# Shifting Sands (GM Reference)

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

Very excited to start this campaign this weekend!

I was hoping for some clarification regarding the chariot race.

Where it says that a PC can attempt to move 3 cards in one turn by overcoming both obstacles on the card...does that mean that if they do succeed at both checks that they get to skip to a card 3 cards in advance, or does it mean that they have to make both checks on each of the 3 cards? I'm assuming the first but wasn't very sure since you can read "exiting" as something that happened on each of those 3 cards. So if that is correct, at the very start on card 1, if they succeed at both obstacle checks, they would end on card 4 and next round make the checks from there? Thanks in advance!

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TerraZephyr wrote:

Very excited to start this campaign this weekend!

I was hoping for some clarification regarding the chariot race.

Where it says that a PC can attempt to move 3 cards in one turn by overcoming both obstacles on the card...does that mean that if they do succeed at both checks that they get to skip to a card 3 cards in advance, or does it mean that they have to make both checks on each of the 3 cards? I'm assuming the first but wasn't very sure since you can read "exiting" as something that happened on each of those 3 cards. So if that is correct, at the very start on card 1, if they succeed at both obstacle checks, they would end on card 4 and next round make the checks from there? Thanks in advance!

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). The two checks are the obstacles on the card that the character is leaving, i.e., on card 1.

The Chase Cards Deck actually modifies these rules slightly. The character chooses two obstacles - one on the starting card, one on the second card - and if both are successful, moves to the third card. Failing either check means you don't move forward at all; failing both checks "mires" the character on the first card. In this way, you don't get to completely skip over the second card, but either way works for the race.

Really good work on this module.
I especially like the focus on roleplay, the reasearch rules (brilliant) and the race.

This is quite possibly the deadliest library ever. That said, I have a character who's been wondering if there'd ever be any use for all his Acrobatics and Climb ranks, and I can now tell him yes, yes, there will be.

 Contributor

Windspirit wrote:

Really good work on this module.

I especially like the focus on roleplay, the reasearch rules (brilliant) and the race.

Thanks Windspirit, I appreciate your kind words and glad you like it. I really hoped the research rules would work well mechanically, this adventure obviously calls for a lot and I wanted to try to bring in a 'combative' feel to it. Hopefully others will feel the same but I'm interested in how it plays out.

The race made me smile as I was writing it.

Rich

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After reading the full library part, I do have a slight concern. After they discover the Handout, what's the motivation to go after the Architect?
The library hunt has so far a good arc, but after the handout I fail to see (except that the library points are still not 0) the motivation to dug on. Then they get the last piese from the dark library that would lead to the last one....however why bother. they now have a location of the heart. Even if they later can get the info that someone discovered something, I miss the point why the architect is important.

some other things ...
= in the spiral library the stalkers just attack. How do curators or permitted guest get past?
= the dark library has no public access methods. How would permitted guest get past the glyp?
= after the spiral library the PC don't really need any permission s anymore

TETISURAH p. 47 is missing her Domain

based on spells probably Fire

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Just going to leave this link here for everyone...

Photos

Rob McCreary wrote:
TerraZephyr wrote:

Very excited to start this campaign this weekend!

I was hoping for some clarification regarding the chariot race.

Where it says that a PC can attempt to move 3 cards in one turn by overcoming both obstacles on the card...does that mean that if they do succeed at both checks that they get to skip to a card 3 cards in advance, or does it mean that they have to make both checks on each of the 3 cards? I'm assuming the first but wasn't very sure since you can read "exiting" as something that happened on each of those 3 cards. So if that is correct, at the very start on card 1, if they succeed at both obstacle checks, they would end on card 4 and next round make the checks from there? Thanks in advance!

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). The two checks are the obstacles on the card that the character is leaving, i.e., on card 1.

