Battle of Bloodmarch Hill (GM Reference)


Giantslayer

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Silver Crusade

I dig Curtisin's idea. In fact I think it could be expanded in a way to highlights a lot of weird weather patterns that seem antagonistic to the PCs as a means of foreshadowing the BBEG - at least for what little we know of him at this point.


I don't know if this is a silly question, but is it possible to run this from an orcs PoV? Like, say a group of orcs get wind of the impending giant invasion and decide to do something about it?

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Shuurk wrote:

I dig Curtisin's idea. In fact I think it could be expanded in a way to highlights a lot of weird weather patterns that seem antagonistic to the PCs as a means of foreshadowing the BBEG - at least for what little we know of him at this point.

Good idea. I'll be taking that and starting the group on weird weather patterns. Nothing truly strange (yet), but they're about to experience TRULY MISERABLE weather constantly. :P

And as the campaign progress, I think I might increase the frequency of the weather shifts and the extremes of them. (going from a scorcher to a blizzard in a few hours for example, once we hit the 5th or 6th adventure).

Scarab Sages

Dosgamer wrote:
Mind you, the Proving Time (when orcs are most aggressive) lasts until spring, then comes the Flood Truce which lasts through the summer. Seeing a bunch of invading orcs during the Flood Truce might be a signal to the people of Trunau that something is amiss if you decide to place the events of the first book in the spring/summer. I kind of like that idea myself. Good luck!

It would be very cool to incorporate the Flood Truce and Proving Time into the AP, but be aware that all (or almost all) of the adventures were written before I came up with that concept, so they are very unlikely to include it unless an editor read the Belkzen Campaign Setting book and decided to include a tidbit from it; but that's very unlikely.


I rather like the idea of placing the start of the AP during the Flood Truce, and then incorporating the idea of unusual weather (fog rising up from the flooded plain) to conceal the invading orcs until it is too late. That's two indications that this isn't a typical orc war party. The third "clue" that the invasion is atypical would be that the war party leader is a half-orc rather than an orc. Good stuff!

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After having done a bit of math, I've realized that if we assume the defenders are about 100 feet up (seems reasonable given the lay of the land and the towers), they can see about 12 miles away, which is a 4 hour march. That won't, even at the best of times, be a lot of time for a city to prepare for a siege, so I'm gonna stick with the fog, and have them caught nearly totally unawares.


Since I'm going to be running this soon I've been doing a lot of detail checking.

The bit about weather effects - of fog or something hiding the orcs - is in the book though not obvious. Specifically, as the PCs enter the Inner Quarter storm clouds move in over the town.

And that storm will have been approaching all afternoon - easily providing concealment for a band of orc raiders.

So not a fog (which is weird for the terrain) but a more 'natural' storm marching out of the Mindspin Mountains. Add in guards in disarray and wanting to pay last respects and that particular issue goes away (at least in my mind).

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kirkspencer wrote:

Since I'm going to be running this soon I've been doing a lot of detail checking.

The bit about weather effects - of fog or something hiding the orcs - is in the book though not obvious. Specifically, as the PCs enter the Inner Quarter storm clouds move in over the town.

And that storm will have been approaching all afternoon - easily providing concealment for a band of orc raiders.

So not a fog (which is weird for the terrain) but a more 'natural' storm marching out of the Mindspin Mountains. Add in guards in disarray and wanting to pay last respects and that particular issue goes away (at least in my mind).

Actually I thought fog (and rain) was quite common in mountains, since it's a matter of condensation leaving the air, as it passes from warmer climates and then past the mountains where the air can contain less moisture?

Living in a land that's as flat as a pancake doesn't give me much experience to work on though. :P

Silver Crusade

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I reckon the fog being out of place adds to the mystery thus works well for some foreshadowing.


Curtisin wrote:

Actually I thought fog (and rain) was quite common in mountains, since it's a matter of condensation leaving the air, as it passes from warmer climates and then past the mountains where the air can contain less moisture?

Living in a land that's as flat as a pancake doesn't give me much experience to work on though. :P

heh - been there about living in flatland.

As I read the map, Trunau is at best in foothills if not rolling plains. It's also on the hill, not in the valley. Mountain fog rules do not apply.

The big thing that would be 'odd' would be a fog that lasts through the day - whether sitting on Trunau all day or creeping in over half a day starting about noon. Either in a world of magic screams "Magic Here" to me, making it hard to believe surprise was achieved. If it works for you, go for it. For me, the rolling storm foreshadows without triggering warnings from its blatancy.

