The Slave Trenches of Hakotep (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 5 of the Mummy's Mask Adventure Path. Links for the individual threads for each part are as follows:

Dark Archive

p. 71 ABAT-NE, THE BLACKSTONE MACE

missing AL
Intelligent items have alignment


"Aeromantic Infandibulum" is fun to say. Just cracked into this one - looks good so far. Can't wait to run it.

Spoiler:
Aeromantic Infandibulum! ;-)

Scarab Sages

Confirmed. Harry Potter was a Shory. Or at least the Shory went to Hogwarts to learn their magic names.

"Not Aeromantic Infandibulom, Aeromantic Infandibuluhm."


If you guys want to know the origin of that device, check the Crucible of Chaos module. :)


Checked out Crucible of Chaos. Looks good - thanks for the referral.

So I finally finished reading Slave Trenches. I love the man-made Wonder of the World scope of the Trenches and how they just lie there as an unexplained oddity. Throughout much of this installment, I kept thinking another title for Part 5 would be, "Fun Ways to Die in Osirion." Can't promise I wouldn't TPK the party a few times with this one. I continue looking forward to running this adventure path. It continues to deliver for me very well. Another great job!

President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

If you enjoyed the magic items in this volume, be sure to check out Treasury of the Sands. This supplement details more than 25 brand new magic items that are ideal for your game in the deep desert. Grab them today and equip your players like a true Pharaoh.

Scarab Sages

The crawling mind was an awesome encounter. My players were instantly disgusted by the idea of eating one of the caterpillars, and in the end, after the fighter ate the one with the ghost and got possessed, they left the rest of the jars alone. It was pretty fun to see something as generally benign as eating a caterpillar to gain a decent boon as something a pretty well LN themed party wanted no part of at all.

On a related note, that poor elemental didn't stand a chance going last in initiative. DR10/- only helps so far when nobody does less than 15 (and one is at 25 min with PA).

On a related related note, Awesome Blow is used to great and fun extent throughout the trenches.

Scarab Sages

My party pointed out that the shining children can't actually cast a horizontal wall of force. One should probably relegate the one in the sky to a resilient sphere.

Silver Crusade Contributor

archmagi1 wrote:
My party pointed out that the shining children can't actually cast a horizontal wall of force. One should probably relegate the one in the sky to a resilient sphere.

Is that a limitation of the spell? asks the girl too lazy to go look it up herself

Scarab Sages

Yeah, the spell specifically calls vertical plane. Its presumably to prevent insta-gib cheese like a horizontal wall of force about 5' high between the walls of a gatehouse or atop a Create Pit for when it expires. Doesn't make sense IMO, but again, was probably done so to limit abuse.

Give the shining children resilient sphere and everything is fine.


Kalindlara wrote:
archmagi1 wrote:
My party pointed out that the shining children can't actually cast a horizontal wall of force. One should probably relegate the one in the sky to a resilient sphere.
Is that a limitation of the spell? asks the girl too lazy to go look it up herself

did you get a new Doo? What happened to Arueshelae :-)

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, PF Special Edition, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I'm looking at the encounters inside the Five Pointed Sun. How did you handle the fang keys? It sounds like as soon as they are removed the passage reconfigures, given the reflex save to make it through.

So how does anyone walk this passage without leaving the fang key inserted? Or is the other end of A6 essentially the same place you started but on a different level, so you can remove your key after traversing the passage. Seems like some weird dimensional stuff going on here.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
TomParker wrote:

I'm looking at the encounters inside the Five Pointed Sun. How did you handle the fang keys? It sounds like as soon as they are removed the passage reconfigures, given the reflex save to make it through.

So how does anyone walk this passage without leaving the fang key inserted? Or is the other end of A6 essentially the same place you started but on a different level, so you can remove your key after traversing the passage. Seems like some weird dimensional stuff going on here.

My interpretation from the passage, "if the tunnel is traversed without a fang key, the passageway simply comes to a dead end after the explorer travels approximately 60 feet." is that when the PC's first get to the tunnel they find it a dead end.

Once they decipher the need for the fang keys (found on the Voices of the Sun)they can choose to place one key in any socket orienting the passageway in the determined direction.

As for the passage movement I interpreted that to mean if they were 60 feet into the passageway when it shifted then they would need to make the saves, otherwise standing in the entry would not require anything while the passageway further on re-configuring.

The PC's would need to exit each level by coming back through the Serpent's Path and then insert a different fang.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, PF Special Edition, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
john wood wrote:
The PC's would need to exit each level by coming back through the Serpent's Path and then insert a different fang.

Yes, that's the only way I can see it working as written. It just doesn't make any sense.

