Maiden, Mother, Crone (GM Reference)


Reign of Winter

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Dark Archive

So, the Frost Thunder Hammer is awesome. Exceedingly so. I'd love to have a character use it but it's large which makes that pretty unlikely. Is there any reason why it wasn't given a resizing ability like Teb Knotten's weapon from Snows of Summer?

Paizo Employee Developer

The reason is one of story - it was made by giants, for giants, and Vsevolod, who uses Medium weapons, takes a penalty to wield it. That said, if you really want a PC to be able to use it without penalty, then you can decide that it resizes.

Dark Archive

You know what this game needs? A spell that permanently changes the size of a weapon to the normal size of the caster.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Like that wouldn't be game-breaking? ^^;; Think of all the equipment in Runelords that the PCs just can't use? And to be honest... who wants to buy giant-sized magic items?

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

POSTING AS PLAYER/GM CONSUMER:

I always have mixed feelings about Large equipment. I have rings and wondrous items resize, but I won't do so with weapons and armor. My players sometimes look at me as if I'm a spiteful cheapass jerk. (And yet I don't change my mind!)

I've grappled with the 'who wants to buy large magic weapons?' issue, and finally concluded that there must be a class out there that can break items down to useful components like an artificer, and whatever that phantom class is, its not available to players at this time.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

It makes sense for rings and wondrous items to do so. I mean, the One Ring fit on Sauron's hand... Isildur's finger, and on a hobbit's hand. And it was described as being able to alter itself so it could suddenly slip off the finger.

Dark Archive

Why don't you let weapons and armor resize, Jim? Is it just some personal preference for how magic would work in your world?

The more I think about it, though, the less I want a spell that does this. There are undoubtedly some items that I won't really want my players to have and rather than arbitrarily (as it might appear to my players) say your spell doesn't work on this, it's probably better to decide which items get to resize.


Polymorph any object?

For some reason I thought it was only weapons that didn't automatically resize - armor and most gear did. Or is that just another old rule that didn't make the PF jump?


Weapons and armor do not resize, but cloaks, jewelery, etc do so...

Size and Magic Items
When an article of magic clothing or jewelry is discovered, most of the time size shouldn't be an issue. Many magic garments are made to be easily adjustable, or they adjust themselves magically to the wearer. Size should not keep characters of various kinds from using magic items.

There may be rare exceptions, especially with race-specific items.

Armor and Weapon Sizes: Armor and weapons that are found at random have a 30% chance of being Small (01–30), a 60% chance of being Medium (31–90), and a 10% chance of being any other size (91–100).


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Orthos wrote:
For some reason I thought it was only weapons that didn't automatically resize - armor and most gear did. Or is that just another old rule that didn't make the PF jump?

Nope, the text quoted above by Swashbucklersdc is the same as in 3.x. It was probably a fairly common house rule, though.


Joana wrote:
Orthos wrote:
For some reason I thought it was only weapons that didn't automatically resize - armor and most gear did. Or is that just another old rule that didn't make the PF jump?
Nope, the text quoted above by Swashbucklersdc is the same as in 3.x. It was probably a fairly common house rule, though.

Huh.

Well, irrelevant for my group at least, they decided unanimously last night to start having magic weapons resize automatically, so that's that.

Thanks for the info though. =)


Clarification needed on the Crone; it states that all passages within the Crone are under the effect of a permanent darkness spell.

Does this mean only the hallways between the rooms?
Or is the entire place magically dark?
If only the hallways then are the rooms themselves only naturally dark?
Is the Eon Pit magically dark?

Paizo Employee Developer

Passages means just the hallways; the rooms are naturally dark (unless the description specifically mentions a light source). The Eon Pit is naturally dark, like other chambers within the Crone.


So, the Witch Tree encounter. I guess most groups will just fight it, but the riddle it offers is nonsensical, by the book. Nobody knows that Illarion Matveius passed on his mantle to the PCs. Baba Yaga didn't know it - everything implies that she thought her riders would be following this trail. She's supposed to have told the Witch Tree to ask this question, which makes absolutely no sense if you're a rider who is faithfully following his mistress's trail.

