Battle of Bloodmarch Hill (GM Reference)


Giantslayer

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Does the 1000gp limit on Trunau also apply to nonmagical items, like suits of full plate or mithril heavy shields etc?


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Well, the settlements section specifically calls out magic items, so maybe not. The party may not have enough gold/treasure till they're done with the first book anyway.


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One of my Saturday dwarves is waiting on full plate. He might have enough at the end of part 2, sorta, but there's no opportunity to purchase till they finish finish with Skreed. I'm still torn on how to run the gauntlet for them.

So far, the party has kept nearly everything they've found, except the 100% stuff and repeated mundane items. They do keep gems, however, for weight, but I don't count coin encumberance so it is more fluff than anything.


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I usually don't have mundane items that appear in the Core apply to the purchase limit, with the exception of exotic weapons. Where it gets trickier is if they're looking for something from Ultimate Equipment, particularly some of the more interesting alchemical or culture-specific items. Then I'd apply the 75% chance.

If they are going to want a large number of items, I'd likely run a one shot side quest: escort a Tien blacksmith from a city, or rescue the alchemist who is being held hostage by a goblin tribe for his firework crafting ability... something like that.

Also, if it's a well supplied city like Sandpoint (or even Trunau, since I believe the AP mentions regular trade from Lastwall), I usually follow up a failed 75% chance with an auto-succeed the following week. I think of it like a merchant going back to the larger city and finding it there to bring back for next time, or a local merchant messaging their contact and having it sent via courier. To do this, the PC must pay up front.


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All good ideas, The Numerator. I particularly like the wait a week and succeed idea, because that's sorta like saying "hey, do you have this in stock, and if not, can you order it?" and the shopkeep replies "yeah, sorry, sold my last one a couple days ago, I should have another on the shipment I get next week."

The way I see it, settlement RAW specifically calls out "magic items" when referring to the base value, so I'm perfectly fine assuming they can find that full plate. There won't be 10 of them, but 1, sure.


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Also, as a follow up to the earlier questions about the logic flaws, here was how I envisioned the battle flowing (with some fixes based on my own or many other people's ideas from this thread... thanks a ton for those, btw!):

Setup:
In the days before the raid, Skreed was secretly smuggling in a number of orcs/half-orcs and hiding them in his new base of operations in the town (a vacant flop house). When the raid starts, they are already hiding in the inner quarter.

Most of the town was up top for the funeral at sunset, leaving only a skeleton crew on the walls. Shortly before the funeral, a very thick fog rolled in (hinting at storm giant intervention, perhaps a scroll was provided). This allowed the main orc force (of only a few hundred) to get close to the city w/ the siege weapons. Rocks fly, the alarm is sounded, and the main force approaches the front gate.

Most of the on-duty militia heads down to defend the main gate, leaving only a handful behind in the inner quarter gate. The Inner Quarter orcs come out from hiding and split up, some to kill the locals and start fires, and some to take the gate to the lower city (L2e/f). Being overwhelmed, those few militia retreated to L2g and barricaded themselves in that tower.

PCs Arrive at Inner Quarter:
Kurst (mounted, with Omast and a small force of militia) gives the PCs the order to secure the inner quarter, rides through the smoke of the burning trees and past the inner gate. Not seeing militia manning the wall there, he leaves Omast to investigate, and heads to the main gate. When he gets there, he finds out that an advanced party of orc ran ahead of the main group and got through the gate already (and are currently sneaking through the lower city). With not enough fighters to search for them, he sets a rear guard and focuses on keeping the main gate secure from the force outside. So there are 2 separate orc forces in the city already: the saboteurs in the Inner Quarter, and the advance group in the Lower Quarter.

Back at the inner gate, the orcs are up on the wall, trying to get to the militia hiding in the guard tower. Omast, seeing they are distracted, sabotages the door to that tower, trapping them in the northern half of the wall (L2f). He then sneaks into the far side (L2e) and lowers one of the two portcullises, jamming it shut. Omast realizes that these Orcs were keeping this open for a reason, so he heads to L11 to prepare for an assault. He pulls out pre-assembled barricades from where they are normally stashed amidst the houses, and sets them up as best he can.

