#5-05 The elven entanglement gm discussion [spoilers]


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5/5

just starting to prep some of this and stat out some monsters:

The first encounter with the centipedes, on the "adjusting for 4 players" sidebar, says adjustements are only to the Titan Centipede. Do these changes also apply to the 10-11 subtier?

Paizo Employee 5/5 Developer

CRobledo wrote:

just starting to prep some of this and stat out some monsters:

The first encounter with the centipedes, on the "adjusting for 4 players" sidebar, says adjustements are only to the Titan Centipede. Do these changes also apply to the 10-11 subtier?

Yes, the Subtier 10–11 encounter involves a variant titan centipede, so the adjustment applies equally.

Scarab Sages 2/5

- I am looking at the "rewards" portion of each encounter and it states that it is reducing the reward for each failure. Was that starting from this scenario, or from the start of this season?

- For the maps of C through F, is there any specific location that the PCs should start at?

- For combat F, does the big guy get a bonus +8 AC (Cover)/+4 Reflex due to it crouching where it starts?

- After combat F, it states that there are 4 containers with elves, so when 12 hours passed, roll a d4 to determine if the main one turns bad?

5/5

Ryan! Come on buddy!

GM References wrote:
Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook, Pathfinder RPG Ultimate Combat (UC), Pathfinder RPG Ultimate Equipment (UE), Pathfinder RPG Ultimate Magic (UM), Pathfinder RPG Bestiary (B), Pathfinder RPG Bestiary 2 (B2), and Pathfinder RPG Bestiary 3 (B3)

Those are heavy!

Paizo Employee 5/5 Developer

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Cao Phen wrote:
- I am looking at the "rewards" portion of each encounter and it states that it is reducing the reward for each failure. Was that starting from this scenario, or from the start of this season?

Scenarios started phrasing rewards in a deductive way, as that's typically how GMs ended up using that information.

Quote:
- For the maps of C through F, is there any specific location that the PCs should start at?

Map C has no starting area to allow the PCs to approach from wherever they like; they're the ones creeping up on a known target.

Map D should be starting from the left end (farther from the bad guys)
Map E is tied into a social encounter and is a fairly small map, so it's open to GM interpretation based on PC actions.
Map F has the PCs start on the top of the map (farthest away from the big rock), and I believe the encounter setup notes this.

Quote:
- For combat F, does the big guy get a bonus +8 AC (Cover)/+4 Reflex due to it crouching where it starts?

Off the top of my head, that sounds correct. Fighting in water is scary.

Quote:
- After combat F, it states that there are 4 containers with elves, so when 12 hours passed, roll a d4 to determine if the main one turns bad?

Yes, I believe there are 6 chrysalises, and four of them contain elves. When an elf "goes bad," randomly determine which chrysalis was involved as well as which of the elves it was.

Scarab Sages 2/5

Thanks for the info, though I forgot another question:

- Because it states in the text for Combat C that the creatures teleported to Kethalia, are we safe to assume that these are not summoned and can summon more of its kind?

Paizo Employee 5/5 Developer

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Cao Phen wrote:

Thanks for the info, though I forgot another question:

- Because it states in the text for Combat C that the creatures teleported to Kethalia, are we safe to assume that these are not summoned and can summon more of its kind?

They could summon more of their kind, though unless the PCs really give the babaus cause for concern (and extra time to prep), I don't imagine the babaus have much reason to call in friends. I imagine them sharing a knowing look and telepathically chanting to each other "Wait for it. Wait for it..." as the PCs get closer to the WiSC.

5/5

Thanks for all the clarifications John!

For everyone else, monster stats are in the GM Shared Prep folder! This one was quite a doozy to compile. TWO TEMPLATES on the same creature! For shame, Ryan!

Then the Babaus MAYBE drink a potion of cat's grace. And then some pretty crazy 4-player adjustments.

PHEW!

Scarab Sages 2/5

You forgot the Uprooters...just in case some PCs want to pick a fight =)

Ah, also for the High Tier endboss, what does the Improved Stench Feat specifically does? Does the 'DR' mean Demons Revisited?

