#6–17: Fires of Karamoss

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Just finished running this and a few notes:

At the moment it does not seem to be possible to report this scenario at all. I'm guessing this will be fixed as soon as the internet people get back to the office on Monday.

The maps are wonky and it takes a lot more time to draw them than usually.

The portal closing -thing is confusing and I believe I ran it incorrectly. I would appreciate someone going through it step-by-step. As a non-native English speaker with just a few hours to prep I did not understand the salamanders tactics and thus he just stood there and got his tail handed to him even though the portal was (probably) open and he could just escape.

The portal room went approximately like this:
Tier 8-9.
PC's manage to reduce the charges before Tig-0 goes crazy and the smaller portals had 4-4-3-1 charges so the big portal does have enough charges to activate when the salamander appears whit his remote.

Does the portal open immediately? I assumed it does and thus the gate is open and he could just escape. His morale says he won't do it until he has 20 or less hit points left, so he installs the battery to the gate that was already open. The he fights for a few rounds and gets whacked. Half of the party can fly over the lava pool, that was probably not supposed to have lava in it before the smaller gates star filling it anyway.

I might run it gain at later date, so how was it supposed to work?


The gate charges separately from the smaller portals. When Jethzerai shows up and activates his remote, the smaller portals begin charging and follow their effects on the track in the sidebar. Each portal, and the gate, has its own charge value. I suggest putting a d6 on each one to help keep track.

The gate, on the other hand, starts at 0 charges, no matter what. It gains charges ONLY when lava from the smaller portals reaches the pool surrounding the gate's dias. So one of the small portals has to start pouring lava, which then travels down the channel and charges the gate; this gives the gate 1 charge per round. Each small portal can provide 1 charge per round in this way. If the battery is installed in the gate, the gate instead gains 2 charges per round from the lava.

The gate opens once it's gained 10 charges. It needs to gain at least 1 charge per round from then on, or it closes.

So here's a simplified example using only one small portal, which the PCs haven't sabotaged. This assumes Jethzerai hasn't installed the battery.


Round 1: Jethzerai activates the portals. The small portal starts at 4 charges. At the end of the round, it gains 1 charge, giving it 5 charges, and takes the 5 charges action on the sidebar. In addition, because it has at least 4 charges, it begins pouring lava, which travels 20 feet down the trench below it. The trench is longer than 20 feet, so the lava doesn't reach the gate this round. The gate is at 0 charges.

Round 2: At the end of the round, the small portal gains 1 charge, and continues pouring lava. This time, the lava makes it to the pool on the other side of the chamber, so this gives the gate 1 charge. The small portal is at 6 charges, and the gate is at 1 charge. If Jethzerai had installed the battery, the gate would be at 2 charges.

Rounds 3-10: The small portal is already at 6 charges, so it doesn't gain more charges. It still provides 1 charge per round to the gate. Once the gate reaches 10 charges, it opens, raising the temperature as described in the text.

Hope that helps!

Thank you, this cleared it up nicely. :) Good thing I didn't make Jethzerai run away after round 2, that would have cheated the PC's of their victory.

But hey, some positive sides too: Tig-0 was a fun character and the chainsaw and jetpack caused plenty of smiles around the table.

Paizo Employee 5/5 Developer

Sweet avatar, Joe!


John Compton wrote:
Sweet avatar, Joe!

Thanks! XD


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Thanks for the clarification on this, Joe - helped me run this last night with not-quite-enough-prep-time. Turned out I didn't need the details, though. Our group played high subtier, regular campaign, and...


... had a great time. Tig-0 is a great NPC - I played him somewhere between HAL 9000 and WALL-E. Once the players realized that he couldn't tell them apart, they had great fun roleplaying with him. At one point they split the party, and he didn't recognize them when the other half came back, allowing them to "re-brand" themselves as various robots.

None of our group had the Technologist feat, and so I figured they'd have no chance to ID the various items in-game, but they managed to convince Tig-0 to do it for them, and so we had to hurriedly look up all the item stats since I hadn't prepared item cards.

