Sword of Valor (GM Reference)


Wrath of the Righteous

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Estre wrote:

After reading Sword of Valor, I knew I’ll have to rework a bit certain parts of this module in order for it to be more appealing for my players.

First, in my opinion, the army feels like an anonymous mass of faceless stormtroopers. Only one soldier has a name and a face (Arles). The Queen gave them an army which would help them to accomplish an important mission, making them responsible of the fate of these guys. I knew my players would want to know them and would care for them. I’ve read that the army isn’t supposed to be the center of the experience but it feels odd to not have at least several soldiers’ names. It feels like the players aren’t supposed to interact or even care for their army. My guess was that my players would interact with them and that I have to prepare myself for this.

In order to “humanize” the army, I split it in 4 groups of 25 men, each leaded by a captain.

** spoiler omitted **

It worked even better than I thought. As soon as my players received the army from the Queen, they wanted to learn more about the captains and the army. My Wizard even made a point to learn each soldier’s name (no I didn’t create all the names, just acknowledged he knew them all) . During all the way to Drezen, they took care of the army, trying to limit...

THat's an awesome way to run mass combat... My PCs are about to finish the Worldwound Incursion and I'll probably ditch the mass combat rules entirely in favor of something like you did, so the PCs can feel special in each battle... also, you can't go more mythical then facing a whole ARMY in the lead of yours! I'll beef up the enemy commander so that it's a challenging encounter for the PCs and let the paladin vs mooks battle slide in the background.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I just noticed that Kiranda's entire scheme hinges on deceiving the party by casting Charm Monster on herself and having the party notice that.

So, how would the party notice that she has Charm Monster cast on herself?

Well, most probably by casting Detect Magic and scanning her thoroughly. At which point they would probably notice the Change Shape effect on her, since that is a supernatural ability very closely related to a Polymorph spell. Ooops.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

A DC 25 Sense Motive check should tell the PCs that she is under the influence of compulsion magic (p. 104 of the CRB).


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Yeah, but I think that my guys will think of using Detect Magic, which is the real problem I was talking about.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

I don't believe supernatural abilities register under detect magic. The succubus' change shape ability functions as alter self, but it's not actually the spell and wouldn't have a magic aura associated with it.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

That's a pretty debatable opinion. In fact, there seem to be several threads on the topic on the boards, with sadly no input by the devs.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

Fair enough. That's the way I ran it in my game so that her deception can't be foiled by an ubiquitous cantrip, but as always, each GM is free to interpret things as he or she sees fit. :)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Anyway, I also want to preserve her ability to pull off this deception, so like someone said per email I may use a permanent form of the spell Non-Detection on her or something else like Magic Aura. As the GM I can do stuff like this, after all. :p


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Since Supernatural abilities aren't subject to being dispelled, I'd say there's a very solid case for Detect Magic only detecting spells and spell-like ability.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

However, supernaturals are still suppressed in an anti-magic field.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

You could also have her admit that she's been changed or experimented on. Maybe foreshadowing for the demonic ritual in Demon's Heresy that turns people into demons.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Also a good idea. :)


So, some funny things happened yesterday during session...
THe party went to fight the vescavor queen and the party wizard was so traumatized that he earned an insanity: Multiple Personality Disorder. Should I wait for the onset time or would it start right away?
Then, that same wizard attempted to use a scroll of Dimensional Lock on the Abyssal Rift but failed both the level check and the wisdom check, so instead of closing the rift, the magical energies enlarged it so the Vrock could pass through easily. Now how would you close that portal? I would think dispel magic first to shut down the "reversed dimensional lock" and then the other options would be available.
Hilariously, upon rolling randomly the alignment of the new personality, it'll be chaotic evil, and the wizard is the lover of a devoted paladin of Shelyn!


So my player failed to notice bard slipping the shadow blood in Aron's pack and failed to notice to Aron's behavior change when he started using. So what happen when he is able to keep the shadow blood a secret. The book only says what happens when he's confronted about it. Well my players haven't clue he using it.

