5-11 Library of the Lion GM Discussion


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Dark Archive

Saint Caleth wrote:

Ran this today with 6 players, one pregen (monk). It was awesome. Two people had linguistics so they destroyed basically all the searching checks. They came really close to missing the secret door to rooms 11 and 12, but at the last minute went back and searched each room again.

Only combat was the book swarm. They actually made the perception to see the books moving, but then used a card catalog clue and saw they were missing a text in the room, so they opened the last shelf and wound up fighting the books.

The Guardian was a lot of fun because they immediately started touching and poking it while searching around it. They could not quite make the diplomacy to get the Guardian helpful even though I was really liberal with the RP bonuses to the checks, so they didn't get the intelligent item in the end, which is a shame, but they succeeded at everything else.

The cipher worked out well, after they figured out that you had to apply the rule backwards they got it really fast.

Lots of fun because they were willing to RP with the Guardian and caretaker. One of my new favorites to run.

Thanks Saint Caleth!

I can see The Guardian's reaction now..."Madam, could you kindly put that finger elsewhere other then my eye!" ;p

Dark Archive

Stephen Drane wrote:

Just ran this for the first time (second time ever GMing PFS), and my players had a blast. Went to the main library as the first room and promptly swept it clean, gaining all 3 Taldan Ciphers in one fell swoop. One PC then spent an hour poring over the message, trying every permutation possible - except applying the rule in reverse. In the post-game wrap up he realised his error, but took it in good humour (although he would have really liked the Codebreaker boon).

In fact, no-one got any boons - each missed out by the narrowest of narrow margins. Still, full gold and PP, and everyone had a good time.

Almost did it without a combat, but they ignored the positioning data on the portrait legends and released the foo dogs. And they were just removing their illusion cards when Tobias came back to tell them to pack up. Skin of their shiny white teeth!

Gotta say, the foo dog encounter was less than stellar. 8 hardness and DR 5 means people were doing 13 damage with nothing to show for it. Having both those qualities on a single creature means that 1-2s are in a fair amount of trouble, since no-one will have an adamantine mace handy. When savvy players crunch the numbers and find they can only contribute on a crit, it deflates the enjoyment of the combat somewhat.

All in all though, they had a great time, and I did to. There's far more here than your typical hack-and-slash.

Thanks for the report and feedback on the scenario Stephen!

I think that it is awesome the players had a ton of fun and came so close to each of the riddles and ciphers. That was by far the hardest balancing act in the scenario, was to make them challenging enough without going off the deep end.

As for the foo dogs...I can understand the frustration from the players. My goal with the final encounter was to have a fight last more then 2 to 3 rounds, and then the Foo animal template was pointed out to me. From there it was an easy choice as to what animal it would be.

My question to you would be, did you feel the Foo animal encounter was a challenging fight for the group more then a demoralizing one? AND what was your party make up in terms of damage? Was it a mostly all physical damage group, or were there some spell damaging casters?

Gives me the informations!!! I WANTS ITS!!!

Please! :)

Liberty's Edge

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yeah

My first non-pregen adventure though; this was fun.


By your command, Kyle!

I had a five-player table with an APL of 2, so we were at Tier 1-2 without adjustment.
There was a brand-new sorceress, a bard, a fighter, a fighter/wizard on the path to becoming an eldritch knight and a summoner (and, of course, his eidolon).

The straight fighter was the one who dished out 13 damage only to see none go through , although he did perk up when he rolled a crit next round. The sorceress only had magic missile (but did knock down a damaged dog with 2 force damage). The star performer damage-wise was the eidolon, with S/B claws bypassing the DR.

The combat (and stony defense in particular) certainly made them think. "Hmm, so it hasn't moved since its skin went stony... maybe it's immobile?"
"So it went normal, attacked, then stoned up again... maybe it can't attack in that form..."

There were some experienced people at the table who almost know the Bestiaries backwards, so good job keeping them guessing!

The dogs didn't do well on initiative, so one was almost down before he had a chance to stone up (eidolon claw, with the magic missile finishing the job), and then the other was surrounded by party members who were hacking away. The aforementioned crit softened him up, and he went down promptly when he ran out of stony defense. So in the end, the combat still only took 2 or 3 rounds.

That's probably far more detail than necessary.
In closing, thank you for writing this scenario. The Disappeared was one of my favourites, and Library of the Lion is right there along with it!


I played this in January and I ran this for the second time last night, and intend to run it multiple times going forward.

The first time I ran it was for a 4 PC table in the upper tier. Things went smoothly because the PCs worked to find creative uses of various skills and spells to search for the tomes necessary.

