#6-16 The Golden Guardian


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I am prepping this for Monday and it looks overall very good. All the statblocks seem to be present which is nice.

Spoiler:
I do wonder about the issue of checking players for chronicle sheets on other characters. Should I announce in advance that I will be doing this? Surely this will eventually become common knowledge so it would be unfair to not tell my players the first week the scenario is out?

Dark Archive 5/5

On other characters?
Checking on the one they are playing is well within the guidelines in the organized play guide.
If they played pt 1 or 2 with dif. Pc, one playing in pt 3 has no knowledge of previos ones but
Pcs who played the other ones can tell them what they know from pt 1 and or 2. Just a matter of how much they want to know in case they want to play pt 1 and 2 at a later date.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber

Jessex is referencing a specific mechanic which echoes the deal with Assault on the Wound

I will announce it (and ask my VL who handles the gameday schedule to do the same).


The scenario specifically calls for it. It gives a benefit if a certain number have played a specific scenario. I'm thinking of telling players to bring the correct season's chronicles to keep the spoilers to a minimum.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber

given the title of part 1 and the fact that part 1 kind of builds from the called for scenario, I don't consider it a spoiler at all.

Dark Archive 5/5

Ok. Now I get it. Happened when I played assault on the wound as well.
I am running this mon. at 2nd table with jessex. Just received pdf. just started prepping.


So should the players get told in advance or not?

Dark Archive 5/5

I would say that they would have to be told in advance. We were told in advance for season 5 scenario that had same effect.
Unless players were to bring all their pcs with them to every scenario, they will never have a chance at aquiring any perks.

Sovereign Court 5/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Definitely tell the players about that in advance. The current PFS expectation is that the players will have the sheets for the character that they are currently playing, not for every character they have.

Sovereign Court

Why wouldn't you tell them in advance? To not do so sounds like some kind of "gotcha" a jerk GM would pull. "Oh, so sorry, but if only you had ALL YOUR CHARACTERS AND CHRONICLES WITH YOU you could fully participate as the developers intended. HA HA HA, I love it when I get to abuse my knowledge over other people."

Hashtag: bitter experience with jerk GMs who get off on the power of the chair.

Grand Lodge Contributor

I don't think it should be considered a spoiler at all. In many ways, the scenario is a prelude to the trilogy.

Spoiler:

#6-09 is, however, Tier 3-7, so I think it makes sense for the players to be allowed to present a chronicle earned by another character as the likelihood of using the same character is smaller than if it had been the same tier as in the trilogy.

Also, given that you only get a chronicle the first time you play a scenario, I suspect (and hope) that this mechanic will be used in future scenarios to make boons and chronicles more meaningful.

So, I definitely agree that the players should be told in advance.

Anyway, I hope you guys enjoy playing and GMing the scenario!

Scarab Sages 5/5 5/55/55/5

Awwww.... He looks so sad!" Offers him cookies

Sovereign Court 4/5 Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Den Haag aka Monkhound

Reading "The Kitsune's Gambit" in the sidebar on page 6 confused me slightly :).

First read-through: This third part seems somewhat more... brutal than the previous two parts, but so far I like what I'm reading very much.

Spoiler:
I'm still somewhat confused as to how the PC's could avoid triggering/disarming the traps in areas A2, A5, A6, or kill the kobolds (area A).
If I look from a player's point of view, it seems somewhat unusual to expect traps to be needed later on.
Don't get me wrong: I don't mind the unexpected (and S6 has been full of it so far :D), but this almost looks like punishment, either for not having a trap-specialist, or for exploring correctly.

Grand Lodge Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Monkhound wrote:

Reading "The Kitsune's Gambit" in the sidebar on page 6 confused me slightly :).

First read-through: This third part seems somewhat more... brutal than the previous two parts, but so far I like what I'm reading very much.

** spoiler omitted **

I swear I don't know how the sidebar title got there! :-D Anyway, some comments on the spoilered part:

Spoiler:

In his letter, Valsin asks the PCs not to "...antagonize the kobolds more than is necessary..." and also mentions that "...the Aspis Consortium is planning to intercept your mission...". It's possible to learn that the area is heavily trapped if you succeed at a Knowledge check (if the words "kobold lair" aren't enough of a warning).

So, I'd say there are some hints as to what is going to happen in the scenario, and if the players connect the dots, they may try to actively avoid breaking anything that might hinder the Aspis later. I don't expect every group to heed Valsin's advice/warnings or figure out that the traps may become useful later, but I think some groups will, and they are rewarded for it.