I'm thinking about having the Halfling point it out or set it up where he's caught using it.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I believe the book has ideas about what happens to Aron. First, you can give your PCs more chances to notice his changes as it takes about a week to get to Drezen. You could also have Sosiel either approach them or have him try to help Aron on his own, likely failing to involve PCs in the plot.
If left completely alone I believe he turns and joins the shadow demon at the end and had negative effects on the siege.
There is a lot you can do depending on the story you wish to run, or that your PCs enjoy.

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

Look at the text for the assault on Drezen and the final encounter with Eustoyriax in Part Three. There, it indicates Aron's continued use of the drug will lure him away from their army when they reach Drezen. The shadow demon essentially calls Aron to him, and the final battle could wind up being between the PCs and a possessed Aron as he becomes a puppet for Eustoyriax. His disappearance from their army also has trickle-down ramifications, both for the leadership of their troops (which Aron played a role in), as well as the stress it creats on Sosiel, who becomes so distraught over the loss of Aron that the priest becomes less effective in his support, too.


I see various NPC's add bonuses to there army. Since only one can lead why don't other PC's add bonuses to the army as well?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

All the NPCs have their bonuses added to the army. You don't have to be the leader for those bonuses.


Er... has anyone else had issues with the Haunted Vault? (Skirmish 1 outside of Drezen.)

The text reads, "If the PCs... cleanse the vault by removing the unhallow effect..."

One of my personal pet peeves in Pathfinder is that you CAN'T remove an unhallow effect. Here's a thread that has this sort of discussion, and I've asked about it in a couple of threads on my own.

So, how did other GMs deal with removing Unhallow? Since it's called a CL 11 "effect", rather than the spell itself, did you allow Dispel Magic?

(It's not significant in WotR, but in another campaign I have an angelic oracle who's focusing on spells like Bless, Consecrate, Hallow, and Forbiddance, so knowing how they can be taken down would be very useful. (Yes, all have durations and are hence Dispellable EXCEPT Hallow.))


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I think that I allowed dispel magic. Or, if not that, then the effort and time spent by a paladin and a cleric did the trick.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

To me it is very clear that casting a Hallow spell removes an Unhallow spell (and vica versa) and that is how I have ruled it when it came up tonight when my group cleared the graveyard.
I am aware there is a controversy but I have paid it no attention so can't help with that if you think there is some doubt.
Apologies if that does not help at all and I hope you find a ruling which does help somewhere in that case.


Oh, I can totally accept a house rule that Hallow negates Unhallow (the text of the spell explicitly says it "counters but does not dispel" it), but how did your PCs have access to Hallow? Mine are 7th level at the moment, so it's a couple of levels before they get Hallow, and then there's the 1000 gp of material components they'll need...


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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I don't consider it a house rule just reading the text as written. However the more important answer is , that I should not
1) Comment on spells later at night
2) Trust my memory when making rules decisions quickly at the end of the game session. For some reason I had hallow as being a 3rd level cleric spell and so the npc 6th level cleric cast it.

For this mistake I can only plead oops. Fortunately it does not matter in the context of my campaign but oops. The 1000gp is not a major issue they have plenty of loot including the tragically dead bard Nurah, killed by a Dwarf suffering from confusion, and feeling really bad about it.


Alas, poor Nurah. We knew her Horatio!

As I said, I'm not really worried about it in this situation because whether or not they Hallow it is rather meaningless in the grand scheme of things. I just knew that:
(1) In theory, they can't Dispel an Unhallow.
(2) In practice, they're not high enough level to Hallow it.

So I was curious how other people managed it. I'm thinking of allowing cleansing the place and then maybe a Consecrate combined with a Dispel Magic or some such. At least to make them work for it...


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NobodysHome wrote:

Alas, poor Nurah. We knew her Horatio!

As I said, I'm not really worried about it in this situation because whether or not they Hallow it is rather meaningless in the grand scheme of things. I just knew that:
(1) In theory, they can't Dispel an Unhallow.
(2) In practice, they're not high enough level to Hallow it.

So I was curious how other people managed it. I'm thinking of allowing cleansing the place and then maybe a Consecrate combined with a Dispel Magic or some such. At least to make them work for it...

Make them come up with a method of ending it, and if one sounds reasonable enough, allow it.

