The Snows of Summer (GM Reference)


Reign of Winter

451 to 500 of 750 << first < prev | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | next > last >>

arkady_v wrote:
I use the digital copy of the Reign of Winter maps product, click on the "remove DM notes" button, copy the images into photoshop, scale them up so one square is roughly an inch, and then print them off on the printer at work.

I picked up the PDF of the maps too; does anyone know if we are given the copyright to print them off? I would like to take it to Fedex Office to get printed at a good size, and would rather they didn't try and argue with me about ownership. :)

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.

You might find this thread useful. One of the board members drew up his own maps and Paizo gave him guidance on the ownership concerns.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

My players began the battle with Radosek last night during our weekly game. They are trying to do the entire tower without rest. They're mythic (one tier from the Black Rider), they're 4th level, and there are 7 of them, so it's going OK, but they're about out of resources.

Spoiler:
I ran the courtyard as written. The troll was a bad ass, and nearly took out a couple of players. One of the guards successfully opened one of the doors on the battlements, shouting "To Arms! To Arms!" into the tower, which alerted the rest of the guards. They mobilized, moving to bar the doors. They got one of them barred, but the party barely got, literally, a foot in the door, before they could bar the other one.

This resulted in a battle on the stairs coming down from the door and then in the first floor room. They battled all of the guards plus Yana, who I had beefed up a few levels and given a magic sword.
They defeated them and then debated continuing or trying to rest. Their idea for defending the first floor was to pile a bunch of beds on the teleporters, hoping that they would "block" someone from teleporting onto the first floor. Fortunately, they instead decided to continue, and so I didn't have to rule how that would work.

They teleported up to the second floor, two at a time. I had added five new soldiers; an elite crew consisting of a 3rd level rogue, 2nd level barbarian, 2nd level winter oracle, 2nd level fey blooded sorcerer, and 2nd level fighter. They were dining, being entertained by the sprites. The battle started badly, the party being hamstrung by showing up two at a time. The wizard went first for some foolish reason, and he was color sprayed by the sorcerer right away, getting stunned, but enough other folks were coming through the teleporters that he didn’t get finished. They started slicing and dicing the foes, though, and it was over quick, except for the sorcerer and the two sprites. (At one point, the cleric of Desna was also color sprayed, and a couple of the players saw Hatch, the domovai, peeking out of the cleric’s pack, telling him to “wake up, wake up!”, but that was all they saw of Hatch, until later.)

Then Hestrig came out of the library, growing from medium to large size as she did. The battle with Hestrig was not going well until the party’s druid, who is taking a grappling angle and who had taken on a bear aspect, successfully grappled her. The large sized fighter/sorcerer. I had beefed Hestrig up with a few extra levels, too, and I never thought he’d successfully grapple her, but he did with some great roles. After getting her to the ground (he freaking successfully pinned her, too, because she didn’t break the grapple), it was over for her.

They searched a little, and ran into the mandragora in the Conservatory. The scream from the mandragora got the attention of the spriggan, and it joined in the battle. Two of the party members were nauseated by the mandragora’s scream, and one of them and another were successfully scared by the spriggan, but they defeated both foes.

Then the party continued exploring. They found Mierul’s room, and saw a letter she was writing to Nazhena, which mentioned that she had met a group that claimed to have met the black rider… the party had totally spilled their guts to her when they first met her earlier on the way from the Winter Portal to Heldren. That gave them some pause. Then, they found “Lady Argentea”.

The Lady had them going for a while, but eventually the inquisitor sensed that she was not who she said she was, and it tried to flee after first altering form to appear like the elven ranger/oracle, but the party quickly cut it down.

They then tried to figure out where they could go. They had the keys from Yana and Hestrig, and it took a while, but they finally decided they could try using them. They went to the teleporter in the Mirror Hall at the end of the red carpet, and both of the key holders stood on the teleporter. Which was funny, because they learned that you can only go one at a time when using the teleporters from the first floor to the second. I’m not sure what they thought they were going to do; how they were going to get the key to anyone else to use, but the keys didn’t work, anyway, and the animated ice nymphs (dubbed nym-foes, but my players) attacked. The battle went quickly, and the nymfoes were destroyed.

They then decided to try the other teleporter, the two players once again climbing up on it. Of course, only one of them started getting covered in ice, and, thinking quickly as I repeated a couple of times, “You’re slowly being covered with ice,” he threw the key to another player. That player repeated the process, etc. And they arrived at the aerie. They didn’t end up fighting the sylph; she first tried to parley, and they went along with it, and eventually they got her to tell her how to “get the witch”, and she told them and gave them the key on their word that they would not hurt her or the ravens.

So, back it was to the second floor and the Hall of Mirrors. The party arranged themselves for the one by one teleportation to Nazhena’s lair, expecting Radosek and possibly more. And that’s what they got!

Mierul was there, along with Yurik, a 4th level fighter/bodyguard. Radosek was hidden in the alcove with the cauldron. Yurik attacked, and Mierul cast spells, while Radosek began summoning ice elementals. The party members, as they slowly arrived, were occupied by Yurik and the ice elementals and Radosek cast ice spears and flurry of snowballs and Mierul chord of shards and ear piercing scream. Yurik nearly killed the arctic elf ranger/oracle with a 39 hp critical with his battle axe (power attacking) and did a ton of damage to the ulfen barbarian skald. Both went down, but reinforcements were arriving. Hatch made an appearance, hurling the cauldron into the back of Radosek with telekinesis. The fight was a draw without Hatch, really, but he was the tipping point, and Radosek fled, flying to the teleporter. We had to end the night with Radosek on the teleporter, Mierul and the ice elementals facing down the rest of the party, doomed.

