6-10 The Wounded Wisp (spoilers within!)


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Shadow Lodge

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Looks like this thread hasn't been created yet... there's been some discussion of the scenario over in another PFS thread about recent efforts to reduce scenario length, and I felt there were some valuable insights to port over to the regular GM threads.

Essentially, I was concerned about using four fairly verbose handouts (of six total) during a 4-hour slot, and tables degenerating into reading and re-reading the handouts... and was looking to cut out some of the "handout fatigue".

Handout Fatigue:

My tables go one of two ways with wordy handouts...

1. One person reads, passes along. That person reads, passes along. (Repeat 6-7X). Some people are distracted by the table talk and end up going through multiple passes to distill the message.

This isn't so bad with a single party handout. When it's four, this could end up meaning 20-30 minutes less "playing" are lost to 20-30 minutes of "reading" (per player depending on their reading spead).

2. One person reads, everyone listens. As someone mentioned on the other thread though, sometimes this means you hear the character and not the original author (I've had particular bards adlib as they read someone else's note, and a series of repeat notes would potentially come in the same voice).

In general, I'm fine with a half dozen handouts in a home game where there's no looming time constraint... but my efforts here would be to minimize "handout processing time" in Wounded Wisp so folks can focus on the rest of finer aspects of the scenario.

Concern: Handouts 1,2,5,6 collectively have a ~1000 word count in a smaller, slightly hard to read script.

Plan: Reduce this to a quick read of a single easy-to-read combined handout and roleplay the rest.

Handouts 1 and 2:

My first tweak (non-sanctioned, mind you) was to distill the original handouts 1 & 2 into a form more akin to personal notes, to address players who may lack the attention span to pour over the full word count. This led to me creating a variant handout to use instead when I suspected a table may just want the gist in an easier-to-digest format.

Handouts 3 and 4:

This is the puzzle. I have no changes or insights here at the moment. :)

Handout 5:

I had planned to skip handout #5 and instead have an illusion of Fimbirk deliver the message, since he is obviously a master of programmed illusions... and the chance to RP the eccentric gnome is one I couldn't resist.

In the other thread, Thirsty suggests he'd run it this way as well, so that should diffuse some GM guilt in deviating from the printed handout.

Personally, I just can't resist saying "WIFFLE" in a gnome voice.

Handout 6:

This would leave the final handout from Ambrus at the end. I actually personally like RPing Ambrus as well (and tend to play him as a non-nonsense type), so I'd also feel like this message might be better delivered through a final 2-3 minute scene in which he verbally addresses the Pathfinders versus handing off a wordy note.

Paizo Employee Contributor

Well, at least it's not faction missions. :)

Shadow Lodge

Thurston Hillman wrote:
Well, at least it's not faction missions. :)

"I... uh, can't read."

*Hands faction mission to Thurston's PC*

"So, uh, what exactly does it say I'm s'posed t'do for that Zarta Dray-LEEN?"

Shadow Lodge

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Other things of note from prepping.

1) If you're looking to cut some prep time out, you don't actually need the floor plan of the Wounded Wisp or the majority of it's basement. This could be run in the "theater of mind" and instead cards can be used for the major NPCs present there (Janira, Aram, Boartusk Twins, Yargos) if you're feeling like a task that's extracurricular.

This single 8x10 could be printed for the encounter in the basement.

2) Someone will certainly ask about if the Society was founded at the Pig's Paunch or the Wounded Wisp. See this thread. I'm personally a fan of there being a debate between the current members of the Society as to where it *really* happened, now. :)

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Agent, Nevada—Las Vegas aka kinevon

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Note: You can, of course, always print multiple copies of the handouts, so you don't just have a single sheet being handed around.

I have found, for example, having multiple copies of the errand list in First Steps, Part 1, makes tables go faster when they are discussing which errand to do next.

Sovereign Court

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Yeah I wouldn't bother making a map for the Wisp or the basement. Have a plan for introducing the NPCs there and use a small 5' square card for the encounter.

I also don't see a need to get out the flipmat for the Necropolis unless a fight actually breaks out.

Idea for fun: have Janira or another NPC make an appearance while the PCs are at the Wall of Names and ask the PCs if they have any friends listed on it to give the players a chance to mention characters that have been killed in action and make up an epitaph for them on the spot.

