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


GM Discussion

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Dark Archive 5/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

For Area A1

Spoiler:
The traps are not indicated on the map. In the development and rewards notes, it mentions the PCs are capable of both not finding nor triggering the traps. Thus, should we place the traps where we see fit? Giving the PCs a chance to not activate either trap if they are careful?

Paizo Employee 5/5 Developer

In response:
The traps have the same trigger area: the 10x10-foot area in the very middle of the hallway, where it bows out to the north.

Dark Archive 5/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Thanks John!


I have to say, I haven't looked forward to GMing a given scenario more than this after a quick readthrough. Loving it!

Spoiler:

And hard mode even looks doable!

Lantern Lodge 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, South Dakota—Rapid City aka Black Powder Chocobo

@Carlos: I'm glad to see that in a 5-9!

Lantern Lodge 5/5

For Area A3

Spoiler:

The DCs to change the Archons' attitude seems backwards. Tier 5-6 has a DC of 28, but Tier 8-9 has a DC of 25. Should those be switched?

Shadow Lodge

Carlos Robledo wrote:
I have to say, I haven't looked forward to GMing a given scenario more than this after a quick readthrough. Loving it!

Have to say I agree. It's about dang time Season 5 started to actually do something that seems to matter <with the global threat of the Worldwound>. From what I'm seeing so far, this is starting to look like it might be my favorite. Once I run it, we will see.

Paizo Employee 5/5 Developer

David Higaki wrote:

For Area A3

** spoiler omitted **

In response:
The Diplomacy DC is based on the creatures' Charisma scores, and said ability scores are higher in Subtier 5–6. I agree that it seems a little backward, but given how scary those Subtier 8–9 celestial legionnaires…I'm not feeling too bad about their Diplomacy DC being lower!

Carlos Robledo wrote:

I have to say, I haven't looked forward to GMing a given scenario more than this after a quick readthrough. Loving it!

** spoiler omitted **

I'm glad you are enjoying the scenario. Once you run it, let me know what you think! John and I worked pretty hard to make sure the "Hard Mode" was do-able, yet still challenging to the players. Make sure to give the last encounter a good, solid read-through. There are a lot of moving parts and will definitely keep a GM on their toes.

Shadow Lodge

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Fiendish Hound Archons? RIDICULOUS!


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I should probably mention that I got to play this last weekend with Nathan as the GM. Seemed like a solid scenario despite the GM's inability to keep the players under control.

Grand Lodge

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Kyle Baird wrote:
I should probably mention that I got to play this last weekend with Nathan as the GM. Seemed like a solid scenario despite the GM's inability to keep the players under control.

Like I said, the more GM stars at the table, the less likely anything is to get done correctly. :P

Sovereign Court 5/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

All right. I finished my prep for this scenario and uploaded to the shared drive. I tried adding in the sickened numbers like I've seen Carlos do on some of his preps, so hopefully they're more useful (and not more confusing...).

Three questions came up from prepping:

High tier Celestial Legionarres - shouldn't the DR be DR 10/good, 10/evil?

Low tier Abrikandilu Berserkers - rage power (1)? Should we be using one of the high tier rage powers here?

If a table of 4 players has elected to do hard mode, what do you have the shemhazian do on round 2? (I'm guessing the hard mode over telekinesis, since they elected for hard mode, but this is big enough that I want to ask first.)

Shadow Lodge

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.

Grand Lodge

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Garble bite big cat spider thing!

Grand Lodge 4/5

Is this a 'Hard Mode' scenario for the recharging of certain boons. I know it has 'hard mode' suggestions but I want to make sure.

Paizo Employee 5/5 Developer

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Thomas Graham wrote:
Is this a 'Hard Mode' scenario for the recharging of certain boons. I know it has 'hard mode' suggestions but I want to make sure.

Yes, this does recharge a certain boon.


James McTeague wrote:

Low tier Abrikandilu Berserkers - rage power (1)? Should we be using one of the high tier rage powers here?

If a table of 4 players has elected to do hard mode, what do you have the shemhazian do on round 2? (I'm guessing the hard mode over telekinesis, since they elected for hard mode, but this is big enough that I want to ask first.)