First combat: challenging at first, but the azers were swarmed (party of 6) fairly quickly. The looks on everyone's faces when I described the unusual weaponry of one of them was priceless! Key point: the azers have improved bull rush, and this is MUCH more useful up when near the edge of the reactor core shaft than the chainsaw is. One perma-dead from the fall. It would be useful to know the exact depth of the shaft from there - it's "about a third of the way up a 500' shaft", from what I could find, which I called 170' - but at this level, an extra d6 or two is life of death. If we knew this number exactly, we wouldn't have to carry the guilt of the PC deaths ourselves. ;)

Final combat - players assumed Tig-0 would turn on them, but it turned out to not matter. Going into a place called "The Forge", everyone had endure elements and resist fire 20+ up, and so smashing the portals with weapons was effectively free for them (basically taking 1/4 damage from the electrical portion of the plasma, or none for the two aasimars and two rogues in the party).

After defeating Tig-0, the party just smashed all of the small portals. By the time Jethro showed up, there was nothing for him to do but try to enact revenge. The fire mephits could have been big threats with their scorching ray alpha strikes, except everyone had fire resistance. Ditto all of Jeth's spells - toppling magic missile was the only useful one once he realized they were immune to fire. The zero pistol is a cool Chronicle items, but not really useful in combat - 1d8 cold a round just does not compete at this level.

Even though the final fight was a bit of a let-down (without the tense lava-flowing-portal-charging stuff), the party had a great time. Tig-0 may join the likes of Miss Feathers and Janira in terms of my favorite NPCs to play.

Spoiler-free version: great scenario; memorable NPCs; neat tech inclusions without too much; but an easy way to "beat" the scenario by being well-prepared.

Minor complaint: I found that I had to spend much of my prep time re-making the diagonal maps into something useful. I know there's a one-page limit on maps, but the complexities of running on a rotated grid are bad enough when it's an even 45 degree rotation. The map of area A5 with its ~20-degree skew (to fit it on the page without shrinking?) is close to unplayable, especially since it's cramped to begin with. Given the likelihood of exact positioning relative to the edge of a deadly precipice coming up in every game, this one is especially difficult to work with. I did a quick Dundjinni map for it on the square grid, which I will post to the shared prep drive later today.

Sovereign Court

Is TIG-O intended to be pronounced as "tig zero" or "tig oh"? I actually plan to go with "Tig Tach Zero", myself. Seems like Tig-0 is the sort to emphasize that the dash shouldn't be overlooked.

Edit: Oh my lord, after having put that in text in front of me, I see how his name obviously "should" be pronounced:

Tig Tach Oh.

Paizo Employee 5/5 Developer

deusvult wrote:

Is TIG-O intended to be pronounced as "tig zero" or "tig oh"? I actually plan to go with "Tig Tach Zero", myself. Seems like Tig-0 is the sort to emphasize that the dash shouldn't be overlooked.

Edit: Oh my lord, after having put that in text in front of me, I see how his name obviously "should" be pronounced:

Tig Tach Oh.

I can't speak for Joe's (the author) intent, but I pronounce it "Tig Zero."


John Compton wrote:
deusvult wrote:

Is TIG-O intended to be pronounced as "tig zero" or "tig oh"? I actually plan to go with "Tig Tach Zero", myself. Seems like Tig-0 is the sort to emphasize that the dash shouldn't be overlooked.

Edit: Oh my lord, after having put that in text in front of me, I see how his name obviously "should" be pronounced:

Tig Tach Oh.

I can't speak for Joe's (the author) intent, but I pronounce it "Tig Zero."

Same here!

Sovereign Court

I ran this yesterday and it was a big hit, Joe. A common expression from the players was that they were glad Paizo did a "robot adventure" right for a change.

As a veteran Paranoia GM I had a blast as well with running Tig-0... assigning orders to the troubleshooters party in my best "Your Friend, The Computer" manner. He's a great NPC even if you don't pronounce his name to rhyme with "TiC Tac Toe" ;)


I used Tig-Zero, otherwise it's easy to miss that it's an alphanumeric designation, instead of a normal name. "Tigo" doesn't sound very robot-y.