In regards to the large number of block text handouts: I lean towards just reading them as the GM, giving emphasis to the important parts, then handing them to the players to review as needed. If there's a strong reader-leader at the table, they can read it aloud for everyone instead. Not everyone can read things aloud in a competent manner. A poor reader does more harm than good, stumbling/mumbling over the thing and wasting everyone's time as nobody has a clue what they just said. This is not an area where I'm willing to "let everyone have a turn". The game just bogs down when a terrible reader takes control of a block handout. Give the handout to the best person to read aloud, or do it yourself (I'm assuming you as the GM are very good at reading block text. You should be!)

I'm baffled how two conflicting origin stories for the PFS made it into the block text intro in both replayable evergreen scenarios. I mean... what? Guess I'll turn that into an inner-society joke or point of contention.

Paizo Employee Contributor

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A few quick points.

1) The map of the Wounded Wisp was included for completeness sake, and so GMs could adequately describe the location. If it was left undetailed, it would vary every time a GM ran the scenario, which would be clunky for potentially re-using the location in the future. I hoped it would be something that GMs could re-use in longer Society play, particularly where time limits on scenario aren't as strict (ex: AP and Module introductions).

2) The conflicting origin story of the formation of the Society has already been identified as an issue by John HERE. The correct location (as indicated in Seeker of Secrets) is listed as the Wounded Wisp. The Pig's Paunch was an erroneous entry in The Confirmation, and will hopefully be adjusted in the future. Hopefully we can all just accept that and move on, there's no need to nag or take jabs about it.

3) Regarding the map of the Wisp's basement. The previous room was important in case PCs opted to 'run upstairs and get help'. I included the minor trap to discourage this, and to give some flavor to the location. It can't be helped if the player show up with some combat oriented characters and just mulch what is potentially a group of new player's FIRST encounter. Maybe next time John will allow me to throw a Flail Snail at the PCs... :)

4) The necropolis map was included just in case the PCs do get into a fight. This encounter was specifically created to dissuade 'murder hoboing' and so I wanted to be sure we had a map to set it, as there is the real chance of combat breaking out.

5) I've already given my thoughts on questions/concerns about the number of handouts HERE. So I won't rehash them again.

6) As an aside, there have been some comments made about scenario length, and how this scenario can run a bit on the short side if there's little RP going on. That's quite intentional. I wanted something that gives newer players enough time to have rules questions and PFS-related things (*cough* chronicle explanation *cough*) explained.

As always, YMMV.

Anyways, that's my ramblings for the time being!

5/5

I have played this, and am now prepping it to GM. A few thoughts on the use of map/no map. I think the Wisp is an important location to set the scene for - PCs should feel that they are visiting an important site. I've also found that players tend to treat any encounter without a map as unimportant, and a big part of the fun from this scenario comes in the RP with the various NPCs. Everyone in my group loved chatting to Janira again, and my PC spent a lot of time with Aram bin Kaleel as well. Oh, yeah - and Yargos Gill is a jerk. :) We spent a long time interacting here, and I think having the map and minis on the table both helped keep the scene in our minds, and warned us that "something" might happen at any time, so we'd better pay attention!

Even though there is no combat here, I plan to make a terrain piece for the Wounded Wisp for when I run this (multiple times)... it can be one of those iconic locations, one that should matter to PCs more than just a map-less tavern. It is the historic first location of a Society that is in love with history - being there should feel special.

In the basement: not having a map tells the PCs they don't need to think about an encounter. We needed the map anyway, since one of our players was proud of his 250+ pound physique, and so there was a lot of jumping and falling. I've always found that a few extra pages of printing goes a long way in setting the scene and focusing players on their environment all the time, not just during combat. YMMV.

Necropolis: our group did have a combat here, although not a lethal one. Turns out the cleric was the same religion as my PC, and she called him a heretic, and he took it wrong, and things got out of hand. But no one died or was arrested. Although someone is in BIG trouble with his father over attacking a fellow Sarenite! (Some great character story development happened due to this encounter, which is the sort of thing I love to see happen spontaneously.)

The one thing that bothers me about replaying this scenario is the re-use of the failed aspirant, Sir Reinhardt (patron saint of gravity and falling horses). Is the specific name important, or could the GM use a different aspirant's name each time?

