About the siege towers would it be conceivable for the PCs to push against the hydras to buy time for anyone trying to get in and break the wheels?
I'd guess I could roll two str checks for the hydras and use the lower number as aid another and allow the pcs to do the same? Maybe a +2 for favorable conditions (pushing down hill rather than up)?
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Does anyone have an idea about how I can introduce a new PC on Triaxus (just pre-siege).I don't want a Triaxian PC who speaks the language as it ruins the culture shock element.
But other than having someone follow the group out of the current hut configuration I cannot think of how to add someone and what races/classes they could feasibly play.
(I imagine this will only get worse in Book 5)
Hey guys, I'm planning to pick up a new party to resume the story arc from a prior one....what take you guys would have for gathering a party at this level. Golarion explorers? Plane walkers? Native Triaxians?
Also what would be the motivator...?
One quick comment first: My group plays once a week for only a couple of hours each time, so we've been on this adventure path for about 9 months. They ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT. :-)
In answer to Ayanzo and Lanathar: What about folks just magically appearing inside The Dancing Hut whenever it "teleports" ? In my description to the PCs the room gets blurry and disorienting as it shifts to its new configuration. As a result, the characters always have to make a DC 18 Reflex Save to keep their balance or fall down and a DC 15 Fort Save to not become nauseous and vomit (yes, borrowing from Harry Potter and Doctor Who a bit here). [BTW, this has created some terrific interactions with Zorka who appears to clean-up and then harasses said PC from then on about their stamina, heroic-ness, cleanliness, or whatever is most annoying for that PC.]
OF COURSE, what has happened twice now is that as the PCs get their bearings any "new/replacement" PCs are suddenly in the room with them. Sometimes the PC has a backstory for being "nabbed" by the hut and the other time the PC had entered The Hut to explore it and has been in limbo/stasis ever sense.
If The Hut has already teleported, but the PCs are still exploring inside, it is possible that they open and door and find a nabbed/trapped/stasis PC in a particular room or area. And, for outside, what if someone had stepped-up on the Front Porch just as The Hut started to teleport?
Just a few ideas.
From memory, the description of the encounter only mentions the firedrake and light ballista(s?), but the room-by-room description of Spurhorn at the start of the chapter says that there is a heavy on the tower roofs too.
Had the chance to check it. From page 20:
"B2. Bastion: Eight of these squat towers protrude from Spurhorn’s outer walls. Forty feet tall, each bastion has two f loors aboveground, equipped with arrow slits on all sides. Each bastion has a crenellated roof and holds two light ballistae, one heavy ballista, and one firedrake (Pathfinder RPG Ultimate Combat 161), usually covered to protect them from the weather. Doors provide access to the tops of the outer walls (area B1) and interior stairs lead down to the bastion armories (area B15). Ten Triaxian soldiers serve as crews for the siege engines on each bastion."
Another MODIFICATION Note: I didn't have Ultimate Combat (and not so sure that I wanted to introduce Gunpowder weapons just yet---saving that shock for Rasputin Must Die! :-> ) so the accompanying weapon to the Ballistas are the cannon-equivilent of a Magic Wand that does 8d6 damage. It also gives me opportunities in the future for different kinds of Magic Cannon energy weaponry (fire by the Allies, cold or electricity by the Drakelands, acid, etc). The party's sorcerer is seriously trying to figure-out how to get one home and/or craft his own when the time comes. It fits the other-worldly style of magic and weapons on my vision of Triaxus. "Their" ballistas and all crossbow weapons are designed more like a cross between an atlatl and a style of mini-trebucet that flings from around one's shoulder.
|Darrell Impey UK|
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I'd use groups of juvenile or young adult dragons to fill that role - they band together into small groups to defend against groups of dragonkin, and to carve chunks out of territories claimed by older, more individually powerful dragons.
|GM Aram Zey|
Stone Dog wrote:Wait... the dragonkin rider is named Bescaylie? My players are going to have a good laugh at that. Maybe I'll take a page from Alien Nation about that and invent something humorous about a PCs name in Triaxian. Triaxic?What's so funny about the name?
