The Hill Giant's Pledge (GM Reference)


Giantslayer

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

This thread is a GM Reference thread for Part 2 of the Giantslayer Adventure Path. Links for the individual threads for each part are as follows:

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Am I alone in thinking that something just doesn't look right about Harsk in the picture on page 57?

Order of the Amber Die

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Giantslayer Fans:

Our group recently played a 72-hour marathon of The Hill Giant’s Pledge and was able to complete it. The players really enjoyed how varied the adventure was in regard to flow, and it should also be said that its diversity made this an interesting module to GM too. The body count was high, and while giants were not to blame, woe to the players who aren’t ready to face their first giants as a party without help. Our full report will continue to drop throughout this month; until then, I did want to leave everyone with some supplemental aids and brief tips they could use during their playthrough of this adventure.

1.) Part 1: The riverboat journey is an excellent way to develop Belkzen, and can also be used to immediately invest the PCs in the module by making their trip come alive. I used the interactive map to turn the tags off, and made a 3-D version of the boat with foamboard--you can have some really great battles on this. The 1" grid riverboat PDF can be found in our Dropbox for all GMs to partake. All that you’ll need to do is print the pieces, cut them out with scissors, glue onto foamboard, and cut again with a sharp knife around the edges. If you prefer a more polished look, sanding down the edges afterwards looks nice. This whole process should take no more than an afternoon, and the module experience definitely benefits from your labor. Finally, there is also a handout-PDF of the riverboat jobs in our Dropbox, which includes boxes your PCs can check off as they take turns doing the various tasks available on board.

2.) Part 2: Ewigga: here is a beautiful nemesis. She has the potential to TPK your party in spectacular fashion after they expend their resources plumbing the Vault of Thorns. If you really want to get devious, hand out a face card for her elven persona to make her seem more important as a helpful NPC (or confound metagaming players), and create some lines as responses to typical PC questions that you can anticipate from your players (you know them best). Remember, you aren’t required to roll unless actually lying with Ewigga, so even an answer to the inevitable PC-question about the layout of other rooms could be phrased “Druids are mysterious and unpredictable with their architecture, and much of it is unbeknownst even to me,” which does NOT require a Bluff check. The less often you have to roll behind the screen in this encounter the more at ease your PCs will be, so try to roll some of her Bluff checks ahead of time if you get a chance. I created two solid lies that I rolled the dice on—these can be the cement between ambiguous answers that might otherwise set PCs on edge. I have run enough adventures where an NPC like this was given a big agenda but an inappropriately small Bluff modifier to work with—not here. The author has done an excellent job of providing you with a superior Bluff modifier and other tools that should have little trouble topping your PCs’ Sense Motives and getting them to take the bait. Done properly, you can sit back and enjoy the looks on their faces when Ewigga turns on them after they finally discover the secret treasure room. The best part? Larry Wilhelm provides two options for her to return and ambush the PCs in later modules.

3.) Part 3: Players are likely to get very creative in approaching Redlake Fort, so GMs need to be prepared with reactions to different methods of entry, attempts at diplomacy, or even subterfuge. It might be useful to take a gridless/tagless map from the interactive map set and mark the locations of key defenders (the hill giant sentry up high in the center of the fort, the ogrekin in the bell tower, etc.). This would also be a good time to roll up some accurate weather, as it might certainly play a role in visibility when approaching the fort. Our PCs were very fortunate to have rain that provided a -4 to perception checks and limited visibility (though even limited is pretty far for some of the sentries). If you are attempting to draw out Redlake Fort and want a sample to serve as a guide, a photo of our map is inside the PDF of The Giantslayer Endeavor in our Dropbox.

Hope this helps some of you in your run of The Hill Giant’s Pledge, and good luck!

GM

Order of the Amber Die Dropbox

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Silver Crusade

Good stuff Order, I'll have to make use of that once we finish our side step into Daughters of Fury.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32

Currently reading through this for the 2nd time. I'm not sure what it is, but something is striking me as being slightly off about it.
Maybe it's

SPOILER:
Just the changeover between the travelling on the river, the swamp and the rather hectic assault on the fort.