Shadow Lodge 5/5

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Overall I thought it was a great scenario. We did have one unfortunate death. A PC got critted by the raging, power-attacking greatclub wielding barbarian with his readied action. I thought it was kind of odd for a barbarian to ready an action while raging, but I guess there's nothing really against it.

So... one thing that confused me was I thought the idea of an "evergreen" scenario was that it could be run in the future during any season and it would fit in without connecting with any particular metaplot, yet the end note is all about this season's metaplot. I understand its replayable, but is that really all an evergreen scenario is going to be, just replayable? That note won't make any sense in a year or two when the sky key is already found. Unless of course we'll never find it all, which would also be disappointing.

Paizo Employee 5/5 Developer

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GM Lamplighter wrote:
The one thing that bothers me about replaying this scenario is the re-use of the failed aspirant, Sir Reinhardt (patron saint of gravity and falling horses). Is the specific name important, or could the GM use a different aspirant's name each time?

The character details of Sir Reinhart are not critical, yet he makes a great aspirant because he helps connect this Season 6 adventure to earlier Society exploits in the Worldwound. It changes little if he is actually a female nagaji from Nagajor wanting to become Grand Queen of Potato Chips and Assorted Toiletries; a crowd tends to gather for anyone attempting the Test of the Starstone.

Sir Reinhart ultimately fails rather catastrophically, but his story is one we might explore a little further another time.

Paizo Employee 5/5 Developer

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Eric Clingenpeel wrote:

Overall I thought it was a great scenario. We did have one unfortunate death. A PC got critted by the raging, power-attacking greatclub wielding barbarian with his readied action. I thought it was kind of odd for a barbarian to ready an action while raging, but I guess there's nothing really against it.

So... one thing that confused me was I thought the idea of an "evergreen" scenario was that it could be run in the future during any season and it would fit in without connecting with any particular metaplot, yet the end note is all about this season's metaplot. I understand its replayable, but is that really all an evergreen scenario is going to be, just replayable? That note won't make any sense in a year or two when the sky key is already found. Unless of course we'll never find it all, which would also be disappointing.

You're right that this would seem less relevant in a year or two, which is why there are already plans for that Player Handout #7 slot in future seasons. It's one of the great things about Eylysia having cached so much information; we can find something a little different every year.

Shadow Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Northwest aka WalterGM

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Thurston Hillman wrote:
A few quick points.

I want to give Thursty a big kudos for posting his thoughts on this scenario. I'm always happy to see authors give direct feedback on their work.

I got to play this last week with a table of relative newcomers and really enjoyed it. We spent about half our time at the table roleplaying with the bar folk, a quarter roleplaying with one another and other NPCs, and a quarter actually doing combat.

My favorite bit was when my dwarf got into an argument with Sir Reinhart instead of exploring the shrine.

"Now listen lad--Cayden himself did this Test while being nearly four sheets to the wind. And now look at him! He ascended right proper to godhood he did! So all I'm saying is you'd better have a nip for courage before attempting a leap o' faith like this."

Sir Reinhart refused my dwarf's counsel and the rest, as they say, is history.

Dark Archive

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On the handouts: My thought when I first saw these as a player was ugh, tiny scratchy font, and no paragraph spacing, making it very hard to scan.

I am running this several times later this month, so I decided to do something about it.

I have reformatted the first two and final handouts onto a full page each with larger easier to read font, paragraph spacing and bolded names, to make it easier to read and pick out pertinent information (but no change of content). There will be multiple copies for the table, each on a different hue of paper.

On the final VC handout I am considering printing these (reformatted full page) on the back of the chronicle sheets, as this then serves as a permanent reminder of what was achieved in the scenario.

I like Thurston's suggestion of Fimbrik's illusion delivering the message, so will be ready to do that if the circumstances warrant it, or just have the (reformatted) handout ready.

Silver Crusade 3/5

The thing I wondered about most when running this was the Wall of Names "puzzle". Is there actually any chance for the players to figure out what the epitaphs are referring to without the Knowledge check? Especially new players are not likely to think about gods when seeing random words. I'm just wondering why it is presented as a puzzle (with the "easy" selcetion of aspirants given), when the Knowledge check is likely the only way to "solve" it.

