Turn of the Torrent (GM Reference)


Hell's Rebels

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

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


So as I've been prepping and extracting maps for my game (virtual tabletop), I come across maps for the Lucky Bones, and I am disappointed in the formatting on the Player view of them.

On the Upper Dungeon map, the trap trigger areas for area C4 remains on the player map. Furthermore, the outline of the secret tunnel between C4 & C13 and the secret door dots remain visible as well. And then there is the small detail of the spiked pits looking as though they are filled with water in C13 and C4.

Lower dungeon seems to have issues too.
D1: The southwest pillar shows hollow with secret door in player view, as well as the outline of the secret passage to D2.
D5: Playerview shows outline beneath room that belongs to D11
D7: Where there should be a wall (technically the whole room should be covered up if prior player view maps are a guideline) to represent the secret door, it's merely a gap.
D8: Small detail, there is a semi-circle outlines on the west passage of this room, but this doesn't seem to correspond to any effect in the text I can find from a quick scan.
D12: The Secret door S is visible in player view.

I'm curious if these are things that can be changed in the Map file and updated, or something that will need to fall on GMs to fix if they wish to use the maps.


Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

P.62. Barzillai's +2 gifts to the PCs. Being the locus of a locate object spell rather than tbere being actual magic on the items, are we to assume that it is going to be impossible to identify that the items are for tracking the players other than by conjecture? Is there some spell which would let you know if there was currently a locate object spell being cast on an item in your possession, or could they be warded from scrying? I can see my players attaching them to the figurines of wonderous power and sending Barzillai on a wild goose chase. (Wild raven chase).

Silver Crusade

So I'm looking at the lower dungeon (area D) and its underwaterness. I have some concern that so much underwater combat will be frustrating and un-fun for players. But I like the idea of needing to unflood the new lair. Anybody know ways of making underwater combat more fun? Or ideas for making it work better? Turning it into a shallow bog, perhaps?


Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Eliandra Giltessan wrote:
So I'm looking at the lower dungeon (area D) and its underwaterness. I have some concern that so much underwater combat will be frustrating and un-fun for players. But I like the idea of needing to unflood the new lair. Anybody know ways of making underwater combat more fun? Or ideas for making it work better? Turning it into a shallow bog, perhaps?

Once you get the magical water pump working, the rest of if can be done with the room drained. Skull and Shackles has a lot underwater, it seems to work ok when my group did that. Of course, you can always rewrite it, but you would have to do something to make the monsters more powerful to balance it out if you do that.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Carter Lockhart wrote:
I'm curious if these are things that can be changed in the Map file and updated, ...

Yupp. Stumbled upon it, too. Needs an official fix.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Scharlata wrote:
Carter Lockhart wrote:
I'm curious if these are things that can be changed in the Map file and updated, ...
Yupp. Stumbled upon it, too. Needs an official fix.

I'd suggest you bring it up in the product thread rather than just the GM reference thread. Official Paizo peeps who can make it happen will be more likely to be monitoring.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Having (finally) finished reading this one, a couple of questions come to mind.

How do people think Thrune should react when the PCs (quite rìghtly) choose not to come and receive giftsfrom him?

And, with regard to Hetamon Haace, the magic item creating tailor, don't you think he could do with a few ranks in Spellcraft and maybe craft (tailor)?


Darrell Impey UK wrote:

Having (finally) finished reading this one, a couple of questions come to mind.

How do people think Thrune should react when the PCs (quite rìghtly) choose not to come and receive giftsfrom him?

And, with regard to Hetamon Haace, the magic item creating tailor, don't you think he could do with a few ranks in Spellcraft and maybe craft (tailor)?

1. I would presume that this would be seen as a huge insult to Thrune, and he would not react pleasantly. My understanding was that at this point the PCs are still not openly opposing Thrune outright, so if they would want to save face as allies and protectors of the city, it might be more beneficial to go along with it. (I was planning on having one or two allies suggest this if my PCs decided to decline the gifts as well).