I /like/ your idea of weather foreshadowing. At the same time I have players who are adept at spotting such so have to avoid too heavy a hand. Since the book actually mentions the weather, I'll just use that.

.. besides, if things are going too well in Act 2 I'll just muse at how hard it is to light fires in a pouring rainstorm.


If I'm reading the pacing right, casters are almost certainly out of spells by the time they face Crusher, much less the final battle.

Am I reading it right; if so are other GMs just planning to let this run its course; if so and if not how do you plan to deal with it?

personally, it feels like the scenario becomes unfun for casters when they spend the last half trying to contribute without casting spells or getting into close melee. I could be wrong, though, and so the question.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

It definitely reads that the whole of the battle and the tomb section are continuous.

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It does read like that it's continous.

However, I don't think it'd be much of a problem for them to be given a rest period in between (I plan on doing so), as there's bound to be a lot of confusion after the end of the Orc attack, and after the battle, there likely to be a lot of confusion.

In short, my excuse is going to be along the lines of "Guard who saw them enter the tomb, was wounded during the battle, fell unconcious and only just woke up and told the story".


You missed my point, I think, though I wasn't all that clear.

Third level hasn't that many spells, but it still requires eight hours of sleep and a period of study/prayer/meditation/etc. to regain them. It appears to me that most of our casters will be out of spells before the run is through, which will in turn make the Tomb Raid something less than fun.

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I think I got you Kirk, but that was why I wanted to give them a rest period. (8 hours).
8 hours, to me at least, doesn't seem like much time to get someone stabilized from a battle wound, conscious and understandable once more.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Agreed; the wounded guard is a very nice touch.


Curtisin wrote:

It does read like that it's continous.

However, I don't think it'd be much of a problem for them to be given a rest period in between (I plan on doing so), as there's bound to be a lot of confusion after the end of the Orc attack, and after the battle, there likely to be a lot of confusion.

In short, my excuse is going to be along the lines of "Guard who saw them enter the tomb, was wounded during the battle, fell unconcious and only just woke up and told the story".

It unfortunately doesn't really close the plot hole of why the villain is still in the tomb and hasn't found what he's needed and absconded by then.

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Carter Lockhart wrote:


It unfortunately doesn't really close the plot hole of why the villain is still in the tomb and hasn't found what he's needed and absconded by then.

That's a fair point, hadn't thought of that one, unless Skreed either ran into serious trouble (placing a large number of corpses around would sort that, but then surely someone would know already) or he retreated after taking a beating in the initial run-in and is doing the "Dr. Jones" approach, waiting for the PCs to clear the remainder and then coming along to take it from them.


Curtisin wrote:
That's a fair point, hadn't thought of that one, unless Skreed either ran into serious trouble (placing a large number of corpses around would sort that, but then surely someone would know already) or he retreated after taking a beating in the initial run-in and is doing the "Dr. Jones" approach, waiting for the PCs to clear the remainder and then coming along to take it from them.

I've seen that a place or two as well and it may be the way I take it.

Right now, though, I'm leaning toward just making it a slog. The march down the hill, the toss-bucket, the giant - after that this last bit is a walk in the garden, right? (sarcasm, please note).

The thing is, I'm leaning toward thinking it locks into the mind that this is, well, it's an attempt to stop a war. Not a small cult or a nasty demon but orc hordes braced by giant masses. And while it's been a bit since I ran Giants, it seems like the enemies were almost endless then, too.

That said, I'm leaning toward a serendipitous scroll or two. I'll see how it looks when we get to that point.


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So a note on the assassins... we played that event last week, and here is how I modified it:

Since some of the PCs were established in town and some were new, they were planning on splitting up for the night. I had Kurst get a message to them that afternoon to tell them that, while he was helping his father at a family friend's house, they could have leave to stay in his and his father's private rooms off the side of the longhouse (which put all the PCs in the same building, with 4 small rooms). The party quickly decided that they did not need to set a guard (partly because they felt safe in town, and partly because the wolf encounter was that evening, so they thought they were "past" the fight for that day).