Liberty's Edge 5/5 Venture-Captain, Alabama—Birmingham aka Grolloc

Leathert wrote:
The thing I wondered about most when running this was the Wall of Names "puzzle". Is there actually any chance for the players to figure out what the epitaphs are referring to without the Knowledge check? Especially new players are not likely to think about gods when seeing random words. I'm just wondering why it is presented as a puzzle (with the "easy" selection of aspirants given), when the Knowledge check is likely the only way to "solve" it.

Sounds like they should talk to some new friends in the bar!

Spoiler:
Probably not those nice half-orcs, but I'd bet an Absalom historian, an Inquisitor of Sarenrae, or a Bard could help


I have to admit that the Wall of Names feels less like a puzzle and more like a plot point. I'm not really sure what the randomization adds to it. I must have read the passage at least half a dozen times before coming the conclusion that it's pretty much a skill check or a visit to a NPC to give a little more background about the story in the scenario. It may be purely irrational but there is this nagging feeling that I'm missing something about this entry.

Dark Archive

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I think the only thing the randomization adds to it is that a player cannot carry knowledge over from a previous run through.

On the random ambush party stats:

1) Is the intention that every 3rd party does not have a healing PC, or should that be a D2 rather than a D3?

2) The brute's to hit is not listed, it should be +6.

3) I note that the brute does +12 damage when raging and power attacking - rolling high damage or a critical is one hit one kill against first level PCs - so possibly not to be used on an all new player table and also used with care against an all level one party.

4) The Evoker has a bonded item and no spell book listed. So the other 3 spells in his spellbook are at GM discretion. I guess we pick area affect spells like Color Spray with great care. I note a short first level spell book would be a nice find for a low level wizard - so it is a shame it isn't listed in his gear.

5) Touched to hit: should this be +0, not +1?

Sovereign Court 5/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
ZomB wrote:
On the final VC handout I am considering printing these (reformatted full page) on the back of the chronicle sheets, as this then serves as a permanent reminder of what was achieved in the scenario.

Ooh! I like this! Definitely doing this for my game next week.

Dark Archive 2/5

Mike Seales wrote:

Sounds like they should talk to some new friends in the bar!

** spoiler omitted **

Hey, those two guys are great!

(At least the twins that my friend and I were playing thought so...)

Sovereign Court

Is the Shrine of the Failed different than the Cathedral of Failure mentioned in The Inner Sea World Guide (page 40) or are they the same place?

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

Played but haven't run this yet. Really liked how an encumberance check (some normally completely over looked) was snuck into the adventure. Loved the reminded of the VERY long wall of dead pathfinders.

I didn't see the point in one of the hand outs because there was no way for a player to make any connection between the names and the wall without a characters knowledge religion check. With a hand out I'm looking for a pattern a puzzle or whatnot, not a simple skill check. I didn't know wouldbe gods had their portfolios planned out before they got there.

Shadow Lodge

The players during my run all leaned forward and were ready to piece out some puzzle with the wall of names, and I too didn't see anything where the epitaths mattered beyond the knowledge check to identify them as folks who would be interred at the Shrine of the Failed.

I suspect maybe there was a more extensive puzzle that was chopped from the scenario?

And on the scenario length, it did feel like the floorplan and the description for the Wisp were a bit extraneous. I get that there was desire to have the location consistently presented.

We do a post-game recap to dig into a scenario (as many of the players are in turn going to GM it), and a few folks commented that this scenario seemed more like a setting/campaign guide than a scenario/adventure, as there was a decent budget of information that felt like a setting (the full details on the Wisp, the picture of the Wall of Names, background/historical nature of NPCs).

I'm all for "sandbox scenarios" where the PCs make their own story and adventure, so this isn't a complaint... but I definitely got the campaign setting sourcebook vibe a little from this one more than any other scenario I can think of.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

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mental note to add drunken pathfinders at a table arguing whether the whisp or the pigs paunch is where it really started. This being the whisp of course anyone mentioning the paunch has to buy the next round.

Sovereign Court

I'm interested in more info about the test of the starstone. Why was Reinhart trying to vault over the chasm instead of using one of the three existing bridges? The inner sea world guide says that hundreds enter the massive structure every year. They don't vault the chasm to get in do they? Was Reinhart just trying to prove how badass and godlike he was?