One thing I am missing is an event timeline. I know it's listed in chronological order, but it would have been nice with just a simple overview, especially if the players get ideas on how to skip scenes.


Ok, this may have been asked, but when the drakes attack the riverboat and abscond with the old warhorse, the horse is taken off to the drakes cave. Once in the cave the horse is dropped off in the front (unwounded?) while the drake goes into the back of the cave, around a corner, "feasting on a rotting cow carcass" while the horse waits patiently for someone to come along and save him.

So why doesn't the horse just run away out the front of the cave?

Did I miss something?


Imnotbob wrote:

Ok, this may have been asked, but when the drakes attack the riverboat and abscond with the old warhorse, the horse is taken off to the drakes cave. Once in the cave the horse is dropped off in the front (unwounded?) while the drake goes into the back of the cave, around a corner, "feasting on a rotting cow carcass" while the horse waits patiently for someone to come along and save him.

So why doesn't the horse just run away out the front of the cave?

Did I miss something?

I think (don't have the map in front of me) that it's all water outside the front cavern, so perhaps no where to go? Further to your question, why would the drakes leave the horse alive at all to go eat the rotting carcass?


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

If you read the bestiary entry on river drakes, you will discover that they prefer rotten meat. And yes the horse has no where to go. Furthermore, reading the bestiary on river drakes reveals that these creatures are cruel and like to torment their prey. Leaving the horse alive, the drake "gets off" on seeing and hearing the horse's fear. Hope this answers any questions and anything readers might miss....


Page 27, the part of the Map H: Remnant of the Council...are those suppose to be vines on the map? I was going to treat them as difficulty terrain, they may just be there for flavor.

Paizo Employee Senior Developer

lhudek wrote:
Page 27, the part of the Map H: Remnant of the Council...are those suppose to be vines on the map? I was going to treat them as difficulty terrain, they may just be there for flavor.

The adventure usually calls out any difficult terrain or other hazards that may be marked on maps. Since it does not for encounter H, you can assume that the vines are just there for flavor (ehich they are). That being said, you could certainly make those squares crossed by vines difficult terrain if you want to up the challenge a little for your PCs.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

is the number of orcs / ogres who die in the combat if the factions start fighting flipped/errata?

it would seem to me that ogres should be taking out more orcs than vice versa...

Paizo Employee Senior Developer

Yakman wrote:

is the number of orcs / ogres who die in the combat if the factions start fighting flipped/errata?

it would seem to me that ogres should be taking out more orcs than vice versa...

Yeah, I could see those numbers being flipped. The orcs are more numerous and organized, so I could see them taking out a lot of ogres, but they also have more people to lose.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Does anyone else have a problem with the idea that sow thought seems as powerful as suggestion or dominate as presented in this AP?

Our poor sailor twice commits sabotage against the crew and then poisons them all. What are the limitations for this spell? Maybe this is more of a rules question.

Paizo Employee Senior Developer

It's primarily there as a plot device. As it states in the spell description, the target is not required to act on any ideas planted by sow thought. The adventure does mention Melira using a combination of seduction and the spell, implying that Gashnakh is carrying out the sabotage out of misplaced love for Melira, an idea she implanted with the spell.

In play, if a PC or an NPC were to cast that spell, getting to that level of mental control would likely be considerably more difficult.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

So the spell ideas are mostly for him to think 'I should trust her' or 'I should do what she says' and not to commit the actual sabotage? That's a bit easier to work with and can play that part up, if there's any talking.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Rulebook Subscriber

I'm sort of through that section, the players having confronted Melira in the bilges. After the second act of sabotage they decided to search the ship for evidence, and started with the parts of the ship they haven't really been yet. So they just went straight for confrontation.

Still I was sort of relieved, I was finding the boat/sabotage thing but railroading, and flat RP wise, as the mystery is so quickly resolved by looking.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

In general I think you're right. I wish that I had thought and planned a bit more for something else so I didn't have to use the boat. It felt tacked on and not necessary for the plot. Melira also raises more questions on her timing and how she knew everything so fast.