Last night I had a table of 5 PCs in the low tier (lvl 1 Fighter, 1 Rogue, 1 Paladin, 2 Fighter and 5 Bard) Sidebar; we did have a lvl 1 Zen Archer leave the table after the mission briefing because he would not participate in theft, which I felt bad about and tried to encourage him to hurry up and make another character or play a pregen and join the game, but he declined...c'est la vie. After having played in then read the scenario, after the PCs first enter the Library I provide a short run down of how searching the library functions, mostly because I don't want players to sit down and say, "Well I don't have any of those 3 skills, so I won't be rolling any dice." I encourage my players to come up with inventive ways to utilize the skills they do have to aid in searching the areas (ie the paladin used handle animal to get his riding dog to lead him towards one of the clues). Obviously I provide negatives, but I slide the scale dependent on how descriptive the player is in the use of their skill, since I feel that is what the scenario calls for in order to ensure everyone is engaged and having a fun time. Both times, this ensured that everyone in the table was an active participant rather than the fighter types sitting there staring at the ceiling while 2 non-fighters do every check called for. I also cannot thank whoever put the time tracker up enough for that piece of prep. That has made both of my games run smoothly.

In the times I've run it, the groups made all the right decisions and blew most of the checks out of the water time and again, so the pressed for time has only been an issue when I played in it. I'm probably not keeping as strong a check on the timing element as I ought because I don't penalize the player's much for any roleplaying scenes (such as interacting with Glorymane) or just general banter at the table. There is a lot for the GM to keep on top of, so anyone who is looking to run it I strongly suggest being flexible, but being very prepared.

The only hiccup is the Cypher, which causes endless ammounts of consternation and I resort to skill checks to try and point the players in the right direction. However, it is not something I would ever want to remove because it often gets the entire table involved in cracking the code and will give me a couple minutes to get up from the table if necessary while they work on it amongst themselves.

Dark Archive

My main question is why can't the lion shield talk when taken out of the library? As a player, it was a giant disconnect to have a stimulating coversation with an intelligent item in game, only to find out it somehow can't talk after we spent resources on smuggling it out of the library.

Sczarni 4/5 RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

Victor Zajic wrote:
My main question is why can't the lion shield talk when taken out of the library? As a player, it was a giant disconnect to have a stimulating coversation with an intelligent item in game, only to find out it somehow can't talk after we spent resources on smuggling it out of the library.

I think the in-character explanation is that the shield isn't the full-blown version of Glorymane that guards the library. He didn't transfer himself into the shield; instead he imbued it with a small spark of his essence -- enough to make the shield an intelligent item, but not enough to have the full capabilities of the Lion in the library.

5/5 Venture-Agent, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East aka Pirate Rob

Drogos wrote:
Last night I had a table of 5 PCs in the low tier (lvl 1 Fighter, 1 Rogue, 1 Paladin, 2 Fighter and 5 Bard) Sidebar; we did have a lvl 1 Zen Archer leave the table after the mission briefing because he would not participate in theft, which I felt bad about and tried to encourage him to hurry up and make another character or play a pregen and join the game, but he declined...c'est la vie.

I think by the time the briefing is done the players are locked in. I don't think they can swap then, and I think leaving the table should earn a chronicle sheet with a lot of 0s and not the ability to freely replay it later.

Shadow Lodge 5/5

Tamago wrote:
Victor Zajic wrote:
My main question is why can't the lion shield talk when taken out of the library? As a player, it was a giant disconnect to have a stimulating coversation with an intelligent item in game, only to find out it somehow can't talk after we spent resources on smuggling it out of the library.
I think the in-character explanation is that the shield isn't the full-blown version of Glorymane that guards the library. He didn't transfer himself into the shield; instead he imbued it with a small spark of his essence -- enough to make the shield an intelligent item, but not enough to have the full capabilities of the Lion in the library.

...and keeping enough of himself in the library that he's still himself. Having the giant talking lion suddenly stop working would be a BIG red flag that something was afoot in the library. -10 deception points.

Sovereign Court 5/5 RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

I just wanted to say I played it (vs. GMing it) and had a blast. I played my Sczarni (trying to get him to 6th, and the boon didn't help my other PC much) The coversation with Glorymane while under the zone of truth was hillarious.

"Are you a Lion Blade?"
"Nope"
"Why are you here?"
"Looking for some books."
"Who are you?"
"Samiel Enyeto."
"Are you a thief?"
<jackie chan voice>"I'm an archeologist!"</jackie chan voice>

Dark Archive 4/5 5/5

Glad you had fun Matthew!