Paizo Employee Contributor

Quadstriker wrote:
I'm interested in more info about the test of the starstone. Why was Reinhart trying to vault over the chasm instead of using one of the three existing bridges? The inner sea world guide says that hundreds enter the massive structure every year. They don't vault the chasm to get in do they? Was Reinhart just trying to prove how badass and godlike he was?

Part of the test is to get across the chasm without using the bridges. :)

Paizo Employee Contributor

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On a related note, I think for Season 7 the scenario should be adjusted to replace Reinhart with a technologist from Numeria who attempts to cross with a faulty jetpack... >.>

5/5

Not sure why a smart crusader like Reinhardt didn't think his quest for godhood was worth a pair of 750gp fly potions...

I, too, would love more info on the Starstone test from a lore point of view - is anyone aware of any fiction or campaign setting stuff with more details?

Dark Archive 2/5

GM Lamplighter wrote:
Not sure why a smart crusader like Reinhardt didn't think his quest for godhood was worth a pair of 750gp fly potions...

I suspect that he thought that his Air Walk spell would last for MUCH longer than it did...

Shadow Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Northwest aka WalterGM

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Do note that the Starstone test is a mercurial changing gauntlet that has been known to dispel incumbents fly spells.

EDIT: My source, from the Guide to Absalom sourcebook, page 17.

Quote:

Leap of Faith

The only publicly known part of the Test of the Starstone is that hopefuls have to cross the bottomless pit without using one of the existing bridges; nobody has been able to enter the Starstone Cathedral by taking the easy route. Hopefuls have used many ways in the past millennia to cross the pit: mages have flown across with magic, priests have walked on air, and others have used flying mounts. Stranger methods include giant slingshots or walking a tightrope, while some make mighty leaps, convinced of their worthiness. Not all of these methods are successful, and what worked for one person can fail for another; some don’t make it across, and some do but cannot enter the cathedral.

One thing that is consistent across all cases is that they attract an audience. News of a hopeful planning to make an attempt spreads like wildfire through the city, and soon a crowd gathers, maintaining a respectful distance. Reaching the cathedral usually means loud cheering, while a fall or inexplicable failure creates a sad silence before the crowd disperses. If a hopeful enters the cathedral, the crowd usually waits for about an hour before boredom and other business causes them to dwindle away—after all, nobody knows how long the Test should take, life goes on, and if the hopeful does succeed, the locals will hear about it soon enough

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

Our group tried to talk him out of it, telling him heaven knows you're needed here.

That he had the same name as my character was a cause of a little reflection on his part as they went into the tomb...

Sovereign Court

A trip report!

Got this one in tonight for a table of four.

Witch 1 (wife. Cue the "I'm not a witch I'm your wife" jokes.)
Cleric 2 (VL)
Bard 1 (fairly new player but a good roleplayer)
Oracle 2 (VL)

With the average party level at 1.5 and a table of four, I ran it at subtier 1 with no four player adjustment. Did I do right here?

Opening up it seemed like they had a nice time RPing at the bar. I did go ahead and make the full map, place out NPCs, and go the full 9 yards hear in contrast to my previous post questioning whether it was worth it. I think it was worth the effort in the end.
They got a nice welcome immediately from the 1/2 orcs as they made their way up to the bar which got some chuckles from the patrons, "Hey which one of you freshies is going to help out Sir Reinhart tonight?" which made a nice seugway into the "who's sir reinhart" line of discussion. They also interacted and talked with Janira who recognized the Oracle from her Confirmation, and got a lecture/quiz from Aram about being prepared "Yeah that's right, you use an alchemist fire on a swarm. So let me see yours. What? What do you mean you don't have it on you? Back in my day we were always prepared blah blah blah" I'd say they spent about a half hour upstairs at the Wisp before Heryn's relief showed up, which felt about right and they got a good deal of flavor in here.

Without a dedicated melee specialist, the Troglodytes downstairs actually lived a few rounds and got in some licks before going down. It was a good warm up encounter.

The players were all good at following breadcrumbs and were taking notes, so they had no trouble picking out the key points from the handouts and setting up a to-do list. Again in contrast to my earlier post, I did these as a straight handout instead of reading them out myself or having a player do it. It made for a good restbit as people took bathroom breaks, etc. It was very noisy at the FLGS tonight (The players behind us were playing some RPG with a table of nine!) and my voice needed the rest.

