Shifting Sands (GM Reference)


Mummy's Mask

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RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32

My group started shifting Sands this past weekend.

I had one of the hookah merchants in the Medina sell this new drug fresh from Wati, called Crystal Mummy (really just mumia). Only 1 of my players tried it...

After being denied an audience with the haty-a, they went straight for the palace(hoping the ruby prince was in town), and met Muminofrah, and succesfully pleased her, so she gave them entrance to the library. I liked that they basically skipped having to get jacked around by the haty-a.

The chariot race started out awful. My group of 5, had 2 2-person chariots and 1 solo (muminofrahs obsession surely could handle it all by himself). Well after 3 rounds, 2 of the chariots hadn't even left the starting line, and my players were looking at me like this is the stupidest thing. I had to adjust on the fly and basically change the rules just to make it work. In the end, they had fun which is the important part, but only due to me changing a lot of things on how the race worked. So, if anyone runs this in the future, you may want to make the DC slightly easier, or even extend the number of rounds for the victory.

They had fun in the spiral archive, and we finished about half of the dark depository.

Overall, this is a great module so far. I am excited to see how they will deal with the desert exploration, but that may not happen for a few sessions.


@Grumpus
My players also had issues during the race, the DCs were too high for most of them.
One player had a good perception check, two had good handle animal checks, and most of the other skills were untrained checks.
They finished the race after 12 rounds, they crashed once, and managed to pass two checks only once. Also, one player kept trying to cast spells during the race (which he can) instead of attempting the high DC checks.

This was the only downside so far with book 3, we played about 6 or 7 sessions so far, and 2 of them were entirely dedicated to mumminofrah.
They finally finished the dark depository last session and discovered all the mask powers, but they didnt get the clues and believe they will have to wait 8 months to find out where is this tower of ra mentioned in the scrolls.

Well, i believe they were just too tired to think straight...

Also, one player managed to get "friendly" with udjebet, not knowing her secrets yet. Let's see how that turns out.


My group is going to be finishing Empty Grave this Tues. I was re-reading and expanding my notes on Shifting Sands, figuring an additional encounter on the ferry ride that would result in them gaining three contacts in Tephu that may be of help later in the book.

The sidebar excursions to gain Muminofrah's favor are wonderful... Already fleshed out one of them as a sidebar, and plan to do more, playing them to the hilt if the PC's run out of time doing research.

Silver Crusade

Hi folks! (And especially Richard, if you're still watching this thread.) A couple questions:

Just broke into Shifting Sands. Looks like a really fun adventure, super excited to run my group through it.

Just so I'm clear, two questions about the research rules and the Great Chamber of Knowledge. I *think* I know the answer here, but I want to be sure:

(1) Can each individual PC make an independent research check to (collectively) reduce the library's knowledge points? Or is it one roll for the full party, with the option of up to two aid attempts?

(2) To access the Great Chamber of Knowledge, is it 50 gp per PC per day, or 50 gp per day for the party as a whole?

[I'm guessing the answer is: yes, PCs can attempt independent checks to collectively "damage" the library; yes, it's 50 gp per PC per day.]


1 - I made them roll a single knowledge check per subject per day (some of them wanted to make their own research on the outer sanctum), but i allowed the entire group to aid another, otherwise some people would sit around and do nothing on the later libraries.

2 - Since they were sent by the church of pharasma, they had a letter that allowed them to use the outer sanctum at no cost on my table. They also had free stay at the desert winds inn as the owners were friends of Ptemenib. That gave them a little sense of importance with some members of society.

Sovereign Court Senior Developer

Joe M. wrote:

Hi folks! (And especially Richard, if you're still watching this thread.) A couple questions:

Just broke into Shifting Sands. Looks like a really fun adventure, super excited to run my group through it.

Just so I'm clear, two questions about the research rules and the Great Chamber of Knowledge. I *think* I know the answer here, but I want to be sure:

(1) Can each individual PC make an independent research check to (collectively) reduce the library's knowledge points? Or is it one roll for the full party, with the option of up to two aid attempts?

(2) To access the Great Chamber of Knowledge, is it 50 gp per PC per day, or 50 gp per day for the party as a whole?

[I'm guessing the answer is: yes, PCs can attempt independent checks to collectively "damage" the library; yes, it's 50 gp per PC per day.]