The Exchange 5/5

I have only played this, not run (or read) it, so I am posting this only having read the posts above and played it with one group of players at a CON. Great Judge, wonderful group of players, and had a great game. Which means I rate the scenario very high right? ;)

The party of adventurers:

(This is from memory - so I might have gotten somethings wrong in this)
6 PCs, at a solid APL 4 (a 5, four 4s and a 3)
(Me) 5th level Bard (Detective/Sound Striker). My "traps bard" was a perfect fit for this scenario, though a little weak in some knowledge skills, very high Perception and I boost the other players Perception). Cheliaxian faction.

4th level Wizard - My wife runs a Wizard with a high perception skill, and a good spread of high knowledge skills. Qadarian faction.

4th level Fighter - NOT a typical fighter. This was a Ketsume with high social skills, I have no idea why he was a fighter rather than a bard. He said something about doing the "multi-tail" racial thing. Cheliaxian faction. (I think)

4th level archer of some sort. He did a lot of damage when he needed to... mostly I only remember him in a support role, rolling to assist in searching for stuff. I don't know what faction (not one of the three...)

4th level Melee ?Fighter/Barbarian? - This guy talked with "the Terminator Accent", and had the great line... "Ah don't know why they keep sending me on these types of missions, it is a total waste of my special skills...". Rolled to assist - and I think he help. NOT Grand Lodge, though he (the player) spent a lot of time helping the one GL player with the cypher).

3rd level Witch - a lot of help with Comp. Languages, detect magic and Guidance. The only Grand Lodge player, I think we lost a lot of input from him 'cause he had to spend a lot of "head down" time working on the cyphers... (This was about the only bad part of the scenario to me, the fact that the cypher pulled some players out of the group into basicly "book work" on the puzzle...)

Prep work:

From the briefing, we knew we needed to find a secret door, so I bought a scroll of Detect Secret Door (and the Wizard also prepped the spell I think). A few of the players picked up Elixers of Sneaking (250gp) that we ended up not using, and maybe some people also picked up Invis. Potions or other stealth gimmicks that we ended up not using. Better to be prepared, right? The wizard (and evoker) switched out fire spells to non-fire for fear of setting the Library on fire...
My Bard also bought a (fake) Silver Aspis Constort. (Masterwork tool Disguise) Badge and explained to the other players (and judge) that our cover was that we were Aspis Operatives PRETENDING to be Pathfinders, so if anyone asked... and we should TALK like we were while in the Library (in case anyone overheard us). "Yeah, we are Aspis Agents, pretending to be Lion Blades, researching in the Library... got it? So our Wayfinders are part of our 'cover'..."

Enter and first Challanges:

Walked in, handed over our "letter/pass" and got escorted in. The door was locked and the timer started. Cast the Detect from the scroll. Set our Illusion Cards under chairs closest to the SDoor and "Buffed". Slipped into the first hall, noted the messages on the wall there (and missed one) and split the team into two search parties (3 and 3) divided by the fact that we had two high Perception PCs (the wizard and the bard). The Bard cast Heroism on the Wizard and herself... searched the first rooms.... I think we found all the clues possible... and the GL player got his first cypher (I think) and sort of dropped out of RP at that point.

Big Room and Lion:

Lots of fun RP with Glorymane, Between the Kitsume and the Bard we had the Diplomacy and a fun RP (avoiding Lies while not telling the exact truth...). Dropped hints that we were Aspis agents... but I think it didn't matter in the long run.

Was this where the needle trap was? on this door? If so, the Wizard disarmed it (before the Trap guy Bard got to it) - she rolled and missed it first, but not by enough to set it off, and as she rolled a '5' she knew then that a Take 10 would disarm it... so she did. When the Judge asked she said "Vagabond child, 'cause I hate being in a game where no one can pick locks... so my wizard can."

Glorymane was lots of fun - and later the Kitsume came back to talk to him (when we were doing rooms that took 4 PCs max to search). We did get helpful info from him (and the ?Barbarian? PC told the "face" PCs to fix it so he didn't have to "wack some blind librarian")... both here and later...

Caretaker?:

Split the team again and searched more small rooms (again maxing the searches)... somewhere in here was one room that we were able to use a Perform check to search...

The Kitsume (and barbarian) went and talked to the Caretaker, who insisted on helping. She came in just as we were going to open the case with the books that were "sifting from a draft" - which we figured was another secret passage. We left her with the impression that we were "recent Lion Blade recruits, tasked by the Commandant to do some research for some Aspis agent. Above our pay grade to know WHY he wants info on the Shining Crusade and the Whispering Tyrant...". She pointed out some books for us and headed back to her room. We breathed a sigh of releaf and opened the Swarm box - Gack! Was there some way to detect this? we actually go a high perception and knew something was special about it, but detected no magic or traps or ... monster or anything. Just some fluttery movement like from a breeze...

