Maiden, Mother, Crone (GM Reference)


Reign of Winter

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Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The deepest sections of the crevasse are much more likely to be away from the walls, just through natural geology, and so it's easily posdible to have a three mile deep section with a half-mile wall. That said, I don't believe that Artrosa necessarily goes up the full height of the wall; in fact the text says, "a rock wall backing the top of the figure’s head rises above the plateau".

Where do you get Arttosa being visible from much of Iobaria? I don't recall that being said anywhere. And thinking about it, even at three miles high the curvature of Golarion would put it below the horizon within a hundred miles or so, even accross perfectly flat terrain.

Silver Crusade

SAMAS wrote:
Blayde MacRonan wrote:
I've been rereading posts in this thread and the one thing that gets me is the idea of tying Vsevolod in with Elvanna's plans. The thing is, that as a priest in service to Kostchtchie, such a thing would not be possible. At least not in the sense I'm getting from what I've read (making him an arm of her invasion of Iobaria). It would be a violation of his deity's three tenants, specifically the second one: bow to no woman. So, no, I can't see him working with Elvanna's forces.
Witchwar Legacy Adventure Module says otherwise. Kostchtchie himself allied with a Queen to fight Baba Yaga.

True... but you leave out that the Queen in question had found his Torc, the return of which drives him like few things do, thus forcing him to "ally" with Tashanna. Now if Elvanna had indeed gotten her hands on that particular item, then all bets would be off in regard to Vsevolod teaming with her (especially if the events of The Witchwar Legacy are used as a setup for running Reign of Winter). But if not, then I stand by what I said before. Vsevolod's priestly oaths would prevent him from forging that kind of alliance.

Vsevolod as an inquisitor, on the other hand, would be able to do just that. Hmm... may have to look into an alternate build for him with that possibility in mind.

Shadow Lodge

Darrell Impey UK wrote:
Where do you get Arttosa being visible from much of Iobaria? I don't recall that being said anywhere. And thinking about it, even at three miles high the curvature of Golarion would put it below the horizon within a hundred miles or so, even accross perfectly flat terrain.

It states this in the Iobaria Gazetteer in The Varnhold Vanishing (AP #33).

Artrosa was made so that Baba Yaga or her Warden could watch for Koshtchtchie's return to his old stomping grounds using enter image. How useful would the statues be for viewing if the only area they could see was Deeprun Crevasse (which was never even part of Koshtchtchie's demesne)?

We're not talking about being able to see most of Iobaria. Considering the majority of the country is forested, it isn't going to be able to see into any of those areas anyway. However, the area to the northwest of Artrosa, the plains of the Dvezda Marches and the eastern Ice Steppes, should be readily visible.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Ah, haven't read that book.


I with with the Artrosia statues being 3 miles tall.

One of my players flipped at that.

Yeah, my party had to work out the logistics of scaling that. But they managed.

I also had the Statues acting as an enormous seal against Koshtchtchie - as in, Baba Yaga had carved those out directly on top of his birthplace, and by their existence the statues barred him from creating his own Worldwound-style abyssal rift to his point of origin.

And so Vsevolod's job was to undo the Seal by corrupting the Eon Pit.

Dark Archive

Zhangar wrote:
I ruled that the witch who went through the Croning was immune to the negative effects of the Pit.

Yeah, see I kind of think I might do that too. In fact, I even made a witch cohort (Zelda here in fact. She won't use potions or other party resources and won't take any treasure) to go with the party just for that frickin' pit. I mean, I want to use it, I like it thematically but... that's really just a TPK looking to happen RAW even if a player is a witch and none of them are.


So as part of the build up to Artrosa, the party negotiated with the centaur tribes to hold off Vselod's army which had started to gather in the Crevasse and seemed massing a force to attack the tribes and lay waste to Vurnirn. So when the party came across the Maiden, Mother, Crone stones in Artrosa I gave them the added option of not just seeing through the statues but also controlling them to attack the army and the white dragon if they made successful Spell Craft checks. They had no issues with the maiden and the mother, and by the time they took out Vselod the warden got pretty cosy with the witch arcane archer in the party.