Dark Archive 4/5

I looked up Improved Stench on Archives of Nethys, and that is what is causing his stench aura to reach 60 ft. instead of 30. However, it's also supposed to increase the duration of the sickened condition to 15 rounds.

Any tips for Vinst? Jokes, stories, limericks? It would be nice to have a list of material. :)

Assuming a very slow party, does an elf transform every 12 hours?

5/5

Cao Phen wrote:
You forgot the Uprooters...just in case some PCs want to pick a fight =)

O.o I guess... I can add them in...

The Exchange 2/5

In the first encounter, does a colossal creature with a climb speed suffer difficult terrain movement penalties or not?

Liberty's Edge 3/5

Majuba wrote:

Ryan! Come on buddy!

GM References wrote:
Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook, Pathfinder RPG Ultimate Combat (UC), Pathfinder RPG Ultimate Equipment (UE), Pathfinder RPG Ultimate Magic (UM), Pathfinder RPG Bestiary (B), Pathfinder RPG Bestiary 2 (B2), and Pathfinder RPG Bestiary 3 (B3)
Those are heavy!

When people keep asking you if you’ve been working out, you’re welcome.

CRobledo wrote:

For everyone else, monster stats are in the GM Shared Prep folder! This one was quite a doozy to compile. TWO TEMPLATES on the same creature! For shame, Ryan!

Then the Babaus MAYBE drink a potion of cat's grace. And then some pretty crazy 4-player adjustments.

PHEW!

That was quick! Well thank you, sir. The GM Shared Prep folder remains an invaluable resource, particularly for high level scenarios that might shamefully include template monsters. And I do agree there are a fair number of them, but Tanglebriar kind of calls for it. Not giving Vinst and the titan centipede fiendish templates kind of feels against the flavour but mechanically the right choice.

The potion of cat’s grace was John’s (in my opinion brilliant) idea. I my turnover, the vrock over the claw brush filled this awkward second optional encounter space. John found a way to incorporate being spotted into the adventure without resorting to combat.

Hulk'Thar wrote:
In the first encounter, does a colossal creature with a climb speed suffer difficult terrain movement penalties or not?

To the best of my knowledge, your size and speed don’t affect your ability to handle difficult terrain. So the centipede moves at half speed, but can still trample.

Paizo Employee 5/5 Developer

Ryan Costello wrote:
Hulk'Thar wrote:
In the first encounter, does a colossal creature with a climb speed suffer difficult terrain movement penalties or not?

To the best of my knowledge, your size and speed don’t affect your ability to handle difficult terrain. So the centipede moves at half speed, but can still trample.

That said, the centipede does have compression, meaning it can move through a space 1.5 squares wide without trouble. As a result, it can do a bit of selective "squeezing" when necessary to wind down trails and hug the wall of any cliff that needs scaling.

That said, the elves on the cliff aren't 60+ feet off the ground; should its tactics direct it to do so, the centipede can easily reach the elves from the ground.

The Exchange 2/5

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I have put together some content for Vinst, although some of it is player specific here is what I have that is not.

[description for initial appearance]
Before you now is a man with the furry legs of a goat and a set of curling ram horns extending from his temples. He also has a second set of much smaller horns protruding from his forehead, fiery red eyes and some of his hair has twisted into quills. [Show picture of Vinst]

Who are you?
Ah you jest? For I'm Vinst of the Briar'!
The exuberant one of desire.
'tis the reason you spy,
the seduction awry,
with the color of glimmering fire.

Random Lore Limmerick:
O' the Razor of Tree is abhorred,
by the Fungus and Parasite Lord.
Tho' the rumor persists,
as to why he exists.
Was he spawned as a demonized ward?

Both are in anapestic provided you use open vowel pronunciations when appropriate. The first limerick is his "explanation" of why his eyes are red and the second is a reference to Treerazer's familial connections and banishment.

Liberty's Edge 4/5

love them

Sovereign Court 5/5

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Well, I finished my notes for this scenario. My notes are longer than the scenario itself. Congrats?

