Mists of Mwangi - Nature of Those Transformed by the Mists?


GM Discussion

Grand Lodge

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

I'm confused about the nature of the Mist transformation in the Mists of Mwangi Scenario. Reading through both the 3.5 and the PFRPG version,

Spoiler:
it seems to be that the players are transformed into horrible beasty ape things that rampage around when they fail their Will Save.

When a player transforms, does he or she attempt to attack his or her own party members? Or does the bruitsh thing just sorta follow along, like a dumb lump? I don't know which one I'd prefer.

On the one hand, if they attack fellow party members, then if the Martial characters transform, the party is more or less screwed.

On the other hand, if the characters just turn into a dumb lump, then if the Arcane Caster characters transform, those Arcane Casters lose ALL their powers, and basically get to do NOTHING for the entire scenario.

Honestly, this seems like a dumb mechanic either way, but I hear the scenario is supposed to be great or something, so I'm preparing it for my college for this upcoming week.

How do you think I should interpret it? Should I have the transformed characters attempt to attack their own party members (thus risking almost immediate death if Martials transform) or should I just have them follow around ineffectually (thus risking complete boredom and feelings of uselessness if Arcane Casters transform).

The Exchange

Previous discussion

I didn't like this scenario when I first read it either, but I think the key is to not tell the players how to behave, let them interpret it for themselves.

The Exchange 5/5 Venture-Captain, Ireland—Belfast aka heretic

I did not see this as an opportunity to allow PvP in a PFs scenario. I did explain that they were barely able control themselves and wanted very much to assert their position as alpha animal but that the sense of community among the Pathfinders meant they would not draw first blood. I may even have used the term Pathfinder Flange loyalty.

I am running this at a convention next month and there are few other tricks I will be using to communicate the mist effects that I'll keep scthum on.

The players that first played this scenario stil though won't go back into the museum without checking it for mist first :-)

W

Grand Lodge

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

So we let all the Arcane Casters just suck for this scenario and have no magic. Yeah, not my idea of a fun night.

The Exchange

Zean, I think you are making an assumption about the scenario that may not come true. Give it a chance. If your players tell you it was awful, come back here and say you told us so. But after running this scenario over a dozen times I can assure you it's a fun one. The save vs the mist is not difficult, and that's assuming they don't just wear facemasks.

Lantern Lodge

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I had three out of five not wear masks. I also had three out of five fail their saves.

While it was quite the entertainment, the bonuses from the Mist-template actually helped out the monk PC. Of course, he was referred to as the MONKey from then on out.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

And a reminder that the mists affect humanoids and monstrous humanoids. Not animal companions and familiars. Not Aasimar and Tierflings.

Grand Lodge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
zean wrote:
So we let all the Arcane Casters just suck for this scenario and have no magic. Yeah, not my idea of a fun night.

Really it's up to you how you take it on.

Our party's gnome sorcerer succumbed to the mists, but he really ran with it, slamming enemies, climbing thing, monkeying about.

One of the best sessions I've played.

Shadow Lodge 5/5

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Our party's gnome sorceress did the same thing. She had a blast climbing on statues, picking her nose (the character, not the player) flinging... well, we don't want to go there... ;) But she had an absolute blast playing it.

Shadow Lodge

Chris Mortika wrote:
And a reminder that the mists affect humanoids and monstrous humanoids. Not animal companions and familiars. Not Aasimar and Tierflings.

Really, it doesn't? That's disappointing, I really relished the thought that my tiefling magus would turn into a terrifying hellmonkey if he failed his save.

5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Arizona—Tucson aka Sir_Wulf

This thread could really, really use a "Spoiler" tag...

5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Arizona—Tucson aka Sir_Wulf

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When running this, I made a handout summarizing the changes, along with description taken from the text of the adventure.

Spoiler:
The Mist-Tainted

Overcome by the mist’s bizarre, corrupting influence, you begin to degenerate into a raving madman, little better than a jungle animal.

Strange ideas course through your mind: Bloodthirsty urges to smash those who oppose you, discomfort at your constraining garments and armor, and the need to find any tiny parasites inhabiting your fur and that of your friends. You would enjoy eating a banana, if you had one.