I will advise GMs to push or help your PCs to finding her, as fighting both Melira and the barbarian at the end would be an incredibly challenging fight for 4th level characters.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Rulebook Subscriber

The Meliria fight on the boat was itself a pretty great encounter. Her tactics + traps really worked to pin folks down while she pin cushioned them. But the rest left me feeling forced.

The whole module is kind of combat / dungeon crawl heavy, even in non-conventional dungeon crawl environments like on a boat or in a swamp. So maybe the point was to have a little bit more RP, but it just didn't feel as well fit in as the investigation in Tranau.


Okay so I had to add/ modify/ and rewrite a significant part of this book module.

1st leaving off from the first book the leaders are like "save us from the impending second army invasion" and My PCs turned around and said "what Men and resources can we take since there's only 4 of us and an ARMY of them?" so I had to say they needed to rebuild but there's a secret stash of magical weapons in the vault of thorns even though they had more wealth then the entire town of Trunau and had to donate the extra equipment they pillaged off of the dead orcs.

2nd I ended up making one NPC able to be hired who I created out of back stories and they were suppose to meet up with an vanguard of the militia at the knight in need river event. because all the towns militia are needed for repairs, order, possible attacks.

3rd this makes my party set on trying to recruit any help they can find to the point of many atempts of diplomacy he almost agrees to come along to the fort also until they piss him off by killing his girallon with a one shot crit. So preparing for future occurrences I kill off the vanguard in the outpost attack but I couldn't think of any counters for Calarianne Blix not to go since she has a stake in the fort anyways and had to make stats for her.

4th I buffed the ambush encounter with tark and tried to kill out of the NPCs but a pesky PC kept saving him. then they end up figuring out the insane dwarf.

so now I have a party of 4 PCs and 3 NPCs entering the vault of thorns and I m not sure what to do.

on a side note does anyone have a copy of an untagged map of Redlake fort? my version of the interactive map doesn't seem to toggle. it was really fun tring to photo shop out INSANE from the dwarf encounter.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I think Calrianne was supposed to go and warn the local castle that the orcs were on the move (castle Firinne??)

I'd say either buff the encounters inside the vault if you want to challenge your group or let them succeed more easily as they went out and saved one NPC and recruited another.

You will need to have ideas though as it is possible to save and add two more NPCs at the fort.

Grand Lodge

I'm still working through this group with my party...
it took us 2 session and about 20 hours to work our way through Part 1 and in to the early stages of part 2. We spent the better part of 90 minutes RP'ing the Ingrahild encounter, with the resulting effect that the party dwarf managed to convince Ingrahild to put down her arms and pass over the two potions she had on her person. Now the party has a useful ally, as they wander aimlessly through the swamp picking up randoms. If not for Ingrahild's efforts last night, Gripwort (scaled for the party size) would have been quite the challenge; he hits like a truck to start with, not to mention having an extra HitDie added to him.

My PCs party is a party of 6, and most encounters have to be scaled to accomodate the increased party size and resulting favourable PC action economy.

The only piece of the puzzle they had trouble with thus far was "how did Melira manage to get on the boat before us, since we didn't find out we were going on a boat until the same we left to go on the boat" and by extension "How did Tark know where to find us... surely traveling on foot would have taken him longer than by boat".

other than that it's some pretty smooth sailing (pardon the pun).
I'm really looking forward to the vault encounters (including randoms in the swamp), and very much looking forward to the redlake fort.


I don't know how to add a spoiler button, so fair warning.

Does anyone else find the cache of weapons at the end of the vault of thorns a little underwhelming?

I mean, after all the party has gone through to get there, I was expecting more than one weapon that was intended specifically for fighting giants and more than 11 anti-orc arrows. Some of the other items make sense for druids to have, such as the wand of magic fang, but I think when I get to this part I'm going to make the treasure better match the description Halgra gave, while keeping the total value of the treasure about the same.

I get that Halgra may have imperfect knowledge of what the contents of the treasure hoard would be, even with Silvermane's description (though some details could be lost in translation), but I really don't enjoy intentionally setting up my PC's for disappointment.