The Chase Cards Deck actually modifies these rules slightly. The character chooses two obstacles - one on the starting card, one on the second card - and if both are successful, moves to the third card. Failing either check means you don't move forward at all; failing both checks "mires" the character on the first card. In this way, you don't get to completely skip over the second card, but either way works for the race.

Ah, thanks! I was pretty sure I was missing something in there.

 Contributor

Darrell Impey UK wrote:

Just going to leave this link here for everyone...

Awesome:)

Thanks for sharing Darrell.

Windspirit wrote:

Really good work on this module.

I especially like the focus on roleplay, the reasearch rules (brilliant) and the race.

Yes, the research rules in this volume were a great idea. They add much more tension.

Well done Mr. Pett!

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I can't wait for my PCs to get to the Dark Depository.

Worst. Library. Ever.

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Heh heh...

The libraries look like (dark) fun.

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I love almost everything about this one - the library is fantastic, there are great RP moments and NPCs - it's totally lived up to my expectations!

Except.... I've recently taken my group through the Rise of the Runelords and they are kind of Lamia Matriarched out. Can anyone suggest an alternative?

Windspirit wrote:

After reading the full library part, I do have a slight concern. After they discover the Handout, what's the motivation to go after the Architect?

The library hunt has so far a good arc, but after the handout I fail to see (except that the library points are still not 0) the motivation to dug on. Then they get the last piese from the dark library that would lead to the last one....however why bother. they now have a location of the heart. Even if they later can get the info that someone discovered something, I miss the point why the architect is important.

some other things ...
= in the spiral library the stalkers just attack. How do curators or permitted guest get past?
= the dark library has no public access methods. How would permitted guest get past the glyp?
= after the spiral library the PC don't really need any permission s anymore

I think these are great questions Windspirit and I share your concern around the PCs going off chasing after the Heart of Hakotep in Sothis (which is what I would want to do if I were playing this adventure).

Another question:

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?

 Senior Developer

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.

Does anybody have any suggestions for upconverting Risen from the Sands to an appropriate level for the Parched Dunes exploration in book 3?

Darrell Impey UK wrote:

Just going to leave this link here for everyone...

I've been wondering how Udjebet actually gets IN to the Spiral Archive in the first place; do I assume she picks the lock of the Door of the Eye and bypasses the trap? As well as this, I assume the Invisible stalkers are not security of the library since there is no assumption in the text that they won't attack curators or those given passage.

Maybe I'm a bit sad, but I love to rationalize the encounters and the reasons for them and my group tends to be quite keen on having at least a half-decent reason as to why they are having to fight an enemy who seems to have breezed into the area!

Anyone got any comments on this? Or is it a case of gameplay first, reasons second?!

Overall, loving the AP. The first three paths really nail the theme beautifully and the extra rules add a lot to the core.

:-)

It is extremely difficult for the party to have any reason to fight Udjebet, I merely had her act like a another patron of the library (as discussed in her stat block), the PC's were initially curious but after discovering she knew very little about what they were looking for and the magic rings she was looking for seemed unneeded to them, they tended to leave her be.

Even though they passed the sense motives it merely showed she was hiding something which merely lead to the Shadowdancer trying and follow her through the city and when she spotted him, she went into a nearby alley and waited for him to come around the corner then used her Gaze, he passed and ran for it, she then decided it was no longer safe in the city for her as her cover was blown completely.

Chase/Race Card questions:
After reading the chase and race rules, due to the nature of the challenges if you do make the cards, do you play them "face up" so the players can see what they face before they get there, or "Face Down" revealing what is there when someone gets there? If the later do you reveal what they bypassed or leave it for discovery by the group who comes later.

I am thinking of doing face down, to keep the attempts on their lives by the cultists a surprise. But I would hate to perturb our group's rules aficionado.