Good questions James. John can provide the final ruling, but I can at least provide you what powers I suggested to john at final turnover for the low tier abrakandilu demons.

rage powers:

Guarded stance and surprise accuracy

As for the hard mode, If the 4 PCs elected to do hard mode, then give them hard mode. ;-)

Sovereign Court 3/5 Venture-Agent, Minnesota—Champlin

I'm surprised to be the first from my table of this scenario to post on here, but Jon Denning ran it last night for a group of us GMs here. We played it at subtier 8-9, but not on Hard Mode. There were some definite issues/complaints that came up:

Spoiler:
The door puzzle is great in that it brings in so much of the background of Golarion. I've always been a big fan of Iomedae, so I recognized what the references were to right away and I loved that aspect. There WERE some issues, though. For one, we ended up spending so much time on the puzzle that we were all wanting a break afterwards. And that was before we'd encountered the first creatures in the place. Secondly, there really is no indication to the PCs as to what order they should enter the numbers. We thought it had to do with what order the references were in the phrases on the bars, but that turns out to not be the case. We had all the right numbers the first time, but had them out of order. Given the typical limitations on time, the fact that it's not clear whether any of the Acts need to be used twice, and the number of attempts that can be made, I don't foresee any table actually getting this right. And that seems to defeat the intent.

Once the battle with the Allip is over, the clock seems to start for the last battle. That feels a bit too soon. It would be better if it didn't start until they opened the door to the last room. The suits in the room with Ghalcor's body are awfully useful to non-Good PCs, but they probably never will have time to notice them or have the time to don them. That is awfully unfair 'cuz if they manage to fire off the weapon and succeed at the scenario's main goal, they might just kill several PCs in the process. Plus, if they haven't charged any of the orbs yet, they really don't have the time to do so or even discuss it, anymore. I expect some folks to walk away from the scenario awfully bitter. And that's a shame.

In addition, for the activating of the weapon during the final battle, I think the PCs should be told by the spirit of Ghalcor how many charges they will need to fire the weapon. Or, at least some rough guess from him. There is just so little time once that final countdown starts. And most of the time, they won't have already charged any of the orbs before all that starts 'cuz they won't have a clue how many charges they'll need. They only have 7 rounds or so before the battle turns impossible. If they don't have a way to get multiple PCs up to that platform right at the beginning, they are probably not going to have a chance of holding off the demon up there AND activate the weapon IF they don't even know how many charges are needed. And every round, the number of charges required keeps increasing as the demon up there keeps damaging it. At least going into that situation with a vague idea of the number of charges needed would give them a chance. As it is, I expect many players will feel like this was an impossible task. And, again, that's a shame.

The last issue we could see is just the amount of time the whole scenario can take. The door puzzle and the battle with the Allip (depending upon how the GM plays him) can really drag on. We went to 11+ rounds with the Allip. And THEN the last battle is so involved that I expect time to be running short for the vast majority of tables that run through it. And that's, again, a shame because it's a really interesting scenario to play and GM. It took us 7 hours or so to play it. Granted, we took a few minutes after each key area to discuss it from a "how to GM it" standpoint and to look at what it would be like on Hard Mode, but we also had an almost ideal party makeup for the last battle. We had several characters who could fly or had spider climb and at least 1 who could get up to the platform invisibly while the rest kept the demon busy.

In the end, we all really liked this scenario. It used some good background from the campaign world, had some good foreshadowing with Ghalcor's background, had a really interesting puzzle to solve, and had some really interesting and exciting mechanics. We all expect those issues I listed to really hamper and frustrate tables that play through it, however.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

I was at the table with James. I agree 100% with what he's written.

Spoiler:
The main issues are:
  • There was nothing but a very obtuse and vague clue that the numbers needed to be in order. At the very least a knowledge check letting you know that Iomedae was a stickler for organization. But as it was, we had all the right numbers, just in the wrong order. We had them in the order they appeared in the phrases on the bars.
  • Absolutely zero time to investigate the room with the Allip once he's been destroyed, because the 10 round countdown starts immediately. So there is zero chance that the characters will know what the suits are for.
  • Having zero idea how many charges are necessary, and no way to figure it out, and the fact the first prism will likely be drained completely because the puzzle door is impossible, it is basically impossible to succeed at this mission.

This scenario needs some major retooling to make it possible to succeed at. There needs to be one more clue or knowledge check of some kind. And there needs to be a moment to investigate things before the countdown for the final encounter starts.

This scenario is really awesome. I really enjoyed all the story aspects and the puzzle (I love puzzles). All six of us playing are particularly good at puzzles. And we actually got all the correct numbers per bar within like half an hour. When we failed, we had no idea how to figure out to put the numbers in sequential order. That was pretty poor design.

While difficult, everything in a scenario should be possible within a 5 hour time frame, and there should be a way to figure it out without blind luck in deciding to organize things a certain way.

Grand Lodge 4/5

I thought, from my read thru , that it was...

Spoiler:
The removal of the scared prisms that triggers the last event?

Liberty's Edge 5/5

Thomas Graham wrote:

I thought, from my read thru , that it was...