Of course, the Witch Tree could have some other sort of magical effect that lets it know what happened. Granted that, the riddle is still a little silly, just quizzing the pcs on their past. What have people done with this?


Baba Yaga explicitly gave the riddle to the Witch Tree. There may be different riddles tied to other riders which will never come up.

Odds are very good the PCs will bring up on their own that they met the Black Rider; the tree may well not give them the option of the riddle if they don't disclose that.

Now, the odds of the players actually remembering the Black Rider's name are astronomically low, unless there's a player taking notes for that sort of thing.

Shadow Lodge

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Speaking of the Witch Tree, was anyone reminded of Grandmother Willow from Disney's Pocahontas by the description?

Zhangar wrote:
Baba Yaga explicitly gave the riddle to the Witch Tree. There may be different riddles tied to other riders which will never come up.

This would pretty much be the answer. Baba Yaga, it is written, suspected betrayal of some kind, and laid her breadcrumbs with this in mind. She instructed her Riders to follow her, but anything that could be a threat to her - a level 20 Witch with Mythic tiers - would obviously be a threat to her Riders as well, so she laid in contingencies if they should fall. This AP basically shows why no one ****s with Baba Yaga. If you try, no matter how successful you are, you will fail. She may be effectively soul bound, but she'll find a way to raise an army of fey, winter wolves, dragonkin, and Russian soldiers, all led by a crack team of killers devoted solely to freeing her...and punishing you for your insolence.

Quote:
Now, the odds of the players actually remembering the Black Rider's name are astronomically low, unless there's a player taking notes for that sort of thing.

That's what Knowledge checks are for :P


My point is that it doesn't make sense because the the Witch Tree knows that the PCs spoke only with the Black Rider and what became of him, which Baba Yaga (presumably?) didn't know was going to happen when she set up this trail of breadcrumbs explicitly for her riders to follow.

Dark Archive

Alright I need help with a particularly bad PC which is a winter witch.

She jumped into the eon pit aged herself to venerable then killed herself and reincarnated herself to negate all physical stat decreases but keep all the mental stat boosts.

This sounds extremely stupid but rules as they are say this

Shadow Lodge

average_zombie wrote:

Alright I need help with a particularly bad PC which is a winter witch.

She jumped into the eon pit aged herself to venerable then killed herself and reincarnated herself to negate all physical stat decreases but keep all the mental stat boosts.

This sounds extremely stupid but rules as they are say this

How'd she accomplish this? She shouldn't have access to contingency, and without it she shouldn't be able to cast reincarnate from beyond the grave. Did she use the forced reincarnation hex? If so, I'd be inclined to let her do this, because it's about the only real use of the hex, of which she has only a few.

Dark Archive

There was a druid PC in the party she just walked into the pit untill aged till venerable walked out and then killed herself

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

While entertaining...

How unbalanced did it make her? If not overly unbalanced though a blatent attempt at metagaming, I'd end the AP with Baba Yaga 'taking a liking to her', and removing her from the game. Forever.

Given what we've been told happens to Baba Yaga's granddaughters, having her physical body catch up to her mental age in the last AP comes to mind too.

Short term? Talk to the player, tell her that you're worried it is going to unbalance the game and ruin your fun. Then if diplomacy doesn't work, maybe the transition to Pathfinder Earth wears at the reincarnation magic, aging her 'new' body to match her mental age? Or vice versa?

It's a Timey Wimey/Wibbly Wobbly thing.

Or maybe the effort of the Hut going to Triaxus requires more 'fuel' and the hut ages her since she used the well?


Artrosia has a set of traps (E6 - the Croning Ritual) that specifically let a witch advance to venerable age category, with all of the physical stat penalties and mental bonuses, and allow for the physical aging penalties to be removed with Break Enchantment (which I'd actually have Jadrenka cast for the PCs herself once they've proven themselves to her).