With that said, Thrune is not stupid. He knows that outright denouncing the Silver Ravens or PCs could be a bad PR move, and might instead try to bribe them (with increased reward). If they refuse a public acceptance of the reward, he might simply tell them of a location to pick up the reward.

2. Hetamon has "Craft Wondrous Item," so that kinda covers it, although in theory he probably would at least have Craft Tailor. If not spellcraft.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I can sort of get with your first answer, but wrt the second, Craft Wonderous or not, you still need to make spellcraft checks to manufacture magic items. :s

A third thing has occurred; is that a skewed Doctor Who reference I see in the intro to the Bestiary? :)

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Darrell Impey UK wrote:

I can sort of get with your first answer, but wrt the second, Craft Wonderous or not, you still need to make spellcraft checks to manufacture magic items. :s

A third thing has occurred; is that a skewed Doctor Who reference I see in the intro to the Bestiary? :)

Depending on the item, you can use a different craft or profession skill instead of spellcraft. For example, you 'could' do craft (weaponsmith) instead of spellcraft when crafting magical weapons. Spellcraft is technically better, as it covers all item creation feats, but if you only intend to do one, then a craft skill would probably work just as well.

Grand Lodge

Does anyone have any experience with the Varl Wex quest? It seems a bit lackluster to me. Both the investigation and the encounter with Wex.

Shadow Lodge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8

I'd also be interested to hear about people's experience with Wex.

I'm thinking about running him before the PCs head into the Lucky Bones.

They've heard the rumors about twins going missing from Iudeimus Tenement. I feel like it'll be more fun for them to follow the murder investigation back to that same tenement--the natural conclusion being that Wex did something with the kids. It'll be interesting to see how they try to get that information out of him (information he ultimately doesn't have).

I'm a little worried though that he'll be too much of a fight for 5th level characters. He's a CR 9 encounter (above epic), but of course he's also a rogue without anyone to flank with, and he's got a good chance of losing his primary weapon.

I was wondering how the fight with him went for other groups, and whether he really felt up to his CR.

Shadow Lodge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8

Well, Varl Wex was a pushover, as I suspected he would be. The PCs played smart and left a familiar out in the hall. When Wex arrived at his apartment, the familiar alerted the party that he was circling back around to climb up the wall to his window, and they prepared an ambush for him.

He was welcomed by two invisible PCs taking turns grappling him. He slipped out of one's grasp, only to biff his escape artist check to get free of the other (unlucky roll) and they pinned him and coup-de-grace'd him unconscious.

My plan of using him as a red herring went off without a hitch, and they were very confused when he denied knowing anything about the missing children. :)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Varl is intentionally placed as a lone encounter—he's high CR, but his class makes him less of a great choice for a single encounter, and so this is a case where the mechanically determined CR isn't a great expression of the actual difficulty of the encounter, assuming the PCs play it smart. It's essentially in the category of a dangerous encounter that is easier if the PCs play it smart/right and have a bit of luck. If Varl goes first and gets an early sneak attack in on the right character, that can be bad quick.

As for the investigation itself... investigations are very difficult to build in adventures, because what might seem like an obvious train of clues in print when you read it often has a way of becoming indecipherable in play, as the players loose track of clues or get distracted or whatever. When the entire point of an adventure is an investigation, we generally make them more robust and have lots of paths through to the final goal, but for what's essentially a subplot, like Varl Wex, we prefer to set them up relatively simple. If that means your players blaze through it, you should take that opportunity to congratulate them on the fine detective work. Players feel good when they get the idea that they are actually playing the roles of saviors or heroes, and the GM saying "Good job!" is an important and often forgotten aspect of the job.

Shadow Lodge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8

James Jacobs wrote:

Varl is intentionally placed as a lone encounter—he's high CR, but his class makes him less of a great choice for a single encounter, and so this is a case where the mechanically determined CR isn't a great expression of the actual difficulty of the encounter, assuming the PCs play it smart. It's essentially in the category of a dangerous encounter that is easier if the PCs play it smart/right and have a bit of luck. If Varl goes first and gets an early sneak attack in on the right character, that can be bad quick.