Anyway, I also threw them up on the Shared Drive. Probably the most important thing about them is the first page, where there's an outline of the travel times between each encounter and a summary of the environmental effects to keep handy. That's the kind of thing I would rather have on a piece of paper on the side as opposed to flipping back and forth all the time.

But yeah, that took forever. Now I'm going to have to run this scenario a bunch to justify that document. *shakes fist at Ryan*

Dark Archive 4/5

James McTeague wrote:

Well, I finished my notes for this scenario. My notes are longer than the scenario itself. Congrats?

Anyway, I also threw them up on the Shared Drive. Probably the most important thing about them is the first page, where there's an outline of the travel times between each encounter and a summary of the environmental effects to keep handy. That's the kind of thing I would rather have on a piece of paper on the side as opposed to flipping back and forth all the time.

But yeah, that took forever. Now I'm going to have to run this scenario a bunch to justify that document. *shakes fist at Ryan*

Thanks James!

Spoiler:
Now to reap the benefits of someone else's hard work! >:D

Liberty's Edge 3/5

Thanks James. Your shaking fist fuels me.

Sovereign Court 5/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

So, a couple questions and notes from running this:

- What's the CL on the teleportation to Mount Armiya? I had a druid who wanted to know if it was possible to wildshape into a huge dinosaur before teleporting in. (I ended up saying that he was CL12 and therefore if he wanted to do that, he could teleport in on the second casting next round, but I'd like to know what the actual answer is.)

- It wasn't 100% clear, but we had druids with woodland stride in the party, and it seemed like that would negate the 1/4 movement penalty as that was just from large amounts of overgrowth. My party's solution was to have the saurian shaman transform into a large allosaurus and carry the rest of the party with a 60ft. move speed. They spent 1 hour and 55 minutes in travel time for the whole scenario(including the 1/2 hour to explore the town). After thinking about this, I think I'm okay with this happening. Druids should be good at traveling through tough forests. I just wanted to know if this was intended/correct.

- The party mostly thought the general was a bad leader because of not saving her troops. I think a part of that was me not having the details as well as I had hoped, so I wonder what other parties will think when I've run this a second or third time.

- Everyone got scared about the titan centipede when it trampled, but it died before it got another turn. (We were 7-8 with 4 people)

- The zen archer goes to attack the babau with a bow, so they never get close enough to the wolf-in-sheep's clothing for it to do anything. Between the zen archer and the large allosaurus kiting it, it didn't stand a chance.

- The fungus queen lasted a bit longer and was only spotted due to the tremorsense of the earth elemental druid. (Before someone asks, he got the tremorsense from an item, not from wild shape.) She lasted a bit longer, but clear spindle ioun stones plus the earth elemental druid having resist nature's lure meant that she didn't really do anything.

- The party actually tried to help out Vinst. They were concerned with making sure that he got help to cleanse the demon from him (and also to get more of the wonderful tea that he made). They sucked at the diplomacy though.

- Final encounter holy crap. So, there's no leech swarms to cause problems since we have 4 people, just Fihralaz and the quasits. The PCs start trying to cut one crysalis down carefully, so while they do that, Fihralaz casts gaseous form and goes and hides in the deep bog next to where they were. Fihralaz roles ridiculous on his stealth check, one guy acts in the surprise round. Fihralaz wins init, so surprise round unholy blights, finds out that no one in the party is good. Zen archer gets one attack off, the Fihralaz gets off blasphemy. Since he has CL 13, everyone is CL-5. (I double-checked to make sure young template didn't do anything to CL before doing this. Holy crap that's powerful.) Zen archer is paralyzed for a round and -6 to strength for 6 rounds. Taldan tin can fighter/bard is paralyzed for 6 minutes. Both druids cast a freedom of movement on themselves once they entered the bog, so they just had to worry about the -6 Strength for 6 rounds. Quasits try to coup-de-grace the paralyzed people, but no go. The saurian shaman hit hard, but Fihralaz hit harder. It came down to the zen archer making a needed crit against Fihralaz while one quasit tried to kill the downed saurian shaman and another was attacking a crysalis halfway across the map.