Sometimes, it's good to introduce puzzles that have no answer, and see what your party comes up with as an answer, and just pick the right one.


It worked out well: They decided to use Prestidigitation to put all the ashes back in their urns and clean the place up, Mending to fix all the urns, and use one of the cleric's mythic spellcasts for Dispel Magic, plus a mythic surge. Then a Consecrate to top it all off.

That's enough work I feel it's good to let it go...


Citadel Drezen: Up and to the left of F9 is a room full of rubble and a breach in the wall.

Is this breach supposed to be passable, giving the PCs an easy way in, or is it supposed to be collapsed?

Has anyone else had the PCs notice this breach and opt for that entrance?

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

NobodysHome wrote:
Citadel Drezen: Up and to the left of F9 is a room full of rubble and a breach in the wall....Is this breach supposed to be passable, giving the PCs an easy way in, or is it supposed to be collapsed?

Collapsed.

If you're looking for alternative ways in (other than the front door), there's the ruined tower at F23 (which Soltengrebbe used as his lair) and the ruined parapet at F14 (which is still guarded by a host of brimoraks). You could also try to breach the doors at F9b or F11b. All of these locations would require a means for accessing the ramparts there (i.e., spider climb, levitate, fly, difficult Climb checks, etc.).


Thanks! I was aware of the others, but the party used an Arcane Eye to circumnavigate the building and chose the wall breach as their favorite line of entry.

Your post came 5 minutes after I allowed it! :-P

Ah, well, better luck for me next time! I'll check for such things more in advance. (I hadn't even noticed it until the group said, "What about that wall breach? Is it passable?")

Fortunately, it didn't change much of anything. They still alerted Jestak and she still got to down her potion of Barkskin and get off a surprise round on the party. Unfortunately, the fighter got in a hit-crit-crit while mythic power attacking and ended her in a round.

As I said, ended up not having a significant impact...


Hey this is the first adventure i'm GM'ing as talked about earlier in this thread some parties have no way of dealing with swarms when they come to The Gibbering Swarm, I really love this part of the adventure it reminds me of alien for some reason so i don't want to have them backtrack and go around. My party consists of a Tiefling monk a Aasimir cleric/paladin and a Goblin barbarian. Ive thought i might have one of the paladins of their army say oh ive got this swarmbane clasp i could lend you if you let me try out your amulet of natural armor but i dont want to give them more than one and the monk gets easily distracted out of game so i dont want her getting bored, any ideas on what i should do?

Grand Lodge

OK so here is where I am at in this part of the AP:

1. The Party has scaled the cliff face to proceed to the chapel and has killed the Ghouls but 2 PCs are currently down, they didn't take any of the NPCs up with them and I would like them to clear the chapel, I was going to have 2 NPCs (Sosiel and Irabeth) come up and assist with healing (the gargoyles did fly around so they would know the PCs are under attack). They were going to retreat but I was going to force their hand by having the Inquisitor block their exit after the NPCs arrive.

2. Arles The Paladin who causes some issues within army has started up post crossing the ford, the Paladin in the group is in command of the army but doesn't want to "have" to deal with it right away if he doesn't have too. He sent Nurah to have a chat with him as she is the "moral" officer as my party keeps stating. I am thinking I could either have Arles and his ilk join up with her or have him expose her and it become more apparent that their journey is doomed more so as there are traitors among them.

Any suggestions.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

@Birds : I kind of used the swarms as a 'timer' on the fight as my group wasn't the best prepared to deal with them either. They had plenty of means for invisibility to get to the queen, then I brought in the swarms as needed to make things tense.

@Raltus : I consider Nurah to be the more important NPC to the plot so I'd tilt things in her favor. If you have an idea, then let her handle the Arles situation while giving the PCs a chance to discover that she duped them.

As for the party... not sure. Let them take a break to recharge. Have them heal up via an NPC. Or did they find the stash of healing potions? Its supposed to be for the army but PCs could use them. Or have Aron show it to them.