The PCs secure the inner quarter, arrive at L11 and find Omast ready for the waves of Orcs (which was the advanced force that snuck in prior to Kurst securing the main gate). Once the assault starts, I had the Orcs in the tower (L2f) realize they are trapped and try to break out (adding another threat). Depending on how the battle went, that could be an additional wave at the end, or you can just have the last wave come from the door. Once the orcs are out of the tower, the militia that was hiding up top are able to lower the remaining portcullis, and the inner quarter is secure. Omast says he'll assume command of this gate, and asks the PCs to continue on to the final beacon.

After the Waves:
Kurst, having not heard from Omast, rides back and meets the PCs at the Hopespring after they lit the last beacon. I previously had the PCs do a Perception check to notice that the boulders were no longer being aimed at the inner city, but were flying toward the main gate (so they were already thinking about that danger). Kurst mentions that gate won't withstand many more hits from the Trebuchet at the Barterstones, and asks if they feel a little crazy. He dispatches a fighter to help lower them over the Western Wall (and await their return), and asks them to stop it. They do so, and after the battle I reminded the PCs of the mechanics of manning a siege weapon, the damage it can do, and point out the 300+ orcs swarming the front gate. They took the bait, and started firing at the army. I gave them a few shots and then had the orcs send a mob after them (letting them know they only had time for one more shot before getting away safely). I fudged the rolls a bit, but that final boulder was caught by a very large creature (Crusher), and he then threw it to the main gate (if they rolled a 1 at any point, I was going to have THEM hit the gate).

The last blow opens the main gate enough for Crusher and a small force to get in, and he plows through the defenders and runs to the Hopespring (per orders). The defenders are forced to first fix and barricade the damaged gate, so they cannot pursue him. When the PCs get back over the Western wall, they see at a distance the large creature (which they let in) run towards the Hopespring, giving them the hook to follow. He meets up w/ Skreed there (who had been invisible during the battle, waiting for Crusher), and opens the wall. All the PCs see is a brief disruption of the waterfall, and then are alone w/ Crusher.

After he's taken care of, I had Silvermane appear (fully healed, what?), and he teleported them to an extra dimensional space to rest (Vault of Thorns, per an idea someone posted... thanks again!). Another good idea was a 1/month relic of Iomedae that allows up to 20 people a full night's rest. Either way, they rest, get spells back, and head into the caverns with little time passing. Skreed already knows the raid is busted, so is frantically trying to find the stone and sneak out. The rest was as written.

Overall, it's a little railroad-ish, but there is a clear motivation or direction for each of the parts of the battle, and I think the flow seemed natural.


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Hi All

I’ve really enjoyed this thread. I’ve been running Giantslayers for a few months now, and I’m glad to know I’m not alone in my misgivings about some of the plot details in these books. (In fact, I’ve made my co-DM read this thread too… it’s been a nice reality check for us.)

We have two DMs and four players. Here’s a summary of our adventures so far:

https://giantslayers-2.obsidianportal.com

I agree that the XP simply doesn’t add up to enough to get the players where they need to be, according to the statement at the beginning of The Battle of Bloodmarch Hill book (book 1). For example, our players weren’t at Level 2 before going into the Plague House. So, we added an excursion to a farm outside town, which was beinga ttacked by orcs, to give the players enough XP to level up before heading to the Plague House.

We also added a second excursion: fighting half-orcs and orcs in a farmhouse basement, outside of town. Briefly, the set-up was this: Omast Frum has fallen in love with another drunk in town, a half-orc named Inez. He knows that his boss Jagrin will not approve of the relationship; and, he’s shamed over letting Rodrik die [our players never fix him of his guilt, or his drinking]. So, he and Inez have decided to elope. Some of Inez’s half-orc friends have convinced her to let them plan the wedding in a farmhouse outside of town. The two of them leave town and then discover they’ve been led astray: Inez’s friends are actually Drethan cultists (Dretha is the orc goddess of fertility and possessiveness), who want to marry the two of them in a Drethan temple and then sacrifice Omast! The characters followed the clues and rescue Omast and Inez (yay).