Other than this detail, I love this part of the AP, its a really cool location.

Anyone have suggestions for alternate items for the vault of thorns hidden weapons cache?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Hi Bargleslayer,

First of all, this is a GM thread so no need to worry about spoiler buttons. For later there's a button at the bottom of the message window 'How to format your text' that can help... and the preview button too.

As for the real question...

Feel free to change the weapons and armor to something that your group will use. An orc bane weapon would be appropriate there as the druids were battling orcs. I would keep the miscellaneous items with a divine or nature feel to them because of the druids, so a cure/remove wand would be an easy replacement for magic fang.

I have a druid in my party so he was thrilled with the vault, so I can't say it was underwhelming for my group.


We are about to start this part of the adventure. (There are two strong GMs in our group, and the two of us have agreed to alternate the role, an adventure at a time.)

Melira not only knowing but getting onto the boat made no sense to me in the game as written. However, I made it work for me with a minor side-trip.

See, the party has all that loot, particularly giant-sized armor. And Trunau just does not have funds to buy that stuff from them. The merchants in Vigil, however, do.

Vigil is about 30 more miles each way - a day downstream, and about 3 coming back up. And when they hit town the fact someone is selling giant gear - and that there may be some people pointing them out as the subjects of the recent news from Trunau - mean that Melira sees them. She's there because it's a good stop on the way from Freetown to Trunau.

A little coin, a little work with some questions and other checks, and she finds out enough to know the party plans to board the keelboat again for a trip upriver.

Just a day in Vigil closes the gap for me.


One change I'm making to the druid's treasure is turning the arrows into sling bullets.

It's an armory for druids who do not have proficiency withbows. I know archery is stronger but it's out of character.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Rulebook Subscriber

Druids often work in concert with arrows, perhaps that was the why of it being arrows.

I'd be inclined to ensure that the content of the vault match the ranged weapon of the character in the party most likely to actually fire them. The point of the treasure is to be rewarding, not a lunch box let down.


Galnörag wrote:

Druids often work in concert with arrows, perhaps that was the why of it being arrows.

I'd be inclined to ensure that the content of the vault match the ranged weapon of the character in the party most likely to actually fire them. The point of the treasure is to be rewarding, not a lunch box let down.

I'd buy the second argument, not so much the first, but it's still just a game and so long as it's fun in the end, it's no big deal.

One thing I've noticed in games I've run is that if I have alternate really good (magic) ammo, the alternate ammo gets used. I don't think I'm going to ruin players' fun by making the change.


Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I was thinking something similar, kirkspencer, but I had not thought to tie Melira into the trip to Vigil. Thanks!

I'm fortunate in that my crew would likely not see the Melira discontinuity anyway (my wife, my 12 year old son, and 2 of his friends, all noobs). However, they will see a problem if I tell them they have to carry around all these tent-sized pieces of armor for several more weeks!

Grand Lodge

Looking for some quick advice...
The initial encounter run up for Ewigga in J4, it speaks about how Ingrahild and her brother decimated Ewigga's coven before she fled into the vault.

My player party has Ingrahild in the group for the moment...and while Ingrahild won't recognize Ewigga (due to Ewigga's disguise), it should be evident that Ewigga recognizes Ingrahild.

What's the best way to role-play out this initial encounter?
Should I do this by the book and "pretend" that Ewigga doesn't recognize Ingrahild? Or should I have Ewigga go ape-s$&$ on the group in retribution against Ingrahild.

Liberty's Edge

karpana wrote:

Looking for some quick advice...

The initial encounter run up for Ewigga in J4, it speaks about how Ingrahild and her brother decimated Ewigga's coven before she fled into the vault.

My player party has Ingrahild in the group for the moment...and while Ingrahild won't recognize Ewigga (due to Ewigga's disguise), it should be evident that Ewigga recognizes Ingrahild.

What's the best way to role-play out this initial encounter?
Should I do this by the book and "pretend" that Ewigga doesn't recognize Ingrahild? Or should I have Ewigga go ape-s!~* on the group in retribution against Ingrahild.