How would someone on any of the levels (not the PCs, but the people in this tomb for whom this thing was built) ever get around? They'd just have to wait until someone at the other end decided to configure the path to their level. Otherwise they're stuck. It's like an elevator where none of the floors have call buttons.

I'm loving this chapter otherwise but this bit didn't work for me.

Sovereign Court Senior Developer

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Unfortunately, it's not as clear as it could be, but here's how the Serpent's Path should work:

The description for area A6 mentions the serpent's mouth with the gaps for the fang keys. This is true for the Serpent's Path on every level. Notice there's a map tag for A6 on all four maps. That means the description for A6 applies to all four levels. So there are four of these mouths with holes for the fang keys: one on the entry level, one on the main level, one on the lower level, and one on the crypts level.

Without a fang key, area A6 ends in a dead end after 60 feet. This is true on whatever level you enter the Serpent's Path from.

When you insert a fang key, the passage takes 1d4+1 rounds to orient to its new position. You then remove the key to take it with you, and have 1d4+1 rounds to traverse the 60-foot-long passage to the next level before the path resets to its "neutral" position. If you're still in the passage at that point, you have to save or fall prone, and end up in a dead end passage. If you're within 5 feet of the exit (so 55 feet down the tunnel) you can make a Reflex save to jump out of the moving passage and into the new level.

To leave a level, you follow the same rules. Put the fang key in the proper hole, wait for the passage to move, remove the fang key and head to the new level before the Serpent's Path resets.

Hopefully this will clarify things.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, PF Special Edition, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Thanks, Rob! That's much clearer. I thought there had to be some mechanism at each end where you'd use the key and didn't consider that A6 was actually multiple identical locations.


Soon enough, the party is going to the Trenches, and I KNOW they are going to fly around as much as they can (Carpet of Flying, Wind Walk.)

Did any DM's out there encounter their PC's flitting here and there at will? And if they had, did they do anything to stifle it, or just "go with it?"

At this level of play, and ESPECIALLY with optimized PC's, each encounter at the trenches is a cake-walk if the PC's can approach them fresh each and every time (which will be their goal, and with flight at-will, they can do it.)

Scarab Sages

I reduced the size of the khepsutanem by a bunch (maybe 1/10th). I made it so that it was feasible to be able to hit more than one dungeon in a single day. I think it took them maybe a week to clear the place.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

So my players are about to enter the Five Pointed Sun this coming session and i have a question. Looking over the info on the FPS it says on page 10 due to the design of the structure as a whole that perception checks are made at a +4 and all sonic and language based effects have a +2 added to their save DCs. It also says these have been added to full stat blocks.

Looking at the Voices of the Sun stat block it has their captivating song save DC at 16. But that is the same as a normal harpy as far as i can tell and they both have the same charisma. Should the save DCs be 21 (10+6(for their 13 HD)+3 (Their Cha)+ 2 (For the special feature)) or am I missing something? I am aware that the first couple voices they fight are are kinda outside the sun on the balcony, but there are still others in the complex so just making sure.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Vorsk, Follower or Erastil wrote:

So my players are about to enter the Five Pointed Sun this coming session and i have a question. Looking over the info on the FPS it says on page 10 due to the design of the structure as a whole that perception checks are made at a +4 and all sonic and language based effects have a +2 added to their save DCs. It also says these have been added to full stat blocks.

Looking at the Voices of the Sun stat block it has their captivating song save DC at 16. But that is the same as a normal harpy as far as i can tell and they both have the same charisma. Should the save DCs be 21 (10+6(for their 13 HD)+3 (Their Cha)+ 2 (For the special feature)) or am I missing something? I am aware that the first couple voices they fight are are kinda outside the sun on the balcony, but there are still others in the complex so just making sure.

By the same token is their frightful presence supposed to be a 19? Not that the PC's will be affected as they are lv 13... my hunter's pet Roc however is a different story...


mardaddy wrote:

Soon enough, the party is going to the Trenches, and I KNOW they are going to fly around as much as they can (Carpet of Flying, Wind Walk.)

Did any DM's out there encounter their PC's flitting here and there at will? And if they had, did they do anything to stifle it, or just "go with it?"

At this level of play, and ESPECIALLY with optimized PC's, each encounter at the trenches is a cake-walk if the PC's can approach them fresh each and every time (which will be their goal, and with flight at-will, they can do it.)