This fight was HARD. The judge said the monster was a construct so "...any spell with that gives SR doesn't work..." - but that's ok, we didn't have any area spells that gave SR anyway. The Wiz was able to pop off her Flurry of Snowballs (4d6 +2for evoker), and the melee types beat it down. One thing the judge miss played was that swarms keep their 10' square shape - I hadn't encountered a judge doing this sense 3.5 days. (So the "four squares" of the swarm would spread out in a line 5' wide and 20' foot long to snake around and hit more PCs - guess someone should start a thread on this?). We did use a wand of Infernal Healing to stop the bleed damage... a question about the bleed damage. Does this monter do 2d6 damage PLUS a d6 bleed on each round? in other words 3d6 on the first round? A near max damage roll (16 points total) on the first attack dropped the Witch and would have finished him with the bleed except for fast healing (and moving the body fast...). Things did look dicey for a few minutes.

After this fight the Witch used Mending to put the books back together while we continued the search.

a row of lions:

This puzzle was cute. But we missed a clue from the first room and had to go back and read them again. Then we had first and last, and third - but in the words of the Barbarian, was that "third COUNTING the bookends, or third NOT COUNTING the end lion"? So we asked about a Disable Device check - and tried that too. DD of 30... and move the lions and open the door... No animated Lions! Yeah! Lots of fun and everyone (except the guy working on the cypher) got some input on this.

Last Room:

More searching - but the group had the skills and had found all the clues up to there... so it was easy.

We selected out what books we were removing, and the McMuffian Scroll...
The three books for the Chel mission were copied with magic (or the selected passages), everything went in pouch and we went back to the room....

Oh! the shield...

Magic Shield:

This part felt odd. Kind of contrived. We took the shield, even though several of us kind of questioned it ("...wont someone notice?"). But when we showed it to Glorymane and all that... and as it is on the chronicle I guess we did it "right" it still felt wrong...

Anyway,

Overall - a great scenario, one that I would like to read now and run later...

Scarab Sages

nosig wrote:


** spoiler omitted **

I was the Judge for this game. It was a great table with some fun people. Thanks to all the players, who did very well.

I will address some of the comments under the caretaker spoiler.

caretaker:

There really was not a good way to detect the swarm. It is a hard fight to avoid unless you leave the cabinet unopened. Little weird, but I think the author was wanting at least one difficult to avoid combat.

As for the SR problem, well that was a mistake on my part. I apologize if anyone felt it caused a problem.

The Damage was 2d6 for being in the swarm plus 1d6 bleed. If someone left the swarm, they would no longer take the 2d6 damage but would continue to take the bleed. (Unless they stopped the bleed) But yeah the swarm could quickly be deadly.

As for the swarm shape the rules are clear under swarm traits,"The area occupied by a large swarm is completely shapeable, though the swarm usually remains in contiguous squares."

Again thanks for a fun table and the post-mordem.

The Exchange 5/5

Joko PO wrote:
nosig wrote:


** spoiler omitted **

I was the Judge for this game. It was a great table with some fun people. Thanks to all the players, who did very well.

I will address some of the comments under the caretaker spoiler.

** spoiler omitted **

Again thanks for a fun table and the post-mordem.

Thanks for the follow-up to my post! wo-ho!

It was a great game!

Liberty's Edge

One question about the caretaker: How could she point stuff out to us/aid in research when she was blind? She was blind, right?

Scarab Sages

Gark the Goblin wrote:
One question about the caretaker: How could she point stuff out to us/aid in research when she was blind? She was blind, right?

Well "Point out" is a turn of phrase. If you read her background, she was not always blind and in fact was blinded after she was caught reading from some of the books that she was not supposed to read from.

Besides, blind does not mean incapable and/or incompetent. A blind person living years in a library is still going to know a lot about it. She may not be able to be able to point to specific texts, but she is going to understand the layout of the library and know some general locations.

Liberty's Edge

Joko PO wrote:
Well "Point out" is a turn of phrase. If you read her background, she was not always blind and in fact was blinded after she was caught reading from some of the books that she was not supposed to read from.

Ah, that makes sense. Did that make her more likely to let "students" read the really ancient tomes, or were we just very convincing?

Scarab Sages

nosig wrote:
Joko PO wrote:
nosig wrote:


** spoiler omitted **

I was the Judge for this game. It was a great table with some fun people. Thanks to all the players, who did very well.

I will address some of the comments under the caretaker spoiler.