Overall - great scenario. Looking back there was a bunch of places where I made mistakes, but it was fun to run. Here's hoping I get 10-11 next time! (Or at least get to use the leech swarms...)

Paizo Employee 5/5 Developer

James, I just want to quickly respond to the point about blasphemy. Fihralaz in Subtier 7-8 has the Poor Diction special ability, custom added to avoid the whole party suddenly getting paralyzed. This ability reduces his CL by 2 for that spell only. It was either that or write in that he had already used the spell-like ability, and I didn't want to remove that tool from his arsenal entirely.

Sovereign Court 5/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

*adds another thing onto the list of mistakes I made tonight*

*fixes prep*

Well, glad to know the mistake was on my end and not a factor of the scenario. I'm pretty sure my brain skipped that line when prepping because it mentally filed it away as tactics. Now I'm really glad no one died then...

4/5

James McTeague wrote:

*adds another thing onto the list of mistakes I made tonight*

*fixes prep*

Well, glad to know the mistake was on my end and not a factor of the scenario. I'm pretty sure my brain skipped that line when prepping because it mentally filed it away as tactics. Now I'm really glad no one died then...

I knew you were out to get me! :-)

Two points as a player at James table, one I'm not bad at diplomacy (+13) I just refuse to try it. Those things are better left for my servants with the (-3) modifier.

And two, I complete the Taldor Faction missions of getting the Kyonin elves to transport Vinst brand tea into Taldor so I can re-sell it... (not a real mission, but should be)

Overall fun scenario, and I didn't even have to make an attack roll! As a fighter!

5/5

James McTeague wrote:
Well, glad to know the mistake was on my end and not a factor of the scenario. I'm pretty sure my brain skipped that line when prepping because it mentally filed it away as tactics. Now I'm really glad no one died then...

I was super afraid that people would forget this too! So on that stat blocks document I usually put up I moved blasphemy out of his CL 13 SLAs and made it into its own CL11 SLAs section.

Hoping more people catch that and we don't have stories of how entire parties were paralyzed and TPKs

Dark Archive 4/5

So what is the verdict on woodland stride? Both for the forest itself, and for wall of thorns, which Vinst can cast at high-tier?

4/5

Adam Mogyorodi wrote:
So what is the verdict on woodland stride? Both for the forest itself, and for wall of thorns, which Vinst can cast at high-tier?

Woodland stride doesn't work against magically manipulated stuff. So it won't work against wall of thorns.

Paizo Employee 5/5 Developer

Jeffrey Fox wrote:
Adam Mogyorodi wrote:
So what is the verdict on woodland stride? Both for the forest itself, and for wall of thorns, which Vinst can cast at high-tier?
Woodland stride doesn't work against magically manipulated stuff. So it won't work against wall of thorns.

Actually, check the 4th paragraph of the spell. Wall of thorns calls itself out as an exception.

Dark Archive 4/5

So that's one down, and all druids can move through the wall of thorns. I suppose that can also answer my question about the Tanglebriar itself, which is basically a citadel of thorns. :)

Liberty's Edge 3/5

I would say a druid can woodland stride through Tanglebriar, absolutely. I don't see it breaking the scenario, nor an option that will make every player want to get a druid to 7th so they can play this scenario. That player found a clever workaround. I think he deserves the benefits of his cleverness.

Liberty's Edge 3/5

BTW James, A, B, or C?

Sovereign Court 5/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

B. They explained to Lanverel how his general was crappy and left them for dead. Nobody recognized the revenge aspect, but they were cheering him when he took revenge.