I've been looking at this as well. My group is getting close. I like the idea of somehow forcing them to walk the trenches (lest it get a bit too easy). Perhaps since the entire area was designed to bring down flying enemy cities/ships the air space just above the trenches has a built-in downdraft powered by air elementals? Wouldn't prohibit flight entirely but would make it a hassle to do so.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
RH wrote:
mardaddy wrote:

Soon enough, the party is going to the Trenches, and I KNOW they are going to fly around as much as they can (Carpet of Flying, Wind Walk.)

Did any DM's out there encounter their PC's flitting here and there at will? And if they had, did they do anything to stifle it, or just "go with it?"

At this level of play, and ESPECIALLY with optimized PC's, each encounter at the trenches is a cake-walk if the PC's can approach them fresh each and every time (which will be their goal, and with flight at-will, they can do it.)

I've been looking at this as well. My group is getting close. I like the idea of somehow forcing them to walk the trenches (lest it get a bit too easy). Perhaps since the entire area was designed to bring down flying enemy cities/ships the air space just above the trenches has a built-in downdraft powered by air elementals? Wouldn't prohibit flight entirely but would make it a hassle to do so.

Don't forget the very large angry mythic Roc flying around. Maybe have them notice it early on and drive home the point that this thing does not appear to be a normal type of its species and that it is clearly dangerous. If it can catch them off guard some of its abilities can definitely cause flying to be difficult. Otherwise they will need to land before handling any of the 3.5 dungeons that make up the slave trenches and most of them are cramped enough that flying does not matter. If they choose to fly over most of the complex there are really not all that many things in the trenches to do besides the dungeons, dealing with the Roc, and talking with a very untrustworthy sphinx.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Also a few things are on a semi-soft timer in the trenches. If they take more then a week the life lantern returns back to where it is stored and there is little reason to not have some things possibly repopulate the dungeon. If they need to backtrack make them work for it. Same with if they choose to return to that room to place a different statue on the pedestal to weaken a different threat.

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32

In area C5 there is an Advanced Geist.
A normal Geist is CR 9 and has a +14 to hit.

This Geist is CR12 so obviously not using the standard 'advanced' template as that normally only raises CR by 1.

But how does this guy in the book only have a +13 to hit, thats even less than the standard version?

Also normal Geist has AC20, the normal "advanced" template raises AC by 4. This guy only has AC22.

I'm confused how the author came up with this statblock.
Any insight?

Sovereign Court Senior Developer, Starfinder Team

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Grumpus wrote:

In area C5 there is an Advanced Geist.

A normal Geist is CR 9 and has a +14 to hit.

This Geist is CR12 so obviously not using the standard 'advanced' template as that normally only raises CR by 1.

But how does this guy in the book only have a +13 to hit, thats even less than the standard version?

Also normal Geist has AC20, the normal "advanced" template raises AC by 4. This guy only has AC22.

I'm confused how the author came up with this statblock.
Any insight?

"Advanced" in this context means its HD and abilities have been advanced (if a creature uses the advanced simple template, it is normally given a short stat block, since it's easy to add a simple template in play, and contains a citation to the page in the Bestiary that has the advanced template rules). Basically, this is a way to create a customized version of an existing monster - in this case, a CR 12 version.

As to why its attack bonus is lower, the Bestiary 4 gheist has Weapon Finesse, which lets it add its Dex bonus to its BAB (BAB +9+5 Dex=+14), while the "advanced" one in this adventure has Weapon Focus instead (BAB +12+1 Weapon Focus=+13). Since it's an incorporeal touch attack, it's still going to hit the majority of the time.

Since it's not using the advanced template, its AC doesn't automatically go up by 4. The +2 increase is due to its Charisma bonus being 1 higher plus the Dodge feat.

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32

Thanks for taking the time to spell that out.
Loving the adventure path so far!

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32

Anyone got any good Jeshura stories?

Looks like a really cool NPC. If she actually had time to prepare herself and had a more beneficial environment rather than the small area they stuck her in, she could be quite devastating.
Something about the thought of putting a black tentacles on her imbue arrow ability makes me happy.


Hi guys!
I've got a good question for you. I've got a 5 PC group and I boost some of the encounbter so the XP total match at the end of each module. Now, they are going to face the Mythic Earth Elemental (forgot its name) and I want to add a template to it so it stay a hard encounter. However, I'm afraid that it could become something a little bit to hard (TPK).

I've got a brawler, a necromancer (with the Mummified Gorgon of the Five-Pointed Star under his control), a shaman, a mounted druid (full attack on charge, armed with a lance) and a rogue.

So Brawler won't lose its weapon in the fight (he only use his shield), the druid will lose his lance at the first attack (~60 hp), the shaman would hex it (misfortune), the rogue won't do much, and the necro will probably use a disintegrate on it.

What do you think:
Advanced, Giant or Fiendish?