Next week, we’ll finish the book. I have some great ideas for how they’re going to have to work to shut down the Winter Portal. It’s not going to be nearly as easy as in the book. It’s going to be a “battle of skills and wills” as the party pits their minds, bodies, and souls against the arcane inertia of the Winter Portal. I had originally thought they I would wait to advance them to mythic Tier 2 until they defeat the dawn pipers and take control of the Dancing Hut, but closing the winter portal is going to take mythic levels of effort, and I am thinking they will get Tier 2 out of it.

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32

arkady_v, would you mind posting some of your ideas for making the closing of the portal more exciting? I'd love to hear what you came up with!


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Tamago, I'm still working on them. Once I get them worked out and the players play through it (next week), I'll post them in detail.

Spoiler:
I'm going to have to play test them, I think. It's inspired by the 4E skill challenge concept, but diverges quite a bit.

My initial concept is that the portal has four elements powering it. The pentagram on the floor, the glowing globe in the air, and the two ends of the portal, one in Irrisen, and one in the Land of the Linnorm Kings (I moved Heldren to the NW end of the Grungir Forest).

First, the party is going to have to do some research to figure out just what the heck is going on. Knowledge (arcana) using the notes and books and scrolls and magical stuffs in the room and in the library to work it out. They will discover that the key to shutting it down is manipulating the arcane energies of the glowing globe, but, that those energies have inertia and will not be easy to disrupt and shut down safely without blowing off the top of the Pale Tower and killing themselves.

Whoever is manipulating the glowing globe will have to be in the pentagram. Someone else will have to damage/injure the pentagram, which will be regenerating. Once the pentagram is injured to a certain level, then the linkage to the two portals will be active. Someone is going to have to attempt to hold back the winter cold and gales of freezing wind from the portals, by pure force of will, while the person manipulating the glowing globe then works on shutting it down.

There will be attack roles and strength checks required by the people attempting to disrupt the pentagram. Will saves and Charisma checks by the people trying to hold back the power of both ends of the portals. And then Knowledge (arcana), spellcraft, and UMD checks by the person manipulating the glowing globe. I'm thinking that the DC of all of these checks will be cumulatively reduced by pieces getting shut down/disabled, and then eventually, they'll be able to shut it all down. The penalty for failing checks will be damage from cold and shards of ice blowing out of the winter portals, confusion, stunning effects, blinding effects, and/or stuff along those lines. I'm still working on all of it. Basically, I'm trying to turn the portal into a "monster" that is defeated through the use of skills instead of just physical attacks. Hopefully I can make it work!

Liberty's Edge

One of the issues I've encountered as I plot things out is how easy it is to shut down the portal. To that end, I intend to make it clear that the process in the book is sort of like an off switch. While it closes the portal, it in no way disables it or stops the larger mystical mechanisms which allow it to occur. One Winter Witch shows up? Snow machine is back on. Hence the need to pursue higher power and go after the system's designer, Queen Elvanna.

One question I've encountered is how DMs are getting their party though the Pale Tower. With a tightly controlled point of entry/egress and nowhere to reasonably rest within, how does the standard 3rd-level party get to grips with the whole dungeon? How do they facilitate rest? My own party decided to go the Doctor Who route and get captured; however, their first escape attempt cost them a party member at the hands of the Guard Captain. Bereft of weapons, armor, and spellbooks, they're a bit behind the 8-ball.

Even so, I don't see how the math allows a standard party to survive without some rather significant edits/alterations by the DM.


My group took the guards outfits and sleds and rode directly into the tower with Nadya as a "prisoner". Once they had their foot in the door, so to speak, they unleashed carnage. They took a beating and were close to death in the final fight, but they survived.
Once a party secures the ground floor they are fairly safe. There isn't much resistance above (in terms of sheer numbers) and if they come down to investigate they have to do so one at a time, giving the PCs an advantage.


My group is about to do the Pale Tower tomorrow, and I just realised that the lack of rest is going to be punishing. I'm sure they'll be able to clear up the ground floor easily enough, but there's sufficient resistance upstairs for them to have difficulty if they don't take a rest between. Especially as my party is only three people (monk, rogue, druid).

Did any of your parties manage to barricade themselves downstairs somehow? How did you justify Radosek not just feather footing down and awakening the dragon? Perhaps I should give them somewhere on the ground floor that they can hide out for a few hours?


My party decided not to rest and it looks like they're going to make it through, even though I added some foes, but they have some advantages that other parties may not have. There are 7 of them, and they started at 3rd level/1st tier, but gained enough XP for 4th level after defeating everyone on the first floor. I had them gain access to their new abilities and hp, but remain "down" the same amount of hp as before.

If they had decided to rest on the first floor, their idea was to pile up a bunch of crap on the teleporters, hoping that would block people from teleporting down. I'm glad I didn't have to make a decision how to deal with that on the fly. It could either cause the teleporters not to work, cause the items on the teleporters to "switch" places with the people up above, cause the items on the teleporters to get shunted into some never never land, or cause the items to get "pushed" off the teleporter.