That said, none of them wanted to go back into the Aeon pit so they rolled a diplomacy check to see if Jadrenka would. She rolled to nat 1s on her will and fortitude save. Feeling like an unexpected event might be in order, Jadrenka went mad and merged with the Aeon pit possessing the large statue and channelling the full power of the pit. She then proceeded to pillage and rampage the country side, killing most of both armies, the white dragon and turning Vurnirn into her own little necropolis as the body of the Crone merged with the cliff side. The party narrowly escapes into Baba Jaga's dancing hut vowing to return once they have freed the Witch Queen to undo the unwitting damage they may have help to bring about.

Maybe a little deus ex machina but the party is psyched about coming back to take on the Necropolis in later levels.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Seeing she's a Crone while in that part of Artosia, she shouldn't have needed to make a save to go into the pit for the aging aspect. However, she also shouldn't have gone in anyway - that is in violation of her directive not to do any direct favors for the party. Yes, they killed off the Centaur and the invading forces... but despite that she still can't do anything to help the group.

Then again, it was probably that which drove her insane rather than the pit - she was punished for breaking her word to Baba Yaga.


Since Baba Yaga made Jadrenka immortal, I'd rule her to be outright immune to the Pit's aging effect.

(I also had Jadrenka show up flying in the Pit and start lobbing spells at Vsevolod from there once the fight was joined. She can't directly help the party, but she sure as hell isn't barred from engaging threats to Artrosia.)

I think the party has technically passed Jadrenka's test (and she can thus work with them) once they kill Vsevolod; it'd be the GM's discretion if the test isn't over until the party has the dragon scale.

(Though if the latter, well, Jaddie leaves age resistance scrolls lying around for a reason.)


I have to ask - how did you all handle the drawing of battle maps and the basic layout of the dungeons, so that you could keep some of the mystery of all the connected tunnels etc?


I used a little white board with a very crude map and checks marks for where the PCs had already gone.

My players didn't actually figured out they were hopping between the statutes until I talked about it (as I mistakenly thought they'd figured it out).

They'd commented on the decor changes indicating different dungeon sections, but they had thought they were still in the Maiden the entire time they cleared out most of the Crone.

Oops.


It's good to hear they didn't work it out! There's hope for my lot then... I suppose drawing it out on paper first might be a good plan.

The first two books were a lot easier to prep, this one makes me a bit more worried as it's so convoluted. I'm sure it will be fun, but it's making me twitch slightly!


It says a person who is already of venerable age is immune to the effects of the Eon Pit. Does that also mean that once somebody becomes venerable due to being IN the pit, they can stop making saves?


Venequin wrote:

My players are just a few encounters from finishing the second book. This means they will finally have the dancing hut in their possession. When reading under hut controls in its item description it states, "The hut is controlled by cracking a brown chicken egg into a cracked bowl! Which produces a chick that controls the huts actions with a DC 30 umd check".

This raises a question my fellow dm's here. When a character is finally able to make the dc 30 check. How do you explain or narrate what they do with the chick in the bowl?

I'm assuming the house spirit Zorka when eventually made friendly could advise them of the first step (cracking the egg in the bowl) but no further. This also raises the question how to role play her.

I've had a few ideas for each but I thought bouncing ideas off each other could help everyone!

My players are going to enter the hut soon and I've been wondering the same thing. I did not realise that the egg cracking - rooster hatching was part of what was needed to make it work. I had just assumed it was to prepare for what happened if a curious player cracked the egg. What did you end up doing for your narration?

I'm also contemplating how to roleplay Zorka. What did you end up doing, and how well did it work?


Since one of my players has a PC with profession (cooking), I have ruled that everything has to be boiled in a huge cauldron. So probably they will have to cook chicken soup.


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Luna eladrin wrote:
Since one of my players has a PC with profession (cooking), I have ruled that everything has to be boiled in a huge cauldron. So probably they will have to cook chicken soup.

"Fine centaurs of Vunirin! We are going to make a wonderful soup for the whole encampment today! Made with a magical recipe that only calls for one ingredient. Stone soup for all of Vunirin, come and see!"

"Our magical stone soup is wonderful, universally praised in Irrisen, Ustalav and Mendev, but if only we had a little bit of salt. Stone soup with salt is truly superb . . ."


:-)


So... I've killed three characters so far in here. They've got a little bit of the Mother dungeon and most of the Crone dungeon left (they've already faced the final encounter though). Wonder how many more will come!