(1) Yes, individual PCs can attempt research checks to "damage" the library. Note that if a character is doing his or her own research, they won't be able to aid another (the aid another option id for those characters who are unlikely to get a high enough result on the their research checks to actually reduce kp).

(2) I would say the fee is 50 gp per day for those actually carrying out research (i.e., actually attempting Research checks), so those characters that are only aiding another don't have to pay the fee. If that's too much bookkeeping, then charge everybody 50 gp apiece. :)

Silver Crusade

Awesome. Thanks, Rob!

By the way, we've been having a blast with Mummy's Mask so far. Thanks for putting this together. :-)

Silver Crusade

So, I had a TPK.

Area I in the parched dunes was it. The Basilisks closed qickly, into gaze range, and the overlap of 3 of the beasts caused everyone to turn to stone. Some without even getting to act...

A few people knew where they were going (Ptenenib, and a dwarf that used to fill in), and the mask is resting inside a bag of holding that has been turned to stone.

I can see a possible rescue mission forming in like 2 or 3 months time, which is our new party, but that creates it's own problems. Will the basilisks eat the doomed? If so, I'm figuring the mask will somehow shunt it's way material from its stony extra dimensional prison - it is an artifact after all..


Remember, if the bag is damaged in some way, the contents are explelled instantly.

But, how did the effects overlap? I didnt get this part.

Silver Crusade

shadowkras wrote:

Remember, if the bag is damaged in some way, the contents are explelled instantly.

But, how did the effects overlap? I didnt get this part.

If you begin your turn within 30 feet of 3 different basilisks, that's 3 Fortitude saves or you turn to stone. That's pretty dangerous odds that at least 1 save will fail! (Heck, if you roll all 3 saves there's about a 14% chance that at least 1 will turn up a nat-1, right?)

Of course with a gaze attack you could always (a) avert your eyes for a 50% chance to avoid having to make each save, or (b) close your eyes for a 100% chance to avoid having to make each save.

Presumably Talos's players either (i) failed their Knowledge to know this about the creatures that had just appeared, or (ii) were foolishly over-confident, or (iii) tried to avert their eyes and just got really unlucky.

Silver Crusade

The first round, the basilisks emerged from their dens, 1 fairly close. By the end of round 1, the 2 knowledge guys were petrified before they could act (I rolled good for initiative, they rolled bad).

By round 2, 2 more basilisks ran into range, and the remaining party members didn't know to avoid the gaze, and we're turned to statues.

I gave them a choice on how to pick up. Either way, after a few months, a rescue party shows up with a 12th level wizard hired by Ptenenib in tow. I figure maybe none, some, or all of the petrified could survive if desired


To stay in Muminofrah's favor, the Great Bulette Hunt is about to begin...

Contributor

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huzzah!


Quote:

The first round, the basilisks emerged from their dens, 1 fairly close. By the end of round 1, the 2 knowledge guys were petrified before they could act (I rolled good for initiative, they rolled bad).

By round 2, 2 more basilisks ran into range, and the remaining party members didn't know to avoid the gaze, and we're turned to statues.

I gave them a choice on how to pick up. Either way, after a few months, a rescue party shows up with a 12th level wizard hired by Ptenenib in tow. I figure maybe none, some, or all of the petrified could survive if desired

My group got petrified aswell, took them 7 rounds though.

They are a little trigger happy and believe they can outdamage everything, but petrification proved to be stronger.