** spoiler omitted **

Spoiler:
One prism by the door. Why you wouldn't remove it as you go into the room with the fiendish hound archons I don't know. 2nd prism is in the next room. Why you wouldn't take it with you, I don't know. The final two prisms are with the corpse in 2nd to last room.

"If the PCs have removed at least two sacred prisms
from their niches (see areas A2, A3, and A4), then when
Ghalcor’s spirit goes dormant, the tower’s remaining
safeguards weaken enough that the north door is no
longer barred. He trapped demons in area A8 awaken,
begin to resume their destruction of the tower’s weapon."

So the countdown is very likely to start immediately after the characters kill the allip.

After reading through it:

Spoiler:
I suppose you have the chance to ask the Allip a couple questions before the spirit totally goes dormant. And one of the detailed answers is what the suits do.

Grand Lodge 4/5

Andrew Christian wrote:
Thomas Graham wrote:

I thought, from my read thru , that it was...

** spoiler omitted **

** spoiler omitted **

After reading through it:

** spoiler omitted **

That is my take on it upon read thru. You gets some questions, BUT as soon as they are done the next event starts.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

Putting the suits on takes 1d2+1 rounds. Even the partial usage for 1 round really isn't prudent, because the countdown likely starts before you get a chance to put them on.

Dark Archive

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About the door puzzle:

Spoiler:
I ran this today. Considering that there are quite a few editing/spelling errors/omissions (rage powers), I'm of the opinion that two numbers for the puzzle changed places. The puzzle text is clearly supposed to be replaced by the relevant Act # in order of it being mentioned; this works for Dial 2 and 3, not 1 and 4, which doesn't make any sense. To anyone running this, don't punish your players. Dial #1 should be 6-9-7 and dial #4 should be 5-2-1-0.

Other than that, this was an excellent scenario. The fights were dangerous (5 players, high tier hard mode) enough to keep them on their seats while lacking the 'Hah, Got'cha' cheese that was making the rounds for a while.

Dark Archive 5/5 ⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Minnesota—Minneapolis aka Silbeg

Do we really need spoilers all over this? This is the GM discussion board, and spoilers are assumed!

Dezhem, I have to agree with you. I was at the same table as James and Andy, and we used every bit of our puzzle-solving skills to figure this one out. In fact, it was a kick in the shorts to find out that the solution we came up with was wrong. I was quite pleased to come up with the idea that for the numbers 10 & 11 they would be encoded on two wheels (there was some dissent at the table that this would be correct). We were also worried that the order of the blanks were important, or whether or not there should be blanks in any case. However, when we did the math, realizing that there would be 13 numbers used (assuming 10s & 11 would take two slots) out of 16 total dials.

I will be honest that I used a little metagaming in my analysis, believing that there would be no repeats in the acts defined. Were there repeats, it would make the combination almost impossible to figure out. However, the logical assumption with the clues given was that the acts numbers should show up in the order that they were encoded in the pass phrases. The only possible clue (and I believe this was reaching far too much) was the statement on all three of the "acts" handouts that these were Iomedae's acts before acendence. Not sure if that was supposed to be a clue, but if it was, it was far too obscure to be useful.

If the ordering (in ascending numerical order) was intentional, perhaps based on Iomedae's love of order, then there should at least be a hint somewhere, or perhaps a Kn: Religion check to figure that tidbit out. Either that, or a Linguistics check to help with the decoding.

Now, note, I have not read the scenario myself, so can only work on what was described to me (which I have no reason to disbelieve).

I would also agree that there should be some way to delay the final countdown until PCs have the chance to don the protective gear. Having defeated the Allip, there should be a way to prevent the spirit of Ghalcor from leaving long enough for PCs to charge whichever prisms they need to charge, and also don the protective gear. Now, I understand that the spirit probably wants to go on to his final reward, but being a very devout cleric of Iomedae, I believe he'd want to do whatever was in his power to give the PCs the chance to succeed. Perhaps a diplomacy (or intimidate) check could delay his leaving for a round (+1 round for every 5 by which the PCs exceed the roll). They can keep him around with additional rolls, each of which is more difficult.

All that being said, I did enjoy the scenario. I especially liked the fact that the players were at least minimally rewarded for having wayfinders (thus, being a good Pathfinder). The realization that we might be facing fiendish Hound Archons was jaw-dropping! What a concept! The allip was particularly effective... being able to move freely through stone, and having a tremendous number of powerful spells at its disposal. My rogue was Confused for most of the battle, and James' wizard spent most of the battle punching himself (per Jon, in the <redacted>). Adding to that the effect of the fog cloud, and our ability to fight it was horribly limited.

I hope that my dissertation there wasn't too bad, and and didn't make it sound like I didn't like the scenario.