Advanced and Giant would give it more hp and boost the already pretty high DCs of its abilities.
Fiendish would give it a SR25 (20 + 5 because it's a mythic creature) and energy resistance.

Also, can the gorgon petrify a earth elemental? I'm confused... the rules seem to permit it, but I don't understand how a earth elemental can be petrified...?

Thanks for your help guys!

Scarab Sages

Even templated he'd be easy pickens for 5x the actions. Toss in a couple of ossumentals if you want more of a challenge, maybe templating them easier if needed.

As for petrification? As written, outsiders, elementals, and earth creatures are all susceptible to it.


archmagi1 wrote:

Even templated he'd be easy pickens for 5x the actions. Toss in a couple of ossumentals if you want more of a challenge, maybe templating them easier if needed.

As for petrification? As written, outsiders, elementals, and earth creatures are all susceptible to it.

Yay, you're probably right. I'm always a little bit skittish about boosting the encounter, but I need to do it. I'm sure I just underestimate them again.

So, probably no additionnal template on the Earth Elemental, but add 4 "young" earth ossumentals (I want to keep the different varieties a surprise ;) ) should do it...

So, 4x CR11 and 1 CR14 would equal more or less a CR16 for a group of 5. Yeah. Doable for 5 lvl 13 PCs.

Hum... a young ossumentals would probably only do 4d6 for its breath attack, right? or perhaps 6d6, but in a line...

*EDIT*

I've also just noticed the ossumental breath weapon DC... does someone knows why is it constitution based instead of charisma based?


For the records (if people are interested), that's my smaller CR11 ossumental:

"Young" Ossumental (Earth) CR 11

XP 12,800
NE Medium undead (earth)
Init +4; Senses darkvision 60 ft., tremorsense 100 ft.; Perception +26
Defense
AC 27, touch 14, flat-footed 23 (+4 Dex, +13 natural)
hp 128 (17d8+51)
Fort +8, Ref +9, Will +12
DR 10/magic; Immune undead traits
Offense
Speed 30 ft., burrow 30 ft.
Melee 4 slams +20 (1d6+8/19–20)
Space 5 ft., Reach 5 ft.
Special Attacks breath weapon (30-ft. cone, 4d6 bludgeoning and acid, Reflex DC 21 half, usable every 1d4 rounds), discorporate
Statistics
Str 26, Dex 19, Con —, Int 8, Wis 14, Cha 17
Base Atk +12; CMB +19 (+23 bull rush, +21 overrun); CMD 33 (35 vs. bull rush, 35 vs. overrun)
Feats Alertness, Awesome Blow, Cleave, Greater Bull Rush, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Critical (slams), Improved Overrun, Power Attack, Vital Strike
Skills Climb +12, Intimidate +16, Knowledge (planes) +16, Perception +26, Sense Motive +4, Stealth +15
Languages Ancient Osiriani, Terran

Scarab Sages

I would probably say the DC is an error that isn't considering that it is an undead instead of an elemental.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Last week my group attempted to teleport into the Akhumemnet. Two characters failed their save and were teleported into H8. Needless to say that two characters met an untimely demise wandering the halls of the Akhumemnet.

Last night the remaining party with two new recruits (also read as cannon fodder) entered the Akhumemnet wandering the ochre tunnels of solid acid fog. I have a party of six so I occasionally add a creature or encounter. I added a dread allip into the ochre passages (and don't forget about those greater dispel magic traps). As they rushed into the Hall of Final Vision to escape the acid halls one of the party members almost lost his eyes. As two Hanshepsu come down the Hall of Final Vision the parties cleric falls prey to the dread allips hypnosis and turns back into the ochre tunnels. Pretty suspenseful evening that tested the parties resourcefulness. They have used an abundant amount of resources and have only made it into the third chamber of the complex. They are feeling the pressure and each is wondering what they should prepare for their next character.


Hate to resurrect an old thread but want to share the current situation with my 6 PC party currently battling the Shining Children. The party make-up is 2 slayers utilizing teamwork feats, a gun-toting magus, an archeologist, an investigator and a beastmorph alchemist, all currently level 13.

The encounter in the Lantern Vault with the Shining Children has not started favourably. After casting their Walls of Force, there are 3 PCs blinded by the blinding light aura, 1 slayer hit by confusion from the symbol of insanity on the Ankh and the other 2 PCs fascinated by the Rainbow Pattern cast by one of the Children.

We had to end there due to time and I can tell my PCs left with a sense of dread about what is to come.

I'm not sure what tricks they have up their sleeves to get out of this situation.


