5-13 Weapon in the Rift GM Discussion *Spoilers*


GM Discussion

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Grand Lodge 5/5

Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber

When I ran this at our game day after release, my (small) table (due to splitting our people into two tables) had a blast with the puzzle even if one of them was exhausted before coming to the table. Admittedly, puzzles like this are 'Your Mileage May Vary' - I myself rather dislike overly deep puzzles.

As for the cascade of events at the end... when a table can casually find the teleport circle but are too obtuse to realize they can remove the prisms.... it runs quite differently. :)


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

This is a really bad scenario to run cold.

Although a lot of people are complaining about the puzzle, I'd like to note that the fast-play adjustments for the final encounter in the tower are about 75% as explicit as they need to be. I had a GM trying to apply standard object hardness/health rules to the control panels when they're attacked and it was obvious that the proper preparation had not been done.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

As expected, the number of acts each line was speaking of was a pretty huge stumbling block for the puzzle, even with some maptool visualization to make it easier.

The Exchange

I only asked players to put the acts of Iomedae in order. If they succeeded I assumed their characters could understand the input device.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

Benrislove wrote:
I only asked players to put the acts of Iomedae in order. If they succeeded I assumed their characters could understand the input device.

That's not really fair. That's severely softballing what should be a difficult puzzle.


I ran across a player with an admantium katana...

My other group took figured it out on their second try.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
DM Beckett wrote:

High Level should have BOTH DR Good & Evil 10

Low Level should have DC 10/Evil & 5/Good
Their template does not replace, it adds to.

Is this correct or was the DR 10/evil intentionally left out of the 8-9 statblock for the archons as an indication of the holiness drained from them?

Also, if it is a result of the drain should it be left out of both tiers?

Liberty's Edge 5/5

I just ran a group that figured out tge puzzle in like 15 minutes.

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

Yeah, my group had a guy that worked it out pretty quickly, with only one error.

The Exchange 5/5 Venture-Captain, Ireland—Belfast aka heretic

Spoilers throughout (naturally)

I ran this at a convention with 4 very experienced players including a VL (Nina) and hardened PFS GMs. The feed back was not altogether positive. Naturally I accept part of the blame as the GM is the one whose job it is to make it fun but I fear in the case of this scenario it is the song as well as the singer!

The puzzle was a pain. Luckily Nina is really good at puzzles so it was eventually solved but the positioning of the blanks being entirely guess work left a poor impression. Additionally the clues are cryptic enough that some hint as to the need to use all of the acts would seem in order. If however Nina had been GMing and I was playing (as was the original plan) the puzzle would never have been solved.

I also feel that more guidance as to how the Archons behave would be appropriate. Do they give any hint as to their situation and hopes of escape or is it essentially a melee encounter unless the PCs guess what the Archons want to hear?

The delay between the fall of the Alis and the rise & disappearance of the spirit could do with some standardisation. It is quite likely that this is only time that the PCs will have to charge those batteries they have and investigate the protective suits. How long the GM gives will have a big impact on how the end game works out.

Not a bad scenario by any means but one that encourages excessive table variation.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Anthony DiDomenico wrote:
DM Beckett wrote:

High Level should have BOTH DR Good & Evil 10

Low Level should have DC 10/Evil & 5/Good
Their template does not replace, it adds to.

Is this correct or was the DR 10/evil intentionally left out of the 8-9 statblock for the archons as an indication of the holiness drained from them?

Also, if it is a result of the drain should it be left out of both tiers?

Bump.

I'm running this tomorrow so any help on this would be appreciated

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Well, they succeeded at diplomacy against the archons so I didn't have to worry about that. They also solved the puzzle on the first shot. They came close to not getting it right though. It took them about 15-20 mins to figure it all out going back and forth on how to do it. They had all of the information having made the knowledge check +10. It was pretty fun to watch them try and figure it out too.

They ended up killing the shemhazian demon but mainly due to a ranger with clustered shots and favored enemy (evil outsider). They also were healing Ollysta and her crusaders.

All-in-all, it was really fun to run and I can't wait to get another chance to run it.

Shadow Lodge 5/5 ⦵⦵⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Indiana—Southern aka CanisDirus

This was one of those scenarios where I was *very* glad that I keep good purchase-records for.

"Holy books of Iomedae" in my paladin (of Iomedae)'s backpack. Never expected that to be useful during a scenario, to be honest!