Thanks everyone for the feedback!

Puzzle information:

The puzzle went through a few iterations before it reached the final product you see today. It's a tough puzzle and really draws upon the knowledge of lore of Iomedae. When I ran this through playtest, the players enjoyed the puzzle, thought it was a difficult yet manageable puzzle.

Though I don't want to stray from the "Run as Written" rule, but if you notice your players struggling with the puzzle, I'm sure John wouldn't mind the players making intelligence or Knowledge (Religion, or History) checks (DC 13 for Subtier 5-6, DC 16 for Subtier 8-9) to provide them with general hints without giving away the entire puzzle.

The timer after the PCs conversation with Ghalcor is brisk. However, as a GM, you want to make sure your PCs have a engaging and fun time. Remember that it calls out in the scenario that the answers Ghalcor provides are "typical" which doesn't mean it is everything he will provide the PCs. If the PCs ask a question to Ghalcor that is not in the provided answers, yet still something he would know (without giving away critical information), maybe Ghalcor could be persuaded to answer to a helpful PC. ;)

John is of course the final call on all of my suggestions, however, I'm just the author ;)

Don't forget to give a review, good or bad. It helps John and Paizo determine if more scenarios like this get released! :)

Nathan

Dark Archive 5/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Some thoughts about the session:

I liked this scenario quite a bit. The door puzzle is wonderful. There is a logic to the trap and reasoning for the defenses as well. We did go long, as was mentioned, but I think most of that was the post encounter discussion and the fight with the Allip. Still, people should be aware of how long this scenario can run, especially at tier 8-9 with or with out hard mode activated.

The soul prisms are a great magic item. Because of the divine/mystic battery and the nature of the "Ultimate Weapon", this adventure had a great steampunk vibe to it. I think the complaint about not knowing how many charges are needed to activate the weapon is valid, my group knew everything about the prisms. They knew how to charge them, and what their powers were. Also, a party can succeed with out charging any of the empty prisms, even if they fail the door test (I think, going on memory here). You only need to charge the empty prisms if the demons damage the weapon, possible, or you used the prisms early in the scenario.

Also, Nate is right. That last room has a quite a bit going on. I suggest folks re-read that section. Then read it again.

One last thing...

treasure:
How are people handling the treasure from deactivated traps? I think this is a great idea, but how do we guide the party to think about retrieval of those items? I tried to give hints as they disarmed each trap, but the group failed to pick up on them. If a gm simply glosses over the items, I expect players to complain about it. Either it will be akin to "You didn't let us look for those!" or "Why didn't you tell us there was treasure there? I rolled a 38 Perception check!"

Dark Archive 5/5 ⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Minnesota—Minneapolis aka Silbeg

Nathan, thanks for the information.

I will state clearly (since I probably didn't do so before) that the puzzle was pretty amazing. There was only one thing that I was confused about.

puzzle:

Would it be possible to clear up the one detail about the ordering of the dials? How were the PCs supposed to figure out that they were to order them in ascending order instead of the order that they were encountered in the four pass-phrases? Our table had some guesses, but it seemed more hind-sight than anything else. Specifically, was there a clue in the puzzle that we missed?

Personally, I was very surprised that we were able to determine a clean mapping of "acts" to pass phrases, and that there appeared to be no duplication. There was a good deal of pride at the table when we thought we had the solution, and at least some shock that we had failed. There was no other feedback than the burst of positive energy... no real way to know how close we were (which, BTW, makes sense in reality, but makes the puzzle more difficult to solve).


jon dehning wrote:


The soul prisms are a great magic item. Because of the divine/mystic battery and the nature of the "Ultimate Weapon", this adventure had a great steampunk vibe to it. I think the complaint about not knowing how many charges are needed to activate the weapon is valid, my group knew everything about the prisms. They knew how to charge them, and what their powers were. Also, a party can succeed with out charging any of the empty prisms, even if they fail the door test (I think, going on memory here). You only need to charge the empty prisms if the demons damage the weapon, possible, or you used the prisms early in the scenario.