As for the investigation itself... investigations are very difficult to build in adventures, because what might seem like an obvious train of clues in print when you read it often has a way of becoming indecipherable in play, as the players loose track of clues or get distracted or whatever. When the entire point of an adventure is an investigation, we generally make them more robust and have lots of paths through to the final goal, but for what's essentially a subplot, like Varl Wex, we prefer to set them up relatively simple. If that means your players blaze through it, you should take that opportunity to congratulate them on the fine detective work. Players feel good when they get the idea that they are actually playing the roles of saviors or heroes, and the GM saying "Good job!" is an important and often forgotten aspect of the job.

That's the sense I got from Wex, which I appreciated, since it made it easier to use him earlier than the adventure suggests :) He'd definitely be a lot more dangerous for an unprepared group, but I was pretty sure my players would be able to handle the investigation and get the drop on him.

I thought the investigation went really well, James. The clues were well designed, and the PCs had a lot of fun picking up on them and following them around the city. I also liked that the investigation helped flesh out the city some more for the players. My players aren't the kind of people who read through the city locations in the Player's Guide, so having an excuse to take them to Vespam Artisans or The Devils Threads and show them the pictures of the NPCs is really helpful.

Silver Crusade

So what god do you think Octavio Sabinus worships? I'm mostly trying to decide whom he asks for patience when he realizes the revolutionaries are his best chance for saving his men.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Eliandra Giltessan wrote:
So what god do you think Octavio Sabinus worships? I'm mostly trying to decide whom he asks for patience when he realizes the revolutionaries are his best chance for saving his men.

Off the cuff, he seems an Abadaran sort to me, with his reverence for law as a way to ensure the good of all. Although growing up in Cheliax, it's entirely possible he'd send down a few words to Asmodeus, in his aspect as the ultimate paragon of order - after all, even good-leaning Hellknight orders model themselves off of Hell's rigid structure. You don't have to approve of evil in order to give Asmodeus his due, and it's the faith he'd have likely grown up in.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Eliandra Giltessan wrote:
So what god do you think Octavio Sabinus worships? I'm mostly trying to decide whom he asks for patience when he realizes the revolutionaries are his best chance for saving his men.

He worships Abadar, but not that devoutly. His primary faith is in the Order of the Torrent, and it's from that that he draws his divine power. He is very much NOT an Asmodeus worshiper, and is insanely proud of the fact that his order of Hellknights does not involve anything with Asmodeus.


Would it make sense in any way shape or form to turn the Skum in the Lucky Bones into Deep Ones? Perhaps even change the ABoleth in Book 3 into an Elder Deep one? a cleric necromancer of some sort?

I mean, I know Deep Ones are highly religious, while Aboleths are not, so it wouldn't probably make much sense for them to work for an aboleth.. but I'm honestly not interested in Skum at all, and Deep Ones are just so.. so.. Lovecraftiany.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Crustypeanut wrote:

Would it make sense in any way shape or form to turn the Skum in the Lucky Bones into Deep Ones? Perhaps even change the ABoleth in Book 3 into an Elder Deep one? a cleric necromancer of some sort?

I mean, I know Deep Ones are highly religious, while Aboleths are not, so it wouldn't probably make much sense for them to work for an aboleth.. but I'm honestly not interested in Skum at all, and Deep Ones are just so.. so.. Lovecraftiany.

That should work, but then again, Lovecraft is a very powerful spice and using too many Lovecraft elements can change the entire theme and nature of a campaign... so handle with care, I guess. Part of the reason we avoided using deep ones is that there's a full-on Lovecraft AP coming this year, after all.


Righteo. Well I am trying to portray Hell's Rebels as dark and gritty so it might fit in quite well in this instance. It is indeed a powerful spice but oh-so delicious of one. Plus just replacing the skum/aboleth with it should be sufficient for the entire campaign, rather than sprinkled all over the place.

And yes I'm definitely excited for Strange Aeons - I'm going to want to try and get in as a player for once, but that'll probably be unlikely with my luck hah.