None of them passed a perception check (only one even could have, with a 20), so they were asleep when the battle started. I estimated a Coup-de-grace would be too much (3d6+4 would probably kill them all), so instead I figured the assassins each would delay an attack until one gave a signal. I also removed the sneak attack damage. Lastly, I decided to make the damage 1d3+2, rather than 1d6+2 (partly because I rolled a 5,6,4,6 on the attacks). This put each of the PCs at around half, with an AoO about to happen as they got up from their beds. Even nerfing the damage in the surprise round like that, the party barely made it out... really, they were saved because they had a witch with the sleep hex, and he put 2 of the assassins to sleep while the others coordinated to have them tied up before they awoke. Add to that one crit, and the last assassin fled.

The interrogation that followed was fun! I had the assassins tell the PCs that they were told to kill the people staying in those rooms... since the rooms were usually occupied by the Grath family, now the PCs aren't sure if they were the targets, or Kurst and Jagrim!

All in all, it was a tough battle, and the players had a very strong relief when they made it through. It also taught them that they are not safe in the city.


Follow up Shadow Rat question:

When not in their incorporeal form but using the Shadow Blend, does that 50% miss chance still apply to PCs with Darkvision? My PCs are a Half-orc, 2 dwarves, and a Tiefling, so all 4 have darkvision. Does the fact that it's an (su) ability make darkvision moot (the same way a light spell doesn't negate it)?


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The Numerator wrote:

Follow up Shadow Rat question:

When not in their incorporeal form but using the Shadow Blend, does that 50% miss chance still apply to PCs with Darkvision? My PCs are a Half-orc, 2 dwarves, and a Tiefling, so all 4 have darkvision. Does the fact that it's an (su) ability make darkvision moot (the same way a light spell doesn't negate it)?

Shadow Blend is Ex actually.

As an ability, it is seperate from regular concealment imposed by lighting conditions. So yes, darkvision is moot. Only bright light negates it. Basically, if shadows have the chance of existing in the lighting conditions, the shadow rat instinctually manipulates them and gets mad concealment.


How high is Bloodmarch Hill? I haven't been able to find a rough estimate.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Maybe a writer could chime in; does Trunau have importance later on in the AP? Other than a home base for PCs, or their home?


From a brief perusal of the Campaign Outline & the Hill Giant's Pledge, it does not appear so.

Sovereign Court Senior Developer

Trunau's safety is the impetus behind the second adventure, as Trunau is still under threat by the Heart Eaters tribe. Once the PCs take out Grenseldek at the end of that adventure, Trunau's safety is pretty much assured (as much as it can be for a human town in Belkzen), and the focus shift to a much greater regional/national threat: the Storm Tyrant.

Short answer: No, Trunau has no major role or importance later in the AP. :)

Sovereign Court Senior Developer

Joana wrote:
How high is Bloodmarch Hill? I haven't been able to find a rough estimate.

It's about 40 feet high (it's mentioned in the short description of the Inner Quarter [area I] on page 10 of the adventure).


kirkspencer wrote:
Curtisin wrote:
That's a fair point, hadn't thought of that one, unless Skreed either ran into serious trouble (placing a large number of corpses around would sort that, but then surely someone would know already) or he retreated after taking a beating in the initial run-in and is doing the "Dr. Jones" approach, waiting for the PCs to clear the remainder and then coming along to take it from them.

I've seen that a place or two as well and it may be the way I take it.

Right now, though, I'm leaning toward just making it a slog. The march down the hill, the toss-bucket, the giant - after that this last bit is a walk in the garden, right? (sarcasm, please note).

The thing is, I'm leaning toward thinking it locks into the mind that this is, well, it's an attempt to stop a war. Not a small cult or a nasty demon but orc hordes braced by giant masses. And while it's been a bit since I ran Giants, it seems like the enemies were almost endless then, too.

That said, I'm leaning toward a serendipitous scroll or two. I'll see how it looks when we get to that point.

I'll be throwing my players a Scroll of Nap Stack. I'm running 3 players through, so they're already a bit short changed, but I've got two casters, so sleep is essential to them. I do however, want to press upon them that there's very little time for rest in the middle of a war.

I'm still not sure whether I'm going to play "Dr. Jones" or not. I guess I'll decide that once I see the outcome of Crusher.


Reading ahead a little bit, we have flying castles and storm giants mucking about, that could play havoc on weather systems giving rise to unusual fog and/or storm clouds.


The Numerator wrote:

So a note on the assassins... we played that event last week, and here is how I modified it:

Since some of the PCs were established in town and some were new, they were planning on splitting up for the night. I had Kurst get a message to them that afternoon to tell them that, while he was helping his father at a family friend's house, they could have leave to stay in his and his father's private rooms off the side of the longhouse (which put all the PCs in the same building, with 4 small rooms). The party quickly decided that they did not need to set a guard (partly because they felt safe in town, and partly because the wolf encounter was that evening, so they thought they were "past" the fight for that day).