Sovereign Court 5/5

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

This was super fun to run, this is definitely one that I'm going to add to my list of scenarios that I try to run at any opportunity.

That having been said, I really need to think about how I want to organize myself for the last encounter. The ad-hoc system I came up with on the fly for keeping track of time just wasn't cutting it.

I can't add this scenario to my event for reporting. Am I missing something?

Paizo Employee 5/5 Developer

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FranKc wrote:
I can't add this scenario to my event for reporting. Am I missing something?

No, you're not missing anything. The scenario just needs to be added to the reportable options, and the it's on our radar.

Shadow Lodge

first - I really like this scenario and am looking forward to running iot this saturday

2nd -the map makes baby jesus cry, is there anything wrong with aligning the map up to use full map squares - I am not geometrically inclined and will murder the map otherwise

Sovereign Court

Wraith235 wrote:

first - I really like this scenario and am looking forward to running iot this saturday

2nd -the map makes baby jesus cry, is there anything wrong with aligning the map up to use full map squares - I am not geometrically inclined and will murder the map otherwise

I stubbornly took the insane map as a challenge.

Since I own far too much Pathfinder stuff I have spare, blank flipmaps. And hit upon the grand idea of using one flipmap as a graded straight-edge used to draw the canted room upon another.

I ended up with a perfect room canted off the x/y axis just like the bizarre map insists.

The room inside the circumfrence of a large circle? That one was just a chore no matter how you do it.

Shadow Lodge

I have a few questions about 2 of the creatures in this scenario

Chainsaw Azer and Jethzerai(a different question at each teir)

Both of these Creatures use Timeworn equipment
the Azer uses a Timeworn Chainsaw

and Jethzerai uses the following
timeworn Zero pistol,
timeworn Jetpack (Arcane bonded Item)
Timeworn inertial dampening belt

and at tier 8-9 Jethzerai has 1 level of technomancer which allows him to recondition 1 Timeworn Item into a normal technological Item

#1) when these creatures activate their Items the 1st time - do I roll on the timeworn chart ?

#2 the Jetpack is listed as Jethzerai's Bonded Item - Arcane bond Rules as follows

Paizo PRD wrote:

Wizards who select a bonded object begin play with one at no cost. Objects that are the subject of an arcane bond must fall into one of the following categories: amulet, ring, staff, wand, or weapon. These objects are always masterwork quality. Weapons acquired at 1st level are not made of any special material. If the object is an amulet or ring, it must be worn to have effect, while staves, wands, and weapons must be held in one hand. If a wizard attempts to cast a spell without his bonded object worn or in hand, he must make a concentration check or lose the spell. The DC for this check is equal to 20 + the spell's level. If the object is a ring or amulet, it occupies the ring or neck slot accordingly.

A bonded object can be used once per day to cast any one spell that the wizard has in his spellbook and is capable of casting, even if the spell is not prepared. This spell is treated like any other spell cast by the wizard, including casting time, duration, and other effects dependent on the wizard's level. This spell cannot be modified by metamagic feats or other abilities. The bonded object cannot be used to cast spells from the wizard's opposition schools (see arcane school).

A wizard can add additional magic abilities to his bonded object as if he has the required item creation feats and if he meets the level prerequisites of the feat. For example, a wizard with a bonded dagger must be at least 5th level to add magic abilities to the dagger (see the Craft Magic Arms and Armor feat in Feats). If the bonded object is a wand, it loses its wand abilities when its last charge is consumed, but it is not destroyed and it retains all of its bonded object properties and can be used to craft a new wand. The magic properties of a bonded object, including any magic abilities added to the object, only function for the wizard who owns it. If a bonded object's owner dies, or the item is replaced, the object reverts to being an ordinary masterwork item of the appropriate type.