The last encounter is admittedly harsh (especially if you don't get any Defense Points), but most of the encounters can be resolved without bloodshed. Actually, I'd love to hear how different groups dealt with the challenges in the different encounters -- how many groups killed the you-know-what, and so on.

Sovereign Court 4/5 Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Den Haag aka Monkhound

Mikko Kallio wrote:

Anyway, some comments on the spoilered part:

** spoiler omitted **

That's what I figured as well. I hope the hints are sufficient, because it looks very nice.

Thanks for the reply!

Scarab Sages 2/5

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Ran this yesterday. One thing to note: my players got12 defense points. But to do this made the scenario go LONG. A lot of the later interactions had to be rushed as did the last encounter and we had to hand wave most of the post script.

That being said - EVERYONE loved it. Fun scenario that I cannot wait to run again.

Dark Archive 5/5

Looking for location for 2ndary success mission. Found 1 but not other
???????

Grand Lodge Contributor

@Sanctus Spinatus: Thanks for the feedback! I was worried that the scenario might be too short based on the playtest, but knowing that it might actually be too long is useful to know.

@joe kirner: Not sure if I understood the question correctly, but I'll try to answer:

Spoiler:

On page 20, it's mentioned that the secondary success condition is "none of the kobolds in the Golden Guardian encounter died" and is worth 1 Prestige Point. This ensures that the kobolds stay on peaceful terms with the local miners.

In other words, none of the kobolds in the temple may die as a result of the PCs' actions. It should probably refer to the God Defiled encounter rather than the Golden Guardian encounter, considering that the kobolds' stats are listed in that encounter.

I hope that answered your question! If not, let me know.

Dark Archive 5/5

Mikko Kallio wrote:

@Sanctus Spinatus: Thanks for the feedback! I was worried that the scenario might be too short based on the playtest, but knowing that it might actually be too long is useful to know.

@joe kirner: Not sure if I understood the question correctly, but I'll try to answer:
** spoiler omitted **

oops. Meant primary success.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

joe kirner wrote:
Mikko Kallio wrote:

@Sanctus Spinatus: Thanks for the feedback! I was worried that the scenario might be too short based on the playtest, but knowing that it might actually be too long is useful to know.

@joe kirner: Not sure if I understood the question correctly, but I'll try to answer:
** spoiler omitted **

oops. Meant primary success.

Primary objective:

Conclusion, page 19: "With Zaril Namoth and his Aspis Consortium expedition thwarted, the Golden Guardian and kobolds assist the PCs in clearing the collapsed corridor of rubble. There they uncover the remains of Venture-Captain Nieford Sharrowsmith, which are badly damaged but identifiable thanks to his crushed wayfinder and other belongings."

For the exact location of Sharrowsmith's body, see area B7. Collapsed Corridor, page 12.

Primary success condition, page 20: "The PCs successfully complete their main mission by delivering Nieford Sharrowsmith’s body or wayfinder to Aya Allahe. Doing so earns each PC 1 Prestige Point."

I hope that helps!

Dark Archive 5/5

Serpent wrote:
joe kirner wrote:
Mikko Kallio wrote:

@Sanctus Spinatus: Thanks for the feedback! I was worried that the scenario might be too short based on the playtest, but knowing that it might actually be too long is useful to know.

@joe kirner: Not sure if I understood the question correctly, but I'll try to answer:
** spoiler omitted **

oops. Meant primary success.

** spoiler omitted **

I hope that helps!

@ Serpent............thanks. Very helpful.


Monkhound wrote:
Mikko Kallio wrote:

Anyway, some comments on the spoilered part:

** spoiler omitted **

That's what I figured as well. I hope the hints are sufficient, because it looks very nice.

Thanks for the reply!

Due to not getting more rumors, we disarmed all the traps. We still got 11 defense points and thought the final encounter was easy despite playing up.

5/5

I am prepping to run this tomorrow and have hit a small snag. What happens if the PC's fail to get the Golden Guardians trust? It isn't very likely given you only need to ID 5 of the murals but a group with limited knowledge skills may well do so.

The scenario doesn't seem to contemplate this situation at all. Does the Guardian add to the final encounter? It starts as the PC's are finishing up with him. Does he attack both sides, neither? Does he do nothing at all?

1/5

Mikko Kallio wrote:

@joe kirner: Not sure if I understood the question correctly, but I'll try to answer:

** spoiler omitted **

That may not have been his question, but it is exactly what I was wondering after my first read-through. So thanks! :)

Dark Archive 5/5

andreww wrote:

I am prepping to run this tomorrow and have hit a small snag. What happens if the PC's fail to get the Golden Guardians trust? It isn't very likely given you only need to ID 5 of the murals but a group with limited knowledge skills may well do so.