I tend to just describe what is happening in a chase scene without ever showing the PC's the Cards, ie if it says something like "Fruit Stall", Drive/Intimidate I will describe the party approaching a vendor and give them the options you can try to steer your cart around him (Drive check) or just plough right through expecting him to get out of the way (Intimidate Check), or they can come up with their own solution (some of which involved the PC using the Mask to bypass them with use of the SLA's)

Rob, I am back to beating my dead horse about treasure. Our party is now 7th level we have found no treasure of note in book 3. We found 3 suits of +1 leather armor a 2nd or 3rd level item after the fight with three maxed out assassins. nothing after the bone golem or the cool mummy that we fought.

Story wise the nitpick I have is more clues could have been dropped about Denka and her membership in her order. I am really enjoying the story.
It would have been really easy treasure wise while the party was researching in the one of the libraries to place magic scrolls or a spell
and would have fit the theme.

It would have been nice to find a player handout with a book about the esoteric order of the Palantine Eye and a handout about the Sky Pharaoh we know very little about him. Would have it killed you to put in an amulet that gave a bonus in knowledge history or arcane [not a game breaker at all].

How our our characters supposed to by level Appropriate gear if we find little or no treasure? our Gm is trying to keep close to what is written in the books.

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I am preparing for the Chariot Race and reading up on "vehicles" in the Ultimate Combat Guide pages 170-180. It states the following:
Driving Check: When a driver takes a driving action, she must make a driving check to determine the maneuverability and speed of the vehicle that round. The vehicle's propulsion determines what skill is used for the driving check. A driver can always make a Wisdom check in place of a driving check. The base DCs for all driving checks are DC 5 and DC 20. Use the lower DC when the driver is not in combat and the higher DC when the driver is in combat.
My question in regards to this race; can any character use a wisdom check in place of any of the other represented checks for these race cards? Or are the variant Chase Rules from GameMastery Guide somehow altering the drive check?
Thanks!

 Senior Developer

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john wood wrote:

I am preparing for the Chariot Race and reading up on "vehicles" in the Ultimate Combat Guide pages 170-180. It states the following:

Driving Check: When a driver takes a driving action, she must make a driving check to determine the maneuverability and speed of the vehicle that round. The vehicle's propulsion determines what skill is used for the driving check. A driver can always make a Wisdom check in place of a driving check. The base DCs for all driving checks are DC 5 and DC 20. Use the lower DC when the driver is not in combat and the higher DC when the driver is in combat.
My question in regards to this race; can any character use a wisdom check in place of any of the other represented checks for these race cards? Or are the variant Chase Rules from GameMastery Guide somehow altering the drive check?
Thanks!

Yes, the chase mini-game in the adventure is meant to replace the normal vehicle rules. This is partly because the vehicle rules don't really work well for chases & races, and partly because the chase rules allow for a wider variety of obstacles and skill checks.

Since there are no "drive checks" in the race, I would say they can't be completed with just a Wisdom check. It wouldn't make sense to replace something like a CMB check or Reflex save with a Wisdom check, and that's one of the reasons each obstacle in a chase has two checks - if a PC thinks he can't succeed on one of the checks, he can try the other one instead.

Rob, I really like the desert exploration phase of book 3. The story is real good. I am really looking forward to finding the Spire.
the only thing lagging is the WBL curve we are about 13000 gp per character though we lost about 5000 gp to Deka when we got arrested. But that was fun too.

Rob

:
Does a Behier count as a Linnhorn for kingship in the land of the Linnhorn Kings?

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Lou Diamond wrote:

Rob, I really like the desert exploration phase of book 3. The story is real good. I am really looking forward to finding the Spire.

the only thing lagging is the WBL curve we are about 13000 gp per character though we lost about 5000 gp to Deka when we got arrested. But that was fun too.

Rob ** spoiler omitted **

I would have to say that no, a behir probably wouldn't count as a linnorm. Because it's a behir, not a linnorm. :)

That said, if a character were to manage to transport a dead behir all the way from Osirion to the Lands of the Linnorm Kings, and was able to convince enough people that it was, in fact, a linnorm, it might be enough. But that would ultimately be the GM's call.

