The Fires of Creation (GM Reference)


Iron Gods

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RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

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justmebd wrote:
Neil, out of curiosity, how many times did you give an evil laugh and rub your hands together in a menacing way while you were writing this?

Let's just say...

Spoiler:
...more than once.

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

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Crustypeanut wrote:
...Do the players have to save vs the Blindheim's Blinding Gaze only once, or once per round (Likely on the Blindheim's turn) while they remain within 30 ft of it?

I've always interpreted a blindheim's blinding gaze as essentially a cone-like effect with a 30-foot range. As a gaze attack, it basically affects you if you're looking at a blindheim who's using it. Thus, anyone within that 30-foot area facing it would have to continue saving vs. the effect.

Just my two cents,
--Neil


Neil Spicer wrote:
Crustypeanut wrote:
...Do the players have to save vs the Blindheim's Blinding Gaze only once, or once per round (Likely on the Blindheim's turn) while they remain within 30 ft of it?

I've always interpreted a blindheim's blinding gaze as essentially a cone-like effect with a 30-foot range. Thus, anyone within that area would have to continue saving vs. the effect.

Just my two cents,
--Neil

I used it as a 30 ft radius, but yours makes more sense!

Regardless, my Test-Pcs were in a line and after a few rounds, all were blind, and I had one death as the cleric fell unconscious in the stream and immediately failed his Con check, drowning one round later.

The Gunslinger killed the Blindheim while blind with a miraculous crit, instantly killing it, otherwise they would have all died as it systematically hunted them down while they were blind..

Luckily these were nothing more than Test-PCs. I think when I actually run this campaign with my players, I'll have the Blindheim stop and munch on one Player and let the others flee (if they try to flee). XD

The Exchange

Crustypeanut wrote:
Neil Spicer wrote:
Crustypeanut wrote:
...Do the players have to save vs the Blindheim's Blinding Gaze only once, or once per round (Likely on the Blindheim's turn) while they remain within 30 ft of it?

I've always interpreted a blindheim's blinding gaze as essentially a cone-like effect with a 30-foot range. Thus, anyone within that area would have to continue saving vs. the effect.

Just my two cents,
--Neil

I used it as a 30 ft radius, but yours makes more sense!

Regardless, my Test-Pcs were in a line and after a few rounds, all were blind, and I had one death as the cleric fell unconscious in the stream and immediately failed his Con check, drowning one round later.

The Gunslinger killed the Blindheim while blind with a miraculous crit, instantly killing it, otherwise they would have all died as it systematically hunted them down while they were blind..

Luckily these were nothing more than Test-PCs. I think when I actually run this campaign with my players, I'll have the Blindheim stop and munch on one Player and let the others flee (if they try to flee). XD

My group of five had three players who were blind, the other two ran further into the caves, so at one point 2 PC's were fighting skulks while the other three were blindly flailing at a Blindheim while it wrecked them. That silly thing almost TPK'd my group. But they made it because heroes do heroic things and the dice finally became on their side.

All that said, to Neil, it was a cool and tough enemy that I'd never even knew existed till this book and same to my players so thank you for choosing a unique enemy in that regard.


Agreed! This thing looked so innocent (if horrendously ugly) when I glanced at it in the Bestiary.. but I didn't go through and read its stats.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

If they encounter Hellion, I may need to use my Dr. Claw voice for him, lest my players will do it without me.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I have a question.

Spoiler:
Is the medical lab located on the science deck meant or able to be used as a medical lab for crafting technological items (assuming ofcourse there arent any hostile deranged medical robots present of course. It would be an issue for the players to try to use it immediately without the proper knowledge and with the state itis currently in, but I am thinking later on in the AP, as the players gain knowledge, it might occur to them to return to the dungeon under torch to make use of the fascilities they cleared out.


I would say no, Kolo, as James Jacobs said in another thread that the earliest players will be able to make Technological Items is the 3rd book. Plus, the labs are considered immobile artifacts, and there is no such mention of that in this book.

Plus this was nothing more than a Habitat Module; The Science Deck didn't look capable of manufacturing, instead it looked more for research and examination.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Kolokotroni wrote:

I have a question.

** spoiler omitted **

Nope...