If a bonded object is damaged, it is restored to full hit points the next time the wizard prepares his spells. If the object of an arcane bond is lost or destroyed, it can be replaced after 1 week in a special ritual that costs 200 gp per wizard level plus the cost of the masterwork item. This ritual takes 8 hours to complete. Items replaced in this way do not possess any of the additional enchantments of the previous bonded item. A wizard can designate an existing magic item as his bonded item. This functions in the same way as replacing a lost or destroyed item except that the new magic item retains its abilities while gaining the benefits and drawbacks of becoming a bonded item.

wouldnt that allow him to act as tho he had the Craft Technological Item (of course the question of a Laboratory is still unanswered and if the assumption is he has no access to a military lab makes this whole point moot) and make the jetpack a MW (Non timeworn) Item allowing him to recondition a different Item

#3 Assuming the answer to #1 is yes and #2 is an oversight at tier 8-9 which Item does jethzerai use his recondition ability on since he would not need to use it on his Jetpack

#4 Shouldnt the jetpack on the chronicle sheet be a MW Jetpack as noted above

#5) As per the additional Resources

Additional resources wrote:

Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Technology Guide

Archetypes: all archetypes on pages 12-13 are legal for play, except Cyber-Soldier and Techslinger; Equipment: None of the equipment is legal for play; Feats: all feats on pages 6-7 are legal for play, except craft cybernetics, craft pharmaceutical, craft technological arms and armor, and craft technological item; Misc.: Androffan may not be chosen as a known language. It may only be acquired through a Chronicle sheet; Prestige Class: the Technomancer prestige class is not legal for play; Skills: all skills on page 5 are legal for play, except linguistics (Androffan); Spells: all spells on pages 8-11 are legal for play, except irradiate, memory of function, and recharge.

Jethzerai has in his Spell book Irradiate and Recharge - assuming a Wizard exists in the Group are they allowed to Scribe these Spells and then use them even tho they are not on the chronicle sheet ?

if yes - was this an oversight
if no was this intended

as I am running this scenario this coming saturday any type of swift answers would be apreciated


My maps for the off-grid room are up on the Shared Prep drive.

Sovereign Court

Wraith235 wrote:
as I am running this scenario this coming saturday any type of swift answers would be apreciated..

My two cents is nothing can be gained by the players that isn't on the chronicle. If I had a player claiming he could cast Irradiate or Recharge because he scribed it during this scenario I'd probably not allow it (even with a GM initial) since it's a spell from a disallowed resource without a (legal) exception on the chronicle.

Any other considerations about what should have been masterwork are moot. If the rules do indeed fail to jive, then just chalk it up as rule of cool trumping the other rules.


Wraith235 wrote:
I have a few questions about 2 of the creatures in this scenario...

#1: You don't need to roll for a glitch when first using the timeworn items, because it's assumed these tools have been used in the past month. It would probably be reasonable to roll for the chainsaw when the azer first starts it up, if that's her first time using it, but that's not explicitly stated, so it'll be up to GMs.

#2–4: Upgrading a timeworn item to masterwork doesn't remove the timeworn condition, and in any case there's no mechanical benefit to a "masterwork jetpack" in the item's entry, so it wouldn't do PCs any good. It may be the case that the jetpack shouldn't technically qualify as a bonded item because it lacks the masterwork tag, but that gets hand-waved in the scenario—Jethzerai selected the jetpack as both his bonded item and his reconditioned item. Jethzerai reconditions his jetpack, which is why PCs can buy it with its full 100 charges :)

#5: It's my understanding that the spells can't be scribed (though my word is not an official ruling). Wizards can write whatever they like in their spellbooks—poetry, illegal spells, naughty pictures of goblins—but they can't use those scribblings for anything unless it's an approved spell, which irradiate and recharge are not. Jethzerai is just a big fat cheater like that.


GM Lamplighter wrote:
My maps for the off-grid room are up on the Shared Prep drive.

Thanks so much for doing that! My original version of the map did have each room lined up on its own grid. However, since the rooms are connected, that put the cartographer in an awkward position of either aligning them on the same grid or implying some weird single-bullet-theory path with area A6. I didn't realize my mistake until I saw the final product.

So, I do recommend redrawing the maps on the square, and resolving the paradox only if the PCs have to flee and the length of the bridge becomes suddenly relevant.

GM Lamplighter wrote:
My maps for the off-grid room are up on the Shared Prep drive.