They managed to diplomacize the Asmodean cleric at the mausoleum by having one PC pose as a distant relative to pay respects and then another created a diversion outside so the cleric would check it out. This gave those inside enough time to open the sarcophagus, find the coin, and close it back up.

I really enjoyed seeing the PCs figure out that Fimbrick was an illusion as they eventually split themselves between windows seeing the same person in different locations at the same time. This is one of those things which isn't difficult to figure out, but still makes for a nice "Ahhh... I see" moment.

I handed the witch a blue dry erase marker to write down the password on the chessex mat to symbolize writing the password on the chalkboard, then remembered that you're not supposed to use dry erase markers on those. Whoops.
Protip: Magic Eraser can get that off.

The final fight was fun and well matched. I didn't random up a brute melee, so that helped because this party just did not have a strong melee to match it. 3 of the 4 combatants I rolled up had no ranged attacks, so the PCs used fairly good tactics and the cleric made good use of a reach weapon. It definitely felt like a satisfying final battle to conclude a scenario.

We clocked in right at the four hour mark, and we had a healthy amount of roleplaying.

Overall I think everyone had a good time and I definitely won't shy away from running this one again.


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My players managed to figure out the puzzle at the memorial wall! I had a mixed table of experienced and new pfs players (char. numbers ranged from -1 to -21) so I told the new guys that I'll get a soda and after that they can try the knowledge check if the veterans haven't figured it out by then.

It was also my 100th table! I'd like to thank Thrusty for the scenario was great fun and running it with relatively fast prep didn't hamper the experience.


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Gm'ed this recently. Drandle Dreng got asked why he was sending 5 Pathfinders to get a bottle of wine. At first I got him to claim it's an expensive bottle and there might be thieves of sorts, but I gave in and decided Dreng was gonna go full corrupt and blatently abuses Pathfinder resources:

Back at the Grand Lodge when asked about the Wall of Names and if there was a roster of Pathfinders: "Of course there's a roster. But I'm only concerned with the stack of names on my desk of Pathfinders in Absalom who aren't doing anything and send them to do menial tasks I don't feel like doing. Top 5 names? I sent them to get me a bottle of wine...oh that's you. This is awkward. Next 3 are going on a milk run. They're buying me milk and cheese. Next 12 are on laundry duty. My clothes are still soak from the mud and rain today."


Only he's not sending them on a mindless and demeaning errand.

Spoiler:
He's sending them into a basement to be murdered by a choker.

"Congrats on the start of your pathfinder career, now get ready to trust us implicitly for another dozen levels."

5/5

The text actually implies that Dreng knows exactly what he is doing, sending PCs there... not telling them about it is a test of their spirit of exploration. A group *could*, I suppose, get there, find the wine, and ignore everything else. They could go back to Dreng and say "your wine was out of stock" and just go home. Dreng is giving the new guys a chance to make the discovery and build their reputation instead of stealing the glory for himself.

(And I'm totally calling him "Thrusty" from now on...)


I took it to mean that he was pretending that it was his plan all along. Much funnier that way.

Paizo Employee Contributor

GM Lamplighter wrote:
(And I'm totally calling him "Thrusty" from now on...)

Too late, you and my first ever credit card should meet.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

Quadstriker wrote:

A trip report!

Got this one in tonight for a table of four.

Witch 1 (wife. Cue the "I'm not a witch I'm your wife" jokes.)
Cleric 2 (VL)
Bard 1 (fairly new player but a good roleplayer)
Oracle 2 (VL)

We called ourselves Dreng's Angels. :D


ZomB wrote:

On the random ambush party stats:

1) Is the intention that every 3rd party does not have a healing PC, or should that be a D2 rather than a D3?

Follow-up: Is a party of 5-6 in Subtier 2 really not supposed to be ambushed at all? The scaling entry for Subtier 2 is even more confusing.

Paizo Employee Contributor

Thamori wrote:
ZomB wrote:

On the random ambush party stats:

1) Is the intention that every 3rd party does not have a healing PC, or should that be a D2 rather than a D3?

Follow-up: Is a party of 5-6 in Subtier 2 really not supposed to be ambushed at all? The scaling entry for Subtier 2 is even more confusing.