One plot hole I found was that there are no instructions to DMs about how Halgra and the other Council members react to the players’ news about the halforc conspiracy. My characters kept going to them during the “investigation” phase of the first book in the adventure path, asking them to step up security, because an orc invasion seemed imminent. But all I kept thinking of Halgra to say, when the characters would update her about their progress with the investigation, is: “we’re doing everything we can; we’re always on high alert here in Trunau ”. The players got very frustrated by what they saw as apathy on her part but I couldn’t think of anything else for her to say. More recently, during the raid, the party failed at saving Brinya, so Halgra had to come down from on high, thunderstone and all. She lectured the PCs which made them hate Halgra even more.

On the other hand, they all love Tyari, and Iomedae. The High Priestess was very grateful that they’d cleared the Plague House of baddies, and gave them gold necklaces, and let them stay for free at the Sanctuary (in monk’s cells) for the rest of their time in Trunau.

Speaking of the Sanctuary: I agree with a previous person that Katrezra is a great vehicle for foreshadowing here. Give him a Harrow deck and let him prophesy. I didn’t make much use of him in that regard but he’s got great potential.

With regard to saving Agrit and Sara. Someone asked if anyone had successfully pulled this off. Our female elven druid player did it, with a creative use of Warp Wood. She warped the beam that was pinning Sara and then pulled her out. We all thought that the party tank, a dwarven fighter, would save the day, but smoke inhalation overcame him as soon as he ran in. So the druid ran in behind him, cast her spell, and led everyone to safety (while the rest of the party and their animal companions fended off the orcs outside). I was very proud of them for that one.

Other thoughts about the raid:

-We made sure that all players were Level 3 before the raid began (ie before Rodrik's Funeral. I didn't want a video-game style 'leveling up' in the middle of the raid)

-Kagak of the Rolling Thunder was surprisingly tough for them to beat. Our other druid was nearly killed in that encounter on the tower rooftop. I showed the players the drawing of Kagak and they were pretty impressed/scared by the drawing alone—he looks bad-ass. I used a Syrinscape-derived wardrum soundtrack in the background for this encounter. When they finally killed him (the dwarf fighter landed the killing blow), I turned off the drums and all went quiet, which punctuated their well-earned victory.

-The waves of orcs: My players haven’t had much difficulty with this thanks to lots of healing potions, and a wand of Cure Light Wounds. Also, because my players are relatively new to Pathfinder, I placed two militia men with Omast, behind the barricade. One was trying to sober Omast up. I had the other one quickly explain military tactics to the party: ie, explain how to brace the spears against charging enemies; explain how the logs could be used; etc. I didn’t think my semi-noobie players would really know what to do, so I had an NPC explain it to them. They did very well.

With regards to the upcoming Tomb of Uskroth: I’m not going to let them rest before the Tomb. The druids will be out of spells, but that’s OK; everyone will be completely healed by the time they go in (they have enough wand charges, and I’ll strongly recommend they use them to get completely healed before going in there). Also, I’m having another player join them for that portion of the book… a wizard (evoker) with a full compliment of spells. So they’ll have that advantage, at least. While I’m beefing up parts of the Tomb, I’m definitely getting rid of Shadow Rats. They look unnecessarily complicated… ie incorporeal vs corporeal attacks; ability score drains; etc. I’ll beef up other parts of the Tomb instead.

In sum, we are enjoying Giantslayers very much—although railroad-ish (as Numerator put it), it’s mostly good. I especially like the fact that there are so many strong female NPCs, including a lesbian couple, and lots of half-orcs. Very diverse, very cool, very cutting-edge Adventure Path.


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My Saturday group is a little dismayed by the duration of the siege, and quite disconcerted over the fact that there seems to be no end in sight. They are out of spells, heading to the barterstones. Silvermane is going to make an appearance or I'll have a revolt on my hands. In return, however, Crusher will be at full strength, I think.


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So our party had quite the time in the burning house saving Sara. They left the cleric at the door, who was attacked from behind and by the orcs and knocked prone. Finally got some help out to him before he died, although that almost didn't work out either.

The two NPCs were having issues with breathing and falling unconscious due to orcs. Eventually one was able to escape, and the other had to be helped out.

The last round of structural integrity lapsed, and burning beams fell down blocking the way out. The fighter and the unconscious NPC were now trapped. The rest of the party was putting water on the fire to give a safer path out and a slight "breather" from the heavy smoke for the fighter still trapped in the house.