Thank you! thank you! thank you!



No problem! I find that, even when rooms connect, that the one connecting half-square is easier to deal with when it comes up than the "every square is some fraction and I can't walk in a straight line" that results from a rotated grid. I'll put up my other maps as well for various scenarios now that I've figured out the proper conversion required.


Joe Homes wrote:

#1: You don't need to roll for a glitch when first using the timeworn items, because it's assumed these tools have been used in the past month.

That of course referred only to the items in use by the NPCs... for items found independent of those encounters, you should probably roll for a glitch as normal.

Lantern Lodge 5/5 RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16 aka Black Powder Chocobo

I think I'll be adding a touch more exuberance to Tig-0... Claptrap is calling to me.

Scarab Sages 3/5

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I played this (haven't run it yet) last weekend and it was a blast! Of course, being the only Technologist/Disable Device/Knowledge(Engineering) person in the group probably helped!

Thanks for making me NOT regret buying the Technologist feat at first level!


Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Agent, Colorado—Denver aka roll4initiative

What is a timeworn item? I don't own the Technology Guide.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

They're mentioned in the guide to organized play. Technological artifacts have a habbit of going BOOM at bad times.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Agent, Colorado—Denver aka roll4initiative

Ah, thanks, BNW. Didn't think to look in the guide.

5/5 Venture-Agent, Massachusetts—Boston

I have to say this was quite enjoyable. Tig-0 is both a fun NPC, and a great way to overcome the fact that most characters are going to lack the requiste technologist feat. That said I really missed the Bard(Archivist)/Investigator with the technologist feat who had to unsign. The GM made amazing use of a text to speech function on his lap top for Tig-0.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Agent, Colorado—Denver aka roll4initiative

GM Lamplighter wrote:
My maps for the off-grid room are up on the Shared Prep drive.

Thank you for that! Way awesome! Any chance on doing a map for the portal room? It would be much appreciated.

Shadow Lodge 4/5

I ran this at Ropecon 2015 on the lower subtier. Here's the downlow:

We played a late night slot that almost didn't happen due to a mixup but luckily some proactive prodding happened. The team of agents had this roster: A Winter witch, a gnome alchemist, a healer/buffer cleric, a Hulk expy (some kind of alchemist), a Nightcrawler expy (rogue/ranger/arcanist) and a fighter/archaeologist. Nifty and just as zany as the scenario proved to be.

In my prep I had focused on giving every NPC a very distinct voice and being on the up and up about technical terminology translations so my Tig-0 delivery would not sound too idiomatic. "Power control center" needs to sound just as official and important in Finnish too. These, I think, were where I excelled, but everything else would have needed more prepping.

First of all, the boss fight was a big misunderstanding. I realised halfway through that I hadn't used the portal hazard chart at all, but had misread the chart to only apply to the big one and not the smaller, lava-spewing portals. So the boss fight turned out to be the easiest thing ever. Well, there was a snowball spell and two frost bombs there as well...

Second, I didn't expect the party to approach the azers the way they did. The Nightcrawler guy put on everything he found in the humanoid equipment storage, came up with a story about a maintenance crew. I didn't know how to roll with it and froze up. On a whim I rolled Sense Motive checks for each azer and went with the ol' surprise round, but the battle was a total disappointment and I think I should have instead given them a freebie for a such an ingenious approach(and a great Bluff roll). Mental note: prepare, prepare, prepare!

Third, the portal stabilization phase revealed how much a newbie gm yours truly really is. Alternative approaches to the checks? What's that? Clear explanation of the skill challenge? No such thing. Proper paperwork so it's clear what the results are? Fie on that. sometimes I hate my penchant for picking the ones with the elaborate boss fights.

All in all though, the players obviously had fun, Tig-0 was a marvel to GM and I think everyone felt like big damn heroes in the end.

Liberty's Edge

Question about sabotaging the portals: If a PC fails in one check by five or more, can he try it again? And if he can and succeeds, does it also remove the 1 additional charge?

The scenario wrote:

Failing this check by 5 or more causes the portal to start with 1 additional charge when it activates.