Liberty's Edge 3/5

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The persistent comment in the scenario’s reviews so far has been the difficulty of the first encounter. I’ll admit, my PC died in this encounter in the first playtest of the scenario, so I understand that the encounter can turn deadly quickly. However, in that same playtest, the centipede was dead at the end of the second round. However, some of the reviews I’ve read have indicated that the encounter was not run as written. In an effort to calm the nerves of GMs who do not want the scenario to end early, here is my advice:

From the scenario.
Without any modifications or stretches of the imagination, the following advice is straight out of the scenario and entirely RAW:
1. The centipede should not get a surprise round. It is as shocked to find a party of adventurers between it and its original target, the elves on Mount Armija, as the party is to teleport in between someone else’s combat.
2. The centipede’s tactics state that it bites a creature the round after it tramples, and any round it can’t trample three or more creatures. It should never trample two rounds in a row. This is a sub-optimal combat choice (4d6+ to a single creature rather than 6d6+ to multiple creatures), true, but in line with the motivations of the creature and its intelligence.
3. The centipede’s movement is hampered by difficult terrain, like the forest and the lake. This is unlikely to prevent it from trampling the first round, but it does mean PCs who beat its Initiative (with a +1 at low subtier and +3 at high subtier, not hard) can get out of its trample range.

Between the lines:
The following advice is not as obvious but well within a GM’s rights to encourage from players:
1. Identifying the centipede is a Knowledge (nature) check (CR 19 in the low tier, CR 22 in the high tier) and can reveal that this creature tramples its foes when it can, plowing them over like a herd of elephants.
2. The PCs have a reasonably wide area in which they arrive, and should be encouraged to place their own miniatures.

A helping hand:
This encounter is meant to introduce the scale and lethality of Tanglebriar. However, no one wants a scenario to end with the first combat. Here are a few tricks you can employ as the GM to help a party out:
1. If, before the scenario starts, any players are debating about which legal character they should play, base your advice on this encounter more than the rest of the scenario. A character equipped for this encounter is equipped for the last encounter as well.
2. If the PCs pass on General Tenasi’s offer to buy supplies, have her scoff at the presumptive Pathfinders, assuring them that “I didn’t realize I was feeding naïve adventurers to Tanglebriar. Entering an area so corrupt without first properly equipping yourself is tantamount to suicide.” If the PCs ask for suggestions, a belt of mighty constitution would both better protect them from the poisons and diseases rampant in Tanglebriar, as well as keep them alive that much longer, possibly just long enough to make a difference. Oh, and a few scrolls of breath of life couldn’t hurt.
3. The centipede does not need to take its full movement when trampling, but can. If that means ending its move so a caster is outside the centipede’s reach but a warrior can make a full attack the next round, oh well.
4. If a player is lost for options, anyone can make Diplomacy skill checks, although success is outside of the abilities of creatures without at least a +4 bonus. If all else fails, point out how trample-able the PCs are in their current configuration.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

Where's this DM shared prep folder?

Grand Lodge 4/5

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BigNorseWolf wrote:
Where's this DM shared prep folder?

Here's the main one

Here's the one within that one specifically for The Elven Entanglement

5/5 ⦵⦵

The problem was being hit by a trample and ending up prone - trying to get back up generates an AOO with a +4, and given the enormous reach it pretty much ensures that the party who is downed will have a significant issue when trying to get back into the fight. Melee classes will most certainly have to stand (and eat the attack) which suggests they will have taken 10d6+somecrazynumber before they have even got to swing a sword back in anger. As an L7 Pregen it was straight up unsurvivable.

5/5

Shifty wrote:
The problem was being hit by a trample and ending up prone - trying to get back up generates an AOO with a +4, and given the enormous reach it pretty much ensures that the party who is downed will have a significant issue when trying to get back into the fight. Melee classes will most certainly have to stand (and eat the attack) which suggests they will have taken 10d6+somecrazynumber before they have even got to swing a sword back in anger. As an L7 Pregen it was straight up unsurvivable.

Why were you prone after a trample? As far as I can see, there's no mention of knocking someone prone in the trample rules...

Grand Lodge 3/5

It probably came from trample saying it works like overrun, however there is no CMB roll so i don't know it could beat your CMD by 5 to knock you prone.

Maybe because trample says "does not need to make a check" the GM interpreted that as it can make one.