Has Ingrahild be cured of her madness/curse?

If no, Ewigga bides her time and savors the cruelty of it. If she has been healed, Ewigga should curse her again - on the sly.

Carry on.

Grand Lodge

Steel_Wind wrote:
karpana wrote:

Looking for some quick advice...

The initial encounter run up for Ewigga in J4, it speaks about how Ingrahild and her brother decimated Ewigga's coven before she fled into the vault.

My player party has Ingrahild in the group for the moment...and while Ingrahild won't recognize Ewigga (due to Ewigga's disguise), it should be evident that Ewigga recognizes Ingrahild.

What's the best way to role-play out this initial encounter?
Should I do this by the book and "pretend" that Ewigga doesn't recognize Ingrahild? Or should I have Ewigga go ape-s!~* on the group in retribution against Ingrahild.

Has Ingrahild be cured of her madness/curse?

If no, Ewigga bides her time and savors the cruelty of it. If she has been healed, Ewigga should curse her again - on the sly.

Carry on.

Steel_Wind... that's devious...

Yes, the party had successfully managed to cure Ingrahild of her madness/curse. I'll have to find a way to make it work. :-)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Rulebook Subscriber

Ewigga invited the party to rest, and pursued her haggly impulse to generate daughters for her coven in the seed vault. The low wisdom half-orc rogue (the only non-dwarf* character in the party) neglected his watch for the batting of her "elvish eyes."

Many encounters later when she betrays the party after defeating the bramble blight the only thing I could think of was the line from Army of Darkness "You found me beautiful once." to which my player readily supplied the response "Honey, you got reeeal ugly!"

Amusing for the future loose continuity of our gaming group, the hag was forced into retreat and managed to do so, so perhaps a future changling character can tie her backstory back to a half-orc from Trunau.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Rulebook Subscriber
Galnörag wrote:

Druids often work in concert with arrows, perhaps that was the why of it being arrows.

I'd be inclined to ensure that the content of the vault match the ranged weapon of the character in the party most likely to actually fire them. The point of the treasure is to be rewarding, not a lunch box let down.

Came back to look something else up and post in this thread and saw what I wrote and shook my head.

The first line should have read:
Druids often work in concert with rangers, perhaps that was the why of it being arrows.

Liberty's Edge

Pedantic note on Bloodtusk's Keelboat.

As presented, the Keelboat is a three decked ship, with a length of about 170' and a beam of 30'. It's a bit of a large sow for a river ship. Gunwales to waterline, it looks to be between 8 and 12 feet in height.

As improbable as that seems for a river craft, that doesn't make the Keelboat, as presented, essentially impossible. But one thing does:

The mast is problematic. It just can't be that big. The mast is a traditional mast that is installed and made fast to the keel, bigger in size than a telephone pole below decks.

The problem is that as presented, the map depicts a significant 5' diameter on the Keelboat's mast suggesting something close to traditional mast for a vessel of that size, with a mast above deck of at least 60-80' and as much as 120' in height. And that's impossible for this Keelboat on this particular river.

The problem is the Voulge Bridge at Castle Everstand. That castle is detailed in Castles of the Inner Sea and the Voulge bridge spans the Kestrel river with a height of only 40'. The mast on the keelboat suggested by the drawing in Vol II of the AP simply can't fit under that bridge.

With a deck height of 8-10 feet above the water line and a foot or two clearance, the Mast can only be about 30' high. That's the height of a traditional stepped mast on a 27' sailboat.

So, pedantic details there (if you care) requires some rejigging.

More broadly, the lack of any details and interaction at Everstand in the module at all is a bit of a problem for me that I will be fixing. Everstand is a major location on the front line with Belkzen and the tale of Everstand's creation is a bit of an awesome bit of Golarion's history as set out in Castles of the Inner Sea.

The central castle keep was created on the spot to defend against the advancing orc hordes literally out of nothing; the defending soldiers at the crossing planned to draw two cards from a Deck of Many Things one of them had: the first draw was the Moon card (granting a wish) and the wish was used so that the next card drawn was the Throne (thereby creating the core keep of Castle Everstand, fully stocked with food, siege weapons and bristling with all manner or defenses. Caste Everstand easily held the day against the surprised invaders. The Orc raiders at the Voulge crossing weren't expecting a game of "Drop the Rock" where they were the Visiting Team that day. They failed miserably and Everstand, stood.