In desperation, the strong fighter attempted to throw the NPC over the burning beams.

I should pause here and share that at our table ALL critical rolls are special, something extra will happen every time. In addition, Natural 20's get a +5 and Natural 1's get a -5.

Our fighter rolled a natural 1 on whatever the check was that I gave him to throw the NPC out safely over the inferno before him. As I start describing how he slammed the unconscious woman into a burning beam that was only one foot away, he asked to use a hero point to reroll. He rolled another Natural 1... Someone else quickly stops me from describing a horrible scene and offers one of their hero points to have a reroll. Finally, the NPC comes flying out of the house.

The fighter was then able to bash his way through the half burning, half waterlogged beams and fell out choking for air.

Another successful encounter!


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Fortune Teller wrote:
I agree that the XP simply doesn’t add up to enough to get the players where they need to be, according to the statement at the beginning of The Battle of Bloodmarch Hill book (book 1).

They literally have to do everything and get every bonus in order to make it. EDIT: I just checked, 8800 XP through H7 if they do everything... definitely cutting it close if they miss anything.

themantheycallcris: my Saturday group is 4 dwarves and 1 gnome sorceror. The sorc did as your cleric did, but one of the dwarves stayed behind the barricade and distracted the incoming orcs, giving her time to escape. Inside the house there were no issues.


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Fortune Teller wrote:
-The waves of orcs: My players haven’t had much difficulty with this thanks to lots of healing potions, and a wand of Cure Light Wounds.

Entangle at the gate ended it for my group. The.Most.Boring.Waves.Ever. I cheated for the orcs and still couldn't get around it. Everyone had a crossbow, and they rolled well, which quickly resulted in a bunch of entangled, staggered, orcs. Once they were staggered, they were pretty much useless.


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My players got through the end of the Battle of Bloodmarch Hill with little trouble. They defeated the catapult-manning orcs pretty easily. Then, on the way back into town (to take out the giant as directed by the militia men shouting at them from the town walls), I had them roll Perception skill rolls to notice that all of the other white graffiti marks in Lower Trunau (as well as the Barter Stones) had been broken apart... so they knew something was up... most likely, the giant had been targeting the graffiti marks.

When they arrived at the Hopespring, the party took direct aim at the two orc handlers (there were only two because they'd acquired so many Resolve Points) first! Which made Crusher go berserk in no time flat... Luckily one of the druids had reserved a Soften Earth and Stone spell, which caused Crusher to sink down into the Hope Pond as he tried to cross it (to get to the PC's). This left Crusher stuck and prone for a few rounds which allowed the PC's to finish him off (by aiming missile attacks at him from across the pond).

At that point, the party was joined by their erstwhile elven wizard, who I ascertained had been studying in the library, deep in the bowels of the Sanctuary, and hadn't even been aware that Trunau was under attack! He had a full complement of spells.

So, I beefed up the CR of the encounters in the Tomb of Uskroth to compensate for the added, fresh wizard. (I got rid of the shadowrats entirely, on the advice of many others who have posted on this tread). Even with the beefed up encounters, though, they blew through the tomb pretty easily. One of the druid's animal companions, a wolf, almost got impregnated by a gryph, haha, but the party killed the bird before it had the chance to attempt impregnation again. Amusingly, the party was all pretty grossed out by the ovipositor (they'd never heard of gryphs before).

The final encounter with Skreed was dramatic, with Skreed confessing that he'd killed Rodrik at the outset of the battle, and then adding "And now I'm going to kill you, too!" I beefed up the Tomb by adding Urnsul to the Tomb (she'd escaped with her Vanish potion a few episodes before). Unfortunately I kept Urnsul and Skreed side-by-side, in adjacent squares, during much of the battle, which allowed them to be stunned by a Color Spray spell and subsequently taken out by a battleaxe crit cleave by the dwarf fighter.

The party enjoyed Grendelsek's note, and the heap of treasure. But I ended the episode there in the Tomb, without giving them all of the information about the geode-map, Skreed's motivations for killing Rodrik, etc. I hadn't read far enough into Book 2 (the Hill Giant's Pledge) to confidently roleplay all of thatthat. The group is now taking a month off (because not everyone can get together for the next month), and I'm going to post an "Interlude" on my Obsidian Portal in the meantime, detailing what happens in Trunau during the days following the raid. I'll also give them a bit of information about where they'll be headed in Book 2. And then, I'll solicit ideas from each of them (via Obsidian Portal and email) on how each of their characters will prepare for their upcoming journey (Book 2). I think that's a good way to keep the campaign momentum going "out of game" during these 5 weeks when we can't get together.