** spoiler omitted **

Again thanks for a fun table and the post-mordem.

Thanks for the follow-up to my post! wo-ho!

It was a great game!

I was the witch in that group. What was sad, I spent the time going over the pouring over the Cypher's and finally comming up with a translation for them, only to be told all I had to do was find them, not actually solve the puzzle. Which seems odd.

So I spent most of the mod head down, until I needed to roll a skill check. In that regard I did miss a lot of the mod...

Scarab Sages Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Utrecht aka Maglok

I ran this last night. I did a lot of prep, including reading this thread. Reading it really helped.

My players seemed to really enjoy themselves. There was a bit of conflict around a alchemist player using fire to burn the book swarm, while other players wanted to safe the books.

The guardian was very well recieved and the warpriest player really wants to buy Glorymane later in his career. The blind caretaker was also well recieved. They bossed her around like lion blades, but then they started talking about their gnomes and the pathfinders and she made a run for the stairs. She did not get that far and the party tied her up and on the bed.

Later on they learned her backstory and they pledged themselves to help her. In return she agreed not to say anything.

My players also managed to finish the foo lion puzzle without triggering it.

I had a cheliax and a grand lodge player for faction missions. The grand lodge player did spend a long time trying to figure out the cipher, but in the end didn't figure it out.

I think all the players really liked the scenario. More like this please. There is a lot of GM prep though and as a new society GM I was a little intimidated, but I have years of GM experience overall so that helped.

Good job writers! :)


I agree, upon reading (and playing this once), I am a big fan of the scenario. A welcome deviation from the norm of past scenarios I've participated in. I enjoy the idea of a scenario that has very little combat, but a great potential for Skills.

I have found; though, that running this via Play-by-Forum is a little more tedious and onorous than face-to-face. However, this is an inherent drawback to the play-by-forum style; since a lot of folks will end up waiting on others to post.

The biggest case of this was when the players split up upon firs entering the secret library. Some went to start searching in the Big Library, while others went to the small room. Of course, those in the small room finished well before those in the large room. Therefore, when the players from the small room were moving on to do something else, the players in the large room wanted to tag along too; instead of waiting and waiting and waiting (which, via PbF, can be a lot of waiting).

To help adjudicate this - and hopefully other PbF GMs will find this useful, if they did not come up with it on their own - I allowed the players to stop searching early. However, at the point they stopped, I took the total of the searching players' rolls, totaled how many clues they would find, and then prorated that number based upon the amount of time spent searching that particular area (always rounding down).

Sovereign Court

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This was maybe the most fun i had so far as GM.
Really nice, especially because you can go without any combat.

All players would give it a high ranking too, but:

The cipher is broken, sorry.

I see how it is working, but it is too complicated to be solved reliably even with the right cipher found.

Think about all the non native english speaker around the world next time please.

If you want to give the player a riddle to spent some time on,combining two independent cipher out of three or four total ones seems to me the better way.

Sovereign Court

I ran this on 3/23. I hated it and my players hated it. I think it should be taken off the website and rewritten. I will certainly avoid any scenarios written by the this author in the future.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Wow. Do not agree.

5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Finland—Tampere aka Rei

This whole thread is making me very scared to run this scenario later today for four very experienced players, three of whom are unafraid to speak their minds. I already ran The Wardstone Patrol for most of them, and now I'm looking at the possibility of getting that sort of reception again. Oh boy.

The Exchange 5/5

1 person marked this as a favorite.
DonKeebals wrote:
I ran this on 3/23. I hated it and my players hated it. I think it should be taken off the website and rewritten. I will certainly avoid any scenarios written by the this author in the future.

DonKeebals, I respectfully disagree with your views expressed above.

I am on the other end of the scale from you in view...

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16

I ran this recently at Mace West, and the players crushed it. They had a couple of people with sky-high Linguistics and Knowledge checks, so they got all the texts every time. But they missed out on Glorymane because they got him to unlock the doors but didn't keep trying to make him friendlier.

The only Taldan character was the fighter with no skills, so he didn't contribute much except against the book swarm. I emphasized the key words on the portraits, so they were able to figure out the statue puzzle easily. They walked out with 10 minutes to spare, all the clues, and 15 deception points, and they seemed to enjoy it.

The Exchange 5/5

snipping some of RDN statements to save space...

RainyDayNinja wrote:
... and they seemed to enjoy it.

I also had this experience.

Grand Lodge

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nosig wrote:
DonKeebals wrote:
I ran this on 3/23. I hated it and my players hated it. I think it should be taken off the website and rewritten. I will certainly avoid any scenarios written by the this author in the future.