Spoiler:
...it's not stocked enough to serve in that capacity. If your GM wants, he/she can rule otherwise, but as written, it's not until the 3rd adventure that the PCs should gain access to such labs.
The Exchange

Hey guys help me out here, the Returning Gerrol's body quest, A6 page 17, the Mold-Ridden Tunnel, where they find Gerrol the rogue's body who recently married the Weaponsmith's daughter and if they return the body and cure it of the mold, my group just ransacked the bar to make an alcohol tub to burn it off. (Val did not like this but couldn't fight them too much, one the PC's is her adopted older sister)

Either way the reward seems quite skewed, the weaponsmith offers to make a Masterwork quality weapon of any weapon the players want, given time to create it of course, free of charge.

Well I ran into an issue, one of my players is a gunslinger, well by giving them a free masterwork pistol thats a +1300 gold for bringing some body back, compared to someone who got a scimitar who is getting +315.

Should I have simply allowed the gunslinger player to use that as the cost to masterwork his own current pistol? I am just glad the player didn't ask for a Masterwork Double-Barreled pistol or double-barreled musket.

Anyways tell me what you guys think, should I tone down the reward or just let it go?


Well the smith likely can't make a pistol, as it requires the Gunsmithing feat. However, I'd think it would make sense if he gave the Gunslinger the materials necessary to upgrade his own battered pistol (or other firearm) instead, should the Gunslinger request it.

The Exchange

I guess my reasoning was that with this place being such a famed and renowned city for craftsmen and with the prominence of gunslingers in Numeria that the weaponsmiths would likely be able to craft guns. I might just go with what you said though, makes sense and I was on the fence about it anyways.

Dark Archive

I would agree with Crustypeanut, Gun makers are quite rare in golarion. It costs 300gp to restore and one day off work. So that would put him about equal for the reward that everyone else gets. In fact this is what I will be doing in my game.


I'm thinking of re-rolling Meyanda as a warpriest since my party tends to be overpowered due to us rolling stats and a myriad of other little homerules. Any thoughts or suggestions?


Not sure if that would help - in fact, I'd say it would hurt more than help since she'll lose 3rd level spells. Instead, perhaps give her better stats (Perhaps similar to your players) and full HP for her HD?

That or just give her another robot or three, depending on how many players you have and how strong they are. Perhaps some Repair Drones for melee support?


Crustypeanut wrote:

Not sure if that would help - in fact, I'd say it would hurt more than help since she'll lose 3rd level spells. Instead, perhaps give her better stats (Perhaps similar to your players) and full HP for her HD?

That or just give her another robot or three, depending on how many players you have and how strong they are. Perhaps some Repair Drones for melee support?

Thanks, Ive given all my non mooks full health ever since i had a magus one shot a miniboss in skulls and shackles.

I think im gonna give her a stat boost and make her level 7. Im also gonna rework her feats. make her a little more durable. thats what I wanted out of warpriest. Ive always been more martial than magical.

Silver Crusade

Crustypeanut wrote:
Perhaps some Repair Drones for melee support?

The collector's DR is already pretty kick-butt, with the repair drones, it can stay up awhile. You can add another Collector to vastly increase the CR, and give it the Exterminator type with one arm holding an arc-rifle(Timeworn). With a full attack, (i'm not entirely sure since it's integrated) this collector can use both the arc-rifle(Timeworn) and its built in stun gun for ranged support. Or just have it be another front line fighter for Menyanda to hide behind.

Since I'm running 15pt buy, I'm not worried about anything overpowered early on.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Codanous wrote:
Neongelion wrote:
Codanous wrote:
If you have the Numeria campaign setting it talks about and lists original crew members living in hiding in some of the cities.

Wait what?

Seriously? Which page?!?

Page 12 and 13, in the gazetteer on Majoth Hakados, the Mayor as well as another citizen.

I think you misunderstood the text there.

Spoiler:
The Mayor is a lashunta, and the other mentioned citizen is a witchwyrd, both of which are alien but definitely not Androffan.

Androffans are described as humans from a far away world, while lashunta are from Golarion's solar system, and witchwyrds are from somewhere else, but certainly not human.

The Exchange

Zaister wrote:
Codanous wrote:
Neongelion wrote:
Codanous wrote:
If you have the Numeria campaign setting it talks about and lists original crew members living in hiding in some of the cities.

Wait what?

Seriously? Which page?!?

