Secrets of the Sphinx (GM Reference)


Mummy's Mask

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Scarab Sages

/me totally cries for his 800 word reply being eaten by site maintenance...

Cliff's Notes since I don't think I can replicate that half hour of work...

Jamirah runs through the desert in book 4. Sets up all the PC fights in part 1 as they're right on her tail. Culminate with battle at Walled Oasis after she bribes the genies to help her out. Give every opportunity to kill her there.

If she escapes, Glabrezu has her. Give opportunity to kill her there.

If she escapes, FP becomes Lady Hakotep, throw out the multiple personalities problem that FP has. BBEG monologue about Khepsutanem and reclaiming his fleet of Anti Shory Pyramids. If you kill Lady Hakotep, ib has no ba or artifact to hold onto, returns to Hakotep's ba, proceed with book 5. If you take her captive, check my notes on skipping 5 part 1 in this and book 5's thread. Mechanically, leave her alone.

If Lady Hakotep (who doesn't have teleport on her spells known, don't give it to her either) gets to Khepsutanem before party, its a chase for the activation of the Sun Disk. Big fight on the Disk as it is summoning the pyramid. 3 sided: 1) Lady Hakotep, 2) Party, 3) Ossumentals. Depending on how you handle the shaitan guard guy, he may be on any of the three sides.


archmagi1 wrote:

/me totally cries for his 800 word reply being eaten by site maintenance...

Cliff's Notes since I don't think I can replicate that half hour of work...

Jamirah runs through the desert in book 4. Sets up all the PC fights in part 1 as they're right on her tail. Culminate with battle at Walled Oasis after she bribes the genies to help her out. Give every opportunity to kill her there.

If she escapes, Glabrezu has her. Give opportunity to kill her there.

If she escapes, FP becomes Lady Hakotep, throw out the multiple personalities problem that FP has. BBEG monologue about Khepsutanem and reclaiming his fleet of Anti Shory Pyramids. If you kill Lady Hakotep, ib has no ba or artifact to hold onto, returns to Hakotep's ba, proceed with book 5. If you take her captive, check my notes on skipping 5 part 1 in this and book 5's thread. Mechanically, leave her alone.

If Lady Hakotep (who doesn't have teleport on her spells known, don't give it to her either) gets to Khepsutanem before party, its a chase for the activation of the Sun Disk. Big fight on the Disk as it is summoning the pyramid. 3 sided: 1) Lady Hakotep, 2) Party, 3) Ossumentals. Depending on how you handle the shaitan guard guy, he may be on any of the three sides.

Really cool ideas! I just have some problem justifying Jamirah going to the genies if she could make a beeline to the Sightless Sphinx. Perhaps I could add some terrible (stronger than Jamirah) danger between Chisizek Tomb's and the Sphinx... toxic waste? elemental rift? a rift to the plane of shadow that's becoming bigger and bigger because of the people in the Sphinx?

Otherwise, yeah, the idea that they are just behind her and that, when the Ka is given back to the FP, she became "Lady Hakotep"; the body is not as strong as the one containing its Ba, but she's still a little bit stronger than the FP (and not half crazy).

Perhaps the ritual to reunite part of the soul takes some time (a specific moment of the month), so when the PC arrives at the Sphinx, she's just reunited with her Ka. She tells them that she will activate her fleet, retake control of Osirion, her rightful kingdom. She will not be forgotten anymore! The PCs are the last obstacle to her plans, and she's even glad she can destroy them before starting her conquest!

So, perhaps give her the bonus from the Mask, transform her cleric level to sorcerer level plus at least 1 of them (or two? lvl 8 spells... hum) and add a big badass undead in the room since she can now use create greater undead with the mask. That would unbalanced the encounter, but, yeah, they messed up, so they should have some problems...

I don't know, though, the sorcerer class is generally blood based, so link to the Ba...

Scarab Sages

Oh in the first post I alluded to Jamirah not knowing how to get there by going straight North. They characters including Jamirah don't have the easy map, and maybe following these old trade routes is her way she knows.

Also fp already has sorc levels. The heart switched her wis and cha and made her a sorc.


archmagi1 wrote:

Oh in the first post I alluded to Jamirah not knowing how to get there by going straight North. They characters including Jamirah don't have the easy map, and maybe following these old trade routes is her way she knows.