Again, this these are all "suggestions" and I do not have the final say, but here are a couple suggestions that I think would fit in well:

Sacred Prism Charges:

1.) If the PCs ask Ghalcor, "What does the weapon do?", maybe have him provide a tidbit of information about the tower (That the weapon requires a certain number of charges to fire properly, but nothing else.)
2.) When the PCs arrive at the control panel and are examining it/attempting to use it, give them a free Knowledge (Engineering, Religion), UMD or Intelligence check (DC 18) to determine the amount of charges the weapon needs. HOWEVER, I would NOT tell them how the damage (throughout the fight) the demons have done to the control panel and how it is affecting the final result. I would describe their actions to the players and keep a hidden total of how much destruction the weapon has taken when the PCs attempt to fire it. This way, it still leaves a bit of mystery to the weapon, but still gives the PCs a better fighting chance on firing the weapon.

jon dehning wrote:


One last thing...
** spoiler omitted **

Spoiler:

The logic behind the traps is that the PCs are supposed to disable/disengage the traps in order for Ollysta to make her to the PCs unharmed. My opinion, is that if the PCs successfully disable the trap, describe the faith orb making noise across the hall as it becomes disengaged from the wall and falls to the ground. That should grab the PC's curiosity, allowing you to ask for a quick perception check. After dropping those hints and the PCs still don't want to look, maybe give them a secondary check on their way out of the tower after the last encounter? After that, that's about all I got. Perception carries over from character to player, right? ;)

Silbeg wrote:


One last thing...
** spoiler omitted **

Puzzle tips:

If they fail, what about giving them a Intelligence check or Knowledge (History or Religion) and maybe point out 1 act they misplaced. Again, if they are having a large amount of trouble with it, refer to my earlier post. We don't want the puzzle to eat up the entire scenario. We all like Iomedae, but we have to figure what that weapon does too! :)

Liberty's Edge 5/5

Nathan, no offense, but you really aren't answering the question.

I'd also like to hear from some folks who got the puzzle correct.

How do you figure out that the order of the numbers must be in ascending order vs the order they appear in the phrases on the bars?

As a GM I wouldn't know what Iomedae lore To give them to lead them in that direction.

Interestingly, the example doesn't give the answers in ascending order. So does that mean that as long as you have the right numbers it doesn't matter the order?

Grand Lodge

Andrew Christian wrote:

Stuff to Nathan...

I'd also like to hear from some folks who got the puzzle correct.

How do you figure out that the order of the numbers must be in ascending order vs the order they appear in the phrases on the bars?

As a GM I wouldn't know what Iomedae lore To give them to lead them in that direction.

Interestingly, the example doesn't give the answers in ascending order. So does that mean that as long as you have the right numbers it doesn't matter the order?

Background; BS in Mathematics Education.

It's a pattern. Writing down what's going on helps. I suggest having handouts (I always make additional handouts of anything particular to give to players.)

Pattern again; I would suggest writing it down on another sheet of paper.

Read up on Iomedae lore? I had to because my fear is someone at the table knows more about her then I do.

I would recommend pulling all of the puzzle bits out and writing them on a separate sheet of paper for your reference. I only had difficulty with one part, but I eventually got it because I figured the rest of them were patterns.

I mentioned the puzzle to my fiance' and she was able to pick up on it (background in Science education). She is not as much of a puzzle fan as I am.

Hope that helps Andrew!

Liberty's Edge 5/5

Not really Seth. We wrote it all down. Had a chart and everything. There is nothing mathematical to indicate that the correct sequence is in ascending order. The pattern is that on bar one, the order each think showed up in the phrase is 6-9-7. Not 6-7-9.

So how am I to know I should modify the order to be in ascending order?

Please explain the math or pattern to me that lead you to figure that.

I'm not sure it should be in ascending order. The example given is not. And the text says you can put the blanks either at the front or the end of the sequence. But the answers show the blanks at the end, which leads me to believe that the order of tge numbers dies not matter, just that you have the right ones.

Shadow Lodge

@Seth Here is what I think is the answer.

Handout 1:

A broken sword is reborn in knight-saving blood so that Absalom might withstand evil.
Inspired by her courage by fight of the righteous, the Black Prince was judged in the Halls of Aroden.
By escaping the wound, her royal servants helped her slay the King of the Barrowood, ascending her to godhood.
Because of The Battle of Three Sorrows, the cities of Eleder and Kantaria prospered with freedom and wealth.

Handout 2 (DC 13):

You recall some of the eleven acts of Iomedae—deeds she performed while still a mortal.
Sixth: After the Whispering Tyrant used magic to break her sword, she fused it together with a prayer and an oath to bring an end to his evil, with her pure heart and righteous ire reforging it in an instant.
Eighth: She convinced the graveknight known only as the Black Prince to throw himself upon his sword as punishment for his evil. This reversed his undead state, redeeming his soul and allowing him to be judged in the Halls of Aroden.
Eleventh: At the Pit of the Starstone in Absalom, she cast her cloak of common wool before her. It straightened and expanded to become a firm walkway across the gap, allowing her to enter the Cathedral and take the Test.