DonKeebals, I respectfully disagree with your views expressed above.

I am on the other end of the scale from you in view...

I'm going to agree with nosig. This is by far one of my favorite scenarios ran to date and my players loved it. Even the fighters who didn't have many skills still had ways to contribute.

Shadow Lodge 5/5 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Northwest aka WalterGM

DonKeebals wrote:
I ran this on 3/23. I hated it and my players hated it. I think it should be taken off the website and rewritten. I will certainly avoid any scenarios written by the this author in the future.

Could you expand on this? I'm curious what about it you and your table didn't like. The author has frequented this thread in the past and cleared up some questions and concerns, so you might find answers to any qualms you have with the scenario.

Also, in general, when posting a review of a scenario, you'll find that your posts carry more weight when you take the time to fully explain yourself. Simply stating that you disliked the scenario and wish extreme measures be taken because of that isn't the best way to go about this.

Paizo Employee 5/5 Developer

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I'm catching up on the last couple dozen posts here, but it looks like Kyle and others have been handling questions well. Thanks for the feedback. I encourage you to right a review.

Walter Sheppard wrote:
DonKeebals wrote:
I ran this on 3/23. I hated it and my players hated it. I think it should be taken off the website and rewritten. I will certainly avoid any scenarios written by the this author in the future.

Could you expand on this? I'm curious what about it you and your table didn't like. The author has frequented this thread in the past and cleared up some questions and concerns, so you might find answers to any qualms you have with the scenario.

Also, in general, when posting a review of a scenario, you'll find that your posts carry more weight when you take the time to fully explain yourself. Simply stating that you disliked the scenario and wish extreme measures be taken because of that isn't the best way to go about this.

Good advice. I am likewise curious to here what specifics presented difficulty. Extremely broad feedback is difficult for me to use productively (most true for negative feedback in which something needs to be fixed), and I imagine the same is true for Kyle.

Grand Lodge 5/5 5/5 Venture-Agent, Florida—Melbourne aka trollbill

DonKeebals wrote:
I ran this on 3/23. I hated it and my players hated it. I think it should be taken off the website and rewritten. I will certainly avoid any scenarios written by the this author in the future.

Having just played this at a Con 2 days ago I can see where this adventure is likely to generate strong responses one way or another. I played a bard and was able to come up with several clever solutions and we didn't have a single combat. I, the rogue, and a skill based cleric had tons of fun with this. Our summoner seemed to have fun as well, but the fighter and the barbarian mostly slept though it.

This mod, more that most, requires the GM to understand the type of group they are running.

5/5

I had the surprising pleasure of playing this with a well-prepared newbie GM, and was very very thoroughly pleased with the experience (less the confusion on cipher vs. decipher).

I'm not entirely certain which tier we played, probably 4-5 with 4-player adjustment. Amazingly, both my Cleric and another player happened to have Profession(Librarian). That set us on a great start.

The rest of the scenario flowed very nicely onward. My best suggestion for improvement would be a suggestion to the GM to 'flavor up' the 'clue books' (the ones that give bonuses). These were *very smartly* generic bonuses that could be applied anywhere, but that left them sounding very metagamy. It would have been nice to get "you find a tome that makes reference to another specific collection that may have the information you're looking for -- use this bonus when you want".

In the end, I went back to maintain our presence in the room, but arrived just a bit late and the Librarian was already on his way back with the Lion Blades. Fortunately, I'd prayed for enthrall and was able to exuberantly pontificate at the door over a Nethysian text until the rest of the group creeped back in and feigned being stretched out studying on the floor (John/Kyle: Thank you Thank you for giving that day to change out spells!) Great moment (esp. when all the Blades failed the save).

The Puzzle: in The Disappeared, I was greatly upset that the fun of solving the cipher/puzzle was turned on its head with the fact that I was helping a faction that I detested, both in character and out. It was also rather drawn out. In Library, the puzzle itself was more fun, and more importantly the situation of the puzzle was far more pleasant. In the end, a bit frustrating not to have some clue that these were en[i]-coding ciphers instead of [i]de-coding ciphers, but still most pleasant.

Thank you for one of the nicest games I've had in a while.

That 'caretaker' thing:

Joko PO wrote:
As for the swarm shape the rules are clear under swarm traits,"The area occupied by a large swarm is completely shapeable, though the swarm usually remains in contiguous squares."

This is a very easy mistake (made it myself) - you've got to read the full context of that quote.

PRD wrote:
A single swarm occupies a square (if it is made up of nonflying creatures) or a cube (of flying creatures) 10 feet on a side, but its reach is 0 feet, like its component creatures. ... Larger swarms are represented by multiples of single swarms. The area occupied by a large swarm is completely shapeable, though the swarm usually remains in contiguous squares.