Also fp already has sorc levels. The heart switched her wis and cha and made her a sorc.

Oh, yeah, don't know the straight line... good idea, she did leave quite rapidly the base camp, probably didn't take any map, compas or anything that could help her in the desert... true!

And, yeah, the FP has sorc lvl, but with cleric HDs ;P and no bloodline ability/powers... she's build like a cleric with no access to her divine powers, her wisdom switched for her charisma and with sudden access to the same power a 14th lvl sorcerer would have, except for the bloodline power. Anyway, I don't think I'll change her that much, it sounds like a bad idea.


Ohhh, I'm suddenly very excited about the encounter with Lady Sophronia !
As I mentioned before, I've got a evil bastard of a necromancer in the party. I'm pretty sure a paladin of Serenrae won't like to him in her reposing place :)


Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

We're still a couple months from dealing with that problem. Our party (Preservers of Immortal Lore) is mostly neutralish, though the wizard is LG. Knowing how these players operate, I doubt they care about the details of some of the story-line, particularly in regard to strict continuity. Not that I could suddenly throw them into Cheliax and they'd be happy, just that they tend towards not missing any exploration opportunities (I guarantee every hex will be filled with an X) and don't mind motivational nudging from me if they miss something.

Given that our party makeup has been in a state of flux recently, it may be sooner or later than that, actually. I've only got 3 regulars now (down from 8 originally, life calls and other things), but I just found out we have 2 more joining us tomorrow!

Of course, this is how we originally ended up with 13 for Kingmaker.


Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I just tallied it all up in this book. The first 2 parts are pretty light, but the 3rd part has 650,000 GP of total value, just over 356,000 if everything is sold at proper values (50%/100%). Someone alluded to a similar number upthread. Granted, some of that is consumable, but not more than maybe 5-10%.

Oh, and I'm back up to 5 regulars now, or so it would seem. :)

Shadow Lodge

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Had a near TPK against Heqet. Granted, the group wasn't the most balanced or optimized, but it caught them by surprise as they'd had a fairly decent time of it until that point. They cast silence on the rage prophet and had him run in next to her after she cast destruction and since she couldn't follow her tactics anymore I had her alternate melee attacks and channels. It was the channeling that finally did in two of the characters.

The new party got to face her with the addition of a mummy-lord ex-PC, but they were ready and made pretty quick work of her and her minions. Fun times on both sides of the screen.


PCs found the sphinx a full level too early after a beeline towards it.

Currently they're back in Wati after the wizard died and needed to be raised. Any thoughts on stalling them a bit? I'd prefer for them to gain another level before going inside there (particularly because the wizard is nearly finished with her lichification, and it'll be awkward if she levels up and gets a template halfway theough the dungeon).


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LittleMissNaga wrote:

PCs found the sphinx a full level too early after a beeline towards it.

Currently they're back in Wati after the wizard died and needed to be raised. Any thoughts on stalling them a bit? I'd prefer for them to gain another level before going inside there (particularly because the wizard is nearly finished with her lichification, and it'll be awkward if she levels up and gets a template halfway theough the dungeon).

If they have already found it and had to travel back to Wati (Why not Ipeq, its nearer?), they just throw more encounters at them, more assassins trying to kill them, more cultists attacking them, and if the encountered the Girtablilus at the Sphinx then the FP could send them after them as well. Either in Wati or whilst they are travelling back to the Sphinx.


Boaty McBoatface wrote:
If they have already found it and had to travel back to Wati (Why not Ipeq, its nearer?), they just throw more encounters at them, more assassins trying to kill them, more cultists attacking them, and if the encountered the Girtablilus at the Sphinx then the FP could send them after them as well. Either in Wati or whilst they are travelling back to the Sphinx.

They basically own Wati. Took advantage of the undead uprising in book 2 to oust the Pharasmins, then took credit for 'saving' the city by negotiating with the ghouls (who were already on their side) and convincing the living and undead to un/live in harmony (kind-of).

Distance isn't a huge factor for them at any rate. Teleport came in last level.

They've got Pharaoh fooled, but I suppose a nice unsanctioned attack on their city by some overzealous good-aligned types could work. Sarenrae's supposedly-NG massacre-cult could probably make for some good opposition.

Also, this finally gives me an opportunity to play Sarenrae's faith as the 'Good' guys (at least insofar as they're opposing the forces of evil), which is something I've wanted to be able to do for a while now.