Page 12 and 13, in the gazetteer on Majoth Hakados, the Mayor as well as another citizen.
I think you misunderstood the text there. ** spoiler omitted **

my bad:

Fair enough, I misunderstood when it said witchwyrd, didn't realize that was describing a race though it was describing her profession and I didn't make the connection with the mayor because she is posing as a half-elf and not just as an elf, seems like it'd be easier, also it doesn't directly call out her as being a lashunta so I get a little more forgiveness on that one. Hard to believe that NPC is at least 9000+ years old.
Makes me wonder if the Technic league has some androffans in stasis at their base.


Nick Logue has written part 2...now I really can't wait to get my hands on it!
But wait, how will he incorporate his signature disturbing-mindwarped-horror into a story about space ships...?
.
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----------
Reckless Rat


Question!

The Cerebric Fungus: Its aura, the Unsettling Appearance. I'm assuming that anyone within 60ft thats looking at the fungus must make the save every round or suffer the penalty, correct?

And what if they fail their save, but then stop looking at it? Theres no duration, so it goes away immediately? Does that mean they have to re-save when they look at it again?


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Here's a variety of choices I could think of to up the difficulty.

Change the collector to one of the alternate collectors in its Bestiary entry. One with a more lethal gun! Also possibly replace Meyanda's Inferno Pistol with a Laser Pistol (or whatever stronger pistol you prefer). If the party is a lot of non-humans then change out her Ranger level for something else, such as Inquisitor for Judgement or Slayer for awesome. Give her better armor, the change in gold value should be negligible. Max her HP. Max her bots HP. Give her some more bots. Give her a stronger spell selection. Take some of the loot they find leading up to her and arm her with it instead.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Crustypeanut wrote:

Anyone have any trouble with wizards/alchemists/arcanists and the water entry to the caves? Anyone cruel enough to torture their PCs if they forget to bring a waterproof bag? :P

Ah, that short trip underwater brings me back to my Skull and Shackles campaign..

Also, anyone notice that Baine doesn't have a scroll case/scroll box? How'd he get his scrolls in there safely? One can easily assume that he has one, but considering they put enough detail in what he's carrying to include a winter blanket, cold weather's outfit, and flint and steel, one wonders why they didn't include the all important water-tight scroll case.

I hope he can hold his breath while they bring him back out of the caves, as he doesn't have Water Breathing!

They are supposed to get water breathing cast on them by the cleric in town. Nonetheless, yes wizards, etc have problems swimming, but they have no problem sinking which is for sure.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Nitro-13 wrote:
I'm thinking of re-rolling Meyanda as a warpriest since my party tends to be overpowered due to us rolling stats and a myriad of other little homerules. Any thoughts or suggestions?

Add the advanced creature template, give her an additional bonus feat. One that I would recommend for her at least. Or if you want to challenge the fight early on, start the radiation when they enter the room. Fort Saves for Everyone!


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Codanous wrote:
** spoiler omitted **

Spoiler:
I think you still misunderstand. First, the mayor ist called out as a lashunta in the city stat block. Second, nowhere is it said, or even implied, that she came to Golarion with the Divinity or that she is that old. There is no such association, no indication that the Divinity ever even visited Castrovel. She's just a lashunta that found her way from there to Golarion in her own way.
The Exchange

Zaister wrote:
Codanous wrote:
** spoiler omitted **
** spoiler omitted **

spoiler:
I guess I was just trying to infer more than what was written, figured if its an alien in numeria, its probably from Divinity. I do have distant worlds though and I read up more on Castrovel and the Lashunta and I guess it makes sense that a Lashunta could have traveled to Golarion. Same with the Witchwyrd, still odd that of all the places in Golarion, or inner sea, they would choose to reside in the one place they are overtly hunted, but I guess it calls out they are trying to save and protect fellow aliens.

Either way, I apologize for my continued misunderstanding.


Oliver Veyrac wrote:
Nitro-13 wrote:
I'm thinking of re-rolling Meyanda as a warpriest since my party tends to be overpowered due to us rolling stats and a myriad of other little homerules. Any thoughts or suggestions?

Add the advanced creature template, give her an additional bonus feat. One that I would recommend for her at least. Or if you want to challenge the fight early on, start the radiation when they enter the room. Fort Saves for Everyone!

Adding the advanced template is a good one. ill have to remember that one for my skulls & Shackles game. And one of our home-rules are called hero feats, one feat that you can remove any one pre-req from. i usually give my big bads them anyway.

I honestly just want to ditch the ranger levels since it seems that everybody in some adventure paths are ranger/fighters or rogue/fighters. and my group is likely to have no humans anyway.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Codanous wrote:
Either way, I apologize for my continued misunderstanding.