As others have mentioned, though, I don't know how the folks on the upper levels would react to the invasion. Radosek knows what's going on because of the mirrors. But does anyone on the second floor or aerie know? Radosek could get them word, but he's theoretically alone. Realistically, if a party were to decide to rest on the first floor, I'd say that Radosek would know, would tell Hestrig to prepare an assault, and then have Hestrig, Mig, Mierul, Janess, and the sprites attack after a couple of hours, coming at the party two at a time through the teleporters. I wouldn't have Radosek come down to try and animate the dragon. The party would likely bar the big main door, so unless you give him a scroll of knock, he wouldn't be able to get through. I'd have him hole up in the Ritual Chamber, hoping Hestrig can deal with it.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Just curious if anyone else had the spell Cause Fear used successfully on Teb Knotten, causing him to flee back to the Portal. ^^

The absolutely hilarious thing is? The character who cast it was Rokhar, who I had weasel his way into the party by promising to lead them to the Portal. (I ruled that nonstop snow would have erased the trail to the Portal within a couple of days, thus needing a guide.)

Of course, Rokhar WILL inevitably betray them. He even told them as such, with a smile and a wink. ;) It's just right now, beating that damn troll is a bigger priority.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

My party finished book one last night. Long rambling post incoming!

The party bluffed their way in through the gate, but immediately got in a fight with the troll (who wanted dogs and wondered why the party didn't have any; the bard's counter-bluff fell through). After the party pacified the first floor, they charmed the sergeant (who had stabilized), woke her up, and managed to get quite a bit of info from the bewildered sergeant (the bard's bluff was that he was a reinforcement and had driven out the intruders; the sarge rolled a 1 on sense motive) before killing her.

I'd given the spriggan and Captain Orlov the advanced template and max HP. Captain Orlov engaged the party from behind while they were fighting the spriggan, and did a significant amount of damage - advanced template plus enlarge person plus magic weapon made her something like +10 (3d6+10) with her greatsword, though I had her alternate greatsword swings and spell blasts like called for in her tactics.

When they found the doppleganger, they immediately passed the checks to see through it, and then successfully bluffed the doppleganger into thinking they'd bought it (it rolled really badly on sense motive). The doppelganger died without getting an action.

The handling of Jairess was pretty funny - the bard went up first, and then won initiative and immediately tagged her with a charm person because I forgot that charm person doesn't work on native outsiders. The party managed to talk a very confused Jairess into giving them the key to the top floor.

Later, I was kicking myself for not noticing that the 2nd floor had windows, and that Jairess could have easily had birds monitoring the 2nd floor through the windows. Oh well.

Because the visual amused me, I'd decided that two people could use a teleporter at a time if they literally piggybacked - the ice would cover them in two rounds and then transport them.

The party's oracle went up first carrying a tray of food and managed to stall Radosek on attacking long enough for the ranger and arcane duelist bard to appear on the platform. Radosek then flubbed initiative, so they managed to pour off the teleporter and close into melee with Radosek before he could act, both striking for about max damage.

His 4 small ice elementals that he pulled in turned out to be initially useless - everyone up on the top floor had protection from evil up. Radosek then blasted the bard and ranger with flurry of snowballs while his goat bullrushed the oracle back onto the teleport pad. The goat then tripped the oracle when she tried to get off the pad, and she wound up having to crawl off it.

The ranger then hit Radosek again for nearly max damage, the inquisitor appeared on the pad, used fleet charge from champion to move off the pad and shoot Radosek for nearly max damage, and then shot him again for with a nearly max damage damage critical, cutting Radosek to 1 HP. The bard then critted him.

I'd given Radosek the advanced template, max HP (66 total, with 6 temp because I rolled a 1 on his false life), and two tiers of archmage. However, Radosek took over 80 damage and went down like a chump in one round because my players rolled amazingly well.

His elementals did serve a bit of spiteful revenge, though - the inquisitor didn't have protection from evil, so the elementals started beating on him, and the party had to start attacking them to save him.

The choke point created by the teleport mechanic left my witch player pretty unhappy - she couldn't really do anything for two rounds, and also missed the fight with Radosek as a direct result.

Though, some notes on trying to run Radosek as a mythic enemy -
1) Arcane surge is really nice - unlike the errata'd Wild Arcana and the divine equivalents, it's still a swift action. So swift action summoned monster! Shame everyone had protection from evil, though...
2) I forgot that he could've gotten another standard action from Amazing Initiative. Though it's extremely unclear as to whether a wand or scroll can be used with that action. Hmmm.
3) I probably should have had him immediately use the animate objects scroll instead of flurry of snowballs - he had statues in the room to animate, and it turns out the animating force can be re-assigned as a move action. So animate the statues to start with, and jump the effect to the dragon statue if he reaches the court yard. Though with how quickly he got flattened, that wouldn't have helped me.

I allowed the party to unravel the Winter Portal as written - I made it clear to them they could "see" the magic and unravel it because of the Black Rider's Mantle; someone without the Mantle would need to use a disjunction and treat it as targeting a minor artifact. They could also see that there dozens of portals opened up elsewhere across Irrisen and the world.

Heh. I also told them that as best as they could tell from looking at that globe, every single ley line in the world passes through Irrisen.