The scenario doesn't seem to contemplate this situation at all. Does the Guardian add to the final encounter? It starts as the PC's are finishing up with him. Does he attack both sides, neither? Does he do nothing at all?

The guardian is a non combatant in last encounter. It's a matter of points he adds to the parties total. See last entry on pt. chart.

5/5

joe kirner wrote:
andreww wrote:

I am prepping to run this tomorrow and have hit a small snag. What happens if the PC's fail to get the Golden Guardians trust? It isn't very likely given you only need to ID 5 of the murals but a group with limited knowledge skills may well do so.

The scenario doesn't seem to contemplate this situation at all. Does the Guardian add to the final encounter? It starts as the PC's are finishing up with him. Does he attack both sides, neither? Does he do nothing at all?

The guardian is a non combatant in last encounter. It's a matter of points he adds to the parties total. See last entry on pt. chart.

Yes but that seems to assume that the PC's have him on side. Regardless it doesn't address the issue of what is supposed to happen if they fail to get him on side more generally. Does he just order them out of the ruins after the Aspis are dealt with, does he attack them if they wont go, does he just go back to pretending to be a statue. We are left completely in the dark.

Dark Archive 5/5

andreww wrote:
joe kirner wrote:
andreww wrote:

I am prepping to run this tomorrow and have hit a small snag. What happens if the PC's fail to get the Golden Guardians trust? It isn't very likely given you only need to ID 5 of the murals but a group with limited knowledge skills may well do so.

The scenario doesn't seem to contemplate this situation at all. Does the Guardian add to the final encounter? It starts as the PC's are finishing up with him. Does he attack both sides, neither? Does he do nothing at all?

The guardian is a non combatant in last encounter. It's a matter of points he adds to the parties total. See last entry on pt. chart.
Yes but that seems to assume that the PC's have him on side. Regardless it doesn't address the issue of what is supposed to happen if they fail to get him on side more generally. Does he just order them out of the ruins after the Aspis are dealt with, does he attack them if they wont go, does he just go back to pretending to be a statue. We are left completely in the dark.

see last sentence on p. 16 right side above creatures.

also the party would have no pts. per chart on p.6

Grand Lodge Contributor

The Guardian won't attack the PCs or hinder them in any way even if they fail. The only mechanical difference is that the PCs don't get the Defense Points. The Guardian will help the PC clear the rubble after the fight, but it makes sense to RP the Guardian as being openly contemptuous of the PCs.

Dark Archive

I'm a bit confused about the Crack in the Walls in Part A. Is that just areas of the map that have cracks drawn in, or is it all the walls?

Dark Archive 5/5

Just where they are drawn in. Also there are a couple of 5' sections missing.

Dark Archive

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There seems to be a misprint in the cost of the Blade of the Open Road. It's priced like it's a +3 weapon with a skill bonus tacked onto it, but it's only a +1 Aspis Bane Longsword. This means it costs an extra 10,000gp in order to have it Aspis bane instead of regular bane. And Aspis bane is probably going to come up a lot less often than a normal bane weapon, vs humans or evil outsiders or another common choice.

The item is so cool, but no one is ever going to spend close to 20,000 gp to buy it. It's basically a lot of wasted text on the chronicle sheet, and a huge frustration for someone who wants to prioritize the flavor/fluff of the campaign over power-gaming.


Murals

Spoiler:
How are all the GM handling the Murals with the Golden Guardian. Are you just asking the players to just roll skill checks? The GM that I played with ask us to give a story before we are allow to roll, which I think is a good idea. I would love to know how other are running it before I run it this week.

Dark Archive 5/5

Both ways. Depending on time constraints.


WaterDragon wrote:

Murals

** spoiler omitted **

I let the players try and figure out the murals on their own but mostly got back blank stares so I let them do skill rolls pretty quickly.


Thank you for the input.

The Exchange 5/5

the murals can very easily be over done - the first few were fun, but the 4th or so several of the players were getting a little glassy eyed. By the end of that section we had one player who was ready to bolt from the table and two who had drifted into phone apps....

Like may puzzles in this game, some can be fun but they can often be overdone.

5/5

nosig wrote:

the murals can very easily be over done - the first few were fun, but the 4th or so several of the players were getting a little glassy eyed. By the end of that section we had one player who was ready to bolt from the table and two who had drifted into phone apps....

Like may puzzles in this game, some can be fun but they can often be overdone.

I think the issue with them is that there are so damn many of the things. I thought about stopping them once the PC's hit the number required to convince the guardian.