I don't think aging via the Eon Pit gives you the mental bonuses - unnatural aging effects only give you the positive benefits when it's explicitly stated. The Eon Pit just gives you the penalties and saving throws vs. insanity as it ruins you.

The Croning Ritual specifically gives all of the stat adjustments as though the witch had aged naturally. The Eon Pit's aging effect is traumatic and not remotely beneficial.

So your witch actually could do what she did in Artrosia, but she technically did it in the wrong place.

Frankly, I'd let it fly - there are intentional perks to be had for being a witch in Artrosia.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Or, simply, just rule that the time spent in the Eon Pit doesn't give her the mental bonuses. It's supposed to reflect years of learning and gut instinct, not some magical bonus you accrue on your 45th birthday.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
YuenglingDragon wrote:

Why don't you let weapons and armor resize, Jim? Is it just some personal preference for how magic would work in your world?

The more I think about it, though, the less I want a spell that does this. There are undoubtedly some items that I won't really want my players to have and rather than arbitrarily (as it might appear to my players) say your spell doesn't work on this, it's probably better to decide which items get to resize.

The change that weapons and armors do not resize was made between 3.0 and 3.5 and has stuck with PF. Personally, I never understood why the hell it was deemed necessary, especially since wondrous items and the like still do resize. Aren't small martial characters not screwed over enough already? Do we need to make it suck extra to play some halfling or gnome fighter-type?

And don't get me started how dwarf characters should not even be able to wear the same kind of armor other medium size characters can use or how some of the "armor with boobs" equipment for women should not be usable for male characters... but still happens to be so without a problem, although supposedly "armor does not resize".

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Where do people envisage characters "resting for the night"?

There's no chance that they're going to clear everything in one go, but I'm not sure that I can see anywhere either in or out of the statues that will appear safe to the PCs.


My players managed to diplomacy Nostafa for the word bottle so I've made that a relatively safe place.

Dark Archive

I figure they'll bed down in a room that they've cleared and keep a watch. There aren't many other options.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I know what you mean, but for years I've felt that just bedding down in a "live" dungeon, and being able to get even a single night's sleep just broke the verisimilitude. (Quite happy to do it as a young and naïve player though.)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Whilst I'm here:

Finished reading everything last night, and something in the Dvezda Marches section caught my attention. (Well, several somethings did actually, but I'll limit it to this for now.)

"Over 3 miles wide in places, the Deeprun Crevasse is a jagged gash torn into the face of the earth." (p72)

Really? 'Cause looking at the scale on that map, it's well over 20 miles across in some locations. Was that meant to have read, "Over 3 miles deep..." do you think? Or something else.

Dark Archive

Darrell Impey UK wrote:
I know what you mean, but for years I've felt that just bedding down in a "live" dungeon, and being able to get even a single night's sleep just broke the verisimilitude. (Quite happy to do it as a young and naïve player though.)

Don't let them do it willy nilly but if they're smart about it it should be fine. The party should have a number of spells available to make their camp more safe in addition to setting a guard.

Darrell Impey UK wrote:

Whilst I'm here:

Finished reading everything last night, and something in the Dvezda Marches section caught my attention. (Well, several somethings did actually, but I'll limit it to this for now.)

"Over 3 miles wide in places, the Deeprun Crevasse is a jagged gash torn into the face of the earth." (p72)

Really? 'Cause looking at the scale on that map, it's well over 20 miles across in some locations. Was that meant to have read, "Over 3 miles deep..." do you think? Or something else.

It's definitely 3 miles deep judging by the picture of the statues being about as tall as the surrounding walls. It might also be only three miles wide and that was poorly communicated to the cartographer, though.

Paizo Employee Developer

That's an error where I got deep and wide swapped in the text.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Cool, thanks Adam.


Orthos wrote:

Polymorph any object?

For some reason I thought it was only weapons that didn't automatically resize - armor and most gear did. Or is that just another old rule that didn't make the PF jump?