Scarab Sages 4/5

Anthony DiDomenico wrote:

Well, they succeeded at diplomacy against the archons so I didn't have to worry about that. They also solved the puzzle on the first shot. They came close to not getting it right though. It took them about 15-20 mins to figure it all out going back and forth on how to do it. They had all of the information having made the knowledge check +10. It was pretty fun to watch them try and figure it out too.

They ended up killing the shemhazian demon but mainly due to a ranger with clustered shots and favored enemy (evil outsider). They also were healing Ollysta and her crusaders.

All-in-all, it was really fun to run and I can't wait to get another chance to run it.

I really enjoyed the scenario, even if my monk faced a roll a nat 20 or die at the end. Spoiler: I didn't roll a nat 20.

Very fun scenario. The puzzle was interesting and the fights were fun.

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

Your monk had an evil aura?

Shadow Lodge

curious .. how do you guys handle it when the PC's hit the Crusaders with haste in the final encounter ?

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

I'd double the damage they do a round. It may not make a difference, but it is something.

Shadow Lodge

Double I think kills it .... when I ran it at VTT Gameday 3 once Ollystra went down it had like 30 or so HP left

and I went with +50%

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

Ah, I was just thinking about the two crusaders, not Ollystra herself. Yeah, +50% sounds good.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Your monk had an evil aura?

Reread the spell description. It's anyone who is not good. So all you have to be is neutral to suffer the effects. He happened to have donned the suit hastily and didn't get it completely on in time so he was at 10 HD when it went off.

On top of that they had 4 fully charged prisms so the DC was 32 to resist.

The Exchange

Anthony DiDomenico wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Your monk had an evil aura?

Reread the spell description. It's anyone who is not good. So all you have to be is neutral to suffer the effects. He happened to have donned the suit hastily and didn't get it completely on in time so he was at 10 HD when it went off.

On top of that they had 4 fully charged prisms so the DC was 32 to resist.

The holy word should not kill any characters unless they had an evil aura (cleric of an evil deity).

Weapon in the Rift pg 19 wrote:
If the weapon activated with at least 17 charges, this works
like a holy word spell with a caster level of 20 and a saving
throw DC equal to the number of charges used. Halve
the effect’s caster level against lawful neutral, neutral,
and chaotic neutral creatures (unless such a creature has
an evil aura).

So the holy word would have an effective caster level of 10 against a 5th level PC.

Holy Word wrote:
Up to caster level –5 Paralyzed, blinded, deafened

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Ah, I must have missed that. Thanks Doug. He only ended up having to pay for a negative level so we'll retcon that money/PP.

There was a lot going on in that fight so it was easy to miss something like that.

The sad part is I probably had it highlighted too.

The Exchange

I made the same mistake myself, not catching it until the Chronicles were handed out. You're right about there being a lot going on--then they throw that variation on Holy Word at you.

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

Hence why I asked, since I was pretty sure you had missed it. :)

Love the scenario, but there are a LOT of moving parts to keep track of.

Silver Crusade

Ferious Thune wrote:
Anthony DiDomenico wrote:

Well, they succeeded at diplomacy against the archons so I didn't have to worry about that. They also solved the puzzle on the first shot. They came close to not getting it right though. It took them about 15-20 mins to figure it all out going back and forth on how to do it. They had all of the information having made the knowledge check +10. It was pretty fun to watch them try and figure it out too.

They ended up killing the shemhazian demon but mainly due to a ranger with clustered shots and favored enemy (evil outsider). They also were healing Ollysta and her crusaders.

All-in-all, it was really fun to run and I can't wait to get another chance to run it.

I really enjoyed the scenario, even if my monk faced a roll a nat 20 or die at the end. Spoiler: I didn't roll a nat 20.

Very fun scenario. The puzzle was interesting and the fights were fun.

It is ok, for Ragathiel granted you the ultimate mercy of a second chance to come back and gain vengeance against those who have wronged you.

I was in Ferious' group for the game that Anthony ran. I loved the puzzle, even though my character would have had no clue how to solve it (5 Int paladin, lol).

Also, the last room was absolutely insane and I still can't believe my level 7 paladin charged a CR 16 demon and survived...

Scarab Sages 4/5

Just checking back in on this thread. Anthony let me know earlier about the change. Now I understand why. I thought that effect was a little harsh, but I was willing to just go with it. :) I'm glad to know if I run this, I won't have to kill any PCs that way. And yes, I was very thankful for the ultimate mercy at the time.

5/5

1 person marked this as a favorite.
CanisDirus wrote:

This was one of those scenarios where I was *very* glad that I keep good purchase-records for.

"Holy books of Iomedae" in my paladin (of Iomedae)'s backpack. Never expected that to be useful during a scenario, to be honest!