The Exchange 5/5

andreww wrote:
nosig wrote:

the murals can very easily be over done - the first few were fun, but the 4th or so several of the players were getting a little glassy eyed. By the end of that section we had one player who was ready to bolt from the table and two who had drifted into phone apps....

Like may puzzles in this game, some can be fun but they can often be overdone.

I think the issue with them is that there are so damn many of the things. I thought about stopping them once the PC's hit the number required to convince the guardian.

exactly!

I wish my judge had done that... the worst part was that there was almost no chance that we would miss one of them (we had the skills and everyone at the table knew it)- and by the end it has stopped being fun and turned into a boring chore kind of like balancing your checkbook. The first 4 or so were great though...

Sovereign Court

Played in this today. Enjoyed it.

TEN murals???!!! Yeah give me a break. That's a great way to suck the energy right out of the players. We had good knowledges at the table and went five for five right off the bat, missed the sixth one, then the GM thankfully called off the rest of them. Lol ten murals. Come on. That was the only down point in the scenario. We enjoyed the first few. Then it got to be a chore. Then it got to be ridiculous.

What's the reason we were all asked if we played By Way of Bloodcove? Someone said there was a benefit, but what was it? Three out of the four of us had, though only 1 with the same character that was playing today.

We really enjoyed the sequence of busting out the orb when the moment came. It felt very cinematic and a nice climactic moment to the 3 scenario chain.

Three of the players at the table have had bad experiences with basalisks in the past (and all of their characters now have smoked goggles), and went nuts when they saw one. *somehow* the cleric at the table got control of the situation and we managed to grapple it and throw it back in it's kennel room. We reallly all got a kick out of that part and will remember it.

Overall this felt like a satisfying end to the scenario chain and we felt like we really accomplished something and got a nice conclusion (unlike the end of some 3 parters *cough cough* Shades of Ice *cough*)

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

Quadstriker wrote:
What's the reason we were all asked if we played By Way of Bloodcove? Someone said there was a benefit, but what was it? Three out of the four of us had, though only 1 with the same character that was playing today.

The PCs sabotaged the Aspis preparations for the expedition in that scenario, so if the players had participated in that, they earned a few more defense points thanks to the other teams efforts at slowing the Consortium down.

Sovereign Court

Hey nice! That's a really great idea. Wife and I plus female friend you know went crazy overkill in that scenario on the sabatogue. We should have gotten a bazillionty defense points for that. :D

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Thanks for all the feedback on the scenario! A few comments:

Sharrowsmith's sword:
I agree that it's a cool item and that it should cost a lot less; probably just an editorial oversight, which I hope will be errataed.

Murals:
Thanks for input, everyone! In hindsight, I agree that 10 murals is too much for some (or many) groups. My playtest group thoroughly enjoyed guessing what the murals meant and they used their metagame knowledge and clues from earlier parts of the scenario to piece together the story quite accurately. But then again, they were all experienced players & GMs--I'll be sure to include more variety next time I'm playtesting something.

For groups that don't enjoy the guesswork, I think just rolling until you succeed 5 times is perfectly fine, as suggested above.

The pet:
Quadstriker, I'm very glad to hear your group got a kick out of the basilisk encounter!

I wonder how many % of groups used the toy or skill checks to persuade the basilisk to go back to its pen, how many used nonlethal damage, how many killed it, and how many managed to avoid it altogether (through the use of illusion magic or something like that).

I know there is a PFS scenario where the PCs are subjected to a petrifying gaze in a rather unfair manner, and I actually wanted to deconstruct the typical basilisk encounter and build something new to see how people react when they're armed with the knowledge of what they're up against (hence the many hints), especially when the monster isn't quite as mean as you might expect.

Sovereign Court

Quote:


The pet:
I wonder how many % of groups used the toy or skill checks to persuade the basilisk to go back to its pen, how many used nonlethal damage, how many killed it, and how many managed to avoid it altogether (through the use of illusion magic or something like that).

It was a combination of the cleric using it's toy as a diversion while the barbarian averted his eyes and grappled to gain control that did it for us.

On the basilisk's first round, the gm rolled a die and described how it's tounge lashed out, glossing over the face of the frontline barbarian. Myself and the barb interpreted it as an attack and some funny GM fluff. The wife put the collar and the licking together and determined it was a pet!

Quote:


I know there is a PFS scenario where the PCs are subjected to a petrifying gaze in a rather unfair manner, and I actually wanted to deconstruct the typical basilisk encounter and build something new to see how people react when they're armed with the knowledge of what they're up against (hence the many hints), especially when the monster isn't quite as mean as you might expect.