Bescaylie. Be-scay-lie. Be Scaly.
PS: I have a player who will absolutely love this...
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Great campaign :) Last time my group played this AP their characters actually managed to convince Iantor that they are on official business with Yrax. As far as I know, he can't make sure, if that is true or not. Yrax is in his chambre, unwilling to be disturbed, and even if he allowed his son to enter, he won't be able to communicate the situation.
So far, the player's are determined to negotiate the bear skin out of him, which I think should be possible, but probably super hard, since dragon's are generaly overly attached to their hordes.
Any thoughts on that?
My players managed to bluff their way in and avoided a lot of the fights, but I made sure they went round nearly the whole place before they got to Yrax. (I even changed the Akhlut so that he was like a massive puppy that just wanted attention - one of my players was tempted to try and take him home in the end.)
When they got to Yrax though I had him ask them questions and a fight was inevitable. I'd set it up with the Triaxians that it would be better for them if Yrax was out of the way, so the party was set on killing him.
The Dancing Hut itself came looking, and swallowed them? May require a little work to explain how they work oit what they need to do from there.
Not sure how other people have been doing this but I have established an NPC to help me with this in the future - and I have established from previous deaths that the Black Rider's Mantle is transferable - I've had this NPC (who was originally a "servant" of a former PC but fairly quickly revealed to be something else - off on his own seeking out bearers of the Mantle and directing them to where they need to be.
At the higher levels I'll have this NPC have the ability to Plane Shift and just take new PC's from Golarion to join the party - this keeps the players all focused on Golarion and all invested with the Black Rider's mantle. (my group which has been on hiatus for a long time now was just starting book 3 when we went on long hiatus - if I get the group back together I'll try to race through book 3 and likely also book 4 to get to the fun of Book 5 - but any new PC's will likely have this NPC to thank for their introduction (I've made the NPC pretty mysterious so his connection to Baba Yaga may be hard to unravel.
right - but in this case it would probably be that the NPC meets the new players in Golarion - and then shifts them to the other bearers of the mantle (which may mean into the hut itself) but doesn't go himself (or goes and then disappears) - the exact mechanics of that may be a GM hand wave (I have some stats for this NPC but as the party has leveled up I haven't been leveling him - decided to make it a full GM npc but not someone who likely will show up in a combat situation.
Structurally I would use a short session with the new characters to get them a bit of the backstory (if they are new to the group or reminders and in-character knowledge if they are new characters for existing players) then move them quickly to the party to continue the main adventure.
Recently I read the "Tears of Artamon" series by Sarah Ash, which incidentally is nice background reading for Reign of Winter (especially for Rasputin must die). Now I am thinking of making a darker version of Spurhorn and making some of the dragonkin traitors to their cause and in league with Ivoryglass. Perhaps I will even make these dragonkin fiendish or half-fiends. However, I am thinking about how to incorporate this into the plot. Has anybody made changes to Spurhorn in a similar vein? Or perhaps any other changes to Spurhorn which can inspire me?
The idea is to add a bit of intrigue while the group is staying there. Perhaps they will bond (or almost bond) with the wrong type of dragonkin or discover that someone else is going to bond with a traitor, so that they can stop this just in time. Perhaps they have to find evidence of foul play.
(Knowing my group, they will probably choose the side of Spurhorn.)
In this series gusli players play an important role and even have special powers. Since there is a bard in my group, I intend to do something with that as well. The powers are linked with contacting the souls of the dead and that would fit in nicely with the ghost of Anastacia in Rasputin must die.
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Kinda - my group failed to kill Nazhena, so I'm having her reappear here. Since the module doesn't really go into why the Drakelands forces are attacking, I'm using Nazhena as the instigator.
We know that the winter collector on Triaxus is there to fuel Irrisen's eternal winter. I'm expanding on this idea by having Nazhena sent (as penance / challenge to regain her place after the pcs defeated her) to negotiate a foothold so that more of the queen's witches can come to copy the winter collector and place more around Triaxus.