Don’t worry about it being an old thread, I’m just about to start running this book for my group so interested in seeing how you go with your players


Boaty McBoatface wrote:
Don’t worry about it being an old thread, I’m just about to start running this book for my group so interested in seeing how you go with your players

To be honest, I'm a little worried for them. This isn't the most cautious of groups but they got hit pretty hard, pretty quick.

They do have the ability to 'Call a friend' with the Bracelet of Friends tied to their buddy Ptemenib.

I'll try and remember to post an update next week.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Now that the Shining Children have the PCs backs against the wall perhaps they could request the PCs perform some action to release the Shining Children from their binding in exchange for the PCs lives. I don't see any love lost between the Children and Hakotep.


Robert G. McCreary wrote:

Unfortunately, it's not as clear as it could be, but here's how the Serpent's Path should work:

The description for area A6 mentions the serpent's mouth with the gaps for the fang keys. This is true for the Serpent's Path on every level. Notice there's a map tag for A6 on all four maps. That means the description for A6 applies to all four levels. So there are four of these mouths with holes for the fang keys: one on the entry level, one on the main level, one on the lower level, and one on the crypts level.

Without a fang key, area A6 ends in a dead end after 60 feet. This is true on whatever level you enter the Serpent's Path from.

When you insert a fang key, the passage takes 1d4+1 rounds to orient to its new position. You then remove the key to take it with you, and have 1d4+1 rounds to traverse the 60-foot-long passage to the next level before the path resets to its "neutral" position. If you're still in the passage at that point, you have to save or fall prone, and end up in a dead end passage. If you're within 5 feet of the exit (so 55 feet down the tunnel) you can make a Reflex save to jump out of the moving passage and into the new level.

To leave a level, you follow the same rules. Put the fang key in the proper hole, wait for the passage to move, remove the fang key and head to the new level before the Serpent's Path resets.

Hopefully this will clarify things.

I'm presuming from this then that the party could just leave the fang key in place, go down the passage, do the level and then return through the passage and then remove the fang key and put it in another socket?


drsparnum wrote:
Now that the Shining Children have the PCs backs against the wall perhaps they could request the PCs perform some action to release the Shining Children from their binding in exchange for the PCs lives. I don't see any love lost between the Children and Hakotep.

Any update ?


I mentioned this a while go but here are pics of my Playmobile pyramid remodelled for the Mummys Mask AP part 5. I was going to gut the inside and build the walls and floors from scratch but decided to leave mostly as it is. I’ve used ttcombats mdf tiles for the floors and to add a bit of the upper level, and I’ve managed to keep some of the features from the playmobile toy, such as the secret doors and trap door. I’ve also had to redesign some of the encounters in the AP but it does generally still follow the module ok. Also using a cake stand to rest it on so then when playing I can rotate it easily so all the players can see the relevant bits. It’s the first time I’ve actually built scenery for a game and I must admit, I’ve enjoyed putting it all together probably more than I will running it. It’s a great way to spend a few hours in the shed
https://photos.app.goo.gl/hps0XEyytM8tApVW2


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Link to photos

Scarab Sages

Wow Boaty. That is pretty amazing.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Your players are lucky to have you.


So, Isatemkhebet deals 1d8+15 with her khopesh. It should be 1d8+13 (4 str 2 enhance 4 greater weapon spec 3 weapon training) unless I'm missing something?

Scarab Sages

I don't have my book in front of me, but maybe 2-handing the weapon for 1.5xSTR? That would be 6 STR vs 4 STR on your breakdown.


She's a sword and board two-weapon fighter, so it would be an error if she was getting 1.5 STR.


THE SLAVE TRENCHES OF HAKOTEP page 10 wrote:


...
The shadow cast by the Five-Pointed Sun on the city
below is unusually dark and cold. Within this area of
darkness, the shadow creates a region of desecration, as
the desecrate spell. This effect extends into the pyramid’s
interior as well, though inside the Five-Pointed Sun the
effect functions as if in the presence of an evil altar. (Hit
points and other adjustments to attacks, damage, and saving
throws for undead creatures are included as appropriate in
their statistics.) This desecrate effect functions at CL 15th,
and if targeted via dispel magic, it automatically reactivates
after 1d4 rounds as long as Isatemkhebet exists.
...

With the desecrate in mind, te damage shown in the book is correct.

Anyway in this post I found some erratas in Isatemkhebet stat block. You can check it if you want.


I missed the desecrate. Thanks.


Discrepancy regarding how to activate the Sekrepheres in the Chamber of the Sekrepheres. Chisisek says to use holy/unholy water, while the room description describes three (or four) methods. I'll probably go with "all of the above", but wanted to mention it for anyone confused.

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