Just wanted to give a standing ovation to you for the holy books!

Sovereign Court 5/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

So, what would you guys Ghalcor gets hit with a command undead and it sticks? My impression is that helpful Ghalcor can't exist until Allip Ghalcor is dead, which means that command undead unfortunately does nothing here? Or am I reading things wrong?

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

James McTeague wrote:
So, what would you guys Ghalcor gets hit with a command undead and it sticks? My impression is that helpful Ghalcor can't exist until Allip Ghalcor is dead, which means that command undead unfortunately does nothing here? Or am I reading things wrong?

Have undead ghalcor be helpful while charmed. Same information and whatnot, and then go poof when the weapon goes off. He can visit the characters in a hippy dream mode later on if need be.

The Exchange

I'd agree with you James. They'd be stuck with a forlorn Ghalcor who the controller would have to command to be silent else the babble effect wouldn't cease. I'd only give them information if the controller asks a direct question. If I was fast on my feet, I'd mix in a bunch of techno-babble with the answer. Then anyone who wasn't already immune to the babble would have to make another Will save vs fascinate. I think that's being generous since allips are normally insane and command undead wouldn't correct that condition.

Bestiary 3 wrote:
These unfortunates, known as allips, suffer from the violent and incurable insanity they faced in life and take out their terror, confusion, and rage upon the living. They reach out to those they encounter—possibly in wrath, but also perhaps oblivious to their own insane nature—spreading the psychoses that led to their own untimely deaths.

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

My table had a 9th level negative channeler that managed to make his last command stick. The GM basically ran it as if we had defeated him.


we played bonekeep 2 that alip was more dangerous that the boss.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Captain, California—Sacramento aka FLite

We were wondering if children count as level zero neutral characters, as as far as we can tell, every level zero neutral creature in a one mile radius died at the end of our mission, which is going to have rather devastating effect on whatever was left of the ecosystem, as well as there was some mention of berzerker tribes?

also, just wondering, how many people have played this so far with a wizard in the party using infernal healing...? Because that could be really, really bad.

5/5

Infernal Healing means you detect as evil, it does not give you the Aura class feature.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Captain, California—Sacramento aka FLite

Ah. Thanks, missed that.

Grand Lodge 5/5

Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber
FLite wrote:

We were wondering if children count as level zero neutral characters, as as far as we can tell, every level zero neutral creature in a one mile radius died at the end of our mission, which is going to have rather devastating effect on whatever was left of the ecosystem, as well as there was some mention of berzerker tribes?

My personal impression, as someone who has run multiple tables of this particular (really fun to run) adventure, is that the Tower is in an isolated enough place that there are no inhabited places within that one mile area. The village you start at is implied to be one of the closest (not directly said, but implied by being where they are staging into the Worldwound in that area of it) and it is a lot farther than a mile away.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

FLite wrote:

We were wondering if children count as level zero neutral characters, as as far as we can tell, every level zero neutral creature in a one mile radius died at the end of our mission, which is going to have rather devastating effect on whatever was left of the ecosystem, as well as there was some mention of berzerker tribes?

also, just wondering, how many people have played this so far with a wizard in the party using infernal healing...? Because that could be really, really bad.

Nope, don't worry, you're only responsible for the death of thousands of first level peasants. Because as soon as they have a polearm in their hand they're expendible! :)


Farrindor wrote:
FLite wrote:

We were wondering if children count as level zero neutral characters, as as far as we can tell, every level zero neutral creature in a one mile radius died at the end of our mission, which is going to have rather devastating effect on whatever was left of the ecosystem, as well as there was some mention of berzerker tribes?

My personal impression, as someone who has run multiple tables of this particular (really fun to run) adventure, is that the Tower is in an isolated enough place that there are no inhabited places within that one mile area. The village you start at is implied to be one of the closest (not directly said, but implied by being where they are staging into the Worldwound in that area of it) and it is a lot farther than a mile away.

Answer about the nearby Inhabitants:

Weapon in the Rift, Pg. 5 wrote:

Where is Ghalcor’s Tower?

“It’s approximately 20 miles north of here. Once you are fully prepared, I have an ally who can provide you swift and reliable transportation.”

Once the tower is activated, you shouldn't have to worry about any civilians getting in the way of the blast. I mean it might affect some outlying creatures in the Forest of Embers, but I would imagine only on the southernmost tip, if any at all.