Originally, the winter collector is up at the north pole. I moved it to just southwest of Spurhorn, just inside the Drakelands area of control. Nazhena initially tried to bribe the white dragon general (whose name escapes me right now), but he reacted poorly, insulted by her temerity. He banished her from the Drakelands.
Nazhena decided that the commander of Spurhorn could be used to take over the Drakelands territory containing the winter collector. She got Commander Pharomol (sp?) to agree to an assassination of the white dragon general without consulting his council (better to ask forgiveness, etc.), but the assassination failed. Now, as the adventurers arrive, the white dragon is determined to enact righteous revenge for the slight, Nazhena and Pharomol are at odds over the failed plot, and the council is upset with their commander for not discussing the idea first and starting a war.
This adds a bit of philosophical complexity to the situation. The Drakelands are, as a whole, rather evil in alignment, but have been unlawfully attacked in a cowardly manner, making them the righteous force in this conflict. The Dragon Legion is filled with strife and now known to be capable of dastardly action, but are still the more traditionally good alliance.
For Nazhena, I saw that her original writeup had the beginnings of decent golemancy, so I have leveled her up with 3 more winter witch (prestige class) levels and have her accompanied by a trio of ice golems and her new toy, a clay golem carved and painted to look like a really stunty frost giant. It'll be a challenging encounter, but the situation will allow the pcs to encounter her well before conflict breaks out, to ready themselves on how to take her down when it finally comes to blows. Even after the pcs show up, Nazhena will be attempting to salvage the situation, as getting kicked out during the siege means she'll likely be captured and dragged before the white dragon to answer for her crime.
Not quite the intrigue you were suggesting, but it does add a bit and ties things in nicely with the first two modules :)
Sounds nice! It also strengthens the link of Triaxus to the rest of the adventures, which I think is lacking in this campaign.
I will strengtening the dragon story (with the above-mentioned elements added), since one of my players plays a sorcerer with a draconic bloodline.
It will be a moral quandary for him when he hears the Drakelands want to conquer all of Triaxus and wipe out humanity on the planet. This sorcerer is also a revolutionary who has allied with the Heralds of summer's return, so he will rally to the cause of Spurhorn I guess.
I am just getting started in this book and my players are still in the Garden within the hut. But I have given it a lot of thought about the #1 complaint of this book. It seems it's relevance is minimal and is technically just a side quest.
Someone however, did mention maybe having Elvanna show up on Triaxus. How do you suppose I could have this occur without them going gung ho for her. Perhaps keep her in the distance to where she doesn't know they are there? But allowing them to spot her and maybe knowledge (local, history or noble) I feel like if she did see them, she would stop them. After all she probably isn't clueless and clearly more powerful than they are at the current moment.
She is 100% aware the hut was stolen because Nazhena got away and surely she informed Elvanna using mirrors. Nazhena tried to stop them in Iobaria when they tried to re-enter the hut at end of book 3. She gave them a better run for their money but failed again and Nazhena lost her life.
I had a side quest planned for this book that I never ran (because some of my players knew about the next book and really wanted me to move onto it). I gave Baknarla a little sister who had followed her away from the village, meaning that the dragon riders who had taken the party part of the way needed to take the sister back. They find the artefacts and she leaves and the party goes on their way.
Once they're done with the pelt the dragonkin meet up with them to take them back to the fort. But the ones that have dropped Baknarla off say that her village is gearing up for war against Yrax. Long story short, the head of the village has been replaced by one of Elvanna's witches in disguise. Elvanna knows what Baba Yaga has done and wants to get at least one of the keys back from this planet...
I'd worked it all out so could go into more detail if you want, but that was it in summary. Just an idea anyway!
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Heh. I was fine with the party just being out of Elvanna's reach for a book. Baba Yaga's reach is long and her schemes staggering and/or petty.
Baba Yaga's sending you into a warzone to prove your might by taking keys located in a dragon king's horde and in a critical, heavily defended fortress (possibly completely destabilizing the region in the process, if you destroy both Spurhorn AND Yrax) just to make sure you're bad enough dudes to save the
president queen of witches.