Dark Archive 4/5

Yeah, trample isn't supposed to knock you prone. Not short of some other special ability.

Paizo Employee 5/5 Developer

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RE: Trample

I have spoken with 2/3 of the rules team on this point. Trample works like overrun but does not require a check; it automatically succeeds; however because there is no check to make it is impossible for the check to exceed the target's CMD by 5 or more. Therefore, the target(s) is never knocked prone by trample unless loss of hp would normally cause the target to fall unconscious.

Dark Archive 4/5

Seems correct. It's actually a shame for the centipede, because I think very few PCs would resist +31 and +35 respectively.

Paizo Employee 5/5 Developer

I understand that the centipede has been quite deadly enough as it is.

Dark Archive 4/5

Well that's no reason for the Million Legs Foundation to cease their hard efforts representing the humble Titan Centipede.

"FOUR MORE LEGS! FOUR MORE LEGS!"

Scarab Sages 5/5 Venture-Captain, Texas—Austin aka SetonAlandel

Was a great and fun scenario to run for my players (and amusing to watch their eyes widen as I ask someone to cut a sheet of paper to the centipede size)

My team took 23 hours to get to the final fight, stopping to rest in the ruins. Looking at the text, it seems there is only one time limit and one vicitim for the last encounter. Did I miss a sentence saying how long after the 12 hours until another victim is claimed?

Dark Archive 4/5

I believe an elf is lost every 12 hours, but some official confirmation would be great.

Paizo Employee 5/5 Developer

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*Looks at final product*
*Looks at development notes*
*Looks at final product*

Strange...in an earlier form of the scenario, another elf would transform every additional 4 hours. In this way, the last of four elves would perish after 24 hours, and one of the three secondary conditions would be only be invalidated if the PCs took 20+ hours to travel to the final encounter.

This was based on a calculation that a party moving at speed 30 with no delays due to being lost would make it to Fihralaz in a little over 7 hours (or as many as 11.3 if they took the long way around), and a party moving at speed 20 but taking a shorter route could get there in 11 hours (as many as 17 if they take the long way around the claw briar). This is before taking into account getting lost or being delayed by Vinst, though as far as getting lost goes, there are options for NPC assistance for all but one of the Survival checks.

Scarab Sages 5/5 Venture-Captain, Texas—Austin aka SetonAlandel

Aha! Thanks for the clarification! The end result was still the same as they managed to return the ore stock and L, even after the unlucky dice determined his transformation.

Dark Archive 4/5

So does that mean we should have an elf lost every 4 hours after the first 12 hours, or should we only have one lost per 12 hours, or should we only have one lost period?

Scarab Sages 5/5 Venture-Captain, Texas—Austin aka SetonAlandel

Sounds like the elves should transform at 12 hours, 16 hours, 20 hours, and the final at 24 hours from when the party teleports in

5/5 ⦵⦵

John Compton wrote:
RE: Trample

Which is odd, because it references the overrun maneuver, and whilst they don't make a CMB roll, the targets are required to make Reflex saves.

If there is no 'knock prone' dynamic then the reference to overrun is a bit misleading as the two maneuvers are actually very different.

confusion wrote:


Trample (Ex) As a full-round action, a creature with the trample ability can attempt to overrun any creature that is at least one size category smaller than itself. This works just like the overrun combat maneuver, but the trampling creature does not need to make a check, it merely has to move over opponents in its path.

Overrun: When you attempt to overrun a target, it can choose to avoid you, allowing you to pass through its square without requiring an attack. If your target does not avoid you, make a combat maneuver check as normal. If your maneuver is successful, you move through the target's space. If your attack exceeds your opponent's CMD by 5 or more, you move through the target's space and the target is knocked prone.

So it appears that based on the two there is an argument that says:

A player can avoid an overrun by choice.
A player cannot avoid a trample (they might save for half damage)
Everything else then applies.

Ambiguous enough for all of our tables to end up playing it that way.

1/5

...and it does seem odd that one would be upright after being trampled by a gigantic monster.

But when I played this, our GM did it according to RAW -- no one was knocked prone.

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