The ambush is only meant to occur if all the players at the table have played the scenario at least once and are in Subtier 2. Consider it a 'surprise' to replace the ambush that they'd all be expecting.


Thurston Hillman wrote:
Thamori wrote:
ZomB wrote:

On the random ambush party stats:

1) Is the intention that every 3rd party does not have a healing PC, or should that be a D2 rather than a D3?

Follow-up: Is a party of 5-6 in Subtier 2 really not supposed to be ambushed at all? The scaling entry for Subtier 2 is even more confusing.
The ambush is only meant to occur if all the players at the table have played the scenario at least once and are in Subtier 2. Consider it a 'surprise' to replace the ambush that they'd all be expecting.

That's the ambush mentioned in the sidebar on page 21, right? That's in area E3.

I'm talking about the one in E1 that it replaces (the rest of page 21) - you randomly choose what group sent them, but the actual group appears to be decided by Subtier, with no entry for Subtier 2 (except in the sidebar to adjust it for a party of four, where you add NPCs)

Paizo Employee Contributor

Oh, I'm seeing the issue Thamori. It appears there is no line to explain the baseline for Subtier 2. Not sure if this was just omitted by mistake, or I'm missing some buried change...

My original draft included the following, which would hopefully clear things up:

Subtier 2 (CR 4)
The enemy group is created using the table used in Subtier 1, only make one additional roll for healing and support.

Shadow Lodge 4/5

When I played this I assumed we were getting punked by Dreng with the secret door. When it turnout to be a gigantic coincidence, I thought that was really weak. That was a missed opportunity and way too contrived to be a coincidence without just feeling hokey.


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Thurston Hillman wrote:
Oh, I'm seeing the issue Thamori. It appears there is no line to explain the baseline for Subtier 2. Not sure if this was just omitted by mistake, or I'm missing some buried change...

Actually, it looks like that got put in the sidebar as how to scale for a party of four on Subtier 2. I'm guessing that should be "Use the Subtier 1 encounter without further modifications"?

Tons of thanks for the clarifications, though.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Captain, New Zealand—Dunedin aka dinketry

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gnoams wrote:
When I played this I assumed we were getting punked by Dreng with the secret door. When it turnout to be a gigantic coincidence, I thought that was really weak. That was a missed opportunity and way too contrived to be a coincidence without just feeling hokey.

From page 11:

"If the PCs confront Dreng about the convenience of
finding a long-lost trove of documents by following his
directions, the venture-captain does little to confirm
or deny his knowledge and simply emphasizes the
importance of the find and how the PCs will be the ones
to investigate this potentially far-reaching discovery."

It sounds to me like you can role-play it either way. I myself believe that Dreng is a crafty 'ol bugger who knows a lot more than he tells - especially to young whippersnapper Pathfinders!

Paizo Employee Contributor

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You got it Paul! I wanted to leave it just vague enough so GMs could have fun with it.

Now, if only I could continue that thread about the Onyx Alliance...

Silver Crusade

Thurston Hillman wrote:

Oh, I'm seeing the issue Thamori. It appears there is no line to explain the baseline for Subtier 2. Not sure if this was just omitted by mistake, or I'm missing some buried change...

My original draft included the following, which would hopefully clear things up:

Subtier 2 (CR 4)
The enemy group is created using the table used in Subtier 1, only make one additional roll for healing and support.

I might be missing something dumb here, but your change seems to duplicate what's in the Subtier 2 with Table of 4 changes. Shouldn't a Table of 6 be a bit tougher or did I misread something?

Also, a minor typo (I think). In the NPC Healing column, it notes "d3" when it looks like it should be "d2" (no biggie there).

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Captain, New Zealand—Dunedin aka dinketry

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I ran this last night with great success but I discovered a distinct and misleading error. Arkath's Tomb is listed on the map of Absalom as well as the encounter entry as being in Eastgate, but the missive from Selmius Foster distinctly notes that he was interred in the Ivy District.

Oops.

Shadow Lodge 5/5

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Its simple... The note is 400+ years old... The tomb got moved to make room for more houses. ;)

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Captain, New Zealand—Dunedin aka dinketry

Eric Clingenpeel wrote:
Its simple... The note is 400+ years old... The tomb got moved to make room for more houses. ;)

Across to the other side of town?

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