Anyways, the party closed the portal after getting their signal - a flare arrow - being shot from the south - Nadya's signal that the last person leaving from Waldsby was going through.

Book 2 should be amusing - the party made 30 diplomacy check and talked Nadya into taking her boys* (and as many people from Waldsby as would go) and going through the portal to go to Heldren. So she wrote them a letter to give to her uncle, and gave them her map of Irrisen (we pinned up the Irrisen map from the Maps Portfolio on the wall), but they don't actually have a guide for their trip.

*Nadya's also keeping Thora's hair from the doll. The oracle promised Nadya that she'll bring Thora back once she's strong enough to do so.


That's pretty awesome Zhanger! I like the ideas of how you dealt with sending Nadya off to Heldren. I will use the idea of the letter.


My party got almost all the way through the Pale Tower yesterday, in a 7 hour epic campaign. They managed to do it without rest, although after the final battle with Radosek the druid only has one spell left, but he did find a sweet wand in the chest next door.

Radosek has flown downstairs to the courtyard, holding on for dear life and preparing to animate the ice dragon. Unfortunately for our players, the troll Bordegga is still alive down there, and the three guards on the wall, all of whom they successfully bluffed past into the tower.

It seems like the troll, ice dragon, three guards and Radosek is going to be way too difficult a fight for my party (three players, level 4), but I have a couple of fun ideas to even the playing field. :)

Does anyone have interesting physical puzzle based ideas on how to make the closing of the portal more fun?


Jairess was by far the hardest fight for my players. Very few ranged people, very few area spells. They spammed a wand of sleep until she failed her save.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Bothari wrote:

It seems like the troll, ice dragon, three guards and Radosek is going to be way too difficult a fight for my party (three players, level 4), but I have a couple of fun ideas to even the playing field. :)

Does anyone have interesting physical puzzle based ideas on how to make the closing of the portal more fun?

The troll, ice dragon, and Radosek definitely sounds like a TPK for the party.

You could do what I did, which was have Hatch the domovai hide in one of the characters packs using his "compression" ability and then pop out and start hurling things at enemies with telekinesis. Not super effective, but it helps.

I'm working on a ridiculous scenario for closing the winter portal that I'll be springing on my players on Wednesday. But it's not a physical puzzle, it's a combination of a battle against an animated object, a hazard, and a sort of skill challenge.


Wait... are the Ice Elementals evil? Because "the spell prevents bodily contact by evil summoned creatures," but as far as I know, the elementals are neutral and go right through Protection from Evil.


Huh. Yep, that's another thing I screwed up then. I'll need to try to remember that protection from evil doesn't stop elementals. Thinking that it did is probably another artifact from 3.X.


arkady_v wrote:
The troll, ice dragon, and Radosek definitely sounds like a TPK for the party.

My plan is to have Jairess and her Raven Swarm descend from on high to help the players out.

They befriended her in the aerie, helped significantly by a charismatic druid who worships the same god (Gozreh). The party had also not killed the raven swarm earlier, they had successfully hidden from it, and have been generally pretty awesome to animals along the way, so I decided to give them a break and let them befriend her. And, happily, they actually called it out as a highlight of the session, mixing up just going from battle to battle.

I think I'm going to start the battle downstairs with the troll, ice dragon, Radosek and three guards all ready and looking ominous. My party looks like they are going to be feather falling from the tower down to the courtyard, with Nadya alongside. I'm going to give it a couple of rounds, probably with the monk taking a beating, and then have Jairess drop in with her ravens to take on the troll and the guards. I'll probably fake some rolls and take out the guards extremely quickly, meaning she and Nadya can deal with the troll while my players take on the ice dragon and Radosek.


Bothari wrote:

My group is about to do the Pale Tower tomorrow, and I just realised that the lack of rest is going to be punishing. I'm sure they'll be able to clear up the ground floor easily enough, but there's sufficient resistance upstairs for them to have difficulty if they don't take a rest between. Especially as my party is only three people (monk, rogue, druid).

Did any of your parties manage to barricade themselves downstairs somehow? How did you justify Radosek not just feather footing down and awakening the dragon? Perhaps I should give them somewhere on the ground floor that they can hide out for a few hours?

I had him connected to the ley line up in the chamber with a few extra powers such as a set of permanent ice elemental bodyguards that could not go too far from the cauldron in the ley line nexus pentacle. So he burrowed in defensively and did not leave so as to force them to come to him on his turf.

The party barricaded the teleporters with furniture to prevent surprise mass attacks while they slept and recovered and I had Radosek stay up top instead of leaving his power spot to investigate.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
arkady_v wrote:

Tamago, I'm still working on them. Once I get them worked out and the players play through it (next week), I'll post them in detail.

** spoiler omitted **...

I did something similar with my group.

The elven wizard studied the ley lines and magic of the circle with some research into the applicable books and notes - knowledge arcana to prep.

The bard also used his experience travelling the world to figure out ley line and phsyical geography for a handle on the globe end of the magic - Knowledge geography.

The inquisitor took the paladin's suggestion and broke up captured cold iron swords to disrupt the fey connection of the ley line and tried to dilute the witch magics with Iomedae prayers over the sacrificed swords - knowledge religion.

The paladin took Radosek's hidden pictures of other seasons and placed them around the Winter Portal Pentagram focus to symbolically change it away from Winter.

