Pyramid of the Sky Pharaoh (GM Reference)


Mummy's Mask

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The purpose of this thread is to clarify questions arising in this adventure.

This thread is a GM Reference thread for Part 6 of the Mummy's Mask Adventure Path. Links for the individual threads for each part are as follows:

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Wow, what a finale. As I predicted one volume completely ensconced by a single dungeon crawl (although the dungeon is actually 5 separate mini dungeons). No *real* time clock, especially with a non-good party, and some impressive bad guys to boot.

Best part of the book though, is the River of Souls article.


Cannopic Jar of Unlife (sp?), can an undead be created with more than one?

Grand Lodge

Reviewing the options for "Continuing Campaign" and looking at Ulunat Stirsi outlined on pages 64 & 65. Under special attacks it lists disease but no indication in the stat block or description as to what that is. Any input availabile?

Liberty's Edge

Is the riddle on Page 48, for E16 (Chamber of Uhnkulat) correct?

"Speak my name, and I vanish. What am I?"

The given answer "Wall" makes no sense. Is it supposed to be "Silence"?

Paizo Employee Senior Developer

StrangePackage wrote:

Is the riddle on Page 48, for E16 (Chamber of Uhnkulat) correct?

"Speak my name, and I vanish. What am I?"

The given answer "Wall" makes no sense. Is it supposed to be "Silence"?

"Wall" is the correct answer, as saying the word causes the walls to "vanish" by descending into the floor. It's not really a riddle; it's just a clever riddle-like instruction.

Dark Archive

That one the party stumbled across during an argument as one of them said "we should just use passwall" after 10 minutes of trying variations of Hakotep, which then triggered the walls being removed.

The last dungeon actually went quite well with very few deaths, the last battle was a significant challenge (although I had made a few changes to the participants to ensure my party would not have too easy a time).


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I thought the best part was the very real possibility that Hakotep's queen escapes after she's defeated.

now that's an adventure path...

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Some notes about the Water Crypt:

The Gawwaas has both improved critical (spear) and a keen spear. I suggest giving the spear something like human bane and give the guy a blinkback belt for it. Helps with an ambush when the party comes down after opening the stones or while he lays in wait while the party mines through a stone.

The party was rather underwhelmed that the stone of the pyramid itself wasn't warded to be hardness 20 (since it was all warded against spying and telepo), since the iron bars were simply bypassed by a mining expedition through the adjacent wall. When one of your players is an adamantine wielding miner type, door barriers with adjacent weaker walls are facepalms.

((As an aside, he likes to compare events like that to a Rokugan game he played that had an adamantine door in a room with paper and bamboo walls.))

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

The most excellent haunt ever wreaked *HAVOC* on our party last night. Yes folks, I'm talking about the room of screaming insanity in the Fire Crypt. Party strolls down the hall, all falling short of the haunt perception check, and boom, 2/4 insane. The oracle manages to get a Heal out on the fighter and a quickened Heal out on the sentinel before they destroy any party members.

Round 2: Oh hey guys, I need another save, the bodies screamed again. Fighter saves, sentinel fails. Oracle tries to figure out what is going on here, while the investigator investigates the secret door. Fighter runs away and the sentinel gets a sub25 and runs away.

Round 3: Moar Saves! Fighter is still in the hallway, but only thanks to his extra +4 vs spell effects manages to hit the DC. He ties up the sentinel. Investigator fails his save. Oracle starts burst healing to destroy the haunt.

Round 4: Uh Oh, the Oracle is now insane as well (got a 2, needed a 3). The fighter nonlethals the sentinel to unconsciousness, then goes to get the Investigator.

Rounds 5-8: Fighter gets the investigator out then knocks him out, while the oracle alternates between hitting herself in the face and drooling.

Rounds 9-11: The oracle finally gets a 20 and prot evils herself to suppress the compulsion effect. She positive energies the haunt a few more times for good measure. The Fighter guards the two knocked out guys, waiting to determine if he's gonna have to get the oracle as well.

Round 12: The oracle finishes up and the party begins restoring their sanity and consciousnesses.