The ranger was about 100 feet ahead of the group, scouting the lake, he found the stones and was told they look familiar (like guards, merchants, camels and slaves), he yelled to the group to tell them that he was going back, when he noticed the basilisks coming out of the water about 60 feet away from him.
He couldnt possibly know what basilisks were, and the group hasnt spotted them already (the player did know exactly what they were though). He wasnt surprised, and decided to take a few steps back and draw his bow.
On the first round the basilisks moved out of water and advanced towards him, the party did see them and rolled their arcana, the cleric had a 25 total and i told him everything about basilisks, how to avoid them, and how people usually run away and try to kill them from far away. The ranger told his Rhinoceros to charge one of them.
Second round, after a charge, the Rhino was petrified.
Third round the half-orc fighter was in melee with two others and got petrified after about 6 successful saves. And the ranger killed one of the basilisks.
Fourth round they had a bunch of buffs and debuffs going on, haste and such. But the fighter got turned into stone.
Fifth round the ranger killed the second basilisk. The cleric summoned an spiritual ally to attack the basilisks, a weregator-looking ghost (he is a follower of Sobek).
Sixth round the magus becomes invisible and advances towards the two remaining basilisks. The ranger finished the third basilisk that was hurt by the fighter and the cleric's Spiritual Ally.
And then the cleric was petrified by one of the basilisks that were closer to the fighter. The last basilisk focused on the ranger and petrified him, after over 20 rolls (he rolled at least 4 times per round until now), leaving only the magus still acting.
Seventh round, the magus honored his Low-Roll-Reputation and petrifies on his first save against them, against the last basilisk alive. He thought that if he was invisible, they couldnt see him and couldnt attempt to petrify him. He was partially right, but he could see them and failed with a 11 (total) roll.
The spirital ally remained attacking the last, still at full health, basilisk for the remaining of it's duration (5 more rounds), and delivered 10 attacks with a +14 falchion dealing 1d8+2 damage per hit against the sluggish basilisk that couldnt attack or petrify it and attempted to run with it's slower speed. The Spiritual Ally managed to kill the last basilisk on the last round of it's duration and vanished.

No more basilisks alive, but the entire party was petrified. Nobody knows where exactly they are, but they met the merchant on the oasis two days before that, where he parted ways to Tephu to sell his wares.
Who knows how long it will take for someone to go after them and find their statues...

Yes, i know the spiritual ally couldnt keep acting on it's own, but some divine intervention happened there as they had attempted a divination the day before that asking for what dangers lurk ahead (no answer, but the god did hear him...)

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32

Grumpus wrote:

How did the "hexcrawl" go for other groups? My playing group has never done any hexploration.

It seems that it would be quite easy to miss out on a lot of the cool planned encounters, or even make it to the tomb without enough XP if they lucked out and went the right way.
Did anyone change the locations of encounters to account for the parties movement?

Well, wouldn't ya know it. My party Bee-lined to the bee-hive and then straight north to the tomb.

They are only level 8 (party of 5 plus an NPC Thriae Dancer), and defeated the first 2 cultists and giant. We then had to end the session. The lamia matriarch encounter should be ugly.

Well see next month...


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I'm forcing the encounters of the hex-crawl.

After the ambush by the Cult in Tephu where the big bad flew away on the hieracosphinx (down 7 levels dues to a Wand of Enervation), the party cast a Divination asking for the direction he was heading for recovery.

Rats. They made a beeline West-by-Northwest, bypassing any encounters to the west, south and southwest. They did stop to rest at the oasis, since that was not far off their path. But they have not reached the tomb yet.

I am going to force the other encounters because this is too easy.

And before you say, "reward good game-play," be aware that as players, I do not feel they are being challenged enough this entire book. I am no Monty-Haul, but they are vet players and their builds are THAT GOOD.

Thinking about doubling every enemy from here on out.

Liberty's Edge

Hunters Moon wrote:
archmagi1 wrote:

Everyone's ACs at that point were rather nice (upper 20s) except the inqusitor, and with tetsura tanking until the kill bots got there, the saves weren't a problem.

To be fair, my group is veteran to aps and build very defensive oriented characters. At 12, two of them are base mid 30s, the other two around 28.

OK aside from your guys being veterans and having seriously ridiculous ACs at their level, what about normal concepts of balance with her? Anyone else have any views?

Well my group is far from being veterans (except me I guess, GO 2nd edition powers *puff of smoke* ANY-way)

They didn't have much of an issue since it seems I ended the threat by summoning a small army (small sized) Elementals with Empowered spell, ended up with 8 small Fire Elementals which where sent to gang up on her. GM just decided that she died since she couldn't move with them surrounding her and apparently she had prepared for the encounter according to the DM. Then again my DM is also still fairly new to RPG's and had invited me to the table as a blaster to help any new players deal with issues.