Handout 3 (DC 18):

You recall several of the eleven acts of Iomedae—deeds she performed while still a mortal.
Fourth: With heartfelt words and a prayer to Arazni, she convinced a regiment of mortally wounded knights at the Second Battle of Encarthan to hold back a wave of wraiths long enough for reinforcements to arrive at dawn to save them.
Seventh: An image of Iomedae appeared at a shrine to Aroden in Absalom, healing anyone virtuous who touched it and burning wicked folk who came too near. When she later became a goddess, the shrine was expanded into a temple dedicated to her, named the Seventh Church.
Ninth: She gave nine drops of her blood to free nine righteous knights imprisoned by the vampire-mage Basilov; she and the knights then slew him when he attempted to recapture them.
Tenth: She ruled the city of Kantaria for a year and a day while its lord, heirless patriarch of House Narikopolous, was missing. The city prospered despite constant attacks by shapechanging horrors—horrors which she battled personally.

Handout 4 (DC23):

You recall all of the eleven acts of Iomedae—deeds she performed while still a mortal.
First: She slew the fell beast Nakorshor’mond and cut the still-sleeping bodies of her circle from its gullets.
Second: She defeated a coven of Garundi witches, freeing the city of Eleder from their tyranny.
Third: While riding a griffon in an aerial battle, she cut the wings from Segruchen the Iron Gargoyle, so-called King of the Barrowood. While falling and before he could escape, she pursued and slew him.
Fifth: She smote Erum-Hel, Lord of the Morghs, at the Battle of Three Sorrows (where the Whispering Tyrant returned Arazni’s body to the Knights of Ozem). This drove Erum-Hel to flee, crippled, to Orv.

Now ignore Handout numbers, and just look at the acts.

the Acts in order:

First: She slew the fell beast Nakorshor’mond and cut the still-sleeping bodies of her circle from its gullets.
Second: She defeated a coven of Garundi witches, freeing the city of Eleder from their tyranny.
Third: While riding a griffon in an aerial battle, she cut the wings from Segruchen the Iron Gargoyle, so-called King of the Barrowood. While falling and before he could escape, she pursued and slew him.
Fourth: With heartfelt words and a prayer to Arazni, she convinced a regiment of mortally wounded knights at the Second Battle of Encarthan to hold back a wave of wraiths long enough for reinforcements to arrive at dawn to save them.
Fifth: She smote Erum-Hel, Lord of the Morghs, at the Battle of Three Sorrows (where the Whispering Tyrant returned Arazni’s body to the Knights of Ozem). This drove Erum-Hel to flee, crippled, to Orv.
Sixth: After the Whispering Tyrant used magic to break her sword, she fused it together with a prayer and an oath to bring an end to his evil, with her pure heart and righteous ire reforging it in an instant.
Seventh: An image of Iomedae appeared at a shrine to Aroden in Absalom, healing anyone virtuous who touched it and burning wicked folk who came too near. When she later became a goddess, the shrine was expanded into a temple dedicated to her, named the Seventh Church.
Eighth: She convinced the graveknight known only as the Black Prince to throw himself upon his sword as punishment for his evil. This reversed his undead state, redeeming his soul and allowing him to be judged in the Halls of Aroden.
Ninth: She gave nine drops of her blood to free nine righteous knights imprisoned by the vampire-mage Basilov; she and the knights then slew him when he attempted to recapture them.
Tenth: She ruled the city of Kantaria for a year and a day while its lord, heirless patriarch of House Narikopolous, was missing. The city prospered despite constant attacks by shapechanging horrors—horrors which she battled personally.
Eleventh: At the Pit of the Starstone in Absalom, she cast her cloak of common wool before her. It straightened and expanded to become a firm walkway across the gap, allowing her to enter the Cathedral and take the Test.

Going back to Handout 1

Answer:
Combo 1 = “A broken sword (6th) is reborn (7th) in knight-saving blood so that Absalom might withstand evil (9th).” 6-7-9
Combo 2 = “Inspired by her courage by fight of the righteous, the Black Prince (8th) was judged in the Halls of Aroden.” 4-8, (I have no idea how they got 4 here, seems a huge stretch, and the clue contradicts what 4 actually says, so might be a misprint of 8-8
Combo 3 = “By escaping the wound, her royal servants helped her (1st) slay the King of the Barrowood (3rd), ascending her to godhood. (11th)” 1-3-1-1, again, a huge stetch, and is also correctly answered by 3-3-1-1, or 3-1-1, as the falling and not dying would also be "escaping her wound"
Combo 4 = “Because of The Battle of Three Sorrows (out of order, sort of see 5th) the cities of Eleder (2nd) and Kantaria prospered with freedom and wealth. (10th)” 2-5-1-0
(If it instead read like "The Cities of Eleder, and because of The Battle of Three Sorrows, Kantaria, prospered with freedom and wealth" it would work properly.) and at certain points player knowledge on certain names and references might help. I'm guessing that anyone that both got it and got the right order probably had their GM hand it to them. :) Maybe not, but a few seem to be enormous stretches to even be able to guess.