No need to apologize.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Adding the advanced template is a good one. ill have to remember that one for my skulls & Shackles game. And one of our home-rules are called hero feats, one feat that you can remove any one pre-req from. i usually give my big bads them anyway.

Being the DM, there's no reason you can't just give Monsters and enemy's whatever feat you want.


Squeakmaan wrote:

Adding the advanced template is a good one. ill have to remember that one for my skulls & Shackles game. And one of our home-rules are called hero feats, one feat that you can remove any one pre-req from. i usually give my big bads them anyway.

Being the DM, there's no reason you can't just give Monsters and enemy's whatever feat you want.

true, but that's a slippery slope I don't want to tread upon if I don't have to. otherwise you end up with dragons with 10 more touch ac for no reason and enemies armed with +5 weapons that are mundane for the party. I like the enemies to be capable of everything the party is, otherwise it seems a little too much like a video game in terms of interactivity.

Dark Archive

Does the tech guide explain how the inferno pistol works? I read it as a one shot/reload kind of gun. But it doesn't explain what it uses for bullets or the like or charges for that matter. Little help with this please. My players are notorious for finding all the nooks and crannies of building OP characters and the last thing I want to do is give them awesome tech weapons without some draw backs.

*** Never mind, I just read the one nanite canister bit in the description, but I still have no idea what that is without the tech guide (coming to my house in 2 days). Thanks.


Father Drakov wrote:

Does the tech guide explain how the inferno pistol works? I read it as a one shot/reload kind of gun. But it doesn't explain what it uses for bullets or the like or charges for that matter. Little help with this please. My players are notorious for finding all the nooks and crannies of building OP characters and the last thing I want to do is give them awesome tech weapons without some draw backs.

*** Never mind, I just read the one nanite canister bit in the description, but I still have no idea what that is without the tech guide (coming to my house in 2 days). Thanks.

It should be in the PRD (it's an exception to their usual rule about setting specific content in the PRD).


The Inferno Pistol isn't on the PRD, is a Fires of Creation specific item.

As it holds a full Nanite Canister, it has 10 charges; Nanite Canisters have 10 doses worth of Nanites in them. One shot from the Inferno Pistol uses 1 dose (or charge, as the item calls it). See the Nanite Canister on the PRD for info on the Inferno Pistol's ammunition.

Silver Crusade

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Has anyone fleshed out any of the sidequests as described in the rumors? 4 of these rumors technically are false, but they're a good plot hook.

I'm currently fleshing out the following:

1. For food and country! (rumor 12)
- Easy quest, 1d3 repair drones trying to 'fix' something, either malfunctioning or fully functional pending on PC level. Scattered about the many farms so they could encounter 1 at a time or all at once pending on how evil you feel. tracking DC 10 to find the tracks, insert generic NPC complaining and have some kind of recent crop attack she/he can lead them to. I currently have them with a makeshift camp trying to fix another robot that came with them but burnt out. They're somewhat malfunctioning themselves and resolved to picking the greenest looking lettuce and stuffing it into the downed robot's chest cavity for an amusing scene. They may or may-not be at their little shed pending on wither they're foraging.

2. The Merrymaid killer! who dun it? (rumor 16)
- Someone knew Wrennie's secret, and tried to blackmail her with it. Tired of having to deal with Garmen, she didn't want another cloud to hang over her so she killed him with a poison (DC 15 heal to determine). Talking with 'the working ladies' say that that nothing happened, Sense motive DC (17) says otherwise, (12) says they're simply scared. The girls bring up Garmen's frequent contact with Wrennie but not much else if helpful (from friendly). Wrennie claims he smelled of booze, and if confronted with poison and the PCs can stick it (DC 18 diplomacy), will point towards Garmen and tell some information about Garmen blackmailing her. Else-wise she'll claim that some have been taking a liking to creating their own booze with limited success, perhaps he had spiked it with sludge from black hill. If she speaks about Garmen, she'll say that he may have spiked it for fear of competition. <insert warehouse encounter here, may even have this as a prelude to it>. Garmen will deny it if confronted about it, delay by talking until his thugs are in position to attack. If subdued he'll claim he doesn't know what Wrennie's talking about... If the PCs get this information they can return to Wrennie who finally comes clean (The entire warehouse encouter can be avoided with a DC 25 diplomacy where she tells everything off the bat). In this scenario she'll agree to turn herself in and the town will pay a 200 gold bounty. Another one of the girls will take up running the estabishment.... If Garmen's killed without divulging anything, Wrennie's overjoyed and offers her establishment's services free of charge for the party's stay as well as an interesting night which she'll personally choose the most charismatic PC to 'entertain'. In addition to this, 200 gold for their troubles.