Not that these things aren't easy to modify, but just as a note to other GM's the Bleakbridge Toll hike feels overly aggressive to me for this phase of the game.

5sp per crossing when a standard untrained commoner earns 1sp per day and even an average trained person earns 3sp is going to effectively cut the city in half at this early stage. Given how the districts are laid out, this means an effective collapse of city life, probably followed quickly by rioting.

I'm going with 1sp, which is nasty enough but still allows the city to operate. Your mileage may vary, of course.


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Page 33, first column, first paragraph after the "Vespam Artisans" header.

I quote:
" . . Should point the PCs to Vespam Artisans in Old Korvosa."

This is the BEST typo ever. As a reader, I've been transposing Old Korvosa for Old Kintargo in my head constantly. I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who's been doing that.

As a former editor, I can empathize with the issue, but don't be disheartened. I love it, and the unintentional reference to one of my favorite APs just brought a huge smile to my face.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
justmebd wrote:
As a reader, I've been transposing Old Korvosa for Old Kintargo in my head constantly. I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who's been doing that.

Oh, good, it's not just me. :)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Rennaivx wrote:
justmebd wrote:
As a reader, I've been transposing Old Korvosa for Old Kintargo in my head constantly. I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who's been doing that.
Oh, good, it's not just me. :)

Since that error got into print, I'd say it's OBVIOUSLY not just you. :-P


It said in the description of the noble families of Kintargo (at the end of in Hell's bright shadow) that there would be more information in this adventure (Turn of the Torrent). Yet, i'm shuffling trough the pages and I can't find any. One of my player is looking to get the Noble Scion feat and I was looking to do some foward reading ahead of time. Have I just missed it or will it be in futher adventures?

Thanks for your help!

Silver Crusade

The further info on the noble families is in the 3rd book, Dance of the Damned. A couple of the families are also highlighted in The Kintargo Contract (book 5).

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Yeah, I'd hoped to be able to fit the noble family info into the 2nd book but the adventure simply didn't have room... even after I moved one of the support articles down the line to give it an extra six pages.

As Eliandra noted, the noble family info is in the third book.


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I blame Mike Shel, for writing such an awesome adventure. :-)

Shadow Lodge

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Darrell Impey UK wrote:
And, with regard to Hetamon Haace, the magic item creating tailor, don't you think he could do with a few ranks in Spellcraft and maybe craft (tailor)?

You're right. What's more, he should probably have both, because Craft (clothing) won't help Hetamon use his Brew Potion feat. Here's a statblock I worked up:

Hetamon Haace:
HETAMON HAACE CR 4
XP 1,200
Male demon-spawn tiefling cleric of Milani 5
CG Medium outsider (native)
Init +1; Senses darkvision 60 ft., Perception +5
DEFENSE
AC 15, touch 11, flat-footed 14 (armor +3, Dex +1, shield +1)
hp 26 (5d8)
Fort +4, Ref +2, Will +7
Resist cold 5, electricity 5, fire 5
OFFENSE
Speed 30 ft.
Melee +1 morningstar +4 (1d8+1)
Special Attacks channel positive energy 6/day (3d6, DC 15)
Domain Spell-Like Abilities (CL 5th; concentration +8)
6/day—rebuke death (1d4+2)
Tiefling Spell-Like Abilities (CL 5th; concentration +8)
1/day—shatter (DC 15)
Cleric Spells per Day (CL 5th; concentration +8)
3rd—blindness/deafness (DC 16), remove curse(D), speak with dead
2nd—aid, enthrall (DC 15), remove paralysis(D), spiritual weapon
1st—bless, cure light wounds(D), protection from evil, sanctuary (DC 14), shield of faith
0 (at will)—detect magic, guidance, mending, read magic
D Domain spell; Domains Healing, Liberation
TACTICS
During Combat Hetamon casts sanctuary at the start of combat, following with shield of faith. He then focuses his actions on providing healing or assistance to allies. On his own, or when forced to fight, the tiefling starts a battle with spiritual weapon, then uses blindness/ deafness on the most dangerous-looking foe. Of course, he much prefers to end combats before they begin, often with the aid of an enthrall spell.
Morale Hetamon is no coward, but neither does he seek to martyr himself. If reduced to fewer than 10 hit points, he attempts to flee combat, go into hiding, and recover. If he's forced to abandon allies, he turns all of his resources to rescuing any who were captured, or if they were killed, avenging their deaths.
STATISTICS
Str 10, Dex 13, Con 10, Int 10, Wis 16, Cha 16
Base Atk +3; CMB +3; CMD 14
Feats Brew Potion, Craft Wondrous Item, Deceitful
Skills Bluff +8, Craft (clothing) +7, Diplomacy +7, Disguise +8, Knowledge (local) +2, Knowledge (religion) +5, Perception +5, Spellcraft +7
Languages Abyssal, Common
SQ aura, fiendish sorcery, liberation (5 rounds/day)
Combat Gear scroll of align weapon, scroll of lesser restoration, scroll of remove disease, scroll of remove fear, scroll of resist energy; Other Gear mwk studded leather, buckler, +1 morningstar, mwk artisan's tools (craft [clothing]), mwk tool (spellcraft), wooden holy symbol of Milani, 6 gp