Our party was literally 1 number on a 20 from being 4 insane PCs. 2 PCs of which would 1-round the other 2 given a full attack opportunity. It was probably the most suspenseful moment of the entire AP for the group, and a riotous good time.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

Just a note - protection from evil only suppresses effects that grant ongoing control. Insanity is kind of the opposite. ^_^

Silver Crusade

We finished the Lightning and Fire parts of the Pyramid last night.
In the battle in lightning/air portion we had a rules issue. Doe the magic suppression effect, effect SU abilities like the Magus's Arcane Pool Poll abilities?

Perhaps when their is a unique magical effect everything it effects should be noted in the room description.

Paizo Employee Senior Developer

That effect is a greater dispel magic effect, not a unique magical effect. As such it only affects spells or spell-like abilities, not extraordinary or supernatural effects (see the table on page 555 of the Core Rulebook or the prd here).

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32

I have a question about Shendakut on page 17.

It says he is a 6th level cleric of set in his statblock. His channeling seems to reflect this as it is only 3d6 DC20.

But for his spells he has a CL-12 and has up to 6th level cleric spells prepared.

So should he really be a 12th level cleric (and thus channel 6d6 DC 23 and have more hit points etc)? or should we remove all cleric spells above level-3?(which would change his tactics)

Or is there some other unique ability that allows the higher level spells?

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32

A question about the trap on page-20 (empowered freezing sphere trap).
The trap description lists a Fortitude save for half damage, while the freezing sphere spell has listed a reflex save. Is the trap description correct?

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

The androsphinx base model is a CL6 "As a Cleric" caster. Shendakut's 6 levels stack, making it CL12.

The traps's save is likely a typo.

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32

archmagi1 wrote:
The androsphinx base model is a CL6 "As a Cleric" caster. Shendakut's 6 levels stack, making it CL12.

Ahh, I don't know how I missed that line. Makes sense now.

Did you play or run book 6?

Not a lot of posts here.

I am wondering if having it themed on the 4 elements will make it too easy for the players to prepare for each section.

I already have one player who can basically perceive/disable all the traps, my only hope is that he is more than 10 feet away and someone else triggers something.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

I ran it about a year ago. I don't think many of the ap runs get to the end. My players at this point were completely overshadowing all enemies, and I think did the four main dungeons in a single (maybe 2) adventuring day. The plasma ooze in hakoteps tomb was the only thing in the book that have them any trouble.

Really though, the difficulty for them was much higher in books 4 and 5. By the time they got here, melee enemies were only 20 percent chance to hit and save dcs were all cake.

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32

I have a party of 5, and they are 1 level behind expected advancement and are still pretty much crushing everything.

Arcanist
Cryptbreaker Alchemist (d8 bomb vs undead, construct)
Warpriest
Paladin
Terracotta Monk

But it's been a really great AP, lots of memorable encounters.


I've got 6 optimized players, I tend to up the number of mobs and give them advanced template. Plus there are just about to start book 4 at lvl 10 and I think I will just up them to 12 by the end of it leaving them a lvl behind as Grumpus has done.

Silver Crusade

My party ran all the way through the AP but they were trouncing stuff by the end of Book 4. We ended up running the whole of Book 6 in two days--one for all of the elemental themed dungeons (them being themed did make it easier for the players to prepare, but they were prepping for fire/heat anyway).

I also had a crypt-breaker alchemist who could see all of the traps. They ended up disabling all of them before any traps went off. I haven't been able to come up with anything to deal with that.

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32

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Grumpus wrote:
I have a question about Shendakut on page 17...blah blah blah

It Didn't even get to act in initiative before getting acid-bombed to death. Wasted a good hour pondering this monster and its abilities. such is the life of a GM i guess.

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32

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If anyone owns the Southlands bestiary from Kobold Press, there is a Golem called a Smaragdine Golem that makes a great addition to the 4 crypts.
I reflavored each golem to match the 4 control pyramids (emerald,ruby etc.) and their Absorb Magic ability can be a great way to increase the difficulty for groups that are always buffed to the hilt. Just throw 1 or 2 either in the final control pyramid rooms or just prior to that room. You could even make them "advanced" for a tougher challenge.


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The final encounter with HAKOTEP has some bad use of monsters. The shield golem can use shield other, but only to share HPs. Even though the spell allows to increase the AC, the monster itself states that feature does not work. The tactics as stated for the golems just does not work due t this.

