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I figured a discussion thread for GMs that have been prepping this might not be a bad idea. I've been looking over Wardens again to refresh myself now that it has been sanctioned, and have some things that it should be important to remember.
First and possibly most importantly, it should be noted that only half of Alkenstar proper is in a dead magic zone, and spellcasting services are available for up to ninth level spells. While less relevant if just running the PFS Sanctioned Content for each part, it could be very important for people running in home game mode or as a Seeker Arc.
After this, there will be spoilers, I'm not going to spoiler these next points, as this is in the GM Discussion portion of the boards. These observations are based off of running in campaign mode, but can apply just as well to parties just doing the sanctioned content or those running this as a seeker arc.
In part one, Habblegash can make for a powerful ally and a good source of RP in what is otherwise a pretty strightforward dungeon crawl. If your PC's are having a particularly tough time and haven't found him yet consider having an unwitting clockwork spy lead them back, or have an alchemical golem stumble into a fight and lend a hand against the gugs.
Don't be afraid to cut loose with the gugs, and remember that they do have the compression SQ. Gugs are pretty intelligent, at least compared to a good number of the martial characters I've encountered in PFS, so have fun with their tactics. Consider having the Purple Worm stalk the PC's and ambush them with it during another fight that might be otherwise unimpressive for your party, when I ran this in home game mode for fun earlier this year the worm got cut down before it got to take its second turn.
In the bottom level of the mines, the Ogres pretty much just served to spice up the other encounters, they weren't much of a challenge to the party when it was just three of them. For example, once combat starts in B4 the group from B5 should join in, and vice versa. The fight with Raughmir can be pretty brutal, with a +40 on his disguise check he should be able to get the drop on the party pretty reliably. If the party hasn't been particularly challenged yet him getting the drop on one of the less protected party members can be a pretty potent wakeup call, even more so if he gets his rend off. The fight with Murg-Nurk is pretty straightforward, but the close proximity to the conveyors can make things interesting.
Shyar Burkin can make for some good RP for parties that prefer to take the high road. If the party is having a hard time and needs to rest the slave quarters could make for a good spot, the slaves should be able to cover for the party, provided they are willing to help the plight of the slaves.
Metruni can make for a very interesting encounter for parties interested in RP. If the party is interested in RP I would give them the chance to duck into B18 without attacting Orixium's attention, provided they are trying to be sneaky or if they don't venture too far into B17. If the party decides to fight Metruni, this would be a good place to introduce primal magic if you haven't already, especially since Metruni's is geared toward's it. If you are running in home game mode and the PCs are possessed of somewhat looser morals Metruni could also be a possible ally, provided they could entice her with a better offer than what she currently has going on.
If you are running in home game or Seeker Arc mode make sure to remember all of the effects of the Mana Storm in part two and not just the primal magic. Inner Sea Magic does have additional rules concerning Primal Magic on pages 12-13. Of particular note: "A spellcaster casting a spell, using a spell-like ability, or activating a spell completion or spell trigger magic item can make a concentration check (DC = 15 + twice the spell’s level) to focus the magic and avoid triggering a primal magic effect." (ISM, pg 12)
In part three, be sure to remember the hazards in area D9. If the PC's aren't being particularly stealthy, consider having Hrugor pull a gnoll from another area or use a snail to help him reload the cannon while the other constructs make getting to Hrugor more difficult, allowing him to shell the party from range. Also, it seems like it should be hard to miss, but don't do what I did when I ran it for fun and forget that Hrugor is a Huge creature.
When the party deals with the mastermind behind the plot, if they decide to deal with him personally, consider playing up the fact that even with his bodyguards the mastermind is serious outclassed by the now 14-15th level party of PC's. Despite this being at the end, the fight with Hrugor is the actual final fight.
|Iammars Venture-Lieutenant, Conventions—Gen Con|
So, it looks like we'll possible be getting a game of this in the near future - and I was curious a bit about Seeker Arc mode.
When the PCs level up in Seeker Arc mode, does the universe reset like inbetween PFS scenarios (buy/sell whatever, can't keep what you've found unless you pay for it, need to clear conditions, etc.), or do you just gain the level and keep going, gaining all the sheets at the end?
|Jayson MF Kip|
I completed running the arc tonight. We did it over 3 sessions, including the Sulter Mill Outpost. Tonight's session (just the factory) was the shortest, by far.
One of those "this is an obvious error that I can't believe hit print" issues that came up is that Kogra should not have spells. She is not within 1 step of her deity's alignment. Seems handwavable, but it was certainly noted as we reviewed things post-session.