None of them passed a perception check (only one even could have, with a 20), so they were asleep when the battle started. I estimated a Coup-de-grace would be too much (3d6+4 would probably kill them all), so instead I figured the assassins each would delay an attack until one gave a signal. I also removed the sneak attack damage. Lastly, I decided to make the damage 1d3+2, rather than 1d6+2 (partly because I rolled a 5,6,4,6 on the attacks). This put each of the PCs at around half, with an AoO about to happen as they got up from their beds. Even nerfing the damage in the surprise round like that, the party barely made it out... really, they were saved because they had a witch with the sleep hex, and he put 2 of the assassins to sleep while the others coordinated to have them tied up before they awoke. Add to that one crit, and the last assassin fled.

The interrogation that followed was fun! I had the assassins tell the PCs that they were told to kill the people staying in those rooms... since the rooms were usually occupied by the Grath family, now the PCs aren't sure if they were the targets, or Kurst and Jagrim!

All in all, it was a tough battle, and the players had a very strong relief when they made it through. It also taught them that they are not safe in the city.

Sounds like you had a lot of fun. When I ran this part I had Chem Larringfass move them into one room because she had a series of traders coming through the next day who needed the single rooms. In the PCs backstories before the campaign they had been doing odd jobs for her here and there so it worked for them.

In the attack I was going to actually kill one of the PCs just to get their attention, but when one of them rolled a natural 20 on their perception, they noticed anyways. One of them still almost died!


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kirkspencer wrote:

If I'm reading the pacing right, casters are almost certainly out of spells by the time they face Crusher, much less the final battle.

Am I reading it right; if so are other GMs just planning to let this run its course; if so and if not how do you plan to deal with it?

personally, it feels like the scenario becomes unfun for casters when they spend the last half trying to contribute without casting spells or getting into close melee. I could be wrong, though, and so the question.

Hey Kirk, I was really glad to find this thread because we are playing it right now. In fact, we are just at the point where the PCs level up to 3 and are about to engage with Omarst Frum at the assault of the west gate of Inner Trunau.

Basically in getting there, one barbarian and one battlemage fell but were brought back with healing. Where they stand now (Group of 5: barbarian, battlemage, slayer, cleric, rogue) is to be almost out of spells, although I did give them that wand of cure light wounds and with the potions they found I don't suspect healing will be an immediate issue.

I was going to run that final assault with Frum with a few mods:

1. In reading the adventure it never made sense to me that the PCs would secure the inner quarter, then run outside to the barter stones, then somehow come back to fight a giant. So they are going to go straight from the closing of the Inner Quarter to Crusher. Depending on how the waves of orcs go with Frum, I ***might***introduce a light catapult that flings the flaming bodies of Trunauan guards at them. Thought this was a particularly grisly touch.

2. After closing the inner quarter gates, I was thinking you could do something like have Kurst ride up and tell them that the inner quarter and Trunau common (the area they entered from, can't remember the name at the moment) are all secure and that the battle appears to be shifting in their favour the lower quarter, giving the PCs once they get through and light the fire at the hopespring (FWIW I agree with the previous sentiment that the exploding piece seems gratuitous. If you are giving them a rest however, do it, if not, don't maybe)? Then, they could be woken up with the message at the Longhouse that all hell has broken lose at the hopespring and Trunau's guard have been driven back by a giant?

Am trying to decide what to do...might just make a judgement call when I see how wasted they are at the end of the battle with Frum and the Orcish waves.


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Shishire wrote:
kirkspencer wrote:
Curtisin wrote:
That's a fair point, hadn't thought of that one, unless Skreed either ran into serious trouble (placing a large number of corpses around would sort that, but then surely someone would know already) or he retreated after taking a beating in the initial run-in and is doing the "Dr. Jones" approach, waiting for the PCs to clear the remainder and then coming along to take it from them.

I've seen that a place or two as well and it may be the way I take it.

Right now, though, I'm leaning toward just making it a slog. The march down the hill, the toss-bucket, the giant - after that this last bit is a walk in the garden, right? (sarcasm, please note).