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*Animate Thread*

My players are nearing the end of book 1 and I'm looking at the treasure for Uskroth's Tomb.

Per the description the treasure includes 1600 gp worth of large adventuring gear, 12 large or exotic weapons (3 of which are masterwork) and 6 suits of Large medium or heavy armor (2 of which are masterwork). "The exact details of the equipment should be selected to appeal to your PCs, though the total value of this additional treasure should not exceed 3,500 gp."

The math doesn't leave much room here. If the 1600 in gear is part of the total value then that leaves 1900 gp for the weapon and armor choices. Adding masterwork to 3 weapons and 2 armor eats up another 1200 of that leaving 700 gp for the base items. The gear is all Large which costs double the price of medium gear. That means we essentially have the equivalent of 350 gp to purchase 12 martial or exotic weapons and 6 suits of medium or heavy armor.

The cheapest heavy armor is banded mail at 200 gp...that's 57% of our total budget...so heavy armor is basically out. Essentially all 6 armors would need to be hide (15 gp each but nonsensical that it endured this long in the cave) or perhaps scale mail (50 gp each). If we did 6 sets of scale we're left with 50 gp to purchase 12 weapons. That's not even enough to purchase 12 greatclubs (5 gp each) let alone work in anything cool like a greatsword (50 gp by itself).

I'm thinking of interpreting the 3500 gp limit as the "sale value" effectively doubling my budget to 7000 for the actual value of the weapons. Thoughts?


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Whatever you want. There's so much treasure they'll be nearly 2 levels above WBL by 10th.


Lem D wrote:
I'm thinking of interpreting the 3500 gp limit as the "sale value" effectively doubling my budget to 7000 for the actual value of the weapons. Thoughts?

Honestly, I didn't think much about it. I treated the cache as a mostly amorphous bunch of giant sized equipment that no one could reasonably use anyway, which was going to get sold down river. That amount totaled to 3500 gp. In practice, no one questioned it much, though my players did ask if there was a giant sized waffle iron in the adventuring gear. I decided to give it a 10% chance, rolled a d10 and got a 1, so there was.

The Exchange

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I made a map for the Bramblehouse Inn based on the shape and dimensions used in the map of Trunau. In case anyone is looking for one it can be found here: https://imgur.com/a/glLXT

For my party I had Rodrick in the room with the white bed.

The half orcs had trashed the room in the bottom left.

Skreed had reserved but not used the room in the bottom middle.

Cham had them all sign in at the registry and offered a cheap room with bunkbeds, a slightly more expensive single room, or a deluxe suite which included free use of the bath. Cham sleeps downstairs near the kitchen.


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That's kinda cool. Your art-fu bests mine by a couple orders of magnitude. I just used the Sleeping Dragon Inn they used to sell here. They sent me 2 copies, in fact.


Hopefully its not too dead in here to get some tips.

So my party im currently guessing is probably about 90% likely to get Kurst to come along for the ride into the Mountains. Problem is I kind of hate his build and was looking for tips on how to improve it without ruining his flavor too much. Atm I'm kind of between having him go full 5 Luring Cavalier and focus on giving covering fire and bestowing Teamwork feats. Or Going Cav 1/ Ranger 4 like he is in the book, but using the Guide archetype instead of base Ranger since he uses Hunters Bond: Companions instead of an animal companion. Any thoughts? Maybe I should ask in the thread for book 3 instead since thats when he would be joining them. But his stat block is in book 1.


Leveling during the Raid?

So how and when did everyone have their group become 3rd level during the raid.

I plan on using The standing stone druid encounter from this thread to heal up the party and maybe give them their level im not sure yet that is why i am asking.


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I just ran this through. I normally houserule that level ups happen on a (night's) rest & daily preparation. But after a bit of consideration, I decided that there's no reason that a level up shouldn't happen on a PF2-style 10-min rest - and a quick mid-battle breather felt much more reasonable than an overnight stop!

