4-20 Words of the Ancients *Spoilers*

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Dark Archive

Unless one of our fearless leaders pipes in saying otherwise, assume that you need to purchase it.

Paizo Employee 5/5 Developer

The Osirion mission is a little wonky because you have to fail at trapfinding to succeed at the mission.

Page 17 notes that the PCs can smell fruit wafting from the trap's area. The only fruit in a demiplanar storage facility would be the bristleberries.
Do we need to buy the tattoo?

Page 18 notes "While the brand appears on the scenario's Chronicle sheet, only characters who undergo this ritual receive the brand for free." Because the tattoo doesn't appear as a boon, I infer that it is not available via GM credit, though that's an unintended result of making the tattoo purchasable.
4/5 Venture-Agent, United Kingdom—England—Gloucester aka Findas

There is a confusing bit of text on the chronicle sheet regarding the Sihedron Brand:

"A character marked with the lesser version of this arcane tattoo receives a +2 profane bonus on attack and damage rolls against creatures brought to the Material Plane via a conjuration (summoning) effect, and gains a +2 profane bonus to AC against attacks from such creatures. Lesser versions of this mark exist, which grant +1 profane bonuses on attack and damage rolls and to AC against summoned creatures instead."

Seems as though the bolded section shouldn't be there, as it says later that the lesser version is +1.

It's a known typo. The bolded part on your post should say "the greater version of"

Shadow Lodge 5/5 5/55/5 Venture-Lieutenant, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East aka thistledown

Ran this this week. I must say the hounds have the best written tactics I have seen in any scenario.

The dragon was complicated, because 2 party members wanted to kill it, 1 wanted to just scare it away (and could have), 1 wanted to hide in her carriage, and only 1 was trying to diplomatically solve things. He eventually got the face to come out of the carriage and pacify things, but it was pretty dicey.

The fight at the end was going badly for the party, between the dreams and the remaining hounds. But the best faces in the party managed to dimension door outside, and re-diplomated the dragon, then convincing it to go into the tower and help (well, pick-up bodies by that point)

Shadow Lodge 5/5 5/55/5 Venture-Lieutenant, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East aka thistledown

Let me rephrase - the hounds have the most lethal tactics I've seen. The writing, I'm a bit confused.

First it says they stay hidden and watch for a PC to be vulnerable or isolated on the first floor.

If the party is about to solve the puzzle, they attack.

They teleport away from melee threats and harry spellcasters and ranged.

At low hp, they run away if they can

Development says that if they fail to overwhelm in the first attack, they withdraw and observe from a different floor. Unless they see someone alone, they wait until the PC's try to leave. It says see page 20, but they're not referenced again except for making Zonaladin suspicious. So what does it mean by "first attack"? The first round of combat? The time until reinforcements arrive? The entire fight until their morale breaks?

The development is somewhat at odds with the tactics. It made sense to me that if they can ambush someone alone on the first floor, they do; but as soon as melee reinforcements arrive, they teleport away and wait for someone to be isolated again. They continue this cycle of very short fights until the party gets to floor 2. According to tactics they attack again now. According to development they wait until the party's on the way out.

I went with the development version, and it got ugly. They had successfully ambushed twice, but as there was no big battle on floor 2, they were still at nearly full power. Now you've got the hounds and the dreams both attacking the party at the same time. With the dreams dropping confusions and deep slumbers around, this can get dangerous fast, especially at high tier where there's 6 of each.

What's the correct way to do this? Looking now, it seems like it should be Ambushes on ground floor and floors 3-8, then stay for a pitched battle on floor 2. Keep fighting until morale drops, then teleport away. Then at the end whoever is left joins the dreams.

first attack means in their first encounter.

Apart from the mistake with 36 (which hsa 9 factors but can be replaced with 40), the puzzle has a big flaw: the hint! It's obscure and leads to weird conclusion, related to the "century", "fewest steps", and waste of time and frustration.

For the non-purists, here's an alternate one:

In the tower of the multiple
Avoid that is made of many
Step into what is unique
To reach the prize you seek

And also remove the doors numbered "1", replacing them with "reset doors". Though 1 is not a prime number, this is a technical detail that could be overlooked, and a rather valid interpretation of the rule would be to step into the 1 doors twice in a row. In fact, because there's always a prime door, they number 1 doors can be removed altogether.

And the dwarf statue? Great way to throw players off-track if they don't have a Qadira in the team!

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