I ran this yesterday at the low tier and allowed rerolls. The setting is interesting, there is a sense of tension with the portals but unfortunately I have to say that the fights, at low tier, are rather lackluster. Tig-0 is the only potentially dangerous enemy and I think we all know by now how badly most single enemies fare against a party of 6.

The portals bit did add a lot however. My group actually inserted the battery into the main gate. They also failed to fully shut down even a single portal during the prep stage meaning 4 of them started with 4 charges and began spewing lava immediately. The Gate was fully open by round two as it was getting double charges due to the battery. Jethzerai managed to flee through it and was pursued into the elemental plane of fire by the bloodrager who wanted a jetpack.

He would have got away but for the ongoing acid arrow damage and they managed to shut things down with a minute to spare. I did keep stressing to them that the VC has said not to destroy anything which made them very cautious about breaking the portals. That left the witch and bard trying to make Engineering checks at about +11 and +3 respectively.

I should also add that I played this at high tier the week before and it was much more dicey. We lost a player to Jethzerais fireball and the magma ooze was potentially very dangerous if not for a lucky liberating command. The monks also proved far more troublesome than the base Azers at the low tier.

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

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I look forward to running this and giving Tig-0 a bit of Wheatley.

Lantern Lodge

So, I enjoyed running this, but I have to say the last encounter(s) got complicated.

Starting out, I had to keep track of:
1) How many charges each portal had
2) How many charges had been removed (i.e. which types of attempts had been successful on 5 different portals)
3) How many minutes had passed

After the 10 minutes was up (at which point the party had failed to de-activate any portal):
4) How many additional charges each portal had accumulated
5) How far the lava had gotten
6) All the random effects
7) What the current cumulative chance of a new fire elemental was
8) The actual fire elementals popping up
9) How many charges the main portal had
10) How many rounds the main portal was up
11) How many rounds until Jethzerai showed up.

And of course, the normal things like initiative order and monster actions. It was fun, but I wish I had a better way of keeping track of all that.

Shadow Lodge 5/5

I used glass beads for keeping track of charges and where the lava was. Thankfully one of my players had run it before and kept track of successful checks for closing the portals for me. :)

Is there a difference between destroying an inactive portal and an active one? I've only found the 'risks' for an active portal. With the large time gap with the skill checks the brawler decided to chop one up with an adamantium weapon. Since he did it in one round, and has resistance up, I think the others will be doing the same. Just for expediency. (PbP)

Grand Lodge

I think I used hash marks for portals, but I used strips of paper for the lava. One side had half fire, one side had all fire. So I could have nothing there when there was no lava. Half towards starting portal, all the way, and half towards exit portal. (Ended up being needed when I played but not ran (two people with Technologist in party))

Grand Lodge 3/5 Venture-Agent, Washington—Bellevue aka Divvox2

Loved this scenario when I played through it at a con last weekend. Our GM did well with only a couple hours to prep (he prepped the wrong scenario earlier in the week)!

He even got the final reactor interactions down, though he described the salamander coming in through a portal from the plane of fire, which I think was just a slip of the tongue. Tig-0 was great, and some of the other players and I got into acting like 90's movie robots to continue the charade. We all saw the eventual betrayal coming, but we blew SO MANY of the checks to shut down the small portals that I'm fairly certain it would have gone badly had our wizard not successfully ice prison'ed the salamander 4 rounds in.

We had a 5 person team and played up, but one player seemed like they hadn't played their characters before and didn't participate very much in the fights. My grapple build brawler nearly went down on the front-line against all the Azimer and that damn slime (intense fight, loved it!). If it wasn't for my high CMD vs. grapple that slime would have ended me in a single round. It is no joke. Props to the author for one of the more intense fights I've had with my frontline -1. o_____O

We didn't have anyone with Technologist in the party, so it was a lot of playing around with the equipment to figure out what it did, which was a lot of fun in the antics department. As a brawler through, I'm still figuring out where I clipped on those gravity clips...

Dark Archive 4/5

Dude, clip them on your biceps and then FLEXXXX!