Question to Nathan, though. Should a player just have a Cleric/Paladin Kit, (including a holy text) and be a worshiper of Iomedae, do they need to even make the check? As opposed to say whipping out their holy text and looking at the Acts.


You know, with a goblin constantly point every encounter, this scenario runs much differently.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

DM Beckett wrote:

@Seth Here is what I think is the answer.

** spoiler omitted **

** spoiler omitted **

** spoiler omitted **...

This is pretty much how we figured it too. Except we did get 4 with the "heartfelt words... convinced a regiment of mortally wounded knights..."

Which is "Inspired by her courage by fight of the righteous"

But yeah, we had all the numbers correct, just not show in ascending order.

Are the numbers supposed to be in ascending order? and if so, how are you supposed to figure that out?

And 9 is not what you had it, it is "knight-saving blood".

I'm not sure how you got 7 as "reborn". 7 is the reference to Absalom, which comes after 9.

Shadow Lodge

Andrew Christian wrote:

Are the numbers supposed to be in ascending order? and if so, how are you supposed to figure that out?

From page 9:

"and each bar also bears a unique inscription in Common and Celestial; give the players Player Handout 1, which presents the inscriptions in descending order." Basically it's up to the DM to add in a little and give some clues.

It might have been more clear to players, I think, to specify that each section of Handout 1 was written in common and celestial over the related combo lock.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

Still doesnt give a clue that the numbers are to be in ascending order. And how is a GM to know how to give clues without just giving the answers.

Shadow Lodge

They might have described it wrong to you. There are 4 bars that are blocking off the door. Each bar has 4 dials on it (marked 0-9), basically a padlock.

Each bar also has Handout 1 written on it in common and celestial. You need to solve the riddle by turning the padlocks on each bar to the right numbers. There are a total of 16 of them, which (sort of) correspond to the lines of Handout 1.

--O--O--O--O--

--O--O--O--O--

--O--O--O--O--

--O--O--O--O--

Setting all the dials to the correct combo (together) removes all the bars. If you pull the lever and any of them are wrong, it sets of the trap.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

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uh... I appreciate you trying to explain to me. I really do.

But what is becoming increasingly frustrating to me, is that nobody is answering my question.

1) Silbeg, Myself, James Krolak and 3 others played this. Jon Dehning ran it. We have all commented in this thread to the same effect. Jon Dehning did an exceptional job of explaining what we were looking at.

2) We had a crapload of skill monkeys, so made all of our checks to get all the handouts.

3) We had all the numbers on all the bars correct.

4) I've read this encounter after I played it, so I'm well versed in how the encounter is set up.

5) The answers in the encounter are listed in numerical (ascending order). 6, 7, 9, blank for the first bar, 4, 8, blank, blank for the second, 1, 3, 1, 1, for the third, and 2, 5, 1, 0 for the fourth.

We had it 6, 9, 7, blank for the first, 4 ,8, blank, blank for the second, 1, 3, 1, 1 for the third, and 5, 2, 1, 0 for the forth.

Because the order of the numbers on each bar were incorrect based on what was listed in the encounter, we were told we had it incorrect.

I'm specifically asking, what is the clue that tells us that the numbers on each bar have to be in ascending or numerical order?

Liberty's Edge 5/5

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Keep in mind, that this is how we figured it out

Combo 1 = “A broken sword (6th) is reborn in knight-saving blood (9th) so that Absalom (7th) might withstand evil.” 6-9-7

Combo 2 = “Inspired by her courage by fight of the righteous (4th), the Black Prince (8th) was judged in the Halls of Aroden.” 4-8

Combo 3 = “By escaping the wound, her royal servants helped her (1st) slay the King of the Barrowood (3rd), ascending her to godhood. (11th)” 1-3-1-1,

Combo 4 = “Because of The Battle of Three Sorrows (5th) the cities of Eleder (2nd) and Kantaria (10th) prospered with freedom and wealth.” 5-2-1-0

So how did the answers for Bar 1 become 6, 7, 9, blank

and how did the answers for Bar 4 become 2, 5, 1, 0

Unless the numbers have to be re-ordered into numerical order. And where is the clue that tells you that you have to reorder the numbers into numerical order?

I don't know how better to ask this question so that someone understands what we are asking, an why we are confused that we got it wrong.


Andrew

How about if a GM described why you failed?

The wrong combinations reset, glow green or something clever. I like how the trap has a DD check, but I also think the door should need one.

I think we need more traps in PFS, or atleast PC's armed with their Trusty Buddy.