Also, I agree with others, the challenge as written is really weak for the characters as designed. As a DM, be prepared to really rework the monster to increase the challenge. I reworked the spell list and added several buffs. Even with all that, Hakotep and his minions only lasted 7 rounds, the minions only 3 rounds due to the buffing the party did at start. None of the characters even came close to dying.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Zendar wrote:

The final encounter with HAKOTEP has some bad use of monsters. The shield golem can use shield other, but only to share HPs. Even though the spell allows to increase the AC, the monster itself states that feature does not work. The tactics as stated for the golems just does not work due t this.

Also, I agree with others, the challenge as written is really weak for the characters as designed. As a DM, be prepared to really rework the monster to increase the challenge. I reworked the spell list and added several buffs. Even with all that, Hakotep and his minions only lasted 7 rounds, the minions only 3 rounds due to the buffing the party did at start. None of the characters even came close to dying.

Looking over the tactics as far as i can see it never mentions they are told to use the shield other ability for the ac increase but rather the guard ability so that all attacks against Hakotep take a -2 (As he orders 2 of them to do this, a -4 to all attacks against him) and when then when the first time he takes damage he uses shield other with one of the 2 next to him (likely to start limiting how much damage he takes)


So, I've got a problem that is SURE to happens during the final encounter between my PCs and Hakotep and I need your help.

I've got a ultra wise (LOT OF WISDOM) shaman in the group and now that he can cast Sunburst, every encounter between the group and undead become a blindness fest. What can I do to insure Hakotep will not be beaten like a punk (his reflex save is DEFINITELY not strong enough)?

Oh, nevermind, I've just spotted "Protection from Energy" in its spell list. If I remember correctly, the blindness doesn't happen if all the fire damage are gone, right?


I've noticed that Hakotep has got a scroll of time stop...

If my PCs destroy easily Neferuset and the Grave Knight in Chariot (forgot its name), I'm thinking about a Time Stop + Sirocco + buff (deflection) + summon + Wall of force + ball of electricity + mind fog; yeah, some of these spell would be cast as quicken spell.

I love the idea of a fight starting with the PCs in a firestorm with a freaking invisible wall in front of them. It will keep them on their toes.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
drake666 wrote:

So, I've got a problem that is SURE to happens during the final encounter between my PCs and Hakotep and I need your help.

I've got a ultra wise (LOT OF WISDOM) shaman in the group and now that he can cast Sunburst, every encounter between the group and undead become a blindness fest. What can I do to insure Hakotep will not be beaten like a punk (his reflex save is DEFINITELY not strong enough)?

Oh, nevermind, I've just spotted "Protection from Energy" in its spell list. If I remember correctly, the blindness doesn't happen if all the fire damage are gone, right?

Don't forget he can use the crook and flail to immediate action give himself spell turning. Send that blindness back at them!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Vorsk, Follower or Erastil wrote:
drake666 wrote:

So, I've got a problem that is SURE to happens during the final encounter between my PCs and Hakotep and I need your help.

I've got a ultra wise (LOT OF WISDOM) shaman in the group and now that he can cast Sunburst, every encounter between the group and undead become a blindness fest. What can I do to insure Hakotep will not be beaten like a punk (his reflex save is DEFINITELY not strong enough)?

Oh, nevermind, I've just spotted "Protection from Energy" in its spell list. If I remember correctly, the blindness doesn't happen if all the fire damage are gone, right?

Don't forget he can use the crook and flail to immediate action give himself spell turning. Send that blindness back at them!

NM sunburst is an area spell. forgot that

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

If they've been spamming that through the dungeon, he should be able to know about it and prep something to counter spell it or interrupt it. Have him with a mage lackey or some construct that he has commanded to ready a magic missiles to interrupt casting of any sunburst spell, or have a priest just set to straight up counterspell it with another sunburst spell. Or just make him immune to blindness, including taunting the party prior to the attack that he's seen their tricks before and has implemented proper protections.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

This could help a bit:
http://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic-items/wondrous-items/wondrous-items/e-g/fold- blind-man-s/


Thanks for the advice. I think I will simply cast protection from energy (fire) in advance.

I've got a question that is a mix between rule and specific to the Crook and Flail artefact... I don't know if I should ask it here or in the rules message board....

Bah, let's try here, because of spoilers.