In this group there was my Fire Elementalist Sorcerer Kobold- named Flye
Crazy Changeling Oracle of Time, that was good at harm spells not healing, and had taken my advice to get reach spell as a metamagic feat to do ranged spell combat with the Kobold.
A Cat-folk Ranger that hated my kobold and any other race that wasn't feline.
Gripplie (Frog-race) Ninja that was very good at stealth and slay, except against the Ulfen Barbarian that seemed to have a 50/50 chance of seeing him and ruining said stealth with "WHAT ARE YOU DOING!?! GET BACK HERE!") Had great Str, Con & Wis, but not Int or Cha, and the only one okay with staying out of the library when convinced that staying with Muminofrah was better for the group since she liked him so much. (much to the Frog Ninja's sanity the PC in question retired the Barbarian with Mumuniofrah so when it came time to see her that last time the Barbarian was the one with her :) and Dawww happish endings, did miss the 4d6+20 Damage he seemed to do per attack though)


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Regarding the assassin hit squad - has anyone had any luck in finding a rules-legal way for them to function, either by allowing ranged death attacks or by rewriting the encounter to not required the ranged death attacks to occur? I'm thinking of drafting up a more melee-centric encounter (such as a distraction allowing some to study then close for a melee strike), but that would require re-working the NPCs as well, and I figured I'd see if someone already did the heavy lifting there :)

Silver Crusade

I ended up skipping them completely. I had a character with massive perception (and frequently scent) and it didn't seem like it added that much to the story.

A melee-centric encounter sounds like a better idea.

Scarab Sages

I played it as written, but my PC's were *so* defensed out, that the assassins could only hit on 20's. The party proceeded to chase them through the city and murder them horribly.


Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Grumpus wrote:
The lamia matriarch encounter should be ugly.

My group let the sister go. They escorted her out of town... should be interesting for us, too (though not for several more months while we take on GS due to an absent party member).


Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Interesting... I just noticed that Chisisek's Tomb is not included in the interactive maps. Not that it matters, I have the book and the PDF, it's just curious.

Dark Archive

What's the point in getting permission for the 2nd and 3rd libraries? None of the Nethys cops can go there, even boss cop Deka herself wouldn't last five minutes inside the Dark Depository. Not that they are much fun for Nethys worshippers anyway (hardly any scrolls, let alone spellbooks).

The PCs really do have an incentive to rub her face in it after they have the information they need. They are a) trying to do research in a library and willing to pay, yet her dreadful cult doesn't want people to get knowledge from libraries b) they are PCs thus almost all of them will have spellcasting powers which makes them good guys in the eyes of Nethys and the priests compared to mundane people (from Inner Sea Gods: " He teaches that the use of magic for its own sake is the highest calling of mortals... Likewise, those who perceive new avenues of magic and pursue them gain his favor, regardless of the nature or purpose of the magic.") and c) she's awful and pointlessly obstructionist. They are within their rights to brag about the Blue Feather's failure when they win. Or even better, ally with the temple of Thoth to begin with, ignore her stupid rules and side with the temple who actually likes knowledge and magic.

I'm not sure about the encounter with the Bee Ladies. As written there seems to be an incentive to slaughter a colony of isolationist and Neutral people. It seems a bit unfair and not great for Good PCs. The fact that they have the only decent weapon treasure up until that part of the adventure (the Swarmbow) makes it worse.

The adventure is incredibly low on treasure, right until the last tomb room. However, at that point the PCs should have the Sphinx tomb guardian as an ally, she is meant to be alive to point the party in the right direction for the next adventure. So how can they rob the architect's tomb? Her job is to protect the place, they will be acting as badly as the cultists in her eyes. Of course they can just slaughter her too and take her stuff, but like with the Bee Ladies, it's just encouraging immoral PC behaviour.

It's very odd and I can't imagine any party playing it as written (that requires them to play by the rules in getting permission letters then throwing rules to the wind once in the desert and murderhoboing everything), but the bits that do work are great.

So yes 99% is great. Research rules are great and they should be brought back into general use. A decent Bard, Wizard or especially Investigator will do great (and this AP really needs at least one such PC).

The chariot race is great fun (if very hard to win because who on earth has some of those skills?), the chase rules were good in Crimson Throne and they are now.

Muminofra is a hoot. I'm glad she sails off with her sexy new man, she is an excellent NPC for any Osirion game.


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I just realized that we may start back up over Memorial weekend. Holy smokes, I need to get cracking!

Scarab Sages

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I had the gynosphinx exclaim that she had failed in her duty, specifically guarding Chisisek, and she gave the PC's all of the tomb loot as a payment for letting her go with them to recover the body from the FP. The graven goods were useless in her eyes now that the tomb had been defiled, so re-interring the body became her new focus.