I replaced Extra Channel because its existence wasn't reflected in Hetamon's stat block in the first place. He'd have been entitled to 8 channels per day, but was printed with only 6. Replacing it with Deceitful freed up 4 skill points from Bluff and Disguise, which went to Craft (clothing) and Spellcraft. Hetamon's unspent gold went to masterwork tools to boost his crafting checks a little higher. It turned out that Hetamon had an extra point of CMD, and an extra language (Halfling), to which he wasn't entitled. These have been removed. Hetamon's aura and fiendish sorcery SQs were not reflected in his original statblock because they don't do anything, but they're included here for completeness's sake. Everything else is unchanged.

Silver Crusade

My players disappointed me this week. I ran the first part of Turn of the Torrent. They met Octavio Sabinus, and he asked them to rescue his armigers. They disguised themselves as dottari---except for the gnome, whom the left outside---and asked to transfer the prisoners. They did have to come back the next day (and the dottari member of my party got caught stealing something with her captain's signature on it), but they were led to the prisoners in the back. I then had the guard say what the book said about Hortense's location.

At this point, my players decided that their only option was to leave with the three prisoners, get the gnome, and try to sneak back in despite the broad daylight and basically storm the place. I unfortunately was trying to leave their options open, and also didn't know everything they were thinking. I should perhaps have given more clues that the storming wasn't necessary. And then it turns out that those dottari hit hard, so I was left with the choice of pulling punches or having a TPK. I did consider knocking them out, locking them up, and having Octavio Sabinus rescue them. But at least one of them would have been dead-dead, which would have been sad. So I let them get away with it. The guards did all get away or stabilize (on their own---the ringleader of this operation decided he wasn't going to bother saving Asmodeans, despite my protests that they were not all Asmodeans.)

Now Octavio Sabinus thinks they are basically thugs who will resort to violence at the least provocation. And they think he's stuffy and ungrateful.

In retrospect, the elf who led the raid does feel a little bad that he did not see or inquire about other options. So perhaps lesson learned? I dunno, or maybe I should have made more options clearer. I think there's a lot of regret on both sides about what happened, which is not necessarily how I want anyone to feel about a session.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Not sure what you've done with Laria, but if your halfling is a plucky one you might consider having her host the whole company, including the released prisoners and Sabinus for a hearty meal together. That way she has a chance to try to lift their spirits by reminding them that "revolutionaries aren't born overnight, no matter what the operas tell us" and that everyone questions their judgments. And it is a good thing to do so. Maybe use it as an excuse to prove that they do have the time to plan and prepare their ventures for the most part and not to feel rushed.

Also might be a good opportunity for Octavio to express his opinion, but in as diplomatic a fashion as he can. And it might be doubly refreshing for the PCs and their players if his own hellknights who were rescued disagree with his stodgy assessment, if only because they might have been fed to Barzillai's puppies if not for the PCs.