FLEXES mightily. In a rebreather mask. With a laser pistol on hip. While juggling a bang grenade.

GM Lamplighter wrote:
It would be useful to know the exact depth of the shaft from there - it's "about a third of the way up a 500' shaft", from what I could find, which I called 170' - but at this level, an extra d6 or two is life of death. If we knew this number exactly, we wouldn't have to carry the guilt of the PC deaths ourselves.

Nobody answered this, even though the answer is in the module. From pages 17 & 18:

After the gate is open for 2 minutes, the otherworldly volcano erupts violently, destroying the entire Forge core (area A6 and all of area B). Any creature in those areas when this happens takes 10d10 points of fire damage and falls 100 feet into a massive tangle of semi-molten slag and jagged metal shrapnel on the Forge’s floor.

So the fall is 100 feet to the floor. OK, now let's see if I can get some answer from you guys in return. I have 2 problems.

1. Jethzerai's Mage Armor doesn't exist

Subtier 5-6 presents Jethzerai with this "Before Combat" instruction:

Jethzerai casts mage armor before returning to area B2

So I updated the stat block with the bonus (he now has AC 24, pretty good!) but then I found myself with two questions. First, where is the spell? It's not on his list of daily spells, and not listed as a scroll or item. Second, isn't that "Before Combat" stuff usually already figured into the stat block? Should I swap out one of his spells? Ignore the instructions? Give him Mage Armor for free?

2. Area A5 & A6 are not connected on the ground floor, even though the map makes it appear that you could walk out on the planks.

The map shows that the upper grated walkway is missing/destroyed for quite a few squares, but underneath that the lower flooring extends further outward (not as much was destroyed), and planks extend from the floor to the outside walkway. The problem? The outer walkway is not at the same level as the floor. The module says this:

At the eastern extreme of the catwalk, a wide, metallic red slab serves as a door.

The door is at the catwalk level. The outer walkway is thus at the catwalk level. So somehow, in just a few feet, a walkway connects to the upper catwalk door, and then also connects to the lower floor via planks as if it's all flat. Should we assume those planks are not flat and are instead raised upward at extreme angles? Should we assume the planks are actually connected to the exposed catwalk overhead? Or is A5 significantly higher than B1, so that the ramp between them does in fact angle steeply downward?


Ran this last night for 8 archer ranger, 9 zen archer, 9 fast bomber alch,(full load of cha dumpers) and a pregen due to a no-show.

Players really had no interest in interacting with tig-zero which made me sad as I had really prepped that for some fun.

I encouraged them to verbally engage the Azers but even with aids the diplomacy was terribad.

Most opponents got zero or 1 actions. Jeth only got two because they picked off the 2 mephits first(4 player adjustment)

These guys had played against Dalsine at 5-6 and eaten the 9d6 * 1.5 fireball he initiates with and about fell out of their chair when I only grabbed 5 dice for a fireball at sub-tier 8-9.

So all combats were extremely underwhelming with only 3 players, they had the pre-gen stay completely out of all fights. With 6 I don't imagine Jeth would even last to second round. Even if he could somehow last longer, I don't see how a 5th level wizard is any possible threat to a party of 8-9s.(who are quite likely prepped for fire damage by this point) The racial HD aren't really doing much here. The few rounds he might buy doesn't really impact the minutes time scale for eruption.

Ironically the big portal actually did get open after Jeth died, due to their skillset and my accidental addition of a 6th small portal. However, it didn't even make it past 3 rounds of the 20 you have before kablooey, due to the adamantine arrow railguns.

I'm about to run this as a Core game. They won't have the Technologist feat, but also won't have the Technology Guide that insisted a Technologist feat was needed in the first place. The tech section of the PFS Guide is also removed from the new Season 7 edition, so there is now officially zero guidance.

Do I allow these players to make checks as normal, since all mention or thought of the Technologist feat is missing? Or am I as a GM supposed to know that the feat still sorta exists behind the curtain, and enforce it?

