magnimar.....

North West? That's got to be my favourite typo in the entire book. Northwest of Magnimar is the ocean. The Storval Plateau is to the North East. Well, more East Nor' East really. It certainly raised a chuckle the first time I perused that page.

Liberty's Edge

According to the book, the XP reward for the Shucked Oyster quest is equal to the XP you get for defeating the creature who's head you return. The PC's in my group brought Cadrilkasta's head, who is worth 204800XP, but this seems kinda excessive, doesn't it?


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pawns, Rulebook, Starfinder Maps Subscriber

The Guiltspur Hill Giant stat block says the damage for a light ballista is 4d8; Ultimate Combat says 3d8.

I noticed this because I'm entering all the encounters into Hero Lab, and they're pretty good about the details. Not perfect, just really good.

I'm tempted to run one of the later adventure paths just so I can buy the Hero Lab files instead of doing them myself…


Paul S. Enns wrote:

The Guiltspur Hill Giant stat block says the damage for a light ballista is 4d8; Ultimate Combat says 3d8.

I noticed this because I'm entering all the encounters into Hero Lab, and they're pretty good about the details. Not perfect, just really good.

I'm tempted to run one of the later adventure paths just so I can buy the Hero Lab files instead of doing them myself…

Random guess...It's a Large sized light ballista?


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pawns, Rulebook, Starfinder Maps Subscriber

That would do it.

Turns out that despite my telling Hero Lab to add a ballista sized for a large creature, it just added the standard. So the list of choices showed 4d8 for damage, but once added reverted back to 3d8.

Time for a bug report.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

Question about Mesmalatu:

Her statblock has some things listed I'm not sure about how they came to be that way:

She's an awakened demilich, but still has 'torpor' listed in her weaknesses.
(This makes story-sense, but not rules-sense)

Wail of the banshee has a shorter radius, how come?


Anyone else feel the Silent Halls are a bit too empty? Especially considering the Curator's shtick or leading PCs into danger. I wonder if the dreams were more extreme or haunts in the first draft. Any changes people made to make it a bit more of a mad ghost wizard's fun house?


Question about the switching demon angel thing (Area E7)

What's stopping the PCs from simply leaving not releasing any of them?

Evil guy inside angel would probably freak out like "No please you must release me."

Good girl inside demon would probably understand and say "that is the best course of action."

Which would also tell the PCs who to release. The angel (and PCs?) knows that if they choose wrong a demon disguised perfectly as an angel could wreck some serious havoc. She would rather die or suffer more eternity here than to let a demon pose as an angel.

She could also say something along the lines of.
"You release me and he's telling the truth you simply have to fight a demon.
you release him and I'm telling the truth you release a demon perfectly disguised as an angel. which do you prefer?"

How could the demon counter that?
"If I'm telling the truth and you release me you gain an angel as an ally. If you release him and he's telling the truth you gain a demon looking thing as an ally. do you really want a demon following you around. Imagine what your superiors would think. They would cast you out for worshiping demons. If any of you is a paladin you could very well lose your powers for releasing a demon, whether it's an angel or not."

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

My group saw the huge giant fortification, and sent their arcane trickster to sneak in through the spire itself. He spied on Jubbek's "court" for a while, waited until the chief was sleeping, then stole the Shard while invisible and dimension doored away.

The party was pretty happy until they realized they needed to go back in for the last Shard. To say the place was like a kicked hornet's nest is an understatement.

They never did meet General Stom. Leaving might be interesting because they left a lot of giants behind them and the boulder sealing off the entrance to the Silent Halls will certainly be replaced.

After how brutal Windsong Abbey ended up being for my group, having a fun "breather" where they got to outwit and beat up some giants was a welcome change.


My party just reached the entrance to the Embassy of Leng at the end of last session, and I've been re-reading through the last parts of the book the make sure I don't miss anything. Reading through Cadrilkasta's statblock and tactics, I've got a question:

How long is the tunnel from F9 (The Great Temple to the Crawling Chaos) to F10 (The Cursed Dragon) supposed to be?

Since Cadrilkasta sends her Lillends up the tunnel to the PCs after they're done healing her up, I don't imagine it can be more than a couple of hundred feet long, since the Lillends are only around for 15 rounds. The only thing I could find relating to the length is in the description of the temple itself, where it states that "A long tunnel connects the temple's far side to a higher ledge on the other side of the mountain," which doesn't really help to clarify anything.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Zhyth wrote:

My party just reached the entrance to the Embassy of Leng at the end of last session, and I've been re-reading through the last parts of the book the make sure I don't miss anything. Reading through Cadrilkasta's statblock and tactics, I've got a question:

How long is the tunnel from F9 (The Great Temple to the Crawling Chaos) to F10 (The Cursed Dragon) supposed to be?

Since Cadrilkasta sends her Lillends up the tunnel to the PCs after they're done healing her up, I don't imagine it can be more than a couple of hundred feet long, since the Lillends are only around for 15 rounds. The only thing I could find relating to the length is in the description of the temple itself, where it states that "A long tunnel connects the temple's far side to a higher ledge on the other side of the mountain," which doesn't really help to clarify anything.

This puzzled me as well. Originally I envisaged it as half a mile or so, because the temple is not that large, and if you enter on one side of the mountain and exit on the other, for it to be a short tunnel they temple must be set in the peak of the mountain, or else the top of the mountain forms a long, thin, spire. In fact, the latter must be the case because when the pcs arrive through the portal, we're told that the mountain extends upwards for another mile above them. So I can't really reconcile it.


If the Guiltspur Depths is under a dimensional lock, how can the Curator go ethereal?


Misunderstood Monk wrote:
If the Guiltspur Depths is under a dimensional lock, how can the Curator go ethereal?

Can you point out the page number that mentions etherealness?

Ghosts usually function on either manifesting or not manifesting, as Incorporeal beings, which shouldn't interfere with dimensional lock.

Silver Crusade

Just looking ahead into this book. In e5 is the reactor. My players went through and did the iron gods a couple of campaigns before this one; so as players they are going to want to power down it and use it as they know how good tech items are.

The party consists of a large assortment of heros. Two dwarven fighter/defenders, an Aesmar fighter/ranger/rogue, Ta pair of elven rogues, a slyph arcane trickster evoker,, a holy earth infused oread warpriest of torag, a fletchling slayer/inquisitor of abadar, a barbarian/rogue, a gentleman/gunslinger/hunter most of which use firearms or tech devices.. as their kingdom of has been selling tech/guns across the known world for a decade.. as we set IG in '08. So firearms and such are common in my world.

Anyone bothered to power it down somehow. Without destroying it. An option.. Rebuke Technology seems the best bet.. beside knowledge:Technology or profession:Technologist or even Knowledge:Endgineering in the 50s..

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