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Ok so the party are in the Sphinx, they have drifted to the right so have met the Bodaks, Zombie Lord and Vrocks etc. They have not rested so are mostly out of spells, but have enough to keep going (apart from the Mage who is moaning like a b@%*&) , and have just arrived at the wall of electricity.

They convinced the monk to 'run through and have a quick look' as he is best equipped to avoid any damage, which he did quite easily.
Upon entering he examined and tried to remember the layout of the room, and then noticed the Marid lying down on the far side of the room. she said hello in a weak voice and being a goodly and inquisitive monk instead of heading back he stayed and said hello back.

A few rounds of conversation later the monk agrees to help the captive Marid escape the cultists of Areshkagal and in return she grants him a wish. He wished the party had all their spells back.
The Marid changes form and shows her(his) true self and replies 'Granted' with a large grin.
The monk turns around and dives back through the electricity to the party, exclaiming 'Oh oh'.

Session finished, so I have until next week to sufficiently and amusingly pervert his wish. Any suggestions ?

Scarab Sages

Minimized effects
Roll twice take lower
Bads roll saves twice take higher
Every restored spell causes 3*slvl damage at casting and requires you to concentration check past that damage or fizzle
Cure spells become inflict spells


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

If you want to go full-on "letter of the law" on the wish, undo all of the things that their spells did. If that causes a bunch of previously defeated enemies to come back, have them appear right in proximity, all at once.

For extra craziness, combine with the above suggestion :P


Ok I think I have it. I'm going to let the wish work and all spell casters will have their spells back. However the power needs to come from somewhere so a mages disjunction is going to go off over the whole party. Plus all spell casters will gain a number of spellblights for the remainder of the day.

Scarab Sages

Be prepared, if you disjoin the party, and all their favorite (read: expensive) magic items get permanently trashed, you could be in for a sour party. 18350gp for a new +3 weapon, and 10100gp for a new +3 mithral shirt after their failed saves just doesn't materialize out of thin air, and can throw the wealth expectation out the window. If you do go with permanent disjunction, add a shifting pile of loot (shifting to be somewhat of a recovery on their actual magic item losses) to the Glabrezu's and the FP's treasure hordes to cover getting back up to functionality.

Or, you can have the disjunction last for as long as the recovered spells haven't been used, coming back 1 day after the last regened spell is cast.

Scarab Sages

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OOH, or even better, have the Glabrezu siphon off spell levels from consumables in the party's possession. A scroll of fireball? There are three first level spells regained. A CLW wand with 12 charges? The wizard just got his 3x level 4 slots refilled. A potion of Cure Serious Wounds? That haste spell would like to have a drink.

It still hits the party financially, and more importantly tactically, but doesn't have the same lasting pain as disjoining all their equipment. Start with the most important (Read: Cure and Restoration), and work your way through their offensive scrolls and wands next.


Not sure if this has been mentioned before or if I am just missing an ability in the stats but, Thmei the oracle in K16. In combat it suggests for her to cast anti life shell to keep melee attackers at bay, and then cast spells such as harm and poison from the safety of it, but they are both touch spells. I’m happy with her casting range spells from it but am I missing an ability or item that lets her cast touch spells at range ?

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32

Boaty McBoatface wrote:
Not sure if this has been mentioned before or if I am just missing an ability in the stats but, Thmei the oracle in K16. In combat it suggests for her to cast anti life shell to keep melee attackers at bay, and then cast spells such as harm and poison from the safety of it, but they are both touch spells. I’m happy with her casting range spells from it but am I missing an ability or item that lets her cast touch spells at range ?

I came to the same conclusion you did. I gave her a Reach Metamagic Gem to use.


Just ran Thmei and had the same issue. Ended up catching the problem right after a TPK. Redid the whole fight. Real frustrating to give my party a heart attack like that. That'll teach me to assume the best from encounter designs.


What to do with the remaining cultist?:

Hello my PC’s just managed to kill the forgotten Pharaoh. But there is still a large number of cultist alive. What do they do? Or better what have you as GM done with the remaining cultist. The cultist that where in the room with the pharaoh when she fell used there troth of the pharaoh.

Scarab Sages

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Mass Troth trigger!