Except Polymorph any Object states that magic items aren't affected by this spell.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

I don't suppose one of the Paizo Employees here could provide us with a ruling of sorts on what they think a viable "Resize Weapon/Armor" spell should be like? You know, level, material costs, and the like.

If Enlarge Person/Reduce Person is a 1st level spell and lasts for only a short time (another reason I curse D&D 3.5 - they eliminated any tactical elements of spells and also made it impossible for a party of PCs to use Reduce Person to be able to effectively scout out a goblin warren or the like) then would a spell that permanently alters the size of a weapon or armor be 4th level? Or maybe 3rd but with an expensive material component (something like 100 gp of powdered ruby or sapphire per effective + of the weapon, with ruby used to enlarge and sapphire used to reduce)?


If you can find a crafty spellcaster, you might be able to get (semi-)Transformative added to the Frost Thunder Hammer, letting it reproportion into basically a medium earthbreaker. But I think being meade for giants and by giants is a good enough reason to leave it as-is when you get it.

Also, three pages and no one noticed the Lawful Neutral Barbarian Centaur?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

To be honest, alignment has very little bearing in my campaigns. I consider character background and concept to be more important. Does this mean that you can have a paladin in my campaign who kills innocent heathens because they're not of the faith? Yes. Does it mean that paladin will get away with it? Maybe not. ;)


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

This part of RoW is actually quite cool.

I loved the hut layout in this, and so did my players, and the wilderness of strange Iobaria was a welcome switch from the urban theme of the last adventure.

Even tho it seemed more "straightforward" and I think people that read adventures for fun might not have been as excited by it, it's actually a perfect change of pace for this point in the adventure path.


The throw-back dungeon crawl style is very nostalgic. Although my players have just reached the top of the Maiden I am sure they will enjoy the 3-in-1 dungeon immensely. So far, this is actually turning out to be much more entertaining than I originally thought it would be(based on some mediocre reviews I read).

Moving on to my GM Reference question/request..

I have used some of the info in the Dvesda Marches gazetteer along with some player requests, to add a side trek to this module. Specifically, one player "requested" another dragon encounter (after the fight with my advanced version of Logrovich turned out so exciting). So, I have devised a way to introduce some of the new Mythic rules on a trial basis while also placating my player(s) desire to slay dragons. I want to retool the White Dragon Sohjver (which I renamed Isenhjarta = "Icey Heart" aka "The Hoarfrost Harbinger") to include a bit of Mythic power. Not so much as to be impossible to defeat, but enough to make a truly "epic" fight. I'm assuming she is going to remain "only" an Adult (the background implies the dragon is much older, but it needs to remain within the PC's ability to defeat - even if brutally challenging).

Any thoughts on doing this without going too far and keeping in line with the level of the game? I was thinking of "just" giving the Dragon the first tier powers of Hard to Kill, Mythic Power, and Surge... along with the non-Mythic additional Feat of Improved Vital Strike, and of course, max HPs. Then, whichever PC lands the killing blow against the Dragon will absorb the Mythic power for the remainder of the module until the Hut leaves Iobaria. At that time the Mythic power is lost. This will allow me to see if a) I like the outcome and RP aspects and b) I can keep it from breaking my game. Of course there will be a lair and a hoard involved as well...

As of right now, the group is debating how to deal with the Witch Tree (in between sessions). So, they could tackle Artrosa first and then go hunt the Dragon, or they may come back to the table and decide to hunt the Dragon first and then deal with the tree/Dungeon. I could "encourage" the latter, but don't want to railroad the plot anymore...

**Note: My players are more powerful than the typical PF 15 point buy troupe. Consider them to be 25 point buy PCs.**

The group consists of a Barbarian6/Fighter2, Inquisitor8, Magus8, Wizard (spellslinger)7/Gunslinger1 and a DMPC/Cohort Cleric6...

Thoughts, advice, and ideas are appreciated!


Could maybe the Dragon decide to fly overhead when they're on top of their statue? For me it would be like in Skyrim, moment I saw a dragon I was chasing it down. But I'm not one of your players. =P Have the dragon attack the Hoofwood?