(Though I did throw in a tie-in to Kostchtchie at Yrax's fortress - the kokogiak became a fiendish ambassador (who wasn't making much headway, because Yrax's response to "you should ritually sacrifice all your female sorcerers" was "Nah") for the demon lord , who actually IS an interplanetary threat. Elvanna's a dire threat to Golarion, but she's very much localized to Golarion.)
A five-foot-high circular column with a stone plug a foot thick sits in the center of this small chamber.
The ceiling here is only 10 feet high. The stone plug weighs 2,500 pounds and covers a 40-foot-deep well where servants dispose of the palace’s waste.
Without mention of a pulley system so that servants can hoist the plug out, I'm thinking of adding one. Otherwise I guess Iantor or the golems have to do that bit of heavy lifting?
I just don't want to have the party miss out on the joy of one of these beasts, especially since one of the players is a GM who did basically the same thing in an adventure a long time ago.
I still have the same question about this adventure: how do the dragonkin survive on Triaxus? You would expect that the red dragonkin are only active in summer and the white only in winter, etc. However, dragonkin of all colors are present in the adventure. Can anyone explain this? They do not seem to have any climate adaptation.
Essentially the same way you handle how polar bears actually cope with arctic conditions when they don't have any mechanics that actually help with it - you handwave it.
I just assume that critters that have really thick hides (12 points of natural armor!) and that can handle flying thousands of feet in the air (and at a good clip, too - IIRC, a dragonkin that's booking it reaches almost 60 miles an hour) can handle cold temperatures. (And as flying telepathic breathweaponing dragon people, they're also blatantly supernatural. They don't play by quite the same rules us squishy humanoids do.)
Also, keep in mind that fire-breathing dragonkin don't have the fire subtype, and thus aren't cold vulnerable. Quite unlike an actual red dragon.
Thanks. It is just that most other creatures on Triaxus have a survival mechanism. E.g. the Triaxians have fur in winter and no fur in summer. Other Triaxian creatures sleep through summer or through winter. So you would expect dragonkin to have something like that, too.
As for polar bears: they can function perfectly in arctic climates, but cannot cope with heat and melting ice at all.
But well, thick hides and being a supernatural creature it is, then.
Dragonkin are basically all the same, they are just different colours and can breath different things. So they can cope in hot or cold weather (maybe they have something like blubber in winter). Also the Triaxians always have fur, it's just thinner and brown in summer.
You could always give them cold resistance 10. This switches to Fire Resistance 10 in the summer and a mix in Fall and Spring. This would fix the issue and still retain the flavor of the world.
@ Luna eladrin - My point was that the actual polar bear stat block doesn't address arctic survival beyond polar bears having a +8 survival check. BY RAW a polar bear should be having to make the checks for being exposed, even if we know that would be absurd.
@ Black-Cat - thinner and brown would be "equinox" ones. The Summerborn are completely bald.
Thanks for the feedback everyone.
Zhangar - the survival check is a good idea, as dragonkin also have a fairly high survival check.
remoh - I like the cold resistance/fire resistance switch. Perhaps with a slight color change (more subdued in winter and brighter in summer).
My point is that part of the flavor of Triaxus is that creatures have a mechanism for survival both in summer and in winter which can be actually noticed by the players, e.g. a transformation, or they hibernate or estivate. I have players who want to know these things, so I want to have an answer ready just in case.
Also I am adding some extra flavor to the adventure (as advised in the foreword), such as the possibility that the dragonkin might have been genetically engineered in the distant past (as was the case in the Dragonriders of Pern-series). In that case they would clearly have a distinct survival mechanism.
The dragonkin actually predate the true dragons.
I think the honest answer is that dragonkin are naturally "all-terrain" creatures, and were the original masters of the world before the true dragons arrived and seized dominance, leading to the War of Heroes...
If you really want, just give them some sort of temperature tolerance (Ex) ability that makes them comfortable in pretty much any Triaxian range (so -20 to 140).
One key piece of info we're missing is how long the dragonkin actually live - if it's a few centuries, it means a typical dragonkin experiences the entire seasonal cycle during its life time. And I just don't picture a dragonkin mutating or radically altering its form like the much shorter lived Triaxian fauna does.