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I added some rules for excising Hakotep from the Forgotten Pharaoh and pasted them below. This exorcism will deprive the PCs of combat with the Forgotten Pharaoh but I'm okay with that for a few reasons: 1) this combat looked pretty easy, 2) there is plenty of other combat in this adventure, and even in this dungeon, 3) an exorcism is a fairly iconic scene in literature and I've never had one in D&D. I think my PCs will remember an exorcism better than another fight. Here are my notes, which I think are of sufficient detail for others to use if you wish. They are inspired by, and adapted from, the occult ritual rules. I have up to 7 PCs in a session and tried to make this a 50/50 thing. You may wish to adapt with a smaller party. Feedback welcome and if you use it I would like to hear how it goes. I don't think my party will get here for a few more months.Mummy’s Mask Exorcism Ritual with 7 PCs

Exorcise Hakotep from the Forgotten Pharaoh.

1 PC acts as the ritual lead, any number of other secondary PCs within 30 feet of Hakotep and the leader can assist. Lead PC must succeed at a bluff, intimidate, knowledge religion or sense motive check (the lead PCs choice) vs. Hakotep’s concentration check (+34, using Harder Hakotep from this post: http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2v6qi?Harder-Hakotep). The opposed checks play out over a series of rounds, and the PCs must succeed at 3 checks before Hakotep succeeds at 4 (think balls/strikes from baseball; ties go to the PCs). If the PCs physically attack Hakotep during the ritual the exorcism is disrupted. As long as the PCs come within 10 of Hakotep’s check (e.g., the PCs check is 48 and Hakotep’s check is a 58) then Hakotep is functionally stunned as he must devote all of his efforts to the ritual.
The PCs can learn of this ritual with a DC25 knowledge religion check. The PCs are entitled to this check either because 1) the possibility of possession or an exorcism occurs to the players and the players ask, or 2) upon first seeing Hakotep a PC succeeds at a DC 25 sense motive check where the PC realizes the possibility of possession, and then another PC succeeds at the knowledge religion check.
Secondary PCs may assist in a number of ways:
1. Up to once each round, a secondary PC who succeeds at a bluff, intimidate, knowledge religion, or sense motive check DC31 adds +5 to the lead PCs check. Each of these checks can only be done once (e.g., 2 PCs cannot both make bluff checks) and they must be different from the skill check of the lead PC (e.g., if the lead PC is using bluff then a secondary bluff check is not allowed). [once the players know about the possibility of an exorcism ritual a PC needs to make a DC25 knowledge religion check for the party to be aware of the ability to supplement the ritual with these skill checks]
2. Up to once each round, a paladin may use the lay on hands ability on Hakotep’s body. This use does not actually heal or harm Hakotep, but if the lay on hands roll would have otherwise healed at least 10 hp then the lead PC receives +5 to his check [once the players know about the possibility of an exorcism ritual a PC needs to make a DC25 knowledge religion check for the party to be aware of the ability to supplement the ritual with these skill checks]
3. Turn Undead that overcomes Harder Hakotep. Hakotep’s will saving throw is +21. If Hakotep fails this save the lead PC receives +5 to his check for 10 rounds. [once the players know about the possibility of an exorcism ritual a PC needs to make a DC25 knowledge religion check for the party to be aware of the ability to supplement the ritual with these skill checks]
4. A caster can cast any of the following spells to add a bonus to the lead PC’s check. The spell is consumed but has no other game effect. The check bonus is equivalent to the level of the spell x2 (e.g., bless adds +2 to the check, dispel magic adds +6).
a. The relevant divine spells are: bless, hide from undead, calm emotions, consecrate, lesser restoration, dispel magic, magic circle against good, magic circle against law, prayer, remove curse, searing light, restoration, break enchantment, hallow, Dispel Good, Dispel Chaos, Dispel Magic, greater, Heal, Undeath to Death, Holy Word, Greater Restoration, Word of Chaos, Dimensional Lock, Miracle. [once the players know about the possibility of an exorcism ritual a PC needs to make a DC25 knowledge religion check for the party to be aware of the ability to supplement the ritual with these skill checks]
b. The relevant arcane spells are: Command undead, dispel magic, magic circle against law, magic circle against good, halt undead, dimensional anchor, break enchantment, greater dispel magic, undeath to death, control undead, limited wish, dimensional lock, freedom, wish. [once the players know about the possibility of an exorcism ritual a PC needs to make a DC25 knowledge arcana check for the party to be aware of the ability to supplement the ritual with these skill checks]
5. A prepared secondary PC can consume 500 gp worth of specifically prepared exorcism materials to grant a +5 to the lead PC’s check.