Then the elf being aided did the spellcraft check to see if they could alter the in line ley line magic. I liked the season paintings idea a lot and gave a bonus for that as well as the cold iron.

It came off as a fairly cool event involving both charachter mechanics and narrative thought.


Voadam, those are some really cool ideas with the paintings and the cold iron swords!

The stuff I came up with is probably totally over the top, but we'll be running it tonight, and if it works out, I'll post it tomorrow.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

I've ended up beefing up Teb. Gave him Mythic invulnerability, Advanced, and 2 levels of Fighter. Of course, he's fighting a level 5 group, so it makes some sense. Even so and with max hit points, a Scorching Ray and the Paladin's smite managed to knock over a third of Teb's hit points off in one round, with no return strikes. (Admittedly, the Paladin did cast a "Come Over Here" spell that forced Teb to move up to him and get smacked with a sword, but even so.)

Next round it'll be interesting to see how things play out. If the Atomie can get rid of the flaming sword (spell, not magic item) then Teb's effectiveness will improve. But right now it's not looking good for the defenders of the gate - the four sprites were scattered and destroyed, and the Atomie's silence spell was promptly ignored by the two spellcasters caught in it (both made their saves).


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Thought I'd share the upgraded Teb:

Spoiler:

Teb Knotten CR 6/MR 1
XP 2,400
Male Invincible Advanced Troll, Moss Fighter 2
CE Large humanoid (giant, shapechanger)
Init +6; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, scent; Perception +8
--------------------
Defense
--------------------
AC 21, touch 15, flat-footed 15 (+6 Dex, -1 size, +6 natural)
hp 92 (2d10+4d8+40); regeneration 5 (fire)
Fort +12, Ref +7, Will +6 (+1 vs. fear)
Defensive Abilities block attacks, bravery +1, hard to kill; DR 5/epic; Resist acid 10, cold 10, electricity 10, fire 10, second save
Weakness fear of fire, vulnerability to fire
--------------------
Offense
--------------------
Speed 30 ft., climb 10 ft.
Melee bite +2 (1d4+4) and
2 claws +2 (1d4+4) and
spear of manhunting +8 (2d6+14)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 15 ft.
Special Attacks mythic power (0/day, surge +1d6)
--------------------
TACTICS
--------------------
Before Combat As soon as Teb becomes aware of intruders, the moss troll drinks his potion of feather step, allowing him to move at full speed through the heavy snow in the clearing.
During Combat Once Teb resumes his normal shape, he attempts to demoralize the nearest foe with an Intimidate check. Thereafter, Teb attacks with his spear of manhunting and bite, focusing his attacks on anyone carrying or using fire.
Morale If lit on fire (such as by alchemist’s fire or similar means), Teb immediately drops to the ground so he can roll through the snow and put himself out, ignoring everything else until his flesh stops burning. Regardless, he fights on to the death, refusing to surrender or cede control of the portal.
--------------------
Statistics
--------------------
Str 20, Dex 23, Con 20, Int 13, Wis 16, Cha 11
Base Atk +5; CMB +9; CMD 27
Feats Cleave, Great Cleave, Intimidating Prowess, Iron Will, Power Attack
Skills Acrobatics +10, Bluff +3, Climb +19, Intimidate +16, Perception +8, Stealth +10 (+14 in vegetation); Racial Modifiers +2 Acrobatics, +4 Stealth, +4 Stealth in vegetation
Languages Giant, Other Language
SQ change shape, tree climber
Combat Gear Potion of Feather Step; Other Gear spear of manhunting, belt pouch, - custom gear -, mirror
--------------------
Special Abilities
--------------------
Block Attacks (1/round) (Ex) When hit by an attack, if you succeed with a melee attack at your highest bonus vs. the attack result, the attack misses.
Bravery +1 (Ex) +1 to Will save vs. Fear
Change Shape (Mossy tree; tree shape) (Su) You can change your form.
Cleave If you hit a foe, attack an adjacent target at the same attack bonus but take -2 AC.
Climbing (10 feet) You have a Climb speed.
Damage Reduction (5/epic) You have Damage Reduction against all except Epic attacks (weapons with a +6 bonus).
Darkvision (60 feet) You can see in the dark (black and white vision only).
Energy Resistance, Acid (10) You have the specified Energy Resistance against Acid attacks.
Energy Resistance, Cold (10) You have the specified Energy Resistance against Cold attacks.
Energy Resistance, Electricity (10) You have the specified Energy Resistance against Electricity attacks.
Energy Resistance, Fire (10) You have the specified Energy Resistance against Fire attacks.
Fear of Fire (Ex) Automatically shaken if within 30 ft of visible fire of torch size or bigger.
Hard to Kill (Ex) Automatically stabilize when dying, and only die at neg Con x 2.
Low-Light Vision See twice as far as a human in low light, distinguishing color and detail.
Mythic Power (0/day, Surge +1d6) Use this power to perform your mythic abilities.
Potion of Feather Step Add this item to create a potion of a chosen spell.
Power Attack -2/+4 You can subtract from your attack roll to add to your damage.
Regeneration 5 (fire) Heal HP quickly and cannot die.
Scent (Ex) Detect opponents within 15+ feet by sense of smell.
Second Save (Ex) If you fail a save against an effect with a duration > 1r, save again each turn
Spear of manhunting (1/day) Cast hold person on critical hit, but spell ends if removed.
Surge (1d6) (Su) Use 1 power to increase any d20 roll by the listed amount.
Tree Climber (Ex) In trees climb speed is 30 ft & gain +4 to Init. Ignore 30 ft of fall dam from tree.
Vulnerability to Fire You are vulnerable (+50% damage) to Fire damage.
--------------------
During the day, the moss troll Teb Knotten spends his time here, guarding the portal against any unauthorized use. He stays in tree shape to surprise anyone venturing here, taking the form of a large, black, dead tree trunk next to the portal. Teb carries a small mirror that allows Radosek Pavril to scry on him via the Irriseni mirror sight spell (see page 73). Teb always checks his mirror twice per day, at sunrise and again just before sunset, to see whether Radosek is trying to communicate with him. If the PCs take Teb’s mirror, Radosek uses it to spy on them, which might give him information he can use against them when they encounter him later in the Pale Tower (see area Q20).