Also, my guys didn't ask permission for either library that wasn't on-site. None of them were Nethysian, and the one Lawful character wasn't big on the whole "bureaucracy" problem, so they bypassed Deka as soon as they could. Then after the AP, when they had earned the Pharoah's ear, they had her executed for being obstructionist.


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We start the chariot race Saturday, then into the DD. Someone up-thread asked "why get permission for the DD and Vault?" IMO, the only reason for DD is to get directions, and for the Vault there is no reason since Deka won't give them directions anyway. "Permission" doesn't seem to change the response of the traps and creatures in either DD or the Vault, IMO. Muminofrah will be gone by the Vault for my guys, and they'll get permission from her for DD during the chariot race.

The research rules are cool, but my crew has a bard (archaeologist) and a priest/monk with tons of knowledge bonuses. With 2 "aid another" checks for each, the knowledge bonus, and some other knowledge love, their first day researching gave them a +21 and a +22 respectively to their checks. I bumped the DC up to account for the additional aid another check, but they still blew it away pretty easily.


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Rob McCreary wrote:
First off, the "three cards" includes the starting card; so successfully completing both checks moves you two cards forward, to card 3 (not card 4).

I've read this a dozen times and I'm quite certain it doesn't make sense. Making 2 checks moves you 3, making 1 check moves you 1. Therefore, making 2 checks moves you 2 more spaces than making 1 check. Since making 1 check moves you from card 1 to card 2 (assuming we're at the start), and making 2 checks moves you 2 more spaces than only 1 check, logically, making 2 checks would be card 4.

I suppose it doesn't matter, since my insane party can probably make both checks every time.

Sovereign Court Senior Developer, Starfinder Team

taks wrote:
Rob McCreary wrote:
First off, the "three cards" includes the starting card; so successfully completing both checks moves you two cards forward, to card 3 (not card 4).

I've read this a dozen times and I'm quite certain it doesn't make sense. Making 2 checks moves you 3, making 1 check moves you 1. Therefore, making 2 checks moves you 2 more spaces than making 1 check. Since making 1 check moves you from card 1 to card 2 (assuming we're at the start), and making 2 checks moves you 2 more spaces than only 1 check, logically, making 2 checks would be card 4.

I suppose it doesn't matter, since my insane party can probably make both checks every time.

The terminology here is a little confusing, which I why I tried to explain it better in my earlier post. So I'll try again:

Making one check moves you *through* one card, from card 1 to card 2. Making two checks moves you through two cards, from card 1, through card 2, to card 3 (the "moving three cards" rule refers to the three cards you "touch" in one turn, cards 1, 2, and 3, not the number of spaces or cards you bypass).

Think of it this way: the chariots have a speed of 100 feet. In normal play, a chariot can move 100 feet as a move action. If the chariot takes another move action, it can move another 100 feet (for a total move of 200 feet).

With the chase rules, each card represents 100 feet. The chariot starts on card 1. As a move action (with a single check), the chariot can move 100 feet to card 2. As a second move action, the chariot can make another check to move another 100 feet (for a total move of 200 feet) to card 3. Moving to card 4 would be a move of 300 feet, which is faster than a chariot can travel in 1 round.


Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Rob McCreary wrote:
The terminology here is a little confusing, which I why I tried to explain it better in my earlier post.

Yeah, the way it's described in the book is likely the problem. I wasn't trying to say that your description upthread didn't make sense, I was trying to say your description upthread didn't seem to jive with the book description.

Quote:
Making one check moves you *through* one card, from card 1 to card 2. Making two checks moves you through two cards, from card 1, through card 2, to card 3 (the "moving three cards" rule refers to the three cards you "touch" in one turn, cards 1, 2, and 3, not the number of spaces or cards you bypass).

Totally makes sense, both in terms of how you describe it, as well as the mechanic itself. I'm also not well versed on the chase rules, which is bad on me to begin with.

I appreciate your response, Rob. I'm really enjoying this book, too, as are my players. They're actually going to sell all of their loot from the end of book 1 and ALL of book 2 (they didn't like the economic degradation, so they kept it all stashed) before we begin Saturday, so I'll be lucky if we actually make it to the race!