3. Scrappers! (rumor 18)
- Standard Encounter, 1d4 Ratfolk scrappers, remove their crossbow and screaming bolts, replace with shortbow/arrow. Perception DC (15) to notice signs on the road, DC (12) Survival to follow them about 1/4th of a mile to a hidden camp around a rock outcrop. If at night, they're at the camp with a subdued fire, DC 12 perception to spot from the road if the case. Else-wise they'll stealth right at the road to ambush anyone including the PCs (lowest stealth vs highest perception). 100 gold bounty as well as minor treasures from the campsite (if found).

4. Shiny Baubble in the Rough. (rumor 19)
- Garritt has found something interesting in a discarded chunk of technology. A smelter brought it in to use with flame upon black hill and extract skymetals, given that the torch is out, after a few days idling the merchant simply dumped it here and left. Inside the tangled metal and beams he found a crushed locker and within the only salvageable thing being a hard-light-shield (timeworn, cracks on the brace, 12 charges). He's used a charge and was fascinated by it. If the PCs investigate he'll try to hide the fact that he has it. Sense motive 10 easily tells he's hiding something. If pressed for information acting on the sense motive, a DC 15 diplomacy will have him show it, and use a charge to demonstrate the "Best looking bracelet a gnome can have!" He's unwilling to part with it, but will sell it for 1000 gp. If bargained with he'll be willing to part with it if the PCs can get Bazlundi Otterbie to grant him the land of the junkyard as his own. Currently he's junkmaster, but he does not own it, nor the land where it lays. Finding out (knowledge nobility 11, local 13), and going to the Otterbie manor, Bazlundi does not agree to this. She was the only hold out to agree to this mainly because the artisan guilds often go there to pick for scrap. She'll acknowledge that Garritt has helped in the organization, but nobody asked him to. If the party can find the other council members (DC 13 local) and convince them to overrule Balundi, (DC 16 diplomacy each) then in the next council meeting it'll be done. Garritt will go to the town hall to confirm this before handing it over... Another means is to go to the guild hall and convince the artisans that the scrap is useless and Garritt would probably still supply them anyway, they'd just need to ask. A diplomacy DC 18 or a bluff 18 will be sufficient, Balundi will withdraw her hold and the remaining events still occur.

5. Metal that flies (rumor 17)
- Scouting the area for 2 hours indicated reveals nothing but arid land, roll a percentile and if [30%] they find signs of a beast, not as large as thought, but also a strange amount of gears lying about a carcass of a large buffalo. The creature only comes out at night, and if the PCs stake it out, they can catch a glimpse of an attack (darkvision perception 15) or hear it (perception 13), but it's usually too far to make it in time. If the party uses bait (some medium sized animal) and stake it out, the creature will come to them on the following night. It's a night Wyvern, but it appears the metallic thing in its chest is of some mechanical design. This would normally be a TPK at this level, but the creature seems to be severly weakened by this object lodged in its chest and suffers a -6 Strength, Constitution penalty, as well as a -4 dexterity penalty. Blood oozes from where the metal object is lodged in its chest wounding it such that it only has 40 HP and it will not fly and attack (CR 4). If they choose to kill it, a DC 15 engineering (technologist) check will determine that the machine apparently is a gearsman, though mangled from the ordeal. The arm of it is jabbed in the wyvern's chest and if extracted, holds a timeworn chainsaw with 8 charges remaining (last use > 1 week so it'll malfunction on first use).

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Yeah, the inferno pistol, being specific to the first adventure of Iron Gods, is not in the PRD. It was created specifically to hand out what's essentially a low-powered laser pistol for low level characters, in any event.


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So, having finished the 1st adventure with a group of test PCs (Only 11 deaths! ONLY!), I think I have only a few minor changes I'd like to make for when my actual players run through it.