So... apparently just me who wasn't too jazzed about the raven challenges? (Sorry, Tim Hitchcock. I'm really looking forward to the rest of the module, but that part just didn't do it for me.) I was hoping to find some ideas on how to rework that part to involve less rhyming and riddles. I've come up with what I think is a pretty decent rewrite of the section, though. I'll share more details after the session tomorrow, when I inflict it on my poor players (at least one of whom reads this board).


Took them a bit longer to finish than I anticipated, but the details are in this thread.


I noticed the scale of the maiden, mother and crone dungeons is rather large. If I print a battle map of room E9, it will probably not even fit on our table. So my question is: is the scale (1 square = 10 feet) correct? Or should this be 1 square is 5 feet? Or are the caverns indeed as large as this?
If so, how did people solve this problem?
And what are the consequences of simply using 1 square = 5 feet as the scale?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Consequences? Well, you have giants in some areas. They might not fit. You also have other large-size creatures.

The Maiden, Mother, and Crone are one mile tall. A huge dungeon within the three seems possible.


Yeah, the scale is right.

Though I gleefully went with the "3 miles tall" error from the Gazetteer. One of my players was really, really bothered by that.

I explained it to him as being like the space elevator from Old Man's War - a highly impractical feat of engineering/magic sending the message of "If you can't figure out how to match this, then sod off."

The party having to figure out the logistics of a 3 mile climb was pretty amusing to me. They managed, though.

And yeah, big dungeon with big rooms. 1 square = 10 feet is really common in RoW starting in Book 3, actually.

Though Book 6 also has 1 square = 20 feet areas.


Well,I guess I will have to print only part of the rooms as battle maps, then.


Hunh. I hadn't even noticed the 10' scale. I was thinking it felt a little cramped when I did out the battle mats, particularly the giant in the corridor with the Andrazku. 10' makes more sense.


I drew out all of the chambers on graph paper so one of the tiny squares was 5ft (I colour-coded the outside edges to show a difference between the 3 dungeons). Then the group had to construct the map as they went, drawing on the corridors that connected everything. It also meant I could say "you go into this room, draw it on a battle map for me." It worked really well and they seemed to like building it themselves. I'll probably do the same for other bits of the AP now.


Yes, I would probably let them draw a map and the corridors. But I like printed rooms for combat, as they are much clearer for the players. I kept answering questions in the past ("Where is the door?" Is there a cupboard?", etc.) and now I do not have to.
Perhaps I will print the large ones in smaller scale then.


I photocopied the 3 maps in the book and then taped them together like a cylinder. Then flattened it to make a two-sided map. I stuck it to try and match some of passages connected by the teleportation arches and drew in connecting lines where it didn't match up. I then went over it with red pen, making notes for myself as to which creatures were in each room. I have then simply been describing the rooms and corridors as they go and then draw out the room they are in when they fight.

I'm still finding it challenging to prepare for each session though. I've had to prepare as if any room might be on the docket for that session. They've spent more time in the crone than the other two dungeons, but haven't figured out that they have been moving to the other statues yet.

They are still level 8 and had only done a few rooms when they decided to unlock the door to the croning ritual pathway. Thankfully I was able to make the rune warnings sound really ominous and they have high enough knowledges that I could tell them about the existance of croning rituals. They then closed the door and went to a different room...


Well, yes, that is the problem. Because they can go anywhere you have to prepare the maps for all the rooms in advance.


This was an issue for me as well. I had been reading a few encounters ahead each week throughout the campaign to be ready for what they were going to face and then in the MMC dungeon they went all over the place to things I hadn't read yet. I eventually got through reading it all, but it was a definite shift in how prepared I was at the table a few times.


That, too. You have to read through the whole adventure. Usually I prepare them chapter by chapter.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I had my spider web map of how all of the rooms connected and at the end of each session made a note of every place they could reach in three/four encounters, and then re-read those. (I made a full set of running notes before I started the adventure. )


That's an idea! Thanks!


Im setting up alot of combat since we called the session while in the temple of Mestama, and really the party could go MANY ways from here :). My biggest issue atm is preparing for the crone dungeon, due to this writing, "The rooms and passages of this dungeon are dark and cold, with a motif of winter, darkness and tdeath throughout, Unless otherwise noted, all passages within the Crone are under the effect of a permanent Darkness spell and kept unaturally...etc". Its not very clear where this does and doesn't occur in the explanation. For example when walking into E5 with the bebilith, there is no mention of a alternate light source to cancel the darkness spell (obviously the party would have one by now and would be using it). But for the purposes of these creatures existing within here on a day to day basis im at a loss for a few parts of this dungeons ecology.