My PCs had already retreated to the upper gates once for a breather & some attention from the healers there. When they reached 3rd level (I think it was after defeating the drummer raid leader), they were pretty beat up & headed back to the top gates again.

I gave them the basic bonuses (BAB increase etc.) & abilities; the extra hps; and let them prepare new spell slots after this pause. Coupled with the reasonably plentiful healing resources provided, this just got them through to the end of the raid.

One advantage of having the raid happen in the small hours of the night is that, with a bit of pacing and brief stops for respite/working out what's going on, it could be only a couple of hours from dawn by the time Crusher is defeated - taking a short nap then to recuperate/regain daily abilities seems sensible, and I let the PCs refresh after (I think) 4 hours' "crisis rest", while Kurth kept the cave under guard.

Perhaps not completely RAW, but it seemed to work out ok - the PCs were well-challenged but it felt possible, in the spirit of the module, and didn't grate on us too badly!


I need help with the Spider-Infested Ravine in Uskroth's Tomb I think this encounter makes little to no sense with The Gryphs how the hell did they get into these caves and what have they been eating?


I created a new document of all the NPCs from the first book plus some new ones for my all dwarf campaign

Battle of Bloodmarch Hill NPCs


I’m thinking about adding more games than just the tug of war. I was thinking like a game of capture the flag using the chase cards where there is two obstacles going in then maybe some type of attack challenge then two obstacles leaving.
I was also thinking it would be like three teams the guards, the PCs, and a group of young kids who have their hope knives but aren’t old enough to be guards yet.
So the top two teams the PCs and the guards would have the tug of war.


For reference, this is a repost from the "what would you change thread"

We had our first session last weekend and it was great! The table ate it up and some of them are really opening up as role players. This AP looks to be a lot of fun, but it does need some plot polish and a bit of duct tape heh.

Early in part 1

Below is a list of things I modified to explain away plot holes and be confident I could understand and explain how the events unfold. I owe a lot to this forum for the ideas and inspiration, as well as to the Glass Cannon Podcast. I hope it encourages prospective GM’s thinking about running this AP!

Halgra’s speech
Edited for brevity and added welcoming words to recent merchants and refugees. I played up the influx of outsiders to help explain the presence of the half-orc infiltrators, and to ramp up racial tensions.

The tug of war
My group were lightweights and they rolled like hot garbage, heh. I added the ability for the highest str PC to be able to roll an aid for a +2. I also emphasized that they could take 10 on the check. Not one player took advantage of this, lol. Roderick and the Trunau defenders would have destroyed them, but they went into “good sports for Ruby” mode, and the party wins.

Ramblehouse
I added a little bit where Cham mentions losing her keys as the PCs check in for the night. Skreed stole her keys and she has to find her spare set. That’s how he got into Roderick’s room. I came up with random half-orc names for the guestbook, and had several of them end in variations of “nail” to hint at the twisted nail tribe presence. When Cham describes Skreed, I decided to keep his facial scars between his human and half-orc appearances.

Post murder Kurst
I had him emphasize a sense of paranoia, to help explain why he is turning to these mostly non-militia outsiders, and to encourage them to stick together and set a watch in prep for the assassination attempt.. One of the group is in the militia too, which lends credibility. I had another caravan of traders / refugees come through right at that moment, playing on the heavy suicide / murder vibe and once again, racial tensions. Plus, then Kurst had to take off to take care of the new arrivals.

Ramblehouse Roderick’s room
They found the note, which I printed out and crumbled up, but not the secret compartment in the desk. I added a hidden flask outside the window of the Ramblehouse, engraved with “RG” it was obviously Roderick’s flask. The night before, at the hopeknife ceremony, Roderick, hereafter referred to as Rod, stated that he didn't drink much in public, but he planned on taking a few nips once he got home. The alchemist carried it upstairs, failed his alchemy check, since he is quite the lush decided to take a shot of it, then failed the fortitude save and was knocked out for two hours. All this while the crew is talking to Cham. It was great, I think the player was more amused than anyone else, even while the fighter dragged him around town.

Skreeds room
They didn’t find anything except for a tiny splash of the white alchemical paint, as if someone had spilled some. Too bad the alchemist was unconscious.