Question about the Nameless Assassins Event...

Am I missing something or is the combat tactics for this event trying to imply that the assassins are going to use their death attacks via their heavy repeating crossbows? As I understand the assassin death attack, it's melee attack only.

Quote:

Question about the Nameless Assassins Event...

Am I missing something or is the combat tactics for this event trying to imply that the assassins are going to use their death attacks via their heavy repeating crossbows? As I understand the assassin death attack, it's melee attack only.

Any weapon capable of doing a sneak attack, and must be in a condition that allows a sneak attack (flat-footed, invisible, flanked, etc).

Which also restricts the attack to 30 feet, unless they have something to increase sneak attack range.

Fun Fact! The curators don't go down into the Dark Depository to announce closing time, and the Daemon doesn't attack permissed individuals (with proof of course). My group just decided that they'd stay all night, got the place researched fully in the two cycles that 24hrs, and went on their merry way to finding a retired curator that they could bribe into directions to the Dark Depository.

Their only problem is gonna be whether or not my random # of days rolls between Muminofra summons will eat them up during the Depository and Library #4 adventures and the kobold gets thrown in jail.

I still think Muminofra's pleasure barge should have a trap door on the raised pyramid that goes to a fight with one of the CR11 giant crocs from the Legacy of the Pharaohs book.

archmagi1 wrote:

Fun Fact! The curators don't go down into the Dark Depository to announce closing time, and the Daemon doesn't attack permissed individuals (with proof of course). My group just decided that they'd stay all night, got the place researched fully in the two cycles that 24hrs, and went on their merry way to finding a retired curator that they could bribe into directions to the Dark Depository.

Their only problem is gonna be whether or not my random # of days rolls between Muminofra summons will eat them up during the Depository and Library #4 adventures and the kobold gets thrown in jail.

I still think Muminofra's pleasure barge should have a trap door on the raised pyramid that goes to a fight with one of the CR11 giant crocs from the Legacy of the Pharaohs book.

:D wooo! Another Kobold in the Mummy Mask.

How do the nameless Assassins get to do Death Attack at ranged?

Assassin Death Attack only works "with a melee weapon" according to the GRD on Assassins

The farewell party that the Cult gives you is a bit deadly if you didn't like all the Tephu events and brushed over much of that. All six thug cultists, Khabekh-Shu, and Akitar made for a particularly brutal fight. Well, the falchions did crit five times, and the 10d6 cones and bolts were in the upper 30's. Dropped 2 PC's, and had both melee's in sub 20hp.

I could have easily put a TPK on them with the third cone of cold, but wanted less to start a new campaign than instill more hatred of the cult into the party.

The 80K worth of loot in the Tomb of Chisisek was pretty impressive for my party. I think they're only a bit upset that they've got to trek all the way back to Ipeq to sell it all (no arcane caster // no telepo).

Sorry, I'm reading book three and I might just be missing it, but is the Dark Depository always deadly? Besides being a follower of Nethys, is there any other way past the traps? If it's always deadly, won't the librarians be really pissed to have all their defenses destroyed by people they gave permission to be there?

Yes, they should be pissed. There are a couple of "librarian" pawns on the pawn set for mummy mask :)
They should have someone at least "friendly" with nethys by now though, after all the trouble with the Anhkat. My group's magus is a follower of nethys now and BFF with the Anhkat.

The map for Chisisek's Tomb isn't in the Interactive PDF. Any chance of an upload w/o the tags? It'd really help those of us who run online.

OK just had the encounter with Jamirah, please tell me how she's balanced at all? With her BAB being that high, 4 to 5 attacks (if Hasted), Mirror Image, Vanish, and being a level 8 Rogue on top of being a Matriarch. She's not a CR12 in the least, has anyone had issues with her? This is supposed to be balanced against a group of 4 players who are level 9?