And it has ever since.

The point to take away is that Everstand literally burst from the ground, materializing out of nothing to act as a bastion for Lastwall's defenders. That's WAY too great a tale not to highlight it and give Everstand a more prominent role in the AP.

It's time for me to get to work on doing exactly that!


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Out of curiosity, how have people been handling having the horse pull the keelboat while going through the Ghostlight Marsh?

There shouldn't be a riverbank for the horses to be able to walk on while pulling the keelboat.

I am considering saying that the druids used stone shape spells to create a path along the southern shore. It has several underwater holes in it to allow swamp creatures passage. And now has a few areas where the horse have to swim a bit (while the keelboat anchors and waits, or if in a hurry, rows) before they can resume pulling the keelboat - always a dangerous time due to crocs and such.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Quick question for the assembled DM's on the second book.

I wasn't sure whether to post this in the Rules Question forums or here.

One of my pc's is a mesmerist. In the last game she was affected by the curse of melancholy in Grenseldek's chambers.

Should her melancholic state cause her to be unable to cast spells with the emotion component?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
rkotitan wrote:

Quick question for the assembled DM's on the second book.

I wasn't sure whether to post this in the Rules Question forums or here.

One of my pc's is a mesmerist. In the last game she was affected by the curse of melancholy in Grenseldek's chambers.

Should her melancholic state cause her to be unable to cast spells with the emotion component?

Bit late now, but I would rule that it's an emotion effect so the mesmerist can't cast until it's shaken off.


Question about the bilges, and the map.

The description says "This 5-foot-wide corridor stretches for 80 feet between two doors. The corridor is filled with sludge and muck to a depth of 2 feet, and counts as a shallow bog (costing 2 squares of movement to enter a square)."

But looking at the map, it looks like there is water 10' out on each side of the corridor. "Corridor" to me implies a hallway with walls, so can a PC see/go in that water? Or is the corridor more of a bridge?

If it's accessible, how did others treat that water... is it a deep bog? Swimming?

I thought if it is accessible, that could give the PCs interesting cover options for the assault of arrows by Melira, at the expense of swimming with the snake...


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I had it act more like a bridge with the bilge muck acting like a bog on either side, so the whole room is open. Shallow bog is something mentioned in the CRB, I treated the water squares like that.

I am guessing that the 'corridor' is under some water to conceal the traps Melira set but not enough to effect combat.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

That was how I treated it, as well. The blue water squares were all shallow bog and the PCs knew when opening the door that it would be a slog getting through them. And they worried about what they couldn't see "lurking" in the deeper water. This distracted them from the fact that Melira had set up traps on the 5 ft wide catwalk through the center of the bilge, knowing that just enough standing water would be on it to obscure them.

And yes, Numerator, it does give great cover options. Using the water exactly like that is what saved my party. I had her hatefully target the cleric first to maximize her chances of killing them all, and had he not dove/fallen into the water, he would not have been alive to heal other party members and there would have been some nasty casualties.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Maps, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

If anyone's interested, I'm running the entire Giantslayer campaign in an actual play podcast called The Glass Cannon Podcast. We have about 13,000 subscribers at the moment and it's really taking off. I know I always love hearing how each GM deals with the same encounters. Likewise, hopefully you can get something out of the pod too. Check it out!

http://www.glasscannonpodcast.com/episodes/?format=rss

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-glass-cannon-podcast/id1007021910?m t=2

Grand Lodge

Ron Powerhouse wrote:

If anyone's interested, I'm running the entire Giantslayer campaign in an actual play podcast called The Glass Cannon Podcast. We have about 13,000 subscribers at the moment and it's really taking off. I know I always love hearing how each GM deals with the same encounters. Likewise, hopefully you can get something out of the pod too. Check it out!

http://www.glasscannonpodcast.com/episodes/?format=rss

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-glass-cannon-podcast/id1007021910?m t=2

I am listening to it, I am on episode 18 I think


Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

My Sunday group just tackled the orc ambush and hydra in about 2 hours play time.