You have gained the Mist-Tainted template:
• Both Intelligence and Charisma go down to 6.
• You gain +2 to Strength and Dexterity. This gives you +1 Initiative, +1 Armor Class, +1 to Attacks, and +1 Damage.
• You are immune to fear effects.
• You have +10 to Climb checks and a climb speed of 20 feet.
• You have +5 to Acrobatics and Stealth checks.
• You gain a slam attack. It does 1d4 (+Strength Bonus) Damage.


(I also used some art that I don't have permission to distribute, so I can't post the handouts online as they are.)

The text I gave seems to encourage people to "ham it up" instead of descending into PvP.

5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Arizona—Tucson aka Sir_Wulf

zean wrote:

On the other hand, if the characters just turn into a dumb lump, then if the Arcane Caster characters transform, those Arcane Casters lose ALL their powers, and basically get to do NOTHING for the entire scenario.

Honestly, this seems like a dumb mechanic either way, but I hear the scenario is supposed to be great or something, so I'm preparing it for my college for this upcoming week.

How do you think I should interpret it? Should I have the transformed characters attempt to attack their own party members (thus risking almost immediate death if Martials transform) or should I just have them follow around ineffectually (thus risking complete boredom and feelings of uselessness if Arcane Casters transform).

When your player characters transform, some won't be effective at their original roles. Encourage them to roleplay their new, ape-like personas. Many will get into this silliness. As you fear, a few will not, but unconsciousness eliminates the effect: The museum offers plenty of hazards that can maul a character into unconsciousness. If someone is unhappy that they were mist-tainted, sick a monster or two onto them and you'll soon knock them out!

If the party lacks healing, you might also drop a subtle hint that they are in a large city and can hit a nearby temple.

5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Arizona—Tucson aka Sir_Wulf

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Chris Mortika wrote:
And a reminder that the mists affect humanoids and monstrous humanoids. Not animal companions and familiars. Not Aasimar and Tieflings.

I wouldn't EVER want to suggest that ANYONE violate the LETTER of the law in the name of fun, but I would have a hard time resisting the "terrifying hellmonkey" image...

Paizo Employee 3/5

James MacKenzie wrote:

When running this, I made a handout summarizing the changes, along with description taken from the text of the adventure.

** spoiler omitted **

I did the same on index cards, with this as the heading:

Spoileriffic:
CONGRATULATIONS! You have become Mist Tainted!

Grand Lodge

Chris Mortika wrote:
And a reminder that the mists affect humanoids and monstrous humanoids. Not animal companions and familiars. Not Aasimar and Tierflings.

I disagree with this. Aasimar and Tieflings are human, they have to breath and have a fully material body. So why wouldn't they be affected.

Grand Lodge 4/5

Kintrik wrote:
Chris Mortika wrote:
And a reminder that the mists affect humanoids and monstrous humanoids. Not animal companions and familiars. Not Aasimar and Tierflings.
I disagree with this. Aasimar and Tieflings are human, they have to breath and have a fully material body. So why wouldn't they be affected.

They are classified (as are elemental kin) as native outsiders not humanoids. Hence why they don't get the benefits of things like Enlarge Person or hurt by spells like Charm Person.

4/5

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I've played this once and run it many times including just last week.

It varies widely by the players and the party (and the level you play at - the low tier can be a bit easy for many parties, the higher tier can at times be brutal but typically a lot of fun).

Without fail at least one person has always failed their Mist check (I've yet to see a party wear face masks even having made the right knowledge checks)

What happens next varies widely. The first time I played this we had some PvP (which took a long time since the highest level character in the party was the one who failed his save) - too my cleric blasting him with fire magic and just deciding he would heal people once they dropped to end it. Rather long and somewhat brutal but also somewhat fun.

The other times mostly people have run with it - in a few cases being knocked unconscious early on.

Last week it was a gnome rogue/bard who failed her check. She took full advantage of having a climb speed to scamper up pillers, climb on the walls and swing from the top of doorways into rooms. She was scampering around up in the mists when they encountered the scribes (and gorillas in the mist) after the party ran away and regrouped and then finally finished the gorillas and saved the one scribe who hadn't transformed she used the bardic song to transform back into a human (first time I've actually had a bard so that nifty item was actually a reuseable item)

All in all the scenario is really fun however it has a LOT of opportunities that can go south quickly for a party (if everyone gets paralyzed you can have a tpk or at least a party of people losing their hair and about to transform into evil outsiders).