Half-orc graffiti
This was a frustrating part of the book, as it didn't describe what the graffiti was, and you just know players are going to ask. So I made it be tiny versions of the graffiti cross (which I modified to look more like a twisted nail, because that makes more sense, but still kind of like a sword), stuff like “Halag wuz here”, “Trunau sucks”, phallic symbols, and a vague map of the town, but no one got the geography check.

Post wolf fight
Of course the ranger wanted to track where the wolves came from and rolled high, and of course the book makes no provision of this. So I had them follow some tracks to a beat up cart, covered with a tarp and shoved in an alley behind Brinya’s boarding house. Then they followed them further towards the commons, where they found a glass potion vial (of invisibility) on the ground and a large crowd of people that Skreed has slipped into.

I will try to post more as we progress. Next session is in about two weeks. Enjoy!


Joey Virtue wrote:

I’m thinking about adding more games than just the tug of war. I was thinking like a game of capture the flag using the chase cards where there is two obstacles going in then maybe some type of attack challenge then two obstacles leaving.

I was also thinking it would be like three teams the guards, the PCs, and a group of young kids who have their hope knives but aren’t old enough to be guards yet.
So the top two teams the PCs and the guards would have the tug of war.

I'm totally creating a whole series of games, ala the Highland games/lumberjack days.

Hammer Toss
Stone Throw
Archery contest
Logrolling
Atlas stone lift
Log splitting

I've made up 'rules' that incorporate some random elements so it's not all using BAB. Such as...Atlas Stones is a d20 + (str x 2), with a Constitution check as well. I'll set the DCs to be something easy, but with each heavier Atlas stone, it's harder, and may take longer.

Stone throw (shot put), will be d20 + Str + Dex, with a Dexterity check as well. the d20 roll will fall into categories of how far the stone gets throne.

So, just stuff like that. It's a way I get the PCs to meet each other, beat each other in contests, and also meet Trunau NPCs.


My players didn’t dig the game that much so I just moved on after the Tug of War


We have made it to mid way through the inner quarter battle. Man, so many orcs with ferocity kind of turns into a slog.

I've changed up some orc weapons, armor, feats, and equipment just for variety and the group is having fun, but I'm ready to get to the barricades lol.


Yeah I’m really starting to hate Orc Ferocity


Resurrecting thread:

After reading some of the comments here, when I started the running battle I made it clear that the beacon fires were for maintaining command & control during a night fight. The Trunau militia had people standing on ladders in front of the fires with semaphore flags, and without the beacons they had trouble coordinating their forces.


DM Carbide wrote:

Resurrecting thread:

After reading some of the comments here, when I started the running battle I made it clear that the beacon fires were for maintaining command & control during a night fight. The Trunau militia had people standing on ladders in front of the fires with semaphore flags, and without the beacons they had trouble coordinating their forces.

I don't think the GM threads ever truly die, just hibernate.

That's a really cool idea in regards to the beacons, as I kind of was grasping at straws for why the beacons were a priority.


Dming this AP for like 2 months now. The party cleared the Plague House but did so during the day, no word from Daktani or Ghaer, then. They returned to Trunau before the night, and despite several hints from Kurst on the following day, they decided to give it a second try THE NEXT MORNING. Daktani would have already returned during the night and noticed there was significant action on the place, he's not coming back and therefore both he and the Troll would not encounter the players.

Where/how would you make them show now? Clearly the party is about to hit the attack's fan, I guess somewhere in there, but what do you think exactly? Running sessions on pandemic Sundays through Roll20. :)


Some good stuff on here. I'm just about to start the campaign for my group so will take not of all the suggestions.

Has anyone done this on Roll20 and if so any maps/tokens that I can purloin ?

Dark Archive

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Three sessions in, running with 6 PCs, not modifying anything in the module so letting the XPs and treasure fall where they may.

Just finished the plague house and they're now going up a level. They also have enough cash to buy themselves a wand of CLW (sovereign glue is very valuable, especially since there has to be an ounce of salve of sliperiness in with it).

They investigated the plague house during the day, so the half orc and flood troll weren't there. Then they set up an ambush for them at night and got them one at a time (actually, they tracked the flood troll back to its lair when the thing ran off - I added that encounter and a bit more treasure).