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We got through the race and Dark Depository between last week and this weel. While the DD was tough, the 2 clockwork soldiers in The Vault of Hidden Wisdom were murder. Granted, I advanced them both (party of 6, 25 PB), which was a mistake. Still, oof, that one battle drained them and nearly resulted in a TPK. Very fun so far. Well finish the Vault next week then face Khebek-shu and the cultists!


taks wrote:
We got through the race and Dark Depository between last week and this weel. While the DD was tough, the 2 clockwork soldiers in The Vault of Hidden Wisdom were murder. Granted, I advanced them both (party of 6, 25 PB), which was a mistake. Still, oof, that one battle drained them and nearly resulted in a TPK. Very fun so far. Well finish the Vault next week then face Khebek-shu and the cultists!

I was planning on putting 3 advanced soldiers in against my party (6 x 25pb same as yours) as they seem to cruise through most things, will be interesting to see how they handle them


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Advancing them makes their 2 attacks +20/+15, and 1d10+17 damage. Our little Halfling swashbuckler/rogue (with a 5 STR) ran up to face one of the things and nearly died immediately. The monk (with only 20 AC), approached and nearly died immediately. The party freaked out and I started adjusting stats on the fly. I "hinted" that luring them into the intersection was a good idea, which they did, and killed each pretty easily from that point.

Good luck. If you party is like mine (not very melee focused), prepare for tears. :)


Ran the Spiral Archive and then the Chariot Race last night for my group. Two of their chariots spectacularly crashed and burned, and the third one managed to cross the finish line on round 9 to win the race.
The populace of Tephu were both amused and surprised to see the race being won by a 14 year old female and her summoned Eidolon companion in the form of a giant teddy bear !


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I/We had a lot of fun running the race, but my guys got through rather easily. I swear I'm cursed with the dice!

The desert has been quite a lot of fun, too, and we just finished up Chisisek's Tomb. I didn't really get to explain the end of the tomb well (and Tetisurah's ongoing involvement) since everyone had to leave before I got through it all. We won't pick back up till Labor Day weekend in Secrets of the Sphinx. This is a good thing since I haven't done any real work on the new book, yet (well, some, but not the sphinx itself, and that is really where the meat of the whole book lies).


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What would be a good way of letting the PCs know that there is still some knowledge to glean in a library without just telling them that the library has "5" hit points left?

Silver Crusade

Maybe tell them there are some volumes and scrolls on some remaining shelves whose titles look promising.

Alternately, pointing out to them that they don't know where to go next.


Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

My guys would burn through all the combat before researching, at which point it was only a matter of how many days did it take to get to a point where they weren't learning more.


Just be unsubtle, "your research discovers xyz, but you are sure this library has more secrets yet to uncover"


Rob McCreary wrote:
Laric wrote:
I was intrigued by the Udjebet encounter and all the possibilities that could come from it. Is the Uraeus Ring that she is looking for supposed to play some role later on in the AP or is this meant more as a side-trek that left up to the GM's discretion to explore?
The uraeus ring does not appear later in the AP; it is a plot hook for the GM to play with or not.

I did a little sidequest re this, once Muminofrah heard about the ring she did some investigation herself and 'asked' the party to go and retrieve it for her, as she thought it might be nice. I did a separate little dungeon to get the ring back from an ancient sorcerers tower (Just happened to be a few days travel from Tephu).

Once the party got the ring they found it it was ring of splendid security, plus something extra ! So some good role playing on should they give it to Muminofrah, or just keep it.
They eventually decided to give it to her (begrudgingly), which is cool as I intend to keep it going. Once back from the desert they will find out Muminofrah was petrified and robbed (We know who by).

And I'm thinking of some news will reach them that a pretender to the throne has appeared in Sophis, with a item that proves they are the rightful heir (Uraeus - a representation of a sacred serpent as an emblem of supreme power, worn on the headdresses of ancient Egyptian deities and sovereigns.) what do you think ?


My players took part in the chariot race today. They liked the concept, but I regret not changing the skills needed and the DCs involved. They didn't have anyone who could do handle animal and a few of the other skills needed were tricky for them. I wish I'd tweaked it a bit.


Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

You'll likely have the opposite problem during the research portion.


No.... they were using the character sheet from a player who couldn't make it as they didn't have enough smarts between them to do it. I didn't want them to get more frustrated.


Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

They don't have knowledge skills? The list is pretty broad for each topic, and with aid another the only question should be "by how much did you exceed the check?"

Grand Lodge

My group just wrapped up Empty Graves and I have a few questions before we get started on Shifting Sands.