Silver Crusade

Interesting. Based on my players' reactions to Laria, I suspect a hearty meal from her in the name of peacekeeping would be met with rolled eyes and sarcasm. However, it would make sense for Octavio to apologize (or at least sincerely express gratitude) and offer the conciliatory gesture of a new hideout, complete with a history that does not put his order in the best light. Thanks for the idea!

As for the needing to care about what allies think, I'm running with the ideas for Rexus in the forward. He's going to start demanding the group start taking things directly to Thrune, and if they don't make efforts to care about him, he'll take matters into his own hands.

Silver Crusade

How do people think Cassius Sargaeta will react to the Silver Ravens taking back the city and declaring Ravounel's independence. For my part, I think he might declare himself the new admiral of Ravounel's navy, but I'm not 100% sure. I'm also curious what Elia will think of all this. Just checked her stat block, and she's LE, so she might not want to throw in with Kintargo long term.


Eliandra Giltessan wrote:
How do people think Cassius Sargaeta will react to the Silver Ravens taking back the city and declaring Ravounel's independence. For my part, I think he might declare himself the new admiral of Ravounel's navy, but I'm not 100% sure. I'm also curious what Elia will think of all this. Just checked her stat block, and she's LE, so she might not want to throw in with Kintargo long term.

This is actually really interesting, Cassius is supposed to also be a Chelish patriot, even if he is no fan of Thrune, not entirely sure how he would react. Given as his involvement with the rebellion seemed to be as loose as possible (at least how I read it), I would presume he would repay his debt as soon as possible and would prefer to "disappear" so to speak. If he has Marquel aboard his ship, and unless Marquel desires to return to his family, I don't really see a reason for him to stay in Kintargo.

His campaign role mentions that he would like to reestablish proud Chelish traditions, so he might want to establish a navy *if* he feels that the PCs/Ravens vision of Kintargo align with his. I haven't seen how my PCs react to him yet, but I would imagine that the relationship between the Ravens and Cassius would play the largest role in his decision to support a newly independent Ravounel or not.

Elia's alignment seems... odd to be honest, but I imagine her more lawful than evil (if that makes sense), and if her captain throws his lot in with rebels, than she's willing to follow. On the other hand, if she's not a huge Church of Azmodeus/Thrune supporter, she might find this the perfect opportunity to quickly rise in the ranks and become an captain or maybe even an admiral in her own right.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I considered that after reading the outcome and I suspect that my players may be casually interested in Cassius' relationship with the Marquel and want to support it in spite of all the opposition they may find. Once I know the characters I am dealing with for the campaign, my intent is to flesh a subplot out involving the tensions that become burdens in Kintargo's moment of revolution: Cheliax will immediately command the withdrawal of any loyalist vessels in the harbor pending official treaties, and this includes Cassius. The Marquel's significant holdings are here in Kintargo, and he has invested so much of his art as the Poison Pen defending her virtues, so his reasons for remaining in the city satisfy concerns of both the head and the heart.

If their relationship has survived and is still passionate by the time Cheliax orders the withdrawal, and if the PCs have invested a lot of time in getting to know him and showing that as much as they have love for Kintargo they also have love for Cheliax (just not, perhaps, for Thrune), he will manufacture a dozen excuses, probably with the Marquel's assistance, to delay his departure until the PCs formalize their relationship with Cheliax. He would then do exactly what you said, yes, and pitch himself very strongly to be the first Kintargan Admiral.

If the PCs have been cool or adversarial towards him, he will give a thousand sorrows to the Marquel but ultimately opt to leave Kintargo bound for Cheliax, choosing duty first in the hopes that the PCs manage to make favorable treaty arrangements that would allow his return. Which would suddenly bring this NPC back up into the forefront with the PCs and he may insinuate himself into their negotiations with Cheliax in ways that create additional complications (contacting other royal fellow members on the Cheliax side to do what they could to place more pressure on the PCs to negotiate in Cheliax's favor, for example, so that they would feel more at ease in allowing ships like Cassius' to return to port.) This has them lose his bonuses until they are able to negotiate for his return.