Malfunctioning Drone:
This poor little drone died before it could even blink, let alone take a whack at a player. I think giving it back its +20 Hp would help make this combat more than "Oh, I go before it, it's dead!". Perhaps even having its malfunctioning cause small electrical discharges each round (1d4 Electricity per round to one random player within 5 ft, DC 10 Ref Negates) might spice it up a teensy bit. Keep it staggered and without its other abilities, though. I mean, the adventure goes from this weak little thing to the terror-in-the-dark known as a Blindheim rather quickly after all! Let the players have a little teaser about the horrors that await them. :D

Sanvil Trett:
One of the biggest disappointments in my test-run was the battle against Sanvil, who ambushed the players after they had cleared the Science Deck and were dragging the half-incapacitated Khonnir Baine (And the dead Groog the Barbarian) back to Torch. For all of his awesomeness potential as a helpful NPC-turned-backstabber, he died incredibly easy (2 rounds), even though the players were down a person and were low on resources, and he had his spell-defenses up and ready for them.

Since the spells aren't listed in his spellbook (Only the ones he has prepared), the main change I'm going to make with him is his spells-prepared and what spells he buffs himself with before combat.

With only a mere 16 AC, it doesn't matter if he has Mirror Image up or not; He's going to get hit incredibly easy. As a result, I plan on swapping Corrosive Touch with Shield, a standard Magus spell that no Magus should go without if they're expecting trouble. Chill Touch is also out for the standard-issue Shocking Grasp. Shocking Grasp makes a ton of sense as well, considering Sanvil would know about robots' weakness vs electricity, should he accidently come across one when pursuing the players.

In addition, due the fact he'll be relying more on Shocking Grasp and Spell Recall, he's probably going to drop Pool Strike altogether, considering Poolstrike's mere 2d6 damage vs Shocking Grasp's 4d6. This would be the only real change to his character's stats, as any magus can prepare different spells. I'm torn between Flamboyant Arcana, giving him the Opportune Parry and Riposte deed, or the Arcane Insight arcana, allowing him better accuracy.

Regardless, as it stands he has a very difficult time surviving against the players; Even the Blindheim earlier in the adventure proved more a threat, sadly.

Meyanda:
The -only- difference I'd make to Meyanda would be to change up Searing Light for something else. That spell is pitiful for a 3rd level spell (2d8? No thanks. In my playtest she did 3 damage with it.) Probably would replace it with something simple, like Blindness/Deafness, though perhaps giving her Summon Monster III and have her summon 1d3 Akatas from the 2nd level spell list would be fun!

Ratfolk Scrappers & Scarwall Fanatics:
Although the fanatics' usage of improvised weapons is not particually efficient, its very flavorful and I'm going to keep it that way. I'm really tempted to make them Unbreakable Fighters though, replacing Improved Initiative. This "Fight until their dead" attitude would do well if they fought until their very last breath, using Diehard to remain up, if staggered.

As for the Scrappers, their tactics are obviously designed around them being melee combatants, using their swarming trait to great effect. That being said, they only have a +3 attack when swarming. All of my PCs had an 17+ AC, making them rather ineffective. I think replacing Improved Initiative for Weapon Finesse would would better. And I would like to add that they aggro'd the entire force of fanatics and scrappers -at once- due to their choice of which doors to take. One group of Fanatics/Scrappers flanked them from the rear while the main group attacked from the front, since the players were trapped in a 5-ft wide corridor. The players had little issue fighting them off, even if it took ages due to the cramped conditions.

That being said, this adventure was amazingly fun to run with a test-group and I really, really can't wait to get started with my actual players. Hilariously enough, they're calling their adventuring party "Hoots' Hellions", with Hoots being this guy, an Aasimar-Tengu (Plumekith) Gunslinger. I think they'll be surprised when they encounter the Fanatics screaming "For Hellion!" and whatnot.

@Ayanzo: I may look into some of those ideas! Nice! Especially if my players lose out on some experience by missing a few things here or there.


Not sure if I'm missing something, but that first encounter with the malfunctioning drone came across as pretty sad to me too...It's listed in the book as a CR1 encounter, but it consists of a single CR1/2 monster? When putting the encounter into Fantasy Grounds I just threw another drone in to put it up to CR1, but I really like Crustypeanut's idea of the extra hitpoints and shock...so what I'm going to do is keep both, add the extra hit points, and then rule that whenever someone hits one in melee the robot is zapped for 1d2 damage and the PC who hit takes 1d2-1 damage (all electric). If it's shot with a ranged attack a random creature adjacent to the drone is shocked.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Fraust wrote:
Not sure if I'm missing something, but that first encounter with the malfunctioning drone came across as pretty sad to me too...It's listed in the book as a CR1 encounter, but it consists of a single CR1/2 monster? When putting the encounter into Fantasy Grounds I just threw another drone in to put it up to CR1, but I really like Crustypeanut's idea of the extra hitpoints and shock...so what I'm going to do is keep both, add the extra hit points, and then rule that whenever someone hits one in melee the robot is zapped for 1d2 damage and the PC who hit takes 1d2-1 damage (all electric). If it's shot with a ranged attack a random creature adjacent to the drone is shocked.