It's multiple/"Large" swarms that are shapeable, not single swarms. Single swarms maintain a 10'x10' shape (at least when possible).

Further discussion could take place in This Thread if desired.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

Oh good, I ran those four leech swarms in the other scenario correctly then.

The Exchange 5/5

TriOmegaZero wrote:
Oh good, I ran those four leech swarms in the other scenario correctly then.

...as long as you don't stack them in the same area and have all four do damage at the same time to the same target... which I have seen.

(drat! missed my will save to ignore rules debate over on this thread! Sorry every one!)

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

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I know better than to hit a character with 4d3 Con and Str damage a round.

Shadow Lodge 4/5

I'd worry more about the distraction saves. Those NEVER go well.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

There ISN'T a save versus the damage.

5/5

TriOmegaZero wrote:
There ISN'T a save versus the damage.

Unless you have that Osirion feat for it.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

There's a feat that allows a save against Blood Drain?

Sovereign Court

John Compton wrote:

I'm catching up on the last couple dozen posts here, but it looks like Kyle and others have been handling questions well. Thanks for the feedback. I encourage you to right a review.

Walter Sheppard wrote:
DonKeebals wrote:
I ran this on 3/23. I hated it and my players hated it. I think it should be taken off the website and rewritten. I will certainly avoid any scenarios written by the this author in the future.

Could you expand on this? I'm curious what about it you and your table didn't like. The author has frequented this thread in the past and cleared up some questions and concerns, so you might find answers to any qualms you have with the scenario.

Also, in general, when posting a review of a scenario, you'll find that your posts carry more weight when you take the time to fully explain yourself. Simply stating that you disliked the scenario and wish extreme measures be taken because of that isn't the best way to go about this.

Good advice. I am likewise curious to here what specifics presented difficulty. Extremely broad feedback is difficult for me to use productively (most true for negative feedback in which something needs to be fixed), and I imagine the same is true for Kyle.

I ran this with 4 fighter types and 1 sorcerer and all but one were under 3rd level. This scenario is geared toward the cerebral "skill monkeys" and my players had a difficult time with it. I honestly figured the game would be done very quickly and it did only take 3.5 hours. But only because they were caught and gave the letter to the guards.

I wish I had my $4 back for this thing.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

Did the players have no other characters to use?

Paizo Employee Starfinder Society Developer

Curious, what if the group was 4 skill types and one fighter? Would the reversal of roles helped make this more enjoyable?

Did you not enjoy this scenario because of the lack of combat and emphasis on skills? Or was there something specific with how the skills were handled in this one?

Sovereign Court

Well, to be fair, these scenarios should come with "suggested classes to bring". It would help especially with The Disappeared, Blakros Matrimony, Wardstone Patrol and Library of the Lion. Dare I suggest Paizo to start using tags to categorize scenarios? Combat, puzzle, roleplaying, journey, urban etc.

Also, regarding the scenario, there was discussion about giving puzzles to players that rely on player intelligence. Remember #1: The Silent Tide? It had a puzzle that sparked some opposition, as it had a puzzle that relied on player intelligence and more notably was solvable only in English, giving foreigners a tougher nut to crack.

#1 Silent Tide riddle:
Though different now sounds my name, the spelling still remains the same.
Once prior leap of might, now becomes bird of white.

Correct answer:
Dove.

I'm not saying the puzzle is bad, in fact it was good. We played yesterday and for reasons that elude me I never realized I should *DECRYPT* an already encrypted message. Gladly the boon wasn't all that amazing that it'd bother to lose it.

Sovereign Court

TriOmegaZero wrote:
Did the players have no other characters to use?

No. I guess the players south of Atlanta don't keep a library of characters like many others and prefer to concentrate on one PC at a time.

Deussu wrote:

Well, to be fair, these scenarios should come with "suggested classes to bring". It would help especially with The Disappeared, Blakros Matrimony, Wardstone Patrol and Library of the Lion. Dare I suggest Paizo to start using tags to categorize scenarios? Combat, puzzle, roleplaying, journey, urban etc.

That is a great idea

Thurston Hillman wrote:

Curious, what if the group was 4 skill types and one fighter? Would the reversal of roles helped make this more enjoyable?

Did you not enjoy this scenario because of the lack of combat and emphasis on skills? Or was there something specific with how the skills were handled in this one?

I didn't like it because it's very one-sided for certain types of characters (and players) but more importantly, my players didn't have the fun I had hoped for. I actually feel sad that this is the scenario that gave me my first star in PFS.