The thing is, I'm leaning toward thinking it locks into the mind that this is, well, it's an attempt to stop a war. Not a small cult or a nasty demon but orc hordes braced by giant masses. And while it's been a bit since I ran Giants, it seems like the enemies were almost endless then, too.

That said, I'm leaning toward a serendipitous scroll or two. I'll see how it looks when we get to that point.

I'll be throwing my players a Scroll of Nap Stack. I'm running 3 players through, so they're already a bit short changed, but I've got two casters, so sleep is essential to them. I do however, want to press upon them that there's very little time for rest in the middle of a war.

I'm still not sure whether I'm going to play "Dr. Jones" or not. I guess I'll decide that once I see the outcome of Crusher.

I think that is a great idea...I might do the same. Thanks. In fact, you could have Silvermane given it to them for saving them. Or, once the inner quarter is secure, perhaps Kurst surveys the damage alongside Tyari Varvatos from the Sanctuary. She could likely cast it for them and might be a nice touch.

One fun thing that I did was run two sections as ambushes:

- For L6 & L7 I basically had orcish archers with readied attacks at the tower's murder holes. Once they saw the PCs, they shot, then I had two of the buildings' orcs come out seperated by a few rounds. Then I had Kagak come down to beat his drum, motivate and generally cause havoc. In the process I had the PC barbarian to -11 (he could go to -12) and the battle mage at (-4), the PCs ALMOST had to fall back to the safe zone before a natural 20 killed Kagak and turned the tide.

- I also ran L8 & 9 as an ambush. Basically I got them into that alley with Urnsul, before the the beast tamer and her dogs emerged from the smoke. I cut out the orcish raiders from L10 because they were exhausted and well beat up by then.

Hey...I told them to bring back up PCs! This group enjoys what they call "battle with consequences" and I want to reward them for smart battle and punish for dumb moves.

Overall this is a lot of fun doing this AP!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

How do some people think Rodrick ingested the oil of taggit? It is an ingested poison and after festivities its unlikely he ate anything in his room. And the rooms are listed as spartan.

My players rolled high with the priestess so it struck me as very likely she could cast speak with dead for them. I could have him drink from a pitcher of water or something.


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For anyone that ran the battle already, did anyone succeed at saving Sara?

I was just thinking through this... smoke inhalation (w/ a fairly high Fort DC for low level PCs) causes PCs to do nothing but choke for a round, but the rescue requires 2 PCs and Agrit to use full round actions for 2 consecutive rounds... if any fail that check, then wouldn't that require you to start again w/ the 2 consecutive rounds? The attacking Orcs make it likely that a party of 4 would have 2 hold off the Orcs, while 2 lift the wreckage... so you need 6 fairly lucky rolls, and one fail out of 4 would mean starting over.

Since the house collapses in 8 rounds, then basically they'd get 4 chances to hit 6 consecutive good rolls... seems a fairly unlikely situation, no?

I'm not trying to be a nay-sayer, I'm mostly just thinking through how I should handle the choking (like if they all pass one round, but then one passes and the others fail, can they "maintain" what they've done and only have to hit one more round?)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I've read this over a few times and am wondering if the PCs ever find out who killed Rodrik? I know that there's enough there to assume some foul play but I can't find anything definite.

And I haven't gotten that far yet Numerator but I recall thinking the same thing.


So my group just got through Event 2 (The diseased wolves). They have a druid with them and he stabilized the wolves after the battle and will pen them up. He made his heal check to determine that they were poisoned. Now here is my question: The poisoned wolves transmit Bleeder's Disease, but is that also now what they are suffering from? It says that Skreed injected them with a toxin 'of his own design'. Do they need to make the saves for Bleeder's disease, or do they need a neutralize poison spell? Also, what would be the Heal Check DC to know the difference?

Liberty's Edge

Shaun Hocking wrote:
Golaryn wrote:
Shaun Hocking wrote:

This does seem, on first reading, like a particularly tough initial adventure. I agree about the danger of the high trap damage in the plague house, and the assassins' nocturnal attack, but I was most concerned, however, by the fact that Parts 2 and 3 run with no possibility to rest overnight and regain per day abilities or learn new spells.

When the orc attack comes in Part 2, the PCs are still in 'investigation mode' since they haven't uncovered the murderer, and spellcasters are likely to have prepared spells that aid their investigations. Sure, those spells might still be useful when interrogating captives, but the massive amount of battles they are expected to survive will assuredly be their priority, and I foresee some very frustrated players who haven't been given the opportunity to prepare a full complement of combat spells.