Necrovox wrote:
Could maybe the Dragon decide to fly overhead when they're on top of their statue? For me it would be like in Skyrim, moment I saw a dragon I was chasing it down. But I'm not one of your players. =P Have the dragon attack the Hoofwood?

Yeah, they've heard stories of the dragon from Korak Kaag and Erdija already. They even saw something "way off in the distance" on their journey to Artrosa. They are mid-encounter with the Witch-Tree, having just made the Sense Motive check to discern that there is another way to get past (riddle). The PCs don't know anything yet other than there is another option. Having the dragon buzz them now may be entertaining. One PC in particular is intent on hunting it down asap.

Grand Lodge

Since I think that maximum in two weeks my party will reach the beginning of this adventure it's time for me to plan ahead the threefold dungeon, I will (as suggested by Haskul and Tangent101) rewrite the encounters with Jadrenka: she will be trapped by the coven and the centaurs (so that the party will have to defeat both to get her free) but she still retain her power in a limited way so she can send an image of her and cloud her mother's "trap", I will add another ring forged by the coven and the centaurs that permit the mother a limited control over the dungeon (this is how she managed to capture the Warden), I will modify a little bit one of the ritual found in the dungeon so that a willing male character can transform into a female (since the group witch asked me if it was possible to buy a gilder of gender swap).

I already made my group hate mirrors and whenever they see one they smash it so to hint that there's a connection between them and queen elvanna I only will add a mirror in Vsevold's equipment.

I have yet to decide but on the road back to the hut they will probably find a group lead by Hestrig Orlov (the sorcerer from book 1 since they spared her in book one and she escaped with a potion of fly from the clock tower in book 2 - where they encountered her again - ), they hate her now so I'd like to pursue their relationship... A kind of linear guild could be nice!


Is anyone else a bit disappointed that the whole book is just one big piece of filler? I mean it's essentially one big mcguffin quest in one enormous dungeon. Yes there are interesting aspects to the adventure with interesting people and lore, but in the end there would have been no difference in plot if the PC's had gone strait from book 2 to book 4 if the first 2 keys had lead to that destination instead of this one.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

The same could be said about Book 4. You could eliminate books 3 and 4 and go straight to Rasputin, in theory.

The same could be said about Books 1 and 5 of Runelords. And maybe Book 2.

But this isn't the Irrisen AP. This is the Baba Yaga AP. Book 3 helps establish elements about Baba Yaga. Book 4 establishes the alien aspect of her (that she's not from Golarion and has only a small interest in the planet, which provides a reason why the PCs can insist she leave and not return). Book 5 establishes elements of her past and her children - and why just leaving Baba Yaga's children and grandchildren around is a bad idea.


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Tangent101 wrote:

I think there are two problems here. First, it feels too short, especially in comparison to the previous module. Second, we are introduced to a second antagonist who honestly doesn't feel related to the first. If the antagonist had in fact been a war party from the Queen meant to seize this stronghold dedicated to Baba Yaga, then there would have been a greater sense of continuity. It would have been an ongoing part of the story.

Instead, we go skipping off to Siberia to fight centaurs and frost giants who are only there out of a sense of opportunism. There is no great war going on here. There is no threat. The only thing driving the party is the goad of the geas and the "need" to get the key to go to the next locale.

Further, you get a strong feeling this is going to once more be the case for the NEXT module. We go to another planet... and it'll once more have naught to do with the Queen. Instead, we're searching for the Doctor - er, I mean Baba Yaga using her chicken-legged Tardis. That's all.

We have a Queen who is threatening to turn the world into an icecube. And yet the queen has been abandoned. ** spoiler omitted ** and the cold weather here has naught to do with her plot. So what gives?

A couple years ago I ended up scrapping an entire segment of a novel I'd written. Why? Two antagonists that were unrelated. It made no sense for the two to be disassociated (especially as one was an Unseelie Prince who had manipulated much leading up to the story). The solution: make the second antagonist a servant of the Prince.