The PCs managed to kill Neferuset BUT returned immediately in town after that (even after the Shory Engineer warning). So now, Neferuset (without equipment) will be in the final fight... I've decided that she will cast Spell Resistance on Hakotep, but I don'T know how the Crook and Flail Spell Turning effect works in tandem with it... is the spell turning must be decided before the spell resistance roll or after?

There are 3 possibility here:
Let's say the Necromancer casts Boneshatter on Hakotep.
A) Necro roll SR, succeed, Hakotep decides to send the spell back
or
B) Hakotep decides to send the spell back; if he doesn't, we roll the SR.
or
C) Hakotep can wait and see or not (decide before OR after the spell resistance check).

(Sorry again about probably breaking the forum rules... you guys are awesome... *puppy stare*)


About Nefureset, I've got a nice way to make her presence in the last fight really cool.

When the PCs returned back to the crypt, I've forgotten that she doesn't have any teleport spells (like refuge or the 9th lvl Dark Tapestry spell), so the wall was not burst open (even though her Canopy Jar was).

I've decided that she called a Planar Ally, just so he could teleport her inside the pyramid (with the secret of how to do it as part of the payment). She summoned a Glabrezu for that, and wished to be beside her husband and be strong enough to defend him. Her wish gave her the Heighten Spell Feat and teleported her right in the throne room.

The Necromancer in the party has binded another Glabrezu; so I've decided that Neferuset would be "compelled" to Dismissed it. Her new body would be covered in weird abyssal runes and, every turn, I will roll a % dice. 50% or less and she will try her best to dississed it (Heighten Dissmisal).

The fun part is, my PCs probably won't understand that this will make the fight more even (I don't want to just DESTROY them... If they mess up, it suppose to be harder... not impossible). Perhaps I'm too soft hearted...

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Spell resistance, it applies before the spell affects the target. If it resists, for example, it doesn't even need to save. Spell turning is still pre save, but i see it as post resistance, as it would need to actually potentially affect him to be eligible to be returned to the caster.

So in my assessment:
SR
Turning
Saves
Energy resist or other defensive buffs.


archmagi1 wrote:

Spell resistance, it applies before the spell affects the target. If it resists, for example, it doesn't even need to save. Spell turning is still pre save, but i see it as post resistance, as it would need to actually potentially affect him to be eligible to be returned to the caster.

So in my assessment:
SR
Turning
Saves
Energy resist or other defensive buffs.

*EDIT*

Oh, you forgot the touch attack for rays (or any other magic projectile) which I would put before SR.
***
*SECOND EDIT*
Oups
Quote:


[...] Spell turning also fails to stop touch range spells. [...]

****

But, yeah, thanks :)
For me, it could go either ways (I had no clue). So, having an impartial opinion is good enough!
The last fight will start next game; I can't wait!

Since they are all full in resources and they are five, this will be intense.
The party versus Hakotep, non-geared Nefureset, and 5 Shield Guardians (since they were five, the good way to balance the fight was to add 2 golem... now, with Nefureset (they've made a mistake, they've got to pay ;) ), it's gonna be INTENSE!

Grand Lodge

The description of Neferuset's chambers are reminiscent of Illithid. I am going to add an Ulitharid (noble Illithid) and possibly have it have it's own bodyguards, thinking grimlocks with monk levels. My party of six has not been challenged thus far in too many places and they will easily roll through several of the later encounters. They have already begun to speculate that the queen is the real power behind Hakotep once they found out she was an Oracle of The Dark Tapestry.


Players completed the final fight yesterday.

Made some minor changes to the Sky Pharaoh's spell list to make it more challenging, and it worked out to be a close run thing where the Paladin especially thought he was a goner (I love Mage's Disjunction...)


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
mardaddy wrote:

Players completed the final fight yesterday.

Made some minor changes to the Sky Pharaoh's spell list to make it more challenging, and it worked out to be a close run thing where the Paladin especially thought he was a goner (I love Mage's Disjunction...)

What did you change?


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4th Level
Greater Invisibility

6th Level
Contingency Chain Lighting on caster that casts a spell he fails a save for. (He knows they are coming and cast this in plenty of time -- never came into play.)

7th level
Deflection (Paladin did 67hp dam to himself with a miss)
Forcecage (Caught two of the PC's for a round, loss of action economy.)