As soon as the battle against the invaders is over, the PCs are expected to go straight into the tomb to start Part 3. Although it doesn't explicitly state that the PCs must go in immeditaely and cannot rest overnight and enter the tomb in the morning, that seems to be the implication. After all, if left in there overnight, Skreed is likely to have found what he is looking for.

What a dastardly tough pickle the PCs are going to find themselves in.

I was considering having a Trunau patrol spot the orc invaders and arrive in time to warn the town that an attack is imminent, probably by the following day. This should give PCs the chance to prepare new spells and stock up, but still allows for the surprise of when the orcs will actually attack. Obviously, in this scenario there would need to be some reason why the prepared town was caught with their pants down enough to let orcs inside at all. Thoughts?

I am not too worried about the time frame. The party's only chance to find out what is going on is to capture the half orc in the Plague House and he is only there at night. If the PC's do a night adventure
...

I handled this by staging the funeral the day after the Plague House was finished. This gave them rest and new spells for the attack gauntlet.

Liberty's Edge

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brad2411 wrote:
In event 3 should the assassins not coup de grace if they can? That could be a real TPK if they do. That would be 3d6 on the first attack and a fort save.

Make sure you apply all of the bonuses for the perception rolls. It's in your best interest to wake up at least one party member to sound the alarm. You _ARE_ allowed some fiat now and then in the AP so you can get over small bumps like this.

One of the characters in my game took the Trunau Native trait, so I gave him a house. The Assassins have to navigate the house, in the dark, so I had them make perception checks as they moved. One hit his leg on a chair, which woke up the rogue, which woke up the group - I still nearly killed 2 of the party members in the combat.

Liberty's Edge

Curtisin wrote:
After having done a bit of math, I've realized that if we assume the defenders are about 100 feet up (seems reasonable given the lay of the land and the towers), they can see about 12 miles away, which is a 4 hour march. That won't, even at the best of times, be a lot of time for a city to prepare for a siege, so I'm gonna stick with the fog, and have them caught nearly totally unawares.

I just had a sentry roll in at the end of the funeral and the burning rocks came flying in and set the trees on fire.

I focused more on the attack happening when most of the guard would have been at Rodrick's funeral, then ran the party through the gauntlet to light the fires. It was an underhanded attack, through sheer trickery.

The way I figure it, the fires are visible to the surrounding area, where most of the Trunaun folks live (it does say that most don't live in town, and some rent space in town for during attacks) - and it gives them time to scramble some militia and counter-attack.

Liberty's Edge

Banahogg wrote:
kirkspencer wrote:

If I'm reading the pacing right, casters are almost certainly out of spells by the time they face Crusher, much less the final battle.

Am I reading it right; if so are other GMs just planning to let this run its course; if so and if not how do you plan to deal with it?

personally, it feels like the scenario becomes unfun for casters when they spend the last half trying to contribute without casting spells or getting into close melee. I could be wrong, though, and so the question.

Hey Kirk, I was really glad to find this thread because we are playing it right now. In fact, we are just at the point where the PCs level up to 3 and are about to engage with Omarst Frum at the assault of the west gate of Inner Trunau.

Basically in getting there, one barbarian and one battlemage fell but were brought back with healing. Where they stand now (Group of 5: barbarian, battlemage, slayer, cleric, rogue) is to be almost out of spells, although I did give them that wand of cure light wounds and with the potions they found I don't suspect healing will be an immediate issue.

I was going to run that final assault with Frum with a few mods:

1. In reading the adventure it never made sense to me that the PCs would secure the inner quarter, then run outside to the barter stones, then somehow come back to fight a giant. So they are going to go straight from the closing of the Inner Quarter to Crusher. Depending on how the waves of orcs go with Frum, I ***might***introduce a light catapult that flings the flaming bodies of Trunauan guards at them. Thought this was a particularly grisly touch.

2. After closing the inner quarter gates, I was thinking you could do something like have Kurst ride up and tell them that the inner quarter and Trunau common (the area they entered from, can't remember the name at the moment) are all secure and that the battle appears to be shifting in their favour the lower quarter, giving the PCs once they get through and light the fire at the...

I'm not giving mine any rest - I prefaced the encounter by telling them it would be a series of battles, not a single encounter.

I also have plans to have one of the town clerics do a drive by channel if it gets too dire before they make it down to the tomb.

Right now they have cleared the gates and are making their way to the Hopespring to light that candle...err fire.