Grand Lodge

They haven't entered the chapel yet, we left off with them downing the last of the Ghoul clerics.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Potions are beneath the alter there, I think? If all they need is HP.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Have Nurah talk to Arles and 'Roll badly' and accidentally encourage him to go over the edge and desert taking with him a few friends who will promptly be ambushed by her allies and their desecrated corpses be found in the path of the army. Then she can be distraught over her mistake and how terrible the prolonged suffering death of this man was and how this shows we must all be careful or face the same feat as not even our great leaders can protect all of us all the time we must take responsibility for our own safety , should hurt army morale nicely and everyone rolls badly occasionally

Grand Lodge

JohnHawkins wrote:
Have Nurah talk to Arles and 'Roll badly' and accidentally encourage him to go over the edge and desert taking with him a few friends who will promptly be ambushed by her allies and their desecrated corpses be found in the path of the army. Then she can be distraught over her mistake and how terrible the prolonged suffering death of this man was and how this shows we must all be careful or face the same feat as not even our great leaders can protect all of us all the time we must take responsibility for our own safety , should hurt army morale nicely and everyone rolls badly occasionally

That is solid!

Grand Lodge

So my Party just killed the Queen Vescavor and dismissed the Vrock. Do I print a map of Dreznen off and have Aron have it?


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

No
Aron does not know which doors are blocked by rubble or were the stairs are as he does not know about the basement. Somewhere on this board somebody has posted 2 very nice versions of the map, one hand drawn and the other with all unavailable information removed


JohnHawkins wrote:

No

Aron does not know which doors are blocked by rubble or were the stairs are as he does not know about the basement. Somewhere on this board somebody has posted 2 very nice versions of the map, one hand drawn and the other with all unavailable information removed

That would be N'Wah in this thread.

The Citadel Drezen map is here.

Grand Lodge

I meant the map of the whole area, the one before you entre the Castle. the one with the bridges and such on it


You could print it off, but I wouldn't. To keep up with the idea of 'going off memories' I would draw out a map for them. Roughly draw in the river bed, bridge, and major roads. Then label the same areas on the map (except the haunted vault). A few minor details like a rough sketch of some of the 'bigger' buildings (like the tower on Paradise Hill) and the guard wall of Citadel Drezen.

If anything though, Sosiel would have the map. Aron is supposed to be the specialist on demonic tactics and strategies, not for his knowledge of Drezen I though. Sosiel is supposed to be the scout and capable of gathering lays of the land and will provide a map of Citadel Drezen and Nurah is brought a long for her extensive knowledge about Drezen as a whole.


My group just went up against Soltengrebbe, who I had enlarged and tripled her HP but halved her damage. She still took out an average of one PC per round and unfortunately the paladin had already used her smites on Moxsahbuul and the Bodak stalker I decided it made sense for him to team up with.

It actually wasn't exactly a team but Moxsahbuul allowing the Bodak to stay in his crypt for the additional protection, which ended up not doing a lot of good when the paladin scored three crits in a round. They did not fight together. They had no con damage because of lesser restoration potions but the Bodak did manage four negative levels on the magus and ninja before they could avert their eyes; it stood right in front of the inner door as the opened it, as much for the creepy factor as for the gaze attack.

Sadly their luck ran out against Soltengrebbe and they could barely touch her the first few rounds, and they had not fully healed because they weren't expecting the fight. The fight lasted somewhere between 15 and 18 rounds; I stopped paying attention to the count after the fleeing magus was caught and bitten to death.

The ninja is the only one who got away with a potion of invisibility (thankfully choosing to trail Soltengrebbe so I don't have to get them back and they have an out), but I'm going to have Soltengrebbe bring them be placed in the dungeon in the antimagic cell. One of the PC's parents is captured there too, so along with Arushelae's cell it should be quite an interesting (though cramped) start to the next session at least.

Specifically I plan on the PC's father shake them awake. Almost like it was all a dream for a second. And then another fakeout that they're dead because they think their father is dead. I doubt the player will believe either but we'll see!


So I made a slight alteration to an enemy:

GM Eyes Only!:
Kiranda. I just replaced her two levels in Duelist with levels in Swashbuckler. It seemed obvious, but this appears to completely break her.