If alerted by Hommelstaub’s thunderstone (see area P1), Teb drinks his potion of feather step and moves toward the sounds of combat. Outside the area of the winter portal, however, the heavy falling snow affects Teb’s vision, though the troll’s scent ability can help him pinpoint foes in the snow.


Sadly, Teb's been reduced to 15 HP; while he did smash the Earth Elemental with an Attack of Opportunity, it's looking fairly grim. That said, I do have a plan: three players are up against Teb, and he's going to take a five-foot step back and use Great Cleave to try and put the hurt onto all three of them (a fourth player is flanking him from the other side and thus is kind of out of range for the cleave).

Next round after he's inevitably taken down (assuming there's been no coup de grace against him; to be honest, I'm not sure if the NPC Paladin would perform one or not, but they've fought Moss Trolls before and know they regenerate quickly) I was going to have Hommelstaub swoop down and put an Invisibility on Teb so that he has a chance to recover. It probably will only delay the inevitable, but even so.

There were three factors that caused Teb's downfall. First, Rokhar successfully cast Cause Fear on Teb, and he fled - allowing one character to get into a flanking position. Second, the group is 5th level going into this, and two people have Feather Step running. That puts a significant crimp on the environmental effects of the snow. And last, the Paladin's successful use of Knight's Call forced Teb to walk right up to the Paladin (rather than pausing at his Reach range and force the Paladin to move to him - the Paladin isn't one with Feather Step) and get hit by a burning (spell) sword with Smite Evil... and then hit a second time on the Paladin's turn (the Paladin moves after Teb and thus his spell hit Teb on his next action, eliminating any chance of Intimidation or attacks).

In short, a couple bad die rolls did in the guardians of the Portal (though Hommelstaub is close to maximum hit points; while he could Spiritual Weapon-spam the PCs (as he has several Oracle levels as well to compensate for the higher level of the PCs), I think that would end up being... cheesy and cheap. Instead, he's going to flee through the Portal and they'll face him at the Pale Tower). The party actually planned things fairly well, and were able to take out the four Sprites before they caused any real harm.


The text through the Pale Tower chapter makes it sound as if Radosek can use the mirror sight spell to keep tabs on everything going on in the tower more or less at will, but when I read the details of Radosek and the Mirror spell, it seems like he would have problems doing this.

1) Radosek only has one spell slot devoted to the Mirror Spell, meaning he can only cast it once. At most he would be able to prepare both 3rd level spell slots with the Mirror spell.

2) The spell says, "Each time you cast the spell, you can choose to see one of three types of reflections in your mirror."

3) The three types of reflections are Known Mirror, Known Person, or Known Place.

Sounds to me like he could at most check two mirrors a day. Add to that the spell requires 10 minutes, this is hardly the efficient spy device that the text makes it sound like it is.

It would make more sense if Nazhena or her mother had found way to make the mirrors in the tower enchanted so one could look into one mirror and at will (perhaps with a password to activate) select other mirrors in the tower to check, so he isn't using up a 3rd level spell each time he wants to check on things. How have others interpreted this?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Undoubtedly.

One other thing that dawned on several of us is that there's only one key to get into the final chamber. Nor is there information on how to activate it. So only one player can get through the ice portal to attack Radosek. Given that he immediately uses a Swarm of small ice elementals to attack whoever appeared, it seems likely the character will die and then there's no method of reaching him because the key is in the other chamber.

Well, outside of apparently climbing the walls of a giant icicle and attacking through the windows.

I'm ruling instead that you can use the Key to "mark" someone - it causes 1 hit point of cold damage (thus for someone with cold immunity, no damage) and lets the person through the Portal as if in possession of the key - but only lasts for 10 rounds.

It makes sense and lets the group fight Radosek in the end in a proper end-fight.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Pym, Shor, and Vosi - Diminutive Weapons: In the stat blocks for these 3 fun little critters, it lists their gear as Short Swords, Shortbows, and arrows.

Since they are Diminutive creatures, it stands to reason that their weapons are also diminutive in size.

My Question: What are the stats for diminutive weapons (aside from damage which is listed in their stat blocks)? i.e. What do they weigh, how much are they worth, what is the range increment for the shortbows (this is probably the most important aspect IMO), that sort of stuff.

Thanks =)

-CodeMephit


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

How long does Fog Cloud and Obscuring Mist last in sub-zero weather? Given the intense cold weather it seems reasonable to assume the fog would turn into snow or ice and thus have a shortened duration. Does anyone have any suggestions as to how long this would take?