By my calculations, the party will go up to 3rd level just before the two major encounters in the tomb. I will allow them to just level up on the fly and automatically get any new stuff (hp, spell slots, and so on) as it happens (my logic is that PCs do all the levelling up "work" on an ongoing day-by-day basis and that the levelling up event represents that final moment of revelation when everything comes together and makes level-up sense!)

Enjoying it so far :-)

Richard


I've found this to just be a fun AP to run. Red lake keep in book 2 was particularly great!


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I'm about to start GMing this one. I went through the first adventure and the notes from this message board (particularly the modifications Adam Smith proposed a couple of pages back).

To help myself I put together my best timeline of what happened prior to the start of the adventure. I'm posting here in case others find it useful...

Six months ago: Rodrick and Brinya begin dating secretly.
Six weeks ago: Rodrick and Brinya engage with Rodrick’s mother’s ring and exchange hopeknives.
Five weeks ago: Jaggrin finds out about Rodrick and Brinya; Bad blood between father and son; Rodrick stops staying in the Longhouse.
Three weeks ago: Skreed and his company arrive at the Plague House and begin searching using Skreed’s alcemical explosives and Akrish’s silence spells. A few days later, Akrish dies in an explosion.
Two weeks ago: Skreed, Daktani, Urnsul, Riska, Vorom, Akrish, 2 FT Thugs, 4 FT Assasins, Melira check-in at Ramblehouse and begin searching within Trunau. Urnsul starts working at Clamor soon after the band moves into Trunau.
Over the past two weeks: Meira starts painting crosses including the big one on the guard tower. Skreed continues sneaking in a couple orcs here, a couple orcs there.
Ten days ago: Cham complains to militia about the vandalized room, Rodrick investigates room and takes on the case, Skreed switches his band from the Ramblehouse to an abandoned flop house to avoid detection.
Nine days ago: Rodrick accidently loses the hopeknife Brinya gave him in room H5 of the Plague House and Rodrick encounters the flood troll.
Seven days ago: Rodrick confesses to Brinya he can’t find the hope knife she gave him; Rodrick starts talking with Katreza about graffiti in Ramblehouse, about town, and flood troll; Rodrick commissions a new hopeknife at Clamor
Day -6: Sara hands work on the hopeknife over to Urnsul.
Day –3: Daktani captures Othdan
Day -2: Rodrick meets with Katreeza for the last time, and entrusts his journal to Katrezra.
Day -1: Katreza leaves sanctuary in the early morning for safety, with Rodrick’s journal. Skreed sends Meira out of town so she’s not killed in the orc attack. Skreed has decided enough is enough with Rodrick and starts a plan he's been noodling on for the past few days ... Skreed asks Urnsul to steal Rodrick’s hopeknife. Urnsul steals the knife and gives it to Skreed who will use it as the murder weapon.
Day 0: During Hopeknife ceremony Skreed checks into room next to Rodricks after paying bribe to Cham. He sneaks into Rodrick’s room and drops his note to Meira accidently.
Day 0: Hopeknife ceremony.
Day 0: All sleep in Ramblehouse.
Day 1 Wee hours: Skreed kills Rodrick.
Day 1 Morning: Cham discovers the body.
Day 1: Urnsul disappears from Clamor, and goes to the flop house.


At the time I'm typing this, I'm going to be starting the AP on Saturday with a group of four. I have a quick question about the Freedom Town assassins. Would it be acceptable to have them attack the PCs in an alleyway, like the poisoned wolves do, instead of attacking them while they sleep? I doubt my players' characters will live together, and I don't want to have to run up to four separate combats in up to four separate maps.


It's hard to believe that there won't be a death when they are asleep and assassin's come upon them. Also, if you haven't forced an issue to keep them all together, then separate combats for each would be unfair.

Or you can try to change when and where you have them jump them. Say your group comes out of the Plague house 'okay' but having taken some damage, lost some spells and abilities? Jump'em there!

Set up a false clue for them to follow if they haven't met Katreza yet; it could be the assassins leading them to some old house, or out past the market stones for an isolated spot!

I found there's enough leeway in events and areas to change this event around so it doesn't become a coup de grace event.

Have fun!! This book is really cool to run.

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