Dark Archive

We had the same problem Andrew did, however our GM after our 3rd try stopped the encounter, and went through our logic with us and agreed that our logic is sound based on the examples given and the text pieces we were shown.

So he rolled it back to the time we successfully entered the code and let us through. However this does not mean the issue is resolved by any means, because there will be GM's who fail their parties on this task without being able to take the time to check the logic of the players vs the instructions given.

If there was supposed to be text saying that the answers should be sorted from lowest to highest then this text should appear so the GM can see it and a DC should be given for the PC's to know that this is the case.

Shadow Lodge

I don't know, I don't read the clues for Dial 1 like you do, so 6,7,9,- makes sense to me.

Dial 4 I think was a misprint, with the 2 and the 5 being in the wrong order in the answer section. Like you said, the correct answer should be 5, 2, 10, (not the given answer of 2, 5, 10).

(there are more than a few misprint errors I noticed. This is really the only one that matters too much to me, if it is infact a misprint)

I don't think they are supposed to be in ascending order.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

Chris Bonnet wrote:

Andrew

How about if a GM described why you failed?

The wrong combinations reset, glow green or something clever. I like how the trap has a DD check, but I also think the door should need one.

I think we need more traps in PFS, or atleast PC's armed with their Trusty Buddy.

That isn't the issue. Jon Dehning, our other V-L here in Minnesota, did a fantastic job with this.

If I'm going to GM this, I need to know how to correctly solve the puzzle, so that if they ask why they failed, I have something other than, "Well the scenario says your wrong" to tell them.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

DM Beckett wrote:

I don't know, I don't read the clues for Dial 1 like you do, so 6,7,9,- makes sense to me. Dial 4 I think was a misprint, with the 2 and the 5 being in the wrong order. (there are more than a few misprint errors I noticed. This is really the only one that matters too much to me, if it is infact a misprint)

I don't think they are supposed to be in ascending order.

Can you explain how the word "reborn" has anything to do with 7?

Liberty's Edge 5/5

Caderyn wrote:

We had the same problem Andrew did, however our GM after our 3rd try stopped the encounter, and went through our logic with us and agreed that our logic is sound based on the examples given and the text pieces we were shown.

So he rolled it back to the time we successfully entered the code and let us through. However this does not mean the issue is resolved by any means, because there will be GM's who fail their parties on this task without being able to take the time to check the logic of the players vs the instructions given.

If there was supposed to be text saying that the answers should be sorted from lowest to highest then this text should appear so the GM can see it and a DC should be given for the PC's to know that this is the case.

Yup, that's what I'm saying! Someone finally gets me! Woo Hoo!

Paizo Employee 5/5 Developer

16 people marked this as a favorite.

I think I follow, Andrew. Instead of asking about ascending/descending order, which suggests vertical orientation, I think you're asking about horizontal sequence (i.e. Is there a difference between 3–5–9 and 5–3–9?).

Yes, the horizontal sequence is important.
Yes, there does appear to be a hiccup in the puzzle's solution in the text. I have reviewed it and caught the error for upcoming correction.

Correct answer on further review:

Line 1: 6–9–7–*
Line 2: 4–8–*–*
Line 3: 1–3–1–1
Line 4: 5–2–1–0

Ninja and all that

Liberty's Edge 5/5

Thank you John!

Shadow Lodge

Andrew Christian wrote:
DM Beckett wrote:

I don't know, I don't read the clues for Dial 1 like you do, so 6,7,9,- makes sense to me. Dial 4 I think was a misprint, with the 2 and the 5 being in the wrong order. (there are more than a few misprint errors I noticed. This is really the only one that matters too much to me, if it is infact a misprint)

I don't think they are supposed to be in ascending order.

Can you explain how the word "reborn" has anything to do with 7?

"Seventh: An image of Iomedae appeared at a shrine to Aroden in Absalom, healing anyone virtuous who touched it and burning wicked folk who came too near. When she later became a goddess, the shrine was expanded into a temple dedicated to her, named the Seventh Church."

It's archaic, but "an image" or a "shade" can refer to a ghost. That's how I read it, that she had died at some point, (she after all become a saint, which requires them to die), but her ghost (not the undead creature, her spirit), appeared in the temple and healed the good and harmed the wicked.

So if you reread it like "The Ghost of Iomedae appeared at a shrine to Aroden in Absalom, healing anyone virtuous who touched it and burning wicked folk who came too near."

Alternately, you could read "image" as "Icon" (as in a Christian Icon, so a picture of virgin mary, again implies she died).

Finally, the last half of the line "When she later became a goddess" again strongly implies being "reborn".

That's how I read it anyway.

:)

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