Since they are somewhere 'in between' Triaxians and dragons, you would expect them to have quite a long lifespan. This would give them a different perspective on things, and it would make them first-hand witnesses of the time when it was still summer, offering nice roleplaying opportunities. Of course the dragons have this perspective as well, but since they are mostly antagonists in this adventure, I do not expect that the PCs will be chatting with them about weather and climate.
My players have just reached the hut configuration for Triaxus and it was great fun. Exciting combats with the moonflowers, and later with the denizen of Leng and the moonbeast. Two of my players kept calling the witch's hut 'the cabin in the woods'.
They have freed Zilvazaraat and accepted his proposal for trade in magic items. However, one of my players took Zilvazaraat apart and asked if he also traded in living creatures and parts of living creatures. I let Zilvazaraat give a noncommittal answer.
This player has been playing his character (a druid) as a sort of Docter Frankenstein. He has been examining dead bodies of monsters since the beginning of the campaign. In the first adventure he has been cutting open dead fairies in order to see if he could remove the ice sliver in their hearts. He has also tried to split the wolf in sheep's clothing in two, and has later reincarnated Syvet.
This has set me thinking: it would be nice if Zilvazaraat knew another planar trader. This could be a mercane or some other outsider, preferably with plane shift or a similar ability. This outsider could deliver body parts so that this PC could build some kind of creature, just like Igor in the Frankenstein films. Of course the player would need electricity to bring the creature to life, but I suppose that is available in Russia. This plotline would offer endless possibilities.
Problem is I cannot find a suitable outsider (or other creature) for this purpose. It would preferably have to be a CN creature (or slightly evil) without scruples about dealing in body parts, and it would have to be a bit shady and mysterious. It would be raiding cemeteries, etc. It cannot be a creature that is too evil, since there are good characters in the group and they would probably kill it. Does anybody have any suggestions what would be a suitable creature for this purpose?
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Due to Elvanna having that backdoor into the Dancing Hut, I plan on having my players pursued by her personal assassin. A person that most people don't believe exists. Those that do call him Zimniy Soldat, the Winter Soldier.
In "The Frozen Stars", he'll work whatever side the players don't (though I'm hoping that means he'll be fighting with the forces assaulting Spurhorn, PCs can be a fickle lot), performing the tasks that they would have had they chosen that side. Afterward, he'll return to the Hut and escape their notice through the same backdoor (they'll have enough to do at Ivoryglass without him showing up).
He'll pop up again in "Rasputin Must Die" to cause them headaches... possibly to escape once again so that he can appear one last time in "The Witch Queen's Revenge" in a final bid to eliminate his quarry.
Hi GMs, i'm new on this forum and i've a question for you
I've a party of 4 PC. They failed to get approval from Spourhorn war council. two of them (L/B paladin and N/B warpriest) decided to become prisoners into the fortress till the end of the siege. Meanwhile the other two (N/E) decided to flee to Malesingerd camp to help dragon army in the siege and take the two-headed eagle by force.
The party is splitted in two opposite sides, this is very intresting game but haw can i manage this?
Maybe some specular figting (wich are written in the book) but, how does it works with victory point sistem?
Sorry for my horrible englis :D
two of them (L/B paladin and N/B warpriest) decided to become prisoners into the fortress till the end of the siege. Meanwhile the other two (N/E) decided to flee to Malesingerd camp to help dragon army in the siege and take the two-headed eagle by force.
Well, quite a problem. What are the Paladins and Warpriest Plan? Just sit until when?
You don't need to do the Victory point setting. I would have the others help with the assault and try to infiltrate the castle and free the prisoners. After they succeed and leave with the bird, have the General of the White Dragon army betray them as written.
Paladin and war priest will stay prisoner till the end. they will help spurhorn defenders in healing woundwd troops due theri strong code of values.
Maybe commander Pharamol will free them in a moment of need (they checked 2 diplomacy test before cr is too high) so they can join the defenders. No one of them will join the evil besieging army.