I'm a new GM, and I could use a bit of help. My characters got past the Sprites last session, and now all of the sudden one of players asks me "how does a 9inch tall creature cary 14GP worth of coins". I am at a loss...


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Yeah. I'm an experienced GM and was puzzling over that as well.

However, given that 50 gold coins is 1 lb., that 14 gold actually weighs almost a quarter of a pound. They could easily hold the coins in a sling of some sort (or a fanny sack). And given the weight of gold, it could be that a gold coin is around the size of a dime or penny (though in all likelihood it's a gold alloy - thin gold coins would bend easily, so you'd want a stronger material to make them out of).


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Ya, I'm thinking of just saying they found a small satchel with the coins nestled in a low branch of the tree one of the sprites was in, possibly salvaged from the ambush site or something.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

I've run into a small problem of intelligence gathering in preparing for an assault on the Pale Tower and would like some input from other people.

In my last game, one of my players ended up bringing their 12-year-old child along, and said child ended up joining in the game. I felt it worked best to just have the child playing one of the guards who had a pang of conscience concerning threatening a women and her children and ended up joining with the PCs. I decided that what with the search for the Pale Rider, extra guards were recruited for the Pale Guard, with the temporary PC being a part of this. (The child will be probably joining for one more game and then his character written out with going home to care for his mother in a neighboring village.)

Seeing that he's been a part of the Pale Tower for only a couple of weeks, what information would he know about the Tower? I figure the passwords to go to the 2nd floor and back (so to be able to eat) would be fairly obvious... but would he know about things like the Water Elemental or the Mandragora (well, not specifics but knowing there's something nasty in there)?

For that matter, how much do you think Hatch would know, and what would he tell the PCs? He's not Helpful, so he's not warned about a certain item found in the treasure room, but I'm not sure what else he'd be able to tell them - or for that matter, how long he's been out of the Tower. (It seems likely it's only been a few months, seeing that he's aware of the ritual to open the Winter Portals, but I'd also be willing to bet said ritual probably took some work to prepare for, so he'd have seen SOMETHING going on before he pissed Nazhena off enough to be cast out of the Tower.)

I also wonder as an aside if any GMs had their players bluff their way to meet with Radosek rather than fight the entire tower from the ground floor up.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

My PCs had to fight the tower.

They charmed one of the sergeants and got a nice rundown of the inhabitants, though - Captain Orlov, the sylph cleric, the atomie entertainers.

A rank and file guard probably knows about everything on floor 1, and knows about at least Captain Orlov, the spriggan cook, and the atomies on floor 2. And they probably know about the cleric that handles the raven swarms.

Hatch's timeline is a little confusing, but I figured he knew a lot about the tower's actual layout (since he'd been there since Nazhena had been a child!) but wouldn't know about the most recent staff (like the cleric or the doppleganger).

I decided to disregard Hatch seeing the opening of the winter portal and assumed he'd been banished well before that.


Hatch actually knows quite a bit, his sidebars explain further. i don't have the book with me but I'm pretty sure he knows all the passwords except the ones to the top most level.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Which of course makes it weird that he was able to tickle a certain White Witch's toes while she was sleeping. Unless it was during one of those boring business meetings where the boss dozes off... ;)


Nazhena managed to disable the password to the top floor after she kicked out Hatch. Hatch knows the password, it just doesn't work anymore.

Scarab Sages

I have some problem with the gaot "familiar spell (metamagic)
It is writen that the goat Valstoi stored those spell:
Stored Spells All cantrips and prepared spells plus: 1st—cause
fear, charm person, cure light wounds, icicle daggerUM, sleep,
summon monster I, unshakable chill(UM); 2nd—cure moderate
wounds, resist energy (cold only), scare; 3rd—bestow curse,
ice spears(ISM)
But storing a spell on a familliar is a 3 level slot higner than the spell. How the goat can store 3rd level spell if the wizard is only 5th level?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Because this isn't a wizard. It's a witch. Witch familiars are different than Wizard familiars. (And yes, there are male witches in Golarion.)

Scarab Sages

Thanks, it took me some time to understand that the witch's spell book is his familiar...


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

What is the lighting in the Pale Tower? It's obvious that they'd not use torches or even lanterns. However, are there Continual Flame spells going on in each room? (And how would they turn that off at night? Toss a towel over it?) I'm trying to figure out where lightning would be in the Tower for a Roll20 map.

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

I'd say continual flames encased in translucent ice. That should dim things down a bit in most areas, but expect more open continual flames in bedrooms where they can be covered before bedtime.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Thanks! :)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

What effect would Wind Wall have on a Raven Swarm? As per the rules, it blows away tiny-size birds. Does this damage the birds? Or would a Raven Swarm just be unable to attack anyone inside a Wind Wall (like, say, the one cast by Jairess, or even one memorized by a cleric in the group)?


I would say a raven swarm can't get into a wind wall, just like a single raven can't. I don't see in the PFSRD where it would damage them at all, just keep them out.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Small question: By what methods can players learn the password to the Ice Teleporter leading to the final room? It seems odd that there is an actual password to it if there is in fact no way to learn it - so what are some things the PCs can do to determine or learn the password (given that they're maybe 4th level at this point)?

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

4 people marked this as a favorite.