Also, what have GMs done with Tig-0 as far as aiding the PCs on checks like this? It says that Tig-0 has broken sensors and cannot identify creatures as anything other than friendly robots (even if they're not). Do you as a GM assume that its sensors will not identify items as well? It seems to interact with the console at the end just fine. So how do you think it stacks up in a Core-only game?

(As a director robot, I would assume that it can identify everything perfectly if it has working sensors -- no check needed. However, as a GM who understands I'm running a creature with a stat block, I imagine I must roll Engineering checks to identify items no matter what, although it could take 10. It seems like a loss of verisimilitude to roll and possibly end up with a director robot that doesn't know what a force field device is, but maybe that's where you chalk it up as broken sensors?)

EDIT: Regarding my previous question about Jethzerai casting Mage Armor in the low tier, during that game the group had deactivated all portals before Tig-0 had even turned on them and then one-shot killed Tig-0 when he went bad, so I decided that Jethzerai desperately needed that +4 to AC, so I just swapped a spell to make the "Before Combat" section rules-legal (and to keep him buffed).

I also note that the director robot itself does not have the technology feat, so I assume by the rules it must be unable to identify any technology, even though that makes no sense. When you run it, are you a stickler for the rules or do you hand-wave that stuff even though there is no rule to back you up?

Well, I just had a "TPK, except for one" ending to this module. They were not able to make the checks to disarm the portals but were hellbent on doing it, so they stuck around long enough for the big portal to activate, then stuck around through 10 rounds as it charged up, then stuck around as the azers raced into the portal and said "thanks for the portal, sucks that you're all going to die from the volcano erupting," then stuck around for 10 more rounds as the lava filled the room. At that point the volcano should erupt and everyone dies, but I've never killed a PC in PFS and couldn't imagine that my first time killing a PC would be a full TPK... so I gave an extra round and said the volcano was rumbling and spewing massive heat, and what would they like to do. One PC fled, while the rest stood at the door and started scrounging for scrap metal or other things to barricade it shut. At that point, I was beyond out of time to get them away from the explosion, and so I had to do it, and everyone but the guy who fled was dead.

Technically, one dude survived the explosion/eruption (1 HP away from death), and had Air Walk, so he wouldn't take falling damage, but he was in the building and the building fell, so either he fell with it, or the structure turned to slag and burned through him as it fell past, etc. I just couldn't find a way to keep him alive after all that stalling and trying to avoid the damage. It was kind of a bummer.

One person had enough Prestige to get a body recovery and Raise Dead & Restorations. I assumed that his charred bones at the bottom of the lava/metal/slag would eventually be recoverable. Maybe that was wrong, but I've never killed PCs so I erred on the side of allowing it.

This was an extremely different experience from just a few days prior. In that game, at a convention, there were 6 players and they all assisted on the portal checks, and had great high bonuses, so they had them completely disabled with time to spare, and I never even got to turn them on. That group also insta-killed Tig-0 and almost-insta-killed Jethzerai, so they were highly functional and good at what they did.

Wow, such extremes. 1 completely uneventful game where everything was disabled before I could even do anything, and another where everything went completely wrong and they stuck around to the bitter end no matter what.

(By the way, I previously asked what to do about the Technologist feat in a Core game where Technologist didn't exist. I decided to just act as if Technologist was irrelevant and unnecessary, so that the Knowledge (engineering) checks worked without it. It still didn't help. Most of their rolls were around 19s or 20s, so they didn't get a lot of tech info.)


wow, with 30 rounds to work with they never picked up on it might be time to just smash the things feeding the big portal??

They were told they could physically destroy the portals but they didn't like that there was fire damage for standing adjacent, so they relied upon turning them off from safety, using the console. Unfortunately, with only 1 guy who could do the Knowledge (engineering) or Disable Device rolls, and with that guy rolling 7s a bunch, they weren't getting high enough. They did manage to shut off 2 of the 4 smaller portals, but that's it by the time it exploded.

To be honest, I'm just glad someone ran. The thought of TPKing the whole table full of players was pretty bad. Even 1 guy running made my night.

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

Yowch. Thankfully, my group had a gunslinger with crazy disable device and a sorcerer with dispel magic. I never even got to the big portal opening.

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