They made the check on the orcs and our witch put Tark to sleep in the first round, and the druid's summoned crocodile (augmented) grappled him in the 2nd round which effectively ended the orcs' hopes.

The hydra was underwhelming, IMO, over in 1 round. It never got an attack. They're definitely going to hit a "random" encounter immediately when we meet next week.


Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Now I'm preparing for the Redlake Fort encounter and I really don't know how this should go down. I'm worried that a direct assault is a fast track to TPK, but my Sunday party is simply not stealth inclined. For that matter, my Saturday party is all dwarves (all but one gnome sorc), equally unstealthy (I think their highest bonus is -1).

How did the Amber Die folks deal with this? I've read the perspectives and comments, but I'm still a bit unsure. How about everyone else? Argh! This one is a challenge!


Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Ron Powerhouse wrote:
If anyone's interested, I'm running the entire Giantslayer campaign in an actual play podcast called The Glass Cannon Podcast. We have about 13,000 subscribers at the moment and it's really taking off. I know I always love hearing how each GM deals with the same encounters. Likewise, hopefully you can get something out of the pod too. Check it out!

Listening to #43... deadpan: "One.flame.arrow" and I'm in tears laughing so hard.

My Sunday group of noobs actually impressed the hell out of me on this one. They KNEW that the NPC I was playing had grenades, particularly 6 fuse grenades. I told them it was going to take several rounds to place all the grenades so the fighter was ready to swim until the druid said "can't I conjure a water elemental to do this?" I replied "Of course you can." Then the ranger said "what about a fuse? We have rope, right?" Again, I replied in the affirmative "indeed, how do you want to make the fuse?" They said "don't we have anything alchemical, like alchemist's fire?" Again, "yes."

I gave them 10' of "fuse" per alchemist's fire, with a craft check to determine whether or not they blew it a few times (they ended up burning 10 of them off). They figured out to place all of the 6 "bombs" at the base of the dam (river falls map) and I gave them a threshold of 10 pts of damage per bomb. Of the 6, 2 failed (they rolled well), and used the ballista to clean out the rest.

Exciting event.


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For anyone looking for a better handout than the player view in the PDF, I did some editing:

Redlake Fort Player Handout

I started with the player view from the PDF, but cropped it to remove the areas noted in the description (No K4, no K8). I also removed the makeshift bridges between the outbuilding and main building, and will have Calrienne tell them that there is a moat surrounding it and drawbridges that were raised/lowered. That way, when the PCs see the wooden bullwarks around the fort, they will have some confusion.

The only downside is the map still shows the crumbled sections of the northern wall, but I'm going to just instruct my players to ignore that, since obviously any damage to the structure would have happened after the map was made.

Sczarni Order of the Amber Die

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taks wrote:

Now I'm preparing for the Redlake Fort encounter and I really don't know how this should go down. I'm worried that a direct assault is a fast track to TPK, but my Sunday party is simply not stealth inclined. For that matter, my Saturday party is all dwarves (all but one gnome sorc), equally unstealthy (I think their highest bonus is -1).

How did the Amber Die folks deal with this? I've read the perspectives and comments, but I'm still a bit unsure. How about everyone else? Argh! This one is a challenge!

When we were on the river on our way to Redlake Fort, we rescued a Knight of Ozem at an outpost that was being sacked by orcs and she gave us some intel about the stronghold, the most interesting of which was a sewer grate that could be used to infiltrate the main structure. Although attempting to go behind enemy lines was very risky, it seemed less dangerous than a frontal assault so we prepared accordingly. With the aid of our rangers, Kurst Grath and Ingrahild Nargrymkin, we learned that heavy rain (rolled randomly by our GM) was coming within the next few days, which would severely hamper the enemy’s ability to see us coming. They scouted the area at a safe distance to help us stay out of sight of any patrols while we waited for the downpour to begin, then made a nighttime approach with no light sources to give away our position and stayed out of darkvision range. As dawn approached, we imbibed potions of invisibility and Quinn gave Crowe a spider climb infusion so he could climb up the palisade and hold the rope for the rest of us go get over. We expected a battle right away if the enemy had any creatures with scent amongst them, but to our pleasant surprise the mass of tents were empty and the only enemies nearby were a pair of orogs up in a tower just out of view from the grate.