With her Charisma she gets 8 Panache with the ability to get +8 AC vs one attack per round. And if you replace the weapon finesse feat she gets anyway with Combat Reflexes, as seemed, again, to be the most obvious choice, she can attempt to parry and riposte another six attacks. This will of course cost 7/8 of her panache if she does all that in one round, but she can.

But then with a 25% crit chance, she has a pretty decent chance of regaining one panache per round, before considering the damage output she'd have potentially dropping some PCs.

I thought it might be fun to try out one of the new classes here and it made sense. But I'm afraid I have to make this a "what if" scenario if anything because it just seems highly likely they'll lose, especially if they have to fight her alongside Staunton and Nurah (she got away) and their "mooks" which'll probably also happen with her ridiculous disguise bonus.


Gladior wrote:
Okay, first of all, I LOVE this adventure and am so excited to see how the rest of the AP will go. But, as I read through mine, the pages started detaching from the binding. I've only been subscribing since Rasputin Must Die, so I don't have a lot of background on product quality (in the physical integrity sense) for Paizo softcovers. Is this an anomaly or something to be expected in future AP releases?

First time I've had this happen with a Pathfinder module as well. The 1st and 3rd modules are fine. Sword of Valor's binding is breaking apart. Odd.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Happened with modules one and two for me, too and a lot of others. Early WotR modules had a bad binding run. Write to customer service if they can replace them, include photos. Worked out for me.


Aldarionn wrote:

It's from Champions of Purity.

Quote:

Worldwound Walker

Your purity always remains a blessing, even when you’re surrounded by creatures that despise it.

Prerequisites: 5 or more Hit Dice, good alignment.

Benefit: You can alter the essence of your being to lessen the effects of spells designed to harm good creatures. When affected by spells and effects that behave differently according to alignment (such as unholy word or protection from good), you can choose whether you are considered good or neutral. This ability does not actually change your alignment or fool divinations, nor does it permit you to overcome alignment requirements for the use of magic items, class abilities, and so on.

Ostensibly a character with this feat is so used to surviving in an environment hostile to Good characters that he has learned ways to overcome certain abilities designed specifically to hurt Good. I don't exactly agree with it considering how much immunity it grants, but considering it's from the splat book directly related to the Worldwound I couldn't really justify banning it specifically. It's pretty clear what the intent is, and if the character has spent a lot of time in the Worldwound or fighting its denizens it definitely makes sense.

I made an equivalent feat for evil characters and handed it out. Same thing would apply with The Worldwound enemies fighting the force of good all the time. If one group develops a virtual immunity, why wouldn't the other? Marginalizes paladins and clerics both ways.

Personally, I don't think feats like this should exist. I certainly am not going to allow feats that give the PCs an advantage over the enemies that marginalizes encounters.

Grand Lodge

Did anyone use Statuon Vhanes (I know I spelled it wrong haha) mount in the battle that he took part in?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

If this has been asked and answered, I apologize, but is there not a serious disconnect in how the Sword of Valor is described relative to where it is indicated that it was originally stored?

"Mounted firmly upon an interior wall in a visible public place, the Sword creates a 10 mile radius area that bars demons and those who worship demons from using teleportation spells...." (p.63 SoV)

However, p. 36 "This room once housed the Sword of Valor, but the artifact is not here now -" but that room is a "secret vault" behind two secret doors.

That does not seem like a "public place" to me.

Or am I missing something?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Is Soltengrebbe an outsider for the purposes of favored enemy and smite functions because of the demon descriptor?

p. 31 SoV - "CE Large magical beast (demon, mythic)"

p. 311 Bestiary "Demon Subtype: Demons are chaotic evil outsiders that call the Abyss their home."


Nylarthotep wrote:

If this has been asked and answered, I apologize, but is there not a serious disconnect in how the Sword of Valor is described relative to where it is indicated that it was originally stored?

"Mounted firmly upon an interior wall in a visible public place, the Sword creates a 10 mile radius area that bars demons and those who worship demons from using teleportation spells...." (p.63 SoV)

However, p. 36 "This room once housed the Sword of Valor, but the artifact is not here now -" but that room is a "secret vault" behind two secret doors.

That does not seem like a "public place" to me.

Or am I missing something?

I noticed the same thing. I made my PCs hang it in the main chapel.

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