The final room is also tricky - exactly how to run the Tik Taan is somewhat unclear and varies a lot between the tiers (don't miss the 1/day animate dead ability for the high tier btw) and while the flavor of a room full of apes is nice it is also hard to pull off w/o handwaving somewhat (the map scale is also touch to reconcile)

But overall it is a pretty nifty scenario with a lot of fun and while somewhat simple it definitely offers a lot of fun to parties that get into the spirit of things.

Grand Lodge

Thomas Graham wrote:
Kintrik wrote:
Chris Mortika wrote:
And a reminder that the mists affect humanoids and monstrous humanoids. Not animal companions and familiars. Not Aasimar and Tierflings.
I disagree with this. Aasimar and Tieflings are human, they have to breath and have a fully material body. So why wouldn't they be affected.
They are classified (as are elemental kin) as native outsiders not humanoids. Hence why they don't get the benefits of things like Enlarge Person or hurt by spells like Charm Person.

I know why per the rules I just don't agree with it. In their description they are called humans that have the blood of either celestials or demons in their ancestry. In PFS the rules are the rules, and I run it like that. That's doesn't mean I can't have an opinion on the matter outside of PFS.

Scarab Sages

I ran this just last week (My first PFS GMing!) and the only player to subcome was the party's barbarian who already had a 6 CHA. *Shakes fist at the dice gods* He saw it as nothing but a benefit and wanted

Spoiler:
to find a jar to keep one of the Tik Taan for huffing.
It was a highly enjoyable game for all, I believe!


Pathfinder Maps Subscriber

I've been through this as a player but not as a GM.

IIRC, no one was even theoretically capable of the required DC of the knowledge check.

The (all 2nd level) party contained a two-hander barbarian.

Spoiler:
Who, not having done anything to address his low will save, failed it, and immediately proceeded to attack the rest of the party who were forced to flee. My low-strength non-melee bard, also affected, couldn't cast spells and was completely ignored since there was no way for damage to be more than 1 point non-lethal. I was not aware that there was even an option simply continue the scenario while mist affected.


zean wrote:
So we let all the Arcane Casters just suck for this scenario and have no magic. Yeah, not my idea of a fun night.

Actually, the first PFS game I ran was MoM. Both the arcane casters were changed. Hilarity ensued, especially once they realized that knocking the affected out caused them to revert. The negotiations between the Str 18 barbarian and the 2 low hit point sorcerers to allow him to punch them in the face was priceless.

5/5 RPG Superstar 2008 Top 16 aka Sir_Wulf

Emphasizing "apelike" behavior on the handouts (such as picking off parasites or eating bananas) encourages harmless roleplaying silliness instead of PvP violence.

The Exchange

This is what's on my handouts:

Role-Playing Notes:
You degenerate into a raving madman, little more than a bloodthirsty animal. Go with it. Note: Your alignment does not change. Nothing compels you to attack your party members unless you think that’s what your character would do. You simply feel all your inhibitions leave you, all higher thinking skills are gone, replaced by base instincts. You are a mean-tempered monkey who has escaped his cage.

Grand Lodge

Doug Miles wrote:

This is what's on my handouts:

Role-Playing Notes:
You degenerate into a raving madman, little more than a bloodthirsty animal. Go with it. Note: Your alignment does not change. Nothing compels you to attack your party members unless you think that’s what your character would do. You simply feel all your inhibitions leave you, all higher thinking skills are gone, replaced by base instincts. You are a mean-tempered monkey who has escaped his cage.

This is basically how I handle it. When I show them paper with what has happened to them, all I say is 'Roleplay it how you want'.

My most recent running of it was the most beautiful thing ever.

Spoiler:
Only one character failed the save, the half orc barbarian who was the first one in the door. The player looked confused, then excited, then calmed down, and acted like there was nothing wrong.
The party made their way into the room with the masks, the barbarian acting fine. After dealing with the bathoom, the barbarian started acting excited and impatient, running from closed door to closed door just to see what was on the other side, despite his fellow adventurers not wanting him to or being ready for what might be waiting behind the door.
When they got to the last room, the barbarian wuickly took down the monkey, but the party was having some difficulty with the statues (another player having failed the Confusion + Rage will save) and couldnt help but attack her teammates. And THAT is when the barbarian decided it was a good time to attack his teammates. He attacked a few other people, not dropping them, but then moved on to the confused and raged character. Eventually, the confused + raged character beat him down and he went unconscious, just before the other characters dealt with the final statue.

Nobody died. Everyone had fun. I love that scenario.

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