1) Have you found that one of your players generally wears the mask? Obviously it's really useful, but I would imagine it could complicate roleplaying a bit if one of the characters is constantly walking around with a golden funerary mask on. I've been considering having Sebti or Ptemenib casually mention that since the cult is still out there looking for the mask it would be in their best interests to be discreet with it.

2) My party doesn't have any real knowledge-based players, so I'm a little worried that it will take them a long time to get through the research portion. I've considered making an NPC bard to help them out, but I'm worried they might get bored with him doing the bulk of the research. Are the checks particularly difficult without a wizard or bard in the party?

3) One of my PCs is a cleric of Nethys, so I'd imagine he'll be more than a little upset that a fellow Nethysian is trying to stop them from seeking knowledge. I understand her motives, but I'm not sure what reasoning she would give the PCs.

Any help with this stuff would be greatly appreciated. I'm still a fairly new DM (with some fairly new players) so I'm still learning how to adapt some of these things.


Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

1. In order to receive the full benefits, you have to wear it for 24 hours, so yes, only one person is wearing it. There's no roleplaying problem that we encountered. You don't really run into the cult in the city.

2. That may help. However, each topic typically has 3 or 4 knowledge skills that apply (and give generous bonuses), so you don't really need anyone knowledge focused, just make sure every topic can be handled by one (or more) characters. There's no reason you can't modify what applies, e.g., profession or craft instead of similar knowledge, based on your party makeup. Having a bard makes the checks a joke, and even our wizard had no problems. Remember three things: you can have multiple researchers, failure only means that it takes longer to finish, aid another is useful, too.

3. He should be upset. The fellow Nethysian is trying to cover up something as I recall (details are fuzzy atm).

EDIT: modified 2 to be more clear.

Scarab Sages

1) Our Oracle wore the mask from the time they had a legend lore cast on it to ID its powers until the end of the campaign when she had to put it back on Hakotep's corpse to killinate him. Very anti-undead party, so never had to worry about the Ka Pulse. For it being weird, Golarion is a wierd place. Someone walking around with a funeral mask is no more wierd than a typical purple haired gnome.

2) Time is the only thing. If it takes you longer to research, more of the Muminofrah stuff gets to happen. If they breeze the checks like with a bard or an investigator (+1d6 on knowledge checks), then you can miss parts of the scripted Muminofrah events because researching takes so few days with high checks.

3) Deku an-Keret can do what she wants because shes the governess. She never has to really reveal her reasoning, and even though the party pretty much figures out that she's a member of the Blue Feather, Deku would never overtly out herself (let alone connect anything to the intentionally wiped history of Hakotep). The party can play Muminofrah against her, yes, but really, until the group saves Osirion and has the favor of the Ruby Prince, deposing her for being an ass or having enough clout to out her as a fringe cultist to ruin her reputation is something for post campaign. In my campaign, post book 6, the Sentinel of Pharasma (IC a Voice of the Spire who didn't like the whole summon psychopomps ordeal in book 2) proceeded to overthrow both the Voices of the Spire leadership and Tephu's government with the Pharaoh's favor.

Grand Lodge

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@archmagi1, @taks

Thanks for the advice, I think I may have been overthinking things a bit.

archmagi1 wrote:
If it takes you longer to research, more of the Muminofrah stuff gets to happen.

I was a little worried about running out of Muminofrah events at first, but after reading through this thread it looks like the last library is so well hidden that permission might not really be necessary, so I think my group should be just fine.

Thanks again for your help. Starting Shifting Sands this weekend and I can't wait to see how it works out!


Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

We enjoyed it, though I wish I would have worked the research a little differently given our bard archaeologist and wizard. They cleaned out each area first, too, making research just dice rolling to see how many days they had to hang out before getting the information they needed.

Silver Crusade

Related to #2: My players ended up hiring a cleric. Basically, the conversation went something like this.

Players: Can one of the librarians help us out?
Librarians: No. You see, budget cuts...
Players: So what you're saying is there are some out of work librarians in the city that we could hire.

So I let them hire an equivalent of the librarian stat block to help them out. They ended up finding her so helpful they agreed to give her a fair share of the treasure and keep her traveling with them when they left Tephu.

Dark Archive

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Talos the Talon! wrote:
So, I had a TPK.
Richard Pett wrote:
huzzah!

Hahahaha. This guy.

I always get that creepy Cthulu feeling that he's staring over your shoulder, grinning wickedly as the players kill themselves on the most unpredictable module of the campaign.

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