After creeping up and prying it open, we were all bunched up in the tunnel when Crowe (in the lead) was attacked by two gray oozes that lived inside. Fortunately, his uncanny dodge ability prevented him from serious injury, and using total defense he whispered for us to retreat back out of the tunnel. Once we were back out into the open, since we couldn’t see each other and weren’t going to risk communicating verbally, which would’ve prompted Perception checks by the orogs in the tower, our GM asked all players to leave the room, except for whoever’s turn it was in initiative, and had some of us sequestered in different areas both inside and out of the house after our characters started moving in different directions. Also, after every turn he reset the map to where each one of us was, removing inadvertent meta-gaming from occurring. At this point, those of us with bows and crossbows took cover in the tents and attacked the oozes, ending their invisibility, although it soon ended for the rest of us as the durations expired before the end of the encounter. Luckily, we were able to take out the oozes before they plopped out of the opening and were seen, but by then we had a bigger problem: we were split up.

Those of us in tents to the one side of the iron grate near the guard post now had to make Stealth checks to not be seen. Zadim and the rangers mad max ranks so they had no issues. Quinn and Crowe were already on the other side away from the tower so they were fine. The largest problem—literally—was Oloch, as he was wearing full plate, had a low Dexterity, and no ranks in Stealth. However, he did have something going for him: as a half-orc warpriest native to Belkzen, he could try to blend in with the enemy. So he stepped out of the tent, yawned, started chewing on a ration, and waved to the guards up in the tower. With a high enough Bluff check to beat their Sense Motive, they made a face at him and let him go on his way. After that, once he was out of their view, he joined the others, closed the iron grate behind him, and the group continued inside.

We made quick work of encounters against a couple of hill giants and then a pair of manticores. The combats were loud, but the walls and weather imposed significant penalties to Perception checks so we didn’t attract any unwanted attention. With a little luck, we chose the correct path to the final encounter and after dispatching the bodyguards, followed by a fortunate natural 3 on the saving throw against a hold person spell from Oloch, Grenseldek was laid low by a coup de grace from Ingrahild. While some of us looted the chieftain and her retinue, the others gathered whatever intelligence they could from her personal effects throughout the room, and then we made our way back the way we came. After the alarm was raised, a a fight broke out amongst the remaining forces for leadership of Redlake Fort, helping to cover our escape as we got out of there at maximum speed. Mission accomplished!


Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Sounds good, thanks. The more I've read, the less concerned I am. My Sunday noobs are learning well, and are nearly done with the Vault. I spent a bit more time studying the fort as well, and I can see how it would be a fluke to really trigger an all out war against the PCs simply because the inhabitants really hate each other and morale is almost rock bottom.

I don't think my Saturday crew will get this far before our missing player returns and we go back to MM.


Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

We start Redlake Fort Sunday. They decided they will take a trip to Vigil to cash all their loot in after the fort. There will be a fee, of course.

Fun fact: the witch was the only one to fail her will save against the Xtabay pollen. My wife cheered.

Sczarni Order of the Amber Die

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taks wrote:
Sounds good, thanks. The more I've read, the less concerned I am. My Sunday noobs are learning well, and are nearly done with the Vault. I spent a bit more time studying the fort as well, and I can see how it would be a fluke to really trigger an all out war against the PCs simply because the inhabitants really hate each other and morale is almost rock bottom.

So did your group rescue the Knight of Ozem too? Her lead about the sewer grate was the only solid intel we gathered about the fort, although I suppose there were other sources available throughout the module. Hopefully they have enough to put together a decent plan, because they'll need it to avoid a frontal assault.

Anyway, tell your group that the players from Order of the Amber Die wish them the best of luck on Sunday, and let us know how it goes!

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