About the only way they could learn that password would be to trick Radosek into revealing it if they're talking to him via the Irriseni mirror sight spell via one of the mirrors in the tower. Basically, when Nazhena left for Whitethrone, the upper levels of the tower were pretty much locked down (i.e., the password changed) to ensure the winter portal wouldn't be interrupted in her absence. Unfortunately, Radosek's infatuation with Jairess, the sylph caretaker of the tower's raven swarms, led him to provide her with an actual key to the portal (as opposed to the password). That's the easiest way up, whether the PCs obtain it by killing her or convincing her to give it to them. But, there are other ways, too.

For example, if they lure Radosek down to a level they can access, they might read his mind with detect thoughts or overhear him if he flees back to the teleporter. Or, they can simply scale the outside of the tower to reach one of the windows, above. Or, use alter self to venture up. Once there, they could use invisibility to search the upper floor. The current password is bound to be written down somewhere, probably among Radosek's notes or those Nazhena left behind, instructing him to change it after she left to give her report to Elvanna.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

I just wanted to say "thank you" - to the entire Paizo crew in fact - for answering questions like this. Yes, I know it's the GM's job to fill in the blanks and to modify things so the party can be challenged without being overwhelmed (or underwhelmed!). But these little bits truly help out and in many ways lets the GM know they're not going contrary to what was intended by the designers.

A tip of the hat to all of you at Paizo. Thank you, both for a fantastic product and for taking the time to answer questions. :)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Hear hear.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Oh. And as for the group? They took out Radasek. But they were cunning in doing this - they dressed as guards, had a couple of their own as prisoners (along with Nadya), walked in, and into an immediate fight on the 2nd level when the fae bard recognized them.

They took out all the fae and saved the Captain (who I upgraded with the Dragon Disciple prestige class) at one hitpoint before bleeding out. Tied her up, healed her up enough (Channel Positive Energy, helped heal up everyone else as well), and then talked her into working with them - insofar that she didn't want to die, didn't know the password to get above, and when they pulled out a Communication Mirror finally agreed to call Radosek, show the prisoners, and in return would be allowed to flee to the Winter Portal and escape into Taldor.

I mean, she knew the White Witches would kill her otherwise... and with her backstory concerning the dragon that sired her having fought the Witches, I figure that would give her enough incentive to betray Radosek in exchange for her life. (She did NOT tell them that she'd be taking her stuff from her room. So before she leaves she is looting her room and taking her belongings. It makes sense.)

------

Radosek himself was... an interesting fight. First, I gave him 3 Mythic Tiers, (and made him a 7th level Witch) with Arcane Metamastery, Speedy Summons, and Enduring Armor (along with the feats Extra Mythic Power and Toughness). While they got one surprise round on him, on his first actual action he proceeded to summon a Medium Ice Elemental (Marshmallow) and then a Swift Action summon of three small Ice Elementals... and sicced the two Ice Statues on them. What they thought was going to be "pound on the spellcaster" turned into a swarm of Elementals and Statues.

He still fell after two rounds (the surprise round didn't do him any favors but it made sense to give it to the players), but no one checked his pulse. After all, the final mythic strike from their heavy hitter dropped him to what would have been -29... except for Mythic Toughness and its Epic Damage Reduction. ;) He's barely hanging on. But if no one thinks to check his pulse, they may very well run into him again. With Nazrena. It would be a suitable twist. :) (It helps that I have the goat mourning over him. Heh.)

Most amusing of all, however? The fact that they STILL have to deal with the Aerie and Jainess. They don't know the password! (Of course, it's not locked down so they COULD try to do it with a Spellcraft check...)


When I read the description of the portal's appearance--explosion in the woods, rings of downed trees--that and the general Russianness of the campaign overall reminded me a lot of another wintery explosion...

So I decided to play up that angle a bit.

I then decided, for dramatic effect, to rewind the first session to a few days prior and left the out-of-character knowledge of that event looming over them, capping the first session with the players witnessing it. (They messed around with some bandits in the meantime, making them popular among the townsfolk.)

This has some unfortunate consequences, though. I needed to give Teb and his crew time to set things up in the woods, including meeting and dealing with Rokhar, building Thora's hut, and so on. But the players, of course, wanted to rush right into the woods to figure out what was going on. I also dropped some of the information about Lady Argentea too soon, so they were eager to investigate where her caravan had disappeared to.

I had them run into Dryden Kepp on their foray into the woods but not be able to penetrate too far; and I had to kind of goad them into going back to town to wait for the village council meeting.

In the end, I got them where they needed to be (they've now got as far as the tatzylwyrm, which beat up on the vanaran monk a bit). However, this also earned me an email from one of the players asking why I stuck so slavishly to the story when I could've just had them run into the caravan when they were looking for it.

I figured I'd relate this as food for thought in case anyone else is tempted to go a similar route, so they can avoid the pitfalls I encountered.


Very cool beginning (literally!), ryschwith!
I think I might have encountered the same problem if I had used it. My players are very eager, too!
I played out the scene that Dryden Kepp (whom I made the stepfather of two PCs) went into the woods (drunk) in order to hunt the weasle, and the players almost stopped him from going. But then they got involved in other events and Dryden managed to sneak away anyway.

451 to 500 of 750 << first < prev | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder Adventure Path / Reign of Winter / The Snows of Summer (GM Reference) All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.