8th Level
Spell Protection (Stifled one offensive spell.)

9th Level
Time Stop (Greater Invisibility, Spell Protection.)
Mage's Disjunction (Paladin temporarily lost his armor, all his buffs, flight, his bag-o-holding burst with the Mask in it, his Keen-Holy-Flaming-Scimitar became just masterwork. Oh, and since he lost flight, he took 3d6 humiliation-falling damage. One other PC in AoE lost all the buffs and about 50% of his magic items as well.)

Because they lost their buffs, one of the casters had to recast True Seeing for them to target the still Greater Invisible Hakotep, more loss of PC action economy.

Grand Lodge

In the final showdown with Hakotep it suggests that he focuses his attacks on the person who has the mask wanting to reunite his ib, ba and ka. What happens if he does get the mask and reunites these things? I can't find anything in the book about it.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

He becomes mortal and real killable. That's how you kill him in the end anyway, put the mask on the regenerating mummy and chop it's head off.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

As he is becoming whole in this case I would suggest a mythic rank or 2 to make up for the fact he in essence looses his template while regaining the power of his ka from the mask


I have a question about Neferuset. If she casts deeper darkness, how does see the PCs to target them? I feel like I must be missing something... Her darkvision doesn't work in that right?

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

How is Hakotep I proficient with the flail of the kings. It is a light flail and sorcerers are not proficient with this weapon, and he doesn't have the Martial Weapon Proficiency feat. Am I missing something?

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32

ckdragons wrote:

How is Hakotep I proficient with the flail of the kings. It is a light flail and sorcerers are not proficient with this weapon, and he doesn't have the Martial Weapon Proficiency feat. Am I missing something?

All Undead have the following ability: Proficient with its natural weapons, all simple weapons, and any weapons mentioned in its entry.

So, since the flail is mentioned in its entry, I guess he is proficient with it.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Grumpus wrote:
ckdragons wrote:

How is Hakotep I proficient with the flail of the kings. It is a light flail and sorcerers are not proficient with this weapon, and he doesn't have the Martial Weapon Proficiency feat. Am I missing something?

All Undead have the following ability: Proficient with its natural weapons, all simple weapons, and any weapons mentioned in its entry.

So, since the flail is mentioned in its entry, I guess he is proficient with it.

Thank you. I missed that last part of the Undead description.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

One change I implemented to this adventure: I decided that 5 days after the party grounds the Pyramid of the Sky Pharaoh at the end of The Slave Trenches of Hakotep the flying attack pyramids reach their destinations and begin firing down a beam of miasma every morning and again demanding the surrender of the Iron Scarab and Hakotep's mask.

In my game my party hit day 5 before clearing a single crypt because they had some bad luck and poor planning with the scorpions on the outside of the pyramid and it took a few days to get everyone back to life.

The party knows about it as Ptemenib sends a sending that Wati was attacked on the fifth day. My party told Ptemenib to lie and say the party will surrender at the Pyramid of the Sky Pharaoh. Ptemenib then urged the party to fight quickly as dozens of people died today and more will die tomorrow, but to be careful and make sure you ultimately triumph. The attacks are going on all over Osirion now, but it will take time for Ptemenib to learn of the other attacks and communicate it to the party.

I also decided the Ruby Prince must be preparing his defenses, but since they are poorly suited to combating flying pyramids he will also send his morale support and promise great rewards to the party if they triumph.

The whole thing is strongly alluded to in the adventure I just put some rules on it so my party doesn't take forever and get hyper cautious in this part of the adventure.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

My party is not in the Hakotep section yet but I am also thinking of changing the opening to Hakotep's section. I'm considering that after the party disables the control pyramid they don't disable the door and the elemental storm but instead acquire something like a blessing. Once the party has all 4 blessings, when they approach the door it will automatically slide open (like an automatic grocery store) and the storm will dissipate when they pass through. This action will consume the blessing so it is one trip into Hakotep's section and that is it. Any concerns?

Scarab Sages

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

I like it. Will the blessings grant something mechanical? If so, I'd definitely theme each one to the element it came from.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

There are a few references to Neferisis on p47.

I believe this is a typo and it should read Neferuset. If I am mistaken, can someone let me know who Neferisis is.

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