The malfunctioning drone is indeed a CR 1/2 creature; the CR score at the start of the encounter is wrong.

It's not supposed to be a tough encounter for the PCs. It's supposed to be an easy first encounter, not one that has a chance at a TPK. Those come later. ;-)


A CR 1 encounter probably shouldn't have much of a chance of a TPK, especially when it's the first encounter and happens basically in town. I appreciate the info, knowing what the intent was...but I personally don't like this encounter. Love the adventure as a whole, and super stoked to pick up the rest though :)


Considering one of my players does 1d12+12 damage (Orc Barbarian with 22 strength off the bat, without raging, but with power attack), I'm definitely adding back the +20 Hp to the drone. It has low enough AC and hits fairly light anyways, so theres no chance it would be able to TPK them.

I'm not expecting it to be a tough encounter. I just want it to last more than one hit :D

There is indeed time enough for.. uh.. other dangers, as I know well JJ. That Blindheim, for example.. or Hetuath.


Knowing my party, they'll probably destroy the blindheim but get their [REDACTED] wrecked by some pushover encounter. Like the time in our old Star Wars game where a single Battle Droid dropped 75% of the party with the worlds longest stream of crits. He then became a reacurring character and eventualy a full fledged PC. Ahh fun times that 6R-9...


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My party has a barbarian who really did destroy the drone in one swing in the first round of combat. I don't really see a problem with that. It was just after the inquisitor tried diplomacy to no avail, so everyone had a good laugh when greataxe diplomacy proved much more persuasive. Its not really a challenge but it does get the party thinking about robots and the other strange oddities to come. Considering much of the Black Hill caves are standard fare, the encounter sets up some foreshadowing of the craziness beyond.


There isn't a problem with your situation Angry Cow. You and your group had fun :)


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Angry Cow wrote:
My party has a barbarian who really did destroy the drone in one swing in the first round of combat. I don't really see a problem with that. It was just after the inquisitor tried diplomacy to no avail, so everyone had a good laugh when greataxe diplomacy proved much more persuasive. Its not really a challenge but it does get the party thinking about robots and the other strange oddities to come. Considering much of the Black Hill caves are standard fare, the encounter sets up some foreshadowing of the craziness beyond.

Ha! Greataxe diplomacy! I'm going to use that one.


Jam412 wrote:
Angry Cow wrote:
My party has a barbarian who really did destroy the drone in one swing in the first round of combat. I don't really see a problem with that. It was just after the inquisitor tried diplomacy to no avail, so everyone had a good laugh when greataxe diplomacy proved much more persuasive. Its not really a challenge but it does get the party thinking about robots and the other strange oddities to come. Considering much of the Black Hill caves are standard fare, the encounter sets up some foreshadowing of the craziness beyond.
Ha! Greataxe diplomacy! I'm going to use that one.

That reminds me of a certain movie with Keven/Kevin Sorbo.


Ended up taking 2 rounds for my group's barbarian to take out the Drone, after I gave it back its 20 hp. He succeeded on both his saves to avoid the electric shock from striking it, so it was an easy combat regardless of my changes. XD


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I just went through my first session GM'ing this AP for 4 PCs.
- Sophia, Aasimar Dawnflower Dervish (Against the Technic League) from Qadira
- Xari, Android Slayer (Robot Slayer) from Torch
- Vicol, Male Human Iron Cleric of Brigh (Local Ties) from Torch
- Undisclosed Name Human Arcanist (Numerian Archaeologist) from Torch

They faced the malfunctional drone and with a very good roll on knowledge (engineering), they determined a way to shut it down by tearing off a wire (they could locate it because the drone didn't have much plating to speak of), so after a successful grapple and pin they could easily disable it and nobody was injured.