Outcomes:
1. If Hakotep succeeds in 4 checks before the PCs succeed at 3, then Hakotep cannot be exorcised for 101 days. Most likely the party will need to slay the Forgotten Pharaoh. Shrugging off the ritual strengthens the connection with the Forgotten Pharaoh granting her 14d6 temporary hit points.
2. If the PCs succeed, but Hakotep succeeded at 3 checks in the process then Hakotep is severed but the Forgotten Pharaoh is also killed.
3. If the PCs succeed, but Hakotep succeeds at 2 checks in the process, then Hakotep is severed and the Forgotten Pharaoh is killed. However, Hakotep’s ib is also affected in the process giving the party time to craft new magic items before Wati is attacked.
4. If the PCs succeed and Hakotep succeeds at only 0-1 checks in the process, then Hakotep is severed and the Forgotten Pharaoh survives. In gratuity the Forgotten Pharaoh offers her assistance to the PCs. Grant her the craft ring feat. She offers to use the treasure she has to craft rings for the party. She will also take treasure supplied by the party to her and use her craft ring feat to forge additional rings for the party. If the party prefers, she can also accompany them on the rest of the adventure.

Scarab Sages

I like it!

The main thing I would change would be #3. In the FP's statblock, it mentions that when she (ate) accepted the Heart, that the damage done to her own Ib broke her mind. I would let her live at outcome 3, but nothing short of Wish or Miracle could restore her to just a severe PTSD state.

For outcome #4, I would restore her sanity, but still leave her severely traumatized. Play her up super paranoid and reluctant to help, and maybe even hostile to anyone she sees using (compulsion) effects.

Dark Archive

My group completed their first assault into the Sightless Sphinx... and I want your opinion of my idea of what would change when they return the following day would be unreasonable.

GM Only Please:
They were able to convince the girtablilus and their leader to leave (convincing them that the Cultists of the Forgotten Pharaoh were collecting their personal trinkets, especially when their patrols weren't returning [the PCs encountered and killed them and then planted the trinkets on the Cultists]).

The PCs were able to kill the Cultist patrols outside the Sphinx the following day and enter the Sphinx through the secret entrance. For their own reasons couple of the PCs were disguised as Cultists of the Forgotten Pharaoh and one of other PCs were wearing the Mask of the Forgotten Pharaoh.

The encountered the Cultists of Areshkagal and Haqat. A few escaped and then the PCs retreated into the desert to rest. They plan to return the following day.

My thinking is that with the disguises and the Mask, the CoA now think their cease-fire with the CotFP is over that the "CotFP" attacked their members. So, the CoA would retaliate. Without the support of their girtablilus, I don't think the normal CotFP would be a match against them.

1. I've already removed all the girtablilu encounters.
2. Remove the mundane CotFP encounters, leaving only the named Cultists, such as the Forgotten Pharaoh herself.
3. Increase the number of demons by 50% because of the rituals performed from the newly captured CotFP.
4. Change the CoA tactics based upon what the escaped CoAs saw during their previous encounters with the PCs.

Does any of this sound unreasonable? Thanks.

Scarab Sages

Did you kill Haqat? If so, then the FP's group (even with out the girtablilus) is probably stronger than the Glabrezu and whatever minions are still hanging around. Most of the challenge of that side of the sphinx is the bodaks anyway.

If Haqat is still alive, I would have her and the Glabrezu basically have the FP and her closest cultists cornered in the upstairs rooms, too careful to man up and take a prismatic spray in the face.

Regardless, I would pick a side to win, and bolster its forces.

You might even have the Banshee having killed some folks and raised a few neutral wraiths or something to make up for the lack of encounters.

Dark Archive

Sorry, didn't mention that the PCs did destroy Haqat.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Room K27 has 2 Maftets that burst into room K26 if the PCs fight the bodaks. Room K27 also contains 2 Guecubus. Why aren't the maftets and the guecubus fighting one another before the PCs arrive?


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

What does Areshkhesbed "ability healing" power do?