Any thoughts? Thanks!


Also has anyone made any headway on how to take control of the hut via the controls?

I've decided the 30 UMD the book suggests and for simple commands like a pet would have. As well as opening/closing windows, and locking.

The next tier would be 35 40 each round to actively control the house.

I was thinking about having the party mix a concoction with the cauldron in the clay bowl with the cracked egg.. But then I realized baba yaga would never do something that makes sense... and again, im at a loss..

Anyone? lol


By the rules, it's just a DC 30 UMD check everytime you want to give the Hut an order.

Orders can include patrolling, traveling 60 miles east and stopping, or even ordering the Hut to use a SLA.

Once a command is given, the Hut continues it until a new command is given.

The Hut can't travel very well through the forests in Book 3. Book 4 (and the start of book 5) is where the party is most likely to get some good use of the Hut.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Regarding Darkness, I read this as meaning that all of the corridors are Dark, but the rooms as just ambient lighting. i.e. Within the chambers, if there are no lights listed in a room, thery are dark until the PCs bring in a working source. The corridors stay dark unless a light spell of 3rd level or higher is brought in.

Shadow Lodge

Quote:
For example when walking into E5 with the bebilith, there is no mention of a alternate light source to cancel the darkness spell (obviously the party would have one by now and would be using it). But for the purposes of these creatures existing within here on a day to day basis im at a loss for a few parts of this dungeons ecology.

I am unaware what the problem is here. All the creatures in the crone dungeon aside from the PCs have darkvision, which still works in the darkness effect.


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I did some maps for Maiden Mother Crone and I was thinking that it could be useful to some GMs over here, these maps don't have any doors as I add them on Roll20, tell me if you want some higher resolution versions of them:

Maiden Mother Crone - The Maiden
Maiden Mother Crone - The Mother
Maiden Mother Crone - The Crone


My pcs have suspicions that something is very wrong with time in the maiden/mother/crone dungeon. They have concluded this because 1) this is a fairytale campaign 2) one of my players is reading Washington Irving in English literature class 3) they have rightly concluded that the maiden, mother and crone are 3 incarnations of the same person. However, they think that the whole complex is under some soft of timewarp effect. Now they want to research this by finding people who have entered the complex and returned.
I was thinking of letting them meet an ancient centaur in Vurnirn. How can I give them a clue rewarding them for their investigation while at the same time not revealing too much about the eon pit?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Maybe it is temporally unstable. Maybe there is only one statue, but you see it at different points in its "life"?


Yes, that might be an idea.
I am also thinking of letting the ancient centaur give them a very confused account. Or he is dead already, and one of his family members gives the account the centaur gave him just before he died (but which is inaccurate).
I basically want to confirm that something is wrong with time in the complex, but not tell them exactly that it is the eon pit. So make them alert, but not give the clue away.


What are hoarpanthers?


A b&*!! of an ex-girlfriend that's what.


I think they are just undead panthers.


The book implies that living hoarpanthers exist in the gazetteer though.


I assumed they were identical to normal panthers stat-wise, just cold adapted. It never really came up for my group, though (even the zombie ones got removed).


At least it seems like nobody knows. I thought maybe I was just in the dark and everybody else knew what they were. Why were they removed, Ryschwith? Stat wise they are leopards with the Fast Zombie template.


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Not through any fault of their own. It seemed to me like the dungeon lacked the feeling that it was being invaded, so I decided to have a section of it that had been decimated by the centaurs, and then a centaur encampment where some of them had holed up while Vsevolod went on ahead to attack the Eon Pit. I decided that, in addition to the areas occupied by frost giants and andrazku, they had cleared E1, E2, E3, and C8[1]; they then barricaded E2 and set traps along the corridor leading up to it. The players found the corpses of the various denizens in those rooms, and eventually faced off against a small group of centaurs led by Vsevolod's right-hand man.

[1] At the time I had some justification for how they got to E3 without clearing E7, E5, or E4 but I don't recall now what it was. Might've involved Caigreal talking them through.


Hoarpanthers: the stats are in the adventure. They are basically leopards with a fast zombie template.

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