Dear god, I hope there aren't any level zero children nearby a locked, semi-abandoned tower out in the middle of Golarion's most vile, horrific locale. ;-P

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

Every pathfinder knows that if you encounter a child in the dungeon its the evil BIg bad. Kill it quickly and hide the body just in case you were wrong.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

3 people marked this as a favorite.
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Every pathfinder knows that if you encounter a child in the dungeon its the evil BIg bad. Kill it quickly and hide the body just in case you were wrong.

I still chuckle when I remember the time I commented on a blog post announcing a scenario with a little girl in it (a scenario that wasn't out yet so I couldn't possibly have seen/played it), saying that of course she's evil and should be killed on sight, and multiple people jumped on me for "spoilers".

When a cliche' is so entrenched that a joke is an accidental spoiler, that should be a red flag that it's a bit overused. ;)

5/5

Does it seem the Silver Crusade Boon on the chronicle for this one advertises itself as more than it can do? It discounts all faction vanities half-off and specifies that the maximum discount is 4pp, but the Silver Crusade vanities cost 1pp, 2pp, and 2pp. So it only gives you 1pp off of The Beacon of Good vanity and the Silver Crusader vanity (unless we can get the Cost of Beneficence vanity for free using the "round fractions down" rule?). Are there faction vanities outside the PSFG I'm not aware of?

Grand Lodge

I had intended to leave some feedback regarding the weapon and a make save or die saving throw for animals like mounts - but it looks this was a GM error.

Situation:
One player did have an animal with him. Most tend to be neutral. Many should not fit into the suits. They shouldn't have any change to get out of range of the weapon.

The player was placed into the situation to sacrifice his animal mount for he greater good (or be lucky). The player reluctantly agreed after pressure from everyone else on the table - but wasn't happy when the special mount gained via a boon died.

I haven't read the scenario - but reading the feedback it seems that paladin mounts, ranger companions, samurai mounts, etc. actually shouldn't be save or dead - as long as they are not evil. Could someone please confirm that?

An imp familiar might be the exemption (maybe there are more, the only one springing to my mind) - but that should 'fit' into a suit even if it might not be able to do much afterwards - it would be 'inside' and protected enough to survive.

Just checking for an otherwise great scenario and a great performance of the GM.

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

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Thod, the caster level for determining effects on the paladins mount should have been halved as it was not an evil or evil aura'd creature. It should only have been debilitated, not killed.

Weapon in the Rift pg17 wrote:
If the weapon activated with at least 17 charges, this works like a holy word spell with a caster level of 20 and a saving throw DC equal to the number of charges used. Halve the effect’s caster level against lawful neutral, neutral, and chaotic neutral creatures (unless such a creature has an evil aura).

Grand Lodge

TriOmegaZero
Thanks - that was my understanding from reading up here in the thread. But I thought I better checked it up. It actually was a Samurai mount. But it would apply to Paladin mounts as well and likely many other animals, companions, familiars, etc.

5/5 Venture-Agent, Massachusetts—Boston

I believe Paladin mounts are called out as sharing their riders alignment. Since they are generally sent by a good diety.

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

I'll provide more context when I get home, but one of the acts of Iomadae has a different city in ISG than the scenario. Really confused me when I was using my book while another player was using the handouts...

Grand Lodge

@David
It was a Samurai Mount. Anyway - I checked the CRB while at the table and later at home as I was also under the assumption the mount shares alignment but so far didn't find it anywhere in the rules.
It is a mood point if you don't die anyway.


My team just did this. Fortunately our puzzle confusion was limited to where the zeros should be placed. While i haven't had time to digest or know what changes took place between when the scenario was released and when our group played it, I will echo the sentiments that the whole experience is undermined by something as tedious as where the blanks go.

I'll also ask

Chronicle sheet:

I don't get why the ammunition is so limited. "1" planar arrow? Really? It's honestly more trouble than its worth to buy this and use this and track it. I would welcome any explanation as to why? I'll also add that it's a shame there aren't more arrow/bolt boons.

Most people don't have the Custom Order boon and in the absence of said boon, the entire line of enhanced arrows is really a non-option for most characters.

Grand Lodge 4/5

The ammo is limited because it's only used in a single trap in the scenario.


Jeff Merola wrote:
The ammo is limited because it's only used in a single trap in the scenario.

That doesn't really make sense. Any scenario with an enchanted weapon or a scroll or potion (other than cure potions), there is usually only one of them. They aren't limited to 1.

I'll also reiterate my observation above. The vast arrow of enchanted ammunition is essentially left out of the game because no one is going pay 18,000 gp for 50 Anarchic arrows. Why not make these things more available through chronicles in smaller lots?

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