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

The answer to that can be found in the Divine Guardian template

Divine Guardian wrote:
Ability Healing (Ex): A divine guardian heals 1 point of ability damage per round in each damaged ability score.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I would like to have a wandering monster encounter prepped for the Sightless Sphinx section. I have these minis too:

Minotaur Artillery x2
Minotaur Cleric x2
Minotaur Labyrinth Guardian

I think they would make a nice adventuring party/wandering encounter within the dungeon. Anyone have ideas for a cool story for why they are in the Sphinx? So it is more than just a combat.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I'd like to create some sense of urgency to the exploration of The Sightless Sphinx, so my player's cannot rest in each room.

My best idea: The FP only has a fraction of her strength dedicated to holding the stalemate with the cult because she has another major priority: find the mask. So she has sent patrols of Girtabilu (e.g., 50 total) to comb the desert for the PCs. These scouts are due back in about a week, greatly swelling her ranks. That means the PCs really want to wrap the place up in less than 7 days.

What do others think of this idea? And do others have better ideas?

I need a lot of girtabilu because I have 7 PCs. I need a number the PCs won't just see as a worthy challenge. And the girtabilu don't have too much treasure per creature, so they are not attractive from a treasure perspective, like those juicy cultists.

Scarab Sages

A reasonably competent party should be able to clear the place in 2-3 visits. I think dropping a hint about a more vast force would be prudent of your party is the take it slowly sort. Maybe they spied the force during their exploration. It would also help explain why a glabrezu, a super zombie, and half a dozen bodaks haven't wrecked shop across the FPs half of the dungeon. Superior forces just a few hours away at the behest of a sending.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
drsparnum wrote:

I added some rules for excising Hakotep from the Forgotten Pharaoh and pasted them below. This exorcism will deprive the PCs of combat with the Forgotten Pharaoh but I'm okay with that for a few reasons: 1) this combat looked pretty easy, 2) there is plenty of other combat in this adventure, and even in this dungeon, 3) an exorcism is a fairly iconic scene in literature and I've never had one in D&D. I think my PCs will remember an exorcism better than another fight. Here are my notes, which I think are of sufficient detail for others to use if you wish. They are inspired by, and adapted from, the occult ritual rules. I have up to 7 PCs in a session and tried to make this a 50/50 thing. You may wish to adapt with a smaller party. Feedback welcome and if you use it I would like to hear how it goes. I don't think my party will get here for a few more months.Mummy’s Mask Exorcism Ritual with 7 PCs

Exorcise Hakotep from the Forgotten Pharaoh.

1 PC acts as the ritual lead, any number of other secondary PCs within 30 feet of Hakotep and the leader can assist. Lead PC must succeed at a bluff, intimidate, knowledge religion or sense motive check (the lead PCs choice) vs. Hakotep’s concentration check (+34, using Harder Hakotep from this post: http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2v6qi?Harder-Hakotep). The opposed checks play out over a series of rounds, and the PCs must succeed at 3 checks before Hakotep succeeds at 4 (think balls/strikes from baseball; ties go to the PCs). If the PCs physically attack Hakotep during the ritual the exorcism is disrupted. As long as the PCs come within 10 of Hakotep’s check (e.g., the PCs check is 48 and Hakotep’s check is a 58) then Hakotep is functionally stunned as he must devote all of his efforts to the ritual.
The PCs can learn of this ritual with a DC25 knowledge religion check. The PCs are entitled to this check either because 1) the possibility of possession or an exorcism occurs to the players and the players ask, or 2) upon first seeing Hakotep a PC succeeds at a DC 25 sense...

My party battled the Forgotten Pharaoh. I boosted the encounter with 6 minions. I had pre-determined that if my party started the ritual while minions were still alive Hakotep would order his minions to stand down, confident he could win the exorcism ritual and thinking he would get the bonus temporary hitpoints. In the end my players decided to kill the minions first and then my players were of two minds: just kill the Forgotten Pharaoh or do the ritual. After round three, while the players had killed some minions, the FP started throwing prismatic spray which can be a save or die spell. At this point my players decided all bets were off and fought to kill the FP. After they knocked her unconscious the party cleric just started doing the ritual and PCs joined in...the paladin with lay on hands, the wind oracle with searing light, the necromancer with some spells, the rogue with bluff checks, and tetisurah with some skill checks. Because I had 5 PCs and not my full cadre of 7, I lowered the DC on the skill checks from 31 to 26, and I made the boosts that normally add +5 add +8.