The Exchange 5/5

#5–11: Library of the Lion

A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for levels 1–5.

Few societies have so vaunted a tradition of leading crusades as Taldor, yet the constant revisions to its history by scheming factions leaves the truth obscured by countless acts of political modifications. Even the lauded Kitharodian Academy’s texts are riddled with these changes, so when a secretive ally approaches the Pathfinder Society with information about a hidden archive that contains the unaltered histories, the Pathfinders plan a daring infiltration to recover the secrets of Taldor’s past victories so that Mendev might benefit from the discovery.

Content in "Library of the Lion" also contributes directly to the ongoing storylines of the Cheliax, Grand Lodge, and Taldor factions.

Written by Kyle Elliot.

???
I read this and assumed I would need to take someone with infiltration abilities, or someone good with research in archives...

and maybe someone from the Cheliax, Grand Lodge, and Taldor factions.

The party I played this with:
5th level Bard (Detective/Sound Striker).
4th level Wizard (Blaster Caster).
4th level Fighter - (NOT a typical fighter - a "face" fighter).
4th level archer of some sort. (didn't really catch his class)
4th level Melee ?Fighter/Barbarian?
3rd level Witch - (Debuffing witch)

so we had 3 Martial types, a Blaster, a Face, and a De-buffer...

Sovereign Court 5/5 5/5 RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, 2011 Top 32

There is certainly something to be said for reading through the scenario before you run it. My first table had a good mix of skill and combat types and everyone had a part to play. My second table I explicitly warned them that this was a skill mission more than a combat mission and they chose their characters thusly; they had a good time and enjoyed the game.

Read the scenario before you run it.

Read it twice.

If the table of characters you have looks to be poorly suited to the scenario you have, tell them. If they choose to play with the characters they have, especially in a 1-5 tier where you could easily start a new character or play a pre-gen, then at least they went in with open eyes.

The Exchange 5/5

James Martin wrote:

There is certainly something to be said for reading through the scenario before you run it. My first table had a good mix of skill and combat types and everyone had a part to play. My second table I explicitly warned them that this was a skill mission more than a combat mission and they chose their characters thusly; they had a good time and enjoyed the game.

Read the scenario before you run it.

Read it twice.

If the table of characters you have looks to be poorly suited to the scenario you have, tell them. If they choose to play with the characters they have, especially in a 1-5 tier where you could easily start a new character or play a pre-gen, then at least they went in with open eyes.

I normally try to have the advertising blurb available for each of the scenarios... pass it to the players to read (or read it to the other players if I'm a player), or even print it up on a table tent and drop it on the table before I run the game for everyone to read.


DonKeebals wrote:
I didn't like it because it's very one-sided for certain types of characters (and players) but more importantly, my players didn't have the fun I had hoped for. I actually feel sad that this is the scenario that gave me my first star in PFS.

Don't worry, Don. I think the takeaway lesson here is that not all scenarios are best-suited for every playstyle and every GMing style. 95% of PFS scenarios are one-sided in favor of the "slugfest" side, so you have plenty of opportunities to earn plenty of stars while running scenarios which are more suited to your own GMing style.

In other words, perhaps next time, you'll note the blurb associated with a scenario and choose to buy and run something else.

-Matt

Shadow Lodge 5/5 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Northwest aka WalterGM

Thanks for the response, DonKeebals.

It looks like you're party of 5 was ill-prepared for some of the skill challenges present in the scenario, as others have said. However, that shouldn't alone spoil the entire game (although I can see how it might). It also sounds like your party wasn't well rounded in general. How did your party heal, for example? I notice a lack of divine magic in that group.

Also, would you mind expanding in more detail about the game? I'm hoping for something along the lines of this.

Party Breakdown: Classes, levels, how experienced were your players?
Combat Encounters: Round by round, how did they go?
Non-combat Encounters: What worked, what didn't? What challenges did your PCs face and how did they try to overcome them?
How they got caught: What lead to this? How did they respond?
Player reactions: How did your players feel about the game in general? Any specific points?
Unclear sections: Were there any places that your players or you as a GM were confused by the scenario? Any parts that were unclear or clunky?

This is the kind of feedback that can give us something concrete to look at, and better explain why the scenario wasn't a hit for your table.

Thanks again, I look forward to your response.

Grand Lodge 5/5 5/5 Venture-Agent, Florida—Melbourne aka trollbill

4 people marked this as a favorite.

Interestingly enough when I played this, the very next slot I played Destiny of the Sands part 1. Over the course of 2 mods we had a total of 1 combat encounter. That's not something you see every day in PFS.

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