Liberty's Edge

Golaryn wrote:
Shaun Hocking wrote:

This does seem, on first reading, like a particularly tough initial adventure. I agree about the danger of the high trap damage in the plague house, and the assassins' nocturnal attack, but I was most concerned, however, by the fact that Parts 2 and 3 run with no possibility to rest overnight and regain per day abilities or learn new spells.

When the orc attack comes in Part 2, the PCs are still in 'investigation mode' since they haven't uncovered the murderer, and spellcasters are likely to have prepared spells that aid their investigations. Sure, those spells might still be useful when interrogating captives, but the massive amount of battles they are expected to survive will assuredly be their priority, and I foresee some very frustrated players who haven't been given the opportunity to prepare a full complement of combat spells.

As soon as the battle against the invaders is over, the PCs are expected to go straight into the tomb to start Part 3. Although it doesn't explicitly state that the PCs must go in immeditaely and cannot rest overnight and enter the tomb in the morning, that seems to be the implication. After all, if left in there overnight, Skreed is likely to have found what he is looking for.

What a dastardly tough pickle the PCs are going to find themselves in.

I was considering having a Trunau patrol spot the orc invaders and arrive in time to warn the town that an attack is imminent, probably by the following day. This should give PCs the chance to prepare new spells and stock up, but still allows for the surprise of when the orcs will actually attack. Obviously, in this scenario there would need to be some reason why the prepared town was caught with their pants down enough to let orcs inside at all. Thoughts?

I am not too worried about the time frame. The party's only chance to find out what is going on is to capture the half orc in the Plague House and he is only there at night. If the PC's do a night adventure and finish up by morning...

I planted a rumor of strange goings on and a blue fire at the Plague House at night. I used Rodrick's funeral as a distraction to launch the attack - all the leaders of the town were there.

Liberty's Edge

Rob McCreary wrote:
Joana wrote:
Carter Lockhart wrote:
Inner sea world guide has you covered with the Belkzen chapter. It's south of the Kestrel River, looking at the map, approximately 25 miles west of its eastern border and 50 miles north of south border (I think player guide gave more specific coordinates)
Thanks! That's what I was looking for. The old 'Inner Sea Reigon' map didn't even have the Kestrel River marked for reference.
There is also a map in the next adventure, "The Hill Giant's Pledge," that shows the area, including Trunau, Freedom Town, Vigil, and the borders (as well as the locations for that adventure). It'll be here in only a month!

This is what happens when things are added later for plots and stories :)

Liberty's Edge

So how are you guys GMing this handling the economy in the area as far as
stuff for PCs - overall the AP seems a little light on loot, and Trunau seems to have a low economy.

How are you working around this for party equipment?


Seannoss wrote:

How do some people think Rodrick ingested the oil of taggit? It is an ingested poison and after festivities its unlikely he ate anything in his room. And the rooms are listed as spartan.

My players rolled high with the priestess so it struck me as very likely she could cast speak with dead for them. I could have him drink from a pitcher of water or something.

I had it that when they examined the body there was a half-filled flask on it. I had that it was inscribed with 'To my son, Rodrik, Drink fully of life! -Jagrin' and I randomly listed it among the items on the body to see if my players picked up on it. One did, and had the paladin, Calderon, detect poison on it which it did.

My reasoning was at the hopeknife ceremony, Skreed, or a pickpocket he hired, lifted the flask from Rodrik, added the oil of taggit and replaced the flask. Since there was plenty of beverages at the ceremony, there was no reason for Rodrik to drink the flask until he got to his room and had a nightcap. I know it is a bit of a stretch, but they had already exaimed the room and I did not describe it containing a pitcher or that Cham brought him one when they questioned her, so now I had to get creative.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

If this can help anyone else; my players just finished the investigation last night and got hung up on the last step of finding Katrezra. My PCs went to Clamor fairly early before other facts had come up and hadn't considered returning. I had Katrezra reach out to the PCs via a note and have a final interview with Sara

Thought I'd share, not sure if this was a missed point for other groups.


Sooo... Can a mute druid cast verbal spells while wild shaped and w/o silent spell? (rowwwr... Grrr... Presto)

Idle minds want to know


I'd be much obliged if someone could give me some guidance on just what the consequences should be for not stopping Skreed in Trunau. The group I'm running it for had a lot of trouble with the shadow rat swarm in Uskroth's Tomb and ultimately decided to retire the group as a whole to bring in new characters. They'd been struggling mightily up to this point and the shadow rat swarm was the straw that broke the camel's back so to speak.