My party made 3 checks and Hakotep/FP only made 1. I would have liked it to have been a closer thing, but the cleric rolled very well overall so the balance could have been good. I also would have liked a little more roleplay between Hakotep and the party like when Gandolf dispels Saruman in LOTR, but with her unconcious I had none. All in all though, it was still a good memorable add that I recommend.


Glad it worked out for you. The party I was DMing was able to convince the Girtibalu their "employer" was not honorable, so despite numbers, they were neutralized as a threat. The demon-cult maftets almost scored a TPK on their own with flanking and some good rolls (dual-wielding scimitars and sneak-attack is not to be trifled with.)

The FP managed to send one PC (the bard) to another plane with that prismatic spray, but that reduced the party to the point where the rst of them were knocked out and smothered by the elder mud elementals (which the PC's thought they'd be able to wipe out no problem - gotta love high-level hubris!)


I have some questions with the these rules for teleporting:

page 30 wrote:
Anyone within 30 feet of the Sphinx can attempt a DC 30 Spellcraft check to note a weak spot where teleportation and scrying are possible.

1. Is that limited to teleporting from the outside and in, or also when inside teleporting out to e.g. Tephu? If the latter then finding room K20 isn't that big of an issue as the party wizard has a spellcraft near the mid 20s.

2. Teleporting back from the city before finding K20 would be another thing. If trying to teleport back inside to a room they've been before that is easily identifiable (and presumably teleported out from with a successful Spellcraft), will they appear way off target or get a mishap or?


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I ran it as teleporting in or out of the sphinx required being within 30' of an outer wall and succeeding at a DC 30 spellcraft check would allow the caster to use Teleport as they normally can. (otherwise why would the cultists need to use the platform in K20 to get out easily?) So from inside the sphinx the wizard in your game should be able to teleport out to Tephu without much issue.
(But teleporting back in, unless they're going to the pad in K20, wouldn't work unless they first teleported to outside the sphinx and then cast again to get inside the sphinx.)
If they tried to teleport back in from Tephu, unless they're aiming for K20, I'd simply have the spell used up without the targets going aywhere. (In the same way that Greater Teleport fails if the caster doesn't have the correct or enough information).


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I agree with warped. I imagine the wizard has to investigate the magical energies around the sphinx closely before teleporting. Teleporting isn't like dusting crops.


PhineasGage wrote:

Any advice for someone with a party determined to head off to Sothis and see what's underneath that spire? They got the "clue" info that someone had already gone down there and has gone missing, but it seems they figure its too important not to check out.

Looking into Azgaad's Spire a little closer, I've come to realize that its in a restricted area in Sothis, in the massive temple complex to Nethys.

So...should I rail road them a bit to head back to the parched dunes (they're just leaving Tephu), let them head to Sothis and persist in trying to get under the spire only to find there's nothing there, or create a new hook/plot line from whole cloth?

What would other folks do/have done?

My party did the exact same thing at the same point in the AP (five years later). I let them wander around, gather some information about Serethet - including that she'd found something below the spire and then went missing - and had the priesthood tell them that the area was off limits. Since that area's Nethysian, not Pharasman, they couldn't use their "hero" status in Wati to help gain access, and they most definitely didn't have that status in Tephu.

That was enough for them to realize they'd taken a wrong turn and head back past Tephu into the desert.


Kinda worried how to do a frontal assualt on the Sphinx. Most my team is kinda squishy so unsure how to let them in without murdering them.

They already snuck in once to save an NPC(custom placed) but a full on attack is worrying me


MerlinCross wrote:

Kinda worried how to do a frontal assualt on the Sphinx. Most my team is kinda squishy so unsure how to let them in without murdering them.

They already snuck in once to save an NPC(custom placed) but a full on attack is worrying me

Hopefully they come up with the idea of disguising themselves as cultists and can bluff their way in?


Warped Savant wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:

Kinda worried how to do a frontal assualt on the Sphinx. Most my team is kinda squishy so unsure how to let them in without murdering them.

They already snuck in once to save an NPC(custom placed) but a full on attack is worrying me

Hopefully they come up with the idea of disguising themselves as cultists and can bluff their way in?

Right now they're trying to see if they can get the Girtablilu on their side but that has led into a problem with my players.