In the other side the two others PC are ver angry with the counil and intend to get the eagle with brute force.
But i think its'a very breaking party point.
Will the paladin accept that his mates kill non evil dragonriders to take babayaga's key?
I'wuold like to take them on the battlefield, it's very epic! :D
@ Luna: I figured as much, but in context it sounded rather amusing and I couldn't resist it. My sincere apologies if the comment came off as sounding mean in any way!
Thank you. No, it did not sound mean. I had to laugh as well. It only goes to show that no matter how well you think you know a second language (and I am using English every day in my job), you still can make mistakes like this. I think these errors are called "false friends".
I have a problem with the siege towers. Can some one help me with these questions?
1. What is the height of the siege towers? Am I to assume it is 30 feet? How can the enemies reach the walls if the towers are on such a steep incline (angling backward)?
2. 45 degrees means an inclination angle of 50%. It is very difficult to roll a siege tower up such a steep incline. Some older cars even have trouble with inclines of 12% and the siege towers are not powered by machines (though hydras are strong).
3. Where are they going to position the siege towers on this steep slope? They would either roll down again or tilt and fall flat or crush the hydras. Or do they anchor them? These towers are not extremely unstable but rather it seems to me it is impossible to position the towers there at all.
Perhaps I am nitpicking, but my players will certainly notice this (one of them is a math and physics teacher).
I have decided to make the siege tower higher on one side, so that it is skewed on the underside and flat at the top and so that the platform reaches the top of the wall when it is positioned against the wall. I have also decided to give it spiked wheels for extra grip on the slope. It seems more logical to me, especially because general Malesinder strikes me as an able tactician and would come up with a solution to these problems.
This means it is a little bit more difficult to topple the tower, but I expect my players to be creative and resourceful enough to manage it. And they can of course just kill the hydras in order to solve this problem.
The only problem left to solve is how the hydras got there.
Anyway, when thinking about these problems I saw an image of enemies flying over Spurhorn on drakes and dropping off with parachutes. That would surely make for an exciting encounter. Since the Triaxians have been used to flying creatures for so long, they might have developed parachutes.
I'm just starting on this module now. My players are having a good time with the AP, but tend to skip clues and focus on improv RP and tabletop gaming. I've had to be charitable so they stay on track, e.g. letting them roll for answers, or get NPCs to help.
In that spirit, I'm scrapping the raven's vague clues for something more explicit, so that the players get the sense that the story has turned a corner. It hope it also helps with their frustration around being continually confounded by Baba Yaga's own guardians.
The Oracle ravens Moc, Rozum, and Tryva (from Maiden, Mother, Crone) by this time recognize the mantle of the Black Rider in the players, so they are willing to help, in their own cagey and whimsical way. They know that Baba Yaga knew of her daughter's betrayal at this point, and was on some mission here to shut down the wintry power behind Winter Witches of Irrisen. But she was interrupted by "her only son" and left, but not before quietly instructing the ravens to deposit the two keys, one each to two opposing commanders, continuing her trail of breadcrumbs.
So, while laying out the visual clues -- two-headed eagle, bearskin etc. -- the ravens chant, trading couplets among themselves:
Baba Yaga has gone on,
Off to see her only son.
But a trail she left behind,
If the breadcrumbs you can find!
Seek you now the two-headed eagle,
Held by the Dragon Legion regal,
In Fortress Spurhorn mountain pass.
Then find the bearskin that finely adorns,
The chambers of the Howling Storm,
In the Drakelands palace of Ivoryglass.
From there I hope things will fall into place when they meet Bescaylie and others, who can help with these clues.
The stat block for Efrexis in the AP (and referenced for all Dragonkin in Frozen Stars) is different from the stat block for Dragonkin on d20pfsrd.com. Efrexis has Str 22, the Dragonkin entry shows Str 26. I'm going with Str 22 since I didn't catch this before the Battle of Spurhorn, it's what we've been using.
Also, shouldn't the Glaive attack be +17, not +16? +10 BAB, +6 Str, +1 masterwork Glaive.
I need to settle this, since all my players elected to take Dragonkin allies.