At any rate, it feels like a pretty significant thing, to not stop Skreed from absconding with the gem/map, so I'm looking to do the significance of the event justice. Without Skreed dying, obviously Melira doesn't attack the group in book 2 so that's an immediate change.

Speaking of Melira, if Skreed isn't even dead, is she even on the boat in book 2? I feel like she maybe shouldn't be but should instead be with Skreed where ever the group encounters him next. That's also assuming he's even still part of the AP. Maybe Grenseldek tells him his services are no longer needed and he leaves with Melira to do his own thing, effectively removing him from the AP. On the flip side, maybe she finds a place for him as her right hand or something, meaning both him and Melira stick around for a bit.

Let's say that Melira and Skreed are both present in Redlake Fort. Would it be acceptable to maybe give them a small boost to their difficulty in the form of another class level or something?

I'm really kind of out of my element here. I'd love any kind of direction or assistance that anyone could offer in terms of figuring out just how it affects the AP to not stop Skreed from getting the map our of Trunau. Thanks!


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redelic wrote:

I'd be much obliged if someone could give me some guidance on just what the consequences should be for not stopping Skreed in Trunau. The group I'm running it for had a lot of trouble with the shadow rat swarm in Uskroth's Tomb and ultimately decided to retire the group as a whole to bring in new characters. They'd been struggling mightily up to this point and the shadow rat swarm was the straw that broke the camel's back so to speak.

At any rate, it feels like a pretty significant thing, to not stop Skreed from absconding with the gem/map, so I'm looking to do the significance of the event justice. Without Skreed dying, obviously Melira doesn't attack the group in book 2 so that's an immediate change.

Speaking of Melira, if Skreed isn't even dead, is she even on the boat in book 2? I feel like she maybe shouldn't be but should instead be with Skreed where ever the group encounters him next. That's also assuming he's even still part of the AP. Maybe Grenseldek tells him his services are no longer needed and he leaves with Melira to do his own thing, effectively removing him from the AP. On the flip side, maybe she finds a place for him as her right hand or something, meaning both him and Melira stick around for a bit.

Let's say that Melira and Skreed are both present in Redlake Fort. Would it be acceptable to maybe give them a small boost to their difficulty in the form of another class level or something?

I'm really kind of out of my element here. I'd love any kind of direction or assistance that anyone could offer in terms of figuring out just how it affects the AP to not stop Skreed from getting the map our of Trunau. Thanks!

Taking a slightly different tack, you could use Katreza as a sort of a maguffin - let him have a vision of Skreed and what he's doing, perhaps the tiniest insight as to why or some grand, hazy visions of the consequences of having him succeed... then it could be a race to track him down and recover the gem (and other artifacts) from him. that way the overall campaign doesn't change so much and Melira is still vengeful.

There are some definite plot holes in the first book, such as how Skreed and his allies managed to avoid all of the dangers the PC's have to fight through in the tomb, but once they've tracked him down it'd be easy enough to say he cleared out the threats there when making his escape.

Definitely think the Shadowrat Swarm (and Shadowrats for that matter) should be one of those things GM's swap out if their PC's don't have a realistic way of dealing with them.


Wiggz wrote:
Taking a slightly different tack, you could use Katreza as a sort of a maguffin - let him have a vision of Skreed and what he's doing, perhaps the tiniest insight as to why or some grand, hazy visions of the consequences of having him succeed... then it could be a race to track him down and recover the gem (and other artifacts) from him. that way the overall campaign doesn't change so much and Melira is still vengeful.

Using Katreza in that way doesn't sound like a terrible idea. I'm thinking that since the group is bringing in a totally new set of characters that they might not arrive for at least a couple days, giving Skreed a pretty sizable lead on them.

Wiggz wrote:
Definitely think the Shadowrat Swarm (and Shadowrats for that matter) should be one of those things GM's swap out if their PC's don't have a realistic way of dealing with them.

I can agree with that. They didn't really struggle too much with the first set of rats. I figured they'd have a bit of trouble with the swarm but they had way more trouble than I thought they would. I also screwed up and had them dealing their normal damage while in incorporeal form but I think that the strength damage would have added up and they would have ended up retreating anyway.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

An easy solution would be to have both of them on the boat. Maybe they want to get to the hill giant's fort too and that's the easiest way.

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