They talked with Val, Dolga and Joram, and then entered the caves after a rather difficult swim (only the android could take 10 and succeed, all the others had a low strength score, no swim skill and were sickened, good for them thay had water breathing) they dispatched the fire beetles with ease, climb up to A3 (ignoring A2 for the moment, yay vision blocking software!), recognize poor Parda, notice the half-eaten corpse in A4 and all hell broke loose with the Blindheim!

They were dismayed when I told them to save against blindness EVERY ROUND, complaining that the fight was about to become a TPK and barely surviving with no casualties thanks to Vicol's channel positive energy and some lucky hits from Xari and Sophia. The arcanist (the only one who kept his sight) fled in the wrong direction alerting the skulk watch, who disappeared just after being spotted.

Now the PCs are rightfully fearing for their lives, every last of their spells, spell-like abilities and supernatural abilities exhausted and a long journey ahead to save Khonnir. They're also going to give proper burial in Torch to the dead, both Parda and the unknown thug when they come back to the surface (and I imagine that will be pretty soon).

Yeah, the Blindheim scared the hell out of my players and I fully recognize a cause for TPK there without the support of a cleric AND some good rolls, but I'm definitely having a lot of fun GMing this!

Silver Crusade

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Since my Bestiaries were still packed post-moving, I just used these Blindheim stats (from Tome of Horrors, it seems), which includes the line "A successful save renders the creature immune to the same blindheim’s eye beams for 24 hours." That's the rule we used in facing the creature (which STILL almost killed our party of 5), and I found it worked pretty well. Two characters wound up blinded, and many of the others opted to fight the creature without looking at it directly, taking a miss chance instead.

We had our first session tonight, and made it through Parts 1&2 successfully. We play on Roll20, and the players who could make it tonight were:

A female Kellid skald, from Torch
A female half-elf silver-dragon bloodline bloodrager, from Torch
A female pistolero from Absalom
A male android card caster magus
and a deaf female Kellid oracle

I set the opening scene in the Foundry Tavern, where the skald and bloodrager were discussing Khonnir's disappearance since they both took the background trait that involved having known him, and would have access to hang out in the Tavern even while it was closed. The others wandered in seeing lights on, and Val's screams and the ensuing simple robot encounter were great for sudden party cohesion and creating talking points for them, given that some had knowledge of Numerian tech and others didn't.

They bypassed a few encounters in the cave unwittingly by immediately climbing up and taking the stalagmite forest through to the blindheim cave. I was surprised that they wanted to continue with two of their party members blinded (and another functionally deaf already) after that fight, but they moved on, and headed right into the skulk lair. They diplomatically struck the deal with Sef, and cleared out the gremlins without even triggering any of the traps. The advanced jinkin leader actually proved really challenging for them in the confining space, and it was only through knocking him prone and flanking him that they finally managed to consistently hit his AC. (But keep in mind... two were still blind).

Considering the PCs who have background stories tied to Khonnir were loath to leave him to his mysterious fate and had to be talked into going back to town by their party mates despite their depleted health and spell pool, I have a feeling we'll probably press through Parts 3&4 next time, or at least close to. Unfortunately, with the number of encounters they managed to avoid, they're still not level 2 yet despite me dumping an additional couple hundred on them for good RPing in general. I know the path recommends players be level 2 while exploring the habitat module, but I'm wondering if other people ran into this, and how their 1st level players might have fared going in against the Kasatha skeletons. We might just stop mid-session to level, if necessary.

Silver Crusade

Aurelian Greyfire wrote:
Unfortunately, with the number of encounters they managed to avoid, they're still not level 2 yet despite me dumping an additional couple hundred on them for good RPing in general.

Bump up the random encounters, perhaps put in the sidequest about ratfolk scrappers or have something else spur them to help. Given that the players with local ties will want to press on deeper, and you returned to town, you can re-position the skipped encounters, perhaps even have the brown mold grow in size so they at least encounter it.

In all else, once they fight the Gelarn, that should be enough to tip them to level2.

Silver Crusade

Ooo, I like the idea of having the brown mold spread. Excellent.

Given that they're likely to be adding a party member or two next week, it's definitely a good place to shoe in some town encounters that I can tie their introductions into before they have a chance to head back down. I don't think they're likely to prioritize investigating any other rumors at the moment, but I can probably tailor some of those sidequests into events that run into them while they're about town. I'm also planning on placing their invitations to Silverdisk Hall and their first encounter with Sanvil here, so hopefully between all those things, they'll wind up with plenty.

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