My group didnt have any issues with her. Her damage per attack is disastrously low unless she crits with her bow. Those 4 attacks at d8+5 barely compares to a single attack from my groups 2h PA guy, and her dpr was lower than the twf ranger in the group as well. In a 1 on 1 encounter with no fliers, it could get hairy, but with Tetsura, our blaster oracle, and our archer investigator all flying, they had her pretty much killed before the two melees even finished climbing the walkway and killing her mooks.

She did get a full round of attacks including 1 crit in with her bow after our investigator popped his invis to studied strike her and gave him a bit of hurt, but with the oracle and Tetsura closing in, she had to give up the ranged quickly as she retreated into the pyramid.

The 8 rog levels don't bump her cr more, though, because they're a non favored type of class levels. AKA complicated monster math that doesn't always add up in play.

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Candra wrote:
Sorry, I'm reading book three and I might just be missing it, but is the Dark Depository always deadly? Besides being a follower of Nethys, is there any other way past the traps? If it's always deadly, won't the librarians be really pissed to have all their defenses destroyed by people they gave permission to be there?

I am also a bit confused regarding the "Inner Sanctum" libraries, what protection does 'having permission' give the PCS?

Is it just freedom from persecution of trespassing/theft if they get caught? Or is there some protection from the guardians that having proper permission gives the party?

The gorilla daemon in the spiral archive eats people without permission. Other than that, I don't think it matters. That is the only one my group asked permission for, as they were actively feuding with Deka and doing their best to avoid Muminofra. They succeeded on the diplomacy check to find the Dark Depository and then went there without the permission of the Library. The implication is that the curators don't go there at all, so trespassing isn't an issue. The bone golem and the shadow mastifs don't discriminate who they attack, and other than the Mummy Golem (set by the Blue Feather), the rest are just traps.

The vault of hidden wisdom just isn't known. The curators specifically don't know where its at, and Deka, if she even knows, isn't going to tell the PCs.

archmagi1 wrote:

My group didnt have any issues with her. Her damage per attack is disastrously low unless she crits with her bow. Those 4 attacks at d8+5 barely compares to a single attack from my groups 2h PA guy, and her dpr was lower than the twf ranger in the group as well. In a 1 on 1 encounter with no fliers, it could get hairy, but with Tetsura, our blaster oracle, and our archer investigator all flying, they had her pretty much killed before the two melees even finished climbing the walkway and killing her mooks.

She did get a full round of attacks including 1 crit in with her bow after our investigator popped his invis to studied strike her and gave him a bit of hurt, but with the oracle and Tetsura closing in, she had to give up the ranged quickly as she retreated into the pyramid.

The 8 rog levels don't bump her cr more, though, because they're a non favored type of class levels. AKA complicated monster math that doesn't always add up in play.

What about Stunning Assault and her 4d6 sneak attack added into her melee attacks though? Mirror Image as well on top of it? We have 2 Bloodragers, an Oracle healer and an Arcanist. One was Charmed, the other got stunned via Stunning Assault (the save is DC 28) on the first strike, then 4 more attacks at 1d8+7 (her Cruel Longspear) +4d6.

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.

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?

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In regards to getting permission to be in the libraries my group followed the rules up until the last day in The Vault of Hidden Wisdom. They were tired of Muminofrah and her childish behavior, and decided it was in their best interest to skip asking for permission to squeeze out the last bit of knowledge (hidden in the rotunda). As they came to the intersection past the pit trap a golden beam of light filled the area and there stood an Inevitable Zelekhut, chastising them for seeking forbidden knowledge and promising to send them back to the anarchic realms they serve. One knowledge the planes check later the group decided to immediately leave the library and go see Muminofrah.

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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?

@Grumpus, I could be mistaken, but isnt the tomb actually hidden? If so, they cant find it even if they explore the entire hex, they need someone to give them a clue to the tomb's location.

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