Their understanding of Girtablilu comes from the monster books, something I haven't really felt the need to stamp down on thus far. In the beastiary they're basically described as Ruin guardians, religiously active, and holders of lost faiths.

The Girtablilu are mercenaries. Honorable yes but more considered with honor, reputation, coin, and a good fight. This caused a massive disconnect with my players last night to the point I lost about half an hour to it and there's NOTHING in the book that could explain why they are this way. I finally had to put my foot down about that with "GM explaination trumps other entries cause I can control that" but they still seem kinda hung up on that fact mainly cause the Girtablilu feel like they could have easily been slotted in for the Maftets(2 ruin living guardian races really?).

So I'm unsure just how to explain/hand wave this in a more believable manner than "GM says so" as I dislike outright playing that card. I've mentioned to the players the Girtablilu are very big on contracts and the like so maybe I can work with that?


But you're the one running the game an you get to decide what that particular tribe of Girtablilu are like. Sure, the bestiary says what they're typically like, but that doesn't mean ALL of them are.

Also, are the characters aware of what the Girtablilu are like or are the players using meta knowledge?
Sure, the players being aware of it is fine and maybe it's not worth telling them to not metagame, but this is a chance for you to show that not all NPCs of any one race are the exact same as all of the others.
Let this tribe of Girtablilu be the way you want them to be and maybe they'll be willing to explain to the characters why they're different from the rest of their race.
Or treat the bestiary entry as what the general population believe of a race and have it be wrong.


Warped Savant wrote:

But you're the one running the game an you get to decide what that particular tribe of Girtablilu are like. Sure, the bestiary says what they're typically like, but that doesn't mean ALL of them are.

Also, are the characters aware of what the Girtablilu are like or are the players using meta knowledge?
Sure, the players being aware of it is fine and maybe it's not worth telling them to not metagame, but this is a chance for you to show that not all NPCs of any one race are the exact same as all of the others.
Let this tribe of Girtablilu be the way you want them to be and maybe they'll be willing to explain to the characters why they're different from the rest of their race.
Or treat the bestiary entry as what the general population believe of a race and have it be wrong.

While true, the issue they were having was the disconnect between the Girtablilu in the book, and the ones in the AP. See this wouldn't be that much of a problem.

Save for the Maftets being right there, and basically being race shifted Girtablilu, doing the job they SHOULD be doing according to the bestiary.

It makes the player's metaknowledge break down even more when you have these two mashed up next to each other.

And while I am the one running the game, I can't think of a good answer beyond "WELL The AP said so" which to me feels like a massive cop out but I really can't think of anything else right now. I really hate handwaving things away without an actual reason.

Maybe I can do something with some of the NPCs in the desert with them...

Silver Crusade

Howdy fellow MM GMs,

I really like the 'Adventure Backgrounds', (page 7 in this one), but wonder if the PCs might ever know portions of that info. If they did, it might give more flavor to the encounters, something which I have found lacking at times during the first three installments.

Have any other GMs used portions of these backgrounds to help fill in storyline info for the PCs? If yes, did you doing so require specific action/study on their part, or did you simply allow appropriate Knowledge checks, or was some other impetus/mechanic at play?

Thanks in advance for any shared thoughts.

Game on!
- Corey


gamerdork wrote:

Howdy fellow MM GMs,

I really like the 'Adventure Backgrounds', (page 7 in this one), but wonder if the PCs might ever know portions of that info. If they did, it might give more flavor to the encounters, something which I have found lacking at times during the first three installments.

Have any other GMs used portions of these backgrounds to help fill in storyline info for the PCs? If yes, did you doing so require specific action/study on their part, or did you simply allow appropriate Knowledge checks, or was some other impetus/mechanic at play?

Thanks in advance for any shared thoughts.

Game on!
- Corey

My party is still in Tephu in book 3 and one of the characters has been spending extra time in the Great Library (the parts they don't need permission to enter) to do research regarding their Blood of Pharaohs backstory, as well as a side plot they are interested in. I've been using that as an excuse to drop foreshadowing about later adventures (they know that wishes gone wrong can turn people into Broken Souls to sorta foreshadow Ralthos, that the Singing Sandstorm has been encountered by people before, and a bit about Maftet culture so far). It's not quite what you're looking for, but that's how I've been tying later events into knowledge the players possess.

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