The same could have been done here: The centaur and frost giants could have been working for the Queen and seeking to seize control of this bastion of Baba Yaga. The end result would be a more cohesive story and would not only unite these disparate elements... but allow the PCs to have thwarted the Queen once more.

(Having thought of this, I may very well rewrite the villains to be...

So... I am going to rewrite the villans, but I actually got my inspiration from the "Game of Crones" poster I saw on the paizostore.

I am going to stay mostly true to original intent of the story, Vselvod is storming Baba Yaga's fortress for his Demon Lord. Why? Because his Demon Lord told him to, in order to get a foothold in Golarion during Elvanna's reign. Going to use the idea of some of Elvanna's people doing the same, but getting wrecked by Kostchchnie's followers. Empty camps with dead witches, as previously mentioned. (This will also create a feeling of unease which I so relish. Every now and then, not often enough to be over used, I build up encounters in such a way that player's feel like they are killing off potential allies. Also it will fit in with my "Bittersweet victory" theme I have going on. Win at this, but lose this.)
Kostchchnie's followers have 3 rules, and one was kill all witches. So having Vselvod work for Elvanna seems a little out of flavor.
This creates a second issue when the campaign ends, the fortress will still be under siege when they leave it, but with some of Elvanna's troops eliminated on their way in, and the denizens all but eliminated, the Frost Giants will have no problem finally seizing Artrosa.
Thoughts? =D

By the way, I love this adventure path.


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Tangent and Necrovox, thanks for the great ideas. I also have the same issues with Books 3 and 4, and the comparison to the Doctor and his chicken legged Tardis is hysterical.

My approach is to add two subplots to the campaign. First, I'm adding an overall First World plot wherein some of the Eldest are manipulating the threads of fate, long term, to both create Baba Yaga and then be the tool of her downfall. Second, I'm making Kostchtchie a much larger player in the overall adventure path. If the campaign makes it that far, I'll eventually have the party run through the Witchwar Legacy after the end of the campaign (the plot will have to be revised, but not much). Kostchtchie will be the next villian after Elvanna.

Then, probably something with the winter collectors.

Then, a confrontation with Baba Yaga in the Thrice Tenth Kingdom, pulling many elements from The Sound of a Thousand Screams.

And then, and only then, a confrontation with some of the Eldest.

Since dragonriders just don't interest me personally, I'll be replacing Part 2 of Book 4 with something completely different, and I'll move Part 2 and Part 3 completely into the First World, making the white dragon an ice linnorm.

Grand Lodge

One of my players just went trough the croning ritual, at first I thought that a break enchantment would just strip away the old age and the physical aging penatilies retaining the mental bonuses but now, reading the section again I think that a break enchantment will remove the mental bonuses too, what do you guys think?


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It's unclear, but I'd allow keeping the mental bonuses. Artrosia is a significant place of power, after all.


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Alright, Vseslvod as a Warpriest!? Anyone think it is more fitting for his role? I am just... In love with the changes they made on Monday.


I noticed a hole in this AP. In my party 2 players were stricken with insanity in the Ion Pit, it takes a minimum of a 6th level spell to cure this. The party is supposed to end the AP at level 10, the town has a caster level limit of 5th, and there are no heal spells to be found. So I either need to add it, create a side quest or the party is simply SOL.

Am I missing something?


If the party befriended Jadrenka, I'd hand-wave Jadrenka being able to fix it. I have no qualms with giving Jadrenka arbitrary plot powers within Artrosia.

If the party killed Jadrenka, then this gets a lot messier.

The centaur village has a 75% chance to have heal scrolls available, since those are well under its 3,000 gp purchase limit.

If your party has a cleric with plane shift, they can also reach Axis or the cleric's diety's divine realm, where they should also be able to obtain healing. Though they'll gave a pretty good trek to find the Hut again once they plane shift back to Golarian.

Otherwise, yeah, you may be looking at a side quest.

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