If their relationship failed somewhere along the way (it could happen), then my plan was for Cassius to immediately heed the call and return to a Chelish port as commanded. If the PCs had been warm and favorable to him, he would return if the correct terms are negotiated, but would want an additional "tribute" for his service to compensate him and his bonuses would be restored. If they were cool or adversarial, he is highly unlikely to ever return, resulting in the permanent loss of his bonus.

Scarab Sages

I just got to book two with my party, and I'm trying to figure out how to run things. The book isn't as straightforward as book 1. As far as I can tell, what I'm supposed to do is:

1) run part 1) (rescue torrent) and 2) poison pen-PCs level to 5
2) run level 1 of the lucky bones-PCs level to 6
3) somehow, get the PCs to stop the dungeon crawl, go back to their home base, and have them get sidetracked by vex. (I guess they'll need some scrolls of water breathing?)
4)PCs return to clear out second level of the lucky bones, PCs level to 7.

I should mention, I'm running my game XPless, just leveling my players when the Books call for it. Partly because it's easier, partly because there are six players and I've been ad-hoc adding more monsters and treasure to make everything work out.

Silver Crusade

VampByDay wrote:

I just got to book two with my party, and I'm trying to figure out how to run things. The book isn't as straightforward as book 1. As far as I can tell, what I'm supposed to do is:

1) run part 1) (rescue torrent) and 2) poison pen-PCs level to 5
2) run level 1 of the lucky bones-PCs level to 6
3) somehow, get the PCs to stop the dungeon crawl, go back to their home base, and have them get sidetracked by vex. (I guess they'll need some scrolls of water breathing?)
4)PCs return to clear out second level of the lucky bones, PCs level to 7.

I should mention, I'm running my game XPless, just leveling my players when the Books call for it. Partly because it's easier, partly because there are six players and I've been ad-hoc adding more monsters and treasure to make everything work out.

That's pretty much how I'm running it. I was thinking of putting Varl Wex at the end, but I like putting him in the middle to break up the dungeon crawl.

Shadow Lodge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8

I put Varl Wex before the dungeon crawl. He's a dangerous fight for 5th level, but he's just way too good of a red herring for the missing kids subplot (the PCs hear the rumor about two kids going missing from Iudeimus Tenement, then suddenly they track a crazy murderer back to that same tenement? Too good!)

If you wait until the middle of he Lucky Bones, the PCs have already rescued the kids and learned who took them.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

The order in which things play out in each volume of Hell's Rebels is really left to the players to decide. The order in which things are printed are done basically in order of increasing difficulty, and for some, there are specific events that have to happen first or last, but overall, the whole point is that each adventure in Hell's Rebels is a sort of sandbox type collection of missions and tasks. Having the PCs jump from one to the other and not simply focusing on one mission to the exclusion of the others and mixing and matching as needed is sort of the intention—even to the extent that you could, in theory, run some events from other adventures before or after that adventure is technically over.

Don't feel constrained by the order in which we set things up, in other words, and let your players pick what happens next. If they have option paralysis or don't know what to do, THAT'S when you have one of many helpful NPCs show up to give out a quest and push the PCs in the direction of the mission you think should play out next.

Scarab Sages

Something I noticed while going through book 2 is that the PCs don't get much in the way of loot until the they start clearing out the Lucky Bones

Mission 1) (saving the Torrent NPCs) If the PCs do what they are asked to do (use forgeries to get the NPCs out of prison) they won't fight anyone but the Kyton, who has no loot on her. Unless they fight the warden (who has some stuff on her) they get nothing.

Mission 2) (saving the poison pen) There is ZERO loot to be had here except for favors they can get out of the captain. They could get up to 20,000 GP, true (10 favors, 2000 GP each) or they could get 2000 (1 favor, remember, a d10 favors), or just shelve the 'favors' for a rainy day (which is what my party will probably end up doing.)

Vex) has a bit of loot on him, but unless the PCs want to risk going jack-the-ripper on someone, they aren't supposed to keep the big prize, the intelligent kukri.