Ooooooh yes. *THAT'S* the scenario. It cost the wife a dear animal companion back in the day and has given us an irrational fear of lizards ever since. But on the way home today what were we doing? Discussing which of our characters would be most likely to have a basilisk as a pet!

Congrats on a very fun encounter design.

5/5

Quote:

I wonder how many % of groups used the toy or skill checks to persuade the basilisk to go back to its pen, how many used nonlethal damage, how many killed it, and how many managed to avoid it altogether (through the use of illusion magic or something like that).

I know there is a PFS scenario where the PCs are subjected to a petrifying gaze in a rather unfair manner, and I actually wanted to deconstruct the typical basilisk encounter and build something new to see how people react when they're armed with the knowledge of what they're up against (hence the many hints), especially when the monster isn't quite as mean as you might expect.

My group found the toy and realised what it had been used for but didn't bother taking it with them. When they met the basilisk they didn't immediately attack and tried to go around but it isn't really possible. Gaze attacks are pretty much automatic within 30' so there isn't space to go around given where it starts. There is also very little indication that making it friendly is even possible barring it appearing rather docile.

Getting friendly with it seems like a very difficult task, both to even know it is possible but then being willing to try while forced to make multiple fortitude saves. My group ended up killing him just to get him out of the way.

The Exchange 5/5 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Texas—Dallas & Ft. Worth aka Belafon

I really enjoyed the murals, but I think it's going to come down to the experience and temperament of your table. If you have a role-play heavy group who have all played Legacy of the Stonelords along with the first 2 parts of Scions, describing and interacting with the murals is great. For new players who like shoot-em-ups; not so much.

Like many of the season 6s, the way you approach some encounters is going to highly depend on the GM's descriptive abilities. I'm not particularly fond of this as both the basilisk and the Guardian encounters can easily be combat encounters if the GM description (or lack thereof) leads the players to believe they are under immediate attack.


I was playing my Hunter as I did for the first 2 parts. It was the same group of players that went through the first two parts, so we were very skill heavy and fairly optimized. We managed to earn all the possible defense points because our info gathering knowledge checks greatly exceeded the necessary to get all pieces. No kobolds harmed, all traps left in place, the basilisk handled back into it's lair, and the guardian appeased by our insight into the past. The final fight went fairly easily because they were severally crippled by the defense points. We ended up finishing the first wave quickly and immediately went out into the complex to trigger the next wave, because we had buffs we didn't want running out.

Sovereign Court 5/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Re: The Pet

The pet encounter is my favorite encounter in the whole scenario. This series came up right when Philly lodge had a lot of druids, so they've been appreciative of the opportunities in the whole series to do really cool druid things. This was a really nice capstone on that.

(My group used the toy to chase him into the house and trap him there. I know one of the concurrent tables realized what it was and ran through the area without checking anything.)

Dark Archive

Our over prepared cleric had smoked googles, which he gave to the leader of the kobolds in order to make friends with them.

I hope to see Stinkeye and friends again in the future.

5/5 RPG Superstar 2008 Top 16 aka Sir_Wulf

My players quickly guessed what the toy was for, so I had it make squeaking noises when squeezed. Some of the players decided to kill the basilisk anyway.

When I ran the finale, the party made their stand in the same chamber as the Golden Guardian. I added three Aspis minions to each of the invading parties: These became the Guardian's opponents. Their attacks targeted the guardian and he generally tore one of them apart each round. When PCs attacked one of these "supernumeraries", a different villian took his place as the Guardian's dance partner.

This allowed the party to see the Guardian in action as an ally without meaningfully altering the difficulty of the fight. I also had the big bad throw one spear shot at the guardian and "crit" for a crapton of damage: This emphasized his badassitude and worried the party that he was going to take their ally out.

The Exchange 5/5

my party actually put the "toy" and "kennel" etc. together (good judge too) and guessed the problem with the pet...

our answer:

we dodged into the next room down the hall, noticed that it had two doors and set up a "trap". We tied a long rope around the ball and tossed it out into the center room (several times actually, in fact we might have had to send the paladin out to toss it just right) and when the paladin (best save right? and more guts than sense) gave the high sign we all pulled the rope. Pet chased the ball while pally, not looking back, ran thru the "bed room" and when he cleared the second door into the hall we slammed the door (on the rope - oh well, had to replace that rope). Our really fast PC then raced around the room and slammed the first door. Pet was then in the kobold quarters - with out even a scratch on him. and with his ball.

Some one did point out we should have left him out a water bowl...

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