Level 1 of the Lucky bones has a fair amount of stuff, but by that point the party is going into a fortified dungeon crawl with gear that is two levels behind what the party should have. And if the party doesn't quit after the first level, go back up, rest, sell, buy, then the same is true for level 2.

Am I over thinking things? Has someone gone through this and can tell me how it works out?

I mean, my party isn't particularly DEPENDENT on gear (no one is a fighter, say) but it's not like we have a mindblade or other type of character that is pretty gear-independent.

Silver Crusade

My party observed that they didn't get any loot on missions 1 & 2, but they're doing ABP, so it wasn't too much of a problem. Also, the oracle just picked up craft wondrous item, so they should start getting stuff now.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

The nature of this adventure is unusual in that, even though Lucky Bones is the last thing you get to when you read, it's not intended to be the last thing you get to as you play. In fact, I mention this specifically in the "Closing Notes" of the foreword to this volume.

Shadow Lodge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8

Varl actually gives a pretty big payout, since the churches of Abadar and Shelyn give full gp value in exchange for the weapon.

Scarab Sages

I was thinking of a sort of stop-gap manuver. The ship captain (the guy you have to rescue the Poison Pen for . . . can't remember his name off the top of my head.) I was thinking of having him give the PCs treasure equivelent to the warden's gear if the PCs end up not fighting her (and I KNOW my party won't, they are all about the infiltration and disguising). In the grand scheme of things it's not too much treasure (+1 amulet of natural armor, +1 weapon, +1 armor) and it gives the PCs something to go into the first level of the Lucky Bones with.

I can flavor it as stuff he took off of Pirates while down in the shackles that somehow 'got lost.' That way he's paying them for their services, and also promising support.


It does say that PCs can trade the favours they earned for raw gold. If you want to take a middle ground you could always have the Captain lend them a sum gold at the cost of no favours with the understanding that they repay him as soon as they have the funds to do so. That way you give your players a bit of money to gear up with without actually changing the total loot they receive over the course of the book.

Silver Crusade

One of my player's was a dottari, and after she got caught sneaking around her captain's office (She needed something with his signature for her friend to forge for the documentation in the Holding House), her nemesis guard's were sent to bring her in. The party managed to bluff them off, but they decided their best course of action would be to fake the dottari's death. They got a higher caster level scroll of sculpt corpse and dropped Maglap's corpse disguised as the dottari at the front of the opera house, with a note attached that said "Sic semper tyrannis" in Azlanti.

So... I figure this is a pretty bold step of them and is definitely going to make the dottari want to come down harder on the Silver Ravens. The captain saw through the illusion, but most of the rank and file didn't. I feel like the best way to reflect this is by a notoriety increase, but I'm questioning what it should be. Does 3d6 seem like too much? I mean, to all public appearances they are starting to openly kill run-of-the-mill law enforcers.

Thoughts?

Shadow Lodge

There's an established penalty for "openly killing run-of-the-mill law enforcers:" 1d4 notoriety per death. If the fake-dottari was especially well-known, well-liked, or otherwise notable, I'd maybe bump that up to 1d6.

There are also other possible ramifications besides a straight notoriety increase. You might impose an Increased Patrols event for the following week[s], for example.

Scarab Sages

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So, with Haace, I decided to change him up a bit from the way he's portrayed in the book.

I have him walk around in an impeccable suit, with a long black coat, black pants, wingtip shoes, a black scarf and a large top hat (along with white gloves. The top hat hides his horns. I figured as a tailor, he should dress very well.

He even stuffs two ioun stones in his top hat (which circle him inside the hat), a cracked iridescent blue sphere (which gives him +1 to profession tailor checks) and a cracked scarlet and blue sphere (which gives him a +1 bonus to spellcraft checks.

I figured as a tailor he would be impeccably dressed, which also helps him feel superior when people see him and judge him accordingly, so he doesn't feel the sting of racism all the time.

I also used Zimerwald1915's statblock for him, but gave him a bit of extra gold for the two ioun stones, as I just love the idea of them whirling around INSIDE his top hat.

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